Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-143

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 143

                 Thursday, 1 August 1996

Today's Topics:

                  Re: Plastic/Warner/Ubu
                      tree wise men
                       Urban Verbs
                     my paint heroes
           Re: Chalkhills Children Tribute Tape
                      Re: XTC Video
  Salutations, Ludwig V. Martin, Conspiracies, Simon Sez
                     XTC Video Update
                    Heavy rotation XTC
Re: sole fool? there's a time and a plaice for everything
                  Clearing my conscience
                   New Convert/Mix Tape
                        Dandy Dave
                      Andy the head
Carboard? Hah! You know not of what you speak. Also: Tape offer!
            Diversity in a world of similarity
       Fossil Fuel Ltd. Edition/Yazbek & Block live
               Re: Sleeve art - what next?
             Re: Settlement once and for all
                        By the way
                     Feining Madness


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

There's a bad taste in my mouth.


Message-Id: <v01540b04ae24ae4916ae@[]>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 00:20:35 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Plastic/Warner/Ubu

Keith Sawyer wrote:
>I just recently resubscribed, so I don't know if this has been discussed to
>death in here already, but a San Francisco band called Sugarplastic is
>putting out some fantastic XTC-inspired pop.

Glad to hear you like it. Me too. However, they're from the L.A. area, not
S.F.! Incidentally, I'm in touch via e-mail with the Sugarplastic's Ben
Eshbach, so I can relay messages if anyone likes. (Nice ones, hopefully.)

Kevin Mathews wrote:
>Seriously, Mike, I don't really think that XTC would have any real problem
>getting a record deal. I remember when I heard in 1995 that Robyn Hitchcock
>was without record deal and lo & behold the man has a new album
>out on Warners of all people ( who also have REM and Elvis on the list).

Over on the Robyn Hitchcock e-mail list, someone had a very interesting
theory. He speculated that the only reason Warner signed Hitchcock was to
kiss up to the Robyn-worshipping REM, whose Warners contract is about to
expire. A valid notion, don't you think?

Mike Martis wrote:
>	Okay, let's apply this to another favorite band of mine,
>	and one more defiantly bizarre and hard to deal with
>	than XTC by miles off. Pere Ubu.
>	And Pere Ubu don't have much problem finding a label.
>	Keeping it, yes, but the options are there.

I love Ubu too. It's criminal that all their albums except the last one are
out of print! However, there's a box set coming up on Geffen which
hopefully will fill in a couple of the gaps. And as you say, there's hope
for XTC, because they're infinitely more accessible than Ubu. However, Ubu
has been on some pretty poor labels, really. Tim Kerr is very small,
Mercury hasn't had a clue in years, Enigma went under and didn't promote
the album, Imago went under and didn't promote the album...oh well.



Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 10:02:38 +0100
Message-Id: <v01510100ae23c7f42643@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: tree wise men

>>And while I'm rambling, how did XTC get away with such a blatant sexual
>>metaphor in *Cherry in Your Tree* on an album for children? And could
>>someone tell me what exactly Carmen Sandiego is and how it comes to have
>>such a groovy soundtrack?

>Mainly because you're not actually hearing what Andy's trying to say. :) I
>believe the lyric in question is "baking love", which you'll discover if you
>listen carefully.

Baking. Making. It's still a metaphor.

Or am I to suppose this is simply a song about someone who feels like
eating a cherry?

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 13:48:45 +0200 (MET DST)
From: Giancarlo Cairella <>
Subject: Urban Verbs
Message-ID: <> wrote:
> I had a major 80's flashback.  Briefly stated, IMHO, Urban Verbs album
> "Urban Verbs" was one of the best albums to come from a band never to be
> heard from again.  After their album "Early Damage," I never heard anything
> from them again.
> Anyone know "where are they now?"

I'm very interested too, their first eponymous album is one of my favorite
of that period! I've been looking for both their albums on CD (I have them
on vinyl) for years, but apparently they've never been released in digital
format. If anyone knows more about them, I'd be happy to hear from him.

Giancarlo Cairella - -
           Internet Movie Database team member -


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 96 08:41:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Lyrics

Lee Moskow asked:

>Can someone please point me in the right direction for finding the lyrics to
>Explode Together?  I especially want to know what is being said in
>"Commerciality."  The only word I can understand is commerciality.  Either
>my hearing is bad, or the words are slurred.  Who knows.

