Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #430

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 430
		      Read the FAQ!

                 Thursday, 13 April 1995

Today's Topics:

                       knuckle down
                    The Little Express
       Why "The Disappointed" and Nonsuch are great
               Mervyn Peake and John Lorch
                    Re:Bogdan Wiczling
                    Re:  "inept" solos
                     Mr. Mervyn Peake
                    Weaving Threads...
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #428
                     Re: Mervyn Peake
                      vegetable $.02
             Respectable Street again:  Avon?
                      XTC's caravan
                      ALEHOUSE RULES
                        Fresh Face
                   Immaculate Reception
            Re: Peake Disappointed in New York


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Ain't nothing in the world like a white skinned girl.


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 05:00:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Brookes McKenzie <>
Subject: knuckle down

great song, but a question for the other 'merkins (americans) in the
audience - musically, does it remind you of the theme song for the
'70's sitcom "welcome back, kotter"? i'm mostly thinking of the verses.
when i first heard "knuckle down", i immediately thought of that song
(which, by the way, was written/performed by ex-Lovin' Spoonful frontman
John Sebastian, who is great in and of himself). does anyone agree?

whoever pointed out the "looking through the Sun" line change in
"lazybones" - good spotting, as i even knew what the Sun was but did not
know the original song well enough to note the difference. just goes to
show (for the 800th time) what a GENIUS a.p. is - i can't even begin to
keep up with him. (*swoon*).

        - brookes


From: "J.A.Harkness" <>
Date:          Wed, 12 Apr 1995 11:01:28 +0000
Subject:       J.F.Pumpkinhead

  I've just read the posting on JFK/Peter Pumpkinhead and I quite
  impressed!  Well thought out.  In my simple naivete I just assumed it
  was a kind of 'Second Coming' scenario and a kind of redressing of
  the balance re: Dear God........

  "Religion is for those trying to avoid Hell......
    Sprituality is for those who've been through it...!


Date: 12 Apr 1995 08:49:18 -0500
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: The Little Express

As far as I know, a new "Little Express" is not yet published for spring.
The most recent issue has (from left to right) Colin, Andy, and Dave
standing in the living room of Andy's home in England (at least, I _think_
it's Andy's home). Andy's apparently holding an award, but in place of the
award are the words "The Little Express."

Over the weekend, I did a pencil drawing of Andy and I'm going to send it
to TLE.

Regarding Nonsuch and why it's not the hottest thing (IMO) since the hula
hoop...the following are the opinions of this author only!

For Nonsuch, Andy and Colin wrote a bunch of songs, but someone at Virgin
listened to the songs and hated all of them except possibly "Crocodile."
The guy told them something to the effect of "go back and write more songs;
these are no good." Andy complained and eventually someone else at Virgin
heard the songs and told the boys, "These songs are great! Get a producer
and start recording."

Unfortunately, XTC chose Gus Dudgeon (a mistake, IMO). If you hear the
demos of these songs, they're not nearly as bland as they sound on Nonsuch.
I think Dudgeon has a way of "blandifying" and overproducing songs. I
always hated his productions of Elton John songs. Not that I ever really
liked Elton anyway, though. So maybe the band suffered from having bad
dealings with Virgin, and
 from Gus "Dudgeonitis."  Way back in 1991, someone in Chalkhills said
"after a few listenings, this album will end up in the 'dudgeon'
(dungeon)." I fear he was right.

Andy's heart is in the right place in the songs, but the songs lack punch
and Andy is "preachy" in spots. Colin's songs are better on Nonsuch, more
provocative. At least "Bungalow," "The Smartest Monkeys" and "War Dance"
have some sort of an edge to them.

Another consideration is that for the first time on this album, Andy sings
on some songs accompanied by piano ("Rook," "Wrapped in Grey"). I don't
think Andy's voice is strong enough to be laid this bare and poignant.

Anyway, let's hope lessons were learned from this past effort. Andy DID go
on to do a marvelous job of producing Newell, so...

