Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #271

                  Chalkhills, Number 271
                   The 25 O'Clock Issue

                  Thursday, 1 April 1993
Today's Topics:
                      east coasters
         Battery Bribes/The Mission/Making Plans
                    A Modest Proposal
                   Le Bull Est Arrive!

Date: 29 Mar 93 16:56:00 EST
From: "GLAAB, TOM" <>
Subject: east coasters

>to the second convention.  As I would be schlepping out there
>from Baltimore by myself, it would be nice to hook up with
>some folks from this list.  I would appreciate some nitty-gritty

chicago's a bit far for me to go... maybe we can get an east coast
convention for us east-coasters :-)


Date: Mon, 29 Mar 93 22:30:43 CST
From: (Al Kolman)

Christian Longshore Claiborn writes:
>OK, and to the guy who liked Colin tunes...
>> From: (Al Kolman)
>> Someone's complainging about Colin?  Well, not to flame or anything, but
>> here's a prolific guy!
>>  Nigel
>Annoying, stupid, whiny BAD song.  Why is it all XTC neo-fans seem to like
>either this one or "Dear God?"  It's BAD, folks.  Corny.  "And if Nigel says
>he must be happy... he must be happy... "  blah blah.  Andy produces better
>stuff on the toilet.

Neo-XTC?  Well, I heard them for the first time back in '78 or so and have
listened to them ever since.  How many 9-year-olds did you see listening to
XTC in 1978?
Whiny?  Stupid?  What's a pop song?  Well, to each your own.  I agree with you
about Dear Ghod, though.  It think the primary reason it replaced Mermaid
Smiled was to boost record sales.  All the alternative-wannabees back in the
86-88 period sure liked that song.  That deep, philosophical
song.  Hmm, this wasn't the first deep song that XTC did, where were y'all
when I Remember the Sun came out?  How 'bout All of the Sudden?

>>  Generals & Majors
>More of the "What's the name of this song again?" tunes.  The lyrics here are
>horrible too, and Colin can not quite get his voice where he obviously wants
>it to be.
Yes, XTC has better songs.  It sounds more like you dislike Colin's voice
voice than think about the content and value of his songs.  "Generals and
Majors always seem so unhappy unless they've got a war" - kinda sounds like
"You say you're asking for Western thinking.  I say it's poison that you'll be
drinking", and I'll be you like Millions a bunch.
>>  (plus more from Black Sea - mine's out on loan)
>>  English Roundabout
>Good song.  IMHO Colin's best.
>>  Ball & Chain
>This one also doesn't fit with the mood of English Settlement.  It's too poppy,
>too concerned with being obvious where it could be subtle, shouting where it
>could whisper.  Doesn't do much for me.

If you think you know what they should write, then write your own songs
>>  Fly on the Wall

Technobabble?  My, we are purists aren't we?

That's for sure.  Are you sure you like XTC?
Al Kolman
Determinism is a proper subset of Free Will



Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 11:34:57 PST
From: 30-Mar-1993 1408 <>
Subject: Battery Bribes/The Mission/Making Plans

In the last issue of Chalkhills, Andrew Russell Mutchler ponders
the age-old question, "What, if anything, does the subtitle
'Andy Paints Brian' mean?"

The 'Brian' refers to Brian Eno, musician/producer extraordinaire,
who had his roots in Roxy Music before busting out on his own in the
early 1970s and making four great alternative (there's that word again)
albums between 1972 and 1977. Following these albums, he moved off into
something called "ambient music" (music that was meant to be played
while one was doing something else; much like "background" music,
only elevated to a highly cerebral level).

But, I digress (only because I have the four pop albums).

Andy felt that "Battery Brides" ("Bridges" is a typo) was a song
Brian Eno might have written, so he named it accordingly.

At one point, the band considered asking Eno to join, because
Eno said he liked XTC.

_ _ _ _ _

I just received a CD from a band called "The Mission." (In the
U.S., they're known as "The Mission UK" so as not to confuse them
with another band.)

This CD has a song Andy produced in 1990, "Hands Across the Ocean."
It's a good track; well produced, I'd say. Unfortunately, the
rest of the CD isn't so good (to my ears, anyway), with the
exception of a cover by The Kinks ("Mr. Pleasant"). Maybe it'll
grow on me.

