Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-25

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 25
              The Happy Birthday Andy Issue

                 Monday, 11 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                       Three Cheers
                      Andy Interview
                    "Fuel for thought"
                       Santa Claws
           Machines That Make You Kiss In Time
                    Babes in XTC-land
            Sixteen different flavours of XTC
           Jellyfish, Toy Mat, Kevin Gilbert...
                      Jason / Dukes
       Sincere Apologies From the McCartney Police
                       Horse Flies
                   Chalkhills' Children
                        Ram Sucks
                   Estate of the nation
    There's Nothing Wrong with Countdown to Christmas
          To generous fans everywhere. Anywhere!
                  The results are in!!!!
       Would you stop putting down the Dummies. :(
        Another misheard lyrics (Dukes, this time)
                  This is just to say...
             A note on XTC At the Manor.....
                      Dear God Sucks


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Her husband burns his paper, sucks his pipe.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 01:16:41 +0000
Subject: Three Cheers

Dear Chalksters,

First of all: please remember that Monday the 11th of November
our Hero Andy Partridge celebrates his birthday.
Hip hip hooray!

I have just watched the XTC "Road to Oranges & Lemons"
puppet show for the very first time; thanx to fellow Chalkie Andre de
Koning who was kind enough to copy me 4 hours of video. :)
It had me ROTFL...very funny, very XTC!

Andre and I visited a big record fair in Utrecht, the Netherlands
last Saturday and we have found loads of nice XTC goodies.
I bought over 25 items :)
At the first stall I checked I found a French Science Friction with
picture sleeve in excellent condition with promo stamp.
Of course, after that all other finds were a disappointment ;)

RE: the Jason And The Argonauts thread
The fact that is song is Andy's reflection on touring is of course
well documented elsewhere and cannot be denied.
I suspect the reference to "the land where men force women to hide
their facial features" is a result of their short
stays in Bahrain during their first trip to Australia.
Does anyone know (better) ???

bye 4 now,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
Sometimes realtionships don't go as planned


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 08:35:34 +0000
Subject: Andy Interview

Here's an article from the Melbourne Paper, the Sun-Herald (November
10, 1996):

Fuel For Thought by Peter Holmes

It took 18 years for XTC to reap profit form its record deal with
Virgin.  This time around, Andy Patridge wants a ticket out of

The final straw for XTC's Andy Partridge came in 1992.  Nonsuch, a
lush and ambitious XTC album that also offered a few possible hit
singles (The Disappointed, Dear Madam Barnum) had, in Partridge's
mind, been left on the starting block to wither by record label
Virgin just weeks after its release.

It was the last insult to one of the truly influential singers and
songwriters of the past 15 years was prepared to wear.

Says Partridge:  "I told Virgin, 'unless you make our deal better or
release us, we're not going to make any more music for you'.  They
wouldn't do either, so i said:  'OK brothers, down tools'.  We've
spent the past four years on strike.

"I was very upset that we spent 18 years on the label before we went
into profit.  We had such an appalling deal.  They made, on
conservative estimate, about 30 million pounds out of us and we're
still stuck in Swindon".

A few weeks before this interview Partridge and band members Colin
Moulding and Dave Gregory were finally freed from Virgin Records to
pursue other record deals.

"We've got about 10 offers, some very good profit-sharing deals,"
says Partridge.  "Strangely enough, the worst thing we've been
offered is from the new Virgin label V2.  They offered a crappy old
rock 'n' roll rip-off deal -- sign on the back of the cigarette
packet -- despite all the nonsense they were saying about making
other companies jealous".

Partridge is on the line ostensibly to talk about Fossil Fuel, XTC's
final release for Virgin.  Unlike previous compilations, (Waxworks,
The Compact XTC), Fossil Fuel includes every single the band has
released since 1977, encompassing earlier, spikier pop songs such as
Science Friction, Are you receiving me? throught to hits like
Generals and Majors, Senses working overtime and Dear God and later
material such as The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead and The

It provides a clear picture of XTC's evolution from naive teenagers
to master writers and arrangers and also of Patridge's growth into
one of pop's most distinctive vocalists.

"On the earlier records it was me panicking at being in the limelight
and grasping for a style that ended up a cross between Buddy Holly
and a wounded seal," he laughs.  "After the first three albums i
started to relax a little."

Over the past two years Partridge has experienced three months of
deafness (Middle-ear infection), the end of his marriage and career
heartache.  Yet his cheer of the phone douses notions that he's

"I've been turned upside-down totally, but, hey, it's good.  The
hammer comes down on the metal and it makes good, sharp songs."

Around 40 or so of them, according to Partridge, who is just itching
to see how they sound recorded.  With XTC's almost legendary
reputation for run-ins with producers, one wonders how the band will
tip-toe through the minefield this time around.

