Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-148

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 148

                  Monday, 19 August 1996

Today's Topics:

             Do I love you, do I hate you...
            My Father's Boot & XTC on MiniDisc
                 Explode Together lyrics
         Keep those Desert Island Songs coming!!
  Stewart/Gaskin; Bruce Wooley; Sam Phillips; my vitriol
                      D&W, TBE, TSM
                    Hip hip hooray...
                     Drums and Wires
          Silly silly Simon, you daft little boy
      re: How good was Chalkhills Digest #2-147????
                The fool through the hill
                Demographic Survey Results
           wallpaper patterns..and a first post
              Discovering English Settlement
 A new cover version of Grass, but will you ever find it?
                XTC Picture Disc boxed set
                   you might have spoke
                     Classical Grass
                      lumps of rock
                      Reason to Live
              Me and Andy and Colin and Dave
        Hey chalkhillers, what's new w/ fan tapes
Two German articles available for Chalkhills fans, in English
              Happy Birthday Colin Moulding
                The Jung And The Restless
                 Oranges & Lemons on GOLD


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Go ahead Terry, play the rotary!


Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 12:20:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Do I love you, do I hate you...
Message-ID: <>

Simon Knight's comment that "there are no bad XTC songs" is, I think,
taking idolatry a little too far.  Of course there are bad XTC songs -
but which songs are bad, and why, is a matter of opinion, which itself
can change over time.  As for not skipping songs in the hopes that one
day you might like them, that's OK for some of the songs I dislike, but
there's a couple of songs that actually cause me physical pain to listen
to, I hate them that much.  Listening to them might make them more
bearable, but that's kind of like banging yourself on the head with a
hammer in the hopes that your skull will eventually go numb.

You want to get your teeth around "English Settlement"?  The sequence of
five songs, "Senses Working Overtime" through "All of a Sudden," IMO are
some of the best stuff XTC has ever done.  Listen to the 12-string guitar on
"Yacht Dance" or the great lyrics in "No Thugs in Our House," or just
tune everything else out and listen to Terry Chambers's fantastic
drumming, also brilliantly displayed on "Ball and Chain" and "It's Nearly
Africa."  (It's as if he knew it was his last hurrah...)  Then
skip to the end and listen to "Snowman," that vicious anthem of bitter
heartbreak, until your ears bleed.

Now, if only I could start liking "Nonsuch" again.  I think it's a lost
cause, though...

(Oh yeah - "Explode Together" rules. So does "Frost Circus."  Thank you.)

Natalie Jacobs
Visit the Land of Do-As-You-Please!


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 19:02:33 +0000
Subject: My Father's Boot & XTC on MiniDisc

Dear Chalkies,

I have just received a cassette with the gig at My Father's Place on
December 2 1980 in Long Island, NY, USA.
it's quite a good recording but a bit trebly ( FM broadcast ) lasting
approx. 72 minutes.

The performance is excellent with lots of songs from Go2, D&W and
Black Sea.

Anyone interested in swapping a copy of this tape for other live
tapes/rarities please email me privately.

BTW: I still got a few Nonsuch MiniDiscs to swap/sell, just drop
me a message for the details. Hurry while stocks last!

yours in ecstasy,


===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
Hours swum down, treasure unfound
Air leaving slow, still breathing though


Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 10:18:07 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Explode Together lyrics


        I've been working on some of the lyrics to Explode together. Here
are Cairo, Shore Leave Ornithology, and The Rotary. Words in []'s are my
best guesses; a [?] represents one syllable that I just cannot understand at

Shore Leave Ornithology:

[Slacks], coffee dripped
I could have been in the US Navy
[Floodin' grey] All this smoke
I could have been in another 1950, if I were you
Rough Stance, crept, is it cardboard?
Cardboard Cardboard Cardboard
Cardboard coffee
[sucks her phone bitch] and [? ?] and [Roy]
A cigarette was burning, the flat shoes
[stool bumble] coffee [danport] shoes
Black man, like it was Oz. Where was she?
I could have been in the US Navy
Flow beating air [to touch all this slack]
Shore leave, no sailors here
Cardboard Cardboard Cardboard Cardboard
[licker] slacks twisting
A cigarette was burning
The flat shoes, The flat shoes, The flat shoes, The flat shoes
Burned, Burned, Burned, Burned
I could have been in another 1950
Burned (x20)
I could have been in another 1950


Well, let me tell you about my girlie
She goes by the name of [? ?] Shirlie
She become a real live wire-o
Since she learned how to do the Cairo
And she go up, up
Down, down
Up, up
Down, down
She pours all the sand on the kitchen floor
Then we start to [camel] through the living room door
She was cool to me, but now her heart's a pyro
Since she learned how to do the Cairo
And she go up, up
Down, down
Up, up
Down, down
And she go up, up
Down, down
Up, up
Down, down


