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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-54

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 54

               Saturday, 28 September 2002


                       Souled Out
             Bowlermen play 80's Night Oct 5
                I Love Corporate America!
             Re: record store markups & MP3's
              (More On) Record Store Markups
                    fun is what counts
                      Re: Rekkid Biz
                   andy and nostradamus
  Oy! I think Todd should post as Ernie (XTC irrelevant)
                 Re: Record companies etc
                    A Minute's Silence
           Greetings from the tone_orange group
                      Soul Sets Sail


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From: "David Smith" <>
Subject: Souled Out
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 20:40:22 +0100
Message-ID: <!~!AAAAAMx/>

In response to Ed's post thanking those who turned up at the Hope & Anchor
for X-sTatiCs debut gig, as one of those, I'd like to return the thanks for
a cracking evening's entertainment.

Being priveliged enough to know Mick from last year's UK gathering and to
have met Ed at this year's one, I know that pre-gig, anticipation was mixed
with anxiety. Guys, you needn't have worried.

The songs were tight, the sound was good - even from the stairs, which was
as close as The Worrier Queen and I got - and, fortunately, there was a
window we could look through and see the boys in action. Fine musicianship
was on display, as was a veritable ocean of perspiration - and, most
importantly, it looked like the band were having just as much fun as the
audience . . . nay, FANS!

Most notable was the fact that, of the people who were there for the other
two acts, many stayed to see X-sTatiC for a number or two - and never left.

This means that X-sTatiC are among the notable list of groups who sold out
the Hope & Anchor on their debut gig. I don't think U2 have that on their
resume . . . but I could be wrong, as I just made that up on the spot :-)

So, Dan, Adrian, Ed and Mick the Rick (Rickenbacker, geddit?), thanks again
for the closest I've ever come to an XTC gig.

The next gig will be in the Assembly Rooms, Swindon, and will be compered by
some local celebrity we can dig up for the price of a hot meal and a bed for
the night. Anyone know of any celebrities based in Swindon?


"Head-spinningly brilliant" (Some bloke Queenie and I overheard leaving the
gig - honest!)


Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 16:42:29 -0400
From: "john irvine" <>
Subject: Bowlermen play 80's Night Oct 5
Message-ID: <>

For Maryland Chalkhillers:  The Bowlermen will be part of Atomic Books 80's
night at Fraziers in Hampden (Baltimore) October 5.  We will be tributizing
that worthy decade by bashing out a buch o' xtc songs.  Be there or be in a
cowboy hat straddling a bomb over Iraq.  Your choice.

John I


Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 16:52:07 -0400
From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: I Love Corporate America!
Message-ID: <>


I didn't actually read Burt's post about record companies, but I wanted to
place a plug for a "Frontline" segment that aired about a year and a half
ago.  Entitled "The Merchants of Cool," it is an in-depth look at the ways
in which corporate America courts the teen market, creates trends, and uses
its influence (in the form of record companies especially -- Jimmy Iovine
gets quite a dis!) to make teen buying and selling a $150 billion industry.
I've showed the video to my ninth grade English classes for the past two
years; their responses have been astonishing.  They're furious at the ways
in which they're marketed to and in the ways in which corporations can
leverage such shit across their markets.  Look here to find out more:

[ ]

A great, recent XTC moment: a few days ago, I was sitting at my lunch table
with a group of about 12 seventh, eighth, and ninth graders.  One of them, a
boy named Peter, asked me about my license plate.  (To refresh your memory,
I got an "XTC" license plate last spring.)  I told him that "XTC" referred
to the band, not the drug, and he said, "Oh, yeah!  I've seen an XTC album
before!  It had a guy and a girl on the front, and they were playing

As a wise man once said, "Youth culture killed my dog / And I don't think
it's fair."

