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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-53


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 53

                Tuesday, 10 December 1996

Today's Topics:

               That dreaded time of year...
            misc poo and other random tidbits
                      You're My Drug
                 Hello and Partridge/Budd
                 Re: Reign of Blows chord
                  Squeeze/Moodies/misc.
                      Funny & Scary
                        Toy tidbit
       Musak, the 80s, and those special touches...
            Popularity--take this simple test
               Andy's home made board games
                       Knuckle Down
 You bring me color where I once had just black and white
                  Re: Wanker Credentials
                       Re: (No XTC)
     papersnow/special touches/ELO & the Moody Blues
                       muzak Mayor
           Gee, I've been posting a lot lately
                     One more time...
                        YUSSSSSSS!
             I know this is pathetic, but...

Administrivia:

Digested using Digest 3.3 by John Relph, and no errors to report
so far.  Toby, you're next.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

And we'll bring back cheese for my Auntie Jane.

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

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 14:43:10 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <jenor@csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: That dreaded time of year...
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.91.961209141103.10601G-100000@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu>

...when top tens are compiled. Here's mine - subjective, ephemeral,
contents may settle during shipping. Rules: no comps, lives, eps.

10: Afghan Whigs _Black Love_: On paper, I'm not sure I would have liked
this: buncha white guys from Cincinnati claiming they're doing "soul"
singing songs almost exclusively from p.o.v of guy who hates himself
because he's such an asshole in love relationships. But damned if Greg
Dulli & co. don't pull it off: it helps that, here, they've broadened
their instrumental palette, adding keys, extra percussion, and cello (!)
to the mix.

9: His Name Is Alive _Stars on E.S.P._: In many ways, Warren Defever's
most accessible work yet - although still plenty of oddball production
touches to make it interesting. One of those recordings that calls into
being a new, strange, wonderful world.

8: Long Fin Killie _Valentino_: Opinion strongly divided on this one, I
gather: I think the inventiveness of this group - rhythm fiddle, bass
guitar as percussion instrument, sax & bouzouki touches - along w/Luke
Sutherland's very distinctive voice make this one a real winner. Strong
but not ham-handed pro-queer anti-racism lyrics help as well.

7: Stereolab _Emperor Tomato Ketchup_: Seems a lot of 'lab fans are
disappointed in this one. I don't know why - to me it's the best kind of
progression: familiar strengths retained, new ideas incorporated (odd
string charts, less metronomic rhythms, warmer production/sound).

6: The Posies _Amazing Disgrace_: Damned shame this one hasn't been better
promoted or received. Apparently the band's broken up, too. I think Ken &
Jon's harmonies work well w/crunchier guitars - a lot of Posies fans
disagree. interesting chord structures too.

5: Sam Phillips _Omnipop (It's Only a Flesh Wound Lambchop)_: Excellent
songwriting, witty lyrics, oddball yet compelling arrangements, T-Bone
Burnett's avant-retro production (almost Froom/Blake-ish) - the best work
I've heard from her.

4: Lilys _Better Can't Make Your Life Better_: Despite the retro surface
(circa 1966), the more I listen to this one the more contemporary it
sounds. Besides which, the songs are killer: Kurt Heasley's got one of the
most distinctive melodic/chordal signatures around.

3: Rollerskate Skinny _Horsedrawn Wishes_: Another one of those "new,
strange, wonderful world" recordings: zillions of guitars, keys, subtler
instrumental touches (strings, glockenspiel), songs that seem to grow
unexpected but beautiful extra limbs at whim....

2: The Wrens _Secaucus_: Their first album was almost *too*
Pixies-influenced; this one works better by reconciling any number of
apparent oppositions: noise/beauty, strength/delicacy, Amerindie
irony/emotionality, rawkness/songcraft, melody/distracting weirdo
production tricks. Non-tertian harmony as color/texture (that's for you
XTC-list folks...)

1: The Loud Family: _Interbabe Concern_: Scott Miller finally pulls it all
together - no weak links, great sequencing of tracks, a good mix of
aggression and delicacy (from scary guitar-skronk and raw analog synth
blurt to otherworldly voice samples and folkish twelve-strings). Possibly
the best work he's been involved in.