I'm warning you, I'm warning you now
Look out below, and [what the] holy cow
It's the rotary
I told you not to spin your top
Unless the [? ?] drop because
The rotary
It's in, the rotary, the rotary, oh
Heard you got a [top]
It's a brand-new spinning top
Well, that's out, this is the rotary, the rotary
This is a thing that's definitely going to make up for being part of this
magic band, little bear.
I thought they held it [a great] but i'm talking to you about
the rotary
People would they come approaching
Twirling Twirling Twirling Twirling
The rotary
You can jump in, I can jump in, everybody can jump in
Rollin' armadillo, [crock ? ? ?]
The rotary The rotary The rotary The rotary
It's the thing that's for me and you, ooh ooh, the rotary
I can see them, precision and lining u
For their number, they're going crazy, they can't get enough of
The rotary, yes-sir-ree, the Ro-ta-ry.
Turning Turning Turning Turning Twirling Twirling Twirling
They're all burning up burning up burning burning burning
with the rotary
Yesiree, the rotary
I shouldn't want you to get this confused with any other dance club because
this is the one.
The rotary
You'll be burning all your clothes and you'll be burning all of your jewelry
You'll be the rotary
It's something like anarchy, yesiree, it's the rotary
the rotary the rotary the rotary the rotary R-O-T-A-R-Y Rotary the rotary
You wanna do it, do it with me
You wanna do it, do it for free
The rotary
Go ahead Terry, play the rotary
How d'ya think [he/it] got the second half of [his/it's] name?
Terry is the last bit of Ro-tary. Rotary!
/---------------------------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)"-----/


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 96 16:24:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Keep those Desert Island Songs coming!!

First off, thanks to all of you who have been responding to my survey of
everyone's Top 5 Desert Island XTC Songs. In case you missed my announcement
in #146, you should immediately go through your XTC collection and choose
the 5 songs by XTC that you would absolutely have to have with you if
stranded on a desert island (with a fresh set of batteries for your Walkman,
hopefully). I know it's awfully hard to narrow it down to just 5, but do
your some respondents have indicated, it'll at very least help in
making up a damned good XTC compilation tape! Then, e-mail your list to me
at "" and I will compile the results, to be reported in
a few weeks.
 Responses have been trickling in fairly regularly, with some very
interesting results so far (sorry, I'm not disclosing any of it yet, for
fear of influencing your choices), but I KNOW there are over a thousand of
you out there, and I haven't even heard from 10% of you yet. The results
will mean more coming from a larger number of you...

Now, on to other things...

Peter McCulloch asked:
>By the way, anyone have any thoughts on those new annoying adhesive strips
>that run across the top of the CD, seemingly, to deter it from bursting
>open all by itself. I dare and defy anyone out there to peel one of these
>off in one piece!

I guess they're to help prevent counterfeiting somehow. It's true that they
rarely come off in one piece, but they're a damn sight better than those
little silver adhesive tabs they used to use (and still occasionally do),
holding it shut along the righthand edge. Those things always left sticky
silver gummy stuff on the CD unless you peeled them off V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y.
The strips on top don't do that.

Simon Sleightholm said about the bells in "Big Day":
>True, it could have been Colin's idea, and actually I'd be interested to
>know - has anyone got or heard an early demo of the song?

Well, I'm not sure about the demo, not having it with me at the moment, but
I do know that in at least one of the 1989 radio performances, Dave or Andy
plays the bell part on indication, at least, that they liked the
bell sounds in the song, even if they didn't necessarily think of it.
 This brings up another, somewhat-related point: just because Colin or Andy
wrote a particular song, it doesn't mean that every musical part in the
final recorded version was their idea. Someone once posted something to the
effect that Andy gives Colin good bass lines to play and credit should be
given where due, but I strongly suspect that Colin comes up with a majority
of the bass lines in all of their songs. Andy may have a basic one recorded
for his demo, but it gets beefed out later by Colin, I'm sure. Figuring out
instrumentation in a band is usually a very give-and-take's not
like Andy hands them all charts and says, "Okay, boys, play that
note-for-note!" He certainly doesn't make up Dave's guitar solos either.

Across this antheap in a dripping basin,

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 17:13:42 -0400
From: jes <>
Subject: Stewart/Gaskin; Bruce Wooley; Sam Phillips; my vitriol (Peter McCulloch) played trivia with us with this

"2. What female-fronted band recorded a version of, 'Roads Girdle the Globe?'"

I don't know if I would have called them a "band," but I think you are
talking about the version of "Roads" which was reshaped by Dave Stewart and
Barbara Gaskin.   "Up From The Dark"  Excellent album, available in the
states on RYKODISC.  (Stewart was an original member of Hatfield & The
North, and I think was also responsible for some of the keyboard diddling on
albums by Caravan and National Health.  Gaskin was a backup singer who
appeared on Hatfield's first album, as well as a host of other Virgin-era
prog-rock albums.  Gaskin has the voice of the angels.)

Then he had the huevos to ask:
"6. Does anyone actually listen to their copy of, "Through the Hill" with
any degree of regularity?"

I will be willing to bet that you get a resounding response to this
question.  I, for one, play it quite often, especially during romantic
interludes with the unsuspecting females who might accidentally allow
themselves to be lured in by my sensuous and Godlike trombone playing, and
my world-renown designs in corduroy eveningwear. had this to say:

"While it's true that Sam's departure from the Christian music industry has
nothing to do with whether she is a Christian or not, it is also true that
the absence of even one direct mention of faith in Christ over the course of
her last three albums certainly casts doubt about the strength of her claims."

