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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #7-1


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 7, Number 1
		    Happy New Year!

                 Thursday, 4 January 2001

Topics:

 Holiday Greetings + Looking For: "IN-XTC" CA car driver
                  Venus on the Halfshell
                     Re: Top Ten 2000
                  Coat of many cupboards
                    Re: start saving!
            Holly really IS up on Poppy.......
                 What are you Doing Dave?
                     My Best Of List
                         12.29.00
                      worth reading
                         12.30.00
         XTC makes Washington Post's Top 10 list
               The Queen is Fried, Boys...
                      Peter Blegvad
           Washington Post rates top 10 of 2000
                happy new year -- 01.01.01
                   let me entertain you
              My first end of the year thing
                      Porcupine Tree
    Bumbling Deep Inside a Nova! (Exhibition Results)
                 "The Full Monty" ROCKS!
                   Fill up your glasses
                    The Little Express
               TSOTT Nominated For Grammy!!

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I have lived here for a thousand years or maybe more.

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 11:42:48 -0800
From: Mike Wicks <thewicks@sunset.net>
Subject: Holiday Greetings + Looking For: "IN-XTC" CA car driver
Message-ID: <3A4B97B7.BD5024B0@sunset.net>
Organization: Poodle Video

Hey All!

It's been a LONG WHILE--hope things are chugging along on the Chalkhills
Express! Though I haven't peeked in in a few months, I still regard
Chalkhills and all you friends out there as a part of me, kinda like coming
back home after a long Autumn's nap...looking forward to reading all of
your posts, and, what the hey, I may throw my Opinion Hat into the ring now
and then...kudos and props to John Relph--you are AMAZING, man, and also my
holiday greetings to Danny Phipps, one kewl dude!
While driving down the freeway here in Chico, CA yesterday, my thoughts and
feelings of All Things XTC were re-kindled and sparked up again from a most
surprising source. Behind me, in a sporty red car w/sunroof, a young woman,
brunette, driving quite well...I noticed the license plate, and BOFFO! BAM!
WOW! It read:  IN-XTC !
The mystery is this:  Is anyone out there the IN-XTC driver?? If so, please
e-mail me at thewicks@sunset.net or call me at 1-530-894-8899.  I may have
some really cool xtc-items to exchange/give away to you...a couple of which
I got at Melody Records in downtown Chico....Peace and Love as we approach
the 21st Century, a new Millenium and all that, and here's hoping and
looking forward to the "A Coat of Many Cupboards" BOXED SET from Virgin,
but more importantly, the Moulding/Partridge automusicography FUZZY
WARBLES, which should be more fun and comprehensive than the virgin
we-want-your-money-you-swines set...but, you know, we'll buy both in the end!

Cheers, Merry Xmas, Happy 2001, Drive Safely, Do What You Will But Harm None!

Michael Wicks

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 15:00:06 EST
From: Jxnsmom@aol.com
Subject: Venus on the Halfshell
Message-ID: <10.6bb31e4.277cf5c6@aol.com>

Angie asked:

<<Does anyone have a take on the line: "Then she appeared,  Apple Venus on a
half-open shell?" I'm afraid my own thoughts are way off base.>>

I always envisioned Boticelli's "The Birth of Venus," or, as my art history
professor used to call it, "Venus on the Halfshell."

See http://www.timwilson.com/suen/home/pages/birth_of_venus_page4.htm

Amy

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 12:14:50 -0800
From: Kerry Chicoine <kchicoine@mailorder.com>
Subject: Re: Top Ten 2000
Message-ID: <3A4B9F3A.B4FCCF70@mailorder.com>
Organization: American Computer Group

Here are the top ten albums I enjoyed in 2000.

1) Jupiter Affect - Instructions for the Two Ways of Becoming
Alice - Heavy yet delicate, a high-powered return to form for
Michael Quercio. Amazing drumming by Chris Bruckner throughout.
One of the best live bands in Los Angeles, they simply stun
audiences with sheer power. Sadly, guitar hero Jason Shapiro
recently left the band, leaving their future somewhat in doubt. A
classic pop-rock masterpiece in the making.

2) The Januaries - s/t - Debbie Diamond and her extraordinary band
of lounge lizards create a subtle mix of tiki chic and bossa nova
cliches. Sassy, bold and silly all at once, a refreshing break
from the bang-clang-jangle typical of so many current bands
populating the Los Angeles soundscape. Retro cool Route 66 with
the top down driving music.

3) xTc - Wasp Star - Like a good Central Coast merlot, Andy
Partridge just gets better with age. The songs comprising Wasp
Star are concise, compact pop gems with minimal clutter. From the
simple (the ultra-hooky 'Playground') to the sublime (the all
encompassing 'Wheel and the Maypole'), this album repeatedly
surprises with insightful, humorous lyrics and quirky musical
changes. The antidote to last years beautifully orchestrated pagan
opus Apple Venus Volume I.

4) Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming of the True - Progressive pop
doesn't get any better than this. One of the masterminds behind
Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club, Kevin Gilbert belies his
mainstream tendencies with this incredibly progressive album. The
Shaming of the True sets out to reveal the ugly truth behind the
music business via songs of brilliant complexity and beauty, with
dark undertones permeating the entire songcycle. Autobiographical?
Perhaps, but with his untimely death in 1996, we'll never really
know. The epic 'The End of a Long Days Life' is simply the best
song released this year. A 'must have' album.

5) TSAR - s/t - Brittle, shrill, and very loud. High energy
glam-influenced cock rock from survivors of the LA pop-punk scene.
If any LA band has the potential to 'make it' it's TSAR, with
their boyish good looks, mischievous stage antics, and rock star
posturing. Strong, incredibly hooky tunes make for a stellar album
through and through. 'Silver Shifter', with it's simple structure,
falsetto vocals, and thrashing chorus will hook you like an iceaxe
in the back. Fun with a capital 'T'.

6) The Shakes - s/t (ep) - Pete Gilabert of The Shakes writes
miniature pop-punk gemstones that stick like crazy glue in yer
fukin' brain. 'In My Hair' is a summertime twelve-string
jangle-fest of the kind pop dreams are made of. Sloppy, loose and
fast, The Shakes steamroll over pop cliches and emerge with
something totally their own. Here's hoping for a full-length in
2001.

7) The Sugarplastic - Resin - A complete, total turnaround from
their earlier xTc influenced output, the songs comprising Resin
reflect a maturity in both sound and structure. From the George
Harrison-esqe 'Talk Back' to the playful 'Dunn the Worm', Resin is
chalk full of great songs from beginning to end. An instant
favorite and highly recommended for fans of intelligent
songwriting.

8) Bat Country - Entertainment Now - Kudos to Bat Country leader
Norm Kelsey for NOT taking the safe route and creating just
another 'sounds like' album. Freely mixing influences ranging from
mid-1970's classic rock to pure bubblegum, Bat Country deliver a
knockout punch with Entertainment Now. While not the most
instantly accessible album, repeated listens reveal a surprisingly
high level of sophistication and charm. One of the most different,
moody and bracing albums of the year.

9) The Solipsistics - Jesus of the Apes - Jeff MacGregor continues
to amuse listeners with the songs on Jesus of the Apes, coupling
his sparse musical arrangements with wonderfully twisted lyrics.
'Employee of the Year' is reminiscent of KC Bowman, dark and
quirky geek-pop in the best possible way. Really a lyric-based
band rather than a musical powerhouse, The Solipsistics aren't
every pop fans cup of tea, but if you enjoy a good brain tickle
now and then, they're worth a listen or five.

10) Skycycle - Zeros and Ones - Freely available in MP3 format,
Skycycle tread familiar water with Zeros and Ones. Fans of
Jellyfish will no doubt find a kindred spirit in
vocalist/songwriter Steve Isaacs as he bears an uncanny vocal
resemblance to Andy Sturmer (IMO). While not exactly
groundbreaking, their version of 'God Only Knows' nonetheless
reveals a propensity for original thinking. Hey, familiarity
breeds content. Or is that contempt?

Happy holidays and best wishes in the coming new year. Thanks,
John, for moderating an excellent and unusually civil list!

kErrY kOMpOsT

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/15/kompost.html
http://www.kickstand-usa.com/

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 15:08:35 -0500
From: sjacobs <sjacobs@parkgrp.com>
Subject: Coat of many cupboards
Message-ID: <B67107F3.3B3%sjacobs@parkgrp.com>

So what exactly do we think will be on Coat of Many Cupboards and how will
it differ from Fuzzy Warbles?

"Every thing we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream"

                Edgar Allen Poe and Alan Parsons

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 16:41:43 -0500
From: "Danny Phipps" <phipps@schoollink.net>
Subject: Re: start saving!
Message-ID: <web-5470211@schoollink.net>

richard...

re:

>So if you are the type of person that has to have
>EVERYTHING that is released with XTC's name on it, do the
>math and start saving!
>
>A Coat of Many Cupboards (4 discs?)
>Virgin Reissues (9+ discs)
>AVv1 Instrumental (1 disc)
>The Low-Fi discs (disc quantity unknown but probably at
>least 2)
>Fuzzy Warbles (possibly up to six discs!)

i just want you to realize that with this news that i jsut
read, my heart skipped a few beats there, man!!  (pant-pant)
i simply cannot get enough of this band!!  god, if it were
to come to fruition that all this got released!!!  (fingers
tightly crossed!)

thanks for the update, richard.  it's the reason that i
resubscribed to chalkhills.  i don't wanna miss a thing when
it comes to "the swindown two"!!  :-)

thanks for the eyetime --

dan

---------------------------
"Balance the thoughts that
 release within you..."
(Jon Anderson)
---------------------------

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 14:54:15 -0700
From: KirK.Gill@equifax.com
Subject: Holly really IS up on Poppy.......
Message-ID: <852569C3.00791950.00@noteswetc15.fin.equifax.com>

Re: "XTC song dedication:  "King For A Day", going out to
president-annoint GW!"

