Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #323

                  Chalkhills, Number 323

                 Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Today's Topics:
                     Nirvana and XTC
                   another introduction
                      Re: Dear God
                     Dear God Madness
    other good band recommendations...other responses.
  Original Skylarking release, and another favorite band
                       XTC on video
                      Robert Wegmann
                    Andy's "Drumming"
                   Re: Chalkhills #322
                          page 2
                        New Member
                    jasmine veillette
              Dear God vocals/Dave's vocals
        old XTC concert tickets: collector's item?
                        Re: Divers


Date: Sat, 29 Jan 94 18:02:43 PST
From: (Robert Guralnick)
Subject: Nirvana and XTC

        Okay, so this is a serious stretch, but I am going to
suggest some similarities between NIRVANA and XTC.  You should
of course, take this with a grain of salt or too.  It is almost
a joke...

-------------- NIRVANA --------------   ------------- XTC ---------------
1.)  Power pop trio                       Power Pop Trio
2.)  Charismatic lead singer              Charismatic lead singer
3.)  Tall goofy bass player               Tall goofy bass player
4.)  Art rock with punk undertones        WAS art rock w/punk overtones
5.)  Wildy popular                        Mildly popular
6.)  Sounds like Beatles                  Sounds like Beatles
7.)  Disdain of success                   Disdain of success (sorta)
8.)  Nihilism                             Nihilism

Okay, so there are also a ton of differences... but I guess it was
just sorta a mental exercise.

Robert Guralnick


Date: Sat, 29 Jan 1994 22:47:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Orpheus <>
Subject: another introduction

  hello everyone.  i've been lurking here for a couple of issues, and i
thought that i would introduce myself before jumping into the fray.
  i've been listening to XTC since '89.  actually, now that i think about
it, it's kind of an interesting story, so i guess i'll relate it:  i was
living on an island in the san juan islands in my home state of washington
and attending a one room schoolhouse with seven other students.  one day
when i had forgoten to bring my beatles tapes to listen to during lunch,
i borrowed a copy of Psonic Psunspot from the son of the teacher.  he had
gotten it from his older brother who had gotten from a friend in in germany
when he was on mission (they were hyper-mormon).  anyway, i listened to
the tape about 1000 times and then this kid then proceeded to tell me that
The Dukes were just XTC acting weird.  time passed, predictable things
happened, and now i am a hardcore XTC fan spreading the news of their (on
the whole) rediculously unappreciated music.
   oh yeah, with regards to the "do any women subscribe to this group?"
question:  counsel langley (who introduced herself in issue 322) i assure
you, is female.  she is, in fact, my girlfriend.  i, for one, have never
noticed that XTC's music attracts males over females, but hey, i don't
know a very large percentage of the people in the world either.
   that's all.  see you all in future postings.

                                             -- myles

ps:  has anybody heard of a band called blur?  if so, what do you think?


Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 00:32:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Re: Dear God

On Sat, 29 Jan 1994 <> wrote:
> Does anybody have an article or interview in which Andy states this fact
> definitively?
>         -- John

        Well, I can't quote Andy, but I can quote Chalkhills and
Children, page 151, from a section on why "Dear God" was dropped from the LP:

        "...Lascelles was put off by its controversial lyrics and didn't
like the sound of "the whiny American kid singing the first verse" (a
ten-year-old girl called Jasmine Veillette, who'd been drafted in by

        If you look at the liner notes of Skylarking, you'll notice that
Ms. Veillette is the last name under the "Thanks" section...

        Derek Miner


Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 00:22:10 -0600
From: (Michael De Bernardi)
Subject: Dear God Madness


Just to add more confusion to the "Dear God" discussion, I remember having
read somewhere that the singer was an *adult female* whose voice only
sounded like a child's.  The mystery deepens . . .

Also, I feel that I must be the lone voice to spead out in support of
"Bungalow".  Yes, the lyrics are pretty ridiculous, but I think that the
music is actually quite beautiful.  In fact, I would have to say that it is
a superior song to (asbetos ready) "The Smartest Monkeys".  That YES-organ
solo grinds on me more than the oboe in "War Dance".

