Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-56

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 56

                 Friday, 13 December 1996

Today's Topics:

                        Re: slade
                      various lyrics
                 Some mo' misheard lyrics
         We'll take a tumble, excuse for a fumble
                         100% XTC
                  Rememories, Mummerings
                    Re: My First Time
               The proverbial mixed bag ...
                      RE: dem demos
               Classic rock will never die!
                      AP's Birthday?
         An Anal Look at the Best Records of 1996
           Beautiful South smashing pubs to XTC
                    Early BBC sessions
             Excuse me while I kiss this guy
                  Duffy, XTC look alike
             Re: XTC News Alert System Needed
     The Just Say Noel Compilation, XTC As Power Pop
                     Re: Street cred
                     Re: Hitch bitch
                   XTC Holiday Song Set
                    Pot vs. Alc pt. 1
                 OFF TOPIC!      roy wood


Digested using Digest 3.3 by John Relph <>, so look out!

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Grab a woman beneath the mistletoe.


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 15:17:36 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b02aed5d1a9c496@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: slade

>>...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?
>yes - they had quite a number of hits, too... not just one. About ten top
>ten songs if I remember rightly. Sort of like hippies trying to do a parody
>of AC/DC, and succeeding.

just for the halibut I looked it up - Slade had 6 UK number one hits, and a
further 10 top ten hits. In all they had 31 charting singles totalling 269
weeks - fractionally longer than the Who, ELO, the Beach Boys or the Kinks.
They also hold a record in that their song 'Merry Christmas Everybody'
reached the top 100 in December 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985
and 1986! One hit wonders? I'd say they... erm... why am I typing this? I
think I'll shut up now.



From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: various lyrics
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 02:30:44 +0000
Message-ID: <>

I was given the following lyrics that I have reason to believe
are from the early '80's, XTC's heyday (take no offense O&L and Nonsvch
lovers).  I will be very embarrassed if any of these are XTC lyrics but
it's always possible.  Can anyone name the Artists/Tunes?

1. "And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell  And the
last thing I see is my heart still beating"

2. ""You're such a dirty louse, go get out of my house"

3. "Did the earth move for you, Nancy?"

4.  "Standing in the door of the Pink Flamingo crying in the rain"

I know you Chalkhillians won't let me down.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 07:07:31 -0700
From: (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: Some mo' misheard lyrics

        Hi thar,

                Nothing more than a couple of misheard lyrics that
         came to mind...

        "Queen wants Picasso, back from the rascal" -Down in the Cockpit

        "I live right over Kitschy, Stone, and Book" -Statue of Liberty

            (I always thought Andy was describing his New York residence, an
             apartment over some law firm or a tasteless garden supply



Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 22:23:54 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: We'll take a tumble, excuse for a fumble

>Besides which, most of their political songs are somewhat
>disguised and not quite as overt as other bands' songs may be.

I'm still looking for someone to back this statement up. XTC have a lot of
political songs that make no bones about their content, and more than once
they've stepped over the line into inanity. If they're less so than most
popular political songs, that only goes to show how incredibly horrible most
popular music is today.

>He seems pretty evil....and Cancer Man from the X-Files...

The character himself is American, although the actor who plays him doesn't
do all that good a job of concealing his Vancouver accent...

>        a)  Are these all full-length CDs of unreleased ephemera?

Yup. (Although, a good chunk of them is unreleased demos of released songs...)

>        b)  Do most people who have the demos have these *particular* CDs,
>or their own nth-generation tapes of things?

Both. More people seem to have nth gen tapes, either of the demos themselves
or of the CDs. Mine are dubs.

>        c)  How exactly did all this unreleased stuff get, er, released?
>Have the band assisted in making these demos available in some way?

Andy loves to send out tapes full of demos to people he knows, and
encourages (or used to encourage) them to pass them around. Unfortunately,
the Evil Bootleg Companies started pressing them to CDs, causing Andy to
rethink the wide leash he's given to these tracks.

>        e)  Do other people find the amount of this stuff to be as amazing
>as I do?


>There seems to be enough stuff here for "XTC Anthologies 1, 2, 3,
>4, and 5" to be released in the year 2025.

Damn, that would be nice.

>Do other bands have this much unreleased material?

