Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-59

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 59

                Wednesday, 17 January 1996

Today's Topics:

      ES, Dean Garcia, Radiohead, Fab 95 picks.....
                      Brian Stevens
                 English Settlement on CD
  Radio Play, Some XTC snippets, XTC Related Band NAmes
                     Blah, blah, Blur
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-58
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-58
                  Top 10? Top 3 & Stuff
                        Well Damn!
               possible band names/Icehouse
                        Ted & Go 2
                    Musician Interview
                 Re: Blur and Band Names
                        XTC on TV
                   The Shirts Are Here!
                     Camper Van Andy?


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When you were ill, so ill.


Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 19:04:23 -0700 (MST)
From: Rushton <>
Subject: ES, Dean Garcia, Radiohead, Fab 95 picks.....

>From: Ted Harms <> sez:
>I'm just wondering if any (pseudo)audiophiles who have the CD (or any
>other XTC recording that's made it onto CD) could comment on its sound
>quality.  It doesn't say that the Eng. Sett. CD has been re-mastered and I'm
>wondering if the sound is fairly good or leans towards the 'muddy' side as
>some CD's can if the recording wasn't remastered?

I'm not audiophile, nor do I have a vinyl fetish, but I do feel that the US
release on Geffen of ES on CD is rather cheap in all regards (as all of you
who read my post in #2-58 ranting about the cheapness of David Geffen) - I
have it on CD to have it on CD.  The vinyl I still have - it's one of the
few things I have left in that format - and I must admit that the vinyl, the
double LP set from England, sounds better.  Crisper, more depth, more punch,
I can't put my finger on it.  It sounds good, it just doesn't sound great
like the LP.

>From: 7IHd <> sez re Gang of Four's new album:
> with bass from Dean Garcia (on the same couple of tracks)....... I should
add that > I've never heard of most of these people. ;-)

Dean Garcia used to be the bass player in Eurythmics, but I prefer him
better in the late, great Curve - a sonic jewel of a band he had with singer
Toni Halliday and others.  Pick up "Doppelganger", "Cuckoo", or the EP
compilation "Pubic Fruit" to see what I mean.

>From: (Arthur James Virgin) #1 fab pick of 95:
>1) Radiohead "The Bends": Is there any doubt? Frightingly great songs with
>production to match. There is no classification for this incredible five
>piece. A must have!

I keep hearing great thing after great thing about this album.  Produced by
John Leckie, isn't it?  My sis saw them twice with REM over the
summer...said one time they were awful and the next night absolutely
outstanding.  I can't get over that particularly annoying "Creep" song
playing everywhere a couple years ago - I've read that Radiohead can't
either - maybe that's a good sign!  I'm bound to get this now.....

Fave Raves I bought in 95 (not necessarily released in 95)

Scott Walker - "Tilt"
XTC - "BBC Radio One Live In Concert"
Cocteau Twins - "Otherness"
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - "Mustt Mustt"
Elastica - "Elastica"
Culturemix with Bill Nelson
Leftfield - "Leftism"
Portishead - "Dummy"
Tinty Music - "Stumbling Into Blindness"
Van Morrison - "A Night in San Francisco"


Mark Rushton,
author of the: Bill Nelson WWW site:


Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 21:56:00 -0500
Subject: Brian Stevens

Hello to all. I had a listen to a few XTC related items mentioned on past
Chalkhills and thought I'd add my opinions.

I just got the new Brian Stevens CD called 'Prettier Than You' that Dave
Gregory plays guitar and keyboards on. I was not very impressed. In my
opinion, the songwriting is not very strong and the melodies are not very
memorable. I could not imagine myself  playing this CD more than a couple of
times. My biggest problem though is that the booklet does not say who plays
what on each track. Four different people are listed as playing guitar so it
is tough to figure out what part are Dave's.