By the way, if anyone is a Jethro Tull fan (collector), e-mail me privately
because I have a question about a song.

Bye for now!



Date: Sat, 1 Apr 1995 16:18:14 -500 (EST)
From: Curtis Rellinger <>
Subject: Newguys

Hi, Curt and Paul here in Detroit. We figured we had been lurking too
long. We have both been XTC fans since 1980. Also are members with Little
Express who have seen the boys 3 times in the "live" days. Thank you all
for the info on the demo disc boots. I ordered mine at "Off the Record" in
Royal Oak Mich. I read in an interview that "Billy Bolts" is a local
Swindon phrase. It means waking from a dead sleep and sitting
straight up in bed, scared and sweating.

Curtis Rellinger       |  Anyone in pursuit of a goal can not possibly   |  |  pay attention to the PRESENT MOMENT.......     |


Date:         Wed, 12 Apr 95 09:21:52 CDT
Subject:      Why "The Disappointed" and Nonsuch are great

>>         Would anyone like to share their interpretation(s) of the Nonsuch
>> song "The Disappointed"?  I think that Andy is talking about the emotional
>> change that he experienced as his marriage began to break up:
>   My only interpretation of this song is "Boy it sucks."
>   I've tried really hard to like this album and I just can't do it.
>   If you do like the album, please tell me how it's done.
>- John White   CIS Manager   Electrical South Inc.

Okay, I'll try to rise to the challenge.  Nonsuch is my favorite XTC album,
and The Disappointed is one of the main reasons why.  What I like about
that song is the reference to "The Disappeareds" in Argentina during the
military dictatorship there, i.e., the people who were kidnapped and mostly
killed by the regime.  Although most people were afraid to speak out
against the problem, a group of old women, mostly mothers and grandmothers
of those who had disappeared, started walking silently in a circle each day
(or maybe it was one day a week - I forget) around a plaza in Buenos Aires
within sight of the main government buildings, carrying placards with
pictures and names of their disappeared relatives.  It was a really
remarkable thing.  Anyway, what I like about this song is the way it refers
to that phenomenon, changing "the disappeared" to "the disappointed," but
keeping the idea of people "shuffling round in circles," carrying placards
with pictures and names on them.  In a way, by comparing the sadness of
being rejected by a lover to the sadness of the grandmothers on the square,
it puts the sadness of the jilted suitors in a broader context and says,
essentially, "buck up, kiddo, your situation isn't that bad, really."

Well, maybe that's an odd and overly intellectual reason to like the
song, but I do like it.  I think it's wonderfully clever.  I also very
much like the lyrics on Omnibus ("make your Shakespeare hard" - that's
great!), and I love Dear Madame Barnum (another metaphor carried
through the entire song), Holly Up on Poppy, Then She Appeared (both
of those songs are, to me, about the joy of having a daughter,
but then I have one so maybe that's just me), My Bird Performs,
and on and on.  I don't particularly like War Dance, which is dull and
obvious by comparison with the other songs I've mentioned.  In short,
I really do find a lot to like - and even love - about Nonsuch.

-Lee Cronk


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 95 11:01:33 EDT
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Mervyn Peake and John Lorch

Hi all:

First of all, thanks to John Lorch (always nice to meet a
fellow Baltimore Chalkhillian) for his rundown of the XTC/
Fingerprintz concert back in '79.  Oooooh, missing that
XTC concert at Painters Mill (only seats 1,000) is becoming
one of my all-time big musical regrets.

OK, and thanks to Jon Eva and the good Russell Shaddox for
writing me privately to give me the skinny on Mervyn Peake.
(Am I the only person that thinks of Mervyn Cruddy, the Benny
Hill character every time the name Mervyn is mentioned?)

One *very* interesting comment by Russell on the Gormenghast
trilogy by Mervyn Peake:  "a book about a child of royalty
who's born into a fantasy 'world wrapped in grey.'"  Mmmmm,
does anyone smell a song title there?  Once again, Andy's
literary background makes its way into a song.

