Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #347

                  Chalkhills, Number 347

                    Monday, 9 May 1994
Today's Topics:
                   Shonen Knife in T.O.
                   Re: Chalkhills #346
                    The Meeting Place
                        The Grays
                        Box set...
                   Re: Chalkhills #346
                     Noteworthy Music
                     Change My World
             change my world & carmen's song
                      Track Listings
        new discography rumors/additions/questions
                let me introduce myself...
                   Here Comes A Newbie
                       Cherry Info
                Re: Subscription request.


Date: 05 May 94 20:14:32 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: Shonen Knife in T.O.

   Hi Chalkhills-types. Last Sunday (May 1st), the wife & I went
to the Shonen Knife concert at Lee's Palace in downtown Toronto.
   The opening act (The Dentists) played a short set of polite
power pop (quite good), and it wasn't 'til after 11:00pm that
Shonen Knife came on stage to roaring applause!
   We had arrived early to get a couple of chairs; the wife is
8-months pregnant and tires easily. The show was "all ages", and
we were shocked by the amount of young people who were smoking!
   Anyways, Shonen Knife were GREAT! They played about 15 songs
in an hour+ set, returning to thundering cheers for a 4-song encore.
   Included in the set was "Bear Up Bison", their semi-cover of
XTC's "Nigel". Shonen Knife is really a cult band. I was reminded
of screenings of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" 'cuz:
   -- a few fans attended the show wearing fake leopard fur coats.
   -- many jelly beans were tossed toward the stage during "Flying
Jelly Attack".
   We hope to see Shonen Knife again when Lollapolooza II comes to
town. In the meantime, our future son attended his first concert
and felt some fine vibes!

   P.S.: To Steve Wilcox (CH#343), I can't believe you mentioned
"Scruffy The Cat"!! Their songs "Land Of 1,000 Girls" and "My Baby,
She's Alright" appear on my faves-taped-off-the-radio tapes a few times.
         And to Melinda Hale: Hey, you forgot a Hungadunga! The main
guy, too! ;=>
---> Steve


Subject: Re: Chalkhills #346
Date: Thu,  5 May 94 17:45:08 PDT (Robert James Foley) asks:

>        Just out of pure curiosity, is there any relation between
>Brian Doherty (who plays drums on "Cherry In Your Tree") and Billy
>Doherty (who played drums for the Undertones)?

Don't forget Jay Dee Daugherty, who sometimes plays drums for Tom Verlaine!

Fred Hamilton                    


Date: Thu, 05 May 94 21:18:29 EDT
Subject: The Meeting Place

Ok, here I am, another member of the Chalkhills mailing list, new to the
list, old to the ranks of XTC fandom!  I first heard of XTC back in the days
of This Is Pop!, I remember fiddling with my radio dial, late one night, and
(with apologies to Lou Reed), I couldn't believe what I heard at all!  Ran
out the next day and bought up the album and single, and have never looked
back.  I've been an infrequent subscriber to the Little Express, although
I've kept it in good standing the last 5 years or so!  If anyone here doesn't
belong, send in your forms today.  The issues you receive are first class,
the people who run it are unbelievable, and the information is relevant and
timely.  Speaking of which, in the most recent issue, does XTC sound like a
band on the verge of a breakup?  I hope not, but it'd be hard to blame any of
them.  It can't be easy, churning out these little masterpieces, than finding
yourself "almost having to get a job to survive".  One other thing, I don't
know if this has ever been discussed in the past or not, but has anyone else
ever heard the Kinks Tribute CD called Shangri-La?  There's rumors of an  XTC
contribution (a la Colin's Hermits), and I have my own suspicions, but rather
than lead the witnesses, I'll just throw that out there, and see if anyone
else has any other insights!  Given Andy's raving about The Kinks, and
stating that he probably identifies with Ray Davies more than other
songwriter only lends credence to this possiblilty.  I've also noticed some
of the questions lately related to comics, but haven't seen anyone mention
that Andy has appeared as a character in at least one DC comic book, and I
think even more than one.  He's apparently at least known to Al ordon, one of
DC's artists.  Lastly, probably everyone out there also has a copy of the
Look Look video, but if not, I've got a Japanese Laser copy of it, I'd be
happy to dupe copies for anyone who somehow covers the cost of a tape and
postage...let me know!  Cheers - Larry Brown


Date: Thu, 5 May 94 21:53:08 EDT
From: (Joe Lamy)
Subject: The Grays

Hi all.

