Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-40

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 40

                 Friday, 22 November 1996

Today's Topics:

                   'Dem Darn Foreigners
               Horse Flies (no XTC content)
                 a catapult, underground
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #3-38
          I knew I'd get semi-blasted for that.
               Re: Chalkhills Digest #3-39
         So You Wanna Be A Rock'n'Roll Critic...
                 alternativity once again
                      NRBQ and XTC??
                  My dog ate my post...
                    Senses Played Loud
                       Mobile music
                Uh no, it grows yet again!
                     Re: Alternative
                     Fuzz Box Anyone?
                   Re: Dumb and dumber
                     XTC: The Cartoon
                      Stung by Sting
                    upcoming XTC cover
                  Ballet for a Rainy Day
                   Re: Lyrical Musings
                     I retched today
                 Contrived XTC Reference


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Did you think you knew the game?


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:30:19 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: 'Dem Darn Foreigners

Howdys C Hills,

Our friend AMANDA OWENS asked:
>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.

Well Amanda, maybe some of those "foreigners" remember short range nuclear
missiles be planted in their countries by the USA.  Or maybe they can't
forget how the USA supplied weapons to extended wars for years.  Or how the
CIA help over throw ligament governments.

Reign of Blows, This World Over and I Remember The Sun fit in the political
and historical context perfectly.  As for Reagan and Bush being evil.
Reagan wanted to arm space and build a nuclear missile called a peace maker
and Bush ran the CIA.  Evil?  Nahh.

Jeff Smith
Barnes WI, USA


Message-Id: <v03007802aebb65db8e3a@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 09:25:45 -0500
From: Tom Cole <>
Subject: Horse Flies (no XTC content)

I'm a long time lurker on and enjoyer of this list.  I subscribe to a
number of music-related mailing lists and find that invariably I'm not
fanatic or knowledgeable enough about the subject at hand to add much to
the conversation unless the topics go off-topic (like this one).  Anyway,
let me say that this list is great (and if nothing else has at least
spurred me to expand my XTC collection).

Anyway, way back when, someone (I don't know who) asked:
"Another band to check out: The Horse Flies. Does anyone know what every
happened to them?"

I've finally gotten through the accumulated Chalkhills digests, and nobody
seems to have answered the question, so I will.  The Horse Flies are still
together, more or less.  They are based here in Ithaca, NY and only play
sporadically locally.  Their "neo-primitive bug music" has been described
as "demented postmodern mountain music".  Imagine if Talking Heads hailed
from Appalachia rather than lower Manhattan.  They've got an out-of-print
album "Human Fly" on Rounder, a great album "Gravity Dance" on MCA and did
an acoustic instrumental soundtrack album for the movie "Where The Rivers
Flow North".  A spin-off group of theirs worth checking out is Egypt Iowa.
I'm friendly with Judy Heyman, their violinist, who works in my building.

I think they're phenomenal, especially live, but they aren't particularly
active anymore, unfortunately.  It's interesting that they seem to have
independently come up as a topic on several of the music mailing lists I
subscribe to: Chalkhills, Richard Thompson, Camper Van Beethoven, Poi Dog
Pondering.  For further (extensive) info on them, check out

Cheers, Tom


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 10:01:56 -0800
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: a catapult, underground


On the thread of odd ways of listening to XTC: I've grown accustom to
scanning the first couple of measures of each track on Drums and Wires
before sitting down for an extended listen. I love the novel way each
<another word for quirky> song assembles /intros itself. Each launches with
an inventive abstraction only to become a cohesive jam. This fast forward
exercise is as fun as throwing the cat across the room to see if it lands on
fours. (yes we're needing that new album pretty badly)

Stephen Larson <> makes a good point:
>Also, in _The Smartest Monkeys_ (I just know y'all can't wait to carefully
>analyze the lyrics here :-)):  "To the subways of the modern world, How
they >pack so many in".  This makes sense to me only in the American meaning
of >"subway" not the English walkway under a road.

This is my favourite part of the song. I know this may not redeem the SM
song in some of your ears but I believe Colin is working in some token
double-entendre here:

We brought the caveman from the stone age
To the *sub-ways* of the modern world

Subways to be read as two words "sub" "ways", meaning inferior ways. That's
not much forward progress at all is it?

