Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-2

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 2

               Wednesday, 20 September 1995

Today's Topics:

         As I was just saying (back in August)...
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1
                     Glad were back!
         HEY! It's time again to analyze lyrics!
                Go2 and the glory of punk
                 Clearing some questions
                       Re: Nihilon
                      Welcome back!
                  waiting for new XTC...
                        Re: Demos
          Martin Newell in Paris, 25th September
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1
              Testimonial Questions for Andy
               from out of the Chalkdust...
                      New Andy Demos
           Welcome back & some thoughts on #2-1
                 Making Plans for Graham
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: As I was just saying (back in August)...
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 02:33:52 +0100 (BST)

OK, I'm going to reply to the latest digest separately, but
before I do, this is one that never made it before Chalkhills sailed
around its soul (or whatever it did)...

#Subject: xtc in public, a new poll

# E.G., THEME: Songs with connections to America
# Songs: ... Are You Receiving Me (Son of Sam,
# American serial killer),

# P.S. Are You Receiving Me: "your t.v.'s just hissing" is that an
# American reference? I understand the term is "telly" in England.

I admit to a grave ignorance about American serial killers (quite honestly
I don't see the need to know things like that), and I confess to not having
the lyrics to 'Are You Receiving Me' memorised, but I really think that
commestion's stretching credibility to the limit. I always thought of it
as a straightforawrd boy-meets-girl-girl-not-interested sort of song
disguised under a load of metaphor. I may be completely wrong, but I
really don't think America has a hell of a lot to do with it.

And by the way, "t.v." and "telly" are interchangeable and both in everyday
use over here.

# From: John Relph <relph>
# Subject: Skanking in the Cockpit
# Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU> in the London Zoo:
# >
# > the "dance mix" Down
# >in the Cockpit.  And that one's unlistenable except that I can hear the
# >cool basslines so much clearer.
# Oh no!  "Cockpit Dance Mixture" is awesome!  Especially the bit about
# "Guy, the adult lowland gorilla".

OK so I already commented on this in the last digest, so I won't do it
again really. But going back to that '10 favourite songs' thing (which
I never got around to submitting to), I had a proper attempt at this
last night and managed to get it down to 66 songs. Maybe if I was really
ruthless I'd get it down to 60, but I don't think I could get it any
less than that. Really! I must like this band too much.

But what surprised me was where the 66 songs came from. Only 3 from
'The Big Express' for example, which is my favourite, wheras I picked
something like 11 from 'Nonsuch' and nearly all of 'Skylarking', even
though I don't listen to either of them very often these days. I think
this conclusively proves two things:

(1) XTC have done lots of good songs/albums.
(2) Ranking individual songs/albums is meaningless.

Sound reasonable?

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


Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 22:50:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1

I don't know if anyone else is familiar with this particular CD, but I have
a copy of a CD called "The Adventure Club Sessions" that contains XTC
performing "Blue Beret."  And, yes, you're right, it IS a fine song!



Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 22:53:59 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1

i too am very glad the list is back !!!!
checking the MUSE at my store the other day i noticed the song listing for
the testimonial cd. very impressive !!  I of course have allready started the
ball rolling to get a hold of a promo copi or two. While im at it i wanted to
mention i have some extra promo cd's from none such that i'd love to trade
for the demo tape that is going around. I also am looking to sell my ENTIRE
XTC  lp collection. i have a large selection that i am crying over selling
but am forced too. This is a great collection including colin's solo 45 and"
looking for footprints" flexi. most are in great shape (ill admit the english
settlement is a bit worn but thats cause i've played so often) anyway kind
folkes please feel free to make me offers and or suggestions . I will cry
when "this world over" 7' leaves my sight but..................
thanks all


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 03:00:37 +0100 (BST)

Replies to a few things:

# From:
# Subject: New demos

# Now your laughter has a hollow ring
# But the hollow ring has no finger in it

Is it just me, or are these the best lyrics Andy's written for about 12
years? I'm gobsmacked. Really. Wow.

# From: (Gene Yoon)
# Subject: Crosswired and Confused
# All this talk in July-August about Go2 and Barry Andrews made me wonder,
# whatever happened to the missing Andrews songs from the Go2 sessions?  To
# quote the Twomey bio, "When it came to making a final track selection, five
# of Barry's seven songs were dropped, while virtually all of Andy's and
# Colin's were used...."
# One would think they would have appeared squashed in the middle of the CD
# reissue, which leads me to think they must have been pretty horrible, or
# Andy's ego just wouldn't have it (an equal or greater number of non-Andy
# songs is unheard of in XTC-dom).  The missing songs have evaportated, it
# seems; no mention in the web site, either. Just curious, I guess, since I
# like the music (not the lyrics) of My Weapon and Super Tuff.  The keyboard
# intro in My Weapon is very cool, as someone else mentioned.

