Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-90

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 90

                  Sunday, 24 March 1996

Today's Topics:

                    tribute tape name
                    Testimonial Dinner
         Tributes, lyrics. birthdays, partridges
           Re: SPIN's Alternative Record Guide
               Spin = Corporate Rock Whore
                 I am the Video Director!
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-89
     Win A Night Out With A Well Known Member Of Blur
                The Gold Tape Loving Gizmo
                My apology about the gizmo
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-89
                video killed the radiostar
                    Tribute Tape Title
                  the other "Garden..."
  John Westley Harding's "When The Beatles Hit America"
                        Beach Boys
      Go2 review;  the xtc-mtv unplugged connection
                        video idea
                  Re: Travels in Nihilon


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Ever and ever will they give us pleasure.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 19:57:16 +0000
Subject: tribute tape name

"Etc." sounds like the ideal name for a tribute tape; short and enigmatic...
a bit like myself, really, except that I'm not short...

Yours in celery

Daniel Prendiville


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Testimonial Dinner
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 96 16:39:55 -0000
From: Rogier van Bakel <>

>Many of you will have heard "Testimonial Dinner" (I haven't yet - I just
>placed an order

Finally got my hands on a copy the other day. Not that impressed, except
by Sara McLachlan's extraordinary, intimate version of "Dear God."
(Although that middle eight section  -- "I don't believe in heaven and
hell", etc -- still sounds strange and musically inappropriate to me, as
do *many* of XTC's middle eights; overwrought, artificial; more like a
seed for new song than an organic part of an existing one. So sue me).

XTC songs covered by the Rembrandts and The Crash Test Dummies are
particularly disappointing. Although the Rembrandts incorporate a dopey
chord substitution in the chorus of "Making Plans for Nigel", their and
the CTD versions are just too reverent. These groups have very little to
add to XTC's material.

Terry & the Lovemen take this to the extreme. They introduce an XTC
archive gem called "The Good Things" that sounds like it's being
performed by the Fab Three themselves. You don't suppose that... Nah! ;-))

Someone may have pointed this out before (my memory is far from perfect),
but in the liner notes, the origin of the very first song is
misidentified. "Earn Enough For Us" is not from Black Sea, but from
Skylarking. What an amazing blunder for a TRIBUTE album.

Rogier van Bakel


Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 13:34:20 -0500
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Tributes, lyrics. birthdays, partridges

> From: (Steve-O Lutz)
> 	On Spilt Milk, it seems to me as though each track is a tribute to
> an individual band.  Joining a Fan Club is very definitely derived
> >from Queen.  New Mistake is Supertramp all the way (the organ on the
> fade out is pretty much exact).  Sebrina, Paste, and Plato is Sgt.
> Pepper-era Beatles (the guitar behind the "So serene" chorus is
> particularly reminiscint of Getting Better).  I'd be hard-pressed to
> say there's an overriding style for the whole album.

Well, now, I've never heard or read anything about Andy (Sturmer, that is)
trying to pull a Dukes of Stratosphere and imitate a different group for
each song, but your theory is an interesting one.  I can't agree with
the Sgt. Pepper assertion, but I'll have to go back and listen to it yet
again. I've steadfastly avoided both Queen and Supertramp, so there's
not much I can say about that one.

> 	Bellybutton is slightly less pointedly-imitative, which makes it a
> superior album for me.  It's still very Beatle-esque, but manages to
> expand on its bases a little instead of just celebrating them.

_Spilt Milk_ remains my fave.  Wow, is this a great record to listen to
on headphones!  I do a lot of listening here at work, and there are so
many layers of sound here.  I'm trying to track down the _Sing Hollies
in Reverse_ (couldn't find it in Boston this weekend--can someone shout
with a label privately, please?) just to listen to the Jon Brion song.
Not that Brion is on _Spilt Milk_, but The Grays' album is also a headphones
winner.  So, for that matter, is _The Bends_ by Radiohead.  I'm drawn into
the great production work behind those songs--John Leckie is king.

