Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #379

                  Chalkhills, Number 379

               Wednesday, 21 September 1994
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #377
                 Mahstah Greg L, wake up!
                      african   can
                  Re: Your favorite song
              Colin is NOT better than Andy
              Be gentle - introducing myself
                        The Dukes
                    Police and Thieves
                   Re: Chalkhills #378
                    Your favorite song
                  Bouquets and Brickbats
            Representative Songs/Human Alchemy
                   Re:  Chalkhills #378
                     Chalkhills #378
                    The Grand Allusion
                        first post
   my favorite/most recommended/least favorite XTC song
           Re: Hold Me My Daddy and other stuff
                   My answers to survey
                        Hi, y'all
                    No supergroup yet.
                   Re: Chalkhills #378
                 Favorites again . .  :-)
                    Re: XTC vs. Police


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 94 00:33:18 EDT
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #377

Thank you, John Relph!

Chalkhills has been wonderful. I don't care who argues about what -- let them
bash each other about "Dear God" and "Mermaid Smiles" forever; both are super
songs. Both should have been on the album, any album...

Thank you again.


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 94 01:31:51 EDT
Subject: Mahstah Greg L, wake up!

Greg L writes:
'"Human Alchemy."  I have never warmed to this song, and don't quite
understand why Andy says that it is his personal favorite (at least right
now, it could change
tomorrow, he said in something someone posted here.)  The chanting is
cheesy, I think, and the message is trite.  Slavery was ended over a
century ago in most of the world!  Why harp on it now?  Electronic
gimmicks like heavy echo on the "Oooryabah" bits don't make this
underproduced song any better, either.  I just don't think it says
anything, and it says it in a boring way that sounds cheap.  Much on
Mummer has this very thinness of production as its strength, like
"Ladybird" or "Love on a Farmboy's Wages."  Or even the B-sides like
"Jump" and most of all, "Desert Island" totally blow "Human Alchemy" away.'

Greg, you've got to be kidding!  Slavery is an ever present condition at all
times in every part of the world.  Slaves to ideas, other people, one's self,
etc. etc.  As far as the way "Human Alchemy" sounds -- I like it.  It's
eerie, the rhythm and chords structures are unusual in the best possible
sense.  This is a song that takes me somewhere.  "Jump" and "Desert Island"
while pleasant to listen to don't really transport me anywhere.  Those songs
are "cute."  I offer the same argument for "Deliver Us From The Elements,"
especially that cacophonous ending.

This is also why your earlier questions are difficult to answer.  My current
personal favorite is Tissue Tigers -- those never ending accented drums from
Mr. Chambers are infectuous.  A good sing-along too.  I agree with you
regarding Senses Working Overtime as a song to recommend to others.  It walks
that fine line of pop song/unusual song structure that is the duality of XTC.

And finally, I wonder what XTC have been thinking every since Skylarking.
 Besides the Dukes, I've been unsatisfied with every album since Skylarking,
with the exception of a few stand out songs.  But none of it measures up to
the earlier material.  They peaked with The Big Express.

-- Joe


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 00:23:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: african   can

I see how XTC had previously explored AFrican percussion sounds on
English Settl ement, but the (yes, I realize it was) Ladysmith Black
Mambazo sound had alrea dy been explored (exploited? J/K :) ) by Paul
Simon, and played on everyone's stereo a hundred times over by then.
So I thought that it was perhaps a little tired, and been-done.
 but perhaps Andre is right in saying that it was a little joke..
............... i hope so........

to more interesting subjects..

1. my one fave xtc song would have to be "My Bird Performs"

2. my intro to xtc song is impossible, because they have changed so
much..but I'd say "Senses Working Overtime" because of the
Beatle-esque harmonies and because that is the song that hooked me way
back when.

3. i hate the album Go2 so much i think i have lost it AND I DON'T CARE.