 Interesting request, Lee (unfortunately, however, I have no advice to
offer)... nothing wrong with it, of course, but it just struck me as funny
to want lyrics to any of the dub stuff. It's seems on a par with wanting
lyrics to "Revolution 9."  ;)



Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 14:12:23 +0100
Message-Id: <v01510100ae24e245e08f@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: my paint heroes

>Having abandoned the post-modern stare-outs of "White Music", "Go 2" and
>"Drums And Wires", the sleeves of XTC albums have become more focused and
>more indicative of the work they cradle. The band have already plundered the
>sixties (O&L), the Tudor period (Nonsuch), Victorian times (Black Sea/Big
>Express), mythology (Skylarking), the Middle Ages (Mummer) and ancient times
>(English Settlement).

Just a passing thought in light of Simon Sleightholm's interesting mailing:
do the covers suggest the mood, or does the mood suggest the covers?

I agree that the cover artwork makes a difference to how I perceive any
given album, but how consistent is it? I mean, if Love at First Sight, to
take a random example, had cropped up on Nonsuch instead of Black Sea,
would we think of it as Tudor instead of Victorian (when actually it is

There are certain key songs that match the mood of the artwork (eg Towers
of London = Victorian = er, four men in diving suits, whoops lost my thread
here) but, given that XTC have never written concept albums, there are as
many if not more songs that don't have any clear relationship with the
visual images.

Possibly what this points to is the fact that XTC have always created a
consistent aural mood across each album. And each album has a different
mood. This mood often stands apart from the themes of the songs themselves,
but curiously never goes against the demands of any individual song. The
artwork is an extension of the mood and a way of focusing the listener's
expectations (he says, answering his own question).

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Message-Id: <s1ff27e8.029@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 09:23:34 -0400
From: Tim Kendrick <TKEN@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Children Tribute Tape

  Hi !

  I agree with Richard, you should send in your
  song for the tribute tape (if you reserved a spot)
  no matter how bad it is.

  I sent in a cover of "Chalkhills and Children" and believe
  me, your song submission would DEFINITELY be better
  than what I submitted !  Mine is totally inferior, a piece of crap,
  but my boyfriend and I had fun making it, so all I can hope
  for is that you all have fun listening (or cringing) to it.

   Hopefully we will get closer to the 33 or so songs
   intended, rather than the 11 that have been submitted so far.

           Later !

                Tim K.

XTC SONG OF THE DAY:  Chalkhills and Children
                                           (the original version !)


From: Jason Owen <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: XTC Video
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 10:31:44 -0400 (EDT)

To add to that list of videos done by XTC posted in the last digest, I
have one: there was a video of "King For a Day" that got a little bit
of play on MTV.  I remember when "Mayor of Simpleton" came out and it
actually was played a lot -- well, "King For a Day" was the follow-up
video single.  I still remember it though -- the guys were just sitting
on stools for most of the video singing and playing acoustic/semi-acoustic
instruments.  Andy's garb was a little flamboyant I believe...

For what it's worth, (and I'd love a video collection too...)



Date: Wed, 31 Jul 96 10:26:32 CDT
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Salutations, Ludwig V. Martin, Conspiracies, Simon Sez

Howdy, Chalkaholics!

I wrote this in response to #140 but got busy and didn't sent it

From: (Gene):

>In a fit of boredom and a desperate act of procrastination I
>decided how useful it would be to compile some of the different
>names we've referred to ourselves as followers of XTC and
>members of this list:

There then follows a list of names that omits the salutation
above, which I have used several times, and Melissa Reaves' very
funny ode-to-King-Crimson, "Chalk, Chalk, it's onnnly Chalk!"

I like this thread. Let's run with it.

From: Patte Zumbrun <>:
>I must agree with some previous postees that George Martin would
>still do a fine job as producer. IMHO he made the difference
>between the Beatles and just another great band. Remember
>Beethoven was doing his musical best without the aid of sound. I
>believe Martin has that ability.

Um, the basic difference there is that Ludwig Von was WRITING the
music, not producing (a skill that, in this day and age of
recorded music, requires some aural ability) music written by
someone else.

>But I particularly remember my encounter with Terry Chambers.
>When I drunkenly said "I'm here to interview you", he replied
>with words to this effect: "fuck that for a lark, mate, suck
>more piss!"  I readily complied to his invitation and we went on
>to discuss kangaroos, koalas and the infamous drum sounds on
>D&W.  And sucked piss copiously.