"I'm not difficult," Partridge argues.  "Just particular.  I just
want the baby to be born correctly; I wanted help from producers, not

"We have been near to perfect producers.  Ironically, probably the
most perfect producer was Todd Rundgren, but he is the one I got on
with the least.  Unfortunately he's from Uranus or something and he
doesn't know how to get on with other human beings."

Partridge lives in Swindon, west of London, where he grew up.  And it
is not, he wants to make clear, by choice.

"I must have done something really terrible in a past life because i
find myself still stuck here," he says.  "It's not so much how many
miles west, as how many light years culturally and mentally it is
from London.  I'm stuck in a rather nice little house... I've not yet
managed to get my ship out of the terrible black hole that is

Fossil Fuel is out now on Virgin.


Date: 11 NOV 96 09:13:16 DST
Subject: "Fuel for thought"
Message-ID: <>

Hi Chalkmaniax,

Thanx Mark Fisher, Colin Wright & others for troubling to report on recent
radio/press items about "Fossil Fuels".  Particularly great to read the
Andy/Radio One interview transcription!  These are the sorts of items I
enjoy reading most in the 'Hills.

one that was published in the Sydney Sun-Herald of 10 November; "FUEL FOR
THOUGHT" by Peter Holmes...not a bad insight from the colonies into
our lads' history, eh?

That's all...P@ul-of-Oz

       [ Sorry about the editing.  Ed. ]


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 09:37:49 +0000
Subject: Santa Claws

Adam wrote:
>'Thanks For Christmas' is one of the most sickeningly sugar-sweet,
>vomitously cute christmas songs I know of.  But it's XTC so I'll
>let it off just this once.  :)

>Seriously, I was really surprised when I first heard that song, it
>seems to go against most of what they believe in.  The choral
>singing style, the high xylophone pings... has anyone thought this
>song might be a pisstake of the entire christmas carol thing?

I've always assumed it was.  One of the reasons why i love it is
because it's just *so* completely over-the-top.  The choir!  That
sexxy flugelhorn!  Try not to listen to it without smiling and singing
along.  It always sucks me into its sacchrine trap.  Which is no
small feat, considering that i've lived through 24 christmases (sorry,
Simon S!) and have yet to see snow, sleighs, eggnog and sodding mistletoe.

I can't possibly be sincere.  Look at Andy's original intentions for the
track (to be sung by three secretaries from Virgin's office and billed as
"The Virgin Marys").

But why do i really love it.  Listen to the chord progressions!  (The
same reason i love "December will be magic again").  Those two songs
probably contain the most interesting series of chords to ever be
used in Christmas songs, which are, by nature, simplistic.


Message-Id: <>
From: (Chaos Harlequin)
Subject: Machines That Make You Kiss In Time
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 16:11:24 GMT

Holy crap, three Chalkhills in two days! What the hell is going on
here? (Other than that everybody *else* has suddenly gone all JHB?
Isn't that supposed to be *my* job!?)

So, because of that, this message contains all of my responses to the
past *three* Chalkhills Digests...

>I got a better one for you. Compare "The One I Love" to Neil Young's "Hey
>Hey My My." You can swap the lyrics for those two songs, and they still
>work perfectly!

Well, it's a pretty close fit. You have to sing the Hey Hey My My
lyrics half as fast as the One I Love lyrics, though...that is, one
HHMM syllable for each two TOIL syllables.

> #> From: (Chaos Harlequin) [where's JHB?]

Off using his newsreader to send mail to Chalkhills because his mail
program won't send messages that big. :)

>12) Chalkhills and children - Kate Bush

I am having difficulty imagining that...I'm trying to think of a good
XTC song for Kate to cover, but I'm drawing a blank. Keith? :)

>Josh, these two lines appeared one after the other in your post...might
>they be related? (me and MY filthy American mind)

Eh, you caught me. :)

>Strangely, Go 2 is a 100-percent-unanimous second-to-last.

Actually, a while ago we had at least three people pop out of the
woodwork and declare that Go2 was their fave. It sure surprised me.

>my apologies for the length.

Don't apologize! That was hillarious! :)

>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.

Seven words for you here: The Smartest Monkeys and Cockpit Dance
Mixture. 'Nuff said.

>Isn't that why we love XTC?  Don't mean to put words in your virtual
>mouth there, Josh, but I know that if XTC didn't challenge me I probably
>wouldn't like them nearly as much.

>However (and I really mean no offense), I what you're looking for is
>"proper" harmonic cadences and predictible chord changes, I wouldn't
>think you'd find XTC very appealing.