               --Michael De Bernardi           


Subject: other good band recommendations...other responses.
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 94 4:04:30 PST
From: Michael Faulkner <>

well, I've been lurking for a while...'bout time I jumped into
the fray.  The first XTC album I bought was..."White Music"
which I loved.  I was in a "mod" phase at the time and bought
it purely because of the black and white arrows on their
trowsers on the cover.  After reading Chalkhills for a while,
it makes me feel old to say that that was the first album
I bought...but I'm only 24!

As for their best?  IMHO, it's a tie between Black Sea and Skylarking.
The worst has to be Go2.

I agree with those that think "funk pop a roll" a not-so-great-creation.

And to respond to someone who asked about recommendations for
other bands to listen to...check these out...

KLAATU...especially the album of the same name and "HOPE"..very
        beatlesque...almost like what the Dukes would have
        been in the 70's...excellent.

THE BARE NAKED LADIES...from canada.  They look like nerds, the
                        name leaves something to be desired, but
                        the music is fantastic.  With song titles like
                        "I'm lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did"
                        and "Be My Yoko Ono"  it can't fail.

EMMIT RHODES solo stuff as well as the stuff he recorded with
THE MERRY GO ROUND in the sixties.  He sounds like a very good
                        paul mcCartney imitation.

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES...the dukes "25 o'clock" is almost a perfect amalgamation
                        of the Prunes' "I had too much to dream last night" and
                        the stones' "paint it black".  The real sixties
                        psychedelia.  Has to be heard.

MICHAEL PENN...yeah, believe it or not, I like this guy.  the cd that has
                "no myth" on it.  Good guitar pop.

Of course, check out all the beatles' solo stuff if you haven't already...
especially Harrisons' "all things must pass", McCartney's "band on the
run" and "flowers in the dirt", Lennon's "imagine" and "plastic Ono band"
(of course you know that already => )...and you might want to give Tom Petty
a listen.

What's the word on MATTHEW SWEET?  I haven't heard the guy, but a number
of XTC fans are saying he's good.  Is that the case, fellow Chalkhillians?

And what's the word on the SPENT POETS?  I read a review of their album in
PEOPLE magazine that compared them favorably to our boys from Swindon. I
found it hard to trust a reviewer from that magazine, though, so I never
found out.  Anyone out there know?

I think that's more like my $2.00, not my $.02.


Mike Faulkner



Date: Sun, 30 Jan 94 10:50:55 EST
From: (Mark Glickman)
Subject: Original Skylarking release, and another favorite band

Ethan Jones asks

> My question is: did they remix the American version when they decided to add
> "Dear God?"  You see (and probably know), "Dear God" is directly linked
> to "Dying" on the American CD by tapping.  How does the British version
> of "Dying" start?  Does the single version of "Dear God" include the
> tapping at the end?  Is "Mermaid Smiled" similarly linked on the British
> version?  I guess I ended up aking more than the one question I thought I
> would. Oh well...

I was lucky enough/smart enough to buy Skylarking the moment
it hit the stores, so I have the "Dear God"-less/"Mermaid Smiled"-ful
version.  Within a few weeks of buying the album, I heard "Dear
God" on the radio, and bought the single.  To answer Ethan's
question about the original release in the US, "Dying"
begins cleanly (and follows "The man who sailed around his
Just to add to the discussion about other bands XTC
worshippers enjoy listening to, one of my favorites is Let's
Active (led by Mitch Easter, producer of (early) REM, Suzanne Vega,
and countless others...).  The similarities I see between
XTC and Let's Active are that the music is very melodic, the
guitar work is clean and intricate, and both can be characterized as musically
interesting and quirky.  A good place to start with Let's
Active is either _Afoot_ or _Cypress_ (or both, because they are
on one CD).  I really like _Big plans for everybody_ too,
though this is difficult to find.  I think _Every dog has
its day_ is not consistently good, so I don't give strong
recommendations to that album.

