Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-45

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 45

                Wednesday, 6 December 1995

Today's Topics:

            Adrian & XTC; Merely a Great Song
                     TD advertisement
              The Spys: The Truth Revealed?
         Past posts, other bands, Terry Chambers
                        The lyrics
                     Misheard Lyrics
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-44
                 Ra Ra for Everything XTC
                  Andy a Political Naif?
                        Re: Armada
              A much shorter political query
             Sex Fun in Singing The Sauna (?)
                  "Millions" & Mitchell!
                     This 'n' That...
                       Thanks etc.


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Date: Fri, 01 Dec 95 12:22:26 CST
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Subject: Adrian & XTC; Merely a Great Song

Howdy! Just pulled this off of Elephant Talk, the King Crimson
digest. It responds to a thread about the futility of shouting
out requests at KC (or most other) performances. Thought it might
interest y'all:

>Subject: Taking Requests...
>I agree that requests for songs work only in the small intimate
>setting and the show that I attended where it worked perfectly
>was Adrian's Words and Music Acoustic tour.  At least here in
>Milwaukee, the show was Adrian, a few acoustic guitars
>(including a dobro) and a potted plant.  He explained that the
>show would consist of the audience asking questions and he
>giving answers and playing acoustic tunes, including requests.

Thanks to Dean Zemel for passing this along. Wish I'd been there.

Also, is it just me, or is "Merely a Man" the best song by far on
O&L? I was listening to it while I was working out this morning
and, since my wife had left for work ...
and-then-turn-up-the-volume-knob HIGHER! (Guitar please, Dave)
Turn it up HIGHER!! :^)

Thank God for my 15-inch-woofer-blessed Cerwin Vega speakers!

Anyway, I still don't understand why that song wasn't the second
single from that album. (Almost as hard to understand as why
"Extrovert" was only released as a B-side. That's the one XTC
song that I play for people, without telling them who it is, that
consistently makes them say, "Wow! Who's that?!?")



Date: Fri, 01 Dec 95 14:09:39 CST
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Subject: TD advertisement

    Sorry for the multiple postings, but I was just reading the Washington
    (D.C.) _City Paper_ as I ate my lunch, and what should I come across
    but a 1/4-page ad by local chain Kemp Mill Records for Testimonial
    Dinner! It's a copy of the album cover with complimentary quotes from
    various DJs in "word bubbles" next to most of the people at the table.

    Several quotes refer to -- you guessed it -- the Sarah McLachlan
    version of DG, and there's even a quote from Sarah herself: "I think
    XTC is one of the most underrated bands."

    I'm glad I got MY copy of TD at Kemp Mill after all...


Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 18:37:32 -0600
From: (JH3)
Subject: The Spys: The Truth Revealed?

Hello again.

First, to everyone who thanked me for posting the chords to "Roads Girdle
the Globe": You're quite welcome! I also believe that we need more chord
postings, and RGtG is one of my two or three favorite songs of all time, by
anybody. (Actually I guess all three of the top three are XTC songs, now
that I think about it.) Maybe I'll do "Ten Feet Tall" next...

But that isn't the reason I'm posting this. I was in the supermarket the
other day leafing through the sleazy tabloids when I saw this article in the
"Weekly Global Tattler" that made me do a major double-take! I had to go
home immediately and transcribe it so you could all check it out right away,
since most of you probably don't read supermarket tabloids. Personally I
don't believe a word of it, and I'll probably get sued for posting it, but I
don't care. I have no money anyway; I spent it all on XTC records.



