Errors-To: owner-chalkhills@mando.engr.sgi.com
Reply-To: chalkhills@mando.engr.sgi.com
Sender: owner-chalkhills@mando.engr.sgi.com
Precedence: bulk
From: owner-chalkhills@mando.engr.sgi.com
To: chalkhills@mando.engr.sgi.com
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-60


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 60

                 Sunday, 21 January 1996

Today's Topics:

                         ES on CD
              Burning With Optimism's Chords
                         The Quiz
                  Terry and the Lovemen
                       XTC Mentions
                           Blur
        Another Satellite according to a reviewer
          Find the quotes game; my humble entry
                  Covered-song royalties
                  Music (other than XTC)
                     Black Sea is ace
       Will you walk away from a fool & his money?
                    Re: XTC Like Jam?
                        Everything
                 The xTc Video Anthology
                   Who Is Harold Budd?
                     video tape tree
                 XTC Stuff Seen for Sale
                          (none)
                  RESULTS OF THE SURVEY
                         Touring

Administrivia:

To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
<chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org> with the following command:

        unsubscribe chalkhills

For all other administrative issues, send a message to:

        <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>

Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:

	<chalkhills@chalkhills.org>

Officially recognized by The McKinley Group as a "4-Star" Site!
World Wide Web: "http://reality.sgi.com/employees/relph/chalkhills/"

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

I got no enthusiasm to even answer the phone.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 20:50:39 -0800 (PST)
From: Chris Zinn <czinn@reed.edu>
Subject: ES on CD

Fellow chalkhillians--
I find the CD of English Settlement disappointing.  The highs are boosted
as those early CD re-recordings of analogue materials invariably are.
It's a shame that no real attention ahs been given to the catalog to
prepare this brilliantly recorded material for CD release, but especially
regrettable because ES is such a stunning recording, combining the
multi-track wizadry of Drums & Wires/Black Sea with an extraordinarily
natural acoustic, suggesting that this is music played in real space and
time by wonderful musicians--live in the studio.  In the CD much of that
is bleached out, I think.  The English pressings of the double album were
mastered by Townhouse, one of the finest workshops at the time.  I hope
that perhaps DCC [Digital Compact Classics] will eventually show an
interest, but it sounds as if nothing is possible until virgin and geffen
end their version of white slavery.
I've enjoyed reading the various top ten of '95 lists.  Couldn't assemble
one myself but I am gald to discover Ron Sexsmith's eponymous brilliant
recording [produced by Mitchell Froom, natch] and very much like Throwing
Muses 'University.'  And I keep listening to Joe Henry.
Christopher Zinn

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 23:33:03 -0600
From: jh3@cencom.net (JH3)
Subject: Burning With Optimism's Chords

I seem to recall someone asking about this one recently...
Maybe they only meant it as a figure of speech. Oh well,
what's done is done.

*------------------------------
BURNING WITH OPTIMISM'S FLAMES
by Andy Partridge

*------------------------------
Here's the opening riff thingie:

---8----8--8----8--8----8--8----8--8-
---8----8--8---10--8----8--8---10--8-
---9---10--9----9--9---10--9----9--9-
--10---10-10---10-10---10-10---10-10-
*-------------------------------------
*-------------------------------------
For the sake of simplicity, let's just
call this "C"; though the C6 referred to
here in the verse is the same XX10-9-10-8.
*-----------------------------------------

C
Never seen her glowing all that bright she's throwing
Like some aurora from her head it's growing

C6              Gm (355333)
Reaching to the ground and all around like a Navajo blanket

C
Never heard her singing now she's gently ringing
Like copper windchimes what on Earth is bringing

C6             Gm
Up this stream the cat who got the cream is licking her lips
and smiling like her cheshire cousin

A#                F                           A#
...She says she's found a way to make her own light

              F                 G       Gmaj7 (3544XX)
All you do is smile, you banish the night...

*-----------------------------------------------------
The parts that Dave does on the G and High-E strings when
Andy sings "Away! Away!" look sort of like this, but
they only sound authentic if you keep your middle finger
on the fretboard the whole time...and play fast, of course.