          - Mark


Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 14:51:47 -0500 (EST)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: XTC on video

        I was just at a collectibles show yesterday and there was one of
those dealers of (ahem) questionable tapes. All the videos were in ugly
boxes, but only ten bucks. Only one XTC vid, so I grabbed it. I thought
I'd mention some items it had to see if anyone had seen them before.
Definitely some oddities. All clips were from just before O&L was
released to just after Nonsuch.
        - various MTV reports, including a humorous visit by Andy and
Dave to The Unknown Museum
        - an unidentified clip of XTC going over their history with toys.
This was particularly amusing, and I wonder where it came from. Andy was
a potato with glasses, Colin was a Ken doll with a cardboard guitar.
Terry chambers was a small monkey with a drum. When Dave entered the
scene, he was a blue teddy bear! Each XTC producer was similarly
represented by a toy. When the part came where Andy broke down, he
declared "I'm sick of being a vegetable! I don't want to be a potato
anymore!" and was prompty replaced with a rag doll.
        - Andy's hosting MTV's "Post Modern" and making many absurd
comments at the expense of other bands. The videos from these shows were
deleted from the tape, INCLUDING the XTC videos! I wish they had stayed
in because they showed "Senses Working Overtime" and "Grass" which I have
never seen. On the last show, there was a video of XTC performing
"Scarecrow People" acoustically which WAS left in.
        - XTC perform "King For A Day" on some show hosted by "Weird Al"
Yankovic. I wonder what the heck THIS was!
        - The American AND Canadian videos for "Mayor Of Simpleton". I
had no idea there were separate videos for the two countries!
        - A German TV appearance lip-synching "Mayor Of Simpleton"
        - A lengthy video of XTC in the studio rehearsing and recording.
This was shot with a camcorder and includes rehearsals of "Humble Daisy,"
"Dear Madam Barnum," "Goosey Goosey," "The Ugly Underneath," and a Colin
demo that I can only assume is called "Ordinary People." The video then
shows clips of the recording of "That Wave".

        The tape also included some other videos, TV appearances and
interviews from the releases of O&L and Nonsuch.

        Derek Miner


Date: Sun, 30 Jan 94 12:56:15 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Robert Wegmann

In the "bands you might like if you listen to XTC" department, you might
want to check out Robert Wegmann.  I just got a letter from Mr Wegmann in
which he writes:

    my next c.d. "the wild party" is due our Jan 29th or there
    about, it has 18 cuts, one cover (syd barrett) the rest
    mine.  i'll be selling it mail order for $7.00 plus
    postage, such a deal, huh?  i'm enclosing some of my press
    so you can get an idea what i do.

I have an idea already of what Mr Wegmann does: pop music much akin to XTC,
Martin Newell, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys.  And this is not only my
opinion.  I've excerpted bits from the press clippings for your

    He isn't ashamed to admit obvious leanings towards XTC,
    The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and early English new wave
    pop, and those influences are abundant on the CD.  But he
    equally infuses his own bass-heavy style, and song lyrics
    that often read like a Woody Allen vignette of what can go
    wrong in life.

   "That's why I like (Elvis) Costello and XTC.  When you hear
    one of their records for the first time, you don't know if
    you like it or not.  You have to listen maybe ten times
    before you go, `Yeah'."
        [Laura Taylor, Players 15, 14 Jan 1993]

    The singer-songwriter -- a multi-instrumentalist whose
    steady, pumping bass lines provide a solid foundation for
    his creations -- again grounds his material in the kind of
    bright, streamlined pop favored by the likes of The
    Beatles, XTC and (especially in the wall-o'-vocals
    department) Brian Wilson.

    That means, for instance, that we get insistent guitar
    slashes placed against an insinuating four-string line on
    the title cut; a pop-funk bass and cheery "doot-doot"s on
    "Damage"; sweet backing vocals and a summer- song story on
    "Sand Dollar Girl"; and a vortex of swirling sounds,
    including manic laughter, and Squeeze-like ordinary-life
    snapshots on "The Work Song".
        [Philip Booth, 1990?]

