Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-19

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 19

                 Monday, 4 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                      Sydney Reviews
                        Cast Away
                      Other artists
                a blatant honor/promotion
                       Helium Kidz?
        The blind leading the Visually Challenged
                          Re: LA
               live awards show appearance
                    Bites and Pleases
      I've got so much to say... you know the drill
      Towers of London, religion and time signatures
          Joe Jackson- Any relationship to XTC?
               XTC women, meeting and more
                      "Toys" Story?
                 The under-represented...
              Nightly News with Chuck and Di
                     Fans in diapers
                    Gold and platinum
                       Andys voice
                 Bungalow, Novello Awards
                orange dust! turn to rust!
               XTC XOR Cultural imperialism
                  My college app and XTC
   On Canadian awards, America (again), and Nihilon....
                    5 bands with cover
              UK CHALKIES - DON'T FORGET!!!
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #3-18
              7/8 time on Man Who Sailed...


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It's Buzzcity talking...


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 23:42:04 +0000
From: Colin Wright / Helen Murray <>
Subject: Sydney Reviews

Wotcher Chalkies,

Thought you may be interested in a couple of reviews that have recently
graced our eyeballs here in Sydney.

** Beat Magazine - Sydney - 30th October 1996 **

** CD of the Week **

XTC - Fossil Fuels: the XTC Singles 1977-92 (Virgin)

Various - A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC (TWA)

The genius of XTC is that, unlike other staple acts of musicality who in
the past have been successful in releasing concept albums (Supertramp,
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers INXS etc.), XTC are clever in their
issuing of individual concept songs.  Almost every one of their single
releases has come complete with a sleeve matching the song's lyrical
theme, while the music intact was just as onomatopoetic (sic), as
exemplified perfectly in the cacophonous climax of Great Fire, the
playground ambience of Wonderland, the naval war cries of All You Pretty
Girls, the psychedelic strands of Grass, and the alarmic electronic
stabs of Wake Up.

With clear pop vision, XTC have sailed the pop charts worldwide,
especially renowned for their household tunes Making Plans for Nigel,
Generals and Majors, Senses Working Overtime, Dear God  and The
Disappointed, all of which are included on this greatest hits

So pertinent is the musicology of XTC, their influence is well audible
in recent compositions by Blur, Nancy Boy, Pulp, Tears for Fears et al.

In fact, some of XTC's biggest fans in the music industry have been
stimulated to record their own versions of x-tatic classics, under the
banner of A Testimonial Dinner.  To recite the songs in their original
form would not only be unwise but impossible, and to mock or mimic would
be futile, hence the likes of Spacehog, Crash Test Dummies, The
Rembrandts and They Might Be Giants add their own definitive touch to
the epic tracks (respectively) Senses Working Overtime,  All You Pretty
Girls,  Making Plans for Nigel, and 25 O'clock.(8.9 out of 10 for the
original XTC; 7.5 for their emulators)

Antonio Tati - Beat Magazine


** On The Street Magazine - 30th October 1996 **

* Various - XTC A Testimonial Dinner  (TWA) *

Nobody can satisfactorily match the complexity, wit and sheer ability of
XTC.  This selection of artists are only pale imitators even as they try
to pay homage to one of the leading bands of the last 15-20 years (minus
the four years that Virgin have kept them out of circulation).

Verve Pipe, four songs in, are the first to actually get a handle on the
sound with Making Plans for Nigel.  Then Sarah McLachlan takes a
tentative bite at Dear God  that works more because of the lyrics than
her approach.  Ruben Blades puts a mambo beat to The Man Who Sailed
Around His Soul  and completely reworks it in a cool Latin jazz style.
Terry of Terry & the Lovemen has a vocal range that's pretty close to
Andy Partridge with The Good Things.  Listen then buy.

A.S. -  On The Street

Whaddya think - there's hope for Australia yet - wonder if a certain Mr.
Chambers saw the reviews?

See ya



Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 11:48:17 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Cast Away

Hello all,

I am relatively recent to the list, a long time fan though. Couldn't
help but notice in the XTC home page that there are a few acoustic and
demo CD's of which I was unaware. My current geographical status
does'nt help, being cast away in a desert island (Puerto Rico) where
me and young Crusoe are sharing the same fate (everyone has absolutely
no idea of who the hell XTC is unless you mention that Ruben Blades
did a cover of The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul, and then they
go..... "I know who Ruben Blades is"). The point being that if anyone
could help with information about where to get a hold of these
recordings, preferably the CD's although tapes will do.  I am afraid I
have little to trade, I do have a the Hello! CD with 4 pretty cool
songs by Andy as well as a BBC CD of acoustic version of quite a few
songs among them Poor Skeleton Steps Out and a great version of
Scarecrow People.  Anyway, all I need is a little guidance. Message in
a bottle out.


From: myke <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Other artists
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 13:48:01 -0600 (CST)

Ooh, I hate to jump in on such a trivial subject but i haven't got the
patience to wade through Chalkhills for substantial questions these days.
Oh well. Here goes.

Recommended Bands for XTC Fans:

1. Brendan Benson , who just put out his debut album on Virgin called One
Mississippi.  Audities, the Journal of Insanely Great Pop, said that the
final track was the greatest imitation of SKYLARKING they'd ever heard, or
something along those lines.  Anyway, there is a definite 60s influence
(if not an XTC one exactly) but it is more like T Rex and other dirtier
glam stuff.  The music is well produced but his somewhat thin-sounding,
young-upstart voice may have you thinking "Billie Joe" sooner than you'd
like.  Tremendous energy, though, and a pretty good ear for melody. Better
than the Sugarplastic, I think...

