Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-37

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 37

                Thursday, 21 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                   XTC: Play It Loud!!
          Chalkhills-bringing the world together
                       solo Beatles
      Jane you ignorant slut! Stop this crazy thing!
                 Re: You're Still Around?
               umbilical; and music theory
                  Strange Trails to You
             cover of "tomorrow never knows"
                   Alternative To What?
                        NO SUBJECT
          Those Who Would Improve "Radio, Radio"
                    Love and Trashcans
                 Nick Heyward's "Tangled"
                       Find The Fox
                   Down in the Cockpit
                 Re: Mike Mills and More
                  XTC can play LIVE here
                  My day at school, &c.
                 I'M JUST-A 10 FEET TALL
               Is Colin a closet American?
                      Monstrous Pt I


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

He thanked me kindly, then he lay down dead.


Message-Id: <>
From: David Goody/M&G <>
Date: 20 Nov 96 12:22:20
Subject: XTC: Play It Loud!!

In the last Chalkhills (or it could be 3 or 4 ago by the time this gets
distributed!) Patrick Adamek waxed lyrical about "Funk Pop A Roll". I too am
a great fan of this tune, which mixes all the normal trademarks of an XTC
track; clever lyrics, great hook line, etc. The mention of FPAR also
coincided with my drive home from work yesterday through the driving rain of
a typical English day. To relieve myself of the monotonous route (for those
UK readers, its around Chelmsford, Essex!!), I popped "English Settlement"
in the cassette player. After a while, "No Thugs In Our House" came on and I
pushed the volume up to almost maximum. The whole car vibrated but I didn't
really care, as I was off in another dimension.  What all the above drivel
is getting to, is my question to other Chalkhillians....Which XTC tracks do
you think improve if they are played loud? Which tracks do you play the
loudest and under what circumstances (in the car, in the house, etc.)?  As
you can tell, my votes go to "No Thugs" in the car, and "Funk Pop A Roll" at
home. Excellent music to bash the steering wheel or armchair to while
getting rid of all that pent-up "work-based" emotion of the day.

One last thing, thanks to everyone who makes Chalkhills a great read.



Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 13:47:35 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: Chalkhills-bringing the world together
Message-Id: <>

Thanks for the thanks on the article.  Here's my take.
First, Dave Gregory is primarily a guitarist, and plays keyboards when
required-sort of like Geddy Lee, except with a guitar and not a bass. He
is a maestro at both, however (Dave, that is).  I have no idea who George
Aardvard Manley is.
Secondly, Amanda, e-mail me your snail address and you can have the color
photo of the lads.  I do not need it, and I can photocopy myself a copy.
I have about 400 color photos of Davester, and giving you one wouldn't
be a chore.
I say X-T-C, much like I would say R-E-M.  But people still answer "who
is Ecstacy?".
And a few issues ago I told a rambling tale about why I liked "Officer
Blue".  I am sure you all disregarded it as drivel.  Anyhoo, one of the
other protagonists of the story is a Chalkie and wrote me 6 years after
the fact and we are reycquainted again, thanks to this wonderful post.
So, the moral or the story is to go see Robyn Hitchcock, on tour now with
Billy Bragg.
Countdown to U.S. return party time (13 days!)
James I.


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 14:06:54 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: solo Beatles
Message-Id: <>

While I do truly love "Ram", the best solo Beatle album is still "All
Things Must Pass", IMO.
Also, another Macca/MacManus composition is "Back on my Feet", the B-side
to the single "Once Upon A Long Ago".  It was the first to be released.
Not sure of its status in the U.S.
The "Go 2" society grows every day.  Now it is up to 2.  Go 3, anyone?


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 08:52:53 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Jane you ignorant slut! Stop this crazy thing!
Message-id: <>

Some Colin stuff off the bat: Reading through some older articles in
Bungalow, it boggles me as to why song reviewers just plain hate Colin's
work so much.  Colin is the weight that keeps XTC grounded. One of Andy's
songs may float way off the wall, and lucky for us, Colin's song will pull
the album back down to earth.