On a more positive note, I also got the CD by Giant Ant Farm called
'Fortune'. They do a nice cover of the Dukes song 'Shiny Cage'. What makes it
kinda fun is that they use instruments like trombone, clarinet, accordian and
upright bass to give it a much different sound. One of the interesting notes
in the booklet (great packaging!) is that they say it costs them .066 cents
per unit to include this cover song on the CD. Does anyone know if this is
the standard amount an artist gets if his song is covered?

The last thing I just heard was the various artist CD called 'Flieger, Flug
2' which is from Austria (thanks Klaus!). It features the band Der Eiserne
Vorhang doing a song called 'Franzi' which is really a cover of Making Plans
For Nigel. Some of the lyrics were re-written. The songwriting credit is
given to Moulding/Fleischmann. It was originally released in 1982 and sounds
like typical new wave pop of that era.

Of course just when I think I have caught up on my purchases, the last
Chalkhills mentions Icehouse doing a cover of Complicated Game. Does anyone
know if this has been released in the U.S. yet?


From: Aaron Pastula <>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 96 20:55:13 PST

> If you like XTC try these titles:
> .	Mike Keneally		- Hat	(+++ XTC Fan)

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!  Mike is absolutely amazing...his two albums
(hat. and Boil That Dust Speck) are the best things I've heard in years.
Buy these albums.

In fact, I'm out the door in about twenty minutes to see him live in LA.

Just wanted to chime.



Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 01:33:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Steve Johnson <>
Subject: English Settlement on CD

ENGLISH SETTLEMENT wasn't re-mastered for CD (unless you count
copying the analog(ue) master to a digital one), but the sound
quality is quite excellent.  The acoustic guitars and drums
stand out a lot more to me on CD than on my vinyl copy.


Date: 13 Jan 96 05:39:24 EST
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Radio Play, Some XTC snippets, XTC Related Band NAmes

Hello Chalkhillers,

The best UK radio show to catch XTC seems to be the Radio 1 Mark Radcliffe
show 10-12pm - Mondays to Thursdays. Not only is the whole show an
excellent place to hear some GREAT music but he often plays XTC. He seems
to be a bit of a fan - recently on a show semi-devoted to cover versions he
played XTC's All Along The Watchtower and proclaimed White Music to be one
of the best debut albums ever.

As a new subscriber I had a hunt around my noticeboards and desk drawers for
any curious bits of XTC snippage and found these :-

>From One Two Testing (around 1982)

Review of Thompson Vocal Eliminator - VE1 (this device was intended to
remove the vocal track from any recoding, leaving just the

"And on XTC's 'Senses Working Overtime' Andy Partridge's voice is removed
except for a few brief seconds towards the end of the track where he
suddenly says what sounds like "Striking me..." (sic). Then he's gone
again. How significant.  Perhaps it means he's really dead, struck by an
assassin's knife...."

	(It's not quite Paul Is Dead is it? - Simon)

>From NME's aged Bigmouth feature

"Produce ourselves? It's almost impossible. How can three clowns in the
falling apart car actually control the circus?"  Andy "Red Nose" Partridge

"What you can do with your guitar is nothing to compared to what you can
do with your penis." Shock revelations from Andy Partridge

"Suddenly you wake up one morning and it's like having an erection. If just
sort of rises up in you and you just think 'I gotta make some music'." -
Andy Partridge

>From You magazine, amongst ten quotes on success.

"Success is being a quote." - Andy Partridge

>From VERY shortlived UK magazine LM - a review of Skylarking.
Review format was one long summary and two "second opinions".