One could argue that this sentence is self-contradictory.  One could argue
that before Jar Of Clay created "Flood," there was a veritable dearth of
highly successful "Christian" music on the so-called Alternative (to what?)
Radio.  (And no, I don't count Norman Greenbaum, or the Doobie Brothers, as
successful Christian pop artists.  They had one-hit wonders.)  One could
also argue that one man's dogma is another man's faith.  I suppose that in
order to satisfy the same kinds of people who shoot doctors in abortion
clinics (all in the name of "life,") and who think that AIDS is God's way of
punishing homosexuals, Leslie should have stuck to her guns, not changed her
name, lived in a gingham dress and a white blouse, and sung songs about how
much her soul was going to be THAT MUCH MORE saved than mine if I didn't
adopt her particular blood of Eden.  I, for one, love her music, pre and
post, and wonder how it is that someone can suggest that her faith is not
strong because she sings secular music.

One could also argue that I'm sparring with someone from AOL, but that's a
flame.  Sorry.

From Simon Sleightholm <> comes a question about Bruce
Wooley.  "it seems that Video Killed the Radio Star was first released by
"Bruce Wooley and the Camera Club", a band that featured Wooley, Downes and
Horn, and a then unknown keyboard player by the name of Thomas Dolby."
"Camera Club was primarily Bruce Wooley's group...Thomas Dolby did some
synth work for them...and I read somewhere that vocalist/ guitarist Andy
Partridge of XTC was somehow involved."

I have the album in question, and it's a priceless gem.  It has a superior
version of "Video Killed" that makes Buggles version sound, well.... as
silly as it sounds.  Released in America in the early '80's by a visionary
Columbia Records (back when they had guts, committing such heinous acts as
distributing Stiff records and Lene Lovich albums), Bruce Wooley and the
Camera Club did indeed sport Downes, Horn and Dolby.  However, the American
version has absolutely NO liner notes and one can only guess that Downes,
Horn & Dolby were involved because of the songwriting credits.  My rather
keen ears cannot spot any evidence of Partridge's active participation, and
he probably gets lumped in there because he was working with Dolby on his
first LP.


Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 18:44:43 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: D&W, TBE, TSM

>Fellow CHers,
>        I'm new to the list, but I've been on it long enough to know that
>what I'm about to say constitutes blasphemy;  I just got Drums and Wires and
>I don't like it.  I _know_, I _know_, I need to let it grow on me.  But I'm
>used to much richer and more complex XTC music, and this stuff sounds spare
>and simple to me, and not in a good way.

Don't compare it to the other albums. Listen to it for what it is. You'll
like it eventually, I'm sure.

>On the other hand, I adore Big
>Express and apparently this is unusual as well.

I dunno. I like it. :) Really, Express is much better than people give it
credit for. I mean, it's got Wake Up on it (geez, listen to the lyrics
there.) And of course Smalltown (anybody but me absolutely *love* this
song?) and This World Over (subtle but great) and Train Running Low (great,
great track.)

>So I don't mean this
>snottily, but could you more experienced CH types explain what it is I'm
>supposed to like about D & W?

Well, there's "Day In Day Out", which is pretty clever. And Chain Of Command
(which you just gotta love :) with it's weird medical lyrics. And Ten Feet
Tall (even though the R&BB version is better...) and Roads Girdle The Globe
(have you listened to this song yet? It's great! Especially the "Hail mother
motor hail piston motor hail wheel" bit.) and Real By Reel (aaaahhh, back in
the days when XTC were all paranoid...) and Outside World (I swear I thought
the lyrics were "She has sex once, singing in her sauna"...) and Scissor Man
(though, again, the R&BB version is better) get the idea.

>And on another subject, am I alone in
>thinking that Smartest Monkeys is an absolute kick-ass song?

I've learned my lesson. Don't even *mention* the monkey song. It was bad
enough last time...:)

/---------------------------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)"-----/


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 00:45:14 +0000
Subject: Hip hip hooray...

Dear Chalkies,

First of all: this Saturday August 17 [Colin's birthday !!!] I will
launch a new website that's entirely dedicated to our Heroes (of course).
Although it's still under construction - aren't all websites? - there
are lots of exclusive scans etc to be found there.
Surf to :

And if you do, please drop me a message with your remarks/comments.

Secondly, let's clear one thing up...
I like Frost Circus. I like ALL XTC songs - more or less :)

I just used it to compare it with All Of A Sudden.
Stephen (Steven?) Varga said that AOAS was "boring" and
and i strongly disagreed with him.

I jokingly suggested that he would probably like Frost Circus better.
FC is a very nice atmospheric instrumental, but it hardly compares
with a 'statement' like AOAS, now does it?
I feel even the Man himself might consider FC to be a euh... 'lesser work'.
Nuff said...

