Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #369

                  Chalkhills, Number 369

                 Thursday, 18 August 1994
Today's Topics:
                         Re: Wire
                XTC Cover By, Uh, Primus?
                      Blur and Budd
                   On Age & Nothingness
                     Another newbie!
                         Re: Go2
           What Melinda believes Andy believes
           Re: pulling apart music, Toad review
                another doddering oldster
                     Through The Hill
                    Who Knows Italian?
                     Implode Together
            Andy singing on "Change My World"
                  Little Express anyone?
             Introducing myself as instructed


Date: Sun, 7 Aug 1994 19:33:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: terry kroetsch f <>
Subject: Re: Wire

Sorry for the slightly off-topic post but I've heard about so many great
bands because of this list (Toad, Grays, Jellyfish - ooooo found a $1 5CD
of Jellyfish Live doing one original and the rest covers of Badfinger and
McCartney tunes, Blur)...

Are there any fans of  Wire? Please contact me if you are. Is there a
club? An address? Anything? Perhaps Wir new recording? I'm desparate.



Subject: XTC Cover By, Uh, Primus?
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 1994 22:43:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Damon Z Cassell <>

I am sure that most of you have heard the cover of XTC's "Making Plans
For Nigel" by Primus.  Well I just heard it for the first time on the
radio here and I was surprised.  I had heard such a cover existed, but I
never expected to hear it on the radio.

Primus actually did quite a dignified job on this song.  It's the
perfect mix between the XTC sound and Primus' warped, bass heavy, sound.
I watched some parts of the Woodstock 94 festival hoping to see Primus
actually do "Making Plans For Nigel", but Pay Per View apparently
thought Crosby Stills And Nash were more important, so I could only
settle for a few bits of the Primus act.  Well, it was a long shot.

Does anyone else know of any bands that have had a major release and
done an XTC cover?

Damon "Yes, I guess I am pretty young around here (18)" Cassell
Boston MA


From: (Vince Layton)
Subject: Blur and Budd
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 9:51:14 CDT

After reading the raves about the "XTC-ish" sound of Blur, I
picked up the cd. I got home and popped it into the player.
The first song starts up's this awful disco song
I've been hearing on the local "alternative" radio station.
You've probably heard it too. "boys who love girls that do sheep
that eat fish". Ugh! I change the station whenever this song
comes on. I felt like a first class idiot for purchasing this
cd(and I'm sure many of you will think I'm a first class idiot
for slagging the song).

I just thought I should warn people that don't like disco that
this song could cause cancer in laboratory animals. This is my
opinion so don't kill me if you don't agree. I lived through the
original disco fad and have held a prejudice against this type
of music ever since, so many of you may really enjoy this cd.
Yes, some of the other songs do remind me of XTC.

Regarding a previous post about the Partridge/Budd cd. The writer
was slagging Budd's poem about "coins with genitals...". I believe
that the poems were actually written by Partidge and only read by Budd.



Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 11:50:53 PDT
From: Steve Schechter <sschech@>
Subject: On Age & Nothingness

In Chalkhills #368, regalvin writes;

>To Kiwi, who was 4yrs old in '79:
>ppllllbbbhhtt!!  :P
>Undoubtably (I hope), I am not the oldest subscriber to this list (I'm 30).
>But, thanks anyway for making me feel like petrified dino-droppings. :)

I'm 40.  (But I think of this as an exhibition, not a competition.) But
inside, where it counts, I'm still 14.

I've been listening to XTC from the first album.  I'm a fairly new
subscriber to the list, just wanted to say 'hi' to everyone and mention
that I'm really enjoying the information being passed along here.

 Steve Schechter          | Sybase Professional Services New York
 212-596-1156              | "In all matters of opinion, our adversaries   |             are insane."  -- Oscar Wilde


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 23:58:31 EDT
Subject: Another newbie!

Hi All!
  My name is Ken VanTassell and I've been an XTC fan since Drums and
Wires".My first favorite song was "Helicopter" and of course "Making plans
for Nigel" which was also the first XTC video I taped off of the tube. I used
to play XTC on the air all the time at WCWP, the FM station that I worked at
during my years at college.

Anyway, does anyone out there in cyberspace collect XTC audio and video? I
have several live concert tapes, the skylarking demos and a few video tapes.

