Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-29

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 29

                Thursday, 14 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                       Re: Re: Re:
       Washedaway (The new improved chalkhill post)
                       xTc and DGG?
              XTC vs CTD (content vs style?)
       Kevin Bacon, Jeff Lynne, and Sexual Deviancy
            Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
            There is no muscle in our tongues
                       Quick Notes
             Who cares? You might have spoke!
         Diff. between Import and domestic disks
                 The Long Kiss Goodnight
                one last REM post,promise
                  Contention guaranteed
                   Meaningless Couplets
                     She's So Square
        Making Plans for Leonard(Chalkhills #3-28)


Okay, here comes increased traffic, courtesy of the verbose.
In order to cut down on the size of the digests I will be sending
them out more often.  Maybe twice a day if necessary.  Sorry.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

You'll have them on their knees and begging.


Message-Id: <v01540b06aeb0142939e7@[]>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 17:19:55 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Re: Re:

>REM Rules?  I think not.  If you like REM, listen to "If I Needed
>Someone", "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "She Said She Said" by The
>Beatles.  REM is an above average rock band, influenced by the Birds,
>The Beatles and Dylan.  But they don't rule.
>They serve.

Well, I'd be more inclined to tolerate this opinion if you had spelled
"Byrds" right.  ;)

> If you really understand XTC, it is extremely difficult to completely
>respect other bands.

Attention, attention...paging the Hyperbole Police....

From: bmilner <>
>Subject: Spooky Ruben

>Anybody heard this band?  I found an old sampler of mine "Fresh Meat, 16
>mouth watering cold cuts" and there is a track by SPOOKY RUBEN called
>"These days are old" that sounds SO much like XTC that is is ridiculous.
>Anybody heard their whole album?  It's on TVT/Waxtrax records.

I've heard the record. Not very good. Way too lightweight and fey, and the
melodies aren't very memorable either.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 11:21:03 +0000
Subject: Washedaway (The new improved chalkhill post)

Tim asked:
>   So, to get away from the "War Dance" bashing, what do you
>   all think about "Washaway" ???

It's one of my favourite songs on "The Big Express", (and it wasn't
even on it originally).

Whoops sorry no more punctuation commas exclamation marks question
marks or brackets are allowed  Weve been told havent we

I love how the rhythm of Washaway
i hope caps are allowed but to be on the safe side
washaway mimicks the scrubbing action of a washboard or the agitation
of a washing machine with its back and forth rhythm  you can picture
the laundrette in your mind  maybe colin was sitting inside one
listening to the rhythm and started writing the song around it  thats
one great guitar solo too  andy dave or colin

i wanted to discuss the rising piano scales which remind me of
a silent movie soundtrack maybe it ties in with colins
childhood trips to the seaside theatres where they had the cinema
organist playing before the movies which bungalows organ sound is
obviously inspired by oh shit theres that b word i didnt read the
faq please dont nail me to a chunk of wood

i wanted to discuss the augmented chords and compare it to steven
sondheims losing my mind but its deemed too technical so thats
knackered this paragraph then hasnt it

i also wanted to say it sounds like obscure demo number fiftyseven
just to be a wanker

Its one of those great town songs too where you can picture the
characters perfectly  reminds me slightly of a less romanitcized view
of penny lane oops can't talk about them either

can anyone who is english tell me what mr softie is  i assume it is a
brand of ice cream probably sold from a truck with a music
playing as it drives  we have one called mr whippy down under

i also like the way it follows red brick dream you get andys peaceful
view of the town waking up at dawn followed by the busy daytime
activity of washaway  how could these two songs be only bsides thats
xtc for you

i cant really imagine the crash test dummies singing it but what
would i know i like them and xtc maybe im whoopeed in the head

well thats me rattling on about washaway i really just thought id
bitch and dump on everyone else without adding anything constructive
that might start threads more to my liking but then i dont give a toss do i


Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 21:44:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: xTc and DGG?
Message-ID: <>

Could somebody with the inside scoop inform the rest of us as wether or
not the presence of our Swindon lads on Geffen's _Just say Noel_ indicate
that DGG is an odds on favourite to sign them?

...and, my vote for least favourite song is '(Don't you dare call me)
Chickenhead from the Bull with the Golden Guts demo tape. This song has,
in my humble opinion, ABSOLUTELY NO REDEEMING VALUE!!!!!!!!!

Aside: When the Desert Island songs were posted was there a least favourite
song category?  (Gosh, only 29 1/2 years old and my memory is shot
already.)  Though I hear it's the second thing to go..)  If there wasn't,
I nominate the poor wretch who compiled the first list to do it again but
with the most hated song instead.  (What would you call it?  A Crowded
Island selection with the hopes of driving everybody else off the island?)

