Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-64

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 64
                     Happy New Year!

                 Thursday, 2 January 1997

Today's Topics:

               Definition of Corporate Rock
                      one at a time
             Re: Nu muzak and Todd-devolution
                      XTC Christmas
               That thing you do / Dear God
                  Ambient; origins etc.
                       ENB Request
                       Hearing XTC
              Rip Van Winkle wants XTC tapes
               Thud! Do You Have The Cards?
                  Twice Told Todd Tales
           The "bongo biz" rocking and reeling
                Record Collector Interview
                  Jumping in a Chalkhill
                  Shirts, CDs, Hitchcock
                       FF LTD.CASE
             having jumped too soon (addenda)
                     1996 in retreat
1996 in almost as long as the Year in Question


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Next you'll be telling me it's 1990!


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 15:51:20 -0700
Subject: Definition of Corporate Rock

Yo Chalkhillians,

> that worked twice with Todd never worked w/him a second time."
>  Sorry to disagree, but Grand Funk did indeed record two albums
> with him. "We're An American Band" and then the album
> that came immediately afterward, which had their massive hit
> "Loco-motion."  The title escapes me.

This is the kind of great information I was looking for!  BUT, If the
album was called Good Singin, Good Playin I always thought that it
was produced by Frank Zappa.  Sounds wierd, eh?

> Also, if I'm not heinously mistaken, Todd was responsible for the first two
> The Pursuit Of Happiness albums.

Yes, I've heard this a few times now.  Now, I'd like to see the list
of bands that only worked with him once and compare the lengths.

And Now For Something Completely Different:
> From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey"
> Subject: "corporate rock"?

>>To this day they ( Cheap Trick ) remain on my Top Ten
> > Favorite Corporate Rock Bands list along with others and REM.
> Maybe I just have a different definition from yours, but I have to
> disagree w/your categorization of R.E.M. as "corporate rock." Yes,
> they're huge now......

That's all I mean.  They're huge now and have slipped off the
progressive list onto the corporate list.  Our definitions are
reletavely the same.

> To me, "corporate rock" applies to bands who either were nearly
> manufactured by Big Labels, or are so careerist that they'll make any
> compromise in sound, image, etc. to ensure that they keep bucks flowing
> to the label's banks. These bands tend to follow trends, not start them.

Aaannd, will also change members of the band like dirty underware
and continue on like nothing ever happened.  Journey is the perfect
example of this-type of corporate rock behavior.  They are indeed my
most hateable of all corporate rock bands.  I heard they don't even
come out to play encores...they just show slides of the members

I consider it a compliment to any band to be listed on my Favorite
Corporate Rock Band List 'cause if yer not on that and not on the
Favorite Progressive Rock Band List yer either flailing with the
likes of Journey or lost in some sort of musical pergetory.

Also, Smashing Pumpkins and U2 are dangerously close to slipping off
the Progressive list and onto the Corprate list, teetering as it were.
Only the next year or two will tell.

Everybody now,    SMX

Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-Id: <v01510100aee8b306ff6b@[]>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 13:03:27 -1000
From: (Jim Smart)
Subject: one at a time


A few digests back, a newby like me asked which XTC albums to buy first, if
one didn't possess them all. One of you replied, "Buy all XTC now!!!" Now,
I can understand this, but I'd like to suggest an alternate view.

I feel that each album needs to be appreciated individually. If you buy a
bunch at one time (if you can afford that), each one will not get the
attention it derserves. This happened to me with the Kinks. I was enjoying
that digest so much that I bought a bunch at one time, and I still feel
like I've never connected with those albums. There was someone on the Kinks
list who's first album was 1993's Phobia. He/she liked it so well that s/he
started buying them one at a time, in reverse order.

I like this idea, so that is the course I'm pursuing with XTC. I've had
Nonsuch, Oranges and Lemons, and Skylarking for years. Now you've all got
me curious, so I plan to buy them all one at a time. Last week I bought The
Big Express, and it hasn't left my car's CD player. A great album! But you
don't need me to tell you that.....

