Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-60

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 60

                Tuesday, 17 December 1996

Today's Topics:

                  Parts are Interesting
              Regarding the Iris DeMent post
     The slight subject of music and society at large
                     Travel Tunes...
                 More random thoughts ...
            My XTC Past and random chattering
                   Question B/W Threads
                        Re: Sundry
            We stand by our statements - but..
                Randall Watson/The Return
                  Cum On Feel The Noize
           Strange, beautiful...grass of green
                        Melt This!
          OK. I'm really taking a breather now.
              You're the Discs You Are I Had
        REM, AFAICT and other acroyms from COCOA*
             Stormy Monday's comments on TMBG
                     My intro to XTC.
                     memory flash...
            first xtc "o", jellyfish question
                       Best of '96


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Sing out loud, don't swear or cuss.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 12:25:17 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Parts are Interesting

Hi folx - once again, I must say you guys are the greatest.

"I love that ELO" - Hah!  I didn't know about that song.  Reminds me of
Nick Lowe's "Roller Show" and his other one about Rick Astley ('Rick Astley'
wrote a big hit song and it was ghastly' or something like that).
By the way, I used to be a big ELO fan in high school and college.  And
yeah, some of that early Cheap Trick stuff was good ("Dream Police" esp.)

Thanks to Mitch Friedman for the Andy Update.

God, the woman in the cubicle next to me is playing a Kenny G tape or CD
I was just overreacting.  I'm going to put on "Get Happy" w/my headphones!!!

Evan Chakroff:  The answer is, GET ALL XTC CD's! NOW!

"Mayor of Simpleton" and "King For a Day" in Muzak?  That's hideous!

Insane Boy complained about acronyms.  Yeah, please, let's keep the
acronyms to a minimum.  I'm a programmer, and I can't stand it when I'm
in a meeting and people only occasionally throw in an actual WORD.

Classic Rock:  hey, there's nothing wrong with all of that music (OK, I
grew up on it), but I agree with someone's point - it's only a piece of
the pie.  I like stuff over the entire past 30+ years.

Preachy songs - I really don't understand what seems to be a lot of
people's complaints against them.  Isn't one of the attractions of XTC
the fact that most of their lyrics are not endless noodling on love,
relationships, etc., which some artists/bands can't seem to do anything
BUT?  Maybe I don't mind 'em also because I agree with practically
every 'political' song I've ever heard, whether it's XTC, Jackson Browne,
Springsteen, or whomever, but I still don't get the complaints.  After
all, you don't have to adopt their views.  It's a SONG.

Demographics survey - whoever brought that up - It's been done already.
Check the back issues of Chalkhills, or maybe whoever did the survey
can forward the results to you.

The question about "b/w" - yes, that's an old term used on 45's, and
you're right, it DOES mean "backed with".

Thank you, and I hope the group passed the audition. (Ringo, hit the
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 15:07:01 -0600
Message-Id: <v01530501aedb1302245b@[]>
From: (John Yuelkenbeck)
Subject: Regarding the Iris DeMent post

Besides the fact that Iris lives here in Kansas City, I know her through my
connections with roots singer-songwriter Tom Russell, for whom she opened
the first time he played here and for whom I do quite a bit of work for.

I've heard the same criticisms levelled against her new record that were
reflected in the XTC newsgroup and, even though I have an autographed copy,
I haven't yet listened to it so it's not fair for me to comment.

A friend of mine who is also a musician thinks very highly of her new one,

Anyway, I would just like to point out that her first two records have some
very good moments on them and people interested in this genre should check
them out if they haven't already.

I'll let you know my opinion of her new one after I listen to it.


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: The slight subject of music and society at large
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 16:24:00 -0500

Have you ever noticed that you may be thought of as antisocial,
insulated & lost among your own world if you wear headphones in
public, but you're supposed to "suffer in silence" with piped-in music
as "part of the experience" while holiday shopping or at the grocery?
This whole "XTC songs with/without Muzak" got me to realize this!

More than a couple times I've heard "King..." and "Mayor..." through
the "wimp filter". Haven't heard "Thanks for Christmas" this year, but
in 2 hours at mall Sunday, through various stores with their own
music, heard *four* versions of "I've got my love to keep me warm".