Great story, Paul! Care to translate Terry's line for the Yanks
in the audience? (At first reading, I don't know if I would have
"readily complied to his invitation"!  :^)

BTW, I was listening to "Mummer" this morning, and the conspiracy
theorist in me awoke while I was listening to "Jump." With all
the brouhaha surrounding David Lee Roth's return to Van Halen, I
couldn't help but wonder if Dave, as a rabid XTC fan, hadn't
thought to himself in 1983, "It's only an obscure B-side -- no
one will know if I rip off the conceit and even the name of the
song and put it on our new album."

Well, of course, you know what happened next. "1984," with "Jump"
as its single, is a huge success, and Andy and the boys are left
stuck in Swindon eating dirt.

(How about Ted Templeman for producer?  :^)

That's all from me ... ByeBye!

Then -- I see THIS in #141!

>I would suggest Ted Templeman as producer and Alex Van Halen as
>Alex Van Halen admittedly is not the most clever drummer in the
>world, but neither was Terry Chambers.  I never felt that XTC's
>compositions demanded much of the drummer.  With Templeman's
>production, he would definitely give them as big a drum sound as
>they have had in a long time, maybe ever.

Bahhahahahahaha! Cut it out, man, yer killin' me! Seriously, if
the band is going to return to someone with "heavy hands," then
they might as well ask Terry to buy a plane ticket. The trend
with XTC's drummers has been toward subtlety, and I think that's
going to continue. (BTW, if you think XTC's compositions don't
demand much of a drummer, try playing along with them! One of the
secrets of any good artist is that he or she makes the art look
-- or sound -- easy, and that's the case here. Dave Mattacks is a
perfect example of this -- for instance, try playing Omnibus
EXACTLY the way he does. Not so easy, eh? Or try playing with
Pete Phipps on "Love on a Farmboy's Wages." Or...)

I like to listen to Van Halen (as opposed to Van Hagar) at volume
11 during those times when I want to feel like a butthead
adolescent again (and there's something to be said for trying to
occasionally recapture the heady, unjustified confidence of
youth), but IMHO both Alex and Ted would be COMPLETELY wrong for
XTC. But I really don't have to tell you that, do I?

And, from #142...

From: (Simon Sleightholm):
>Those who own the Dukes albums on vinyl will probaly agree that
>"25 O'Clock" is a greater work, not only because of the music,
>but beacuse of the period accuracy of the sleeve art.

Nah ... for me, it's because of the greater accuracy (and the
perfect mimicry of the excesses) of the music (though I also
agree with your point about the sleeve art).

And whot's all this then about this whole producer/drummer thing
not being reel? You mean Andy's DOESN'T really hang on my every
word here? Say it ain't so!

And finally ...
>Just as pungent smells (leather, sweat, baby oil) can bring back
>vivid memories of certain people

Ooh, Simon, you naughty boy! What HAVE you been doing with your
free time?  :^)

Now that's really all. ByeBye!


Message-Id: <v02110109ae2533ee36b5@[]>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 17:07:38 +0100
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: XTC Video Update

Many thanks to Tim Kendrick's contribution. Thanks to his input I have now
added a few more videos to the previous list. How could I forget the Man
Who Sailed Around His Soul? I saw that one on The Tube!

Chris Van Halen has just reminded me to add All of a Sudden (It's too
late!). As a Look Look owner, I'm ashamed of myself although to be honest
the song and video is so boring it's not surprising I forgot to add it!
Thanks Chris.


Are there any more?


Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 17:43:54 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Skylacking

     The final details of SKYLACKING, the third XTC fan tribute
     tape from Bizarre Depiction, are being put together at this
     moment.  Stay tuned for information on how to get a copy!

     first 2 tribute tapes have been temporarily discontinued so
     that all three tapes of the Bizarre Depiction XTC tribute
     tape trilogy can be sold in a box set entitled ATMOSPHEAR
     TO OCEAN.  If you already have OBSCENE COLLECTION and
     BEASTS I'VE SEEN, you'll be able to purchase SKYLACKING

     There will be a limited supply, so stay tuned to the
     SKYLACKING web page and the Chalkhills list!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 13:01:20 -0700
From: T Lewis <>
Subject: Heavy rotation XTC


You might tune into alternative on-line "radio" show at:

The current playlist features picks by a guest DJ, musician Mike
Kennealy and includes No Language in Our Lungs and some high praise and
a wee anecdote re: Our Swindon Sweethearts (other neat stuff ie Zappa,
Beatles, They Might be Giants).

