Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #370

                  Chalkhills, Number 370

                  Monday, 22 August 1994
Today's Topics:
                    Re: Vinyl Question
                Budd/Partridge Japanese CD
                        Blur Slur
                  Patridge/Budd and Wire
        What Joe Believes I Believe Andy Believes
         real Dukes influences (Vanishing Girl +)
                   Not XTC, the Posies
                    Glad to be here..
                       Re: Blur/XTC
                  Re: Implosion of Andy
     THrough the Hill BOnus Tracks on Japanese Import
                     New XTC track...
               Another Introduction ?!?!?!
               yet another new chalkhiller


Date: Thu, 18 Aug 94 10:14:00 PDT
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Vinyl Question (PATRICK J LARKIN) writes:
>I have a copy of Drums and Wires with a bonus 7".  Is this common or
>something to hold on to.  Also, the version of Skylarking without Dear God
>and the 12" Grass single with Dear God, are these common too?  Just curious.

All of these items are uncommon though not extremely rare.  However,
they do command a good price in certain circles.  Check out the inner
groove messages (if any).

        -- John


Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 19:51:07 +0200
From: (Emmanuel MARIN)
Subject: Budd/Partridge Japanese CD

Yes, there is a Japanese CD release, with "two bonus track" written on

Yes, the CD is different. I mean at least the cover : it's the same
drawing, but not gold on purple : cyan on green.

But the back cover *is* identical : there are the same number of songs.
To be frank, I couldn't see the titles beneath the large sheet of
plastified paper with all the Japanese writing (that all the Japanese
CDs seem to have), but the titles on the back cover are written in
diagonal, and there are not much room left for two tracks...

Oh, and btw, the Budd/Partridge CD has been selected by a rock magazine
(there is a sticker stating so on it) here in France ! Arrrgg ! Can't
believe they selected this one and never selected the XTC stuff :(

Emmanuel Marin

ps : John, I've seen again the Peter Pumpkinhead CD single. It seems to
be one you already have : a man in coloured clothes on the front, and
four colour versions of the b&w drawings on the back of "Nonsuch" for
the four songs of the CD (except of course "Always Winter,.." which
was not on the "Nonsuch" album).


From: Geoff Shandler <>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 14:42:16 -0400
Subject: hello

Just wanted to say thanks for letting me jump in here.  I have
been out of it with regard to the band for quite a while now (I
have strayed from the path...); can someone give me a quick
update on when a new record might be happening? Sorry to seem
so clueless, but...


Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 13:49:20 -0700
From: John.Wilkens@Colorado.EDU
Subject: Blur Slur

A Chalkhillian posted:

>After reading the raves about the "XTC-ish" sound of Blur, I picked up the
>cd.  The first song [is] this awful disco... "boys who love girls that do
>sheep that eat fish".  Ugh!

I understand the flippant reaction to a song you don't like, but your
statement has a subtle homophobia to it.

Blur's song is a love quadrangle with boys loving girls loving girls loving
boys loving boys.  Every coupling is given equal weight as long as it is
with "someone you really love."  The insertion of beastiality is erroneous,
inappropriate and, because you aim to denigrate the associations, possibly
an indicator that the acceptance of homosexuality and not the disco beat
hit a greater nerve.


Have XTC ever tackled the issue of gay rights in any of their songs?


Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 18:42:35 +0100
From: David Bales <>
Subject: Jellyfish

To Terry, who paid $1 for the Jellyfish Comes Alive CD.  Consider
yourself fortunate, I paid $25 for the same thing!  :(  Yes, it was way
too much, but I didn't want to risk not seeing it again.
Unfortunately, Jellyfish has since disbanded.  Andy Sturmer, however, is
reported to make a drum/vocal appearance on the new Black Crows (?) LP
coming out next month.  (CD... whatever... :)

Dave in KCMO


Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 07:08:54 MDT
From: (Paul Martz)
Subject: Patridge/Budd and Wire

I got my "Through the Hill" a couple days ago. Having read a couple
reviews by dissappointed listeners, I wasn't expecting much. However
after just one listening I must say I haven't heard anything really
objectionable at all, alot of it was quite pleasant. They paint
themselves into some fascinating and horrific musical corners but
always manage to pull it off and get out intact.

