Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-74

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 74

                Thursday, 22 February 1996

Today's Topics:

      Talking smut about XTC (continued, take two!)
           More songs about Girls & the Weather
                    3D - EP availible
                 More stereo mumbo-jumbo
                     RE: Duffy/Comics
           cdnow!, in case you're wondering...
                     re: tribute tape
                    Nervous Breakdown?
                 on sense and sensibility
                       Tribute Tape
          The Next LP and Lyric Interpretations
                      "Harold Budd"?
                       Tribute tape
                  Scissor Man Fairy Tale
                     Favorite Songs?
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-72
                    Taxes and trumpets
                    DEMOS DEMOS DEMOS
                     first missive!!!
                       Saddest Fan


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 00:03:19 -0800
From: Anthony Ciarochi <>
Subject: Talking smut about XTC (continued, take two!)

Benjamin -

As I was attempting to say, I normally love a good flame session, but this
battle I'll give to you.  I just happen to LIKE every song you mentioned, so
my first instinct is to defend them, which they don't (or shouldn't) need.

>> I never thought of Human Alchemy being a Drums and Wires type song.

You're right.  I regretted that comment almost immediately after pressing
the 'send' key.  For some reason I was thinking the groove reminded me
vaguely of "Day In, Day Out", which is preposterous.  (It's still a cool
song, though :-) ).

>> ..when my friends ask about XTC, and the only song they know by them is PP

That would be annoying.  I like the song, but it's far from their best.
Your comment reminds me of a time my buddy and I had a chance to see The
Who, but he didn't want to go because he "didn't really care much for that
'Squeeze Box' song," which he thought was their first and only hit.  I would
have killed him, but he owed me money...

BTW, how cum nobody here ever mentions the Pixies as a favorite "damned near
as good as XTC" band? I also spend a lot of time listening to The Smiths,
Elvis Costello, NIN, Alannis, etc.  I hate to say it, but I'm burning out on
The Beatles... I've been so into them for so long, I'm losing my
appreciation somehow.

It's funny you should mention Peter Himmelman.  I've been over to his house
in Santa Monica a couple of times -- did you know he was married to Bob
Dylan's daughter?


Anthony Ciarochi
visit me!


Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 00:25:44 -0800
From: Anthony Ciarochi <>
Subject: More songs about Girls & the Weather

 Miles or Gigi Coleman wrote:-----

I think that the "concept" or connection of the songs is quite obvious and
certainly ingenious.  First there is the more obvious seasonal relationship
described in songs like "Summer's Cauldron," "Ballet for a Rainy Day,"
"Season Cycle," "Sacrificial Bonfire." But more interesting to me is the
human cycle that is illustrated with all of its ups and downs.  Young love
and sometimes foolish love in "Grass," and it continues even while caught in
the mundane working world of "The Meeting Place."  From there we move to the
hurt experienced in love's relationships, i.e. "That's Really Super..." &
"1000 Umbrellas."

---   Well, that may be true, but all you've really done is restate the
'More Songs About Girls & the Weather" theme that I already mentioned.
Besides, I don't think Mr. Rundgren could have had much to do with the
actual content of the songs.  As wonderfully as they were getting on in the
studio, he probably would have been keel-hauled if he had attempted to
dictate what songs could and couldn't be included on the album, because of
some vague concept he had about little birdies chirping and crickets... er,
doing whatever crickets do.

BTW, Rolling Stone Magazine, in one of the most idiotic pans I've ever read,
wrote (of the song "Grass"): "Grass is just another song about marijuana."
That's it. That's all. Moved right on to the next topic.

What an imbecile!  One of the greatest things about that song, I have always
thought, is that somebody would have the nerve to write a song called
'Grass' and actually have it be about the stuff that grows in your lawn...
NOT the drug this guy was obviously smoking when he wrote the review.




Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 09:58:09 GMT
Subject: 3D - EP availible

Dear All,

Browsing my local second-hand record store the other day I can across
the Science Friction 3D-EP.  I've no idea how much it is (probably a
few pounds sterling) but if anyone _really_ wants it I will find out
more and we'll work out something.

Email me privately.

Dames TWD

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


From: "Burgess, Christopher (msx)" <>
Subject: More stereo mumbo-jumbo
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 08:16:14 -0500

Hey intrepid ones,

Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey wrote:

>>On the notes to Brian Eno's _On Land_, he describes a way to broaden the
>>stereo image with a third speaker, wired to the positive terminals of
>>both channels of the amplifier. This achieves the same effect: any
>>information common to both channels (which centers it) is phase-cancelled
>>(or at least, it's eliminated--I think that's the mechanism that does
>>it). If that's all those devices do, you can do the same hting for the
>>cost of a cheap speaker (you don't need much bass, since most bass
>>post-1970 is centered as well).

