Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-26

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 26

                Tuesday, 12 November 1996

Today's Topics:

           Countdown to Criticism: Party Time!
                       a dream....
                  Anthology III and such
                    Various and sundry
On Dear God sucking, and a request (one of the millions I send....)
                 Chalkhills and Kate Bush
               Black and fossil ocean vast
                        Re: Rutles
                         Re: Seal
                Dummies Defense....sort of
         Andy Partridge & My Mom:  one year apart
       Acts of terrible come from manlike creatures
          Glenn McDonald:  Journalist, or FRAUD?
                Beaten to the Punch, Judy?
                      Wages of fear
                     The Horse Flies
  Atmosphear To Ocean/Skylacking/Ballet For A Rainy Day
            Countdown To Christmas Party Time
                    6 Degrees, Nihilon
   e major sixth and the end of pop music as we know it
                     Help on live XTC
          long rambling post (James paints JHB)
                     Rock over London
                   Chalkhills' Children
                Stormy Monday Rants Again
                    Dear George Burns
                  Assorted fruit flavors
                   chalkhills children


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Look at my watch.


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 96 09:20:11 PST
From: "MARK HEGGEN" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Countdown to Criticism: Party Time!

Dear Chalkies:
About "Countdown to Christmas Party Time"--does anyone besides me see this
song as a SATIRE?

It's like a cartoon of all those hip, Xmas office parties where everybody
who has had to put on their straight business faces with each other all
year suddenly "get funky"--or as funky as most whitish corporate offices
ever get anyway!  They dress up the file cabinets in tinsely garland,
unload the scotch from the drawers, wear snazzy jackets and slinky black
dresses and pretend they are getting down to beat the band.  The guys start
telling those unabashed dictionary jokes from the backs of Playboy
centerfolds, and the gals are telling boff stories and blowing champagne
out their noses.  By the time everyone's had a few, it's close to midnight,
the ties are loose, and the horrible disco music comes on, and executives
are sah-wingin'!  And what might they be listening to, if they could have
their perfect, corporate, Christmas, disco holiday dance tune?

Of course.  -Mark


Message-Id: <v01540b00aead0c01855c@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:07:32 -0700
From: (Kevin Collins)
Subject: a dream....

This is too funny-

Last night I was dreaming that there was a new 4th member to xtc and an
interviewer came around and it was up to the new guy to do all the talking,
and also explain why new music was taking so long and more was just around
the corner. Oh... I guess I should mention that since this *was* a dream, I
was the 4th member. I woke up right after about 4 this morning and couldn't
get back to sleep.

And this came from (E.B.):

>I never understand why Ram is so maligned.

Another Ram fan here.

>Of course, Paul/John also have lotsa shining moments (Anth 3)....

...IMO one of them being John making fun of Paul's Teddy Boy by doing a
square dance call...
God he had the wickedest and sharpest toungue!



Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Nov 1996 13:00:21 -0400
From: "Ken Salaets" <>
Subject: Anthology III and such

Add "Not Guilty" to the list of gems from George.  A lot more edge than his
solo version.  Andy has 40 songs for the next album?!  How many demo discs
and bootlegs does that translate into?  And a mere 43?  He wears it well.


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 20:34:57 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: Various and sundry
Message-Id: <>

First, I must defend "Officer Blue", if not for its content, then at
least in its birth in my ears.
I first heard "OB" on October 20, 1990.  How do I remember the date, 6
years later?  It was the greatest day of my life, even to this day.  On
this day I:
Heard "Officer Blue" playing over the speaker system of Wizards, a very
good record store in Cincinnati.  I thought it sounded very familiar, yet
strange beyond belief.  That went off, and on came "Scissor Man".  I was
hearing an import version of "Rang and Bone", at that point brand new.  I
ran (repeat:ran) to the counter and said, "What is that please, let me
have it!"  Sure enough, they had just received R&BB and Explode
Together.  I bought both, then headed next door to Bogart's, where I saw
the best concert I have ever seen, Robyn Hitchcock solo.  After the
concert, there was an announcement that the reds had won the World
Series.  All this in one day.  Every time I hear OFficer Blue, I think
back to this day.  That is what many songs do- put you back in time to a
place, a day, a different person.
On the Rutles front, I have the original Rutles CD, and I always put
"Let's be Natural" with "Dear Prudence".
On the Lennon/McCartney front, I think John was the better songwriter in
the early years, but Paul overshadowed John later on.  The Anthology
series bears this out.  It is pretty much unfair to slam Paul for the 70s,
or the 80s, even, since he did what he did best, craft good pop
songs-something out of fashion, unless you are from Seattle.
I  certainly do not rush to hear "Wings at the Speed of Sound", but I did
in 1976, when I thought those songs were really cool. Nowadays, I wish
 he would drop the machine-in-the-cat-brain songs, and just sing
Helter Skelter in concert, but we can't always get what we want.  Not
that I am for machines in cat's brains.
This is probably my biggest post in over a year.  How about that.


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 12:50:17 -0600 (CST)
Subject: On Dear God sucking, and a request (one of the millions I send....)
Message-id: <>

Dear God doesn't *suck*. It blows! (I'm just kidding of course.)

To each his own, but I think Dear God is a gem, even though I disagree %110
withthe content, the music is incredible.

So many Chalkhills, so little mail space!!!!

Alright, my request....I'm still searching for XTC videos that I have yet
to see. Anyone out there have these videos....