Never in their long a distinguished career have XTC made a duff
record. They've made a few mediocre ones (Mummer was a tad patchy and
English Settlement rambled uncontrollably at times), but they've always
managed to slip one or two glistening gems into each LP while keeping the
quality control set high for all tracks.
  But despite their laudable attention to detail XTC have outlived their
usefulness.  When they perfected their distinctive and intricate blend of
student pop (best highlighted on the classic Black Sea LP) they were
already six or seven years out of date; now they're beginning to sound
  Still, Skylarking is a good LP, and it's thematic approach is
intruiging. The opener, Drowning In Summer's Cauldron (sic), bilows in on
banks of clicking crickets and modulating synths, producing a perfect
picture of a heady, brow-mopping July afternoon in the countryside.
  Just as you're about to drift off, the track segues effortlessly into
Grass.  Romantic rustic themes swirl and twirl as the song develops,
finally fading into a reassertation of the opening cut. Pretty conceptual
  Ballet For A Rainy Day pulls us quickly into the autumnal glory, while
1000 Umbrellas shivers as the November heavens open, pouring discontent
into a dying year.
  Season Cycle - a bit of a corker - questions the natural powers that
govern our lives, and reinstaes the pastoral theme that dominates the LP's
first side. Perhaps XTC should consider this one for thier next single.
  Side Two deals more directly with human experience. Earn Enough For Us
tells of a young man's efforts to support his girl and his household, Big
Day discusses the implications and complications of marriage, Another
Satellite comments on the passing of years (sic), and dying is an
overpowering, highly intimate view of our inevitable fate, provoked by the
death of a loved one. Disturbing stuff.
  The album's highlight is The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul. XTC tackle
an unfamiliar musical area in the boisterous stab at cool jazz, and come up

It's probably one of their finest tracks EVER.
 Like all XTC albums Skylarking grows and improves with repeated plays. It
could prove to be one of their biggest LPs to date. Get it
75%, Paul Strange

XTC may be perennial misfits, but they make consistently interesting
records; this time round it's pleasant soft-focus psychedelia, strongly
reminiscent of mid-period Beatles. As ever, XTC have come up with a
surefire comericial failure.
65%, Richard Lowe

The first time I listened to this XTC album I checked several times to see
if my Walkman batteries were flat. The musical style may be strictly for
fans, but the album's strongest point is the lyrics. The song list gives an
idea: In A Sacrificail Bonfire (sic), Dying, That's Really Super, Supergirl
and so on.
65%, Mike Dunn.

XTC related names for new bands? How about...
	"Animal And Panicking" from Great Fire
	"Girls Like That" from Braniac's Daughter
	"Held Together With Holes" from Earn Enough For Us
	"Bopsenamoymoymoy" from The Forgotten Language Of Light :-)

New Video

Any news on an update to Look Look the video compilation?

Sorry if this is a bit long, but I'm still new to all this 'net business.
Great to see a thriving XTC fanbase out there, I was really beginning to think
there was only me left.
Hope some of this stuff is of interest to somebody.

Simon Sleightholm


Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 12:49:05 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Blah, blah, Blur

Kevin Donnelly wrote: "As for the XTC comparison, well, maybe, but I prefer
to think of them as like the Jam."

Perhaps, but am I the only one who can sing Towers of London to Tracy Jacks?

I don't know if Damon Albarn has namechecked XTC anywhere else but there
was an interview in The List (Glasgow and Edinburgh's events guide) around
the time of Parklife (I think) in which he specifically mentioned XTC as an
influence (though he doesn't rate their more recent stuff).

Thanks to the people who mailed me their favourite three albums, but as
John M. Chamberlain realised, I'd need an advanced knowledge of statistics
to make any sense of them. So mail your top 10 to him at

Mark Fisher (,uk)


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-58
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 14:16:08 +0000 (GMT)

# From: (Arthur James Virgin)
# Subject: Aimee Mann  + Top 10
# 1) Radiohead "The Bends": Is there any doubt? Frightingly great songs with
# production to match. There is no classification for this incredible five
# piece. A must have!

I found that this one wears off very quickly. I still like it, but I don't
think it's any classic, really. Nice production from John Leckie though; I
remember reading an interview with him around when this came out in which
he wrote glowingly about XTC - said that the Dukes' sessions were his
favourite with any band, ever.

