Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-110

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 110

                    Monday, 6 May 1996

Today's Topics:

                   Re: Underpopularity
              Some may lose but some succeed
             Memories, Meccanic and More XTC
                  Non-popularity of XTC
                       white music
                    Back To Lurk Mode
                        Clay Henry
                      Eric Matthews
                  --SKYLACKING UPDATE--
               The Truth About Soundtracks
                   too little too late
                    Black Sea Divings
                     XTC song or not?
              One Way to Make an XTC Convert
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-109
                   XTC and, um , Hootie


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

One glance from those two eyes. . .


Message-Id: <v01530500adaf1d639f6f@[]>
Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 19:46:02 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Underpopularity

Some personal recollections regarding the "Why ain't XTC more popular?"

I didn't become an XTC fan until Skylarking, which zapped this Beatlemaniac
boy right in the gonads. Before that, I had mostly heard only XTC's radio
hits ("Oh yeah, they do 'Senses Working Overtime,' right?") and based on
those songs, I decided the band wasn't for me. The singing was too whiny
and, more importantly, all the songs seemed to have the same grating
"bouncy-bouncy" rhythmic feel. I still feel that way about some of the
early stuff, I guess. Anyway, obviously I'm a huge fan now, but maybe some
other neophyte XTC listeners feel similar to the way I did. Make any

Some other record-sales barriers are obvious: no touring, hard-to-fathom
lyrics which tend to hide their emotional thrust behind metaphors and the
like, no touring, a certain lack of rock 'n' roll drive in favor of artsy
polish, no touring, lack of record-label support, no touring, an intangible
coldness to the group's presentation, no touring....oh well....


PS  You guys are all driving me nuts with your raving about old XTC
rarities and unreleased demos.  I feel very deprived!  :(


Message-Id: <v02130500adaf19ac6799@[]>
Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 22:14:57 -0500
Subject: Some may lose but some succeed

>Subject: non-popularity
>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

Point of contention: XTC's fanbase got bigger than ever with English
Settlement.  It was a top five album in England for many weeks, and Senses
Working Overtime was XTC's first top ten single.  The few shows they did
after the release of this album were the hugest (and scariest, for
ragged-nerved Andy) they'd ever seen.  It's hard to conjencture, but I'm of
the ilk that's convinced that XTC's continuing rise in popularity would
have kept climbing if they didn't stop touring.  And, quite possibly,
there'd be no XTC to speak of at all right now if they did keep touring.

I wasn't around (at least as an avid consumer of music) for the first round
of bruhaha over English Settlement, but it's undeniably my favorite album
now.  It's the essence of XTC: a perfect meld of the hard-edged and

>and her one comment was... What is
>"X"-"T"-"C" (that is how she said it)

bbbbut that IS how you say it.  Wait, let's regroup: that's how Andy, Colin
and Dave say it.  For some reason I find it very odd when people pronounce
it as "ecstacy".

>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?

Once in a purple moon, I'll hear XTC on WBRU.  For instance, this morning,
squashed between Stone Temple Pilots and Folk Implosion were the cellos and
child voice of Dear God.  A few weeks ago I heard Mayor of Simpleton.  I
also recall Making Plans for Nigel and Senses in the past year.  Yes,
that's about all of the staple XTC songs, and, no, they've NEVER played any
of my requests, like Wake Up or Grass or Generals and Majors.  Go2 figure.

>From: Nancy B LaMotta <>
>With XTC, they enunciate so well

Yikes, I think often Andy and (less so) Colin enunciate pretty horribly.
Especially the earlier music.  For near-perfect enunciation in singing,
see: Cline, Patsy.  Unfortunately, her music's lyrics don't bare too much
thinking about (unless you just broke up with someone), so I'd much rather
Andy sang clearly.

