Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-4

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 4

                Friday, 27 September 1996

Today's Topics:

                    the issue of demos
                   Re:Paul Myers......
           rem playing on the same bill as xtc
                In Praise of Brian Stevens
              RE: Oranges & Lemons & Orwell
          take the matter up with good Lord Jim
                        Demo Gloat
                    Alternate Tunings
                    Oranges And Lemons
                   news and weaknesses
              Re: Non-XTC Crash Test Dummies
    The closing to "Oh Dear, what can the matter be?"
               FF Chart Positions in London
                    Re: Nursery Rhymes
            That Ruben Blades is some dancer.
                  Fossil limited ranting
                    A Striking Beauty!
                   Jesus!; and Joshing
                "None...none more black."
                      Sister Europe
                      Beautiful York
                        Reel life
                     The Sugarplastic
       various British things unknown in the states
                    Small XTC Mention
                       Demos Again


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 08:02:45 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: the issue of demos

(This is a bit lengthy.  Those not interested in this can "find/search" the
word "costing" to take you to the end.)

A few things about demos that are on my mind.  Let me say first off, that
aside from those released as various b-sides, I do not own any of the
various demos collections.  Further, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't
curious about some of the demo tracks that generate a lot of dialog on this
forum. Still, I am not going to spend a great deal of time collecting them
for the following reasons:

1--the cost.  Here in Omaha, NE I have seen CDs called "Demos 1", "Demos
2," etc. and they have gone for over thirty bucks a pop.  And this for
something that gives XTC nothing and with "marginal production values." (A
phrase others here have said in the past.)
2--keeping new work new.  When the new album comes out, I want to be
surprised.  I don't want my first thought to be "oh, they changed that
chorus" or some such thing.  I want my first experience with the stuff to
be as they wanted it appreciated, properly polished and reworked.
3--respecting works in progress.  This whole demos discussion reminds me of
hoopla over the New Yorker's publication of a "lost" chapter to Mark
Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Basically that discussion there
applies here.  There is a lot of crap out there by all sorts of artists
that never sees the light of day precisely because it is crap. Truth is,
much of what a great musician or writer spits out never sees the light of
day.  The question is, then, do artists have control over how their work is
appreciated or not?  I for one respect an artist's ability to decide what
is up to their standards and what is not.  Now I know that many
Chalkhillers say that certain songs are better than those released on
album, but in the end, they were not selected by XTC to be recorded and
released, even as demo b-sides.  This must mean something about their
attitude towards those songs.

Having said that, it is difficult to read the contribution by Mitch
Friedman.  This is not a flame, but it is difficult to read what you say
and not think it a bit hypocritical to denounce swapping the demos you own,
or as Iggy Pop sang, "Bang bang, I got mine."  I am sure that you did not
mean this, but this is one way of interpreting your comments.

As far as a potential demo/non-demo schism, I would define it slightly
differently.  I think there are XTC fans who feel excluded from some of the
discussion in Chalkhills because they don't have the time, access or money
required to buy the various XTC collectors items.  I think there is a tacit
(if unintended) slap in these Chalksters' faces because they don't have the
Japanese first-press remixed import that contains an additional cymbal tap
every fourth bar and an abrupt end rather than the fade present on the
British release.

Most of us can relate to some pretentious fans of _____ we have met who
look down on you because you don't have their first independent release and
though there were only fifty made, they have one, and its a good thing too
cause its better than anything else they ever released.  (In my youth it
was the U2, Smiths and Bowie fans who were the worst at this.)  Now, I am
not saying anyone here is like that (in fact, people seem quite happy to
dub around), but in the sterile web-zone, where noone can hear you smirk,
you may be misinterpreted.  In the end, I am not asking anyone to change
their Chalkhills content or attitude.  It's been said here before, if you
are not interested in an entry, skip it.  If you don't like it, respond.

For the record, every contact I have had with a fellow Chalkhills
subscriber has been wonderful.  (we will see what happens now.....)

Peace be with all of you,

Joe Snipp

PS Regarding my own offer of dubbing Hiroyasu Yaguchi's "Gastronomic" "for
swap."  I would be happy to dub a copy for anyone who wants one-- swap or
not-- as long as you send me a blank tape or something just so it's not
costing me to do it.


