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From: owner-chalkhills@sgiblab.sgi.com
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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-25


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 25

                 Sunday, 6 February 2000

Today's Topics:

              Howl if you can feel the rush!
                     Sugar And Spice
               MINI CONTEST! FREE 'BULL'!!!
                       Big Fat Yawn
                    Up yer Spice Life
                  rainy day ruminations
                         loogies
            A different kind of "two" of them
                      Virtual Terry
                      Warning: List
                Belated best of 99 [long]
                         OMD XTC
                   She's a Vally Girl.

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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7 (John Relph <relph@sgi.com>).

As laughing fish compel / The young boy woken in me.

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

Message-ID: <4782AD6ADDBDD2119B570008C75DD5C1BD47DC@mgmtm02.parliament.uk>
From: Lawson Dominic <LawsonD@parliament.uk>
Subject: Howl if you can feel the rush!
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 10:56:41 -0000

Don't worry, I won't keep you for long....

Firstly, the only reason the Spice Girls are being given that award is
because Paul McCartney backed out from attending the ceremony. It seems a
bit weird that the Brits should wait until the year 2000 to honour
McCartney's "lifetime achievement" - why wasn't he top of the list from the
start? - but given the often surreal nature of these awards ceremonies I
suppose we shouldn't be surprised. It's also very satisfying to see Macca
opting to attend the NME awards instead - where The Beatles won an award for
being "the best band ever", voted by NME readers - and judging by his
comments the old scrote is getting a bit more militant in his old age. Let's
hope there's a Death Metal album in the pipeline...

Secondly, apologies to all those delicate flowers who think my recent posts
were either too long or totally irrelevant to XTC. The fact is that I try
and respond to posts which I find interesting, and there have been precious
few recently which have been XTC-related and suitably inspiring. I realise
that discussing Westlife is a bit tragic, but then I am Nigel Lawson's
"brother" so it goes with the territory I'm afraid. Besides, I'm as
desperate for AV2 as many (if not all) of you and will be only too happy to
dissect chord changes on the list when the (b)eagle lands. Until then you
always have the option of ignoring me. It works for my girlfriend.

Thirdly, do make sure you don't check out http://www.xtcgay.com ("Gay Garage
of XTC"). Despite sounding like a flamboyant celebration of our boys' Hi-NRG
alter-ego, it's actually a little less entertaining than I'd hoped. Mind
you, after a couple of beers...

Fourthly, cheeky Murgatroyd Llewellyn said...
>>cousin mervyn says hi, and he's glad you won't wear that awful
panther-patterned tutu to this year's mind-readers' convention.

Well cheers, ol' Murg, I'm glad the news has finally reached you. I think
I'll opt for the all-in-one hessian jumpsuit this year, if only because the
friction has a peculiarly soothing effect on my vestigial fins.

Fifthly, it seems that Andy & Colin, in a big to out-boyband the boybands,
have been replaced by some scary looking Californians. Check out The
Official XTC Homepage at http://members.tripod.com/~LonelyCoyote/XTC.html if
you don't believe me. And yes, I should have better things to do with my
time.

Salut!

Dom.

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

Message-Id: <200002031135.MAA03408@mail.coss.nl>
From: "Mark R. Strijbos" <mast@coss.nl>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 12:29:50 +0100
Subject: Sugar And Spice

Dear Chalkers,

>    just saw a news segment that said that the spice girls will be
>    awarded a special achievement award at the upcoming brit awards.
That's right; they did NOT get a _lifetime_ achievement award, but a
"special achievement award"
And let's be honest: they did achieve a lot for the British music industry.
That's what the Brits Award is all about folks: the music _industry_ and
the Spice Girls have without a doubt been the most lucrative act to
emerge from Britian these past couple of years.

>    probably for giving the best ( most ? ) b-jobs to the bigwigs at
>    whatever lowlife record company they work for .
That would be Virgin as a matter of fact - how fitting :)

But isn't this a bit of a sexist observation, John ?
I mean, nobody ever wonders what all those good looking chaps in
fashionable teenybopper bands like the BSB or East 17 had to do to
get where they are today, now do they?

