Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-39

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 39

                 Friday, 22 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                Sacraficial String Section
                 Sugarplastic and D&Wless
               Re: George, Adrian & Gordon
                       Blow by blow
                     lyrical musings
          It grows like a...uh, a growing thing!
                   Millions schmillions
                     Oh stop it Jer!
                      Hi, me again!
             loud song and response to Craig
                      English Fetish
           Craig, you spelled "Dummies" wrong.
                      Not an Age Gap
         If one of you had called the Police, non
        Warning: Lost post alert (includes tirade)
                   Re: Skewed View of U
                   Welcome Back Fodder


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

You start out with your first cub and you think that life's a song.


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 00:44:28 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Skylacking?

What is Skylacking other than a typo?


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 01:13:49 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Sacraficial String Section

This is my first post to Chalkhills, and I who have been a big fan since D
and W first hit American record stores--some uhh-hhemm years ago--should be
very ashamed for lurking so long.  I am a composer and have always been
inspired by Andy and Colin's songwriting energy, which to me is always
concise, interesting and often beautiful.

Anyway, I have a story that some here might enjoy.   A few years ago, I had a
close relationship with one of the session players on Skylarking.  She had
played viola on 1000 Umbrellas and Sacraficial Bonfire, and her ex-husband
had also played trumpet on Man Who Sailed. . .  Anyway,  the interesting
thing about the string playing on these sessions was the different approach
to each song.  Umbrellas was a traditional quartet--two violins, viola and
cello, Dear God was violin and cello, and Bonfire was my friend Becky
overdubbing several times on viola alone (which probably explains the ambient
sounds mentioned in earlier posts, as overdubbing a lot of live music tends
to amplify any room noise, bow sounds, music paper rustling, etc...)   She
remembered Rundgren handing her a page of different music parts with all
these fast arpeggios and all, walking into a side practice room, playing them
a few times, and then going back into the studio and recording each part a
number of times to make it sound like a large viola section.  Pretty cool
story, eh?  It's my closest contact with XTC aside from some nice early
correspondence with Andy and Colin.  This was to wish them well, after I was
turned away at the Palladium in Hollywood, when they cancelled touring
forever....way back in uuh..hhemmmmm.

Cheers, Noah


Message-Id: <199611220643.BAA21098@smtp.WPI.EDU>
From: "Brian Whitman" <bwhitman@WPI.EDU>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 01:45:38 +0000
Subject: Sugarplastic and D&Wless

Gosh... completely out of hearing word about the band here, I went
out and bought Sugarplastic's Bang The Earth Is Round. Perhaps not
needless to say, I am in complete love. It didn't get to me at first
(quite like Oranges and Lemons) but once it did I walk around humming
all the hooks on the wonderful little album.

One thing though; there's a song on here called 'Soft Jingo' that is
-really- neat, and in it, I swear the guy says 'Ugly Underneath' at
some point during the song, actually, I _know_ he does. It's
something like, "When your teeth chip that ugly underneath...."
ANYWAY, the funny part about this (great) tune is that it really
reminds me of the said referred tune (UU). It must be the chord
progression. Perhaps I am reading too much into it when I look at the
title and say, 'Hey, Jingo! Jingoistic cake! It _must_ be an XTC
tribute song! Two XTC references, and it sounds just like Ugly

But perhaps not. I read that someone said the UU is their fave tune
on Nonsuch. Yeah, it's up there alright. Really neat how it opens
like that. Takes you off guard. My problem with Nonsuch is how
jumbled it seems. For all its songs, it needs some more continuity.
But it's also great for that same reason, see... so many great songs
on that album! Holly, UU, Madam Barnum, Peter Pumpkinhead, Humble
Daisy, Books, Then She Appeared... (although I am a stout member of
the I Skip Past Omnibus Every Time Club, shamefully :)

ALSO, can someone who's got Drums & Wireless let me know how it is? I
keep seeing it in stores for US $25 and can't seem to bring myself to
it. Has anyone seen it for cheaper at an internet or mail-order
place? Is the disc legit?

That's all from me...

