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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #12-23

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 12, Number 23

                   Tuesday, 23 May 2006


                      Re: Elton John
           Re: Elton John, and Jonesy's Jukebox
                   Re: Robyn Hitchcock
Re: Football related songs/Partridge's lack of new warbles
                       Footie song
                       Double Dutch
                  The Artist and the Fan


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Did you think that I would / Help but dance for your piece of paper?


Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 13:20:09 -0400
From: <>
Subject: Re: Elton John
Message-ID: <>

At 10:37 PM, Ryan Anthony wrote:
>I'm coming, grudgingly, to the conclusion that Elton
>John belongs in this super-elite group, although I
>don't yet own anything but *Yellow Brick Road*. (What
>should be acquired next: *Madman*? *Honky Chateau*?)

Try Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across The Water.  Get a newer
reissue of the former which includes "Into The Old Man's Shoes".



Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 11:17:42 -0700
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Re: Elton John, and Jonesy's Jukebox
Message-ID: <>

Ryan Anthony wrote:

> >I'm coming, grudgingly, to the conclusion that Elton
> >John belongs in this super-elite group, although I
> >don't yet own anything but *Yellow Brick Road*. (What
> >should be acquired next: *Madman*? *Honky Chateau*?)

I'm sure others will have answered this already, but here are my
suggestions for what to get next, in order:

1) Honky Chateau -- fantastic album, it's got this great little-known
   song of his, "Rocket Man," not to mention another little ditty by
   the name of "Honky Cat." That's the thing about Elton: he just
   didn't get much exposure in the early to mid-70s...

2) Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy -- another fantastic
   album (even the title says so) and amazingly, if you've never heard
   it before, there are only two songs I can think of from it that
   ever get radio play: the title song and "Someone Saved My Life

3) Tumbleweed Connection -- maybe even more "obscure" than #2, in that
   you will almost never hear any of these songs on the radio, but
   it's consistently great, if not "fantastic"

Beyond these, and what you've already got, things get more
hit-or-miss, but take your pick from "Elton John," "Madman across the
Water," or "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" -- they all have
some great stuff with a few lesser tunes in the mix. And beyond
/that,/ you've got "Rock of the Westies" and "Caribou" to choose from,
which I know both have their supporters, but at least half of each are
fairly lame.

Dave Gershman

***P.S. Completely on a different subject, those of you not already
doing so should most definitely be tuning in to Indie 103.1 for
"Jonesy's Jukebox," ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones' great radio show. Along
with a very eclectic mix of songs, the man conducts an interview like
no one else. The Web site's not that helpful, but just click here
( and listen to him daily
starting at 12:30 Pacific Standard Time, or download one of the
podcasts of his show.***


Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 14:18:33 -0400
From: Steve Maser <>
Subject: Re: Robyn Hitchcock
Message-ID: <p06230915c09115e990a1@[]>

Mike Myers said...

>OK, last point (but since I only write once a year, who's counting?).  I
>heard that Andy is writing with Robyn Hitchcock, and there seems to be
>quite a degree of excitement around these 'Hills.  I'm not sure it holds
>all the promise that some of you are hoping for.  Have you gone back and
>listened to many of Hitchcock's albums?  He is really all over the
>place.  I like his stuff but I think he's going to drive Andy crazy.
>Remember, Andy is a song stylist who likes to write these absolutely
>polished gems.  The melodies are concise but revolutionary.  His words
>are honed as if his very life depended on their meaning; their very
>positioning in a sentence is crucial, and the theme of the song is
>developed so that if there are any double meanings, it is purposeful.
>Hitchcock is almost at the other end of the spectrum.  He eccentricity
>seems to be a force that he cannot control.  He plays chords only
>because he has to; his melodies wander all over the place, and he pays
>very little attention to meter.  I have a hard time listening to
>anything he's ever done for more than 7-8 songs in a row because I find
>it to be an unsettling experience.  I think I have everything he has
>released, going back to his days with the Soft Boys.  I know that they
>both are "quirky" (to use a hated word in these parts), so I am anxious
>to see what they'll come up with, but they sure do have different
>writing styles.  I think that Andy and Elvis Costello would be a more
>interesting pairing, but let's just wait and see.

As a long-time Hitchcock fan (and extremely rare poster to
Chalkhills), I'd have to say a couple of things about this...