-Ben (Bacharach and David used to write his favorite songs)


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 02:14:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: "" <>
Subject: Re: record store markups & MP3's
Message-ID: <>

Wholesale CD's:
That is not entirely true. I doubt any record stores are buying their
discs for more money than what Best buy sells the discs when they're

CD's cost about $5-8 wholesale, depending on the distributer, how many
you are buying, and what the CD is. So yes, Best Buy does get them
cheaper, but I doubt the record stores are paying $12-$15 per disc,
otherwise they have no business sense.

The most I have ever bought a disc for wholesale is $8. Many times you
get deals from the distributors on certain product as well which can
bring the cost down considerably.

Buying CD's wholesale costs around the same now as they did in
1995. So why were CD's sold for $17.99? Because record stores knew we
would buy them at any cost. MP3's have and will continue changing the
way the record companies distribute music and that is a good thing. I
hate paying more than $13 for a CD as it is a huge rip off. If I
thought the artist was getting $10 of that $13, than fine, but the
fact that they are getting like $0.60 per disc or whatever is a sham
to the artists. Sure, record companies and all the rest need to make
money too, I agree, but the artists should not end up in debt to the
record company everytime they make an album. I think MP3's might help
to push for more artists rights if anything.

My Ramblings About Wholesale:
Who ever told you that might have either been misinformed or were
bluffing. That is usually what the sales people tell their
customers. I hate it when I am at guitar center or Circuit City and I
hear some idiot tell me that everything in the store is "below their
cost." That generally loses the sale. If they are honest with me, I
continue buying at their place of business.

Anyone who buys wholesale knows the deal about how things are
run. Lets say a guitar costs $500 wholesale and it sells for $1000
retail. Well, if the company purchased 100 of those guitars, their
cost would be $500,000. So, they would only need to sell 50 guitars to
pay their cost. So, they could sell the next 50 guitars for $5 each
and it would still be above their cost, though no business in their
right mind would sell something that cheap... That is why I hate when
they say "that is below our cost" because it is total BS!

On a side note, furniture & accessories are generally a 70%-$80 markup.

The point is, I like to ramble about things that bother me... I guess
there is no point really! It's even a surprise that you made it this
far! :)


Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 08:04:04 +1000
From: "Andrew Gowans" <>
Subject: (More On) Record Store Markups
Message-ID: <>

Just to add my 'bit' to what Jude Hayden said...

I also have friends with an independant record store and the figures
just about match. Not that they're crying poor, but they have to
work hard to make their money. For example, the Record Companies
have marketing strategies that force the distributors into taking,
say, 100 of the new Britney CD when they only want 50. They can't
negotiate a smaller quantity on the delivery. The company bills them
for the 100 and they have to pay to ensure stock flow. However, they
can get credits on 'returns' but getting the Companies to accept,
aknowledge and process the returns is a full-time job for one person
in just one small store. The alternatives are to reduce the CD's to
try and move the units or to have 'bin' sales every 6 months and
write-off the loss on the CD's cover price. That may be acceptable
for the big chains but to a small store cash-flow is everything and
reduced cash-flow is crippling.

Andrew Gowans


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 18:10:21 -0400
From: "pawnee q ribber" <>
Subject: fun is what counts
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Lycos Mail (

Well, bert, you keep supporting the recording industry...  (how many
decent LPs worth purchasing came out last year?  hmmmmm)  I am
mortified that someone could be such a good happy consumer, but if
you're having fun, that's what counts.

Amazed how many jumped onto the topic, but, I think stuff like kazaa
is going to change things drastically, hopefully for the better.

One note, though, re 'studio time' as someone already added, the
artist gets charged for it, and ill add a note that studio costs are
one of the most falsely inflated figures in any industry.  These folks
get the equipment at the lowest prices and it is rapidly paid for and
this $$ is just more gravy for pig record execs to wallow in.

I hate to say it, but,I'm kinda miffed that XTC wasted even one second
on the karaoke CDs instead of new material.  No doubt, I'll buy em,
but yeesh....

Didja know that a cassette costs the record labels 4 times as much as
a cd to produce?  How cum they're cheaper? Because they KNOW how
gullible people like Bert are!!

