Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #456

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 456

                  Thursday, 20 July 1995

Today's Topics:

                Re: Chalkhills Digest #454
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #455
                XTC Fab foursome in Philly
           Random thoughts from a random mind.
              Re: Several Chalkhills Digests
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #455
             What is the Hello Recording Club
                Martin Newell's new album
             Making Plans for Nigel (chords)
              another slathering female fan
     Desperately Seeking XTC Videos--1st Generation!!
            Re: Cast Aside Your Human, Be Free
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #455
                  what we call ourselves
                  Bay Area Chalkhillians
                    Skeleton Steps Out
                       Who is Andy?
                   Dave Gregory Appears
                   XTC in the charts!!!


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Who cares?  You might be dead!


Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 12:13:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #454

  Ah yes, Gilbert O'Sullivan; he's the guy who did "Clair/The moment I saw
you, I swear/I threw up all over my chair..." We had a lot of fun with that
song at camp in Northern Ontario, I think summer '73. Gilbert would have had
his songs all over the radio then. Typical silly 70's pop. He had three hits
in Canada I know of; the afore-mentioned, "Get Down" which I actually liked
that summer at the age of eleven, which rocked almost as good as Ringo Starr
(I'm being ironic), and that unintentional '70's navel-gazing mantelpiece
I mean masterpiece, "Alone Again(Naturally)." I enjoy having a good laugh
at people who take themselves too seriously; hack pop songwriters who think
they're serious artists. You can also include Peter Sarstedt(remember him,
Americans excluded?), for example, and more recently the likes of <gag>Simon
Lebon. That's what I love about XTC; Andy especially is unrelentingly seri-
ous a lot of the time, but side projects like The Dukes provide welcome co-
mic relief, though a lot of the time the humor is too subtle for people not
hip to the British sense of humor. The British are good at finding something
funny in, say, a doorstop;(Check your Monty Python's Flying Circus reruns,
for example)you try to make a joke about a doorstop with a mainstream Ame-
rican used to Regis and Kathie Lee and he'll go "huh?" Growing up in Canada
I got hit by detritus from both cultures. Canada was supposed to be the best
of three worlds: British government, American technology, and French culture.
Instead we got French government, British technology, and American culture.


Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 17:13:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #455

as a female, i think andy's sexy- thick or thin.


Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 00:09:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: bradley e preuss <>
Subject: XTC Fab foursome in Philly

The sound quality on the CD is pretty good and it's definately something
to get your hands on.  Regarding whether or not it was actually recorded
in Philly...dunno John, that's what it says.

I was wondering about the different videos that I have seen advertised
for.  Look look for one, and there are several others out

Brad Preuss


Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 14:17:32 -0400
Subject: Random thoughts from a random mind.

Howdy all.

Firstly, I urge u all to *STOP DISSING SUPERTRAMP!!!*  XTC is still my
favorite band, but Ray Davies and his boys have written some of the most
intense songs in history!  Take The Long Way Home brings me to tears
sometimes...(and sometimes the Lite music station at work plays it, and i
can't STAND lite music..) and their musicality ranks well above any other
'70s band.  Another band who make great complicated tunez is Toto...their
arrangements are some of the best I've ever seen.  Of Course, that brings me
to the next point...

WHY CAN'T I EVER FIND XTC Sheet music?!?!?!?! I'd *LOVE* to geet my hands on
a Skylarking or Black Sea sheet music book (who cares what instrument it's
for, but I play piano) and give myself and my Chalkhillbillie (tm) frenz a
little concert in my living room.  If anyone (hey you Brits, listen up!) ever
has seen or can tell me where to find any XtC sheet music, LET ME KNOW!  I'd
be a very happy boy.

A little aside...for a recent long trip, I taped Drums and Wires and Black
sea onto a tape for my car.  I felt I needed those two albums, which I
haven't listened to in a little while, to keep me company as I traveled
through New Jersey to my friend's house near Philly.  I have come to the
conclusion that Black Sea (save Travels in Nihilon) is a friggin' GREAT
album! I never gave it that much credit, but the consistency of the album is
so superior, I feel it's now my 3rd favorite (after Skylarking and O&L).
 Drums and Wires, on the other hand, fades quickly after "Nigel" and "Heli".
 Ten Feet Tall makes me stop the tape.  I'm so sick of that song.  Oh well,
what do the rest of us think??



Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 16:42:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Several Chalkhills Digests

Howdo Chalkabillies!

1 - John Relph's claim that it's "watch out here comes bony boy" is  (i
think) correct.  As a matter of fact, for the longest time I couldn't figure
out what anyone was talking about when they were suggesting "roll you lazy
bones" - huh? - and how about that cool bone-rattlin' sound at the end when
it sounds like the drummer drops his sticks!?