My thanks to all three gents for taking the time out to comment:
"your heart is a big box of paints"!

Survey compiling is done, as soon as I steal the time to type
'em in (give me a day or two) I'll share what you told me.

Last but not least, does anyone listening to "Russian Hill" by
Jellyfish off of _Split Milk_ automatically think of _Chalkhills
and Children" by XTC?  No, it's not a ripoff, but they've both
got that dreamy, ethereal feel.  If anyone knows the whereabouts
of Andy Sturmer and Roger Manning of Jellyfish, please holler
privately, as I'd love to know what they're doing.


Catherine Wheel World Wide Web Home Page:


From: "Louis Barfe's IbMePdErRoIoAmL" <>
Subject: Re:Bogdan Wiczling
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 15:36:39 +0100 (BST)

Count Bogdan Wiczling (known to his friends as Bob), is now an artists
liaison bloke for Zildjian cymbals in the UK.


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 08:32:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Muller <EMuller@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: Re:  "inept" solos

I just love that sax solo in "Leisure"--utterly discordant, but fits the
song perfectly.  To the list of such solos, I would add Andy Summers'
discordant and unpleasant solo in "Driven to Tears" by the Police.  This is
the kind of song that many chalkhillians might detest, at least lyrically,
as there seems to be an astonishing undercurrent of displeasure with Andy's
"This World Over" on this list.  Personally, I find that song quite moving,
particularly the bit about explaining to one's children what London was
like.  But in any case, back to "Driven to Tears":  even if you don't think
much of the song lyrically, it is a pulsingly brilliant and catchy tune,
with a *perfectly* snarling, discordant, and disoriented guitar solo.


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 11:47:57 -0500
From: (lawrence schick)
Subject: Mr. Mervyn Peake

I just signed on to Chalkhills, and I gather that Andy said something about
being a fan or reader of Mervyn Peake. (Could somebody please provide me
with a copy of the relevant quote? Thank you very much.) I'm delighted and
not the least bit surprised. Peake's work, as best expressed in the first
two volumes of the Gormenghast trilogy, is fascinating, rich, and
engagingly eccentric. However, I'd be the first to admit that it's not for
everybody; appreciation of Peake requires a reader to have patience,
imagination, a sense of both humor and tragedy, and a love of the English

Comparisons to Tolkien are, in my opinion, misleading at best. Their
talents are very, very different. I read Tolkien many times in my younger
years; I may even read him again someday. But I know I'll return to Peake
over and over again, for the same kind of pleasure I get by dipping into

Sorry about the lack of XTC content, but I believe Peake could be quite a
find for literate and open-minded folk like XTC fans. (I also second the
recommendation for Gene Wolfe, by the way).

I've been a follower of XTC since White Music, and am delighted to have
found the Chalkhills list. This looks like fun!

-- Lawrence


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 10:51:03 -0600
From: (Adam J Ostermann)
Subject: Weaving Threads...

...I figured I've been lurking the past few dozen Chalkhills so I figured
I'd come on again and respond to a few things that have been mentioned, as
well as mention a few things I have delved into personally...

Thanks to John Nicholls for doing this, it really sheds some light on XTC's
quietest member (no "Pink Thing" references, please! ;-}) Sorry to hear
about Andy's bad experiences with Blur. I thought ^Modern Life^ was a great
LP and I think Andy would have made it that much better. Anyway, ^Parklife^
is great, too, and I heartily recommend both of them to XTC fans with some
extra cash in their wallets.
Didn't agree, however, with Dave's slighting of Paul Weller. I'm on his
mailing list, too, and while I admit his career has gone off-course at
times (the Style Council? Bleech!) his solo albums have been the bee's
knees. I would say recently he's more Traffic and Spencer Davis than
Beatles and Davies but that's neither here nor there.
Wow, Dave admits liking "Married With Children!" I watch it, but admitting
I like it might take a little more bravery. Wonder if Dave watches "The
Simpsons" which has the same premise (debunking the nuclear family
archetype) but the Simpsons takes a more intellectual/quasi-dadaist route.
It is a cartoon, after all...

