Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #331

                  Chalkhills, Number 331

                 Wednesday, 9 March 1994
Today's Topics:
                 Re: The Tubes World Tour
                     best guitar solo
                    Intro/XTC 'Simple'
                Introduction to Chalkhills
                     Fox-Talbot's Gel
       XTC - Kings for a Day radio show CD for sale
                      Nonsuch demos
                     Chalkhills #330
                       Studio Gnus
                   Re: Chalkhills #330
                  The Red Curtain & Co.
                      New Subscriber
                  The Tubes . . ./Intro
                    The new XTC song?


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 11:19:44 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Re: The Tubes World Tour

Todd Elwardt <> writes:
>Back in the late '70's and early '80's, The Tubes were one of those "New
>Wave" bands characterized by their bombastic stage shows and a penchant for
>gushing sexuality in their songs.  The group was headed by a rather nose-
>heavy fellow named Fee Waybill, and besides a few disco-influenced hits like
>"Let's Make Some Noise," they cranked out some wonderful tunes like "Prime-
>time" and "Talk To Ya Later."

The latter two songs were from their album _Remote Control_, produced
by Todd Rundgren.  The best Tubes albums are _Now_ (unavailable on
CD), _Remote Control_, and _Young and Rich_.  _Now_ is probably their
most stylistickly varied and the most enduringly interesting album.
_Young and Rich_ has some classic songs, including "Madam I'm Adam",
"Don't Touch Me There" (a Phil Spector-induced wall of sound), and "I
Slipped My Disco".  _Remote Control_ is slick, techno-art-rock, but in
some ways The Tubes most coherent statement.  Mr Rundgren seems to
have an ear for consistency of presentation.

One of the most amazing concerts I have ever seen was The Tubes'
concert in Chico, California, just after the release of _Young and
Rich_ I believe.  I don't believe The Tubes ever made any money
touring because their stage shows were so extravagant!  Lots of
costume changes, three women dancing around the stage, huge fake
speaker stacks crashing down, fireworks, and more.  But their concert
quality went downhill steadily until Fee Waybill (their nose-heavy
frontman) left to record solo albums.  The last time I saw The Tubes
was at the Magic Mountain amusement park outside of Los Angeles.  Talk
about down and out of it!

>As for The Tubes-Dukes connection, I haven't a clue.  Any help?

When XTC came out to San Francisco to record parts of _Skylarking_,
Todd Rundgren introduced them to The Tubes.  Notice in the liner notes
to _Skylarking_ XTC's thanks to The Tubes for the loan of their
amplifiers, and the Dukes loaned XTC their guitars.  Prairie Prince
played the part of the time bomb, otherwise known as the drummer on
_Skylarking_.  And Re Styles, Mr Prince's girlfriend, also gave XTC
some cactii.  She was also a member of The Tubes (she sang "Cathy's
Clone" and "Don't Touch Me There").

        -- John


Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         7 Mar 94 12:02:35 GM+5
Subject:      best guitar solo

It's time for another poll.  How about this:
What's the best Dave Gregory guitar solo?

BTW, where is everybody?  This list is getting really quiet.


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 14:13:30 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Hat

I just picked up the new Mike Keneally album _Hat_, and I quote thusly
from the liner notes:

    This recording embodies a portion of the composition "The Mayor
    of Simpleton" written by Andy Partridge, published by EMI Virgin
    Music Ltd.

    Marty Keneally thanks John Grunder and Mom and Dad, and says
    "you're welcome" to XTC...

    Thanks to Dweezil, Marc Bonilla, Joel Thome, XTC (the best) and
    sputteringly huge thanks to the guy who gave me the hat in
    Birmingham -- who are you?

A three-second section of "The Mayor of Simpleton" ("But I know one
thing and that's") is included in "Day of the Cow 2".  Check it out.
And thanks to Barry Greenberg for originally pointing these facts out.

All in all, a pretty interesting album.  It has its annoying moments.
It has its beautiful moments.  Some impressive guitar playing.  Some
interesting compositions.  Some technically impressive time signature
changes that leave me confused and bewildered (so I skip the rest of
the song).  The "Mayor" sample is quite funny in its new context,
ripped out of its original context.  If you liked Steve Vai's first
two releases (_Flex-Able_ and _Flex-Able Leftovers_) you'll probably
like _Hat_.  If you like Zappa, you might like _Hat_.  If you like
pure pop, you may not like _Hat_.  I like it.

