Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #79

                  Chalkhills, Number 79

                Tuesday, 13 February 1990
Today's Topics:
                XTC in Trouser Press Guide
                   Re:  Chalkhills #78
            Residential Spoo and The Big Dish
                    Re: Chalkhills #78
                  Re: the previous issue

Date:         Mon, 12 Feb 90 06:01:39 EST
From: Ben Zimmer <ZIMBENG@yalevm.bitnet>
Subject:      XTC in Trouser Press Guide

I just got "The New Trouser Press Record Guide," an excellent guide to
alternative music, up to 1988. Unlike other record guides, this one has a
good-sized section on XTC (including Mr. Partridge and the Dukes). I agree
with most of the descriptions of their albums, except for the one for English
Settlement -- the book says it "succumbs to rococo excess," and it "tilts like
an over-frosted wedding cake."

But what really surprised me was the number of times other groups are compared
to XTC throughout the guide. Here are ones I noticed:

Bears:"What would Adrian Belew's catalogue of eccentric guitar noises sound
like in the context of a traditional   pop-rock band like, say, the Beatles,
Hollies, Squeeze or XTC?"

Diagram Brothers:"Something like XTC (but lacking their musical smarts or
stellar wit)..."

Giant Sandworms:" electro-rock that owes rudimentary debts to
Roxy Music, Devo, and XTC."

Robyn Hitchcock:"His melodic, emotional compositions place him in a
songwriting peerage that includes Elvis Costello, XTC's Andy Partridge and
very few others."

Monochrome Set:"...variously suggesting 'When I'm 64' crossed with recent XTC
and a bikini beach movie soundtrack."

R. Stevie Moore:"The simple musical constructions on guitars, keyboards and
drums reveal traces of Moore's many influences - from the Beatles to Todd
Rundgren to the Bonzo Dog Band to XTC and back again..."

Oingo Boingo:" very hard at being America's answer to XTC in a
transparently Devoesque manner..."

Palais Schaumberg:"...they exhibit a Pere Ubu-cum-XTC quirkiness..."

Pop:"Not quite as humor-conscious (for better and worse) as XTC..."

Punishment of Luxury:"...resembled a cross between Roxy Music and a drunken
edition of early XTC."

Serious Young Insects:" up an XTC-like side..."

They Might Be Giants:"Imagine, if you will, a modern all-pop update of the
Bonzo Dog Band crossed with the Mothers of Invention, Residents, XTC,
Stackridge, and R. Stevie Moore."

TV21:"...sounds at times variously  like Haircut One Hundred, U2 and XTC..."

X-Teens:"...from romantic sophistication to a wackiness that variously
resembles XTC and the B-52s."

Either the editors of the book are truly enamored with XTC, or Andy and the
boys are much more influential than I thought. Can echoes of XTC really be
heard in so many different bands?  I haven't heard most of the above, but I
might seek them out now.
                                                                 Ben Zimmer


Date: Mon, 12 Feb 90 08:53:21 -0500
From: Jon Drukman <>
Subject: Re:  Chalkhills #78

Ed Aubry asks about the Drums and Wires disc at Main Street Records in

The answer is: it's the same old Virgin UK one, without Life Begins At
THe Hop, etc.  All copies I"ve ever seen CLAIM to have LBATH on them
and none of them do.

+---------------------- Is there any ESCAPE from NOISE? ----------------------+
|  |   |\       | | "I can say with confidence I know a     |
| \|on |/rukman | jsd@umass.bitnet  |  fair bit about LSD."   -- Dan Rather   |


Date: Mon, 12 Feb 90 12:08:42 -0500 (EST)
From: Chap Godbey <>
Subject:  Residential Spoo and The Big Dish

Well, I finally got to liisten to that Residents cut mentioned in the
discography.  "Margaret Freeman" is worth a check-out, even though it's
on an album with 60 or so songs with each song lasting one minute
exactly...  also finally found the Big Dish CD at a Camelot Music for
three bucks.  I paid too much.  It's standard mellow music that doesn't
exactly leave an impression.

Anybody want tapes of this stuff, give me a scream--especially if I can
trade with someone for XTC stuff that isn't on the albums...
|                                                        |
|        Chap Godbey (WACK@DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)       |
|        Send mail to(cg47+@ANDREW.CMU.EDU)              |
|                                                        |
|                 Un! Znqr lbh ybbx!                     |

What? The letter is finished? Darn..


