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From: Chalkhills <owner-chalkhills@chalkhills.org>
To: chalkhills@chalkhills.org
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-15


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 15

                   Friday, 1 April 2005

Topics:

           Fossil Fuel limited edition package
                  XTC in Giant Magazine!
 R.I.P. PAUL HESTER.PLUS SOME GREAT STUFF BY TERRY EASON.
            What Makes Prefab Sprout So Great

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This is the reel where all the titles come up.

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Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 19:40:10 -0800
From: Steven Reule <steven@obsessed-with-music.com>
Subject: Fossil Fuel limited edition package
Message-ID: <4.1.20050327193457.00f59748@mail.obsessed-with-music.com>

Shameless self-serving post, but I AM a long time and rabid XTC fanatic...

If anyone is looking for a copy of the limited edition version of the
Fossil Fuel 2CD set, I just listed one on ebay. This is the one with the
embossed cover (fossil pack), very cool, very cool. And of course I kept my
copy, this is a spare!

http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=obsessed-with-music
or
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4714509401

Thanks

Steven

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

Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 05:21:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Kzincat <kzincat98@yahoo.com>
Subject: XTC in Giant Magazine!
Message-ID: <20050328132142.40079.qmail@web51804.mail.yahoo.com>

Hi All,

Coming out of lurk mode to let you all know that the
latest issue of Giant Magazine has a 3-4 page spread
including colorful pictures from back-in-the-day about
our heros XTC. Boy, they sure were good huh? Gosh they
sure influence new bands, dude.

http://www.giantmag.com/

I saw this in the actual magazine, but not on the
website. I found the site to be a bit hard to
navigate, so maybe I missed it.

Dave in Detroit

Hail Mother Motor,
Hail Piston Rotor
Hail Wheel!

	[ Transcription and scans would be appreciated.  Any volunteers? ]

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

Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 23:06:52 +0000
From: <cornwallis@cwctv.net>
Subject: R.I.P. PAUL HESTER.PLUS SOME GREAT STUFF BY TERRY EASON.
Message-ID: <0b45b0604221c35DTVMAIL5@smtp.cwctv.net>

HELLO CHALKERS .I AM SADDENED BY THE DEATH OF CROWDED HOUSE
DRUMMER,PAUL HESTER.A UNIQUE BAND,A FABULOUS DRUMMER,GOD BLESS HIM.ON
A LIGHTER NOTE CHECK OUT SOME GREAT CDS BY CHALKHILLER,TERRY
EASON.VERY TALENTED GUY AND BREATH OF FRESH AIR.CHEERS.

kind regards,  DAVE BANCROFT

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

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 14:01:20 +0100
From: John Morrish <morrish@ukf.net>
Subject: What Makes Prefab Sprout So Great
Message-ID: <3d2b998183c6fcb1edffbe0994f11c3d@ukf.net>

I can understand David Gershman's distaste for some of the cheesy
instrumentation on Prefab Sprout's albums. For that I think we can
blame Andy's old pal Thomas Dolby, who was so "of the moment" in the
1980s that his stuff is permanently trapped in that era. For instance,
I always skip "The King Of Rock'N'Roll", the opening track of From
Langley Park To Memphis. The combination of a horrible farting synth at
the front of the mix and that "Hot dog jumping frog" chorus really
turns me off. Up-tempo numbers are not really the Sprouts' forte. But
the ballads are gorgeous.

I think we can blame the tacky productions on a major label's
desperation for chart success combined with the mad excitement of
digital synthesis. Almost all the albums of that era are scarred by the
sound of DX7s on the default settings - it took a long time before
anyone learnt how to work them properly.

The first album, Swoon, is the aficionados' favourite. It is one of
those highly original debut albums, full of weird sounds and fragmented
songs, akin to the first Roxy Music record. Like Roxy Music, Prefab
Sprout then started moving towards the mainstream (although not so
disastrously). I think their best album is Andromeda Heights, where the
cheesy up-front synths are joined by flutes, oboes and saxophones.
Again, some great ballads and only one feeble rocker. Tragically, this
one wasn't even released in the States. My second best would be From
Langley Park To Memphis, which has more great songs and some thrilling
string arrangements. Try "Hey Manhattan": irresistible. Also, a great
Stevie Wonder harmonica solo on "Nightingales". I wonder if they
actually met him?

If you want raw Sprouts (yuk) then go for Protest Songs, their strange
but wonderful album of near-demos. Almost no production this time, but
great material. "Dublin" is a thoughtful song about Ireland, while
"Pearly Gates" strikes me as a brilliant, chilling, seminary-boy
response to death and what happens next.

I bought both Jordan The Comeback and The Gunman And Other Stories
immediately they came out but have never warmed to either. In the case
of The Gunman, I was put off by the dreadful clip-clop rhythm and c&w
cliches of the opener.

Finally, there's Paddy's I Trawl The Megahertz, which is perhaps not
the best place to start. The album has only one song sung by Paddy
(beautiful, though). The rest is instrumentals, including the 17-minute
title track, which is deeply peculiar. An American woman recites a sort
of poetic monologue, apparently compiled by Paddy while he was lying on
his back listening to late-night radio after his eye surgery.
Unfortunately, she's rather expressionless for my tastes. And when she
says "country SONG" instead of "COUNTRY song" I want to shout at her.
The piece really cries out for a serious actor.

Underneath that, an orchestra (with guitars and synths) plays two basic
riffs, over and over, going away and coming back, sometimes
overlapping, and with different textures, but never developing in the
classical sense. You can go out, make a cup of tea, come back and it
still seems to be in the same place. It may be the most relentless
piece of orchestral music since Ravel's Bolero, and at least that has a
key change.

  But it's like nothing else, and I love it.

John

XTC content: E.I.E.I. Owen is a big fan of Andromeda Heights.

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End of Chalkhills Digest #11-15
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