Peace,  PQ Ribber


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 16:25:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Lee Owens <>
Subject: Re: Rekkid Biz
Message-ID: <>

First of all let me state I am sending this from a
friend's mailbox, so don't bother trying to send a
smart aleck reply, i won't read it or reply.  I felt
some of the others here had far too many manners to
put a self absorbed pucker butt like Milli-Chip in his
place, I just could not resist the temptation to

1.  Music is not free.
2.  As long as musicians are idiotic enough to sign
contracts that give them between 7 and 13 cents on the
dollar in return for being in the label's "web of
promotion" (which is illegal {uninvestigated} in most
cases), they deserve what they get...
3.  As long as the public are empty minded enough to
support artists like Spears, Aguilera, and the bevy of
boy bands just because they are cute or happen to be
the trend of the moment, they deserve what they get.
4.  As long as people like Bert, or whatever his name
is, have contempt without investigation and make
ridiculous statements about the costs of recording
studios, then the record companies will continue to
win.  Technology has been moving so fast the past ten
years the cost of recording has become very very
reasonable.  One can now record masters at home very
easily for a very affordable price, if one takes the
time to investigate and learn.
5.  Kevin Gilbert was a genius and Sheryl Crow used
him to get what she wanted and then split.  It is not
the first time that has happened in show business, is
it?  Most people in the know see who and what she is.
Just because she sells records...well no one said
ethics had anything to do with this business.
6.  The record companies and the publishers are the
enemies.  They are the ones getting the lion's share
of what should belong to the artist.  Until the day
the artist is making that 85-93 cents, or at least a
fair 50-50 split, in my mind, it is still a shaved
pack and a no win game.

Maybe it would be best if you (Bert or whatever)
talked about XTC or something about which you had some
sort of knowledge and ceased the attempts at being

mack with the life


Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 10:34:27 -0700
From: becki digregorio <>
Subject: andy and nostradamus
Message-ID: <>

greeting folks,

last nite i was channel surfing and came upon a documentary on the discovery
channel about nostradamus (i know, i know).  but when i paused there for
just a few moments (really!) i saw portions of this conference held at yale
university on the subject, and one of the guest speakers (victor baines i
think his name was) actually said during his presentation:

"...wisdom hotline from the dead back to the living..."

then the camera moved on to something/someone else.

did anyone else happen to see this??  it's kinda' freaking me out~~ (!).

a big congrats to edward percival regarding the X-sTatiC debut in london.
if i only lived closer i would have *loved* to attend.  so glad it was a
success.  great set list!!  do keep us posted as to future gigs.  who knows,
maybe i'll find myself over in your fine country when you have another show.

but i _did_ get a chance to see our own illustrious john relph play the
other nite here in san francisco.  yow, he is one seriously good picker!~!
can't believe you're moving away so soon, john.  you'll be missed...




Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:05:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nicole Ross <>
Subject: Oy! I think Todd should post as Ernie (XTC irrelevant)
Message-ID: <>

If only he can make that HE HE HE He laugh as Ernie
does on Sesame Street.


This Bert/Todd argument thing seems to have been going
on for a while now, and I've only been giving cursory
glances to the digest...

Maybe its time to move on, guys.



Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 20:51:02 EDT
Subject: Re: Record companies etc
Message-ID: <>

The record labels always perplex me too, and I'm the owner of two CD
stores!  Our "wholesale" price for an $18.99 List CD ranges from
$11.68 to $12.68, depending on the label. To be competitive, I price
these at $14.99.  This means $2-3 markup for me, as unlike Tower I
never try to get the ridiculous "list" price, even for special
orders. As well detailed from our guys struggles, young bands sure
aren't raking it in from CD sales, In fact, a friend of my friend
Marco is the drummer for Too Much Joy, a band that had 3 major label
releases in the early 90s.  He says if it weren't for them having cool
T Shirts for sale, they would have made nothing from their years with
the major label!