I carry this oddball idea that sometimes I favor artists or recordings
based on how successful I subjectively think they ought to be. I'll
hear a song and say "Hmm, not bad", but if the announcer says "Hey!
That's been number ONE for a month!" I'll snap back "It's not *THAT*
good", and will lessen the song's enjoyment. (Often accompanied by
excessive repetition.) There are other tunes which were maybe top-40,
but never top-20, which I crank up and listen to with rapt attention.

But my love for XTC is another universe in which I can't tell the singles
and don't care anyway. Earn Enough for Us is one of my top-5 XTC songs heard
on the radio, but not an American single (can't tell why).

>[From the slightly-saner Jason Garcia:] Actually, what I was saying
>(if you're interested) is that music's not going to GO anywhere new
>if all we keep hearing on the radio are regurgitated classic
>rock-style songs. The whole point of classic rock was attitude
>covering up for lack of quality.

Gotta say Yeah, and can we add "regurgitated grunge-style" to that!
Just waiting for the next genuine thing to breakout so hundreds can
imitate it badly, or "Will my 65-year-old aunt give me *another*
flannel shirt for Xmas this year cos she thinks I think it's cool?"***
Artists can't control the radio stations/formats they're on, so
one may have to carefully siphon the water from the water-bearer, as
it were.

>[From Irene Trudel:]...the record buying public is not nearly as involved
>in their music as [we are]. For them, radio...repetition is...essential
>in [getting] people to actually buy what they hear.

And here's me: "It's on the radio all the time, why buy it?" Like I need
anyone else's opinion dovetailing my own and increasing my smugness ;-)!

The Wall Street Journal, I believe, reported the growth of CD sales is down.
Now that *everyone* owns "Dark Side of the Moon" on CD what will they buy
:-/? the six majors scream. The emphasis on new artists seems to be like
strip-mining, making that one big commercial kill (Spin Doctors, Candlebox,
Hootie, Alanis, etc) and established artists' latest efforts aren't burning
things up (Tom Petty, Rod Stewart). However, one is amused when the WSJ
quotes that record cos. are scratching their head over the public's
reluctance to embrace the post-CD formats (recordable mini-disc, DAT, etc)
and shell out to replace pristine, five-year-old CDs they laid down ~$15
for. To nick the phrase, this is sounding less and less like a "sustainable

IMHO the short-sightedness of formatted radio and their "content provider"
companies cut both ways, not helping turn many folks into long-term
highly-dedicated fans of "accessible" music, while concurrently clogging the
most effective promotion/distribution channels with drecht mostly.  But hey,
what do I know?

We have Kris, the NPR mogul ;-) in west Texas is fighting the noble
fight, and there's someone from Auntie Beeb here too (who, I forget)
but are there any other broadcaster types here on Chalkhills? What could
you share with the rest of us?

Trying to feed love on a fan-boy's wages,

PS >>William Wisner: Michael Penn, Danny Wilson, OMD.
Yes, Yes, YES!!!!! Ever hear rumors about a twin separated at birth?

Now playing: "Tom Lehrer's A Christmas Carol"
Now reading:
Michael Moore, "Downsize This! Random Threats from an unarmed American"
***Now wearing: Not flannel, but an Ottawa Lynx tee.


Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 15:56:08 -0500 (EST)
From: Gord Wood <>
Subject: Travel Tunes...
Message-ID: <>


	I have the extremely fortunate opportunity to be leaving for a 6
month backpacking journey across Europe right before New Year's Day.
However, I've stumbled upon a problem and I'd like to ask all of you
for suggestions to solve it. You see, I'm only bringing 15 CD's with me
for the entire trip (it's all my carrying case will hold). I've come to
the conclusion that I'm only going to bring two XTC CD's (and in case you
ask, the only other group that shares this honour is The Tragically Hip).
	I have all of the XTC CD's save for English Settlement and
Skylarking - I've got them on Vinyl. That list includes the various
collections. So, I'm asking you which two you would take. Now, bear in
mind that I'm looking for the best CD's for the type of trip I'm taking.
I've never travelled in this manner, nor for this length of time before. I
don't know if I should take favourites or the collections. If I were to
take my favourites, I'd be bringing Drums & Wires and Live at the BBC
	Anyway, i'd appreciate your opinions, although I make no promises of
obedience to any of you.

thanks, sporto

    Gord Wood                  "...if a man were to wait for the moment
    Columnist                  when everyone else should be enlightened,
    The Ontarion             very considerable patience would be required."
    U of Guelph Newspaper           Dostoevsky - Crime & Punishment
    "travels in nihilon"    ** website - **


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 16:53:19 -0500
From: Tony Nowikowski <>
Subject: More random thoughts ...

