Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-339

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 339

                Thursday, 16 December 1999

Today's Topics:

                         RIP Rick
                   RIAA certifications
                       my 1 moment
                  drop into Idea studios
                  Rumblings & Ramblings
                   re: ringo drum solo
                        Y2K et al
  Genre Bending, Colaborations, and one very strange Al.
                Whoops, forgot to mention.
                 success! and Joe Jackson
                     I Am The Wha????
                  Overlooked CDs of '99
                      drugs n' such
Taking drugs and seeing movies in the last year of the '90s, dammit
                  Elvis, Bruce and Andy
            Apple Venus Volume 1 sales figures


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Countdown to Christmas / 9 days!


Message-ID: <>
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: RIP Rick
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 09:17:17 -0500


Michael Stone let us know the bad news about The Band's Rick Danko. Too bad.
A distinctive bass player and singer, as Michael said.

I also heartily recommend The Band's stuff. With New Year's coming up,
people might want to check out what I consider the best overview of Robbie
Robertson's writing and all of The Band's performing talents -- "Rock of
Ages" is a live album that they recorded on New Year's Eve/early morning,
1971/72. Stunning stuff. Garth Hudson's note-bending organ antics are alone
worth the price of admission.

Life is a carnival (believe it or not),


Message-ID: <0D276A818C6BD311848A0008C70890E2022365@USINTEX02JFK>
From: "Cerquone, Suzanne" <>
Subject: RIAA certifications
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 07:47:46 -0800

Cole wrote:

>>I checked the RIAA database (at, and it seems XTC has no gold
records in the United States. For a US gold record, a band has to sell
500,000 copies of an album (a platinum is 1 million, and the
recently-instated "diamond" is 10 million). I wasn't surprised, really,
but I was still hoping to see Skylarking or O&L (the two most likely
candidates) in there.<<

It could very well be that XTC *did*sell a gold record (it would seem most
likely for O&L), but that the record company didn't register this with the
RIAA.  I work in the music business and have, ahem, seen this happen.  This
is because most record contracts state that record labels have to pay higher
royalties once they've gone gold or platinum.  Considering XTC's past
problems with Virgin and Geffen, I'm not surprised...



Message-ID: <>
From: Steve Sims <>
Subject: my 1 moment
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 11:33:09 -0800

Short and to the point...  My fave XTC moment is the beginning of verse 3
in "Science Friction" when the kettle drums kick in.  It's just so
unexpected for a song that has been screeching along up until that point.

Merry Holidays - Steve


Message-ID: <011b01bf4590$5ab6cd80$>
From: "Bob Estus" <>
Subject: drop into Idea studios
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 09:34:47 -0800

Xmas wishes to all,

Fellow chalkers, would you like to send Andy, Colin, and Nick Davis
(producer xtraordinaire) a holiday email directly into their studio? Here's
your chance!!!

Through a peculiar twist of fate I have acquired Nick Davis' email address
in the studio. I'm not sure when the guy's will break for the holidays, but
I thought it would be grand to send them a consolidated Xmas note.

Here's how to participate:

1. Compose a *short* (one paragraph) holiday greeting to Andy, Colin and
Nick. If you send me something too long clipping will occur.

2. Sign the bottom with Name, City, State/Province, Country.

3. Subject line must read "xmas wishes"

4. Send to letter to by Friday the 17th.

and thanks for participating,

5. Don't bother asking, I'm not giving out  the address... :^)

[Attachment omitted, unknown MIME type or encoding (message/external-body)]


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 14:37:46 -0600
From: "David Martin" <>
Subject: Rumblings & Ramblings

Seventh Grade Says:

1. Who gives a rats ass about Joe Jackson. Just because he gives 23
chromosomes to Tito, Michael, Marlon, Janet, Andrew, Victoria, Keith
and Samuel L. don't mean he's someone who Evis would want to work
2. The only thing we don't like about winter is the temperature.
3. I look for XTC in license plates. I find all combinations but the
correct one.
4. XTC spottings: KTCK 1310 The Ticket, sports talk radio in Dallas.
XTC is a favorite of radio personality, Gordon Keith. Reach him at .
5. Where is David Sedaris' new book?
6. I have a progressive dinner to go to this Saturday night and I
gotta take a stinkin' "white elephant" gift. What a whipping!
7. God makes the world go round. She does this so no one gets fried.
8. Viking draft day better be loaded with D.

Atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of Man.
                                                 Francis Bacon

Vaya con Dios,

Senor Martin


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 17:08:09 -0500
From: george toledo <>
Organization: home
Subject: re: ringo drum solo

for some reason ringo's drumming has become a point of debate. i have
read, i believe, in the abbey road recording sessions logue or a music
magazine, that some speculate that the drum solo performed on abbey road
was performed by paul. he had prodded ringo to play a solo, but ringo
flatly refused, so the 'story' goes. Can anyone clarify the issue?

I also find it interesting to hear how some of you were introduced to
xtc. I was introduced to xtc through a strange set of circumstances. I
happened to be reading a book on psychedelic rock at a university
library, waiting for a class to start, when the fire alarm went off.
With book in hand, i headed for the escape and exited the building.
Later that day , i discovered i still had the book and skimmed through
it again, reading about xtc. the author described them as good, but "too
clever". this description left me mystified. too clever?

so anyway, a few days later i noticed oranges and lemons at the record
store for 3 bucks. i picked it up, got home, listened and thought, well
at least the cover art looks good. I thought it kind of sucked. but as
with some music, it took some to sink in. I think the production style
of the record kind of shut me off- it seemed too artificial and dead,
with no grit. Strangely, it still strikes me that way- it's just that i
like those qualities about it. of course, their other albums are each
very different from one another.

as far as elvis versus joe, elvis is probably the better- mostly because
of his prolificity. he has written a greater amount of good songs than
joe. That being said, he's probably written more bad ones too.
Joe is definitely a better emoter- Costello can put up a wall. It's also
annoying when he(elvis) starts singing a real crap lyric
melodromatically , in a futile effort to imbue it with some meaning. You
just want to go- spend some more time on it , godamnit!

Oh well, hope you don't mind my venting......... george toledo


Message-ID: <002e01bf45c3$fc63c740$010aa8c0@jhd1>
From: "Jon H-D" <>
Subject: Y2K et al
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 23:41:26 -0000

Ah well, the annual missive, with special bonus Y2K statement (ignore at
your peril).

First, those 'triffic terpsichorean highlights of 1999 (excluding the
obvious) - not many of 'em mentioned on this list, mainly filed under
'DANCE', no particular order (no, I don't work for Ninja Tune, or !K7) :-

Coldcut "Let Us Replay !" Ninja Tune ZEN CD39
Jim O'Rourke "Eureka" Domino Recording Company WIGCD62 / 5 034202 006220
Romanthony & DJ Predator "Instinctual" Glasgow Underground Recordings GUCD7
Orbital "The Middle Of Nowhere" FFRR / London Records 556 076-1
Kruder & Dorfmeister "DJ Kicks" !K7 !K7046CD
Spring Heel Jack "Treader" Tugboat Records / Island TUGCD009
The Herbaliser "Very Mercenary" Ninja Tune ZEN CD41
Banco De Gaia "The Magical Sounds Of Banco De Gaia" Gecko Records GKOCD001
Mr Scruff "Keep It Unreal" Ninja Tune ZEN CD42
Plaid "Rest Proof Clockwork" Warp WARPCD63
The Beta Band "The Beta Band" Regal Recordings REG 30 CD / 7243 5 20016 2 0
Kid Loco "Kid Loco Presents Jesus Life For Children Under 12 Inches" Yellow
Productions / East West 3984 26912 2 / EW851
Supergrass "Supergrass" Parlophone 7243 5 22056 2 2
Tosca "Chocolate Elvis" G-Stone G-Stone CD 006
Pepe Deluxe "Super Sound" Catskills Records RIDCD002 / 5 037454 707020
The Gentle People "Simply Faboo" Rephlex CAT 088 CD
Cinematic Orchestra "Motion" Ninja Tune / Vital ZEN CD45 / 5 021392 19912
Kid Loco "Dj-Kicks:" !K7 !K7081CD
Peace Orchestra "Peace Orchestra" G-Stone G-CD 004
Prince "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic" Arista / NPG Records 07822-14624-2 CD

