Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-53

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 53

                Thursday, 21 December 1995

Today's Topics:

                  This is the beginning.
                The Diversity Of It All...
                     RE: Scott Krause
                         JR Jones
                   Ragging on "Nonsuch"
                     Is This The End?
                         The End
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-52
                     Paying our dues
                     Premature eulogy
                        THE END???
                       Sheet Music?
                   Final T-Shirt Update
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-52
                   Re: This Is the End
                        Agony Andy
                     Rolling Stone...
                    Odds and ends....
             Blades' "The Man Who Sailed..."
                    The End.  What If?
                   This is not the end.
                   Nonsuch is a jukebox
                      Packing it in
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-52


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Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 08:36:00 EDT
Subject: This is the beginning.

How terribly interesting to read J.R.Jones' post This is the End.
I loved it really. At first I thought someone might be quoting a
song title by my great friends 'The Producers', but no, instead
the post put voice to feelings that I have had from time to time
about other bands and the time to pack it in. The great irony I
wish to share is that my love for XTC runs quite the opposite direction
of J.R. Nonsuch very well nearly changed my life. It's number one
on my desert island top ten and was the first time I ever sat down
to listen to XTC without talking over it.

Please. Come in. Sit down. You see once upon a time in the early eighties
old Chalkie Brent was an aspiring pop star. Oh yes. Let's have a chuckle.
Well, you see I've been a musical prodigy all my life and writing songs
and touring and shaking hands and what not. I can remember friends and
strangers alike always telling me 'You would love XTC'. Or, 'you must
be influenced by XTC'. Really it was constant. Even my own brother did
an admirable job of promoting English Settlement on me, but, as I declare
I would talk through it.

I knew who they were but that was due to the fact that Frontier Booking
International had booked a tour that I was on with The Producers. FBI
at the time handled the Police, the Producers, and Xtc.

What I had heard of XTC always reminded me of the Producers. That simply
left me no choice. The Producers were my friends, mentors and pop teachers
as I was all of 20 years old in '82. And I was such an open minded genius
that I only listened to Scary Monsters and Peter Gabriel Plays Live for
about two years running. Cough.

Would anyone care for a spot of tea? So, anyway. The years went by and
I wondered what I did and there I was rehearsing in 1992 with other well
preserved geniuses when my drummer said to me 'Have you heard the new XTC?'

Oh, well, um, shit, uh, not are they doing anymore?

Drummer: 'Please take this my last joint and listen to this CD. Really you
owe it to yourself. Would I ever steer you wrong?'

I love that man. He knew. Just like all others had known. I belong in this
fan club. I could not believe what I was hearing.

Peter Pumpkinhead, My Bird Performs, Dear Madam Barnum, Humble Daisy,
skip to Omnibus, That Wave, Then She Appeared, skip to Wrapped In Grey
and ending on The Ugly Underneath is Nonsuch to me. It is stunning.
Shimmering. A movement. Beyond words.

Only then as a washed up fat slob did I venture back to all that I had
missed and oh boy was it all there. Then I found you people. And I really
enjoy what goes on here. I love irony and the various factions of time
periods regarding this band. Of course the days of the energetic leaping
about carrying the torch of the Beatles days are over. As well they should
be. I can't wait for the grown up XTC to put out another record.

Yes sometimes I am a trifle pissed at Andrew who would probably LOVE a tour
in today's conditions. Not to mention that XTC could sell out every hall
on the power of nostalgia alone. I wouldn't mind seeing the three lads reap
a little reward for all they have done. Sometimes I think they don't even
have a clue that a group can operate just fine outside the mainstream.

One look at the American charts is a testimony in the wrong direction
as a thick dim mass supports ....whatever it is. Junk I suppose. Who
can bother with it.

Anyways, Nonsuch properly sliced and diced is nothing short of spectacular.

Gotta run kids. Stick around though, have some more tea and lock up
when you're done.

Great Holidays,


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 13:03:00 UTC 0000
Subject: The Diversity Of It All...

I love it!!!!!

