Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-149

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 149

                 Thursday, 22 August 1996

Today's Topics:

                        Mr. Pits?
                      fossil record
                      Drums & Wires
                Explode together, etc etc
                 Explode Together lyrics
         "I'll be Bach!" he said, poll in hand...
                      Why like D&W?
             Cassette-based fanzine from '90
                       XTC DEMO #1
                         Big Day
                The Skylarking experience
                  Re: big day demo bells
               Re: Explode Together lyrics
           Calling all Agony Aunts and Uncles!
                   Andy and Astronauts?
                       XTC in MOJO
                        EC on XTC
              crosspost from E.Costello List
                    What's in a Name?
       XtC-- not just for breakfast anymore! (fwd)
  It's my big day -ay-ay, my big day -ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
  Am i the only one on this list who actually loves XTC?
                  Mojo working overtime


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

        unsubscribe chalkhills

For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


World Wide Web: <>

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

She a laughing giggly whirlybird.


Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 16:01:46 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Mr. Pits?


  An "Andy" is thanked on Dolby's "Astronauts and Heretics" but there is no
  credit given for any performance nor permission given by Virgin (unless
  he had an alter-ego of "Mr. Pits", who is also credited with background
  vocals on "Silk Pajamas", as well).

  On the disc is a sequel song to "Europa and The Pirate Twins" (on which
  Andy did participate from "The Golden Age of Wireless"), the
  Bo-Diddley-beat "Eastern Bloc".

  There is a bit of sampling off of Europa and The Pirate Twins so maybe he
  copied a bit in which Andy did SOMETHING...    Still, the reference is
  certainly sketchy.  Can anyone from the Flat Earth Society confirm or

  But!  The last line of "Eastern Bloc" is:

  Are You Receiving Me?

  Coincidence?  You be the judge.

  Cheers, Richard


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 15:01:33 -0700
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: fossil record

Last post I failed to note the obvious resemblance of the Ammonite to
a reel of tape or fossil record!

Ammonite = a fuse, a wheel, a hook, a record.

that's all,


Message-Id: <v03007801ae3ed51085b9@[]>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 22:43:44 -0400
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Partridge/Dolby

Yep, Andy played harmonica on "Europa", but he also played drums (!) on
"Urges" and "Leipzig." (which came out before Europa, mind you)

Here's the (non) story: XTC had finished their Drums and Wires tour, and
somehow Andy knew TD for a while -- I forgot how, but in those days of the
late '70s/early '80s, everyone in British pop knew each other. Well,
through a chain of events that escape me at the time, Andy also co-produced
the double A-side Urges/Leipzig.

And on an additional note, when Barry was dismissed from XTC, Andy had
designs on asking Dolby to join them, but wither there was a conflict or
Colin wanted a more flexible artist like Greggsy.

I happen to have a video clip with Andy talking on a TV show to Thomas
Dolby, after he plays the "Hyperactive" video. It's ok, not mind-boggling

Enough mindless banter. Time to go to sleep. Z.

< - - - - - Ira Lieman ** - - - - - >
         "I hate reading Victor Hugo," said Les miserably.


Message-Id: <v01520d01ae3eeb931d29@[]>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 21:36:16 -0700
From: (Craig Vreeken)
Subject: Drums & Wires

Katherine Luce wrote:   "I just got Drums and Wires and I don't like it."

And jes replied:
>  <D&W> was the first XTC album I ever owned  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.   So,
>it's interesting that here in 1996, someone who had never heard it finds it
>"simple" and "spare."

D&W was my first exposure to XTC when it was brand new, in 1979.  I was
living with 3 "hippies" in a house by the river and we all listened to the
Grateful Dead, Neil Young and Bob Marley & The Wailers.  I don't know why I
bought it.  Probably because of "Nigel", but to hear an album like that in
that time and that enviroment was quite shocking.  It was almost
"dangerous" at that time.   Very experimental and weird to our ears.  Of
course now it sounds quite tame.   (By the way, my housemate all eventually
fell in love with XTC.)