Now on to Mitch's post about his conversation with Andy: how aggravating
and disheartening.  A cruel world when thirty XTC songs waiting to be
released are imprisoned by a record company.  We're obviously not going to
see anything new this year.  What happened to those indy labels? Columbia?
My god, aren't there any record company execs among us?  And most saddening
was Andy's remarks about Colin.  Inactive and reclusive, not writing songs?
I hope he's exaggerating.  But still disturbing that they've fallen out so
much as a group that they don't even know what the others are doing

Finally, thank you thank you to everyone who responded to my inquiry about
Eric Matthews.  I knew you'd all pull through!  With the advent of my next
paycheck, I'm off to Newberry Comics for a wicked good time.

>> From: "Tom X. Chao" <>
>> P.S. What happened to the David Byrne flame war?
>It, um, jerked off.

Pretty anticlimactic, I'd say.
(sorry, that was a stretch.)



From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Memories, Meccanic and More XTC
Date: Fri, 03 May 96 07:25:00 edt
Message-ID: <>

The neat thing about XTC, I think, is that it invokes more memories for me
than any other music..."Yacht Dance" reminds me of cruising along in my
Dad's Saab at 110 MPH with my brother driving and all the windows & the
sunroof open; "My Bird Performs" reminds me of lying on the beach and
Nantucket; "Knuckle Down" reminds me of a photo trip to NYC that ended up
at Sam Goody instead of the ICP (I listened to two songs - "Knuckle" and
"Leisure" the entire bus ride home - almost 2 hours!) "Summer's
Cauldron/Grass" reminds me of driving to NYC with my best friend, Bob, and
having a really awesome day.

Why don't people like XTC more? Hmmm. All I know is that my entire school
is going crazy for - strangely enough - "Meccanic Dancing" (sp?) I put it
on "XTC Mix #1" that I gave to my roommate, and he's been passing the tape
around to all his friends. My friend Meredith said that after he left the
tape in her room, she put it on and secretly...DANCED to it!

Additionally, my roommate (an amazing bass player) lurched in to something
interesting during our band concert on Saturday night. There I was, sitting
at the keyboard, when he started playing...Colin's bass line to
"Watchtower"!  I was impressed, to say the least.

If anyone knows where I could get a copy of the Nonsuch demos CD (which I
think we all agree is a spawn of Satan), please let me know. I'll send Andy
a check.

Take care,



Message-Id: <s189d16b.038@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Date: Fri, 03 May 1996 09:21:51 -0400
From: Tim Kendrick <TKEN@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Subject: Non-popularity of XTC

>>>I think they (the Record Company) usually chooses the
>>>wrong song to make a single.

  I think this is a BIG reason why XTC is not more popular
  here.  "Singles" rule here in the USA.
  There are very few hit albums here that don't have a hit
  single.  One huge single can put a group into the "star"
  category.  Two or more hit singles from an album put a
  group into the "superstar" category.

  XTC have not sold as well as they should have in the
  past because that have not had a hit single.
  And the one "minor" hit they had was "Dear God",
  which ended up making SKYLARKING the best selling
  XTC album to date (I think ?).

  The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS only became really big after
  their single "Under The Bridge" became a big hit.
  R.E.M. only became really big after "The One I Love"
  went Top-40.

  All XTC need for their next release to be big
  is one really big, hit single !
  But, chances are the new record company (whoever they
  turn out to be) will probably pick the wrong song to release.
  They'll probably try to release "The Last Balloon"
  instead of something brilliant like "Church of Women".
(Oh, sorry, I'm not supposed to have heard them - sorry Andy !)

  Bye for Now !

        Tim K.

P.S. - One of Andy's all-time favorite TV shows "DOCTOR WHO"
       is coming back:  Tuesday May 14 on FOX network in USA
                                      Monday May 27 on BBC-1 in UK
       (wouldn't Andy be great as the Doctor ???)


Message-Id: <v01510100adafb41c36c6@[]>
Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 15:59:33 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: white music

This is just an open-ended speculative question, but I wonder whether the
current two threads about a) black music and b) XTC's popularity might not
be connected.

