Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-33

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 33

                 Sunday, 17 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                 Because/Nasal Hairs/Ram
                       Re: Lynne +
                    Various and Sundry
                     Donkey business
              I bet you all think I'm wierd.
                 goodbye umbilical theory
                   Re: Science Friction
 Skipping around from topic to topic, la la la la la....
                   Information omelette
            Random Bits Flying Out of My Head
                      RE: Umbilical
                Fine Wine & Michael Bolton
           A little more about Scarecrow People
   i promise not to mention the r*tl*s again after this
                      humbling daisy
                       Wagga Wagga
           Virtues of a wide ranging Chalkhills
                       Josh, you...
                Re: Dear God?  Just Say No
                        The mayor


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

It just gets you down.


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 10:52:17 -0800 (PST)
From: Thomas Long <>
Subject: Because/Nasal Hairs/Ram
Message-ID: <>

Greetings Amandites,

Glad to see the dreaded B word mentioned here again... I mean, since Andy
has spent a good portion of his career under the mistaken impression he's
Lennon (or is it McCartney?), it has some relevence... Anth 3 is a stunner
and well worth the price of admission... Because, bathed in glorious
reverb, sounds like it's being sung in a church or something... the
sublimest ( "please put your anal retentives away now class") moment of
the musical year for these ears... and speaking of such moments, Humble
Daisy is a gem... I love Andy's (or is it Colin?? or Dave??? ahhhhhhhhh!!!!)
great sigh before the jazz tinged ending... yeah, it's verrrrrrry Brian
Wilson, but it's still a great tune... and since I'm on a sixties rant,
what's all this about Andy's nasal hairs and Ray Davies? Brother Ray from
Face to Face until Muswell Hillbillies was/is about as good as it gets...
an excellent primer for the curious is Kinks Kronikles (Reprise), which has
much of the best material, including some wonderful obscurites (sadly, it
is missing surely one the best party tunes in the history of... well,
party tunes, I guess... Sitting On My Sofa)... to Fascists everwhere: I
apologize for the lack of xTc content... thomas

ps Ram is post-Fab excellence... the only record in my mom's sorry
collection that was worth listening to when I was a kide (unless you rate
Don Ho, that is)


Message-Id: <v01540b00aeb2cfd74d72@[]>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:10:10 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Lynne +

From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
>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.

Oh, come on...Lynne was only in the Move during their later days, and wrote
only a few of their songs. For much of the Move's lifespan, Lynne was in a
rather forgettable fey group called the Idle Race. The Move was Roy Wood's
baby, not Lynne's. And I don't hear much Move in the Dukes -- the Move is
considerably heavier.

On the other hand, anyone heard a Ocean Colour Scene song called (I think)
"Can't Ignore The Train?" Boy, that sounds like the Move....


PS  Are the same people complaining about off-XTC postings the same ones
who post boring letter after letter about searching for a basically
redundant XTC greatest-hits album? I can't BELIEVE how much time has been
devoted to Fossil Fuel. I've never even seen the thing, and it doesn't
bother me a bit. I guess I'm just not that completist.


From: Keith Hanlon <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Various and Sundry
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 22:22:52 -0500 (EST)

I don't check my mail for a week and look what happens.... a billion
digests in one day!

From  Chalkhills Digest #3-32:

>> 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.<<

Either that or he'd be doing Anthology interviews in his yacht... geez...

And from JHB:
>>Ted, you ignorant slut,

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

JHB... you didn't get it. Sarcasm. For more info, see any 70's Saturday
Night Live.

Well, I'm packing up my belongings and moving. I won't have a computer in
the house (it's staying with my hoousemate), so I'm unsubscribing from almost
every list. ALMOST every list. You can't get rid of me that easily!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 22:11:32 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: Donkey business

Shake You Donkey Up is probably not my most favorite XTC song, but I do
turn up the volume every time it comes on!  I really get into the
hard-edged choppiness of it (you really get a feeling of anger at the guy
in question), as well as the "howdown" feel!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 21:48:55 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: I bet you all think I'm wierd.