 Brian Whitman - -
MM&W - - JMP -


Message-Id: <v01540b02aebaf5b3e4ed@[]>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 23:51:01 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: George, Adrian & Gordon

From: DeWitt Henderson <>
>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

I like All Things Must Pass a lot (though not nearly as well as
Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, which I actually like better than most of the
Beatles albums). But what gets me is, why did George only have one good
record in him? Perhaps he should've made ATMP a single album, and saved the
extra songs to bolster future releases....

And yes, I've heard Cloud Nine.  ;)

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

Well, in my opinion, you have the two worst ones!  :)

My favorite is Twang Bar King (out of print, I believe), followed by Lone
Rhino (also out of print, I believe). Happy hunting. For pure pop, Mr.
Music Head might be the one to go with (POSSIBLY out of print??). Also, his
new one, Op Zop Too Wah, is his best album in years. It's a bit erratic
(lots of tiny snippets of songs), but it brings back his original guitar
histrionics, which really excite me. I enjoy Belew much more when he's
wearing his Hendrix hat rather than his McCartney/Emitt Rhodes hat, myself.
Many of his later lyrics come off awfully soft and saccharine to me. Give
me guitar squalls!  ;)

From: "Irwin M. Fletcher" <>
>  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.

I hope that, via these overgeneralizations, you're not making fun of bands
that you've never even heard, or inferring that a band can't be good if you
haven't heard it....

>  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).
>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.

I have given him a chance. I've heard lots of Sting and Police. I like
Outlandos D'Amour all right, but that's the only Police/Sting album I care
to own. Actually, I sold off The Soul Cages and Ten Summoners Tales a year
or two ago. I got them as gifts when they were new, and I finally realized
that I was never going to listen to them again. I have nothing particularly
grumpy to say about later Police albums beyond the fact that they don't
turn me on, but Sting's solo work strikes me as antiseptic, dull, sweatless
and crammed with pointless show-off jazz/world-beat touches. I'll pass. And
my dislike has nothing to do with his sales figures (which weren't even so
good for the last one, I gather).

I haven't much enjoyed any solo Summers stuff I've heard either (beyond I
Advance Masked, the first Fripp collaboration), but I do appreciate
Copeland's soundtrack work. I still have Rumble Fish and The Equalizer &
Other Cliffhangers, which I enjoy far more than anything I've heard by
Sting. I didn't care for Animal Logic however, and I haven't heard Klark
Kent (unfortunately).

Anyway, hush your accusations of Sting bigotry. I'm sure other
Chalkhillians might offer similar "testimonies."



Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 10:57:55 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510102aebb30a8dd5b@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Blow by blow

AMANDA Owens wrote:
>I especially dislike the line "Joe Stalin looks just like Uncle Sam".

But the full line is: "In the half-light of burning republics Joe Stalin
looks just like Uncle Sam," the point being that if you're being beaten or
oppressed it matters not to you whether your oppressor is capitalist or
communist. Now, on a death by death basis, it might be possible to prove
that the USSR under Stalin was responsible for more murders than the USA
(in Nicaragua, Cuba, Vietnam, etc), but whatever the statistics are (and I
haven't seen comparitive figures), the general point remains that neither
superpower is blameless when it comes to using violence in the pursuit of
their own interests. What does it mean to say that Reign of Blows is "too

>Is it xenophobia or jealousy that causes such remarks about America?

It is neither. It is a recognition of the fact that the USA is immensely
powerful. You don't have to live there to know that. In fact, judging by
the tone of Amanda's remarks, living there seems to be something of a
disadvantage in getting the measure of the place.

>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.

But I'm afraid the USA does affect the rest of us personally, and we have
no democratic say in the matter ...

>C: It's really none of my business.

... and that makes it our business.

- Mark


Date: 22 Nov 96 12:58:00 GMT
From: (David McGuinness)
Subject: lyrical musings
Message-Id: <"<CEE5953281821573>CEE5953281821573@GW.BBC"@-SMF->

Hi folks - at last a posting not of a technical nature.

'Crossword puzzles I just shun' (Mayor of Simpleton) is a terrible line.

'No round of drinks can extinguish this/feeling of love and engulfing bliss'
(Great Fire) is a life-enhancing line.

'Ooooaaaaaaarrrrgghh!' (Snowman) isn't really a line at all.




Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 15:20:09 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: It grows like a...uh, a growing thing!
Message-Id: <>

The Go 2 appresciation society has grown to three!! Persons are secretly
e-mailing me by the day, telling me heart-rendering stories of the love
of this album.  Sick of this masterpiece being trashed uncerimoniously?
Fight back!!  E-mail me, and we'll take over the planet using my zombie
robots!  Okay, maybe not.  Zombie robot technology has been set back a
few years.
Mad as a bicycle,  (name the quote)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 96 10:14:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Millions schmillions

Hi all...just a couple responses/retorts:

Erich, Erich, Erich:
>(BTW, Revolver was the best of all: everything after was just a rehash)

Thanks for the support on the topic of Stewart Copeland, but I have to say
that this comment is just plain silly. I won't go into any major Beatles
defense mode, except to say that while Revolver is indeed great, calling
everything after a rehash is a ridiculous assertion. But of course, that's
just MY opinion.

And, speaking of ridiculous assertions, Irwin Fletcher ranted:

>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
>  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.
> 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. . . 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.

YOU really need to "take a step back" and actually read the list a while
longer, as you more or less admit. While it is true that not everyone on
this mailing list likes the "popular" bands you mention, I think it's pretty
safe to say that whoever dislikes them does so because of their music, not
BECAUSE they're popular. Although I am aware of this phenomenon among some
folks, I dare say that Chalkhills subscribers have a tendency to be a little
more thoughtful about their likes and dislikes than to use some sort of
"platinum" standard.
 Take my discussion of Stewart vs. Sting...for one thing, I NEVER summarily
dismissed Sting's work with the Police. In fact, I think most of it is
brilliant. And The Police themselves SOLD MILLIONS. On the other hand, aside
from "Dream of the Blue Turtles," what I know of Sting's music has typically
bored me musically. His lyrics may be very interesting, but I won't listen
to lyrics no matter how good if the music isn't also somewhat interesting to
me. Period. I don't care how many records the performer in question has
sold, whether it's 10 or 10 million.
 Your "therefores" in the final paragraph of yours that I've quoted above
are putting things into our mouths that we never would have said or thought.
The subscribers to Chalkhills are among the most open-minded listeners of
music that I have come across.
 As far as "life would be better if everyone listened to XTC, Martin Newell,
etc...," that's not true either. While it would be nice for these
lesser-known performers to get greater exposure and recognition for their
work, I think I speak on behalf of most people here when I say that we don't
really care that everyone likes what we like. Just being able to have access
to it and enjoy it ourselves is enough. Having likeminded people to discuss
it with here on Chalkhills is a nice added bonus.
 All I can say is that you do us all an injustice by making such unfounded time, I suggest waiting to see if your perceptions at
first glance are actually supported by any basis in fact.

And, speaking of the Police, Adam ( responded to
this comment:
>> "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

I wouldn't necessarily say it's a "bad Police rip-off" but he's referring to
the instrumentation. Compare it to something on "Zenyatta Mondatta" to see
the similarity. I got The Big Express when it first came out, and "Police"
was the first thing I thought when hearing that song. It grew on me enough
on its own that I don't think about it anymore, though.

Dave Gershman


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 09:00:37 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Oh stop it Jer!
Message-id: <>

He Liked to Feel It is NOT a note for note ripoff of The Disappointed. It
may sound like it, but there's a huge difference. (Mainly that TD is not
about a kid who likes to get his teeth pulled out.) You KNOW how I feel
about Brad & Co., why you gotta play it that way?

As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as alternative music
anymore.  It died when REM hit big with Losing My Religion.

PS-I apologise for my political remarks last digest. I realise they have no
place here and I was in an absolutely pissy mood from missing my soaps that


XTC Song of the Day-Rook
CTD Song of the Day-He Liked to Feel It :)
Amanda's story for the day....seems I've gotten myself out of favor with the
author of the CTD biography SUPERMAN'S SONG, b/c I called the book trash on
the CTD mailing list. Of course I didn't realise that the author was a
lurker on the list, so I guess from now on I'll have to.....just emphasize
more often how horrible the book is!


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 09:10:09 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Hi, me again!
Message-id: <>

Okay, some stuff.....