In the same issue of Chalkhills, we get an opinion that Nonsuch is so awful,
so lacking, so putrid that it prompts the poster to propose that XTC disband
before they make another album so terrible and an opinion that "Nonsuch is a
great body of for song a brilliant record"!  For what it's worth
(not much, I know), I agree with the latter and couldn't disagree more with
the former.  In fact, I disagree with the first opinion so much that I'm
wondering if the poster wasn't just trying to push a button for fun.  One
person's opinion is another person's joke!

Another opinion offered in the same issue was that Dave Gregory is a sorely
underrated and neglected artist.  With that, I heartily agree also.  At the
Princeton convention, we saw a video that Dave made for the convention, of
him talking and showing his guitar collection.  One of the most genuinely
down to earth, humble and nice people around.  It was so refreshing!  I'd
love to hear anything that Dave has a hand in.

In any event, let me take this opportunity to publicly wish that 1996 is a
wonderful year and one of health, happiness and prosperity for Andy, Colin,
Dave and for each and every one of us....



From: "Burgess, Christopher (msx)" <>
Subject: RE: Scott Krause
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 09:24:56 -0500


Regarding the suggestion to use Scott Krause as a drummer, you
forgot one thing:  if he can put up with David Thomas for 20 years,
he can EASILY handle Andy!

Besides . . he's a friend of mine and a great guy.


PS - leave Colin alone - he's a brilliant pop writer and XTC would be
half the band without him!


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 10:34 EST
From: Jeffrey Langr <>
Subject: JR Jones

Mr. Jones,

I could have written every single word of your message myself.  My
sentiments exactly.  I will give the lazy gentlemen one more chance
with their forthcoming album (? maybe) and then I will be forced to
relegate XTC to just a great memory of my past.

From: (JR Jones)
JRJ> If you doubt me, go out and listen to "Stripped," the
JRJ> "new" Stones album.  Is this the fate you want for your heros?  Not me.
JRJ> I owe them too much.

Or listen to "Phobia" if you're a Kinks fan...

Jeff L.


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:51:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Ragging on "Nonsuch"

Ah, someone at last dares to speak the heresy: "Nonsuch" isn't a very
good album.  I will add to the heresy: neither is "Oranges and Lemons."

When I went into my anti-XTC phase a few years ago, the first album to go
was "Nonsuch."  I had been listening to it for a while, enjoying it to a
degree, when it suddenly hit me: this album was aggressively mediocre,
and the only reason I was listening to it at all was because of those
three magic letters on the cover.  I sold it and haven't regretted it
since.  However, recently, in the interests of completing my collection,
I've been considering buying it back.  The problem is, I can't remember
most of it (a really bad sign - XTC songs usually stick in my head after
just a single hearing).  Lessee... "Dear Madame Barnum" was cute, "Humble
Daisy" was unlistenable, "Rook" interesting but awkward... um...
"Omnibus" was cute.  "Crocodile" cute and clever.  Um... and that
Moulding guy, didn't he used to write really good songs?  Oh, and "Holly
Up on Poppy" was cute.  "Ballad of PP" was cute and clever.  Cute,
clever, cute, clever... yuck.

"Oranges and Lemons," on the other hand, I really, really liked for a
long time.  Now I can't listen to it.  Same syndrome: cute, clever, cute,
clever.  Absolutely hideous production.  Ditto for the cover (ack!).
Maybe three or four good songs on there, plus my vote for Worst XTC Song
of All Time: "Chalkhills and Children."  (I'm putting on my asbestos suit
as we speak ;).  I've never been able to listen to this song, for several
reasons: I hate the Beach Boys; songs about how it's great to be boring
are usually boring; the image of Andy floating in the sky makes me think
of a nightmarish Thanksgiving parade balloon; and gratuitous use of the
word "nonesuch."

After going through XTC's back catalogue, and watching the wonderful
"URGH!" video (rent this, folks! it's great!), I just keep saying to
myself, "What *happened* to them?"  Having seen a sweating, crop-haired Andy
shrieking "GIMME A RHYTHM!" in the "Urgh" video, listened to "Drums and
Wires" for the first time in three years, and re-visited the pleasures of
"Mummer" and "Skylarking," I can boil it down to three qualities they've
lost: energy, beauty, passion.  All of the earlier XTC records will have
one or more of these qualities in spades.  On the latter two releases, I
only hear them in little dribs and drabs, or a forced sort of way, as in
the "verve" of "O&L," which seems more obligatory than genuine to me.
They seem to be putting most of their energy into showing off how clever
they are, musically and lyrically, and that, to me, is a drag.