I also have two extra XTC 45s for trade. I have American promo 45's of
"Making plans for Nigel" and "Ten feet Tall" Both have picture sleeves, promo
labels, and are mono/stereo "a" side only.


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 02:56:39 EDT
Subject: Re: Go2

Steve Krause writes:
"To my mind, Andrews' playing fit in with the way XTC was for the
first two albums. If you look at his further work in Shriekback, you'll
see quite a bit of evolution away from the wacky-organ bit. He would
have been an interesting factor in some of XTC's later stuff. And
even his songwriting improved greatly over time (which shouldn't have
been too hard, given the baseline was his abysmal Go2 contributions)."

Abysmal Go 2 contributions?  I really really like both My Weapon and Super
Tuff.  They fit the character of Go 2 perfectly -- herky jerky dissonance and
heavily accented lyrics.  That album is FUN from start to finish.  As far as
Shriekback are concerned, there was certainly an evolution over a few albums
there before Barry polished/neo-commercialized his sound.  "Tench" and to an
extent, "Care" back way off into minimalism -- miles away from what XTC were
doing concurrently.

-- Joe


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 03:05:07 EDT
Subject: What Melinda believes Andy believes

Regarding Melinda's recent Chalkhills #367 posting regarding Andy's belief of
the things he writes:

Don't you just find him a little bit pedantic sometimes?  I mean, Books Are
Burning has got to be one of the most pointless songs to write.  Why make the
obvious so grandiose and overstated?  Think about XTC's audience -- generally
at least 20-something college graduates based mostly in America.  Are we
supposed to be enlightened?  Moved?  I find that song unlisteneable.

-- Joe


Date: Sun, 14 Aug 1994 15:24:50 GMT
From: (Ashley Powell)
Subject: Re: pulling apart music, Toad review

Marshall Pierce <> writes:
>> From: (Ashley Powell)
>> ...Music is there to be heard, not pulled apart, ... but I couldn't really
>> say why [one likes certain songs] ....I compose a lot of my own music,
>This is kind of a non-sequitor, no?  Yes, music is to be heard but here are
>2 reasons why it should be pulled apart:
> 1 - what is it that makes it so good for you - what things do your
>     favorites have in common?  eg I like lots of harmony, from stuff like
>     B52s (when the ladies sing), to XTC - but also lyrics that are really
>     saying something
> 2 - what is it about the song technically that makes it better than other,
>     especially since this information can be used by the composer.  This
>     also gets into how you hear something new everytime you listen to
>     certain tunes.
>> meaningless twaddle
>This is not a really a tactful thing to say when one joins a mailing list
>*devoted* to one group.

You've rather missed the point.  As you state in your reply, what makes it
so good for _you_, it gets into how _you_ hear something.  That's fine for
the individual, and I personally have great fun listening to music, and
sorting it out in my own mind.  BUT, I wouldn't dream of offloading all
that crap onto someone else - not unless I wanted to make a point or, as
seems all too prevalent, to reach out for confirmation that my feelings
about (whatever the subject is) are the right ones.

Having read a couple of issues of Chalkhills, I realise that much of it
_is_ concerned with pulling music apart, and yes, much of it _is_
meaningless twaddle.  The interviews are great, for I actually get to
find out facts about how pieces of music came about, what motivated the
group to write certain things in certain ways, and while 9 times out
of 10 it doesn't particularly add anything to a piece of music
(occasionally it can ruin your own perceptions), it is at least 'from
the horses mouth' and not just speculation.

What I object to is wasted space about why X disagrees with Y about how
snare Z ruined song W three minutes into the track, especially when Y then
writes back and reiterates that he still believes what he said in first
place, so there :-'.  If I've heard the track myself I already have an
opinion one way or the other, and if I haven't then it really _is_
meaningless twaddle to me.

I'll preempt a possible reponse to this by agreeing wholwheatedly that
what I write now is complete twaddle which benefits nobody, but it will
just go to make up the usual 50%.  Not a tactful thing to say, I know,
but I'm not here to be tactful; I'm here because I like XTC.  Besides,
tact has no place on a mailing list where I am (presumably) quite
welcome to voice an opinion that XTC are shit :( , and people are equally
welcome to write back in droves and argue how wrong I am :).  I don't know
about anyone else (opinions welcome), but if I see such articles coming
I'll skip through them to the interesting stuff.