How's about "Here Comes President Kill Again?"

Or, for Gore, "The Disappointed?"

Or, for those "grinches" out there, "World Wrapped In Grey?"

I've just been lurking lately, what with all the Holiday clatter. Haven't
bought enough discs lately to be TOO boring: Slim Cessna's Auto Club,
"Always Say Please and Thank You;" 16 Horsepower, "Secret South;" Kevin
Gilbert, "The Shaming of the True."

All worthy of many listens.

An additional note: watching my beautiful niece Hannah ride her little
plastic play pony made me hum "Holly Up On Poppy" for the first time in my
life. Gotta love when art and life get together...............

HNY All........

k

?

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

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 17:34:24 -0400
From: Andrew Boyle <uscolor@uscolor.com>
Subject: What are you Doing Dave?
Message-ID: <v04210101b67161f085e7@[192.168.0.3]>

Is it safe to come out?

Before I forget:

Happy New Millennium to all!!!

Now back to trying to find space for all these damn children's toys
from Christmas.

Andrew Boyle
Orlando, FL

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

Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 05:21:14 -0800
From: "Ray Michno" <rmichno@my-deja.com>
Subject: My Best Of List
Message-ID: <200012291321.FAA27694@mail8.bigmailbox.com>

Yes, some people hate these lists, but I find them interesting.
I always jot down albums/artists that I might have missed.

Anyway, here's my list. Feel free to read or disregard!

Best new purchases last year:

 (released in 2000)

XTC - Wasp Star : Love it. It may be heresy, but I like it better
 than Vol. 1, which has too many songs I skip over. This is also the
 first XTC CD that my wife asked to borrow. She fell in love
 with "We're All Light".

Steve Earle - Transcendental Blues : An interesting mix from a very
 talented artist. This CD has country, rock, folk, bluegrass, and
 even a Irish song. A nice assortment.

Wilco/Billy Bragg - Mermaid Ave Vol II : I bought this for Wilco
 but I also enjoy the Bragg songs. The Natalie Merchant song, however,
 gets annoying after one listen.

 (released previously)

XTC - Big Express : After hearing it praised so much on this list,
 I finally went out and bought it. Great CD. I still like the later,
 more "mature" sound better.

Wilco - Being There : Great CD. I discovered Wilco in 1999 through
 the Steve Earle mailing list. I had the pleasure of seeing them
 live during the summer. This is a band in their prime!

Best personal event in 2000:

 I got married in July. We had perfect weather, and a fantastic time.

Hopes for 2001:

 Good health. Good music! More XTC!!

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

Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 13:15:55 -0500
From: "Danny Phipps" <phipps@schoollink.net>
Subject: 12.29.00
Message-ID: <web-5482246@schoollink.net>

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!!

may the new year bring a higher sense of peace and unity
among our brethren and sisteren.

let's hope for more cool music, too, while we're at it, eh?

stay sober (it's more fun that way, trust me!!)

be the light --

/dan

---------------------------
"Balance the thoughts that
 release within you..."
(Jon Anderson)
---------------------------

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

Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 19:35:24 -0600 (CST)
From: Brown <i.sundog@verizon.net>
Subject: worth reading
Message-ID: <200012310135.TAA85092690@smtppop3pub.verizon.net>

That shameless, self-promoting Todd has been at it again-

>>The issue of Modern Drummer magazine with my (too) short article on Chuck
Sabo (the principal drummer on Wasp Star for you non-liner-note-reading
readers out there in Chalkhillsland) has just hit the stands. Check out
page 25.<<

For the full-length article and then some, check out:
http://chalkhills.org/articles/TBChuck000519.html

Do read Mr. Bernhardt's article (full length, natch).  Nice, relaxed vibe..
a very entertaining read.  Way to go, Todd!..

Regarding the Gregory/Partridge RE-falling out.. To any Hillian who knows
the sordid details and is willing to share them, please e-mail me
personally.  Morbid curiosity has gotten the better of me...I'm not real
proud of it..as a matter of fact,  tears of shame are pouring down my face,
even as we speak... -BUT- I still *must* know.  Thanks.

