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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-28


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 28

                   Sunday, 11 July 2004

Topics:

                   Re: The Death of Art
                   Dogs Die in Hot Cars
                  Fragile Eggshell Minds
                Duncan, the Self-Righteous
              New and improved just for you!
                        Re: sound
                The Milk and Honey Review
               The Milk and Honey Addendum
                        Oh, Duncan

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The taped crusader leaps in / licking all foes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 09:09:42 -0500
From: "Kevin" <brunkhorstk@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The Death of Art
Message-ID: <BAY15-DAV176BOqViN3000c3c98@hotmail.com>

Duncan Watt:

What exactly would YOU do to make things better?  How would you rather have
had it?

I dream of a world where musicians are at the top of the social-economic
ladder.  But they're not.  Their works have been devalued, it's true.  It's
an inevitable by-product of the very system that makes them available to
their listeners.  Otherwise, the distribution of music would be a local
thing, and you'd never have heard of Andy Partridge.  Some musicians have
found a way to make money by treating the recordings as the cheap invitation
to the live performance, where they can charge more money.  This won't work
with Andy.

Like some others, I believe the industry-as-we-know-it is on the verge of
collapse.  I think it's already started.  Already it bears no resemblance to
when I worked in it in the 90s.

Now stop blaming the Americans.  Your English seems pretty good, so I assume
that you live in an English-speaking country.  Wherever you live, there is a
music industry at work also, finding a way to soak the artist and listener
alike.  Which one of those are you?  So you're in on the scam.  Try an Asian
country, where everything of value gets pirated to the roof.

When I die and go to the next life, I will be greeted thusly: "We're really
glad you're here!  Could you go park around the back and come in through the
kitchen?"

Kevin Brunkhorst
(Who, come to think of it, ripped off Andy and potential sheet music
publishers by providing free of charge the chord changes to a lot of XTC
songs on the Chalkhills site years ago.  What have I done?)

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 16:22:30 +0200 (CEST)
From: chris browning <chris@boodle.fsnet.co.uk>
Subject: Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Message-ID: <17101429.1089382950641.JavaMail.www@wwinf3005>

further to the recommendation of Dogs Die in Hot Cars, i would like to
second it - one of the few times someone bandies about the name XTC in
association with another newer band, and that newer band does not
decrease the standing of our beloved swindonites. "godhopping" and "i
love you cause i have to" are tremendous, rather like an updated XTC
with joe jackson in the ranks. also some top production work by langer
and winstanley
really terrific stuff and far better than this Hot Hot Heat type nonsense
ta!
chris

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 12:21:00 -0400
From: KEVIN.WOLLENWEBER@jpmorgan.com
Subject: Fragile Eggshell Minds
Message-ID: <OF461BBE35.1C8E7072-ON85256ECC.00549265@chase.com>

Folks:

Well, the only response I have to talk that Rhino, the seemingly Perfect
Beast, rumbling in stampede over all else, is a mere shadow of its former
self and that it is merely a reissue arm of the bigger ghost in the
machine, Warner Brothers, is to ask how the hell did they suddenly get the
rights to the entire Paul Simon catalogue?  Now there was a reissue
campaign that completely floored me!  Okay, Paul Simon now records--or did
record--for Warner Brothers or a subsidiary thereof, and it is possible
that *HE* has the clout to push for removal of all his work from those
Columbia/Sony vaults, but I more see this as Warner Brothers once again
shoving their weight around to buy up just about every label under the
sun...and where does that put the rights of musicians to own their music or
run the show the way they would have wanted?

Duncan is absolutely correct!  I think the music business is changing so
fast that even those artists who genuinely had full control over the rights
and distribution of their music are forced to either quit (more and likely)
or allow the corporations to do what the hell they wish with oodles of back
catalogues and, thus, retell so much cherished history!

So is this the reason why FUZZY WARBLES, VOLS V and VI have not come out
yet?  Is this the reason why all those otherwise wonderful Andy Partridge
projects haven't really gotten off the ground?