Onto some mroe diabetes stuff....I somewhat feel a little guilty when I eat
junk food and sweets, b/c I know diabetics can't eat a lot of it. Then
again, I realise that I can't feel guilty for not being sick. It's like ads
for feeding kids in underdeveloped countries. They show they these pitiful
lookinf kids to guilt trip you. I can't be guilt tripped just because I was
born and raised in the US. (I can feel nuts about being stuck here for the
time being, but I digress immensely.)

Backing up to when Andy was on 120 Minutes some years ago....  Someone said
that Andy acted slightly evasive when the question "What is the most
outrageous thing you've ever done in a prak?" was asked. I detected no such
evasiveness. To me, Andy seemed (OOPS! That should say park, not prak.  Damn
non spell checking computers!) very amused with the question. But then
again, this is just me.

And so endeth this posting.

PS-Gee, I didn't exepct anyone to actually respond to me when I poasted
about my name in caps. But I'm going to leave it because I feel
distinguished. I'm not Amanda, I'm AMANDA!!!!!!!!

XTC song of the Day: Are You Receiving Me
Non XTC song of the day: He's Going the Distance-Cake
Elvis song of the day: Veronica.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 08:27:03 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Re: You're Still Around?

Jason Falkner sounds like QUEEN?  Uh, what drugs did this person ingest
before saying this?  That's kind of like saying, "yeah, that Willie Nelson
guy sounds a lot like Aerosmith".

And on Sting:  I'm not going to defend all these slams against him, but I
think his stuff has its place.  I was a Police fan from the very beginning.
Some girlfriends of mine went to see them at the famous Armadillo World
Headquarters in Austin when they were touring in a van right after their
first LP came out, and they bought a copy of the album, and I remember
thinking "what a stupid name for a band".  But I bought everything else
they put out and listened to 'em a million times.  So maybe I'm predisposed
to like him, but I agree somewhat with the detractors.  I've bought all of
his CD's used, I think, so I'm not a huge fan.  I think they're good
background music - like I had "Mercury Falling" on last night while fixing

A friend's recent remarks on Squeeze and XTC:  "oh, you mean they're still
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 11:18:38 -0500 (EST)
From: kgh <>
Subject: umbilical; and music theory
Message-ID: <>

Small additions for poetic license.  On "Punk Lolita" from The Heads
(vocals by Tina Weymouth, Debbie Harry, and Johnette Napolitano) there is
a new pronunciation of the word PEDESTAL.

Second, as a newly practicing academic (urk), it seems to me that the
majority of people concerned about canons (poetic license, laws of
composition, et al) are those of us who stand to make a career out of
it.  The rest of the world sits back and enjoys or not, but without all
of the bullshit language that we're trained in.

Lastly, I refer to an discussion that Alice had with Humpty Dumpty about
what words mean, what they can mean, and what they will mean.  "It's
simply a question of who's to be master, that's all."



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 96 12:13:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Strange Trails to You

Ted said:
>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...

No, it was definitely Dan and Jane. Chevy did the news for the year or so
before them, by himself, and left the show after that.

In response to someone saying...
>>They're '*REALLY BAD SONGS*' in YOUR opinion, NOT everyone else's.
>>Making sense now?

...JHB JHB'd:
>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.

You're still not saying it any differently here, Josh. You're still saying
that in some way it's a "bad" song, which I think many of us would dispute.
For one thing, it never even occurred to me that "Strange Tails, Strange
Tales" (or is it the other way 'round?) might be a "pastiche" or "parody" of
another musical genre. It sounds pretty much just like an XTC song to me.
What genre, pray tell, is being parodied? The "Bad Song" genre? No such
thing. If there was, every band could be considered a part of that genre in
the mind of someone on this planet. It just sounds to me that it's a song
you don't care for, you can't imagine they would have seriously recorded
anything that sounded so bad to your ears, and you've written it off as
something that must have been a joke. If Andy doesn't care for the song, as
I believe you or someone else said, I think it's even more likely to be the
case that it was recorded "seriously," as he probably wouldn't bother making
that claim about any song that was "supposed" to be "bad." Personally, I
like the song for what it is, and not "in spite of its being crap," as you my opinion, it's NOT crap.

