Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-108

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 108

                    Monday, 5 May 1997

Today's Topics:

              Dave Marsh on XTC (historical)
               new songs and a little smut
         Chains of thoughts to snare you with...
        Making Plans For Nigel, Robbie and George
                  Another desperate fan
           Second Hand Dance (since you asked)
                     ChalkTape Status
                   May I suggest Prozac
             Monkeys, monkeys, everywhere...
              TransPacific Chalkhills visit!
                  Re: XTCers in Florida!
                       XTC spotting
                 Demo Tapes of New Stuff
            Welcome to the gaaaaaarrrrrden....
                       Catching up
                      Re: Andy Demos
                       XTC is here
                    Matrix of Reality
                 Ice Cream for Partridge
                 XTC vs A.A. (A Question)
                 The Opposite of Cloying
         Talking Heads, white horses and politics


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Sitting in the family trees and eating all the best fruits.


Date: Thu, 01 May 1997 09:25:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dave Marsh on XTC (historical)
Message-id: <9704018625.AA862503826@FINSMTP1.FIN.GOV.BC.CA>

Other contributors have offered analyses of Dave Marsh's approach to
rock criticism.  Here's another telling bit - his blurb on XTC from
the 1983 book "The New Rolling Stone Record Guide".

     *** White Music (1978)
     *** Go Two [sic] (1978)
     **** Drums and Wires (1979)
     **** Black Sea (1980)
     [note that it's a 5-star system, and the book went to press
     before the release of English Settlement]

     Anglo art-pop's 1978 debuts were less than impressive, perhaps
     because the punkish competition was a bit stiff [did he intend
     the pun?] that year.  As Andy Partridge's sense of twisted pop
     began to dominate Colin Moulding's penchant for skewed art,
     however, XTC became more and more one of the highlights of the
     contemporary British scene.  That is, this is one of the few arty
     avant-gardists of the post-punk moment that can really rock out,
     which means that it sweats enough to earn its pretensions (and
     maybe even its nihilism).

Elsewhere in the book Marsh raves about the first 4 Elvis Costello
albums (4 stars except for the 5 star Armed Forces) but laments his
subsequent loss of focus.  He didn't get to write the Kinks or Robert
Fripp and King Crimson entries.

And, as support those who said that Marsh is something of a
Springsteen fan, here's brief extract from Marsh's entry in "The
Guide":  "He is the most brilliant American rock & roll performer to
emerge in the last decade, with a truly remarkable verbal facility.
But Springsteen's lyrical talent is only the equal of his strengths as
a composer, as a live performer and as a guitarist. ...  If there had
been any doubt [Nebraska, the new album when the book was published]
firmly and finally placed Bruce Springsteen among the greatest, most
ambitious artists rock has produced."

Marsh has written 2 Springsteen biographies, the titles of which
escape me.  The first appeared in the early '80s, in the period around
The River and Nebraska.  A second was whipped together in about 1985
or '86 to capitalize on the astonishing success of Born In The USA and
the bloated live album that followed.

BTW:  I think that Springsteen has produced (and continues to produce)
some great music, but I think that the degree of Dave Marsh's
enthusiasm is unjustified.  Re-phrased, Springsteen's music is good
but I have a hard time placing him in the pantheon of rock demi-gods.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 01 May 1997 12:19:48
From: "Jason \"Freak\" Garcia" <>
Subject: new songs and a little smut

Well well well.

I've finally heard the New Demos, and I have to say there really are a
number of songs that just jump out at you and say, "Hi, we're great songs!
Listen to us over and over!!"  The first one that fit this category was
"Easter Theater".
One of Andy's best melodies, methinks.  "You And The Clouds" has been
sneaking into my head as of late (my pick for the first single), and
recently "Prince of Orange" and "I Can't Own Her" have joined the ranks of
great new songs, with more to follow as I have more time to listen to the

I have two words for Ben Folds Five: piano masturbation.  I really don't
like groups whose sole purpose seems to back some virtuoso (Bruce Hornsby
and The Range, anyone?), but at least his melodies are decent.

Must go botch my SECOND test today, now.
This is the last Thursday of my college career!  Whoo-hoo!!


From: Cheryl <>
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 21:24:28 GMT
Subject: Chains of thoughts to snare you with...
Message-ID: <>

Hi there chalk-people!

