Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #392

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 392

                Wednesday, 9 November 1994

Today's Topics:
        Faster Farmboy?!?!? +the dreaded O-- B---
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #389
                Re: "...before I get old"
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #391
                     This 'n' That...
                  Seasons in the Sun ;-)
                 XTC Subliminal Messages
                   Thanks, Mr. Yazbek!
                 More on the XTC boycott
                      XTC Miscellany
                   personal intro blurb
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #391
                       XTC videos?
                       The boycott
                 Drunken Studio Sessions
                 Re: What to Collect NOW?
                       abc and xtc
                   Experimental covers
                   Wes Goes CD Shopping
                     Boycott thoughts


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When they carried you out your mouth was open wide.


From: SPE9237@ACFcluster.NYU.EDU
Date: Sat, 05 Nov 1994 03:32:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Faster Farmboy?!?!? +the dreaded O-- B---

Melissa wrote:

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.

Lordy, how would you propose speeding that song up?!?!?! That has some of the
fastest acoustic guitar playing I've ever heard.  Perhaps one could take
the melody and put a totally different arrangement behind it, get rid of the
fast riff (sob) or sing the melody faster over a slowed-down version of the

Also, regarding that dreaded band of Danny Elfman's whose name I'd rather not
say:  I know very few of their songs, but has anyone noticed that their hit
"Only A Lad" is a big time Andy Partridge vocal rip-off?  It's an encylopedia
of the elements of Andy's early vocal style (see esp. Are you Receiving Me &
Strange Tails), imitated lamely, sung over an embarrassing imitation "No Thugs"
-type lyric about a violent kid who the authorities are too lenient on.

And then, in the bridge, they suddenly imitate Styx's "Mr. Roboto".  Very odd.
Very wretched, IMHO.

Bye.  --Steve E.


From: Aaron Pastula <>
Subject: Reply...
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 94 1:38:42 PST

Greetings all...

On the subject of covers, all I have to say is Tori Amos can do "Yacht Dance,"
"All of a Sudden," or anything off the second side of "Mummer."  I could then
die a happy man.

And to James Kosmicki:  Morphine is great.  I have an address for their fan
club/mailing list somewhere in my house...Feel free to email me and I'll dig it
up for you.

Goodnight -



Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 20:39:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #389

Kevin the Oingo Boingo-hater sez:
"Oingo Boingo seems dark and
desolate to me, XTC are often kind of optimistic."

Oingo Boingo are just silly.  I don't have any of their albums,
but i've heard a ton of their singles, and it sounds like they're
trying real hard to be XTC, or Talking Heads, or Devo, or some
body besides boring, no-talent posers.  Well, scratch that: I
think Danny Elfman has talent (i dig his film music, or some of
it), but not a great deal of savoir faire when it comes to
writing engaging pop songs.  And his voice is so annoying ...

OK, lest this become only a trash-Oingo Boingo (hey, aren't
they just Boingo now?) post, my XTC tribute wishes:

David Byrne -- complicated game (in his old, nervous vocal style)
Frank Black -- love at first sight
Paul Westerberg -- all of a sudden (it's too late)
They Might Be Giants -- pink thing
Sugar -- helicopter
The Jesus & Mary Chain -- are you receiving me?
Billy Bragg -- another satellite

- evan.


Date: 05 Nov 94 12:43:25 EST
From: John.J.Pinto@Dartmouth.EDU (John J. Pinto)
Subject: Re: "...before I get old"

Jeffrey Langr wrote:
The idea about a live concert is getting old, mostly because Andy P. and the
other gentlemen are getting old.  Not quite as bad as a fifty-year-old Mick
Jagger prancing around on stage but not quite so pretty either.  I'd go see
them, natch, but I think their time has more or less past for that sort of
--- end of quoted material ---

How ridiculous!
I had the pleasure of seeing Muddy Waters ELECTRIFY an audience at an age
much older than fifty.

Partridge may not always speak to or feel the need to appear before the
guitar driven masses and their cravings in this the age of Cronos eating his
young, but you can be certain that the music he chooses to make in twenty
years from now will ring as true to the self always.
Isn't that why we are here?


Date: 05 Nov 1994 16:29:05 GMT
From: (StrawB)
Organization: Bitstream Underground
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #391

just got the new little express today.  No XTC album in sight!!!!!! Contract
negotiations with Virgin are going slow... good luck mates!