... on controversial(?) subjects ...

Skylarking and Todd ... yeah, it's a great album (altho, IMHO, not their
"finest" ... that would still have to go to English Settlement ...) and
probably so to a large extent BECAUSE of Todd's production ...
Still, after reading some of the discussion lately, especially
concerning "favorite nuances", and re-listening to a LOT of XTC lately,
I've become somewhat bemused at the credit Todd got for "Continuity
concept".  'Cuz it seems to me that EVERY XTC album since Black Sea
(certainly including the Dukes' stuff!) has had wonderful continuity,
and not just been a collection of discrete songs.
Todd Berhardt nailed a PERFECT example:
>> "Right now I'm feeling okay, I'm turning night into
>>day-YAY-HEEEEYYYYYYY-yadadadadadada-da-day!" CHANG!<

>Ah, yes, I agree, but you left out the triplet-snare-pattern intro to Sgt.
>Rock, which IMO *must* be grouped with that ending! Even hearing them do
>that song (BwOF) live, I always want them to segue into Sgt. Rock, even
>though they don't.
Two more opinions on continuity and sequencing:
-- Skylarking LOST some of that "continuity concept" when they sliced
out "Mermaid Smiled" to stuff in "Dear God."
-- After hearing the "complete", 15-song English Settlement, I wanted to
seek out, slash to bits, and reassemble the bits in a different pattern
the Epic executive who diced up the original US single-LP release ...

TMBG ... I admit to being fairly unlearned about them.  I've read
articles about them, heard a song or two on the radio & MTV, but have
never owned any of their stuff, and probably couldn't tell which John
was which without the proverbial scorecard.  Nevertheless, they rate
highly with me for this one simple reason:
Two of their songs were used in a Tiny Toon Adventures cartoon!

"Rock'n'roll" Christmas songs ... my favorite will probably always be
"Father Christmas" by the Kinks.

tony nowikowski


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 15:47:15 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: My XTC Past and random chattering

I'm sorry, I seem to be JHB/AMANDA-ing lately, but I'll try to
cease and desist after this'n:

The "Can't Get it Out of My Head"/Lennon thing reminds me of when
I first heard "Hey Little Girl" and "Street Cafe" by Icehouse.
I was so sure it was new Roxy Music stuff that I actually called
the radio station and said "hey, is that a new Roxy album?".

Thanks for the news - greatest hits!  A box set?!?  Gad, would
that include cool demos/unreleased/?????

M. Penn's "March" - absolutely.  The second one's good too, but
where the hell is a new one?!?!  It's supposedly coming, I think...

Kate Bush - I just can't get past her voice.  I guess it's similar
to some people's (not on our list!) problems w/Andy's voice.

Todd Bernhardt's question about the Dukes (hey, Todd!):  I don't
think it really pushed them one way or another - I just think they
liked that type of music and did it for kicks.  (just my opinion).

Lastly, my XTC radio experience and listening history (since I was
the one who started this whole thread).  I first heard "Life Begins
at the Hop" and "Nigel" on the radio, and although I liked 'em, I
didn't run out and buy D&W.  But later when I heard "Generals and
Majors" and "Towers of London" a lot, I bought "Black Sea".  A few
years later, for God knows what reasons, I SOLD this album, and not
only that - I pretty much totally missed "The Big Express", "English
Settlement" and "Mummer", other than hearing "Senses" on the radio.
I don't know where my tastes were in the early 80's.  But then
"Skylarking" brought me back to my senses (yeah, I know, it's a pun),
which O&L only cemented further, as I fell into XTC-dom.

