Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-55

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 55

                Thursday, 12 December 1996

Today's Topics:

                Dreams turn to nightmares
                  They Might Be Great...
                Re: Fave XTC nuances.....
                  Just 2 quick comments
                         LSD URL
                     a scary thought
              Nothing to do with XTC but...
                      Tunes of good
                Dukes, Rutles, and Beatles
                      XTC popularity
               XTC News Alert System Needed
          Woebetiden "'Mayor' on the radio" fans
                 Bits I Like; Joe Jackson
                  Stuff that's not there
           Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl
         An XTC fan(?) found in Tower Records NYC
                        FF review
                       Free At Last
                     One name wonders
                         Word Art
                        Re: Survey
              ELO, ELO, How I Love That ELO
                      Kris with a K


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

All the kids are complaining.


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 20:50:23 -0600
Message-Id: <v01530501aed37b41d25e@[]>
From: (John Yuelkenbeck)
Subject: Dreams turn to nightmares

Regarding "Collideascope" someone wrote:

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

Considering all of the sleep references in the chorus, I always imagine
snoring, also referred to as "sawing logs," but I'm not psychedelic enough
to imagine it otherwise.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 10:32:09 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: They Might Be Great...


>>Also, the true abomination is the TMBG remake of "25 o'clock".  The

>Sigh...well, I would have to disagree, I happen rather to like it.  If
>we're going to talk about TD, then let's talk about Spacehog, who didn't
>even have the decency to record the *whole* song, and one of my faves, at
>that. Bleh.

The Spacehog remake of "Senses" is proof that even a perfect song can be
rendered "unlistenable" if placed in the wrong hands.

>>calling the sounds that TMBG make "music" is a gross overstatement.

>Comments like this make me much of their so-called "music" have
>you actually heard?  They're far removed from the Ramones...

I wasn't comparing TMBG to The Ramones.

How much more do I need to hear?  They took 25 O'clock, barely changed the
arrangement, and somehow managed to take all of the feel out of it.  Listen
to both versions back to back.  XTC rocks out during the instrumental
passage.  The TMBG version sounds like Lt. Comdr. Data using computers and
mathematics to simulate music.  "So-called 'music' " sums it up for me.

>>I for one, would be severely disappointed if Andy and the boys
>>ever collaborated with "The Johns", as some have suggested. and
>>calling the sounds that TMBG make "music" is a gross overstatement.

>Please try to at least *listen* to something else the band has done before
>you make such ridiculous statements.

I plan to buy "John Henry", if only for the fact I have much respect for
people that love XTC enough to write about them.

>Of all the possible complaints about
>TMBG (they're annoying, they're smart asses, their lyrics are too silly or
>too meaningless, etc.) lack of *musical* content doesn't even make the list.

It makes mine.

>>I'd just as soon see them make TV commercials.

>I'd *like* to see our lads do TV commercials.

Now that I think about it, me too!

Speaking of TMBG, it occurred to me that "They Might Not Be Giants".  If
they turned out not to be giants, what might they be?  Gerbils?  Geldings?
Gladiators?  Gallbladders?

>I kind of picture XTC as pot smokers with an occasional escapade into

After the Skylarking sessions, Andy complained bitterly about Todd's
affinity for marijuana.

Try as I might, I can't join in on the "nuances" thread, because I can find
scores of them in each song.  They are peerless.

Stormy Monday


From: James Robert Campbell <>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 21:47:10 -0700 (MST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Fave XTC nuances.....

Amanda wrote....

> The doombahdoombah part from Humble Daisy

Nooooo!!!  That bit really seems overdone and out of place on that song.
Perhaps that is my favorite (not in the good sense) bit of XTC overkill,
which may be a good thread as well!  ;^)

As far my about out of key guitar ending to Mayor?




Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 22:53:59 -0800
From: Ed and Pam <>
Subject: Just 2 quick comments

Just 2 quick comments:

-I've seen every visit by Squeeze to the San Francisco Bay Area  since
the "English Mugs" tour with Elvis & the Attractions, including Difford
& Tilbrook's acoustic Squeeze line-up this past year, and let me assure
anyone who cares--they STILL are great.
Their albums are still full of quality hooks, lyrics and melodies; pop
with a capitol "P". Why does it seem most of my favorite bands (w/ XTC
on the top of my list) need defending?

