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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-107


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 107

                  Monday, 29 April 1996

Today's Topics:

                    Chains of thought
                      misc misc misc
                       terminology
                           Bwa?
    XTC on bad radio compilation/Welcome to the 80's!
              [the emperor is not a subject]
              Damn bands that sound like XTC
            I repeat myself when under stress
                MuchMusic Brit-pop Weekend
                   Our Favorite Things
                 Through the Hill-ZZZZZZ
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-104
                      virgin records
                     Geffen Goldline
                      The Residents
A Sandy Sandwich Digest -or- What Andy told me on the phone
               Should Andy Sue Babylon Zoo?
                        dear todd
                     Re: Doug Powell
                   Listening to Lyrics
                Adventure Club Sessions CD

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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 15:26:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <gnat@umich.edu>
Subject: Chains of thought
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.960425145458.7480C-100000@centipede.rs.itd.umich.edu>

Re. the perplexing question of XTC's lack of popularity, there's a common
reaction I get in my attempts to convert others to XTC's music.  Most of
my friends have what I consider to be good taste in music - they like
what I like, for the most part.  But when XTC's name comes up, or when I
try to play them some XTC, they often respond by saying that they respect
XTC, or even admire them, but they don't like them.  One friend of mine
kept saying, "They don't do anything for me."  (He eventually converted -
my one success - but that's another story.)  Another friend had trouble
grasping them: "When did this record come out?" he asked, bewildered,
when I played him "Go 2," and his response to seeing XTC in "Urgh!" was
"Who *are* these guys?"  But he's never insulted them or said he dislikes
them.  He just doesn't get them.

Maybe what I'm trying to get at here is that there's something about XTC
that goes beyond being too clever, or too complex, or whatever - some
missing factor that makes it difficult for people to like them, even
people whose tastes are very sophisticated (my friend's tastes range from
Big Black to Beethoven).  I think (and I may be just whistling in the
dark here) that the Mystery Factor might have to do with emotion.  XTC
have a certain emotional quality to them - not "happy," exactly, but
they're very bright - just as, say, Joy Division is dark.  Even songs
like "Dying" radiate this sort of brightness, this positive intensity.  A
lot of people don't want to deal with that.  They can listen to the
clever lyrics, the complex music, the excellent musicianship and say, "Oh
yeah, that's pretty neat," but they shy away from the emotional content.
This content also lessens their appeal for people who want their
emotional stew to be as bland and palatable as possible - written out in
the cliched phrasings of Mariah Carey or Boyz II Men.  (Ugh, I feel soiled
just writing those names... I'm just going to type "Elvis Costello" now to
make myself feel better.)

Anyway, I didn't mean to pontificate this long, but it's just a thought.

Natalie Jacobs
**************
"There ain't no devil, there's just God
when he's drunk." - Tom Waits

------------------------------

From: smcdow@arlut.utexas.edu (Stuart McDow)
Message-Id: <199604251927.OAA10448@mamba.arlut.utexas.edu>
Subject: misc misc misc
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 14:27:58 -0500 (CDT)

Hello, folks,

I don't post often, so when I do it tends to be long and
miscellaneous.

Misc. #1:

All this talk of dreaming reminds me that I never got around to
posting my XTC dream (about a month ago): I saw XTC play at a small
performance space - like a theater or something. Very small and
ethusiastic (but polite) crowd. I got the impression that it was a dry
run for a soon-to-begin tour. All new material - no old songs at
all. Couldn't make out the drummer, but it definitely wasn't Terry or
Pat Mastelotto. The kicker was a *BRILLIANT* (as I remember it)
spoken-word piece, with Andy, Colin, and even Dave taking turns
speaking. All I can remember about the piece itself is that Andy wrote
it, and it was about abortion. Don't remember if it was pro- or
anti-. I do remember it being one of the most moving songs I'd ever
heard. Afterwards, the group was talking with the crowd. I told Andy
how floored I was about the spoken-word piece and wished him luck in
the future. He answered, "Thanks, dude." It kinda blew the whole dream
for me.

Misc. #2:

I've decided that I must have this version of the Skylarking CD (from
the Chalkhills Archive): CD, Virgin Canada, CDV 2399@, 1986. AFAIK,
this is the only CD of Skylarking has the "correct" compliment of
songs (ie.  Another Satellite, Mermaid Smiled, The Man Who Sailed
Around His Soul, Dying, Sacrificial Bonfire) AND Dear God all on the
same CD. Dear God is after Sacrificial Bonfire. I'm wearing my vinyl
copy of this album out.