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


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 23:18:43 +0000
Subject: Question B/W Threads


John Hackney asked: "what does 'b/w' mean?"
- and then he went on to answer the question himself...
>  "Backed with" comes to mind----
You are right. It means 'backed with'.
And 'c/w' means 'coupled with' (no smirking!)

XTC songs to play loud:
- Travels In Nihilon
- Complicated Game
- Yacht Dance
- Wake Up
- Pale And Precious

First XTC song I heard  : Are You Receiving Me? (Dutch TV 1978)

First XTC album I bought: English Settlement


Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
Me and the wind are pulling kites and pushing trees


Message-Id: <v01540b09aedb657e5d11@[]>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 14:01:59 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Sundry

>From: Stormy Monday <>
>Bands I Love to Hate:
>JEFF LYNNE and ELO/John Mellancamp/Bob Seger/Asia/Kansas ("Dust In The Wind"
>will be playing constantly if I go to hell!)/The Ramones/Lou Reed/Blondie) rank the Ramones, Lou and Blondie with Asia, Kansas and ELO??  :(

>From: (James Dignan)
>>"Don't Bring Me Down" [ELO, not Beatles]

The Beatles song is "Don't LET Me Down."  ;)

>[Top 16] *Bewitched (Luna) - proving that Americans have finally worked
>out how to
>make good New Zealand pop music.

No fair -- Bewitched came out in 1994, and Luna have even released another
album (the not-that-good Penthouse) since then! Incidentally, the best
Americans-doing-NZ album of recent years is Portastatic's Slow Note For A
Sinking Ship.  :)

>*Abbasalutely (various) - a truly stupid idea. NZ's top indie rock artists
>get together on a tribute album to the band they love to hate, Abba. Some
>are too near the original, but a chirpy Chills version of "Tropical
>Loveland", a daft camp take on "On and on and On" by Chris Knox and a most
>evil slide-out-of-a-boggy-swamp-at-midnight version of "The name of the
>game" by Straitjacket Fits mainman Shayne Carter and Headless Chicken Fiona
>McDonald are worth the price of admission.Eb

Arrrgh...I gotta get me a copy of this. Will this be reissued by the US
Flying Nun office?


PS  Re Kate Bush: I'll take Hounds Of Love and The Dreaming over almost
anything by XTC. Nyaah.  :)


Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 15:41:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Bill Wisner <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: We stand by our statements - but..

It has been pointed out that I error in Chalkhills #3-59 in citing
Peter Gabriel's first solo album as "face".  I should have said "car".

Am I the only person that keeps trying to send Chalkhills messages


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 12:50:06 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: Randall Watson/The Return

'The Return' is pretty good!  It's a sort of melting pot of
garage-pure pop-Shoes-King's X-Big Head Todd-Sugarplastic-
on-steroids.  That's my 'official' review, anyway...

Back to your regularly-scheduled program.
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------


Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 18:52:49 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Cum On Feel The Noize
Message-ID: <>

<SLADE:  James Dignan tallyed up the Slade chart positions (31 charting UK
<singles!) and laughed at the idea of them being called one hit wonders.  In
<America they had 31 less chart hits, which would qualify them as, in US
<standards, another UK band with no hits (along with the Jam, Move, etc.).
 <Most US folks only know their songs as done by Def Leppard (it took me a few
<post Leppard years to discover the songs as they were meant to be heard).

  Huh? I think you'll find Quiet Riot responsible for murdering about
three Slade classics and having a major American hit single with one of
them, "Cum On Feel The Noize." My blood boils when I think that millions
of aging glam-rockers think Quiet Riot wrote the song. Thank God XTC songs
don't lend themselves to being ruined by poodle-headed idiots.
  As for Def Leppard, the only cover I know of them recording is The
Sweet's "Action." Mind you, I only have slightly more tolerance for Def
Leppard; I still don't like their music, but it's more of a matter of
personal taste with them, while Quiet Riot is one band I would love to
see spontaneously combust.


Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 19:56:34 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Strange, beautiful...grass of green

>TMBG's first album<
>But then, they started to grate on me.