2. I was listening to GO 2 the other day and it reminded me just how much
I love another "period" band, the vitriol-soaked Manchester band The Fall.
I suppose if you're into early period XTC, strange vocals and all, you
can't go too wrong with The Fall... my first recommendation would probably
be an album called The Wonderful And Frightening World Of..., which I
believe is still unavailable within the US but is easily obtained on
import.  The track "God-Box" is especially wonderful.  Hell, they're all
wonderful. [And frightening, har har etc...]

3. The Choir is a 60s band from Cleveland Ohio, who didn't manage to
release very much during their lifetime but whose best material is on a
compilation called Choir Practice, issued on fantastic reissue label
Sundazed (also responsible for an excellent, excellent album by the Neon
Philharmonic).  Probably everything you ever loved about The Byrds, The
Yardbirds, and all other sorts of birds that made melodic, ringing pop
with serious garage overtones.  Also Cf., the Blues Magoos' final album
Basic Blues Magoos on Mercury Records.

4. Eric Matthews, still.  Brilliant baroque pop.  His previous band
Cardinal was good but didn't quite scale the heights that Eric's terrific
Sub Pop debut album It's Heavy In Here reached.

5. Ron Sexsmith, creator of what is possibly the finest album in history.
Praised by Squeeze, John Hiatt, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Paul McCartney,
and virtually every other important singer-songwriter in pop history.
(Hey, Partridge! Get with the program!)  He starts recording his second
album with Mitchell Froom this month but his first is still awaiting your
loving embrace at a record store near you.  Finally, a good release on
Interscope Records!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 13:45:35 -0600
From: "R. Watson" <>
Organization: the Return
Subject: a blatant honor/promotion

Dear Chalkies...
	As many other subscribers, I, too, am a part-time musician juggling a
full-time job.  Playing in a band seems to be about the only outlet for so
many of us.  Well, to make matters short, the band I play in, The Return, has
just released our first self-produced CD...and in the first review to hit my
eyes we were compared to "XTC without Prozac," whatever that means.  At the
risk of being too forward I'd like to solicit some opinions of our disk from
like-minded fans.  Therefore, if a few of you would like to respond
privately, I'd be happy to mail you a copy (FREE!)of our CD to see what you
think.  Here is the text of the review received:

	The Return- "Greatest Demos, Vol. One" -With a sound straight
	from the garage, The Return play their own brand of pop
	reminiscent of the Plimsouls, a much heavier Lloyd Cole and
	XTC without Prozac.  Playing as a three piece, The Return play
	in a sort of complacent and desperate mood which brings a catchy
	sense to their raw pop sound.

Any takers?
Randall Watson

"Homo non intelligendo fit omnia"
         -Giambattista Vico-
           New Science, 405


Message-Id: <v01510101aea2afc31434@[]>
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 14:30:54 -0600
From: (Catherine Dreiss)
Subject: Helium Kidz?

Hi, this is a tiny post with a few small questions about the Helium Kidz.
I recall reading once that pre-XTC XTC went through a period of changing
their name on a near weekly basis because their live shows were so bad they
couldn't consistently get gigs.  One of the names mentionned was Helium
Kidz.  Several recent posts have brought up this name up, including mention
of photos of this early XTC incarnation and demo tapes of their music.
Could someone fill in the details?  Where might these photos be published
and what are the demo tapes?  Do the demos contain early versions of songs
on White Music?

Just call me curious...


Message-Id: <v01540b00aea2b93bd37c@[]>
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 15:43:45 -0600
From: (Spiritual Generation, Etc.)
Subject: The blind leading the Visually Challenged

>>(PS.  When Mummer is added to my collection, I may have
>>something to say about "Love on a Farmboy's Wages".)
>Or, on the other hand, you may not. Especially since it's not really a very
>impressive song, and that dissonant chord at the end just pisses me off.

Dissonant?  I thought it was quite lovely.  That's an E6, for those who
give a whoop.  Ends the song well, IMHO.  But no, it's not really that
impressive of a song, compared to, well, everything else.

> Of course, I would speculate that a lot of Americans question
>their own cultural supremacy as well, and actively seek out subversive
>and/or obscure things. Why do you all like XTC, after all?

As an American, living here in the oasis that is Austin, Texas (which
unfortunately is running dry for me now), there's not much culture
that I find myself strongly upholding.  Sometimes it begins to seem to
me that America's cultural domination of much of the world is a
case of the blind leading the blind, with our advocation of consumerism
and just plain greed.  It's not going to do much good for world as a whole
if everyone's doing "the 80's thing where you look after number one"
(thanks Colin!).  My dissatisfaction with America carries
over into the music world as well, where every two-bit Pearl Jam
wanna-be grabs hold of this country's 15-year olds and says, "Look
at us!  We're on MTV!  Buy our record!"  What happened to subtle
emotion?  Soaring melodies?  Instrumentation that is so sublime as
to make one smile inside?  Joyous sounds?  Interwoven harmonies?
Pop music?  Do you all find it strange that The Beatles are a cult
band?  That this type of music is actually underground?  In a way, it's
exciting, because our culture seems to dictate that a thing that is part
of the underground will eventually be recycled into the mainstream.
I'm just waiting for music a la XTC to erupt again.

Sorry about that spleen-venting.  It's a topic upon which I can expound
for hours (and often do to unsuspecting friends who just wanted to know what
that song was on the radio just then).

Re the "English Settlement" B-side songs "Tissue Tigers", "Blame the
Weather", "Heaven Paved..." etc. :  I love them!  As a collective, they are
my favorite tracks from "R&B Buffet".  Terry's drumming is so interesting
and unique, the vocals just soar, and the guitars make every note count.
Such a contrast from the school of "Okay, here's the chords, just turn
the distortion up to 10 and bar 'em" that seems to dominate today's
songwriting efforts.  Ah well, (see last line of two paragraphs ago).

Here's a thought (non-XTC, but hey, a guy's got other things to think
about):  Similarity between new R.E.M. "Leave" and Prince "When
Doves Cry".