Francisco Franco is STILL dead.

(Now THAT was Chevy.)

Todd B. said, in an aside about the Police:
>(Speaking of Synchronicity, does "Mother" suck, or what?
>And is "Miss Gradenko" (sp?) a pop gem, or what?).

Actually, I sort of like "Mother," but YES, "Miss Gradenko" is a gem.
Stewart wrote that one, no? Which leads me to comment that I think Stewart
Copeland's solo work has been much more enjoyable than Sting's. Both his
album as Klark Kent as well as the albums under his own name. A real
favorite of mine is "The Rhythmatist"...anyone else out there enjoy this
album as much as I do? I have included the song "Liberte" on many
compilation tapes that I've made for friends...what a beautiful melody.

Finally, re: "Funk Pop a Roll" vs. "Radio Radio"...

I love FPAR, but I love Radio Radio as well...can't really say I like one
more than the other. They both deal with the same subject very well in their
own way.
 As for songs that deal with the same subject, but in this case NOT as well,
I have to say that "He's My Best Friend," by Jellyfish, seems somewhat
sophomoric lyrically compared to "Pink Thing." I enjoy the song musically,
but it lacks a certain amount of the subtlety that I really enjoy in "Pink
Thing." This just came to mind yesterday as I was listening to SPILT MILK.


Dave Gershman


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 09:05:06 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Michael K Ong)
Subject: cover of "tomorrow never knows"

In regards to the following...

>>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.

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

The actual singer is Danielle Dax.  I was in Southern California at the time
of its release, and I remember a DJ on KROQ was giving away a prize to
anyone who could name the original band (I wasn't near a phone).  Some of
the answers included: "uh...The Doors?" and "The Smiths?"  The ignorance of
youth can be painful at times...



Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 17:16:19 GMT
Message-Id: <>
From: jes <>
Subject: Alternative To What?

William Ham <> bemoaned the state of Alterntative Music.  As
one of the Old Farts of this particular group of friends, allow me to vent
my own personal ire about this subject.

A true story:  It's 1979.  I am rummaging the racks of Peaches Records And
Tapes (back when people bought records and tapes) in Atlanta, standing near
the "B" section, where I overhear three teenaged girls looking through the
LP's.  One says:  "Look, Tiffany, Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings!"

Imagine my joy at hearing this.

Fast forward to now.  In Atlanta, there is a radio station that plays what
they call "New Rock."  New Rock 99-X, they call it.  This playlist includes
such visionaries as R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Nirvana (which I think the program
director at 99-X has wet dreams over anyway), Smashing Pumpkins, and Alanis
Morrisette.  The word "alternative" has become bubblegum for the masses.  It
still amazes me that a station that touts itself as being on the "cutting
edge" of "alternative" (albeit commercial) rock will play music by an artist
that has sold so many copies of her album that, as Wayne Campbell would put
it, "when you move to the suburbs, they issue you a copy."

I suggest that Alternative Music, as we old idiots refer to it, is dead.  It
pains me to find the likes of Goo Goo Dolls selling a kazillion albums when
Paul Westerberg and Peter Holsapple can't even get arrested.  It makes me
ANGRY to find a note-for-note ripoff of "The Disappointed" finding airplay
in the guise of one Crash Test Dummy record.  (BTW, The CTD show that I saw
in Atlanta was easily one of the dullest and most useless shows in recent
memory.  They were better in Athens, but only marginally.)  And when the
Butthole Surfers can alter their sound and their style to suit radio, and
SUCCEED, there seems to be something amiss.

But I've been making this same speech ever since Bruce Springsteen went
platinum.  Very few artists can find gold without a massive sell-out.
R.E.M. is held up as the poster child of "how to succeed in mainstream rock
without selling out," but I would say boo to that.  They have been releasing
the same album ever since "Document" and just letting the times catch up
with them.  Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters (in lieu of Nirvana) merely phone in
their records now.

