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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-196


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 196

                 Wednesday, 19 July 2000

Topics:

              THE BULL WITH THE GOLDEN GUTS
Re: What is the best Xtc album to listen to while very intoxicated?
             Re: bands that now suck (or not)
                  L.A. XTC IPO gathering
              Everything You Know is Wrong!
                       re: chicago
                    Bias factor: 100%
                         Play-Doh
                      Scary sight...
              Martian List and Who Sucks Now
              Re: Any other music out there?
      Re: the world is full of angry young zombies?
                          Redux
                         Hooters
                    Since you asked...
People Who Need Young People Are the Luckiest People in the World
                       Todd Was God
                  Music Recommendations

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Slacks, coffee trend / I could have been in the US Navy.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 21:35:12 -0500
From: Mark <lollard@usa.net>
Subject: THE BULL WITH THE GOLDEN GUTS
Message-ID: <397513E0.9B16EEE0@usa.net>

oh please oh please.............does anyone have an extra copy of THE
BULL WITH THE GOLDEN GUTS?  I need it....I want it.....I must have it,
even if it is a copy of a copy of a copy...........Mark?  John?
Anyone???

Mark in a house on a hill in omaha

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 00:04:28 EDT
From: Poisongold@aol.com
Subject: Re: What is the best Xtc album to listen to while very intoxicated?
Message-ID: <35.7c87683.26a682cc@aol.com>

In a message dated 7/17/00 10:11:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<owner-chalkhills@chalkhills.org> writes:

<< What is the best Xtc album to listen to while very
 intoxicated? >>

Unquestionably, The Big Express.

Concisely,
MJC

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 00:12:59 EDT
From: Poisongold@aol.com
Subject: Re: bands that now suck (or not)
Message-ID: <9c.5a4f404.26a684cb@aol.com>

In a message dated 7/17/00 10:11:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<owner-chalkhills@chalkhills.org> writes:

<< Todd Rundgren ... has produced some real garbage in the 90s. >>

I used to agree... but I've had to eat my words (dipped in dark chocolate).
I persisted, and now I have to admit (a bit shocked, really) that No World
Order is one of my favorite records.  Actually, I find good stuff on all his
'90s records.

I have a Utopia poster from 1980 on which Todd wears a yellow XTC shirt -- a
full six years before Skylarking.  Just FYI.

MJC
[too many posts... lurker mode reactivated]

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 22:18:20 -0700
From: "John Keel" <jbkev1@ev1.net>
Subject: L.A. XTC IPO gathering
Message-ID: <001101bff140$c53a5a80$02525d3f@sony.com>

Hi kids,

Okay, so when "Wasp Star" came out I made an initial attempt to try and get
the L.A. area fans together.  Once we realized that everyone's schedules
were not going to be the easiest to coordinate, I mentioned the possibility
of trying a night at/before/after one of the IPO shows as being a perfect
place to try again (oh, and Deborah, I don't know if you were out getting a
sandwich or if I inadvertently forgot to e-mail you).  Well, the time has
come to make it happen.

Assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that the weekends are the best possibility
for most of us, everyone check the IPO schedule and see what looks good.  I
would vote for either of the  Sunday shows, maybe meet for drinks/dinner
before or just at the venues: The Gig or The Troubador on Sunday the 23rd,
or The Gig or the El Rey on the 30th.

It may well turn out that we can do a gathering both Sundays so everyone has
a chance to attend one or the other or both.  Please e-mail me off-list with
any ideas.

Of course, any and all XTC fans from this world over are welcome to join us
as well and it would be fantastic to meet all of you!!

See you soon!

John

p.s. - So, I was playing "Rock & Roll Jeopardy" at work today and in the
category "The Produce Section" which featured questions . . . I mean answers
about songs or albums which contained an item of produce, I picked the
$1,000 question (it was the Double Jeopardy round) and it was a Daily Double
and the quest - damn it, the ANSWER was "Mayor of Simpleton" was found on
this band's album "Oranges & Lemons".
Needless to say, I got it right and won extra money to boot.  I think I lost
it all in Final Jeopardy though.  I always smoke the whole game and then
that last question seems to screw me almost every time.
*********************************************
"The world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through."
Tom Waits

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 22:36:06 -0500
From: "Joe Funk" <twosheds@mindspring.com>
Subject: Everything You Know is Wrong!
Message-ID: <001401bff132$79d4a0e0$7721fea9@user>

Greetings!  Chalklings!!

