Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-136

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 136

                   Monday, 30 June 1997

Today's Topics:

                      The Bass Boys
                The Wussy Album Revisited
                  Re: Colin don't invent
                    Filmic Assistance
                 Best 12 bucks ever spent
                       Take Away LP
               Bass and players in general
                 To each his own fan club
                 Mingus vs. Bass-O-Matic
                re: Non-XTC /Jason Falkner
  Whoa! Back to me extremely long posts that go nowhere!
          I would have made this instrumental...
                   3 of a Perfect Pair
           No Ships Passing In The Night Here!
                    Jason Falkner/XTC
              Hooray for Peter's Picturesite
                       Tony Maimone
                        Beach Boyz
     Upsy/Doherty, and very little bassist discussion


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Chalkhills is digested with Digest 3.4 (John Relph <>).

But he made too many enemies...


Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 23:36:08 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Michael Kearns <>
Subject: The Bass Boys

>In a rock context this does not work and this would apply to the likes of
>Jack Bruce whilst in cream. I have far more time for Felix Papparlardi who
>played very melodic yet simple stuf and had a wonderful sound. Other great
>US bass players include Chris Hillman, Jack Casady, Phil Lesh and Rick

"Bass great -- Lesh Philling". One of the greats! Check out "Attics Of My
Life" just to name one. And Rick Danko, what a great bass player and singer
-- I saw him with Garth, Levon and two other guys as "The Band" 2 years ago,
and while it was not the same band I read about in Levon's excellent book
"Wheel's On Fire" or saw (as a lad) on giant screen in the front row at the
Ziegfield theatre in NYC (Scorsese's "The Last Waltz"), it was the first
time I saw The Band in any live form and it was just amazing!

>Can we call a truce ?
>I think we have  a problem here because some people find it very difficult
>to accept that their heroes (XTC) could have ever listened to something as
>naff as the beach boys.

My first rock concert was The Beach Boys at Central Park in '78 - I was 13.
What a great concert, and what a great band! 30,000 people in the dog days
of summer.. I passed out from the heat during "California Girls" and rose
from the dead to "Help Me Rhonda". Yeah, I can call a truce. Let's all call
a truce. Shut up already. Brian was among a rare breed of true innovators in
music.. and the Boys (need it be said as a reminder?) were capable of
astonishing feats of vocal harmony, not painstakingly overdubbed, but done
LIVE, right on the spot, after lots of Brian-directed rehearsal to get it
right - and get it right they did!!! Listen to "Sloop John B." - I rest my
case. And Carl Wilson was a great guitarist, and vocalist. Oh yes, watch "I
Just Wasn't Made For These Times" and read "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - laugh all
you want (and there are some extremely hilarious moments!) - Brian hasn't
the spark he once had, but at his peak damn was he great - and what a
voice!!! The day I bought Pet Sounds I listened to it 6 times in a row then
recorded my own stuff for 6 hours I was so inspired!

Sorry no XTC content here. Colin's one of my favorite bass players.

Hi Jen G!



Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 20:45:58 +0000
Subject: Well.......


> From: (Mitch Friedman)
> According to Andy as of today, they are not signed to V2 nor will they be
> doing so (maybe). He said that someone in Billboard magazine started the
> rumor.
Whoo-hoo!  While I want to see new XTC as much as the next guy, I'm
glad they didn't go back to the hand that bleeds them, to coin a
phrase (read:  steal a line from Andy Partridge).... I just hope that
it won't be much longer before they find a GOOD record label...
especially Ryko.... Ryko is good and I think they've got worldwide
distribution, but, well, you all know that and this is just beating a
dead horse, ne?

Ah well, that's this world over,


PS: The Dub Experiments have started to grow on me, since I lent my
copy to my friend (who got his nephew hooked on them, BTW!)... I
guess absence DOES make the heart grow fonder...
     -=>Matt Keeley<=-
Living Through | Visit my home page
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak
(ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 22:17:37
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Subject: The Wussy Album Revisited

>I know you're not too keen on this cover concept, Josh, but you have no one
>to blame but Andy, as he admitted to coming up with the concept in his
>Rifff interview.

Well, yes. Although, it's supposed to look like a box of chocolates, so
maybe it's purposely cheesy! Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket!

