Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #206

                  Chalkhills, Number 206

                 Thursday, 26 March 1992
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #205
               Les Inrockuptibles Interview
                    Re Chalkhills #204
                     Pulsing Pulsing
                        what else?
                 bay area nonesuch party?
                     The Disappointed
                   She's Having a Baby
             "The Disappointed" on the radio!
                     NONSUCH Bulletin

Date: 22 Mar 92 22:21:04 EST
From: Eric Singer <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #205

In #205, Wes writes:
>Did a little bit of research into Shonen Knife and what's available from
>them on CD out of Japan.

>These are the titles I know of:

>SPACE CHRISTMAS (this one's a CD single)

>Now, if I could only figure out which of these has the XTC stuff on
>it! (From a previous note we've already eliminated "712" as having
>no XTC stuff...).

Title 2 (at least on CD) is really "Pretty Little Baka Guy + Live In Japan".
I just picked it up at Nugget's (great used vinyl/CD store in Kenmore Square,
Boston; check it out if you're driving through).

On first listen, I definitely recommend it, especially for amusement value.
It has 10 studio cuts, including the famous "Making Plans For Bison" (sings
Shonen Knife: "We only want what's best for him"), and 8 live cuts.

Catalog info:
Rockville ROCK-6053-2  Gasa-tanka Records/Zero Records/Rockville Records
Mfg. & Dist. by Dutch East India Trading

Also of note, an album called "Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them",
which is a whole ton of bands doing covers on Shonen Knife tunes.  Big Dipper
does a great cover of "Bison".


Date: Sun, 22 Mar 92 18:46:39 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject: Les Inrockuptibles Interview

Les Inrockuptibles, March 1992
Interview by Christian Fevret
Translated by Emmanuel Marin
Part Two of Five

                          MY LACES, MY TIE

Les Inrockuptibles: A lot of bands from your generation had become
very popular, before they broke up.  At the time of "Drums & Wires"
and "Making Plans For Nigel" in '80, many predicted fabulous success
for you.

Andy Partridge: At one time we would have given everything to become
the gods of pop.  But I never had any regrets because my ambitions
have changed.  Some live on this pop god status, which I found
pitiful.  We have nothing to do with the present English charts.  Or
even with those from the twenty last years.  We surely have more in
common with the 60's, or maybe the 50's or 40's.  Or even the last

LI: When one listens to your very first albums, from '77 to '79, one
is struck by their narrow-mindedness: they sound like caricatures of
what was then called new-wave.

A: You can put it down to our age, to the age of the music which was
in the air, to the fact that we had written only a very few songs, and
that we were learning on stage.  Those were the albums of some guys
who wanted to be pop gods for a day, before saying "Goodbye, and Thank
You!"  We wanted to come to the party, to make noise, to be noticed,
throwing vases on the floor, pulling the carpet out.  But as soon as
people knew who we were, we could be ourselves.  When I am shown the
first album, I see a conceited teenager who comes from the
hairdresser, his face covered with spots, disguised in the fashion of
the day.  I am told, "Look!  It's you!"  "No!  Help!"...  We were very
shy, so we made a shell out of noise.  The songs from the first
albums, they were not really us, they were some ideas we projected on
other people, on other things.  We progressively became more personal
by dint of writing.

LI: In the beginning, the only songwriter you referred to was Bob
Dylan, with a crushed cover of "All Along The Watchtower": more a
V-sign than a tribute.

