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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-68


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 68

                   Friday, 7 April 2000

Topics:

                Re: Crap (the C is silent)
                   Wasp Star segues???
                     Napster nicking
                Wasp Star/AV2 impressions
        Just grab it and put it under your coat...
                     Re: Weird Music
          Please Read Some Science Books, Kevin
                      God Only Knows
            Bruised by the bullies no more...
                   Disjointed ramblings
                  all caps - netiquette
                           KiSK
     Why Napster is a bad thing for music artists...
                     Playing Defense
              Re: WASP STAR, 1st Impressions
                       Phil Spector
                 miscellaneous ramblings

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She doesn't value the attention she receives.

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 00:12:52 -0400
From: "Carl" <carl@laprack.com>
Subject: Re: Crap (the C is silent)
Message-ID: <NDBBKJBCELGEDOFJCKHGCEAKCAAA.carl@laprack.com>

 > And don't you fucking give me "new business models" and "artists have to
 > adapt to survive in the New Economy." You stole from XTC, you little prick,
 > and you told 2000 other people how to do the same.

Whaoh! Temper temper. I don't remember giving anybody "new business
models" or "artists have to adapt to survive in the New Economy.". I guess
I stirred some people up here! I'm sorry if I offended you Harrison, but
I'm certainly not embarrased or ashamed of where I got these songs.After
all, someone is putting them out there, not me!And I think everyone has
already heard of napster.It's like asking me not to mention anything about
guns because 2000 people will get the idea to go get one too. I also
wouldn't dream of not buying at least two copies of Wasp Star when it does
come out ( one for me, one for my wife- we don't share our XTC discs!) not
only to support the lads, but to soak in the great artwork.I think of
these mp3's as sort of 'sneak peeks' at the new disc. Yes, I think the
album is terrible, but it is still the greatest band in the world. I'm not
going to boycott them for this!

 > Cough, splutter, etc. You what? OK, evidently you're not terribly
 > impressed (for some bizarre reason, presumably related to massive drug
 > use and psychological trauma) but "crap"?? How could anyone familiar
 > with the band's music come to such a damning conclusion? What were you
 > expecting, Twisted Sister?

Ahhh. I even got the attention of Dom.That makes my day! Yes, I know I got a
little dramatic with the word 'crap' and I wish I hadn't used it. Actually,
I wish I could have re-written the whole thing. I'm sorry- the
dissapointment just got to me! No Dom, I didn't expect Twisted Sister, but I
wanted more edge from Andy. I thought AV1 had more edge than this latest
offering.

 I do have to say that I received several personal emails after that post,
and none of them were negative. Mostly supporters, some inquisitive with
regards to more detail about each particular song- thanks all!

          Which brings me to my next topic:
                          My own Personal 'Wasp Star'. Since I am one of the
'dissapointed' here, I've come up with a song list I'd DIE to see as an XTC
album-

                          1.Prince Of Orange
                          2.Blue Beret
                          3.Rocket
                          4.It's Snowing Angels
                          5.Gangway Electric Guitars
                          6.Ship Trapped In Ice
                          7.Down A Peg
                          8.Living In A Haunted Heart
                          9.When We Get To England
                         10.My Train Is Coming
                         11.
                         12.Disque Bleu

 I left number eleven blank because I don't know any other unreleased Colin
songs ( but I'm sure there are some)

Carl

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

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 13:42:52 +0930
From: "Van Abbe, Dominic" <dominic.vanabbe@au.faulding.com>
Subject: Wasp Star segues???
Message-ID: <45C458C0C9C7D2119F790000F87A42A4B00048@s-mulgrave6.faulding.com.au>

Hillsters,

Can any of those who have Wasp Star promo copies tell me whether the new
album contains any segues or cross fades between tracks.  It has long been
one of my favourite qu*rks of XtC, having been present on every album (to
varying degrees) since Black Sea, and I hope the practice has been kept for
this latest release.