I don't think this means they should break up, or that they will break
up.  I haven't heard Andy's latest garden shed tunes, nor have I heard
Colin's nest egg of unreleased material, so for all I know they may have
completely reinvented themselves.  I definitely *don't* think they should
go back to a previous sound.  If "Rook" points in their new direction,
then that's great; as far as I can remember, that was one of the few
songs on "Nonsuch" that seemed to be breaking new ground.  Maybe 1996
will be the year we find out where they're going...

... but I doubt it.  *sigh*

Sorry for going on so long.  I'll be quiet now.

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


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 12:45:02 -0500
Subject: Is This The End?

A rebuttal, though hopefully not a sputtering one:

     I'm not going to try to change your mind(s).  You obviously feel
strongly about what you wrote, and you stated it well.  I'll try to do the

     A band should probably give it up when it stops progressing (which the
Stones did years ago).  And every album XTC has put out has been a
progression from the last.  Even Nonsuch.  "As flawlessly flat and sterile as
Yes at their nadir"?  Flat and sterile, maybe a little.  But Yes at their
nadir?  Have you actually heard "Tormato"?  Noone else has *ever* made an
album that bad.  Of the five song you named as brilliant or tolerable, only
one of the would be on my list of favorite nonsuch songs: Then She Appeared,
Dear Madam Barnum, Crocodile, That Wave, Ugly Underneath...  As has been
driven home to me repeatedly since I joined this little list, the song you
hate is going to be someone else's all-time fave, and vice versa... I take
that to be a sign of how great a band is.  But I digress.

     Nonsuch *is* a logical progression from O&L.  The next, "more
orchestrated" album, if indeed that's what it turns out to be, will be a
logical progression from Nonsuch.  You may not like the direction of the
progress, but progress it is.  XTC is not standing still.  If you are one of
those who despair when you hear Andy's plans for the next album... well,
tough.  I'd love to hear Black Sea II my own self, but, frankly, Andy ain't
listening to us, and he never has.  We'll get what we get.

     If you truly believe that Nonsuch is so rotten, maybe it's time for you
to get off the train.  I'm not pushing, mind you.  It's entirely up to you.
 But I'm planning on going to the last stop, and I hope that stop is many
miles away.



Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:03:19 -0800 (PST)
From: Thomas Long <>
Subject: The End

Kudos to Mr. Jones... I don't expect you to get many so I thought I'd
offer mine... I really have to agree, I think it's about time to call it
a day... before the rot sets in... let Moulding get on with the monster
solo project and tour that we all know he has in him... let Gregory get
his clutches on bands worthy of his production and watch his reputation
soar.... and let Andy finally paint his masterpiece HIS way... 'course
they'll probably go and record a killer album just to spite me.


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 11:50:23
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-52

the worm wrote:

> Let them pack it in while there's still time...

  Better yet, let's take them out to a field with a pistol
before they go off and come up with another less than
sterling effort!
  Seriously though, Nonsuch wasn't quite up to snuff, but
there were probably reasons. Excuses aside though, what was
there wasn't Godawful, certainly not "Stripped" quality.
I think it's probably slightly premature to ask them to
pack it in just yet. Besides you can't be too precious about
an artist's catalogue to the degree where you worried it might
be marred.
JoE Silva
Senior Contributor
Consumable Online
220 Riverbend Rd
Athens, GA
(706) 542 - 4452
            4412 (FAX)


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 15:29:29 EST
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Paying our dues

Hi y'all:

I enjoyed reading Hookworm's post, but I disagree with what he says.
Hooky, if I may refer to you as such, my dear man, what happened to your
loyalty?  Yes, _Nonsuch_ is below par, but there are some gems among the
dregs.  "Wrapped in Grey" alone is proof that they can still write them.
Yes, I've been a fan since the green-bag edition of _Black Sea_, and I've
suffered not-so-quietly while Messrs. Partridge and Moulding and Gregory
were steadfastly overlooked when the new albums came out.  Bands are aloud
to make mistakes, and I'm just treating _Nonsuch_ as a small glitch in
XTC's career.  There are a few *good* songs on the record, and if the good
songs had been released alone, it would have been one *hell* of an e.p.
Yes, the Beatles did know when to quit, as did The Jam.  But I reserve
jumping on the XTC-Should-Split bandwagon until after the next batch of
tunes has come out.  They better be damned good, considering the wait we're
having (yes, yes, newbies, I know *all* about the contractual obligations,
thanks), but their back catalogue keeps me holding onto the faith.  Before
we start the whole "has Colin shot his songwriting wad" thread again, all I
can say is that we just have to wait and see what we get to hear.  I think
you're wanting to cash your chips in too soon.  They've given us some great
music, and no one wants to hear them become sad jokes, but one album below
par does not a washed-up band make.  Give 'em the benefit of the doubt.
When the next XTC record comes out, just listen to it at your local branch
of whatever mega-chain you've got, and if you don't like what you hear in
the listening booth, then there's no need to shell out any more dues.
You're a fully-fledged member by this point, anyway, it's O.K. to make the
choice of listening before you buy instead of buying before you listen,
like many of us hardcore XTC fans do.  I, for one, am just looking forward
to being able to have the *opportunity* to say whether or not this next
album should/ shouldn't be their last, but it's moot point until there's
something new out there for us to buy (or not buy, as the case may be).
They've loyally churned out several albums in a row of superior music, and
because we're used to a much higher than average quality of "product", as
they say in the biz, >from XTC, we get all the more worried when they don't
meet our expectations.  I wish I had more time to spend on this, but I
didn't have the time to spend writing this to begin with, so this'll have
to do...

Still keeping the faith,



Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 16:43:12 -0500
Subject: Premature eulogy

J.R. Jones' eulogy for the so-called end of XTC was written with an eloquent
pen and contained some strong points, but I must disagree quite strongly with
his central argument.
First, let me say that I am given to quick cynicism about pop groups, and
there are few that in my ears warrant consistent praise. REM and U2 used to
be my favorites, but now I have little interest in either of them. Elvis
Costello is a master, but I don't think he's come close to matching the
excellence of "Imperial Bedroom" since that album came out. So I'm not afraid
to be honest with my pet bands, no matter how much I've liked them.
XTC, on the other hand, is one of the few that has maintained excellence over
the years. J.R., you may be caught in a sentimental attachment to a band that
swept you off your feet at one point. It's easy to allow the excitement over
the discovery of a new band to influence our judgment of quality. For
instance, I'll admit that my favorite XTC album is Black Sea, but that's
largely because it was the first XTC album I heard. Emotionally, Black Sea is
my favorite; but objectively, I'd say that "My Bird Performs" is better than
"Generals and Majors," and that "Humble Daisy" is better than "Sgt. Rock."
Black Sea is exciting, but Nonsuch is mature and more far-reaching.
Personally, I was convinced that Oranges and Lemons would be the end of XTC,
because it seemed so much like a culmination of all of their styles, like a
big grand finale, and because the tunes generally were weaker and less
inspired. But I think Nonsuch blows away O&L, to the point that it has become
one of my favorites, right up there with Black Sea and Big Express. To me,
Nonsuch means XTC is back.
The one thing missing from XTC for me lately has been a willingness to
experiment. Drums and Wires experimented with "Complicated Game," Black Sea
got risky with "Travels in Nihilon," Mummer stepped out with "Human Alchemy,"
Big Express took a risk with "Train Running Low...", Skylarking climbed the
limb with "1000 Umbrellas," but what chances were taken on O&L and Nonsuch?
The boys played it pretty safe.
Finally, J.R., why would the personalities of Andy and Colin affect your
feelings about their music? Did you think that because they made great music,
they must be great guys? The two do not correlate. XTC fans, and all music
fans, for that matter, should get away from this idea that their idols must
be nice guys; enjoy the music, but be careful how high on a pedestal you
place the music maker.


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 14:22:43 -0800
Subject: THE END???

J.R. Jones does have a (very small) point.  Bands and artists evolve over
time as do we all accross this ant heap. I agree that Nonsuch was derivative
of what has passed before.  HOWEVER....