Well, the first album is very cleverly written but most of it doesn't have a
lot of "repeat listen" value. The two albums that are really enjoyable on
repeated listens are Lincoln and Apollo 18.

>I still say that their version of "25 o'clock" is without merit.

Okay. All I was arguing about was that it seemed like you were dismissing
Their music based on one song.

>I'll not say another word about them until I've
>listened to "John Henry" three times.  (That is my recommendation to XTC
>uninitiated: If you've never heard them, you've got to listen to
>"Skylarking" (to my ears, the BEST album since Abbey Road) at least three
>times before you say that you don't like them)

In that case, then, I recommend that you go for Lincoln rather than John
Henry, as it is almost universally regarded as TMBG's best album. More fans
than not consider JH a weak effort.

>the line "I saw the Ocean's Daughter" is a giveaway (since Daughter of the
>Ocean, in Japanese, is Yoko Ono). does this relate to that movie (Ocean's Daughter, of course) that
Andy did music for, then?

>I've found that if I put on, say, O&L and try to do something else, I just
>get nervous and annoyed until I stop what I'm doing and just listen.

I can put on an XTC album I don't really like all that much (i.e. White
Music or Mummer) for background music, and depending on my mood I can listen
to another album that way too. However, when I'm feelin' good and the music
is nice and loud, I always end up trying to sing along and then have to stop
typing or else I'll be typing along with the song. :)

Also let me add that if I could only listen to music while I wasn't doing
anything else, I'd never get to use my stereo.

>is it just me or has anyone else NEVER seen a Chanukkah album?

On a vaguely related note, I have to wonder -- are there any *good* choral
songs written in English about Hanukkah? I know in school they always had to
have a Hanukkah song so no one would be offended, but they always picked
*horrible* songs. It was like some Christian guy sat down and thought
"Hmmm...spin dreidels, light candles, eat those Jewish foods..." What would
it be like if all the Christmas carols were "Decorate the tree, open
presents, eat fruitcake"?

>Radios In Motion
>This is POP!
>Or... Another Roadside Attraction.  Any comments?

I like the last very sounds very cool, doesn't pigeonhole the
band...I say go for it. The first two, though, being recognizable song
titles, are a bit too "restricting" of what your band could be. I'd go with
the last. (I also like "Nature's Sunken Wreck.")

/---------------------------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: <v01550100aedb9a2f4304@[]>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 19:31:45 -0600
From: (Insane Boy)
Subject: Melt This!

Alienation's for the rich
And I'm feelin' poorer every day...


re: end of "Difficulty"
> When I was 14 (in 1983), this was the coolest thing I had *ever* heard.

When I was 18 in 1993 this was also the coolest thing I had
ever heard.  Still think it's cool, too.

>Andy's diatribe in "Melt The Guns"

For some reason XTC's political songs don't bother me a bit. I usually
HATE overly political and preachy songs, and slap myself if I even
begin to think about writing one.  I guess I love XTC's because the music
separates itself from the lyrics.  In "Melt the Guns", the music is
just damn cool!  The chord changes in that song are incredible!  And,
add this to my list of favorite nuances-- Andy's high plainitive "ah, you
gotta melt-the melt-the melt-the guns, melt them all doww-own" bits
right before the music fades out at the end.  But in addition to all that,
I agree with him!  The thing is, I'm not going to be the one to say those
[political] things, but he does a pretty good job of it.

> "I'm your friend/ I'm your only friend/ I'm your little
>glowing friend" or some-such, and that annoyed me as well.

That song is called "Birdhouse in Your Soul", and if one just
listens to the chord changes, one would realize that that is a FUCKING
AWESOME song!!  That intro gives me the shivers!

>their version of "25 o'clock" is without merit.

I've always hated "25 O'clock", in all its incarnations.  I always
start the CD on track 2.

>Also think Black Sea = Revolver.

The connection's tenuous at best.  We're merely talking periods in
the bands' respective histories here, right?  As far as anything
else is concerned they are entirely dissimilar.  Andy himself said
that "Black Sea" was arranged for live performance.  The only song
ever performed live from the "Revolver" period was "Paperback
Writer".  The Beatles were experimenting in the studio and while
to some degree "Revolver"'s arrangements sound sparse (they only
had four tracks then), they weren't pared down for live performance.
"Eleanor Rigby", anyone?

