Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-116

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 116

                   Tuesday, 28 May 1996

Today's Topics:

                     Now we can begin
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-115
                       wHo GoT WoT?
                      Where are you?
                  XTC re-sign to Virgin!
            Thanks Mitch & David, What's Next?
                    Not so "Lovingood"
                      Re:  Who Cares
                    Sorting it out...
                    XTC & Popularity.
            Lloyd Cole clarification (no XTC)
                    Complicated Game?
              Reuben, Curt, Roland & Freedy
                        Re: XTC/EC
                   XTC Items For Sale!
                  Posting, Yazbek, Colin
                    Skylacking Tribute
                       Chuck's trip
              How do they make their living?
                  Sugarplastic interview


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Quicksilver, she's the girl for me!


From: (Stuart McDow)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Now we can begin
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 16:20:05 -0500 (CDT)

Just a thought: I sincerely hope that, when Our Boys sign a new
contract, they retain complete artistic control. They must, they
simply must.

Stuart McDow                                      Applied Research Laboratories                       The University of Texas at Austin


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 22:38:31 +0100
From: Danny Thomas <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-115

This is my first post to the Digest: I have failed thus far to find a
copy of:

	Dukes of Stratosphear - Chips from the Chocolate Fireball
	(An Anthology)

Especially the UK released Virgin CD or even the US version.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Danny Thomas


Message-Id: <>
From: JoE Silva <>
Subject: wHo GoT WoT?
Date: Tue, 21 May 96 17:43:59 EDT


   It is beyond fab to hear that the band is free and clear, but what
about the details? What did Andy and/or Virgin lose in Does Andy get to put out his long talked about
PoP LP? Will Virgin clean the closet and strategically release some
must-have discs right when we're all headed for the bins to get the
new album? Hmmmm....
JoE Silva
Senior Contributor
Consumable Online

"BanG BanG" - Maxwell


Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 21:02:09 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: greetings!

As a new subscriber and first-time poster to chalkhills, I just thought I'd
say hello to my fellow chalkhillians. It's nice to know that there is a
network of like-minded, "funk pop a rollers", eager to keep the good name
of XTC alive and well.  I only wish I'd joined the XTC fan clubs years ago,
back when I was a snotty, pretentious "Fusion-ite" who quickly dismissed
fan clubs as "nerdy". Oh, the goodies you've all accumulated over the
years, no doubt! (Will you ever forgive me?)

The first XTC album I ever bought was "Drums and Wires", back in 1979.
(Regrettably, I didn't purchase it until about 6 months after it came out
because I mistakenly thought the name on the front cover read, "Toto"). My
copy came with the extra 45 containing "Chain of Command", "Limelight", and
"Day in Day Out". (Anybody know what this is worth?)

I met Todd Rundgren a few years back at, of all places, a Terence Trent
D'Arby concert at the Beacon Theater. Skylarking had been out for a while,
and Andy had already expressed his disdain over the recording experience. I
told Todd that he had produced two of my favorite albums (Skylarking and
the Psychedelic Fur's Forever Now), and I asked him if there was any truth
to the rumours of friction between he and Andy. To paraphrase, he said, "It
wasn't a pleasant experience". "As much as I've always admired their music,
they've always had the luxury of producing themselves, so their albums have
always been incongruous and lacking a more commerical appeal. I simply
tried to make the songs connect thematically, and Andy's feather's got
rustled". I don't disagree with his opinion of XTC appearing "incongruous",
but, then again, isn't this one of their most endearing qualities?

I also met Sam Philips at the Mercury Lounge last year in NY, who expressed
her fondness for Colin Moulding. I've heard that there was another song
recorded for her "Martinis and Bikinis" album (other than Baby I Can't
Please You) that Colin Moulding produced and performed on. Anyone have any
info on this?

