Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-58

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 58

                Thursday, 9 December 2004


                    english settlement
               "And your dream comes true"
        RE: the whole music experience in general
       too young for the bars at The Hop, Actually
        Canada Rant (Yay!), SMilE again, some XTC
                      Swindon People
                   Xray Tango Christmas


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.8c (John Relph <>).

Jealous winter sun / Cold as vichysoisse.


Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 20:39:33 -0800
From: "Danny Phipps" <>
Subject: english settlement
Message-ID: <000901c4db4d$95e82400$1f01fea9@pavilion>

<< de-lurk >>

hello, all ...

why is it that xtc's "english settlement" appeals to me
so much?  could it be that every song on it is a winner
or that it's the xtc album that introduced me to this
band's amazing talents?  i dunno .... maybe a combi-
nation of all the above.  all i know is that i am forever
endebted to my sweet wife ginger for presenting me
this wonderful album for my 25th birthday back in '82,
thinking that i might like it!  i haven't looked back or
been the same since.  (thanks, gin!!)  now being a
longtime and dedicated fan of the swindon boys, it
only gets better and better each time i listen to ANY
album by xtc.  they can do no wrong in my eyes.  hell,
andy and co. can compose an album of nothing but
telephone numbers out of the phonebook - i'll gladly
stand in line to get a copy!  to also think back on the
wonderment of newsletters such as june & pete dix's
"the little express" (r.i.p.) out of canada and all the
unforgettable friendships forged from the penpal
section in the back of each edition just gives me a
fuzzy (warbles) feeling inside ... as hokey as that might
seem.  i will ALWAYS remain a fan of this band no
matter what.  their songs will continue to brighten my
day, no matter how shitty my mood may be for what-
ever reason.  they possess that certain Magic that
can lift anyone out of any sadness.  and that is indeed
something precious and rare these days.  thank you
andy, colin, barry, dave, and terry for doing what you
do best!  :-)

... and to think it all started (for me) with "english

thanks for the eyetime ... i just felt this opinion needed to
be known.

(a north carolina xtc fan)

<< back to lurking >>


Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 18:28:40 -0800 (PST)
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: discovery
Message-ID: <>

Brent got me thinking:

"For all you folks with children, can you imagine them
putting on any 45, sitting down to listen to the 3
minute ditty, getting up to flip the record over,
cuing it up then sitting down to listen to the flipside?"

My kids are learning about music in completely
different ways than I did. I used to find things like
the Beatles, the Beegees, or the Kinks in my parents
collections and those of their friends. I'd turn the
album cover over in my hand, and the album covers were
a big part of the experience.

Today, my kids peruse my collection of about 10,000
songs on our Mac. I have it all in alphabetical
folders, and as they delve into folders within
folders, they have nothing to go on but the titles. My
son put Let It Be and Casino Queen on a compilation he
burned. How was he drawn to those tracks? I have no

The kids are missing something, but they have it good
with the ability to burn collections and have so many
songs at their fingertips. It's forever changed, like
everything else.



Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 03:34:26 +0000
From: "dunks58" <>
Subject: "And your dream comes true"
Message-ID: <>

Suffice to say that I can wholeheartedly endorse the impressions of
other Chalkers lucky enough to have seen the SMiLE tour.

I didn't blub like I thought I might (well, almost, at the start) but
the guy in front of me was literally weeping with joy though the
entire show. Three incredible, jam-packed sets; the campfire
sing-along was a really cool way to start and set up a really warm,
fun atmostphere. As one reviewer noted, it was of course impossible to
match the incredible emotion that pervaded the Pet Sounds tour, but
this certainly equalled it in every other respect.

It was awesome, the event of a lifetime. The band were miraculous,
Brian sounded really good and seemed to be having a great time,
especially in the SMiLE set. The Stockholm Strings & Horns were
fantastic and really got into the spirit, munching veggies, donning
the firehats, doing the 'swim' during "Sufring USA", etc. There were
some truly spine-tingling moments, especially a truly heavenly
rendition of "And Your Dream Comes True", and a mighty and magnificent
delivery of "Sail On, Sailor" that must one of best musical
performances I've ever heard in my life. And we were also lucky enough
to briefly meet Brian, say "hi" and get an autograph the day before.

It was really wonderful to share this great event with so many
friends, including Paul, and especially with our kids, who both really
enjoyed it (and what a treat to hear them singing bits of SMiLE and
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" to each other as they went to bed!). We marked
the occasion by hiring a stretch limo to take us to the Opera House,
which was a real hoot. Bugger the cost. You only live once.

