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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-46


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 46

                 Tuesday, 3 December 1996

Today's Topics:

        Everyone have a nice week, I'm outta here!
  "Look who's still alive" tours, my only Stingthing...
           Lotso stuff I forgot to respond to:
                   Peace has been made.
                    All Edward Leared
              Great fire burning in my heart
             segues/Billy/Canada/Edward Lear
    politics and (gasp) a FF review! (Real Groove, NZ)
           TMBG concert - XTC content....really
             You people are all GOING MAD!!!!
            Altered lyrics? Versions? Chords?
     Show me the door through which all are saved...
                    Short OZ FF review
       sugar, mexican food, vinyl, plastic, etc etc
                      Crocodile Nile
                     Sample the guns
                  Re: What the Dukes do
             I read the news today, OH BOY!!!
                  XTC: Santa's mallrats?
                        Who are H?
                        Take this

Administrivia:

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

All the media will fiddle while Rome burns.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 10:07:42 -0600 (CST)
From: AMANDA OWENS <ACOEA@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>
Subject: Everyone have a nice week, I'm outta here!
Message-id: <01ICC4QNSS3C8ZEYTV@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>

Today is the last day of school for the rest of the weerk and since I only
have access to school computers for my netsurfing and the like, I will
probably have a nice-sized accumulation of digests by the time I get back to
school on Monday, so everyone who is having Thanksgiving, have a good one,
and anyone who is having ordinary days, happy trails!

PS-Did anyone happen to tape the first MTV Europe awards, I think it was in
94, when CTD won for Breakthrough Group? If so, I would be very interested
in a copy.

Later,
Amanda

------------------------------

Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/001F1B39@aetna.aetna.com>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <witterkf@aetna.com>
Subject: "Look who's still alive" tours, my only Stingthing...
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 12:58:00 -0500

..."When all else fails", Belew and the pervasive toxicity of Product
Placement!

> (From: Stormy Monday) I can barely imagine what it must be like to
> ...[release] records of the caliber of "Black Sea" and "English
> Settlement" and not moving enough product to keep Dave (a virtuoso,
> no less) out of the Milk Delivery Truck while people like..."Styx"
> are enjoying the good life.

Of course XTC deserves more financial success and popular acclaim
(not to the point it "ruins" them), but I can only grin when so
many ex-megabands are double- and triple-billing at those generic
"music tent" venues, the night after some Vegas/lounge types' show.
Same goes for those who are Spinal-Tapping their way across
the USA with amusement park spots.  (For example, REO Speedwagon,
Kansas,
Styx, Cheap Trick). Talk about doing it for the sake of the music!

Meanwhile, our Swindonites are cranking up, getting ready with new
tunes which don't embarrass when stripped of the "ambiance" of
2,000 singing-along drinking baby-boomers. History will look kindly
on XTC, yes, but I'm nowhere ready for it to be in the past tense!

And isn't it strangely appropriate that FF stands on the quality of the
music (subultimate packaging sez everyone, no huge popularity, no
touring
for a decade+) while the rash of boxed sets from musical lessors are
full
of "memories"?  Talk about pushing the sizzle over the meat. (But
someone of my age doesn't really need stuff from my college years
being marketed as "nostalgia" :-O!)

On the whole Stingthing, I listened to "Ten Summoner's Tales" yesterday
and couldn't get past how the syllables & lyrics seemed so detached
rhythmically from the music.  I don't need a song to sound like "Tea
for Two" but so much of Sting's solo stuff, er, wanders vocally it
loses my interest. Seems the melody neither integrates with the
chord structure (when there is one) nor showcases the lyric, so he
doesn't deliver a lot of tension or emphasis. Maybe his other solo
stuff will make a better impression on me.  The lyrics aren't
often at fault on plain paper. I don't limit "catchy" or "intriguing"
to less-than-eight syllables, but I'm with >James Dignan<: "they
seem catchier than they really are", in both our humble opinions.

Everyone's been weighing in with their "Loud" songs. Mine has a little
story: My neighbors' children are congenitally deaf ;-) and must also be
practicing their bowling-ball juggling act at home--very badly, too.
Now, whenever I get tired of bringing this up with the apartment
manager,
I point the speakers down and crank up "Respectable Street". Then I plug
in my Guild and paw my way through the song (yes, very badly, too).

Plus, anything from the Chambers-era sounds great loud (as James McGowan
says) with not only TC at his best, but you also get Colin's bass
through
your feet. The rhythm section is nonpariel, or even nonsuch.

