Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-3

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 3

               Wednesday, 25 September 1996

Today's Topics:

                    RE: Guitar tunings
                  Philo 101 (XTC-style)
                   Stink(ing Rich)weed
                       Fossil Feud
                       Demo madness
        Lemonade?  Please!  You're my best friend.
 You make great lemonade Itchy.  Why thank you Scratchy!
       Demos: Cool or Criminal? You Make The Call!
                Non-XTC Crash Test Dummies
             Andy Partridge interview online
                re: EAster Theatre lyrics
                        Demo Warz
               "Best Of..." Song Selection
                    Fossil Fuel found
                     Scouse & Scouser
                    randy scouse git!
                       Play It Loud
                        XTC & REM
                      Demo Morality
                 The Little Express . . .
         NYC/Brownies - Sugarplastic: phenomenal!


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Dropping leaflets down below.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 23:31:21 -0700
From: (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: RE: Guitar tunings

>Does anyone out there know of any alternative guitar tunings used by
>XTC for particular songs?

>There's been more than one posting in this digest or on the
>Chalkhills webpage that hints that some XTC songs were created (and
>therefore best played) with non-standard tunings, yet these mystery
>tunings never seem to be revealed.

>Anyone have any ideas?  (Perhaps a music magazine article or a video
>performance would offer some clues...)

        Thanks to a tape Steve Schiavo sent me, I can say that one of the
alternate guitar tunings is just the "open E" tuning.  If you strum the
open strings you get an E major chord (from low to high: E, B, E, G#, B, E)
On this tape, Andy is talking to some French guests about various things
and also playing excerpts from tunes off Big Express as well as others.
Andy says just about every tune on Big Express uses the open E tuning.
"Try Train Running Low...":

(Note: Don't post to TAB archives, just yet)

Barre 3rd fret




When I get some time, I'll try and post a handful of TABs in this tuning
that I've already figgered out.

To Jen Geese:

        I believe Fossil Fuel is only a British release.  Several
Chalkhills ago, someone in XTC management posted an address to write to if
you were interested in ordering it.

                                                      Ian Dahlberg


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Philo 101 (XTC-style)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 16:06:41 -0400

Many of you may recall last Spring, when yours truly held a
trivia contest whose prize was a shiny new copy of the new
XTC demos. Many of you also may recall a post from either
Yazbek or Chuck Bisson (or someone else), stating that Andy
was upset that the demos were being copied and distributed.
Many of you may also *also* recall that I got blasted by a
Chalkhillian for outwardly offering my copy for dubbings.
My only thought was, "Dear God. I've made Andy Partridge,
my musical idol, angry! And, I've upset a fellow
Chalkhillian! I'm gonna end it now!" Fortunately, I didn't.
Here's the point:

We, as Chalkhillians, are a forgiving bunch. I know this
for a fact; I've mentioned my least favorite songs;
confused Andy's songs with Colin's; pissed a few people off
- but that's the good part of this list! I can look back at
my first posts, in September 1995, and say "Wow. I've grown
with these people. It's like a really large,
Monty-Pythonesque, slightly dysfunctional family!"

That's it - I'll stop the moralizing.

Anyone have "All This Useless Beauty"? Isn't it good? I
think so.

My misheard for "Ordinary People" is: "you could complain
about my bone <aka gripe> for Berninstrom <a last name, I



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 96 17:07:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Stink(ing Rich)weed informed us:
>The person and store with which I am so pleased are named Kimber and
>Stinkweeds, respectively.  Kimber wrote to tell me that a 7"/12"/LP/CD single
>collection from an (overstocked or former) XTC-o-phile had come into her
>store, and that she is giving first choice in sales to true XTC collectors.
> She went through the entire list with me, and I'm sure there are some items
>that most Chalky residents would mortgage _____ for.  She has a "Buster" 7"
>just waiting for one of you.