Okay. That's not what I'm saying...let's operate from the premise that
certain chord or note progressions do not sound good to the human ear,
okay? And others do. Now, some are *very* familiar; they sound
"predictable" because people are so used to hearing the chords
combined in that way. That's why certain chord progressions are looked
down upon -- they're so familiar as to be cliched. Others are much
less familiar, but still "fit together" -- that is, when you hear
them, they work in a sequence and don't sound "dissonant." These may
or may not be "good," subjectively speaking, but they *work.* However,
certain combinations of notes/chords do not "work" -- they don't
"resolve" properly. For any chord progression, there are certainly
several ways to resolve the series "properly"; there are also a number
of ways not to. Many musicians use this purposely in their
music...however, when they do, they usually follow the dissonant chord
with a different one to "resolve" the series. (This does not have to
be the "predictable" one, just one that fits into the series...) This
is my point here -- in Wages, XTC do *not* follow the dissonant chord
with a resolving one; the resulting dissonant ending leaves a bad
taste in my mouth. This is my only point -- that different, unique
chord progressions are good, but only when they "work."

>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."

Ack! You're getting a copy of this? Aieeeeeeee! I simply *MUST* have a
copy. I'll do whatever I must to get one. (And all you "demos should
not be traded" people: It's on the radio, it's fair game!! :)

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

Ahhhh, but what XTC do is more akin to whipping the ice cream around
constantly in all directions so you don't know where it's going...but
as you learn the route the ice cream is taking, you can finally catch
and enjoy it. :)

I think the above metaphor makes some sort of sense...

>No, I agree...[Counting Crows are] far better than the above list is
>giving them credit for.

Yeah...although, I don't really care for the new single. And I *still*
think that Einstein on the Beach is better than anything on their
album. :)

>I prefer to call Take This Town the most embarrasing XTC song, IMHO.

Why? It's fun. IMHO, the most "embarrasing" is the pair of Strange
Tales and Officer Blue, not because they're bad but because they're
*stuuuuupid.* Yes, I know, on purpose, but they're still pretty sad.
Andy says they're the two worst songs they've ever recorded.

>Kay Sara, Sara.

I had a bit of trouble extracting "Que Cera, Cera" from that. :-/

>Just heard my "Drums and Wireless," CD.  Wow.  I think it's a
>must-have for anyone's collection.

I dunno...I've heard about half of it, and IMHO most of the tracks are
either too similar to the album versions to be worthwhile, or just
poor attempts to reach what they did on the album. Sorry.

>And wrapping it all up (in grey), I'd like to add my 2 cents supporting
>"Deliver Us from the Elements" as a great song...

The strength of the song is in the mood it can hear the
wind, feel the rain, see the lightning...

>Angry Young Men
>Bearing that in mind, maybe the lyrics are a put on.

That's *exactly* what I like about the song (and IlMoan along with
it)...that you can never be quite sure which side Colin is really on.
You can't tell if he's singing seriously or sarcastically, and you
have to fill it in yourself.

>Do the other Demos 5 bootleg instrumentals (Jump The Cup, Spy in
>Space) correspond to the other set in any way?

I believe that JtC and SiS are separate from the Ocean's Daughter
songs, or at least *different* songs from the ones on the Ocean's
Daughter tape, but I haven't listened to either since I got them, so
I'll give them a spin later...

>TMBG look like computer programmers.  :)

Well, Flansburgh does. Linnell alternately looks like some guy from
Bryan Adams' 80's band and Matthew Broderick. :) (See the Snail Shell
video...) I *still* don't understand why women like Linnell. I would
have guessed that, if anyone, they would like Flansburgh more. *shrug*

BTW: Linnell really does look like some guy from Bryan Adams' band. I
saw it on American Bandstand once. :)

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

Well, TMBG also called XTC "Beatle-Based pop," so I don't think you
can trust anything they had to say about *THAT.*

>As far as we know Andy hasn't got a record label yet but has
>recorded enough material for a new double album.

Hmmm...but we already knew that. At the moment XTC have approx. 35
demos ready for the new album; right, Mitch? There are the 28 whose
names have been listed in TLE, as well as a number of others that have
come up since then (such as "I Am The Kaiser" :)

>I agree with those who said it was NIN years before there was a NIN.

Heh heh, that would be me. :)

Anyway, it's the *exact* same sort of youth angst with loud, brash
music...but the lyrics are far less "whiny" and "attempting to shock"
than NIN.

>It would be interesting to hear trent take a crack at
>Nihilon...or Wonderland for that matter.

