Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #130

                  Chalkhills, Number 130

                 Friday, 8 February 1991
Today's Topics:
                    pull out a channel
                        XTC on PBS
                  XTC Cassette Magazine
                      Re: Chalkhills
The Dukes from a Virgin's Perspective (Plus, Rankings and Producers)

Date: Tue, 5 Feb 91 21:06:59 PST
From: (Kevin Carhart)
Subject: pull out a channel

I made a discovery a few months ago that doesn't strictly apply to XTC,
but to all recorded music.  Listen to it with headphones, and pull the
plug out partway, and it should turn into a very interesting sound with
what i believe is an echo in the studio, and on some songs only some of
the tracks.  On "Earn Enough for Us," you only hear the harmony.. on some
of the Dukes songs, the special effects are muffled and you only hear
one voice singing.  In some cases the effect is new information, as some
of the subtler tracks are all you hear.  I don't know if it would be
useful for hearing these "hidden" messages.

Something to do while waiting for the new album :)


From: William H Stoner III <>
Subject: XTC on PBS
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 91 12:28:09 EST


Well I was watching "The American Experience" monday night i think.  The
show was on coney island and was pretty cool.  So I'm sitting ther and
all of a sudden they start playing "Frost Circle" as background music.
They played snippets of it though out the show and I swear one of 'em had
a different melody!  I haven't actually gone back and closely examined it
yet though.

"Have you got the master race the bigot's son	|  William H. Stoner III
 who like his daddy's full of fear. Not so much |  Systems Operator OSU CIS
 a son more of a stormtrooper to burn the books |
 when dad's not here"  XTC - "Happy Families"   |


Date: Wed, 6 Feb 91 17:10:04 PST
From: (Kevin Carhart)
Subject: XTC Cassette Magazine

I just reached #86 in my Chalkhills back-issue reading, with its
mention of XTC Cassette Magazine, from March of last year.  That's
tremendously exciting!  I haven't heard anyone mention it from
#123 on... did one come out?  Are they annual?  I think it's great
that they succeed in supplementing their lack of tours with other
forms, such as the Convention and now this... if it worked...


Date: Thu, 7 Feb 1991 9:28:03 PST
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills

William H Stoner III <> posts:

>Does anyone know what the story is behind "Towers of London"  Is it that
>something happened during construction (ie. lots of death) or is it, as I
>suspect, that the song is just a comment on colonialism in general?

I prefer the latter explanation.  However, it definitely has direct
references to the Irish question.  I can't say that I understand what
the reference means:

    Rain is the tears of the never never navvies who cry
    For the bridge that doesn't go
    In the direction of Dublin

Perhaps it is a cynical look at those who think that the Irish
Republic should still be part of the United Kingdom.

>As for the next album I too hope that they get some "edge" back, it's
>time for change.  My intorduction to the band was "The Big Express" and
>I love every minute of it

For my part, I think that _Oranges and Lemons_ DID have some edge to
it, but it was inconsistent.  "One of the Millions" from _O&L_ isn't
nearly as pointed as "I Remember the Sun" from _TBE_, and there are
hardly any tunes (on any album) that compare with "Reign of Blows
(Vote No Violence!)", "Train Running Low on Soul Coal", or even "Wake
Up".  I thought "Garden of Earthly Delights", "Scarecrow People",
"Merely a Man", and "Across This Antheap" had some good edge, and
almost a bit of grunginess, but the overall tone of the album is
smoother than _The Big Express_.

>Does anyone know if Geffen will release "The Compact XTC" in addition to
>the other is the only hole in my collection.

It was rumored that Geffen would release it last year.  So much for rumors.

                                . . .

Broadcasting live from Mars, here's ace reporter Kevin Carhart

>o Slobbering for a new product, I went and bought the XTC video that contains
>the hilarious puppet show run by them
>  The show is

Agreed.  The "History of XTC" puppet show is one of the funniest
things XTC have ever done, and I highly recommend it for any fan.

>  I think
>watching someone's videos puts you in danger of having one rigid mental in-
>terpretation of the song from then on, discouraging imaginative manifestations.
>That doesn't bother me with these two, but it may if I ever see the Grass
>video or the Senses Working Overtime one... both very evocative songs.

The "Senses" `video' is basically just a performance video, nothing to
interfere with your imagination.  And I find the "Grass" video to be
fairly humorous without really interpreting the song at all.  It's
just funny and strange.  I really like it, in any case.

>o Re: >Aren't they weird enough without being on drugs?
>Sure!  But what about the "Place of Hallucination" on the map of Swindon
>on Go 2?

I would guess this was youthful experimentation, and that they are
fairly dry now, except for beer.

                                . . .

Ross MacKay <> asks:

>It seems that both Virgin and Geffen released a CD Single version
>of _King For A Day_, (Geffen 21236-2, Virgin VSCD 1177).
>Is it the same animal??????????  And if not, what's the difference?
>I have the domestic release (Geffen) which includes:
>  KFAD (Czar Mix), KFAD (Versailles Mix, the album version as far
>as I can tell), _Toys_, and _Dessert Island_.