By the way, I'm into collecting XTC-related matter, and would be
particularly interested in finding some of the home demos that are
mentioned in the discography website. I've got some of them, (though I'm
not an advocate of bootlegging). I can't help but wonder whether or not
Andy is deliberately leaking these tapes every now and then, just to keep
the die-hards happy between albums.  I've got other rare and interesting
XTC items (Nonsuch promo deck of cards, Look Look video, Rip Van Ruben
flexi-disc, for example), so please let me know if any of you would be into
trading or selling.


Message-Id: <v01510109adc88c996936@[]>
From: (R. Johnson)
Subject: Where are you?
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 10:25:49 +0000

Are there any XTC-ers here in Cornwall?

I'm not into analysing the each album's every note, trying to suss out the
psych of AP, particularly bothered whether Terry Chambers used more cymbal
crashes per song than Dave Mattacks, or how the particular shade of green
used on "Skylarking" was decided on!

I'm just dead keen on a damned fine band who write the most original and
addictive songs and who have this irritating habit of producing albums far
too far apart - but which are always worth waiting for!

And I ain't a "30-something"

- just!!



Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 May 1996 10:59:32 U
From: "Dan Pinder" <>
Subject: XTC_future_producers#201#

I've barely read the 20-odd postings that have been stuffed in my mailbox
lately - I've been away and I'm overwhelmed. In edition 115 I noticed some
talk of producers, and I wonder if there's been talk over who should
produce the next record. If I had my way, besides doing it myself, and at
the risk of echoing someone else's post, I would like to nominate my
favorite production team, Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake. These are the
ears behind such classics (or soon-to-be classics) as Crowded House's
Woodface, Los Lobos' Collossal Head (Vic & Bob: "What a beauty!!") and
Kiko, Cibo Matto, The Latin Playboys, Finn and other greats. Their style of
working would work nicely with our boys; they'll use ANYTHING to record
with and their records show what you get when you put many creative minds
in one room. I'd like to hear XTC draw from more of a raw sound, like Big
Express, or even Greatest Living Englishman (maybe a bit TOO
raw!). Froom/Blake's records have a unique listenability and character that
I don't hear from more mainstream producers/engineers. Froom and Blake
always say they like to work with artists on the fringe and I can't think
of a better union.

Any other ideas?



Date: Wed, 22 May 96 14:06 BST-1
From: (Psion plc  Joe Odukoya)
Subject: XTC re-sign to Virgin!
Message-Id: <>

A-ha!! I knew that would get you reading this.
Richard Branson was a big fan of XTC (note his presence in the Generals &
Majors vid) and it seems it is only since his waining interest in the
label that XTC's problems have started (I may be wrong here...).
Anyway, apparently he regrets selling off the Virgin label and is
restarting it under the name V2 - so maybe they may end up there (as I
presume Branson is still as much of a fan as he used to be and certainly
allowed them a lot of leeway in the early days!).

On another note: I was looking through the credits on my vinyl copy of
The Big Express and I noticed a thanks to "Curt & Roland".  I presume
this is they of Tears for Fears fame.  Anyone know the story behind this?


- Joeo -


Message-Id: <v02140b00adc8c13b1739@[]>
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 08:16:50 -0500
From: (Della & Steve Schiavo)
Subject: Thanks Mitch & David, What's Next?

I wish to echo Annie Sattler's thanks to Mitch and David for passing
along the information from Andy.

Switching to fanboy mode:  Did Andy mention if there will be any more
releases from Virgin.  Like maybe Somesuch?  I wonder if there is a
legit tape of the Paradiso show - that would be great.  Just hoping.

- Steve


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 22 May 96 09:48:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Not so "Lovingood"

On Tue, 21 May 1996 01:15:53 -0700, Charles Lee Lovingood, Jr., went on:

>Subject: Who cares

>I attended a school with a ten to one ratio of what you laymen caLL
>REDNECKS! I could have easily been one myself! My entire family in
>fact are, not rednecks, but to be polite, "Hicks"! I somehow managed
>to rise above all of that, thanks mostly to my global and not local
>outlook on things, especially music. While the majority of my school
>was into, say, Molly Horseshit, et al, I was walking down the halls
>blasting XTC on my boombox and sporting a blue rat tail. Needless to
>say, I got beat up more than once. It was all a rebellion, however. I
>hated that situation, and did everything I could to prove that I was
>better than that.