Ziggedy zig zag,


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 96 12:25:40 CST
Message-Id: <>

        Here you go.... the worst XTC put down I have ever heard
  directly from one co-worker of mine. Needless to say that I hate

        Listening to "Towers of London" she stated "who is that? They
  sound like a bunch of whining dogs. Somebody needs to give them a
  bullet to put them out of their misery. He (andy) sounds like those
  dogs who bark the 'Jingle Bells' song."

        Did I mention I hate her.

        Anyway, I went way back in the Chalkhills digests the other
  day to the time of the release of Nonsuch and was suprised to read
  people's comments about it as it was fresh. Also I have found that
  Listening to all the XTC albums real quietly in the background while
  you are reading the back issues of Chalkhills is quite nice.


  Jason - Living in a Smokeless Zone


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 11:23:21 -0800
From: James McGowan <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #3-38

In Chalkhills #3-38, Dewitt Henderson wrote:

>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.

Damn, give that guy a medal!  Anything from the Chambers-era sounds great
loud, particularly Black Sea and ES.  Gimme real drums and
mics-in-the-studio anyday.

My favorite LOUD song: Jason and the Argonauts

- Jim

James McGowan
CMS Corporation
Los Angeles, CA


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 14:14:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: I knew I'd get semi-blasted for that.
Message-id: <>

First off, Mikey: There is no such thing as an evil Canadian. Except for
that guy...what's his name..he and his girlfriend killed those teenager
girls or something.....anyway, I digress.

Next: Drums and Wireless is pretty good. I prefer the D&W versions of You're
The Wish (You Are) I Had and Seagulls Screaming to The Big Express versions.
Maybe it's because I bought D&W long before I could even find TBE down here.

Yes, we may be stuck with superpower status, but it's embarrasing, to a
certain extent, IMNSHO. We're in no way super. Supergirl was super, but she
couldn't stop him from crying.......

Anyways, like I said in this one, I was in a shitty mood, I was much more
pissed off at Neil Spiky Haired Forrester than I was Andy. As a matter of
fact, I really only threw Andy in there for the obligatory XTC remark.

Comment on the Generals & Majors video......does anyone else think that
Colin wasn't supposed to pull down Richard Branson's pants, and just did it
for the hell of it????? Just curious!

(Since we get so many of these, I'm going to start doing XTC songs of the
digest or something.) Anyways, here's this one's: Generals & Majors XTC
quote of the digest: He's not getting any sex in this marriage, so who can
blame him for running to the whores? (Andy on Dave playing with other
artists during down time...which seems to have been the past four years,


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 13:42:48 -0700
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #3-39

> 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 Cheers, Noah

That was some great XTC info! Thanks for reminding me why I tune into
the list every work-away day.

> 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?  YES)

I just got it this month used for $10.00.  And yes it's very good. I
just taped it for the car last night, so on my way in to work this
morning I was very impressed with the version of You're the wish you
are I had.

> I haven't heard Klark Kent (unfortunately).
 I have the K shaped 10" on green vynal and it's very cool.
 I try not to play it though 'cause colored vynal doesn't last
 as long as the Black stuff (no carbon). I once had the green vynal
45 of John Lennon's Happy Christmas until I played it so much that
eventually I could hear the adjoining grooves as well as the one the
needle was in.

> The Go 2 appresciation society has grown to three!
> James

I've sat silent on this issue  long enough...count me in too.
There's no other song in the world like GREENHOUSE!

I'd rather be a plant than be your Mickey Mouse.
   L8r    Jeff
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-Id: <v01550101aebbb806ae97@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 14:53:53 -0600
From: (Mike Mills)
Subject: So You Wanna Be A Rock'n'Roll Critic...

I *was* writing a paper, but...


"EB" for:
>Sting's solo work strikes me as antiseptic, dull, sweatless
>and crammed with pointless show-off jazz/world-beat touches.

Runner up: Todd Bernhardt

>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.


Moving on...

> and Bonfire was my friend Becky
>overdubbing several times on viola alone.