Ted Harms                                         Library, Univ. of Waterloo                              519.888.4567 x3761
"Cat's yawn because they realize that there's nothing to do." - Jack Kerouac


Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 15:46:58 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b05aeb0e77e4b63@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: XTC vs CTD (content vs style?)

Ira Lieman wrote:
>This is where I draw the line though. How do you come up with such a
>blatantly wrong statement? Everyone who was into CTD first, please raise
>your hands. The first I heard of XTC was probably around 1986, and the first
>I heard of CTD was the "Mmm" song in what? 1993? And I still turn the
>I'm not saying people shouldn't like the band CTD, but get real. Most people
>on this list have been XTC fans for at least the amount of time CTD has been
>around (save anyone here who was still in diapers in 1990) and even if they
>weren't, XTC has had slightly more of an effect of us than CTD anyway.

well, that last statement's undoubtedly true for most of us, just as it
would be true the other way round if this message was on the CTD mailing
list and the readers were primarily CTD fans. But to suggest that the
length of time someone has been a fan indicates how strongly we are fans
isn't necessarily true. Certainly, CTD aren't, IMHO, as good a band as XTC,
but it's a personal judgement. I find some of their music to be excellent,
and if I was to make a compilation C120 of my favourite songs, it's quite
likely they'd have one song on there. I first became a fan of XTC with the
song "Are you receiving me?", some 18 or so years ago. But I'll willingly
admit that there are only a handful of songs that will move me to tears,
and that Crash Test Dummies have written one of them (FWIW, "The Superman

We've got a wide range of tastes here,and it's possible that there will be
fans of just about any form of music out there, from Tuvan throat-singing
to gangsta rap. That's the beauty of a mailing list like this.The important
thing is that whether any one individual Chalkhiller likes CTD or not,
there is a reasonable selection of the readers of this list who like both,
and therefore you can safely say that "if you like XTC, there's a good
chance you'll like CTD". It doesn't follow that you WILL, or that you have
to, but it's quite likely that you will. Ironically, the Robyn Hitchcock
list is going through the same sort of angst about whether it's OK to like
Billy Bragg at the moment. Also ironically, XTC came second or third (I
forget which) in the recent Fegmaniax poll of "most liked other musicians".
Respect other people's tastes, and recognise that a strong correlation
between two fan bases may indicate that there are commonalities in the
sound or style, at least, even if not in the ability of the musicians and

Rant mode off...

Oh, and "hi!" to Danielle in Auckland - you're lucky to get even Michael
Jackson. The last tour we had in Dunedin was for someone like the Irish
Rovers ;p

James -
           fan of Beatles, XTC,
             Elvis C and CTD,
         Rutles, Robyn, Billy B,
     and "London Town", by Paul McC!


Message-Id: <v03007800aeb02ada9bb2@[]>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 20:59:20 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Kevin Bacon, Jeff Lynne, and Sexual Deviancy

I know it couldn't have been too long ago, but who started that thread on
auto-erotic asphyxiation? Let me search...
Hmmm...JHB, are you happy NOW? :)
Remember kids, do not try this at home.

And Adam from OZ's comment from the last post:
>Drowning in your own spunk?  :)
Come on. That was uncalled for. :P

My boss loves the song "Free As A Bird" but I consider it mindless drivel.
I showed him the post from Chalkhills #3-27 and he agreed Ringo was asleep.
"But that doesn't take anything away from the song!!!"

Adam from OZ, again...
>Can't remember details but there's a web page out there somewhere
>which does that with the actor Kevin Bacon.  You give the engine
>the name of any actor and it'll tell you how many degrees they are
>from Kevin Bacon.  It's referred to as the 'Bacon factor'.  Someone
>gave it the name of an obscure Indian actor and came up with a
>Bacon factor of five I think.  Very cute stuff.

I'm well aware of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." That's how that thread started.

And for everyone dissing me for not liking "Season Cycle," get over it.
Everyone's entitled to an opinion. Hey! What a concept! I don't dis on the
people who hate "Bungalow" even though I like it. So there.


"Have I been such a fool?"


Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 21:51:05 -0500 (EST)
From: "Craig E. Canevit" <>
Subject: Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Message-ID: <>

"Oh, dear, what can the matter be?"
I know the line solely from Andy's awesome "Toys," but I've
since seen it used in another tune-- in a comic book (one
of two super-hero comics still worth reading, Kurt Busiek's
Astro City). Is the line from some nursery rhyme that I've
never heard before, or was Kurt Busiek making a plug for
our favorite Swindonians?

just wondering,
Craig, who, despite almost all of his Chalkhills' posts
concerning comics, isn't *that* much of a comics geek.