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos @ The Little Lighthouse
http://come.to/xtc

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

Message-ID: <20000204021819.6584.qmail@www0m.netaddress.usa.net>
Date: 3 Feb 00 18:18:19 PST
From: vee tube <veetube@netscape.net>
Subject: MINI CONTEST! FREE 'BULL'!!!

            Greetings from Fintasia!

    The holidays are over so, I'm cleaning up my
 apartment when, all of a sudden there arose such
 a clatter! I got off the throne to see,"What's the
                   matter?"

  It would appear I had so much of that 'Magical
 Mystery Seaweed' I actually burned too many copies
                 of the 'Bull'

          So here's the new contest...

 ...in 20 words or less(Sorry Dom,Hari,Dunk et al)
        present a dissertation as to why...

   "Fish are our friends,and we should be kind to them."

  The first two entries posted on the 'Hill that make
       me 'blow worms out my....' WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Employees,friends,relatives and
                   assosiates of Mrs.Paul,Gortons,
                   Fisher Boy,Lawyers! and,record
                  company execs. need not apply.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is an exhibition! NOT! a competition!

                    }---:)

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

Message-ID: <00000E63@mutech.co.uk>
From: "Robert Wood" <Robert.Wood@mutech.co.uk>
Subject: Big Fat Yawn
Date: 4 Feb 2000 16:18:00 +0100
Organization: Mutech Ltd

After not bothering with Chalkhills for the best part of a year, I logged on
to the Website to see how Vol II was coming along. While I'm here, I
thought, I'll have a look at the latest digest.

Nick Howarth's e-mail just summed it all up. More whining about supposedly
off limit topics. Narrow minded, boring twerp.

It's a big nob off world, with a million things to talk about, and after
you've had a year of Chalkhills, you've exhausted most of what you've got to
say about a band. Until the next big news comes along, why the Hell
shouldn't you talk about something that's off topic?

Siting that as a reason why Andy wouldn't be on line is pathetic. The fact
that his songs tackle most every subject under the sun, rather than cack
love songs most band indulge in, he's surely more likely to want to read
about a variety of topics.

Having said all that, Nick's English was bloody good. Far better than the
appalling fare that you normally have wade through.

Flame away, I bought a new extinguisher.

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

Message-ID: <001801bf6f55$38c4fb40$139a7ed4@atidy>
From: "Ade Ransome" <ade@instinct.freeuk.com>
Subject: Up yer Spice Life
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 21:15:06 -0000

According to a recent breakfast TV show here in the UK Sir Paul McCartney
was destined to receive the Lifetime Achievement award at the
Brits. Unfortunately he told the organisers he couldn't attend, so they
decided to give it to the Spice Girls instead.

Seeing as the Brits are organised and sponsored by effectively what is a
music retailer it should come as no surprise that all the nominations are
for crap bands and shite music: i.e. what the f*ck has Gabrielle done this
year (apart from her #1 single last week) to warrant a nomination? It's
been at least three years since she sang "Dreams can come true/I've got
one eye instead of two", does she deserve an award for that?

The awards seem to be for units shifted rather than for musical integrity
which probably explains why the Brits judges plumped for the Spiceys once
Sir Thumbsaloft called in sick. Even the Smash Hits awards have more
integrity as the acts are voted for by the magazine readers rather than
the malformed spawn of Satan employed by the Brits.

I'll watch it but only if Samantha Fox & Mick Fleetwood are booked to
present the show.......

XTC Content: Sheesh, I love those guys!!

Adrian "from a 'low miff' to 'Mad as a lorry'" Ransome

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

From: WillJ4comm@aol.com
Message-ID: <37.e594ea.25cca5a7@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 16:59:03 EST
Subject: rainy day ruminations

Jeff wrote:

<<But there are other days: I, too, often worry about XTC.>>

Seriously, why worry? XTC aren't going to break up, unless they do. I
personally don't think they're going to, I imagine between the two of them
they've got ideas for the next four albums at least, if not more. These
guys love making music, and they love the direction they're heading with
getting to make records again. I do not see a breakup.

