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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-21

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 21

                   Tuesday, 18 May 2004


           Orpheus listened to with a tin ear?
            RE: Worst album covers of all time
                That Thing Andy Almost Did
                         Wake Up!


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Still I'm getting higher, Icarus regrets and retires puzzled?


Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 02:45:46 +0000
From: "WAYNE KLEIN" <>
Subject: Orpheus listened to with a tin ear?
Message-ID: <>

from kevin:

>>A few years ago - okay, many, many, years ago - I did a three hour special
on Nilsson on WXYC's featured artist program.  A friend loaned me his copy
of "Nilsson Sings Newman" (as in Randy Newman) which I, somewhat
surprisedly, found on CD a few years ago. I'm not sure how well-known this
record is, but if ya don't 'bout it, you're in for a treat.  'Tis a
lovely, lovely little record.

It's still on CD. Unfortunately, Harry's old albums aren't selling quite as
well as BGM/RCA wanted so they'll be limiting reissues to 1 a year for the
time being. RCA also considers his later albums to be bad albums and, while
he wasn't at his peak, the final four "Duit on Mon Dei", "Sandman", "That's
the Way It Was" and "Knnillssonn" all have moments of brilliance. The latter
album, his next to last, is a unique return to form and both "Duit" and
"Sandman" despite considerable flaws have some great tracks on them.
Particularly the moving "Puget Sound", clever "Jesus Christ You're Tall" and
humorous "Good for God".

As to Andy's latest collaboration with Peter, well, thanks for the advice
but I've decided it's just not for me. It's got a number of interesting
moments but just doesn't wear well. I've found that I listened to it three
or four times, gave it break and tried yet again. Didn't sound any better.
I'll just put it down to an album that doesn't communicate to me. I've often
found other albums that I've felt passionate about that no one else did
(particularly Kimberly Rew's two solo albums and "Through the Hill" as well
)but this one, sadly, just didn't take. I'm disappointed but, hey, I know
there are folks that appreciate Yoko Ono's solo albums and I just can't.

Watched "Welcome to Mooseport" on DVD the other night for a review and
thought the remake of "Mayor of Simpleton" by The Engine Room was all right.
Doesn't match the original but I'm sure it brought in much needed cash and
it's better written than 90% of the stuff out there.

Still waiting for more XTC and/or Dukes (or The Fuzzy Warbles series). Any
idea as to when  volumes 5 &6 will see the light of day? I'm hoping that the
Dukes reunion song makes one of these.

I finally picked up Joe Jackson's "4" and like it very much. I was quite
disappointed in "Night and Day 2" despite some strong tracks. I actually
would have preferred to have live stuff from "4" or "Laughter and Lust" vs.
the older stuff but I can see that the bonus disc was designed to attract
fans that like his earlier stuff.


Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 20:38:50 -0700
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: RE: Worst album covers of all time
Message-ID: <>

hello chalkheads!

Wayne Klein gave us that wonderful link to the worst album covers of all
time...  Pretty good but I was very surprised that the Millie Jackson
listing in the top ten was E.S.P. and not her horrible album titled "Back to
the Shit".  Wanna see that one do ya?  Check it out at:

For those of you who live in San Francisco, check it out in person at
Blondies Pizza at Powell street near the cable car turn around.  You can see
it high on the wall near the cash registers on the left hand side.  I always
laugh about it everytime I used to go in there and think back to when I used
to work in a record store... having to stock that crapola of an album and
its cover when it first came out!

The guy on the cover and the description of album #3 (Julie's Sixteenth
Birthday by John Bult) reminds me of that psychopath in The Vanishing
(Spoorloos) directed by George Sluizer that came out in 1988.   Not an exact
likeness or anything... I just flashed on it for a minute after I looked at
him when reading the "notes".  (I just saw the movie as well... so that nut
case is on my mind).

Thankfully, I do not own any of the albums in the top ten... but I will
happily nominate Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and His Magic band
as one of the best album covers ever... though I personally do not like the
album myself.... give me Ice Cream For Crow or Doc At the Radar Station any
day by good old Don...

Thats my two cents...


In Rotation:

ELO / Flashback box set  (Thanks Danny!)
White Stripes / Elephant
Amorphous Androgynous / Tales of Ephidrina
Emmylou Harris / Luxury Liner
Wanda Jackson / Queen of Rockabilly: The Very Best of the Rock 'n' Roll


Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 19:09:08 +0100
From: "Shabbyroad Media" <>
Subject: Pass
Message-ID: <000601c436b9$e49adae0$6501a8c0@shabbyroad01>
Organization: Shabbyroad Media

BBC Mastermind will have a contestant with the specialist subject of XTC.
They contacted Andy a few weeks ago asking for suitable material/questions.
Apparently they will be right trainspotter questions
- Dave said he didn't even know the answers himself to some of them !

