Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-23

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 23

                 Friday, 8 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                Convert a Blur fan today!
                 Christmas Parsley Thyme
This post doesn't entirely occupy a Hootie-free zone (sorry, Peter!)
                   The Bus is not Full
                 Fripp, AYM, 4/4, TMBG...
               Andy Partridge on Soundbite
                   Thursday Night Post
              Avant Knitting Tours 1993 ???
                       Tomita Isao
          The World is Full of Angry Young Bens
       A question about the Pumpkinhead video.....
            Why didn't I think of this before?
          Oh well, haven't posted in a while...
                    The Andy interview
                    Re: Psychedic Menu
                  Re: Pete Dresslar.....
             Those hard to come by cassettes
         IN MACCA'S DEFENSE (slight XTC content)
                    dissonant ranting
         English 1158 at UNO rules incredibly....
                 Re: Goodnight Sucker???
         US and Canada, British terminology, etc.
                       chalk humor
            A New Member Speaks (and speaks!)
                     more chalk humor
         New XTC recruits; Father John; and more


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

No letting out just what you think.


From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: Convert a Blur fan today!
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 04:04:51 +0000
Message-ID: <19961108040449.AAA7369@LOCALNAME>

>I've made it my mission to convert a 17 year-old Blur fan to XTC.
>(I figure they need some new younger fans).  Since a lot of Blur
>songs owe a huge debt to our boys from Swindon i figure it shouldn't
>be too hard to convert her.  But what songs would you all suggest
>that you think would appeal to a Blur fan?

All of "Black Sea".


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 15:11:59 +0000
Subject: Christmas Parsley Thyme

Eric wrote:
> Countdown to christmastime. Thats my most embarassing nominee - and
>I would love to see a defense. Any takers?

Just take it for what it is:  a b-side to a christmas single under a fake
name.  A harmless fun little song that wasn't intended to change the
world.  Plus you also get to imagine what XTC would sound like
produced by Quincy Jones.  I can't really say it sounds christmasy

I think Christmas songs must be hard to artists to write without
sounding sickly sweet.  I've only ever heard two i can play without
reaching for the "oh no! dirty old fat man, cute elves and computer
generated reindeer skipping with obnoxious child actors for god
sakes stop singing about sleighbells and snow it's 40 degrees
outside!" vomit bucket i keep handy during the Xmas season.  They are
"Thanks for Christmas" and "December will be magic again".


Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 00:55:42 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: This post doesn't entirely occupy a Hootie-free zone (sorry, Peter!)

In Chalkhills 3-20, Derek Miner theorized about record sale tabulation

>I would be willing to bet that the record industry has become a
>different animal since XTC put out Skylarking and Oranges & Lemons
>and the gold standings for those records are much more accurate to
>their popularity. First of all, "loss leaders" which buy in bulk and
>sell for insanely low prices (Best Buy, for instance) weren't as
>prolific even when Nonsuch was released.

Excellent point, here's another reason: Hootie is much more popular
than XTC could ever hope to be and because of that, retailers are more
likely to overstock on Hootie's records, which in turn, pushes the
consumer purchases (SoundScan)-to-outlet purchases (RIAA) ratio
disproportionately out of whack. Throughout the years, I've come
across at least one (usually one) copy of Skylarking and Oranges and
Lemons at the various record stores (both the superstores and the
smaller inventory chain stories), so I would imagine there's still
enough of a gap between the SoundScan and RIAA certification totals to
be misleading. Not as misleading as Hootie, but it will happen to any
non-limited edition release.

My mistake on the Ocean's Daughter demos, Josh. I didn't know there
was a seperate set of instrumentals. So "Aqua Dream" is really
supposed to be "Aqua Deum" and "Primal Gawery" is supposed to be
"Primal Gallery" (I like the Primal Gawery title better. The word
"gallery" is too formal to be describing a sinister-sounding
instrumental like this one.) and "Familiar" is "The Familiar",
okay. Do the other Demos 5 bootleg instrumentals (Jump The Cup, Spy in
Space) correspond to the other set in any way? Did the bootleggers get
the Jump The Cup title down right? Did I name myself after a
nonexistent Andy Partridge title? This could be embarrassing...

Dave O'Connell
York PA


Message-Id: <v01540b04aea87c7dccdb@[]>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 00:13:36 -0600
From: (Miss Piggy)
Subject: The Bus is not Full

> #> 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

Yes, but what *was* it?  Where can I get it?
If Andy and Danny Elfman did a colaboration, I could die a happy girl!

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

Abso****inglutely, says me!

>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.

Well as much as I hate to admit it, I always have had trouble telling them
apart.  Maybe because I like Andy's voice and I want everything to be him??
Oh, I don't know, I'm so ashamed...


Maybe we should include their stuff as a eulogy during the XTC parties.
Has anyone seen copies of either of their albums recently?  I can't seem to
find them out here (West TX), and of course, no one has heard of them...

>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

Saw her open for Crowded House a few years ago in St.Louis, MO, right
before she hit is big.  At that point, she was receiving a lot of airplay
in St. Louis, where she used to live.  She was actually pretty good, and
Crowded House was *awesome*!

>>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

Gack! I have never, ever liked Smashing Pumpkins, all their stuff sounds
whiney and boring to me, bleh.

PS Hey Texans, the numbers are growing, but by no means is the bus full.
Email me for more info:

Welcome to the garden of earthly delights...


Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 17:41:22 +1100
Subject: Fripp, AYM, 4/4, TMBG...
Message-ID: <>

 #> From: DeWitt Henderson <>
 #> Chalkhillians, don't you agree that *Peter Dresslar*'s last post

With every last bone in my body.  We definitely need more posts like
that.  I wonder if there's a place for it on the web page...  :)

 #> From: AMANDA OWENS <>
 #> On Barry the CDNow XTC section, it reports that
 #> Barry was once a member of King Crimson....I was not aware of
 #> this....misinformation perhaps?

Robert Fripp saw him performing with XTC and effectively poached
him for his League Of Gentlemen project, if what I remember from
the C&C biography is correct.

 #> 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.

AYM is a good couple for Andy's 'Ladybird', the two are beautiful
songs.  BUT... 'Take This Town' belongs squarely on _Black Sea_.
There's nothing wrong with it at all, and you can't expect much
different from that era anyway.  :)

 #> From: dgershmn <>
 #> "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 one?

Sounds like 4/4 to me.  Sorry.

 #> From: Andy Miller <>
 #> Can't Be Too Sure - Done Lying Down
 #> They aren't very sexy (IMHO) judging from the cover.

Since when did sex appeal have any bearing on the music?  XTC
aren't exactly the Chippendales, and TMBG look like computer
programmers.  :)

 #> Musically, I just think the jazz approach was much better
 #> executed for I Remember the Sun on The Big Express [than 'AYM']

'AYM' is a much more disciplined song than 'IRTS'.  More smoky jazz
club feel to it.  'IRTS' does well with a more open, more free
arrangement IMHO.

 #> From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
 #> "The Meeting Place" [...] A song about 30+ marrieds

Given the linear concept of _Skylarking_, I'd say they're not even
married at this point.  Not until track 9 in fact.

 #> Just announcing to all that I'm newly engaged.

Many, many congratulations.  I'm years off that so I can't
empathise, just congratulate.  :)

 #> Maybe i should throw her Go2 or one of the Dukes albums as well.

_Psonic Psunspot_!  Perfect for a Stone Roses fan.  _25 O'Clock_ is
probably too obscure...

 #> From: Eric Medalis <>
 #> 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.

Well, for a start it's a song done under a different name, so you
can't really expect an XTC-sounding result.  Having said that, it's
the coolest little '70s boogie song I know of.  The Bee Gees never
came close.  Oh, and it's better than its flipside ['Thanks For
Christmas'], which is an airy-fairy little heap of gobshite.

Finally, thanks to Mark Fisher for posting the Radio One interview
for those of us who had no hope of hearing it.  Now if only Colin
and Dave would be interviewed...

 #> From: Our Andy via Mark Fisher
 #> 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!"

TMBG saw fit to apply that tag to Adam Ant instead.  Interesting...


On the music box: TMBG, _Factory Showroom_ [fast becoming my
                  favourite of theirs]


Message-Id: <v02130502aea8996e81d3@[]>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 08:11:44 +0000
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: Andy Partridge on Soundbite

Not being familiar with Radio 1's Soundbite format, I e-mailed some
questions earlier thinking it was going to be an interview type of

Anyway, although my questions weren't put to use on the show, I did get a
reply from Soundbite, which I thought you might like to share.

------- begin forwarded message -------

Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 19:15:19 -0800
From: SoundBite <>
To: Stephen Varga <>
Subject: Re: XTC's Andy Partridge

Stephen Varga wrote:
> Hi there!
> If by any chance you are able to put any of the following questions to
> Andy Partridge on tonight's show, I'd be most grateful.
> 1. What's the latest situation with your record contract? Have you
> found a label yet? Are you going to start your own label?
> 2. Is there a video compilation due out soon?
> 3. Can you estimate a date for your next album?
> 4. What's your view on the current britpop scene? Do you think it will
> help bring XTC back into the limelight when the new material gets
> released?
> 5. Are you going to give Chalkhills, the official XTC web site a plug
> now that it's official? (All the UK subscribers should be listening in
> tonight)
> I'm looking forward to hearing your comments about the four year
> strike.
> Many thanks.
> Kind Regards
> Stephen Varga

Dear Stephen,

Thanks for your e-mail. As far as we know Andy hasn't got a record label yet
but has recorded enough material for a new double album. Unfortunately he
wouldn't lend us any of the demos this time round but has promised us a sneak
preview when his deal/label situation is a little clearer.

Stuff he said that wasn't included in the radio piece include the fact that
he feels sorry for Blur because every time they are written about, XTC's name
crops up. The same happened to him and Be Bop Deluxe and Roxy Music!!

Thanks for telling us about the website and no news on the video compilation.

Hope you enjoyed the pice. Any more questions/feedback drop me a line.

Simon Barnett
Producer, SoundBite

------- end forwarded message -------

        Stephen Varga
        Schlumberger ATE
        Ferndown Industrial Estate
        BH21 7PP

        Tel: (Int Code) + 44 (0)1202 850921
        Fax: (Int Code) + 44 (0)1202 850990


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 12:16:29 -0800
From: Herne <>
Subject: Thursday Night Post

Thoughts on threads new and old...