-My first exposure to XTC was while I was in college. A freshman in my
dormitory had an extra ticket to see an English band that I wasn't too
familiar with who were doing 2(!) shows that night at the Coffee House
in U.C. Davis (room capacity 150-200). I was very impressed by Dave's
guitar playing, how Andy ALSO played impressive leads and sang, and how
they used a cheap movie projector to show "static" on them for the intro
to "Battery Brides". My life hasn't been the same since...

Ed in S.F.


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 01:01:24 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: LSD URL
Message-ID: <>

The correct URL for the Beatles site mentioned in 3-53 is:


Message-Id: <v01510106aed40fc67187@[]>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 21:36:12 -1000
From: (Jim Smart)
Subject: a scary thought


>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.

Well, I am living your scary thought. Mayor of Simpleton got me into XTC,
though I'd heard them a bit in their early days. i didn't make the
connection between the Mayor, which I loved, and those early "hits". But
have no fear. I haven't been maimed for life. And the music is still there
for me.

.                                                       .
. "Don't hurt nobody (unless, of course, they ask you)" .
.                     - XTC                             .


Subject: Nothing to do with XTC but...
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 10:02:58 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <>
From: C Browning <>

I just saw in my latest chalkhills, someone recommending ocean colour

don't listen to him! it is terrible! if OASIS are influenced by teh 60's,
OCS are bloody karaoke

as martin carr of the boo radleys said "I hear they strike three chords with
a lot of people"

on a more XTC note, last night's NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS BBC2's pop quiz
with mark lamarr, had in teh finish the lyric round "1,2,3,4,5....."

i think we all know that one by now....


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 10:08:36 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510100aed42f939a94@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Tunes of good

About 57 issues of Chalkhills ago (which in real terms is about the day
before yesterday), AMANDA said that her favourite song was, as I remember,
*This World Over* and, reading between the lines, I got the impression that
this was despite her not agreeing with its politics. (Sorry if I'm wrong on
the specific details of this, but it works as an example.)

Now it must be the case that every one of us can't agree with everything
Colin and Andy say (I'm sure even Colin and Andy wouldn't agree on
everything), though if there are any gun-carrying, neo-Nazi, war-mongering,
God-fearing XTC fans who like wearing grey, it'd be interesting (if a
little frightening) to hear from them.

I just wonder that if you do disagree that, say, the arms race is a bad
thing, but you still enjoy *This World Over*, is there not a sense in which
the songwriter has failed?

Presumably the main point of writing an opinionated song is that you might
influence the listener to think about the subject from a different
perspective (or else be confirmed in an opinion they already held). If the
listener is unaffected, then the song hasn't entirely succeeded in its job.
I don't mean to say that everyone who listens to *This World Over* should
immediately rush out and join the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, but I
would like to think (or I'd imagine Andy would like to think) that the song
might alter their opinion by a degree or two.

Are there any Chalkies who can identify an XTC song that made them change
their mind (a bit or a lot) or opened their eyes to something?

The business about hearing tunes before words is an intriguing one. A while
ago I was coming home on the train from Glasgow and heard some men singing
a rather beautiful song. Listening closer, I realised they were Nazis
returning from a Fascist rally, and the song was *Tomorrow Belongs to Me*.
It left a bad taste in my mouth (not least because I only had the guts to
move up the train and not to tell them why I thought they were scum).

I know this is an extreme example, but if you really disagree with a song's
lyrics, there must be a point where, however, attractive the melody and the
arrangement, you find it distasteful to listen. Or am I wrong?

- Mark


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 21:02:55 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: Dukes, Rutles, and Beatles


From Chalkhills #3-53

>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.

Perhaps you missed my earlier postings regarding this subject?  As it turns
out, I am a very big Beatle fan, and I appreciate the inside jokes from "The
Rutles" TV production.  (Yoko as a Nazi!).  And the songs are good parodies
of their sister Beatle songs.