Adam: Funny remarks about Colin's sideburns. They were atrocious looking!
And now that you mention it, that picutre circa O&L of Dave does look a
little like Todd. (Damn! I mean picture!!!!) And I agree, the Nonsuch
pictures are nothing short of excellent. Holly was an adorable baby,
sleeping on her mommy like that. I think in the wedding pic Marianne looked
like she wanted to bolt. At least look at the camera, honey! And yes, Terry,
has not grown older gracefully,unlike You Know Who, who I think looks mighty
nice for a 44-year old.

There was something about the book that sort of intrigued me, though. The
whole Debra Robertson/Colin thing. It's that 24 year old could
forsake his 5-year old son and two-year old daughter for a fling boggles me.
(And how Carol obviously took him back boggles me even more. I'm sorry, but
his ass would've been out the door SO fast. But I guess she loved him enough
to forgive him, blah blah blah.)

Damnit, I forgot what else I wanted to say. Oh well, it'll come to me and
I'll have to assume my position of postaholic.

Till I remember,


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 10:27:20 -0500 (EST)
From: A tree is best measured when it is cut down <>
Subject: loud song and response to Craig
Message-ID: <>

	For my loud song vote (and I'm honestly quite suprised I haven't
seen this suggestion plastered around more):
	Complicated Game for very obvious cathartic reasons.
	Ok. Now to Craig: What you need to do is go down to your local
vinyl store and buy Troutmask Replica by Captain Beefheart. It is best
listened to in this form. I believe that the album was recorded in a day.
The whole thing. Written and recorded in a day. I may be wrong here, but
I don't think I am.
	Anyway, go get it.

"You were born. And so you're free. So happy birthday."- Laurie Anderson


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 08:19:41 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: English Fetish

Re: AMANDA's long rambling political thing - I'd like to make a long
response to that, but it's probably pointless - you're in college,
I'm turning 39 Monday, and our differences probably expand from there.
But I'll just say that if you're embarrassed by Mr. C., I have to
admit I'm not a huge fan of his, but I was far more embarrassed by
his two predecessors, not to mention any names...

Someone asked if we have an English fetish - well YEAH, we do!  Or,
um, at least I do.  I've been to the UK three times, and would've
been more if it wasn't for those dang 2 things - time and money.
I love many things British, not the least of which is the music.  I
have plenty of American music, but I wouldn't be surprised if more
was from across the ocean - XTC, Squeeze, EC, Beatles, Who, Kinks,
Stones, Pink Floyd, Police and the dreaded Sting, blah blah blah.

"Everything after Revolver was just a rehash?".  I'm sorry, but some
friendly officers will be around shortly to pick you up.  The only
way you will be granted a reprieve from death row is by making a
public (and written) apology to mssrs. McCartney, Harrison, Starr,
and Lennon (c/o Yoko).

Just listened to the Dukes last night for the first time in quite
a while.  Are any of you ambivalent about it too?  I like some of
it, while other tracks are just sort of OK...

Not surprisingly, the guy I was attempting to convert to an EC
fan only really liked "King of America" out of the 4 I loaned him.

And lastly, yes, "Soul Cages" is my fave Sting CD as well.
* -------------------------------
DeWitt Henderson
"Long Live Rock, I Need it Every Day"
(if you don't know the author, you need help)
* -------------------------------


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 09:31:03 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Craig, you spelled "Dummies" wrong.
Message-id: <>

Just thought I'd let you know.

BTW-Yeah, you offended. But I'm not going to get into that now b/c I'm
trying to be jovial/genial/nice/sweet today. Let's just say that if CTD
sucks....then I'm a liberal. And anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm
about as liberal as John Major/Ronald Reagan/Brian Mulroney/whoever your
last conservative leaderwas.

Ben: I have yet to listen to White Music all the way through, and I've been
having it for over a year! I can't get past Dance Band, I dunno why!

What songs should be played aty deafening volume:
Radios in Motion
This is Pop (lp version, not single.)
Dance Band
Living Through Another Cuba
Smokeless Zone
Travels In Nihilon
Roads Girdle the Globe
Complicated Game
The Somnambulist
Jason & the Argonauts
It's Nearly Africa
Funk Pop a Roll
Human Alchemy
Wake Up
Shake You Donkey Up
I Bought Myself a Liarbird
Train Runnin Low on Soul Coal
Paper and Iron
Garden of Earthly Delights
Scissor Man (R&BB version)
Across This Antheap
Chalkhills and Children
The Ugly Underneath
You're The Wish (You Are) I Had (Wireless version)
Books Are Burning
Peter Pumnpkinhead
(oops, typo.)
Pulsing Pulsing
Strange Tales, Strange Tails (or is that the other way around..oh who cares.)

