Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-42

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 42

               Wednesday, 29 November 1995

Today's Topics:

               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-39
                 re: Belew, Lennon & xTc
                       Conny Plank
                       Ian Broudie?
                      Omnibus; "Men"
                    Beatles Digest???
                        first post
                        The Nigels
                    That *ONE* song...
                     PERFECT producer
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-41
                      & Love For All
                     Regional Groups
              We have sickness in our hair.
             Paul McCartney's writing skills
                       Them Posies
                        Cape what?
                     the XTConspiracy
               Froom's THE man, all right!
                     Not that thread


 + If you use a signature (from your ".signature" file), please keep it to
   four lines of text or fewer.  Your e-mail address already appears in the
   header of your posting, so no need to repeat it in your signature.

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.

Smell of burnt book is not unlike human hair.


From: M Wilson <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 17:58:40 +0000
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-39

Subject: What's a "Sunny Jim"? and some other things

>And speaking of Sunny Jim, which I did in the subject line and Andy
>does in "1000 Umbrellas": who or what is Sunny Jim?  I've spent 9 years
>thinking it's some English children's book character I've never heard of
>but I could be wrong.  Maybe it's just another name for ol' man sun himself.

Aint no such person Doug.  It's an old fashioned English term of address
usually spoken in mock antagonism.  eg: "And what do you think you're doing
spending all day reading Chalkhills when you should be working, Sunny Jim?!"
	So now you know.


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 18:26:27 GMT (Original EST)
From: "John Quinn" <>
Subject: re: Belew, Lennon & xTc

I've lurked about Chalkhills since being turned on to it by a chap I met at a
Roches show in Northern Virginia a couple of months ago (thanks, Todd).  I
delurk now only to thank you all for this fine list, and to follow up on a
post from the last digest ... then I'm scurrying back to my hole.

While mentioning Adrian Belew as a possible xTc producer and discussing AB's
Lennonism in #2-41, Rogier van Bakel commended Adrian Belew's "Here" to list
members.  Concurring in RvB's observations and recommendation, I'll also
remind the list that AB is currently performing with King Crimson (again),
joined by, among others, Pat Mastelotto (xTc's percussionist on O&L).
Crimso's recent THRAK CD contains a tune in which Belew does an exquisite
romantic/mellow Lennon.  "Walking On Air" is a beautiful tune that I think
list members would appreciate.  I don't know how much of the rest of this
disk you'd dig (I adore it - and, Dave, you'll like the live stuff headed
your way), but AB and Robert Fripp betray strong Beatle influences (both
vocal and instrumental) on a number of KC's new tunes.  And speaking of
Fripp, I'd add his name (however unlikely it may seem) to the possible-xTc-
producers list.  If you give a listen to the two Roches albums he produced
("The Roches" ['79] and "Keep On Doing" ['82]), and consider his wonderful
collaboration with Belew, you may see what I mean.

Finally (and I should know better than to end this on a groaner) ...
Know what you have every ten years when the US government puts thousands to
work trying to do its version of the Domesday Book?  Of *course* you do:
Census working overtime.

Sorry - Jake


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 14:44 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: Conny Plank

>From Chris Van Valen:
CVV> I never made a musical connection. Maybe Conny Plank would be a good
CVV> producer for XTC.

*Now* we're talking.  Is Conny Plank still around?  He's got to be getting
pretty old -- as I recall he was associated with Cluster in the early 70's.
I'd be concerned about his hearing (like Steve Lillywhite) at this point.
In fact, I though I heard he died some years back...  The last thing I can
recall that he did is some work with a crummy pop band called China
Crisis around the mid 1980's.

Unrelated question but it came to mind when I was thinking about Conny
Plank, as I originally thought he had produced Hunters & Collectors but now
I don't think so -- does anyone know how to get hands on a copy of the
A&M release of "Hunters & Collectors" circa 1983?  I'd love to hear
"Tow Truck" again.


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 15:06 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: Ian Broudie?

From: Scott Taylor <>
ST>> How about Ian Broudie?

Hmmm...  The last thing XTC needs is a slick producer who will make them
sound like the Lightning Seeds or Journey or Asia or any typical
MCA-overproduced recording.  Methinks they need a bit of bite, a shot of
snarl, a nibble of noise.  I still think Trent Reznor would be awesome for
XTC: the sound would be great, I picture NIN as the perfect act to do a
live cover of Dear God, and Trent knows how to funnel anger, so he could
channel some of Mr. Partridge's post-marital frustation into intense XTC

Or if not Trent, how about Al Jourgensen?

