Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #212

                  Chalkhills, Number 212

                 Saturday, 18 April 1992
Today's Topics:
                          long s
                   Pat Mastellato (sp?)
                  i know more than dave
                    Oh boy!  A fight!
       Merchandise, Images, Melodies, a big castle
                       2 questions
                    Interview: the End
                      Re: xtc on mtv
             minor addition to the scuffle..
                        XTC Video?
                    Still Not On Tour

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 92 18:17:34 EDT
From: (Justin Bur)
Subject: long s

not an f, not an f used as an s, not an `old English' s.
a long s. Standard printing practice in most European
languages for a rather long time. In italics it looks like
an integral sign. in roman type it does resemble an f -
but look at it, it isn't, the horizontal stroke doesn't
cross the vertical stem. The practice tended to be to use
the long s everywhere except as the last letter of a word,
in which case one would use a small curly s. The german
`scharfes s' is a ligature of long s and ordinary s, which
arose originally in fraktur (German blackletter) type and
was retained for setting German in roman type. (It has nothing
whatever to do with z and its alternate name `esszet' is a
misnomer and the street-name signs in west berlin are a travesty.)

my barely-relevant contribution for this year.  bye for now.



Date: Thu, 16 Apr 92 16:03:05 PDT
From: "Dan Weir" <>
Subject: Pat Mastellato (sp?)

Lookee here, so what that Pat Mastellato (sp?) was in Mister Mister?
Perhaps they suck, but he's a great drummer.  He's also a longtime XTC
fan.  And I'm willing to bet he had something to do with writing the
cool signature changes on that album (for instance, "Chalkhills and
Children, "King for a Day").

Furthermore, on what do you base the opinion that the composition on
O&L is (poor)?  I'll go half as far out on a limb to say you don't
know what the fuck you're talking about.


Dan Weir


Subject: i know more than dave
From: Desi The Three-Armed Wonder Comic <>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 92 16:19:52 PDT

William Carroll <> says:

>From: Desi The Three-Armed Wonder Comic <>
>>in the latest little express, dave gregory says he's seen printouts of
>>chalkhills and finds it odd that we slag off O&L while praising The
>>Big Express even though both are "very produced."  well, i think what
>>dave is missing is that while both _are_ elaborate productions,
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

>I love this! Desi The Three-Armed Wonder Comic knows more about XTC's
>music than one of the members of the group!

Oh, please.  I think it's clear what was meant by the above.  If you
say "this hyundai and this rolls royce are both cars" it is perfectly
valid for me to point out that there are substantive differences
between the two and whether or not you built one doesn't have any
bearing on my comment.

Jon Drukman (finely honed machine)              uunet!sco!jondr
Why kill time when you can kill yourself?


From: "waves at Ernst" <>
Subject: Oh boy!  A fight!
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1992 17:36:44 -0700 (PDT)

Hey, great, this is just like the old days!  Jon Drukman and Karl
MacRae duking it out before our very eyes...

Well, courtesy of my esteemed colleague Mr. Drukman, I am even now
listening to the single, and my first reaction is to agree with him:
the production is fine (and I was one of those nasty folks complaining
about Paul Fox's work).  There are tons of backing vocals, true, and
no shortage of strings -- but they make sense in context, and the
important stuff is all up front where it belongs.  "Humble Daisy" is
very Dukesy, musically speaking (the lyrics aren't nearly over-the-top
enough to pass for the Dukes).  "Smartest Monkeys" has quite an edge
for one of Colin's songs, I like it.  I like "The Disappointed" too,
the weird drum riff adds a nice rhythmic tension.

All in all, I am encouraged.  But heck, it's only my first listen...

-- Stewart
"baseball's not *really* a sport--more like Zen ritual infotainment..."
                                       -- Tim Ruckle (timr@sco.COM)

DNS: stewarte@sco.COM  UUCP: ...!uunet!sco!stewarte


Date: Fri, 17 Apr 92 01:40:05 -0700
From: will kreth <>
Subject: Merchandise, Images, Melodies, a big castle

(Ouch! So many flames to wade through - so little online time!)

