Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #319

                  Chalkhills, Number 319

                Wednesday, 19 January 1994
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #318
               New Subscriber Introduction
                   Re: Chalkhills #318
                   The Story of Carmen
                    Missing lyrics...
                        Story time
                 Turn the bulb, not after
                    Re: Ray and Hello
                   Hello Recording Club
                     Worst XTC songs
                 Other bands of interest
                   Re: Chalkhills #318
                         Re : Hat
                   Re : Worst XTC Songs
                      backing vocals
                     Chalkhills #318
                   Re: Chalkhills #318

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 94 11:24:28 PST
From: Jon Drukman <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #318 (James Robert Campbell) writes:

>O.K., I can't stand it anymore and I'm prepared to suffer the
>consequences.  Am I the only one who loves 'War Dance'??  It seems
>like almost everyone hates it.  Now I don't want to get into another
>Colin vs. Andy thing, but it seems like every other post regarding
>'Nonsvch' takes a poke at 'Bungalow' (deserverd) and then 'War
>Dance'.  Why????

I dislike War Dance because it's not a particularly memorable tune and
the lyrics are painfully obvious.  Yes, War Is Bad.  No, I don't want
to have someone telling me that fact for 3 minutes in such an upfront
way.  Well, maybe if the music was better I wouldn't notice.

Compare "Reign Of Blows" (lyrically at least) to "War Dance."

John Relph writes:
>>1) Bungalow (just plain ridiculous)
>The demo is much better than the album version, which is definitely a
>bit over the edge.  But I like the demo version, which is almost too
>tongue in cheek about the simplicity of just wanting a cottage on the
>beach in which to retire.  O the Englishness of that dream!

Don't apologize for it.  I think it stinks in both demo and finished

>>9) Deliver Us From the Elements (pompous arrangement)
>I happen to like this one.  No accounting for taste I suppose.

I'm with you - the crazed mellotron storms at the end definitely make
it.  And I like the tune too.

Jon Drukman                               
This calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence.


Date: Thu, 13 Jan 1994 13:04:05 -0600 (CST)
From: Michael De Bernardi <>
Subject: New Subscriber Introduction

Greetings Chalkhills readers:

I am a new subscriber to the mailing list (only having access to the Internet
for a week), and I wanted to send out a brief description of myself and
invite any dialogue that others would like to offer.

My name is Michael De Bernardi and I live in Chicago. I am in the final
year(!) of classwork for my doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and I'm an avid
XTC listener. I first bought *Drums and Wires* in 1980, a fateful event
that forever changed the way that I understood music, and since that time
my appreciation for XTC's genius has only increased. Throughout the
various evolutions that my musical tastes have undergone, XTC has remained
a constant presence, and I do not feel that I exaggerate in stating that
XTC is not only the most brilliant band currently in existence, but
undoubtedly one of the most important in music history.

I know that sounds like a gushing fanboy, but it accurately reflects my
feelings. In fact, no band has ever been able to affect me emotionally in
quite the same way as XTC, and I am not ashamed of admitting that on more
than one occasion I have been brought to tears by the beauty of their music.
Of course, my musical tastes are not one-dimensional, as I enjoy listening
to jazz (Ornette Coleman, Coletrane, Miles, etc.), classical (esp 19th
& 20th Century), and other *rock* bands (Beatles, Love, old Bunnymen,
P-Funk, Bowie, Cocteau Twins, Roxy Music, etc. etc.).

Enough about me, I'd like to hear from other XTC fans. I look forward to
the Chalkhills postings and any direct contact that I might have with the
fellow dreamers.



        -Michael De Bernardi  


Date: 13 Jan 1994 11:55:28 -0800
From: "Steve Krause" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #318

Mail*Link(r) SMTP               RE>Chalkhills #318 asks:

> If Andy were to make a solo album, however, who would people
> suggest he work with?

Band lineup for The Andy Partridge Experience:

* On drums, a man who needs something interesting to do these
  days, Stewart Copeland!

* On keyboards, a blast from the past and a worthy dark edge to
  Andy's effervescence, Barry Andrews!

* On guitar, a man with an ego at least as large as Andy's,
  Robert Fripp!

* On vocals, co-writing, and odd of Andy's few peers
  and a potentially useful counterweight, Pere Ubu's David Thomas!

* On bass, the always-a-good-choice-if-you-can't-think-of-anyone-
  else candidate, Lemmy!

