Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #390

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 390

                Wednesday, 2 November 1994

Today's Topics:
                    XTC are "vintage"
          Other XTC covers I would like to hear
                 Andy P./Carmen Sandiego
                     Helicopter cover
                   Re: black sea cover
                        Re: Covers
                   XTC - Galactic Glue
        drums and wireless/tribute album/not andy/
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #389
                      Little Express
              Sam Phillips (No XTC content)
                 Where to Get BBC Vol. 2
                       XTC boycott
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #389
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #389
                     Bridges & Covers
                  Re: Helicopter Covers
              Rook: defending the castle...
             Guitar Tab for "All of a Sudden"


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Date: Sun, 30 Oct 94 19:16:05  GMT+10
Organization: Twister II - Sydney, Australia. +612-30-3513
From: (Jon Flynn)
Subject: XTC are "vintage"

C> Here is something quite distressing:  have you ever been talking to
C> someone at a party, or in a class, et. al., and you mention XTC, and
C> they look at you like, "Who is THE hell is XTC?"
C> WHAT?!?  WHO IS XTC!?!  WHO ARE THE BEATLES?!?!  For some reason, they
C> have never ascended the great ladder of mainstream success (at least
C> in this country.)  With great tunes and beautiful chords and
C> hit-you-in-the-face lyrics, who wouldn't know of and consequently
C> adore this band?  I don't understand the music-buying/listening publuc
C> sometimes.  It's very frustrating for someone for whom music is his
C> life.

Let's face it, time is slipping by, XTC are getting towards being a
"Vintage" band, lauded not by the masses, but by those who have a
particular interest in the musical styles of the past. Yes, yes, I know
XTC are still very much with us in the present, but they have stuck with
their own blueprint, forged in the late 70's. I think it's a superb
blueprint, and it has helped make them one of the finest groups of the
era. But eventually, the tastes of emergingly affluent members of
generations Y and Z tend to be satisfied only by music which is totally
"now", which an integral part of pop music anyway.

I don't mind the idea of XTC becoming vintage. Hey, you mentioned the
Beatles. It's an interesting thought that for the first time in around
three decades, there actually ARE people who are ignorant of the Beatles,
or are dismissive of their importance. It kind of makes you feel
privelaged to have lived in a time when the greatest music in recent
history had real currency.

-- Via Xenolink 1.90


From: (Hans Malm)
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 09:36:24 +0100
Subject: Other XTC covers I would like to hear

Bjork: 1000 Umbrellas
Sparks: Scissor Man (As they sounded when they made
                     This Town Ain't Big Enough...)
Elvis Costello: Mayor of Simpleton
Creatures (Siouxie & Budgie): Travels in Nihilon
Cramps: Cross Wires (This IS Psych-o-billy)



Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 04:31:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Steve Johnson <>
Subject: Andy P./Carmen Sandiego

Until Mr. Yazbek says "No, it is NOT Andy singing on 'Change My
World'", I'm going to insist that it IS Andy.  According to the
person who posted information he got from Mr. Yazbek, he just
said that Johnny Nexdor was Sean Altman and that His Neighbors
were a few other people.  Who ever said that Johnny Nexdor was
singing it???  And if it ISN'T Andy doing it uncredited, why no
vocal credits for that ONE song???

 |        Steve Johnson          | "People will always be tempted to wipe |
 | Email:   |  their feet on anything with 'Welcome' |
 |    or |  written on it."    -- Andy Partridge  |


Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 07:13:32 -0600 (CST)
From: Julian Cook <>
Subject: Helicopter cover

Seems like DEVO would do a great job on Helicopter.

Also IMHO, Nine Inch Nails doing Complicated Game would be spectacular.


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


Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 8:08:55 PST
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: black sea cover (John Pidgeon) asks:
>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?

As a matter of fact, the black plastic bag *was* only issued in
Canada.  However, most other countries used a green paper bag instead.

