Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #154

                  Chalkhills, Number 154

                   Thursday, 2 May 1991
Today's Topics:
                   ehhh... Skylarking?
                     stuff about #153
                 Andy and Touring (1991)
                     Looking too hard
           meeting place / mr. ditko was right
                Living In A Haunted Heart
                   Re: Chalkhills #153
          This World Over (Re: Chalkhills #152)

From: hvgtw!dhgpa!
Date: Wed, 1 May 91 10:17 MDT
Subject: ehhh... Skylarking?

John Relph wrote:
>Andy has often said that he thinks that _Skylarking_ doesn't sound as
>"hi-fi" as most of XTC's other albums.

And doug ( wrote:
>That's odd...I think _Skylarking_ has some of the nicest sound I've ever
>heard.  It's crisp and lush at the same time, always appropriately so.

I think _Skylarking_ sounds like all the sounds are modified by limiters,
filters, etc (all instruments are "enveloped" so to speak). It also sounds
like the high frequencies are cut (anyone tried to turn up the treble on this
one? Makes it a little better). It gives me the impression that it's
ready-made for (cheap) car-radio. Maybe this was T0dd's intention?

I guess Andy's problem is in the dynamics department: the album before
_Skylarking_ (_The Big Express_) sounds "extrovert" and _Skylarking_ sounds
"modest". It reminds me of Thomas Dolby's productions for Prefab Sprout (but
that's a band that wants to sound like that).
I guess the guys were a bit too keen on a revenge during the making of
_Oranges & Lemons_: they were filling up all the 48 tracks and giving it all
the high-end they had (the reason why it's not so "easy listening": the
instruments are fighting for attention in the listeners' ear).

But the SONGS in _Skylarking_ are GREAT (don't get me wrong). It's a very
GOOD album.

-- Andre de Koning


From: Dances With Voles <>
Subject: stuff about #153
Organization: The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
Date: Wed, 1 May 91 9:44:50 PDT

>From: (I have a fish nailed to a cross on my apartment wall)
>Subject: b-sides... sklylarking quality

>As for the quality on Skylarking.    UGH.   Thin sound, harsh
>prodution quality.  The drums are poor, at best.  Over-equalisation,
>over-compression, tinny and just not full at all.  This has always
>been my complaint with most Todd LPs -- he LOVES high end, hates bass.
>I can barely hear Colin on the LP at all except for singing.

Pshaw tish and tut tut to you, buddy boy.  It sounds just fine.
Adjust your ears.

>From: Larry W. Seals <>
>Subject: Chalkhills #152

>As to his inquiry about whether I had listened to much of Rundgren's
[Short answer: Yes]
>Now given that this was my primary introduction to XTC, I had no basis
>to guide me as to what they sounded like as opposed to Rundgren's
>influence.  So to me, the only overt sign of his "meddling" was the
>production on "Earn Enough for Us" which sounded quite a lot like that
>on _Faithful_ and pre- _Todd_ (piano/organ,guitar,bass & drums... not
>much synth).  But everyone has their own opinion, I guess.   ;-)

Well, I hate to be argumentative (HE'S LYING) but, piano, guitar, bass
and drums is not exactly a Rundgren innovation - it's kind of a
classic rock thing.  Again, I don't want to start a fight, but I think
Earn Enough For Us is a fairly generic sounding rock tune (not that
that's a bad thing at all) , at least in comparison to the more overtly
Rundgren-esque pieces on that album.

>From: lessor of two weevils <>
>Subject: More about Terry...

>Seriously, though, Swindon's finest tend towards the modest side in
>all the interviews I've ever read, so it's not suprising that Terry
>would downplay his abilities...I think the drumming on "Black Sea"
>and "English Settlement" is quite inspired, and I'd cite examples if

I'm not saying he's bad, I'm just saying he's not a complex,
polyrhythmic percussion god.  Whenever I hear Senses Working Overtime
I feel this need to air-drum along with those awesome fills, but
they're hardly unpredictable...

jon drukman              always note the sequencer:
sco docland wage slave      uunet!sco!jondr     this will never let us down


Date: Wed, 1 May 91 15:02:51 -0400
From: (Geoffrey Poole)
Subject: Andy and Touring (1991)

	I've been listening to the Acoustic Tour tape again lately (note:
for all who don't have it, beg, buy, cheat, steal, do whatever you have to
do to get a copy.  It's essential XTC, imo.), and, despite the general
rigors of touring, Andy seems to be enjoying himself.  Has anyone read
any interviews or heard anything about what Andy really thought about
the radio tour and whether or not they're even considering a tour to
support the forthcoming (eventually) album?



Subject: Looking too hard
Date: Wed, 1 May 91 15:08:51 EDT

  Did anyone else catch John's tribute to "The History of Rock and
  Roll" from Rag'n'Bone Buffet at the end of Chalkhills #152?

      All views expressed in Chalkhills are those of the
      individual contributors only.  Thank you and goodnight.

  I have received about 40 Chalkhills and I don't think this has
  appeared before.

