Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-119

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 119

                   Monday, 3 June 1996

Today's Topics:

                   Coney Island & Stuff
                 Producers / What slump?
               RE: Chalkhills Digest #2-118
                    Things that go pop
                        Found this
                    Goodbye, Chalkies!
            the printed word must be forgiven
                      Curt & Roland
                      plank spankage
        Tributes (in general)/Intentionally Clever
                   Chalkids Correction
            Complicated Game chord correction
           The REAL list of tribute tape songs
                 RE: The boys' next move
                   Re: Curt and Roland


To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
<> with the following command:

        unsubscribe chalkhills

For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


World Wide Web: ""

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Shooting arrows of fire.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 01 Jun 1996 21:44:45 -0700
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Coney Island & Stuff

"Grimm, Chris" <> wrote:-

>"Coney Island" is a documentary film by Ric Burns, brother of Ken Burns
>("The Civil War", "Baseball").....

Thanks a lot, Chris. The film was certainly an exceptional piece of
work. Being a rain-sodden English person, I only knew of Coney Island
through the odd US film & TV reference (I think Scooby Doo ran into the odd
deranged lighthouse-keeper/janitor there on occasion), but even so I found
the documentary oddly moving and utterly enthralling.

In as calm and objective a way as I can muster I am bound to say that I
*like* the idea of the Bungalow URL getting onto CD sleeves. (Explodes in
delight at the mere thought)

After adding my support to "Bungalow" as a song of greatness, I must
balance this by sharing my opinion that "Wardance" and "The Smartest
Monkeys" are, by and large, absolutely bobbins. I do, though, find myself
once more in agreement with the estimable Natalie Jacobs as regards the
wholly swoonsome "Find a Fox". This song deserves better than being a vinyl
only 12" b-side. It should have been given the full "Sacrificial Bonfire"
treatment, though I would insist that the fingers-drumming-on-scratchplate
horses would have to retained. And of course, there's always "Blame The
Weather", which, combined with "Tissue Tigers" probably makes "Senses..." a
valid contender for the single with the best ever b-side.

I'm the man who tripped love over and snapped it's glasses,



Date: Sat, 1 Jun 1996 18:29:22 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Hideho!


        I'm new here, so I might as well go the standard newbie route and
tell my little story.
        I first heard of XTC when someone I knew (a college DJ, actually)
heard that I liked They Might Be Giants. He said, "I think I know another
band you might like," and presented me with a mix tape compiled from TBE,
Skylarking, O&L, Nonsuch, and R&BB. The first song on it was "Mayor Of
Simpleton," and I tell you now that this one song was enough to draw me
in...I have Nonsuch, O&L, and Skylarking now, and intend to get more as soon
as I can.
        So, to contribute a little: in the Colin songs department, I've seen
a number of songs that I know and like but I can't believe that no one has
mentioned "My Bird Performs" I the only one who absolutely loves this
song? From the beginning guitar part, it just amazes me every time I listen
to it. As for Bungalow, after just /really/ listening to it, I must say that
my former dislike is slightly lessened. I expect to like it eventually. The
same sort of thing happened with "Miniature Sun"--it went from the only
track on O&L that I would skip to a favorite of mine through one intent
        As I said earlier, I'm new here, and I know how irritating it is to
see newbie questions posted on the list. Would any kind soul out there be
willing to e-mail me and give me a little guidance? Thanks!
/////////////////////////////Joshua Hall-Bachner/////////////////////////////
/      /
/ "I spend too much time raiding windmills, We go side by side, laugh until /
///it's right. -- Toad The Wet Sprocket,"Windmills"//////////////////////////


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Producers / What slump?
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 96 18:55:14 -0500
From: Della & Steve Schiavo <>

In 2-118 Simon Knight wrote:

>This weird and wonderful collection of people received one vote each (for
>producer of the next album):

Bob Clearmountain - Who has Mr. Clearmountain produced?  I know that he
is primo in the technical area and has mastered tons of albums.  Maybe
just what the band needs.

