Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-133

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 133

                   Monday, 8 July 1996

Today's Topics:

                Smartest, Weirdest Monkeys
                       Monkey Music
            odds and sods, bits and pieces...
               'The Loving' - guitar chords
                  A million subjects...
           My pithy thoughts on current topikas
                         In error
                      re: New Album
                   Re: all sortsa stuff
                   re: New Album Title
                     my go2 explodes!
                   Drummers (again???)
               Rod, Jane and Freddy -> XTC
                         re: beer
                     XTC's innovation
                  Re: horrible pop bands
                    Re: ambient magic
                   My two cents on Eno
                    Poundcake and XTC
                    "Live" Performance


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Message-Id: <>
Subject: Smartest, Weirdest Monkeys
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 96 13:43:29 -0500

Ok Chalkholios, here is my second post, one again commenting on
what is probably becoming for you a very tedious topic, the
prevalent placement of primates in pop. ;)

On Peter Blegvads album, the Naked Shakespeare, the second track
is titled Weird Monkeys.  The album is from 1983.  Now, the reason
I am bringing it up is b/c of the list of musicians that play on
the track:

Drums: Anton Fier
Synthesizer, turntables, electric guitar:  Andy Partridge
Wave Synthesizer: David Lord
Acoustic and Electric Guitar:  Peter Blegvad

FAR FAR before Smartest Monkeys was recorded for Nonsvch, Colin
was already playing on monkey mania, and excuse me if I think
the Colin song is a bit too close (content wise) to Blegvad's.
Here are the lyrics:

Weird Monkeys
Samson & Delilah
The hair they grow
In patches now
Once covered them completely

By trivia, trance & trauma
>From a possibility
Their history consistently betrays

One of these days (long as it pays)
Maybe we'll wing a song in praise
Of these Weird Monkeys
Who squat before their boxes
In defacating postures
They applaud their wan projections

Everyape the archetype
Plucks what's prime before it's ripe--
Bites off more than he could ever hope to swallow
Everyape surveys the skies
With blank uncomprehending eyes--
Leaving signs behind
To baffle those who follow

Somebody out there evidently ain't aware
Or doesn't care 'cos otherwise
They'd soon cut down to size
Those Weird Monkeys

How dare they
Slap your face in anger?
They say they see themselves in you
Like in some kind of mirror.


----Sorry about the length, but anyhow the CD is a good one
and still available in some online CD stores, I think CD-NOW
has it, if you care to take a listen.  It's a good track and
I think it's lyrically more interesting than Smartest Monkeys.

Speaking of Blegvad, I have King Strut on tape, but I can't
find it on CD ANYWHERE! Does anyone have an idea of where I
could find it?  I could've bought it a zillion times years
ago, but I didn't b/c about 3 of my friends had it and we were
in the habit of buy things the others didn't have so we could
all trade and share.

Next, the McCartney song from RAM is "Monkberry Moon Delight",
and has NOTHING whatsoever to do with monkeys.  So catch up,
cats and kittens.

I agree that Shiny Cage sounds very much like the Fab's I'm
Only Sleeping, especially the middle eight of the song.
In any event, give me I Remember the Sun, English Roundabout,
or Sacrificial Bonfire any day over Smartest Monkeys.

As for beer titles which might allude to XTC, how about
Summer's Cauldron as a name in itself? Just a thought.
That's all for now, so keep your feet on the ground and
keep reaching for the....nah...scratch that.

Weirdly and Smartly,
Constantine Pappas, Esq.


Date: 04 Jul 96 15:23:23 EDT
From: DaveKGold <70673.317@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Monkey Music
Message-ID: <960704192323_70673.317_FHP58-4@CompuServe.COM>

Lest we forget:

"You Drive Me Ape, You Big Gorilla" - the Dickies
"Are We Not Men?" - Devo (monkey men all, in business suits)


The Monkees (recent reunion concerts here in LA).  Come to think of it, do
you think the "Smartest Monkeys" was actually an insult to Michael Nesmith,
who is not part of the reunion tour?