And went on...

>In fact, had it not been for XTC and Elvis Costello, I would have
>been wearing flannel shirts and drinking Busch Beer on the backroads
>of Wythe county, Virginia. No doubt anxiously awaiting the next
>release from REO Shitwagon. I shudder at the thought. The music
>helped me rise above it all, and for that, I can never be thankful

And yet more...

>And to think, had it not been for my wanting to break out of the mold
>that was more or less pre-determined for me, I would have to this day
>been working in a factory in Wytheville, Virginia, and married to a
>simple country girl who would have loved nothing more than for me to
>devote my life to worshipping the lord almighty. Amen!

Well, Mr. "Lovingood," I certainly hope you're proud of yourself these days,
seeing as you're SO MUCH BETTER than so many other less fortunate souls who
weren't lucky enough to be you. It must be pretty nice to be able to look
down from on high and laugh so heartily at others. I mean, it's not as
though, in all your years of being "transformed" by XTC's music, you might
have had time to actually pay attention to their lyrics enough to learn
something about caring for your fellow humans, no matter what their class or
situation, and realize that we're all pretty darn equal. I can certainly
appreciate the fact that XTC's music has meant a lot to you, and your point
that we shouldn't be concerned about what others think of their music is
certainly valid, but need you be so high and mighty in the process?
Personally, I think the "simple country girl" is probably a lot better off
without you!

"Who cares?" Apparently not you, Charles.


Message-Id: <s1a2e8cd.046@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 10:07:24 -0400
From: Tim Kendrick <TKEN@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Subject: Re:  Who Cares

  Who cares if XTC is popular or not ?
          I do !

   Why ?

  1.)  If XTC were more popular there would be more
         videos, posters, interviews, and (most importantly)
         more new music.  Andy has said repeatedly that he
         would love to release a new album every six months.
         If XTC were more popular, that could become a reality.

   2.)  Our three lads are in pretty bad shape financially.
          This is not new, they have had money problems/debts
          for years.  Popularity means they could actually
          rise up to the middle class.  If they became superstars
          the might even rise to the upper class.

   3.)   It would give XTC the recognition they deserve.
          XTC is one of the greatest bands of all time - yet few
          rock critics mention them in their top-10 lists.
          Popularity for XTC would change this.

  4.)  Lee, you talked in your post about how much
        XTC's music changed your life.  It did for me as well.
        If you had never heard "It's Nearly Africa" coming
        out of that boom box, your life may have been quite
        different.  Don't you want to give others the opportunity
        to hear XTC's music as well ???  I agree we shouldn't
        ram XTC down peoples throats, but it would be
        nice to give more people the opportunity to hear XTC.
        Maybe other peoples lives will change as a result of
        a popular XTC.

 Regardless of whether or not they ever become popular,
 I love the music, and the impact it has had on my life cannot
 even be put into words.

                     Tim K.

"All he would say - is I can make you famous - all he would say"


Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 10:20:48 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Sorting it out...

     Okay, I've narrowed it down...

     F**k, is either:

     "Falk" (Goon-eyed actor, Peter) - Unlikely.
     "Fork" (Fork you?!) - Youch!  Probably not.
     "Fink" (What the fink?!) - I don't think so.
     "Fuck" - That's my bet.

     Thank you all for for being so sensitive and cloaking the word,
     thereby saving us from exposure to this particluar organization and
     orientation of letters.  We are all much less offended by asterisks!