Mayor of Simpleton
King For a Day

By golly I know there's more, but I don't know what vids XTC has out other
than those and the ones I have. (I have Peter Pumpkinhead, all the videos
from Look Look, Funk Pop a Roll, Love On a Farmboy's Wages, Wonderland,
Human Alchemy, Dear God, All You Pretty Girls, In Loving Memory of a Name,
Beating of Hearts, and I can't remember what else.)

Oh, I forgot one I don't have....Grass. Anyways, if anyone has the above
three or any I didn't mention b/c I A. Forgot or B. Didn't know they
existed, please e-mail me and we'll see what we can work out.

Thanks a mil,

"One touch from me and all limbs go nyuhh."-Andy on Live 105 FM

PS-After reading the stuff on Bungalow and council estates, I think I'll go
homeand actually try to listen to the song without having to stop if
halfway through out of boredom. Let's see what happens.....


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 15:12 -0500 (EST)
From: "Sawyer, Keith" <Keith.Sawyer@FMR.Com>
Subject: Chalkhills and Kate Bush (Chaos Harlequin) beckons:

>>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? :)

She *does* already have the fake train sound-effects from 'Cloudbusting' to
do 'Train Running Low on Soul Coal' ...

Truthfully, I'd vote for 'Collideascope' - she could expand the original
vocals and would probably transform the song into a jaunty but haunting

coming forth when called upon,

"How will I know, in a global sideshow, when to listen?" -Kowanko, 'Modern


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 16:43:34 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Black and fossil ocean vast

>If it's pretension you want how about "Then she appeared".  The
>references within always make me smile at Andy's audacity, especially
>in the context of a bubblegumish pop song.

That's exactly what puts this song ahead of "The Disappointed" in my book --
the lyrics are so "sappy" yet they work in all these obscure and unlikely
literary and other references. If you listen to the original demo version,
you can hear that this is a departure from the original intent -- the first
lyrics are much less "pretensious" (as you call them) and more silly and,
well, 60's-ish. For example "Then she appeared -- like a note struck from
the Liberty Bell."

>I'd love to see a cover band to a medly of Ball
>and Chain with Penny Lane.

Hmmmm...what an idea. Which would be first?

>Marvin rocks!!! What is that wonderful weapon that Bugs stole? "The
>[something] Intergalactic Space Modulator???"  :)

Aaaah, my specialty: rattling off Marvin Martian's weapon: The Illudium Q-36
Explosive Space Modulator. (Emphasis on the word "Space," please.) Marvin
simply must be my favorite Loony Tune of all time; he's just so funny. I
will be *very* disappointed if he doesn't have a part in "Space Jam." :(

>The absolute worst XTC song has got to be 'Monkey Woman'. Sure it's rare
>and most have never heard it but take my word for it.

That song is *baaaaaad.* Mitch, can you make me a copy? :)

>I am pleased to say that in the past month I have done a number of things
>that I am sure will cause me great anguish in later years.

I agree with Simon here...if you haven't done at least one thing in the past
month that makes you want to tell yourself, "Bad dog! BAAAAAAAAAD dog! No
biscuit!" then I'm not sure you're human.

>dave gregory is a great guitarist, and his contributions to the lads' work
>are always spot on.  you notice we always attack Colin's lyrics or Andy's
>voice but no one has much to say negative about dave.  that's because he's
>beyond reproach.

I finally got a copy of his version of Jimi's "Third Stone From The Sun"
this week (thanks, Troy!) and I'm enjoying it quite a's very well
done, IMHO.

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

It's amazing that the band who became famous for songs like "Toddler Hiway"
has advanced so far. Many people on the TMBG newsgroup seem to dislike it,
but I'm quite fond of it...both the cool soul-y piano and the lyrics (for
those who don't know, they speak of a couple who don't really get to know
each other until *after* they've been together for a while)...

>(1) R.E.M. rules and anybody who thinks otherwise has only heard
>"Green", "Out of Time" or "Monster";

I really do not understand what everybody's problem with R.E.M. is. I have
an intense desire to put together a tape of their most "different" songs and
send it to everybody who attacks them...Feeling Gravitys Pull; Underneath
The Bunker; Wolves, Lower; The Wrong Child; Winged Mammal Theme...R.E.M. are
a good band and have continued to make great music despite their huge success.

>I'm not going to use that boy's name as a verb.


>The prevailing story of this brilliant artist's untimely death is that he
>died of auto-erotic asphyxiation.

What, exactly, *is* "auto-erotic asphyxiation"? The only other time I've
heard of it was a joke on the X-Files once. :)

Josh, you'll need love to guide your fragile heart
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
|  "I won't die until I'm dead." -- They Might Be Giants, "On The Drag"   |
\-------------------------- Eschew Obfuscation ---------------------------/


Message-Id: <v01540b07aead41c1d804@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 14:01:25 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Rutles

>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.

Well, isn't it a fairly blatant ripoff of "Dear Prudence?" (With a little
of "Let It Be" tossed in.)

And yes, it IS a beautiful song. There are several legitimately pretty
Rutles melodies: "Doubleback Alley," "Cheese & Onions," "Love Life,"
"Another Day," "Ouch," "I Must Be In Love"....  No wonder Beatles fans have
so much affection for this record! Still, I ain't a-never gonna say "Let's
Be Natural" is prettier than any Beatles song...come on, get real!  ;)

I still don't have the new Rutles disc yet, but I'll be getting it sometime
this week....