Message-Id: <v01540b06aea2c9307e2d@[]>
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 15:16:39 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: LA

>From: kraig olmstead <>
>Subject: US Attitude

>Actually, I feel the same way about Los Angeles (and to a lesser extent
>New York).  Since the hub of the world's entertainment (at least in terms
>of sheer volume) is around LA I feel like I get bludgeoned by LA all the
>time - it's so much easier for them to do things on location from LA and
>to write about things LA.  I've been to LA a few times and haven't been
>all that impressed.  San Francisco, on the other hand...

I live in the LA area (Orange County, actually), and I like it fine. So
shoot me!  :)  But I know what you mean about "bludgeoned." I recently
spent several days in North Carolina, and I was amazed because the evening
news STILL seemed to be about nothing but Southern California! Weird!  :)



Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 15:24:09 -0800 (PST)
From: Randy Posynick <>
Subject: live awards show appearance
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9611031509.A28719-0100000@netcom21>

chuck n joe <>:

>Perhaps someone will remember the anecdote about the guys winning some
>award in Canada and being told that to get the award they had to perform
>live on tv??? I know I'm not making this up but the exact details escape
>me... I believe Andy told them to shove the award and he headed back to
>England...  Anyone care to elucidate?

I remember XTC played "Dear God" on a Canadian Awards show in the 80's.
It was either for the Junos (don't think so) or some 'alternative' award
whose name escapes me.  Camby?  Cranby?  I forget....  Anyway, I think it
was all 'lip-synced' (or whatever you call it), although Andy's vocals may
have been live.  I have it on tape somewhere.  I'll have to dig it up and
check for the details, if someone else doesn't provide them right away.
Or if the info isn't already in the archives.  But they did appear....

Randy Posynick      | Bismarck's warning about democracy and | sausages: the public should never be
                    | allowed to see how either is made.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 09:18:43 +0000
Subject: Bites and Pleases

This wasn't meant to be a long post, but it sort of JHBed out of

I met up with Paul-of-Oz on the weekend.  We were listening to the
new Crash Test Dummies album when the single "He liked to feel it"
started.  Straight away Paul said "Oh, The Disappointed!".  He's
completely right too, same rhythm.  I don't know why i didn't notice

>Keith Beck wrote:

>I can honestly say I don't dislike or skip any XTC song,
>                      Am I alone.

No you're not Keith!  There were songs i hated at first, but kept
listening to trying to find some redeeming features.  Sometimes it
takes ages, but there's always something interesting to hear.  I've
only finally just really started to enjoy "Melt the guns" and
"Leisure" (The main problems of "English Settlement" for me).  I'm
glad i persevered, because if i'd just dismissed them outright i
never would have discovered how good they are.

> #> From: DaveKGold <70673.317@CompuServe.COM>
> #> What's homo safari about?

>It's a series of instrumental things Andy did that made B sides,
>and they're scattered all about the place.  The ones I have are on
>the flip sides of the 'Making Plans...' and 'Great Fire' singles.

All six are also collected on the Dear God EP, which is where
i found them.  I'm glad really because up until "Fossils" it was the
only way to get "Dear God" down here, other than an import of
"Skylarking" and it was rather pricey (about half the price of a new
album) so it was good to hear the instrumentals in sequence as an
added bonus.  My version is in one of those awful slim jewel cases
that tend to break but Paul's is a soft-digipak version which has a
better design and is probably the one to seek out if you're

 #> From: Fritz Stolzenbach/HNS <>
 #> "War Dance."  I really like Colin's stuff as a #> general rule,
 but this one just blows

>Nod.  It might have been a bit better had it not been sequenced
>directly after such a brilliant song as 'Then She Appeared'.

Oh god, here we go again!  Do we all need reasons to like "War dance":
1) the shaker supplying the rhythm - relentless
2) the fake clarinet
3) the underlining of the phrase "war dance" by the other
4) the discordant string pads that build up in the verses
5) the phrases "resurrecting churchill", "sicker union jack",
"patriotic romance" and "jingoistic cake"
6) the wonderful warm tone of Colin's voice on this song and others
on this album.  The first thing i noticed about Nonsuch is how well
Colin's voice has matured - it's deepened slightly and now is full of
rich warm tones with an underlying sadness that gives me the shivers.

At first i thought it might have just been Gus's recording of the
vocals - but listen to Colin's great vocal performance on "The good
things".  Hearing that song was great - it was like slipping into a
pair of comfortable old shoes again and made me realise just how much
i've missed XTC.

I also think Wardance it's one of XTC's most successful "political songs".
It doesn't hit you over the head with the message.  The lyrics are subtle
and full of carefully crafted phrases that sit well within the melody line.
Compare the Wardance lyrics with the Smartest Monkeys and notice the

Also note Colin's economical lyrics for Bungalow - tight short
syllables that paint a vivid picture in short melody lines.  He
doesn't have much space to work with but succeeds in creating a
perfect image for the listener.  Much like an advertisment really.
The first three lines of each verse sound like the singer is reading
them out of a brochure that they've tucked away and look at longingly
after a hard day's work.

Adam asked about Wonderland:

>Still on this song, the line 'you will bring near the hour' reminds
>me of another of their songs.  Anyone know what it might be?

That would be 25 O'clock.

Danielle said:

>Australia, though bigger and better at cricket (:(), is more of a big comrade
>than a big dictator. In fact, our not-so-serious rivalry with
>Australia tends to be totally eclipsed when we meet overseas.

I'm envious of a lot of New Zealand bands you must be able to see - i
haven't heard anything on the Flying Nun label that hasn't been great.

JHB wrote:

>I just feel that, when you have a song as cut-and-dried as Funk Pop A Roll, a
>lot of people go "But that can't be it! It must have some sort of
>hidden meaning!" and try to read something else into it. I just
>don't understand it.

