Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-109

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 109

                   Thursday, 2 May 1996

Today's Topics:

                    Andrew the Apostle
                    Re: misc misc misc
              Breaking out of lurker mode...
                      Video comments
                    four more albums!?
        By this time my lungs were aching for air!
                  twisted song meanings
                      Eclectic Taste
           A bit like "Goldy" but made of iron.
                    BBC Live (finally)
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-108
                     quality of music
                 value of demos/bootlegs
                     over rusty water
                    Angry Young Men...
                 ...on XTC diletantes...
                     Evangelizing XTC
            Seattle sighting/Great Fire chords


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Make a slip could be forever...


Message-ID: <>
Date: 30 Apr 1996 14:04:04 -0600
From: "Cecile Bellamy" <>
Subject: Replies

From: Cecile Bellamy
  I don't know where to start with this. Maybe I should say thank you to
those who have put in their comments and concerns about the issue of
various types of music, it's gotten me to read more and further into the
recent digests that have come in.
   I'm thinking that I also need to put in something to state that not all
of us  are entirely molded by what we grow up with. My very first memorable
experiences were entirely R&B. As my older brother got into high school,
our family was soon innundated with records by the Sugar Hill Gang,
Funkadelic, Parliment, and Bootsy Collins. My brother never got tired of
any of these albums and I grew to like some of the songs. We were also
influenced by one of the earliest rap performers to come out, his name was
Blowfly. He made use of funk music content and simply talked through the
lyrics in a rythmic way. The language was very graphic but even as an eight
year old, I wasn't compelled to swear. Over the years,along with older
influences such as Jimi Hendrix and Aretha Franklin, this was what my
family listened to.
   When I reached high school, the only thing I noticed about music is how
it brainwashed some of my friends and how it reinforced difference among
others. Kids would gather their up their favorite band t-shirts and plan
out which concert they would go to. The more popular the band, the more
t-shirts you would see. It was scary the way my friends would gather around
a magazine article and begin to verbally fantasize who they would want to
date. In study hall it got really scary when the B-boys would start to have
it out with the Heavymetal rockers. I thought that those kids were one in
the same with the only separating factors being that 1)Different skin color
2)Different style of clothes 3)Different types of music. The similarities
were: 1)Both were spoiled and set in their ways 2)Both had no respect for
the young women in their cultures 3)Both tyes of music reinforced
prejudice. I strated to listen to the radio a great deal but it never drove
me to attack the nearest record store. I was mostly pop radio and I would
simply use it as a means to get rid of the lack of noise in my room. The
only band that I can think of that I liked at the time was Culture Club. A
little before this time, my brother started to collect albums by Prince. I
liked some of the lyrical content but wasn't too thrilled by the actual
One thing that I managed to remember was one day, I was with my brothers
and we had caught the end of a song when my older bro turned on the radio.
He said "I really like that song." I managed to remember the trickling
keyboard music and soft voice, years later I found out that it was the song
"Wonderland" by none other than XTC......
  Since that point, as I had started to make more friends, I was also
exposed to various types of what was considered punk-rock at the time.
Another friend (white male with middleclass background) had borrowed a tape
to my little brother. It contained music by the Cocteau Twins on one side
and music from an African performer(Yellowman?) on the other. I've gathered
tapes of the Cocteau Twins ever since and have looked into other well known
artists from different parts of Africa(i.e. Yossou N' Dour).
  That leads to the very first albums that I had ever purchased.  Me and my
good friend had been downtown shopping and had went to a very well known
alternative record store. It was the summer of 1988 and I looked around to
see what I wanted. I had heard a great song by a new album by Edie Brickell
and the New Bohemians(I can't believe I can still remember the name!)"What
I Am" and a great video by a band called Souxie and the Banshees called
Peek-a-Boo. The store lets you listen to a few tracks of an album to see if
you really want to get it. I knew I wanted the Peepshow album and after
listening to two tracks of Edie, I said "I'll take it!". After that, I
hadn't bought another tape until about a year later.
   All I really want to say is that I agree very much with the fact that
people will only listen to music from their background and enviroment. But
I would also like to point out that it is entirely a matter of choice, not
force that enables this to take place. In response to should we encourage
people who listen to Snoop Doggy Dog to expand their horizons, I say hell
yes! It goes back to ways in which some types of music reinforce
boundaries. All the more reason people need to drop the too PC theory on
any subject that has social concerns.
   Like when Andy talked about writing "Dear God" there is so much more I
would like to say but it's best that I get something out there so people at
least know how I feel.
    I'd like to end this with a cute little story my little brother told me
when he was about 17 and working in the music and electronics section of a
local department store. The Oranges and Lemons album had just come out and
my brother liked to play tracks from the album. Everytime he put on the
track "Merely a Man" young Black males would approach him and ask "who is
that?" he would tell them and on occasion one of the youngsters would
actually purchase a tape. He didn't give me actual numbers but only one or
two returned the tape.
    My argument for this is listen to the radio, there is less risk
involved when it comes to exploring different types of music and as what I
have found a number of XTC fans do, make more demands for those groups
whose music that you do like. I feel I can only learn from others when I
listen to their point of veiw, you're not losing anything if you at least
do that.

