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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-19


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 19

                  Friday, 15 March 2002

Topics:

        Jellyfish, The Posies and notlame records
                        Star Park
             I hope you enjoy my new box set
                    Kate/Kirsty/XTC :)
     While we're on this Testimonial Dinner thing...
              Jackbooted Fascist Taskmaster
                 Rocklopedia Fakebandica
                    The Future of XTC
                       Total wages
                       The Mime CDs
                      Bowlermen gig
            THE NINES :WONDERWORLD OF COLORFUL
                Trainspotting on The Onion
             TD 2, would we really want that?

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Hail mother motor.

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

Date: Fri, 08 Mar 2002 19:02:32 -0600
From: "Jim S." <quint_75@swbell.net>
Subject: Jellyfish, The Posies and notlame records
Message-ID: <3C895F28.C0FDF8CD@swbell.net>

> Check out the site below for the upcoming 4 CD Jellyfish rarities
> box, FAN CLUB, plus a ton of other great powerpop stuff.  The
> Jellyfish is a limited edition, so don't wait to get your order in.
>
> http://www.notlame.com/

And while you are there, put in a pre-order for The Posies box set,
"At Least At Last."  This too was a limited edition and the first
pressing is sold out.  Used copies of this go for as much as $200 on
some web sites (which is admittedly quite silly).  It is an amazing
box set, and if enough pre-orders are taken, a second pressing will be
done for $50 a copy.  It's a great deal, and The Posies are one of the
great under-appreciated bands of the 90's, much like our beloved XTC.
If you are not familiar with The Posies, get acquainted!  -- Jim S.

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

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 22:33:02 EST
From: WTDK@aol.com
Subject: Star Park
Message-ID: <6.2536e599.29badc6e@aol.com>

I finally decided to trade in some old CDs and pick up A School Guide To XTC
in trade. Yikes! This can be best described as Xtc in zygote form. It's
pretty bad stuff. In fact, it falls into that so bad it's good category. Good
thing they didn't get signed based on this stuff as they would have quickly
fallen off the face of the planet. We would have been robbed of the great
music that came later.

I noticed that the John Relph's discography is included--was this done with
John's permission? It's an interesting package but definitely not worth the
$20.00 I would have paid if I had purchased it.

I also noticed that all the songs are credited to Partridge-Moulding. I was
under the impression that Andy wrote most of this early stuff.

Coat of Cupboards---it looks like most of the material hasn't appeared on CD
before (or only on CD singles). I noticed that Down A Peg (one of my favorite
songs by Colin) didn't make the cut. Hopefully it will be included on Fuzzy
Warbles.  I'd suggest looking at the track listing at the Chalkhills website
before jumping to any conclusions. It appears that most of this stuff doesn't
come from the albums. There are a couple of album tracks thrown in (although
I personally found this kind of odd. It would have made better sense to cut
it down to a 3 Cd set to me).

Wayne

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

Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 04:04:58 +0000
From: "Nathan Mulac DeHoff" <xornom@hotmail.com>
Subject: I hope you enjoy my new box set
Message-ID: <F42SWEr9rAkQ1HSmFBy0000ac0f@hotmail.com>

John Relph:
>On Mon, 25 Feb, riserius1@netscape.net (Chris Wisniewski) kvetched:
> >
> >Elizabeth Setler <elizabeth@fringehead.com> wrote:
> >>- 41 tracks (70% of the contents of the box set) have never been
> >>released before in any form
> >
> >This should be reworded, perhaps, to read "...in any format",meaning
> >cd,lp,cassette. I personally only found 11 tracks that I do not have
> >in my collection "in any form" i.e. live, studio, demo. Actually, I do
> >have them in demo, but I got them off Morpheus so they don't count as
> >an "Official Release". Saying that these tracks have never been
> >released in any form is misleading and at worst, disingenuous.
>
>I disagree, but while I disagree, I will agree it is a matter of
>interpretation.  Yes, 30 or so of those 41 tracks have been released
>in some form.  For example, "Yacht Dance" was previously released on
>"English Settlement".  However, and this is where I disagree, *this
>version* of "Yacht Dance", a live version recorded on "Ye Olde Greye
>Whistle Teste" in 1982, has never been released.

