Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-57

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 57

                Saturday, 14 December 1996

Today's Topics:

              nillsson/steely dan/more move
              I know, this is kinda nutty...
    "Seeds In Snow": new yule tune with XTC references
                      XTC NEWS: Idea
               They Might Be worth a listen
               top fives out of the closet
                       Psych Me Out
     Andy might as well just pack it in right now...
           "There were six fine English boys.."
    Each watch I smash apart is bringing near the hour
                     farmboy's rages
                  Re: Call and Response
                   mysterious sounds...
                Re: They Might Be Great...
      I'll admit...I'm a Monkees fan too!!!!!!!!!11
               PS-Check out Bungalow......
                     Pearl, oh Pearl
                   See y'all next year!
                     Dubious Content
           The new best radio station in NY...
                    See some pictures!
             Nuances/Swindon Popularity/Radio
                         Re: Evil


Produced using John Relph's Digest package (V3.3).  Neener neener.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Eat and drink and dance some more.


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:23:01 -0800
Message-Id: <>
From: studio seventeen productions <>
Subject: nillsson/steely dan/more move

>- 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!

ah...Harry is...GONE.  and Steely Dan toured last year (excellent CD
available) -so, not real GOOD examples!

>On to stuff: Pairings? How about "Cherry In Your Tree", and "Cherry Blossom
>Clinic" (The Move)  Kind of weird I guess. Anyway, I really like the Move
>and I have Roy Wood's Boulders which came out on CD in 1994(?) - my Dad
>turned me on to that LP when I was a wee feller. It is by turns ornate,
>grotesque, charming, quirky, rocking.. and Roy plays everything on it.

Cherry Blossom Clinic (Revisited) (from SHAZAM) rocks.  it PSYCHEDLIC rocks.
trust me...I'm a MOVE fan.  Yes - BOULDERS is all that and more...

the same gentleman asked if anyone here likes Procol Harum.

absolutely.....the quirky side of prog...

that's all.


*               *  *  *  *  *       I am not a number...
*                  *            I am a FREE MAN!
*                          *
*                        *

seventeen: the ambient music page



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 96 16:45:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: I know, this is kinda nutty...

Back on the Chalk Gang,

 Not to say that Andy was stealing from Rick Nielsen or anything, but I just
became aware of something of a resemblance between the chorus of Cheap
Trick's "Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School," from their eponymous
debut album, and the verse of XTC's "Garden of Earthly Delights." An odd
connection, I realize, but it happened to pop up while listening to the
Cheap Trick album.
 Which brings me very briefly to Cheap Trick itself. I've heard some of you
lump them in with bands such as Styx and Foreigner, but I have to say that
you are sadly mistaken in doing that. I won't vouch for anything after
"Dream Police," but the first 4 C.T. albums up through that one are all
classics of pop songwriting, particularly the first two, "Cheap Trick" and
"In Color." Anyone with an appreciation of power pop, from the Beatles to
Big Star, from the dBs to the Posies, would be truly missing out to ignore
them. Take a listen to "Mandocello," "Oh, Candy," or "Drowned." "He's a
Whore" stands up to the best of the Buzzcocks. I strongly urge you to pick
up one of those will not be disappointed (they can be found for
cheap in most record stores, by the way, at "Best Buy" prices -- $6.99 or
so). After "Dream Police," though, they went into a major slump from which
they've never recovered.

Thanks for listening...just had to say that.

As usual, I am

Dave Gershman


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:42:31 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Dean Martucci)
Subject: "Seeds In Snow": new yule tune with XTC references

Since the "Just Say Noel" CD is getting an airing out here, may I point you
all to another new, more limited distribution, Christmas song compendium?

It's called "Cool Yule", from Optional Art Records, out of Seattle. Don't
worry, flannel is not worn at this's pop. Feel free to email me
for more info if needed.

Rich Arithmetic has contributed a song, "Seeds In Snow" where Andy and XTC
figure prominently. It's kind of a tribute to XTC's Christmas songs, and
possibly a little comment on their label woes?