Sorry, but I think it's one of the worst songs on the album.  It's far too
cliche'.  Of course, XTC's worst is far better than many other's best.



Message-Id: <v01540b03ae0182375b0d@[]>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 16:13:03 +0100
From: (Peter McCulloch)
Subject: odds and sods, bits and pieces...

In chalkhills #2-132, Charles writes:

<Dear God, please do not let Eno produce XTC.  Eno destroyed my interest
<in U2, and I feel confident that he could similarly work his ambient
<magic with XTC.

I'm inclined to agree with you, Chuck, (may I call you Chuck, Chuck?)
though I lost interest in U2 right around Achtung Baby. Don't get me wrong,
Eno is a genius, (or at least was) and he was even once considered to play
keys in XTC (imagine that), but I can't help thinking they'd lock horns in
the studio.

<Not keen on Rick Rubin as an XTC producer either.

Any producer who could turn the Cult into another shabby metal band
(Electric) or deconstruct a classic Queen song (We Will Rock You) into a
lame hip-hop jam doesn't sit well with me either.

<Offhand, my producer choice might be John Leckie -- luv Psonic Psunspot.

Right again, Chuck. Leckie proves he's more than an obscure Duke on
Radiohead's "The Bends" - my vote for the best damn album by a British pop
band in years!
I also think T Bone Burnett, Stephen Street, or even Flood would make good
choices. I'm going to go out on the limb here and say that my vote for
"most incongruous yet potentially inventive producer" would be Butch Vig.
At first glance, the god of grunge, but check out the production on his
vanity project/band, Garbage (his rhythmic concepts and drumming are
interesting too). There's more to this boy than meets the eye.

<XTC song I don't like?  Well, "Travels in Nihilon" comes to mind.

Sorry to hear that. I've always liked it as one of XTC's "heaviest"
sounding songs. Never could tolerate "Pulsing, Pulsing", though I think the
rhythm parts are interesting and make for a far more  creative song in
"Shore Leave Ornothology". There's one reason to pick up Explode Together.

<XTC drummer?  I am glad someone mentioned Pete Thomas

Seems an obvious choice to me too. I'm surprised no one has mentioned
Vinnie Colaiuta. He's a perfect blend of technical proficiency and groove,
though you wouldn't know it from Sting's yawnfest, "Mercury Rising".

<I have heard people complain about some sloppy Rundgren keyboards on
Skylarking, but I have never really heard them.  Is there some part on
some certain songs I should be directing my attention to??

I remember reading an interview with Andy in which he complained Todd's
keyboard technique was terrible. I must admit, there are a few rushed
pizzacato string hits in "Grass".

That's all for now.


Message-Id: <04JUL96.16915963.0166.MUSIC@ACADEMIC.TRUMAN.EDU>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 1996 15:39:46 CDT
From: "Zonker J. Harris" <T867@ACADEMIC.TRUMAN.EDU>
Subject: Producers....................

I just thought that I would throw my two cents in on the
producers thread: What about George Martin? (Yes, the
Beatles producer) I don't know if he is still working or
not, but what the hell, while we're dreaming why not go
for the best?
Another person who I would like to see work with XTC is
Danny Elfman (of Oingo Boingo) as producer or colaborator
I think that would be interesting. As far as drummers go
I am partial to Pat Mastelotto's work on Oranges and
Lemons. Personally I don't think that XTC have made a
bad album yet, but maybe that is because I work as a DJ
at a rock station that plays (primarily) crap like
Bad Company and Boston all day...
On a final note, I would love to see a XTC/Robyn Hitchcock
collaboration. I wonder if that would be possible? (Any
Hitchcock fans out there?)
Thanx for listening!
Joe B


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 23:34:28 +0100
From: Tim Harris <>
Subject: 'The Loving' - guitar chords

(capo on 2nd fret)

