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Subject: Chalkhills #361


                  Chalkhills, Number 361

                 Wednesday, 13 July 1994
Today's Topics:
                Andy Partridge Harold Budd
                    XTC Pay Per View?
Re: Chalkhills #359 Guitar techie question from Arlo B Leach
                   Re: Chalkhills #360
                          (none)
                   Re: Chalkhills #360
                   Re: Chalkhills #360
                     i'm dreaming now
      Sam Phillips, Club De Wash, Madison, WI 7/7/94
               My first -hills; recent news
                 First posting by XTC fan

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Date: Fri, 8 Jul 1994 21:49:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jason C. Langley" <jlangley@nynexst.com>
Subject: Andy Partridge Harold Budd

I picked up _Through the Hill_ by Andy Partridge and Harold Budd today.
I believe it's an American copy: Gyroscope Records (Marketed and distributed
by Caroline Records) GYR 6608-2.  I'm listening to it as I type this, and
well it *is* ambient music so I'll hold off on any comments about the
music for now.  I thought I would answer a question though.

James Hartman wonders:

> is quite interesting; I'm wondering if it will be this elaborate for the
> American release (instead of a booklet, it is a folded card held together
> with a gold-colored strip.  Stuffed inside the gold card is three MORE
> folded cards with minimal graphics and track titles.

Yes, it's exactly as you described quite elaborate indeed.

Jason

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From: m.mccormick2@genie.geis.com
Date: Sat,  9 Jul 94 04:46:00 UTC
Subject: XTC Pay Per View?

There has been a fair amount of XTC chatter in Usenet's alt.music.alternative
news group of late (John, do you still plan to post a FAQ there?).  Today
someone posted that he had read in a rag called the Illinois Entertainer that
XTC are going to do an acoustic concert on Pay Per View cable TV this year.
Someone also claimed they thought they had read something like that in Rolling
Stone a couple months ago.

XTC LIVE UNPLUGGED ON PPV??? I thought to myself.  Too good to be true.
Besides, I would've heard about it on Chalkhills by now!  So I'm asking -- has
anyone else heard this?  Do we have any Illinoisians here who read this
Illinois Entertainer?

-Mike McCormick

P.S. With all the contributions here from fellow Minneapolis residents, I am
starting to wonder if maybe the Twin Cities (and not Madison, Wisc) is the true
XTC capital of America!  I've lived both here & in Madison, so either way I
can't lose.  Maybe the next XTC Convention should be halfway in between -- that
would probably be the sleepy little town of Black River Falls, Wisconsin!

P.P.S. The XTC appearance here in Mpls was indeed on KTCZ, The Cities 97 FM,
and not on KABL as someone else suggested.  I have a direct-from-radio tape of
the boys singing "Mayor of Simpleton".  And from what I've heard on the O&L
radio tour bootlegs (oops, I said that "B" word!) it was among their prettiest
renditions of the whole tour.  I sure didn't know they stopped for dinner at
Sri Lanka Curry House though!  Did someone say he dined with them there??

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Date: Sat, 09 Jul 94 14:00:36 GMT
From: Steve@nifty.demon.co.uk (Steve Clarke)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #359 Guitar techie question from Arlo B Leach

The solo on 'Smartest Monkeys' is almost certainly dave gregory's synth.

Muso Techie bit follows ****************
Assuming the synth used is Mr. Gregory's Prophet 5, the guitar like 'attack'
can be acheived by locking all five oscillators into mono mode (this is
usually referred to as 'oscillator sync' on roland synths).
****************************************

It's unusual to hear synth solos on XTC songs, being predominantly a guitar
band they tend to use technology sparingly.

It's interesting to ponder that XTC pre-empted the current acoustic guitar
fad by several years (love on a farm boys wages, us radio tour).

--
Steve Clarke

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Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 15:17:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Derek Miner <ind00163@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #360

On Fri, 8 Jul 1994 Mr. Relph wrote:

> >        I read a listing once of something called "A Cassette of
> >Unreleased XTC". Anyone seen this or know anything about it? It had some
> >odd instrumentals and outtakes on it.
>
> I'll bet this is _Jules Verne's Sketchbook_.