Message-Id: <v01540b06aead3f794ede@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 14:02:18 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Seal

>"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.

Damn, first the Chryssie Hynde/Nureyev comment about Dave, now this! That
Andy certainly has a way with imagery!  :)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 17:45:19 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: Dummies Defense....sort of

I too saw a show of the Dummies opening up for Costello, and I wouldn't
have been there if it weren't for the Dummies.  I'm a long time Elvis
fan but was more interested (that night) in seeing what the Dummies
would be like on stage.  It was a bonus to me to find out that they are
big XTC fans.  It seems to me that some people take the Dummies way too
seriously.  Their appeal to me lies in their simplicity and the way they
portray that they are having fun in their music, all the while
communicating something substative (this also part of the reason I
started listening to XTC)

When I go out with artists
They talk about language and the cubists and the dadaists
And I try to catch their meanings
And keep up with all of the martinis
I don't know which should be my favorite paintings

Those are great lyrics set to a catchy musical line...good enough for me!
This is a harmless but entertaining band and that's where it should end.




Message-Id: <v01540b00aead5636ffd5@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 17:09:22 -0600
From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
Subject: Andy Partridge & My Mom:  one year apart

>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.

Then you probably missed a FUCKING INCREDIBLE show.  Elvis Costello
is still a performer beyond compare.  There are so many artists
who THINK they're putting on a show, who THINK they're connecting
with the audience, when all they do is stand around, stare at their
Converse and coax feedback noise out of their guitars, little caring
whether the audience is even there.  Elvis ROCKED, and that's all
there is to it.  And seeing Mr. Bass himself, Bruce Thomas, in person
was also not to be missed.  But congratulations, you missed out.

Andy's as old as my mom.  He's not an old rock star!

Oh man, I sure feel sorry for one Rebecca L. Newton.  I don't think
"Dear God" is the be-all-end-all of songwriting, but "worst song on
Skylarking"?  I'm gonna stand back and watch the bloodbath on this

  >This is my only point -- that different, unique
  >chord progressions are good, but only when they "work."

Sure, but in the words of TMBG:  "Who can say what's wrong or
right?  Nobody can."  I don't think your argument holds water.
I *like* the chord!  There's my proof.

  >I had a bit of trouble extracting "Que Cera, Cera" from that.

Or "que sera, sera", for that matter.

  >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.

Very good, yes.  Actually I think the whole album is good, with
the exception of "Your Own Worst Enemy" (one of the most half-baked
songs they've ever done) and "S-e-x-x-y" which is just bad.

  >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 track!

Dunno, but I do know that Colin sings along on the chorus.

  >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?"

Pretty damn, actually.  Like I said in an earlier post, McCartney is a
pop craftsman.  Nowhere in his solo work does this come together more than in
"Band On The Run" and "Tug of War".  The triumvirate of "Band on the Run",
"Jet" (perhaps my favorite solo McCartney song), and "Bluebird" is simply
brilliant.  And "Take it Away" has always been one of my favorite McCartney
songs.  But not to malign "Ram", I love "Ram"!  I would put it up there
with...oh, "Band on the
Run" and "Tug of War"!!!


"Putting all reason aside you exchange what you got for a thing that's
hypnotic and strange"  - TMBG


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 01:55:30 +0000
Subject: Acts of terrible come from manlike creatures

Dear Chalkies,

A couple of things I noticed in the Andy P. Birthday Issue
(nice gesture, John!).

First JBH treated us to his opinion on Drums And Wireless

> 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.

Don't you think you really should get the CD and listen to it for a
couple of weeks before you start putting it down in public?
I mean, this is a mailing list for those who like XTC although the
recent flurry of posts re. "really kewl groups you will like" does
make me wonder :)

The NTIOH version f.i. is amazing - reason enough to buy the CD.
Hell, if you're an XTC fan you should already have it!
If you like all those demos so much, surely you must appreciate
these alternate, condensed versions of superb songs?

Anyway, I am listening to the D&W CD right now
(celebrating AP's birthday) and it is quite brilliant in places and
always interesting/entertaining.
If you all the 'regular' albums and compilations but want more,
this CD ( and the BBC Live CD ) is a MUST HAVE.

Then I was almost shocked to see AMANDA post:

> I had to leave their May 24th New Orleans concert early so that I
> wouldn't have to sit through Elvis Costello. know, there are people who went to see the Police back
in the early 80ties and saw XTC supporting them but didn't take any
notice. Now they know they made a terrible mistake...
I guess in about a year or ten you will regret your decision to
ignore a major artist as Costello.

Finally, to beef up the XTC content of this post:
Does anyone know anything about the set of XTC buttons/badges that were
produced & sold by Paris Productions?
I have recently received 4 buttons (thanks Keith!) and I suspect
they are from that set.  Anyone have any info/pictures?

yours in ecstasy on this Big Day,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
There's no youth culture only masks they let you rent


Message-Id: <v01540b00aead63c12e66@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 17:22:31 -0600
From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
Subject: Glenn McDonald:  Journalist, or FRAUD?

Just read that review of "Fossil Fuel" in The War Against Silence.
To sum up:  "Hey, what a good compilation.  I can tolerate all these
songs 'cause they kind of remind me of something else, but for the
most part, XTC are a crap band!"   That has got to be the single worst
(in terms of journalism) reviews I've ever read!  "Flashes of brilliance",
indeed!  Glenn McDonald: what a moron!