(intro)    Bb    Dm     Fm      Gsus4 G

C              G/B         Am            Em/G           Dm7     G
All around the world every boy and every girl need the loving
    C              G/B          Am              Em/G          Dm7     G
The humble and the great even those we think we hate need the loving
C               G/B           Am                  Em/G          Dm7    G
Soldiers of the queen all the hard men that we've seen need the loving
C             G/B             Am              Em/G                Dm7    G
Babies at the breast those in power and those suppressed need the loving
Bb               F/A
Lets face it you just can't hide
Ab                    Eb               (?Cm)
Your first taste will send you reeling
Bb                 F/A
Like a firework to which we're tied
Ab                Eb
Be prepared to go through your ceiling Now
G7 (no 5th)
The loving's coming, the loving's more than just an ad man's vision

The loving's strumming on your heart strings

So loud that you can't help but listen

Tim Harris


From: myke <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: A million subjects...
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 18:06:31 -0500 (CDT)

> Subject: Oh no, not Eno (and more!)

> Anybody hear that Eno/Bono/Pavarotti collaboration?

	Not to sound terribly insulting, but I thought the Passengers
	album was better than anything ever produced by anyone involved,
	including Eno and especially U2. I did not like "Miss Sarajevo,"
	but the first six tracks are blissful.

	I do not feel that Mr Eno is right for XTC though.

> gonna "challenge" XTC in some if writing brilliant, tuneful,
> intelligent, charming pop isn't challenging enough.

	I think the challenges XTC wind up with are more personal than
	musical. Skylarking sounds wonderful (and I happen to adore the
	drum sound), but don't try involving Andy in any sort of
	discussion about Rundgren... (Out of curiosity, I bought his
	SOMETHING ANYTHING and was terrifically pleased.)

	As far as monkeys go, how about Devo? Half of their material
	is about de-evolution... Otherwise, "Monkeytime" by Marc Anthony

	As far as bassists... To add a footnote to the Moulding vs
	Thomas debate... True, "Mayor of Simpleton" is impressive,
	but try "The Imposter".

> I have heard people complain about some sloppy Rundgren keyboards on
> Skylarking, but I have never really heard them.  Is there some part on
> some certain songs I should be directing my attention to??

	I think "Supergirl" is the most oft-cited in this debate...

> Nice work on the composer survey!

	Yes... It read like an absolutely essential must-have of music.
	A CD collection to be proud of, to be certain.

> And finally: I brew my own beer, and occaisionally name my batches after
> Kinks songs (like "Village Green Preservation Ale"); I would like to do
> the same with XTC songs/lyrics (like "Precious and Pale Ale," etc.)  Any
> diabolically clever or at least amusing suggestions?

	Perhaps a real strong, spiky type, and call it "Wake Up!".
	And call your company Battery Brews.  Or maybe not.

> My bother would be SO happy to here this.  Any seconds for Neil Pert for
> dummer and Geddy Lee for producer?

	NO! Please no! Golly no! (no offense...)

Re: Demos

	The reason I like demos is because they tend to be very personal,
	low-key, me-and-the-tape-recorder affairs. I have a suspicion that
	most songs, by the time they make it to the albums, have been
	played so many times that the original feeling has been lost.
	There's such a sad spirit in certain songs that are only audible
	in their demos-- and I think that's probably true of songs of all
	qualities.  I covet my collection of They Might Be Giants' 1984
	demos because they're just so relentlessly inventive and they
	are different every single time, but with something like Shirk
	Circus (a power-pop band from NJ), Josh (singer-songwriter)'s
	demos are just heartbreaking sometimes.  I like demos more than
	real records, and I collect them ravenously.

> Subject: The perfect trapper

> Any Pixies fans in the crowd?  David Lovering, I think, would make an
> excellent drummer for XTC.  Take a listen to the Pixies 'Surfer Rosa' and
> 'Doolittle' CDs.  I think you'll all agree.  If not you'll have at least
> listen to two really enjoyable albums.