B) JOHN WHITE's DISSING "THE DISSAPOINTED": The problem with "Dissapointed"
and indeed a lot of ^Nonsuch^ is that it doesn't leap out at you, like say
^Skylarking^ does. You have to invest in it, give it a few listens,
actually WORK at it. At least I do. I do like the maudlin ballads ("Rook"
"Wrapped in Grey") and some of the weird guitar zydeco (sic) things like
"Crocidile" (boy, just can't spell today!) and "The Ugly Underneath." I
still don't comprehend why it absolutely reigned over college radio for
like, five weeks, or something, it seemed like adult comtemporary to me.
(Odd thing is, I was listening to an adult comtemporary station and they
played, out of the blue, "Dear Madam Barnum"! Neat, eh?)

C) RE-DISCOVERING ALBUMS/SONGS: Finally broke down and bought ^The Big
Express^ used, completing my album collection of XTC stuff. (Alright, I
still don't own ^Explode Together^ but does that count, really?) It's grown
on me a little but it's still my least favorite XTC lp. I did discover
"Washaway" though, what a song. I also shook the dust off my ^Oranges and
Lemons^ CD and fell in love with a song I never really liked..."Poor
Skeleton Steps Out." It just leapt out at me, and now I listen to it
constantly. That's a wonderful thing about XTC: there are tons of songs
that you tend to forget about or not pay much attention to, and then they
just come alive and hold your ears for ransom.

D) THE XTC TRIBUTE ALBUM:Nice lineup so far. God knows XTC wholeheartedly
deserve a well done tribute LP, it's a long time coming. Come to think of
it, how come no one's done a Smiths tribute album? At any rate, I'm looking
forward to Freedy Johnson's contribution; his last album ^This Perfect
World^ just bowls me over every time. And he's a really nice guy, too.

Well, I think that's just enough babbling out of me.
I'm not even going to touch the "Immaculate Reception" question.:-)

Talk to y'all later...

Adam J. Ostermann (
UW-Madison Journalism major and someone who can't take a joke
PICK DISC OF THE WEEK:Suddenly, Tammy! ^(We Get There When We Do)^


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 11:45:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Wesley David Shaw <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #428


        Sorry for the idiotic question but I'm new on Chalkhill (although
not a new fan of the "fab three") and haven't had the opportunity to pose
this question to anybody who's an authority on the subject.

How does one pronounce "XTC"?

"X-T-C" or "estacy"?

An answer will put my wandering soul at rest.

                                bless my soul, that's it.
                                        -the Weshia

	[ Read the FAQ, man! ]


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 16:14:00 -0400
From: (Andrew Stephens)
Subject: Re: Mervyn Peake

Actually Mervyn Peake is one of my favourite authors from 1950's england.
He was actually better known as an artist than a writer and his writing
style reflects that background....highly descriptive with a lot of
emphasis on backgrounds, shades, tones, small details.

He was not of the same generation as Tolkein and while he was a fantasy
writer, his leanings are very much to the dark side of self discovery.
The Gormenghast trilogy is highly recommended thought the first two are
superior to the concluding novel.

I am curious to the link with XTC.  I must have missed this somewhere.  If
someone can fill me in?  Not that it would surprise me, you understand, if
I can like both alot.....

BTW, just thought I would put in a plug for the Big Express.  It is
becoming one of my favourite XTC albums.  Very heavy in parts, very raw.
I miss that in the later material.  Andy playing heavy is very dark,
mysterious and dangerous. These songs leave an impression.  Like other
favs...Roads Girdle the Globe and Complicated Game.  The heavy stuff went
over well live too.  Big sound for sure.  Guess that's what happen when
you stop performing in front of audiences.  You lose a little of your edge.