<trent reznor>
>Yup-indeedy-do.  The full quote is, " Also, from a songwriting point of
>view, I like anybody who's writing good material. I think XTC is a great
>band and writes excellent songs."

Now, what we need is a split 7" where NIN cover "Dear God" and XTC cover
"Heresy." :) Who'd pay good money for that?

(Or we could have NIN cover Travels in Nihilon, seeing how close it is to
their usual themes...)

>"Goosey, Goosey" was a Nonsuch demo outtake that never made it to fruition

Although it did nab a spot on "The Bull With The Golden Guts."

>(but it's never too late, right?).

This is what Bootleg Albums are for. :)

>According to Andy as of today, they are not signed to V2 nor will they be
>doing so (maybe). He said that someone in Billboard magazine started the

I thought so -- didn't Andy say a few months ago that V2 had given them the
worst offer of anyone they'd talked to?

>one of the reasons I bought Explode Together

As an aside, how much did you pay for it? Personally, I never picked it up
as an import ($25 for that? Nuh-uh) until one day, on a hunch, I made my
way into the record store near my house and located a copy for $8. Not bad,

>including "The AP demos"

I don't know who originally suggested it so long ago, but I think
"Deflowered" would be a great name for the orchestral/acoustic album XTC
are planning to make, on several levels... therefore, I move that these
demos, to avoid the problem of them being the "new demos" for another year,
be known as the "Deflowered Demos" until such a time as we have a real
album title to go on.

Last thing, song bridges: oddly, I had always assumed the usual rule was
that Andy wrote poor bridges. While there are certainly exceptions
(Miniature Sun.... ohhhhhh...) there are a lot of examples of it. "I Can't
Own Her," for example, completely falls down at the bridge. And I know
there are others, although I can't think of them at the moment, sadly...

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


Message-Id: <l03102800afd8fe8404c5@[]>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 23:36:34 -0600
From: jason garcia <>
Subject: digressions

Hi there, all.

I wandered into a used record store the other day and over the P.A.  came
the familiar strains of "Grass" (pronounced "Graahs", for those from the
Motherland) from "Upsy Daisy".  There was nothing particularly strange about
that.  What WAS strange was that I initially heard it and thought, "ah,
that's pleasingly familiar!  Who is that...R.E.M.?"  you know, in that vague
way you first hear something and aren't really expecting it so you have to
make sense of what it is first.  Then I heard Colin's voice and thought,
"wait, that's not Michael Stipe...that's Colin!  Blimey!" (I would have said
were I British).
And no, I wasn't _on_ the title in question!

So, are Michael Penn and Aimee Mann still going out and/or living together?
>From the sound of "Try", Penn's first single, seems like they're having some
pretty good musical sex, if you ask me.  But I digress...

>Robert plant had the good sense to admit once (and once only) the
>brilliance of
>Om Kolthoum.

You mean the Egyptian singer?  I've always seen her name spelled Umm Kulthum.
But I digress again...

>By the way, if nobody runs a contest, THAT will be the name of the tape.
>"Don't >Ring Us..."

Ah, that's it.  Love it.

I won't try to anymore,

Check out the Top 40 home page at


From: kraig olmstead <>
Subject: Re: Colin don't invent
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 97 09:35:00 PDT
Message-ID: <>

I have been most dispiritted lately to be reading that Colin doesn't come
up with those wonderful parts that he plays.  You guys almost had me
going on that one!  I don't believe you.

The thing that has convinced me otherwise is listening to the tail end of
"You're My Drug" by the Dukes.  Once he breaks free of the repetative two
bar phrase that goes through most of the song he shifts to some upper
register stuff that is played by somebody who really knows his instrument
and how to contribute to a song.  Given how fast the Dukes stuff was
recorded and the fluidity with which this stuff was played, there is
pretty much NO WAY that this stuff could have been dictated to him.

