Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #385

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 385

                 Monday, 17 October 1994

Today's Topics:
                    What is a "hook?"
                  No Thugs in our Survey
               query about song's meaning.
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #384
              New Subscriber...Introduction
             radio recordings and puppet show
                        Here I are
                  sam phillips live (?)
                  In defense of Bungalow
               Peter Pumpkinhead I am not.
                 Bungalow is not a turkey
                Intro/H. Budd/A. Partridge
               REQ: Help with "Yacht Dance"
                 Reply & Clarify "Thugs"
                 "No Thugs in Our House"
                  Hello.  I'm new here.


The Chalkhills Digest now conforms to RFC1153 guidelines.

To unsubscribe from the list, send a message to:


For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


The Chalkhills archives were once available using FTP from
"".  The Chalkhills home page is available at

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Her little tune is such a happy song.


Date: Mon, 10 Oct 1994 16:16:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Andrew Pau Notarian <>
Subject: Introduction

        Hi. I'm Andrew, and I will admit that I only heard XTC for the
first time this past June, but they have grown on me tremendously.  The
answers to the FAQ's and other info will come in extremely handy since I
am taking a  rock music class this semester and am doing a paper on XTC.
(i think we are pretty certain its X-T-C now, although my professor
tells me its "ecstasy")  I recently used "No Thugs in our House" as an
example of a good social/political song.  I don't think I need to tell
you which one I used for the religion unit.  I look forward to getting
and reading more about XTC.



Date: Mon, 10 Oct 1994 21:44:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Greg Langmead <>
Subject: What is a "hook?"

This is a term I'd like to be able to use.  It seems handy.  Is it a
technical musical term?

Greg L.
I don't need to learn 8+7: I'll remember 8+8 and subtract 1.
                                                        --T.Cuyler Young, Jr.


Date: 10 Oct 94 22:27:33 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: No Thugs in our Survey

   Thanx to the guy who originated this survey, at the very least
it gives us something to do while waiting for the next album.
   And also it prods us to remember and replay our XTC albums,
CDs and singles, perhaps with a more critical ear.
   As for my survey results, to quote Andy: "Aaaaaargh!".
Well, I've always liked "No Language In Our Lungs", for it's
music and lyrics. Superb hooks, excellent guitar solo, and of
course the line "I would have made this instrumental but the words
got in the way". An astonishingly mature song for a band on their
fourth album, the wonderful "Black Sea".
   If the idea of choosing an XTC song to play for someone is to
get them to like XTC based on one listening of that song, I would
pick "Earn Enough for Us" from "Skylarking". It's just loaded with
pop hooks and a catchy, driving beat.
   As for lemons, it's too easy to select Barry's "Super Tuff", or
even "Cross Wires". So I'll pick from something done by XTC's current
line-up and go with "War Dance".
   Digressing from the survey, it's nice to hear recent discussion
of "No Thugs". Does anyone else have the special single which (hold on
let me get it out) (I don't mean that in a Seinfeld way [ IT...OUT!])
is designed to be kind of a mini theatre, with the inside of the
sleeve looking like a kitchen; skin-headed Graham asleep upstairs
under a Union Jack flag, and another sheet with cut-out-able
figures one can move about the set. There's the lovely insect-headed
worker wife, in apron and bee head, Dad smoking a pipe and also in
his judge suit, and of course the young policeman. The back of the
single's sleeve has the lyrics, but in the form of a play with
three Acts and a narrator. Charming, inventive, and hilarious!
   It's an elaborate production for a 7-inch single (VS 490),
and on the Bee side you get "Chain of Command", "Limelight", and
"Over Rusty Water". Ahhh, those were the days... XTC has put out
more neat singles then any other band, am I wrong?
    ---> Steve


Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 17:07:25 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: query about song's meaning.

Dear all,

Heard a suggestion recently that the song Rook was based on Kit Williams's
puzzle book Masquerade (the one where various people all over Britain went
searching for a buried golden hare). Any truth in that? there is certainly
a picture in that book of a (seemingly omniscient) rook flying over a

James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya jivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


From: (Mike Mooney)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #384
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 94 13:28:45 EDT

Wesley Wilson wrote:

>Hey, is that Pretty Things album really psychedelic? Bowie covered
>on Pin-Ups; his version didn't strike me as psychedelic.

