Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-162

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 162

                Sunday, 14 September 1997

Today's Topics:

                    Re: Music We Hate
                        two words:
                      The early bird
                 Prince of Orchids & more
                      XTC vs adamant
                 the lilac time and more
                    Buzzcity Revisited
           Re: Producers: Good, Bad, and Awful
                    Re: music we hate
                  Sessions and Producers
              like producers sound different
                 Funk Pop A Roll (again)
                   Becki DiGregoriano?
                  Music you might like.
                    Oh, I want it!!!!!
                 Back to the old routine
                  Who Needs A Producer?
                   Skylarking Etymology
                I got the horse right here
                    XTC At First Sight
           Peter Pumpkinhead and Gee-tar solos
             I must admit, I am shocked.....


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Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 21:17:26 -0700
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Re: Music We Hate

>From: (David McGuinness)
>Subject: music we hate
>Thanks to todzilla for coming up with the 'what music drives XTC fans up
>the wall' idea.
>Personally, I've never heard a song by The Beautiful South whose lyrics
>didn't make me want to throw up.  Anyone else feel the same?

Well, they don't make me throw up, but, they don't do much for me either,
except 36D was kinda cute the first time I heard it...

Lessee, what really drives me up the wall...

Most country music.

The Spice Girls, unless it's on TV with the mute on..  >8)

New Order and Human League. Hell, most of the british synth pop movement
besides Gary Numan and Thomas Dolby.

But, what REALLY drives me off the deep end is detailed below...

All day long at work, I had "no language in our lungs" running through my
head. No idea why, but, being that I act as a binary mailman at work, maybe
it was some obscure question about MIME attachments and foriegn codepages
that had languages in my head.


So, I get home, and start looking for Black Sea. Nope, nowhere to be found
in the hosue, not on any of the three floors, nor in the car, nor in the
kite bag (been working on a stunt kite routine to various XTC songs
lately). Not here, not there, nope, not even hiding over there.

So, I settled for Go2, and in the process remembered what a fine album it
is. I first heard Drums and Wires as a wee tyke, but, quickly liked Go2
better at that time and I haven't listened to it in ages.


>From: "DADDY'S GIRL" <>
>Subject: Now now, let's not get too negative......
>Hanson. (Everytime I hear it, I think "MMM STOP!!!!!!")
>Marilyn Manson (The novelty has worn off)
>Leann Rimes (How do I live without you? Easy....I change the station.)
>Counting Crows (I used to like 'em, but I got sick of 'em)
>REM (Once again, used to like 'em.....)

oh yeah, and all of these too...

Trent Reznor's usually "lovely" synth stuff is overshadowed by that manson
twerp. I -like- Nine Inch Nails.

|We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million
|typewriters will eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare.
|Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
|David Hathaway, CEO Of monkey-boy industries,


Message-Id: <l03020900b036ac0eaf1c@[]>
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 03:33:45 -0400
From: "oh, _that_ milkmaid" <>
Subject: two words:

the Seahorses.

John Squire (Stone Roses) hatched this band - the album's called _Do it
Yourself_ on Geffen (where else?), and he plays some of the best guitar
i've heard in AGES, and all in a very poppy and british (but not
particularly britpop, to my surprise - it's much more original musically)
way - it reminds me a lot of Sloan's new cd, _One Chord To Another_, except
that the Seahorses are a much better band. that said, the lyrics are a
little silly, and one song was co-written by that complete idiot Liam
Gallagher, but who cares, i think it's great. "The Boy in The Picture" is
like a long-lost Kinks song, and a friend of mine compared parts of the
album to Matthew Sweet and Michael Penn. Also fans of the Posies absolutely
outstanding record _Amazing Disgrace_ will like this album  - "Happiness is
Eggshaped" sounds like it could have come off of the happier Posies album
that they're probably going to make now that they've flirted with
depression. anyway, Squire found this random guy named Chris Helme busking
and made him join the band, and he has a great almost Scottish sounding
accent except in one song where he sounds like Mike Myers in Ming Tea.

