Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-35

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 35

                Tuesday, 19 November 1996

Today's Topics:

               Umbilical; and Music Theory
              All You Pretty Ignorant Sluts
               I'm glad I bumped into you.
                         box set
                     Funk Pop A Roll
                 10cc/lonely by the lake
                  SNL, Girlfriends, Work
         You took me down down down down a peg...
                 Martin Newell 'n' Stuff
                    FIVE KIDS?!?!?!?!
                     Dear God & Alia
                        Re: X-T-C
                Generals and Majors glitch
                 I guess my flame is out
              Through the Hill heard on NPR
                     Re: Tangents...
                   Having finished work
           "Thanks for X-Mas" for Full Chorus?
                Alternative Alschmernative
                    XTC Pronunciation


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Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: Umbilical; and Music Theory
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 14:22:46 -0800

From:  G.M. Quinn <> in Chalkhills Vol. 3, No. 31

>Re: The unorthodox pronunciation of UMBILICAL in 'Season's Cycle' As an
>English student, writer and Literature major, Andy most definitely uses a
>bit too much poetic license.  As Griff Rhys Jones said, "Yes, it's
>charming, and completely wrong."

When I first read your post, it took me back to the movie Amadeus.  In one
of the scenes from that movie the King was listening to Mozart's newly
created piece.  Upon conclusion, the King, though he enjoyed it, opined
that it had "too many notes."  Incensed, Amadeus asserted "it has neither
too many notes nor too few . . . "  That is what I feel here.  Andy neither
uses too much poetic license nor too little.

My second reaction to your post was "What is an English *major* (i.e., one
who has not yet even graduated) doing criticizing St. Andy's use of poetic
license?"  But I thought that was a bit too harsh.  "Lovechunks" is, after
all, entitled to her opinion thought I (however misguided, ill-advised,
misinformed, or otherwise wrong).  Oops, too harsh -- again.

Let me take a different tack.  Andy "breaks the established rules" of
grammar (if at all) in the way J.S. Bach broke the established rules of
musical convention.  And we are better off for it.

Breaking the rules of convention is distinct from being ignorant of those
rules.  For example, in music theory, parallel octaves are a no-no, but
sometimes no other sound will do.  In grammar, split infinitives are a
no-no.  But of course we have "To boldly go where no one has gone before."
Perhaps Churchill said it best:  "A split infinitive is something up with
which I will no longer put."  Aacckkk!

Lastly, have *you* ever tried to put poetry to music?  It is *much* more
difficult than, say, scribbling in iambic pentameter for Literature 101.
Da*n!  There I go again.  Too harsh.  I guess this is a passionate point
with me.

If music were not intricately woven into Andy's poetry, I might agree with
you.  But it is.  And I don't.

From:  Michael Kearns <> in Chalkhills Vol. 3, No.
Mikey!  I LOVE YA MAN!  Thank you for your well-thought-out post.  Your
knowledge of music theory is impressive indeed.  After reading your post I
thought "now here is a man who respects XTC and knows exactly why."  IMNSHO
we need more of that.


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 17:52:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: SNL
Message-ID: <>

From Dave G. originally and then a chorus commented:
> >>Ted, you ignorant slut,

Hey, I knew it from Saturday Night Live and I wasn't offended (guess I'm
though I'm showing my age).  But thanks to that big lug, JBH for leaping
to my defence!

> 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

I thought it was Chevy Chase and one of his better ones was "Jane, you
ignorant slut, who'd you sleep with to get this job?"  Ah, yes, the creme
de la creme of 70's humour... :-P  Any time now it'll be popular once
again to say 'Cheeseburgie, Cheeseburgie, Hamburgie, Fry!'

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


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 06:16:04 -0500
From: jes <>
Subject: All You Pretty Ignorant Sluts

At 11:57 AM 11/17/96 -0800 McGREGOC <> wrote

>   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.

Snide reference to William S. burroughs for a book title "The Ticket That

Someone asked
>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.

If my memory serves correctly, it was Sinead O'Connor.  But there are other
versions of that song that one should look up.  Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera
did a one-off concert as "801 Live" with Bill McCormack, Simon Phillips, and
others, with an unbelievably beautiful version of Tomorrow Never Knows."
While we're on the non-XTC cycle of Beatle covers, I should also point out
that an incredible version of "She Said, She Said" can be found on a
somewhat rare B-side to the Feelies "The High Road" which they used to cover
in concert quite a bit.  I miss the Feelies, personallly.  That's another
good band for XTC fans to look up.