And hey!  I found a Grays CD single for 99 cents in Cambridge--made my day.

>From Phil:

> I can't believe there's still an argument about this, but to those of
> you in far-flung corners of the globe who speak with silly accents (no
> offence intended <grin>), I really think you should let those of us
> actually in possession of an english accent make any comments on what
> it sounds like... the first wird is definitely, positively, 100%
> guaranteed, no arguments necessary, etc. etc. "straight". There is _no_
> _way_ it sounds _anything_ like "stand". The second 2 syllables are less
> clear, but definitely start with a "t" or "ch" sound, hence "to ya",
> slurred.
> Can't someone just, um, ask Colin or something?

Or perhaps someone who subscribes to _The Little Express_ can write in--
I believe the publishers keep in touch with the band.  Perhaps there is
a way they can find out, if anyone really wants to know.  Either that or
someone making the next holy pilgrimage to Swindon needs to hang out in
a pub until one of the Fab Three appears... (Yes, I'm joking about that
last one.)

I found the conversation pretty enlightening, as I was always guessing
about what it was.  As far as the assertion that it doesn't sound *anything*
like "stand"--well, that's my set of American East Coast ears for you!

>From Simon Sleightholm:

> carries a little article celebrating Andy's birthday, as does
> As you can see, they can't quite decide exactly when his birthday is, but
> it's a nice gesture all the same.

They can't get their facts straight at all.  They ran a birthday tribute
to him on September 11th, then November 11th, then December 11th.  I almost
wrote a snide note asking them to just run it once a month, but just got
peeved and stopped reading it.  I guess we should be glad that he got
mentioned, but the journalist in me really doesn't think much of Addicted
to Noise's constant mistakes.  This one won the prize for the duh! factor.

> From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
> Yesterday I purchased a huge thick book called THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA
> OF MYTHS AND SECRETS by Barbara G. Walker - one of Andy's favorite books,
> fact fans

This is indeed the book that Andy mentioned he had borrowed from his
girlfriend to "read in the toilet", and he said something about being in
there almost all day. (I don't like thinking about that last bit.)

> I have another book which points out that the partridge is a traditional
> symbol of lust, and the "partridge in a pear tree" is a phallic symbol -
> along with the five golden rings, etc. offered to his lover, the singer
> is also offering himself.
> Somehow, this explains a lot to me.  I don't know why.

Dern tootin'.  Considering how peniscentric his lyrics can be, this may
explain why--it's in his last name as well as in his pants and hormones!



Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 14:03:44 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <960322140344.2022de58@CEDAR.GOSHEN.EDU>
Subject: Fields

Weeks ago Colin Wright was so nice as to send me a copy of the Fields CD
"...crooked castles and mountains of want" without charge all the way from
Alexandria Austrailia, and all he wanted from me in return was a little
review of the record here in Chalkhills.

I can sum it up in 4 words, I really like it.  It's a very pleasing record
to listen to casually and critically.  Colin Wright mentioned that they had
been remarked as being similar to Crowded House and I don't doubt it, but
I've heard very little Crowded House myself so couldn't make that clear
distintion.  How ever I have heard other similarities.  They seem somewhat
folk influenced and reminded me a little of Grant Lee Buffalo, and a friend
also noted that their musical style on one of their songs reminded him of
Frente.  But when I usually try to describe them I say that they're kind of
a "folk Morphine" (due greatly to their occasional sax implementation).
They're also reportedly XTC fans and when I thought about it I could see
it; if you crossed , "Sacrificial Bonfire", "This world over" and maybe
just a little bit of "Scarecrow people" you'd almost have a Fields song.  I
also asked people that were listening to my college radio show what they
thought and got some pretty good reports.  Some cool songs "Steel can of
reason", "No reason why", "Safe", and "Peacetime>"
		TTFN-Jeff Eby


Subject: Re: SPIN's Alternative Record Guide
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 96 15:22:17 -0500

RE: the review of  _SPIN's Alternative Record Guide_ in the
last issue of Chalkhills:except for a pretty good cover and a
decent summary of a few bands (e.g., Wire), this book is crap.