If I can't get ahold of that, then I'd opt for a CD of Skylarking with
the "correct songs" without Dear God. Those would be: LP/CD, Virgin
Japan (EMI), 32VD-1054, 1986 ; CD, Virgin UK, CDV 2399 (257 905),
October 1986 ; LP/CT/CD, Virgin Japan, VJL-111/VJT-111/VJD-11, 9 March
1988. (limited edition reissue) ; CD, Virgin Japan, VJD-28113, 1 March
1989. (reissue) ; or CD, Virgin Japan, VJCP-23139, 1 April
1992. (reissue).

The Canadian version would be nicest, though. MoFi should have used
this version for the Gold Pressing (which I still plan to buy).

If anybody has any of these versions to sell (alas I have nothing to
trade - maybe we could work something out), please contact me off
line.

Misc. #3:

I wonder what would happen if XTC and Laurie Anderson got into a
collaboration. Let's lock 'em all in a studio for a couple of weeks
and see what happens. :-)

Misc. #4:

Drummer suggestion: Terry Chambers. Not as a permanent addition, but
drumming on one album. What's he up to these days, anyway? Do he and
the Fab Three ever communicate? I wonder how he and they would feel
about such a suggestion. Or is this too outlandish? Certainly would
give this fan goose-bumps.

Misc. #5:

How can I put this? Does anyone close to our men know if they are
*happy* these days? Are they OK? Are they content with their lives and
careers? Do they respect each other? Do they like each other's
company? I'm very concerned. Questions like these have been gnawing at
me and causing me to loose sleep (no joking).

Misc. #6:

I keep having this premonition, and I fear that if I don't start
medical school this fall, I'm really going to have to do it. Living
for 16 years here in Austin, I've been in my share of bands, and I
think it might be time to start another - an all XTC cover
band. Commerical suicide, to be sure, but what fun!! I bounced the
idea of some (working) musician friends of mine - they liked it, and
one person who is in an up an coming band (Stretford - if you liked
The Jam, you'd like Stretford - they just released their first CD, but
I don't have any information about it) heard about it and called me
cold (we'd never met) and asked to be involved if I did start it
up. So, there's interest, at least among the musicians.

OK, that's enough. Thanks for letting me drone on like this. Back to
lurking.

--
Stuart McDow                                      Applied Research Laboratories
smcdow@arlut.utexas.edu                       The University of Texas at Austin

------------------------------

From: Martin_Monkman@fincc04.fin.gov.bc.ca
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 14:04:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: terminology
Message-id: <9603258304.AA830466299@FINSMTP1.FIN.GOV.BC.CA>

  From Chalkhills Vol.2 #106:
  >Michael Wicks wrote
  >
  >>     1) What are 'chocolate fingers' and 'Flip Flops'?

  And the replies of Simon ("an instrument of the devil ... must be
  eaten in multiples of six") and JP ("As loved by generations of
  English grannies") had me ROTFL!  You two hit it spot on.  BTW, they
  are readily available here in Canada.

  The term "flip-flop" is not uniquely English.  I've heard Canadians
  and Australians refer to them, and Jimmy Buffett sings about them in
  "Margaritaville" ("I blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop top /
  Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home").

  Bob asks, about "Funk Pop A Roll":
  >What are "fish in shoals"? This is a foreign phrase to me.

  My dictionary says a shoal is "a large number of fish swimming
  together".  You've seen the Costeau specials where a large school of
  fish are all swimming one direction and then suddenly en masse, and
  without provocation or motivation, they head off in another?
  "Quick, over here, it's Hootie!"

  Martin

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 15:41:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: alizarine <jemiah@teleport.com>
Subject: Bwa?
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.92.960425153910.11912A-100000@zoe.teleport.com>

Holditrightthereyouwaitjustaminnit...!

>From the last issue:
>Jamie is a singer-songwriter from the East Village of NYC. Andy's
>girlfriend gave him a tape last year, and all of a sudden Jamie was
 ^^^^^^^^^^

er, you mean wife, right...? =\

	Alizarine, Anointed Sister of the Unchristian Order of
	St. Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno

jemiah@teleport.com			http://www.teleport.com/~jemiah
Oblique Strategy of the day:
"water"

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 17:25:52 -0600 (MDT)
From: Big Earl Sellar <splitred@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>
Subject: XTC on bad radio compilation/Welcome to the 80's!
Message-Id: <Pine.A32.3.91.960425171811.18002A-100000@fn1.freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>

Howdy!

Caught an ad for some new 80s-retro compilation called "102.1 the Edge",
which I'll assume is some radio station in Toronto. (The cover to the
thing looks like a radio station that'd play Ozzy and Bono...)

