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From: chalkhills-request@presto.ig.com
To: chalkhills@presto.ig.com
Subject: Chalkhills #139


                  Chalkhills, Number 139

                 Wednesday, 13 March 1991
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #137
                   Re: Chalkhills #138
                    Geffen CD reissues
                  XTC Separated at Birth
                     Vitriol Verite'
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Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1991 17:38:50 PST
From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #137

Alex_M._Stein.osbu_south@xerox.com hates to get picky, but:

>John Relph correctly points out in #136 that "Gold" is not on the original
>release of _Mummer_, but then goes on to make the same mistake himself with
>_Skylarking_:
>
>> If anything is out of place on this album, it's "Dear God", sewed
>> on to the newborn in an act of post-partum depression.

Let me rephrase that sentence, because I believe you misunderstood me:

If anything is out of place on this album it's "Dear God", which was
added to the album soon after its release in an effort to correct what
was seen as a marketing error.

And conversely, _Skylarking_ without "Dear God" is wonderful.

                                . . .

Kevin Carhart <6600kevc%ucsbuxa@hub.ucsb.edu> says:

>  Especially on
>Sacrificial Bonfire, which seems to be one of the least-discussed recent
>XTC songs.. if you picture actual an actual religious tribe dancing around
>a bonfire.. I always associate them with the musicians on the front cover,
>free from Western morality.. very powerful stuff.

Yes, this song gets back to the prehistoric, which still has quite a
place in XTC's songwriting cosmology.  Let's skip all this heaven and
hell bullshit, we'll get back to mother earth, animal sacrifice,
harvest and solstice festivals.  Metaphorically, the person who has
been growing up all through _Skylarking_ dies, but life goes on.
Death is not the end, it's just a change.  The being has accepted
death and does not fear it, and now sees that it is inseparable from
life.

                                . . .

jeddiah, swordfish salesman <Y7RW@unb.ca>, hawks his smelly wares:

>1)  What's the latest on the upcoming XTC album?

The February 1991 issue of _Q_ magazine reported that XTC were to
enter the studio with Steve Lillywhite and Hugh Padgham as producers.
Nothing more is known.

>2)  Does Andy generally play all of the guitar parts or does the band
>    use a second guitarist every now and then?  If so, are there any
>    particularly well-known songs featuring a second guitarist?

Actually, both Dave Gregory and Andy Partridge play guitars on their
albums.  It's very hard to know who plays which guitar parts.

>3)  I've heard _Black Sea_, _Oranges and Lemons_, and _Skylarking_.
>    I hope to hear all of the band's lps, but are there any albums
>    by XTC that I must hear or else be doomed to being a musical
>    cretin for all of eternity?

Yes, you must immediately find a copy of _The Big Express_ and listen
to it every day, with the volume turned up.

>4)  Anybody know where the title _Oranges and Lemons_ comes from?

An English children's nursery rhyme:

    Oranges and Lemons,
    Say the bells of St. Clement's.
    Halfpence and farthings,
    Say the bells of St. Martin's.
    When will you pay me?
    Say the bells of Old Bailey.
    When I grow rich,
    Say the bells of Shoreditch.
    When will that be?
    Say the bells of Stepney.
    I'm sure I don't know,
    Says the great Bell of Bow.

Ciao,

	-- John

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Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1991 17:49:47 PST
From: John M. Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #138

Paul Arthur <paular@eng.sun.com> asks:

>On the radio the other day I heard an XTC song called "Generals and Majors."
>At least I believe that's the title. Unfortunately I can't find it on any of
>XTC's CD's at the local Tower records. Does anyone know what CD or CD's this
>is available on?

Yes, it's on _Black Sea_, which, according to the latest rumours, is
to be released on CD in the U.S. on March 19.  Keep your eyes open!

                                . . .

Doug Nonast <dnonast@bonnie.ics.uci.edu> asks:

>       1) Are there any others in the series? These are very good, and I've
>heard rumors that there are more.

Nope, the Homo Safari series was originally jokingly titled a "series
of six", and then when they actually started making numbers two
through six they decided to keep it that way.

>       2) What's the story? Did they get drunk and watch "The Gods Must Be
>Crazy" and decide to write some songs about it?

The Homo Safari songs are just pieces which never got words and were
too good to throw out.

>       Finally, I was wondering if anybody can tell me if their "Dub
>Experiments" cd is any good, and how it compares to their work from 1978-

Weirdly good.  Strange cut-up dub processing of other XTC songs.

                                . . .

toby <toby@computer-science.manchester.ac.uk> sent in the "Freakbeat"
interview, and I would like to publickly thank him: Thank you, Toby!

                                . . .

"WES WILSON, PKO3-2/T12, 223-4891" <wilson@psylo.enet.dec.com> says:

>Anyway, if I get a catalogue from them, and it contains "1967,"
>I'll post info here about where to write for a copy, since
>no buddy seems to know where the hey this disc is.

I haven't seen it from Communion yet, but I have a photo of the UK CD
on Imaginary, it's ILLCD 1000, full title is _1967: Through the
Looking Glass_.

>Another tidbit: is The Compact XTC a disappointment sonically?
>I have the same versions of many of those songs and they
>sound better on the "album" versions of the CDs than on
>The Compact XTC.

I think the reason is that most of the versions on this CD are the
single versions, some of which were edited from the original album
versions, and thus are at least one generation removed from the
original master tapes.  It's also possible that the masters that were
used to make the CD are the post-EQ single masters for vinyl.