This is not a bass player who would sit idly by and have his parts
spoon-fed to him for 20 years.  Get a grip, Chalkers:  Andy Partridge
contributes more than 1/3 to the XTC pie, but Dave Gregory and Colin
Moulding make extremely critical contributions to the stew and steer the
music in different directions.  I'm sure Andy makes suggestions and has
ideas for the bass parts, but I really think that Colin takes the ball
and runs with it - he's too good a player to merely perform canned parts
on less than 20 albums over a 20 year period.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 16:52:31 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Filmic Assistance

Thanks to those who offered correction to the title of that film Andy
mentioned in the Rifff extract.  That helps a lot, I couldn't find a
reference to a film with the quoted title *anywhere*, I may have better luck
now.  I think it probably is true that the confusion came about from the
structure of the Rifff set up - we typed questions, they were spoken down a
phone to Andy who replied and had his replies typed back for us to see.  I
can see how the chamfered edges of a Wiltshire accent could curl "thousand"
and "frozen" into similar shapes for the untrained ear.  It's an interesting
phenomenon that crops up very occasionally in printed interviews with the
man where the interviewer has plainly not penetrated the folds of Andy's

I am the wardrobe,

"Playground, it's a playground..." - Andy Partridge


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 12:29:06 -0400
From: Pandrea <>
Subject: Best 12 bucks ever spent

Greetings XTCitizens,

 I recently found Chalkhills, and found it to be a great source of info
on the boys. I finally have decided to de-lurk and post something. I
always knew of XTC through the 80's, and their hits, but little else. I
just never got into them much. About 4 years ago, I was in a used cd
store, and saw Skylarking, O+L, and Nonsuch. On a total spur of the
moment, impulse type thing,(plus the fact that they were each only $4
bucks)I got all three. Ladies and Gentlemen, that was the best 12 bucks
I could ever have spent. It's been a fun 4 years, filling in other
pieces to the puzzle. Lets hope we get our new fix soon- maybe this year
if all the label stuff works out.

  On the subject of the new demos, how does one go about getting them? I
am nowhere near having a complete XTC collection, so I don't
know about all the demos and such.

 This may have already been discussed in earlier digests, but what does
everyone think of The Sugarplastic? I had read a review of them (what it
was in slipped my mind since then) but the review made favorable
comparisons to XTC, Paul McCartney, and the Pixies, so I bought it. The
cd is called Bang, the Earth is Round, and its on Geffen. Definte XTC
influence, sometimes very much so. If they can develop their sound,
they've a promising career. It's pretty enjoyable pop, heavy in some
spots, sweet in others. I like it.

 onwards and ever upwards mateys,



Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 11:13:11 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Taylor <>
Subject: Take Away LP

There's been a lot of talk on the list lately about this _Take Away_ disc.
Coincidentally, I saw it a couple of weeks ago in one of the used vinyl
shops  for $16.98.  As I recall it was in VG condition, and the cover
artwork and captions alone might be worth that much to anybody who already
has _Explode Together_.

Anyone interested in it, email me and I'll see if it's still available.  Me,
I've got no use for vinyl.
| Scott M. Taylor --  -- |
|  "There are still taboos, of course, but their nature has changed.   |
|   For example, when I was in college, there were certain words you   |
|   couldn't say in front of a girl.  Now you can say them, but you    |
|   can't say 'girl.'" -- Tom Lehrer                                   |


Message-ID: <>
From: "Oehler, Alan" <>
Subject: Bass and players in general
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 09:57:05 -0700

In Chalkhills #3-134, Ian Dahlberg sez

<Not to put down Colin's ability, he is a great player; but I don't
think XTC's music lends itself to virtuostic extended bass solos.  We
can't really tell how good Colin can play just by listening to XTC.
Jaco Pastorious' music, on the other hand, does lend itself to viruostic
playing, and his ability was revealed.>

Ian, I think you are equating being a great musician with being a great
improviser. One can be one without necessarily being the other. Perhaps
from XTC records one can say that Colin never gives us the chance to
hear if he can blow over changes like Jaco, but I don't think it's fair
to say "we can't really tell how good Colin can play just by listening
to XTC." I think it's clear as an unmuddied lake -- as clear as an azure
sky of deepest summer -- from XTC records that Colin is an absolute
top-drawer musician of the category "rock/pop bass player." Maybe he
wouldn't be a great improviser if thrust into playing with Weather
Report (though if he was, I wouldn't be surprised).



Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 17:27:38 -0600 (CST)
Subject: To each his own fan club
Message-id: <Pine.PMDF.3.95.970627170238.559945494A-100000@TTACS.TTU.EDU>

...and speaking of...