[smiling politely, Brian Matthews wrote:]

> Tschalkgerz!

cut that out - you're giving me a headache. :)

> me. I keep reading about some of you panning "Peter Pumpkinhead" or
> "Books Are Burning" (pointless guitar solo? When did ANY guitar solo
> make a point? It's music, for crying out loud - it both means something
> AND nothing) or "Garden Of Earthly Delights" or "My Weapon" or "Human

the reason i think "Books Are Burning"'s guitar solos are pointless is
because they're not the slightest bit necessary to the song, and they don't
add anything. they're supposed to be that way, of course, because the song
is a nod to the grand old tradition of classic rock guitar masturbation,
which i also find boring as hell. all the other songs you cited are various
degrees of excellence musically, but lyrically slightly flawed. i don't
think that's really the same thing as saying that they suck. i like about
95 percent of all XTC songs, and for me that's really saying something -
the only band i have a higher percentage with would probably be the Beatles
(taking into account the fact that the latter wrote more songs [right?]).
there are definitely other people on this list, however, who feel the way
that you do after having heard almost everything by Our Lads (tm Harrison
Sherwood?), so don't worry - you're not alone.

> I don't know, Brookes... what WERE you thinking when you bought a Kula
> Shakur CD?

obviously nothing too intelligent. i did also note that it was produced by
John Leckie, but IMO he's definitely produced some rubbish before - see the
second Posies album which i've forgotten the name of but which everyone
thinks is *so* great but which i find intensely irritating and whiny.

[Martin Monkman trilled birdlike, re: who plays what:]

> I wonder if Andy is insulted by the fact the he only let himself play
> tambourine and shaker on "Rook".  And does anybody hear much bass guitar on
> "1000 Umbrellas"?  Just wondering.

alright, i admit that i was extrapolating a little (much!). but it is true
that the only "real" instrument on "Rook" is the piano, and Andy has said
that he was so bad at playing the chords for "Rook" that when he was
writing it, he had to make a hand out of cardboard and use it to play the
notes properly. so of course he would let Gregsy play the key-boreds.

	- brookes
R. Brookes McKenzie                             aka Louise B. Minetti
        "Uncuff me, Scully."
              - Deb Prewitt, _The Bermuda Triangle_ (X-Files fan fic)
(as in 'what's that milkmaid/ doing there?' - i.e., don't ask.)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 09:28:26 +0000
From: Brian Matthews <>
Organization: Ringling Multimedia Corporation
Subject: The early bird


>Okay...who's actually tried the "Dark Side of the Moon"/Wizard of Oz thing?
(For those of you who don't know, a radio dj found out that if you play
DSOTM and watch TWOO at the same time, the lyrics and music on the cd
correspond with the acxtion in the film. I've done it, it's hysterically
accurate.)  Anyhoo, I was wondering if any XTC albums would go with movies
like that....  Just a thought.<

Just remember everyone... it was I/me/moi who brought this idea up
first, with all apologies to Amanda. :-)

Ciao for now,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 11:27:06 -0700
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Organization: Nil
Subject: Prince of Orchids & more

Why, oh why, did they have to pick the *first day of school* for the Andy
chat? Sigh... And I *still* haven't seen the damn transcript for the *first*


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

Ahhh, but what an image! A road spontaneously being covered over with
flowers... The music is great, too -- very interesting treatment.

>but I heard "MmmmBop" on the radio before I ever saw the video -
>you have to admit it was the catchiest thing on radio this
>summer, and damn good sounding!)

Hell no! Even if you're going on sheer catchiness, the Third Eye Blind song
beats it out easily.  I can barely stand to listen to MMMBop.


>Marilyn Manson (The novelty has worn off)

"Mr. Manson, I saw your show the *first* time. Back when it was called Ozzy

>Okay...who's actually tried the "Dark Side of the Moon"/Wizard of Oz thing?

It is, of course, all coincidence. Beyond the obvious difficulty of pulling
something like this off on purpose, a few tries will show you that other
movies work even better. The local Gannett paper did an article a few months
ago where they tried four different movies with this album, with various
degrees of success. Evidently, 2001 worked *far* better than Wizard, at
least for the first twenty minutes.


>Prince of Orange (I really hope this song maintains its quirky edge after
>Mr. Producer is done with it.  And don't lose that crying at the end!)