I was comparing the two on a musical level.  While the Rutles rewrote Beatle
songs, the Dukes wrote new ones, (along with tributes to other bands such as
the Moody Blues, The Kinks, and the Byrds).  While I find the Rutles
amusing, the Dukes appeal to me on a much higher level.  "What in the World"
is completely over the top, exaggerating Paul McCartney's bass style,
(Compare to "Rain", for example) while incorporating strange sounds and horn
parts ("Its All Too Much" and "Only a Northern Song").  And "Mole From the
Ministry" is hilarious, poking fun at "I Am The Walrus" and "Magical Mystery
Tour" (among others).  But I enjoy these songs on a purely musical level as
well.  I don't find the "Rutles" as enjoyable.  "Love Life" is an obvious
parody of "All You Need Is Love", but that is exactly what I think of when I
hear it. The Dukes managed to create new music in the styles of their
influences, (excepting perhaps "Shiny Cage" which sounds an awful lot like
"I'm Only Sleeping", but they did a superb job of it!) actually giving fans
of the genre a wonderful gift.

Stormy Monday


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 13:30:57 -0500
Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael D. Myers" <>
Subject: XTC popularity


Saw a review in my local paper about "Just Say Noel"; it briefly mentioned
XTC's involvement.  Overall, it said something like it was "quirky but
charming" and gave it 3 1/2 stars out of 4.  As a comparison, Michael
Bolton's new Christmas disk got only 1 star.

There has been some scuttlebutt lately on this list about strategies to make
XTC more popular.  While I love their music to death, I hope none of us is
holding their breath waiting for this to happen.  Now before you gasp and
get upset with me, hear me out.  I have several thoughts for your

- for one thing, their style of music is not generally popular.  I loosely
group them into the "power pop" category (don't laugh, I also put the
Beatles in there along with Big Star, Raspberries, Crowded House, dBs and
many others), and radio rarely plays those kinds of songs (unless it's by
the Beatles).  I think that XTC makes **great** power pop, but the potential
audience at present is small.

- It's been over 4 years since their last release.  While we keep up with
their every breath or participation in recording projects, how many people
are on this list?  1,000 or so?  Let's face it, most people think they are
not in business anymore.

- On a related issue, they generally play well on college radio.  But, the
last crop of college folks who might have gotten excited about Nunsuch have
for the most part graduated from college.  So that fan base is depleted.

- Their last label (for what ever reason) decided not to invest much
marketing money in promoting their last release; an argument could be made
that Virgin decided to spend their marketing funds elsewhere.

- It used to be that record labels had 2 types of artists; those "hip and
with today's sounds", and the "elite, don't sell too well with perhaps a
cult following but can give us record guys some street credentials".  Let's
take a quick look at Warner Bros./Reprise about 10-15 years ago: they had
some of the latter category.  A good example was Van Morrison.  Van records
didn't sell diddley, but WB could approach artists they wanted to sign and
point to how well they treated a respected artist like Van, so why don't you
sign with us?  However, the economics of the record industry changed about
that time, and now most of them don't sign artists just to have the extra
roster credentials.  My point is that since XTC also falls into that latter
category, don't be expecting that some major label who is capable of
throwing marketing muscle behind an act will sign our boys.

- XTC doesn't tour.  Big labels want you out there pushing the product.
Besides the Beatles, think of acts who don't tour: an incomplete list would
include Harry Nilsson and Steely Dan.  Almost everybody tours!

- The quirky nature of XTC music.  Let's face it, while we all worship the
ground they walk on, it's an acquired taste that most of the record-buying
public won't be patient enough to appreciate.  And before we go railing at
the record-buying public, they buy what they hear and like.

- The inability/refusal to write a hit single.  I know this is
controversial, but think about it.  "Dear God" was a total accident; it
wasn't even on the album at first!  Also, don't you think in your heart of
hearts that "Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" could have been a bigger hit and
maybe gotten more airplay if Andy had've called it something else?  I
personally feel many people who saw the title regarded it as a novelty song.
(And let's not argue that their hits in the early 80's carry any weight

I could go on, but I've already written my longest post by far.  Just think
for a moment before you flame.  I want them to be modestly successful so
they can economically justify carrying on; it would be a sad world for many
of us if there was no more XTC music to look forward to.

Last thought: Clem Burke was also the drummer for a short-lived "underground
supergroup" called Checquered Past after he left Blondie.  I think they only
put out one single; I have it and it was just OK.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 10:49:49 +0000
Subject: XTC News Alert System Needed

This is request will probably fall on deaf ears, but it's worth a

Being deluged with 12 rather plump Chalkhills Digests after going away
for Thanksgiving (and having no time to read through all of them), it
struck me that folks who have news to convey can help us out by
prefacing their subject headers with something like "NEWS:" to alert
us time-crunched folks to earth shattering XTC info.