	Well, I think David Lovering is certainly a good drummer, but
	I thought the drum sounds he got were always terribly "pop"
	sounding.  Pop as in the noise, not as in the style. Like a
	balloon exploding. Besides, he's in The Martinis with Joey
	at the moment.  Plus, I can't imagine a grumpy-looking
	stoner like Lovering in with such apparently down-to-earth
	guys like our XTC.

	Another thing: I just got a 2-7" package of "Battery Brides"
	in a clear "city at night"-style sleeve. Is this worth anything?
	Also proving that Trouser Press Record Guide's statement that
	"Go 2 yielded no singles whatsoever" is wrong... (And it's
	not on WAXWORKS.  Was this really scarce?)


Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 18:55:15 -0500
Message-Id: <v02140b01ae01b408f7a8@[]>
From: (Adam J. Ostermann, boy genius)
Subject: My pithy thoughts on current topikas

>From: Karthik  Swaminathan <kqs7816@is4.NYU.EDU>
>Subject: Demo Producer

>And to the College Professor who cant stand the misuse of the word
>How do you know that your not missing the *irony*?

If you're talking about the Divine Miss M(orrissette) song "Ironic", I'd
tend to trust a College Professor over Alanis. Let's just say Alanis leaves
a bit to be desired as a lyricist at this juncture.

>From: Miles or Gigi Coleman <>
>Subject: Beatles, XTC & Monkeys

>Speaking of _Revolver_, from which Taxman & Eleanor Rigby & Yellow Sub come,
>has anyone compared I'm Only Dreaming with Duke's Shiny Cage?

If about a zillion people haven't corrected you already, it's "I'm Only
SLEEPING." But the similarities are, indeed, of the "uncanny" category...

>From: "Simon Knight" <>
>Subject: Red songs
>Just a tidbit:
>Does anyone else notice the slight similarity between Split Enz's "I
>see red" to XTC's "Red"?  Right down to the hiccup/shattered vocal

How about adding to that list the song "Red" by Belly, on their disasterous
second CD ^King^. Espicially the chorus...

>XTC content: On the subject of Go2, its always been "that other XTC album"
>that never really drew me in.  I think Whitemusic is far the better early
>XTC album.  Go2 always seemed much more quirky, less consistant.  However,
>given what everyone has said lately, I vow to take it to work today and
>listen to it again while reflecting upon all that has been said here
>lately.  I'll let you know what I think.  (I just know you all REALLY give
>a damn what I think. ;))

As Chalkhills' unoffical biggest ^Go2^ fan (is there any way I can get that
officiated? It would be quite a duff in my cap, or something...), I
sincerely hope that the immaculate genius of ^Go2^ is revealed to you.

>Subject: The perfect trapper
>Any Pixies fans in the crowd?  David Lovering, I think, would make an
>excellent drummer for XTC.  Take a listen to the Pixies 'Surfer Rosa' and
>'Doolittle' CDs.  I think you'll all agree.  If not you'll have at least
>listen to two really enjoyable albums.

In complete agreement, esp. considering you didn't mention the pile of dung
that is ^Bossanova^.

ObXTC comment: Is the best of double-set a continuation of ^Waxworks^ or
will it nullify ^Waxwork^'s importance?

Adam J. Ostermann (
UW-Madison Journalism Graduate
Co-Entertainment Editor, The Badger Herald
* -----------------------------------------------


Date: Thu, 04 Jul 1996 18:22 -0600 (MDT)
From: Miles or Gigi Coleman <>
Subject: In error
Message-id: <0DU1NPQ1400CWA@ACS2.BYU.EDU>

>Speaking of _Revolver_, from which Taxman & Eleanor Rigby & Yellow Sub come,
>has anyone compared I'm Only Dreaming with Duke's Shiny Cage?

Oops!  I meant _I'm Only Sleeping_.

