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08 June 2018

Glitter and Glimpses: The Chills Mystery Box Unveiled. By Jenny Andreotti.

Last Fall I wrote about the importance of supporting The Chills Film’s Kickstarter campaign. I gushed in anticipation of receiving my own incentive: a mystery box of Martin Phillipps’ personal collectables. It arrived a little over a week ago, and ever since I have been gleefully trying to research the meaning of its’ contents. Two of the items came with detailed descriptions. One item contains four metallic purple rings that were a part of an instillation Phillipps created for a photoshoot for The Lost EP (1985) (the photo can be found on the backside of The Lost EP). The other item contains a tiny bottle of glitter (fit for Alice in Wonderland) that was prepared by both Phillipps and his mother as souvenirs for the 1982 debut of The Chills (please note this was the debut of phase 3 of The Chills). Other items related to The Chills include a gorgeous array of neon flyers (including the flyer from The Chills (phase 3) debut), an ad for “Tally Ho!” (2015), a postcard from The Chills’ Somewhere Beautiful (2013) collaboration with artist Shane Cotton, and a signed copy of Silver Bullets (2015) (promotional copy).

The box also contains an array of personal items. Two I have owned in the past (and had either sold during hard times or had lost during one of my many moves during my adulthood) and now belong to me once again like some cosmic boomerang (I am now once again the proud owner of Jack Kerouac’s The Subterraneans (Panther Edition 1962) and New York Dolls self-titled (1973) CD). Other items include a Matchbox version of Lady Penelope’s Fab 1 from Thunderbirds, a McDonald’s Happy Meal Catwoman Cat Coupe (1991), Snoopy comic strips (should integrate nicely into my own Peanuts collection), a signed but voided check (damn!), and much more. One item was indeed a mystery to me. An ominous picture of a fox beneath the words “There is no God but me.” Further research indicates that it is the work of Toothfish, anonymous environmentalist and artist (I’m hooked!).

Owning the box is a thrill and being the caretaker of a small portion of my favorite band’s history brings me great joy. It’s been a pleasure getting a glimpse into Martin Phillipps’ Kaleidoscope World. I learned I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did about The Chills, and credit the box with deepening my understanding of one of the most significant and influential Indie artists of all time. I look forward to The Chills’ future and eagerly anticipate their forthcoming full-length, and documentary film. Here’s to The Chills, and to the beautiful sounds Martin Phillipps will bring into the world for many years to come.

Links:  (The Chills Film’s Website)  (The Chills’ Website) (Toothfish website)

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