The following does not remove vocals, but . . .

Another cool idea is to get a second set of speakers and hook the
positive wires to the positive terminals on the SECOND set of speaker
connectors on your stereo.  Then, connect the negative wires of the
speakers TOGETHER, rather than to the negative terminals on your amp.
Place these speakers behind your favorite easy (or bean bag)
chair. Then, with both sets of speakers enabled on your amp, bask in
the unintended spectral delights that occur through phase differences.
Some recordings offer nothing, but others place instruments all
throughout the plane that exists amongst the four speakers.  I imagine
that most recording engineers have no idea what little easter eggs
they've placed in their creations.

I learned this trick from a stoner way back when.



Subject: RE: Duffy/Comics
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 96 08:45:12 -0500

Good to see all of the Stephen Duffy/The Lilac Time fans out

I discovered them in 1990 when Andy produced some of the songs
on "And Love for All." John Leckie (GO 2, Dukes) produced the
rest of the songs. I went back and bought "The Lilac Time"
(first album) and "Astronauts," but never did snag a copy of
"Paradise Circus." All of the LT CDs are, sadly, out of print

Duffy has two solo albums - "Music in Colors" (1993) and
"Duffy" (1995). MiC features violinist Nigel Kennedy and has
some great tracks; "Holte End Hotel" is my favorite. But MiC
is not the straight-on rocker that "Duffy" is. "Duffy" has
some great "Revolver"-esque guitar fills and has some Bowie
"Diamond Dog" influences as well. CD singles from that album
include "London Girls", "Sugar High," and "Needle Mythology."
The CD singles include collaborations with Andy Bell of Ride
and a member of Blur (it's early; can't think of his name
right now), neither of which are particularly noteworthy. But
each single is worth getting for the outtakes, especially
"Needle Mythology" which has a slow version of "Sugar High."

"Duffy" is actually slated for U.S. release in March. None of
the CD singles will be released in the U.S. Meanwhile, a
7-inch ~vinyl~ single ("Starfit") will be released in the U.S.
only in late February. I forget what the B-side is, but it's
also an album track.

Stephen does keep busy; in a recent article he says he has the
material for the next album ready! He's on a decent label, too
(Indolent). Duffy's never been better,,


Over the weekend I picked up Superman #85 (the infamous [X]
[T] [C] in childrens' blocks issue). This one is easy to get;
my copy was only $1.75. It's a conclusion to a storyline about
a weird toymaker named "Schott" who is guided by the voice of
his mother. When we see him with the blocks, he's in a huge
crib. In silhouette, he looks like an aged AP. I guess I was
left wondering why Superman is back; I thought he was killed!

So, let's see: we've seen Andy, XTC-like appearances in
Justice League America (issue ?), Wildstar 1-4 (1993),
Superman #85, and Batman (a graffit scrawl) (?), and Tank Girl



Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 09:06:13 -0500 (EST)
From: James Poulakos <>
Subject: cdnow!, in case you're wondering...

...treated me fine. This is a happy endorsement. I was not keen on the
idea of ordering a German CD from an out-of-state mail-order house,
mailing my check, and waiting to find out if they had it in stock.

Since cdnow! is on the net, I could check the progress of my order. To my
satisfaction, I got an e-mail acknowledgment of my check's arrival BEFORE
I had a chance to check the progress of my order. In about a week, the CD
arrived. Cool, no?

The point of this is to reassure any chalkhillians who might have had
their doubts about this outfit, as I did. I trust 'em now and I will
order from them in the future. Especially CDs that are hard to find

     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
                       James Poulakos


Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 09:44:31 -0500 (EST)
From: Dolph L Chaney <>
Subject: re: tribute tape

On Mon, 19 Feb 1996 (James Dignan) wrote:
> This sort of thing was done recently on the Robyn Hitchcock list, and the
> resulting 2 tapes (180 minutes of covers) was not only very enjoyable to
> make, but very enjoyable to listen to as well.

Seconded, Mr. Dignan -- and the two of us should know, since we both
appeared on it!



Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 10:33:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Nervous Breakdown?

I am aware of the fact that Andy Partridge passed out on stage in
Paris, 1982 during a show (in support of English Settlement) due to
severe stage fright, which had apparently been increasing over the
years. Why do people say he had a "nervous breakdown"? Was he
subsequently hospitalized for a significant lengthof time? Flipping
out on stage and refusing to perform live again does not, from what I
know, constitute a nervous breakdown.


