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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #14-14

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 14, Number 14

                  Tuesday, 22 April 2008


                        movie news
               The 10th best new wave band?
                Tripping Over Shakespeare


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They use the head, and not the fist.


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 04:47:02 -1000
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: movie news
Message-ID: <>

"Searching for Colin Moulding"

Plot summary:

Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball
when one day he discovers his father's XTC music collection. Showing
unusual precocity on the bass at the outdoor open mike afternoons at
Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a
hustler named Vinnie who teaches him XTC bas riffs. Josh's parents
hire a renowned bass coach, Bruce, and together they search England
for Colin Moulding, the famous XTC bass prodigy who disappeared some
years before. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and
bass in general and purposely misses a gig, leaving the prospects of
ever finding the elusive Mr. Moulding in serious jeopardy.




Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 11:00:28 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Subject: We_Are_Amused,_Plus_Ca_Change_Division
Message-ID: <>

While perusing Wikipedia, brushing up on the development of audio
technology for a little project I'm working on, I came across this
passage (original at

"a... review of RCA Dynagroove recordings notes that "some listeners
object to the ultra-smooth sound as ... sterile ... such distortion-
forming sounds as those produced by loud brasses are eliminated at the
expense of fidelity. They prefer for a climactic fortissimo to blast
their machines ..."

That review was published in 1963.

I dunno. When I listen to music, I hear notes-n-lyrics-n-stuff. I like
it to be clear, I like a nice, roomy reverberation, I like a banjo to
sound like a well-set-up banjo and not a plunky little thumpy gut-
stringed cigar-box. But good music is good music. Bad music is bad
music. No amount of production trickery or compression or equalization
is going to rescue bad music, or degrade good music. If I think a
record sucks, I think it sucks because the notes-n-lyrics-n-stuff
suck, not because there's a microscopic distortion at a frequency only
my dog can hear.

It's like complaining about an edition of Shakespeare because you
don't like the choice of typeface. Are you reading words-words-words,
or are you looking at 10/12 Garamond Premier under a magnifying glass
and tutting because Adobe's version skimped on the serifs by a
thousandth of a pica? It may as well be that modern production induces
anomie -- I am no expert on the matter -- but surely that anomie is
dwarfed by that produced by one's realization that the music, you
know, sucks?

Spoken as a guy who hasn't listened seriously to a contemporarily-
produced record in years, o' course. And I'm stuck deeply in the 1920s
at the moment, for professional reasons. Them old Okeh 78s, Fiddlin'
John Carson, Charlie Poole,  nothin' ever sounded better.

Harrison "Even in MP3" Sherwood


Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 09:05:12 +0200
From: "Sandahl Martin " <>
Subject: The 10th best new wave band?
Message-ID: <2C1D5FF8E6DB8341919062DF78DC323E014A7518@celebes.sid.earl>

The list must be upside down...


Martin Sandahl


Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 12:50:54 +0000
From: <>
Subject: Tripping Over Shakespeare
Message-ID: <BAY128-W3336BFA688914DE36BEEC1D0E50@phx.gbl>

DM happened to bring up Trip Shakespeare's 'Lulu', which is considered their
best album, but is the only album in their short discography, (1988-1991), I
was never able to physically find a copy of.  Back before the ease of
locating albums via Ebay or Amazon, it took a lot more legwork to turn
things up, and by the time the technology was there, they'd fallen off my

The coincidences here are starting to feel bizarre, due to this chain of

My fandom of Michigan band 'Great Lakes Myth Society' made me investigate
the solo album by one of the singers, Timothy Monger, who wrote a passionate
piece of writing explaining how important Trip Shakespeare was to him as a
young musician.

This made me dig out their 1990 release 'Across The Universe', which i
haven't heard for years, and, due to my recent mastering experiments, be
blown away by how great the cd sounded.  The vocal prescence and
instrumental seperation on the first track 'Turtledove', sounded vibrant and
exciting, so much so that i *had* no choice but to analyse it.  (Average RMS
-15.28 dBs, 51.55 dBs dynamic range)

At the same time, i'd read a promising review of Dan Wilson's 'Free Life',
and ordered it offline.  I was particularly taken with the song 'Against
History', but noted my inability to play it really loud and get through the
entire song without feeling tired, even though i loved it.  It's a shame
because the songwriting and performances are solid, but the CD is simply
mastered too loud.  (Average RMS -8.54 dBs, 39.5 dBs dynamic range, with 253
clips, causing regular Random Harmonics - the longest gap being 0.249 ms -
hence my obvious 'fatigue' response when listening loud).

Anyway, it was only reading DM's post today that i made the connection:  Dan
Wilson was Trip Shakespeare's Dan Wilson.  The article made no mention of
it.  I didn't think I remembered his name - I bought those albums a *long*
time ago.  I was confused as to why i even bought 'Free Life' in the first
place.  I guess i made the unconcious connection.  But how weird that two
albums released 18 years apart by what i thought were two unrelated artists
but weren't happened to be two I particularly focused upon during my recent
mastering experiments?

Now of course, i'm wondering why this chain of events is happening.  Is it
vitally important that I complete the set and finally hear 'Lulu', 17 years
after the fact?  Given DM's rave review, and the fact that there's seemingly
hardly any modern cds being sold that are designed to be actively listened
to, rather than just annoying and tiring you, means that i probably have no
other viable music option anyway, other than making it myself.

I guess I'd better take the plunge, or I get the feeling Mr. Wilson might
turn up on my doorstep.


End of Chalkhills Digest #14-14

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