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
We all need a big reduction in the amount of tears


Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 22:55:34 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Drums and Wires

K. Luce writes:

"I'm new to the list, but I've been on it long enough to know that
what I'm about to say constitutes blasphemy"

Not necessarily...

"I just got Drums and Wires and I don't like it.  I _know_, I _know_, I need
to let it grow on me."

That'll probably do it.

"But I'm used to much richer and more complex XTC music, and this stuff
sounds spare
and simple to me, and not in a good way.  ...could you... explain what it is
I'm supposed to like about D & W?" [not meant snottily]

D&W is quite rich and complex, IMO.  1) One way to appreciate this is to let
it grow on you. Sometimes the most seemingly inaccessible (either too facile
and/or too simplistic) music takes time to seep in. XTC, Elvis Costello, and
Kinks work this way with me.  2) Another way is to try to play (taking up an
instrument if necessary) or sing along with it. I have mastered some rather
demanding guitar literature and yet still feel like an absolute beginner when
presented with the difficulties of most XTC arrangements. D&W is definitely
no exception.  3) Alter your conciousness somehow and invite the music in for
a rowdy night. Complicated Game is one of my favorite pieces of musical
anarchy, right up there with Hendrix's Machine Gun.

Hope this helps...

"And on another subject, am I alone in thinking that Smartest Monkeys is an
absolute kick-ass song?"

I love the bass gtr./percussion interaction; it works well with the stereo
guitars and synths. Lyrically, it's moralistic, perhaps simplistically so,
but still moving. IMHO, it's not a bad song if I'm in the mood. Yes - Colin
does tend to kick ass, as a bassist, vocalist and songwriter.


Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 23:10:53 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Silly silly Simon, you daft little boy

Bootleg dub update! Please postmark your tapes by August 19th 1996!
I want to get these tapes done by the end of August. If you don't postmark
your tapes by then, well, it will be a long time until you get your tapes
If you have any questions, e-mail me either at my new America Online address
<> or my new address on the slower, dumber Prodigy
online system <>.

This is my tape mailing schedule:

8/13 Peter McCulloch (both tapes)
8/14 Sara Lloyd (first tape)
8/16 Sara Lloyd (second and third tapes)
8/17 Joshua Hall-Bachner (all three tapes)
8/19 T.Lewis (all tapes)
8/19 Tony Pfarrer (all tapes)
8/19 Karl Ovre (one lonely little tape)

As of August 14th, those are the tape packages I have recieved.

I was reading the responses to my post about my assertion that
Todd Rundgren perhaps was not reponsible for those predictable
bells in Big Day and all I have to say to Simon is: I was right and you
were wrong! Nyaah! Nyaah! Nyaah! Let this be a lesson to those
who would speculate and make disparaging remarks about Todd.
Do your worst! I'll take on all of you! E-mail me! I dare ya!

Sorry...I couldn't resist.

York PA


Date: 15 AUG 96 15:28:53 EST
Subject: re: How good was Chalkhills Digest #2-147????
Message-ID: <>

The last issue of Chalkhills was (to quote Jim Morrison) "stoned
immaculate".  A delight to read from beginning to end.  Thanx fellow
Chalkies for the pleasure you've brought me.  See what we can do if we try?
And three cheers for the long-suffering John Relph.

I've made quite a few good friends thru having subscribed, too.  Chalkhills
is a truly wonderful thang.

XTC content: well we all know about them.  They're a funky little outfit
from Swindon that most of us seem to dig quite a bit....



Message-Id: <v01540b03ae3826f9708b@[]>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 02:46:53 +0100
From: (Peter McCulloch)
Subject: The fool through the hill

>>6. Does anyone actually listen to their copy of, "Through the Hill" with
>>any degree of regularity?

>Certainly, it's a vital element to a perfect evening round our house. Take
>one sofa, one bottle of wine, one wife (usually one's own will suffice), and
>one copy of "Through The Hill" on repeat play and just bliss out. I also
>find it very soothing in the CDROM drive if I'm bashing keys into the early

Aha! Therein lies the ticket! I obviously didn't have all the essential
ingredients properly in place when I first gave this disc a listen. There I
was, sitting on my sofa with a glass of wine in my hand and a girlfriend
posing as a soon-to-be wife (wincing in pain because she can't stand
XTC),while listening attentively to Through the Hill and watching the paint
peel, when I should have been distracting myself with some menial task such
as keyboard-bashing. Just kidding, Simon, as I don't mean to sound
obnoxious here. Your suggestion does conjure up a rather pleasant scenario,
but after anxiously awaiting to hear something new and predictably "XTCish"
from Andy I guess I just wasn't in the mood to listen to minimalist
instrumental music on that particular day. (Perhaps it was the cheap wine
impairing my better sense of judgement. You'll have to suggest a few good
wines). I guess my preconceived notions of what an Andy Partridge record
should sound like got the best of me. (How quickly we forget the Lure of
Salvage). You've raised an interesting point: Perhaps this disc works best
as a backround texture to life's simpler pleasures. Since a few
chalkhillians came forward to declare there appreciation for this music,
I'll revisit it tomorrow during work. BUT I WARN YOU: If I still don't like
it, I may re-upholster, stock my cellar with kool-aid, and find someone who
doesn't wince so much!



