Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #207

                  Chalkhills, Number 207

                 Wednesday, 1 April 1992
                  The April Fool Issue
Today's Topics:
                        XTC Videos
                   Re: Chalkhills #206
                     cow-n shaped box
               A quick review of _Nonsuch_
          Oranges and Lemons 3-inch CDs 4 Sale!
                    I need convincing
                    Ye Olde Mailbagge

Date: 26 Mar 92 23:05:12 EST
From: Eric Singer <>
Subject: XTC Videos

Hey, how about a "videography" for XTC?  Would someone out there, more
knowledgeable on the subject than I, volunteer to compile one?

The only one I have info for is "Look Look", the Virgin 11-XTV-videos
compilation.  But it would be great to know what else is out there (as in,
individual titles that they have made videos for, as well as any known forms
that they are available in.)



Date: 27 Mar 92 09:43:04 EST
From: Mark Hessman <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #206

Thanks for posting all the *Non(e)such* info, folks... from the track
listing, it seems like the album is AT LEAST an hour in length.  Is this
another *Oranges & Lemons*-style extravaganza?  Will it be a double album
on vinyl?  (Oh, silly me, I forgot that nobody cares about vinyl anymore.
Perhaps this is one effect of the cassette- and CD-ifying of modern music?)

And by the way: Shonen Knife's "Baka Guy" song is about a seashell.

                                                        -- Mark


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 92 04:13:51 -0800
From: BaileyLounge1987 <>
Subject: cow-n shaped box

Maybe it was my O&L t-shirt, maybe the fates were just with me, but I
found the King for a DAy crown-shaped box at the Mountain View CA Tower
Records today.  The two demo tracks sound great, and I'm gonna
stick them, the Meeting Place tracks, the Mayor of Simpleton tracks,
and Blue Beret onto a tape...its like a whole other album...
and its an XTC product with more Colins than Andys!


Subject: A quick review of _Nonsuch_
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 92 17:20:13 -0800

    Well, a friend of mine at Moby Disc gave me an advanced cassette
   of the new XTC release so happily I put it in my car stereo....

   Well, I have good news and bad news.  First the bad news.

   BAD NEWS:  Well, after all this wait, I listen to it and think
    "This sounds a lot like Oranges and Lemons, except not as colorful."
    Then I somehow get this urge to letterbomb Gus Dudgeon for basically
    doing yet another example of over-production.  I thought his job left
    a lot of the songs a bit dry with primitively commercial sounding
    horns and other accompaniment.  I also never got a vivid imprint of
    the songs my first few listens to the album, but by the third listen
    ...and hence the good news,...

  GOOD NEWS: ....somehow I felt better about the album.  Perhaps the initial
    shock of hardly any change disappointed me a bit.  But once I got used to
    it, the songs are pretty cool after all.  Though I still have the
    occasional WINCE at some hints of over-production (like eating a cake
     with some overly sweet spots) similar to _Oranges_and_Lemons_.
     Some of my favorites are "The Smartest Monkeys" (one of two
     Moulding tunes on the album, assuming XTC are still enforcing the
     whovever-writes-it-sings-it rule), "The Disappointed" (the UK single),
     "That Wave" (my CLEAR FAVORITE!), and perhaps "Bungalow" (the other
     Moulding tune which at times really sounds a bit lame when he sings
     " awaaaaaaaaaay..." but overall a cool tune."

  Overall synopsis: DON'T EXPECT ANY PROGRESSION.  Listen to _Oranges_
   and_Lemons_ and you might not be as disappointed as you would otherwise.
    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE SOME PATIENCE.  Force yourself to listen to
    it all the way through a few times, and you'll enjoy the pleasure of
    these songs dilly-dallying in your head in no time (and without
    force).  It's not a terrible album but NOTHING compared to the
    brilliant _The_Big_Express_ or D.O.S.'s _Psonic_Psunblast/25_O'Clock_.
    If _O&L_ is your favorite, you'll like it.   Though I tell ya, this
    will be a HUGE COMMERCIAL release, perhaps even in the easy-listening
    genre of airwaves (for really overdone songs like "Omnibus" and "My Bird

   There ARE a few theories however on why the production isn't so hot:

    1: It's partly Gus's fault and XTC's fault. Perhaps Gus produced it in
       a particular way so when he MIXED IT, then it would sound wondrous.
       Though, Gus was a bit anal about having Andy and the boys present
        during this stage, so he forbid them.   Of course, Andy didn't
        want another Todd Rundgren Part 2 so they kicked Gus's behind out of
        the studio pure and clean and mixed it themselves, without knowing
        what magic touch Gus would have finally put.

    2: Gus just sucks.  The man has no vision into what XTC wants and
       what XTC listeners might not want.  The man's musical instincts is
       that of a bloated sack of protoplasm (Excuse the Ren and Stimpy line).

    3: XTC are getting a bit too old.

    I hope it's number 2 for XTC's sake.
    But until the NEXT album in 1995....



Date: Mon, 30 Mar 92 05:14:20 PST
Subject: Oranges and Lemons 3-inch CDs 4 Sale!


This past weekend I happened to be in Tower Recorss in Hahvard Square,
and lo and behold they had the Oranges and Lemons set in 3-inch CDs!

I pondered and pondered, and decided finally to get two sets of this:
one for my collection, and one to sell to an XTC fan...hope someone
out there is interested!