Thank you for reading,



Message-Id: <v01530500adab6220d1e9@[]>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 12:57:37 -0800
From: (Isaac Samuel)
Subject: Andrew the Apostle

Hi Chalkies

There's a thread over on the fegmaniax list now, ascribing the titles of
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to the proper musicians in "Hitchcockian
theology", ie John Lennon being the Son, Syd Barret the Holy Ghost, etc.
Robyn is made out to be one of the apostles although which one, no one is
sure of! Well, this got me thinking about our own apostle Andy. So I wrote
a message for the thread, then realized I couldn't really send it to the
fegs because it deals exclusively with XTC.

So without further ado, I bestow it upon my fellow Chalkies. Hope you enjoy:

Lennon must be Jesus, hence the 'their gonna crucify me', and explaining
the later theological schism with Paul.    :-)

To make this post deal more with the great unreckognized apostle Andrew... 
I found this in 'The People's Bible Encyclopedia' (song references mine):

Andrew "called attention to the lad with the loaves and the fishes at the
feeding of the five thousand ("Dear God", 1:3-4); his introducing to Jesus
certain Greeks who desired to see him ("Jason and the Argonauts"); and his
asking, along with his brother Simon..for a further explanation of what the
Master had said in reference to the destruction of the Temple
("Kalleidoscope", 4, 5). He was one of those, who, after the ascension
("Helicopter"?), continued in the "upper room" [recording demos]."

"At length, tradition states, he came to Patrae, where the proconsul,
enraged at his persisting to preach..ordered him to be severely scourged
and then crucified. To make his death more lingering, he was fastened to
the cross, not with nails, but with cords. Having hung two days, praising
God, and exhorting the spectators to embrace ("Hold Me"?), or adhere to,
the faith, he is said to have expired on November 30.."

*"the cross is said to have been the form called Crux decussata, and
commonly known as 'St. Andrew's cross, X' "!!*

(well you learn something new every day!)

The article ends, saying some ancient writers speak of an aprocryphal Acts
of Andrew. Anybody got a bootleg copy?     ;-)




Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 13:02:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bill Wisner <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: misc misc misc

Stuart McDow writes of his desire for the Canadian release of Skylarking.

I don't know if the current Canadian issue still has the track listing
in question (the original track order with Dear God added to the end) but
I can advise how to obtain Canadian recordings.  Most HMV locations will
accept mail orders.  I have had good luck in the past dealing with a
store in Vancouver, British Columbia; you can reach them at 604 685 9203.


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 13:49:21 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Breaking out of lurker mode...

  I've been a subscriber to Chalkhills for approximately 2 months on
 my system at work (just subscribed at home as well!), and to this
 point have been lurking in the shadows enjoying the thoughts and
 revelations of all you fellow Chalkies. But something has happened
 that has finally forced me to break my silence - I purchased the
 Eric Matthews CD!

  What great stuff! A heartfelt thank-you to all who praised this CD -
 without you I would never have tried it. This one's going to be in
 the changer for a long, long time...