Tekurah McCullough


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 94 04:51:09 EDT
Subject: Re: Your favorite song

>If you had to give a friend a song recmmendation for XTC, that
>is, you had to suggest one (and only one) song that, in your
>opinion, best represented what XTC's music is, so that person
>could judge from that song whether he or she liked XTC, what
>would that song be?

I cannot answer this question.  One of the things I like best about XTC is
the fact that you *can't* pick one song as being representative.  While
"Senses" is a great song (one of my favorites), I don't believe that any one
song can sum up this incredibly diverse band.

Recently, I was recording a tape for a Chalkhillian who doesn't have much
access to XTC disks, and using a 100 minute tape, I still had trouble
including a fair representation of what XTC is.  It just can't be done.

One day, as a weird exercise, I'm going to make up a tape of songs which I
suspect a stranger will not be able to identify as being by the same band.
A little Dukes, something from Skylarking, something from White Music.  It
would be easier to do this than to pick on representative song.

So anyway, there it is, my humble opinion.

Be seeing you.

Curtiss Hammock, Atlanta, GA, USA


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 07:56:33 +30000
From: "Karen E. Lewis (ba amst)" <>
Subject: Colin is NOT better than Andy

Hi there!
All I can say on this matter is that I've honestly hated every Colin song
on every XTC album I have with the possible exception of King For A Day.
I don't know why, but there is something about his style that I don't like.


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 94 15:02:23 +0200
From: (Giacomo Boffi)
Subject: Be gentle - introducing myself

dear hill dwellers,

i'm giacomo boffi, an xtc fan (fan is too much?) from ? years, more or
less. when did it come out skylarking?

i fall in love with skylarking --- so i bought anything i could spot
around, someone told me about the dukes, too --- or did i read in a mag?

i like the verse 'striped awnings bright dismay' with most of my heart

i have an habit of hearing oh, my god, what kind of fan... that song
>from big express... the one with seagulls crying kiss her kiss her, when
my mood cannot be worse. and also she's the wish i have i had (?),
another good song for bad times

big express is the album i like most --- i have to say that i do not
have every album (what kind of fan...) but of what i got, big express

also, some songs on orange & lemons are arrows straight in my mind. not
to say that i like the album --- it's too muchhhh

due to amenities of life ( i dont like cds, my usual music shop declined
to offer lps ) ( i'm vvvery lazy ) it's about a couple years i almost
stopped listening to new music, and also searching the old gems fom xtc

recently, i repented and i'm going to buy a cd player (bleeh) so that
i'll have some new stuff to listen to. moreover, new old xtc stuff

i happened to find chalkhills browsing in alt.answers. the single word
chalkills said it all

i read four issues of Chalkills before posting this introduction, i'd
like to see an ampler recognition of colin as songwriter. not a genius,
( we have one already ) but i like the earthedness (sp?) of his best

never heard dear god, my skylarking was without.

curious of any link of them with italy --- has andy a home near siena?
have they had italian girlfriends? has colin the habit of spending two
weeks skiing in gressoney? that sort of things ...

nice to have met you.

ciao a tutti
                                 giacomo boffi
                                (i love September)


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 94 13:03:24
Subject: The Dukes

Although I have been a fan of XTC for over 10 years I had never got
around to buying the Dukes stuff, in fact I don't ever remember having
heard any of their songs.

However, the recent re-postings of the interview from The Little Express
whetted my appetite enough to persuade me to go out and buy Chips from
the Chocolate Fireball.  What can I say but brilliant!  My only regret
is that I didn't buy it much sooner.

So a big thanks to Steve Levenstein for his postings!



From: GOOSENMK@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 08:15:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Police and Thieves

Responding to a couple of recent threads:

Sting?  El Sting-o?  The anointed one?  There are few artists I hate as
much as Sting.  I liked the first two Police albums just fine, but
started to lose touch with them beginning with _Zenyatta Mondatta_.
I think when Sting quit writing pop songs and started trying to be an
"artist with a capital A" is when I jumped ship.  I liked trifles like
"De Doo Doo, De Da Da Da"; I thought "Every Breath You Take," despite
its enormous popularity, was a classic, showing uncharacteristic
restraint.  Other than that--bleah!

