Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-160

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 160

               Wednesday, 3 September 1997

Today's Topics:

            Tomorrow never knows...or does it?
                     Re: who is XTC?
                 deux...or more comments
       Demos, Flalkies, young & old, and a greeting
                       Guitar Solos
           From Dictionary to Strawberry Blonde
                    Prince of Orange?
                  Play at Home requested
                  my bell tree performs
                       Bands I hate
                      Hi from Maine!
                     Did You Know...?
              Re: Exquisite Pop Construction
                 Praise to Jason Falkner
                 Funk Pop A Roll site up
                 New MIDI & XTC namesakes
                 I'll delurk for this...
              My next round of .02'ers......
           vinyl vs cd; record player for sale?
                  Looking For Footprints
      Leo Kottke Retires Puzzled--Looks Are Burning
                    It's Nearly Africa
                   Gastronomice Anyone?
                Probably Not News, But...
                 (Fwd) XTC - New Signing


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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The captain sold his marbles and the crew lost theirs at dice.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 23:50:09 -0700
Subject: Tomorrow never knows...or does it?

Dearest Majors and Majorettes of Chalkness,
Having not much XTC stuff to talk about ..again,
I thought I would tell a little tale about Aimee Mann(sort of XTC related)
and a show I saw around 1989 in Portland Maine.
Aimee was about midway through a very entertaining show when she did
a version of Voices Carry in the style of Tomorrow Never Knows.
At first I was unsure what I was hearing,then like an acid flashback it hit
with many colored psychedelic purpose!I still think I might have dreamed
this..nevertheless It was amazing.Then she did a cover of a song by They
Might Be Giants,introducing it as a song written by "the best new pop
group" she had heard in a while! Or something like that.My memory won't
allow me the pleasure of remembering what the song was.
So there I have included a song talked about on a recent Chalkhills
discussion(Tomorrow Never Knows)A song(Voices Carry) done in a style of a
song written by a band that obviously influenced XTC(Tomorrow Never
Knows-The Beatles)an eXTC girlfriend? and obvious fan(Aimee Mann who
actually performed Coll-IDEA-scope with AP live on stage somewhere)a band
most likely influenced by XTC(They Might Be Giants).
Now on the off chance that someone else was at this show or another like it
I'd like to ask did any one else see this or hear anything like it by Aimee
Mann?  Or the gig where she and AP sang Collideascope?
If so is there tape?
Well that's all for now.A new record please this one seems...broken.
All the worlds colours will crash into one
Monochrome livings no fun     Gringo Esta


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 10:20:54 -0700
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Organization: Nil
Subject: Re: who is XTC?


>I'd much rather have a site where people talk about their
>favorite albums regardless of what they sound like

Well said! There's a lot of good music out there beyond the confines
of goofy brit-pop, and I for one want to hear all about it. Frankly,
I've heard probably too much by now about the usual 10 or so artists
who get brought up here (other than xTc, of course :) -- let's talk
about someone else!

>Yeah, but I'm lazy, you see.  I just want to throw the CD in and press
>play, no mucking about.

Well, I suppose. After being exposed to some of the Bowie and Costello
reissues on Rykodisc, I have come to agree that the bonus tracks
should be at the end...

James Dignan:

>>>Who else (other than XTC) has been continually reinventing himself in the
>>>indifferent face of pop culture for the past 25 years?
>And U2 are only nine years away from it, too.

Gosh, will they ever make it?  But really, if you're going to shorten
it down to just 15 years, that makes it a lot easier. I'd pitch
R.E.M. into the pot, and I'm sure I could come up with a few more with
a little thought...

>I'm able to wear my Chalkhills tee to work. <snip>
>However, after spending time on this list, I was taken a
>bit aback when three people asked "what's that on the back
>of your shirt" and "who is XTC"? ;-)

At work today, someone looked at my shirt and recognized the Uffington
Horse. Didn't know who the band were though.

Karl F. Witter:

>Didn't Black Sea predate the Queen/Bowie single (and
>commercial success) "Under Pressure"?

Just barely. I think the single came out in 1981.