>"Give me the good ol' music o' the 1960's and '70's so I won't have
>to think about the possibility that good music is actually being made today..."

I have to quote Billy Joel (of all people!) here:  "The good ol' days
weren't always good/ and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems".

>this is the same guy who wrote 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' and 'I am the

Well, that's simple English, just thrown together in a complex way.

>Andy Partridge liked Ash.

I heard one of their CDs at Tower and just thought, "crap; typical
distorted power pop."  Am I wrong?

>Did [The Dukes] appearance change
>the direction of the band's music for the better or the worse?

I think it was inevitable.  These were all the bands the guys listened
to as kids.  I say it's definitely helped them go somewhere different
with their music.  But 60's retreads they still are not.

And now, the toupee report:

Winds are picking up a bit here, what with this winter thing
coming, so I would just stay indoors or wear a hat.
[what movie am I paraphrasing? winners get...the satisfaction of knowing!]

Jason Garcia


Date: 17 Dec 1996 01:48:43 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: OK. I'm really taking a breather now.

Today, I was driving around town, shopping and checking the post office to
see if my college acceptance/rejection letter had arrived (not
today...tomorrow, perhaps?!) Anyway, I had Mike Oldfield's "Songs of Distant
Earth" on the CD player, popped it out, and there was "Thanks for Christmas"
on the radio! Neat, eh? It made me especially proud because I live in the
freakin' *middle of nowhere.* Also, as an extra incentive (it seemed) for me
to listen to the radio, they played "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" next. I needed a
Motown fix; don't know why.

I got Robyn Hitchcock's "Element of Light" today, and you all were right (as
usual). I'm still making my way through the Rhino 20-track CD, but I'm
enjoying everything.

Someone mentioned my favorite part in (probably) any XTC song:
"acomplicompliacatedacomplicated..." Love that. I always huff along with it
when I listen.

Very happy holidays to all.

Ben (who, unlike Mr. Hall-Bachner, is done with school!!!)

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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 22:23:10 -0800
From: Troy Peters <>
Subject: You're the Discs You Are I Had

Much talk here of late on the artists by whom we have the most CDs.
I'll eliminate
classical (Stravinsky and Mozart win quantity of discs hands down) and
come up with:

1.  Prince (or whatever his name is)
2.  XTC (they would be first, but Prince just puts out more crap)
3.  The Beatles
4.  Elvis Costello
5.  Springsteen (yes, I mean it)

Making the list makes me realize that it does in some way represent my
tastes, but not completely.  I have about 1750 CDs, and just counting
doesn't tell all.  For instance:

...I have tons of Neil Young but wouldn't really call myself a fan.

...I keep buying Prince even though I usually regret it these days
(since about '89) -- but "Emancipation" is worth checking out.

...The numbers go for Springsteen, but I *listen* to a lot more PM Dawn
and Ben Folds Five and Crowded House and Robyn Hitchcock and...

WAIT!!!  I'm off topic.  Damn.

Please sign a record deal, boys.  We're getting loopy out here.

don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey,

Troy Peters


From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: subways
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 03:50:39 +0000
Message-ID: <>

> Phil Hetherington writes:
># >Also, in _The Smartest Monkeys_ (I just know y'all can't wait to carefully
># >analyze the lyrics here :-)):  "To the subways of the modern world, How
># they >pack so many in".  This makes sense to me only in the American meaning
># of >"subway" not the English walkway under a road.
>I'm sure others have realised this, but it's definitely UK subways, i.e.
>where scores of homeless people end up sleeping every night. The other
>interpretation makes no sense in the context of the rest of the song.
>IMHO, of course.

And of course you're quite right.  So obvious I looked right by it.  It's
going to go right by most Americans' ears, though, since very few here
are familiar with the UK meaning of subway.

Thanks for putting me straight on that,

Steve Larson


Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 16:58:45 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b01aedc8112a50a@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: REM, AFAICT and other acroyms from COCOA*

>>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 I DON'T

>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 works.

