Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #7-67

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 7, Number 67

                 Monday, 31 December 2001


Thelonius Partridge, Colin Mingus, and the much balleyhooed death
                       The Pain...
                The future is in plastics.
                 Re: xtc albums rankings
                  an xtc conclusion.....
                    Just being bitchy
                  Phil/Gabriel (no XTC)
                       This is pop?
           The eternal art vs. commerce dilly-o
          happy new year / '01 top 10 listens...
                  We're All (Not) Light
                       Following up
            Andy & Colin at the 15th Precinct
      This post has nothing to do with Phil Collins
              Excuse Me, But I'm New Here...


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So circling we'll orbit another year...


Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 23:53:20 -0600
From: Chris Vreeland <>
Subject: Thelonius Partridge, Colin Mingus, and the much balleyhooed death
Message-ID: <a05101001b85459f042a3@[]>

of radio
Hello, fellow humans,
	It's been a while. I've been away from the 'Hill for some
months, but now I'm all read up. After owning a CD burner for about a
year, and with all the trading I'd been doing, I reached a saturation
point last summer, where I really couldn't take on any new music, and
needed to step back for a while and assess what I'd come upon. Not to
mention, somehow, time at home with my family grew suddenly important
this year. Also, I needed some time alone with the XTC remasters, to
just listen, without having to think or talk about xTc. The honeymoon
suite grew a tad expensive, though, and now I've brought them all
home with fresh insights; the first of which is:

XTC, the Jazz band.

With recent discussions about tailoring a CD's worth of selected XtC
songs to a particular prospective listener, it occurred to me that
you could build and entire CD's worth of material on which xTC were
almost entirely disguised as a Jazz band. Consider an album comprised
of the following:

Mantis on Parole
Me and the Wind
I Bought Myself a Liarbird
You're the Wish You Are I Had
I Remember the Sun
Mermaid Smiled
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
Cynical Days
River of Orchids
Knights in Shining Karma
The Last Balloon

So long as the Jazz-afflicted potential covertee wasn't a "purist,"
you could potentially win such a person over with this collection.

Boy, wouldn't they be surprised when they ran out and bought Black Sea?

Other Random thoughts follow.


I lived in The Castro in the late seventies. Nobody needs to tell me
anything about the Bee gees.


So, how come I didn't know until yesterday that Peter Pumpkinhead was
in Dumb and Dumber?
(I have multiple nine-year-olds; we just had Christmas)
It was a cover version. Whose?


This snippet from a previous conversation set me to thinking...
(Bless ya, Dunks. Yr. one of the reasons I just can't go away)

>>Seriously though, folks -- have we indeed sunk so
>low, has radio become so moribund, that it requires
>the exploitation of all this fine music by
>  advertisers to engender broad public interest in such
>  artists as Nick Drake?<

>  Selling music to advertisers worked for Moby.
>  I say if some ad execs have good taste in music, more
>  power to them.  Commercial radio is dead and any other
>  means to reach the masses is justified.

	Really, thanks to the internet, these are heady days for
musical artists. The "industry" as such is hurting, but I say fine.
The underground and DIY musical community is flourishing, even if
none of them are exactly getting rich. Ani Difranco and Mike Keneally
certainly don't have to argue with coked-up A&R men about producers
and song choices ("Sorry, baby, I just don't hear a single...") and
if they're not buying yachts, at least they're not having to watch
the execs over at Universal buying yachts with THEIR money.
	Radio is dying because it deserves to die. FM Bandwidth has
had a ridiculous runup in price due to speculation purchasing by
corporations who figure they'll sell the bandwidth for a profit at a
later date, when the price for a station's broadcast rights go up
again. The bubble will pop one day, I hope, and all the corporate
yahoos like Clearchannel are really gonna take it on the chin, Grid
willing. Meanwhile, they play it safe, with proven formulas (provided
by demographic sampling) that guarantee a certain market share, and
people who give a damn about music are tuning out in droves.
Much to "industry's" dismay, MP3 players and filesharing proliferate,
and the incredible advances made in desktop computers and software
are enabling artists of very modest means to at least own the
capacity, if not the skill, to create world-class recordings in their
own homes.  I foresee micropayments for MP3 files, purchased directly
from bands off of their independently produced and owned websites
taking as big a bite out of the fat hide of the "industry's" ass as
	Really, g*d bless XTc, because they, too, now own their very
own record label, recording studio, and website! Screw the labels,
screw the radio. This is a decent point (Hey! It's the middle of the
missive!) to add that the truth is, if you've got a major label
record deal, by its very definition, you've got a bad deal. I
originally picked up this link off Chalkhills, but it's been a while,
and if you give a hoot about the state of the music industry, you
should read Steve Albini's diatribe on the sorry state of corporate
rock at:
	And while you're at it, support a couple DIY Chalkies, like
Duncan Watt, and Two Sheds (Joemama's band) who both have very good
CD's for sale on their respective websites. Duncan even sent me a
nice signed poster with the CD, and hey, wasn't that your handwriting
on the envelope, too? You can order here:  and contact Joe
Oh, and copy protection? Might I add a hearty "Boycott Universal?"
Those blinkered suits are digging their own graves.

