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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-48

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 48

                Thursday, 21 October 2004


                  Re: XTC on Mastermind
                      SMiLE and XTC
               Mastermind/ Prince of Orange
                    Mastermind results
                Philately Gets You Nowhere


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    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.8c (John Relph <>).

They had retired me 'fore I left school.


Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 17:19:29 -0400
From: Steve <>
Subject: Re: XTC on Mastermind
Message-ID: <>

>Next MONDAY 18th October 2004  at  8.00pm  on BBC2  (UK only!)  the
>programme MASTERMIND is on and one of the specialist subjects is:
>"The band XTC".

It may be too late by the time anyone sees this, but if someone could
post the questions and answers for those of us unfortunate enough not
to have access to BBC2, we'd be very appreciate.




Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 08:12:30 +1000
From: "Andrew Gowans" <>
Subject: SMiLE and XTC
Message-ID: <>

Hi Folks,

My five cents worth on the subject of SMiLE. Groovy album, I've also been
waiting on this one for a long time.

The XTC connection?

When I bought SMiLE last week, along with the DVD of Concert for
George, the girl serving in HMV commented on how great SMiLE is. Only
on two other occasions have the serving staff in a major chain
actually commented on my purchases being great albums/CD's, these were
Drums and Wires way back when and Apple Venus Vol 1. So Brian is in
good company.

BTW - If the serving staff in the major chains have less favourable
comments on my other purchases I appreciate their silence.

Back to my coffee,



Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 15:39:14 -0700
From: "Alex Stein" <>
Subject: Smile
Message-ID: <>

Like a lot of people, I've been listening to the "new"/old Brian
Wilson album "Smile."  The musicianship is terrific and the 8
background singers are great.

It's really an amazing piece of work in many ways (and would have been
completely revolutionary if it had actually been completed and
released 37 years ago).  Looking at the album now, there are some
terrific moments, some moments that reach for greatness and fall
short, and some embarassing reminders that not everything from the
1960s should be canonized.

There's one thing that almost no one has mentioned about this album,
the huge elephant in the "Smile" room: The weakest part of this album
is Brian Wilson's voice.  It's not just that he can't hit the high
notes anymore (although he can't), it's that his lead vocals are the
weakest part of the album.  So, as great as it is to see this released
(and as much credit as Brian Wilson deserves for conceiving of the
album and writing and arranging it), it's hard to listen to because of
his singing.  I'd almost rather hear some of the great backing
vocalists (who often double with Brian to beef up his leads) singing
these songs... or want to somehow hear what Brian and the mid-60s
Beach Boys would have sounded like singing these songs in this order
with these arrangements.

There also was a documentary that ran on Showtime recently about Brian
and the making of "Smile"; it whitewashed a lot of Brian's personal
problems and drug abuse... but still managed to leave you with a
deeply disturbing view of a talented, but deeply disturbed individual.
One of Brian's ex-friends in the documentary said that he thought that
drug abuse was a red herring and not the cause of Brian's
problems... but no one ever came out and said that maybe severe mental
problems might make someone a poor candidate for years of massive
abuse of recreational drugs.  (Sadly, I came away from the documentary
convinced that today's Brian Wilson should be put on TV in a series of
ads about the potential dangers of drugs.)

I still think "Smile" is worth listening to... if only because it's a
reminder of what can happen when you aim high (even if you ultimately
fail to reach the goals you set).



Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 20:59:43 +0100
From: "Stephen Jackson" <>
Subject: Mastermind/ Prince of Orange
Message-ID: <000b01c4b54d$044ed140$428e8351@default>

Well, our man did very well indeed but he didn't win- he should have
challenged the pompous Mr Humphries who said that "Andy Partridge *was* the
lead singer in XTC"... unless he knows something we don't...

Well here's a question for any Masterminds out there...

Despite the sleeve to Fuzzy Warbles 5 (or is it 6, can't be arsed looking)
saying that AP sings and plays everything, I'm pretty sure that there's a
woman singing along on the choruses of "Prince of Orange" and I'm certain
that it's not him who sings "the very same" (at 2:17)

Who is this mystery female? (or has Mr Partridge put those
tight-white-pants-with-the-arrows-on-them-from-77 back on to record this
particular vocal?)