And, as I've responded to those who questioned the cost of teh tickets
... well, plenty of people would think nothing of paying two or three
times as much for (shudder) an opera ticket ... and above all, for me
this was an historic event --  certainly the equivalent of someone
from our parents' or grandparents' generation being able to say that
(for example) they saw George Gershwin or  . It was indeed a dream
come true. It's still hard to believe that it happened and it was over
far too soon (three hours never went so fast) but it's a memory and
experience I will always treasure.



Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2004 03:33:08 +0000
From: "*Hobbes *" <>
Subject: RE: the whole music experience in general
Message-ID: <BAY13-F4294AE4202308A77C87731B8B40@phx.gbl>

As Kevin Brunkhorst was saying in the last digest:

>Discussions of Brian Wilson's heretofore abandoned Smile, of Andy's
>Fuzzy Warbles, and a mention of the Capitol Beatles box set.

>The 'recording', 'editing', 'packaging', and 'marketing' processes
>introduce other, foreign elements into the listening experience.  It
>is always so. Today's Chalkhills reminded me.  I say this not to freak
>anyone, but to point it out.  It's all a construction job, and we have
>a choice as to the final assembly.

As I'm in the process of constructing and selecting a final tracklisting for
my album I'm interested in how others on the list feel about this subject.
(Bear with me, I'll get to the point eventually).

I stupidly used to believe that an artist's intention in creating an album
was sacrosanct and shouldn't be tampered with in any way.  Unfortunately a
lot of albums contain moments that are either completely self-indulgent,
head-slapping misjudgements or pure `we-need-more-tracks' filler.

When I first became aware of Mp3 technology around 1999, I was in the
process of moving for university.  Faced with the prospect of taking over
2000 cds with me I ripped my entire collection to about 30 CDS and gave my
originals to my sister for safekeeping.  I moved a lot the next year or so,
and during the time I got used to playing songs via my computer.  The
convenience of having so much music within easy reach was intoxicating. (One
stack next to the computer instead of a bookshelf full of cd covers).

In the meantime I've learnt a lot about editing technology and what was
possible.  Then about six months ago I re-ripped my collection to DVD, and I
carefully thought about each album I was ripping, realised life was too
short to listen to lazy material or flawed albums anymore and set about
*fixing* them.

The first obvious problem was the Beatles.  The Past Masters albums just
don't cut it for me, and I don't want to have to put on the Yellow Submarine
Soundtrack to hear four songs.  I sat down with the Beatles Chronicle by
Mark Lewisohn and paired any singles, b-sides and stray tracks with the
album that was being recorded.  So now Revolver ends with Paperback Writer
and Rain.  And Sgt. Pepper ends with Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane and Only
A Northern Song.

In the case of XTC, I stripped all the bonus tracks from the albums and made
a comprehensive b-side collection, and I'm sure when I get the final Fuzzy
Warbles the first thing I'll do is make a compilation of all the demos that
remained unfinished, (which is what I want to hear from those albums).

With artists with lesser quality control I removed tracks entirely, filtered
out self-indulgence, or faded early the horrible extended guitar noodling
coda some bands are want to indulge in to ruin what would otherwise be their
perfectly constructed 3 minute singles.  It might sound overly harsh, but I
figure most people listen their music via radio with DJs speaking over half
of it anyway or early fading it to fit more ads in.

For example my copy of Wilco's `A Ghost Is Born' has a 3 minute version of
"Less Than You Think" with the 12 minutes of self-indulgent guitar feedback
removed.  It's now gone from a "painful to listen to album" to "just a
boring album", (and it needs all the help it can get).

I hate non-chronological greatest hits albums, and they're always bound to
leave your favourite song off anyway.  So now if I do buy one I shape it
into an album I want to hear.  Other artists have a wealth of strong b-side
material they stubbornly refuse to compile.  At least now I have complete
B-Sides collections by Morrissey, Matthew Sweet, Fountains of Wayne, Eels
and Pulp.

So artist's intentions be damned!  I figure we're the ones who have to live
with an album, if they're being overly pretentious or self-indulgent, call
them on it.

Which leads me to my problem with my album: it has been written as a song
cycle.  18 songs, about 58 minutes.  I believe great albums are generally
around the vinyl length (40-45 minutes).  Unfortunately I'm too close to the
material to think any of it is particularly weak, as I know how much effort
writing, rewriting and editing went into each song.  They also tell a story
and removing one seems to remove a link in the chain.