Shinn Michelle wrote:

>    I have been reading this list for over a year now, and have greatly
> enjoyed the threads that have been spun.  I'd like to start a new one: has
> anyone heard the new (first?) release by a group called "The Grays"?  They
> have a single out called "The Very Best Years" (I think!) that
> sounds much like recent XTC; i.e., great melodic hooks and vocal harmonies.
> I know that at least one band member, Jon Brion, is from Jellyfish, a band
> that has been discussed on this list.  Perhaps others from that group are
> also part of the group as well.  I'm not overly impressed with the
> lyrics (compared to XTC's!), but I need to hear it a few times more.
> Anyway, has anyone heard the rest of the CD?  Is it much the same?

I have it. Let me first take this opportunity to once again heartily
recommend Jellyfish to XTC fans. Get their most recent, _Spilt Milk_ first,
and thank me later.

But on to The Grays. Yes, Jon Brion did some guitar work on _Spilt Milk_
(along with Lyle Workman), but he isn't actually in the band, nor did he
tour with them. The Grays actually have three songwriters: Jon Brion, Buddy
Judge (sorry, no info on him), and Jason Falkner. Jason wrote and sang "The
Very Best Years", and in fact was in Jellyfish, but left after their debut,
_Bellybutton_.  Apparently he didn't feel he had enough opportunities,
since Andy Sturmer and Roger Manning were writing all the songs.

Well, those are the facts, now for my quite humble opinion: it's great! The
writing and singing styles complement each other nicely, and each writer
has at least one standout (i.e. excellent) track. The production is not as
lavish as Jellyfish's, but it is a "headphone" album - meaning you'll be
finding things on the twelfth listen. Sorta Badfingeresque, in a way.

Since I'm finally writing in, I may as well respond to something quite a few
issues old. wrote:

> Does anyone know how to play "Rook" on the piano?  I'd like to learn
> how to play it.
> How many people on the list are musicians?  Those who are, would you
> not agree that XTC songs are the hardest pop songs in the universe to
> learn?  The most I can manage is Peter Pumpkinhead, the intro to All
> of a Sudden, a bowdlerized version of Mayor of Simpleton and about
> half of Season Cycle.  The stuff from the early albums is
> particularly difficult.
> We need some better transcriptions; no offense, but the ones in the
> archives are oversimplified.  Why is there no XTC music in print?

Well, I haven't tried "Rook" yet, but I have figured out a few XTC songs,
like "Chalkhills And Children", "Wrapped In Grey", "Omnibus",
"Ballet For A Rainy Day", and "Miniature Sun" on the piano. I'll try it out,
but I don't quite know how I would explain it over the net. I'll figure
something out...

Yes, XTC songs are some of the most difficult for me to figure out. I seem
to remember someone responding to this who said they were in fact easy.
It's my guess they were approximating the chords, but probably missing a
lot. Then again, if the person who wrote that really did figure 'em out
that quickly, let's start a band!

By the way, I am in a band, called Ghostbeat. We play
quite a few XTC/Dukes songs, along with Jellyfish, Gabriel, Talking Heads,
Squeeze, Beatles, and a bunch of originals. Anyone passing through central

As to why there is no XTC music in print, it's probably because the hacks
they hire to transcribe most stuff would blow a fuse on this. (Actually,
it's probably because they would sell about 10 copies)

Joe Lamy                     "The opinions expressed by me are not those of
Harris Corporation            Harris Corporation. They are in fact culled from    the pages of Tiger Beat Magazine."