Date: 20 Feb 1996 11:24:34 -0500
From: "Ken Salaets" <>
Subject: on sense and sensibility

From: William HamBevan <>
>> Ahem... no, actually. I can only presume that you are in favour of the
sort of tax policies that are currently being thrown into the ring by
such cretins [so harsh!] as Dole on your side of the Atlantic.

Genau.  I subscribe to that typical American tendency to reject the fallacy
that government knows best.  In particular, I would flee any effort to force
me to forfeit 90 percent of my income so the nomenklatura can remain
"gainfully" employed ("taxman, Mr. Wilson...)!  In the rouge et noir of life,
I always place my bet on those who keep their bloody hands out of my pockets!

>> ...Thatcher ruined any sense of social responsibility in this country...

'Spect any such sense, if genuine, is grounded more in one's person, and
therefore is not susceptable to the wit or whim of any politician or party.
As for me, I prefer to give by choice, rather than by government fiat, and
will continue to do so unless the local bureaucrats succeed in shutting down
our soup kitchen (some dross about the servers not wearing hair nets).

Or maybe we should talk about Andy's views on religion re "Dear God"...   ;>


Date: 20 Feb 1996 09:37:36 U
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Tribute Tape

Natalie Jane Jacobs <> wrote:

>As a fellow frustrated SKYLACKING contributor, I wholeheartedly endorse John
>Christensen's suggestion that we put together a Chalkhills tribute tape.

Oooh, yeah! Count me in! Start the ball rolling, somebody!

Dibs on the solo ocarina version of "Sgt. Rock"!

This has been done successfully by a lot of fan groups. Over at, they did one last year that reputedly earned a
thumbs-up from Paul McCartney himself. (And how's _that_ for an
intimidating thought, eh?  Yikes! Talk about stage fright! God, I can
see it now: "Dear fans, Linda and I looved your tape, thanks a lot for
making it, keep it oop--all except for that Sherwood person, who
_really_ got on me wick! Give it a rest, _git_! Loov, Paulie")

With proper planning and volunteer support from the group, these
things can be made self-financing. I'm going to look into it, write to
the Proper Authorites.

Harrison "Hey, kids! Let's put on a _show_!" Sherwood


From: Benjamin Woll <>
Subject: The Next LP and Lyric Interpretations
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 13:58:04 -0500 (EST)

I enjoyed reading Eric Rosen's ideas concerning some of the musical
avenues XTC might take on the next record.  However, I disagree with his
assertion that XTC have not been musical innovaters who have shattered
some of the basic structures of "the pop song."  White Music and Go 2
repeatedly use Andy and Colin's voices as instruments, and their snarling,
gurgling, and hiccuping, along with Barry's keyboards, gave otherwise
emotionless and boring British New Wave (Human League, OMD, Spandau
Ballet) an infusion of genuine emotion and NRG.  Drums and Wires and Black
Sea might not be quite as revolutionary, but Terry's intricate drum
patterns and the tightest playing I have ever heard reaffirmed their
status as the masters of their craft.  With English Settlement, Mummer,
and The Big Express XTC continued to explore the vast musical landscape.
"It's Nearly Africa,"  "Yacht Dance," "Me and the Wind," "Beating of
Hearts," "Shake You Donkey Up," "Train Running Low on Soul Coal," and
"Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her" - all groundbreaking stuff.  I
defy anyone to find any piece from which these songs are not a radical
departure.  Though I think their ingenuity has lapsed a bit since The
Big Express - though I do love their later LPs - songs like "Sacrificial
Bonfire," "Hold Me My Daddy," "That Wave," and "Holly Up On Poppy" leave a
legacy as eccentric as any band or artist in the world of pop music.  My
least favorite work, Chips From The Chocolate Fireball, is my least
favorite because it mimics the old (quite well) but does not reach
desperately for something fresh, new, and vibrant...

I have to say that I enjoy reading various lyric interpretations, but I
cannot stand people saying that various readings of songs like "Another
Satellite" and "Dear Madam Barnum" do not hold water.  The reason we love
these songs is because they work on many different levels - they don't
take a topic and simplify it so they can be the McDonald's of the masses -
like that dreadful Joan Osborne tune "One of Us."  Good poetry has
metaphors which work on many different levels, and the fact that Another
Satellite could be about a sexual admirer or religion
the point.  The song is beautiful because it deeply describes life as a
whole and does not divide it up into little snippits.

Just got the Martin Newell/Andy collaboration.  It's great, especially the
first seven songs.  Could have benefitted from more of a production budget
but no worries, it is still a pleasure to listen to.  Sail Around Your
Soul, Ben


Date: 20 Feb 96 16:27:00 EST
From: "will heyniger" <>
Subject: "Harold Budd"?