Craig Vreeken


From: michael dallin <dallin@CS.ColoState.EDU>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Explode together, etc etc
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 23:39:46 -0600 (MDT)

First things first:  my take on a few of the Explode Together lyrics...

> Joshua Hall-Bachner <> wrote...

I couldn't get very many, but I got a few (I'm sure others will have done


The fun thing about this song is the sound effects used between lyrics.
(ie, "she become a real live wire-o.... bzzzzz!)

> She goes by the name of [? ?] Shirlie

She goes by the name of Sleepy Shirly (zzzzzz)


One mistake that I found:

> This is a thing that's definitely going to make up for being part of this
> magic band, little bear."

This should be:

This is a thing that's definitely going to make Captain Beefheart and his
Magic Band look bad


Recently, in my travels, I came across a few rarities (quite an accomplishment
in my neck of the woods) and oddities:

1.  An album on Triloka Records titled "Trance Planet, Volume 2" that includes
    the Harold Budd/Andy Partridge song "Through The Hill" (4:05, exactly the
    same as the Through The Hill album).  Since I found it, I've seen it at
    several CD shops in the area.
2.  The Rag & Bone Buffet 4 song sampler
3.  The Mayor of Simpleton promo CD single (yup, the CD only has the one
    song on it).
4.  Fast 'n' Bulbous (Captain Beefheart tribute w/ Ella Guru)

Now, if I may... I am *dying* to find CD single versions of Mayor of Simpleton
(with the songs Living In A Haunted Heart and The Good Things) and King For
A Day (with My Paint Heros and Skeletons).  Yeah, I know, these are probably
awefully rare, but... Any one for a trade...or willing to sell..??

And, finally, a "plug" for a somewhat XTC-ish new album:  Orange and Blue
by the UK group Nirvana.  Now, I know, most of you are thinking "whoa,
how *dare* somebody say that Nirvana is XTC-ish", but alas, this Nirvana
was formed in the 1960's, the same year Kurt Cobain was born.  They were
known for their orchestrated pop songs, but only had one or two minor hits
in Europe.  Anyways, they have a new album called Orange and Blue which
contains re-worked and updated versions of unreleased demos.  Definitely
worth a listen if you see it in a record shop.

Mike  (


Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 13:23:57 +0200
From: (Erich Sellheim)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Explode Together lyrics

Hello everyone,

there has been much talk about the Explode Together lyrics recently,so
I thought I'd write in to say that I have a photo-copy of an old Limelight
or L.E. issue which contains the (wrong) lyrics of the Japanese Take Away
album with corrections by Andy Partridge written over it. Here are the
lyrics of Commerciality and Shore Leave Ornithology:

Commerciality (Signal Ad)

Fire sign,indicate luminous pornography
Heliograph and Morse photography
Signal ad,signal ad,signal ad

Coherent,match and blazing cuneiform wide open
Sales pitch,high pitch,noise
Brakes too soft to burn,envisage this
Signal ad,signal ad,signal ad

Package,carton,package and carton,sell and package and carton
Sell and package and carton,sell and package and carton
Sell,package and sell,package
Just revitalize,revitalize,revitalize,what's this now?

Sell and revitali-,vitalize and home pride
>From tractors to tea-bags,from here to eternity,oh God,help me
Signal ad,signal ad,signal ad

Shore Leave Ornithology (Another 1950)

Slacks,coffee trend
I could have been in the US navy
Flapping grey,coffee smoke
I could have been in another nineteen-fifty
Where the hell were you?
Rough stencil,print music
Cardboard,cardboard,cardboard,cardboard,cardboard coffee
Saxophone mention barbers,N.Y.
The cigarette was burning,the flat shoes
Bongo,coffee,don't mention that black man
The leather-coat was his
Where was she?
Could have been in the US navy
Flow beating air,table-top,shoulder slung
Shore leave,no sailors here
Liquor slacks twisting
The cigarette was burning
The flat shoes,the flat shoes,the flat shoes
I could have been in another nineteen-fifty
I could have been in another nineteen-fifty

If there's any interest,I could write down the other lyrics for you
in the near future (BTW,they didn't write down lyrics for The Forgotten
Language Of Light!).