Oh, and by the way, Warner Brothers can sell anything!  Three more Elvis
Costello reissues will surface in August--ALMOST BLUE, GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD
and THE KOJAK VARIETY, all expanded to two disks each!!  I've no doubt
that, down th eroad another five years or so, they could very well be
buying up the rights to all XTC music and charming a few rock journalists
to come on and add those "dedicated" liner notes to expanded digipack
editions of each of their albums.  It can only get more and more hollow
from here on out and, while I'd like to see the music itself treated well,
I have little hope that musicians of any generation can continue to keep
their careers afloat for very long.  And, yes, even mention of the Almighty
Beatles will one day see no more of a reaction than silent question marks
on faces!

And, if the artist is forced to go back to the performing stage to keep
himself or herself in mere food 'n' clothing, I'm sure that Andy Partridge
would much rather quit!  His refusal to go out onstage was due to a kind of
stage fright along with his feeling that he didn't want to be a performing
seal and just do the same songs every night.  The studio is his tapestry
just like the camera is to the photographer and the paints and canvas are
to the painter.  I don't deny that there is that link to the audience found
in some performers, but let's acknowledge that other artists choose to use
different tools in their creations and don't necessarily feel that they
have to justify themselves at $100-a-seat venues!  It certainly will be
interesting to see how music is sold and retread upon in this new age, but
I'm finding that, less and less, I am able to follow it and, once it
becomes nothing more than downloads and files that can't be so easily
"touched", I'm done with it.  Maybe it is time for all of us to go make our
own music on porches and start all over again to re-evaluate our
priorities.  We know we can't live without it in our lives, but just turn
on your radio and hear how unessential the corporate structure sees most of
it.  And don't think that the omnipresent Satellite Radio will give us the
break we need!  While all formats are out there, nothing will ever again
sound like early progressive, free-form radio on which the "personality"
talked reverentially about the music they cherished and even let the artist
in on the deal.  The last sickening comments I'd heard were that
advertisers were whining about how little their commercials are really
being paid attention to.  Their retaliation will be to "slip" product logos
in on the programs and shows themselves--this is far more evil than just
rap artists slipping every corporate name under the sun in their lyrics,
but it is part of the stupidity!

I have now definitely lost touch with it all.  Yeah, a small part of me
would still like to see a phenomenon like Rhino giving us the entire XTC
catalogue, but if it did happen, I'd be heaving sighs that Andy Partridge
or Colin Moulding would probably never record again or be allowed to
distribute even their private basement tapes on their own!  Sure enjoyed
the FUZZIES while the concept lasted and I know I'll certainly never
complain again about the high cost of autographed copies because
high-priced autographs might be the only way for the two to break even!!!

And I don't even think that the teen throbs of today will be doing much
decision-making as years go by.  George Harrison really did see it clearly
when he vented that in music's future, artists will come and go at twice
the rate, and that will have nothing to do with whether they are embraced
or ignored!  It is now just technically just movable real estate, ashes to
ashes and dust to dust.

Oh, I'll still be checking in here to read what transpires, but my hopes
for that genuine fanaticism about the music and art that we love are daily
being dashed and that beloved art is being redefined by smug little
parasites in the music "rags" with no real regard for that art.  It's all
in the hands of the focus groups now, and none of 'em have a real
connection to any of it!

Kevin

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 14:36:38 -0700
From: David Gershman <dagersh@pobox.com>
Subject: Duncan, the Self-Righteous
Message-ID: <6.1.0.6.2.20040709130315.00ba7b30@mail.comcast.net>

Duncan,

Who, exactly, on this list, are you yelling at? (Maybe you meant it as a
rant directed elsewhere, but hey, when you use "you" so many times, it's
hard for one not to think it's directed at them personally.) Do you really
think that only Americans are to blame? That you, who are so full of
self-righteous indignation that you could somehow seriously post a message
like that here, have done everything right your whole life to ensure that
musicians get their fair share? Who the "F" (to paraphrase your lovely
letter) do you think you are, Duncan?

I honestly believe that musicians will always be able to find avenues to
release their music that will result in at least some kind of money coming
back to them for it, whether it's per album or per song. Sites such as
iTunes are a step in that direction, actually. And if you think that this
is the end of good music as we know it, you're sadly mistaken. There will
always be great musicians/songwriters getting their music out there. The
scenario now is merely a different face to a problem that has existed for
decades. This isn't the doomsday you think it is; who knows, we may be
seeing the beginning of a new world order in the music business.

Long live rock (and all great music).

Dave Gershman

At 06:08 AM 7/9/2004, you wrote:
>
>Give The F Up, You Little Bastards.

