Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #439

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 439

                   Tuesday, 23 May 1995

Today's Topics:

        Peter Pumkinhead and L'affair Louis Trio.
              Results of survey question #20
                   Re: Shaddox' letter
                    Let's have a war!
        Re: George Martin--XTC's Rightful Producer
                 The cycle of the seasons
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #437
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #437
                    Re: George Martin
               Dancin' to the Alehouse Rock
                 Need Helium Kidz Demo CD
                     Re: Bob Sherwood
                      Re: SONG Cycle
                  James you Naughty Boy!


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

And you'll all bow down to me.


From: DAMIAN The Wonder Dog FOULGER <>
Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 15:13:56 GMT
Subject: Peter Pumkinhead and L'affair Louis Trio.

> AP - "People can put to it what they want, but it's really about a pumpkin.
>       I carved a lantern for my kids on Halloween.  When Halloween was over
>       I didn't have the nerve to throw it in the bin, so I took it in the
>       backyard and stuck it onto a fence post.  The weeks went by and it
>       rotted, and every day I'd walk past it to go down to the shed at the
>       bottom of the garden where I compose, and I started feeling sorry for
>       this pumpkin.  I thought, 'I'm going to make him the hero of this
>       song.'  He only had a very brief life.  He went a gray-green fluffy
>       fur colour and collapsed in on himself.  A bit like me, really."

I think that about put paid to the conversation about PPH.

Another thing; I was in Paris (France) last weekend and I thought
that I would look up L'affair Louis Trio as mentioned by some
Chalkhillian after being graced by Dave's presence (was it Dave, I
can't remember, perhaps it was Colin).  I went into the Virgin (I
spit on that name! :-)  )  and found that LLT was on a listening
post, but I couldn't get it to work. :-(  Then later I heard a track
of theirs on the radio.  I did indeed sound very XTC so I for one
will be looking for a way to get hold of a copy.
(Life is good in the greenhouse:XTC)
(You told me you saw Jesus, but I could only see a tree: Amber)


Date: Fri, 19 May 95 10:41:17 EDT
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Results of survey question #20

Hi everyone:

As you know, I gave you all the answers to survey questions #1-19 recently.
I promised you the answer to #20 when I finished my course.  Last night was
the last night, so I figured I would report back in for duty.

When I got everyone's survey results, I was totally floored by some of the
brilliant answers I got to my question: Why are there so few women posting
to musical groups on the Internet?

Because this is a research course, I had to go to several different sources
and then come up with a big picture, but those on this list who answered my
question were not only right on the money as far as what the newspapers and
electronic media confirmed, but some of you (U.K. Phil and Jeff Langr take
a bow) mentioned to me pretty much point-for-point what the rest of my
research confirmed.

The main reasons are:

1.  There are a *lot* more men than women on the Net.  And I do mean a lot.
I really didn't think that the male/female ratio was as lopsided as it
really is, but it is.  For example, more than 90% of users on the Web are
men, according to a _Washington Post_ article.  So, it makes sense that if
there are more men on the Net, there's more men on the musical mailing

2.  Women are still harassed on the Net.  One thing I noticed (and was very
pleased to see) was the men who answered question #20 were just as turned
off to see the come-ons to women on this very list as I was.  Lots of women
have left the Net (and there are unknown numbers of us disguising ourselves
as men) because of our disgust with being "hit on" by men.  And it doesn't
happen here exclusively, but the calls for femail email on Chalkhills were
commented on by both men and women.  Some places on the Net aren't so nice
when a woman comes on board.  It's a real shame this happens.  If you
really want us to come out and play, men, don't be so blatant about it, as
you're overall doing more harm than good according to everyone who answered
both this questionnaire and from interviews I've done.  Some women have
left both the Net and computer science as a career from the come-ons they
receive, both "friendly" and non-friendly.  This was by far the saddest
information, and it was confirmed again and again here, on the Net in
general, and in the media.  What I also noticed was that the men who were
most on-target also began their responses: "I hope this doesn't sound
sexist or anything," and then spoke the whole truth and nothing but.
Relax, gents, you weren't.

3.  Women communicate differently than men do.  Women prefer in-person
communication so they can rely on body language to do the talking, or at
least a tone-of-voice over the phone.  Men *often* (not always) prefer the
safety of a computer because it gives them time to think before they reply.
(This makes me wonder how many cyberspace brutes coming onto a woman would
actually show up for a date if he asked her out and she said yes.  Some
bullies are only comfortable in anonymity.)