And if someone could tell me what Andy is singing at the end of Hang On
To The Night (sounds like "Watch all the boys say",makes no sense to me,
however),I'd be eternally grateful,as I've been trying to understand this
bit for years and have always failed so far.

So long,



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 96 10:41:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: "I'll be Bach!" he said, poll in hand...

Simon Knight made the following observation in #148:

>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.

Brilliant catch! That hadn't even occurred to me, but once you pointed it
out, it became very obvious. THAT's the kind of observation that makes
Chalkhills what it is!
 If it wasn't an intentional lift by Andy, it certainly may have come from
deep within his subconscious, as "Jesu" (it's by J.S. Bach, by the way, but
I'm making no claims to my relative "cultured"-ness) is one of those things
that you hear frequently, often without noticing it, and it becomes
ingrained. I would argue with your assessment of it as a "universal
cliche"...the way others have matched certain images with the piece may have
become cliched, but calling any piece by Bach a cliche is completely
trivializing his genius. But of course, I'm sure you didn't mean to do that.
 It would make some sense if Andy had intentionally lifted that part, as
"The Green Man" is also a spiritual entity (or pagan deity or whatever you'd
like to call him) that represents the earth's bounty (which could be
considered the "joy of man's desiring," maybe?). I guess you might consider
him the Medieval equivalent of Gaia (though I won't claim total accuracy for
that comparison, not being an expert on either, by any means).

Tim Kendrick's survey results of who we are were interesting...I would have
expected more women as well. One catch to the survey's accuracy, however, is
that though ~10% of the total "population" may be statistically significant,
it's not truly a random's just those who chose to respond. So
that may account for the discrepancy: maybe it actually says more about
gender response to surveys! :)
 And, speaking of surveys, just another reminder to keep on sending in those
DESERT ISLAND XTC TOP 5 picks! It seems to me that if 100 of us can respond
to a survey about ourselves, there ought to be AT LEAST 100 responses to a
survey regarding the topic we're all hear to read and write about! I've
gotten a decent turnout so far, but 100 is still a ways off in the distance,
so if you've been holding off, wait no longer. And remember, you don't have
to put them in order, which would be oh-so-much harder than just picking 5
to begin with, and I'm also counting Dukes of Stratosphear, in case you
weren't sure. Thanks!

Holding the baby Pearl,

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 10:51:40 +0100
From: (Erich W.)
Subject: Why like D&W?

Why is Drums & Wires worth a second (3rd, 4th, nth) listen? 1) You can hear
the transition from the spare songwriting of the first two albums to the
complexities of ES and what came after. 2) Listen to the interplay between
Andy and Dave; shades of things to come! 3) The  rythm section is raw
power. 4) Scissor Man, Complicated Game, Millions.

D&W got a lot of airplay in Ottawa and was responsible for turning me (and
many of my friends) onto the band. In fact, some people I know were
disappointed with BS, ES, and the stuff that came after. Needless to say,
I've parted ways with most of these Philistines. The road to enlightenment
is a lonely one...

Re Tim's survey; first thank you for the time. Interesting observation: our
average age (31.5) and length of fanaticism (12.2) indicate that most of us
were first turned on at the age of 19.3. This must shows a certain level of
maturity we can all be proud of!

Re the desert island survey. I had a Hell of a time narrowing down my picks
as they seem to change from day to day; one day's King for a Day morphs
into the next's Ladybird. I take solace in imagining that I'm actually
stranded on an archipelago with fellow Chalksters stretched through the
chain a dug-out paddle away so we could exchange tapes for coconuts, taro
root, etc.