Despite what this book would like you to believe, the bands
Kiss, Black Sabbath, and Abba (each has an entry in this
book!) were never alternative. Alternative to what? Each band
sold millions of records, never had airplay on college radio,
and were all in the mainstream.

Weird...the SPIN reviewer gives a low ranking (3) to Beeswax
and considerably higher rankings to "same place as they got
the singles from" albums.


Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 15:25:56 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Spin = Corporate Rock Whore
Message-ID: <>

Don't forget that in the Spin Alternative [sic] Music Guide entry on XTC,
"Meccanik Dancing" is described as classist and condescending, and "Funk
Pop a Roll" as pointless ranting.  Re. the latter, it shouldn't surprise
anyone that someone who works for Spin wouldn't recognize criticism
directed at himself; he's one of "those hammers to keep you pegs in your
holes," a corporate-sanctioned arbiter of taste for the toiling masses.
The objects of satire can never see their own reflection.

Natalie Jacobs
"There ain't no devil, there's just God
when he's drunk." - Tom Waits


Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 14:55:36 -0600 (CST)
From: "LaShawn M. Taylor" <>
Subject: I am the Video Director!
Message-ID: <>

I have the perfect video for Colin's "The Good Things" on a Testimonial
Dinner that will fit perfectly with his *nom de plume*.  Imagine the
cameral panning onto a long table with a large, medieval spread in the
middle of a vast hazy, sunlit daisy meadow.  People dressed in Renaissance
would be strolling about chatting, eating or  waltzing in front of a
makeshift stage, wearing extravagent masks.

On the stage would be Colin wearing an elaborately,
feathered eyemask.  On his left would be Gregory playing a harp and on
his right would be Andy playing his guitar.  Both of them would also be
wearing masks, but theirs can be like those porcelain faces masks you
sometimes see hanging on folks' walls.

Near the end of the song (after Colin sings "just believe me. . ."), a
sudden burst of wind blows off Gregory's mask.  Pandemonium erupts as the
wind sweeps over everything, uprooting the table, tossing food, masks and
revelers everywhere, even stripping away the landscape (a
neat image of Andy falling flat on his face trying to chase down his own
mask) until only Colin remains, still wearing his mask, standing
motionless in a dark, dreary alley.

BTW, I like Chalkhills Children as the title for the Tribute Album.  I
have absolutely no musical talent, but I'm eager to hear the other
Chalkhillians who do have it :)

LaShawn M. Taylor

* ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, my head is spinning	like the world	|
at the kind of beasts I've seen		|  Watch for my brand spanking new
Let me put my bag down and I'll tell 	|  home page coming soon to an URL
about it from the start. . .xTc		|  near you (knuckle down!!)
* ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Message-Id: <v01530501ad78ca7af0c9@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 13:45:58 -0800
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-89

>White Music, 6;  Go2, 7;  Drums and Wires, 8;  Black Sea, 6; English
>Settlement, 5;  Waxworks, 8;  Beeswax, 3;  Mummer, 4;  Big Express,
>4;  Skylarking, 8;  Oranges & Lemons, 6;  Rag & Bone, 5;  Explode
>Together, 4;  Nonsuch, 6;  BBC Radio One Live, 4
>Dukes - 25 O'Clock, 5;  Psonic Psunspot, 5;  Chips, 6
>And then try this, "The Dukes of Stratosphear was a Rutles-type
>exercise in 60's necrophilia.  The various Beatles, Byrds, and Beach
>Boys gags are as much of a slap in the face to the group's lame
>mid-period as Skylarking proved."  and.... "The Mayor of Simpleton,
>which is Sam Cooke's 'Wonderful World' rewritten from a moron's
>Mark Rushton

Well, I gotta admit, I also instantly thought of "Wonderful World" when I
heard "Mayor Of Simpleton" for the first time. Doesn't mean "Simpleton"
isn't a cute song, though.