> #> From: (LaShawn M. Taylor)
> #> Me female. Me like XTC. Me no find male who like XTC.
>Me male.  Me like XTC.  Me taken.  Sowwy.

Me male, Me Love XTC, Me not taken.  He'p!


Date: 18 Nov 96 15:54:00 -0800
Message-Id: <>
Subject: I'm glad I bumped into you.

    This is my first message to this or any mail list... I just signed
    on to Chalkhills about a month ago and have kept myself busy
    reading ever since. I've been listening to XTC since the first time
    I heard Generals & Majors on the radio back in 1980. By 1983 I
    owned WM, GO2, D&W's, ES, and Mummer and XTC was now my favourite
    group which it has remained to this day.  I own all the regular
    (Canadian for me) pressings including the 5 Senses ep. I also
    have half a dozen Canadian and UK 12" singles and the LOAFBW 7".
    I bought Skylarking the day it came out here, so have Dear God
    only as a 7" b-side. I have Nonsuch on CD (my first...I am a bit of
    a record fan), also R&BB and FF just this month. So you can see what
    sort of fan I am...Loyal, but not obsessive.  I have tried to get as
    much of their music as I could through the regular channels...with
    a limited budget. All the talk here is opening up a lot of exciting
    avenues for me...suddenly there are like minded people that have
    access to songs I havn't heard...or demos of songs I love. Like many
    of you I am craving new material...and access to demos would be great.
    I have some of the demo's that were b-sides but no others..
    I would be most gratefull for any info on others, and where one
    could get them.

    Enough about are some comments on previous postings, etc.
    Sorry if I am repeating or restarting any conversations that have
    already been worked to death.

    The other day I saw a used copy of a book called Punk Diary 1970-1979
    (or something like that) it was supposed to come with a CD but the CD
    was missing...anyways (the point) there was supposed to be an XTC track
    on the disc (I'm not sure if it was music or an interview?) Has anyone
    seen this?

    Canadian bands that are worth listening to....Try Sloan, Super Freindz,
    and the already mentioned Zumpano...all pop, all deserve more attention.

    My favourite song on Nonsuch is Ugly Underneath...I havn't heard it
    mentioned since I joined up.

    XTC played here in Victoria when I was 14....I didn't know about them
    until six months later. Ugh! It makes me feel sick.

    Lastly,  I arrived home the other day and my wife was listening to
    FF...she has been a fan since before I had known her (over 9 years)
    and her favourite song is Life Begins at the Hop!!

    Thanks for listening. Rob.


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 16:31:43 -0700 (MST)
From: Miles or Gigi Coleman <>
Subject: box set
Message-id: <0E13AOTV60028Z@ACS2.BYU.EDU>


A question:  In the picture disc box set of GO2, D&W and BS all of the bonus
tracks are on them, so it appears that there is no difference from the
single CDs with the bonus tracks.  However, I heard that the picture box
doesn't have the same re-mastering as the single CDs.  Personally, I don't
think there is a difference since the box set came out after some of those
single CDs.  Can anyone provide any help?



Miles and Gigi Coleman		Provo, Utah		Family Home Page	Guatemala City North Mission Alumni Page		Index for Alumni of LDS Missions


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 20:08:08 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: Funk Pop A Roll