Date: Sat,  5 Nov 94 16:37:00 UTC
Subject: This 'n' That...

First, as to the latest Little Express, do we know if all of the issues have
been mailed out yet?  I still haven't received mine and am sure that there
are still one or two issues left on my subscription.  I signed up for the 4
issue plan and got the first of the four at the Princeton convention.  This
latest one would be the third, if I recall correctly.  Should I write to
Peter or are some issues still on the way?

Secondly, I have the new Thomas Dolby CD and Andy is not listed on the
performing credits.  However, in the "Thank You" paragraph, "Andy and Nancy"
are thanked.  Would that be THE Andy?

Thirdly, I just picked up Big Night Music by Shriekback on CD and, in
addition to the lineup of Shriekback, a Shriekback Big Live Band is also
included as performing on this album.  Among the members of the Big Live
Band are "Wendy & Sarah Partridge (The Sidneys)".  Related to Andy or

Fourthly, I'm outta here...!


Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 15:53:53 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Seasons in the Sun ;-)


Last Spring I related my personal association with the album (is this
an antiquated phrase? hope not) Mummer and the Spring season. Does anyone
make a similar association with Autumn and any of the lad's offerings?
To me, English Settlement evokes winter but this may have more to do with
the time of the original release. Skylarking seems fairly summer-ish. Big
Express perhaps for fall--any thoughts? XTC seems so connected at times
with the world that the moods captured seem so *natural*.

Also, I just don't see the desire to see NIN cover ANY XTC. Puhlease!
When i need angst ridden music, I turn to Bauhaus or Joy Division or
in a worst case scenario, Throbbing Gristle.

Ta Ta For Now,



Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 20:16:17 -0500 (EST)
From: "Benjamin J. Rubin" <>
Subject: XTC Subliminal Messages

Hi everyone,

In the song "Great Fire", I am convinced that Andy(or someone) says
"fuck" under their breath right after the line "but it's never been as
hot as this." I also heard the "Mike don't play with yourself" line in
"Bike Ride to the Moon" after reading about it. Does anyone know of any
other "subliminal" XTC messages in their songs?



Date: Sun, 6 Nov 1994 02:07:55 -0800 (PST)
From: Steve Johnson <>
Subject: Thanks, Mr. Yazbek!

I KNEW that message would evoke a response from you! <grin>

Thank you, David, for clearing up the issue over "Change My
World."  However, I'd still like to ask why the decision was
made to not include vocal credits on that one song (or was it
a mysterious oversight)?


Date: Sun, 6 Nov 94 10:54:19 EDT
From: (John Pidgeon)
Subject: More on the XTC boycott

Good day everyone,

I am very encouraged by all the warm receptions to my XTC boycott until
they tour idea. I never thought the response would be so positive.
I am working on a few new ideas to post to everyone.

Hope to talk to all soon,

John Pidgeon


Date: 7 Nov 1994 11:05:44 U
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: XTC Miscellany

I've never seen a gold CD; however, this weekend I saw Yes's "Fragile" album
in its special wrapper - looks like an elaborate production, in a special
wrapper and everything. (Side opinion: Too bad The Yes Album didn't get the
treatment instead of Fragile.) But, all that aside, the whole package did
look very tempting.

Is this the sort of treatment XTC's Skylarking will get, special box and all?
Let's hear from collectors of these gold things...and let's hope it includes
BOTH Dear God and Mermaid Smiled, with MS in the original lineup of songs.
Let's hope it includes an elaboarate booklet with photos. Let's hope it
includes some bonus tracks. (Highly doubtful...) Let's hope I get my copy of
The Little Express soon!

I agree with John about the smoke effects on the cover of "Drums and
Wireless." I like 'em. Very Salvadore Dali.

By the way, I got a letter from Shigemasa Fujimoto, XTC fan *extraordinaire*,
who says that XTC's relationship with Virgin is worse than ever and not to
expect an album until mid-1995 or so. Sorry, fans, but I believe he's right.

He also says (and this surprised me) that Andy did actually produce three
Blur songs for the "Modern Life is Rubbish" album (not "Parklife"): "Sunday
Sunday," "Chemical World," and another track that's not on my ba*tardized US
version. Can't remember the title. (Heck, no one cares anyway that after
three albums Blur's on their way to becoming one of the best bands...) My
liner notes for MLIR mentions no Andy Partridge. Both songs do have some good
ideas in them, though.