This would allow us backloged readers to scan the topic index for
important newsworthy items instead of muddling through the voluminous
opinion messages for tidbits of what the boys are up to.

Example...    NEWS: Band signs to new label!

Oh well, just a thought.


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: Woebetiden "'Mayor' on the radio" fans
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 14:34:00 -0500

***My first time hearing XTC***

Ignoring how I surfed past the beginning of the "Dear God"
video in 1986 (whip my hairshirt please), my first imprint of XTC
was in Savannah, GA, February 1989.

The woman I was dating had vacationed to take care of a late aunt's
estate back home. After a fortnight, and hours on the phone, she
invited me down to join her. This Connecticut Yankee got off a plane
in the middle of winter and it was 75 degrees. And that was the start
of kulturshock ("Where are all the Japanese cars? Why is this bulldog
'Ooga' the state animal? Why is everyone soooo slooow and so nice
to me?") but my native friend guided me through the mysteries ;-).

Part vacation, part "playing house".  While cleaning up, with boxes,
knick-knackery and furniture everywhere, the coffee-table-sized
30-year-old console radio/record player played "Mayor of Simpleton"
on an FM mainstream station. It grabbed my ears with the walking
bass, deceptively simple guitar, and smart to be "stupid" lyric. (And
that old console had a solid bass, too.) Hearing it was an epiphany.

That was my last previous, and most serious, relationship before my
one now. Now, when I hear "Mayor of Simpleton" I am prone to fond
memories, and sometimes silently thank her for refining my taste in
women. She wasn't exactly the "Southern belle", but she did start
my thing for older, postgrad, social workers. Just ask my fiancee.

Trying to not tell a too-predictable, too-cloying story,

PS On JHB's "This and That", how about "Me and the Wind" juxtaposed
with "You and the Clouds (Will Still be Beautiful)". Side by side,
two personal pronouns with weather, and a real shift in gears.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: Bits I Like; Joe Jackson
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 10:19:16 -0800

Here is my contribution for some of the best bits:

The guitar plug-in and opening chords in *Peter Pumkinhead* -- which build
to the *exquisite* crash cymbal

The ringmaster in *Dear Madam Barnum*  ". . . Llllladies and gentlemen,
introducing for the very laaast time . . ."

The right channel, left channel effect in *Big Day*

The wonderfully compressed and distorted guitar from *Making Plans for

The flanged drums on *Making Plans for Nigel*

The intro to *Then She Appeared*

The way Andy says "weird" in *Then She Appeared* (e.g., I know it sounds
weieieieird . . .)

The double-entendre of *Pink Thing*

The echo effect in *Another Satellite*

The bass line in *The Mayor of Simpleton*

The image of ". . . Gaddaffy Duck propelled from Jimmy Swaggert's tommy gun
. . ."

Everything about *English Roundabout*

[Re: Joe Jackson]
In or about 1980 my friend and I went to Tower Records on Sunset and found
a Joe Jackson single that I have never seen or heard of since.  The single
was a remake of Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come."  I recall it being
was awesome.

Has anybody else heard it, and if so, do you know where can I get my
perspiring hands on a copy?

Currently in the CD player:  "I Live" - Jason Falkner


Date: 11 Dec 1996 20:05:01 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Stuff that's not there

Okay. All of you might think me to be a bit weird for asking this question,
but I'm going to:

Are there any parts in XTC songs that you always hear but are sure aren't
really there, or that no one else hears?

Let me explain: sometimes, in "The Smartest Monkeys," I always hear
something/someone yelling something in the background that sounds like
"Ben!"  right before Colin's "OK!" It sounds something like this:

"The evidence is all around / Our brains are bigger, this..."
"                           Ben!                            "

I always thought it was my mom when I was listening on headphones.

Phsychology professor James Dignan wrote to me that "when (as I did for a
long time) I thought that the "take 103" at the beginning of Towers of
London was one of those annoying railway station platform tannoy systems, I
used to think I could hear a train way off in the distance coming towards
the station. And I used to think that the very tail end of Travels in
Nihilon, with the running water, got a deep drone behind the running water
right at the end."

See? It's not just me. This has happened to a completely sane man too.

I'd be interested in your responses to this one.


