Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-5

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 5

                 Tuesday, 27 January 2004


                  mandytory purrrchases
                     Re: Avalon Down
              My Music Improvement Warehouse
   Dead DVD project, Reissues of 2003 and misc. garbage
             De-lurking After Years and Years
            Clan MacPartridge Gaining Momentum
                   re: Chalkfriendships
                Super Furries/ Crap Towns


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And we fought with the weapons in our / Chemical code.


Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 15:41:08 +1100
From: "SEBASTIEN MAURY (02) 8333 5869" <>
Subject: mandytory purrrchases
Message-ID: <>

late january already...eeek...

my top picks of albums released in 2003 bear more than a passing resemblance
to many other such lists, but here goes anyway ( i was quite satisfied with
what i heard last year, although it seems others thought slim pickins was
all they got): alphabetical ordure:

* Basement Jaxx: Kish Kash (this UK duo just keeps pumping out da shit)
* Elvis Costello: North (spare, emotional and quite a grower)
* Goldfrapp: Black Cherry (sex and glam and disco. who'd have thought felt
  mountain would lead to this??)
* Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (wow a rock album from JJ. fine blast from
* Annie Lennox: Bare (voice of the year, beautiful pain here)
* Manitoba: Up in Flames (smooth and mysterious electronica)
* Mandy Moore: Coverage (surprisingly fine. made me want to own more todd
  rundgren. she can't really sing, but has always surrounded herself with
  clever producers. Madonna, Kylie anyone?)
* The Minus Five: Down With Wilco (excellent pop album from the great
* Muse: Absolution (ridiculous over-the-top mid-period Radiohead
  adoration. Love it)
* Partsy: FW 3&4 (patchy yet mandatory)
* Pugwash: Earworm (thanks to Porl of Oz for suggesting this tasty morsel)
* The Roots: Phrenology (not for the faint at heart; non-sample hip-hop;
  killer live set in sydney last year too)
* Guy Sebastian: Just As I Am (ok ok so he won Australian Idol, and yes,
  I think he's cute, and also happen to think his musical talents are
  extraordinary. kudos for the voice, not necessarily all of the material on
  this cd)
* The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (geeky, sappy, wicked little pop gems)
* Super Furry Animals: Phantom Power (yaaaaay!)
* Rufus Wainwright: Want One (speaking of cute...and that voice. music hall
  meets beach boys in a collision of sexually charged angst and fabulous




Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 07:35:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Al LaCarte <>
Subject: Lacerations
Message-ID: <>


>Of course, this was the record that introduced Jeff Lynne to the
band -- and I'll let Mr. LaCarte comment on that addition.<

Well, it DID reveal the name of the band to be presciently apt.



Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 13:58:45 EST
Subject: Re: Avalon Down
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 1/22/04 8:29:19 PM, <> writes:

>Our band is called "Down By Avalon" and you can check out our homemade
>website at . We recently finished an EP that is
>available for download on our site. The EP was produced by Robert Sledge.
>(formerly with Ben Folds Five) Robert also plays guitar on the recording.

   Wow! Is that what Sledge is doing these days? I thought he was a great
player with BFF. What was he like in the studio to work with?

    In the "innit curious" department, last year I replaced my drummer with
a guy who is an Air Force brat. Dale was born and lived his first twelve
years in ... Swindon! We have had some semi-serious talks about taking the
band over there to play; he figures that his relatives will show up anyway.

Warren in Sacramento


Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 21:41:25 -0500
From: "Tim and Steph Schreyer" <>
Subject: My Music Improvement Warehouse
Message-ID: <004f01c3e223$93596d30$0200a8c0@D733S021>

Hello All,

Lowe's just earned my business for 2004.  While browsing for light bulbs,
"I'd Like That" begins playing over the Musack system!!!  I'm sure it
out-competed whatever was playing across town at the Home Depot.  I hope a
piece of that money is making it back to our favorite Swindonians!



Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 11:05:38 -0800
From: "WAYNE KLEIN" <>
Subject: Dead DVD project, Reissues of 2003 and misc. garbage
Message-ID: <>

Well, the year is officially over so I suppose I can submit a final list of
my reissues of the year.

