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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-61

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 61

                Tuesday, 28 December 2004


                    Long, Long, Long!!
                Re: Everything Unchanging
                        yo! Adrian
                   End of the best of's
                 XTC in the Future(heads)
                   Santa made me SMiLE
                 Not For Everybody,BUT...
                       2004 Top Ten


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That wave...


Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 15:02:58 -0500
Subject: Long, Long, Long!!
Message-ID: <>

To Jason Damas:

First of all, to all Chalkers, I've been missing some editions of the
DIGEST for some reason and, so, missed portions of this thread, but I am
one who enjoys lengthy disks.  I was absolutely delighted when the first
issues of XTC albums came out on CD with numerous extras tucked in between
vinyl sides.  In fact, the only gain to the more recent reissues was that
we finally regained the proper lineup of tracks, with "Dear God" as the
bonus track, rather than removing the wonderful "Mermaid Smile" for the
inclusion of that track.

I guess that this sort of question depends on the albums.  I was thinking
the other day, when confronted with the newly reissued American pressings
of the first four Beatles albums, that the ultimate way to still hear these
ageless recordings is on original vinyl, or on such a reissue campaign as
was given Elvis Costello on the third go-round from America's Rhino
Records--with the proper album on the first disk and any additions on the
second disk.  In this way, even if you are too familiar with the CD age,
you get that decent sense of history *AND* you get the extras, and
sometimes, if record companies are creative enough, some other vault stuff
if they wish to really dip deeply in there, like obsessive collectors
would.  Folks of my generation often don't wish to fool around with the
original album, especially if it is a concept.  Therefore, I am of a mind
that this is how all Beatles product should have been rightly thought out!

But I get the impression here, from carefully reading the original quotes
that are being responded to, that the individual asking advice here is
actually making an album and would like to know whether he or she should
lengthen or shorten the material.  Again, I've got to flipflop here because
I haven't heard the material.  Like Jason said, if it is as good as, say,
Fountains of Wayne, hey, be obsessive about it and give us *EVERYTHING*.  I
get crazy when some of these artists start reissuing disks with mere links
to a website for downloads instead of just tacking on the track or, better
yet, sticking an extra disk in there with the few tracks on 'em.  I come
from the age of vinyl and I delighted when groups were ambitious (or
pretentious) enough to give us double albums if they had that much material
to get out there.  I also grew up in the first age of progressive rock, so
material that you heard on radio stations were thought of in terms of album
sides, not signature songs that are played over and over again.  You barely
get a sense of what an album or group is about through that overplayed
signature "hit single"!

Go for the greater length or, if you felt you had to drop a song or two in
the mix that really didn't fit the overall mold, add it as an extra on a
second disk!  I remember an album by Gentle Giant called POWER AND GLORY,
but the title track didn't really fit the musical thematics of the rest of
the album.  It seemed almost to be as close to a straight-ahead rocker as
this band would get.  It is tacked onto CD copies of the album now, but it
is jarringly different, both in tone and recording quality.  It should have
been instead, featured as part of extras on a second disk, but I have not
seen a big reissue campaign around this band as yet.  Maybe someone is
thinking in this way as I write this?

If you get in the music biz deeply, though, then I guess you think ahead
and save extras for that inevitable box set, but I like long disks.  I
enjoyed the period in the 1980's when groups seemed so prolific that they
always had material left over for an added bonus e.p.  Again, I make note
of both reissue campaigns for classic Elvis Costello albums.  I just wish
that Virgin would allow for such a reissue campaign for XTC.

Happy Holidays, and I hope this rambling missive helped.



Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 11:52:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Re: Everything Unchanging
Message-ID: <>

Dear Mr. Ransome:

I would go with the Mrs's color scheme, potentially disastrous as it may seem.
Domestic tranquility is worth suffering for, even when it offends the eyes and
other senses.

At the same time, I might suggest (if I'm not being too forward) that you apply
your color scheme to another room, off to the side a bit, providing those who
wish to experience more-subdued hues with the ability to do so at their
leisure. Or, perhaps you could make your alternate color schemes available for
viewing on the InterWebWay. I hear it's all the rage nowadays, especially among
the idle young, such as long-haired college students and musicians. Get with
the times, Daddy-o!

Good may come out of this ... after all, if you're spending more time in your
shed, why not be productive and get a little DIY done? From what I hear, that
fence of yours needs creosoting!

Ooof, perhaps I've said too much ... must be the Malibus talking! Too much
holiday cheer. Good luck, Mr. R.  And god bless us, every one.