E ----1---3---5---7---8----10----12--
B -----------------------------------
G --2---3---5---7---9---10----12-----

E -----17----13----15----12----13----10----12-
B --------------------------------------------
G --17----14----15----12----14----10----12----

(Good luck with that.) Then there's the bridge lead part,
which I think is just 0-8-0-10-0-12-0-14 on the high-E
string, done as a rapid-fire succession of pull-offs.
*----------------------------------------------------

Chorus:

C              G            F
She says she's burning with optimism's flames -- away, away

C              G          F
She says she's burning up all her guilts and shames -- away, away

C              G            F
She says she's burning with optimism's flames -- away, away

C              G              F#                          E
She says she's bur- bur- bur- bur- burning... up- up- up- up....

G              F#                          E
Bur- bur- bur- bur- burning... up- up- up- up....

(repeat verse and chorus)

Second verse:

C
Now you see I'm smiling back to juvenile-ing
I learnt her lesson in like flint and styling
C6          Gm
All the world is neatly curled around my littlest finger

C
I can't stop this grinning so assume I'm winning
Threw pessimism in the air it's spinning
C6          Gm
Crashing to the floor and nevermore will it lure me away with sweets
And shiny things just like a magpie

A#              G                          A#
She says she's found a way to make her own light (etc.)

*--------------------------------------------------

Middle bit (C6: X35555; Bb6: X13333):

C6  (though it sounds like a Cmaj7 might be nice here...)
Now every bird and bee just fuels the fire for me

Bb6  (same here, with Bbmaj7 and also Bb6: X1303X.)
No no no no no no... Yes yes yes yes yes yes

C6
Now every closing door just fans the flames some more

Bb6
No no no no no no... Yes yes yes yes yes yah yah yaaaaah...

*--------------------------------------------------
Then there's the sort-of lead break, another "found a
way to make her own light" part, another chorus, which builds
into the double-time bit at the end, which goes C, D, Em...
and then the big final chord: C5 (X35555). (Don't forget to
use the whammy bar.)

As for the middle bit, I've noticed that Andy plays a lot
of 6th chords, but I think that's laziness more than anything
else; it's easier to play a 6th than a "pure" A-barre chord,
since you can just let your forefinger cover all four of those
high strings. Back then, you recall, he was setting 'em up so
they'd be relatively easy to play live.

So, until next time, it's...

--John H. Hedges III, Inc.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 01:13 -0700 (MST)
From: "Miles D. Coleman" <coleman@cougarnet.byu.edu>
Subject: The Quiz

>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.

Well, it's early in the morning and I'm irritated that I cannot find this
last quote!  I'm sure I'll kick myself in the trash for missing it!  How's 14
out of 15?

Antheap                         "Across this Antheap"           O&L
August's Organ                  "Summer's Cauldron"             Skylarking
Fortress of Solitude            "That's Really Super..."        Skylarking
Paintbox                        "Ballet for a Rainy Day"        Skylarking
The Caves of Memory
The Screaming Warlords          "Beating of Hearts"             Mummer
The Poseable Dolls              "Funk Pop A Roll"               Mummer
Decency's Jigsaw                "Respectable Street"            Black Sea
The Never-never Navvies         "Towers of London"              Black Sea
The Cheshire Cousins            "Burning With Optimism's..."    Black Sea
A Billion Arabian Nights        "Garden of Earthly Delights"    O&L
Khadaffy Duck                   "Merely A Man"                  O&L
Ermine Street                   "Chalkhills $ Children"         O&L
The Burning Republics           "Reign of Blows"                The Big Express
Dead Deck Chairs                "Seagulls Screaming..."         The Big Express

------------------------------

From: DAMIAN FOULGER <SPXDLF@cardiff.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 11:05:28 GMT
Subject: Terry and the Lovemen

Hello all,

Happy 96 everyone.  Lets try and keep 96 as pleasant and sensitive
amongst ourselves as 95 was.  This is a nice list a lot nicer than
some I have been on.

Anyway to the topic at hand.  I recently bought TD (I was shocked to
have to pay $16 for it!) and quite like it.  The thing that I have to
say is that if Terry and the Lovemen is not at least Colin singing
then I'm a Walrus (and everyone knows that the Walrus is Paul.)  In
case some of you haven't heard The Good Things on TD then the whole
thing sounds like XTC (not particularly surprising as it supposed to
be a cover of XTC) and the lead vocals sound EXACTLY like Colin.
It's uncanny.  I would appreciate some feed back on this.  Do people
think that this is Colin and/or other members of XTC, or are some
people from Swindon doing an excellent impersonation of Colin?