Finally, on the Y2K front, please make the following amendments to the
artwork for the track listings on your XTC records (this is ESSENTIAL -
failure to do so.... well, just do it - OK ?) - note, for brevity, I am only
giving examples - if you would like the full listing, please fuck off :-

Go2: Non-Y2K-compliant. Please dispose of this item.
White Music: Do What Kou Do; Statue of Libertk
drums and wires: dak in dak out; that is the wak
Black Sea: Fully Y2K-compliant
English Settlement: Runawaks; Kacht Dance
Mummer: Love on a Farmbok's Wages; Toks
The Big Express: Washawak; The Everkdak Stork of Smalltown
Skklarking: Ballet for a Raink Dak; Big Dak
Oranges and Lemons: The Makor of Simpleton; King for a Dak
Nonsuch: Wrapped in Grek
AV Vol. 1: Oh Sod It, don't bother. No, honestly, forget it. Go on - piss

Jon "Ooh-ya, ooh-ya, ooh-ya" Holden-Dye


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 18:54:03 -0800
Subject: Genre Bending, Colaborations, and one very strange Al.
From: "Diamond" <>


>what genre would one place XTC. Is it  considered New Wave,
>Post Punk, Pop, Adult Contemporary, or Urban Contemporary (like the sales
>clerk thought)?

Oh god, I hate this... I'm not blaming you here, but... god, why do we
really need to place a band in a genre. XTC are XTC. I understand that there
are certain circumstances where one is forced to refer to a band's genre,
like in the example you showed, but I really hate when I have to try to
describe XTC to someone. I'd rather show them the music, and let it speak
for itself.

The people I think Andy should colaborate with:

Adrian Belew & the bears (re-united): with Andy on lead vocals, and Adrian
and Andy alternating solos like on Books. (By the way, whoever suggested
Belew as permenant replacement for Dave, Right on! Excellant choice.
Couldn't think of someone better suited for the job [besides dave himself,
of course])

They Might Be Giants: with Andy on guitar, and John Flansburgh lead vocals
vocals, with John Linnell doing some Accordian and Baritone sax in the back.

(By the way, just found out from Tyler [thanks for the tape!!!] that Andy
sang on Margaret Freeman, on the Residents' Comercial Album. I never knew it
before, but listening to it now, it's quite obvious that it's him, rolling
his R at the end of the song)

Personally, I'd like to see Colin perform on Dave's solo album. I think that
would be a real treat.

and with all the talk of great lines in Mayor of Simpleton, I'm suprised no
one's mentioned MY favorite line from that song, "I don't know how many
pounds make up the tons of all the nobel prizes that I've never won" I think
that that line is pure genius. What a play on words, and it moves so
fluidly, too.

>Al shouts out "DRUM SOLO!" and the drummer (Jon
>"Bermuda Schwartz) just hits a few drums.  There is also a fairly
>unimpressive drum solo in his song "Polka Your Eyes Out," complete with

The first concert I ever went to was three summers ago, a Weird Al concert.
It was great, withh all the clips he showed while he changed costume, and
all the solos (the guitar solo was the guitarist playing with his teeth...
but only one note) I just recently saw that video in a record town, and I
think I'll have to buy it soon.

Personally, I really didn't like Running with Scissors all that much. The
only songs I found funny were Pretty Fly (for a Rabbi) Germs, and Albaqurqe.
But I'm an old-school Al fan, myself.