A: We have cut up this lamb of sacrifice... with love and hate.  I
like the atmosphere and the lyrics of this song very much, I find that
it is a marvelous monument, gigantic, medieval and futuristic, a
moment of History.  I wanted to play this song and to mess it up at
the same time, to break it and to own the pieces: nothing
flower-power, hippy, or which would sound like Hendrix's cover.  I
wanted to smash it into tiny pieces, to dissect the machine and see
how it worked.  But we just squashed it.  We wanted to manhandle the
old: "Listen, we can take your old-fashioned stuff and make something
far better with it".  To squash it, that was undoubtly all we were
able to do.  It was the usual conflict of generations, we wanted to
take their place by kicking them in the privates, telling them, "Get
off!  It's our turn!", with the arrogance and the violence of young
men who cannot express themselves.  We saw ourselves as very
attractive young men who submitted pop to their experiences,
dismantling pop to reassemble it in another way.  Tearing off the side
wings to put them behind, taking off the wheels and putting them in
front, tearing off the bonnet and throwing it away.  We were looking
more for admiration than for esteem.  Or esteem in a childish and
arrogant manner, like these kids who make themselves noticed only by
drinking: a desperate willing to make oneself heard, to take over
something.  Afterwards, progressively, we became impassioned for what
a song is, for its beauty and its sacred nature, all that we were not
aware of.

LI: One now gets the feeling you hide behind your songs.

A: Our songs form a multi-coloured armour, the best one we can make;
this shell protects us.  It protects us from the external world.
Inside I am a mollusk.  I am paralyzed by the outside world, this
wonderful and horrifying place, this paradise crowded with monsters.
Terrifying and very exciting, like a fair for a young child.  I need
armour to face it, so sometimes I drink.  Now more than ever, I know
how men, the most violent animals, can be horrible.  I find it very
hard to go out in the world, emotionally naked.

LI: You claim to be normal people, especially yourself, whereas it is
obvious you have a strong personality.

A: People tell me I have a strong personality, but I am only a
goldfish, I cannot get out of my bowl to see.  I do not act, in this
sense; I do not intentionally change my feelings to affect people, to
manipulate them.  It is just like clothes that I cannot take off.

LI: Unlike the two other members of XTC, you seem to like to put on an
act, to show yourself, to dress up, to play with this personality.

A: Providing that I feel like conceiving the theater myself, the world
in which I show myself.  I like to feel that I control it, that I can
snap my fingers to remove it instantly and stop putting on an act.
When this is the case, I feel good.  Dave and Colin are very calm
people.  If there were people as boisterous as I am in the band, we
would scuffle too much.

LI: There is a contradiction between the pleasure you get putting on
an act, playing with the images and the appearances, and your deep
unwillingness to be a public character.

A: When I am really in public, I feel as if I am losing myself,
wasting away and disappearing.  I have got to keep away from it if I
want to keep in touch with myself, so as not to crumble.  The show
must be reserved for a limited audience, a handful of persons that I
know, that I feel for, maybe that I trust.  I have the feeling that
the "mass audience" is only a huge, blind and clumsy slug, a primitive
animal being, unintelligent and indifferent.

LI: Were you an exuberant child?

A: I could say yes.  When I was unable to do something, I took some
food from the kitchen to bring to school to pay my mates with for
doing it on my behalf: to lace my shoes, to knot my tie.  I was good
enough to swap all that I needed, physically or mentally.  I certainly
was an ugly kid, and I had terrifying fits of hysterics.  Religion
worried me a lot, I saw God and angels in the sky many times, staring
at me severely.  I was a child so anxious about everything that I had
visions and hallucinations.



Date: 23 Mar 92 21:34:02 EST
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: Re Chalkhills #204

Just read Chalkhills #205, hot off the digital presses, and I
have a couple of infobits.
   Regarding XTC covers by Shonen Knife, I believe there may be
only one ("Making Plans for Bison"). I did say previously that
it does not appear on the CD "712", it also is not to be found
on the single "Space Christmas". That CD contains only the very
good title track, a cute "Christmas message" from the girls, and
the song "Bear Up Bison". Now I didn't actually hear the CD,
only saw it at the store with a hefty price tag, so I can't say
if "Bear Up Bison" has some connection to the "... bear up bison,
never say die..." lyric on "Making Plans for Bison". But now that
I'm writing this, it darn well might!
   MP4B itself must be on their first album "Shonen Knife", or
the second "Pretty Little Baka Boy". (BTW, "Baka" means "stupid"
in Japanese). One of these albums is available on CD with extra
live tracks added.
   Regarding Richard Branson, he kind of made a second appearance
in an XTC video, that being the hilarious "Road to Oranges and
Lemons" home video. He was portrayed by a pair of wind-up
chattering teeth!
   Lastly, I bought a music magazine called "Alternative Press"
the other day. I was happy to fill out their reader survey 'cuz
the prize was a "free Geffen/DGC compilation CD featuring Nirvana,
Teenage Fanclub, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nitzer Ebb, Northside,
the Nymphs, Stan Ridgway, XTC and more". In good company, eh?
---> Steve