Date: 12 NOV 96 09:55:29 DST
Subject: Beaten to the Punch, Judy?
Message-ID: <>

Ha Simon ya beat me by about 30 mins ya Wiley Waggarian!  ;^) Readers who
may have found my posting in 'Hills #25 even more incoherent than usual -
it's because John Relph did the obvious thing and edited it.  That's
because it was identical to Simon Knight's transcript, posted earlier that
morn.  It was a good article though and accompanied by a 1/4 page shot of
the 3, circa "Nonsuch".

Here's another couple of those XtC-related sightings that are beginning to

1) House band Tomorrow People on ABC-TV's "Recovery" show on 2 Nov, intro'd
with a brief snatch of "Are You Receiving Me?"

2) There's a great Canadian band called Odds that I've seen recommended in
these pages before and I would second and indeed third any such
recommendation to Chalkies, that they seek out Odds with haste.  They've
just released a new album "Nest", and this following remark appeared in a
review of the CD, by the moderator of the Oddslist, Kevin Gandel:

  Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 10:29:07
  From: Kevin Gandel (
  Subject: Indepth Overview of _Nest_ and music influences/Dream Setlist

  Hello Gang,
	  How's everybody doing out there in Oddsworld?  Well...I got _Nest_
  in the mail yesterday....and I'm delirious from the pop-fix I'm receiving
  from this album!!! ......
	  "Hurt Me" screams XTC to me.  The chorus, when the background
  vocals head off in the higher stratosphere, that just reminds me of
  _Orange's and Lemons_ soo much.  Even some of _Skylarking_.  Chills...I
  get chills listening to this song...

Anyway, bye now, From but one of many ardent cadet reporters in planet Oz, 


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 08:47:15 +0000
Subject: Wages of fear

JHB, (for it was he), wrote:

>-- 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."

"Wages" ending is *not* dissonant!  It's an E6 chord!  It's only an
added C# onto an E major triad!  Nothing is clashing.  Think of it as
a C#m7 chord (one of my favourite chords), it makes the notes evenly
spaced and you'll see what i mean.  A dissonant chord might have a G
or a C note added, something that conflicted.  I'd understand if it
was a "scary" augmented chord or something, but it's common enough i
can't see why it jars with you so much.

It's not even that unique or different - lots of songs end like this.
(Isn't it called something like going into the "relative minor"?)
They do it in Disney songs!  My sister does it all the time in her
songs because it's something she loves about certain Beatles songs -
which is probably where Andy pinched it from too.

I'm glad it doesn't "resolve" in the classical sense.  I can't think
of anything more boring that the big "".

BTW, count me in as someone else who loves Go2.  Dave always says
Andy is wrong about dismissing those first two albums, and i agree.
I love Go2 even more than D&W.


Message-ID: <>
From: Paul Haines <>
Subject: The Horse Flies
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 11:51:36 +1000

Re Patrick's:
>Another band to check out: The Horse Flies. Does anyone know what every
>happened to them?

This band turned up in sale bins all over NZ for $5 a cd. Being a cheap
bastard I thought I'd give it a listen before shelling out the cash. I
didn't shell out.

Haines, kiwi in Oz


Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 16:40:22 -0800
Message-Id: <>
From: studio seventeen productions <>
Subject: Atmosphear To Ocean/Skylacking/Ballet For A Rainy Day

M Padg wrote:

>I found Atmosphear to Ocean waiting upon my return. Nice packaging Ian. The
>highlights of Skylacking include: the *nature* sounds on John Neil's
>Summer's Cauldron, Dave Stafford's gorgeous synth work on Ballet for a
>Rainy Day and of course Father John's Another Aerostar.

This is so nice, and I am touched and honored that a (until now) complete
stranger would enjoy my version of "Ballet For A Rainy Day".   (So: "M

 However, I must immediately state that there are NO SYNTHESIZERS whatsoever
utilized in the creation of the track.

I am primarily a guitarist (although curiously my second instrument is
synthesizer),and this track consists of four energy bow guitar parts and one
stereo vocal.  Many, many times I've had people mistake the ebow for a's easy enough to do I suppose!

I learned the track on piano, practicing it for days a la the album version.
then, when recording the final version, I deconstructed EACH CHORD (so if i
were to play a G chord, one ebow would play G, one would play B and one
would play D) so I recorded first the root note of each chord (with a rough
vocal guide) then the third and finally the fifth.  the fourth ebow provided
the "solo" after the bridge.

One of the most difficult projects I've ever undertaken, and probably the
very last cover version I will ever do.  The stress of trying to emulate
something so beautiful nearly drove me to distraction...not an easy song to
play or sing.

back to my loops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dave at studio seventeen


*      *  *  *  *  *	 I'll be downstairs if you need me.  I'll still be
*                *	 downstairs if you DON'T need me.
*              *         (Mr. Blint, Consequences/Godley & Creme)
*            *
*          *

seventeen: the ambient music page



Message-ID: <>
From: Paul Haines <>
Subject: Countdown To Christmas Party Time
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 11:59:10 +1000

Re Stephen Varga's:
>I haven't seen many positive comments regarding Countdown to Christmas,

Do you know why?