_ _ _ _ _

Wow, someone doesn't like "Making Plans for Nigel." Well, yes,
it is simple - granted. But as someone pointed out in the
last issue, a simple and direct statement can make for a
powerful message. When I first heard it, I loved it's
sarcasm toward the working class: "Give 'em a *proper* job
and send 'em off into the world." Nah, that's not a mould(ing)
into which everyone can fit. Andy and Dave were being interviewed
one time and the interviewer asked them about "Nigel," what
it meant. Andy said, "You'll have to ask Colin about that one,
since it's one of his pennings." Shy Colin said something like,
"It's about parents who think that being in a band isn't
a proper job, but if you were the ones setting up the equipment
for the band and you had to punch a clock, that's okay."

I also like the double meaning of "steel" versus "steal"
at the end.

This song was rereleased in the late 80's on a label in
the UK called "Old Gold," signifying that it had reached
"classic" status.



From: Andrew Russell Mutchler <>
Subject: A Modest Proposal
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 16:08:59 CST

Why don't we have an Andy Partridge mailing list for people who love Andy but
hate Colin?  And maybe a Colin Moulding list for people who love Colin but hate
Andy?  We definitely need a Dave-Gregory-is-God list.  Them other two guys are
draggin' him down.  :o)

P.S.: I don't like all the songs on Nonsvch, but I like some of them enough to
be glad I have it on CD, which lets me easily skip the dull ones.

        -Mr. Crushed Walnut Seller
        (Andrew Russell Mutchler)


From: (Daniel R Smith)
Subject: _skylarking_
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1993 19:02:32 -0600 (CST)

re: all the controversy surrounding _skylarking,_ i felt it my duty to
throw a tanker of nitrous oxide (plus a kilo of unstable uranium 235!)
into the reactor and c wut happenstances!

i feel that _skylarking_ is the best album xtc has made.  though others are
edging in on it, i still like it best (in fact, i git the most pleasure from
it when i deprive myself of it 4 a few days) but anywayshow, bcux art is not
perfect, and neither r xtc, _skylarking_ also is not.  it has some parts i do
not like as much as others, but as a whole hole, it is gr8!  appreciate the
fact that they worked 2 maxe this album 4 our pleasure.  mermaid or not,
they both work, it is smooth and flowy, even though some correg8ed parts can
b found here and there.  i wud change nothing on it, and when i make tapes 2
heer in the car, or 4 frends, i find myself as frustr8ed as captain ahab bcux
they do not maxe tapes big enuf 4 my 2 put all 20hundred o'clok songs on it and
so i cna sit back like a lazy-ass and enjoy and drown in this aesthetic sea
of sounds.  the lyrics by themselves even flow, but sometimes i git in2 bad
transcendentalism and try 2 maxe shore that everything is connected, when i
sometimes am stretching it.  i think the song choices, and order r gr8.  they
spread out their topics gud like and there.

i've found that on the harder songs 4 my 2 git used 2 (the slower ones) if i
listen 2 it long enuf, it = gud (4 instance chalkhills & children...y is this
newsletter called chalkhills anyways? somebody flame me? %-)

there r still some that i have not bin able 2 git used 2, tho: like travels of
nihilon (sp?) and somnambulist (sp?) and a few others, but i try 2 lissen 2 them
and add them 2 my decadent and sin list (snicker snicker!!  %-)

so i gess i did not hafe the $10 werth brookes did, but i gived a few bytes?

ps: if any1 neds 2 firebomb my house, well, i can tell u where it is, but ples
save the xtc paralegal stuff inside, okee?

merci.  (i have wud and gas 4 flames 2, if any1 needs, just leave a mesg after
the tone and sum1 wil git bak 2 u, okee?

merci & beacoups!  (ne coup d'etats pas, s'il vous plait! %-)

-des dans (a reptile u mite find at yor very own hamline!)
peaces  %-)


Date: 31 Mar 1993 00:42:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brookes McKenzie <>
Subject: squeaks

_is_ it remotely possible that i could still get my _bull_ *now* after
so long, or has something weird happened like they forgot about me?
i'm confused. now i am sure that they haven't cashed my check
yet. this is a squeak b/c i am dyingto hear 'don't you dare call me
chickenhead' and 'everybody's busy' and it's torturous to read about
them and not _have_ them. ack, ack, ack!

