Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #349

                  Chalkhills, Number 349

                   Monday, 16 May 1994
Today's Topics:
                       Re: Bootlegs
                    Various Ramblings
             Shriekback, League of Gentlemen
                    Little Pink Thing
                       zOOm express
                    introducing meself
                     Re: simple list
                   Partridge/Linnell ?
              RE: You have this on *disk*??
                   Re: Chalkhills #348
                    introducing meself
            Raisins and/or prunes. Who knows?
                     Mellowing Bands


Date: 11 May 94 20:55:31 EDT
From: (John J. Pinto)
Subject: Re: Bootlegs

I have been thinking about the following since it appeared in #345:

"But I think the bootleggers have a right to income from the actual
bootlegs because these people DID put in the effort to tape the shows,
to make liner notes, and to press CDs.  They don't get something for
nothing.  And quality sells."

The question of Bootlegs raises all sorts of problems. As an exercise in
"freeing" the music from the strangle hold of corporate control it seems to
speak to the spirit of Rock music. There have been a number of bootleg
recordings that have had a terrific influence on my apprecitaion of music,
Dylan's Royal Albert Hall (which I recently found out was recorded in
Manchester not London, England) is a good example. There are countless other
concerts that I would love to be able to hear but sadly there was no one in
the audience with a tape recorder (Jimi Hendrix in Newark after the Martin
Luther King assasination). It would seem that Bootlegging has entered into a
new era with the semi-legal or non-copyright situation that exists in
countries such as Italy. There are some amazing Boots being produced with
excellent sound and quality graphics and packaging. Sadly this has not been
true for XTC boots. The ones that I have heard are for the most part
miserable. John Relphs apologia for Bootleggers is a nice thought but simply
not true. It is theft plain and simple when personal profit is the only
apparent motive to release discs. Where are the recordings that really pay
tribute to XTC? They don't exist! Take for example the KROQ, Turtle Records
disc. Interesting package, almost acceptable sound and pathetic graphics. I'd
wager that a first generation tape sounds much better. It's downhill from
there folks with some CD's mastered from very low quality multigeneration
tape dubs. You are buying an OBJECT only when you spend what I guess is your
hard earned money on a little bit of low-fi plastic and aluminum. Where are
the quality bootlegs of shows that must exist; Frejus, The Hippodrome,
Marconi Club, Eric's in Liverpool, The Hope and Anchor to name a few shows
that we know were recorded. One would think that because XTC no longer plays
live Bootleggers would seek out quality shows. It amazes me that there hasn't
even been an John Peel compilation for XTC. I'll bet it isn't even that
difficult to licence the tapes.
To defend the Bootleggers "right to income" is ludicrous.

While here...  Has anyone else wondered why four songs were cut from the
BBC/Hammersmith show when the legitimate release came out?


Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 22:33:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jason C. Langley" <>
Subject: Various Ramblings

John Relph writes:

> >Next, in an ideal universe, who would YOU like to produce an
> >XTC album (no, you can't nominate yourself)?
> After hearing the Sam Phillips album I might say T Bone Burnett.  I
> might also say Mitchell Froom.  David Yazbek might be good.  I would

In an ideal universe, my first choice is ... XTC.  After
listening to the Nonesuch demos (especially Andy Partridge)
and _The Greatest Living Englishman_, I think who produces them
might not really be that important.  They could get an
engineer/producer to help out with the mix, perhaps Kevin Killen.

It seems to me that choosing a producer is sort of an afterthought
with XTC, they seem to develop each song in demo form, and then
Dave Gregory helps flesh out the arrangements.  Let me be the first
to admit that the XTC-Beatles comparisions are over-rated, but
George Martin and/or Geoff Emerick would be a great combination.

David Yazbek would be fine, but although I like a lot of records
that Burnett and Froom have done I'd rather they didn't.  I thought
_Mirror Blue_ by Richard Thompson (prod. by Froom) sounded kind of
flat, and the Sam Phillips record sounds a little too sanitized
for XTC.

Felix Culpa writes:

> I've got a copy of this much-talked-about book.   I bought it in London

It would be great if we could include the chords from this in the
Chalkhills/charts archives.

Shinn Michelle writes:

> 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.

It sure has hooks, I hope I don't offend anybody, but I swear
after hearing it on the radio it reminded me of gasp .... STYX.
Yeah, you know "Angry Young Man" or something (no not "The World
is Full of Angry Young Men"), I'd check my copy of _The Grand
Illusion_ but it's long since gone.

