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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #19-3

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 19, Number 3

                  Sunday, 31 March 2013


              Re: Ray Davies approves of XTC
             Dave Mattacks Nonesuch interview
                 the illustration of XTC
              Re: Ray Davies approves of XTC
              re: Dave didn't get the Gig???
                 Re: Commercial success?
   Sound Opinions podcast credits XTC with "grand slam"


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Out in a world of their own.


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 09:54:05 +0100
From: "Geoff Murrell" <>
Subject: Re: Ray Davies approves of XTC
Message-ID: <10A207018A724177B8669BE2CCD0EA79@DESKTOP>

How can Dave Gregory have auditioned to be Ray Davies' guitarist and not
have got the job?

Geoff Murrell


Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:16:11 -0500
Subject: Dave Mattacks Nonesuch interview
Message-ID: <>

I thought you might like this:

Dave Mattacks played drums on my upcoming album and was kind enough to
bring the snare he used for most of the songs on Nonesuch to the sessions.
He  lives near Boston now and I stopped by last week for a cup of tea and to
make a little video for my album. It ended up being 45 minutes of him
telling XTC, McCartney and Fairport stores and really giving some great
overall musical advice.



Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 21:10:28 +0900
From: =?iso-2022-jp?B?GyRCQWpLXBsoQiAbJEJANjliGyhC?= <>
Subject: the illustration of XTC
Message-ID: <>

Here there are the illustration of XTC.
It is nice and delightful.



Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2013 20:50:11 +0100
From: Tor Lier <>
Subject: Re: Ray Davies approves of XTC
Message-ID: <>

Many thanks for that fascinating info. Suddenly I can hear "All of My
Friends Were There" with Ray, Dave and Andy in my mind's ear!

Ray was right, of course, "Earn Enough for Us" should have been a single
and was, in Canada and Australia (but not in India or Cornwall...)



Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:17:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: re: Dave didn't get the Gig???
Message-ID: <>

Was fun reading about Dave auditioning for the ray Davies guitarist slot.

But it begs the question...Who did Ray Davies hire that was more qualified
than Dave Gregory???

Enquiring minds want to know Mitch?

The Mole
still putting away things here at the Ministry


Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:56:32 +0000
From: rodgers paul <>
Subject: Re: Commercial success?
Message-ID: <>

Commercial success?

I'm taking a moment out from lurking to update everyone on the heady
commercial success currently being enjoyed by Stupidly Happy...

Could XTC's long chart absence be about to end in the UK? Probably not, but
it will depend on how long the DFS advert continues to air and which
channels it is aired on. Sufficient numbers downloaded it last week to earn
it a number 40 placing on the independent singles chart dated 17 March: and that's up from
71, so clearly the track is gaining sales fast.

Whilst it won't replicate the chart antics of Senses Working Overtime, it
is pleasing to know that punters are finding their way to a legal download
and buying it.

I will provide updates if it climbs any higher.

Paul Rodgers


Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 17:14:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Sound Opinions podcast credits XTC with "grand slam"
Message-ID: <>

In their episode released today, March 31, music critics Greg Kot and Jim
DeRogatis of the Chicago-based Sound Opinions podcast marked tomorrow's
opening of the 2013 baseball season with a salute to "grand slams": the
achievement of releasing four outstanding albums in a row.

Explaining that they want to skip some beyond-obvious acts like The Rolling
Stones, Bob Dylan, and the
impossible-to-record-an-episode-without-mentioning Beatles and Kinks, Kot
and DeRogatis spotlighted Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Sleater-Kinney
(picked by Kot but disdained by DeRogatis), Blur, Kanye West, Husker Du, The
Velvet Underground, and a DeRogatis selection, XTC, which he credits with
not four but "seven masterpieces in a row," from *Go 2* to *Skylarking* --
plus, he took care to add, the first Dukes EP.

Jim DeRogatis: "Greg, I'm going to some artist that we don't talk about on
Sound Opinions nearly enough, and yet I know you love them, I love them. I
think the fact they have not been active hardly at all in the new millennium
makes them easy to forget, but I will actually argue here, and mean it,
sincerely, that XTC made SEVEN albums [Kot: 'Wow'], seven masterpieces in a

"Like Led Zeppelin, the first album is pretty much a write-off; there are
hints of what the band will become, but the sound hasn't jelled in 1978 when
XTC premieres with *White Music*. It all comes together a year later -- less
than a year -- the *Go 2* record. ['Meccanic Dancing' plays] You have this
wonderful, angular, attempt to take very complicated, very smart,
Beatles-esque pop and put it into the New Wave mold of hyper-energetic,
edgy, angular rhythms, jagged edges -- wonderful songs like 'Meccanic
Dancing' and 'Battery Brides' and 'Are You Receiving Me?'

"*Drums And Wires* pushes that sound a little bit further in 1979: another
set of unforgettable songs ['Making Plans For Nigel' plays] from Andy
Partridge and his sometimes songwriting partner, Colin Moulding: 'Making
Plans For Nigel,' 'When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty,' 'Ten Feet Tall.'
Then comes the beginning of the psychedelic era: *Black Sea*, released in
1980, that wonderful album cover of them in the deep-sea divers' suits;
they're beginning to get into their *Rubber Soul*-*Revolver* period, some
very complicated melodies, some ornate production.

"Then the masterpiece in the psychedelic mold: *English Settlement*
['Runaways' plays], album number five from XTC, fourth in a string of
brilliant records, 1982, a lot of twelve-string acoustic guitar added to
that New Wave psychedelic pop propulsion. I would say the string continues:
*Mummer* in 1983, *The Big Express*, backed-up pop, in 1984, and then
*Skylarking* really capping the string in '86, where everything came
together under Producer Todd Rundgren ['Dear God' plays]; all the elements
of the sounds that had been on all the preceeding records.

"I said seven; I just named six. [DeRogatis actually did name seven.]
In-between *The Big Express* and *Skylarking*, they took a detour, released
an album under a pseudonym as The Dukes of Stratosphear. It was a
straight-on psychedelic 1967 day-glo paisley-pop homage, mini-record, I
would include that as masterful as well. [Kot: 'Uh-huh.']

"What a great band! I was literally torn between which of fifty songs to
play, but I'm going to go with something from *Black Sea*. The tune is
called 'Generals and Majors.' I think as an anti-war anthem it is every bit
as powerful, lyrically, intellectually, as Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War' --
yet it has this wonderful XTC joyful spirit! There are sixteen hooks in
three minutes; you don't get that with Dylan. Here it is: XTC on Sound
Opinions. ['Generals and Majors' plays]"

Greg Kot: "XTC with 'Generals and Majors,' a band that Jim DeRogatis argues
has made seven, not just four, great albums in a row ... and I gotta say,
it's pretty hard to toss one out of there and say it's not any good."

Thank you, Jim and Greg! Nice to hear such enthusiastic propers, eh? Before
you write in, three points: 1. Most of us would include everything from
*White Music* to *Wasp Star* in XTC's string of great albums, but we are
obsessive fans, not cool critics; 2. I'm not sure Partridge and Moulding
could be considered "songwriting partners"; 3. Mr. DeRogatis doesn't know
what *literally* means.

The Sound Opinions podcast is available for free at the iTunes Store and at If you want to cut straight to the good stuff, the XTC
segment begins at 31:40 in the 3-31-13 (13-III-31) episode.

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider


End of Chalkhills Digest #19-3

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