So far the black music question has prompted most Chalkies to go into
self-analysis about the content of their own record collections (as much as
anything, I think, to prove their anti-racist credentials), but I'm just
wondering about Andy, Colin and Dave's record collections. If the influence
on their music was less New York Dolls, Captain Beefheart and 60s
psychedelia, and more Motown, R&B and funk, would the resultant cocktail be
any more commercially palatable?

Let's not get bogged down talking about race, what matters here is broad
musical influences. And I think it's fair to say that apart from the
reggae-tinged choppy guitar of D&W/Black Sea and the African rhythms of
English Settlement, XTC make few nods to traditionally black forms. In
itself this is neither good nor bad, but it *might* have had an effect on
how accessible people find them.

Just a thought . . .

Mark Fisher (,uk)


From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Back To Lurk Mode
Date: Fri, 03 May 96 12:52:00 CDT
Message-ID: <>

I can feel myself heading back to lurk mode.  Before I go, I'd like to fuel
this music quality thread that  some have picked up.

Nancy LaMotta shares a common memory of a time when, as kids, we could
imagine buying only one record at a time because we had saved for it, and
saving enough for two was too much deprivation.  So, while we were on the
next saving cycle, our most recent purchase rode the turntable until it was
ground to microdust.  We listened.  We absorbed.  We played coffee table
drums and air guitar and we sang every word of every song exactly as we
heard it (I remember having a little trouble with P. McCartney's high C).

As a result, we knew this music the way chalkhillbillies know XTC.  Some of
us  lost the capacity to listen, --  or the time, or the inclination -- and
we  buy CDs by the handful or none at all.  Music lost its place.  It
doesn't play like it used to for them.

But I haven't done justice to Nancy's discussion.  She sparked my interest
when she talked about being subjected to ABBA on her Dad's 8-track.  Poor
kid. She reminded me of how I treat my wife to music I love and think she
ought to love too (remember, this discussion centers around getting others
to dig XTC, and why they think you're a geek or something for listening to

I say to my wife, "Wife, you should hear this."

Sometimes she feels she has more important things to do at the time, like
the taxes, or running for Vice President of the Parent's Association.  But
at times she will allow herself to be strapped into a listening position,
headphones secured around her head and throat, consulting her watch and
looking longingly at the front door as if she hoped someone would ring the

I say "best pop song I ever heard in the past two months!", and I play Lloyd
Cole's Weeping Wine.  SHE AGREES! Already loves Lloyd.  Easy sell.  Back she
goes to preparing the penny fund drive for frightened animals that are too
little to stand up for themselves.

Over time, wife and I have communed on Nigel, Senses, and Peter, but I can't
go near her with "that screaming seagulls thing," as she likes to call it.
 Last nite I said, "You've got to listen to No Language In Our Lungs," a
song that has rung in my brain of late.  She replied, "If you say so, I
will."  WOW!

But let's don't go changing our shape (as David Byrne might say) just yet.
 This might not work out.  Where I hear beautiful orchestration and
passionate singing, she might hear screaming seagulls.  Who knows.  Its a
quest.  I'm on a mission from God.  I have found my calling and it will last
a lifetime.  Wish me luck.

Keep writing everyone.  I will be reading.

All the best,


From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Clay Henry
Date: Fri, 03 May 96 13:05:00 CDT
Message-ID: <>

Oops.  One more thing.  Anybody know this Clay Henry clan from Atlanta?
 Seems they have a shameless commerce division name of Ted Lee, but he's
welcome if what he says has a modicum of truth.

Anybody heard Supersize?



Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 14:25:20 -0400
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Eric Matthews

In response to your cry for non album Eric Matthews tracks, I thought I
would respond.
I am a program director for an alternative radio station in North Carolina.
I too loved the Eric Matthews cd and longed for other tracks. I then
received, courtesy of Sub Pop, the cd single for Fanfare. Lo and behold,
the disc had three non album tracks. The tracks are: Lids, Nails, Screws -
A Certain Kind - and the s.h. mix of Distant Mother Reality. I could put
them on tape for you if you would like. write me back and let me know if
you are interested!
Just so there is a bit of XTC related stuff in this message, I close with
"There may be no golden fleece, but human riches i'll release..."
Oh yeah!

