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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-13

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 13

                 Thursday, 22 March 2007


                        thanks ...
                    CD club recruiting
                "Monstrance" is a Monster
               It ain't over till it's over
                       Flying Blue
Hurry! Get people to vote for XTC at!
                         XTC map
              Guardian newspaper XTC thread


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Fast asleep I'll float each night to find my hidden wish.


Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 18:11:18 -0400
From: "Danny Phipps" <>
Subject: thanks ...
Message-ID: <002d01c7674e$dc335490$dcaa0ad8@YOUR6FC9056E3D>

just wanted to issue out a personal thanks to oz's own paul "insane" culnane
for the warm welcome back to the xtc fold ad the re-establishment of

paul, you're a real peach!  (so far)

now, to catch up on all i've missed during my "hiatus" - so much to read, so
little time!!  :-/



Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 11:59:09 -0500
From: Bill Sherlock <>
Subject: CD club recruiting
Message-ID: <>

Hi Chalkers,

Several years ago inestimable 'Hillian Jamie Lowe started what became
the CD of the Month Club right here on this very list. Inspired by a
segment on NPR's Talk of the Nation about a tape trading club, Jamie
thought he'd update it to the CD era. Charter members were recruited
right here on the list (because where else would you find such a large
group of people with such excellent taste in music?) and we've managed
to survive for over 5 years. We've added and subtracted members over the
years but the quality of the mix CDs has never suffered.

Sound fun? 3 members are retiring this year and we need some new blood.
Our new musical year starts in April and we'd love to have you in. What
you'd have to do is simple: in your assigned month burn a CD comp and
mail it out to the other members. Your other task is to sit back and
await a monthly surprise for the rest of the year.

Just drop me a note at if you're interested.



Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 21:44:58 -0400
From: Benjamin Gott <>
Subject: "Monstrance" is a Monster
Message-ID: <>


This is my review of "Monstrance," written for  It
speaks for itself.

Be good and have fun,


Over the past few years, I have written 27 reviews for
In some cases, I have loved the album or DVD I have reviewed; in
others, my opinion has been lukewarm.  However, it has never been
difficult -- even painful -- for me to review an album.  Until now.

A series of tracks improvised by Andy Partridge (the brains behind
XTC), Barry Andrews (XTC's original keyboard player), and drummer
Martyn Barker, Monstrance will be released on Partridge's vanity
label, Ape House, on April 3rd.  Many XTC fans the world over have
been eagerly awaiting Monstrance because it reunites Partridge and
Andrews, who have not played together since Andrews left XTC in
1978.  Additionally, Partridge's previous instrumental collaboration,
1994's Through the Hill with Harold Budd, was quite lovely indeed.
As a fan of  XTC for many years now, I have stood steadfastly by
Partridge's extracurricular projects.  I thought the nine-volume
collection of demos and song sketches, Fuzzy Warbles, was fabulous.
I have enjoyed the work that he has done with and for other
musicians.  I think that, without question, he is one of the finest
popular musical minds of the past 30 years.

That having been said, I find Monstrance to be almost unlistenable.
There is none of the sweetness that characterized Through the Hill --
or, indeed, any of Partridge's other instrumental compositions.  The
first track, "I Lovely Cosmonaut," contains almost nine-and-a-half
minutes of guitar echoes and screeches.  Lovely it is not.  While the
second track, "Winterwerk," is marginally better (in that it has a
theme and a melody), it sounds as if Partridge is playing the guitar
with metal fingernails.  On the back of the first disc, Partridge
writes, "There was no rehearsal or discussion about key, tempo or
feel and no overdubbing.  It just came out like this."  Perhaps such
a discussion would have lent these songs some focus.  Perhaps
overdubbing would have lent these songs some spine.  I'm not asking
for the sort of melodies and harmonies that came to define XTC; that
wouldn't be the aim of such a project.  I'm simply asking for
something without the drone; without the sharp edges; without the
laziness.  While the playing is uniformly fine,  Monstrance is no
feast.  It's more like a cold pancake.

So what is the market for an album like Monstrance?  Modern dance
companies?  German film majors?  Serial killers?  Danny Elfman?  It
certainly isn't fans of Andy Partridge, Barry Andrews, or Martyn
Baker.  It is simply too experimental -- too jagged -- to satisfy.
This album would have been much easier to stomach if it had been, for
example, a free download on the Ape House website or a giveaway CD
for some alternative magazine.  As much as it breaks my heart to say
this, I don't know if I'll ever listen to Monstrance again.