Not wishing to cause offense, but I probably will, this song is absolute

I HATE this song. It is the only XTC song I can't listen to (which
equates to the only XTC song I don't like.) ('Thanks For Christmas'
however, although completely over-the-top sugar-sweet and all, I just

Haines, kiwi in Oz


Message-Id: <v03007800aead759ddaa2@[]>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 19:53:46 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: 6 Degrees, Nihilon

Jason of Austin TX wrote:

>[P.S.- as a little aside here, the bassist on TMBG's new album
>"Factory Showroom" is none other than Graham Maby who used to
>play with Joe Jackson (hey, maybe we can start a little game
>called "Six Degrees of XTC"...?!)]

You freakin' (oops, sorry...fuckin') read my mind! I was thinking about
mentioning this on this list but I was at work, my office network went
down, and I was engaged in otherwise unpleasant mental masturbation on
Microsoft Excel. Work is hell.

Anyway, I was *GOING* to say that at the TMBG concert I went to I
pleasantly described the Graham Maby -> Joe Jackson -> XTC link, the Brian
Doherty -> David Yazbek -> XTC link, and the TMBG -> XTC link. Notice
everything kinda links thru Testimonial Dinner...but still. Anyway I was
thinking about all of this, and I am SURE that everyone's within oh between
about 6 and 8 degrees of XTC.

Let's try some out:, I'll leave that up to you.

But Graham Maby ROCKED!!! He really did. Him and Steve Nieve of the
Attractions are two of the best musicians on the planet. Anyone want to put
together a nonpartisan "best musicians" list?

Well, also, I was listening to Black Sea at work today. (Glad that while I
engage in the aforementioned mental masturbation, I can play my favorite
CDs) I made a point to listen carefully to "Travels in Nihilon" and I
*STILL* don't like it. I'd rather listen to Coolio.

So, my least favorite XTC songs: "Travels In Nihilon," "Here Comes
President Kill Again," "Day In, Day Out," and "Season Cycle."

That's all for me.


"We made little Graham promise us he'd be a good boy..."


From: ERIC DAY <>
Subject: e major sixth and the end of pop music as we know it
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 96 17:18:00 PST
Message-ID: <>

>>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.

>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.

Obviously, this is fairly subjective territory.  However, I tend to
reserve the term "dissonance" for a rather specific harmonic phenomenon.
 I won't dispute your feeling that the final chord of "Farmboy's Wages"
sounds unresolved, but I would caution against calling it dissonant.  The
song is clearly in the key of E major, and the final chord (E6)
reenforces this nicely (obviously IMNSHO).  The presence of the 6th tone,
although adding complexity to the harmony, is a quite common device in
pop music.  It can be found in the works of Cole Porter, the Beatles,
Elvis Costello, and countless others.  There's certainly *more* harmonic
tension in that E6 than there would be in a cadence to the tonic major
triad, but I think calling it "dissonant" tends to render the term almost



Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 20:46:21 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Help on live XTC

  I have seen two different live XTC cd's in my local record shop.  One
being Drums and Wireless and the other being XTC Live in Concert on
Windsong.  Any input on the merits of these and which one is most
essential.  They have songs in common with one being a concert by the BBC
and the other also BBC recordings but I have never read a word about them
as far as quality, inspired performances, etc.


Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 15:16:49 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b03aeae44557193@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: long rambling post (James paints JHB)

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

Barry was never in King Crimson. He did tour with Fripp's sometime band the
League of Gentlemen (their retrospective live album Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx
should be released about now, so check it out!), and toured with them
during April-November 1980. LoG consisted of Fripp, Andrews, Sara Lee and
Jonny Toobad (Toobad was replaced by Kevin Wilkinson during November). The
League put out one, self-titled, album (other than the recently released
Thrang...) - sadly only parts of it have appeared on CD, along with parts
of Fripp's album God Save the King.

This tour and album were released during a time whenthe early 1970s
incarnation of King Crimson had ceased to exist, and it was not until some
time after the demise of the League that Fripp decided to form the band
Discipline with Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford, a band which
soon changed its name to King Crimson.

>If you like XTC, you'll also like...

well, I've grown to like Ocean Colour Scene's "Moseley Shoals" album
lately. A bit "Blur" or "Oasis"-y, perhaps, but fun - "Policemen & Pirates"
is a great wee tune. And New Zealanders the Muttonbirds are about to
release their third album - the first in particular is catchy but weird and
well worth a listen. Then again everyone here knows by now that I'm a fan
of New Zealand music. Which is why I'm not even going to bother mentioning
the likes of the Chills, Crowded House or the Verlaines :) How about a
compromise though - an American band with a New Zealand-y sound? Luna! And
of course every XTC fan should at least have a listen to some Robyn
Hitchcock at some time. Hisd more lush albums (strangely less popular
amongst many Fegmaniax) are probably the ones XTC fans would like most.
Albums like Perspex Island and Respect, f'rinstance. His true masterpiece,
though, is Element of Light. Sooner or later someone will mention Richard
Thompson, too, and (put your musical prejudices aside for a moment!) even
Jethro Tull occasionally haunt the same musical space as XTC - the late 70s
albums Stormwatch, Heavy Horses and A in particular. No-one's mentioned
Barenaked Ladies lately, and in times past, the Indigo Girls and the Church
have also been frequently mentioned. The Church's Steve Kilbey's lyrics
move through the same intelligent literary convolutions as Andy's. Try also
the GoBetweens and the Triffids. And everyone here should listen to the
Kinks and the Hollies.

on American music:

> )The Velvet Underground.

never as good after the Welshman left! :)

>)Buddy Holly, at times.
>)Miles Davis.
>)Bob Dylan

yeh, ok, I'll accept those ones :)

>)Jimi Hendrix.

an unknown until discovered by the British! :)

>)Please, please, can we have Neil Young?

no! Never mind - at least 1/4 of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young was American :)

> ([...] Marijuana Carey - and I'm complimenting her by comparison to a popular
>if illegal narcotic)

...and you're complimenting her by even considering what she does a song!
That is trash, that is filth (ranting fades into the distance)

>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)?