Ciao,
Dom

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

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 23:18:33 -0700
From: "Drew MacDonald" <drewmacdonald@mediaone.net>
Subject: Napster nicking
Message-ID: <004201bfa059$19e78500$ac841818@we.mediaone.net>

In high dudgeon over Carl's Napster-nicking of WASP STAR, Harrison ranted:
"I'm not quite sure which is more odious: your encouraging people to steal
XTC's copyrighted intellectual property, thus depriving them of income and
vitally important sales figures before the group has even begun to try to
generate publicity for it, or your subsequent moronic and insightless
criticism.
In short, Fuck you. Fuck you very much."

First, give me a moment to wipe off the flecks of Sherwood's spittle. My
sympathies to the people in the front rows.

Okay, here's my question: How many of those Chalkhillers who have already
blessed us with reviews of WS, positive OR negative, actually PAID for the
copies they heard? If I choose to use Napster or any other method of
previewing a not-yet-released album, how is my method less ethical, given
that I will certainly buy the real thing when it comes out (or more likely,
if my historical pattern holds, buy several copies to give away in my
ongoing quest to proselytize for my favorite band)? How many of our
free-promo-copy owners will do the same?

Of course, anyone who free-downloads any unauthorized copyrighted material
without later purchasing the material is certainly guilty of theft and
deserving of Sherwood's righteous ire. But how much money did Our Boys make
off the AV1/WS demo tapes you have all been referring to?

Sure, I'm uncomfortable about Napster's potential as an artist-threatening
technology, and it will be interesting to see how the current music-industry
lawsuits against it turn out. (And by the way, also be aware that from a
real-world standpoint, Napster is a bug-ridden, unreliable, user-hostile,
time-and-computer-resource-devouring piece-of-shit program. If you don't
believe me, just TRY to get even one WS song off the thing. It will probably
dawn on you -- as it did me -- that waiting a few more weeks for the real
disc is far less onerous than wasting another hour of your life on a futile
effort to get the same early-bird listen that the aforementioned 'Hills
reviewers did.)

UNRELATED ASIDE TO "M.O.R." STEVIE: ALL-CAPS POSTING MAY OR MAY NOT BE A
BREACH OF 'NETIQUETTE, BUT IT IS SURE HARD AS HELL TO READ. I SCROLLED DOWN
IMMEDIATELY AND THUS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU WERE WRITING ABOUT. I HOPE IT
WASN'T SOMETHING YOU THOUGHT WAS IMPORTANT.

Drew,
who feels the same way about magazines that use white type on a black
background.

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

Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 22:43:22 -0700
From: Rich Bunnell <richbunnell@home.com>
Subject: Wasp Star/AV2 impressions
Message-ID: <38ED757A.C3CD679A@home.com>
Organization: @Home Network

MINOR AV2 WASP STAR STUFF GIVEN AWAY BELOW; SCROLL PAST THIS POST IF
YOU'RE SURPRISING YOURSELF ON MAY 23

I cheated and used Napster to download the album to give myself a sneak
peek at it, but rest assured that I'm not depriving the boys of any
royalties-- I deleted the MP3's after two listens. I don't wanna make
the wait until May 23 less fun! I don't wanna keep the MP3's and thus,
when May 23 comes around, think "eh.....I've already heard it....I'll
wait a couple weeks." Nononononono! That's no fun!

Anyway, for the life of me, I can't see why the hell a few spotted
people are giving this album such a negative reception. I'm a sucker for
a pop hook, I admit, but this is much better than AV1. And I loved AV1,
to death. The main draw for me on the album is that the sound is so
FULL-- the guitar is big and meaty and the production values are much
higher than on the previous couple of albums, giving songs like "You And
The Clouds," "Stupidly Happy," "Wheel And The Maypole," and "Boarded Up"
a life which they didn't exhibit in their demo forms. Especially the
"Maypole" part of WATM-- while on the demo it sort of sounded like an
overlong clunky banjo-driven thingie which made me think "Man, I wish
that 'Wheel' part was still on," here it's charged up and driven by
jangly guitar interplay which makes it a real treat. "You And The
Clouds" wins the award for Most Improved Song-- the demo sounded very
weak, like Andy doing improper vocal dynamics over a so-so clunky world
beat sound-- but here, it's got a rich, full backing which benefits the
song to heaven and back.