That's all for now, space cadets.


Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 11:49:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Laurel Anderson <>
Subject: personal intro blurb

Hi all,
        This is my self introduction I was asked to write when I
subscribed. I can't help but feel a little silly talking about myself.
Discussion of music I can handle, intoducing myself is like pulling
teeth. So here goes- my name is Laurel Anderson, I'm 20, and a student at
Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. I'm currently an English
major, but please don't let that be a factor in your judgement of the
quality of my posts. Five years ago, I was spending time with a guy who
listened to XTC exclusively. It was such an enormous part of his life he
felt that I should have at least SOME idea what it was he was talking
about when he made one of his numerous refernces to them. He loaned me a
copy (he never would have trusted me with the original) of Black Sea, I
belive it was. I listened to it all the way through a couple of times,
and while it wasn't an easy listen, it was a compelling listen. The music
and lyrics definitely struck a cord with me. One of my favorite aspects
of the music is the almost self-depriciating sense of humor that bleeds
through a lot of the time. I think it lends credibility to the band as a
whole. I will not pretend that I know everything about the band and the
music, my interest in XTC is just now beginning to take shape. And how
lovely that this would coincide with my increasing knowlege of the
internet. Talk about serendipity.



Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 10:39 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #391

James Dignan speaks:
>>As to best albums of the year: Swamp Ophelia (Indigo Girls); Sometime
>>Anywhere (The Church); 54 Days at Sea (Chris Bailey)(A MUST!); Sugar Mouth
>>(David Kilgour); Here (Adrian Belew); ... and coming soon (I await in
>>anticipation) Vrooom (King Crimson) and Bright Red (Laurie Anderson).

It's a bit soon, but...  I'd pick XTC's Drums & Wireless of course somewhere
on the list, but number one would have to go to Astor Piazolla: The Central
Park Concert (Chesky Records).  It's a great recording (from 1987 but just
released) of one of the last performances by Piazolla's tango quintet
ensemble.  HIGHLY recommended.  Also there's the Offspring's Smash (I -think-
this came out in 1994).  I haven't gotten the Adrian Belew album yet so I will
reserve judgement until I do.  If it's better than Inner Revolution then it
would definitely go on my list.


Date:         Mon, 07 Nov 94 15:11:03 EST
Subject:      XTC videos?

I was wondering whether anyone knew of a collection of XTC videos available
for sale.  I've never found any in any catalog--is anything available outside
the US?  Or does anyone out there have their own _private_ recording they'd
be willing to copy for me?

Also, in the last issue, Francis Owen McDonnell <> writes:

>Calling the "part that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the song"
the bridge in Genesis songs would be false.  What you are hearing _is_ the
song.  Early Genesis (say, pre-1980) songs in general were not pop songs, and
hence did not follow your Verse/Chorus/Bridge format.  their songs are
exquisite compositions, not radio-friendly pop tunes.

My husband says:

Not every "irrelevant part" in a Genesis song is a bridge.  If that were
true, "Supper's Ready" would have about 7 bridges and nothing else.  We
were talking about more recent Genesis songs, which have clearly defined
bridges that do, in fact, seem rather disembodied (e.g. "Land of Confusion").
Earlier Genesis songs do have remnants of bridges, though, since many of them
are bloated pop songs or amalgams of imcomplete pop songs (as Phil Collins
has pointed out).
Back on the topic of XTC, though, I'd appreciate it if anyone has information
(biography or discography) of Pat Mastelotto, the drummer (formerly of Mr.
Mister) who appeared on "Oranges & Lemons," and who is now with King Crimson.
                                     Ken Kreutzer

So there you have it.  Note that we do actually like Genesis a great deal.
Sorry about the non-XTC content.

'Cause we're all dead from our necks up, now ain't we?



Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 14:35:19 -0700 (MST)
From: Paras Patel <>
Subject: The boycott


I just thought I'd introduce myself and say a few comments about
everyone's favorite English punk/new wave/pop/jumpy/all around cool guys
group. The first XTC song I heard was Making Plans for Nigel on the
radio. I can't remember exactly when that was, but when I did I went out
and bought the album. I instantly fell in love with those boys. Curiously
enough, I never really followed the group until later when I bought
Oranges and Lemons. I've made people listen to Making Plans long enough,
so that they can get the timing of the 'ooh ooh.' just right. I hope to
spread XTCdom throughout the world.