# From: Neil Oliver <>
# Subject: Eric Matthews
# My favourite CDs of 1995 (a poor year for pop culture in general):
# 3. Elastica, "Elastica"

I like it too, but... it's hardly original, is it?

# 4. Portishead, "Dummy" (from 1994 maybe but I'm flexible)

One I keep meaning to get.

# 10. The Jayhawks, "Tomorrow the Green Grass"

I love the single 'Bad Time' but I didn't rate the B-sides so I never
got round to buying the album - what's it like? (Email if preferred)

# From: (Robert Bleeker)
# Subject: Try THIS!
# If you like XTC try these titles:
# .	The Stone Roses		- Second Comming

A friend of mine is a big fan - I hated this the first time he played it,
but it seems to be a grower. The first album is good too, from what I can
remember (and more instant). I'll probably end up getting them.

A couple of other things:

In the previous digest someone mentioned the High Llamas' "Gideon Gaye"
as a good album but bemoaned it's lack of tunes; I'd tend to agree (for
those who haven't come across this, there are several alternate
arrangements of the same song, e.g "The Goat Looks On", "Taog Skool No"
(yep, you guessed it, the same song backwards...) and "The Goat
(Instrumental)". There's also "The Goat Strings" but off the top of my
head I can't remember if that's related, but I think so.

Anyway, it sounds like you'd like Sean O'Hagan's solo album "High Llamas"
>from a year or two previously (confusing title, look under 'O'). Similar
style, not as stringy, but more distinct songs; all in all a great album,
I've been playing it a lot lately.

Of course I can sit here and be all smug because I discovered the High
Llamas before about 2 weeks before the album got reissued and they hit
the charts... BTW, if anyone has any idea where I get hold of their
first album "Santa Barbara", please email me.

Also, I could be dreaming, but I think someone mentioned the Eddi Reader
album... For those not in the know she was the singer with Fairground
Attraction way back whenever, and also pops up doing a duet with Thomas
Dolby on 'Cruel' on 'Astronauts & Heretics' (an album without which no
collection is complete); well, for all that, I'd like to warn people off
her solo album... I bought it when it came out and ended up returning it
to the shop, it was so bad - apart from the 2 singles, all of the songs
are completely dull - and I have a friend who did exactly the same, so
it's not just me. Sure she has a great voice, but that's about it. Tread
very carefully.

Sorry about the lack of XTC content, but then, it's not as if they just
released an album or something...
 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: 13 Jan 96 12:46:09 EST
From: Dave K Gold <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-58


A lurking Chalkhillian here.

How can you possibly pick a favorite?  There are too many excellent albums
to choose from.

What is the status of the new album?  Anyone know?

I have been trying to get a copy of the book XTC: Chalkhills....  Anyone
know how I can get it?  The bookstore can't seem to be ale to order it...

Old discussion: Let Elvis C. record with the un-fab three.  PMcC said that
working with ED was the most like working with John.  And his collaboration
with EC resulted in some of the best stuff PMcC has put out in years.

EC is also a major fave of mine.


(If I was to choose three tops, it would be Nonsuch, Skylarking, and
English Settl.
Worst:  Big Express, White Music.  I haven't heard Go2.)


Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 14:51:11 -0800
Subject: Top 10? Top 3 & Stuff

I can't think of ten good releases for '95; what a mediocre year! but I
offer, in no particular order my top 4 or so:

Bowie's Outside - Not for David but a reaffirmation of Eno's production
genious. Brian, call Andy!

Sonic Youth's Washing Machine - About as in your face as it gets.

All Zappa re-issues - 'Nuff said!

Ornette Coleman's Tone Dialling - If only all 60 plus cats were still this

An honourable mention to Ashley MacIsaac; a 20 yr old fiddler from Capre
breton, Canada. his fusion of Maritime Celtic fiddling with classic grunge
reflects the schizophrenia of all us Canucks!