The following isn't totally correct, but it's the best I can make out so far:

"Seeds In Snow"

Andy Partridge in a pear tree
A little birdie said to me, like me
He's an old bird but he still fly high
His feather's molt but still he stay dry

Sinking seeds in snow
Plant and watch them grow
Grow into Christmas trees

Old Jack Blue was at his desk nights
Surprised by joy and childhood insights
They formed alliance what springs forth presents
It's always winter never Christmas

Sinking seeds in snow
Plant and watch them grow
Grow into Christmas trees
Praise(?) the _____? three ??? (I can't make it out, sorry)

Simple Simon and Quiet Andy
For Christmas morning waiting patiently
Holding presents in their arms they
Laugh and clap and sing and shout and pray


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

>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.
Dean Martucci       San Mateo, CA USA


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 17:09:04 -0500
Message-ID: <>
From: (David Criddle)
Subject: XTC NEWS: Idea

     >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 is one of the best ideas I have ever heard on Chalkhills.  I did
     not catch KEONE's real name but, GREAT IDEA!!  I have often thought
     about this problem when I find myself with 5 issues and no time to
     read all of them.  I certainly don't want to stop people from posting
     and enjoying the forum, but there are weeks when I don't have the time
     to weed through someone's thoughts on how Andy is subliminally
     referring to the world as a big fruit salad to find so real, solid

     Everyone keep on writing about fruit salad.  That is fine.  But for
     solid current facts on the band, the NEWS: idea is a stroke of genius.

     Cheers to KEONE!!!



Message-Id: <>
From: "Steve" <>
Subject: They Might Be worth a listen
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 18:01:52 -0500

In Issue 3-55, someone was quoted as saying:

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

And Stormy Monday replied thusly:

>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.

As a longtime fan of TMBG, I wouldn't advise making JH your first exposure
to TMBG.
Try "Flood" or "Apollo 18" for starters, then maybe work your way backwards
to "Lincoln"
and the so-called "Pink Album."  JH didn't sit too well with many fans,
although I liked at least
60% of it.

Happy Listening!
Steve Perley


Message-Id: <v01540b08aed65d91c9c5@[]>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 19:30:11 -0600
From: (Miss Piggy)
Subject: top fives out of the closet

Hi all!

>From: (Insane Boy)

>> 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"?

I don't know, this interpretation had never occurred to me until it popped
up here, and I don't really see it.  Thinking it's also about drugs just
depresses me, so I guess you guys can interpret it that way, I mean, who's
to say, but I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant and just think about

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

OK, consider me now *officially* out.  I'm a fan no matter how manufactured
anyone thinks they are, it's my stereo, and I'll play what I want to! ;)

>From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>

>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

Cool beans - I'm not the only one!

>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 . . .

I agree wholeheartedly.  And because they are such a literate band, I think
they're never going to acheive "mainstream" popularity.  See "Michael D.
Myers" post in 3-55.  I agree Mike.

>>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

Mine are:
1.) XTC
3.)The B-52's
5.)The Monkees

I only counted CD's and LPs, since most of my tapes are duplicates that I
replaced when I got a cd player.  I think it would be about the same,

>From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
>Subject: Kris with a K

>  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!

Rats, foiled again!

Have a smurfy day,

"So, where does jazz come from?...Good question...."


Message-Id: <v01540b02aed726681b84@[]>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 15:29:43 +0000
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Psych Me Out

Ben Gott wrote:
>Phsychology professor James Dignan wrote to me that "when (as I did for a

whoa! back up there sonny! I'm only a postgrad student!!! One day, maybe... :)

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

erm... I think I'll plead the fifth!



Message-Id: <v01550100aed66af786ed@[]>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 20:55:22 -0600
From: (Insane Boy)
Subject: Andy might as well just pack it in right now...

Voodoo Chalkchildren,

>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?

This, to me is like saying "if you don't like eggs, but still enjoy
crepes, is there not a sense in which the chicken has failed?"  I believe
that getting someone to enjoy a song that might not jive with their beliefs is
the biggest success you can have in songwriting. Hands down.  'Cause let's
face it, you're not going to change the world's beliefs with a single
song,and I think Andy realizes that; if not he'd probably have major mental

> If you like that song, blow the dust off of The Beatles' "You Can't Do
>That" and play it LOUD!

