Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-32

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 32

                 Friday, 15 November 1996

Today's Topics:

  Call to Chalkchildren and Sellers and a shameless plug
                     Another sandwich
                        Re: Cat Is
   Eric, Chris, Philip, John, Naoyuki and Harrison Data
            Colour everything around you gold
                       Re: Non-Fab
                   Beaten to the punch
                 Jeff Lynne Bashing: fact
                       Gimme More.
         Train running high on XTC (Woohoooo!!!!)
               Re: Why Drums and Wireless?
                   No Community Spirit
             Re: Another Bagful of Chalkhills
                      "Humble Daify"
                   Chalkhills' Children
                  the Skylacking Ballet
                      Virgin Poster


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

I'm animal and panicking!


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 18:59:40 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: Sandwich
Message-Id: <>

I wanted an interesting subject line, but all I can think about today are
sandwiches.  Don't ask why.
Mike, loved the Bob Seger line.  He should stick to what he does best,
selling damned crappy Chevy trucks.
I thought JL's production for Full Moon fever was okay.  But, some
songs now sound dated.  I think that any Jeff Lynne (performed/produced)
album becomes dated almost within 3 years of release.
And, hey, gosh darned it, isn't it time we all joined hands and
proclaimed Go 2 as the best album?  Sure, I am real, real glad Barry
Andrews got the boot/left, but I like Super Tuff, and My Weapon, and that
whole darned
album.  It is fun.  Second one I bought after Skylarking.  If I
could continue buying them and listening to them after Go 2, it couldn't
have been all that bad.
Transcription coming, please stop your groveling, the drool is warping my
hard drive.


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 08:59:41 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Call to Chalkchildren and Sellers and a shameless plug

  Send all replies to :

  Hello again from work,

  I just read my last post and it sounded very jumbled up. This was
  due to the fact that I was not "working" and I didn't want to get
  caught wasting my employers 'precious time'. I hope my point was
  recieved, though. Humble Daisy - Rock over London - What we LIKE
  about XTC.

  If there are any subscribers or fans of XTC living in or near the
  area of Nashville, please e-mail me. Now to shamelessly plug
  myself, (sounds painful) the band that I play bass with are playing
  at Victor V's in Nashville the day after thanksgiving. The band is
  called 'comma8 comma1'  (,8,1) and have been getting play on radio
  here and good support. If anyone wants a free tape of some songs
  that will be on our CD, e-mail and I'll send them free. I would love
  the feedback.

  Last, as my e-mail capabilities have been limited lately, I would
  like any of the Tape distributors from Bizarre Depiction, Skylacking
  and the guy who wanted to put a tape together of subscriber's music,
  to know I have cash and am willing to purchase whatever product they
  have. I hope I haven't missed my chance.


  Send replies to

  "It isn't even winter but I'm Freezin' freezin'"

  P.S. To Josh Hall-Bachner - You, my friend, have a very good

       web-site. I am envious of your collection. Everyone should

       check it out.


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:15:33 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: Another sandwich
Message-Id: <>

I am just a needle stuck in a groove. 1- I love Mantis On Parole, and all
of Homo Safari-until one comes to Frost Circus.  It is good on its own
merits, as is Procession Through Learning Land, but they are not much like
the other 4, which have a definite percussion.  Obviuosly due to Terry's
abcense. 2-I saw CTD and Elvis in May of 94.  I thought Elvis ruled
supreme, asnd I was there to see him, but I enjoyed CTD.  They were very
accompished, and had a sunse of humor about themselves. Brad made note of
the overplayed condition of M(32) and Superman.  Still, Elvis ruled.  I
won't make a bold statement that Amanda (formerly of the list) made a
mistake and will regret it for the rest of her life, because Elvis is like
the Dallas Cowboys.  You love him or you hate him. (However, I think some
people hate him because they have dimissed him for "Pump It Up" or
something.  For example, my sister thinks he is akin to the Sex Pistols-go
figure.) All I can say on the subject is, you pay for the ticket, stay and
get your money's worth.  My comrades on the Feg list know what I am taling
about.  I regret I never saw XTC, but I was only 13 when they last
performed, and that was in France, even.  I do regret seeing a lot of
bands that opened for the Dead Milkmen over the years, but hey, who knew?
Any big Intercourse fans out there?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 12:42:40 +0000
From: Heather Tinkler <>
Organization: The University of Oklahoma
Subject: Re: Cat Is

On a very minor note.. shouldn't the quote in the sig be Cats instead
of Cat's?