I've yet to hear anyone that can compare to the compositional genious of our
lads.  Blur/Oasis?  Gimme a break.  Happy  Mondays?  Sorry.  Ray Davies &
Elvis C.  are the only ones who come close.

IMHO  it's the sum of the parts that make this band unique.  Songcraft,
 virtuosity, and a touch of cynicism  are what keep me listening and hearing
new things all the time.  Of course if they parted company there'd  be three
brilliant new bands to follow but I can put that off.

Rumour has it Santa's bringing me CD XTC to replace my  worn out vinyl.  I
thought for a while that ES came with all those ticky noises!

Happy hollidays!!


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 14:23:13 -0800
Subject: Sheet Music?

Went to my local music store to pick up wires (the drums are fine)  and
looked in the publishing catalogue for any XTC - NOTHING!

Call me old fashioned but, as much as I appreciate the tab material that
appears  through the good works of my fellow Chalkhillians,  I read music
notation and have a hell of a time deciphering  tab!  does anyone out there
know where I could find charts?


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 15:33 MST
From: (Phil Corless)
Subject: Final T-Shirt Update

Here is the final list of t-shirt orders that I have received:

Beckham, Peters, Wheeler, Brenner, Williams, Sattler, Relph,
Barton, Risch, Allen, Thierer, Jordan, Haefner, Scott, Glass,
Auerbach, Woiccak, Rhoten, Martis, Thomas, Martucci, Day,
Snyder, Reyes, O'Leary, Vongkasemsiri, Hastings, Tomek,
Sinclair, Isaacson, Zemel, Wong See, Christopher, Mackay,
Rutherford, Whitmore, Brown, Rothman, McCormick, Bird,
Bessaguet, Lewis, Rosedale, Gonsalves, Canevit, Clay-Slack,
McGrath, Reule, Lloyd, Bernhardt, Zittel, Carney, Mallow, Ong,
Levitt, Wisner, McFadden, Davidsson, Lieman, Davis, Hanley,
Nilsson, McCullough, Smith, Watson, Boock, Lund, Burda,
Van Valen, O'Reilly.

If your name is not on here, and you have already sent me a
check, then please contact me right away.  If you are just now
hearing about these t-shirts, then sorry, wait until next time......

I'm still expecting something from Kearns and Anderson, but
no sign of any packages in the mail..... Let me know if there
has been a problem.

Phil Corless
Boise, Idaho


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 18:49:32 -0500 (EST)
From: (Mike P. Moffatt <Asmodeus the Evil>)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-52

> I was reading Brit music magazine "Select" today and they had an
> interview with Edwyn Collins (who he?) in which he said that Blur would
> never make it in the US because "No-one ever made it in America sounding
> like a second-rate XTC."

Whadd'ya mean "No-one ever made it in America sounding like a second-rate

R.E.M.'s made a great career of it! :)

                                Asmodeus the Evil


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 17:22:04 -0700 (MST)
From: Big Earl Sellar <>
Subject: Re: This Is the End


J.R. Jones <> wrote an interesting little article on
whether the boys should retire.

OK, I'm a long-timer to (BLACK SEA on) and yes, I'll admit that the dross
has been getting a little thick on the last couple of releases. But let's
face it, XTC's dross kicks a lot of other artists best square center in
the yarbles.

Although I totally understand the argument, and I've lived that myself
with enough artists (been wondering about REM this afternoon actually);
this is bound to spark another hyper-flame-fest where I think that this
requires a bit of serious debate (I'm against, that's for sure).

But one thing really bugged me about the post, and I gotta adress it:

> So dn't encourage them.  Let them pack it in while there's still
> time.  The Beatles knew when to quit.  So did The Jam.  Like any living
> thing, a band has a natural ifespan, and keeping it alive past its prime is
> a shame and a sin.  If you doubt me, go out and listen to "Stripped," the
> "new" Stones album.  Is this the fate you want for your heros?  Not me.  I
> owe them too much.

First of all, I highly doubt the boys really give 2 jack cacas about
whether *we* want another album. This is pretty damn silent encouragement
for sure. I mean, look at us: a bunch of weenies typing out on screens
about a band we all like. Nothing more, nothing less. So let's encourage
them or tell 'em to blow; they'll never hear. (Hey Andy, some fat jerk on
the Canadian prairies looks *just like you*!!!)