Jeff L.


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Omnibus; "Men"
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 15:14:00 est

I have always been sure (my own opinion, of course) that Omnibus is about
loving women of *all* races, sizes and colours..."there's nothing in the
world like a green-skinned girl/But that don't mean to say you can't look..."
Although this is a song about women, I think it's a wonderful one.

>we could assemble some questions to send <Andy> as an email "interview"
Good idea.

Stuart McDow wrote of "The World is Full of Angry Young Men" that "I must
have listened to this song about 300 times over the T'anksgiving weekend. I
can't get it out of my head..." That's the exact reason why I put the songs
of the day there in the first place...The other reason I do is because it
might be a song that you haven't heard in a while, and might convince you to
drag that album out again and give it a good listen. Who knows?

This might be my second post on this list. I'll only do one next time. Till
then, I'll be prowling the shopping malls, listening, like Mr. Taylor,

Ben (note new "space saving" format below)

XTC SONG OF THE DAY: "Punch and Judy"


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 15:25:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Beatles Digest???

 As many XTC fans are also into the Beatles...I hope some might help me...
does anyone know of a Beatles digest...much like this chalkhill digest?
As a huge Beatle fan, I'd love to receive it, (as I love receiving my
XTC info...
Thanks a bunch.....


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 15:39:41 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Isms

As long as we're trashing Andy for his putative sexism in "Cockpit," how
about that other nasty ism - classism?  The entry for XTC in Spin's guide
to alternative music brutally trashed "Meccanik Dancing" as a "loathing"
put-down of the pursuits of the working classes.  I disagree (and Spin is
still a corporate rock whore magazine), but it's something to think about.

I personally think Andy is a total naif when it comes to anything
political.  He just blurts out whatever he thinks - hence the
mind-boggling lyrical shallowness of songs like "Melt the Guns" and
"Knuckle Down", and the equally mind-boggling unintentional (IMO) racism of
"Millions" (a song I can't listen to at all because it offends me so much
- and I'm not a PC wuss, either).  He's spot-on with social satire but it's
probably a good thing he doesn't vote.

Getting back to "Cockpit," has anyone read Joanna Russ's THE FEMALE MAN?
Her depiction of the all-female planet of Whileaway reminds me a bit of
Andy's matriarchal musings.  Maybe he's read the book.

Natalie Jacobs
"Gods by the bushel!  Gods by the pound!"


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 95 15:57:44 CDT
From: "Lee Elliott" <>
Subject: first post


     After listening in for a few months, I thought I'd chime in.

     References to the Beatles as the B-word (or B*****s)? Yikes! The
     Beatles were the greatest rock band of all time. It's barely
     subjective. Since XTC is the BEST band to come along after their
     breakup, it's inevitable that comparisons will arise. After all,
     who else is there to use as a point of reference? Use their name
     freely, please.

     Add to the list of XTCish bands: Hindu Rodeo. RUN to your favorite
     CD boutique if you don't already have it. It includes an awesome,
     if short, cover of I'm Only Sleeping which segues into their own
     Chasing The Beatles. No theme intended. Really.

     My producer of choice would be T-Bone Burnett. Listen to Sam Phillips'
     Martinis And Bikinis AND Cruel Inventions and you'll hear what I mean.
     Listen to Elvis Costello's King Of America and you probably won't, but
     it's still a great album. (BTW, Sam Phillips is married to
     Mr. Burnett.)




Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 15:55:17 -0600
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: The Nigels

Hi all

I remember last Summer ('94; not '95) there was an XTC tribute band in NYC
called The Nigels. They played only one gig in the area. Does anyone know
anything about them? Were they any good? Where are they from? Do they exist
anymore? Does their guitarist refuse to play live gigs anymore? Do they
argue while they play "Dear God"? The answers to these and other spicy
topics are yet to come....


"I may not have enough of me, but I've had enough of you"
        -Joanna Walton, 1979


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 18:11:32 -0500
From: (Ira Lieman)
Subject: That *ONE* song...

I don't know about any of you, but the ONE song I can keep listening to
over and over and over (and I *HAVE* done this in the past week) is Across
This Antheap.  Just thought I should let the whole world know.

-ira (Don't mind me, it's hereditary)


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 18:12:14 -0500
From: (Ira Lieman)

>>From the keyboard of Ben Gott <>:
>>                                 "The World Is Full Of Angry Young Men"
>Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!  I must have listened to this song
>about 300 times over the T'anksgiving weekend. I can't get it out of
>my head...... that one and "Officer Blue". Anyone for a CM fan club?