His solo stuff has been even more ludicrous, combining a more-literate-
than-thou sensibility (Chaucer and Shakespeare in your album titles?
Yeah, you are "nothing like the sun," Sting...) with lyrics that cross
the line between introspective and self-indulgent, trite sentiments
("If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"--wasn't that a t-shirt?--and
"the Russians love their children too" in particular), and, of course,
his continued singing in what Elvis Costello long ago dubbed "That phony
Jamaican accent."  If he really WAS baring his soul, maybe we'd hear
the real Gordon Sumner.  I'm not saying all this to hack people off--save
your flames, please--but I didn't want the person who asked our opinion
of Sting to get the impression that all XTC fans also love the Stingmeister.

O.K., question #2 (and #3 and #4):

Favorite XTC song?  Ouch.  Just one?  Either "Generals and Majors" or
"Towers of London," I suppose--both songs I find myself singing or thinking
"Towers of London," I suppose--both songs I find myself singing or thinking
about quite a bit, both from my favorite XTC album, _Black Sea_, and, of
course, one by Colin, the other by Andy, showing off each's particular
skills to great effect.  ("Roads Girdle the Globe" is my favorite XTC
title, btw, and a darn good song to boot.)

Best song to introduce others to XTC with?  Got to agree with "Senses Working
Overtime" here--it's a more representative XTC song than the ones I picked
above if for no other reason Andy has been in the pastoral phases since 1982,
and this gem from _English Settlement_ clearly points the way to what
XTC would do on _Mummer_, _Big Express_, and _Skylarking_.  Not only is
it more representative, it's more accessable, without the dissonance that
characterized XTC's music through ES, has a great big chorus, and a way of
hooking the listener in with its clever dynamics.  Good lyrics, great music,
ideal for the non-XTC fan to get a taste of Partridge stew.

Song that made me go "Huh?"  "Earn Enough for Us," because it was basically
a rehash of "Love on a Farmboy's Wages," and "Rook," with its jazzbo
pretentions (cf. Sting)--please somebody tell me that this isn't the direction
for the next XTC album!

I had to really think about that last one, since I like everything from
_White Music_ to _Nonsuch_ to one degree or another, and there are darn
few artists I can say that about...

Later, all,

Miles Goosens


From: (Joe Lynn)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #378
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 09:20:53 -0500 (CDT)

Hello, all:  it's been a while since I've posted to
Chalkhills, but I've got a few minutes, so it's time for
me to stop lurking.

From: (Tom Keekley)

> ..
> (added for you all) I think of the Police as complimentary contempories of
> XTC rather than rivals. Both bands brought punk into a fun and accessible
> forum and then twisted it into their respective sounds. The notion that
> ..

Very well put.

I worked at my college radio station from '79 through '81, which
means I was fortunate enough to see a major wave of great music pouring
in the door.  None of us ever got caught up in a "XTC vs. Police" war:
we were too busy getting into all the new stuff.

As for post-Police stuff:  I liked Sting's first two solo albums,
while the most recent ones seem like tired re-hashes of previous stuff.
The first Animal Logic album was okay, too, albeit a little 'poppy.'

> From:
> ..
> I don't know if this is still in print, but I have a Japanese videodisc
> titled "Look Look."  It's on Virgin/Pioneer, and was released in
> 1982.  Running time is 45 minutes and it contains the videos for:
> ..

_Look Look_ was also available for a while from Virgin Canada,
in NTSC-VHS/HiFi Stereo, no less!  Thanks to a fellow Chalkhillian,
this cassette is proudly displayed on my tape rack at home.

Among my other XTC video stuff, I have the 'music videos' for
"In Loving Memory of a Name," "Beating of Hearts," "Grass,"
"Dear God," "Mayor of Simpleton," and "Peter Pumpkinhead."  All
of these were transcribed from various music video channels.