Oh, yeah. I've been listening to XTC since 1989 and am *just
now* starting to like Go 2.

Craig E. Canevit        |         | "We are all in the gutter, but some of us  | are looking at the stars."  --Oscar Wilde


Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 22:21:21 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: There is no muscle in our tongues

>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.

All I've tried to get across this whole time is that I don't like it, and my
reasons for doing so. Sorry for going off like that especially when I was
wrong for about half the time, though...

>> 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?

Well, I did listen to what I *do* have for a little over a week, and I
didn't really care for them. I wasn't trying to really "put it down," just
share my opinion of what I'd heard...but, after listening to it again, my
opinions are more mixed. Some of the tracks (Seagulls, Meccanik Dancing,
Roads) are actually quite good. However, I must say that I don't care for
the O&L tracks...I've never cared all that much for the songs in question
anyway, and I don't think the remakes do anything to make me think
otherwise. I haven't heard that version of No Thugs, though...

>I won't dispute your feeling that the final chord of "Farmboy's Wages"
>sounds unresolved, but I would caution against calling it dissonant.

Right -- I don't really have any musical background, so I was grasping for
the right term. My error. Thanks.

>Their music made me feel like I was in a swarm of mosquitoes.

I truly do not understand what you're getting at here. Is it too fast, what?
There is only one TMBG song which I would think of as "hyperactive," that
being "Letterbox." Could you elaborate a bit?

>I just read #25, and I still say that "Gulping in your opium so copiously"
>is a great line.

I'm sorry, I just don't agree. It seems to me a way to use up a lot of
syllables while making a point rather bluntly. IMHO, a little more subtlety
than is evinced by FPAR is necessary with something like this.

>"Scarecrow People" ("and them what t'aint you") (God, I get goosebumps)!

I don't care for this song. Again, the lyrics seem too blunt and, well,
in-your-face to work well.

>I've never heard his solo version from '79 but
>how could it possibly top the Beatles'?  Why didn't they release it?

Possibly because it was a bit too revealing of the Beatles' internal state
at a time when tensions were high but no one was willing to talk about it?

>- Kate Bush - reminds me of a reviewer's description of Geddy Lee's (Rush)
>  voice - "sounds like a chicken being strangled".

I can see lurkers coming out of the woodwork as we speak...Keith? :)

Personally, I find Geddy Lee infinitely harder to listen to than Kate.

>But the world *needs* silly!  They're both brilliant songs.

I didn't say they weren't clever. I said they were embarrasing. Which they
are. They *are* quite good skewerings of the genres which they set out to
skewer...but by being so, they become embarrasing to XTC. Am I making sense

>It's definitely the Dukes, but i think it dates from around the time
>of Nonsuch, doesn't it?  Does one of the demo experts know, when / why
>it was recorded?

Andy was asked by a (now defunct) record collector's magazine to do two
demos, which would then be put on a flexi-disc for release as genuine 60's
relics. The demos in question are "It's Snowing Angels" and "Then She
Appeared." The magazine folded before the flexi ever came out.

>it's got the single version of This is Pop on it (worth the 'prehistoric
>price' on its own).

After hearing this one, the original sounds, well, flat.

>I do NOT want to hear the new unreleased ones that some
>"Ooh look what I've got & you haven't, and aren't I clever in
>mentioning tracks that you've never heard of" people have in their

So we should all just keep our mouths shut so we won't offend someone who
admittedly doesn't care about the subject? I don't know if that was your
intention, but it's certainly the way you came off. I, personally, collect
demos for two reasons. First, there are a lot of songs which never made it
to record and, without this proposed "Bootleg Album," never would. Some of
these songs are EXCELLENT -- far better than many of the songs that *are* on
the albums. And second, the demos of released songs can give me an idea of
how the song has evolved and become what it is. If they don't interest you,
fine...but why slag on those who find their enjoyment of the band's work is
increased by listening to the demos?

>I appear to have JHBed on a JHB inspired thread.  This boy's influence
>is really getting out of hand ;-}

Isn't that a good thing?

Seriously, I think this entire discussion on the tonality of the E6 chord is
fascinating and for poor, un-musical me it's certainly a good lesson for
next time I decide to talk about something like this. Hey, it's actually
about the band's music, isn't it?

>ever since I picked up
>Skylarking while on the hunt for the S-E-X-X-Y single

Hey...*some* good has come out of Elektra screwing TMBG!

Josh, shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in

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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 22:29:08 -0800
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: Quick Notes

XTC Fans and Friends

From: (E.B.)