If anyone saw that Beach Boys movie on VH1 last week, it should be clear
that we're atleast fortunate to have XTC still out of the asylums and on
the streets.  These songwriters tend to have nervous breakdowns at the
most inopportune times!  I mean, really!

I guess putting guys from They Might Be Giants alongside Charles Mingus
and the crew is further proof of our world's increasing fragmentation.
Oh, for universal concensus....on anything.  What we've is more like several
monoverses, and I guess I should run for cover, as I hear about a billion
bells tolling for a billion nuts.  Hark, there's mine now!

Of course, total agreement is just as bad as total disagreement, so I'll
put our differences out to dry, and perhaps I'll grow into them (or out).

And Andy, if you're out there, shame on you.



Message-Id: <>
From: steve mcallister <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 97 22:02:06 -0500
Subject: Mingus vs. Bass-O-Matic

coupla things:
Charles Mingus, while a great jazz bassist, is even more adored for
his compositions.  He was one of Miles Davis' favorite writers.
Reference the records 'Mingus Ah-Um' or 'Mingus Mingus Mingus
Mingus' for an idea.  Also, his VERY strange autobiography (told
from three points of view) 'Beneath the Underdog' is very cool.
Finally, the Joni Mitchell record 'Mingus' features songs the two
co-wrote.  A great record.

As a 15 yr bass player, and one who studied/transcribe/researched
Colin M as part of my senior project, I can attest that AP writes
most of his own bass lines.  I came to this conclusion after
listening to Andy's demos as far back as Mummer. . .voila, the lines
are very similar to what is on record.  However, Colin's ability as
a musician should not be understated.  He has taste, time, and
tone.  He adds his own bits to Andy's initial ideas.  While he is
not a soloist, he is a fine, fine bassist.

Lastly, Trent Reznor spoke of his affection for the songs of XTC in
an interview printed in Mondo2000.  Being compu-illiterate, I've no
idea where it can be found via the web, but if anyone really needs
to know, I'll find the issue number and date of release.


Date: Sat, 28 Jun 97 03:59:48 UT
From: "brynne and scott " <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: re: Non-XTC /Jason Falkner

>>Hi All,
A few weeks ago, I bought the the New Jason Falkner LP intilted,
Presents Author Unknown, I just gotta say that this guy is
Brilliant!!!, the songwriting is incredible!!! and he plays
eveything on it.
I suggest EVERYBODY on the list pick it up, in a week or 2, it
will be your favorite albumn, trust me.


I agree that this is an excellent album. For anyone that's interested, I have
two extra copies of the cd for trade or sale.

Scott S


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 21:46:10 +0000
Subject: Whoa! Back to me extremely long posts that go nowhere!

Not to mention the extremely long subject lines that go nowhere as

> From: (Nishimatu)
>  In the 22th and 23th chapter of Japanese big title animation Evangelion,
> main character Shinji wore a T-shirt with a logotype _XTC_.
>  Evangelion is an animation TV series, now made into 2 animation movies.
>  The near future SF story is a mental drama about the group using
> bio-mechanic Evangelion to foe with strange aliens named Shito (means
> apostles).
Cool... thanks for letting me know about that... I might just have to
schedule a showing in the Anime club next year... Subs are available
for Evangelion, right?  Probably... (Being the co-head of the Anime
club has it's advantages.... you get to force your believes on
everyone else through the selection of what you show! heh)

> From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
> Who was it who asked if anyone else thought White Music was a great album?
> That would be me... and all my friends. Anyone else?? For a while I thought
> it was their best one. This is for the energy and Andy's incredible voice
> on it. He should not feel embarrassed while hearing it (as he claims he
> does). This was a brilliant peak in vocal history. And hearing the Helium
> Kidz is confusing. It's like they developed their whole spastic spiel at
> the last minute.
That would be me... and I stand by it as one of the best albums (but
aren't they all... arf arf (whatever that means... I read Andy use
it once... must be a britishism I didn't come across before...
anyway (ooh... back to the "anyway" streak))) ... I've never heard
any of the Helium Kidz demos... I'd like to get a hold of some of the
demos.... maybe I will later... anyway...