Was that guy joking about how he'd never realized Harold Budd
was the guy on Letterman? He certainly sounded earnest. Maybe the air
gets thin up near the Oregon border... anyway, I'm certain that
if he was serious, somebody (or several somebodies) has informed
him that Harold Budd is not to be confused with Larry "Bud" Melman,
who is now known on the CBS show by his actual name, Calvert DeForest,
because NBC claimed Melman as its intellectual property. The name,
alas, shall never be seen again. Poor Harold, an ambient knob-twiddler
confused with an addled TV character! Sue Trowbridge, call your office..


Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 17:48:52 -0500
From: Nick Mitchell <>
Subject: Tribute tape

Hello to all who reside on the hill.  I think it would be great to do a
tribute tape.  Of course, there have been some done before, and they are
often talked about in the Express, but there can never be enough!!  The
greatest songwriters since the Beatles deserve all the tribute we can muster.

By the way, a label called Skeptical Cat Recordings in Dayton has a very
XTC/Beatles influenced band called the Mirrors, you may wanna check out some
sound files.

pushing the pedals on the season cycle?


Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 18:34:19 -0500
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: Scissor Man Fairy Tale

I remember my parents had a book of German fairy tales lying around
which they had read themselves as kids growing up in Prussia.  My German
wasn't all that good (still isn't) but I do remember getting the feel of
some of those stories.  They were all really brutual and the moral of
each of them was basically "Obey your parents or die".

One story was about a kid who always bit his nails.  His parents warned
him that if he continued some kind of boogie man (sorry, I can't remember
his name - next time I'm at my parents I'll try and dig up the book) would
come along and do something horrible to him.  The child, being a child,
scoffed and kept on biting his nails.  Well, sure enough, one day he's
busy chewin' and this guy jumps out from behind these bushes.  He's got
wild hair and a crazed look in his eyes and, sure enough, he's carrying a
pair of immense scissors.  The wild man then cuts off the kids fingers.
Boy, was that kid ever sorry and I bet you he never disobeyed his parents

I think about it every time I listen to Scissor Man (the song).  I can't say
there's obvious references to the fairy tale in the song.  As well, who
knows how Andy could've stumbled across a German fairy tale (unless it's
been translated).  Anyways, just thought I'd share that with y'all.

Ted Harms                          Library, Univ. of Waterloo               519.888.4567 x3761
"I guess what I'm really looking for is a desert island.  But
 one with room service." G. Gould


Date: 21 Feb 96 02:29:38 EST
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Producers

There is a record producer database at:

which includes short career bios (and pictures) of Gus Dudgeon, Nick Davis &
John Leckie.



Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 01:04:03 -1000
From: (Michael)
Subject: Omnibus

A reply to a posting

One song that I like (that no one else seems to like) is "Omnibus."

Hey, I really dig "Omnibus." It's a clever and happy tune with an amazing
chord sung at the end during the repetition of the word "Omnibus."

And . . .  Nothing better describes the effect XTC and Chalkhills (the
Omnibus) has on us than the first section of the song:

Climb up here beside me
We can ride and find a friend unfound
Put your foot upon the laughing gas
And drive your grin around
Omnibus, take all of us
All of us, take Omnibus

It may sound corny, but I'm really happy that I'm an XTC fan.



Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 10:53:06 -0600 (CST)
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Favorite Songs?

Some of my favorite XTC songs seem to be ones that hardly anyone
else mentions. I love Ladybird, it's one of my very faves. I also am quite
fond of Paper and Iron (Notes and Coins), Down In the Cockpit, Jump,
That's Really Super Supergirl, Season Cycle, Ballet for a Rainy Day,
Hold Me My Daddy, Scarecrow People, and Holly Up On Poppy.
Of course I'd be hard pressed to name an XTC song that I truly DISLIKE.
And the above songs aren't neccesarily my favorites, just songs no one
else seems to like too much.

 Jim S.     <>

"Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women."


Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 12:04:26 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-72


Just wanted to chime in about the Q magazine review of TD.
HATE to say it, but I agree with about half of the review.
When I played it the first time, I thought TD was extremely
weak and good only as another part of my expanding XTC collection.
On further listenings it gets better (I LIKE Spacehog!), and
although the second half of the disk is better than the first, I'm
not sorry I bought it.