Date:         Tue, 24 Mar 92 11:27:16 EST
From: Jamer <>
Subject:      Demos


I've only been subscribed to chalkhills for a short time, but I've gotten the
idea that there are some demos of the new album floating around out in hipster

Would it be too rude for an amazingly devoted fan to ask if a copy could be
made of some of the songs?  I want to emphasize that I'm not in an infernal
rush to hear them before the actual album version, but I've loved hearing the
"home-y" side of the band ever since "Let's Make A Den".....

Any replies should be sent to:

Thanks fr lisssssening...


Date: Tue, 24 Mar 92 18:12:50 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Pulsing Pulsing

Just got the latest issue of Tower Records Pulse! Magazine.  Nothing
in the way of XTC news I'm sorry to say, but there were a couple of
DID's (Desert Island Discs)...

Steven Andrew Stayrook (from San Jose, CA) lists "7. _All of It, Every
Release Ever_ -- XTC.  Tower doesn't have this one, yet.  I'd have the
giant CD specially pressed."  His other 9 choices were interesting as

    1. Topsy Turvy/Fab. Sounds -- Young Fresh Fellows
    2. Snap! -- The Jam
    3. Lincoln -- They Might Be Giants
    4. Key Lime Pie! -- Camper Van Beethoven
    5. The Name of This Band Is the Talking Heads -- Talking Heads
    6. Girls Girls Girls -- Elvis Costello
    8. Condition Blue -- Jazz Butcher
    9. Uprising -- Bob Marley
   10. Perspex Island -- Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians

The editor notes: "Stayrook's recession-era DID list was printed on
the back of his resume.  His career objective?  An increasingly
responsible and rewarding position utilizing academic background,
communication skills and organizational ability".  Anybody out there
have a job for this guy?

Troy Peters (from Jenkintown, PA) writes "4. Skylarking -- XTC.  A
pastoral masterpiece by the most underrated band around."  The other 9
DIDs on Troy's list are as follows:

    1. Sign O' the Times -- Prince
    2. Bach: Goldberg Variations, Glenn Gould
    3. Giant Steps -- John Coltrane
    5. Ravel: Songs, Pierre Boulez et al
    6. Achtung Baby -- U2
    7. Tabula Rasa -- Arvo Part
    8. King of America -- The Costello Show
    9. Stravinsky: Violin Concerto; Lutoslawski: Chain 2, Anne-Sophie Mutter
   10. Woodface -- Crowded House

And finally, the Newslines column contains this tidbit (but we already
knew this):

    Late '70s punkerama _3 Minute Heroes_ compset out on Virgin

    "Any revival of interest gives us a chance to sell our catalog
    CDs," says Steve Pritchard of Virgin, who's compiled a
    comprehensive collection of some of the best hits to come out
    of the punk/new wave era of 1976-78.  The collection, _3
    Minute Heroes_, features the Ruts with "Babylon's Burning",
    Ian Dury with "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll", the Boomtown
    Rats, XTC and the Damned, among many other stars from the era.
    The Sex Pistols allowed "Pretty Vacant" to be included; cuts
    from the Clash and X Ray Spex, which would have rounded off
    the set, weren't available.

"Compset"?  Newspeak according to Tower Records.