I would buy that...well, no, I wouldn't. But I'd pay for a tape for
someone to put it on for me. :)

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

I still think that "f***" (the textual equivalent of the "bleep-out")
is one of the stupidest things people do today. I mean, let's assume
that "fuck" is offensive because of the concept being put forth when
you use the word. "F***" or "F*CK" is USING THE EXACT SAME CONCEPT. It
merely doesn't use the same letters. Now, this leaves you with one of
two choices: either you are offended by the concept, in which case
"F*CK" should offend you just as much as "fuck," or else you are
offended by the WORD, which is nonsensical; why should a certain
combination of four letter be offensive if the concept behind it isn't
offensive? Oh, and just for the record, I find neither "fuck" nor
"f*ck" to be offensive...

>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.

There is one person I know who I'm just dying to play that song for
(he's a NIN/MM/etc. fan, though, so no luck there...) He fits the
description to a T -- he's obnoxiously cynical about some things, he's
all hot and bothered about our "rights" to the point of *getting a 25%
staff budget cut for our school* by protesting the installation of
Metal Detectors. It annoys me.

>But, then again, I really like "Train Running Low On Soul Coal" too...

I ask, "Who doesn't"? The recording is very "loose" (as in, the
opposite of "tight") but it's very effective, and the "Think I'm going
souuuuuth....FOR the winter..." part is just amazingly great.

>how long must we wait to learn, across
>the black and fossil ocean vast,"  Andy Partrige

What the heck is Andy's obsession with "Fossil" about? It is used
prominently in *two* of the New Demos, in Lighthouse (well, that's
quite an old song, so maybe it doesn't count...) and as the title of
the new singles collection. Hmmmm...

>They Might Be Giants: Sort of. I life three songs, Particle Man, Istanbul
>(Not Constantinople) and Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

Ha ha ha ha ha!

I'm sorry...but imagine someone going "I like some of XTC's
songs...Making Plans For Nigel, Senses Working Overtime, and Dear

>REM: Another great big huge sloppy HELL NO!!!

What is everybody's problem with R.E.M.? "Shiny Happy People"? Once
again I direct you to "Making Plans For Nigel."

>to cut to the point, AP arrives, everything's groovy and swell,
>some member of Blur says, "Hey, I loved 'Making Plans for Nigel'."

See above. :)

>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.

I don't actually *own* said EP, so I can't say for sure, but I was
lead to believe that it was never marked on the records or sleeves,
but that it came right after the third song. According to the
discography all three versions of the 3D-EP have it...

>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!

As for the quote in question -- that was during their early, "We don't
have to make sense" phase. About half the songs on their first album
are amazing and the other half pretty sad either in lyrics or music.
IMHO, they did some really good stuff before 1990, but the stuff after
is in certain ways more "mature"...tell me "They say love is blind...I
don't think you're blind" (from a break-up song) or even "and given
time we'll find it strange to be alone" (from a song about a couple
who don't really get to know each other until after the relationship
starts) are anything like the lyric you quote above. Just to tie this
in, once again, IMHO many XTC's early (WM and bits of Go2) lyrics are
pretty darn embarrasing. I *never* would have bought anything by XTC
if those albums were all I heard.

>His lyrics are in a class by themselves.  "Gulping in your opium
>so copiously".

To tell you the truth, I've never thought that particular lyric was
anything more than average. Andy does have some really amazing lyrics,
but a good number are average or even mediocre. IMHO.

>This whoopee nonsense is completely sophomoric.  I'll have no part of it.
>If you mean fuck, say fuck.

You mean it isn't a scathing indictment of the hypocritical culture
which will let you print "f*ck" but not "fuck"? :) Anyway, that was
the point: see my thing above on the use of "f***."

JHB, scuffing in the dirt I wait

/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
|  "I won't die until I'm dead." -- They Might Be Giants, "On The Drag"   |
\-------------------------- Eschew Obfuscation ---------------------------/


Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 19:46:38 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v01540b01aeabecb26bc6@[]>
From: (Irene Trudel/Peter Keepnews)
Subject: Babes in XTC-land

>To the honorable PJMuck,
>Hey, lay off the XTC and  babes thing. When it comes to XTC,
>I wear the pants in the family.

Same goes for me! I've been hooked on XTC since I first heard Drums and
Wires on the late-lamented WPIX New Wave's heyday. While in college used to
love subjecting the kids I drove in schoolbusses to English Settlement
(great music for bombing down the highway in one of those big, yellow
babies). My hubby says he should really try listening to them more closely
someday... (too many records in both our collections).

>Maybe you're looking fer luv in all the wrong places? ;>
And maybe some of us would rather read posts than ponder who is on the list! :D



Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 12:14:13 +1100
Subject: Sixteen different flavours of XTC
Message-ID: <>

 #> From: Ira Lieman <>
 #> They *DID* play "XTC vs. Adam Ant" and that was great but I
 #> almost had an aneurysm I was screaming so loud...the rest of the
 #> crowd wasn't necesssarily as enthusiastic about it as ME, but
 #> well, they were all 14.