I don't think so. The thing is, XTC demo basically every single track they
ever release, and a lot of others that are never released. Add that to all
the studio outtakes and stuff, and you've got a real wealth of unreleased

>Erich (there are two of us on this list so look out, you Jasons and Joshes!)

Last time I checked there was only one of me. As I've said before, Keith,
Dave, and Mark seem to be the most prevalent names.

>BLATANT NON-XTC PLUG:  You know, R.E.M.'s "Murmur" is really one of
>the greatest albums OF ALL TIME!!!  Yeah, I know it's not XTC, but

It's related due to the fact that Murmur and Mummer are *TOO DAMN SIMILAR*
and I always manage to call them by each other's names. As someone mentioned
a while ago, aside from the names, they were released in the same year, have
rather "shadowy" cover art, and are both more "quiet" than the band's usual

>Sorry, Josh, but I'm nearly certain that Colin intended it as a
>double-entendre, to mean both types of "grass." Sure, they flattened "the
>clover," but note the use of a word other than "grass" so as not to ruin the
>double meaning: he's talking about sex, but he's also talking about *stoned*

Ack! How did I miss that? While it doesn't really work in the verses (no
real way to fit pot in there, AFAICT), it works perfectly in the chorus,
adding an interesting twist to the song. Damn, what was *I* smoking when I
wrote that?

>I disagree...I find it to be beautiful in its simplicity, just Andy and his
>guitar, with a very pretty melody. I love the rhyming lines, "Don't cloister
>yourself away" and "The world's your oyster, come out to play." But hey,
>that's just me.

I always found that the melody sounded like it died somewhere along the way
to Andy's guitar, and the lyrics rather inane, with cliches out the wazoo,
and no sense of greater irony or humor about it. "Your heart should be an
open book," etc.

>IMHO, Muzak is the *worst* thing to happen to music in a while.  Talk about

There are a lot more evil things in music than Muzak. It's only a rather
insulting and annoying rearranging of sometimes good music -- there's worse
than that, I guarantee you.

Shocked me too, the thing *I* did on grass... :)
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
|"We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease." |
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 00:52:23 -0500
From: Patrick Adamek <>
Subject: 100% XTC

Because some of us get nervous when we read about something other than
XTC on Chalkhills, there will be nothing but XTC in this submission :)

How I got into XTC:
    My earliest memory would probably be listening to "Jumping in
Gomorrah" in my family's music listening room and timing my parent's
entrance and exit from the room, as their hearing the sacreligious
message within would surely not be tolerated.  I was 8 years old at the
time (1979), and enjoyed the distinct advantage of growing up with 8
older brothers and sisters who exposed me to all types of music.
    While it was "Jumping" that captured my attention, it was not until
I heard the first LP side of English Settlement that XTC had captured my
heart.  My brother Philip and I still can't figure out how "Senses"
wasn't a major top forty hit...

XTC on the radio:
    On one of my many treks from Cleveland to St.Louis, I was passing
through Columbus, Ohio in the spring of 1990 and radio station CD101
played a whole side (which I'm not sure) of ES on their "album side"
show.  The format of the station has changed now to heavy metal (sigh)
but while it was still a college station, I'd tune in whenever I was
within 50 miles!
    I can recall only one additional encounter with XTC on the
radio...Mayor of Simpleton...while returning from church one Sunday.

XTC nuance:
    While not musically or lyrically related, I've always listened for
and had some strange affinity for the sound of the bedsprings at the
beginning of "Smokeless Zone."  They can best be heard at maximum

Chalkhills Brown-nosing:
    I echo all of the comments regarding the excellent quality of fans
on Chalkhills. I'd like to believe that the careful consideration and
apparent intelligence of most of the entries are not only reflective of
the quality of the band to which we all comment, but speaks volumes
about how much you have to care about music to understand and appreciate
XTC.  After all, "Swallowing is easy when it has no taste."

Peace   Patrick


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 00:31:38 -0600 (UTC -06:00)
Subject: Rememories, Mummerings
Message-id: <01ICWJ252ULE00A8E8@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>

Ben G. asked if we had any memories associated w/ a particular XTC album--

I was camping in Eminence, MO with a couple friends two summers ago, and we
listened to Mummer nonstop - on the way down (a six hour drive), throughout
the week, and on the way back too, i think.  The friends are Brad, who
introduced me to xtc (!), and Wes, who subsequently became interested in the
fab 3 because of my playing Rag and Bone constantly (my first album).  This
vacation was perhaps the best week of my life, we had such an awesome time.
Great times associated great music.