Close but no cigar: (in approximate descending order):
	The Fall _Light User Syndrome_
	Throwing Muses _Limbo_
	Guided by Voices _Under the Bushes, Under the Stars_
	Girls Against Boys _House of GVSB_
	Beck _Odelay_
	Robyn Hitchcock _Moss Elixir_
	Red House Painters _Songs for a Blue Guitar_
	Mark Eitzel _60 Watt Silver Lining_
	Polvo _Exploded View_
	Swirlies _They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days in the Glittering
World of the Salons_

Honorable mention (alpha by title): Archers of Loaf _All the Nations
Airports_, Tobin Sprout _Carnival Boy_, Los Lobos _Colossal Head_,
Moonshake _Dirty & Divine_, The Nields _Gotta Get Over Greta_, Jawbox
[s/t], Bob Mould [s/t], Ash _1977_, Lotion _Nobody's Cool_, Robert Pollard
_Not in My Airforce_, Jason Falkner _Presents Author Unknown_, DJ Spooky
that subliminal kid _Songs of a Dead Dreamer_, Brian Eno and Jah Wobble
_Spinner_, Self _Subliminal Plastic Motives_, Cibo Matto _Viva! La Woman_,
lovesliescrushing _Xuvetyn_

--Jeff

Jeffrey J. Norman        <jenor@csd.uwm.edu>   <http://www.uwm.edu/~jenor/>
Dept. of English & Comp. Lit.            University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
::[clever or pithy quote from someone]::::::::::::::::::[source of quote]::

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

From: HifiToastr@aol.com
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 13:08:46 -0500
Message-ID: <961209130845_1455195901@emout09.mail.aol.com>
Subject: misc poo and other random tidbits

Howdy Chalkfolk
DEMO SERIES:  Mega thanks to John Relph for explaining what's on the Demo
Bootleg series in Chalk49.  Even though the one I have (Demo8) is very muddy
in quality, I still want to find more....anyone have any leads for a
Chicagoan to start?

OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL:  Bryan Helium raved about this band and I have to
agree in recomending it (although it's far from the best new band of 96 as he
stated).  The record is a fun little curiosity, a hodgepodge of 60's
psychedelic influences with an equal mix of sincerity and tounge-in-cheek
(sounds like another band's nod to the past?).  The album gets a little
tiresome after a while, but when they stick to solid pop songs they are right
on the mark!

GETTING INTO XTC OFF THE RADIO?:  In Chalk51 DeWitt Henderson asked who got
into XTC because of radio exposure.  I heard my first 2 XTC songs ("Punch and
Judy" and "Respectable Street") at the high school radio I worked at and
rushed out to the record store and ended up buying an import copy of Mummer
right when it came out....and I was disappointed it wasn't as "punky" as the
2 songs I knew (I latched onto "Funk Pop A Roll" though).  I picked up the
Waxworks/Beeswax the next week and, one by one, fell in love with every song,
went back to Mummer, and fell in love with it as well.  Within a few months I
had all the albums and a slew of singles.  At the time I mostly listened to
punk 60's garage, and new wave pop, but Mummer opened my musical eyes to a
whole new world (until then I never got into anything soft or acoustic).
 Because of that Mummer probabally opened  my tastes to more bands than any
other record.

I got way off the point, but if I waited to hear XTC on commercial radio I
wouldn't have gotten in to them until "Mayor Of Simpleton", which is a scary
thought.  Most of my friends that are into XTC either got into them from
reviews in books like the Trouser Press Guide or from a friend.

RUTLES vs. THE DUKES:  Stormy Monday compared the Rutles and Dukes saying
that  "The Dukes are hands down the better parody/tribute act of the two."
 While both are fun records, the Rutles is obviously a very good in-joke for
Beatle fans, while the Dukes are more of a fans adoration for the past.  If
you want to hear another (and more obvious) fan tribute to the Beatles check
out Utopia's "Deface The Music", which is a chronological tribute/parody/rip
off of the fabs.  Each song takes a few elements from an era of the Beatles
and combines it into one song.  It's not rocket science, but it's good fun
for a Bealtes trainspotter.

LEAST MUZAK ADAPTABLE XTC SONG:  Ed Miller asks for suggestions for the
least Muzak adaptable XTC song, which is harder than I thought.  I keep
coming up with "the weird ones" like "Battery Brides" or "Greenhouse", but
then I can actually imagine the arrangements!  The only 2 I have troubles
with are "Cross Wires" and "I'm Bugged"...but I'm sure someone else can
imagine it.  Now I actually want to hear some of the these.

Enough already.

Currently on my personal prayrack:
JULIAN COPE - Interpreter (a bit poppier than his past few-it's darn good)
THOSE BASTARD SOULS - Twentieth Century Chemical (by no means XTCish-kind of
droney American indie rock-it's some kind of Grifter's side project)
ALEC BATHGATE - Gold Lame (half of the masters of DIY living room pop
eccentics, The Tall Dwarfs, and this sounds like a slightly subdued TD album)

Sleep Cheap
Dale (HifiToastr@aol.com)

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

From: Martin_Monkman@fincc04.fin.gov.bc.ca
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 10:19:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: You're My Drug
Message-id: <9611098501.AA850155681@FINSMTP1.FIN.GOV.BC.CA>

  From 3-50:
  Joshua Hall-Bachner <particle@servtech.com> [Subject: Now it's time
  to change gears...] responds to an earlier uncredited post:
>>And you're probably one of those who think John Lennon intended to
>>spell "LSD" with "Lucy in the Sky".
>
>While I'm sure John didn't sit down and think..."Hmmm, what words would
>spell out 'LSD'?", I am certain that when he came across the name
>(supposedly in one of Julian's drawings) he noticed the acronym; considering
>the imagery of the title and the song, it's a very appropriate, subtle
>inclusion.