I-Wave or RealAudio players de rigueur.

T Lewis
My strip, Over the Hedge, in the funnies or:


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 19:50:43 +0000
Subject: Re: sole fool? there's a time and a plaice for everything

Poor Simon Sleightholm is recovering from his recent humourectomy and
isn't feeling very well..

He obviously failed to see the irony in the following statement:-

> the thought has struck me that if it weren't for idle (some of it very idle)
> musings about producers, album titles, the *proper* running order of
> albums, songs referring to monkeys (nobody copped MONKEY CHOP by DAN I,
> circa 1979) etc. etc., we'd have bugger all to talk about really.

From the above list of topics, the only one which I feel had any real merit
was the producer thread, not because I feel that Andy Partridge is
concerned about who I or anybody else think should be the next producer
(get a grip, fer Chrissakes) but as an avid fan of XTC, I'd rather have the
album produced by someone who can enhance XTC's music (e.g. Thomas Dolby)
rather than detract from it (e.g. Todd the Sodd).  Having said that, I've
no intention of becoming creepily serious about the producer issue. I'm
sure that XTC will do what they feel is correct for them. OK?

Where the irony comes in is that if there are only one or two valid topics
for discussion (let's have your views on validity, Simon) in Chalkhills,
then maybe the whole Chalkhills idea is seriously irrelevant, and its
purpose may require evaluation. For those who feel that the subjects
discussed in the mailing list are tosh, then there is a serious problem.
If one doesn't like what's written in (say) the Guardian one can choose to
buy another paper, or to cease buying papers altogether. But since
Chalkhills seems to be the only XTC forum available, those allergic to
tosh have no refuge. Rather a shame that, eh?

On the question of putting you on the spot, that's not fair. If I'm not
100% in support of your views, then I'm damn close to it.

I wouldn't rush into publishing our private e-mail, BTW; for one thing, the
world would find out about our secret love child ( :-) ), for another,
blackmail is an ugly, reprehensible crime and I'd hate to have to go to
such lengths for such a despicable reason as revenge. Just for insurance,
however, ponder these unfinished sentences, as I take your memory for a jog

(a) "Let get the bast..."
(b) "...light a fire under the..."
(c) "inject some life into the flailing bea..." (the latter, when
completed, almost reads like an oblique strategy...)

Re. skipping items in the Digest, surely the point is that the more items
one has to skip, the more one has to ask  why  bother even
reading the damn thing. The recent FF thread is of relevance. If you find
that, for inst., you FF most of MUMMER, then surely you're going to wake
up and realise that you shouldn't have bought the damn album in the first
place. Ignoring stuff is fine, but the more one ignores, the more ignorant
one gets (oops, sorry about any possible misinterpretations there).

> I wasn't taking really any swings at anyone...
Well, I'm glad to hear that!

> BTW, I agree with you about the production on "Nonsuch"
Halle - bleedin' - luia! We agree on something! Loved the posting re.
cover art. Very relevant and in keeping with the essence of Chalkhills.

>If any producer deserves a month on Craggy Island
> it's Rundgren for the entirely predictable run of four bells after "Are you
> deafened by the bells?" on the decidely average "Big Day". A serious
> slapping offence, that one.
I don't think Father Ted would be too pleased to hear about this! And
Father Jack would probably take to the Toilet Duck again...

> Daniel, I'd like you to meet my *NEW* friend, Roger... :-)
I hope lives up to his name...

> What a *nice* man. Have a biscuit, Roger.
Yeah, and he can eat it when he's finished with it...

Yours in celery

Daniel Prendiville (no relation)


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 10:27 +0930
From: "VanAbbe, Dominic" <>
Subject: Clearing my conscience
Message-id: <>

Greetings Chalkhillians,

     Having only subscribed recently I'm new to these things, so forgive me
if I'm in previously explored territory, but I have a few queries and points
that I'd like to make.

     Firstly, at the end of Chris Twomey's XTC biography both Colin and Dave
expressed interest in touring again, either as XTC or not.  Have they
further explored this at all?  Surely Colin, who at an average of roughly 3
songs per LP (which maps out to roughly 30-odd  recorded compositions), has
enough material to play with.  Together with Dave and maybe even Ian
Gregory, rope in a couple of add-ins and it's enough to be going with.  The
loyalty of XTC's following is obvious just from this mailing list, and I've
been delighted to note there are more of us than I'd believed.  Surely this
would be enough to fill smaller venues throughout the U.K.

