Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-38

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 38

                Thursday, 21 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                 Sorry fellas, She's Mine
                        XT Segues
            Whoa, no Chalkhills this morning!
                Anybody here speak French?
               what's so cool about the UK?
                   XTC: Play It Loud!!
               Re: This One Goes to Eleven
                  A LOUD family of songs
                  Dukes Loudly Pass Gas
                   Gabba, Gabba - Hey!
                     Studio concert?!
                        XTC trivia
                        Sting Rant
                   Ecstacy's UmbilYcal
                    Re: too many notes
                     Monstrous Pt II
                   White Music and more
               Andy does Heads in public?!?
   Life Begins before the Tank Engine and other topics
                  Plagarism or Flattery?
                 Dave Klark Jason Phieve
                         Feed me!


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

What would straight folks say?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 21:50:05 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Organization: Synon Inc
Subject: Sorry fellas, She's Mine

XTC Friends and Fans,

>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...  ":^)

"She has escaped from the world, where they bake beautiful girls"

"She says she's burning with optimism's flame"

"She's a laughing giggly whirly bird"

"Oh, Ladybird, I have heard you wish to walk across my pillow"

"Your glance, a match on the tinderwood, you never spoke but I understood"

"My bird performs"

Stormy Monday


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 21:51:17 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Organization: Synon Inc
Subject: XT Segues

XTC Fans and Friends,

I was listening to a compilation cassette that I made a few years back,
and I had included some "XT Segues", songs by other artisits that sound
good when coupled with XTC songs.  They can be thematically similar,
they can be musically similar, or they may just sound "right" together.

Here are some obvious ones, (one of them "borrowed" from a fellow

"Seasons Cycle" / "Penny Lane"
"Ballet For a Rainy Day"  / "Rain"
"Ball & Chain" / "Getting Better"
"Pale and Precious" / "Good Vibrations"
"Shiny Cage" / "I'm Only Sleeping"
"Dear God" / "God"

Sorry for the "Beatle Bias".  I'm sure you Kinks and TMBG fans can come
up with some.

By the way, isn't "Ballet For a Rainy Day" just a prime example of
Andy's musical/lyrical genius, and a testament to XTC's ability to
transform a great song into a beautiful record?

Stormy Monday


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 10:17:41 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Whoa, no Chalkhills this morning!
Message-id: <>

I was expecting to read my email and find another digest!

Well, not to bring up the tired subject of Andy putting down the US in his
songs, but whilst I was watching the London Real World last night, something
that ole spiky haired Neil said sort of incensed me. (Basically, he called
Republicans/Ronald Reagan/George Bush evil.)

Now, I've said that I'm not at all very patriotic, but I get just a little
aggravated when someone who's never lived here and has only seen certain
parts of the country makes a xenophobic statement like that. It's very
prejudiced to call all Republicans evil, when I doubt he's really come into
contact with many of them. Same goes for Andy. As much as I like the song
Reign of Blows musically, it's just too political lyrically. I especially
dislike the line "Joe Stalin looks just like Uncle Sam". Uh, that would be

Is it xenophobia or jealousy that causes such remarks about America?
Sometimes especially when we make a particularly asinine move militarily or
nationally, thanks to our WONDERFUL president, I'm a little shamed to call
myself America.  But at the same time, I'm quick to defend her against
verbal attacks from people who haven't spent enough time here to know what
goes on in this country on a day to day basis, and therefore are making
blind and mainly misinformed statements.

So Andy's slagged Swinondon. He's slagged America. Is he looking for utopia
or something?(Whoa, huge typo. I've got to stop typing so fast.) I tend to
keep my mouth shut about other countries and thei governments b/c A:I live
here.  B: I don't really care unless it affects me personally, which it
hasn't yet.  C: It's really none of my business.

I would like to ask, do all foreigners have such a skewed view of the USA? I
look at all the other countires out their and I see land masses with people
and a government. That's all.

I'll admit, I have my views of other governments, but I form them after I
see something. Like, I wish the American Congress was like the British
Parliament.  After watching a session of the British House I would love to
see a Congress in which the Democrats and Republicans can get loud and nasty
instead of being so sedate and orderly. But am I badmouthing it? No. I think
it's great when one can be spontaneous and not be all rehearsed and sterile.