I really hope they go with the demo version for this one. I can't see any
way that a remake could possibly improve on the version we've already got.


Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 17:16:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kevin Keeler <>
Subject: XTC vs adamant
Message-ID: <>

Dont aska bout the subject...its a long, boring, pointless (and not even
much of a) story.  Hrm.  Where are we off to today?
  first off: i of course missed the rifff session with AP cuz, well, I'm
in school.  first i thought it was on friday, then when i checked on
thursday , i noticed it was on that day. I was all 'hooray,' then I
realized it was 9 am EST instead of 9 pm.  needless to say, i was at
school at 9 am,. and thus, very pissed.  so....did anyone who happened to
attend (i know there are some out there) happen to get a log of the vent?
or at least know wherei can get one?   much thanx in advance
  secondly, on this age thing..i dont know how old the youngest or oldest
subscriber is...but i know that im 16.  so yay.
  nextly, to the man saying all XTC songs (at least in the right point in
time) are excellent.  (((side note: im really sorry i dont cite, but
usually im in a hurry and read the whole list before adding in my odd
pocket change (if any)and just sort of randonmly pulll things out f my
arse))).  i agree, but also think that some have a lot more staying power.
after my initial 200 or so listens, there are usually a consistant song or
2 that will get skipped a majority of the time.
   and i could swear i had one more comment....but i cant remember

peace, love, and edible underwear

kevin keeler
now running off his own computer
(all cheer)


Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 18:04:15 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: the lilac time and more

not long ago someone out there wanted the andy partridge produced lilac time
cd - " & love for all". good stuff! i recently found a second copy, ($12 +
post takes it) so whoever wanted it, please e-mail me privately.

i too love it when chalkhillers share their long time musical favorites or
new discoveries. Here are 5 of my newer faves!
The Nines
Wonderlust - Prize
Semisonic - Great Divide
Fountains of Wayne
Ginger - Suddenly I Came to My Senses

please tell me it ain't so....some young whipper-snapper is stirrin' up the
geritol an' trying to flush out the oldest chalkhillster? well, if my memory
serves me....i'm 43...and tonights my 25th high school reunion. time
flies....and next may gives us reason to live.
             martin fopp


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 03:30:17 +0000
Subject: Buzzcity Revisited

Dear Chalkers,

Due to my own stupidity I missed the IRC chat with Andy but thanks to
Dave G. I did receive a transcript - now online at my site of course.

> I think it was either Julian Cook or someone named Mark (Strijbos,
> perhaps?) who suggested "Buzzcity Talking" as the name, but since you
> can't have spaces in IRC channel names, I thought it would be best to
> shorten it to avoid any confusion.

Yep, it was me - Mark, possibly Strijbos ;)
I'm glad you liked the suggestion and I'm thrilled by the idea of a
dedicated XTC chat room. I'll check it out soon!

BTW: thank you Dave in Glasgow for the fab interview tape
Sorry I couldn't ask the Tubby The Tuba question - now I also want to

BTW 2: Does anybody need an English Settlement double album (UK)
on VINYL, with the printed inner sleeves ??? Email me if you need it

yours chattering,

Mark Strijbos
at The Little Lighthouse; the XTC website @
===> The Random XTC Quote <===
There's no youth culture only masks they let you rent


Message-Id: <>
From: "William Wisner" <>
Subject: Re: Producers: Good, Bad, and Awful
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 12:52:33 +0200

Mark Rushton said:

> (attention you Hanson haters out there,
> sure these kids look ridiculous, but I heard "MmmmBop" on the radio
> before I ever saw the video - you have to admit it was the catchiest
> thing on radio this summer, and damn good sounding!)

I had been preparing to say something like this myself.  The Hansons (and I
will confess, I was uncertain as to whether they were brothers or sisters
on first sight) suffer from the standard panoply of pre-adolescent teen
band problems: voice-yet-to-change vocal delivery, awful lyrics and a
regrettable tendency for teenage girls to think they're the best thing
since the Beatles.  When I hear "MmmmBop" I experience a momentary urge to
cringe at the singing, but underneath that the truth is this: the song is
well constructed, bouncy bubble-gum pop.  And I like well constructed,
bouncy bubble-gum pop.  There is some small hope that in five years these
boys may be able to write (and sing) lyrics as good as the music, and then
they'll be a band to notice.