Peace, Love and Understanding,
Lee (Logans Dad)


Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 17:49:29 -0400
Message-ID: <>

Skylacking is ON.  Bizarre Depiction is still compiling twisted,
crazy, innovative cover versions of "Skylarking" album tracks
and B-sides.  In keeping with the tradition of the first two XTC
tribute cassettes, (1992's "OBSCENE COLLECTION" and 1995's
"BEASTS I'VE SEEN", the new tape ("SKYLACKING") will feature
odd and unlikely reworkings of one of XTC's best albums.  Not
all of the tracks have been spoken for yet.  The more daring of
you may wish to contribute your versions of one of the
remaining songs.  First let's see what's left and what's not:

TAKEN as of May 1:
Summer's Cauldron - John Neil's own synthetic
Grass - Franco Turra redoes it in Italian, as "Erba," with an
     amazing Balinese gamelan pop sound.
The Meeting Place - Chris Dodge of SPAZZ does a huge
     grindcore sendup.
That's Really Super, Supergirl - The PopUp Book are a (possibly
     defunct) Boston duo that plays it like it was an outtake
     from the GO2 sessions.
1000 Umbrellas - Athens, Ohio band NORTONS ORCHESTRAVILLE
     take it head-on.
Earn Enough For Us - Martin Fuchs does it in German.  Rad.
Another Satellite - John Relph gets my vote for "best XTC
     cover by a group or duo, EVER," with this amazing version.
     This WILL NEVER BE RIVALLED, so chill.  Leon Redbone.
Mermaid Smiled - samarkand pisses out the fire yet again with
     a sarcastically dour take.
Terrorism - USELESS lays waste with distorted bass!  yeah.

The rest is wide-open (Ballet For A Rainy Day, Season Cycle,
Big Day, The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul, Dear God, Dying,
Sacrificial Bonfire, Let's Make A Den, Find The Fox, & The
Troubles).  Your submissions should be on cassette, however it
sounds best (Dolby, etc.), we're not terribly picky about sound
quality.  As long as your version is awesome, there's nothing to
worry about (ha).  Tracks may be reserved by writing to the
Bizarre Depiction po box with a brief description of what
you're planning (ie-Season Cycle!  rap!).  This is to insure that
you don't wind up going into a pro studio to work on a song
that's already taken!  Tapes MUST BE IN by July 1, 1996, so get

CONSUMERS!  Those interested in acquiring "OBSCENE
COLLECTION" AND "BEASTS I'VE SEEN" for one low price are
encouraged to e-mail for information on
how to do that.

Questions?  Concerns?  Please send them directly to Ian via

Po Box 15579
Columbus, OH  43215  usa


Message-Id: <v02130500adb164802c35@[]>
Date: Sat, 4 May 1996 15:14:57 -0500
Subject: The Truth About Soundtracks

This has no XTC content.

But what with everybody touting how "eclectic" or "varied" their music
tastes are, I'm sending in this recommendation:

_The Truth About Cats and Dogs_.  A decently entertaining, cute, formulaic
big studio romantic comedy (I was dragged to go see it last night, but was
pleasantly surprised), but the soundtrack is NONSUCH!  *All* the songs are
good.  That is, if your taste in music is as schiz as mine.  My eyes popped
when I went to the record store today and saw the list of contributing
artists: Suzanne Vega, Squeeze (!), Ben Folds Five, Cowboy Junkies, Aaron
Neville, Jill Sobule, Paul Weller, The Brand New Heavies, Sting, Blues
Traveler, Al Green, The Robert Cray Band, Dionne Farris.  It's like a
really good mix I'd make without the tape dubbing headaches.  As far as I
can tell, all the songs are new.

