Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-5

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 5

                Thursday, 27 January 2005


                 Re: Thanks for Christmas
              Too late for Hanuramakwanstice
                 John "Strawberry" Fields
                 Are You Re: Quizzing Me?
                      using the Jon
                 Desert Island Collection
                     Two great bands
           Other worthy releases from late 2004


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So just love your dog and don't kick your wife.


Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 10:43:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Thanks for Christmas
Message-ID: <>

>John, perhaps this is a geographical thing, since you apparently >did not
>hear "Thanks for Christmas" very much when you were still living >in S.F.,
>but whenever I am on the East Coast near Christmas

Just wanted to chime in - I'm in SoCal and I heard "Thanks For
Christmas" many  times while out shopping and what not.

Laurie Collins


Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 09:43:22 -0800 (PST)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Too late for Hanuramakwanstice
Message-ID: <>

Way too late for Christmas and Hanuramakwanstice, but
just in time for Groundhog's Day, my annual rant has
taken shape. Topic of the principal essay this year:
Rock and roll turns 50 ... unless it's older ...
unless it's dead.

I expect to get two types of reactions.

>From those who know nothing about rock and roll: "You
glazed my eyes over talking about all these people and
songs I've never heard of. Who's Chuck Berry? Who's
Frank Zappa? What are 'kicks,' and why do they keep
getting harder to find?"

>From those who know everything about rock and roll,
including you intimidatingly well-informed Chalk-types
and all musicians and deejays of my acquaintance,
Chalk and non-Chalk: "You're an ignorant poseur and a
prog-rock dinosaur. Go away and play your Jethro Tull
collection until your CDs turn into tacos."

How come I don't know anyone who knows a reasonable
middling amount about rock and roll? How come everyone
knows either nothing or everything? If I, a Something,
have difficulty communicating with both the Nothings
and the Everythings, how on Earth do the Nothings and
the Everythings talk to each other? (Answer: Alas,
they don't.)

I want to play a little ping-pong, and everyone I know
is either spastic or on the Chinese national team.

Most folks on my mailing list know nothing of rock, so
I have great incentive to share my rant with you
professors of the School of Rock. I do look forward to
hearing reactions, comments, and criticisms from

The best part of preparing to write this essay was the
license I gave myself, all this past year, to indulge
in buying for myself several classic albums I'd known
about but for one reason or another had never checked
out: "Sweetheart of the Rodeo*; *The Chronic*; *Back
In Black*; *Abraxas*; *Muswell Hillbillies* and
*Something Else*; *Highway 61 Revisited* and *Blonde
On Blonde*; *How Late'll Ya Play 'Til?*; *Kiko* and
*Colossal Head*; *Swiss Movement*; *Moroccan Roll* --
plus *Democracy*, the new compilation of Leonard Cohen
songs by Judy Collins, and pre-Rutles, pre-Bonzo music
from Neil Innes. Not to mention lotsa downloads. Great

I found reasons -- legitimate, I hope -- to include
mentions of XTC, one XTC member, one XTC producer, and
one Chalksibling.

May I send you a copy? Please send me your real-world
physical mailing address off-list.

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider

P.S.: Random XTC sighting, er, hearing to report:
"King For a Day" over the PA in Sunflower supermarket.


Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:50:54 -0500
From: Benjamin Gott <>
Subject: John "Strawberry" Fields
Message-ID: <>


I thought you'd enjoy this article about XTC mega-fan John "Strawberry"
Fields and his work with Glen Phillips (the mega-awesome former
frontman of perfect pop that was Toad the Wet Sprocket).  Oh, according
to the article, Glen got Jon Brion to work on the album.  So there!


Benjamin Gott
Departments of English & Reading
Assistant Director of Admissions


Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 23:56:31 -0000
From: "Dave Smith" <>
Subject: Are You Re: Quizzing Me?
Message-ID: <>

Greetings, Hillers one and all, and how are we this fine {insert your own
time of day, bloody time zones}

It seems like I haven't posted since the days when your average English
pound would let you take a girl down the the Gaumont and watch Errol Flynn
sail the seven seas in glorious monochrome and still have change left to
invent the interweb, however a coupla things peeked my peeker in #11-4, so
here I go with my usual badly thought out ramblings - dontcha love 'em?

Belinda (Hi B, long time no see!) asked:

"Why has Andy Partridge never appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks?"


"Given the above, isn't there the space on TV for a better more in
depth music quiz?"

In answer to Q1, well, this is UK TV in the "noughties" and there really
isn't any space set aside for programmes, guests on programmes, or viewers
of programmes who might just want to think for themselves and be treated as

As we, the condescending cognoscenti, know only too well, Andy is FAR too
individual for the tastes of modern day TV producers - even for the slightly
rarified fare that "Buzzcocks" still manages to offer once or twice per
series. Besides, how would Messrs Lamarr, Jupitus and Bailey cope with
someone who is more intelligent and funny than them?

