Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #278

                  Chalkhills, Number 278

                  Wednesday, 19 May 1993
Today's Topics:
            Re: The Spys and Other Obs(curio)
     Re:  Chalkhills #277 (Golden Fleece/guitar tab)
          Black Sea and music of days gone by...
                     Such a Lucky Guy
                  Re: Princton, Illinois
                   Re: Chalkhills #277
                       XTC live etc

Date: Thu, 13 May 93 14:20:30 PDT
From: "John M. Relph" <>
Subject: Re: The Spys and Other Obs(curio)

Wes <> writes:
>Just yesterday, by way of a tape trade, I received a cassette
>with a couple of tracks by The Spys.

Yes, I have this single.  (I think I paid $1 for it.)  It's definitely
NOT by XTC.  The organ solo *does* sound a little bit like Barry
Andrews' style, but that's about it.  The vocals are completely
different, sounding unlike Barry, Colin, or Andy.  And there are FIVE
people in the drawing on the cover, none of whom even in caricature
really look much like the XTC boys.

>Although I have read in print that "The Spys were not XTC", the
>question remains - who were they...?

Yes, this question has been asked a couple of times, being denied by
Record Collector magazine, I believe, and others.

There are those, however, who still cling to this old myth, and you
can still find ads for the Spys single in the back of The Little Express.

        -- John


Date: Thu, 13 May 93 19:23:13 -0400
From: (Faux Joe)
Subject: Re:  Chalkhills #277 (Golden Fleece/guitar tab)

>  "Can there be no Golden Fleece? The human riches are released."
> Timothy M. Schreyer               
> Software Technology R&D                     (215) 648-2475
> Paramax Systems Corporation                 FAX: (215) 648-2288
> PO Box 517, Paoli, PA 19301

Isn't this:

  "There may be no Golden Fleece
   Just human riches I'll release"


I'll post tab for "Mayor of Simpleton", "Senses Working Overtime", "This
World Over", and "Wake Up!", if there's a call for it.  I'm trying to get
"Train Running Low on Soul Coal" right now, but BOY is it hard.


Joe Turner <<>>  |
            \/  617/527-3957               |
Life begins at the hop!


Date: Thu, 13 May 1993 20:04:35 -0400
From: "Charles U. Farley" <>
Subject: Black Sea and music of days gone by...

#Reply-To: <>
#From: (James Robert Campbell)
#Subject: A few points...
#        Just a few things that I have been ponering about,
#        1.)  At the end of 'Funk Pop A Roll' when the band yells
#        'Bye Bye', was that put there intentionally to address the fans
#        at the end of the album?

As I understood it, yes.  XTC collectively became tired of the type of
music and direction the record company weasels were pressuring them
to take.  Instead of getting sick of it all and quitting, the decided
to pursue a radically different (and refreshing, some might think) kind
of music.  Of course it didn't happen all at once...

#        2.)  If Black Sea were released today, would it bring XTC
#        the long elusive mega-album?
#        3.)  Would 'Towers of London' bring them the long awaited
#        top 40 hit?  What about 'Respectable Street'?

I doubt it.  XTC has never been 'music for the masses'.
_Black Sea_ has always been one of my favorite albums of all time.  I
think one of XTC's secrets of that era was how strikingly different,
original, creative, and talented, when compared to other groups.  They
still have some of those qualities today, but in a much more subdued


Date: Fri, 14 May 93 12:06:35 EDT
From: 14-May-1993 1206 <>
Subject: Such a Lucky Guy

"It's Snowing Angels" was originally written as a Dukes' track, so
it has that 60's feel.

You're right - it took me a while to figure it out, too, but
it is like "Mellow Yellow" in tempo, plus 60's Kinks:
"...even though I got no money..." seems like it's
right outta Ray Davies' anti-middle class hero, just sitting in the
midday sun Vaudeville blues guide to lyrics. (whew!)

And many of the Dukes' songs sound like songs by psychedelic
60's artists. I think we all spent some time a few years back comparing
the Dukes' tracks on 25 O'Clock and Psonic Psunspot to other
tracks (for example, "Shiny Cage" is kinda like The Beatles'
"I'm Only Sleeping").

I wish "It's Snowing Angels" were on CD. Maybe someday.

XTC is probably writing songs for the new album (I think I read that
in the latest issue of The Little Express). I think Andy's going
to try to get a new album out sooner than the three years' wait
that's become the norm.