Part of the fun of listening to music is forming your own opinions
about songs.  Sometimes what you come up with is much better than
what the artist actually states the song is about.  Sometime's
artists can come up with a set of lyrics which, although the artist
means them one way, can be taken in a completely different way.
Trying to read things into songs is interesting and gets your brain
clicking over in new directions.  (You should hear my interpretation
of R.E.M.'s "New Test Leper").

I enjoyed the FPAR / Religion post.  I also enjoyed the post a while
back from someone who suggested Oranges and Lemons might be titled
from a poem in "1984".  That one in particular suited the paranoid
and political tone of a lot of the songs on the album and make me
wish it was named from that rather than the childrens game it
probably was named after.

Have you ever noticed that sometime misunderstood lyrics are more apt
than what they actually are?  I could have sworn part of "Goodbye
Humanosaurus" was "They'd adore us / if we'd just eat burgers for us"
which tied in with the "junk food cartons" bit.  Since the whole song
seems to be treating mankind as an exhibit i can almost imagine a
display of bad wax dummies sitting in a diorama McDonalds with a
dusty plaque saying "This was the primitive humanosaurus's place of worship".

The line is actually something like "sweep the floor us".  :-(

Anyway, keep coming up with these different interpretations people,
they're interesting (to me anyway).

>:) BTW, I'm curious -- how are the words "bugger" and the
>equivalent of "whoopee" viewed in Britain? Here in the US, using
>"bugger" will just get you funny looks and people pointing and
>going "ha ha!" Is "bugger" considered a "curse word" in the UK? How
>about the other one?

In Oz, "Bugger" is a pretty tame word amongst younger people, and
infrequently used.  People tend to say things like "you silly bugger"
meaning "you idiot" but in a fairly endearing way - it's not really
meant as an insult.  Among older people however it's considered a bit
rude, as the word originally meant something which i can't really
think of a tactful way of describing on this list without offending someone.
Maybe "Going in the back door" will suffice.

Oh, people will do say "Bugger off!" actually, which means "Whoopee
off!" so i guess it can be used as an insult.

>(PS.  When Mummer is added to my collection, I may have
>something to say about "Love on a Farmboy's Wages".)

>Or, on the other hand, you may not. Especially since it's not
>really a very impressive song, and that dissonant chord at the end
>just pisses me off.

"Wages" is sublime - on of Mummer's many highlights and that end
chord is just to die for.  I wouldn't call it dissonant in the
slightest.  It's the perfect set of notes to go out on.... and with
those notes....


Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 20:28:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: I've got so much to say... you know the drill
Message-ID: <>

Through the kindness of a New Zealander who is not among us (he thinks XTC
are "passe"), I received a copy of the album by Martin Philipps and the
Chills, "Sunburnt," which features the talents of Dave Gregory and Dave
Mattacks. It's very good, and should be coming out in the U.S. as soon as
Flying Nun establishes their American headquarters, so check it out.

Re. the metal men on "Rag and Bone Buffet," I think the round-headed one
is Dave - it's got that slightly bemused look I associate with him.

Re. Andy's voice - his singing was one of the reasons I started liking XTC
to begin with.  He's got a truly unique and (in a bizarre way) beautiful
voice - sonorous like a brass instrument, capable of immense roars and
gentle whispers.  "The Forgotten Language of Light" is a great showcase
for his voice because it hasn't got any pesky words getting in the way.
:)  Colin's not a bad singer by any means, but when I was first listening
to XTC and a Colin song came on, I used to think, "Oh, another song by the
boring guy."  (It took me some time to get over my voice-related
prejudice.)  Andy has a rather sexy speaking voice as well - very
warm, with that nice furry accent.  Too bad it's got Andy attached to
it...  At any rate, I proudly count myself as another woman who likes
Andy's singing.  So there.

Re. "If you like XTC, you'll like..."  No, I won't.  Please, spare us.

Re. "Bungalow" - well, everyone kept talking about it, so I decided to
listen to it again, and... it's not as bad as I thought it was.  It still
does absolutely nothing for me, but it doesn't suck.  I definitely see it
as a depressing song: the narrator's talking about how everything will be
great, etc. etc., but this sad dreary music keeps going in the background,
and then that terrible dissonant chorus, "Bunnnngaaaloooowww..." like the
cry of a dying moose - it all says that the narrator's plans are doomed to
failure.  Definitely a three-bottles-of-Prozac song.  But any song that
generates that many different opinions must have some merit, so I won't
sneeze at it.  Maybe after a few more listens I will revel in its
depressingness.  After all, I like Joy Division...


Natalie Jacobs
Visit the Land of Do-As-You-Please!


Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 15:48:02 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b02aea3c019a41a@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Towers of London, religion and time signatures

>On the "have you ever heard ____ in that XTC song," thread, I remember
>someone asking what was being said on "Towers of London" at the beginning
>and I'm not sure if it got answered, but it sounds to me like the are
>getting ready for another take of the song. The first voice is one of the
>boys asking if the take was "Okay?" Then the engineer and says something
>like, "Let's have number three." The next two voices may be Colin and Andy
>mocking the engineer by saying something like "Number three" and "Okay
>three." I don't pretend to know exactly what they are saying but it
>reminds me of how I might respond when my brother or sister said something
>I didn't like and I wanted to mock them.

I always thought it was "Take number three", being said by the producer,
although it sounds almost like a stock recording of  railway station
platform announcer speaking through a tannoy (which is the imag often get
at the beginning of that song - it fits nicely with the lyrics).

Bob E chimed in with a ludicrous but tempting:
>I like the lyrics to Funk Pop A Roll for their possible religious
>overtones. I may be the only one hearing this, of course. Suspend your
>disbelief for a moment, please.

While you're suspending your disbelief, you could try pronouncing the title
"Funk Papa roll", too (Papa being a frequently heard name for the Pope...).