Kevin Diamond, contently listening to all the new XTC demos he's recieved
(thanks again Fish-Boy and Tyler)

P.S. I find it amazing that people keep complaining about being criticized
about spelling and grammer mistakes. I make tons of mistakes in my posts,
and no one says anything {besides the bakers dozen thing, ;)} Lets see how
many mistakes you can find in this post alone. Winner wins one giant
economy-sized pickle (YOU pay S&H).
"To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to
create hell."
          -Tom Robbins


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 19:12:03 -0800
Subject: Whoops, forgot to mention.
From: "Diamond" <>

I cracked today and bought the used Peter Pumpkinhead single at my local
record store. I thought that I would make an offer to all of you less
fortunate 'hillers out there. My music store has copies of the folowing
albums in the Import Clearance section:

XTC: Explode Together

The Compact XTC

Peter Pumpkinhead w/ Down a Peg, war dance and peter demos

Black Sea (cheap)

Nonsuch (for, like, 4 dollars)

White Music (cheap)

and by TMBG:
Back to Skull - with Snail Shell, Ondine(previously Unreleased), She was a
hotel detective [not to be confused with (She Was A) Hotel Detective on
their first album](previously unreleased), Mrs. train(previosuly
unreleased), and Snail Dust (Snail Shell remix)

The Statue Got Me High - with The Statue Got Me High, She's Actual Size, I'm
Def (Previously Unreleased), Which Describes How You're Feeling(demo)

If you're interested in any of these items, tell me (by E-Mail, not through
the 'hills) and I'll check on the prices and send you the info. Then send me
the money, and I'll buy it for you.  Please, don't buy one of these if yu
already have, like, eight copies. I want people who don't have access to
these items to be able to hear this music. Thanks.

Now, I want all you folks to tell me everything you know about Billy Bragg.
I've heard his name around, and he sounds interesting. Tell me now!

Kevin "Gosh, I'm demanding" Diamond

"To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to
create hell."
          -Tom Robbins


Message-ID: <>
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: success! and Joe Jackson
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 19:51:11 CST

Before all else-- I want to give a big THANK YOU to all the people who
e-mailed me about methods for cleaning my "Mayor of Simpleton" 3" cd single.
  I am happy to say, all is well, and through a careful combination of
rubbing alcohol and warm soap & water, I can now listen to "Living in a
Haunted Heart" and "The Good Things" without trouble.  Hooray!

in other news... I don't know if this has been mentioned in the midst of the
Joe Jackson discussion, but he has a memoir out, entitled _A Cure for
Gravity_.  There was a review of it in the "Books in Brief" section of the
New York Times Book Review this Sunday-- read it at (you may have
to have a free NY Times online account to view it, but that's pretty easy).



Message-ID: <>
Date: 13 Dec 99 18:31:14 PST
From: vee tube <>
Subject: I Am The Wha????

     Pehaps a translation from 'Ye Olde Fin-de-
  hikers Guide to the Universe' Is in order.

 Loosely interpreted, it goes sumpin' like this...

 ...I am the eggfin!
         (No you're not!said little Nicole!)

    We are the eggfin!
         (No we're not!said little Nicole!)

    They are the eggfin!
       (No they're not!said little Nicole!0

  Now,if you haven't figured this out by now,little
 Nicole was beginning to get on everbody's nerves

      It was at this point the 'High Spawntress felt
    it appropriate to 'blow some Finosophy into the
           little tadpole's gill hole'

   At which time she spoke the words that open the
    first chapter of the olde book of 'Genifish'

               And I quote!

    "I am Fin, as you are Fin, and we are Fin, who like
  Fins to be Gills who like Gills to be Gills who want
      Fins who like Fins who want Fins to be Gills!"

          Little Nicole fell silent!

          I hope this helps to clear up
               any confishion.


P.S. For further references please see:

         The Troutles 'White Fish' CD.
            RE: Sargoso Onion.

     "and here's another clue you can sea,
             The eggfin was V!"