It is difficult, these days, to find music that truly excites the senses.
Radio, even college radio, has found this Lowest Common Denominator in which
to collapse, and collapse they have.

It's one of the reasons I listen to Talk Radio anyway.

Soapbox, for the moment, relinquished.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 10:14:44 EST
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>

Hey, chalkaholix...

G.M. Quinn said, "As an English student, writer and Literature major, Andy
most definitely uses a bit too much poetic license."

To which Mark Cuevas replied with the story about Mozart and the king
(though you left out the best part, Mark -- when the king says the piece
contains too many notes, Mozart asks asks the king to tell him which notes
he should take out, if I remember correctly), and goes on say get off Andy's
back, but what *I'm* wondering is, when did Andy become an English student,
writer and literature major?  :^)

A major hallelujah from me for Patrick Adamek's defense of Funk Pop A Roll.
I've always loved that song -- three minutes of intense, rockin, inyerface
utter disgust with the music industry (like Andy, I've already been poisoned
by it) -- the perfect ending to an otherwise pastoral album. (Plus, it's
REALLY fun to play drums to!  :^)

I remember when Mummer came out that I especially savored FPAR because I
thought it was their swan song -- think about it ... Terry had left the
group, they had stopped touring, the lyrics show Andy's complete
disenchantment with the industry, and he ends by shouting, "ByeBye!"  Boy,
was I glad when TBE came out....

About the pronunciation -- in interviews I've heard with the band, they've
always pronounced it ExTeeCee. Good enuf for me.

Hey, Stuart McDow -- I heard the Partridge/Budd segue snippet on ATC, too --
what time do they play it in Austin? I heard it on my way home from work,
after I posted yesterday (and your post comes before mine!), at about 7:00
p.m. EST. Anyway, I shared your feeling of smugness (though I at first
thought it was Eno they were playing!  :^)



Date: Wed, 20 Nov 96 13:21 EST
From: Trent Turner <>
Subject: Tidbits
Message-Id: <33961120182133/0005727836ND4EM@MCIMAIL.COM>


I always pronunced the band as X-T-C.  I pronounced the drug likewise,
I had heard the drug was named after the band.  Heard XTC for the first
time in '81 (when my daughter was born) and heard about the drug for
the first time in '83.  (Never tried it though ;-/


About 3-4 years ago, I heard "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul" as
a snippet on NPR.  I felt pretty smug as well.

First Hearing New XTC:

I dislike every new album I hear.  Beginning with Mummer (bought in
'84 as an album).  After 1 listen, I usually like only 1 song, but
after 10 or so listens, I have gotten into all of the album (CD for
you folks born after 1975 ;-)

Interestingly, Nonsuch is the only album I have not memorized the lyrics
to at least 3-6 of the songs.  I don't know if it's an age thing, not
enough hard rock, ala Funk Pop a Roll or Travels in Nihilion, or just
not enough time on my hands.

Obscure Song not mentioned recently:

"Human Alchemy" I have always liked/disliked this song.  The music
& rhythm are kind of obnoxious/repetitive, but the lyrics are a prime
example of Andy's accurate poison pen stabbing mankind's arse with
a good dose of reality.  I can't listen to this song, or think about
it for that matter, without singing it to my self for the rest of the

I have no sig file, but I must scream


Message-Id: <v01550100aeb8f75e6fbb@[]>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 12:51:07 -0600
From: (Mike Mills)
Subject: Those Who Would Improve "Radio, Radio"

We all know 'Ob-la-di-bla-da'...

> Upon conclusion, the King, though he enjoyed it, opined
>that it had "too many notes."

Andy Partridge himself referred to this in an interview somewhere
(it's in the Chalkhills Archives) about "English Settlement", joking
that Virgin took the attitude "Ah, how shall one say, XTC, too much music".

> To me, this is Andy's "Radio, Radio" (EC) done better.