   LONDON, England - Beatles fans, ecstatic over the recent chart-topping
reunion of John, George, and Ringo, will be shocked to discover that the
Beatles -- all four of them -- have actually reunited once before, to record
a "secret" single less than a year before Lennon's death in 1980, according
to a soon-to-be-released interview with surviving Beatles members.
   The single, which included the original Lennon/McCartney compositions
"The Young Ones" and "Heavy Scene," was released under the pseudonym "The
Spys" in 1979. For years it was suggested by many that the Spys were
actually the ever-struggling Swindon-based pop group XTC.
   "We were trying our best to imitate XTC, actually," admits Beatle Paul
McCartney in confidential transcripts of the soon-to-be-released interview.
"John and I had both heard their first album, 'White Music,' and then we
turned George and Ringo onto them. When their second LP (entitled "Go2")
came out we all bought it straight off, and we all just assumed that this
band would be much bigger than we ever were, the future of rock 'n' roll and
all that, and if we wanted to avoid being sent straight to the dustbin of
history, so to speak, we'd better get back together and record something
straight off."
   George Harrison picks up the narrative: "We didn't want to cause a panic
or anything, so we did it all in secret, just to test the waters. Ringo came
up with the name, The Spys, 'cause he was into all that James Bond stuff,
but it was John's idea to intentionally misspell it just to throw people
off." In order to sound as much like XTC as possible, both John's and Paul's
voices were reprocessed using then-state-of-the-art vocal manipulation
technology. The fab four also hired XTC producer John Leckie to help get a
more XTC-like sound. (Leckie, contacted at his London home, had no comment.)
   To complete the deception, the single was released on Virgin records,
XTC's own label. Virgin chief Richard Branson "had no idea what was going
on," says McCartney. Recently Branson sold Virgin's entire back catalogue to
EMI records, meaning that EMI, not Virgin, now stands to make a fortune by
re-releasing the Spys single. An EMI representative, under condition of
anonymity, said, "You'd better believe we'll be reissuing the Spys --
probably in a fancy box with a booklet and a badge and little window decals
and the whole thing, and it'll cost at least 30 quid, I'd suspect."
   After the single failed to sell more than a few thousand copies in the
United Kingdom, and failed even to be released in the U.S., the Beatles/Spys
gave up on their comeback bid. McCartney: "When we saw that XTC's 'Go2'
hardly cracked the UK charts, much less the US, we decided people just
weren't into good music anymore. So I went back to stuff like "Silly Love
Songs" and George started working with Jeff Lynne... Still, I'd like to
think maybe someday, if we worked really hard at it, we could make an album
as good as one of XTC's."
   Adds Harrison: "What's really unfortunate is that if the single had sold
well enough, we'd have spent the next several months making a Spys album, or
even a Beatles album, and then for the next several months we'd have been
touring and everything. So John [Lennon] would probably be alive today,
because he'd have been safe here in England instead of New York with all
those grotty gun-carrying maniacs."
   A final note: If you're looking for a copy of the Spys single, don't
expect it to be in the racks at your corner record store. According to one
rare record dealer, "Most copies of that single are in the hands of XTC fans
now, and they won't give them up! A lot of them are still clinging to the
belief that the Spys are really XTC, and just try to pry away an XTC rarity
>from an XTC fan! Forget about it!"


Again, I'm not so sure about the veracity of this... But still, enquiring
minds want to know, or something to that effect.

--John Hedges

By the way, how about Mike Thorne for XTC producer?


From: Christie Byun <cbyun@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Past posts, other bands, Terry Chambers
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 17:06:19 -0800 (PST)

I just had to write in response to Natalie Jane Jacobs' comments on how she
thinks XTC's songs are lyrically shallow and trite.  Well, no offense, but
what did you expect?  If you're looking for a profound, heavily embroidered
treatise on political, economic, or social problems, try Bertrand Russell or
John Stuart Mill.  Pop music is after all pop music, whose primary goal is
to get your toes tapping.  This is not to say that I think XTC's songs are
trite and simplistic.  Actually, the themes they use are pretty deep and
meaningful.  But they often use simple themes and statements to get their
point across.  And I have to ask, how much more profoundly can you say "Wars
happen, people get killed, people suffer.  Why the hell do we do it?" as in
This World Over?  Of course, Andy would put it in nicer rhymes and
metaphors.  But that seems pretty profound to me.

I think Andy realizes all the timne the problem of smoothly working social
commentary into a melodically pleasing song.  This is where his
perfectionist attitude comes from.  Remember how he refused to include Dear
God on Skylarking?  Maybe part of his reluctance stemmed from all the
pressure Todd and who all put on him, but he didn't really think the song
was that good (regardless of what we think).  He said in interviews that
there was so much more he could put into it and "Human belief is worthy of
at least a box set!"  Unfortunately, there's only so much you can put into a
3 minute pop song.  He does a pretty damn good job though.