Date: 12-FEB-1990 21:14:09.80
From: Ed Aubry <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #78

	[ The Virgin UK CD of _Drums & Wires_ is made in West Germany,
	  and claims to have "Life Begins at the Hop".  Are you sure
	  that this isn't that disc again?  If it actually does have
	  those songs on it and is different from your Virgin disc,
	  then buy it.  And please let us all know.	-- John ]

Well, all I know for sure is that the packaging is different from my Virgin
Disc.  As we all know by now, the Virgin claims to have Life Begins at the
Hop, but has instead Day In Day Out, and there is no printed reference to
the two bonus tracks.  This new version clearly claims to have all four songs,
and is, therefore, at least externally, a different version.  (this alone
may be enough to persuade some collectors to lay down the cash for it, actual
song order notwithstanding -- not I)

At any rate, I saw it when I was home in Massachussetts.  I am now back at
school in Connecticut.  If there are any subscribers in the greater
Amherst/Northampton Mass area, I urge them to make a trip to Main Street
Records and check this thing out.



Date: Tue, 13 Feb 90 13:15:21 CST
From: (Bird Rendell H)

I snatched this off the net recently:

>XTC: SKYLARKING (Virgin Canada), and the rest of the XTC catalogue.
>	(With thanks to Mike Godfrey at CSRI, U of Toronto)
>  The Canadian version features all songs from the original album
>release, PLUS the "Dear God" single.  (The UK and US CDs have one song
>bumped for the sake of "Dear God".)  Not a UK import, like most Virgin
>titles on sale in Canada.  The ENTIRE XTC back-catalogue is available
>in Canada, so you can fill in your collections with stuff no on
>Geffen.  HOWEVER, only the Geffen pressing of "English Settlement"
>contains the entire album.

Is it true that a song was bumped to make room for "Dear God"?
Am I starting a discussion that goes on every few months?

An ounce of perception, A pound of obscure.           +-----------+
          -Neil Peart (Rush)                          ||
An ounce of pretension, A pound of manure.            +-----------+
          -"Steel Magnolias"


Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1990 14:22:33 PST
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Re: the previous issue

"Needless words ... here!" <> sez:

>It's been almost a year since "Oranges and Lemons" was released here in
>the U.S. The date was March 1, 1989; I remember it well.

>"Miniature Sun" - another contradiction (oxymoron).

Yes, and I think it's a pretty good song, as it does justice to that
feeling of euphoria when all is right with the world, and then justice
to that injustice of being dropped and then falling, like Icarus, to a
flaming hell.

>"Here Comes President Kill Again" - Know who this reminds me of? Roger
>Water's later stuff with Pink Floyd.

I think it's more reminiscent of the Beatles.  The chord changes are
similar to theirs, and the mix of guitars and keyboards really rings a
bell.  And the middle eight, as it has already been said somewhere,
really is taken directly from the Fab Four.

And I really like the ending of "Hold Me My Daddy."  Very African.

>Oh yes, I just recently picked up "Drums and Wires."
> "Reel By
>Reel" has a very good guitar solo, and the choppy sound of "Helicopter"
>echoes a real helicopter's sounds. Well done, lads.

One of the best guitar solos.  The track I really don't tire of
listening to is "Millions".  How does Andy do that?

On a similar subject (if not identical), Ed Aubry
<> sez:

> Is there any word on another album in
>the works?  Or are they still trying to bleed O&L's single potential dry?

This is from _The Little Express_ "Inbetween" Newsheet, from last

    Colin is continuing to write for the next XTC album and
    has 3 or 4 new songs so far.  He recently commented to us
    that he finds songwriting is coming easier this time; by
    not trying too hard, ideas are flowing easier -- a case of
    plugging in his guitar and enjoying himself.

And here's one final thing from the Mailbag.  Joe Lynn
<oconnor!keaton!> corrects one thing I wrote in
the _English Settlement_ history:

    Epic _did_ include liner notes with their release.
    They're the same liner notes as the Virgin LP set, except,
    of course, the paste-up of lyrics had to be changed.

Back to the important question of the week: what does "Battery Brides
(Andy Paints Brian)" mean?

	-- John


For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, discography requests (last
update 27 January), back issues, etc., send a message
to the following address:


The views expressed in Chalkhills are those
of the individual contributors only.

Go back to the previous page.