Whoa!  Now we're getting a little out of hand.  Personally, I've never
liked "Funk Pop a Roll", believing it to be one of Andy's worst songs.
Costello's "Radio, Radio" works 'cause he was already "angry".  Andy's song
comes off as a pathetic little kid going, "fine, leave me alone, I don't
especially when placed in with the rest of "Mummer", a rather subtle and
gentle album.  The song is too obvious and just doesn't work with the rest
of the record.  Although the "real" version of "This Year's Model" doesn't
feature "RR",the version I've grown to love is the one that does, and
coming in at the
end it's the perfect finale to an album of strong threats and societal
critiques.  I'd take that over "FPAR" ANY day.

> "Brutal Youth"(not sure here),

No collaborations there.  All the songs were written by Declan MacManus.

>And is "Miss Gradenko" (sp?) a pop gem, or what?

That song is awesome!!!  Every time I hear it, I begin to suffer from delusions
of ability and think to myself, "Hey, I could play that, no prob."  And of
course, I pick up the guitar and it's a different story...

>One thing, though, Mike M: the
>*tempo* on "Shake" remains the same throughout the song.

You know, I had actually suspected that, but hadn't gotten a chance
to play it and count it out.  Don't you love songs that do that?

And last word on the Sugarplastic:  they're not the be-all-end-all of
pop music, but listen to the style changes (within the same song!) and
the instrumentation & texture of the music.  Refreshing, methinks.

Mike Mills (would never say "methinks")

(rockabye rockabye close your eyes my baby don't sleep my baby don't sleep...)


From: McGREGOC <>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 19:13:22 +00
Subject: Love and Trashcans
Message-ID: <>

Hey there!

I was listening to the radio last night on the Virgin station here in
the UK and the Trashcan Sinatras were a special guest in the studio.
I wasn't really listening until I heard " XTC's Love on a Farmboy's
Wages" then I was all ears.  They played the song live there in the
studio.  That was an unexpected treat!  Can't say that I've really
listened to them but I thought someone would be interested here.
Unless someone has beat me to it!

Thats all I had to say.
Talk at ya later,


Subject: Nick Heyward's "Tangled"
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 96 14:41:06 -0500

Here's a great CD - honestly! I really doubt many Martin Newell/XTC fans
would be at all disappointed by "Tangled" by Nick Heyward. It's not quirky,
it's just great pop! I got it as a UK import about a week ago and it's been
in my player ever since. Well worth the $22 bucks I paid for it.

Other than three songs that are somewhat fair-to-middling, the rest of
"Tangled" is Revolver-esque and jangly. (I trust that most people reading
this know what "Revolver" is.) "Carry On Loving" is heaven! Surprise ending
on this track makes it a stand-out. "London" has the wistfulness of "Before
the Hurricane" and "Eleanor Rigby." "She Says She Knows" and "Rollerblade"
have excellent vocal harmonies. Really a fine album.

"From Monday to Sunday" (Nick 1993 effort) is also very good, but the ride
is bumpier and somewhat sugary-sweet in places. On the other hand, Nick
sounds like Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour in several places.

I have read that Mr. Heyward has high regard for Andy Partridge. He has also
said that he felt Blur's "Modern Life Is Rubbish" was one of the best
records of the time.


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 96 14:01:42 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Find The Fox

  Hell - oh .

  A couple of years ago I worked for a radio station on the campus of
  Middle Tenn. State University and I had to start coming up with some
  new ideas for radio shows. After asking everyone around the place if
  they had any ideas, one of the professors that worked there told me
  that he had an idea for a Call-in, molding away on one of the "maybe
  later" shelves of his office. It was that we would have a different
  '70's star answer questions on the air once a week. Well, we sent
  out all sorts of calls to voice impersonators and got three answers
  back. One was from a guy,Dave, who sounded like Peter Brady, one who
  sounded like Danny Bonaduce, and one who sounded like John Travolta,
  named Ian, and they were all roommates. I talked to the Brady guy
  and he, Partridge, and Vinny Barbarino were all set to host for the
  first month. But they had to decide if Dave, Greg, or Ian would be
  driving as they had just one car between them.

  All in all the shows were great and people still talk about them.
  Sorry No XTC content. It's a nice story though.