Onto Colin's closet Americanism...I'm sort of lost on that one. I know I
rarely hear Americans use the word "queue". Everything is lines, lines, lines.

Onto what's so cool about the UK: Good music. Even if most of it in the 80's
wasflash in the pan, some of the best songs/bands in the 80's came from
England.  Like A Flock of Seagulls. I still listen to them today.  I think
these days Enlgish bands are sort of trying to assert their "Englishness",
for the sake of a better word. Bands like Blur and Oasis are overtly
English. I remember when I used to have the hardest time telling Brits and
Australians apart.......whoa, trip back to kid-dom.

Later Gators,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 08:39:13 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Not an Age Gap

>Re: AMANDA's long rambling political thing - I'd like to make a long
>response to that, but it's probably pointless - you're in college,
>I'm turning 39 Monday, and our differences probably expand from there.

   Sorry, but I had to add this comment to my own (made above in my
   previous post) - I think age doesn't have very much to do with
   opinions, and there are far too many Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who
   think it does.  So disregard what I said - I think it's cool, for
   example, that we have such a wide-ranging group of ages on Chalkhills.
   The only difference age might make is that you've had more time
   (theoretically) to have read and learned about something, so you
   MAY know more about a particular subject than someone younger (note
   I didn't say you would be SMARTER, but possibly more educated).

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


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:02:29 -0500
Subject: If one of you had called the Police, non


All this talk about "All This Time" hearkens me back to the first time I
heard the "Soul Cages" album. I was asked (as a college freshman) to write a
music review on that album by a friend who worked at the campus paper. I
listened to the album once, then again, and all the time I looked at the
lyric sheet. I could hardly believe that most of the songs on the album were
about Sting's father's death. Granted, it's a major traumatic event and I
can just imagine Sting's depression over it. But if Sting was going to get
all frothy at the mouth and whenever he wrote something it would turn out to
be another eulogy, I think it would be time for him to take a vacation and
just calm his soul for a few weeks/months before he sat down to write again.
I think I said in my review that "As usual, Sting draws upon a diverse
musical background to create the songs. But he's only has one set of lyrics,
which he chooses to regurgitate in first person or third person depending on
the mood of the song. I think Sting needs to see a therapist."

My favorite loud XTC song: Towers of London. (well, one of my faves at ANY
volume) Second: Reign of Blows (thanks, Dave Gershman)

AMANDA said that she dislikes Andy's political attacks on the US government.
I think that there's only so much he can say about his OWN! Hey, I'm not
going to get into political ideology, but if Master Lyricist Andy Partridge
can't throw a few smoke bombs over the Atlantic, what can you expect him to
talk about? Look at Peter Pumpkinhead (JFK, but we won't dredge THAT up
again). I don't think all of Andy's songs can be "This Is Pop." Tune in next
time when someone slams "Omnibus" for being racist to green people.

Ugly Underneath is a GREAT song. But I'm still whistling "The Disappointed."

And I like the XTSegues idea, your Mondayness. Howabout "Omnibus"/"Magic
Bus"?? I think I'm going to make my own tape of stuff like that. Could you
mail me a set list? :)

Oh yeah, one more thing that's been bugging me: Do you think that Andy wrote
"Dear God" as a follow up to "This World Over?" read the lyrics, see the
similarities, take two aspirins and call me in the morning.


"Putting tongues where they didn't ought to be..."