Andrew Stephens         | Standard disclaimer: These are my views and
NCF -- Ottawa, Canada   | not necessarily those of my employer.


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 15:39:15 -0500
From: Cherie Gallinati <>
Subject:  vegetable $.02

my advise--if you don't like _nunsuch_, find the demo of'll
appreciate the songs more.  at least, i do: however, most of my
friends agree with my interpretation that even the worthwhile
song demos were basically 'top-40ed' hopefully gain
hello records is the brainchild of they might be giants' john
flansburgh.  if y'all don't have the address yet, email ma and i'll
pass it on.  it is a BIT pricey, but there is lots of choice music
included in the deal.
ayanna--glad to see your smiling keyboard here.  if my life
weren't sheer hell, i'd write.

okay.  back to the theatre.  rhubarb.


From: (Troy C Peters)
Subject: Respectable Street again:  Avon?
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 17:09:41 -0400 (EDT)

        Continuing the Respectable Street thread, are there Avon ladies
in England?  I've always heard the song as maybe American because of the
line "Avon lady fills the creases."  (Unless the Geffen CD lyric sheet is
right, and it's really "A vow lady fills the creases."  I doubt it.)

        What do we think, kids?



Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 09:55:48 +1200
From: (James)
Subject: XTC's caravan

>After my last mistaken foray, I hesitate to explicate Englishisms again,
>but I believe a "caravan" is a van or other recreation-type vehicle (the
>American word "van" is short for caravan), and "front garden" is what
>Americans would call the front yard. In the US, parking a van in your front
>garden would greatly reduce your yield of butter beans.

Not quite. The term van is used in England too. A caravan is what I think
Americans would call a mobile home - usually smaller than the US ones
though and not self-propelled, but towed as a trailer.

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: 12 Apr 1995 16:15:29 U
From: "Bob Sherwood" <>

                      Official Business - Top Secret "Your Eyes Only"
                       3:44AD                                    4/12/95
                       ALEHOUSE RULES