And in the recent Chalkhills someone asked about Wire; this is one of
my favorite bands. Apparently though I'm one of the few Wire fans who
enjoys both their old and "new" stuff, can't decide whether "Chairs
Missing" or "The Drill" is my favorite album. I attended a wonderful
show by them in Detroit about 10 years back. I've also taken a liking
to the Gilbert/Lewis duet work they did on the side of Wire, but
haven't came across very much in the way of recordings, so if anyone
knows of any, let me know (I have "3R4" and the "Ends With The Sea"

   -paul                        "Eno is the one, Eno's the one to take            One hundred percent for your stomach's sake...
    Evans & Sutherland           Bubbly bubbly Eno!"


Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 16:24:57 EDT
Subject: Hello

I have been off AOL for awhile so I haven't been able to respond.  Thank you
for making me part of your mailing list.

      I came to learn about XTC in a very conventional way.  I haven't been a
fan my whole life.  I saw the "Peter Pumpkinhead" video on MTV.   A while
later, I bought Nonsuch.
     I work at a music store, so I now own almost all of their albums.
I do subscribe to Big Express.  I have read Chalkhills and Children by
Twomey.  They are quite an obession my life.
                                           My other interests include poetry,
painting, drawing, writing, piano playing and every kind of music.  I collect
anything related to apes, bubbles, candles, and postcards.


Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 17:58:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Stupid is as stupid does, sir" <>
Subject: What Joe Believes I Believe Andy Believes

Joe asked:

> 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.

Well, sure, *sometimes*.  I never said that I take every word that Andy
Partridge has ever sung to be brilliant and gospel -- and I have said
for a long time that hearing stuff that overstated affects me like
fingernails on a chalkboard.  I admit Andy goes a little overboard
sometimes, and "Books Are Burning" makes me roll my eyes, too.

I think there is a very fine line between simple honesty and grandiose
overstatement, and where that line is probably has more to do with
personal preference than most people will admit.  I think "Burning Of
Hearts" is charming, but I think "Dear God" is embarrassing.

Ashley: I don't want to start a flame war or anything, but I think
*you've* rather missed the point.  I agree that I skim Chalkhills
for what interests me (and I assume that what interests me may not
interest someone else), and I don't read avidly every single word.
This is still an Internet mailing list, though, with the character of
an Internet mailing list.  It's in digest form, so it may seem more
cumbersome (though someone else might argue that they don't want
"meaningless twaddle" in their e-mailbox all day...can't please
everyone, right?), but the main thing to remember is that an Internet
mailing list is INTERACTIVE.  It's not TV, it's not an XTC journal,
or The XTC Area (tm) on America Online (no, everyone, I'm making that
up) -- it's an interactive forum in which everyone participates.  John
administers, but he's not the author, or even the executive producer.
Perhaps _The_Little_Express_ is closer to what you're looking for?

-- Melinda

P.S. I hate that Blur song, too, but admit I've not heard the album

P.P.S. I'm 25 and started my XTC habit when I was 11


Date: 19 Aug 94 21:40:03 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: real Dukes influences (Vanishing Girl +)

   Hi Chalkhillians, before I continue with "real Dukes influences",
just a couple of comments on items from the previous Chalkhills...
   To Damon (who's half my age... YIKES!), Stewart & Gaskin do a
nicely done cover of "Roads Girdle the Globe". Primus does a not
so great (IMHO) take on "Nigel". Japan's Saeko Suzuki covers
"Happy Families" in 80% Japanese, with Andy playing guitar and
singing backing vocals. Both Shonen Knife and Big Dipper do
semi-covers of "Nigel".
   And to Mike Gervasi who was wondering whatever happened to
The Little Express, I received a letter from June Dix of the L.E.
a couple of weeks ago. She said that the Summer 1994 issue is
almost finished and should be coming out soon...

   Anyways, speaking of The Little Express, I'll transcribe from
another old issue and continue with those "real Dukes influences"...

...beginning with "Vanishing Girl" on Psonic Psunspot:
COLIN: Well, it was just a track that I had hanging around, no
lyrics written,made up virtually on the spot right in the studio.