There's lots of strange stuff going on with that Spin guide. I skimmed it
in a store, and wrinkled my brow many, many times. I seem to remember
seeing "Trout Mask Replica," "London Calling" and Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs"
all getting 7's (a few of my favorite albums), while seeing three or four
8's listed under Diamanda Galas. (Diamanda Galas?) Try to figure THAT one
out. I'm not going to buy the book. Even being a few years out of date, the
Trouser Press Guide is far more dependable (and there's a new version
coming, too).

Off the top of my head, my own ratings would be: White Music 7, Go2 6,
Drums & Wires 7, Black Sea 8, English Settlement 7, Mummer 8, Big Express
8, Skylarking 9, Oranges & Lemons 8, Rag & Bone 7, Nonsuch 8, Chips From
The Chocolate Fireball 8. I'd like to insert a bunch of +'s and -'s
however, because a 10-point scale is awfully limited. And if I retreated to
my CD player for a day or two, I might come up with some different grades.



From: 7IHd <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Win A Night Out With A Well Known Member Of Blur
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 22:36:10 +0000 (GMT)

# From: (Mark Fisher)
# Subject: Paranoid delusions
# I've been resisting making this comment, because it seems like too obscure
# an influence, but I can't hear Blur's *Parklife* (the song) without
# thinking of Barry Andrews' *Win a Night Out With a Well-Known Paranoic*.
# Although I don't imagine the Andrews song sold more than about 12 copies, I
# do remember it getting quite a lot of airplay on the Anne Nightingale show
# on Radio One, where it had a kind of cult status, so it's not inconceivable
# that the Blur kids might have heard it.
# We could rendezvous at a place I know (Parklife!)
# Any thoughts?

Hey, he's right! Wow. :-)

It was the B-side of "Rossmore Road" the first time around - I'm surprised
the B-side got airplay (though it is definitely very good! - I miss Annie
Nightingale's show...). But Mike Reid used to play the A side, I don't
remember it from when it was released (I'm far too young for that) but I
heard him play it as "a request for a song he used to play a few years ago"
once, which was in fact what led me to investigate Mr. Andrews further.

Anyway, I suspect it sold *slightly* more than 12 copies, as I have two,
Barry has one, and you have one, Radio One obviously has one too, and no
doubt Mike Reid has his own, as he proclaimed it as one of his all time
favourite records. So that's 6 already. :-)

It's a big shame that that record wasn't a hit, as everyone who's heard it
seems to think it's brilliant. Barry, incidently, doesn't really like it
any more, though I think he thinks the A side is OK.

Oh well. I always said "Parklife" was Blur's least original album... :-)

On the subject of Radio One airplay, a while back people mentioned Mark
Radcliffe's show as somewhere to hear XTC... it's just occurred to me that
he actually played something off "Through The Hill" once!

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


Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 16:03:49 -0800
Message-Id: <>
From: (Byron Keathe Wright)
Subject: Potpourri

Fellow Chalklates:

In the previous Chalkhill Digest, Mark Rushton unearthed some off-kilter
commentary in a SPIN record guide slagging XTC.  To me, the most striking
SPIN criticism was the supposed unsingalongability (look it up - it's in
the dictionary, right where I scrawled it in crayon) of XTC songs.  HUH?!
I've yet to find a MORE singalongable group than XTC.  Period.  Anywhere.

Listening to most groups, I tend to focus upon the music well before the
lyrics/vocals, often blocking out the latter to enjoy the former.
Lyrics/vocals are in my estimation secondary to the music anyway.  But with
XTC, for example and by stark contrast, lyrics/vocals are nearly half the
fun.  It's a blast to sing along with XTC music.  I've probably learned a
greater proportion of XTC lyrics than any other group to which I listen,
because so few groups are capable of penning lyrics worth remembering;
also, XTC's delightful and creative variety of vocal stylings, whether
Partridgean or Mouldian, don't usually get old and insufferable after one
or two listens.  White Music to Nonsuch, the "GAMUT".  What a goofy word,
that.  Anyway, I'm with Mr. Rushton: Mr. SPIN Alternative Record Guy Clown
needs to get his head out of, uhm, WHEREVER he's stuffed it.

