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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-51

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 51

                Saturday, 6 November 2004


                   Smile Made Me Smile
                     Smile in stereo
                      XTC-like music
         Thanks for the photos...Mr. Paul Culnane
             AW: Talk about a bad visual!!!!
SMiLE, Paul McCartney, John Peel, Pet Soul, FW 5&6, and other stuff
                   Mastermind Questions
		    My Mid-Life Crisis


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Someone else will come along and move it / And it's always been the same.


Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2004 18:17:41 +0000
From: "Ralph Simpson DeMarco" <>
Subject: Smile Made Me Smile
Message-ID: <>

Dear Affiliated Members,

I must say that Smile is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever had
the pleasure to listen to. Without Brian Wilson, a record like Apple Venus
Vol 1. may never have been made. Brian inspired XTC, the Beatles, and
countless others. Brian earned high praise from the likes of Leonard
Bernstein who said he was "one of the greatest composers of the 20th
century". Forget all your pre-concieved notions. I think Brian's voice
sounds good. I never hear anyone criticize Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney for
not sounding like they did in their twenties. The album is amazing, end of
story. God Bless Brian Wilson.

Ralph DeMarco


Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2004 10:52:25 -0800
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Smile in stereo
Message-ID: <>

Greetings, denizens of Chalkhills, the Smile XTC mailing list,

Paul Culnane wrote:
>Oh, considering Brian is blind in one ear, I found it delightful that
>the stereo on this is amazingly wildly widescreen!

Well that's easy to explain: he had to spread the stereo wide so that the
"blind" side wrapped all the way back around to the good ear!

Dave Gershman


Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 10:53:20 -0800 (PST)
From: The Colonel <>
Subject: XTC-like music
Message-ID: <>

I've been turned on to the likes of Dogs Die In Hot
Cars and the Futureheads thanks to some avid XTC fans,
and have enjoyed them both (finally available here in
the U.S. as of a couple weeks ago)...

I also wanted to mention the Delgados, a great pop
band that's been around for years but are finally
getting some well-deserved respect. Though not
familiar with their older work, the latest album,
'Universal Audio,' has alternating male and female
vocals. The male vocalist reminds me a lot of Andy
Partridge, and particularly of Andy's newer material.
And there are several really addictive songs on the
album as well.



Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 12:26:17 -0800 (PST)
From: Jackson <>
Subject: Thanks for the photos...Mr. Paul Culnane
Message-ID: <>

I can almost hear them!


Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 09:42:14 +0100
From: "Woerner Frank-Juergen" <>
Subject: AW: Talk about a bad visual!!!!
Message-ID: <>

Insane Culnane didst speak
> "Who else among you can claim to have shared a jacuzzi in the nude
> with a member of XTC?  I've done that, ha ha!"

I'm really a big fan of XTC but for sharing a jacuzzi I'd
prefer a member of the Slits, the Bangles or the Go-Go's.




Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 12:06:21 +0100
Subject: SMiLE, Paul McCartney, John Peel, Pet Soul, FW 5&6, and other stuff
Message-ID: <>

Hi people of the collines de la craie,

This "posting to Chalkhills" stuff is really getting to be something of a
habit.  Will have to work on that... starting tomorrow.  Today, I will use
this opportunity to drown my sorrows at the apparent outcome of the US
elections by talking about stuff that makes me happy.

First of all, everyone's favorite XTC-related topic: SMiLE.  Thank you,
thank you everyone for your comments.  Several years back, another
Chalkhiller kindly offered to supply hand-built "boot" versions of the Beach
Boys record, complete with color booklet -- a great achievement -- and now,
Brian Wilson and the Wondermints have done us the favor and released a
"real" (non-handbuilt/boot) one.  I was excited about this already, but now
I am even more so.  The posts have been excellent -- topped by my buddy Paul
Culnane's incredible one.  Paul is one of the greatest people on this list,
people, his enthusiasm oozes from every post and every word, it is great to
have him here.  Thanks, PORL, for your review -- now I may actually have to
get SMiLE myself, instead of allowing my brother to do the honors at
Christmas, since I don't know if I can wait that long any more.