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 11:09:17 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re:Paul Myers......
Message-id: <>

Okay, I am now going to have to say that you are LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd give
my right and left arms to meet a member of CTD.

Anyways, that's all for now.

XTC quote of the day.......

"How many people can you mind-fuck at once?"-Mr. Partridge.


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 13:14:22 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: rem playing on the same bill as xtc

it is my first time on the post and wanted to comment on the rem/xtc concert
topic that was touched on a few issues back.
according to 'remnants - the rem collectors handbook and price
guide' by gary nabors both bands played the B&L Warehouse in Athens, Ga. on
April 24, 1981. ( i have a tape of the xtc portion of the bill)
i would assume that rem opened for xtc (rem did not even have a record out at
that would be another 2 months until the 7" 'radio free europe' on
hibtone would be released!) and it apprears that the rem/xtc bill was a one
time shot (this book lists all known rem shows and support/headliners acts
appearing with them)
that's it!                       martin fopp


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 13:52:50 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: In Praise of Brian Stevens

A thumbnail review:

I must say that Brian Stevens' new album, "Prettier Than You", is every bit
as good as other Chalkhillians have said.  It took a little time for me to
warm to it because while the pop songs on it are thoroughly memorable and
intelligent, they are more interesting rhythmically than melodically.  (I
tend to hear melody first, rhythm second.)  Here guitars, keyboards,
percussion, and bass (Dave Gregory) are constantly creating interesting
counterrhythms.  So Dave's bass playing is of a different nature than it is,
say, on Martin Newell's Off-White Album, where he launches many of the songs
through his wonderfully melodic basslines, for example on "Call Me Michael

As for the tunes, they are quite good.  Stevens' voice is not one of
bell-ringing clarity, but it meshes with the instrumentation quite well.  In
fact, the sound in general is a little reminiscent of George Harrison's,
which in turn is interesting because many of the songs treat one of Mr.
Harrison's early concerns:  the unsubstantiality of fame, and our lives in

Bye for now,

John B.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:42:01 -0700
From: (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: RE: Oranges & Lemons & Orwell

Sara Lloyd quotes:

>"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's
>You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's
>When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey
>When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.
>Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
>Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!"

There's a slightly less violent version printed in a 1988 Little Express:

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's
Halfpence and farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.
I'm sure I don't know,
Says the great Bell of Bow

        Andy makes no mention of getting from Orwell's "1984" in that
particular issue but who knows?



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 17:04:03 -0700
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: take the matter up with good Lord Jim

Sara Lloyd <> conspiraled:

>Given the Big Brother-esque paranoia of songs such as "Real by Reel" and
>"Mole From the Ministry," what do you think of the possibilty that the
>title for "Oranges and Lemons" came from _1984_?

   Maybe... but as you may know the title "Oranges and Lemons" was (also?)
lifted from Andy's divine fruit painting "Ballet for a Rainy Day". Which
seems to have no hidden message, nothing political at least.

   On the other hand "Oranges and Lemons" the album seems to be dripping wet
with political cynicism through out. "President Kill" has your predetermined
Orwellian-style politics and the ringing bells from your found poem. And the
lyric,"I won't rock no boats" fits the 1984 theme perfectly.

   Speaking of boats, I've always thought the books of Joseph Conrad were
*bound* to have been read by our swindonians. I have no proof of this but I
cannot hear "Man Who Sailed Around His Soul" without thinking of Conrad's
shorts "Heart of Darkness" or "The Secret Sharer". The latter especially
because of the narrators disturbing self analysis set to the scene of
turn-of-the-century sea imagery. I must have read these for an English class
at one time but on hearing MWSAHS I ran out and bought a collection of
Conrad's tales and was not disappointed, plenty of psychological themes and
watery settings.

rocking in a similar motion,


Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 22:42:18 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Demo Gloat

i really love the new demos!! i feel sorry for anyone who doesnt have
them yet!  (are you listening Mr. Cuevas?????)


The preceeding thoughts and statements are the sole opinion of the man
who wrote them and do not reflect Chalkhills digest or anybody who
already have the demos.