>That's another "coincidence" for the books, alongside
>Mummer/Murmur and Wonderland/Wonderland.

What is this mysterious "Wonderland" coincidence? I missed this one.

Catherine Sweeney:

>How would Andy feel about doing a duet with Kate Bush?

Eek. Strange and frightening idea. Somehow I don't think the voices
would, um, mesh well. But that's just me.

Oh, and one last note, on the issue of record collection organization:
earlier this week, my XTC CDs were for a short time on a shelf
separate from the rest of my collection. This has much more to do with
running out of space on the first shelf than with anything special
about them, however. :)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 19:57:09 -0400
From: Chris Kushmider <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: deux...or more comments


This is my first post, and as such i will make all the mistakes most
people do in their first post, so bear with me.
Firstly, if anyone has any XTC live tapes, demos, or esp. videos, please
email me.  i have a few, and would be happy to trade or whatever is
Secondly, if anyone has the demos cd with the oranges and lemons demos
on it(i think it's 3), please email me.  i'd very much like the actual
disc, or a cassette copy
Thirdly, i _have_ to be the youngest chalkhillian, so mark that on your
"... but sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled
making Christmas cards for the mentally ill."


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 22:59:01 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: Demos, Flalkies, young & old, and a greeting


The Demo critique (continued):

I have listened to the hell out of these demos (it's that XTC feeding
frenzy, ya know), and I'll tell ya, there is some GREAT stuff here. Many
of my first opinions about the demos have changed a great deal, now that
they have sunk in. I still look forward to the magical XTCizing that
will undoubtedly be done to these tracks, but they stand out even now. I
am thrilled. And "Church Of Women" is still the best one... I am in the
process of making a MIDI of this tune, which will have a bit of my
personal slant on the theme, one that I could see the lads taking for
the final cut.

Mark, Patricia, Tobin... your copies are coming soon, I promise.

>And know I know that there are at least two of us chalkies here in Florida
(hey Brian!)<

Hey, Mark!

Gerardo Tellez is the youngest Chalkie... who is the oldest?

Graham Stephen, I can get you a copy of the demos, if you want...
e-mail me.

Hi, John Bartlett!

Eating future & shitting past


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 01:34:31 -0400
From: richard leighton <>
Subject: Guitar Solos

In response to Ted Harmes post of August 22nd, I read in Guitar Player
Magazine that AP originally wanted to put a "Hey Jude" type chorus at
the end of "Books Are Burning" but that Dave talked him into doing the
guitar solos instead, I for one am glad that Andy threw ol' Dave a bone
and let the solos in.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 06:49:31 -0700
From: burlingame <>
Subject: From Dictionary to Strawberry Blonde

Geez, I hope I didn't start a mini-skirmish with the "Your Dictionary"
Incidentally, I'd have to say that it's probably my favorite new demo song.
I would have to concur with the following:

>>"Your Dictionary" -
>I think it is incredibly interesting to hear some of this material but I
>would guess that this track is more a form of therapy rather than an album

Well put. We've all (?) had similar feelings at the end of something,
specifically an ugly ending, but it seems like the potentially damaging
effects on, say, one's children would discourage such a bitter diatribe from
being broadcast to the public like no ordinary poison letter could
be. Onward...

Yes, the Digest did come in truncated form last time out (#158).

Anyone else out there that thinks Ron Sexsmith's new album is totally
incredible? For anyone who wants to buy something great from someone of
which they have no prior opinion or "Other Songs" by Ron
Sexsmith. Incredible songwriting (esp. "Strawberry Blonde").

good for now,


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 19:22:20 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: Prince of Orange?


I was listening to a wonderful sort of off-the-cuff type interview (labeled
Summa?) recorded during the mixing for "Oranges et Lemons". A very
optimistic and chatty Andy was explaining the origin of the Homo Safari
series when over the studio PA blares the receptionist's voice:

PA: Hello is XTC in there?
AP: of them is.
PA: Oh one of them? River Phoenix's mother is on the phone.
AP: Uh...He went about an hour ago.
PA: He left an hour ago?
AP: Yeah.
PA: Thank you.

Interviewer: Are you guys baby sitting now?
AP: He's a very young star, isn't he?

