Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-22

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 22

                Thursday, 7 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                       Kevin Glbert
   Subject line omitted pending consistency of posting
                     Fun with fossils
                   Re: Chalkhills #3-21
                      Ack! British?!
                    He must be Joshing
    On names in caps, Jellyfish, and Barry Andrews....
              Dissonant chords and Amerikans
               Re: Drums and Wires slammed
 Testimonial praise for smashing collideascopic elements
       You only get out what you put in, apparently
                      Chalky mittens
                    XTC and accidents
             Mechanical relations, all sorts
                     XTC vs. Beatles
               Kissing Machines / Blurandy?
                 Most embarassing nominee
                     Radios in Motion


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

But dear all your hot air / Don't encourage my growth.


From: Aaron Pastula <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Kevin Glbert
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 96 23:54:21 PST

> Is anyone on this
> list acquainted with Toy Matinee?  I think "they" were not really
> even a group - it was Kevin Gilbert (who was unfortunately found dead
> recently in LA - I think drug-related)

Yes, tragic, although I don't believe his death was drug related.

Check out Kevin's solo album, "Thud."  One of the few solo artist albums
that has ever really captured my ear...a VERY talented individual.
"Shadow Self" from this album is just this side of pure magic.  You
won't be disappointed with this one, folks.



Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 20:21:19 +1100
Subject: Subject line omitted pending consistency of posting
Message-ID: <>

 #> From: "G.M. Quinn" <>
 #> Convince me that when something
 #> horrible occurs it is no reason to exclude one of the best
 #> singalong albums in the world from gracing my shitty
 #> car-speakers!

I was listening to TMBG's _John Henry_ when I had my major bingle
two years ago.  Not only did I take the CD out of the changer in
the boot [first thing I did], I also continued to listen to it and
enjoy it for years.  If you keep listening to it the accident
memory will ultimately be wiped from the music.  Trust me.

 #> 1) Summers Cauldron - Falling Joys
 #> 5) Towers of London - Kirsty McColl
 #> 7) Bungalow - the Front Lawn

Now *these* I'd like to hear.  The FJs would add a hard edge to
it... they could even do Grass to keep the segue.  And 'Bungalow'
would probably be more popular among Chalkies if TFL got their
teeth into it.  Shame they're not together anymore [to my knowledge].
And Kirsty MacColl's husband could produce... I wonder how that
would sound...  :)

 #> From: Peter Dresslar <>
 #> Subject: Absolutely flippin' mad

Don't take this personally, but you have *way* too much time on your
hands.  :)

Never in my life have I made so many different faces at my monitor
at the same time.  What moved you to do all this?  And how much of
it is genuine?

 #> 94% are 34 year-old guys named Fred.

That'll be me.

 #> Favorite album: All except Nonsuch. All except White Music. Or
 #> Black Sea. Also: Through the Hill. Definitely not Big Express,
 #> except where it is.

They're all crap, except the awesome ones, which are all of them.

 #> not to mention the rising levels of flouridation in
 #> world water supplies.

I watched _Dr Strangelove yesterday._  How's that for coincidence?

 #> From: (Peter McCulloch)
 #> Both seem to have adopted a lighter, more
 #> ethereal approach in their later years.

And Andy's voice has got more American.  There's a definite accent
in _Nonsuch_ that wasn't there in the _Black Sea_ days.

 #> Well, it's been 1 week now since I declared Pulsing, Pulsing to
 #> be the all-time worst XTC song, and my claim has yet to be
 #> refuted.

Erm, I'll refute it now.  When I first got _R&BB_ I played track 19
to death.  The guitar in the left channel is extremely boppable.

 #> From: Simon <>
 #> I reckon almost everyone over, say, the age of 25, has looked
 #> back at their former selves at sometime and dropped their head
 #> into their hands, "What was I *thinking?*"

I'm not a radical, but I've gone through some of the youthful
experimentations.  I've dyed my hair black, I've got the Docs with
2398472934 lace holes, I've got a line of empties on my top shelf.
I sincerely hope that in ten years I can look back and say either
'what a fabulous and not at all embarrassing time I had', or 'wow,
I developed my identity then and I'm still that way'.  Here's hoping.