  While there is no doubt that Lennon was a regular LSD user at the
  time he wrote "Lucy" (no idle Day Tripper, he), there is a plethora
  of evidence to support his claim that the L-S-D in the title was
  purely accidental. One such piece of evidence is Julian's picture -
  on display at
  http://www.primenet.com/~dhaber/myths.html.

  The imagery in "Lucy" is derived from *Alice In Wonderland*, which
  also supplied Lennon with the core inspiration for "I Am The
  Walrus".

  That said, "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" is the trippiest song The
  Beatles ever wrote.

  And from 3-51:
  Jason NeSmith <jnesmith@atl.mindspring.com>, on the subject of
  Chalky residue, responds:
>from Mark Strijbos...
>>And last Digest Jeff Smelser made this comment [snip]
>>> It's not very usual for XTC to write about incideous drug use, is it?
>>Yes it is IMHO. They have always made it very clear they did not take
>>any drugs
>
>Well, Moulding's Map of Swindon in Go 2 lists the location of the 'place of
>hallucination'.  Either Colin experienced a supernatual apperition, or
>he was tripping.  I'd put my money on the latter.

  You don't need ingested chemicals in order to hallucinate.  Do you
  have any evidence to support your assertion that it was a
  drug-induced hallucination?

  h.h.name@mail.utexas.edu (Insane Boy) [subject: That Damn Chord and
  Other Witty Banter] writes:
>You know, I guess I've just never understood what "psychedelic" actually
>means.  To me it's nonsensical, drug-associated, "trippy" music and lyrics
>that are so ridiculous they're funny (like most of the stuff with the Dukes).
>On this level I've never considered anything the Beatles have ever done as
>"psychedelic", much less the intro to "Then She Appeared" (!)  Please
>explain.

  Even by your limited definition, The Beatles recorded a few
  psychedelic prototypes in 1966:  "Rain", "She Said She Said" and
  "Tomorrow Never Knows".  And 1967 was a pretty trippy year for The
  Beatles, too ... "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am The Walrus", and
  of course "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".

  Martin

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

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 14:16:30 -0500 (EST)
From: FA ken clinger <clinger@duq2.cc.duq.edu>
Subject: Hello and Partridge/Budd
Message-Id: <Pine.OSF.3.93.961209135421.11430A-100000@duq2.cc.duq.edu>

Hi Chalkhills,

I'm fairly new to both this list and XTC too. Actually I've had ORANGES &
LEMONS for several years, but recently it revealed its secrets to me, and
I've been buying up all the Geffin albums several at a time. So for me,
it's like XTC has just released a gargantuan multi-CD set. I'm so
delightfully overwhelmed!

Anyway, as if this weren't enough, I found Martin Newell's ...ENGLISHMAN
CD used, which has me checking out other "extracurricular" projects. Could
someone give me a brief description of the Partridge/Budd album? I assume
it's made up of ambient (in the old Eno sense) instrumentals. But I have a
Cocteau Twins - Budd collab album (THE MOON & THE MELODIES) where the
Cocteaus "took control" of some of the pieces, which are actually songs,
very much in the Cocteau Twins style, including Liz Fraser's beautifully
incomprehensible vocals. So I'm wondering if Andy managed to get some
wonderful pop-XTC-isms into his project with Harold Budd.

Now back to my crash course in XTC exposure...

Ken

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

Message-Id: <199612092137.NAA06463@sgi.sgi.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 23:29:54 -0700
From: hbmus047@email.csun.edu (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: Re: Reign of Blows chord

Hello Chalk-people,

from Erich W.:

>Reign of Blows has been in my brain to the extent that I replayed it
>seventeen times in a row last night (get a life) to get the chords down
>and, without checking the Archive, I have to know: What the Hell is going
>on chordwise at "the swastika"  bridge?  a big No-Prize to the first five
>correct answers...

        That part, I think, at least on his demo, is an E7 with the 7th (D)
in the bass.  Try this fingering on an open E tuning:  X30034.  The album
version is mucky at that point but there might be that E7/D buried in there
somwhere.  Check out my trans. in the archives, most of which I think is
correct.  (I don't really have the aforementioned part in the transcription
except for the upper clanging gt. part)

                                                         Ian Dahlberg

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

Message-Id: <2.2.16.19961209183925.0d6f91ae@cic-mail.lanl.gov>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 11:39:25 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <dewitth@lanl.gov>
Subject: Squeeze/Moodies/misc.