Along with China Crisis, Talk Talk, Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy, Duran Duran
etc., there's our boys - SENSE WORKING OVERTIME. Just like they're some
inert band that nobody's listened to in a decade....

Best act - The Flying Pickets and ONLY YOU. I nearly fell offa my chair!
Anyone else remember that golden nugget? Now, if volume 2 would include
Monte Video I'll be happier than a pig heading up the highway...

Anyhow, just something to think about. Feeling old now, better go lie
down. Later....
EEEEEEE Big Earl Sellar - splitred@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
EE 			"If all that ash
EEEE 	 	 	 Used to be hash
EE  	 	 	 What the heck time
EEEEEE 	 	 	 Is it now?"
Current Temperature: +9C		- ASH HASH - Bob Snider

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 22:20:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <jenor@csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: [the emperor is not a subject]
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.91.960425221652.27686A-100000@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu>

On Thu, 25 Apr 1996 DAMIAN FOULGER <SPXDLF@cardiff.ac.uk> wrote

> All this talk of Videos made me have an XTC dream last night.  I
> thought that I would share it with you.  Please bare with me...

Okay. I'm naked. Now what?

Jeff

Ceci n'est pas une .sig

In my CD changer: Wayne Shorter _Speak No Evil_
		  S.F. Seals _Truth Walks in Sleepy Shadows_
		  Shellac _At Action Park_
not trying for the diversity award...but that is what's in my changer

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v02110100ada5f9e7d0e9@[144.92.181.54]>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 23:09:48 -0500
From: aosterma@students.wisc.edu (Adam J. Ostermann)
Subject: Damn bands that sound like XTC

Lotsa XTC-ish bands going around in discussion here, so here are my thoughts:

1) THE SUGARPLASTIC: ^Bang, The Earth Is Round^

        In their press bio, they don't mention the influence of XTC even
ONCE. They don't need to; it's littered all over this album! From the
complicated but not showy bass lines to Ben Eshbach's lead vocals and
lyrics ("Transworld Modal Operator" is something I would imagine Andy
digging), it's a band that has taken a little from each of XTC's
significant eras. It's overall not as spot-on as most of XTC's album, but
if you're REALLY jonesing for new XTC stuff, it may suffice for a while.

2) ERIC MATTHEW: I've already bored this mailing list silly by how much I
love this album. For me, it's a modern update of all the things that I love
about bands like Love, early BeeGees, etc. Classy tunes with ponderous
lyrics. It does take awhile for people to get into it, but it's worth every
second of investment. Also get his Cardinal partner Richard Davies, ex of
the Moles. He has an album out whose name I cannot remember, but I will buy
it one of these days.

And now, on the covers front:

MOONSHINE WILLY - I'm going to have to find this, because I love the
full-length. Great, frentic, rockabilly-tinged country-punk.

That's it, I suppose.

Adam J. Ostermann

****************************************************************
Adam J. Ostermann (aosterma@students.wisc.edu)
UW-Madison Journalism major
Entertainment Co-Editor of ^The Badger Herald^,
which you can witness by contacting //www.badgerherald.com
****************************************************************

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199604260506.WAA05000@deliverator.sgi.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 96 00:51:20 EDT
From: Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU>
Subject: I repeat myself when under stress

Is it just me, or was the last Chalkhills about nothing other than
Eric Mathews, chocolate fingers and flip-flops?

Maybe it's time to start enforcing the rule that when someone posts
an inquiry (especially about factual matters as opposed to opinion)
we have to reply to the person instead of the list.

Of course, that won't stop the Elephant Talk reporters (such as,
occasionally, myself) from ganging up and posting the same thing, but
what can you do.  (Actually, Todd, James and I planned that little joint
Tony Levin report, didn't we boys?)

I kept hearing the horn intro to that Eric Mathews song in my head the
whole time I was reading the last Chalkhills.  Now I've got "Poor Skeleton"
blasting into my ears.

Did anyone ever notice that you almost never see a mention of the
classic country/western artists like Conway Twitty and Wynnonna Judd
on this list?  Don't answer that.

Don't mind me, I'm just cranky.  It's 1 am and I still have a couple of
hours of work before I can sleep.

I really do believe that XTC is simply too intelligent for the general
public.  It's like they say, no one ever went bankrupt underestimating
the intelligence of the populace at large.  Or something like that.
But at least we can all sit here and feel smug.  Smug, smug, smug.
Well, I'd better sign off and get back to work.

Smug, smug, smug.

Sorry, it's just a nice word.

--Melissa

'Cause we're all dead from our necks up, now ain't we?

(Are we all clear on the concept of fish fingers, or shall I explain that
as well?)

