Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-149

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 149

                  Tuesday, 5 August 1997

Today's Topics:

       Andy, Robert, Adrien, Todd and Ray (EC too!)
                  Errol(y) We Roll Along
                       Re: Sara Lee
         Cap'n Pugwash, Black Sea and Polly Jane
         Songs running over and over in my brain
                   That's Entertainment
                Chalkhills Children review
                Re: Zappa and other quotes
                     XTC/Circuit City
        Utopia, TR-i & Skylarking - out like flint
              A Clockwork Oranges and Lemons
                      Bitch session
                        Prophet V
                      Re: Prophets V
              Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
                    Beat Boys fixation
                      False Prophet
   XTC live (sort of), stuffed "Skylarking" & THE idea
                The exclusive Triples Club
                        new album
Writing about XTC is like dancing about new music formats...


Enough with the Prophet V, alright?

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

I read my comics from front to back.


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Tidbits...
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 19:45:57 +0900

Hello there,

Mitch Friedman ( wrote on the Digest #3-145:

> He (Andy Partridge) also really loves the animation of Czechs Jiri
> Trnka and Jan Svankmajer.
I LOVE his animation, too!  His short film entitled "MUZNE HRY" and
his long movie called "FAUST" are more than outstanding.  And his
newest long one "CONSPIRATORS OF PLEASURE" will be released here in
Tokyo soon.  Anyway, I do think he is the greatest animator all over
the world, as well as Nick Park who directed the "WALLACE & GROMIT"
claymation series.  Jan also directed a video clip entitled "ANOTHER
KIND OF LOVE" performed by Hugh Cornwell (ex. Stranglers).  I expect
him to direct a video clip for some new song of XTC.

And as far as animated movies go, I'd also recommend "JASON AND THE
ARGONAUTS" (I assume everyone knows this title).  I read somewhere
that he liked it too.

Anyway, I have an extra copy of the Japanese _DEMO TRACKS_ CD-EP,
and I'd be happy to trade it for something.  Please just email me

And I also have a promo copy of KC's _SCHIZOID MAN_ single CD (UK).
Just let me know if someone wants it.


---- NaoyuKing, the faculty            "This is your life and
     of Economics, KEIO Univ.           you do what you want to do,
                                        just don't hurt nobody..."


Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:53:17 -0300 (ADT)
Message-Id: <v03007800b00b40800608@[]>
From: Erich Walther <>
Subject: Andy, Robert, Adrien, Todd and Ray (EC too!)

No deep XTC content here so hit that scroll button...

Re the coda on WiG: Shivers down the spine when Andy goes 'up there' and a
great contrast to the snarl that comes in the Ugly Underneath.

The League of Gentlemen was released on CD in Canada mashed together with
God Save the Queen.

Most seen/used sideman? Adrien Belew hands down: seen with Zappa, Talking
Heads, Crimson, Bowie, Bears x2, Crimson again, Laurie Anderson, and
Crimson (again). He's the life I wish I had...

The only bone I have to pick with TR is his tendancy to OVER-produce; he
seems to abhor (sp) a vaccum and has to fill every little space. Still, 'A
Wizard, A True Star' (he's soo humble), 'Something/Anything' and 'Swing to
the Right' are must-haves. Trivia department: anyone know of a band besides
Grand Fund Railroad (gasp!) produced by both TR and FZ?  What were they

Ray Davies is the man! His influence on both Andy and EC is pretty bloody
obvious. Check out EC's outstanding interpretation of 'Days'; of course, EC
makes even have a nice day sound like he's spilling his soul out at you.
How the Kinks got relegated to the delete bin of life is beyond me...

Chalkhills content: There seem to be three of us in the Ottawa area! Any
others close by? Perhaps we can plan a little get-together. Let's pencil in
a date in our Autumn almanac!

Erich, with no pithy SIG.


Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:00:35 -0300 (ADT)
Message-Id: <v03007800b003e1b89777@[]>
From: Erich Walther <>
Subject: Errol(y) We Roll Along

I checked with an uncle and a dad (and various trivia books) and 'in like
Flynn' seems to originally refer to how he'd invariably have a scene  where
he'd swoop across the screen on a) a rope, b) a drapery, c) something
hanging off a get my drift. His kiddie-diddling scandal later in
his career gave the monicker a whole new spin... BUT, when you look at the
title of the song, doesn't 'flint' make more sense? Andy playing with fire
again...And when you look at the first line of this verse the
flynn/flint/fire pun fairly leaps to the fore  with the mention of

Once again, Andy working on all levels; and we mortals just shake our heads
and say Wha??


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 14:01:00 +0100
Subject: Re: Sara Lee

>From: Jon Leslie Davis <>
>Sara Lee has worked quite a lot with Indigo Girls. I have seen her twice
>with them, including their current tour. She also has toured extensively
>with Ani DiFranco (seen her twice there, too) and features prominently on
>Ani's live album Living in Clip.

Hmmm, Sara Lee also worked with Robyn Hytchcock (therefore giving another
vague XTC link) on the album Groovy Decay.

Infact I have been wondering about who else she has played for.

Speaking of Robyn Hytchcock, Jonathon Demme (Silence of the Lambs &
Stop Making Sense), has made (is making) a movie of Hytchcock in
performance, it's a pity we couldn't get the same thing for XTC.


Message-ID: <>
From: Catherine Sweeney <>
Subject: Cap'n Pugwash, Black Sea and Polly Jane
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 14:45:24 +0100

><<All the characters in Captain Pugwash had oblique sexual references in
>their names: Seaman Staines, Master Bates and Captain Pugwash himself
>(plug wash, geddit?).>>

Er - wrong.  It's an  urban myth which I too believed to be true until I
bought a Captain Pugwash video in an attempt to relive childhood (and
snigger in adulthood at the references I believed were there).  Unless
the video was edited, it was all as innocent as hell.  And then I read,
in fact, that it was a vicious rumour put about by the production staff
and these sexual references had never existed.  Prove me wrong, please!

XTC influences - how about this.  I was listening to "Dry" by PJ Harvey
on the way in to work this morning.  I've listened to it many, many
times, but this morning, I nearly fell off the bus.  It reminded me so
much of Black Sea in an inexplicable sort of way.  The track "Happy and
Bleeding" in particular, could have Mr Gregory on guitars and Mr
Chambers on drums.

Have they ever worked together, or has Ms Harvey ever expressed
admiration for them?


Message-ID: <>
From: Ed Miller <>
Subject: Songs running over and over in my brain
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:51:35 -0600

Dear Chalkhills pals.....

Help!!!!  I think I'm losing it!

I spent the weekend in the Rocky Mountains.  The weather was perfect,
our campsite was like a piece of Eden and we didn't get lost (too
often).  However....

I woke up around 2:30am with "The Dissapointed" going though my brain.
I enjoyed it for a while and eventually fell back to sleep.  Yesterday
afternoon, while driving home, there it was again, running around my
brain with full backing vocals and the classic Andy stereo guitar parts.

So, when we got home, the first thing I did was put the song on the
hi-fi and pull up a chair between the speakers and crank it up.  Besides
satisfying the craving to hear this great piece of pop music, I figured
this would be the catharsis that would drive the song from my head.

I was right, it was gone!

However, while skipping though the CD to get to 'The Disappointed", my
brain caught the opening guitar parts to "My Bird Performs."  Now,
today, at work, it's the same problem, different tune.


Any suggestions for therapy, drugs or references for a good shrink will
be greatly appreciated.

A lad insane...

Ed Miller


Message-Id: <>
Subject: That's Entertainment
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 12:48:42 -0700

When is Mr. Relph going to start a 'Harrison "You're soaking in it."
Sherwood' digest?!

I truly enjoy these rollicking rides of reverie and reality re-examined,
reviewed and sometimes re-written!  We will henceforth be relegated to
the redundant rigamarole of rhetorically wretched writers... rike me.

" takes brains to do that anyway."

What will we do in his two-week absence?  Goodbye Human-Thesaurus.

Bandleader!  Strike up the French Trombones!

(Note:  Actual XTC content follows.)  As for the Mayor of Simpleton
analysis... I am always amused by little production quirks like the
sopping-wet, grossly excessive use of echo which only happens on one
word of the song.