     Secondly, a couple of years ago I read that Dave Gregory was playing in
Aimee Mann's touring band.  In fact, I remember seeing a picture of Andy
Partridge singing back-up on their rendition of "Collideascope"!  However,
when her recent (very good) LP "I'm With Stupid" came out there was no
mention of Dave.  Plenty of participation by Glenn Tilbrook and Chris
Difford from Squeeze, but no Swindonians.  What happened there?

     Thirdly,  a few issues back someone asked about the XTC connection with
The Chills.  I believe Dave and Colin worked on the forthcoming LP which
comes out Down Under in either Sept. or Oct.  It is called "Sunburnt" and
they are now billed as Martin Phillips and The Chills.  Other than that I'm
afraid I can't offer too many details, not even whether the XTC-ers'
contributions remain intact.

     Fourthly, I hate to get further into the production issue, but it seems
"Nonsuch" and Gus Dudgeon have come in for a bit of a caning in the last few
issues.  IHMO the production was a little glossy in parts but not terrible
by any stretch.  Remembering that Dudgeon was fired after his first efforts
at mixing, maybe Nick Davis is to blame for the sounds people hear.  Does
anyone possess tapes of the initial mixdowns? Do they differ much from
Dudgeon's? Did Davis pander too much to the whims Andy? A comparison between
efforts might help, but anyway who cares? I like the LP.  A couple of songs
are a little lacklustre, but I still think "Dear Madam Barnum" is THE great
lost single release!!  Am I only one that loves the segues between songs?
 They have been present more or less since "Black Sea" and IHMO give XTC
part of their character.

     Fifthly, where do people manage to pick-up the unreleased demos from? I
mean, I have the demos that were released with "The Meeting Place", "Mayor
of Simpleton", "King for a Day", "The Disappoined" and "...Peter
Pumpkinhead" (both single releases), but where do people get the others? And
does anyone possess one of the (very) few copies of "Wrapped in Grey"?
 About the best bootleg I've managed to procure is a (very badly taped) live
broadcast (German I think) around the time of "English Settlement", so it
must be one of their final shows.  I'd love to hear tapes of their
live-to-airs through the U.S. around O&L time...

     Sixthly, the complete list videos featured in #142 was not.  It missed
"Wonderland" and "All of a sudden (It's too late)" that I'm aware of.  What
is the latest on the "Fossil Fuel" video? A few issues ago we were told it's
a 90% possibility- is that still the case? I have to know!!   :-)

     Sorry to ramble but I had to get these points off my chest.  We really
do need new product don't we?

                         Ciao for now, Dom.


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 23:00:11 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: New Convert/Mix Tape


        To throw more fish to the sharks, so to speak: I have a new convert
in the palm of my hands. I'm going to make her a mix tape. However, I need
to decide *what to put on the tape*! So, if y'all have any ideas on the best
XTC songs to put on a 90 minute tape to convert them (i.e. songs that are
both catchy and really good.) If I can't come up with a good mix, I'll use
my fallback position: the following tape was made for me by Keith Sawyer (Hi
Keith!), and it managed to convert me. :)

Side A                    Side B
* ----------------------------------------------------
Mayor Of Simpleton        All You Pretty Girls
King For A Day            I Bought Myself A Liarbird
One Of The Millions       You're The Wish (You Are)
My Bird Performs              I Had
The Dissapointed          Books Are Burning
Then She Appeared         War Dance
Season Cycle              Wrapped In Grey
The Meeting Place         The Loving
That's Really Super,      Across This Antheap
   Supergirl              Hold Me My Daddy
Ten Feet Tall (American   Punch And Judy
   version)               Take This Town
Mermaid Smiled            The World Is Full Of Angry
Too Many Cooks In The         Men
   Kitchen                Dying
Blame The Weather

Thanks for any help, and remember, it may mean an addition to the ranks. :)
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something|
\-----missing in the middle."--XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"-----/


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 23:46:46 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Dandy Dave

Re:  Dave "Lenny" Gershman

You rock, my friend.  You bloody well rock.

Flames extinguished.  Fangs retracting.  I go off and sit in the corner,
rocking myself gently, eating my sassy, reckless words.

Big hug.

Know what I think our problem is.  We may be too much alike....
 Hummmmmmmmmm, now that's a thought to ponder.