But anyways, enough of that. I had to get that off my chest.

XTC Song of the Day: Wonderland
non-XTC Song of the Day: I Shall Believe-Sheryl Crow
Andy quote of the day-"Take yourself and you nose down to the hospital
gates, and picket/pick it."-Agony Andy

PS-Keith, I swear in the name of the Almighty David Gregory, your tape is
going to be mailed tomorrow! I am so sorry it's taken so long!!!!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 11:58:09 -0800
From: ian c stewart <>
Subject: Anybody here speak French?

just got a letter from the esteemed Christophe Depreitere in Paris France
(he used to do the French XTC zine LUMIERE), who had the privilege of
interviewing AP on 19Sep96.  He sent along the interview they conducted
but unfortunately for monolinguist me, it's all in French.  a few
translated highlights go like this:
nothing specific about a new record contract, though SETANTA has been
mentioned as a possibility.  Collaborations are foreseen with Harold
Budd, Babybird (who sent Andy about 40 demos) and songs have been written
with Chris Difford (out of Squeeze).
Dave Gregory is apparently working on various projects, including one
with Steve Hogarth, Marillion's singer, another with a member of TAKE
THAT as well as a reconstruction of "Sgt Peppers" for TV that would
involve different singers on each song.
Christophe also reports that Terry Hall has phoned Andy but Andy lost his
phone number AND AP likes "Virtual Insanity," Jamiroquai's single.
ON TOP OF ALL THAT Mr Christophe sent a copy of a live performance for
French radio by Martin Newell, featuring a cover of "Some Girls Are
Bigger Than Others."  Fantastic!  If anybody has ROCK OVER LONDON to
trade for this, let me know.
witty tag,
Ian C Stewart


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 96 14:31:10 EST
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Subject: what's so cool about the UK?
Message-ID: <>

Is it just me, or do other XTC fans have a sort of semi-hidden fetish
about the UK?  I have fallen hard for English and Irish music, humor,
beer, accents... what gives?!  From all of those transatlantic
encounters I get flashes of enormous poetic romanticism, sardonic wit,
perspectives on social classes, "earthiness" (don't you hate that
word?), and a sense of craftsmanship- a sort of artistic work ethic.
I'd be interested to hear if others feel the same... one thing I get an
enormous kick out of is XTC's Englishness in the less overbearingly
sophisticated sense- things like "Farmboy's Wages" and the Uffington
Horse gracing their best work...

Oh yeah, and my 2 cents is that Stewart Copeland should drum on the
"rock" album of the double CD release that we all deserve after waiting
so *&#)!$*) long.  That is, if Terry Chambers is not readily available.

 Of course the other disc should be recorded  without a
drummer at all.



Date: Thu, 21 Nov 96 15:14 EST
From: Trent Turner <>
Subject: XTC: Play It Loud!!
Message-Id: <75961121201457/0005727836ND4EM@MCIMAIL.COM>

3 words - Travels in Nihilion



Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 12:57:52 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Kennedy <>
Subject: Re: This One Goes to Eleven

>>  ....Which XTC tracks do you think improve
>>  if they are played loud? Which tracks do you
>>  play the loudest and under what circumstances...

Good question. My vote goes to "Deliver Us From The Elements"
on the Mummer CD. If you're not feeling the 4  heavily compressed
punctuations when  Colin sings "Oh Lord Deliver Us" then you haven't really
heard the song. This song is
alternative-country-twang-meets-psychadelic-space-rock at its best. During
the next storm, go crank it up and realize you are no match for the mother
of all mothers.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 96 16:19:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: A LOUD family of songs

>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

Here are just a few that I think sound especially good, possibly even
"improved," when played LOUD:

This is Pop
New Town Animal in a Furnished Cage
Life Begins at the Hop
Real by Reel
Respectable Street (it helps too that you can hear the intro better)
No Language in Our Lungs
Wake Up
Reign of Blows
The Ugly Underneath
My Love Explodes
What in the World

Those are a few that come to mind anyway. As Ronnie Van Zandt said...

"Turn it up!"

