Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #272

                  Chalkhills, Number 272

                  Thursday, 8 April 1993
Today's Topics:
                    what is this Bull?
     Bits and pieces and ... bits and pieces and ...
                      recording info
                        Pink Thing
                     east coast, etc.

From: (Mike Murphy)
Subject: Lennon:McCartney::Partridge:Moulding
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 12:03:55 CST

> From: (Ken Strayhorn Jr.)
>         I have a bad habit of not reading authorship labels
> too closely because I know that in a band, while one person
> may write most of a song, the final output is a group effort.
> Lennon and McCartney both made a point of always saying that
> their work was a true collaboration. I'm sure Andy and Colin
> feel the same way.

Actually, this isn't true.  Lennon and McCartney collaborated on a lot of
songs from the very early years, before they became famous and then from
"Please Please Me" to about "Beatles For Sale."  After that, their individual
songwriting, both musically and lyrically, became more distinct. By the time
of the White Album, their songs were completely separate, "A Day In The Life"
perhaps being their last "true" cooperative effort (and even then, it was just
two differnt songs stuck together). It's easy to say that Paul wrote the
pretty, flowing music while John tended to write the rockin' loud stuff, and
that Paul's lyrics were secondary to his music while John paid more attention
to lyrics and plays on words ("Penny Lane" vs. "Strawberry Fields Forever",
for example).  This is not the case, though--Paul could write rockin' tunes
as well as beautiful lyrics, and John had many a mellow song (compare Paul's
"Why Don't We Do It In The Road" and "Eleanor Rigby" to John's "Julia" and
"Imagine"--post-Beatles, but still...)

The point of this all is that the differing styles of Andy and Colin aren't
necessarily cut-and-dry.  It's true that Andy seems to enjoy the writing of
the lyrics more than Colin, who seems more concerned with getting his
"message" across.  Or rather, Andy is much more metaphorical, whereas Colin is
more literal, the better to understand him.  How many of us have heard a
Partridge-penned tune for the first time and thought, "What exactly is he
talking about?"  The way their styles different leads me to infer that they
don't really collaborate on at least the lyrics portion of their music.  I can
definitely see how they might work together on the music, because in the past
I was quite frequently surprised to learn that what I had thought to be an
"Andy-song" was actually a "Colin-song."  You may think that "Generals and
Majors" is a silly, simple song, but then, so is "Senses Working Overtime."
the simplicity of the lyrics, however, are belied by the complexity of the
music (although in this case, "Generals" might be a poor example).  And I
sense that I'm getting off track, so I may as well end this here.



Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 15:53:42 -0500
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: what is this Bull?

I am seeing all of these messages about the Bull tape.  Please
explain.  I am fast becoming a XTC collector, and am not sure
if this is something available in record stores, or do I need
to special order from somewhere.  Either post here or send mail
to me at  Much appreciated.

Also, is the "Chalkhills" book worth buying?  I have seen the
hardback copy on sale for $25--yikes!


PS--Whomever made the comment about Colin and Andy being like
Lennon/McCartney was right on target--I respect both Colin and
Andy's talents very much.  Listened to "English Settlement"
last night, and there's certainly nothing about "Fly on the
Wall" that can be described as technobabble.  More like genius
to me--great lyrics, great music.  One of my favorite XTC songs,
and I enjoy most of their work.


Date:    Fri, 2 Apr 1993 8:48:49 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Bits and pieces and ... bits and pieces and ...

        It's me again.  I was listening to my Danny Elfman So-Lo album last
night and reflecting (albeit briefly) on how Ira Robbins' "Trouser Press
Guide" originally wrote off Oingo Boingo as a wannabee XTC.  Silly point, but
why not?
        AAAA-nyway.  I'm finally going to get off this durn Skylarking order
thing for a while, because the conversation has reached a few interesting
        1) WORST SONG?  I mentioned "Travels in Nihilon" a few letters back
because it seemed to be something of an in-joke on the line.  This is not
actually my least fave.  What song makes _me_ hit the fast-forward?  (i hear
the throngs inquire)?  You're gonna be upset with me... it's "Big Day" from
Skylarking!  Colin's low point, and the band's, IMHO.  There's so many people
harping on "Bungalow" that I feel the need to offer support.  Overly dramatic,
yes, but I like it!  If anything, it makes "Books are Burning" into an
anticlimax for the Nonsvch album!  Which brings us to...
        2) IS NONSVCH A DISAPPOINTMENT?  Come on, now.  There are a few
drab numbers, but I like it a good bit better than O&L, actually.  With
such automatic classics as "Peter Pumpkinhead", "Smartest Monkeys", "That
Wave", etc.  This is a keeper.  Maybe the double-ish album format that Cd's
allow is not the best move.  Both O&L and Nonsvch could stand to be trimmed to
45 minutes or so.
        3)ANDY OR COLIN OR BARRY?  Scratch the last one.  Andy or Colin?  Well,
ANDY of course.  I am getting to like Colin's later stuff better, and I can't
deny the impact of gems like "Runaway," "Balland Chain", etc.  But Andy is
my fave, I'm afraid.
        And finally...
people make me _sick_.  I don't have either tape.  (mutter. mutter.)  Anyone
have an extra copy?  (grovel.grovel)

Ah...I feel caught up now.  Bye.