"Then She Appeared" with the goods!!!
My friend at Geffen _finally_ came though!
Sent me away with a XTC trove:

-New unreleased video of "Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead"
-complete "Nonsuch" on a pre-release cassette
-A new 8-song CD for radio station promotion with
			-a radio edit of "Peter Pumpkinhead"
and all their best-selling singles:
("Nigel" "Senses" "Farmboy's $" "God" "Grass" "King"  and "Mayor")
-A new 4-song CD called "XTC NAC" - NAC standing for "Nonsuch Adult
Contemporary" (yuck - I know we _hate_ that term). The songs are the
ballads, of course: My Bird Performs, Wrapped in Grey, Rook and
Books Are Burning. Geffen must be in marketing heaven. Finally, a
known target audience!  :  (  bleh! - But, the music is good. :  )

And the obligatory promo shot -Andy in Pakistani wool hat
- (but no "Nonsuch" bio - yet)

The video is a very clever, yet somewhat heavy-handed JFK/Dealy Plaza
assassination recreation (isn't that vogue of them?) that Oliver Stone
would love. Somehow, I always knew Partridge was a conspiracy
theorist. It's obviously shot in 35mm or 70mm film and is letterboxed
for television. There are some funny moments in it; Colin and Dave are
disguised as extremely dorky tourists - cameras and Hawaiian
shirts. Paul Mattacks doesn't look like the drummer - perhaps he
 couldn't make it for the shoot. The word is that it
was done in London on about $19,500 or so - which in my friend's
words, is the cheapest (and most entertaining) video Geffen
has done this year. Don't know who directed it - would be curious to
find out. My vote for the next video candidate is "Wrapped In Grey" -
cuz the words are _so_ cool.  (You hate the strings (ok?), but the chords
so fucking Disneyesque (with a touch of Donald Fagen and Todd on keys) -
"...unconscious grotesque"  gives me wonderful chills.

Two cents-

A two words to those who've been bitching and moaning about the
production- GROW UP!! Did they really have a choice? Hell, both Padgham
and Lillywhite either wanted too much $, or - insisted on being control
freaks (like Dudgeon) and locking the band out of the final mix. Great
bands can overcome crappy production (Alex Chilton's Big Star comes to mind)

- and XTC has done it before. Even with the clutter and tinny treble of some
the songs (Omnibus- geez!) - the group sounds more intelligent and
than ever.
And beyond that, this is MOODY album. Do YOU have only one mood to
show to the world? Get real - what people wanted was another
"psychedelic chrome dragster" (as Andy called "O&L") and instead we got a
3am cab ride in the rain. No producer was going to change the mood the band
wanted to give the album. Some of you act as if it's going to be the last
album - so shrill is your tone.

>We were ready two years ago, but our English record company refused
>all our songs.  Then, we were unlucky with the approached producers.
>I am very annoyed with it, because I would like to release an album
>every six months, I feel I am gagged.  The ideal solution would be two
>albums every year, but the situation is for the most part beyond my
>control.  I would like to release a huge amount of albums:

"Nonsuch" is better than 95% of the dreck that passes for pop today.

(P.S. -for someone who says he doesn't take drugs -any more at least-
"That Wave" sounds deliciously druggy ;  )



From: J Ross MacKay <>
Subject: 2 questions
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 92 7:53:44 EDT

   Is the REFLEX _Rip Van Reuben_ the same version as on WINDOW BOX?

   Re: silk-screened cover.  Can anyone confirm that Geffen will not
   have it, and Virgin will?

   Any news on another import single?

PS - I ain't Difapointed one little bit.  But my wife's beginnig to climb
the walls.  I've been playing it every night for a week, sometimes on the
repeat cycle for an hour or more.


Date: Wed, 15 Apr 92 23:49:22 EDT
From: Emmanuel Marin <MARINP92@frecp12.bitnet>
Subject: Interview: the End

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


Andy Partridge: England belongs to another century, it's one hundred
years behind the times.  The only other country which I could imagine
living in is Holland.  I like the verdure and the dairy produce.
England has been sacrificed to cars.  They have devoured everything.
This country is a huge salad bowl progressively devoured by cars which
proliferate like worms.

Les Inrockuptibles: Do you like the cultural insularity of England?