Just a thought that maybe some humans can only absorb one album properly at
a time....

.                                                            .
. "There is a considerable possibility that I do not know    .
.    what I am talking about, but if you ever reach          .
.   total enlightenment while you're drinking a beer, I bet  .
.     it makes beer shoot out your nose."                    .


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 06:37:02 -0800
From: Keith Hanlon <>
Subject: Re: Nu muzak and Todd-devolution

Winter-holiday-greetings to all my fellow Chalkhillians! (What a
mouthful.) (Michael Kearns)wrote:

> Within a pop framework, they craft dissonant tensions (guitar solo on
> "Complicated Game"), playful chance operations (Andy's vocalizations at the
> end of "Desert Island"), Wagnerian ultra-chromaticism ("That Wave"),
> Partch-like instrumental explorations (train-whistle guitar on "Train
> Running Low On Soul Coal"), otherworldly orchestrations (the impressionistic
> horns in "Humble Daisy"), worldly rhythmic grooves ("This World Over"),
> sinister anti-grooves ("Burning With Optimism's Flames" intro), and
> classical realism (their impossible note-for-note replica of Captain
> Beefheart's "Ella Guru"!!!)

As usual, I was too late to respond to the original post. It doesn't
matter though, because I couldn't have put it better. You know, it is a
THRILL to be able to read postings from people who site XTC, Captain
Beefheart, and Harry Partch in the same paragraph!

That said, I'll try to respond anyway.

Someone else wrote:
> If you trace ambient music back to its
> roots, you find not only Brian Eno in the early 70's, but Eric Satie in the
> 1920's (if I remember correctly), who wrote piano music specifically to be
> played for people who weren't listening.

I'm having a small problem with this whole "new music" discussion (as
much as I love the subject). How do we define "new music?" Music
evolves, and VERY FEW artists ever offer a true departure. Yes, I can
easily throw around terms like blues, country, rhythm and blues, rap,
rock and roll, jazz, classical, and folk (and their sub-categories). All
of these "genres" have influenced each other to a very LARGE degree.
Yet, who can disagree with me when I say that Miles Davis, Brian Eno,
Sonic Youth, Public Enemy, Captain Beefheart, John Cage, countless
others have created something new from elements of all? (Now that I've
said it, I'm sure many of you will disagree!)

Sure, the idea of ambient music dates back to Satie, but Brian Eno did
something completely different. The ambient music I've been hearing
lately has gone in a completely different, pseudo-dance direction.

So what's new?

(I'll tell you what's new.... that up-coming XTC album, damn it!)

Jay ( wrote:

> To my knowledge, Todd produced the first TWO records from Canadian pop-sters
> The Pursuit Of Happiness.

This is very true. As a matter of fact, Moe Berg and Co. were huge Todd
fans anyway, so it's no surprise that their first two albums (the first
especially) were lost Utopia gems. I'm sure they had no problem doing
what they were told!

On a side-Todd note, I heard an interview with Todd when his Nearly
Human album came out. He said that his productions had been following a
natural evolution, starting with Skylarking. That album was heavily
overdubbed. Somewhere in the middle of the evolutionary scale was TPOH,
which he said was 80% live in the studio; just vocal and guitar
overdubs. Nearly Human was all live in the studio, no overdubs. After
that, he did "2nd Wind," all live in front of am audience that had to
keep quiet (a la Joe Jackson's classic Big World). Unfortunately, the
songs blew - I gave up on my hero after that one!

I got some great Christmas gifts: "Mummer" on CD!!! And the Pere Ubu box

Keith Hanlon


Message-ID: <>
From: Ed Miller Laptop <>
Subject: XTC Christmas
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 17:51:40 -0700

Hello, fellow Chalkies...

Q. #1

Anyone get or give any cool XTC related gifts this Christmas/Hannukah?

Q. #2

I heard a new Christmas album with an XTC song on it the other night, but
never caught the name.  It was on the local public radio station, but I
missed the beggining and end of the set.