Secondly, I hardly, *hardly* think that ABBEY ROAD or the BEAT
SURRENDER/BITTERIST PILL double ep constitute 2 bands knowing when to
quit. ICE CREAM FOR CROW maybe, or another couple of lps. And I really
hope that NONSUCH is the end: I'm still hoping for a better one. I owe
them *that* much at least.

Man, life IS neat under sleep dep! Later... Happy Winter Solstice!
EEEEEEE Big Earl Sellar -
EE 	"He thinks his only problem is he ain't got more/He wants to get so
EEEE 	 rich that he can buy the whole damn store/Well I guess he knows the
EE  	 value of a hard-earned buck/If you try to bum some money you'll have
EEEEEE 	 no luck/But he spent a couple hundred on a decal for his truck."
Current Temperature: -4C!		-What an Idiot He Is - Bob Snider


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 17:46:12 -0800
Subject: Agony Andy

  I mentioned a few postings back about radio station KFJC playing an XTC
  special a few years back.  In reviewing these tapes I found a recording
  of Andy offering twisted advice for the lovelorn, puzzled and emotionally
  torqued under the moniker of "Agony Andy."

  I've never seen it mentioned here so I thought I'd bring it up.

  I could transcribe a bit every once in a while if the masses are
  interested.  Some of it is pretty amusing.  (paraphrased)" need to
  chat up girls with small talk like... offer to buff her glasses on the
  front of your soft cotton underwear."



Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 21:23:41 -0500
From: (Angry Young Man)
Subject: Rolling Stone...

>I'm reminded of an article a few years back in SPY magazine on how to
>write a rock review. Basically, a heading with standard phrasing

Y'know? I never realized this...I always thought they were 'more schooled'
on such matters than I am, so I just took their language problems as an
idiosyncracy.  But I guess I know as much about music as your average
critic, so who cares what they think!

And Earl, how do you know I'm happy? :)

 < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >  "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, 20 Dec 1995 21:58:26 -0500
Subject: Odds and ends....

Just thought I'd add my two cents about a couple of XTC related releases
mentioned in previous issues of Chalkhills.

As mentioned before, Andy co-wrote a song on the new Peter Blegvad CD called
'Just Woke Up'. The song they co-wrote is called 'Hell's Despite'. I think it
is a good album and I liked the song though I can't picture Andy writing this
song. It does not sound much like anything he has written before. It would be
interesting to find out if they wrote the song together or Andy wrote a demo
and Blegvad changed it around to his liking. On a side note, on my copy of
'Just Woke Up' the song 'Waste Of Time' is listed as track 6 but is actually
track 13. Are all the copies like this?

I also had a listen to the King L CD 'Great Day For Gravity'. Dave Gregory
wrote the string arrangements on one song called 'Lost And Found And Lost
Again'. It is a nice song and makes me wish Dave would do string arrangements
for more of XTC's songs. We need to talk Dave into letting us hear some more
of his song forgeries. Plus I know he has done some incidental music for BBC
TV. Has anyone managed to tape any of it? Also, have people noticed that if
you let 'Lost And Found And Lost Again' keep playing (it is the last track on
the CD) that after the songs ends there is 4 minutes of silence and then a
bonus track comes on.

Perhaps the CD I had the most trouble tracking down is the Affaire Louis Trio
CD 'L'homme aux Mille vies'. Colin plays bass on four songs. The band seems
to write some good pop songs, though it is sung in French so I can't really
say anything about the lyrics. Perhaps some french Chalkhills fan can tell us
more about their lyrics. After participating on this CD and the Sam Philips
CD maybe Colin will start to venture out on his own a little more.

And on a different note, I managed to get an extra copy of the hard to locate
Rock Over London radio show CD that Andy Partridge co-hosted (#92-16, 4/17/92
with cue sheet). I would be willing to trade it so anyone who is interested
please e-mail me. Andy is his usual hilarious self on the show. There are
still a couple things I am looking for like the bootleg CD 'Last Live Show'
and the Canadian one track promo CD of 'The Disappointed'. Of course, other
offers considered so let me know what you have.