Much to the contrary, I found both of your posts of 11-14-96 to be
insightful and entertaining....exactly what I look for when I read the
Chalkhills.  I share your passion for "Then She Appeared" and was
interested in the whole Catherine Wheel reference.  I had chalked it up
to a simple imagery tool until reading your mini-history...Thanks


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 01:15:44 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: goodbye umbilical theory
Message-ID: <>

This from mikearns@aolcom:

> The emotional qualities of the intervals are as follows (where T=tritone;
> P=perfect; M=major; m=minor) : m2 & M7 = extreme tension; M2 & m7 = milder
> tension; m3 & m6 = negative mood; M3 & M6 = positive mood; P4 = temporal
> suspension; P5 = power; T = instability; P8 (octave) = definition; PU
> (unison) = strength. Intervals larger than an octave retain the quality of
> their lower siblings (i.e., M9 = M2) though the greater distance weakens the
> effect. Subtle adjustments of these qualities also occur where
> out-of-tune-ness or other contextual ironies exist (including the ears of
> the beholder, eh? So much for trying to be absolute).

I'd agree primarily with the last, parenthetical statement. I think it
particularly makes a difference what genre of music we're talking about.
Two examples: the prominence of m7 intervals in music derived from the
blues (all over the radio - even XTC) all but robs the tension from that
interval. I remember some clown music critic claiming that "I Feel Fine"
was highly dissonant - because of the 7th chords, which aren't at all
dissonant in the scheme of circa 1964 blues-based rock tunes. Also: the
use of major 7ths in romantic balladry (ultimately descending from
Debussy, I'd bet - ditto the 6th thing) make them sound "smooth" and
"sophisticated" rather than particularly tension filled, at least as used
in popular music.

> was to help clear up errors in a pseudo-technical thread that had surfaced
> in this digest, and respectfully identify literary/poetic usage of musical
> terminology as a thing apart from the words' actual meanings. And why not?

The problem here is assuming that one field has a lock on technical
terms. Ask any guitarist what a sixth chord is - the answer will be quite
different (or a limited instance of? I'm only vaguely up on trad music
theory) from the answer a music theorist will give. Doesn't make it wrong
- the term is perfectly functional, used in gtr tabs, etc.

This 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.

By that logic most of the White Album shouldn't have been released
either. Paul McCartney was a Beatles. Paul McCartney made this recording
before the band broke up. Therefore, it's fair game for a compilation of
Beatles demos. I mean, his version of "Yesterday" is on another
_Anthology_ - he's the only one playing! (Ditto "Blackbird" on _A3_). And
"Step Inside Love" is included - not written to be performed by the band,

Finally, one last take on "umbiLIKEll": I've always assumed it was a
vaguely comical mispronunciation of a "difficult" word, also a word out
of the speaker's context, since he'd likely consider it a "female thing."
(I'm reminded of my stepfather asking the guy behind the counter at an
Italian deli for "placenta" - he meant "prosciutto." [Yes, I already
know. Please don't post *that* to the list.])

Out I go in a flurry of parentheses and brackets,

Ceci n'est pas une .sig

In my CD changer: The Wrens _Secaucus_
		  Go-Betweens _Tallulah_
		  Cell _Slo-Blo_


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 11:46:52 +0000
Subject: Re: Science Friction

Dear Chalkies,

In the last Digest Stephen Varga said:
> One final thought. If you have a copy of the Science Friction 7 inch
> single in Mint condition, it's worth around 75 pounds nowadays. (120
> US Dollars!) Well that's how much someone in November's Record
> Collector is asking for it, anyway...
Or is he offering 75 Pounds?
I know one shop was offering that in every issue.
But nobody is selling...

This record with picture sleeve both in _real_ mint condition is so
extremely rare that people have been offering up to 500 dollars for it.
BTW I have one, absolutely unplayed and as new.
I paid about 110 dollars for it and that is really very cheap.


Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's useless XTC quote for today <==
Where's the message that's written under the base of clouds?


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 04:34:19 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Skipping around from topic to topic, la la la la la....

Hi! This is a long post. Most of it is XTC related. (generic intro)

>Given the note-for-note similarities of the live versions to the
>studioversions, what is there to discover with repeated listenings?
>Nothing much.

Mark from the Little Lighthouse replied:

>> 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?

Sure I'm serious, Mark. Carbon copies of studio recordings (which is Drums
and Wireless in a nutshell, for the most part) do not make for good live
recordings, in my opinion. Why bother to release live recordings if the songs
sound the same as the studio versions? Sheer waste of time. I think you
missed the point about the studio recordings. My point was this: If you
already have the studio versions to listen to over and over, why would you
want to listen to the inferior, carbon-copy live recordings multiple times as
well? To hear Dave's stilted recreation of the harmonium solo in "Seagulls
Screaming.."? It's just not worth the twenty bucks. That's why I gave the
album to my sister. She's not familiar with most of these songs, so it works
pretty well as an introduction to their pre-Skylarking stuff.