Hi ya'll - a bit of non-XTC, but I'll keep it really short -

Squeeze live - all I know is that I saw 'em on the 'Babylon and On' tour,
and they were GREAT.  Haven't seen 'em live since, but I like almost all of
their CD's.  I actually sent and received email from Chris Difford, and he
was very polite & friendly.

The Moodies - yeah.  Saw 'em live twice.  Their last couple of albums aren't
very good, IMO, but a lot of their somewhat-later stuff is surprisingly good.
For the uninitiated, or those who only think the early stuff was good, check
out 'Octave', 'Long Distance Voyageur', and 'the Present'.

>Uh-huh...yeah, it's a wonder that ANYBODY likes Beethoven anymore, right?  ;)

 The above is a masterpiece of comebacks!

AMANDA, it's not worth really getting into here, especially given the fact
that we're all agreeing to not make Chalkhills a format for other topics,
but you pretty much missed my whole point about the Indian 'everything is
connected' thing.  But that's OK.
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------

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

Message-Id: <2.2.16.19961209221247.34df9756@cic-mail.lanl.gov>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 15:12:47 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <dewitth@lanl.gov>
Subject: Funny & Scary

I laughed more at the last edition of Chalkhills than I have in a while.
I think we're past the Angry Young Men (and Women) stage.

But XTC songs on Muzak?!?  I thought we were only kidding, and then someone
said they heard 'Mayor of Simpleton' Muzakked!  Aaagggh!  Then someone else
said 'Washaway' was an un-Muzakable XTC track.  Are you kidding?  That's
the kind of hummable song they'd suck up like a Hoover.  I can (unfortunately)
hear their version already.

Simon's horror story!  Scary...

Q.  Why was there a T-Heads interview posted in Chalkhills?
A.  Hey, whoever did it, I'm just kidding, keeping in the spirit of the
    non-XTC-content complainers.

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

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

Message-Id: <199612092125.IAA02040@warchives.riv.csu.edu.au.>
From: sknight@warchivegw.riv.csu.edu.au
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 07:56:33 +0000
Subject: Toy tidbit

Kris wrote:

>Another nuance I like, which I don't think I've seen mentioned, is
>the intro to Toys - anybody know exactly *what* toys those are that
>you hear?

Maybe they all have starring roles in "The Road to Oranges and
Lemons"  :-)
Tom Middlemost
Art Curator
Regional Archives
PO Box 588
Wagga Wagga
NSW, 2678.
Ph +61 69 253666
Fax+61 69 253992
Email: tmiddlemost@csu.edu.au

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

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 17:39:02 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007800aed1fcdc8818@[207.77.27.33]>
From: Ira Lieman <aym@axe.intercall.com>
Subject: Musak, the 80s, and those special touches...

>****Least Muzak adaptable XTC song****
Well, my first thought is to say anything instrumental. The second thought
is "That Wave" and the third thought is "Scissor Man".

Now everyone who likes 80s music as much as me, raise your left hand and do
a first-and-fifth finger salute to Mork and Mindy. I'm not ashamed of it,
as a matter of fact I trumpet it! "Da da DA!" I love just about all music
from the 1979-1987 period, with few exceptions, and maybe that's why i'm so
big an XTC fan! I don't make excuses for liking Billy Joel or any of the
millions of One Hit Wonders (of which John and I had a great time
recounting in the car back from New Haven...which reminds me: did you use
Scandal's "Goodbye To You" or "The Warrior" for your mix tape?) in this
world. Remember Slade? Remember Kajagoogoo? (Rhymes with the capital of
Burkina Faso) Remember Men Without Hats? Aah, that was the life. And XTC
fits snugly in the middle of that. And you *CAN'T* really call 'em one hit
wonders because they never had a top-10 single in the states!! That, and
Wierd Al never parodized them. To my knowledge.

And on the topic of "Those cool things" in XTC songs, I have to sheepishly
admit that I'm a big fan of Toddzilla's mangling of the keyboards in "Earn
Enough For Us" because I find it so damn funny! I'm also partial to Andy's
laughing in "Pink Thing" and the toy sounds in "Toys." But I can't stand
Colin's "It's Nigel, it's Nigel, it's Nigel" whenever they did that song
live. It's just too inane for me. :)

Oh, and one of Andy's new demos sounds like "Toys." I forgot what it was.
Tim, do you remember?

-ira

This one's for Kris: "You put your cleanest dirty shirt on..."