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 06:56:35 +0000
From: "WAYNE KLEIN" <wtdk12@msn.com>
Subject: New and improved just for you!
Message-ID: <BAY3-F14qwRy0Bj9ZEa0013c2f0@hotmail.com>

As I'm sure everyone is aware, Glenn Tilbrook has a new solo album out (came
out a couple of months ago) and it's quite good, too. It's actually better
than his first and comparable to the best Squeeze did. Some titles there
that Andy might get a chuckle out of as well.

Matthew Sweet's latest finally got a domestic release as well--independently
I might add--and I'd highly recommend it as well. Best album he's gone well,
since "Girlfriend" (although i have a soft spot for all his stuff).

Finally, for those who have SACD players, Aimee Mann's last album (can't
remember the name at the moment but has something to do with Dodos) has been
released by MFSL as a SACD/CD hybrid. Great album from a couple of years
ago. Haven't hear the hybrid version yet as am shot on cash....

Finally some new about Harry Nilsson. Warner-Chapple Music Publishers will
be relasing a promo CD entitled "Remember" (this courtesy of Curtis
Armstrong who co-produced the last couple of Harry's fine reissues). It's
designed to get other artists to cover Harry's songs/get them in more films.
Perhaps Andy and Colin could re-record a couple of their best songs for a
similar enterprise (while they're busy working putting together material for
their next album). Might be worthwhile. Although XTC isn't a household name
any longer, the 80's revival has started yet again with films like "13 Going
on 30".

Wayne

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 08:23:37 EDT
From: SnarleyCo@aol.com
Subject: Re: sound
Message-ID: <1e2.2507661c.2e2139c9@aol.com>

In a message dated 7/9/2004 9:30:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
chalkhills@chalkhills.org writes:

is  offering basically THE ENTIRE XTC CATALOG, 15 ALBUMS, 238 SONGS,
LEGALLY,  FOR DOWNLOAD, FOR ABOUT $11.90 (depending on what format you choose
to  download it in, I used "192k .mp3" as an example), you've,  collectively,
gone and DEVALUED ALL MUSIC, ART OR NOT, TO ABOUT, SAY, ONE  FUCKING CENT PER
MEGABYTE.

Yeah, BUT just as CD sound is pale when compared to (VV) Lp's (low  sample
rate = 16/44.1)
MP3 (and MP4) have even LOWER sampling rates (and TONS of compression) ...
In the long run, the sound sucks, period.
Mebbe THAT's our solace...

Carl

Carl R  Snow,
Moss Hill Recording & Mastering
www.jacop.net/CRS.html

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 11:25:46 -0400
From: Benjamin Gott <bgott@rectoryschool.org>
Subject: The Milk and Honey Review
Message-ID: <6AB29138-D285-11D8-ADE7-000D9328AB7A@rectoryschool.org>

Gang,

I received my autographed copy of "The Milk and Honey Band" today.  I
have only had time to give it a few listens, but here are my first
impressions.

If Andy Partridge, The Milk and Honey Band's biggest fan, had produced
this album, it would be excellent.  Five stars on Amazon.com.  An "A"
in Entertainment Weekly.  A fancy review in Rolling Stone.  A place in
the hearts of Morrissey fans everywhere (read on).  However, Andy was
not at the helm, and so the album, in the end, suffers.

 From what?  Sounding too much like a combination of The Candyskins
(remember them?), Tears for Fears' "Elemental," and throwaways from
"Strangeways, Here We Come" and anything P.D. Heaton recorded from
1988-1991, that's what.  Yes, Roland Orzabal can write a melody.  Yes,
"Girlfriend in a Coma" and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One
Before" are exceptionally good songs.  Yes, "Think for a Minute" is The
Housemartins at their best.  The problem is, it's 2004, not 1989.

Now before you all start composing angry e-mails reminding me how great
British guitar pop is and how great Radiohead and Blur were before they
stopped caring about "accessibility," just calm down.  I agree with
you.  I love late 1980s and early-1990s Britpop.  I think that The
Lilac Time's "...And Love for All" is one of the best albums that I
own, and I own close to 1,000 albums.  But if you're going to play
early 1990s Britpop, and if you're going to stake a whole album on it,
then you'd better pull the cotton out of your ears and listen to some
albums made *after* 1991.  Jon Brion, Robyn Hitchcock, Pernice Brothers
and many other wonderful bands have managed to maintain the
guitar-based sound without sacrificing the "great leap forward" in
terms of production.  Jason Falkner takes "jangly" to a whole new
level.  There's a lesson in production in there somewhere: you can make
a Britpop album (even without Stephen Street or Langer and Winstanley)
and you can make it current, relevant, and interesting.

