Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #299

                  Chalkhills, Number 299

                Thursday, 4 November 1993
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #298
                   Re: Chalkhills #298
  Two sides to every coin, but how many sides to a song?
                        No Subject
              The Greatest Living Englishman
                       intro to me
                     Pulsing Pulsing

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 93 16:53:45 EDT
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #298

I'll put in another plug for "Wake Up"- the louder you play it the
better it sounds!

But it's a good point that there porbably isn't one kind of fan; I just
read some notesfile where a person was asking for "more atheistic
songs, just like XTC's Dear God"!

I can really like songs that are out of character for XTC and hook
unsuspecting listeners into the band.  One that comes to mind is the
incredibly pastoral "Blame the Weather".

I really loved "Complicated Game" for a while.  It did what punk tried
so hard to pretend it was doing- so much angst in one song.

To me, the XTC audio landscape is like a mountain range- a rough,
untamed dry side and a lush green soft side, separated by a fault-line
and a beautiful mountain range.  The mountains are the English
Settlement tracks.  You can 4-wheel it over the rocky desert side and
admire the dramatic soundscape, and you can lie back on a warm day full
of possibility in the tropics.  But mountains are my favorite, because
you get a view of both sides, you get perspective on yourself and your
life, and a feeling of eternity and solidity lives there.

Sorry to sound like a perfume commercial.

Most fans I know admire the poetic efficiency of the lyrics.  One of my
favorite examples is Day in Day out.  For a while, I thought you could
"classify" fans by whether they liked Partridge or Moulding material
more.  Now I'm not so sure.

I guess what I'm after is figuring out what makes for an addict- that
tragic landslide towards acquiring every squeak, belch, groan and other
utterance of XTC instrumentation and voice.

OK I'll stop now.                                                       --Jeff


Date: 29 Oct 93 09:28:02 EDT
From: Kyle Skrinak <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #298

Some observations:

>>re: John.J.Pinto: I'm amazed the more people have not commented on Dave
>>Mattacks and his contribution to Nonsuch...

Agreed! Like I said, this was the first post-Terry album where I love the
drumming, except for an odd Skylarking passage. The drums are fantastic, and
complement the mood of whatever song very well. I hope they all work together
again... which leads me to...

>>has anyone else had the thought that XTC may be finished as an group....

Yea, it has sounded for a while that XTC as a concept is drawing to a close.
You can identify the economic issues, but they wouldn't have a problem
finding a label if they really wanted to continue to exist. Nonsuch was not a
poor-selling album, by any means. What a shame if they do disband.

All of which led me to pondered as my dog and myself jogged this morning (to
Rags & Bones, of course...):

If XTC were to stop producing music, how long would this board continue to
exist, as well as the Little Express? I'd say 10 years... Any thoughts?

>>most everyone  dislikes Colin's recent contributions (myself NOT

I thought his work on Nonsuch was so uninspired. But, I'm more than willing to
give the man chance.

>>re: John M. Relph: Maybe there are two kinds of fans.  One, the casual XTC
>>listener.  Has one or more albums.  Likes them.  The other?  The addicted
>>crazy XTC-nut.

May I add a group? How 'bout the addicted, crazy XTC-nut that spends too much
time on-line conversing with other addicted, crazy XTC-nuts?


Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1993 19:03:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Two sides to every coin, but how many sides to a song?

I'd like to thank John Relph for pointing out that some of us like a lot of
different kinds of songs for a lot of different reason, rather than the polar
theory of a couple'a issues back.  Yes, I love "Jason and the Argonauts", but
I also get a tremendous kick out of "No Thugs In Our House", an absolute anvil
to the forehead (in terms of subtlety).  "Bungalow" seems to be the latest
"love or hate" song, which I love.  And everyone seems to be laying huge
accolades at the feet of "Dear Madam Barnum", and I don't get it.  I find this
the weakest track on Nonsvch, frankly.  It's so ... normal! Tedious boring
dull dull dull.  I'll gladly listen to "War Dance" on repeat for an hour!
What is the point of this ramble?
Obviously...there's no accounting for taste.
                                                John Voorhees
P.S. I also despise "Big Day" off of Skylarking.  Yuck Ptooi!


Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 13:45:59 -0500
From: "Thomas V. DelRosario" <>
Subject: Introduction

I first heard their Ornages and
Lemons CD by borrowing from a library after reading a good review.
I enjoyed that album and soon bought all of their CDs.  I then
found out that their first four albums weren't available on CD, so
I found copies of them at a used record store.