The Ben Folds Five song "Bad Idea" is beyond fun, and was featured in a
very funny scene in the movie.  Jill Sobule's "Where Do I Begin" is so cool
you could pack meat with it.  "This Road" makes Squeeze finally sound like
Squeeze again.

I could very easily imagine this soundtrack's producers asking XTC to do a
track (after all, there's even a masturbation scene), but Andy probably
hasn't recovered from his _She's Having a Baby_ letdown.

Anyway, highly recommended for all you music-hungry folks.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 04 May 1996 15:00:49 -0700
From: T Lewis <>
Subject: too little too late


Just heard on the NPR station out of Spokane, here in WA state, that
tonight (sat, 5-4) at 11, a very fine (I think locally produced) weekly
show, Johnson's Improbable History of Pop, is doing an hour on XTC. Given
the Chalkhills schedule, I'm betting those of you in the area who missed
any promos (using "Scissor Man" under voice-over) will be reading this too
late.  I'll advise if anything startling is revealed. I might even get it
together to record the thing.

By the way, as long as I've shaken free of the stagefright long enough to
post...thanks to those of you who made suggestions, both in email to me and
in the digest, about my strip "Over the Hedge". I'm still cogitating on how
to get smooth, obscure references to Our Other Partridge Family in the
strip (currently we're running behind schedule, so I'm just happy to get
the damn things done every week). Self-serving note: visit us and Dilbert
and Rose is Rose and Robotman, etc.  at (the
syndicate's website).

Also (uh-oh, set free I've started to ramble), I saw XTC open for the
Police in Houston in, I think, 80 or 81 (I came for our boys, stayed for a
couple of Police tunes, then split). I must say, that it was kind of
disappointing. The crowd, of course weren't into it. But really, to me,
even at that early date (Black Sea), in spite of their undeniable
raucousness, XTC's genuine charms lay in the subtle things that only
at-home (albeit loud) listening could feature. When Andy backed away from
live performances, it didn't surprise me, I assumed it was for the same
reason the Beatles live way to do the music justice.

One more point: about lack of popularity. This may be cynical (not to
mention self-congratulatry), but it seems to me that, given how "quirky"
and intelligent and demanding the guys' music sounds to the average
listener, they've actually been pretty successful. Been together 20
years. Still at it (Virgin notwithstanding). Medium-sized but devoted
following. Vast toy soldier collection. Can anybody out there really
imagine XTC ever selling like a Kenny G (and though we wish the boys well,
wouldn't it kind of spell the end of a something special if they did?).

I'm gone,
T Lewis


Message-Id: <v02130501adb2080b9889@[]>
Date: Sun, 5 May 1996 02:25:55 -0500
Subject: correction

oops, with another listening I realized they're not all new songs on the
cats and dogs soundtrack, like the Cowboy Junkies and Blues Traveler
tracks.  still good, though.


Date: Mon, 6 May 1996 01:09:16 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Michael Wicks)
Subject: Black Sea Divings


In Digest #2-109, bob.g sings praises of Eric Matthews CD....I am dying to
buy this! But where do I go in Japan (any fellow Japanese members out
there, or gaijins living in Japan have a copy or know where I can get it
please feel free to drop me a line at my e-mail site!).
Bob also says he is off to listen to Black Sea....well, it's that time once
a-gain to dust (not too much dust, actually :-)) off another "Classic" XTC
album, #4 in the series, this being...Black SEA:

The last of Steve Lillywhite's productions brings us to an important
turning point in the bands career. With Dave Gregory settling in
comfortably as guitar-virtuoso man, and Andy's vocals getting a BIT more
restrained (alebit not much), the band (esp Andy) tries to shake off the
disappointing showing of 'Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down' (a song Cap'n
Mitch would love!- A salty 'B' is what I give it)  by recording an album
that was, in many ways, "Work Under Pressure".  Upon releasing this
pressure, though, come many a treasure from the dark, Black Sea, and here's
a brief review of the songs:

Respectable Street-  Suburbia was never painted like this! A song that
always seems to be going through my head, I find that every time I walk
down the street in my neighbourhood, and I hear the housewifes talking, or
the kids playing, or (cliche alarm here)  someone slamming a car door, this
song just naturally pops up!  Great lyrics, fantastic rhythm and melody,
awesome!               A-

Generals and Majors- Colin does it again!  This song was a favourite of
mine even after I saw the horrendous video for it (although as a spoof on
early videos, it would be funny! Especially the part with Richard
Branson--what a twit!).  I must've played this, the next song, and Wardance
a thousand times during the Gulf War. A personal Moulding favourite of
mine, and well-deserved, too.     A-

Living Through Another Cuba-  I still don't know how Andy could muster up
the raw energy to perform this one night after would seem so
draining a song, considering it's one of the fastest "dance" songs he's
ever written. A long intro into this song is on the Rockpalast video from
'82, in which Andy talks about this being the "new dance craze sweeping
Europe...the Cuba..." or something like that.    The demo, Ban the Bomb, is
creative in it's simplicity, but the finished product is one of Partridge's
masterpieces.  Recently revived what with the cuban conflict a few months
ago.       Outstanding song.                    A

Love at First Sight-  What a sweet little song Colin has written here!
"...what they want is!"   B

Rocket From a Bottle-  Terry kicks ass here, as the sound of rockets being
lit and set off can be heard in the background. Nice sound effects there,
as the whole song typifies the effects Love has After the First
Sighting...and the feeling one has after that First Kiss...

No Language In Our Lungs-  The songs at this point in the album all segue
nicely into one another, which is Mr. Lillywhite's doing, I suppose.
According to the Chalkhills Bio, this is one of Andy's favourite songs.
This song is particularly cool because I often mishear the lyrics, singing
to myself, "there is no language in our LOVE"...which would be more
typically Andy (or would it?).  Anyways, this is probably my second or
third best off the album. Very cool ending , with what seems to be a
conversation going on (Andy? Dave? Colin? What are they saying?).  If
anyone knows what they are saying, ring in immediately!

Towers of London-   Has anyone seen the making of this? Valuable and
informative footage, an insight as to the recording processes of XTC at the
time of this record. How bout using this for a Tourism ad for London?
   Splendid, absolutely Fabulous, mates!                     B+

Paper and Iron-   My monthly salary/payday song, this one is very cool!
"Workin' for Paper and for Iron, Work for the right to keep my Tie on! "
Ah, yes, Capatilism is alive and well!      A

Burning With Optimisms Flames-  One of the best Live XTC songs, a very
positive song!   A-

Sgt. Rock (is going to help me)-  I, like Andy, used to collect comic books
as a teenager, and though I wasn't a Sgt. Rock fan, I am a fan of this
song, if only for the typically witty Andy lyric, "...make the girl mine,
wave the Victory sign" (and, no, I don't see what all the fuss is over the
supposed Male Chauvinistic overtones of the song. Chill out!      HEY!
SARGE! ROCK!            B+

Travels In Nihilon- More aptly titled, "Travels in Nippon"!  Many young
Japanese have this image they think they have to maintain, or these lofty
expectation of not only themselves, but of others, (especially when it
comes to image and fashion and materialistic wealth),  which makes them a
bit shallow, a bit spoiled, and rather undesirable.  Depressing, haunting,
Reality 101 kids.         A-

Don't Lose Your Temper- Is it just me, or is this nothing more than Red Pt.
2?  Still,  not bad!  B

Smokeless Zone-  The music, the melody on this one is very swirling, like a
tide pool of smoke trying to draw you in, but you steadfastily maintain
your position in the eye of the Smoke-cane, and succeed in staying in the
Smokeless Zone. The American Cancer Society would love to adopt this song,
and what a good sense of humor they have!   Hey Colin, Today I Smoke!  ;-b

The Somnambullist-  Another Brian Eno tribute? Or Phillip Glass? A song
that sticks out from the rest on the album, because it doesn' really fit
the Live/Stage show, does it? BTW, does anyone know if this song was ever
recorded/performed live? Nice, hollow, vaccum/tunnel sounds.  B

Not quite in order, but looking at the averages, I'm gonna have to give BS
a BIG....B+/a- !