Date: Thu, 5 May 94 20:52:49 CDT
From: The Asian Hawk <>
Subject: Box set...

Robert Stacy said...

>After just a cursory look at Dave's Modest Box Set Proposal, I'd
>dump "I Remember the Sun," "Miniature Sun" (hmm, showing distinct
>signsof heliophobia, aren't I?), and "Season Cycle" (sorry -- it's just
>_too_ damn cute for a "best of").  And add "Ladybird" and "Crocodile,"
>right off the bat.

'I Remember the Sun'? 'Minature Sun'? 'Season Cycle'? No way!!!!

All three of these songs really belong on any box set for XTC! The two
sun songs IMO reflect a jazzy bent that really makes them stand out.
'Minature Sun' really caught my ear as a little girl when I first
heard O&L, certainly more than any other song. (At least until I'd
listened a few more times).

'Season Cycle' is SO integral to Skylarking that I can't help but love
it. Cute, yes, but those lyrics are some of the best I've ever

I don't remember if 'Mermaid Smiled' was on the Box Set list, but it
should be...


I still can't believe I've listened to Skylarking for the last five
years *without* Mermaid Smiled...


Date: Fri, 06 May 94 06:56:22 EDT
Subject: Howdy

Hello all!
     Just online!  I am posting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Was first
turned on to XTC via the Dukes.  I bought Psonic Psunspot on wax in 1987.  I
can't say that I fully appreciated it at first, as I was just beginning a
tedious affair with Led Zepplin.  One rather intoxicated summer I took a week
in Navarre beach, Fla and re-discovered the dukes.  I spent the entire week
on the island subsisting soley on Oranges and Lemons and the Dukes anthology.
 Long period of XTC began, followed by eventual neglect.  Re-re-discovered
XTC when I bought English Settlement.  The album inspired me to pick up
every other album that I did not have (and could find here in Baton Rouge).
I found Black Sea, Mummer, The Big Express, White Music, and Rag and Bone
Buffet.  I remember how excited when I taken by surprise by Nonsuch sitting
innocently among older albums.  I quickly grabbed it and rushed home only
to feel rather let down.  Understand now that I was immersed in a much
earlier period.  Nonsuch sounded a bit 'popy' at the time.  Nonetheless, I
took the album with me to a summer job out of state, and found myself
listing to it everyday.  I wonder when XTC will put out a new album.  Have
they already?  I am rarely found browsing at my local music store, because
it is not so local, and mostly because I am a poor Theater/English student
at L.S.U. living on beans and vodka.  (typical student fare, I suppose)
Perhaps the greatest pleasure I receive from XTC is the surprised faces the
music conjurs in those who have never heard of them untill I play something
off of Dukes.
     Side story: I had a chance to drive through Swenden (sp?) England the
summer of '90.  I did not do the obnoxious fan thing and try to call on any
of the members, but I did treat myslef to a drive by one of the houses, and
a page of the local phone book, with Andy Partridge's phone number.  I
never called him, but It was the only Andy.  I guess it was his number.  I
believe that they were out of town at the time, because my friend and I
canvassed many of the pubs with the hopes of gushing over one of the
members, but ultimately wound up drunk on the local happy water (Wadsworth
Bitters, if I recall), talking with toothless old men who had never heard
of XTC.  It was a little discouraging, but the folks of Swendon were very
kind, and my friend and I had a delightful time.  Do they still live there?
     QUESTION:  Do any of the Members of XTC ever post here?
              Take care all!      -Bob


Date: Fri, 06 May 1994 07:40:18 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Shriekback

BEWARE, for some kinda-related-to-XTC-but-not-quite-about-them stuff follows:

I've only been here three months, so maybe the group has gone over this
before, but I've been surprised to see no mention of Barry Andrews'
marvelous post-XTC project SHRIEKBACK.  IMO, _Oil and Gold_ (which I bought
on a lark in '85) and _Big Night Music_ are as good as anything in my
collection.  The former especially invokes the sound of a forgotten world
of ancient evil buried deep in the ground...