Wow.  You mean that isn't a whole string section?!??!  Cool!
Thanks for that info, [suddenly it's the '50's:] that's really neat!

>I NEVER summarily
>dismissed Sting's work with the Police. In fact, I think most of it is

I'll go with that as it pertains to the "we like X because they're
unpopular but we don't like Y because they are" argument. I agree with Dave
in that I like *LOADS* of popular bands (including The Police; especially
that Hugh Padgham-produced stuff...uh, no reason)  for their music.
However, I also *LOATHE* so many popular bands because of their music.  Keep
in mind that most of the music that members of this list tend to enjoy is
in the rock minority right at the moment, so it may seem that we bitch and
moan about popular artists because they're popular, when we're really
just decrying the state of music right now.  It's not that they've "sold out",
it's that they SUCK.  Can I help it if I have to hear No Doubt and Seven Mary
Three 24 hours a day?!?!

>This is Pop (lp version, not single.)

Oh man, the single version is sooooooooo much better than the album version.
The former sounds so much darker and neon and liquid and the guitars come
through so much better...the WM version sounds flat and lifeless by comparison.

>Look, y'all, their
>voices complement each other's very well, but Andy and Colin *always* sing
>the songs they write, okay?

No kidding.  Accept this as fact and let's get on with our lives.

Oh, and I'll respond to this even though 800 people have probably already
jumped on it-- "Skylacking" is "The third in a series of XTC tribute tapes
by fans, for fans."

Right then, back to work.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 12:55:34 -0800
From: William Ham <>
Subject: alternativity once again

ok, i've been looking at all these posts concerning the alternative
argument and i'm back with my take on it. now, i'm not at all one to say
that if a band sells three million copies of an album (expressly a good
band), i will instantly hate them. i am rather of the opinion, as i'm
sure a lot of us on this list are, that if they do, it's probably a
surprisingly bad song (i.e. "stand" by r.e.m. or "so alive" by love and
rockets). i feel that the people who would buy an album by hootie and the
blowfish for example (and oh what an example it is) are not looking for
any meaningful lyrics that might make them think or any complex song
structures, they're just looking for a nice sing a long chorus and a cute
face to attribute it to. i also think that XTC could become a
multi-million selling act or at least have a hit single. how they went
about getting it is the trick. thanks to the world's MTV culture, if they
were to go about making an ultra-flash video with models and all that
nonsense (example: chris issak's "wicked game") and their record company,
whoever it may be, paid the network enough to just shove it down people's
throats, they'd be number one in no time. that's how it works nowadays.
very sad, i will agree, but i've learned to accept it and learned to
quickly turn the radio off whenever the strains of a no doubt or social
distortion come blaring out.
something else before i end this rant. i've mentioned this before in the
salon magazine table talk discussion about XTC, but i'll do it again
here. i really think some if it does have to do with the songs bands like
XTC write. they write intensely personal and critical songs that most
people can't handle. they expect music to be a nice distraction from all
the crap in their lives and don't want to hear some band discussing that
same crap in lyrical detail. it's (for a bit of a far fetched example)
like the show "my so-called life." critics loved it as did a great deal
of viewers, but it was still cancelled due to low ratings. why? because
people who are in high school don't want to be reminded of what a hell
hole it actually is and those who are out don't want to be reminded. the
general populace can't handle much intensely personal stuff anymore (is
it any wonder divorce rates are so high?). they want distraction, instant
gratification, and anything that won't make a person have to think so
damn much. hence why XTC is (unless they totally subjugate themselves)
probably going to remain an underground band.

whew!!! i somewhat apologize for that being so long, but man, i just had
to get it all out of my system.

bob ham

what i'm listening to:
"the gold experience"-prince
"fegmania"-robyn hitchcock and the egyptians
"romeo and juliet" soundtrack-various artists (the new movie, you know?)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 1996 17:18:23 -0800
From: Daniel Ray Phipps <"">
Subject: NRBQ and XTC??

Hello! --

2nd Chalkhills posting here...

Does anyone else out there think that XTC's "Dear Madam Barnum"
would be a GREAT song for NRBQ to cover?  (Sounds like it's
something that Terry Adams and Co. could easily handle, eh??)

Comments?  ;)

-  Dan P.