Message-Id: <s212f3e6.052@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 09:47:56 -0400
From: Tim Kendrick <TKEN@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Subject: Demographic Survey Results

 Okay, I've stopped accepting any more
 responses to my survey (one day early).
 Including myself, I now have 100 responses.
 Not only do I think this is a good representation
 of Chalkhill subscribers, but by stopping at 100
 I've saved myself from a lot of complicated calculations.

 Thanks to all who participated.
 Here are the results:



1.  What is your gender ?
    MALE    =   84%
    FEMALE  =   16%

2.  What is your age ?
     0 - 12  =    0%
    13 - 17  =    3%
    18 - 29  =   30%
    30 - 39  =   61%
    40 - 49  =    6%
    50 - 99  =    0%

    AVERAGE AGE =  31.5 years old

3.  What is your marital status ?
    SINGLE          =   42%
    MARRIED         =   40%
    DIVORCED        =    3%

4.  What is your sexual preference ?
    STRAIGHT =   83%
    BI       =    2%
    GAY      =   15%

5.  How many children ?
    0  =   74%
    1  =   11%
    2  =   12%
    3  =    3%

6.  What country do you live in ?
     USA         =  66%
     UK          =   7%
     AUSTRALIA   =   5%
     SWEDEN      =   5%
     CANADA      =   4%
     ITALY       =   3%
     JAPAN       =   3%
     NEW ZEALAND =   1%
     SPAIN       =   1%
     HOLLAND     =   1%
     IRELAND     =   1%
     FINLAND     =   1%
     NETHERLANDS =   1%
     GERMANY     =   1%

7.  How many years have you been an XTC fan ?
     0 - 1   =     0%
     2 - 4   =    12%
     5 - 7   =     7%
     8 - 10  =    15%
    11 - 13  =    15%
    14 - 16  =    32%
    17 - 19  =    19%

    AVERAGE YEARS AN XTC FAN =  12.2 years

8.  How long have you been a Chalkhills subscriber ?
     0 - 1 month      =   6%
     2 - 6 months     =  34%
     7 - 12 months    =  37%
    13 - 18 months    =  11%
    19 - 24 months    =  11%
    More than 2 years =   1%


 I was surprised by many things in this survey.
 But to me the biggest surprise was the male/female
 ratio.  That one shocked me !  I really thought
 there were more female XTC fanatics out there.

 I was also surprised that so many of us live
 in the US - and so few are in the UK !

          Tim K.


Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 10:18:45 -0400
Message-Id: <v01510100ae38a8e75665@[]>
From: (groovelily)
Subject: wallpaper patterns..and a first post

In my humble opinion, the coolest desktop pattern source around is the
truly marvelous "fossil fuels" fossil.  (I guess this is the ammonite to
which virgin refers.)

My thanks go out to the mysterious fella from the UK who was so kind as to
put this image on the web--if anyone out there doesn't have the ability to
crop his jpeg image into a square and tweak it, email me privately and I'll
attach a copy of mine to my reply.

"stars all glinting in the shiny chrome"


Message-Id: <v02130502ae38b454a9d8@[]>
From: (Chris Burland)
Subject: Discovering English Settlement
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 11:23:07 -0500

I really love English Settlement. I bought every album afterDrums and Wires
within a week of their Canadian release. Back in '82, XTC was receiving
medium to high rotation on several Toronto radio stations. Senses Working
Overtime and Run Away were being played on CHUM FM (a album-oriented rock
station then, a music-of-your-life Adult station now), while Senses, Ball
and Chain, Jason and the Argonauts were played on CFNY (Alternative, weird
nor snoring modern rock....sorry new music station). I was in heaven, then.
The rest of the album is more abrasive for most but after a few listens the
beauty of Knuckle Down, the twisted lyrics of No Thugs in Our House, with
my favourite line; (I paraphrase) "Their son was busy banging out a
headache on the kitchen floor" (or is it door?) But my favourite XTC moment
is the wonderful schmaltzy lounge guitar in Down in the Cockpit. Give the
whole thing a listen.

On discovering new XTC songs, after buying Black Sea and listening to the
whole album, I hated it all except for Respectable Street, then on second
listening, I liked Generals and Majors, then third it was Living Thru
Another Cuba, etc. It was really strange. Soon I got to like it all.

Regards, Chris


Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 12:28:35 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: A new cover version of Grass, but will you ever find it?

Hi! I was flipping through CMJ (lured in by the temptation of cheap music,
only to find out that most of it was the same old tired alternative rock
that infests my local "alternative" station, The Edge. But what do you
expect from a station that names itself after a member of U2?) and I saw
this review of a new single by Big City Orch- estra called "Grass":

"High concept record of the month is Big City Orchestra's new single (Sick
Muse).  The A-side is a cover of Ivor Cutler's "Grass" (better known in
Robert Wyatt's version, from which BCO seems to have derived its
arrangement); the B-side is a cover of XTC's "Grass"; and the whole thing
is packaged in inch-thick Astroturf. Given all that, it's surprising that
the record itself is so good. The BCO manages to find new things to do with
both songs: the Cutler one has its wickedly satirical harangue broufht to
the fore ("Do not mind if I thump you when I'm talking to you / I have
something important to say"), and the XTC becomes a minimal acoustic piece
with peculiar, hallucinatory rumblings underneath."  (Douglas Wolk)

Does anyone know how to obtain a copy of this record?