(Andy picks up where he left off only to be interrupted again.)

PA: Excuse me, do you have any idea if River will be back or not?
AP: No he won't. (a bit pissed off)
PA: He won't?
AP: No, and I don't know where he's gone. But he's with his friend Josh so
if she knows his number. Okay?
PA: Okay.

I just found this to be a sad /disturbing break in the interview. It had me
speculating if "Prince of Orange" was some sort of tribute to River. Which I
quickly convinced myself not.

ever wondering,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 02:57:31 -0400
From: Rob Hill <>
Subject: Play at Home requested

Any kind soul willing to send me a not-too-shabby copy of "Play at

Rob Hill


Message-Id: <l03020904b02eb82b29ac@[]>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 03:07:16 -0400
From: "milkmaid, that" <>
Subject: my bell tree performs

first off, thanx to all who chimed in and delivered me from the suffering
of my own faulty memory regarding Danielle Dax and her silly dance-club
version of "tomorrow never knows". almost not worth bothering to remember,
but it's good to know as a random bit of info.

[that good egg ted harms wrote:]

> Well, something that I find quite interesting is that 'Rook' penned by AP,
> has no Colin on it all (heresy!) while 'War Dance' (I think - alas, they
> don't allow to keep my CD collection at work..), penned by Colin has Andy
> playing some fairly insiginificant instrument (tambourine? kazoo?)

close - it's the shaker. and on "Bungalow" Andy plays the bell tree and
sings backup only. not only are you exactly right (that on several songs
Colin basically makes Andy practically irrelevant, and on "Rook" he returns
the favor - although in fact it's even more pointed than that, because one
member of the band not appearing on a track could mean anything, it could
mean that they weren't in the studio that day for some reason, but putting
someone on 'shaker' only is almost insulting), but i had actually noticed
this same thing when i first got _Nonsuch_ and wondered what it implied
about their relationship and songwriting one-upmanship.

> I'd agree that much of Nonsuch is lyrically very good.  The two tracks
> that I think are so un-Andy and so un-sublte in there blatant message are
> (the aforementioned) 'Books are Burning' (complete with masterbatory and
> pointless guitar solos!) and I'll add 'Peter Pumpkinhead' to that list.

yeah, "Peter Pumpkinhead" as well - although i think it's so much better
musically that one almost doesn't care, much like the sweeping and slightly
naive statements of "Melt the Guns" and "It's Nearly Africa". everyone
always suggests Jesus or JFK as the protagonist of "PP", but does anyone
else ever think of Michael Valentine from _Stranger in a Strange Land_?
call me a sci-fi geek, but that's who it reminds me of. anyway, i also
couldn't agree more about the masturbatory and pointless guitar solos of
"Books are Burning", but i also think part of the blame for making it sound
a hundred times cheesier than it would have otherwise goes to Gus Dudgeon,
who AP has said was the one who came up with the "Hey Jude" fade-out

> I mean, really, the grand metaphor approach of something like 'Another
> Satellite' or 'Human Alchemy' is totally thrown out the window with the
> hit-you-over-the-head approach of 'Hmmm, let me write a not-so-thinly
> veiled critique of Christianity (again) and right-wing, book-burning
> politics."  C'mon, give me a break!

well, i have to say that (as someone else pointed out), "Human Alchemy" is
not particularly opaque either, but i know what you mean - i think in
general Andy's non-political songs are much better lyrically than his
political ones, which tend to be blatant - "Down in the Cockpit", anyone? -
although strangely enough one of the few exceptions i think is "Dear God",
although i don't know whether i'm just being misled by my favorite thing
about the song, which is the emotionally wracked way Andy sings it. but
"Books are Burning" is also a particularly egregious example - some of the
lines i actually find slightly embarrassing, even though they're kind of
cute - "wisdom hotline from the dead down to the living" never fails to
make me cringe.

can someone please tell me what i was thinking when i bought a Kula Shaker
cd?! the only good song on it contains no lyrics in English, although i
should have expected as much.