Message-Id: <>
From: "William Wisner" <>
Subject: Re: music we hate
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 12:54:58 +0200

Smashing Pumpkins.  Musically, the band has merit -- some of the songs are
great -- but (rather like Hanson, only multiplied a thousandfold) Billy
Corgan's singing makes me want to eviscerate myself.



Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 09:58:55 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Sessions and Producers

Apparently we are at the end of a very long rural mail route - we just
received our #41 Little Express yesterday. But so many intriguing tid-bits,
it's well worth the wait!!

* "Shonen Knife contacting Andy to produce them."

I wonder when that was and if the idea was to do an entire album or just a
song remix. The reason I ask is because Shonen Knife released a 7 song EP in
Japan in July entitled "It's A New Find." On it, there are two John X
remixes and (wait for it) a Sterolab remix of Hot Chocolate! Actually when I
think of what Andy and Shonen Knife would sound like, it screams "Stereolab"
for some reason. I assume with the label decisions being finalized, this
project is either dropped or very back burner?

Off topic, but speaking about J-pop collaborations, Andy Sturmer and Paul
Bevoir both contribute to a mini disc by Ami (1/2 of the mega big in Japan
"Puffy"), called "Honey." Even further off topic, but sad news: Imperial
Drag is history....

* Dave's Abbey Road studio 2 week

Did they actually do the deed and re-record Sgt Pepper??? Mitch?

* Producers

Didn't Sean O'Hagan / Charlie Francis come up as a possible about a year
ago? Or was I high llama that day? And frankly, "The Good Things" recording
has a wonderful sound and presence to it - maybe just give the new job to
Yazbek and Kilfor!!

John R, enjoy that bungalow by the sea and heed the advice of seagulls.


 Dean Martucci   San Mateo,CA  USA
 "Lie down and be counted, what are we standing for?"
                                 - Neil Innes


Message-Id: <>
From: "Chris Ellerd" <>
Subject: like producers sound different
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 14:42:11 -0400

     I've played a solo acoustic act for 11-12 years.These days I've got a
3-piece original band. Back to the solo acoustic thing, I have performed
such pearl ditties as "Dear God", "Earn enough for us", "The Mayor of
Simpleton" (nothin simple about playing and singing that one), "King for a
day", and "Dying" (I like that one alot). "Senses working Overtime", "Big
Day",   I guess I did alot of XTC now that I reflect on it. Just thought
you should no.
     On the subject of different producers, REM can be also considered a
band that works with different ones. This makes them unique, and you can
hear the difference in the sounds, also how the music was sonically
packaged. With Don Gehman (John Cougar Mellencamp) REM got JCM's sound,
particularly the drum sounds. They used Gehman's studio for recording the
album "Life's Rich Pageant". For the album "Fables of the Reconstruction of
the Fables of the Reconstruction of the............."  Sorry.   Joe Boyd of
the band Fairport Convention produced that.  I like the sound, more
keyboard oriented than anything else up to that time. On "Document" they
used Scott Litt (produced "Walking on Sunshine"-Katrina and the Waves) and
they found the hit single formula. Producers are important, for guidance as
well as moral support. It's kinda nice to know you have a friend in the
control booth.  I imagine it's gotta reek bad when you feel that you are
working at cross-purposes with a producer.  Where am I going with all this?
Diversity of producers=Diversity in a band's sound. I'm a fan of that.

Cheerio Chalkheads!



Message-Id: <v03007800b038cab8dc8c@[]>
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 17:35:14 -0400
From: Curtiss Hammock <>
Subject: Funk Pop A Roll (again)

Dear fellow Chalkophiles,

Thanks to all who have visited the Funk Pop A Roll site and offered their
opinions. If you haven't been there yet, please drop by if you get a
chance. The purpose of the site is to connect XTC fans with other artists
they might like, based on the opinions of other XTC fans.