There are really two sides (IMO) to Hitchcock -- his
weirdly-alternative stuff (Early Soft Boys) and his
Beatlesque/Byrdsian stuff.  The Soft Boys reunion album shows this
best, I think as there's a combination of both styles all over that
album.  That and I think RH (like AP) is an underrated guitar player.

There are albums of his that get constant rotation in my collection
(Element of Light, Eye, Moss Elixir, Respect, UnderWater Moonlight,
Jewels For Sophia) that are certainly his more mainstream-type albums.
And there are albums that I just can't put on again (Queen Elvis)
because the eccentricity becomes unlistenable.  (Lyrically, I think
he's just brilliant even on his cacaphonous material, though.)

I'm looking at a Partridge/Hitchcock combination the same way I looked
at the McCartney/Costello collaboration.  Some stuff that really kicks
the other in the ass to write at the top of their game (in the way
that Flowers In The Dirt was -- IMO -- McCartney's finest solo album
since BOTR and never equalled since and how "Spike" was ECs last --
again IMO -- consistent album from start to finish (except the
Costello/Bacharach album.)  And I expect it to be more in the Syd
Barrett/John Lennon vein than the jangly Paul McCartney/REM vein.  But
who knows?

Somehow, I'd see AP/EC as something much duller overall (and this is
from somebody who also has every EC album as well).  But that's just

- Steve

Steve Maser (    | Thinking is man's only basic virtue,
Desktop Support Manager          | from which all the others proceed.
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering  |                          -- Ayn Rand


Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 23:17:24 +0200
From: "don device" <>
Subject: Partridge/Hitchcock
Message-ID: <003a01c679f7$4ad40610$743e4251@computer>

Hello all,

I for one am quite interested in hearing the results of such a
collaboration, as I feel that Me Partridge has a bit of 'PaulSimon'-itis, in
that he tends to over polish ideas, sometimes, much as i n "The Pearl of
Wisdom" By H.G. Welles, quite losing the intital point in the process (all
the while coming up with somehitng never less than interesting, and often
breathtaking). Such is the creative process and genius.

I've had an on-again off/again, love/hate relationship with Mr Hitchcock,
whom I began by calling 'Syd Barrett Jr' and ended up quite liking (his
recent Dylan stuff is abit much, but I even like that)... Musicall y at
least. I've met the fellow on a number of occasions (details off-list) and
he's never failed to leave me puzzled, frustrated and vaguely angry... And
this has been going on for 15 years! Hopefully either he'll treat andy with
ore respect or Andy's fur wil be less wrong-way-rubbable (say it three times
fast, go on!)

But a looser Mr Partridge might let loose with a bit more new material (i
don't believe he's not creating it, he's helpless before his muse).

In/re the NEW XTC music debate: I'd be a lot more patient with the wait if
there hadn't been so much whingeing from the band during the 'Strike'. As
much time has passed now, without their being under anyone's boot...

At any rate, I'm a sucker: Can't even wait for the next Warbles...

device out


Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 23:38:10 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: Football related songs/Partridge's lack of new warbles
Message-ID: <>

Hello all

  I'll briefly pop out from under the stone where I normally lurk to
pass comment on two recent threads:

  1) Re the thread requesting football related songs, which mentioned
Half Man Half Biscuit. I feel as a fan of said band that a whole
football related songs compilation CD could be made from Half Man Half
Biscuit songs:

  Dickie Davies Eyes
  Dead Men Don't Need Season Tickets
  Friday Night And The Gates Are Low
  Bob Wilson Anchorman
  Gubba Look-a-likes
  Mathmatically Safe
  Referees Alphabet
  1966 And All That
  All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
  I Was A Teenage Armchair Honved Fan
  Ordinary To Enschede
  Even Men With Steel Hearts
  Paintball's Coming Home (not strictly about football but steals the
	refrain from Three Lions)
  Third Track Main Camera Four Minutes
  Emerging From Gorse

  Anyone who wants to look up a few more or find out more about this
fine and underrated English band (where have I heard that before?)
can check their semi-official website at:

  2) The lack of new material. it's a bit of a drag, but I'm not going
to lose any sleep over it just yet. Should Andy and Colin decide they
have enough material to put out a new XTC album sometime this decade
the chances are they will have waited because of their undoubted
self-imposed quality control. It's not like they've gone down the
normal route for a band at this stage of their career and made a
dreadful covers album is it?

  Just a thought...



