Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #389

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 389

                 Sunday, 30 October 1994

Today's Topics:
                   Potential XTC covers
                  Re: Helicopter Covers
    It wasn't a Hefty (was Re: Chalkhills Digest #388)
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #388
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #388
                   hey, I'm knew too...
                 FTP, Drums and Wireless
                      Simpleton #19
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #388
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #388
                       TwO CenTs...
                 Lack of interest in XTC
                   Golden Age of the...
                   digitzed song trades
                  Keep it in the family?


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Why do we starve a thing that's near extinction?


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 14:12:25 -0400
From: "Karen E. Lewis (ba amst)" <>
Subject: Potential XTC covers

The XTC covers that I would like to see:

James: Another Satellite, Then She Appeared
Paul Westerberg: Extrovert
They Might Be Giants: Knuckle Down
New Order: Over Rusty Water (remix, of course!)
The Judybats: Grass



Date: 27 Oct 1994 11:12:52 U
From: "Steve Krause" <>
Subject: Re: Helicopter Covers

In Chalkihills #388, Jeffrey Langr <> had some
suggestions for covers, including the brilliant

> Adrian Belew:     Snowman
> He Said:          Travels in Nihilon


> I'm still trying to figure out who should cover "Helicopter."

In another part of #388, Kevin Brunkhorst suggests Danny Elfman,
which would have been one of my picks. Some other candidates:
a) Lene Lovich, b) Stump, c) The Kronos Quartet

Steve Krause, Media Futures Program
SRI International, Menlo Park, CA                  phone: +1 415 859 4746


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 94 14:30:38 EDT
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: It wasn't a Hefty (was Re: Chalkhills Digest #388)

> From: (John Pidgeon)
> Just a quick question today. When I bought Black Sea when it first came
> out, it came in a black garbage bag. Was this only done in Canada?

No, my copy was the same way.  And that black garbage bag, as you call it,
just looked like a lunch baggy thingy as opposed to yer basic kitchen pail
slop-catcher.  Still as ugly as sin, though.  WHY they did this, I dunno,
but that's art.

> >Joe Odukoya brags:
> >> I've just bought the XTC radio sessions CD
> >> Here is a complete track listing
> >[snip]
> >
> >OK, what's the diff between this disc and the ones Wes mentions above?
> >I'm assuming these are BBC radio sessions.
> By the way re: "Joe Odukoya brags" it wasn't supposed to be a brag :-( I
> just thought that fellow chalkers might like to know that it was finally
> available (as I mentioned it a few weeks ago and promised more info as
> soon as I had any). Perhaps I should keep my mouth shut in future...-
> Joeo -

Joe, that was me.  Yes, we are all here to share information, and I wasn't
dissing you, I just get bored with quoting other people and saying "says"
all the time.  No harm meant, so chill, my son.

> From: Jeffrey Langr <>
> Actually I really enjoy seeing good bands at crummy dives, like the 9:30 in
> D.C. or the 8x10 in Baltimore.  Some of the best shows I've ever seen were
> in places like that; I think the bands know they have to try harder.  It's
> also a bit more personal.  It builds character I'm sure...  It must be a
> comedown after the arena tours though.  Would you rather see XTC at a 20,000
> seat air-conditioned basketball arena where the ushers keep making you sit
> down or in a smelly stuffy hellhole that fits only 200, standing only?

Absolutely right, Jeff.  Seeing a band in a total rathole like the two you
mention above (I live in Baltimore, so I know both clubs well) also supplies
you with a hell of a boast (erm, or should that be "brag" factor) when said
band breaks it live.  You're queuing up with the greater unwashed to see 'em
at the Enormodome and you can get 'em steaming with comments like:  "Shucks.
I remember the night I saw 'em play to a "crowd" of 34.  Hell, we all went
out for pizza afterward, and the singer wound up marrying the waitress who
waited on us at the Pizza Hut that night."  That Enormodome crap is so, well,
un-intimate.  (Did I just invent a word?)

Does anyone else feel the way I do that tribute albums suck a honker?  I
hate 'em!  A good song by the original band can be RUINED by a cover version,
and I am so used to listening to the original versions of songs that even a
groovy version of "Bungalow" (is it possible?) makes me want to go back and
listen to the original.  Some cover versions can be good, but if you really
want to waste money, buy a tribute album.  Some interesting ideas here,
though.  I'm not saying that other bands shouldn't cover XTC songs, I am just
saying that it is a lot more palatable to hear a band do an XTC song on
their record than to sit through a bunch of almost entirely sub-par covers
at once.  Shudder!