A couple of digest back, Natalie wrote:

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

While this is a valid point, I felt that for my site (and its intended
purpose), some focus was needed. XTC fans tend to have pretty eclectic
tastes, and to include *everything* that *every* XTC fan likes would result
in a list of just about *every* artist that exists, rendering the whole
thing useless.

While I have not chosen to limit the scope of the site to bands that "sound
like" XTC, I *have* limited it to artists with similar musical values.
Deciding what is appropriate and what isn't will be tough, a lot of the
time. Led Zeppelin, for instance (love them though I may) didn't make it.
Brian Stevens and The Cavedogs, on the other hand, did.

Curiously, on the same day that my initial announcement hit the list, a
similar announcement appeared on the Jellyfish list. I checked out site

Meaning no disrespect to Jellyfish fans or the author of the site (it's
quite well done), it's interesting to see that it judges artists based on
the degree to which they sound like Jellyfish. This isn't my intention at
all. I am simply looking for a low common denominator among our various

So there you have it.

I would desperately like some other viewpoints on the site, so if anyone
wants to submit something, please drop by, get a general idea as to what
I'm looking for, and let me know.



Funk Pop A Roll: Music That You
Might Enjoy If You're An XTC Fan


Message-Id: <v03007801b03969497db1@[]>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 04:36:55 -0400
From: Curtiss Hammock <>
Subject: Becki DiGregoriano?

Hi all,

I"ve heard about Becki DiGregoriano's CD (hope I got the spelling right on
that), but I haven't been able to find it, even at my favorite indie store.
Is it out yet? After hearing all of the glowing reviews on this list, I am
quite keen to get it.



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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 11:30:50 +0100
From: Graham Shore <"grahams<No spam>">
Organization: GMAP Ltd.
Subject: Music you might like.

Dear chalk-types,
As a long time fan of XTC, here are two bands I like which you might
want to check out:-
Magazine -
'Play' - live album - magnificent!
'Secondhand Daylight' - brilliant songs and production.
Howard DeVoto's lyrics are clever and quirky like AP's, and also deal
with sex!!
Comsat Angels -
'Sleep No More' - a very dark and brooding album, but with really
excellent guitar playing in a very dense mix.
Best Regards,
Graham Shore.
To reply, remove <No spam> from my address.


Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 09:29:55 -0600 (CST)
From: "DADDY'S GIRL" <>
Subject: Oh, I want it!!!!!
Message-id: <>

Of course, I'm talking abut Joe Jackson's newest album. (There go them damn
spelling errors again!!!!) I've gone the whole summer without any CTD, with
the grateful exception of being awoken by my best friend at 9:00 in the
morning to be informed that Brad Roberts was on the Howard Stern show.....

I'm asking you to all rack your brains for this one......I heard a song not
that long ago on a music system I have called Digital Cable Radio. I never
learned the title of the song or the artist, but the song haunts me. I
managed to tape enough of it to listen to, but the sound isn't very good. At
least ONE of you MUST know the artist/title, this is driving me insane. Here
are some of the lyrics-
Baby I see this world has made you sad
some people can be bad, the things they do, the things they say.
But baby, I'll wipe away those bitter tears,
I'll chase away those restless fears
that turn your blue skies into gray.
Why worry? There should be laughter after pain.
There should be sunshine after rain.
These things have always been the same.
So why worry now?

You all have such eclectic music tastest, somebody's got to know who this is.
It's such a beautiful song.

And now onto the XTC on this XTC list.

Alright, my new list of trading stuff should be up in a mo. There's more
acoustic shows, a few more demos. I would have more, but one person I thought
I was trading with took my stuff but gave me nothing in return. I've lost
this man's email address, so hello Mr. Man. If I misunderstood something in
our trading agreement, you let me know. But if you're one of the cabal of
schemers and scammers, then you know where you can go.

Everyone's talking about Andy's demos. What about the stuff Dave and Colin
work on? Dave's version of Third Stone From the Sun is incredible. I had to
play my tape on high speed dubbing to understand what he was saying. And I
hope Where Did the Ordinary People Go? makes it onto tape.