  Does anyone know if and when Eric is going to come out with something
 new? I know that "it's heavy in here" (and no, it's not supposed to be
 capitalized) was put out in 1995, but I'm already anxious for more from
 this guy!

  Also (and bear with me if this is a stupid question; remember, I'm
 relatively new), can anyone out there give me a brief, encapsulated
 description (review, comparisons, whatever?) of David Yazbek's "The
 Laughing Man"? I can't seem to find it anywhere, and before I dole
 out $25.00 to purchase it from "", I'd like to know a little
 something about it. I know that Andy plays on some (all?) of it, but
 that's about it... Any comments or thoughts to my E-Mail address would
 be truly appreciated. Thanks!

  Thanks again to all who turned me on to Eric Matthews - great minds
 think alike! Oh, and sorry about the small amount of actual XTC-related
 stuff in this post - I promise my next one will be purely XTC-ish.

  Off to listen to "Black Sea"....

 - Bob


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 17:54:12 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: non-popularity

well, only 2/3 of 1996 remain,and what better time to post to chalkhills than

I choose to offer my reasons /opinions as to the "non-popularity" of xtc-

   #1) they seem to acquire a group of fans on a per album basis - or group
of albums.  f'rinstance, i'm sure that quite a bit of their fan base through
Black Sea was at least disappointed with English Settlement , and that many
of them left then or certainly after Mummer , those albums being that
different than what came before. And people who liked those later albums
might not have liked the change to Skylarking . (etc.) to the present
day. In my theory,lots of people have albums from an "era" of xtc, not that
many like them enough to have all their records, and these people might
consider themselves to like xtc but not really be fans of the group. They
may listen to them from time to time, but couldn't care less if they ever
heard them on the radio. They don't care that they won't get to see them
live. The band is constantly winning new fans while losing old ones .  As
some lose interest in the direction that xtc evolves , new people take
interest in the newer stuff who either didn't like the old stuff or weren't
aware of the bands existance.

  #2) I think they (the Record Company) usually chooses the wrong song to
make a single. wasn't 10 ft. tall the ir first single is the usa? they could
have picked a better song, and why not one from an earlier album?  Why
wasn't English Roundabout or Earn Enough For Us the first single off of
their respective albums, what about Funk pop a roll?  I could go on ,but
,get the drift?

  #3) My wife. She is your typical "dance music"person... if there is a
radio station that plays it , she listens . She loves most music...BUT
before we were married , she asked about what music I liked .  I rattled off
a few names ,showed her my tapes , and her one comment was... What is
"X"-"T"-"C" (that is how she said it) I tried to explain about them, how
much I liked them, how good they are. Her answer -" they can't be any good
if I never heard of them"- haunts me to this day. She tolerates them when I
play them today,you can even see her tapping her feet or nodding her head to
the beat, but she will neither sit still through a whole record nor listen
to them on her walkman.She may be "refusing to like them" since I have made
a few comments about her type of music. But I think there are others like
her who don't like them because they feel that if they aren't popular that
they are no good. Most people feel that the two concepts are interlocked -
that people like good stuff, so till people like it , it ain't good.

 #4) Me. I have never called a radio station to request any xtc song. If I
don't , how will they know I want to hear them? Then nobody else is likely
to hear them so they won't request them .. vicious cycle. I also do not
listen to much radio , mainly because I know I probably won't hear anything
that I like. ( I , too , am a non-musical xtc fan, which I think means I
like what I like ,though I know not why)

 There you have some possible reasons why xtc isn't more popular.

                                 Right or wrong , I have been thinking of
this for years! eddie


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 21:02:24 -0400
From: Christie <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Video comments

Well, here's a latebreaking commentary from me on the concept of videos.
As much as I enjoy watching the antics of the Mayor and Barry the car,
and Andy getting eaten by a giant clam (sort of), I have to say my idea
of near video perfection is King for a Day.  They don't do much, except
play their instruments, but I like that.  I'd even prefer just 4 miinutes
of the three of them just playing their instruments,  without any camera
cutaways or trickery.  I was watching a tape of a studio interview, circa
Oranges and Lemons, and Andy gives his views on making videos--that you
just end up being some fledgling director's debut  into the "art"
world ("Go and stand over there, loves, we'll be with you in a minute.
Go and stand over there next to the huge exploding jock strap, I see it
all now, it's a concept!").