And I can't believe how many folks believe that XTC named themselves after
the drug.  I got into a major argument over the summer with a know-it-all
type who swore that XTC were being naughty boys when they chose their name.
As Andy says, the only drug the band does is caffeine.  So there.  Usually
those believers of this falsehood are those, like the know-it-all, who don't
listen to the band at all.  Harumph.


Catherine Wheel World Wide Web Home Page:


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 11:44:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul Pearson <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #388

> From: (John Pidgeon)
> Subject: black sea cover
> Good day,
> Just a quick question today. When I bought Black Sea when it first came
> out, it came in a black garbage bag. Was this only done in Canada?
> John Pidgeon
> Toronto

My first copy was also in a black garbage bag and I bought it in
Sacramento.  But the label was Virgin, who didn't release U.S. records
without an affiliate at the time Black Sea came out, so I imagine it was
an imported copy (imported to us meaning from the UK).  My memory fails
me occasionally.


From: Michael Minahan 9232324 <>
Subject: newbie
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 94 11:48:27 PDT

Hey everybody!

I've been an admirer of xtc since I first heard "Pretty Girls" (Big
Express '84) on KJET here in Seattle and wanted to hear more.  I remember
a friend had borrowed English Settlement and I taped it from him.
Needless to say, I wore out the tape!  (For sentimental reasons it was
the first xtc cd I bought) I then taped Black Sea and rocked-out during my
 paper-route each day!  The first album I actually
bought was Big Express which I initially felt was a Big Bummer.

Back then, NOBODY knew about them.  My friend and I thought we had found
the Golden Fleece.

Anyhow, is anyone interested in what other bands xtc fans listen to?
Currently, my heavy rotation play lists includes:
        Wall of Voodoo -- Dark Continent
        Leo Kottke -- A Shout Toward Noon
        Suzanne Vega
        Terry Evans -- Blues for Thought
        Joe Jackson -- Night Music
Maybe I'm mellowing as I age...but I did listen to English Settlement
for the first time in a long time last night.  Have you listened to ES
lately? WOW!

"Like a rocket from a bottle set free.......I've been this explosive
since you met me!"

See ya,

Mike Minahan

PS.  Can anybody tell me what XTC Explodes Together is all about?  I'm
interested in getting ahold of it if it's not just another compilation of



Date:         Thu, 27 Oct 94 15:28:40 EDT
From: "Gene (Sp00n) Yoon" <ST004422@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Chalkhills Digest #388

Two issues ago, Royal Ed said, re touring:
>For once, I have to disagree.  When the Beatles finally decided there was
>more to life than being Fab, a retirement from the road was essential to
>their maturity.  I grant you that the rationale here is different (personal
>rather than democratic) but the essence is the same.  The things I treasure
>most about sophisticated, multilayered works like *Oranges and Lemons* and
>*Mummer* (or *Magical Mystery Tour* and *Revolver*) are the precision and
>care of the craft, not any raw kick that could be feasibly reproduced at a
>sweaty club on the lower East Side.  The ROIR tape, I think, highlights this

Okay, both the Beatles and XTC reached new heights in creativity and studio
experimentation after each stopped touring, but all four Beatles went back to
live performances after four years, when they spontaneously exploded as a
group.  Well, it's been *twelve* years since XTC was on the road, and this
big no-tour refusal has gotten very silly, and I don't think I'd be wrong to
say that Colin and Dave think so, too.  Andy obviously had very good reasons
to take time off, but now it seems he's just being stubborn to a principle.
And it's cost them as a group, not only monetarily but with their popular
acceptance, or non-acceptance, as several recent Chalkhillians have pointed
out.  Touring happens to be a huge part of promotion and often directly
affects radio airplay, so it's no wonder that our friends have dumb express-
ions on their faces when we tell them XTC is our favorite group.  Not only
that, but by not touring for so long but they're actually bringing down the
quality and output of their songs (three years between albums, as opposed to
one a year in the old days); they're missing those creative influences from
hearing other artists perform while on the road.
I think Colin was quoted as saying that not touring has certainly affected
his songwriting, and he pledged that if XTC doesn't tour he'd find other
means to perform live, for the sake of his art, more or less.  And even
Andy's songs on Nonsuch, while still exemplary, didn't break any new ground,
and the album as a whole (I still love it) was a bit lackluster compared to
some earlier ones, IMO,H.
I remember seeing the Three on MTV after Oranges and Lemons was released,
and they had a small studio audience.  The transition to small club shouldn't
be all that hard.  And with today's technology and Virgin Records' resources,
reproducing their studio sound, one of AP's trepidations, wouldn't be too
difficult.  Hey, if bands like the Cocteau Twins can do it....