Well, at the rate they're going, I'm not sure Dave OR Colin's ever going to go
bald. (Anyone who notices-er-nitpicks, will see that Dave's always had a high
hairline.) Poor Andy got the shaft, he started losing it before he hit 30.
But why am I babbling about boring topics? (Because I'm AMANDA, that's why!)

And now I must be going, I will close on this note-
I'm going to shoot my beloved Philip if he refers to "Oranges & Lemons" as
"Lemons & Limes" one more time!!!!!!


XTC song of the day-Car Out of Control
non XTC-Sunny Came Home-Shawn Colvin


Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 11:45:12 -0600 (CST)
From: "DADDY'S GIRL" <>
Subject: Back to the old routine
Message-id: <>

Back to the days of forgetting something I wanted to get the pic.

Whilst in line to pay my school fees, I noticed a guy who had a hat on that
haid, in bright green neon letters, XTC emblazoned on it. I wanted to
approach him and ask if it was about our lads, but chickened out.

And one extra PS-I was not aware that MuchMusic had done a Spotlight on XTC
some years back. Would anyone happen to have said Spotlight on tape? I would
be most grateful for it!

Ciao once again,
Daddy's Girl


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon,  8 Sep 1997 13:57:09, -0500
Subject: Who Needs A Producer?

None of the producers listed as possibilities intrigues me that much.
Why not just an engineer? All three band members are adequate
producers themselves, why shrink profits by paying for an unneeded
expense. Could it be the band simply needs an arbitrator when
differences of opinion arise?

If XTC signs a deal with PONY CANYON Records in Japan then either
expect a BONUS track to be included in the Japanese release or
perhaps an earlier release date. This is due to the fact that
Japanese fans will often buy the American import as it is cheaper to
acquire (or so I've been told). Todd Rundgren just ended a three CD
deal with PONY CANYON and the first two were released at least four
months before the American version (the last is still unreleased
stateside). Speaking of TR, I hear Terry Hall is releasing a cover
version of I Saw The Light.

Some artists that are presented on a recent COOKING VINYL CD sampler:
Ani Defranco / Billy Bragg / Pere Ubu / MIchelle Shocked / Immaculate
Fools / Tom Robinson...

There's a nice XTC article included in the Summer 97 POPSIDED
magazine. No new revelations but nice to see them mentioned in very
positive tones. POPSIDED can be reached at (714) 524-9825 or If you like obscure and indie intellectual pop
music, check them out.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Skylarking Etymology
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 16:24:07 -0400

With a wide-eyed enthusiam I haven't felt since that first glorious day
I entered the wonderful world of Nancy Drew mysteries, I've recently
been devouring the Aubrey-Maturin novels, written over the last 25 years
or so by Patrick O'Brian. If you like historical sea-fiction, arr,
mateys, it doesn't get any better than this: you got your swashbuckling
naval adventures, you got your Grand Historickal Gestures, you got
writing that doesn't make you want to take a shower, you got your
authentic-sounding (early 19th-Cent.) dialogue, and above all your
punctilious research into period detail. Not since Horatio Hornblower,
etc., etc.

It's the "painstaking research" part of the equation that engenders this
post. I'm on a second read of _Desolation Island_--one of the best of
the bunch--and I keep noticing references to midshipmen "skylarking" in
the rigging of the _Leopard_ (Capt. Aubrey's fourth-rate, 55-gun ship).
At first I simply thought it meant general goofing off, in the way that
teenagers do, but as the narrative developed I began to notice that the
term was being used in a much more specific way.

I went to the dictionary to look up the origin of the word, and it turns
out there _was_ more than met the eye: The word "skylark" used as an
intransitive verb dates to 1809 (the book is set in 1810! See what I
mean about "authentic"?), and means "to run up and down the rigging of a
ship in sport." As O'Brian describes it, it's essentially playing an
appallingly dangerous form of tag, using ropes and pulleys and spars as
a playing field 150 feet above the deck of a pitching, yawing and
rolling sailing ship. Not the kind of thing you'll catch _me_ doing, at
any rate.

Two observations: 1) It's time to revise the cover art on the XTC album.
That graceful-lined bird in Adam's eye and repeated on the lyric
sheet--presumably a skylark--has got to go; the word's related to the
bird only peripherally 2) I guess this intelligence adds to the already
suspiciously large body of evidence that Andy Partridge has a _serious_
sea fixation. Paying attention, Mitch? Can you work this into the "XTSea
Medley" somehow?