That's true.  I think the important issue here, though, is how different
these other versions are from the ones on the studio albums.  Sure, the live
versions haven't been released, but is there a REASON for them to released?
I think there is, if they're significantly different.  This doesn't mean
BETTER; if there's a recording where Andy forgets the words, bring it on.
That can be interesting (although Andy might think otherwise).  On the other
hand, if it sounds practically identical to the versions already available,
with maybe some clapping or something, then it isn't really something I'd
really want to get my hands on (although I probably WOULD, if it were cheap
enough, which "Coat of Many Cupboards" isn't).  I realize there is some
disagreement on this point, though.

Aaron Pastula:
>With response to the following:
>
> >>Warren.Butson@getty-images.com writes
> >>Is anyone confused at the inclusion of some
> >>completely normal versions
> >>on the new "coat of..." release?
> >I can't work out why they should be there. Anyone fan
> >enough to buy a
> >4 cd set of out-takes has surely got these already.
>
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most box sets
>mainly just repackagings of album tracks anyway, with
>a few odd live recordings or perhaps one or two new
>tracks thrown in?  I'll admit I don't buy them often
>(if at all), but it seems to me that they usually
>consist of stuff that a completist would have already.

Yeah, that's pretty much how it is, which kind of strikes me as a rip-off.
Hardcore fans will already have most of the material on it, so will
basically end up paying exorbitant prices for a few rare tracks (which is
probably what the record companies are counting on in the first place).
People who aren't that familiar with the band will find more that they don't
have yet, but probably wouldn't be willing to pay for all of it at once,
instead choosing to go for either a regular album or a greatest hits
collection (in this case, Upsy Daisy Assortment, Fossil Fuel, Waxworks,
etc.).  So, as it is, these sets tend to be rip-offs no matter how you look
at it, but people will buy them anyway, because there's no other (legal) way
to get certain songs.

Nathan

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

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 23:45:51 -0500
From: "Molly, the New Wave Queen" <mollyfa0000@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Kate/Kirsty/XTC :)
Message-ID: <001301c1c725$4c5a7ac0$3804590c@vogmudet>
Organization: AT&T Worldnet

DANIEL B. wrote:
<<I have always pictured Kate singing alot of parts in
In Loving Memory Of A Name>>

I totally forgot about this song.  Yeah, Kate would be great at doing all
the vocals.  If she were still alive I could picture Kirsty MacColl singing
"Wonderland".  I don't know, but she seems like she would be good at that
song.

Molly

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

Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 18:24:33 -0500
From: "Rich Greenham" <rgreenham@thebear.net>
Subject: While we're on this Testimonial Dinner thing...
Message-ID: <fc.000f4ca300fbf4fe3b9aca00d2275b8b.fbf523@cfrb.com>

Dear All:

I was heading into Ottawa on the bus a few nights ago and curiously
watched a 15 or 16 year old kid eagerly unwrap a new CD he had just bought
or shoplifted or something...  No -- it wasn't XTC.  But what came out of
that crinkled shrink-wrap inspired a completely ludicrous idea for an
XTC-cover version for the next Testicular Dinner (if there's ever gonna be
another one)...

Dear God - Ozzy Osbourne

Stop laughing.  I know I did when I actually imagined what the Oz-man
would sound like covering the song!  Throw in some blistering Zakk Wylde
guitar and you've git a hit, babe!

Dear God - Ozzy Osbourne

Needless to say, the kid was happy with his purchase.  As he got off the
bus, he flashed me the sign of the devil, and went on his merry way.  I
proceeded into the city and got plastered.  When in Ottawa, please visit
Paddy Boland's Pub, Clarence Street in the Byward Market.

Cheers!

Rich

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

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 12:08:02 EST
From: Hbsherwood@aol.com
Subject: Jackbooted Fascist Taskmaster
Message-ID: <b6.7d7166a.29bcecf2@aol.com>

Bongos:

Thanks very much for your ideas for t-shirt designs. I forwarded all your
suggestions to Partridge. Among your many very creative ideas, the one that
predominated was the notion that Andy himself should make a unique design,
and that purchasers of the shirt would be able to walk around with a
Partridge Original on their chests. He thought that this is a very nice idea,
but was temporarily at a loss as to exactly what to draw. I'm sure, however,
that the febrile Partridge brain won't stay quiet for long.