The catchiest song on the album and probably the catchiest song Andy's
ever written is, without a doubt, "We're All Light." Andy's added a
hip-hop drumbeat onto the demo version, which sounds like a horrible
move on paper, but he does it so well! Those little drum breaks from the
melody, that chorus, excellent stuff. As for radio singles, though I
love "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love," I'm not too sure why Andy decided
to release it first. It's a great song and -does- have radio potential,
but "Playground," "Stupidly Happy" and "We're All Light" are far and
away the album's most obvious radio singles.

Verdict? I love it. I'm glad I deleted it too, because it just makes me
yearn for it even more. "Standing In For Joe" is a bit disappointing
compared to Colin's original demo (they made it bounce along a bit too
-obviously- while on the demo it was more of a flowing pop song), and
"Wounded Horse" will probably take many listens to grow on me, but I
quite heavily enjoy this album otherwise. Easily the most consistent set
of songs the band has ever put out, with the possible exceptions of
Black Sea or Chips From The Chocolate Fireball. Oh wait, sorry, that
last one was the Dukes. Soooooorry.

I'll throw in a track-by-track summary of the album in a month and a
half when I get my grimy hands on a pristine copy. Suffice it to say,
though, this is great stuff.

Rich Bunnell

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

Date: 7 Apr 2000 05:09:52 -0700
From: unna@worldmailer.com
Subject: Just grab it and put it under your coat...
Message-ID: <20000407120952.21269.cpmta@c008.sfo.cp.net>

Hey Chalkies,

See that shiny apple over there? You know, on the grocers sidewalk
display? Want it? Just grab it and put it under your coat.
Have I done wrong by pointing to the apple? All I've done is shown
you, it's up to you to pocket it or not.

Anxiously awaiting the release of XTC's WS:AV2, and "Look Ma, no cuss
words!"
-Laura

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 07:02:39 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <cauldron@together.net>
Subject: Re: Weird Music
Message-ID: <l03130300b5137be36000@[208.13.202.14]>

>Well.  I kept my mouth shut about favorite bands -- thereby losing one of my
>best topics of conversation -- but it was all moot anyway.  The blind date
>and I didn't hit it off.
>
>There's no way I'll ever even consider following this advice again.  My
>ex-wife was into off-beat music, which is how we met . . . and we're still
>friendly, and we STILL talk music.  And whoever I hook up with next had
>better be "weird" about music too.  = )
>
>And currently in / recently have been in my changer are the following:
>
>The Bolshoi: AWay (Best)
>David J: Songs from Another Season
>The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy: Glorious and Idiotic
>Alex North: 2001 (Original, Unused Score)
>The Loud Family: Attractive Nuisance
>Robyn Hitchcock: A Collection 1981 - 93 (homeburned comp disc)
>Devo: Through Being Cool (Best 1978 - 82) (homeburned comp disc)
>Steely Dan: Two Against Nature
>Peter Murphy: The Singles (homeburned comp disc)
>Martin Newell / Andy Partridge: The Greatest Living Englishman
>XTC: Homespun
>
>Take care,
>Benjamin Adams

  I can see by your short list your taste is very similar to mine(damn
straight, we're both on this list, aren't we?), so that's not the problem,
obviously. I don't know if this helps, but you didn't hit it off with your
blind date because you didn't hit it off. Music had nothing to do with it.
My wife and I share very little common taste in music, we unite at the more
poppy end of my taste(Blondie, B-52's, Beach Boys, Talking Heads),
otherwise she's big on The Carpenters, Air Supply, Barry Manilow, etc.
Before you express pity and sympathy, when we first met, I was smitten with
her from the getgo, I was one gone cat before I knew a single thing about
her taste in music, and by the time I knew it I didn't care. I like what I
like and she likes what she likes, we needle each other about it, but we
share basic common values and ethics, and that's what's most important.
It's all just notes anyway. There's people I know in my town who share the
same taste in music as me and I can't stand them as people, I can't stand
being around them.
  If you're just dating it can be pretty cool to like the same music, but
if you're going to be settling down(and you shouldn't be in a hurry to
unless you want to)the big picture is more important. Be yourself; ask her
what she likes and tailor your choice of music to her taste at first. If
her taste is more poppy, give her a mix tape with the likes of, say "King
For A Day," "Wrapped In Gry," "I'd Like That," and other gorgeous and
commercial sounding stuff. Once she gets to know you better, you can try
out the weirder stuff on her. Worked for me.