        Actually, no. It is listed in that mega-file, XTCyclopaedia in
the archives. The contents include four instrumentals, demos of songs
>from "25 O'clock," the drunken XTC doing "Community Worker Breakdown"
(which I have thanks to you, John), a couple answering machine messages
and a couple other random inclusions. The contents listed were credited
to a listing in Chalkhills, so I can go back and let everyone know when
it was. Maybe that would jog some memories...

        Derek

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Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 14:39:20 -0700
From: mallard@uclink.berkeley.edu (Chong Hyun Byun)

Hello Everyone!

Well, here goes with my very first posting to Chalkhills.  I've been a
lurker for about a year now, but there's a bunch of stuff I want to mention
(and ask) that I decided to break down and post something.

Okay, introductory stuff--I've only been listening to XTC for about a year
and a half now, but they blow me away.  My best friend sent me a tape of
Oranges and Lemons and it took me a while to get into it.  At first, all i
listened to was "Mayor of Simpleton", but then I started getting into "Garden
of Earthly Delights".  Then I asked my friend to recommend some of their
other stuff.  She suggested English Settlement and Skylarking and after that,
it just sort of snowballed and I ran out and bought almost all their other
albums (except for White Music and Go 2, which I just got recently) within
the span of a month.

A few XTC mentions...I work in the Music Library at UC Berkeley and recently
they've been buying more pop and mainstream music, like Peter Gabriel,
Talking Heads, Police (this is all because of a new American Cultures music
class being offered here).  Anyway, on the off chance, I checked to see
if they had anything by XTC and it turns out that they're getting
Skylarking!  Well, I was impressed, I didn't think anyone here had even
heard of XTC.  And here's another little bit--I was going through my back
issues of Stereo Review, deciding which to recycle and I happened upon
their choice of the top 10 recordings of the year (this is in the Feb. 1993).
Anyhow, Nonsuch made honorable mention.  Neat, huh?  Well, these are just
minor little things that no one but an XTC fanatic would notice anyway...

Now for a couple of questions, if anyone out there could enlighten me.  Are
there any (CD) editions of English Settlement and Go 2 which have the lyrics
printed in the CD booklet?  Was the "Dear Madam Barnum" demo released on
anything other than the Gribouillage EP? (I've been looking forever for
that one!)  And can anyone tell me what's on these two albums:  This is
Live (from the Hammersmith Odeon 1981) and Making Plans for Andy (Live
'78 and '82)?  Someone I vaguely know is selling them and I wonder if I
should get them.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for listening (or in this case, reading) this far!

Christie
mallard@uclink.berkeley.edu

P.S. Does anyone have ANY idea of when the new album is coming out?  I was
at my local record store, standing in a puddle of drool, looking up at the
45s they had for sale ("No Thugs...", "Towers of London", "Statue of Liberty")
when I struck up a conversation with a guy who was in a similar pose.  He
said he was from Seattle and had heard on a local alternative radio station
that the new album was coming out in late summer.  Now I've heard all the
rumors, but does anyone have a concrete idea?  Thanks!

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Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 09:34:18 +0800
From: barry@rex75.west.sun.com (Barry Greenberg)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #360

In the current issue of the LosAngelesReader (a local weekly rag)
there is an interview with Andy Partridge.  Much of the interview (and
it's rather short) focuses on his collaboration with Harold Budd.  Here
are the Q/A's that I found most interesting:

Q: What about the next XTC album?
AP: I'm really behind on getting our new album going.  I'm just going through
a divorce.  A lot of people say, "I'm sorry," and I'm the first to correct
them.  It's really necessary.  Divorces are horrible for bunging your creative
brain up.  I'm so easily sidetracked -- I have a "magazine in doctor's waiting
room" mentality.  I'm working on material for our next album.  It comes
off the branch line of "Rook," "Wrapped in Grey," and "Bungalow" [from
Nonesuch].  We're moving away from standard rock 'n' roll -- it's nowhere
near the "Peter Pumpkinhead"-"Crocodile" line.  Colin is writing and I
have six demos and three or four in the head.