It's in a box. The artwork is the same as the regular O&L release, and
so are the songs - but ACROSS THIS ANTHEAP comes before CYNICAL DAYS.

It sounds better than the U.S. release, I feel. and certainly it is a
novel item.

Flip-top box, with three CD slots. it's not shrinkwrapped (UK CDs
usually aren't), but it's in very good condition indeed (no tears
or rips). Magnetic strip on back of box.

This is the version of O&L I've always wanted. So, if you'd like a
copy, it's $25.00 (includes U.S. first-class postage [overseas may be higher!]
Drop me a note if you're interested.

* * * * *

Also picked up Shonen Knife's SPACE CHRISTMAS. This is the one with
"Bear Up, Bison" on it ("We're only making plans for bison."). Um,
it's interesting...but not a cover version! I like it! :-)


Date: Mon, 30 Mar 92 11:57:32 +0200
From: (F. Robben)
Subject: I need convincing


To be quite honest, I don't know much about XTC.  I'm actualy subscribing
for a friend who hasn't got access net.  But I'm always willing to learn.
My friend says XTC is great, he especially likes 'English settlement'.
Maybe he and you can convince me to become a die-hard XTC fan too.


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  \_    / e-mail :      PHONE : (32) 3 240 7570 \    _/
    \__/  &&&& I'm a fool in search of wisdom (Queensryche) &&&&&  \__/


Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 9:13:39 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Ye Olde Mailbagge

Steve Levenstein <> writes:
>   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?

This is the same CD that _Tower Records' Pulse!_ magazine was offering
free with your subscription.  The CD is called _Earphoria_ (Geffen USA
(DGC), PRO-CD-4335, September 1991) and includes "The World Is Full Of
Angry Young Men".  It also includes "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by
Nirvana, "Roadblock" by Stan Ridgway, and a mess o' other stuff..

                         . . .

Toby Howard <> writes:

>Picked up the UK CD single yesterday (Virgin VSCDG 1404) today.

The CD single says the new album NONSUCH (V 2699) will be available
soon (note spelling).

                         . . .

A new album called _A Man Called (E)_ has been garnering positive
reviews from pure pop fans.  I found a copy of this CD (used, of
course) and it sounds good, nice pure pop.  'E plays a toy piano on
some of the tracks!  The album was produced by Parthenon Huxley, who
released a reportedly decent pop album a few years back.  Mr Huxley
also gets a thanks in the credits of _Oranges and Lemons_ "for his
friendship, fun and fruit".

                         . . .

_Q_ magazine reports that a new collection featuring XTC has been
released.  It's called _The History of Punk Volume 1_, on Perspective
Records in the UK (catalog number 3301), and it features, of all
things, "Life Begins At The Hop".  Wow!  I didn't know that was a punk

                         . . .

I had an XTC dream last night, I had an XTC dream.  I dreamt I was in
England, in a record shoppe, and I had looked through all of the 12"
singles.  I found a couple of singles by Joolz and took them up to the
counter, but they were badly warped so I took them back to the racks.
It was a very small shoppe, and I don't know how I missed the rack of
CD singles on the other wall, but I had.  And there on that rack was
the newest XTC CD single, never even than "The Disappointed".  It came
in a three-piece hard plastic case, which enclosed a number of items
besides the CD itself, including a raincoat and this strange round
sponge.  The instructions told one to get the sponge wet and rub it on
the inside of the raincoat until the raincoat was all evenly yellow on
the inside and the sponge had turned yellow as well.  So I did.  It
took a long time and I still hadn't finished when I woke up.

Oh, and London had flooded terribly.

        -- John


Date: 01 Apr 92 11:26:44 EST
From: Joseph Holmes <>
Subject: Nonesuch

I've got a cassette copy of Nonesuch here in front of me. A local store found
two promo copies, and I bought one. Some quick reactions:

Perhaps the band's choice of producer was a mistake. The production is clean,
but unimaginative and uninspired. There seems to be no chemistry between the
producer and the band. It pales, for example, in comparison with Andy's
production work on Peter Blegvad's albums. There are none of those wonderfully
striking sounds like "Poor Skeleton" or "Satellite." (Frankly, I still miss

Another disappointment...Andy's infatuation with Brian Wilson, and to a lesser
extent The Beach Boys, seems to have reached a new high. I've always thought
that the Beatles influence produced some absolutely classic XTC tunes, like
"Earn Enough for Us" and "Mole from the Ministry," but I've never cared for
the sound of Brian-Wilsonesque tunes like "Chalkhills and Children," which,
while good, is as good as that style gets.

On the other hand, the best tunes on the album are already ingrained on my
brain after just two or three listenings. There is no "Senses Working
Overtime" here, but Andy and Colin just can't help writing great melodies
peppered with memorable hooks. The album mostly reminds me of Mummer, though
it's better than Mummer. "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead," "Books Are
Burning," "Then She Appeared." Someone remind me -- were any of these slated
to be the album's single?

And Dave Gregory's guitar just keeps getting better and better. Nonesuch ends
with a long, absolutely incredible guitar solo at the close of the five minute
"Books Are Burning." It's the first time I can think of that XTC has sounded
like a Stadium Band Playing Great Anthem Rock! Dave should be let loose like
this more often. (Actually it sounds like two guitarists trading solos -- but
there are no credits on the promo label.)

All in all, Nonesuch will keep us happy for the time being, but it's not the
breakthrough album I've been expecting.

-=-Joe Holmes (


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