And does anyone else think Ethyl Meatplow could also be named "My Life With
the Barry Andrews Kult"?



...centaurs and monkeys cluster around us


Date: Fri, 06 May 1994 09:54:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #346

John Relph said, in his infinite wisdom:

> That is the only official XTC live CD.  There are others, all
> bootlegs:
>     Making Plans for Andy (two different versions)
>     Last Live Show
>     In Motion
>     This is Live!
>     Acoustic Tales
>     Kings For A Day
>     K-Rocking In Pasadena
>     XTC U.S.A. 1980

I have a feeling that the boot-type stuff I have is mostly versions of
this stuff, but I do have an album called _World_War_Three_ that has a
few different shows thrown together (a bit from here, a bit from there)
and it's definitely not the same as the Hammersmith show or any of the
others I have (which sound alike to me).  _WW3_ also has a studio track,
"Traffic Light Rock".

Pete McCluskey described his Dave-involved guitar book in mouth-watering
detail.  Good thing he didn't also mention where he lives.  We have ways
of finding out, Petah...  Seriously, though, what would you charge or
trade for the service of *photocopying* the sucker? (oh, dear, that's
against the law...)

After I refrained from saying it, Dave Franson mentioned:

> Oh, yeah, someone asked about the Elvis Costello list... it's

I swear, I have converted so many people from that list to this one and
this list to that one -- and the EC list thinks I'm crazy for mentioning
XTC so much!  The crossover of these lists is astonishing!

Ben says:
> hear how much tighter they get the second time around.  Andy forgets the
> lyrics to "Love on a Farmboy's Wages", which was worth the fifteen quid
> right there.

You have this on *disc*??  This sounds like the same tape that I have a
tape of a tape of a tape off the radio!  Andy says "shilling for the
fellow who ffppwwuthlwhahala", right?

> And where did you find that _XTC In Motion_, Melinda?

Ha!  Like I'd tell you where I get the goods!  Oh, alright, I already
told Jason.  Second Coming Records, Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA

Greg then said:
> suspiciously attibute this sont to "Greg Lee," who is real, and "The
> three woodsmen," who sound not very real at all.

Hey, I didn't notice that!  And whoever (I'm sorry, I forgot) said they
doubted Andy's vocal on "Change My World" should go listen to "Knuckle
Down" a few more times.  I agree that the middle parts (the "rally all
the pollyannas" bits) sound a little different.  I've been grappling
with this myself, wondering if this is the rumored John Linnell
contribution to the song, but it doesn't quite sound like him, either.
It sounds like some weird cross-breeding of Andy and Linnell...



Date: 06 May 94 10:12:42 EDT
From: Wesley Wilson <>
Subject: Noteworthy Music

If any of you is having trouble getting Carmen Sandiego in any of the
usual stores, or if you live in a remote area with a name like
"Moose's Nose," you might try calling Noteworthy's 800 number and
ordering it (along with Sam Phillip's new CD, if you like), with your
VISA or Mastercard.  Shipping is UPS or Federal Express. Naturally,
UPS ground is the least expensive, at around $4.00 for 1-5 discs.

Noteworthy, as far as I know, does not accept non-U.S. orders.
I think the CD is around $11, factory fresh.  Of course they also
have XTC's entire US catalogue, plus the BBC concert.  Some CDs are at
really low prices (Eng. Settlement - $7.99).  All CDs are new.

The number: 800-648-7972.  They're in Nashua, NH, and have fairly
regular business hours, Mon. through Fri.  If you place an order, you
can get a catalogue.  It's pretty extensive.