(By the way, if you haven't read or heard Paul's TC interviews, I heartily
recommend them!)

And speaking of Paul, Bill Sherlock said:

>I can envision an alternate history where SMiLE was released as
scheduled and Sgt. Pepper was shelved, with John Lennon sinking into
major drug abuse (earlier than he did) and the Beatles drifing their
separate ways. 37 years later Paul McCartney cobbles together a band
that is able to recreate the Beatles' sound and he takes it on the road
and it is celebrated as the greatest "lost" album of all time come to
life. That is how good Brian and the Wondermints' effort is here, folks.

Only one thing: Paul couldn't do that even if it *had* gone the other way,
because while John Lennon was sinking into major drug abuse (of psychedelics
in '67), his brilliance shone through in the most incredible way: Even
though Paul was the driving *organizational* force at that time in the
Beatles' career, over half of the *really* brilliant music came from John.
"THE" brilliant Beatles songs of 1967 were "Strawberry Fields", "Penny
Lane", "A Day in the Life", "I Am the Walrus", and maybe "Fool On the Hill".
Counting "A Day" as 65:35 John, we already have an advantage for him.

Add "the" anthem of the year, "All You Need Is Love", and the fact that the
lion's share of the most "psychedelic" stuff was John's, and you see that
one of the most important aspects of Paul's work then, *to his great
credit*, was keeping the Beatles on track so that John had an outlet for his
LSD-induced brilliance.  If John had sunk into a drug abyss then, Paul might
very well have released Sgt. Pepper anyway, and now we would all be cursing
him as the Mike Love of the Beatles, who sang "Your Mother Should Know" and
other really great tunes all day long for the rest of their career.

The Beatles were greater than other bands like the Beach Boys, Kinks, and
the Who, because they had TWO great people to shoulder the major burden, and
each had his strengths where the other might have had weaknesses.  And they
even had a third member who was not content to sit and wait, he pushed his
way into the forefront, too.  And don't forget George Martin or the
engineers, either.  There was no monotony while the Beatles were spurning
each other on and on to new heights.

And while we are on the subject, I have bought many records since being here
on the 'Hills, most of them due to recommendations here.  I am still looking
forward to some (Futureheads, Dogs Die), I have pretty much struck out
trying to find others (Wondermints, Sugarplastic, the Nines), and I have
bought lots.  My most sought-after recommendations are those that praise the
pop-hook qualities.  I have had some incredible successes (most notably
Kevin Gilbert), quite a few "semi-successes" from artists that don't seem to
present the whole picture in my eyes (the Bears, Cotton Mather, Sloan, Jason
Falkner, Fountains of Wayne), and some that just disappointed me (Minster
Hill, Guided By Voices).  What I'm getting at is this: the best one I've
found in a long time is "The Complete Pet Soul" by Splitsville - and it is
definitely the homage that its title suggests.  It gets a bit less coherent
after the first 6 songs or so, but those 6 are worth the money!  Especially
the heavily Beach Boyish songs "Aliceanna" and "Caroline Knows".  Wow, what
a sound!

* * *

Many have lamented the loss of John Peel.  Add me to the ranks.  Both during
my time in Germany (listening to BFBS) and my short stint in the UK, he was
truly a voice to be heard in music.  Indeed, his show and another
(unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the DJ) were my favorite
listening of all on the radio in Germany.  I mourned the loss of the other
show (used to be 3 hours long on Sundays on BFBS) sometime about 6-8 years
ago, now I mourn the loss of Peel.  These were DJs who had the guts to buck
trends and go out there and talk about music they loved, not music they were
told to praise.  That made the difference.