So, of the $15 you pay, the store is getting $2-3 (unless they charge
the "list" price), the artists are getting next to nothing, and Sony,
Time Warner or Universal are taking the rest.

Douglas Mashkow
CD Island
Long Island, NY


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 13:08:28 -0600
From: Phil Corless <>
Subject: A Minute's Silence
Message-ID: <>

by Randy Cassingham

   British musician Mike Batt produced the album Classical Graffiti for
the rock group The Planets. The album had two distinct styles on it, so
Batt decided to put a minute's break between the two sections.

   "I thought for my own amusement it would be funny to call it
something, so I called it A Minute's Silence and credited it as track 13,
and put my name as Batt/Cage, as a tongue-in-cheek dig at the John Cage
piece," Batt said.

   The Cage piece he refers to is a 1952 "composition" called 4'33", a
"famous" bit of "music" -- 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence -- by
American avant-garde composer John Cage, who died in 1992. Cage was
granted a copyright for 4'33". Batt's acknowledging it, even in a cheeky
way, was a big mistake: Peters Edition, Cage's music publisher, sued Batt
for copyright infringement on behalf of the John Cage Trust, asking for a
quarter of the royalties from Batt's album.

   That's right: the lawsuit claimed Batt stole his silence from Cage.

   "As my mother said, 'Which bit of his four minutes and 33 seconds are
they claiming you stole?'," Batt said at the time. None of it, he
insisted. "I certainly wasn't quoting his silence. I claim my silence is
original silence." Perhaps in the world of lawsuits, such a claim makes
some sort of logical sense.

   When the infringement claim came to light, few thought it could
possibly prevail. Duncan Lamont, a British lawyer specializing in the
music industry, was one expert who rolled his eyes over the squabble. "Is
[Cage's composition] a work? Has it been written down, is it a literary,
artistic or dramatic work? The argument will be there is no work because
there are no notes." If there is "no work", there could be no
infringement and the case would fail.

   Batt, too, was feisty. "Has the world gone mad? I'm prepared to do
time rather than pay out," he told the press. "We are talking as much as
100,000 pounds (US$155,000)" in royalties. Besides, he said, "mine is a
much better silent piece. I have been able to say in one minute what Cage
could only say in four minutes and 33 seconds."

   But just a few months later, Batt was done -- he settled out of court
for an undisclosed six-figure sum, or pretty much what he was afraid he
would have to pay if the suit succeeded. He handed over a check on the
steps of the High Court in London, saying he was "making this gesture of
a payment to the John Cage Trust in recognition of my own personal
respect for John Cage and in recognition of his brave and sometimes
outrageous approach to artistic experimentation in music."

   A spokesman for Peters Edition, Cage's publisher, called the payment a
"donation" which was accepted "in good spirit." He said the company had
been ready to go to court to defend the copyright they controlled.

   Donation, or extortion payment? You be the judge, but be warned: now
that you know of this case, you really can't afford to be silent about


Date: 25 Sep 2002 11:45:40 -0000
From: tone_orange Moderator <>
Subject: Greetings from the tone_orange group
Message-ID: <>

G'day all Kai here.  Just A Quick invite to the TONE ORANGE mailing
group.  Though this you will receive updates on the band and you can
also post your own messages.  You can also Unsubscribe any time you

TONE ORANGE is a Newcastle based Alternative Pop Rock band.

If you would like to learn more about the tone_orange group,
please visit


Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2002 00:04:08 -0500
From: "Thom Bergstrom" <>
Subject: Soul Sets Sail
Message-ID: <005101c266ac$81c0cee0$530cde42@bergstt>

Hey Kidz.

Just a quick note to let the curious at heart know that my cd is now

Good stuff for those of you who love XTC tunes like We're All Light, The
Loving, Scarecrow People, etc.  Check out the site and listen to the audio

On a related note, could someone tell me where to send a copy as a thank-you
(not a solicitation) to Andy for his song writing inspiration?

Thanks, Thom B


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