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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-57

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 57

                Wednesday, 16 October 2002


                         Re: NRBQ
                       Request XTC
          Now That's What I Call Silence! Vol.1.
                Biting the hand that feeds
                  Found My Way Upstairs
           The most Mummerful time of the year
              Going crazy in this hinterland
                 A drumming suggestion...
                      8-Track tape?


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Don't let them make you see ... red.


Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 02:50:34 EDT
Subject: Re: NRBQ
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 10/9/02 6:59:39 PM, jack writes:

>I had the pleasure of seeing New Rhythym and Blues Quartet (NRBQ)  at
>Ram's Head Tavern , Annapolis, Maryland last night. Great venue, great
>music, great beer, great show!
> If you've never heard these guys,often referred to as "America's Best
>Barroom Band" you don't know what you're missing!

   NRBQ are my favorite American band ... was that your first time seeing
them, Jack?
I have seen them at least twenty times in the last 15 years. I wonder what
piano genius Terry Adams would do on an XTC tune ... the possibilities boggle
the mind.

Ever lurking,
Warren in Sacramento, CA.


Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 05:56:43 -0400
From: "Molly, the New Wave Queen" <>
Subject: Request XTC
Message-ID: <000401c27043$59189c20$8a00590c@vogmudet>
Organization: AT&T Worldnet

I don't know how many people here get VH1 Classic, but they just started a
new show called, "All Request Hour".  This is a show where the viewers
request songs.  I wanted to ask people in here who get this channel to go
and request XTC videos (besides, "Dear God" and "The Mayor of Simpleton").
The e-mail address is .



Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 19:45:06 -0500
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: Now That's What I Call Silence! Vol.1.
Message-ID: <>


             Here's a little tribute
              We can all join in on!
            It's VERY quite and I hope
                    It's FUN!

              Feel free to submit your
                contributions to...

@becki. Neon Meat Dream Of An Octafish by Captain Beefheart
        comes to mind.



Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 12:09:27 +0100 (BST)
From: Bert Millichip <>
Subject: Biting the hand that feeds
Message-ID: <>

Good Lord, I've just returned from a couple of weeks
enforced absence to find that my limited defence of
record companies caused quite a kerfuffle. I would
have been on safer ground defending Adolf Hitler or
Phil Collins. Or dissing my old chum Harrison.

I'd love to comment on *all* the points made, as I
think this debate is a damn sight more interesting
than the mutual sycophancy that has dominated
Chalkhills of late, but the shrill voices of the
brigade have already been heard, so I'll keep this

First, a general note: I made it clear (though not
clear enough?) that *of course* the recording
industry, like all big business, has been guilty of
doing some abominable things. Therefore, those who
have responded along the lines of "Look at this
terrible thing XYZ Records did, this proves Bert was
wrong" have kind of missed the point entirely.

Of course there are plenty of people working in the
music industry whose sole motivation is money. (Though
this in itself does not necesarilly make them evil.
Most of us go to work mainly for the money. Even that
putative paragon of virtue, the small record store
owner, is almost certainly in business because he
wants some filthy lucre. In this respect he's no
different from the CEO of Tower Records, it's just
that the CEO of Tower Records happens to be a lot
better at it!) However, I can tell you from personal
experience that there are plenty of decent people
working in the record industry who have a genuine love
of music and want to bring as much good music to as
many people as they can. It's in part thanks to these
people that we all have so many great records in our
collections - records which in many cases never had a
hope of being commercially viable. All record
companies, even the biggest major, use part of their
profits to subsidise less commercial releases, of the
sort that most people here seem to like. This is good.

I'll finish by responding to the original poster, Mr

>>>Well, bert, you keep supporting the recording
industry...  (how many
decent LPs worth purchasing came out last year?

Hardly any - which is why I exercised my consumer
rights and chose not to buy many! This is hardly the
industry's fault anyway. The music just isn't as good
as it used to be. I think few would dispute that, and
this is shown by the fact that record sales are
plummeting year on year. My own theory for this has
nothing to do with MP3s or incompetent corporate
suits. I believe that rock music as we have known it
for forty years is reaching the end of its natural
lifespan. It had to happen - all great cultural
movements have seen their popularity wane eventually,
and why should rock music be any different? Mark my
words - in ten or twenty years, rock will be much like
swing is today, the preserve of a dwindling band of
ageing nostalgists, with perhaps the odd mini-revival
now and again.

