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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #15-3

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 15, Number 3

                Saturday, 17 January 2009


Becki's Back? XTC's "Back"? Ooh, Life Suddenly Got Good Again!
           Re: Fleet Foxes/more year end Faves
               new reissues + best of 2008
          Andy and Collin, and maybe Dave, too.
  "Across This Antheap" is the MySpace song of the week
                        Chuck Sabo
English Settlement makes the Guardian's MS Paint album covers gallery
                 Don't Believe The Hype!


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Her long black beard is her pride and joy.


Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 18:10:30 -0500
From: Kevin wollenweber <>
Subject: Becki's Back? XTC's "Back"? Ooh, Life Suddenly Got Good Again!
Message-ID: <>

Hello, all, and Happy 2009!

For once, I'm rather delighted with the political turn of things, but I say
that with caution, because politics will *NEVER* entirely know how to behave
itself in public!

I guess I've been suffering under the doldrums.  As a matter of fact, I
don't know if I've corresponded with the list since I lost my job in April,
2008.  I've had about as much to say to people as Colin Moulding, I guess,
but music still keeps me breathing and that is good, even if the majority of
things I've been buying with what cash I have to toy around with has been
reissued items.  Music is always there in one form or other, whether good
solid songwriting, good parody or interesting old animated cartoon scores to
keep me envisioning favorite moments, it will always be there!

And how nice, by the way, to see Becki DiGregorio's name popping up again!
I do wish that she were making that album she was eagerly talking to me
about in our last correspondence, but I guess that others are fulfilling
that dream very nicely, and who wants to be just another genre, anyway!
Life in the music business was much nicer when you weren't neatly

I am sorry, as always, to hear that Andy and Colin ended the XTC name on bad
terms.  I don't so much mind that the band is no more, but it shouldn't have
ended so badly.

But it is nice that so much of the music is being issued and expanded.  I
like the Japanese mini-LP's, but there is nothing like seeing the good music
acknowledged as the true art that it is, especially since, in this
particular case, there are always great B-sides to be had.  I, too, would
absolutely love to know more details about the reissuesdates, news of
pre-orders, etc.  I've been searching on websites, but there is no date as
yet as far as I know.

So, on this, the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' self-titled "white" album,
XTC is the one being honored as the Fab Four should also be honored, but
that's okay.  Pop is good and all is right with the world!

Becki, thanks for popping up again, and maybe I'll give your musical protege
a listen.  I trust your judgment implicitly ever since I got both your CD's.
That chair ain't always so empty!

Have a wonderful year, all, and keep the good music flowing.  Now, more than
ever, I think we're all gonna need a dose!

Kevin Wollenweber


Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 16:55:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Steve <>
Subject: Re: Fleet Foxes/more year end Faves
Message-ID: <>

Dave Seddon wrote:

''[the music of Fleet Foxes] fills me with joy.  It has genuine
beauty.  You will picture forests in England, horses galloping, the
American Civil War, snow filled Breugel-like scenes, birds soaring.
It is a sensual album.''

I like that... the joy of the Civil War. You didn't mention these guys
are from Seattle.  Listening on MySpace I can see how it might capture
the pastoral xtc fans.

My faves of the year:
Robert Walter Trio - Cure All
Will Bernard - Blue Plate Special
Bobby Previte & The New Bump - Set The Controls For Monday
Beta Popes - White Hate

XTC still holds up, even with my teeagers who listen to top 40.

Another Steve


Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 05:32:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Happy Puppy Records <>
Subject: new reissues + best of 2008
Message-ID: <>

Happy 2009 all,

> expanded, two-disc versions
> of English Settlement, Skylarking, and Oranges and Lemons...

Hmm..very interesting. I'm mostly concerned that these new reissues
will be mastered badly, like the last round were (that ol' loudness

I recently pulled out my original CD copy of Big Express, only to
discover some nice brozning around the edges.  Luckily, I was able to
make a CD-R backup before any of the music got wrecked.  My original
CD issue of Skylarking wasn't so lucky, however.

I'm interested to see just how much Andy and EMI can pull out of the
cupboard that we don't already have....except maybe for the bonus
discs to be DVDs...?

Oh, and my best of 2008 (in order):

10. Catie Curtis - Sweet Life
9.  Sophie Zelmani - The Ocean and Me
8.  Dido - Safe Trip Home
7.  Marit Larsen - The Chase
6.  Kathryn Williams and Neill Macoll - Two
5.  Kat Flint - Dirty Birds
4.  Joe Jackson - Rain
3.  The Weepies - Hideaway
2.  Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek - Upojenie
1.  Eliza Gilkyson - Beautiful World



Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:46:33 -0800 (PST)
From: Kzincat <>
Subject: Andy and Collin, and maybe Dave, too.
Message-ID: <>

>Andy was quoted as saying there was "Zero" chance of a new album by
XTC. "I detest bands getting back together. It's sad, degrading, and daft.
Unless you're going to be better than you were in, say, your twenties, you
shouldn't do it... Colin and I have recently fallen oout and I would like to
>repair it. It's worse than divorce when members of the old gang fall out."

Perhaps Andy should realize that working on a new XTC album with
Collin might just be the thing that gets them *all* back together as
friends. It would make me feel like his friend if I could do that, and
I am sure Dave Gregory feels the same way!

