Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #409

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 409

                 Tuesday, 7 February 1995

Today's Topics:
                     barnone, elektra
                      regarding Ryco
                First post and a bit more
                        Re: New Lp
                       Re: Eno/Cale
                        Issue 407
                        106 Across
                        12 Fingers
                  The plot thickens....
                       Dolby & XTC
                 Rykodisc & George Martin
                 Another oddball sighting
               The Immortal Mr. Partridge?
                "New" Bootleg CD Quality?
                  XTC Demos in Delaware
                   Re: Towers of London
                   Welcome to the show!
                     XTC For Sale!!!
                      A HEARTY HELLO
      A.P. Interview in "The New Review of Records"
                   Re: XTC New Rare Bit
              Partridge and the Giant Peach
             New member and Shonen Knife fan


Don't wait, write Bizarre Depiction, P.O. Box 30905, Philadelphia,
PA 19104-0905, U.S.A., today to reserve your spot on the roster of
SKYLACKING, the fans' tribute to (deconstruction of) XTC's
masterpiece album SKYLARKING.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Some nonesuch net holds me aloft.


From: Kevin Carhart <>
Subject: barnone, elektra
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 00:09:14 -0800 (PST)

Thinking about cool labels for XTC... a friend of mine is proclaiming
Bar/None to be her favorite label these days and I'm inclined to agree.
Between Disco Inferno, Kathy McCarty, Esquivel, Tindersticks, ties to TMBG,
old Freedy Johnston, and the new album by Epic Soundtracks (??!), they really
have it all covered, and it all sounds so lush and engaging... XTC would
fit right in in all ways.  He wears glasses like Kathy, Esquivel and John,
the teeth of his partner resemble those of Mr Johnston, without XTC there
would probably be no Tindersticks as we know them, Epic could really relate
to the swell map of Swindon on Go 2, and didn't XTC begin around the time
of the disco inferno?

The other greatest label is American.. XTC would match the situation of
Julian Cope and Love&Rockets, godheads of the pretty end of
"alternative" radio, who have been on overtly major labels but have
gone to American... not that they need to match anyone, but it shows
a label with the sense of perspective to sign groups of various popularity.
If they can appreciate the eccentricity of Julian, they would surely be
receptive to the boys.  And I'm not just saying this because my mouse sits
on an "american" mousepad..



From: J Ross MacKay <>
Subject: regarding Ryco
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 7:28:17 EST

Martin Wagner <> sez:
>I sent e-mail to Ryko regarding the possibility of signing XTC and the
>guy wrote back "hmmm" and said he'd definitely pass the info along to A&R

Can you share the email address with us? forwards from the XTC board on America OnLine:
>Ryko HAS contacted the band as of yesterday and the lawyers are being
>called in to sort out the mess.

Perhaps if a few (hundred) more of us sent a message, they might smell a
market.  Of course we wouldn't want to tick them of, so it might be a
better idea to send them a digest style mailing filled with our fan
generated endorsements.


Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 09:56:43 -0500
Subject: First post and a bit more

Hello to all Chalkhillians, and thanks for having me...

First heard our boys in '79 on KROQ-FM in LA. It was "Making Plans For Nigel"
and before long there was another favorite on my list.

The American Pop kid that I was, I found the XTC hooks and melodies
irresistible. I really had no idea that 16 years later they would still be on
my personal tops list.

Through those years, Andy and Colin's songs have become milestones along my
life's turnpike. I was thrilled to find Chalkhills and so many other folks
who have shared my appreciation for these guys.


I jumped in a few weeks ago, and this was the first that I heard of the split
with Virgin...not good news, but I like the idea of Rykodisc.

As far as potential producers, Mitch Froom would be my first choice, for
reasons already aired in these pages.

I would also like to put forth the idea of Butch Vig as some thing to kick
around...I know he's done a lot of grunge, but his work on Freedy Johnston's
"This Perfect World" demonstrates his flexibility, and his straightforward
sonic approach would serve the songs well.