TMBG-- another song (which i really like) that could be reminiscent of
mosquitos? Stompbox maybe??

I really like Dear God.. it makes me feel more assured of myself,
being Agnostic.



Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 11:25:11 -0800
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Eric, Chris, Philip, John, Naoyuki and Harrison Data

  In an attempt to give where credit is certainly due, I would like to get
  musician credits for the following Chalkhills' Children's songs:

  It's Nearly Africa - Eric Day

  Chris Spillios - Dear God

  Collideascope - Philip McEachern

  Disque Bleu - John Hedges

  Goosey Goosey - Naoyuki Isogai

  Living In A Haunted Heart - Harrison Sherwood

  I'm working hard to pull this together quickly.  It looks like we will have a
  special surprise for the contributors.  No firm details yet.

  Thank you to all the well-wishers.  Good things come to those who wait...

  ...for me.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 16:28:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Least-mentioned?

Hello Ev'ryBODeeeeee! (That's meant to be Grover from Sesame Street, in case
you didn't catch it...)

I think that I have a nominee for least-discussed/mentioned XTC song on
Chalkhills. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever seen it mentioned
for any reason, and it didn't even receive a single vote in my Desert Island
poll. Then again, it hasn't been mentioned as anyone's LEAST favorite yet
either, so I was just wondering what you all thought of:

"Shake You Donkey Up"   ???

I myself like it quite a bit. Though I imagine it might be a bit grating to
some, particularly some of Andy's "yeeeee-hah's," I really enjoy the twangy
guitar sound and the "you took her for granted and took advantage so you got
what you had coming to you" theme. Sort of a caustic follow-up to The
Beatles' "She Loves You" (never thought I'd connect those songs!). I also
love the way it leads into "Seagulls Screaming."
 Other opinions? Is this song liked or not? General impressions?

On another note, I was just listening to one of my Richard X. Heyman CDs,
and if you haven't heard him before, you should try to track him down (I
don't know what the availability of his CDs is these days, but it's worth
the effort). He's something of a cross between "Drive My Car"/"Day
Tripper"-era Beatles, Marshall Crenshaw, and David Yazbek. His album "Hey
Man!" is great pure pop, and his other one that I have is excellent as well
(unfortunately, I'm at work and don't remember the title).

Dave Gershman

P.S. I was just listening (after Richard X. Heyman, that is) to The Police's
first album a little while ago, and I just feel like saying, lo, after all
these years, it rocks! I really don't care at all for Sting these days (have
you seen the hairdo in one of his recent videos, though? Whoa! Pretty least, I HOPE it's a joke), but he (and Stewart and Andy, of
course) was great back then. The lyrics to "Born in the '50s" are beginning
to sound a bit dated, but still (aside from "Sally," which is funny for the
first few listens, but eventually wears thin), it's a classic!


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 23:54:44 +0000
Subject: Colour everything around you gold

Dear Chalkies,

It seems I have upset somebody:
>I'm sure Josh has heard the studio versions of these tracks many times
>before, Mark, which means he had presumably formed his opinion of
> those songs before listening to Drums and Wireless.
Oh, of course he did know the tracks but I just thought it strange to
post such an outspoken opinion on a cd you don't have.
That was the point I was trying to get across.

> Given the
> note-for-note similarities of the live versions to the studio
> versions, what is there to discover with repeated listenings? Nothing
> much.
 Are you serious?
I discover new things everytime i listen to any XTC cd or tape.
And why would you even bother to listen to the studio versions
more than once then?

