Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-57

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 57

                Thursday, 11 January 1996

Today's Topics:

                Band names and best of 95
                   Re: Boot Suggestions
                      O&L production
                       Band name...
                     JaM at Andy's...
                    English Puzzlement
                 XTC Stuff Seen for Sale
           How's That for an XTC-Related Name?
                   Skylacking Partners
                    YAZBEK gigs in NYC
          Even More on an Already Tired Subject
                         For Sale
                What a Christmas Present!
                     Explode Together
               XTC Set Sale List Available
              Nonsuch wars, TDII, band name
                   Yazbek mailing list
       Is Dave Gregory still in Aimee Mann's band?


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Deep under winter snow.


Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 20:13:34 +0700
From: (Adam J. Ostermann)
Subject: Band names and best of 95

This is a reply to a query....

>Trying to come up with a band name that includes some reference to XTC
>but is not a blatant lift i.e. full song title, etc.  A clever
>(preferably lesser known) Andyism would be good.  Thought I'd throw
>this one out and see if anyone had any suggestions

I always wanted to call a band "The Lower Gentry" (from Moulding's
"Wonderland") . I just like it b/c it has a nice ring to it, that's all.
(Although I'm certain you could turn it into a grist of politicking a la
the Levellers or something like that.
Hmmm....if I ever had a They Might Be Giants-like band (I've outgrown them,
it's sad to say) I'd call em "Jason and the Argonauts", again, a little
pre-XTC history on it....
Ummm...."Tissue Tigers", "The Ugly Underneath", "Steer Me Anna" (why do I
get the notion that this group would sound like My Bloody Valentine?),

I realize three of these are direct title lifts, but I think they sound nice.

And since someone offered up their best of 95, I'll join the crowd in
providing my list....

1) ERIC MATTHEWS, ^It's Heavy in Here^: If you like XTC, Beach Boys, Burt probably own this album already. Baroque rock full speed

2) RADIOHEAD, ^The Bends^: Take a bow, John Leckie.

3) TINDERSTICKS, ^Tindersticks (2nd)^: The live disc is cool, too.

4) SUDDENLY TAMMY!, ^We Get There When We Do^: A Carole King for the 90s,
and I'm not scared....

5) PALACE MUSIC, ^Viva Last Blues^: Just great stuff.

6. THE HIGH LLAMAS, ^Gideon Gaye^: See Eric Matthews. Could have used a few
mnore tunes, tho.

7. SUPERGRASS, ^I Should Coco^: A band that tries to be the Jam, the
Beatles, and XTC all at the same time, and largely succeed.

8. CHEMICAL BROTHERS, ^Exit Planet Dust^: Taking hip-hop to new realms.

9. LOW, ^Long Division^: A study of applying minimalism to indie rock and
making it stick.

10. PJ HARVEY, ^To Bring You My Love^: Yeah, yeah, I know EVERYBODY has
this on their list, but hey, it's good.

There. I've got a larger list for sadists...just e-mail me....

Adam J. Ostermann

Adam J. Ostermann
UW-Madison Journalism major
Walgreen's peon
Future Entertainment Co-Editor of ^The Badger Herald^
Resume procrastinator
Available for parties or bar mitzvahs


Date: Fri, 5 Jan 96 19:45 CST
From: Russ Omens <>
Subject: Re: Boot Suggestions

Dear Chalkhillians:
I'm traveling to New York next week and plan to hit the bootleg stores hard.
Can anyone suggest decent-quality XTC boots and the titles of ones
containing demos of new material. Your help will be muchg appreciated!
Russ Omens (


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Meanings
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 96 21:15:00 est

I've found myself listening to XTC less and less these days, but I still
value their songs and material very much. To tell you the truth, there
aren't a lot of bands out there today that I like (although, thanks to all
of you, I discovered Blur...) However, I think that Andy, Colin and Dave's
music will be a part of my life for many years to come because it is
attached to some really good memories and moods (whenever I hear "Yacht
Dance," I think of my awesome Fall of 1994.) Anyway - if anyone has some
ideas about different bands I could listen to, please e-mail me. I found
myself comparing a lot of stuff to XTC lately, and I need to rekindle that


XTC SONG OF THE DAY: "Young Cleopatra"
OTHER HARD-TO-GET ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Mike Oldfield: "Amarok" (****+)


Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 23:07:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Brandon K Snavely <>
Subject: O&L production

Hi everyone,

   I read Chalkhills faithfully, but rarely post anything.  Well, I've
decided to make my first post in awhile to voice my dislike of the
production on _Oranges & Lemons_ and to nominate a producer for the next
XTC album.