York PA


Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 19:14:29 +0200 (MET DST)
From: Giancarlo Cairella <>
Subject: XTC Picture Disc boxed set
Message-ID: <>

I read about someone, whose name escapes me at the moment (sorry), who
regretted not having bought the XTC "Special Edition" boxed set (the one
with the picture disc versions of "Drums & Wires", "Black Sea" and... "Go
2" if I'm not wrong).

Well, you might be happy to know that while browsing the XTC section of
the CDNow online store <> I spotted a listing for the
boxed set (apparently it's available as an import for $59.95). Don't know
how many they have available, though.

Hope this helps.


[Obligatory standard disclaimer: i'm not in any way affiliated with CDNow
apart from the fact that I'm a CD-addict and I often waste lots of money
there :-)]

Giancarlo Cairella - -
           Internet Movie Database team member -


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 16:01:13 -0700
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: you might have spoke

1st of all thank you Darren A Peace <> for the
advance look at the Fossil Fuels cover and press release. Now in homage to
the master of cover interpretation Simon "'art on his sleeve" Sleightholm
I give you:

The Enigma of Ammonite

The fossil image could have easily been dismissed as stale reference to our
now mature punks, but the addition of the match starts the mind burning with
all sorts of speculation.

The igniter transforms the fossil coil into a fuse that sparks the petrol of
all previous fire and firework metaphors. It is pyromanticly perfect, yet as
an spiral it burns endlessly suggesting mounting tension, or xtc without end.

Of course our consumer vehicles ingest copious amounts of fossil fuels, which
steers us to the wheel thing. The Ammonite with it's radial lines has the
appearance of a spoked wheel, a sort of ghost of the Big Express cover.
But if this lopsided wheel were made to roll it would have a quirky rhythm
or even hop.

Spirals, a simple but jarring geometric, are a curving hook often used by
hypnotists with spinning motion to DRAW YOU IN.

Did I cover everything?


Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 20:42:47 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Fossil

A couple of people have asked what an ammonite is.  It's an extinct sea
animal with a coiled, chambered shell, similar to its living relative the
chambered nautilus.


Mike Yonts


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 12:02:30 +0000
Subject: Classical Grass

For a while now something about "The Green Man" had been bothering
me, and now i've figured it out.

Isn't the melody during the "And you know for a million years he has
been your father" section actually a syncopated version of that
classical piece "Jesu (joy of man's desiring)"  recurring theme?
(I'm sure someone more cultured than i can fill us in on who the
composer was).

Those of you who don't recognise the title would surely know the
music though.  It's normally used in movies with shots of bubbling
brooks and birds nesting and flowers in bloom.  A universal cliche
generally used to denote the coming of Spring.

Does this mean the bowing discussed in "The Green Man" is a pagan
rite of spring ritual, celebrating the end of winter and deliverance
from the cold months?  As usual, it's quite a clever appropriation,
and it ties in nicely with the later (and one of Andy's best and most
beautiful songs ever, IMHO) "Easter Theatre".

Does anyone else know of any other appropriations in other XTC songs
other than "Omnibus / See Emily Play"?  I'd be interested to know how
they were used...


Message-Id: <v01540b08ae3acdca8a44@[]>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 17:16:43 -0800
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: lumps of rock


>Nobody else has asked this. In my naivete, I'm gonna ask: What's "ammonite"?

sigh. the Ammonoids were four-gilled marine cephalopods with an external
shell divided into chambers by transverse plates of septa. The animal lives
in the outermost of these chambers. The nearest living relations to fossil
ammonites are probably squid and spirula, although in shape and form they
bear a much closer resemblance to the nautilus and other large
spiral/coiled shell invertebrates. There were many varieties of ammonite,
notably the columbite, with its flattened tightly coiled shell and arched
outer edge, and the dactylioceras and stephanoceras, with tightly coiled
shells marked by ribs and numerous whorls. Ammonite fossils are reported
from at least the Lower Carboniferous, but they were most plentiful during
the Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods.

Or to put it simply, the fossils look like large spiral snail shells with
lits of ridges across them. If you want to hunt out a picture of them in
rock music, the cover of an album by the Sundays (can't remember its title,
sorry!) features some ammonites.

What is going on? On the Robyn Hitchcock list, we were recently discussing
trilobites - and now this!



Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 01:43:31 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Reason to Live

I'm a new subscriber and have just read through the last 25 issues (without
FF). I would also never FF in an XTC album. Music is extremely important to
me, but I don't find much that I like. It astounds me that XTC has produced
such a volume of music of such consistantly high quality (and variety).
However, I am sensative to the fact that the rest of the world may not agree
with me. In my early years of fandom, my girlfriend came home while the
stereo was blasting Procession Towards Learning Land. She turned the volume
down ( a sin for which she is now referred to in the past tense) and said
"what the *hell* are you listening to". I informed her it was XTC. This
biased her against listening to their music for a long time.