>Waaaah! I haven't heard Paul's "Goodbye" at all (though I know the melody
>from the Mary Hopkin version), so I was REALLY dying for it to be on the
>Anthologies. There's a few other unreleased compositions I'm still curious
>about..."Heather," "Watching Rainbows," "Circles," "Child Of
>Nature"...anyone heard these?


"Heather" is Paul and I believe Donovan around the time of the "White
Album", maybe recorded in India. It is a pretty song, done acoustically.
It runs about two minutes.

"Child of Nature" is an early version of "Jealous Guy" with different
lyrics.  The version of I have sounds like one of John's homemade demos.

Has anyone ever heard "Peace of Mind" from around the Sgt. Pepper era?  It
isn't even listed in the "Beatle's Recording Sessions".  I have a really
hissy version of it.  Kind of "Trippy" like "Tomorrow Never Knows", but
very different then any other track.

From: Scott Taylor <>

(on the Kevin Gilbert thread)

>BTW, re: his autoerotic demise...  Wasn't this foretold by his lyric 'I'm
>waiting with my best friend held firmly in my fist'?

Yeah.  "Waiting" is a GREAT song.  Also in "Goodness Gracious" he sings

"Goodness Gracious, we came in at the end
 No Sex that isn't dangerous, no money left to spend
 We're the clean-up crew for parties, we were too young to attend"

What a ridiculous way to die.

From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: Colin Plagiarises Beatles

>  Really, I always thought that "Ball and Chain" was a rewrite of
>"Getting Better"...there's the same two chord opening vamp...kuh-chink-

Not exactly a rewrite, but definitely an inspiration.  Another great Colin

From: dgershmn <>

 >don't forget to read your Anthology booklet, Michael.
>There are 9 vocal tracks running in "Because" at once, 3 for each of the
>singers. It's a beautiful song with beautiful harmonies, but it's certainly
>not the most spontaneous song on the CD.
> And as for the "Goodbye" demo, I can't for the life of me figure out why it
>wasn't included. It's a great song that would have been worthy of inclusion
>on one of their original albums, and I was certain it would turn up on
>Anthology 3. Go figure.
> And while I'm on the subject...McCartney's best solo album in my opinion is
>his first, "McCartney." "Every Night" is a truly great song, and aside from
>a couple of toss-offs, the rest of the album is excellent as well. Often
>underrated, give this one another try if you had written it off.

Regarding the A3 booklet: I still have trouble discerning who sings which
Regarding spontaneity:  I don't care.  Still sounds good to me.
Regarding "Goodbye":  Could have been a single, "as is".
Regarding "McCartney:  Great record, slightly marred by Linda's caterwauling.
"Maybe I'm Amazed" is so much better than the live one that got airplay.
"Every Night" and "Amazed" should have been done by the Beatles.  Great
songs.  Regarding the Kinks: (not mentioned above).  I'm going to pick up
"Preservation" and give it a good listen.  As I said, I like the Kinks.

And Dave, thanks for the backup on Jeff Lynne.  I forgot to mention how
much I despise his production of "Into The Great Wide Open".

Also, Random Responses,

"Deliver Us From The Elements" is a terrific track.  "Mummer" is arguably
their best album (but I can't decide which I like best).

"Hope of Deliverance" is a good Paul song.

I think that Lennon's songs are masterful.  He was easily Paul's equal in
song writing ability, and superior as a lyricist and (I know I'm in the
minority here), the better singer.  I say this because his vocal
performances dripped with emotion.  He's my favorite rock singer.  He once
said that he could have sung "Oh Darling" better than Paul, and I agree.
Paul technically has the track nailed, but he's not convincing.  Even as
early as their remake of "Please Mr. Postman", John sounds like he is in
agony waiting for the letter from his girlfriend.

Someone reminded me that Paul Fox produced TMBG.  So???  If Paul Fox
produced a Bob Seeger album, it would still be garbage.  But like I said,
I'll check out "John Henry", because if so many XTC fans like them, I may
be missing something.

And if Jeff Lynne produced XTC, I'd have to check myself into a detox
center, because I'd have to listen to the record, but it would be like an
alcoholic on antibuse that just has to have a drink.  If anyone has a
direct line to the band, please, BEG them to never consider him as a
potential producer.  If he was a chef, he'd put ketchup on a steak.

Wow!  Elvis Costello just showed up on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show".  I
hope he performs.

Yeah, he's doing one of the "Useless Beauty" songs.  Just him and the

"I betrayed those little atoms with a kiss".

"I feel like someone else"



Message-Id: <v03007802aeb044f05c71@[]>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 23:52:50 -0500
From: Gene <>
Subject: Who cares? You might have spoke!