     Seriously,  the bridge lyrics in Complicated Game have me stumped.
     They are so wet with echo that I can't decipher them.  Is there some
     edition of DRUMS AND WIRES that list the lyrics?  HELP!

     It may be something like:

        They want to talk, they want it rolled
        Do just  ......  stick  ...... show
        Little (friendly?)   arrows and a very bad aim
        It's just a complicated game

     If you know please reply!  Additionally if you are better at
     deciphering chords than me (not surprising) and have any idea what
     these are (some are easy for me, a few are not), send those too.

     Cheers, Richard


Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 18:35:58 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: (Simon Sleightholm)
Subject: XTC & Popularity.

Lee Lovingood wrote:-

>love it for what it means to you and dont try to ruin a perfect thing
>by lamenting the fact that the boys aren't more popular. Who cares!
>The world needs more Peter Pans!

Lee, you missed one very important point in your mail. We are not advocating
that XTC should be popular just so we can all feel like we fit in. XTC need
to be successful for a very good reason, the same reason as you need people
to listen to your radio station. They have a living to make. If they don't
sell records, they don't generate money to make records or support
themselves and their family. Your radio station will no doubt strive to be
popular too.

And, while I think of it, why would a rebel against the common herd choose
to indentify themselves as "Being a Cancerian", thus implying a willingness
to conform to a character profile common to 1/12 of the world's population?

Anyway, no insult is intended (How could I dare, what with that shit I
posted in the same list?). Not only did I find your posting very
entertaining, but I also recognised some of myself in what you said - the
liberation that comes from finding a music that really speaks to *you* is a
feeling I well understand. Opinions are surely what this list is all about.
If you can't raise your views of XTC in Chalkhills, then where can you?

On a slightly relevant note, why do people insist on releasing
"Tribute" albums? I mean "Testimonial Dinner" will never get played in
my house again - unless I've put it back in the wrong case, or the
tape I copied "The Good Things" on to gets chewed. I'm sure it's a fun
thing for the bands involved, the "tributed" and the "tributee", but
for the most part they are a bit duff. It's not a concept you see
cropping up in any other art form. The Tribute Book - A selection of
modern writers each take a different chapter from different books by
Iain Banks and re-write it in their own style, the chapters are then
stuck together and the book is released. I bet that'd be a seller.

Hack, sneeze, groan, curse and wuffle.


* ---------------------------------------------------
* ---------------------------------------------------
No Thugs In Our House, only XTC.


Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 10:32:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Tom X. Chao" <>
Subject: Lloyd Cole clarification (no XTC)
Message-Id: <>

Somebody wrote this:
While we're on the subject of other artists XTC'ers might enjoy, check out
Lloyd Cole's "don't get weird on me babe...". This is a wonderful record,
and another example of how a record company can kill a record by picking
the worst song on the CD as the single! I can't say I really like any of
Lloyd's other CD's-I think it's the backing vocals by Matthew Sweet that
really put this one over the edge.

As regards this post, "Don't Get Weird . . ." is Cole's weakest disc.  Get
the early albums with the Commotions and the eponymous Lloyd Cole first
solo disc.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 19:17:35 +0000
Subject: Complicated Game?

Dear Chalkies,

I have been wondering for a long long time if Andy P. designed the game
that came with the first pressing of Making Plans For Nigel.
I know he did design some other games ( Anthill & Tower of Babel ??? )
so maybe he was involved with the Nigel game as well.
Does anbody know?

I'm trying to collect _ALL_ the different Making Plans For Nigel 7inch
singles that were ever released. If you've got any you would like to
swap/trade/sell please send me an email.


<- XTC quote for today  ->
Hours swum down, treasure unfound
Air leaving slow, still breathing though


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Reuben, Curt, Roland & Freedy
Date: Thu, 23 May 96 18:01:00 edt
Message-ID: <>

I keep meaning to mention this, but have forgotten...until now.