------------------------------

Message-Id: <n1381612276.18453@UnixQM.fraserbeatty.ca>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 09:15:28 -0400
From: "Trish Richardson" <trish_richardson@FraserBeatty.ca>
Subject: MuchMusic Brit-pop Weekend

Hmmmmmm..... I don't know EW . I didn't see any XTC either on the big
MuchMusic Brit-pop Weekend. I was waiting, remote control in hand......

I am starting to be a bit suspicious about their new 'thinking-man's
alterna-format' (which started oddly enough they day they started
broadcasting in the U.S.!??).

They had Shed Seven & Menswear coming out the Ying Yang, but no XTC? So
much for your theory re: lyrical content.

Good luck with the Crusade though. I don't want to feel superior......too
lonely. Like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The more
converts the better.

trish. (toronto, CA) P.S. Special Friendz? Not Superfriendz?

------------------------------

From: Bob Thomas <BobT@cait.wustl.edu>
Subject: Our Favorite Things
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 96 11:17:00 CDT
Message-ID: <318112C4@msgw.cait.wustl.edu>

Hello Everyone.

I had to drop what I was doing (trying to catch up on Chalkhills Digest)
and make a few comments about recent posts and continuing threads.  Y'all
were doing fine without me, but I could use a little group identity (I do
not identify with all of you, understand) and sense of ownership on this
fine list.  You get that by posting don't you?

As an ulterior motive, I am really really hoping to get one of those John
Relph parentheticals admonishing me to stick to the straight and narrow on
some discussion, or giving me insight on my questions.  If I don't get one
I may think I haven't written anything interesting and so far I haven't so
let's get going.

I was prompted to write after reading Gene Yoon's inquiry about Eric
Matthews.  I've been listening to Eric's "Its Heavy in Here" for months and
wondering why I haven't seen him mentioned among XTC fans.  I saw one
mention some time ago but no one picked up on it that I remember.  The Best
of '95 lists missed him completely or maybe I started hurdling those lists
to find some new threads.

In any case, music recommendations from Chalkhills' Children play an
important role for me on this digest.  I like that Dave Dobbyn record very
much.  Found it in the used bin for 5 bucks without the booklet ( A Xerox of
the book's contents would be appreciated).  Verve Pipe "Villians" has grown
on me, but listen to it on low volume once (Todd, you can listen LOUD too).
I may be an audiofeeb, but that record has "quiet energy" and pretty good
songs that I didn't hear while rattling the windows with volume.  Great fun
comes packaged in Martin Newell's "Greatest . . ." AND The Brotherhood of
Lizards CDs.  Play P. Hux "Deluxe" loud if you want, its good too.  I can
hardly wait to hear "The Laughing Man."  Thanks for every recommendation.
I'd like to return the favor:  Eric Matthews "Its Heavy In Here."

As I said, I think I saw this record (CD, whatever) mentioned here, then I
borrowed it from a friend and had a late night listen.  Like some of you, I
almost never fully appreciate an album one time through, but this was
something different.  I thought of descriptors like "unique," "creative,"
"unusual," etc., and it was all of those things along with "pretty," and,
for me, deeply satisfying.  If you have good headphones and a cold beer,
and you're well fed and comfy on your couch, put this album on.  It will
enhance even your best moments and maybe even lift your mood if you lack
any of the accompaniments I suggest above.

I have no association with Mr. Matthews but I savor this CD.  I will be
interested to hear from other listeners even if you think I'm a git for
liking this music.  And please, if you're writing from the UK, give us a
run down on "git-ness" 'cause I don't git it.

[Has John R. made any comments yet?]

I had planned to comment on my record collection extremes, on the color of
music (Blue Note rings my bell, Lucas -- good observation.), on poor Erik
and Giant Tape Tree, on what David Byrned, on my need for a new XTC studio
release, and other stuff, but  I've gone long as it is.

Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your recommendations, and I don't
consider your revelations about music collections or your love of Motown
recording artists to be in bad taste.

Say!  Anybody need the lyrics to "My Girl?"

I've got sunshine
On a cloudy day
. . .

Happy Spring!
Bob Thomas

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 11:20:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: Laura Parent <laura@geosun1.sjsu.edu>
Subject: Through the Hill-ZZZZZZ
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.92.960426111231.21111A-100000@geosun1.sjsu.edu>

I agree that Through the Hill is sleep inducing. I thought that was the
whole point! It's the coolest sleeping music ever. The trick is to put the
CD player on random so you don't hear the same tracks all the time before
nodding off. And pleasant dreams are guaranteed.

As far as tastes are concerned, my friend Mike is the most eclectic music
person I have ever met. His tastes range from Anonymous 4 to John Zorn to
the Greatful Dead to the Beastie Boys to Bach.