   Basically, I think the mix on O&L is way to busy.  Admittedly, that's
what they were shooting for on tracks like "Garden of E.D." (i.e...a big,
complex, noisy sounding arrangement), but I just don't think it works on
tracks like "Poor Skeleton..." and "Across this Antheep."  The bongo drums
pounding relentlessly in each earphone annoy the heck out of me.  But I do
like the shimmering guitars on that album, as well as the general
upbeatness of the music.  I just question their desire to work with Paul
Fox---there are lots of other producers out there.  Big, busy,
over-the-top production is my favorite type of production, but Paul Fox
doesn't have a clue how to make it sound good.

   In my opinion, the person that they should have hired to produce that
album, if they wanted the big, noisy, over-the-top production, is Trevor
Horn.  Horn can make that type of sound work well, without making the mix
sound tacky and overly-commercial.  Listen to his production on the _Seal_
albums, or on the tracks he produced for the Pet Shop Boys.  He really
understands what British pop music should sound like.  I think Horn would
be a great choice to produce an XTC comeback album sometime in the near
future.  Thanks for reading---feel free to reply by private email or to
the list.



Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 01:52:43 -0500
From: (Angry Young Man)
Subject: Band name...

Well, I might have a few "andyisms" for you to ponder for a name...

1) he was addicted to Valium...but if you name your band Valium people
would be bored even before they listened to it.

2) People keep forgetting the Helium can play with that, or even
call them "Zip Code" because the first iteration of that name was "Zip Code
and the Helium Kidz"

3) Nervous Breakdown...need I say more?

Good luck, whatever you choose.

 < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >  "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: Sat, 06 Jan 96 10:18:21
Subject: JaM at Andy's...

Hi aLL -

   Just had a brief chat wif' Adrian BeLeW and he spoke
pretty fondly of Andy & Co. Apparently they met over
at Peter Gabriel's studio where KC were working and
Andy (in a highly social move :->) invited them up the
road to Swindon. There apparently was much music discussed,
etc, and some jamming in Andy's shed, but alas, none of
it documented on tape. Adrian did say that he would love to
do some work with Andy in the future. He wouldn't even
mind being tapped as producer for the next LP should
Virgin (boo hiss...) ever cut the chains that bind them.

JoE Silva
Senior Contributor
Consumable Online
220 Riverbend Rd
Athens, GA
(706) 542 - 4452
            4412 (FAX)


Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 12:26:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Anthony Ciarochi <>
Subject: English Puzzlement

Here's a question I've never had answered...

My first experience with XTC was English Settlement, which I bought after
seeing the 'Senses Working Overtime' video.  I loved the LP (yes, they
still had vinyl then), became a big fan, bought all their stuff, etc.
etc. blah blah blah...

Anyway, about a year later I was browsing through the record racks,
trying to decide which XTC album to buy for my brother's birthday. I was
holding a copy of English Settlement, scanning the song titles, when it
suddenly occurred to me that I had NEVER HEARD OF half the songs on the
album!  Fly on the wall?  Yacht Dance?  What the hell is that?

It was obvious
that this was a double album, and the one I owned
was a single.  There was nothing to indicate any difference, except for
the list of songs on the back. (It wasn't just that I was missing a platter,
because the jackets were printed differently)

Naturally, I bought it and kept it for myself, but I've always wondered
what the story was behind that?



Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 20:40:53 -0500
Subject: XTC Stuff Seen for Sale

Was All Once My Unearthed Treasure, Now Maybe It's Yours

Installment two of that regular feature: "XTC Stuff Seen for Sale."  No great
mystery here, I just make a note of the Fab Three fare I find in the latest
issue of Goldmine magazine.
This is a semi-public service only, with no claims made for the accuracy of
my typing or the veracity of the ads.  But don't hesitate to give these
sellers a call or jot them some email.  I've never gotten completely shafted
by a Goldmine advertiser.  Except for that time those guys sold me that Spyz
record. . .:7)
And now, rip out the suffing.
>From the January 19, 1996, issue of Goldmine:
+ Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead Parts 1 and 2 Import CD Single US$10; page 161;
Time Traveler CDs, phone 216-923-4408 or 800-348-6521
+ Ballad Peter Pumpkinhead +, CD, England, PS, US$6.50;
  Dear Madam Barnum Promo, CD, US, US$3.50; p. 143, Revenge Records & Tapes,
+ Shriekback CD "Psycho"/"Cayenne" live US$8
  XTC "Barnum" CD DJ US$8
  XTC w/VA "PostModern" CD DJ US$12; page 120; Ellis Audiotics, phone
+ Nigel/This Is Pop (live)/Are You Receiving (live), Japan, PS, VG++, US$20;
page 49; Yesterday & Today Records, phone 301-279-7007
+ Drums & Wireless, import CD, US$16;
  Dub Experiments 78-80, import CD, US$17; page 86, Siren Disc, email =


Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 20:40:55 -0500
Subject: How's That for an XTC-Related Name?

