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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #9-41

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 9, Number 41

                  Sunday, 10 August 2003


          Dukes of Stratosphear demos discovered
                     fuzzy popples...
                     Andy P & Harry B
                      A Yankee in Oz
          Re: Fuzzies Running Low On Song Coal?
                      Fuzzy Quibbles
                  Re: The 45 minute rule


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My spell of hours will make you fall.


Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2003 14:15:59 +0100
From: "Paul" <>
Subject: Dukes of Stratosphear demos discovered
Message-ID: <005601c359c1$77642d80$203a8751@home>

PRESS RELEASE: Dukes of Stratosphear demos discovered

LONDON - 3 August - The music world was both shocked and overjoyed today by
the news of the discovery of old demos by the Dukes of Stratosphear.

For over 30 years the demos of their earliest songs on a collection of tapes
have lain in a forgotten rusted locker at Waterloo train station, the key to
which has been long lost. On forcing open the door, station attendants found
a collection of old reel to reel tapes, with faded handwritten labels
bearing titles such as '25 O'Clock' and 'The Mole  From the Ministry'.

Professor Profundity, Head of Department in Profound Studies at Princeton
University, declared the find as the most important development he could
remember for musicologists and pop fans alike. "These tapes are remarkable.
They show a band at a crossroads, with one tentative nervous foot in the new
world of psychedelia - a world new and strange to them, which they don't
seem to understand - and the other foot in the reassuring stability of the
past, which they don't seem to understand either. Most exciting of all is
the discovery of a song called 'Half Past Eight', which is clearly the
embryonic vision of the later '25 O'Clock'."

Yesterday, journalists tracked down Sir John Johns - real name John 'Johnny'
Johnston - at his job as a toilet attendant in Tooting Bec, the career to
which he returned after the demise of The Dukes of Stratosphear. "I'm not at
all happy about the discovery of our demos," he said, angrily squeezing out
his mop into a bucket. "And I'm never going to forgive Cornelius Plum for
losing the key to that stupid locker. When our albums '25 O'Clock' and
'Psonic Psunspot' were released, people just laughed and called us rip-off
merchants. Now these demos are being posted all over the internet, people
are going to say we never did have an original idea in our heads after all."

The collection of demos are available for download from .


Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2003 18:08:01 -0400
From: "Chris Rees" <>
Subject: fuzzy popples...
Message-ID: <006501c35ad4$df5d34e0$>

i, too, like our good sir demon brown, got some very static-y, digitally
flawed copies of fw 3&4....and i cant seem to get a reply from ape/idea.
anyone ever get a response from them?  i want to return mine and get them
'all proper'...



Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2003 18:11:01 EDT
Subject: Andy P & Harry B
Message-ID: <>

Hi Chalkies

Whilst perusing my cd collection the other day I came across one of
those magazine CDs that usually end up as ashtrays, coasters, wall
decoration for arty folk etc.  This one I thought may be of interest
to an Andy P connoisseur (which, although an XTC fan, I am not - for
shame etc etc).  The CD in question contains (amongst other items) 2
tracks by Mr P and Mr B, these being "Bosch" and "Breughel".
Apparently the CD was given away with The Mix and neither of the
tracks are available elsewhere, although I stand to be corrected...
If anyone's interested in this item email me for more details, ta very



Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2003 19:56:08 -0400
From: "Kevin Hiscock" <>
Subject: A Yankee in Oz
Message-ID: <>

I have the great good fortune to be, at the last second, heading to Sydney
for a week or so this coming Sunday.  It'd be a kick to buy any fellow
Chalkhillians in Sydney a pint or two (or just to hear about the places
not to be missed - and if the Mercantile Hotel is to be avoided, that'd be
nice to know too <g>).  Feel free to do the offline, "I'd really rather
some on the list to not know where I live" thing.


kevin a. hiscock					yahoo IM-khiscock	  home of The Monster and radio hidebound
currently spinning: Gary Numan - You Are, You Are


Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2003 19:03:24 -0700
From: "WAYNE KLEIN" <>
Subject: Re: Fuzzies Running Low On Song Coal?
Message-ID: <>

"Scott Barnard" <> wrote:

>I should start by saying that I love my Fuzzies. Adore them. But
>here we are, one third of the way in, and I can't help but feel that
>a lot of the really outstanding stuff has already shown up. We have
>our Dames and Ships and Marrieds and Gooseys and, well, Everything.
>Please concur, enlighten or flame as you see fit.