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

Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/0021DB5D@aetna.aetna.com>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <witterkf@aetna.com>
Subject: Popularity--take this simple test
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 17:58:00 -0500

I'm looking for people to help with additional answers to the
time-honored question,

***********************************************************
    *******"How popular is too popular" for XTC?*******
***********************************************************

>>Maybe About Right(?)<<: Full XTC recording of a new song played
immediately after a smart movie (no summer blockbuster, please)
fades to black and the credits roll.  Crowds everywhere tap
their toes, connect lyric's story to movie, and buy the
soundtrack.  Thousands buy various parts of the back catalog, a good
bunch of them join Chalkhills.

>>Growing Unease<<: One of Andy's contacts on Chalkhills gives word
that the new XTC song will be interpolated (dropped without
regard to context and surroundings) into a dumb animated movie.
It's in the record contract!  We hear it will be covered by a
pop diva/lesser performer for that "big hit single". XTC version
not available without buying whole 70-minute soundtrack CD.

>>Violently Ill<<: XTC song played by Oscar-show pit band to chase
long-winded Academy Award acceptance speech prior to a commercial.
Nearly unrecognized due to generic, monotonous horn and string
chart; Dave offered to do arrangement but was rebuffed.

>>I'll Kill Myself<<: Andy, Colin & Dave, unaware of the near-religious
significance of Oscars broadcast in America, accept invitations
to Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. XTC song given full "best
song nominee production number" treatment with the pop-diva lip-
syncing and dozens of extras doing utterly inane choreography.
The cameras, turned on the audience, catch history repeating itself:
Andy bolts out of seat and curls up backstage in fetal position,
quivering; Colin becomes depressed; Dave runs down street
to nearest music studio and starts a recording session. ;-)

[This is only a nightmare. This hasn't actually happened. Yet.]

>(From DeWitt Henderson:) Like Reign of Blows but not the
>distorted vocal treatment.

Hey, over here!  And too, the buzziness over Colin's voice in
"Fly on the Wall", whether vocal treatment or fuzzbox. I find it
hard to understand the words in each case.  (However, in "That Wave",
it's not annoying IMO, and I like it for the few lines. Ain't it odd?)

XTC moments:
"Garden of Earthly Delights": Solo and outro.  "Honey, were the
  sixties like this?" I ask.  "Gee, they were *exactly* like this!"

"All You Pretty Girls":  "I think about the salt sea rolling",
  and the verbal sideslip "down your pretty cheeks".

"Shake You Donkey Up": The first time we hear "Isn't it a shame
  you kicked that girl?" followed by "Isn't is a shame she kicked
  you back, jackass"!  At that point, "Shake" bares its kick as a
frankly
  public humiliating of the man, just as the listener might be
  settling into the poor-girl-you-ruined-her-you-meanie song
  cliche. (Extra jollies for people favoring songs which trash
  expected cliches. Hey, isn't that everyone here?)

"Seagulls Screaming...":  Euphonium, harmonium, whatever it is, the
  solo gives me a chill.  Cements the song as catchy, yet vaguely
  uncomfortable and for any guy who's "been there done that", hits home.

The slightly-warped-LP sounds on side 2 of The Big Express:
  On "Liarbird" under the five-note guitar figure at start.
  During the solo for "You're the Wish You Are I Had".
  For the intro of "I Remember the Sun", especially the bendy guitar.
  (I luv 'em but I also hear "Sweetie, is our record player okay?")

In "Another Satellite", Colin repeating the 5-6-7-8 figure with
each line earlier and earlier, advancing ahead of the natural beat
then having that picked up by the glockenspiel-synth (?).  Starts
right before "I'm happy standing on my feet of clay...", listen for
it, I did a crummy job of explaining it!  (Also the bass-free parts on
that song--rests are there for a reason.)

The "Colin songwriting pause", as on "Bungalow" and "Sacrificial
Bonfire".  Hey, can he patent that?

The bass from Colin (that name again!:-)) in "Summer's Cauldron",
dripping around the verse then pounding out on the piano bridge.

In "Leisure", the gentle delivery of the phrase "gentlest twitch",
describing the protagonist's vigorous footballing lifestyle.

>(From Dave O'Connell:) The last piano chord of the
>'scratched up vinyl record' intro to "Respectable Street"

Yes, and right before that, Andy delivers a "down your nose" sniff
that is nearly haughty enough to give him whiplash!  Has me rolling
all over!  As if "Respectable Street" isn't good enough already!

Gulping in my omoxycillin so copiously,
Karl

PS Like I haven't droned on enough:  THANKS TO TIM KENDRICK FOR
THE BASH ON SATURDAY!!!  I had a blast.  Kudos to everyone else
there too.  Lots of juicy audio, video, LP art and sparkling
conversation, and I got to cast the deciding vote on the merits
of "Shake You Donkey Up".  (It was in favor.)