I've no need to blow the dust off it, sir.  And as for playing it
LOUD, I do, oh, I do.

News from the conversion front:  I ran through "Farmboy's Wages" on
my girlfriend's classical guitar and she said, "Hey, that's a nice
song."  She likes experimental art, and claims to like experimental
music as well, so I'm not even going to try to soften her introduction
to the wide world of XTC (despite "Farmboy").  I'm going straight for
the jugular with this one...

More little bits I like...

"ooooooooooooooo-WWWOOOOOAAAAAH- HO!" -"Knuckle Down"
The enhanced "thwack!" of the snare drum at the beginning of each
        verse in said song
"do-do-do-DOOOO! do-do-do-DOOOO! do-do-do" -"Senses Working Overtime"
The way the bass plays the higher G in the descending pattern right
        before the "Peter Pumpkinhead was too good..." bit
The way the vocals dissolve at the end of "Heaven is Paved w/Broken

I'll probably think of more.  This is a good thread!

"No more classes, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks" -anon.(?)

Jason Garcia


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 22:07:53 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Michael Kearns)
Subject: "There were six fine English boys.."

Has anyone ever heard "I Love That ELO" by Randy Newman? I think it's on the
"Born Again" album. If you haven't, you might wanna check out this Rutlesque
send-up for a good chuckle. "...and Bobby Joe played the big violin / the
one that stands on the floor / all in a rock-roll band... I love their Mr.
Blue Sky (ee-ee-ee)/ Almost my favorite is Turn To Stone / And how 'bout
Telephone Line (dit-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit) / I Love That ELO.. (mum mum
mum mum mum..)" Something like that..


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 22:25:03 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Each watch I smash apart is bringing near the hour

>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.

I have no problem with that. Personally, I rather like the TMBG version, but
that's not the issue. The issue is that you took a *cover* song (on a
tribute record, no less) and then used that as a basis for complete
dismissal of any possible musical worth that band might have. If you're
going to trash the band, go get one of their CDs from the library or from a
friend and give it a couple listens first. I can guarantee you that songs
like 25 O'Clock are certainly the exception, rather than the rule in TMBG's

>>lack of *musical* content doesn't even make the list.
>It makes mine.

Again, because you haven't heard *Their* music. You've heard Them doing
other people's music.

>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?

I would say that the measure in this case is how well the song makes it's
point. TWO, while a bit heavy-handed, is lyrically enjoyable enough that,
even if you disagree, you will still like it just because it has a point to
make and makes it well. Whether or not I agree with a song's politics, if it
makes a good point and makes it in an interesting/clever/subtle way, I'll
like it.

We'll be together till the end of time...
/---------------------------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 19:49:51 -0800
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: farmboy's rages


Goats eat oats, but sometimes choose pamphlets.
Well now that Paper Snow has been thoroughly chewed and digested. Let's
establish what the song is definitely not about. As bitingly venomous as the
album is, the song PS does not play on the former Talking mouthpiece's
fascination with artificial snow blowing. Andy burns David? Nope.

Ben Goat <> asks:
>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?

My favorite touches, that might not be there:

Paper and Iron: "but the Church says turn the other cheek, the *other* cheek"
always comes around to goose me.

Roads Girdle the Globe: Am I asleep, Or am I fast,
I always hear the implied line "Or am I fast asleep"

That's all I can think of, but I'm sure there's something else.

Happy Holidays,
Countdown to Xmas, 12 chopping days.


Message-Id: <>
From: "William Wisner" <>
Subject: Re: Call and Response
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 23:06:46 -0800

From the "couldn't put it better myself" department:

> Jefferson/Airplane/Starship's new album?

In Boise, Idaho, where I grew up, a record store had one
of their plastic bin dividers labeled "Jefferson Whatever".


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 02:01:34 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: mysterious sounds...
Message-ID: <>

Following up on Ben's post - I can't think of any of those moments off
the top of my head, but I can tell you of a simila experience: One night,
I was listening to Brian Eno's _Here Come the Warm Jets_ and began to
drift off to sleep. Suddenly, I was jolted awake, thinking there was some
odd commotion outside, which as the mental fog lifted, resolved into
bells. Oddly enough, I'd never really noticed the strange bell sounds
toward the end of "Some of Them Are Old" (I think that's where they are),
and they sounded like alien noises. I somehow imagine Brian Eno would be
pleased (speaking of that producer thread...)