1. Gene Clark - "No Other" (Rhino)
Pick up the import version if you're a Byrds-Clark fan as it has 7 bonus
tracks that are worth the price of admission. It's not an album for everyone
and very different. Clark manages to combine
country-gospel-funk-rock-singer/songwriter stuff into an interesting mix.
Overlooked when it was first released in 1974 and overshadowed by other
Asylum releases, it's one of the best albums from that year.
2. Television - "Live at the Old Waldorf "(Rhino Handmade)
A limited edition (I believe that only 5,000 were made) release of a great
sounding concert near the end of their last tour to support Adventure. It's
a bit short (clocking in at a little over an hour) but powerful nonetheless.
This has been around in bootleg form for years although nothing that sounds
quite this great. The tape was made directly from the mix board. Although
technically not a reissue, I'm counting it as such because it was recorded
in 1978 and released in bootleg form before.
3. The Beatles - "Let It Be... Naked" (Apple/Capitol)
Although this isn't really what The Beatles intended originally, it's about
as close as we're ever likely to get. The songs aren't just vesions of "Let
It Be" with the strings removed; the music has been remixed and sounds about
as spare as the best moments on the White Album. Many of the versions here
("Across The Universe", "Don't Let Me Down" which wasn't on the original
release and "The Long and Winding Road") are alternate takes that didn't
appear on the original release. The others are, of course, stripped about as
bare as can be and sound great for it. There's a directness and power on
many of the tracks that are missing on the overproduced "Let It Be". That
said, it's not perfect and some of Spector's work did improve the original
4. Judee Sill - "Judee Sill" and
5. "Heart Food" (Rhino Handmade)
A lost soul who found her way briefly before becoming lost and...found yet
again. Her music has been unavailable for far too long. Some of the material
on the first album is a tad over orchestrated and over produced but, well,
that's 1971 for ya. Nevertheless, the power of songs like "Jesus Was a
Crossmaker", "The Kiss" and a couple of others have been re-recorded by
other artists over the years. Warren Zevon's take on Crossmaker is a unique,
powerful version of the song. Sill only recorded two albums and Rhino
Handmade has expanded on the original album including live tracks from her
supporting tour for Crosby & Nash (the first album), demos and an unreleased
outtake (the second album) more than doubling the original length in some
cases of the vinyl releases. Again, it's not for everyone but the
adventurous might want to give her a try.
6. Alexander "Skip" Spence - "Oar" (Sundazed)
Actually released in 1999 on CD with 10 bonus tracks, I had forgotten that I
purchased this great, fractured statement from one of the former
singer/songwriters of the late, great Moby Grape. Spence had just been
released from a mental hospital after attempting to attack one of his
bandmates with an ax. After therapy and treatment he was considered "cured"
(although his mental illness continued to be an ongoing battle). With a
couple of thousand dollars, studio time in Nashville at Columbia Recording
Studios and 12 songs (not including fragments and outtakes included here),
Spence knocked this album off in just a couple of days doing all the playing
and singing himself. He then jumped on his motorcycle and drove off leaving
this masterpiece and most of his talent and sanity behind him.
7. Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime"(Sire/Warners)
Usually I'm against these bloated, been there/done that boxed sets. There's
a couple of alternate versions/rarities (including 1 track from  The Name of
This Band is Talking Heads - although the whole thing would have been
preferred as a boxed set on CD) and alternate takes to make this interesting
to Heads fans. The coffee table book format might be a bit awkward but it
will make sure you don't misplace it. In includes a DVD of the out-of-print
videos the band did during this time. A warning as it really needs a
parental advisory sticker (yes, I was very much against these before I
became a parent but I don't like the unpleasant surprise of discovering my 5
year old has learned new swear words) for the DVD. There's lots of nasty
language in the weird connecting segments I had forgotten about. The DVD
really is just a relic, the music is ultimately what matters to me.
8. Elton John - "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (MCA)
Sounds great in SACD (I had to take it to a friend's house to hear it this
way the first time as I don't have a SACD player). I purchased it because
the remaster is truly astonishing sounding. Is it a huge improvement over
the previously reissued CD? Maybe. The clarity is better as is the detail
but I would wait to purchase it if you don't have a SACD player. I purchased
it at a Costco warehouse store so got it for a song and a dance.
9. Crowded House - "Crowded House" (Capitol)
Still a perfect example of amazing songcraft. The DVD-Audio disc is amazing.
Hopefully the format will stick around. The videos are a nice bonus as are
the songlyrics on screen. It still could have been improved with extras such
as rare live tracks, etc.
10. Richard Thompson - "Rumor and Sigh" (Capitol)
Another DVD-audio disc. Sounds great, has the videos (again a nice plus).
Not Thompson's best album but decided to pick it up on DVD-Audio after
listening to the CD again in the car.