Date: Wed, 20 Nov 96 13:20:23 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Down in the Cockpit

  Dear Abbies,

  I have a problem. I am faced with a dilemma and I need some advice.

  I have arranged a meeting with each of the lads in XTC and I am
  allowed to ask either one question or make one statement to each.
  What kind of suggestions could you give this fan-boy on the big day?

  ( Note, the above meeting is fictitious. Merely an attempt to start
     a new thread out of this Octopus's sweater of a mailer we have. )

  Yours from the confines of work(see me shuffle in the dirt!)

  Jason Phelan


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 17:45:00 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Mike Mills and More
Message-ID: <>

  Funny, there's another Mike Mills on The Kinks list who lives in my
area in Vermont, and I know he isn't the guy from REM either. He gets it
all the time, he said. I checked the local phone book for kicks under
Partridge, and there was actually an A Partridge listed. Don't know if it
was Andrew, though.
  My take on Sting is he doesn't seem to be as much of a pompous jerk as
he appeared to be in the later Police days, but I still find him very
dodgy as a lyricist. He does all right when waxing poetic(I like the
imagery of "And if I built this fortress around your heart/ Encircled you
with trenches and barbed wire")but when he tries to write about
something, make a point, or even worse, tell a story(check "I Hung My Head"
on his most recent album for an example of a potentially great story told
very badly)the results, well, kinda go CLUNK.
  I must be weird. I thought "Mother" was the best song on Synchronicity,
but then again, I'm a big fan of Andy Summers' previous employer, Kevin
Coyne, who wrote many songs about dysfunctional family relationships long
before it was fashionable. It seems to me Andy was paying tribute to his
former employer with that one. Not that the song especially sounds like
Kevin Coyne- I don't want to turn anyone off him. Andy is one of those
people who really shouldn't sing much, though. I have a solo album of his
from about '87 on which he attempts to carry the lead vocals heavily
bolstered by female backups to mask his limitations. Didn't work real
well. Dragged down some apparently pretty good songs, all of which he
wrote or co-wrote himself.
  I liked Stewart's work with Animal Logic. I'm also surprised he doesn't
write more these days. I thought his contributions to The Police were
better written and more energetic than Sting's, and it mystifies me that
"Miss Gradenko" is the only song of his that made it to an album after
Regatta De Blanc. To bring it back to XTC, they'll probably need a
drummer, and I'm pretty sure he's available...


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 16:25:06 -0700
Subject: XTC can play LIVE here

Greetings Chalkhillians,

This is an official post to the Chalkhills group.

The past two days I've been on the long boring journey to and from
Phoenix/Tucson so I've had a lot of time to think.
I was remembering one of the first posts I ever read in Chalkhills
about two months ago.  Someone was reporting that they had  spoken to
Andy Partridge on the phone and gave the details of that conversation
(and they wouldn't be giving out Andy's number,"good move.")

I realized that I have the talent and ability to offer XTC a place to
play for their fans without having to perform in front of a HUGE
audience. I am the Engineer at Access Tucson (public access
television in Tucson, AZ) and our Studio A is large enough to produce
a concert-type video.

I propose to invite XTC to play a concert for videotape in my TV
studio.  Once this could happen other cool stuff can happen too.
Like we could make the tapes available to Chalkhills members only or
we could invite some Chalkies to the taping as audience or even beam
it to a satellite and let the world enjoy or put it on the (ugh) net.
Whatever the band is comfortable with!

Andy, if you're lurking, or whomever might get the word to him...
the possibility is here and it could be a very intimate, relaxed
opportunity for XTC and Chalkhillians alike.

Thet's keep our fingers crossed,   Jeff

It's the Traffic Light Rock that's stop and go all of the time.
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: 20 Nov 1996 21:17:23 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: My day at school, &c.

OK. So, today, I was in third grade (co-teaching, not *in* third grade,
sillies), when I put XTC in the CD-ROM drive. The screams of the children
were not silenced, but they liked it. Hmmm. I've also played loads of it for
my "little brother" (not really, but I think of him as such), who's
13. Although he remains a fan of Green Day etc., he likes "Black Sea" a
lot. "That s**t is good," he told me. (Censored for appropriatness.)