Richard <RAmari@penguinputnam.com> asked:

>Can anybody take time off from the Martians babble and that foul VH1 show
>(that was real stink-o, wasn't it?) to give me ideas on what CD's I can
>spend my money on. I've worn out  Wasp Star. Now I'm playing the Monkees
>over and over and I need something new!

Well , Richard..
 I recommend you go to:
 http://www.kevingilbert.com/popplusone/shaming.html,
and order yourself a copy of "The Shaming of the True" by Kevin Gilbert...
You will never be the same....

Aliens!
What to do if approached by an alien:
1.    Avoid eye contact
2.    If there are no eyes, avoid ALL contact!!
3.
Discs in space... hummm?

XTC - English Settlement
Genesis - Foxtrot
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
Kevin Gilbert - TSOTT
Firesign Theater - Everything You Know is Wrong!!...

I really think the aliens would enjoy the last one, as it deals with
aliens..
but I may be wrong.......

Joe "probe me...but be gentle.." Funk

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 02:58:18 -0700
From: Eb <gondola@deltanet.com>
Subject: re: chicago
Message-ID: <f0431011cb59b2692ce04@[206.173.240.186]>

>From: Jon Rosenberger <wile1coyote@yahoo.com>
>
>Chicago is the longest running Rock\Pop act with more than 4 original
>members in the US.

Well, come on -- let's be fair. What modest percentage of rock/pop acts
have more than four members, *period*? And which is more "authentic": a
band with, say, three out of four original members or a band with four out
of...well, how many original members did Chicago have? Eight or nine?

Meanwhile, Adrian's parody of all the embarrassing "Kids today! Why when
*we* were young..." posts was hilariously apt....

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 18:20:52 +1000
From: "Clifford Smith" <dracon@worldreform.net>
Subject: Bias factor: 100%
Message-ID: <001001bff15a$4716f220$290ffea9@dracon>

Have you guys read the Virgin review of WS?
Let me get a quote from it:
"Although dumped by Virgin Records, XTC still manage to kick sand in the
face of daunting opposition."
Virgin dumped XTC??!!!??? More like the opposite way around! XTC had to
campaign for almost 7 seven years to be released from Virgin!
Another quote:
"More guitar pop with round glasses from the band that are enjoying a
revival about ten years after they were meant to be finished."
Are they saying that they were SUPPOSED to be finished 10 years ago? I can
just imagine Richard Branson in his office, noting the planned demise of XTC
in his diary.

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 07:45:19 -0400
From: "Michael Versaci" <stormymonday@sprintmail.com>
Subject: Play-Doh
Message-ID: <000001bff177$1f9194e0$5c4ed23f@mtwe50004>

Folxtc,

I responded to Ralph Simpson DeMarco:

>>Lighten up, Ralphie Boy!  Imagine if "The List" was in production in 1975,
hosted by Donny Osmond, with guests David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Bobby Sherman
and Steve Allen?  What would have fans of Steve Allen thought? Would you
have been comfortable with the oldsters making judgments about us based on
the guests of that episode? This same "younger generation" that you are so
quick to dismiss is also capable of making films like "Good Will Hunting"
and "Chasing Amy."<<

Ralph responded to my response:

>OK I admit, I am an old man of 34.

>OK. You lost me! I thought we were talking about music, not movies.

I think we were talking about the younger generation.  The truth is, the new
music of this generation (which, I concede is yours, not mine - I actually
thought that you were a "boomer!") does not appeal to me as a genre, so I
would be hard-pressed to find an example.  This is why I chose film.  The
point I was making was that "The List" is a TV show with a particular
agenda, not a showcase for the talents of "the younger generation," and not
necessarily representative of that generation's values or mentality.

It is human nature to believe  at a certain young age that the previous
generation is morally corrupt and have loused things up beyond repair, and
then at a later age fear that the subsequent generation will certainly
destroy all that has been accomplished up to that point in time.

>Do you REALLY think that in ten-twenty years "Livin' La Vida Loca" will
have
be played as MANY TIMES as have "Stairway to Heaven", "My Way" or "Rock 'n
Roll (part 2)" have?<

I think it already has!