        -- John

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Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1991 12:24:14 PST
From: John M. Relph <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>
Subject: Geffen CD reissues

More news on the XTC CD reissues in the U.S. of A.  Mark Laforge
<telly!masnet!rose!mark.laforge@zoo.toronto.edu> sent me a copy of a
notice that claims the five CDs to be released March 19 will be
"midline" CDs, which I suppose means mid-priced line.  The Geffen
catalog numbers are as follows:

    GEF 24373   White Music
    GEF 24374   Mummer
    GEF 24375   Go 2
    GEF 24376   Black Sea
    GEF 4034    Drums and Wires

I hope this is of some help to those of you who live in barbaric
regions where XTC CDs are hard to come by.

	-- John

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Date: 	Wed, 13 Mar 1991 09:27:19 PST
From: Alex_M._Stein.osbu_south@xerox.com
Subject: XTC Separated at Birth

A while back, a bunch of people were talking about how much Dave Gregory
(particularly in the Black Sea days) resembles A. Whitney Brown from Saturday
Night Live.   I was glancing through the pictures on my old XTC albums and
realized that Dave wasn't the only member of XTC who looks like  someone else.

So, after Spy magazine's Separated at Birth column (where they show
similar-looking photographs of very different famous folk), I made a short list
for the other members of XTC.  Since I haven't bothered to digitize the photos,
you may have to use your imagination for these.  Or  just grab your old
records.

Quick Disclaimer: I'm not saying that anyone from XTC is like any of these
other people musically, artistically, vocally, or anything else.  I'm just
saying that, in these particular pictures, the resemblence is, well, uncanny.

Andy Partridge (on the back cover of the White Music album) and Sting.
Terry Chambers (in the group photo on the inner sleeve of English
	Settlement) and actor Griffen Dunne (who recently played the jilted
	boyfriend in Once Around).
Barry Andrews (on the back cover of Go 2) and a hybrid of Bob Hoskins and
	Phil Collins.
Colin Moulding (on the last page of the CD booklet from Oranges & Lemons)
	and David Cassidy.

Alex Stein
astein.osbu_south@xerox.com

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Date: Wed, 13 Mar 91 18:19:22 CST
From: rhb9805@usl.edu (Bird Rendell H)
Subject: Vitriol Verite'

XTC-ers;

Not so long ago I tried to get a little conversation going on this
mailing list by posting a list of LEAST FAVORITE SONGS off
of XTC CDs.  I never said anything about 'best' or 'worst' songs.
I also thought I made it clear these were my OPIONIONS (ergo, there
is no 'right or 'wrong' to them).

'Nuff said?   Let's begin:

>*Mummer*
>Gold -- ?Horn charts?  on such an idyllic album?

	"Gold" is not on _Mummer_.
	"Gold" is the B-side to the "Great Fire" single.

I don't care where it comes from. It is on my CD which has MUMMER
written on the spine. Therefore I included it in the list of songs
off of _Mummer_.  I have only seen three XTC albums (as in LPs) in my
entire life (_White Music_, _Go 2_, and _Drums and Wires_).  A friend
of mine (who used to be a DJ) had them. He played them for me. I thought
they were dreadful beyond compare!    But in my own defense let me state
I was discovering classical music at the time, and ALL rock-n-roll sounded
pale/plain to me.

>*Skylarking*
	If anything is out of place on this album,
	it's "Dear God", sewed on to the newborn in an act of post-partum
	depression.

???
Where are you getting these phrases?   Are we talking about the American,
Canadian, or, British versions of this CD?

>*Oranges and Lemons*
>The Loving -- too idealistic, too upbeat. The remainder of the album is
>              wonderfully twisted. This is my favorite XTC CD.

	Wrong again, bucko.

Are you saying my assessment of the song is wrong, or that my
opinion is wrong (for picking this song as a least liked)?

>*Rag and Bone Buffet*
>Over Rusty Water - 1.5 minutes of one chord?  XTC is usually more original
>                   than that!   If 'one chord' was all I wanted I would
>                   listen to more Philip Glass.    :-)

	I love this song.  Play it again.  So why didn't you pick "Frost
	Circus" off of _Mummer_ as its worst?

<Flame mode on>
<Mocking voice on>
Because it is a BONUS CUT!
<Mocking voice off>

The simple truth is: I dislike _Gold_ more than _Frost Circus_. They
are both pretty well down on the list, though.

	And Philip Glass has to be
	admired for his sense of mathematic precision and awareness of phase
	changes.  He's got a good piece or three.  Just skip his concerts.

I prefer Gubaidulina, Schnittcke (sp), or Penderecki when I want
modern classical (read: minimalism). They are just as fulfilling
as Glass, with half the pretension.

>*Dear God EP*
>Mantis on Parole - just doesn't do much for me. But I like the other pieces
>                   of the Homo Safari Series (especially "Procession").

	For once I agree.

I am flattered.

FlounderHead.

<Flame mode off>

Final Truths:  I like Andy's songs because he is usually sarcastic. I usually
don't like Colin songs very much.

My problems with 'Travels in Nihilon' stem from its placement on
the _Black Sea_ CD. Somewhere between 'Towers'... and 'Travels'... my
attention manages to wane. I usually don't make it out to the end of the
CD. Therefore 'Travels' is probably the least HEARD song by XTC I own. I
will continue to think of it as my least liked song off of the CD, but, maybe,
I won't actively dislike it all that much.

...And remember gang, A less-than-prefect XTC song is usually better than
half the just that's out there. I wouldn't have spent all this money
collecting the CDs if I didn't think so.

Some Questions:

I will be going to New York next week. Does anyone know where I can
pick up a copy of the Dukes' CD?  If they have more than one copy copy,
should I pick up a couple and see if anybody wants the spares?

How does one get a copy of the _Rag and Bone_ postscript file?

Rendell
rhb@usl.edu

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