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From: chalkhills-request@presto.ig.com
To: chalkhills@presto.ig.com
Subject: Chalkhills #365


                  Chalkhills, Number 365

                  Monday, 1 August 1994
Today's Topics:
                    Re: 3 x CD.3 = O&L
                    Introducing myself
             dance with me chalkhills (intro)
                     Fellow Toad Fan
                  "Mummer" cover theory
                    Those BLUR people
                  Re: I want my "Mummy"
                        New Member
                    Introduction......
           Travelling time and kissing lettuce
                        Hi There!
                     Hello Chalkhills
                    AP ten years gone
              Sam Phillips in Boston 7/21/94
                   Re: Required Reading

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 14:36:51 PDT
From: John Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: 3 x CD.3 = O&L

Hans.Malm@eua.ericsson.se (Hans Malm) asks:

>How unique is this one...?      (From the discography)
>
>  9. Oranges and Lemons
>     k. CD-3 (3), Virgin UK, CDVT 2581, 27 February 1989.  three discs, box.

Not so very unique.  It seems that Virgin UK pressed up a huge number
of these little CDs.  Nice box, though, although no information
booklet.  And the track order is slightly different, but you can get
that by programming your CD player with the standard issue CD.

        -- John
--
GCS/MU H++ !g p? au+ w+ v- C++(---)$ US P+ !L !3 E++ N++ M+ V-- -po+(---)
Y+ t+@ 5- !tv R- G? b++ !D B- e++ u+(**) h--- f+(-) r+++ !n+ y+++(*)

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Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 15:06:03 EDT
From: pjl2@lehigh.edu (PATRICK J LARKIN)
Subject: Introducing myself

Hi!

My name is Patrick.  I work for Lehigh University and am an avid XTC fan.  I
have quite a few friends who are fans too.  We used to live and die for XTC
and our only hope for existence was the release of the next XTC album.  Now
that we've grown up a bit, we still LOVE XTC, but have grown away from
idolatry.

I just listened to Black Sea the other day for the first time in a while and I
couldn't believe how much I still enjoyed it.  "Burning With Optimism's Flame"
is fantastic after all these years.

My favorite XTC album is "The Big Express" and i love "Ten Feet Tall".  These
are all futile points, because I love it all and am biased.

Anyway, thats about it.  BTW, I found out about Chalkhills in one of those
Internet Yellow Pages books.  I was very surprised!!!!

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From: Karl J Knack <knackkar@student.msu.edu>
Subject: dance with me chalkhills (intro)
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 1994 15:33:56 -0400 (EDT)

Greetings from Karl in East Lansing, and thanks for inviting me
to the hop.  I have been a big fan of XTC for nearly a decade,
although I passed on them (stupidly) for several seasons before.

   In '79, a friend of mine had a copy of "Drums and Wires",
but he was more interested in getting me to listen to Sparks.
So I never heard the third while they were still a touring
act. I did buy a copy of the "Times Square" soundtrack, which
has "Take This Town", but that wasn't enough for me to want to
hear more.

  It was only in '84, when a friend bought a copy of "The Big
Express" (which does not Re: suck!), that I reevaluated my
opinion. Another friend had a copy of "Black Sea", which was
the clincher.  I was able to buy all the preceding LPs in the
delete bins wherever I went!

  I believe all of their music has merit - I can even enjoy
listening to the "Dub Experiments" when in the mood! I have
enjoyed reading all of the bits on the bytes, and hope I can
make some  kind of intelligent contribution to the discussion
on who I believe to be the ultimate cult funk pop-a roll
group. Thanks - I am

Karl J. Knack

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Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 08:42:13 EDT
From: pjl2@lehigh.edu (PATRICK J LARKIN)
Subject: Fellow Toad Fan

To Marshall:

Yes, Toad the Wet Sprocket do strike me as one of the best bands in a while
also.  They are very underrated review-wise.  Every review I read says they
are "West coast, soft rock, alt wanna be's."  This is so lame and anyone that
thinks this only listened to their albums once.  Toad is very talented.  I saw
them perform several times but the best was in a record store when "Fear"
first came out.  They wer 4 feet away from me and accoustic.  Glenns voice was
unamplified and terrific!  I saw them on the Pale tour for free on Earth Day
at WVU also.  Two free Toad shows, that was great.  They were cool early on
cuz they would send us postcards and free cassette singles and stuff.

BTW, I'll have to get the Blur album now.  All these XTC fans can't be wrong!