 #> It features the band in
 #> historical garb - Colin and Dave in dark armour, I think, and
 #> Andy in a sort of minstrel outfit. Flags and pennants are
 #> unfurled and waved about.

Lots of bright colours too, from what I can remember.  Mainly reds
and yellows.

 #> connection of Andy and Danny Elfman.  What would be the end
 #> result if the two got together  for a project?

He did a number with Siouxsie & The Banshees a few years ago, which
was brilliantly dark and full of hooks and atmosphere.  Andy would
work really well with him, but I can't help wondering if a
collaboration with Colin would be more impressive.

 #> From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
 #> I still can't decide if Pearl Jam's "This award means nothing to
 #> me" stunt last year is a really cool denunciation of the
 #> hypocrisy of music awards or just a stupid publicity stunt.

They accepted the award?  Then it's a publicity stunt.  :)


On the music box:  Mono Puff, _Unsupervised_


Date: 7 Nov 1996 12:05:57 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Radio...


Last night (Wed.) I was lying in bed, watching "Law and Order" on TV. As a
matter of habit, I reached over to my clock-radio to make sure the volume
was loud enough to wake me the next morning. In fumbling around in the
dark, I move the tuner dial from my favorite station. "Blast!" I thought. I
turn on the light, and hit the on button, ready to move the dial back to
96.5, when I hear....

"STAGE LEFT - enter easter egg she's dressed in your yolk..."

AAAAAAAAAHHHHH! I screamed! Andy!

I ran over to my stereo, and madly tried to find the station that was
playing "Easter Theatre," and a tape so I could tape whatever was
next. While I was fumbling for the station, my little clock-radio continued
to play another demo I had never heard, "Playground." Finally, I succeeded
in finding the station -- 96.9 Radio Woodstock -- and realized that I was
listening to Rock over London!  With Andy! Yes!

Does it get weirder? Yes siree! My friend Dave Leonard is the station
manager for Radio Woodstock, and I'm going to try to get him to send me a
copy of the interview!

Food for thought. Check those alarms tomorrow.


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


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 14:55:03 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510101aea7a3aaf0a9@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Fun with fossils

Has anyone seen the cover of Reading Writing and Arithmetic by The Sundays?
Show it to your friends alongside Fossil Fuel and ask them to spot the

- Mark


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 08:24:35 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #3-21

Sorry to hear about our Australian correspondent's car wreck.  And yes,
DO NOT stop listening to Oranges & Lemons!

Chalkhillians, don't you agree that *Peter Dresslar*'s last post was
Variety, "***", says the National Enquirer).

Andy's/Collin's voices hard to tell apart?!?! Wha?!  I've never had
the *slightest* bit of trouble telling which one of our terrible two
are singing, except on the Dukes stuff, which it seems others agree on.

Counting Crows - yeah, they're OK, but like a lot of gazillion-selling
bands, they're overrated.  Excuse me while I put on the latest Kenny
G album.  Yeah, right.

That's enough - it's time to go work on assembling matchsticks and
branding my forehead like Simon and his mates did in their < 25 Angry
Young Men stage.
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Message-Id: <v01540b00aea79d4cf4ea@[]>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 07:17:25 -0700
From: (Kevin Collins)
Subject: Ack! British?! had this to say:

>About other bands covering XTC. There is this british band called, I
>believe, Jellyfish. They are quite poppy and, to be honest, not very much
>to my liking. But i did read an interview with them where the interviewer

So how many folks have told you Jellyfish is (was) from the San Francisco
Bay Area yet?!
; )


Actually my favorite band from the first half of the nineties even though
they just put out 2 records/CDs. First was very Beatle-ey; second was quite
Queen-ish. Derivitive, yes. But great songwriting craftsmen they were.
Quite a few projects have spun off it since then (since you didn't like
them I won't go into them all) with the latest being a one-man-show record
from the first guitarist, Jason Falkner (of L.A.), a CD called "Author
Unknown" on Elektra. Fabulous. Big recommendation. He's touring with
Suzanne Vega right now.