That would be me, thanks! :) Thank you very much for the tipoff on that
veritable goldmine of items, Jake! I just finished spending an uncalled-for
amount of money over the phone (I think it was Kimber with whom I spoke) on
a variety of items, including the Buster single; their last copy of the FF
ltd. edition ($24!); a Trouser Press flexi-disc of "Tissue Tigers"/"Blame
the Weather"; gatefold singles of "No Thugs," "Love on a Farmboy's Wages,"
and "Sgt. Rock"; a few picture disc and marbled-vinyl singles; a Warner
Bros. 12" of an interview w/Andy; the crown-shaped package for the "King for
a Day" CD 3"; and the CD 3" of "Mayor of Singleton" with the unreleased
demos (I had the 12" of that already, but wanted to hear how they sounded on
CD). I tell you all this not to taunt you all, but rather to give you an
idea of the types of things she has there...and there's plenty more that I
opted not to purchase (I already spent more than I should have), so you
should give them a call if you're interested. To repeat the phone #, it's



Date: Tue, 24 Sep 96 17:21:38 EST
From: "John Christensen" <>
Message-Id: <9608248436.AA843611440@PO2.VRINET.COM>
Subject: Fossil Feud

Sure, there's not much color there, but I see a lot (perhaps more than I
should) in the Fossil Fuel CD design. Follow me here:

Coal is fuel.
Coal is black.
The whole package resembles a lump of coal.

Fossils are bones.
Bones are white.
The white lyrics look like fossils/bones stuck in coal.

Coal burns.
Matches light coal.
The match symbolizes the end of XTC's life with Virgin ("Burn up the old,
Ring in the new." -- Sacrificial Bonfire).

The possible interpretations, of course, are numerous . . .

XTC's career doesn't amount to more than a lump of coal?
XTC are pop dinosaurs?
Isn't anyone going to mention that the matchstick is phallic-shaped?!!

No, you're probably right . . . they just ran out of time and didn't
consider any symbolism.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 17:20:04 EDT
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Demo madness

I gotta agree with Mitch's post from the last issue, particularly the point
about $$ and unscrupulous people taking the demos and putting them on CDs.
Trading boots and demos is one thing -- no, I don't agree with Robt. Fripp
about the "sanctity" of the performance relationship between performer and
audience -- but allowing the demos to fall into the hands of those trying to
profit from them (without passing along a portion to the boys) is another.
Be discreet, y'all.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 09:30:43 +0000
Subject: Lemonade?  Please!  You're my best friend.

A few things from Chalkhills #3-2

Sean Robison wrote:
>And, since I've found another penny in my pocket and can up my
>contribution to .03, my simple take on the picture of the match -
>isn't that just a visual representation of 'fuel'?

Judging by the sparse packaging it's more likely a match to burn
bridges with!  :-)

And Sara wrote this:
>Here is something to think about for those of you who sleep too
>well at night:  upon rereading _1984_ for a class I am taking, I
>stumbled across (and even stubbed my poor toe upon) this old
>English nursery rhyme:

>"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's
>You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's
>When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey
>When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.
>Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
>Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!"

>Given the Big Brother-esque paranoia of songs such as "Real by
>Reel" and "Mole From the Ministry," what do you think of the
>possibilty that the title for "Oranges and Lemons" came from

I like this theory.  It's more interesting than what i've thought it

This rhyme is quite common, even in Australia.  It's more
than just a rhyme: it an old english song with a medieval melody.
There's even a children's game involved with the song.  I think they
might even play it in the "Winnie the Pooh" or "Mary Poppins" books.
Or maybe it was an Enid Blyton one.  Apologies if this has been
explained before:

Two kids stand facing each other with their arms raised forming a
steeple.  The other kids form a line and start skipping through as
the song is sung, then run to the back of the line and go back
through.  When the song reaches the word "head" the steeple
is brought down to trap whoever is underneath at the time - and
they're out of the game.  The winner is the last person still
playing, they get to be one of the choppers the next round.

There's also a shorter variation, mainly used by younger children who
couldn't remember the whole thing:

"Oranges and lemons say the bells of Saint Clemens"
"Chipper chopper chipper chopper, off... with... this... mans... head..."

In this version the steeple starts going quickly up and down at the
start of the "chipper chopper" line and the kids would start running
through trying to not be the one caught on "head".  It seemed a bit
more exciting.

My english grandmother used to tell me she played it during her
childhood in London as well.  (She was born in 1920).

It's not such a stretch to imagine the album being named after this
nursery rhyme.  It was the first thing i thought of when i picked up
the album.