With "Peter Pumpkinhead" doing so well on the radio (out here in LA at
least), this may be a good time for a new label to look at XTC as a potential
singles band (formats do come around). How about Don Was producing a couple
of radio mixes (please, don't flame TOO hot!).

Enough for now...I'll be reading faithfully!



Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 12:09:41 EST
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Subject: instrumelodies

Just a quickie to clarify the "to drum or not to drum" thing...  I feel
like XTC has been making music that still needs drums (and Newell's LP
could have benefitted from them as well).  Joe Jackson and Elvis
Costello have produced outstanding works sans percussion in the past
year or two (JJ's Sea of Secrets makes my hair stand on end, and Elvis
had a wonderful cover of Kurt Weil's Lost in the Stars with the
Brodskys).  When Andy says that "rook" points the way to the future of
XTC, I guess I can understand how he might feel that drums are no
longer relevant.  Probably just me yearning for the past again.
Thank God for Demos, though it would be nice if XTC could benefit from
the sales of bootleg recordings...  My private torture is to have to
read all about the Hello CD while mine is tied up in the mail after my
address changed!



Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 11:11:13 -0500
Subject: Re: New Lp

  They haven't been dropped from Virgin. the label wants to keep the band,
and XTC wants to go their own way. Part of the settlement that Virgin offered
was for XTC to leave the lable but sign off on the possibility of future
audits of the company. Now who would think of prohibiting a future audit but
someone who has something to hide. The fact that XTC has been in the red all
these 18 years indicates something is very odd here indeed.

George Gimarc


Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 13:59:01 -0600 (CST)
From: James Kosmicki <>
Subject: Re: Eno/Cale

I had never posted to the list about Eno/Cale, as I assumed that such a
perfect match in music had already been discussed when it first came out.

Let me be the first to second the recommendation of the Brian Eno/John
Cale collaboration "Wrong Way Up."  It doesn't matter whether you like
anything that either of these two have ever done before.  I have yet to
have anyone listen to this album and not like it.  This is my candidate
for best album that I own.  XTC fans should eat this up.  if it would
sound like this, I would give up a body part to have Eno do the next XTC


Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 15:06:08 -0500
Subject: Issue 407

In Chalkhills # 408, James Kosmicki <> writes:

>I know that this is all musing, but if XTC really is as hard of a sell as
>their reputation indicates, they need to sign up with a label that
>does two things: supports its bands over time and has deep pockets.

>Do you think that the Gipsy Kings sell a huge
>amount of records?

Yeah, actually, I think they do sell a lot of records worldwide, making
whatever investment Elecktra has in them worthwhile.  In fact, I seem to
remember that their first record went gold in America, and did very well in
Europe and South America as well.

The point I'm getting at is that XTC hasn't sold well anywhere in quite a
while.  As lackluster as their sales has been in the United States, so far,
that is as good as it gets.  They are thought of as has-beens in most of
Europe (for shame!).

As a label, Ryko is a great idea.  If you could convince the members of the
band to keep prodution costs for the recording of the record to a minimum,
everyone could probably earn a living at it, too.

John Lisiecki


Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 18:57:19 -0500
Subject: 106 Across

Before the Super Bowl yesterday (Chargers in XXX!) I was sitting in my
friends apartment in NYC reading the NY Times...
I love the crossword puzzles, and even though I rarely, if ever, finish one,
I decided to try my luck at the one this sunday in the Times Magazine.  I
stumbled thru the puzzle, and when I saw the following clue, I jumped out of
my seat, much to the shock of my friends Mark and Matt.

Clue 106 Across: "Oranges and Lemons" rock group.

I almost popped a vein in my head!  (yum)  I've had "Mayor of Simpleton" in
my head for a week and it is ironic that in it, Andy says, "I don't know how
many pounds make up a ton/and of crossword puzzles well I just shun."
 Ironic, huh?

Anyone else see this?  Anyone pop veins in their head?  Anyone else root for
the Chargers?  Anyone care?