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 14:13:28 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Dukes Loudly Pass Gas

Hey friends and neighbors - I just picked up a copy of the Dukes at lunch,
largely due to this list.  Believe it or not, I owned a copy before and
sold it for who knows what reason.  I doubt if I'll do that again...
Just listened to Skylarking yesterday for the first time in a few months.
Is that a gem or what?  Almost a seamless blend from one song to another -
has more of an "album" feel than almost any I can think of, rather than a
collection of "songs".  And it seems "Big Day" has been discussed little
if at all within our group.  I love it.

Someone asked what XTC songs are best played LOUD.  Lots of 'em, but
"Respectable Street", "Towers of London", and "Roads Circle the Globe"
come to mind.

Someone else said "All Things Must Pass" is the best post-Beatles solo
effort.  If it isn't, it's right up there.  I love it - it seems to me
that George just had all this great material but wasn't allowed the
opportunity within the band to do much of his work. They break up, and

Trying to convert a coworker into an EC fan today - he actually approached
ME and asked if I liked EC, or had heard much.  Listening to "Brutal
Youth" myself.  I love it!  I know another EC fan who just "can't get
into it", but he prefers a softer sound, like "Imperial Bedroom".  To me
there's almost no such thing as a *bad* EC album...
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 16:17:48 -0500
From: (Erich W.)
Subject: Gabba, Gabba - Hey!

Just when I was getting a tad bored, along comes 3-37; the best damned
edition in quite some time! I'm JHBitchin' to respond:

Firstly, thanx for the shirts, Phil. Too bad it's so cold here no one will
see me wearing it under my sweater.

Mr. Goody asks which songs should be played LOUD: I say all of them! Try
Somnambulist, FPAR, Garden of Earthly Delights, Nihilon, or Elements, all
you dissers! Still on the FPAR thread, this is the song I usually listen to
as the climax to long XTC headphone sessions; it has all the elements I
love the most about our lads - bitchin' lyrics, twelve string beauty,
booming bass patterns...

Count me in on Go-2 (try Beattown LOUD). Granted, it's fairly Andrews heavy
in the sound, but it's a logical progression from White Noise to D&W as far
as song craft goes IMO.

Alternative music? It used to mean non-mainstream but evolved into meaning
B-sides. What I hear today sounds like three chord hack bands trying to
sound like the Doors. As one of the oldsters on this list (39 and still
breathing) I can remember when alternative was new (it was called the
1960s) : The only thing that's changed is the production. And no, I refuse
to spend money on outakes from the Fab Four (BTW, Revolver was the best of
all: everything after was just a rehash).

Re the Sting/Police thread: wasn't it Mr. Copeland who put the band
together in the first place? (That's why the drums were always mixed so
high). Whoever mentioned The Rythmatist and Animal Logic was right on - you
Chalkies would love 'em both! Sting himself seems to be rewriting the same
song ad nauseum now days.
Andy, are you looking for a drummer??...

Finally, what XTC song would work best as a lounge tune? I can hear Mike
Flowers doing Supergirl...

Flame on!

Erich in Ottawa

"They use their heads and not their fists"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 96 16:34:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Studio concert?!

Jeff's proposal:
>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.

My response:

YES! And everything else that that "YES" implies!! (I think you all know
what I mean.)

Save me a seat,

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: XTC trivia
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 13:46:47 -0800

In or about 1979 there was an excellent Pop band in California called "The
Great Buildings."
Q:  What connection does this group have to XTC?
{Hint:  It has to do with Testimonial Dinner}


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 17:42:56 -0500 (EST)
From: "Irwin M. Fletcher" <>
Subject: Sting Rant
Message-ID: <>

  It is truly amazing how this synchronicity works.  I recently joined
this list to find you all talking about (among other things) Sting, The
Police, The Beatles, and The Heads.  Well, I am a member of both a
Police/Sting and Talking Heads mailing lists, and am in fact at this
moment listening to Sting cover the Beatles (A Day In the Life).  Small
world.  I therefore thought I'd post.
  You guys (sorry for the generalization, but I don't know anybody
yet) really need to take a step back and look at what you are saying more
often.  For example:

  Several of you have commented on how you listened to the Police's
Synchronicity album and were struck by the brilliance of Mother and Miss
Gradenko, but that Sting's songs are lackluster at best.