Me. I'm not sure what the 'missing 5' songs were, but shortly after leaving
XTC Barry released a couple of solo singles:

TOWN AND COUNTRY  (7" EP)  Virgin VS260 (1979)
  Me And My Mate Can Sing (2.42) / Bring On The Aligators (3.15) /
  Mousetrap (Dedicated To Auntie Rene) (2.30) / Sargasso Bar (3.38)

ROSSMORE ROAD     (7")     Virgin VS378 (1980)
  Rossmore Road (NW1) (3.37) /
  Win A Night Out With A Well Known Paranoiac (6.19)

ROSSMORE ROAD     (7")     Virgin VS428 (1981)
  Rossmore Road (NW1) (3.56) / Pages Of My Love (2.59)

'Pages Of My Love' was by Barry's then-band (Restaurant For Dogs) and
is therefore pretty dire, but the rest of them are great. 'Town And
Country' is reasonably close to the sound on Go2, 'Rossmore Road' is
much more mature and easily the best (also the only one Barry still admits
to liking!). And '...Paranoiac' has got to be one of the funniest songs
every written. Must post up the lyrics some time. :-)

So there you have it. Seek these out if you're interested, but be warned,
they're not too cheap and very rare these days. But worth it.

Further details on the Shriekback/etc. discography, which is linked from
my web page (see my .sig) but is currently still in ASCII-only format so
mail it to yourself and print it out or something. A pretty version is
definitely coming very soon, promise.

On a completely unrelated topic (i.e. XTC!), I found myself a copy of
the 'King For A Day' CD single, the one with the 3" CD in the crown-
shaped box. And I have to say, what a lovely bit of packaging! And there
are more Colin tracks than Andy tracks on it too!

This modem is costing me a fortune,

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


Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 22:24:28 -0500
From: (Jim S.)
Subject: Glad were back!

I was a lurker and not a poster before, and God did I miss Chalkhills!
Please answer me a few questions:

1. WHEN and IS a new album coming out? What will it be, the "River of Orchids"
   that I've heard mentioned? Will it be a 'soft' or 'hard' album?
2. I heard there is a demo tape floating around of Andy's new stuff; PLEASE
   PLEASE PLEASE tell me how I can get a copy.
3. Has XTC signed to a new label yet? I remember Andy saying in an interview
   that if it were up to them, there would be a new XTC album every 6
months.      Man, wouldn't that be great???
4. Is XTC still very much a "band"? I know they all do offshoot projects, but
   will they remain together in the future.

Thanks for ANY and ALL info, especially the release date of the new album.

  Jim S.     <>

 "Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie?
  Or are you gonna bite?"

 - Mr. Blonde,  Reservoir Dogs


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 00:05:33 -0500
From: (Gene Yoon)
Subject: HEY! It's time again to analyze lyrics!

>From: Ted Harms <>
>All this brings me to my question.  Where the heck is Nithilon (as in
>"Travels to ..")?  I know Nineveh was a city in ancient Bablyon, but
>Nithilon?!  If any there are any historians/anthropologists amongst us that
>might provide insight, please respond.

Well, I'm no historian or anthropologist (engineer--so close), but here goes.

I think _Nihilon_ (no t, and it's Travels in) is referring to Nihilism,
which is the belief that destruction and nothingness (nil) is preferrable
to a society that has gone to moral ruin.  (hope I got that right...)  It
seems the moral ruin Andy is referring to is the superficial and
materialistic tendencies of modern life: "...all that time so cheaply
spent....only masks they let you rent....Fashion, their empire / drapes
itself across your back....hypnotising you to step ahead of
your greed..."

So Nihilon isn't some real geographic locale, but a dark, haunted world of
Andy's creation, where people are "hypnotised" to want, buy, use, consume,
become greedy.  Not so different from our own world, I suppose (especially
since I'm an active participant in the game), and I guess that's Andy's
whole point.  And the loud, droning, rather hypnotising music follows this
theme quite nicely.

Okay, that's enough lyrical analysis from me,



Date: Wed, 20 Sep 95 03:23:00 UTC
Subject: Go2 and the glory of punk

What a thrill to see Chalkhills reincarnated!  I posted something way back
during the great Go2 / Barry debates, and was stunned when it bounced.  From
now on I promise, promise, promise to read the Administrivia carefully.  ;-)

The message I was trying to send to the list was this:

|Punk music pre-dates both the Ramones or the Sex Pistols by many
|years . . . can you say IGGY POP?  For other 60s punkers, you could
|probably make a case for Velvet Underground, or maybe even (to give the
|Brits their due) The Who. But Iggy Pop was playing what is clearly,
|unmistakably punk rock music as early as 1969 with The Stooges.
|As for the punk sound that XTC were trying to emulate on White Music
|and Go2, Andy said on several occasions their inspiration was the New
|York Dolls.  Now the Dolls were definitely a punk-ish band, but if you
|are strictly into labeling things they would be considered Glam Rock.
|Either way, Go2 rocks!  I think it is a brilliant album, and I even
|like that nutty Barry Andrews steam calliope keyboard sound.  It is
|hard to remember now after all the years and albums, but Barry was
|considered such an integral part of XTC's sound that most critics
|predicted the band would break up when he quit.
|Are you receiving me??
| Mike McCormick
|P.S. In the XTC Movie, Bob Hoskins plays Andy.


