Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #252

                  Chalkhills, Number 252

                 Tuesday, 8 December 1992
Today's Topics:
                         xtc live
                    "10 years" whining
                 Bill Nelson's Red Noise
                    XTC - Then and Now
                    Re: The Lilac Time
                Explode Together Price Tag
                         Re: rook
                  The Well Runneth Dry?
      Another book, some pages of which are on XTC..

From: (Melinda M Hale)
Subject: xtc live
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 92 9:25:48 EST

I have 2 live boots, and they both sound kinda
"lets-hurry-up-and-get-out-of-here" to me.  On the other hand, they do
look like they're having fun on that "URGH! A Music War" set (ah, a
pineapple), so who knows?  The absolute best live recording of xtc that I
have, the one that makes me think, "DAMN!  I wish I could see them!", is
>from a Chicago radio show around the time O&L came out.  My copy is
third-generation from a tape that was from the radio in the first place,
so the quality isn't the best, but the music blows me away.  I don't think
I had *fully* realized what great guitarists they are until I heard them
in this setting.  They get an incredibly lush and thick sound from just 3
guys with acoustic guitars.

Somebody mentioned the "ya can't dance to it" problem that labels always
seem to have with xtc.  A funny thing: the first time I ever heard xtc,
strangely enough, was on the Rate-A-Record segment of "American Bandstand".
 I was 11 years old, it was "Generals and Majors", and I was hooked.  My
sixth-grade classmates were a bit confused by my xtc t-shirt.  I think "G
& M" scored pretty high, actually...

Melinda Hale


From: (Melinda M Hale)
Subject: "10 years" whining
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 92 9:41:17 EST

I'm brand new to this list, so excuse me if I'm talking about stuff you've
heard before...

This "they don't make 'em like they used to" talk is so ridiculous.  I
will be the first to say that I don't think NONSUCH is quite as good as
ENGLISH SETTLEMENT, and that BLACK SEA, my first xtc album, is still my
favorite.  Of course a band's sound is going to change in 10 years' time!
That doesn't mean one should write off anything a band does that maybe
isn't as good as your favorite.  Who wants to hear 15 albums that all
sound alike?  I still think that xtc is musically way ahead of the pack,
as they always are.  I hated NONSUCH when I first listened to it, but it
definitely grew on me -- it's very intricate music, and takes a few close
listens to appreciate.  I don't think it's their best album or anything,
but come on, stuff like "That Wave", "Ugly Underneath", "Wrapped in Grey",
"Crocodile" -- this is well-written music.  "My Bird Performs" is a
beautiful song, and "Then She Appeared" is delightful if only in its
extreme xtc-sounding-ness.

If one of you can send me a tape of something you've written that's
one-quarter as good as anything on NONSUCH, then I'll shut up, but until
then, cut the band some slack. :-)

Melinda Hale


Date: Sat, 5 Dec 92 23:51:36 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Bill Nelson's Red Noise

A friend I met through Guitar Craft sent me a tape a few years back, and
it included a couple of tracks from "Bill Nelson's Red Noise", "Revolt
Into Style" and "Don't Touch Me (I'm Electric)".  I was listening to
them the other day and I was struck by the similarities between those
two songs and XTC's "White Music".  Has anybody else noticed this?  The
jerky rhythms, atonalities, quick odd guitar riffs, and mannered vocals?
Is the remainder of "Red Noise" similar to those two songs?  Or perhaps
my friend, also an XTC fan, taped those two songs with XTC in mind...

One interesting note (probably a Bb), Dave Mattacks drums on the album.

        -- John


Date: Mon, 7 Dec 92 06:41:31 PST
From: Wes Wilson @PKO3 - 223-3413  07-Dec-1992 0929 <>
Subject: XTC - Then and Now

Regarding the way XTC is now compared with the way they were in the "good old
days"...I think that the record company has a lot to do with what we get
>from the band.

I think that major record labels look at the bottom line. I remember reading
in CHALKHILLS AND CHILDREN that Andy and Colin came up with a batch
of demos for NONSVCH, and the record exec at Virgin hated every one of them
except one.

Back in 1990 Andy contributed a track to the ERNEST NOYES BROOKINGS tribute
CD on a small independent record label (East Side Digital). This track
is anything but lame and commercial; it's creatively written and done.

I just think that Virgin has control of the band now, and they're going
to dictate the commerciality of the final product.