I had this urge to listen to 'Ladybird', though I don't know why...
Anyway as I was listening, I found myself waiting for the place in
the song where you can barely hear an audible HOO! in the background.
It happens at about 3:01, I think.  I just love that bit!  As if the
HOO-ing could not be contained.  Any ideas as to who might be doing
the hoo-ing?  This made me think of...

'Rocket from a Bottle'- I had included this on a compilation tape I
had made for walking.   As I would come across the
playground on my route, this song would come on. Walking along, I
heard a shriek, "WOO!"   The first time I heard it I thought someone
was in distress. Wide-eyed, I scanned the playground to find no
one there.  The next few times I heard it I figured someone was being
cheeky and I would just glare out across the playground
knowing....THEY  were there.  Well, it wasn't until one night while
lying in bed, that it happened..."WOO!"  As I had a minor heart
attack, I realized that the "WOO!" was in the song.  It sounds very
female.  Who the heck is that?  It occurs at about 2:24 on the CD.

And turning a left turn here...
What ever happen to the group Sparks?

You've got angst in your pants....


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 22:05:06 +0000
Subject: Making Plans For Nigel, Robbie and George


Mark Fisher alerted us all :

> Just got the Robbie Williams CD single (Old Before I Die) with his
> cover of Making Plans for Nigel on the b-side (remember b-sides?).

I got it too - I thought: "nobody could possible ruin a song like
'Nigel' "...
But guess what?
Robbie Williams did - he really _murdered_ it.
He doesn't even make an attempt to actually sing the song; he just
blares out the words - more or less! ;)

Anyway, I _did_ however notice that the producer for all the tracks
on the CD single (and presumably the whole album ) is one G.Chambers
I think this is the same person as George Chambers who operated
the tape recorder on the original Nigel and Drums And Wires sessions.

So that (IMVHO!) is how Dave G. must have gotten involved in this
very mediocre "project"...
Mr Chambers probably called his ol' buddy to rescue the sesssions
And could it not have been _their_ idea instead of Robbie's to record
'that Nigel song' ?

This would explain Mr. Williams less than inspired performance and we
all know XTC could do with some royalties :)

PS: I really don't like the way things are going 'here' lately.
Too much hatred and bigotry IMHO.
Let's clean up our acts, folks... knuckle down!
Or else all the decent people will go into lurk mode (or just leave)
and this digest that used to be quite interesting to fans and casual
admirers of that great band XTC will just be spammed to death.

yours ecstatically,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <===
We all need a big reduction in the amount of tears


Date: Thu, 01 May 97 17:15:22 EST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Another desperate fan

     In response to Peter Wright's post:

     Me too. All this waffle is all well and good (and even slightly
     diverting). But where is the music? I don't want to hear the demos. I
     want the surprise and enchantment of hearing the final versions as
     intended by Dave, Andy and Colin. (I'll want to hear the demos after
     I've heard the originals to see how they evolved).

     Five years is too long - I'm going nuts listening to the old stuff.
     I'll end up disappearing up my own CD player if I'm not careful. What
     is happening? I'd feel a little better if there was some more concrete
     news about how things were going (maybe that isn't the function of
     this list?). I can't (don't want to) believe that record company execs
     would view XTC as such a liability. Are ALL labels so commercial that
     they would not risk a non-touring band (the answer is no, surely).
     Therefore, is Andy really such a difficult customer? Somebody must
     have the scoop.



Message-Id: <v03020900af8ec74d611a@[]>
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 17:35:44 -0500
From: Tom Cole <>
Subject: Second Hand Dance (since you asked)

Simon said:
>I recently got an email from a performance art group, Second Hand Dance
>(website at, who are fans of XTC and
>who wanted me to foward their details to the band with a view to possible