* -------------------------------------------
Ben Gott
The Hotchkiss School
"It frightens me when you come to mind..." XTC


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 20:23:45 GMT
Message-Id: <>
From: jes <>
Subject: Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl

This is old stuff, but someone posted a while ago about comparisons between
"My Weapon" (which is an amazingly offensive song) and "Sometimes I Wish I
Was A Pretty Girl" by Robyn Hitchcock.  First of all, "My Weapon" IMHO is
about abuse, plain and simple.  There is NO other way to accept the phrase
"I take it out on her with my weapon."  What is his weapon and what does it
matter?  It could be his penis.  It could be his mouth.  It could be his
fist.  It does not matter.  When I heard that song, I lost all respect for
Andrews, and I was glad when he was sacked.

As for Hitchcock's song, I can see how he would compare that tune to Psycho,
but one must remember that Hitchcock NEVER thinks in a linear fashion.  His
songs are never to be taken at face value, nor are they to be seriously
dissected.  And if anyone believes a word he says with regard to
"interpretation" of his lyrics, they have been fooled.

As for "Sometimes I wish I was a pretty girl so I could wreck myself in the
shower," the meaning of that line is OBVIOUS.  Anyone who has ever shared a
shower with a woman who knows ALL of the uses of a shower massage knows
EXACTLY what he means. (E.B.) said "I'm not sure about the story behind the
scenes, but I believe that Kate Bush's debut was originally on Harvest,
which was also Pink Floyd's label, and that Gilmour played an instrumental
part in Harvest signing her. If I'm wrong, someone correct me....."  It is
my recollection that Bush and Gilmour were lovers, and that Gilmour plays
guitar on "The Kick Inside."  He was, at the time, rather famous because of
his association with a band that had recorded some album called "Dark Side
Of The Moon" (a band that has not existed since), and he was instrumental in
getting her signed to Harvest, which was not only Pink Floyd's home, but was
also the home of Bill Nelson and Kevin Ayers.

People have been discussing their favorite nuances to the tunes.  I have
always been a fan of that eerie whisper (a-la "Riders On The Storm") in

Finally, a little plug for my web page, part of a bigger, grander scheme
(please feel free to peruse the entire site, although I'm only responsible
for the page listed hence):


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:55:29 -0500
Message-Id: <v01510100aed4910aa1c5@[]>
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: An XTC fan(?) found in Tower Records NYC

Hi all

Spent lunchtime today doing a small amount of Christmas shopping at Tower
in the Village and brought my selection--"Pet Sounds" CD for the wife--to
the cashier. She exclaimed,"Oooh! Pet Sounds! That's my favorite record!" I
responded "It's Andy Partridge's favorite, too.", expecting no response.
She said, "Oh, liked XTC before they broke up." I kindly corrected her
misconceptions, citing chapter and verse from the Chalkhills Bible. I
thought that she had absorbed as much as one person could handle in one
dose, until she said, "I really only liked the earlier stuff, like
SKYLARKING...well, they could get a contract if Andy would GIVE UP THE
STAGE FRIGHT CRAP!" Crestfallen, I responded, "No, that's not gonna
happen." and left the store.


If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work.
                                --J.G. Bennett

Catch "Forever Knight" on the Sci-Fi Channel every Monday at 8PM and
midnight, EST.
                                --Lucien LaCroix


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 17:00:04 -0800
From: Ian C Stewart <>
Subject: FF review

Hi again

A local bi-monthly rock rag I write for here in Columbus Ohio called
MOO just published my review of FOSSIL FUELS, and don't ask me why but I
thought y'all might like to see it.

This 2-disc set is XTC's last output on Virgin,
 their home since the dawn of punk in 1977.
Mounting band/record company tension has worn
 down the relationship so much that Virgin has seen fit
to release only one new XTC album this
FF reeks of contractual obligation as there's
not even one new song included.  There
are no witty liner notes or production credits
or jovial looks back from the band.  Just
two Cds and some words.   The motivations
for this compilation make be stained with
the vileness of corporate devilry, but we
might as well enjoy the scenery while we're here.