Miles and Gigi Coleman		Provo, Utah	Family Home Page		Index for Alumni of LDS Missions


Date: 5 JUL 96 10:37:11 EST
Subject: re: New Album
Message-ID: <>

"Down boy, down boy!!!"

Oh, excuse me, I'm beside myself with excitement after having read Lee B's
posting in Chalhills #132.  Thanx, Lee, for taking the trouble to ring up
Virgin to find out this info.  A bit like Daniel entering the lion's den,
but what an exciting bit of information you've uncovered!  A double disc
too!  This confirms earlier news from Mitch Friedman, or was it Mark Fisher
(?), who mentioned the title "Fossil Fuels" a month or two ago, after
talking to AP and reporting it in Chalkhills. We all must surely have
earmarked 27th August in our diaries.  Paul-of-Oz


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 13:11:41 +0000
Subject: Singles

So "Fossil Fuel" is moving ahead?  I hope another singles collection
might make people realise what great single writers Andy and Colin
are.  Hopefully it will succeed where "Waxworks" and "The Compact
XTC" were sadly overlooked.

Does this mean there will be a corresponding "Fossil Fuel" video
collection too???  :-)

On another note:  is anyone out there interested in trading some XTC
demos with me?  I have the obscure 60's soundtrack album to Russ
Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls to offer, if anyone's interested.


Message-Id: <v01530501ae024738f233@[]>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 16:21:03 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: all sortsa stuff

>Does anyone else notice the slight similarity between Split Enz's "I
>see red" to XTC's "Red"?  Right down to the hiccup/shattered vocal
>Does anyone know which one came first?  I'm curious.

Split Enz's song is an oldie, around 1978.

The Goodies - Funky Gibbon. Need I say more?

(wanna function with a...)BASS:
Andy Metcalfe is a BRILLIANT bassist - how could I have forgotten to
include him on my list???

If you're comparing the Indigo Girls to L&M (brilliant though Amy & Emily
are, that's pushing it!), then you should also try comparing Carter &
Brough from the early line up of Straitjacket Fits.

other possible titles from the last album:
  A Thousand Cheshire Cats (MBP)
  Nature's Sunken Wreck (HD) - this one might just do the trick!
  Milk and Coins (HD) - "Working for mi-ilk and for coi-ins, work for the..."
  The Sugar Hill (HD) - we've had chalkhills (and children), and Andy's been
      Through the Hill, so...
  From the Stoneage to the Subways (TSM)
  Secret Shadow Land (TD) - good title, possibly the best of this bunch
  The Eyes of Storms (HUOP)
  Crayoned in Swirls (HUOP) - hmmm. they could re-use the cover of Waxworks!
  Oyster Pearl (O) - Hi Jemiah!
  Countless Cathedrals (TW) - this one I like.
  Cloud Eleven (TW) - I forget, is this the 11th album?
  The Giggling Crew of Marie Celeste (TSA) - another chance to dress up for
      the album cover!
  Patriotic Romance (WD) - this one would be a reasonable title, too
  The Big Box of Paints (WIG) - this is calling out to be an album title!
  Unconscious Grotesques (WIG)
  Wisdom Hotline (BAB)
  The Smoke of Dreams (BAB) - the obligatory drugs reference! :)



Date: 5 Jul 96 13:44:01 +0900
From: "Olof Hellman" <>
Message-Id: <AE02CCA8-1CB29D9@>
Subject: re: New Album Title

Constantine Pappas writes:
>How about 'Deflowered'?

Yes Yes Yes!!!!

About Smartest Monkeys:  In Japanese there is a single word
"hiniku" for the two concepts of sarcasm and irony
Whenever I need an example of irony (not sarcasm) I quote
"we've come a long way since swinging about in
the trees"  It's not Colin's best song, but when
you are in the mood for irony it really does rock:
doesn't the bellow of "tree - ee - ees"  make you
want to leave your desk and go tree climbing?

And another question that somebody posted a while
back which needs repeating:  Who is Anna?  and why
should she be doing any steering.