Oh, man.  I can add a couple of cents to this topic.  Second Hand Dance is
based in my neck of the woods (well, Binghamton, NY, which is just 45 mins.
down Interstate 81) and I've seen them a number of times.  Dance is not my
thing, either, but these three guys are unbelievable.  Their athleticism is
incredible and their pieces are beautiful, funny and amazing.  My words
will not do justice, nor will the pictures on their web page, but they'll
give you a bit of an idea.  I've seen them do a similar collaboration to
the one their proposing with the music of the Horse Flies, a local band
that I also can't recommend enough (their "demented post-modern mountain
music" is as if David Byrne and Talking Heads had grown up in Appalachia
rather than East Coast art school), and it was "something wild" indeed.  If
anyone can encourage this idea, please do so.  If anyone is interested in
checking out both the Horse Flies and Second Hand Dance, I recommend you
check out the Fingerlakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, July
17-20 in Trumansburg, NY ( -- this annual
event can't be beat with a stick, believe you me.
Over and out.  --Tom


Message-Id: <>
Subject: ChalkTape Status
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 17:11:04 -0700

Richard Pedretti-Allen is:
a) 	a charlatan
b) 	a loser
c) 	in over his head
d) 	full of excuses in an attempt cover his laziness
e) 	a victim
f) 	thoroughly apologetic and profusely embarassed
g) 	all of the above

Pick One  (but I don't think I want to know the answer)

Terribly sorry (OH MY GOD!! HE'S DOING IT AGAIN!) for the delay.  I have
exercised a money-back offer with the dubbing service (the good news is
that it didn't involve Small Claims Court) and sent the master to
another dubber.  It really, truly is happening folks, please, please,
please believe me and have another couple of weeks of faith before you
hand down a guilty verdict and throw a rope over a tree limb.

I got jerked around too much and had to draw back from the dubbing deal
I had orchestrated.  The owner was a... (how do I put this delicately?)
...a diplomatic, inbred scumbag.  His last line was "Look, this whole
thing went bad and I should have known it would be a problem from the
start... I'll give you your money back (hence "diplomat") if you'll not
spread my name around... I have a business to run here and I don't want
bullshit sour grapes hurting me."  "Sour grapes" is not how I viewed
things but I was money out, so I politely thanked him for being
"understanding" and drove to HIS BANK to cash the check.

I don't want to sound like I'm whining about this (especially while
holding other peoples money) but I attempted to work a deal through a
recording industry acquaintance for the dubbing under the guise of "If
you give me good price, you can run this job when you have some slack
time in production."  The deal went sour when the final dubs didn't
match the proof copy that was sent.  I sent them all back and he was
furious.  This got worse when (he felt) I started "bugging" him about
when they would be done.  In the future, I will just do a straight
business deal like any old shmuck off the street and not attempt to
swing a "deal."  The difference between what it would have cost and what
it will cost turns my Chalkhills' Children CD into a VERY EXPENSIVE

On top of all this, a good, solid business acquaintance (one that has
brought me business and positive exposure in the past) has been caught
in the middle of this and is giving me SERIOUS STINK-EYE.  I don't think
he hates me but this is the type of thing that makes people refuse to do
favors.  He is a kind-hearted soul and very understanding and I look
forward to this whole thing blowing over and fading away.

This entire headache would have been avoided with a tape-tree... but I
still don't like the idea just because of the diminished audio quality.

My only sanctuary is that, after publishing my address below, the
Unabomber has been caught.

I promise to celebrate the shipment in a couple weeks.
Here is the schedule:
The dubber will have the proof copy to me by May 9.
IF all is okay, he will have the copies shipped by the 23rd (I am
pushing to HAVE them by the 23rd to load packages over the holiday
Then the rest is up to the acoustic mail service.

I will post periodic (AND SHORTER) updates every step of the way.

Cheers, Richard

p.s. If I don't do another tribute tape, someone will, so GET RECORDING!

p.p.s. Okay, okay, send me your answer to the multiple choice question
if it will save you a trip to the therapist.

Richard Pedretti-Allen
Manager, GBS Phrase Development
Octel Communications Corp.
1001 Murphy Ranch Rd.   MS C1-2N
Milpitas, CA 95035-7912
phone 408.324.4516
fax 408.324.6170


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 01 May 1997 21:21:26
From: "Jason \"Freak\" Garcia" <>
Subject: May I suggest Prozac

Dear Chalkhills,

To Peter Wright-- settle down there buddy!  It's not as bleak as all that!
There'll be new XTC albums.  The guys aren't dead.  Andy hasn't lost it.
It's just taking a little time, that's all, no sense working yourself up
over something you can't change, you know?  Just put on the new demos, like
everyone else, and think, "wow, these will sound good when recorded for
real".  And speaking of that, there was some debate earlier as to whether
the songs will sound much different when finally recorded "for real".  I
have to hold to my position that they will change in significant ways when
the other guys in the band and / or the producer gets ahold of them.  They
may be complete songs but many of the arrangements really need to be (and
most likely will be) fleshed out some- what.