Ta-ta!

Dames TWD

(Life is good in the greenhouse:XTC)
(You told me you saw Jesus, but I could only see a tree: Amber)

------------------------------

Subject: XTC Mentions
From: wwilson@mail07.mitre.org (Wesley H. Wilson)
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 96 08:30:05 -0500

XTC is mentioned in the booklet that accompanies the Love:
"Love Story" boxed set (two CDs) as one of many bands that,
like the band Love, merged acoustic and electric sounds
successfully.

(Great boxed set, by the way; includes the entire "Forever
Changes" album.)

XTC is also on the sticker on a CD compilation by The
Monochrome Set; something like, "...sound like XTC's city
cousins."

Wes

"Hi. I'd like 256 cheeseburgers and a big, large milkshake!"

"Okay, that'll be 324 dollars and 64 cents. Please drive to
the pick-up window please, thank you!"

- - "Wendy McDonald" (Spookey Ruben)

------------------------------

From: Ben Gott <BENG@hotchkiss.pvt.k12.ct.us>
Subject: Blur
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 96 08:34:00 est

I'm gonna make the damned Blur comment:

Think about "Crowded Room" from "The Great Escape" Hmmmm? Sounds like
something XTCish to me....

Thanks, everyone, for turning me on to Blur and Adrian Belew...I owe ya one.
I've also ordered Freedy Johnston's album from BMG; a review will be
forthcoming.

Ben
http://www.lookup.com/Homepages/58596/home.html

XTC SONG OF THE DAY: Towers of London (La-La-Londinium)

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 09:01:07 -0500 (EST)
From: James Poulakos <engjcp@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Another Satellite according to a reviewer

Paul Strange is off the mark when he interprets this song as dealing with
"the passing of years." It is clearly a complaint to an unwanted lover, a
person who just will not go away. The singing persona is saying, look, I
am happy the way I am and I do not have room for you in my life. Go away,
please.

That much I am sure about. What continues to intrigue me: could "The Man
Who Sailed Around His Soul" have anything to do with behaviorist B.F.
Skinner, who postulated that a human is only a physical creature, without
mind or spirit, guided not by a supernatural consciousness (such as a
soul) or even a Gestalt of biological + mental processes (such as some
might see the "mind") but rather by biomechanical processes, reflexes,
learned behaviors, conditioning--the sorts of things that can be
eventually figured out purely by empirical investigation. As I understand
it, the Skinner theory I learned in college propose that man is no more
than the body and that emotions and feelings such as pain are strictly
physical events.

In any event, I picture Skinner as the man in this song, nearing death
and perhaps lamenting (or wondering if he really should lament) his own
viewpoint, since it deprives him of the possibility of faith or love.

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
     Dass etwas schiefgegangen ist weiss man immer nur dann,
   wenn man gerade eine ungerade Anzahl von Fehlern gemacht hat.
    My home page is now at http://www.gsu.edu/~engjcp/zero.html
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                       James Poulakos

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 09:09:14 -0500 (EST)
From: James Poulakos <engjcp@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Find the quotes game; my humble entry

Antheap -- ACROSS THIS ANTHEAP
August's Organ -- SEASON CYCLE? {ok, just guessing that one}
Fortress of Solitude -- THAT"S REALLY SUPER SUPERGIRL
Paintbox -- BALLET FOR A RAINY DAY
The Caves of Memory
The Screaming Warlords
The Poseable Dolls
Decency's Jigsaw -- RESPECTABLE STREET
The Never-never Navvies -- TOWERS OF LONDON
The Cheshire Cousins
A Billion Arabian Nights -- GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS
Khadaffy Duck -- MERELY A MAN
Ermine Street -- CHALKHILLS & CHILDREN
The Burning Republics -- REIGN OF BLOWS
Dead Deck Chairs -- SEAGULLS SCREAMING KISS HER KISS HER

*-------------------------------------------------------------------
     Dass etwas schiefgegangen ist weiss man immer nur dann,
   wenn man gerade eine ungerade Anzahl von Fehlern gemacht hat.
    My home page is now at http://www.gsu.edu/~engjcp/zero.html
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                       James Poulakos

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 10:52:04 -0500
From: Tobin Munsat <tmunsat@pppl.gov>
Subject: Covered-song royalties

>From: ZITTEL@aol.com
>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?