  Please!  Now I like Andy and Stewart as much as the next guy, but the
reason more songs of theirs weren't put on later albums was because
neither of them could sing or write nearly as well as Sting (they played
their instruments better, yes).

  You decry the popularity of "alternative" bands that "sell out" and
sell tons of albums and condemn them all as crap (okay, so most of them
are crap, but that is beside the point).  Life would be better if everyone
listened to the underappreciated XTC ("ex-tee-cee"), Elvis Costello, Nick
Heyward, Martin Newell, and a bunch of people/bands I have never heard of.

  This ties in with the whole Police thing too.  Many of you, it appears,
are unwiling to like any band with the ability to make a gold album.  Thus
Stew and Andy are good (they can't), and Sting is bad (he can make
nothing else).  Nick Heyward is good (he can't) and REM is bad (they can).
This is a strange phenomanon I'll call "platinum-envy."  XTC is a great
band that isn't terribly well known, therefore anybody terribly well known
is terrible.  Now I have plenty of lesser known bands' albums in my
collection, but many well-known bands as well.  You are right to see that
just because a band is popular doesn't mean they are good, but you fail to
see the converse; just because a band is popular doesn't mean they are
bad.  You needlessly limit yourselves and miss some great music.
Inevitably, some "alternative" bands will make some good music.
Personally, I like bands that were huge 10-20 years ago whose main
creative focus has gone solo to lesser popularity (Police/Sting, Dire
Straits/Mark Knopfler, Talking Heads/David Byrne).  The best of both
worlds, I guess.

Okay, rant over, but I was tired of everyone bagging on Sting when it was
painfully obvious that most of you had never given him a chance.  BTW,
Police/Sting are generally unaffected by the condition known as reverse
platinum-envy.  They tend to like XTC, and often can be found attempting
to spread the word.  Dear God is especially well liked, and often compared
to the Police's Oh My God.


P.S.  Ben, don't worry.  Most "hard-core" Sting fans like the Soul Cages
album best.  If you liked that one, listen to The Living Sea soundtrack.
You'll love it.

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not
have, nor do they deserve, either one."

			-Thomas Jefferson


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 14:46:31 -0800
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Ecstacy's UmbilYcal

  Isn't it rather like a pun but using pronunciation?



From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: Re: too many notes
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 00:06:00 +0000
Message-ID: <>

>> 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".

This reminds me of the review of "English Settlement" in the _Trouser Press
Guide to New Wave Music_ (ca. 1983).  I think it referred to ES as "an
overfrosted cake" or something like that.  The gist of it seemed to be that
there was simply too much good music on one album!



Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 12:17:58 +1100
Subject: Monstrous Pt II
Message-ID: <>

And the rest...

 #> From:
 #> Key - Sarah - Serah.

My turn!  Quay siraj siraj... kai zera zera...  :)

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

Eeek!  Do you mean the tune or the instrumentation?  I can't see it
at all...

 #> From: (Jason)
 #> ['Vanishing Girl'] is unmistakably, *unquestionably* Colin
 #> Moulding (though Andy's voice can be heard in the harmonies).

I'm just listening to it now, and I realise I need to make a profuse
apology.  You're dead right about it being Colin.  I just checked
the track listing and sure enough, it says Colin wrote it.  I
always thought this was a typo!  Anyway, you've sprung quite a
pleasant surprise on me [I'll always hear this song differently
now], and I'll definitely use it as my defense of Colin's
songwriting ability.  LaShawn <>, if
you're listening, I'm very, very sorry I argued with you on that

 #> I still don't see why this is so hard...

Their voices do sounds very similar, especially with this track.
LaShawn said she once thought it was Andy as well so I'm evidently
not the only one.  On the topic, it sounds scarily like Colin
singing the chorus to 'The Mole From The Ministry'.  I know they
don't sing each other's songs, but is there a possibility that
Colin sings the chorus?  Now that I've discovered 'VG' is Colin,
this HAS to be Colin's voice as well.

 #> From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
 #> What is an English *major* (i.e., one who has not yet even
 #> graduated) doing criticizing St. Andy's use of poetic license?