REM would never call an album by as English a word as Mummer though. They
probably wouldn't even know what it means. I don't mean that they're stupid
or anything like that - I mean that outside of the UK, not many people do
know what the word means! Also, REM are a four-piece. There are only the
shadows of three people on the cover of Mummer!

>Subject: Go **** Yourself With Your Acronyms

COCOA* reports that AFAICT mean As Far As I Can Tell. Also there's AFAIK
(...know) and AFAIAA ( aware).


*COCOA is the Council to Outlaw Contrived and Outrageous Acronyms :)


Date: 16 Dec 96 23:52:35 EST
From: "K. Forster" <103124.351@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Stormy Monday's comments on TMBG
Message-ID: <961217045234_103124.351_JHG39-2@CompuServe.COM>

>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.

Actually, as a longtime (and I mean from the beginning, when the original
first album cassette didn't have the songs listed on the cover) TMBG fan, I
wouldn't really recommend "John Henry" -- I know it took me a while to get
used to that particular recording. It's a much harder sound and one that
tends to give me a headache, although I am still thoroughly hooked on a
number of songs from it ("Snail Shell", "A Self Called Nowhere").

Of course, for all I know, you'll love it. My recommendation, though, would
be "Factory Showroom"...or "Flood"...or "Apollo 18" (skip "Fingerprints",
it's annoying)...or "Lincoln"...did I mention I really like these guys? :)

Truthfully, I don't think TMBG's cover of "25 O'Clock" was that great
either, and I've never heard the original. So I'm not saying everything they
do is genius. I'm just saying that they're worth trying.

Sorry this wasn't XTC-related...I'll be better next time.



Date: 16 Dec 96 23:52:33 EST
From: "K. Forster" <103124.351@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: My intro to XTC.
Message-ID: <961217045232_103124.351_JHG39-1@CompuServe.COM>

Having posted on TMBG already, I thought I'd make up for that by actually being
relevant in this one.

It was MTV that brought me together with "Mayor of Simpleton" too. I was
hooked from the first time I saw it...great music, cool lyrics (I've always
loved Sam Cooke and I thoroughly enjoyed the relation between "What a
Wonderful World" and "MOS"). Where'd these guys come from? I bought Oranges
and Lemons right then and have been slowly accumulating more through the
years. I have to admit that, chronologically, my favorite stuff starts with
"Great Fire" on the "Compact XTC", but "Generals and Majors" and "Life
Begins at the Hop" give me a thrill, too.

Now if I can just survive until the next album comes out...

:) Kat


Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 22:18:55 -0800
From: becki digregorio <>
Subject: memory flash...
Message-ID: <>

yikes, and of course i remember this just as i hit the "send" button for my
previous missive...

that band that used to do the "respectable street" cover -- i think they
were called "a western front."

anybody remember them??  played locally around san jose, the bay area...




Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 22:24:14 -0800
From: becki digregorio <>
Subject: first xtc "o", jellyfish question
Message-ID: <>

greetings to all,

have really enjoyed reading of folks' "first-time experiences" w/ our lads,
and wanted to join in w/ my own:

many (way too many) years ago i used to follow a band play around the bay
area (california here) called "the reggies."  another band whose name
escapes me now, but frequently shared the bill w/ them, used to do a cover
of "respectable street" in their set of originals.  i always liked the
tune, but never got around to buying an official xtc album for some years

then i was in tower records about three years later (in mountain view), i'm
walking the aisles looking around, and suddenly the amazing drums of
"travels in nihilon" comes over their sound system.  i remember stopping in
my tracks and just _listening_.  walked over to the guy behind the counter
and blurted out "man, who is THIS??!!"  he showed me the album cover
(vinyl, natch), and i immediately bought it.  those drums; that bass line;
andy's vocals; dave's shining guitar work... this was the humble beginning
of a beautiful friendship in xtc.

anyone else from the bay area who remembers this time??  band names??  the
bass player for "the reggies" was a big xtc fan, his name was eddie sedano.
even gave me a copy of the "great fire" e.p.  but i've no idea where this
cat is now.