* And on various instruments (sometimes played simultaneously),
  special guest artiste, Captain Beefheart!

* Finally, on vocals and guitar, songwriting, and clever stage
  banter...the inevitable star of the show, Andy Partridge!

[Band launches into a furious cover of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar
Overdrive" as announcer intones, "This is what you've all been
waiting for..."]



Date: Thu, 13 Jan 1994 15:02:43 -0600 (CST)
Subject: The Story of Carmen

And now the answer to the infamous question:
        "How can XTC do a song for a computer game that already exists?"
(Referring to "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?")
        The computer game spawned an excellent geography oriented game show
on PBS, which features awesome music by Rockapella!  The music was popular
enough to warrant a CD with the theme song and some other vaguely geography-
related songs.  I actually got a copy at Wal-Mart!  Some odd guest artists
on it, including Tito Puente.  My guess is that that CD was popular enough
to warrant a sequel.  If it has more Rockapella AND an XTC song, how can
anyone refuse?
        Not to distrasct from the main focus of the list, but Rockapella's
best song, Zombie Jamboree, is on Spike Lee's comp disc "Do It A Capella"
        Hey, add my name to the obviously _very_ short list of people who
really like War Dance!  But you people are weird anyway.  I keep seeing
people who really get off on that throwaway, Dear Madam Barnum.  Go figger.
        I'll leave quickly to dodge all the electronically thrown tomatoes:)


Date: Thu, 13 Jan 1994 19:13:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Missing lyrics...

        Hello, all... I was just looking into my files of XTC lyrics, and
I have a couple of missing items.
        First of all, the "Windowbox" tape had lyrics printed in it,
according to the discography. Could anyone send those to me, please? My
netmail address is

        Secondly, I attempted to create a lyric file for "Jules Verne's
Sketchbook," as the file I FTP'd had only two songs. As one may guess,
there are many parts that are hard to distinguish. If anyone has some of
their own ideas that might help me to fill in the gaps, could you please
send them to me at the same address? The same goes for the lyrics to
"Bags of Fun With Buster."

        Also, I saw back in #313 that someone posted the lyrics to "Take
This Town." Has anyone got any leads on the other missing lyrics to songs
on "Rag&Bone Buffet," namely "Looking For Footprints," "I Need
Protection," "Strange Tales, Strange Tails" and "Pulsing Pulsing"??

        And lastly, I'd like to know the writing credits for the songs on
Go2, as the CD doesn't list them (Not to mention it doesn't credit Martin
Rushent for "Are You Recieving Me?")

	[ I sent the Window Box lyrics.  -- John]


From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Story time
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 1994 21:13:54 -0500 (EST)

Steve Reule writes:

> About a year ago, I had the supreme privelege of meeting and talking to Andy
> Partridge while he was here promoting Nonsuch.  It was one of the best
> experiences of my life.  We talked for 10 or 15 minutes.  Yow!  I'll report
> about it at length if anyone is interested.

I am interested!  Please report at length--I am sure all of us would love
to read it.  Andy and company are why we are reading this list.  Thanks.

James Campbell writes:

> O.K., I can't stand it anymore and I'm prepared to suffer
> the consequences.  Am I the only one who loves 'War Dance'??
> It seems like almost everyone hates it.  Now I don't want
> to get into another Colin vs. Andy thing, but it seems
> like every other post regarding 'Nonsvch' takes a poke
> at 'Bungalow' (deserverd) and then 'War Dance'.  Why????

"War Dance" is too repetitive for my tastes.  Nothing new mid-song
musically or lyrically to wake me up.  This song doesn't go anywhere,
and it didn't go on the cassette I made of "Nonsuch" for that reason.
I liked it the first time I heard it, but that was about it.



Date: 14 Jan 94 10:21:01 EST
From: Kyle Skrinak <>
Subject: Turn the bulb, not after


>>If Andy were to make a solo album, however, who would people suggest he work
with?  Personally, I think he cold do it all himself, as the quality of the
Nonsuch demos suggests<<

I see Andy as his own worst enemy--witness the nonsuch demos. They sound like
any homemade recordings (although the quality of the song composition is
another matter!) XTC's most successful works, English Settlement (Hugh
Padgham) and Skylarking (Todd Rundgren) have a significant influence from the
producer. When Andy gets his mits on the controls, the music flounders in
direction and focus. It seems that dynamic tension between producer and
artist makes for more exciting work. I'd love to see him team up with other
people for songwriting, rather than production work. Now that would be

But, if Andy is to do a solo album (Like his first effort) he'll probably do
whatever he wants. BTW, I loved his first effort. As for XTC, I hope that he
will do battle with yet another producer, and end up with another gem.