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:13:23 EST
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Warning: Lost post alert (includes tirade)

 Have to respond to some things in 3-38:

 Hey, Stormy: Hang on to the night! If you want her, you should tell her!
(Sounds like you already have ... you go, man!  :^)

 Hey, AMANDA: Everyone has a right to their opinion -- Andy does, you do, I
 do, the rest of the world does. I'm an American, I consider myself a
 patriot, and I think Ronald Reagan (esp. in his second term) was a sleepy
 old doltish actor playing the role of his life. Evil? Clueless, maybe. Why
 they didn't give him an Oscar (tm) is beyond me. I also think that George
 Bush, whom I had high hopes for, turned out to be a pragmatist without
principle -- a political weathervane, if you will. Evil? Misguided, maybe. I
also think that the only reasons that the Republicans didn't lose control of
Congress this year is that Clinton, and moderates within the party, kept the
more extreme (read, evil) elements in check. The fact that Clinton won this
election is, IMO,  evidence that the American people want more of the same.

 At the same time, I *voted* for RR and GB. I'm not proud of it now, but I
believed at the time they were the lesser of two evils. I also acknowledge
 that our current president is merely a man, and has his shortcomings (see
George Bush, above), but IMO he certainly was the better choice in the past
 two elections. And believe it or not, America also has its shortcomings,
 which inevitably get noticed and commented upon by the rest of the world.
 The full line is, "By the half-light of burning republics, Joe Stalin looks
just like Uncle Sam": you say, "uh, that would be no." I say, Andy's using
literary devices known as simile and hyperbole to make a point. You'll
 notice that he doesn't spare his own country in RoB, either. And finally,
if you disagree that the U.S. has supported totalitarian regimes or has had a
 hand in the death of several popularly elected governments, read your
 history books (start with Chile and Allende and go from there). Part of
 being a responsible citizen and patriot, IMO, is acknowledging your
 country's shortcomings and working to right them, rather than blindly
 backing it no matter what. And remember that the U.S. is a leader in the
 world community; if it's going to take up the mantle of superpower and the
responsibilities that go with it, then it's going to invite the scrutiny and
criticism of the countries and people whose fate it affects by its everyday

 The point of this too-lengthy tirade is this: We're all entitled to our
opinions, and certain issues -- those involving religion, morals and
 politix, for instance -- have no "answer": Each point of view is as valid
as the other. This means we could go on and on forever if we choose to bring
up political points of view in Chalkhills and, quite frankly, I'm having
 trouble keeping up with the volume of digests as it is. So let's agree to
 let politix alone, shall we?  If you'd like to respond, please e-mail me

 On the plus side, I'm convinced that Andy says "turds and treasure" in SWO,
 no matter what the lyric sheet says.  :^)

 On turning things to 11: Too many songs to mention (*all* of Black Sea, for
example), but I noticed no one mentioned Merely a Man, and that's
 *definitely* one.

 On the Stingthing: As one of the people who got this started, I don't
 *dislike* Sting; I think he's okay and has written some fine songs. I just
think that if you bought him for what's he's worth and sold him for what he
thinks he's worth, you'd make a nifty profit.  :^)  And I'm not against
listening to commerically successful songs or groups, as Irwin F. suggests
might be the problem. IMO, Sting's okay, that's all. To use Craig Shafer's
 very appropriate analogy, Sting's a contender, but he'll never (again, IMO)
 be champion and he'll never be in Andy's weight class. (is THAT a setup for
 a joke, or what?  :^)

 I don't dislike Andy S., either, I just don't think he's a very good
songwriter. I can just see him writing "Mother": "Let's see, too hard to
 come up with an original song structure, so I'll just play a 12-bar
 progression in 7/8 in the harmonic minor, groan a lot about a Freudian
 subject matter (after all, Sting *is* getting very Jungian in this album),
 and throw my best sub-par Fripp wannabe lead in the middle." Not that I
feel strongly about it  :^)  I thought the song was amusing the first three
 I heard it, but after that I realized that it detracts from an otherwise
 great album.

 Stuie C. is a bitchin' drummer and writes some great songs -- you can tell
 he really spends time on them, hence his lower output. I don't think he'd
be right for XTC, though, as some people suggest; I think the universe might
explode if he and Andy came in contact with each other.

 Mole from the Ministry is Andy singing throughout. Look, y'all, their
voices complement each other's very well, but Andy and Colin *always* sing
the songs they write, okay?

 To Adam: Adrian Belew's Here and Young Lions are, unfortunately, not his
strongest efforts, IMO. If you want to delve into the back catalog, pick up
 the compilation Desire of the Rhino King, which contains cuts from his
first three albums. Op Zop Zoo Wah (sp?), his newest, is also supposed to be
very good. Or buy anything by King Crimson from 1980 on...