Oh, while I'm at it, and just to be nitpicky, I think Snowman would qualify
as the last song on the last album before their last live appearance, not
Travel to N, though that would kind of ruin the Tomorrow Never Knows corr-

On another note, (I'm writing a lot here; my Chalkhills sessions have
become few and far between)
It's very to exciting to have David Yazbek here--ooooo, someone "famous".
Or, better yet, ooo, someone with personal contact with AP, someone whose
worked with him, and more yet to come.  Mr. Yazbek can I call you David,
will you please relay our discussions on Chalkhills to AP when possible?
We'd love to hear what he thinks....  And I *knew* it wasn't him on Change
My World--!!  But Sean Altman does do a nice impression.



Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 13:52:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Anshuman Duneja <>
Subject: hey, I'm knew too...

Wow..I thought I'd bever find this place...I guess the fact that no one
has ever heard of XTC around here makes a difference...I guess it's about
the same amount of people that know about XTC that know about Tintin, who
I can't find anywhere around ack...

I guerss I first got into XTC when i heard dear god, but that was even
before i knew who they were, so I suppose I should say something else,
but I don' really know what...

It seems that all the people who like really hip bands like other hip
bands...since it seems like a bunch of people here also like They Might
Be Giants, R.E.M., and (Oingo) these are obviously way cool
bands then...

Oh, and I have a recording off the radio of an interview with Andy
Partridge from Live 105...a radio station in the SF area.  I just thought
i'd mention that in case anyone might want's pretty groovy...even
one of the people who called in to ask a question didn't know who XTC
is...sheesh, but they got her good...heehee./..


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 18:12:17 -0400
Subject: FTP, Drums and Wireless

I'm going to hit two subjects here, and I'll try to be quick about it.

Pat Tomek said:

>Since I can't ftp from AOL, I haven't gotten the archives yet...

Try the Keyword FTP.  It's a little known fact that you *can* ftp from AOL.

Par Nilsson wanted info on the BBC disk.  It's called  "XTC Drums and
Wireless:  BBC Radio Sessions 77-89."  I'm listening to it right now, and
it's killer.   God bless the boys for bringing such joy to this poor man's
life.  It's on Nighttracks Records (?), which seems to be affiliated with BBC
Radio.  The only number I see that looks like a catalogue number is CDNT008.

I got my copy mail order from Music Machine.  Phone 410-356-4567, fax
410-356-4693, in Maryland, USA.  It cost $18 (+$4 S&H), and clocks in at 61
minutes.  (Oh, and I think ABACAB is a chord progression--or so I've heard.)

Later, all

Curtiss Hammock, Atlanta, GA, USA


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 19:09:06 -0400
Subject: Simpleton #19

File this under trivia but in Billboard's 100th Anniversary issue, Mayor of
Simpleton came in at #19 on the Modern Rock List.


Date: Fri, 28 Oct 1994 12:56:36 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #388

BBC's amazing radio series "The history of Pop" is playing on the radio
here in NZ, and I'm delighted to hear that one of the pieces they use to
introduce the show is "This is Pop" (Yeah, yeah, I say!)

From: (John Pidgeon) Subject: black sea cover
>When I bought Black Sea when it first came out, it came in a black garbage

In New Zealand, it was in a lime green paper bag!

>From: John.J.Pinto@Dartmouth.EDU (John J. Pinto)
>Now that the subject of the "hook" has been fully treated is there anyone
>would like to try and define "the middle eight"?

Sometimes, instead of verse/chorus/verse/chorus, a song will have one short
chorus lasting eight bars in the middle. This is the middle eight. A
perfect example is the Beatles' "And I love her" The middle eight here
starting "A love like ours..." (BTW, in this song, the middle eight was
written by John, the rest by Paul). An XTC example would be then bit
starting "Love's not a product you can hoard..." etc. from All of a Sudden.
As someone else pointed out, they may appear twice in a song, or with (as
opposed to instead of) choruses. Functionally they are similar to bridges.