                                    --- Yours chalkfully         Tika


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 20:40:01 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Steven Reule <>
Subject: Andy the head

Here is some info on the Heads release with Andy Partridge:

From Tower Records mag:
6. whatever happened to david byrne? dept.:
     That's a question the October 8 release of 'NO TALKING JUST
HEAD' by  a band simply billed as THE HEADS (Radioactive/MCA) has
us asking.  Apparently Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry
Harrison have parted  ways with Mr. Byrne, and have cut an album
with a variety of guest  vocalists, one of whom -- Johnette
Napolitano, late of Concrete Blonde --  will front the band on
tour. Also on board are Michael Hutchence (INXS),  Debbie Harry
(Blondie), Richard Hell (Voidoids), Maria McKee (Lone  Justice),
Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays, Black Grape), Malin Anneteg, Ed
Kowalczyk (Live), Punk Lolita (aka Harry, Napolitano, Weymouth),
Gordon  Gano (Violent Femmes), Gavin Friday and Andy Partridge
(XTC). On first  listen, the standout track is Partridge's. Another
question remains,  though: Is Radioactive setting itself up to be
a refuge for Sire Records  acts from the '70s? It already has the
I repeat "the standout track is Partridge's".  No surprise there!!!

Steven Reule
Obsessed With Music


Message-Id: <v01530507ae25f14ad7d2@[]>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 17:31:10 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: chalkWHAT???

Geez Gene, you must've been bored when you said:
>I decided how useful it would be to compile some of the
>different names we've referred to ourselves as followers of XTC
>and members of this list:

me, I'm a Chalkhiller, and proud of it (usually)!

No, not a Chalkite. I suppose you could call me a White Musician - but that
implies both race and musical ability. And certainly *not* a


Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 01:37:34 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Carboard? Hah! You know not of what you speak. Also: Tape offer!

Dave (York,PA):

To the guy who said that Todd Rundgren's production on Skylarking
made the drums sound like cardboard boxes or whatever:  They do not!
I work with the cardboard boxes twenty hours or so a week. I've dropped them
on the floor, tossed them onto tables and stamped on them to
flatten them for recycling and not once has the sound they made in anyway
resembled that of the drums on Skylarking.  So there! Bow down to the
Cardboard King, that is me! (You were exaggerating, weren't you?)

About the Great Producer Debate: I must say that this particular thread has
never particularly interested me (except for the tiff between the two
Chalkhillians about Steve Albini, which was kinda fun. Do it again
sometime, boys.)  I'd cast my vote for them producing on their own, but it
doesn't matter a whole lot who they choose, because Andy's songs are good
enough to withstand any amount of bad production.

Another question for David Yazbek: Was Dave Gregory sick or something
during the Cherry In Your Tree sessions? I'm curious because his only
contribution to the song seems to be a series of ghost sound effects right
as the song begins to fade out. Or am I missing something and the sound
effects are throughout the entire song? I have to admit, I completely
missed them the first time around and it wasn't until I listened to it with
my sister that I found out where the ghost effects were (she pointed them
out to me).

If anyone wants a tape of the bootleg demos volumes 2,3 and 5, e-mail me.
They're not very good sound quality so you're not missing out on a whole
lot by not having them on CD. I'd rather people not buy the bootlegs, so
that's why I'm doing this. All you have to do is send me a blank tape and
couple of bucks worth of stamps to send the tape back.  You don't need to
have anything to trade! I'm just bored, that's all. You can e-mail me at (put XTC DAVE in your message so it will stand out.) I also
can dub copies of the legitimate Demo Tracks release (with Down a Peg +
four others) as well as the demos on the backside of the Mayor of Simpleton
12'' single, Ella Guru, Living In A Haunted Heart, The Good Things) as well
as Mantis In Parole, the live tracks on Love On A Farmboy's Wages

I seemed to have either stumped every one with my question about the slowed
down vocal effect at the beginning of Heaven Is Paved with Broken Glass
(the 7'' single version) or asked a question that had been answered
already. Oh well.


Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 05:17:53 -0500
Message-Id: <v01530500ae25e5462615@[]>
From: (John Yuelkenbeck)
Subject: Diversity in a world of similarity

        Unfortunately, I can't claim to have caught XTC in my home town of
Swindon during the "White Music" tour like so many others on the list, but
I have been a fan since the release of "English Settlement," when I heard
"Melt The Guns" being played at my favorite record store and proceeded to
purchase the entire catalog having heard nothing else by the band. I had
never done that before (or since), and was definitely not diBappointed.
"The Little Express" became the only other fan club I have ever joined, Bob
Dylan's "Look Back" organization being the other. I have pristine copies of
"Jules Verne's Sketchbook" and "Bull With The Golden Guts" for those of you
whom that makes jealous--nyah, nyah.
        After lurking on the list for a few weeks, I was finally moved to
write after Mark Strijbos ragged on "Crocodile." I enjoy reading everyone's
picks of favorites and skip overs, especially since we are all in such
total disagreement with one another. A friend recently asked me for an XTC
compilation tape (please, no flames about not sending him out to purchase
the discs in support of the band--he'll pick up some after hearing the
tape), so I had to pick one or two songs from each record for 90 minutes of
pure funk pop a roll. Although I had enjoyed the album quite a bit
initially, "Crocodile" was the only "Nonsuch" song I could find for the
tape that I found had held up. Love that cowbell!
        I don't fit the profile of most of you from what I've read so far:
"Mummer" is my favorite XTC album, "Oranges and Lemons" had far more lemons
than oranges IMHO, I have trouble listening to more than "Meccanic Dancing"
on "Go2." Most of us seem to agree, however, that "Skylarking," "Black
Sea," and "English Settlement" are all quality products from the band.
"Collideascope" is my favorite fireball chip, anyone EXCEPT Don Was is my
producer choice, and for drummer, how about Kenny Aronoff?
        Big T Bone Burnett fan, and have Sam (nee Leslie) Phillips' "The
Turning" which he produced when she was with God. Not as good as since
she's been God-less, but it has a nice cover of T-Bone's "River of Love."
        I haven't read long enough to know if this thread has been beaten
to death, but one thing that has always attracted me to XTC's music is the
way the sound often follows sense: the anvil striking rhythm in "Towers of
London" indicating the laboring workers building the towers, the "Hard
Day's Night" chord that opens "This Is Pop," the synthetic storm that blows
through "Deliver Us From The Elements," the jerky, thrown-off-kilter rhythm
of "Shake You Donkey Up" (do the background vocals remind anyone else of
the Monkees' "She Hangs Out"?), anyway, you get the idea.
        I wrote, edited, and designed a music 'zine for three years called
"Sound" and we featured XTC on occasion. Off the top of my head, I recall
doing a "Rag and Bone Buffet" article and a "Nonsuch" review. We always got
glowing mentions in Fact Sheet 5. I have plenty of old copies if anyone
collects XTC to that extent. If I get too many requests, I may need to get
some help paying for postage.
        If there are any Tymon Dogg fans out there, I would love to hear
>from you. Also, in a COMPLETELY different vein, I maintain Tom Russell's
homepage. Tom is a singer-songwriter often lumped into the "country" label,
although he best fits within the "roots rocks" genre. Simply from being a
fan, I began designing newsletters (and eventually two album covers!),
maintaining his database, and coordinating his merchandising. Check out his
page at

"Ah, I feel better now" --Marianne Faithfull after an intensely grueling
performance of "Why'd Ya Do It"


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Fossil Fuel Ltd. Edition/Yazbek & Block live
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 96 08:23:19 -0000
From: chuck and joe <>

Hey Chalkhillians!

I just heard from Geoff at Compact Disc Exchange here in Danbury CT that
XTC's Fossil Fuel is coming out in an extremely limited edition. The
packaging will be "some type of embossed CD case along with a special
booklet". Not sure of the price yet, and it appears to be available
exclusively in the UK for now (don't know if the release date is the same
as the regular edition).

Yazbek and Jamie Block were both AWESOME at the Danbury Modern Folk Music
Festival! By all means if you have the chance to see either live, DO

Jamie Block was truly impressive! When he was on, he totally captivated
the audience, even drawing the other performers out from the backstage
area to witness his set! Lyrically he's a genius; it's easy to see why
Andy is so enamored of him."Cigarettes, Prozac and Scotch" was a crowd
favorite.  Musically he has an extremely talented band behind him, with
his cellist being a particular stand-out performer. And Jamie is a really
nice guy to boot! His CD is coming out real soon- if his live show is any
indication, it should be a phenomenal disc!

Yazbek and band were SUPERB! They played almost the entire "Laughing Man"
CD, plus "Carmen Sandiego" and a new song called "Schmuck In A Vacuum",
which was a highlight of the set. What a tight, professional unit these
guys were- bass and drums locked solidly together with David's maniacal
keyboards on top! The vocals were also top notch with every harmony right
in place. I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing them again soon. Speaking
of nice guys, David is one of the nicest! We got to chat a bit, about XTC
and show tunes and his future recording plans and stuff. All in all it
was a great music-filled day, and my personal thanks go out to David,
Jamie, and their bands and crews for volunteering their services for a
good cause and putting on a wonderful show!


the second annual


Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 09:51:02 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Sleeve art - what next?