Last year I saw them on their John Henry tour.  I'm sure I was the
only one headbanging to 'Why Does The Sun Shine?' [never mind the
single version, the one they do live blows it out of the water].

INVALUABLE TIP:  When the Johns start a conga line among the
audience [usually during 'No One Knows My Plan'], fill the gaps left
by the end of the line and you'll be right up against the stage in no
time.  Trust me on this.

 #> From: Cheryl <>
 #> Think about the whole [Milli Vanilli] thing.  The real
 #> musicans were not atractive enough  for public sale.

I always thought it was unfair that the models [Rob and Fab?] were
held up to public ridicule for impersonating singers.  They were
only doing their job, working for the record company and the _real_
Milli Vanilli, who organised the whole deception thing because they
knew they wouldn't get anywhere without models.  Anyway...

 #> From: Simon <> [directed at me]
 #> I, myself, would sincerely hope then after ten years had passed I
 #> had grown in some way as a person and not stayed exactly the
 #> same.

Sorry, I should have elucidated.  I'd hate to stay stagnant, I'm one
of those poeple who has to constantly change something or other.
Every few months I'll go through another radical change in some way
or another.  I'd just like to think that what I'm doing now will
contribute to the way I will be in ten years.

 #> From: dave <>
 #> THE RUTLES is (IMHO) equal in quality to the fab four or the fab
 #> three.

Do you [or anyone] know what the song 'Let's be Natural' is based
on?  That song has to be more beautiful than anything The Beatles
did the whole time they were recording.

 #> if the rumour I heard is true about a second
 #> disc, i'll be waiting outside the store.

Last year Neil Innes and Eric Idle got together and produced a new
Rutles song, claiming Ron Nasty had found a 25 year old demo tape
in a garage in East London.  The song was premiered on a UK TV show
called 'Rory Bremner Who Else?' apparently, and I don't know if it
was released as a single.  Basically it was just a pisstake on the
'Free As A Bird' thing, called 'I Don't Know Why'.

Incidentally, Neil Innes's old Bonzo Dog Band has been critically
compared to They Might Be Giants, The Art Of Noise and XTC [three of
my favourite bands ever].  I haven't actually heard anything
they've done but it's got to be worth a listen or fifty.

Got all this from an old issue of the Britcomedy Digest
<> if anyone interested.

 #> From: Jason <>
 #> Does anyone else think "Pet Name" is one
 #> of the best songs they've heard recently?

Definitely, but 'Metal Detector' and 'The Bells Are Ringing' are to
die for IMHO.  But I'm more of a John Linnell fan, so there you go.

 #> <Is anyone on this list acquainted with Toy Matinee?>
 #> I think their lone album is great. I once bought a stack of CDs I
 #> found in a cutout bin for $1.99 and gave them to all my friends.

I remember this mystifying bloody CD being everywhere when it first
came out.  Over the months I watched it drop from retail price to
$1.95, and while I wasn't in the least surprised, I was always going
to buy a copy out of sheer curiosity.  After reading all the
recommendations here I think I'll pop out and grab one after all...



Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 21:19:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Matt Mondlock <>
Subject: Jellyfish, Toy Mat, Kevin Gilbert...
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkinators,

I don't want to sound condescending so this is my offer.
I've seen a lot of information on bands such as Jellyfish and everything
related to it (Imperial Drag, Moog Cookbook, Jason Falkner etc.).  Also
on things such as Toy Matinee (including 3rd Matinee, Kevin Gilbert,
etc.).  Some of it is accurate, some not.  If anyone wants to find out
what's with these bands (that doesn't already know), I've devoted most of
the time I spend on the internet finding out more about them and buying
their albums and anything related to them.  So feel free to email me if
ya want the whole scoop, or even just enough to satisfy your curiosity.

On an XTC related note, I finally got "Fossil Fuels" the other day.  I
had to wait two weeks for the local music store to order it.  Call me a
sucker: 33 bucks.  Well, I enjoy it and I do have the limited edition so
I'm happy.