Roy Wood - This might be a trip!  I have no idea what it would sound like
if Roy actually produced (the way Todd did) but it could be interesting.
I've always thought it would be great to have a whole album of Move
covers by XTC.  Maybe they could team up with Cheap Trick and do a
double.  For those of you who have never heard The Move - check out
Shazam, Looking On, or Great Move (which is Message From The Country plus

>As long as we're really tossing ideas around, can you imagine the
>results with Kate Bush?

ICE reports that Kate has one song on a Celtic album coming out this year
and *nothing* at all scheduled for next year.  I guess she likes her time
off.  She also now composes her songs in her studio and look how long it
takes for her to do an album of her own stuff.

>I've noticed no-one has suggested that XTC produce themselves.  Do
>people think the guys need a strong hand in the studio?  Their production
>work for other people shows they have the capability to do it themselves.

Sure they could do it.  All they have to do is avoid the "three headed
monster" problem.  It's just easier to have a "producer".

Derek Miner wrote:

>Remember back when the boys suffered a bit of a slump with "Mummer" and
>"Big Express"? Not to say that the albums are bad (especially since all XTC
>fans have different tastes, even within the catalogue), just that things
>weren't going along swimmingly in the creative department.

Sez who?  These are both great albums.  Please point out the bad songs.
And the recordings are not painful to listen to.

I just about puked the first time I heard Skylarking (George Gimarc
played it with Andy's comments before it came out).  I love Todd's pop
albums but he can't engineer his way out of a wet paper bag.  And the
rinky dink "percussion" on Supergirl (and elsewhere) still makes me grit
my teeth (no slam at Mr. Prince).  The gold CD does sound better (but
they should have used the original album plus singles).

I just hope the guys hire someone who knows how to make a good sounding
recording - be it analog or digital.  The English Settlement vinyl has
long been held up as an example of what a rock recording should sound

Enough ranting for now -



Message-ID: <>
From: Robert Triptow <>
Subject: RE: Chalkhills Digest #2-118
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 1996 17:17:23 -0700

<Does anyone else think that Skylarking (or maybe a somewhat expanded
<version) would be perfectly suited for stage adaptation?

Good lord! Go rent the movie of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"!
Then discard that twisted fantasy and listen to the album again, if you
haven't poked our your eardrums in disgust!


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 01 Jun 1996 18:43:26 -0700
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: Things that go pop

T Lewis fired off:
>Dopey note, but I have to get it out of my head: In a fairly recent
>issue someone noted our boys' penchant for particular metaphors that pop
>up repeatedly through the discography. My entry: fireworks; ie:
>"life's like a firework, you're only lit once and you must stand and
>radiate correctly" (great line, I think).
>"like a rocket from a bottle shot free"
>"the brightest fireworks are lighting up my sky"
>"like a firework to which we're tied, be prepared to go through your

You forgot:
"My Love Explodes"!

A.P. describing the set progression in the "BBC Live" liner notes:
"'ve swerved into 'Making Plans for Nigel". Up goes the rocket.
Down comes a shower of burning 'Are You Receiving Me' sparks."

  Have you noticed what pyros these guys are? Always lighting, torching,
burning something or someone.

don't mean to be a wisecracker.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 1996 09:59:16 -0700
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Found this

Hi Chalkies,

I found this on the web at "". It seems to
be a fairly current music page, so I thought I'd better cut and paste the
text here in case it had been replaced by something lesser by the time you
read this.