Bowie's "Sorrow" was a cover of a single by (I think) The Merseybeats,
the Pretties' "S.F.Sorrow" is completely different - the first r*ck
op*ra in fact, (just) predating "Tommy". It's worth a listen if you
can find it.

Mike Mooney
University of Bradford (UK)


Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 18:48:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: New Subscriber...Introduction

Hello all,

As suggested, I'm writing to introduce myself as a new subscriber. I've
been an XTC fan since the first album, "White Music" and I even owned a
copy of the "3D-EP" for a while, a rare item here in Canada.

I've had the privilege of seeing the band perform twice, once in a club
in Toronto (with Barry Andrews on keys) and once at the University of
Guelph (with Dave Gregory) during what must have been their last North
American tour.

I'm a musician myself and I'm also the owner/operator of a small studio
in Peterborough, Ontario. I'd be lying if I said that the XTC influence
was not to be found in my work, though I try not to make it obvious.
In addition to the obvious musical and lyric intelligence that is
apparent in their work, I'm a big admirer of their production values.
There's a lot to be learned from any of their albums, but I partic-
ularly admire "Oranges and Lemons" and "Skylarking" (and the Dukes
material when I'm feeling outrageous).

I just discovered Chalkhills last night while wandering through the
WWW Music pages and I subscribed immediately. I haven't read the FAQ
or any back issues yet but I'm very much looking foreward to doing so.
I'll be waiting expectantly for my first subscription issue and to
meeting all you other XTCers (do we have a name?). Meanwhile, "just
don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you".


From: (Chong Hyun Byun)
Subject: exchanges
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 16:38:18 -0700 (PDT)

Hello everyone,

I would like to know if anyone out there is interested in exchanging dubs of
material.  I'm especially interested in tapes of the acoustic radio tour,
along with anything else live/interesting.  I've also been looking for
the demo for "Dear Madam Barnum" for ages, so if you have a copy in your
possession, name your price!  I have the Kings for a Day CD, a really good
sounding tape of the Emerald City concert, the BBC Radio One CD, and some
other assorted live performances, acoustic stuff, weirdo stuff.  If
anyone is interested, please let me know.  Thanks all!

Christie Byun


Date: Wed, 12 Oct 94 01:10:03 EDT
Subject: radio recordings and puppet show

Hello All:

Pleased to say I am back in full swing and owe many an apology.  For those
who have requested the KTCZ AND KABL Radio Promo Tour Dubs (both Minneapolis)
or the Road to XTC Puppet Show dubs I ask that you please request again so
that I can get the essential details.  I have finally sorted through all the
boxes from my move and have found the tapes.

By the way, and sorry if this is old (k)news, but is everyone here familiar
with Doctor and the Medics?  For the most part a rather terrible I.R.S.
records acts (Miles Copeland once again looking for a gimmick).  One
noteworthy item about them is that there is a 12" single I have, produced by
our Dear Mr. Partridge.  If memory serves me well, it's a cover of "Spirit in
the Sky".

And finally, I am working on a club tour for Tampa, Florida's Clang!.  They
will be running up the East Coast for a Thanksgiving date in Rochester, NY.
 If anyone along the way has suggestions for where they might play, please
drop me a line.


Brian Swanson


Date: Wed, 12 Oct 1994 12:24:33 GMT
Subject: Introduction


My name is Jeff Brake, I come from Cardiff, and I've been an XTC fan
for many, many years. I'm looking forward to discussing matters
trivial and important about the band over the coming months or years.



Date: Wed, 12 Oct 1994 11:25:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob Lillington - HTMG/W94 <>
Subject: Here I are

I am Rob Lillington, a bipedal student from BC now studying in Toronto,
ugh, and I have been an XTC/Dukes fan since the release of The Big
Express.  I am interested by the lyrical imagery of the band, which
blends smoothly with their hypnotic pop hooks.  Too bad the masses don't
care much about the music they choose to listen to.