<<I remember when
the Beatles broke up -- I was devastated.>>

I was 2 at the time, but had I been a teen, I'm sure my world would have
been rocked. I was fairly bummed the day Prince and the Revolution broke
up, but he's finally getting back in his groove so that's worked out
alright.

<<I remember when John Lennon died (a day so eloquently recalled by a
number of Chalkhillers a few months back) -- I was devastated.>>

As was I. I was 12 or 13 by then, and that truly knocked me to the
ground. I remember walking into the local grocery store and seeing the
Time Magazine on the newsstand just inside the door: a painting of Lennon
in a black sweater with a simple headline: "All You Need Is Love",
followed by smaller type saying "John Lennon, 1942-1980" or whenever that
was.

<<Why?  I mean, as John himself said, it's only a rock 'n roll band, it's
not like it's something really important.>>

I have a feeling this is one of those statements John made during his "I
hate everything except Yoko, especially the Beatles" phases in the early
'70s. The Beatles were absolutely hugely important in my mind, as
reflected in my vote for John as Person of the Century (yes, a ridiculous
little exercise, I'll say one of my biggest heroes of the last 50 years,
that better?). They thoroughly delighted the world and invited us all on a
joyful, spellbinding journey. In my mind, the greatest artists of the
twentieth century, no one else even comes close. So Jeff, I'm with you --
they were definitley a rock and roll band, but they weren't "just" a rock
and roll band.

But lo, who is this striding bravely into the hall of mighty, confident
and assured, whistling the catchiest tune you've never heard? Why it's
Andy and Colin, the only contenders currently alive in this world to the
Fab Four's throne. I doubt they will actually surpass the Beatles simply
because they are of a different dynamic. But I think when it's all said
and done, and Andy announces that he and Colin are retiring at age 80
because they've successfully created all the great pop that could exist in
the universe over an incredible 52 albums (one album will actually have 14
songs from Colin and only two from Andy!), unrivaled by anyone, they will
no doubt sit deservedly alongside John, Paul, George and Ringo as the
mighty heads of the hall of mighty. Not above the Beatles, not below the
Beatles, but squarely alongside, as the mutual, uncontested rulers of the
kingdom of sweet, rockin', musical grandness.

Or they won't. But either way, what a fine little band we've stumbled
onto, eh?

Bur-er-er-earning (enough for us) with Optimism's Flames, Will

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

Message-ID: <389B5091.F8EE124E@ksbe.edu>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 12:20:03 -1000
From: "Jim Smart" <jismart@ksbe.edu>
Organization: 3Tripper
Subject: loogies

While I spit on the Spice Girls as harshly as any of us, I think the award
is probably about money, not whether or not they wrote their own songs or
have any talent. It's not the Lifetime Talent Award, is it? Because
obviously XTC would get that. It's about moving units and collecting
cash. As much as I expectorate in their general direction, I must admit
that they have achieved a lot of sales, success, and celebrity. I think
that's what it's about.

By the way, when the Beatles got their MBEs, it was mostly because (thanks
to the Taxman) of the money they generated for the country.

Jim "I'm in a high fidelity first class travelling set and I think I need
a Lear Jet" Smart

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

Message-ID: <20000204232450.7791.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "another from kristi" <beatlebird@hotmail.com>
Subject: A different kind of "two" of them
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 23:24:50 GMT

Looky  here,

Jared would also make a pretty decent Andy Partridge

http://www.eonline.com/Celebs/Who/jh2.html
("Lennon" pic)

if only someone would do a biopic on XtC. Hollywood, are ya listening?