In a recent interview with The Onion, Partridge said this about
Monstrance: "Some people will like it. I'm pretty pleased with it.
I've always liked the idea of improvised music. Improvised anything.
It's what conversation is."  While that may be true, this was not a
conversation that I relished being a part of.  I hope -- dear God, I
hope -- that Monstrance isn't Andy Partridge's last word.  That would
be a  shame indeed.


Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 12:47:51 +0000 (GMT)
From: Paul Culnane <>
Subject: It ain't over till it's over
Message-ID: <>

Sorry if you're offended by the Kravitz Kwote...

Fellow Chalkers

All this is very nice, and I hope this forum doesn't wind down,
because I for one sincerely hope that just because we're getting
evidence from various quarters, that the entity we know and treasure
as XTC may now be "defunct", let's not be too sad.  Hey,
couldn't you see it coming?  Haven't they given their all across a
good many 30 years or so?  At least twelve unimpeachable studio albums
and so very much more besides.

And here at Chalkhills, I've found solace, succour and pleasure by
meeting some of the most splendid individuals ever.  Sure, I've mucked
things up from time to time.  SORRY.  But that doesn't impede on the
simple fact that we all can continue to enjoy this singularly
fantastic body of musical work.  It continues to move me.

I just scored off eBay a mint copy of "No Thugs" seven-inch, the
one with the vaudeville cover & cut-outs.  Yum, can't wait till it

Currently playing (hey Relphie, did you cop out here, saying it was
their least popular LP?) - "Mummer".  Boy G whiz, this is a
holy shrine of fabbo music.  "Great Fire" is just that, and
"Human Alchemy" is surreally strange.  And of course, "Funk
Pop A Roll" testifies to this band's command of the `power-pop'
domain, only perhaps eclipsed by Andy's own "Sonic Boom".

Let's keep talking, and rejoice in the XTC legacy.

Yours forever

"When you point a finger of blame, look at your hand - there are three
fingers pointing back at you" - Fiona Horne (but variously attributed
to others)

  Paul Culnane
ICE Productions Australia


Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 15:59:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve C <>
Subject: Flying Blue
Message-ID: <>


I took a trip to the UK in January.  Spent four weeks with family and
friends, and even got a tour of Abbey Road - a highlight indeed.

I flew from Malaysia to the UK on KLM, and was rather surprised to
hear KLM using a cover of "Making Plans for Nigel" as the backing
music for their Flying Blue (frequent flyers) program.  Apparently
this is also played when you call the KLM helpdesk.

my minimal and sloppy research suggests this is by NOUVELLE VAGUE
(feat. Camille) .

Just haven't seen it mentioned here before...

Steve in Australia


Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 01:40:55 -0400
From: "Frey,Ned" <>
Subject: Hurry! Get people to vote for XTC at!
Message-ID: <>

Oh the shame of it. As I write this, XTC is losing to The Dead Kennedies
by 16 votes to 26! (I mean, no offense to the Dead Kennedies, but they
were a punk novelty act that lasted, what a year or two? How can they
prevail over the musical legacy that is XTC?)

Chalkillians must get over to and vote for our heros
now. XTC is in "Bracket D," and voting in that bracket has just begun.
But voting will only stay open for a few days, so people need to act


Ned Frey
Senior Writer


Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 06:58:54 +0100
From: don device <>
Subject: Toys
Message-ID: <>

Cute, coulda been even better, but who's complaining? It reminds me a
bit of the XTC song 'Toys' (IF toys are quarelling amlongst
themselves, what hope is there left for the world...) I'm sure
Golliwog's lowered his share of rents (sorry for the references, US



Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 23:55:18 -0500
From: "Greg Tudor" <>
Subject: XTC map
Message-ID: <000801c76c3e$4ca2ac50$6401a8c0@comey17398db9a>

As an XTC fan and avid dice roll-board game enthusiast (as in Risk), I
couldn't believe it when I found this:

To completely appreciate the map, one would have to sign up for a game
to be able to access the territory names.

An incredible map  - and I thought that may want to know
about it.



Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 01:56:02 +0100 (CET)
From: Gary Nicholson <>
Subject: Guardian newspaper XTC thread
Message-ID: <22140981.293011174611362732.JavaMail.www@wwinf3003>

Hi people,
There appear to be a few XTC fans among the Guardianistas. NB - you
need to register if you want to comment. Oh, and on certain threads
you may find yourself being gratuitously abused. But......Care?


End of Chalkhills Digest #13-13

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