I still hope that someday Mr. Partridge will come to terms with his fear
of live performances.  The band already has an unusually deep connection
with its audience, and being unable to appreciate the live
musicianship is a true shame.  Maybe they should tour small clubs with
the Police again.  Get Sting away from Rod Stewart.


Rob Lillington


Date: Wed, 12 Oct 94 18:00:43 EST
From: (Robert Stacy)
Subject: undercover

In Chalkhills #381, Paul Meyers wants to know:

> . . . how come no one wants to play the "who-should-do-the-XTC
> covers game" C'mon it's fun.

   Okay, I'll bite: how about a cover of "Burning With Optimism's
Flame" by Sisters of Mercy?  Or "Travels in Nihilon" by Amy Grant?
(Yeah, I know -- but "Dear God" was _too_ obvious.)



Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         12 Oct 94 16:18:41 GM+5
Subject:      sam phillips live (?)

I was at the same Sam Phillips Vancouver show that Jay Nelson saw,
and I have to say I thought it was one of the weirdest concerts (in a
low-key sort of way) I've ever been to.  Considering the cast of
characters assembled for Sam's albums, I was surprised that she was
touring with only T-Bone Burnett and a drummer (economics probably
played a part in this).  I like Sam's stuff but I don't feel that her
songs are strong enough for such a stripped
down approach; the music was lacking in variety and I missed the
interesting touches from the records.  Even a bass player (Colin
Moulding, for instance) would have helped.

She's also a rather undynamic performer; she stands stiffly at the
microphone with her hands by her sides and never moves.  She made a
joke about this during the concert ("I suppose you've noticed the
lack of choreography") and blamed it on too many Paula Abdul videos.
While I don't think musicians need to leap around like idiots I felt
that her performance seemed much too detached.  I wouldn't blame it
on nerves, though, as between songs she seemed relaxed and was very

I enjoyed the show to a certain extent, in spite of my complaints, but
I don't think she's promoting her album or her talent too well by
giving such low-key, offhand shows.   She's definitely more of a
studio act.


Date: Thu, 13 Oct 94 13:25:41 EDT
From: (John Pidgeon)
Subject: In defense of Bungalow

I read Paul Vincent's letter and he askes if anyone likes "Bungalow".
I really like this song for two reasons:
1) The anti-yuppies lyrics. It pokes quite a lot of fun at folks who are
more interested in developing their properties than there inner self.
2) Musically, I find this song quite entertaining. The last part is quite
driving even though it's not loud in volume.

Does anyone else like "Bungalow"?

John Pidgeon
Toronto, Canada


Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 15:40:18 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Peter Pumpkinhead I am not.

Okay now, as most of you could guess, XTC is my FAVORITE band and Andy
Patridge is a song-writing God.  Better than McCartney or Lennon, I
venture to say (maybe it's a generational thing, although I love the
Beatles, too.)  So I am just hanging out trying to keep my Pink Thing
hard in a cold, cruel world, and hopefully learn something along the


"And how they'll be jealous of both of us..."
-A. Patridge
"Yacht Dance"


Date: Thu, 13 Oct 94 18:10:16 PDT
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Charts/Tablature
Organization: Chalkhills Anonymous

There are a few more charts in the archive.  These are the ones that
have been added or updated:



        -- John


From: (Bil White)
Subject: Bungalow is not a turkey
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 18:19:08 -0500 (EDT)

> LEMON-FLAVOURED TURKEY: Bungalow from Nonsuch. An appaling
> *song*. I'm open to anyone who'd care to explain why this is a good
> song, but I can see no merit there myself. That's not bad, though - one
> stinker out of so many albums, so many songs.
> Paul Vincent
> University of Central England
> ------------------------------
> From: Simon Wilson <>
> Subject: Re: No Thugs in Our House
>     Lemon: I don't much like Bungalow or Rook, also some of the early
>                stuff is hard to listen to, but I find All Along the
>                Watchtower funny.  However, just to be controversial, I
>                always switch off Black Sea before Travels in Nihilon gets
>                going. it's just never grabbed me, I'm afraid.

Bungalow always brings back happy memories of going to the beach in
the springtime when it's chilly and a bit damp. Plus it's got a lovely
melody, and groovy sound effects. And it's short. Y'all need to go to
Delaware in March sometime--then you'll love Bungalow. I know I do.

