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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-49

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 49

                Thursday, 28 October 2004


                    RE: SMiLE and XTC
                    Re: SMiLE and XTC
                        Re: SMiLE
          Drummed & Wired do Black Sea...again!
                No, Andy loves ME the most
                   the inevitable groin
                      John Peel RIP
                      RIP John Peel
                    SMiLE is Wonderful


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Yes the paint is peeling and my / Garden is overgrown.


Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:49:17 -0400
From: "Michael E. McKinley" <>
Subject: RE: SMiLE and XTC


Among the folks backing up BW, in voice as well as instrumentation, on
his most recent recordings, and in concert are The Wondermints.  I've
been a huge fan of these guys for a good while.  If you haven't heard
their own recordings before, you may want to give them a listen.
They're pure pop bliss.

Submerging back to lurk mode...


Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 21:16:13 EDT
Subject: Re: SMiLE and XTC
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 10/21/2004 6:44:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
someone writes:

> the girl serving in HMV commented on how great SMiLE is. Only
> on two other occasions have the serving staff in a major chain
> actually commented on my purchases being great albums/CD's, these were
> Drums and Wires way back when and Apple Venus Vol 1. So Brian is in
> good company.
> BTW - If the serving staff in the major chains have less favourable
> comments on my other purchases I appreciate their silence.

I've worked for Newbury Comics for 3 years, and I have to say that one
of the most fun parts of the job is when someone brings up a pile of
great CDs and you get to talk to them about it. When someone's buying
something I don't care for, I honestly don't notice... if it's
something I love, I always let them know. --J


Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:05:11 +0200 (CEST)
From: chris browning <>
Subject: Re: SMiLE
Message-ID: <5374422.1098720311631.JavaMail.www@wwinf3006>

oooh, i'm going to have to disagree here..

>> There's one thing that almost no one has mentioned about this album,
 the huge elephant in the "Smile" room: The weakest part of this album
 is Brian Wilson's voice. It's not just that he can't hit the high
 notes anymore (although he can't), it's that his lead vocals are the
 weakest part of the album.

actually, brian's aged voice is one of the things i love MOST about
the new "SMiLE" - a voice so aged, and matured singing "the child is
the father of the man" is to me profoundly moving, and one of the
reasons why this is one of the greatest albums of the year

anyway, back to lurking for ME!



Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:06:07 -0700
From: Ian Dahlberg <>
Subject: Drummed & Wired do Black Sea...again!
Message-ID: <>

Yes, we're going to tackle the album yet again, this time on a Saturday
night instead of the middle of the week. Work off that turkey and sing
along- maybe it will end up being an annual Messiah-type thing.

Drummed & Wired play Black Sea
November 27th
$8 door $6 with a flyer

14 Below
1348 14th Street
Santa Monica, CA

We'll see you there!


Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 07:09:39 +0800
From: "Carl Lightbody" <>
Subject: No, Andy loves ME the most
Message-ID: <>

          Long time reader (of the chalkhills email newsletter), sometimes
Thought I'd finally show you all my beautiful XTC- designed item, signed at
the Apple Venus CD launch tour in Toronto. I hate Toronto, but I was 6 hours
away and figured I would do much more to meet Andy than drive 6 hours. I was
one of the first to get there. I thought I'd arrived on the wrong day. Then
I saw the arrangement they had laid out for Andy to sit in- poor bastard. Of
course he was charming and delightful in every way- he even eschewed
MuchMusic (Canadian MTV to all you Americans) to be with us, his people.
 I've been keeping it hidden away for all these (years?) and now that I have
what they call a "digital camera" I can share it with you.
So, I've been meaning to- wait, hold on......what's that, Andy-Guitar? You
want me to touch you...where? That's the naughty chord, the forbidden


	[ See ]


Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 23:54:26 -0700
From: Steve <>
Subject: oysterhead
Message-ID: <>

Hi all (especially those who appreciated the recent mention of Primus)

Another suggestion is for Oysterhead which has some distinct echoes of
the Dukes.
Oysterhead was a one year (2001) alternative supergroup of ...

Stewart Copeland of The Police (the police toured with xtc)
Trey Anastasio of Phish
Les Claypool of Primus

Funkedelic sixticity from folks who have clearly given Mole from the
Ministry and Your My Drug a good listen.

Another Steve


Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 16:15:21 +0100
From: Adrian Ransome <>
Subject: the inevitable groin
Message-ID: <>

Just wanted to comment about the sad passing of veteran DJ John Peel that
was announced this afternoon.

Peely was a champion of early Xtc - in fact his show was the first place I
ever heard of them: he played Radios In Motion, followed by a droll "That's
Swindon's finest, Xtc with Radios In Motion. Not quite the same Motion that
Matron used to talk about, hopefully". I think I still have the tape of it,

The great thing about John Peel was the fact he never bowed to fashion. He
played the music he wanted to play, ignored the Radio One playlist, was the
only weekday Radio One DJ to be broadcast in FM Stereo for a long while.
Peely's show was one of the few places you could hear Belgian Techno
followed by Django Rheinhardt followed by bleepy futuristic Japanese
speedcore followed by an obscure Chelmsford band's demo tape. Often
irritatingly unlistenable, mostly inspirational, always surprising, his show
will be sorely missed by people who care about music - even Mogwai fans
whose tracks he regularly played at the wrong speed.