"Wearing out the old mental"...well, you know,
Karl

PS From "Oh Daddy", circa 1989, I'm curious about Adrian Belew's
relationship with a certain mouse-eared corporation's legal counsel:

AB's daughter: "Oh Daddy whatcha gonna buy your girl?"
AB: "I'm gonna buy you Disneyworld (TM)!"

(If you spin it backwards, you can hear a Mickey-Mouse lawyer saying,
"Okay, Mr. Belew, as we agreed: $75,000 cash.")

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:25:50 -0600 (CST)
From: AMANDA OWENS <ACOEA@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>
Subject: Lotso stuff I forgot to respond to:
Message-id: <01ICCBHZHX928ZEZ9I@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>

Let's see, where to start before I depart for home and rest for the holidays:

EB: Well, CTD's brilliant anyways, but what's wrong with A FLock of Seagulls
Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her? (Sorry, couldn't resist.) They may not have set
the world alight, but they had a few good songs, like I Ran and Space Age
Love Song.

Natalie: Brad can't help it if he has that voice. If there's one thing that
pisses me off it's when people make fun of him b/c of his voice. You want to
blame someone, blame God, He gave it to him. On the whole HLTFI-TD thing,
all I have to say is that one woman's chicken is another woman's steak.

Mark: So it was YOU who wretched after reading my post. I'm sorry, but that
was.....immature to say the least. At least 3/4 of the people who did see
fit to criticise my post did so without harsh words or stuff like that, and
I bear no ill will for them I didn't say everyone had to agree with my post,
but can we please disagree without the theatrics?

Thank you and goodnight,
Amanda

PS-Gosh, I wonder what I'm going to do during the summer when I'm not in
school at all. I'll die without Chalkhills!!!!!

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:41:47 -0600 (CST)
From: AMANDA OWENS <ACOEA@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>
Subject: Peace has been made.
Message-id: <01ICCC9HXS9E8ZEZ9I@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>

Just to let you know, John has thanked me for the kind note, wished me a
happy Thanksgiving, so things are back to normal, so let's now lay off the
flames. They're doused officially.

Later (for the last time!!!!!!)
Amanda

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 17:14:53 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <ccoolidg@zoo.uvm.edu>
Subject: All Edward Leared
Message-ID: <Pine.A32.3.91.961127170603.89766B-100000@elk.uvm.edu>

  Anyone interested in Edward Lear, I direct you right now to the
Complete Book Of Nonsense. That's the most widely available collection of
his material. Lear and Lewis Carroll are probably responsible for most,
if not all, of the more droll ideas in the collective unconscious of
British alternapop songwriting. I'm referring especially to the likes of
Robyn Hitchcock and Andy.(not Colin, as much, though you could make a
case for "a thousand Chesire Cats grinning silently.")Lear isn't as well
known as Carroll by comparison, but personally I prefer him. Lear mostly
writes whimsical poetry and verse, and practically invented the limerick.
Look for such longish poems as "The Owl And The Pussycat,"(yes, he wrote
that one)"The Jumblies" and "The Yongi Bongi Bo."

Sikki Tikki Fee!

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199611272316.AAA10014@utrecht.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 01:55:09 +0000
Subject: Great fire burning in my heart

Dear Chalkies,

I'm still looking for XTC chart positions from all over the globe.
Email me privately if you have any information on this.

And I'm glad most people seem to agree that we have to stop bickering
and "quarrelling amongst ourselves".
Mr. Jason Phelan voiced something that has been going round my head too:

>  What if any of those guys (XTC - MS)  WERE lurking. Wouldn't they just
>  shake their heads in disgust at the current state of affairs on the
>  OFFICIAL mailing list? Are We the kind of fans anyone would want?

Hear hear. My sentiments exactly...
So can we please get on with our XTC (!!!) mailing list?

Anyway, thanks to A. -you're extraordinary ;) - I now have a nice
ltd. edition multi-coloured Psonic Psunspot to replace my original
copy that was stolen a long long time ago...
BUT I seem to remember my old copy was different from
this one - the diff. colours were much brighter.

