Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #268

                  Chalkhills, Number 268

                  Monday, 22 March 1993
Today's Topics:
                     Re: Dukes Newbie
                   Re: Chalkhills #267
                   Re: Chalkhills #267
                   different satellites
                       my too sense
           Chords question; Jellyfish question
                 Callin' Colin's Cohorts
                   Travels in Nihilon?
                 XTC in the stores still
                      Smokeless Zone

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 93 13:34:23 PST
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Re: Dukes Newbie (Turbo Godzilla)
>I just got a hold of the CD "Chips From the Chocolate Fireball"
>by the Dukes of Stratosphear.  I know basically nothing about the Dukes,
>except that they are in fact XTC.  Is it true that this disc contains
>all of "Psonic Psunspot" and "25 o'clock"?

Yes it's true.  The first six songs are from _25 O'Clock_ and the
remainder are from _Psonic Psunspot_.

>  When were these albums originally
>released, and is there more Dukes stuff out there?

_25 O'Clock_ was release on April Fool's Day in 1985.  _Psonic
Psunspot_ was released in August 1987.  There is one more Dukes song
called "It's Snowing Angels", a demo track available only on the
Little Express XTC Music and Friends Convention 1991 cassette _Window

There was also a demo version of "Then She Appeared" which was
performed by Choc Cigar Chief Champion, later covered by XTC on their
album _Nonsuch_.

>  What was the concept
>behind using this different name for the same band?

Andy and Colin had always wanted to make a psychadelic album.  They
grew up in the sixties and much of their favourite musicks came from
that time.  But by the time they had a band and were making records,
the psychadelic era had long gone.  So they got together to make a
real psychadelic album.  Virgin Records UK gave them, what was it,
20,000 pounds sterling (or was it 10,000) to record the _25 O'Clock_
EP.  They recorded it in two weeks, using loads of old equipment,
having a blast.  The first five tracks on the EP were written and
demoed before they started recording, and "Mole From the Ministry" was
written in the studio.  They spent only half of the money they were
given, and so to wag their tongues at Virgin Records, they gave the
other half back.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you
view it, the EP sold twice as many copies as XTC's previous record,
_The Big Express_.  Damn!  (I still think it's their best LP.)  So
Virgin Records implored XTC to revive the Dukes to make another album.
Hence _Psonic Psunspot_.  The Dukes of Stratosphear have since died,
burned to death in a bizarre kitchen accident.  (They did loan their
guitars to XTC for the recording of _Skylarking_.)

>  What is the actual
>4 person lineup?

Let's see.  This was found in Chalkhills Digest #9:

    The Dukes -- Sir John Johns (Partridge), The Red
    Curtain (Moulding), Lord Cornelius Plum (Gregory) and
    drummer E.I.E.I. Owen (Gregory's brother Ian) -- have
    released two records of "soundgasm"...

John Leckie is of course John Leckie.  And Swami Anand Nagara?  I'm
not sure.  Jon Drukman thinks the Swami and Mr Leckie are in fact one
and the same.

By the way, you can see Ian Gregory drumming in the "Kings for a Day"
video, the one with the expensive hats.

        -- John


Subject: Re: Chalkhills #267
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1993 07:52:46 -0600 (CST)
From: Kent Williams <>

Well I've been a  big XTC fan since I heard "Melt the Guns" on the radio lo,
these long ten years ago. I've been amazed at the, er, rabidness displayed
here.  So, I'm going to give you some of my favorites that no one else seems
to like, and why, so you can go back and try them on again.  In no particular

1. Battery Brides -- as perfect a little pop song as there ever was, delivered
with some real understated menace.  One of the few songs where Barry Andrews
seems to be in the same band with the rest of the guys.

2. GreenHouse -- "Ever wonder why I look so fresh? Ever wonder why I look
so tall? Life is good in the GreenHouse! I'd rather be a plant than be a
Mickey Mouse!"  Ronald Reagan's personal anthem.

3. Complicated Game -- the last ravings of a man completely unhinged.
This may be the most patently offensive 5 minutes of music on the
planet, where all of AP's walrus barking vocal ticks get center stage.
Somehow you have to love it.

4. Travels in Nihilon -- I hated this song until I got the CD -- It's
the inner track on LP's and sound really shitty on cheap turntables.
When you can actually hear it, it has the symphonic, noisy drive that
was perfected years later by Sonic Youth.  It's like the wind
screaming in your ears when you fall out of a plane without a

5. Towers of London -- If you ever get to London, pop this in the
walkman as you circumnavigate Westminster Abbey.

And now for something completely different -- if you're enough of an
anglophile to like XTC, you must check out the Bevis Frond, especially
"New River Head."  The Bevis Frond is basically one guy from the
industrial midlands with a serious Hendrix crush who writes some of
the most nearly perfect lyrics and melodies.  All of his CD's are over
an hour long, and contain many odd and wonderful treasures. "And it
feels so good to be despised/I feel just like I've been canonized."