Here in NZ it's called state housing. Not sure what townhouse means in the
US, but a council estate is an area bought up by the council and turned
into a series of short winding roads with twee names like Sebastopol Close
and Coleridge Drive, where all the houses were mass produced cheap by the
local council for the local lower middle-class. You find them in the outer
suburbs of big cities, or in inner suburbs of smaller cities or the "new
towns". Not as bad as the rows of terrace houses that populate the popular
images of the North of England (from Coronation Street to "Yorkshire" in
Monty Python's Meaning of Life), but which really exist in many cities in
all parts of the land, but certainly not post. A house with a scrap of
garden completely surrounded by 100 identical houses in some dead-end
suburb of a second rate city. That's a council estate.

>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.

for once, I agree with the Rolling Stone Album Guide, which said the following:
"The importance of the Beatles cannot be overstated. Transforming rock &
roll from a rebel yell and a lover's whisper into the most comprehensive
music of the century, they blazed through a breathtaking succession of
creative periods whose ultimate end was the severing of the line between
high art and popular entertainment. As the world's best-loved band, they
determined, too, that the sensibility of their period would mirror their
own - and indeed the rock & roll of the '60s was predominately
Beatles-spirited: celebratory, omnivorous in its appetite for diverse
influence, politically expansive and spiritually open. The interchange of
their personalities created the perfect band - John Lennon (rebel genius),
Paul McCartney (perfectionist craftsman), George Harrison (mystic) and
Ringo Starr (clown). Finally the Beatles were arguably the last band that
everyone from Leonard Bernstein to schoolchildren embraced. Theirs is the
final, great consensus in popular music - not liking the Beatles is as
perverse as not liking the sun."

someone wisely said yesterday:
>I was, clumsily, trying to point out that it isn't ageing that changes us,
>it's what we learn and experience as we travel through life (ageing is only a
>side effect of that process).

to quote Nelson Mandela: "There is nothing like returning to a place that
remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

>>Pearl Jam: hell no! Eddie Vedder is the biggest whiner and I don't see how
>they stay popular.

His work with the awesome Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the soundtrack of Dead
Man Walknig however, is excellent (everyone should go out and buy a copy of
NFA Khan and Michael Brook's album "Night Song" right now!)

>*      * * * * * I'll be downstairs if you need me. I'll still be
>*       *       downstairs if you DON'T need me.
>*       *       (Mr. Blint, Consequences/Godley & Creme)

Dear God! So *that's* who owns the other copy! Just remember... seventeen!

>Testimonial Dessert...

thanks for the (mainly) positive comments. One last thought for you, if
you've read this far: Funk pop a roll, by Julian Cope



Date: 12 Nov 1996 00:32:30 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Rock over London

My friend Dave (program director at Radio Woodstock..96.9 FM) called last
night, and said that he was making me a tape of the AP "Rock over London"
interview *direct from his DAT copy.* (Actually, he's having one of his
interns do it!)  Anyway, he said he'd get the tape to me in a couple of
weeks, which means it'll be time for another CONTEST in a couple of
weeks...I'll start thinking up questions now. I'm really excited about
getting this tape!


XTC SONG OF THE DAY: Radios in Motion

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


Message-Id: <>
From: "Steve Perley" <>
Subject: Chalkhills' Children
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 22:52:52 -0500

Randy Posynick wrote:
>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?
>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.

I second that; and I agree that at the prices quoted, I'd be willing to pay
more or buy more tapes to cover the cost.  Hell, at $2.50 US for one, I'd
consider it a bargain to pay a buck more to get everyone on!  I mailed in
saying I'd buy two, but I'd be glad to buy four to get the job done.  Quite
frankly, I was stunned to see how low the projected price is.

This is a monumental undertaking for a volunteer operation, and I think
that all the contributors and members of this group owe a debt of gratitude
to Richard for taking it on.  EVERYONE SHOULD BUY AT LEAST ONE!

I shall now step off of the soapbox and go to bed.  Goodnight, all!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 23:19:58 -0800
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: Stormy Monday Rants Again

XTC Fans and Friends,

Felt like writing today

RE: Subject: Re: Because/Bullets/Bugs


>Funny, I thought that was the most disposable track of the whole package.
>Just artificially eliminating the backing tracks long after the fact is a
>bogus way to create an "alternate" version. And certainly, everyone has
>always known what great harmonies the song has...that's perfectly obvious
>from the original version. And when the moments of silence kick in during
>the spot where the synthesizer solo originally was, it's very, very
>awkward. Anyway, like I said, that's the first A3 track I would eliminate.
>Then I'd replace it with the "Goodbye" demo.  ;)

On paper, I'd agree that it is "a bogus way to create an alternate'
version", but these are the Beatles!  For my ears, it is a beautiful
presentation, showing off the angelic harmonies of the Beatles.  This has
been floating around in bootleg form for awhile, and it is nice to have a
CD version of it.  I still have trouble discerning all of the parts and
attributing them to the proper singer.  But, The Abbey Road "Because" is
still the definitive version.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that the "Goodbye" demo is a glaring
omission from A3.  I freaked the first time I heard this.  Paul at the top
of his game, effortlessly performing a beautiful melody as if he were an
elf from "The Lord of The Rings".  Thankfully, it is part of my private
"anthology" library that I've been building for years.