Now I have heard/read that the first batch of these LP's came out
"right" ( with a sunburst like effect ) but that most of the vinyl
came out muddled purplish.
Anyone with info on this matter please answer or email me privately.

bye,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
   http://utopia.knoware.nl/~mmello/

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
A thousand Cheshire cats grin inside of me

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v01540b0baec2cbacd7c5@[139.80.228.167]>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 15:59:54 +1100
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: segues/Billy/Canada/Edward Lear

>And I like the XTSegues idea, your Mondayness. Howabout "Omnibus"/"Magic
>Bus"?? 

although it's not a segue to a 60s track, I say again:

Another Satellite/Golden Boys (Godley & Creme). Different lyrics, same
music! (any reaction from Mr Blint's friend at 17?)

hmmm. sixties...

Big Day/Too Young to be Married
Ballet for a Rainy Day/Bus Stop
Ten Feet Tall/I Can't Explain

ok?

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

>Hey! Wow! There are OTHER Billy fans on the XTC list. I've been a Billy
>Joel fan ever since my uncle played "Turnstiles" for me at the tender age
>of 3. My first music purchase was Billy's 52nd Street album in 1979. And
>I've been on the Billy Joel mailing list longer than even Chalkhills!

yeah, there are one or two, although most of us don't admit it. You wanna
hear Beatlesque Joel, listen to "Don't ask me why" off Glass Houses. One of
the best McCartney songs that Paul didn't write. And BJ's version of Len &
Mac's "Any time at all" is pretty good.

>There is no such thing as an evil Canadian.

I also watch Due South :)

>I was listening to "Then she appeared" this morning and once again was
>wondering who Edward Lear is. Andy mentioned him in an interview circa O&L
>and i was wondering if anyone would care to enlighten me / give me some
>titles for when i next go to the library.

Edward Lear was a writer of humorous verse and drawer of pictures, largely
for children, during the middle of last century. Imagine if Lewis Carroll
had concentrated on poems rather than writing Alice in Wonderland, you'll
get the idea. It is because of Lear that the limerick became as popular as
it has.

James

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v01540b0caec2cbf6e8e8@[139.80.228.167]>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 15:59:59 +1100
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: politics and (gasp) a FF review! (Real Groove, NZ)

I've just OD'd on reading a backlog of 'hills that have been building up
for the last week or so. And I'm a little shocked at the abuse poor Amanda
of the Caps suffered. Sure, some of the points she raised were possibly -
how to put this kindly - a little politically naive, but they were valid
questions, and they don't make her public enemy no.1!  I thought the US was
supposed to be the land of the free of summink. No "abridging the freedom
of speech or of the press", to quote your first amendment (or did McCarthy
get that repealed?). Sheeesh. I know some of your politicos are a tad
weird, but still!

Actually, I'm thankful that the biggest political loonies I have to worry
about here are Winston Peters and Richard Prebble, but that's another story
- AND I DON'T BORE THE LIST WITH IT! Politics that have a bearing on XTCs
music, OK. If you're going to launch into personal polemics and violent
flames, keep 'em off this list, huh???

Having said all that, during the early 70s, when I was a wee kid, I lived
half a mile from an airforce base in the Midlands on 99 year lease to the
US. As a politically aware and imaginative kid, there are few things
scarier than hearing these warbirds testing their engines, never knowing
whether they were about to take off do do serious damage somewhere further
east... when I first heard "Living through another Cuba", it hit home
exactly. This is what I'd been thinking and feeling back in Croughton four
or five years earlier. Remember that when two armies go to war (hmmm...
ghosts of Frankie surround me!), they usually try to do so on 'neutral'
ground. That way, they don't have to clean up the mess. Just ask Belgium,
Poland, Kuwait, Zaire...

oh and to end this diatribe on a hopefully lighter note... Herne sez:
>Several of our foreign Listers pointed out that it was impossible to not
>be affected by american culture and politics no matter where in the world
>one is.

but...but... we're not foreign - YOU are! After all this is a list for a
British band.... how can the Brits be the foreigners? :) (please note the
smiley!)

>Peter Dresslar <pdresslar@sirus.com> asked:

>Now on to XTC stuff; when's the Michigan party?

not to be confused with the Republican and Democrat parties, of course ;)

NZ rock giveaway mag "Real Groove" reviewed Fossil Flue in their latest
issue... now RG is as much a promo magazine for Auckland's top record shop
(Real Groovy Records) as a legit rock mag, but that doesn't stop it from
slating records it doesn't like (Smudge's recent album "you me carpark
now!" got 2/10 in this issue, and an album by metallers Abscess scored a
big fat zero), so it was good to see FF in one of their special highlighted
boxes it keeps for recommended albums. Review follows (without permission -
sorry RG, but I put in a free plug for the shop!)

