Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #208

                  Chalkhills, Number 208

                 Wednesday, 8 April 1992
Today's Topics:
                   Gus Fucking Dudgeon?
Ooops! Did I say TWO Moulding tunes on the new album? I meant THREE!
               My $0.02 on The Disappointed
                   not so Disappointed!
                         New XTC
                   **STUFF UNEARTHED!**
                          3 vs 4
   UNRELEASED XTC and TMBG track in new REFLEX magazine
         Les Inrockuptibles Interview (continued)

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 92 17:02:30 PST
From: (Let's Be Other People)
Subject: Gus Fucking Dudgeon?

	I guess I have not been following this list very closely. I
	did *not* know who it was that produced Nonsuch. When I
	saw this today, I felt sick:

>    Then I somehow get this urge to letterbomb Gus Dudgeon for basically
>    doing yet another example of over-production.

	For years, I have used Dudgeon's name as an example of the
	worst production I can think of (Those of you on the Todd
	Rundgren list will recall this just last week).

	He's the man who ruined what could have been a truly brilliant
	pop album, 'Goodbye Yellowbrick Road' for Elton John; the man
	does not understand pop music. He put strings all over
	everything with no clue as to what the feel of the songs were;
	he mixed the guitar far too low, the base inaudible, the
	vocals too clean, etc, etc. I can't even listen to that album
	even though there are some awesome songs on it; the production
	is just so titanically bad.

	...And he's working with XTC. I live in HELL.

	I haven't even heard the record yet, and I know what the
	story's gonna be. XTC died after Big Express. This band,
	though it still contains the same members, is NOT XTC.

	I'm sickened to say this; XTC were may favorite band
	longer that any other band; even through O&L they
	remained so; but no more. I am not even going to buy this
	record, and I urge you all not to either. Tape a friend's
	copy, if you can find someone who actually buys the thing.

		Fuck. I Think I'll go drink beer and play
		White Music at maximum volume until my ears


    Karl Elvis MacRae (408)922-4960 M/S MIL21-39
        Sun Microsystems, Milpitas, CA (The armpit of Silicon Valley)
            -I don't speak for Sun, and they don't speak for Me-
   "Funk Pop a Roll consumes you whole; gulping up your opium
     so copiously from a disco; everything you eat is waste-
      But swallowing is easy when it has no taste!"
	XTC, 'Funk Pop a Roll'


Subject: Ooops! Did I say TWO Moulding tunes on the new album? I meant THREE!
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 92 20:54:26 -0800

      On my "quick review of _Nonsuch_" which I sent NOT TOO LONG ago, I
   mentioned that there are TWO Moulding tunes on the album: "The Smartest
   Monkeys" and "Bungalow".

      I forgot to add "My Bird Performs" as ANOTHER Moulding tune.

  My copy of the album on a Geffen advance doesn't have ANY LINER NOTES,
  So I am really GUESSING which tunes are Colin's and which are Andy's,
  though that should NEVER be too hard as long as they enforce that VERY
  traditional whoever-writes-it-sings-it law.   "War Dance" has them BOTH
  singing on them equally, so this may or may not be a Moulding tune, too.

   Well, by now, I am glad to say that I am enjoying the album a lot more
   now and the songs are MUCH MORE vivid in my head than ever.  Songs like
   "The Disappointed","That Wave" (underlined in BOLD), and "Bungalow" are
    demanding control of BOTH hemispheres of my head.

   I don't think our Chalkhillians will be as disappointed in this album as I
    originally thought.



Date: Fri, 3 Apr 92 11:34:30 -0500
Subject: My $0.02 on The Disappointed

	Picked up my copy of "The Disappointed" a couple of days ago
at the HMV in Harvard Square.  Yea!  New XTC product!  In general, I
agree with what the people who got promo copies of the album said:

	1.  The production is cretinous.  It just sounds too slick.
Although I must admit I kinda like the drier production on "Humble

	2.  There's also definitely an increase in the Brian Wilson
influence, which I think is terrific.  I take strong issue with Joe
when he said that "Chalkhills and Children" is the farthest you can
take that style.  If XTC ever made anything like _Smile_, I'd be
kinda surprised (It'd also be the greatest pop album made in the
last 20 years or so).

	3.  The songs themselves, if anything, seem to me to be not
as good (in general) as the songs on _O&L_.  I particularly don't
much like Colin's effort "The Smartest Monkeys."  However, "The
Disappointed" is really growing on me, even if it's not quite up
to "Scarecrow People."

	In short, I think "The Disappointed" single points toward
a good, perfectly acceptable album, but not a great one.  Whether
or not it's what XTC need to hit the big time in this country is,
of course, a totally different question, as we all know.

Geoff Poole


Date: 05 Apr 92 21:07:18 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: not so Disappointed!