Excerpted from the XTC Discography:

Black Sea
       + LP, Virgin UK, V 2173, 12 September 1980. originally included
         green paper outer sleeve.
       + LP, Virgin Canada (Polygram), VL 2203, 29 September 1980.
         originally included black plastic outer bag with handle,
         black and white inner sleeve.
       + LP, Virgin USA (RSO), VR-1-1000 (VA 13147), November 1980.
         originally included green paper outer sleeve. manufactured as
         Atlantic VA 13147 but released by RSO as VR-1-1000.
       + LP, Virgin Japan, VIP-6964, 1980. originally included green
         paper outer sleeve.
       + LP, Virgin West Germany (Ariola), 202 836-320, 1980.
         originally included green paper outer sleeve.
       + LP, Virgin Australia (Festival), L 37434, 1980. green
         cardboard outer sleeve.
       + LP, Virgin New Zealand (RTC), V 2173, 1980. originally
         included green paper outer sleeve.
       + LP, Virgin Italy (Ricordi), VIL 12173, 1980. originally
         included green paper outer sleeve.


        -- John


Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 10:28:18 -0600 (CST)
From: Michael Salmons <>
Subject: Re: Covers

Hi everyone, this is my first posting to this list.I've been an XTC fan
since discovering them in 9th or 10th grade in 1979 or '80. For years my
favorite XTC recording was English Settlement until Skylarking came out,
which stands as my current favorite.

Someone in Chalkhills 389 suggested various artists to cover Travels in
Nihilon. My votes would be Nine Inch Nails or Brian Eno/John Cale
(perhaps as an outtake of their recent album?)

Also, can anyone recommend the recent Andy Partridge/Harold Budd album?


Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 18:05:09 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Intro

Hi fellow Chalkhillians,

I've been lurking for one year now, time to write an introduction ;-)
The first song I heard from our beloved Swindon-trio was 'Pretty Girls'
in 1984, though at the time I didn't know who the authors were. Two
years later my (yes, older) brother introduced me to 'Grass'. This
time I knew it was XTC, so I bought my first non-Beatle-related album
ever : Skylarking. I've bought everything since then, and contrary
to many people on the list, I actually like Go 2 and White music. I love
their version of 'All along the watchtower'.

'Dear God' was a big 'alternative' hit in my country-of-origin, Belgium
(yes, Anshuman Duneja -see Chalkhills 389- also country of Tintin ;-).
It topped the alternative charts for about 6 months, I think. I don't
know if that thread is still alive, but I think that Dear God is the
best song to introduce people to XTC.
My favourite song must be 'Then she appeared' or 'Language in our lungs'.
I don't like Colin's songs very much, so pick any for the XTC-lemon.



Subject: XTC - Galactic Glue
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 13:25:28 +28616
From: Gregory Silvus <>

At a Halloween party this weekend, I ran into a guy dressed as
Father Guido Sarducci (from old Saturday Night Live for you
youngins). I looked him in the eye and said, "With that hat you
look like Colin Moulding on the inside of the Skylarking album
by XTC." He gave me a blank stare, but the cute woman behind him
asked agitatedly, "You like XTC!?!" "Yeah, they're my favorite" "Me too!" at which point she grabbed my hand and
led me outside to discuss the virtues of XTC.

We set our wedding for October 27, 1997. You are all invited. ;-)

PS - While I doubt we will really get married, it's nice to know
that the cosmic dust of the universe provides a bond amongst those
who share good taste.


Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 12:01:11 -0800
From: (Will Kreth)
Subject: Helicopter

At 7:33 PM 10/30/94, the fab futurist Steve Krause <>

>> 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

No, no, and no!

Better candidates to cover "Helicopter" would be:

a) The B-52's, b) Leonard Cohen c) Ministry d) The Tom Tom Club

and of course

d) Lou Reed


  Will.Kreth            HotWired                  +1.415.222.6345 [vox]
  Online.Ambassador     520 3rd.St.               +1.415.222.6369 [fax]        SF.CA.94107.USA 


Organization: SLAIS, UBC
Date:         31 Oct 94 11:53:20 GM+5
Subject:      drums and wireless/tribute album/not andy/

Some comments on various things discussed lately:

I got the new "Drums and Wireless" CD over the weekend.  I can't say
I would call this an essential purchase.  The strange thing about
this CD is that it's not really live; it seems that at the BBC they
like people to come in and record songs for their radio shows, but
the songs are done as studio recordings, with overdubs and all.  Many
of the tracks on the CD (particularly those from English Settlement,
Big Express and O&L) sound almost exactly like their album
counterparts but with more primitive production (e.g. not so much
overdubbing, drum machines).  There's virtually no variation from the
original arrangements.  I know that Andy is very particular about how
he arranges his songs, so he sees no interest in changing that.  But
I feel the only interesting live recordings are those where the songs
are experimented with, either slightly or drastically  (see Joe
Jackson's live LP for an excellent example) .  I do like the other
BBC live CD because it captures the energy of the band in concert,
which we shall never hear for ourselves.  But this one is basically
just for completists and doesn't have a lot of intrinsic interest for