Sooo.... Is this contestant on Chalkhills ?????


Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 22:48:12 -0400
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Nilsson
Message-ID: <>

On 5/9/04 2:32 PM, some bozo wrote:
> Nilsson's "Son of Schmilsson" should be picked up in addition to his great
> "Nilsson, Schmilsson" (as well as first four albums and his next to last
> "Knillssonn"). Here's an example where buying the Japanese import is worth
> it--the sound quality is a huge improvement on the remastered edition that
> was put out in Europe on Camden/BMG a couple of years ago.

  The John Lennon produced Pussy Cats has its appeal too, it's more rough
around the edges and about half covers, those songs Nilsson did write are
his bleakest and least commercial(check the utter desolation of "Black Sails
In The Sunset"), and the covers are an excuse to just have a party with some
of the best session musicians in the business. The same sessions pretty much
laid the groundwork for Keith Moon's solo album about a year later, some of
the same players(including Nilsson contributing a song and backing vocals)
though a different party.

  I have his somewhat perplexing mid-70's albums Duit On Mon Dei and Sandman
as a twofer on CD, worth having if you're into Nilsson, but not recommended
as a starting point, some of his both strangest, lazily written and most
orchestrated material, mostly tossed-off off the wall ditties and weird
attempts at humor(such as "The Flying Saucer Song"- guess you had to be
there for that one) carefully and fussily arranged by Perry Botkin(later
responsible for the theme song from "The Young And The Restless) and Van
Dyke Parks. It's fascinating listening, but it's somewhat obvious the boy
had been partying too much, though his voice had definitely bounced back
somewhat after rupturing his vocal chords during the Pussy Cats sessions.

  I thought Knilsson was his last studio album, though- is there another one
I don't know about? I'm pretty sure the only material he released in the
80's was his couple of tracks on the Yoko Ono tribute album in '82(the very
first multi-artist tribute to one songwriter to my knowledge, years before
they became the rage).


Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 22:20:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: That Thing Andy Almost Did
Message-ID: <>

Huzzahs to Paul "Tenacious A" Culnane for his list of
"Andy's filmic forays" around five Digests ago (I'm
catching up).

True hepcats have doubtless known this for eight
years, but I'm a little slow, and it was news to me
that Andy Partridge offered a song to the producers of
*That Thing You Do* (asterisks standing in for
italics, not quotation marks), the 1996 Tom Hanks

I'll admit it, I love *TTYD*. The Beatlemania-era
cautionary tale, told lightly but not glibly, of a pop
combo from Erie, Pa., that skyrockets to the top on
the strength of one fine song, only to self-destruct
before its members have a chance to record a second
track, is rock and roll all over. Tom Everett Scott is
great as the drummer who gets called "Ringo" but has
the jazz heart of a Chick or a Buddy. Hanks and Rita
Wilson are inoffensive as an honest band manager
(yes!) and a hard-used but sexy cocktail waitress,
respectively. The scene where the band members hear
their song playing on the radio for the first time is
marvelous. Liv Tyler is cute in her round non-Elvish
ears. Scorer Howard Shore, also later of Middle-earth,
recreates the music of 1964 as capably as Todd
Rundgren or Neil (Rutles) Innes.

The song itself, "That Thing You Do" (quotation marks,
not asterisks), upon which both the fictitious band
and the real movie ride, bears up nicely under that
double weight. It was nominated for an Oscar, but
alas, it was beaten by a tune whose title might as
well have been "Love Theme From (Insert Name of Movie
Here)" -- something by Phil Collins for Disney's
*Tarzan*, I think.

"That Thing You Do" was written by Adam Schlesinger of
Fountains of Wayne. (iTunes doesn't have it yet.) Did
Andy have a go at that song, or did he offer something
else for the soundtrack? And whatever he wrote, is it
available for love or money? Fill me in, Mr. Culnane,
if you please.

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider

P.S.: If Mr. Partridge were to release an album of
"all these songs about a fucking peach," I'd buy it.


Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 13:14:45 -0400
From: Steve Dockery <>
Subject: Wake Up!
Message-ID: <>

OK, folks, I've completed another XTC cover using Garageband on my
Powerbook. This time, It's Wake Up. I also went back and fixed the
slightly stilted 3/4 time ending to my version of "Earn Enough For Us."

You can read about it here:
(click on the link that says "Stevoblog".)

You can download the MP3 here: (click on

Let me know what you think. (Does anybody know what chords the
"chopping" guitars are playing at the start of the song? Mine sounds
too - er- musical, not noisy enough.)



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