    Wegmann could be dismissed as simple an XTC/Beatles ripoff
    artist, but then you'd be missing some of the more obtuse
    music he's making. . .  Pop genius?  No, but Robert
    Wegmann makes music that's catchy and makes me happy, and
    is worth a listen.

    The opener, "Down To The Sea In Ships", combines that
    "`Sloop John B'-sea-chores-really-suck-when-I'm-so-bummed-
    out" sentiment with an XTC guitar rhythm (a la "Ball and
    Chain" or "Wake Up"), topped off by a wonderful _Rubber
    Soul_/_Revolver_-period backing vocal.
        [Michael Slosberg, 1990?]

    Robert Wegmann's new cassette/CD _Down To The Sea In
    Ships_ is something of the local equivalent to T.S.
    Eliot's poem "The Wasteland", except where Eliot explored
    the emptiness of the soul and the decay of society,
    Wegmann's wasteland is in the heart.  Wegmann whines about
    old girlfriend and former pals, and lashes back with the
    fire of a man possessed.

    Wegmann is a pop artist in the style of XTC and the
    Beatles . . .  He writes amazingly comfortable melodies
    with giant hooks that most fishermen would kill for.
        [Tom Roe, 1990?]

    While _Dangerous Curves_ was moody and artsy, his 1988
    release, _Poisoned Paradise_, was decidely more pop-
    oriented, leading to a slew of comparisons to the Beatles
    and XTC.  Wegmann won't deny his musical links to those
    traditional pop acts, but he also favors such moody
    artistes as Bill Nelson and Japan, and it makes his output
    stand out as his own.
        [Tom Roe, Music, 24 Feb 1990]

XTC?  Traditional?  Well, perhaps rock journalists will be rock journalists,
but you probably get the picture.  I think Robert Wegmann's _Down To The
Sea In Ships_ and _Poisoned Paradise_ are both excellent albums (I have
never heard _Dangerous Curves_) and you would be well served if you decided
to pick up his new _The Wild Party_.

You can order his CD by writing to

    Fumiko Records
    803 E. Chelsea St.
    Tampa, FL  33603

He previous CD, _Down To The Sea In Ships_, may also be available.

    -- John

P.S. I have no connection to Mr Wegmann or Fumiko Records save
that I enjoy Mr Wegmann's music.


Date: Mon, 31 Jan 94 14:34:35 -0500
Subject: Andy's "Drumming", on the subject of Andy's contribution to
Martin Newell's "The Greatest Living Englishman" writes

>I do think that mentioning Andy so prominently is a bit dubious (he's
>only credited with drum machine programming, percussion and one

        I don't know about this.  When I first heard _GLE_ I assumed that
the drums were drum machine because they sounded so out of sync with the
rest of the production.  However, after listening to the album now many
times on good headphones, I'm less sure.  Drums are the hardest things
to produce, imo.  He coulda just recorded them with one mike and compression.
That would certainly be in keeping with the homemade feel of the album.
And the credit on the album is "Andy Partridge:  drums, percussion", etc.
Some of the toms I'm almost sure are being played by a real person.

        However, on the other hand, there is that cryptic credit about
Andy spending hours with a computer.  With a ton of different samples and
a lot of effort, you might be able to fake it really well.  And, of course,
if Andy can drum as well as the drumming on _GLE_, I have no idea in the
world why XTC would ever get someone else (unless it's band politics or
something).  The drumming on _GLE_ is terrific.

        I'd be curious to hear what others who have listened closely
to the album think.  And for those of you who still don't have the album,
buy it immediately!  It's great.

Geoff Poole
"Maybe just for extra bonus I choke some of you faculty/staff."
                                -Tarbozh, The Egyptian Magician


Date: 31 Jan 1994 20:57:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #322

bum Hope is a must.


Date: 31 Jan 1994 21:11:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: page 2

The ubiquitous woodwind on War Dance is the Alto Carinet.
A bit longer than a standard clarinet it has a curved metal bell
and alower tone.  It is most often found in wind ensembles.
Has anyone else noticed the intricately/funkily sublime bass line at
the end of My Bird Performs?


