Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #191

                  Chalkhills, Number 191

                 Monday, 23 December 1991
Today's Topics:
                    XTC on MTV-Europe
                  Fixing a CD that Skips
                     Sounds Like This
                   Thanks for Christmas
                     A few chestnuts
               More Limelight XTC Interview

From: hvgtw!dhgpa!
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 91 08:23 MET
Subject: XTC on MTV-Europe

Here's something (maybe) of interest for fellow European Chalkhillians:

	Januari 6, 1992: XTC on 'MTV's greatest hits' (16:00 CET)

Hope this was in time for the last Chalkhills this year (if there is one).

-- Andre de Koning

PS: This information comes to you thanks to my favorite dutch music
    magazine. I am not connected to MTV and I don't guarantee that the
    information here is 100% correct. Oh well, we'll see.


Date: Thu, 19 Dec 91 10:37:09 est
From: Ben Trumbore <>
Subject: Fixing a CD that Skips asks:

> I have a 3-inch U.S. CD of Mayor of Simpleton b/w One of the Millions.
> I played it a few days ago and it STILL gets stuck at the
> very end of One of the Millions; as in, "He's always
> saying what he's gonna d-d-d-d-d-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o."

I suppose it's always possible that you have a defective CD, but it's not
likely.  Most CDs have pinholes in the aluminum that contains the music
information.  Hold some up to a light, and look for these tiny holes.
They rarely cause a CD to skip, but if one is large enough it could create
a gap in the stream of digital information.  Compare your Mayor CD against
others in your collection.

I would also guess you've looked for obvious blobs of dirt on the disc.
These can cause CDs to play in unpredictable ways.  Years ago a friend
was playing Eagles CD on a portable player, and at the end of the disc
it began again - and his player didn't have a repeat option.  We took the
disc out and found that an ulucky spider had been in Mr. Laser's way at
just the wrong time...  In any case, you can remove large-scale dirt like
this by using a fingernail.  Always rub from the center to the outside of
the disc, as radial scratches are less of a problem than arc scratches.

Finally, you might be able to find a scratch on your disc.  Discs play from
the inside to the outside. By looking at reflections in the CD you can
usually see how much of a disc contains music.  Based on the time of the
skipping, you can gauge how far out the disc the scratch might be.  I've
had almost imperceptible scratches cause discs to skip, or not boot at all.
If you find a scratch, use toothpaste to buff it down.  Rub gently in the
radial direction, and you will replace the big bad scratch with many tiny
ones that shouldn't bother the laser.  The toothpaste residue rinses away
easily.  Don't press too hard or buff for too long.

I hope these suggestions help you find and fix your problem.  I guess at
this point I should write something about XTC!  Near the end of John
Wesley Harding's "When the Beatles Hit America" he lists a bunch of bands
that the re-formed Beatles sound like.  Most of the names contain initials,
like REM and FYC, and eventually he gets around to XTC, then mutters that
they sould ALOT like XTC.  I was wondering how widely accepted it is that
XTC has similarities to the Beatles.  We talk about it, but is it really
that noticeable or important?

Some things stand out more to me, but I'm sure that I've missed many subtle
things.  The Oranges and Lemons cover screams Beatles for me.  At the end
of one one song (without my collection I can't recall which one!) Andy
quotes "Feelin' Groovy," and that reminds me very much of the end of "All
You Need is Love," in which the beatles quote half a dozen songs, including
their own "She Loves You."  Of course, the continuity of Skylarking can
be compared to that of "Sgt. Peppers" or "Abbey Road."

So, I guess I'm asking for opinions about the extent and importance of
XTC - Beatles similarities.  Also, is it likely that XTC was influenced
in most cases, or did they just come to some of the same artistic conclusions
at the Beatles did.  Whew - that should be enough typing for today!



Date: Thu, 19 Dec 91 11:12:05 PST
Subject: Sounds Like This

Can anyone out there recommend some "New Wave" CDs that are in a
similar vein to WHITE MUSIC and GO 2?

I'm looking for cohesive ensemble playing, *with a keyboardist, from.
that magical era of 1977-1981 or so...


Party Organ in Peoria :-)


Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1991 14:27:23 -0500 (EST)
From: Matthew Mashyna <>
Subject: Thanks for Christmas

As usual, this time of year, I made the rounds to see if any of the
off-beat record stores here had a copy of "Thanks for Christmas" and, of
course, they didn't.