..and yes, Duckie, of course I meant 'our beloved INXS' sarcastically.  A
knowledgeable Hillian has informed me that there should have been a ;-) to
indicate sarcastic intent.  Dat-blam-it! ..you kids and your new-fangled
e-speak.. I'm afraid I'll never get the hang of it! ;-)

Debora 'carrying a monster twitch for XTC' Brown

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

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 01:49:26 -0800
From: "Dan Phipps" <phipps@schoollink.net>
Subject: 12.30.00
Message-ID: <000b01c0730e$fdd7f960$c98c04d8@pavilion>

just a simple wish this time out --

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!!

here's hoping that 2001 brings continued success and the kind of
love and light that we all wish upon ourselves and each other.  may
we all live to see the dawn of a new age...

hold the light within...

peace, balance, unity --

/dan and ginger

 ---------------------------------------------------
"all of the answers you seek can be found
 in the dreams that you dream..."  (dan fogelberg)
 ---------------------------------------------------

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

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 06:55:20 -0800
From: "Victor Rocha" <wardrumm@hotmail.com>
Subject: XTC makes Washington Post's Top 10 list
Message-ID: <OE8A42M37CSuOZpVZsF00003e2d@hotmail.com>

XTC makes The Washington Post's Top 10 list:

XTC, "Wasp Star: Apple Venus Vol. 2." The reclusive godfathers of Brit pop,
Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding of XTC, showed legions of imitators how
it's done with their first studio rock album in eight years. "Wasp Star"
revisits some XTC territory of the early '80s -- the guilt-free,
31/2-minute, guitar-based confection -- this time focusing on grade-school
crushes. Were there sanity to the nation's radio playlists, "I'm the Man Who
Murdered Love" would have been a huge hit.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61523-2000Dec28.html

Victor Rocha
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians
www.pechanga.net

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

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 05:31:43 -0000
From: Robert Wood <Robert.Wood@apostrophe.org.uk>
Subject: The Queen is Fried, Boys...
Message-ID: <01C073B4.23D0D510@What>

Jayne, that terminally concerned Royal poster said:

>> Can I just  say that reading Chalkhills while eating or drinking
isn't a good idea.

I've nearly fried my imac twice by reading with a mouthful of hot
liquid. <<

Which just goes to show, Jayne, that waxing your legs while you read
Chalkhills is simply not on; there are only so many things you can
multitask...

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

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 12:11:02 -0800 (PST)
From: John Relph <relph@engr.sgi.com>
Subject: Peter Blegvad
Message-ID: <200012312011.MAA88477@mando.engr.sgi.com>

Folks,

I thought I should take the time to mention that there is now a list
for aficionados of Peter Blegvad.  To join, surf to

	http://www.egroups.com/subscribe/PeterBlegvad

Thanks.

	-- John

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

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 22:26:16 EST
From: IMSUNBAKE@aol.com
Subject: Washington Post rates top 10 of 2000
Message-ID: <8a.8af1bf.278152d8@aol.com>

Darling Chalkies!
The Washington Post rates Wasp Star ... well, go look at the article!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61523-2000Dec28.html.

And if you can't get there, well, I can't hold back. David Segal lists his
top 10 rock albums for 2000 in no particular order and includes:

ac XTC, "Wasp Star: Apple Venus Vol. 2." The reclusive godfathers of Brit
pop, Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding of XTC, showed legions of imitators
how it's done with their first studio rock album in eight years. "Wasp
Star" revisits some XTC territory of the early '80s -- the guilt-free,
31/2-minute, guitar-based confection -- this time focusing on grade-school
crushes. Were there sanity to the nation's radio playlists, "I'm the Man
Who Murdered Love" would have been a huge hit.

Happy 2001, folks!
Annamarie

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

Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 06:26:20 -0500
From: "Danny Phipps" <phipps@schoollink.net>
Subject: happy new year -- 01.01.01
Message-ID: <web-5507671@schoollink.net>

happy new year, everyone!!  :-)

may we all live to see the see the dawn of a new age and the
reality of a world "beyond war."  it *can* be achieved if we
all want it badly enough!  :-)

peace through music --

/dan phipps

---------------------------
"Balance the thoughts that
 release within you..."
(Jon Anderson)
---------------------------

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

Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 11:10:32 +1100
From: SEBASTIEN MAURY 02 9950 3315 <maury.sebastien@abc.net.au>
Subject: let me entertain you
Message-ID: <200101020358.OAA0000008008@inmail01.abc.net.au>

January 2nd, and back at work. Yawn. Limbs screaming from bopping away at
PRIDE (Sydney NYE dance party).

First of all, apologies to those constant readers for whom lists are
anathema. I myself love reading about what people have bought and enjoyed
over the course of the year, so I'm hoping that those who do not may
indulge me in this...

In alphabetical order by artist,

1. Bjork: Selmasongs.
This soundtrack to the Lars Von Trier film, Dancer in the Dark, will no
doubt be much less controversial than the stunning (in its positive and
negative sense) film itself. The music is awkward, touching, uplifting and
tragic by turns. Describes Selma (and Bjork?!) herself really. Proof that
Bjork is a huge talent who manages to divide people in the way that only
great artists can.

2. Eels: Daisies Of The Galaxy.
Rather a relief after the gloom of album number 2 (although I understand
the reasons behind that one). E's songwriting is mightily impressive on
this album and the most beautiful song is, bloody-mindedly, the one that
radio won't play, It's A Motherfucker.

3. Incognito: No Time Like The Future.
 From a band that skates close to elevator music at times, but that can
really bitch slap you instrumentally, this was thankfully the latter.
Strong vocals by God knows who (but she can sing!) and a funky vibe on this
overlong but fine disc. Excellent remix album came out last year too.