Bottom line, there's a ton of good music out there, and if you're
reading this, then you have the means to find it.

Cheers, and a hearty Holy Month Of Chinese Kwanzaa to you and yours,
Chris "who has been cleverly disguised as Sancho Panza in Man of
LaMancha for some odd months" Vreeland


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 01:00:25 -0500
From: Sylvan <>
Subject: The Pain...
Message-ID: <>

I was listening to They Might Be Giants' new album, Mink Car, to escape
the horror of the Times Square bus terminal Muzak system when suddenly
my headphones cut out for no reason... and then there it was... the
legendary Muzak Mayor of Simpleton, coming out over the loudspeakers in
all of its gory...
Brain... melting...
"Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's
warm for the rest of his life." --Terry Pratchett


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 01:39:59 EST
Subject: The future is in plastics.
Message-ID: <>

Re: The Use of music in commercials. It all comes down to being lazy. You
hear Revolution and it strikes a chord (pardon the pun) and makes you all
warm and fuzzy inside about some moment in your past. Suddenly, the
commercial has its hooks in your past and reels you in. You associate the
two. The product intrudes on your mind and time. It requires no creativity
whatsoever on the company or advertising agency. They've done their job.
Capitalism succeeds!

It's the ultimate in prostitution in a sense. You prostitute both your art
form and the personal connection you've made with an audience. In a sense
it's a betrayal of sorts. If an artist chooses at some point to do that
(particularly if the audience the work was created for isn't paying attention
anymore, i.e., it's not the target audience), I suppose I wouldn't have a
problem with that. At least if the artist makes the decision, it's their
decision about their work.

Unfortunately, as that's rarely the case. Usually the artist is dead, has
lost control of their work or signed away their rights without realizing the
worth of their songs. If Andy and Colin ever decide to sell their songs  for
commercials and it makes them happy I don't have a problem with that. Just so
long as I don't have to listen to watch the commercials. I find that the
experience so cheapens something I've been fond of that I can't listen to it

Interesting thread here--anybody else have any thoughts?



Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 01:51:55 EST
Subject: Re: xtc albums rankings
Message-ID: <>

I figure I might as well throw in my two cents while other people are.

1) Skylarking
2) English Settlement
3) Apple Venus Vol. 1
4) Black Sea
5) Nonsuch
6) Drums and Wires
7) Go 2
8) Oranges and Lemons
9) Mummer
10) Apple Venus Vol. 2
11) The Big Express
12) White Music (although I just got it... perhaps it needs time to grow on

The Dukes of Stratosphear stuff would be like between 4 and 5.


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 06:47:18 -0500
From: "Danny Phipps" <>
Subject: an xtc conclusion.....
Message-ID: <>

<delurk mode "ON">

i have reached a personal revelation!

xtc's "wasp star" is a fucking DYNAMITE album!!!!!!!  i
could easily listen to this album over and over all day long
and not get tired of it.

the swindon boys have done it again....  :-)


<delurk mode "OFF>

"We are all part of the same soul..."
                        (Billy Sherwood)


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 07:37:08 -0500
From: "Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Just being bitchy
Message-ID: <>


Dan Wasser listed some faves, and asked:

> XTC - Wasp Star
> Crimson - Beat
> Zappa - One Size Fits All
> Queen - The Miracle
> Guess Who - Road Food
> Bowie - Scary Monsters
> ELO - Out of the Blue
> Beatles - Abbey Road
> ELP - Brain Salad Surgery
> Kate Bush - The Dreaming
> So, what would you recommend?

I'd recommend you lose the ELO! (And substitute an earlier Queen album,
such as Sheer Heart Attack or Queen II...)



Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 08:38:17 EST
Subject: Phil/Gabriel (no XTC)
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 12/31/01 12:33:09 AM Eastern Standard Time,
somebody writes:

> The song writing is pretty strong. I don't hold the fact that he
> ripped off the sound of In The Air from Steve Lilywhite/Peter Gabriel and
> the melting face album.