<sarcastic mode on- for the literary impaired>
Oh by the way, I think the idea of a consumer boycott would be great.
It's about time that Andy and boys got themselves on the big stage in
front of a burbling swarthy mass of fans. After all, it's not good music
that everyone is after, it's the sensations of being a nobody at a
concert with drunken fools who only want to hear 'Dear God' that we
really want. So to any of those who want to support such a boycott, let's
work out a game plan, and if this doesn't work we can always send death
threats to Andy (or worse, a press release that Terry Chambers and Barry
Andrews are rejoining the band.) that ought to frighten him enough.
< the end. >

Thanks the rambling time.........

Paras Patel
Astrophysics and Radiation Measurement. NIS-2
Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico
"Hey, I'd have a sense of humour. If they payed me more"


Date: Mon, 07 Nov 1994 17:06:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: covers/boycotts/drugs/etc

a few items:

covers -- ok, enough with the covers game as is. someone last
time brought up something i've been meaning to bring up: what
about covers xtc has *done*. i can only think of 2 (all along the
watchtower and ella guru). any others?

the proposed boycott -- you've got to be kidding. (please tell
me you're kidding!)

drugs -- while it is silly to think xtc is named for the drug (that
argument should be over by now), andy's answer that the only
drug they do is caffeine seems a little too easy for me. first,
lets not forget that andy was addicted to valium for a large part
of his life. second, their history with alcohol is well-known (yes,
i'm one of those people who feels the need to point out alcohol is
a drug). third: grass, the dukes, garden of earthly delights...

nobody knows(or cares) about xtc -- come on, isn't that part of
the charm? do you really want them to be world-famous superstars?
does it really astonish you that the hordes of silly people who
buy the mainstream garbage that's out there don't buy xtc?

enough ranting,

i would have made this instrumental, but the
words got in the way.


Date: 07 Nov 94 20:38:44 EST
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: Drunken Studio Sessions

   A while ago I wrote to The Little Express, sending a few
XTC-related clippings and also a photo of my 3-month-old son
"wearing" and XTC T-shirt (a cheap attempt to get him into the
next issue; I have no shame). I also asked June and Peter what
they knew about the Drunken Studio Sessions. I got their reply,
along with the latest issue of the L.E.
   Here's an excerpt of their letter:
"The only thing I know about the "Drunken Studio Sessions" is that
they were done at The Manor - Richard Branson is even on one of
the tracks! I suppose they were done after a long day's recording
and subsequent winding down with lots of refreshments! Maybe we can
get Andy to recall the exact details when we next speak to him!"
   Well, won't that be interesting?!

   Pam Moore asked about an interview with XTC by Hugh Cornwell of
The Stranglers. YES, I'm sure that I've got this in one of my
very old Little Expresses. If I can find it, I'll transcribe it for
all to see. The Stranglers were good, if you like them you should
buy the CD "All Twelve Inches".

   ---> Steve


Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 17:51:11 PST
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: What to Collect NOW?

"Wesley Wilson" <> asks What to Collect NOW?
>Having gotten the latest CD, "Drums and Wireless," (and really enjoying big
>parts of it!) I wonder what CDs I should pursue now?
>These can include CDs where members of XTC help with

Definitely find a copy of Cud's _Leggy Mambo_, produced by Dave
Gregory.  Excellent album.  Even better, albeit shorter, is the
_Hey!Wire_ single by CUD, three great songs, the first produced by Mr
Gregory.  Also, the Alice album _Il Solo Nella Pioggia_ is excellent.
And of course Peter Blegvad's _The Naked Shakespeare_ and _King Strut
& Other Stories_.  I do like The Lilac Time's album _All for Love &
Love for All_ although it is fairly low key.