Michael Versaci

(The following is a translation from Plato's "Republic")

"... the teacher, in such a case, fears his pupils and fawns upon them,
while pupils have in low esteem their teachers as well as their overseers;
and, overall, the young copy the elders and contend hotly with them in words
and in deeds, while the elders, lowering themselves to the level of the
young, sate themselves with pleasantries   and wit, mimicking the young in
order not to look unpleasant and despotic. "

 http://phd.evansville.edu/faq/faq003.htm

"Goodness gracious
 My generation's lost
 They burned down all our bridges
 Before we had a chance to cross
 Is it the winter of our discontent
 Or just an early frost?"

"Goodness gracious
 We came in at the end
 No sex that isn't dangerous, no money left to spend,
 We're the cleanup crew for parties we were too young to attend
 Goodness gracious me."

Kevin Gilbert

P.S. With all of this talk about Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant's lack of
vocal ability, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the new record by The
Black Crowes and Jimmy Page "Live at the Greek."  I have only heard one
track, "Ten Years Gone," but I expect to get the album at some point.  Chris
Robinson is the vocalist that Plant should have been.

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 10:45:00 -0400
From: "Lieman, Ira" <ilieman@lernerny.com>
Subject: Scary sight...
Message-ID: <D0980C8EF8F1D311979200508B950CCC1B67C1@lny-d-exchange.ltd.com>

Hi Chalksters...

My family and I have just bought a house in Northern New Jersey, and we just
moved about 2 weeks ago.

While taking the bus to NYC (where I work), we passed a school bus, and the
name of the bus company (painted on its side) was...catch this...John Leckie
Inc.

I doubt it's the same John Leckie as the record producer, but you never can
tell...

-ira

------------------------------

Date: 19 Jul 2000 07:50:07 -0700
From: unna@worldmailer.com
Subject: Martian List and Who Sucks Now
Message-ID: <20000719145007.14130.cpmta@c008.sfo.cp.net>

O.K., I have 5 minutes to select the 5 CDs to take with me on my trip to
outer space with the Martians. In no particular order:

1. XTC - Nonsuch
2. Phish - Junta
3. Zappa & Beefheart - Bongo Fury
4. Jimi Hendrix - Axis Bold As Love
5. Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead (can't be without Cumberland Mine)

Now, for the list of bands that used to be good but now suck: STING!

Gotta run, the boss is approaching me cubicle!

Bye!
-u

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 08:12:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Relph <relph@mando.engr.sgi.com>
Subject: Re: Any other music out there?
Message-ID: <10007190812.ZM126893@mando.engr.sgi.com>

"Amari, Richard" <RAmari@penguinputnam.com> asked:
>
>Can anybody take time off from the Martians babble and that foul VH1 show
>(that was real stink-o, wasn't it?) to give me ideas on what CD's I can
>spend my money on.

My definite favourite lately is "The Shaming of the True" by Kevin
Gilbert.  I can't get enough of it.  Check it out at
www.kevingilbert.com

I also enjoy Duncan Watt's "Six Songs of Good and Evil".  Duncan is a
Kreideberger, and you can find information on the CD at
www.chalkhills.org/product/recommends.html

In fact, I made a cassette of "Shaming" followed by "Six Songs" and
they fit almost exactly on the tape.  A perfect match.

	-- John

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 09:11:32 -0500
From: Paul.Allen@cancer.org
Subject: Re: the world is full of angry young zombies?
Message-ID: <OF26DD0C9A.2E0F2E91-ON86256921.004B6F91@cancer.org>

Being a 23-year-old, and a four year fan of XTC, I wanted to throw my hat
into the proverbial ring on this generation gap issue:

In digest #6-194, alec <errora@earthlink.com> attemptted an unbiased
overview of the twenty-something mindset, which while noble, is also nearly
impossible. The age range, remember, is 10 years, and from 20 to 29 is a
long way.

But that's just semantics.

Speaking only for myself, I agree that some twenty-somethings do live up to
the like-minded, anti-individual stereotype given to them.  Many others,
however, do not. If we are speaking purely in terms of musical identities,
I'll agree, those of you that came up in the late 70's and early 80's had
much a much more focused and overall cooler music scene.

These days, it's hard to give one's self a musical idenitity because tastes
change so quickly. Like ska?  Here comes a trend, blink and you'll miss it.
Like punk-pop?  Blink 182 is on the cover of Rolling Stone. Like grunge?
Didn't you know it was dead?  It seems like everything that starts cool
soon gets pounded into overexposure.