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: My dog ate my post...
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 16:19:00 -0500

My last post disappeared, and civilization suffers. Ah well...

Thanks to everyone who directly recommended Black Sea, and all others
who talked about the songs til I couldn't stand not having it!  I
won't preach to the choir but it is a remarkable, zippy, "slammed
down" album.

Now that my XTC collection includes both BS and ES as reissue CDs, I'd
like to chip in my 2 cents about the no-expense spared, pull-out-all-
the-stops paperwork on both these by Virgin/Geffen.  ES has no lyrics
or pix, just songwriting credits.  That might be preferable to BS,
whose lyrics are plagued with typos.  "One of these fellows must be an
Andy Partridge, and another this Colin Moulding chap.  Are the other
guys professional salvage divers?  Who plays what?  Is that the band's
accountant in the booklet photo?", I can imagine myself asking not too
long ago.

However, Virgin did manage to set aside one of the eight pages for
instructions on the care and feeding of a compact disk.  And about
time!  I own ten, she owns hundreds, and I laud them for finally
teaching me on which side to drop the needle.

Also dwelling on the "live" era, I am forming the opinion that XTC has
learned much better how to "finish" a track since they became a studio
band.  Think of enviable traits more prevalent since ES, like shorter
songs, cold finishes, and extra goodies (either musical or lyrical) at
the end of a track.  Contrast "Melt the Guns", "Optimism's Flames",
"Rocket from a Bottle", or "Towers of London" where the track is
longer than the song needs it to be IMHO. (You may fire when ready,
Griddley. ;-)) It'd be different in concert, where the feedback from
the crowd "revs up" the performance ideally, but on a recording don't have much occurring past the "chorus after the
bridge". (And of course, like most musical sins, XTC seem to commit
this one much less than other bands. Just turn on your radio for

For example: "Dying" and "Liarbird" are not even 3 minutes, but just
right.  "Dear God" would be pointless without the "just another unholy
hoax" lyric on the musical variation heard for the first time at the
finish. "Pink Thing" has the little "nyah-nyah, nyah nyah nyah" coda,
"Hold Me My Daddy" springs that jumpy rhythm and guitar to end,
"Bungalow" and "Dear Madam Barnum" are very different style songs, but
each ends cold, before you've stopped listening attentively to the
lyric. There are dozens more in the canon like these.

Or, take the movie-making cliche: "Don't tell me how good it is long,
but how long it is good. Even "Peter Pumpkinhead", clocking in at ~5
minutes, has a ~25-second chorus done exactly once after each of 4
verses and the "Oh my, oh my..." part.  Every verse has a different
backing and stage of feeling as I listen to it, making PP seem shorter
than it really is.  I've also found "The Man Who Sailed..." and
"Garden of Earthly Delights" so aurally fascinating that I don't
notice the length. (What more could a song do for you?)

All submitted for your questions and comments; no rebuke too rough.

(I'm leaving out "Jason", "Somnambulist" and "Travels in Nihilon" cos
I always took them as intentionally atmospheric.)

Looking for someone who doesn't hear "Grey Cup" and think "athletic

(Since all and sundry are posting on how they love things English I
have to mention a Mandatory Swimming-against-the-tide English Tidbit:
"The only regrettable thing about a genuine complete English breakfast
is that you can't have it for lunch and dinner as well." ;-))


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 14:38:13 -0700
Subject: Senses Played Loud

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

Here's my story:

I got ES and all the 12"singles from the album in a timely manner.
I was blown away by the B-side of Senses Working Over time, so much
so that I lost interest in much else about ES except Fly on the Wall.

A couple years later I was at a concert (Oingo Boingo I think) and I
stepped out between bands for my usual, "attitude adjustment," and
fresh air.   I got back before the headliners came on and the
between-bands-music was still playing.  The next song on the tape was
Senses Working Overtime being played (of course) over the large PA the
band plays through, loud! When the bridge came in about Bullies may give
you black eyes, and busses may skid on black ice, etc. then comes the
awesome acoustic instumental jam that just chuggs and chuggs so
rockingly until it ends with And all the world is football shaped...
I suddenly realized what a fantastic song it was and how absent
minded I was for not realizing it sooner.