		- brookes
R. Brookes McKenzie                             aka Louise B. Minetti
"And I'll try to respect your space -
			I'll keep in my pants" - the Mommyheads
(as in 'what's that milkmaid/ doing there?' - i.e., don't ask.)


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 23:03:04 +0700 (GMT)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Bands I hate

This list needs more negative feedback.

SO, here are some bands this XTC fan hates:  (even if I do like a song or two)

Oasis (I agree with George Harrison)
Inspiral Carpets (Stupid)
Jewel (Style, yes...but..)
Cranberries (nice videos do not a band make)
Pavement  (nonsense)
Sonic Youth (one trick pony whose trick is old)
House Music In General (enough said)
The Jam (burn me for this one, but they blow half the time)

OK, if you don't agree with me you will later.

BANDS that I dig, as if ANYBODY cared...

Billy Bragg
Duke ELlington
John COltrane



Message-Id: <>
Subject: Hi from Maine!
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 13:41:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Benjamin A. Gott" <bgott@Bowdoin.EDU>

Hello, fellow Chalkhillians,

Well, I've made the move, and am in Maine at beautiful Bowdoin College.
It's been a pretty interesting few days so far, and (of course) I have
been working diligently on my XTC conversion. I've hooked a girl named
Jill, who lives across the hall. She's a huge Sarah McLachlan fan, and it
was I who told her where "Dear God" really came from. "I always
wondered," she said. "Thanks!"

My roommate has been bombarded with "Oranges and Lemons," which he
enjoys. I played "Upsy Daisy" for my friends Nick and Dwight, and they
both liked "Nigel."

I played "Some Girls are Bigger Than Others" (the Martin Newell version)
at a coffeehouse four nights ago, and got a big response from the two
other Smiths fans in the room. Psych!

Waiting on a new album, and the snow...



Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 12:03:59 -0700
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Did You Know...?

According to CD Universe (, people who buy
XTC also tend to buy these artists:

         David Bowie * R.E.M. * Frank Zappa * U2 * Julian Cope *
         Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli * Bob Seger/Silver Bullet
         Band * Smashing Pumpkins * Bruce Cockburn * Roy Buchanan *
         Tim Buckley * Miles Davis Quintet * Phil Ochs * Squeeze * Art
         Of Noise * Shawn Colvin

I take it to mean that people who buy XTC albums have diverse tastes
in music.

	-- John


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 20:53:56 -0700
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Organization: Nil
Subject: Re: Exquisite Pop Construction

Keith "Overflowing with Music" Sawyer:

>I've got more than enough fantastic material to fill up ... um ...
>eight comp tapes?  Ten? I've lost count...

Ten, last time I checked. Probably down to nine if you chop out the
unreleased demos and the extended dance mixes. :)

Jason Phelan:

>To JHB and your XTC windows theme, I say BRAVO.

While your praise is nice, it is misplaced. I had nothing to do with the XTC
Windows Theme -- I don't even have Windows 95. You are thinking of *JH3,*
whose name is like mine, only with one less line. :) (And it rhymes with
mine, too -- what else could you ask for?)


>The fact that XTC's music AND lyrics are consistently of the
>highest quality is what sets them apart from the mere mortal
>super-groups like U2 and REM.

Hmmm. I must differ from you on one issue -- I listen to XTC as much for the
lyrics as anything else. While I doubt I'd be here right now if it weren't
for the exquisite pop construction of "Mayor of Simpleton," it's just as
much because of the poignant lyrics "Wrapped in Grey," or the wistful
description in "Sacrificial Bonfire," or the amazing nuances in "No Language
in Our Lungs." The combination of great lyrics and music is what I love.

As for "consistently" and "mere mortal super-groups," I personally don't
find XTC's catalog to be all that consistent. I find much of _Mummer_ and
_White Music_ completely unappealing, and even on otherwise great albums, I
find stinkers like "The Smartest Monkeys" or "Here Comes President Kill
Again." I'm not a U2 fan, but I find that R.E.M. tends to deliver much more
consistent albums, although their latest failed somewhat in this respect.

>I don't see "Human Alchemy" as anything but blatant.  But
>why criticize Andy for saying what he means?