XTC
Fossil Fuel - The XTC singles 1977-92 (Virgin)
reviewed by Ilmar Taimre

XTC emerged during the 70s punk movement, playing itchy and scratchy pop
for white Britons on speed. Their first four singles date from 1977-78, and
sum up the edgy pop-punk sound of XTC at the beginning. But these lads soon
outgrew the throwaway tracsh ethic that helped to spawn them. The writing
was on the wall with their sixth single "Making plans for Nigel", which
turned into a top 10 hit in 1979. Over the years that followed, XTC's
singles rarely reached the single digits in the charts. And small wonder.
Their music was simply too good, too incredibly well crafted... and okay
maybe a bit too eccentric, to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Scanning the list of tracks on this double CD compilation reveals just how
many archetypically Brit-pop classics XTC have been responsible for.
"Generals and Majors" and "Towers of London" reveal that XTC are part of a
British musical heritage which reaches back to the Kinks at their late 60s
best. "Love at first sight" reminds us that our very own Split Enz were
charting a similarly quirky course in the early 80s. "Great fire" opens the
second CD of this set; with more than a passing nod to psychedelic-era
Beatles, this must surely be one of the best "pop singles" ever released.
And so it goes... If you don't have the original albums this is an
excellent place to discover XTC... or to remember just how superb they
were. One packaging criticism - the liner notes give us all the lyrics, but
absolutely nothing about recording dates, musician credits or the usual
discographical details - there can be no excuse for this omission. The good
news is that, after a three-year lull involving legal wrangles with their
record company, XTC are poised to enter the studio again - the word on
Respectable Street is that the demos are just as sublime as ever. (9/10)

James

------------------------------

From: shaefner@falcon.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 02:06:53 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <199611280806.CAA07008@sky.net>
Subject: TMBG concert - XTC content....really

I wore my Chalkhills T-shirt to the TMBG concert in KC tonight, hoping to
run into another chalkie.  I told my girlfriend that it was possible that
Scott Taylor (staylor@sky.net) might be there b/c I seem to recall reading
in one of his posts that he is a TMBG fan.  And I know he lives in KC b/c of
his email address.  Anyway, I was sitting in the stands between bands and
someone tapped me on the shoulder.  Cool, I thought, they probably noticed
the Tee.  It turns out that it was just a girl who wanted a lighter though.

TMBG came out and put on an excellent show, including XTC vs. Adam Ant.
John didn't really say anything about XTC in his introduction of the song,
unfortunately.  The highlights, for me at least, were Istanbul, Ana Ag,
Metal Detector, and How can I Sing Like a Girl?  They did two encores, the
second in response to the crowd chanting "Is-tan-bul" (although I was
chanting "Spir'l-ing-Shape.")  I can't believe they didn't play that song!
It is easily the best song on the new album, IMO.  Is it standard fare for
the crowd to chant Istanbul at Giants concerts and for them to do 2 encores?

Well the concert ended, and no one had approached me about the T-shirt.  I
was kinda dissapointed b/c I have worn it to other concerts in hopes of
meeting a fellow chalkie.  We were walking out to leave, and again someone
tapped me on the shoulder.  Only this time, the person asked me about the
shirt and told me that he is a subscriber to this list.  So I say, "you must
be Scott Taylor!"  Indeed it was!  We talked for about 15 minutes about XTC
and other music before leaving.  Pretty neat, huh?

"R. Watson" <rwatson@inetnebr.com> recently mailed me a copy of his band's
CD.  The band is The Return, and I have to say that it is quite impressive.
I especially like the track _Is This Real?_ I wouldn't say that they sound
much like XTC, but they are definitely worth checking out.

kmarkman@netwestonline.com (Miss Piggy) sayz she's "a tetris-playin' fool"
in 3-41.  How many lines can you get?  I am addicted to this game.  My high
is 239 lines, I think.  I cannot get one single line after it changes to
level 29 though.

-Scott
http://falcon.cc.ukans.edu/~shaefner

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199611280941.DAA21132@mailhost.cyberramp.net>
From: "Ed Miller" <edmiller@cyberramp.net>
Subject: You people are all GOING MAD!!!!
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 03:39:20 -0600

I happen to like the band XTC.  I think most of you feel the same way....

Could we possibly agree to take the more obscure issues off-line?

-------Ed-------

------------------------------

Message-ID: <329DB41B.2616@fhsk.skurup.se>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 15:47:39 +0000
From: Jonas Lind <tilia@fhsk.skurup.se>
Organization: Skurups Folkhogskola
Subject: Altered lyrics? Versions? Chords?