Fav XTC song of the week ----->  Yacht Dance
See ya soon,

Patrick

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From: Karl J Knack <knackkar@student.msu.edu>
Subject: "Mummer" cover theory
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 13:20:41 -0400 (EDT)

"Keeks" was curious as to the image on the "Mummer" cover.  I don't
have this as a fact, but I am guessing where the image comes from.

On the inner sleeve of the LP (remember those?), Andy, Colin and Dave
are dressed in rather interesting costumes featuring tall, pointy
hats.  The front cover of the album seems to be the projection of
their shadows (in these costumes) onto crumply paper. Sorry - this
is only theory.  I used to know the meaning of the title, but things
I used to do (it would shock you too) have short-circuited my
memory bank on that as well.

In closing - "Mummer" is a beautiful album, and I am surprised
that there is not much enthusiasm for it.  It certainly points the
way to "Skylarking" and "Nonsvch", neither reallly upbeat, but
how could you make out to "Thorn of Crowns" or "I'm Bugged"?

Au revoir,
Karl J. Knack
East Lansing

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Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 10:46:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: Derek Miner <ind00163@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu>
Subject: Those BLUR people

        Well, here I am jumping on the bandwagon for this new Blur CD,
"Parklife." I originally got a recommendation from John J. Pinto, but I
was sure I wanted to try this out when I saw another mention in
Chalkhills.
        To tell the truth, if I had known the lead track was what I'd
been hearing on the radio, I would *never* have bought the CD. In my
opinion, "Boys and Girls" is a sell-out dance song created just to make a
hard-sell easier in our radio-ready society. Now that I got that off my
chest, I think the rest of the album is an interesting concoction.
        I haven't picked any distinct XTC influences, as some have.
Instead, I just feel the heart is in the same place. I like the way the
album moves around, never sticking to the form you might think it will.
"Tracey Jacks" and "Magic America" are a couple of my favorites. "Far
Out" is an interesting tune, and "The Debt Collector" is a surprising
instrumental. All in all, the sixties influence many mention is there, as
well as a slight modern sensibilty to skew that.

        Derek Miner
                ind00163@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu

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Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 14:54:57 PDT
From: John Relph <relph@presto.ig.com>
Subject: Re: I want my "Mummy"

keeks@maroon.tc.umn.edu (Tom Keekley) writes:

>As one of the few Chalkhillians who LOVES _Mummer_, I'm wondering if anyone
>knows what the title is referring to and what the image on the cover is?
>(It looks like marching toy soldiers to me.)

This question has been asked enough times now that I've gone ahead and
added the question (and it's answer) to the Chalkhills Answers to
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list.  You can get the full answer
>from Chalkhills #114 or you can retrieve the latest copy of the FAQ.
No need to repeat the answer here.  Please send e-mail to
<chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org> if you need instructions on accessing
the Chalkhills Archives.

        -- John

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Subject: New Member
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 20:31:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: Damon Z Cassell <dcassell@lynx.dac.neu.edu>

Hello there.

My name is Damon and I reside in Boston Massachusetts, and yep, you
guessed it, I am new to Chalkhills.

I heard about Chalkhills from some XTC fans who also had internet
access, and I figured it was about time to join up.  So here I am.  I
have been an XTC fan since about 1989, when Oranges And Lemons was
released.  I was hooked on "Mayor Of Simpleton", so I bought the album.
Since then, my interest in XTC has grown to obsessive proportions.
I have almost all recorded material by the band, including some other
assorted stuff that any XTC fan would die for.

The most interesting and cherished thing in my XTC collection is a tape
given to me by a mysterious fellow who worked in a record store and was
pleased by my interest in the band.  He gave me a tape of home demo's
of Skylarking and 25 O'Clock.  The tape has almost ALL the songs from
Skylarking and about half of those on 25 O'Clock being recorded in what
I assume is someone's basement, with little other than a drum machine
and electric guitars.  The fellow claimed that the tape in my posession
is a copy of an original tape that Andy Partridge put together for a
friend of his.  Anyways, it's the closest thing one could probably get
to what they would sound like today, if they played live.

Quick mainstream XTC favorites:

* The CD Maxi-Single for "The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead", particularly
  the home demo of "My Bird Performs" by Moulding.

* The entire Live 1980 CD.  Listened to it so much that the CD won't
  play due to too much handling.  Cost $30 dollars in record stores but
  worth it.

* "Another Satellite" (BBC version) from Rag & Bone Buffet.

Of course I like almost everything but these are my favorites.

Anyways, that's it I guess.  I have not had much time recently to keep
on top of the latest from XTC, so I really don't know much of what is
going on.  Hopefully I will gain some more insight from Chalkhills.