>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!

The best live bands experiment with the arrangements of their songs for their
live performances. The closest thing XTC ever did on a regular basis to their
arrangements in concert was to shout over to Terry to speed up the tempo.
Crowded House, for example, messes around with their song arrangements and it
adds an element of unfamiliarity to their performances. You can add a whole
new dimension to a melody just by changing the arrangement. XTC phoned it in
too often (by Andy's own admission) and that's why I'm glad they concentrate
on studio recordings instead of wasting potential studio time on the road.

Josh's post:
>Wow, complete culture shock: reading the TMBG list, then this one.

Tell me about it, Josh! That list has the one or two-sentence post plague.
Thank goodness there's a few people on that list who elaborate on their
thoughts, otherwise I wouldn't read it.

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

(assuming your comment was serious, Josh)

I'm not the Dave who posted the original comment, but I'll speak up anyway.
That's a Saturday Night Live reference from the 70's ("Jane, you ignorant
slut") and was not a insult directed at Ted.

Ben Gott:
>I like all the songs people have been saying they don't like.

Me too! I like the Chickenhead song, Countdown to Christmas Party Time,
Pulsing Pulsing (fun songs!), the Homosafari series, The Smartest Monkeys
(though not the lyrics). I get the impression people don't like the Bumper
Cars demo either (at least Peter and Josh told me they didn't like it), but I
think it's one of the best new songs Andy has going for him. There isn't an
XTC song that I don't like (having checked the pesky Travels in Nihilon off
that list last year), come to think of it. I'm not too keen on The Lure of
Salvage, though (but that's Andy, not XTC).

>Could someone give me a review of the Newell "Greatest Living..." album
>before I buy a copy?

It's excellent, though perhaps a little too Beatle-esque on some of the
I was hooked on the album by the fourth song.

Someone else said:
> I think too much time [in the XTC bio] was spent from birth to 1982.

I think too much time was spent recounting the CASBY awards show. Two whole
pages devoted to a largely ignored mishap at a now-defunct awards ceremony!
I found the pre-1982 section of the book to be highly entertaining, featuring
a wealth of hilarious anecdotes (Japanese man trying to marry Terry to his
daughter to restore family honor, Spud's gurgle-buzz 'space-age' contraption,
the roadie diary, etc.) and evolution info. I just wish Twomey would have
included Andy and Colin's opinions on their songs in similar detail.

Dave O'Connell
York PA


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 12:59:28 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: Information omelette
Message-Id: <>

