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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-59

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 59

                Wednesday, 26 October 2005


    The Chalkhills are alive, with the sound of music
                   shriekback - care lp
                Duffy's Payin' Them Bills
                       Re: A Theory
                  Dear God in the charts
                   Re: wikipedia entry
On the Threshhold of APPLE VENUS, The Complete Story and Sessions
                  Uncylopedia XTC Free!
                 Addendum: Why, oh Wiki?


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Dancing us from darkest night is the rhythm of love.


Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 14:56:06 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <>
Subject: The Chalkhills are alive, with the sound of music
Message-ID: <>

Firstly, thank you to the various ones who reported about the recent XTC
convention in Swindon.  It sounds like it was FAB, and I feel jealous.
Perhaps Jeff Thomas or Andre de Koning expressed it best with their
descriptions, I was drooling...

And, re that, I was just on the phone to Terry Chambers.  He asked "how did
it go?"  I said, "I dunno mate, but the reports filtering back are all
good".  TC wants me to convey all his affection to you folks, whom he
describes as "these bizarre freaks".  But, he means it in a real good way.
He just gets embarrassed by it all.  He was thrilled that his brother Dave
made it along, and the sound-guy (was it Steve Warren, Jeff?).  Terry would
have loved to have made it along, but he lives a separate life these days in
Oz.  He' s a good mate to me, you know, but I do it all on your behalves ...

Other comments from recent lively "digests" (among many stimulations
contained therein):

David van Wert <> wrote:
>Subject: Re: Gentle advice
> I've generally found that, temptation and impulse to the contrary,
> it's
> best to avoid posting pugnacious opinions on the Internet while
> falling-down, weeping drunk.

Uh, yes, that's entirely true.

Michael Versaci <> wrote:
>Subject: English Tea
>"English Tea" reminds me of Andy reminding me of Paul.
>The new McCartney record might not make Beethoven roll over, but it is
>an excellent collection of songs from a man who has been more-or-less
>underachieving for about 35 years.  The songs are in the style of "The
>Beatles" (white album) and have some staying power.  If you already
>like Paul but are leery from having been burned before by hype
>followed by disappointment, and you aren't expecting "Maybe I'm
>Amazed" or "Live and Let Die," you probably will be quite happy with
>"Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

<snip> All good.  YES!!!!  Mike, you nailed it.  On the three occasions I've
seen & heard Macca live, he didn't let us down.  Even, way back when on the
"Venus & Mars" tour, we met him, and he planted a kiss on my cheek.  He also
did same to my girl Jenny, and Linda kissed her too.  Then, they blasted the
place apart with the greatest Wings shit.  Great visuals too (David Hockney,
Miro and Magritte pictures projected on a screen, this is before vids became
common).  At the end (outdoor venue, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in
Melbourne), they released yellow and red balloons.  Next day, Jen & I were
just sitting in our backyard.  Over the sky, two balloons came floating, one
yellow, one red.  We both had no recourse other than to go: "FAAAAARK!"

I thought this one was particularly handsome, it comes from Jill.  Thank you
Jill.  Danny thought it might have come from me, but I'm nowhere near this
clever.  Worth re-publishing, don't you think? wrote a Haiku for Danny Phipps (in 3 parts):
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>X - T - C!!!! --O-- Ecstasy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!
>!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!! pumpin' on my stereo (because I can):  "London Town" by Wings

And as Phanny Dipps might say: "love is all you need"



Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 08:08:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve <>
Subject: shriekback - care lp
Message-ID: <>

hi all-
i've been catching up on some old records - including shriekback's
'care.' besides liking the albim alot one thing which what strikes me
about the music is an uncanny resemblance of some tracks to
talkingheads' 'speaking in tongues.' they both we're released 1983. i'm
curious if someone could help me determine month of release on these
albums and/or thoughts on who influenced who.
-another steve


Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 11:40:22 -0400
From: Benjamin Gott <>
Subject: Duffy's Payin' Them Bills
Message-ID: <>


I must say how excited I was to see that Robbie Williams's new album,
"Intensive Care," was co-written and produced by Stephen Duffy of The
Lilac Time (see "And Love for All" as well as Duffy's solo
releases).  I downloaded the album from iTunes this morning, and it
(mostly) does not disappoint.  Let's hope that the poppier songs
climb the charts and that Duffy can buy himself a Maserati.

XTC content:  Partridge made TLT's "The Laundry" into the best song
with programmed drums that's ever existed.