>>>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.<<<

You really hate the thought of people making money
don't you? I presume you live in a shack in the woods
and live off fungi you find on trees. No, more likely
you'd wallow in those evil $$ as readily as anyone
else, given half a chance.

Studio time is just one of many costs involved in
releasing a CD. It's technically true that some
artists end up paying for it out of their royalties,
but that's a very simplistic way of looking at it. 80%
of artists never sell enough CDs to cover the costs,
so the record company ends up footing at least part of
the bill. The record company will also pay all the
costs for their top artists, of course. This leaves
only a very small proportion of releases for which the
record company recoups all the recording studio costs
from artists' royalties.

It is therefore very misleading to say that "the
artist pays for the recording studio". Typically, the
record company will give the artist the money for the
recording up front. There may also be a separate
advance, or the artist will be told he can "keep the
change" if he brings the recording in under budget.
The artist will NEVER have to repay any of this money
out of his own pocket. If the CD doesn't sell a single
copy, the artist won't have to pay back a cent. Is
that realy such a bad deal?

Imagine, dear Pawnee, if a suit came up to you and
said: "I'll give you a hundred thousand bucks. Use it
to hire the best studio you can afford. Spend the
change on anything else you like. Have a blast
recording an album; it'll be like a dream come true.
We will then put your music in every record store in
the country. If nobody buys it, don't worry, you won't
owe us a cent. If it sells more than, say, 50,000
copies, you will get a handsome cut of the profits."
Put like that, artists are not nearly as pissed on as
you might think - which is why they tend to be
*delighted* to take their chances and sign on the
dotted line!

>>>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!!<<<

I love the simplicity of your price function: Price =
Costs x Q, where Q is a number you've just pulled out
of your arse. Cost is not the only determinant of
price. The most important influence on price is
demand: the amount consumers are willing to pay. In a
very real sense, the (supposedly) high price of CDs is
as much the consumer's fault as the supplier's. In the
case of CDs vs cassettes, the CD is a vastly superior
product, therefore people are willing to pay a lot
more for it than they are for cassettes. The fact that
it costs less to produce is utterly irrelevant.

I stand by my assertion that CDs are good value. When
I look at the numerous albums in my collection, think
of the price I paid for them, and compare that with
how much music means to me and enriches every single
day of my life, I remain convinced that $18 for a
(wisely chosen) CD is about the best bargain on the
high street. Can anyone think of a better one?

Sorry folks, but that's as brief as I get.



Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 17:12:02 EDT
Subject: Found My Way Upstairs
Message-ID: <>

>From: becki digregorio <>
>Subject: put your thinking/dreaming caps on

>and i've a request of all you cool 'hillians out there.  i'm getting ready
>to write a paper for a dream class i'm taking, and want to tie in music
>that is written about/based on *dreams.*


>might any of you be able to recommend some songs that might work??
>i'd really appreciate it.  kindly write to me off-list.  thanks!~!

(Posted and mailed)

Dream Class, eh? Wow, wouldn't it be ironic if you didn't attend class all
year long and then discovered you had to pass a final exam? And you were
naked? Holding a fish?

Well, Becki, as a Cool 'Hillian in good standing (I can show you my card --
see? Relphie only charged me a buck extra for the lamination!), I think the
Mother and Father of all Dream Songs has got to be the Beatles' A Day in the
Life, right?

Dreams are interesting because of the *contrast* to objective reality that
they represent; the power of dreams is precisely that they are Not Real. If
all of life were lived in a dream-state, then that would be Reality, and
there would be no such thing as a dream. Waking up would be quite an
exercise! That's what I think A Day in the Life is groping for.

Structurally, it sandwiches two dreamy, druggy sequences that queasily
recount meaningless observations, pointless and absurd items seen in a
newspaper and imperfectly remembered, around a double-time, hard-edged
recounting of the beginning of a day ("Woke up, fell out of bed...") that
dissolves inexorably again into a dream (brought on by a "smoke" the narrator
has, hint hint). Connecting the two "states" of the song are those
unforgettable rising orchestral crescendos, which we are to interpret as
representing "waking up" from unreality (by "turning on," of course, but it
was 1967! What do you expect?)