4. Toshi Kubota: Nothing But Your Love.
And now for something completely different...Japanese R&B! Having changed
his name from Toshinobu to Toshi, TK has recorded his first "American"
album, with collaborations from the likes of Pras, Angie Stone and Dianne
Warren (well 2 out of 3 ain't bad...). Surprisingly good, considering the
state of his English when he recorded Just The Two Of Us with Caron Wheeler
a few years back.

5. Kylie Minogue: Light Years.
Stung by the criticism of her last (and critically acclaimed) album of
adult-oriented dance, Kylie has gone back to the disco. This is a supremely
confident display of fluffy and hook-laden boppy pop, done with attitude.
Shits all over the tedious "Music" (although Madonna is cool without even
trying).

6. Pnau: Sambanova.
Although Madison Avenue are bigger, fellow Aussies Pnau are better. This
suave electronica album grooves. rocks and sashays its way through 65
minutes of excellence. Comes with interactive stuff also.

7. Radiohead: Kid A.
Perhaps the most anticipated album release of the year for me...A spooky
and satisfying collection of soundscapes with plenty of melody, despite
what the reviews might say. Outstanding.

8. Sade: Lovers Rock.
Speaking of anticipated...1992 was her last album, and nothing has really
changed, which is to say, Sade's "on the edge of pleasure" voice is still
throbbing to a slightly harder edge this time. Constantly gorgeous.

9. Lewis Taylor: Lewis II.
Having given up on a follow up to the sublime debut (one of my top 5 albums
of all time), given his well-publicised battle with heroin, I was stunned
to see this in the shops. Not totally dissimilar to the edgy, gorgeous yet
melancholy R&B of its predecessor, this album slinks into your brain, and
lodges for good.

10. XTC: Wasp Star.
Of course. Others have said more, and better than I could. Satisfying in
the extreme.

Highly commendeds (including compilations):
*Dmitri From Paris: A Night At The Playboy Mansion
*Shirley Bassey: The Remix Album: Diamonds Are Forever
*Bob Sinclair: Champs Elysees
*LTJ Bukem: Journey Inwards
*Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs
*Sinead: Faith and Courage

In 2000 I also discovered 2 wonderful record labels: Slip 'n Slide, home of
the disastrously good Jazz In The House series, and Hed Kandi responsible
for the irresponsibly tasty Hed Kandi series. Ouch (says the Visa).

Cheers and hope some may groove on these...

Best for 2001,
Seb.

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

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 17:07:27 -0800
From: Ed Kedzierski <ed.kedzierski@chromaticsoftware.com>
Subject: My first end of the year thing
Message-ID: <08B5DDC2BABCD311BFC6005004A884B013B8ED@mgcservices.com>

Yes, I'm still here (put those tomatoes away), I've been busy, but by no
means have I left or slid into (deliberate) lurkdom...
Well, this is my first end-of-the-year post, can you believe it? I haven't
quite reached my first year posting anniversary, I'll embarrass you all with
thanks and praise when that comes around...

Yes, I realize it's already the new year, but things have been extra hectic,
what with shopping, gifting, drinking, etc. I hope everyone had a great one,
and didn't overdo it on Sunday night...

First of all, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's disappointed by the lack
of mention of Wasp Star in the various rawkhacks "year's best" lists. As
much as we may all dismiss their little opinions and put it all down to
ignorance, it still sticks in one's craw a bit. Spin and Rolling Stone are
hopleless lost causes, obviously, but it was still a bit galling to see the
RS list not only not mentioning AV2, but including a fricking DON HENLEY
album to boot.
Closer to home, the local weekly rag did its top ten crits picks, and,
shuffling through them looking for a mention, I find one guy who lists WS as
one of his faves. A relief, but what does he go and do but, when bemoaning
the loss of Dave, he says something along the lines of "unfortunately,
former drummer Dave Gregory..." Argh. It's not the first time I've seen
someone make this stupid error, and I guess it's probably too much to ask to
expect rock journalist types to have a clue as to what they're talking
about, but still...

First of all, thanks to everyone who welcomed me so warmly when I first
posted, everyone who offered to send me stuff when I expressed interest in
just about anything (this list overflows with generosity), everyone who I've
been in correspondence with offlist (you know who you are) for their
friendship, and everyone in general for helping make this list consistently
enjoyable to read. I don't know if I can thank Mr. Relph for providing this
place without sounding like Mr. Poo-Tongue on the one hand or Mr.
Faint-Praise on the other, so I'll just say thanks.
Thanks especially for making me interested in music again. I posted
something along these lines before, but I just thought I'd say again that
the year before last I was in a total state of despair when it came to
music. With all the suggestions I've come across here, I've bought more
music in 2000 than in the previous five years combined. Some things weren't
always what I expected, and I may not have always reacted to everything with
the same degree of enthusiasm as those who recommended it (ie, I liked
Owsley's songs well enough, but I would have liked them even more if some of
the guitar sounds had a little less of that "generic alt-rock" texture;
ditto for the Jason Falkner album I bought), but I don't regret a single
purchase I've made as a result of reading about a group or album here. Not
to sound too gushy, but you really don't know how much this has meant to me.
Thanks again. Now, if only I could actually find something by the
Sugarplastic in a bricks-and-mortar store (to order anything online I need
to wait until I've paid down my maxed-out credit card to a reasonable
level...).