Can this be right?  I mean if they sell 10,000 copies of this record does
Andy really only get $6.60?  This seems awfully low...  -Tobin

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 18:16:18 +0200 (GMT+0200)
From: tkorpipa <tkorpipa@siba.fi>
Subject: Music (other than XTC)

I also subscribe the Nits mailing list, and a little while ago (the list
was quite small then, about 20-30 people) we had a thread considering
our favourite bands. Funny thing worth pointing out here is that almost
everybody made some kind of reference to XTC. Naturally I'd like to know
what you people think about them? I actually find the bands
quite similar, both large and small scale. They both started more or less
as a new-wavey band and progressing towards more and more 'poppy' sound
(althought not 'selling out' in any way IMHO). And while doing this
leaving great records left and right. I also find their music quite
similar, althought the Nits seem to draw much more influence from european
sources.

Also I've noticed (I haven't subscribed Chalkhills very long) that many
of you enjoy quite broad range of popular music. I was delighted to see
somebody praising Curve, as I really like them (alongside Cocteau Twins,
Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Medicine, etc...) Suprisingly many have made
refernces to - god forbid... - 'dance' music! At least Chemical Brothers
and Leftfield have been mentioned. While not my personal favourites, I
however enjoy bands/artists/'who cares':s Seefeel, Aphex Twin, Mu-ziq,
Autechre, Meat Beat Manifesto, Mc 900ft Jesus, Loop Guru, Fun-Da-Mental,
etc... Not much (if any) actual 'dance music', but maybe the nearest
category.

And speaking of dance music, I luckily managed to find a copy of XTC: 'The
Dub Experiments' CD collection while visiting Stockholm, Sweden (XTC
isn't that popular in Finland, why don't they tour here more often :) I
love it! Maybe the best (definetly the weirdest) dub album I've ever heard!

Teemu

            from: Teemu ---> tkorpi@siba.fi
*---------------------------------------------------------------------------
	'I can't forget...
   	      but I don't remember what'
		     -Leonard Cohen-

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 17:16:31 +0000 (GMT)
From: Kevin Donnelly <kevin.donnelly@st-hughs.oxford.ac.uk>
Subject: Black Sea is ace

Recently I started listening to Black Sea quite heavily again, following
the favourable comments in chalkhills and to my amazement, I found some
startling similairties with the latest Britpop:

1. The guitar opening to Respectable Street is almost the same as Tracy
Jacks by Blur

2. The opening of Rocket From a Bottle is incredibly reminiscent of Pulp's
latest songs

3. The rest of Respectable Street sounds a bit like Oasis!

4. It's brilliant

This conclusively proves that in fact all British power pop is
descended from XTC and quite rightly too.

Kevin

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 17:27:32 +0000 (GMT)
From: William HamBevan <whambeva@jesus.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: Will you walk away from a fool & his money?

To Jon Eva: thanks for the tip-off about Testimonial Dinner being in
stock at the Oxford Virgin Megastore. I went out and snapped it up
immediately; just as well, as there was only the one copy. But eighteen
pounds... bloody hell. (That's nine pints of Guinness, six Big Mac Meals or
two years' library fines, for the benefit of our non-UK readers). Thank
God there's a branch of Barclays across the road - had to extend my
overdraft on the spot.

I haven't had time to give the album more than one listening so far, so
the jury's still out - but initial impressions are that it's a bit of a
mixed bag. The 'Terry & the Lovemen' track strikes me as the highlight,
which is a bit on the ironic side (!) but 'Dear God' and 'The Man Who
Walked &c.' are nice enough distractions. This being from somebody who
always hated 'Dear God' before.