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 00:52:19 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: JH3 <>
Subject: Alternate Tunings

Non-musician-types will probably want to skip this one, I'm afraid. Also,
since guitarists can be pretty fussy about this sort of thing, I know
there'll be lots of disagreements about this stuff, but I don't care, I'll
just ignore it all as usual...

Anyway, I've learned (or tried to learn) numerous XTC songs, and while I
wouldn't say they use alternate tunings all *that* often, there are
definitely a few cases. They didn't do it much before Mummer; I assume they
didn't want to have to re-tune while they were playing live.

A good Mummer example is the softer of the two acoustic parts on "Love on a
Farmboy's Wages" -- I've tried it tuned to an open E and an open E-minor,
and while parts of it are much easier with just the E, it's very tricky to
play the C chord unless you have at least the G string tuned normally.

More obvious: "Find the Fox," on which the guitar is tuned down a full step,
so that you end up playing variations on a low D as if it were E. And more
recently, there's "Then She Appeared," which becomes a lot easier to play
(though maybe harder to figure out) when you de-tune just the high E string,
down a full step to D.

If you include the use of capo's, there's "King for a Day" and "The Meeting
Place" (capo on first fret, unless you just want to tune it a half-step up).
And on "Yacht Dance" I'm reasonably certain that one guitar, probably
Andy's, is capo'd on the second fret so it starts out with D played as if it
were C. If you don't play it that way, the "won't they be jealous of both of
us" part (B played as A, then F#/F#7 as E/E7) becomes substantially more
difficult -- even if you're using your thumb. The other guitar, the one
playing the intricate lead part in the middle, isn't capo'd at all. (This
will probably cause an argument or two...)

Finally, howzabout this: I found that "Meccanik Dancing" goes a lot easier
with the B string removed entirely. My (admittedly questionable) theory is
that Andy wrote the song one day after the string broke and he couldn't find
a spare. (Try XXX3-^5 XXX3-5 XXX0-3 xxx0-0.)

--John H. Hedges III, Inc.

PS: No, James, you're not imagining it -- the saxophone part on the original
version of the P. Furs' "Sister Europe" is almost exactly what the lead
guitar is playing in the middle bit of "Ball and Chain," but in a different
key: in "Ball & Chain" it's D-C-D-D#-D-C-G#-C (repeat)... and in "Sister
Europe" it's G-F-G-G#-G-F-C#-F (those are notes, not chords). If the sax
were replaced with a guitar, the similarity would be more noticeable, so
maybe Icehouse is using a guitar there?


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 13:44:48 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: (Simon Sleightholm)
Subject: Oranges And Lemons

According to an interview Andy did with Radio 1 at the time of Oranges and
Lemons, the title of the album did come from the nursery rhyme. Andy was
musing how certain pop songs take on a life of their own, away from the
recording, and perhaps with different lyrics, become a part of "folklore".
He pointed to "Yellow Submarine" as a prime example - the way it might be
used in a modern kids TV show as part of "a fun thing about the colour
yellow" - for the wee kids who sit singing along, it isn't a Beatles song,
it's nursery rhyme. Andy was thinking how nice it would be if one or two XTC
songs fell into that category, the lyrics might mutate or be dropped
altogther, but somehow something of their work would have become folklore;
kids playing a dancing game to "Senses Working Overtime", or skipping a rope
to "Holly Up On Poppy". I suppose, to an extent, "Making Plans For Nigel" -
if we consider how many lame newspaper headlines have grown from that root -
is the closest they have got yet.

A nursery rhyme/storytelling side to Andy's work at least, has always been
pretty apparent -"Let's begin!" from "Peter Pumpkihead" draws, for me, an
immediate comparison to an old UK radio storytelling show for kids which
kicked off with "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." Then there's
"Gather round" from "Punch And Judy", the world-weary traveller of "Jason
And The Argonauts". I'm not sure if he'll ever realise his ambition on a
very grand scale now, but I know there are people out there singing these
songs to their kids - what a child who has been brought up on "Candymine",
"Easter Theatre" and "Cherry In Your Tree" is going to make of the world
intrigues me immensely - so maybe in a small way Andy will get his wish.
Perhaps if he'd agreed to the Disney terms for "James And The Giant Peach",
some of those songs might have had a fighting chance.