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

From: HifiToastr@aol.com
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 18:17:03 -0500
Message-ID: <961209181702_1685638535@emout02.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Andy's home made board games

Sorry for the duel postings (sick day from work and a lil' time to kill) but
I just got a new Chalkhill and Simon Knight's posting of an interview with
Andy on the Heads board sparked an XTC question I've had for several years...

The question "If this album were a boardgame, which age groups would you
suggest?" reminded me that Andy makes homemade board games.  I think it's on
the "XTC Play At Home" video where he shows a few games quickly, but has he
ever given a more detailed description of any of the games or is there
anywhere that has printed any photos?  From what I remember they looked
pretty cool and I'm always interested in seeing another creative side of an
artistic genious.

"It's been a long time since the party and the room is in a mess" - Mickey
Dolenz

Dale (hifitoastr@aol.com)

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

Message-Id: <199612100023.BAA00435@utrecht.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 01:25:05 +0000
Subject: Knuckle Down

Dear Chalkies,

First of all a humble thank you to all those who have visited my
XTC Website "The Little Lighthouse" these last four months.
But it is still very much evolving and I need your help to improve
it!

Anybody have ANY information on XTC chart placings?
I have the data on the UK and Holland but nothing else...Help!

To boost the XTC content of this post I'll share my favourite XTC
"little bit that counts" ( a bit of an awkward definition isn't it? )
with you all: the "froggy" sound in Knuckle Down.
Crank up your headphones if you cant hear it - it's really there.

Now i forgot if it was Dave or Andy who did that - anyone care for a
thread?

yours inevitably,

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

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
Where's the message that's written under the base of clouds?

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

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 20:03:26 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199612100103.UAA05731@cyber1.servtech.com>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <particle@servtech.com>
Subject: You bring me color where I once had just black and white

>I don't think LSD was/is readily available in Swindon which is a very
>small provincial town in every way...

You can get wicked dope in those small provincial towns (not speaking from
experience, of course... :)

>I personally do not use them but what about the "thanks for the cactii" in
>the liner notes in Skylarking. I assumed cactii was Peyote, a powerful
>hallucinogen.

And they say stuff about "tripping out on 'shrooms" in the ad for 25
O'Clock! It must be true!

>I also read grass as also meaning marihuana in the song of the same name
>by Colin.

What? I have to apologize, but that's rather ridiculous. It's about sex.
What do you think "over and over we flatten the clover" means?

>Finally, I wanted to mention that Jarmusic (a German label) has released
>a 5-singles box by The Cleaners from Venus which contains a cover of
>the unreleased Andy Partridge demo Pearl.

I would like to mention in response to this announcement that Pearl is a
pretty lousy song -- one of the weakest XTC tracks I've heard.

Josh
You take me to heaven from deeper than hell ever dug
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|     particle@servtech.com    http://www.servtech.com/public/particle/   |
|"We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease." |
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/

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

Message-Id: <v01550101aed2689f6be2@[146.6.72.30]>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 20:05:04 -0600
From: h.h.name@mail.utexas.edu (Insane Boy)
Subject: Re: Wanker Credentials

Take the last train to Chalkhills...

>I decided then and there are *two* things in life that can qualify
>you as a wanker.

HOLY HELL!  Yet another reason to kill all the remaining second-
generation grungesters and start over.  That's a horror story if
I've ever heard one.

You know, all this talk about Andy's voice is just...well, good.
I too marvel at the way he's able to turn a note into a grating
"AAAAARRRRRGGHHH!" seemingly effortlessly (while remaining on
the note).  There're not too many people that can do that, I reckon.
Try as I might, I can't do that little "AAARRGGGH" convincingly
enough. So, I think Andy's voice is great too!

Incidentally, Natalie Jane Jacobs, you have a great-looking
name.  It's always pleasing to see it come up in print here on
this list.  [compliment of the day]

>According to the dictionary, "psychedelic" means: of or producing
>hallucinations and similar experiences, full of vivid or luminous colors.

Oh.  OK.  But I still don't think it's musically a good way to describe
the intro to "Then She Appeared".

> When people ask me who my favorite rock group is I usually say, "The
>Beatles...I'm still waiting for a better band."

True, true. I usually don't like to go off on the Beatles,
preferring instead to quietly assimilate their material and philosophies
into a forward-looking musical view.  The thing that bothers me is that
most people I've met that consider the Beatles one of their musical
"influences"
are really big classic rock fans. If there are any on this list I apologize,
but CLASSIC ROCK MUST DIE!!!!!  It's the only way we're going to move
forward with music.  Today's grunge (not Nirvana) is really regurgitated
classic rock with a '90's whiny twist.  Hopefully that will be the last of
it...

>I'm kinda surprised by this. But not as much as when I read that Peter
>Gabriel is a big fan of Springsteen. That was the beginning of the end of
>life on Earth as we know it.