So XTC are getting the tribute treatment.  I find it pretty easy to
imagine the Crash Test Dummies doing PP; imagine it set to the tempo
and arrangement of MMM MMM MMM MMM and you'll see what I mean.
Someone mentioned Oingo Boingo; have people heard the new Boingo CD?
It actually sounds quite like XTC and not like Elfman's film music or
the old, hyper Oingo Boingo stuff, so they might be a good choice for
the tribute album.  Adrian Belew is also a good idea, and
how about our old friends Sam Phillips and Aimee Mann?  Martin
Newell?  Peter Blegvad?

I do agree though that tribute albums generally suck.  Every one I've
ever bought has languished unlistened-to on my shelf until I sell it.
Even a pretty good one like the new Richard Thompson tribute is only
really good for one listen; I'd rather just listen to Thompson
himself.  Maybe the XTC one will be the exception that proves the

I'm glad we got confirmation on the Johnny Nexdor thing; I always
knew it wasn't Andy.


From: ST56T@Jetson.UH.EDU
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 13:25:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #389

Hi, folks.

Mike Minahan asked (in Chalkhills 389) about Explode Together.

As I mentioned in my intro a few weeks ago,
I picked it up in a cutout bin for $7
(after over two years of searching,
so don't go grumbling "lucky stiff" at me...).

It consists of:
    1.  the "Go+" EP - a collection of
          overhauls/remixes/dub mixes of
          tracks from the "Go 2" album
          that was originally issued with
          it (UK only, I think)
    2.  the Andy Partridge solo album -
          credited to "Mr. Partridge" and
          titled "Take Away/The Lure of Salvage".
          Similarly, revamps of material from
          the first 3 albums, EPs, and B-sides.

A lot of XTC fans probably hate this album.
It is experimental, at times incoherent,
lacking in the "big pop" hallmarks of
their typical sound, with lyrics either
randomly chopped from the original text
(Go+) or completely new lyrics that are
far stranger and more impressionistic
than Andy's (or Colin's) usual style
(Take Away/The Lure Of Salvage).

I love Explode Together.  It continues their
largely playful, satirical attitude and turns
it in on themselves.  It reflects Andy's
background in experimental listening
(Beefheart, Eno, Residents, among many others).
IMHO, some tracks are even improved (check out
Shore Leave Ornithology (Another 1950) as opposed
to Pulsing Pulsing, or Madhattan as opposed to
That Is The Way).

The single CD (on UK Virgin) can usually be
found for around $20, unless you're
fortunate (?!??!?) enough to have lived
in a really pathetic town like Dayton, OH,
where they can't appreciate stuff like this
and where I found the CD for $7.

Hope this was helpful.

Take care.

Dolph Chaney

P.S.:  To those of you who asked about my tape,
thank you.  Sorry I have been slow about
sending them; the floods in Houston impeded
my progress, and I've been out of town for
a few days.  Soon, I promise!


Date: Tue,  1 Nov 94 06:42:00 UTC
Subject: Little Express

I'm surprised no one in Chalkhills is talking about the new Little Express yet.
One of the big stories has to be the proposed XTC tribute album, so I was
pleased to see producer Dave Yazbeck join us here.  Welcome, Dave!

But the other big story in LE seems to be Andy playing business hardball with
record companies.  I say more power to him.  However, it does seem this will
delay release of the _Somesuch_ CD from Virgin, delay recording the next XTC
album, and totally cancel a planned Andy Partridge soundtrack for Disney.

Sigh...  Mike McCormick

p.s. To whoever slammed the American music public for being such XTC-ignoring
philistines: While I agree, let us not forget that no country has embraced XTC
to nearly the extent of the USA.  Brits do not buy XTC records.


From: J Ross MacKay <>
Subject: Sam Phillips (No XTC content)
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 94 7:25:12 EST

This was posted on the Bruce Cockburn list (no Bruce content either;)

> Has anyone else seen that Sam Phillips is going to be in the next Diehard
> movie with Bruce Willis (oh there is bruce content :-))? Apparently the
> director saw her Martinis and Bikinis album cover and wanted her for the
> movie. Maybe I should show him my Sequoia employee badge?;-)
> John B.