What made me drop a line was the mention of Blur in the article.
I saw all the hooplah about band-bashing in a few earlier issues
of Chalkhills, and I popped my Blur tape (Parklife) into the car
for a few days.  I MUST say I thought I was catching lots of nods
towards XTC's brand of pop stylings for about half of the disc.
While "Girls and Boys" and "Parklife" a very much Blur's own thing,
many of the other songs scream fan-dom of the Fab Three.

Until I have a better reason for Replying,
Patrick Partridge


Date:         Wed, 21 Feb 96 19:49:59 EST
Subject:      Taxes and trumpets

Several items of no importance...

I must take issue with the recent thread commending the proposed album
centered around orchestration.  As XTC has proved again and again, they are
one of the best current bands capable of blending the traditional
aesthetics of rock'n' roll with an orchestra.  But rock performers
attempting to create "classical" music with pop sensibility has been tried
before, i.e. Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney.  Both Elvis and Paul not only
committed commercial suicide, but disappointed their fans as well.  After
all, do you prefer the 'angry young man' Costello, or the mellow,
middle-aged, Costello?  Not much of a choice, IMO.

What I would like XTC to do is create a sort of "retro" LP, similar to Go2.
A 'back to basics,' if you will.

On the current "Dear Madame Barnum" thread, I like the interpretation of
the Madame being Thatcher, even though I don't think Andy had that in mind.
Let us not forget that XTC has always leaned to the left of center, but has
anyone else noticed that most of the political songs are oriented toward
the U.S., and not the U.K. (i.e. "President Kill," "Living Through Another
Cuba," "Toys")?  Any explanation?

And while most would agree with William Bevan that Bob Dole is a cretin,
his tax policies (unfortunately) make a lot more sense than the other
Republicans' do.



Date: Wed, 21 Feb 96 20:15:17 CST

After breaking down and buying Bizarre Depiction's XTC tribute tapes (Obscene
Collection/Beasts I've Seen), and listening to them for the first time today
(and hearing songs being covered for which I've never even heard the
original--Gangway For Electric Guitar, Always Winter Never Christmas),
I realized that what I am REALLY hungry for is more hard-to-find XTC DEMOS
or B-SIDES...

So, if anyone has the following, please e-mail me privately:

--demos/b-sides from Skylarking, Oranges & Lemons, or Nonsuch
--the Window Box demos
--Drums & Wireless
--the Andy P./Harold Budd collaboration
--demos of Drums & Wires, Big Express, Mummer, English Settlement...

I have the following items available for trade:

--Oranges & Lemons Radio Tour recording
--Obscene Collection/Beasts I've Seen (tribute)
--Andy Partridge's HELLO CD
--Jules Verne's Sketchbook/The Bull With the Golden Guts
--Eleven Different Animals (sheet music)

I also have a copy of Chris Twomey's XTC biography which I will NOT trade.
(I will, however, read select passages over the phone for a nominally
exorbitant fee.)

I apologize for the complete gratuitousness of this posting, but before I
go let me in closing thank Dave Franson belatedly for doing the tape tree
thing with the Jules Verne/Golden Guts demos.  Some of those songs were
so fine its just amazing they haven't and apparently won't (?) make it
to record, and I'm glad I got to hear them.

--Doug Downing


Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 23:40:30 -0800
From: becki diGregorio <>
Subject: first missive!!!

greetings to all other xtc listeners!!  this is a first submission to the
chalkhills arena for me, tho i've been quite the fan for many years now.
if any of you also get the "little express" magazine (silly question, i
know), you might recognize me as the musician that got both andy and dave
to autograph my bass guitar (in two separate situations, almost a year
apart).  the photograph of this bass was in one of the issues, as was one
of my photographs of dave playing his "tiny" fender strat that graced the
cover of l.e. a few issues ago.  needless to say, meeting both andy and
dave was a true highlight in this one's life.  both such gentlemen...

anyway, i've a question to put out there.  finally found the chalkhills web
page as well as beatown on the www.  a wealth of information to be sure.
however, i came across what looks to be either an album or cd cover,
entitled "the tiny circus of life."  can someone out there please let me
know what this is??  i don't seem to have it in my collection.

another question --- is my pen-friend peter kitchen a submitter of letters
and messages on this medium??  sure would like to see his notes in computer

thanks in advance to who might answer.  look forward to hearing from you all!!



From: (Jon Eva)
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 12:39:57 +0000
Subject: Saddest Fan

Dear All,

I would like to claim the mantle of Saddest XTC fan. My girl-friend and I
have matching t-shirts decorated with the vignette for Then She Appeared (a
coloured version from the Nonsuch colouring book web page). Hers has been
modified to say Then He Appeared. She is not a fan at all, but thinks it is
sweet to go out wearing matching clothes.

Jon Eva


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-74

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