Life Begins at the Hop!!
Erich in Ottawa


Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 10:54:41 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Cassette-based fanzine from '90

I have a question. I found the following in an old Chalkhills (back in 1990):

>Paul Wilde, organiser of the XTC Music and Friends Convention and XTC
>fan extraordinaire, has this to say:
>      A new type of fanzine on XTC will be launched in 1990.
>    It will be available in cassette form and feature music
>    old, new, live and rare.  With interviews competitions and
>    much more it will be presented in the style of a magazine
>    radio show.  This unique project endorsed by the band
>    themselves will feature not only contributions from them
>    but will give you the fan an opportunity to play an active
>    part.  If you would like to ask them a particular
>    question, submit a recording of you performing an
>    XTC/Dukes song, recite a poem, in fact anything XTC
>    orientated will be considered!  The lads will have the
>    opportunity to comment on what you send in and the results
>    will feature on each issue.  All you have to do is submit
>    your efforts on a good quality tape to me as soon as
>    possible.  Each issue will be released in a limited
>    edition and sure to become a real collector's item.  The
>    first edition will be available late 1990 and cost per
>    issue 5 pounds UK (6 pounds overseas) includes P & P.

Did anything ever become of this? Obviously it didn't last long. Does
anybody know anything about it and what happened to it? Did they ever even
manage to release an issue? If I had the time, equipment, resources, and
skill to do such a thing, I'd give it a try myself, but, alas, I have none.

/---------------------------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: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 08:31:29 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: (andy cuthbert)
Subject: XTC DEMO #1

If anyone is interested, someone, wife, accidently purchased a second copy
of the first XTC DEMO for me.  This is the Japanese CD Exactic EX-001.  The
receipt shows ~$33.00 US, add $2 (in USA) and it's yours.  If non-US, I
don't really know. But it cost me $5 to mail 2 cassettes to a good "mate" in
Australia so he could hear some new stuff while "sucking more piss."

If you are interested, E-mail me privately.  This offer is good for the week
then I'll return the darn thing.  I might be interested in a good trade.

See ya,



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 18:52:46 +0000
Subject: Big Day

Dear Chalkies,

I just knew it would be a very special day when they played
All You Pretty Girls on our national radio this morning.
And I was right...

I just happened to pass a second hand record shop later and decided to
check out their XTC stock.
They had just bought a batch of XTC 7 inch singles so now I finally
have a (near mint) Senses Working Overtime with the foldout sleeve.
One of the few ltd edition singles i did not already own. Yippie!

BTW: all record store owners who put stickers on their
merchandise should be flogged in public.
And those who sell regular records as promos by putting on
some cheap fake stickers ( are you listening T***** Records ? )
should be burned at the stake. No parole.

Nathalie Jacobs was of course absolutely right about ES in the last
Digest :

> The sequence of five songs, "Senses Working Overtime" through "All of a
> Sudden," IMO are some of the best stuff XTC has ever done.

Agreed wholeheartedly. And AOAS is one of the best songs on the album.
The bit where Yacht Dance spills over into All Of A Sudden
sends shivers down my spine everytime I play this album (and I play it a lot!)

When oh when are those good guys at MoFi going to remaster this beauty?
Is anybody in touch with them? Please pass on the request...

On a final note: thanks to all of you who have visited my new
XTC site The Little Lighthouse. ( see my tagline for the URL )
I am constantly changing and updating the pages so do come again!


Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
Decorate the inside of your heads


From: Damian Foulger <>
Organization: UWCC
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 10:14:14 GMT
Subject: The Skylarking experience
Message-ID: <>

Dear all,

I'd just like to recount a beautiful thing that happened to my last
sunday.  The weather was great so I decided to have lunch in the
garden in the sun.  So I shoved a speaker out of my bedroom window
and looked for some summery music to play.  Skylarking just seemed
like the perfect thing.  So I settled outside with hummous on
granary bread to the gorgeous strains of Skylarking.  Then I
noticed a regular sound from a bush, in time with the music.  It
was a grasshopper that seemed to be thinking that the high hat was
another grasshopper and it was making it's chirping sound in
responce to it.  It was magical.  It continued it's noise on and
off for the whole album.  Wow!