What's the rush?  XTC will deliver when it's time.

In the Spirit of the New Demos,

"I'm open to new ideas, as long as they're my own."  -Jon Cartwright
(friend and partner in musical crime)


Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 00:06:18 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Monkeys, monkeys, everywhere...

>Not _another_ monkey thread!

You know, it amazes me that the turnover rate on this list is low enough
that people still remember these things.

>Why was the XTC Fans vs. The Ben Folds Five Fans baseball game canceled?
>To have a proper baseball game, you need at least 18 people in the same

Thank you, Stormy. <insert bad stormy/sunny day joke here>

AMA-- I mean, amanda:
>I finally got my name out of those friggin' caps! HURRAH!

Awww. Ain't that sweet? Our little amanda is <sniff> growing up.

Valiantly throwing good humor after bad... :)

>many of you have written in w/ your raves about jason falkner.
>i just read that he's playing at a club in san jose called "the agenda"
>on first street

Hmmm. Isn't he the one who died? Or am I completely off-base here?

/-------------Joshua Hall-Bachner-------------Chaos Harlequin-------------\
|   |
|"We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease." |
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/


Message-Id: <v01540b00af903331fdf3@[]>
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 16:17:56 -0800
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: TransPacific Chalkhills visit!

Thought I'd tell you all that yesterday I had the peasure of meeting San
Diego Chalkhiller Bob Estus and his wife Cary, here in New Zealand on their
honeymoon. It must be one of the longest-distance meetings between two
Chalkhillers. Whether it is or not, it was wonderful to finally meet a
fellow XTC fan that I'd only previously known through the list. Suitable
XTC related (and other musical) gifts were exchanged (I'm currently
listening to a tape of "The Greatest Living Englishman" and wearing a
Chalkhills T-shirt, Bob and Cary are probably driving around the South
Island listening to a tape of the Chills or the Muttonbirds).

We spent an enjoyable day (well, it was enjoyable for me, I hope it was for
them, too!) "doing the touristy thing" and seeing the sights of Dunedin and
the Otago Peninsula.

Bob - by the time you read this you'll be back in SD - I hope that the rest
of the trip was blessed with the same fine weather and pleasant travelling
as you had up until Dunedin - hope to see you both again someday!



Message-Id: <v01540b00af8f1c483e99@[]>
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 23:33:32 -0500
From: (Derek Miner)
Subject: Re: XTCers in Florida!

In Chalkhills #3-107, Jeremy Witt wrote:

>I am wondering if there are any TASTEFUL (XTC influenced) musicians in the
>Orlando-Daytona beach area - Florida I am thinking that I must be the only
>one <wry laugh> with good taste here seeing as how this is the state that
>brought us Marylin Manson and Seven Mary Three <shudder>

I would like to direct Jeremy (and other curious onlookers) to Ghostbeat is a band out of Melbourne/Orlando who cover
XTC songs regularly and write their own material with a similar feel. The
band's tastes are quite eclectic, and so is their website. They named their
fictional album producer Todd Lillyfox as a tribute to XTC's producers.
Also on the website, you can read a bit about the guitarist's study with
Robert Fripp (I know there have to be fans of his lingering about here as

I often wonder about the music scene in Florida myself! I was happy to
discover these guys.

= Derek Miner =


Message-Id: <v03007801af8fa90d9e8f@[]>
Subject: XTC spotting
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 14:24:29 +0800

Hi y'all,

Just a few quick finds. (for the trainspotters)

In Tower record here in Tokyo, I found a new CD release of the "Miniatures"
album, which of course has Andy's History of Rock And Roll on it.   We of
course already have this on Rag And Bone Buffet, but thought you might like
to knw.

The new Mojo magazine also mentions XTC in passing, in a list of people
that have worked with Hugh Padgham.

Regards from Tokyo,

Steve (MGV)

* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 I know I said I loved you, but I lied.