Hey, I may have just bashed classic rock, but I LIKE Springsteen.  The
earlier, poppier stuff (I think "Hungry Heart" is one of my fav songs
of his).  Lately however I've been wanting to ask him, "Who died and
made YOU Dylan?"

>I noticed Strange Magic was missing.

Oops!  Sorry, yeah that was another one I like.  And yes, I'm
laughing already, juvenile as that was.  :)

In the CD player (and in the head):
"You're coming on to something so fast so numb that you can't even feel"

Hmm, sounds like finals week.

Jason

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

Message-Id: <m0vXI9c-000S0QE@mail.airmail.net>
Subject: Re: (No XTC)
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 96 20:44:02 -0000
From: Della & Steve Schiavo <schiavo@airmail.net>

Mark wrote:
>Take note "Chalkie" : REAL XTC fans only want to hear about XTC and
>things that are relevant to Their music on the OFFICIAL XTC mailing list.

Mark - you're not being too mello here. ;)

Where else am I going to hear about Yazbek, The Sugarplastic, Brian
Stevens, & etc.  Better that people recommend other bands rather than
talk about "Dear God" for the oo time.  There'll be nothing *but*
XTC when the time comes.

- Steve

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

Message-Id: <v01540b03aed29c0bb05d@[139.80.228.167]>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 15:50:39 +1100
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: papersnow/special touches/ELO & the Moody Blues

Is it just me, or does the introduction riff from "Papersnow" sound
suspiciously like the introduction riff from Crowded House's "Weather with
you"?

Interpretation of Papersnow? Okay, lets  try a piece of massive
overinterpretation here :)

Remember that massively overhyped feelgood movie a couple of years ago with
Tom Hanks comparing life to a box o'chocs? The whole of the movie Forrest
Gump was summed up by the symbolism of the feather floating through life,
right at the end of the movie. A similar sort of thing is happening here.
Everything we do, everything we care about, can be thought of as the bits
of paper - so much of our lives is expressed in written words - and what
does it become? Part of the ongoing parade. The heroes swoop by, and the
paper gets lost, but without all those bits of paper, the parade would be
empty and meaningless. Civilisation is like that. We all get our 15 minutes
of fame, and we're all forgotten in 100 years, except for the famous or
infamous few. But without our trivial lives, our hopes, our fears, our tiny
inspirations, the whole parade of civilisation would be empty and
meaningless. In fact, without the small people, the cogs in the machine, it
wouldn't exist. Yet, after all that, the individual parts of civilisation,
the individual lives that made it up, will not be remembered.

Of course, as you'd expect with Andy, it's also a bitter, disappointed,
love song - "letters that I'd meant to send you...tore up all the beg and
bitter, add them to the drift of litter". This may also be  an interesting
rejoinder to the Talking Heads song "Paper" (off "Fear of Music") ""Had a
love affair but it was only paper...go ahead and rip up the paper".

However, I like Gene's suggestion that it is an Andyesque "list-song". If
so, the true ancestor of it is not Jelly Bowl's "We didn't start the fire",
but rather is a poem by WH Auden called "Night Mail", which lists the types
of letter that a mail train might be carrying, using the click-clacking of
the train on the tracks as the rhythm ('Letters of thanks, letters from
banks, letters of joy from the girl and boy, receipted bills and
invitations to inspect new stock or visit relations...')

When talking about those xtc special touches, I can't believe I missed this
one...

at 3-50 in to the song..."Roads girdle the glo-o-o-o-o-o-obe...*THUMPPPP!!!*"

Jason NeSmith <jnesmith@atl.mindspring.com> sez:
>And don't start with the Moodys. My first favorite record was This Is the
>Moody Blues.<

if Sugarplastic are the XTC you have when there's no XTC around, try Ocean
Colour Scene's album "Moseley Shoals" for evidence of a band that's
listened to a LOT of Moody Blues! Good stuff, but you can hear Pinder and
Hayward everywhere....

>>I've been holding out on this comment, but I haven't seen one person
>>speak up in [Jeff Lynne's] favour.<<

>"Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Livin' Thing", "Telephone Line", "Turn To Stone",
>um..."Evil Woman", and I guess "Mr. Blue Sky". All of those songs I loved
>as a very young child. I still love them now.<

...and so ELO (that's three Birmingham bands!) are to some periods of the
Beatles. If you're going to imitate a style and add something to it, you
might as well imitate the best. Some of ELO's music still stands the test
of time for me, too. The above are all good examples of that, along with
("this isn't John, honest!") "Can't get it out of my head". (If you want a
"this isn't Paul" song to balance it up, how about "21st Century Man").