--kristi

***************
"Remember when you were with the Beatles and you were supposed to
be dead? That was a hoax, right?" ~ Chris Farley to Paul McCartney

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

Message-Id: <v04210a00b4c1fd3a2820@[192.168.1.60]>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 01:28:57 +0900
From: nishimatu <new_sphere_@mbb.nifty.ne.jp>
Subject: Virtual Terry

Chalkhillers,

  Here's "Virtual Terry version 1.0".
http://homepage1.nifty.com/NewSphere/work/cg/cg_2/Terry10.JPG

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

Message-ID: <389B4F46.52FC@realtime.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 16:14:29 -0600
From: chris vreeland <vreecave@realtime.com>
Organization: Vreeland Graphics
Subject: Warning: List

And through the wire,
We push our tailor-made speeches...
				Peter Gabriel

Hola Jente de las lomas calizas
	Haven't chimed in lately, as I've been frankly overwhelmed by the
variety of topics offered up by all you crazy chalksters, and didn't
know where to start. I said my piece on guns, and due to my long-term
cocaine addiction in the nineteen eighties, am constitutionally
forbidden from commenting on the war on drugs, lest I run afoul of
anti-hypocrisy laws. So, instead, I've decided to drive the list-haters
nuts.

(Warning: The opinions expressed herein are solely based on the judgment
of their author, and do not reflect the opinions of anyone he knows, or
their family members. They are not based in any way on a comprehensive
knowledge of twentieth century music, and may contain personal bias
objectionable to those in disagreement. The author acknowledges that
factual misrepresentation may be an open invitation to argument, and
makes or expresses no claims to the contrary.)

Listing to millennium: Part one of a long series- more to come.

Greatest guitar solos of the Twentieth century:

1. Machine Gun,  Jimi Hendrix,  Band of Gypsies;  He came, he changed
the guitar, he left.  The nearly ten minute solo finds him at the top of
his form- in complete mastery of electricity as it flowed through him
and his instrument. The cosmos, the spirit, the guitar and the amplifier
were utterly unified for at least one brief moment.

2-10 in no particular order.

Glamour Profession,  Steve Khan (Steely Dan),  Gaucho; The most perfect
example of less is more. I love this one as much for the space between
the phrases, and the anticipation it builds.

The Way That it Shows,  Richard Thompson,  Mirror Blue;  Why doesnt he
do that more often? Definitely king of the way out there style. The
song should be subtitled Angst and Despair Play the Guitar.  Sounds a
good bit like Andy Partridge on Books Are Burning (see below).

Books are Burning,  Andy Partridge (XtC),  Nonesuch;  What he plays on
his too short sections shouldnt work, but some how it does
magnificently. My opinion? He was too nice to Dave Gregory when he gave
him half the space in this one. Hes a MUCH better guitarist than he
gives himself credit for being.

That Wave,  Dave Gregory (xTc),  Nonesuch;  A masterful technician, who
doesnt get down to the emotion of a piece as often as he should, as
evidenced by what happens when he does. Have you ever been tossed
end-over-end by a six foot wave? The solo section of this song recreates
the feeling perfectly, so no need to go rushing out into the surf- just
close your eyes and tumble.

Kid,  James Honeyman Scott (Pretenders),  Self-titled debut;  This is
EXACTLY what to do when the band leader allots you fifteen seconds in
which to do your worst. In fact, there is absolutely nothing else that
could have been played here, but I doubt anyone else would have known
that at the time. Perfection in the short pop format.

Private Life, James Honeyman Scott (Pretenders),  Self-titled debut;  I
know. Two songs from the same album? In a row? We were turning left from
South Congress Avenue onto Ben White Boulevard in the spring of nineteen
eighty the first time I heard this solo. Normally, I dont retain trivia
of that sort from my drug-addled youth, but that moment was different.
It was so utterly different from what anyone else would have  done, and
once again, utterly perfect. He moved to Austin the next year, married a
local girl named Peggy Sue Fender, and then one day, his heart exploded.
What we could have had....

Cause Weve Ended as Lovers,  Jeff Beck,  Blow by Blow;  A six-minute
lyric poem without words. After deleting five or six attempts to
describe this solo, Ill leave it at one word: Grace.