Y'know, Siouxsie and the Banshees have *two* video collections as
'official' releases in the US, and I have a hard time believing
the entertainment companies ("record" companies doesn't cut it
anymore, I guess) could see a market for S&B but not XTC.   They
certainly have enough material for a couple of cassettes of their own.

Or maybe they should get associated with a PBS beg-a-thon:  it
did wonders for Yanni's career, and look at all the videos he's selling.

> {regarding the African-influenced "Hold Me My Daddy"}

I always thought of the "Ladysmith Chorus" effect as a tongue-in-cheek
thing, too.  I really like the song, regardless of where the influences
came from.

There was a great cartoon in _Spy_ magazine a few years ago which
showed Paul Simon and David Byrne running into each other in the
jungle, each with a microphone held out in front of them.  The caption
read something like "A chance meeting as Paul Simon and David Byrne
plunder the jungle for new material."  (I can't do it justice here:
trust me, though, it was hilarious.)



Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 09:33:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: Doug Finney <SINSFDWF@Admin.UH.EDU>
Subject: Your favorite song

Greg Langmead <> asks about favorite songs, introductory
songs and lemons.

>1) What is your favorite XTC song?  I.e. if all XTC songs but one had to
>be destroyed to save humanity, which one would you pick to listen to as
>your sole memory of the boys?

1. I think I'd let humanity be destroyed. :)

2. It would depend on the friend. XTC has had so many sounds over the years
   that most people would probably like at least one of their songs.
   "Senses Working Overtime" and other tracks from that era probably are the
   most representative of their overall sound. They're also my favorite.

3. As for lemons, there are isolated tracks I'm not too keen on. I just
   recently started listening to "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul"
   rather than skipping over it every time. But _Nonsuch_ still doesn't
   do anything for me as a whole. There are a couple of standout tracks
   but I'd rather listen to _White Music_ or _Go 2_. Or _Mummer_.



Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 11:01:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stu Shea <>
Subject: Bouquets and Brickbats


my favorite XTC song: "This Is Pop".

the one I'd play for someone to explain them: "Senses" seems to be a fine

the one I care for least: "Leisure".

...what can I tell you -- I'm old..

Stuart Shea


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 11:00:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Lemming of the B.D.A." <>
Subject: Representative Songs/Human Alchemy

> 1) What is your favorite XTC song?  I.e. if all XTC songs but one had to
> be destroyed to save humanity, which one would you pick to listen to as
> your sole memory of the boys?

"Senses Working Overtime"

> 2) If you had to give a friend a song recmmendation for XTC, that is, you
> different from the first, why do you think that is so?  Do you understand
> them so well that more obscure songs sound better than representative ones?

Same.  I assumed the first question was asking for a particularly
representative XTC-sounding song -- what would I choose as one song
to remember them by, not necessarily what is my favorite song.  In
choosing "Senses", I picked one that I feel is representative enough
that it would evoke the various aspects of their sound.

> 3) XTC Lemons.  Is there a song, or whole album, that you listen to and
> say to yourself, "Self, where the hell did this come from?  What were they
> thinking?"

Several, but I usually count Andy ones separate from Colin ones (only
fair, I think).  I can't come up with one, at the moment (omitting,
of course THAT SONG that anyone reading the last few issues of Chalkhills
already knows I don't like).  Besides, these sorts of questions, as
was painfully and frustratingly pointed out to me recently, and many
times before, only create the sorts of conversations like "NO WAY!
THAT'S MY *FAVORITE* SONG!" [I left out the "you moron" part...]

The other thing about this sort of question is that I personally find
it hard to compare some of XTC's music.  For example, I really like
"Life Is Good In the Greenhouse" in the context of the album, but I'm
not sure I would compare it to "Towers of London".