Probably the grasshopper bemowning the fact that AP couldn't create
the soundtrack for his cousin starring in James and the Giant

Hope my little story didn't bore anyone.

Dames tWd

(Life is good in the greenhouse:XTC)
"I am quite happy to wear cotton
 without knowing how it works" - Black Adder


Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 19:08:11 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <v01510101ae3fb6cfc490@[]>
From: (Paul Brantley)
Subject: Re: big day demo bells

Regarding the "Big Day" bells koan, they do exist in the demo; after each
of the chorus hooks and after "...deafened by the bells...". They don't,
however,  exist in the analagous spot (musically) at "...There's a lesson
to be learned...".

What seems most interesting, from an arrangement point of view, is how the
"... big day..." hook is modified in the final production. In the original,
Colin consistently sings the hook twice at each chorus; then at the end he
sings it forever, as oppossed to the "coda" in the album version. In the
album version (if I'm remembering correctly), the intro hook is sung twice,
the first "chorus" hook is sung once, the second chorus hook is sung twice,
then the third chorus hook is sung three times with an extended phrase.
Keeps you guessing.

Another significant change (improvement?) that we know has to do with how
the band stops at these places; the groove continues in the demo.

These modifications are typical of Skylarking and are not characteristic of
the other album treatments as I suggested a few postings ago. I can't help
but think that Todd did indeed have a hand in this kind of thing, but I too
am a big headed Todd fan and if you've never heard "A Wizard a True Star",
you're missing one of the all time great psychedelic experiences.




Message-Id: <v01540b0eae403bb8ec23@[]>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:08:48 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: Explode Together lyrics

Joshua Hall-Bachner <> did the donkey work:

>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

good work! There are several bits I think I can improve on though...

Shore Leave Ornithology:

>[Slacks], coffee dripped

I've always heard "coffee trend", but it doesn't really make any sense.

>[Floodin' grey] All this smoke

Flapping grey (intake of breath) coffee smoke

>Rough Stance, crept, is it cardboard?

rough stencil print, music cardboard

>[sucks her phone bitch] and [? ?] and [Roy]

saxophone [?] imbibers, envoi (?)

>[stool bumble] coffee [danport] shoes

no idea!

>Black man, like it was Oz. it was ours.

>Flow beating air [to touch all this slack]

Flow beating airtank, top shoulder slung (? does this make any sense?)

>[licker] slacks twisting


>Burned (x20)

bird (x20)

>She goes by the name of [? ?] Shirlie

...sleepy... (how else could you explain the snore which follows this line?)

>Then we start to [camel] through the living room door


>She was cool to me, but now her heart's a pyro

her heart's afire-o

(PS - does anyone know whether the Residents helped out with this track?)


>Look out below, and [what the] holy cow

look out people and watch the holy cow

>Unless the [? ?] drop because

...magic marbles???...

>Heard you got a [top]


>...magic band, little bear.

I'm not convinced, but I can't think of anything better. there aren't
enough syllables for "little", though

>I thought they held it [a great]

...held a debate

>Rollin' armadillo, [crock ? ? ?]

...taking home [??]

>I can see them, precision and lining up

I can see impressive [??] lining up



Message-Id: <>
From: David Goody/M&G <>
Date: 21 Aug 96  9:18:50
Subject: Chalkhills

Dear Mr. Relph,
 I am a new subscriber to Chalkhills and I would just like to pass on my
thanks to you for organising such a fantastic XTC mailing list. I have just
obtained E-Mail (albeit at work, not home, but this does mean that I can
keep a check on it for 9 hours a day and it doesn't cost me anything!) and
to find the existence of an XTC-based mailing list is fantastic.
 I have been a fan since Black Sea, and it is difficult to find anyone these
days who doesn't reply "Who?" when you ask them about XTC, so to have the
opportunity to correspond with like-minded people from all over the world is
I am afraid that I do not have access to the Internet at home yet either,
but I have visited the Chalkhills site via our connection at work, and I am
immensely impressed by both the quantity and quality of the XTC
information; the discography is excellent.
 I look forward to the next digest being E-Mailed and I hope that I can
contribute to it in some way or another in the near future.