Cheers from Boston
Damon Z Cassell

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Date:  Fri, 29 Jul 1994 15:40:20 +0100
From: LAWRENCED <darren.lawrence@afrc.ac.uk>
Subject:  Introduction......

Just signed on to Chalkhills and so I guess I better introduce myself
as is requested.
I have been an XTC fan since just after 'Skylarking', got into them due
to being a fan of Todd Rundgren. By about a year later I had all the UK
releases on LP, 7", 12", CD single,  etc..
I am a very big fan of their music, my only wish now is to see them tour:-)
Have a few live tapes and it would be nice to trade if you want to mail me
direct it's OK. I'd like some of the latter video's (anything not on look look)
and any studio out-takes/demo's (especially SKylarking sessions!!!).
Nice to have connection with other XTC fans.
I think I've said enough, I have a bunch of work to do.
Have a nice day!!!
Bye
DL

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Date: Fri, 29 Jul 94 12:38:38 EDT
From: patty@gdb.org (Patty Haley)
Subject: Travelling time and kissing lettuce

Hi all:

A couple of questions.

#1:  I keep meaning to ask (so now I'm asking) if anyone knows why the
time for "Travels in Nihilon" isn't listed on the back of the _Black
Sea_ CD.  There's enough room for it, and the time is listed in the
accompanying book.  Was this an oversight or done on purpose?  Does it
matter?  Not really, but what the hell, what's more trivia?

#2:  There's a set of three pictures in the Chalkhills archives of Andy holding
a box of Andy Boy lettuce.  In the one picture, he is holding a head of
lettuce over his face, and in another picture, he is giving that same head
a big fat smooch.  Is this from an accompanying _Trouser Press_ article?  It
seems like the kind of picture they would run.  I think it's pretty funny.
Also, does anyone (John "pass those yummy Idaho potatoes, please" Relph in
particular) know if the accompanying article, whatever magazine it may be
a part of, has been shared in an earlier edition of Chalkhills, or is ftp-able
>from somewhere?

PS--I can tell this is an old pic of Andy--he's got hair.

-Patty

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Date: 31 Jul 94 19:09:13 EDT
From: Neil Barlow <100340.266@compuserve.com>
Subject: Hi There!

Re: I Want My Mummy

Hi John! Great to hear from you so soon.

Thought I'd post a message and introduce myself. I heard about Chalkhills
through a colleague on CompuServe and just had to sign up!

I've been following XTC for the best part of 15 years, ever since first
hearing Nigel. Seeing the documentary 'XTC at The Manor' was what inspired
me to take up drums and music in general, and I haven't looked back since.
The only thing I never got to do was see them live - the very year I bought
tickets was the one that the tour got cancelled. Still, the attraction is
still there, it's one of those things that we all suffer from!

Anyway, I have an answer to Tom Keely's question of CHills #363 about what
a Mummer is.

According to local history, a Mummer was an annual event in small villages
around England during Medieaval times, where the small local community
would get together and act out a series of plays in the market square. So
that the actors weren't recognised by the locals (they would be everyday
characters like the butcher, baker, ironmonger and so on), they wore a
costume made of paper in a traditional way, which is what you see pictured
by the band in 'Mummer's' sleeve.

The analogy to the title of the album is that Andy saw the songs as a
series of plays, something that many listeners refer to as that "pastoral,
typically English" feel that Mummer has. Perhaps that's the reason so many
people find it difficult to listen to, it's a bit too personal, appealling
only to a certain close-knit community.

Hope this helps to cover the subject, I look forward to reading much more
soon!

Best regards

Neil Barlow

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From: Paul Vincent <KNDUSR18@msmail-gateway.university-central-england.ac.uk>
Subject: Hello Chalkhills
Date: Mon, 01 Aug 94 08:16:00 BST

Hello out there.

I see it's good netiquette to introduce myself, so here goes...

My name's Paul Vincent, and I first "discovered" XTC back in
the middle of the British punk rock era, when White Music was
originally released. I loved the energy of punk, but felt it lacked
the humour and warmth of some other rock/pop. Then I saw XTC
on the Old Grey Whistle Test, doing (I think), "Into The Atom Age".
Suddenly punk wasn't so grim! Here were witty, tongue-in-cheek
lyrics, playful false endings, and wilfully tricky time-signatures, not
to mention the late-lamented Barry's stylophone organ sound.
Wonderful!