Benjamin Gott
Department of English
Assistant Director of Admissions


Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 09:26:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: Re: A Theory
Message-ID: <>

Warren Wrote:

>I did indeed purchase the Apple Venus Box set (in advance) for three
reasons: One, because I really do want to see how the double disc would have
been sequenced; Two, because I have NO problem with spending my hard-earned
dosh on products put on the market by two of my favorite artists of all

And three; because I really, really, really want to download the new tracks

One. The sequence of the discs will be exactly the same. But I for for
one don't understand why everyone thinks that if the AV's had been
released as a double set that the the order would be any different. As
I understand it, the idea was always to have one disc "orcoustral" and
another electric. That's what they did, only as two discs and not a

Two. yeah, me too. If I get them that'll be the main reason

Three. I have a suspicion they'll be available apart from the box not
too much later, but it is a treat to get them early.


>The email from Idea said something about the rights to AV returning to Andy
and Colin's control. Could it be possible that they were dissatisfied with
the Cooking Vinyl deal and elected to let it run it's course by just putting
out the demos and the "sing along" AV's ... essentially going on "strike"

Yeah, they were upset with Cooking Vinyl, not giving them what they
felt they deserved. But I don't think they went "on strike." I don't
think they were in any obligation to continue working with CV like
they were with Virgin. It's just that Idea wasn't yet able to handle
all of distribution duties and such. But they are now, and in fact
have been since Homegrown, which was the first entirely Idea Records
release and has nothing to do with Cooking Vinyl. It just took all
this time to wrest the rest of the rights of the first three releases
from CV in order to print their own. This is the biggest reason for
the set! Cooking Vinyl won't be printing any more copies, it's all up
to Idea now and instead of putting out new printings of the exact same
albums they are offering the four disc box set at a resonable price
(by UK prices).

and finally

>Oh yeah, this past Tuesday (October 18th) my wife and I brought a new
XTC fan into the world ... Ian Thomas McGaffic Bishop has already
shown me the true meaning of "Chalkhills And Children".

All to say there is Congrats! Welcome to the Garden, Ian.

Jeff Eby
AKA  Spastic Minnow


Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 18:34:13 +0100
From: Mark Fisher <>
Subject: Dear God in the charts
Message-ID: <>

On 25/10/05 2:45 pm, "Chalkhills" <> wrote:

>> the Beatles thread on
>> Chalkhills got out of hand years ago and it's never been reined in.
> Well, there was a good reason for that. The Beatles thread had to do with
> music, which we're here to discuss. The guns thread did not.

XTC being a well-known instrumental band. Of course, I forgot.

Did anyone notice Dear God hitting the number 5 spot in the Guardian's chart
of songs about God and the devil?

It's at:,,1591224,00.html

It's a column where readers are encouraged to add their suggestions for each
week's theme. Two or three of us mentioned Dear God.

Last week's theme was hatchet jobs. Somebody did suggest Your Dictionary but
it didn't make the final list:,,1596508,00.html

This week's theme is the supernatural and, oddly enough, someone's suggested
Peter Pumpkinhead - a fine suggestion, except they've added it to the wrong
part of the site and it isn't about the supernatural. Spooky or what?

But, sorry, all this talk of religion, hate and ghosts and I should be
talking about something called music . . .


Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 12:13:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mark Burnell <>
Subject: Re: wikipedia entry
Message-ID: <>

i thought the Wikipedia entry was pretty darned thorough ; 9/10 for sure.

Mark B in NYC

my new blog    :


Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:29:25 -0400
Subject: On the Threshhold of APPLE VENUS, The Complete Story and Sessions
Message-ID: <>


Oooh, the possibility of owning everything APPLE VENUS all in one lavish
package--it so entices me, and I guess I'll eventually grab it.  I was
especially intrigued when someone on the last DIGEST mentioned that there's
also a possibility that the track listing could be somewhat re-arranged.

I never knew whether it was intentional, but at one time, around BLACK SEA,
Andy and Colin songs were overlapping in a way reminiscent of classic Moody
Blues albums.  The opening track of APPLE VENUS, VOL. I seemed so close to
what the Moodies might have produced in their prime, a kind of sonic
soundscape representing either world disorder or the eerie whirring of
progress both good and bad as we hoped that it would indeed be
constructive--wow, what could a new arranging of the original tracks sound
like?  I grew to rather like the first album opening with "River of
Orchids" and, like a typical Moodies' album, morphing eventually into a
more accessible number like "I Like That".  If, indeed, this box set is the
lads' remastering and reworking of the concept of the ultimate XTC double
album that even that smaller label wouldn't allow to be issued as
scheduled, I'm there, even though I do have all things APPLE VENUS on the
individual disks.  But this will be entirely *THEIR* concept, untouched and
uncensord and completely their own!  So what is the ultimate price, $80
here in the states?