> You only need listen once to tell whether or not a live
> recording bears a strong resemblance to the corresponding studio work.
Of course live versions always "bear a strong resemblance"...
They're the same songs!
But you know, I don't mind :)
I would like to have a tape of every show ever recorded!

>I also don't understand why you lump Josh's comments with the "other
> really cool groups" discussions as somehow being unrelated to thus
> mailing list.
I didn't. The fact that I mentioned this and Josh in the same
sentence does not imply that I thought his remarks were off-topic.

But I do feel strongly that lengthy discussions on Beatles bootlegs
(to name but one example) may be very interesting but should be
conducted elsewhere or in private.

Now some XTC content:
Any Serious Collector(tm) who still needs a UK Nonsuch CD with
gold-etched jewelcase should email me privately...

And does anybody own the Italian RESPECTABLE STREET single with a
promo sticker? I have one but am uncertain if the sticker is
Email me privately if you have any info.

I would also like to get in touch with people who have information on
the chart positions of XTC singles & albums in their countries.
So if you have any info on this please contact me.

yours in ecstasy,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
Break the code of the whispering chimneys and traffic signs


Message-Id: <v01540b05aeb289d4db0f@[]>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 14:05:19 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Non-Fab

From: "Peter Fitzpatrick" <>
>Goodbye was not a Beatles recording. That's why it never made it onto A3.
>There was apparently some wrangling over the inclusion of "Come & Get It"
>in A3, since that is strictly speaking a non-Beatles recording.

Huh? Aren't there several one-man, "non-Beatles" recordings on A3? (And A2
and A1, for that matter?) Like George's late demos, for instance? Paul's
solo version of "Yesterday?" Etc, etc?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 17:13:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Beaten to the punch

I can't believe it! No sooner do I send off my post about "Shake You Donkey
Up" (see above, or previous issue, depending on the volume of posts, I
guess), when issue #31 shows up with this from Allan Hislop:

> Shake You Donkey Up - I've never seen this wonderful track mentioned
> in the mailings.  (Although I am a fairly recent subscriber so
> apologies in advance if I'm wrong).  Does anyone else think it's the
> bees-knees?

What are the odds of that? Well, my answer was in that aforementioned
post...I just had to comment on this weird coincidence.

Ciao for now,

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 15:17:00 -0700
Subject: Jeff Lynne Bashing: fact

I'm a forty year old puppy doing what I'm told.....

I've noticed a lot Jeff Lynne bashing on the list lately, so I just
thought I'd pass along some fact.  Sure, ELO got boring real fast and
his production style has an overbearing quality, and he was actually
involved with the Trav-Wilbury projects, ( I would've thought HE
would've thought he was above it.)

But here's the fact we must not forget.  He was a part of one of the
more original English bands of the 60's.  The MOVE.  They made some
really good albums back then especially if you like the Dukes stuff.
Forgetting this tidbit is like not giving Todd Runderbra credit for
being in the NAZZ.
And yes, I think it would be a mistake to have him produce XTC.
I think a more appropriate producer would be the likes of Paul
McCartney; you know, someone who would spend more time on the golf
course than in the studio during production.

As to order:  I always tell people who discover new bands to work in
reverse-chronological order when aquireing new material by that
group.  I think it makes for a more understandable order than to skip
all around or for Nonsuch then jump to White
Music and try to work your way forward.  This always put me mum off
her tea.
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Gimme More.
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 16:08:00 CST
Message-ID: <>

From Gene in  Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 29

>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.

I agree with Gene.  Our discussions may be wide ranging, and while I don't
hang on every word written here, I value the dialog on pop music.  Its
pertinent to our discussion of XTC because we want to understand their
contribution to music and to our lives.  XTC have many influences and
imitators.  Its meaningful to discuss them, and learn about other artists
who delight us for the same reasons that XTC does, or for other reasons.  An
artist or band recommended enthusiastically by more than one Chalkhilltopper
goes on my music exploration list, and often to my CD shelf.  We have a
common interest here, and its working out just fine.

>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.