    XTC: Englands "Fab Three". Besides the Beatles, probably THE most
    influential pop group ever.  Have a HUGE catalog of the smartest (not
    to mention) the BEST pop music EVER. The best XTC page is HERE. GOSSIP:
    XTC recently severed their ties with Virgin records due to lack of
    promotion (figure that). They are currently shopping for a new label
    while Dave Gregory plays guitar on every album known to man, Andy
    Partridge sharpens his production skills, and Colin Moulding lays bass
    tracks down on various albums. Andy Partridge completed a whole
    collection of songs for the film "James and the Giant Peach", but none
    were used. Andy is slated to do a song for the soundtrack of an
    upcoming Tom Hanks film. Early indications show a possibility for a
    double album when someone has the brains to sign them.

    Crowded House: There are four pop songwriting Gods. Andy Partridge
    (XTC), Colin Moulding (XTC), Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout), and Neil
    Finn of Crowded House...




From: 7IHd <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: TRB/30/Colin
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 1996 14:11:49 +0100 (BST)

# From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
# Subject: Re: Tom and Joe and Colin
# Older Chalkies will probably remember how the industry tried to cash
# in on "the Punk/New Wave thing" with the Clash and the Tom Robinson Band.
# Tom was so PC he wrote "Glad To Be Gay" when he wasn't...

I'm sure I remember a radio interview with Tom Robinson which discussed
that song, the implication from the interview being that he was. But I
could easily be wrong. Whatever; if nothing else, it is a very powerful
song. Which I haven't heard for ages actually.

I doubt it was called PC back then though. :-)

(Someone who's name I accidently snipped) wrote:

# P. S.: What's the deal with those continuing -- and annoying -- swipes at
# the "over thirty" constituency? If one follows that half-assed notion
# to its logical conclusion, then Andy, Colin and Dave would be amongst the
# "unaffiliated", wouldn't they? Isn't it high time to leave behind that
# divisive and unproductive "generational divide" bit and concentrate on
# the unifying factor here, over and beyond all demographics? Just my 2 cents.

I'm not sure where this is coming from, because the reason for the 'swipes',
if that's what they were, is that someone posted a blatantly stupid
assumption that just about all XTC fans were in the 30+ age group and thus
'mature'. And a few of my fellow 20-somethings (I'm 21) felt the need to
redress the balance. I don't think there were any swipes, just corrections
of fact backed up with suitable evidence. OK by me.

And now for something relevant: COLIN... I don't, honestly I don't think
that he's the worlds best bass player; that honour (IMHO) goes to a guy
called Gerry Coyle who was the bass player for Goats Don't Shave (Irish
folk-rock band) on their last album. Not that he's outstanding on the
album, but live... wow. Unfortunately he's since quit the band due to the
rigours of touring (and the strain it was putting on his marriage), so
he will go unnoticed. And I bet there are hundreds like him too...

Of course, I could revise my opinion if I ever saw Colin play live...

Anyway, for all that, Colin is *almost* the equal of Andy when it comes
to songwriting (he's one Statue Of Liberty short of being a complete
genius, and I mean that in the nicest possible way), so hey, this recent
round of Colin appreciation is fine with me. And since everyone else is
doing it, my favourite 15 Colin songs (couldn't get it down to 10!), in
no particular order:
  Crowded Room, Making Plans For Nigel, Day In Day Out, Ten Feet Tall,
  Runaways, Fly On The Wall, Wonderland, Deliver Us From The Elements,
  In Loving Memory Of A Name, Wake Up, Washaway, I Remember The Sun,
  Dying, The Smartest Monkeys, War Dance.

No, Bungalow is not amongst them... but it's ok. Better than 'Omnibus',
which everyone except me always seems to think is brilliant. I just think
it's annoying. :-)

One other thing: Someone made a remark along the lines that they never
expected to like Barry's songs on Go2; I can't argue this, as I've always
loved them, but to be honest I think they fit in well with the rest of
that album, I wouldn't single them out (though 'Super-Tuff' is something
very special, IMO). Well, just defending Mr. Andrews as the fine songwriter
which he was (and still is).