I know that I'm going to be one of 50 people to post this, but what the heck.
 The drummer on the Peter Gabriel III is none other than Mr. Collins.  So
essentially, he ripped off himself.

J. D.


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 09:53:43 -0600
Subject: This is pop?
Message-ID: <>

Pop music is not defined by whether the artist  is popular, but by whether
the style of music is popular.  See the definition of pop in the allmusic

  "In a broad sense, pop is any music based on memorable melodies, repeated
  sections (usually, but not always, verses and choruses), and a tight,
  concise structure that keeps the listener's focus on those elements."

  I doubt any of us would argue that XTC is pop even though we all know it
  sure as hell ain't popular.  Limp Bizcrap may be popular, but it ain't

  -Sharon "Sorry Steve, I'm already engaged to Sam Olson" Olsen

  (oh, I happen to like both Supertramp and 80's era Phil Collins)


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 11:30:32 -0500
From: MinerWerks <>
Subject: The eternal art vs. commerce dilly-o
Message-ID: <a05001900b8563ce1da2f@[]>

On Sat, Dec. 29, 2001, Duncan Kimball wrote:

>WHAT "legacy"? Geez, Louise ... talk about silk purses and sow's ears.
>Einstein left a legacy. Tolkien left a legacy. Are you seriously contending
>that ANYONE is going to remember Michael Jordan as some kind of "artist"?

I am not even in the least a sports fan, but is it so hard to accept
the idea that perhaps Michael Jordan actually does WANT to play
basketball? And as far as legacies are concerned, sure sports is not
the same as science or literature, but it's a form of popular
entertainment, and those who follow it remember the players in the
same way many of us remember musicians.

>... You evidently argue from the assumption that because
>advertising doesnt work on YOU, it doesn't work. Unlike 'The Audience',
>these companies and advertising types aren't fools. They wouldn't spend such
>vast amounts year after year if they didn't get results ... big, profitable

Why are you more upset with the advertising companies than you are
with the people who submit to their messages? The advertising
agencies are made up of people too. Do they possess some superpowers
the average person is incapable of defeating? You already said the
masses are the fools. Then, whose fault is it, really, that
advertising works?

>The perfect advertisement would render us incapable of anything except
>buying that product. And don't think they wouldn't try ANYTHING to do that.

Christ, I think you *are* more cynical than I am.

>... I have NO problem with commerce, per se, and no
>problem with Andy or anyone else making an honest buck out of their music.
>the sad fact is that so few musicians have ever been able to make a living
>wage, while agents, managers, promoters, publishers and all the other greedy
>parasites make trillions.

And who's fault is THAT? I hate to see people exploited and cheated,
but by this point in music history, there is a perfectly clear legacy
from those that have come before. I learned from the mistakes of The
Beatles and XTC. I knew before I was 20 the pitfalls of the "music
business" from reading about them. If someone is really interested in
protecting their music, then they should avoid the agents, managers,
promoters and publishers and learn for themselves how it's done. Do
the work usually done by the army of parasites yourself, or at least
hire someone you trust and don't sign your life away to someone with
big (and usually empty) promises.

= Derek =


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 08:40:37 -0800
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: happy new year / '01 top 10 listens...
Message-ID: <>

hello everyone!

have not had much time to post as the holidays have been quite chaotic (and
very wet in san francisco - though i am sure the poster from the previous
email in buffalo would certainly trade 6 feet of snow for 4 straight days of
rain any day!).

anyways, to sum up some things from past emails:

i am not overly fond of phil collins either (though its hard not to like in
the air tonight -and does everyone remember when phil had a guest spot on
miami vice in back in the day?!).

George Harrison...  rest in peace.

here are some albums that were some of my favorites in the past year(no
particular order):

A) Blackalicious --  Nia  (released in 2000, but man its very well done)

B) Mark Eitzel -- The Invisible Man (upbeat record from the former  American
Music Club front man)

C) The Donnas --  Turn 21  (rockin' band and they do a good cover of Judas
Priest's "livin' after midnight"

D) The Judas Priest catalog --  albums were remastered and reissued with
original artwork, liner notes and extra songs!!!  This made me very happy!

E) Arabic Groove  -- A Putumayo records release.  fantastic sampler of songs
from North Africa and the middle east

F) Bob Marley  --  Exodus- Deluxe Edition.  Ok, so this is not really new,
but it was redone again and has expanded art work, lyrics and a second disc
of live recordings + B sides.  Not that I am a big fan of time magazine, but
they did rate this record as the best of the century!