Dead on, pal (er, person with whom I concur).  I would add that This Is Pop
music we are on about.  The XTC bandmembers, and our other favorites, like
Elvis Costello, know quite a bit about it themselves, I gather.  I am
inclined to believe they would appreciate the broad-based discussion and the
"illumination," as well as the civility we find here.

>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.





Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 17:06:12 -0600
From: (LaShawn M. Taylor)
Subject: Train running high on XTC (Woohoooo!!!!)

Agggh! I was going to reply to the list a few weeks ago, but since then I've
been buried in work, school, and chalkhills!!! Somebody shovel me out!

Okay. Let's do this the easy way.

When I first started listening to XTC, I used to think the songs were all
sung by one person and I was sorely disappointed to learn that while Andy
sang Collideascope, Colin sang the lead in the Vanishing Girl.

Whoever is taping the Adventure Club Sessions, I would like a copy please!

Personally I love every single song on Rag and Bone, *except* I Need
Protection. Oh, Colin, why dost thou maketh me wince so?  And I do like
Countdown. Nyah, nyah nyah. Hey, I grew up with that genre! Be thankful they
didn't do "It's Christmas", the non-official African-American Christmas
song. You know, the one that goes "Hang up the mistletoe, I'm going to get
you know you better THIS CHRISTMAS..." (I still shudder remembering when I
had to sing that in 3rd grade.  "And this CHRISTMAS will be a very special
CHRISTMAS for meeee, yeah! <corny music> shake a hand, shake a hand!" Ugh.)

And speaking of Rag & Bone songs, TDII could feature Tori Amos singing Angry
Young Men. Somehow, that fits her.  And Poi Dog Pondering could do Battery

And Poi Dog Pondering happens to be a great group! I highly suggest them.
They're now based in Chicago (tee-hee!)

And speaking of Chicago, any Chalkhillers around the Windy City?

And finally:

Me female. Me like XTC. Me no find male who like XTC. Me no find male
period. Me one unhappy female. Enough said.

/===\     LaShawn M. Taylor (
|^ ^|\    Ryoga: Now, Ranma, it is my turn to destroy *your* happiness!!!
 \v/\|    Ranma: Happiness?  Am I happy?
    \|    Baby, it was then I saw my future-saw it as a shadow on the ground.
	                                         -John Mellancamp


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 15:20:32 -0800
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Re: Why Drums and Wireless?


>I'm sure Josh has heard the studio versions of these tracks many times
>before, Mark, which means he had presumably formed his opinion of those songs
>before listening to Drums and Wireless. Given the note-for-note similarities
>of the live versions to the studio versions, what is there to discover with
>repeated listenings? Nothing much. You only need listen once to tell whether
>or not a live recording bears a strong resemblance to the corresponding
>studio work.

What is there to discover? Why, the dynamics of a live performance. Ie, I
prefer the version of "This is Pop" on the BBC live recording. It's a bit
quicker, which I prefer with the song. Also, live performances often make
individual parts a bit more distinct, since very little studio layering can
be accomplished with 4 guys and a live PA, thus making the figuring out of
guitar parts easier. Just my opinion. I could care less if studio/live
comparisions are almost note for note, the songs do end up sounding different.

  David Hathaway                      
                 The Electric Mail Company Inc.
               Internet Electronic Mail Solutions
               Voice: 604-482-1111 1-800-419-7463
             Fax: 604-482-1110  Web:


Message-Id: <>
From: (Chaos Harlequin)
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 23:46:42 GMT
Subject: No Community Spirit

Wow, complete culture shock: reading the TMBG list, then this one. I
am completely amazed at how completely awesome every single one of you
are and how incredibly insightful, interesting, and mature this list
is all the time. Wow. :)

>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? :)

VERY happy indeed. :)

Umm, I meant, I didn't bring it up.

>"Mummer" is arguably
>their best album (but I can't decide which I like best)

I've never cared that much for it, but I don't know how much is
production, how much is "style," and how much is songwriting. I'd rank
it above WM, but that's about it.