I have to admit that at first, I also thought some of XTC's songs were kind
of simplistic.  This World Over is the perfect example.  After a few hundred
listens, though, it really grew on me.  Complete turnaround, but I now think
it's absolutely perfect--stark and haunting, but very beautiful.  Maybe it
was snobbery that was holding me back from really liking it, or perhaps lack
of understanding.  Andy even felt the same way about Colin's song Dying.  On
the Skylarking interview disc, Andy said that when he first heard the song,
he felt kind of embarrassed by the bare sentiment expressed in it.  Later,
when one of his own relatives died, he could relate more to it.  Not that
I've experienced any nuclear wars, but I feel the same way about This World
Over (to name just one example).

Also, I do admit that at times Andy can put out stuff that's unpalatable to
me.  Books Are Burning has a nice theme, but it's a musical clunker (IMHO).
It doesn't even have the saving grace of having a catchy beat to sustain it
(like Wardance).  President Kill also annoys me (talk about heavy handed).

A couple of questions:  How do you know Andy doesn't vote?  And classism
and racism in their music (like Meccanik Dancing and Millions)?  You gotta
be crazy.  Maybe they should put an "I" for irony or "S" for satire in
the margins next time.

Sorry for the long discourse, but this is something I really feel strongly

To Rob Loughman who asked if anyone missed Terry Chambers. My answer is YES!
My favorite album is English Settlement and I miss those days when they were
a perfect (IMHO again) playing unit with Terry, and Dave newly on.  Terry was
brilliant at the drums, you can hear it, and see it when they perform.  All
the other drummers to date have been good too, but I pine for the halcyon
days of ES and Black Sea.  I'd love to see a reunion, but it seems
unlikely.  Well, to each their pipe dreams.

Couple of other things--are Peter Blegvad's albums difficult to find?
Though I haven't tried too hard yet to look for them, I'm living in the
middle of a cultural desert, so I was wondering.  I'd appreciate any input
(and recommendations on what to get).  Oh here's a recommendation of my
own--the Barenaked Ladies' debut album Gordon.  It's nothing like XTC, but
it's quite groovy nonetheless.  Jazzy rhythms and cool vocal harmonies.
It's been occupying a place in my disc changer for quite a while now.



Date:         Fri, 01 Dec 95 20:11:59 EST
From: Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU>
Subject:      The lyrics

I always thought I knew the words pretty well.  Till I signed on with
you lot, that is.  Y'all are always bringing up questions about lyrics
I never heard of.  The latest is this Sunny Jim thang.  Never thought
about it till the posting, then the very next day I heard it clear as
a bell listening to Skylarking.

(My husband the scholar, BTW, tells me that Sunny Jim was James Joyce's
family's nickname for him.)

As for misheard lyrics, I still haven't downloaded the words from the web,
so I think I'm in for a few surprises.  But until then, I'll share one of
my favorite mishearings:

In "Leisure" where he's forgotten how to use his legs to invade the pitch,
I always heard "invade the Pigs" somehow getting my history totally
confused -- thinking, of course, of the Bay of Pigs.  Thanks to my
friendly local Chalkhills, I got it all straightened out.

Till next time, I remain

Your friend,


I'm crawling the wallpaper.


Date: Fri, 01 Dec 1995 19:25:18 -0800
From: gsinclai@Direct.CA (Gary Sinclair)
Subject: Misheard Lyrics

On the subject of XTC songs that people have misheard...
The first couple of times that I heard "Mayor of Simpleton",
(before I'd seen the song title), I thought the lyrics were,
"...I may be a man of simple tongue, but I know, one thing...".
I thought it fit fine and still do!
Gary Sinclair
 It isn't even winter, but I'm
    freezing, freezing


From: David Yazbek <>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 22:29:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-44

First, an explanation. Then, the obligitory self-promotion. Sunny Jim is a
drawn character featured on a box of some kind of hot breakfast cereal in
England. He is depicted jumping over something (a fence?), hence the rest
of the line-- "Sunny Jim couldn't jump it..."

Now, maybe I've earned me self-promo-- I, David Yazbek and my trio, will be
playing live in NYC on thur. Dec. 14 at BROWNIES on Ave. A betw/ 10 and 11
st. Please come down. If you have any interest in getting on my mailing
list, please e-mail at Also include your

P.S.- I did try to get the Posies for Testimonial Dinner but no go--
schedule conflict.
Also-- Testimonial Desert is not in developement. Let's see how din-din
goes first.


Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 02:38:56 -0500
Subject: Ra Ra for Everything XTC

First, many smoochy thanks to David Franson for the Jules Verne's Golden
Guts Tape Tree, and of course cheers to me branch, Dave Rutherford.  I
received the cassette yesterday.  I almost thought we couldn't pull it off,
but jeepers we really are a functional community, Chalkhills is.

The music: Fun! Exciting!  I knew Andy liked to experiment with sounds and
styles, but these demos really reflect the sheer range he has.  From the
semi-rap club music of 'Zonked Right Out' (he *does* have limits you know)
to a sopping wet love ballad like 'Disque Bleu'--pretty amazing.

It's been done before, but here I go with "I can't believe XTC never

'Everything':  1986?  Judging from the gorgeous lyrics and music it would
have segued perfectly into side two of Skylarking, if only had Andy written
it earlier.  Still, I can't see how they could just forget about it for the
next two albums.  (Actually, the song is just too pretty to be on Oranges
and [mostly] Lemons.)  The theme of lost love fits well with Andy's current
post-divorce musings, so perhaps it'll appear on River of Orchids.

'Blue Beret': What can I say...  Again, the song isn't busy or messy enough
to fit with the O&L material, but now the Verve Pipe have made it their

'Young Cleopatra': A catchy, poppy throwback to an XTC that is long gone,
but I still love it.  Young girl fettish theme again.

'Ra Ra for Red Rocking Horse': Great music, but the lyrics seem to be a
smug dismissal of fame (or lack thereof) and the music business, which ends
up making Andy sound even more insecure about his career.  Not unlike Funk
Pop a Roll.  From what I know, Colin and Dave probably can't stand this
attitude of his.

Honorable Mentions to 'When We Get to England', 'Goosey Goosey', 'Rocket',
'This is the End', 'My Train is Coming'.  And I laughed a lot when I heard
'Don't You Ever Dare Call Me Chicken Head'.  Indeed, XTC throwaways are
other bands' side A material.

>From: Aaron Pastula <>
>I think maybe all we know, going from the liner notes of T.D., is that they
>have established something with EMI??  Although I have also heard that
>nothing has been solidified yet, and they are still in the process of
>working out a deal...hope they find something soon...

EMI bought out Virgin Records, or somesuch.  My opinion--XTC are looking
for a smaller, more versatile independent label.  George Gimarc I remember
was a Chalkhills contributor and posted the song titles for the "upcoming"
album last year.  I got the impression he was some sort of record company
type.  He seemed to have a lot of inside info anyway, talking personally
with Andy and whatnot.  George, are you still there?  Can we talk?

>From: 7IHd <>
>I suspect anyone called Andy Partridge on AOL is not in fact our Andy
>Partridge - either a fan, or someone with coincidentally the same name. I
>seem to remember this subject coming up before, apparently there is more
>than one AOLer going under that name.

Andy had made comments regarding A Testimonial Dinner which was circulated
among AOL folk, and mentioned here.  He was trying to convince everyone
that Terry and the Lovemen were these pathetic writhing XTC wannabes, and
not the band themselves.  Yeah, well, NICETRYANDYBUTIAMNOTFOOLED.  Anyway,
he wasn't online himself.  He sent snail mail to some AOL user who then
posted it.

>From: (Timothy Chi Him Chan)
>on A TESTIMONIAL DESSERT?!  By the way is that project in the
>future or is it just an idea that us Chalkhillians are throwing

An idea, but if it happens, count on someone other than David Yazbek to
work through the wranglings of putting another tribute together.  He's
trying to establish a name of his own now!  His album 'The Laughing Man'
will be released in the states this winter.  You can catch our good man
live in NYC at Brownies (Avenue A between 10th & 11th Streets) Thursday,
Decemeber 14, 8 p.m.  He goes by YAZBEK.  I be there.  Northeastern
Chalkhillians, perhaps we can bump heads  and make a night of it.  (though
I'm in RI, I call NYC & NJ home.)