But you can really hear things that aren't there in a lot of highly
repetitious or trancey music: try Steve Reich's _Music for Six Pianos_ -
the overtones at points sound like bells, like trumpets, etc. Lotsa fun
to consciously shift your aural perspective (like an Escher print in sound).


Jeffrey J. Norman        <>   <>
Dept. of English & Comp. Lit.            University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
::      PLEASE! You are sending cheese information to me. I don't want   ::
::      it. I have no goats or cows or any other milk producing animal!  ::
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::--raus <>::


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 13:22:05 +0000 (GMT)
From: Chris Clee <>
Subject: Re: They Might Be Great...
Message-Id: <Pine.OSF.3.91.961213131930.8670A-100000@manta>

From: Stormy Monday <>


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

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

Alright folks I haven't heard this version at all, anyone got a WAV file
of any of it. I can give an opinion then.

Bye for now


Oh by the way...I must admit that anyone trying out the stuff from
English Settlement must be bonkers....the lads did do rather an
amazing job after all.


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 08:32:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject: I'll admit...I'm a Monkees fan too!!!!!!!!!11
Message-id: <>

Oh the horror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Umm, anyway. I sent a letter to Davy Jones when I was in third grade and I got
a postcard back from him. (And damnit, I lost it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Let's see...I agree that Spacehog's version of Senses was tepid to say the
least. They left out the entire first verse! (Wow, using a lot of
exclamation points here......)

Onto Mark's questioning of failed songwriting....we're not inside Andy's
head, so we can only make assumptions about why he writes what he does. I
don't think Andy's trying to convert anybody in his music. I do think he
might want people to listen up and take note. (I personally, do not wish to
see my children in the middle of a nuclear holocaust, so you did misread
what I said, whatever it was that I said, I can't remember that far back.)
Like I said in the last Chalkhills, Andy has said that music gives everyone
different mental pictures.  When I listen to This World Over, I hear a fairy
tale, only nobody lives happily ever after.

More various and sundry....nothing wrong with ELO in my book. Everytime Turn
To Stone comes on I have to get up and dance.

Slight news: my Most Favorite Person in the World, Brad Roberts, is making a
guest apperance on Joe Jackson's next album, just in case anyone wanted to
know. (Well I'm sure at least Ben Gott does. Isn't that right, Ben?)

Alanis Morrissette was much more tolerable when she was a preteen brat on
You Can't Do That on Television. (After seeing an old episode she was in I
have to wonder when her face decided to elongate so much.) "I want you to
know, that you need therapy........"


In my cd player right now: BASKETBALL DIARIES soundtrack, HAIR soundtrack,
HAVING A BABY soundtrack, THE BIG EXPRESS (This NEVER leaves my cd player.)
Amanda's quote of the Digest: "One man's mundane existence is another man's
techicolor"-Tick (Another character from Strange Days)


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 08:57:30 -0600 (CST)
Subject: PS-Check out Bungalow......
Message-id: <>

There's a phone in that Andy did in 1992 on Live 105 in California that I
transcribed (complete with the expected typos) and Simon put up. (He even
called me effervescent....ahh vanity. ;)


"Deal with it pinkboy!"-Tom Servo.
Amanda's movie of the day....Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos, the Hands of


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 96 09:16:27 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Pearl, oh Pearl

        It seems very coincidental to me that right after recieving a copy
     of the demo of the song "Pearl", both by Cleaners from Venus and also
     Andy's own version, that I should fall into great joy with the
     song at the same time someone on the list slams it with a pointless

        Consider a certain member with the initials JHB (who could that
     be ???? ),

     < 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.>end of post.

     This comment was uncalled for and I give the following reasons:

     1. It was an announcement of some noteworthy news by another person on
        this list instead of the usual whines like I am writing right now.