Hi there.
I just joined the XTC mailing list, and I couldn't be happier. Now, a
question for anyone who knows:
In the version of "Respectable Street" which appears on "Fossil fuel",
the lyrics have been altered. For example, the word "abortion" has
been changed to "absorption". Why is that? Is it some sort of British
decensy policy that I'm not aware of? Would a word like "abortion"
make the BBC ban the song? (I seem to recall one or two Police songs
being banned by the BBC because of unsuitable words or topics.)
If that is the case, then how come the album version contains the
"bad" words?
I'm sort of confused here.
Also, I'd like to know if the versions of "This is pop" and "Ten feet
tall" appearing on "Fossil fuel" are original singles versions, or if
they have been remixed for the singles collection especially. They're
quite different from the album versions (which up till now are the
only versions I've heard).
Also, if anyone knows which guitar chords go with the line "...since I
climbed your torso" in "Statue of Liberty", I'd be happy to be let in
on that secret.

Jonas Lind
Lund, Sweden

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 18:50:52 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199611282350.SAA29108@cyber1.servtech.com>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <particle@servtech.com>
Subject: Show me the door through which all are saved...

>I thought I had found a group of intelligent people with a sense of humour.
>If I have stumbled into a pit of narrow-minded fools eager to pick a
>fight with whoever stains the sacrosanct shrine of XTC, then I
>aoplogise for MY ignorance.

Please, EVERYBODY! Stop this, now. Between the political thing, this, and
what-else-have-you, this list is becoming painful to read. Chalkhills has
been a beacon of pure white light in the sea of mediocrity that is the
internet (oooh, cheese alert) and it is almost completely free of fighting,
flaming, and other such behaviors. Let's everybody calm down and deal with
this rationally, shall we? I speak no lie when I say that reading Chalkhills
is a breath of fresh air because of the mature attitude and respect of all
it's contributors. I don't want to see it end up like so many of the other
groups I read -- drowned in spite and bile. So please...let's all calm down.

>I've known people to pronounce R.E.M. as "rim," so there you go.
>Personally, I'm in the acronym pronunciation group.

R.E.M. is a bit easier because of the periods. IMHO, X.T.C. doesn't have the
same look as without the periods, does it?

BTW, on vacation this summer we found the "XTC Horse Ranch." Too bad I
didn't have my camera....

>I don't see why TMBG come up so
>often (a fine band, but outside of their "quirkyness" is their some other
>connection I'm missing?)

For one, I'd say there's a larger than average common fanbase between the
two bands...I've only heard one TMBG fan say bad things about XTC. Of
course, that guy was completely off the mark with his comments -- after
someone commented about how much Flansburgh, in particular, loves XTC's
music, this guy responded more or less "Obviously TMBG don't really love
XTC. They may have chosen them as the best representative of 'Beatle-based
pop' but they're the best of an awful lot. They just said they're XTC fans
so XTC won't get mad at them." I, of course, went about correcting his
little error...:)

>Here's what it means:  "Alternative" music as a LABEL became mainstream
>around that time.  Now on order catalogues they list "alternative" as a
>category.  It's
>as mainstream as blues, funk, pop, etc.  What she means is that you can't
>call anything "alternative" and actually have it BE alternative.  I thought
>I'd been over this...

That's not what she said, though. She said there was no such thing as
alternative music anymore, which is just patently not true. As a label, yes,
"alternative" became just a catchphrase. But music which is actually
"anti-mainstream" is still alive and kicking. She should have said something
more along the lines of "Don't even start to call anything alternative. That
label has been dead since R.E.M. hit big with 'Losing My Religion.'" And,
for the record, just let me point out that (a) R.E.M. was already "big" when
they released LMR, (b) LMR, though catchy, was hardly "mainstream" in style
-- how many mandolin-driven songs do you hear on the radio these days? and
(c) what is today called "alternative" music got big completely separately
from R.E.M.; bands like Pearl Jam brought it into popularity...

>I'm not going to even get into this. I should unsubscribe due to the intense
>double standards here. What do I mean? Well, I say fuck and people jump to
>my defense in the face of criticism. But I voice my political views and
>Whoa, wait a minute! She certainly can't do that, that's sacrilege! How
>interesting.