      This post regards Alehouse, Dave Gregory's pre-XTC band.  I
know it may seem as if I only unlurk these days to lambast my bro H.
Sherwood (who ripped these unsung geniuses last ish.), but I hate to
see this sort of thing go uncommented.  It's bad enough to dis
"Physical Graffiti" (if it had been "Houses of the Holy" I'd've had
to disavow any relationship to Gramps Sherwood) but to cut into
Alehouse, who were obviously FUCKIN' GENIUSES really gets me going.
I'm not just going to cry into my milk about it this time.  I'm
going to tell you all a little story that will, once and for all,
blow a big old hole in this whole Partridge worship thing.  It's
going to be kind of like when someone points out the edit at 2:23 in
"Strawberry Fields Forever" to you (right were Lennon goes, "him and
'is fookin' Hare Krishna....").  It's going to change the we you
think about these "innovators", and _you might just want to stop
reading now if you smoke and/or eat a lot of red meat_...
      It so happens that I _saw_ an ALEHOUSE show.  It was in the
spring of 1975 in a town in Wales called Gllllnywwdd or something.
 Uriah Heep was playing at a local venue, and I happened to be
passing through at the time on my way to a conference for precocious
9-year old music lovers.  It had been a long journey, and I still
had a way to go (the conference was being held near London in a
little burg called Stratcast on Jazzmaster or something) so I looked
forward to the diversion of a Heep show.  My favorite groups back
then (and yes, even today) were Heep, Thin Lizzy, Blue Fairies and
ZEP, so the opportunity to catch "The Heep" on their native soil was
more than I could resist.  They were the coolest- stringiest hair,
biggest drug habits, disgusting lead singer who always had a crumb
of blow hanging from his greasy moustache and wacked a cowbell
throughout all of their tunes with an oversized pot chillum which
spilled it's cannabinoid contents over the front rows.  Oh- and they
all wore those way-cool headbands.  And their records were pure,
unadulterated midrange.  None of that crummy bass and treble shit
that spoiled everything since.  When I think of the seventies, man,
     Anyway- I digress.  I get a little nostalgic when I think back
to those happy days, when music was moving forward and there was a
bitchin' Fifties revival going down.
      Got to the venue, a big ol' pub called The Cock and Bluebells,
shaking with excitement.  Muscled my way to the front in time to
catch a few songs by the opening band- ALEHOUSE!!!!  And let me tell
you- they HAD IT ALL.  THICK-ass headbands, GREASY, GREASY hair,
ALL FOUR of 'em played cowbell and the lead singer had an ENTIRE
8-BALL OF BLOW HANGIN' OFF HIS SHNOZZ!!!!!!  He hadn't even taken it
out of the little bindle yet!!!!!  I never saw so much
double-stitched denim in my life- when they took the stage it looked
like a ROAD ATLAS!!!  Let me tell you- if Blind Melon had been
around then, they woulda SUNK TO THEIR KNEES at the sight of these
WEARIN' A CHOKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AND YES- SPORTING A SHAG!!!  A
SHAG!!!  DAVE!!!
     The MUSIC?  The MUSIC, you ask?  Well, here's where things get
a little painful.  The first song kicked off with the most killer,
totally AWFUL drum solo ever.  The crowd was stampin' for more, when
ALEHOUSE ripped into the cowbell-heavy chorus of "Generals and
Majors Rock".  Over the next hour I caught about a O-Z of reefer
from the lead singer's bell-wackin' chillum as ALEHOUSE ripped
through some tunes that seemed _a little_ familiar in retrospect...
Let's see- there was "Get Enough Cash (So That We Can Live)",
"Totally Respectable Road", "Hey, God", "The Ballad of Jack
O'Lantern" (that one ruled), a remarkably accurate reading of "All
Along The Watchtower", "This Is Glam?", "Making Rules for Eustace",
"President of a Town Called Stupid", "Ball and Chain Blitz",
"Travels in Nillyhon", "Thousands", "Pop-Funk-a-Roll".  I could go
     The crowd was going nuts as these guys played their hearts (and
septums) out with a set of flat-out boogie that would be RIPPED OFF
WHOLESALE four years later and sped up by a spike-headed little rat
named Partridge.  That little hack.  Couldn't write his way outta a
kick drum (although he always had a way with a slide).  Dropped all
the cowbell parts, too- I should've expected it.  And Moulding?
Moulding??  A sorry little cider-sucking TULL freak (to his credit,
of course).  Never wrote a thing of his own.  'Cept for Bunghole-o.
And that one about "do that..."
     I thought I'd seen it all until they came back for another set,
dressed like greasers, and did a kick-ass Fifties doo-wop revival
set as "The Dukes of Earlosphere".  Tears come to my eyes.
     Anyway, I assume that I'm making myself clear by now.  When the
guys brought Gregsy on for "Drums and Wires" things started getting
good, right?  Well, sorry to do this, but Dave brought ALL THE GOODS
OVER FROM ALEHOUSE.  ALEHOUSE RULES.  Alehouse rules.  And all I can
say is, live with it.

     "When the neighbors call the pigs in
      Don't you realize
      It's totally Respectable Road?

      They dunno who Brinsley Schwartz is
       'Cause they livin'
       On totally Respectable Road..."

                                    -Alehouse circa 1975 (chords- B-C#7)


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 19:16:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: seth jason mclaughlin <>
Subject: Fresh Face


Let's begin.  I am both new to the Internet and to Chalkhills (although I
delve into the latter with at least a bit of knowledge).
I've been a "lurker" for four issues now and have been pleased (and
somewhat amused) by the devotion of the fans and followers of XTC.  I
have been a "fan" since the days of TR-S (Skysquabbling) although the
first album I was exposed to was English Settlement.  I have indeed made
my forum to the hub of the Great Western Railroad (smalltown crouching
among chalkhills) and met up with AP, but that is a story for another time.
E-mail is welcome and encouraged at my locale on the subject of the Sires
of Swindon.
One quick question: would anyone care to explain to me the significance
of "It's Nearly Africa" ?  I've always interpreted it as a warning to the
"dominant" societies of the world about the cyclical nature of power.
But, perhaps, I am wrong.