I still remember the shock of hearing him play Mayor of Simpleton (my first
hearing of it) sandwiched between some bangin' drum'n'bass and heavy
Jamaican dub. I think he described it as a perfect pop song, but derided the
quality of the pressing he was given. Then he played Bogshed.



Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 11:57:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Marco Conelli <>
Subject: John Peel RIP
Message-ID: <>

John died in Peru on working/holiday with his family.


Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 06:29:47 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <>
Subject: RIP John Peel
Message-ID: <>

By now you will probably have heard that John Peel, doyen of BBC and
champion of many of our favourite musical artists (as well as the
subject of Andy's savagely accurate parody that opens "Transistor
Blast") has died of a heart attack in London.

"My people were fair and had sky in their hair, but now they're
content to wear stars on their brows" - title of first Tyrannosaurus
Rex album that John narrated.

FYI (big loss, think Kingsmill - prominent & respected Australian
TripleJay broadcaster - multiplied by 100) - Paul


Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 03:44:04 +0000
From: "dunks58" <>
Subject: SMiLE is Wonderful
Message-ID: <>

I beg to differ with you, Alex. I bought SMiLE last week and have been
playing it constantly. I can't find anything in it that I'd describe
as embarrassing, least of all Brian's voice. OK, granted, that
marvellous instrument is not what it once was (neither would yours be
if you'd honked as much hash as Brian) but it's still in remarkably
good shape, considering.

The more I listen, the more it impresses me. And after all this time,
I just can't accept that Brian AND Van Dyke would have got back
together and finished it had they both not thought it was worth
doing. I was dead scared when I got it and I didn't play it til the
next day, but when I did I was blown away, and it's grown on me more
and more with each play. I'm starting to think that it's just about as
far-out as I hoped it would be, and it's certainly dramatically better
than we had any right to expect.

I found the hardest thing was to distance myself from the existing
SMiLE recordings and try and come at it afresh. "Good Vibrations" is a
perfect example -- it's quite disconcerting not to hear the familiar
Mike Love lyrics (which, heresy of heresies, I think are great, and
perfect for the song). I do find Brian's old 'provisional' lyrics a
bit awkward by comparison ... but the good thing is that it means he
doesn't have to pay Mr Love dollar one in royalties, which is only
fair, considering Mike's bastardly intransigence was a major reason
that SMILE was not completed at the time.

You can't blame Mike, in some respects -- having now familiarised
myself with the new version, I too would have been shitting myself if
I'd been faced with the prospect of having to take SMiLE out on the
road in 1967 -- it would have been a nightmare at least, and was
probably unperformable given the conditions of the day. Having heard
live recordings of 'Good Vibrations' from that period, it's clear that
they could sing it OK, but they were just not up to the playing side
when it came to stuff that complicated.

What blew me out was that, if the new version is even remotely similar
to what Brian and Van Dyke intended in 1966, then it certainly
vindicates what Carol Kaye has long said -- i.e. that it WAS quite
near to completion, much more so than most people thought.

Evidently the two main jobs that didn't get finished were to get the
dumb-ass Beach Boys to finish the vocals, and then to sequence it
all. Clearly, on the evidence of SMiLE 2004, most of the various parts
of the backing tracks were complete and they just needed assembling
and having vocals and 'sweetening' added.

Given Brian's known efficiency in the studio -- and can you believe
that the basic tracks for the new album were cut in FOUR DAYS??? --
it's even sadder that he obviously got so close and yet was unable to
get it over the line.

Partly, Capitol's to blame, for being bastards about letting him have
studio time, but the Beach Boys have to be fingered as the main
culprits, I reckon. And the irony is that within a couple of years,
Carl had got his head around it and he was soon plugging away
finishing and releasing the big tracks like 'Cabinessence' and 'Surf's
Up' and putting out versions of other various bits like 'Cool Cool
Water' and 'Mama Says'.

The new version certainly conicides with what I had always thought
about the structure of the piece, in that it was obviously planned to
be a continuous suite, with all the little Heroes + Villains-ey
fragments intended as linking pieces between the major songs.

(It's also now blatantly obvious where Macca got the idea for the
crossfaded tracks, animal noises, etc on Sgt Peppers). He obviously
heard substantial parts of it when he visited Brian at the end of '66.

I also found it interesting that, while it's always been claimed that
Brian didn't want 'Good Vibrations' on the album, IMO in its present
form the end would be rather anticlimactic if GV wasn't on there. I
always imagined that it would finish with 'Surf's Up'. Verrrrry

I also have to say that some of the newly-finished bits, like
'Barnyard', 'Child Is The Father To The Man' and 'Holiday', are just
glorious, and so damn infectious I just can't get them out of my
head. That transition from 'On A Holiday' into 'Wind Chimes' is just
sublime ...

In closing, I must again confess that I'm one of the luckiest bastards
on the planet. Just to make life as perfect as it can possibly get,
Brian's second Australian tour went on sale on Monday. The Sydney
concert is at the Opera House (how cool!) and best of all, I'm taking
the whole family, and we're sitting dead-centre in the SECOND ROW!!!!!


One last thing-- THREE CHEERS to Darian Sahanaja of The Wondermints
for doing what no-one else could do in 38 years-- he got Brian to
finish SMiLE! (Imagine having THAT on your CV?? hehehe)

Cheers to all,



End of Chalkhills Digest #10-49

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