Steve Levenstein writes:

>    Anyways, Shonen Knife were GREAT! They played about 15 songs
>    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

Shonen Knife are a lot of fun, kinda what Josee and the Pussycats
would sound like if they were Japanese, wore black leather, and
liked new wave; ok maybe not.  I was intoduced to them by an
unlikely tribute album _Every Band has a Shonen Knife Who Loves
Them_ (Giant 1989).  Big Dipper does "Making Plans for Bison",
(We only want what's best for him... Bear up Bison, never say
die).  Others include Redd Kross, 3 O'Clock, Christmas, and
Sonic Youth.  BTW, the Knife have a song called "Redd Kross".

I haven't seen Shonen Knife yet, but I did see a one off show
of Japanese Beetles w/ Michie-Shonen Knife, Gary Walieck - Big
Dipper, and Liz Cox - Christmas that was really memorable.  Both Big
Dipper and Christmas have broken up for a few years now,
but I'd strongly recommend both if you run across anything by them
especially _Heavens_ by Big Dipper, and _In Excelsior Dayglo_
by Christmas.

Does anyone know if the Andy Partridge CD-5 will be in the next mailing of



Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 22:41:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jason C. Langley" <>
Subject: Shriekback, League of Gentlemen

Elon Brisola writes:

> wrote:
> > 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...
> I love Shriekback, especially "Oil and Gold". Big Night Music, Jam Science,
> and the songs from "Care" and "Tench" are very nice too, IMO.

I haven't heard _Care_, _Tench_ or _Jam Science_ but I believe they're
compiled on _The Infinite_ CD.  I like the dancy hits(?) "Lined Up" and
especially "My Spine (Is The Bass Line)", Dave Allen's (from Gang of Four)
funky bass lines really stand out.  "Oil and Gold" has a bigger production
and is also good, but my favorite is "Big Night Music".  It's quite
different from anything they had done prior to that (especially side two).
Highlights are "Underwaterboys", "Sticky Jazz" and Barry Andrew's
slithering vocal on "The Reptiles and I".  I found _Go Bang_ to be a
letdown after _Big Night Music_.

I'm not sure if anyones mentioned it, but a really worthwhile project
Barry Andrews did after XTC was The League of Gentlemen w/ Robert Fripp
and Sarah Lee (she replaced Dave Allen in Gang of Four) on bass, and Jonny
Toobad on drums.  It has a lot of Barry's hyperactive keyboard playing
like on _White Music_ and _Go2_, which seemed toned down in Shriekback.  If
you can find the record, I'd recommend it, the best Robert Fripp solo
project IMHO.



Date: Thu, 12 May 94 02:03:17 EDT
Subject: Little Pink Thing

        I have been lurking on this list for some time, but this is my first
post.  Perhaps a little history is required ... I have been a fan since the
around '85, my favorite albums are Black Sea, English Settlement & Skylarking &
the Dukes ... When XTC were on their radio tour of North America in support of
Oranges & Lemons, I listened & taped their live show on KLBJ-Austin and after
the music, they announced they were going to sign cd's at a local record store,
Waterloo records.  I brought my cd's up, of course, to get autographed.
        At the time ( & now), I think that Andy's best songs are the highly
melodic ones, like "Pink Thing", and at the time, I had read a magazine article
that said that "Pink Thing" was about his newly born son, Harry.   I had a
friend, though, who thought the song was disgusting, because she was completely
convinced that the song was about masturbation.    I hadn't noticed this until
she mentioned it, but then it was uncanny ...  I know this has been a topic of
discussion on this list for some time ...
        So anyway, when I got up to Andy Partridge at Waterloo, he began to
sign my cd, and I told him that I liked the song "Pink Thing" a lot, but a
friend of mine thought it was the most disgusting song she'd ever heard in her
life.   Andy seemed stunned.  "Why is that?"   he said, his british accent
lilting with embarassment.
"Because she thinks you're talking about your penis."
Andy was shocked, as if he'd NEVER heard this before, but then he laughed,
looking down at his pants, and said "Did you hear that?"
He reiterated at this point that it was about his son ...
So he signed "It's about my son - Andy Partridge" on my cd.