I have no problem with you stating your views...however, I took personal
offense to parts of your "schpiel" and I wanted to let you know. I did it in
personal e-mail rather than mailing the list, and I'd think that I did it in
a reasonable way. IMHO, you were almost completely wrong in your attack. I
have no problem with your stating it, but if I disagree strongly...well, I'm
gonna let you know.

>Sheesh. Maybe we should take Josh up on his offer...

I'm still here.

To get just a little actual discussion of XTC in here, let me ask this
little question: what sounds or "little touches" do you love in XTC songs,
and why? Things like:

- The drums in Nihilon.
- The "bird sounds" (sorry, don't know what instrument that is) in Performs.
- The opening riff in Miniature Sun.
- The long wordless vocal in the single version of Ten Feet Tall.
- "Take Number 3" from Towers of London.

So, what are yours?

Josh, and if lust equals knowledge then I side with the snake
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|     particle@servtech.com    http://www.servtech.com/public/particle/   |
|  "I won't die until I'm dead." -- They Might Be Giants, "On The Drag"   |
\-------------------------- Eschew Obfuscation ---------------------------/

------------------------------

Message-ID: <329E0BEB.445@iinet.net.au>
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 08:02:26 +1000
From: Rob Clark <robuno@iinet.net.au>
Subject: Short OZ FF review

Hello all

This short review of FF from "The West Australian" newspaper's "Revue"
magazine 28/11/96 by Alistair Moffat.

"All of XTC's singles can be found on this double disc of 31 tracks,
starting with Science Friction and ending in Wrapped in Grey.
Sandwiched in between are some of the best pop songs to emerge from the
UK, predating the whole Brit-pop thing by the best part of a decade.
Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding's songwriting talents are never
questionable, with classic song after classic song filling up this
album.
Also featured are Statue of Liberty, Making Plans For Nigel, The
Disappointed, Great Fire, Love on a Farmboys Wages and Dear God.
Forget the other best of albums out for Christmas, this is a historical
document that deserves a place in everyone's CD collection. You have
been warned. (9 out of 10)"

Rob Clark

------------------------------

From: Keith Hanlon <ad180@seorf.ohiou.edu>
Message-Id: <199611300255.VAA00933@big.seorf.ohiou.edu>
Subject: sugar, mexican food, vinyl, plastic, etc etc
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 21:55:36 -0500 (EST)

Just some general responses to recent comments:

> I know Ben Eshbach, the songwriter/leader of the Sugarplastic. He doesn't
> deny his adoration of XTC, but he also indeed will swoon equally about the
> Kinks, Eno (check the "King's Lead Hat" piano on "Montebello") and Pixies.
> In fact, he told me that the Pixies' Doolittle was the reason he went into
> music, that mystical epiphany/inspiration which drove him into
> songwriting....

After the first two listens to "Bang!" I finally got over the XTC
similarities. Really folks, there's more to this band then a few casual
listens will reveal. I hear A LOT of influence from the Pixies in there, and a
lot of orginal music too.
I've said this many times before, but give this CD another listen if you
were turned off by the XTC influence.

> My best friend got stuck with a band called
> Fertile Crescent that was stickered as being "XTC influenced" and it was
> quickly put in the discard stack.

Ah yes, I remember getting that one. I read in the Knitting Factory catalog
that it was a "cross between XTC and the Replacements." It has nothing to do
with either of those bands - maybe bad Sting, but not XTC and certainly not
anything related to Paul Westerberg. (More Sting-dissing. I couldn't help
myself!) I expected so much more out of a Knotting Factory record! They
should have signed the Mommyheads while they had a chance.

> np: Long Fin Killie - Valentino

Yes! Yes! YES!!

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

Oh yeah! - "Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother, Wife" is funky and sexy.
"Damned if I Do" rocks in the same vein as "I Could Never Take the Place of
Your Man."I wish his last few records were as good as discs one and two
of Emanipation.

XTC content:
First of all, I'm sorry I brought up the "Song of the Week" concept. I just
moved, and couldn't find any time to keep up with Chalkhills. If someone more
reliable wants to take this project on, please do.

Walked into the local Mexican restaurant here in Athens, Ohio and heard
"It's Nearly Africa" blasting out of the Cantina. Nothing like a jolt of
XTC on your lunch hour. Had me tapping on my desk all day!

Lastly (I promise), I came across some used XTC vinyl at my local record
shop. They have O&L, ES (single LP version), and GO2 for $3 and BE for $4.
Anyone who is interested should let me know. I can pick them up for you.