Because it's not interesting. I'm not speaking of HA in particular (since it
manages to pull itself off with a reasonable amount of style) but of blatant
songs in general. If you have something to say directly, then *say* it. If
it's going in a song, I expect some subtlety, flair, or panache to make the
lyrics interesting to hear. BTW, I'd like to distinguish between songs that
make a point directly, but in an interesting way or "with style," and songs
which merely make a boring point.

>I've never been able to get a handle on what "Shake you donkey up"
>is getting at. Is it a Swindonian expression, a ribald joke that
>I miss, or, incredibly, an address to a "donkey".

The idea is fairly simple: the rude, obnoxious guy thinks he's superior to
this woman, but when he tries to use violence to get her to obey him, she
responds in kind and quickly mops the floor with him. The whole "donkey"
theme is saying that the guy is an "ass" for being a chauvinist, and for
getting humiliated in the attempt to control this woman.

The one with the extra line


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 1997 11:11:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Weshaw <>
Subject: Praise to Jason Falkner
Message-ID: <>

On advice aplenty from this list I scrounged around for spare change and
purchased Falkner's "Author Unknown". Hallelujah! New tune infusion when
times are desperate. While I wouldn't mistake it for xTc, my housemate
wandered in during track four and asked if it was Colin singing. Huh.

Speaking of desperate times, anybody know of Falkner's tour schedule or
Yazbek's new CD or tour plans?


		--	--	--	--	--	--

weshaw@teleport.COM       	We will skate across the storm as if we're
				wheeling sea birds . . . .
							-A. Partridge


Message-Id: <v03007800b030d0882986@[]>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 1997 16:12:56 -0400
From: Curtiss Hammock <>
Subject: Funk Pop A Roll site up

Hi all,

After receiving a some positive feedback from listmembers, I have created a
website devoted to other bands that XTC fans might like. There are several
artists listed, but only a few of them have accompanying write-ups.

If you have anyone that you think should be added, please let me know, as I
would love to have some views beyond my own on the site. Similarly, if you
can think of anything to add what I've already written (or haven't written
in some cases), please feel free to contact me. In fact, any constructive
criticism is welcome.

With your help, this site can be a valuable reference for us on Chalkhills,
and XTC fans everywhere.

It's called "Funk Pop A Roll," and it can be found at:

Thanks for your past and future support.


Curtiss R.Hammock II
MacBeth Design
Atlanta, GA, USA


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 22:44:04 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: New MIDI & XTC namesakes


My MIDI-making slump that I've been in for a few weeks now may be over,
as I have just finished "This Is Pop", and it'll show up on the
Chalkhills site pretty soon, I'm sure.
Why "This Is Pop"? Why not any of the others I've mentioned that I was
going to do (BWOF's, COW, NTIOH)? Well, when ya got a burr up your butt
to do something, ya do what's got your motor revvin', and it was TIP. It
was on my copy of the demos (love'em), and it really cranks (I guess
compared to the less-than-perfect sound quality of the rest of the tape,
it would). So, I was inspired. I don't own that particular album (*GASP*
WHAT?!?), but I did at one time... does that count? Actually, I don't
own 'GO2', 'Drums & Wires', 'Mummer', 'Beeswax/Waxworks', any of the
best of stuff (why? if I've already got them on something else... I like
the music, not the collections).

Music-stuff makers Opcode have a new gadget out called the 64XTC Digital
Sync Box...:-)

About two miles from where I work is an adult shop called XTC...:-)

... if anyone's interested!

Later, fellow waiting-with-bated-breath-ers
Eating future & shitting past


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 14:38:57 -0600
Message-ID: <>
From: Andrew Stevens <>
Subject: I'll delurk for this...

>En Castellano: Equis-Tay-Thay

For latin america, Equis Te Se (Eh-keys Teh Seh)
Spain and whatnot (Castellano, si prefieres) Equis Te The (Eh-keys Teh

Actually, you'd just pronounce it in English and be done with it.