From: Kevin Carhart <>
Subject: danny
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 18:25:48 -0700 (PDT)

Kevin Brunkhorst wrote:
Andy could have built Danny Elfman in his garage

You are so right.
Readers of this ,tell me if any of this rings with some of you:

I love XTC, but I am lukewarm on Oingo Boingo, Violent Femmes.... and
while I respect them, I am even lukewarm on They Might Be Giants.

These bands are often lumped together.  I don't quite know why and I
occasionally try to define what it is I like about eclectic, quirky
XTC that I don't also find in eclectic, quirky Oingo Boingo.  I don't
know.. maybe it's the Englishness?  Maybe I'm just a snob, and prejudge
American bands, but I don't think so.  Oingo Boingo seems dark and
desolate to me, XTC are often kind of optimistic.

I had someone once tell me that the only other place that he found
that special quality of XTC was in Oingo Boingo "Wild Sex in the Working
Class", but IMO that song doesn't have it at all!  I think XTC would do
it in more oblique, understated ways, maybe hinting at the coat on the
ground in the meeting place, but to sing "wild sex" in the title is just

What do you all say?


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 20:45:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: Julian Cook <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #388

I have seen the wonderful CD called "Drujms and Wireless". Where can some
rabid yank XTC fans pick this up? Anyone in the U.S. going to distribute

      //       "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
  \\ //                                      Albert Einstein
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------        Improved .sig under construction


Date: Fri, 28 Oct 94 10:28:28
Subject: TwO CenTs...

Okay for starters, mgooch said:

>Okay, I must say, too, that Blur's
>album is the best album this year.

NoT. Better choices:
- David Byrne
- Dookie (Green Day)
- Pomme Fritz (The Orb)
- A Date with the Smithereens and on and on...

Then Jeffery Langr said:

>Would you rather see XTC at a 20,000
>seat air-conditioned basketball arena where the ushers keep making you sit
>down or in a smelly stuffy hellhole that fits only 200, standing only?

Neither. I think Andy said they ready more for theatres these days
and I tend to agree. Something intimate, definitely, but I think
their club days are behind them. Not that will get a chance any
time soon...

Followed by Robert Stacy saying:

>I think it would
>do Andy, Dave, and Colin a world of good, too, to ride the rush of
>performing for an appreciative, animate audience.  My guess is there's
>only so much pleasure to be derived from listening to the tape reels
>spin in the studio . . .

   I'm sure Colin and Dave are more than up for it. I really
believe that Andy thinks it will be an unsettling experience. The
last time he mentioned touring to Geffen, they responded by saying
"Great, let's book stadiums!" to which Andy shrunk away in
horror. Liek he says "We're like a delicate orchid, you just can't
put us out under a huge heat lamp and expect us not to wither."
Plus I think for Andy, recording is just as satisfying.

And the most objectionable thing last issue came from the

>Rather, change
>the subject of your posting to refer to the original subject, for
>example, "Re: The Big Express Sucks!".

   Good God man, how did your fingers even let you type the
words! :->

JoE Silva
Carbohydrate Center, Univ of GA


Date: Wed, 26 Oct 94 12:00:42 EST
From: (Robert Stacy)
Subject: Lack of interest in XTC

   Boy, Brian, did you call _that_ one.

   I recall a similar reaction a couple of years ago when
I declared aloud at a celebratory gathering of (usually) bright people,
after the discussion ambled onto the topic of music, that, of the many
bands I'd enjoyed over the years, my favorite was XTC.
   Blank looks.
   "What did they do?" asked one woman.
   Er, where to begin? "'Towers of London'," I essayed confidently.
   "'Making Plans for Nigel'?  'Generals and Majors'?"  Some of the
patient, expectant looks now betrayed a hint of kindliness that
bordered on pity -- like that reserved for a distant, inbred relative.
By now, a small but distinctly desperate tone had crept into my voice.
   "'Senses Working Overtime'!"  This, triumphantly.  But still no
response, other than one or two gazes flickering away in sympathetic
embarassment.  This was getting serious.  What the hell was _wrong_
with these people?
   "'Dear God'?  'Mayor of Simpleton'!  Arr--"
   "Oh," responded the original inquirer, rescuing me from incipient,
paroxysmal tongue failure. "'Dear God.'  I liked that.  I remember
hearing that on the radio and liked it a lot.  That was--who?  X,
   "XTC," I said gratefully.  "That's right, that got them a lot of
airplay.  But they were around for years before that broke.  There are
so many other songs they've done that, both lyrically and musically,
   But it was already too late.  Relieved of the discomfiting,
impromptu obligation by its members to acknowledge that anyone actually
knew what the hell I was talking about, the group rapidly moved the
discussion on in another direction, leaving me and the original
questioner in one of those little conversational eddies that quickly
swirls, dissipates, and dies when set against the challenge of the
larger flow.