Enough from me.
 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Goodbye, Chalkies!
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 96 18:48:00 edt
Message-ID: <>

A note:

-Joe and I did not meet to plan our "Curt and Roland" question...It had
been swimming around in my head for a while, and I just happened to ask it
at that time...Hmmm.

-My favorite Colin song: "Where Did The Ordinary People Go?" Now, someone's
probably going to tell me that's not Colin, so I also like "...Name" and
"One of the Millions," and, of course, "Bungalow."

Well, we've come to the end of my Chalkhills experience. Since school ends
on the 5th, I lose all my e-mail access! (sniff) Anyway, I hope everyone
has a great summer, and I look forward to hearing lots of new XTC gossip
when I return in September. If anything really interesting happens, send a
postcard to Ben Gott; PO Box 1692; Lakeville, CT 06039.

It's been nice typing with you all...




Message-Id: <v01510102add85986c827@[]>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 09:49:47 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: the printed word must be forgiven

The latest Chalkhills reminded me of a recent browsing expedition in the
local bookshop. I too saw the book about Virgin records, which actually
looked quite fun in an anarchic picture-book kind of way. The thing that
confused me - and because I was only browsing I might have got this all
wrong - was that somewhere in the middle of the book there's a
Skylarking-era picture (I think) with no caption but a transcript of a
bawdy conversation between someone called Barry and someone called Terry.
If it is Andrews and Chambers, then they're not in the photo; if it's not
Andrews and Chambers, is there another band with a Barry and a Terry?

On the same browsing trip I noticed a new rock encycolpedia (sorry, this is
a really useless posting, cos I've forgotten the publisher) which gives a
favourable and well informed write-up to XTC which begins with the
seemingly irrelevant information that Star Park is an anagram of Rats Krap.
It doesn't say that was the reason the name was chosen (though it half
implies it) and all I can think of is that it's the kind of gag Partridge
would have made to a journalist who faithfully copied it down and it
somehow found its way into this book.

(It's just occurred to me that "crap" might be one of those words like
"wanker" that doesn't translate in the international world of e-mail. If
anyone wants help with British rude words just shout . . .)

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 10:59:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: kathryn lynne burda <>
Subject: Curt & Roland
Message-ID: <>

  Curt & Roland were credited on The Big Express because they created
the train noises for "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"  At least, that was
what some member posted about five years ago.  Anyone heard anything


Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 10:10:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Thomas Long <>
Subject: plank spankage
Message-ID: <>

Is it time to applaud Colin's bass playing again? Alright then...
totally, utterly & completely imaginative... and, at the same time, very
respectful of the song... he has the virtuosity, but he reins it in...
I suppose I could say nasty things about certain musos, but why bother?
Let's just say that Colin has added an incredible amount to the
vocabulary of bass players... and shown impecable taste in so doing...
Mayor of Simpleton is the one that stands out for me... holding that
fine line between melodicism and anchoring the song... it's like
that bass literally takes you for a walk through the song... offhand,
I can only think of one other bassist from the Class of '78 who has shown
the same brilliance - Bruce Thomas, from Elvis Costello's Attractions...
his work with EC is superb, and the stuff he does on Suzanne Vega's last
album (much like Colin's playing on Sam Phillips' last album) is
outstanding... both show a nod to McCartney in their style, but they've
taken it and run...
And re producers: Adrian Belew, Adrian Belew or Adrian Belew!!!! Any one
of the three will do... thomas


Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 13:09:34 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Tributes (in general)/Intentionally Clever

Thinking about the comments regarding Freedy Johnston, et al and Testimonial

Analyzing the concept from a record company viewpoint made me conclude that
the function of a (commercially released) pop or rock tribute album is not
so much for fans of the celebrated artist but fans of the contributors,
i.e. Testimonial Dinner is ideally not for XTC fans but for fans of
F. Johnston, Ruben Blades, Joe Jackson, etc.

Verve Pipe fans may buy T.D. because Verve Pipe is on there, like what they
hear and want to explore their influences, hopefully making more XTC fans.