As for other "Nursery Rhyme" references, "Soliders, workers, slaves and
farmers, etc." from "Antheap" might draw from "Tinker, tailor, soldier
sailor," and, of course, there's those little between-track "Alice"-style
snippets on "Psonic Psunspot".

Watch out when buying CD's mail-order; a guy called Horace Andy has just
released an album called "Skylarking". It's a roots reggae "best of". Many
of the tracks, one called "Skylarking", are culled from early '70s sessions
- considering the reggae/ska tinge of the early XTC albums I wonder if XTC
ever heard these tracks, and whether the naming of their own album had any
roots here.

My train is coming,


* ---------------------------------------------------
* ---------------------------------------------------
An English Settlement...


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 96 9:44:00 EDT
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Subject: news and weaknesses
Message-ID: <>

The current issue of the Village Voice recommends the current lineup of
They Might Be Giants songs- one of their favorites is entitled "XTC vs.
Adam Ant"... I hope XTC wins out!

Unrelatedly, the Heads are scheduled to play NYC- Tramps, I believe,
onbn November 15.  This really makes me mad because Robyn Hitchcock and
Billy Bragg are playing the Beacon on the same night.  Now ordinarily I
wouldn't compare the two shows, but on the one chance that some wild
Swindonian sneaks on stage to belt out Paper Snow....  let's just say
it would be sublime.  Any of you lurkenproletariat know of Andy's
scheduled whereabouts in mid-November?!

Really really unrelatedly, my resolve not to have the new demos before
an album comes out is weakening.  All this talk, the titles and lyrics
flashing by every day, is driving me nuts.  So (toggle on *indiscreet*
mode) email me privately if you can supply these. I may have some
relics that you haven't yet heard. I will listen to them 40 million
times and pledge to never seek commercial gain by their glory (reset to



Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 08:54:57 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Non-XTC Crash Test Dummies
Message-id: <>

Anyone notice that CTD's version of All You Pretty Girls was also engineered
by Ed Thacker....

Quote of the day........

If Bill Clinton is the answer then it must have been a stupid question.



Message-Id: <s24a58be.060@CHEMETALS.COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 10:17:29 -0400
From: Patrick McCoach <pmccoach@CHEMETALS.COM>
Subject: The closing to "Oh Dear, what can the matter be?"

To complete the lyrics so Simon Knight can sleep at night.....

"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
"Johnny's too long at the fair"
"He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"
"He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"
"He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"

"To tie up my bonnie brown hair!"


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 96 09:24:41 CST
Message-Id: <>

     This is my first posting to chalkhills, although I've been an XTC
     fanatic since 1980. Anyway, last Sat.afternoon while clicking around
     the different college football games, during a fade out to commercial
     (on ABC or NBC, not sure which) the fade out music was "My Bird
     Performs". WOW! that got my adrenaline flowing more than any game

     I've been to several of the larger CD stores in Austin and haven't
     seen FF yet.

     Went to see The Refreshments last week, the opening band was
     Semisonic, they are great, and you can really hear a strong influence
     of XTC/Squeeze/Todd R.,etc... Get their new CD!!! It's so great to
     find a really good new pop band! Havent found the SugarPlastic CD
     either, but they are playing at the Electric Lounge on the 30th, so I
     guess I'll see them first.

     By the way, I saw XTC backing up the Police at a show in Austin in the
     Fall of 80/spring of 81 (not sure of the exact date, but a dim, hazy,
     smokey recollection tells me it was during my freshmen year of

     Glad to be a Chalkhillian,



Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 18:34:48 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: (Ian Sutton)
Subject: FF Chart Positions in London

Dear Chalkies

Someone recently enquired about chart placings of Fossil Fuel in various
countries.  This afternoon in Oxford Street, London the following placings
were advertised.

Virgin Megastore - Number 26
HMV              - Number 33 (shown as dropping from Number 21 ???)

Incidentally, all albums except Nonsuch appear to be available in one of
the two stores.  The Live at the BBC album is included as part of the 3 for
20 pounds promotion at Virgin.  Virgin had a copy of the Yazbek CD (but
hasn't any longer) and one of them had Through The Hill.