Subject: Demo Tapes of New Stuff
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 2 May 97 08:56:48 -0400

First and foremost...if someone knows where to get demo tapes of new XTC
songs, please e-mail me. I have lots of XTC stuff to trade and I am an honest

- ---

Someone at AM 68.0 WRKO's "Howie Carr" show (which airs in the Boston area
between 3 and 7 PM, M-F) must like XTC. I've heard "Making Plans for Nigel"
used as fill-in music...
- ---

Speaking of radio, I'll bet a lot of folks in the Boston area would enjoy
listening to "Gull's Window Circus" on FM 90.3 (Boston College radio), Monday
morning from 7 to 9 AM. This guy is my age (38) and he plays a lot of obscure
stuff from "our era" (Mod revival, New Wave, Punk).

- ---

Finally listened to Peter Blegvad's "Just Woke Up" all the way through
yesterday. Initial impression is that this is a good album indeed! Will
probably be in my changer for the next few weeks at least. This one works on
several levels and I suspect it'll take a while for me to appreciate all of

- ---

I, too, am depressed that five years have gone by without an album. And I'm
afraid that when one DOES come out, no one will care. Virgin's "Fossil Fuel"
and this "Upsy Daisy" thing ("best of" packages) seem to herald the end of a
band in many people's eyes. The band should make it a goal to get a new album
out by the end of the year.



Date: Fri, 02 May 1997 08:48:11 -0500 (CDT)
From: amanda caryl owens <>
Subject: Welcome to the gaaaaaarrrrrden....
Message-id: <>

Watched the election last night....Blair's got spunk, I must admit....hope
he can do a good job.....

And now for the customary responses.....

Peter Wright enlightened us all....
>The amount of real XTC comtent is almost non-existent nowadays.
This is because the amount of XTC output has been nonexistent for five
years, Fossil Fuel notwithstanding.

>So who IS to blame? Much as I hate to say it-and we all know its true, don't
>we? It's XTC.
Hey, I don't disagree. Life without XTC is mundane indeed!

>4) Andy is, let's face it, a cantankerous, self-opinionated guy who likes his
>own way and leaves producers-not to mention Dave and Colin-tearing their hair
>out in frustration.
I'm glad someone said that before I did, because I am in full agreement with
you on that note. We do have to remember that Colin DID quit the band for a
short time during the making of Skylarking, due to Andy's need to dominate
everything and everyone. XTC is a three-man band, and even though Andy is
responsible for the majority of the output, Colin and Dave contribute to the
sound as well. But if you've read Chalkhills and Children,, you'll know that
Andy was spoiled from the days he was a wee lad on the Penhill Estate. I
guess that part of him just never left as he got older.....

>From Dave Gershman...
>Rolling Stone won't be back in any of its detractor's graces by exluding XTC
>from its new list of the top 200 essential rock CDs.
Yeah...but I'll bet the likes of Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alannis Morrissette,
and other non-musicians of their genres are in there, huh?

Good jokes, Stormy Monday, but I'd have used a different Canadian in the M&M
joke..someone I despise more than my most despised enemy...CELINE DION!

>From Keith Sawyer:
>I'd just like to thank all involved for making Chalkhills #3-106 the most
surly and sarcastic digest I've ever read.
Call it a hunch, but I just get the feeling that with our itching for new
material, they're just gonna get worse!!!!!

>From Simon Sleightholm:
>I am useless
Oh I wouldn't go that far...slightly used but at a good price sound better :)

As to the recent sarcastic tone of the digest, better be sarcastic than for
me to have to think up a controversial topic and start a flamewar! ;)

Je me souviens du soleil
XTC song of the day-Blue Overall
non XTC song of the day-When I Fall-Barenaked Ladies


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 02 May 1997 10:38:27 EDT
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Catching up

Can I Chalk to You?

Let me add my voice (as if that matters to YOU  :^)  to the chorus praising
Becki Digregorio's CD -- it's really a fine album in everyway. The songs are
dreamy, aggressive, emotional, thoughtful and well-written. The production
is great, the mix is really great and the design/packaging is really, really
great. Oh, and the playing (including that of Mr. G)? Well, put a lot of
reallys in front of great, and you'll be close.