>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!)

Consider yourself bulleted.  ;)

OK.  Listen, I think that Ray Davies is an extremely talented musician,
certainly a cut above the mainstream.  I tend to wax hyperbolic when it
comes to XTC.  I stand by my original comments, not as an insult to Ray
Davies, but as a tribute to Andy Partridge and his extraordinary talent.

RE:  **** Dukes **** and Rutles
Ambient (?)
>i can't agree TOTALLY that XTC "out-beatles" all others...TR does come close
>with both FAITHFUL and DEFACE THE MUSIC, but THE RUTLES is (IMHO) equal in
>quality to the fab four or the fab three.

I love Todd.  I thought that "the Rutles" was a really great parody of the
Beatles' story, and the quality of the music was a pleasant surprise.  BUT,
as talented as Neil Innes is, he copied the Beatles' style, and even
re-worked their songs, ("Get Up and Go" = "Get Back").  And I can't agree
that his tribute to the Beatles is a) the same quality as the Beatles, or
b) anywhere near as funny as The Dukes' "Mole From The Ministry" nor as
musically satisfying as XTC's "Towers Of London".

Of course, it's all subjective.

RE:  Jeff "Kinky" Lynne


Thanks for not flaming me.

I have heard, but do not own "Village Green Preservation Society".  I do
have "Misfits", "Sleepwalker", "Low Budget" and the one with "Destroyer",
and a compiliation of their early work, so I'm sure by "Kink-o-phile"
standards, I'm unqualifed to judge.  Listen, Ray Davies is a fine artist,
but I'll never worship him.  The Beatles, XTC, Steely Dan and Peter
Gabriel, are my musical elite (rock that is), and I don't feel that Ray
rates among them.  My reasons are all subjective, but here goes.  The four
aforementioned artists all share the following qualities:

1)  They broke new ground
2)  With very few exceptions, the sum total of their output is of very high
3)  Music, Lyrics, Arrangements, and Recordings are always excellent
4)  They embrace a wide variety of styles

Many would argue that The Kinks fulfill all of those requirements, but not
for these ears.

By the way, I thought that writing a new song ("Catch Me Now I'm Falling")
around the tired old "Jumping Jack Flash" riff and placing it on an album
called "Low Budget" was brilliant.

Bad news about Paul using Jeff Lynne for his next endeavor.  He must be
desperate for a hit, which he'll undoubtedly get.  It is almost as if the
man really did die, because once he was left to his own devices and no
longer had to face Lennon, he went over the edge.  Yeah, throughout his
solo career, there are some really good songs, but by and large it is hard
to believe that the same man that wrote "Eleanor Rigby" and "You Never Give
Me Your Money" could possibly have written "Magneto and Titanium Man".

Look for an obscure McCartney track called "Back On My Feet".  I believe
that it was the B-side of "Once Upon a Long Ago", and was co-written with
Elvis Costello.  He's capable, he just has no governor.


The chorus of "Mole" sounds like Colin.

"Holly Up On Poppy" is not a pop ditty with throw-away lyrics when you're a
dad with a beautiful daughter that you only see a few times a week.

I listened to "English Settlement" today, and it still blows my mind.

By the way, if all they ever did was "Black Sea" I'd still say that they
were one of the best bands ever, and I like every record since even more
than that one!  I can't be trusted to be rational when it comes to XTC.

Ever since "All This and World War II" came out in the early seventies, I
have been leery of "Tribute" albums.  Although this record contained three
great remakes ("Strawberry Fields" - Peter Gabriel, "Magical Mystery Tour"
- Ambrosia and "Got To Get You Into My Life" - Earth Wind and Fire") it
almost ruined "I Am The Walrus" for me.  The next time I listened to the
Beatles rendition, I heard Leo Sayer singing it.  I gave it away.

I broke down and bought "A Testimonial Dinner" and with the exception of
"Terry and The Love Men" (no surprise there), Ruben Blades, Joe Jackson and
The Verve Pipe, I'll never listen to it again.  When "Senses" came on, my
girlfriend shrieked, "no no no, turn it off before I die!  How dare they
attempt to remake Senses'.  It's not Fair.  TURN IT OFF NOW!".  I had to

Yeah, Joe Jackson's "Blaze of Glory" and "Labor and Lust" were fine records.

I forgot to mention The Loud Family and The American Music Club as possible
groups to recommend to XTC fans.


Mike "Stormy Monday" Versaci


I just read #25, and I still say that "Gulping in your opium so copiously"
is a great line.  Further, from Drums & Wires onward, I'm hard pressed to
find any "Andy" song that doesn't have superior lyrics.  His word choice is
perfect; he can be scathing, loving, whimsical and poetic.  The words to
"The Mayor" for example.  He is so obviously NOT "The Mayor of Simpleton"!
"Scarecrow People" ("and them what t'aint you") (God, I get goosebumps)!
"The Garden Of Eartly Delights".  "Beating of Hearts".  It never ends.
"Cuba" was revelatory.  Imagine being in England in 1961 ("And we are Piggy
in the Middle") "He loves me, he loves me not, he's pulling pins from an
Atom Bomb".  What an image!  "Look out for my corpse in the color

As Ian Dury put it, "There ain't half been some clever bastards (lucky
bleeders, lucky bleeders) and if all Andy did was write the words, he'd
still be great.  But NO, he has the ability to write music like "Love on a
Farmboy's Wages" and "Senses Working Overtime" (another lyrical
masterpiece!).  Stop me now!