Speaking of musical suggestions, Jamie Lowe truly flattered me in 6-304,
when he mentioned buying Sloan's Navy Blues just because I said it rocked
(though it does). I never would have imagined that anyone would value my
opinion like that, maybe I'm just used to my friends' eyes glazing over when
I express musical enthusiasm (I went through an over-the-top, and probably
rather insufferable, Kinks phase when I was about 19, and my oldest friends'
ability to put up with my spoutings on music never really recovered), but I
literally blushed when I read that post. I'm humbled. Thanks.

So, I haven't exactly done a "Top Ten" per se; think of it more in terms of
me dumping a pile of discs on your desk, with nothing ranked in terms of
best to worst or whatever (they scatter all over the place, making a big
mess, maybe spilling your coffee, you yell at me, I blub like Stan Laurel,
etc.).
Albums of My Year for 2000:

XTC: Wasp Star. What more can I say? Still in heavy rotation for me,
especially while driving.

Ween: White Pepper. If you dismissed these guys as too jokey or something
ages ago, look again. My second favourite release of the year, though "the
Mollusk" has since surpassed it as my favourite Ween album.

Badly Drawn Boy: Hour of Bewilderbeast. Well, it's already proving divisive,
isn't it? Put me down as being on the bandwagon on this one (or put me down
for it if you must). Surprisingly (as I'm usually pretty lyric-focused), the
words haven't sunk in much with me yet at all, it's mainly just pleasing
texture after pleasing texture. I've been playing this one to fall asleep to
a lot lately (and not in a "this puts me to sleep" bad way).

Elliot Smith: Figure 8. I like this for the same reasons I like the Badly
Drawn Boy album. Pleasing textures, nice feel to the production, it just
tickles my tastes in a very nice way. Another frequent bedtime choice.

Radiohead: Kid A. Again, a matter of forming a reasonable opinion in the
midst of slavering praise and impending vicious backlash. I ignored all the
raves and initially passed on buying this, until I saw them do "National
Anthem" (still my fave on the album) on SNL a while back. Definitely the
first time in a very long time that I'd been in any way impressed by a
musical guest on that show (seeing the guy wanking around with boxes and
plugs and doodads was so much more enjoyable than just having someone
triggering samples in the back), I went out and bought it the next day. I
still prefer the first three or so songs, and start to lose interest about
halfway through the album, but I'm quite willing to keep giving it a chance.

The The: Nakedself. It was no Dusk, but it sure was great to hear Matt
Johnson's reassuringly depressing voice again.

Is that really it for 2000 releases? I feel sure it isn't but I'm not at
home & I'm blanking out here.
Anyway, various things I bought last year, many of them a direct result of
this list, both reading about them on the list and in offlist e-mails, which
weren't necessarily 2000 releases (and I'm not showing off what I can afford
or anything, it's just the fact that I felt inspired to listen to more music
than I have in years):
The La's first album, both Yazbek albums, Owsley, the Wayward Genius of
Martin Newell, that one-disc intro to Nick Drake (even with all the warnings
that everyone who hears it just ends up buying the box set later, which
seems likely), Jason Falkner-Can You Still Feel?, Love box set, the best of
the Move, the Oranj Symphonette's two albums - Play Mancini & the Oranj
Album (both very highly recommended), the Best of Burt Bacharach, a John
Coltrane compilation for lazy dilletantes like myself, Miles Davis-Miles
Smiles, the Bonzos - The Outro (including "Let's Make Up and Be Friendly"
the last missing piece in my Bonzos collection), the Compact King Crimson,
Richard and Linda Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights (the only one on every
single list of suggestions sent to me by various people after I asked for
advice) the remaining XTC stuff that I only had on vinyl (which apparently
I'll be doing all over again now), and many more.
And there's still a lot more that I want to hear that I've read about on
this list, now that I have a source of recommendations that I can trust.
I'll get to them.

Dunks, you're right about Mission to Mars being a bad movie, but there were
at least two things that amused me about it: 1)the face on Mars is a...
display centre/Expo pavilion? 2) a big fuss was made by the makers when this
was coming out regarding how NASA gave them all sorts of technical advice.
Clearly, it all came from the "stuff we'd like to do if we had an infinite
budget" file. As if anyone would fund a space station with a big, roomy
gravity torus like that within any time span even vaguely resembling the
apparent near-future this movie was set in. Among many other things.
I have to say that a smelly little movie called Supernova is much, much
worse, though. I rented it with a friend, with fairly low expectations,
figuring it might at least be cheesy enough for a laugh & some momentary
diversion. No such luck: it's like watching eggs fry. They seem to have
built the sets and hired the actors, then tried to come up with a "story".
No luck.