Ira Lieman wrote:
>>Does anyone know that (The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul) is NOT in
>>4/4 time? ... the song is in 7/8! OK, granted, it's not the *EASIEST* beat
>>to play to, but IMHO that's what makes the song so different! Try it! You'll
>>Ba - Ba - Ba - Ba Ba!- Ba - Ba - Ba Ba!- Ba - Ba - Ba Ba!- Ba - Ba - Ba Ba!

yep... I love odd time signatures, and I hunt 'em out. The best known songs
in 7/8 are probably the verse of All you need is love, by the Bthings,
Solsbury Hill, by Peter Gabriel, and Money, by Pink Floyd. Meanwhile,
Jethro Tull's Living in the Past, is one of several rock songs in majestic
5/4. But if you want a real weirdie, try Pete Shelley's "I generate a
feeling, which is in 13/8 time!


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 21:45:11 -0500
From: Jim McKnight <>
Subject: Joe Jackson- Any relationship to XTC?

This is my first posting to Chalkhills.  I have been listening to XTC
since I walked in to a record shop in Ann Arbor  many years ago and
heard a few cuts off English Settlement.  I do own the correct version.
My wife was playing Night and Day by Joe Jackson not long ago and I
noticed some similarities between his and Andy's vocal style as well as
other similarities. Is there any plausible reason for this?


Message-Id: <v01540b03aea30f515e26@[]>
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 1996 21:35:15 -0600
From: (Miss Piggy)
Subject: XTC women, meeting and more

Hi all!

First off, I would like to add myself as a diehard female XTC fan, who
absolutely loves Andy's voice, thank you very much.  I also would like to
make the observation that, in regards to dating, I have foundit equally
challenging to find any eligible men who have even heard of XTC.  I've only
ever dated one person who was a fan before we met, and I've never succeeded
in converting anyone.  I think the sad fact is that XTC fans of either sex
are just few and far between, which brings me to my next topic...

Speaking of meeting XTC fans, anyone in the Lone Star State wish to get
together?  I live in West TX, but am willing to travel.  I would love to
hear from other T-X-TC fans, e-mail me if you'd like to organize a little

On another subject entirely, whoever suggested that a record company might
chhose Colin over Andy for commercial viability, please, oh please, don't
even think it!  I can't even imagine the band w/o Mr. Partridge, heaven
help us.  But seriously, I think that any label which was seriously
conseidering signing the band would have to know that their financial
success would be limited, based on the aforementioned small (but intensely
loyal) fan base.  As has been suggested in this list before, I think the
lack of touring really does them in on the popularity scale in the US,
although if they ditched Andy, that might not be a problem, but then again,
would the band really be XTC without him?  Let's all just hope that a very
enlightened record company somewhere employs a closet XTC fan who will
persuade the corporate bosses to sign them and give them total artistic
freedom.  I can dream, can't I?

Finally, on the "working man songs thread,"  I love "Earn Enough For Us,"
especially the Ruben Blades version, and I also think that "Love on a
Farmboy's Wages" is an excellent predecessor, and was the whole reason I
bought Mummer.  That little vocal jump on the word "wages" just gives me
tingles everytime I hear it.  Go buy it now.

Share and enjoy,

PS Elvis Costello would kick butt doing "Mayor of Simpleton," but Marilyn
Manson...oh, the horror...

"If words could speak they'd mean even less..."--Jellyfish


Date: 03 Nov 96 22:34:26 EST
From: DaveKGold <70673.317@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: "Toys" Story?
Message-ID: <961104033425_70673.317_FHP57-2@CompuServe.COM>

Ok everyone, sing along!:

With the recent release of the Disney "Toy Story" video, I am reminded of
the thought that crossed my mind when I first saw it.  That is, the movie
reminds me of "Toys" ?  Maybe Andy should sue and get some of the major
bucks that he's long over due for <s>.  Or at least as a concession, he
should have done the sound track for James.  Oh well, maybe the next Disney

Dave Gold

<looking for some new canvas to paint>


Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 23:14:17 CST
Message-ID: <>
Subject: The under-represented...

Well!  I joined the list, went away from the weekend, came back and
read not just one but TWO Chalkhills digests, both of which contained
messages wondering WHY women do not like XTC!  I guess my first post
to the list comes just in time, then.

For your information, yes I AM a woman, and I love XTC!
(Hmmmmm...since Mummer, I believe.)  Andy's voice is wonderful and
versatile.  I think the problem here is not "why don't women like
XTC," which is untrue, but rather "why doesn't XTC get more
recognition from THE WORLD?"  It seems incredible to me that these
stupendous musicians are pushed aside in favor of "people of
questionable talent."  Ah well, I'll just jump off of my soapbox now.

BTW, my vote for "most embarassing" XTC song would be their cover of
"All Along the Watchtower."  Ugh.



Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 22:25:48 -0700 (MST)
From: Miles or Gigi Coleman <>
Subject: Nightly News with Chuck and Di
Message-id: <0E0BZ2YC500OYO@ACS2.BYU.EDU>

>Nobody here looks at Britain with disdain because nobody here looks at
>Britain at all.  America has more of a bearing on the average Briton's life
>than Britain has on the average American's.  The goings-on in American
>government are news everywhere.  When's the last time you saw a story about
>Britain on America's nightly news?

No, no, no.  There are many important issues in Britain relevant to
Americans.  We see it on the news all the time.  For example, at what party
or benefit will Di show up next?  Will she be accompanied by her personal
trainer?  Will her son be the next royal, teenage heart throb?  These are
fundamental in the maintainence of American pop culture as are Melrose
Place, 9012512545457 and Boobwatch!  Mediocrity, apathy and indifference, YES!


Miles and Gigi Coleman		Provo, Utah		Family Home Page	Guatemala City North Mission Alumni Page		Index for Alumni of LDS Missions


Date: Sun, 03 Nov 1996 22:29:46 -0700 (MST)
From: Miles or Gigi Coleman <>
Subject: Fans in diapers
Message-id: <0E0BZ9LFF0054Z@ACS2.BYU.EDU>

JHB wrote:
>I'm only 15, thus making me probably the youngest XTC fan in existence.