* * *

A lot of talk about the pros and cons of Volumes 5 & 6 of the Fuzzy Warbles
series.  As always, I am fascinated by the full 360o spectrum of opinions
here at the best site dedicated to XTC.  One says FW6 is the best, the next
says it's the worst, and we all love XTC.  I think it's one of the very best
so far, "chalk" full of great stuff.  The much-praised "My Land is Burning"
on FW5 is not to me what it appears to be to others - the text is too
direct, the music is great but too repetitive and therefore, in the end,
dirge-like.  I am reminded of songs on "Living in the Material World".  I
think if Andy had fleshed it out a bit melodically (middle 8?) and eased up
on the heavy-handed lyrics, I would move to the "love it" camp.  But to me,
"Last Balloon" is the far better song in its entirety, even if the basic
tune of "My Land" is superior.

But "Stinking Rich", "Candle Dance", and "Tiny Circus" are great (just saw
that record here in a shop the other day).  And wow, where did that great
version of "Human Alchemy" come from?

That's enough for me!

Au revoir!

- Jeff


Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 22:47:36 +0000 (GMT)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Mastermind Questions
Message-ID: <>


Following XTC's appearance as a specialist subject on
Mastermind a couple of weeks ago, someone asked what
the questions were.

Bearing in mind Kingsley Amis's famous dictum about
writing letters to The Times (i.e. whatever is getting
your goat, someone else will write in and express
exactly what you want to say, thus saving you the
bother. I paraphrase slightly...)

However, the list of questions has yet to appear. Of
course, there could be several other people doing
exactly the same thing and this is the third posting
listing them in this digest. For reasons too tedious
to explain, I taped the programme and transcribed the

What was the title of XTC's only British top 10
single, reaching No. 10 in February 1982?
As a teenager, Andy Partridge acquired what nickname
because of his guitar mastery of a song on The
Beatles' White Album?
Although the band continued to perform on radio
stations, XTC's last public concert performance took
place in which American city in 1982?
Which drummer from Mr. Mister played on the 1989
Oranges & Lemons album?
The Song Red Brick Dream mentions castles, kings and
the North Star. To what do these refer?
Vetoed by their manager, what was the working title of
the Black Sea album which inspired the cover picture
of the band in diving suits?
Which was the first XTC record Dave Gregory played on,
giving them their first ever Top Of The Pops
appearance in May 1979?
On the two albums from the period when XTC called
themselves The Dukes Of Stratosphear, Dave Gregory's
brother Ian is credited as the drummer under what
Which famous landmark features on the cover of the
English Settlement album?
 Which single, scheduled for release in Autumn 1992,
was withdrawn by Virgin Records after many hundreds
had been pressed?
Which revered American rock musician produced XTC's
album Skylarking?
Who was briefly a member of XTC in 1976 as keyboard
player, before leaving to devote his time to The
Stadium Dogs?
What was the title of the A side of XTC's first single
on Virgin Records, released in 1977?
XTC were a Swindon band, but where was
singer/guitarist Andy Partridge born?
Ian Reid, who became the band's manager, first saw XTC
perform live when he booked them in September 1976 to
play at his Swindon club called what?
In January 1978 XTC made a short tour of Europe
supporting which American band?
In August 1977, XTC were introduced to which musician
and politician who was recording an LP in the adjacent

Our gallant contestant scored 15 out of 17, but sadly
lost out in the general knowledge round.

Rory "insert witty phrase" Wilsher


Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 18:32:00 -0000
From: "Paul Sandford" <>
Subject: stage.....
Message-ID: <002001c4c29c$935d0490$62be4e51@Samnjake>

Did anyone else watching MUSICALITY on CH4 (UK) think panel judge Gareth
Valentine bore a striking resemblence to AP??


Date: Sat, 06 Nov 2004 10:14:07 -0800
From: Phil Corless <>
Subject: My Mid-Life Crisis
Message-Id: <>

You're all invited to my mid-life crisis.... I'm gutting my CD 
collection.  Nearly 1000 of my CDs are going up on eBay this week:

Lots of good stuff.  Guaranteed to make you feel young again!

- Phil


End of Chalkhills Digest #10-51

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