Q: Any drummer in mind?
AP:  I don't plan to have drums on the new album.  The propulsion would come
>from the feel of the instruments.  At the moment -- I hate to say it -- it's
mostly orchestral.

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Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 11:14:24 PDT
From: pchuss@corp.megatest.com (William Pat Chuss)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #360

> From: Tim Szeliga <tim@snow.nohrsc.nws.gov>

> don't much care for Nonesvch, not one lickle bit.  Owned Skylarking
> for a year or so on cassette, but it never worked for me as car
> music, so it got purged as a trade-in to the used record store.
> Maybe I should give it another try.

You most definitely should.  Skylarking is most probably my favorite.  It
didn't grab me at first either, but after a few more listens the songs I
like the least became my favorites ("Summer's Cauldron/Grass", "Man Who
Sailed Around His Soul").  Excellent production by Mr. Rundgren if you ask me.

Oh by the way.  Hello all.  I'm a newbie and a huge fan.  I'm not as well
versed as many of you seem to be and really look forward to learning about
one of my favorite bands for all of you.

Pat

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Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 20:18:01 -0500 (cdt)
From: "my world is spinning..." <LEACH@ac.grin.edu> (Arlo B Leach)
Subject: i'm dreaming now

hi there-

i've enjoyed, with some astonishment, the XTC dreams that have been reported
here, but i never thought i'd have my own.  well, it happened last night:

i dreamt that my clock radio went off in the morning, and in the brief time
it took for me to hit the snooze button, i heard andy partridge's voice.  i
fell back asleep, but when the alarm went off again 9 minutes later, there he
was again -- playing an acoustic guitar this time and talking.  but,
automatically, i hit the snooze again.  9 minutes later, the alarm went off
again and andy was introducing a song -- and while i was dozing off, after
hitting the snooze button, it occurred to me that andy was doing a live
interview at the radio station -- right there at the des moines, iowa top-40
station, the only one that comes in reliably on my clock radio.  he was there
with a guitar, talking, telling stories, playing snippets of songs!

well, i desperately wanted to get up, turn the radio on and listen.  in fact,
i wanted to tape record the show, so that i could finally have something to
bargain with when all of you offer great bootlegs and things for trade.  but
all i could do was listen for a few seconds every 9 minutes, then hit snooze
and fall asleep again.

hmm...i hope that didn't really happen!

-arlo

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From: Dave Franson <exe02298@char2.vnet.net>
Subject: Sam Phillips, Club De Wash, Madison, WI 7/7/94
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 23:36:43 -0400 (EDT)

Sam Phillips, Club De Wash, Madison, WI, 7/7/94

Thanks to a fellow Chalkhillian, who posted of his disappointment that he
would miss this concert, thereby bringing news of the concert to me for
the first time, I was able to journey 70 miles westward last Thursday and
see Sam Phillips live.

My wife and I braved a couple squall lines, not to mention the perils of
fast food, before we arrived at the Club De Wash at 6:45 or so for an
anticipated 7:30 concert start.  The Club De Wash should probably be
redubbed the Pub De Wash, since the capacity of the place has got to be
150 or so tops.  We arrived just in time to snatch up two of the remaining
tickets for sale, and quickly staked out our territory for the evening.

A local act began at about 7:45 and played for 45 minutes.  They were fine
in a nondescript acoustic sort of way, and I probably would have enjoyed
them much more if the Club De Wash wasn't rapidly approaching conditions
ripe for SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION ("Whoops, there goes another one" --
The Bobs).  It was hot.  Really hot.  Pass-out hot.  Like 110 and
climbing.  Like drink a pitcher in two minutes and not even feel it,
because your body's crying "slake me, slake me, slake me."  (Or was that
"Slake Me to the River"?)