The question the song suggests is the old Taoist riddle, "Am I Lao-Tzu
dreaming I'm a butterfly or am I a butterfly dreaming I'm Lao-Tzu?" Which
part of "A Day in the Life" is the "waking" one, and which the "dream?"  And
if we're doomed to inhabit a this cycle of endless sleep and wakefulness,
each state equally meaningless, how do we break the cycle?

There is, of course, a Third Way, unknown to the Taoists and, for that
matter, only dimly seen by the Beatles. It holds the key that unlocks a
universe that I for one find it bearable to inhabit. It may perhaps be best
expressed in the form of the 'Pataphysical Maxim of Pope Zippy:

"Am I Lao-Tzu dreaming I am a butterfly, or am I a digital watch in a block
of Velveeta? Did you gain weight in the past 5 minutes, or am I just dreaming
of two broccoli florets lying in an empty gas tank? I will now continue
having this fun, and blame it on the Bossa Nova!"

Harrison "Gooble gobble, we accept her! One of us!" Sherwood


Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 11:01:25 -0400
Subject: NRBQ
Message-ID: <>

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

Jack wrote:
>I had the pleasure of seeing New Rhythym and Blues Quartet
>(NRBQ)  at Ram's Head Tavern , Annapolis, Maryland last
>night. Great venue, great music, great beer, great show!
>If you've never heard these guys,often referred to as
>"America's Best Barroom Band" you don't know what you're

I've been listening to these guys since the late 60's when they did an
album with Carl Perkins.  Only Terry Adams and Joey Spampinata remain
from that era.  They are eclectic and eccentric, and could follow a
Thelonious Monk song up with a children's lullaby, but I agree that
they're terrific live.  One thing, though;  the official name of the
band is "NRBQ", not "New Rhythym and Blues Quartet".  They started out
as a 5-piece, so the "Q" indicated "Quintet", but I have many (over
15) of their albums and the artist is listed as "NRBQ".  You shoulda
seen them when Big Al Anderson was the guitarist........

I also agree in principle with Jefferson Ogata's thought:
>Piracy exists because there's no middle ground where people
>can get that one track they're interested in without having
>to shell out for the whole album.

I would modify that statement to include the fact that a fair number
of people use the technology to get much of their music collection for
free, and others use it to obtain demo versions, unreleased songs, and
live versions of material from  artists they collect.



Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 10:18:49 -0500
From: Brown <>
Subject: The most Mummerful time of the year
Message-ID: <>

Jello, everyone!

Mummer Day is fast approaching again.. I know, I know, you're saying to
yourselves, has it been a year already?  Well indeed it has, my best beloved
Hillians, so it is almost time once again to celebrate this sparkling little
aural masterpiece that we know as Mummer..

A few of you have inquired as to the state of the 2002 Mummer Day plans, so
here is a little update:

We have not finalized our choice for this year's Mummer Day Grand Marshal.
Contrary to some of the rumors you may have heard, we have NOT asked Justin
Timberlake to preside over this year's event.  (Actually, it's just the
opposite..the pesky bastard has some how managed to get a hold of the # to
my private line, but I can assure you that I am not returning his calls.)

Frito-Lay has stepped up and asked to be one of this year's sponsors, but we
have declined their offer as we do not feel that snack food products such as
Cheetos(the cheese that goes crunch) and Cool Ranch Doritos fit in with the
olde English atmosphere that we are attempting to create at our Mummer Day

That's all the Mummer Day news for now.. stay tuned.

Remember, Mummer Day is October 17th.. Mark those calendars, kidz!


Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 13:30:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Going crazy in this hinterland
Message-ID: <>

It's amazing how there's an XTC song for every occasion. And that's all I
have to say about that.

-ira, a thirty year old puppy doing what I'm told


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 10:48:51 -0400
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: A drumming suggestion...
Message-ID: <>


How about Neil Conti as the drummer for the new album?

-Ben (you give me Faron Young four in the morning)


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 19:08:40 EDT
Subject: 8-Track tape?
Message-ID: <>

Were any of the early XTC albums released on 8-track tape?  I would look this
up in the online discography, but the Chalkhills website is acting very
strangely all of a sudden (we find the site's not there).

J. D.


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