Later,
KEITH (in love with AMANDA)

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 01:36:47 -0500 (EST)
From: kathryn lynne burda <klburda@umich.edu>
Subject: Crocodile Nile
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.95.961130010032.19717C-100000@seawolf.rs.itd.umich.edu>

This is it, folks: the definitive interpretation of "Crocodile".  It's not
about breaking up, or cheating on someone.  It's about Egyptian religion.
   "If it's false or if it's true you can read it in your Bible or on the
back of this record sleeve."

Picture an ancient Egyptian burial ceremony.  The Pharoah's wife has just
died.  She is being interred along with several slaves and her favorite
cat, all mummified, of course.  She will meet the watchdog of
the underworld, who had the body of a hippo and the head of a
crocodile (see the connection already???)

-won't make me jealous that she left me for him
   The pharoah, now a widower, isn't sorry that she (his deceased wife)
has gone on to a better place, even though she's now in the underworld
with Osiris

-Scene One standing
   the relief paintings found in pyramids

-swallow up my fate
   The pharoah will take his loss in stride

-scene 2 sitting, man in kitchen, bit cold & lifeless
   the slaves killed to follow the pharoah's wife into the next world and
assist her

-one emotion...scratching gently to be fed
   "Don't give in to grief", the social order of the times (especially for
men)

-scene three lying, speared and dying
   feels like he can't live without her

-skinned and stuffed with drink
   mummified.  what else??

-one emotion I'm controlling green-eyed monster with his jaws spread wide
   "Although death is after me I won't let my grief overcome me", thinks
the pharoah.  "I WILL SURVIVE!!"

-...sits there crying
   all the interred souls

A man torn between happiness and grief, death and life, love and love's
loss.  The struggle to go on after the death of a loved one.  All this
while wearing a loincloth and headdress.

Next week: The Difappointed.  Nostradamus does the OJ trial!

.KJ.

   XTC Quote of the day: "Blot"
Gold star to the first person who identifies which song this is from.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <y3f$ckAa8NoyEwlh@emdac.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 01:27:54 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <phil@emdac.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Sample the guns

Well then. Long time no waffle from me, mainly because I've only been
going home at monthly intervals (to collect my Chalkhills and maybe
see my folks a bit in-between), so everything's been sort of old news
by the time I've got to it.

Anyway, I'm up to #3-23 I think, so I'm still lagging behind by a lot,
so apologies if this has been noted already: on the radio the other
day I heard some crappy dance/rap/something record which uses, as its
one saving grace though blatently sampled and repeated to death, the
funky little riff from the opening of 'Melt The Guns'.

Unfortunately I didn't catch any of the details of the track, sorry.

Anyway, that is all. Hopefully someone else has more info on this?
Curiosity value mainly, mind.

Phil

------------------------------

Message-Id: <m0vU6Oo-000QfvE@mail.airmail.net>
Subject: Re: What the Dukes do
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 96 01:34:13 -0000
From: Della & Steve Schiavo <schiavo@airmail.net>

Here are the sources for some of the Psonic Psunspot songs:

Brainiac's Daughter - Paul McCartney
Collideascope - John Lennon + "Blackberry Way" by The Move
You're My Drug - The Byrds
Vanishing Girl - The Hollies
Little Lighthouse - Blues Magoos + Moby Grape
Have You Seen Jackie? - Keith West's Tomorrow + early Pink Floyd + The
  Rolling Stones
You're a Good Man Albert Brown - Yellow Submarine Beatles + The Small
Faces + The Kinks
Shiny Cage - Lennon & McCartney (intended for The Big Express but shelved
because it sounded too much like "I'm Only Sleeping").
Pale and Precious - The Beach Boys (Andy first heard Smiley Smile about
1985).

and that leaves:

The Affiliated - ?

- Steve

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199612012019.OAA18094@3rddoor.3rddoor.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 1996 15:09:52 -0800
From: Daniel Ray Phipps <"phipps@3rddoor.com"@3rddoor.com>
Subject: I read the news today, OH BOY!!!

Hello! --

Wanted to let everybody inside the Chalkhills circle know
that I recently received a letter from June and Peter, who
operate "The Little Express" (the official XTC newsletter --
Box 1072, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 5E1, CANADA)and they've supplied
me with some recent XTC-action.

They've been keeping in touch with the band (mostly Dave and
Colin...seems Andy's become a bit less "accessible" lately!).
The latest news from Dave is that it seems the band is very
close (at last!) to signing with a new company.  No name was
mentioned, but J & P got a letter from Lumiere (the French
XTC fan club) that mentioned the label SETANA, which they
think might be an Italian label.  So they're not too sure
how this will affect things in North America.