...Well, okay, that's not exactly a direct quote from Mr. Rushton, but I
think it makes a valid point just the same.

On another topic, the Honourable Paul Culnane from Oz wrote in the same
digest the praises of Spacehog.  Called 'em "quirky" power pop.  No
disrespect intended, Paul, but when I listened to the "Resident Alien" CD I
was struck by its utter conventionality and LACK of quirk.  It nearly put
me to sleep.  Damnable expectations...

Seattleites (don't need another Seattleite) in particular might enjoy the
following: on 19 Feb. I was down at Key Arena to watch the Seattle 'Sonics
notch a win over the Atlanta Hawks.  With the NBA being the nonstop,
over-the-top, "in-yo-face" turbo-newkyular *ENTERTAINMENT!!!!* steamroller
into which it's devolved of late, the last thing I expected was the music
of XTC serenading Hoop Heads engaged in SeatQuest prior to tip-off.
However, as I located my own perch, the very first thing I heard over the
p.a. above the low rumble of the gathering crowd was "The Mayor of
Simpleton".  Mr. McManus immediately followed, truly delightful, a really
cool revved-up tune I'd never heard (it must be newish, but not from Brutal
Youth, 'cause I know that one) featuring a tilted (skewed) chord
progression (for which I'm one of those type people ol' Phineas Taylor
hee-self once insisted are "born every minute").  Drab order wasn't
restored until they played that Foo Fighters alternaballad garbage-hit (the
band is okay, but I could do without all the obligatory and seemingly
extraneous unpluggeddy efforts this decade has yielded, including this

I wonder, by the bye: did Pete Shelley ever figure out what to do with his

The new Grifters CD, a winner, contains a subtle Wilsonian nod (wink, poke,
prod, jab, etc.).  The tune "Last Man Alive" is perhaps best described as a
Brian Wilson sandwich (no mayonnaise, please) on thick crumbly David Bowie
(white) bread, if you're hungry for that sort of thing.  "Radio City
Suicide" is as fine a conclusion to a CD as I've heard in a while.  It's
worth noting that the Grifters doubtless represent a bad diet for the more
anally retentive among us.


- Keathe    { }


Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 17:32:46 -0800
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: The Gold Tape Loving Gizmo (Arthur James Virgin) writes:
>>Who among us has heard the re-mastered Skylarking (on Gold CD) put out by
>>Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs?
>vocals are more pronounced and there seems to be more s e p e r a t i o n
>in the mix.

I agree.  The percussion seems clearer and is more spread out across
the soundstage than on any other version I've heard.  Definitely nice
and clear (as clear as you can get with Todd at the board).

"Kendrick, Tim" <> writes:
>    I suggest that we call the tribute tape:
>           "Remembering Guernica"

Excellent. writes:
>I just got an idea for the Tribute Tape title:
>Chalkhill's Children

Shouldn't that be _Chalkhills' Children_? (Steve-O Lutz) writes:
>	I think the lyrics tend to support "stand clear" a lot better than
>they do "straight to ya".

The funny thing is that I always thought it was "strange trip".
Must've been the neo-psychedelic flavour of the song (or maybe it was
the drugs 8^) (James Dignan) writes:
>Oh yes. And I also know that Godley and Creme released some gems of albums
>that no-one seems to have heard of, like "L", Freeze Frame", and "Ismism"

Actually, I've heard _L_ was released on CD in Japan, but I wouldn't
fork out US$30+ for it...  I'll just listen to the vinyl again, thank
you very much.

	-- John

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Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 01:59:09 -0500 (EST)
From: "Tom X. Chao" <tqc8542@is.NYU.EDU>
Subject: My apology about the gizmo
Message-Id: <>

Yes, I knew the Gizmo wasn't a synthesizer as we know them today (huge
steam-powered piston-pounding acoustic sound generators).  In my
excitement at discovering some mention of 10cc, I lacked specificity.  I
foreswore it.