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 15:12:37 +1100 (EST)
From: Mud Shark <>
Subject: Collaborations

I think it was Tyler Hewitt who asked about who people
would like to see collaborate with XTC. Here's a brief
list :

* Robert Wyatt (Tyler's suggestion originally, and
very much seconded by me)
* Bill Nelson
* Neil Finn
* Paul Weller
* Paul Kelly (maybe only the Australians will know who
I'm talking about)
* Alex Chilton
* Mike Scott (from the Waterboys)
* Lloyd Cole (although I'm not sure you could fit both
their egos in the same room)


"I rail against God because I was told to stop eating paste in Sunday
school" - P.J.O'Rourke


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 22:51:01 -0700
From: Phil Corless <>
Subject: Overlooked CDs of '99

I haven't seen it mentioned yet, so I am now forced to do
a "Favorite CDs of 1999" just to get Freedy Johnston's name
out there.

1. XTC - Apple Venus Vol. 1 (the autographed version is better)
2. Freedy Johnston - Blue Days Black Nights (stunning)
3. Paul Kelly - Smoke (Paul does bluegrass... Yee-hah!)
4. Ben Folds Five - Reinhold Messner (this Folds fellow can play piano too)
5. Paul McCartney - Run Devil Run (this one surprised me...)
6. Ringo Starr - I Want To Be Santa Claus (as long as he maintains his
sense of humor, it goes down easy)
7. Pierce Turner - Collection (the great undiscovered Irishman)
8. Robbie Williams - The Ego Has Landed (should I be embarrassed
because I like this?)

Still Awaiting Verdict:
Lilac Time - Looking For A Day In The Night
Fountains of Wayne - Utopia Parkway

I rate a year based on how many CDs were released that became
indispensable to my collection.... 1999 saw THREE -- The discs by
XTC, Freedy Johnston, and Paul Kelly.  Those are the ones I would
save from a house fire.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 22:43:01 -0800 (PST)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: drugs n' such

WARNING, long XTC-free post ahead. I've been better
lately at not responding to everything I read here, I
really have, but this post just hit me the wrong way.

Tom Johnson commented:
>I DO NOT stand behind the decrimilization of any
drugs.  Why?  I'm not meaning to sound like some old
codger, but the moral fabric of this country in
specific and the world in general has been on a steady
decline since the 60's.
And how does this relate to drugs?  Are you suggesting
that relaxed attitudes about recreational drug use has
led to the downfall of society? That is
oversimplifying things to the extreme.
I am much more concerned what I label a 'toughening'
of society (at least here in the states).  Everyone is
expected to be so damn tough and unfeeling. It's
reflected in our attitudes, our laws, our lifestyles.
It's in the way that real-life tragedy is presented as
entertainment (just watch Fox during sweeps month)
It's how we drive SUV's that make us appear big and
invincible even though they wreck the environment and
are often less safe and less practical than a
well-built sedan. It's how the death penalty is
considered to be a good thing-we now have an
eye-for-an-eye mentality that I find very frightening
(besides, I don't think the state should have the
right to execute people).
The absence of compassion in modern society is one of
the biggest issues facing us. I don't see where this
has anything at all to do with drugs.

>Prove to me that legalizing drugs now will not harm
the future potential of our children, that they will
not become lethargic addicts, junkies, and losers.
Prove to me that in a few years after marijuana is
legalized that something worse won't be legalized.
You can't prove it, you can't prove any of it.  And
that is exactly why we have laws against these

No, that isn't why we have laws against these
Prove to me that leagalizing drugs WILL harm the
future potential of our children. You can't.
There is a theory that says that if all drugs are
legalized, it will put them in the hands of medical
professionals who can help addicts. It will also cut
down on crime, as the illegal drug trade will dry up.
I think that this, too, is an oversimplification,  but
it shouldent be dismissed outright.

For the record, I am in favor of decriminalizing
marijuana. Not so sure about other drugs (I'm also in
favor of legalized prostitution-the government is
losing out on a lot of potential tax revenue!). I'm
not advocating drug use, I don't use marijuana myself
(anymore). I just think that keeping it illegal if a
futile waste of time.