 Thanks once again,


 Dave Goody    (


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 05:25:54 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Calling all Agony Aunts and Uncles!

I have read with interest the various mentions made in CH about
unconverted partners listening to XTC tracks.  Has anybody got any
good advice on how to overcome the hostile attitude that my girlfriend
seems to take.

I have tried numerous ways to get round her.  Firstly I tried playing all
the songs I thought would appeal to her most: Ten Feet Tall, Supergirl,
Then She Appeared and so on.  No success there.

Then I tried tying her to a chair and forcing her to listen.  Probably not
the best one of my ideas.  I then attempted blackmail and finally tried
creeping by promising to do her share of all the household chores for a
month if she let me play XTC whilst I was doing them.  All to no avail.

I am getting desperate.  Please, fellow fans, help me in my hour of need!

Gary Minns


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 04:20:24 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Andy and Astronauts?

  David Hathaway ( writes...
>  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...

I found mine, but aside from an "Andy" in the Thanks section, I could find no
Partridge presence.

Still compiling a list of self identifiers?  How 'bout:

Joe Snipp


From: 7IHd <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: XTC in MOJO
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 13:46:53 +0100 (BST)


I couldn't bring myself to part with my hard-earned cash (or, more
accurately, I haven't got any!) to buy MOJO, but the current edition
includes not only a review of 'Fossil Fuel', but also a feature on
weird time signatures, in which 'The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul'
gets a mention for being in 7/8 time, and is accompanied by a nice
(if rather small) colour pic of XTC in concert.

Well, just thought someone might be interested. As for that 7/8 time,
I was convinced it wasn't, but I just listened to it and it is. It's
done so subtly that I didn't even notice, and I'm usually the first
person to pick up on obscure time signatures. Blah.

Not that I'd consider 7/8 obscure really. :-)

 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 08:37 -0500 (CDT)
From: Michael Faulkner <>
Subject: Mummer

A friend told me a little bit of XTC trivia(?) a few years back that I would
like to find out the veracity of.

Supposedly, once the mixing was completed on Mummer (and the work was released
if memory serves me), Andy decided he was not happy with the mix and remixed

Is this true, and if Mummer was released in limited numbers before the re-
release, has anyone heard/heard of a copy of it?

If this is a topic already covered, I appologize - I am a new member of the



Date: Wed, 21 Aug 96 10:31:19 EST
From: "John Christensen" <>
Message-Id: <9607218406.AA840649527@PO2.VRINET.COM>
Subject: EC on XTC

After a recent Costello concert in Detroit, I got a chance to meet Elvis
and talk with him for a moment. Here is a portion of the conversation:

Me: "Is there any chance of you and Andy Partridge working together?
EC: "Well, I don't know. I met him once and liked him.  Well . . . maybe  .
. . you never know."
Me: "You two would be brilliant together."
EC: "Oh yeah?  Sure, why not!"

So, when EC and Andy release that album together (and assuming they both
survive each others' egos), I expect some "thank you" notes from all you
EC/XTC fans!



Message-Id: <>
From: "Peter Fitzpatrick" <>
Subject: crosspost from E.Costello List
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:48:04 +0100

This was posted on the Elvis Costello List today, edited to save bandwidth.
Date:    Wed, 21 Aug 1996 09:06:00 EST
From:    John Christensen <christej@VRINET.COM>
Subject: EC in Motown

As you may have guessed, EC was amazing last night in Detroit. It was a
fantastic evening all around.
After the show,
Elvis seemed so happy to meet his fans. I got a couple autographs and asked
him two questions.
The second question went like this:
Me: "Is there any chance of you and Andy Partridge working Together?
EC: " Well, I don't know. I met him once and liked him.  Well . . . maybe
. . . you never know."
Me:  "You two would be brilliant together."
EC:  "Oh yeah?  Sure, why not!"