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at
http://homepages.together.net/~cauldron/homepage.html

"A Great law protects me from the government. The Bill of rights has
10 GREAT laws.  A Good law protects me from you.  Laws against murder,
theft, assault and the like are good laws.  A Poor law attempts to
protect me from myself."  - Unknown

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 05:37:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al LaCarte <allacarte@yahoo.com>
Subject: Please Read Some Science Books, Kevin
Message-ID: <20000407123703.16723.qmail@web1601.mail.yahoo.com>

All:

"The universe does not have laws, it has habits, and
habits can be broken."

   - Tom Robbins

Bullshit.

Al

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

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 06:51:22 PDT
From: "Ralph Simpson DeMarco" <sawpit@hotmail.com>
Subject: God Only Knows
Message-ID: <20000407135122.44139.qmail@hotmail.com>

Chalkies:

Dunks wrote:

<<No wonder Mike Love hated it (Pet Sounds). It's intelligent. It woos you
with beautiful sounds, but it is underpinned by a genuine and touching sense
of melancholy and loss. It sounds happy, but it's really quite a 'sad'
record. It's Brian saying - "I'm an adult now" in the most beautiful
possible way.>>

YES YES YES!!! Anyone expecting a rock album in the 1966 sense of the word
will be disapointed. I scream when I read posts that say the only songs they
like on Pet Sounds are "Wouldn't it Be Nice" and "Sloop John B". When
listening to Pet Sounds it helps to be in a mellow, reflective mood. I was
never a Beach Boy fan, but a few years ago I discovered Pet Sounds and now
it is among my top ten favorites of all time! And Carl Wilson deseves to be
mentioned for his stellar vocals on "God Only Knows".

Also: Steely Dan's Two Against Nature proves my case against Gaucho. I would
say it's as good as Royal Scam and Aja.

Review of Wasp Star when I finally hear the damn thing!

Ralph

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 07:16:05 -0700
From: "Lee and Cynthia Lodyga" <lclodyga@earthlink.net>
Subject: Bruised by the bullies no more...
Message-ID: <00b001bfa09b$d0a4cea0$419fb2d1@941922574>

After reading the less than kind review for AV2 in VOL 6, I felt compelled
to reply.

Those who can, do.  Those who can't, write (post) reviews.  I am fortunate
enough to have an advance of Wasp Star, and elated to tell you that it is an
incredible record.  It has the soul of Oranges & Lemons & the balls of Black
Sea.  After all of these years, Andy & Colin continue to be innovative,
fresh and cutting edge.  It is a different record than anything they've
done, but would we all be staying tuned for the same thing over & over?
It's 180 degrees away from Vol. 1, and a perfect companion.  It will make
you go back & hear that record in a new light.  We're all on this list
because we love this band.  After 20+ years of listening to XTC, all I can
say is that they've never let me down.  And, with the release of Wasp Star -
that record is intact.

Lee Lodyga
Studio City, CA USA

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 12:23:52 -0400
From: fagnello@ascap.com
Subject: Disjointed ramblings
Message-ID: <852568BA.005AB4C0.00@notessmtp2.ascap.com>

Hello Chalksters:

I guess I could subtitle this "Partridge a la King," since anytime someone
uses one-liners like this, they run the risk of sounding like Larry King:
           Cynical Days was the closest the boys ever got to doing a Pet
Sounds-type song...
           9 1/2 years after being demoed, "I'm the Man Who Murdered
Love" is the new XTC single...
           TVT is bucking the current Anglophobe trend (i.e.: no U.S. push
for Travis, Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia, Supergrass, etc.) by
releasing a single to U.S. radio with a decidedly English expression in
it ("what do you think to that").  Oops, maybe they hadn't noticed...
           The production on much of English Settlement is as plain as
Oranges and Lemons is overproduced...
           If they play on a flatbed truck, who will they get to fill out the
band?...
           The only question in my mind is how much over 90% of the
people who download WS will go on to buy the album (by, let's say,
May 26)...
            I think it's cool that WS has a "cheatin' songs" subsection
 ("Standing in for Joe - "Wounded Horse.")  For those 8 minutes or so,
it's almost like a country album...
            I think TVT should put out (at least) an EP called "The Bizarro
Apple Venus"  including "The Ship Trapped in the Ice," "Wonder
Annual," "I Don't Want to be Here," "Prince of Orange," "Dame
Fortune," and "Bumper Cars..."
          "If you like the wordplay of "Blue Beret," you'll love Monty
Python's "Word Association" sketch (Matching Tie and
Handkerchief LP, 1973)...
Finally, a list of what's in my player, my car or on my table this week:
          1) XTC - Wasp Star demos (10 of 'em, actually);
          2) XTC - AV1;
          3) XTC - Acoustic Tales;
          4) XTC - Oranges and Lemons;
          5) XTC - English Settlement   (as you can see, I tend to listen to
artists in blocks);
          6) Beatles for Sale (vinyl stereo version);
          7) Beatles - Abbey Road;
          8) Magnolia (soundtrack);
          9) Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2;
        10) I Am Shelby Lynne.
Cheers,
F.A.

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 01:47:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Benjamin Lukoff <blukoff@alvord.com>
Subject: all caps - netiquette
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10004070144340.18254-100000@locutus.alvord.com>

RSMko@webtv.net (Moore's Code) wrote:

> (PARDON THE UPPER-CASE. CONTRARY TO FRIGGIN' "NETIQUETTE," IT'S NOT
> "SHOUTING" AT ALL. JUST EASIER TO READ BIG PRINT, THAT'S ALL. NO
> "EMPHASIS" INTENDED. SHEESH, RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE VISUALLY
> IMPAIRED??)

1. Netiquette is not "friggin'"
2. It is shouting
3. If you find it easier to read big print, increase the font size of your
display.

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

Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 22:13:25 +0100
From: The Larsons <MereBrian@larson4.demon.co.uk>
Subject: KiSK
Message-ID: <3.0.6.32.20000406221325.007ea6a0@pop3.demon.co.uk>

>I must confess.  Quick.  Before we move on to the gasping
>enthusiasm that will no doubt accompany "Wasp Star, AV2."
>After nearly a year of listening to AV1, "Knights in Shining Karma"
>has become my favorite tune on the album.

Hurray for Jill Oleson!  I have had a lot of trouble understanding
the KiSK-bashing on Chalkhills (not recently but during the spate
of song-by-song reviews of AV1 we had several months ago).  I find the
guitar absolutely hypnotizing.  It certainly didn't stand out as
one of the highlights after the first several listens to AV1 but it
slowly caught my attention after that.  So I second the nomination!

Visit the Larson Family Web Page at:
http://www.larson4.demon.co.uk

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 10:30:13 -0500
From: Jill Oleson <Jill_Oleson@kurion.com>
Subject: Why Napster is a bad thing for music artists...
Message-ID: <81CC73FC2FACD311A2D200508B8B88AA0D6F96@KURION_EXCH>

To learn more about why Internet sites, such as Napster,
which enable the theft of intellectual property, are a bad thing, see:

http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2000/03/24/napster_artists/index1.html

http://www.riaa.com/piracy/press/031300.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/03/20/napster.idg/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/02/02/mp3.survival.doubts.idg/index.h
tml

There are, of course, many more articles on the subject, including
articles that present the other side of this debate.  To read those,
however,
you can do your own Internet search.

Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas

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

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 11:26:14 -0400
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <todd.bernhardt@enterworks.com>
Subject: Playing Defense
Message-ID: <38EDFE16.3CEE0594@enterworks.com>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.