From: (E.B.)
>>"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!  :)

The Chryssie Hynde/Nureyev comment was in reference to Colin.  I was lent
the the video compilation tape (thanks Ira!) and I have to say it's one
thing to see them in pictures and quite another in live action.  They
really had that *look*, that *attitude*, in the early days, no?  From all
accounts Colin is the "good-looking one" of the band, according to the
people I've talked to who've seen them in person.  He doesn't translate
well in photographs.  In the wonderful Skylarking photo shoot, especially
the one with Andy's knickers down (which is omitted in the CD version, for
some reason), Colin looks like someone else.

I was surprised to see how energetic and expressive Colin is in some of the
videos, since I've always imagined him so shy.  The Wonderland video is
beautiful, All You Pretty Girls is impressive.  They look like expensive
productions.  I guess those were the days when Virgin actually put a little
effort into the band.  The Mayor of Simpleton video by comparison looks

From: "VanAbbe, Dominic" <>
>     Is this the official *XtC* mailing list or not????  I'm beginning to
>wonder.  [....]
>     However, to fill your entire mail with discussion of another
>band/matter and then throw in your "Obligatory XtC reference" at the end is
>an exercise in cynicism to say the least.  [....]
>P.S. Glad to see I ain't the only sucker who finds AP and CM difficult to
>tell apart on ver Dukes stuff...

After his vehement message that wasn't about the band or music of XTC, Mr.
VanAbbe thankfully threw in his "obligatory XTC reference" at the end. ;-)

I don't subscribe to any music-related mailing list except Chalkhills.  So
while yes, I'm subscribing to get information on XTC, XTC hasn't put out
new a new record in five years.  Five years!  So I do appreciate occasional
recommendations and discussions on music that other XTC listeners enjoy, or
who XTC themselves enjoy.

And I admit that I, too, groaned when the Bungalow thread resurfaced, but
in the end it was a blessing because I got to read about Andy's own
comments on the song, and I got to learn what council estates are from Mark
Fisher's excellent post in 3-25, which gave me a completely different
perspective on the song.

TMBG is relevant because they recently covered the Dukes 25 o'clock, have a
new song called "XTC vs. Adam Ant", TMBG's John Flansburgh was repsonsible
for putting out the Andy Partridge Hello EP CD, and there seem to be a
great many Chalkhillians who like them.

I bristle whenever somebody gets so enthusiastic to shut people up.  I love
Chalkhills precisely because it isn't so narrowly focused, and because (for
the most part) the posts are civil and illuminating.  The fact that XTC can
inspire such a wide spectrum of discussion--politics, sociology, music
theory, literature, nursery rhymes, what Oxo and England's Glory and Lord
Sutchit are--is a testament to their greatness.

While divergent threads can be carried to extremes, the alternative is that
we have nothing but perpetual top ten XTC song surveys and guitar
tablatures.  If that were the case I'd have booted this thing that takes up
a lot of mailbox space a LONG time ago.

So keep 'em coming, cuz some of us do want to listen.



Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 21:11:59 -0700 (MST)
From: (Chris Miner)
Subject: Diff. between Import and domestic disks
Message-id: <>

Hey all,
        Can anyone tell me the difference (besides price!) between the
import and
domestic versions of the following XTC disks:

(domestic) Rag and Bone buffet  (UK-import) Rag and Bone Buffet Rare cuts
and leftovers
(domestic)BBC Radio 1 live (UK import) Live in Concert BBC Radio 1
(domestic) Big Express  (import) Big Express

        Thanks in advance. I need to know where to sink my funds.
                                chris m.

Chris Miner


Message-Id: <v01540b00aeb0237558a9@[]>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 22:38:14 -0600
From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
Subject: The Long Kiss Goodnight


>REM Rules?  I think not.  If you like REM, listen to "If I Needed
>Someone", "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "She Said She Said" by The

Huh?  I'm sorry, but this just confused me.  Do you mean to say that
R.E.M.'s entire musical body of work can be reduced to three Beatles
songs (one of which is slightly below par: "IINS")?  And to say R.E.M.
are simply pale imitators of Dylan, the Byrds and the Beatles is
erroneous at best and purely ignorant at worst.

> If you really understand XTC, it is extremely difficult to completely
>respect other bands.

Elitism!  Elitism!  Hey, people like different bands for different
reasons.  I'm not going to put on Enya if I feel like jumping around
with a guitar strapped around my neck.  As far as songcraft goes,
XTC are without peers, but at the same time there's something unbeatable
about, say, "Long Tall Sally".  In short, it's all relative.

Re: Beatles anthology
 why did they do shit like
>use part of take 2 but then mix it with the ending of take 8 because
>take 2 "meandered to an indefinite end"?!