	-- John


Subject: what else?
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 92 14:37:57 -0800
From: Jemiah Levon Jefferson <>

Trees?  Woodlice?  It seems the Partridge man has finally
gone completely mental.  No big surprise.
Anybody besides me psyched for the new They Might Be Giants
album?  The idea of new albums by XTC, TMBG, the Charlatans,
Ian McCullough, and Deee-lite just make my cartilage go all
wiggly.  If they delay Nonesuch any more, though, I'm gonna
go on a tri-state killing spree.
apes don't read philosphy,


Subject: bay area nonesuch party?
From: Desi The Three-Armed Wonder Comic <>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 92 16:56:48 PST

this is probably only for people in the northern california area...

anybody interested in getting together, popping a few cans and
grooving to NONESUCH sometime near its release date?

karen schipper has graciously volunteered to host a shindig at her pad
in santa clara, if there's interest.

RSVP to me,, or Karen,

Jon Drukman (finely honed machine)              uunet!sco!jondr
That sound is more important than YOUR ENTIRE LIFE...


Date: Wed, 25 Mar 92 10:29:07 GMT
From: Toby Howard <>
Subject: The Disappointed

Picked up the UK CD single yesterday (Virgin VSCDG 1404) today. 4 tracks:

1. The Disappointed (AP)
2. Smartest Monkeys (CM, home demo)
3. Smartest Monkeys (CM, proper hi tech version)
4. Humble Daisy (AP)

'The Disappointed' seems an odd single choice to me. I like it, but... not
as much as I'd hoped.  I won't mention Colin's song, as I'm not a Colin
fan. Humble Daisy is a disappointment too. If, as AP said, the Verve Level
on O&L was 11, this sounds like about 2. Oh shit. I hope I'm wrong.



Subject: She's Having a Baby
Date: 26 Mar 1992 13:35:47 GMT

Chalkhillers in the UK may be interested to know that this film
receives its network TV premiere in this country on BBC1 on Friday 3 April.


Date: 26 Mar 92 13:04:43 EST
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: "The Disappointed" on the radio!

Well, don't you just love that feeling of hearing brand new XTC
for the very first time?! Uh huh, it's happened again.
   Last night at about 10:45 pm, I turned on the radio (Toronto's
CFNY-fm 102.1) and was stunned to hear Andy's unmistakeable
voice singing an unfamiliar tune. Turns out I'd tuned in halfway
through the song, but from the chorus it could have only been
"The Disappointed"!!! If the DJ had something to say about it,
then it must have been before he played it, cuz I heard no comments.
   But it's interesting to note that it was only March 25
and not April 7, and it seems that Virgin Canada may be following
the Virgin UK lead in the choice of singles, instead of the
Geffen choice of "The Ballad of Peter Punkinhead". I worry a bit
about that song title, since I'm hoping for some harder, "Big
Express" style music on this album. But "The Disappointed" had
a good sound. Where it will fit in among today's sample-filled
dance-rhythym charts I can't imagine, but XTC fans don't care
much for THAT stuff, now do we?!
---> Steve


Date: Thu, 26 Mar 92 10:49:52 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: NONSUCH Bulletin


Many thanks to Kathy Davis of Milpitas, a fellow subscriber to The
Little Express for sending me... a cassette of NONSUCH!  It's true!
She somehow got her grubby little paws on a promo cassette from Geffen
and sent me a copy of it!  And the name on the tape is definitely

I have only had time to listen to the first two songs, and so far, I
like "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" (a modern messiah story) and
"Dear Madame Barnum".  "My Bird Performs" has a touch of African to
its sound, but didn't really catch my ear.  More later after I've
given it a few "spins".

Here's the discography info:

 10. Nonsuch

     The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead (5'00); My Bird Performs (3'51); Dear
     Madam Barnum (2'53); Humble Daisy (3'36); The Smartest Monkeys (4'18); The
     Disappointed (3'23); Holly Up On Poppy (3'04); Crocodile (3'56); Rook
     (3'45); Omnibus (3'20); That Wave (3'34); Then She Appeared (3'52); War
     Dance (3'23); Wrapped In Grey (3'46); The Ugly Underneath (2'37); Bungalow
     (2'49); Books Are Burning (4'51).
     a. CT, Geffen US, GEFC/D-24474, 24 March 1992.  promo, no p/s.

Thanks again to Kathy!

	-- John


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