Everything elsw last year sounded so generic that I get the impression that
we're living through another 1970's.

Mark Fisher asked for XTC top three (only three? What about the rest?).  My
list would be ES, Black Sea and Mummer. i suppose it;s the evolution from
electricity to accousticality that does it (plus Terry).  I'll add D&W to the
list just because it still gets me out of a chair and boogying 'round the
living room!

Pete ass about Explode Together (sub-titled 'The Dub Experiments'). It
contains dub versions (remember when?) of various tunes from the Go2/Drums &
Wires era plus other contemporary Andy ideas.

Ted Harms asks re the sound of the ES CD. Sounds great to me - Jump right up
and throw down the cash!

I'm off to John Chamberlain's now to play 'rate the albums'.


Date:         Sun, 14 Jan 96 19:01:17 EST
From: Melissa Reaves <MREAVES@KENTVM.KENT.EDU>
Subject:      Well Damn!

I've been listening to you lot rabbit on for long enough about this
"Blur" group.  Now my friendly local Borders has to go and put their
latest on one of those devilish "listening stations" that get me in so
much financial trouble and I have to go and BUY the damn thing.  Well I
haven't listened enough yet to know whether I'm hooked, but I can say
that in the immortal Blur vs Oasis war I finally have a side to be on.
Our friendly local so-called "alternative" station is kind enough to play
Oasis so I can say I'm not thrilled with them, but I do think I like
this Blur.

The other thing the damn listening station made me buy is called Rare on
Air Volume 2, live sessions from KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.  Now I'd
never heard of this radio station being that they're in California and I'm
not, but I gave a listen and liked what I heard and bought it for the Cibo
Matto, Tanya Donnelly, MC 900 Foot Jesus and Cranberries tunes.  When I got
it home, however, a further surprise awaited me.  (Relph, this one's for
the discography.)

Track 9, recorded 1 December 1993 at the KCRW studio, is Aimee Mann singing
"I've Had It" with none other than our own Greggsy on guitar!!  Quel trouve'!

I checked the Web discography first before posting this like a good girl and
didn't see it, but it did inspire a question.

Andy is listed on a couple of Thomas Dolby things (I remember Urges from 1981)
on, and I quote, "drums ('stick')"

What I'm wondering is whether he is actually on the drums or the Chapman
stick?  "Stick" is just a funny way to refer to drums.  "Sticks" plural I
could understand, but stick is indeed an instrument in itself.  (Don't
fault me for questioning it, I don't have the Dolby disc myself.  I'm just
wondering.)  Can anyone shed any light?

So, scarecrows & skeletons, that was my grooooovy weekend.  Wish me luck
with Blur.  Here's hoping for a new release from our boys in 96, (but on
_their_ terms!)

"I'll get another job at night, but honest!"


PS How about scarecrows & skeletons for that band name?


Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 17:15:42 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: possible band names/Icehouse wrote:

>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
>known) Andyism would be good. Thought I'd throw this one out and see if
>anyone had any suggestions

Hmmm. Here are some possibilities:
August's Organ
Fortress of Solitude
The Caves of Memory
The Screaming Warlords
The Poseable Dolls
Decency's Jigsaw
The Never-never Navvies
The Cheshire Cousins
A Billion Arabian Nights
Khadaffy Duck
Ermine Street
The Burning Republics
Dead Deck Chairs

and a little quiz for everyone else - find these quotes! They're all from
just five XTC albums: O&L, Mummer, Skylarking, TBE & Black Sea.

oh, and to all of you talking about Ira Davies and Icehouse and their cover
of an XTC song... his name is IVA, with a "V".


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Ted & Go 2
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 10:11:00 est

Ted Harms: Compared to my brother's "English Settlement" record, the CD
sound quality is wonderful, and worth the money.

To Whom it May Concern: Does anyone else have a CD copy of "Go 2"? You do?
Good. Please enlighten me: does your CD have a few misspellings on the
cover?  (The most blatant are "themslves" and "adn".) What's going on? Was
Dave Geffen to cheap to proofread?