After all, Andy's done it before, in "Toys":  "oh dear, what can the
matter be?" is another English childrens song.  The melody is
different, but it's definitely a reference to it, in the context of
the lyrics.  I can't remember it exactly but i goes something like this:

"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Johnny's too long at the fair"
"He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"
"He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"
"He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"
(I've forgotten the last line - can anyone remember how it goes?
It's been bugging me for ages!)

It's another medieval melody, the intervals in it remind me of small
snippets of "Senses working overtime".  We used to sing it a lot in
Kindergarten, but once we got out in the playground we'd sing this

"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Three old ladies locked in the lavatory"  (sung Lav-a-tree)
"They've been there from Sunday to Saturday"  (sung Sat-ur-dee)
"nobody knows they were there"

What sad little kids we were.

Some people have claimed the album was named "Oranges and Lemons" due
to the differing styles of the songs on the album.  The phrase to
describe that in England and Australia is actually "Apples and Oranges".


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 09:37:57 +0000
Subject: You make great lemonade Itchy.  Why thank you Scratchy!

Oh, i forgot one other "Toys" reference:

The line "oh dear, what if the cradle falls" is a reference to this
old English lullaby, normally sung whilst rocking a baby:

"Rock-a-bye-baby, on the tree top"
"When the wind blows the cradle will rock"
"When the bough breaks the cradle will fall"
"And down will come baby, cradle and all"

Though i for one have never understood how this imagery is supposed
to help a baby sleep!

Has anyone else spotted any other nursery rhyme references in XTC songs?


Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 21:41:26 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Demos: Cool or Criminal? You Make The Call!

Ack, I will not even *mention* the word "demo" after this, because this
little debate that I seem to have unwittingly started is *not* going to be a
good thing for this list...

>On one side of the debate were those sensible souls who'd weigh up each
>album on it's own merits and decide on that basis whether the group was
>progressing or regressing. On the other side, were those who thought the
>sun shone of Bono's sit-upon and who thought that everything U2 released
>should automatically top the charts and garner unquestioning critical

Assuming that *I'm* the drooling fanboy in this example :), your argument is
flawed anyway. I enjoy R.E.M.'s music but I am far from loving everything
they do. The lyrics from, say, the first three albums were crap, and the
whole "Oh, the lyrics were better when we didn't know what they were..." is
stupid. And some of their songs are just bad. You, however, seem to have
picked up the standard "Oh, R.E.M. suck because they release pop fluff
radio-friendly singles." Yeah, Stand and co. are pretty mindless, but listen
to the rest of the catalogue. Have you ever listened to, say, Green or
Automatic all the way through? If not, why are you even talking about this?

>Anyone hear of a group called BINGO HANDJOB, BTW...?

You mean the one I just defended in the above paragraph?

> However, I do not apologize to
>Mark Cuevas..."jerky" was unnecessary, particularly for an honest mistake.

I assumed he meant "jerky" in the way everbody means "speedy" when they talk
about me :) but if not, then shame on you, Mark Cuevas.

>Go ahead and
>transcribe Bumper Cars at your own risk, Josh. Damn if I can figure
>it out...

I think I the time you read this, it should be on the website.
Check it out and e-mail me w/ corrections.

>Like there's
>really any truly bad XTC songs (I'll hold off here - lest I pick at the
>"there are no bad songs" scab).

Well, is that a statement of "None of the songs XTC have actually released
are bad" or "XTC cannot write a bad song"? The first one is pretty
reasonable, whereas the second is a sign of drooling-fanboy disease.

>Please except my apologies for the outburst in Chalkhills Vol. 2, No. 159.

Well, I accept, even if the other person up there doesn't. Just don't let it
happen again, y'hear?

>Lastly, it's scary to think that I've been an XTC fan longer than JHB has
>been alive.

I have a theory that about the time that a band starts getting fans who
weren't alive when the band formed is when the old fan vs. new fan split
begins, but that's just me...

>who among us who has a demo tape won't rush out, cash in hand, to buy
>the boys' next release?!?!

I certainly will have it within 24 hours of release (if I can get someone to
drive me to the store, of course...) but I'm not sure if that's the real
issue. I think the big issue is that Andy and Colin don't *want* us to hear
the unreleased demos...they are either embarrased of them, or they held them
back for some particular reason, or whatever. Andy put the demos he really
liked on JVS/TBWTGG so they could get released. Actually, I've never heard
anything from Colin on the topic, so maybe it's just Andy.