>From: (James Dignan)
>Same as XTC are THE X-word. Unlike, er, um XC-NN? Xmal Deutsch? X-ray Spex?




Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 13:17:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Craig Snyder <csnyder@YorkU.CA>
Subject: Andy a Political Naif?

I am sorry but I find I have to jump in here and put my two cents in
about this idea that XTC and Andy in particular is politically naive.

I couldn't disagree more.  I particularly like 'Living through another
Cuba' I mean how can anyone argue that the balance of terror we all lived
through during the cold war was a good thing.  While some of my 'realist'
colleagues may argue that the balance of power did ensure stability, just
tell that to the the people of Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa, Central and
South America, Hungary and Czechoslovakia just to name but a few.

This of course goes quite beyond the point that the during the cold war
we were contantly threatened by accidental nuclear war.  The United
States went on full alert severl times for either faulty circuts of as
in one instance a flock of Canadian Geese were accidentaly identified on
radar as Soviet missiles in the air!  And this is only the stuff we know
about.  Just think of the gap in quality of Western technology to Soviet
technology and ou can imagine how many times they must have been close to

Sorry this is getting way off the point of the lyrics of XTC and the
song 'LTAC', my point is while the band's lyrics may sound naive
it is hard to get a consise well argued point across in every song.  Just
look at Andy's opinion that 'DG' did not say what he wanted it to say
clearly enough.

Other politcaly great songs by the band include 'Here comes
President Kill Again'.  As for the comment that it is probably a good
thing that Andy doesn't vote, I think that is rich coming from a
citizen of a country (I assume your American, appologies if your not)
where only 55 per cent of all eligible voters even turn up to vote for
the president.  And then the wondeful American (and in most cases all
Western countries) democracies give you the choice of a white rich male
or a white rich male!  "Hooray, President Kill is Dead/ let's Vote for
President Kill instead"!

As for 'millions' being a racist song, I think we should look at other
cultures that have been westernised and see the problems they are
experiencing as a result.  Here I am thinking especially of the former
American Colony, The Philippines.  Yes China has problems and millions are
starving but so are millions of Americans, Canadians, Australians, New
Zealanders and Europeans.  My point is what's so perfect about Western
culture and technology?  Yes Andy's image of China may be tainted but I
direct you to Edward Said's book _Orientalism_ to show you how this image
has been socially constructed over the past couple hundred years.  I
personally can forgive Andy for not being able to quite break this
rtradition which even shapes how orientals see themselves and their own

The Chinese have a longer history of culture and sophistication than we do
here in the west.  While they may have an authoritarian backward regime in
power at the moment this is not to say we need to save them from themselves
with an invasion of McDonalds and Madonna!

Mt deepest appologies for rambling on for so long but I really started to
appreciate the politcal maturity of XTC's songs as my own
political thoughts matured.  Forgive me if I sound elitist here I am not
saying you need a PhD to be politically mature, quite the opposite in fact.

Again appologies for going on for so long


Craig Snyder				"Fueling power and glory fever
Post Doctoral Fellow			makes for a sicker Union Jack"
Centre for Int'l and Strategic Studies &		Colin Moulding
Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies
York University, Toronto Ontario Canada
Phone: (416) 736 5156	Fax: (416) 736 5752


Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 13:22:20 -0500
From: (Peter Mullin)
Subject: Re: Armada

>The band to watch is an unsigned band from Toronto--Rob Torkelson's Armada
>Featuring Herman Menderchuck. :-)

Do you think they'll make it?  I really hope they make it...;-)

The above, of course, has nothing to do with XTC, but this, concerning
misheard lyrics does.  I can think of several instances: For years, I
wondered: what a "palace-shaped coffee table" was; exactly who the man was
that the Avon lady managed to squeeze ("him") past the caravan; why Andy
would sing "if I'm not this old fool who pulls his trousers down"; what's a
"post-office gel" and how does a photograph appear on it; how does
something cascade in curtains up from "some f*cking seaweed"; and I still
think that in 2032, people's "hairstripes" will be "shocking blue".  Oh,
well...maybe I had better turn the volume down a little.
        On an aside, on my pressing of "URGH! A Music War" it seems to me
that "Respectable Street" is too slow; has anyone else noticed this?  Was
this a defect in the record or were the boys just tired when they played
that particular gig?  (As I have never had the opportunity, alas, to hear
the band live, in person, I don't know what they sounded like back then on


"Don't get me wrong, I'm still proud, but the belt's already tight; I'll
get another job at night"


Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 13:32:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Craig Snyder <csnyder@YorkU.CA>
Subject: A much shorter political query

Hi again

I have question that has been bothering me for a while and I didn't want
to include it in the last post as most of you just flipped past it (as I
probably would have done myself).