I will be listening to the AP interview on GLR (London radio station) tonight.

Ian (ex of Swindon, now in London)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 10:42:38 -0700
Subject: Re: Nursery Rhymes

> "Oh dear, what can the matter be?"
> "Johnny's too long at the fair"
> "He promised to buy me a box of blue ribbons"
> (I've forgotten the last line - can anyone remember how it goes?
> It's been bugging me for ages!)

Check the B-side,(Goosebumps),of The Residents-Discomo 12"
This is one of the many nursery rhymes on there.

> Some people have claimed the album was named "Oranges and Lemons" due
> to the differing styles of the songs on the album.  The phrase to
> describe that in England and Australia is actually "Apples and Oranges".

I always thought it was a reference to the first words of Ballet for
a Rainy Day.  I've seen lots of intellegent bands pull this stunt.
L8r Jeff
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 12:49:36 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Taylor <>
Subject: That Ruben Blades is some dancer.

>>P.S.  In the last verse of the Blades version, he says something in
>>Spanish about XTC.  Does anyone know what he's saying?
>I'm pretty sure he says: "De Ruben Blades y Son del Solar  para ti, un
>abrazo a la gente de XTC!"
>In other words: "A hug to the guys from XTC from Ruben Blades and the Son
>del Solar!" (that's his band)

Wow, this revelation brings me to my all-time favorite misheard lyric.
Until now I was sure he was saying:

 "That Ruben Blades is some dancer [something having to do with arms en
espanol] and I hate that XTC".

Go have a listen, it's as close as you'll get if you're expecting to hear

Re: Ben Gott's tale...
>So here's the deal. This summer, I was at a Bacon Brothers
>concert. In case you don't know who these fine gentlemen
>are, one is Kevin Bacon, and the other is his brother,
>I went back to Kevin and asked, "Your bassist is an XTC
>fan. Have you ever heard them?" Unfortunately, both Kevin
>and Michael's answer was: "No." "Ask him to play 'English
>Settlement' for you," I said.

Once again, XTC is bound up in the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" phenomenon.
"She's Having a Baby" and now this.  Incredible.

Also, regarding Colin's stuttering "c-c-c-cola" in "Life Begins at the Hop"
-- I recall hearing a story about the Kinks' "Lola" which highlighted the
exorbitant cost of re-recording the one phrase "Coca-Cola" to the less
brand-specific "cherry cola".  Seems that the BBC refused to play this
single in its original form on the argument that it constituted a commercial
endorsement or some such nonsense.  The great cost was incurred because the
Kinks were touring the US at the time of the debacle and Ray Davies had to
fly back to Britain, set up in a studio, sing two words, then rejoin his
mates on tour.

Isn't Colin's "stuttering" possibly just a more clever way around this same
obstacle?  It still _sounds_ like "Coca-cola" (if you ignore one 'c'), yet
skirts the requirements of non-specificity just as well as Ray's version.
I've always assumed that Colin was aware of that same story and just worked
that line in to torment the censors.

Now, as an aside... I know there are a lot of Kinks fans here.  Can somebody
verify that story and tell me why they didn't just record Ray Davies' bit in
the US and send the tape back home?

|       Scott M. Taylor       |
|       |
| |


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 10:52:36 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Steven Reule <>
Subject: Fossil limited ranting

Hi, fellow fanatics...

Maybe I'm just confused (it's happened before) but I don't understand the
negative reaction to the packaging and song selection on the current hits
compilation.  I think the limited packaging for the singles collection is
really nice.  The black is sleek and elegant and the raised cover is
something I can't recall seeing used before anywhere else.  The pictures of
the singles' sleeves are cool, though I saw a couple in there I still need
to get.  As for the song selection, well, it's a singles collection and they
are all excellent songs.  The sound quality is great, the early songs sound
better than on the original CDs.  My only regret on that count is that the
Dukes singles aren't on there, but I can live with that.

Since it's been many years since Nonsvch and will likely be a while until
the next album, I think this 2CD set is very welcome.  I love having all
those great songs together and, as I said before, I really like the package.
Am I the only one that feels this way?