A couple of questions:  Why was Terry spooked/scared while making this album?
                        What is a "Somnambullist?"
                        What is being said during the spoken
			word/conversation end of No Language in our Lungs?

In two weeks:   The end of May brings us to thoughts of a quiet, "normal",
....English Settlement!

-Michael W.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 05 May 96 18:25:20 EDT
From: Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU>
Subject: **Clarification**

Hey, all.  Just a quickie.  Hope everyone didn't misunderstand my
1 am posting from the next-to-last issue.  Just Bob T.(yes, the work's
going well and thanks for asking).

I don't mind one little bit when we go off topic.  I'm as guilty as
anyone.  And I love it when y'all post your recommendations on other
music.  How else should I know what to buy?  I was just cranky 'cause
it felt like I was reading the same thing over and over.  That's no
one's fault either, but we should endeavor to send factual answers directly
to the poster.  (I do plan to try some chocolate fingers soon and I
plan to give Mr. Matthews another listen on the Border's listening station).
(actually those belong in different categories:  fact (which should go
directly to the questioner) and music review (which should go out to all
of us so we all know what to buy).

Wow.  Looks like I may actually be more coherent at 1 a.m.  Scary.

Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up.

Obligatory XTC content:  I'm all for compensating Andy for his WONDERFUL
songs which I am lucky enough to have a copy of.  Also for those Xtatic
demos which I now feel really bad for having one of.  Personally, I couldn't
care less about hearing the demo version of songs I have.  I just want
NEW SONGS!!!  Really new, or just new to me.

For a second that thought became a sword in my hand.



Date: Mon, 6 May 1996 12:49:36 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: Luc Haasnoot <>
Subject: XTC song or not?

Hello All,

A friend of mine saw a documentary about Amsterdam football (soccer,
for all you Americans) club Ajax on Dutch television. The program
ended with some music, which he possibly identified as "XTC". However
he is not an XTC fan; he hardly knows them at all. He mailed me some
of the lyrics he recalled, but I don't recognize them.

So, I either have to admit that I don't know the whole XTC
catalogue (which is true; 2 of their regular albums are missing
in my record collection and I don't have a lot of rare material),
or my friend got it wrong assuming the music was from XTC.
The latter would be the most interesting, since it would give us
an idea how people that in fact don't know the band _think_ XTC
sounds. That is, we may get a clearer view of the image that XTC
has for people that actually don't know them. Apart from that,
I am just curious. (And if it is XTC, I really need to get a
tape of the program, since it would combine two of my favorites:
Ajax and XTC!)

So here are the lyrics:

This is the land where I was born
in the bosom of technology
It's not the ending of the world
just the closing of a discotheque
But that's a long long time ago

Does it ring a bell to anyone? I am not too good at lyrics anyhow,
so don't shoot me if this happens to be from one of XTC's most
famous songs!




Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 6 May 96 12:45:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: One Way to Make an XTC Convert

Hello, Chalkhill People,

 Regarding the process of converting
people to XTC, this is just a quick
note on my personal recipe for success.
This may seem obvious to some of you,
but if you know anyone who is a big fan
of the Beatles, make them a compilation
tape of your XTC favorites, spanning
all the albums, with a bit more
emphasis on post-"Drums and Wires"
albums. Give them the tape, with a
request to please listen to it at least
a couple of times before coming to any
conclusions about it. Make sure they
agree to this (just to help compensate
for short attention spans and such). In
my experience, the same things that
appeal to Beatle fans so much about the
Beatles will also appeal to them about
XTC, and they will find many parallels
in the musical growth of both groups.
[I see "White Music" as XTC's "Meet the
Beatles," "Black Sea" as their
"Revolver," "Skylarking" as their "Sgt.
Pepper," "Oranges and Lemons" as their
"White Album" (if only because it too
was a double-album on vinyl), and
"Nonesuch" as something like their
"Abbey Road," though the analogy
falters somewhat there, I'll admit, and
of course we hope that XTC will
continue on beyond that, unlike the
 In any case, I have had success with
several people this way, and they have
subsequently become diehard fans. This
doesn't help in converting non-Beatles
fans, of course, but even in this way I
feel like I've helped spread the
ecstasy of XTC that much more.