Exactly.  Why this was done is baffling.  I've not been able to understand
why things were faded out, crossfaded, dialogue chopped up, removed, etc.
What are they trying to hide?

> I also have a strange, soft spot for
>McCartney II.  Anyone for a round of "Temporary Secretary"?

Hey, rock on!!  That's one of my favorites from that album.

>Once again, I must praise one of my favorite Colin songs:
>                     "WAR DANCE"

I laughed out loud when I read this.  Here's a man who's not afraid
to stand up for his beliefs among a "War Dance"-hating crowd.  If it
makes you feel any better, I *don't* despise the song, although I often
have trouble listening to it immediately after "Then She Appeared";  it
has to catch me in the right mood.  When it does, however, I like
singing along with it as much as any other XTC song.

Oooh.. WASHAWAY!  That was the only song I liked on the (CD) of "The
Big Express" when I first bought it.  The fondness continues (although
I'll admit I haven't listened to it or "The Big Express" in quite some

RE: "Heaven is Paved w/ Broken Glass":
>Arrrgggh! This last line kills me.

Here's my advice: just listen to the drumming.  That in itself should be
enough to keep you hitting the repeat button.

>Actually, John Lennon listed all of the things that he didn't believe in
>in his song, "God".  But that song seemed to be directed to the

Or maybe somebody strapped to a chair with a gag in his/her mouth, just
wanting so badly to just go home and listen to "Rubber Soul" for the
umpteenth time, anything to avoid hearing Lennon screech "I don't believe
in Beatles...I just believe in me, Yoko and me".

> Aren't you supposed to
>change and grow and explore new territories during the span of a career?

Thank you for that!  You've warmed my heart.  This is always what I have
to say to all my friends who whine on and on about "Oh, 'Life's Rich Pageant'
this and 'Document' that".  People change and CHANGE IS GOOD!

> Is this the official *XtC* mailing list or not????

Hey, they haven't put out an album in 4 years.  WHADDAYA WANT FROM US??!?!

Jason [I'm the bad thoughts inside your head]


Message-Id: <v01540b09aeb0580b334e@[]>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 23:12:42 -0600
From: (Miss Piggy)
Subject: one last REM post,promise

OK, I tried and tried, but I could not ignmore this post, but I will say
nothing after this, I promise:

>REM Rules?  I think not.  If you like REM, listen to "If I Needed
>Someone", "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "She Said She Said" by The
>Beatles.  REM is an above average rock band, influenced by the Birds,
>The Beatles and Dylan.  But they don't rule.
>They serve.
Who told you this?  REM's influences were primarily punk - Patti Smith,
Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols, etc.  And as such it puts REM in a
different category entirely, and I still think they rule.

> If you really understand XTC, it is extremely difficult to completely
>respect other bands.  They transcend their genre.  I like the Kinks,

Bullshit.  Sorry, but I am no less of an XTC fan simply because I am also a
fan of other artists.  I don't think I have to forsake other bands to
trully "understand" XTC.

OK, I could go on, but I won't.

On an XTC note:
Maybe we can get the boys signed by deluging record label with rabid fan
mail? Promise to buy 2 copies each of all their albums for eternity?  Take
up a collection and make up "Chalkhills - the label?"  Threaten to wage
nuclear war unless the boys get signed - now! (hey DeWitt, you work at

And ya know, despite the fact that we get off topic, discuss other bands,
and disagree with eachother, I really like this mailing list, because it is
so cool to be able to talk about *one* of my favorite bands.

I'm in the process of trying to convert a classical musician to XTC, have
played a couple of CDs in the background, and so far the response has been
"Well, I don't hate them."  Can this be considered a good sign?  Any


"How does a duck know what direction south is?"--CTD


Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 21:48:15 +1100
Subject: Contention guaranteed
Message-ID: <>

Christ!  Lots to get through, please bear [bare?] with me...

I'll get the TMBG stuff out of the way first:

 #> From: (Miss Piggy)
 #> I have tried now on 3, yes,3 different CDplayers to play the
 #> hidden track off Factoy Showroom with no success.

Maybe your copy's just a dud pressing.  If it is get a replacement.
What brand are the CD players you've tried it on?  The brand can
make a *huge* difference -- I know of CDs that won't do what
they're told on specific models, including the MFSL _Skylarking_.

 #> From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
 #> I consider "John Henry" to be one of their best albums, rating
 #> with "Lincoln" as my fave.

_Lincoln_ used to be my favourite, but I listened to it the other
day and got extremely bored with it.  Explanation:  My thirst for
their classic gimmicky, silly songs has been superseded [nay,
crushed] by a thirst for their new, more mature, more developed

 #> It is sprawling, like the one before it ("Apollo 18")

_Apollo 18_ was a transitional album.  I didn't actually realise
this until just recently when I noticed the chasm between old TMBG
and new TMBG.  I'm now pretty sure 'Fingertips' was TMBG exhausting
their collection of short silly song ideas, thereby closing the door
on the first phase of their musical career.