Now every time I play SENSES, I turn it up to(1-2-3-4-)...5
if only for the middle part, (trying to take this all in.)  Jeff

Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 16:33:20 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Mobile music
Message-ID: <>

While I was driving home last night, that Crash Test Dummies song came on
the radio - the station was CIMX, "The Cutting Edge of Rock" (hah!) - and
I really was astonished at how similar the song was to "The Disappointed."
I'm sorry, AMANDA, but the only difference between the two that I can
perceive is the chord changes and whatsisface's goofy deep voice (which I
can't listen to without laughing).  It's even got the same jangly little
guitar riff. What's even more depressing is that CIMX is the station where
I first heard "The Disappointed," back when it came out - right around the
same time that "Helicopter" inexplicably appeared on the station's regular
playlist. Both songs have long since vanished, and instead we've got these
copycats getting all the attention.  Sad.

Songs to be played loud - I usually only blast music in the car for fear
of irritating my irritating neighbors (I'm a wimp).  "Red" is well up
there; I'm sure I've startled pedestrians with my enthusiastic shrieks of
"Don't you let them make you SEE!  RED!!!!"  "Ball and Chain" is good
because of the drumming - when I play it with the bass turned up, I can
feel the car door vibrate in time against my leg (saayyy...).  I've never
tried out "Merely a Man" because I don't have O&L on tape at the moment -
I think I'd be worried about slamming my head on the steering wheel when
the drums kick in.

I've got this little thing called The Car Test, where I see how many times
a tape can stand up to being played over and over in the car, on
auto-reverse, with as few fast-forwards as possible, before I get sick of
it.  The all-time winner - and I highly recommend this to commuters - is
"Armed Forces," which would *still* be in the shotgun seat if it hadn't
melted during the summer.  It has since been given an honorable
retirement.  But close runners-up are "Black Sea," which has also
half-melted, and "Go 2" (yes, I like it too).  All excellent driving music
- meaning that they're energetic, consistent, singalongable, and
boredom-proof.  Try them and see.


Natalie Jacobs
Visit the Land of Do-As-You-Please!


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 22:49:23 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: Uh no, it grows yet again!
Message-Id: <>

We go 2ers are getting bigger and bigger, and soon, we (at last count, 4)
shall take over the list and kick out all you ninnies who think "White
Music" is the bees knees. I believe it was Frank Zappa who asked, "Does
humor belong in music mailing lists?"
Loud song: Homo safari
Political stumping:  An interesting song on this notion of the U.S. as
whatever should hear, or rehear, "Evil Empire" by Joe Jackson.  Very good
song, and the lyrics describe a particular nation.  I think it came out
in '88 or so, and when I heard it, I thought "Ah!  The Soviets!"  Upon
further hearing, I am not so sure.  Any thoughts on this song?
I am an American, and living in Germany, it seems that the younger
generation take a lot of crap because of the mistakes perpetrated by the
older.  As it stands, the United States is a hegemon, meaning a lone
power.  I guess some could argue still for the ex-USSR as being there, or
even China, but it is fairly safe to say now that the U.S. call the
shots, much like Britain did before WWI, and the Romans did a couple of
thousand years ago.  I wish the U.S. were not sometimes, because it makes
us look like jerks.


Message-Id: <v01540b04aebbc48bcbc6@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 14:09:13 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Alternative

>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.

That's kind of a strange division point to choose, isn't it? I mean, most
people who pursue this sort of argument would probably say alternative
ended with "Teen Spirit" or something....

I don't me, alternative still exists. It has never been a
black-and-white issue, but figuring record sales (or lack thereof) into any
genre definition seems to be a grave mistake to me. I could go into some
qualities of alternative music I observe (a willingness to annoy, lack of
musical show-offing, irony, etc....), but I won't bother. Suffice to say, I
still think you can still call most bands alternative or not, and many of
the so-called "alternative" bands on the Top 40 charts (Alice In Chains,
Sponge, etc.) are really just '90s hard rock.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 15:12:36 -0700
Subject: Fuzz Box Anyone?

All Dukes of the Stratosphere material aside......

Does anyone know of an XTC song where either guitar player uses a
fuzz box?  I can't think of any.