Sam Phillips et al took the stage at about 9:45.  Et al included T-Bone
Burnett, Jerry Scheff on bass, and a drummer and lead guitarist whose
names I didn't catch.  The first two numbers were spent doing an impromptu
sound check.  (Although I wasn't able to confirm, Sam alluded to a
redirected flight due to bad weather in the area.)  The first two numbers
and the sound check concluded, the mix was sounding mighty fine and here
are the tunes that I remember the band performing (in no particular order):
Signposts
Same Rain
Baby I Can't Please You
Circle of Fire
When I Fall
I Need Love
Wheel of the Broken Voice
Lying
Raised On Promises
Go Down
Holding On To the Earth
Turnings (?) <unheard song>
acoustic solo encore <unheard song>

"I Need Love" was dedicated to Rush Limbaugh, but not with a straight face.

The band required three tries to launch into "Signposts"-- T-Bone began
with the slashing guitar strum (sturm?), and Sam came in a little out of
synch on the vocals before stopping the song and pleading for another
chance.  Second time 'round, Sam came in nicely on the vocals but the rest
of the band faltered until T-Bone stopped the song.  This was accompanied
by much laughter, 'natch.  Sam briefly explained the hazards of touring
with your producer, with his autocratic authority to stop the song if he
feels it's amiss, and, worst of all, the fear that he'll fine the band
members for screwing up.  Anyway, the third try was the charm and the song
came off wonderfully live.

Oh, hell, the whole concert was spectacular, 'though it's not like I'm
capable of impartial observance or anything.  Sam's voice was incredible,
the lyrics were intelligible, and the tunes that you'd expect would kick
ass did so.  And the audience was clearly full of true believers, among
whom I'll number myself.

And about that stage presence thang -- Sam does have stage presence and an
undeniable ability to captivate, but it's more to be found in her knowing
nods and stares then any choreography, which is basically nonexistent.
She had an explanation for that, by the way -- she laid it at the doorstep
of a popular fellow performer, saying something along the lines of "Some
of you may have realized that I don't do a lot of complex dance routines
up here.  I used to give it my best shot, but I was pretty well
traumatized by a Paula Abdul video I saw seven or eight years ago.  So
this is about all you're gonna see me do."  Well, that paraphrase didn't
do her justice, but trust me when I say that she was utterly charming.

Thanks for letting me post this to the XTC list.  Hopefully, it'll be
worth some of y'all's time to read it.  I just had to write it.

Dave

BTW, two of Sam's earlier efforts, "Cruel Inventions." ('91) and "The
Indescribable Wow" ('88) have apparently been rereleased to tie in to the
release of "Martinis."  At least they seem to be newly available in
Milwaukee, WI.  "Cruel Inventions" is particularly notable -- it may be
even stronger than "Martinis &."  "The Indescribable Wow" finds Sam still
searching for her voice, 'though it does have several notable songs.  All
are produced by T-Bone, and all feature the same group of core musicians.

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From: KB305@aol.com
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 94 19:59:00 EDT
Subject: My first -hills; recent news

I just read my first Chalkhills, #360; thanks a lot!  I read about this in
one of those Guide-to-the-Internet books that a friend got me.  It's the
first thing I've subscribed to in this way.

I'm the Dir. of Purchasing for a very large CD & tape distributor here, so I
hear a lot of stuff.
My Geffen regional rep told me recently that as Geffen lost a lot of $ on
Nonsvch, that in all likelyhood they are no longer signed to the label in the
US.  "..Peter Pumpkinhead" was the worst-testing video in the history of MTV.
 (I think it's cool.)

On the other hand, I've heard two conflicting rumors: (1) that XTC are no
more, and (2) that they are in fact beginning work on their next record.  I
can't back up either one of them yet, but if I can, I'll let you all know.

In the event that you can't find the Partridge/Budd CD or even the Live BBC
CD, let me know.  We wholesale those items, and I can probably steer you to a
store that has them.  Or I might trade you for something really
interesting...

many thanks...