Wanted to write a few words about my favorite XTC song.  The last song
on "Mummer" (a great album in it's own right), Funk Pop A Roll is the
best use of the "3 minute" pop song formula I can think of.  It took me
a considerable amount of time to locate Mummer on CD, it being the last
of their studio albums that I acquired (This back when Mayor of
Simpleton was still getting airplay).  My older brothers had been
listening to XTC in my house since I can remember (I was 6 when "White
Music" came out), and XTC and the Beatles were the inspiration for a lot
of fun in my youth.  I remember making up skits, etc. to "Toys" and
"Love on a Farmboy's Wages" with my younger brother and sister (in
addition, of course, to "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Yellow
Submarine").  Getting back to the point...I'd not heard this album in
what was probably 7-8 years.  I found it in a small CD store in the
import section for $18.95, which sounded like a steal to me.
    I rushed it home and "plugged in," delighted of course to hear those
old "classics" as well as the other wonderfully crafted songs that form
this album.  The experience I had not counted on was "rediscovering" the
last song on the disc.  As a kid, I never paid much attention to it
probably because it wasn't sunny and happy like the rest, but as we all
do when we progress in our musical tastes, those qualities were no
longer the priority.
   To me, this is Andy's "Radio, Radio" (EC) done better.  The balanced
and well-crafted lyrics are the key to this song, but the accompanying
driving beat and the pain-filled calls of "aaaahhhhooooooooooooooo" are
brilliant.  The maturity and completeness of the lyrics are amazing.
These are thoughts that I had developed over years of listening to the
muck that filled the top 40 (Casey Casem anyone?), and to find my
thoughts crystalized in this way provided one of those rare moments in
music listening when one is really inspired(?) by a song.  The ironic
last stanza tops it off with "but please don't listen to me, I've
already been poisoned by this industry."  In my book this far surpasses
Elvis Costello's try at the same concept..."I want to bite the hand that
feeds me..I want to bite that hand so badly."
    Anyway, just some thoughts.  I'd like to hear if others share a
passion for this song, or any comments at all.  Patrick

"The young to them are mistakes who only want bread but they're
force-fed cake"


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 15:29:40 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b03aeb782506c72@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: 10cc/lonely by the lake

>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.

which brings me to a question one of you must know the answer to; XTC have
made some great videos over the years - were any of them directed by Godley
& Creme?

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

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

:( perhaps you in wrong country!



Message-Id: <v03007800aeb6c91496ff@[]>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 21:31:35 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: SNL, Girlfriends, Work

Aah. All this talk about Saturday Night Live makes me wish it was still
funny. But, truth be told, the show premiered on October 11, 1975 -- my 3rd

And it seems like most of the people here either have XTC-sympathetic
significant others or are looking for them. I'm one of the latter. Anyone
know a nice Jewish XTC-loving girl in the NY area?

And today I'm playing "Fossil Fuels" at my desk at work as a computer tech
(about 40 years old I'll guess) is working on my system that suffered a
cyber-burp. He hears "Mayor Of Simpleton" and says, "That's XTC, right?" He
then picks up the CD cover and says, "Making Plans for Nigel. Wow, that
brings back memories."


"Sgt. Rock is going to help me..."


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 22:25:22 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: You took me down down down down a peg...

My subject today has nothing to do with this post, other than to indicate
that the song in question is damn good. It should have been on Nonsvch.
Along with all the other songs that were demoed for Nonsvch but which
weren't on it. IMHO, of course.

>- 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...

The odder thing is that sounds suspiciously similar to "The Bootleg Album."
Personally, I have only had one dream about a band I like; that was about
TMBG and really only involved getting a very strange promo copy of their new
album (three weeks before it came out).

> #> 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'...

Hm? I must say, the similarity between the "Jump" riff and the MBP one is
pretty obvious...but the similarity stops there. I don't know where you're
pulling Ten Feet Tall out of here -- I don't see any similarity at all.

>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.

Wait...what happened to the *funny* part? Don't you usually have to have
something to be sarcastic *about* first?

>That's a Saturday Night Live reference from the 70's ("Jane, you ignorant
>slut") and was not a insult directed at Ted.

*Sigh* Oh well, I better go turn on Comedy Central, then. This is what I get
for being born past the prime of SNL, huh? :(

>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.

I must admit that it has grown on me since I said that. My one sticking
point is the "Yes sir, no sir, in your straightest jacket" line -- it's just
too damn similar to Braniac's Daughter. But, on the whole, it's a pretty
good song, and perfectly fitting with the "Mummer2"-ish ambience of the
demos. Can't wait to hear "Playground"!

>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.

Okay -- that's right. That's why we're all here. But, as you say, you can
still gulp down the less expensive stuff and *ENJOY* it. That's my (and
everyone else's) point -- that just because XTC may be a better band than
the others, that doesn't reduce their talent in any way.

>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

>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?

I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that it's liked for doing a good job
of being a bad song. That is, the form STST is trying to fit is a musical
and lyrical pastiche of another genre, and in doing that it succeeds. But in
the process, it doesn't really say anything musically or lyrically. So it's
very success is tied up in the fact that it is, indeed, "bad" -- if it
weren't, it wouldn't be able to acomplish such a parody. There is crap that
you can like, either in spite of it's being crap, or *because* it's
crap...hell, I like STST, but not as a serious song.

