Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-51

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 51

                 Friday, 15 December 1995

Today's Topics:

                        Re: Chills
                    XTC and the Kinks
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-47
                     Skylarking DEMOS
                  The Chills connection
                Wierd places for XTC redux
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-50
                Rolling Stone mag/XTC ref
              Thanks for Christmas gift idea
                       Re: Ripoffs?
                         git this
              Looking for "The Big Express"


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Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 18:06:28 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: Chills

>I nearly did backflips hearing of a possible XTC-Chills connection, but
>lost the info.  Was it Mattacks & Moulding with Martin Phillipps?  The
>Chills were one of my faves a few years back, and "Soft Bomb" and
>"Submarine Bells" are still highly recommended. If anyone has firm info on
>this collaboration, I'd love to know.

Maretin's new ("solo") album is due out in NZ around February (Flying Nun
time, i.e., February plus or minus three months). I would expect it to be
released O/S not too long after that.

BTW, there is a digest for those of you interested in the music of the
Chills, Bats, Verlaines etc - the NZ-pop list, for the best in nonBrit-pop

For more information about it, send a "QUERY NZPOP-L" command to



Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 00:37 PST
From: (Tim Chan)
Subject: XTC and the Kinks

In Chalkhills 2-48, writes:

>As an aside, I'm wondering if anyone else hears a certain homage to the
>classic Kinks (1965-70) in some of Andy's song structures and subject
>matter.  I tend to hear more of a Ray davies influence in some of the
>social/political lyrics and songcraft than I do that Fab Four. I'm thinking
>of such tunes as Waterloo Sunset, Well Respected Man, etc.

IMHO I do see many parallels with Ray Davies in terms of subject matter
and songcraft (and this includes Colin as well)--for example:

God:    Kinks: "Big Sky"
        XTC: "Dear God", etc.

The preservation of English "character":
        Kinks: "The Village Green Preservation Society" etc
        XTC: "The Everyday Story of Smalltown"

The music industry:
        Kinks: most of the LOLA VS. POWERMAN... lp
        XTC: "Funk Pop A Roll"

1st person account of financial struggle:
        Kinks: "Dead End Street"
        XTC: "Earn Enough For Us", "Love On A Farmboy's Wages"

Is "progress" good?
        Kinks: "20th Century Man","Here Come the People in Grey" (both 1971),
               "Last of the Steam Powered Trains"
        XTC: "Ball and Chain", "Senses Working Overtime"

Runaway children:
        Kinks: "Big Black Smoke", "Rosy Won't You Please Come Home"
        XTC: "Runaways"

"Big Brother is watching":
        Kinks: "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" (1971 again!)
        XTC: "Real by Reel"

The future of the Earth:
        Kinks: "Apeman", "King Kong"
        XTC: "This World Over", "Living Through Another Cuba",
             "I Remember the Sun"

Sorry for the length of this--this was fun! Can other XTC/Kinks fans
add any more parallels?

usually at


From: M Wilson <>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 17:12:57 +0000
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-47

> From: Margaret Quinn <>
> Subject: Blur? Bleah!
> The main thrust of this letter was to express my deep disappointment in
> Blur's The Great Escape (great movie, though). My roommate actually bought
> it after I told him that it got many recommendations on Chalkhills. Upon
> putting it in the CD player, we were not able to listen to one song all the
> way through. I guess this puts me in the Oasis camp now...

	Don't fall for this Oasis vs. Blur crap. It's just to get you to
buy more of their records.  Fact is neither of them could write their own
names let alone a good song.

>BTW: What do people think of Ms. MacColl?

	I prefer her dad's work.

>(I know she's actually Scottish

	Are you sure?  Her father was from Manchester but had a lifelong
obsession with having Scottish credentials.

> From: William HamBevan <>
> Subject: Uwe Nettlebeck
> I am reminded of something Julian Cope recently said, to the effect of
> there being one simple test of a person's musical tastes. If they liked
> 'The Faust Tapes' LP, then they were of sound taste; if not, not. Fairly
> arbitary, perhaps, but... by God, it works!!!

	It hasn't failed me yet.

> Incidentally (sorry about going off at a tangent) I have been unable to
> find Cope's new book on Krautrock anywhere in Oxford - does it actually
> exist? Has anyone seen it?

