Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #210

                  Chalkhills, Number 210
                   The Flame War Issue

                 Wednesday, 15 April 1992
Today's Topics:
           Dudgeon, Production, and all that...
                dudgeon bludgeoning?  nay!
                  The Difapointed (sic)
                   Karl "ELVIS" MacRae
                   Closed minded "fans"
                     Misc. But Brief
                  adding my two cents...
                 Nonesuch and whichtobuy
               Nonsuch in (Tokyo) stores! +
              Another French Exclusive ?????

Date: Mon, 13 Apr 92 12:39:41 PDT
From: (Gone where the goblins go - Below, Below Below....)
Subject: Dudgeon, Production, and all that...

>From: (Tim Snyder)
>Subject: Dudgeon Bludgeoning
>But, all told, when a year has passed, the Dudgeondisk will end up
>with _O&L_, in the dungeon.

It's nice to see that at least a FEW other people share my view of this disk.

>From: Jemiah Levon Jefferson <>
>Sorry if this sounds a bit terse, but the comments made bya a certain denizen
> of the armpit of Silicon Valeey just made my blood boil.

	Good. Then it's working!

>  I like Skylarking and Oranges and Lemons, for heaven's sake.

	I like Skylarking. It's brilliantly recorded, and has
	a few *really* great songs on it.

	O&L, however, is simply not a well made album on any level.

>  I hate overproduction as much as they next guy,

	I don't *think* so. Well, not if you consider me the
	next guy, anyhow.

	My feeling about production is that the more you hear the
	producer, the worse the product is, *IF* you have good
	material and talent to biging with. I prefer the most
	minimal producers touch possible; the more edge there is,
	the better. I think records tend to suffer whenever the
	producers try to hard for 'Perfection'; they process out
	the life and energy.

>but for heaven's sake don't write off the songwriters and the
>musicians because the producer leaves something to be desired.

	I don't. I think that the songwriting on O&L is
	self-conscious, intentionally clever pop foam. It's
	'Andy Lite'; it's an Andy who has lost that edge, and
	is now showing off how clever he is, lyrically and musically.

	Sorry. When you start to show off on purpose, it's ego
	masturbation. And it's not good composition.

>I started liking XTC because of the force of the writing,
>not how many strings are layered on top of what.

	As did I. But when I listen to a record, I get the whole
	thing; composition, performance, recording and production.
	And I don't care HOW good a song it is, if some other element
	is bad enough, the end result is unpleasant (Try Guns and
	Roses hack jobs on 'Live and Let Die' or worse yet, 'Knockin'
	on heaven's door'; great songs; shitty versions).

	O&L is sub-par for XTC, composition-wise; and the
	sugar-coating the producer gave it makes it worse.

>I'm so sick of this "good old days" whining from people.

	Yeah, well, I'm even sicker of 'Emporor's new clothes'
	reactions. Like O&L all you want; I like some lousy
	albums too. But to say it's good product is to lie
	to yourself.

>  The first couple of albums are great for what they are.

	Indeed. If one judges each record on it's own scale, then
	every record ever recorded was great, wasn't it? But I prefer
	to judge them against each other, if I choose to judge.

>I haven't seen or heard Nonesuch yet; where the hell are you
>people getting your advance copies from? This is the first XTC album to
>come out since I discovered the band in a real sense, in the winter of 1989,

	Ah, well, that tells me something. Someday, when the glow of
	newness is off it all, you'll be able to go back and evaluate
	these records with more objectivity, and you'll see what I

	In the mean time, by all means, enjoy.