My question concerns 'Making Plans for Nigel'.  Years ago I heard a
rumour that the British steel workers had called for a boycott of the
song as they thought the song was anti-union.  The rumour goes something
like this.  The song was released around the same time as the British
steel workers were on strike and Maggie was sending in the police to break
up the unions.  The connection, I am told, and being on the American side
of the Atlantic have no idea whether it is true or not, is that British
steel workers are nicknamed Nigels.  of course there is also the lyric in
the sone "He has a future in British Steel"  The song could be
interpeted as being anti-union if you consider the person or persons
framing Nigel's life are not his parents (as any comments I have heard or
read claim it is) but the Union Bosses.

Can anyone out there enlighten me here?


Craig Snyder			'if they're not careful your watch won't
Post Doctoral Fellow		be the/only thing with a radioactive glow'
Centre for Int'l and Strategic Studies &		Andy Partidge
Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies
York University, Toronto Ontario Canada
Phone: (416) 736 5156	Fax: (416) 736 5752


Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 14:06:32 -0500
Subject: Sex Fun in Singing The Sauna (?)

Probably the worst misconception I had of an XTC lyric was "Outside World's"
"She has six swans singing in the sauna," Which I thought was "She has SEX
FUN singing in the sauna."  Of course, my pressing of D & W didn't come with
a lyric sheet back in '79, so please forgive my 13-year old warped mind!

On a related topic, several people have requested the photo of Colin & Andy
that I offered a couple of Digests back from a record signing here on Long
Island, June '89.
The obvious question a few of you have asked was "What the heck did you say
to them?"  Well, with all due resignation, here it goes...

Along with getting our pictures taken, a self-portrait request (Andy & Dave
obliged), and having everything from the Colonel single ("I own up!" Colin
wrote) to "Live & More" (Andy corrected all the terrible translations on the
lyric sheet!) autographed, we just had to come up with something that would
get a rise out of Andy. Being that he was so far away from home on the
Acoustic tour, we went shopping for...a rubber shark.

This all dates back to an interview with the guy from Dr. & the Medics who
revealed Andy's habit of bringing one along as a companion for those long,
lonely road trips (I refuse to explain any further!)

Anyway, all we could find was a plastic whale with a noise maker lodged in
it's neck. When I presented it to him, I told him he had to identify the
whale first.  Andy correctly guessed "killer" whale, but I said no.
Bemused, Andy carefully studied the whale, guessing "Blue Whale," and
"Shark Whale" before blushing & smirking "Aaaahhh! SPERM Whale..arf,
arf!!!" before slam-dunking it into a water glass and explaining that
"you'd have to pop the little plastic bit out on that one" ...absolutely
the most bizzare conversation I've ever had in my life!

To sum up, sex fun in the sauna can be fun with a de-larynxed sperm whale.

Just thought the world would like to know!



Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 14:26:29 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: "Millions" & Mitchell!

Per Natalie Jacobs' comments about "Millions": I'd have to agree. It seems
to imagine Chinese culture as this charming, off-the-souvenir-shop-shelf
culture existing in some blissful state of bucolic harmony.... Yes, I
know, Andy's also critiizing Western culture--but that critique isn't
really very thoughtful either: it amounts to "materialism bad." Okay--but
what do you propose in its place, where's it come from, etc.? Not to
mention the utterly cliched, should-be-banned use of parallel fourths in
pentatonic scale to connote "eastern-ness" (the gutiar riff). Yes, Andy
does throw a bit of a wrinkle into his voicing of that riff, but still....

Funny thing, though: I still like the song--cool bass part, nice texture,
etc. Actually, the riff'd be really cool in any setting other than a song
about "the Orient."