One snippet, which I don't recall anyone else mentioning: 'The
Independent' had a small article on its music page about a fortnight ago,
one of a series that asks music-biz figures to cite the tracks that
changed their lives. Featured on this occassion was Nick Hayward
(remember him?) talking about 'White Music'. Apparently, it was the album
that inspired him to become a pop singer, and 'All Along the Watchtower'
led him to take up the harmonica in an attempt to play Andy's harmonica
line. So now we know who to blame.

God, my wallet is suddenly feeling thin. I suppose I'll just have to cut my
Guinness consumption by nine pints over the next week: proof that XTC is
good for you.

"That's it - more news later..."

William Ham Bevan,

Jesus College, Oxford.

------------------------------

Date: 18 Jan 96 14:26:20 EST
From: Simon Sleightholm <101477.1611@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: XTC Like Jam?

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

To close the circle about Blur=Jam or Blur=XTC, how about XTC=Jam

Check out Music For The Last Couple on Sound Affects...

The missing Homo Safari track perhaps?

------------------------------

From: Sowsij@aol.com
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 19:26:01 -0500
Subject: Everything

Dearest Chalkhilliards,

Two questions,
1. Does anyone else who has heard the demo recording of Andy's song
"Everything" think it's the saddest and most beautiful song XTC has never
put out?

2. If anyone has that BIG compilation video that so many tried too weasel
large sums of money out of me for...you know the one that a tape tree was
made for....OR any of the new album cuts or demos...I will trade my extra
Ecstatic Demos 1-7 that I got for christmas. Yes the actual cd's. I have
very nice friends.

E-mail me about the video and let's get on a new thread because all this band
name and XTC sucking schtick has got to go.

"Everything we ever said or did - stored in a jar which I swore had true
love penciled in on the lid."....Beautiful.

Jason P.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 11:15:33 -0600 (CST)
From: Erik Anderson <aa393@sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca>
Subject: The xTc Video Anthology

Just a quick note to inform all those who sent in their money orders that
the xTc Video Anthology will be on the way soon!

I have been recording and sending out copies since early December (for
those who have received it, what do you think?), then I
went on holidays, then the VCR broke (total overuse, I assume), now it
works again and the tapes go out every Friday.

Please don't be impatient as I have over 100 dubs still left to do!  Marc
LaFoy will handle the PAL branch, which won't be ready for another month
or so.  BTW, Marc the Andy demos are on the way!

If you have e-mailed me asking if I received your money order, sorry...I
can't reply to all those messages every day.  Just be patient.

Erik Anderson
The City Clerk of Simpleton

------------------------------

From: RCroz75755@aol.com
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 17:07:30 -0500
Subject: Who Is Harold Budd?

I picked up the Andy Partridge/Harold Budd collaboration CD called "Through
The Hill" recently and I was curious as to who Harold Budd is. What has he
done in the past? How did he come to collaborate with AP? I haven't had a
chance to listen to the whole CD except for the first two compositions - very
transient!

To add my 2 cents ....my top 5 favorite albums for 1995:

1. Mr. Bungle - "Disco Volante"
2. King Crimson - "Thrak"
3. Finn - "Finn"
4. The Presidents of the U.S.A - "The Presidents of the U.S.A."
5. Faith No More - "Fool For A Day..King For A Lifetime"

Rob Crozier
rcroz75755@aol.com

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 08:14:55 -0500 (EST)
From: glancaster@mecn.mass.edu
Subject: video tape tree

What's the status of the video tape tree these days??

------------------------------

From: JakeKristy@aol.com
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 17:31:03 -0500
Subject: XTC Stuff Seen for Sale

Greet to you all.

Fabulous!  But I've Already Got Two of Those. . . .

Installment three of that regular feature: "XTC Stuff Seen for Sale."
Here's the secret, I just make a note of the XTC-related merchandise I find
in the latest issue of Goldmine magazine.

I always skip the auction ads.  I'm a set-price shopper myself.  If anyone
wants me to include the bid-counter bid-over bid items as well, just let me
know.