Totally psyched about all the releases and re-releases that have been
mentioned here lately - it'll be nice to have a reason to check out the XTC
section of the shelves again when I go music shopping.

Isn't telling people "you don't want to know" one of the surest ways of
making them more curious? Just a thought...

Talk to you all later, have a great one...

Ed K.

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

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 14:46:44 -0800
From: "Hiatt, Randy" <Randy.Hiatt@fsbti.com>
Subject: Porcupine Tree
Message-ID: <F34536084B78D311AF53009027B0D7EAE3DC7A@fsbex01.fsbti.com>

Anyone hear these guys?

I just heard 3 CD's worth... wow, cool.

Prog'rs for sure but smooth to swallow, interesting sounds, great grooves
and drums, guitars, bass, ...  oh and vocals too.  
The only thing I didn't like.... hmmmm couldn't tell.

Dave Gregory arranges/produces the strings on their Lightbulb Sun  release
(latest).

their site is   http://www.porcupinetree.com/
Randy
_________________________
wanna hear my music?... 
http:/www.mp3.com/RandyHiatt

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

Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 20:04:56 -0600
From: "vee tube" <veetube@hotmail.com>
Subject: Bumbling Deep Inside a Nova! (Exhibition Results)
Message-ID: <F105hyTQaJHgKs3Xpz20000145a@hotmail.com>

          First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who
    contributed to (and/or enjoyed) the second 'Wonder Annual
    Harvest Song Festival' of XTC Holiday themed lyrical
    parodies.

                        THANX!

          Secondly,the imagination staggers at the thought
    of what fodder this years XTC releases will provide for
    the upcoming '3rd Wonder Annual...

               And the winners are/were!

          Honorable Mentions: In no particular order...

      1.1: Debora Brown for...

   I hid myself within the tall, field grass
   and put a bullet in his feathered ass
   Now to get you home, to clean and stuff
   I just hope your meaty flesh is not TOO tough!

      1.2: The UNNAMAILER for...

   Secret Santa is forcing,
   The feeling of Christmas
   And loving-ing-ing.

   Dollar limit so low anyway,
   That it's best to buy
   Nothing-ing-ing.

   Feels so wrong, feels so wrong,
   Cuz' we never got along,

   But it's your name that I drew.

    Please! No jokes about the Chalk-Women bringing up the rear!

        The Runners Up: INPO.

       1.1: Eddie 'The Saint' for...

    Want to turn on
    How The Grinch Stole Christmas
    Want to watch it
    'Til my sled goes spinning around
    Want to turn on How the Grinch
    Let me turn on How The Grinch Stole Christmas

       1.2: XsteveX for...

   And if the pot won't hold this bird,
   If the pot won't hold this bii-i-ird
   If the pot won't hold this bird,
   Then we'll baste it til it's brown . . . .what a meal!

   Jell-O! Jell-O! Jell-O!
   In cubes or molds you wiggle round, in colors streaming
   Jell-O! Jell-O! Jell-O!
   In red or green you're rarely seen at tables to-daaay
   And now the grace we say . . . .yes,
   Now the grace we say,

          And the grand gift recipient?

      Rich Greenham (loves his mom) for...

   Mashed Potatoes
   Are made out of spuds
   That get creamed up with butt-err-err-err
   Mashed Potatoes
   Are heaped up in a bowl
   `Cause they're made by your Moth-err-err-err
   Lots of lumps, lots of lumps
   She makes them with lots of lumps
   And you better clean your plate
   I'm on seconds gasping
   Want to worship at the Mashed Potatoes
   Drowned in gravy
   `Til them spuds go swimming around
   Want to worship at those Mashed
   Let me worship at the Mashed Potatoes

   As my Mum would say after every meal, "Have you had sufficient?"

              Yes,Rich,I believe we have!

   Again, Thank You EVERYBODY! I hope other Chalksters
        enjoyed your spirit as much as I did.

                     }---:)

P.S. The most popular choice of 'Gifts' this year was...

            Dave Gregory's "Re-Moulds"

                    TROUT!OUT!

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

Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 21:36:24 -0500
From: Ben Gott <bgott@bowdoin.edu>
Subject: "The Full Monty" ROCKS!
Message-ID: <B6794956.2C4D%bgott@bowdoin.edu>

Gang,

Give me a "Y"!  Give me an "A"!  Give me a "Z-B-E-K"!

I just returned from "The Full Monty" (now playing at the Eugene O'Neill
Theatre on Broadway), and it was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.  Yes, the story was
adapted brilliantly by Terrence McNally, but Yazbek's music and lyrics stole
the damn show.  "Big Black Man," "Big-Ass Rock," "Breeze Off the River" (a
haunting, beautiful song) and "You Walk With Me" (a tune based
not-so-loosely on my favorite song off of "TOCK") were the standouts -- but,
truly, everything else was wonderful.  And there was even an XTC reference
for those of us who care to listen!  (The last, most crowd-stopping number,
"Let It Go," contains the lines "Just let the music be the master / I got a
whammy bar on my brown guitar...")  I shelled out a massive $20 for the
soundtrack at the door (puts more lint in Yazbek's pockets!), but you should
go somewhere and buy the soundtrack.  It's all vintage Yazbek...and that's
incredibly kickin'.