>>I've always thought XTC should work with Mitchell Froom...His production is
a great mix of natural and technological sounds

Excellent point. Does Andy get this list?! And, oh yea, wouldn't be
interesting to hear a Richard Thompson/Partridge collaboration?

>>I still think XTC's best producer was Steve Lillywhite,

Disagree. Hugh Padgham (am I spelling his name wrong?) I also have a soft spot
for any John Leckie/XTC work (except for White... ah...never mind!)

>>vote for Paul Fox as the worst,

Dunno 'bout that, who produced "Human Alchemy" Bleeeck!

>>And they should stick with Dave Mattacks on drums.

It was my impression that XTC was favored with his presence! And, yea, I hope
that he'll hang with them for some more work!

One final point: The Somnabulent is that the song on Rag N' Bone Buffet?
The one that kinda sounds like earlier Eno? If so, ~I love that song.~


Date: Fri, 14 Jan 1994 12:24:22 -40975532 (CST)
From: "David P. Hoff" <>
Subject: Howdy...

I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is Dave Hoff, from Chicago, IL.  I
am very interested in music in general (XTC is one of my favorites,
however), and have been playing drums/percussion for about 25 years.  I
work as a computer software developer; I had to cold-turkey my addiction
to gigging (I really enjoyed my *decade* in college!) and recording.

I heard about this list from a listing in a book I have just purchased;
The Internet Complete Reference by Hahn and Stout (Osborne), and I'm
really psyched to have access to info and opinions on this subject!

Finally, I just read "Chalkhills and Children -- the definitive biography"
and am undecided on whether or not it really "cut to the chase" about the
band.  Any reveiws/opinions?



Date: Fri, 14 Jan 94 15:08:45 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Re: Ray and Hello

Adrian Dover <>, ace reporter:
>Who has Aimee met recently (by all accounts)?  Is there some

Um, how about. . . Dave Gregory?  Dave == Ray?

Neil <>, poster extraordinaire:
>Has anyone heard anything else about Andy's release on the Hello
>Recording Club?

No word so far, except that it's supposed to be released.

> (I'm curious about what
>the Frank Black one was like)

Haven't received it yet either.

        -- John


Date: Sat, 15 Jan 94 15:32:57 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Hello Recording Club

I just received the latest mailing from the Hello Recording Club.  And I
quote, "This is our last mailing for 1993."  Oops.  But in any case, the
Hello selections for 1994 definitely include "Manhattan duo *Drink Me*,
They Might Be Giants' *John Linnell*, *Mac* from Superchunk, *Andy
Partridge* of XTC plus a ?Surprise Disc?."  No news on when these discs
will be mailed, but I'd expect sometime in the next six months.

The latest selection includes a solo CD from Frank Black and another from
The Minus Five, whose members include Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh
Fellows), Kev Stringfellow and Jon Auger [sic] (The Posies), Terry Adams,
Tom Ardolino, Jim Sangster, and Peter Buck (REM).  Haven't heard then yet.

        -- John


Date: Sun, 16 Jan 94 06:26:00 BST
Subject: Self-Introduction

Dear Fellow Chalkhillians,

Allow me to introduce myself, being a novice Chalkhillian (at least on these
lines).  My name is Dean Zemel and I'm writing this from the icy tundra of
Milwaukee, Wisconsin where, outside, the temperature is -15 and the wind
chill -45.  Although my house could definitely be better insulated, it's
warm enough where I'm sitting, listening to XTC as well as to Martin's and
Andy's collaboration.

I note that you've already met my fellow Mixmaster, Steven Reule (and if
anyone wants to know what this Mixmaster stuff is about, feel free to ask),
who has cultivated and nurtured my ever growing interest in XTC, although
it was the Mixmaster General Brett Bayne who planted the first seed.  Brett
sent me a mixed tape of songs by XTC from Mummer to Oranges & Lemons and it
knocked me for a loop.  I suddenly had this voracious appetite for this
group that, before then, I hadn't even heard.  Although my more
conventionally pop-oriented friends warned me of the early stuff, I was so
hooked, I found something to love on every album, and often loved the whole
albums!  Suddenly, I found myself waiting for every morsel of unheard
sounds from anyone who is a part of XTC.