Date: Tue, 1 Nov 1994 10:53:11 -0500
Subject: Brothers...

Dirk Paul mentioned the XTC-brother connection. In my own case, my older
brother introduced me to them. I initially just recorded his LP's, but now
I have all the available CD's that I know of. I'm a much bigger fan than
my brother is now. I will still, on occasion, do an XTC marathon, where I
listen to all the stuff I have by them. That's (I think) 14 CD's, and a few
12" B-sides. My brother used to tease me about my doing that.

Anyway, there's definitely an older brother connection in my case.

-Markus De Shon


Date: 1 Nov 1994 11:31:34 U
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: Where to Get BBC Vol. 2

Just got this CD yesterday in the mail! Haven't heard it all yet (busy with
everything!), but what I have heard makes me wish they'd put out a Vol. 3
covering just the years 1977-1979. It's all recorded very well, however.
"Into the Atom Age" sounds great! "Dance Band" has these "gothic" keyboard
embellishments by Barry; geez, they're great, I don't even think he's in the
same key as the rest of the band! "Skylarking" tracks! Why not???

You can get the CD through Silver Moon Digital, P.O. Box 57565, OK City, OK
73157 (Phone 405-840-3472). MasterCard/VISA accepted.

The CD wound up costing $15.95, not $19.95 as SMD originally speculated it
would cost, so they refunded my $4.00. $15.95 is pretty reasonable for an
English import, no?

Check out Newbury Comics if you live in the Eastern Mass./Southern NH area; I
have seen this CD there as well.



Date: Tue, 1 Nov 94 13:19:58 EDT
From: (John Pidgeon)
Subject: XTC boycott

Good day everyone,

I was just sitting around today (it's raining pretty heavy, which might
account for my dark mood) and here's a thought I would like to share.

When the next XTC album is released, there's a customer boycott. Only after
XTC has announced a live concert, fans in that city will then purchase the
new album. This is just a rough idea, but is there any takers?

We can send our petition to XTC's record company.

John Pidgeon
Toronto, Canada


Date: Tue, 1 Nov 94 13:56 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #389

 From Dirk Paul:
DP> are younger brothers
DP> bigger fans than older brothers? It would make a interesting investigation,
DP> wouldn't it. Does anybody have thought about this? Maybe the people who
DP> were introduced by XTC by their brothers can mail me personally, so I can
DP> make a summary for the digest.

My older brother (He: b. 1955, Me: b. 1964) weaned me on the Kinks, Roxy
Music, David Bowie (and of course the Beatles - I remember vividly the night
I found out the Beatles had broken up; I was 6).  Later he introduced me to
the Ramones, the Stranglers, the Jam, the Cramps, the Clash, etc.  BUT I
discovered XTC mostly on my own, from hearing a friend play Helicopter and
then buying and trying myself.  I traded for a Virgin Drums and Wires from my
brother to get the lyric sheet; he had probably only played it once or twice.


Date: Tue, 1 Nov 1994 14:25:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Paul Pearson <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #389

> 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 have hated Oingo Boingo passionately since they started and would NEVER
presume to lump them in the same TIME ZONE with XTC.  (Sorry to Boingo disrespect intended.)  They have, to me, always represented the
most mechanical, un-human aspect of "new wave", and have never been
imaginative enough to bolster their way out of your average frat party.
XTC might have been mechanistic and cold early on, but their records were
still far better the Boingo's, and XTC have obviously warmed up considerably
over the course of their career.

The Violent Femmes I like, but I don't see the XTC connection.  Gordon
Gano has always been fairly direct, and non-decorative with his lyrics.
And besides, Gano is a born-again Christian which I think we can safely
say Andy is not.  (But Gano isn't the jerk, arch-conservative
type of born-again; he's very theoretical and non-elitist about it.)

They Might Be Giants just put out what I believe is their most developed
album to date (their first with a full band).  They can be cloying but they
are wonderful melodists in my opinion.  They resemble XTC the most
because of their pop instincts and their hyper-intellectual lyrics, but
I feel they're much more comical on a consistent basis than XTC.

> >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...

And I say: 1. Built to Spill/There's Nothing Wrong With Love (Up Records)
                *I recommend the above to all recipients, quite strongly*
           2. The Halo Benders/God Don't Make No Junk (K Records)
           3. Daniel Johnston/Fun (Atlantic)
           4. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion/Orange (Matador)
           5. East River Pipe/Shining Hours in a Can (Ajax)

                   there's still two months left in the year, so this is
not etched in stone yet.....thanks.  paulpearson kaos olympia washington


Date: Tue, 1 Nov 1994 19:39:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Yackanich <>
Subject: Unplugged?