Dear Editor,

Recently, a Mr. "gimhoff" inquired about coming up with a band name that
was full of XTC but was born of its own.

I suggest you catch that title wave of a year or two back and call your
band The Dookies.
Never Was a Margaret


--Chris H.


Date: Sun, 07 Jan 1996 10:57:45 -0500
From: JES <>
Subject: Skylacking Partners

I'm in the Atlanta/Athens area and am interested in producing some
music.  I would be willing to contribute keys or guitars (and voices) to
a piece for this compilation.  Anyone out there wanna start a band?
Email me!



Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 12:40:45 -0500
From: (Nancy McGrath)
Subject: YAZBEK gigs in NYC

Fellow Chalkhillians (especially those in the NYC area):

Our own Testimonial host, David Yazbek, has another gig coming up.  He'll
be appearing at BROWNIE's once again, this coming Friday, January 12 at 8
pm.  (Brownie's is located at 169 Avenue A between 10th & 11th Streets; the
phone number is 212/420-8392.)

As XTC fans, I am sure you will groove to Yazbek's sound.  If you're lucky
enough to have heard his album, "The Laughing Man," you already know what I

I caught his act back in December; in fact, I drove down from Boston for
the occasion (in a blinding snowstorm... but I digress).  It was a short
set, but well worth the trip. This time, the gig is on a Friday night, and
it looks like the weather will be more cooperative.  So don't miss it -- no

See you there -

Nancy McGrath


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: oops
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 18:35:37 +0000 (GMT)

Just for the record, I missed something off my rather long-winded
(sorry) best-of-95 in the last digest: Another entry at joint 2nd
was The Shamen's "Axis Mutatis / Arbor Bona Arbor Mala" double-CD.
If you like synth-pop you will like the 1st disc. If you like
ambient stuff you will like the 2nd disc. The reason I left it out
was because it came in a silly box and therefore I didn't spot it
when I looked through my CDs.

Back to the more important topic: I'm surprise people are lumping
O&L in with Nonsvch and Skylarking as 'easily likeable albums which
wear off'; it took me a long time to get into O&L, even longer than
it did The Big Express, so I'd personally put it in with the more
challenging XTC albums. Just goes to show how these things have
different effects on different people, I suppose...
 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 20:47:40 +0000 (GMT)
From: William HamBevan <>
Subject: Even More on an Already Tired Subject

- My thoughts on Nonsuch, for what it may be worth: Sounds rather like
another transitional album, such as 'Mummer': lacks coherence, lacks
evenness, but a few gems in evidence nevertheless.

'Rook' is (in theory, at least) a great song, but the novelty of the
arrangement soon wears off and Andy's voice is attempting something it
could never pull off without sounding strained and hackneyed. I imagine
this song would benefit from a less choppy piano part and a female vocal:
what's Tori Amos doing these days?

'Wrapped in Grey', 'The Ugly Underneath', 'Omnibus': Andy writing as no
other songwriter could, and as distinctively brilliant as anything the
band have done.

'Bungalow' - I can't imagine why so this song has attracted so much flak:
for me, it is probably the best cut on the album. It is the only example of
good lyric writing from Colin on the album (some would say, on the last two
albums) and the tune and the arrangement carry the words perfectly. It
seems to capture perfectly the sort of British lower middle-class attitude
to retirement: work like hell all one's life for the reward of retiring and
stagnating in sheltered accommodation in a seaside town. Colin's lyrics
work because they are simple and direct; as with 'Dying' or 'Loving Memory
of a Name', the stark commonplace nature of the words is in sharp antidote
to the excesses of Andy's flowery bullshit.  Whenever Colin tries to write
complex or political sentiments - in effect, tries to be Andy - he
invariably comes unstuck (think 'War Dance', 'Smartest Monkeys').

Perhaps my admiration for 'Bungalow' stems from living in a Welsh seaside
town that attracts hordes of people 'approaching the third age', as our
PC friends would have it. They buy up bungalows with a nice view out to
sea and quietly fade away, out of sight and out of mind.