One more thing--I have a tape of what appears to be a video for "Heatwave"
(and the four of them just play their instruments, but throw in goofy
antics--Colin looks like he's plugged into the wall socket instead of his
bass), but I didn't see it listed in the Videography.  Anyone know if a
video for this song was ever made?

And finally a big thank you to Mitch who posted a summary of his
conversaton with Andy--great to have some information on the status of
things.  Thanks for sharing.

And does anyone else thing "Bungalow" is the best thing Colin's written
since "The Meeting Place"?  Oops, that's "think" up there--I'm in a

hurry I guess.


"Half naked exploding porpoises!"  --Opus


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 23:33:24 -0400
Message-Id: <>
From: "J. D. Mack" <>
Subject: four more albums!?

It was written:

>  But as evidenced by the "Somesuch" proposal, authorized releases of
>  the demos (a "Basement Tapes" approach) may be a way for XTC to
>  fulfill their obligation (the four albums still owing) while at the
>  same time making the boots redundant

XTC still owe Virgin four albums!?  Goodness gracious, why don't they
release a "Rag & Bone Buffet 2."
The live b-sides and demos would exceed the length of a single CD, and would
bring much needed sunshine to the die hard fans!  Someone please mention
this to the lads.

J.D. the tag-less


From: michael wilson <>
Subject: By this time my lungs were aching for air!
Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 96 22:37:51 -0500

Ok, once again I beg for those of you out there who are familiar with the
music of XTC to help me with the chords to a song.  The song this time is:
Haunted Heart...lyrics would be appreciated too. :)

XTC Song o' the Day: Of course it's "Haunted Heart"

"'s the haunting Torgo theme."
*                                                *
*  " I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous "  *
*                              -Crow T. Robot    *
*                                                *


Message-Id: <v01530506adaca98aa236@[]>
Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 17:40:10 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: twisted song meanings

>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.

remember Joe Jackson's song "It's different for girls"? Took me several
listens to realise that it was the guy who'd fallen head over heels, and
the girl who just wanted sex. And then there's his lovely lyric from
another song of the same era: "Geraldine and John - see the happy couple,
so inseperable/and the beat goes on, and for better or for worse, they are
married (but of course - not to each other)". It's smart lyric work like
that, and like Andy's (and Colin's too!) that attract me to songs.  The
sudden "this song doesn't mean what you think it means" of 'It's diffeent
for girls' is evident in a lot of XTC ("Don't lose your temper" springs to

Sadly, I have to grudgingly admit that even Bruce Springsteen gains one
bonus point for making peope think "Boring the USA" is a patriotic song...


PS - sorry about forgetting to remove my sig from the last couple of
messages - I'll try to remember in future!


Message-Id: <v01530506adac73c8317e@[]>
Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 03:04:19 +0100
From: (Michael)
Subject: Eclectic Taste

Dear Chalksters,

There's been a lot of talk about the wildly different styles of music found
among our music collections.  Well, most of us own every XTC album from
White Music to Nonsuch and that, simply by virtue of the wildly diverse
music on those releases, makes our CD/record collections more eclectic than
99% of the people out there.

Smugly yours,



From: "R.L.Crane" <>
Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 09:28:21 +0100
Subject: A bit like "Goldy" but made of iron.
Message-ID: <>


After a long time away and a few weeks lurking, this.........

> Am I the last one to find hypocrisy in our postings about "the
> intellectual superiority" of XTC's lyrics and fans, or irony in that fact
> (along with the fact that Andy doesn't want anything to do with this list
> of his greatest fans)?

coupled with this.......

> From: Julian Weiss <>

> > But he's never insulted them or said he dislikes
> >them.  He just doesn't get them.
> As we fans of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 say, "The Right People Will
> Get It".

Seemed to take irony and cliquiness to new limits :-)

What the hell is Mystery Science Theatre 3000 ?

Love, kisses and  lots of stuff that would get me arrested in at
least twenty states....


