Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-11

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 11

                 Wednesday, 7 March 2007


                   Re: Studio Trickery
                   Re: Deep frozen XTC
                     XTCish originals
                  my new dream.........
                     This Is The End
                     This is the End
                      i'm baaaaaack!
                      Nouvelle Vague
           Over-stimulated guitar inventiveness
  "All You Pretty Girls" is the MySpace song of the week


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

My blood ran like ice right through.


Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 10:17:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Lee Owens <>
Subject: Re: Studio Trickery
Message-ID: <>

To suggest that "Studio trickery's been around as long as there have
been studios" is absolutely true but to use it as a rationale to
substitute fakery for integrity is one of the reasons we are getting
such inferior product from the minions of the music business these

Auto-tune is no scape goat.  It is definitely one of the main reasons
performances are TOTALLY MANUFACTURED rather than CAPTURED.  They just
sing it up to ten times.....cut and paste the best inflections
together and then tune it. While I have no illusions about them
referring to it as "show-art" IS "show-BUSINESS", there is a
fine line between duping the public into believing someone can sing
when they really can not and the halcyon days when things were done
with punch-ins.  I grew up in recording studios and have spent
literally the past thrity years or so messing about in them.  To
suggest there is a similarity between artists like XTC and 10cc who
used the studio cleverly and the shallow fare (Spears, Simpson, Tim
McGraw, and other total auto tune artists) we have today is sheer
idiocy. Rundgren and Fox and other people used tools to make their
jobs easier but it was usually in the mixing stages (or printing to
make it easier to mix).  Rarely would a vocal be kept if it were
inferior.  Todd has a reputation for been extremely anal retentive
about vocals.  Vari-speed and harmonizers are hardly as powerful a
means to cheat as this.

While I am sure auto-tune has its fine points to aid people who
actually can sing and it can be useful in fixing a bum bass guitar
note long after the bass player has left, it is being misused in the
extreme in the mainstream of the music business.  AND yes....the plug
in is the being used but now they are using racks of it real
time.....SO IS IT REAL OR IS IT AUTO TUNE????????  Where are we going
to draw the line between what is real artistry and what is sheer
unadulterated bullshit???  Do you want the industry to continue to
crank out the garbage it is cranking out?  That is all I have to say
on the subject, any more and we shall have to agree to disagree.



Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 13:11:50 -0800 (PST)
From: The Colonel <>
Subject: Re: Deep frozen XTC
Message-ID: <>

> Now that the former are temporarily permafrosted,
> perhaps we could make a new XTC album on Chalkhills
> - between us.  Doesn't matter what era. I've already
> had some kind advertising space (thanks again John
> Relph) for my XTC White Music-ish song, 'Ellis
> Island' on MySpace (Chalkhills passim). Can we have
> some more? Instead of a covers album, one which
> features original songs which could have been made
> by XTC. Just trying to think positive. Maybe this
> has been mentioned before, in which case, apologies.

Sounds like a cool idea. I have a song called
"Sneaking Suspicion" recorded by my band, The Shake
Ups. It's a dead ringer for 'Drums & Wires'-era XTC,
with maybe even a little 'White Music'-era, thrown in.

You can check out a sample of "Sneaking Suspicion,"
which is track #8, at

...And for anyone who's interested in some good old
guitar pop, full tracks can also be heard at Don't forget to
comment when you stop by!

Finally - and this may be redundant - the album,
entitled 'A Twist Of Lemon,' is available for sale
through CD Baby, Amazon, and ITunes (I recommend the

-The Colonel


Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 07:00:33 -0500
From: Christopher Coolidge <>
Subject: XTCish originals
Message-ID: <>

On Feb 28, 2007, at 11:31 AM, Gary Chalkhills wrote:

> XTC paid tribute to bands they loved via The Dukes of Stratosphear.
> Now that the former are temporarily permafrosted, perhaps we could
> make a new XTC album on Chalkhills - between us. Doesn't matter what
> era. I've already had some kind advertising space (thanks again John
> Relph) for my XTC White Music-ish song, 'Ellis Island' on MySpace
> (Chalkhills passim). Can we have some more? Instead of a covers album,
> one which features original songs which could have been made by
> XTC. Just trying to think positive. Maybe this has been mentioned
> before, in which case, apologies.
> Oh - and I'm not the man to organise it. I refuse to read manuals and
> am therefore only barely able to breathe.