Steve (who wouldn't have passed on "Red Brick Dream")


Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 13:00:30 +0100
From: "Nicholson, Gary" <>
Subject: Mastermind results
Message-ID: <>

I scored 10 in the recent Mastermind round on XTC. I am officially


Gary Nicholson


Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 18:34:38 -0500
From: "eriC draveS" <>
Subject: Philately Gets You Nowhere
Message-ID: <002701c4b634$33bf0d90$576c56d1@XLZOOM2>

Fuzzy Wuzzy V and VI have just been received by myself, compleat with
Andy's "Gold Dress" of autograph upon the cover. If he had called it
anything else ("Stamp Act" comes to mind as I examine the besplattered
obverse) it would've still been an eccentric play with a supporting
cast of... well lookie here, AP done gone and did all the playing of
drums and wires himself! (He didn't even credit Linn with her
drumming, except on one track.)

It's things like this that makes us miss Colin all the moreso.

On to the demonstration records. Actually I don't plan on reviewing
the whole mess, not even just the unheard tracks; only what strikes me
at the moment.

Volume 5 (Lo-Fi Nance):
"Young Cleopatra" had a little too much echo, unless that was what was
intended. I really liked "Chickenhead" despite its need for a
different line in the second half (sort of like "Alabama Song"). "Aqua
Deum" starts out reminiscent of that bit in "2001: A Space Odyssey"
where the astronauts have discovered the monolith, was that Ligeti's
"Atmospheres"? "My Land Is Burning" is just as great as fellow
Chalkhellions have said. AP's right, whoever gets the vote tends to do
things that make you regret pulling your lever.

Volume 6 (Lo-Fi Lo Fax):
"The Tiny Circus of Life" has a minor chord after "They've had all
your money fool" which doesn't fit the song precisely, it is
particularly jarring and a proper studio version would likely have
changed this. "In My Hand" sounded like AP was singing as he read it
off a sheet of paper (I do that sometimes when I'm stuck for the words
to an XTC song), but he sings it expertly as though this were an
important command performance. My mother commented that "Moonlit
Drive" sounds very very similar to the Dazz Band's "Let It Whip",
though to me it only followed the structure closely and the individual
notes were obviously different. And didn't someone tell me on a
website near here that the lyric was "Prince of Orange will die"?

There will be people that state the demo archives are a waste of money
just for a few good songs and that this is no better than stamp
collecting. I am not any of those people, though I point out I am not
exactly going to play demos of already well-known songs on a regular

I know this sounds redundant, but those who have already bought I - IV
will probably want these, and those who have not are told to get I and
II (or just I) and then make your choice to continue. For the nonce,
we have no new XTC albums, so this is it, pal.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for Brian Wilson's "Smile" to arrive. I
think I made the mistake of ordering it with Return of the King
Extended Edition, guaranteeing it won't arrive until December. I hope
he does another one called "Frown" (sort of like Trent Reznor's
companion piece to "Broken", which of course was called "Fixed").

In other music news, my dentist was going on about how thrilled he was
to have a Led Zeppelin Greatest Hits compilation. He made me listen to
it during the usual dental work, but then I pointed out the CD didn't
have "Gallows Pole" and he felt disappointed from this piece of bad
news. Just goes to show those people who think they can get by with
only "Best Of" stuff. (Anyone here who only has "Fossil Fuel" and none
of the scintillating titillators?)

Well, once again the little hand is on the 6, and the big hand is down
my pants...

eriC draveS

"[make up gibber that ends in something rhyming with order]"


Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 18:14:39 +0100
From: stevesomerset <>
Subject: Hark!
Message-ID: <>

Thanks for all the positive reaction to HARK! and a big thank you to
all of you who have already bought a copy.
For everyone else you can now check out samples from the album at
CD Baby and here's the link folks! Get clickin'

And remember to get the full stereo effect place your ears 24 inches apart!

Steve Somerset


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