You know, now that I think about it, Mummer is one of my favorite albums
(and Murmer for that matter, Insane Boy).  I love when Andy 'roles' his
voice, and there seems to be a lot of examples from this album.

From Jump:  Your Blo-o-o-o-d is singing

Great Fire:  Bring Wa-a-a-a-ter!

and Gold: ..will color everything around you Goooold.  And i-i-i-it's
o-o-k...  near the end of the song.  This one's actually a little bit more
subtle, you have to listen carefully to catch it.

I like high energy songs, and it seems that Andy always roles his voice when
a high energy song is peaking.  Brad can actually do this somehow - I was
trying to learn so that I could sing along with him in Eminence, but no
matter how much I tried, I could not do it!

Speaking of high energy songs: I think this is what I like so much about
Yazbek - his songs are so full of energy.  Man, I can really get into his
music!  It's like he is going to jump out of the speaker any time and be
playing in my living room.  If you're still lurking David - are you going to
be playing in NY in March?  I plan to be there over spring break and would
love to catch a show.

Other 'little touches' from Mummer that strike me:

Desert Island: With my Umb-r-r-r-ella I go walking (use your lips to do
this, go on, do it).  Brings a smile to my face every time.

Gold: The way the song slows down...and then kinda "dies" as the music
slowly fades out after the vocals end.  For some reason, I really like songs
that "wind down" at the end.  Another example that I can think of off the
top of my head is Your Dictionary from the new demos.

Well, that's enough from me...



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 22:59:41 -0800
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Re: My First Time

>From: C Browning <>
>I remember my first time with XTC vividly. it was a couple of years ago and
>Q magazine gave away a fre tape called LIVING IN THE EIGHTIES. i bought the
>issue cos it had a rather stunning article by Marcus Grey who wrote th
>eeonderful R>E>M companion - IT CRAWLED FROM THE SOUTH. i put the tape on

Ok, I have been pretty quiet here lately, and being yet another one of
those Davids that Chalhillians know...

My first XTC was some time ago. I was a mere tyke, staying up far too late,
watching a public access cable show called "Nite Dreems". There, much "new"
music was played. DOA. Black Flag. Talking Heads. XTC with "This Is Pop". I
was hooked from that point on...Mind you, I took a big break between Black
Sea and Oranges and Lemons, and since I have now done penance by buying
everything in between, all I can say is : wow, I missed out...

(From : AMANDA)

>Onto agreeing with Jason (I HAIL YOU!!!!!), by the time I get to XTC's more
>politically overt songs, I'm so caught up in how brilliant the music is I
>barely realise they're political. Besides which, most of their political
>songs are somewhat disguised and not quite as overt as other bands' songs
>may be.

I didn't realize Reign Of Blows was so political at first. I typically
concentrate on the music first, then the lyrics.

>From: (John Yuelkenbeck)

>Regarding the Clem Burke post:

>I'm not much of a drummer, although I won a kit in a Musician magazine
>sweepstakes and I've been giving it a go.
>Check out Burke's bashing and thrashing on Blondie's "Union City Blue"
>from, I believe, 'Eat To The Beat.' It's what rock drumming is all about.

Specifically from that album, while we are talking about XTC "nuances", try
Clem's amazing fills in "Die Young Stay Pretty" , or the utterly awesome
rhythm in " Victor " .

Clem Burke is truly underrated, what a drummer he'd make for XTC...

If you want a truly cool Blondie record, get "The Platinum Collection" and
then get "Eat To The Beat" for what is missed from the collection...

w w w . m o n k e y - b o y . c o m
David Hathaway,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:47:27 -0500
From: Tony Nowikowski <>
Subject: The proverbial mixed bag ...

Howdy folks!

To paraphrase to radio talk shows ... "Long time lurker, first time
poster!"  I've been getting Chalkhills for about three months now, and
just finally got tired of seeing all these interesting threads fly by
without horning in in my own opinionated way! 8*)

So I'll make my first post a BIG honker, on a number of subjects ...