4.  Men are more trainspotter oriented than women.  I know of no female
discographers--if anyone knows one, please inform me, really.  Men collect
stuff more than women.  Also, as pointed out, men react to how a song makes
them think, while women react to how a song makes them feel.  And yes, of
course there are exceptions to this, of course, but men are more likely to
note the minutiae of a song or songs whereas women only concern themselves
with the big picture: "I like that song.  It makes me feel good whenever I
hear it."  And of course there are exceptions to the rule.

5.  Women are more talkative on the female artists' lists and for artists
whom they find cute, sexy, etc.  This was an oversight on my part.  I was
only taking into account the low volume of posts from women that I'm on --
the oversight was not realizing that the Take That list or whatever would
have more women.  I perhaps am atypical, as perhaps are the other women on
this list, (although that's up for the women themselves to decide) in that
we're actually in it for the *music*.  And no, it's not that women don't
like music as much as men--I know I'm much more into music than a lot of
men I know, it's just that you can find more women on lists where the group
or at least the singer is a babe.  And of course there are men who drool
over female singers--I well remember the post to a.m.a. saying what a great
ass Liz Phair has...  (Do women on the Take That group wonder about the
size of the singer's penis?)

6.  Women are lurkers because of the flame factor.  Women get turned off
by the bickering on some groups, and they don't want to open their mouth
to have it shot off by someone telling them they don't know shit, can't
you tell the guitarist uses Brand Z strings, not Brand X strings, for
Christ's sake?  Men will be more likely to pipe up and speak their mind
even if there is no flame factor involved.  On some groups (not this one,
thankfully) it seems like some people are *waiting* for fresh flamebait.

I'd say those are the main reasons.  Before I began this project, I had
guessed that women were outnumbered on the lists, but I had no idea about
how much we *are* outnumbered. Part of my theory was also that I am a bit
more male in some ways of thinking in that I meet some of the above
criteria.  Heaven knows I speak my mind.  :-) And although not an avid
collector, I do find the breaking down of lyrics to be interesting.  On
this list in particular it can be very educational, and sometimes hilarious
to see what everyone has to say.  My first post to Chalkhills after lurking
for a while was to give *my* interpretation of the song "Another
Satellite," which was in direct opposition to the perspective I'd read in
the last digest.

I conducted my survey before I did any of my other research, and the
respondents to my survey said everything the "experts" said, and more.
I really wanted to quote a couple dozen of you in my paper--it was really
tough trying to narrow down which of you to quote.  I really *did* get
everything I needed to know from your answers.

If anyone is interested in reading the whole shebang, I'll put it up on my
WWW site Monday or you can email me and I'll send you a copy once I get it
formatted properly. My text version varies slightly from the version I
turned in last night as I added a bit to my copy before handing it in.  And
yes, I moaned quite loudly about how Chalkhillians came up with the best
answers and were so thorough, etc.  I quoted a couple of you at length.
The paper was enjoyable to write. My liver's had me sick for three weeks
from damage sustained from a bout with Hepatitis C, but I was able to write
this paper (22 pages) on Sunday afternoon, type it and turn it in last
night at the deadline.  Thanks again to those who took the time out to
answer #20.


WWW paper site as of Monday:


Subject: Re: Shaddox' letter
Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 19:21:15 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Michael Faulkner" <>


I'll forgive you your early distaste for the
band, (even though I, myself, owned White
Music and loved it before any other album
until, like you, Black Sea, which is
still my favorite), but I will *never*
forgive you the mistake of thinking
Dave was in the band in '79, when you
purport to have written the letter!

You must have seen Barry and his wonderful
steam pianos back then.



Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 18:08:15 -0600 (MDT)
From: Big Earl Sellar <>
Subject: Let's have a war!

Howdy! Always wanted to quote FEAR on this list....finally!

Bored silly and feeling like filling up someone *else's* mailbox instead
of mine for a change.

Firstly, and mainly, musnick <> wrote in Chalkhills #436:

> If
>you take the erratic, zany brilliance of the White Album and magnify it

Then, wrote:

>   Speaking of The Beatles, what do you think of the idea of George Martin
> producing an XTC album?(Actually, he might have been a good choice for Sky-
> larking)

I think it's about time I finally spoke up over something that really
bugs me on this list: there seems to be an overwhelming tendency to think
everybody subscribing loves the Beatles. Here's one vote:


I can't stand the Beatles! I outgrew them sometime around 16, maybe 15.
And to be blunt, IMHO anyone who claims that they were the greastest band
of all time uses the same arguement as someone who claims Elvis Presley
was the king of Rock.