        -- John


Date: 07 Mar 1994 16:24:03 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Wile E. Coyote" <>
Subject: Intro/XTC 'Simple'


By way of introduction, my name is Bruce Hulsey.  I'm 29 and currently a
systems analyst for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  I am
also a musician, having played guitar for about 15 years (and, boy are my
hands tired!) and bass guitar for about 10 years.  I was the original bassist
for, and a founding member of, the Gunbunnies (anybody remember them?  I
didn't think so!).

I must take exception to Kyle Skrinak's assertion that 'early XTC (prior to
English Settlement) is a piece of cake'.  I remember trying to learn
'Respectable Street' a few years back...I thought it was pretty
straightforward.  It wasn't until much later, when I saw a book of
transcriptions of XTC stuff a college roommate brought back from London, that
I saw how horribly wrong I'd been about some of the chords.  And wonderfully
twisted, odd chords they were, too.  I remember there being some sort of
forward to the book from Mr. Partridge himself talking about how most books
you get with guitar notation (those goofy little box diagrams with dots where
you're supposed to put your fingers) in them were done by piano players but
that this particular book contained diagrams of the actual chords used.  I
don't think any of the chords in that book were what I thought they were upon
listening to them; they're deceptively non-simple, and I think this heavily
contributes to XTC's sound.  Their chord constructions sound simple enough,
but upon picking them apart one realizes there's often an odd flavor added to
them, sort of like a pinch of oregano thrown on a hot fudge sundae.

:  o/ : Bruce Hulsey
: <|  : Univ. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
: / > : internet:
:.....: bitnet:   bbhulsey@uams


Subject: Introduction to Chalkhills
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 94 17:52:28 EST
From: Guy Montgomery <>


There was a request for people to introduce themselves, so here goes.

I guess I first heard XTC back around the time Go 2 came out in the U.K. They
were on tour and I saw them at Leeds Polytechnic.  I remember my sister came -
she had made herself a black plastic jacket for the occasion out of a bin
liner. My mum was not happy - something to do with the melted black goop my
sister left all over the iron . . .

I therefore got hooked early and have been hooked ever since. I rather liked a
lot of the early stuff which doesn't seem to be so popular with some of the
folks here, but one of the nice things about XTC is that they have managed to
keep making interesting music as they have got older. I guess I'm a sucker for
a good tune, and that's one thing they always seem to be able to put together.

Personal favourites - well, Making Plans For Nigel, Mayor of Simpleton, Senses
Working Overtime, Battery Brides. I live in WHFS country, a interesting radio
station that seems to run dual playlists, one for current "alternative" music,
and one for old punk/new wave music. This means that XTC gets played on both,
so I get to hear them on the radio more often then I could reasonably expect.

In case anyone cares, I am a 36 year old s/w engineer. As I sit and write this
it got me thinking about how long it has really been since the whole new wave
thing happened. Where did all that time go ?

Hells bells, I'm getting nostalgic. It must be time to go,

See ya,


Guy Montgomery          Hughes Network Systems (HNS),Germantown, MD 20876
Tel: (301) 428-2981     Internet:     FAX: (301) 428-1868
Opinions are mine, and not necessarily HNS's
"We're so pretty, oh so pretty . . . . . We're vacant"


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 23:47:19 GMT
From: Toby Howard <>
Subject: Fox-Talbot's Gel

Fox-Talbot was an early English pioneer of plate photography, and his 'gel'
ws the photo-sensitive material he used. (All this froma vey hazy memory!)



From: David Glenn <>
Date: Mon,  7 Mar 94 15:56:18 PST
Subject: XTC - Kings for a Day radio show CD for sale

I have one "Kings For a Day" radio show on CD for sale for $25 plus $2
shipping (slightly more if to Canada or international).

It's got 18 songs on it from the Oranges & Lemons acoustic promo tour
in 1989. Interviews and music are from the WBCN and WFXX shows in
Boston. It's in excellent shape, I just like the Acoustic Tales CD
better so I don't need two of the same stuff.

Contact me if you're interested. First email, first served.