2 - Stevieskeg - I see Dear God as an admittal of the existence of a higher
power, and an indictment of those who have done the MOST damage to the
definition of what that power is.
Also - I was channel surfing on the TV the other day, and fell across the
video to this song which I have somehow missed altogether on emtpyVee.  The
show was a "christian" infomercial called "The John Ankerberg Show" and they
were showing the video and blah-blah-ing about the dangers of rock and roll
for christians everywhere.  The funny thing is that Dear God is a giant swipe
at the kind of smug charlatain-buttholes (excuse me, I get carried away) that
put these kind of sell-you-a-video-to-save-your-souls' people are.  Andy
believes in God (imho) - just not THAT one.  And John Ankerberg will rot in
HELL for his bad hair if nothing else!

3 - JP Nicholls - Justing Hayward!  get outta here - small UK!

4 - Mike McCormick on "Rundgren - we were wrong" - Right, unh ...yeah, I mean
I agree!   Skylarking has Rundgren's mark on it, definitely (at times it
sounds like he sings on the darn thing).  But it's probably (imho again) one
of the higher points of his (Todd's) career, and his devotion to pop (not a
dirty word) songwriting makes him a worthy foil for the band.  If any of yall
out there heard the Utopia three sided album and the "Ever Popular Tortured
Artist Effect"  from Todd (who I am not a particularly huge fan of), you'd
FREAK at the sonic similarities - especially the drum sounds.

No use bashing Rundgren - but I'd rather not see it happen again.

This place is so cool!  I don't even KNOW any of you, and I still have the
urge to shoot my mouth off.

Till I get back to my mail,

DIK \:)


From: David Yazbek <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 19:04:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #455

Here's the deal with my god-forsaken album (that Partridge appears on) in
response to Wesley-- It is doing quite well in France and also well in
Japan, but that doesn't help you much. It will finally be coming out here
in September on W.A.R. (What Are Records). You can also order it direct
 from the British label (Humbug) by calling them at 011-44-171-226-2616. I
encourage this approach.
FYI- The long postulated XTC tribute will be finished by beginning of
August and released (barring any screw-ups) in October on Thirsty Ear
Records. The roster-- Crash Test DUmmies (Pretty Girls), They Might Be
Giants (25 o'clock), Sarah Mclachlan (Dear God), Joe Jackson (Statue of
Liberty), Freedy Johnston (Earn Enough For Us), Space Hog (Senses
WOrking...), Rembrandts (a very nice version of Nigel). Ruben Blades (a
truly amazing salsa version of "The Man Who Sailed..."), The Verve Pipe
(Wake Up), P.Hux (ANother Satellite) and one or two surprises.
Also- I will be touring FRance in Sept. and the U.S. most likely in October
with a Mr. Dave Gregory playing guitar in the band. Come say hi.
Thank you and good night.


Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 19:13:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: A Sattler <>
Subject: What is the Hello Recording Club

Greetings to All,
  as this is peripherally related to the content/subject of this digest, and
since a number of people have queried on it, here is the "definitive" word on
Hello.  (Okay, boring nerdy disclaimer over.)
  The Hello Recording Club was founded and is run by John Flansburgh (of They
Might Be Giants) and Marjorie Galen.
  John Flansburgh sez:
  "Since '93 the Hello CD of the Month Club has been releasing
brand new recordings by both established alternative artists and great
up and coming musicians.  If you want to experience the best of the
contemporary music scene, where a healthy range of musical styles are
explored, Hello is the place for you.
   Hello provides recording artists a forum for side projects that a
commercial record company might find too left of center to release, as
well as a chance for new groups to find a larger audience.  Hello does
not release demo recordings, lame cover versions, or disingeneous tribute
    For just $46 you'll receive ten CD ep's this year.  Each month a
performer creates four or five new recordings exclusively for our Hello
subscribers.  We mail them out in pairs, starting in '95 in March-April.
It's easy to order Hello by leaving your info at 1-800-HELLO-41.  Of course,
mail orders via check or charge are always welcome at Hello, P.O. Box 551,
Palisades, NY 10964.  Our back catalog of '93 and '94 are also currently
available for just $43 apiece."
  Outside of U.S. please add $12, N.Y. residents add 8.25% sales tax.

  FYI: Andy's disc was included in the 1994 subscription.  As far as I
know they will not sell separate discs.  Let us know if they ever do!
  Hope this info. helps.



Date: 16 Jul 95 05:14:12 EDT
From: Daniel Manners <>
Subject: Martin Newell's new album

Martin Newell's latest, "The Off-White Album", will indeed be out
in a month or so. I have heard a few tracks which sound great.
It's a little more natural sounding than "Greatest Living
Englishman" perhaps - less keyboards, real drums, a string
section, and Dave Gregory on guitar.

