Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #254

                  Chalkhills, Number 254
             The `Thanks for Christmas' Issue

                Tuesday, 22 December 1992
Today's Topics:
                      opinion wanted
                      Three Wise Men
           various fanatical audio observations

From: (Jesse Brook McCune)
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 92 19:34:43 -0500
Subject: opinion wanted

I am considering buying "The Singles 78-85"...opinions on this album? the
CD worth $20?...thanks

-jesse mccune                 *email me please*


From: hvgtw!dhgpa!
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 92 09:23 MET
Subject: Fischer-Z

Here's yet another artist who talks about XTC in the dutch magazine OOR.

An excerpt of an interview with John Watts of Fischer-Z, by Oene Kummer:

[Oene:] The song _Mockingbird Again_ [from the new album _Destination
Paradise_] could have been written by Andy Partridge, the _Mayor Of
Simpleton_ from XTC.  Watts nods confirmingly.  'Andy and I have the same
background.  Most bands from the new wave came from the big city, but we came
>from the _countryside_ west of London.  He from Swindon, I from the
neighbourhood of Reading.  My accent has changed because I went to school in
London, but our way of singing is the same.  There was a background vocal on
_Mockingbird Again_ that we left out because it sounded too much like XTC.'

The same issue of OOR (nmbr 24) has the unconfirmed 'news' that Andy will do
production for the new Blur album.
It also has an article about the CD-single _Say No To XTC_ by C.I.P., which
is (you guessed it) about and against the drug.  It is part of a big campaign
against illegal house-parties and drug abuse.  I haven't heard it.  Maybe
it's interesting for the XTC-Discography (and thus needed material for the

An early Merry Xmas from Andre de Koning, broadcasting live from Holland.


From: (Melinda M Hale)
Subject: re-rebuttal
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 92 22:49:59 EST

Geez, I don't want to have everyone on my case.  I admit that maybe I was
a little perturbed when I first brought up this "whining" thing, because I
had just seen the same argument on the Elvis Costello list.  There's
nothing wrong with an opinion, and I certainly don't categorically accept
every single thing XTC does or says, but there's a difference between
voicing an opinion, perhaps comparing works, etc., and making blanket
statements about various musicians being not as good as they once were.
This just rubs me the wrong way; it makes me think, "clearly this person
doesn't feel that way, else s/he would not spend time on this list or
money on XTC media."

Al, all I meant with the "tape" suggestion, was that XTC are still better
musicians and songwriters than I, or than any of my friends who have
professional bands.  That doesn't mean that I cannot recognize their
musicianship and songwriting as good or bad; I can.  I just thought the
trashing that was going on was getting a little self-righteous (I said a

Steve, I agree that I tired of O&L and NONSUCH more quickly than BLACK SEA
or ENGLISH SETTLEMENT -- I heard a guitar riff on ES just last year that I
couldn't remember having heard before.  I think this has to do an awful
lot with what Jim was saying about production styles, i.e. big-open-room
ambience vs. slick digital layers.  It seems that a lot of albums these
days, not just XTC, have this "let's show how precise CDs are" production
sound, and I have mixed feelings about it.  Crispness is one of the great
things about "Poor Skeleton Steps Out", but the delicate power of "Towers
of London" never ceases to blow me away.  BIG EXPRESS is sort of somewhere
in-between.  I dunno.

Mea maxima culpa, y'all.

Melinda Hale

"What a waste of breath it is, searching for the jobs that don't exist..."


Date: Tue, 22 Dec 92 07:23:15 PST
From: Wes Wilson @PKO3 - 223-3413  22-Dec-1992 1019 <>
Subject: Three Wise Men

        To the Three Wise Men of Music - Andy, Dave, and Colin:

                      Thanks for Christmas!

        and Holiday Greetings also to Chalkhillians who girdle
                          the globe!

    Wes Wilson
    Massachusetts, USA


Subject: various fanatical audio observations
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 92 13:44:29 EST
From: Tobin Munsat <>

        OK- I've got three things that I thought might be worth
mentioning to Chalkhills.  The dumbest one first:
        Try listening to Season Cycle, imagining that Queen is doing the
backup singing, especially during the bridge.  I know this sounds
ridiculous, but the harmonies that they are singing (again- especially
at the bridge) sound just like Queen!
        Ok, now for something a little (a very little) more substantial:
 Remember how Ballet For a Rainy Day starts "Orange and Lemon..."
indicating their next album title?  Now listen to Chalkhills and
Children, at 1:24, and see if you think any particular word is sung a
little louder than the rest.  (Please respond if you agree or think I'm
        Lastly, I found a little subtlety in the breaks of Sacrificial
Bonfire (at 2:57 and 3:05, not the breaks with the crackling fire).  If
you turn the volume way up there you can hear what sounds like someone
dropping their bow on their cello, and then some tempo counting (in the
string section, I guess).  Fanatical, I agree; but pretty cool to find
something new in an album that I've heard 500 times.


Thanks to Ira Rosenblatt.

Happy Holidays to everyone on Chalkhills!

At the nether end of 1992 we are 360 strong, which is to
say that there are at least 360 readers of Chalkhills this
world over.

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