Although I had always described myself as a fan of the music, rather than a
collector of items, once Mixmaster Steve talked me into meeting him at the
last convention in Princeton, Illinois, I was a changed man.  Overwhelmed by
people who had dozens of copies of "Making Plans For Nigel" (white vinyl,
black vinyl, 12", 7", British, Australian, Canadian and so on and on and
on...), I became, well, a collector of items.  Suddenly, I found myself
buying the 12" British "The Meeting Place" because of the demo versions of
songs on the other side, even though I had the final versions of the songs
already.  Suddenly, I had to pay big bucks for The Tiny Circus Of Life, not
because it had anything I didn't already have but because there were only
5,000 of them made.

I won't go on any further here since this is only an introduction and not a

But it's damn good to be here...!

Dean Zemel ( on the Internet and D.ZEMEL on GEnie)


Date: Sun, 16 Jan 94 13:57:17 EST
Subject: Worst XTC songs

It's an interesting topic.  I haven't made up my mind on my list yet, but
Oliver's list surely settles the quantity vs. quality argument once and for
all.  I like several of the songs on the list (Millions, The Somnambulist),
but "Roads Girdle The Globe" is one of my absolute favorite XTC songs.  I hum
and/or sing this "pointless dissonance" constantly.  Anyway, as XTC started
during, as Andy once put it,  "the great punk wars", a little dissonance
seems totally appropriate.  It was also a fine live song, with a typically
over-the-top vocal by Andy.


Date: 16 Jan 1994 14:31:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Other bands of interest
Organization: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Hey everybody,

        In response to Kyle's question regarding other bands
worth checking out, I thought I'd throw a few worthwhile names
out.  This subject may be, at best, only barely contained within
the larger context of XTC issues, but I agree that it is a
worthwhile digression for those of us waiting impatiently for
new XTC material.

        The three bands I recommend checking out to XTC fans do not
necessarily share the XTC sound; rather, they share XTC's love of
obscure wordplay and musical experimentation.  In short, worth checking
out for the daring and curious.

        My vote for best album of 1993 goes to "Plants and Birds and
Rocks and Things" by Loud Family.  It's available on Alias records
and represents what can best be described as deconstructed pop.
Scott Miller, the band's leader, is the founder of Game Theory,
easily one of the most underrated, overlooked bands of the 80's.
High spirited, disjointed and utterly brilliant.

        Another worthwhile adventure is the band His Name is Alive.
Their "Home is in Your Head" album is best (and most cheaply) described
as Enya meets Velvet Underground.  Very etherreal and moody, yet frought
with moments of crashing dissonance.  Their latest "Mouth by Mouth" is
much noisier, containing, unlike "Home/Head", a collection of what
can be called songs as opposed to sound pieces.  Dark, sometimes
violent imagery surrounded by sound experiments, overdubs and
strange samples.

        Finally there is what would be my very favorite band in the
world had I never discovered XTC: Pere Ubu.  Their latest album,
"Story of my Life" is near perfect power pop with a skewered edge
and wonderful lyrics.  XTC fans might find their 1988 album, "Cloudland"
a good starting point as well.  Their early stuff (they've been around
since 1975) is a grab bag of brilliant, obscure lyrics and dissonant,
experimental music, very different from the last three releases.  All
of it, save the latest, are out of print, but most are available (and
inexpensive) still through their Ubutique.  Very, very highly
recommended.   (address: Pere Ubu; 292 Overlook Park Drive; Cleveland,
Ohio 44110; USA).

        So, there's my guide to non-XTC worthwhile explorations.
If anybody takes my advice, I'd love to hear what you think.  Hopefully,
too, others will throw in their choices for worthy diversions.  I, too,
am always looking for new sounds to stave off the inanity of so much
contemporary funk pop-a-roll.

        -Mr. Ed


Subject: Re: Chalkhills #318
From: (Joe Kopera)
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 94 15:57:10 EST
Organization: Channel Zero -- today Baltimore, tomorrow the world!

I just wanted to find out:  Where did XTC get their name?
I was just wondering becuase recently I hve heard of a hallucegenic (sp?) drug
called XTC.