A: We are terribly arrogant, we need to believe that what we have
invented is the best thing ever done, even if it may last only one
week.  England is a highly productive cattle-breading area, but we
never know what to do with the Frankenstein's creatures once we have
created them.  We have the terrible habit of bringing out something
new, and saying it is the best thing ever, just to see it fall off its
pedestal two weeks later, because it had no substance.  Saying that in
fact it was awful, that we had never really liked it.  We do not have
an ear critical enough to really listen to it at the beginning, we
always make up our minds in a rush.

LI: Your influences are strictly English, nothing American.

A: I like the Beach Boys' music, when it begins to sound like Handel's
or Bach's.  The best of the Beach Boys did not sound American, it was
rather in the tradition of European classical music.  America has
nothing to offer to me.  I feel jammed in England, for better or for
worse, standing stock-still in English history.  I know that a great
part of English history is very far from brilliant, but I feel I cannot
get out.  And there is something satisfying in my imprisonment.  I like
history.  It is very enjoyable to search it, to exhibit all its
atrocities and to cover yourself with it.  Now that I am old and
decrepit, I am interested in older and more decrepit stuff.

LI: American people like Phil Spector seem to have a musical spirit
close to yours, in the sense of melody, the arrangements, the
combination of simplicity and complexity.  Do you like these
eccentricities of American music?

A: "Americanism"?  It's true it is fascinating, but I do not completely
understand the language spoken by Americanism, people like Spil Factor
[laughs] . . .  I like, but I do not really understand, I remain an
external listener, I cannot participate because I do not understand the
wheels of it.  You must come from there to really participate.  It
remains a mystery for me.  I never had any particular admiration for
Spector, whom I took for rather trigger-happy [laughs].  . .  Captain
Beefheart is in my opinion the greatest American poet, he had a way of
filtering, concentrating the Americana, old and modern, into some
little pieces of music, three minutes long; I admire him enormously for
that.  His music is a never ending bomb, surprising one from the first
to the last noise.  I do need elements of rigour in order to understand
music, but I like to lift the lid and find surprises.  Some people do
not appreciate uncertainty, do not like to look under a stone to find
something marvellous.  I like to put it in music.  I know we have been
criticized for that, but I cannot help being myself, so love it or hate
it!  [laughs] I am easily bored, so my favourite music is the one that
takes you by the ear to bring you to another horizon.  You lift up the
lid and suddenly there is something marvellous in the box, something
you did not expect.

LI: You could not live in America?

A: I would feel too much like a stranger there.  England, with all its
flaws, is now entirely part of my own system.  I realize that it is a
weird place, where everything seems to work under different rules from
the rules of the rest of the world.  Each time I come back here after a
journey, it is as if someone threw a bucket full of sweet water at my
face.  "Humm. . . the taste of England!"  It is a sickly drink but with
a subtle flavour.  The English race is now the only one which does not
understand us.  Americans do not understand the way we act, but that is
what seduces them.  These Americans like to feed themselves with
anglicism, with fancy England: the tea towels, the beefeaters, the HP
sauce, the London cabs. . .  I am sure they like all this comic book
anglicism in our music.  That is the language we talk.  They must see
England like a negative of Hollywood, the theater of ultimate

LI: In France, the Monty Python symbolize the spirit of English
imagination.  Do they too, in your opinion?

A: English are this way: the Monty Python put the English under a
microscope and reveal the stupidity of all these mannerisms.  David
Lean's movies and Dickens' novels are the quintessence of distilled
anglicism.  David Lean's version of "Great Expectations" or "Oliver
Twist" is dreamt anglicism in a deadly dose.  Throw it and anglicism
splashes all over the place.  Nitroglycerin of English.  I need to
watch his "Great Expectations" every two months to reaffirm my vision
of the world.  Among the contemporaries, there is also Mike Leigh,
very embarrassing, who puts his finger exactly where he has to.

LI: Your main influence is the rock of the 60's.  Yet one can think
that the original rock of the 60's was American, that the English just
adapted it.