>(boy, does that make me feel
>old...want to start singing "Whole Lotta Age" to me, Josh? I'm 30).

Yeah! If we get rid of all the "old" people on this list, we can all look
forward to getting 50K of "That song sucks!" in our mailboxes every morning.

>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)

Just about everybody, about four months ago.

Personally, I've heard two cuts from it (Don't Sleep and Polly Brown) and I
didn't especially care for them. Someone used the word "cloying." I think
that, more or less, sums up my feelings towards the songs. I will give 'em
another spin later, though, and see if my tastes have changed in the past
three months...

Josh, who thinks he's lord of cre-A-A-A-AY-tion :)

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


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 00:05:21 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: JH3 <>
Subject: Martin Newell 'n' Stuff


Those of you (hi Ben!) in the US who might be thinking of picking up Martin
Newell's "Greatest Living Englishman" as a $24 import might want to wait
instead for "Box Of Humbug," a soon-to-be-released 3-CD set which you should
be able to get for $34 or so. It's supposed to include "TGLE" plus the "Off
White Album" & the "Let's Kiosk EP." It's also supposed to be limited to
1000 sets, though.

And as long as I'm posting anyway, let me 1) welcome J. Isaacs to the "Go 2
Is the BEST" club -- glad to have you aboard, J.!; 2) state that I think
"Ram" is not only McCartney's best solo LP but the best record any of the
Beatles ever did after the big breakup, even beating out "Plastic Ono Band";
and 3) chastise Mr. Ted Harms who dismissed the awesome Catherine Wheel (the
band, not the pyrotechnic display) as a mere "shoegazer" act -- they're much
more emotional, energetic, and song-oriented than all the Jesus & Mary Chain
wanna-be's of the world *put together*.

And finally, Brookes McKenzie sez:
>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.

I'm probably wrong, but wasn't that SexGangChildren? I seem to vaguely
remember that cringing feeling as well...

--John Hedges


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 08:30:55 -0600 (CST)
Subject: FIVE KIDS?!?!?!?!
Message-id: <>

Okay, I don't think Holly and Harry Partridge are two in a line of five kids.
Where did this info cross your table, pray tell?

Pronunciation: I always pronounced it ecstasy till a bunch of people around me
talked and called them X-T-C, pronouncing each letter distinctly. So I flip
between the two pronunciations.

I'm sketchy on Marianne and Andy's divorce, but I think she cheated on him or
something. Got lonely with him being off all the time, I dunno. (Well that's a
nice way to throw 15 years of marriage straight down the toilet. Hell, Colin
cheated on Carol way back when and they've been married for.....22 years I do

I'll add my stuff on here....

XTC song of the day: Towers of London (I've been watching too much of my XTC At
the Manor tape lately and the song is stuck in my head.)
Non-XTC song of the day: My Own Sunrise-guess who sings this...go on, guess...
XTC misheard lyrics of the day, compliments of my mother....(From Senses
Working Overtime)-Turds and treasure and there's 1 2 3 4 5......

Thank you, and goodnight.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 96 16:52:17
Subject: Dear God & Alia

First of all, Dear God is one of the best song Andy (or anybody else) wrote.
It's one of the few songs I've listened to that my sister has found
interesting, and that's saying a lot. Every XTC fan I know lists it among
his favourites, and the video was really good.

Now that this load's off, let's start again.

1) XTC embarassing songs

My heart would say "None!!!", but my mind knows better... I really find Life
Begins At The Hop too silly, with its catchy but banal refrain, and while I
liked Andy's "The lure of salvage", "Go+" is really inconsistent...

2)Countdown to Christmas...

Nothing more than a funny Christmas song, perfectly played by the boys but
not essential

3) Go2

A good album, but a bit too neurotic and disjointed. Maybe their worst

4) Mummer

I saw some negative comments on Wonderland... I really find it a good song,
yet maybe Steve Nye's production was a bit heavy here (yet definitely no
trace of Japan's sound).