>From: John Relph <relph@mando.engr.sgi.com>
>Subject: Re: misleading box set info

>On Mon, 25 Feb, riserius1@netscape.net (Chris Wisniewski) kvetched:
>>
>>Elizabeth Setler <elizabeth@fringehead.com> wrote:
>>>- 41 tracks (70% of the contents of the box set) have never been
>>>released before in any form
>>
>>This should be reworded, perhaps, to read "...in any format",meaning
>>cd,lp,cassette. I personally only found 11 tracks that I do not have
>>in my collection "in any form" i.e. live, studio, demo. Actually, I do
>>have them in demo, but I got them off Morpheus so they don't count as
>>an "Official Release". Saying that these tracks have never been
>>released in any form is misleading and at worst, disingenuous.

[snip]

>But my hope is that the quality of the
>recordings on "Coat of Many Cupboards" will be superior to any of
>those previously available versions.  And it is my belief that many of
>these specific recordings have never been available in any form.

Virgin sent me an advance copy of the CDs (minus the packaging, which is
still at the printers'), and I can say unequivocally that Andy and Colin's
personally supervised masterings of the tracks that I *have* heard before
(i.e., previously bootlegged demos) are vastly, infinitely, squintillionly
better than the nth-generation-cassette-quality boots that have circulated.
Live tracks have also been mixed carefully, greatly to their benefit.

On the matter of the inclusion of album tracks in Coat of Many Cupboards,
remember that the original conception for this boxed set planned for four
disks: Live, Demos, Outtakes, and Andy and Colin's Favorite Album Tracks.
Along the way this idea was scrapped in favor of a chronological approach, so
that Disk 1 is very early stuff, Disk 2 covers Go2 to Black Sea, Disk 3 is
English Settlement through Skylarking, and Disk 4 covers The Dukes through
Nonsuch. Now Andy and Colin's Favorites are interspersed among the many
rarities and alternate versions.

What holds all this together is the commentary in the booklet (Andy and
Colin's, not mine, I hasten to clarify). Not only are we privileged to know
what songs Andy and Colin are most proud of (and they're emphatically *not*
the ones that sold the most records), but we get their insights into *why*
they're proud of them. Not to spoil a surprise in the service of an argument,
but Andy's 5 paragraphs on "Chalkhills and Children" are an amazing insight
into his mind: unabashedly poetic, funny, brutally honest, and
self-ridiculing, in the space of 300 words.

Remember, also, that while Andy and Colin had a great deal to say about what
tracks were included and excluded, the final say was Virgin's. Apparently
this caused at least some friction, which is most evident in Andy's mordant
comments on the inclusion of the album version of "Sgt. Rock." I'll let you
read his words yourself; suffice to say he didn't want it in this set.

>Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 18:17:09 -0800 (PST)
>From: Aaron Pastula <pastula12@yahoo.com>

>I'm looking forward
>to getting it, if for no other reason than I'm a
>complete sucker for packaging.  I mean, the word
>"booklet" just makes me gooey.

Not that I'm a disinterested party or anything, but I've seen the proofs of
the booklet, and it's a peachamaroot. While the box itself is
black-and-white, the instant you open the booklet you're bombarded with
bright colors and tons of hitherto unseen photos. As something of a graphic
designer myself, I can testify that Andrew Swainson, the designer, is a real
pro. He tells me that Andy was a "guiding hand" through the design process,
which probably won't surprise anybody.

Harrison "Guiding Hand or Jackbooted Fascist Taskmaster?" Sherwood

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

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 12:48:10 -0800
From: "Jamie and Martin Monkman" <monkman@coastnet.com>
Subject: Rocklopedia Fakebandica
Message-ID: <000501c1c874$e659f060$628cf4cc@new>

Here's a fun site wherin you can waste some time.
http://www.vgg.com/tp/tp_080700_fakeband.html

No Dukes of Stratophear, presumably because they were never on TV or in
a movie.

Martin Monkman

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

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 13:27:08 +0800
From: arnold alamon <babynoldsky@yahoo.com>
Subject: The Future of XTC
Message-ID: <1015824428.3c8c402c4f5d9@mail.up.edu.ph>

What you are reading right now is my first long contribution to this mailing
list after a long long time.  I am as crazy about XTC as most of you and
there has been many times that I've been tempted to add my voice to the
chorus of praise for our most respected band.  I remember the swell of
unexplainable happiness I felt when I first heard the soaring chorus of
"Easter Theatre."  At that time, I wanted to desperately share the
experience with someone.  But as all things numinous (perhaps all matters
spiritual), XTC is meant to be experienced alone (pun intended).  None of my
friends ever fully understood my fascination with the brand of intelligent
pop from Swindon.  Thank heavens for venues such as this, our obsession
become more than just an eccentrity.  Reading anecdotes that tell of how XTC
has become the soundtrack of your lives (your nine-year olds even groove to
it!), I tell myself that I am not alone.  Through this mailing list, we have
become a community of sorts.  This is my attempt to reaffirm my membership
(and perhaps even yours) to our small community.  I am sure what I am about
to share to you has happened to you as well (no, this is not about alien
abductions).