1.)Pulsing Pulsing---When I read Peter's (it was Peter wasn't it?)
trashing this song I had my biggest XTC related laugh since I first
heard Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen.  Pulsing Pulsing? You hate Pulsing
Pulsing?  It's always funny to me which songs by bands I like other
fans don't care for.  Usually it's the singles people won't like.
Because they're sick of them or they were the weakest ones and why are
they on the radio...etc...etc...My entry in the boring single
sweepstakes is Peter lyrics but otherwise dull to
me...or at least I remember it as being dull.  It's been a while.

True hilarious and random dislike though always comes from the non-fans.
Years ago a friend of mine asked to make a tape of some XTC so she could
see what I was going on about.  I remember that I loaned her Waxworks
(this was the mid-80's) and later she returned it but not before
pointing out that she hated...WAIT TILL YOUR BOAT GOES DOWN.  In fact I
think her description of her reaction was "Uggh..."  An odd target of
annoyance I remember thinking.  Sure I guess it is dirgelike but I
really used to like it.

Anyway...Pulsing Pulsing.  Being partial to early XTC...and to Beeswax.
I've always liked it.  I don't think I've ever actually sang it though.
If my apartment was bugged and someone heard me chanting..."I'm're pulsing...etc..."  I'd be in big trouble.

2.)The World is Full of Angry Young Men---I've always liked this song a
lot.  It could be because of when I first heard it...which was on Rag
and Bone Buffet...this despite the fact that I had it on the Loving 12
inch...anyway I think at that time (1991) it was such a shock to hear a
new to me song that felt like one from my favorite era when XTC songs
had that FEEL...whatever the f*** that means.  That XTC emotional rush
that seems to be missing for me from Nonsuch and much of Oranges and
Lemons. Kind of like tuning into original Star Trek, suddenly seeing an
episode you can't recognize in ten seconds despite the fact that you've
seen every episode eight million times.  And when the shock of discovery
and disbelief faded you just sat back and enjoyed it like you had found
a lost treasure or been reunited with a long lost love. (Boy I'm full of
love tonight!) I was surprised when I read it was a Mummer reject since
I had always found Mummer problematic.

3.)Travels in Nihilon---For years I disliked this song.  I voted it my
least favorite XTC song (along with Wonderland) in the Little Express
poll.  But then one day...about ten years after I first got Black Sea, I
decided that Travels in Nihilon was GOD!!!!!!  I still feel that way.
It's almost like their Led Zeppelin track or something.  Pounding and
seemingly endless.  I can't get near a drum set without wanting to try
to recreate that drumbeat (that and the drum part from Elvis Costello's
Lipstick Vogue).  I agree with those who said it was NIN years before
there was a NIN.  It would be interesting to hear trent take a crack at
Nihilon...or Wonderland for that matter.

4.)Bungalow---Boy Nonsuch is getting a lot of bandwith here.  I guess
cause it's the most recent...which is depressing as it's nearing five
years old...I like individual songs on that record but as a whole I
never got too whipped up about it.  I put Dear Madam Barnum and
Crocodile on mix tapes but that was about it.  As for Bungalow...barely
remember it but I agree it does remind me of Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL.
Good to see that a lot of people on this list have similar tastes to me
in areas NON-XTC.

5.)Colin Vs. Andy---Lots of people in America think British shows are
better than I often do...BUT is it because that's true or
because the volume of it we are exposed to is smaller?  i.e. we only get
the best of it...if we saw all of it would the impact be not as great?

So with maybe tempting to think that Colin's songs are stronger
because we're only hearing so few.  And therefore as there are more Andy
songs the impact of his best is somewhat lessened.  Just a theory.  (And
not a theory I'm convinced of even though I'm offering it up.)  I used
to Like Colin's songs the most...I would always seek out his stuff when
a new album came out.  Many times they were the standouts...until
Nonsuch.  But that opinion is based on fading memories of an album I
haven't played in years so perhaps I'll play it all with fresh ears and
decide that Bungalow is more than just something I pass through on the
way to another song or that War Dance isn't as dumb as remember.
Speaking of which...

6.)War Dance---In my first post to the group I lamented the state of
some of XTC's political songs.  After thinking about it I can get past
this if the song's execution is exciting or catchy like Reign of Blows
or Melt the Guns is to me.  But with songs like this and Here Comes
President Kill Again...when it's almost vaguely gets
tougher for me.  And I just can't get past that "jingoistic cake."
Jingoistic is one of those words that just reeks of
pseudo-intellectualism.  When I hear it I always groan.  I remember
someone on the list thought this song was subtle.  Not with the J word.

I still haven't gotten to Blame the Weather and Runaways but this post
is's after midnight and it's time for bed so they'll just have
to wait.


p.s.  I almost forgot...Making Whoopie?  I'll stick to
f*** like in the magazines.


Message-Id: <96Nov8.104834gmt+0100.19590-2@suntana.Topologix.DE>
From: Joerg Sellmann <>
Subject: Avant Knitting Tours 1993 ???
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 11:39:07 +0100

Dear Chalksters!
At I found a cd named: Avant Knitting Tours 1993, featuring
Charles Gayle, King Crimson and XTC. Does anybody know that record? I have
no information which titles are on it, and I could not find it in the
chalkhills discography.


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


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 19:59:10 +0900
From: (Nishimatu)
Subject: Tomita Isao (Mitch Friedman) wrote
> This guy wanted Andy to make music that
> sounded like Tomita which as I understand is
> a Japanese instrumental band from a while ago,

 Tomita Isao is a Japanese individual synthesizer player.
 That's all what I know about this artist.