I've never heard the song, even though I have a pile of obscure XTC
singles. In a wierd twist of fate I took my wife and kids out to brunch
at TGI Fridays last weekend and heard this song that had a familier
twang to it. As I was putting on my daughter's coat (on her that is) I
listened more carefully and heard the chorus as it came round. What a
nice suprize!

Fridays makes tapes for all their stores in Dallas, so if you go to one
over the Holidays you're likely to hear it.

| Matt Mashyna           |   The Swiss Army knife of Facilities     |
|    |   Managers                               |
| voice: (412) 268-7591  |                                          |
| Manager of Computing Facilities                                   |
| Carnegie Mellon Department of Psychology                          |


Date: 22 Dec 91 17:50:43 EST
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: A few chestnuts

Hey Chalkhilleurs!!! Happy Holidays to one and all!
   Just a few chestnuts to drop in the fire...
Maya and I were shopping at some of Toronto's smaller and stranger
record/CD stores yesterday. We bought a Geffen 12-inch Promo of
"Vanishing Girl" (same 2:30 song on both sides, 8 bucks), and
a 10-inch "Ball and Chain" EP for 4 bucks. They had 2 of 'em
in stock.
   Radios in motion: both CFNY-FM and CBC's "Nightlines" have
played "Thanks for Christmas" in the last 24 hours. Nice!!
   We received a Christmas card from June and Peter Dix of the
Little Express the other day... The next issue of the L.E. should
arrive in January (1992, hopefully!), AND... THE NEW XTC ALBUM

   I studied the BACK cover of my "Go2" LP very carefully, it
seems that Barry is drinking a can of "SKOL" lager.

   'bye for now, and in the words of Saeko Suzuki:
"I wish it could be Christmas every day".


Date: Mon, 23 Dec 91 13:58:20 PST
From: Chalkhills Administration <>
Subject: More Limelight XTC Interview
Organisation: Chalkhills Anonymous

Interview with XTC, Limelight Issue 1, Spring 1982, Part 2
Transcribed by Marcus Deininger <>

[continued from Part 1]

Limelight: Do you ever listen to your old material?

Terry: Not often.

Andy: I put on our entire collection (or what I've got of it) once every
six months to see how it's weathered. Your tastes keep changing and so
sometimes it's a big giggly "Did I play like that?" It's like looking at a
photo album or anything from the past. You have to develop a light
attitude towards the past or else you'd get terribly screwed up about it
being imperfect. Sometimes I'll forget about things that we have done
and so I'm surprised when people write to me about a particular old
song or when I hear one in a disco or on the radio.

Dave: Occasionally, but only as a reference point. The joy of hearing the
songs is usually exhausted by the time an album is finished.

Colin: No. I think the last time that I played "White Music" was a year
ago. It was very exciting music for the time, but now it seems sadly out
of date. To a certain extent, the same applies for "GO 2", although it's a
little bit more icy. "Drums and Wires" is not all that old to make a
comment on.

Limelight: How much do you contribute to the music that you play with

Terry: If you see XTC as a body, then I supply the muscle for movement.

Dave: When Andy or Colin bring up a new song, there is usually only a
melody, lyric and chord structure. It's then up to all of us to chip in our
own ideas for decorating or improving that song. Occasionally they will
want something specific, such as the riffs to "Paper And Iron" or
"Travels in Nihilon", but I am usually free to do whatever I like and my
guitar solos are all my own.

Limelight: How have your attitudes changed since you left school?

Colin: I think I want to learn more. I didn't want to learn at school, but
now I do. I'm forever' reading books and things. I like reading a Hell of a
lot, especially History and Geography - I was always good at Geography
at school. I like reading up about different peoples, wars and so on. So I
think I'm learning more now than I did at school.

I've got more of an interest in current affairs and what's going on in the
world, the nuclear thing and so on. I was a - bit of a vegetable when I
left school - a bit of a vegetable in school actually.' I've grown to
appreciate things that I didn't when I was at school.

Limelight: Have you always rejected the punk/new wave labels?

Colin: Yes. If somebody in my family asked me what sort of music we
play, the nearest word that I could put down for them is "Punk" or "new
wave". And then they get an idea, at least, of how the music is. To
people in-the-know I wouldn't use adjectives such as "punk" and "new
wave - just pop music. We strive to be popular. We play pop tunes.

Andy: Yes. Basically because I don't like labels because it means that
you are quickly cast aside by a lot of people who can only appreciate
music because it's "this week's thing".