If XTC participated on a 10cc tribute (I bet Andy would cover "The Worst
Band In The World"), many Chalkhillbillies would snap that CD up pretty
fast, just to own it.  With any luck, this would lead to XTC fans checking
out the original and possibly exploring some of the other 10cc offerings.

I don't think the same argument wold stand up for jazz artists, though.
Jazz, in itself, has always been more open to the individual interpretation
and there are lengthy treatises on the multitude of variations available of
Tuxedo Junction, Birdland or Minnie the Moocher.  Still, quite often, the
original is regarded as best, most likely for its inspiration.

On a completely different subject that will ultimately bring us back...

It has been stated or implied that XTC has been intentionally clever or
smug by producers, fans, critics and other musicians, to the point of
sabotaging a certain hit by making it too quirky or some kind of inside
joke.  "A World Wrapped In Gray" is a perfect example.  A lush song, full
of thoughtful observation, well-wishes, clever metaphors and a melody
destined to be pillaged by Muzak, I'm sure Andy just couldn't resist ending
it with "...Stand up naked and grin!"

10cc did a ton of wierd stuff ranging clever to silly, simplistic to overly
dramatic.  One thing that it seems that they always tried to do (and
seemingly perfected on the last few albums before Godley & Creme left) was
to make one surefire, radio bullet.  "I'm Not In Love" and "The Things We
Do For Love" were startlingly sappy AM radio fare that made me wonder what
direction the band was heading.  It became clear that to continue to
produce the type of stuff that 10cc WANTED to do, they had to put out a
little something the record company could SELL, then, beyond that, let the
band do what they do.

I'm sure this burned a few people who really liked the AM pop song and
expected an entire LP of the same.

Granted this was way back in the seventies and I don't necessarily want XTC
to make a practice of producing some foofy sugar-coated fluff just to get
radio play but a sapsucker might be okay (JUST ONCE!!) to kickstart their
career, make a record company happy and provide the band with enough money
to get cloned for a tour.

Is that "Selling Out" or "Buying In"??

Eschew obfuscation,



Message-Id: <>
From: "Burgess, Christopher (MSX)" <>
Subject: Chalkids Correction
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 12:35:45 -0400


Please correct Richard Pedretti-Allen's listing of those contributing to
the Tribute tape to read:

17. Melissa Reaves/Christopher Burgess     All Of A Sudden (It's Too

I'm not sure that my voice would be recognized as human if I were to sing,
so Melissa has kindly relinquished her favorite song choice for mine.

Chris (not Christopher)

* -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phone:(216) 266-8625     Fax: (216) 266-2313
Dialcom: 8*346-8625


Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 12:05:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Randy Posynick <>
Subject: Complicated Game chord correction
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9606031140.A5535-0100000@netcom21>

Yeah, I go and stick my neck out by posting the chords to 'Complicated
Game'... so of course I posted the *wrong* chords....

The bridge is:  A- F  D  E  A- F  C  D

And I will graciously accept corrections to the Gmaj7/F# guess!

Randy Posynick      | Everybody wants prosthetic | foreheads on their real heads.


Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 12:32:53 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: The REAL list of tribute tape songs

Here is the REAL list of songs.  Through some miscommunication on my part I
had omitted some information.  It is as correct as I know, now.  If there
are changes, please email me directly.

Also, if you are listed here and know that you will not be able to
contribute, please let me know.  34 songs at an average of four minutes
each is 136 minutes!  This is too much!  If you're stressing about getting
your stuff on tape, email me and decline participation this time around.
I'll give you first option on the next tape.  I am counting on a few tapes
not arriving.  I hope, I hope, I hope.