Happy holidays all of Chalkhills


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 22:14:41 -0500
Subject: Blades' "The Man Who Sailed..."

Hello all,

I have a question.  What does Ruben Blades say around 4:29 of his version of
"The Man  Who Sailed Around His Soul?"  It sounds like "And I hate that XTC."
 I am assuming that I am mistaken, but I can't come up with another option.
 A friend asked me about it after I had given her a copy of the song.
 Imagine my suprise.

Happy Holidays


Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 23:03:29 -0500
Subject: The End.  What If?

J. R.,
First, you craft a fine essay in "This Is the End" from 12/15/95.  What is
your profession?

Second, I enjoyed your letter.  I smiled as I thought of those who would
throw their keyboards at your words.  But they are only words (though
powerfully arranged).

I, too, have been an XTC listener since the days of D&W's release.  Your wish
(if it truly is yours--I'm sure many will not take you seriously) has its
merits, but its realization would leave me slightly empty.  If XTC were to
disband, who would take their place in my brain?

I enjoy the passing fancy that is The Feelies, The Balancing Act, Self, The
Real People, and even Green Day.  But I fear there would be no sonic
providers whose albums could hold my aural gaze for years on end.

When a replacement for XTC comes into being, I'll wish the trio away as well.
 Hmmm, how could we predict that any given band will be that substitute?  One
reason that XTC are so substantial, is that they have continued their
excellent record for so long.

So, we don't like all of their albums equally.  True for all fans of all
bands.  Is the geeky 1999 as fun a Prince's dorky Around the World in a Day?
 I think not (Valley Girl).  And what of those XTC fans who leapt off the
wagon because Barry Andrew's sonic assaults did not continue after Go2?
 Should we cry for them, because *their* band lost it's violent edge?  I
don't think so (also Valley Girl).

Even if our likes don't change in step with each release, that doesn't mean
that XTC are an embarrassment to us all.  Their catalog is like a store of
food: you take a bit of what you want--when you want it.  I'm thankful for
the variety of songs that live because of this trio's efforts (especially the
demo tapes!).  If I'm in a Mummer mood, then Mummer it is.  If I'm in a Barry
Andrews mood, I'll check myself in at the drunk tank, thank you very much.

Although I own two copies of the Twomey book, I'm glad I hate to read.  Don't
know that I want to know too much about the guys' life stories.  The music
(even the newer gravy) is enough for me.

:x) :t| :c(


Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 09:23:15 +0100
From: (Aronsson & Co)
Subject: This is not the end.

I suppose that a lot of XTC-fans will react on J.R. Jones opinions in
Chalkhills number 52. He wants the boys to quit since they, with his words,
have passed their prime. I think he is wrong, although I agree with that
Nonsuch isn't their best album.

For me it doesn't matter. Even XTC's "worst" album is a
lot better than almost everything else. The talent, the great songs, the
uniqe way to build up a song, wonderful lyrics - all is still there.

I still listen to every album and I have been doing so since Black Sea
opened my ears for the first time back in 1980. (Last weekend when my wife
wasn't home, I had my own XTC-weekend. Looking at videos and listen to
albums. Yes, in some aspects of life I still act like a silly teenager...)

I'm confident that the next album will be great and that I will listen to
it daily for 12 months, or so, and then only every week for some years... I
can only hope that JR, so he doesn't miss something wonderful,  listen to
it with an open mind and heart, as he surely did in his younger days.

I have never met Andy, Colin or Dave. Therefor I have no idea how their
personalites are. I can hope or suspect
some things. I can read about them and learn that Andy is smart and that
Colin is shy. But I don't know how they are as persons.

J.R. has been reading Twomey's biography and claimes among other more or
less strange things that Andy is a "fat, self-righteous old grump". Well,
thats a hard thing to say about a person that, even though you know a lot
about him, is a stranger.

I don't know J.R. Jones either. I wouldn't dream about to say anything
about him as a person. I suppose he is a nice guy (most people are when you
learn to know them). But I have an advice. Arrange a meeting with Andy and
then let the world know what you think about him. Maybe then you know what
you are talking about.