Becki also hasn't forgotten the cardinal rule of pop -- always leave 'em
wanting more. None of the songs are too long (a mistake I've heard a lot of
musicians make) and, given the level of playing here, it would have been
easy to extend each lead, throw in another chorus, whatever. (This is the
only point on which I disagree with Dean Martucci's otherwise spot-on review
of the CD.) Plus, the woman knows how to write a bridge, also an
all-too-often neglected aspect of pop writing.

So, in other words, contact Becki! Buy this CD! Support yer local (um, in an
electronic sense, I mean) musicians!

A couple more things:
To Rob Cumberland: Gee, I thought I was the only one who "got" the
"savagely ironic pastiche of some other lists" that was going on here!  ;^)
Can't wait to see the List of Everything, BTW.

To Simon: Actually, I'm rather offended by the retraction of your apology to
those offended by you being offended. I think I deserve an apology, mate.

Oh, and you said: >I was going to include a Shockwave toy that would cause
Dave Gregory to leap out of the monitor to perform peerless guitar work on
request (and _only_ guitar work, Amanda),<

Whatever do you mean, Simon? What else WOULD he do? The possibilities boggle
the mind. If you figure it out, I'll help you market it. We'll be stinking,
stinking, stinking, stinking RICH!

To Dave G, who said, about "jokes" and other topix: >Sorry for the lack of
XTC content, folks, but I wanted to get that off my
chest on the list, hoping that I might be speaking for a lot of you out

You were, for me anyway.

To Mike Myers: I understand your concern about your song, but -- and I'm no
lawyer -- from my experience as a songwriter, if it is indeed copyrighted,
you have nothing to worry about, as far as I know.  That's the whole point
of copyrighting a piece, right?

Also, I know a lot of people have been burned by the videotape tree thang,
but I actually received my tape, and except for rather poor quality (due to
the many generations involved in making it, I guess), I have no complaints.
I wonder if something bad really happened to the guy who was making them --
I mean, if you're going to fleece some sheep, there are a lot of better ways
of doing it than running a $13 tape-tree scam. That's not to say, of course,
that the people who are out their money shouldn't be pissed, but there might
be a legitimate reason.

Ed said: > Isn't Multi-level marketing wonderful?<

Sure it is -- just ask the Albanians!

To Peter Wright: Good for you for speaking up -- you have some good points
and should get some meaty discussion happening (I hope). I think your
argument is valid as far as the majors are concerned, but I still hope that
a smaller label with a good distribution deal *will* be willing to take a
chance on the band.  Despite their bad track record (bad pun intended) with
bad-label Virgin, the next hit is always just around the corner. And,
remember, an album doesn't have to be top-40 popular to make money for the
label or the band.

>From Jason: > I am afraid too many
     of you did not sense the subtle signs of sarcasm<

Subtle? What did you end with, "remember to ask me about the bridge I have
for sale"? You're too nice, guy.

BTW, what do people on the list think of Dave Marsh (I'm JUST KIDDING!!)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 02 May 1997 11:13:28 -0500
From: Don Lindbergh <>
Organization: National Library of Medicine
Subject: Re: Andy Demos

Regarding any existing *real* Andy/XTC demos, please please please
someone encode these in a high quality sound file and put 'em on the
net!  See below links for fans who have are seriously clued in on this
concept and how to do it etc.  If you have a good sounding tape of the
demos and can't get it together, please email me about sending the tape
and I'll do it!  Be sure to check out this stuff and know what you're
talking about before emailing me about huge sound files, crappy sound
etc.  The short answer is MPEG Layer 3.  The filesizes are small (approx
1 megabyte per stereo minute) and they can sound AMAZINGLY good if you
know what you're doing.
Yes, I'm aware that all the people who don't have a soundcard can't use
them etc etc.  I figure anyone reading this has a pretty good chance of
making use of this idea.

Streaming audio is another option and has the benefit of instant
gratification.  Doesn't sound nearly as good (curently) though.  I
include a link for a clever hack to offer these up if you want using
RealAudio.  It is also possible to stream MPEG, though I've found this
doesn't (currently) seem to work too well.

Anyway, just my two cents.  I have found this is a fantastic mechanism
to make unlreleased music available to fans and an alternative to tape
trading (which is fine too).  The morality issues of doing all this are
another matter and suffice it to say that if Andy personally does not
want stuff like this to happen I have no problem respecting that.  I
would hope he'd like these fans here who have stuck it out waiting to be
able to hear some if his stuff.