     2. I can't help it though because this statement by you is so out of
        context to the intelligent things JHB brings up on the list most of
        the time. You can not just make a close ended statement like that
        without having an argument to back yourself up. To say to a whole
        lot of people who probably haven't heard the song, it's lousy don't
        bother, I know, I heard it and this is a "don't waste your time" on
        the Josh Scale is very arrogant and counter-productive to the ideas
        of this group which is I thought to share XTC with people who
        really like them. Who are you to dictate what is good and what is
        not except in your own mind.

     3. On the other hand, if you would have said, "Before you plunk down
        the money for the Cleaners from Venus set, you might want to
        consider that "Pearl" isn't one of Andy's better songs. The tune
        is weak and doesn't lead the listener anywhere, the lyrics are
        banal and obvious compared to Andy's usual and there is no definite
        ending." then you have just given some valid ideas to consider
        instead of your terse statement.

     4. The Cleaners from Venus version, if you have heard it, is a unique
        arrangement of that song. All Beach Boys meet The Inkspots meets
        Andy and this list deserves to hear it and pass judgement for

     Don't say "This sucks" without giving some reasoning. We have already
     discussed this. As we are all intelligent enough to like XTC, we are
     all intelligent enough to warrant good discussion and conversation
     on the subjects we write about here.

        Trust me, when the new stuff comes out, we will have plenty to talk
     and JHB all day about.

     Merry X(tc)-Mas
     Jason Phelan

     "The world's your oyster, come out to play"


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 09:47:40 -0600 (CST)
Subject: See y'all next year!
Message-id: <>

This is my LAST POST until next year! Today is my last exam, and after today
I wont have access to computers until January 24, which is going to suck
seeing as I'm so addicted to email and all.

So I'm going to close the year off on this note............

(This is what I've learned in the time I've been on Chalkhills.....)
Dave Gregory is a Divine Being and looks like Noah Wyle in about 20 years,
watch what you say, remove foot from mouth before talking, check yoor
speling befor yew post, olive branches work, XTC makes good videos, Dave's a
good forger, many Chalkhillians do not like the Dummies, I don't care
anymore, I cry a lot, Testy Dinner was missing quite a few good songs, many
Chalkhillians don't seem to like Rush/ELO, nuances are abundant, and now I
must be going.

WHEW! What a good five or so months it's been.

So I'll chain together the three major celebrations we've had this month and
wish everyone a Happy Hannukwanzmas.

But seriously, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, I'll miss reading the
everyday stories of smalltowns and bigtowns alike for the next month, and
when I get back I'll probably have about 30 or so digests in my mailbox.

SEE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everybody's favorite Dave Gregory-worshipping girl,
Amanda C. Owens
PS-Everybody pray (or whatever you do) that I get that bass guitar I asked for
for X-mas.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 16:48:09 +0000
From: Simon <>
Subject: Dubious Content

Stormy Monday wrote:

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

Stephen Duffy made reference to this too. After Andy produced the Lilac
Time, though Duffy had loads of respect for Andy and called him "pop's
greatest genius", he said the band had had to sneak outside like schoolboys
if they wanted roll some up . Andy apparently just wouldn't stand for them
getting stoned in the studio.

From: C Browning <>

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

:) Nice quote. The Boos are a great band - "C'mon Kids" blisters - and Carr
has a sharp wit about him. But, take a look at a picture of him and study it
carefully - the glasses, the ability to write stunning off-pop gems, the
chubby little cheeks... it's Andy in a wig, I swear.

From: (Mark Fisher)

>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?

Interesting point Mark. I remember reading in your own Limelight many years
ago a quote from Andy when asked (perhaps by your good self) if he thought
he could change people's minds with his songs and he said "No, never can." I
think he has a point - a song is unlikely to "change" a person's perspective
on things a full 180, but it can maybe awaken dormant feelings. So perhaps,
in the case of a song which is apparently against all you stand for, but
which still appeals on a emotional level, the music is teasing out the
*real* you - not the you that is constrained by peer, parental and other

Having said that, I am a godless heathen and most overtly devout songs turn
me right off. But Van Morrison can write and perform such amazing music that
I find myself swooning along quite blissfully to "Wherever God Shines His
Light", "When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God" and "Youth of 1000 Summers".
Is it a sign of "closet"
Christianity, or just me being carried away by a fine piece of music? A bad
song can preach love and peace and hold the key to world harmony, but it
would still be a bad song. Would a great song preaching foul notions be a
bad song by default, or still a good song? The best songs get you to believe
in them for at least their duration - which is why a lot of cliche ridden
balladry leaves me cold, if the writer has no belief
in the piece, how can you be expected you lose yourself in it? - which is
their real strength, and that strength can be dangerous. A well written song
could dig right down into the core of a person having a bad day and jab at
the petty resentments and sexual and racial grudges, working them up into
fully fledged hate, the same way that patriotic dirges have urged people to
storm the barricades with a broken pitchfork.