The Great Curve,  Adrian Belew (Talking Heads),  Remain in Light;  Like
the giant anthropomorphic Kool-aid pitcher bursting through the wall to
satisfy our thirst, so did the incredible Mr. Belew burst through the
speakers of college dorm rooms to change the electric guitar, once
again. Rogets suggests the following synonyms for exuberant:
exhilarated, buoyant, light-hearted, zestful, abundant, bounteous,
lavish, copious, abounding, rich. You can apply all of these at once to
this piece without risking redundancy. So much of his work is so
ground-breaking, its really impossible to place one piece of his work
above rest; but this was the first of him Id heard, and it hit me in
such a big way.

Dazed and Confused,  Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)  Self- titled debut;
Admit it- where would rock criticism be without Led Zeppelin? I
personally believe, that despite whatever may have been wrong with Led
Zeppelin (Robert Plant), they have been the victim of unnecessary
revisionist history-- being assigned blame for trends in music that
their imitators from the late seventies should really take
responsibility for. Although this song was probably the harbinger of
what became known as "arena rock," it would have been hypocritical of me
to pretend that it's not still one of my favorite pieces of music of all
time, and I had to include it out of a sense of misguided justice, at
the very least.

Also rans,

In the Dead of Night,  Alan Holdsworth, (UK)
In Memory of Elisabeth Reed,  Dickie Betts, Duane Allman,  Live at the
Filmore East
Heaven's in Here,  Reeves Gabrels (Tin Machine)
Waiting in Vain,  Junior Marvin (Bob Marley and the Wailers), Exodus
Any Xtc song with a guitar bit, of which there are too few.

Only too glad to provide excess content,

Chris "does anybody remember laughter?" Vreeland

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

Message-ID: <hEs5MMAitNn4EwVw@emdac.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 02:24:34 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <phil@emdac.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Belated best of 99 [long]

OK, as threatened, here it is... Sorry that it's (a) so late and (b)
so long, but there it is. I've edited it down as much as I can,
honestly.

I won't be offended if you skip this, provided that you instead rush
out and buy "Chalk Circle" by Subaqwa, and make sure you give it a
few listens. You'll thank me for it later.

So, here they are, in strictly alphabetical order, my favourite 10
albums of 1999. (There just happened to be 10, I didn't plan it
like that. I suppose that makes it a pretty good year, after a
rather slow start):

-=-=-
BEN FOLDS FIVE - The Unauthorised Biography Of Reinhold Messner
(550/Epic 493312 2)

The first album was a work of genius, the second was ultimately
disappointing. This is a real return to form, but wheras the first
album was a haphazard collection of quirky individual songs, this
one is very much the total album pagkage. (I nearly used the phrase
"more cohesive" there but managed to avoid it).

Highlights include "Mess", the single "Army" and the bizarre "Your
Most Valuable Possession", but easily the best track is the Darren
Jesse-penned "Magic". I don't care much for "Regrets", but that's
a minor complaint.

Verdict: 8/10

-=-=-
LUKA BLOOM - Salty Heaven
(Columbia 491294.2)

The artist formerly known as Barry Moore (Christy's little brother,
and arguably the better songwriter of the two) released his first
album since 1994, and it's certainly been worth the wait. (It's
actually dated 1998, but it took a while to get released in the UK).

It's folky, quite rhythmic, at times moving, at times humorous, but
always sounds completely natural. The only track which I think lets
it down slightly is "Cool Breeze", which isn't bad as such, but
doesn't quite live up to the rest of them. Favourtie tracks are
"Blackberry Time", "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" and "The Shape Of
Love To Come", but most of all "Rainbow Warrior".

I saw Luka live at the London Union Chapel in December. Not the
first time I'd seen him, but the first time I'd been to Union Chapel
and wow - what a fantastic place. I won't spoil it by describing it
to the uninitiated, but please, if you ever get the chance to go
there, do so. It was like rediscovering the thrill of your first gig
all over again. Easily the live highlight of the year.

Verdict: 9/10

-=-=-
CATATONIA - Equally Cursed And Blessed
(Blanco Y Negro 3984270942)

Follow up to the successful but patchy "International Velvet"
("Rrrrrrroad Rrrrrrage", etc.), Catatonia continue with a far
more consistent album. At the same time, it sounds slightly
disjointed, as there are 3 main songwriters in the band and their
songs have all been lumped together, which strikes me as a strange
way of dividing things up. That aside, this is a great indie-pop
record, complete with Cerys's gorgeous Welsh accent (which should
be made compulsory).