$B@>>>Fs@$(J / Nishimatu Nisei/Japan  $B!!(J*  $B!!(J


Date: 8 Nov 1996 13:09:00 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: The World is Full of Angry Young Bens

I think that "The World is Full..." is a perfect song (or as close to
perfection as one can get), for, being a teenager myself, I know quite a
few angry youngsters.

To whomever said "Countdown to Christmas Partytime" was an embarrassment: I
agree completely. (However, I like "Thanks for Christmas" a lot - because
of that trumpet thing at the end.)  My favorite song from R&BB, though, is
"Tissue Tigers." Don't know why.

I used to hate "Bungalow," but I don't anymore. I think that the songs that
Andy and Colin write about their families (esp. their parents) are some of
their strongest songs..."Dying"..."Hold Me My Daddy" (which, actually, made
me cry the first time I heard it, because my dad and I were in a bit of a

As I'm sure all of you are aware, my life is made happier daily by the
heavy rotation of Freedy Johnston discs in my CD player...Not happier,
necessarily, but more introspective. "Can You Fly" makes me want to sit
down and bang out poignant lyrics.

Well, off to math. Gotta take a quiz. Gotta do well so I can get into
college.  So I can get a good, high paying job. So I can buy more XTC


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


Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 08:26:31 -0600 (CST)
Subject: A question about the Pumpkinhead video.....
Message-id: <>

WHo is that it Ian Gregory? I know Dave Mattacks drummed on
the album, but it looks like Ian in the video. (Sorry if this question was
already asked, I just received five tapes worth of XTC videos last night,
and I've never seen an XTC vid before then.)

I must admit, I LOVE the videos for Wonderland, Making Plans for Nigel, and
Life Begins at the Hop. I don't htink I've ever seen Dave so hyperactive as
in LBATH! (Oops, typo. I mean, THINK, not htink.)


"And he looks better than me and he's go thair, don't you hate it?"-Andy on
Colin. (I see another typo, that should say got hair.)


Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 08:40:31 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Why didn't I think of this before?
Message-id: <>

I was listening to Black Sea last night whilst watching my new collection
of XTC stuff and once the Somnambulist was over, I thought of another
missing Dinner track....wouldn't that song sound incredible with Brad
Roberts singing it?

Well, I had the results of the survey and damnit, I left them at home! What
I can tell you is that, VERY SURPRISINGLY, the song that you all seem to
think deserved to be on A Testimonial Dinner was....This World Over. It got
three votes overall, and I can't remember who the bands were except for the
Dummies and Kate Bush. After some of the songs/bands you suggested, I'm now
wishing that this would've been a boxed set of sorts, because I'm sure they
would sound great!

Till next post,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 07:09:28 -0800
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Oh well, haven't posted in a while...


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

Misinformation. He was part of "The League Of Gentlemen" with Robert Fripp

>From: "Todd A. McCullough" <>

	On the subject of good/great American acts:

	)Please, please, can we have Neil Young?

No, he is a canadian, and, while some of us find his singing, harmonica
playing and gitar playing upsetting to small animals, we do love him dearly...

And, finally, all this Nihilon bashing must stop...It's one of my favorite
XTC songs. It made a big impact on me as a youth, and continues. I love the
guitar bashing away in the background. But, then again, I really like
"Train Running Low On Soul Coal" too...


David Hathaway, CEO Of, minder of the cats...,
The Canadian Music Home Page, since 1994.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 96 08:56:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: The Andy interview

Thanks, Mark, for the transcript of some of what Andy's always
good to hear from him and, to the best of my knowledge, it was not broadcast
anywhere here in America.

Just to comment on a couple things Andy said...

>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;

This brings up an opportunity to praise The Small Faces, particularly the
album, "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake"...a classic of the late '60s that I believe
most of you would enjoy immensely if you're not already acquainted with it.
Look for a copy of it...I'm sure you can get it at "Best Buy" prices.

>...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

Is this not the best description of Colin you've ever heard? I'm not so sure
about "good looking," but the parental lineage is right on! :)

Dave Gershman
Listening at the moment to "Glass Onion" from The Beatles Anthology 3...


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 09:53:56 -0700
Subject: Re: Psychedic Menu

> On Barry the CDNow XTC section, it reports that Barry was
> once a member of King Crimson

I saw Barry as part of Robert Fripp's League of Gentlemen in 1980
so he may have toured with King Crimson when RF reformed it later but
I thought he was too busy with Shreikback at the time.
League of Gentlemen also included Sara Lee who later went on to join
Gang of Four, then on to the B-52's.

> 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.

And heeeeere it is but let me preface it by saying I left out the
Obvious Megagroups like Jefferson Airplane and Steppenwolf.
I also left out, "one hit wonders," like the George Baker Selection
and tried to concentrate on groups whose entire body of work reflects
the influence for The Dukes of the Stratosphere.

1.   The Blues Magoos (very advanced production for the time)
2.   13th Floor Elevator ( the only band with squiggle-sound )
3.   The Electric Prunes  ( beauty )
4.   The Troggs ( I LOVE them.)
5.   The Shocking Blue ( the Dukes w/female vocals )

I feel if any Dukes fan picked up an album by these groups they
would't be disappointed. LSD not withstanding.

X- John Leckie also produced Every Dog Has It's Day by Let's Active
and early works by Be-Bop Deluxe (featuring Bill Nelson)

T-On Fossle Fuel Complaints: "how long must we wait to learn, across
the black and fossil ocean vast,"  Andy Partrige

C-See Ya-------Jeff S.

Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 10:08:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Pete Dresslar.....
Message-id: <>

Well, my initials aren't AMANDA, but my names is AMANDA. :)

On the bands you will like blah blah blah thing, here's my take on it....
Beatles: yes.
Pearl Jam: hell no! Eddie Vedder is the biggest whiner and I don't see how
they stay popular.
Nirvana: That would be no.
They Might Be Giants: Sort of. I life three songs, Particle Man, Istanbul
(Not Constantinople) and Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul
REM: Another great big huge sloppy HELL NO!!!
Oasis: Yes and no. I like the music, I hate the Gallagher brothers. (Okay,
I think Liam's quite attractive. Noel's a troll though.)
The Almighty Ones, the Gods Themselves, known affectionately to my male
friends as Four Boys and a Babe, known to me as me as Two Babe Brothers and
Three Other Guys, Crash Test Dummies: I don't think I need to answer.


"You never wrote you bitch!"-Andy on 120 Minutes


Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 17:18:18 GMT
From: Andy Miller <>
Subject: Those hard to come by cassettes
Message-ID: <>


Can somebody help me with The Bull With The Golden Guts, Jules Verne's
Sketchbook & Windowbox? I don't know where to get hold of them.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 10:57:35 -0600
From: Jason Garcia <>
Subject: IN MACCA'S DEFENSE (slight XTC content)

Hi there.

Andy & Blur:  there was some article in NME or Melody Maker, I
can't remember, on Blur [it's the cover story with the quote
"Trust us, we said.  And no-one did."].  Anyway, apparently
Graham Coxon and the other lads were/are big fans of XTC, so
someone said, "Hey, let's get Andy Partridge in here!"  Not
quite sure how they swung that, but-- to cut to the point, AP
arrives, everything's groovy and swell, some member of Blur says,
"Hey, I loved 'Making Plans for Nigel'." Things quickly go downhill
>from there. They rehearse some number, AP insists that they do it
reggae, shit goes down, and they end up with Stephen Street.
[There wasn't really much more about it in the article than that.]

David Devoto mentioned

>McCartney's throwaway pop

Oooh!!  I'm sorry, this is really not the place for this, BUT
[and if you meant this as a compliment, you should probably
check Your Dictionary]: This image of McCartney has GOT to go,
especially in his Beatles context.  Sure, a good chunk of his
solo work was crap (as was a good chunk of Lennon's), but I
think the main difference between the two songwriters is that
McCartney is a pop *craftsman*. This doesn't mean he is any less
frank, honest, or sincere than Lennon, who tended to have less
of an ability to *arrange*, thus coming across as more "frank".
How can you look at McCartney's entire body of Beatles work and
come up with "Throwaway pop" as the tagline?  From stinging
criticism ("I'm Looking Through You") to aching loneliness
("Eleanor Rigby") to love of life ("Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da") and
peace at heart ("Let it Be") (and these are just a SCANT FEW
examples), McCartney has ALWAYS had a dexterity of expression
that, for me, tugs at the heartstrings much more often than
Lennon's work.  He has ALWAYS been my favorite, because he
seamlessly combines personal expression with a singalong
melody and a sunny outlook that, while acknowledging despair
and frustration, doesn't allow it to rule.  If you want
"throwaway pop", just listen to top 40 radio.  I suggest you
listen to every Beatles album you have back to back and think
about this a little bit, then get back to me.

"For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder."



Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 12:38:37 -0600 (CST)
From: "Todd A. McCullough" <>
Subject: dissonant ranting
Message-Id: <>

	OOps, left out the germane content in that last rant. What I
meant to say about those "good Americans" is that much like our boys,
they were not necessarily popular ($$$$), but influential. Like the story
about the Velvet Underground: they never sold more than 10,000 records,
but everyone who bought a copy started a band (e.g., Michael Stipe).
From what I can tell, the same is Kinda true about XTC and their role as
influences. I bet Robert Johnson never made any money for Capitol (or
Columbia, or RCA, or whoever - I don't have the album at work), but it's
pretty much a given that he and his ilk (;)) laid the framework for what
was to follow (i.e., Rock and Roll). I wish Andy, Colin, and Dave could
be rich (hope that they are soon), but I am grateful that they haven't
sold out for thirty pieces of silver. Who will remember Oasis in ten
years, besides their accountant? Who remembers the top record of 1970
(the year *funhouse* came out)? the point is, poularity is seldom a good
indicator of quality; usuall , it's better for judging fashion/fads.


Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 12:51:35 -0600 (CST)
Subject: English 1158 at UNO rules incredibly....
Message-id: <>

Y'all (Excuse my language, I'm from the south.) remember how I posted about
my English professor liking XTC? Well we've written five papers for his
class, and everyone I've gotten back has some sort of XTC-related comment
on it!

Don't you wish your composition classes were this cool?

Aman-itoba-Owens (Inside joke)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 14:23:01 -0700
Subject: Re: Goodnight Sucker???

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

HEY!  I just checked in with the FAQ page and I saw mentioned a song
on the 3D EP called Goodnight Sucker.   What the heck is that?  I
have 2, 3D EP's and I thought there was only THREE songs on them.
How could I have missed what serial #'s contain this
mystery cut, anyway?      respectfully submitted,  Jeff S.
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: US and Canada, British terminology, etc.
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 16:23:00 -0500

>From: "Todd A. McCullough" <>
>	On the subject of good/great American acts:
>	Please, please, can we have Neil Young?