 To Ben G.: I think the variations in pitch in Andy's vocals on Yacht Dance
 are entirely intentional. One of the things I've always liked about his
 singing is that he really approaches his voice as an instrument (he's a
 great "scat" singer -- check out "Cut it Out," the live jam on the Scissor
 Man progression that's on the backside of the Love on a Farmboy's Wages EP.

 That's it. Sorry for the length. ByeBye!


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:46:21 -0500 (EST)
From: "m.p. moffatt" <>
Subject: Re: Skewed View of U
Message-ID: <>

> 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 know that there are few Canadians on this planet who look favoUrably
(spelling intentional) upon the United States.  Fifty years of American
cultural imperialism and the view that the American government has that
they are the "police of the World" are just many issues that cause most
non-Americans to look upon the USA quite disfavoUrably.  I know that the
Helms-Burton act alone has caused America's popularity to plummet in
Canada.  If this thread continues, I'd love to elaborate on the subject,
but as this mailing list is about XTC, I think I'll stop right now. =)

Mikey (An evil Canadian political science major)


Message-Id: <v01550100aebb7ec16294@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 10:54:09 -0600
From: (Mike Mills)
Subject: Welcome Back Fodder

How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us...

>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"

I say BLAHHAHHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! to that!!!!!!!  But everybody already
knows how I feel about R.E.M., so I'll just shut up now.

>And do all three of them sing in 'You're The Wish...'?

I believe it's all Andy.

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

Are we talking about the same song?  I was referring to the "Welcome Back
Kotter" theme song.  It was always one of my faves.

"Mo-ole" is An-dy, "Mo-ole" is An-dy!

>So Andy's slagged Swinondon. He's slagged America. Is he looking for utopia
>or something?

Andy has a tendency to make off-the-cuff remarks that probably have
more to do with how he's feeling at that particular second than an
all-encompassing world view.  Not to over-analyze someone I don't
even know, but I feel he's a very jocular sort and that some things
he says should be taken with a grain of salt (CASBY, anyone?)

>"Turn it up!"

To that I'd have to add "You're The Wish", "Earn Enough For Us",
"Peter Pumpkinhead" (man, that song ROCKS!)...etc., etc.

> To me
>there's almost no such thing as a *bad* EC album...

Well, perhaps you should check out "Goodbye Cruel World"...not that
the lyrics are bad, but the music is...well, a little obscure.  "Spike"
wasn't all that great either.  But he more than redeemed himself with
"Brutal Youth";  that album is incredible.

> off pitch in "Yacht Dance"?

If we're thinking of the same bit, you mean the last chorus before the
end don't you?  I always thought he seemed to sing that with a little
bit more abandon, almost like he just wanted to finish recording the
damn vocals ASAP.  He doesn't sound like he's injecting a lot of care
in that part (compared with the rest of the song).

> Think of the song "All This Time,"

Oh, I love "All This Time".  This was one of the 5 songs since the Police
broke up that I've liked of his...the others being "Fortress", "If I Ever
Lose My Faith", "Fields of Gold" (I dunno, it's just so damn evocative),
and um...okay, so there are only 4.  Yeah, they're the singles, but then
Sting was always good for singles...

re: John Flansburgh
>His whiny voice is really starting to
>annoy the hell out of me.

Love that whiny voice!!

>Billy Joel

Hey, I'll be the (second) to admit that Billy Joel was a big...if not
influence, then at least a big part of my early musical inundation.  My
mom says when I was 3 my favorite artists were Paul McCartney and Elton
John.  I'd throw Billy Joel in there too, because I remember "My Life"
being one of my favorite songs.

Well, I've gone long again, but that's 'cause I had 2 digests to
respond to. [random comment:] This is weird.  It's 50 degrees outside and
people are walking around in jogging shorts...I say again, weird.

BTW, have any of you out there heard of Javelin Boot?  They're an
Austin based pop band whose new album, "Fundamentally Sound", comes
out today (11/22).  If you find a record store that carries it, I
highly recommend it.  They have 3 other albums which are also very

Jason-- I'm just praying by the weekend, I can earn enough for...ME!


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-39

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