I got a really neat tape this week as part of a trade:  the two
Japanese albums on which Andy contributes guitar (Gastronomic,
B2-Unit); Gastronomic is by far the more interesting of the two;
Burning Heads' "Making Plans for Nigel";  part of an acoustic tour
tape I hadn't yet heard (from 1989), and The Poozies' "Love on a
Farmboy's Wages."  I've been so busy this week I haven't had a
chance to listen to much of all of this...can't wait until the
weekend comes!  (I wanna be with all my chums, etc.)

Bye 4 now,



Date:   Fri, 6 May 1994 10:34:45 -0700
From: Todd Wells <>
Subject: Change My World

CH>    Following up on the discussion about "Change My World" on the
CH> "Carmen Sandiego" CD; I go back and forth as to whether the lead
CH> vocalist is Andy or not.  There are some places where it seems
CH> so, but as someone else pointed out a few issues back, there are
CH> other places where the accent is too American.  Anyway, just my
CH> opinion.

I think I saw it mentioned here that the vocals are Andy Partridge and
John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants, which would make sense when
you hear the American accent.  Although Andy is quite capable of an
American accent (as heard on "Pale and Precious")


"Pretty things like incense and flowers -- I wanna make them part of our
sweet love..."   - Brian Wilson


Date: Sat, 07 May 1994 04:39:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Brookes McKenzie <>
Subject: change my world & carmen's song

i am utterly convinced that the lead vocal is andy - he's trying to sound
american to be as anonymous and non-xtc like as possible, and his name _is_
johnny nexdor. ('every aye colorblind' is a particularly successful one.)
what i am unsure of is whether he contributed to writing the song or not -
i'm almost tending to think that he didn't, not only due to its striking
musical resemblance to the song from the old "candyland" commercial, but
because i think it's a little too asinine for andy to have written, even
jokingly. the other thing i go back and forth on is if it's really john
linnell on the verses. it just doesn't sound like his voice. it's very much
in Their _style_ though.

re: carmen's song - andy _might_ be singing on the choruses (if he is he's
well hidden) but he did not write any of that song. if you've heard the first
_carmen_ album you'll recognize that slightly cheesy, punning lyric to be the
hallmark of david yazbek, who wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on both
albums. but on the first one (particularly "where in the world is carmen
sandiego?", which i think is much better than "carmen's song") it's more

also re: the 3 brave woodsmen - now that i think about it i can see how you
think that, but again referring to the first carmen album, they have a song
on that one where it lists their identities as "burl mann, ian jaeger & norm
raposbec". there's something weird about them anyway, i agree, but i don't
think they're xtc in disguise. plus "half a world away" sounds too much like
the monkees to be the product of xtc.

        - brookes


Date: Sat, 07 May 1994 13:03:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: JahUbik <>
Subject: Track Listings

        At the risk of dozens of people filing the same info--
dump this if they do, John--here's the track list for the new Andy
Partridge/Howard Budd CD, due out on JULY 1.
        It's listed as Caroline Records, # GYR 6608.
        Details taken from a store demo tape box, scribbled at
cash register, so there may be (are!) typos, 'cos now I can't read
my own damned writing....

Side 1:
Hand 19
Through The Hill
Great Valley Of Gongs
Western Island Of Apples
Anima Mundi
Hand 20
The Place Of Odd Glances
Well For The Sweat Of The Moon
Tenochtitlan's Numberless Bridges

Side 2:
Ceramic Avenue
Hand 21
Missing Pieces Of The Games Of Gall And Onyx
Mantle Of Peacock Bones
Bronze Coins Showing Genitals
Bearded Aphrodite
Hand 22


	[ By the way, what is it called?  -- John ]


Date: Sat, 07 May 1994 21:12:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: new discography rumors/additions/questions

Dear folks--

I just picked through John Relph's excellent discography, and had these
additions/rumors/topics-for-discussion to add:

1.  The Meeting Place EP--It seems to me that there was a version w/ the 4 4-
        track demos that wasn't a 12".  It was some really strange size, like
        8"--a little bigger than a normal single, but not a 10".
        It had that "smokestack hand" artwork. Anyone ever see one?