Well how about that....AYM is finally recognized. And I knew my quest
would be not in vain.  :)

*Note: I used to be (in a past life) Remember me?


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 18:12:41 -0500
From: (Ira Lieman)
Subject: PERFECT producer

Well, my first, and most obvious choice would be our own Dave Yazbek. It
seems he got along famously with the Fab Three (if only for one song -- was
it more than just one, Dave? -- and if it was, do you wanna make a
statement?) and I think the Chalkhills contingent would be unable to
contain themselves if this was to occur ..

But if XTC is looking for someone more, well, European, to produce their
next album ("Phoenix?"), let's try Elvis Costello! He is cut from a similar
cloth, and, well, he's Elvis! He has *NOT* left the building!

And whaddaya all think of John Flansburgh? From They Might Be Giants? I
don't think John would stifle the Swindonians' creativity -- I mean, look
at TMBG!

I have posted enuf today. Good night.

 - - -
                                                "He's been stabbed in the back
    _/_/  _/ _/  _/_/_/_/  Ira Lieman            He's been misunderstood
  _/  _/ _/ _/  _/ _/ _/  Angry Young Man        It's a comfort to know
 _/_/_/   _/   _/ _/ _/             His intentions are good"
_/  _/   _/   _/    _/          - Billy Joel


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 18:48:54 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-41

  To Chris Van Valen: "Transformer" is actually Translator. That's probably
why you haven't seen the album anywhere. I have their last studio album,
Evening Of The Harvest; a highly underrated band that compares favorably to
XTC in many ways. I know you got the title of the compilation right, though.
  BTW, all those interested, there is a Richard Thompson list. It's very
crowded and an absolute riot at times, though there's other times when it
seems like a lot of useless information. If you're not a rabid fan, so to
speak, prepare to use the delete button a lot. I don't have the address han-
dy, but I believe they're on Majordomo; if you don't have WWW access, I can
send you the address from my address book.

Chris Coolidge
11th Hour Cauldron Publications


Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 00:23:41 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: & Love For All

A couple of discography details:

The catalogue numbers for The Lilac Time's *& Love For All* in the UK are:
846 190-2 (for the CD)
846 190-1 (for the LP)
846 190-4 (for the MC)

And for King L's *Great Day for Gravity* (Circa Records):
UK: CIRCD32 (for the CD)

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 20:14:37 -0500
Subject: Regional Groups

Hello all,

I have been reading the groups and have a question.  Would anyone be
interested in meeting in person?  Two reasons for this question: 1) I have
read several laments at not knowing any other XTC fans and 2)  I just
relocated with my job and I'm bored.

I was thinking of a group meeting over a beer or dinner or both.  I am
located in West Trenton, NJ.  Around Lawrenceville and Princeton.  If
anyone is interested email me at:



Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 20:58:30 -0500
Subject: We have sickness in our hair.

>From: (Adam J. Ostermann)
>XTC Question: What songs did Colin write on ^Go2^?

Buzzcity Talking, Crowded Room, The Rhythm, I Am the Audience.  Also
recorded but not on the LP: Looking For Footprints.  The Chalkhills home
page has *all* XTC songs ever recorded listed alphabetically with
songwriting credits.  It's in the Recording History link.

>From: "Burgess, Christopher (msx)" <>
>I seem to recall a few posts that intimate that Andy is online somwhere>
>If so, perhaps we could assemble some questions to send him as an
>email "interview".  He could mull them over and submit whatever he sees

Hey, whatever happened to the David Gregory Net Interview by John Nichols
from a several months back?  He apparently is from Swindon and/or knows
Dave on a personal level, collected a bunch of questions from Chalkhills
readers, and trapped DG in a pub over some beers for a few hours.  John
then graciously transcribed the interview and posted them in installments
to the list.  It'd be really appropriate to collect all the Q&A's and have
them on the web site, huh?  I'd compile them if Mr Relph would put them on
the site.

>From: (Al Curtis)
>There has been talk in the list lately about a producer for the next XTC
>album. I nominate Mitchell Froom

Froom would be great, but either XTC would have to win big at the dog races
or their new record label be very generous, cuz Mitch ain't cheap!  (He's
got a new daughter to feed, too.)  Ditto for $Don Was$, Stephen Street,
Lillywhite.  Leckie would be more likely since he's already very friendly
with the band, but best of all might be David Yazbek.  Please make note of
how to spell his name.  Y-A-S-S-B-E-C-K.  Cherry in Your Tree and The Good
Things, are clean, complete, and shiny all around.