What about that XTC band, eh?  Are they good or what, eh?


Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 04:43:04 -0800
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Kennedy <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #2-89

> Even harder to notice, but definitely there if you
>play the track LOUD, is the noise of a chair creaking during Sacrificial

Call me crazy, but I am pretty darn sure that the "creaking chair" in
Sacrificial Bonfire is the sound of a crackling "bondfire".  Makes
sense huh??

> I haven't seen anything in writing to confirm that Mr.Partridge
> has indeed been influenced in some way by Mr.Wilson.... Help me.
> Bill Godby

I have a friend in New York who once gave a grateful Mr. Partridge a
cassette of some rare Beach Boys material.  If you can not hear the
influence, you can at least be sure he is a fan.
P.S. Andrew B, are you out there?
S Kennedy


Message-Id: <v01510100ad7987609999@[]>
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 15:57:14 +0000
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: video killed the radiostar

Am I the only one whose heart has sunk at reading the synopses of imagined
XTC videos that a couple of Chalkies have suggested? Maybe it's my lack of
imagination at interpreting them, but they sound to me like a
million-and-one pop videos that fill up MTV every day. In that sense,
they're no worse than any other, it just seems to me that the pop video has
become a terribly cliched medium and - call me old fashioned but - few
people have found an appropriate visual accompaniment to the pop song since
Dick Lester's Beatle-flicks.

I don't claim to have the visual imagination to think up an alternative,
but I have a suspicion that it would not have images of the band (playing
instruments, staring meaningfully into the camera, anything), just as it
wouldn't have images of old people walking past in slow motion (which every
video I ever see seems to have). The problem, I guess, is that most videos
are designed as adverts (hence pictures of the 'product', ie the band) and
that does not make for interesting art.

The second problem is that visual images tend to make concrete the things
that music leaves abstract and - at the risk of contradicting my earlier
postings about song meanings - denies the listener a lot of interpretive

I still believe that a good music video should be possible, I just don't
think that anyone, in the mainstream at least, knows what it would look

Maybe someone out there does . . .

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Message-ID: <>
From: Tim and Stephanie Schreyer <>
Subject: Tribute Tape Title
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 11:16:37 -0500

Hello Chalkhillians!

Back in the early days of Chalkhills, there was an attempt to put together
a tape of Chalkhillians' bands playing XTC tunes.  I worked as sound man at
the time for a band, the Modern Day Pharaohs, and submitted a couple
horribly recorded live tunes to the project.  The tape never emerged -- I
think the compiler absconded with the goods!  -- but it had been named!

And as the suggester of the name, I resubmit to you:

    _This_Is_NOT!_    (yeah, yeah, yeah)

What do you think?

:-)  Tim



Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 14:02:38 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: the other "Garden..."
Message-ID: <>

Someone mentioned that Snakefinger has a song called "The Garden of
Earthly Delights": it should be pointed out that that's a cover; the
original version dates from the late '60s, I believe, by a band called
The United States of America (if I'm remebering right).


Jeffrey J. Norman <>
Dept. of English & Comp. Lit., U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"Eating nuts and berries, masturbating, and shitting under a rock isn't
going to change the world."


Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 04:45:15 GMT
Message-Id: <>
From: Todd Wells <>
Subject: John Westley Harding's "When The Beatles Hit America"

I'm not sure how recently or if this has been mentioned on Chalkhills, I've
been lurking off-and-on for a long time but haven't made myself heard much

Anyway, the John Westley Harding song "When The Beatles Hit America" that is
featured on the Sire "Just Say Mao" sampler CD, is about his dream (circa
1990) about the Beatles reuniting (include John) and touring America.

A segment of the lyrics is:

        And finally the record hits the shelves
        and it's called "The Beatles - From Ourselves"

        and for anyone that didn't know
        well it sounded quite alot like
        ELO or ELP or FYZ or REM or XTC,
        it sounded alot like XTC!

I'm sure some of you are familiar with this, but I thought I'd pass it along
in case some of us hadn't heard about it.