> From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
> > In the "Nonsuch" review , the writer Shigemasa Fujimoto mentioned that
> > "Madam Barnum" might be AP's ex-wife Marianne.
> > Until now I have been regarded she as their former record company. . . .
I've been thinking of writing a parody of DMB entitled "Dear Monsieur
Branson"... (might end up being Senor or even Mister, if I figure out
how to pronouce "Monsieur" correctly....)  Anyway, if I ever get
around to it, I'll probably end up posting it... maybe even recording
it.  So be on the look out!  It can't be stopped!  Well, if it ever
gets started, that is!

> From:
> Subject: tony maimone
> a while ago this guy was mentioned  the lawyer or whatever for some band.
> Could this be the same guy who held done the position as Mr bass in Pere UBU
> in the mid 70's ? speaking of albums as good as sgt pepper how about Pere
> Ubu's Modern Dance.
OK... even though everyone's going to be answering this one, first
off, Tony is the same bassist as in Pere Ubu... and as for the lawyer
thing, it was an April Fool's joke concerning the song "XTC v. Adam
Ant" by They Might Be Giants (who Tony happened to be the former
bassist for as well, on the Album _John Henry_ )... anyway, it
involved a press release about XTC suing TMBG because they didn't
want to be associated with such a crappy, gimmick-artist like Adam
Ant.... so they ended up settling out of court and re-recording the
song as AKA v. Adam Ant, recalling all the albums and reissuing the
record with AKA in place.

NOTE:  As said above, it was a joke... there was no lawsuit; as far
as I know Tony Maimone is NOT their lawyer; AKA v. Adam Ant does not
exist; XTC v. Adam Ant DOES exist; AKA Driver was the song the AKA
joke was based on, as they could not print "NyQuil" on the record
sleeve; AKA Driver is on _John Henry, XTC v. Adam Ant is on _Factory
Showroom_; Tony did indeed play bass on _John Henry_; Graham is the
new bassist, although he did work on some tracks on JH and other

I hope that clears everything up.... maybe this should be a section
in the FAQ.. heh.

Ah well, that's this world over....

     -=>Matt Keeley<=-
Living Through | Visit my home page
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak
(ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 00:17:22
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Subject: I would have made this instrumental...

>After 15 years or so of listening to "No language in our lungs" I
>suddenly realise that "I would have made this instrumental but the words
>got in the way" can be read as "I would have made this effective but...".
>I'd always thought this was one of the clumsiest lines in XTC's repertoire,
>but I've suddenly gained a lot more respect for it!

Huh? That line is the most important part of the song! Without it, what is
the song other than a hypocritical attack? Andy is telling us that you
can't communicate using words, and yet here he is using words to tell us
that. That line admits that even the song in question can't get its meaning
across to everyone, and really solidifies its argument. Of course, the pun
helps, but it's not neccesary to appreciate the line...

>Maybe the guys like Branson but hated the other Virgin bosses.

Back in the Terry Chambers days, they seemed to be somewhat chummy with
Richard, at least when drunk. "Hot Leathers and a Fist of Fire," anyone?

>On strike...
>So how come that in 1994 they were allowed to contribute 'Cherry
>In Your Tree' to the album 'Carmen Sandiego Out of This World' as XTC?

I think the strike really referred to putting out a new album, which is
what the label was really pushing them for.

>Remember "Tears Of A Clown" by Smokey Robinson ?

What's the opera about a crazy clown?

>Trent, you just might have some taste, ditch that Manson luser and
>produce an XTC album.

I am afraid. Although. Actually, that could be, um, interesting. Perhaps.
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease."|
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/


Message-Id: <v01540b00afda1066a9da@[]>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 02:38:24 +0100
From: (Peter McCulloch)
Subject: 3 of a Perfect Pair

>>(Betcha you'd never thought Trent Rezenor would be mentioned in the same
>>sentence as Andy.)
>why not? Both have worked with members of King Crimson (Andy with Pat
>Mastelotto, Trent with Adrian Belew). And I am a fan of both, for that
>matter (of all three if you include Crimso)

And if there's any truth to the rumour that Belew and Andy are going to do
something together (with David Byrne), then we'll be 1 step closer to the
musical alliance we're all waiting for: a Reznor/Partridge collaboration!

>Maybe this has been mentioned but wouldn't Trent do a great version of
>"Complicated Game"?