The seaside barrel organ sound on this song is a masterful touch,
summoning up the tackiness and sadness of the theme at the same time.
Funny how the most important episodes in most people's lives are
inseperable from humdrum daily life and all its associated kitsch.
Corking it in a shopping line, for instance.

I think the next album - touching wood that there will be one - will
consolidate the developments of O&L and N'such and be another blinder.
One can hope, anyway.

This is approaching the length of a small dissertation - apologies...

"That's it - more news later..."
			  (Tim Neilson, ITN)

William Ham Bevan
Jesus College, Oxford


From: "Peter Fitzpatrick" <>
Organization:  Somewhere in Ireland
Date:          Mon, 8 Jan 1996 10:59:16 +0000
Subject:       For Sale

Hi : I've been spring cleaning and found that I needed to make some room
So : I'm selling a lot of records/books etc.
Here is the XTC material I'm selling.
(If anyone wants a list of Beatles material for sale please mail me)
Everything on this list is UK version unless otherwise stated.
PS means Picture Sleeve.
1. Ball & Chain. 7" single. 10/10
2. Sgt. Rock (is going to help me). No PS. 9/10.
3. Senses working overtime. Foldout sleeve (rare). Sleeve 9/10. Disc 10/10.
4. No Thugs in Our House. Rare gatefold sleeve with cutouts (plus a 2nd set
of cut-outs accidentally included). 10/10.
5. Mayor of Simpleton. (12" P/S 10/10)
6. Dukes of Stratosphear. You're A Good Man Albert Brown (12" P/S 10/10)

Make me a sensible offer for each item and I'll get in touch with you

All the way from rainy Dublin,Ireland.
Visit my homepage


Date: Mon, 08 Jan 1996 06:07:26 -0700
From: stimpy <>
Organization: cat heaven
Subject: What a Christmas Present!

I'm in shock!  A friend came for a late xmas visit this year, and
brought me a signed photo of xtc from about 1979-1980.  Apparently,
a woman he knows was in Victoria, BC (that's canada in case you're
wondering) at a bar to see them back then.  There wasn't much of a
turnout (sheesh!), so she ended up chatting with the band, and they
gave her a signed photo.  She had it stuck in her attic all this
time!  Anyway, my friend saw it, and she let him have it, and now
I've got it sitting on my desk!  Whee!

Just wanted to shout it to some people who would appreciate how
thrilled I am... thanks!

  )\._.,--....,'``.                   the cat offers itself
 /,   _.. \   _\  (`._ ,.    


Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 13:00:01 -0800
Subject: Explode Together

Just picked up 'Explode Together' which I'd not heard before. While I
wouldn't recommendt it for the melody purists our there (ie you Nonsvch
lovers) it's a hell of a good sound experiment and reaffirms my belief that
Terry Chambers was the best drummer to play with the lads. You can hear his
style evolving from straight ahead bang & crash to the beautiful tom-tom
work he brought to ES and his Mummer tracks.

I'm also impressed with Barry Andrews on this CD. I never thought he fit in
with Andy's style but he's great here; almost reminiscent of Terry Riley's
late 60's stuff. It's made me go back & listen to my older Shriekback
albums which were (literally) gathering dust in the basement.  Might have
to go out & find more recent product. I recall that Shriekback was one of
the loudest bands I'd ever seen - BOOMING rythym section. On a related
note, someone here (sorry I forgot your name!) posted that the Gang of Four
was out and about - is it the original line-up?

That's my rave for today - be good all!!


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: AWOL
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 22:14:59 +0000 (GMT)

Just so people know - flipping through MelodyMaker in the shop (I never
buy it, it's trash), their "AWOL" column will, next week, be featuring
XTC. Before those of you not familiar with the column get all excited,
it's about 1/10 of a page long, so it's not going to tell us much - but
there could be an update on the record label wranglings, I suppose.

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


Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 19:19:39 -0500 (EST)
From: matthew larkin mondlock <>
Subject: O&L&O&L&O&L

By a crazy Christmas mishap, I happen to have 2 extra copies of oranges
and lemons for those of you who have either misplaced or (dog forbid)
don't have it yet.  If ya wanna trade something (like perhaps some rare
jellyfish or xtc stuff) email me.  I've been lurking for about 2 and a
half months now and I finally feel worthy to post.  (I read the biography
over the holiday break).  After reading it, my love for our band
increased exponentially and I regard them as more genius than ever.  Re:
THE THREAD, I think these guys should make music till they die and their
last two albums are my 2 favorites.  That's my 2 seconds on the soapbox.

