Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-44

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 44

                   Sunday, 21 July 2002


            OT They Might Be Giants In Concert
                Lips. Strings. Batt/Cage.
                      lips and lobos
                      Setting Sales
                     Burning for Finn
                    The Nines on line
                  Pavlov's Flaming Lips
                 RE: Flaming Lips primer
                   Ladies and Jellyfish


I am on holiday in Italy until August 3.  There will be no Chalkhills
digest until then at the earliest.  Enjoy your summer!

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All the media will fiddle while Rome burns.


Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 23:55:57 -0400
From: "Molly, the New Wave Queen" <>
Subject: OT They Might Be Giants In Concert
Message-ID: <000701c22e0f$07de6e00$d700590c@vogmudet>
Organization: AT&T Worldnet

I just wanted to let those Chalkhillians living in the Buffalo/Southern
Ontario/Western NY area that on Thursday, August 22, the wonderfully fun
band, They Might Be Giants will be playing a free concert at Lafayatte
Square.  The concert starts at 5:00pm, and They Might Be Giants probably
will start performing around 7pm.  They have two opening acts.  I'm going,
because I LOVE TMBG.



Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 03:03:00 -0000
From: <>
Subject: Lips. Strings. Batt/Cage.
Message-ID: <>

<<while we are talking current album of the year, the Flaming Lips are
releasing "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" on Tuesday the 16th.  The press
is already saying this album is fantastic and a strong contender for one of
the years best.  I enjoyed  their previous album the "Soft Bulletin" and
just picked up "hit to death in the future head".  Any other Flaming Lips
fans out there?  What others should I look into?>>

   I believe that _Zaireeka_'s in print once again -- apparently 5000 copies
wasn't enough.  It is absolutely stunning, and if you liked _The Soft
Bulletin_, _Zaireeka_ is a good bet.  Of course, you need the 4 cd players
to play it, first...I did try to mix the tracks together the best I could,
but it just came out sounding muddy.  _Yoshimi_ is terrific also; I've been
listening to it for a few weeks now.  I duly got in line on Tuesday and
picked up my copy.  I was mildly peeved that the Lips repaid my honesty and
boosterism by leaving my favorite track, known as "Up Above the Daily Hum,"
off the finished product; it sounds for all the world like Stevie Wonder
filtered through the _Pet Sounds_ orchestra.
   I wonder if there's anyone else on this list who's heard _The Soft
Bulletin_ wondered "How much is all this costing, what with the massive
Mahler-esque instrumentation, Floydian mixing and all?"  Considering what
reportage we got about Colin, Andy, and Mike Batt doing all the strings in a
matter of days (hours, really), one should wonder that Warners could possibly
make a profit on selling the Lips' records.  But, as Bob Mould said when he
was signed to Virgin, "Paula Abdul is paying for me to be on this label."
   And how about that Mike Batt/John Cage business, anyway?


np Aphex Twin, _drukQs_ (Disc 1)


Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 09:20:54 -0400
From: James Michael Isaacs <>
Subject: lips and lobos
Message-ID: <>

Thomas Vest, you sound like a fine fellow.

I agree about Kiko, which has my favorite Lobos moment, "Wake up
Delores."  I haven't heard the new one yet, but it is almost a given
that it is excellent, considering the source.

I am also a Flaming Lips fan.  Any album between "Hit to Death in the
Future Head" and "Yoshimii" is excellent.  That is a total of 3
albums- "Transmissions from the Satellite Heart", "Clouds Taste
Metallic", and the weirdo classic "Zaireeka".  If you can find
Zaireeka, buy it immediately, as it is getting ever so rare.  I think
it usually goes for 50 on eBay, but the better record stores sometimes
have it.  To my knowledge, it had a limited run and is out of print.
The new CD gives the impression that the Lips listened to a Kid A a
lot.  Very good.

It has been a pretty good year for good new music, actually.  It just
seems it is not selling.



Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 08:37:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Setting Sales
Message-ID: <>


Tim Kendrick talked about the updated Twomey book, and said:
>     It also gives the numbers for sales in the US of AV1 & WS(AV2).  AV1
>     apparently sold 80,000 units in the US, WS(AV2) sold 60,000.  Andy
>     was very surprised and disappointed by this.  He's still under the
>     illusion that if you make great records, they'll sell fantastically
>     well.  Nowadays if really seems to be the opposite.  The worst albums
>     sell the best.

Though I won't open the can of worms that Tim's last statement proffers, I
do want to say a couple of things about the sales numbers of AV1 and WS.
This isn't just about the bad taste of the U.S. music audience -- let's
remember that XTC was out of the public eye between 1992 (when Nonsuch sold
300,000 copies in the U.S.) and 1999, and a funny thing happened during that
time -- a network called the Internet suddenly caught on, along with
peer-to-peer music-file sharing, and this permanently altered the earlier
paradigm of music distribution.