Dave in Detroit, XTC band councelor


Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 18:21:17 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: "Across This Antheap" is the MySpace song of the week
Message-ID: <>


Over at the XTCfans MySpace site (, the
song of the week is "Across this Antheap."

If you want to know what Jack Kirby had to do with the song, or why
"Saltzgitter's processed-meat industry took a big leap forward in the
late '60s," check out the XTCfans blog site at

Still segregating 'cause we insects are too proud
Doesn't matter what colour of cat you are, there's no dogs allowed.



Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 22:26:19 -0500
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Chuck Sabo
Message-ID: <>

Friends of Landru,

A few days back I was emptying my spam folder and just before it
disappeared into the ether I saw the words "Chuck Sabo" in the subject
of one of the messages.  But it was too late.  The messages were
deleted forever.  Another false positive lost to the dark side.

So if you sent a message to Chalkhills or to me personally regarding
Chuck Sabo, please send it again.  I never received it the first time
because it was intercepted by the spam filters.

Sorry about that.

	-- John


Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:36:42 -0800
From: Benjamin Lukoff <>
Subject: English Settlement makes the Guardian's MS Paint album covers
Message-ID: <>
"Holly Richards goes green with this oddball classic"

Benjamin D. Lukoff /
profile: | blog: | articles: | photos:

"An obituary on Tuesday about Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock
group Pink Floyd, referred incorrectly to a school he attended. The school,
the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, is an independent day school founded
by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, a guild; it is not a school for
haberdashers." --The New York Times, September 17, 2008


Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 00:58:33 +0000
From: <>
Subject: Don't Believe The Hype!
Message-ID: <COL107-W2081DDECA05CB324843D4DD0D50@phx.gbl>

Ok, my Top Ten Of 2008


I have absolutely nothing.

I honestly have heard nothing this year that wasn't just a far inferior
version of the sound of previous critically-acclaimed band/s, and am utterly
shocked by just how low the public's standards of song-writing, musicianship
and performance have fallen to be so easily impressed by rubbish that is
being consistently trumpeted as being `albums of the year' across the board
by seemingly every magazine and website.

I can't stand this anymore!  In the interest of equal time, I would like to
quickly put the boot into two critically-adored records, which are not
simply the worst of the year, but are bad enough to make me look back on
whatever horrid bands were bestowed with last year's unwarranted hype with
fond affection.


`Graceland' was obviously referenced in the Press Release, for every
reviewer to constantly spit out the reference on cue.  Either that or it's
your Average White Rock Critic's only reference for what supposedly
constitutes `world music'.

Now, imagine Paul Simon without the lyrical intelligence and guitar playing
ability, and add an obnoxious dose of Ironic Hipster.  Suffer through
groove-based songs held together by a drummer with only the most rudimentary
sense of time-keeping, and a band with no sense of how to play counter
rhythms, let alone keep time with each other.

If you can make it through `Mansard Road', which sounds like a
badly-quantised TR808 drum machine trying to hump a Commodore 64 running a
cassette copy of `Wonder Boy', circa 1986, fronted by someone desperately
ashamed of their own ethnicity, as the guitarist attempts , (and fails), to
play `Zorba's Theme', then you're a far braver man than I am.

Why suffer through 34 minutes of this, when you can simply loop `You and the
clouds will still be beautiful' 8   times?

Bonus Boos for making me reconsider the mellotron as being `possibly crap'
in this context.


This one absolutely confuses me.  Largely acoustic-based songs played by a
guitarist who has no particular skill with guitar, which means long minutes
pass with downstroked basic guitar chord after downstroked guitar chord
topped by a moany vocal, which I assume was recorded in a toilet, which is
probably where the song-writing skill was fished from.  There's some harmony
work, but it's as adventurous as your Granny's Saturday night doing a

What also really ticks me off is when I do *exactly the same thing*, ie.
Crap, poorly-recorded, badly-played acoustic guitar demos, (except with at
least a melody), no-one's even remotely impressed, let alone anyone from
Pitchfork offering to deify me.

I'm also confused by the fact that Richard Swift put out albums in 2005 and
2007 that were pretty much the same thing, except with more adventurous
harmonies, better guitar playing, and a voice like Rufus Wainwright.
Neither were albums of the year on any list I saw, but I suppose he wasn't a
Poor Tortured Artist because his girlfriend left him, (she probably was sick
of hearing him play his terrible songs), though, thankfully, he just locked
himself in a cabin instead of buying some black eyeliner and cutting
himself, since Being Emo is worse than 'For Emma, My Pretentious Comma', but
only marginally.

Yeah, yeah.  It was recorded in a cabin.  Big Deal.  If you must buy into
this Hipster Faux-Americana myth, (which is always like listening to White
College Students masturbate with copies of the Smithsonian Folkways
Collection), at least try someone with a hell of a voice, like William
Elliot Whitmore.  Otherwise we're going to end up with nothing but a bunch
of Future Accountants and IT Specialists constantly churning out forced-twee
`I'm Sticking With You'-style rubbish and expecting accolades while the rest
of us softly vomit blood.

If Bon Iver is supposedly the best of what 50+ years of rock and roll have
boiled down to, then we desperately need a new XTC record.


End of Chalkhills Digest #15-3

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