And yes, I have just joined the Elvis Costello list ... Elvis @ the Backyard in
Austin , Texas, May 19th, w/ Crash Test Dummies ...
Austin, Tx


From: "Smith, Daniel R." <>
Subject: zOOm express
Date: Thu, 12 May 94 08:33:00 edt

Greetings folks!

and xtc fans, too.  one day i bought the carmen disc.  a sunday.  i couldn't
find it on a sat.  anyways, i fired off a snail mail to the dudes/dudettes
at zOOm express.  i don't remember what i said, but i was pretty damned
goofy.  it went something like:


I just bought carmen, blah blah blah... re: change my world and johnny
nexdor...tell me who it *really* is.  i know the rumours.  i have a lump of
dollars  burning a whole in my pocketbook and i am looking to purchase
*more* johnny nexdor, in fact *everything* you've got! ..blah blah
blah...[figuring if i butter them up good, they might slip and send some
useful info.  i tried to mention sending them $$$ a lot, too.]

i finally got a response!!  can't even remember all the difappointing weeks
i skipped work and waited for it at the mailbox.  here is what it quoeth:

May 9, 1994

Thank you for being such a fantastic fan of the Carmen Sandi[leggo my]ego!!

If you are interested in buying additional products, they can be purchased
through SILO at 1-800-346-4445.  Keep listening and enjoying Carmen
Sandiego!!! [3pts!]


Dina Ciotti
Zoom Express

nice title, eh?  i'll call up and ask for the zOOm eXpress, please.  as an
aside, I think it is our duty, as soul savers, to fire off a barrage of
phone calls and snail mail to these folks DEMANDING to know the truth behind
this subversive "kids" music and johnny nexdor [and now the thread includes
the 3 wild woodsmen.  or maybe they were brave?  oh and the carmen song
*itself* has been marked!].  i mean for all we know, johnny nexdor could be
a space alien spy.  we can't have *that,* now can we? [oh please!  if there
is a god, let it be a space alien spy! %-]

the letterhead logo was purple and giggly with a mucas green EXPRESS under a

hay:  i figaro if we all stick together on this, what can they do?  hell,
we'll storm the place if we have to.  we're all violent types, eh?

adios, hombres!



From: (Brett Lawrence Ballantini)
Date: Thu, 12 May 1994 10:23:51 -0500
Subject: introducing meself

Howdy all, my name's Brett, and I've been a fan of XTC ever since an old
college neighbor put his _Oranges and Lemons_ in heavy rotation, and danced
about, calling it the "best album ever made."  I dubbed that and the Dukes
anthology from him, and have slowly began acknowledging the sheer
brilliance of the band.  As I'm still relatively ignorant about the band, I
look forward to some thoughtful discussion and other blather that might
lead me to additional purchases and insight.

I'm on the verge of attaining a master's degree in creative writing (despite
the odd grammar and sentence structure of what has been written so far) from
Kansas State University, and I'm quite ready to leave this odd place before
Kansas can creep any deeper through the pores of my skin.

Ta-ta for now.


Date: Thu, 12 May 94 23:55:52 -0700
From: (John Relph)
Subject: Re: simple list

Steve Espinola <> asks:

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

No, but here's something I've contrived to put in the FAQ list
(answers to Frequently Asked Questions)

        -- John

---- cut here ----

27) What released songs have yet to be compiled on albums?

The following released songs are not available on any album or XTC
compilation album:

Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass
       The original version is on the Ball and Chain single.
Goodnight, Sucker
       From the 3D-EP.
Are You Receiving Me?; This is Pop?
       Live versions from the Australian and Japanese Making Plans For
       Nigel singles.
Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down
       Original version from the single of the same name.
Set Myself on Fire
       Live version from the Towers of London single.
Battery Brides
       Live version from the Towers of London doublepack single.
Living Through Another Cuba; Generals and Majors
       Live versions from the Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me) single.
Beatown; Roads Girdle the Globe
       Live version from the Canadian Love At First Sight single.
XTC Home Demos: Terrorism; Let's Make a Den; Find the Fox; The
       Demo versions from the The Meeting Place single.
Ella Guru
       From the Fast & Bulbouscompilation.
Living in a Haunted Heart; The Good Things
       Demo versions from the Mayor of Simpleton single.
Happy Families
       Remixed version from the She's Having a Baby soundtrack album.
My Paint Heroes; Skeletons
       Demo versions from the King for a Day single.
King for a Day
       Remix, "Czar Mix", "Versailles Mix", "I Dub Thee Sir Mix" (four
       mixes in all), from various King for a Day singles.
Always Winter But Never Christmas; Rip Van Ruben; Bungalow; The Dukes
of Stratosphear: It's Snowing Angels
       Demo versions from the Window Box cassette.
The Smartest Monkeys
       Demo version fron the The Disappointed single.
Down a Peg; My Bird Performs; The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
       Demo versions from the The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead singles.
Dear Madam Barnum; Humble Daisy
       Demo versions from the Gribouillage EP.
Traffic Light Rock
       Live version from the Guillotine EP.
I'm Bugged; Science Friction
       Live versions from the Hope and Anchor Front Row Festival
       compilation album.
Respectable Street
       Live version from the URGH! A Music War soundtrack album, but
       this soundtrack is widely available.
David Dreams: Third Stone from the Sun
       Dave Gregory's version from the ``If 6 Was 9'': A Tribute to
       Jimi Hendrix compilation album.
Colin's Hermits: Strawberry Fields
       Dave Gregory and Andy Partridge, from the 1967: Through the
       Looking Glass compilation album.
Merry Christmas Song; Psychadelic Christmas
       Andy Partridge-sung jingles from the Holiday Greetings From
       Geffen Records promotional EP.
Medley: Senses Working Overtime/Grass/Love on a Farmboy's Wages
       Acoustic radio tour versions from the ONXRT: Live from the
       Archives Vol. 1 compilation album.
Cherry In Your Tree
       From the Carmen Sandiego Out Of This World compilation album,
       but this album is widely available.

The "Homo Safari" series has not been released on an album, but the
series was included on the widely available Dear God CD EP.

And of course the songs on the Jules Verne's Sketchbook and The Bull
with the Golden Guts fan-club only cassettes may not be considered
widely available.


From: Derf <>
Subject: Partridge/Linnell ?
Date: Fri, 13 May 1994 11:49:13 +0100 (BST)

So, come on, why has no-one been talking about it?
Is it John Linnell singing with Andy Partridge, or not?
What is Carmen, sandiego, or whatever it is. When will the album be released
in the UK?

BTW, why has Andy Partridge got no mouth on the cover of O&L ?



Date: Fri, 13 May 94 11:41:58 EDT
Subject: RE: You have this on *disk*??

>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 *disk*??  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?

What I believe you both are refering to is a recording made during their
radio station tour for O&L.  It is actually available on disk, but there is a
catch.  The disk is called "XRT: Live From the Archives, Volume 1", and is a
collection of artists that have appeared in live, in some form or another, on
the radio station WXRT in Chicago.  The Replacements, Midnight Oil, John
Hiatt, and others, appear on this disk, as well as the the "Senses Working
Over-Grass-Love on a Farmboy's Wages" medley.  The catch?  All of the artists
on the CD donated the rights of their songs to the radio station, which in
turn gave the proceeds from the sale of the CD to local charities.  With this
in mind, WXRT was allowed to only press 15,000 copies of the CD.  Even though
the CD was released right before Christmas, 1993, I have still seen a few
copies of it in local record stores here in Chicago.  I hope this information



Date: Sat, 14 May 94 03:19:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #348

Hey there folks!  My name is William Loring.  I'm currently living in the
cultural wasteland of Warsaw, Indiana.  I've been listening to XTC since
English Settlement.  Actually, the first songs I really listened to were
"Blame the Weather," and "Tissue Tigers," from a flexi-disc in the now
defunct Trouser Press magazine.  After those, I was hooked.  A testament, I
suppose, to the idea that some of XTC's best toons are the "throwaway"
b-sides.  Stuff like "Extrovert," "Blue Overall," in general lots of stuff
>from the "Rag 'n Bone" collection.

My favorite albums... It changes with mood, but a consistent winner is
"Black Sea."  Other faves are D&W, Big Express, O&L, Dukes, and well... if
I keep going, I'll name them all.

I'm a big Shriekback fan, like others have mentioned here.  I've seen them in
concert several times, and collected most of their work.  The newest album
(Sacred City), is not too bad, a return to some of their darker work.  Has
anyone listened to the Happyhead album "Give"?  Carl Marsh, from the original
Shriekback lineup, is one of the principals.  Very dance oriented, and lots
of fun IMO.

Well, enough from me... back to lurk mode!