I saw a collection of XTC videos for the first time a few
weeks ago:  Colin looks so young!  Anyway,  I've got some
questions:  is that Richard Branson doing a cameo as one
of the Generals, and if so, was he already thinking at the
time of creating an airline, because he looks like
he's planning intercontinental route-maps.  And are there other
recognizable faces in that video(or other videos), aside from
band themselves?

- Olof Hellman


Date: Fri, 05 Jul 1996 01:39:22 -0500 (EST)
From: Brookes McKenzie <>
Subject: my go2 explodes!
Message-id: <01I6P1HNKZPYB4VEVG@SMITH>

re: _explode together_ - i think it's definitely worth it if you're at all
intrigued by the "ambient" (before there even was such a thing!) side of
AP - "battery brides" to "language in our lungs" (& "the somnambulist",
even though i rather hate that song, ironically - it frightens me, although
not as much as "frost circus", which *really* gives me the creeps)
and all the "homo safari" series. i'm not as fond of the first five songs
which were originally released as the _go+_ EP, mostly because they're not
all that different from the originals and the originals are so fun and
peppy that the remixes come across as boring, lifeless dirges. but after
that the album picks up, and the _drums & wires_ remixes are hysterical
("R-O-T-A-R-Y ROTARREEEE!"), but the best is really "shore leave ornithology
(another 1950)" which i have to say is the sexiest song AP's ever written.
i've been known to leave that one on repeat for half an hour at a time and
sit right next to the speakers giggling uncontrollably. something about the
whispering and muttering of it really gets to me. not to mention the sax
solo. (!)

re: _go2_ - again, i rather like it. certainly i think it's a hell of a lot
better than _white music_ which, although parts of it are good (the
ridiculous and thereby great "all along the watchtower", "radios in
motion", barry's more hyperactive keyboards), strikes me as being a little
too fluffy and scatterbrained to really reward repeated listenings. not
only is the album itself all over the place, the songs are simply not
particularly deep, even though they're fun to dance to. but _go2_ has a
much more consistent feel to it, as if they actually did set out to record
an album rather than a grab-bag of songs they'd written for a previous band
(Helium Kidz anyone?  i'm not claiming to know that for a fact, i'm just
saying that that's what it _sounds_ like). "battery brides" alone is a
thousand times better than anything on _white music_, and combined with the
amusing wordplay of "jumping in gomorrah" and "life is good in the
greenhouse", you get an album that is simply better written and far more
focused than its predecessor.  the danceable lunacy is still there (duly
contributed to by old barry - not only are "my weapon" and "super-tuff"
good songs [my moral qualms about their subject matter notwithstanding],
but his keyboard playing has an alien intentness that is somehow even more
bizarrely appropriate than the random bursts on _white music_), but now
it's more engaging because it's more thought out, and this also makes it
more worthwhile to replay in the long run.

	drowning here in summer's (bizarrely cold) cauldron,

		- brookes

"oh it should be someone you really like..."
		- albarn (thanx a lot whoever got this song into my head!)


From: Wolfgang Niehues <>
Organization: Uni Dortmund
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 11:36:33 +0100
Subject: Drummers (again???)
Message-ID: <>

I think Mattacks did a great job. But asking me who could be next, I
would NEVER think of Dave Weckl. Weckl always plays such don't know how to polished, clinical
and just somehow dead stuff. You know just like "Look, yesterday I
could play also this one (ROMBALOMSHOOGADIBAFF). O God, I'm so
perfect!" If there would be a kind of a Vogue-magazine for music, he
would be the all-time coverboy number one...and too good for XTC.
No no no, just kidding...rather the other way round.

So here's my suggestion.
What about Chad Wackerman? He's at least equally good as Weckl but
plays more straight.
Or Vinnie Colaiuta? I think (for example) Sting never had such a
great drummer in his solo-bands (O. Hakim is too technical
sometimes and Manu Katche is too boring a lot of times). For me,
Colaiuta is the best drummer alive (of course, anyone's allowed to
have a different opinion)...