>I have a theory that Josh Hall-Bachner is actually a cleverly designed
>*bot*, a computer program that simulates human behaviour by recognizing
>vocabulary in sentences that have been posted and generating answers to
>these questions. Either that or he is a staff of writers sacking in a
>basement somewhere in Brooklyn...


"Hey guys, the bot's down! Better get over here and start it up again!"

>So it
>goes without saying that I think a tape tree is a really disrespectful
>thing to do to XTC.

Great. Damned if I do, damned if I don't, is that it? At this point, anybody
who wants a copy is going to get one, whether Andy likes it or not. I
thought he said that, as long as they were floating around, he wanted
people's opinion. Anyway, so we should just be discreet about it, pretend
they don't exist except with people who have the secret "code word"? I don't
think so. I understand why Andy doesn't want these floating around, but to
some degree an artist has to understand that their demos *will* become
available to the public, almost no matter what. *Someone* on the "inside" is
going to get their hands on them and won't be able to resist passing them
around. Once they're out, they're out. And all that your recommendation
would do is make an "elite" who have copies of the demos and another larger
group who don't. Damn...I hate this. Really, though, do you think Andy would
really denounce us for trading around the demos now that they're floating
around? I would think that he's much more annoyed by the people who
"release" them.

Josh, help me get through these cynical days
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "And I see nations playfully hurl snowballs packed with stone and clay."|
\--------------XTC, "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"----------/


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:25:58 +0000
Subject: Non-XTC Crash Test Dummies

Anyone else notice the new XTC-loving Crash Test Dummies album "A
Worm's Life" was mixed by Ed Thacker (Oranges and Lemons)?


Message-Id: <v01510100ae6e51c14ac1@[]>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 13:08:55 +1000
Subject: Andy Partridge interview online

Just a quick note to let you know that 'the iMAGAZINE' currently features
one of 13 exclusive Andy Partridge interviews for the release of "Fossil
Fuel: the XTC Collection".  Andy talks about XTC's contract with Virgin,
their beginnings and their four year strike.  A must for any true XTC fan.

Happy reading!


the i team


Message-Id: <v01540b0bae6e689df46e@[]>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 16:42:33 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: re: EAster Theatre lyrics

>4. It sounds like "she's dressed in your yolk" in the chorus, but to be
>completely honest with you, I don't know what that means!

perhaps "yoke" makes more sense than "yolk":

Yoke n.
1. a crossbar connecting the necks of draught animals working in a team.
2. a pair of draught animals thus joined.
3. a frame designed to be carried across the shoulders with equally
weighted loads (such as buckets) suspended from it.
4. [...]
8. a piece of a garment that is closely fitted around neck, shoulders or
hips, and from which the unfitted part falls.
9. a bond, e.g., "the yoke of marriage".
10. any form or symbol of subjugation.

meanings 8-10 suggest some possibilities.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 08:35:56 +0000
Subject: Demo Warz

Dear Chalkies,

Regarding the demo discussion that has been filling our pages:

If you have any demos, be discreet. - I warned you, Josh!
And if you want any, ask nicely.

does this settle it?

yours in agony,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
There may be no golden fleece but human riches I'll release


Message-Id: <>
From: David Goody/M&G <>
Date: 25 Sep 96  7:50:36
Subject: "Best Of..." Song Selection

>From the last Chalkhills....

>If I weren't a completist, I would bypass this entirely. This is, bar none,
>the WORST 'best of' packaging and selection of songs I have ever seen from
>a record company. Very disappointing (not 'difappointing' smiley faces
>this time 'round, sorry).

I think you'll find that Fossil Fuel is not being promoted as a "Best Of..."
but as
a Singles Collection. As this is the case, the selection of songs you are so
disgusted about really chose themselves, being the ones that were released
as singles. Now, if Fossil Fuel had been a "Best Of...", someone would have
had to decide which tracks to include!! It would either have to have been a
12 CD box set, or Mr. Gershman would have had to supply the results of his
XTC Desert Island Top 5 a little earlier.

Just an aside.....Thanks very much Christie. You know why!!


From: "James Isaacs" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 10:11:39 CET-1CST
Subject: Fossil Fuel found
Message-ID: <>

I finally found some XTC material in Germany.  It was in World of
Music, in Munich.  I managed to pick up the limited edition Fossil
Fuel for 49.99 DM (33 dollars).  I found some of the lyrics of "No
Thugs" are missing.  I have not listened to it yet, because I have
returned from Oktoberfest.  This should be excuse enough.