But I digress. I wanted to say that having been ignorant of any plans for a
future album I am pleased to hear subscribers talk about how excited they are
having heard the demos. I have long had the opinion that I can look forward
to new XTC material periodically for a long time to come. However, I always
have the fear that the ride will end. The most interesting artists tend to be
those that evolve their art over time, but inevitably that evolution tends to
lead them to something that becomes less creative and less interesting (e.g.

Re: songs we didn't like but now do. In 1983 I was playing Thomas Dolby,
Tears for Fears and Thompson Twins songs in an all keyboard band. One of my
roommates played ES for me and I dismissed it as uninteresting "guitar pop".
Ah, the folly of our youth.

I am looking forward to listening to some of your recommendations. I bought
Sugarplastic yesterday and was not overwhelmed on the first listen. I
heartily agree, however, with those who have recommended Self. This is the
first new record to break my heavy rotation since "Thrak".


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 20:23:51 -0700
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Me and Andy and Colin and Dave

Just so that I can catch up...and, as an introduction as well.

(first, let's dispense with the chest beating portion of our program...)

*I* first fell for XTC with "This Is Pop" and for extra brownie points, in
1979, when the video was first aired in Canada on a very late night
community cable show that was very fond of XTC, and the talking heads.
Hooked like a stupid salmon ever since. And, they often played "Making Plans
For Nigel" and "Life Begins at The Hop". I had a good upbringing.

So as to not commit any heresy from the start, English Settlement is easily
my favorite. But, I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite song, except that
"Melt The Guns" often comes to mind. So does "English Roundabout". Next
favorite would be a tie, as it varies from day to day... "Black Sea" and
"Oranges and Lemons". Sadly, I used to own an original LP of Black Sea,
complete with black plastic wrapping, but, I was young and stupid then.

Being that I'm a guitar player, I often indulge in painful torture
attempting to replicate Andy's "so cool it blocks out the sun" guitar
playing, usually with very little success (although the tab I have
discovered is helping me understand his "odd" style. Actually, usually with
any new XTC album, I can usually look at the credits and decide what I will
like immediately and what I'll have to grow into...Partridge's song ALWAYS
get me immediately, I humbly bow to his utter brilliance, both in guitar
playing and song writing. I'm really not worthy. Colin's tunes usually grow
on me, as they are usually a bit slower...

And, to clear up some info regarding Thomas Dolby (who, in contrast to the
last digest's poster, I like quite a bit...not as much as XTC, but, in the
same ballpark...), Andy Partridge played harmonica on "Europa and The Pirate
Twins", from Dolby's first album. I seem to have it stuck within my tiny
cranium that he played -something- on "Astronauts and Heretics" too, but,
alas, I can't find the damn CD at the moment...

Anyways, enough blather, I'm highly looking forward to this list...

  David Hathaway                          
                   The Electric Mail Company Inc.
                 Internet Electronic Mail Solutions
                 Voice: 604-926-7783 1-800-419-7463
               Fax: 604-926-8018  Web:


Date: Sun, 18 Aug 1996 11:21:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: bmilner <>
Subject: Hey chalkhillers, what's new w/ fan tapes
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.960818111419.19019C-100000@netcom10>

Dear List,

	I'm again new on this list after having been off it for a few
months.  I was wondering if XTC had released any new fan tapes like the
older "bull with golden guts" and "jules Verne..."  Those are both years
and years old.  I am especially interested in any stuff recorded after
Andy got an ADAT.

Please email me if you would like to set up a trade or have further

Brandon Milner


Date: Sun, 18 Aug 1996 22:19:35 -0400 (EDT)
From: James Poulakos <engjcp@panther.Gsu.EDU>
Subject: Two German articles available for Chalkhills fans, in English
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.960815161503.8984B-100000@panther.Gsu.EDU>

A fellow Chalkhillian sent me 3 articles on XTC he'd found. Stefano De
Astis <> told us he wanted not only to know what the
articles contained, but to share them with the rest of the
English-speaking Chalkies.

So here are two of them.
	A review of a performance in Hamburg's Markthalle
	An article with interview (of Andy; the reviewer comments on the
"new" band member, Dave Gregory.

For now, they reside on my web site but, Mr.  Relph, I implore you to
adopt them if you wish to see them added to the Chalkhills archives, as my
meagre allotment of web space is filled to the brim and these pages will
have to get bumped for later projects.

Any other German XTC stuff you want translated? Send a copy to me!

 ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][
   +++ \     //++  NOTE MY NEW E-MAIL ALIAS    +++ \     //++
   +++++\   //+++            +++++\   //+++
   ++++++\ //++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++\ //++++
   +++++++==+++++++++++++James Poulakos+++++++++++++++==+++++
         \#//   [the old one doesn't work anymore]   \#//
 ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 1996 22:23:48 -0700
From: (Dave Franson)
Subject: Happy Birthday Colin Moulding

Hi all,

I just about coughed up my Cheerios while reading the pop-culture page of
the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday morning.  There it was, nestled
among the other celebrity birthdays cited that day...