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

I shall jump on the bandwagon and criticize this one...:) Imagine, if
you will, the finest Belgian chocolates. You eat them. Suddenly, you
refuse to eat regular chocolates, or indeed any other type of sweet --
after all, if you really understand Belgian Chocolate, it is extremely
difficult to completely respect other chocolate.

And let me say that while XTC are certainly better than R.E.M., it
doesn't really matter, does it? They're both good, both talented, and
both enjoyable to listen to. Why not listen to R.E.M. just because
they're not the "best"?

>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.

That's why I stopped the tape in disgust the first time I heard the
"original" mix. The amazing drum sounds on the Band's Mix (not quite
as good as Nihilon, but good still...) were reduced to a sad, flat
clop-clop. No wonder the band wanted their own remix of this song
released -- it beats the pants off the other, hands down.

>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!

Since R.E.M. have just released an amazing new album, the "Why oh why
haven't R.E.M. remained stunted in their musical growth?" comments
have slowed quite a bit recently...if you really want a band whose
first albums are held in high regard, check out TMBG. There must be
more debates on whether or not their Indie albums are actually "soooo
good" than anything else on their NG.

> #> hidden track off Factoy Showroom with no success.
>Maybe your copy's just a dud pressing.  If it is get a replacement.

It's not that...certain players just don't like it, and some people
get screwed. I'm lucky in that all three of the CD players I have
access to will play it, but they're all fairly new.

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

This would be quite interesting...hey, Mitch, you know both bands (you
lucky bastard :) Wanna pitch the idea for us? :)

>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 believe I missed this, but to the person who asked, I have three
words: Shaving Brush Boogie. The entire song is about Andy's little
"incident" with a shaving brush (think "Bungalow"...) and the
"treatment" he and the band get from Princess Margaret at the
hospital. Exceedingly naughty.

>One track
>that I thought was extremely beautiful and still stays with me is
>one of those. It is 'Humble Daisy'
>What a delicate piece of music that is. Who, but Mr. Partridge,
>could make such an incredible song out of a small subject as this.

I agree wholeheartedly. "Humble Daisy" is worth the price of Nonsvch
by itself, or at least combined with "My Bird Performs." Both are
exquisite pop gems with beautiful melodies, perfect production,
touching lyrics, and purely amazing vocal deliveries. Can you tell
that I like them? :)

>  P.S. I know it's an old demo and I don't want to get anyone who
>  hasn't heard it mad or anything but I still want to talk about how
>  amazing the song "Everything" by them is.

Another great track. "Is there a thief in your storehouse, stealing
our memories?" Amazing lyrics describe the emotions of a breakup in a
truly memorable and touching way. Why this didn't make O&L is beyond
me -- it better be on TBA.

>Whatever happened to XTC b-sides?
>In the old days, when I started buying the singles, you used to get proper
>tunes on the flip.
>All songs that had not been released before.

We still do. Down a Peg? Always Winter Never Christmas? Just because
they are technically demos doesn't mean anything -- if they didn't say
"demo" on them, would you know? They're flawless recordings of
unreleased songs. What's wrong with that?

>'m thinking that I sort of like the
>idea of having some little awards thing for us akin to our postings.

<deadpan>Gee, I wonder what award *I'd* get.</deadpan>

>Don't know if anyone mentioned this before but I think XTC fans
>might dig the Cardinal record released a few years ago on Flydaddy
>Records. Orch-pop genius that is, in my opinion, the best record
>of the past five years.

I really must get a copy of that...the two tracks I have heard ("If
You Believe In Christmas Trees" and "Silver Machines") are both quite

>How is a song embarrassing?  I don't understand that.  They could
>be embarrassing to the writers but they'd have to admit they were
>embarrassed by them [I'm sorry if they have and I missed it].

Andy says (in the R&BB "liner notes" on Chalkhills) that they're
probably the worst songs XTC had ever written, so I guess that
qualifies as "embarrasing." And I still say that they're embarrasing,
because they're *REALLY BAD SONGS.* There's nothing wrong with liking
them because they *ARE* bad...but that doesn't make them good. Am I
making sense here?