Dave Gershman

"I'm a 30-year-old puppy doing what I'm


Date: Mon, 6 May 1996 14:11:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-109
Message-ID: <>

  I'm about to throw a wrench into someone's theory; I first became aware
of XTC when Drums And Wires came out. I heard "Making Plans For Nigel" once
on the radio and wrote them off as just another watered down quirky British
new wave/pop band. I was far from impressed. I was also a punk rocker
wannabe who frowned on anything softer than The Jam(aside from The Talking
Heads and Television, who were okay because they were from NYC).  The first
XTC song that caught my attention was "Living Through Another Cuba," which
I heard on a college hallmate's stereo and thought was from the new Joe
Jackson album. Eventually I realised it was XTC, this band I'd dismissed
based on one song. At about the same time I started going out with an
obsessive XTC fan who not only talked me into getting Black Sea, but
reintroduced me to their entire back catalogue.
  Since then, every subsequent new album of theirs keeps me on my toes. I
never know what to expect from these boys. Just when I thought they couldn't
possibly do something different and still sound like XTC, they've proved me
  I haven't been able to turn my wife onto them either, though she did
recognise "Senses Working Overtime" from her top 40 salad days in the early
80's. She's at least vaguely aware that she'd like them if she made the
effort, but she prefers listening to the same five Air Supply and Carly
Simon albums over and over. She's comfortable with what's familiar.


Date: Mon, 06 May 96 16:15:05 CDT
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: XTC and, um , Hootie

     Hello. I'm Todd Bernhardt, and I'm a Chalkaholic.

     Thanks. Now that I've got that offa my chest, here's an interesting
     little tidbit from Sunday's _Washington Post_.

     In an article by critic Richard Harrington titled, "Hootie: Why the
     Hue and Cry?", was the following paragraph:
     "Critics look at the [Hootie] songs and suggest a slick betrayal of
     pop craft. It's not that they don't like four-minute pop songs. It's
     just that they prefer them from obstinately obscure bands such as the
     Posies, XTC or, more recently, the Cardigans ..."

     Are our boys "obstinately obscure"? I think not! I think they'd
     happily accept popularity (and the cash rewards that go with it)! I'd
     love to see 'em get it, too, but it would mean that I'd have to dig up
     some respect for the music business...

     FunkPopARoll for fish in shoals... (Look! Over there! It's Hootie!)



Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 00:04:42 +0000
Subject: videos


Far be it for me to precipitate on any one's parade (especially being a
parvenue member of the XTC fraternity), but can we have a little less of
the fantasy video meanderings of some of our correspondents, please?
Frankly, I find a lot of it rather embarrassing.

I would have thought that most XTC fans would be of a "certain age" (i.e.
30+) and would, accordingly have more common sense than to rant on about
seagulls with human faces etc. At this point in time, I would have thought
that most XTC fans have been faced with some, if not all, of the
fundamental choices that most denizens of Western civilisation (including
the members of XTC themselves) would have had to face (e.g. marriage,
children, mortgages, carrier decisions etc.). In that light, is it not
possible to discuss a matter of common interest in a matoor (for our
American correspendents) manner, rather than to indulge in childish
speculation about a media which is vacuous in content and manipulative in
intent? Or was that question mark prematoor?

Not to mention the fundamental question of whether the Internet (bow and
scrape) is populated by overeducated nerds who badly need to get a life.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Yours in costarica

Daniel Prendiville

I would hate to think that


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-110

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