-AYM :)
"Ziggedy zig zag just look at 'em!"


Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 19:38:34 -0500
Subject: 12 Fingers

>Has anyone else noticed that Dave Gregory has 6 fingers on each hand?
>If you don't believe me, look at the drawing of him in the "Drums And
>Wireless" CD sleeve.  That would seem to explain how he can play
>guitar, keyboards, and program the drum machine all at once.

Nope.  Sorry.  Look at the photos of Davey in "Chalkhills and Children." 10
fingers is all he has.  Sorry.



Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 21:46:07 -0500
Subject: The plot thickens....

  This from A&R at Rykodisc:

>     I just spoke to Andy Partridge the day your note came.  I guess
>they're halfway through getting out of their deal with Virgin, and they are
>looking for a good new home; hopefully Ryko will be it, although it sounds
>like there's a lot of interest elsewhere.  Strangely enough, they thought
>they were going to instantly get picked up by Geffen for the world, but of
>all the people they've approached, Geffen are the only ones who told them
>no flat-out.

  More to come--I hope.                    Phil Bradford


Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 23:44:30 -0500
Subject: Dolby & XTC

Hello all--

I found this in a transcript from Cybertalk, the Warner/Reprise interactive
weekly "talk show" on AOL, which featured Thomas Dolby. I didn't see a date
on it, though it's probably from the last few months.

>Thelostboy : what bands influenced you the most?
>DolbyTalk  : Hmmm. Eno, Talking Heads, Bowie, Kraftwerk, XTC, Van,
>Joni, Miles, Monk... etc

>Orthoboog  : Did Andy Partridge play harmonica on Europa?
>DolbyTalk  : Yes indeed. And he played some great guitar on a
>new song I've done, which may be on the next LP.

Thought you might find it interesting.... I hope this isn't something
somebody else found months ago.



Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 01:33:59 -0500
From: bk985@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Craig A. Marciniak)
Subject: Rykodisc & George Martin


XTC on Rykodisc?  Sounds great but, did they leave Geffen as well?  Perhaps
I missed the complete post but from I got, it sounded like the band has
just parted ways with Virgin.  If they've left Geffen, then Rykodisc sounds
great, if they haven't, then the European market will need a label and I
believe Ryko's Euro label is Creation.

XTC probably could use a label change here as well.  The only XTC album I had
ever heard of before I got into them was "Oranges and Lemons" which was
A&R'ed by the infamous John Kalodner.  Needless to say, the album got
a fair amount of PR.  The only way I knew about "Nonsuch" was when we
received the promo CD at work the day it was released.  It's understandable
that if a label has a major effort out at the time of a lesser-known effort,
they'll push the more popular one such as the case with "Nonsuch," Peter
Gabriel had an album out around the same time.  So who will make more:
Peter Gabriel or XTC?

As for George Martin, according to an interview I read in 1993, he has no
desire of producing anymore.  (Paul McCartney had asked him to produce a
track on "Off The Ground" but Martin elected to score it instead)  Martin
has also been experiencing major hearing problems partially due to the
mixture of old age and rock 'n' roll, while even though he isn't the
engineer, it would seriously interfere with his work.  Perhaps in the
early 80's when he was still producing it would have been an excellent



Date: Tue, 31 Jan 95 07:00:27 EST
From: (Robert Stacy)
Subject: Another oddball sighting

   Okay, so maybe this is old news, but I don't remember seeing this
mentioned earlier:

   I was wandering through Caldor today looking for a ladder, when I
found myself in a toy aisle.  That company Larami that made so much
money off those squeeze-play water soakers has a product in their line
called The Super Soaker X.T.C. Extra Tank Carrier.  Just the thing to
help pass the time while one waits and prays for another album.

   <fade out to the strains of "That Wave">



From: Aaron Pastula <>
Subject: The Immortal Mr. Partridge?
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 95 8:15:33 PST


A bit from Cirlot's Symbolic Dictionary, under "Partridge..."