Hold on to your Pampers there, Josh.  Try my 16 month old son.  Throw on a
little "Helicopter" and the kid starts jumping up and down and running in


Miles and Gigi Coleman		Provo, Utah		Family Home Page	Guatemala City North Mission Alumni Page		Index for Alumni of LDS Missions


Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 01:12:43 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Gold and platinum

Hi! In Chalkhills 3-18, Joshua Hall-Bachner commented:

>This brings up an interesting point -- do XTC actually have any gold or
>platinum albums? Remember, gold means 500,000 copies sold in a single
>country platinum is 1 million.

In the United States, yes. In other countries, no.

>I, for one, would be quite surprised if XTC had a gold record, not to
>mention record*s*. Especially in light of the interview of Andy where he
>sits and pokes fun at all the bands listed on the gold awards.

Skylarking was certified gold by the Record Industry Association of America
in 1987.  According to the Chris Twomey bio, Oranges and Lemons sold
500,000 copies in the States within six months of its release (and became a
gold record). It is important to note that the RIAA bases these
certifications on albums sold to *record stores*, as opposed to albums
purchased by customers. To illustrate the difference between the two
figures, take Hootie and the Blowfish's "Cracked Rear View" album, for
example. At the end of March 1996, it stood at 12 million copies plus,
according to the RIAA stats (which also includes record club sales). Look
at the SoundScan figures (the customer purchase total, which is used to
determine chart position) and Hootie's sales only clocks in at 8.1 million
copies sold. That's four million copies sitting in record stores waiting to
be purchased. So, Skylarking and Oranges and Lemons aren't quite as popular
as their gold status might indicate.

>However, there is a set of ambient Andy instrumentals by the name
>of "Ocean's Daughter" which has been circulating -- supposedly it's from a
>movie. Anybody have more info on where these songs originate?

There is no *set* of instrumentals supposedly eminating from a film
entitled Ocean's Daughter. Only the demo entitled "Ocean's Daughter" has
this designation on the Demos 5 bootleg sleeve notes. I've thumbed through
various movie guides and have yet to find a listing for this movie, though.

Sorry to zoom in on your post like that, Josh (!)

Dave O'Connell
York PA


Message-Id: <96Nov4.115807gmt+0100.19585-1@suntana.Topologix.DE>
From: Joerg Sellmann <Joerg.Sellmann@Topologix.DE>
Subject: Andys voice
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 12:50:34 +0100

Dear Chalksters!
First of all: I think Andys voice is absolutely perfect for _his_ songs. I
wouldn't like to hear him singing Colins songs. There is only one problem I
have with his voice. I _love_ to sing along to their tunes (are there any
karaoke versions ;-) ?) In many of his songs, his voice goes up (in the
chorus or at the end of a line) and I can't follow him up there. Or vice
versa: I start singing in a rather high voice and soon I have to change to
a deep one. It looks like that my voice is somewhere in between Andys. Did
anybody else noticed that phenomenon?


(until 20-11-96)
 Joerg Sellmann                       Internet:Joerg.Sellmann@Topologix.DE


Date: 04 Nov 96 09:24:00 GMT
From: (David McGuinness)
Subject: Bungalow, Novello Awards
Message-Id: <"<E40D7E3281821573>E40D7E3281821573@GW.BBC"@-SMF->

Hi all.

Glad to see Bungalow getting some good press.  Just thought I'd make it a
matter of public record that I was responsible for playing it on BBC Radio 3
(the UK's most respectable classical music station) last year.  Far from me
immediately being sacked, the programme got a repeat at Christmas!  Just
doing my bit for C Moulding's PRS income.

'The Disappointed' was nominated for a Novello award a few years back, if
I'm not mistaken.  It didn't win of course. It's only since hearing it on
Fossil Fuel that I've realised what a good song it is.

Am I the only person on this side of the Atlantic extremely frustrated at
the non-release of the new TMBG album until next year?  Some kind record
company person sent me a promo of the single, but I want to hear the whole
damn album!

Atmosphear to ocean,

David McGuinness


Date: Mon, 04 Nov 1996 06:07:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Brookes McKenzie <>
Subject: orange dust! turn to rust!

i've sent the lyrics to the following songs to John R., so they should
appear on the web page soon:

Shaving Brush Boogie
Community Worker Breakdown/Whole Lotta Age
Orange Dust/Orange Dust (Slight Return)
Silver Sewing Machine

they (along with "Pupil Haze" which i already did) comprise the fabled
"Drunken Jam Sessions", and they ought to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt
that AP does have something of a sick sense of humor. which makes this entire
'fuck' debate totally ridiculous in my mind. i mean, if AP (everything he does
or says, not just the censored Andy Partridge) is not germane to this mailing
list, then get me the fuck off of it.

now, as for the actual songs, i have a few things to discuss. does anyone
know what song "Silver Sewing Machine" is a parody of?  it sounds kind of
familiar but i can't place it. also "Orange Dust" - just from the title(s)
i thought it was another Jimi Hendrix takeoff, but now i'm not so sure.
also does anyone know when exactly they were recorded? it has to be pre-
_Mummer_, because Terry's there. and that brings up another point, which
is who was present. we know Dave is, because Andy talks to him throughout,
and Terry as well, but what about Colin? if he is there, he's being pretty
quiet, or maybe that's him shouting in the background. if he isn't there,
who's playing bass?

thanks to josh (what are you, the chalkhills version of dorian gray?
you seem to be getting younger & younger - weren't you 17 last time?
or am i confusing you with the equally youthful ben gott?) for asking
me to do these (& sorry it took me so long!) - once again i realize
that you can only really appreciate them by reading (or typing!) along
- otherwise you miss quite a few of the nuances :). also if anyone has
any correx. to the lyrics, feel free to mail me.

oh & one more thing - does anyone else think that the embossed cover of
_Fossil Fuels_ is a wee bit, um, tacky? i saw it the other day and i
was somewhat alarmed - i thought it was going to be all nice & done
in stiff paper like nin's _the downward spiral_ or something, and here it was
this whacking big thing in plastic. i didn't buy it, but then i wasn't
planning on it anyway.