I'd love to "claim" him too, but he's from Canada (born in Toronto,
raised in Winnipeg, according to some Web info), unless you mean
"America" really and not just the US.  As such, it grieves me to
have a Canuck sing political/social type songs about the US.
Perhaps, also, we can make Mort Sahl stop performing comedy, get
Peter Jennings off ABC news, and eradicate every SCTV episode from
videotape too ;-).  As it happens, my fiancee is going to Neil's show
tonight, so tomorrow will be that slightly-deaf "huh?" apres-concert
thing in our abode.

>From the irresistable, eat-up-every-crumb interview our determined
>Mark Fisher transcribed: (Andy:) "His (Colin's) parents and my parents,
>all their lives - and still do, because mine are still alive - lived
>on a council estate"

Am I the first Yankee to ask, What is a council estate?  Is it as
grand as it sounds or a euphemism, like "townhouse" here in the
USA?  Also, slightly related, I listen to the BBC World Service
sometimes--does that duplicate any of the programming of BBC 1
(or any BBC domestic)?

I award *Peter Dresslar*'s wild compendium title of The Only Post You'll
Ever Need!  I'll do this unilaterally, bypassing the anticipated
"Chalkhills Desert Island Top 1 Post" survey ;-).  He's so spot on that
Go2 *IS* my "100-percent-unanimous second-to-last" fave XTC album,
and I haven't even heard it yet, although I can hit that Eflat7DIM9m
3x-tw (at the end of Meccanic Dancing, right?) provided I use both hands
on the neck, leaving me to pick notes with my chin.

"No use prevaricating around the bush" *

* (Wallace, "The Wrong Trousers")


Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 16:44:57 -0600
Message-Id: <>
From: (Christopher Kasic)
Subject: chalk humor

  Hey Youse Guys: (all the Chalk***** have been used)

  Back in 3-21, Peter Dresslar from Holland Not that Holland thus spake in
  an explosion of wit:

  >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 thus went on to fame in the fabled "Chalkhills' Greatest (W)its" up
  there in the Stratosphear with the Sherwoods (check your archives,
  newbies), Delvin Neugebauer, and a few classic, rare flame wars that
  resulted from mostly drunken posts and resulted in a few new members
  getting all pouty and leaving in a huff.

  Peter, please plan to attend the first annual CHAlkhills FrIeNds and
  Great-mUsic-N-Drugs-party-at my-friEnds-paRents-house-With-bEer-And-
  pRetzels AWARD. We all have no doubt where wit like that comes from.

  (mc on stage, as Pearl Jam leaves) "Peter, we would like to present you
  with this rare,
  should-be-proud-to-have from our humble association that is now
  OFFICIAL. The envelope please, Mr Relph...

  (Peter) (Open mike...)


  And, to whoever it was that found that amazing Joe Jackson song with 659
  time signature changes, should be well aware that as a music professor
  with a doctoral dissertation on "Hidden Meter in the Music of Marilyn
  Manson and Lawrence Welk", I can assure him that Joe is merely fooling us
  all--The time signature on that piece is 1/1.


  Now, isn't it all much better when we all play nice and everybody's funny?

  "F*** that for a lark, mate, suck more piss!!"

  As you were,



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 17:53:03 -0800
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: A New Member Speaks (and speaks!)

XTC Friends and Fans,

I've been an avid fan of XTC since I saw them live in 1981.  The drummer
of my then aspiring and now defunct band ("Free Trim") was simply
evangelical about this obscure pop band from England.  He had begged me
to go see them at a club on Long Island called "My Father's Place", and
I brushed it off with a disparaging remark about "Queue ooh ooh,  BAA",
and laughed off the request.  Well, three month's later, they returned
to the New York Metro area to do a stint at a club called "Private's",
and my friend bought me a ticket and almost dragged me kicking and
screaming to the show.  Needless to say, the boys ROCKED the place.
Andy was one of the most frenetic/energetic/entertaining/ madmen I'd
ever seen, making playful quips at the audience, mugging his way through
his creative and Dave's inspiring guitar solos while Colin blew me away
with is brilliantly crafted bass playing and Terry kept it all together
with his tight and relentless drumming.  I only wish that I could return
to that gig, because as it was, I only knew five songs, ("Respectable
Street", "Generals and Majors", "Living Through Another Cuba", "Real By
Reel" and "Millions").  They opened with "Real By Reel", and proceeded
to tear up the place for the next two hours or so.

Here are some of my very biased opinions regarding the band, comments
that have struck me in this newsletter etc.

On The Beatles:

The connection between the Beatles and XTC is beyond debate.  Clearly
they share many important qualities.  One only needs to listen to
"Statue of Liberty", "Earn Enough For Us", "Ladybird", "1000
Umbrella's", "Towers Of London", "Season Cycle", etc., never mind "The
Dukes" ("Shiny Cage", "What In The World" "Brainiacs Daughter".  Nobody
does the Beatles like XTC, not "Todd-zilla", not "Badfinger", not "The
Rutles", and certainly not the dreaded "Electric Light Orchestra".

The Beatles are beyond reproach.  It is unfair to compare any other 20th
century artist to them, as they are unique in their collective abilities
and contribution to culture.