Bill Daddy


Date: Sun, 15 May 1994 19:52:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: introducing meself

Hi!  I am a lawyer in Chicago, IL, USA and have been an XTC
fan for many years.  I was introduced to the band during high
school (1979) by a friend, when we listened to Drums and Wires
together.  He had the import version with "We're Only Making Plans
for Nigel", which I could not find on the domestic disc.  In college
I followed them religiously, with Black Sea and English Settlement.
Two of the best albums ever by any band!! ( although I have some other
fav bands too, mostly british).  I also love their humor.
Had tickets to see them tour when Andy had his breakdown.  Bummer.
Anyway, I lost a little track of them during law school, but did
buy Mummer, Skylarking, and Rag a Bones.  When I moved to Chicago
they had just released Nonesuch.  Great album.  My brother is really
into them too, but he isn't on the net.  Anyway, I heard about
your mailing list in The Internet Yellow Pages by Harley Hahn.
(btw, great resource!).  I would like any info on the boys that
you can give.  Thanks.  Bye for now.  Robert Thurston (aka


Date: Mon, 16 May 94 06:02:32 EDT
Subject: Raisins and/or prunes. Who knows?

Miles wrote:

>>but I've been surprised to see no mention of Barry Andrews' marvelous
post-XTC project SHRIEKBACK.

Wow! That's an interesting statement. I really loved the first Shriekback
album when it came out. However, I forget the name of it. It had a big
alternative hit on it, so I imagine you'd recall the name of it.

A striking point in my memory was how the band was introduced on the air,
former ~best~ members of XTC and Gang of Four come together as Shriekback..."
Well, I can't say I agree, but they were enjoyable to listen to.

Melinda writes:

>>I have been directing Boojum's XTC education lately, and he still seems
>>somewhat skeptical about how urgently he needs to find ENGLISH SETTLEMENT.

I second the motion: that is ~the~ quintessential XTC album. Period. I don't
consider anyone a true XTC fan without this in his or her collection.

As for myself, I just moved out of NYC to the Raleigh area, and I keep
about the several new releases that I wish I could get my hands on. The
connection being, I'm flat broke, so I can't afford any of this music right
now. Ah, patience! So please, when you listen to "Cherry" etc, listen for me
too (sniff sniff...)

re: Neil D. Bernstein

> a 63-year-old Postal Service retiree from Dover, Delaware, called 9-1-1 on
> his cellular phone

The news ~in~ the news caught my interest. a 63-year-old retiree with a
cellular phone... We've all gotten so modern!

Sean comments:

SB->what's especially interesting to me is the fact that there are some bands
SB->that don't appreciably go through this mellowing process. robyn
SB->hitchcock, for example, sounds and writes songs virtually the same now
SB->(IMO) as he did in 1977.

I disagree whole-heartedly! At least your RH inclusion. Compare the Softboys
"Underwater Moonlight" to Robyn Hitchcock's "Eye" and I find that maturing
thing quite strongly going on.

and finally:

Mr. Relph:

Where was the XTC lyric snippet! That's my favorite part of the list! Oh...
pain, the pain...

Kyle, aka Skiles Krinski, Fred Houston and Chaplin Norman (in that order)


Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 19:37:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Mellowing Bands

In Chalkhills #348 said:

> In  Chalkhills #345,  Mike says:
> >a related vein, however, has anyone else noticed that bands
> >in general seem to go through this "mellowing" phase as they
> >a) grow older and b) learn more about record production?

> what's especially interesting to me is the fact that there are some
> bands that don't appreciably go through this mellowing process. robyn
> hitchcock, for example, sounds and writes songs virtually the same now
> (IMO) as he did in 1977.  or take the Ramones or the B52s (well maybe
> the mellowing process has something to do with the intellectual content
> of the material!).

        I would take exception to the mention of the B-52's. While I must
admit they have not changed to a great degree, I saw a lot of promise in
"Cosmic Thing." When I fell in love with that album, I looked back in
their catalogue and found a lot of odd dance music, which was interesting
in its own way, but not like the album I liked so much. Several tracks on
"Cosmic Thing" (like "Deadbeat Club," "Roam," "Topaz" and "Follow Your
Bliss") are not kitsch-y dance numbers, like all the songs on their
previous albums had been. Unfortunately, I was disappointed when their
follow-up, "Good Stuff" failed to even approach the promise "Cosmic
Thing" had shown. Does anyone else in XTC-land have some comments on the
B-52's or the "Cosmic Thing" album in particular?

        Derek Miner


For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, fan club addresses, discography
requests (last update 9 May), back issues, FAQ list,
etc., send a message to the following address:


The Chalkhills archives are available at "".
The Chalkhills home page is available at

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Icarus regrets and retires puzzled?

Go back to the previous page.