Some compelling non-fiction books:
A Plague Upon Humanity - Not for a weak stomach. Discusses the heinous
crimes committed by Japan's Unit 731. This bioweapons unit of the military
made Hitler and his bunch look like amateurs. Ishii, the man behind it,
should have been punished for the inhumanity and suffering he visited upon
innocent men, women and children that he considered "inferior". Every bit
the racist Hitler was, he went unpunished and the United States proceeded to
use his data agreeing to give him immunity for his research. A sad statement
about the United States as well. Since two of my sons are originally from
Taiwan (and share the Chinese heritage of many of the victims of Ishii), it
outraged me even more.

Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Light and Darkness. Great overview of the master
of suspense.

The Progress Paradox-A bit simple at times in its conclusions, the author
makes some powerful observations as well.

Pattern Recognition - William Gibson's latest novel isn't his best but it
has enough mindbending concepts for twenty novels.
Illium - Dan Simmons' imaginative retake on the Illiad isn't for everyone
but it's involving, imaginative and downright strange at times.

XTC content:

Tried to listen to Explode Together for the umpteenth time. Really, it's the
one album in their catalog I just can't stand. I honestly have tried to
enjoy it but it's just not possible.  The instrumental versions of Wasp Star
and Apple Venus are interesting but just don't have the same impact as the
finished albums. They do make great and occasionally challenging background
music though. I prefer Andy's Fuzzy Warbles series to both of them. A pity
that Colin couldn't be convinced to do at least a single disc of his
unreleased demos/unreleased tracks. Still waiting to hear "Mates".
Hopefully, Andy can put out an XTC compilation of all the band's one-off
tracks (like "Cherry in Your Tree") on a single CD. Then again, I should
probably just dig out the CD compilation I made of their b-sides and stuff.
If they threw in a couple of new or unreleased tracks I'd probably buy it

Any word on if the DVD for the band is absolutely dead?



Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 15:56:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Jason Pytka <>
Subject: De-lurking After Years and Years
Message-ID: <>

  Hello all,

  I'm a longtime fan who has been lurking here for an
extended period (at least since AV1 was released,
probably longer).  I've never posted before because,
well, USENET is a much easier format for me than the
email digest approach.  There were just too many good
things posted in the December 16, 2003 digest,
however, for me to continue in seculsion (and yes, I
know waiting more than a month to post isn't exactly a
good response time, but I think we're all used to
waiting entirely too long for things by now :) )....


Amanda Owens <> wrote:

"Actually, if you see any lyrics in the XTC section
that have been submitted by user entil'zha, that would
be me! :)"

  Who died and made you Ranger One?  :P  Seriously
though, nice to see another B5 fan 'round these parts.


  Many people felt compelled to contribute their
favorite albums of 2003.  I'm the sort who tends to
notice good artists a bit late (i.e. I tend to wait
for multiple recommendations from people with similar
tastes before I gamble my cash on an unknown
quantity), so I'll just list all the "new to me"
material for '03 (not necessarily released in '03)
that I would recommend to others (in no particular

Welcome Interstate Managers - Fountains of Wayne
Utopia Parkway - Fountains of Wayne

(Note: I have FoWs self-titled debut album as well,
but it hasn't grown on me enough to recommend it as

The Life of Dan - Dan Hart (Good folk type music that
mixes serious and funny in nearly equal of Moxy Fruvous and XTC's more
acoustic-driven moments, take note!)

Burnt - Throwing Toasters
Chrome - Throwing Toasters (Mostly silly Dr. Demento
type stuff, though their leader Grant admits to being
a big Jellyfish fan.  As such, the melody for their
song Bad Influence was based partially on Baby's
Coming Back, if that piques anyone's interest.)

Meaningless - Jon Brion (I suspect everyone here
already knows all they need to know about this one.)

Prettier Than You - Brian Stevens (Dave Gregory and
the above-mentioned Brion play on it.  'Nuff said.)

I Hope You Win - Corn Mo (Opened for TMBG in New York
a month or so ago.  Very original accordian-driven
music.  "Weird Al" meets TMBG meets Queen at a circus

Speed Graphic - Ben Folds
Sunny 16 - Ben Folds  (Been a fan since the Ben Folds
Five days.  Looking forward to a new album this year,
assuming everything goes to plan.)