Hi:

Harrison Surewould sniffed at my "performance" in Day Video's latest
XXXtravaganza, "Pink Thing -- The Movie":

> And was there ever a less appropriate pseudonym? Time upon time, filming
> ground to a halt as Bony Boy exhausted fluffer after fluffer, all the while
> cramming Cheetos into his maw and getting Day-Glo orange gunk all over the
> talent. He'll never work in this town again. (Oh, as if he ever *did*!)

Need I remind you, Monkey Boy, just whose scenes I was watching whilst
frustrating said fluffers? Of course, it didn't help that the off-screen
"talent" supplied by Lostone was of such low quality that I was forced
to watch what was going on under the hot lights in hopes of being
inspired by the toothsome Jill E. Anne, but what inspiration she
provided was more than offset by the sight of you in full rut.

As for my repast, well, given the menu provided by our low-budget
production company -- comprising Cheetos and Milk Duds, if I remember
correctly -- I figured the former were the better choice, given that the
high sodium content would help me retain fluids...

And what were those little blue pills I saw you tossing into *your* maw
with a side of bourbon prior to your scene, hmmm?

On another note, my faith in our little community here has been
confirmed by the gentle treatment I received in response to my bit of
flamebait re:Pet Sounds as sacred cow. Granted, this is something I do
believe, and I wasn't just trying to get a rise (there we go again) out
of Surewood, Dunks and others, but I must admit that I also hoped to
spark a little controversy to steer us all away from our recent
listomania.

As for your responses, I see what you're talking about, and I've made
the "consider it in context" argument myself before about a variety of
artistic endeavors, but my context for adolescent angst is a bit
different -- growing up in the 70s, "Quadrophenia" was probably my
teenage soundtrack, and that's a bit more angry and frustrated than
anything the Beach Boys ever did. And though I love a pretty melody as
much as the next wannabe porn star, most of the music I like also
affects me viscerally -- that's what I meant by needing my music to
"rock." I think I probably haven't let the BBs reach me because of
various biases I've carried with me from those years (i.e., they're
"wimp rock," lyrically shallow, and the like).

What can I say? Points taken. I'll try again. Maybe by now I've grown up
enough to get it.

Then again, maybe not: Under the permanent sign featuring their name,
the local plant nursery has a sign for movable letters that they change
every week or so. Yesterday it read:

 COX
FARMS
 Your
 Pansy
Paradise

Well, *I* thought it was funny.
-Todd

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

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 08:53:23 -0600
From: William Loring <bloring@tirerack.com>
Subject: Re: WASP STAR, 1st Impressions
Message-ID: <B5135283.1EF9%bloring@tirerack.com>

M.O.R. Stevie:

I'm sure plenty of others out there will tear apart your review of Wasp
Star, but I haven't heard it yet, so I'll leave that to the privileged few
(lucky bastards). I'll just pick on this part:

> (PARDON THE UPPER-CASE. CONTRARY TO FRIGGIN' "NETIQUETTE," IT'S NOT
> "SHOUTING" AT ALL. JUST EASIER TO READ BIG PRINT, THAT'S ALL. NO
> "EMPHASIS" INTENDED. SHEESH, RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE VISUALLY
> IMPAIRED??)

Contrary to your opinion, upper case -looks- like shouting, and it is much,
much harder to read. If you want big print, use a bigger font. They come in
more than one size, dontcha know. Check your e-mail client's preferences. Of
course, on WebTV, everything is big, so I'm not sure why you're having
trouble. Using a 13" set?

The visually impaired will find mixed-case text quite easy to read if it's
in a point size that they can see. The added white space between lines makes
the text easier to read, and helps your eye to follow the text from one line
to the next.

An example: Why is the "Surgeon General's Warning" on an American pack of
cigarettes written in a narrow, thin, all caps font? Because it makes it
harder to read, especially from a distance. This means that they fulfill
their legal duty to warn consumers, while making that warning almost
impossible to read unless you put the thing right in front of your nose. I
love America.

Anyway, I've only heard Playground so far, and while it may not be a huge
departure or a big risk for the band, I love it. I'm looking forward to the
rest of the album, and will not let your "down" review color my impressions.