ANDY: You had a few ideas, didn't you?

COLIN: Yeah, musical ones, but as far as lyrics, only a possible
first verse.

L.E.: It sounds "Hollies" influenced.

ANDY: I don't think we intended to do it like the Hollies, it's
just that we started kicking it around...

COLIN: I don't know, I started strumming the chords around at
home and I thought this sounds a bit like them, but then we
elaborated on it in the studio.

ANDY: Take the components and listen to all those Hollies' records
and take their sound and reproduce our song but using their tricks,
the set harmonies they sing, the mixture, the little Rickenbacker
type electric, a couple of big acoustics... cha cha chum!

COLIN: We added a few vocal frills at the end.

ANDY: Yeah, you have to sing it like you're holding your nose,
you have to get the right nasal...neneneneneeehh!

COLIN: Well, a lot of that went down.

ANDY: It was really tricky to do actually. You realize that those
bands have... I mean vocals aren't really our strong point especially
harmonies... and those bands that we've chosen to tip the hat at,
like the Beach Boys or the Hollies, the vocal heavy bands, it's
really tricky 'cause they obviously have a natural thing for it,
it doesn't sound like they're straining to get it, but it took us
a lot of trouble.

COLIN: Once you've got the main voice down, you do the harmony to
sound like a harmony they would have done and not just a harmony
you thought of.

ANDY: We just got all the components and just "Hollied" them up,
and it was good fun doing it, actually that was the first mix
that we did in the session. It sounds different from the others,
you have to sort of get into mixing; it sounds good, but it was
the first real one we did at the studio.

L.E.: Can you tell us about the word-linking that accompanies
the songs, the little girl that comes in, background noises etc.?

COLIN: That was an afterthought.

ANDY: I don't think we could afford Derek Guyler. The original idea
was to get Derek Guyler who's like a great sort of 60's-like voice
to narrate nonsense, because all those psychedelic records just
had nonsense on them or bits of studio throw-out or stuff at the
end of tapes or they just say things that don't particularly
mean anything.

L.E.: BBC out-takes?

ANDY: Yeah, sort of a mushroomy ambiance, so we thought we must
have some of that mushroomy feeling and we finished it and had
literally half a day to put the finishing touches on it. It was
on a Sunday and there were three little girls that lived with
the family above the studio, so we got two of them in there, sat
them down and I wrote out all this gibberish, a sort of Alice In
Wonderland nonsensical...

L.E.: Like turning into a bun...

ANDY: Yeah, you got to have references to turning into things.

COLIN: Climbing on the back of a giant albatross, that sort of thing.

ANDY: Climbing on the back of a giant something or other, fill in
your own creature; I just sort of did things like turning into a
giant cream bun. Oh yeah, actually we had all these bits of tape
of Colin laughing, and bits of speech and stuff, and we just spun
them in the background accidentally, you know, we just put all this
stuff on 24 track not knowing what was on the other 23 tracks at any
given time and push the faders up in any combination and it was
what accidentally came through. If it was good, we kept it.

L.E.: Seems a crazy thing to say, but there's some good laughing!

ANDY: Yeah, it ws genuine laughing as well; we couldn't think of
anything to laugh about and the situation got funnier because
when you've got to laugh on cue, you can't do it, and because
we couldn't do it, we started laughing. be continued...    ---> Steve


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 1994 11:02:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Wendi Dunlap <>
Subject: Not XTC, the Posies

I know many of you on this list will be interested, so here's the news:

There is a Posies WWW home page up now. The address is below in my sig.
Visit and enjoy! :)

Wendi Dunlap        || Sysop of Slumberland BBS, 206-547-2629
Seattle, WA, USA    || Write me for info re: The Posies mailing list || or visit
Currently on my stereo: "Cynical Girl" -- Marshall Crenshaw


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 18:08:27 EDT
Subject: Glad to be here..