Bil White


Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 15:37:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul Pearson <>
Subject: Intro/H. Budd/A. Partridge

I'm Paul Pearson, DJ at KAOS Pblc Radio in Olympia, Washington, just
saying hello, and wondering if somebody's willing to tell me their
feelings on the new A.Partridge/Harold Budd collarboration album.  I've
played it on my show.  It's ambient music that definitely doesn't
embarrass listeners wary of all this new age stuff.



Date: Sat, 15 Oct 1994 13:08:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: REQ: Help with "Yacht Dance"

Hello there, boys and girls.
First off, if y'all haven't read my introduction of myself, it is
somewhere in this issue (or it should be).
Secondly, I was wondering if anyone could give me a hand with
transcibing "Yacht Dance" for guitar.  It is XTC's most musically
virtuosic (sp?) song, and the three guitar parts than interweave
constantly throughout the song are hard to decipher with only two
ears.  Perhaps some genius could team up with me and help me decode
the intricate lines.  I have some basic pedal chords, but none of the
lead (Sir Gregory plays way too fast) and none of the coda.  Anyone
out there want to make this a year-long project?  I will eventually be
arranging the whole affair for string quartet and voice as part of an
independent study, and YOUR name (yes, YOU!) will go on the by-line of
the arrangement.  Get back to me via Chalkhills or my personal



From: (Mark Derby)
Subject: Reply & Clarify "Thugs"
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 04:41:00 GMT
Organization: NWCS Online * Oregon USA

>>From: (Mark Derby)
>>Subject: "No Thugs in Our House"
>>        I don't think it reflected any kind of negative attitude
>>toward XTC's audience (am I misreading your point?)

>From: (Larry Cummings)
>Subject: Reply and Clarify "Thugs"

>would love to clarify what I meant by

>   For me they were the first band that really pulled off the
>   "I am smarter than the people that are keeping me down but I don't
>   care enough about them to fight them on their ground." motif with
>   such accurate intent.

>was not that Andy was taking a swipe at any "class" but merely
>pointing out how easy it is for a child to be rebellious/destructive
>without any supervision. If it's a swipe at anyone it's a swipe at
>irresponsible parents. How this related to the band's relationship
>with their audience was they were saying "we see you" to the character
>in the song

        I'm beginning to understand...

>As I re-read my posting I realized it could have been miscontstrued
>as a statement of empathy for the character in the song

        Not at all!
        Did I misconstrue your post?  Yes.  But not in THAT way.

>I believe that the song was directed at people who saw the problems
>in soceity and felt as frustrated and helpless as the ARRRGH between
>the chorus and the bridge. That's why I think it speaks so well to
>XTC's core audience

        Yes!  Now I do understand.  Thank you for clarifying.

>I suddenly don't feel a geek for pouring over the lyrics so much

        Hey, that's part of the fun.  Besides, it's been so long since XTC
actually released something (the Partridge/Budd collaboration doesn't
count)...what _else_ are we supposed to do on this list?

>Perhaps next time I should be as careful with my postings. :)

        Well, if you think _you_ weren't careful...look for Paul Vincent
and Simon Wilson's replies.  I can screw up better than anyone!  ;-)

>You mentioned Sir Partridge's class background and I suddenly
>realized this is one of the few bands I love that I have very
>little background information on

        Go to your nearest bookstore, RIGHT NOW <g> and get a copy of Chris
Twomey's XTC biography, _Chalkhills and Children_.

 * WR  # 338 * ...bringing me back to earth


From: (Mark Derby)
Subject: "No Thugs in Our House"
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 04:27:00 GMT
Organization: NWCS Online * Oregon USA

[me--once upon a time...]
>>How I interpret this song:  a black comedy about an extremely
>>dysfunctional, working-class British family.

>From: Simon Wilson <>
>The family portrayed are a stereotype of a complacent MIDDLE class
>family, hence the line "Cause Dad's a judge...".