-- XTC "sightings" (er, "hearings") ... I've heard them TWICE in public
in less than a week, and that's gotta be a record in Cincinnati OH!  The
first was this past Saturday ... I was out Christmas shopping at a
megamall (yuck!), went into the Abercrombie and Fitch store, and what
should be playing on the store's PA but "Thanks For Christmas"!
Neat-o!  Then, today whilst I was driving back to the office from lunch,
channel-surfing the radio, I hit the local "mainstream alternative"
station just in time to catch the last minute of "Senses Working

-- First XTC experience:  I can't remember exactly when, but it must've
been "Senses" on the radio, shortly after ES came out, 'cuz that album
was my first XTC purchase, and I got it in late '82.

-- Favorite song to hear LOUD: "Extrovert", with a strong second place
going to "Burning With Optimism's Flames", esp. the live version on the
flip side of the "Love On a Farmboy's Wages" 12" single.

-- Favorite details (that I think nobody else has mentioned yet ... I
also love a lot of the others listed so far):
	-- The whirlybird effect at the end of "Helicopter".
	-- The guitar solo in "Life Begins At The Hop" ... the way the notes
go from being very crisply articulated to flowing smoothly at the end.
	-- That weird, echo-ey snare sound right after Andy sings "Knuckle
down" at the beginning of each verse.
	-- The transition from "English Roundabout" to "Snowman", esp. the
way Andy's voice comes up in the mix to that scream/snarl/bark (and the
repetition of same at song's end.)
	-- The old-staticky-radio sound of the intro of "Respectable Street"
... and the slashing guitar thereafter ...
	-- The studio chatter in the intro of "Towers of London"
	-- The instruments-as-animals noises in "Great Fire"
	-- The bent bass notes in the last verse of "Here Comes President
(And I LIKE the distorted vocals in "Reign of Blows". They fit the
emotion of the song perfectly, IMHO! 8*)

-- The Beatles / XTC connection (?)  To return to an older thread, when
I listened to the left-channel-only of "Big Day" and heard the
out-of-phase guitar, the first thing it reminded me of was those funky
semi-stereo mixes of Rubber Soul/Revolver-era Beatles ... the one that
sticks out most in my mind is "Nowhere Man" ... which shouldn't be too
surprising coming from the board of Todd, right?
Actually, the more I think about it, I can come up with a couple of
other XTC-Beatles parallels:
	-- Both bands quit performing live, albeit for different reasons ...
but both bands started making MUCH more complex records after that.
	-- Both have the bassist and a guitarist as strong frontpersons, with
the other guitarist getting less notice but being more the virtuoso.
	-- Both worked with a "name" producer for one album who imprinted
their vision on the album (XTC -- Todd Rundgren, Beatles -- Phil Spector).
	-- Both had some of their albums sliced'n'diced for the US market.
(Okay, so it ain't THAT big of a parallel ... still ... does that make
Barry the Pete Best of XTC?  Conversly, the question occurs to me ...
what would the Beatles have sounded like had Ringo quit while they were
making, say, "Magical Mystery Tour", and they'd used session drummers
after that?)

And I would be remiss, wouldn't I, if I didn't include some COMPLETELY
non-XTC content?!
E.B. wrote:
>Compilations: The Who/Live At The Isle Of Wight (the best album
>I got this year)
Oh, yes, absolutely!  I thought the remastered Live At Leeds was good,
but to hear "Tommy" live ... BTW, did anyone else catch VH-1's
presentation of the Rolling Stones' "Rock'n'Roll Circus"?  I'd always
read that the Stones kept it in the can for all these years because the
Who blew 'em off the stage -- too true!

I promise to (probably!) not blather on so much in future posts!

tony nowikowski


Message-ID: <>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: RE: dem demos
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 01:38:37 -0800

Hi all,
I have all of those CDs listed by David and guess you might like my
"critique" of them.
First : to answer your questions
>        a)  Are these all full-length CDs of unreleased ephemera?
Yes. Mainly demos of songs that made it or never made it to album.

>        b)  Do most people who have the demos have these *particular* CDs,
>or their own nth-generation tapes of things?
I have some n-th generation tapes that sound better than the CDs. I also
used some noise reduction software in order to de-hiss some tapes I
received. As a result if I ever traded those tapes with others they
would be getting reasonably good quality tapes rather than the often
disappointing lo-fi quality one can expect from illegal CDs.
(which we should remind ourselves at this point : these CDs are ILLEGAL,
the band/writers get NOTHING from the sale of the CDs.....I guess the
only silver lining is that Virgin get nothing either)
Personally I would prefer that they weren't available on bootleg CD at
all. If the tapes are going to be available to fans then let them be
available on tape or DAT......just let's not have others make money off
the backs of Colin/Andy/Dave.