Matt Mondlock
"Oscar Schindler and I are like two peas in a pod;  We both owned
factories, we both made shells for the Nazis but mine worked dammit!"
-C. Montgomery Burns


From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: Jason / Dukes
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 02:15:59 +0000
Message-ID: <19961111021557.AAA22311@LOCALNAME>

To you prolific Chalkhillians (it's hard to keep up these days),

1)  Is it my imagination or is Andy's voice hoarse on the Drums and
Wireless version of Jason and the Argonauts?  Why would this be - this
recording is post-touring days, no?  Or was it just at the end of a long
recording session?  BTW, the CM & TC rhythm section is brilliant on this

2)  There's been a lot of chat about the Dukes on Chalkhills recently.
Thanks in particular to Jeff Smelser for his list of 5 influences -
I was only familiar with the Troggs from that list.
Is it possible to place a specific artist and even song of influence for
each of the Dukes' songs?  It was clear from the first listen, of course,
that Pale and Precious is the Beach Boys (Good Vibrations?).  I recently
acquired a Byrds Greatest CD and saw the similarities to "You're My Drug"
(particularly "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n Roll Star").  Apparently, much
of the Dukes' material is Hollies-inspired but I don't know them well enough
to judge.


Steve Larson


Message-Id: <v01540b00aeac4a2225f1@[]>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 21:30:59 -0600
From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
Subject: Sincere Apologies From the McCartney Police

I've got no time for this (must write paper), so briefly:

To David:

About PM:  Okay!  Sorry I went off my head there, but I meet
soooooo many people who exhalt Lennon as an unquestionable
genius beyond reproach and it really bugs me.  But obviously
you care!

>Why is all the popular music in Canada so gawdamn cloying?

CLOYING. *That's* the word.  Thanks.  I had been trying to
figure out why I don't like certain bands and struggling to
explain it to people.  This might help.

Somebody said Jeff Lynne is the antichrist.  Well, I would
agree, except for several things:  "Sweet Talkin' Woman",
"Telephone Line", "Livin' Thing", "Turn To Stone", ahh...
and OK, "Evil Woman" [and most of what he did w/George
Harrison].  The rest, including the Beatles' production
(not the songs themselves), you can throw to the wolves.

[I'm sorry, but even if George Martin's hearing was going
he could still have done a better job with that production.
What the hell?  Geoff Emerick engineered it-- listen to
"Real Love" and anything from EC's "All This Useless Beauty"
side by side and wonder WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED??!!?]

Anyway, gotta go.


"Just look at me, I'm having the time of my life
(or something quite like it)
When I'm walking out and around in London's brilliant parade" -EC

[hey, I don't live in England]
[oh wait, I need some sort of XTC content, don't I?  Ummm...
Dave sings the line "We're the smartest monkeys" twice right
after the solo in song of same title.]


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 08:34:31 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: Horse Flies

Another band to check out: The Horse Flies. Does anyone know what every
happened to them?

Saw then live at least two years ago in Cleveland and it was a good
time, but the CD I bought that night at the show remained unopened for
18 months.

Patrick Adamek, Hershey, PA


Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 21:22:38 -0800 (PST)
From: Randy Posynick <>
Subject: Chalkhills' Children
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9611102129.A1273-0100000@netcom21>


What would be the cost if you keep it a 72 minute tape?  At the prices you
quoted, I'm willing to pay more.  And if it's a whole hell of a lot, why
custom cut down the tape to 72 minutes?  Can't you just leave a few
minutes of blank tape at the end of a 90 (or whatever) minute cassette...?
I know, I know, you want it to be as professional as possible.  I'm just
wondering what the differences in price would be.  Frankly, I'd probably
pay double what you quoted.

And I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I recognise and
appreciate the work you've put into this project.  Thank you.


Randy Posynick      | "Take yer stinkin paws off |  me you damned dirty ape!"


Message-Id: <v01540b06aeac98a1e35b@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 01:55:38 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Ram Sucks

>From: David DeVoto <>
> Hey, I couldn't agree more.  Listening to Anthology
>III confirms (for me) McCartney's genius!  I even like

I never understand why Ram is so maligned.  :(  Most people seem to think
Band On The Run or Tug Of War is McCartney's best solo album, but both
those records sound terribly dated to me today (esp. Band On The Run). And
how good can any album be that contains "Ebony And Ivory?" Anyway, Ram is
my favorite McCartney album, and I ain't embarrassed to say so.  :)

Actually, I think the guy who really comes off great on Anthology 3 is
George. His demos for "Something," "All Things Must Pass," "Old Brown
Shoe," etc. are exquisite, and contain just about the best singing I've
ever heard him do! Of course, Paul/John also have lotsa shining moments....



Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:34:31 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510105aeaca95943f1@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Estate of the nation

I don't think anyone's answered the question from a US Chalkie about what a
council estate is.

Housing is provided in Britain by local government for people who could not
otherwise afford to live anywhere else. The occupiers pay rent, and the
council is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the property. After
the war, council housing was built on a large scale, and an area of such
housing is known as a council estate.

When Andy says he was brought up on the council estate where his parents
still live, he is a) giving himself a bit of working-class credibility (and
class is still very important in Britain), and b) implying that his parents
are ordinary, low-income people whose modest dream would be to live in a
bungalow by the sea.