I could definitely hear this, or perhaps "Travels in Nihilon". Now if he
could only be convinced to do "The Loving", that would be REALLY

>Also, I also happened to see the _other_ bit ( Andy on that awful
>breakfast show) when it was broadcast.
>The Virgin press office really had a funny way of promoting our
>Heroes... XTC also did a LOT of children's shows.

I have a few of these appearances on video, but I have no idea what the
shows were. Here's a brief synopsis of a couple of them, to the best of my
memory, as I've not seen these in a while. Hopefully some kindly
chalkhillian can supply further insight:

One show features both Colin and Andy sitting with a panel of the most
incongruous characters I've ever seen (two female punk rockers, a postman,
a guy in a bear suit!) reviewing the latest music videos. Andy and Colin
pretty much trash everything they review.

Another clip has Andy hosting some show with a wise-cracking robot.
Keyboard playing special guests abound, including Thomas Dolby, Jerry
Dammers, and Barry Andrews! (who gets along surprisingly well with Andy in
this rare reacquaintence).

>"One of my fave bridges is the one from Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down. The
>song in question is a much under-rated Partridge classic"

Agreed. I just rediscovered this track recently after obtaining Fossil
Fuel. (Love the bell ride boat simulation). A thought occured to me: Is
this the only XTC single to date that never appeared on an album, or at
least doesn't appear on a currently available CD with the exception of the
singles collections CDs? I believe Science Friction was only released on
the 3D EP, but it has since found it's way onto the White Music CD. It
would appear that whether or not you like singles collections, you'd have
to buy one of them if you wanted a copy of Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down.

And some non-XTC content...

>Nice to see some of you listening to Failure's Fantastic Planet, too.

I first caught this band a couple of years ago at a CMJ show here in NY,
and was completely blown away. They were performing songs from this album,
but there previous releases were nearly impossible to find, that is, until
now. they'll be playing this year's LollaPalooza on stage 2, along with
another one of my favorite new bands, Skeleton Key. If you haven't heard of
Skeleton Key, I urge you to check out their latest, Fantastic Spikes
Through a Balloon. They are one of the most captivating live bands you'll
ever see, period.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 04:35:35 -0500
From: Dean Zemel <>
Subject: No Ships Passing In The Night Here!

Chalkhills and the Net, in general, really do make this a small world, indeed!

First of all, since subscribing to Chalkhills, I notice that a fellow
Milwaukeean is a member of our community---Dave Franson (he of Nonsuch
Coloring Book fame).  I e-mail him directly about something he posted and we
start a little correspondence and even meet to exchange some very cool dubs.

Fast forward to several months ago.  I'm wearing my Chalkhills t-shirt
(again, thanks to Phil!) during one of my music browsing/buying sprees in
Madison when one of the owners of a used CD store there (occasional
Chalkhill poster John Hackney) comes up to me and asks about the shirt and
we talk XTC for quite a while.  We exchange e-mail addresses and, before
long, I'm getting cool stuff from him and sending him dubs of stuff he's
been wanting.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  I'm in Madison again and John and I plan
to meet for coffee.  Along comes once and future prolific Chalkhills poster,
Adam Ostermann, to join us.  While we're talking about XTC, someone comes up
to us and tells us that he's visiting Madison for the weekend from Indiana
and couldn't help but overhear our conversation and see my shirt.  He
complains about there being no one where he lives who has heard of XTC, much
less be a fan he can converse with, and how it's a lonely existence out
there without fellow XTC fans with whom to share in the joy.  We tell him
about Chalkhills, the digest, and he says he's subscribing as soon as he
gets back to Indiana.  (Hi there!)

While having coffee, John, Adam and I talk about dub wish lists and live
shows coming up.  John and Adam mention that they're going to the Blur show
in Milwaukee.  I ask if they would like some company and enthusiastic plans
for a rendezvous are made.  I write to Dave Franson, who had just asked me
about going to see Robyn Hitchcock (whom Dave saw but I missed), and he is
excited about joining us.

We meet for a cool, enthusiastic supper before the show and then have a
great time watching Blur do their Britpop thing.  We trade some dubs, make
plans for future trades and look forward to the next show.

What a small world, eh?  (I have yet to meet a Chalkhillian I didn't like!)



Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 10:27:59 -0600 (CST)
From: Mike Vancha <>
Subject: Jason Falkner/XTC
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.970628102707.8114C-100000@GPFN1.GPFN.SK.CA>

> Afew weeks ago, I bought the the New Jason Falkner LP intilted,
>Presents Author Unknown, I just gotta say that this guy is
>Brilliant!!!, the songwriting is incredible!!! and he plays
>eveything on it.

>I suggest EVERYBODY on the list pick it up, in a week or 2, it
>will be your favorite albumn, trust me.

It's true. The songs are very XTC-like and there is good writing and
playing. When Jason was in the Grays, he talked about XTC being one of
the bands he liked and you can always hear that in his songs.

Mike Vancha


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 21:28:27 +0100
From: Phil Hetherington <>
Subject: Shriekback

>By the way, is anyone else on this list as keen as me to see Shriekback's
>"Tench" made available on CD?

Yes! Though I'd say <<Jam Science>> was more important...

Actually, I asked Barry about 'Tench' a couple of years ago; I get
the impression he doesn't like it any more. Basically he said they
had some good ideas, but were too 'off their heads' for it to
actually turn into a good record.

Some of the tracks off 'Tench', 'Care' and 'Jam Science' are available
on various compilation CDs though. See my web site for further

Which reminds me, must fix my .sig... been needing to since I
switched to this account about a year ago... here goes...
|_) |_  * |    My web page:
|   | ) | |    Shriekback web pages: The above + shrkindx.html


Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 20:18:53 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Michael Kearns <>
Subject: Hooray for Peter's Picturesite

I enjoyed Peter Fitzpatrick's scanned pictures of Andy's shed and CD
autographs. My PC equipment allowed for a painfully slow download, but it
was worth the wait. BTW, Peter, who is the man pictured on your shirt? As it
slowly painted on my screen I saw at first only the grey-streaked white-hair
and thought, "he's wearing a Jerry Garcia shirt!" But I was wrong.

The URLs are in #3-133, and are well worth seeing. Thanks Peter!

Looking forward to the Rifff transcript whenever it may appear. I waited to
the last minute to try out an IRC program on my Windows 3.1, and could not
get  to the specific rooms. Ended up with a bizzare list of chat rooms
(yeah! let's talk "Preteen Toilet Sex")

No, let's don't!


Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997 08:09:01 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Tony Maimone

  Speaking of good bassists, as far as I know Tony Maimone's still with Pere
Ubu, assuming they're still together. Their last album I know of was a few
years ago. They got back together back in the late 80's(most of the original
lineup; four of the seven members of the new lineup were on The Modern Dance,
Maimone, drummer Scott Krausse, synth player Allen Ravenstine, and Ralph
Kramden lookalike frontman David Thomas) and have recorded several albums
that reminds me more of XTC circa Drums And Wires than their '70's material.
Pere Ubu turned into a quirky pop band, and quite an intriguing one. David
Thomas still has one of the oddest voices in the business, though, and still
writes rather surreal lyrics.

"Was it a dream? Nah, it was a tin can. Had I not kicked that..." David


Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997 08:09:03 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Beach Boyz