From: (Jon Eva)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 09:25:37 +0000
Subject: Scouse & Scouser

Hi All,

>> My dictionary lists "scouse," short for "lobscouse," as a baked dish
>> or stew made ususally with meat and hardtack.  So, obviously, I am
>> missing the appropriate connotation.  Care to enlighten?

> A 'Scouser' is someone from the north of England.  Scouse is an
> adjective denoting 'from the North of England'.

Actually 'Scouser' is a lot more specific than that, it refers to someone
from Liverpool (as in 'The Beatles were a bunch of talentless Scouse gits').

Jon Eva


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 06:46:10 -0500 (EST)
From: Brookes McKenzie <>
Subject: randy scouse git!
Message-id: <01I9VX9GBSUABTTV1Q@SMITH>

just thought that no discussion would be complete without a
reference to those cheeky Monkees' and their acute grasp of
British slang. i seem to remember thinking that "scouse"
was sort of like "louse", only different. of course, i also
seem to be some kind of an idiot who cannot seem to get the
concept behind Cockney rhyming slang, so oh well. i do know
enough about the latter to know that "scouse" is NOT an example
of it, it's just the kind of thing i would _think_ would be
an example of it.

Dave O'Connell, after thanking Natalie Jacobs _several_ times
in regards to "Where Did the Ordinary People Go?" and
neglecting to even _mention_ the fact that i was the one
who transcribed the version he's correcting (not that i
expected roses, and given the wrath that the demo lyric
bandwagon that i so inconveniently jumped on has aroused,
maybe i'd better just shut up about the extent of my contribution,
but sheesh, a simple credit would have sufficed), has this
Jellyfish bit to share:

>>"The Man I Used To Be": "Manners don't mean shit when a family is
lost at sea" became "Mentos don't mean shit when a family is lost
at sea". [I may have misheard the lyric, but it's true. Mentos
candies don't mean a whole lot in the general scheme of things.]<<

LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off) - it's such a dumb lyric to begin with,
and he sings it _so_ pompously, that it deserves to be heard that
way! (of course, my Official Jellyfish Position remains unchanged
by this statement.)

>>However, I do not apologize to Mark Cuevas..."jerky" was
unnecessary, particularly for an honest mistake.<<

hey, settle down there, tough guy - that would be "jerky" as in
the "Jerky Boys" - i.e., M.C.(ooh, i'm not even going to _go_
into the implications of those initials) was kidding. but since
you gave him what-for in your other post, you're forgiven for not
getting the reference here.

in actual XTC-related content, i have the following to offer:

Voice of the Beehive has a cd single out that i picked up for
$2.99 at HMV for "Scary Kisses" which features the AP-cowritten
"Blue in Paradise". luckily they put his name in large letters
on the back of the package, otherwise i wouldn't have bothered
to go look it up and see whether or not he was on it. "Scary
Kisses" is alright for a Bangles-meets-Lucinda Williams knockoff,
and "Blue in Paradise" reminds me of a AP version of "Tears on
My Pillow" from _Grease_, although of course the music is better.
still, $3 to satisfy your curiosity isn't bad - certainly it's
better than $15.99 for the whole album.

speaking of wasting money, i can't believe how much i can't
_stand_ the Terry Hall album that i searched so long and hard
for, all for the two Andy songs that Senor Hall manages to
almost completely _wreck_ with his lugubrious singing and
half-hearted synths. if anyone actually _likes_ post-Goth
posturing and lethargic nasal Brits (oh, sorry, i forgot, that
describes the eight million idiots that fell for Oasis), they
can rush right out and order this boring album, _Home_ for
some exorbitant price - if you can even find a record store
that's even heard of it, that is - or you can buy it off
me for oh, say, $15. i paid twice as much for it, but i
don't even give a rat's - i kept wondering, when i was asking
around for it, why no one had it - now i think it deserves
every bit of its obscurity.