It's never occured to me until now, but perhaps an understanding of the
British social/class context is helpful in appreciating Colin's *Bungalow*.
The bungalow is not an affluent, On Golden Pond kind of thing, it's an
almost-but-often-not-quite-attainable dream for people who've never been in
a position to aim their sights very high.

The 'depressing' sound to the song that some Chalkies have identified is, I
would suggest, a reflection of the fact that the bungalow is where people
choose to go to retire* - and so to die - and also of the fact that as an
ideal, the bungalow is such a modest thing to dream about. It's a symbol of
escape from a life of dreariness, but it's no big thing in itself. The
song, in other words, is about wasted lives, and its beauty is that it's
told with real human sympathy and lack of cynicism (with a lines lifted
right out of an estate agent's brochure: "Luxury accomodation by the sea" -
it's sales hype, but the would-be occupants believe it ... they're
desperate to belive it).

[*Bungalows have no stairs which makes them attractive to older people for
whom mobility is a problem].

Am I wrong?

- Mark


Message-Id: <v02130508aeaccf4b74a8@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 13:00:45 +0000
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: There's Nothing Wrong with Countdown to Christmas

Hi there Chalkies,

I haven't seen many positive comments regarding Countdown to Christmas, so
I'd thought I'd put the case for the defence:

1. When it first came out in 1983 it sounded pretty trendy and compared
favourably with the chart scene at the time. It should have been a double A
side and could have been a big hit had it been given more airplay.

2. It was a pseudononymous release. Because it wasn't released under the
XTC banner, why shouldn't the band write excessively commercial records for
a bit of fun?  I'd still rather hear one from XTC than anyone else,
wouldn't you?

3. As the title suggests, it is a party record. How many other XTC records
could you play at a party? Wouldn't you rather hear that than Jive Bunny,
Shout, The Birdie Song etc etc?

4. Every Christmas it's the same old records - Slade, Roy Wood, Mud, Band
Aid, Paul McCartney, Boney M etc etc. Isn't it refreshing to hear some 3
Wise Men for a change?

5. How about having both 3 Wise Men Records officially recognised on every
Christmas pop compilation album? Surely these records are crying out to be
re-released with perhaps a '96' remix?


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 14:25:02 +0000 (GMT)
From: SARAH <>
Subject: To generous fans everywhere. Anywhere!
Message-Id: <>

Hi Chalkies,
	I started browsing The Chalkhills Site last year and have
recently got regular access The Digest- the best service I know of, Mr
Relph! Sadly, I can't use e-mail (college rules), so, I've begged my
sister to post this grovelling letter for me (sis- and as I'm such a nice
sister, how could I refuse!)
	I'm a British fan, 18 years old and I discovered XTC about 2
years ago.  "Senses" stunned me.  Obviously, I can't claim to have the
same pains as a long term fan, but I would love it if a charitable and
kind fan out there could go to the trouble of helping me out with the new
demos which everyone is so excited about.  If IRC/ SAE's are too much
trouble and you eschew old pen and paper then perhaps leave your postal
address after any contributions to The Digest.  But please don't write to
my sister! (sis- Well, you could, but don't expect me to know what you're
talking about!)
	So, please help.  I don't mind paying (you & the band), but,
perhaps we could swap stuff?  I've got an hour of XTC on video, if you're
on the P.A.L. system- "Look Look", "The Tube", "Whistle Test", "Top of
the Pops", "The Disappointed"- or perhaps we share other interests- The
Fall, The Smiths, Velvet Underground, Nick Drake or Robyn Hitchcock.  Can
I bribe you with a tape of "Mossy Liqour"? Andy on "Soundbite"? Or non-
music swaps?  Tell me your interests & I'll see if I can help.
	Here's my postal address.  I'll cover any costs.

			Ian Greaves
			98 Thornton Street
			County Durham
			DL3 6AB

On the Music Box= The Cleaners from Venus- "Under Wartime Conditions"


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 08:27:20 -0600 (CST)
Subject: The results are in!!!!
Message-id: <>