My own CD collection pales in comparison. Especially where XRC boots are
concerned...does anyone know where in the Bay Area I can get them?

-laura

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 17:40:30 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <ccoolidg@moose.uvm.edu>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-104
Message-ID: <Pine.A32.3.91.960426173043.107716D@moose.uvm.edu>

  On the black/white debate: I was over at the house of a friend who
happens to be black, (and who happens to be married to a white woman) and I
took a look at his tape collection. I noticed in his collection stuff like
Grover Washington Jr, Barry White, George Benson, Miles Davis; basically
what you'd expect from an intelligent, educated upper-middle class black
man in his mid-40's. No matter who we are or what color our skin, our taste
in music is generally shaped by what we grow up with, like it or not, and
usually, culturally speaking, what race you are generally is a part of your
culture. What interests me is the way we diverge individually from where we
come from; in my friend Calvin's case when the subject of music came up he
asked me if I remembered Phoebe Snow, and what she was doing these
days.(I'm not particularly a fan of hers; I did see her live once at an
outdoor folk/rock festival in New Hampshire in '83 and enjoyed her
performance, but haven't investigated her further)Phoebe Snow happens to be
mulatto and working in sort of a folk/rock/jazz/R&B hybrid idiom. Food for
thought.

------------------------------

From: Keith Hanlon <ad180@seorf.ohiou.edu>
Message-Id: <199604262152.RAA15461@ra.cs.ohiou.edu>
Subject: virgin records
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 17:52:38 -0400 (EDT)

Hello friends,

I was flipping around the TV last night and came across a business news
show on CNN. They were interviewing the "former head of the Virgin Group"
(sorry, I didn't catch his name). I guess he stepped down from Virgin and
started another record company. I don't know if I got the full story in
the 40 seconds they spent discussing the record industry - they quickly
moved on to the airline industry.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else knows about this, and if there's a
snowball's chance in hell of this affecting our boys' contract disputes.

Any information or speculation would be appreciated.

Keith

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 20:41:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jennifer L. Geese" <jlg@tardis.svsu.edu>
Subject: Geffen Goldline
Message-Id: <Pine.OSF.3.91.960426203852.23735D-100000@tardis.svsu.edu>

To everybody out there wondering about the Geffen Goldline discs.  I
asked the salesman at Best Buy about them the other day.  They are not
remixed or improved in any way, but they are like other companies' Price
Buster discs.  Geffen just re-released them at a lower price.  Hope this
clears up any confusion.

Jen

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199604270231.LAA03089@patton.gate.asahi-net.or.jp>
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 11:38:09 +0900
From: mn8t-mls@asahi-net.or.jp (Ted Mills)
Subject: The Residents

Someone asked about the RZ/AP connection.

As far as I know, this is the only appearance.  The closest they ever got
together after that was both having a track on the "Miniatures" compilation
- AP's "The History of Rock and Roll" and RZ's "We're a Happy Family/Bali
Ha'i"

At that time, circa 1980, Andy was everywhere.  I guess he was having his
15 seconds.  He turned up on albums by Peter Gabriel (III) Thomas Dolby
(Europa and the Pirate Twins) Ryuichi Sakamoto (B-2 Unit) as well as
aforementioned Commercial Album.  What happened?

BTW, here's the lyrics to the Residents track that Andy sings:

Margaret Freeman

Margaret Freeman had a body
Unlike any I'd seen
It seemed to drip her mental thoughts
Like much too warm ice cream
One day while she washed the dishes
In the nude I saw
How her mother's sodden ways
Had rubbed her rib cage raw

Ew.

Ted

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ted Mills                                   "Money doesn't talk,
Crystal Mansion 201                                it swears..."
Shimotakatsu 2-3-21                                         - Bob Dylan
Tsuchiura-shi, Ibaraki-ken
Japan 300                                   mn8t-mls@asahi-net.or.jp
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v01510100ada757ff1739@[206.15.64.123]>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 21:59:49 -0800
From: mf@well.com (Mitch Friedman)
Subject: A Sandy Sandwich Digest -or- What Andy told me on the phone

Hello again. I had a nice, long conversation with Andy yesterday and in a
moment I'll reveal the news . . . but first, a bit of info regarding Andy
and The Residents . . .

The only collaboration between Andy and The Residents is in fact the song
"Margaret Freeman" on The Commercial Album. Guest artist 'Sandy Sandwich'
sings and plays guitar on that one song, and that's it. The Residents
(whomever they may be) have never appeared on anything XTC has ever
done. Andy did write lyrics to 2 songs, "The Mariner and the Moth" and "Who
Owns the Periscope Infant?", which he sent to the Residents, but they were
never recorded. To this day, Mr. Partridge insists that Duck Stab/Buster &
Glen by The Residents is an album that has as much influence on him as
Sgt. Pepper's. Highly recommended!