I had forgotten about that "Goodbye"  song by Paul, and finally it came
to me.  Wonderful ballad, excellent hook, terrible chorus.  Should have
been on A3.
LaShawna, I am a male (but admittedly, I took a hard shot in a bad place
playing soccer this morning, so I might have to check), and there is a
possibility I would be in the Chicagoland area sometime in December or
January.  So, there.
Who's going to join me in the Go 2 parade?  Free soda and pie!!
And, finally, from the November 11 issue of Time, the article.  Reprinted
without permission.  I am so sorry, Time/Warner/Turner, you probably own
me anyway, so what is the point.  Apologies over the length, but perhaps
we all want more.
            			 THE AGONIES OF XTC
      The British pop band XTC dazzles and delights with a retrospective
      double CD of their singles.
They don't tour, they've never had a number one hit song and they've
never won a Grammy.  In fact, the British trio XTC (pronounced ecstacy,
but unrelated to the recreational drug of the same name) displays none of
the traditional trappings of rock and roll stardom.  While garnering
critical acclaim and a devoted cult following in Europe, the U.S. and
Japan, the band has never enjoyed mass appeal or huge commercial success.
But with the group's new release-"Fossil Fuel:The XTC Singles
1977-1992"-the evidence is there for all to hear: XTC is one of the
greatest pop bands since the Beatles.
	Founded in 1976 amid the ferment of London's punk explosion, XTC
is made up of three working class lads: guitarist and lead
singer/songwriter Andy Partridfge, bassist and songwriter Colin Moulding,
and Dave Gregory on keyboards.  Fossil Fuel chronicles the band's
evolution from pubescent punk rockers to sophisticated balladeers.
	Early XTC songs were three-and-a-half minutes of scratchy guitars
and spastic rhythyms, distinctive for their irresistible melodic charm
and pungent lyrics.  [pungent?-JMI]  "Life Begins at the Hop", a
tongue-in-cheek description of London's punk scene, is the kind of
irrepressibly catchy tune you find yourself humming in elevators. The
classic "Making Plans for Nigel"  parodies bourgeois values by recounting
the sorrows of young Nigel, doomed to a grim future in British industry
by parents who "only want what's best for him."
	Starting in the earla 1980s XTC's music became more complex and
orchestral-with a whiff of 1960s psychedelia thrown in.  In a 1991
interview the reclusive Partridge confessed to suffering from "a Sgt.
Pepper's complex."  Partridge's most recent compositions combine the
songwriting skills of Lennon and McCartney with the poetic sensibilities
of Gerald Manley Hopkins.  Like the Beatles, Partridge is a master of the
sad and lovely ballad.  In "Wrapped in Grey" he writes evocatively of how
"Some folks see the world as a stone/Concrete dubbed in dull monotone."
Like Hopkins, Partridge uses poetic devices such as alliteration and
synesthesia to express pastoral beauty: "How colored the flowers all
smelled/ As they huddled there in petalled prayer."  Partridge also pens
scathing political broadsides.  In "Dear God", he wrestles with the
question of faith, concluding "That Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/ Is just
somebody's unholy hoax."  With soulful songs like this, "Fossil Fuel"
testifies to the knack XTC has for making music that moves both body and
				-by James Geary
Also, there is a picture.  If it is recent, Dave and Colin have cong back
to shorter hair.  Wouldn't Amanda pay a lot of money to have such a
wonderful photo of the two lads, looking sensitive and moody? ( I am
turning the screws)
Machs gut,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 14:06:26 -2451
From: Jim Henderson <>
Organization: none
Subject: Washaway/Bulldog

From Simon Knight:

>i wanted to discuss the rising piano scales which remind me of
>a silent movie soundtrack

This piano figure (from "Washaway") is great. It always reminded me of
something-- I didn't know what. Then one day my band did a cover of the
Beatles song "Hey, Bulldog." The sequence where John is singing "you can
talk to me" has the exact same figure playing underneath him, just at a
slower tempo. Another example of the fine Beatle influence on the boys!!

Love and Cookies,



From: McGREGOC <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 14:16:04 +00
Subject: Random Bits Flying Out of My Head
Message-ID: <>

Hello there Friends!

I just want to say DAMN! I love reading these posts.  Although at times
I haven't a clue as to whats being said especially when it comes to
all the music jargon.   I happen to be rather disabled in the
musically inclined department, but I know good music when I hear it.
Well in the case of XTC at least.

The tune 'Shake your Donkey Up' has been mentioned resently and I
just wanted to add in my bit.  I LOVE this song  especially the line
'pick a fight with love and she will tan you hide in'.  I think I got
the line right.  If not correct me.  Which leads into hearing other
"things" then the intended lyric.  I tend to do this quite frequently
and some had mentioned it before so I thought I would throw out my
little deviations.

    I the song 'That Wave'  I think the lyric goes "address cloud
eleven" but for some odd reason I hear " all dressed in leather".  I
don't know what that says about my head but on to the next!

   The other one is from 'Paper Snow'.  The line is" Laundry ticket
that exploded".  My version "laundry CHICKEN that exploded".  Its
probably a good idea that I checked the lyrics later.

This list goes on but I think I've frightened you enough.

Just thought I throw out some songs that I really like.

Helicopter- That song really gets me going!  I love the raspy sound
of Mr. P. voice.  Wonderful!

Snowman-Kinda breaks your heart. Poor fella.  I really get a kick out
of the shivery sound in Andy's voice " it isn't even winter out but
I'm freezing, freezing".  It makes my heart melt when I hear that.

Miniture Sun-  I love the jazzy feel to it.  Can't help but sing

When You're Near Me I have Difficulty- I can relate sometimes, but
can't we all.  My head heard other things in this tune than the
original lyrics but I'm too embarassed to mention them here!!

Question!  I've noticed a funny glitchy sound in "Generals and
Majors" on my CD and on various tapes that I have purchased.  Has
anybody else noticed this?  Or have I managed to by all the duds.
Its only in one place so I don't think it was an instrument thing.
The first time I heard it I nearly had heart failure.  I never moved
of my bed so fast before in my life!  On inspecting the CD, I saw no
scratches so I assumed it to be an error in the recording or
manufacturing.  Any thoughts?