I would have thought that someone who's actively learning about
English knows more about correct pronunciation than a graduate
who's working in, say, publishing or journalism.  English is a
rigid set of [stupid] rules which you need to be told about to
grasp, and the ideal place for that is a university really.  In any
case, the structure of English is largely arbitrary, having evolved
from all sorts of different sources, so who's to say what's right
or wrong?  Using your example:

 #> of course we have "To boldly go where no one has gone before."

Honestly, who cares?  :)  The infinitive might be split but we all
know what it means, and that's the important thing.  This neatly
leads on to the next topic...

 #> 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.

I adore the way he and Colin break down speech to [hit me if this
is the wrong term] a telegraphic form.  Examples: 'he really shake
you donkey up' and 'they pull me whistle too hard me bound to
scream'.  There are others on different albums but they elude me
for the moment.  Again, we know what's being said, regardless of
the number of gramattical rules broken in the process.

I don't even know which side you're on, I'm just using it as an
excuse to spill my guts.  :)

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

You're not alone.  That and 'Humble Daisy' are bloody classics.

 #> From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
 #> What I'm saying is that it's liked for doing a good job
 #> of being a bad song. [...] 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.

I like it as a serious song.  I like the music but I've never heard
the lyrics.  It has good melodic hooks and a bouncy tempo that I
really get into.  I think it's a *good* song.  Each to their own.

 #> From: AMANDA OWENS <>
 #> 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......

Listen to the Spacehog version of this song.  I'd swear on my own
life that they change the lyrics to 'turd'.

 #> From: DeWitt Henderson <>
 #> McCartney/EC - they've co-written songs on EC's [...] "Brutal
 #> Youth"(not sure here)

According to the liner notes MacManus wrote the lot.  Does EC know
this Declan MacManus guy's taking the credit for all his songs?  :)

On the topic of glitches in songs, has anyone noticed a channel
[eight, from memory] drop out momentarily during 'Tissue Tigers'?
it most definitely occurs on my _R&BB_ version, I've not listened
to my other versions [_Waxworks_, B side to 'Senses...' 12 inch]
closely enough to pick it.

One more thing... my vinyl copy of _Black Sea_ [through Festival
Australia, L 37434 with the extra green sleeve] is *definitely*
slower than my CD pressing.  I'm going to buy a different vinyl
pressing of it today to see if it plagues different versions.

 #> From: (E.B.)
 #> Adrian Belew's Here is OK but probably his worst album ever

It's the second album of his I've bought and listened to [_Young
Lions_ being the first], so am I in for a treat when I build up his
back catalogue?  Can anyone recommend his bestest?  Thanks...

 #> I wonder about your thoughts on the Cuba song

As frightening coincidence would have it I happen to be listening to
it now [yes, the thread above inspired me to play my slow _BS_, I'm
up to track 3].  I want to do a bit of research on what happened in
Cuba around that time, then I'll read the lyrics properly.  Anyway,
the tune and playing is incredibly powerful and enthusiastic stuff,
guaranteed to inject life into a crematorium.

 #> From: (Mike Mills)
 #> flood of baaaaaaad music.  Now who do we have?  Silverchair?

That means we don't have them here anymore, and that can't be a bad
thing.  :)



Date: 21 Nov 1996 22:17:44 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: White Music and more

Hill people,

I had a really weird experience last night. I was driving back to school
from my house in mom's new Honda Accord, complete with CD player and kickin'
sound system. In my hurry to grab CDs to play in the car, I picked up "White
Music," an album that I own, but have never listened to in its entirety - I
guess that it just hasn't "pushed my buttons" before. Anyway, I got in the
car, cranked up "She's So Square," and was in heaven! I was amazed that this
album sounded so good! I opened the sunroof, pulled my jacket around my
neck, and went to track 15: "Set Myself on Fire." I took the long way home
that night so I could explore "White Music" as it should be explored: in my
car, in the cold, driving fast. Very fast. (Other songs that I love to play
loudly in the car: "Yacht Dance," "Train Running Low on Soul Coal," "Great
Fire," "Omnibus," and "The Rhythm.")

Speaking of which...Does anyone else think that Andy (quite possibly) might,
for a split second, be off pitch in "Yacht Dance"? After that "And then
they'll be jealous of both of us..." bit, when he comes in with the "Way,
way, way, way": those first few "ways" sound off to me. It's always bothered
me. Just a pet peeve. "Big Day" is a pet peeve too, but I don't want to
start *that*.