"Colin Moulding (XTC) is 41."

Akin to finding a Coke bottle in the Kalahari!

Other items of note (?)

--Is that a cool picture of Andy on the inside over of the last "Little
Express," or what?  Looks the picture of a reclusive pop god!

--New Sam Phillips album hits the stores Tuesday.

--Elvis Costello and the Attractions are currently roaring their way across
North America.  Catch 'em if you can!  (Last night in Chicago was great!)

Everything Looks Topsy Turvey

Nonsvch Colouring Book:


Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 11:29:56 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Apology

I'd like to apologize for calling Terry Chambers a "self-indulgent whino"
(wino) last week. That's pretty strong language for something I can't verify,
so the comment was out of line. I still maintain, however, that taking a
flippant approach to drunkenness is equally out of line, and Terry seems to
have reputation for doing this. Hope I'm wrong.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Aug 1996 10:22:27 -0400
From: jes <>
Subject: The Jung And The Restless

This goes out to everyone because Katherine Luce, who uses
<> to get her email wrote:   "I just got
Drums and Wires and I don't like it."

<D&W> was the first XTC album I ever owned (followed very quickly by <Go2>
and <WN>) and it is tied with <Skylarking> as my fave.  And, I remember that
during those hazy, lazy days of the early Reagan years, just about ANYONE
for whom I played that album dug it TOTALLY.  I remember my girlfriend's
brother's teenage girlfriend completely HOOKED on it, to be exact.  I can't
recall very many people who didn't find it to be a powerhouse album.  So,
it's interesting that here in 1996, someone who had never heard it finds it
"simple" and "spare."  That was, if I recall, one of the appeals to the
album in its day.  The guitars are eloquent and understated, and while the
chord patterns are somewhat classic, the actual chords themselves are quite
difficult and VERY unusual.  Anyone who has ever tried to de-cipher
"Millions" or "Chain Of Command" can attest to the queer nature of the
Partridge/Gregory mindset for that time.  And, oddly, this did NOT continue
for <Black Sea> as the chords were much more in the "power pop" mode.  They
wouldn't find these bizarre chords again until .... you guessed it, <The Big
Express> which Katherine cites as a fave album.  I think many people find
<BE> offensive because it's a production nightmare.  David Lord, who had
worked extensively with Peter Gabriel, took some fairly decent pop songs and
produced the last breath out of them.

From Simon Knight comes this quote:  "It was quite chuffed.  Talk about
synchronicity!  (and I don't even like Sting!)"

But how do you feel about Jung?  You know him, he was a member of that
supergroup Freud, Marx, Engles & Jung.

Now, I think I want to add my tuppence to the fray regarding Todd (Is Godd)

In My Most Humble Opinion:
- <Skylarking> is tied with <Drums & Wires> as my favorite album of all
time.  It is positively the most brilliant piece of pop wonderland since
<Sgt. Pepper> and/or <Revolver.>
- Rundgren is personally responsible for several of my favorite pop albums.
<Something/Anything?> and <Todd> are nothing short of dazzling.  <Utopia>
(not to be confused with the oblique and impenetrable <Todd Rundgren's
Utopia>) may be his most underrated work, raising the bar on pure pop
accomplishment.  It is the greatest pop album you never heard.
- Rundgren wrote some of the classic pop songs of all time.  "I Saw The
Light," "Hello, It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends?" and "Love Is The
Answer"  are masterpieces.  And he made some brilliant mistakes, too.  "Bang
On The Drum All Day," "You Really Left Me Sore," "Sons Of 1984."  And his
rendition of "Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song" must be heard to be believed.
- <Skylarking> is, however, one of the rare instances where Rundgren managed
to squeeze a quality SOUND out of another band.  He ALWAYS manages to get
the best MUSIC on the disc, but it comes at the expense of a decent
drum/bass combination.  His production work always sounds tinny, shrill, and
sometimes flat.  Reference <Love Junk> by The Pursuit Of Happiness, <We're
An American Band>by Grand Funk Railroad, <Stage Fright> by The Band.
- The way I figure it, the combination of Rundgren and Partridge was one of
those rare examples of pop profundity that rivals Becker/Fagan,
Lennon/McCartney, Rodgers/Hammerstein, Webber/Rice.  And like those other
teams, there were sparks that flew.  Rundgren/Partridge didn't know how good
they were until they stepped a few yards away from the product and took a
long look.
- Besides, anyone as ugly as Rundgren who gets to share a bed with one so
blessed by the gene pool as Bebe Buell must have SOMETHING going for him.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 15:17:28, -0500
Subject: Oranges & Lemons on GOLD

Just a short note to let all know that Oranges & Lemons will be
released by Mobile Fidelity in the Gold-plated ultradisc format in
the near future. Should anyone need help locating a copy at a
reasonable price ($23.95 plus P&H) please contact me. Also will carry
the limited edition fossilized cover greatest hits collection. Toby


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-148

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