The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)


Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 12:49:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Jackson <>
Subject: yo! Adrian
Message-ID: <>

A pink chaffinch is nice, doncha think?


Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 21:29:38 -0700
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: End of the best of's
Message-ID: <BAY18-F250E717B49F7CEB7D4B41FA1A70@phx.gbl>

Happy holidays Chalkfiends!

Here is my list of favorite releases from the past year (ranked 1 through 15
with #1 being the best):

1.  Tegan and Sara / So Jealous
2.  Air / Talkie Walkie
3.  Sonic Youth / Sonic Nurse
4.  Nellie McKay / Get Away From Me
5.  PJ Harvey / Uh Huh Her
6.  Tom Waits / Real Gone
7.  Killers / Hot Fuss
8.  Trash Can Sinatras / Weightlifting
9.  VHS or Beta / Night On Fire
10. The Real Tuesday Weld / I, Lucifer
11. Scissor Sisters / Scissor Sisters
12. Interpol / Antics
13. Luna / Rendezvous
14. Tears For Fears / Everybody Loves A Happy Ending
15. The Flatlanders / Wheels of Fortune

Air's Talkie Walkie had been my #1 album for the entire year until a few
weeks ago when I happened upon the Tegan and Sara album.  Just knocks my
socks off every time I hear it.

Most fun album of the year:  Scissor Sisters wins in a landslide.  Tits on
the Radio is a great song.  If you are not familiar with the Sisters, think
Barry Gibb fronting an Elton Johnish band complete with a Disco Ball and
beats to boot.

Debut of the year:  Nellie McKay.  She is just badass... and not even 20.

Most Welcome Comeback:  Trashcan Sinatras.  Dreamy fun with great lyrics.  A
worthy album that is every bit as good as their 1990 debut album (Cake).

Sad to see you go album:  Rendezvous by Luna.  Dean and Co. calling it quits
after 12 years and 10 albums.

Other worthy releases:

Arcade Fire / Funeral
Secret Machines / Now Here Is Nowhere
The Cure / The Cure
The Cure / Connect the Dots Box set
American Music Club / Love Songs For Patriots
Solex / The Laughing Stock of Indie Rock
Mos Def / The New Danger
Bjork / Medulla

I still have not picked up the Kings of Convenience / Riot on an Empty
Street but I think it will be a great album from everything I have read
about it and what little I have heard.

Top 5 Disappointments:

1.  Southern Culture on the Skids / Mojo Box
I am a major SCOTS fan and this is the biggest dud of their career.

2.  Wilco / A Ghost Is Born
These guys are starting to lose me with every album.

3.  The Beta Band / Heroes to Zeros
Broke up months after issuing this.  I guess you could call it curse of High

4.  N.E.R.D. / Fly or Die
Super talent but this super sucks!

5.  U2 / How To Dismantle and Atomic Bomb
Beyond Vertigo and maybe two other songs, all I could think about was
getting a damn I-pod.

Well, that is it.  I hope you all have a great holiday season and a happy,
healthy & prosperous New Year to come.

Best wishes to you all,


PS> John, many thanks for your continued dedication to this list.  More
times than I can remember, I have laughed out loud from numerous posts or
learned something new about my favorite band.  This e-mail thread rocks and
the site is just fantastic!  :-)

PPS>  Thanks to all the regular contributors and lurkers as well.


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2004 14:53:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: XTC in the Future(heads)
Message-ID: <>


Whilst perusing the local paper this Boxing Day, I came upon a midnight
clear ... wait, no, that's not it ... I came upon the following blurb by
reviewer Allison Stewart. You can find it at, or
simply read on:

>>The Futureheads

Like many of the year's best new alt-rock bands, the Futureheads are
appealing mostly because they sound like somebody else. While Franz
Ferdinand apes the Talking Heads and the Killers channel the Cure, the
Futureheads, an impressive (if not exactly enterprising) quartet from
northern England, have made the best XTC record in years.

A wiry, endlessly entertaining pop-punk album with a misanthropic heart,
"The Futureheads" offers more than '80s nostalgia, although not much more:
The band also does an uncanny impersonation of the Jam.