                                                John Voorhees


Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 16:33:12 CST
From: Andrew Russell Mutchler <>
Subject: Cynicalman

There's this comic character called Cynicalman, drawn by Matt Feazell,
who is a stick figure (so are all the other characters in the comic).
Cynicalman minicomics, as they are called, appear in a book called
"Cynicalman - the Paperback."  The comics in it are hilarious!
Two other characters in Matt Feazell's comics with series of their
own are Stupidboy and Cutegirl.  I think you can guess what they're
like.  What does this have to do with XTC?  Well, in the first panel
of the firl Cutegirl comic in the book, she's listening to
I just wanted to mention that and wonder if anybody else has read
or heard of Cynicalman, and ask if there are any other Cynicalman
books out there. ? .  :o)

A             M u
  n               t         r
    d     w         c     e
      r e             h l

(Sheesh - that kind of signature art is hard when one is typing
directly to standard input rather than a text editor!)


Date: 02 Apr 1993 15:43:29 -0700 (MST)
Subject: recording info

  Hello ,

   I am wondering if anyone on this list has information ( set list and
recording source: soundboard or audience ) for the recordings:

1.K-Rocking In Pasadena         TR      Live KROQ 5-29-1989
2.USA 1980                      RFR
3.Kings For A Day               RD      Boston MA 5-15-1989

    Any info would be appreciated. If you are interested in any of these
I can send you the ordering info.




From: Ray Sherrod <>
Subject: Leftovers
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 93 15:02:25 PDT

There are still a few items for sale if anyone is interested.  Payment is by
cashier's check or money order, and all prices include shipping costs.
Contact me via e-mail if you are interested in any of the items below.

"The Little Express" fan club "mini magazine":  ten issues in all, four of
them being the most recent, and the rest date from 1988 to 1991.  Contains
interviews, reviews, pictures, etc.  $14 for all ten issues.

VHS tape (copy) of "Look Look" (medium to good quality) with all videos from
"white music" to "skylarking" plus 3/4 of "the Mayor of Simpleton" video.
$12 for the video tape, in colorful packaging.

"King for a Day" 3 inch CD single in a crown-shaped pack, with 2 versions of
"King" plus "my paint heroes" and "skeletons".  $14

"The Loving" 3 inch CD single with "the world is full of angry young men" and
"cynical days".  Part of glossy sleeve on back damaged by tape (I presume). $8

"Skylarking" interview disc, on Geffen white label promo, vinyl, in excellent
condition, with insert sheet describing XTC.  The "interview" is actually
Andy giving a song-by-song interpretation of everything on Skylarking, and
there's a short bit with Todd Rundgren.  $17

"Mayor of Simpleton" UK 12 inch single, with "one of the millions" and
"ella guru", in excellent condition.  $6


Date: Wed, 7 Apr 93 11:08:05 PDT
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Pink Thing

Ok, this is stretching it, but...

There's a song on the new Jellyfish _Spilt Milk_ album called, "He's My
Best Friend".  (Which reminds me of that Queen song from _Night at the
Opera_.)  It's a good poppy neo-psychadelic song, nice melody, good
instrumentation, great vocals, one of the three or four songs from the
album that I like.  But the best part is that it's very much in the
lyrical vein of XTC's "Pink Thing".  Yes, folks, that's right, except that
there's no "baby" involved.  Just a "friend".  Give it a listen, tell me
what you think.

        -- John


From: (Melinda M Hale)
Subject: east coast, etc.
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1993 14:52:33 -0400 (EDT)

I've just gotten back from being out of town for a month, so forgive me if
my comments are a bit of old news...

Is that 3 people on the east coast who want to go to the convention?  It's
tempting, but I think I'm too poor right now.  I like the idea of us
pooling our resources around here, though.  I live in Boston (Somerville),
and I know that Wes Wilson lives close by, too, so what say, all of you

I have to say this Andy/Colin thing is interesting.  When I was in 6th
grade listening to Black Sea, White Music, and Go2 (I didn't yet have
Drums and Wires), I wished "I Am the Audience" and "Ten Feet Tall" were
Andy songs because I thought he was cuter (c'mon, I was 11 yrs. old ;->).
As I got older and as XTC kept going, I gained a real appreciation for
Colin.  I don't think Colin's songs on O&L and Nonsuch are that great --
as a whole, that is, because "My Bird Performs" is gorgeous and cuts right
to my heart every time -- and Andy is still the total god of me, but I
think edward had it right when he pointed out that Andy and Colin
*together* is one of the essential factors in the "XTC sound" (whatever
that is!)

Also, I'm surprised at how many people are complaining about "cheesy"
songs from both A & C.  Good Gravy, "cheesy" is one of the wonderful
things about XTC!  I love "Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen" and "Bike Ride
to the Moon" and all those.  I also adore "Travels in Nihilon" (what a way
to end the album!  that rain!) and "Complicated Game".  XTC are simply a
rather versatile bunch.

And yeah, John, why is Big Express always in the bargain bin in record
shops?  It boggles my mind.

enuf for now...   Melinda

("if it's false or it's true, you can read it
in your prayer book, or on the side of a cornflakes pack...")


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