The songs on "The Milk and Honey Band" are fine.  The lead singer does,
indeed, sound like P.D. Heaton.  The jangly electric bits do, indeed,
sound like Johnny Marr (as do most of the acoustic bits, for that
matter).  There are some great choruses and some nice softer songs.
But everything sounds like it was recorded yesterday.  These guys
certainly have a bright future, but they need Partridge to make it feel
like a future rather than a past.

God forgive me, but I give this album a "C+" and hope that it will grow
on me.  Someone write back and tell me what I'm missing.  I really want
to like this more than I do!  (Hell, I'm obsessed with Dogs Die in Hot
Cars, and they sound like Madness!)

-Ben

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:17:35 -0400
From: Benjamin Gott <bgott@rectoryschool.org>
Subject: The Milk and Honey Addendum
Message-ID: <A7BD0508-D28C-11D8-ADE7-000D9328AB7A@rectoryschool.org>

Gang,

I would be remiss if I did not amend my first post.  A closer look at
"The Milk and Honey Band" liner notes reveals that the songs on the
album "were recorded between 1995-2003."  This makes the "Elemental"
comparison apt, as some songs appear to have been recorded at the same
time as mid-1990s Tears for Fears hits.

This makes "The Milk and Honey Band" album more of a sampler, which
means that, as a good teacher, I must adjust its grade from a "C+" to a
"B/B-" and have The Milk and Honey Band see me after class.

Still, I must recommend that The Milk and Honey Band hire Partridge for
their next project.

-Ben

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 20:56:19 -0700
From: jemiah <jemiah@q7.com>
Subject: Oh, Duncan
Message-ID: <442896A0-D2EE-11D8-84FA-0050E490AC6B@q7.com>

> Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 19:23:27 -0400
> From: "Duncan Watt" <dwatt@fastestmanintheworld.com>
> Subject: The ENTIRE XTC CATALOG FOR LESS THAN $12, or In Which I Just
> F'n
>
> http://www.allofMP3.com
>
> ...is offering basically THE ENTIRE XTC CATALOG, 15 ALBUMS, 238 SONGS,
> LEGALLY, FOR DOWNLOAD, FOR ABOUT $11.90 (depending on what format you
> choose to download it in, I used "192k .mp3" as an example), you've,
> collectively, gone and DEVALUED ALL MUSIC, ART OR NOT, TO ABOUT, SAY,
> ONE FUCKING CENT PER MEGABYTE.

Wow, thanks for the tip, Duncan! Do you work for them, perchance?

Cos, uh, I didn't. Except that I did. I got into XTC's music by copying
CDs onto cassette tapes. There was no other way for a poor kid like me
to have their music. When I grew up and had some money of my own, I
plowed a lot of it into buying originals of XTC's music, because I love
good sound quality; but I wasn't able to get all of it. I still have
some of the tape copies I made when I was 17 (that's 16 years ago, for
those of you playing along at home). Because I'm still poor, and I
still love XTC.

But now that I know I can get the entire catalogue on MP3, I'm gonna do
just that, until I get some more money and I can send some of it to
Ape. I probably won't tell Partsy that I fell in love with him through
outright theft of his music, and every time I listen to a home-made
tape, I steal food from Holly's mouth all over again. I want him to be
a zillionaire; I'd like to be a zillionaire myself. But I know good and
well that I'm not going to sell 65 zillion books, and that most people
who are fans of my work have read copies that they borrowed from
enthusiastic friends. Who am I to say "You ripped me off because you
didn't buy it!"? Sure, I'm out 25 cents, but they'd be out an entire
fresh perspective.

I'm not denying your right to rant; I'm sad that there's no new XTC (or
Blur, or even Stone Roses) material. But I'm just saying that it's not
that simple, and that MP3 is not the enemy. Greed and inflexibility and
stupidity (all of which most record labels are guilty of) are.
j-j

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #10-28
*******************************

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