From the firm 'n fruity "Science Friction" to
the limp and langorous "Wrapped In Grey",
every single XTC single appears here.  Most folks
know XTC from the annoying counting song
"Senses Working Overtime", or the career-saving
"Dear God".  Maybe you remember the
revoltingly dull "Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead".
Or perhaps your band used to cover "Making
Plans For Nigel" before Primus.  Maybe you've
heard "Generals And Majors" on the radio.
But even the tracks you've never heard before
will sound familiar due to XTC's far-reaching
influence on the world of modern rock music.  No, really.

Though it's hard to imagine anyone but a seasoned
collector (who'll already have the 7 vinyl versions of
all of these singles) paying the 30 tacos for an
import copy of FF, this set provides an excellent
overview of XTC's irritatingly wonderful singles
output and lays the foundation for the next stage
of their career:  the REALLY fucking good stuff."

MOO's main focus is noisy indie rock and I've never been a fan of them.
in fact it was only after they ran two really horrible reviews of
TESTIMONIAL DINNER and I wrote to the editor to threaten his life that I
ever thought MOO was capable of doing anything but harm.  Because the
editor was so amused by my letter that he asked me to start writing for
them.  Hey, if you can't get by on looks and charm, just make idle death
threats.  Works every time.  Anyway, since their main audience is Ohio
State students, it's good to get XTC's name out there to remind people
that they're still around.  right on.

And ATMOSPHEAR TO OCEAN and SKYLACKING will be selling out before the end
of the year.  Thanks to everyone who's contacted me in the last few days.
 If the name SKYLACKING doesn't mean anything to you, check out the page
elsewhere on CHALKHILLS that Herr Relph whipped up for it.  Now.  Do it.

"Never pay for sex, office supplies or stereo equipment."-Henry Rollins



Message-Id: <v01550100aed4e1805210@[]>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:42:11 -0600
From: (Insane Boy)
Subject: Free At Last

On the Agenda for Tonight:  Wine, Women and Song.

>"My Bird" is his (and my) favorite song on it.

Yeah, it may be mine too.  I always tend to listen to that one
when I'm feeling really self-reflective, usually at night, with
one incandescent lamp on, that kind of thing.  For some reason,
I always imagine myself in a tall office building at night,
amid papers and filing cabinets, listening to that song and
looking out on the sparkling city below.  (I've never actually
DONE that, so I have no idea where that comes from.)

>The drop dead ending of Funk Pop A Roll (is there any other tune in the
>library that just STOPS?

The "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"-esque tape slash of "Red" comes
to mind...

>*  Colin's "If you Hesitate, November will win her" in the backround.

I haven't listened to it recently, but I believe that's Andy singing
his own counter-harmony.

> he's talking about sex, but he's also talking about *stoned* sex.

I'd probably have to agree that he intended it to have a double
meaning.  I mean, c'mon:  "Things we did on grass"?

>it's more that "classic rock radio stations" must die.

Yeah, I'll agree with that, insofar as it includes that type of music's
*influence* over the state of music today.

> "Don't Bring Me Down"

RRRGGGHH!!  That's ANOTHER one I forgot!  Oh well, I guess it's
okay, 'cause I don't like it nearly as much as "Sweet Talkin' Woman"!
That song is awesome!  (A careful listen also reveals it to have about
5,000 hidden edits; maybe that was why P,G & R approached Lynne for
producer...what is he, the new Phil Spector?)

>Hey Insane Boy - can it be that we have another Monkees fan on this list?
>That would make three of us, this is scary!

Okay, come out of the closet, all you Monkees fans!  I love 'em,
and I'M PROUD OF IT!!!

>I suppose partly at least because I, as a
>songwriter, take more time over my lyrics than perhaps I should!

Allow me to share with you some of the things I've learned as a
songwriter:  the most effective songs are the ones that are the most
direct (this may partly explain XTC's lack of popularity).  As John
Lennon once said (and I think I'm slightly paraphrasing here):  "Say
what it is, simple English, and put a backbeat behind it and you've
got a song."  While in practice it's a bit more complicated than that,
it's the kind of idea that I at least keep in the back of my mind
when writing.  Spending too much time on lyrics can really kill it!

And now, you may all applaud-- I'M FINISHED WITH FINALS!!

"Finished With Finals" -- that sounds like a song!  (a really bad one)

Yours in XTC,
Jason Garcia


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:58:31 EST
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Ruff!

I agree with all the little touches everyone's cited, but thought I'd add
one:  I love the dog barking in the intro and outro to Summer's
Cauldron/Grass. Skylarking isn't my favorite album, and I disagree with a
lot of what Todd did with it, but that is SO Todd that it's funny.