There's a poster outside of our school library with a huge picture of
Reuben Blades (proclaiming "Leer es Poder" or something - I dunno, I take
Latin...)  Anyway, whenever I see it, I think of his awesome version of
"The Man Who Sailed" on TD. Thanks, Reuben!

Now, some quick questions/comments:
    -"Curt" and "Roland" are mentioned in the sleeve of The Big Express. I
suppose that these gents could be none other than the early-80s incarnation
of Tears for Fears. But why?

    -I've been reading a lot of negative stuff about Freedy Johnston's
cover of "Earn." Sure, it's slower than the original, but I like it. And
his album "This Perfect World" is one of the unproclaimed gems of pop. It's
really quite incredible - anybody wanna back me up on this?

That's it for now. Yay! Take care, everyone...

Ben (spelled backwards is "Neb," as a friend so deftly pointed out to me)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 20:13:28 -0700
From: "Charles Lee Lovingood, Jr." <>
Subject: Re: XTC/EC

DeWitt Henderson wrote:
> What I'm
> really email-ing you for, though, is just to say something in response
> to your comments on "who cares how popular or commercial someone is"
> (I'm kinda paraphrasing here).  The reason I get pissed when I realize
> that some of my favorite bands aren't more popular isn't because I want
> the masses to love the same stuff I do, I want my favorite bands to
> get rewarded for doing great music - money, continuing recording
> contracts, etc.  I mean, we can love XTC all we want, but if they don't
> have a recording contract, we ain't gonna get a new album from 'em!
> Also, doesn't it burn you to see some totally talentless rap group or
> something making millions while someone like Elvis Costello sells -
> what? - a couple hundred thousand copies per release, if that many?
> By the way, the new E.C., "All This Useless Beauty", is pretty damn
> good, in case you haven't heard it yet.

	Thank you so much for taking the time to write. What you said
makes perfect sense, but I wonder if, say E.C. and XTC feel the same way.
It seems to me that those artists, and I can think of a few instances,
like R.E.M. and U2 who, when they weren't making enough money, sacrificed
a considerable amount of their passion in quest of the mighty green.
Listen to U2's Boy and then listen to, say Zooropa, you'll see what I
mean. By the same token, R.E.M.'s Murmur and Monster. Elvis could make a
radio friendly album. He certainly has the talent! I don't think it is
that important to him. He has the respect of a lot of people, if not
scads of money, and he continues to please those listeners with solid
releases. Same with XTC. What pisses me off is not that these artists are
not more popular, it,s the fact that the public is so blind to their
inner selves that they would allow themselves to go out and buy a
worthless album and convince themselves that they enjoy it because it is
the "HOT" thing to do! I have been in radio for eleven years. I know what
kind of crap the general public will swallow. As for the latest Elvis
album, I have had it since the tuesday before it was released. It is
great! The best in some time. Everyone should pick it up!
	By the way, sorry my last post was so long. It was late, it was
the bourbon. I don't know, but I apologize!
I don't wanna grow up!
Lee Lovingood


Message-Id: <v01530500adcb0bfdbd89@[]>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 22:56:10 -0800
From: (Tim Pacheco)
Subject: XTC Items For Sale!

Here are a few XTC items I have for sale. I'm interested in selling them
quickly and getting the money right away (need to purchase a scanner fast!)
so I can't hold any items for very long. Call me at 1-800-426-4278 10 to 4,
Mon. thru Fri., California time and ask for Tim, or email me at:  Thanks! Tim Pacheco

XTC For Sale
This Is Pop b/w Heatwave-UK VS209 PS-VG+ / VG++   $15

Wake Up b/w Take This Town & Mantis On Parole-UK-VS746, PS-VG++ / M-  $15

Take This Town b/w the Ruts' "Babylon's Burning"- UK RSO71,PS-VG++ /VG++  $20

Good Man Albert Brown b/w Vanishing Girl-UK VS982,PS-M- / Black vinyl M-$12

3" Senses Working Overtime w/ 3 extra tracks-UKCDT9   $18

Bee's Wax-JAPAN VJCP-23145 w/ Japanese/English lric booklet   $35

Oranges & Lemons - w CD cover booklet AUTOGRAPHED BY ANDY, COLIN & DAVE! $65

XTC Collector's Edition Box set w/ "Go-2", "Drums & Wires" and "Black Sea" with
                      limited edition screened CD's in a special box. MINT  $55


Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 20:13:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: Christie <>
Subject: Posting, Yazbek, Colin
Message-ID: <>

I hope all the bitterness and gall has cleared from the air when this
gets posted.  Really, I love getting Chalkhills, but lately the debates
have been a bit acrimonious.  To the person who posted the video idea for
"Seagulls"--please don't retreat!  We're all really quite friendly, in
spite of the cranky messages being posted now and then.  The opposite of
love isn't hate, it's indifference, so maybe it's a good thing that you
got so much "response" (tho' negative) from you first post.  :)  Stick
around, the more the merrier.

Okay, let's get back on the music track.  I just got Dave Yazbek's "The
Laughing Man" and it's quite groovy.  Poppy and pleasant, and with
interesting cartoony album artwork.  I have to admit that the first
thing I did was check out what songs Andy played and/or sang on, but I'm
starved for anything related to XTC so I hope Dave Y. will forgive me.
I also got a copy of Andy's "James and the Giant Peach" songs, and
they're great!  They would have been perfect for the book (I say "book"
instead of "movie" because who knows what sort of interpretive horrors
Disney has unleashed upon the unsuspecting public in the guise of a
children's movie.).  Anyway, I love the songs, they're so dang cute.

And finally, to get to a kind of neglected area--the lovely and talented
Colin Moulding.  He's not quite the extrovert that Andy is, so it seems
he doesn't get talked about as much (did we argue over whether or not
Colin believes in God?  No, squelch the thought before that thread comes
up again!). I read an interview with him in which he was actually happy!
Yes, believe it or not, he was talking about how much he enjoyed being
in a band and making music.  A departure from his usual brooding self,
I think.  It was kind of an old interview, but let's hang onto the thought.
And here's my top ten list of Colin songs, in no order:

Heatwave, Smokeless Zone, Ball and Chain, English Roundabout, In Loving
Memory of a Name, Wonderland, Wake Up, Vanishing Girl, The Meeting Place,

Only ONE person wrote in to say they thought Bungalow was a good song.
Doesn't anyone else out there like it?  Come on, guys, it's a GREAT song.
Sometimes I have the urge (usually in a quiet library) to burst out
singing, "Bungaloooowww!!!  By the sea-eaa!"  Come on, I'm sure there are
others out there.

Live long and prosper.



Message-Id: <>
Subject: Quicksilver
Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 12:24:12 +0900
From: Naoyuki Isogai <>

Hi'ya, Chalkies!!!

The other day, I tried transcribing the lyric of "Quicksilver"
which had been recorded before _WHITE MISUC_.  However, I'm not so
confident that the lyric was heard by me correctly.  It's because
I'm not so good at hearing English and the lyric I transcribed makes
no sense.

Anyway, here is the lyric:



Quicksilver, headed out for the creed
Quicksilver, he's gonna take on wheel
Quicksilver, she's a girl for me
In a pool of Mercury...

Quicksilver, she pours, you can jaw
Quicksilver, where do you go man, go
Quicksilver, count for 1, 2, 3
In a pool of Mercury...

She's a girl in a million,   }
She's a girl in a billion,   }  x2
She's a girl in a trillion,  }
She's a girl in a tree...    }

Quicksilver, headed out for the creed
Quicksilver, this gonna take on wheel
Quicksilver, she's a girl for me
In a pool of Mercury...

Oh, Quicksilver!


If anybody finds my mishearing, please correct!!!

BTW, what does the word "quicksilver" mean?