Oh, and to further flog a dead horse from a little while back, I can't see
any XTC-ness in Cafe Tacuba. They're good enough, but hardly similar.
Instead, try to find anything by Bon y los Enemigos del Silencio, who have
been described in "that way", and play pretty cool, pretty quirky guitar



Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 09:34:51 -0600 (CST)
From: "DADDY'S GIRL" <>
Subject: My next round of .02'ers......
Message-id: <>

I've got a new list of trading stuff coming up as soon as I can get it
compiled so keep your eyes peeled.......

I'd like to run down my thoughts on the Andy Demos.......

The Green Man-Didn't catch on at first, but now I really love it. Sounds
like it would fit nicely on the X-Files movie soundtrack.

Dame Fortune-Infectious. The beat, the melody, the lyrics. One of Andy's
better little ditties.

Church of Women-Love it to death. Andy's voice appears to have gotten better
over the years, IMNSHO.

River of Orchids-Honestly, it still hasn't caught on. Andy's veering off
into preachy territory here.

You & the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful-My fave upon first listening.

Wonder Annual-I really like the backing vocals Andy does.

I'd Like That-Just a TAD too spritely for me, but I adore the harmonies on
the word "sunflower".

Knights In Shining Karma-I think, if this one goes onto cd, it should remain
as it is. It's perfect in its form.

Easter Theatre-If ever Andy was in top lyrical form, it's on this song.

Prince of Orange-Who did the backing vocals on this, I'd like to know......

My Brown Guitar-Asi/asi. (So so, for thos of you who don't habla espanol...)

The Last Balloon-I love the music on this one, especially the piano on the
fadeout. It gives it a very gloomy, almost eerie quality.

Bumper Cars-What the hell is he saying??????

I Can't Own Her-Another favorite. (Although in my case, I should change the
lyrics to I Can't Own HIM, and give it to my manager.......)

Your Dictionary-I love the unabashed bluntness of this song. Take that,

And now I must be going.......

Daddy's Girl

XTC song of the day-My Train Is Coming
non XTC song-Funky Sh*t-The Prodigy


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 09:46:17 -0700
From: Peter Jeong <>
Subject: vinyl vs cd; record player for sale?

hello all,

i went to a record store in campbell, ca.  i'm so excited about the used
vinyls that i found, that i must tell the world!!  i got these for 1-2
bucks each:
1. xtc--english settlement, oranges and lemons
2. led zeppelin--II, and the one with black dog, stairway to heaven, and
the battle of evermore
3. jefferson airplane--surrealistic pillow
4. the police--outlandos d'amour, zenyatta mondatta, ghost in themachine

5. the kinks--sleepwalker
6. rolling stones--between the buttons (the one with ruby tuesday on
7. elvis costello--armed forces, king of america, imperial bedroom
8. mike oldfield--tubular bells
9. dire straits--money for nothing
10. billy joel--an innocent man

there was a thread on this list concerning vinyl vs cd: a bit of heresy
since i'm in dsp (digital signal processing) engineering, but the the
drums and bass on my records seem to have more ummphhh(!!)  than on my
cd's.  damn.  the records have made this a very memorable labor day

does anyone know anyone that's willing to sell their record player?  if
so, please e-mail me privately.  if not, does anyone have any advice on
buying a new one (what brands, what to look for, etc.)  i've been
borrowing one of my roomate's record players, but he's moving out within
the next month or so.

finally, i went to an artsy movie theatre in palo alto (the aquarius,
for you locals) this weekend, and they played "english settlement" from
beginning to end before the movie.  oh, i was in



Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 16:16:59 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Looking For Footprints

Actually I'm looking for any XTC fans in the LA area who are also musicians.
I want to join a band and I'm looking for people with similar musical

Or just sitting around playing XTC songs would be cool too!

Email me.

Laurie Collins


Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Leo Kottke Retires Puzzled--Looks Are Burning
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 17:27:10 -0400

Quoth Amanda, obviously not yet having heard that Chalkhills is now a
no-trollbait zone:

>What's this I hear about Gregsy going bald?????

Say, Mr. Leckie, could we get a little more cavernous reverb on that
Evil Laughter track?

No, honestly, kids, I've got my tongue so firmly clasped between thumb
and forefinger that I'm raising a welt the size of a 1938 Buick. The
term "French billiard ball," while raking my tender esophagus with
vicious little claws in its desperation to emerge, will _never_ pass my
lips. _Nevah_, do you heah?