And now the news . . . Nothing new on the record company squabbles, well
nothing much anyway. XTC are thinking of starting their own label and then
selling it to another company so that they'll have some level of protection
and control. Just a thought at this point. Virgin owns the rights to
everything they've ever done and Andy never will. In fact, the closest
he'll get to owning his catalogue is that 70 years after he dies, his
relatives will inherit the rights to the songs.  Disgusting and
criminal. Virgin is thinking of putting out a singles compilation from
1984-now called Fossil Fuel (with a picture of one of the old XTC singles
melted on the cover - Andy's idea). They may also release a CD called
Somesuch which was mastered around the time of Nonsuch and is just all the
demos of all the songs on Nonsuch, in the same order. They're also trying
to put together a boxed set and get two new songs on it so people will have
to buy the whole thing but Andy won't let them do that, because he's not
letting Virgin anywhere near his new songs -- at least the ones other than
the 12 that he's still fighting to get back from Virgin's clutches.

Apparently there are some 31 "new" songs, though some are several years old
at this point. ("You and the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful" dates back to
Oranges and Lemons and "Wonder Annual" was ready for Nonsuch). When I asked
him how Colin was doing, his response was basically "I don't really
know. He's still a real mystery man." Colin hardly ever calls and has been
pretty unproductive in the songwriting department with the exception of
about 6 new ones. Andy loves Colin's song "Fruit Nut" and says that another
one of his songs called "Boarded Up" is gorgeously miserable. When I
suggested that he could sell it to Morrissey, Andy mentioned that Morrissey
couldn't use it because it had more than two notes in the melody. Andy is
hopeful that by the end of the year something will be resolved and is
pretty sure that once some good news can be reported, his better mood will
result in a couple more new songs to add to the list.

On a related note, although he hasn't seen the 'James and the Giant Peach'
film, he was happy to hear that the weakest parts of the film were Randy
Newman's songs (my opinion). He admitted that ultimately it was he who
nixed the deal with Disney because of the puny amount of money they were
offering. When I suggested that in retrospect it may have been worth doing
it anyway just for the recognition and possibility of being nominated for
an Oscar for his work (yes, the songs are that good!), he said that it
still wouldn't have been worth it to him. He's been reworking one of these
songs, originally titled "All I Dream of is a Friend" by changing the
lyrics a bit, as well as the title, to make it more 'adult' oriented and
altering parts of the melody because someone pointed out to him that it
resembles a song by Spanky and Our Gang (no, not "The Barber of Seville").

The 3 songs that Andy wrote for Nickie Holland may or may not have been
recorded or released yet. Andy said that Nickie was sort of rude to him and
he felt like she took advantage of him by changing a word or two of his
demos and then taking writing credit, so he doesn't talk to her at all
anymore. He's written music for 3 or 4 Chris Difford lyrics -- The Right
Trousers, Wonderful, and Petticoat Lane are the ones he remembers. He said
that Chris hasn't called in a while so he may be too busy or not interested
anymore. And out of the couple of songs that he wrote for Cathy Dennis, she
seems to have picked the most banal one and then her producer needlessly
complicated it when they were recording it, so he doubts it will be hit
material. I can't remember the title but it's something like "You're not
Gonna be my Boyfriend and I'm Not Gonna be Your Girlfriend". Well,
something like that anyway.

About Jamie Block, Andy says the main things he likes are the cool and
interesting guitar sounds that Jamie makes as well as his lyrics. He also
mentioned checking out a new British band called Ash who has a single
called "Goldfinger" out now. He likes it because it's a guitar/bass/drum
sound but they veer off in surprising chords and directions at times. Sound
familiar?

And now it's my turn to throw in a few cents of my own about the whole
should-we-or-shouldn't-we-make-copies-of-XTC-demos-for-whomever-wants-them
question . . .