(See, Gene, I said I'd be back sometime!)

Todays Song of the Day is  ---

         Open Up Your Heart and Let The Sun Shine In
                                   - Frente.....

"Tell'em Large Marge Sent ya!"



Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 09:41:48 -0400
Message-Id: <>
From: (Erich Walther)
Subject: BBC Live (finally)

My local sound emporium finally came through with the Radio 1 CD and my
life is now more complete! Hearing these tunes live (and played HARD)
furthers my disappointment of never having seen the boys. They were booked
into the Art Centre here but then Andy had his episode....

Listening to the lads live further my conviction that Terry must come back!!
There is/was no better drummer to flesh out the band. Actually, I'm
surprised that Dave doesn't play the tubs: he seems to handle everything
else just fine.

I ordered Mr. Yazbeck's CD but it has to come from Japan according to the
catalogue at the store. Why would that be?

Bye Bye!

Erich in cloudy Ottawa


Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 10:53:42 -0400
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-108

> From: "Tom X. Chao" <>

> P.S. What happened to the David Byrne flame war?

It, um, jerked off.



Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 11:43:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Nancy B LaMotta <>
Subject: quality of music
Message-Id: <>

> From: Bob Thomas <>
> I realize, though, that these friends don't listen to music the same way I
> do. They don't listen as carefully, anyway, and as a result, they don't have

I agree; and I believe that part of the "not listening carefully" comes
from accessibility...
When I was growing up, (after my parents dumped the 78 rpm player and got a
"Hi-Fi") you saved up and you bought an album.  One album.  Usually there
were no credits, let alone lyrics, printed on it.  You listened to that one
album over, and over.  You invited friends over to do the same.  You
listened so many times, to learn all the tunes, words, by heart...
nowadays, I can go in and buy several albums at a time--unthought of when I
was a teen in the Dark Ages--and I just don't pay as much attention to any
of them that way.  If I'm forced to focus on one album for a long period of
time (like when my father used to play a certain ABBA album on his 8-track
cassette player everytime we drove anywhere), sooner or later I've almost
GOT to love it. Eventually, if you've been listening to that work long
enough, some emotional episode is bound to occur which you eventually
connect with the songs you listened to when the event happened...

With XTC, they enunciate so well, they often make references to fairy tales,
myths, their lyrics tend to rhyme but not obnoxiously so, and their melodies
have hooks and are easily learnt, (songs deceptively simple) such that I
find myself learning them faster, liking them more.  But I still try to
concentrate on each one for a long period of time, and can remember what was
going on in my life when I "learnt" them (e.g., "Skylarking" = making a
banner for trip to Cuba; "Go2" = learning to drive, etc.)  ... I don't feel
as confident about "knowing" an album if I haven't spent a lot of time with
it, which happens mostly when I try to buy more than one at one time.

I don't worry about converting people to XTC--if they're destined to
happen to you, they will.

Mas tarde--


Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 12:01:13 +0500
Message-Id: <>
From: Melinda Hale <>
Subject: value of demos/bootlegs

I am returning to Chalkhills from a long absence, so forgive me if I'm
repeating what's already been said.

I think the value of bootlegs depends on the collector.  I personally
collect XTC stuff simply because I love it, not because it has any value
other than to me personally.  Yes, I bought a swirly-vinyl copy of Psonic
Psunspot from somebody, but not because I read its worth in some book.

It's true that if a song that was previously a rarity is released
"officially" on a CD (like when Rag and Bone was released, or like the extra
tracks that used to be B-Sides) I sometimes feel a twinge of loss, but
that's related simply to my own ego, because it means I can't brag about
having these songs and being "XTC-er Than Thou".  The bottom line, though,
is that I am glad to get to hear these songs in *ANY* form.

I know that some of the demos that have been released as bootlegs don't
sound very different from the final versions, but these are later versions
of the songs.  The stuff that's on the Andy-sanctioned "Jules Verne" and
"Golden Guts" tapes are just about my most prized XTC possessions, because I
can really hear how one song might be rewritten into another song.  I can
also boggle at the concept of being such a talented songwriter that I could
just toss a song like "Work" into the trashpile or take only a tiny piece of
a song like "Ra Ra For Red Rocking Horse" and scrap the rest.