		- brookes "yoke - duh!" mckenzie

I got the will to drive myself sleepless

		- M. Doughty, Soul Coughing


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:04:40 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: (Simon Sleightholm)
Subject: Play It Loud

While on a recent adventure to the fair old English city of York to meet up
with a fellow Chalkie (Hi Nat, O estimable one) - on the very day of Mr
Gregory's birth celebrations - I was more than a little pleased to discover,
as I walked past the soon-to-be-closing-down Our Price store, that they were
cranking out Fossil Fuel at top volume. I nipped in and fought the urge to
groove in my inimitable and pan-dimensional fashion to the raucous blast of
"No Thugs..." Hearing that song belting out in a public place made me
realise how sad it really is that the UK have, in general, forgotten about
them. This music needs to be played, heard and danced to. Let's hope that FF
snares a multitude. There was in fact a certain "Fossil Feel" to the whole
trip. A visit to Whitby "beach" (a thin strip of drizzle-saddened rubble)
revealed traces of ammonites, and thanks to a kind friend, both Nat and I
returned to our respective homes clutching a real, um, live, ammonite.

From: (Don)

>Now here's a stretch: how many of you remember, or have even heard of,

Was that the band with wossname, James Warren(?), who went on to "fame" with
The Korgis? Or am I drifting again?

Is the actor happy?

(Posessor of a fine collection of cold sand-knots. It's all in the wrist
action, you know. Or perhaps that's something entirely different...)
PS. Heliotrope and book.
* ---------------------------------------------------
* ---------------------------------------------------
An English Settlement...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 09:03:47 -0400
From: Ned Robie <>
Organization: Fujitsu Network Communications
Subject: XTC & REM

Hi All,

I've enjoyed this list for some time but have never contributed.
I guess it's about time...

The talk about REM and XTC took me back to the years
I was drumming in a band called the X-Teens. We were playing some
of the same clubs as REM and would often run into each other,
especially in Chapel Hill. We were also both recording at Mitch's
Drive-In in Winston-Salem with Mitch Easter and Don Dixon
about the same time. So on occasion we would talk and just compare notes
about the music scene, etc. Back then (1980) there was a lot to talk
about! There's no doubt XTC was a favorite of all of ours and, at least
in the X-Teens' case, a definite influence. I remember when Black Sea
came out and it blew us all away.

Just to give you an idea: While I can't know for sure what Kitty, our
bassist, might have been thinking when she cooked-up "X-Teens", I
wouldn't be surprised if XTC was an ingredient. This was in 1978.

BTW, REM was a great bunch of guys who were very friendly and helpful;
always positive and never catty or competitive. Couldn't have happened
to a nicer bunch. Then again, I guess it could've happened to us,
but then I probably wouldn't be happily married with 3 kids ;-)

And while I'm at it, for some reason the story about the grafitti
on the bridge reminded me of the time I headed to the top floor
lounge of the Sheraton hotel at Crabtree Valley in Raleigh, NC for a
couple of beers and found myself walking into the cover of Black Sea.
I was astonished when I realized the bar's decor is the
"set" used in Black Sea's cover art!

Check out the Sheraton "S" on the ship's wheel.

This was quite a while ago and was probably soon after the release
of Black Sea. This particular lounge has since likely been
remodeled. Has anyone else seen a similarly decorated Sheraton?
Out of curiosity, does anyone know which particular Sheraton was
featured on Black Sea's cover? Maybe the question could be added
to the XTC trivia quiz.

Excuse the interruption if this particular item is a rehash.

-- Ned Robie <>


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 09:34:55 -0400
Message-ID: <>
From: (David Criddle)
Subject: Demo Morality

     Just having read Mitch F. thoughts on circulation of XTC demo's
     (moderately against this abhorrent practice) something struck me.
     Maybe this is a naive thought, but what is so wrong about us making
     tapes of the demos?  We are all certified XTC freaks, willing to spend
     our gas money on any and every legit XTC offering and hoof it to work
     for a week!  Apart from buying TWO copies of every CD, how else can we
     support the band?  Hell, I bought all the import copies at $20  a
     piece (I'm sure the band got no extra revenues for this markup) before
     they were released in the US.

     (Albeit, I bought GO2 about a month before they release the whole
     catalog domestically at $9 a shot. If there ever was a time I wanted
     to say "D'oh!")

     Ok. So here are my thoughts.:

     1) We have all done our parts to buy every legal release XTC has made
     and will continue to do so. (This should be said with right hand
     raised and left hand on the book of your choice.)