The C Album - Moxy Fruvous (These guys are excellent.
They've been on hiatus for a few years and their fans
are increasing worried that it'll become a permanent
one.  Unfortunately for me, I jumped on board the
Fruvous bandwagon after said hiatus began, so I've
never seen them live.  From what I'm told, their live
show was half the fun.  At any rate, if you're here
and also a TMBG and Yazbek fan, you'll probably like

David Matheson - David Matheson (One of the (former?)
members of Moxy Fruvous.  His solo album is mostly
quiet...very much a folk/country vibe.)

Ro Sham Bo - The Grays (I had been looking for a copy
of this album for a while when I realized I already
had one!  The music director at my college radio
station (I was the assistant at the time) had given it
to me years ago, saying something like "you might like
this."  Well, the crap to quality ratio was too poor
to listen to everything that came recommened from him,
so I put it away with all the other freebies that came
with the job as a perk.  Looking through an obscure
part of my collection, I stumbled upon it and
immediately cancelled my eBay searches for it.  Just
thought I'd share that story...I'm sure most of you
know how good this disc is, so I won't even go there,
girlfriend. :) )

FW Vol. 3 & 4 - Andy Partridge (duh :) ) (As an
amusement park and roller coaster fanatic, I could
listen to Bumper Cars and The Art Song over and over
again...on occasion, I sometimes do just that. :P )


"Richard Hall" <> wrote:

"I've read this, and the sequel (Lost in a Good Book),
and would unhesitatingly recommend them to fans of
Adams/ Robert Rankin/Ian Holt..... I believe there is
a third installment 'The Well of Lost Plots'....
haven't got that yet"

  There are Douglas Adams fans here, too?  Very cool!
For those who don't know about it yet, you can relive
fuzzy memories of a certain computer text-based game


Happy Puppy Records <>

"Logan Whitehurst - Goodbye My 4-track"

  Ah, I didn't think anyone else (at least around
here) would have been aware of Logan Whitehurst.
Can't say I have the album, but from what I've heard
on the Dr. Demento Show a few months ago, he seems to
have potential.


  I don't know if anyone else has noted this fact, but
we're now in the midst of the second longest wait
between studio albums by XTC since originally being
signed.  Of course, the longest was during the Virgin
strike, between Nonsuch and AV1.  Previously, the
second longest was the three-year wait between O&L and
Nonsuch.  We're now at 3 1/2 years (and counting)
since Wasp Star.  Didn't Partsy say he wanted to have
a new album out every 18 months or so once the Virgin
situation was cleared up?  Granted, the warbles are
valuable additions to the catalog (if a bit expensive)
and I'm sure the Orpheus project has been a time drain
for Andy, but dang it, I want a new studio album!
There, all vented...I won't whine about it anymore
(for now :) ).


  Well, whilst attempting to fight my XTC withdrawl,
I've been checking out some of the other artists that
get mentioned here on occasion.  I have all three of
Yazbek's discs on order from various sources and am
also considering picking up Becki DiGregorio's and
Mitch Friedman's entire respective catalogs when I can
come up with the cash.

  I already have a vinyl single from Yazbek for Here
Come the Ducks that I found on clearance via  I've been listening to it almost daily
since I got it.  I noticed that one song on it, The Go
Go Years, doesn't seem to be included on the track
listing of any of his CDs.  Is this a bit of a rarity
or does it turn up elsewhere afterall?  I only ask
because the song uses Andy's Miller Time melody rather
extensively, and I just wanted to make sure it didn't
slip through the cracks for any completists that may
be out there.

  That is all.  Thanks for reading my drivel.  :)



Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:44:38 -0800
From: "Pastula Aaron" <>
Subject: Clan MacPartridge Gaining Momentum
Message-ID: <>

Who could have foreseen it?

Like the proverbial dark horse, it seems that San Francisco's most
proficient and aesthetically and aurally pleasing XTC cover band, Clan
MacPartridge, is quickly narrowing the gap in the final hours before the New
Hampshire primary, and is riding comfortably on a vibrant and enthusiastic
groundswell of support.