The record is produced and arranged by London-based French
singer/songwriter Louis Philippe, who plays along with Dave in
Martin's occasional backing band, most recently for a few July
dates in Germany. Louis has brought out about ten albums of his
own and was on El Records (brainchild of the semi-legendary Mike
Allway) for several years. He's also working with ex-Young Marble
Giants main man Stuart Moxham. Together with Weekend guitarist
Spike, they are considering forming a musician-run label.

The truth shining out like sun / On an average English winter's


Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 14:37:05 -0400
Subject: Making Plans for Nigel (chords)

For all whom are interested, I think I've come up with the "Making Plans For
Nigel" chord took me a full afternoon to figure it out.  If
anyone lives in the eastern US and has put up with this heat (Yeow, 102
degrees in NYC!) you'll understand why I sat down to do this.  My house has
working A/C.

It's pretty hard to explain the chord changes unless you play it to the song
(try that, it would help immensely.)  But the way I'm doing it, if I group
two chords together, that would constitute one measure.  Those are the chords
as best as I can figure it, it's up to you to place them correctly.  And I
play *KEYBOARD* not guitar, so this was done at the pianner.

Verse goes like this:
Gadd2-G  Emadd4-Em  Bm7-Bm6  Bm7-Bm6

We're only making plans for Nigel
We only want what's best for him
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand

Am                           G
And if young Nigel says he's happy

He must be happy

He must be happy

He must be happy in his work

<solo> G  Em  Bdim-Bm Bdim-Bm

We're only making plans for Nigel
He has a future in a British steel
We're only making plans for Nigel
Nigel's whole future is as good as sealed

And if young Nigel says he's happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work

Nigel isn't outspoken

But he likes to speak

       G6                 D/G G
And he loves to be spoken to

F?       C            G
Nigel is happy in his work


<solo 2x>

There.  Enjoy!  Feel free to add suggestions...I'll try to do a few more
songs soon.  (If i have time)
-  Ira Lieman


Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 19:01:14 -0700
From: Christie Byun <cbyun@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: another slathering female fan

Okay, I've got to toss in my two cents worth.  Couple of issues
back, someone asked if anyone else thought Andy was sexy.  And
then a couple of issues later, someone else commented that due
to what seemed to be lack of response to this question, that the
conclusion would be that no one else thought Andy was that cute.
Well, I did write to the first female poster and we exchanged
pleasantries about how groovin we both thought Mr. Partridge was.
But I didn't post anything since I guess I kind of felt silly
about my adolescent pop star adulations.  Anyway, here goes:
I think Andy Partridge is the sexiest man alive!  And Colin and
Dave run neck and neck to be second.  Okay?

(Gosh, I'm so embarrassed.)

Anyway...any other females and/or male willing to speak up?



Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 08:54:50 -0700
Subject: Desperately Seeking XTC Videos--1st Generation!!

Hello Chalkhillians,

Yours truly is developing an interactive XTC exhibit as a final project
in "Authoring on Director" class.  Needed most is good quality video
footage of the band.  I already have "Play at Home" and "XTC at the
Manor," but these are 3rd generation at best and will look even worse
as Quicktime movies.

Perhaps, the UK contingent of Chalkhills will recognize the following
postal addresses.  I imagine these PO Boxes have changed many hands
many times since but nevertheless, these appeared at the end of the
Play at Home video:

                Play at Home
                RPM Productions
                PO Box 4000
                London W3 6X1 or Glasgow G12 5Q

For what it's worth, Play at Home was produced for Channel 4 in 1984.

Also, does anyone know how to find recent XTC videos... Mayor of
Simpleton, Peter Pumpkinhead?  "Look, Look" may be used as an exclusive
source since it is 1st generation but being more up to date would be

In the words of AP, "Thank you and good night."



Subject: Re: Cast Aside Your Human, Be Free
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 11:44:40 -0700
From: Bill Wisner <>

>Does anyone know what AP is saying at the end of "Skeleton Steps Out"?
>Something like "roll you lazy bones".

"You'd better watch out, here comes bony boy."



Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 11:32:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #455

Dear fellow Chalkhill***(insert your own thing here),

I am a new subscriber to Chalkhills, so forgive me if i go over ground that
has been trodden flat before.  I would very much like it if someone could
inform me about any new release from the lads, what the title is, who
produced it, etc.

I would like to render a couple of opinions.

someone mentioned that Oranges & Lemons was not good!?  Actually, it is my
2nd favorite of all the XTC albums.  'Merely a man' is a wonderful paean to
secular humanism; 'Mayor of simpleton' is a great pop number, and every
red-blooded male has to love 'Pink thing.'

I am also (have been for years) a HUGE Todd Rundgren fan.  It is partly for
this reason that I think Skylarking is the best of the lot.  It is, after
all, the closest they've come to a concept album, and Andy himself said how
he appreciated the wonders Todd worked in focusing the band.  I would
appreciate any comments.