Date: Mon, 7 Mar 1994 21:16:44 -0500 (EST)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Nonsuch demos

        Hey fellow Chalkhillians,

        I have been mesmerized the last two days by a tape
of demos from Nonsuch. Sixteen of the album tracks are
represented by demos, plus ten unreleased ones (six of
which have turned up in various places such as "Window Box"
and "Griboulage"). I have been realizing what a masterpiece
Nonsuch was through this tape. I say this because I have
heard the album denounced by some critics (one called it
"psychadelic twee") and I know some prefer Oranges and
Lemons to it.
        So what's so cool about Nonsuch? Well, I'm /not/
well-versed in music, so all this talk I hear about complex
chord progressions leaves me cold. But lyrics, I like.
Nonsuch has songs that twist your average themes. "Dear
Madam Barnum," to me takes off on a great circus metaphor
and has a great pop sensibility to boot.  "Crocodile"
personifies the old metaphor for jealousy (which I first
heard in Shakespeare). "Omnibus" has great word play (How
many metaphors for THAT have you heard?). I personally am
in love with "Then She Appeared" because of the psychadelic
sound and the poetic descriptions. "Wrapped In Grey" is
very poetic and has some great lines, such as this: "As
they huddled there, in petaled prayer/They told me this, as
I knelt there." And it certainly doesn't hurt to have some
neat things I have to look up ("jingoistic," "morgasm,"
"Fox Talbot's gel," etc.) and in general does not talk down
to the listener. Hey, I can even stand songs people seem to
really hate, like "War Dance" and "The Smartest Monkeys."
        The other thing that I want to know is why some
great songs were not even recorded for the album OR
released as B-sides or such. "Goosey Goosey," "I'm The Man
Who Murdered Love," and "Where Did The Ordinary People Go?"
are awesome songs that I really think should have been
recorded. Certainly they could have passed up "Rook" and
"Bungalow" for those. Colin had better songs in the wings
than what they used. I even liked the tune of "Goodbye
Humanosaurus" (maybe because one melody piece is identical
to "Then She Appeared") despite the rhymes for "Saurus"
which Andy appologized for in "The Bull With The Golden

        So what does everyone else have to say about
Nonsuch and these demos?


Date: Tue, 8 Mar 94 05:08:00 BST
Subject: Chalkhills #330

Not much this time around but I couldn't help but note the impressive number
of Chalkhillians from Madison, Wisconsin which obviously makes it the
cultural mecca of the midwest, if not the entire country.  The per capita
number of XTC fans there must be higher than anywhere outside of Swindon.
(Although I'm an alumnus of the good old UW-Madison myself, I didn't
discover XTC until moving 90 miles east, aging 15 years and being turned
onto them by fellow Mixmasters on each coast.)

By the way, Beeswax is available on CD, but only as an import.  Mine is
Japanese and it sounds, oh, so good!

As for the Kinks, they were a real favorite of mine, particularly around the
time of Arthur and Soap Opera.  I think, lyrically, they have a real common
ground with XTC---biting, intelligent social satire.  Melodically though, I
still see the Beatles' influence much more than with the Kinks.  But that
really is the best of both worlds, isn't it?  The lyrics of the Kinks and
the sophisticated melodies of the Beatles.  Love that XTC!!!

Joe Caparula---what was mixed about the success of the Music & Friends
Convention?  I thought it was nothing but fabulous---a wonderful experience.
I'm just curious about what it was that you didn't like.  Who else here was

For anyone looking for more Kate Bush soundalikes, check out Happy Rhodes.

I heard from someone that, post Martin Newell, Andy was producing another
artist from NY, but I forget the name.  Any more information about that?

Well allow me to continue basking in the glory of the Badgers' Rose Bowl
victory because the way the basketball and hockey teams are playing, that's
going to have to hold me over for quite a bit longer than had been



Date: Tue, 8 Mar 94 09:18:00 GMT
From: "Steve Moore" <>
Subject: Swindon

> so...anyone been to Swindon lately?  i'm hoping to visit the Cotswolds
> in May and will be within striking distance... be fun to take the map
> from the liner notes of White Music (i think it was) and do an xtc tour.

I live about 30 miles from Swindon, and used to work there. Don't go there with
any expectations of finding a rural idyll that might have inspired Andy's
writing! It's a Victorian industrial town originally based around the railway
depot. When that closed, the town went into decline and has since re-invented
itself as one of England's technology capitals. Basically, it's a boring
medium-sized town that's seen better days (apologies to any *real* Swindonians
on the net!).

The Cotswolds OTOH are well worth a visit. One of the most beautiful areas of
England (IMHO).


---------------------------------[Steve Moore]---------------------------------
Oramail  :                   |
Internet :        |      'Questions are a burden to others
  |       Answers, a prison for oneself'
Phone    : (0344) 383722               |


Date: Tue, 8 Mar 1994 08:16:00 -0600 (CST)
From: "Wade J. Campbell" <>
Subject: Studio Gnus

XTC news update, according to the April Alternative Press (in Jack
Rabid's column no less):

"The next XTC lp will likely be recorded in New York this spring
according to group leader Andy Partridge.  The band have recorded (as
mentioned in Chalkhills-wc) a song for 'Where in the world is Carmen
Sandiego' childrens (!?) album based on the popular children's geography
show on PBS"

You can generally trust Jack Rabid.  He's been writing reviews and
updates for quite a while.  Although he tends to DWELL on the Chemeleons
UK and the New York scene from the early eighties.  There, I feel better.