So, when EC and Andy release that album together (and assuming they both
survive each others' egos), I expect some "thank you" notes from all you
EC/XTC fans!

Thanks John for asking the question ! I was thinking the very same thing
myself just the other day.

Anyone who checks out my webpage will see why I'm intrigued by the

 listening to : XTC "Nonsvch"


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 11:44:14 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: What's in a Name?

  I'm currently reading _Unforgettable Fire: The definitive biography of
  U2_ by Eamon Dunphy (c) 1987.

  Adam Clayton was spending a great deal of time in late 1978 talking to
  people to understand what it would take to get ahead.  One such person
  was Steve Averill.  (at the time, the name of the band was 'The Hype').

     By day Steve Averill worked in Arrow, one of Dublin's leading advertising
     agencies.  He was a talented designer and by reputation on of the smartest
     heads on the rock scene.  Adam asked all the usual questions, but seemed
     particularly concerned about the band's name.  Steve agreed that he had a
     right to be concerned.  The Hype sounded too blatant, wasn't subtle,
     suggested a certain contempt for the rock 'n' roll business.  Adam thought
     they needed a name that would be slightly mysterious, wouldn't pin them
     down to anything or place in particular.  He loved XTC, which was the name
     of one of the bands around.

  Cheers, Richard


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:03:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stephen Mahoney <>
Subject: XtC-- not just for breakfast anymore! (fwd)
Message-ID: <>

	someone recently wrote about how difficult it was to digest
Drums and Wires , which I can beleive to be so. I began my journey into
XtC by way of Waxworks and found all of their material quite unique to what
I had listened to up until then('85/86). Anyway, after taking in Drums
and Wires and then Go2, and loving their quirkiness, I became a fan.
	then Dear God came out, i knew i wanted to buy Skylarking next...
however, When I was in this pizza joint in colege and my friend mentioned
that this boring dribble in the background was Skylarking, I was stunned !
After another listening , I  was still convinced that it was too adult
contemporary for my idea of what XtC music should sound like. Still, because
of my frends constant reference to the album, I bought it in cassette form
and listened to it on my walkman. I was able to listen to it completely
,uniterrupted, and it has become one of my favorites of my entire collection.
				Hope I didn't bore any of you out there.
steven (potland, ore.)		        "The church of matches
					 annointing ignorance with gasoline
					 the church of matches
					 grows fat by breathing in the smoke
					 of dreams"


Message-Id: <>
From: "jim coyle" <>
Subject: It's my big day -ay-ay, my big day -ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 21:21:26 -0400

I'm new at chalkhills and I have been a serious fan of XTC since ' 79.
You know, alot of people slag "Skylarking" (it's pretty good), but quite a
few also slag "Mummer", which is my favorite XTC album.  In fact, in the
17 years I've listened to them, I've yet to hear a "bad" album.  It's too
bad "Blame the Weather" never made the "English Settlement" cut.  That's a
brilliant one too, probably their best.
	Is it me, or does Andy's sense of humour and depth of compassion
reminiscent of Lennon's?


P.S. Love to chat about the band, if anyone's interested


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 16:20:48 +0000
Subject: Am i the only one on this list who actually loves XTC?

My sword is out, due to the flame in the last Chalkhills!  I'm in a
shirty mood this afternoon, so all you delicate people might want to
skip to the next post... i'm going to be a hypocrite and bitch...

I realise that saying "There are no bad XTC songs" might sound a lot
like pointless drooling over my favourite band, but it wasn't meant
that way.  It's just i truly feel that every XTC song has something
to offer, and i'm one of the most anal, hypercritical persons on the
planet when it comes to music.