But other CDs I like lately?  Blur's _Parklife_.  Yes, I know.  The
Auteurs' _Now I'm a Cowboy_, The Cleaners From Venus' _Golden
Cleaners_, Meat Puppets _Too High To Die_ (or _Forbidden Places), Talk
Talk's _Laughing Stock_, My Bloody Valentine's _Loveless_ (power and
beauty).  The list goes on and on, and if you want more, send me

        -- John


Date:         Tue, 08 Nov 94 09:28:22 EST
Subject:      abc and xtc

errr . . . i'm not sure if this is the correct address to which to send in
randomness for the chalkhills mag, but hopefully, i'm doing this correctly,
and this won't get mailed directly to all the subscribers.
anyhoo, this is my second first time i've been subscribed (the first time was
in 1991, but i got distracted).  i've been an knowing xtc fan since 1989, when
i was introduced formally to their splendor, not by a brother (i'm an only
child), but by a young woman whom i had adopted as my "daughter" (this was in
my senior year in high school; she was a freshman, and we met at a drama club
gathering).  she had _oranges and lemons_ and _skylarking_ on tape, and we'd
listen to them full blast while going back and forth from drama rehersals,
_the rocky horror picture show_, _the little mermaid_, late night coffee, and
the like in my florescent green vw bug.  however, i knew many of their songs:
"dear god" (which i adored), "generals and majors," and "senses working over-
time," due to the non-top 40 radio stations i listened to from age 12 on.
i don't know what my fave song is.  each song has particular meaning to me,
and evokes different moods and memories.  while i love the whimsical aspects
of "season cycle" and "english roundabout," "another satellite" reminds me of
a guy i unwisely lusted after (the pompous boob), and "pink thing" reminds me
of watching _yellow submarine_ and discussing the divine beauty of kenneth
branagh at my friend jemiah's house at 3am.
with regards to the current discussion on band overlaps, other groups/musicians
 that i like are: tori amos, kate bush, the beatles, dukes of stratosphere (of
course), miles davis, john coltrane, cheryl crow,and suzanne vega.  i fear i
must also admit to liking madonna and  guns 'n' roses.  but, on the plus side,
i also like bauhaus, peter murphy, tones on tail, love and rockets, and chopin.
  yea, verily, an odd mix of music i have.
i am sad to report that i was not able to get to swindon when i was in england
thissummer, but, due to a 48 hour railway strike placed inconveniently in the
middle of my trip, i spent a day in liverpool, and had the opportunity to visit
 the cavern, the beatles club/shop, and the beatles museum on the dock.  it was
well, i've babbled on enough.  i hope this doesn't bore one too much.  just
wanted to introduce myself as a reader and follower.  ciao!


From: (TP Uschanov)
Subject: Experimental covers
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 14:01:26 EET

The mention of Prince produced a brief brainstorm, which I feel
compelled to tell you about: how about Little Richard and "Science
Friction"? Since this suggestion will always be a mere fantasy,
the recording should have been done 1964 so that it could have
Jimi Hendrix on guitar!


Date: 9 Nov 1994 12:54:48 U
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: Wes Goes CD Shopping

Since the new XTC won't be out for a while, I went CD shopping to see what
else is out there. I saw a lot of new music; a lot of "unplugged" (I'm really
sick of that word) stuff. Nothing really amazing in the whole lot. Lots of
repackages (e.g., another Elvis Costello "greatest hits" CD).

The new Dolby album is readily available; I saw many copies at the CD store
today. But there is no indication from the label that Andy (or anyone else
besides Dolby) contributes anything to this album. So I guess you'd have to
buy it. There are six or seven songs on the album. The titles sound very Gary
Numan (e.g., Armageddon, Moon Landing). I haven't heard a thing from it but
 from the song titles and just a sixth sense, it seems to me that this album
is probably an exercise in mediocrity.

I looked for the Terry Hall CD, but didn't find it or any Specials CDs
whatsoever. (The bin was empty.) Is this a UK release, I wonder?

So I bought a Kinks' "Greatest Hits" CD; this one has "See My Friends" on it,
which is a great track!

I just got a fan club newsletter yesterday from The Ups and Downs, the
fanzine of Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time. In a reprinted 1990 interview,
Stephen talks about Andy coming over to the studio and really disciplining
them, and programming drum tracks for HOURS. Stephen said it was anguish
being produced by Andy, but the resulting album (And Love for All) was worth
it. And Love for All is sadly out of print, but if you can find it somewhere,



Date: Wed, 9 Nov 94 15:03:48 EST
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Boycott thoughts

To me boycotting XTC records until they tour is like a starving man
refusing to eat dinner until he's served a medium well-done filet mignon.
When you're starving, you gratefully accept any crumbs offered.  Yeah,
I'd love to see/hear them tour, but I am also glad that they at least
keep releasing such wonderful records.  Be grateful for very large small



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