(Been a fan since 1980. Not as long as you perhaps, but 20 years,
nonetheless.)

...bill

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

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 10:40:29 PDT
From: "Ralph Simpson DeMarco" <sawpit@hotmail.com>
Subject: Phil Spector
Message-ID: <20000407174029.78126.qmail@hotmail.com>

Chalkies,

Jim "shields up" Smart:
>>Which reminds me that Phil Spector is the guy whose high esteem I just
>>don't get.  What's the big deal here? He seems a strange and unpleasant
>>character, and his work is crap.>>

Phil Spector became a sought-after producer because of the "Wall of Sound"
that he perfected in the early '60s which "opened unlimited possibilities
for arrangements and sound construction in rock and pop, and his brilliant
talents imprinted the discs that he produced with an artistic vision that
was much more attributable to him than the talented performers with whom he
worked" (girl groups like the Crystals and the Ronettes to name but a few).
The Beatles were huge fans. Spector raised the bar for sound in rock-n-roll
recordings. He inspired Brian Wilson, and saved the scraped "Get Back"
sessions and spent months pasting together what we no know as "Let it Be".
John Lennon chose him to produce most of his solo albums. The Ramones became
another band to be squeezed into a Spector sound...

Ralph

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

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 14:08:50 -0400
From: "Michael D. Myers" <mmyers@telcordia.com>
Subject: miscellaneous ramblings
Message-ID: <852568BA.0063B313.00@notes949.cc.telcordia.com>

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

It's been great receiving so many posts, most of which are focused on
the new album.  A few thoughts:

- Harrison, you beat me to the punch about the Patti Smith mistake.
There was no way "Wild Horses" was about her; her first album came out
about 1976, and when Wild Horses was written (about 1969), she was
just another New Jersey high school kid like me (yeah, I'm that old).

- I also congratulate Harrison for the neat
"Brian-is-a-near-god-like-figure" discussion.  If there's anything
that I could offer to some younger folks on this list is that it's
difficult to imagine the magnitude of some incredible musical
accomplishments if you weren't there to understand the context.
Believe me, I am not trying to be condescending when I say this.  I
only mean that you can't imagine how earth-shattering some things were
compared to what was going on coincident with the achievement.  For
instance, "God Only Knows" was a modest hit single upon release, but
it certainly sounded different from anything that any other "rock"
band was doing at that time.  I can remember with absolute clarity the
first time that the following songs were played on the radio: "You
Really Got Me"; "Purple Haze"; "God Only Knows"; "Please Please Me".

Each blew me away and shook up my world in different ways.  For each,
there was no real comparison because they were totally different.
Each set the stage for things to come.  For instance, before 1963,
there really wasn't anything that you could call "power pop" (even
though that probably isn't the best name for what XTC plays, let's
just call it that for argument's sake).  Essentially, the Beatles
invented the genre.  Many other great artists have built upon the
legacy of achievements such as these; XTC definitely falls into this
category.  They stand on the shoulders of giants such as the Kinks,
Beach Boys and Beatles as they build their own incredible legacy.

I just had a discussion with a fellow musician the other day who told
me that Jimi Hendrix was in no way as good as present-day guitarists
such as Steve Vai.  I decided after a while that it was no use arguing
with him because for him, that is a truth that I couldn't influence.
He couldn't understand that without Jimi Hendrix the chain of
guitarists that extends to Vai would be different and therefore Vai's
sound and accomplishments would be different.  Believe me, if you
heard what most lead guitarists were playing in 1966, your head would
explode when you heard Jimi Hendrix for the first time; I know mine
did (and this is no slam on Clapton or Jeff Beck, who were also doing
some great stuff at that time; it's just that they were not reaching
as far out there as Jimi was).

- Another nod to Harrison: way to go, blasting jerks who advocate
stealing from our boys!  If someone was a real fan of the band, they'd
know how badly Andy and Colin have been taken over the coals and
wouldn't advertise and brag about how they got this material for free.

Can't wait for the "real release" of WS!

Mike

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End of Chalkhills Digest #6-68
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