2.  My friends & I are convinced that Andy is playing guitar on more than the
        two tracks listed on Joan Armatrading's "Walk Under Ladders".  I
        suspect he might be "Kirby".  Particularly suspect is "When I Get it
        Right"--My friend who noticed this didn't even realize Andy
        officially played on the album; but that reggaeish rhythm guitar
        sounds like some of the "Runaway" jangle guitar. Anyone know
        anything about this?

3.  There are lots of copies of "Go 2" which include "Are You Receiving Me"
        without actually listing it on the label.  In fact, I never knew
        there were copies without it.  And the cover can really vary.  Some
        copies have the text spilling onto a poster inside, (that puzzle
        effect), some have the text hacked-up on the jacket but with no
        corresponding poster, and some have the poster turned into a sleeve,
        with the dimensions all wrong, so the puzzle doesn't work.
        Does anyone know of copies of Go2 w/out "Receiving" on it?

Is there a simple list of all released XTC songs & demos which have yet to be
        compiled on albums?  Anyone want to make one?

--Steve Espinola


Date: Sun, 08 May 94 20:23:49 EDT
Subject: let me introduce myself...

     My name is Asmaa and I guess this the obligatory letter of introduction
to chalkhills. What can I say? I've been an xtc fan for about 3 years did I hear about xtc? my boyfriend is an insane fan...about
chalkhills? i looked it up in the mailing lists on america
favorite xtc album? english settlement...let's see...i'm a college senior and
hope to go to grad school in american studies next year...i promise my
subsequent posts will be more enlightening...this is finals week...bad time

      Before I go...our local "alternative" (I hate that word) station has
been playing an xtc song called "cherry in your tree" for quite a  while
now...i like it...very bubble gum-my...where is it from?

bye for now and peace, asmaa


Date: Sun, 08 May 94 21:24:46 EDT
Subject: Here Comes A Newbie

Hello, everyone, this is Boojum ... i am a newcomer both to this list and,
relatively, to XTC's music.  About a year ago, I bought "The Big Express",
liked it, and pretty much forgot about it; it was only later, on the Elvis
Costello internet list, that my interest in XTC was renewed.  I'm constantly
buying new stuff, trying to catch up, but here's what I have so far:

_Drums & Wires_
_Black Sea_
_Big Express_
_Oranges & Lemons_
_Rag and Bone Buffet_

Plus the Carmen Sandiego CD with the new
 XTC track.

I look forward to mucho Chalkhills mail!

- Boojum

P.S. i owe my existence on this list to Melinda M. Hale ... hi, Melinda!


Subject: Cherry Info
Date: Mon, 09 May 94 09:13:14 +28716
From: Gregory Silvus <>

I thought those looking for Cherry... would like to know that I saw it
(actually two different its - are there two releases of it?) in the
latest Noteworthy Music catalog. Now you can get it through the mail!!


Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 10:14:57 -0700 (MST)
From: Jim Davis <>
Subject: Re: Subscription request.

On Fri, 6 May 1994, John Relph wrote:

>   Please post a message to Chalkhills introducing yourself and
> perhaps explaining how you heard about XTC (and Chalkhills).

Well I'm a systems janitor, err, administrator at the University of
Arizona's CS department.  I think I first heard of XTC in Audio magazine's
record review column, of all places, and first heard the band's music on a
"modern music" station in Salt Lake City (of all places).  Can't remember
the call letters now; it was the one that mutated into KCGL, then KJQ,
then...  I ran across the Chalkhills name while browsing alt.config;
someone said 'how about' and someone else said there already
was a mailing list, and helpfully added the subscription request address.


New Chalkhills WWW home page:

For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
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etc., send a message to the following address:


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