        "...Another symbolic function comes from the bird's capacity
         for deception.  In the words of St. Ambrose: 'The partridge,
         taking its name from the word perdendo and in Hebrew called
         kore (to call and shout), is Satan tempting the multitudes
         with his voice.'"

Makes me listen to Dear God again with a bit of a colored ear. :)

See Ya--



Date: 1 Feb 1995 11:20:51 -0500
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: "New" Bootleg CD Quality?

Now, hold on a minute thar', pardner...before I plunk down gold
bullion for any of them thar' "new" bootleg CDs on the EXSTATIC label,
I just want to know - how good the sound quality is on Number 4, the
CD with the Helium Kidz demos? Use this scale from 1 to 3:

1. Surprisingly good quality considering age of recordings and technology
used. Some tape hiss.

2. Bearable, but discernible tape hiss and other flaws.

3. Bad. Lots of tape hiss and FLAT tone (treble indistinguishable from bass).

I have a good number of XTC boots and I'm disappointed in the sound quality of
some, so any info would be appreciated on the Number 4 bootleg.




Date: Wed, 01 Feb 1995 12:39:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: XTC Demos in Delaware
Organization: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Hey folks,

        Been lurking for the past few months but thought I'd
un-cloak and pass on some quick news.  Anyone looking for the XTC
Demo CDs who lives in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area
chould check out Jeremiah's Records in Claymont Delaware.  I was
there over Christmas and he had all five at $29 each.  Too
much for my, at present, limited income, but I'm sure there's
some interested and better funded fans out there.

        I'll include the necessary notice that I am in no way
affiliated with Jeremiah's Records, although with all I've spent
there in the past ten years I should at least be a stock-holder.
If you dig cool, independent record shops with an eclectic selection,
check them out.

        Mr. Ed


Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 14:54:56 +1300
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: Towers of London

>Here's a question that's been lurking around in my mind for a while.  I
>love "Towers", but I really have no idea what this song is about.  Aside
>from the basic fact that it's about "some masonry", I'm drawing a blank.
>Are there some historical events that it's referring to?  Or is it just
>a cool piece of musical art?  Can anyone fill me in on this?

A lot of the song seems (to me at least) to be in memory of the
construction of the canals/railways/bridges in London last century by
lowly-paid, overworked labourers from Ireland ("Navvies" - called this
because they built the "Navigation Canals" across Britain). This was during
a time when there was famine in Ireland, and a vast number of people moved
to England to find work (my ancestors moved to Scotland at this time, BTW).
Many of these immigrants ended up living, working and dying as navvies...

By extension, it therefore relates to all lowly paid workers, and leads
nicely into then next song, about today's workers (Paper and Iron)

James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / 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)


Date: Wed, 01 Feb 1995 21:33:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: bassmaster

I just listened to "Fly on the wall".
Moulding is truly THE bass-master.
Notice he seems to use the fretless a lot,
creating a flowing, thick rhythm. Another example would be
"cynical days"...what a master of the bass to behold and boom the brain.
Joe Ierano.


From: (Troy C Peters)
Subject: Welcome to the show!
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 12:13:40 -0500 (EST)

        Greetings, fellow XTC fans.  Just wanted to introduce myself to
y'all.  I have been into XTC since about 1985, when my cousin, who has
extremely good taste sent me a mix tape of XTC through the years.  Loved
it, never stopped listening.

        I'm a 'net neophyte, but stumbled across info on Chalkhills on
AOL.  Thank God.  Looking forward to reading more. . .


From: Andisheh Nouraee <>
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 19:21:28 -0500
Subject: XTC For Sale!!!

Dear Chalkhill Dwellers,

CD Connection has added some imports to their on-line catalog.  They
now carry:
XTC, Demo Tracks (Japan)
XTC, Explode Together (Canada)
XTC, Three pack with GO2, Drums and Wires, and Black Sea (UK)
XTC, Singles (UK)

CD Connection can be reached at:
telnet  (or

I don't work for them, I'm just being informative.



Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 22:23:31 -0500

                                     New subscriber here,just want to say HI
and thanks to all who organize and participate in this.
                                     I manage a record store and get some
that may be helpful to you all( I'll keep my ears peeled)oouucchh.
                                    Until next time...from Dunedin, FL,USA.


Subject: A.P. Interview in "The New Review of Records"
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 1995 18:30:41 -0600 (CST)

The Autumn 1994 issue of "The New Review of Records" (available for
free at some record stores) has a 1/2 page interview with Andy Partridge
about his collaboration with Harold Budd. At the end, it says,
          As for Partridge's other work, he says there's
          a half-written XTC album "largely coming out
          with a kind of orchestral smack to it. I'm
          kind of sick of the Rock'n'Roll thing, I must
Most of the article is devoted to descibing the creative process that
Andy and Harold went through in developing _Through_the_Hill_.


Date: Sun, 5 Feb 1995 00:55:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Brandon K Snavely <>
Subject: Nonsvch

  Is it just my copy of the Nonsuch CD, or is the music on this CD
recorded at a much higher volume level than other XTC CDs?  This can be
very startling when you're CD carousel is in the shuffle mode.

  Also, is there a real-time version of this mailing list?

Brandon (hoping that XTC will solve their problems with Virgin and get their
asses back into a studio and START RECORDING SOME STUFF!!!)

  *  (Brandon K. Snavely ; email or *
  *  "All I ever wanted,    "With...without...and    "Don't let the       *
  *   all I ever needed      who'll deny it's what    loveless ones sell  *
  *   is here in my arms."   the fighting's all       you a world wrapped *
  *      -Depeche Mode       about."  -Pink Floyd     in gray." -XTC      *


Date: Sat, 4 Feb 95 22:37:52 PST
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: XTC New Rare Bit

George Gimarc <> wrote to say:

> I've got a box of "Adventure Club" CDs left. That's
>the acoustic sessions CD I did here in Dallas that has XTC doing Blue Beret.
>Yep! Also on the CD are unique songs from Lilac Time, Cranberries, Suede,
>Frank Black, His Name Is Alive, Jellyfish and many others.


Hey, great stuff!  A very good compilation, and the best version of
XTC doing "Blue Beret" I've heard.  Dave Gregory gets in some funny
and well-placed guitar licks.  I was trying to imagine the song
completely "produced" with drums and bass and orchestra.  (Maybe I'll
drop it down to my four-track and re-mix it...)

Highly recommended. (Patty Haley) gripes:
>All right, Relph, stop playing the tease:
>> Check out REAL TO REEL, the XTC Recording History:
>Cheez, I get all excited, click on various links on the page, Colin's
>name for example, and get thrown to the bottom of the page.  This page
>is still under construction.

So what do you want to SEE on that page?  I don't know what I would
want to see on such a page myself.  In fact, I'm thinking of getting
rid of it, unless you can think of something worthwhile.

Oh, by the way, for all you Catherine Wheel fans, they do a cover of
the Husker's "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely" on the _Adventure
Club Sessions_ CD.  But you knew that.

>"Your heart is a big box of paints." - You Know Who

For a second I thought that said "Your heart is a big box of panties".

        -- John


Date: Sun, 5 Feb 1995 21:38:47 -0500
Subject: Partridge and the Giant Peach

Greetings from Jack Justus and thank you for welcoming me.
Around 1981, I bought a compilation  album called, Cash Cows,
which was a sort of a  "best of"  the New Wave scene.  Anyway, I
heard Respectable Street and never looked back.  Soon after, my
brother and I started  a band. Among the XTC songs we covered were;
Statue of Liberty, Generals and Majors, Towers of London, Opt. Flame,
No Thugs, etc... I guess you could really say we were an XTC cover band.
    Well my question is this.  Can you tell me what happened between
Disney and Andy Patridge.  I heard there was some intention to work
on an adaptation of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, but things
didn't work out. Not surprizing; I can't see A.P. and Disney being
great partners.    Thanks.