From: Richard Aaron Manfredi <>
Subject: Clearing some questions
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 21:35:51 -0700 (PDT)

   First, let me say how great it is that Chalkhills is up and running again.
That said, I would like to clear up some things, respond to questions from the
last issue:
1)  I've seen "Wonder Almanac" before, as a free giveaway with "Reflex"
magazine when the did a cover story on XTC after "Nonesuch".  I believe that
"Always Winter Never Christmas" was the other song.
2)  In that issue, Andy explained that he had written a bubblegum song for
on a 4 track recorder that was missing one of the tracks.  He showed it to
Dave, who went nuts over the song.  Andy got the idea to have a bubblegum
band in the vein of the Dukes, possibly under the "The Lemon Dukes", and demoed
about five or six songs for the project.  That was the last I had heard of it.
3)  The Nihilon in question refers to Nihilism, which to briefly summarize
is the belief that everything really is nothing, and that all of our actions
are meaningless.  If you looked at punks in England at around the time that
"Black Sea" was written, they had a philosophy similar to that.  The song is
basically an attack on this lifestyle.  So, Nihilon only exists in the mind.
4)  I read in the L.A. Times, I think, that the XTC tribute album would
feature the band as "Terry And The Lovemen", the aborted title of "Black Sea",
but I hadn't heard that the Dukes would be on the album.  I thought that they
were going to do an actual old XTC song, or at least that is what all the
media reports on the albums made it sound like.  Besides TMBG, I know that
Sarah McLaughlin is doing "Dear God", and that Freedy Johnson and Joe Jackson
are also doind osngs, but I haven't heard what they are yet.  Anyone willing to
add further info would be my new best friend.

                                                               Richard Manfredi


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 15:39:10 +1200
Subject: Re: Nihilon

Tena Koutou Chalkhillers/-ians/-ites/-billies! (oh no not again!)

A breath of fresh air wafted through my mailbox and dropped issue 2/1 in
the intray today. Good to see ya back!

>From: Ted Harms <>

>All this brings me to my question.  Where the heck is Nithilon (as in
>"Travels to ..")?  I know Nineveh was a city in ancient Bablyon, but
>Nithilon?!  If any there are any historians/anthropologists amongst us that
>might provide insight, please respond.

"Travels in Nihilon" was a novel by Alan Sillitoe (I think) about a tourist
travelling through a fictitious dictatorship, Nihilon. I read it many long
years ago on the basis of the title alone. Didn't really enjoy it too much,
but that might just be me. Sort of a 20th century Gulliver's Travels, but
not as good.


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


From: (Andre de Koning)
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 95 14:27:11 +0200
Subject: Welcome back!

Test one two. One two, test. Are you receiving me?

Ahum, well, I found the new Chalkhills site and whilst browsing around
(gosh, I can now use netscape instead of lynx) I saw a 'new XTC album'
planned (or is that rumoured?) to be released IN 1995 ON the Virgin
label! 21 tracks!

What has happened while Chalkhills was so rudely interrupted?



Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 21:10:14 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: waiting for new XTC...


Whilst waiting for the next elusive XTC release it is necessary to
find good music to listen to, as you all know.

I would like to inform of a CD I think will please XTCers:
Play, by Squeeze. It has some excellent songs on it, not a new release,
but this is a band I am just rediscovering.

Joe Ierano


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 17:04:58 +1000
From: (Eliot Fish)
Subject: Re: Demos

Hi Chalkhillians,

Simple message this...





Date: 20 Sep 95 04:59:10 EDT
From: Danny Manners <>
Subject: Martin Newell in Paris, 25th September

This info will only be of use to any Chalkhillbillies in France, and
only if the next digest comes out within three or four days, but:

Martin Newell will be playing a solo set supporting French popster
(and producer of Martin's new album) Louis Philippe, on Monday 25th
September, at Cafe de la Danse, Passage Louis Philippe, 75012 Paris,
France. Not sure of the time - probably about 8.00 pm but check.
Promoters (who obviously have a sense of humour judging from the
venue address) are Le Passage du Nord-Ouest and tickets are available
>from all normal outlets.

I'll be there playing bass. I'll try to get some more definite information
on Martin's new album.