One of the songs I demoed for my old band Welcome Home's fifteenth
year reunion, "I Did It All For You," is a shameless Colin rip, I
must admit. It's one of my better songs in its own right, I'm in no
danger of a copyright infringement lawsuit from Colin, but the main
riff in the chorus is pretty similar to "Ball And Chain." I was
pretty aware of it when I was writing it, but it served the lyrics so
well I changed it just enough so that I won't get sued. It's a
fitting tribute. It's on Welcome Home's Garageband site, if you
search for Welcome Home on Garageband it should come up. I have
another song I wrote in the early 90's but never recorded, it doesn't
have a title even, but asks the question what if Andy moved to
Vermont and wrote "Respectable Street Part 2" about Essex Junction,
VT, the home of the regional IBM plant. I remember the chorus goes
"Your son's got a Little League tryout/You're waiting for your
severance buyout/You bought a new stereo receiver/In every yard a
golden retriever." I've got it in a notebook somewhere in the house
that pops up every now and then, with every song I wrote or at least
started from '91 to about '94. Only three or four of them ever got
demoed even in rough form.

    Then of course there's my "Dear God" answer song "Dear Andy," a
draft of which I forwarded to the list about ten years ago, which is
currently the only version of the song in existence. If somebody
stumbles across it on the Web somewhere, could you forward it to me
so I can edit it? :-)

My former band Welcome Home is celebrating its 20th anniversary this
year! For further information and updates on the upcoming reunion
show, see


Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 09:51:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Michael Myers <>
Subject: my new dream.........
Message-ID: <>

so it goes like this..........  Colin calls Andy up and says he's
sorry for bolting and especially for selling the house he lived in
that just so happened to contain the Idea Records recording studio,
which had to have a huge negative impact on the group's finances.

Colin offers to tear up the contract that he and Andy were living by
regarding the ownership of the band's name and rights in return for 5%
of future profits even though he no longer wants to be involved.  A
quick, successful transfer of rights occurs.

Andy calls up Martin Newell and offers him the position of #2
songwriter in the band because he can provide that English-centric,
jangly song structure that provides a counterpoint to Andy's current
pastoral leanings.  Martin falls off his chair and can't say "yes"
fast enough.

Andy then calls up Dave Gregory and tells him the band is back
together.  Dave picks himself up and runs over to the shed for
rehearsals.  Andy informs the other 2 guys that they need to spend
some time practicing their bass guitar skills, but since both have
extensive experience with that instrument on other projects, this is
not a problem.

Mitchell Froom hears from industry sources that this project is
underway and flies over to produce the new album "The History of the
MIddle Ages" and brings along Tchad Blake to do the engineering.

The album comes out in November of 2007 and the new tunes get enough
airplay and sales to justify a future, and we are all happy!!

Well, I can dream, can't I?



Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 20:27:03 -0500
From: Benjamin Gott <>
Subject: This Is The End
Message-ID: <>


  In honour of the end of XTC, I have compiled an MP3 of some of my
favourite XTC endings:

[ ]

They're in a bit of a random order, but I love them anyway.




Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 10:40:53 -0800
From: "Wayne Klein" <>
Subject: This is the End
Message-ID: <BAY108-F10B57BC7CEA34E00FFBE9FF9860@phx.gbl>

>>     R.I.P. Elephant-Talk, 1991-2007.  Is Chalkhills next?
>Perhaps if Chalkhills is sustained entirely by the hope that XTC as a
>band will get back together soon... or by following Andy's musical
>projects after Monstrance.
>There are however other interests that get expressed here. Common
>musical interests shared by XTC fans is an example ...and Todd has
>certainly been adding fuel to the fire.
>I don't think Chalkhills is "next."