I have the impression some chalkhillians really dislike (hate?) They Might
Be Giants... I really can't see why, as their love for XTC is evident and
the (in)famous song XTC VS. ADAM ANT is clearly an ironic homage to the
group. Besides, I don't really think they should be considered as clones or
something like that, because XTC are only one of the many influences of
these boys.

6) Elvis

Elvis Costello is my second fave, so mind your words or I could get really


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 09:03:43 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Re: X-T-C

OK, since it seems to practically be coming to a vote, I say "X-T-C", not
the designer drug pronunciation.  Now, for the rest of my post, I apologize
to all - it's about Macca and EC.  But (Mr. Relph) I still think it will
be of interest, based on the last gazillion Chalkhills.  So if you're not
interested, please skip-ola.

Well, one other thing first that could be of interest to any serious music
fan (which most of you are, right?).  The novel "Glimpses", by Lewis Shiner.
It won the World Fantasy Award, and it's about a guy who can recreate famous
'lost' recordings in his head.  He hooks up w/a bootleg CD maker in LA.  Very
inventive and wild - it's about the Beatles, Hendrix, Beach Boys, Doors, ???
Hard to explain here - find a copy and read the blurb on the cover.

Regarding McCartney/EC - how many of you really like the stuff these guys
have written together?  I think it's (almost) all good.  For those of you
that don't know, they've co-written songs on EC's "Spike", "Mighty Like a
Rose", "All This Useless Beauty", "Brutal Youth"(not sure here), Macca's
"Flowers in the Dirt", "Off the Ground", and... have I left any out here?

Finally, I think this is cool: a distant relative of my wife, a pretty old
guy who lives in the English Midlands, was at my in-laws a couple of years
ago, and we got to talking.  Well, he lived in Liverpool for a long time,
and when the Fab Four were starting out, this guy hired 'em to play at a
"teen club" for like 10 pounds!  He said Lennon had a tough upbringing -
this guy knew all their families as well, plus Gerry & the Pacemakers and
many others.  I asked if the 10 pounds was *each*, and he said "oh no, lad,
they're weren't worth that much yet, that was for the *band*".

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


Date: 19 Nov 96 16:12:00 GMT
From: (David McGuinness)
Subject: Generals and Majors glitch
Message-Id: <"<7D1F923281821573>7D1F923281821573@GW.BBC"@-SMF->

Hi all.

Am I imagining it or, quite apart from a glitch, does the pitch change in
Generals and Majors as well?  I'm sure there's a bit where it sounds like
someone has leant against the reels of the good old-fashioned analogue tape
machine and slowed it down momentarily.  I don't have the CD to hand so I
can't give you a time code reference BUT listen out people.  I never noticed
it on my old vinyl copy, but on FF it causes momentary mental distraction as
I'm shimmying my way around the kitchen.

Of course it's all part of a Virgin conspiracy to supply the most discerning
people of the world with shoddy goods (see previous posting).

oo-oo-oo  crunch  (Making Plans for Nigel)

David McGuinness


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 12:11:29 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: I guess my flame is out

> the Presidents ... do any of you like them?<

I was listening to "Candy" as I read this post.  Their music strikes me as
XTC-ish in that it's about the little things in our life that make living
worthwhile. (Before I get flamed, my favorite album is Nonsuch and I love all
of the political songs.)  Like "Grass" or "My Bird Performs" (although that
has greater implications) it makes you appreciate the wonder all around you
... even peaches.  I don't think I've ever wanted to eat a peach as badly I
did after I heard that song!

Also, I bought _Author Unknown_ and let an XTC fan friend of mine listen to
it and he said Mr. Falkner sounded like ... Queen.  Any comments?

Houston, Texas
Former Lurker


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Through the Hill heard on NPR
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 18:04:07 -0600 (CST)
From: "Stuart McDow" <>


Just heard a snippet of "Through the Hill" on NPR's 'All things
considered' - in between stories, which is where those snippets
generally happen. Pretty cool, because usually, I hardly ever
recognize what those snippets are. Boy, do I feel smug.


Stuart McDow
Austin, Texas


Message-Id: <v01540b08aeb7d35e6e5c@[]>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 14:50:35 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Tangents...

From: (Mike Mills)
>I can't think of a specific instance, but I do seem to recall
>that a very familiar Beatles song had changed for me significantly
>when I found something I had never heard before after the 10,000th listen.