Richard "I've got new sock on!" Pedretti-Allen


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 97 16:29:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Chalkhills Children review

Greetings from the chalky hills of Boston,

 Now, the moment you've all been waiting for... (drum roll, please)...I said
a couple of months back after initial listens to CC '96 that I wanted to
give it a more "formal" review after further listening [I noted at the time
that my first impression was very positive] and (continue building drum
roll), never wanting to be one to go back on his word, not that I suppose
any of you remember I gave it in the first place, here it is. (Climactic
cymbal crash! Or, if you prefer, "climatic symbol crash"...imagine the
weather symbols on the forecast map running headlong into each other.)
Knowing that many contributors have been interested in getting feedback
specifically on their song, I'm going to comment on all of the songs to some
degree, including (gasp) a few negative remarks [though nothing TOO
disparaging, I promise]. As it should go without saying, this is merely one
person's opinion of the tape, so take it with the proverbial grain o' salt:


"XTSea Medley": Clear winner of the High Concept Award. Big points for
clever usage of lyric snippets, though I have to admit that the
repeated-listen factor is low on this one for me. (But Mitch, continue to
consider me a huge fan of your posts...)

"Battery Brides": A somewhat relaxed interpretation -- nice atmospherics and
use of synths, smooth vocals.

"Making Plans for Nigel": While not veering much from the original, this
version opens the song up a little, diminishing its claustrophobia (for
better or worse). I get an even more hopeless image of Nigel, without a leg
of his own to stand on, than from XTC's recording.

"Day In, Day Out": The song as recorded by the character voicing the lyrics.
Bored silly with the work week, he gets home Friday evening, plugs in his
amp in the garage, and rages away at the frustration while recording it on a
cheap Radio Shack cassette recorder.

"The Somnambulist": Richard Pedretti-Allen is a genius! A master musical
mind of major measure! And I'm not just saying that because he's putting
together CC '97 and I'll be on it! Really! :) A faithful rendition, very
well executed.

"All of a Sudden": Musically, it's the version Vince Guaraldi (of Snoopy and
Peanuts fame) might have performed (which I consider a good thing). I see it
being performed in a hotel cocktail lounge. The vocals come off a bit weak,
however...a little more force would have served it well.

"It's Nearly Africa": I've read several comments posted here regarding this
to be equal to or better than the original. While I wouldn't quite go that
far, it is extremely well instrumentation throughout and nice
background sound effects in the distorted-voice bridge. I found the "Any day
now" parts to be particularly uplifting, making excellent use of the
background vocals.

"My Love Explodes": Clever retro-fitting of the song...even sounds like the
instrumentation was recorded circa 1965. "G-L-O-R-X-PLODES!!"

"The Meeting Place": A by-the-book cover -- give this one points for
accuracy, right down to the vocals.


"1000 Umbrellas": This might be retitled "1000 Drums and Wires"...serrated
guitar, herky-jerky rhythm, staccato singing. Well done. My only complaint
about the recording is that, listened to with earphones, it seemed to be
heavily favoring the right channel. But maybe that was just my copy of the

"Dear God": A track already featured on the "Skylacking" tape, so I won't go
into too much detail except to say that it still stands as one of the most
well-conceived interpretations on any of the tribute tapes. Imagine the
Squirrel Nut Zippers covering the song. My only qualm with it is that it
drains the lyrics of much of their pathos.

"Sacrificial Bonfire": What can I say? My pick as "Best of Tape"...excellent
pacing, beautifully played and sung, cleanly recorded, great job of
re-setting it as an uptempo song. This is the one that I'd say comes closest
to being as good as the original.

"Collideascope": You'd have a hard time convincing me that this isn't really
Ween's version of the song if I didn't have the tape in my hands.
Intentionally or not, Phil and Rob do a spot-on version of Gene and Dean.
And I really enjoy it.

"Disque Bleu": This fan-club-only song is transformed into an
Andrew-Lloyd-Weber-showstopper-by-way-of-Holiday-Inn piece. At least, that's
how it strikes me. And surprisingly enough, given that description, I like

"Chalkhills and Children": Minimalist version, owing nothing whatsoever to
Brian Wilson. Cecil Taylor takes over on keyboards for a stretch.