These musings are prompted by listening to recently purchased CDs of bands
from opposite ends of pop music's short history.  I just bought Manfred
Mann's "The Ascent of Mann - The Fontana Years (1966-1969)" and The
Sugarplastic's "Bang, the Earth is Round (1996)."  Adding to the joy of this
experience is the fact that I knew close to nothing of these bands before
purchasing.  Among the guitar bands of the 60s that I have recently
discovered, Manfred Mann represents a sound that can be classified somewhere
between the smart bubblegum pop of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys and the
progressive rock of groups such as Iron Butterfly.  Their sweet harmonies
and sophisticated arrangements especially on cuts like "My Name is Jack"
anticipate the kind of pop that our boys would master later one.
Sugarplastic, on the other hand, sounds like a younger XTC that missed the
bus to the pastures and remained angry/punk.  One cannot miss the
similarities in songwriting style of Ben Eshbach and Andy.  Ben, who stands
as the lead singer as well, even sounds a lot like Andy.  These parallelisms
do not make them poor copies.  In fact, Sugarplastic's recent happy presence
prove the timelessness of intelligent pop.  These two albums would
definetely be included in my desert island discs.  This may not seem so
earth shattering to you.  However, for guys like me whose happiness is
directly related to the size and depth of their record collection, such
discoveries matter a lot.

XTC has a lot to do with how I define happiness these days.  Yes, my
discovery of the band has definitely cause the growth of my record
collection (which, of course directly translates to the absence of financial
savings).  In the past years, I believe I have spent equal time on my couch
smoking cigarettes while listening to records and working.

I knew XTC from way back. I was still in gradeschool when "King for a Day"
made it to the play list of our local rock station.  I remember buying a
cassette of "Oranges and Lemons."  It was quirky and even though it was
enjoyable, it was not as digestible as U2.  It was three years ago, having
outgrown my fascination for the Irish band (and becoming smarter in the
process), when I chanced upon a previously-owned copy of XTC's "Fossil Fuel"
in my favorite CD store.  I was introduced to the genius of Andy Partridge's
songwriting over the years.  But it was "Apple Venus Vol. 1."  which floored
me.  I began completing the band's catalog.  Except for the first two albums
and the "Wasp Star" demos, I proudly have everything.  Every couple of
months or so, I have my XTC binge period.  I would listen to the whole
catalog and I am still swept by the genius of their work.  I still get
unexplainably dizzy (and this is a very good thing!) following Colin's bass
lines in "Mayor of Simpleton."  Every so often, I would play "Black
Sea" in my CD player and I can't help but grin.  I rank "You're
the Wish" as one of the best pop songs ever written.

However, the power of XTC's music extends beyond its vast catalog.
Listening to XTC has sensitized me to intelligent music. I have worked
backward, checking out bands that influenced them.  Discovering the music of
the Hollies and Manfred Mann has been a great joy.  Of course, I am most
grateful for the band's music for introducing me to the genius of Brian
Wilson and the Beach Boys.  The inventiveness and pleasant adventurism in
pop songwriting that I crave for began with "Good Vibrations" (any
objections?).  I am currently working my way back to the Beatles catalog as
well.  Listening to these great artists have resulted to many hours of
solitary joy.  One can just imagine the deights I still have to discover.
Take note that I still have to move my way up XTC's influences in the
70s.

My discovery of The Sugarplastic has convinced me that XTC's music,
indeed, has a future.  We all know the special place the band occupies among
the community of intelligent musicians.  With important works like "Bang,
the Earth is Round," and Ben Eshbach's and many other musician's
admission of their membership to our cult, I am assured of my future doses
of smart pop even if Andy and Colin decide not to record anymore (God
forbid!).

XTC's music has provided me with a comprehensive vocabulary to understand
the adventure inherent in every intelligent musical experience.  This
vocabulary is self-referential, full of irony and at times refreshingly
political.  This may be a stretching it a bit too far but I liken XTC's
music to Salman Rushdie's novels.  I admit that it is highly possible for
a regular music listener to miss the intelligence in the band's work
within a few spins. Like Rushdie's hyper-real novels, one must learn how
to deal with the vocabulary.  But what joy once you have learn the rules of
playing their games!  And all of us in this discussion list are happy
participants of the games on the playground that Andy and Colin create with
their music.