A fairly XTC related question: I'm doing an article for my school's
"underground" newspaper about angst-ridden music (Nirvana, Snoop Dogg,
etc.), and am probably going to contrast their lyrics with those of XTC, EC,
etc. I need some feedback, though: does anyone have any ideas why these
types of music are so appealing to people (especially youth)? Any of you
"old" folks? College students? Josh? It seems to me that Nirvana's song
"Rape Me" (verse: "Rape me, rape me, rape me") serves no purpose other than
to piss off parents, enrage teenagers, and buy these bands new
Lexuses. Please e-mail me privately. Thanks.

I like Sting. "Dream of the Blue Turtles" is an incredible album, and,
although "Mercury Falling" isn't too great, it has (one) good song. I like
the Sting stuff that no one else does - "The Soul Cages," for example. Food
for thought.

I'm playing the three XTC Christmas songs at my mom's big (115 people)
Christmas party on 14 December. We'll see how all her (and my) friends take

Counting down to Thanksgiving vacation (ha ha ha ha!),

* -------------------------------------------
Ben Gott
The Hotchkiss School
"It's just a complicated game..." -XTC


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 96 17:26:39 PST
From: "MARK HEGGEN" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: I'M JUST-A 10 FEET TALL

Has anybody else made this odd mental segue:
After hearing "I'm Just a Girl" by No Doubt on the radio and had it looping
through my head, the quirky little instrumental break leads me right into "Ten
Feet Tall", which has a similar riff...


From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: Is Colin a closet American?
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 02:46:47 +0000
Message-ID: <>

To my mind, one of the charms of XTC is their unadulterated Englishness
and unwillingness to pander to American "Commerciality".  It is also
often blamed for their relative lack of success here.  But I'm beginning
to have some doubts.  Witness CM in _Dying_:  "The day you dropped in the
shopping line".  Does this make sense in (proper, non-American) English?
Surely it's a shopping queue.  Mind you, queue makes a very poor rhyme
for mind and signs.  Also, in _The Smartest Monkeys_ (I just know y'all
can't wait to carefully analyze the lyrics here :-)):  "To the subways
of the modern world, How they pack so many in".  This makes sense to me
only in the American meaning of "subway" not the English walkway under
a road.



Currently listening to the All Mod Cons/Sound Affects double CD.  Unfair to
fit so much brilliant music on one disk!


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 17:14:45 +1100
Subject: Monstrous Pt I
Message-ID: <>

Sigh... Hold your breath kiddies, this is gonna be a long one.
I've been down with food poisoning for the past few days so I
haven't had a chance to write.  It's sent in two parts so y'all
don't get too sick of me.

 #> From: James Isaacs <>
 #> from the November 11 issue of Time, the article.
 #> 'the evidence is there for all to hear: XTC is one of the
 #> greatest pop bands since the Beatles.'

Thanks for posting that James.  I've yet to read a _FF_ review which
says *anything* bad about XTC.  Fellow Chalkies, I think we can
safely, objectively say that XTC *IS* one of the best bands ever.

Next year the band will have been together for twenty years.  How
profound would it be if they became enormously popular on their
twentieth birthday?  With a new label and sufficient advertising
they can, and will, be huge.  And they bloody deserve it.  If
someone of such questionable talent as Michael Bolton can sell
records through big budget advertising and high rotation, why
shouldn't XTC?

 #> From: Jim Henderson <>
 #> The sequence [in 'Hey Bulldog'] where John is singing "you can
 #> talk to me" has the exact same figure [as 'Washaway'] playing
 #> underneath him, just at a slower tempo. Another example of the
 #> fine Beatle influence on the boys!!

I just compared the two songs and I'm convinced you're right about
the figure, but the phrase is not 'fine Beatle influence', it's

 #> From: Cheryl <>
 #> 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?

Where is it in the song?  I've got five copies of this song and
I've not noticed it yet but I might have just missed it...

 #> From: Michael Versaci <>
 #> 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!