"Gangwaaaaay!  Electriiiiic guitaaaaaar is coming through!"
Melinda M. Hale |"Admire as much as you can. |"Funk gettin' ready to
                | Most people do not admire  | go, funk gettin' ready
Lexington, KY   | enough." --V. van Gogh     | to roll!" --G. Clinton


Message-Id: <>
From: C Browning <>
Subject: over rusty water
Date: Wed, 1 May 96 20:12:10 BST

hello chalkhill people - you really are a thoroughly nice bunch and seem to
know much more about xtc my absolute favourite band ever than i do. so could
you help me out? i bought a copy of rag and bone buffet today and its pretty
fantastic but teh song over rusty water really leapt from the tape. has andy
done anything else like this i think its fantastic. unfortunately my sleeve
notes don't tell me where any of the stuff comes from either so i'm just off
to chalkhills to find out. also they had a tape of oranges and lemons with a
little sticker on it saying FEATURING THE HITS KING FOR A DAY AND MAYOR OF
SIMPLETON. wishful thinking or otherwise. i don't know what half of you are
on about about somesuch as i did not get issue 107 of chalkhills - i'm about
to look that up too. also on why aren't xtc popular. well i think i'm on teh
background music side. i don't like background music. i just tried to write
an essay while listening to rag and bone buffet and i just couldn't do it -
my brain was so utterly engaged with teh music. i think that this is what
marks xtc out - you need to give it full attention. it isn't readibly
accessible either - since dave gregory has come the sound appears to mne to
be more accessible (perhaps thats why white music is my favourite album cos
its so unhinged and lunatic and seems that the music is trying to burst free
with complete fury from its little prison?) but the songs themselves are so
difficult and rewarding now. there is nothing on teh mainstream market quite
like it - of teh britpop bands only supergrass seem to have any of xtc's
skills and thats mainly due to their wicked and wild sense of humour.
certainly xtc have given this student more pleasure than any other band as
the music is just so diverse. you simply cannot be bored by an xtc
song. even a song like wait til your boat goes down which is probably my
least favourite xtc song has a certain something that appeals to me. finally
- and i hope some of this makes some sort of sense cos i've just finished a
rather nasty deadline and the relief is pouring out and taking some
sensibility with it - is teh dukes of the stratosphear album (chips... that
is) still in print cos i just got a nasty letter from my local record shop
this morning saying it is very much out of stock.

anyway thanks for always being interesting and never ever boring - rather
like the music i suppose. keep up teh good work its always worth reading....

thanks again

chris browning


Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 16:06:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mike <>
Subject: Angry Young Men...
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.960501160001.18481B-100000@gusun>

I know that the discussion of this is long over, but I was listening to
"Rag and Bone" this morning and it reminded me of the funniest misheard
XTC line that I personally ever experienced...
	The world's full of angry young men,
	Chip on their shoulder, and a lite beer in their hand.
Not THAT funny, but spawns ideas of (random American holiday) riverside
fireworks festival jobbies or something.  Oh well, I head home in a week
or so and then am off to 'Yerp' for a year, but I will have my kooky
brother keep me up on the good postings.  That's about all...
				Back to LuLu Land,
					Mike Kooris


Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 06:14:32 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: ...on XTC diletantes...

I for one applaud Lars Schubert <> when he calls the
back-patters and hand-wringers on their rather pretentious attitudes.  Amen,

There are a lot of reasons that XTC has not been BIG.  Most have to do with
how record companies, stores and radio stations pigeon-hole bands in what
they believe are insular markets.  Some have to do with the band itself not
touring and not playing the media game.  But more importantly, if their next
album went platinum many times over, a fair number of us would accuse them
of selling out.  Fact is, I would argue that many XTC fans like the rather
clique-ish nature of this cult status and are pretty protective of it.  (I
am sure that there are sociologists and psychologists out there who could
bury us beneath a discussion of the need to belong.)  (I also think this
gives some insight on the whole boot-leg discussion, but that is the subject
for another rant.)