Someone in the last digest mentioned that new XTC albums usually don't
"float his boat" (I'm cliche man!) when he first hears them. One song sounds
good, than two...then the whole thing takes off. That's the way I've felt
listening to every album. I didn't like "Mummer" at first, found "Love on a
Farmboy's Wages," listened to that last chord, and was hooked...then I just
let the CD play. I bought "Skylarking" simply because it contained a song
called "That's Really Super, Supergirl," and stayed for "Please don't pull
me out/This is how I would want to go." "English Settlement," which I bought
in my school bookstore for $4.00 (on CD), only whetted my appetite with
"Jason and the Argonauts" at first; then, the rest fell into place. ("Jason"
is, to this day, my favorite XTC song.)

That's it for today. Off to my school's "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner,
then to study for a math quiz, and finally to continue the countdown to
Thanksgiving vacation (Saturday morning, 12 noon!)

See you in a week!

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


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 20:24:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: Andy does Heads in public?!?
Message-ID: <>

A radio station up here (CFNY, of CASBY fame) is shilling some contest now
where the winner is flown to NY City to hear a Heads concert.  The catch is
that all the vocalists on the album are going to sing their songs at the

Does anybody know if Andy's going to jump the pond and make a rare on-stage
appearance (last seen playing maracas at an Aimiee Mann concert, I believe)
or are the Heads going to get Joanne Neopolitan (whateverhernameis, I
know it's not an ice cream) to fill the shoes of Mr. Partridge?

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


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 15:30:59 -0700 (MST)
From: Eric Muller <EMULLER@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: sting
Message-id: <01IC41YHO5IQ0034AU@PLAINS.UWYO.EDU>

Hello all.  I've lurked and lurked and lurked for, oh, more than a year
since my last posts to this wonderful group.  The attacks on Sting bring
me out of hiding.
Of course I understand how someone might not like Sting's music.  Lord knows
there's plenty of tracks that leave me cold.  But I have never understood the
contempt that some seem to hold him in.  Regardless of whether his music
pleases you, I think you have to concede that when he is "on," he does what
he does *very* well.
And by the way, I'm referring here to much of what is often targeted as his
"pomposity."  Yes, he does load up his songs with mythical, allegorical,
historical, literary, scientific references.  But on balance I respect him
for that.  Think of the song "All This Time," from (I believe) _Soul Cages_.
How many people are out there writing catchy-as-hell pop meditations about
their father's deaths and the deaths of civilizations?  Listen to the last
verse especially--the one that starts "Teachers told us the Romans built this
place..."  For goodness sake, this is the wonderful poem "Ozymandias" in a
*pop* song!  And a very hummable one at that.  This, I think, is worthy of
respect, not derision.
I'll even go out on a limb and make an XTC comparison here.  I respect Sting
for how he will at times address the topics of his songs with an
uncharacter- istically un-English emotional directness.  His most recent
single off "Mercury Falling," a song called "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop
Crying," is a great example.  It is sung from the perspective of a man whose
wife has left him for another man, and taken the 2 kids with her.  At
bottom, the song is really about the father's feelings towards his children,
and about society's expectations for primary and secondary parenting roles.
When I first heard it the honesty and simplicity of the message brought
tears to my eyes.  It is *exceedingly* rare that Andy or Colin adopts this
voice.  (And when one of them does, I think it works--witness "Hold Me My
So let's give Sting his due, OK?

Eric Muller


Message-Id: <v01540b02aebab9837b6c@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:22:41 +0900
From: (Olof Hellman)
Subject: Life Begins before the Tank Engine and other topics

Hi folk:

Re Life Begins at the Hop:  the twenty second
guitar ditto/solo is what elevates this song to the
supreme top level of bubble-gum pop.  Yes, its
bubble gum pop, but its great.

Also, this song seems to be one of those that
foreshadows the move towards rhythm based on
the guitar tracks (as well as / instead of drums).

Re: correctness.  kgh wrote:
>"It's simply a question of who's to be master, that's all."
Spot on!  The question isn't 'what's the correct
pronunciation now, but how will people be saying
the word in ten/one hundred years.  And about that
learned professor who used um-bi-LI-cal,
 ( different post ) how do  we know he wasn't just an
XTC fan?