and a special thanks to those who make their humble suggestions as to other
music to check out.  someone on the list sent me a tape of "the grays," and
i'm currently looking for their cd.  great stuff!!!  and my good friend and
guitarist (one of them) (more on that next month) john wedemeyer suggested
listening to the band "jellyfish," their "spilt milk" album.  well, i must
say that i cannot stop listening to this cd, it hasn't left my player in
over two weeks.  what an amazing album!!  what a production!!  i've yet to
get their other release, but it _is_ on my holiday list...

one jellyfish question to those who consider themselves fans:
um... this tune "best friend."  um... is this another "pink thing" kinda'
---just wondering.

and to the cat who questioned whether anyone had listened to "open my eyes"
while "under the influence", i respond thus: next month i hope to offer you
a listening experience of said tune that, while it could never supersede
the original, may give you a warm feeling all over when listening to it...

(ahhh, john, i'm gettin' kinda' antsy here!!)---

a special thanks to everyone on the list for making me smile and even laugh
out loud when i read some of these postings.  my, my, we're quite the bunch
of witty, intellectual and entertaining fans, aren't we??!!  sure helps the
mood when i need cheering up.

warm wishes to all,


"he wasn't drunk on liquor, just drunk on what he liked."  --jack kerouac


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 08:42:46 -0800
From: Ian C Stewart <>

Hi losers

thanks to all who have ordered the Bizarre Depiction XTC tributes
ATMOSPHEAR TO OCEAN and SKYLACKING.  I hope you're all enjoying them, and
you should do the world a favor by sharing that joy by posting your
thought about the tapes to this here list.  Go on, it'll be fun.

as for the rest of you who have not yet ordered these world-exclusives:
it is now officially TOO LATE.  Sat on your hands too long and look where
it got you.  Consider this whole XTC tribute mess part of HISTORY.

anyone who wants to smooch my hiney (heiney?) in order to sucker me into
running another batch of these tapes:  line forms to the left.

anyone who wishes like hell that I'd put together another XTC tribute
tape:  line forms in Richard Pedretti-Allen's direction.  What's up with
that tape, Richard?  You've been too quiet lately.

If you've reserved copies of the XTC tributes from me recently, or if
you've already mailed payment, your order will be filled.  THEN IT'S
DONE.  thanks again everyone.

Now, indulge me my first Chalk-ism:
currently playing very loudly:



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 08:34:00 -0500
From: "Sawyer, Keith" <keith.sawyer@FMR.Com>
Subject: Best of '96

I tried very hard not to compose this one ... but my ego could not be

*Long River Train* - Arguments for Drinking: More like an e.p. ten sparse
pop/country tunes; inspecting relationships in various states of decay
*Suzanne Vega* - Nine Objects of Desire: Consisently intricate
songwriting and great structure; snapshots with an impact
*Honeybunch* - Time Trials: Mix of new and older stuff; delivering
conscience-checks within a crisp, bouncy pop songs
*The Spinanes* - Strand: Am I the only one who prefers this over their
first?; urgent guitar/drum attack mixed with quiet tension
*Sugarplastic* - Bang, the Earth is Round:  Enough said
*R.E.M.* - New Adventures in Hi-Fi:  Immense respect for their ability
to innovate and entertain while staying 'popular'
*Holiday* - Ready, Steady Go!:  Varied instrumentation lends a little
flesh to their character studies
*Mark Eitzel* - 60 Watt Silver Lining: Best current songwriter and
captivating vocal presence, though I'm not into Mark Isham's horns

Late '95 Division
*The Ropers* - All the Time:  First full-length slams on the
accelerator; this is what the new Posies record should've been
*Romania* - Remodel:  The most fun I've had all year; an early 80's pop
homage with their own New Wave sound

I'm sure in 1997 I will discover 1996 releases that *should* be included
here ...  after all I haven't purchased the new Saturnine or Lily's records

XTC CONTENT: Pronunciation guide division - How do my colleagues on the list
pronounce the title to XTC's last full-length?  I've always said
"Nuhn-such," taking my cue from "Chalkhills and Children."  But it occurs to
me that the way it's spelled could lead to a "Nahn-such" pronunciation.

detail-orientedly yours,

"As if I were the first one to watch her undress,
As if I were the first to hear her cry and confess"
 -Long River Train, "The First"


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-60

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