     2) If any XTC demos were legally released (ex:Rag and Bone) we would
     all rush out and buy it.  I would certainly prefer this over a 7th
     generation copy on tape and would probably pitch my tape if I could
     buy the real thing.

     3) Many of the demos, at least by the time they reach me here at the
     bottom of the XTC food chain, are of mixed quality.  We would never
     hear the poor quality demos if it were up to the record company. You
     can't blame them. If XTC were to release them, they would get very
     poor reviews and probably damage the band's reputation. (Only Prince
     can put out four records of crap between his real releases and still
     get stellar record contracts.)

     So who exactly is losing here?  XTC can't release these demos for much
     if any financial gains. We are all going to buy the albums they put
     out.  Demos only get us more excited about the real release, plus we
     get to hear Andy talking about farting and the like in between songs!
     (a bargain at any price)

     How about this for an idea.  I know this is on shaky legal grounds,
     but let's collect $2 for every demo we dub and send it to the band as
     a big Christmas present.  Maybe a giant fruit cake or something.

     Seriously, I know it might be in conflict with their contract, but
     could we find some way to channel some royalties back to the band for
     the dubs we make?  A donation for all the warm fuzzy feelings you get
     from the tapes.

     Just my thoughts.  Fire Away and have a good day!



Message-Id: <>
From: "Peter Fitzpatrick" <>
Subject: The Little Express . . .
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 15:17:34 +0100

Someone said :
>>The Little Express. It's
>>well written, very informative and it's inexpensive (four issues=
>>fourteen dollars). The address is: P.O. Box 1072 Barrie, Ontario
>>L4M 5EI.

Hey, that sounds like a deal to me.
Can anyone put me in touch with these people on the 'net ?
I know it's $14 for 4 issues but I'll bet us Europeans pay a little more
for shipping.

Info anyone ?

now listening to : XTC "Nonsvch"


Message-Id: <v01530503ae6dbf4621d2@[]>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 10:40:22 -0500
From: (Dino De Angelis)
Subject: NYC/Brownies - Sugarplastic: phenomenal!

Thank you Chalkhill for introducing me to several new bands during this
long XTC "winter". The most significant of which in my opinion is

Monday night (9/23) I was treated to a fine, tight performance by the
Sugarplastic at Brownies in NYC. after 9 short songs (2 of which are
unreleased, and another one available only on an obscure australian label
from what I understood),those guys left the whole club screaming for more.
The fact is that their brand of smart pop has all of the ingredients that
make me (and more and more people) tick:

1- the great emphasis on the melodic line
2- progressions that often characterized by the careful positioning of a
dissonant chord, which first elicits a surprise, and is then quickly and
effectively resolved
3- rhythmic discontinuities that either let the composition breathe or
provide and opportunity for it to go in a completely unexpected direction
4- an incredibly well crafted bass line which can either take you by the
hand (or ear, I guess) and walk you through the song in a less than
straight path, wrap itself around the melodic line or occasionally
emphasize it (dotting the i's as it were); in some songs it does all three.
In fact whatever the bass guitar does it seems to have a will of its own.

But at the concert another element struck me: their honest/friendly
attitude. For one, they were eminently approachable at the concert and I
(and several other people) talked with both the singer/guitarist and the
bassist.   On their CD "Bang! The earth is round" this honesty evidenced by
the virtual lack of digital or analog effects (chorus, reverb, echo...) of
either the voice or the instruments in most songs. On stage, this was best
seen when compared to the attitude or approach of the other 3 bands: the
Gravel Pit was aloof and cynical; the Scratching Post was angry ; the Loud
Family was slightly self-absorbed. (I am not talking about the music here,
only the attitude...).

If you like their CD, you'll love the mint colored vinyl single they were
selling at the concert (Where dead bullies go / Liar over Winchester). The
neat little chorus of "Liar..." has superb vocal arrangements and an
incredible staying power. In this little record they've hit new heights
(frankly, I thought this would be an almost impossible achievement) and
strangely enough they are as far as they've ever been from the "XTC-like"
bin they have been placed into.

(Ben and the boys, if you are listening: book another show in the city,
puh-leeeeease!!! and a longer one this time!).

Dino De Angelis, Ph.D.
Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue, Box 251
New York, NY10021


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-3

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