Here's one for you folks, which falls nicely in line with the recent
discussion about cutting one channel out of some Skylarking track ("Big
Day?") to hear beat-skewed guitars: Play "Strawberry Fields Forever" on the
left channel only. About a minute into the song (the point where the two
takes were spliced together), suddenly it will turn into a Run DMC track!
If you listen, you'll know what I mean.  ;)

From: William Ham <>
>[radio show anecdotes, including]
>her: do you play any alternative stuff on your show?
>me: aren't i now?
>her: well...yeah, i guess, you have any nirvana or pearl jam?
>me: (disgruntled sigh)

Wow, that's hilarious.  :)  And jeez, do some people out there really
consider the Dave Matthews Band more alternative than XTC??? YIKES.

Hit-and-run grumpiness: The Cardigans are dull, samey and melodically weak;
Adrian Belew's Here is OK but probably his worst album ever; Ron Sexsmith
is well-intentioned but way too conservative for me; and Sting has been a
lost cause for years.



From: Bob Thomas <>
Subject: Having finished work
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 96 16:18:00 CST
Message-ID: <>

Hi there.

Just a note to say that I have completed my work -- reading Chalkhills
digests!  Yes, I am completely up to date on all your comings and goings.  I
know you're jealous, but we all can't slack off work and responsibility in
exactly the same ways.  I mean we're all different, aren't we?

Now this "songs I like and am not embarrassed to say so" thing you have
going about Shake You Donkey Up.  To that I say,  doodle lang doodle lang,
doodle lang lang doodle lang lang.  And I mean that sincerely.

But seriously, I am always amazed when I listen to that song and one other,
namely Living Through Another Cuba.  Maybe I'm amazed that anyone could even
imagine the structure of those songs ( and that's one McCartney and one
Lennon reference in a single sentence.  Please send my prize to the same
address to which my T-shirt was sent).   To my ears they are incredible
renderings.  I'm not sure I can explain it, my education lacking what it
does.  Let's try Cuba.

The song is waves crashing on the shore (of, say, an island country in the
Caribbean), then receding to form again and hammer home a relentless theme.
 BA!!!  Its also a running snide editorial --  spoken, not sung really -- on
big countries that make war on small island countries for grins, threatening
the entire world in the process.  Machine guns become bongos, or something,
then turn back into guns.  I'm going to go listen again.

Meanwhile, I wonder about your thoughts on the Cuba song; but I warn you,
any talk of  tertian harmonies or Ionian constructs will be met scrunched up

Please put me down as a big intercourse fan.  I can't wait to see the
results of the survey.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 12:57:24 +0000
Subject: "Thanks for X-Mas" for Full Chorus?

Is anyone out in XTC land a musician who has experience transcribing
for all male or male/female choruses?

I think it would be really nifty if "Thanks for X-mas" worked its way
into various holiday season concerts around the country.  A friend of
mine in the local Gay Men's Chorus said that the only way they would
consider material is if it were transcribed and ready for rehersal.

Not being a musician, I don't have the foggiest about how to do that.
But as the holiday season warms up I put on "TFX" and imagine it
arranged for chorus, horns, and bells.  Although it would lose its
Phil Spector wall-o-sound shimmer, it would sound wonderful sandwiched
in there between "Winter Wonderland" and "Silent Night."

Anyone up to the task for X-MAS 1997?  XTC deserves holiday concert



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 15:07:33 EST
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Stung

Hi, y'all ... barely able to keep up with the volume, much less respond to
any of it (that which is worth responding to, that is), but I couldn't pass
this up...

Someone's girlfriend said that she thinks "Sting is a pompous overbearing
narcissistic pseudo-intellectual that writes aggressively bad self-serving
lyrics," to which Mike Mills (THAT Mike Mills?  Nah...) replied, "Wow, who's
your girlfriend? I hope I never meet her for your sake."

Me, too. If I weren't married, I could really go for a woman with such a
clear-headed view of the world...  ":^)

I mean, the Police were okay in their day (hey, Dave G., I was listening to
them, too, the other day -- synchonicity!), but I think Sting's most
creative daze are behind him. (Speaking of Synchronicity, does "Mother"
suck, or what? And is "Miss Gradenko" (sp?) a pop gem, or what?).