But still, I think Mattacks would be perfectly okay. He is did a
great job.


---------My useless XTC quote of the day-----------
       "...with Ego as his drunken captain"


From: (Jon Eva)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 10:44:02 +0000
Subject: Rod, Jane and Freddy -> XTC

Here's an alternative Rod, Jane and Freddy to XTC link

1. Rod, Jane and Freddy were regulars on Rainbow.
2. So was Zippy (a talkative puppet whose mouth could
   be zipped shut when everyone got fed up with him).
3. Andy plays a "zippy zither" on Drums & Wireless.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 96 10:55:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: re: beer

Charles <> asked:
>And finally: I brew my own beer, and occasionally name my batches after
>Kinks songs (like "Village Green Preservation Ale"); I would like to do
>the same with XTC songs/lyrics (like "Precious and Pale Ale," etc.)  Any
>diabolically clever or at least amusing suggestions?

Sounds fun! How about:

 "Life Begins at the Hops"
 "Go Brew"
 "This is Hop?"
 "Ra Ra for Red Ale"
 "Beer, Madame Barnum?"
 "English Sediment" (Maybe not too appealing, but it IS "diabolically
clever," no?)
 "Reign of Brews"
 "Polly Up on Hoppy"

The possibilities are endless...  :)

Dave Gershman


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 96 11:40:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: XTC's innovation

In the midst of extended defense of the Indigo Girls, Andrew Bissaro
blasphemed: ;-)
>This leads me to raise the issue that XTC shouldn't be seen as these
>innovative blockbusters who are mastering uncharted territory with each new
>release.  They are so derivative of 60s pop, it verges on ridiculous:
>friends have cited that reason to me as why they don't like xTc.  Let's not
>kid ourselves: xTc are incredible songsmiths and arrangers, but they're
>not, NOT redefining pop music, like say, Talking Heads; they haven't sent
>the music world spinning off, like Nirvana, for example.

Whoa! I agree that since the first Dukes album in particular, their albums
as XTC have shown much more of that Sixties influence shining through (to
fine effect, I might add), but from "White Music" through the early '80s,
they truly sounded like no one else out there (other than their imitators).
Don't confuse my saying that they are still very "adventurous" (my word)
with saying they're currently "innovative blockbusters" (yours). The
songwriting continues to distinguish them, but for several years, so did
their innovative style -- as innovative, I would argue, as Talking Heads.
For all that was made of Devo's innovative style, where would they have been
without "White Music" and "Go 2"? Everyone's got their influences, but XTC
took theirs and wrestled them into a whole new shape. What '60s popsters
would have given us anything like "Complicated Game," for example?
 I guess what I'm trying to say is: I don't really think we're "kidding
ourselves" at all. Not "sending the world spinning off" doesn't mean
anything...neither did Captain Beefheart.

Dave Gershman
"It's always been the same.../It's just a complicated game"


Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 11:54:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: horrible pop bands
Message-ID: <>

  Speaking of connecting XTC with horrible pop bands, Pat Marselotto did
play with Mr Mister. I'm sure that's well known on the list, but Mr
Mister was one of my pet peaves in the 80's; I still switch the station
if "Broken Wings" or "Kyrie" comes on the radio. Good musicians playing
horrible songs.
"Take these chicken wings/And learn to fry again/Learn to fry oil-free."


Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 09:07:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: alizarine <>
Subject: Re: ambient magic
Message-ID: <>

Of course this was thrown out as a potential for a flame war, but since I
refuse to become angry with someone on a newsgroup for doing something as
dastardly as offering their own opinions, I will merely respond to the
post in last Chalkhills...

somebody (identify yourself, don't be shy) wrote:
>Dear God, please do not let Eno produce XTC.  Eno destroyed my interest
>in U2, and I feel confident that he could similarly work his ambient
>magic with XTC.