G) PJ Harvey --  Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, released in
late 2000, its impact was not fully felt until this year. and check her out
on the cover and in the latest issue of Q Magazine

H) Southern Culture on the Skids -- Liquored Up and Lacquered Down, another
late 2000 release from a band that boogied its way across America many times
this past year.  A must have for those who love southern white trash  dirty
boogie rock 'n roll!

I) Bombay the Hardway 2 -- Bombay 2: Electric Vindaloo.  a mixture of old
Bollywood film songs-scores, hip-hop beats and fun.  a worthy complement to
the original Bombay the Hardway.

J) George Harrison --  All Things Must Pass.  beautiful reissue

and i cannot forget the XTC reissues. they were absolutely the highlight
musically this year for me.  Black Sea and Mummer were my favorites.



PS> Greetings to Sughosh from Bombay.  I was in India ten years ago next
month and spent a few weeks in Bombay and loved everything there.  I long to
come back to your beautiful country.

"What is this, Wonka, some kind of funhouse?!"
"Why?  Are you having fun?"


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 10:25:26 -0700
From: "Steve Johnson" <>
Subject: We're All (Not) Light
Message-ID: <>

"Let's all lighten up."  - Joe Jackson

I'd like to chime in on the debate about using pop songs (even good ones) in
dog sweater ads.

Point Number One:  Everyone must work.  While we'd all like to work as
recording artists, putting out a record every couple of years, and walking
our sweatered dogs and dreaming up new songs in the interim, let's face it,
we can't all make a living that way.  So we slog away, as teachers,
accountants, computer salespeople, food critics, financial advisers,
janitors, government workers, sandwich makers, astrologers, miners, etc.

Point Number Two:  Making music is a job.  Whether you're Dandy Andy or
Britney Shitney, if you're a recording artist, it's just another job.  It's
a hell of a lot better job than most, but it's a job.  If artists want to
record, promote and sell pre-fab songs that are gobbled up by ten-year-old
girls, it's because they're motivated by fame and/or commercial success.  If
they want to record songs like "Greenman," it's because they're motivated by
writing good songs.  Who am I to judge these motives?  I'll buy at least two
copies of AV1, but I won't cry if others don't buy it.

Point Number Three:  If you don't like it, don't buy it.  Cut the umbilical
(pronounced "um-bi-LIKE-al") cord on your TV.  Walk right past Burger Queen
and McWendy's.  Stay the hell out of the Gap and the big fat mall that
surrounds it.  Only read the articles in Playgirl.  Whatever.  The only
reason ad agencies, middlemen, public relations firms, and record companies
exist is because people buy the stuff that they sell.  And unless you live
in a country where you're only allowed to buy government-issue thongs,
nobody's making you buy it.

Does this mean you have to listen to Kill Phollins?  Maybe if you ride in a
cab or sit in a cubicle where he's twanging through somebody else's
speakers.  So spend the $1.49 (US) and get yourself some ear plugs.  Because
you know, some ear plug manufacturer out there is trying to put his kidlets
through college.

Point Number Four:  And this will be my last [applause].  Let's not treat
pop songs like Rembrandts (oops, maybe I should say "Renoirs," unless some
pop group is also using that moniker).  No artist is forced to sign away
rights to songs.  If McLennon and McCartney sign away their rights, they are
forever doomed to listen to "Revolution" on McNike ads.  But it's their
choice.  Our choice is whether or not to buy that those shiny, shiny shoes.


Date: 31 Dec 2001 13:04:27 -0000
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Following up
Message-ID: <>


Christopher R. Coolidge opined:
>  Phil didn't actually play with King Crimson per se, but I believe
> he's the only drummer on Robert Fripp's solo album Exposure.

Nope ... Narada Michael Walden and Jerry Marotta also make appearances.

> For that matter, his drumming would do well with XTC if they can
bring themselves to call him up<


And, in between chewing up and spitting out great swaths of scenery
(you go, boy!), Dunks said:
>Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the show that never ends ... Great
to see the Annual Phil Collins Debate returning just in time for Xmas.<

Yeah, where's Dom when you need him? Negligent c*nt.

Finally, from Prof. Gott:
>P.S.  Don't you hate the fact that the stupid media has whored the term
"pop" to describe Britney, Backstreet, and N*sync?  I always get excited
when I see "In Pop..." on CDNow's website, only to be disappointed by a
picture of Mariah Carey and her new album.  That is *not* pop.  The Feelies
were pop.  The Housemartins were pop.  Sloan and Guided by Voices are pop.
Not friggin' MARIAH!<

Ben, Ben, you're confusing "pop" (as in "popular") with "Pop" (as in
"This Is...") ... 'twas ever thus.