Date: Sun, 05 Feb 1995 20:57:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: introduction

My first run-in with the name XTC was in seventh grade.  I used
to skate and it was because of that hobby that I read Thrasher.
In this one issue, one of my favorite pro-skaters, Tony Hawk,
had posted a list of bands that he listened to. Along with
Kraftwerk, Buzzcocks, Alison Moyet, there was XTC.  I thought
it an odd name.  Anyways, it was my best friend's magazine.
He decided to check out this band, so he bought Skylarking.
At first, they were the weirdest shit that I had ever heard,
you have to understand that up to that point in my life, I had
been bombarded with all sorts of ideas as to what pop should
sound like (L De Barge, Prince, Billy Idol etc.)  Summer's
Cauldron, grew on me, then Grass, then the whole freakin tape.
Then, my friend bought Oranges and Lemons. I feel in Love.

Since then I have been exposed to Drums and Wires which I own,
The Big Express, Waxworks, Rag and Bone Buffet, and Nonsuch.
But I have been deprived of all the others, which I can't
seem to find anywhere.  If you've made it this far along the
message and have not fallen asleep or deleted it, my name
is Omar by the way, and am eager to throw my two cents in,


Date: Tue, 7 Feb 1995 01:43:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Kiersten Henrich <>
Subject: Greetings

Hello Everybody-

Just thought I'd drop a little note to announce my arrival. I
won't bore you with the details of my personal life except
to say I've been listening to XTC since 1987.  I first heard
them on the radio staion operated by Western Connecticut
State Univ, WXCI. I currently attend college in Daytona Beach
(totally void of any sort should I say it...
culture) and look forward to, one day, moving from this place
and rejoining the rest of the world.  But before then, I'll
have to rely on you guys (or should I say y'all) to keep me

Talk at ya soon!
Check it out-- ""


Date: Tue, 7 Feb 95 11:46:30 -0500
From: (Jessica Pumpkinhead)
Subject: New member and Shonen Knife fan

        Hi everyone.  My name's Jessica.  The "Pumpkinhead" is referring to
my new hair color.  It was supposed to be really really bright but it
didn't turn out right.  Someone said it  looked like the color of a
pumpkin.  It seemed appropriate. I'm fourteen, in the ninth grade at
Sewickley Academy, and the only person I know who has even heard of XTC,
aside from some of the sphincter-wad DJs on our local public radio station.

        I remember a time a couple of years ago when I had just gotten
Skylarking.  I hadn't really listened to it yet and didn't know how kool it
was.  My brother's friend wanted me to sell him some of my CDs.  He asked
if he could have the one with "those sailor guys" on it.  Thank god I said
no!!  I think that's really an excellent album.
My favorite XTC songs are:
Summer's Cauldron
That's Really Super, Supergirl
1000 Umbrellas
Season Cycle
Big Day
Another Satellite =)
Senses Working Overtime
Jason and the Argonauts
Yacht Dance
Melt the Guns
Fly on the Wall
Snowman =)
The Mayor of Simpleton
Love on a Farmboy's Wages
        Whenever I'm talking to someone about music, it seems that all the
songs I like are the ones everyone else hates.  Tell me if this is so.
        Is it just me, or does "Fly on a Wall" sound like a They Might Be
Giants song?  I'm not sure which one in particular...maybe
"Subliminal"....I don't know...
        A while back on Chalkhills, someone said that it seemed like Shonen
Knife used "Making Plans for Nigel" when they were writing "Making Plans
for Bison".  In their song "Shonen Knife" from the album "712", they say,
"Mocking Jonathan Richman, XTC, and more...Shonen Knife is a cult band".
So....I guess they did.
        Finally, if anyone would be willing to make me a copy of the Hello
CD, I'll send you a tape and stamps and stuff.  Please!!!
        I guess that's it for now.  Write back!!!

jessica, jessica, bo bessica
banana fana fo fessica
mi my mo messica

"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure."
--from an Artpost postcard


End of Chalkhills Digest #409

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