Kevin Brunkhorst
reply: KB305@aol.com

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From: Xtc456@aol.com
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 94 20:40:12 EDT
Subject: First posting by XTC fan

Hello everybody. I'm Jim Williams. I'm still new  at all of this.
I only became aware recently. Got hooked up to AOL about a
month ago and I've been riding the Internet speedway in kind
of a blur since then. It's so vast! Big,too. I'm still trying to
figure out what's out there and I was Xtatic when I gopher'd
 XTC and the chalkhills group came through. You all know
what a special surge of excitement it is when you find out
that you're not alone. It's a much craved, often dashed sense of
*belonging*. I, like many of you, have been manically
following XTC for so very long. In my case, it's been FOURTEEN YEARS. I'll
say that again,if you don't mind. Fourteen years.
Hmmm. Doesn't seem like it. And yet, on a much deeper level
(the soul?) it seems like more. It all started with Black Sea.

   I had heard Life Begins at the Hop as a single and thought it
was catchy but I was too young or too busy to take any more
notice than that. A local radio station (remember when they
used to be good?) would play a new album in it's entirety every
night at 11. I would tape it. I got turned on to some very
good music that way. One night they featured Black Sea
and I was transfixed. From Respectable to Travels I sat there
and knew. I just knew. At that time, having very little money and
no access to more, I had to content myself with wearing down
that tape. Each listen brought me closer to the truth. Though,
that could be age romanticizing it. I believe I may have known
instantaneously.

By the time English Settlement came out, I'd
already found a way to make money(working in a record shop)
so I'd already picked up all the albums plus quite a few of the
EP's and singles. Andy Partridge had become more than just
a musician to me by now;he was bordering on kindredship.
His musical style, coupled with his anger, passion and humor
made me care more deeply about his "message" than any of
the so-called "voices" of my generation. This was something new.
This was truly *important*. The fact  that no one was paying
any attention to it should not surprise anyone here. True genius
shines too bright for the masses.

   Sooooo anyway, ES was the first album I'd bought that was
actually current with it's release. But, just as I'd come to
understand XTC's language, they changed their lexicon! It was
difficult at first( as any adaptation for the better should be) to
hear this music as part of the same band's collection. It was so
much more 'mature'( though I hate to use that word, it really
fits). And not just sonically. Compositionally, too. These songs
were tremendous departures from form. Jason,Yacht,Africa
Melt- HELL! ALL OF THEM! They were all new. And while
Senses was the height of this new maturity's accomplishment
(still one of the greatest examples of drum fills as dramatic
punctuation I have ever heard),others, like the endearing
Snowman and All of a Sudden,showed the lengths to which
XTC had yet to go. I wore out the vinyl and broke my eyes
staring at the sleeves.
   I continued to acquire the odd single from their early
 years( some very odd indeed) and tried my best
not to let any new product escape my grasp. Basically I was
successful. But of course, you can't have everything ( where
would you put it?)

   When Mummer arrived I  was, I must admit, disappointed. I
felt they had gone too far in one direction, forsaking the
true potential of their talent. They are, by and large, the most
unforgettable of XTC's catalogue. With the glaring exception of
Funk Pop a Roll, Human Alchemy and Frost Circus, of course.
   I do remember crying at the end of Funk pop a Roll when
Andy says Bye ByE. I really was sure this was the end.

     When The Big Express arrived it was with no small amount
of shaking and sweating that I unwrapped that plastic and placed
it tremblingly on my turntable(remember those?) The sonic
blast still bowls me over. Many songs on that album remain in
my top 20 or 25  of all time. Obviously Reign of Blows but also
Blue Overall and Train running low. I've heard some XTC fans
call this album one of their worst but I am strictly of the opposite
view. I loved the aural battlefield I walked upon. Shake you
Donkey Up is a close runner up to the above mentioned.

    I realize that I have used up about 21 jigabytes of space on
an introductory letter so I'll stop now(even though I'm far from
finished- I really could talk about XTC for days). If anyone's made
it down this far into the letter, Andy bless you and thanks.
Please feel free to respond to this letter in the regular postings
[ hate it? Love it? Think I'm crazy? ] or email me direct.
   I must let everyone know that I have been genetically altered
in such a way that it is impossible for me to be brief when
writing. I just kind of get lost in my own words. It's not
pomposity that makes me do this. I have no control.
Oh well. Gotta go. Time for my meds.
Jim
XTC456@aol.com

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