Oh, and Big Express is a grrrrreat album. One thing, though, Mike M: the
*tempo* on "Shake" remains the same throughout the song. The cool thing that
Mr. P does is phrase the vocals in the chorus in a different meter than the
rest of the song. If I'm not mistaken (and I very well could be), he's
singing in 6, while the drums and bass play in 4.

BTW, I've really enjoyed the music theory discussions in the last, what is
it, 958 Chalkhills that I've received the last several weeks. Perhaps some
of you musically knowledgeable chalksters out there could analyze -- I mean
really pick apart -- a song every once in a while. I think the list is full
of enuf musicians, schooled and otherwise, that this could be a lot of fun.

That's all from me ... ByeBye!  (I know that's an obvious signoff, but it
*is* from Funk Pop A Roll  ":^)


Message-Id: <v01550100aeb7bc4a267e@[]>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 14:14:14 -0600
From: (Mike Mills)
Subject: Alternative Alschmernative

Hey Chalkhillonians,

First off, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of you
who emailed me privately about the "SNL" thing.  It showed
you cared even though 800 posts in the next digest mentioned
the reference.  I guess I just sounded so desperate.  Anyway,
thanks, I remember it now.  A classic period in "SNL"'s
history.  (And the ONLY period, in my opinion!!!!)

> "This World Over" The lyrics are great - The music is
>            bad Police rip-off. ((shields up)) )

Oh, but the bass is sooooo cool.  Once again, Colin shows his
stuff beautifully.  You wouldn't find Sting doin' nothin' like
THAT.  And the drumming could have been Terry Chambers...(they
missed him already?)...

>her: do you play any alternative stuff on your show?
>me: aren't i now?
>her: well...yeah, i guess, you have any nirvana or pearl jam?
>me: (disgruntled sigh)

Yikes!! This actually happened?!?  Typical.  Now that the word "alternative"
has no meaning since what was alternative is now mainstream but has kept
that annoying label (and the "real" alternative can't be called that lest
it be confused w/Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc.), we've got problems.  I actually
remember when "alternative" *was* alternative!!  They were playing pop
stuff like Morrissey and The Sundays and then Nirvana came in and changed
everything. Not that I begrudge Nirvana--  I think "Nevermind" is one of
the greatest rock albums ever-- but just like The Beatles, they opened the
doors for a flood of baaaaaaad music.  Now who do we have?  Silverchair?

> but couldn't they at least slip in a
>"senses working overtime" or a "generals and majors" and not just in the
>80's flashback portion of the day?

No kidding!  Why do these people ignore all other music as if it had
nothing to say?  Most people probably wouldn't even KNOW "Senses" if it
came on;  it's not like it's been played to death and people are sick of
hearing it.  By God, if I had my own radio show-- I'd play everything from
Buddy Holly to The Beatles to The Smiths and Elvis Costello, XTC, The
Sugarplastic, Joe Jackson, Nirvana, ANYTHING with a good pop hook and
a good sound, from ANY era.  (any takers?...)

>(shut up man you're only 21!)

So am I!!  Power, brother!!

>(Hey, this is National Diabetes Month, isn't
>it? I should give some money up.

While we're on the subject (and if you're going to be so generous) I am
a diabetic as well.  Dave Gregory, while not exactly my *hero*, is
someone I look up to for inspiration, being diabetic in a band and
all (the way I see myself someday).  P.S. - the shots don't hurt (if
you do 'em right)

>I wish I could take my name out of all caps, but I don't know how!!!!!!!

Do you have a "settings" window you can get at?  Through this I've
been able to change my name to Mike Mills.  Not that I care that
your name's in all caps, but you seem to be disturbed by it.  Actually,
I think it's kind of cute. :)

Well, I'm 11 minutes late for class (but I don't care!!!!!)

Mike Mills
(P.S. - my group RULES!!!!)


Message-Id: <>
Date: 19 Nov 96 11:10:59 -0800
From: Dan Pinder <>
Subject: XTC Pronunciation

According to the book, Chalkhills and Children, Andy derived the name
from The Man Who Found The Lost Chord with Jimmy Durante, when he
mutters during his pivotal transcendant experience (in his own
inimitable way), "I'm in ecs-ta-cy!" hence the letters and pronunciation

I'd think that would put the "ecstacy" argument to bed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dan Pinder          "My necktie began to look like everybody       else's necktie, and they admired my     good taste!" -Ken Nordine
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-35

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