I too have heard the "Big Express" a capella story. I wish I had a tape if
true also.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 96 10:39:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: He must be Joshing

JHB had a lot to say in #3-20, and I have a lot to add/respond:

>What I meant was that the final chord of the song does not provide the
>proper resolution given the chords just previously. If it had been
>followed with the "proper" chord, I wouldn't have minded, but as it is
>it's like leading someone on with an ice cream cone, then at the last
>moment smashing it to the ground and going "A ha!"

And aren't XTC the best ice-cream-cone smashers in the business?

>>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.

>That is exactly what I love about the song. Now, what is the word I'm
>looking for to describe that? Not "evocative"...not really...any ideas?

 "Succinct" maybe?

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

>I find the album version pretty half-assed, but I have a live version
>which is really, really good. (Of course, I'm not really familiar with
>the *original* original...)

The "original" original is a great song, as simply played as it was by
Dylan, and Hendrix did wonders with it, but XTC's version is in my opinion
the most creative take on it. I really enjoy it -- after an initial period
of thinking it was unlistenable, I finally started to groove to that bass of the funkiest Colin has played. And I love that harmonica. The
whole thing stylistically reminds me (favorably) very much of Devo's version
of "Satisfaction."

>>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

>And really, can you say with a straight face that Counting Crows are bad
>enough to included with all the above?

No, I agree...they're far better than the above list is giving them credit
for. And I would add to that statement Sheryl Crow, who I think has really
received a lot of unfair backlash from so-called "hip" music fans. Her new
album is really quite good...and I won't even admit to it as being a "guilty
pleasure" -- I just plain like it!

And finally, from Simon Knight:

>...what songs would you all suggest that you think would appeal to a Blur

Try Black Sea...its style seems close enough to Park Life to gain some

This world over and out,

Dave Gershman


Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 09:46:11 -0600 (CST)
Subject: On names in caps, Jellyfish, and Barry Andrews....
Message-id: <>

First, the CTD and names in caps....I don't know how to take my name OUT of
caps b/c someone else put my name in there for me. It does annoy me though.

On Jellyfish....since when did they become British? I heard them talk on an
MTV Rock the Vote commercial a few years back, and they sounded rather
American to me.

On Barry the CDNow XTC section, it reports that Barry was
once a member of King Crimson....I was not aware of this....misinformation

On The World is Full of Angry Young Men: I adore this song. The music is
great and Colin sounds great on it. I prefer to call Take This Town the
most embarrasing XTC song, IMHO.

Simon: I already wrote to you personally, but point of clarification: I was
asking if anyone had seen the vid for He Liked to Feel It, not The

Later Chalkhillians,

"Ther's some debate about whether instincts should be held in check. Well I
suppose that I'm a liberal in this respect."-I'm a Dog, Crash Test Dummies


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:11:34 -0600 (CST)
From: "Todd A. McCullough" <>
Subject: Dissonant chords and Amerikans
Message-Id: <>

	I had a friend who was a music major on college. He always
grimaced when I played "Farmboy's Wages" because That Chord, he knew, was
coming up. He also had the same reaction to "Deep Sleep" by the B52s. Of
course, no one was allowed to complain when he played some triple album
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer morphine fantasia suite. Kay Sara, Sara.
	On the subject of good/great American acts:
        )Elvis (the one with the sideburns and the Cadillac with
donut-stained seats). Before the Army and Priscilla, of course.
	)Anything recorded in a Memphis hotel in the 1930's.
	)The Velvet Underground.
	)The Stooges.
	)Buddy Holly, at times.
	)Miles Davis.
	)Bob Dylan (who wrote "All Along the Watchtower," and after
hearing Jimi's version rarely played it acoustically again).
	)Jimi Hendrix.
	)Please, please, can we have Neil Young?
This list goes up to ~ 1973, and is by no means exhhaustive. There are
more, but it's interesting to note that the airplay succe$$ rate is about
half and half on my short list (witout Elvis, it's significantly
less). What rilly irritates me is that *record industry corporate nazis*
promote only what they think will sell, not even what they listen-to
themselves (I mean, I hope no-one is not subject to 13-year-old peer
pressure would actually choose to listen to Marijuana Carey - and I'm
complimenting her by comparison to a popular if illegal narcotic). And
please, Alanis, you ought to know that not everyone is as impressed as the
Grimy people.  Anyway, my point is that just like anywhere else, the
good/worthwhile is often overlooked here in favor of the sellable.
	Oh well, my Tucker needs a tuneup, so I'm off.