Favourite song is "Bulimic Beats", but the singles "Dead From The
Waist Down" and "Londinium" are great too, as are "Post Script" and
"Shoot The Messenger". Unfortunately "Storm The Palace" is not good.

Verdict: 8/10

-=-=-
KEVIN HEARN - Mothball Mint
(Page KEV1293)

In short: Barenaked Ladies keyboard player releases solo album
better than Barenaked Ladies proper album. It's dated 1997, but it
was 1999 before it got released, at least in the UK. It sounds like
he recorded it in his bedroom, which he probably did, but this really
is something quite special. It's whimsical and strange, and it
doesn't always work, but when it does the result is spectacular and
totally original.

It takes a few listens, but it's worth the effort. Best tracks are
"Potbelly", "Horizon", "Rise And Fall Down Again", "Bus Depot
(Hometown)", "This Is It" and most of all "Insomnia".

Kevin spent 1999 recovering from Leukemia. We look forward to seeing
him back with BNL again soon.

Verdict: 9/10

-=-=-
SUBAQWA - Chalk Circle
(Faith & Hope FHCD009)

Browsing the listening posts in Virgin Megastore one day, I spotted
the write-up for this album and thought it sounded promising, so I
had a listen. Wasn't sure. Thought maybe I might get into it after a
few listens, so I bought it on the basis that I could always change
it the following week. Three proper listens at home and - wow,
hooked. This is far and away the best record of 1999, and I bought
it almost by accident!

All I know about this band is that there are five of them, it was
recorded in Huddersfield, they can't spell, and the lead singer
sounds uncannily like Michael Stipe. R.E.M. are a good comparison
actually, but don't let that put you off as they're no cheap copy -
this is far better than anything R.E.M. have ever done. Consistently
catchy songs with lyrics which are either very profound or complete
nonsense (I'm not sure).

Best tracks are: "Let It Go", "Cody's Snowy Memo", "Little Glitches",
"AM/PM", "Backwater", "Waving West", "Harbour Points", "I've Seen
This Before", "5AM And Falling", "Hotel Silence", "This Mountain Is
Closed" and "Ricetones". Er, yes, that's the complete tracklist.

Seriously, the best track is "Hotel Silence" (it's the most
immediately catchy on the first listen) and the only slightly weaker
one is "Harbour Points". This has been the soundtrack to my weekly
train journey up to my parents' place almost continuously since I got
it, and it just gets better with every listen. I really can't
recommend it hightly enough. Incidently, Record Collector magazine
made "Let It Go" their Single of the Year for 1999, so don't just
take my word for it.

Verdict: 10/10

-=-=-
SUGAR PLUM FAIRIES - Fruit Karma
(369 Records 369CD005)

One of the bands to rise from the ashes of Honeycrack, this is
Willie Dowling's current band and he was clearly the talented part
of Honeycrack, as this is a remarkably consistent record (far
better than CJ's effort with The Jellys last year). It's basically
rock/pop, with catchy tunes and singable choruses in abundance, and
as far as I know it's only available by mail order (369 Records, PO
Box 226, Hounslow, TW5 0YY, England).

Best tracks are "Blood & Oxygen", "Truly Believed", "No More",
"Nobody Knows", "Me And My Machine", but my current favourite is
the penultimate track "Good Stuff". "Day Or Night" sounds rather
too 80s for its own good, but that aside it's very difficult to
find fault with this album, particularly for something which was
presumably produced on a shoestring.

It's early days yet for this one (I've only had it for 6 weeks or
so), but I'm pretty certain that this is going to become a firm
favourtie over then next few months.