To Ben Gott, who put XTC on for his third grade class:
Try replacing the words 'Pink Thing' with the Word
'Piglet'.   A Pooh Anthem!

jes wrote:
> I overhear three teenaged girls looking through the
>LP's.  One says:  "Look, Tiffany, Paul McCartney
>was in a band before Wings!"

That's nothing compared to the student who asked
Ringo Starr in an interview what his job was before
he did narration for 'Thomas the Tank Engine'

And lastly, I really think the lads should have a go at a musical.
No, not the kind where they write the songs for
someone else's movie/play/animated feature/whatever,
the kind where they do the whole shebang.  A number
of their stories (Scarecrow People, The Man Who Sailed..., etc.)
could have much more plot than you can fit into five or
six minutes (the maximum for a 'pop' song).  So how about
a pop musical?  ( And no, I don't mean concept album,
either, I mean a show ).

- Olof Hellman


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 21:21:24 +0000
From: The Hendersons <>
Subject: Plagarism or Flattery?

Adam writes:

>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 'plagiarism'.

Actually, direct imitation has traditionally been a most sincere form of
musical flattery, until the Western world became obsessed with copyright
laws.  Mozart did it, Beethoven did it... most of the great historical
composers, in fact, used an overt snippet from one of their idols *at least*
once. Usually the "plagiarism" would be listed right in the title, such as,
"Variations on a Theme by ______"



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 23:39:02 -0500
From: R+K Carvey <>
Subject: Dave Klark Jason Phieve

To My Chalky Tasting Friends,

Dave Gershman, this just in:
I think I have a Police "biography" book in a box in the basement, circa
early-80's, showing Stewart sporting a "Drums and Wires XTC-Andy
face" t-shirt...

I have always enjoyed Mr. Copeland's work, whereas found myself less
than overjoyed with Mr. Sumner's work months after the release of
"...Blue Turtles."  I encourage (I'm sure I speak for Dave as well) my
Chalkhills friends to listen to Stewart Copeland's Rumblefish soundtrack
-- especially those of you who grin when you hear Andy's instrumental
forays onto the pop battlefield.  Or as Dave mentioned, "The Rhythmatist"
and his truly New Wave offerings under the guise of Klark Kent (or Klerk
Kant, after warnings from DC Comics lawyers).  You've just got to believe
that some of these records exist in Andy's collection.

Speaking of subject matter, as Dave supplied us with the first two:
Pink Thing by XTC
He's My Best Friend by Jellyfish
Rosie by Jackson Browne...

uhh... forget I even mentioned it (blush).

Hey,  Jason Phelan (;
thanks for the content!
Mr. Call-in Molding,  Mr. And He Partridge, and Mr. Dave Greg Or I would
have probably gotten a kick out of your story -- very slick, very nice, and
made me smile.
(But of course, this only proves that we need a new record, and we need it

As for your Dream Question To Ask, I would probably ask a very modest,
very unsurprising question to each of the gentlemen; What is a normal day
during recording, what goes on while making these recordings that we
value so greatly?  I guess I am perversely stricken by the need to know
more about how someone goes about "the daily business" of creating these
little sonic paintings and pop nuggets, including warts and all.

Thanks to everyone for casting about the references to recent listening
material... Could I be so bold as to make it a requirement that everyone
must (when possible) list several current "listens" when they sign off at
the end of their posts.  Some of you are doing it already (kudos), let's all
hunt-and-peck out a few titles each time, XTC or non-XTC (only two types
of music in the world?).

Sincerely, Your Pal,
Roger Carvey, Listening To:
		TMBG "Factory Showroom" (it's my wife's, but I like it too)
		FSOL  "Dead Cities" CD and "Cascade" & "Lifeforms" CDEPs
		The Beatles  "Anthology 3"
		Imperial Drag  (thanks to a few on this list; it's 70's-slick)
		Jellyfish  "Spilt Milk" (had to dust off my copy, but it
		still works)
		Bill Nelson  "My Secret Studio" (4 CD set by Mr.


Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 19:01:24 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Craig Schafer <>
Subject: Feed me!

        Hello, People Who Subscribe to Chalkhills!