>        c)  How exactly did all this unreleased stuff get, er, released?
>Have the band assisted in making these demos available in some way?
Dunno. My suspicions (based on knowledge I have of how some Beatles and
McCartney bootlegs surfaced) range from : private tapes sent by
Andy/Colin/Dave to friends or fans "in high standing" ; tape ops /
assistant engineers in studios ; roadies (well, in the case of
XTC.....hardly); record company personnel....
I doubt it *very* much if the band assisted in having these tapes
released in this way.

>        d)  There is NO question d).
>        e)  Do other people find the amount of this stuff to be as amazing
>as I do?  There seems to be enough stuff here for "XTC Anthologies 1, 2, 3,
>4, and 5" to be released in the year 2025.  Do other bands have this much
>unreleased material?
Yes, it's pretty good isn't it ? As a musician I find them very
educational. One can learn a lot from the demos produced at "home" and
then comparing them to the *real* versions found on albums.
Many other bands have much more unreleased material - check out the
Beatles for instance. I've just worked my way through the two
"Artifacts" series [total 10 CDs], full of studio sessions and a few

my 2pence worth.


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 08:45:49 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Classic rock will never die!
Message-id: <>

So what your saying is that Aerosmith, KISS, Rush, the Doobie Brothers,
Steve Miller Band, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top,
Bob Seger, the Guess Who, and a modicum of other bands should just drop off
the face of the earth???? Nah.

I personally always looked at Grass as being about teenagers doing what
little boys and girls do best, and doing it outdoors. But now I'm gonna have
to see if I can see it the other way around.

I went through my cd's yesterday picking out more little nuances, and here
they are (this is long, BTW)

Sudden tempo changes in The Ugly Underneath and Wrapped In Grey
The ghostly keyboard after "spineless jellyfish" in When You're Near Me I
Have Difficulty
Laugh at the start of Real By Reel
The way Andy drags out the words "nihilon" and "gone" in Travels in Nihilon
The echo-ey "BA!!!!" At the end of Living Through Another Cuba
Andy's hicupping and "woo" at the start of Melt the Guns
"Bo bo bo bo bo down in the cockpit"
FINALLY hearing Dave take a little center stage vocal turn in Leisure (Just
saw no point in the standing in line)
Colin yelling during Ladybird after hitting a sour note, and it being left on
the tape anyways.
The semi-human, semi-keyboard sounding opening to Human Alchemy
Kazoos in Everyday Story of a Smalltowm
Chorus at the end of Wake Up
Loud church bells during the chorus of Big Day
The harmonizing in Ballet For a Rainy Day
Andy holding that l-o-n-g note in Scarecrow People
Cheering crowd in The Loving
The "whew whew" at the end of Tissue Tigers
Crashing waves in Mermaid Smiled

XTC song of the day: Beatown
non-XTC song of the Day: Damn, I can't remember the title. It's this incredible
song by the band The Prodigy, very danceable, sort of in the vein of Ebeneezer
Goode. Great New York nightclub music.


Message-Id: <>
From: David Goody/M&G <>
Date: 12 Dec 96 15:05:47
Subject: AP's Birthday?

I had a day off work on Wednesday to wrap my Christmas presents(!), and
while listening to Simon Mayo on Radio 1 (the top national radio station in
the UK), he announced the day's celebrity birthdays, including one Mr. Andy
Partridge of XTC, whose age was given as 43.  Is this correct? If so, how
come nobody has wished Mr. Partridge a Happy Birthday on this official
mailing list?

Also, I attended a local presentation of the hit UK TV series "Shooting
Stars" in Ipswich on Wednesday evening, with my esteemed colleague and
fellow Chalkster Simon. For those of you unfamiliar with the format, it is a
manic celebrity quiz run by comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. The TV
show features well known celebrities, but the live show included local
celebrities. When the local celebrities were announced, Simon and myself
could not believe it, when Martin Newell came forward. Unfortunately, it
seemed that only Simon and myself were aware of his talents, as we gave him
a tumultuous welcome, in stark contrast to the lukewarm "who the hell is he"
that the rest of the audience gave him. Martin described himself as a poet
and pop-star, and he was the best of the local celebrities involved, which
wasn't difficult, as they included a local radio DJ, the "Oil of Ulay" girl
and an Ipswich Town footballer. Still, it was nice to think of Martin as one
of the 4 top local celebrities in the Ipswich area.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all Chalksters; here's to a New Year that
includes a new XTC album!!