"Goosey Goosey": Hands-down winner of "Most Likely to Bring a Smile" Award.
Mr. Partridge himself indicated that this was his favorite version on the
tape. I feel similarly...the unrestrained joy of the duo of NaoyuKing and
TomoKong comes through in all its glory. And the Japanese lyrics sound just
as good as the English.

"Living in a Haunted Heart": Harrison Sherwood, currently considered "Most
Likely to Get His Own Sit-Com" among Chalkhills contributors, matches the
bedroom-recording feel of Andy's original demo futon for futon, but puts a
few frills on the pillowcase as the song goes along, with synthesized horns,
drum fills, and great backing vocals. The fairground calliope music at the
end is a nice touch. Yep, ah Sherwood give this one a thumbs up.

"Books Are Burning": The voice samples in the background are conceptually
interesting, as is the very well-played church organ, but overall I find
that the song ends up dragging a little. This one comes closest to a vision
of The Carpenters doing XTC (and really, haven't we all had that vision at
one time or another?).

Well, that's whatever end, them's my thoughts on the tape.

Andy Partridge: Recomplitoric or Hypnozoidal? Discuss.

Dave Gershman


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 15:22:02 -0500
From: Don Lindbergh <>
Organization: National Library of Medicine
Subject: Re: Zappa and other quotes

> From: JES <>
> Actually, I think that Frank Zappas most famous quote about music critics was
> something along the lines of "critics are writers who cant write writing for
> people who cant read."  But I could be wrong.

It goes like this

"Rock journalism is people who cant write, preparing stories based on
interviews with people who can't talk, in order to amuse people who cant


PS here's a couple more

"but as for the guy who will write the review...
if his mind is prehensile
he'll put down his pencil
and have himself a squat on the Cosmic Utensil"

Frank Zappa

"typewriter tappers,
they're all just crappers
they listen to love with their intellect
anyone can pay or just stay away
anyone can join in and jump"

Pete Townshend


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 13:40:09 -0700
From: Adam Tyner <>
Subject: XTC/Circuit City

I've only been an XTC fan for a month and a half, but I'm really obsessed.  :)

Anyway, I've found a surprising great place to pick up XTC CDs at a great
price!  Circuit City has a great selection (at least the one I went to in
Phoenix, AZ)...

They had Rag and Bone Buffet, Nonsuch, Oranges and Lemons, and The Big
Express brand new for $4.99 each, and all the rest of the CDs were under
$10 (except for Mummer, which was $10.88, and the gold disc of Skylarking)...

They also had a copy of Drums And Wireless for $15.99.  I'm not sure if
this CD is particularly elusive, but if you're looking for it, CC might be
a good place to start.  :)

So far all I have is Upsy Daisy Assortment, Drums and Wires, Oranges and
Lemons, Drums and Wireless, and Rag and Bone Buffet...I plan on getting
everything else when I go back to college in a couple of weeks.  :)


The home of He-Man, "Weird Al", Yoo-Hoo, Killer Tomatoes, and more!           O-         MiSTie #67,326


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 17:16:04 -0400
From: Ralph DeMarco <>
Subject: Utopia, TR-i & Skylarking - out like flint

Dear One Armed Bandits and Affiliated Members:

Re: Utopia, TR-i & Skylarking

SMX responded:
>Ralph DeM.,, The Large Utopia was a great and progressive group. The
>smaller, pyramid-laiden Utopia was a boring and redundant group.
>Neither was techno-crap, you must be thinking of Nektar.  I'm not
>knocking TR, he's a talented songwriter.

Actually I was NOT referring to Utopia as techno-crap, I was referring to
Todd?s recent incarnations as TR-i and the album ?No World Order?
which is computer-synth generated in a way that does not appeal to me.
The only song from NWO I like is  ?Property? because it sounds more like
the T. Rundgren I know and love.  (I have not heard his last CD but I
suspect it is very similar to NWO.)  Now, yes there are some Utopia
songs that I like - ?Love is the Answer? for example, from the Utopia
album ?Ooops, Wrong Planet?, is arguably the greatest song Rundgren
has ever written, but I?m just not crazy about their ?heavy power sound?
if you know what I mean.  I have never heard of ?Nektar? what/who is it?