Now I think that the fashions and attitudes of punk are incredibly
laughable because they don't mutate and change. It's as funny as seeing
headbangers wearing ring-pull tops or playing sitars crosslegged and
claiming that "Frijid Pink" albums are the best things in the world.
People must move on in their attitudes.

Your attitudes do change from week to week. I'm not saying that I'm
flighty, but you do wear things out, your clothes become dirty and you
need a change of clothes. I like to keep this "moving vehicle". If the
vehicle stops it just rusts and becomes rather comical.

I liked the energy of punk. I didn't like the posturing, the fashion and the
sloganeering which was incredibly empty. But it was nice for us to have
something similar and it gave us a jemmy to prize the door open and be
noticed in the first place.

Limelight: Why do you think that you received a hostile reaction in

Terry: They don't understand us. As a result they feel alienated and
afraid to look into it. They seem in general a neurotic race and,
unfortunately for us, we have to be listened to more than once to be
appreciated, which they don't seem prepared to do. Most other places
seem very keen and enthusiastic. Maybe it's because the French are just

Limelight: When it has occurred, does all the adulation from teenage
girls affect you?

Colin: It used to affect me. I felt it was nice to have all these girls
flitting round me after my stinking grissle! I find it annoying now when
they phone up your' hotel room when you're fast asleep and say "we just
want a talk with you when obviously they just want a good lay. I found
it exciting to begin with, but the novelty wears off. It annoys my wife
as well, so the less said about that the better!

Andy: Not really. You go a bit dopey (American accent:) "Are they looking
at me?" But not any more than if a group of girls look towards you in the
street. They write to me sometimes and say odd things - hopefully we
haven't had any paternity suits to see what they can get out of the band.
You do get crazy ones who throw their underwear on stages or toss
passports up with instructions for you. We get kinky letters
occasionally but it's not too bad.

Actually, we appeal now to more girls than when we started when we
were appealing to just men, men, men (we thought there was something
wrong with us!) It's possibly because we've been on TV much more and
so the boundaries are getting more blurred.

Limelight: How did you feel when Barry Andrews left and how do you
feel now about the separation?

Colin: Barry cast a lot of discontent through the band, it seemed to be
infectious I must admit that I was prepared to go it alone at the time. I
could see after a while that it was Barry who was the "bone stuck in
your throat". As' soon as we took it out it was instant relief. We adopted
a more optimistic approach and started to look towards the future.

It was me who prompted Andy to have a guitarist, because a keyboardist
would be constantly compared to Barry and he might even have to mimic
his style. Obviously the fans would want to hear "Statue of Liberty" and
"This Is Pop" and so on with the organ. In the end we got Dave in and he
proved to be an asset.

You've got to be more careful with two guitarists otherwise you're
going to get into the Thin Lizzy bit - duelling guitars with one taking
the lead, etc. You've got to economise on the guitar licks. The organ isn't
such a common sound so we had to use the guitars very sparingly and we
still do. If one of us thinks that another shouldn't be playing we'll speak
right out and say that it's not 'needed. So we try and strip it down even
more than when Barry was with us to its ultimate syncopation.

I can't visualise the current XTC with Barry in because' Dave is a
different person and he's adding a different twenty-five per cent to the
group. If Barry was still in the group it's possible that we might not
have come up with songs that we did.

Limelight: What do you think that you have contributed to the music

Dave: I have no idea. I am just another guitarist one of thousands of
groups. I don't even know for sure how the "music field" views us.
People seem to have so many different opinions about us. I just keep
aiming a little bit higher and a little bit higher and one day I might do
something I can feel justifiably proud of. XTC is Andy"s group and it is
his talent that has put us here today.

Terry: Personally, not a great deal. But as a part of the group, quite a
lot. You only have to listen to a lot of new bands of recent years to
hear.the influence.

Colin: I like to think that we've done something inventive while other
groups were jumping on the proverbial bandwagon of crazes such as
punk and the mod revival. I've been to concerts and seen support bands
who (intentionally or not) sounded like we did a year previous. It isn't
that the world needs more than one of us, but we have obviously made
an impression upon them.

Andy: I have to hope that we've made people happy and that they like
what we are doing. Each time we move on to a new kind of feel, I hope
that we can take people with us. I don't want them to take it too
seriously, make a religion out of it or do anything drastic, as in the
"Manson" side of things.


Welcome to new subscriber John Rescigno!

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