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From: chalkhills@presto.ig.com
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Subject: Chalkhills #44


                  Chalkhills, Number 44

                  Tuesday, 18 July 1989
Today's Topics:
                     All Sortsa Stuff
              next O&L single: "The Loving"?
                     Live vs. Studio
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Subject: All Sortsa Stuff
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 89 17:27:08 PDT
From: Mark Stewart <mstewart@isi.edu>

On the subject of the "XTC on MTV" non-issue...

If XTC visited your house and there were three acoustics lying
around and they proceeded to pick them up and began to play would
you stop them? If, after a few drinks, Partridge decided he wanted to try
an acoustic version of Complicated Game would you stop him? "Oh, no
Andy, it just wouldn't be the same without all the delay on your voice!
Please don't even bother."

Thats how I viewed the MTV thing and the radio station appearances: XTC
in your living room, jus' folx. I was actually INTO the fact that they
were playing with limitations. It was interesting. And the bottom line
is that we don't see enough of the boys anyway so lighten up.

>Anyways, to me there is just no way that any of the songs post English
>Settlement can be done sufficient justice to in the live setting.  It

 With just the four of them on stage, yes, yer right. However, if they
were making the money they deserve to be making and could then afford
to pay a some musicians to come along for the ride, we'd be in for some
amazing live music (providing Partridge could handle the grind).

Are there any LA XTC fans on this list? If so, does anybody remember how
incredible the Drums & Wires era shows were at the Whisky??? Also, if memory
serves, it was in LA that they first cancelled a show due to Partridge'
condition. Is that correct?

Awhile back someone mentioned the guitar break on Tower of London and
other musical oddities that make the group so damn unique. I think the
question was "Is anyone else noticing this but me???" Well, yes, all the
people I know who are hardcore XTC fans are musicians. In fact, next time
you get stuck with a jazz/fusion snob who thinks all pop music is beneath
him/her just throw on some Chambers era XTC and watch them ask "Who is this"
in an almost annoyed fashion, like they're pissed thats its pop AND musically
engaging at the same time. Thrill to the sight of grown-up knowitall musicians
as they squirm helplessly in their seats while all their misconceptions about
pop music are shattered.

After repeated listenings I still find O&L to be one of their weaker
rekkids. As i've said earlier (not on this list) lotsof O&L's critical acclaim
I feel is based on Late Freightism: a condition suffered by music critics
who, upon realizing that a particular group that they never knew/cared about
has actually been making great records for years, feel they have to rave
about a lesser work just to make up for lost time. This condition was brought
to my attention by someone on the NM-List, so if yer out there, hey, I gave
the condition a name, ok? But don't get me wrong, I'm glad they're getting
the attention.

                                      Count Funkula
                           "i spoke to your boss this morning..."

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From: sco!stewarte@ucscc.ucsc.edu
Subject:   next O&L single: "The Loving"?
Date: Mon Jul 17 21:19:42 1989

In Chalkhills #42, Jon Drukman sez:

>I personally think this is a very
>good thing, because there is nothing better than a well written song with
>good production supporting it.

Believe it or not, I agree with you, Jon.  However, you seem to believe
in the Barbara Woodhouse school of production:  "No Bad Effects".
I think the most important quality in a producer is restraint.  The
production in O&L is so much more _obvious_ than, for example, English
Settlement, much of which is just as layered and complex.  That's one
of the reasons I still like English Settlement better.

>I do not subscribe to the school of "a song
>should stand up on its own."  Fuck that!  Are we still living in the
>goddamn sixties?

My take on this is that a good _song_ stands up on its own, but that
it's possible to have a great _record_ without a great song.  Or, for
that matter, to make a terrible record out of a great song...I'm sure
anyone can think of examples of terrible cover versions of their
favorite songs.

>So, lissen up sco!stewart and whoever else...  I  _love_ the bit where
>they slap the digital delay on for one word during "Mayor of Simpleton."
>That's a great moment in pop history [...]

I'm listening, but I'm not agreeing.  I think that one word it the
climactic moment of the whole song -- the peak of the bridge, if you
will -- simply because of song structure.  However, every time I hear
it there's this little echo thing calling attention to itself.  It's
like climbing to the top of a mountain, about to ski down the far side,
and finding that some idiot has put a McDonald's on the summit.  I
exaggerate for effect, of course -- it's not that bad.

Also, duane sez:

>When are they going to wake
>up to the fact that the natural single from the album is "Merely a Man"?

Come on, O&L is so stinking rich with natural singles it's almost
embarassing.  They may have to start a charity program to distribute
the surplus to the singles-poor.

-- Stewart

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Date: Mon, 17 Jul 89 23:20:53 CDT
From: oconnor!keaton!jtl@oddjob.uchicago.edu (Joe Lynn)
Subject: Live vs. Studio

	I've been sitting here, reading these letters that
	are nothing but flames... and I really wish I could
	hit my "K" key and never have to read about this subject
	again.  I only have one thing to say about this matter:

	IT'S A BLOODY NON-ISSUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

	SO WHAT if the MTV "Scarecrow People" is arranged differently
		from the album?

	SO WHAT if Colin's acoustic guitar doesn't sound like an
		electric bass?

	SO WHAT if Letterman didn't talk to the band after their
		appearance on _Late Night_?

	I think we need to get out priorities straight, folks:  we
	all subscribe to this digest because we enjoy XTC's music.
 	No, I don't like everything they've done, but who said
	the band has to please everyone?  The very fact that they
	came to the US for a few appearances is good enough for me;
	No, I wasn't pleased with everything I've seen or heard,
	and a few times I was disappointed (especially by #3 above),
	but I was happy to hear something more than a recording out
	of the boys from Swindon.  Variety is the spice of life, so
	let's all just count our blessings and chill out!  (And
	for God's sake, let's stop this idiotic whining...)

			--Joe Lynn, drowning in Summer's Cauldron

	[ What was it that Zappa said?  "Nobody likes all my records."
	  Or something like that.	-- John ]

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