		- brookes

"To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of
life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply
ignorant." - Daniel Dennett, _Darwin's Dangerous Idea_


Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 00:19:50 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: XTC XOR Cultural imperialism

 #> From: Simon <>
 #> Now we have no influence in the world - no matter what the UK
 #> government thinks of itself - so no one bothers to condemn us.

The UK has a certain degree of influence in Australia, and from my
visits to New Zealand I'd say there's a much stronger UK influence
there.  I'm referring to cultural influence here, but Australia's
political system is still very heavily based on the Westminster
system of government [is that what it's called?].  As far as power
goes, well... it's just the US and Russia from where I stand.  :)

 #> From: bmilner <>
 #> How about if people
 #> submit their 5 all time, "if you like XTC, you'll love..." bands.

Hmm, okay.  Here's my smattering, apologies for the crap indentation:

Adrian Belew: Yes yes yes, he's American, but his music still
              carries a very XTC-like quality, and he likes the lads.

They Might Be Giants: Their later offerings are so close to XTC in
                      parts it's scary.

Elvis Costello: Listen to _Mighty Like A Rose_ a few times and you'll
                see what I mean.  Oh, and _The Juliet Letters_ [I'm
                still convinced he heard '1,000 Umbrellas' before he
                recorded this one].

Blur: Despite XTC's blatant influence these guys really know how to
      write a tune.

Jellyfish: Maybe if you get around Andy Sturmer's voice, but maybe
           that's just me.  I want to hear a new album from these
           guys, dagnammit...

I'd add The Kinks to this but I've never heard anything of theirs.
So it'd be rather pointless really.

 #> From: "MARK HEGGEN" <>
 #> When I picture "Bungalow", I somehow return again and again to
 #> the little cabin near the end of the film "Brazil"

My favourite film!  Thanks muchly for that comparison.  I wonder
what the ending would be like with 'Bungalow' playing...

 #> before his dream is shattered by Michael
 #> Palin' work.  (Hope I didn't ruin anything for
 #> anybody.)

Don't worry, you only gave away the ending of _one_ of the 9238479
different cuts of the film.  :)

 #> From: "William Wisner" <>
 #> When's the last time you saw a story about
 #> Britain on America's nightly news?

We had a guy here kill thirty five people a few months ago.  Our
media got all excited when it got a mention on a US news bulletin.
This is an utterly sick effect of cultural imperialism.

 #> From: Robin Lott <>
 #> American cultural imperialism [...] affects us here in our tiny
 #> country just as much. Australia [...] is more of a big
 #> comrade than a big dictator.

Interesting viewpoint, because the [less accurate] impression I
always had, being from the Australian perspective, was that New
Zealand was sick to death of us belittling them.  I personally get
very annoyed when any mention of New Zealand is ALWAYS coupled with
a derisive joke about sex with sheep, dole queues, or 'fush and
chups' [and I mean it, EVERY time].  Even my usually quiet
girlfriend muttered something about sheep when I told her my father
was going there.  Anyway, that's my two cents.  :)

 #> When I'm in the US I'm so happy to talk
 #> to someone who knows that NZ actually *exists* - and isn't
 #> anywhere near Holland - that all possible snottiness disappears!

I might be wrong, but I get the impression that a lot of Americans
know so little about the world that they don't even know where
their country is in relation to, say, Russia and Africa.  Anyone
>from the US have a comment on this?  Tear shreds off me if necessary.

 #> Why do you all like XTC, after all?

Because... they're ace!!

 #> From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
 #> how are the words "bugger" and the equivalent of
 #> "whoopee" viewed in Britain?

I don't think any country outside North America uses 'whoopee' as a
synonym for sex.  To my knowledge the only reason we use it here is
to cut 'big deal' down to one word.  As for the strength of the
word 'bugger', I'd say it's on the same level as 'bloody' and
'bollocks', i.e. offensive to granny, mildly offensive to the 40-50
group, ineffectual to people under 30.

 #> I'm only 15, thus making me probably the youngest XTC fan in
 #> existence.

Don't count on it, now that Mr Relph has a new member to work on.  :)

 #> it's not really a very impressive song, and that dissonant chord
 #> at the end just pisses me off. [on '...Farmboy's Wages']

No way!  This is a truly beautiful, simple song.  The lyrics
suggest the speaker is trying to survive comfortably on low income
with [here's the important bit...] _the combined effort of two
people_.  He's not taking full responsibility and he doesn't expect
his partner to either.  True egalitarianism.  Oh, and that
dissonant chord caps off the song to create an uneasy mood that
reflects the speaker's true confidence in their ability to manage.
Again it's just my spontaneous and hastily assembled interpretation,
please flame at will.


On the music box:  Stevie Wonder's lovechild-oquai


Date: 4 Nov 1996 14:14:39 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: My college app and XTC

Well, I sent my college application off today (early decision to Haverford
College, in beautiful Haverford, Pennsylvania) and managed to incorporate not
one but *two* XTC references in my personal being "No thugs in our
house/Are there, dear?/We made that clear..."

Mmmm. I just hope they appreciate it...


* -------------------------------------------
Ben Gott
The Hotchkiss School
"Don't get smart or sarcastic..."  -Costello

* ---------------------------------------------------------
Get Your *Web-Based* Free Email at
* ---------------------------------------------------------


Date: Mon, 04 Nov 1996 08:28:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: On Canadian awards, America (again), and Nihilon....
Message-id: <>

I personally have to crank up my stereo in homage to Black Sea when Travels
in Nihilon comes on. The music on that one is INCREDIBLE. The bass and
drums just pound away and it's great.