Date:         Tue, 08 Mar 94 09:47:31 EST
From: Karen <>
Subject:      Re: Chalkhills #330

In answer to the question: Fox-Talbot was the father of photography in
England. So "the first photograph on Fox-Talbot's gel" is really a
miraculous appearance, the first ever (at least in England).

And for the person who asked if The Beatles could have created a "You
Really Got Me," what about "I'm Down"? I think that comes close to the
excitement level of "YRGM" although I must admit NO ONE could have come
up with that guitar attack but Dave Davies.



From: (Joe Lynn)
Subject: Klaatu
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 1994 09:08:03 -0600 (CST)

It's been a while since I posted to Chalkhills (new job, new house,
new email address), and I apologize for the non-XTC content of this
posting; having said that:

Steve Levenstein sez (regarding Klaatu):

>    Their first two albums, "3:47 EST"  and "Hope", are available on CD,
> both individually and as a compilation. I've been waiting since the
> dawn of the CD age for their third ("Sir Army Suit") and fourth
> ("Magentalane") to be re-released. Has anyone seen these?

I thought the fourth Klaatu album was _Endangered Species_.
_Magentalane_ was never released in the US.

The only Klaatu CDs I've seen are the first album (called _Klaatu_
in the US) and the _Klaatu_/_Hope_ two-fer.

I remember picking all of these up on vinyl; once the "Klaatu = The Beatles"
thing died down in '77 or '78, they just kind of petered out, IMHO.



Date:         Tue, 08 Mar 94 21:52:47 EST
From: "Gene (Sp00n) Yoon" <>
Subject:      The Red Curtain & Co.

Somebody asked in the last Chalkhills whether we'll be hearing any more
of the Dukes.  I've been wondering that myself, although I've sort of
dismissed the idea thinking that Colin, Dave and Andy have moved on to
try other things, and XTC has a wider range than the psychedelicasies
that the Dukes offer.  Though, on the other hand, both 25 o'clock and
Psonic Psunspot sounded like so much fun for the band to make (as well
as to listen to), that maybe they'll do another just as a much-needed
diversion from XTSeriousness.  Anyone have any insights beyond my mere
By the way, I'm ignorant as to who that fourth guy is in the pictures.
Also, are AP and CM the only lead vocalists on the Dukes or is there
someone else? because if it's really just Andy on all the songs by Sir John
Johns then he's doing a very good job of sounding like someone else.
I'm sure I can get answers to these questions just by picking up a copy
of _Chalkhills and Children_, but I can't seem to locate one anywhere.
I'd like to know if anyone can tell me where I could buy or order one
from.  Thank you!
My love explodes,

Gene     "That is the most obscene abomination of a song that I- I- I-
          That is trash, that is dirt, that is silt--
          What possessed you to write such a disgusting, degeneratized
               song as that?
          And I'm complimenting you by considering it a song."
                  --Woody Allen, or just an impersonator?


Subject: New Subscriber
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 94 08:48:21 -0700
From: Marshall V Pierce <>


 I've recently joined Chalkhills, so here goes my introduction.

 I am Marshall V Pierce, formerly of Massachusetts, now residing in
Colorado.  I trade some time from my day to Hewlett-Packard for money
to 'keep me in cigarettes' and CDs.

 I am 31, married, and soon to have even more reason for playing
'Garden of Earthly Delights' over and over again.  Einstein the Cat
has graciously allowed my wife and I and our expanding family to
stay in his house.

 I first heard XTC in high school, when my friends and I began a band.
We attempted the singles from D&W ('Life...' and 'Nigel...').  Just
yesterday, I received a cassette of GO, which completes my collection
of major releases by XTC (except for Waxworks).

 It is difficult to pick one as my most favorite.  I like them all!
However, I recall driving around in my Subaru letting Big Express
repeat for many months after it was released.

 XTC has a unique way of molding the background music to fit the
song's subject.  I can still notice something new each time I listen
to an XTC song.

 My favorite performers are

  Elvis Costello
  Joe Jackson
  Midnight Oil
  Til Tuesday / Aimee Mann

 Unfortunately, Colorado Springs has lost it's alternative radio station,
so I'm reduced to MTV and the local NPR station's free form program, which
is on during business hours - of course, for new music or snatches of good

 I have noticed in recent Chalkhills posts mentions of videos and other
(non-Dukes) projects by members of XTC.  I'd like to hear more...