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 sure do miss being able to shop
at Rockaway Records in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Beef:
>From the February 2, 1996, issue of Goldmine:
+ XTC/Roy Orbison, Mayor of Simpleton (Virgin VJP-16) Japanese Promo Only
w/PS, M/M, vinyl 45, US$50; page 7; Carlos De Couto; phone 714-998-8286.
+ XTC - Mayor of Simpleton (Japanese promo only 7" w/Roy Orbison "You Got
It"), page 37; US$165!!; Spellbound Records, Surrey, UK; tel (01144)181
688-0419.
+ Oranges and Lemons Virgin CDVT2581, UK issue, 3 ea. 3-inch CDs in small
box, page 45; US$25; Amoeba Music, phone 510-549-2340.
+ Black Sea, LP, Rare DJ label RSO, smtp, (heavy)wol, stoc, VG-/G, US$5;
  Skylarking LP, 1st issue (no "Dear God"), EX US$12;
  Big Express LP, orig w/inner VG++/VG++, US$8;
  King for a Day, scarce UK 12-inch, SS, US$15;
  The Loving, rare UK 12-inch, US$15;
  Meeting Place, scarce UK 12-inch, US$15;
  Mummer, orig UK LP, sealed (part open), US$25;
  Mummer, orig UK LP, US$15;
  Dear God, Rare UK 12-inch, EX/M-, US$20;
  Dear God, scarce US 12-inch EP, US$12;
  Go +, scarce UK EP, EX/M- US$14;
  Black Sea, rare orig green bag cover, VG++/VG++, US$20;
  Black Sea, UK orig LP, US$15;
  Mayor of Simpleton, scarce DJS 12-inch, US$15;
  English Settlement, orig UK 2LP, textured cover, VG+/M-, US$25;
  Drums and Wires, orig UK w/insert, US$15;
  White Music, orig UK LP, VG++/M-, US$15;
  Great Fire, rare DJ 12-inch EP TC, US$30;
  All You Preety Girls, rare DJ 12-inch TC wol, VG-/VG-, US$8;
  Nonsuch promo flat, not a record, US$5; page 100, Jim Gibson, e-mail =
noiseville@aol.com.
+ Oranges and Lemons, US LP, US$10;
  Go 2, UK LP, US$12;
  Black Sea, in bag, US LP, US$25; page 115, Sound Express, phone
501-795-4209.
+ Drums & Wireless, import CD, US$16; page 127, Siren Disc, email =
Siren@earthlink.net

Sigh Your Narwal,
XTOTX

------------------------------

From: g.riddihough@naturedc.com
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 96 18:08:15 EST

     Hi...

     This is a tentative toe in the water of Chalkhills. I have to admit
     until four months ago I was pretty much an XTC virgin. 'Course, since
     then it has all been a frenzy of LP/CD buying and driving Idah (the
     other better bit of me) nuts playing nothing but. I am captivated. If
     the next album is ninety minutes of Partridge/Gregory/Moulding
     flatulence I'll still buy it in all formats and ponder the
     significance of the lyrics in terms of methane and the global threat
     of greenhouse warming. How did I miss them? I think the answer is that
     I was living in the UK until a couple of years ago and since then I
     moved to the US. In good ol' Blightly, I imagined XTC were some kind
     of second rate 'pop' band (based on hearing snatches of the odd single
     on Aunty Beeb). Jeez!

     What does amuse me about the band is that--without exception--every
     album I have bought so far (ES, O&L, Nonesvch, Skylarking, R&BB, Big
     Express, in that order--one a month from September (OK, I got two for
     Xmas (poor Idah (must be love (thank goodness))))) I have thought of
     as total shite on first listening (kind of embarrassing for the
     Christmas present ones but I didn't let on). Yet, now I cannot bear to
     listen to anything else. Worse still, I have started to become an XTC
     bore (guess that's why I'm writing to you lot--gotta tell someone who
     won't go yeah, yeah, yeah, yawn--least I hope).

     So, here's my threepenny worth: they gotta make another album (I'm not
     fussy; see above); I've only just discovered them! They gonna hafta
     tour, too (and come to DC, too--I ain't seen 'em live, neither): no
     question. (Couldn't, like, someone just ask them?). Best album? I can
     hardly comment on that (my fav track: the R&BB version of "Another
     Satellite" but that's only for this week (you know, I really like
     "Cockpit Dance Mixture", too, but for the life of me I don't know
     why...(because my name features? Hmmm...no. That stupid xylophone
     riff, perhaps?))). Names for bands? You gotta be kidding! I'll limit
     myself to Big Express to keep the length down (what is with this
     internet brevity bit, anyways? I thought the whole points was that you
     could ramble and ramble) but equal numbers can be extracted from all
     the albums I've heard so far:

     Dead Deck Chairs
     White Fence
     A Thousand Yorkshire Puddings (I can hardly play guitar but I want
     dibs on this one, anyway)
     Lodgers and the Lovers
     Terrorist Tones
     Smokewall (kinda cool...? Maybe just pretentious?)
     Might Be Dead (...giants?)