I mean, we're the generation that saw "Alternative" become a radio
format...I thought the whole point of Alternative was that it wasn't on the
radio!  So in the face of everything going mainstream, some
twenty-somethings go with the trends and some of us stick with what we
like, even if it's uncool.

I don't think I need to remind anyone that being a fan of XTC is not
considered cool. You probably all know the look that comes on your friends'
faces when you mention the band, the "here we go again" expression.
Doesn't the fact that there are so many twenty-somethings on this list give
you older folks hope for our generation?

So blame us for the blending of everything into one pot, rap, ska, jam
bands,  pop, metal, rock n' roll, but please don't blame us for the
Britneys and N*Sync's...they are younger than us, and their careers are
orchestrated by people older than us.  We're just caught in the middle,
wide-eyed and scared!

Thanks for listening (reading),
Paul

------------------------------

Date: 19 Jul 2000 15:45:00 +0100
From: "Robert Wood" <Robert.Wood@mutech.co.uk>
Subject: Redux
Message-ID: <000031EE@mutech.co.uk>
Organization: Mutech Ltd

A few points to respond to:

Alien choices: Interesting (and predictable) to see so many peeps
choose English Settlement, but am delighted to see so many people
choosing Nonsuch. :-) I thought everyone hated it? <g>

Jayne's mail made me realise that Woodface should have been one of
mine, so after much soul searching, out goes Edie Brickell. Soz, Edie.

Then Jayne said:

>> While I'm a bit pissed off by the Sting/Jaguar ad, it's not because
he's sold out, but because here's someone who has campaigned on behalf
of the rain forests & native peoples, & is endorsing a car that you
can ask how many gallons to the mile? <<

This is a very good point, hadn't occured, but it's typical of
people's double standards when it comes to greed and money.

>> Also every time I watch cricket it seems that this ad is played at
>> every commercial break. <<

Ah, a woman who likes cricket. I'd ask you to marry me only I just did
the marriage thing! <G> My (Dutch) wife always pipes up with "boring"
when the cricket comes on. <sigh>

Ed:

You're so, so wrong about The Who's best album. Who's Next is a
monumental album! Their best by a mile. ;-) And Roger's voice is
great...

The Ed said:

>> Bands that I personally dislike, but don't feel like getting into a
big argument over if you happen to like them and you're someone whose
opinion I respect in other areas: Pearl Jam <<

Agree on this though. I cannot fathom for the life of me why people go
doolally over this lot. They had one great song on "Ten" and the rest
is bobbins!

Band that was good and is now shite:

REM.

Richard asked for new listening material: do you want new music
recommendations, or would past stuff be acceptable too. Mail me off
list and tell me the sort of stuff you like (apart from XTC!) The new
Aimee Mann album's good, (called Batchelor #2) and as I said the other
day, Jen Trynin's Gun Shy, Trigger Happy. (Correct spelling this time?
:-))

Joseph said:

>> Don't dismiss Mummer. <<

Side two of Mummer for me, is a fine a collection of XTC songs as
you'll ever hear. Side one, IMO, lets it down a wee bit. :-(

Finally, 10cc - you know where the name cums from? <G>

Cheers.

Rob

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 11:24:43 EDT
From: OMBEAN1@aol.com
Subject: Hooters
Message-ID: <a1.84487ca.26a7223b@aol.com>

Hillites,
 Ed K. wrote:

Bands that just plain suck:
Glass Tiger
The Hooters

 Tom Kingston can probably back me on this.  In the early 80's, The Hooters
were the shit. Heavily influenced by The Specials & the like, they put on
some great shows. They did an awesome version of "Israelites". But two of the
original members left and they got cheesey  pretty quick.
 My five CDs:
             Drums & Wires-XTC
             Abbey Road-Beatles
             Night at The Opera- Queen
             Doolittle-Pixies
             Armed Forces-Elvis C.
  Das ist alles!        Roger

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 08:12:24 -0500
From: "Marcus Padgett" <marcus@nebo.com>
Subject: Since you asked...
Message-ID: <NDBBIHDFILGBJJCGKMNNCELLCFAA.marcus@nebo.com>

I've been trying to resist... but since you asked...
my current 5 alien abduction CDs

1. Skylarking
2. David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees
3. Nonesuch
4. King Crimson - Thrak
5. English Settlement