And here are the songs that you thought should have been on A Testimonial

No Thugs In Our House-Hoodoo Gurus, Ash, Oingo Boingo
Funk Pop a Roll-David Bowie, Blur, Julian Cope
This World Over-Crash Test Dummies, Kate Bush, the Spinanes
Summer's Cauldron-Clouds, Falling Joys (Two votes for FJ)
Mayor of Simpleton-3 votes for Elvis all honesty I think I can
call this one the top pick.
Holly Up On Poppy-2 votes for Paul McCartney, The Police
When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty-Luna, Public Image Limited
Complicated Game-Nine Inch Nails, Bob Mould
Travels in Nihilon-2 votes for King Crimson
Deliver Us From the Elements-The Church, Brian Eno
Ballet For a Rainy Day/1,000 Umbrellas-Dave Matthew's Band, Suzanne Vega
Then She Appeared-Brian Eno, Cracker
Wrapped In Grey-Holiday, Blur
She's So Square-The Kinks
Are You Receiving Me?-Liz Phair
Making Plans For Nigel-Radiohead
Helicopter-The Ramones (excellent choice!)
Ten Feet Tall-Suzanne Vega
Respectable Street-BLur
Generals & Majors-Midnight Oil
Living Through Another Cuba-Madness
No Language In Our Lungs-Sonic Youth
The Somnambulist-Brad Roberts (just him, not the Dummies.)
Fly On the Wall-Lou Reed
Ladybird-Leonard Cohen
Wake Up-The Ropers
1,000 Umbrellas-Yo-Yo Ma & Danny Elfman
Earn Enough For Us-The Chills
Merely a Man-Matthew Sweet
Across This Antheap-Rheostatics
Chalkhills & CHildren-Kate Bush (I though this song would get more than one
vote. Oh well.)
Bungalow-The Front Lawn
Bike Ride to the Moon-The Small Faces
The Mole From the Ministry-Marilyn Manson
Collideascope-Crash Test Dummies
Pale and Precious-The Beach Boys

And there you have it, the Chalkhillians have spoken! And now I think they
should release part two, a Testimonial Dinner Bill, or a Testimonial Dessert
or a Testimonial After Dinner Mint....

People have been talking about the most embarrasing XTC songs, how's about
the most embarrasing videos? I wasn't too fond of the video for Funk Pop a
Roll. It has never been a great goal of mine to see the lads crawling
around with their undies hanging out. (Although seeing Dave sort of made it
a TAD worthwhile ;)



Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 08:37:04 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Would you stop putting down the Dummies. :(
Message-id: <>

I had to leave their May 24th New Orleans concert early so that I wouldn't
have to sit through Elvis Costello. And I wasn't the only one.

Isn't today (November 11 in case this gets sent out later) One Andrew John
Partridge's 43rd birthday???????

On Dave Gregory: How CAN you say anything negative about him. There isn't an
iota of negative vibe flowing from him. Number 1, he seems the humblest band
member, plus he's never really too far in the spotlight b/c he doesn't write.
(Although I am very curious as to what his material would be like.)

Various and sundry: Another XTC hearing: I was in a clothing store in a
mall and Peter Pumpkinhead came on.
More Dummystuff: Just stop putting them down. That's all. If I'd never
gottten (oops.) Gotten into them in the first place I could probably care
squat about XTC. (There, I've said it. I started listening the XTC for the
sole reason that Brad Roberts is such a huge fan. HOWEVER, and I stress the
however, I'm glad I did because now they've usurped CTD as my favorite

Alright, enough of that.



Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 09:04:19 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Another misheard lyrics (Dukes, this time)
Message-id: <>

I was watching the video for the Mole From the Ministry and singing what I
usually did, when my sister walked into the room and informed me that the
words are not "I'm the mole in your pudding shed."

I'm so ashamed!!!!!

Amanda (again.)


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:52:16 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: This is just to say...
Message-ID: <>

First of all: Happy birthday, Andy!

Secondly: Around this time last year, I signed up to Chalkhills and posted
for the first time.  The past year has brought a multitude of treasures,
and I just wanted to say that you are all great people (even those of you
who've flamed me) and you all have great taste in music (even those of you
who like "Bungalow").  Thank you all very much.

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


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:32:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject: A note on XTC At the Manor.....
Message-id: <>

Having just received this on tape on Thursday, I was watching it with my
best friend. When Steve Lillywhite first flashed up on the screen, I think
both of our jaws dropped through the floor.

Just thought I'd relate that utter act of teenybopperish drooling....
although now we'd have to fight his wife for him.


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 11:51:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Rebecca Newton <javagirl@grove.ufl.EDU>
Subject: Dear God Sucks
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.95.961111114742.23705D-100000@palm>

Does anyone else think that "Dear God" is the worst song on _Skylarking_?

When I was growing up in Miami, the college radio station there played
"Dear God" at least twice a day.  I guess it's not a bad song, but it's so
much more heavy handed than other great tunes on the album like "That's
Really Super, Supergirl," "Season Cycle," "Meeting Place," "Grass," etc.

Just my $.02

    Rebecca L. Newton     
    "Life's single lesson is that there is more accident to life than
     man can admit in a lifetime, and stay sane." --Thomas Pynchon


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-25

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