  Man, these digests are getting humongous; AOL saves them as a text
attachment and I have to use a word processing program to translate and open
it. I hate AOL, but I'm stuck with it for now; the University of Vermont
finally figured out I wasn't a student anymore(took them two years)and
cancelled my account. Oh well, piss and moan.
  Regarding The Beach Boys, I agree with many(including Andy!)that Brian
Wilson is a tortured genius who's shown only flashes of his brilliance since
the late sixties. Actually, the words from genius on are my conjecture only.
I also agree, and Brian himself would probably agree too, that lyrics are not
his strongest suit. Brian's only great lyrics were on Pet Sounds; not poetic
masterpieces but perfect for the songs and genuinely heartfelt. Most of the
rest of his great stuff, including the bulk of the aborted Smile, was in
collaboration with others, most often with either Van Dyke Parks(on Smile)or
Mike Love(occasionally throughout).
As for The Beach Boys as a group, they deserve points for surviving through
the late 60's and 70's with minimal output from Brian, and until the
mid-70's, while not making great music, not making anything too embarassing
either. Unfortunately, the last interesting album they did was The Beach Boys
Love You in '77(which Brian fully participated in, writing or cowriting
everything on the album), which, while no masterpiece, is quite listenable
and even downright goofy in places(check "Johnny Carson," for example). Since
then it seems like Mike Love has taken over the band and turned it into an
embarassing oldies band. Somebody should put the guy out of his misery. The
death of Dennis Wilson, IMHO the soul of The Beach Boys, even though he only
sang occasionally and otherwise just played drums and drank and drugged a
lot(his solo album Pacific Ocean Blue is a minor masterpiece from a band
member who could easily have contributed more to the band creatively if he
wanted to), hurt them even worse. They still could be worth something if
Brian stood up to Mike Love and got them back into the studio to record
Brian's originals instead of pop-factory readymades like "Kokomo." Of the
rest, Carl Wilson had his moments but doesn't seem to write anymore, Al
Jardine never was much of a songwriter(and hardly performs with the band
anymore), and Bruce Johnston, well, blame him for writing "I Write The Songs"
for Barry Manilow(which The Beach Boys supposedly recorded but never
released, thank god).
   Sorry to be so longwinded, but I'm sure Andy would be sympathetic.
   To close, speaking of Amanda's forwarded letter, I've heard "Mayor Of
Simpleton" muzak style in the local Grand Union a couple of times. Seems a
lot of the Muzak employees are people in their 20's and 30's who are
rearranging the music they grew up on, so often the song sequence resembles
a typical AAA station's playlist.


Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997 23:04:45 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Upsy/Doherty, and very little bassist discussion

regarding Upsy Daisy Assortment, Derek Miner wrote:
>On the plus side, the packaging idea is clever. And they packed the disc to
>the limit (in fact, "Peter Pumpkinhead" is barely over before the disc
>forces itself to "off"). The best thing, I thought, was that the sound of
>the mid-period stuff was much better than I've come to

I'm surprised that they hadn't added Rook or Wrapped In Grey onto the end...
they could've sqeezed in one more track if they really wanted to. When the
compilation was originally announced, I was somehow given the impression that
Andy himself was to determine the tracklisting... however, I am grateful that
they chose to include non-seguay versions of Seagulls & Chalkhills, which
have always been two of my favorites. If only they had also chosen Smalltown
& Yacht Dance...

David McGuinness wrote:
>OK, so I've never seen him live, but I can't understand the fuss about
>Graham Maby - his playing for TMBG has made no impression on me whatsoever.

it's his stage presence... be it with TMBG or Joe Jackson, Graham seems to
present an essence of simultaneous calm & experience. One wouldn't dare take
their eyes off him, since he always has a coy look on his face that seems to
say "keep watching, i'm gonna switch to rock-out mode any second now!"

David McGuinness also wrote:
>Have we discussed possible drummers for the lads' next album recently?  It
>just struck me as a dug out my copy of 'John Henry' over the weekend (on
>which Mr Maby features a little), that Brian Doherty's drumming on that
>album is quite staggering. [snip]
>It strikes me that Doherty actually plays the kit
>like a real musical instrument, whereas Mastelotto just assembles
>collections of killer sounds and hopes they'll work.

plus, add the fact that Brian Doherty is currently unemployed - having left
TMBG in January after feeling burnt-out by the rigours of touring - and you
have the absolute perfect canditate for XTC's next drummer! =)

I recently found a copy of three-3" CD version of O&L, packaged in that tiny
little rectangular box... it's so cute! It looks like a pack of XTC
cigarettes. The track-indexing is also changed in-between Miniature Sun &
Chalkhills... track 15 starts right at opening keyboard riff of Chalkhills. I
think I prefer it that way...
and, since it's the first track on disc 2, Poor Skeleton does NOT have the
tail-end of The Loving seguaying into it. it's a clean stand-alone version.
Now THERE'S something for the obsessive-collectors! =)
While in New York, I picked up a copy of the Ernest Noyes Bookings tribute
album with "XTC: Rocket" on it, only to find that it was simply Andy's demo.
=p oh well... still nice to have on CD though. I also (finally!) found a copy
of Martin Newell's "Greatest Living Englishman" album, and it is simply
fantastic stuff. A store-clerk had put a sticker on it, under Andy's name,
which read: "that guy from INXS or XTC or somethin'".

Mike Wood...
... who may have mis-spelled "seguay" throughout this entire posting.


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-136

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