Ok, I think I've pacified myself.  Oh! one last thing.

Hey Dewitt!  Hows the weather in good old NM? I'm here in London
trying to get used to the rain. Imagine that RAIN!  Do me a favor and
have some chips and salsa for me.

Talk to ya later!   Cheryl


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 10:25:21 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <961116102521.2020a78d@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU>
Subject: RE: Umbilical

Hello chalkhillians,

just a little note on the umbilical pronunciation. I am presently in
medical school and went through a whole course in embryology without ever
hearin the Season Cycle pronunciation. I had almost begun believing that Mr.P
changed the pronunciation for poetic reasons. then yesterday we have a
physiology lecture on maternal changes during pregnancy by a pretty
erudite doctor (he used the words atavistic as well as teleological) and
BLAM there he went speaking of the um-bi-LI-cal, and all I can say is that
i was very pleased. He was a little too distant to appreciate XTC but the
thought did cross my mind. I did turn on the embryo teacher, an expert in
marsupial embryology, to Mammal by TMBG...he thought it would be cuter
than it was, silly he was.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 11:41:34 -0800
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: Fine Wine & Michael Bolton

XTC Fans and Friends,

Man.  I just checked my e-mail, and there were four unread Chalkhills!

Regarding REM comments:

I know how to spell "Byrds".  That one was either spell-checked or was a
typo. Peter Buck and co. can list all the punk bands they'd like to as
their influences.  I still hear The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Byrds in
their music. I like them, I just can't say that "They Rule".

No, I don't think that "She Said, She Said", "And Your Bird (byrd) Can
Sing" and "If I Needed Someone" sum up REM's catalogue.  REM's remake of
"Superman" sounds a bit like "She Said" to my ears.  I do think that:

a)  REM does do some music in the styles of those songs
b)  The Beatles did it first
c)  The Beatles did it better
d)  Some REM fans might like to check out these songs

And one more thing: If an evil Genie appeared and presented me with the
choice of never again hearing any REM song, or never again hearing "Yacht
Dance", my copy of "English Settlement" would remain intact.

Regarding my love for Andy's lyrics:

The reason that I put the apostrophe in "T'aint" was to point out the pun:
"them what ain't you" + "them what taint you".

I don't care if the lyrics to "Funk Pop a Roll" and "Scarecrow People" are
blatant.  Andy is my favorite lyricist of all time.  Subtle or blatant,
sacred or profane, smooth line or forced rhyme, the man is a song-writing
genius.  Sure I can find small imperfections here and there, but if I were
to use Andy as the measuring stick with which to gauge all other
contemporary songwriters against, I'd have to burn my entire collection
because it would be like (hyperbole alert!)  measuring the Michael Bolton
against Pavorotti.

Listen, I know that it is all opinion.  I imagine that there are people out
their that think that Michael Bolton is a wonderful singer.  I think he is
channeling for Ethel Merman.  My XTC loving girlfriend thinks that Sting is
a pompous overbearing narcissistic pseudo-intellectual that writes
"aggressively bad self-serving" lyrics.  Although I can somewhat relate to
her criticisms, I think that musically, Sting is extremely talented.
"Spirits In The Material World" and "Heavy Cloud, No Rain" are two of my
favorite songs/records.  I still respect her opinion, because art is

I thought the "Belgium Chocolate" metaphor that someone wrote about me was
inspired but misguided.  I've love very expensive red wine, but can still
enjoy a $10.00 bottle of California Cabernet Sauvignon. I like all kinds of
music, REM and the Kinks included, but the reason that I spend time reading
and contributing to this newsletter is because I believe that XTC is that
very expensive bottle of red wine.

Regarding "Peace of Mind":

Thanks for all of you that filled me in that this was fake bootleg Beatle
track.  That explains a lot, but it does sound like the Beatles.

Regarding Dear God:

I love the song, the lyrics and the sentiment expressed.

"Shake You Donkey Up", "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her", "Wake Up",
"All You Pretty Girls" and "I Remember The Sun" are all wonderful

By the way, I like to give my friend's book a plug.  "American Hit Radio"
by Thomas Ryan is a book of entertaining essays about top-forty radio
written by my friend and x-band mate.  He turned me on to XTC in 1981, and
for that alone I'll always be grateful.  Since XTC never had a top forty
hit in the states, he was unable to include any of their songs, but they do
get mentioned in the book.