several small randomnesses:
andrew mutchler(?) asked 'why 'andy paints brian'?' i thought it was a big
omen too until i read about it in _chalkhills & children_ (i typed the quote
last night but i kept leaning the book on the control key and making my email
freak out, and now the book is far away, but i remember what it said (practic-
ally verbatim)). it said that when they were looking for a producer for _go
2_ one of the people they considered was brian eno because he had seen xtc
live a few times and said that they were the only band he'd considered joining
in a long time. andy & colin were flattered & sent brian a demo of their new
songs (for _go 2_) and he said that he didn't think they needed a producer
because they had obviously had plenty of original ideas of their own. (also
he was busy with some project). but andy dedicated 'battery brides' to brian
anyway, by adding '(andy paints brian)'.
as for the various people who think colin is prolific - on almost every album,
andy's songs outnumber colin's by about 4 to 1. let alone the issue of how
many good songs to okay ones or even really annoying ones. (i agree with
christian of course on all the points that he agrees with me about, but also
and especially on 'ball & chain'. it interrupts the flow of the album so
horrifically that i am almost always forced to skip over it. i don't mind the
verses so much but the chorus is so grating that it completely wrecks the
feeling created by 'runaways'.)
someone (al?) listed 'it's nearly africa' as a colin composition, which it
is not. if it was i might have a higher opinion of colin's songwriting abil-
ities, b/c that is my favorite song off of _english settlement_.
i am embarrassed about 'another sattelite' - i had thought that was the lyric
for so long that i never bothered (^!) to look it up and make sure if it was
really what it said. however, i don't really think that it changes my inter-
pretation, because the chorus itself is so condescending - like 'i have enough
satellites, i don't need any more' especially one who can't grasp the fact
that andy is just too deep for her ( - "i have a darker darker side"). anyway,
i can definitely see how it could be read in plenty of different ways.
i don't think *anyone* wants andy to go solo, least of all myself, because
he's too self-indulgent and he does need colin to give him some friendly comp-
etition, not to mention cool basslines, but (no matter what lennon & mccartney
did) i think that andy and colin's songs are entirely their own, and only by
picking from among the songs do they attempt to create a cohesive album.
sometimes it works v. well (_skylarking_, _english settlement_, _the big
express_ [john- i love that album!]) and sometimes it doesn't (_mummer_,
_white music_, _non- such_). as for the lennon/mccartney thing - i don't buy
it anyway. andy is like a combination of lennon and mccartney, depending on
the song, and colin, if he's like either, is more like mccartney than
lennon. but the whole comparison is kind of moot. i don't know why, it just
is. maybe it's b/c lennon is gone and paul mccartney is too annoying to listen
to now.

i always _say_ that i only have small things to say and somehow they always
turn into large things. anyway, this really is small - if anyone can give
john pinto a ride could they possibly give me one too? (to the convention.
i will also contribute gas $. i am also in new england. i would be immmmmensely
grateful.) any & all info appreciated.

           - brookes
             noho, mass.


Date: Wed, 31 Mar 93 09:16:30 PST
From: 31-Mar-1993 1203 <>
Subject: Le Bull Est Arrive!

Got the "Bull with the Golden Guts" tape last week.

It is a top notch production in terms of printing and
tape quality. Andy's home equipment certainly has improved
since "Jules Vernes."

What a shame, then, that I'm slightly disappointed in the someone else pointed out, it's too bad that
"Rocket" ended up on the tape since that one is readfily
available on the Ernest Noyes Brookings CD.

I already had "This is the End" from a tape made back in
1990 by our fearless leader, John (thanks once again!).

Only three songs really stick out in my head as being
ones I want to hear again and again. "Goosey Goosey"
is really good. I know there are at least two others
but I'm surprised that the tape isn't in my deck
as much as Jules Vernes was when I got that. JV has
one dynamite song that I would have loved to have seen the
band do in the studio, and that song is "Work"! (Oh yes,
and "Ra Ra for Red Rockinghorse" is great as well,
as is "When We Get to England.")

See? I can name at least three tunes from JV that make me
say, "Why the aitch didn't they do these in the studio?"

Whereas with the "Bull" tape I can see that these are,
with a few exceptions, not as top-notch as the stuff
Andy records with the band.

Maybe the thing that bugs me the *most* about the "Bull"
is that it seems kinda short to me. Didn't time it, but
will later. Maybe I'm such an XTC addict that I just can't
get enough, I dunno.

Anyway, enough of my kvetching! I'll listen to the "Bull"
again (and again, probably), to see if I missed something.

'umbly Yrs,



It was just eight years ago today
The Stratosphearic Dukes came out to play...

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