  I concur but will eventually purchase the bulk of them just to see
what AP comes up with. There's always the chance that a brilliant
number escaped. My only criticism of the FW series is the way the
tracks have been sequenced. I would put all the previously
unreleased/unheard/unfinished demos together on a set of CDs like wise
for the instrumentals and the demos of songs XTC have released. The
various song fragments (the exception of the marvelous Nobody Here
telephone message) are of little interest to me. I've resequenced
Fuzzy Warbles 1 & 2 with all the finished unreleased XTC songs on one
disc and the others where appropriate. When I do get 3 & 4, I'll
probably do the same as well.

  Dominic stated --Being old enough to remember the cassette and vinyl
age, for mine the perfect length for an album remains about 45 minutes
(i.e. one side of a C90 cassette)

  There are a few rare CDs that fill their running time with
absolutely essential music but you're right--most of them are filled
with, well, filler. Crap. Junk. Even some of those albums at 45
minutes were a stretch.  I can think of some albums (like Revolver)
that were perfect at 34 minutes.

  The time constraints of LPs allowed for better editing of material.
Oranges & Lemons, for example, is a fine XTC album but has a bit too
much filler on it.


Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 09:01:09 -0400
Subject: Fuzzy Quibbles
Message-ID: <>

> Quibbling about running time is odd too.  Are albums seriously judged by
> running time??  If you're not pleased with the contents
> then fair enough (each to his own then), but.... running time???

OK, I'll take another stab at it. Obviously, by classic rock 'n roll
album standards, 50 minutes is gracious plenty. I could probably list
my 10 favorite records of all time, and I doubt if any of them would
hit the 50-minute mark.

BUT these were records of all-original material, and not a form of
compilation as the FW's are. So it does become an issue I think. For
instance, I myself collect Joni Mitchell covers, and have over 1000
now. I put them on compilation CD's, and share them with friends. If I
have 150 minutes of material, it makes sense to put them on (2) cd's,
which hold up to 80 minutes, as opposed to (3) cd's of 50 minutes
each. I friends don't have to send as many blanks, pay as much
postage, etc.

Of course, my project is not a commercial for-profit venture, but
merely a collection for fun (and I have over 50 cd's worth!) In Andy's
case, I would think that part of his objective is to get the material
out there for fans, and also of course to make money for himself. BUT
still, for him to stretch the collection out over a larger number of
discs than is necessary seems to me to be a bit opportunistic,
especially given that he's selling them at an escalated price, with
little or no marketing (and certainly no touring) expense. Rip-off?
No, and I wish other artists would follow this pattern. But do I
(perhaps selfishly) wish that I felt I was getting more bang for the
buck? Sure.

I hope I've explained my logic more completely...I'll add again that I
think the series is great and I have bought them all thus far.


NP: They Might Be Giants, "The Guitar"


Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 14:09:11 -0700
From: "neil oliver" <>
Subject: Re: The 45 minute rule
Message-ID: <>

Dominic Van Abbe wrote:
Being old enough to remember the cassette and vinyl age, for mine the
perfect length for an album remains about 45 minutes (i.e. one side of a C90
cassette).  So far as I can tell, the only thing that CD's have allowed is
for an extra 25 minutes of padding to be included on an album, which once
would have rightly been B-sides.
I find it amazing how exact the ratio is on almost every disc I buy: the
number of songs that make an album go on longer than 45 minutes are
equivalent to the number of songs that can be cut from the album. Unless it
is an XTC album, in which case I am inclined to give them the extra space.

Scott Barnard wrote:
I'm still waiting for Rip Van Reuben and Living In A Haunted Heart
and a few others, and while I by no means have a comprehensive
collection of this stuff,  unless a whole lotta
previously-unheard-by-me stunners appear (a la Born Out Of Your
Mouth and Lightheaded), I suspect, sadly, that we have *definitely*
not heard the last of Alan Burston.

I know exactly what you mean Scott. Can Andy really dredge 4 to 8 more CDs
out of his archives? He's already covered most of The Bull with the Golden
Guts and at least half of Jules Verne Sketchbook. I felt there was already
a significant decrease in the balance of significant material to filler on
FW 3&4; I don't want to buy 8 more CDs with only 3 or 4 good songs on them
(it is VERY expensive to buy these CDs in Canada, however you do it).

I know some of you don't want to hear any complaints about the Warbles
sets, preferring that we think of them as a kind of gift from Andy. But
he's not giving them away for free. I would never complain about things
like the sound quality (it's miles better than what I had before) or the
packaging (new CD cases aren't exactly expensive) but I think it's fair to
want these collections to be reasonably good value, and I don't think they
are when they're so padded.


End of Chalkhills Digest #9-41

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