Date: Tue, 1 Feb 94 00:16:52 EDT
Subject: New Member

Hello fellow XTC fans.  I can't say I'm the biggest XTC fan in the world,
but I do know some of their songs, and I love their style.  My first
exposure to them was The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead a couple of years ago.
I thought the song sounded great, and wanted to hear more by this band.  I'm
sure I know a lot of other songs by them, but the only other one I know by
name is Dear God.  I hope to use this service to learn more about the group.

-Mike Greenberg


Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         31 Jan 94 21:25:48 GM+5
Subject:      jasmine veillette

In response to John's request for verification on the Dear God

The Chalkhills and Children biography identifies the singer of "Dear
God"'s first verse as a ten-year old girl named Jasmine Veillette (I
think I spelled that right).

As for inquiries about vocalists, Colin and Andy always sing their own
songs.  Always.  However, I have noticed that people without album
credits to look at often think "Too Many Cooks" is sung by Andy,
mostly because it seems too goofy to be Colin.  I had another friend
who absolutely couldn't tell Andy's and Colin's voices apart, which
seems inexplicable to me, as I think their voices are quite
different (Colin's English accent is more obvious, and his voice is
higher and thinner than Andy's).

Actually, isn't there a very early song where Colin sings a bridge of
Andy's song or something, a la Lennon and McCartney on "A Hard Day's
Night"?  Maybe a White Music fan can answer this.


Date: Tue, 1 Feb 94 15:00:41 EST
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Dear God vocals/Dave's vocals

Rats.  I just somehow lost my copy of Chalkhills #322 (I think that was
the number of the latest issue).  Anyway, John Relph asks if someone has
seen an article about the Dear God vocals mystery.  I have--now my only
task is to see if I have it.  It was a zine interview with Andy where he
laughs and says something like: "People were asking me who the American
girl was on the vocals--I wanted it to sound like a British boy!"  He
was watching a tape of the movie "Barbarella" when the interviewer showed
up, as a bit of trivia.

So, Dave sings, does he?  I thought perhaps he didn't have a tongue--I
have never heard him sing--so he sings on "Leisure"?  Are there any other
songs featuring his voice?  I have never heard him speak in interviews.

A review of Aimee Mann in January's _Q_ doesn't have a lot to say that
is nice about her concert--it says her dancing is wooden, her patter with
the audience is forced, and on the whole it's a bad night.  It does say
she has "a sympathetic band," and mentions Dave as one of them, and that's
about it.

As far as Pat Buzby's comment about women--I believe there is something
like a 75% male/25% female ratio on the Internet to begin with--don't
quote me on that, but I've heard that more than once.  As far as XTC being
a band that males get into more, well, whenever I go to record conventions
and the like, there is always a 10-to-1 male-to-female ratio.  I dunno,
maybe the Y chromosome predisposes men to like music to a greater extent
than women, although I am certainly an exception to the rule.  And that's
just a comment, Pat, I had no plans on flaming you.

One other comment:  "Wrapped in Grey" is fast becoming one of my all-time
favorite XTC songs--"Don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped
in grey" is a classic line.  A beautiful song.



Date: Tue, 1 Feb 94 15:25:07 EST
Subject: old XTC concert tickets: collector's item?

It occurred to me that since a lot of people turned in their tickets
on that last tour for a refund, that people who kept the ticket instead
probably have quite a collector's item on their hands. Is there
anyone out there who still has such a ticket?

Just curious,

-Markus De Shon


Date: Tue, 1 Feb 94 13:37:51 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Re: Divers

Counsel Langley <> writes:
>in response to the worst songs discussion i would like to
>bring up Pink Thing.  a song that i have grown to dislike more and more
>as some other people and i can't decide if he is singing about his son,
>his cock, or both.  i would just prefer not to get these things

Ah, but Andy WANTS you to get them confused, but probably only within
the context of the song.  The song IS about both.  Of course we have
had the "baby! penis! baby! penis!" discussion numerous times in the
past...  Here's the entry from the Chalkhills FAQ:

    11) What does the song "Pink Thing" refer to?