It was just a personal plea for to people give the less immediate
songs a chance.  Just because a song doesn't have a big bouncy
drumbeat like "Mayor of Simpleton" or a melody as sublime as "Senses"
people were dismissing songs offhand.  And i was sick of all the
negativity on the list - "oh, i hate these songs from O&L.... and
these ones from Nonsuch...."  If you're skipping 40% of a CD, then
surely you'd have to wonder why you bought that CD in the first
place, and if you actually do love that band or not.  The last straw
was the wholesale thrashing of "All of a sudden".  It's not THAT
weird for godsakes!  So it has a few "oooh scary" jarring chord
progressions that you don't find in your average top ten hit.  Can't
we concentrate on the things we love about XTC?  Why all this endless

For me, discovering their back catalogue was a joy.  There were times
i thought i'd made a huge mistake and questioned buying an album by
them again (The Big Express), decided not to (Go 2), and almost
considered getting my money back (Explode Together).  However, i
still played these albums, and slowly but surely found things in them
to love.  How could i have thought the driving force of "Train
running low on soul coal" was dull?  Why did i think "Wait till your
boat goes down" was a dirge?  They're both great songs!  If someone
had told me i'd one day be singing along to "Explode Together" i'd
have had them committed.

Most artists give you nothing but obvious ideas in a bland setting,
with nothing left to discover in a song once the initial rush of
infatuation with the chorus vanishes.  With XTC you can puzzle over
and finally laugh at Andy's lyrical wit, sit in awe as you try and
dissect Barry's keyboard parts, or try to keep pace (and fail
miserably) with Terry's drumming.  I can play any song i hear on the
radio by ear and never be wrong.  With XTC i sit there with my guitar
or piano and fail pathetically trying to reproduce the chord
progressions... I'm in awe of their work, I'm forever wondering how
they make such outlandish chord progressions work and sound so
natural.  (I guess i just am a gushing fanboy).

Even if i don't love the final song, there's always something in the
sum of the parts that intrigues me.  All XTC songs are interesting in
someway, which therefore equals "good" songs in my book.  A bad song
is one that passes me by without affecting me whatsoever (thank you
Mariah and the endless Whitneyclones).  A bad reaction to a song is a
reaction nonetheless....

Don't just dismiss the songs offhand.  Wonder why you find them
difficult.  Work out what it is you hate about it!  Try concentrating
on the parts.  Sit down and try to play them on an instrument, or
sing along.  You might be surprised at how intrigued you are!

XTC never lower their standards and simplify their ideas for anybody,
fans included.  Really, do we have to live in a world where every
song has to have a big polished radio-friendly sound to be considered
to have worth?  Does the universal bland have to wear music down
until we have nothing but a dull (c)rap commercial hip-hop drumbeat
or a basic AOR 4/4 thud?  Can't music challenge us?  Can't the
artists we love still throw us a curve ball every now and then?
Can't we be woken up and made to think about music?  Or is it just
something we put on as background noise, or use to gain approval from
our friends, or think will get us laid?  A social accessory?

Maybe in the future music will have deconstructed into one standard
song by one generic artist played on one Universal Radio station.
You'll just keep buying the same song over and over with this week's
"in" drum sound redubbed over the same old music....

I'll be glad i have my "bad" XTC albums...


Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 11:13:13 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Katherine Luce)
Subject: drunkenness

In talking about his comments re TC, Bob O'B said:
>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.

I know I'm going to get into trouble for this, but why is "taking a flippant
approach to drunkenness" "out of line"?  Is TC rumored to have a clinical
drinking problem?  If not, what's the problem?  Must we be dead serious
about drunkenness in all situations? (Surely this isn't a _moral_ issue?)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 00:57:21 +0000
Subject: Mojo working overtime

Dear Chalkies,

the UK magazine Mojo has published a Fossil Fuel review
and a short interview with Andy Partridge in the September issue.
I have placed the full text at my website The Little Lighthouse
but i will quote the most important bit of news here:

Mojo: Do you have a new deal sorted out?

AP: No, it's all gloriously and optimistically up in the
air. We might go to a smaller label, or start up our own
label. Anything's possible...

Now that would be fantastic news - if they started their own label
they would have total artistic control over all their product.
Just imagine! no more dodgy compilations! ;) decent remastering !


Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
She got to be obscene to be obheard


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-149

Go back to the previous page.