     The question now is: which album to buy next? I feel like a kid let
     loose in a candy shop...
     Guy (g.riddihough@naturedc.com)

------------------------------

Date:         Sun, 21 Jan 96 19:09:13 EST
From: "John M. Chamberlain" <JC7704A@american.edu>
Organization: The American University
Subject:      RESULTS OF THE SURVEY

            RESULTS OF THE "RANK THE ALBUMS" SURVEY

Many thanks to the 51 people (including me) who sent me their rankings of
the ten major studio releases.  I received much goodwill, but also several
complaints about the Dukes not being included.  That was a tough call for
me, and if anyone wants to replicate this and include the Dukes (or make
any other variations you want to see), you have my whole-hearted
encouragement.  That's how pseudo-science progresses, by gum!

The main thrust of this project was to do a factor analysis on a set of
rankings (converted to ratings, so a first-place vote equals 10 points, a
second-place vote = 9, etc.).  Factor analysis looks for several completely
independent trends (factors) among the variables (in this case, albums) and
spits out how each album relates to each factor.  Some albums will have
positive "loadings" with a factor, others negative, which means that each
factor provides two clusters of albums which tend to be in opposition to
each other.  Disclaimers: interpreting the output (i.e., making sense of
the trends and labeling them) is subjective and notoriously tricky; a trend
can be caused by a widespread moderate tendency among respondents to a
survey, or it can represent little pockets of people whose data is
extremely similar.  Hard to know; one of the reasons I've left most of the
factors up to you to interpret.

Also, some of you are sure to point out that using rankings with factor
analysis is a dubious enterprise and that ratings (e.g., "rate each album
from 1 to 7") would be more appropriate.  I considered that but decided
against it because of the likelihood that, among us Chalkheads, the ratings
would be restricted mostly to the 5-7 range, which makes for small variance
and, therefore, weak findings.  So I went with the rankings and bolstered
the factor analysis by doing intercorrelations between each pair of albums.
But again, if anybody wants to try this using ratings instead of rankings,
go for it!

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THE FINDINGS:

The main axis groupings produced by the factor analysis was not too
surprising:
FACTOR 1: OLD vs. NEW.  The strongest trend was for a preference for the
first five albums (White Music through English Settlement) to be opposed to
a preference for the last five (Mummer through Nonsuch).  An interesting
sub-finding was that the opposition fell almost perfectly into pairs of
natural enemies (relatively speaking--actually, the most frequent comment
among respondents was "I love them all--this was very painful.")  When I
looked at the correlations between each pair of albums (45 correlations
total), the highest NEGATIVE correlations were between:

1) GO2 vs. MUMMER
2) DRUMS & WIRES vs. SKYLARKING
3) BLACK SEA vs. THE BIG EXPRESS
4) WHITE MUSIC vs. SKYLARKING
6) ENGLISH SETTLEMENT vs. NONSUCH

FACTOR 2: MUMMER/THE BIG EXPRESS vs. SKYLARKING/ORANGES & LEMONS
Mummer and The Big Express appear to be sort of maverick albums; there was
a small positive correlation between rankings for these two, and each was
negatively correlated with every other album.  Meanwhile, the positive
correlation between Skylarking and O's & L's was the strongest of any pair
of albums (so it's pretty safe to say "If you liked Skylarking, you'll like
O's & L's", and vice-versa.  Likewise, if you don't like Skylarking, you
won't like O's and L's).
And: looking back to the "enemies list" under Factor 1, you'll notice #5
omitted.  The 5th most opposed pair of albums were the only ones to violate
the OLD vs. NEW breakdown: people tended to place The Big Express far apart
from O's & L's in their rankings.  Since this finding goes against the main
trend, it suggests to me that if you want to find out if an XTC fan is a
true kindred spirit, first ask them whether they like the older stuff or
the newer stuff, and then ask them whether they prefer The Big Express or
Oranges and Lemons.