    It's about the singer's "John Thomas".  It's also about a baby.
    Apparently Andy Partridge and Mrs Partridge referred to their
    baby as "The Pink Thing" and the song grew out of that nickname.
    As it were.

Neil writes:
>I'd have to say that this album is a must for fans of Skylarking,
>Mummer and the Dukes; it's thoroughly charming and enjoyable.  If
>Andy hadn't given this his stamp of approval by producing it I'd
>think he'd be upset at someone muscling in on XTC's territory.

If you like _The Greatest Living Englishman_ you might also check out
The Brotherhood of Lizards _Lizardland_.  It is available on CD and
should still be out there.  I've seen it in cutout bins and used (the
cover is green).  Some very nice songs on that effort as well.  And
Martin Newell also contributes to the latest two albums from Captain
Sensible, the recent _The Universe of Geoffrey Brown_, a very good
album, and _Revolution Now_, which I found less satisfying.

>What's the verdict on other Partridge productions?  Peter Blegvad's
>"The Naked Shakespeare" is an interesting album; "Weird Monkeys" is
>very XTC-like.  I prefer Blegvad's folkier stuff, however (though of
>course, Andy also produced some of PB's brilliant "King Strut" album).

Agreed, _King Strut & Other Stories_ is a brilliant album.  I also
like _The Naked Shakespeare_; as Mr Blegvad says, "It worked."
"Weird Monkeys" is very XTC-like, and Colin Moulding plays bass on
that track.

>  I've always been curious about the Lilac Time.

The Lilac Time's album _All For Love & Love For All_ is a very good
effort.  Some very nice tracks.  There are a few slow tracks which
tend to drag, but all in all a very good record.  Very smooth.  I
still wonder if Andy Partridge played the Beatles riff on the

But I still like Cud's _Leggy Mambo_ better than all the Andy
Partridge-produced music; Dave Gregory did a great job on that album.

Ethan Jones <> asks a Skylarking question:
>My question is: did they remix the American version when they decided to add
>"Dear God?"  You see (and probably know), "Dear God" is directly linked
>to "Dying" on the American CD by tapping.  How does the British version
>of "Dying" start?  Does the single version of "Dear God" include the
>tapping at the end?  Is "Mermaid Smiled" similarly linked on the British

The "tick-tock" of the clock which begins "Dying" starts from pure
silence on the UK release of _Skylarking_.  The single version of
"Dear God" fades to silence as well.  In fact, I feel that the second
of silence at the end of the song helps to punctuate it.  A full
stop.  Time to think.  The US version of _Skylarking_ is not a remix,
but a re-master.  "Dear God" is cross-faded into "Dying".  I think it
gives short shrift to both of those songs.  The last notes of "Dear
God" should be left to die out.  The ticking of the clock (of life)
should be appreciated on its own.

> proposes:
>>I had an interesting idea that I probably would never be able to see
>>through; what all XTC fans present and future need is an XTC song
>>... be fun reading.  It would also take forever to produce.  Any takers?
>How about beginning with an
>old-time 80 column data base.
>How's this look:
>Song_Title      Author  Album           Track_#  Trivia      Still_More_Trivia

Well, I think an 80-column (or 79, for those of us with odd terminals) file
is just not enough.  I would like to do something like the discographies I
have done for bands other than XTC.  In fact, I am going to have to revamp
the XTC discography fairly soon.

>With a name like xtcyclodedia, how could we go wrong.

Uh, don't you mean "XTCylcopedia"?  (A case of vertical dyslexia.)

Ben <> asks:
>don't flame me for this if i am totally wrong, but was andy part of the
>partridge family?


(Actually, he was the little red haired boy.  Was The Partridge Family
really invented by Patty, she of the naturally curly hair?  These and other
rumours can be yours.)

"John Relph" <>, that's me, wrote concerning the
vocalist on "Dear God":
>Does anybody have an article or interview in which Andy states this fact

I think I got my answer.  I just forgot to check _Chalkhills and Children_.
Thanks for pointing this oversight out.


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Pink thing it's a whole new vibe.

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