John Murphy responded:
>Now as to the person who slagged off Runt's Utopian dream as"techno crap"....

See above. I will check out more Utopia as you suggested. responded:
>Apart from the fact that some people simply don't enjoy what he does,
>I think what has aggrieved some XTC fans is that there has been a
>certain implication from some of the Todd supporters that Skylarking
>lived or died by Todd's input alone, and that it is more his album
>than XTC's.

That, of course, is nonsense.  It?s like saying that all the albums that
George Martin produced for the Beatles were more George Martin
albums than Beatle albums!  George Martin created sounds that the
Beatles wanted - but could not translate by themselves:  they needed
help and gained much inspiration from the Mr. Martin who was a master
of classical music production.  Now, if you notice, the production sound
on XTC albums are all a bit different.  All producers have their own vision
of how a recording or album should sound.  Todd R. just pushed the XTC
envelope much further than Andy and Co. were willing to go.  We should
be happy that Andy is mature enough to admit he really likes Skylarking?s
production sound.  (And anyway..who cares what ?Todd-is-God? heads
have to say about Skylarking anyway?!  Why should it effect whether
one enjoys Todd?s music?  Out of spite?  Now, that?s mature!)

Thanks for the TR support from John Leith.

I swear: my last post on Flynn/Flint:

Thanks for letting me know about the movie ?In Like Flint? you were right
that he didn?t change anything.  But...he might have chosen the term ?In
Like Flint? instead of ?In Like Flynn? because it works so well in the song!
To wit: FLINT - to SPARK and burn - hence "BURNING with Optimism?s
Flame?.  Really, Mr. Relph, I never get my panties in a wad...I have them
sent out to be cleaned and pressed.




Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 14:28:55 +0000
Subject: A Clockwork Oranges and Lemons

Sorry about the hideous subject... I had that idea when I was writing
Dear Mr. Branson... which really means that it must be a bad idea,
since I thought that when I wrote Branson... Well, the original idea
was to translate "Garden of Earthly Delights" into Nadsat, and have
the song open with a bit of Beethoven... Maybe it is for the best
that I canned this idea... Maybe I'll get around to it... hopefully
not, though.

> From: "Chris Ellerd" <>
> Question to the band ( or the producer, or whoever it may concern) did you
> ever release a version of Skylarking with both songs on it? I'd like to
> know.
While everyone else will probably post this, there was.  A canadian
release had Mermaid Smiled in the normal place, with Dear God tacked
on after Sacrificial Bonfire.  When asked about what kind of releases
are normal in Canada, UK or American, I said that a lot of times they
get bizarre hybrids, like Skylarking... I quickly added that that
wasn't so bad, really...8)

> From: gregory <>
> Quoted: >"the main problem we had with XTC is that they had too much
> material"< (Virgin representative)...
> Can someone please explain to me why this would really be a problem? I
> have a hard time understanding this what-I-think-is-a stupid remark...
Well, it's quite obvious really... if a band has too much material,
they'll want to release more albums, and if they release more albums,
it'll be harder to keep said band in debt...  That and all those 5
cents a CD adds up after a while... The 300% markup will only cover
so much...

> From: Simon Sleightholm <>
> bend far enough.  And wasn't the cabin boy called Roger, as in "Roger The
> Cabin Boy"? I have an old Star LC-200 dot matrix printer, and when it faults
Sorry that this has nothing to do with XTC and even less with Capt.
Pugwash (Is it a British kids show?  Just curious... I've never heard
of it...) but, upon reading this, was anyone else reminded of the one
scene in "The Thin Blue Line" starring Rowan Atkinson about "Damn
good Roger Ring?"

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)


Date: Mon, 04 Aug 97 16:26:09 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Bitch session

     Please page down now if you don't want to read a bitch.

     Hey, you know what?