  Did you do this on purpose, John, or have Andy and the lads really
  made it that deep into your subconscious? :-)


 Timothy M. Schreyer               
 Center for Advanced Information Technology  (215) 648-2475
 Unisys, PO Box 517, Paoli, PA 19301         FAX: (215) 648-2288


Date: Wed, 1 May 91 15:07:10 PDT
From: (Kevin Carhart)
Subject: meeting place / mr. ditko was right

Jon Drukman sez:  (paraphrased)
> I think you're reading into The Meeting Place... small town, not totalitarian

Maybe you're right.  The repetitive clanking noises, the lines about
"smoke on your breath" and especially "machines that make you kiss in time"
(which gets to me) and the fact that the sleeve of the single shows a brick
hand with smoke coming out of the fingers always made me think something
chilling was going on in their world, but <shrug>
Completely seperately, there's another comic book reference (I think)
in New Broom in the Lure of Salvage experiments... Andy keeps on saying
"Mr. Ditko was right..."   Does this refer to Steve Ditko, creator of
Spider-man with Stan Lee and co-founder of Marvel?  Or are they even
saying Ditko?
What the heck, reading in is half the fun :)


Date: Wed, 1 May 91 20:48:28 -0400
Subject: Oooops

Duhhhhhh....ok, THREE people decided to remind me that those demos (and it
says HOME DEMOS on the record) are from Skylarking.  Makes sense since they
are on the The Meeting Place 12".

Also, Jon pointed out that Life Begins At The Hop is an A side.  I was under
the impression that if it wasn't on the original lp that it was a B-side?  I
don't own many of the original 7"'s or 12"'s so I'm not sure about this.

Joe mentioned Red Brick Dream, Punch and Judy, and Strange Tales Strange
Tails.  Definately on the top of my list!  Red Brick Dream is one of those
songs that sits in your head all day until you have to go back home and listen
to it again.

The quailty (and esp. quantity) of b-sides seems to be a bit down.  The World
Is Full Of Angry Young Men is OK.  However, those tracks labeled as "home
demos" are very good (I'm not about to try a musical analysis).  My Paint
Heroes and Living In A Haunted Heart are both on par with any previous XTC


Time for another stupid pill....


Date: Thu, 2 May 91 00:37:12 EDT
From: Elizabeth Stephens Gain <>
Subject: Living In A Haunted Heart

	With the recent talk of demos and b-sides, there was no mention
of "Living in a Haunted Heart."  When was it recorded?  From what album
era?  What do you think of it?
	It is one of my favorite songs;  and it contains the saddest
lyric ever:
	"If you want to know what nothing looks like,
	 Just pull back my chest and take a look inside here."

				- Betsy


Subject: Re: Chalkhills #153
Date: Wed May 01 17:42:56 1991

You know, I've been supscribing to this list since it was first created,
and I don't believe I've ever posted anything to it.

I suppose that it's time to change that.

I don't know if it's been mentioned before, but does anyone else
think of the song "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her" when they
see "The Little Mermaid"?  I have a roommate that is a Disney freak, and
every time she plays the tape, and we get to the scene where the
seagull and hermit crab are trying to get the prince to kiss Ariel,
I can't help but hear the song.

I often think that the writer is an XTC fan.  Not because of other
evidence, but just because the scene fits the song perfectly.

(I also hear "Mermaid Smiles" when I think of "The Little Mermaid," but I
think that's just my brain in hyper-association mode.  Anybody else
have this problem?)

(katefan, XTCfan, amigoid)


Subject: This World Over (Re: Chalkhills #152)
Date: Fri, 03 May 91 01:27:13 +0900
From: Yuji `RUSHER' Chikahiro <>

  Greetings Chalkhills menmers.
  My name is Yuji Chikahiro, from Tokyo Japan.  #please call me RUSHER.
  I enjoy playing the drums, the base-guitars and the piano.

  Let me talk about one of my favorite song included in `Big Express'.
  It is "This World Over".

  No  matter  when I hear "This World Over", I cannot help associating
  its last chorus with Sting. Drum's pattern, chorus voicing, effected
  chorus  voices  themselves  of the song are similar to some tunes by
  The  Police.   I supposed the producer(s) of `Big Express' caused me
  to  be  confounded.  But I don't know of David Lord's works.
  I would like to hear your comments.

# `This World Over' reminds me of last Gulf war, too.

John M. Relph <> wrote:
> A short note in the May 1991 issue of _Tower Records' Pulse!_:
>  XTC went into Townhouse [Studios] to lay down tracks this
>  April with a little help from Hugh Padgham and Steve Lillywhite.

  I am very pleased to hear of this news. :-)
  Both Steve Lillywhite and Hugh Padgham are good producers.

  BTW,  Last  week I bought `Mummer' to regret I had never listened to
  this album.  :-) I should have met it between 1983 and now, already.
  I  admired again incredible inspiration of Andy Partridge. How could
  he compose using such unusual chords ? (but they suit good!!)

  For  example, "Funk Pop A Roll" is played in G-lydian (someone might
  express  it  as A7th on G). I have never heard tunes written in such
  unstable  scale. If XTC selected G on A instead of A on G, I imagine
  this tune should have been something easy but cheap.
  Also  I would like to point out wonderful counterpoint in this tune,
  Eflat -5 add9.   I  have  no courage  enough to use such un-harmonic
  voicing in the process(Fortschreitung).

  - RUSHER <>


Greetings to new subscriber Tony Collins.

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