An apparent gratuitous requirement at this site-a quote-as I type
"in salacious half-sleep"
I am


Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 22:13:08 -0400
Subject: Immaculate Reception

Interesting coincidence, but no way Andy Partridge is writing about Franco
Harris. I've always believed he was simply restating the oft-expresed idea
that middle class crass materialism is a new dogma. In a not particularly
original way...

...still, you gotta love a newsgroup about rock & roll where Bill Buckner got
listed (a few issues ago) before Bill Bruford ever did.


Date: Thu, 13 Apr 95 5:42:50 PDT
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Peake Disappointed in New York

The inimitable John White <> writes:
>>         Would anyone like to share their interpretation(s) of the Nonsuch
>> song "The Disappointed"?  I think that Andy is talking about the emotional
>> change that he experienced as his marriage began to break up:
>   My only interpretation of this song is "Boy it sucks."

It's funny how different people react to different songs and albums.
My wife and I really liked _Nonsvch_ quite a bit.  (It's not as good
as _The Big Express_ of course.)  In fact, we ended up singing "The
Difappointed" every time something didn't go quite right whilst on
holiday.  And I absolutely love "That Wave" and "Then She Appeared".

>repeated listenings do not see the album grow, but rather wear. I found that
>if you played the first 1:30 of any song you heard all it has to offer
>musically and could just click to the next one.

Ah, but then you miss Dave Gregory's most excellent guitar solo on
"That Wave".  And of course, you also miss the silly ending of
"Wrapped in Grey", which provides a punchline to the song.

>   Don't get me wrong, there are some good songs - War Dance is a strong
>song, but it doesn't have any power - it just has a beat.

Ach.  "War Dance" is one of the weakest songs on the album (IMHO).
It's preachy, simplistic, and trite.  The music is almost interesting,
but I always skip that song.

>   If you do like the album, please tell me how it's done.

In fact, as I was saying to Jon, if I want to listen to _Oranges and
Lemons_ or _Nonsvch_, what I do is to pick a handful of songs, program
them up (using my CD player) and just listen to those few.  Otherwise
both albums tend to be a little overwhelming.  In small doses, they
can both be excellent.  And it really doesn't matter which songs you
choose, they are all interesting.

>   I really hate the Dissappointed, Bungalow, Omnibus, etc. These songs seem

It would appear that most people miss the joke that is "Bungalow"
("Bungle-O").  So it goes.  And I like the wordplay in "Omnibus".  In
some sense it is a slightly randier version of "Seagulls Screaming
Kiss Her, Kiss Her", one of my all-time favourites.

>  They totally fail at
>whatever genre they were working at with Bungalow and Disappointed

I will say this: the demo version of "Bungalow" is to be preferred, if
only because it isn't as fully orchestrated and ornamented.  Stripped
of pretension, if you will.

>   I wasn't on the net at time of release and I know you all are too damn nice
>to repeatedly bash an album, but am I totally out of line

Hey, go for it!

Pat <> writes:
>I read the [Gormenghast] trilogy 10 or 15 years ago. I liked it, though I
>wouldn't put it on a par with "Lord of the Rings" or "The Book of the New Sun"

I must agree that Gene Wolfe is an excellent author, especially the first
volume of "The Book of the New Sun".

Doug and/or Dennis Fano <> collectively ask:
>As a result of Andy's marital upheaval, it was rumored that he had
>been spending all or most of his time here in wonderful NYC.

Andy did spend some time in New York City.  He actually made an appearence
on stage with Aimee Mann (Dave Gregory was in her touring band).  But Andy
is back in lovely Swindon.  I think "Cherry in Your Tree" may have also
been recorded during this time.

        -- John

P.S. Please read the Chalkhills/XTC FAQ


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