A: The best music of the 50's was American, but by dint of copying it
clumsily, we finally ended with something much more exciting and
innovative in the middle of the 60's in England.  Then, during the
70's and the 80's, it was musical ping-pong.  But we won the 60's
play.  Even Jimi Hendrix had to leave the United States to settle in
England.  I did not like Dylan a lot, I found he copied too much
Donovan [laughs]. . .  That is what I say to Dylan fans to annoy them.
Ray Davies has always been an extraordinary songwriter, I have a
relationship of love and hate with the Kinks, marvellous and sometimes
awful.  Yet, I believe in musicians who get better with the age, in
good artisans.  I am still feeling I am learning and progressively
coming near to songwriters like Burt Bacharach, a marvellous guy.  I
would like to write music that, as his own does, would follow the
meanders of the most beautiful melodic landscapes.  The song is dying,
yet everything is here. You now hear only sung grooves, which are not
songs.  My conception of a song is very much out of fashion.

LI: You seem to be obsessed by growing old.  Are you anxious?

A: Without a doubt, but I try to get rid of it by thinking one can get
better with the age.  Nothing is worst than rotten fruit, but nothing
is better than an old wine bottle, at least until it is completely
emptied.  I hope I will not become a rotten fruit, I want to improve.
I hope that is what happens to our music.  I am paralyzed at the idea
of not having exorcized the ghosts of all of the people who I admire,
of not having been better than them.  Paralyzed at the idea I could
not defeat them in a song duel, like knights in armour.  I am about to
equal some of them, but I want to defeat all of them [laughs]. . .
The task is long, so I sharpen my weapons, I want to defeat Ray
Davies, Lennon and McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson. . .
I want all these people dead at my feet.

                   THE END.

Hope you enjoyed it.


From: Ray Sherrod <>
Subject: Re: xtc on mtv
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 92 12:50:44 PDT

    I was in Los Angeles last week and along with my Sunday morning cup
of mud and toast I had the pleasure of reading in the Calender section of
the L.A. Times(April 12) that XTC  will be performing an MTV concert in
July or August.  It didn't say, but I have a hunch this could be one
of those "unplugged" deals which has become popular with the metal folks.
  I contacted several record stores in the L.A. area to locate advance
copies of Nonsuch, and spoke with a couple clerks who actually had promo copies
of the cassette and CD, but had sold them already.  Crap!
  After I finished the coffee and toast, I went to church.

        it's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky


Date: Fri, 17 Apr 92 13:58:36 -0700
From: poldy <>
Subject: minor addition to the scuffle..

Not being a flamewar kind of person, I want to throw my 2 cents in:
I don't think Skylarking is badly recorded.  I am in the minority
of Skylarking addicts (and I've said this before, probably)
but I find the chilling content of Skylarking to be potent, along
with some of their other apocalyptic/paradise-y songs.
But hey, experience is 100% subjective, so maybe my head is just
wired to Skylarking's recording... but before I ever discovered
Chalkhills, I had no opinions about the recording  one way or the
other, indicating that it is low-key enough not to stand in the
way of the songs.
Back to Nonesuch,... of course I'm only writing about skylarking
in the interim of anticipation... back to the Dukes Demos tape I go...
I've seen someone in a Skylarking t-shirt and someone in a Drums&Wires
t-shirt both this week, but when I raved at them, they didn't consider
it as much of a revelation as i did, :) and so we both kept on walking...



Date: Sat, 18 Apr 92 16:28:50 +1000
From: Graeme Wong See <>
Subject: XTC Video?

Yo XTC people,
	With the release of the new XTC single and album does anyone know if
XTC made any video clips to go with any of the songs? Anyone seen anything
on MTV?


ps. please cut the crap about the relative merits of ablum A vs, album B,
producer A vs. producer B. State your opinion by all means but we don't have
to get personal in doing so. If you really want to flame each other do it
via email not Chalkhills.


Date: Sat, 18 Apr 92 11:45:17 PDT
From: Chalkhills Administration <>
Subject: Still Not On Tour
Organisation: Chalkhills Anonymous

(Cheer up, there is a new album)

XTC                     NONSVCH

Following up their No. 1 Alternative album,
_Oranges & Lemons_, XTC return with an all-
new album of unequalled musical marvels.

"The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead"
"My Bird Performs"  "Wrapped in Grey"

"Pop music's quirkiest, smartest band" returns.  -- Rolling Stone

Produced by Gus Dudgeon  Engineered by Barry Hammond  Mixed by Nick Davis

[ The above is the text of a full-page advertisement on the back
  cover of the May issue of _Tower Records' Pulse!_ magazine. ]


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