1. Robin Myrick (The Comfortable Chair)     ?
2. Phillip McEachern        ?
3. Peter Fitzpatrick        Making Plans for Nigel OR Grass OR The Disappointed
4. Sean Altman              Ten Feet Tall
5. Miles Coleman            Dying
6. Ben Gott                 Battery Brides
7. Chris Spillios           Dear God
8. Harrison Sherwood        Living In A Haunted Heart
9. John Christensen         1000 Umbrellas
10. Curtis Settino (Canoofle)    Scissor Man
11. Steve Lutz              Season Cycle
12. Natalie Jacobs          Rook
13. Dolph Chaney            Respectable Street
14. Steve (Skeg) Perley     My Love Explodes
15. Nick Mitchell (Mirrors)     Toys OR Ladybird
16. John Hedges             Disque Bleu
17. Christopher Burgess     All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)
18. Randy C                 Sacrificial Bonfire
19. Ned Robie               Rocket From A Bottle OR Roads Girdle The Globe
20. Walt Michulka           Generals & Majors OR Bike Ride To The Moon OR Your
                            Gold Dress
21. Mitch Friedman          "XTSea" Medley
22. John Neil               I'm Bugged OR Ballet For A Rainy Day
23. Gene Yoon               Everything
24. Erich Walther           Travels In Nihilon
25. Martin Monkman          Thanks For Christmas
26. Christopher Burgess     This World Over
27. Christopher Coolidge    Wrapped in Gray
28. Naoyuking Iso           ?
29. Tom Slack Meeting Place
30. Paul Brantley           When We Get To England
31. Richard Pedretti-Allen  Complicated Game
32. Tim Kendrick            ?
33. Eric Day                It's Nearly Africa
34. Carnine/Posynick        Day In, Day Out

1000 Umbrellas
All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)
Ballet For A Rainy Day
Battery Brides
Bike Ride To The Moon
Complicated Game
Day In, Day Out
Dear God
Disque Bleu
Generals & Majors
I'm Bugged
It's Nearly Africa
Living In A Haunted Heart
Making Plans for Nigel
Meeting Place
My Love Explodes
Respectable Street
Rocket From A Bottle
Roads Girdle The Globe
Sacrificial Bonfire
Scissor Man
Season Cycle
Ten Feet Tall
Thanks For Christmas
The Disappointed
This World Over
Travels In Nihilon
When We Get To England
Wrapped In Gray
"XTSea" Medley
Your Gold Dress


Message-Id: <>
From: "Burgess, Christopher (MSX)" <>
Subject: RE: The boys' next move
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 12:41:48 -0400

Derek wrote:

>>wouldn't it be interesting for them to get re-energized by a
>>pseudonymous side-project? Do you think the energy will come back...

Derek, not to sound like the snide insider, but I don't know if you've
heard any of Andy's new stuff.  If not, never fear . . the quality of this
stuff is probably his best ever (IMHO) and continues the progression that
makes XTC one of the few bands to still follow. Amazing, melodic, mature
and narcotic . . this should cement, once and for all, how brilliant he
really is (as if that were in doubt.)


* -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phone:(216) 266-8625     Fax: (216) 266-2313
Dialcom: 8*346-8625


Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 15:25:12 -0700
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Curt and Roland

Ben Gott <> wrote:
>    -"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?

In Chalkhills Digest #69, Jon Drukman was quoted as saying:

    They do the train noises with their breath at the beginning of "Train
    Running Low On Soul Coal" and I think general synth support at various
    places.  BTW, does anybody happen to think that that train impersonation
    is the best simulation of a railway train ever created?  I do, and it
    sounds a damn sight better than if they had just dubbed a train effect
    onto the tape, too.  (The guitar as whistle really blows me away.)

And I still agree.  (This may now qualify as a FAQ.)

	-- John

In my CD changer:
    Cone of Silence: Lift, Twist, and Jerk
    Aimee Mann: I'm With Stupid
    The Verve Pipe: Villains
    Martin Newell: The Off White Album
    various artists: Aural Gratification Volume 1 (Ambient)


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-119

Go back to the previous page.