>From: Paul Vincent
>Well, I reckon you've got the wrong end of the stick there, Mark, at
>least as far as "class" goes. Listen again to the last verse, where we
>learn that little Graham will get off lightly when/if his assault case
>comes to trial...
>"Cos Dad's a judge who knows exactly what the job of judging's
>all about."

        Oops again...

        _English Settlement_ is the only XTC disc for which I do NOT own a
lyric sheet.  (If inet provider offered ftp service, I'd be requesting one
immediately.)  Oh yes, I did pick up enough of that line to understand that
the family were confident little Graham would fare well in Her Majesty's
        But I couldn't make out the word "Dad"!  So I missed the punchline!
        Aaargh!  (where have I heard that before?)

        Anyway, let me offer genuine thanks:  for enlightening me.
        I see ".uk" in both of your addresses.  Is this why you have an
easier time comprehending Andy's singing than I do?  Or am I simply a
dunce?  ;-)

>...and, let's face it, being a Courtroom Judge is not *exactly* a
>typical working-class occupation, is it?

>sends up the middle-class preoccupations of keeping up surface
>appearances, and pretending that everything's *nice* while the
>ugliness and violence of the outside world creeps ever closer to
>their cosy front door

        Well stated.

        My neighborhood in Portland, Oregon was once terrorized by racist
skinheads.  It was here that an Ethopian man, Mulugeta Seraw, was beaten to
death with a baseball bat.  Also where lawyer Morris Dees (renowned for his
tireless legal fights against the Ku Klux Klan) won a civil suit against
White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger.
        Metzger being (by "surface appearances") a ordinary middle-class
fellow...who also happened to organize a hate group.  He lost his shirt.
And if he truly had helped plan the murder of Seraw, he deserved that and
        But however pleased I am with the result (the East Side White Pride
gang seem to have crawled back under their rock), I'm disturbed by the
implications.  Did Metzger do anything more than mail out racist flyers?
If not, then he surely should have won his case on First Amendment grounds.
        Refusing an attorney, Metzger alone presented his case in court.
He may have surmised (correctly) that few lawyers would be willing to argue
his case with any enthusiasm.  But here's a case where the old saying about
"having a fool for a client" was true...even _before_ he decided to
represent himself.

        Sorry.  This is _way_ off-topic.  But I wanted to explain why the
scenario in "No Thugs in Our House" sounded familiar to me.

        Hearing "the wallpaper will be shattered by his shouts," I must
have conjured up a chaotic scene that (somewhere in the back of my mind)
reminded me of Monty Python's "Most Awful Family in Britain" sketch.  In
which the contestants in the "working-class" category were _also_ eating
        These stupid Yanks...

 * WR  # 338 * ...will lay down swords and shields, for singing...


From: ST56T@Jetson.UH.EDU
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 1994 18:26:30 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Hello.  I'm new here.

Dear fellow Chalkhills readers,

As suggested, I thought I'd say hello to all
of my fellow XTC enthusiasts and introduce myself.

I have one thing in my entire life to thank
MTV for.  One thing, and one thing alone.

One day, as I was switching channels, I came
across this trio sitting on stools making
this beautiful pop sound, full of vitality
and humor, utterly unlike anything new
I'd heard in a long time.

The song:  "The Mayor of Simpleton."

Since then, I've been hooked.
I now own all of the albums (gradually
working toward all of the CD's; I
even found Explode Together in a
cutout bin!!!) except for the live
import released last year on ROIR.
I also bought Chalkhills and Children,
the wonderful biography by Chris Twomey
(Omnibus Press), which I recommend to

They have been a profound influence on
my own songwriting and performing,
and certain tracks never fail to
lift me out of depression (esp.
Don't Lose Your Temper, the Dukes'
Bike Ride To The Moon, Wrapped In Grey,
New Town Animal, etc).

Sorry for going on a bit long, but
I am EXTREMELY gratified to find this
list (I did so by randomly hunting around
on, a painful experience).

I'll be eagerly awaiting the next
Chalkhills, and thanks for being around!

In ecstacy,

Dolph Chaney

P.S.:  If anyone would like a free
cassette of my own work, just let me know
(postage would be appreciated, but
what the hey - I'm in a generous mood...)


End of Chalkhills Digest #385

Go back to the previous page.