From: Mark Colan <>
Date: 18 Jul 95 16:48:52 EDT
Subject: what we call ourselves

>1.  I vote for The Affiliated as the name for us XTCers.

In view of the poor opinions of their last album, how about 'The
Diffapointed'?  ;-)



Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 14:47:30 -0700
From: Christie Byun <cbyun@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Bay Area Chalkhillians

Hello out there...are there any XTCers that live in and about
the bay area?  It's so frustrating not having any fellow XTC
fans around here to talk to.  I only know of one other fan

Anyway, if you are nearby, please write.  And heck, even if
you aren't nearby, write anyway.  It would be cool...


(I have a a summer roommate, from England, and he's never even
heard of XTC.  Shocking!)


Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 07:07:06 -0400
Subject: Skeleton Steps Out

>Does anyone know what AP is saying at the end of "Skeleton Steps Out"?
>Something like "roll you lazy bones".
Sure, I know. He says, "Watch out, here comes rolling bones."
Love the drums sticks dropped on the floor like, uh ...bones.
PS Hey Andre got your email but still can't write you back!

Question: What is Battery Brides about? I can't understand most of the lyrics
and those I can confuse me. Opinions and lyrics please.


Date: 19 Jul 95 13:19:37 EDT
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Who is Andy?

Salutations, all:

I was listening to The Big Express the other day and marvelling at what a
brilliant lyricist Andy is, and it suddenly struck me that I should post a
question I've been wondering about for some years, and perhaps we can kick
it around for a while.

Okay, here goes: Obviously, Andy is the reincarnation of a 17th-century
poet -- I mean, the way he introduces a conceit (the central idea) and
plays with it, develops it, wrestles with it, and sometimes turns it into
something else altogether. What I want to know is, which poet is he? John
Donne (early 1600s, very spriritual) or Alexander Pope (late 1600s/early
1700s, more whimisical)? I see both sides in his writing (Rook vs. Pink
Thing, for example). Is he both? Is he the reincarnation of some other poet
I haven't mentioned? Are there other people out there trouble (or bored)
enuf to ponder this weighty question?

By the way, I had a flash of inspiration for "XTC: The Movie": James Wood
as Todd Rundgren. Also, perhaps we could persuade Jeremy Irons to play the
evil head of Virgin Records.

Also Craig Canevit recently wrote:
>5). Everybody who thinks about it will agree: the only person who
>could pull off playing Andy in a movie would be the grownup actor
>who played "Oliver" on the Brady Bunch.

I'm going to admit my ignorance here (esp. since ignorance of The Brady
Bunch is, IMHO, not much to be ashamed of) and admit I have no idea who
you're talking about. Is this the series or movie? Can we get a name?

Bye for now ...


Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 16:20:55 -0400
Subject: Dave Gregory Appears

Not sure if everyone knew this already, but Dave Gregory contributes a guitar
solo to Jennifer Trynin's album Cockamamie, which is an album you should not
be without, regardless of your position re:XTC.  The Aimee Mann connection
strikes again.


Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 22:45:02 -0400
Subject: Musings

Some random thoughts that have been going through my random mind.  The
local college station here in my town (WRFL 88.1 FM) has a prome featuring
Andy.  He says, "This is Andy Partridge of English group XTC and you are
listening to WRFL in Lexington.  Yes Lexington, a nice town..."  He says
this over the opening of "Melt the Guns", and his voice fades at the into
the song before ending.

I once saw at a record store in Louisville a book about the life and times
of XTC.  Unfortunately, it was in Italian, so I did not purchase it.  I
really wonder just who in Louisville is both fluent in Italian and a big
fan of XTC.  That is so typical, however.  My only glance ever at an XTC
book, and I cannot understand a word of it.

Some ding-dong at MTV really needs to organize an XTC unplugged concert.  I
feel this is necessary since I heard "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"
acoustically, and it became a new song altogether.

If I do not get some new music soon from these lads, I shall be forced to
buy a weapon and go into a post office.

James Isaacs


Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 17:19:58 +1300
From: (James)
Subject: XTC in the charts!!!

A friend on another mailing list recently sent me the results of a poll on
station WHFS (no idea whereabouts in the states that is, sorry) to find the
500 top alternative songs of all time. Thumbing through the list I noticed
not one, but 5 (!) XTC songs:

> 44. XTC        Dear God
> 86. XTC        Senses working overtime
>149. XTC        Mayor of simpleton
>262. XTC        Making Plans For Nigel
>337. XTC        Generals and Majors

Good to see that at least one station's listeners appreciate our favourite
I never did enter the debate about songs that you hate when you first hear
them, but love later. I realised this morning, listening to Skylarking,
that The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul is like that for me. Couldn't stand
it the first time I heard it, a firm favourite now.


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)


End of Chalkhills Digest #456

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