Per Aronsson


Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 8:55:31 -0500
From: "Kendrick, Tim" <>
Organization: Dictaphone Corporation
Subject: Nonsuch is a jukebox

   Just wanted to say something about recent NONSUCH trashing.

I think NONSUCH is a great (!) XTC album - my third favorite (after
BIG EXPRESS and MUMMER).  But I think that the reason it may not be
everyone's favorite is because, unlike most XTC albums, NONSUCH
doesn't have just one particular "style" or one particular "sound".
It's more like a jukebox, with a variety of styles and songs that may
not seem to fit together very well.

    But that is one of the reasons I like it so much - it's like a
"Best of XTC's styles" album.

My personal favorites on NONSUCH are "The Ugly Underneath" and "War

(side note: I've recently realized that all my favorite Colin songs
begin with the letter "W" - "War Dance", "Washaway", "Wake Up" and
"Where Did The Ordinary People Go".)

  Happy Holidays !!!!!

	Tim K.



Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 12:31:15
From: ldsteve@MIT.EDU (Stephen Gilligan)
Subject: Packing it in

This is a loaded discussion.  Many emotions went through my soul as I
read this post.  I took a few minutes and gathered my thoughts so as to
not rant and rave.  Actually, it quite simple. What are Andy and Colin
supposed to do?  Get a paper route?  Go work down the mill?  Maybe
become nannies?  Get real, they are musicians and song writers.  None of
the Beatles stopped writing or recording.  Whether the post-Beatles
music is enjoyable is up to the listener.  I'm sure if the Fabbies
weren't so sick of the whole thing and each other they would have
continued to create together. The same would be true with XTC.  We
certainly enjoy having Andy, Colin, and Dave recording together, but
were they to put out solo efforts I'm sure we'd give 'em a listen or
two.  I personally LOVE Nonsvch but that aside, a song writer writes
what comes out.  Experimenting with different styles can keep one from
becoming bored or stale but it will always have a bit of you, the song
writer, in it, unless it's a complete rip-off.  And the musicians you
play with are also an important part of the equation.  I would have a
hard time imagining Andy's song without a Colin bassline,  but if Andy
put out an album using other musicians I have no doubt that most of us
would buy it without even listening first.  I would 'cause I like the
song writer.  Same for Colin.  I follow the careers of the guys in XTC,
as both song writers and musicians (oops, and producers).  Give up on
life?  Become a cabbie?  Short order cook?  Pack it in? I think not!
I'd just like to hear some new music from these song writers!!  Soon!!


Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 10:21:39 -600 (CST)
From: Lars Schubert <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-52

In the last Chalkhills, J.R. Jones writes of the fall of XTC:

> Subject: This Is the End
> Wait!  Before you start banging out your sputtering rebuttals,

I'm sure mine won't be the only reply, and I can assure everyone that
there are several list members who have been fans forever, but J.R. has a
good point and is obviously very brave.  The three wisemen are probably
past their pop prime.  Luckily, these old fellows can still play their

> Is this the fate you want for your heros?  Not me.  I owe them too much.

Sputter, sputter...
Hmmm.  I don't know about this.  If they enjoy making music (do they?), I
think they should do it until they drop.  If I'm stupid enough to buy
their octogenarian releases, well, so be it.  Anyway, the Stones lost it
years ago.  XTC has a little breathing room until they suck that much.
If they need the money, and they enjoy their work, let 'em rock, let 'em
rock, let 'em rock.

N.J. Jacobs so kindly shared the following:

> I was reading Brit music magazine "Select" today and they had an
> interview with Edwyn Collins (who he?) in which he said that Blur would
> never make it in the US because "No-one ever made it in America sounding
> like a second-rate XTC."

Hear! Hear!  Another fat old guy from the good old days of new wave
tells it like it is!  Put that in yer Oasis/Blur debate and smoke it!

Oh, by the way, if anyone out there actually likes either of those bands,
that's okay.  I think yer nuts, and I would like to warn all sane people
who've never heard either one of 'em:  borrow it first.  Or you can find
my old copy of Blur's "The Great Escape" in the used bin (don't worry, it
won't be alone).

Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, and Happy Holidays to all.  Special
thanks to the 2 kind souls who sent me info on the Bats, et al.  And to
all a good night!


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-53

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