>We shouldn't censor this list at all, but I do think that perhaps people
>should refrain from mailing stuff that is boring/irrelevant/old-news/etc.

I think the above is irrelevant, so don't post old news, you Pink Thing.

>From: Trent Turner <>
>I guess that's what I enjoy most about XTC, the songs are meaningful
>and thought/conversation provoking and the music has that wonderful
>pop catchiness about it that stays with you all day long.

Yes, I too love that fresh, clean XTC feeling that stays with me all day
long, from shower to shower.  No little cinammon gum can match it.



Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 21:14:45 -0500
Subject: Paul McCartney's writing skills

>>XTC should be exporting their production talents....
>>teach Paul McC to write songs again...
>Elvis Costello tried, and it didn't work.  But I'd love to see them produce
>more often, esp. Mr. Gregory, who I suspect would do a fine job...

Boulderdash!!! Veronica is one of the best all time pop songs ever written.
 I do agree that the rest of the collaborations are pretty poor (on PM's
Flowers in the Dirt).

BTW, Spike is a great album. But then again I love most of EC's work.



Date: Wed, 29 Nov 95 03:53:00 UTC 0000
Subject: Them Posies

Aye, Mr. Moylan--them Posies are a fine band!  I've had opportunity
to see them live, here in the Seattle area, at some smaller venues.
They were the first (I believe) band of the "Seattle Invasion" signed
to a major label (Kingsmen and Heart, notwithstanding).

Their music is, indeed, quite wonderful.  Kenneth Stringfellow and
Jonathon Auer have the same knack for melody that Mr. Partridge has.
Actually, they remind me more of the Byrds than XTC, but I have no
doubt that most XTC fans, especially those of the "Jellyfish-Matthew
Sweet sect" will latch onto this band at first listen.

Their new album, in the works for at least a year, is due to be
released next month (I think).  I heard four songs from it at one of
their shows last September and they were quite good, as usual.

By the way, in addition to "Frosting on the Beater" and "Dear 23,"
you can also get "Failure," on Pop Llama records.  It's a full-length
8-track LP.  Mostly acoustic, sparse arrangements.  A must-have.

And an aside:   I drummed on MUZAK versions of "Vision of Love"
(M.Carey), "Stand" (R.E.M.), and "Finish What Ya' Started" (Van



Make your oyster pearl!


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Cape what?
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 95 01:07:00 est

Using my roommate's cheap stereo, I made out the first few words of the
still unnamed song before "Peter Pumpkinhead" on the Nonsuch demos:

        "Cape Canaveral, Florida"

What does this mean? Is it a sign?




Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 23:16:25 -0800
Subject: the XTConspiracy

THe Twain where JFK, XTC & the Beatles meet...

>From: "Ken Salaets" <>
>Subject: Stoned on U.S. history
>From: (Giovanni Giusti)
>Subject: Peter Pumpkinhead & JFK
>>> And the JFK movie by Oliver Stone definitely does _not_ mention
>>> Communists.
>Uh, over here, Oliver Stone is not viewed as a historian of any sort.
>He makes movies!
>That's it.

True and perhaps that is as it should be, however, apart from a couple
of obvious reinterpretations of history (i.e. Johnson ordering the hit
in exchange for a war in Vietnam), Stone's film is pretty accurate
especially with regard to the role of Bannister, Ferrie, the World
Anti-Communist League and the intelligence community.  He took a great
deal of heat for it too.  It's probably for this reason that his film
on "Nixon" is likely to be lame.

One question re: JFK's assasination that I've never heard addressed in
any detail is why it was done so publicly and violently.  Surely, with
all his flirting, a lover could have done the deed differently.
Obviously it's all but academic now, but, when one sees just how little
progress has been made in civil rights, economic justice, environmental
protection, etc. since then, the questions of why and how persist.

>From: (Al Curtis)
>Subject: Re: Fegmania list
>Not surprising to see XTC at the top of the list. What surprised me was
>the number of bands/ musicians who I count among my faves.

Same here :)

> I nominate Mitchell Froom who has done fantastic work on R.T.'s last
>4 albums (with drummer Dave Mattacks, BTW) as well as with Crowded
>House and keyboards with Elvis Costello. I submit that his studio
>savvy seems to bring out the best in all involved. Whaddya think?