I would seriously love XTC and TMBG to collaborate.  Enough musical
talent there to blot out the sun for a millennium.

 #> From: "VanAbbe, Dominic" <>
 #> I *LIKE* The Kinks, The Beatles, The Rutles, They
 #> might be giants.  But I am not on this mailing to discuss them
 #> outright.

If you're at a wedding and a group of people are discussing
something other than the wedding, you don't kick them out.  They're
there for the same reason you are.

If you don't want to read it, skip it.

 #> Enuff already!!! Same applies for "Bungalow" and "The Smartest
 #> Monkeys" threads puh-lease!!.... I've only been on the list for
 #> six months and I've seen em all before.

So we can't discuss anything that's not XTC, and we can't discuss
anything about XTC that's been discussed before?  There's nothing
left.  There'd be no digest.  Then I'd be bored.  That's just silly.

Here's an idea:  Is it worth coupling Chalkhills with a second,
*unmoderated* mailing list that covers everything not directly
related to XTC?  It would be our responsibility to reply to another
address [notchalkhills@mando.engr...], and ia John's distribution
thingy's automated it could work without human intervention.  Good
idea?  Bad idea?  I really think this could work...

 #> Little wonder [John Relph's] had to prepare so many issues
 #> recently.

I agree, and I make every effort to keep my posting to an absolute
minimum, but as posting volume increases there's a lot more to
reply to.  Soon most of the threads will hit a dead end and the
posting volume will drop again.

 #> From: Michael Versaci <>
 #> Doesn't anyone else think that it is hilarious that even The
 #> Almighty can't escape the acid tongue of Andy Partridge?  I mean,
 #> c'mon, He's GOD.

Ahh, but GOD is a character in a very old book, and you have to
believe in GOD to think it funny.  Andy wrote the song more than ten
years ago and he's still not been struck by lightning.  As an
atheist [isn't it obvious?] I just think it's very clever and
extremely accurate.

 #> Really, I believe that the song is much more an indictment of
 #> mankind than it is of God.

It is for sure, but in his view [and mine] mankind *created* god.
The lyrics 'did you make mankind after we made you?' and 'your name
is on a lot of quotes in this book / and us crazy humans wrote it,
you should take a look' make that pretty obvious.

 #> He's not telling us not to believe in God

He's not telling anyone to believe anything at all, he's just
stating what he believes and doesn't believe.  Which is why I don't
understand why so many people are offended by this song.  I don't
believe in god or any forms of religion, and I'd be REALLY pissed
off if someone ticked me off for saying it.  Andy wouldn't be too
thrilled either.

This is not directed at you Michael, I'm just empathising with our
Andy and his masterpiece.  :)

 #> From: AMANDA OWENS <>
 #> As far as any crack comments about Brad's low voice, knock it off.

I'm not a fan of CTD, but Brad's voice is amazing.  He can hold a
low note beautifully and not make it sound sleazy like Barry
White.  No need to make any excuses for a man whose singing is that
good.  There's no particular reason I'm not a fan of CTD, I've just
not heard much of their material.  I can't stand the 'Mmm' song,
but that's just because of the overkill it received from our radio
stations.  Beautiful hooks though.

 #> From: Dave Gershman <>
 #> As for Jeff Lynne, he should be banned from ever producing
 #> another band again.

He'a a fabulous producer, that is if you like everyone turning into
ELO.  He really should stick to producing his own material, hand
the Wilburys over to Adrian Belew [ever heard his version of 'Not
Alone Anymore'?  Beats the trousers off the Roy Orbison/Wilburys
version], and never go anywhere near another Beatle ever again.

 #> couldn't he at least have made sure Ringo was awake for the
 #> recording of "Free as a Bird"?

The drums were WAY too heavy for that song.  They get in the way of
what could be a perfect ballad.  People bang on about how it wouldn't
be a Beatles song without Ringo, so that must mean 'Blackbird' and
'Because' weren't Beatles songs either.  Too confusing.

Just on the subject, PM's been writing music since the early 60s
so it's not surprising that he's pumping out a lot of substandard
music these days.  His well's probably dry.

 #> From: (Stephen Varga)
 #> is it best to go back to the shop or to get a replacement
 #> direct from Virgin-EMI?

I would suggest Virgin/EMI, but there's no guarantee they'll care
enough to do anything about it.  The store will only ask Virgin/EMI
to do the same thing anyway.