Now, don't get me wrong, I love this list.  I love the stories and dream
sequences and brushes with the greatness that is XTC.  But for goodness
sakes, lets not be so proud of ourselves just for liking the same band.




Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 09:55:45 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Taylor <>
Subject: Evangelizing XTC

RE: Subject: When You're New To Me I Have Difficulty: Part 3
>Still, I don't know what it takes to "convert" people to this music. I
>don't think I have ever done so successfully (probably because I haven't
>spent enough time, or spent it with the right people, trying). I've given
>away five O&L cassettes -- no response.  Maybe I should give away CDs or
>LPs -- it's easier to skip around on these media -- then things start to

Perhaps Geffen's release of the Goldline series is the perfect chance to
pursue this concept.  As I mentioned a few posts ago, I saw _O&L_ in a music
shop for $5.99 on the Goldline label and bought six copies for just this
purpose.  Since then, I've seen it at the ever-popular Best Buy for $4.99,
along with multiple copies of _Big Express_, _Nonsuch_, and _Rag & Bone
Buffet_ at the same price.  Those four discs (and there are probably more to
come) cut a pretty wide swath through the various phases of XTC's creative
output.  My challenge to you, dear Chalkhills subscriber, is to go out and
buy one of these discs, whichever you think might best represent what you
find appealing about our boys, and present it to the most likely XTC convert
of your choice.  It's a measly five dollars out of your pocket, a pittance,
yet it might bring untold thousands to go out and buy the whole catalog for
themselves.  Andy will thank you.

For encouragement, I'd like to offer this success story for you.  My best
friend is a high school English teacher in Minneapolis...  She's one of the
erudite people I've ever known, conversant on everything from Renaissance
history to astronomical physics...  On the other hand, she has a
well-rounded sense of humor and is part owner and manager of the Minneapolis
ComedySportz franchise.  Intelligence, humor...  a perfect XTC convert, no?
Well, for six years I've been trying to win her over, to no avail.  She
responds with only lukewarm respect.  I've always assailed her with the more
"orchestrated" stuff that appeals to me (_English Settlement_, _Skylarking_,
_O&L_), but then, just lately, I've started to send along some early
material for the sake of comparison against the _Testimonial Dinner_ tracks.
Here's her latest email, in part:

  "Speaking of XTC...the two more recent tapes you sent have XTC I really,
   really like; "M.P. 4 Nigel" and "Statue of Liberty" are EXCELLENT tunes,
   far superior to others you've sent. You devil, you---saving the best for
   last, or odd taste on my part?"

This amazed me...  I've always dismissed the stuff prior to _The Big
Express_ as less refined, a little more grungey...  and I thought I had her
tastes pegged.  I'm rectifying this mistake now.  She'll get "Jumping in
Gomorrah" next.

I have always used _O&L_ for my conversion attempts in the past, meeting
only one notable failure with a former girlfriend, who asked for a dub of
the Paula Abdul _Forever Your Girl_ CD she found in my collection (and to
spare me further embarassment, let's not reopen the CD diversity debate).  I
complied, but mixed it with the _O&L_ tracks, alternating cuts between Paula
and XTC.  It led to some interesting juxtapositions, such as the shameless
segue between "Cold Hearted Snake" and "Pink Thing".



Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 10:39:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Wesley David Shaw <>
Subject: Seattle sighting/Great Fire chords
Message-Id: <Pine.SOL.3.91.960502102932.15900A-100000@marcus>

I appologize for taking everybody's time for this, but I feel I must
explain my poor manners to the poor chap sporting a chalkhills t-shirt
that I spotted outside a QFC in Seattle last Saturday. I didn't mean to
stare, but I didn't find myself up to starting a conversation even if you
were wearing a shirt labeling you as a fellow fan. I'm assuming that
you're reading this, so don't quit wearing your true colors just 'cause
freaks keep looking at you.
	To anybody else in Seattle, particularily those into collecting
vinyl, Cellophane Square in the University District has a used copy of Go+
for about $9.
	Finally, does anybody know the chords to "Great Fire"? I'm just
starting on the guitar and they sound pretty basic but hell if I can
figure out what they are.



End of Chalkhills Digest #2-109

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