I had wanted to write about Colin this time, but I've got much work to do.
Maybe next time.

I can't think like Chekov, but I'll be OK.

"There's lots of waste and razor wire, and no one gives a DAMN about the
land they just stand 'round and stare like you folks dooooo!"

"You tread the high wire, between truth and lies, your safety net just
walked out, much to your surprise.  (Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey)"

Stormy Monday


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 12:21:19 -0800
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: A little more about Scarecrow People

XTC Fans & Friends,

Scarecrow People,

I can't let this one go.

This is such an incredible song.  The concept of an awful race of scarecrow
people contacting us for pointers on how to conduct themselves is
ingenious!  This song is the XTC legend defined.

"Now while your here
 can you advise us on a war
 we'd like start against some scarecrows
 over there, a different shade?

We thought we'd base our civilization upon yours ..."

The music is outrageous, with science fiction guitars, scary walking bass
part and that wild violin!

Stormy Monday


The John Lennon "Plastic Ono Band" album with "God" on it is a masterpiece.
No one needs to strap me to a chair to listen to it.


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 09:54:09 -0800
Message-Id: <>
From: studio seventeen productions <>
Subject: i promise not to mention the r*tl*s again after this

ARCHEAOLOGY is well worth it....but, agreed, not as good as the first album

However, my fave tracks would be:

Hey Mister!  (this really rocks, like that song that wasn't quite really on
Let It Be)

The Knicker Elastic King

Eine Klein Middle Klasse Musik


and the amazing two opening tracks:

Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time band/Rendezvous

NOT obligatory but I'll say it anyway (i DID mention this tune a long tiem

HUMBLE DAISY is intensely beautiful, perhaps the best song on the album.
always loved it, always will.  almost 20's guitar feel...

the serious andy voice from heaven...

i also really like BOOKS ARE BURNING.  LISTEN to those guitar solos, over
and over, really LOUD.  this is 99.999% acheivement of near Be*tl*-ish

oh crap, i mentioned BOTH the B-word and the R-word.  Luckily I didn't
mention the CTD-word, or the N*w*ll-word, or the Y*zb*k-word...

observation:  we shouldn't talk about the Be*tl*s, even though we all agree
that they are probably one of or the single largest musical influence on
XTC's members?

i don't get it.

baffled and bemused

dave at studio seventeen

                        pink litmus paper shirt turning blue.....


*         *  *  *  *  *	  You can't teach ducks to dance.
*	           *
*               *         (Consequences/Godley & Creme)
*            *
*         *

seventeen: the ambient music page



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 13:24:54 -0400
From: "R. Brookes McKenzie" <>
Organization: Your Mother, Inc.
Subject: humbling daisy

Ben G. - i know you said "*privately*", but since i've been more or
less waiting for this topic to come up for the entire time i've been
reading chalkhills (which would be 4 or 5 years now! - why didn't i
bring it up myself then? i didn't think anyone'd be interested), i
simply have to share. i'm curious to know how many other chalkhillians
are or have been in an _a cappella_ group - there are three that i know
of: myself, old Ben (!) here, and someone who might prefer to maintain a
dignified silence on this subject (and who seems to have disappeared off the
face of the planet anyway [wherefore art thou Peter E.?]). and in my
struggle with the eternal question of what XTC songs would work _a
cappella_, i've come up with a few which i think would be absolutely killer
 - "humble daisy" is one (*especially* for a men's group, which is why i
couldn't have done it with my (all-female_ group)) - the song is practically
arranged as is, what with the "doo-wah-doo-wah-doo-wah" on the chorus, but
you'd have to have a _really_ good bass. also i've often thought of doing
"ballet for a rainy day" - with all the cascading lines and overlapping it
could be gorgeous, and "you're my drug" - especially suited for a college
(or prep school!) audience, plus you'd get added points for the sixties/byrds
sound. "pale and precious" is almost too easy, though, and people would just
think it was a beach boys song. a nice upbeat song might be (now that i'm
listening to it!) "statue of liberty" or "extrovert" - talk about a song you
could yell in an archway!

also, Mitch - please tell your G.V.M.C. story, which is hysterical AND
XTC-related and so might lend some credibility to this thread. i've also
heard sub-par versions of "mayor of simpleton", but nothing compared to

re: "you ignorant slut" - it's an old (and exceedingly amusing) SNL reference.
so don't take it personally, Ted (or Josh, for that matter).