 #> From: Scott Taylor <>
 #> Given Andy's stated antipathy to God, what is it with this
 #> apparent fascination with Christmas?

He probably just likes christmas as a non-religious event.  Not
entirely unusual, myself and most of my friends aren't in the least
bit religious and we all celebrate christmas [disclaimer included
before people flame me for being inconsistent].

 #> From: Tim Kendrick <TKEN@DICTAPHONE.COM>
 #> what do you all think about "Washaway" ???

I loved it until I listened to the lyrics.  Can't go near it now.

 #> From: DeWitt Henderson <>
 #> EC's "Hurry Down Doomsday [...] I like this CD, but what the
 #> hell is this track?

It spoils the flow of an otherwise epic album.  Gecchh.  At least
there's a song you can cut out to fit the album on a 100 minute tape.

 #> let's go on a hunger strike, and um, we won't stop
 #> until there's a new double CD from our heroes.  OK?  Volunteers
 #> to go first?

I did it two weeks ago due to a fever.  What do you know, _Fossil
Fuel_ came out locally before I was back on solids.  Your turn.

Whoops, JHBed again.  But then so has everyone else.  :)



From: Damian Foulger <>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 11:20:51 GMT
Subject: Meaningless Couplets
Message-ID: <>

-Ekrem wrote:

> "Inside your Fortress of Solitude
> Don't mean to be rude ...
> To sweep me like dirt underneath your cape
> Well I might be an ape"

> The second line in each couplet adds no meaning to the song. It
> seems like these lines are there just to rhyme with solitude or
> cape. (As a side note, isn't mentioning the Fortress of Solitude
> great?) I guess that's a bit of an exaggeration, the lines add a
> little to the song, but only a very little.

Okay, I think that this is a valid gripe, but I also think that it is
wrong.  Not being a memory-person I can't recall the exact lyrics,
but don't both those couplets get followed by other lines which
justify there inclusion.  Something like:

"To sweep...
 Well I might be an ape
 but I feel supergirl"  Or something like that.  I think that Andy is
God and he wouldn't put anything in a song that doesn't fulfil a
purpose, just like Creation and the real God.  ;-)

Dames tWd

Ps.  Does that mean that Dear God is directed at himself?

Or the way he pronounces "umbilical" in season cycle. (Is this the standard
pronunciation in England?) I guess it's OK to pronounce it any way he
likes, but it ends up seeming forced.

Actually, both of these cases don't bother me so much, because it seems
like he wanted to get an interesting concept in, at the expense of have a
useless or forced line. However, the most egregious example of rhymes
seeming forced is "Heaven is Paved with Broken Glass."

This song starts out beautifully, and what a fabulous concept.

"Heaven is paved with broken glass
Since your hammer struck my heart
This world, a hell of trees and grass"

The first two lines are awesome! But after that the next line seems really
forced. I like the sentiment, but the "trees and glass" part seems to be
solely there to rhyme.

"All is wrong like north gone south
There's a bad taste in my mouth"

Arrrgggh! This last line kills me. It totally trivializes the feelings
behind the song. Even though I really like the rest of the song a lot, this
line almost ruins the whole thing. I try not to think about this line while
listening to the song. :-)

On the bright side, I think Andy's rhyming has improved much since
Skylarking. :-) The only song on Nonsuch where whis seems bothersome is in
Books are Burning, and even there it's not too bad.

Anyway, I was just curious if anyone else felt the same way about

(Life is good in the greenhouse:XTC)
"I am quite happy to wear cotton
 without knowing how it works" - Black Adder


Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 15:06:39 +0100
From: (Erich Sellheim)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: She's So Square

Hello everyone,

sorry to bring this up again, but recently someone asked if there has
ever been a case of rude language in an XTC song. I didn't know until
recently, but at the end of She's So Square (the noisy part) Andy can
be heard saying "Fuck you". It's rather unintelligible on the released
version, but I recently heard a 1978 concert which featured this song,
and there it's perfectly clear.
Hope this was of interest to some of you;
best wishes,



Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 10:03:12 -0500
Message-Id: <v01510101aeb09d8bee83@[]>
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: Making Plans for Leonard(Chalkhills #3-28) wrote:

> #> From: (James Dignan)
> #> Finally the Beatles were arguably the last band that
> #> everyone from Leonard Bernstein to schoolchildren embraced.
>XTC could well be the next.  Honestly.

Schoolkids, OK. But I think Leonard is only embraced by a face full of dirt
right now. Who has the shovel?

Stll believe in that chunky stew,

If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work.
                                --J.G. Bennett

Catch "Forever Knight" on the Sci-Fi Channel every Monday at 8PM and
midnight, EST.
                                --Lucien LaCroix


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-29

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