Co-produced by former Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill, "The Futureheads"
buzzes cheerily between three-minute garage pop and early new wave, with
many of the songs following the same formula: brief, punchy verses, shouted
choruses and lots of harmonies. Prickly and anthemic, occasionally a little
stupid, "The Futureheads" seems to be reaching for a Jam-like sense of
social awareness, though it's hard to tell: Is the superb opening track "Le
Garage" about someone murdered in a robbery, or is it about, um, a garage?
Is "Robot" ("The best thing is our lifespan / We last nigh on a hundred
years") trying to say something about the mechanized soullessness of modern
society, or does the band just like robots?

Though originals like "Decent Days and Nights" and "Carnival Kids" are
terrific, the record's real standout is a cover of Kate Bush's "Hounds of
Love," converted for the occasion from a wispy ballad to an assured,
affectionate semi-rave-up. Paradoxically, it's the finest, most original
moment on a disc otherwise happy to wear its influences on its sleeve.<<

Happy Mithramas, everyone!


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 06:33:06 -0600
From: "jxnsmom" <>
Subject: Santa made me SMiLE
Message-ID: <000801c4ec10$3c931300$4acccb0c@NICKELFAMILY>

What a great surprise to receive SMiLE for Christmas! I'm listening to it
now, and after reading all the hype here, as well as the complaints about
Brian's current vocal quality, here are my thoughts.

I have had the bootleg of the original recordings for a couple of years. My
first feeling on hearing the first track of the new album (Our Prayer) was
disappointment, because on the bootleg, the blend of the Beach Boys' vocal
qualities on that song nearly brings tears to my eyes, and I detect a
harshness in Brian's voice now that he didn't have back then. (Overall,
though, I think his voice has held up remarkably well. I was expecting much
worse from some of the Chalkhill reviews I read.)

But as I kept listening, I felt a certain satisfaction finally hearing these
tracks in their entirety. It all makes more sense now. And I'm happy some of
the backing track production sounds as it did on the first one, maintaining
that Pet Sounds-era style.

I guess I would have rather heard SMiLE completed in the 60s, but this is a
fine substitute. I'm definitely glad to have it.



Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 17:53:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: Not For Everybody,BUT...
Message-ID: <>


Ok, I don't agree entirely with the review, but as Mitch Friedman can
attest to, and in spite of what has to be one of the oddest band names

is one brilliant record that many XTC fans would most certainly enjoy.

This record has been out of print of a few years, and it most
certainly deserves to be heard.

Michael Versaci


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 17:53:38 -0500
From: "Tim Kendrick" <>
Subject: 2004 Top Ten
Message-ID: <006b01c4ed30$12d83970$22c8f504@Kendrick>

Will I be the first with my top 10 albums of the year?
In 2003 I had to struggle to come up with even a top 5.
But not this year.  Although my selections certainly reflect
my love of acts from the eighties!

Tim's Top 10 albums of 2004:

 1. "Grown Backwards"      by DAVID BYRNE
       - His own Apple Venus.  Full of strings, atmosphere and wonderful
         words. Not only his best work of a long career but the best album
         of the year.

 2. "You Are The Quarry"   by MORRISSEY
       - The catchiest songs he's ever done, without losing any of the
         lyrical bite.  How can you not love an album with a songs'
         first line: "She told me that she loved me.  Which means, she
         must be insane."!

 3. "American Idiot"      by GREEN DAY
       - I always thought this group had more in them than just 3-chord
         punk-pop songs about masturbation.  This album finally proves it.
         A big step forward for them.

 4. "Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 6" by ANDY PARTRIDGE
       - An album of demos, many of which were album rejects, still makes a
         top-10 list.  Amazing!  (The last song "End of the Pier" is
         absolutely brilliant!)

 5. "Real Gone"            by TOM WAITS
       - Not his best, but I still love this and it's so much better than
         most of what's out there.

 6. "Please Describe Yourself" by DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS
       - Refreshing and fun.  It's not an XTC rip-off, but it does have a
         lot of similarities.

 7. "Medulla"              by BJORK
       - Weird and wonderful "mostly voices" album.

 8. "Blueberry Boat"       by THE FIERY FURNACES
       - Not anywhere near as good as their 2003 effort "Gallow's Bark"
        (my favorite of 2003, even though I didn't hear it until this year)
        this tends to be a bit self-indulgent (songs meander a little too
        much) but you can't beat its originality and thought-provoking

 9. "Spooked"              by ROBYN HITCHCOCK
       - His best in awhile.  Sparse like his masterpiece "Eye", this is one
         that's grown on me after repeated listens.

10. "Universal Audio"      by THE DELGADOS
       - Both moody and fun, this is a very catchy pop album.  I like it a


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