FWIW, the word "lark," meaning "something done solely for fun or
adventure," is a back-formation from "skylark." "Skylark" as applied to
the _bird_ dates from 1686. The skylark (Alauda arvensis) is,
interestingly, "noted for its song, especially in vertical flight." No
word as to whether that vertical flight is headed straight up or down.

Harrison "Tweet, tweet, tweet, THUD" Sherwood


Message-ID: <7C86671FD726D11185E000805FEA5AC50102BF@BENEXCHG>
From: Gary Minns <>
Subject: Bruvvers...
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 16:07:44 +0100

>...we are the hard corps fans, we have stuck this whole damn strike out
and we have remained faithful and adamant...<

Yup.  We are the real serious Pickets (US trans: Teamsters...I think?).



Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: I got the horse right here
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 15:59:49 -0400

>[Linda Hall] The only song "Dame Fortune" really recaps is
>"Dear Madam Barnum".

To go outside of the XTC canon, it reminds me of "Luck Be a
Lady Tonight", the "my ex-wife" bit aside. "Your Dictionary"
sounds closer to "Dear Madam Barnum" in my dictionary, under
the attitude and directly addressing the now-hated woman.
"Dame Fortune" is just much more hopeful in the Ira Gershwin
way. I'd like it released on something, even if only a B-side,
cos I find it too breezy to ignore. The rustic production on
the demo is enjoyed here and shouldn't be ruined with gloss.

XTsCheme is a blast. Windows NT is finally useful for something!

Anyone see "Brassed Off", with Pete Postlethwaite, Ewen McGregor &
Tara Fitzgerald? There's a scene where Andy (McGregor) and Gloria
(Fitzgerald) meet as adults, each recognizing the other and trying
to hide some embarrassment about a bit of skylarking they did as
teens. To this end, Gloria pretends to have forgotten his name,
and first calls him...Barry Andrews! Three times, no less. A mere
coincidence, or more? (PS Very good movie, too.)

JHB: What's the whole Wonderland/Wonderland conspiracy?

Big Country, around the time of Mummer, released an EP called
Wonderland with the eponymous song as a single. I heard that
"Wonderland" on the radio and saw on MTV a few times, and it pops
up on flashback alternative once in a while. Compared to XTC's
"Wonderland", Big Country's was a commercial smash in the US
(going on my own experience, that is). Ergo, as with Mummer and
Murmur, why has XTC been so close the chimera of success :-)?

Hanson backlash backlash dept: It's never gonna be XTC, in ten
years there won't be a cadre of writers championing them. That
said, and knowing how little I've heard it cos I'm not a top-40
listener, it reminds me of Michael Jackson, before he lost any
artistic bearing and spent 5 years* and $$ millions & millions
to make overblown CDs lasting longer than some movies. (* That
is "in the studio", not, say, "in dispute with a creatively
bankrupt label".)

Annnnd, a local music writer reviewed "The Lonesome Death of Buck
McCoy", by The Minus 5, who include REM's Peter Buck. They are
described as "pearl-diving into rock's history" to make a "winning
pop pastiche". Before you say, Hey! That sounds familiar, he ends
"as XTC did with psychedlic alter egos Dukes of Stratosphear".

Only got one thing in mind,


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 22:44:21 +0000
Subject: XTC At First Sight

Dear Chalkers,

Today I flicked on my TV and the first words i heard were "XTC, a
new wave band from the early 80's" (in Dutch of course)
It turned out our Heroes were one of the answers in a game show!

The contestants had to guess which of the sixteen 3-letter
combinations ( REM, DNA etc ) they were shown were actually
names of bands that scored a hit in the Dutch Top 40...