So if I am ruthless and cut it down, since the single or EP are pretty much
dead in the water, what do I do with the extra tracks?  Or do I leave it as
a long album of raw materials for the listener to strip down and shape into
what they want to hear the way I've been doing?
Or does that run the risk of making a tight album seem like a lazy album?

Any suggestions?


Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 10:25:45 -0000
From: Adrian Ransome <>
Subject: too young for the bars at The Hop, Actually
Message-ID: <>

The breakfast show on Xfm (the local "alternative music" radio station for
that London) has recently run a competition to see which British school has
the best school rock band. The complete list of entrants is here:

"But why is this relevant to Chalkhills, the online resource for all things
Xtc related?" I hear you ask. (I don't actually, but I can imagine at least
a couple of you might actually say that out loud as you're reading this).
Well, scroll a way down the list of entrants and you come across Asa
Butterfield performing "Teenage Dirtbag vs Making Plans for Nigel" There are
links to a stream of said performance, unfortunately I cannot get it to work
for me so I cannot report on its quality.

The highlight (as originally reported in the excellent newsletter)
is a truly stunning (and not a little frightening) performance of Seven
Nation Army by 13 year old Oscar Scizier. The link to which is here:

In digest #10-57, Richard Greenleaf reported on The Loving being replaced by
God Only Knows for the ending of Four Weddings in Notting Hill, Actually
Love. Funnily enough, I was in the other room whilst my significant other
sat and watched said film the other night and couldn't believe my ears when
the end sequence came on and the final section of God Only Knows played, on
and on and on and on and on. And On.

Some soundtrack git with Pro Tools had Ctrl+C, Ctr+V (or, for the Mac users
in the audience, Cmd+C, Cmd+V ) the final vocal round and stretched it out
to last what seemed like 25 minutes. A song that's so gut wrenchingly,
heart-breakingly beautiful; which causeth joyful tears to flow to mine eyes
upon every hearing was thusly transformed into an annoyingly saccharine
piece of cheesily invasive soundtrack music.

We should all thank Cliff that the same fate had not befallen an Xtc tune.
Merry Christmas!

"I felt muscular and compact; like Corned Beef."


Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2004 21:19:27 -0500
From: "Scott Barnard" <>
Subject: Canada Rant (Yay!), SMilE again, some XTC
Message-ID: <BAY15-F36A53888AA8FA21CF5AD8FBDB60@phx.gbl>

The Prof said:

>Canada is not an exciting place to live.<

Thanks for illuminating our ever-so-fascinating identity crisis, Doc,
but it really should have read: "A fishing village in the arse-end of
nowhere with an admittedly good school is not an exciting place to
live". Thank you. Meow.

Erm... SMiLE is great. Damn the naysayers.

I can't speak for our friend Mervyn, but I happen think that "The Tiny
Circus of Life" is quite simply the most wonderful thing I've heard
this year. Or was it "End of the Pier"?


Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 06:12:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: Swindon People
Message-ID: <>


Perhaps this has been posted, or can be found somewhere on Chalkhills.
Still, it might be of interest...

Michael Versaci


Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 10:05:01 -0500
From: "Griffin, Mark" <>
Subject: t-shirts
Message-ID: <>


Just thought I'd mention that XTC features on a new t-shirt offered by
Cincinnati's, an independent, streaming, modern-rock radio
station that's long had the reputation of being one of the best
stations in the US, if not the world. The back of the t-shirt shows a
lot of band names crammed into the design, and XTC is in pretty large
letters right beneath the station's call letters. I'm not affiliated
with the station, but I love it (and XTC) and thought the band's
relative prominence in the design was worthy of mention.



Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 10:01:37 -0600
From: "James Lowe" <>
Subject: Xray Tango Christmas
Message-ID: <BAY4-DAV2DBB03BAE1CCCF26E0594BEB70@phx.gbl>

Hey Chalkholders;

If you are looking for that perfect gift for the XTC fans in your life how
about a XTC bumper sticker or 2?
They're made from the finest materials and the lucky recipient will think of
you ever time they see it adorning what ever they stick it on.  We'll even
deliver them right to your mailbox before 12/25/04 so you'll avoid that
horrendous Christmas madness at the mall.

Contact me off list for more details or go to

Seasons Greetings from the worlds finest purveyor of XTC Stickers!

Jamie Lowe<>

A man's true wealth is the good he does in the world. - Mohammed


End of Chalkhills Digest #10-58

Go back to the previous page.