Verdict: 9/10

-=-=-
TINDERSTICKS - Simple Pleasure
(Island CID 8085 / 546 372-2)

The last one ("Curtains") was disappointing, but this is a real
return to form. It's a normal length album this time, rather than
the doubles of earlier in their careers, which actually improves
things as a 70-minute slice of Tindersticks could be a little too
hard on the emotions. I doubt if a Tindersticks record will ever
be described as uplifting, but this doesn't quite trawl the depths
of depression reached previously. The overall effect is a more
personal record. It sounds exactly like Tindersticks always did,
which means mainly slow, moody music (complete with electric violin,
apparently) and Stuart Staples' gravelly vocals which are almost out
of the audible range as he stumbles out tales of breaking up,
depression, death and other similar jollities.

The instrumental "From The Inside" is nothing special, "Can We
Start Again?" and "Before You Close Your Eyes" are the among the
best tracks, but my favourite is the one cover version, "If
You're Looking For A Way Out".

Verdict: 8/10

-=-=-
TINPOTS - Little Fish

I Discovered this band live supporting someone else, and bought
their 1998 EP "Just A Little" on the spot. Saw them again some
months later and bought this album at the gig (which is about the
only place you'll get it, but you could try emailing
tinpots@ndirect.co.uk). It's basically acoustic, slightly quirky,
folky, and most pleasant and melodious to listen to. The lyrics
are somewhat moody. The bass player plays a tea-chest bass (i.e.
with one string), and they also feature a trumpet player. What is
surprising is that the lead singer, Phil Davis, seems to have
quietly churned out several albums worth of songs (not all of which
I have - yet), without attracting a major record label. Or perhaps
they prefer it that way. Some packaging would have been nice though.

Standout tracks are "Little Fish", "Filter Down", "Evermore", "All
The Rest", "Blurred Vision" and "Sail Off Now", but the absolute
best has to be "The Likes Of You" which is musicially beautiful
and lilting, but lyrically really quite vicious.

Verdict 8/10

-=-=-
XTC - Apple Venus Volume 1
(Cooking Vinyl COOKCD172)

Like an old friend who I've just met for the first time in years.
I just want to hug it.

Favourite track has to be "I Can't Own Her", but "Easter Theatre",
"Greenman", "Harvest Festival" and "The Last Balloon" all come close,
as does Colin's "Fruit Nut" (which should have been a single).
Actually, the only one I really don't care for much is "Knights In
Shining Karma". Nothing wrong with it, you understand, it just
doesn't move me in the way the rest of them do.

Verdict 9/10

-=-=-
YAT-KHA - Dalai Beldiri         Wicklow/BMG 09026 63351 2

I bought this for the Lu Edmonds connection (he has been playing
with, producing and managing this band for a while), but I
honestly wasn't at all certain I was going to like it. Yat-Kha come
from Tuva, which is (I think) a former Russian republic. The local
speciality is throat-singing, and it bears little resemblance to
the western notion of what music is supposed to sound like, but
through their connection with Lu they have created something which
is totally unlike anything I've ever heard before, yet
surprisingly contemporary and accessable.

There is quite a good write-up on Yat-Kha and Tuvan music in a
recent issue of fROOTS magazine, for more information.

The songs are a mixture of traditional Tuvan arrangements and a
few originals; they are all quite beautiful in their own way, but
if I had to pick some favourites they would be "Kaldak-Khamar",
"Khemchim", "Opei Khoomei" and "Charash Karaa".

Verdict: 9/10

-=-=-

Best compilation album of '99:

Various Artists "A Tribute To Polnareff"

Perhaps someone could put me out of my ignorance and tell me who
Polnareff is/was? The liner notes are quite extensive, but
unfortunately for me, all in French. Regardless, he wrote some
great songs - contributors include Pulp, Nick Cave, Marc Almond
and Saint Etienne, so he has some high-profile fans.

-=-=-

Best singles of '99:

Ben Folds Five "Army", The Jellys "Lemonade Girl", Juno Reactor
"Pistolero", Subaqwa "Let It Go", "I've Seen This Before" & "AM/PM",
Tindersticks "Can We Start Again?"