FACTOR 3: ENGLISH SETTLEMENT/MUMMER/BLACK SEA vs.
          DRUMS & WIRES/BIG EXPRESS/NONSUCH.
This is the cool thing about factor analysis: even though Mummer is
negatively correlated with both English Settlement and Black Sea overall,
factor analysis can detect complex sub-patterns such as this one.

FACTOR 4: ENGLISH SETTLEMENT/SKYLARKING/THE BIG EXPRESS vs.
          BLACK SEA/NONSUCH.

FACTOR 5: WHITE MUSIC/ORANGES & LEMONS vs. NONSUCH/DRUMS & WIRES.

     WHY do these albums cluster like this?  Factor #1 looks pretty
obvious, but 2 through 5 are all kind of interesting.  Theories would make
good fodder for upcoming Chalkhills....

Some surprises to me:
1) White Music and Go2 were positively correlated (with each other), but
not that strongly.  This could have something to do with the restricted
range of White Music rankings (almost all near the bottom) which tends to
reduce the size of correlation coefficients with ALL other albums.  And
while Go2 was also near the bottom of most lists, there was a handful who
ranked it right up there in the top 3 or 5.
2) There was basically a zero correlation between O's & L's and Nonsuch,
which means that they neither go hand-in-hand nor tend to oppose each
other.  This contradicts my observation that people who post to Chalkhills
tend to see these albums very similarly; some do, some don't.

                         (BLUE) OVERALL PREFERENCES

I think this was done a year or two ago, but it can't hurt to update.  Here
are the overall rankings of the 10 albums:

1. English Settlement (2.9 mean ranking; 13 first-place votes)
2. Black Sea          (3.6, 9)
3. Skylarking         (4.2, 10)
4. Oranges & Lemons   (4.8, 4)
5. The Big Express    (5.2, 7)
6. Drums & Wires      (5.3, 3)
7. Nonsuch            (6.0, 1)
8. Mummer             (6.0, 3)
9. Go2                (8.3, 1)
10 White Music        (8.7, 0)

                       LET'S GET PERSONAL
Correlations of each person's rankings with these mean rankings also produced:

MOST TYPICAL XTC FAN (KING CHALKHEAD): Mike Wheeler, whose rankings went:
1) English Settlement 2) Skylarking 3) Black Sea 4) Drums & WIres 5) Big
Express 6) Nonsuch 7) Oranges & Lemons 8) Mummer 9) White Music 10) Go2

MOST ATYPICAL XTC FAN (ODDBALL AMONG ODDBALLS): Phil Hetherington, who ranked:
1) Big Express 2) Go2 3) Black Sea 4) Nonsuch 5) Oranges & Lemons 6)
Skylarking 7) White Music 8) English Settlement  9) Mummer 10) Drums &
WIres.

(Both winners' rankings printed with their consent.  Hope they know what
they're doing).

              AND FINALLY: FIND YOUR XTC SOULMATE!

ANYBODY WHO SENT ME THEIR RANKINGS and would like to know the email address
of the person whose rankings they most closely matched (according to
correlations) send me a message by Jan. 29 saying "Find my soulmate!"  If
your soulmate also emails me, then I'll let you know who each other is.  If
not, alas, you may never know!

Sorry so long-winded.  This was fun for me!  Thanks again (or blame) to
Mike Fisher for getting the idea rolling, and thanks for playing!

                 --John Chamberlain  JC7704a@american.edu

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 21 Jan 1996 18:40:46 -1000
From: motherwest@InfoHouse.com (Michael)
Subject: Touring

Hello Fair Friends,

Our favorite band refuses to tour, much to our dismay.  My band, PLEASE, on
the other hand, refuses to refuse to tour.  And so to you I now turn.

We will be traveling from NYC to TX for the South By Southwest convention
in the first half of March.  Any advice or suggestions you may have
concerning venues between here and there (midwest, east, southeast and
south) and would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Michael    ---   Touring song:  Roads Girdle the Globe

motherwest@infohouse.com
  http://www.please.com

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #2-60
******************************

Go back to the previous page.