For those of you who have been fans for a long time and/or are collectors
of XTC demos and rarities, my name may ring a bell because of all the XTC
demos that are out there, about half of them originated from tapes that
Andy made and sent to me. He did this for two reasons -- one being that I
impressed him with my knowledge of XTC obscurities and he's a really nice
and generous person and wanted me to have whatever stuff of his I
wanted. The other reason is that he enjoys hearing/reading/viewing the
'sketches' or demos made by some of his favorite artists and consequently
wants people to hear his demos for the same reason -- again, he was being
generous. Unfortuneately for him, me and everyone else, the copies of these
tapes that I made once eventually found their way into the hands of
bootleggers in Japan who have put out something like 8 volumes of expensive
and low-quality copies of these original tapes. One could argue that this
is a good thing because now virtually anyone who wants to hear this
material can finally do so. The downside to this is that someone in Japan
is earning royalties from XTC songs. Add to that the fact that the main
dispute XTC are involved in with Virgin has much more to do with who owns
the rights to all of the "new" demos than it does with how much money they
are ripping XTC off of from their own back catalogue. What I'm saying here
is that these new demos are the main item in a 3 year long legal
dispute. Imagine how much more difficult it would be for XTC if someone
released a bootleg of these new songs that they're fighting over before
they even get to record them for real! It's for this reason that I think it
would be wise to be a little bit more careful and subversive when offering
or making copies of these songs for anyone. Andy himself hasn't and won't
send me copies of them, nor does he send copies to any record companies --
he brings a DAT with him and plays them the songs and then brings the DAT
home. At least he does that now, since the last DAT that he sent to a
record company over a year ago has become the source of the tape that's
floating around the world now. And I gave him my word that I'll never make
a dub of any of his demo tapes for anyone ever again. (Sorry folks!)

Yeah it sounds like I'm some kinda spoiled sport or big shot or something
and that I should realize that most people would do anything to hear a new
song Andy or Colin's written. Guess what . . . I'm the same as everyone
else -- XTC's music is extremely important to me and I'm as addicted to it
as everyone else is. So do me and you and XTC a favor and show your respect
for their talent and friendliness and generosity by both loving and
supporting what they do, but also protecting it from who-knows-who.

Thank you and goodnight.

Mitch

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199604270802.JAA19308@ns.cityscape.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 08:57:41 +0100
From: bt18@cityscape.co.uk (Allan Toombs)
Subject: Should Andy Sue Babylon Zoo?

There I was quietly watching Top Of The Pops, it's Babylon Zoo doing their
No.17 hit 'Animal Armies' when suddeny I get a weid feeling of deja vu. I
browse my CD racks as it plays and grab the Dukes Of The Stratosphear CD.
Later I check out the tracks and there it is, the verse section to Animal
armies is almost exactly the same as that of 'Your Gold Dress'. This is far
more than having a riff in common it's *so* similar. If Andy's short of the
readies maybe it's time to get the lawyers onto this one.

"time will not wait for me, time is my destiny" Wilson
 mailto:toombs@cityscape.co.uk
 http://www.cityscape.co.uk/users/bt18/atoombs.html
 Copyright 1996 Allan Toombs, email me to negotiate permission ;-)

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 14:21:14 -0400
Message-Id: <v01510100ada7d8dd9da4@[128.230.1.123]>
From: pebrantl@mailbox.syr.edu (Paul Brantley)
Subject: dear todd

I happened to stumble upon the web page for Todd Rundgren's radio show "The
Difference". While scanning the index of episodes, I saw no reference made
to xtc, so I decided to peruse the contents of the very first episode
(1-8-95) -- and voila: the premiere show opened with the Crash Test Dummies
cover of "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" immediately followed by xtc's
own version of "Dear God".

Whereas Andy has on numerous occasions attempted to make his peace with
Todd (publicly at least), this is the first instance where I have observed
Todd showing his respect for xtc. Does anyone know the post-Skylarking
history of this -- from Todd's point of view?

P.

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 28 Apr 1996 11:20:33 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <199604281620.LAA00956@mail.execpc.com>
From: Dean Zemel <dbzemel@execpc.com>
Subject: Re: Doug Powell

In Chalkhills No. 2-105, it was written:

>XTC gets a promo sticker blurb on the new Doug Powell Ballad Of The
>Tin Man CD. Reads something like for those of you who enjoy pop music
>with intelligent lyrics like XTC, Todd Rundgren, and the Gin Blossoms.
>.. Doug sounds alot more like a Jules Shear or the Rubinoos (or, for
>the few of you who have heard of him, a fellow named Richard X.
>Heyman).

For the record (pun intended), Doug opened for Todd Rundgren at many shows
on Todd's Individualist tour.  His live performance (with a full band) won
over many people anxious to hear Todd.  I've had the pleasure of a
correspondence with him via e-mail and he is a major fan of XTC!  I sent him
a dub of some of the relatively recent Andy demos and he played them for his
A&R guy at Mercury/PolyGram which resulted in the label frantically trying
to find Andy to talk recording contract.  Thanks to what the Internet makes
a small world, I was (astonishingly enough) able to connect the label with
Andy (via others) and, the last that I heard, Mercury/PolyGram was among the
labels trying to sign XTC to a contract once the Virgin/Geffen matter is
resolved.