It's really a witty little song (recorded on DAT in a hotel room).  Another
favorite line:

        a place where reunions are not expected of anyone
        (not even the Buzzcocks)


- Todd				"I wanna be famous, a star of the screen			 but you can do something in between..."

What's wrong with McDonald's? Check out McSpotlight!


From: Stewart Evans <>
Subject: Beach Boys
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 23:07:27 -0700 (MST)
Message-ID: <>

Just in case anybody still doubts the Beach Boys connection, here's
an interview excerpt from around the time of "Psonic Psunspot":

SE: A couple of songs on the new albums have been particularly cited as
sounding like certain other bands.

AP: Oh, yes!

SE: Was there a deliberate tribute attempt?

AP: Absolutely.  That was generally the...I hate this expression, but I'm
going to use it, because I can't think of another...the raison d'etre.
There we are, that's French for 'there is the raisin'. The very being
of the Dukes is that they sound unnervingly like other bands that you
know, but you can't quite put your finger on it.  Umm...well, it's great
fun to play spot the influence, you can put tracks on and people will
say "Oh, that's so-and-so" so I don't know whether I should give it all
away and just tell you who they're supposed to be, or whether you want
to play the game for a bit.

SE: I suppose it keeps the mystery up, it'll make people listen more if
you don't tell us, so maybe you shouldn't.

AP: Well maybe have a couple, I'll give you the obvious ones that you just
can't get wrong.  I dunno, maybe you got them wrong, how embarrassing!
"You're My Drug" is the Byrds, that's pretty obvious.  "Pale and Precious"
is the Beach Boys.  That was really difficult to do, because Beach Boys
vocals are so distinctive to them.  When your voice is like a seal barking,
which mine is, it's really tricky to make yourself like the Beach Boys.
You just have to imagine that your hips are fatter and they're kind of
squeezed into those sandy colored slacks, and there you are, lead in bed.
"Vanishing Girl"...that's the Hollies, right.  The great missing Hollies
single or whatever.

Incidentally, this is from an interview that I did with Andy for a radio
special on KFJC, back in 1987 or 88. I've only just now finished transcribing
the whole thing, and I'm sending it to John separately for adding to the

-- Stewart

	[ It's in the archives now.  Ten hut!  -- John ]


Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 02:04:29 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Michael Wicks)
Subject: Go2 review;  the xtc-mtv unplugged connection

Dear Fellow Chalkhillians,

Hey, guys!  It's time for a bit of  a walk down memory lane, when Barry the
Car and Terry the Fish were still in the band. Yes, I've been listening to
some Go2 (and reading 'chalkhills and children'). Mind you, I first bought
the album because of its intriguing cover (I'd never seen an album cover
WITHOUT any art, pictures, anything, except maybe the Beatles White Album).
 The text of the cover is typical Partridge humor, and the concept was/is
still one of my favorite
    Now,  without any further ado, a brief review of the "Strong and Silent":

Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)- An eclectic, riveting, energetic, frantic
song.   Love the phrase,  "Woolworth Beauty, Factory Beau".  Early hip-hop?
Naa, just 'ol fashioned wir-y music.        B+
Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)- As one reviewer put it, "...couldn't
have been better even if Eno had proudced the boys..."  This is one of my
favorite early live songs that the band played.   A-
Buzzcity Talking-  Colin, with a wonderfully-cocky accent, sings with
youthfull angst and rebelliousness.  What energy!  The shattered plinking
of Barry's keyboard is also a delight.    B
Crowded Room-  Every time I'm on the subway, or in a bar here in Osaka,
this song rings in my  head.  One of the first slamdancing/mosh/rave songs,
perhaps?  Colin scores a double!       B+
The Rhythm-  The synth/keyboards sounding like someone blowing into a
garden hose, as  the water gets closer to the top, then back down the hose.
Great vocals by senor Partridge.   "Gene Kelly's hat and cane..."   A-
Red-  More post-Modern-punk here.  "Red! Red! Don't let them make you see..."
A fun song.            C+
Beatown-  A capital city (Boston? Or is that 'Beantown'?)  with all roads
leading to it, and seems like no one's there  to answer the communists. A bit
violent, with "beat" and "use the head, and not the fist". Nonetheless, a
damn good song.     B-
Life Is Good in the Greenhouse- Yes! Cool song! "...rather be a plant that
be your Mickey Mouse".  An ode to my -ex, circa 1991, and her fascination for
M.Mouse and plants. (I know, literal interpretation, but still... :-)    A-
Jumping In Gomorah-  The best lyrics on the whole album, and the music
isn't so bad, either. "Next stop: Tower of Babel"        B-
My Weapon- Barry trying to take the band on a different route. Sorry,
Barry, but Andy  was making other plans! (ouch!)         C-
Super-Tuff- Well, better than the previous one, but I wish Sargasso Bar had
been chosen instead.                                                     C
I Am The Audience- Another Golden Moulding!  Be your own ticket!     B-
Are You Receiving Me?-  The best song out of the lot, even the Martin Rushnet
version/production.  Call it punk, new wave, britpop, whatever. As long
as you call it one of late 1978's best songs!  Nice work!               A
  Overall, about a 'B',  give or take a few percentage points!
Not mentioned was the weirdest song, "Strange Tales, Strange Tails", which
can be heard on 'Rag and Bone Buffet', definately not all rags and bones.
Some scraps, yes, but generally a fine collection of untarnished "junk".

Finally, a question (not about Go2).   Saw a book not too long ago covering
a history of MTV's Unplugged, but was majorly disappointed on the total
lack of mention of XTC's role in the show. Now I know they never formally
played under the Unplugged title/heading, but as I recall, they did do a
couple songs (King For A Day, Scarecrow People) for an audience of 150, on
June 28th, 1989. This was called a mini-acoustic set, but does anyone out
there know for certain if XTC was the first band to do that for MTV, i.e.
play only acoustic guitars in front of an MTV studio audience?  I'm at a
loss as to why, again, XTC doesn't even get a footnote mention in this
small bit of musical history.

Next month:  A bit of Drums and Wires,  including the many faces of Nigel!

-Michael W. (


Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 12:07:33 -0500 (EST)
From: kathryn lynne burda <>
Subject: video idea
Message-ID: <>

	If I had an unlimited budget for an XTC video, I would begin with
"No Thugs In Our House".  It would start off with a shot of the
quintessial suburban household and its occupants- everyone happy, having
fun, etc.  Fade to a shot of the band, and then back to the family.  This
time the veneer is wearing off, and you start to see the problems that
Junior is causing.  Bothering his siblings, breaking things, torturing
the family pet, and so forth.  A zoom shot of him seated with a pot in
his lap and a wooden spoon in one hand as he's "banging out a headache on
the kitchen floor".  More shots of little Graham as he turns into a real
menace, all while the parents dismiss the idea that their little precious
could be so bad.  I might have a scene where they actually scold him, but
at the end it would do no good- he'd be moving on to bigger and more
serious crimes (all the while completing them with a mischevious smile on
his face).


Message-Id: <v01530503ad7bba90feb7@[]>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 14:53:03 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: Travels in Nihilon

>Anyone know anything about a book titled Travels In Nihilon?
>i have a vague memory of seeing it's cover once and would be very
>interested in it.
>does it really exist?

I've read it, many years ago - it's a sort of Gulliver's Travels type story
written (I think) by Alan Sillitoe. Didn't really impress me very much, and
I wouldn't have read it if it wasn't for its title :)



Message-Id: <v01530504ad7bbb552d07@[]>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 14:55:53 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Trainspotting

>And for the real train spotters amongst us, has anyone noticed the studio
>noise at the beginning of the album version of Towers of London (edited out
>of the single version)?

"Trainspotting" is a very good name for it, since I always thought it was
one of those annoying, tannoy systems from a railway station (the type that
announces unintelligible "the train now arriving..."). Never could
understand what it was doing there.



End of Chalkhills Digest #2-90

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