I've heard flange, chorus, tremolo, reverb, echo, and a bevy of
other effects but not fuzz/distortion. Please help refresh my memory.

Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-Id: <v01540b05aebbc6fe5f2f@[]>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 14:16:32 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Dumb and dumber

>Onto what's so cool about the UK: Good music. Even if most of it in the 80's
>was flash 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.

<My mouthful of Coke spews out in a massive spit-take...>

Jeez, even CTD are brilliant compared to Flock Of Seagulls!  ;)

>From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
> 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.  :^)

Oooooh, nice one. ZING!!   ;)



Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 17:53:07 +0500 (EST)
From: Thomas Slack <>
Subject: XTC: The Cartoon
Message-ID: <>

Someone wrote:
>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 ).

Actually, I kind of like the animated feature idea. My daughter
was watching Looney Tunes the other day (the new one), and to my
surprise, they did two "music videos" of They Might Be Giants songs-
they were quite entertaining. This made me think about how some XTC
songs might translate to this medium. So much of their music creates
imagery in my head that seems more expressable as animation than any
other medium. The song "That Wave" comes immediately to mind, and I
could think of alot more. Maybe it's because "Yellow Submarine" was
my favorite movie as a lad - must have seen it 12 times. The cover of
Oranges and Lemons always makes me think of this movie.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 18:17:17 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: Stung by Sting

Irwin M. Fletcher wrote in Chalkhills #3-38:

 I was tired of everyone bagging on Sting when it was
painfully obvious that most of you had never given him a chance.

While I was not one who did take shots at Sting on Chalkhills, I did
quite agree with what was being said.  Therefore, I parenthetically
include myself in this group.  I have previously owned "Message in A
Box," (complete police recordings) Soul Cages, Dreaming of the Blue
Turtles and had a roomate who owned the rest.  I gave all of the solo
stuff to my sister because after 2-3 listenings I'd had enough.  The
vacuous over-produced digitally perfect computer sound that emitted from
these discs (the more recent the worst) was not what I was looking for
out of Sting.  I still love the Police material (and don't plan on
giving it up), but I just can't agree with your assessment that those of
us who've had enough of Sting lately "didn't give him a chance."
    I did, however, appreciate Irwin's assessment of some Chalkhillian's
view of alternative bands.  He put it best with the following:

 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."

    I agree that it is dangerous to consider bands\acts to be sellouts
because they sell.  One of my best friends bailed out of R.E.M. after
"Green" and if you ask me, he missed a lot of fun.  I don't like XTC
because of cash register receipts.  I love them because of their MUSIC.
If XTC sells 17,000,000 copies of their next album, I will jusdge it
based on what it sounds like.  I don't dislike Skylarking because it was
their most successful (actually...the success of that album is a
blessing when trying to convert someone onto get them to
listen), and I don't like any band because other people hate them.  I
don't think that any Chalkhillians legitimately think that they like
bands because they are not successful as the primary reason, but I do
think that at times we are attracted to a band because they are obscure.
 As long as you don't find yourself promoting a band based on their
obscurity but because of the music they make, then you are all right.
An example of how this judging bands\acts based on something other than
their music came to the forefraont in my life when Pete Townshend
revealed the truth about his sexuality.  I actually had a friend ask me,
"are you still going to listen to him?"  How ignorant is that?

P.S. Any Prince fans out there?  Emancipation rocks!


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 17:26:01 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: upcoming XTC cover
Message-ID: <>

I got a mailing from SpinArt records the other day. There was a little
insert noting that Poole - Amerindie guitar pop, sorta fuzz-thrumminess -
is releasing a 7" that includes a cover of "Earn Enough for Us." It's on
Radiopague Records (?), but it's available through SpinArt for $3.50.
They're at PO Box 1798, NYC 10156-1798. No, I don't work for them.