PS Michaels Bolton and Jackson also suck, just to make sure that I'm not
being sexist. And Ella Fitzgerald (before Memorex) and the New York Dolls
:) are a plus for the American side.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:45:10 -0700
Subject: Re: Drums and Wires slammed

Hi again.

To the person who never saw a bad review of XTC:

At the time Drums and wires was released, Playboy reviewed the album
as poor and, "just Devo clones."  Oh how we groaned!

Just heard my "Drums and Wireless," CD.  Wow.  I think it's a
must-have for anyone's collection.  I was especially impressed with
No Thugs in our house, Jason and the Argonauts, and Meccanik Dancing.

I'm working on a list of 5 old psychedilic bands that you'll like if
you like the Dukes stuff.  I wanna get it just right so I'll put it
in the next post.    Later,  Jeff S.
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 96 12:41:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Testimonial praise for smashing collideascopic elements

I wasn't planning on fantasizing about cuts from "Testimonial Dinner" that
never existed but would be really neat if they did, but I was suddenly hit
with a possibility that I would love to hear:

Bob Mould doing "Complicated Game"

Can't you just hear him winding up for the climactic screaming of the final
verse? "...should I put my world upon the LEFT?" That would be, how should I
say, WAY cool.

Also, a note to Peter Dresslar: Loved your summation of the Chalkhills
threads...very funny.

And Jason commented:
>I personally find it bizarre, but I've noticed this Pumpkins/XTC
>trend.  Which is weird when you consider that Smashing Pumpkins are
>the most pompous "rock" group out today.  I'm still not sure how they're
>justifying this incredibly overblown sense of self-importance that they
>have, but I love XTC (2nd favorite band in the world) and I despise
>Smashing Pumpkins.  "Today" was a good song, but "Mellon Collie and
>the Infinite Sadness"?  C'mon!

Count me in as a big Pumpkins fan, though I can't say that I find them
similar in many ways to XTC. I really tend to think of them as having much
more of a pop sense than a lot of what I would call truly pompous bands (ELP
and Yes, to name a couple), and well, heck, they rock! I just saw them in
concert this week, actually, and Billy Corgan comes across as just being a
geeky misfit who has big aspirations for his songs, rather than being
pompous. I think that "Mellon Collie..." is quite impressive, actually. It's
no more "pompous" than the Who with "Tommy" or "Quadrophenia"...both bands
were reaching high to achieve a new level in their musical growth -- a reach
that may have included a couple of small missteps, but overall, they both
created albums that are notable achievements in rock music.

Dominic asked:
>On "Psonic Psunspot" who is singing "Collideascope"?  I know it is an
>AP song, but even allowing for the copious vocal FX on said LP, I can't
>escape from the feeling that it sounds suspiciously like CM singing it.  Is
>this the case?  If so, it must surely be the only case of one singing the
>other's tune!?!?  Can anyone shed any light?

 I'm certain it's Andy singing...sounds just like him to me. Aside from
effects added, I think he's just singing with a bit of a "twang," I guess
you'd call it, in his voice. I suppose it may be harder to recognize it as
AP in the verse, but in the "Wakey little sleeper" part, it seems pretty
clear that it's him.

And wrapping it all up (in grey), I'd like to add my 2 cents supporting
"Deliver Us from the Elements" as a great made my own Top 5 Desert
Island list, in fact. I love the chiming guitar throughout the song. Very
George Harrison-ish, I've always felt -- much like his part in Cream's
"Badge." I also enjoy the timing in Colin's singing of the chorus: "OH lord
de-LIV-er us FROM the elements..."  I imagine that part's in one of those
odd time signatures people have been talking about lately. Anyone know which

Back to bed (well, work, actually, but I can dream, can't I?),

Dave Gershman


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 18:37:46 GMT
From: Andy Miller <>
Subject: You only get out what you put in, apparently
Message-ID: <>


Got a few points to cover...