Smashing Pumpkins Audio Archive -

MPEG Layer 3 encoder/decoder -

Zap's MUSIC-ON-THE-NET Tutorial
Streaming RealAudio 3.0 files with a normal WWW server -


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 02 May 1997 17:40:30 -0500
From: Brian Matthews <>
Organization: Ringling Multimedia Corporation
Subject: XTC is here

Hello! I'm new to the Chalkhills, and I've read enough postings to get a
feel for what to say in my first, so here goes...
We all know that XTC is going to produce, it's just going to be a matter
of time. And every day that goes by puts us closer to the new album,
certainly. And, as every single thing they've put out since the
beginning, it's going to be great in it's own little quirky, brilliant,
metaphorically XTC way. And I, for one, can('t!) wait. A talent of Andy
Partridge's caliber will not be able to stay down long. We're lucky - my
other favorite band of all time (Oingo Boingo) has gone the way of the
dinosaurs, and I haven't read about any asteroids hitting Swindon yet.
On a different note...
I have been engaged in producing a (vast, comparably speaking) library
of MIDI files of Oingo Boingo music (are there any other Boingo/XTC fans
out there?), and when I get burned out on doing those, I plan on
tackling XTC - as much of their stuff as I can do (if this gives you a
visual, I completed ten (10) Boingo files in one (1) month's time - I've
been prolific, and I am enough of an XTC freak to do the same with them.
I'm also a perfectionist to a degree that makes my stuff whip most stuff
on the Net... ask anyone at any of the MIDI sites who has my files). And
these will be FREE for the asking and taking. I hope hearts skipped
beats out there... this WILL happen, unless I get mail from the right
kind of people that would suggest that it would be in my best interests
not to pursue this activity. Let me hear from you!
Brian Matthews


Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 22:26:32 -0700
From: becki digregorio <>
Subject: Matrix of Reality
Message-ID: <>

dearest simon,

thought you'd care to see what sort of missives i get from my neighbor and
fellow worthy sir jeffrey.  don't worry if you can't understand it, i often
have the same problem w/ his emails...

>Date: 02 May 97 16:25:26 EDT
>From: Jeff Ramos <75543.3125@CompuServe.COM>
>Hi Becki-san:
>This is the matrix of the reality theory I am creating.  Hope You enjoy it.
>        Sir Jeffrey
>Reality is broken up into 4 parts.  X-reality, Animal reality, Social
>Reality and Personal Reality.  The last two are broken into subparts.
>Reality of White, Gray and Black.  The matrix used would be X-reality at
>the top.  Branching off of it would be Animal reality and Socail reality.
>Combining into the two would be personal reality.  A sub part of Social
>reality and personal reality would be the white, gray, black scale of


Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 14:34:25 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <v01510100af90f86a1992@[]>
From: (Mitch Friedman)
Subject: Ice Cream for Partridge

So let's say someone like Ben and Jerry's was going to name an ice cream flavor
after XTC. What would they call it?

How about:

Lime Lite
Pink Thing
Humble Dairy
Chocolate and Children
It's Nearly Apricot
Me and the Mint
Officer Blueberry
Carton of Earthly Delights
Grape Fire
Neon Truffle
Dessert Island
Miniature Sundae
Yumnibus . . .


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 04 May 1997 14:01:26 +0200
From: Alberto Castagna <>
Subject: XTC vs A.A. (A Question)

Hallo Chalkills,
is there anyone who have transcribed the words of "XTC vs. Adam Ant"
(They Might Be Giants) in a past Chalkills Digest? If not, could someone
make it for me (I' don't understand english very well) and for all us?
Please, answers in the Chalkhills Digest 'cause I think is a problem of
public (???) interest.


Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 19:17:41 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: The Opposite of Cloying

I'm just an amateur French translator, but the time I'm spending reading
Proust ("Remembrance of Things Past" is the best book ever!) has helped, so
may I translate the Inrockuptibles review of "Oranges and Lemons"?  This
French website picked O&L as the 99th best album of the 1980's.

"Quintessentially English, (foldingue), and eccentric, brewing in the same
heady rush tight-lipped dadaistic humor, social conscience, and dazzling
melodies savoring strongly of muffins and tea with milk."