 ..til next time...

Marshall V Pierce                 Info Tech E-Mail Team             Hewlett-Packard
(719)  590-3461                   Colorado Springs, CO


Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 12:00:19 EST
From: (Robert Stacy)
Subject: The Tubes . . ./Intro

   . . . First turned up nationally in '75 when their self-titled,
debut album was released.  It contained a number of wonky, interesting
tunes, including "What Do You Want From Life", "Mondo Bondage", and
"White Punks on Dope" -- the latter a razor-sharp teen anti-anthem that
suckerpunched many of the white, upper-middle-class rock/drug consumers
who were drawn to their dual guitar, synth/keyboard-floored "heavy,
heavy sound."
   Their later stuff (like "Talk to You Later" and "Sushi Girl") got a
lot more air play (at least in these parts), but I always thought their
first album was their best.
   They were billed to play the Marquee in Norwalk, Connecticut not too
many months ago, but I think the show got cancelled when that venue ran
into financial difficulties.  For a while, Fee was no longer fronting
the band, but the newspaper ad for the Norwalk gig included a prominent
"with Fee Waybill".
   The Tubes/Dukes connection is by way of the Runt, who produced
the '79 album _Remote Control_ -- which included "Primetime", one of
the tunes M. Elwardt mentioned in Chalkhills #329 -- and at least one
other later effort -- _Love Bomb_, perhaps?.

   As long as there are some other Chalkhills voyeurs coming out of the
closet, add my name to the list.  I first got interested in the band
around 1980, at least partly due to a glowing review Lou Stathis gave
their live show in his alternative music column in _Heavy Metal_.  This
was not long before _Black Sea_ came out, I think, but when I made it a
point to stop in a record store, all they had was _Go 2_.  Fair enough,
sez I, and bought the thing.  Didn't regret it, either.  Sure, you can
carp about tunes like "Life is Good in the Greenhouse" ("Ah-hah-hah-
HAH-hah-hah-haaaah!" _bloop, bloop, bloop_), or the two Andrews tunes,
or that cheesy Farfisa sound in general.  But there are some gems in
there, too.  I caught up on the other three albums soon after that
(_Drums and Wires_ and _Black Sea_ making an odd contrast in their
continually unfolding excellence against the seminal, self-indulgent
splash of _White Music_ -- which I believe I've played only that single
time), and have been purchasing chronologically since.
   On the long haul, I have to say _Black Sea_ and _English Settlement_
are still my favorites, though the latter does closely edge out the
former for first place.  Colin's fretless work and Terry's drumming
(ironically) broke new ground for them as a band, and both Andy and
Colin's songwriting skills showed nary a falter.  I still favor my tape
of this album for solo, cross-country drives (where you can sing along
as loud and as silly as you like*) over any other I own -- though,
again, _Black Sea_ certainly holds its own by this perhaps
idiosyncratic criterion.
   These days, I'm more low-key about the band than I once was.  I'll
still buy everything they put out . . . but the _Drums and Wires_
t-shirt has faded with the years, and it seems to take me longer to
warm to their albums than it once did, back when the jones used to hit
and leave me fidgeting and whining, "There should be something out by
   Actually, reading the comments in the Chalkhills gazette here is
what has made me go back and give _Skylarking_ (the most recent of
their albums to leave me, if not cold, at best lukewarm) another
chance.  And I only really started delving into _Nonesuch_ in anything
more than a superficial manner about three weeks ago (don't know how
the _hell_ I forgot about that Dave Gregory solo on "Crocodile"; though
on the plus side, I got to enjoy discovering it all over again).
_Oranges and Lemons_ gave me more of a shot of what I felt had faded
with _Skylarking_.  But I'm still a staunch supporter of _Mummer_, _Big
Express_, and, of course, all the fine stuff the Dukes put out back in
the 'sixties.  I still think it the shame of a generation that they
were snubbed by Woodstock . . . .

   Bottom line, I'm really grateful to the guys for the pleasure their
work has brought me.  Here's hoping for more to come.


*  Anyone else nearly swallow their own larynx crooning along with
   "Melt the Guns"?


Date: Wed, 09 Mar 1994 12:36:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The new XTC song?

        I stumbled upon a review of the new Carmen Sandiego children's album,
and there it was... the standout track is by XTC.  Is it really going to cost
me fifteen bucks to hear one song?!


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