Andy's been busy promoting "Fossil Fuel" which is doing quite
well on the UK charts.  The band wants to keep the momentum
going by releasing 2 CDs -- a few months apart if possible.
J & P also stated that Andy may collaborate again with Harold
Budd and he's also written some songs with Chris Difford of
Squeeze.  (Interesting!)

Dave's recently been working with ex-Take That singer, Mark
Owen & he's also looking forward to participating in the "Sgt.
Pepper" 30-year tribute project...They're waiting for Zak Starkey
to finish his touring stint with The Who!

Dave has also contributed a track to a Beatles cover CD entitled
"Without The Beatles" (track is "I Am The Walrus" as Colin's Hermits).
This disc is available through Jarmusic Mailorder (Joachim Reinbold,
29439 Luchow - Jabel 6, GERMANY)and also features Martin Newell
doing his version of "Baby You're A Rich Man."  (Price for CD --
$20.00 American which includes 20-page booklet, Beatles-related
7", postcards, and pin / LP contains 5 bonus tracks[!!!] and is
priced at $16.00 American).

There's been an apparent diagreement between Andy and The Heads over
royalties regarding his involvement with their new album, so he
won't be joining them on their current tour, unfortunately.

And that's about it, fellow Chalkhillians!  Hope this bit o' news
will sate anyone's XTC-hunger for a while.  Should I receive any
other word from June & Peter regarding "the lads," rest assured
that I'll relay it all to the Chalkhills posting page ASAP!!

Long Live XTC-people everywhere!!  Peace...

-- Dan Phipps

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v01550100aec799ddefc1@[146.6.72.39]>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 14:46:17 -0600
From: h.h.name@mail.utexas.edu (Mike Mills)
Subject: XTC: Santa's mallrats?

Hola Chalkhillagos,

I'm back!

In San Antonio on Friday, I went mall-shopping with my
mother.  Our mission:  a quick shoe pick-up.  On our way
out, we stopped into Structure on a whim to look at shirts,
only to hear Macca's "Wonderful Christmastime" playing over
the PA.  Pleasant surprise.  Suddenly it stopped just after
the guitar solo.  "Hey, put that back on!"  I protested
(nobody heard me, fortunately).  After a short silence came
the familiar opening drums of "Thanks For Christmas".  It's
always great to hear a song you've only heard from your CD
player in your own room at home over a radio or PA system.
We stayed for the whole song and left.  I was laughing all
the way...

>I, for one, am very glad that I live in the Most Chosen Nation on Earth.

Well, the way that we're livin' is all take and no givin'.

Yeah, it's great that we're showing the world how to live
wastefully.  Ya ever go to a store after hours and beg to
be let in?  What do they say?  "What if EVERYBODY wanted to
come in after hours?  We gotta draw the line somewhere."
That line is quickly being erased...
"Don't be so foolish to think" there aren't consequences.

That's all I'm going to say.  This list isn't for "meaty postings
on things political!"

Hope everybody had a good weekend!
Jason

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 20:25:13 -0800 (PST)
From: A Sattler <ahs@nevada.edu>
Subject: Who are H?
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.91.961201200503.15357A-100000@pioneer.nevada.edu>

Recently received a new and interesting three track promo CD from
the UK (thanks, Keith) titled "Ice Cream Genius" by a group called
simply H.  Artist credits on the back cover: David Gregory, guitars;
Richard Barbieri, synthesizers; Chucho Merchan, basses; Clem Burke,
drums.  Forgive me if I've missed the news, but has our Dave Gregory
been surreptitiously moonlighting?  Or is this another David Gregory
who plays devilishly clever guitar and produces George Martin-like string
arrangements?  Can anyone enlighten me, please?  Love to trade a tape
of this for a radio interview (even if it's not our Dave, it's certainly
worth a listen).
cheers,
  Annie.

(Paul of Oz, you'll be missed; 'nuff said)

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 09:06:40 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510100aec84bae7223@[194.128.83.69]>
From: fisher@easynet.co.uk (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Take this

I see from a review in yesterday's Independent on Sunday that the first
solo LP by Mark Owen (former member of teenyboop group Take That) features
a "former XTC guitarist". Seeing as there are no "former" XTC guitarists, I
presume it means Dave Gregory. The album's called Green Man and is released
today (Monday 2 December).

- Mark
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~fisher/

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #3-46
******************************

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