James: didn't some awful female singer ca. 1991 do a cover of "tomorrow never
knows"? i seem to remember cringing a lot at her nerve.

			- brookes "your saying here" mckenzie


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 11:01:01 +0000
Subject: Wagga Wagga

Someone who's name i can't find wrote a couple of digests ago:

>I've just returned from a pilgrimage to the old hometown (Wagga
>Wagga - don't laugh) armed with a tape of all the XTC bits and bobs
>which a dear friend gave me.

Do you mean Wagga Wagga, Australia?  Tiny little country town?  Home
of Charles Sturt University from where i am currently typing this?
Do you mean there's more than one XTC fan from here?  And someone
from Chalkhills actually passed through Wagga?  I'm in shock!

Maybe there's more Australian's lurking around this list than i
thought.  We should hold our own "XTC Thanks for Christmas Party",
but considering the great distances between populated areas in our
country it might more difficult than it sounds.


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 16:09:11 +1100
Subject: Virtues of a wide ranging Chalkhills
Message-ID: <>

Just quickly, I noticed the digests are all less than 1,000 lines
following comments from some people that their mail readers don't
hold the whole digest.  Was this a conscious action?  It's a great
move at any rate.

 #> From: (E.B.)
 #> Aren't there several one-man, "non-Beatles" recordings on A3?
 #> Paul's solo version of "Yesterday?" Etc, etc?

They were officially Beatles songs, but 'Goodbye' was officially a
Paul McCartney solo work.  I think.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 #> From: Bob Thomas <>
 #> An artist or band recommended enthusiastically by more than one
 #> Chalkhilltopper goes on my music exploration list, and often to
 #> my CD shelf.

If it wasn't for this mailing list I wouldn't be listening to Adrian
Belew right now, and I certainly wouldn't have the Elvis Costello,
Robyn Hitchcock, Jellyfish, or Ben Folds Five collections I've
built up.  Now that I've recovered from this bloody fever I'm about
to go out and buy some stuff by The Kinks, The Move, Crash Test
Dummies, Jason Falkner, The Posies, and Martin Newell/Cleaners From
Venus, and without Chalkhills I wouldn't have any of this to look
forward to.  'Nuff said.

 #> From: (LaShawn M. Taylor)
 #> I was sorely disappointed to learn that while Andy
 #> sang Collideascope, Colin sang the lead in the Vanishing Girl.

Colin?  You were lied to.  Have another listen...

 #> Me female. Me like XTC. Me no find male who like XTC.

Me male.  Me like XTC.  Me taken.  Sowwy.

 #> From: (JHB)
 #> I don't know how much [of _Mummer_] is production, how much is
 #> "style," and how much is songwriting.

'...Farmboy's Wages', 'Great Fire', and 'Ladybird' are written
beautifully.  'Deliver Us...' and 'Beating Of Hearts' are also
great songs but I think a lot of their value is due to the
production.  Someone I know got turned off XTC for life because he
heard 'Wonderland' and called it plastic, but then he doesn't like
anything recorded after 1970 [four years before he was born!].

 #> From: (Chaos Harlequin)
 #> 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.

Sigh... you're missing my point.  Just because SOME people don't
like a song doesn't make it bad.  I like both of them because
they're GOOD.  They're '*REALLY BAD SONGS*' in YOUR opinion, NOT
everyone else's.  Making sense now?


On the music box:  _Here_ [christ it's a good album... recommended
                   by someone on this list too, by the way]


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 01:51:46 -0800
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Josh, you...

Hey all,

James Isaacs said:
> 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.

I think it's more like "within 3 years of 1987."

And, after I said:
>>Ted, you ignorant slut,

JHB had some words for me:
> Ummm, Dave, was this really neccesary? What did Ted ever do to you?