>From: (Mark Fisher)
>Subject: As soon as I wake up
>I walked past Ray Davies in an Edinburgh cafe a couple of days ago (he's
>doing some gigs on the Fringe), and I decided to play it cool and not say
>anything to him.

You'll want to kibosh that "playing it cool" impulse in the future,
Mark. Nothing in life beats the experience of getting a celebrity's
attention and then suddenly discovering you've never planned what you're
actually going to _say_. Beyond the stunningly obvious and stupid stuff,
I mean--"Oh, I've got all your records, Mr. Davies, and I just
_luuuuurrrrve_ 'Lolita.'"

This is the voice of experience speaking here. Once backstage at a
college gig I utterly nonplussed Leo Kottke with, "Oh, hi, Leo! Say, do
you like that guitar?"

Stormy Monday say:

>As my lovely lady-friend has been quick to point
>out, many lyricists are vague and subtle under the guise of being
>clever, but really they have no clear vision of the point that they are
>trying to make, and often may not even have a point.

Say, Stormster, I hope you don't mind a little avuncular advice, but if
you know what's good for you you'll pick out a nice ring and book a
ritzy place to nosh before you get down on one knee and pledge undying
devotion to this paragon of womanly virtue and clear-eyed
discrimination. Only half joking, here.... Hang on to this one.

This is so sprawling a topic that we haven't got a prayer of saying
anything definitive, but, hey, that's never stopped us before, has it.

I think what we're looking at here is a long continuum, right? On one
end of the spectrum you've got the school of thought that holds that
lyrics are really there only for their sound value, how they mix with
the back tracks to create an aural experience. These folks would hold
that if you're thinking about what the words mean you're really missing
the point. Into this category we could fit such people as the Talking
Heads, perhaps REM, the Rolling Stones circa "Exile," early Eno, a whole
lot of punks. Farther afield you could fit jazz scat singing, automatic
writing in the Gertrude Stein mold, Dada and surrealism, Pere Ubu (the
play not the rock group), Pere Ubu (the rock group not the play), and on
and on.

Over at the other end of the spectrum you've got the verbal folks, the
left-brainers, who use music as backdrop and support for the lyrical
content, who choose words primarily for their meaning and emotional
effect rather than their sound. Lyrics as poetry set to music. Here fit
your Dylan-wannabes, your Leonard Cohens, your Paul Simons (in the 60s
anyway), your Joni Mitchells & Laura Nyros. And, going back, Cole
Porter, Woody Guthrie, Stephen Foster...Homer.

In between Ubu Roi and "The Dangling Conversation" we've got everybody
else. I think it's fair to put both Andy and Colin firmly in the
high-verbal camp, with Andy farther out than Colin. You're never going
to get, oh, "Surfin' Bird" out of either one of these guys, but you're
also not going to get "Eve of Destruction" either. Thank Gourd.
(Although "Books Are Burning" is close. I've never had much affection
for that one. It's a straw-man issue: Think about it--how many people do
you know who are actually in _favor_ of book-burning? I personally am
working very hard on a 160-canto epic which takes a very hard line
against rectal pruritus.)

An interesting exercise might be to try to place different XTC songs
along that same continuum. We can quite confidently place "Books Are
Burning" far into in the high verbal area, and I think something like
"Battery Brides" or maybe "Meccanic Dancing"--hell, pretty much all of
the first two albums--are pretty heavily anti-verbal.

Perhaps it might be fair to call the history of XTC's approach to
lyric-writing as a long, slow drift from one end of that spectrum to the
other: from "Set Myself on Fire" through "No Language In Our Lungs" to
"Rook": from the self-consciously oblique and elliptical ""Roads Girdle
the Globe" to the florid and enthusiastically and unapologetically
baroque "Then She Appeared."

And isn't it interesting that the album that really marks the
hinge-point in this transition, the one that announces the beginning of
the migration--Black Sea--has "No Language In Our Lungs" at its center
(both thematically and in the sequence of songs on the LP)? Sings
Brother Andy, "There is no muscle in our tongues/to tell the world
what's in our hearts," and then he proceeds to spend the rest of his
career trying to disprove this thesis.