        I've been lurking off and on for a while now. My one post (several
months ago) was just an attempt at humor, perhaps misguided, concerning my
fictional confusion between Harold Budd and Larry "Bud" Melman. I'm sure
you've all got the article printed out and hanging up somewhere for when
you're in the mood for a big ol' belly-laugh. I'm talkin' serious guffawing
to the point of dizzyness. The sort of laugh where you end up coughing in
the toilet and jerking around on the bathroom floor until you pass out.
(Shut up.)

        Anyway, it has occured to me several times that I should mayhaps go
seek out some of the artists (other than XTC, of course) whose names keep
popping up in this digest. Most of the ones that I am familiar with I do
like very much, and XTC is one of the all-time greatest bands I know.
        The thing that frightens me is the obvious fact that fans of XTC
just aren't very damned consistent. I don't want to go buy a CD on the
recommendation of someone who thinks, say, that Colin's songs are superior
in general to Andy's. Know what I mean? I might end up with a whole album
that sounds like "The Smartest Monkeys," or something. Can't have that!

        So this is what I've decided to do:
        I'm gonna try to spell out my taste in music for anyone who gives a
rip. I'm gonna list my favorite bands and some of the albums and/or songs of
theirs that appeal to me the most. It shouldn't be too long, I think most of
the music out there is pretty much crap. And what isn't is usually just
okay. I have the smallest CD collection of anyone I know. . . .

        Here goes:

        XTC - Love 'em. It should be apparent from above remarks that I
prefer Andy's work to Colin's, but I wouldn't go so far as to tell my CD
player to skip CM's songs. Light has no meaning without darkness, right?
(Ick. I'll try to keep that crap to a minimum.) And anyone who says
"Bungalow" is Colin's worst song is an absolute lunatic. It's the best thing
he's ever done. I dig it big time, if you know what I mean. Okay, favorite
albums would have to be Skylarking and O&L. If I had to pick a favorite song
I think I'd go with "1000 Umbrellas". It's as WOW as WOW can be. And I mean
WOW. BTW- Listening to "Chips from Choc" (yes, that's right. I'm pretty
hip.) Best songs: "Brainiac's Daughter" and "Pale and Precious."

        The Beatles - Love 'em. White Album and Abbey Road. Prefer Paul's
post-Beatle stuff, up to the last several years at least. Back to the Egg!

        TMBG - Love 'em. Loved 'em at the beginning, love 'em now. In fact,
I think they're getting better and better. Okay, Linnel's getting better.
Flans might actually be getting worse. His whiny voice is really starting to
annoy the hell out of me. My favorite album may well be Factory Showroom,
I'm not sure yet. John Linnel is one of the wittiest songwriters of all
time. He definately ranks with Partridge, though in a different weight-class.

        Jellyfish - Love 'em. Like Spilt Milk a bit more than Bellybutton.
Saddest band breakup in history. Well, almost. . .

        Presidents of the U.S.A. - love 'em. (Little "l" intended.) Silly.
Witty. Sillywitty. Looking forward to following this band.

        Ben Folds Five - Love 'em. "Underground" is such a wonderful song.
Witty as hell. There's a definate theme rearing it's ugly head here, isn't

        World Party - Love 'em ('im). Actually, I've only got Goodbye Jumbo.
It's quite cool.

        Sting - Like 'im a lot. Ten Summoner's Tales is my only Sting CD,
but it is one of my faves.

        Billy Joel - Love 'im. Yes, I know I'm sticking my neck way the hell
out now, but I feel I should be honest. Liked him since I was a kid. Still
do. He taught me my first few lessons in the appreciation of songwriting. So
sue me. I think probably most of you Beatle fans who don't like BJ just
haven't listened very closely. He's written some very, very good stuff. Do I
sound defensive?

        Okay, that's about it. This is what I ask of you:  If you agree with
all or most of my pompous-assed statements above, (you don't necessarily
have to like Billy Joel,) please e-mail and tell me what else I should be
listening to. What about this Beefheart guy? Never heard of him before
Chalkhills. . . . . .

BTW- REM bores me. Elvis C. is okay. Crash Test Dummys suck suck suck. I
absolutely HATE Smashing Pumpkins.

        If you've read all of this, thank you. If I've pissed anybody off,
I'm sorry.

sorry, no sig.


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-38

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