(Hi Steve! :-))



Date: 17 May 93 10:39:02 EDT
From: (John J. Pinto)
Subject: Re: Princton, Illinois

Is there ANYONE in the New England zone who is planning to hard knows the
highway to the Convention? I will share all expenses xtcetera.


From: (Mike Murphy)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #277
Date: Tue, 18 May 1993 11:34:34 -0500 (CDT)

> From: Kent Williams <>
> But back to XTC (a subject I've noticed Chalkhills contributors seem
> pretty passionate about ...)  I always interpreted 'English
> Settlement' as meaning the settlement of England by successive waves
> of outsiders -- the Romans, the Vikings, the Normans.  And songs like
> 'Down in the Cockpit' have a decidely matriarchal feel about them.

I wouldn't exactly say fact, "Down in the Cockpit" is one
song I feel decidedly ambivalent about.  I can't quite figure out what he
means by "Girl had the brains to act just like the weaker sex."  On the one
hand, the song is primarily about how Man has really screwed up and Woman
should, or wants to, "take over" or at least help Man out.  So, a pro-woman
message.  By the same token, the song promotes cooperation between the
sexes: "Man needs the Woman to pull him right out of it" (or something like
that).  But that one line about girls having the *brains* to *act* just like
the *weaker sex*--something about it rubs me the wrong way.  Women have
brains, fine.  Women "act" like the weaker sex, implying that they're not
the weaker sex.  But why is acting like the weaker sex smart?  The way I see
it, women were "taught" that they were inferior beings; physically and
mentally.  By "acting" like it, they merely fuel and support the social
construct that made them inferior in the first place.  I don't want to get
into a major feminist argument here, but I'm wondering if anyone has any
other insight on these lyrics.  I would never say that AP (or CM or DG for
that matter) was anti-feminist or a misogynist or anything like that.  On
the whole, I think that "Down in the Cockpit" is a good song, musically and
otherwise.  it's just that one line...

James wondered if anybody thought the Spin Doctors sounded like XTC...kinda,
yeah!  That's not the first band I would think of when asked to name XTC
clones--but I remember when I first heard the entire album, there were some
elements that reminded me of XTC.  Not having the music handy, it's hard to
be specific.  I think the Drs. have a different overall sound, but in
reviewing the songs, I can picture AP singing "Jimmy Olsen's Blues," and
perhaps some of the other songs.
Someone else asked if "Black Sea" had been released today, would it be XTC's
breakthrough album?  Wow, it would be a completely different world, wouldn't
it?  I think that most of the songs, especially "Respectable Street," are
still pertinent today (having moved to suburbia, I can definitely relate
that that song), and the music still sounds as fresh as it did the first
time I listened to it.  I think by now, the music industry would be ready
for "early" XTC; in fact, there's a station down here in Chicago that's
recently started playing songs from "English Settlement" and "Drums and
Wires," which is something I've NEVER experienced before.  I also think,
though, that in terms of what's "hot" on the music scene right now, XTC
would still get lost in the shuffle.  It's not dance music, it's not the
"Seattle sound" (gag--I'm so sick of that term), and it's not really that
folksy.  Those are the big three genres that I've noticed have been getting
the press.  Robyn Hitchcock's been getting more publicity over here with his
latest release, but not that many people are going for it.  Which means I
don't have to lose my "superiority complex" derived from listening to bands
that aren't that familiar.  I lost it with REM...haven't recovered yet.  :)



Date: Mon, 17 May 93 14:52:37 EDT
From: (Andrew Stephens)
Subject: XTC live etc

Hi!  I'd like to become part of your mailing list etc.

Nice to see so many dedicated XTC fans out there.  I first heard
the band in a punk club in Ottawa Cda in the mid-70's.  I
believe the song was Meccanic Dancing off of the Go-2 album. I
instantly purchased that one and saw them live in Ottawa soon
after on the Drums and Wires tour.  I noticed in your FAQ that
Andy himself believes that the band suffers in live performance.
This certainly corresponds with my experience.  They were far
too loud I'm afraid (their sound check was perfect!! we could
hear it through the door as we were waiting to get in) and
appeared very uncomfortable.

Are there any compilations of their videos?  I would be
interested in knowing.  By the way is Andy Partridge e-


Andrew Stephens in Ottawa courtesy of your local FreeNet or


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