> said on that point.  Question number three brings up "Human Alchemy."  I
> have never warmed to this song, and don't quite understand why Andy says
> cheesy, I think, and the message is trite.  Slavery was ended over a
> century ago in most of the world!  Why harp on it now?  Electronic

If, by chanting, you mean the underlying "aaahhh" part, I like that
a lot.  "Human Alchemy" is not my favorite song, and I sometimes
skip it, even (mainly becuase its placement on the album makes it
very easy to skip -- ah, I'm revealing myself as an LP-listener.  For
you youngsters, it's first on the second side of that turn-it-over

As far as "harp[ing] on it now", I've always thought of it as a sort
of guilt thing, more than the basic "protest" song.  England had one
of the most brutal slave trades in history (I say this *solely* as
someone who majored in British history in college, not as any sort
of nationalistic comment).

> "Ladybird" or "Love on a Farmboy's Wages."  Or even the B-sides like
> "Jump" and most of all, "Desert Island" totally blow "Human Alchemy" away.

"Jump", I'll buy.  I think "Jump" is one of the true buried treasures
of XTC.  "Desert Island" I always thought was kinda tedious -- but
there again, I'm showing my vinyl dependency, because the first place
I had that song was in that set of 7" singles for "Farmboy's Wages",
one of which was "Desert Island"/"Toys", and when I was in high school,
at least, I thought "Toys" was infinitely more interesting than "Desert

Melinda (yes, it's me, I just have a new e-mail address)


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 09:27:18 -0700
From: Dieter and the Three Tenors (The glabrous animator.) <>
Subject: Re:  Chalkhills #378

> > me wonder... What do XTCers generally think about the police and Sting?

Dames The Wonder Dog <SPXDLF@CARDIFF.AC.UK> wrote:
> ...The songs on Ten Summoners Tales have that quality and
> everlastingness to them that is present in XTC's songs.

Sorry, I have to disagree.  Sting last album is so plagued with cliche, luke-
warm sentiments, and lyrical repedity born of sloth, it is practically
unlistenable when compared to his Police work and his first two albums.
'Ten SUmmoning Tales' is a pandering to the commerical dredge of the
sickenlingly-saccharine tepidness of the pop Top Ten.
IMHO, of course.

Philip ("Who loves ya, baby?!?") Alexy

                            * * *

I'd always dreamed of being a pilot, so I was obviously heartbroken
when they told me that there was no room for my guide dog in the


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 10:36:11 -0700
From: johnch@pongo73.West.Sun.COM (John Chandler [Contractor])
Subject: Chalkhills #378

 > From: (Tom Keekley)
 > Subject: Polixtce
 > OOOF. Comparing U2 with Simple Minds and Big Country? I would say U2 has
 > maintained a level of integrity and creativity that, WAY LONG AGO, had left
 > the other two bands where they belong . . .

Integrity?  H'mm.  Ever heard of Negativland?  U2 (or Island's
lawyers, as the story goes) took savage revenge on them for issuing a
CD single parody/commentary/trashing of one of U2's songs, intercut
with Casey Kasem's silly American Top 40 comments ("That's the letter
U and the numeral 2").  (Maybe it happened, but) I never heard about
U2 apologizing for their rabid label and its lawyers, or giving back
the money ($80K), which was a lot for Negativland, but would be pocket
change for U2.  The CD is still illegal, as far as I know.  I guess
the attitude was, "F*** 'em if we can't take a joke."

But I digress.  XTC wouldn't have been so humorless, I'm sure.  Might
even have included the parody on their next CD (it *was* funny).  It's
much easier to mention XTC and integrity in the same breath.

boom boom acka lacka lacka boom
boom boom acka lacka boom boom


Subject: The Grand Allusion
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 13:58:41 CDT
From: John A Lane <>

I just wanted to throw this out to all of you XTC/Dukes-philes:

How many out there realized that the quote on the 25 o'clock record, which
goes "go f--k yourself with your atom bomb", comes directly from Allen
Ginseberg's book of poems, HOWL?