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 10:37:02 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: An Anal Look at the Best Records of 1996

Howdy residents of the Chalkhill

For almost 15 years my friends and I have labored over our top 20's (which
usually ends up as 50) with no one outside of our small, musically anal
circle to share them with.  Well, I've been waiting for someone to say "Go"
and Jeffrey with 2 F's started the ball rolling on Monday, so here it

10. The Loud Family - Interbabe Concern - With Game Theory Scott Miller was a
master of twisting pop music and experimenting with the studio without losing
touch with the basics...great pop songs.  After a few false starts he finally
hit the mark  with the Loud Family.

9. Bob Mould - Bob Mould - Loved most Husker, liked some of the Bob solo
stuff (hated a lot of it), totally loved the 2 proper Sugar albums, and this
new BM is up there with his best.  Solid songwriting, great songs.

8. Pluto - Pluto - Canadian pop punk, with heavy emphasis on the pop.  The
songs are short and to the point, and unlike most of the bands out lately,
it's fun.  There are more hooks on this album than McClane Stevenson's hat
on M*A*S*H*!

7. The Finn Brothers - The Finn Brothers - I thought this album was ok when
I first got it, but after seeing Neil and Tim live I went back and fell in
love with it.

6. The Fall - The Light User Syndrome - Mark E Smith is always interesting,
I always like what he's doing in concept, but sometime it just doesn't
translate to repeated listenings.  This time there are more than enough
catchy songs that push the envelope.

5. Tommy Keene - Ten Years After - Traditional pop songwriting in the truest
sense. Stop at any cut and you've got a winner.  Tommy never really deviates
from his basic sound, but why would he.

4. The Lee Harvery Oswald Band - Blastronaut - When I was a kid mostly into
punk I started checking out Glam rock because all the bands I liked grew up
on it, but the bands I came across were cool, but lacking that punch I
imagined.  10 years later the LHOB have come up with the glam powerpunch I
had in my mind.  Ripping guitars, distorted vocals, punchy rhythms, and a
killer Move cover.  It's Bowie with tons of ooomph.

3. Dodgy - Free Peace Sweet - The last album is one of my all time faves,
and this isn't too far behind.  Few bands use the studio this well, and even
fewer have the songwriting craftsmanship that brings to mind the likes of
The Beach Boys, Zombies, and Hollies.  Dodgy make the perfect soundtracks
for summer.

2. The Posies - Amazing Disgrace - "Pop purists" seem to hate the fact that
the Poises "went Seattle" and grunged up the record, but I think this album
is amazing.  The Poises always write great songs, and this time they rock
with big guitars up front.  Every song on this album has been a favorite
over the year.

1. The Sugarplastic - Bang, The Earth Is Round - Sure I got this album
because friends told me it's the best album XTC haven't made.  I love it
because they do so many of the things a younger XTC did that got me into
them in the first place.  Maybe it's influence, maybe it's rip off, I don't
care, they do it well.  There's so much going on here and the arrangements
are great.

The deadline my friends use for a final version is New Years Day, so my list
may change.  The top 10 is a lock, but there are 40 more slots that will
change.  If anyone is curious, have an annual tradition of writing a
paragraph about each record on the final list; if you want to see it in
January, e:mail me and I'll send you one.

Here's the bottom 40....

11.Overwhelming Colorfast - Moonlight And Castanets 12.Triplefastaction -
Broadcaster 13.Guided By Voices - Under The Bushes Under The Stars
14.Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup 15.The Mortals - Last Time Around
16.Lilys - Better Can't Make Your Life Better 17.Brendan Benson - One
Mississippi 18.Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry 19.The Wedding
Present - Saturnalia 20.Braniac - Hissing Prigs In Static Couture 21.Spoon -
Telephono 22.Buzzcocks - All Set 23.Arcwelder - Entropy 24.Girls Against
Boys - House Of GVSB 25.Nancy Boy - Nancy Boy 26.Ash - 1977 27.Iggy Pop -
Naughty Little Doggie 28.The Makers - The Makers 29.Superdrag - Regretfully
Yours 30.Mega City Four - Soulscraper 31.The Jesus Lizard - Shot 32.Junior
Brown - Semi Crazy 33.Chixdiggit! - Chixdiggit!  34.Frank Black - The Cult
Of Ray 35.Yazbek - The Laughing Man 36.GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI - Introducing
37.Fastbacks - New Mansions In Sound 38.Marshall Crenshaw - Miracle Of
Science 39.Zumpano - Goin' Through Changes 40.The Creation - Power Surge