1. Re: Toys - while I Love LA is indeed "pretty sappy", and those
soundtracks not up to much, Randy Newman has still written some of the great
songs of the last thirty years - he's a very funny, very clever writer
(although he hasn't made a straight 'pop' album for nearly ten years). I'd
point any unbelievers in the direction of an album called 'Nilsson Sings
Newman', recorded about 1970, reissued about a year ago in the States -
Harry Nilsson singing ten of Randy's songs, beautiful melodies, wonderful
harmonies, clever, quirky lyrics. You'd like it. (Nilsson's first two
albums, Pandemonium Shadow Show, Aerial Ballet, are pretty cool too).

2. Re: If you like XTC, you'll also like...

Here's some recent singles with a heavy XTC sound. In some cases the band's
other work sounds NOTHING like these singles, so beware!

Polly's Domain - Coast    Rather poor Suede-y indie band come over all
psychedelic AND melodic for this one single. Brilliant raga string
arrangement. Most subsequent releases not a patch on this.

Can't Be Too Sure - Done Lying Down   I think these guys are American, don't
really know anything about them. They aren't very sexy (IMHO) judging from
the cover. Anyway, this chugs along with some big guitars and some odd chord
shapes. Anyone know any more?

Commercial Queen - The Shave   Debut single from London (I think) band. Good
tune, very Partridgesque vocal. Awful B-side though.

Out Of The Void - Grass-show     Swedish powerpop band with (yes!) walrus
moustaches. This is their first British single; all three tracks on the CD
are cracking. Signed to Food, same offshoot of EMI as Blur. Bits of
Jellyfish in there too.

Judy Over The Rainbow - Orange     This came out a couple of years ago. I
don't know anything about them - I think this is their one and only release,
but it's fantastic - wistful, poppy and psychedelic in the extreme.

Hometown Unicorn - Super Furry Animals   Welsh band, made one of the albums
of the year, one of whose tracks, Frisbee, Andy should sue over. This single
sounds a bit like The Move, and concerns alien abduction. Lots of
mellotrons, moogs and (from the sound of it) magic mushrooms. Oh dear.

3. I was going to post a whole list of Blur songs that sound like XTC, as
chosen by myself and my wife, but it's practically all four albums and a few
b-sides too, so you could try the Blur site (
Which XTC songs to recommend to a Blur fan? Blur did an interview during the
recording of 'The Great Escape', in which it was revealed that 'It Could Be
You' was supposed to sound like 'Statue of Liberty'. I'd add This Is Pop?,
Smalltown, Heatwave, Are You Receiving Me?, The Affiliated ("Then came her,
through the Blur...")

4. Re: The World Is Full of Angry Young Men
Musically, I just think the jazz approach was much better executed for I
Remember the Sun on The Big Express (album after Mummer, at whose sessions
TWIFOAYM was recorded, but - remember - not released.)

I loved Mark Fisher's posting. I agree with almost everything you say about
growing up, and that feeling of looking back at your younger self and
feeling a bit embarrassed. Ironically, I think you express it rather better
than Colin does in the song. And, hey, isn't this the guy who wrote Life
Begins At The Hop, one of THE great songs about being young and jumping
around? There's only four/five years separating these songs when you think
about it. "Middle-aged and proud of it", sure, but was Colin even thirty
when he wrote TWIFOAYM?!?!

Bearing that in mind, maybe the lyrics are a put on. Or maybe they're in
character. That would explain the hackneyed "chip on the shoulder/life owes
them something/you only get out what goes in/it were all fields round here
when I was a lad" stuff. Wouldn't it?

5. Re: Pulsing, Pulsing. Pulsing, Pulsing rocks "like the throb of an
anthill"! (that's a good thing, by the way).

See ya round




Message-Id: <v01540b00aea7de794bf7@[]>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 13:14:43 -0600
From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
Subject: Colin-ascope

Andy vs. Colin:

That's Andy on "Collideascope".  Here's how I've always distinguished
the two singers (besides the fact that each NEVER sings lead on the other's
songs):  Andy's voice always sounds *wider* to me, like he has more of a
midrange.  Colin's voice, by contrast, although quite similar at times
(for the longest time I thought the bridge on the album version of
"Ten Feet Tall" was Andy!) tends to sound more flattened and slightly nasal.
Throughout most of their career, Andy has had an affected vocal style, but
it always seems more "natural" in comparison to Colin's, which sounds more
like he's trying to imitate Andy (until recently).  Keep in mind Andy has a
very versatile voice (like Paul McCartney-- at one time I had no idea who
the hell was singing background harmonies on "The Ballad of John & Yoko")
and that Colin's ability and styling, while not making him less of a good
singer, can't quite match Andy's. Colin does, however, have a good high
range ("The Meeting Place") and often sings the high harmonies over what
Andy's singing ("The Mole From The Ministry", "Respectable Street", "Statue
of Liberty", etc.) He also does the one line leading into the middle bit of
"Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down".