I had a feeling someone wouldn't get this remark, and it makes sense,
age-wise, that it would be you, Josh. I certainly intended Ted no true
disrespect, as you'll note that the rest of that post was very civil.
The "You ignorant slut" part is from the old Saturday Night Live, when
Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin did the "Weekend Update." Each week, after
getting through the "news," they would present "Viewpoint," in which
they would debate a current controversial topic, one of them taking the
"pro" side and the other taking the "con" side. Jane would always go
first, presenting a very eloquent defense of her position (usually the
"pro" side, I believe). When she was done, she'd turn it over to Dan for
his rebuff, and, without fail, he would begin HIS defense with: "Jane,
you ignorant slut..." and proceed to attack her character and person,
not her viewpoint on the issue.
 It was that line I was quoting, and it was only meant to be funny. I
guess that version of SNL was on before you were even born, so I suppose
you wouldn't have been aware of it (boy, does that make me feel
old...want to start singing "Whole Lotta Age" to me, Josh? I'm 30).

DeWitt, I believe, said:
> - someone mentioned the Posies' "Dear 23".  Great CD!

Indeed! As are ALL the Posies albums, to varying degrees. I'm really
enjoying their latest one at the moment.

To add to the chorus (so to speak) for "Everything," I agree it's a
great song. It was the very first song I thought of when Mitch told us
to suggest songs for the oh-so-hoped-for Bootleg Album.

Moving on, Keith Hanlon said:
>I am disappointed that more people aren't talking about this compilation
>[Skylacking].  Everytime I hear it it grows and grows and grows on me.

 Yeah, me too! Especially that song by, oh, what was his name? "Dave
Gershman," was it? Boy, what a version of "The Troubles" he did. Whew!
He's going places, that Dave...  :)
 But seriously, I think there are some really excellent renditions on
there that I'm proud to have been included on the same tape with (and
next to which my "Troubles" pales). As I already noted to him privately,
I think John Neill's songs in particular are extremely well done. I
especially enjoyed the animal sounds on "Summer's Cauldron" makes
for a very amusing start to the tape. And Ian deserves much praise for
putting the whole thing together. I look forward to a chance to
participate again on the next tape, both his and Richard Pedretti's
(this time with a little more lead time available -- due to hearing
about the project belatedly and then procrastinating slighty, I recorded
my song for "Skylacking" in 5 hours just so I could get it in to Ian
before the deadline).

Adam responded to someone as such:
>> 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.

Definitely. There is a point at which a non-XTC topic could get carried
too far (though I really don't think we've quite reached that point with
any of them), but really...XTC do not exist in a vacuum. (Good thing
too, or it would be extremely difficult to hear their music.)

> I just want to know the stories behind the recordings, not how many
>brownies Colin ate in 1967.

Yeah! (...Uh, just how many WAS that, though, by the way?)


Dave Gershman


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 04:22:14 +0000
From: Heather Tinkler <>
Organization: The University of Oklahoma
Subject: Sugarplastic

Who was it that mentioned their fondness for The Sugarplastic?!?! I,
too am a recent.. but no less "rabid" fan. I love this cd!!!! (Bang,
the Earth is Round) can you help me with this line of lyrics from
"Don't Sleep" ???

?? Heavy heavy sulphur, better ... not falter, grab her by the wings
and drag her to the alter. Buy her shiny things like porcupines and
rings. They 'encumber' her fingers, remind her of those sa-lad days..


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 11:11:58 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Dear God?  Just Say No
Message-ID: <>

  In my "annoying" list, I guess I must be getting tired of all the talk
about "Dear God." It's not a horrible song, but by Andy's admission it's
rather hastily written and ill-thought-out, and its general crankiness
has started to wear on me. I wouldn't switch stations if it came on the
radio, but I wouldn't be real happy to hear it, either. To each their own.
  As for "All Along The Watchtower," I guess what's annoying and what
isn't is very subjective. I own most of Captain Beefheart's albums, for
example, and I think "Roads Girdle The Globe" is annoying in a very
satisfying way. AATW just grates on me. To each their own again.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 16:31:32 -0800
From: T P Uschanov <>
Organization: University of Helsinki
Subject: Birds (E.B.) wrote:

> > 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 only REM were influenced by the Birds -- they were quite a nice
British band of the mid-sixties who featured Ron Wood and are probably
best remembered for their cover of Motown songwriter Eddie Holland's
"Leaving Here".

T P Uschanov, University of Helsinki, Finland, European Union ###
      "Omnia praeclara tam difficilia, quam rara sunt."
                 (Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 12:12:00 -0800
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: The mayor

XTC Fans & Friends,

I was exploring the home page and just zipping around, and I read "Their
anti-fame song 'The Mayor of Simpleton' ".

Could someone shed some light on that reference.  I always took that
song at face value.



End of Chalkhills Digest #3-33

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