They desperately need someone who will bring out their verve.  It seems
to me that there are basically two kinds of XTC albums-- the "in your
face" variety and "seductive" ones.

O&L, BE, BS, 25 O'clock are in your face while Mummer, Nonsuch,
Skylarking, Psonic Psunspots are seductive.  D&W and the two w/ Barry
are are in your face by default while ES straddles both worlds.

What was so cool about O&L was that it was in your face at a time when
one might have expected mellow, introverted material.  Hopefully we're
in for another in your face album.  Although Nonsuch is a solid
recording, another one like it would do more harm than good because it
would somehow signify a pat, staid mold that they have grown content
with.  XTC's strength has always been an ability to reinvent itself
with every album.  The next producer should be sensitive to this.

Although talk of orchestration and no drums as likely for the next one
initially fazed me, I think that that could still be "in your face" if
done with verve.  AP shouldn't feel that he can't do this just becuase
EC did it with "The Juliette Letters."  The sounds of their voices are
so different that this alone will carry the day.

>From: (Chris Van Valen)
>Subject: Errata
>I was wrong about that S.F. band from 1983. They were not "Transformer",
>but instead they were Translator and the compilation album is entitled
>"Translations". Sorry about that.

I used to play "You're Everywhere that I'm Not" when DJing a couple of
shows on WSIA (College of Staten Island, gasp) about 11 years ago.  I
thought it very Beatlesque yet XTCish.  Even then I was wondering "what
ever happended to them?"

Another great tune from those days was Echo & the Bunnymen's "Killing
Moon" which, while Beatlesque would also make great fodder for an XTC
cover.  I can never understand why so-called alternative radio plays,
Sugar Kisses or People are Strange while completely ignoring such a
fine tune as KM.

>>XTC should be exporting their production talents....
>>teach Paul McC to write songs again...
>Elvis Costello tried, and it didn't work.  But I'd love to see them
>produce more often, esp. Mr. Gregory, who I suspect would do a fine

As I recall, EC and PM bent over backwards not to hype their
collaboration for fear of creating unrealistic expectations.  It seems
to me they could have used some more hype because they actually wrote
some fine tunes together.  "Flowers in the Dirt" was McCartney's best
album since "Band on the Run" 16 years earlier.  My Brave Face and
Veronica were great pop singles and there were some notable album
tracks as well.  I think they should have done more together.
Word has it that George Harrison was quite the fan of Skylarking.
Perhaps, Andy or DG would have rekindled the flame that Lynne seems to
have smothered.

>And BTW, I always assumed Pink Thing was about Andy's member.  And I liked
>it for that.  If 10,000 metalheads can sing about their manhood, why not
>our boy?

And what's better is that he sings about it with more wit than those
guys could muster in a decade.


Subject: Froom's THE man, all right!
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 02:44:31 -0500 (EST)

Hiyall, Chalkhillians

	I never thought i'd be decloaking (or is it unlurking?) this way,
that is spurred by a suggestion for the hypothetical producer to the
next, eagerly awaited (did anyone say "understatement"?) and alas
seemingly still far off album by our stellar trio. But Al Curtis' post
suggesting Mitchell Froom as producer must be one of the best brainstorms
to show up in Chalkhills in a long while (sorry to all you DG pundits,
but the theological musings, as many have let on, were indeed getting to
be somewhat of a drag).

	Froom's credentials for the job are impeccable; his production
work for Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega and American
Music Club (please feel free to complete this list, if you're in the
know) amply shows affinities with XTC's sound, that quirky mix of melody,
texture and sheer musical agility. Froom usually brings to the brew an
impressive command of musical atmosphere, enhancing rather than obscuring
the qualities of a given song. And his range absolutely fits with the
eclectic manner of our favorite Swindonians.

	Here's hoping that this tantalizing wetdream of a group/producer
match doesn't go unheeded, and thanks again to Al for a brain jolt that
any fan of both must surely salivate over.

The Scissor Man


Date: Wed, 29 Nov 95 11:21:09 GMT
From: (Jon Eva)
Subject: Not that thread

>...impose a voluntary ban on all God


> Sorry, but I refuse to have anything to do with censoring this newsgroup.


> A VOLUNTARY ban? Who, exactly, spontaneously agrees to ban his/own words?

Can I be the first to suggest a voluntary ban on this censorship debate,
it shows all the signs of turning into a bigger and duller monster than
the Other Thread (which is now taking less up than a quarter of the digest
and should be left to die quietly).


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-42

Go back to the previous page.