And I will be pining for O&L and Joe Jackson's Heaven and Hell

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 10:56:40 -0500
From: "Walker, Keith (Imprimis)" <keith.walker-eds@eds.com>
Subject: People Who Need Young People Are the Luckiest People in the World
Message-ID: <4803DF85761ED211AE9000A02461EBEE087519CA@USPLM202>

As someone who is getting old enough to appreciate the occasional liniment
rub, and is no longer averse to calling World News Tonight the Late, Late
Show (ha! my life should *be* so good?), I thought I'd throw my two cents
worth (Two cents?  Ya' damn kids have no respect for the value of a dollar,
anymore!  Why, when I was a boy, two cents would buy you. . . .) on the old
fart/young fart question:  KNOCK IT OFF, ALREADY!  Both of you.  Did I ask
who started it first?  Go to your rooms.  And no T.V. up there, either.  I
mean it.  Now, for the concession of points:
Old Mr. Grumpypants:  don't feel bad, the kids of today are dimmer bulbs
than once they were, but I don't feel that it is really their fault.
Remember, they have been taught according to standards that have been
increasingly lowered over the past twenty years.  (Note: I am not saying a
thing against teachers, here.  Teachers are a good and dedicated bunch who
do a fine job with limited resources.  And their most limited resource is
help and support from administration, who rarely look beyond test scores.
In the school where I taught for a short length of time, I was told to spend
as much time as possible on basic skills so that every kid in the class
would do well on their standardized tests.  Well, if so much time is taken
up with the basics, less is taken up with the intermediate and the advanced,
leaving our kids ... adequate.  They can get by.  But little more.  Which
leaves them wanting in basic analytical and problem-solving skills.  Just
one of the legacies of the Big, Bad Federal- and State-Mandated
Test, which is busy huffing, and puffing and blowing our little, red
schoolhouse down.  But I digress.  Big time.)  When the bar is closer to the
ground, more kids will step over it, rather than leaping.  "'Tis true, 'tis
pity and pity 'tis true, but pity 'tis, 'tis true" and other words to that
effect.  So if kids seemed smarter twenty years ago, alas, they probably
were.  But they acted just as stupid, though (anybody ever see Woodstock?
Quite a lot of foggy, glazed eyes in that one. . . ), and that should be
some consolation.  And here, here to Michael Versaci who's illustration of
the Steve Allen episode of The List was well thought out.  The young
generation is capable of producing thought-provoking art (and, Mr. DeMarco,
if you don't like the *obviously* good films that younger folk have been
responsible for, howsabout the poetry of Jewel or Beck who are both doing
some very great things with language, even if their musical expression might
be a bit outside your tastes).  This is a age-old question:  one generation
leaves the ranks of the young and looks to the new generation to see what
impressive things they are doing with the legacy left them, and this older
generation finds that the new generation is just a bunch of damned kids!
Well, duh.  What *is* youth, if not for being a damned kid?  Its how humans
learn to be the people they'll need to be when it come time for them to take
the reigns.  We are, all of us, damned kids at one point or another, and if
we expect those who come after us to be any the less idiotic (and who among
us *wasn't* a flaming idiot at the age of twenty-one?) than we were, we're
being unrealistic.  Sure they ain't nothing like we were, when we were kids,
but that's not a shame, that's life.  Each generation gets to choose exactly
how stupid they want to be upon whichever subjects they choose.  And if the
damned kids of today choose to be stupid about whether or not "Can't Touch
This" contained a sample of "Superfreak", well, more power to them!  There
are worse things for them to be stupid about.  They could think drugs and
free love are the way to enlightenment and happiness; they could think
studded dog collars and green, spiky hair is a meaningful form of rebellion.
. . .   Oh, wait . . . .

Discs I would take with me on the space ship:
Wendy Carlos, Tales of Heaven and Hell
Men Without Hats, Pop Goes the World
Crowded House, Temple of Low Men
Howard Jones, Cross That Line
XTC, Oranges and Lemons

XTC content:  Ummm.  Ahhh. That episode of "The List" really sucked, didn't
it?

Keith "Molly can you tell me where you got the flame-retardant suit) Walker

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 12:01:04 -0400
From: Jeff Eason <eason@mountaintimes.com>
Subject: Todd Was God
Message-ID: <3.0.6.32.20000719120104.007b2d70@mountaintimes.com>

Welcome to Chalk Talk...We're Listening!