XTC was invited to play at the CASBY Awards (Canadian Artists Selected By
You) around the time of O&L, after Dear God topped a listener's poll at a
Toronto radio station. They weren't actually nominated for anything, but I
do believe they were asked to "perform" (lipsynch) in front of an
audience. Andy put up a fuss and since the show organisers wanted them on
so badly, they said that the band could tape their segment a day ahead in
an empty auditorium. (Colin's son Lee mimed the opening to Dear God I
think...interesting tidbit there.) Anyways, Andy got the band into a little
hot water when he gave an interview and it was stated that "I might have
gotten away without giving away one of those useless pieces of metal" (They
were supposed to present an awards to a band, Andy was somad he almost went
home, they were told they didn' thave to if they didn't have to if they
didn't want to.) Anyways, the organisers weren't very pleased, so theband
had to call a press conference to explain that the quote was taken out of
context, Andy photocopied an apology that was placed on every seat in the
auditorium, and it was business as usual.

Onto this wonderful country....(Mom, can I ask you a personal
question...did youever have that, not-so-patriotic feeling?) I feel sorry
for every other country that is barraged and bombarded with Americana
everyday. (Especially a friend of mine in Canada...OJ was cutting into her
soaps {ooohhh, pun opportunity}) I, as a somewhat anarchic person, really
could care less what's going on here, as Isaid earlier. (I get the feeling
I'm in for quite a deluge of angry patriots here.) Maybe because
England/Canada/every other country is son foreign to me, and I take an
interest in them rather than the mundanitiy of day to day life in the
US. Besides, the music in other countries is so much better. (Case in
point....XTC, Crash Test Dummies, David Bowie, Alison Moyet, Crowded House,
I Mother Earth, The Guess Who....all incredible foreign bands. What did we
have?  New Kids on the Block, Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows, Vanilla Ice,
Billy Ray Cyrus....tone deaf people who should be given a one-way bike ride
to the moon.)

Joshua...actually, I think my 2-year old goddaughter Kelsey takes the award
for the youngest XTC fan around. She can identify pictures of all three
members and loves to dance to Mayor of Simpleton.

PS-If their are any XTC fans in the Gulf Coast area (Mississippi,
Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Alabama) besides the ones I've already
spoken to, I'm very interested in meeting some day. Email me!

That's all for now. Be back later.

"I was born in Canada."
"What part?"
"All of me!"



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Nov 1996 10:30 -0500 (EST)
From: "Sawyer, Keith" <Keith.Sawyer@FMR.Com>
Subject: 5 bands with cover


>I'm seeing some very interesting answers. Seems people
>would like more British bands/artists covering XTC.

>I'll do this for about another week, so keep em coming!

The Spinanes - "This World Over"
Suzanne Vega - "Ten Feet Tall"
Luna - "When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty"
Holiday - "Wrapped in Grey"
Ropers - "Wake Up"

bmilner <> dangerously inquires:

>how about if people submit their 5 all time,
>"if you like XTC, you'll love..." bands.

The five above.  Suzanne Vega's new one is finely crafted study of diverse
pop music patterns, Holiday is sweetly simple and engaging with varied
accompanyment, Luna are dispassionate hook-masters, The Spinanes are a
fiesty drum and guitar attack, and the Ropers are shimmering layers of
driving urgency.


"It's strange the way a shadow can fall across the wall and make the
 - Suzanne Vega, 'Headshots'


Message-Id: <v02130503aea3bb8ef903@[]>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 15:53:18 +0000
From: (Stephen Varga)






Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Nov 1996 09:48:41 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #3-18

Hello fans of Pure Pop For Now People:

re: gold/platinum status - just a note to whomever was asking about
XTC's record sales - sales of 500,000/1,000,000 are gold/platinum
status in the US, but not in all other countries.  It's at least
somewhat based on a percentage of the population, or something like
that.  I don't remember actual figures for say, Canada, Aussie-land,
or the UK, but it seems like maybe the gold/platinum numbers for the
UK are 1/2 what they are here?  Help from the fabulous UK people
here?  Anyway, I WOULD like to know some info on the sales of our
boys' stuff.

re: one more thing on non-US songwriters talkin' 'bout the USA.  Al-
though we said this email list wouldn't be a forum for religion,
politics, blah blah blah:  a lot of people responded to the initial
remark, and I agree with most of 'em.  Simon, you're absolutely right -
it's because of the USA's INFLUENCE on the whole world that songwriters
say things about us.  When I lived in Austin, Billy Bragg was in town
to play at a local club.  The paper interviewed him, and he said (oh
so succinctly):  "here you are, the most influential and powerful
nation in the world, and half of you don't even have the guts to get
out and vote".  Personally, I think it's sad and a mistake that a lot
of the rest of the world thinks we're the greatest, and are copying
our junk-food/plastic/cotton-candy lifestyle.  For anyone who's
interested, I just read a book called "How Much is Enough?" by Alan
Durning, a Worldwatch Institute book, and that book says it all.  OK,
I PROMISE, no more political statements.

ANY news on XTC label signings, possibility of, ????????
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 11:12:00 -0600
From: Dik LeDoux <dik@ICON-INC.NET>
Subject: 7/8 time on Man Who Sailed...

Short and sweet...

I can agree with Barry Hammill's endorsement of the 7/8 time on Man who
Sailed.  Also - - check out the bass/drums work on the 4/4 part and how
they NEVER play in the same places the first time around and then lock
together at the end.  This is the kinda compositional coolness that marks
the bass work in XTCs songs.  This stuff is easy to play and listen to,
but coming up with the ideas in the first place is where the brilliance
comes in...

Dik \:)


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-19

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