   Just read Chalkhills #207, and Thanx to K!z!K (?) for his (her?)
insightful review. We bought "The Disappointed" CD single yesterday,
and I know what he's saying re production. Has anyone else ever
wondered why Andy doesn't produce XTC and not bother with the
endless "looking for a producer" nonsense that seems to plague
every album since Mummer?
   Yet, I like "The Disappointed" a lot, and even heard it on the
radio today just after the noon news. Curiously, the next song to
be played was Shriekback's "My Spine is the Baseline".
   Colin's "Smartest Monkeys" is great, in that semi-ominous,
non-commercial style that Colin sometimes gets into.
   But yeah, there sure is a strong Beach Boys influence on
these tunes... and they will probably be very successful for XTC.
After hearing "Smartest Monkeys" once, our 6-year old son is
singing it to himself around the house! Then again, Ted's a
musically sophisticated dude, he's been hearing XTC since he
was a baby. His favourite songs are "Take This Town", "Your
Gold Dress", "Respectable Street", and "Paper and Iron".
   Anyways, I also bought the new Sugarcubes CD single "Hit",
which it most likely will soon be. Produced by Paul Fox, and
a good job he did, too.
---> Steve


Date: Mon, 6 Apr 92 07:19:40 PDT
Subject: New XTC

This weekend I picked up the CD single, "The Disappointed."

MY feeling is that Smartest Monkeys is the best of the bunch,
with Humble Daisy being third, and then the title track.

So far, overall I would say that I'm PLEASED, and as someone
noted, it does grow on you. "Humble Daisy" is like "Pale and
Precious" in a way, with the usual Brain Wilson/Abbey Road Side
2 affect thrown in.

Yay!! New XTC!!!


Date: Mon, 6 Apr 92 21:03:37 -0700
From: Jemaur <>

I have just borrowed a tape of unreleased XTC, probably the most new
"new" unreleased XTC I've gotten at one time since I got Jules Verne..
it's very exciting.. I had mentioned some months ago about this
tape, which my friend John Lydecker said he had, which apparently
contained an uncredited score Andy had composed for a friend's English
TV documentary on the Circulatory System (!), plus XTC's phone messages
and more... here is the track listing:

it is around 90 minutes, with some breaks, blemishes and bad sound quality,
but very rewarding:

o quite a long series of instrumentals, probably the score thing, kind of
o Jacob's Ladder... I've heard this song mentioned before.. it's a demo
o instrumental
o another song.. My Train is Coming..
o a pretty instrumental, more like a fully developed song than the others
o raucous instrumental, and at the end, in a weird voice, "this is <?> to
  make you smile, everybody do the dwarf!"
o DEMO of 25 O'Clock
o DEMO of Bike Ride to the Moon
o DEMO of My Love Explodes
o "Susan, evolving, up there without warning.." (pretty short "song")
o "Nicely nicely Jane".. song fragment gets cut off, end of side one, sounds
  like Colin singing
o short instrumental
o Punch and Judy (I don't know if this is the otherwise released version,
  Andy sings "this must be make believe OH LORD," which I think is different
o Ball and Chain (clean, could be album's)
o alternate Melt the Guns fragment, with hmm hmm hmms instead of the words,
  and the chorus has the notes go down instead of up: MELT the guns, MELT
  the guns, instead of melt THE GUNS...
o "Spare a penny for a friend...spare a penny for the people of vietnam,"
  (and other lines.. just a short fragment, Colin sings)
o a reggae-sounding answering machine message!
o a country-western answering machine message! (speak after the tone y'all)
o studio chatter, far from the mike & hard to hear
o raucous song with kind of a spoken vocal in front,  "we're together in
  our body heat"..
o clear talking:
   "we're rolling.  .... We're on the micro, brothers.  ... <laugh> from all sides.
    Come on then, rock sound, turn on your red light"... 2 false starts with big
    drums... then a western instrumental with harmonica...short.
o a funny, grungy song, starts with "i'll tell you bout mah operation ladies
  and gentlemen", then he relates the tale of the ambulance driver who says
  "you got a shaving brush stuck up yo rectum and i didn't join the red
   cross to take people like you to hospital"
  he mentions terry chambers, the whole atmosphere is like "the Rotary"
o purple haze cover!
o andy speaks "community worker breakdown", and then the tape ends.
I can think of 2 stores of stuff that this might be part of, the drunken
covers from the English Settlement period, or some of that KFJC show..
anyone recognize this tape as a whole, or the things on it?
But anyway, wow!  And a new album to boot!


Date: Tue, 7 Apr 92 10:32:08 BST
From: Toby Howard <>
Subject: 3 vs 4

Is it just me, or on "The Disappointed" (which I like a lot more now!) do the
cymbals play in 3 against the main 4 beat? Or have I been listening to too
much King Crimson? Nice trick, anyway.


PS This month Q has a review of Nonsuch. The main complaint seems to be the
unsympathetic production


Subject: UNRELEASED XTC and TMBG track in new REFLEX magazine
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 92 19:53:27 -0700

     The new _REFLEX_ magazine with XTC on the cover .....

            (John Relph? Are you reading this?)

     .... contains a flexi-disc which has a They Might Be Giants track
    called "The Wrong Answer" (I think) and flipping it around shows a
    track by XTC (Andy Partridge home demo) called "Rip Van Reuben".