If you get a chance to see "The Full Monty," GO.  I fucking *hate* musicals
with all my heart, but this show was the huge, glaring, wonderful exception.
(And I'm not just saying that because Yazbek is reading over our shoulders!)
And if you can't get to New York, buy the CD.  You won't be disappointed
(especially if you've seen the film.)

I make a prediction: watch the Tony Awards (whenever they air), and I'll bet
you Harrison Sherwood's soul that Yazbek will be bringing an award home --
and not one that he snuck out in his coat pocket, like last time...

Happy New Year!

-Ben

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

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 22:26:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Ryan Anthony <hamsterranch@yahoo.com>
Subject: Fill up your glasses
Message-ID: <20010104062652.4584.qmail@web10102.mail.yahoo.com>

Has everyone got something in his or her glass?

A toast to the still-very-much-alive Duke of Ceylon,
Sir Arthur C. Clarke. This is his year; we're just
living in it, squatting on our haunches, gnawing on
bones, and waiting for a monolith.

A toast to John Relph, who ground out 305, count 'em,
305, Chalkhills Digests in 2000. On the other 60 days,
he rested.

A toast to Harrison Sherwood, whose scholarly
compendium of which stimulus triggers the violent
release of what substance out the nostrils (CD #302)
is worthy of the *Journal of Irreproducible Results*.
(Is that spoof of academia still in business?)

A toast to those of you, especially the Versacis, who
finally "exhaled" when you learned that another's love
of XTC equalled your own. Uh, Michael, does your wife
have a sister?

A reluctant toast to Ryan Anthony. No, not me, but
another Ryan Anthony (like Tigger, I thought I was the
only one!), whose name you will see -- listed second
on the storyboard team -- if you watch the end credits
of *Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure
Begins*.

Why was I wasting my time with a piece of kiddie
twaddle like *Buzz*? Because I love the two *Toy
Story* movies so much, I wanted to see if any of that
magic rubbed off on this conventionally-animated
kid-vid spinoff. Answer: not much, although it has its
moments. (Complimented on his skill with a raygun,
evil Emperor Zurg explains, "You don't PULL the
trigger, you SQUEEZE it.") Kid-vid in general, if *Eek
the Cat* and *Buzz* are indicative, is smarter and
sharper-edged than it was back when I was in its
target audience.

Speaking of waste: Why am I wasting my Chalksiblings'
time with irrelevant ranting like this?

Which reminds me: A toast to all of you for having the
grace to put up with my stuff all year.

Ryan Anthony (the other one)

An independent Internet content provider

P.S.: Colin's "The World Is Full of Angry Young Men"
sounds even more like Steely Dan than "Standing In For
Joe" does, if that's possible.

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

Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 09:05:14 -0500
From: "Joe Jarrett" <Joe.Jarrett@ntel.tdsb.on.ca>
Subject: The Little Express
Message-ID: <fc.00003c540071f92100003c540071f921.71f95e@ntel.tdsb.on.ca>

I spoke with Peter and June of the Little Express this week. The have
finished the process of sending out all of the last issue and refunding
any monies owed to any subscribers. They also told me that their post
office box mailing address (that is included on the back of several of
their CD's) will officially close as of January 31, 2001. So if you want
to write them a goodbye note, or make inquiries about your subscription,
or order any copies of past issues of the Little Express (and they have
copies from issues 27 to the last one) this is your last chance. They
would like to thank all of you who wrote them in the past and wish all of
you the best in the future. Although they loved compiling the Little
Express they have resolved themselves to the fact that times have changed
and it is the right time to call it a day. You have to remember that they
were both working and raising a family for the past nineteen years while
they were editing the newsletter. They were (and still are) very dedicated
and loyal fans of XTC. The back catalogue of all the L.E.'s makes any
excellent library and historical record for all things XTC. They will be
missed but certainly not forgotten.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 10:26:38 -0500
From: "Joe Funk" <twosheds@mindspring.com>
Subject: TSOTT Nominated For Grammy!!
Message-ID: <006f01c07662$bca9efa0$9da9343f@funklt>

Chalklings!!

To all you Kevin Gilbert fans:  "The Shaming of the True"
has been nominated for a Grammy for Packaging!!
I know, I know..  The irony that this musical masterpiece is
being targeted for it's design...  But if it wins, it will most certainly
bring a lot more attention to Kevin's work, which I think he deeply
deserves.

I just wanted to ask any voting NARAS members (are there any on
this list?) to please support Kevin and TSOTT by voting for it!!

Spank You Very Much,

Jomama

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #7-1
*****************************

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