>In the spirit of the increasingly multi-layered, mega-faceted, 3-tiered
>replies in this list, I would like to present a quick summary of what
>we've covered:


And in addition, bollocks.

Uh, heh heh, perhaps one should try to be sober when one posts. :)

All in the spirit of FUN (!!!)

(Hey that rhymes!)


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 15:34:31 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Chalky mittens
Message-ID: <>

Since other people are having area get-togethers, I thought it might be
nice if Michigan Chalkhillians could have one as well.  I know there's at
least 3 or 4 of you out there, and maybe there's others out there lurking
as well.  Let me know what you think.

Re. weird time signatures, those of you who have heard "The Green Man" can
try and figure out if it's really in 8/4 time as a friend of mine claims.
I think she's right but I'm not sure.

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


Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 13:44:54 -0700 (MST)
Subject: XTC and accidents
Message-id: <>

speaking of accidents... I was listening to dear god and singing along
one night, and I thought, god will probably get me for singing this, and
I'll probably get into an accident... well, it happened! a few hours later,
I was in the car with a friend and her son, waiting at a light, minding my
won business, and some idiot came up and slammed into me, then took off!
it was crazy! now, I'm scared to death to sing dear god in that car! :)


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: Mechanical relations, all sorts
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 16:19:00 -0500

>>XTC SONG OF THE DAY:  "The Meeting Place"
>(Question from Josh:)
>Does anyone have any ideas what "Machines that make you kiss in time" are?

IMO, it's a metaphor for how the factory where she works dictates their
schedule. "Kiss in time" refers to both the limited time they have and
how regimented it is. "Whistle will blow", "strolling under grimy skies"
and "smoke on your breath" plus various sound effects, place her in
a factory, to me.  As that, she has to take her place on the assembly
line and she can't fudge around the edges of the clock like those of us
composing Chalkhills posts at our cubes.

Countering the "chronically depressed" Colin, his protagonist here
seems to accept the circumstances and make a go of it (pun if you
want).  "The Meeting Place" couple sounds young.  A song about
30+ marrieds who couldn't get together except like in TMP might
be full of emotional and physical starvation and detrimental effects
on their marriage.

>XTC and the opposite sex

Just announcing to all that I'm newly engaged.  We were on a beach,
at sunset on our last night of vacation, late autumn on the NJ coast.
Many aquatic birds, grey seas, & shops closed for the season.

The setting narrowed down my "softening up" poetry options
to Matthew Arnold's "On Dover Beach" or "Seagulls
Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her".  For once, my non-quirky side
shone through and I read from Mr. Arnold.  (When
I got around to explaining "Seagulls Screaming..." she
seemed to appreciate the lyric, though.)

However, all is not lost in my quest to convince my fiancee
(still practicing the word) of XTC's romantic side, and reinforcing
my own as well.  Snippets of "Then She Appeared", "That
Wave", "Merely a Man", "Grass", and "You're the Wish..."
will do that.  (No date set yet, no "Big Day" on playlist.)

Send me to hell hell hell, for the length of this post,

PS  We've had the "Andy as reincarnated poet" idea, but
how about Colin?  I see bits of him in "On Dover Beach" but I
only took *English Lit. for Engineers*.  Someone here must
know more.


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 16:14:22 -0600 (CST)
From: Devoto David <>
Subject: XTC vs. Beatles
Message-ID: <>

  Just a few thoughts...