Talking of The Dukes: even though they may have been killed in a bizarre
kitchen accident, a group which was no doubt a major influence on them, The
Rutles, have a CD of previously unreleased material coming out in late
October.  A legend that will last a lunchtime (at least I didn't mention the

Steven Reule
Obsessed With Music


Subject: A Striking Beauty!
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 96 14:55:57 -0400

The match image in FF could be a pun on the fact that that the release is a
"matching" set (i.e., two CDs). That's the very first thing I thought of.

Pink Floyd (or, EMI, in collaboration with Hipgnosis) punned with "A Nice
Pair" back in the mid-1970s, a double-LP set. They also punned with
Ummagumma, another two-LP set released in 1969. That's the one with the
infinite regression album cover, and "Gigi," another pun on doubleness.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: Jesus!; and Joshing
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 13:55:29 -0700

From: (Brookes McKenzie)
> . . . hey, settle down there, tough guy - that would be "jerky" as in
> the "Jerky Boys" - i.e., MC was kidding.

Thank you Brookes for figuring out the reference and for understanding that
it was meant as an ever-so-light barb.  Jesus!

I suppose I could have written it thus:

{New Jersey Accent}:  Au contraire, there uh joiky.

Even still, to have ruffled feathers over the word *jerky*?  Please . . .

From: Joshua at
> Please accept my apologies for the outburst in Chalkhills, Vol. 2, No. 159.
> Well, I accept . . . Just don't let it happen again, y'hear?

Watch yourself there little mister.  On the other hand, perhaps you're
Joshing.  ;-)


Message-Id: <>
From: Fritz Stolzenbach/HNS <>
Date: 26 Sep 96 17:17:26 EDT
Subject: "None...none more black."

Hey, all!

Please don't misunderstand; I'm not trying to make fun here.  It's just that
when I read the following:

"Coal is fuel.
Coal is black.
The whole package resembles a lump of coal.

Fossils are bones.
Bones are white.
The white lyrics look like fossils/bones stuck in coal.

Coal burns.
Matches light coal.
The match symbolizes the end of XTC's life with Virgin ("Burn up the old,
Ring in the new." -- Sacrificial Bonfire)."

...all I could think of was that scene in Spinal Tap when Ian (the road
manager) arrives at the soundstage with the first crate of "Smell The
Glove" albums, and the band stands around rationalizing the dreadful cover
treatment.  After endless arguing about how "classic" the all-black cover
treatment was (or was not), the discussion finally comes to a close with
the following exchange:

David St. Hubbins:  (after much whining) Well, I think it looks like death.
Ian:  Exactly!  David, every movie, every TV show, every book these days...
they're all about death.  Death SELLS!

Just a thought.  And in the meantime -- and I realize the topic of demos is
quickly becoming verboten -- I wish someone would answer my earlier
question about the demos I received from my brother in Japan.  I've figured
out on my own that one CD contains demos from the Big Express period, and
the other features material from something called "Jules Verne's
Sketchbook" (which one chalkie post suggested Andy WANTS us to hear).  But
could someone clue me in on what the story is with JVSB and -- what's the
other one?  Oh, yes, "The Bull With the Golden Guts."  Could Andy just not
get this stuff released?  When was it recorded?  Was Andy just pissed off
with Virgin and released this stuff to tweak their nose?  Is it for fan
club members only?  (And if so, how do I join this fan club?)  What's the

Enquiring mind wants to know,

-- FS


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 17:34:12 -0400
From: JES <>
Subject: Sister Europe

James Dignan asked about the Psychedelic Furs song "Sister Europe" and it's
resemblance to the bridge of "Ball & Chain."  The song in question appears
on the eponymous debut P-Furs album, of which some songs were produced by
Steve Lillywhite (still the best producer XTC ever used).  As is the rest of
the album, the song is dark, brooding, and steeped in cynicicm.  There is no
way one can draw the comparison between the Furs of this period and XTC of
ANY time.  (Case in point.... it's great fun to listen to how many times
Richard Butler utters the word "stupid" througout the opening track
"India.")  Anyway, not having heard the Icehouse version, I can not imagine
how they have butchered it.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: Beautiful York
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 14:36:47 -0700

From: (Simon Sleightholm)
> While on a recent adventure to the fair old English city of York to meet
> up with a fellow Chalkie . . .