According to Fox News, the reason for this amazing surge in popularity is
due to The Clan's considerable rally at their most recent public appearance,
in which 84% of those in attendance expressed extreme satisfaction with The
Clan's platform.  "I was leaning towards Howard Dean, but let me tell you
something," stated Bob Kaupus, who could barely get through the crowded room
to claim his third drink.  "Those guys in C Mac P rock hard, and their
barbaric yawps are much, much better than his."

The band continues their campaign this Saturday, January 31st, at Pete's
881, located at 721 Lincoln in San Rafael.  Doors open at 8:30; cover is $5.
  Having received their official endorsement, the band will be appearing
with incumbent 80's hairband tributary TEEZE, and will be premiering new
material despite the fact that they don't yet have a harmonica with which to
play the opening melody of "Peter Pumpkinhead."

"They definitely expect to have it by the weekend," said a Clan MacPartridge
spokesperson.  "Besides, the American people are a decent, understanding
bunch.  Given the group's stellar record on foreign policy and the economy,
are they really going to let something like a potentially absent harmonica
part determine their vote?"

When asked his thoughts on the group and whether The Clan's strong
grassroots following could jeopardize his current lead in the polls,
front-runner John Kerry nervously referred to the band's oft-cited mantra
before leaving for an unspecified event.

"What can I say?  They're not the best band in the world, but they play
their music.  We're definitely on our toes, but we're not giving up."


Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 00:24:34 +0000
From: "dunks58" <>
Subject: re: Chalkfriendships
Message-ID: <>

>From: "" <>
>Subject: Friendships developed here at Chalkhills?
>I'm curious to find out if some people on the list have actually met
>in person and have developed friendships.

Yes indeedy, Chenille. Oh sorry, that's an Aussie in-joke ...

Yes. I've made some GREAT friends through Chalkhills over the last
five years or so. There are numerous Chalkers in Sydney, where I live,
and I've become good friends with several of them, notably Toni and
Seb, who have become naughty little lurkers in recent times, but are
great people all the same.

In Canberra there my old buddy and colleague Paul "Guess what I'm
wearing" Culnane, with whom I have created our own little Obsessives
Corner on the WWW, called Milesago (, which would not
be there now had it not been for getting to know Paul via
Chalkhills. And of course there's estimable Iain Murray and his wife
Louise, whom we caught up with (along with Seb and Toni) only a couple
of weeks back.

And there are the many marvellous American Chalkers I've become
e-friends with and whom I was so fortunate to meet on our trip to the
USA last year -- above all, our , John "Fearless Leader" Relph,
Harrison "Tyrann-thesaurus Rex" Sherwood, Todd "Living proof that not
all drummer are stupid" Bernhardt and all of the DC Chalkers including
Jeff Ogata and JD Mack and everyone else I've forgotten to mention.

And how can I forget Mike "Where's that bloody album you promised me?"
Versaci, whom I was so fortunate to finally meet in London ... and the
great Dom "Burger King" Lawson, whom I was so stupid to have missed
... and Chris Vreeland, whom i haven't mety but who sent me that nifty
Texas t-shirt that is still one of my fave things to wear ...

... and so it goes on. I'm sure some people think it's weird getting
to know people like this, and when I discuss it with people who aren't
on mailing lists, I can tell they're thinking "This guy is a total
geek who can only make friends on the internet" ... and it may well be

But I've found that it's been a fantastic way of meeting and making
new friends, and all the people I've met through Chalkhills have been
REALLY nice. And of course you're guaranteed that you're going to have
at least ONE thing in common when you do meet.



Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 17:18:26 EST
Subject: Super Furries/ Crap Towns
Message-ID: <>

Scott Fischer wrote
>I'm actually quite surprised I didn't see anyone list "Super Furry Animals
> - Phantom Power" in their 2003 Best Of!  This album would rank as my
> personal #1 fave for the year - hands down!

Well, I would have put Phantom Power in a 2003 best of list if I had
made one. Seeing as it was one of only two 2003 releases that I bought
last year (I'm not counting FW 3 & 4), compiling a list would have
been rather pointless. I guess I'm just losing interest in
contemporary music.

I don't know why everone's so keen to put Swindon in the list of crap
towns.  Seeing as the list put Hull at #1, a city where I spent three
years at university and still have a lot affection for, I'm not sure
if I respect the opinions of the people who compiled the list.

XTC content: 'This is the End' is a great song.

Huw Davies


End of Chalkhills Digest #10-5

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