Wow! And Sting thinks he's so bookish! These Duke-fellas are pretty clever,

"Caught in the saddle in a one-horse town"
John A Lane


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 15:58:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Benjamin J. Rubin" <>
Subject: first post

Hi fellow XTC fans.  I've been a listener since a few years back when a
friend (Mr.Stuart) recommended them, and I am now the proud owner of all
of their albums.

Last week I was pleased to find the 3 inch Mayor of Simpleton single. I
was surprised to find another excellent track, "Living in a Haunted Heart",
as one of the B-sides. Also, could someone tell me who is singing most of
the lyrics on "Ella Guru" if it's not Andy.

Regarding the three questiones from the last issue, I think "Senses..."
would be my answer for the first two questions as well. As for a complete
lemon, I'd have to go with Mayor of Simpleton. It's an embarrasment with no
redeeming value at all...just joking I think it would be the "Down in the
Cockpit Dance Mix". Even though it's not one of their true songs, it's
the worst thing I could think of with their name on it.

Finally I'd like to highly recommemd the new They Might Be Giants album
titled "John Henry"  which is produced by Paul Fox (producer of Oranges and
Lemons). It is by far their best album.

Until next time,



Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 18:42:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: my favorite/most recommended/least favorite XTC song

Let's see ...

1) Complicated Game.
   This kind of thing (favorite song by a band) has a tendency to change
   quite often with me, but I think this song is an early - and pretty
   much unsung - masterpiece.  I feel about this the way many people
   do about "Dear God" : that it makes its point about the randomness of
   the universe & cosmic despair & whatnot as well as a pop song can.

2) Dear God.
   There's a reason this was a hit single: it's a great song, and easily
   remembered.  Love or hate the kid singing on it, it's a grabber; the
   whole song leaps out at you, unlike almost nothing else they've ever
   done.  A lot of people were exposed to XTC thru this song, and it
   seems to be a fairly surefire formula to me.

3) Cynical Days.
   Ugh.  I hope I don't have to explain this one.  Other candidates:
   "Human Alchemy" (yes, it bites big time), "The Somnambulist", "The
   Smartest Monkeys".  They just don't do anything for me.

- evan.


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 17:36:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Francis Owen McDonnell <>
Subject: Re: Hold Me My Daddy and other stuff

        I can't believe that throughout this discussion of the merits
(or lack thereof) of "Hold Me My Daddy" that no-one has mentioned how
beautiful Andy's lyrics to this song are.  I was not getting along with
my father at the time of my purchase of _Oranges and Lemons_.  I am not
going to claim that this song prompted me to immediately start talking to
my father again, but the song certainly spoke to me.  "Hold Me My Daddy"
is one of Andy's stronger lyrics.
        As to the question of one's favorite/least favorite XTC song, I
think I can answer the least favorite one first.  That would have to be
"Big Day" from _Skylarking_.  Just an overall irritating piece of music
with bad lyrics.  I remember reading ages ago that Colin wasn't too
pleased with it either.  Maybe "Big Day" was Toddzilla's way of directly
snubbing Andy.
        As for my favorite song, that's a bit tougher.  There is no one
single song that I could name.  Somedays it is "Wrapped in Grey," on
other days it might be "Train Running Low On Soul Coal."  The question is
just too difficult!  When I am introducing people to XTC I usually play
them a number of _Black Sea_ tracks.  A number of unwary souls were
sucked into the XTC vortex by "Burning With Optimism's Flames."

        Frank McDonnell


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 20:57:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brandon K Snavely <>
Subject: My answers to survey

1) My personal favorite XTC tune: "Love On A Farmboy's Wages"

2) I would recommend that a friend listen to: "The Ballad of Peter

3) XTC lemon: It's Nearly Africa (cockpit dance mixture)

                                            Brandon - "Freeze"


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 20:59:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hi, y'all

Hi.  I am new to this list, and I am so glad I found it!  I have been a fan
of this band since the late 80's (I was a Beatles devotee who was blown away
by "Skylarking").  Colin Moulding was one of the crucials in my decision to
learn to play the bass three years ago; I am always amazed at the beauty of
his sound.