  Karl Elvis MacRae 408-922-496   |Steed: VT1100C
  Sun Microsystems, Milpitas, CA |I don't speak for Sun Micro |DoD#1999
    All The kids are complainin' 'cause there's nowhere to go-
    An' all the kids are complainin' 'cause the songs are too slow...
					-XTC, 'Radios in Motion'


Subject: dudgeon bludgeoning?  nay!
From: Desi The Three-Armed Wonder Comic <>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 92 12:57:39 PDT (Tim Snyder) writes:

>When I heard that Dudgeon, the "great pop genius" from yesteryear,
>was doing the work, my heart sank like Karl's.  I do not understand
>why bands with pop drives like to ressurect the ancient producers.
>Indeed, Dudgeontypes had a wonderful sensibility and worked magic
>in the past, but picking Dudgeon is like replacing Peter Jennings
>with Walter Cronkite!  _It will not work_.

Permit me to indulge in a small flame.

Tim, your head is clearly shoved firmly up your butt.  You admit you
haven't heard any of the tracks in question, yet you are ready to jump
in with an opinion.  Well, I like speculation as much as the next guy,
but blindly asserting "It will not work" is ridiculous.  I think there
is nothing wrong with the tracks on The Disappointed single.  In fact,
listening to the Smartest Monkeys demo followed by the finished,
produced version, it is clear to see that most of the gaudy, whiz-bang
ideas were present in Colin's demo track.  For example, Colin's demo
has his voice processed through a really cheesy flange/chorus effect
which is absent from the finished version.  In fact, I am really
surprised at how *little* Dudgeon seems to have contributed.

I was dismayed prior to O&L to learn that Paul Fox had produced a slew
of terrible pop bands and the drummer for the album came from Mister
Mister.  Fortunately, O&L turned out to be a fine record with many
outstanding tracks.  It isn't perfect, but it's a solid album.

Don't write off Nonsuch before you've even heard a note of it.

Jon Drukman (finely honed machine)              uunet!sco!jondr
What's wrong with you?  What's wrong with everybody in this CRAZY PLACE???


From: William H Stoner III <>
Subject: The Difapointed (sic)
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 92 17:52:42 EDT

Hey everyone I rushed out last week to get the single and there we're none
there :-(.  My local cd-selling-man (john) said "we did have some, I guess I
should have pulled one for you", luckily it was monday and they got some more
in.  the first thing I noticed was that the cover, spine and disc were all
miss printed as "The Difapointed", the back ws correct though, so how many
of you got miss prints?

As for the content, I put it on and it didn't grab me by the b*lls screaming
genius-pop-music but sure enough about an hour later I was trapped by its
melody.  Smartest monkeys left me flat to start with but it really is loads of
fun.  Listen to all that stuff happening in the background and I love the
rythym and phrasing of the lyrics, there is just so much going on in this song.
I like the little synth break too, I assume that the final version was done by
Dave, as the break in the demo was much flatter.  humble Daisy has yet to
infect me, I haven't give it the chance to yet.  Can't wait for the album.

What's this about no US cd single, casette only! hmph! Is the US single market
doing that badly?  The Sugarcubes also had no US cdsingle they were casette
only too...It's too bad that the industry doesn't jus lower the price a bit
that would boost sales...even if they sold cd5's for $3 they'd still be making
twice the production cost of the cd(&packaging) itself...

sorry this was so long winded...
"and though you trust the light towards which you wend your way, sometimes you
 feel all that you wanted has been taken away, you will walk in good company"
 -Jane Siberry  "The Valley"      Sys.OP. OSU CIS,
|||||>>>***All views given are my own, except where explictly stated***<<<|||||


Date: 13 Apr 92 17:04:04
Subject: Karl "ELVIS" MacRae

A special note of thanks to Karl "ELVIS" (Batman) MacRae for his poetic
commentary on XTC.  Mr. MacRae speaks for the very fickle fringe of XTC fans
who are much happier waiting years for a new release than  dealing with new
material. Karl "ELVIS" is the kind of faithful listener who secretly wishes
that the members of XTC had all been killed in a car wreck on the motorway
shortly after recording  English Settlement. Yes... wouldn't that have been
just about perfect! Then we would never have to think about the fact that
Partridge and company are living, breathing, working ARTISTS.  Perhaps Karl
"ELVIS" should  check his taste buds. Sounds as if HE has been swallowing
without tasting. Also he may want to be a little easier on his ears otherwise
he may be too deaf to hear what XTC sounds like twenty years from now. You can
bet it will interesting if nothing else.