	Matt Mondlock
"Past cathedrals filled with God's favorite guests, dirty hands feel
clean, when dressed in their Sunday best."
					--Andy Sturmer


Date: 09 Jan 96 21:42:24 EST
From: Tim Pacheco <>
Subject: XTC Set Sale List Available

Hello to all. I previously offered my sale list of
XTC vinyl/Cd's, etc and have sold quite a bit, but
still have much left, including "Science Friction"
7" singles from UK (no sleeve), France (PS), Germany (PS),
Australia and New Zealand!! Please email me personally
with your email address to get the list.

Thanks! Tim Pacheco


Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 15:40:14 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Nonsuch wars, TDII, band name

The suggestion that Nonsuch is so poor that XTC should pack it in
altogether is just silly. Even if you don't particularly care for the
album, you must see there's far too much stuff on it that is intriguing,
surprising, unexpected - even if it was just the lyrics - to suggest the
band is creatively dead (which is the only thing that would make sense of
the Rolling Stones comparison).

As it happens, I think Nonsuch is their best album, but this thread is
already degenerating into an endless "I like it/I don't" kind of squabble,
so might I suggest that what we're actually talking about is two camps of
XTC fans? The general impression I've been getting is that there are those
(like me) who are on a Black Sea-Big Express-Nonsuch axis, and then others
who are on an English Settlement-Skylarking-Oranges and Lemons kick. Yes, I
know we all like all of them really, but just for the sake of (more)
argument I'd be interested to hear not just what Chalkhillians' favourite
albums are, but what are their favourite chain of three (or four) to see if
my theory holds water.

I know the Testimonial Dinner discussion has faded into cyberspace, but I
finally managed to get a copy just before Christmas (many thanks to David
Rhoten) so now I know what you're all talking about. It strikes me that the
best tracks are those on which the cover artists put their own stamp most
firmly (McLachlan, Ruben Blades and a couple of others), and the worst are
those which slavishly imitate the originals. And the best bits of the worst
tracks are where they deviate from the originals - wouldn't it have been
great if The Rembrandts had gone the whole hog and done a do-wop version of
Making Plans for Nigel?

The great thing about an album like this is that, at best, it can give you
fresh insights into familiar material. In other words, you don't actually
have to like the new versions, but they should alter your ideas about the
originals (eg I never thought of Wake Up as such a rock song till I heard
The Verve Pipe). So if anyone has the energy to do a Testimonial Dessert,
wouldn't it be better for them to stipulate (or at least encourage) bands
to be truer to themselves than to XTC? (And I know XTC have been slavish
about Ella Guru and Strawberry Fields, but does anyone apart from XTC fans
care about the level of their musical accuracy?)

Finally, for the person who was looking for an XTC-flavoured band name, how
about *Hey Yeah!* in reference to the opening salvo of Omnibus?

Mark Fisher (,uk)


From: David Yazbek <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 11:02:10 -0500
Subject: Yazbek mailing list

Hello Chalkhillians--
If you e-mailed me your computer address for my mailing list, and not your
home address, do me a favor and e-mail me that too. I am currently using
Pipeline, and it really sucks for mailing-list type of stuff. Thanks.


Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 14:24:10 -0500
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: Is Dave Gregory still in Aimee Mann's band?

Hi All.

I noticed that Aimee Mann will be coming to NYC(Irving Plaza) on 2/1/96.
Does anyone know if Dave Gregory is still playing with her band? Tix are
$12.50 in advance; $15.00 at the door.




Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 14:11:22 +0100 (MET)
From: markus gruber <>
Subject: XTCFAQ15addition

Hi, Klaus Bergmaier from Austria here again. There is a new XTC cover on CD:
'Ira Davies and Icehouse' from Australia covered XTC's 'Complicated Game'
on their recent album, which is full of cover version representing the
most progressive styles of music from the last 40 years. In the liner
notes of this album (I forgot the name, but I know that it was conceived
for a ballett), they mention XTC quite often. I'm sure you will find this
album in the US since Icehouse are among the most famous Australian
groups. Please don't mix it up with Austria/Europe where I do come from.
Maybe I could help you, but I'm sure loads of other people found out
before me and told you. Anyway, if you want to hear soundfiles of my band
'Big Apple', check out for BEATOWN. Sir Krkwood Duke included two samples
of our recent album 'Strange Kind of Ecstasy' on his site.
Best wishes and bye!                   Klaus Bergmaier


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-57

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