Jeffrey J. Norman        <>   <>
Dept. of English & Comp. Lit.            University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
::Watson! Something's afoot...and it's on the end of my leg.             ::
::::::::::::::::::::Sherlock Holmes, in some Firesign Theatre skit, maybe::


Message-Id: <>
From: "Greg Singer" <>
Subject: Ballet for a Rainy Day
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 17:50:52 -0600

> 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

I agree!!!
This song crosses so many musical boundaries on so many levels...
musically, melodically and lyrically. Andy Partridge is one of my 4
favorite songwriters/musicians living today, Bar none!
BFARD is a classic example of the uniqueness, creativeness and intelligence
that makes Andy who he is.

Peace & Love,

Greg s

p.s. the other three are: our boy Colin, Adrian Belew and Paul Weller. All
in no particular order.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Greg Singer" <>
Subject: Re: Lyrical Musings
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 18:21:17 -0600

>'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.

While I don't necessarily agree with the opinions, I think the creative
inspiration for this post is to be commended.

"Crossword puzzles I just shun" is a wonderfully self-humbling line.

"No round..." I completely agree
"Ooooaaaaaaarrrrgghh" is probably one of the most emotive lines I have ever
heard. It is not only the "word" Andy sings, but the way he sings it. You
can hear exactly how he feels. Once again, Andy (unknowingly?) proves his

Peace & Love,

Greg s

.. a long time admirer


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: I retched today
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 16:21:08 -0800

I retched today.  When I read AMANDA's political post, I retched --
I could go on for pages about everything I disagree with in that post, but
since this mailing list is for XTC (and since it would likely fall on deaf
ears), I'll pass.

<On things English>
Boy are you not alone.  I've long had a fascination for the English
culture.  I don't know if it has to do with my early memories (having lived
there at the tender age of three); or if it has to do with my undying
appreciation for the literature, music, countryside, etc., but I love it.
I can't wait to go back in June.  I'll be staying with an old family friend
in York -- on a farm no less!

<On Sting and the Police>
I pretty much stopped listening to the Police after Regatta De Blanc.
Outlandos and Regatta are, IMO, fine examples of Pop albums.  After that it
was all downhill (for me).

I do remember, however, seeing The Police at the Forum in L.A. on their
"Ghost in the Machine" tour.  Two things struck me immediately:  Sting's
substantial stage presence; and Stewart Copeland wearing an XTC shirt (it
was the cover of D&W).  I was in heaven.  This reaffirmed my appreciation
for the first two Police albums, but not much more.

<On Which XTC Songs To Play Loudly>
I vote for:
"No Thugs in Our House" (which I also did recently while driving -- highly
"English Roundabout"
"Making Plans for Nigel"

<On The Sugarplastic>
As I've said previously, this is the best new stuff I've heard in five
years.  For those of you who like The Sugarplastic and who don't yet have
their first one:  Radio Jejune, get it.  Now.

<On 1000 Umbrellas>
GOD I love that song.  I've been brought to the brink of tears more often
than I care to admit with that song and with "Big Day" (oooh, that's a
killer that one).

<The Answer to the Trivia question>
In Chalkhills Vol. 3, No. 38 I asked: "What connection do the (circa 1979)
Pop band 'The Great Buildings' have with XTC?"

The answer is:  The core of "The Great Buildings" (Danny Wilde - lead
vocals and Phil Solem - lead guitar) later became "The Rembrandts" who, as
you know, performed on "Testimonial Dinner."

Very funny Scotty.  Now beam down my clothes.


Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 19:53:47 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Contrived XTC Reference

This takes a bit of setting up, but bear with me.

The Daily Record is a national tabloid newspaper in Scotland. It's Sports
Editor, Bill Leckie, writes a weekly column on a Friday. This week it was in
connection with Football (that's Soccer to our trans-Atlantic chums) Club,
Motherwell FC. This Club have a player called Tommy Coyne, known widely as
TC. He has been the team's leading goalscorer for a number of years, but has
been missing because of injury for several months. In his absence, Motherwell
have struggled. So much so, that their coach, Alex McLeish has been under
some pressure. Now in Scotland, the name Alex, is often abbreviated to Eck
(can you see where this is going yet?). Last Saturday, Coyne returned to the
Motherwell side, and scored 3 goals in a 4-2 victory, lifting the pressure
from the Coach. All of which lead to the newspaper headline -
"Eck's TC Has Senses Working Overtime"

Well, I thought it was funny !

Bill Campbell


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-40

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