Jeff Lynne is the Anti-Christ.  ELO is analogous to "Sear's Beatles".  A
very poor attempt at imitation.  Why they chose to use him to produce
the "Anthology" bonus tracks will always haunt me.  They should have
used George Martin and/or Todd.  If there were any doubts that old
George was up to the task, check out the recent tribute to George
Gershwin. (The Glory of Gershwin).  Using Jeff Lynne to produce the
Beatles would be like casting William Shatner as Hamlet or putting ice
cubes in a glass of a fine Pinot Noir!  But they did. "Free As A Bird"
is slightly tolerable, but "Real Love" is an abomination.

Someone commented that like the Beatles, XTC shouldn't play live.  Huh?
 The "Let It Be" sessions were great!  And who do you think played the
instruments on the XTC post touring records?  I don't care how many
tracks are available, or how many takes a band has to get it right, the
playing on these records is impeccable.  Get one of a handful of
drummers that they have played with in a rehearsal studio, and in a
month you'll have one tight band.  All you need is ears.

Anthology II is a treasure trove!  "Tomorrow Never Knows" is alone worth
the price.

And the a capella version of "Because" from A-III is perfection.

Ray Davies:

Yeah, the Kinks were real good in their day.  "Celluloid Heroes" is a
beautifully crafted pop song.  But let's get real, Andy has more talent
in one of his nostril hairs than five Ray Davies!  (Quick, get me a
bullet proof vest!)

They Might Be Giants:

They must be annoying.  Two slightly hyperactive savants creating
pretentious mechanical noise that slightly resembles music.  "Wake up
and smell the cat food, in your bank account" indeed!


Andy Partridge is probably the most talented songwriter in modern
popular music.  His lyrics are in a class by themselves.  "Gulping in
your opium so copiously".  And the music always fits so perfectly with
the lyrics.  His melodies are brilliant. So often they take you by
surprise, seemingly unremarkable upon first listen, and then suddenly
knocking you out on the third or fourth listen.

And for all of you who are wondering why aren't they more popular?
Isn't it obvious.  "Swallowing is easy when it has no taste."  Like so
many other exceptional experiences with the senses, XTC is an acquired
taste.  Most people are casual music fans.  They don't have the patience
that it takes to appreciate the subtle talents of this wonderful band.
BTW, "beats up my soul" is a GREAT line!

Colin is first and foremost, a superb bass player, easily one of the
best in rock music. He combines Paul McCartney's melodic sense with a
jazz feel reminiscent of Jaco Pastorius.  Each bass part is perfectly
crafted, often incorporating melodies from the vocal line in a very
curious fashion.  He is capable of defining the track, as in "One of the
Millions", or bouncing along in the background, as in "Ladybird".  As a
songwriter, his best songs rival Andy's.  "Deliver Us From The
Elements", "Generals and Majors", "Grass" and "One of the Millions" are
among the band's best work.  But lyrically, the man has some lapses.
"Wardance" and "The Smartest Monkeys" are seriously flawed lyrically.
"Monkeys" is musically very clever, and I love to listen to it with the
headphones.  I imagine the track with the lyrics wiped, except for the
line "We're The Smartest Monkeys" would have been a work of art.  But
listen, the man is one of the most talented musicians on the planet, so

Dave ties it all together.  His playing is flawless.  Andy says that
Dave's contribution is incalculable.  Many people thought that the
guitar solo on "Supergirl" was Todd, but it was Dave inspired by one of
Todd's guitars.  It was a happy day when Barry Andrew's quit to form
"Shriekback", although "My Weapon" is hilarious.

The "F" word,

Look, you can't control what other people say or write, but you can
control your reaction to what is said. If you aren't responsible by how
you are affected by other's words, who's running the show?


My girlfriend loves XTC, and she was a fan long before she met me.

If You Like XTC...

Forget about finding anyone else out there like them.  Like John Lennon,
there is only one Andy Partridge.

Still, you might try "Free Hand" by Gentle Giant, or more recently
"Thud" by Kevin

Thanks for your patience.


PS, I also love Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, John Coltrane and Miles

"The stars are laughing at us, as we crawl on and on across this ant


Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 17:04:11 -0600
Message-Id: <>
From: (Christopher Kasic)
Subject: more chalk humor

  <humor stun ray: ON>

  Me again:

  Oh, by the way, thanks to Simon <> for that incredibly
  lucid explanation and completely accurate stereotype (complete *what*? oh,
  well) of the 25-and-under crowd. Those of you under 25 who disagree with him
  (!) go wash your goatees out with soap and don't come out until you're sure
  you've got something important to say.

  Meanwhile, in a soon-to-become-famous digest, 3-21, JHB offically became a
  verb and thus JHB JHB'd:

  >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.

  Explanation #1 result: I still remember it.
  Explanation #2 result: I still remember it.


  Shall I end on a 6th?

  <humor stun ray: OFF>

  chris again


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: New XTC recruits; Father John; and more
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 15:26:55 -0800

Dear Tots O'the Hill Dust:

[On "Getting Others Hooked on XTC"]
Like many of you, I have been largely unsuccessful at getting people into
XTC.  And like many of you, I'm puzzled.  Here's my method:

First, I invite a friend into my home.  We may have a drink or two and
catch up on the latest.  When I feel that they're appropriately relaxed, I
excuse myself for just a moment.  I return with three very large fellows
who lift heavy objects for a living.  On my cue they proceed to strap-down
my soon-to-be-XTC-loving friend.  (I've found that heavy gauge duct tape
works quite well).  I pay these fellows appropriately and send them on
their way.