A note to Richard H.:
I admit I haven't listened to the new Todd Rundgren album, "One Long Year."
I would love nothing better than to take him off of my sucky list. I will
try to track it down here in the Boondox. You're right, most of his recent
albums have one or two good songs but I recall a time (goes into old geezer
voice) when everything Todd touched turned into sonic gold.

A note to Richard A.:
Some of the surprisingly good CDs I've been listening to lately:
Neko Case & Her Boyfriends' "Furnace Room Lullaby" (Patsy Cline meets
Chrissy Hynde)
Lambchop's "Nixon" (hypnotic neo-Memphis mini-symphonies by Vic Chessnut's
onetime backup band)
The Harry Nilsson Anthology (double disc retrospective on one of America's
finest singers and songwriters)
Scott Weiland (sp?) "Twelve Bar Blues" (I know the
musicians-who-have-had-their-heroin-troubles theme has been talked about on
this list ad naseum. Generally an addiction to anything but music takes its
toll on an artist's work. Supposedly this album was recorded in rehab and
it is a masterpiece. Daniel Lanois produced it, so y'know it's good).

Let it Foam,
Jeff.

Quote from Rodney Dangerfield:
"Frank Sinatra saved my live once. These two big guys were beating the shit
out of me in a back alley. And Frank comes over and says, 'Okay boys,
that's enough.'"

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 11:17:06 CDT
From: "joe _" <sendto_joe@hotmail.com>
Subject: Music Recommendations
Message-ID: <LAW2-F47fZWjSeKg1bz00000504@hotmail.com>

I thoroughly enjoyed #194.  It guess it could be summed it in four words:

"Aaarrrggghh, you kids today!"

Time marches on, with or without us.  Mildly depressing and humorous at the
same time.  I never thought 31 was old-

Great to hear themolefromtheministry waxing poetic about some non-XTC bands.
  We're a multifaceted crowd (with the possible exception of Mark S. - wink,
nudge).

Echoing Richard Amari's post, I also appreciate the recommendations of
fellow Chalkhillians.  This is a great place to expand your musical
horizons.  One out of every ten turns out to be a *real* gem.  By far, the
best recommendation I ever received was nonchalantly slipped into a digest
just a couple of weeks ago by Radios In Motion.

So, Richard, per your request:

THE SAMPLES have put out consistently good pop music for over 10 years,
somehow staying out of the limelight.  Two founding members are at the core
of this band:  Sean Kelly is the prolific songwriter/guitarist/singer.  Andy
Sheldon is the bass player and occasional acoustic guitarist who contributes
2-3 tracks per album.  Years of management turmoil and record label troubles
have taken their toll.  (Hmmm.  Where have we heard that before?)
Supposedly, their latest album (due this fall) will be released directly by
the band.

And the XTC connection:  Yazbek opened for them on some East Coast gigs in
the late nineties.

It's great pop music with a healthy dose of acoustic guitars.  A unique
blend of traditional folk and progressive melody.  No, they don't sound like
XTC.  But that can be a good thing too, right?  How did I get through the
grunge-tinged 1990's without them?

To my newbie ears, all the albums sound very similar.  Their style has not
changed much, but they are getting more "dynamic" (probably due to the
latest change in the band's lineup in 1998).  They sound better than ever.
Odd how I find comfort in The Samples consistency, yet constant change is
one of my favorite attributes of XTC.

I recommend "Here And Somewhere Else," an enhanced CD with interviews.
"Transmissions From The Sea Of Tranquility," a double CD of live and studio
tracks, is also excellent.  I haven't heard their latest, "The Tan Mule"
(only available through WAR Records www.war.com).  Ahh, to be a newbie in
the throes of musical discovery again!

Unlike XTC, The Samples tour incessantly, usually at intimate venues and
clubs.  And they even encourage recordings of their concerts.  The sound
engineer will let you patch your tape deck, DAT, or mini-disc directly into
the sound board!  Hours of free -- and legal -- MP3's are on the internet.
The band only asks that profiteers stay away.

I can't write many positive comments about their mailing list.  I've been
spoiled by Chalkhills!  But it is interesting to note that the band and
their management regularly contribute.  Curious indeed!

Check them out at www.thesamples.org

Joe "Aaarrrggghh *is* a word" Perez

P.S.  Mark S., I am kidding of course.  Thanks for all your contributions to
the XTC collecting hobby!  (Well, I suppose its more of a CALLING than a
HOBBY for you, eh?)

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End of Chalkhills Digest #6-196
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