While I'm at it all this Brian Wilson- Andy Partridge SMILE commentary is
total nonsense.  Influences YES, comparisons NO, as anyone who has listened to
the fragments of SMILE that exist will attest. If you trace it all the way
back you will eventually arrive at PHIL SPECTOR. Listen to The Ronettes album
and tell me you don't hear huge bits of PET SOUNDS. Hmm...? maybe they can get
PHIL to do the next record? Better yet maybe Gus could re-mix LET IT BE.



Date: Mon, 13 Apr 92 21:30:28 EST
From: david bregande <>
Subject: Closed minded "fans"

I have been loving the music of XTC for only five yes. The first album I ever
heard was ENGLISH SETTLEMENT. I quickly recognized it as the best damn music
I had ever heard. About a year later I heard MUMMER and liked it, so I went
looking for some more. I bought GO 2 and was disenchanted, so I went on with my
life being minimally exposed, but still calling myself an XTC fan, because
those two albums gave me more good feelings than any thing else I could ever
think of. Certain songs inspired artworks that have expressed my feelings about
XTC to others and made their music very personal to me.
	A couple years back I heard ORANGES AND LEMONS. It took time, but this
album really bowled me over. I think what I liked most was how I could listen
to it a thousand times and still discover some new bits of musical genius.
What some of you call crowded, I call deep. I then went on a buying spree and
gave everything a listen. I truly love the music of XTC, ALL THE MUSIC.
	I am not writing this, though, to tell my story. This letter is
addressed to those of you who have written in recently complaining about the
"new" sound. I say with all sincerity and strength, I wish you would all go
somewhere with your closed minds and tight asses, and GO FUCK YOURSELVES.
NOTHING pisses me off more than a person with a mind SO narrow and that they
would disregard all good feelings gotten from a particular something simply
because that certain something changed and progressed.
	Andy, Dave and Colin are no longer little boys searching for an identity
as some of you seem to be. Apparently they are far to mature for your ear to
listen to. Go ahead and stop listening, XTC deaerves better than your shitty
attitude. Why you would want to announce to the world that you are a close-
minded FUCK is beyond me, but I suppose you have your reasons. The more they
change, the better they get, so get yourself some SACK and accept it. The rest
of us will grow and learn. Pretty stupid of us, huh?
	And to all those faithful fans who like THE DISAPPOINTED as much as
MECCANIC DANCING, be proud. You are open to change. Good or bad, that is part
of what makes us human.
	And for those of you looking to replace XTC with something comarable'
have you tried your other hand?

I apoligize for my vulgarity...
				Most sincerely,
					Dave Bregande


From: "Rosenbla" <>
Subject: Misc. But Brief
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 92 20:34:50 CDT

1. "Rag & Bone Buffet 4 Song Sampler"
I have an extra copy of this U.S. promo CD single. Send e-mail to
me if you are interested.

2. "Reflex" Magazine With XTC on Flexi-Disk
For what it's worth, the operator I talked to at their toll-free
number said that the sample issue WOULD include the flexi-disk, so
I ordered one.

--Ira Rosenblatt (


Date: Wed, 15 Apr 92 00:52:26 EDT
Organization: fegmaniax anonymous
Subject: adding my two cents...

i received a copy of _nonesuch_ through ways dark and devious a few days
ago. after multiple listens, i find it infectiously listenable. i can
understand why some might claim it to be over-produced - it is slick. but,
i do not find that to be a fault. it may not be brilliant like _the big
express_, but it is certainly good - it's already held my attention more
than _oranges and lemons_ did and that's a good sign for me.