It's at this point that my guests get this very strange look in their eyes.
 Since they're gagged with duct tape as well as bound, I've never been able
to figure out what they're trying to tell me.  No matter.  I proceed.  I
patiently explain the history of XTC, from their early influences such as
Captain Beefheart, through their beginnings as the Helium Kidz.  I then
discuss a brief history of England beginning with WWII and how Swindon's
train station and manufacturing capacity was central to the war effort.
Charts and graphs are employed.  This is simply forshadowing for the
imminent explanation on The Big Express and St. Andy's influences.  But I
get ahead of myself . . .

By the second day, my soon-to-be-XTC-loving friend has another type of
gleam in his eye.  I've not been able to decipher that one either, though I
suspect it may have something to do with food and water.  No matter.  I
press on, emboldened by my noble mission and personally encouraged that I
might just succeed this time.  My voice usually goes hoarse round about day
three, but confident that a proper foundation has been laid, I begin the
next phase by playing Go2.  We (*I* really.  Hee, hee) contrast this
frantic cacophony of  maelstromic melody with the slightly less, though
equally distinct in stature, White Music.  To ensure that my
soon-to-be-XTC-loving friend understands the importance of XTC to the world
of music, all of their albums are played for a minimum of seven hours
apiece . . . consecutively.  This, of course, is before we begin the
compare and contrast phase.

By day five, my soon-to-be-XTC-loving friend has become quite rude.  It
happens time and time again.  (There is a pattern here, I just know it).
They simply don't pay attention.  They nod off; they shake uncontrollably;
they divert their eyes.  In short, they simply don't get it.  {Sigh}

I once got a soon-to-be-XTC-loving friend all the way to Skylarking, but
alas, that too went the way of the do-do.  Go figure.

The real problem, of course, is in disposing of the "sack to keep life's
souvenirs in."


[On Joe Jackson and XTC:]
Someone awhile back mentioned the similarities between Joe Jackson and XTC.
 This was the music of my youth (and though no longer as youthful, it's
still my music -- damnit).  As it happens, I was immediately taken by both
groups early on -- in fact my band used to do covers of both bands.

So lets see, both groups began at roughly the same time; both are English
(though I believe Joe now lives in NY); both were lumped together in the
"new wave" label of the late '70's - early 80's; both groups are Pop in
nature; and both groups have excellent musicians.  [As a side note, when I
use the term "musician," I mean someone who has not only mastered his or
her instrument, but someone who *understands* music.  I do not simply mean
a smiley-faced git who can structure a coherent song.  Many people play
instruments; few are musicians.]

In short, Joe is similar to XTC in that Joe understands Pop.  For an
example of this, look at the simplicity of Joe's "Sunday Papers," among
others.  It has an open feel, not really sparse, just enough room to move.
And the bass does just that.  Although Joe's message is not usually very
deep (aside from "Day and Night"), Joe and Graham Maby (his bassist) are
musicians.  Just look what Joe did with "Jumping Jive Five."  That was
great stuff.  His remake of "Five Guys Named Moe" was *very* well done.
Having said all that, it should be equally clear that despite my respect
for Joe Jackson, he doesn't hold a candle to our Boys across the Pond.

[Enough of this *whoopee* nonsense:]
This whoopee nonsense is completely sophomoric.  I'll have no part of it.
If you mean fuck, say fuck.

In the words of my personal hero, Marvin Martian: "You are making me very
angry.  Very angry indeed."

[The Guitar Trio:]
For my birthday (Nov. 3), I was taken to see The Guitar Trio (Universal
Amphitheater).  For those who have never heard of this group, it is
composed of Al DiMiola, Paco de Lucia, and John McLaughlin.  They play
"nouveau flamenco" but are nothing like 99.9 percent of the stuff out
there.  It left me breathless, near exhaustion, and almost tearful.  If you
enjoy well played, technically brilliant, acoustic guitar, get this CD.
Better yet, see them live.

[Southern Californians unite:]
Hey, what's the deal with these Eastcoasters beating us to the proverbial
punch by throwing an XTC bash in their neck of the woods.  In the words of
a Geordie gangsta:  "W's up w'dat, mate?"  Come on all you SoCal lads, lets
get something going here.  At a minimum we could meet at "Ye Olde Kings
Head" in Santa Monica and toss down a few.  [For you Brits out there, that
*is* actually the name of the pub.]

I live in Marina Del Rey, and would be willing to travel from Santa Barbara
to San Diego . . .or anywhere inbetween to meet
honest-to-goodness-dyed-in-the-wool XTCphiles.  [For you East Coasters,
that's the equivalent of a few States on your side of the land mass.]
Whatever we do, we should do it before Christmas.

[On other Artists and XTC songs they might perform:]
I'd like to see the following please:

1.  Dear God -- Kate Bush
2.  No Thugs in Our House -- Oingo Boingo
3.  Living Through Another Cuba -- Madness
4.  Holly Up On Poppy -- (early) Police
5.  1000 Umbrellas -- Yo-Yo Ma and Danny Elfman

[I vote for Father John:]
A few episodes ago, someone called our esteemed Chalkmaster Father John, in
recognition of his new son.
*I loved that.*  Let Mister Relph be known henceforth as Father John.

Look, it's either that or Mother Superior.

Oh shit.  I've JHB'd.


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-23

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