(/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/ -TWGL- *\*/*\*/*\\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/|  )



Date: Mon, 17 Jan 1994 11:50:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re : Hat

     I've also picked up Mike Kenneally's Hat CD recently.  I highly reco-
mmend it.  There are a couple of songs that are very XTC-esque ("Open Up,"
for instance, sounds like a Drums & Wires outtake), but Keneally puts
together several different styles on this record very convincingly.  BTW,
some of you might have noticed his name in the Thank Yous in O & L.

                  Pat Buzby
                  Oberlin, OH

P.S.  Also, I'm new here.  XTC are, IMO, the best band to come out of the
punk/new wave boom, and one of the best rock bands still functioning today.
I look forward to discussing their music.


Date: Mon, 17 Jan 1994 11:57:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re : Worst XTC Songs

      Regarding the previous posts about bad XTC songs, there are some I
agree with and some I disagree with, as expected.  "X-Wires" is one of my
all-time favorites, and "Deliver Us From The Elements" is pretty nice as
well.  Also, IMHO, "My Weapon" is quite possibly the only good song on
Go 2.
      Some of my pix for bad songs :

1. Peter Pumpkinhead (lyrics are too obvious, music too repetitive.  Sorry!)
2. Funk Pop A Roll   (songs attacking popular music are usually the work of
                      has-beens.  glad to know that WASN'T the case here.)
3. Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down  (no comment.)
4. almost anything else on Go 2.

           Pat Buzby
           Oberlin, OH


Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         17 Jan 94 18:51:12 GM+5
Subject:      backing vocals

I was listening to O&L last night and a question occurred to me.  I
don't know if this has been asked before, but does anyone know who
sings the female backing vocals in "Poor Skeleton Steps Out" (the
voices near the end going "Step out step out step out step ouuut"
that sound like En Vogue or something) and/or "One of the Millions"
(the high, pseudo-operatic singing over the "I won't rock the boat"
sections)?  Is it just one of the band members sped up or something?
There's no credit given.  It seems XTC often slight their guest
singers this way (eg the little girl on Dear God).

In a related field, I find it surprising looking at the credits to
Nonsuch how often Dave sings backup on Andy's songs and Colin
doesn't.  You'd think Andy would use Colin rather than/as well as
Dave, as Colin is the band's other lead vocalist, while Dave never
sings lead (except for that bit of Leisure, on which he sounds pretty
uncomfortable).  Of course, Dave doesn't write either, so that's
part of it.  Is Dave secretly a great singer?  Does Andy
hate Colin's voice?  I suspect Andy prefers doing the backing vocals
himself, actually; increasingly he and Colin seem to stay off each
other's tracks vocally, apart from the odd bit like the endings of "My
Bird Performs" or "Humble Daisy," where the "opposite" singer is
quite prominently featured in the fadeouts.

And has anyone spotted Todd Rundgren's voice prominently featured
anywhere on Skylarking?  I'm not familiar enough with his vocals to
tell (although I know I don't care much for his singing; too American
hard rock a lot of the time).  There's that picture of him singing
with Andy and Dave in the Chalkhills and Children book.

Let's all pray for a new album this year; 1993 was too depressing


From: Walter Clark <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 94 16:52:39 -0500
Subject: Chalkhills #318

O.K., I can't stand it anymore and I'm prepared to suffer
the consequences.  Am I the only one who loves 'War Dance'??
It seems like almost everyone hates it.  Now I don't want
to get into another Colin vs. Andy thing, but it seems
like every other post regarding 'Nonsvch' takes a poke
at 'Bungalow' (deserverd) and then 'War Dance'.  Why????


I always liked that one. In fact I think that Nonsuch is one of
the better albums. Granted i don't like Smartest Monkeys, but I
think that the rest of the album has some true merit. Why is is
getting such a bad rap? dear Madame Barnum, and The Ugly
Underneath I think are great. Wrapped in grey is a wonderful
Ballad. What's the problem?


From: Walter Clark <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 94 16:57:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #318

However, onward and upward. I'd be very interested
in hearing about other
bands that us XTC folks like. I figure that as birds
of the same flock, I
would gain a lot from such a discussion. For
example, I also like E.
Costello, They Might Be Giants, Eugene Chadbourne,
Butthole Surfers. But, I
need to hear something new. I'm in a rut!

I think The Beautiful south, has some really good
stuff, Maybe not similiar to XTC but good none the
less. The Dada album is interesting, Concrete
Blonde, The Beatles of course, R.E.M., The
Proclaimers if you can forget the airplay 500 miles
Hmmm the list goes on


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