I mean, when I hear XTC, I hear way more Kinks, late sixties Who, and
especially a band I've read heard anyone invoke on this list: THE SMALL
FACES! There is a Beatles influence, for sure, but there is way more to
it than that. But for some reason, a poppy tune with more than 5 chords
is always referred to as being Beatles influenced. What, they were the
only group who didn't play I-IV-V? And sorry, but they DID way more than
they didn't.

As for George Martin: sure, let him produce. He also produced a CHEAP TRICK
album, fercryinoutloud! By the same token, let Georgio Morodor produce
XTC. Same difference. And considering the amount of synths the boys have
been using over the last few lps, Mr. Morodor would probably better a
better (technical) choice.

You wanna discuss? Then post. But if you wanna just mindlessly flame me,
do so *PRIVATELY*! I'll take you on! John's got better things to do


Speaking of which, our beloved Mr. Relph admitted:

> Yo!  "Supergirl" is one of my fave raves on that _Skylar King_ album!
> Of course, I love sappy pop!  The Pooh Sticks Rule!  Vanessa Paradis
> is cool.  I even listen to, yes, The Partridge Family once in a while!

RIGHT ON! "Point Me In The Way Of Alburcque" (major sp?) rules! When
people refer to the Beatles influence in Andy's songs, I can also hear
goofy pop stuff, like the ARCHIES. And I have read that they and the
MONKEES were the reason he started writing songs. Cheap pop is beautiful!


Finally, Harrison Sherwood stated:

> It doesn't matter a donkey's left _nipple_ whether PP is "about" JFK or

FINALLY! A name for my new band! Thanks! (Even though he mentioned the
Fud Four.)

Remember, it ain't polite to flame in public when you can cuss more in
private. |(=)

EEEEEEEE                                        | "Like a lot of you, I hate.
EE              Big Earl Sellar                 |  A lot. But I hate with
EEEEE      |  style and creativity."
EE              |               Rollins
EEEEEEEE                                        |


Subject: Re: George Martin--XTC's Rightful Producer
Date: Thu, 18 May 1995 12:04:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>

Chris wrote:

Speaking of The Beatles, what do you think of the idea of George Martin
producing an XTC album?(Actually, he might have been a good choice for

I say:



The diplomatic streak in me occasionally causes me to mince words so
thanks for "unmincing" them with regard to "Smartest Monkeys."  Pardon
my ignorance but your reply concerning "Omnibus" loses me.  As for the
"The Disappointed" and "... Supergirl" thang, I made the comparison
because the latter also has superb melody and great guitar work but is
ultimately sappy.  I don't have a problem with multi-layered,
Beatlesque, Beach Boys tendency ("excessive ornamentation" in
XTC-speak) but when they get sappy it makes me shudder with the thought
that it's curtains for the side of them that adores Beefheart (you
know, "the clashing chords, Black Sea, Big Express, 'in your face'

P.S. I haven't heard from The Little Express in a very long time
(Customarily, they warn me in advance that my subscription is expiring)
so perhaps, I missed the latest.  Is there a 1995 Music & Friends
Convention scheduled?  If it's in Northern California, I hereby


Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 19:29:13 +1200
From: (James)
Subject: The cycle of the seasons

>From: "Karen E. Lewis (ba amst)" <>
>Hi Everybody!
>I just wrote a final paper for my popular culture class on the function
>of the Oranges and Lemons album as a song cycle, exploring birth, death,
>and many things in between. I'm wondering if my thoughts on the songs on
>this album all being connected in the band's views on the world comes
> from left field, or do other people agree with me?  Does anyone see this
>pattern in other XTC albums?


Oh definitely. Take a look at Skylarking. It is a "season cycle" - almost
like the pagan mother-tour cycles in its simplicity. From the tale of first
fumblings of love in Grass through the gains and losses of partners and
friendships (songs like 1000 umbrellas and That's really super Supergirl)
on through marriage (Big Day) to death. In another sense, coming back to
the pagan idea. It starts with high summer, and ends with the traditional
sacrificial bonfire of late Autumn early winter (originally Samhain, now
remembered and sanitised as Halloween and it's near neighbour Guy Fawkes
night). So that album is sort of adulthood tot old age and Summer to


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)


From: "J.A.Harkness" <>
Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 11:00:33 +0100
Subject: Help!

Hi, Folks,
I've heard tell, in legend, myth and chalkhills, that there are a
number of xTc demoes doing the roungds, or indeed the rounds.....