Date: Sun, 21 May 2006 14:50:20 +1200
From: "Neil Sheppard" <>
Subject: Footie song
Message-ID: <>

Here's a very good footie song from from toegazerland: Thousand Yard Stare -
"No score after extra time." circa 1992



Date: Sun, 21 May 2006 19:27:27 +0100
From: Mark Fisher <>
Subject: Double Dutch
Message-ID: <>

Killing time changing planes in Amsterdam, I noticed there's a two-page
interview with Andy Partridge in a Dutch magazine called Heaven. There was a
panel in which he selects his favourite (I guess) records, including Trout
Mask Replica and something by Judee Sill.


Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 14:30:27 -0400
From: "Myers, Michael D" <>
Message-ID: <>

Hey there;

I joined a few wweks ago and so far it has been a great,
low-cost way to trade unwanted CD's for ones I want to add to my
collection.  Not on a soapbox for lala, but take a look and maybe try it

Anyway, one of the features on the site is a tool where you input the
name of an artist and the site gives you a list of similar artists.  I
popped "Andy PArtridge" in for fun, and here's what resulted (in this

Pink FLoyd, XTC, Rolling Stones, Johannes Brahms, Buffalo Daughter,
Morphine, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Ennio Morricone, THhBand, Hans Zimmer,
U2, Beach Boys, Tuxedomoon, Little Feat, Gontiti, Frank Zappa, Ben E.
King, Madness, Gary Wilson, Dukes of Stratosphear, Bobby Conn, Big Boys,
Spinal Tap

Pretty funny, huh?  Some of them seem to be off by a mile while others
are seeming influences on our boy.

When I pumped "XTC" in, the list was not very similar and included TMBG,
Kinks, Gomez, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Jayhawks, Steve Earle, Johnny
Cash, Byrds, Elvis Costello, Smiths, New Order, Cure, Tori Amos, Guided
by Voices, Magnetic Fields, REM, Aimee Mann and Crowded House.



Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 09:03:31 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: The Artist and the Fan
Message-ID: <BAY109-F14FD06A410BC38AD47D4F4D09A0@phx.gbl>

Re: Phipps Spits His Chips

>if i come across here as pissed (angry, not drunk), then maybe it's
>because lately you've made me feel jipped as an xtc fan!  could it be,
>as an artiste / perfectionist, you've got too many pokes in the fire
>there?  or more a situation of you simply becoming comfy from resting
>on your laurels instead?  yup, just sit back and watch those
>occasional royalty checks roll right in, eh?  and all from "selling
>you stuff that you really do not need."  hmmm ....

It's easy to sit back as a consumer and demand a stream of product from an
artist, since all we have to do is walk into a store and pick up their
releases.  That's as far as the Artist / Fan Contract should go, as far as
I'm concerned.  Buying an album does not mean the Artist is my friend and I
now have the right to approach them on the street and waste their time.  It
simply means I've bought an album.

It also doesn't give me the right to demand more product, since, at the end
of the day, the Band spends far more on making an album than I can ever
reimburse them.  I bought `Oranges and Lemons' on CD for the bargain price
of $30 Australian.  The same album cost Andy, Colin and Dave $400,000 US.
Would you ever believe in your Art to that extent?

There's 10 main XTC albums, and a few other compilations and releases.  For
the sake of argument we'll say there's 22 releases.  If I'd paid the premium
price for all of the releases, (and, sadly, the first five albums were all
`mid-price' when I first picked up the CDs), I've probably donated roughly
$660 Australian Dollars to the XTC Cause.

How much of that did the band see?  Let's be far more generous than Virgin
probably was and say the band saw 10% of that money, (and I'm sure the
reality was more like 2.5% or less).  I can roughly work out that my
personal investment in XTC has been 26 Pounds, split three ways.

Since `Apple Venus' involved recording with an Orchestra and Abbey Road
Studios, and its release barely troubled the chart-makers, I'd say it's
highly likely they're still deep in the red for that album, hence the recent
re-release, (possibly, somewhat sadly, a repackaging of returned unsold

That's all I've given the best band in existence, when they've given me so
much enjoyment over the years, and whose songs have influenced, educated and
awed me.

26 Bloody Pounds.  And that's a very generous estimate.

I think `Easter Theatre' alone is a bargain at that price.

Still feel like you have any right to 'demand' anything from the band?


End of Chalkhills Digest #12-23

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