Message-ID: <000a01bf4604$e1b65660$c6fea4d8@default>
Subject: Taking drugs and seeing movies in the last year of the '90s, dammit
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 02:28:52 -0500

Mark re-mark-ed:
> First of all a remark about the recent flurry of "Albums of the 90's"
> and "Composers of the Century" lists... as this decade, century and
> indeed this millenium won't be over for another year don't you all
> feel just a bit premature? Who knows, perhaps you'll enjoy Apple
> Venus Vol. II even better than Volume I - just a thought.

It's all very well to be one of those
the-new-millennium-actually-begins-in-the-year-2001 people (since that is
true), but no one can deny that the last year of the '90s is 1999.

And from Derek:
> I went back to count my tickets and discovered that in the last eight
> years, I saw They Might Be Giants *eight* times. Who else has seen one
> band/artist in concert four or more times in the last decade?

I also saw TMBG multiple times this least seven times, but I've
lost exact count.  Oddly, their free shows have been among their best, I

> In the post referenced earlier, DavidOh also gave a list of his all time
> favorite movies, which included my favorite of '99, "American Beauty." I
> don't consider it a stretch to place it in the same league with
> "Casablanca," "Citizen Kane" and "A Hard Day's Night," as he did.

I don't really see what the big fuss is about "American Beauty".  It had
some very powerful moments, but overall I found it rather manipulative and
ultimately slightly shallow.  A good movie, but definitely not a classic.

As for other non-XTC, argument-creating topics: Legalizing drugs.  Well,
having them criminalized just creates a black market economy, while
government money is wasted on what's so far proven to be a futile drug war.
Without spending money on drug enforcement, better social programs could
probably be instituted that would keep society from spiralling out of
control as some seem to think it would if drugs were legalized.  Certainly a
decent education seems to be a better preventative for drug abuse than
anything else.

-- Francis

"And all I see are little dots.  Some are smears, and some are spots."
   -- Talking Heads


Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 23:56:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Misty Shock <>
Subject: Elvis, Bruce and Andy
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.991213234221.3645I-100000@scn>

Bob said:

I couldn't agree more, and was just thinking about this minutes before I
read this digest. The Attractions added an urgency and directness to
Elvis' music that seems to be missing without them. Bruce Thomas is indeed
an amazing bass player; in fact, one has his work cut out for him if he's
going to pick up on both Bruce's bass playing and the nuances of Elvis'
songwriting at the same time. That's too much work for one brain to
handle.  Personally, my favorite example of Bruce's expertise is "Pretty
Words,"  from "Trust."

I say:

Yes, I'll come out of lurk mode to share the epiphany I had this weekend:
Blood and Chocolate is the best Elvis album!  As a nonmusician, I too
enjoy Bruce's playing, though in my book, Colin has both him and Sir Paul
beat.  And as much as I like the Attactions, I'm looking forward to seeing
Elvis move in a different direction, and I'm not even asking for more
Painted From Memory or Juliet Letters and especially not, God forbid, more
Mighty Like a Rose.  I really love Brutal Youth and I like All This
Useless Beauty, but it doesn't have the same energy or freshness that
their 70s and 80s work did.  I don't think that anybody would argue with
the fact either that Steve Nieve is the central figure of the Attractions,
and they seem to be getting along famously.

As for a collaboration, I just don't see it happening.  Doesn't Andy
dislike the direction Elvis is going in?  And the power struggle would
just be too much, I think.  It would be great fun to hear though, and I
salivate at the thought of them in the same room together!

Misty Shock


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 10:50:00 +0000
Subject: Apple Venus Volume 1 sales figures

Hi all,

With all this talk of "how many has it sold", I contacted my friend who
works for the company that deals with paying royalties to artists in the
UK. They have a giant database which contains sales details for all
releases in the UK. Although this information is confidential, and not for
general release, he supplied me with the current figures for sales of Apple
Venus Volume 1 in the UK, up to today (December 14th).

CD        32244
Vinyl          4505
Cassette  2317

So, Apple Venus has shipped 39066 units in total. What sort of living does
that give to Andy and Dave, eh?


P.S. Sorry, he can't supply sales figures for anything else, as it REALLY


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