Uh, oh, I guess that means it's not an XTC touch, eh?

Ira Lieman <> said:
> And everyone's missing "Don't Bring Me Down" by

Actually, Ira, I don't miss it one bit!  :^)  I *will,* however, take your
advice and look for the Costello/Nieve CD!

And finally, James Dignan asked:
>Dammit, too much talk! Am I becoming JHB?<

I don't know, what's yer middle initial? Maybe you only have to change yer
last name!  :^)



Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 18:00:25 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Snowances

Chalkhills -ers;

What I want to know,man...why ,OH why...have so many different peoole put so
many different parts of  Snowman  as favorite nuances?  Because it is such a
damned excellent song!   thats why....

 My #1 nuance is also heretofore unmentioned... the "slurping tongue sound"
hidden in the machinery noise in  Meeting Place.

 Names... in the past several months ,2 folks '  names have been admired just
for the way they appeared...  Constantine Pappas  (sp?)  and Natalie Jane
Jacobs... one                                                   name had me
 perplexed... it seems so familiar... Dewitt Henderson... I figured out why!
 think about it...   ed st.martin


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:43:52 -0700
Subject: One name wonders

Dig this Hillwilliams-

 [Alanis Morrissette's new album-- does
> she really need to double all the consonants in her name?

Yeah, it's to keep her records from being accidentally filed in with
Morrissey's at the record store.

Yokes on me--SMX
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: Word Art
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:29:57 -0800

From: (Miss Piggy)

>This right here is why I love Andy! The man uses "organically,"
"heretical," and "extant," in two
>contiguous sentences!  You just don't hear sentence construction like that
much these days, certainly not
>where I live (west TX, USA).  OK, so I admit it, I'm a bit of a word geek.
 (Ok, a *Big* word geek, but
>who's counting?)

Place me firmly on the word geek platform.  The lyrics of XTC are a large
part of why I love them so much.  I confess that originally it was their
music, but shortly thereafter the lyrics took hold.  Most of their work is
replete with double-entendre of the highest order.  I just *love* that.

There are so few "literate" bands these days.  XTC is a refreshing blast of
cool salt air in an otherwise damp and musty basement of verse.  I need
more from them . . .  Please Andy, please . . .

Word of the day:  Callipygous  ;)

[No, I'm not going to suggest that you "spread the word."]


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 18:44:18 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Re: Survey

>Hiya Chalkies!
>Well, I'm sorry to be so slow with the survey results, but I am in the
>process of moving due to my seperation/divorce.

Bummer. Hope everything works out okay...

>Actually, I haven't gotten
>a lot of responses anyways, so if you haven't sent yours yet, please do so
>The survey question was: what are the top most frequent artists in your CD,
>LP and Tape collection?  Don't count bootlegs or dubs, just genuine

I'm confused; do yoy want Artists (as you say) or Albums (as you imply)?

If it's artists:

3.Sam Phillips
4.Shawn Colvin

If it's albums you want, let me know. But settling on 5 will be TUFF.

 Jim S.     <>

Serious fan of:
*St. Louis Rams       *Michigan Wolverines       *"JAWS"
     *St. Louis Cardinals        *XTC        *MST3K


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 07:43:00 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: ELO, ELO, How I Love That ELO


The "Psychedelic" posts reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

"The Beach Boys are a psychedelic barbershop quartet."

Jimi Hendrix


"Give A Little Bit" is a great record.

"Here we go again"


There truly is no accounting for taste.  Hearing their music, (excepting
"Telephone Line", although the "Oh, Oh's are horrendous") makes me feel
angry and alternatively ill.  "Turn to Stone" is torture, and "Don't
Bring Me Down" should be banned from the radio forever.  If you like
that song, blow the dust off of The Beatles' "You Can't Do That" and
play it LOUD!

If John Lennon was still alive, Andy Partridge would be the second
coolest guy on the planet.

Stormy Monday


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 19:57:42 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Kris with a K
Message-ID: <>

  Regarding Kris Markman's wondering if she's the only Kris with a K on
this list, I turned my wife's cousin Kris Bennett onto the list and she
did join at one point; if she's still on she's lurking severely. Olly
olly oxin free, Kris B!


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-55

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