I assume this is either new material or stuff that for one reason or
another didn't make it onto albums........has anyone any idea how to
get hold of this wondrous grail-like bounty?

If anyone can help, you can either mail the list or mail me private,
eternal gratitude COULD BE YOURS!    What more of an incentive could
you  possibly need ?  ;-)


Will Yum!


Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 16:34:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #437

  Thanks to everybody for the various opinions on Nonesuch. I took it out
and listened to it in the car several times(that's the only place where I
can listen to my music in peace without my Air Supply loving wife pouting
if I hog the stereo)to make up my own mind. I've decided that the main
problem with Nonesuch for me is the production, which I think was mentioned
before. Gus Dudgeon is great with pretty ballads("Humble Daisy," "Then She
Appeared," for example)as he was with Elton John; if you're into keyboards
and orchestration and coloring, Gus is your man. But as with his Elton John
productions, the man seems to be clueless what to do with guitars and drums;
it's all correctly done, but the uptempo stuff needs more bite in the guitars
and more thud in the drums. If you compare with Richard Thompson's recent
work, I think Mitchell Froom would have been a perfect choice for Nonesuch
rather than just the upcoming album. Any problem with the sound of the al-
bum doesn't seem to be XTC's fault; the performance is fine. I just would
have liked to see the likes of "Peter Pumpkinhead" and "Crocodile" have a
bit more oomph. "Omnibus" would especially benefit from being Froomed.


Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 15:31:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #437

On Mon, 15 May 1995, (ERIC ROSEN) wrote:

> As for the great Nonsuch debate, here's my $0.03 worth.  Like most XTC
> extended albums, it has 3 or 4 songs which are a cut below the rest
> and would be great for some other group.  In this case they are:
> i.   Bungalow:
> ii.  The Disappointed:
> iii. Omnibus:
> iv.  Smartest Monkeys:
> Let me make clear that the rest of this album is as good as anything else
> they've ever done.  "My Bird Performs," "Then She Appeared," "Humble
> Daisy," "Books are Burning," "The Ugly Underneath," & "Crocodile" are
> favorites round here.  What mystifies me is how songs like "Car Out of
> Control," "It Didn't Hurt a Bit," "Where Do the Ordinary People Go?,"
> "Goosey Goosey" and "Down a Peg" never made it on.
> Anyway, I'm sure there's plenty of disagreement with the foregoing. /:D

        Well, I'd say I'm halfway there with you. "Bungalow" has never been
one of my (or many other XTC fans') favorite tracks, but I can't really
agree with your asessment of the other tracks. Here are some of my
thoughts, not to be a jerk, but to spur thought and conversation:
  ii. While "The Disapointed" has always seemed to me to be stylistically a
square peg, that doesn't mean I don't like it. It always sounded more
like Tears For Fears than XTC. It's also the only track on the album
I've never heard the demo for, leading me to believe Andy's concept may
have been a little different.
  iii. I think "Omnibus" carries the same level of fun that "Crocodile"
and "Holly Up On Poppy" manage. I can't see it as inferior to these
tracks, but I wonder if that's just me (comments, anyone?)
  iv. As for "The Smartest Monkeys," this brings up a general observation
about _Nonsvuch_ that I was formulating. It seems the album carries a few
different moods, each with representative tracks. As I mentioned above,
"Omnibus," "Crocodile," and a couple others ("Then She Appeared," for
instance) fit into a "happy, playful" mood. I would say "The Smartest
Monkeys" would fit into a category with "War Dance," "Books Are Burning"
and possibly "Peter Pumpkinhead," that being the socially conscious,
"statement" part of XTC. I would say the first two examples I gave of
this category are worse at marring their overall effect than "The
Smartest Monkeys." Again, just an opinion, and comments are welcome.
(Incidentally, I also see a "thoughtful" category in which I'd place
"Humble Daisy," "Wrapped In Grey" and "Bungalow," for example.)
        Finally, let me just agree completely with your choices for
brilliant tracks of the disc. "Then She Appeared" and "Crocodile" are
high up on my list of _all_ of XTC's songs. (But what about "Dear Madam
Barnum" and "Holly Up On Poppy"?) And yes, those unused demos, while
sometimes clumsy, could have been excellent album tracks (I even liked
"Goodbye Humanosaurus" with it's _really_ clumsy lyrics).