Also, I would imagine our Andy (who, by his own admission, can be a prickly
auld sod at times) would hold little truck with some of the teen-band morons
"Buzzcocks" rolls out for ritual humiliation. I very much doubt he would be
able to hide his utter contempt for these talentless, soulless, mindless,
stage-school brats - and while that would make GREAT television for you and
I, the good burghers at Auntie Beeb wouldn't agree.

As to Q2, most of today's TV is written for people with the attention span
of a slightly retarded gnat. And "Buzzcocks" is a format that sells (ie, it
gets decent ratings).

The sad fact of life is an "intelligent" music quiz would be heaven for a
tiny group of sad obsessives who like to think they know everything (like
me), interesting for a few episodes for another small group who find out
they don't know as much as they thought and then become bored - but the vast
majority of the TV-watching audience (the retarded gnats) would watch the
first five minutes of programme one, then switch off moaning that there were
no jokes about willies or girls with implants being humliated by Simon
Cowell. Such is modern TV. Sigh!

Most of the TV Executives and commissioning editors in their forties you
mention are probably now working for BBC4 - where there are some decent
music documentaries and the like on there. If you don't have it, I would
recommend investing.

Changing subject, on the relative merits of Chalkhills and the Idea Forum,
I'm in the camp of the "easy life" so eloquently said by Belinda:

"The reason I don't visit the Ideas website so much is that it is
difficult to navigate around everything.  I mean, this very Chalkhills
posting hits my inbox every so often and I can just read the points /
letters etc and get on with my day, whereas the Ideas site - well you need
to log in and then work out what section you want to read and try and keep
up, and remember to go into it (which I rarely do remember!) and so on."

Amen - I do a catch-up when I can, but I simply don't have the time to catch
up on the Forum every night. And I keep forgetting my username and password
(they say memory is the first thing that goes).

Moreover, I keep forgetting my username and password (they say memory is the
first thing that goes).

Having said that, I REALLY like the fact that both exist, because they do
offer XTC fans both sides of the coin and anything that expands and/or
unites the fan base is a GOOD THING.

Great news about the gathering. I was one of the hard-core faithful who made
an attempt to get the ball rolling again in July 2000, including the fateful
Sunday when we managed to "lose" forum stalwart Youie somewhere between the
pub and the Uffington Horse! I still have nightmares about that - sorry
Youie, glad to see we didn't put you off XTC Brits for life!

Brilliant to see some of the "Forum" members have taken up the challenge - I
hope I can make it along at some point, with my limited edition "Gathering
of the Faithful 2000" T-shirt!

And, as I know it's pretty much illegal NOT to post a list, here's the oick
of the very few albums I bought last year.

Finn Brothers - Everyone Is Here
Rufus Wainwright - Want Two
Brian Wilson - Smile (well, sort of new - don't start, or I'll post a
thousand lines on how I went to see him PERFORM the damn thing at the Royal
Festival Hall in February . . . gloat gloat!)

I must admit, I still do lots of catching up on old stuff - last year saw me
investing too much hard-earned on Split Enz, The Cleaners From Venus,
Kraftwerk, The Blue Nile, Scritti Politti, The Undertones, Ramsey Lewis and
even Elton John's early stuff (you know, back when he was good).

OK, the Elton stuff can be lumped in my "guilty pleasures" box, alongside
the complete works of ELO, Supertramp and "Abacab" by Genesis. What can I
say, I've turned 40 and therefore I've earned the right NOT to be
embarrassed by any of my record collection. Even the embarrassing ones . . .

That's me for the year, enjoy it everyone.


NP - "Mercury Girl" - Cleaners From Venus

Did I mention I keep forgetting my forum username and password (they say
memory is the first thing that goes).


Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 02:27:22 +0000
From: <>
Subject: nonsuch
Message-ID: <>

hi,guys,still think this is their zenith.andy and daves guitar solos
on books are burning are beautiful.the whole album oozes melody and
class.dave mattacks on drums too? i always thought it strange terry
reappeared during the recording.god bless hi

kind regards,  DAVE BANCROFT


Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 18:53:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: using the Jon
Message-ID: <>

I've had the good fortune of catching Jon Brion's
weekly Largo show in LA a couple of times, and I agree
that it would be interesting to connect him with XTC
for a project. I love his songs and his playing, and I
love what he did with the already fabulous Finn

I feel the same about Adrian Belew as a possible
highly interesting connection. However, if and when
another XTC album comes to be, I think guys like that
are unlikely to be chosen. XTC has a long history of
hired gun drummers or producers that are totally
excellent, but not all around jack-of-all-axes who
write and and sing and all that. Sure, Skylarking is
the exception, and a beautiful album, but I suspect
that Andy would be wary of choosing that road again.