	If so please post it as I would love to buy myself it for Xmas.



From: Stephen Dewey <>
Subject: Producers'n'things
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 18:37:00 GMT


My first poting here if I remember rightly. No long-winded
"how I got to know XTC" exposition here - I just heard bits'n'pieces,
starting right back at White Music. Saw 'em in Concert on TV,
then a friend got me Drums'n'Wires for Christmas, then I bought
White Music meself, then a friend got me English Settlement,
which was never out of my cassette player. My faves are Mummer
(particularly Beating of Hearts), Big Express (particularly
Liar Bird and Train Running Low on Soul Coal) and Skylarking
(particularly Summer's Cauldron and Man Who Sailed..).

Haven't yet even heard Nonsuch and Oranges and Lemons- does that
mean instant removal from the list :) Just haven't had the
money to buy em and have no XTC fans among my friends.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was about producers - if, as someone
said, Andy wants to move to a sort of orchestral sound, then I think
Simon Jeffes of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra would be
groovy. (I'm listening to their "Telephone and Rubber Band" at the

Ahhh - Simon Jeffes and XTC. I can hear it now...



Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 12:49:54 CST
Subject: Skylarking DEMOS

Does anyone have a copy of the Skylarking demos that they'd like to copy
and trade for something?  (I'm planning a transcription project for the
near future and thought the demos might be of help).

If so, please e-mail me privately, keeping in mind that it may be a while
before I can respond as my school (and e-mail access) is about to go on
Winter break.


Doug Downing


Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 16:29:12 CDT
From: "Lee Elliott" <>
Subject: Greetings

     Greetings chalkheads! Can't believe the Blur vs. Oasis debate
     has made it's way to the XTC camp. Cast one vote each for me.
     I have just about everything Blur has released and just love these
     guys to pieces. "Peter Panic" (B-side) is about as Andyish as
     one can get without being the man himself. Oasis is also great,
     albeit a lot less cerebral. Their new album has enough hooks to
     catch a school of fish, if you go for that sort of thing.

     I'll go off the deep end for a minute. I'd be XTatic if the next
     album used any of the following combinations of producer/drummers:

     T-Bone Burnett/Jim Keltner
     Mitchell Froom/Pete Thomas
     Todd Rundgren/Mike Urbano
     Adrian Belew / Pat Mastellato(sp)
     David Yazbek/ That dude from TMBG again (Nice job guys!)
     Geoff Emerick/ Zak Starky (wink)

     Hell, I'll be XTatic if they EVER get around releasing ANYTHING.

     Peace to all!



From: Martin Bell/New Zealand/IDG Net  <Martin_Bell/New_Zealand/>
Date: 13 Dec 95 17:43:08
Subject: The Chills connection

>I nearly did backflips hearing of a possible XTC-Chills connection, but
>lost the info.  Was it Mattacks & Moulding with Martin Phillipps?  The
>Chills were one of my faves a few years back, and "Soft Bomb" and
>"Submarine Bells" are still highly recommended. If anyone has firm info on
>this collaboration, I'd love to know

For all those interested, here's the guff on Martin's new Chill's LP (as
well as a little background info for the uninitiated).Martin was sitting
directly behind me at Ray Davies Auckland concert last night, but all I had
time for was a quick "hello", before he disappeared into the night. One day
soon I'll try and corner him for some in-depth Chill's questioning. Anyway
most of the following info is courtesy of Flying Nun, so please forgive the
hype-ish tone of some of it - it's culled directly from the press bio.

Acclaimed as one of New Zealand's most gifted songwriters and leader of The
Chills, the most successful band on the Flying Nun label, the return of
Martin Phillipps to the musical stage is a long-awaited and very welcome

After cementing a reputation on Flying Nun as one of independent music's
finest acts, The Chills signed with American major label Slash in 1989.
Two albums for Slash, Submarine Bells (1990) and Soft Bomb (1992) were
critically acclaimed around the world but didn't sell enough to satisfy the
demands of the major company.

Martin returned to live in Dunedin after touring the world to promote Soft
Bomb.  There, he continued to write songs and in 1995 he re-signed with
Flying Nun, now growing in size as an international independent label
operating offices in Auckland, Melbourne, and London. He is recording and
performing under the moniker Martin Phillipps and the Chills.