To whoever made the remark about Mitchell Froom and the deargodawful
soundtrack to (I think it was) _City Limits_: agreed; yecchhsome music,
etc. But I wouldn't just a producer on his/her composing, and I wouldn't
judge a composer on work s/he does for soundtrack jobs. The whole thing
strikes me as a foot-in-the-door job: yeah, sure, I'll throw together
some cheesy synth patches for your pathetic movie, as long as I get paid
for it. ("my, my, my, my Mitchell....": apologies to non-MST3K fans) Fact
is, Froom's a hell of a producer--and I'd love to hear what Dave & Andy
do w/his collection of vintage kbds.


Jeffrey J. Norman <>
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dept. of English & Comp. Lit.

The popularity of the gruesome _Faces of Death_ video series is
apparently so great that a children's version is being assembled, to be
called _Faces of Owees_.  --unconfirmed press report


Date: Sat,  2 Dec 95 21:34:00 UTC 0000
Subject: This 'n' That...


First off, I'd like to recommend a couple of new albums that I recently
ordered and promptly received through my favorite music store, Obsessed With
Music out of Sacramento, CA (you can e-mail the owner at
 The first has some marginal XTC relation in that it's the newest by Peter
Blegvad who has collaborated with Andy in the past on Naked Shakespeare,
King Strut and some other stuff.  The new CD is Just Woke Up and it's
terrific in its songwriting, performances and production.  One song was co-
written by Andy and Peter although Andy has no other apparent part in the
making of this CD and there's nothing remarkably different about the Andy co-
written song from the the other marvelous songs on the CD.  It's on East
Side Digital (530 North Third Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota  55401) and
the catalog number is ESD80942.

The other outstanding CD I got through OWM is the import Finn, which is a
new collaboration between Neil and Tim Finn.  Very very good, as any fan of
Crowded House and/or Tim Finn can well imagine.  It is on EMI Rcords and the
catalog number is 7243 8 35632 2 7.

I think it was on the Todd Rundgren mailing list, or even here, that someone
posed the question of whether anyone recording today had the impact or
effect of The Beatles on anyone.  I seriously pondered that question and,
for me personally, although I thoroughly enjoy a number of musicians today,
there is only one group that impacts on me today as did the Beatles in my
early youth---XTC.  I remember the anxious anticipation that came with the
weeks before a new release by the Beatles and how I would do everything I
could to hear anything yet to be released by them or connected with any of
their members (their songwriting done by other artists, their playing on
other's albums, production credits and the like).  That is exactly how I
feel about XTC.  I buy CDs because Colin, Andy or Dave play on them, because
one of them produced one or more of the songs or, as in the Blegvad above,
because even only one song was co-written by a member of XTC.  I'd give
almost anything to collect anything by any or all of them that I haven't
already heard.  I remember the giddiness in the weeks before the release of
Nonsuch and the absolute ecstasy (pun intended, I guess) when I scored a
promo cassette of Nonsuch a few days before it was officially released.  In
a way, I feel foolish being a 44 year old member of the judicial system in
my community and still acting like the silly fan I was 30 years ago, but the
music that is produced by these three wonderful people and musicians makes
it all worthwhile and makes my feelings nothing to be ashamed of.

By the way, if anyone has an original Window Box or Griboullage, contact me
for trading possibilities!

Love, peace and understanding,


Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 23:27:09 -0500
From: (Al Curtis)
Subject: Thanks etc.

>In the last Chalkhills, Al Curtis ( laments
>that there isn't a Richard Thompson or Tom Verlaine mailing list.
>I don't know if there is a Verlaine one but there is a Thompson
>one at the following address:

Public thanks to all those fellow Chalkhillians who e-mailed me privately
to fill me in on the RT and TV lists. I'm as close to um... eXTaCy as one
can get!  On the subject of the Posies, I did read once at the time of
"Dear 23"'s relaese that xTc was one of their major influences. John Leckie
aside, I find their indie release "Failure" to be much more xTcish than
"Dear" or "Frosting", particularly "Blind Eyes Open" and "What Little
Remains". These fairly young guys from Seattle have the great British pop
sound down better than most Brits. I think their later albums owe more to
the Hollies than to xTc, IMHO. "Failure" is PopLlama CD2323 and is
definitely worth having.

You're only lit once....


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-45

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