  I know Andy has said that he is the "Lennon" of the group while Colin is
the "McCartney", but before I heard that quote, I always thought Andy
combined the best of Lennon & McCartney in his songs, while Colin's
sounded like George Harrison songs to me.  For instance, Lennon's
frankness (political, emotional, etc... comes through in songs like "Hold
me my Daddy" and "Funk pop a Roll" while McCartney's throwaway pop is
shown in songs such as "Earn Enough for Us" and "Mayor of Simpleton."
  Colin's songs look more inward, as I think Harrison's does also.
Harrison's "Within you Without you" and Colin's "One of the Millions" are
very different style-wise, but share the same soul-searching themes.
    Anyway, that's my opinion!
  Also, I love it when the music follows the lyrics theme-wise, such as
the Satellite "pings" in "Another Satellite",  Andy's animal call on the
word "herd" in "Love on a Farmboy's Wages", and the low rumble behind
"bombers in flight" in "Beating of Hearts."
  BTW, I'm from Texas too?!

David L. DeVoto                                 


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 09:17:26 +0000
Subject: Kissing Machines / Blurandy?

What are "machines that make you kiss in time?"

I've always assumed the meeting place is within an industrial town,
a place where the couple meets during the working day to have lunch.
Maybe a small field or wood next to the factories and train yards.
Whilst it's a place to get away from their work, the sound of the
factories and machinery can still be heard in the background (as the
mechanical percussion in the song indicates).  This all pervasive
rhythm even sets the timing and length of their kisses.  They're
probably unaware of it, but do it without realising it.

Have you ever noticed how rhythmic machines can be?  Your body seems
to tune into the sounds in the enviroment.  This happens to me on
trains and buses.  If i'm writing music in my head the motion of the
bus or sound of the rails ends up setting the tempo.  Or have you
ever been singing an XTC song in your head whilst you're walking
somewhere and found your steps get faster or slower to match the
song?  This also happens to me when i'm writing music as i walk - if
i'm walking quickly in a hurry i write a faster song.

It makes me wonder if Colin was walking the dog past the railyards
and factories in Swindon and tuned into the machines.  Or maybe he
came up with a melody for the rhythm he was hearing.

My other theory is that they're racing the clock, and in a hurry to
get back to work - trying to kiss before their time is up.  Maybe the
machine in question is one of those old punch card time clocks.

Onto something else.  Adam wrote:
 #> From: "Simon Knight" <>
 #> what songs would you all suggest
 #> that you think would appeal to a Blur fan?

>'Respectable Street'... oh hell, just give her _Black Sea_.  :)

Funnily enough one of my choices i sent to Amanda for TD out-takes
was Blur doing that exact song.  That made me think if i couldn't do
a mix tape that maybe "Black Sea" would be the perfect jumping in

I've also noticed most of the other bands she likes (Radiohead, Kula
Shaker, Stone Roses) were all produced by John Leckie.  Maybe i
should throw her Go2 or one of the Dukes albums as well.

She did tell me a story about Andy Partridge working with Blur
though.  She wasn't sure but said she thinks nothing ever came of it
because everyone was completely pissed during the sessions so the
stuff they recorded sounded awful.  Does anyone know the full story?


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 18:53:53 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Most embarassing nominee
From: Eric Medalis <>

Okay, I put on Rag and bone last night, intending to listen to World is
full of angry young man which has come under fire and has been  eloquntly
defended on the list. So no point in adding to that. But as I was
listening, I was a emailin and webbin and the disc ran longer than I
usually listen to it. Confession - I usually listen to Officer blue then
turn it off. And as the disc ran on, I was reminded why I usually turn it
off there - Countdown to christmastime.
Thats my most embarassing nominee - and I would love to see a defense.
Any takers?


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 23:15:39 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510100aea81e1db34a@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Radios in Motion

Andy Partridge on Radio One, 7/11/96:

Hello, my mother saw it fit for some bizarre reason to call me Andy
Partridge and I find it equally fit to call my group XTC.

XTC is a band that is held up with some ridicule in its own country, and
branded a bunch of smart-arses, or intelligent bottoms, and in other
countries in the world they seem to love the very trousers off us.

We have a career that started in the public eye about 1977, in fact we'd
been going for some years before that but the climate wasn't right for
people to be interested in what we were doing.

I just don't want to be called the grandmother of Britpop, thank you. I
have this inherent mistrust of anything with the word "Brit" attached.