Thanks to Simon ( for his humorous tongue-in-cheek
praise of XTC's sleeve art. While the main reason I love XTC is because of
their music, their sleeve art was one of the reasons I became a collector of
their releases from around the world. I admit I enjoy seeing one of their
sleeves for the first time, especially since Andy has such a large say as to
the design of their sleeves.

To those of you who have not sought out any of XTC's UK 7" singles yet, some
of the highlights include "Making Plans For Nigel" with the large pullout
game sleeve, "Sgt. Rock" with the poster size cartoon sleeve, "Senses Working
Overtime" with the foldout flaps on the front, and "Life Begins At The Hop"
in clear vinyl with the record player sleeve. I also collect their non-UK
releases, often because of the different sleeves that have been issued.

One of the best examples of a foreign country issuing different sleeves and
unique releases is France. They issued different 7" sleeves for "Science
Friction", "This Is Pop", and "Making Plans For Nigel". One of my favorites
is their unique sleeve for a 12" promo of "This World Over". France was also
the only country to issue a 12" single from Nonsuch, producing a promo only
(limited to 100) run of "The Disappointed". France also opted for a different
cover for their release of GO2. They have also issued unique CDs such as
"Tiny Circus Of Life" (with a unique cover), and a CD called "Gribouillage"
that included a small foldout poster and a two demos not on "Demo Tracks".
Other releases from France include the early 80's cassette only release
titled "Eighties Goldies", which has a unique cover. For Nonsuch, France
issued a 15 minute promo only video called "The History Of XTC" that gives a
brief summation of the band.

I would love to see other collectors posting more frequently to Chalkhills!
And anyone interested in trading please feel free to send me an e-mail.


Message-Id: <v02110100ae267cc0d1a6@[]>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 17:05:49 +0100
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: Re: Settlement once and for all

In Chalkhills #142 Mark Strijbos wrote:

>>I have to object strongly to this comment from the last Digest
>regarding the original Virgin ES CD release:
>> and was abridged by a few tracks to meet what was then a lower CD program
>> capacity.  No one minded in Europe, since vinyl versions also were
>> cropped in various ways to adapt the album into a single disk format.
>> "Yacht Dance", "Knuckle Down", & "Fly on the Wall" were common omissions.
>1. BS and Mummer were released at the same time and bonus tracks
>were added to those.

I must correct you Mark. The original UK English Settlement CD manufactured
by MPO France was originally released in 1984. This was probably the first
XTC CD to be released along with the Big Express. (The original CD's have
no barcodes on the jewel box!)

This was followed in 1985 (though not widely available until 1986) by GO 2,
Drums and Wires and the Compact XTC (Still no barcodes!)

Skylarking was released two months after the vinyl LP.

In 1987 Black Sea, Mummer and White Music were released at the same time in
the same format.

The remaining CD's (with the exception of Explode Together) were released
on time.

I hope that clears things up.



Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 17:40:12 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: By the way

The offer by me to tape the bootlegs (I mentioned this in my post
yesterday) will only last to Aug 12th, so if you're interested or have
questions e-mail me on the 12th or BEFORE. Thanks.

dave (york,pa)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 01 Aug 1996 15:17:50 -0700
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: Feining Madness

No, not the ska band. Although Go2... STAY ON SUBJECT!, sorry (tick).

Hello there,
Today's topic is the stylistic preference for MOCK lunacy.
(listen for the creak of armchair psychologists)

Artist's have long flirted with insanity as a method:

1. to express outrage at societies lack of balance or justice
2. to mimic climactic ecstasy, brought on by over sensitivity
3. to turn reality on it's ear for an alien view
4. for shock value
5. to generate laughs, everybody loves a fool

Andy in particular, displays a certain lack of restraints in his vocal
delivery. Other times making obvious sounds of distress. In fact this
may account for some of the lack of popularity of the band in that it
takes an sympathetic ear to find asylum in these strains. The fans
definitely exhibit a certain mania in their enthusiasm.

The question is how long can you play the part without incurring some
sleight harm. When entertaining thoughts of insanity, I would be careful of
who's invited to tea. They may stay for dinner.

.emit gib ti tsol sah nomiS


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-143

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