>     Not my intention at all.  I said I wanted to know about the existence
>     of demos, but in my mind it just seemed that some people who owned
>     these "secret" recordings were just using it as an excuse to brag.
>     Perhaps I'm wrong here.

I'd say that your original post was pretty stereotyping of those you
are speaking of. Yes, some people do that. Most don't. So why imply
that they do?

>     If Andy &
>     Colin don't turn a demo into a "proper" track or release a demo as a
>     b-side, or whatever, then there's probably a good reason for this.

Unfortunately, these reasons usually had to do with the fact that
Virgin was SCREWING THEM OVER as opposed to any musical reason. Many,
many of the unreleased songs are far better than many released songs.
If you have no interest in obtaining these demos, more power to you.
But that is a pretty silly way to justify it. (Which you don't even
need to do...if you don't want them, you don't need to justify that!)

>Now : XTC Content.
>Has anyone out there played with noise reduction (meaning "DINR" or
>"SoundForge") on the demos ?
>I've been doing a little experimentation - care to share notes anyone ? My
>results have been very encouraging.

Please elaborate. Are you just referring to an attempt to remove
static and generation noise from tapes of Demos? If so, I'm not sure
that's a good thing to distribute -- the very last thing we want going
around are pristine copies of the demos (and I mean this in all

>Ted, you ignorant slut,

Ummm, Dave, was this really neccesary? What did Ted ever do to you?

>Another song from Nonsuch that nobody ever mentions is My Bird
>Performs. It's one of Colin's most beautiful songs. (And after hearing the
>demo, I'm glad he changed the lyrics to the second verse.)

*I* mention it, or at least try to. This song plus Mayor of Simpleton
is the reason I got into XTC, period.

Josh, there's no community spirit anymore. :)

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


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 17:29:23 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Re: Another Bagful of Chalkhills

Wow, I go to a 3-day workshop, and there's another bagful of Chalkhills.  Well,
a few comments, and I'll try to keep it somewhat short.

- I had a dream last night that a new XTC CD came out, but it was just
  demos, and called "(somebody's name) Demos".  Very strange - are we all
  crazy?  I mean, this is at least the 3rd XTC dream in this list...
- Non-XTC content - true, we should keep to XTC pretty much, but I agree
  w/people who said look, there's been no new XTC stuff for years, so it's
  OK to get sloppy.
- Fossil Fuel and Testimonial Dinner - I don't have much interest in either
  - I agree w/whoever said they'd rather listen to our boys than people
  doing covers.  As for FF - hey, I already have all this stuff on the
  original CD's.
- Oklahoma art student - YES, when you do have money, puh-lease check out
  more XTC and EC!!!  And good luck w/being an art major - I'm in my late
  30's, trying to extract myself from a not-so-exciting career and get more
  into art myself.
- Drums & Wireless - is this a "regular release"? - as in, not some bootleg,
  or hard-to-find, only released in Bangladesh kinda thing?  I have to say
  I've never seen a copy...
- Texas XTC group meeting - keep me informed - there's a slight chance I
  might be down there at that time
- Someone suggested we describe why we like XTC - good idea.  I like them
  because they are very clever and good craftsmen, as has been said, but I
  also like them because they often choose very inventive or even bizarre
  subject matter.  It gets really old to hear the 10,000th song about love,
  even though it's a good topic
- McCartney - "Ram", etc.  Yeah, it's good, but like someone else said, I
  really like "McCartney".  Possibly my favorite solo by him.
- someone mentioned the Posies' "Dear 23".  Great CD!
  When I was a sophomore in college in the 70's, my cousin and his roommate
  came to my dorm room.  They (especially his friend) pawed through my
  record collec- tion, which admittedly was much more commercial & mundane
  than my tastes now.  But that's not the point.  They said "this sucks!",
  "this bites", etc., and I was furious.  I said "I'll never do THAT to
  anybody!!!".  And I never have.  I don't like this stuff, but if someone
  likes country, rap, disco, or whatever, hey, it's THEIR taste, and why
  wouldn't they listen to what THEY like?!?!?  So I think our little
  discussions on XTC songs, or non-XTC music, is fine, but let's not get all
  agitated about who's "right".
- Bungalow! F*ck! Smartest Monkeys! Todd! CTD! REM! Dear God! Americans!
  British!  Ray Davies! War Dance! (sorry, I just had a Chalkhills fever,
  kind of burning with optimism's flames there for a moment...)

* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Date: 15 Nov 1996 16:40:14 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: "Humble Daify"

I, too, think that "Humble Daisy" is one of the best songs from "Nonsuch."
Being a fan of layered vocals myself, I love the way Andy and Co. approach
the vocal harmonies (I just did a version of "Nigel" with a three-part
harmony...Hmmm...)  "Daisy" has some great memories associated with it, too
(summers on Nantucket; best friends; etc.)

I've just co-formed an a-capella singing group with four friends (we kind of
fell on it by accident, actually), and wondered if anyone would want to
*privately* e-mail me as to any XTC songs that they think would work well
without instrumental accompaniment, and that we could all just belt out in
the acoustically-perfect main entryway of my school. Maybe "Humble Daisy."
Anyway, any suggestions would be appreciated.

I like all the songs people have been saying they don't like.

Could whomever talks to Andy next "suggest" that "Everything" be cleaned up
and put on the new album? Even though it's an older song, it shows a part of
Andy that we don't see a lot. (Those chords at the "storehouse" bit remind
me of "Blackbird"). I find it to be one of his classiest songs, and, the
first time I heard it, it made me (a 17-year old) cry. There's only one
other song that makes me do that, for some reason: "Mercy Street," by Peter
Gabriel (a song I wish I'd written.)

That's it. This won't turn into a JHBer. Best to all,

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


Date: 15 Nov 1996 23:30:53 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Chalkhills' Children

Since my e-mails to Richard Pedritti-Allen keep getting bounced back, I
thought I'd suggest he use Sony CD-IT tapes, which are 74 minutes long. You
could probably get them cheaply if you buy 'em in bulk. Just a thought.

There are only two XTC songs I don't like (not gonna name 'em!), and one of
them is *not* "Pulsing Pulsing." I think it's a cool song. Someone (JHB?)
made an interesting comment, though, on a songwriter being "embarrassed"
after writing a song. As a songwriter myself, I know the feeling exactly -
there are some songs I have lying around that should just get sacrificed to
the gods of fire. (I wrote a song this summer about a completely
self-serving person I know, and his girlfriend/significant other coming to
visit, and him saying to her "I know you really want to see me, but that
just isn't possible right now/There are so many other people who want to see
me - who want to be like me..." Aaargh!) My point is, it would be
interesting to know if Andy or Colin regret putting a song down, and for
what reason(s).

I've been working hard trying to convert fans of Hootie Blows Fish (etc) to
XTC, and I've had some success. My school's TV station, H-TV, played "Peter
Pumpkinhead" in a promo for last week's show (the station manager is my
roommate.) The kid across the hall from me copied my K-ROCK show, only to
put it in the pile with his Dave "Could we be more overplayed? Huh? Huh?"
Matthews Band bootlegs. My co-prefect, John, has the Primus CD with "Nigel"
on it. My English teacher revised his statement that XTC are, in his words,
"wankers."  All in all, things are going pretty well on the conversion

Could someone give me a review of the Newell "Greatest Living..." album
before I buy a copy? Thanks. Please e-mail me privately.


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


From: Keith Hanlon <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: the Skylacking Ballet
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:18:49 -0500 (EST)

A special thanks to Dave Stafford for explaining how he recorded his
beautiful version of "Ballet for a Rainy Day." Indeed, it has captured the
spirit and beauty of the original.

I am disappointed that more people aren't talking about this compilation.
Everytime I hear it it grows and grows and grows on me. I am mad about Big
City Orchestra's "Grass" - delicate. Father Relph's "Another Aerostar" is
hilarious! Great job fitting all those words into your uptempo rendition.