Anyway, I look forward to participating in this group.  Carry on...



Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 21:08:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brandon K Snavely <>
Subject: No supergroup yet.

   I wouldn't call XTC a "supergroup" yet.  I don't think that they have
any platinum albums, but I may be wrong.  Their cult success has been
tremendus considering that they don't tour.  Believe it or not, I think
the thing that may hurt by the fact that their lyrics are brilliant.
Their lyrics are over most Americans' heads, and therefore people avoid
what they can't understand.
   The way to become a "supergroup" is to write sell-out, made for radio
lyrics ala U2.  Don't get me wrong, U2 are all great musicians, but their
songs are obviously commercially oriented.

                                            Brandon - "Freeze"


Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 21:49:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Scissor Man <52LESSARD@CUA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #378

From: Greg Langmead <>
Subject: Your favorite song

>I thought I could get us all out of the rut of talking about _other_
bands, and back on track with some good ol' XTC discussion by asking every
subscriber the following questions:

>1) What is your favorite XTC song?  I.e. if all XTC songs but one had to
be destroyed to save humanity, which one would you pick to listen to as
your sole memory of the boys?

"All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)" is my personal favorite.  For me this
captures XTC at their most melancholy (which for me is a pre-requesite
for great music).  "In all your hurry, you've accidentally locked the gate."
is probably the best line in all of XTC's music , IMO.

>2) If you had to give a friend a song recmmendation for XTC, that is, you
had to suggest one (and only one) song that, in your opinion, best
represented what XTC's music is, so that person could judge from that song
whether he or she liked XTC, what would that song be?  If this song is
different from the first, why do you think that is so?  Do you understand
them so well that more obscure songs sound better than representative ones?

Well, it wouldn't be the aforementioned song.  Everyone would run away,
thinking that this was the most depressing band on Earth.  This is not true!
(although I have to admit, songs like "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)" and
"Dying" can be pretty competitive with Joy Division as far as depression and
despair are concerned, but I digress...)  At any rate, I would most likely
recommend "Making Plans for Nigel", because it still presents the band's
world-view without going overboard on the angst.

3) XTC Lemons.  Is there a song, or whole album, that you listen to and
say to yourself, "Self, where the hell did this come from?  What were they

As much as I hate the _Big Express_, XTC's biggest lemon is the "All Along the
Watchtower" cover that appears on _White Music_.  Everytime I hear the first
couple of notes of the song, I scramble for the fast
forward button like I'm trying to prevent the apocolypse.  I don't think there
is any redeaming quality to the song, from the omnipresent synthesizer, to
Andy's singing, it just annoys me.

Am I alone it hating this song, or am I missing out on an obsure gem?



Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 13:25:53 -0600
From: (Tom Keekley)
Subject: Favorites again . .  :-)

WROTE: Greg Langmead <>
>Subject: Your favorite song

>1) What is your favorite XTC song?

And the winner is . . . . Summer's Cauldron (or maybe 'Yacht Dance' or=
 'Battery Brides'. . .hmmm)

>2) If you had to give a friend . . . best represented what XTC's music . . =

I have always considered 'King for a Day' to be the quintessential "turn a=
 friend on to XTC" song. It's catchy, just quirky enough, with fun lyrics,=
 and doesn't go overboard in any one category to scare a person off. 'Then=
 She Appeared' and 'LOAFW' also qualify, I think.

>3) XTC Lemons.

'Bungalow' should have been a B-side.



            .      .

 Tom Keekley - Minneapolis, Earth


Date:   Wed, 21 Sep 1994 17:33:10 -1000
From: John Pescador FYI <johnp@hcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Re: XTC vs. Police

I remember seeing Stewart Copeland wearing an XTC Drums and Wires shirt
in several photos and perhaps even a video.

In Urgh! I thought Andy was just trying to be spontaneous in joining the
Police on stage.  Wasn't Andy singing along besides holding the pineapple?

aloha -

john  .....


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