---- NaoyuKing, the department           "All the kids are complaining
     of Economics in KEIO Univ.           that there's nowhere to go...
                                          All the kids are complaining
  E-mail :    that the song is too slow..."


Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 03:02:36 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Skylacking Tribute


John here to give you an update on the _Skylacking_ project.
Ian's gotten a tremendous response for reserved tracks, and
that was handled on a first come first served basis.

On the 'reserved but haven't sent tapes yet' list:

"Ballet For A Rainy Day" - Dave Stafford
"Season Cycle" - Jason Garcia
"Big Day" - Tobin Munsat
"The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul" - Daniel Prendiville
"Dear God" - Chris Spillios

That leaves these songs still unaccounted for (at this

"Sacrificial Bonfire"
"Let's Make A Den"
"The Troubles"
"Find The Fox"

(If someone sent in a reservation for one of the above... it's
only the fact that I haven't heard about it yet that I posted it
"unreserved".  It will show up on my next post).

The tapes need to be in by July 1.  To reserve one of the above
available tracks, send a letter (yeah, I know... the postal thing
is ucky... but Ian doesn't even own a modem) describing the
song you want to do and the style/configuration/etc... to:

Ian C Stewart
Po Box 15579
Columbus, OH  43215  usa

And send it quick!  (Tapes go there also).

Hopefully we can put this thing together smoothly.  This is a
strange way to put a tape together.  All I can say is that I'll do
my best to keep you all updated on everything as it goes (as
will Ian by personal snail-mail).  Ian was very excited to get
all the responses, and _Skylacking_ probably wouldn't
even happen without all the enthusiasm from Chalkhills.

Till we E again,



From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Chuck's trip
Date: Fri, 24 May 96 11:29:00 edt
Message-ID: <>

Hey Chalkies:

Thought you'd be interested to know that I just received a note from ex-
Chalkhillian Chuck Bisson, and here's what he has to say:

"Recently I attended a cultural studies conference in -guess - no, I'll tell
- Leeds, England! I had a few hours one afternoon/evening and took a ride up
to Swindon. I've made my pilgramage. Well, to make a long story short, I had
dinner with Mr. Partridge and, as I planned, asked him to autograph my
records - I brought the sleeves to O&L and Skylarking; I also brought my CDs."

Andy drew skis on the Skylarking female (nymph?), and, on the O&L sleeve,
wrote "Hung like a Hampster!," with an arrow pointing to




Message-Id: <>
Date: 25 May 96 15:17
Subject: How do they make their living?

     I've often wondered how AP, CM, and DG do financially.  For instance,
     Colin doesn't seem to do that many outside musical projects to "bring
     home the bacon" so to speak.  Do you suppose he and the others made
     enough in royalties over the years to ferret away enough to live on
     now?  Or do you think they just do side projects when they need some
     cash?  You don't suppose Colin or Dave have "real" jobs during the
     day, do you?  Does anybody know?  Cause if they're bumming, give me
     their address!  I'll send 'em each a 5 spot!

     BTW: A recent post by an XTC collector mentioned that the "Bag's o'
     fun with Buster" 45 was extremely rare.  I happen to own that single.
     I was in a local store, Tatters 'n Platters, a few years back, and
     just saw it in the XTC bin.  I bought it new, cost me a couple of
     bucks.  It's nothing to write home about musically, it's just funny in
     a really base, 5th grade sort of way.  There was a hand written note
     by a store employee on it that said: "The XTC boys are at it again!"

     Rich Pearson
     Minneapolis, MN


Message-Id: <v01530500adcd691a3990@[]>
Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 19:55:10 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Sugarplastic interview


I recently interviewed Ben Eshbach, leader of the much-discussed
Sugarplastic, and thought I'd submit a few of his XTC-related comments.
He's a very nice, down-to-Earth guy, and I still think Bang, The Earth Is
Round is a very worthwhile record. I hope I don't regret this post, but I
thought folks might be interested in his responses....