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

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 00:54:51 -0500
From: Virginia Rosenberg <vmr423@earthlink.net>
Subject: Total wages
Message-ID: <B8B1B0DB.A2D%vmr423@earthlink.net>

Hi Ira-

I'm sooo glad someone is.

In the midst (throes?) of income-tax-return hell,
Virginia

-ira, earning enough for us.

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

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 15:58:16 -0600
From: "Richard" <rjpa1@attbi.com>
Subject: The Mime CDs
Message-ID: <026b01c1c947$d93e8a20$03081fac@verisity.com>

re: Ted's query = "So, are the instrumental AV releases totally unchanged
from the previous release except that the vocals have been removed?"

Yes.  There are no instruments approximating the vocal lines, not even a
French trom... ah, nevermind... and there has been no remixing.

I did mention to Andy that he should leave one vocal bit in... "It's the
middle of the song!"

He said that both discs were mastered last Friday (08mar02) and that, due to
the fact that they haven't had the level of compression employed with
vocals, they do sound a bit different and better.  He _promised_ me that I
would enjoy them and hoped that instrumental Greenman did not stir any
unpleasant emotions for me (I had to leave the AVv1 sessions at Abbey Road
to fly to Michigan for my dad's funeral).

The artwork for the discs is all that left to do but the artist is currently
on holiday.

Cheers,
Richard

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

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 09:41:08 -0500
From: "john irvine" <jetsetsc@hotmail.com>
Subject: Bowlermen gig
Message-ID: <F236KZjJzzD8eDuvo6h0000f935@hotmail.com>

The Bowlermen, Baltimore's only Dukes of Stratosphear-oriented musical
outfit rocked the house at Fraziers last Saturday.

Set:
25 O'Clock
Bike Ride to The Moon
Braniac's Daughter
What In the World??
Shape of Things to Come (Max Frost and the Troopers)
Mole From the Ministry
Sleeping Weather (Jennifers)
My love Explodes
Your Gold Dress
Heart Full of Soul (Yardbirds)
Vanishing Girl
Cheese and Onions (Rutles)

Sorry, no tape available, but we'll keep you posted on future engagements.

-John

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

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 21:43:11 +0000
From: "todd serentz" <tserentz@hotmail.com>
Subject: THE NINES :WONDERWORLD OF COLORFUL
Message-ID: <F189cASHMZNNA85Ur8Y0000f7d2@hotmail.com>

Hi
I recently bought the Nines' Properties of Sound album ( Great Canadian XTC,
GREYS,JELLYFISH influenced band). I've seen this band mentioned by a number
of Chalkhills subscribers. I absolutely love their album but have been
searching all over the place to find their first album Wonderworld of
Colorful. I tried Not Lame as per John Relph's link but they are sold out.
CD Baby only has the second album. Anyone know anywhere else you can buy
this album. If so PLEASE PLEASE email me directly.
Thanks
Tom

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

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 12:14:35 -0500
From: William Loring <bloring@TIRERACK.COM>
Subject: Trainspotting on The Onion
Message-ID: <B8B7962B.19FEB%bloring@tirerack.com>

Sociology 101 Assignment Stretched To Incorporate '70s Punk Rock
http://www.theonion.com/onion3809/sociology_101.html

The article makes an offhand reference to XTC, as it covers a freshman's
Sociology paper that attempts to link the theories of a 19th-century French
sociologist with the 70's British punk scene.

The Onion is a satire newspaper published in Madison, WI.

If you haven't read The Onion, you should.

...bill loring

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

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 11:53:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Eby <jeffaeb@yahoo.com>
Subject: TD 2, would we really want that?
Message-ID: <20020315195352.32700.qmail@web11603.mail.yahoo.com>

Ya know, would we really want another Testimonial
Dinner?  It's nice to pay tribute to the boys, but
let's face it, the first TD was underwhelming to say
the least.

Having said that, I just can't help imagining Tool
covering Travels in Nihilon or Complicated Game.  I
just can't see that coming off badly.

=====
"I strongly feel that our conflict with the Axis of Evil should not be
settled on the battlefield, but in the pro-wrestling ring"

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #8-19
******************************

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