And following Mr. Kimball's excellent lead, I'd like to wish everyone
-- including Our Men in Swindon -- a Merry Chalkmas and Happy New



Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 12:32:15 -0500
From: "Scott Barnard" <>
Subject: Dreamer
Message-ID: <>

<<As to Supertramp....well they were basically a power pop band that made it
very big>>

Thanks for setting us straight on that one.

Silly me, I thought that the ingredients of power pop included crunchy
and/or chiming guitars and tight, concise arrangements balanced with catchy
melodies and sweet harmony.

Imagine my surprise to discover that the true recipe requires chirpy
electric pianos, precious, reedy vocals and the least-swinging rhythm
section of the rock era.


Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 14:09:27 EST
Subject: Andy & Colin at the 15th Precinct
Message-ID: <>

<<Maybe they'll use "It's Snowing Angels" on NYPD blue.>>

Gee, "Officer Blue" would be the obvious track, it seems to me. (Now there's
one I haven't spun in a while...)



Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 22:48:28 +0000
From: "Nathan Mulac DeHoff" <>
Subject: This post has nothing to do with Phil Collins
Message-ID: <>

Ben Gott:
>Yes, "pop" denotes "popular" music.  But can't we also argue that, for
>example, Blur is still "Britpop" even though no one listens to them anymore
>but us?  Does the loss of popularity denote a change in title?  Is Blur
>just "Brit" now?

No, because it IS pop.  Yeah yeah!

Virginia Rosenberg:
>Quite a few XTC songs mention our green growing friends- if one were to
>make an attempt at listing them, do you think "Greenman" should be
>included? probably should, be a case could be made otherwise.  Just to get
things started (since I love making pointless lists):

Life Is Good In The Greenhouse
Love On A Farmboy's Wages
Deliver Us From The Elements
Summer's Cauldron (possibly)
Season Cycle
Humble Daisy
River Of Orchids
I'd Like That (possibly)
Easter Theatre
Greenman (if deemed appropriate)
Fruit Nut
Harvest Festival
Cherry In Your Tree (maybe)

Seems to be mostly Apple Venus 1 songs.  I'm sure I left out a lot, though.

>I'm sure this has been done to death on this list

Probably, but I have yet to do it, so I will now.

>and indeed it's rather
>difficult to choose faves with a band like XTC

Well, that goes without saying, doesn't it?

>but this is my best albums list in descending order.

Hmmm...I guess I'd have to say:

1. Skylarking
2. Black Sea
3. Drums and Wires
4. Apple Venus Volume 1
5. Wasp Star
6. Nonsuch
7. The Big Express
8. English Settlement
9. Oranges and Lemons
10. Mummer
11. White Music
12. Go 2

This is subject to change at any time.



Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 15:05:51 -0800
From: Kyla <>
Subject: Excuse Me, But I'm New Here...
Message-ID: <>

And where to start?  With a hearty love of both volumes of Apple
Venus, many more of XTC's cds/records and a tad too much of lurking
about this list, I suppose.

My name's Kyla, I live with a small green bird in Valley Village, a
part of Los Angeles.  On this last day of 2001, I wonder how so many
of y'all can spend so much energy despising Phil Collins - his music's
has surely become pablum, but I'm thinking most people are only
capable of brilliance for a short time, and tend to coast on their
laurels afterward.  The exceptions to this are genius, so I don't hold
it against the rest that they can't keep it up.

Speaking of genius, miss George Harrysong immensely.  I don't know
that I can pick three of his songs without more thought, but 'You
don't realize how much I need you...' is stuck in my head lately.
I'll say it again, I sure miss him.

Concerning commercials, I agree that I'd rather catch something
interesting and here-to-fore unknown to me (like Nick Drake, or The
Wiseguys) in a commercial than not at all; which is very likely since
most U.S. radio stations currently have a playlist of twenty songs.
Though I must admit that I was almost seduced by 'Start the Commotion'
into buying an Eclipse - it was odd, I knew I really liked the song,
then noticed the car on the highway, then made the connection that the
car was the one in the commercial with the song.  Weird and
brainwashy.  Still like the song and car, though.

Ever happy to smith those words for ya, I'll close here by pointing
out that it's 'fellate', not 'fallate'.  From 'fellatio',
donchaknow... and as I'm one of those that likes to keep all twelve

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


End of Chalkhills Digest #7-67

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