They've been a constant source of delight to me ever since! I've
recently "re-tooled", replacing all the old vinyl albums with CDs,
and can heartily recommend this to anyone else hesitating - the
bonus tracks on the mid-price reissues bring most albums up
to around the one hour mark, with clusters of tracks from singles
and EPs inserted between the two sides of the original LP. Very
good value,

Anyone know if there's any planned XTC releases fermenting in
Mr.Partridge's brainpan? I've not yet checked out his recent
Harold Budd collaboration, but t'ain't the same as an XTC album,
and it's been way too long since Nonsuch, eh?

Anyway, enough waffle for this self-intro. Be seeing you.

Paul Vincent
University Of Central England

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Date: Mon, 1 Aug 94 08:00:30 EST
From: stacy@trc.com (Robert Stacy)
Subject: AP ten years gone

   Here's the third and final part of a phone interview conducted with
Andy Partridge by Brett Milano, as published in the November 7, 1984
issue of the _Fairfield County Advocate_.
   There were two photos published with the interview.  The first was a
cropped version of the three-shot printed on the inside front cover of
_The Big Express_ CD booklet (for you pervs into vinyl, that's the
photo on the circular sleeve of the Virgin LP release -- I haven't seen
the Geffen, so I can't speak for that).  In the article, the picture
bears the caption, "And then there were three.  Mummers on The Big
Express."
   The second is a publicity shot I don't recognize from elsewhere of
Andy leaning against an old stone and mortar wall with what looks to be
an iron-bound gate post visible over his left shoulder (i.e., to the
right of his head), his right fist perched against his side.  The
caption is quoted from the interview, "Andy Partridge: 'I'm a hermit,
really.  I don't like the glare of publicity . . . Teenage girls will
rush up to me and it's me blushing, not them.'"

                        == Part 3 of 3 ==

                            *   *   *

XTC: Rockers in a Dangerous Time
An exclusive and revealing discussion with the band's eloquent frontman

By Brett Milano

   Advocate: In some of your songs--like "Melt the Guns," maybe--you
picture America as large, powerful, hard to come to grips with.  Is
that the impression you got from touring here?

   Partridge: Oh, very much so.  It's not even an undercurrent of
violence that we saw, it's more of an over-current.  I think when you
live in England, you can't get used to the fact that you'd go into a
hotel in Texas and there's an armed guard walking behind you with his
hand on his gun--or that your hotel in Detroit has double-thickness
bullet-proof glass.  When you live in a place like Wiltshire, the
States are like Sodom.

   A: What do you hear when you listen back to the early XTC albums?

   P: I heard _White Music_ (the first XTC album) in a restaurant
yesterday!  I think one of the waitresses recognized us and put it on
her tape player.  And I just died of embarrassment!  I mentioned how I
felt being recognized on the street--and this was being recognized in a
crowded restaurant, and having your wares thrown back in your face.  I
think _White Music_'s not only enough to be historically alright, it's
our first gropings on vinyl--it's like seeing yourself at your
spottiest, your most teenage-y.  It has its good points, I suppose--
it's violent and sort of exploratory--but I've got to get away from it
further, give it a few more years.

   A: How did you choose the name XTC?

   P: We started calling ourselves that around 1975.  We've been in
existence--myself, Colin and Terry plus revolving fourth members--from
1973 onwards.  The original form we took was kind of punky, because we
wre crazy on the New York Dolls.  We were called the Helium Kids, and
we used to do our darndest to look like the Dolls, and act like the
Stooges.  We chose XTC because we thought it would be a marvelously
easy thing to see in print.  Which it is--people always do put it in
capitals--they're forced to give us respect!  It was kind of like the
music, short and sharp and hopefully with no unnecessary crap in it.

   A: Aside from being a pun.

   P: And think about all the other puns there've been!  Think of how
the Beatles must have felt, being called that!  That's a terrible pun!
We've since discovered all these other things that have been called
XTC.  We've found it's a contraceptive in the States, we've found them
in garages--we'd go into the gents, and there'd be a tin on the wall
saying, 'XTC.'  I brought a pack home as a souvenir--don't think I'll
ever use them though . . . they're probably too old by now.

   A: What are your hopes for the new record?  Does a lot hinge on
whether it's successful or not?

   P: I think that if we got really famous, we'd probably disappear.
We'd cease to exist.  But I don't know--I almost don't have any hope
for records, because I've been kicked in the groin artistically so much
in the past.  I just have to fire these wild punches out, see if they
connect--and if they don't, I'll just have to fire another out.  But
what we put out does have our heart and soul in it, and we're as
truthful as we can be with it.

   A: What's the best song you ever wrote?