The Doug Powell CD is excellent, Beatlesque pop (an overused term, I know)
that would appeal to the fans of the more melodic XTC than the fans of the
earlier XTC.  However, IMHO it's worth a listen by everyone!

                                Dean

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v01530501ada98958cbab@[204.235.81.80]>
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 1996 22:57:06 +0100
From: motherwest@InfoHouse.com (Michael)
Subject: Listening to Lyrics

Hello Chalksters,

nonsuch@dircon.co.uk (Simon Sleightholm) recently wrote in concerning the
fact that while the average XTC fan is quite concerned with the lyrics to
songs, most people don't really listen to the words and have no idea what
the song is about.  Simon mentions a girl who got back together with a
lover yet she chose to make a radio request of The Beautiful South's "A
Little Time," a song about breaking up.

I find this to be too true.  Half the pleasure of XTC's music is in the
clever word-play  ex. - Tissue Tigers, "all the air male that she pick up"
and Pink Thing, etc.

Another humorous example of people not knowing what a song is about
concerns REM's "The One I Love."  A club DJ friend of mine told me that
when that song was on the charts, it was a couple's-in-love dance favorite,
probably due to the line, "This one goes out to the one I love."  Of
course, the next lines after that are, "This one goes out to the one I left
behind.  A simple prop to occupy my time.  This one goes out to the one I
love."  Yet, it was still a top request by all sorts of couples who wanted
to dance to it.  We would assume they just didn't pay attention to the
lyrics beyond the first line.

I think that in a way, the sometimes intense, yet erudite, scrutiny of
Andy's and Colin's lyrics is a tribute to their songwriting skills.  Now if
only we could all be treated to a major-label release of said material in
the near future . . .

Bob Estus <bestus@sonyinteractive.com> provides us with a fine example of
really being in touch with an artist's lyrics:

-----------
"Me and the Wind" contains at least two verses with ideas that would be
repurposed in other albums:

   1.  "All I could really think of was what a lovely way
       for me for me to go. I never really realized that
       just like the struggling summer flies that I was
       drowning...",
As in Skylarking's "Summer's Cauldron"

   2.  "Have I been such a fool? Have I been sitting on your
        stool while you cracked the whip?"
As in Nonesuch's "Madam Barnum"

Also   "The strings of your instrument were strangling me"
An image from the hell panel of Bosches "Garden of Earthly Delights"
But this one is sort of reaching.
------------

By the way, Bob, you asked:
>What are "fish in shoals"?

Shoals: the shallow part of the water.  So the bland, top-40 music Andy
calls "funk-pop-a-roll" is for the people who swim in the shallow waters.

Music,

Michael

------------------------------

From: ZITTEL@aol.com
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 1996 01:01:46 -0400
Message-ID: <960429010145_283000944@emout07.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Adventure Club Sessions CD

I thought I'd pass this on. George Gimarc has located another 200 copies of
the Adventure Club Sessions CDs that features XTC doing a live version of
Blue Beret. This is a great CD I would definitely recommend. It features a
lot of bands XTC fans would love.

>ADVENTURE CLUB SESSIONS
>                    SUPER LIMITED EDITION
>                  THESE ARE $15 POSTPAID while they last
>                      THESE ARE ALL ACOUSTIC VERSIONS
>                     RECORDED IN THE EDGE STUDIOS AND
>                        EXCLUSIVE TO THIS CD (except *)
>
>        Ocean Colour Scene.........Alibis
>        Frank Black.....................Old Black Dawning
>        Jellyfish.........................The King Is Half Undressed *
>        Catherine Wheel...............Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely
>        James.............................Lose Control
>        Cranberries.....................Linger
>        House Of Love..................Crush Me
>        Blur.................................Miss America
>        His Name Is Alive.............Baby Fish Mouth
>        Frazier Chorus.................Cloud Eight
>        Lilac Time........................Too Sooner Late Than Better
>        Trash Can Sinatras...........The Safecracker
>        James..............................Maria's Party
>        Frank Black......................Czar
>        XTC..................................Blue Beret
>        Lemonheads......................It's About Time
>        Lilac Time.........................Raspberry Beret/Kiss Me
>        Suede...............................My Insatiable One
>        Posies..............................Will I Ever Ease Your Mind
>
>The  price is still $15 postpaid (that's postage & packing included) and L15
>for the overseas people (UK cash only accepted).
>
>Reel George Productions, Inc
>P.O. Box 280173
>Dallas, Texas 75228

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #2-107
*******************************

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