From: Jan J. Schiffman <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #267
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 93 10:05:54 EST

Wow, you must all be really bored...
Using net bandwidth discussing how to rearrange Skylarking !?!
Give it a rest.
Is there any new XTC news out there?
And as for the fellow who found Funk-Pop-A'Roll to jarring try listening to
Ministry and connect the goddamn dots.



Date: 17 Mar 93 10:10:00 EST
From: "GLAAB, TOM" <>
Subject: different satellites

>>tracks on Skylarking, but then I heard the pseudo-live version of
>>[satellite] on Rag&Bone and just flipped.  I actually prefer the
>>studio one, but somehow the beauty of the live one called my

         i like the "live" version better, but the noise that
sounds like a giant guitar chord (i'm not sure what it is) is
way too jarring for me.  it always wakes me up (probably a good
thing for other drivers on the road), and should have been toned
down to the level of the studio version.


From: Andrew Russell Mutchler <>
Subject: my too sense
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 93 11:24:03 CST

> From: "John M. Relph" <>
> Subject: Re: The Great Skylarking Controversy

> 3. "Mermaid Smiled", "Dear God", no "Another Satellite".  "Another
>    Satellite" is too electronic, and doesn't fit in with the more
>    pastoral bent of the album.

The more pastoral bent of the album?  As evidenced by songs such as "The
Meeting Place", "That's Really Super, Supergirl", and "Earn Enough For Us?"

P.S.: Count me as another fan of "Another Satellite" and "Dear God".



Date:    Fri, 19 Mar 1993 9:17:07 -0500 (EST)
From: (Ed Aubry)
Subject: Chords question; Jellyfish question

Does anybody out there know the chords to "Pink Thing"?

Also, a couple of letters ago, somebody mentioned a hard-to-find
Jellyfish Live EP.  Can anyone tell me anything about this?  How can I
get my hands on it?



Date: Fri, 19 Mar 93 10:14:48 PST
From: 19-Mar-1993 1306 <>
Subject: Callin' Colin's Cohorts

Regarding the last issue of Chalkhills, someone referring to
Colin as a "whiny second-rater"...

No way! I think Colin is cool! His songs are wonderfully depressing.

"Big Day" is so Beatle-y; you almost expect Harrison's sitar to
come in at any moment. It kinda reminds me of "Blue Jay Way" (heck,
even the titles rhyme).

I just have so much respect for what Colin's done: Life Begins
at the Hop, Ball and Chain, English Roundabout, Runaways,
Down a Peg, Making Plans for Nigel (probably their biggest
hit ever), My Bird Performs, This World Over...

I LOVE his songs on "Nonsvch"; even Bungalow. I think that overall
they're better than Andy's. I have felt that Colin's songs have
been better than Andy's the last few albums (a comment which
I'm sure will cause a stir in itself among the readership).

These days, Colin sort of reminds me of someone who is world-weary
after being in a pop band like The Hollies during the 60's. He's
still writing pop songs, but he's been disillusioned by the

I love 'im. We all love ya Colin, wherever you are!


P.S. I think Colin's songs are a good balance to Andy's
songs, which are bright, sunny, usually about children...:-)

"The hunt is on to find the fox..."


From: (An Earthling...Really!)
Subject: Travels in Nihilon?
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 93 0:02:34 PST

Something I was never aware of has suddenly become
apparent to me after this last round of mail on
Chalkhills. Is Nihilon actually a strongly disliked
XTC song? This blows my mind. I think it's easily
one of the five best songs on Black Sea. Again, I'm
not one to argue opinion, but I must say it's weird
to me if a majority of XTC fans don't like this song.

Besides, it DOES sound, as I once described it, like
Disney's Tiki Room on acid. :)

"Bungalow, bungalow, by the sea." - C. Moulding, XTC


Date: 21 Mar 93 11:51:17 EST
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: XTC in the stores still

Hello, Chalkhills people! It's been a while since I had any XTC news
and/or views to share, but a few things came up...
   We received a packet from June & Peter Dix of The Little Express
containing 2 tapes of Andy's "Bull With The Golden Guts"!
WOW, does it ever look nice! Very expensive looking, too.
Typical handling by Canada Post caused both plastic boxes to be
broken, but the tapes were unharmed.
   Yesterday, on a whim, we checked out a new record store which
carried mostly vinyl, found within a copy of a Canadian 12-inch
"All You Pretty Girls" for just $4. By chance as we were about to
leave, I noticed at the front desk what appeared at first to be a
strange-looking Nonsuch cassette. But no, it was the "Ye Olde Card
Game Nonsuch"! We bought it for a mere $10 (no tax, even!).
The store clerk asked us if we knew about the XTC Convention in
Chicago, so maybe he's a fellow fan (or Chalkhillian, yet). I'll
have to check it out when I return to the store next week...

   "I take home my notes and coins every week"
---> Steve


Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 15:52:08 CST
From: Andrew Russell Mutchler <>
Subject: Smokeless Zone

Here's something I've been wondering about: What is so
unhealthy about the smokeless zone?  I mean, it sounds
healthier than a smokeful zone to me.  Or does the
phrase mean something I'm not aware of?



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