BTW: i don't think the guy knew _anything_about XTC's Dutch chart
record - IMHO he just guessed

PS: Later that night, Swindon and it's magic (english) roundabout was
mentioned a couple of times on the BBC's Have I Got News For You?
show. Coincidence? (cue Twilight Zone theme)

yours in an anorak,

Mark Strijbos
at The Little Lighthouse; the XTC website @
===> The Random XTC Quote <===
Love's not a product you can hoard
or pack a suitcase with


Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 19:48:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: Peter Pumpkinhead and Gee-tar solos
Message-ID: <>

In v3, #161, Brian Matthews <> wrote:

> Tschalkgerz!


> ...I keep reading about some of you panning "Peter Pumpkinhead"...

Well, I'm one who recently panned PP - I still think is too blatant of an
analogy.  Some have mentioned that the song describes a JFK/Camelot/martyr
situation, but to me it's a major critique of any Large Established

Has anybody here read Dostoyevsky's 'The Grand Inquisitor'?  It's a story
that is told in the course of his novel "The Brothers Karametzov".  The
story is that Christ returns/arrives in Spain during the Spanish
Inquisition.  After a being arrested and having a lengthy discussion with
the Grand Inquisitor (head of the Inquisition), Christ is condemmed
to be burned at the stake.

A point (there are many in the story and I read it a long time ago so my
memory fails me) (BTW, I turned 30 this past summer.) of the story is that
the Saviour's arrival would be threatening to the Large Established Church
that supposedly is 'continuing' the work that the Saviour began - for the
sake of his own job and life, the Grand Inqusitor could not let Christ get
out his grasp.

To me, this is the message of Peter Pumpkinhead.  Another point that AP
makes with the song is the value of innocence in the face of stodgy,
set-in-their-ways opposition.  As seen with 'Dear God', Andy has a good
eye with pointing the faults of any group that becomes too large and too
out of touch.  Andy may not be religious, but from other songs I'd say he
does have a strong 'spiritual' streak in him.

But I still don't think PP is a very good song, lyrically or musically, so

> ...or "Books Are Burning" (pointless guitar solo? When did ANY guitar
> solo make a point? It's music, for crying out loud - it both means
> something AND nothing)

Well, call me silly but I'd rather hear an actual song than a bunch words
that preceed and follow a pointless solo.  There are plenty guitar solos
that make a point, but too many don't.  The notion of a solo has been
corrupted so that it now stands as the demonstration of (supposed)
technical skill instead of serving the song.

If I want a pointless solo, I'll listen to some prog-rock/fusion done in
17/8 time from some '70's behemoth (I'd name names, but I know John Relph
has/had a hand with some King Crimson web pages!); but Dave (and Andy)
have come up with too many good ones that 'Books Are Burning' stands out
as an example of a little over indulgence.

(And that they wanted to include a 'Hey Jude'-style chorus is just tooo
funny.  At least then the song would've been a complete write off.)

But, I'll agree with Brian's point - how many B-sides has xTc thrown out
that (just about) any band would kill to have as an A-side?  That there
are few bummer songs written by the lads is inevitable given how many
songs they've written.

Ted Harms                     Library, Univ. of Waterloo          519.888.4567 x3761
"I am human and nothing human is foreign to me." Terence


Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 11:44:50 -0600 (CST)
From: "DADDY'S GIRL" <>
Subject: I must admit, I am shocked.....
Message-id: <>

NOw, who was it who said that one must not be a prude if one ever searches
on the net for XTC.....damn were they right! Be sure to always type in the
word "music" or something, or you're in for an eyeful.

I'm so happy....we've FINALLY got computers in the library with graphics, so
now I can see the great pictures (of Dave) on all the XTC sites whenever the
hell I want to!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also picked up a copy of Joe Jackson's new album....not bad. Actually, I'm
not sure how I feel about the song Brad sings on. His voice doesn't sound as
good as it normally does. (No cute remarks about "Well his voice doesn't
sound good anyway", please.) The song Jane Siberry sings on is
incredible. I've always loved her voice.

And now I must be going to political science class, but before I do, might I
just segue back to the days of Agony do you think he'd deal with
this problem......

Dear Agony Andy, I'm a 19 year old girl who's falling in love with her
manager at work. He flirts with me and gives me special treatment, which
anyone else would take as a sign that he likes me. One small problem-he's
married and has a ten week old baby girl. What's a lovesick girl to do?

Carpe diem,


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-162

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