     I have read every single article I can find on our boys in Swindon and
     for the last 15 years since they stopped touring...newsflash.....
     every single article has said the same things and Andy has repeated
     the same quotes "zz top, nervous live stuff, cring about shabby record
     co. treatment etc...) add infi - frickin' - itum.

     Even the Riff thing didn't get me any NEWS. AS IN NEW!

     So what I am saying is, waiting a few more months for new albums isn't
     going to kill any of us.

     Just once, I would love to read an article or hear an interview with
     just Colin. Just Colin with no interruptions from Andy. No
     interjections, just Colin. Granted, the one time I did see something
     with just Colin on his own, it was the "Play at Home" program and it
     basically showed Colin fishing and saying how when it came to song
     writing in the band it was 80-20 in Andy's favor.

     I mean, Colin could repeat the story of XTC for all I care and even
     that would seem new compared to Andy again.

     On a non-bitch note, I won my girlfriend over to the realm of XTC. So
     much so that she is constantly borrowing all my cd's and records. Hmmm
     come to think of it, maybe that wasn't such a bright idea at all.

     take it easy.


Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E029D0027@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: Prophet V
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 14:49:50 -0700

>>From: "Matt Keeley" <>
>>Anyway, what exactly is a Prophet V?  It comes up in the liners to
>>English Settlement a lot... am I correct in assuming it's a type of

The Prophet V is a synthesizer. Manufactured by Sequential Circuits. One
of the few US based synth manufacturers.
A rather sexy machine - complete with wooden ends, great sounds - lotsa
make-you-cry strings.
not produced since '81 or '82 (I'm sure someone will pick me up on the

Wouldn't mind one myself - if only I had the room (and the patience) for



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 14:46:25 -0700
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Re: Prophets V

From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 1997 12:30:33 +0000

>Anyway, what exactly is a Prophet V?  It comes up in the liners to
>English Settlement a lot... am I correct in assuming it's a type of

Heh, well, it's a musical instrument...Actually, it's a synthesizer, put
out by Sequential Circuits. Quite possibly one of the better sounding
synths ever, and was one of the first to have easily recallable settings,
thus making it a real boon for live performance. Followed by the Prophet
10, which was basically two 5 in a box, with 5 times the hassle and
overheating problems. Extremely popular synth in that time period and still
extremely useable. And, collectable now...

David Hathaway                 
The Electric Mail Company                  +1 (604) 482-1111


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 23:08:21 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Oops!

From: (David McGuinness)

>There was no Master Bates (it was Master Mate).
>There was no Seaman Staines.
>And the producers of Capt Pugwash have been known to sue people who suggest
>in print that there were.

How right you are, I was getting mixed up with Captain Titwank (not as
widely shown).

Strange the things that sink is as *fact* isn't it?

Oh, I must just say that it anyone wants to revel in the sight of Natalie
accepting her "Smartest Monkey" award, or indeed if they want to see a
picture of the whole Convention crowd, they should check out the Convention
report on Bungalow.  Mike Foster sent me a couple of pictures recently and I
only just got them put in place.  I made discreet (only went down on _one_
knee) enquiries about the availability of a tape of the interview played to
us on that day but, after a previous Convention interview video ended up
being advertised for sale in music mags, it has been decided to stop the rot
at the root and not allow any copies to be made. Bah.

If anyone can identify themselves in the picture (I know a few of the names,
obviously) then please let me know and I'll get a little list of attendees
in place.

I'm sorry, I'll read that again,

An XTC resource - "Food for the thinkers..."


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 15:41:03 -0700

>Matt Keeley asks:
>> Anyway, what exactly is a Prophet V?

It is a polyphonic keyboard that was manufactured by Sequential Circuits
(San Jose, California) in the late '70s, early '80s.   It is the first
really good sounding, high quality, integrated polyphonic keyboard that
was road-worthy.


It has the capability of some very warm sounds (it's sound circuitry is
analog) though it could never match the warm, full mass of sound from
something like an Oberhiem 4-Voice.  Again, it's biggest advantage was
that it was road-worthy, i.e. the thing could be lifted by one person,
had stable oscillators (somewhat arguable with age) even on cold outdoor
stages when sporadically heated by 12 million watts of lighting and it
wasn't all connectors and patch cords inside and out (i.e., modular
synths often had connector problems but the integrated P5 was not
modular with only a few circuit boards inside).  Peter Gabriel used one
as his prime composition keyboard for many years (don't know about
now... since he bought a Fairlight in the mid-'80s).