I was just in York last May (on holiday).  I lived there for a year as a
child, and in fact my sis was born there -- in the home of course, per
custom.  What a beautiful spot, York.  Nothing better than the English
countryside (IMHO).  In fact, I'm going again in June '97 (and this time
I'll get over to Swindon).

Where is Whitby "beach?"  Is it on the banks of the Ouse?  Judging from
your (laugh out loud) description, it would seem that introducing Beach
Volleyball, So. Calif. style would not be a goodish sort of idea.


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 23:16:52 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <v01510102ae70a944df36@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Reel life

Sara Lloyd's comments about George Orwell and XTC appear to miss the more
likely explanation. Perhaps it's not the same in the USA, but certainly no
British child could grow up without knowing the "Oranges and Lemons"
nursery rhyme off by heart. (Many, by contrast, grow up without reading
George Orwell, but that's another story.)

All the same, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that there's an
Orwellian influence on Reel by Real.

There was a Fossil Fuel review in The Guardian newspaper last Friday. It's
short enough to copy in full:

"Swindon's XTC were Britpop 15 years too early. Main writer Andy Partridge
had a positive genius for small, self-contained tunesmithery, evinced
through the first ten songs through to Sgt Rock. The problem is the other
21. The hooklines were no longer very hooky by the mid-eighties, by which
time Crowded House had taken up the clever-pop mantle. No sleeve notes,

It's written by Caroline Sullivan, the paper's main music writer, who gives
the album three-stars out of a possible five.

Then in London listings magazine Time Out, there was an Andy Partridge
interview written by Peter Paphides, an obvious fan (how many journalists
could cite the video for All You Pretty Girls in passing?). He goes into
Andy's kitchen whereupon he is offered elderflower cordial by Andy who is
hooked on the stuff. Then out come the latest toy soldiers. Into the
livingroom, and apparently Andy has framed his TV "by a sort of Pollock's
Toy Theatre facade". Then we get the statutory bit about not touring,
before the journalist gets half an hour in the Partridge shed listening to
new demos. He singles out Easter Theatre and Knights in Shining Karma, and
describes them as "moments of You May As Well All Give Up Now pop

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: The Sugarplastic
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 16:10:30 -0700

From: (Dino DeAngelis)
> Monday night (9/23) I was treated to a fine, tight performance by the
> Sugarplastic at Brownies in NYC . . .

Thanks for the excellent breakdown of The Sugarplastic's strengths.  I
agree with you completely.  This is the best new stuff I've heard since
1992.  ;-)

It occured to me that the difference in this music from what is normally
played on today's radio is as striking as what happened in the late 70's.
At that time bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Van Halen were selling
out sites.  At the *same time,* bands like XTC, Talking Heads, and Elvis
Costello were beginning to turn heads.  The music of this "New Wave" was a
striking and refreshing contrast.

The same seems to be true today.  I think people are getting tired of
grunge, post-grunge, and all the rest.  Are we about to come full circle --
again?  God, I hope so.

I will be at The Sugarplastic concert on 10/3 in Silverlake (CA) and I
intend to make every effort to talk to them about their future plans.  If
anyone has anything they'd like me to ask them, just let me know.

The nominal description doesn't work in W sub.


Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 11:29:17 +1200 (NZST)
Message-Id: <v01540b00ae716c26667c@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: various British things unknown in the states

>>My dictionary lists "scouse," short for "lobscouse," as a baked dish or
>>stew made ususally with meat and hardtack. So, obviously, I am missing
>>the appropriate connotation. Care to enlighten?

>A 'Scouser' is someone from the north of England. Scouse is an adjective
>denoting 'from the North of England'.

bit more precise than that - a scouser is from Liverpool. The north of
England is another world. Never assume that it's one place. It may be 500
years since the Wars of the Roses, but yer average Lancastrian, be (s)he
scouser, Mancunian or other, would not take kindly to being lumped in with
those weird Yorkshire folk, and vice versa. A bit like saying that everyone
in the states is a "Yankee" (try that in Atlanta or Richmond! Did someone
mention Fort Sumter?). And heading further north, you travel past the
Geordies on Tyneside before you get anywhere near Scotland.