Also: I asked this question before, but am still wondering: why does the
song order of my "Go 2" record not duplicate the song order on either the
record cover or the CD? For example, my record sleeve says that side 1 is
supposed to start out with "Mecannik (sp?) Dancing", but the first song on
side 1 is "Beatown." Are they just trying to confuse me?

Greetings from boarding school (bored-ing?) hell,


XTC SONG OF THE DAY: "I'd Like That"

PS: To those who have been e-mailing me about the new Andy demos that I
pretend to possess, please give me some time...I have four tapes to send
out, and another three on the way. Thanks!


Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 12:55:00 -0600
From: "McDonnell, Dan E." <>
Organization: RMT Inc.
Subject: Musician Interview

The latest issue of Musician magazine has an interview with Andy P.  Its in
the  "front-man " column and is short, but sweet.



From: Stephen Dewey <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 18:57:00 GMT (Mark Fisher) sez:

> 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.

Nope! :)

Black Sea - English Settlement- Mummer - Skylarking

Their glory years! (note that this list is twisted by
never having heard either Nonsvch or O&L)



From: Richard Aaron Manfredi <>
Subject: Re: Blur and Band Names
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 17:22:44 -0800 (PST)

   The bottom line about Blur is this: They hve great musical talent, but
they seem to be content to rest on their laurels instead of moving their
music in new directions.  Really, they haven't done anything new with their
music since "Modern Life Is Rubbish", and the last two albums have
basically been rehashes of that.
   As for band names, I've always thought that "The Difappointed" would be
great, as long as it was spelled like that.  Which reminds me of a funny
   When the CD single to "The Disappointed" was released, I was living in
Fresno, CA, not exactly the epitome of high culture if you get my drift.  I
went into my local record store and asked to see their XTC catalouge. The
guy working the counter had a Ned's Atomic Dustbin shirt on, so that should
have been a sign.
   Anyway, he perks up and goes "Hey, we just got their new single in.
Look, it's got a spelling error, so it should be worth something."  Well,
he was charging $20.00 for it, and I new I was getting ripped off, but I
still bought it because it was the only place in town that had it.  The
confessed to not knowing who XTC were, and I don't think he cared too much.
Just wondering if anyone else has an amusing story about ignorant record

Richard Manfredi


Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 17:21:45 GMT
From: (Jon Eva)
Subject: XTC on TV

I just caught my first XTC video for nearly ten years (since The Laughing
Prisoner). My local gym has about ten very large and very loud tvs spread
around the room from which it broadcasts an MTV look-a-like station (VMS?).
Usually the content is fairly crap, but last night they showed Mayor of
Simpleton and made my week.

I think I saw a goldfish labelled Terry the Fish flash on the screen(s)
briefly, which surprised me as I thought Andy Partridge had been banned
>from keeping any aquatic pets after the infamous "Rubber Shark" incident.
Is this Terry the true inspiration behind Terry and the Lovemen?

By the way, if anyone near Oxford wants to buy Testimonial Dinner, it was
on sale at the new Virgin store last week for about eighteen pounds (ouch).
Unfortunately I have already bought my copy via CDnow for even more than


Date: Wed, 17 Jan 96 13:23 MST
From: (Phil Corless)
Subject: The Shirts Are Here!

The Chalkhills T-shirts are here.... I will be packaging and
mailing them out over the next ten days.  It will take some time,
but look for yours to arrive before the end of the month!

Erik Anderson, send me your address.... I lost it!  :(

Phil Corless
Boise, Idaho


Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 14:02:19 -0800
Subject: Camper Van Andy?

Does anyone else hear the stirrings of XTC in Camper Van Beethoven?  While
there's no comparison in the vocals, something about the arrangements
reminds me a lot of our boys.  It must be the 'jangle' factor.


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-59

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