While most P5s still in existance are pre-MIDI, a few of the later ones
came with a passable MIDI implementation (I have a Prophet V with the
next to last MIDI implementation before they product stopped
production).  "Sequential" also produced a Prophet 10 which was
essentially two P5s in a dual keyboard cabinet (Yikes!  Started looking
a bit like a "Home Organ").

A reconditioned P5 sells for $1600 now (I paid $400 ten years ago) but
replacement parts are quickly running out and in a few years, if mine
dies, it will be gone for good.  (insert tear here.)

"Sequential" was sold to Yamaha in the mid-80's and was closed a few
years later.  Sequential attracted some amazingly talented people along
the way.  Unfortunately the company did not pay well.  They wooed the
engineering talent with promises of working with Thomas Dolby or Danny
Elfman, etc.  They painted a rosy picture of you hobnobbing with your
heroes.  Though these promises came through, one soon found out that
these "STARS" are just regular carbon-based lifeforms and... they didn't
call you up and invite you 'round to the house for the weekend.  It soon
lost it's luster and many moved on.

A few of their engineers went to Peavey to produce their first
synthesizer products and several of their brainiacs formed an audio
software consulting firm in Berkeley called "Muscle Fish."


Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 17:45:47 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Beat Boys fixation
Message-id: <Pine.PMDF.3.95.970804171900.566310487A-100000@TTACS.TTU.EDU>

R.I.P. William Burroughs

(XTC nontent) Don't they come in threes?  Lemmesee, Ginsberg,
No, too literal.  And that would be gratuitously poetic, what with the
guys free from their indentured servitude, and poised to blastoff.  But
I'm getting nervous.

As for Todd bashing, why not skip the middle man and go straight to the
source: Mr. Blackwell.  What an incredibly interesting country we have,


Re: Kaden's Dictionary: what about white people music?  I thought for sure
                        it would atleast be in an etymology.  Here's to
                        the endearingly deadpan self-hatred of Swindon's


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 02:06:48 +0000
Subject: False Prophet

Dear Chalkers,

Last issue Matt Keeley asked :

> Anyway, what exactly is a Prophet V?  It comes up in the liners to
> English Settlement a lot... am I correct in assuming it's a type of
> guitar?
No, not really...

The Prophet V was one of the first polyphonic synthesizers and a big
hit on the keyboard market in the early eighties.
It offered 5 (!) voices so could play chords (unheard of then) and
a tiny amount of memory so you could store a few "instrument patches"
or settings. Predating the digital Midi era it had a rich, analog
and very distinct sound and was used widely by lots of artists.
Until the (digital) Yamaha DX-7 came along...

When E.S. was rehearsed and recorded, XTC had just bought their
state-of-the-art Prophet (for lots & lots of money) and must have
been eager to show off their brand new toy ;)

yours in polyphony,

Mark Strijbos
at The Little Lighthouse; the XTC website @
===> The Random XTC Quote <===
I have  watched  the  manimals and cried


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997 21:35:32 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: XTC live (sort of), stuffed "Skylarking" & THE idea


I'm too lazy to go back and look, but someone asked about people doing
XTC tunes at open mikes and the like. I did "Melt The Guns" with my MIDI
of the same backing me up, and, what can I say? Nothing. I pulled it off
at a church teen-group party I performed at, and it didn't light any
fires, but most of us know about that state of affairs, eh? (I did
manage to get people to run out of the room when I did a rendition of
Oingo Boingo's "Insects", so that was some response, anyway...

Chris Ellerd asked about a copy of 'Skylarking' with both "Dear God" and
"Mermaid Smiled" included... I don't have it in front of me, but I think
I have a cassette at work with both on it ("Mermaid Smiled" was included
with one other as *extras). I'll check and get back with ya.

Yeah, I've got an idea for IDEA... make it start paying and PUT OUT A

(ahem)... Thank you.