And like everybody else who reads and writes to this list, I have my own
opinions which are only my own.  If I ever doubt those opinions. you'll
hear from me. Otherwise, lets just speak when there's something to say.
Ashley Powell


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 11:31:17 PDT
Subject: another doddering oldster writes:
In answer to your question, I for one, am 31. But I don't think that
age matters.  I've only been a fan of XTC for a little over a year,
myself, even though they started out while I was in high school. And my
other favorite band, the Beatles, were recording their first album on
the night that I was born.  It's all relative, man.  Music is eternal.

||||||||    indeed it is -- you whippersnappers  :)  i'm a whopping 40.
 i was born the week that Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" was
released.  I didn't start buying records until i was 14 and the
psychedelic era was in full swing in 1968-- and even i was too young to
go to bloody Woodstock!!   I didn't really get into "new wave" music
until 1981, well after i had graduated from college, and shortly
therafter glommed inextricably onto XTC.  I am now also heavily into
cool jazz of the late '40s and '50s.  Music is indeed eternal.  After
all, Andy is into medieval madrigals etc. yet produces some fantastic
pop music.
i find it amazing that XTC has been in existsence for a period of time
equivalent to that between Elvis Presley's first recordings and
Emerson, Lake and Palmer's (for an absurd example), or between the
first Beatles recording and the end of The Seventies.  Whoa, oldtimers.


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 15:23:25 PDT
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Through The Hill

According to a catalog I've seen, there is a Japanese release of
_Through the Hill_ that has two bonus tracks.  Has anybody seen or
bought this version?  If so, send in the details now!  Thanks,

        -- John


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 23:42:00 UTC
Subject: Who Knows Italian?

On a recent vacation to Philadelphia, I happened upon a book about XTC.
It's a 1992 book and was published in Italy.  The cover says "XTC: Testi Con
Traduzione A Fronte".  It starts out with about 40 pages of text, all in
Italian except for song titles, and continues with the lyrics to about 60
songs, through Nonsuch and in both English and Italian.  It concludes with a
discography, again in Italian except for the song titles.

Has anyone else seen this book or, better yet, has anyone seen it and had
the Italian translated into English?  Is there anyone out there, fluent in
Italian, who would be willing to translate a photocopy of the Italian text?
The recognizable song titles and names in the text makes me want to know
what the whole thing says!



Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 21:31:01 EDT
Subject: Implode Together

In the two responses to my attack on G.L.E., both writers agreed that the
songwriting is the strongest point of the albums. Yes, indeed. Sadly, it is
Andy's contribution to the album which hinders it. Yea, it's better than a
lot of stuff being released now, but that doesn't count for so much. 20/80
rule of gems to garbage has always been in effect. G.L.E.'s OK within that
20%. But, it's not what I expect from Andy. Perhaps favoring strong
production colors me as slight, the suggestion of which doesn't offend me,
(thank you Curtiss for the curtesy) but there's a bigger point that has been
bothering me:

The implosion of Andy Partridge

To wit: are we all witnessing the painfully slow unraveling of Andy
*   Since English Settlement, there hasn't been one producer who has had an
    effective and cooperative relationship with Andy. The consequences
    haven't been favorable.
*   Andy's absolute refusal to tour. His arguement that the Beatles didn't
    tour is lame. Apples to oranges. (Yea, yea, orangles to lemons...) Their
    refusal to tour creates an Elvis-like situation, where us fans are
    reduced to discussing Andy sightings. Please don't get me wrong, I love
    reading about people's personal meetings, but why must we be left
    scrounging for such rare tidbits?
*   My most subjective point--Andy isn't challenging himself as much as he
    used to, creatively speaking. While I enjoy their later works, the
    tension of XTC's earlier works--one of making artful pop, is lost, now
    that Andy has resigned himself to that of an artrock icon.

They don't tour, they're too easy on themselves, and they take their fans for
granted. Net effect: Good bye, XTC. Oh well, It was fun while it lasted.