Harrison "For naught so engend'reth th' iniquitous twitch/Than that
evil, baleful, unwholesome itch" Sherwood


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 97 19:42:33 -0500
Subject: It's Nearly Africa

     Hi there

     Time to delurk for a moment.

     Here's a question. My other half and I both love
     the "boys" - and Nonsvch, especially (Humble Daisy!
     Wow), we do have a question about "it's nearly
     Africa" on ES. I should say that Idah (trouble and
     strife) hails from that continent. Thus, she was
     particularly curious about the meaning of the
     lyrics. Although we like the sound of the song, we
     are both troubled about what Andy is trying to say.
     Idah has to put up with (a surprisingly large
     number of) people who think that Africa is a single
     country (and not over fifty countries) and that
     there is a stereotypical African person. Although
     there are some generalisations to be made, both she
     (and now I) have often found that people's
     "generalisations" are, in fact, misconceptions (or
     sometimes worse!). Does Andy fall into this trap?
     Enlightenment will (hopefully) disperse this
     (single) shadow over our (much played) XTC



Message-Id: <v03007801b032dbb605bf@[]>
Subject: Gastronomice Anyone?
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 09:06:31 +0800

Hi everyone,

I'm finally back on line after a month without e-mail, and it feels great.

Okay, after three years of fruitless searching in Tokyo, I've finally found
another copy of Gastronomic, by Hiroyasu Yaguchi.

For those of you that don't know, this is the one where Andy plays guitar
all over it.

This CD is tough to find in Tokyo, so I guess it's pretty tough to find
elsewhere in the world.

I am prepared to *trade* this one - it is not for sale.  Please let me know
if you are interested, and what you have to offer.  I'm not really
interested in vinyl.

Regards from Tokyo,

Steve (MGV)

* --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Could we have everything louder then everything else?
                                (Deep Purple)
* --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 20:13:13 -0500
From: Dave White <>
Subject: Probably Not News, But...

Stumbled upon this at:


                    XTC are signing a two-album deal with
                    Cooking Vinyl and have been given their own
                    imprint, Idea. "They have already written
                    about 50 songs and the demos are really
                    unbelievable," says Cooking's MD Martin
                    Goldschmidt. The band, who hadn't recorded
                    for previous label Virgin since 1992's
                    Nonesuch, expect to release a new album
                    next year. Pony Canyon has secured the
                    Japanese licence and XTC manager Paul
                    Bailey says the group will negotiate deals
                    for several other territories, including
                    the US and Canada.  Pictured from left are
                    Pony Canyon London representative Mike
                    Matsushita, Goldschmidt, XTC's Dave
                    Gregory, Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding
                    and the band's manager Paul Bailey.

Nice photo, too.


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 08:46:28 -0700
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: (Fwd) XTC - New Signing

Big News!  I received some e-mail from XTC's management, and this is
the gist of it:

    As of Wednesday, August 27th, 1997, XTC signed a licensing deal
    for their record label 'Idea' to 'Cooking Vinyl' for the world
    excluding the US, Canada, Central America, South America and
    Africa. Various licencees are representing the band throughout the
    world including Pony Canyon in Japan and Roc in the Far East.
    New licencees are about to be announced in major territories.

    The uniqueness of the deal allows greater artistic control for the
    band.  Something they have been striving for for some time.

    The band are at the moment looking for a Producer and have been
    talking to people such as the Dust Brothers, Roy Thomas Baker and
    Bruce Fairburn.  XTC are in pre-production at the moment and have
    been rehearsing with several musicians.  There will be a new album
    in May 1998 of material written since 1991 to date.

    Andy Partridge will be on the MSN Riff page on Thursday, September
    4th, 1997 at 9PM GMT and will be available for any questions.
    (It's free.)

    The band are preparing to promote the album next year, so please
    keep a look out for various appearances.  There will also be a new
    XTC book (published by Hyperion/Disney) in mid-summer 98.  This
    will be the authorised story of the band.

Exciting news.

	-- John


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