Well, this is my first posting here, and I'm really glad to hear from so many
XTC people.   I was beginnning to feel like a weirdo, because I can't find
many other XTC fans, and my friends and family basically don't see the
charm....  I became hooked about 2 years ago, with Rag and Bone Buffet.  XTC
really speaks to my soul (sorry for the triteness, but it's true), and I like
to know there are others out there who also appreciate intelligent,
beautiful, fun, and basically brilliant music.

I'm not much into debating the finer points of the music, but I would like to
hear from others who feel connected to the lyrics of Andy Partridge and the
beauty of the music, not just as a stunning musical achievement, but on a
personal level.

So, if you feel so inclined,  I love to get E-mail, especially from kindred
spirits!  Thanks!



Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 20:53:37 EDT
Subject: Re: Blur/XTC writes:

>>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 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..............Yes, some of the
other >>songs do remind me of XTC.

Well Vince, I'm not here to kill you, but I felt that it was important to let
others know that your review of the record was a little misleading.  I picked
up the record myself, after reading the raves on chalkhills about its "xtc
like sound" and found that they very well do sound like xtc on a number of
tunes, and their reproduction of that sound impressed me.  But more
importantly,  the title track is NOT disco.  I know what you meant by what
you said, but if you really think about it, "boys who do whatever" sounds
very much like Bowie circa '80. (lodger/scary monsters) I mean, just listen
to that baseline!  It's ripped right off of "DJ" or something.  Also very
well executed.  On other songs, they steal from early ultravox (self
titled/Ha Ha Ha) and the lead singer does a perfect rip on John Foxx.
 Another song could be mistaken for the Jam,  and the list goes on.  I think
what these young men have done, is take every cool sound from early 80's
britpop and recycled it into a new album.  I mean, even Godley and Creme
(10cc) directed the video!  Some of the songs are forgettable, but not a bad
first effort, and definitely a good listen for anybody into any of the bands
mentioned above. (and if you don't know any of the bands listed above, go out
and pick them up now!!.....(including 10cc)..... trust me )

**I'm interested in Getting email from my European Net Neighbors!!
**MarcusBriscoe  USA


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 20:53:30 EDT
Subject: Re: Implosion of Andy writes

>>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.

Understanding fully that you just have your own opinion, which I
respect........Where do I start?

The fact that Andy has or hasn't gotten allong well with certain producers is
immaterial.  I *heard* that he got along hellishly with Todd Rundgren, and
look at Skylarking.  I think the boys can put out good material no matter

How is it lame to say the beatles didn't tour, and therefore I don't have to?
I would imagine this to be a VERY good argument.  It sets a prescedent for
the behavior of english pop bands.  Not to mention the fact that XTC has been
compared to the beatles innumerous times.  The fact remains that Andy is the
person solely responcible for his own happiness, and if touring is that
destructive for him, then he musn't do it.  No matter how much you or I would
LOVE it.

In your third point, about how Andy isn't challenging himself enough, you
were correct in calling it "subjective".  If you look at the history of
popular music, you will find it positively littered with artists who were
"aggressive" and "angry" and full of tention early on.......that's the way we
are when we're young. (at least, those of us with enough tenacity to become
pop stars, and many others I'm sure)  But as we get older, its natural to go
through a process called "Maturation", where we begin to look at the world
through different eyes, or at least different colored shades.  As an artist,
you must necessarily be affected by this, and its shows up in your work.  I
don't think Andy has resigned himself to the status of "Artrock Icon" because
frankly, he hasn't become famous enough for that.  Although MANY people are
hip enough to know who he is, I can tell you that most people are not.  I
think Andy is handling himself just fine.  He is not imploding, regressing,
unraveling, or resigning.  He is living his life,  and it happens to be his
to live.  Also I do not feel like he is antagonising or ignoring his fans by
running his own affairs as he sees fit.  Although I would wait in line for
days to buy tickets to an XTC show, I don't begrudge him for staying
home.......he has, after all, something called a "Family" which tend to
demand alot of attention if you want them to function properly.

>>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.

Good bye???   Dude, it's still lasting! I think Andy has some tricks up his
sleeve for us.  Dont dismiss him this easily........ he deserves better.

**I'm interested in Getting email from my European Net Neighbors!!
**MarcusBriscoe,  USA


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 23:21:16 EDT
Subject: THrough the Hill BOnus Tracks on Japanese Import

>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?