Also, here is one American that believes that the right of free speech
stretches across the Atlantic.  I LOVE the words (and music) to "Melt The
Guns".  ("And all the media, will fiddle while Rome burns, acting like
modern time Neros".)  And doesn't he mention "Number 10" in President Kill?
Andy tells it like it is.  I welcome the English perspective.

I have the privilege of working with a lot of English people, because my
company was founded in England.  I find them to be cultured, literate and
articulate.  I wish I could say the same about their American counter
parts.  Of course, being in the computer business, I'm not exactly
presented with a cross section of the British population, but still, they
are quite an impressive lot, those Brits.


I had to put my "They Might Be Giants" comments last, where they belong.  I
gave up after "Flood".  Their music made me feel like I was in a swarm of
mosquitoes.  I'll see if I can borrow copy of the highly touted "John
Henry", because I consider myself to be open minded and fair, and I have
misjudged bands before.

But, no way, no how can I imagine ever thinking that they have anything in
common with XTC or The Beatles.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 11:09:03 -0600
From: "Adam J. Ostermann" <>
Subject: Dear George Burns

From: Rebecca Newton <javagirl@grove.ufl.EDU>

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

Well, ^worst^ is stretching it, but I would definitely say that it makes no
conceptual sense on ^Skylarking.^ I consider myself fortunate enough to own
the British CD pressing with "Mermaid Smiled." The US pressing just kind of
drops it in there and figures a few grotesque fades will do to make it seem
as though it's part of the proceedings.

Side note: Is it true there's a foreign pressing of ^Skylarking^ that has
the whole original in progression AND "Dear God" tacked at the end?
Ideally, that's the one I should have picked up, but when you see a Brit
import for $5.99 used, you take what you get.

Side note 2: Would anyone be able to point me to where I could puick up
that "Dear God" CD single with the Homo Safari b-sides? Respond personally
through e-mail or through here if at all possible. Big thanx. :-)

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

Ha! Pynchon's da man! Good writer and damn good taste in music - wrote
liner notes for a Spike Jones retrospective and has publicly championed
Lotion as his favorite band. If you have yet to hear of Lotion, I urge you
to head out to the shops and pick up ^Full isaac^ and/or ^Nobody's
Cool^. Great, post-grunge, surging pop with balls. (and "Rock Chick" on
^Nobody's Cool^ is VERY XTCish...something the band has owned up to, the
honest fellas...)

And oh yeah, happy belated birthday to Andy Partidge.

Done for the moment being.....

Adam J. Ostermann


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 00:46:15 -0500
From: Matthew Jason NeSmith <>
Subject: Assorted fruit flavors

First off, big fat heaping bowls of thanks to Simon Knight and P@ul-of-Oz
for the Andy interview.  It was fascinating.

I'm rilly rilly trying not to flame, but JHB said about "Wages":
>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,

No, let's not assume that.  Some people really dig microtonal music.  Some
people really go for musique concrete.  Some like chords that don't resolve
properly.  This is music, not math, and no matter how you analyse it, you can
only play with numbers until it hits your left brain.  Then it becomes a

> leaves a bad
>taste in my mouth.

That seems like a more solid opinion.

>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.

Wow, I've never heard anyone take them seriously, but on second
thought, that song is quite stunning.  I think it's based on "Dear Prudence"

Also from:
>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.

As a relative newcomer to Bonzo Dogma, I can attest to their quality.  Not
all of their songs are gems ("I Want to be with you" is pretty suck), but
they can be as perverse as you want.  A good friend of mine is involved
with putting togeather a tribute to the Bonzo's.  Some of the artists on it
will probably be George, Ringo, Jeff Lynne, Dave Stewart (ex-Eurythmics),
maybe Negativland (one of my personal faves) and Elton John.  I know it
sounds like I'm making this up (especially to anyone who knows what
Negativland is all about), but I shit y'all not.  Curiously enough, our
boys (stranded) in Swindon were all set to cover "Urban Spaceman", but Andy
backed out.  And, BTW, I also have a shot at getting on the album.  I will
die a happy man if they use five seconds of my recording.

And now, the *very brief opinions* section:
Bungalow: right on
TMBG: the G is for "genius".  Don't take their novelty at face value.
Oasis: a false apparition of good music

Jason nummer drei

wubba wubba wubba, Orange Hat
How's your hand? Orange Hat
hevvy rotation on the Brain: Stevie Wonder "Race Babbling"
We're all made of Jello, Orange Hat


Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 01:51:08 -0600 (UTC -06:00)
Subject: chalkhills children

>        (1) R.E.M. rules and anybody who thinks otherwise has only heard
>        "Green", "Out of Time" or "Monster";

Absolutely true.  wouldn't want to point any fingers towards AMANDA.  :)

Randy Posynick <> asked:
>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...?

This is exactly what occured to me.  Randy just beat me to the posting.  The
prices are so low that most chalkies would probably be willing to pay the
extra $ to hear everyone's contributions (assuming it's not a huge amount
for some reason).  Is this the case, or should I speak solely for myself?

And, for the record, I can't always tell Andy and Colin apart.



End of Chalkhills Digest #3-26

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