Let's also remember that XTC has always been an alternative band, one that
has relied on the college charts and crowds for its sales in America. If a
significant portion of your target audience is made up of college students,
and you step away from music (never mind the reasons, I understand why they
did it) for almost eight years, you're missing out on two demographic
"cycles" (assuming a four-year turnover in your audience ... I know lots of
students take longer, but go with me here), and missing the opportunity for
your music to be passed on from older to newer students. Combine this with
the fact that college students are among the principal users of P2P
music-sharing programs, and your conventional sales -- i.e., sales
distributed to retail outlets by a major label -- drop. Add to that the
facts that the band doesn't tour, that independent radio in America has
virtually died (see
and many other sources out there for more info), and that the RIAA and Big
Music Business are doing all they can to save their corporate butts and
stifle competition from independent sources, and XTC needs to come up with a
fresh business plan.

The Internet can be a double-sided sword -- yes, the band can use the 'net
to market directly to its audience, but as the above paragraphs show, the
Internet can also detract from the conventional distribution and sales model
... *which is the only model that the band is used to dealing with, up to
now.* I've been very encouraged by their activity on the 'net, and agree
with Tim's point that the rabid fan base (that means us) needs to consider
the Idea site as *the* primary source for XTC material, if we want to do all
we can to support them.  That said, the band also needs to continue to step
up its activities and use the Internet for all it's (and its) worth.

Interestingly, America is the only place where album sales dropped -- AV1
and WS both did very well in Europe and Japan, meeting expectations and
selling more (I think) than Nonsuch did.

Some fascinating grist for this mill was recently provided to me by fellow
Chalkie and playboy millionaire Bob Crain. Check out Janis Ian's compelling
argument in favor of Napster et. al. (and condemnation of The Biz) at:

James Campell said:
> BTW, Todd, great interview with Terry.......I hate you... ;^P

Thanks, pal!  :^*

> btw, I thought after hearing "Mayor of Simpleton", oh I don't know,
> maybe 10,000 times, I thought I knew every nook and cranny in that
> track!  But, has anyone every noticed the bass drum line that is
> played?  The detail on that song from every noisy contributor
> in general is simply exhaustive....

I remember reading in an interview w/Pat Mastellotto that they recorded each
component of the drum part of this song separately, rather than PM sitting
and playing the kit as a drummer normally would. So, for example, first he
played the hi-hat part, then the snare part, then the kick (bass drum), then
toms, etc. Weird, eh?

Thanks for the update on KfaD, Richard.

Looking forward to hearing Becki's disc,


Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 05:00:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: "" <>
Subject: Burning for Finn
Message-ID: <>

>I owe some of ye a few discs, my burner and PC bit the
>dust some months back, and I'm now able to burn once
>more... contact me.
>Also... I'm very interested in getting some Neil Finn
>boots, if anyone is interested in some swaps.

I have "Neil Finn & Friends on DVD." It is about 2 hours and was a
recent show that has been playing on Pay Per View. Eddie Vedder plays
with him on a few songs along with Johnny Marr. Even Tim shows up!

It's great, and was digitally recorded to a double DVD so there is 0
loss. They do a few oldies as well along with the new stuff.

Let me know if you are interested in trading.


Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 17:49:38 +0000
From: "bob tate" <>
Subject: The Nines on line
Message-ID: <>

Just to answer Kevin's post:

"Which reminds me, I *STILL* haven't found any albums by the Nines!  Are all
of these out of print in the U.S.?  Were they ever available in the U.S.?"

Not Lame actually has both the Nines' Wonderworld of Colorful and Properties
of Sound albums in stock FINALLY. Also has Properties of Sound in
Stock. I empathize with you as I have also had some trouble in the past
tracking down their albums. If you love XTC (which I think goes without
saying) Jellyfish, Rundgren or Jason Falkner you will probably have a new
favorite band. I saw these guys open for Jason Falkner in LA and they
Now I am off to order the new Jellyfish boxset off Not Lame.



Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 09:14:45 -0700
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: Pavlov's Flaming Lips
Message-ID: <>

hello everyone

i said in my last post that i was getting the new flaming lips.  it is,
without a doubt THE BEST ALBUM RELEASED TO DATE THIS YEAR!  strong words,
but you have to check it out.  it's the album that radiohead have been
struggling to make for years (more strong words).


ps>  i looked at my previous post this morning when i received the email and
i noticed that i used the word "salivating" twice in the same post.  what
the hell!?


Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 17:08:00 -0400
From: <>
Subject: Becki-lecka-hi-becka-chanee-ho!
Message-ID: <>

I too would like to say that Becki diGregorio's
new cd "God's Empty Chair" is filled with
divinity. Gorgeous melodies, psychedelic palettes
of friendly paisley rock, superb vocals and
playing and Becki's patented wonderful disposition.
The album is as sweet and charming and moving
as Becki is in real life. Buy it!!!!!!!!!

(I am in no way affiliated with Becki other than
really, really liking her!)



Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 15:45:49 -0700
From: "da9ve stovall" <>
Subject: RE: Flaming Lips primer
Message-ID: <>

>From: "Thomas Vest" <>
>If you like this cd you should also check out "Kiko"- which is
>generally considered the best Los Lobos album released.

My take on this is that, you should check out _Kiko_ no matter
what.  Just a beautiful album from top to bottom.

>while we are talking current album of the year, the Flaming Lips are
>releasing "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" on Tuesday the 16th. The press
>is already saying this album is fantastic and a strong contender for one of
>the years best.  I enjoyed  their previous album the "Soft Bulletin" and
>just picked up "hit to death in the future head".  Any other Flaming Lips
>fans out there?  What others should I look into?

I'm a *huge* Flaming Lips fan - to the point that it's the band
I'd most like to actually be a member of.  Not that they're necessarily
my favorite, but their music just makes me laugh and feel good.

I just picked up _YBtPR_ yesterday and, after three or so spins,
I say, it's damn good, but I'm not convinced that it's as good
as _The Soft Bulletin_.  _TSB_ caught me very off-guard when
it came out, and I really didn't know what to think for a few
listens.  But, it sank in before long, and I contend that it's
genius all the way through.  _Yoshimi..._, well, there are a
few songs that kinda try my patience: They're too similar to
each other, and too, . . . I dunno, too sedate or too *even*.
 Generally, they're a bit on the quieter side, and there's a
bit too much of that on the album for my taste.  The other gripe
- and not really a major one - is that the drums are verging
into the territory of "just slightly too sequenced-sounding and
too hip-hop-influenced in their production" for my taste.  Not
that they're totally sequenced sounding or violently hip-hoppy
(y'know, the slightly too-busy and too-trebly and syncopated-just-so
sound that's a bit too far forward in the mix), but one of the
things I've loved about the Lips' music since Steve Drozd took
over the drum chair is his John Bonham-crossed-with-a-bowling
alley sound, and the fact that he conveys a dry sense of percussion
humor.  Don't ask me what the hell I mean by that - if you get
it, you get it.  That's still present on _Yoshimi..._, but even
when it's there, the cymbals aren't allowed to decay all the
way, the snare is gated as all hell, and there's a lot of extra
snare work that should be subtle, brought way up front.  It sounds
a little out of place.

Okay - that's all for the bitching - the album's really damn
good.  The high points for me are the loudest songs, including
the instrumental "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, pt. 2" - which
is right up there with the goofiest stuff they've done.

If you like _hit to death..._, you'll also want _Transmissions
from the Satellite Heart_,  and probably _Clouds Taste Metallic_,
and definitely _Oh My Gawd - it's the Flaming Lips!_, and also
definitely _...Providing Needles for Your Balloons_, if you can
find a copy.  If _The Soft Bulletin_ is your preference, you
definitely need _Zaireeka_ (the four-disc set, which is designed
so that all four discs should/can be played simultaneously for
transcendental effect; this set is BACK IN PRINT, so don't pay
the big bucks for it on eBay before you find out how much it
would cost in stores).  There's an odds-and-sods collection whose
exact title I can't recall right now (but that has "1984-1990"
in the title), that might be a good road map for what early eras
you'd like.  The others - _In a Priest-Driven Ambulance_, _Telepathic
Surgery_, and _Hear It Is_ don't float my boat nearly as consistently,
but they've all got some interesting stuff on 'em.  There are
also a handful of EPs and singles with non-album stuff on 'em
- if you can find the "Wastin' Pigs is Still Radical" one (contemporaneous
with _hit to death..._) buy it! - and quite a few one-off appearances
on various artists/tribute albums.

NP - Pere Ubu _St. Arkansas_ - excellent!


Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2002 08:00:44 -0400
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Ladies and Jellyfish
Message-ID: <>

on 7/17/02 8:05 PM, some low life wrote:

> <"Since there has been some discussion about Jellyfish lately, I thought I'd
> put this question to the forum : How good an album is Bellybutton?">
> It is such an under-rated album.  When it was released 12 years ago, most
> people could not get past the goofy coolness and somewhat irritating
> single/video for "the King is half-undressed".  There is SUCH MELODY on this
> cd.  Their influences are are certainly worn on their sleeves (think Beatles
> and Beach Boys) but not in a bad way.  Sughosh, please run out and pick this
> up.  You will not be disappointed.
> <James Michael Isaacs and others have written about the greatness of Wilco's
> Yankee Hotel Foxtrot>.

  My wife made a couple of unintentionally hilarious comments that
demonstrates her blissful uncoolness about pop culture/music when I was
giving Bellybutton a spin the other day; she asked "Who's this, Queen?" That
was enough by itself, but she followed it by commenting that the lead singer
sounded like a young Russell Hitchcock(of Air Supply). She meant that as a
compliment. My wife...gotta love her.


End of Chalkhills Digest #8-44

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