      Both of these tracks are pretty much worth the search.  In fact,
    the XTC track is probably one of the BEST tracks I've heard from them
    in a LONG while (very reminiscent of Dukes-o-Strat's "You're a Good
    Man, Albert Brown"!)

       The TMBG track is pretty silly and somewhat reminds me of a
     stripped down remix of "Hearing Aid", except not as good as it is

      They both contain GREAT interviews with TMBG and XTC along with
     Skinny Puppy.


     Note: This was crossposted in Chalkhills AND the They Might Be Giants
       Mailing list.



Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 21:14:22 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject: Les Inrockuptibles Interview (continued)

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

                MY GUITAR IS A FISHING ROD

Andy Partridge: At the beginning of the adolescence, one becomes
suddenly mad about something, the promotional clip of Jumpin' Jack
Flash or the B-side of a Small Faces EP. . .  All these little
unquantifiable events, the aura radiated by a band, the black and
white photographs on the back of a record sleeve that one gazes at for
hours, thinking, "But I want to be like that!  I want to be him!".  It
is a way that teenagers need to connect to the outside world, to the
rebels.  I have been through it too.  But the rebel has now become a
selling argument.  Bands appear as cartoon characters.  What is
proposed is ready-cooked rebellion: "Which rebellion would you like?"
There are now so many variations, for all tastes.  When one is young,
since one wants to grow faster, one splashes himself with the perfume
of rebellion; all that annoys older people is worth taking.  I lapsed
into it a lot.  I gloated at the thought that my mother would be
admitted to the asylum as soon as I put the Sun Ra Arkestra album on.

LI: What was your first musical shock?

A: In the middle of this musical ocean, I remember some islands.  When
I was a child, there was no rock'n'roll on the English radio.  The
only interesting things were innovative records with strange voices or
crazy lyrics.  Otherwise, there was only music for the old.  As a
child, I mostly have listened to these innovative records, like the
Randells' Martian Bop.  I was 10 when I saw A Hard Day's Night with
the Beatles.  It was very exciting, but I didn't know what to do with
the excitement.  At about 13 or 14, the Monkees appeared: I thought it
would be easy to form a musical gang with other guys, to use the
guitar as a fishing rod for girls.  I thought I could be like one of
the Monkees, the Who, the Stones.  It seemed easy, it was the only kit
needed to fish for them in the street or in the audience.  The
adolescent with wild hormones that I was had found how to succeed in
life.  I loved women, but I didn't know exactly how to catch them.
But it remained very hard for me, because I was excessively
intimidated by women, for me they are another race, from another
planet, they are so wonderful they still terrorize me today.  When I
was adolescent, if a girl talked to me, I would shake all over and
lose my tongue.  I would like to found the religion of the admiration
of women, entirely devoted to the cult of women, with breast-shaped
churches with vaginal doors.

LI: How did you react to the punk movement?

A: It happened at the very right time for me, because I was worked up
for some years, after having been exposed to the New York Dolls, the
Stooges and the MC5 at the beginning of the 70's.  When punk invaded
England, its energy -- and not much its blind and silly fashion -- was
the dynamite I needed to explode.

LI: In the beginning with XTC, did you feel close to any other bands?

A: Not really, since even if I liked the energy, I found that what
most of them said were rubbish in fashion.  We too used a lot of empty
declarations, we were at the age where we did not know how to express
ourselves.  I have never really admired the other bands, but I liked
the noise and energy.  I hated the way they proclaimed there had never
been any music before '77.  It showed their stupidity.  In England,
they like it if you behave as a moron, it's supposed to be a way of
being genuine.

LI: Are there bands now which belong to the same family as yours?

A: I think I have more affinity with the bands I listened to at the
beginning of my adolescence, the Kinks or the Beatles, whose evolution
I like a lot.  I feel I am following a similar path.  What I listen to
most now is some jazz and music from the Renaissance.  I have got some
very good records of music from the 15th, the 16th and the beginning
of the 17th century.  I love its taste of earth.  Something man has
lost, he is not linked to earthly cycles any more.

LI: How did you react when, two or three years ago, ecstasy became a
very fashionable word?

A: I do not scorn this kind of movement, I realize that technology has
progressed at such a speed that the big chill is to mount the
technology of computers and samplings.

LI: In many of the Manchester bands there was also an important '60's

A: The image was well thought-out.  Their parents had surely told them
about the golden age.  These kids who begin to make music think their
parents had known nirvana in the '60's, where everything was
paradisiacal, groovy and psychedelic, where the healthy drugs did not
spoil the brain.  Then they play with this image, just disguising
themselves with it.  In the '60's, all centred on the songs.  These
bands have all the external signs, the rhythms, the wah-wah they took
out of the drawer, etc. . .  They adopt the worst aspects of the
'60's, the fashion or the haircut, while the '60's were another thing,
people who appropriated music to build their own world on it.


Say Howdy to our newest subscribers jc park, tim clinkenpeel,
and Buxton (The Spectacle)!

For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, fan club addresses, discography
requests (last update 31 March), back issues, etc., send
a message to the following address:


The Chalkhills archives are available at "".

All views expressed in Chalkhills are those of the
individual contributors only.  Make your Shakespeare harder.

Go back to the previous page.