No, the UK CD single of "King for a Day" is very different from the US
CD.  Both mixes on the US CD are remixes, while only one of the
versions on the UK CD is a remix, which is different from either of
the US remixes.  Also, the UK CD includes two heretofore unknown demo
tracks, "My Paint Heroes" and "Skeletons", while the US CD includes
"Desert Island" and "Toys".  While the latter two tracks were
previously unavailable on US CD, they were already available on UK
singles, and later on the UK _Mummer_ CD.

There is also a Japanese CD single of "King for a Day" which includes
the UK CD single remix of "KFAD", an edited 7" version of "KFAD", and
XTC's original mix of "Happy Families".

	-- John


Date: Thu, 7 Feb 91 13:17:05 EST
From: (Tim Snyder)
Subject: The Dukes from a Virgin's Perspective (Plus, Rankings and Producers)

How, there, all.  This is my first Chalkhills posting, so bear with me while
I get some monstertalk purged.

So, XTC got ambitious and cranked out a "sixties"
recording, and they had the decency to rename themselves the Dukes
of Stratosphear.  Cool.

That's what I thought when I first saw the Dukes' stuff, and, even
though I was told it was good, it seemed that the Dukes' recordings
were peripheral, satellite material; idiosyncratic meanderings.

Boy, was I wrong!  Andre de Koning, after I inquired about the Dukes'
quality, convinced me that the Dukes project was not cheaply produced,
self-agrandizing flutter, but bona fide, even complex music.  What a
shock!  the music is overall superb, and the production is lavish,
slick, and professional.  Moreover, the "psychodelia" is not the usual,
Bunny-and-the-Echomen "psychedelia;" it is as psychodelic as has been
anything in the last thirty years.  For those XTC fans who have been
avoiding the Dukes due to its "special project" nature, it is a genuine
release, as major as _any_ XTC projects.  Snag it!

This is not to say I regard the Dukes as XTC's finest work.  I would
rank the releases as "Black Sea," "Drums and Wires," "English Settlement,"
then the Dukes CD (EP+).  But this does mean that the Dukes Clock in
above some other releases that are indeed fine.  (Is it safe to say that
XTC are one of the all-time greatest bands, like, Beatle quality?  Am
I getting carried away?  I don't know; try to list your eight favorite
XTC tunes, and note the cognitive dissonance.  Do the same for the
Beatless, place the "eights" on opposite sides of a tape, and see which
side gets played the most.)

Most pressing is the following.  A while back (before Andre had [wisely]
talked me into a Dukes purchase [as well as a Residents' "Duck Stab" [YES!]
purchase]), there was a line in Chalkhills in which subscribers attempted
to map the Dukes' tracks to (intended or unintended) sixties bands whom
the tracks were "imitating."  This discussion was one of the things that
delayed my Dukes purchase: Who wanted to hear XTC trying to sound like
the horridscarybaseballcapsonthewhitehouselawn Beach Boys?  But, now
that the Dukes' magic dominates my CD player, I would (simply as a matter
of trivia, for, the music stands quite well as it is [as it stands]) love
to know what all you experts thought about the Dukes' influences.
DOES ANYBODY HAVE COPIES OF THIS THREAD?  (Caps 'cos lengthy articles
erode the entire spirit.)


Shame on y'all for picking such lame producers!  (Phil Spector?  Egads,
look what George Martin did to poor Ultravox.)  When this discussion
began, I immediately thought of Steve Lillywhite.  Listen: "Hot"
producers rise and fall, as do "hot" artists.  Lillywhite is not in
vogue as he was in the XTC/U2/Peter Gabriel "I'll throw so much echo
at them that their heads!" days.  He simply is not the hot
producer he once was.  (His price probably went up a bit, too.)  But,
wow, did he do a fine job with XTC; the match was keen point five.

So, I was thrilled to hear that XTC and Lillywhite have reunited.
Padham will make the drums monster, and Lillywhite will do what Fox,
the disastrous Nye, and, in certain, small, but significant ways Todd
Rundgren have failed to do: _pick out the good material_.   You guys
have B-sides and extras that I have never heard of, and, judging by
your positive claims for these tunes that have never appeared on the
major releases, and on my own claims for the "extras" I have heard
(Did they _really_ decide not to include "Down in the Cockpit" on the
American release of "English Settlement?"), XTC crank out tons 'o tunes.
XTC need a producer who can "settle" for the tunes that are solid,
but not necessarily novelties.  (I.e., no need for tunes like "Dying,"
"Wonderland," and almost all of Colin's O&L tunes, compared to the tracks
that were trashed.)  Lillywhite will do it _correctly_.  (Along with
"potentially all-time greatest band" comes, unfortunately, "all-time most
poorly managed" band.  "Grass" vs. "Earn Enough for Us" as a _single_?  Who's
buzzing in this picture?)

To summarize:  The Dukes are worth the purchase; don't avoid it (trust me!).
	       I need the old Dukes=? postings.
	       XTC need Steve Lillywhite and will deliver a monster album.

Thanks for putting up with my butchering of the language and our respective
precious times.

 Timothy Law Snyder
 Department of Computer Science
 Reiss 225
 Georgetown University
 Washington, CD 20057
(202) 687-6208


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