I think the best thing the band could do is to get another label after they
have fulfilled their obligation to Virgin. Virgin, in the beginning,
was a progressive label, but now they have big-name acts and seem
to have gone the way of the other big labels.

Feel free to disagree,



Date: Mon, 7 Dec 92 11:19:02 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Re: The Lilac Time

Wes Wilson <> writes:
>I thought about exercising my credit option for the new Lilac
>Time CD, ASTRONAUTS. Chalkhillians will recall that Andy P.
>produced the (IMHO) best tracks on The Lilac Time's CD
>And Love for All
>Anyone hear anything about ASTRONAUTS?

No, and I was wondering the same thing myself.  In fact, "Astronauts"
was never released here in the U.S.  I have seen a few copies of the
CD around, but haven't sprung for it.  Also, I have heard that The
Lilac Time broke up after this album was recorded.

I actually like "And Love For All" quite a bit.

        -- John


Date: Mon, 7 Dec 92 11:04:43 -0800
Subject: Explode Together Price Tag

By way of introduction, and also to offer an excuse, I consider myself a
devoted XTC fan yet I'm not a collector of their albums, rare singles,
demos, etc.  I read Chalkhills mainly for other reader's opinions on the
songs, lyrics, production values and all that other musical stuff.
Frankly, I tend to skim past the letters dealing with "I just got back from
Sri Lanka where I bought the 11-track version of White Music, ya know the
one with AYRM? actually listed on the cover and


OK, so I was in the local teen angst head shop that passes for our fair city's
alternative music store when I stumbled across a *used* CD copy of Explode
Together (rare tracks from '78 to '80?).  So as not to alienate all of
you collector types, I was vigilant enough to note that it was on the
Virgin/Geffen label (so it is/isn't an import?)  The reason I didn't buy it was
because it was priced at $16.95!  For a *used* CD!  I showed said disc to the
dreadlocker-in-a-Jane's Addiction T-shirt behind the counter and was informed
that "It's rare, I guess."  Thus illuminated, I departed with head hung low.

So is this indeed a rare collection worthy of its price tag?  Please, dear
Chalkhillian collector types, I mean no disrespect to your noble pastime.

Jim McGowan                     "Subvert the dominant paradigm."
6450 Via Real
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(805) 684-6614


Date: Mon, 7 Dec 92 11:19:24 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Re: rook

Ray Sherrod <> opines:
>                                 ROOK
>Andy sings, "If I die and I find I have a soul inside
>             Promise me you'll take it up on it's final ride"
>  I would conjecture that these are fairly soft words for a devout athiest.

Perhaps he is an athiest who acknowledges that the belief in something
does not necessarily make it true.  So even if he believes in his
heart of hearts that there is no God (or Dog), he could, when all is
said and done, be wrong.

        -- John


Date: Mon, 7 Dec 92 13:15:14 PST
From: "Dan Weir" <>
Subject: The Well Runneth Dry?

There's been some interesting discussion recently about the group's creative
lifespan.  My opinion is the last two albums are inconsistent. Not just with
their past work but from track to track.  I wish for two things: one, that they
make a single album (and do it fast so as not to draw too much attention to
it), and second, that Colin team up with a lyricist.  Much of his stuff
since Skylarking has been forgettable.



Date: Tue, 8 Dec 92 19:30:10 +0100
From: (Sylvain HANNETON)
Subject: Another book, some pages of which are on XTC..

It is an expensive book (200ff about 40$) from the Inrockuptibles,
the magazine I typed the interviews here...
And amongst 7 other bands (Morrissey, The Happy Mondays, Julian Cope...)
is XTC, with about 10 pages.
In fact the interview seems (I did't have the time to read it) to be
the most recent one from the Inrockuptibles magazine... but with at least
two or three never-seen-before photographs, like the one with Andy
dressed as Napoleon with a hat made of newspaper, and a strange look just
like a fool... but I don't like the pictures in fact, because of the way
the Inrockuptibles tries to look intellectual... They do not seem to
realize most of their audience and readers are about 18-20 years old
and just another-brick-in-the-wall guys...
That's all.
PS : If you know a French band called "ANGE" just mail me directly please..


For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, fan club addresses, discography
requests (last update 2 December), back issues, FAQ list,
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.  Polite applause excepted.

Go back to the previous page.