At first I was disappointed by The Pop up Book's "Supergirl," but the more
I hear it, the more it reminds me of old Mommyheads ("Coming into

Any more opinions?



Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 13:10:35 +1100
Subject: Sundry
Message-ID: <>

 #> From: Allan Hislop <>
 #> it just seemed that some people who owned these "secret"
 #> recordings were just using it as an excuse to brag.
 #> Perhaps I'm wrong here.

Some of those people have publicly offered to dub the demos for
anyone else on the list.  As far as the rest go... well, whether or
not they've been bragging is for them to say.

 #> I would rather get one a week if it didn't contain most of these
 #> unrelated topics.

I wouldn't.  Same goes for a lot of other readers.  As I've said
before, just skip what you don't want to read.  Oh, and it *is*
all related.  People don't just jump out of nowhere screaming
'Let's talk about Jurassic Park then'...

 #> Shake You Donkey Up - Does anyone else think it's the bees-knees?

Yes!  Gets me bouncing every time I hear it.  I don't care what
people say, _TBE_ is a brilliant album.  So there.

 #> The Man Who Sailed... - I can't believe how popular this song is.

If I'm right it's meant to be a pastiche of spy film themes.  I
don't think much of it either.

 #> From: AMANDA OWENS <>
 #> Another song from Nonsuch that nobody ever mentions is My Bird
 #> Performs. It's one of Colin's most beautiful songs.

Another yes!  Although it sounds too much like a fusion of 'Ten
Feet Tall' and that riff from 'Jump'...

 #> I think tool much time was spent from birth to 1982.

I agree.  I just want to know the stories behind the recordings, not
how many brownies Colin ate in 1967.  It's like reading that
stoopid Princess Di biography.  Who cares how many times she's
tried to top herself?  I certainly bloody don't.  Anyway, the last
third of the biography was brilliant, and the bits about touring
and the journalists' reaction to them [especially our Ian 'Molly'
Meldrum] were priceless.  Speaking of which:

 #> From: "G.M. Quinn" <>
 #> the abysmal guess
 #> at the spelling of one of the biggest airlines in the world.
 #> It's QANTAS not QUANTAS.  So much for research.

At least he painted Molly accurately.  For those of you who don't
know, Molly Meldrum's possibly Australia's most outspoken music
critic.  He's also got a huge ego -- he constantly drops names like
Madonna and Michael Jackson [people who probably wouldn't recognise
him in a blue fit], and he gets an awful lot wrong, especially
names of albums.  He's praised for some by promoting local talent,
but I doubt he knows what talent *is* -- all he effectively does is
perpetuate the hegemonic CrapMusic(TM) industry.  Oh, and he
evidently can't laugh at himself, following a lawsuit he allegedly
filed against someone for taking the piss out of him on national
television on a weekly basis.

 #> From: "Michael D. Myers" <>
 #> don't the 3 of them have an arrangement where they split all
 #> songwriting royalties equally?

Let's hope they don't get greedy with their new label thingy.  I
can see commerciality [!] splitting up a band that suddenly starts
making heaps of money.  Okay, I'm being respectively pessimistic
and optimistic here, but it's food for thought.

 #> From: (Spiritual Generation, etc.)
 #> Revisionist history, anyone?

Is that an oxymoron?

 #> Jason [he had his be-er...BEEE-EEER...BEEEEEE-EEEEEEEEEEE-YER...]

<chanting> Laaager, laaager, laaager, laaager...



Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 21:14:44 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Virgin Poster

This is the first time I have written to Chalkhills. I am glad I am not alone
in my love of XTC music. It is very hard to explain to people who XTC are,
they just do not have a clue. I have learned alot since picking up these
digest 2 months ago. I appreciate all the information and current goings on
with the band.  I was in the Tower records web site and saw in the upcoming
releases an album by Anthony Hamilton called "XTC".  Does anybody know if
this refers to the boys of Swindon or just a play on the name. I was also a
big fan of 10cc, who I feel were very much like XTC, great pop music but
never fully recognized or appreciated.


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-32

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