(Note: "Kiara" and "Josh" are the band's other members, bassist Kiara
Geller and drummer Josh Laner.)

Q:  Can we address the XTC issue?

A:  Absolutely. Aren't they like a heavy metal band from the '80s? Oh, that
was XYZ [laughs]. No, I love XTC.

Q:  Isn't it ironic that you're joining up with Geffen while XTC is trying
to leave?

A:  Somebody else brought that up. It might be ironic, but it certainly
isn't intentional. And I've never thought that a song I've written was
really a lot like XTC, whereas I HAVE written songs where I was ashamed
that they were too much like the Kinks. You know what I mean? So the XTC
influence must be ingrained to the point that I don't recognize it, because
nobody fails to recognize it except me. Brian Wilson, too. Both Kiara and
Josh will say, "This song sounds like the Beach Boys." Even the guy from
Combustible Edison told me that, that it sounds like I listen to a lot of
Brian Wilson. I don't. I bought my first Beach Boys album last year -- it
was Pet Sounds -- and I listened to it once. But XTC is another story. I
really like Drums And Wires, Skylarking and English Settlement. That's
about it. Maybe I just have the same influences as Brian Wilson and Andy
Partridge! [Laughs]

Q:  Several songs on the new album don't sound much like XTC, but "Another
Myself," "Don't Sleep" and "Polly Brown" seem to show a strong Partridge

A:  Yeah, CMJ [College Music Journal] said that about "Don't Sleep." They
said the chorus was Andy Partridge. Now that I just don't buy -- I can't
believe it.

Q:  Well, it's probably those heavily syncopated syllables in the melody.
That's kind of a Partridge touch.

A:  Yeah, that does happen in the aggressive part. But actually, the way
that song was written has nothing to do with that. I can PROVE there's no
Partridge influence. That was a song I wrote about four years ago, and I
recorded it on a four-track. And then one day, I played the four-track in
my regular cassette player backwards -- you know, I had the tape on the
wrong side -- and it played two of the tracks in reverse. And that song
"Don't Sleep," the aggressive part, is backwards from how the original song
was written. Any syncopation that's in there was in reverse order. If you
heard the song forward, you wouldn't hear any syncopation. It's just a
phenomenon, hearing everything backwards. Some syncopations happen to come
out, because your mind tricks you about what is one and what is three. And
I liked the song a lot more backward than I liked it forward. So there --
no Andy Partridge! [Laugh]

Q:  When did you first become a XTC fan?

A:  "Life Begins At The Hop" was the first XTC song that made me fall in
love with them. I had heard a lot of them before, like "Making Plans For
Nigel" and "Senses Working Overtime," but when I heard "Life Begins At The
Hop," something clicked. And then all the other songs I liked, I liked even

[Somewhere in here, Eshbach also said that he most likes XTC's melodic
stuff, and that he still can't listen to White Music.  :)]

Q:  What's in your personal record collection?

A:  My record collection is XTC to Beatles to Kinks to Brian Eno, and a
bunch of, BUNCH OF classical.

Q:  Will you be excited if you get to tour England, where so many of your
influences come from?

A:  I'll probably be very excited up until the day I leave, and then I'll
be terrified. I don't like to play live. I get VERY nervous before shows,
always. I'm getting a little better about it. But Josh and Kiara want to
go. They want to leave right now. Like, "Let's go to Amsterdam!" That's
what they always say. And I'm just like, "Well, we'll see what happens." I
may even be unconsciously sabotaging any tours that come our way.

Q:  That's weird, since Andy Partridge is so famous for his stage fright.

A:  Kiara and Josh read a book called Chalkhills And Children, and they
both refused to let me read it! This was about three years ago, before we
were signed or anything. And they just did not want me to read it, so I
didn't. But I really don't think that I have a problem like Andy Partridge
with playing live. I just get the shakes, you know?


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-116

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