I'm also interested in the packaging since the original album, APPLE VENUS,
VOL. I didn't come at all with lyrics.  I thought that, originally, the
album was sparsely packaged to make it easier for Andy and Colin, who were
doing a kind of album signing tour, to remove the insert and sign their
names for oh so many eager fans that very cold winter in New York and other
locations!!  Not a word was spoken that the duo were actually dissatisfied
with the design of the disk, although perhaps word of this came out either
in the rock press or in the booklets to the demos disks.

And, finally, since I can't see the package, it would be nice if there were
some cool tactile things about the drawn images throughout the flaps and
casing of this now lavish box.  If it is as nice as COAT OF MANY CUPBOARDS
(sigh), I'm there.  So why am I somewhat wincing in pain?  Well, this has
been a rather expensive year of reissues some of which have been less than
satisfying, and I know I'm going to feel the pain here of the price, but as
most of you agree, this is XTC product slowly leading perhaps to a future
project or, if no new music is in the works, perhaps the eventual buying
back of their catalogue and issuing of the individual albums the way *THEY*
saw fit, not the record company who, even with the mini-LP's, just stuck
the things out there to make more money, while leaving the task of getting
all bonus tracks out there to Andy Partridge, eventually splitting the guys
on just how far to go with the project.  I love excess, and that is why I
eventually do fall for reissue campaigns just to have ultimately the
perfect mastering of a given album and all the cool extras that they would
have loved to stick inside such a package were that album created today or
if there were actual extra space in the package for another platter or two.

If the track list is toyed with, and we could be reintroduced to the
albums, somewhat fused together, this would be great, but I also thought
that each project was originally conceived separately, one as an acoustic
semi-homage to old musicals, both stage and filmed, while the other album,
WASP STAR, was merely a good collection of XTC songs.

So, guys, this is not a complaint at having to buy the good stuff again; it
is the unfortunate occurrence of the moment of this limited edition, amid
so many other limited editions from our own major record labels.  It's so
hard to keep up with it all!

I'm kinda sorry that the guys are left to do this on their own.  But they
should make all the money they can on these items and on their future
albums, if any.  Let's hope it is all worthwhile and the XTC story can one
day be fully told, and maybe Andy and Colin could actually collaborate and
rearrange one of those Andy Partridge tracks, thus "finishing" the demos.
I always wondered what a full band version of "Prince of Orange" would
sound like ever since I first heard it on one of those little e.p. disks
offered through a series of limited edition samplers under the heading of
HELLOCD, offered by mail from the Johns of They Might Be Giants.

Keep 'em comin'!



Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 08:19:46 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: Uncylopedia XTC Free!
Message-ID: <BAY109-F29506B5152A204CC82BECDD0760@phx.gbl>

RE: Wikipedia

Actually, i've been browsing the Uncylopedia lately, a Wikipedia parody
that's miles more fun than the real thing:

I've noticed a disturbing lack of an entry for XTC.  Since the quality of
content varies wildly on the skill of the writer, (there's a lot of 12 year
olds writing nonsense), I'll defer writing the entry to someone who'd be
really funny at it.

Their 'Did you know' box cracked me up this morning:

Did you know...

...that 9 out of ten people make up 90% of the population?

...that I know what you did, and I'm going to tell your mom before you get
home from school today?

...that only when you know that you know nothing can you attain true wisdom?

...that knowing that you know nothing is still knowing something?

Where else can you learn that Kate Bush put out albums called 'Northhanger
Abbey', 'Jane Eyre', 'Pam Ayres' and 'Miming The Attack Of The Crab Monsters
(the album)', and that contrary to rumour, Tori Amos is NOT her daughter?

Check it out:

Who's up to the XTC challenge?


Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 07:23:31 +0200
From: "don device" <>
Subject: Addendum: Why, oh Wiki?
Message-ID: <000801c5d9ed$67982d30$a43e4251@computer>

Wiki on XTC, nit's pcciked n' all:


ps: A big shout out to MR Relph for noticing I'd forgotten to include the
link to the article before letting me show me arse yet again (that is,


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-59

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