I still have these late additions to my collection to throw in here

Cardigans, Julian Cope (definitely a top 20 artist), Tuscadero (another lock
on a top 20 position), Those Bastard Souls, Alec Bathgate, Robyn Hitchcock,
Rick Menc, and I'm sure I'll find a few more I forgot about.

I promise, this is the longest post I will ever make!  Thanks for giving me
a forum to ramble about music and let me think someone else gives a damn
what I think.

"Forgive me if I worship vinyl idols" - Leather Idol by Tuscadero
Sleep Cheap
Dale (


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 08:38:16 -0700 (MST)
From: (Chris Miner)
Subject: Beautiful South smashing pubs to XTC
Message-id: <>

In an upcoming magazine article, Paul Heaton, the lead singer for The
Beautiful South (ex band member of the Housemartins) shares his favorite
songs to drink to depending on the activity. He said this to Getting drunk
in the pub to ...

"Without a doubt, the best song to smash a pub up to is Love On A Farm
Boy's Wages by XTC.  I've only ever done it once with a football crew
- it was the most delierious free-for-all I have ever experienced."

        Fancy that!
                        chris miner


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 15:54:57 +0200
Message-Id: <>
From: (Paul Hosken)
Subject: Early BBC sessions

  Back in the late 70's XTC did a couple of BBC 'Sight & Sound In Concert'
sessions. The 2 sessions that interest me contained:

  Session 1              Session 2
  ---------              ---------
  Big Town               Radios In Motion
  Mecahnic Dancing       Cross Wires
  Rhythm In His Head     Statue Of Liberty
  Battery Bride          Set Myself On Fire
  This Is Pop            New Town Animal In A Furnished Cage
  Crowded Room           All Along The Watchtower
  Statue Of Liberty      This Is Pop
  Science Friction       In A Dance Band
  Set Myself On Fire     Neon Shuffle

What I'd like to know is when were these sessions recorded, and
which of the songs (if any) have been released on official albums?

Thanks for any help



Message-Id: <v01510102aed349adbfa8@[]>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 07:15:50 -1000
From: (Jim Smart)
Subject: Excuse me while I kiss this guy

>Near the end of the last Chalkhills someone listed their favorite ELO
>songs.  I noticed Strange Magic was missing.  Could it be that when
>the song is playing it sounds like he's saying, " Gotta, strain my
>dick."?  Check it out. You'll never hear that song without laughing
>again.  The same with Jet Airliner by Steve Miller.."Bingo Jed had a
>light on."

Add to that "Only the Lonely get laid", "The story was heard and the Ritz
were served" (Kinks), and, of course, "excuse me while I this this guy"

*          THOUGHT OF THE DAY                                       *
* "There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be." *
*                         --Lennon/McCartney                        *


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 14:31:44 -0500 (EST)
From: "Benjamin J. Rubin" <>
Subject: Duffy, XTC look alike
Message-Id: <>


Does anyone have the chords to any Duffy songs? I've figured out a couple
and I'm interested in trading.

XTC content:  Dave Gregory looks just like Jeff Hornacek of NBA fame.



Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:09:39 -0800 (PST)
From: Randy Posynick <>
Subject: Re: XTC News Alert System Needed
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9612121130.A1616-0100000@netcom21> wrote:

>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.

Better yet, how about prefacing subject headers with "XTC:" to denote
content regarding XTC....  :)

Randy Posynick      | Friends help you move; Real | friends help you move bodies.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Robert P. Krajewski" <>
Subject: The Just Say Noel Compilation, XTC As Power Pop
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 15:16:01 -0500

> 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...

I think "Thanks For Christmas" is the best cut on there. It's good that
Michael Penn and Aimee Mann got to do one, because the chiming quality of a
lot of their stuff makes it sound like Christmas music anyway. And I wish
Sonic Youth didn't contribute such a throwaway track -- feh. Hey, if they
can cover the Carpenters, surely they do better than an incoherent remake
of a Martin Mull schtick.