Yeah, the titles are called  Bosch and Bruegel .  They are part of the "+"
section following the Postlude.  More of the same IMHO (Shawn Colvin also
covers them on her new album :)) There's an insert with some interesting
details about AP and HB too (in Japanese) .

(first post, XTC fan since '80, waiting for Urgh II 25th reunion)


From: "Allan Blackman"  <>
Date:         21 Aug 94 15:50:15 GMT+1200
Subject:      New XTC track...

Gidday all - thanks to a forgetful Virgin NZ rep and an obliging CD
shop proprieter I've got hold of a new ( well, it's new to me
anyway) XTC track. Its called "River of Orchids" and it's on a Virgin
sampler tape of demo tracks that are to be released sometime soon.
Could this mean there's a new album on the way, or is this a song
>from the (apparently) soon-to-be-released Greatest Hits and Rarities
album...I guess we'll find out sometime...


Allan Blackman, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin,
New Zealand.                        e-mail

Marge on innocence/guilt  " my uncle used to say, shoot them all
and let God decide...."


Date: Sun, 21 Aug 94 13:08:48 EDT
Subject: Another Introduction ?!?!?!

Hello all,
I've been lurking a couple of months & figured I'd finally introduce myself.
(Damn, ANOTHER introduction ! )
I discover XTC in '82 when a local college radio station started playing "The
new single off the soon-to-be-released E.S. album".....Senses Working
I've grabbed every thing XTC's released from the day I heard it.
Like many of you, some of the albums took a little eartime before it found
its way into
my heart.(the one exception to this was Black Sea...WOW, what a blast)
But,(at the time) I found I was alone in my love-affair with XTC. I don't
have to tell you guys the frustrations of trying to turn-on someone to the
boys. Besides, I live in this middle-of-nowhere town (ever hear of
Creedmoor,, didn't think so), & 99% of the music listened to here is
either Country or Heavy Metal.
But finally, about 9 months ago, a woman heard me playing some XTC, and
really liked them.
I soon had her turned on to the variety of XTC. And of coarse, I took the
next logical step......... I asked her to marry me! One small problem though,
she's already married, and (oh yea, I forgot) I'm married too.
Anyway, enough of the intro, I could go on forever.
A couple of  observations:
There's been a lot of discussion lately on Barry Andrews, and Andys struggle
for leadership of the band. In hindsight, the result seems clearer. In Drums
& Wires, Andy seems to revel in that sole leadership. As a result, the music
in the album was very much lead by Andys guitars.
Fortunately, (although I do love D&W) this over-compensation didn't last. As
for Barry Vs. Dave....I'll take Dave any day. He has a much wider range of
talents. Anyway, I miss Terry Chambers more than I do Barry.
And on touring:
Sure, It's a shame they don't tour. But, how many bands could have gone
through what they did, and stayed together? Although, the amount of
angry-energy dropped after stopping tours, the band never fails (at least in
my eyes) to explore their musical limits.

I've got more, But I've taken up enough space for now.
                         Michael Westbrook
"don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey"


Date: Mon, 22 Aug 1994 15:20:02 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: yet another new chalkhiller

Dear all,
   My name is James Dignan, a 31 year old XTC fan from Dunedin, New
Zealand. I've been a fan since seeing a video clip many long years ago for
"Are You Receiving Me?". As a DJ on Otago University's student radio
station, I play a fair amount of XTC, plus (among other things) the
XTC-connected Shriekback, and the occasional Dukes of Stratosfear song.
   Favourite XTC tracks are an eclectic mix, including Generals and Majors,
All of a Sudden (off my favourite XTC album), Another Satellite, Statue of
Liberty, Deliver Us from the Elements and Then She Appeared.
   Looking forward to receiving the next Chalkhills,


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

pixelphone                              * You talk to me       * as if from a distance -
J'habite 50 Norfolk St.,                * and I reply
St. Clair,                              * with impressions chosen from another
Dunedin,                                * time, time, time,
New Zealand                             * from another time.
steam megaphone NZ (03) 455-7807        *                     (Brian Eno)


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