Eating future and shitting past


Message-ID: <>
From: "Oehler, Alan" <>
Subject: The exclusive Triples Club
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 18:39:18 -0700

Jon Davis wrote about seeing one musician in multiple situations, which
made me think of Allan Holdsworth, who I've seen playing with the Soft
Machine (around 1974-75), the New Tony Williams Lifetime (around
1975-76), UK (around 1977), and leading his own bands (1982-1996 or so).


Message-Id: <v01510101b00c5c9a524f@[]>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 23:32:30 -0500
From: (steady eddy)
Subject: new album

>>We all know how the record corps prefer a single album rather than a
double while we also know that there's a triple's worth ready to
deliver.  Why not promote the album as a trilogy of single albums to be
released serially over a shorter time horizon than the usual 3 years.
Perhaps, there can be some kind of game or clue about what the next
album will bring.  Maybe each one has some demos on it as  added bonus
tracks and then those demos get fully polished on the succeeding

-------i think this is a brilliant idea. taking into account that it's been
so friggin' long since nonsuch that i can hardly stand it. wouldn't it be
nice to expect an album for the next three years? let's phone andy and tell

on the todd thing: sorry if i'm flogging a dead horse but i recently bought
a lot of todd rundgren stuff and i do like it. however, i think xtc's music
is FAR superior to todd. i find that with the exception of one or two
albums, i get lost half-way-through. anyway, that's all i'm gonna say.


Sunward  I've  climbed   and   joined   the
tumbling  mirth  of  sun-split clouds...and
done  a  hundred  things  you   have   not
dreamed   of...wheeled   and  soared  and
swung    high    in    the     sunlit     silence.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 00:47:26
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Subject: Writing about XTC is like dancing about new music formats...

Looking in my XTC Mailbox to read the latest Chalkhills, I discover that I
am three digests behind. Eeek.

>You see, with Respectable Street, they just played with the vocal
>track to get "sex position" to sound like "proposition"... it's amazing
>what they can do with computers back then...8)

There's more changes than just that ("abortion" -> "absorbtion,"
"wretching" -> "stretching," &c.) and I believe the vocal was completely
new. Compare the way Andy sings"the kind of folk who think they're
perfect!" on the two versions.

<Happy Families>
>I never saw the movie but according to the bio Chalkhills and Children less
>than thirty seconds of the track was used.

And that an instrumental version, playing on a staticky transistor radio.
"Hmmm," Andy muses, "all my movie songs seem to get played on transistor

>"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"

I must say that I find this entire discussion quite amusing. The real
source must be out there somewhere... anyway, it might not help locate the
source of the quote, but the song "Don't Respond, She Can Tell," by the
Loud Family (Scott Miller's current band), begins with the line "I cross
the room like a dancing architect." Just FYI.

>I really want to feel that whatever these guys event-
>ually release is gonna warrant this "timeless" wait-
>ing that we're all experiencing, you know?

Trust me. You *will* not be disappointed. Our Lads aren't done, they're
just getting started. If Andy's demos are *any* indication, their next
album will blow away what they've done before.

>It's good to see I'm not the only one who wants to be British... I
>even use Britishisms in speech

I haven't quite gone that far (I certainly don't want to be British --
nothing against Britain, but I'm happy where I am...) but I have been known
to occasionally work "bloody" into a conversation, mainly because it'll
surprise people a lot more than the usual epithets.

>Once people own the players, the marketeers hope to introduce records on
>the medium, realizing full well that we have just bought our LP collections
>on CD and do not want to go through it all again.

But of course. That's the whole point. The entire CD industry has been
subsidized and supported almost entirely by back catalog sales. Now that
almost everyone has Sgt. Pepper and Dark Side of the Moon in beautiful
digital sound, and at the same time album sales on "established" artists
are dropping dramatically in favor of one-shot bands, the record companies
are scrambling for a new cash cow.

>I actually wrote Blur and asked them if they'd ever listened to Black Sea.
>I didn't get a response.  I'm betting they have.

Blur are one of several MTV darlings of the moment who are certified XTC
lovers; Verve Pipe are another.


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


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-149

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