I'd also like to thank the Chalker who started the
"suggestions regarding the editoral decisions" thread.
The interesting posts in response to that are one
reason I read Chalkhills, and they came at a critical
time in my own current musical project. They were
helpful, and I ended up cutting a song and shortening
a couple of others because of some of those posts.

My question is this: Long ago, back in the late
nineties, sometime XTC's epic odyssey towards the
delightful Apple Venus albums, there was a thing
called "" where lots of independent artists
could get their stuff noticed. There were artist web
pages and charts where you could juice your song along
by downloading it fifty times, and all sorts of good
action. Since went down in a hail of lawsuits
and Napster dust, where have all the independent
artists gone? What is the most happening place on the
web to promote my new album?




Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 08:19:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Jackson <>
Subject: Desert Island Collection
Message-ID: <>

Seems it's been a while since anybody listed their top ten albums
they'd wish for if marooned on a desert's mine ( in no
particular order) sheesh....kind a shows my age: of/anthologies are no fair....

1) Jim Hendrix - Smash Hits
2) Beatles- Sgt. Peppers
3) Genesis- The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
4) Soundtrack - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
5) Soundtrack - Rain Man
6) XTC- English Settlement
7) Brian Wilson - Smile
8) Paul McCartney - RAM
9) Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
10) Deaf School - Stop the World


Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 19:48:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Seb Maury <>
Subject: wow-ee
Message-ID: <>

a fellow Chalkhillian said: "Biggest disappointment of the year:
Elvis Costello's The Delivery Man CD"

Sometimes this is why I love life so much - that something that has
given me so much pleasure (not to mention the associated tour in the
luscious splendour of the State Theatre in Sydney) should have been
someone's disappointment of the year...

To my ears, Elvis' voice is as sturdy as ever, if perhaps not hitting
quite the emotional highs of the sublime Bacharach collaboration. The
song-writing I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I actually do - the
countrified stylings and plush arrangements reveal their beauty as so
many rose petals being peeled away from the body. The Imposters,
furthermore, are in absolutely cracking form, a point that didn't go
unnoticed during their blistering 2 1/2 hour set at the
above-mentioned gig.

My only problem is the spookily deranged vocal contribution from
Lucinda Williams on "There's a Story".

I love it!

But there you go.

In other news, I will be seeing Rufus Wainwright in 3 different guises
over the next 2 weeks: in the Leonard Cohen tribute "came So Far For
Beauty"; in a family show with mother, sister and aunt; and in a solo
show in an intimate jazz club. Cannot wait...



Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 12:30:44 -0800
From: Steven Reule <>
Subject: Elvis
Message-ID: <>

...this is sort of off-topic, if it is not ok then ... I apologize.
You know I am a big XTC fan but I also love Elvis Costello a lot and
I'll bet many other XTC fans do too.

Anyway, I am taking a poll of people's favorite Elvis Costello album
of the first ten years. Please don't reply on list, just take the poll
at if you want to.

Thank you, in XTC we trust,



Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 11:22:07 -0800
From: "Kelly Freitas" <>
Subject: Two great bands
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalkhillians.

     Long time lurker, first time post. Just wanted to share my unusually
good fortune when on the 26th of January, while at a Psychedelic Furs
concert here in Sacramento Ca. I was able to hear In between the warm up
band and the Furs set, none other than our boy's album Drums & Wires. Who
cares if I was the only one there mouthing the words to all the songs.


Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 19:33:14 -0700
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: Other worthy releases from late 2004
Message-ID: <BAY18-F9A3B0F263EA26F2609D0BA1790@phx.gbl>

Hello Chalkheads!

Ok, maybe I jumped ship when I named Tegan and Sara my favorite album from
last year.  I purchased and recieved a total of 19 cd's in December and my
post holiday shopping/used cd scamming for January is at 26 (yeah, I am an
addict--2,219 cd's and counting... it's better than crack). There was/is
just too much music to devour.

A cd that I totally missed (but you shouldn't) is The Comas "Conductor"
album.  This is album is my new number one from last year.  A little like
Radiohead and little like Weezer and a lot like no one else.  The clincher
at how great this album is on the DVD that comes with it.  It is a complete
mini-movie or set of sequenced music videos of the entire cd.  When E-cd's
started coming out years ago, I was disapointed because the extras were not
really anything to shake a stick at.  The Comas "Conductor The Movie"  is
everything you could want in a multi-media release (though I know every band
could not do this, but many... MANY could do much better on their E-cd

My original top 15 was:

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

The Comas are now at the top, but I am not dropping anyone off + I am adding
David Byrne's "Grown Backwards" and "UNKLE"  Never, Never Land into my list.
  I cannot think of what to drop off... so somewhere in there between 7 and
8... in honor of the Merton-Flemmer building (I just saw Being John
Malkovich again) the extras can be shoved in.

Yeah, I know most of this does not make sense.  Just go buy The Comas.



End of Chalkhills Digest #11-5

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