>Thanks, your corrections look right. However, Mr. John Relph has asked us
>all *not* to post lyrics to the list anymore. The proper procedure now is:
>1) Person transcribes lyrics, sends them to John. He puts them on page. 2)
>E-mail Chalkhills saying that the lyrics are on the page. 3) Those who
>want to correct them, e-mail the person who transcribed them. 4) The group
>hashes 'em out until they've agreed on a final version, then e-mails that
>to John.  5) E-mail Chalkhills again saying that the "corrected" lyrics
>are up.

yeah. sadly this means I (a previous frequent lyric correcter and reader)
can no longer see any of the lyrics, due to the university's policy on web
access :( Aren't web restrictions wonderful things? :((((


>"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's You owe me three
>farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's When will you pay me? say the
>bells of Old Bailey When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch. Here
>comes a candle to light you to bed, Here comes a chopper to chop off your

>Given the Big Brother-esque paranoia of songs such as "Real by Reel" and
>"Mole From the Ministry," what do you think of the possibilty that the
>title for "Oranges and Lemons" came from _1984_?

this is still a very common nursery rhyme in Britain - probably the single
most common one. I didn't realise it was unknown in the states. Oranges and
Lemons almost certainly got its title from the nursery rhyme directly, not
from 1984. Consider thaty other XTC songs take ideas from nursery rhymes -
Toys, and Love on a farmboy's wages, for instance... I'd take bets on
Senses Working Overtime and Outside World starting in that way, too.

The nursery rhyme "Bells of St Clement's", which originally took its tune
from the chimes of the different (London) church bells mentioned, was also
used as the basis of the Pete Seeger song "The Bells of Rhymney", later
popularised by the Byrds.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 09:22:57 +0000
Subject: Small XTC Mention

Found on "Lipgloss", the Pulp mailing list:

Album Recommendation of the Week:  XTC - Fossil Fuel - 31 brilliant
A-sides from the kings of 80's BritPop

I hope some of the younger fans might be intrigued enough to check
XTC out.  We need more of them out there!


Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 20:02:17 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Demos Again

Hi, y'all.

About the whole Demos debate: Yeah, sure, I stoked the fire. Yeah, I am a
major reason that we're having the debate right now. And you know what?
That's a *good* thing. Why? Because otherwise, everybody "in the know" would
happily trade away, everybody else would be wondering what the hell was
going on, and the ethical issues wouldn't even be addressed. Better to bring
it out in the open and give it a good thrashing. Now, I personally see no
problem in the trading and distribution of these demos for free -- charging
money for them would be incredibly bad -- but some of you do. We *need* to
have this debate some time; if not now, then some time down the line. We
*need* to come to at least some sort of group consensus on this. And if the
group consensus is that no-one mentions the demos in their posts at all, or
that no-one offer to dub the demos, or *whatever*, I'll abide by it. But we
can't have this where people don't know what's "allowed" and what's frowned

>I gotta agree with Mitch's post from the last issue, particularly the point
>about $$ and unscrupulous people taking the demos and putting them on CDs.
>Trading boots and demos is one thing -- no, I don't agree with Robt. Fripp
>about the "sanctity" of the performance relationship between performer and
>audience -- but allowing the demos to fall into the hands of those trying to
>profit from them (without passing along a portion to the boys) is another.
>Be discreet, y'all.

I'm just curious how exactly we're supposed to determine who's a mole for
Extatic and who's not. I mean, if someone asks me for a dub of something, I
am not going to give them some kind of test to see if they work for a
bootlegger. I *will* tell them not to use the demos to press a CD, but what
good will that do? If they're out there, and the bootleggers want to get
their hands on them, they'll get them, no matter what. I'm sure that someone
at Extatic knows about the existance of these demos; however, I wouldn't be
surprised if they're sitting on them until the album comes out. Anyway.
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "And I see nations playfully hurl snowballs packed with stone and clay."|
\--------------XTC, "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"----------/


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