> I don't understand the music-buying/listening public sometimes.
> It's very frustrating for someone for whom music is his life.

   I'm not sure there's anything there _to_ understand, Brian.  The
channels by which the vast majority of the music-buying public are
made aware of what's available are informed by a sensibility that is
mostly antithetical to the purveyance of intelligent, heart-searching
art of the sort XTC creates.
   Enjoy the music.  Call your local radio station with requests,
especially when there's something new in current release.  Play things
for friends that you think they might like when you have the chance.
Spread the good word in as non-off-putting a manner as you know how.

   I mean, what else is there to be done?



From: (Chong Hyun Byun)
Subject: Golden Age of the...
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 1994 17:00:48 -0700 (PDT)

First of all, a big thank you very much to everyone who gave explanations
of what a bridge is.  I especially liked Curtiss H.'s example of the Led
Zep song "The Crunge".  Yes, Curtiss, as an XTC fan, I admit that I do
have a copy of _Houses of the Holy_!  I'm going home to listen to that
song right now.  Well, after I listen to the copy of _Drums and Wireless_
I just picked up, of course.

Yes, I nabbed one.  I nearly keeled over when I saw it in the lower
bin at my favorite record store.  Okay, regarding the confusion as to
whether or not this is the same thing as the BBC Radio One deal:  I think
it is.  A friend of mine who works in that same record store explained
to me that the BBC label usually puts out either live performance albums
or stuff from their archives.  So Drums and Wireless = BBC Vol. 2, most
likely.  Anyone else have any insight?  Well, the cover art is neat--it's
a take-off on the _Drums and Wires_ cover.  On the inside of the booklet,
there's a nice drawing of Andy, Dave, and Colin which reminds me of the
acoustic tour photo in Twomey's book.  Anyway...everyone go grab a copy
of it at Amoeba Records in Berkeley, CA.  Only 16.98, cheap, huh?

Regarding the info John Relph supplied that Johnny Nexdor and his Neighbors
is not Andy and John Linnell:  NOOO!!!  Shoot, I always thought it was Andy,
and then John L. on the bridges (I hope I'm using this musical term
correctly!).  Now I have to go home and revise the way I view the world. :)

Christie Byun


Date: Fri, 28 Oct 1994 23:58:18 -0700
From: Kevin Carhart <>
Subject: digitzed song trades

I'd like to try a trade of digitized music over email, dispensing with
the postal service altogether.  I have quite a bit of interesting XTC
if someone is interested.  I've had this idea in my head for quite a while
but I want to see how it comes out in practice.  I suggested it to the 4AD
list a long time ago but didn't really follow through.
There are a lot of issues on this sort of thing that will come up over the
next few years, including whether such trades will hurt the artists, and
what the record companies will do if it starts in mass quantities.  I think
I can rationalize trading XTC in this way because we are a fan community who
buys all the "Rag n Bone" type of projects and supports the band extensively.

But after all the damn A&R people that Andy and the boys have had to suffer
through, my attitude is "screw Geffen".  Anyway, let's take this off the
list, email me and we'll talk copyright violation.  This will be especially
good if you like low fidelity as much as high, and don't care if something
is MPEG quality or not.

drop me a line by WASTE.       Trystero!
My beloved former roomate and XTC fan Joe has graduated from college and
is living in the city (Santa Barbara) with his longtime girlfriend/
defacto fiancee Heather.
I said to him today, "you both are so great, you're the archetypal Earn
Enough For Us couple"
"I think of us more as the Love on a Farmboy's Wages couple" he said.
they're both awesome.  I was playing him "Cherry in your Tree" over the



Date: Sun, 30 Oct 1994 16:07:59 +0100
From: (Dirk Paul Flach)
Subject: Keep it in the family?

Hi all,

following the chalkhills digest for some time now, I get the impression
that a fair amount of the chalkhills subscribers are fans of XTC, following
their brother. At least that's the case for me, and I read it a few times
in the digest from other people.

What does this mean? Is XTC in our genes? And maybe, are younger brothers
bigger fans than older brothers? It would make a interesting investigation,
wouldn't it. Does anybody have thought about this? Maybe the people who
were introduced by XTC by their brothers can mail me personally, so I can
make a summary for the digest.

Dirk Paul


End of Chalkhills Digest #389

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