In August 1995, Martin Phillipps flew to England to record the first album
in this new phase of his career with producer Craig Leon (Martin was a
great fan of Craig's work with the Ramones and Blondie; Craig has worked
with heaps of bands through the 80s and 90s from the Fall to Eugenius and
lots of other stuff but I don't have a list).

Craig played some of the keyboards (Martin played guitar and keys as well
as doing the vocals) and his partner, folk singer Cassell Webb, was also in
attendance for spiritual guidance.  When Martin's NZ rhythm section were
denied entry to the UK, Craig enlisted Dave Mattacks and Dave Gregory. The
sessions took place at Barrie Barlow's studio in Henley on Thames, the
album was mixed at Wessex in Wales and mastered at Townhouse.

Sunburnt is the recording closest in spirit to Martin's musical muse, a
powerful set of songs with a sound that reaches deep into the listener.
Arrangements are luxuriant with keyboards prominent -- much less "rock"
than the two US-produced Slash albums, it reminds us of classic old Chills

Late 1995 sees Martin Phillipps with a new lineup of the Chills assembled
in Auckland NZ -- this time round, the group is an appendage to Martin's
own name, but they are very definitely a band in the fine Chills tradition.
Drummer Jonathan Armstrong, bassist Steven Shaw and keyboardist Steve Small
have joined Martin.

In November, six b-sides were recorded in Auckland for the first two
singles Come Home and Surrounded.

Release: the album will be released in NZ in March, the Come Home single in
January. International release will probably be April-May and we are
negotiating a US release through a major-affiliated indepdendent label.  It
will be on Flying Nun in Europe and Australia.

Sunburnt tracklisting:
As Far As I Can See; Premonition; Surrounded; Come Home; Sunburnt; Big
Assessment; Swimming In The Rain; Dreams Are Free; You Can Understand Me;
Lost In Future Ruins; New Millenium; Walk On The Beach; Secret Garden

Come Home single tracklisting:
Come Home; This Place Has Changed; Lies Lies Lies; Streets Of Forgotten Cool.

Hope that satisfies you all until the single/album release!


"Drowning here in summer's cauldron" (for those of us in the Southern
Hemisphere, anyway)


Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 20:57:05 -0500
From: (Angry Young Man)
Subject: Wierd places for XTC redux

Today I went to run lots of errands. One stop on my itinerary was NBO to
look for clothes, because they're going out of business and everything's at
least 60% off or something wierd like that. The music was playing, and this
time of year it's all christmas stuff which I get very tired of very
quickly, so I wasn't planning on spending the day there.
I didn't really see anything I wanted so I was on my way out of the store,
and then I hear familiar chords on the speaker system, so I hung around the
door for  a few seconds, and whaddayaknow? It's "Countdown to Christmas
Party Time!" The only time I listen to that song is when I'm playing Rag &
Bone Buffet, so I stayed to listen, as I browsed through the ugly flannel
shirts they were selling. I still didn't buy anything but at least there
was one good christmas song on the sound system. :)

 < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >  "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: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 19:11:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Chris Coolidge <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-50

  Re: producers; how about Tim Friese-Greene? He's known to me mostly as
co-producer of the last couple of Talk Talk albums. Based on those albums
I think he'd be a good choice for Andy's intention to take a more orches-
trated direction.


Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 22:13:45 -0500
From: (Angry Young Man)
Subject: Rolling Stone mag/XTC ref

Got my new *SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE* of Rolling Stone in the mail today and as
I flip thru they're reviewing some of the top albums of the year. Here's
their review of the eponymous album from "The Presidents of the United
States of America."

"These newly elected chief executives of the nut pop nation do a lot with
five strings -- two on Chris Ballew's bass, three on Dave Dederer's guitar
-- and a few merry melodies.  That they've come so far with such meager
instrumentation and songwriting so arch that it makes the early XTC sound
like florid romantics is a surprise even to the Prezzies: 'We're not gonna
make it/Because there's a million better bands/With a million better
songs." Some of theirs are strictly canned ham ("Peaches"; the one about
the spider and the dune buggy). But the trio is unflappably exuberant in
its work, and when the hooks are right ("Lump," "Kitty"), the dada is

MY QUESTION IS THIS: If anyone can make heads or tails out of the backwards
English written by this reviewer, could someone tell me if this is a knock
or a compliment towards our Swindonian friends. Thanks!

 < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >  "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: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 09:52:00 -0500
Subject: Thanks for Christmas gift idea

 Well , we may not have much in the line of >< + < merchandise to get as
Christmas gifts , But for the chalkhillian in your life , I have discovered

 I don't know if any one else has ever found any, but I have recently come
  ( Grown and produced by Rodney Strong Vineyards, Windsor CA )
Chalk Hill Vineyard Chardonnay   Chalk Hill, Sonoma County.1993  I dont buy, 
or even shop for wine all that often, But I did for Thanksgiving ,and this
just jumped off the shelf to me .  The description on the back label is quite
fitting.  "Full- bodied, yet refined and elegant. Rich and complex with
Flavors of vanilla, green apple, pear, and pineapple (what! No oranges and
lemons?) balanced by firm acidity and toasty oak undertones. Long, luxurious
finish."  Does this describe the wine or XTC? Made by a fan?

A while ago, I asked the question...  Andy+ "laying on the grass"= Ladybird
 Colin+"laying on the grass"=Grass     Any other Shared lyrics on their
          Only one taker,I forget who, sorry!   "You did't notice that your #
had been called"
  Shared by Fly on the Wall   and Wake Up.   Only 2 problems with this...
 That line does not appear on Wake Up.  and Both are Colins songs.   Any real
answers? I don'tknow of any others.   I finally found Testimonial Dinner   My
biggest let down -            Wake Up      One Improved song Another
Sattelite  ( much better without the FA FA FA FA FA TA TA TA   I was always
embarrased by that part) My opinions! May be contradictory to yours , but
they are still valid until i change my mind.


Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 05:21:25 -1000
From: (Michael)
Subject: Re: Ripoffs?


A recent thread about XTC borrowing/being-influenced-by prompts my two cents:
Maybe it's been discussed before but it's interesting to sing the line -
You're the wish you are I had.  And then sing the line - Nothin's gonna
change my world.

One unique melody, two unique songs.



From: "Smith, Daniel R." <DRS@DC4.HHLAW.COM>
Subject: git this
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 95 10:31:00 PST


check this out:  i was listening to pore skeleton steps out again the other
day and the second chorus i swore andy p. and dick enberg were one and the
same.  andyp had the same inflection as dick enberg on the word skeleton.  i
couldn't find it wholly when i went through the track today...but some of
the other words like "lout," do it too.

for the many not familiar, dick enberg is a sprotscaster working for NBC. he
covers mainly football american, golf (is that a *sport?!! %-) and the
olympics.  he's like 60 or so, i think, but very american.  funny, huh?
 anyone else?

also re: racist millions.  i don't really think so, either.  if anything,
satire, perhaps?  when you look at songs "knuckle down" and "omnibus" it
seems very out of character.  not that song-writers don't ever go out of
character or aren't allowed too...but i think with what andy "preaches" in
his other songs...this interpretation would only seem to hold up under

i think that's it for now.  oh one other piece:  i find sarah mcl's version
of dear god horrid.  it was nice to see someone try something different, but
i don't really care for it.  hah!  i'd rather have trash can sinatra's take
of "love on a farmboys wages!"  notice they weren't included.  hahah!   25
o'clock is funny though.

mele kalikimaka!


Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 10:44:39 -0600 (CST)
From: (Kim E. Williams)
Subject: Rook

Happy Holidays, Chalkhillians!

        I've read quite a few times there are a lot of people who don't like
Rook.  I lost my father this past June to cancer and that experience makes
you look at your own mortality.  Kind of a scary prospect in itself.  I've
always thought Rook was a great song and since his passing, it's become even
more meaningful.
        I know it's not to everyone's liking.  To each his own, but I wanted
to speak up in favor of probably one of my all time favorite songs.


"...So judge me not for what I did, but for what I didn't do."    Best Thing
-  Peter Blegvad


Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 14:01:46 -0500
Subject:  Looking for "The Big Express"

Please Help!  If anyone knows where I can locate a copy of "The Big
Express" on CD, please respond via private email.  Thanks!


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-51

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