I agree totally.  Who cares if it's blatant/pompous?  Who's to say
that Andy's writing is crap when he wants to preach or get a point
across?  Appreciate the songs for what they are, and if you don't
like them... well, tough.  :)

 #> From: Dave <>
 #> i also really like BOOKS ARE BURNING.  LISTEN to those guitar
 #> solos, over and over, really LOUD.

The end of that song [with the harmonies] sounds a bit soppy but I
don't care, I love it immensely.  The perfect way to round off a
beautifully eclectic album.

 #> From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
 #> "Dear God." It's not a horrible song, but by Andy's admission
 #> it's rather hastily written and ill-thought-out

My guess is he'd been thinking about the topic for years before he
wrote the song and all his ideas spilled out in one sitting.  He
wanted to include more concepts in the song so maybe he regrets
not putting more time into it.

 #> its general crankiness has started to wear on me.

The crankiness is the major appeal of the song for me.  But then
I'm generally cranky about the concept and origin of the whole god
thing anyway...

Just listening to 'You're The Wish...', I can't help noticing how
similar it is to 'Brainiac's Daughter' [one of my two favourite
songs of theirs].  Am I the only one who's picked this similarity?
And do all three of them sing in 'You're The Wish...'?  There are
three distinct vocal tracks in the choruses but they could just
be doubling up...

 #> From: (Mike Mills)
 #> >"Shake You Donkey Up"   ???
 #> But, how 'bout those tempo changes in the chorus!!

Uhm... 9/4?  I'm not good at this stuff.  Whatever it is, the same
signature's used for the sublime drum-happy bit in the middle.
Took me three attempts to work it out, it's too easy to get swept
up in the drumming.  :)

 #> What's up with that?!?

Every time someone says this I'm reminded of Cliff's mailman routine.

 #> non-XTC song that isn't EC of the day:  "Welcome Back" John
 #> Sebastian

I always thought this *was* EC.  Probably because it sounds like
'Every Day I Write The Book'.  To me anyway.

 #> could anyone give a ROUGH BALL PARK FIGURE on when we
 #> could expect an album of newness from the Swindon boys?

Give 'em at least six months.  They haven't settled with a new
label yet.  I hope they land at Rykodisc or somewhere similar, so
we could expect more than one album every four years.  Anyway, I
want John Leckie to produce the new album.  So there.

 #> From: Allan Hislop <>
 #> Doea anyone pronounce XTC like the word ecstacy?

My oft-mentioned friend [the unclean and musically ignorant outcast
who doesn't like XTC] pronounces it 'ecstasy'.  I'll flippin' whack
him if he does it again.

 #> From: Colin Wright <>
 #> 'My only sob with the XTC collection is that it concentrates
 #> perhaps a little too heavily on the earlier part of their career'

Thanks to you too Colin, and to everyone who's been posting lengthy
reviews.  Did the reviewer not read the name of the album?  It's a
*singles collection* -- nothing more, nothing less.  If it was a
'best of' it'd be a twelve CD set.  :)

 #> From: AMANDA OWENS <>
 #> I have never seen three more forlorn looking babies in my life!
 #> Andy looked just plain confused.

He's got a more distressed baby expression in the 'Punk Pose' pic.
The shot of the Helium Kidz is a shocker!  I swear Colin's sideburns
are about to slam into each other under his chin.  And that wedding
photo... Andy looks pretty content but Marianne's evidently sick to
death of the photos.  Holly is just gorgeous, and the 1989 Dave
shot with sunnies looks more like Todd to me.  And Terry hasn't
exactly aged gracefully.  Oh, and the Nonsuch photo session shots
are superb.  I've got a friend who looks strikingly like Dave with
less hair on top.  But anyway...

 #> From The Everyday Story of a Smalltown....
 #> Think I'll pick my arse on up and get away.

That is BRILLIANT!!  I just listened to it then and it sounded so
much like your interpretation that I couldn't remember the original
line.  Needless to say I'm rediscovering _TBE_ at the moment,
thanks to the copious discussion on this list.

ObXTC:  I'm dying my hair purple on Saturday.

Adam and his


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-37

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