I'm on "old time" (not old) XTC fan - alway back to my old XTC
favorite "Statue of Liberty".

Anyway, back when they did the unplugged gig for MTV, I was MTVless.  Any
ideas on how to get hold of a copy of the show?  Or for that matter - any
other XTC live shows (were there any?).



Michael Yackanich (Mike Y) ,


Date:         Tue, 01 Nov 94 23:16:59 EST
Subject:      Bridges & Covers

I'm not big on the technical aspects of my music.  I like the tunes &
I like the words but don't bother me with chord progressions & drum parts
& stuff.  If XTC was all I listened to, I probably would never know what
a bridge was.  But listening to Genesis, I noticed they always have a part
that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the song (can't think
of any specific examples just now--wish I could 'cos they're funny).
When I made this (I thought) brilliant observation to my husband, he just
said, "That would be the bridge, dear."  End of discussion.  That's what
I know about bridges.  Not much.

As to covers, if anyone still cares, I always thought that "Love on a Farmboy's
wages would be good speeded up (quite) a bit and done as a country/western
song by, say, Dolly or somesuch.  That's how I sing it in the shower, anyway.

People think that I'm no good...



Date:   Tue, 1 Nov 1994 18:41:38 -1000
From: Galen Tatsuo Komatsu <gkomatsu@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Re: Helicopter Covers

"Steve Krause" <>
>> 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

        A long while back I picked up the album "Kyabetsu" (Cabbage)
by the group Tama for a friend.  He commented one of the songs on
it, "Boku-wa Helicopter" (I am a Helicopter)  sounded like XTC's
song.  Unfortunately at the time I hadn't heard Drums & Wires so
I couldn't comment.  ...I've bought D&W since then, and it's probably
my favorite pre Skylarking album. (among this, Rag&Bone, Murmer, and
        Tama is a Japanese accoustic folk-ish band.  To the casual
listener, their songs are either pretty good, or 94% of the time,
screechingly annoying. =^)

        ...and thus concludes my average 1 post a year. =^)

       XTC   Nakajima Michiyo   nin   Revolution   Atari2600    KOF'94
                 "Invisible Pedestrian: Not for Blind Kids."


Date:         Wed, 02 Nov 94 11:58:33 EST
From: Pete Dresslar <PDRESSL@CMS.CC.WAYNE.EDU>
Subject:      Rook: defending the castle...

Has anyone out there actually listened to Nonsvch lately?  I think it ages
well, and I am really starting to see the inner strength of many of its
songs.  I think it is a very introverted album, and as such, a lot of the
material is hard to connect into.

Specifically, I now think I would put "Rook" on my desert island ten list.
God, that song cuts into me.  The two bridges (yes, everyone, consult
your Chalkhills vocabulary lists... :-> ) are especially powerful and
are as forceful, IMNSHAISBO, as any of the shouting Andy did on the early
stuff.  Truly sublime material.

I like the rest of the album as well.  While I agree with the suggestion
in a previous digest (sorry I forget who or when) that Omnibus wrecks the
solemnity of Rook on the CD (it's the divide on the tape, so no problem
there), I do like Omnibus; it's sweet and tasty.  Also winners are Humble
Daisy, Holly on the horse, That Wave, Then She Appeared, and yes, Books
are Burning. *cringe*

I expect I'll be defending that last in the future.  Go ahead, take your
shot.  Nonsuch is as solid as the castle on the cover...
-pete in detroit, mi, usa        
"What's the message that's written under the base of clouds?"


Subject: Guitar Tab for "All of a Sudden"
Date: Wed,  2 Nov 94 18:56:40 PST

I've transcribed, with widely varying precision, the music to
"All of a Sudden".  If you play guitar you should enjoy running
through it.  This is the entire song, not just the beginning,
as someone had previously posted (motiviating me to do the whole

I'd appreciate any comments and/or corrections, because I know there's
a few bits that are simply wrong, and many more that aren't EXACTLY
right, but pretty close.

So if you play guitar, check it out!  It's at the Chalkhills ftp site,
the address of which is given at the top of the digest.
Fred Hamilton                    


End of Chalkhills Digest #390

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