I''ve seen it in their faces
Clear as children's chalk lines on the paving


From: "R.L.Crane" <>
Date:          Wed, 20 Sep 1995 11:05:40 +0100
Subject:       Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1


Nice to see everyone up and about again.

I have absolutely nothing to say, but in this brand new spanky
incarnation of Chalkhills, I'd just like to be the first person to
mention Andy's Penis.

I thank you! :-)


"I want a Shoe-horn,
      the kind with teeth,
          'cos I know there's no such thing!"


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 05:25:51 -0500
From: ".\\ark \\'atkins" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1

        Could someone please tell me where I can get a copy of Drums And
Wireless?! I've tried ordering it from CD Connection three or four times now
and they never seem to be able to get it. While your at it, I'm also curious
about the Demo series. I haven't heard much about it, but it seems to be on
about 5 separate disks and the sound is generally regarded as poor. What can
you tell me about them?

-------------------------  .\\ark \\'atkins  --------------------------
|                                        |                            |
|                     | The wages of sin are death.|
|  | But after taxes it's more  |
| 1:147/3101                             | like a tired feeling.      |
|                                        |                            |


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 95 09:28:28
Subject: Testimonial Questions for Andy

HeLLo aLL...

   I think I may have convinced Sir Partridge into giving
me a few moments phone time re: this Testimonial LP.
I'd appreciate any questions you might want to forward
to me to ask him about the tribute. Thanks in advance!

JoE Silva
Consumable Online
Athens, GA
(706) 542 - 4452
            4412 (FAX)


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 08:38:30 -0700
From: (Christopher Kasic)
Subject: from out of the Chalkdust...

     And here I thought it was MY fault... I changed email addresses at the
     same time Chalkhills stopped arriving. For a (mostly) lurker, I sure
     missed my weekly read of xTcish. Glad we're virtually back.



Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 09:45:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: New Andy Demos

The new Andy demos sound great, would it be possible to put
.AIFs of a couple of songs on Chalkhills?

I am so happy that Chalkhills (The List) is back. After totally
denouncing NONSVCH before the list's month-long absence, I had lots of
time to listen to NONSVCH; now I think it is totally brilliant. Of
course, Go2 is still number one!!

Andrew Hooker


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 95 10:38:50 CDT
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Subject: Welcome back & some thoughts on #2-1

Allow me to add my voice to those welcoming Chalkhills back into our
    mundane little lives. And, Relph-san, I ALWAYS thought you were in

    Some questions and thoughts:
    -- HOW can I get a copy of Andy's new tape o demos?!? I need it.

    -- To Melissa Reeves: I must admit, even tho I disagree with your
    opinions about "wonky keyboards" and "dark thick dense songs," I have
    to agree with you about ALL of the remixes. They are interesting (some
    of them are downright funny), and I did my part by acquiring them to
    support the band, don'tchaknow, but if Andy's going to get experimental
    on us, I much prefer the Homo Safari Series approach.

    -- To Gene Yoon: You mentioned "Acoustic Tales" -- is this a
    compilation of the acoustic O&L tour, and if so, how can I get a
    copy?!? I need that, too. I agree with you about Colin and Andy's
    voices blending together; that's one of the principal pleasures of
    Drums and Wireless for me. I've always liked "Meeting Place"; I think
    it's one of the most successful -- and best produced -- of the songs on
    Skylarking, PROVING that Todd liked Colin better than Andy! =:-o

    As far as the lyrix go, can't help you on the line, but IMHO the
    overall song is meant to evolke a mood -- love in an industrial setting
    (rather than on a farmboy's wages). And, I'd also love to hear the
    missing Barry songs from GO2, although I must admit the thing I like
    best about his songs already on the record is the bass line for "Super
    Tuff." (It's enuf)

    -- About the "Nigel" thread, I agree with Dave Franson, adding only
    that James Kosmicki must consider the context of Nigel's release and
    the fact that it was XTC's FIRST "breakthrough" song (the other, of
    course, being "Dear God") in America. I don't think it's their best
    song, either (it's a damn good one, tho), but those are some of the
    reasons it has a special place in every fan's heart.

    -- Finally, reaching WAY back for the "Andy as reincarnated 17th
    century poet" thread that I tried to start, I have to agree with the
    gentleman who suggested Andrew Marvell -- you're right, the style (and
    even the first name!) fits very well ... I don't know why I overlooked
    him in the first place.

    Cheers, y'all.


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 08:43:00 -0600 (MDT)
From: Eric Muller <EMuller@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: Making Plans for Graham

Welcome back, Chalkhills!  The most interesting, intelligent place in
cyberland, in my humble opinion.
All this talk about "Nigel"--does anyone agree with me that "No Thugs in Our
House" is, at least in a sense, a (vastly superior) reworking of the theme
of "Nigel?"


Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 12:33:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-1

Great to have the list back!  I am sure we all missed it.  Thanks for the
place and space.


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-2

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