Oranges and lemons, jam and strychnine, XTC transforms what they had only
sketched in the Dukes of Stratosphere.  An exceptional Side One contains at
least two worldwide hits ("Mayor of Simpleton" and its lyrics in the style of
"Wonderful World", and "King For a Day" with its dizzying melodic line), some
peppery words nestled cleverly in cotton candy [candy floss to you in
England], an incessant shimmer of sonorous ideas...enough to make you
nostalgic for the England of Penny Lane and the image of Epinal's that one
recalls when leafing through "The Dark Island", chewing on Quality Street
toffees and listening to XTC."

What do you think Dave Marsh would make of this review?!

If anyone knows what "foldingue" means or Epinal is, would you E-mail me

Also, I'd like to add that I enjoy the off-topic ramblings of this group.  I
especially enjoy the reviews.  I've discovered DOZENS of good albums that I
would have left in the racks (and cut-out bins) if it hadn't been for you

Anyway, just think what it's going to be like on this group when XTC finally
releases its magnum opus!  For weeks on end we'll be dissecting every song.
 Until then, we should be allowed to digress a bit....

My recent discoveries:  "Misfits" by Sara Hickman  (if you liked her previous
albums, you'll love this new one); "Nothing to Lose" by the Skeletons (a
midwestern NRBQ whose albums seem to be uniformly excellent) and, yes,
"Whatever and Ever Amen" by the Ben Folds Five.  Who was it that said this
band is "cloying"?  Maybe a little on the first album, but not this time
around.  The ballads are quite moving, though they take a little time to sink
in.  They're the opposite of cloying!

Bye now,


Message-Id: <v01540b05af93228fbd4c@[]>
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 17:37:51 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Talking Heads, white horses and politics

>>Have you noticed that "Wonderland" on Mummer is about as Talking Heads as
>>you can get?
>Really?! What Talking Heads have you been listening to?

maybe a little like some of TH's older stuff. But if you really want a
Talking Heads sound-alike, try Bruce Cockburn's song "Hoop Dancer", off
"The trouble with normal". Very "Remain in Light".

Chris Clee <> said:

>Making Plans for Nigel seemed somewhat appropriate in the early 80's when
>the Conservative government of Margret Thatcher decided to destroy
>Liverpool and Merseyside...myself and a lot of mates spent some time on
>the dole when she had finished .."Making Plans...." <

I've noticed that there are songs by XTC which have lyrics which could be
taken as political comments on Thatcherism if you read between the lines.
Most of XTC's "political" songs are pretty blatant (e.g., President Kill,
Melt the Guns), but what of the following lyric from "Blue Overall" (which
would have been written deep in the heart of Thatcher's reign):
"I tried to lose myself in labour/The more I push the mirth/I'm giving
birth to a baby turning/blue overall..."

Is there a subtle political double meaning here? Should labour be spelt
with a capital L?

>I may have to put on my asbestos suit from the subsequent flames but feel
>I must bring this up. My girlfriend is a big XTC fan and a new age type.
>She was reading a book "The Sun and the Serpent" by Paul Broadhurst and
>Hamish Miller about the ley (electromagnetic)lines in England and they
>believe that the chalk horse is actually a dragon. The dragon was the
>symbol of the ley lines that runs through many of the churchs in England
>and there is a Dragon Hill nearby where it is believed that St. George
>killed a dragon.<

It's usually regarded as being a tribute to Epona, the horse goddess. Epona
was 'patron deit' of the Dobunni, the Celtic tribe which lived in the area
in Roman and immediately-pre-Roman times, ca.100 BC, and built the nearby
hill fort. However, there is a locale not far from the horse (further along
the Ridgeway Path) called Dragon Hill, which is linked by legend with the
legend of St. George and the dragon. ("Saint George" is almost certainly a
christian reinterpretation of a pre-Christian legend). Epona is also linked
in legend with the Norse/Celtic mythical character Wayland/Hwyland the
blacksmith. The ancient tomb known as Wayland's Smithy (dating to ca.3500
BC) lies only a few miles from Uffington.

BTW, on this subject, I found a rather wonderful photo of the Uffington
White Horse (and also of Dragon Hill) in David Bellingham's book "An
Introduction to Celtic Mythology" (Grange Books, London, 1995).



End of Chalkhills Digest #3-108

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