-=-=-
Disappointed by:

Afro Celt Sound System "Volume 2: Release", Barefoot Contessa "Blues
For A Honey", The Lightning Seeds "Tilt", Suede "Head Music".

And one I took back to the shop as being, singles aside, too
dreadful for words:

New Radicals (can't remember the name of the album, sorry).

-=-=-
Best gigs of '99:

Luka Bloom (London Union Chapel), Billy Bragg & The Blokes
(Forum), Little Big Mouth (various small gigs around London),
Al Stewart (LA2).

-=-=-
Has anyone else actually got all 10 of my favourite albums of the
year, or at least 7 or 8 of them (given that there are a couple of
mail order items)?

Anyway, sorry again for writing so much.

That's all for now except one piece of news: Shriekback's new
album "Naked Apes & Pond Life" comes out (in the UK, Auztralia
and NZ anyway) on February the 28th. Also, Barry Andrews phoned
me up on Monday and we then spent Wednesday having a few drinks
and a bit of a chat, but I won't bore you with the details.

Ho hum.
Phil
--
 _
|_) |_  * |    Me: http://www.emdac.demon.co.uk/phil/
|   | ) | |    Then for Shriekback add: shrkindx.html
===========    Or for Gang Of Four: gof/gof_indx.html

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

Message-ID: <000b01bf704d$1f1c3c00$695791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <aso1@mocha.ocn.ne.jp>
Subject: OMD XTC
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 11:41:51 +0900

Hi All ,

The conversion of my 11 year old daughter to XTC appears to be complete . I
was listening to the AV 2 demos for the first time in quite a while
yesterday afternoon when my Mika came home from school . The first thing she
asked upon entering the house was , " Daddy . Is that the Apple Venus 2
demos ? " . Then last night around 11 when she was in the living room
learning how to knit a scarf ( my " room " is adjacent with only sliding
doors seperating it from living room ) she asked , " When is that CD ( Dave
Mattacks with Andrew Cleyndert and John Donaldson ) going to be over ? " . I
asked , " Why ? " . She replies , " I want to hear some XTC ... " .  This
morning I am sitting here listening to The Kinks " Something Else " , when
she asks , " Daddy , aren't you going to listen to XTC ? " . Needless to say
I am a proud Dad indeed ...

Pulled out OMD's lp " Organisation " ( 1980 ) this morning , too , and man
it definitely stands the test of time . Andy McCluskey's vocals
astoundingly great . Beautiful hook-laden melodic pop classic ...

Sushiman

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

Message-ID: <002b01bf7061$a3605000$0200a8c0@digitalpc>
From: "Digitalmaster" <digitalmaster@earthlink.net>
Subject: She's a Vally Girl.
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 21:18:43 -0800

Jeff, Ha, its funny you brought up Moon Unit.  I am just starting to collect
some Zappa.  My mother was really into Zappa/Mothers and I grew up listening
to his music.  Its only now that I have started buying Zappa albums.  I
started off with a recent hits album, but plan to eventually own the whole
shabang.

XTC Content:  Though Drums & Wires may not be considered their best album, I
feel D&W wins for the best sequence of songs.  It just all goes together so
nicely.  Considering that WM and Go2 were both too sporadic.  I loved the
albums, they just did not flow as nice as the later stuff.  D&W was the
first album to have a consistent "feel." in my opinion.  Of course the CD
with the bonus tracks is taking me a while to get use to after hearing the
original version for the past 12 years or so.

Question of the day:

Is Fuzzy Warbles a rumor or is this really something discussed with the
group?  Has anyone found out any updates as to whether or not this project
is still going to happen.  I have 5 spaces left open in my new 300 disk
changer right after "Homespun." and I am dying to fill them!

Are any of you Primus Fans?  Did you hear the song from XTC "Do the Dwarf?"
It's funny, Primus's music is so similar to that one song.  Primus even did
a few remakes of XTC songs including "Making Plans for Nigel," and "Scissor
Man" (both from D&W by the way!)  I wonder if members of Primus have heard
some of the rare demo stuff from XTC (doubtful).

To Gwen.  Hope you get better.

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #6-25
******************************

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