I don't exactly take offense at this, but I'm confused -- just because
it's Eno doesn't mean it's ambient or anything close.  Have you heard the
album he produced for James?  or for the Talking Heads, perhaps?  The
James album, certainly, is a bouncy, poppy, kinetic wonder with almost no
characteristic Eno touches -- except perhaps for a richness in production.
Eno is a lot more flexible than people give him credit for.

Now, if you've NEVER enjoyed an album that Eno's EVER produced, then I
suppose you have a point to be made personally.  He does tend to
overproduce harder-edged bands; and I'm sure nobody wants a personal
conflict like the Lads had with Todd (who I love, but I don't want them to
work with).  I can appreciate not wanting Eno to produce them next,
though I don't share this sentiment; but please, view all the sides before
making sweeping pronouncements.  I implore you to simply listen to James'
"Laid" and tell me if it's ambient...

You should have known I'd have to reply to this. =)

Alizarine ( .sigless today, everyone already knows how much I like Eno)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 1996 13:54:31 -0400
From: jes <>
Subject: My two cents on Eno

Charles <>  wrote:

>Dear God, please do not let Eno produce XTC.

I could not disagree with any more vigor.  Eno would be the perfect foil to
Andy's eccentric pop sensibilities.  Eno did some wonders with some really
lame groups, if you ask me.  Look at what he did with James (he even helped
them score a hit) and Talking Heads.   And U2, if you ask me, was in a
serious rut when Eno rescued them and turned them into something worth
listening to.  Don't get me wrong, I think Steve Lillywhite was (and is) one
of the greatest producers ever.  But three albums of Lillywhite and you're
starting to recycle your work.  (U2, if I'm not mistaken, is the only band
that Lillywhite has EVER done three albums with.)

>Offhand, my producer choice might be John Leckie.

Leckie's productions always tend to be tinny and thin.  That worked for
Psonic Psunspot, but it would not have worked for Nonsuch or even Oranges &


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 96 15:47:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Poundcake and XTC

I know, I know, I really ought to try harder to confine my XTC thoughts into
a single e-mail. I promise to try harder in the future, John Relph, but for
the time being...

I wanted to alert y'all to an article about Poundcake, a Boston band which
I've seen mentioned in these posts that apparently might be of interest to
some of us. There's a writeup from this week's Boston Phoenix to be found at

that includes a couple of XTC references. I haven't heard them yet myself,
actually, but I'm getting pretty interested. The drummer, Mark Rivers, used
to be in the Cavedogs, former band of Brian Stevens, whose album I have
mentioned here previously (guitar courtesy of Dave Gregory).

Dave Gershman


Date: Fri, 5 Jul 1996 17:01:05 +0400 (EDT)
From: Thomas Slack <>
Subject: "Live" Performance
Message-ID: <>

An Indigo Girls fan posted:

> Have you listened to IG lately?  Go borrow
> "Swamp Ophelia" from the library and listen to
> "Touch Me Fall."  You'll hear a 6 minute pop song
> with rich strings, tight drums, melodic, Moulding-
> esque bass, stirring, oblique,imagistic lyrics.
> Suddenly, this gives way to a string quartet a la
> "1,000 umbrellas" [more details snipped]..

I'm a fan of the Girls, so I don't want to rip them,
but when they played this song live it was a disaster.
Just the 2 of them (even though they had a band) playing
electric guitars, sounding as raunchy as they could,
and it was bloody awful (the rest of the show was great,
though). Their music is beautiful, touching, and full
of intense imagery, but rock and roll guitarists they
ain't (unlike the Beatles).

Speaking of live performances, I was wondering how much
of the XTC rythm tracks are done "Live" in the studio.
I realize they don't play in front of crowds anymore, but
they surely rehearse songs the way every other band does.
It would be interesting to see this captured on film (ala
"Let It Be", without the depressing overtone hopefully!)
Maybe someone could talk them into it for the next album.



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