Date: Tue, 14 Apr 92 21:58:02 PDT
From: (Al Handa)
Subject: Nonesuch and whichtobuy

I've noticed the disappointment in some of the comments posted
about the new upcoming Nonesuch.  Two things from my point of
view.  One, it sounds like those people are hearing pre-release
copies, which probably won't have the final mix we'll hear.  And
two, I don't think any emulation of the Beach Boys is so bad at
all anyway.  I love Brian Wilson's work.  If the sound at times
reminds us of Pet Sounds, that won't be so bad at all.  If it
reminds us of Surf's Up, then OK, bitch away.

The bad pre-release reviews are valid, though.  Perhaps those
influenced a decision to hold back on release, so the comments
were probably worth making.  Although Karl may have taken the
disappointment a bit too far.  Also, Wire's Pink Flag is a better
loud LP to make your ears bleed anyway.  Uh, perhaps mentioning
Wire may have been inappropriate here...

To tim clinkenpeel,

The only artist who give me the same feeling as XTC is Tom
Verlaine, but even that is reaching.  Anyone who sounds like
XTC I've ever heard, doesn't do it as well.

Nonetheless, buy Television's "Marquee Moon," then "Flashlight"
by Tom Verlaine.  Either that, or go ahead and buy Go-2.  That's
a great one.



Date: 15 Apr 92 16:30:45 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: Nonsuch in (Tokyo) stores! +

Well, didn't we all know that Nonsuch would be released on
April 14th... NOT!! Uh-huh, called Virgin Canada today, and
Nonsuch will now be released April 27th (PLUS a day or three
to get it in the stores). I heard that's the American release
date, too. Wonder what kind of different cover the Yanks'll
get... Trust the Japanese to one-up everyone else again:
Nonsuch is on sale there NOW, in a gorgeous red & gold
silk-screened CD jewel box!
   Having had a chance to listen to some of Nonsuch, I'm
happy to say that (in my opinion) the "dump Dudgeon doomsayers"
are over-reacting. Sure, Gus produced it, but he didn't mix
it, and he sure didn't write and perform the music!
   A lot (probably too much) of my most favourite music is
>from the "Golden Age of New Wave, 1977-83", but I do know
that this is 1992, Mrs. Progress, and music has indeed
progressed and evolved since 1982. So has XTC, it's one
reason why they've continued to hold my interest and be
my favourite band. As for Gus Dudgeon, I just checked my
old Elton John LP "Honky Chateau", vintage 1972. Produced
by Gus, who also sings (!?) some background vocals and
plays a "rhino whistle" on the song "Hercules". I worry!!
   Yet, for better or worse, we know what happened to Elton's
career after '72. Does Gus have any rabbits left in his
tattered hat?
   So, doom-sayers, don't write off XTC sight unheard!
Remember who has top billing on this release, give it a
listen or three, and then I'd like to hear your opinions!!
---> Steve


Date:         Wed, 15 Apr 92 23:50:07 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject:      Another French Exclusive ?????

Well, guess what, "The Disappointed" and "Nonsuch" have far beyond the par
reviews... and... and...
Dear English Chalkhills, on the 7th May, tune to France Inter, (165 LW),
at 9 p.m., to catch...
XTC's French Radio Acoustic Concert Exclusive !!
They finally accepted Bernard Lenoir's proposal to perform a "Black Session"
(tribute to "Peel Session" , based on a pun : Lenoir = "The Black", in French)
But although these Sessions are commonly IN PUBLIC, XTC INSISTED on not having
an audience. Yet , this evening Bernard Lenoir talked about 10-15 lucky
persons maybe, if he finds a question hard enough to select so few people...
As for me, 2 possibilities :
- He decides to invit 10-15 winners... I think I am "XTC good" enough to
answer even the hardest questions, and then I will have the honour to assist
at an XTC set... and I then will ask a friend to record it on the radio...
- Nobody is invited... I will then record it myself... and surely better than
any friends. (My friends are not much in the Hi-Fi..). At least I will try..

Well, dear John, it seems I will send you another interesting tape soon, eh?

PS : Nonsuch will be released here on April 27th.


Now let's not get too nasty, okay folks?  Remember what is
said about opinions...

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