Gah. First I say that Billy Joel's written some good stuff, now ELO - next
you'll have me admitting to listening to Supertramp!

Oops...

James

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

From: Stephen Larson <MereBrian@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: muzak Mayor
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 03:26:00 +0000
Message-ID: <19961210032558.AAA25879@zombie.ncsc.mil>

>Re: the Muzak versions of the Beatles stuff.... I distinctly remember
>hearing a Muzak version of Lucy in the Sky way back when.  I guess it's
>only a matter of time before Mayor of Simpleton gets a bouncy, horn/string
>section Muzak rearrangement.  Any  suggestions for......

'fraid it's already happened.  I hear every couple of weeks or so whether
I like it or not (at work that is).

Cheers,

Steve

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

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 22:51:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <gnat@umich.edu>
Subject: Gee, I've been posting a lot lately
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.95.961209165451.655A-100000@pacman.rs.itd.umich.edu>

Ola -

Ben "Mein" Gott (sorry) asks us if there are any XTC albums that bring us
back to a certain experience/time/etc... Oh yes.  "The Big Express" brings
me back to my first year of college so vividly that I can almost taste the
apple juice I used to drink for breakfast every morning.  I also associate
TBE with that time because the back cover is the same color as the dorm I
lived in - a sort of grey-blue.  Thomas De Quincey would call this knot of
emotion and associations an "involute."  </English major>

As for what constitutes a "real" XTC fan, I would say that you not only
need to be a Beatles fan, but also a Kinks fan, a Beefheart fan, a Harry
Partch fan, a Lady Windemere's fan, and a ceiling fan.  You also have to
know all the lyrics to "Frost Circus" and be able to sing "My Bird
Performs" while standing on your head underwater.

...or, maybe all you need is a head, a heart, and a pair of ears.  But
then, I could be wrong.

go ahead and jump,

Natalie Jacobs
Visit the Land of Do-As-You-Please!
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gnat

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

Message-Id: <199612100755.IAA08580@utrecht.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 08:57:11 +0000
Subject: One more time...

Dear Chalkies,

last issue Eb asked this:
> >Well, nobody did AFAIK...and besides, who are you to pass judgment ?
> Uhh...I'm drawing a blank here. Expand that acronym.
Sorry, it stands for As Far As I Know.

And he added...
> Every mailing list seems to have "Stick to the topic" whiners who pout
> and fume whenever a tangential thread comes up.
Please, gimme a break!
Discussing Mary Hopkins' unforgettable "Goodbye" or the merits of
Jeff Lynne, or Ringo's drumming is not tangential - it's off-topic.
And we/I only started whining when things started to get out of hand
and there was really very little XTC content left.

> And who are YOU to pass judgment on what a real XTC fan is?
See? You got my point; you don't like to be "judged" either.
For all I know you are a bigger fan ( if such a thing exists ) but I
really object to being told that I HAVE to like the Fab Four to
fully appreciate the Fab Three. I think that's a load of bull.
They are influenced by the Beatles of course but They are definitely
not the Rutles !

But X-mas is coming soon and I wish all Chalkies nothing but the best
and loads of XTC goodies in their stockings, so let's bury this
hatchet before we bore the pants of everybody else, OK?

yours jingly-jangly,

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

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
Memories of old love crack and blister

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

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 08:59:16 -0500 (EST)
From: Allan Hislop <Allan_Hislop_at_UKCDEE01@ccmail.bms.com>
Subject: YUSSSSSSS!
Message-id: <9611108502.AA850223785@ccgate0.bms.com>

     Aah, favourite little XTC touches:

     The "Yussssssss" at the beginning of.. This is Pop? (Christ my memory
     is failing me, am I right here? - shouldn't have started work this
     early).

     The way Andy almost screeches "She really SHAKE YOU!" on Shake You
     Donkey Up.

     The chorus of Collideascope, especially as it reaches a crescendo -
     "Waaaaaahkey Wakey Wakey littul sleepa" (spelling intentional).

     Not forgetting the sawing noises on said song - I always imagine
     someone sawing off their wooden leg at this point - don't know why.

     The start of Smalltown - "Ba Ba ba ba baaaa.....Ba ba ba ba baaaa..."

     And loads more I can't think of right now, BUT any touches you hate?

     I really hate all those bloody bird noises throughout Wonderland - too
     electronic for my tastes, but there you go.

     And, again, that's all I can think of right now, so can't be bad.

     Keep it moist.

     Allan

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

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 14:30:07 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510100aed317026e0a@[194.128.83.69]>
From: fisher@easynet.co.uk (Mark Fisher)
Subject: I know this is pathetic, but...

I've just heard via my three-year-old daughter that in the new show by
children's entertainers The Happy Gang, there's a wizard called Nigel, and
someone makes a joke about making plans for him.

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

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #3-53
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