I think that their albums with Terry Chambers as the drummers are the
best albums they have released, especially Drums and Wires, Black Sea,
and English Settlement.

I have purchased a very strange import CD called Explode Together which
is by far their worst release.  It's no wonder that Explode Together
hasn't been released officially in the U.S.  It is the biggest
disappointment that I have had concerning XTC.

I like all of their official releases except for Mummer, which I didn't
find enjoyable at all.  I didn't like their latest release at first,
but it has grown on me since and I now find it a very good effort.
(Even though I like it, I'm ashamed to say that I have completely
forgotten the title of it.  In case there's any confusion, I am
writing about the CD with The Disappointed on it.)

Thank you



From: "Kevin Dooley" <>
Subject: No Subject
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 93 09:08:25 -0600

This is Kevin Dooley, sending to you from U. of Minnesota.  My wife, Mary Ellen
Page, hosts the "Homemakers from Heck" on local radio and we thus contribute to
lots of XTC being played on the airwaves.  She turned me onto XTC when we got
married 6 years ago; I heard of Chalkhills on the Usenet

There are probably only two things I know about XTC which might be somewhat
1. The one night they were here (in Minneapolis) a few years back they ate Sri
Lankan--and liked it enough to autograph a poster still hanging there.
2. They are one of Adrian Belew's faves (one of three "modern" bands he
mentioned he listens to at home, during a Q&A at his unplugged concert.)


Kevin Dooley                                          University of Minnesota
       "The land where everything is frozen, including the salaries"


Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 09:51 GMT
From: (Andy Holyer)
Subject: The Greatest Living Englishman

Just popped into local record shop on my way to work (to see if woj's
copy of "Golden Cleaners" had come in as a matter of fact), and I just
happened to say "Could you get me Martin Newells' new album"

"Oh, we've got it in stock" they replied, "Would you like the limited-edition
with the bonus Poetry CD?"

Silly question.

Humbug Records, BAH 10X
Humbug Records,
PO Box 2903
London N1 3NE,

Double CD version VERY LIMITED to 500. Go get 'em.

Haven't had a chance to play it yet, of course :-/ The bloke in the shop was
raving about it. Andy plays on a number of tracks, and Dave Gregory was also
involved, according to the sleever notse, as was The Cap'n.



Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1993 08:59:17 -0600
From: j karnia hermanson <>
Subject: intro to me

I'm intorducing myself as requested to this fine list.  I'm Hossjon
a community radio dj in Champaign, IL.  Glad to be a part of the group.
I started listening to XTC via the Dukes, oddluy enough.  Then was
hooked via Oranges and Lemons.  Stll convinced they're the best band
out their. Hope to talk soon.  (Sorry about the errors.  I'm writing
on a coal-burning pc. . . The eraser is used up.)


Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 10:36:57 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Pulsing Pulsing

The latest edition of _Tower Records\Video Pulse!_ magazine features
not one, not two, but three! references to XTC.  Two are in the Desert
Island Discs lists contributed by readers.  Max Kosher (good name)
>from Oakland lists _Black Sea_ seventh in his DIDs.  Chad Shiira rates
_Skylarking_ third on his list, and comments, "Anyone who thinks Andy
Partridge sucks, sucks."  (As an aside, I have been reading the Jack
Aubrey novels by Patrick O'Brian, a series written about English
sailing vessels in the early part of the 19th Century; the true
meaning of skylarking has to do with gamboling about the rigging of a
sailing ship.  The novels are highly recommended.)

The final XTC mention comes in an article devoted to Squeeze, another
long lived English pop band:

        Subtlety and craftsmanship rank pretty low on most kids'
        wish lists these days, as evidenced by the uncertain
        commercial status of Squeeze and its surviving
        contemporaries.  For example, pivotal figures Nick Lowe
        and Graham Parker have produced some of their strongest
        work in recent years, yet they currently exist as virtual
        cult acts in the margins of the major-label biz, and Elvis
        Costello and XTC -- who with Squeeze once stood as the old
        new wave's brightest commercial prospects -- maintain
        respectable but unspectacular sales figures.

        ["Squeeze Out?", by Harold Demuir]

For your information.

        -- John


For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, fan club addresses, discography
requests (last update 19 October), back issues, FAQ list,
etc., send a message to the following address:


The Chalkhills archives are available at "".

All views expressed in Chalkhills are those of the
individual contributors only.  There's a beat in his arm still.

Go back to the previous page.