Chalkhills Recommends
Last update: 16 August 2014

Aside from the mass-marketed easy-to-find pabulum, some less well known artists have product available. I'm proud to offer these recommendations.

The Olympus Sound
The Olympus Sound
Pugwash
Pugwash now have a number of lovely ornate pop records, obviously inspired by Beach Boys, Beatles and, of course, XTC. So inspired by XTC, in fact, that Andy Partridge has co-written songs on at least three albums and Dave Gregory, ex-XTC, also appears. Dave Gregory also performs on the Pugwash (and Friends) Christmas song entitled “Tinsel & Marzipan”. What does this mean for you? It means that you're missing out unless you listen to these records! Hear The Olympus Sound today! Then check out their earlier works. You won't be disappointed.
English Electric
English Electric
Martin Newell
Andy Partridge produced Martin's album The Greatest Living Englishman, Dave Gregory played on The Off White Album, but does that matter? No. Martin Newell is an excellent songwriter, poet and performer in his own right. Many say that English Electric is Martin's best album since Englishman. Listen for yourself!
Chronolology
Chronolology
Robyn Hitchcock
Robyn Hitchcock occupies another part of the strange and distant pop galaxy as Andy Partridge, and in fact they have worked together. And although Robyn says, ". . . unfortunately we're very good at starting things but not finishing them . . .”, one collaboration has reached listeners' ears, “Cause It's Love (Saint Parallelogram)” from Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3's Olé! Tarantula. Mr. Hitchcock has just released a new “Best-Of” collection, entitled Chronolology. He says, “There's never been a ‘best of me’ before; this is specifically corralled together for the internet, which is currently the dominant medium, just as vinyl was 40 years ago.”
As Far As Dreams Can Go
As Far As Dreams Can Go
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin
I first heard Dave Stewart on Bill Bruford's solo works, so I knew he was a first rate keyboard player. But then it turned out that he teamed up with Barbara Gaskin in 1981 and covered numerous popular songs and some not so popular songs including Billy Bragg's “Levi Stubbs' Tears”, Thomas Dolby's “Leipzig” and XTC's “Roads Girdle the Globe”. The latter song is now available on the newly remastered special edition CD As Far As Dreams Can Go.
Keeper of the Bees
Keeper of the Bees
Robert Wegmann
Strong power pop in a mixture of styles reminiscent of Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, XTC and The Beatles, Robert Wegmann's brand new album Keeper of the Bees takes one on a trip across the musical universe of pop. If you buy today, you get a special limited edition Keeper of the Bees comic book!
bakin' @ the potato!
bakin' @ the potato!
Mike Keneally
Mike Keneally is my nominee for the Artist to Follow in Frank Zappa's Footsteps. His album Dancing features wildly stylistically varied, awesome musicianship, a great sense of humor, but overall, amazing music. It will have you Dancing. Mike Keneally's latest is a live tour de force entitled bakin' @ the potato!, a combination DVD/CD. Now you can experience the Mike Keneally Band in the comfort of your home theatre.
The Ocean
      Tango
The Ocean Tango
Louis Philippe
Louis Philippe's latest project, The Ocean Tango, “is the result of a joyful summertime collaboration . . . [with] Swedish art-pop conceptualists Testbild! An intoxicating blend of chamber pop and chamber jazz, the album is awash with trumpets, vibraphones, flutes, strings, harpsichord, Fender Rhodes, nylon guitar and the lushest of harmonies - all wrapped around elegantly tooled, constantly surprising melodies. Imagine a late-night session featuring the Beach Boys, Antonio Carlos Jobim, John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler, with a few electronic flourishes from Brian Eno, and you're getting close to the vibe . . .” Louis also produced Martin Newell's excellent The Off White Album, and Dave Gregory plays on a number of Louis's albums.

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Reviews by John Relph / Feedback