        = Derek Miner =


Date: Sun, 21 May 1995 00:30:08 -0700
From: (Michael Riches)
Subject: Re: George Martin

>From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
>  Speaking of The Beatles, what do you think of the idea of George Martin
>producing an XTC album?(Actually, he might have been a good choice for Sky-

I think George Martin would be disasterous.  He was good for the Beatles,
but as a modern-day producer, I think he's completely lost.  First, look at
what he's produced since the Beatles broke up.  America and Seatrain come to
mind.  The word "visionary" doesn't exaclty spring to mind.  Second, look at
the horrible remastering job he did on the Beatles cds.  They completely
lack warmth and depth; very thin sounding.  This is one of the very rare
cases where my old lps sound much richer than the cd re-issues. (Compare the
wonderful remastering on the blue and red albums to see what the Beatles
re-issues could have sounded like, and note that early material that Martin
said couldn't be transfered to stereo has indeed been re-mixed in stereo
with great success).

Having said that, it's my opinion that George Martin doesn't have any vision
or modern experience that would enhance XTC.  On the contrary, I would see
him stiffling their work.

As for other suggestions for producers, two come to mind:  I think John
Leckie has grown tremendously since his early association with XTC, and has
done some wonderful work with Robyn Hitchcock and The Posies, to name only a
couple of his recent productions.  Also, anyone who has hear Jellyfish's
"Spilt Milk" might agree that Albhy Galuten and Jack Joseph Puig would give
a rich sound to a new XTC disc.


Date: 22 May 1995 13:01:24 -0400
From: "Russell Shaddox" <>
Subject: Dancin' to the Alehouse Rock

In CH438, "Harrison Sherwood" <> wrote:

> Hey, gang! I've got a way-cool Alehouse T-shirt to trade. Will consider
> some Budgie or Nazareth stuff! Posters? Bongs? Bandanas? The shirt's got
> the Roger Dean Alehouse logo, with some guy in a Thor the Thunder-God hat,
> about to smash open this dude's head with this bitchin' double-bladed
> battle-axe ... I got it at the Wembley '74 show, where they opened for
> Status Quo. It's got a little snot on it, but that'll probably wash out.

Who's Roger Dean Alehouse? Wait, wasn't he in "MacGyver"?

Anyway, about the Alehouse T-shirt -- I'll give you a signed copy of Uriah
Heep's "Easy Livin'," plus an Ozz Knozz bootleg and the machine heads off
of Chris Squire's bass, which I stole at a concert in 1976 when he wasn't
looking, in retaliation for "Relayer." And I think I'll leave in the snot.
It's part of the history of the thing, y'know?

And where can I get a Thor the Thunder-God hat? I already have the shoes
and the tie, so I'd like a matching set.


Date: 22 May 1995 13:54:30 -0500
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: Need Helium Kidz Demo CD

I'm in need of the Helium Kidz/Drunken Studio Sessions CD boot on the
Exstatic label.

I have LOTS of XTC stuff to trade (as well as good old cash), so if you
have one of these CDs, or if you know where I can get one, send me e-mail.

Thanks bundles,



Date: Mon, 22 May 1995 16:14:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Bob Sherwood

  I knew Bob Sherwood in college; he was in this supercool band called The
Malarians that any self-respecting XTC/Dukes fan would love.(Especially the
Dukes, who they slightly resembled musically)I'm sure some people I'm still
in touch with from back then would love to know he's still up to his old
tricks, only more so; with The Malarians he was the quiet one who played
rhythm guitar, sang back-up, and wrote and sang lead once in a blue moon.
Then again, John Entwhistle once remarked that if he joined the Eagles he'd
probably appear to be a crazed lunatic by comparison; I suppose it's a ques-
tion of the company you keep.


Date: Mon, 22 May 95 15:11:45 PDT
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: SONG Cycle

"Karen E. Lewis (ba amst)" <> wonders:
> I'm wondering if my thoughts on the songs on
>this album all being connected in the band's views on the world comes
> from left field, or do other people agree with me?

Of course!  What else would they be?

>  Does anyone see this
>pattern in other XTC albums?

Yes.  Take "Reign of Blows (Vote No Violence!)" from _The Big Express_.
I have no doubt that Andy believes what he writes about in this song.
But more generally, I think that all of the songs the members of XTC
write reflect their worldview.  That's what I like.  Rarely do they write
songs that attempt to present a view of the world they either do not
understand, do not agree with, or have no experience with.  The songs
are, at some level, very personal statements.

        -- John

Your mileage may vary.  Mind the gap.


From: "J.A.Harkness" <>
Date:          Tue, 23 May 1995 09:49:01 +0100
Subject:       James you Naughty Boy!

James Dignan!

You're Moonlighting on Love-hounds!   Shocking!

Will Yum!


End of Chalkhills Digest #439

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