One other point about drummers. Live drummers simply rule over a drum
machine. It's that simple. I don't agree that Andy has a hard time with
drummers, I think he fancies his own drumming talents are more worthy than
another contributor to the band. Or at least his vision. As for economics,
try to convince me there isn't a drummer nearby that wouldn't kill to have
recorded on that album for peanuts, if not free.

I suppose Andy could prove me wrong with the next album, here's to hoping;

"What's the blue thing doing here?"--TMBG


Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 20:47:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Greenwich Library <dwaring@CLASS.ORG>
Subject: introduction

Hi y'all
        As a long term XTC devotee, I'm pleased to find a forum such as
"Chalkhills" for the exchange of ideas, opinions etc. regarding what is
my favorite band.  My first exposure to Swindon's finest came about as a
result of borrowing the "Drums and Wires" LP from the library that
empolyed me at the time.  I was impressed, and subsequently bought a copy
for myself on the the strength of the musicianship and general cleverness
displayed in the lyrics. "English Settlement", however, was the real eye
opener for me. Unfortunately, this album coincided with AP's decision to
forego touring...So, in the absence of any flesh and blood XTC, I've
contented myself with buying every recording I can get my hands on.
I'm looking forward to all the tidbits to be gleaned from "Chalkhills".


Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 02:22:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve Johnson <>
Subject: Andy singing on "Change My World"

Neil Oliver said:

"Even though the band has a jokey name, the credits identify
all the musicians and they're basically the people who play
on the other tracks."

However, did you notice on the credits to "Change My World"
that there is NO vocal credit?  Though it is quite debatable
whether John Linnell sings on it, Andy most definitely does.
Although I don't have the source, Andy was quoted as saying
he was doing "a little more than one song" for the Carmen
Sandiego album.

This is possibly the same thing with people like Robin
Williams and even David Letterman doing acting without any
credits (or under pseudonyms anyway) -- so that they can do
'favors' for people by working for less money than they'd
normally get if they got full credit for the work.  Andy sang
on "Change My World" for either FREE or for pay as a 'regular'
studio musician, not for pay AS Andy Partridge.  Favors like
this happen all the time in the entertainment industry.


From: (Mike Gervasi)
Date: 16 Aug 94 20:05:43 -0500
Subject: Little Express anyone?
Organization: FidoNet Nameserver/Gateway

I remember about 4 months ago I recieved my copy of Little Express (The one
with Dave in blue with guitar on it). I had sent them quite a bit thinking
my subscription had run out (as I've heard many people did). I received
with the aforementioned issue, 10 or so back issues. I'm still waiting for
the new issue. I'm beginning to think that maybe they packed it up and sent
me the back issues to clean house/give me my "Refund". Anyone know what's
really going on? I would hate to find out it's gone.

------------------------------------------------ Mike
 * Wave Rider 1.20 # 367 *
... Bashir Burger:     (Just a burger, but thinks it's a Big Mac.)
--- Blue Wave/Maximus


Date: Thu, 18 Aug 94 14:15:21 BST
From: (Chris Wright)
Subject: Introducing myself as instructed

Hello all-

I've just discovered Chalkhills about 3 weeks before I leave my job and
my account, with no garauntee of access in the future- but there you go.

I discovered Chalkhills more or less by accident, can't remember exactly
how, probably through roaming around on the WWW.

I've liked XTC since I was a young 'un- I used to have the Sgt Rock single
with the poster, but I don't know what's happened to it now- it's either
lost, or it's in my mother's cellar. Now I'm just a big fan who follows
them with typical devotion.

I've read a few of the digests and, I must say, it's given me quite a laugh.
People getting their knickers in a twist trying to interpret Andy Partridge's
lyrics. I suppose I'm just a bit too old for that kind of thing (27). You
can appreciate lyrics without knowing what they mean. The only medium we
have available to discuss, for example, poetry is words, but poems are writ-
ten in words, so what's the point of analysing them using more words?

Hope Colin Moulding doesn't read this, but for me it's only Andy's songs I'm
interested in. I don't listen to a lot of contemporary music and I'm sure
Colin's songs are better than most ("I should be so lucky, lucky lucky lucky
etc....") but they don't do much for me, with one or two notable exceptions.

So my visit to Chalkhills will be short, but perhaps I'll pop up again some-
time in the future.

All the best,
                Chris Wright
                Leaving his job on 31/8/1994


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