We don't purposefully try to be English; we don't sit down and say, "Let's
get this measuring device, we'll have a cup of hot tea with a special
measuring-thing lead in it to power it, and we'll see how we register on
the double-decker bus-ometer, and if we just put a dollop of HP sauce on
it, if it starts glowing radioactive we'll know we're terribly British".
But I think one of the strengths of the band, that may have been overlooked
by a lot of the English people who have been snooty about us in the past,
is the fact that we're natural, we're unashamedly what we are.

We're not groovy, we're not cool, whatever you might deem those things to
be this week, we sing songs about what we wanna sing songs about; they're
things that have happened to us, or things that we see happening to other
people around us; we are nothing other than the end product of all of our
influences; and it's most probably all the groups we liked as kids, which
would have been The Beatles, The Small Faces, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks
were enormous for me; we don't sing in forced accents about forced subjects
in a forced way, it comes out natural, and if you don't like natural, you
ain't gonna like us.

When we first came to the public eye in 77, it was: "Oh, they must be punk.
Let me see, let's have a look, they're thin and young and they've got short
hair and they make noisy music, that's definitely punk." Then when punk
calmed down and they couldn't decide whether we were punk or not, because
we weren't your average punky thing, they thought, "Wait a minute, he's got
a suit on, and his hair's a bit more suede-y now - they're mods - and the
bass player, he's got a stripy blazer - bloody hell, they were mods all
along". Then the 80s are coming on there, and it's: "Wait a minute he's
grown his hair a bit - ah, they're New Romantics, aren't they!" We've had
all that chucked at us. It's just people's desperation to label you.

I tell you why we became hippies for two albums. The Dukes of Stratosphear
were the band that as school children we all wanted to be. We'd rush to
school with our little knees blue, in our shorts, and, "Have you seen this,
it's called Arnold Lane," or, "See Emily Play," or, "It's My White Bicycle
be a group called Tomorrow." We all thought that when we grew up, we were
going to be in a band just like one of those bands. History walks on and
you suddenly find yourself all grown up and in a group, but not  like the
group you thought you were going to be in when you were a little kid. So we
thought we'd do a bit of Stalinist revision on history, we'd do a bit of
fake history and be the Dukes of Stratosphear, which was actually a name I
was toying with in 1975. I didn't know whether to call ourselves the Dukes
of Stratosphear or XTC. I chose XTC because you could write it bigger on

Immensely proud of the song Rook from Nonsuch, which came after a period of
a few months when I just couldn't write anything, I was really bunged up,
real cork-in-the-ass writer's block. I was messing around on the keyboard,
which I can't play. I tell you how bad I am on a keyboard: when I found a
chord shape I liked I actually made a cardboard hand in that chord shape,
so that I could do it without getting cramp, then I could move it round and
still retain the same relationship of the notes, with this cardboard hand.
I discovered a beautiful combination of chords, quite by accident, that
really made me cry.

The song Bungalow by Colin, who's the good-looking one who stands there
with the bass around his neck, he that looks like the bastard son of
Rudolph Nureyev and Chrissie Hynde . . . damn it, I wish I'd written that
song. It's just two people planning for their future. His parents and my
parents, all their lives - and still do, because mine are still alive -
lived on a council estate, and I did until I was 20, they still live there
now; and they have this thing where they have this dream of buying a
bungalow. And so he wrote this song really as a homage to his parents' and
my parents' generation's ideal of "we'll save and save and save, and we'll
buy a bungalow by the sea". I just wish I'd written it, because he came up
with this really touching  little song which is actually about as far from
rock 'n' roll as you can get.

Wrapped in Grey, which is another softy, I sat at the keyboard one day and
found this little bam-da-dum bam-da-dum, rollicking little chord change
that reminded me of Burt Bacharach. This song came out as talking about you
don't have to accept the bland idea of the world that a lot of people sell
you as you grow up, about you've got to be straight and behave, and don't
be unusual, don't be weird, don't use your imagination, stick on the safe
side, stay on the safe and narrow, be grey. So Wrapped in Grey is an
exaltation for people to be as colourful as they can be because very soon
you'll be dead and gone.

- Mark


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-22

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