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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #15-12

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 15, Number 12

                  Thursday, 14 May 2009


                   Dukes reissues vinyl
Chips From the Chocolate Fireball? This is Hot Chocolate!!
             biting the heads off chickens?!
 "Life Begins at the Hop" is the MySpace song of the week


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Well, all I wanted was fame to feed my ego.


Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 22:27:12 -0700
From: Benjamin Lukoff <>
Subject: Dukes reissues vinyl
Message-ID: <>

Do we know if the vinyl reissues will include the new liner notes, etc.? I'm
thinking of waiting to buy them if so, but if not will probably spring for
the CDs.


Date: Tue, 05 May 2009 23:30:53 -0400
From: Kevin wollenweber <>
Subject: Chips From the Chocolate Fireball? This is Hot Chocolate!!
Message-ID: <>

Chalkmarks, All:

Wow, I received my copies of 25 O'CLOCK and SONIC SUNSPOT (ordered from within the past two weeks and I am totally amazed and delighted
with these.  I only wish that the forthcoming reissues of some of the
classic XTC albums were going to be packaged in this way!  This is the
classy form I'd wanted, originally, to see these two releases reissued and,
now, finally, my dream has come true!

And the sound is something awesome, truly multi-dimensional.  I always liked
the trickery with stereo on the first track, the title tune of 25 O'CLOCK,
with the drums sounding very close to what a drum kit would have sounded
like on records of that period, jazz or acid-powered.

In Todd Bernhardt's interview with Ian Gregory, the Pretty Things were sited
as influence.  I had thought of Iron Butterfly, but now, I'll have to listen
carefully to any Pretty Things albums of the period to see what else I can
pick up.always liked that keyboard solo on that track, along with the guitar
solo.  It was said, in the afore-mentioned interview that less time and
money was spent on this e.p.; well, that worked to the e.p.'s advantage,
making the music sound rougher, as if one had actually unearthed this music
as that from some unsigned relic of the 1960's found among reels of
recording tape in some failing record company's vaults somewhere.

I'll tell ya, if Andy, Colin, Dave, Ian and anyone else involved with XTC
decided to get back together for anything, I would hope it would moreso be
the Dukes, so they can have fun just throwing around their influences
instead of trying to one-up themselves as XTC.  Yeah, I know, Andy Partridge
may have exorcised his NUGGETS demons by this time and moved on, but
remember how diverse that music could be.  Lennon & McCartney were toying
with some Tin Pan Alley influences and making them downright subversive at

Thanks to all who made these DUKES reissues possible, and here's hoping that
the remasterings and expandings of the XTC albums are this wonderful,
especially the one album that did not see any upgrade as yet, RAG AND BONE
BUFFET which, while it might be just an album of rare outtakes and B-sides,
plays out like an amazing concept album, perhaps because one song flows so
seamlessly into the next.  For all I know, the demos and rareties planned
for that album might prove that there's yet another ambiguous full disk
"concept" of sorts of these strange and unissued cuts out there.

Like I've said before, I never thought of our favorite artists as
mass-producers, even though I'm greedy for more, more, more when it comes to
my favorite music; so, when the members of a defunct band get back together,
it may as well be over something at which they can have some fun and not
feel as if they always have to be more amazing than the last effort.  Any
collection of NUGGETS can greatly inspire.  Look what its done for so many
bands of the '90's who were fans of the stuff or became fans of the stuff
through discovering the classic albums once reissued.

One can only imagine what kind of inspiration might happen once the Beatles'
entire catalog is upgraded one more time this coming September, although
that's not a good example since the Beatles' music never did go out of
circulation.  I hear the Dukes in the Zombies, Iron Butterfly, the Nazz, the
the Small Faces and even some selected prog rock favorites that slink
slightly into the realm of psychedelia in the way they were recorded, like
"Raconteur Troubadour" by GentleGiant.  The studio is such a great

Kevin Wollenweber


Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 13:13:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: biting the heads off chickens?!
Message-ID: <>

those of the chalk,

in the last post ryan anthony writes:

"and I still don't know if there's any truth to the rumor that
Becki DiGregorio takes the stage in full KISS makeup and bites
the heads off chickens."

i believe those rumors started when i was in attendance at the
"rent a musician day" benefit held recently in the bay area.  the
dress was casual-formal (you know: tuxes and converse) and someone
brought their pet chicken in full "kiss" decor.  i bent over to pet 
its little scary head, and lo! a flash from a nearby reporter, some
quick alteration in "photoshop" and voila! -- you can imagine the

egads, ryan, you're just gonna' have to come to one of my gigs and
find out for yourself, now, hmm??

i'll be doing a short set at a (real) benefit coming up next month
here in the south bay and will put the deets up on my myspace page
as soon as i get 'em:

why not bop over for some tunes and buy me a pint??

and regarding dave's show this week: such a shame i'm not at all
closer, i'd be there in a heartbeat.  i'm only hoping this isn't a
one-off event, and perhaps i can make it to another such dave gig
sometime in late summer or early autumn.  i -may- be in the
u.k. playing a few dates myself with some keen musicians i've met
here, so if our schedules permit/overlap then i'll be there!  being
able to see dave live is a treat -- i did many years ago when he was
touring with aimee mann, and for me he stole the show.  i'm so glad
our most talented dave is continuing to play and rock out.  i just
wish i could be there at this first gig, it sounds like a brilliant
evening awaits.


--becki, mostly vegetarian


Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 18:14:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: "Life Begins at the Hop" is the MySpace song of the week
Message-ID: <>


Over at the XTCfans MySpace site (, the
song of the week is "Life Begins at the Hop."

If you want to know why the band would often find themselves "playing
the first part of the song ass-about-face," or why Colin changed his
songwriting style around this time, check out the XTCfans blog site at

Tell me what do you say
Life begins at the hop, boys and girls...



End of Chalkhills Digest #15-12

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