   P: Lately I think it's "Beating of Hearts," if only for the lyrics.
There's nothing too special about them, but I really do mean every
single syllable.  Be they naive statements or not, I really do believe
them.

   A: Was the title _Mummer_ meant to be a rejection of rock glamor?

   P: In a way.  This part of the world is especially renowned for
mummers, and mumming performances; it's quite a tradition.  I liked the
fact that they were very ordinary people--which we are; that they did
this kind of thing once a year--which we do; that the songs are usually
strange little songs that people don't always grasp the meaning of--
which we do; they like to disguise themselves and hide away--which we
do; that they don't have any pretensions to show business or star
quality--which we don't.  I just felt parallel to this kinky English
tradition of coming out once a year to do plays and songs.

   A: Any message for the XTC diehards in the States?

   P: Yes . . . don't go away.  I know our stuff is quite a while
coming, but there's another big bunch on the way--so look out!

                            *   *   *

                     == End Part 3 of 3 ==

   May it be thus for a long, long time.

 --RSt

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Date: Mon, 1 Aug 1994 10:37:51 -0400
From: therev
Subject: Sam Phillips in Boston 7/21/94

Hello, everybody.

        I was fortunate enough to attend the recent Sam Phillips concert
at The Paradise in Boston.  It is a very small club.  I was early, I bought
a Martinis & Bikinis T-shirt for $15, and went in.  I stood pressed up
against the stage, just off to the right.  The opening act was Marvin.  He
was a mandolin man, formerly of Lone Justice.  I liked him.
        Sam and her band: T-Bone, Jerry Scheff on bass, the happy young guy
on drums, and the guy from X on guitar, came on around 9:45 PM.  I don't
remember the exact set-list (although I was close enough to read the
guitarist's set-list on the stage), but here's what I remember:
        The Turning, Same Rain, Circle of Fire, Baby I Can't Please You,
Same Changes, Signposts, Fighting With Fire, Strawberry Road, When I Fall,
I Need Love, Wheel of the Broken Voice.  Then an acoustic encore:
(oops, she did Lying, and Holding on to the Earth, and THEN) Private Storm,
and I Can Wait.
        It was a fabulous show!  Absolutely mezmerizing.  She gave a great
performance, and it sounded great.  She seemed to enjoy herself, and talked
a bit with the crowd.
        After the show, I took a poster of Sam from the wall, and stood out
by her tour bus.  Eventually she and T-Bone came out.  She was asked to
sign an autograph, but didn't have a pen.  I handed her one, and so she
signed my post poster next.  She was very nice about meeting people, but
was rushed by a tour security guy to get back in the bus.
        I handed the security guy a note for Sam which told her how much I
loved the show, that I was travelling up to Burlington, VT to see her the
next night, and that she and T-Bone were invited to my family's cottage on
Lake Champlain for a refreshing swim after the show.
        My girlfriend and I drove all night to Vermont.  Upon arriving at
7 AM, we discovered in the local paper that the show in Burlington had been
cancelled.  AAAARRGH!  Oh, well.  I can't complain.  The show in Boston was
enough to get me by.  Had a nice time in Vermont anyway.

        Well, sorry for you XTC fans who aren't interested in Sam Phillips
for writing so long a review.  If any Sam fan is considering starting up a
mailing list devoted to Sam Phillips, PLAESE DO IT!!!

                Thanks, and, um, XTC is really cool.  Bye,

                        --The Reverend Brendan Powell Smith  @8-)

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Date: 01 Aug 94 12:28:19 EDT
From: John.J.Pinto@dartmouth.edu (John J. Pinto)
Subject: Re: Required Reading

 George Gimarc who had an interview that he did with XTC circa Mummer printed
in the Little Express ten years ago has authored an EXCELLENT new book (new
to me) titled "PUNK DIARY  1970-1979". The great news for Chalkhillians is
that it has 35 entries that are XTC specific and countless XTC concert dates
and venues. In fact XTC appear on page one with a description of Andy's first
band Stiff Beach. It gets even better with Alehouse, Helium Kidz (with
photo!) and lots of  references and info as XTC evolves. The book follows a
diary format- who was doing what on such and such a day. Gimarc has combed
the music mags, press releases and a towering stack of other material to be
able to pull this off. A real labour of love. It looks great and reads very
well. My only complaint is I wish that it was available when I read "Englands
Dreaming..." because the whole UK Punk scene would have made much more sense
when given this sort of chronology.
To top it off (as if this wasn't already THE best XTC book since the
disappointing bio.) there is a 60 minute CD enclosed that has a 3'36"
interview with Andy who was in top form.

$19.95  St. Martins Press

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