I would agree or at least hope not. Sad about Elephant Talk I'm a bit
surprised. I had signed up for their digest a long time back but completely
forgot about it when i didn't receive the digest. Then I got a test message
and went to the site and --bingo!--no site to go to. Really weird almost
like a visit from a ghost.

>  At least with an XTC project, we knew they
>sang it all, they might have corrected mistakes with a few punch ins but it
>wasn't all cut and paste and then artifically tuning it.

Not true--vocal tuning's been around a long time before autotune came
out in the late 90s: it's been around as long as there have been
harmonizers and varispeed recording, and it was VERY popular to do
this with samplers in the 80s and early 90s. There's an excellent
chance that Todd Rundgren and Paul Fox used these techniques on
Collin and (especially) Andy. Autotune is just the scapegoat.

Steve having listened to Andy and Colin's demos, I doubt that vocal tuning
was used all that much if at all on the albums. Sure, it's possible (and
probably) it was used to fix a bum note or two but I think that I would have
noticed if Andy and Colin were that bad requiring that big a fix.

Actually I kind of like it when Andy and Colin hit a bad note anyway.

Of course I could be wrong and if I am please feel free to illuminate me.

I don't begrudge musicians using all the tools of the trade to help them
live but the whole purpose I go to live concerts is to hear the band warts
and all. I never expect the band to sound like they do in the studio (I know
there are other fans who expect different however).

Todd, thanks for the illuminating and often funny conversations with Mr.
Partridge. I always learn something.

As to chalkhills undergoing the knife and becoming the
discussion I'm OK with that. I'd prefer XTC to stay around but nothing good
lasts forever. I still wouldn't mind seeing Andy hook up with Dave again (as
he did with Barry) and make a great album even if it is full of nothing but
improvised tunes. It would be fun.

A pity that Colin has chosen to slink off into the sunset but I think he's
given us his fans everything we could ask for. For Colin to resume something
resembling a life must be refreshing after the hell that XTC went through
with Virgin and all the personal issues that went on as well. Let's remember
this isn't the first time Colin has quit maybe he just needs some personal
time. Even if he doesn't come back to making music, I think the best thing a
fan can do is enjoy what he has given and let him escape from the music

Who knows at some point he may rediscover the joy of making music just for
himself. I wish him and his family well.



Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 12:56:59 -0500
From: "Danny Phipps" <>
Subject: i'm baaaaaack!
Message-ID: <003201c75dbd$586c1970$95aa0ad8@YOUR6FC9056E3D>

hello all ...

just wanted to let you know, for those remotely interested, i'm back
on the chalkhills mailing list again and it sure feels good to "be
home."  i've missed this place!  i'm eager to read about the latest
goings-on in the world of the xtc-fan and find out how all of you feel
now that it seems pretty apparent the band is indeed history.

can't wait for the first digest to come then .....

... and on an ending note, thanks mr. relph for having me back!!  :-)

/danny (still xtc-ing here in north carolina)


Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 17:52:33 +0000
From: Robert Wood <>
Subject: Nouvelle Vague
Message-ID: <>

Haven't posted on here for years, but thought I should come out of lurk
for this:

Cover of Making Plans... It's really rather good.

Yeah, you've probably all heard it before!

Cheers and back to lurk mode! :~)


Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 10:21:52 +0000
From: Mark Fisher <>
Subject: Over-stimulated guitar inventiveness
Message-ID: <>

The latest blog from Barry Andrews on his MySpace site says Andy P has been
contributing guitar to the next Shriekback album:



Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2007 18:01:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: "All You Pretty Girls" is the MySpace song of the week
Message-ID: <>


Over at the XTCfans MySpace site (, the
song of the week is "All You Pretty Girls.

If you want to know how much the video cost, and what Andy did to
screw up the "too real" Mellotron choir, check out the XTCfans blog
site at


The more I have to drink
The more that I can think to say...


End of Chalkhills Digest #13-11

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