"Wardance" and "Smartest Monkeys" have fine sentiments, but as songs they
don't work for me. I love "Human Alchemy" for its sentiments and its
spine-tingling music, but I know from this list that many people dislike it.
If it's possible to dislike a song which tallies with your own feelings to a
major extent, surely it is possible to get pleasure from a song which has an
opposing or different take. In extreme cases our own internal morals and
values will kick in and say, as we find ourselves singing along to "Let's
all hang another Frenchman", enough is enough this just isn't on. We are all
slaves to emotions and reactions beyond our control (as those of us with sex
organs can testify) and while we can intellectually distance ourselves from
we have decided is wrong, we can't switch out our gut reactions. Thankfully
I haven't yet heard anything that has incited any form of unwated hatred or
resentment in me, but I have heard things that I quite enjoyed and that made
me feel very uncomfortable (mostly by the Smiths and/or Morrissey oddly
enough - "Bengali In Platforms", nice tune, but, dear me, no, Stephen can we
go through those lyrics again please?) And then
there's Julian Cope's sensitive ode to an aged relative, "Senile Get" -
cracking tune, Jools, but...

As for first exposure to XTC - it was "That 'Nigel' song" which first
brought them to my attention, but it wasn't until, for one reason or
another, I spent an evening in the foetal position listening to the hope and
joy of "Senses Working Overtime" on repeat (on an ancient Dansette boxy
player, pull the lever just-so and the single plays over and over and over)
that I realised what magic there was.

Finally, last night I fed my mate's freshly minted baby girl for the first
time ("Welcome to the Garden of earthly delights...") as my wife unloaded
their Christmas presents
"pa-pa-papa-papa-paa-pa-pa-pa-paaa-pa-papapa-papapa-papapapaaaa, thanks for
Christmas.."). We drove home through the snow
("camalamatinquinam-atuiam-atuiam, it isn't even winter...") and sat for two
hours in front of the fire as I brushed my wife's hair ("you and the clouds
will still be beautiful.."). At bed time we
cowered under the bedclothes in the freezing cold, wrapped around each other
for warmth like headphone wires ("you're the wish you are I had.") If life
is the best movie, while we may find the ending a bit abrupt, we can't
complain about the soundtrack.

XTC - This Is Pop?


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 12:06:58 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <v01510100aed6f203aa09@[]>
From: (Mitch Friedman)
Subject: SeTAUNTa


As of right this minute, Friday the 13th, Andy is suffering from the flu and
I only spoke to him briefly enough to find out that not only are they not
signed to Setanta and will be making a decision in January, but Andy would
like people to stop passing the Setanta rumor around too! Maybe it's just
because he's feeling cruddy, but he did sound a bit annoyed about all the
second hand congratulations he's gotten lately for something that isn't true.
More to report later . . .


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 15:44:29 -0800
From: Ira Lieman <>
Organization: Not in this lifetime...
Subject: The new best radio station in NY...

I've made my decision. The station formerly known as Mix-105 with Mariah
Carey all day and Michael Bolton all night has changed formats. I'm
expecting to hear XTC any damn day now. Because..."Love Plus One" is on!
I'm so happy I could scream from the top of my building in Midtown
Manhattan! Ah ya ya, ya ya ya!

So if you're in or around NYC put it on to 105.1 -- I'm going to search
now for a web site. Aah, bliss.


 < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >
    _/_/  _/ _/  _/_/_/_/  Ira Lieman           | Visualize
  _/  _/ _/ _/  _/ _/ _/  Angry Young Man       |      Whirled
 _/_/_/   _/   _/ _/ _/      |            Peas.
_/  _/   _/   _/    _/  | Stop the Violins!


Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 18:07:25 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007800aed749e5fbe0@[]>
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: See some pictures!

Hey everyone! How you doing?

I put up some Chalkhills get-together pictures on my if you
wanna see exactly who those Northeast people are, surf on by.

And Gene, even though I didn't count to three you shouldn't be upset. :)

Ta ta!


 < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >
    _/_/  _/ _/  _/_/_/_/  Ira Lieman           | Visualize
  _/  _/ _/ _/  _/ _/ _/  Angry Young Man       |      Whirled
 _/_/_/   _/   _/ _/ _/      |            Peas.
_/  _/   _/   _/    _/  | Stop the Violins!


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 15:34:57 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Nuances/Swindon Popularity/Radio

Re: the 'nuances' topic - thanks for bringing that up (wasn't that you, JHB?).
Because in reading everyone's favorite nuances, and the discussions about
Andy's delicious lyrics, I realize even more why I love these guys.

Michael Myer's opus on XTC's popularity and/or lack of:  I think you're
right, and much of this has been discussed in this list before.  It really
boils down to the same thing as saying "why don't more people read good
books?", or even "why don't more people read?".  "Why do 100,000 times more
people rent "Top Gun" than "Restoration"?  "Why does everyone think the only
vacation choices are Las Vegas, Disneyland (or DisneyWorld), and Hawaii?"
It's the old lowest common denominator thing.  Our boys just ain't for the
masses, no matter how much we'd like for them to be more popular (I would,

Believe it or not, friends, one day this week I left the house listening to
one radio station, and "Ten Feet Tall" popped on.  On the way home, listening
to another radio station, "Thanks For Christmas" came on.  Yowza!
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 19:49:58 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Evil
Message-ID: <>

<Sorry, to abuse the national anthem like that, on the subject of evil
<How's about the guy that killed Fraser's father on Due South???? He seems
<pretty evil
True enough, I'd forgotten about him.
<....and Cancer Man from the X-Files.......
Don't watch it much.
<Evil Canadians???? Well, Celine Dion is at the top of my list.
Calling a Quebecois a Canadian is an insult as far as most of them are
concerned. That aside, living in Montreal in the mid-80's, I remember a
precocious 14 year old named Celine Dion singing very pretty in French
and endearing herself to Quebecois grandmothers everywhere. She's turned
into the white Whitney Houston these days. Hellova voice, but all
technique and no soul. Not evil, just no there, there.
 Brian Adams
<must be slain, (Did I spell his name right? I don't think I did. Oh well,
Never mind the spelling. I'd be glad to help. Again, not evil, but has
not played or sung a single original note in his career. Let's consider
this a mercy killing.
<these dumb computers have some sort of feature where if you hit the RETURN
<key, it won't let you go back and correct any mistakes, hence the fact that
<my postings contain a modicum of errors....maybe I should stop typing so
<fast.....) ummm....William Shatner (how could I forget HIM?!?!?!?)

Okay, HE's evil. He's from Montreal, too. Ouch. He actually figured out
in the late '80's that practically all of the Star Trek cast hated him
like poison and couldn't imagine why. I'll let him live, though, because
he is as talented as he's evil(though Star Trek V, his directing vehicule
is by far my least liked Star Trek movie; a pretentious crashing bore for
the most part. Hi, I'm William Shatner. This is my ego.
< But for every evil Canadian, there's an evil American (like Kathie Lee
Gifford, OJ, <etc., etc.)

  Hardly. The closest people to evil in Canada are annoying poppinjays
like Shatner, with the exception of a few Quebecois males(mostly in the
Quebec government, like Premier Lucien Bouchard, wooden leg and all). I
speak from experience. Besides, Drums And Wires went gold in Canada, as
did several of their other albums(most likely English Settlement,
Skylarking, and Oranges And Lemons). How can the only country in the
world that can make that claim be in even the smallest way evil?
  Canada is much like Switzerland only much, much bigger. The only reason
I don't live there anymore, aside from the Quebec language fiasco, is the
taxes are absolutely nightmarish, and I was never a Canadian citizen anyway.


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-57

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