>  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).

Err, Boston is crawling with lots of Big Star/Raspberries-turned-up-to-11
artists (Letters to Cleo, Tracy Bongham, Cavedogs and offshoots), and the
local commercial alternative station plays a lot of *them*. I hesitate to
put XTC in the power pop category *now* when their sound has mellowed out
(OK, there I did it, I used the "m" word) and even formerly reserved
artists like the Posies turn up the guitar and sometimes use naughty words.
On the other hand, if something like Yum-Yum can get attention these days,
maybe XTC are still power pop.


Message-Id: <v01540b03aed60f90d155@[]>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:48:10 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Street cred

>From: "Michael D. Myers" <>
>- 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".  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.

Well, I think there are still plenty of such artists signed to major
labels, INCLUDING Van Morrison. Take the cases of Joni Mitchell, Laurie
Anderson, Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, Robyn Hitchcock, etc., etc.


PS  I really like the Dukes and Rutles about equally. Though I must admit,
I've listened to the Rutles a lot more in recent years, for whatever that's


Message-Id: <v01540b04aed6120c66cb@[]>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:58:31 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Hitch bitch

>From: jes <>
>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

Boy, do I disagree with you on that one. If you don't think any of
Hitchcock's songs stand up to serious dissection, I wonder how much RH
you've actually heard. Overall, I'd say that Robyn Hitchcock is (slightly)
more important to me than XTC, and one of the biggest reasons is that
Hitchcock's "unserious, non-linear" lyrics touch me on a much deeper level
emotionally than XTC's. Now, if we're talking arrangements, melodies and
other musical issues, XTC wipes RH out. But Hitchcock is NOT just a guy
singing about fish and vegetables....



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 16:56:34 +0000
Subject: XTC Holiday Song Set

My local radio station plays something called "Lunch Box Blocks" each
day at noon (3 songs by one artist).  I've suggested endless thematic
XTC combinations, but my favorite set has a holiday flair as well as
great segues:

          "Thanks for Christmas"

If you local station is adventurous, suggest it as a special holiday


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 14:13:31 -0700
Subject: Pot vs. Alc pt. 1

Another quickie folks,

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

Todd , no doubt, knows that pot either enhances, or does nothing to
impair, hearing.  Whereas, alcohol, on the other hand, is well-known to
make one hearing impared...especially in the 8-20khz range.  If
you've never been stoned during Open My Eyes....need I say more? SMX
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:01:16 -0800
Message-Id: <>
From: studio seventeen productions <>
Subject: OFF TOPIC!      roy wood

jeff sed:

>Re Roy Wood: Yes, yes! When I joined my college radio station back in 1985
>or so, one of my first big "discoveries" in the record archives was a
>well-worn copy of Best Of The Move. Been a fan ever since. Bought the CD
>reissue a few years later, later found a sealed cutout of Shazam, and a
>couple of years ago, I managed to find Looking On and Message From The
>Country records in great shape for $2 apiece, and boy was I thrilled. I
>don't have that other one (um...Split Enz? that doesn't sound quite right),
>but I heard it once and it seemed too Lynne-dominated beyond "California
>Man" and "Tonight." Maybe I heard wrong. Additional note: Somewhere around
>the time of discovering Best Of The Move, I also discovered Wood's
>Boulders. DAMN, that album is adorable! I generally buy that album whenever
>I see it, and force it upon someone as a gift.  ;)

Boulders is a work of pop genius.  However, an early solo record, MUSTARD is
even more remarkable.  Seek them both out...this guy was the John Lennon or
Birmingham :-)

MOVE ALBUMS:  Shazam is GREAT!  There are several BEST OF MOVE CDs......try
to find the red one, cause it has the whole (long deleted) first album PLUS
some ultra cool early 70s B-sides like "This TIme Tomorrow" (the B-side of

I have the Move w/Jeff Lynne, but it starts to lose momentum when he joins
(i.e. when not all the songs are written by Roy Wood).

just my seventeen cents........

sorry for OFF-TOPIC!

dave at studio seventeen


*          *  *  *  *  *         he's seated now, and almost ready to
*                  *     begin: "lead me in with a count of 17...."
*                       *         (Consequences/Godley & Creme)
*                        *

seventeen: the ambient music page



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