BTW, I didn't get any XTC stuff, but I did get an incredible Jerry Garcia
t-shirt and a Garcia designed necktie.  I guess the old guy might live on

Happy New Year to all, and best wishes for a joyous 1997 (with a new XTC
release perhaps)!

ed miller
dallas, tx


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 17:49:42 +0000
Subject: That thing you do / Dear God

Looks like Andy's ongoing battle with Hollywood has failed again.  I
just finally sighted the "That thing you do" soundtrack.  No "My train
is coming" unless it's been renamed.  Looks like the completists can
breathe a sigh of relief.

Did anyone notice there's a new movie out called "Dear God"?


Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 03:52:23 -0600 (CST)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: Ambient; origins etc.
Message-ID: <>

   "Agreeable arts are those whose purpose is merely enjoyment.  They include
[the art of providing] all those charms that can gratify a party at table...
(Such arts also include the art of furnishing a table so that people will
enjoy themselves, or include, at large banquets, presumably even the table-
music -- a strange thing which is meant to be only an agreeable noise serving
to keep the minds in a cheerful mood, and which fosters the free flow of
conversation between each person and his neighbor, without anyone's paying
the slightest attention to the music's composition.)...
    Fine art, on the other hand, is a way of presenting that is purposive
on its own and that furthers, even though without a purpose, the culture of
our mental powers to [facilitate] social communication."

                   -- Kant, Critique of Judgment (1790), Ak. 305-6

Still and all, Brian Eno's the go-to guy for all this ambient stuff around
today; more or less an exploitation of the recording studio rather than
composition.  I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but thank God studio
nerdism is making a comeback of sorts, as if it went anywhere to begin with.


Marshall Armintor/ Dept.
Rice University/Sometime Systems Consultant x5779,
Blackadder on the Romantic poets:"There's nothing intellectual about
wandering around Italy in a big shirt, trying to get laid."


From: Stewart Evans <>
Subject: ENB Request
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 22:13:15 -0700 (MST)
Message-ID: <>

The "Lyrics By Ernest Noyes Brookings" album that has AP on it (one track,
credited to XTC but really just Andy in the potting shed) is volume 2,
"Place of General Happiness."  It also has a bunch of other cool stuff
(Brave Combo, Fred Frith, Young Fresh Fellows) and is my favorite of the
series.  Volume 3, aka "Delicacy and Nourishment", is also very good and
includes a track by Peter Blegvad.

Volume 1 was only ever available on vinyl, as far as I know.  It's mostly
Kramer and the Shimmy-Disc crowd (and if you don't know what that means, you
probably wouldn't be interested).  I didn't find it nearly as much fun as
the later volumes.

-- Stewart


Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 00:40:44 -0500 (EST)
From: Claudia S Cauchon <>
Subject: Hearing XTC
Message-Id: <>

	Boy, nothing like having a week off to finally be able to catch up
on about 10 or so Chalkhill digests.  Anyway, thought I make a few
comments on some of things that have been discuss.

	First time I heard XTC on the radio:

	Well, it wasn't the radio, but there was this short lived live
late night talk/variety show on Channel 5 in Boston (this was at least two
years before Letterman reinvented late night tv).  As apart of this show's
format other than doing live interviews at 1:30 in the morning (I remember
a memorable Cars interview) they would show videos and one night they
played both "Life Begins at the Hop" and "Making Plans for Nigel".
Unfortunately, I can't say I fell in love with them as a matter a fact the
two videos kind of intimidated me, well, actually I thought they were the
weirdest things I ever saw (hey, I was 16 and I'm from New Hampshire).  I
have to admit I haven't really seen those videos since that time and I'm
sure if I saw them today they would seem primitive and low budget, but at
the time they really were different from anything I had seen or heard
before, and "Nigel" still kinda creeps me out today when I listen to it.
It wasn't until the "Black Sea" album was release and being compared to
the Kinks (I was really into the Kinks at the time and anyone compared to
them automatically got my interest), that I got the nerve to buy "Black
Sea".  Luckily, it had that green wrapping around it otherwise I might
have been intimidated by the album cover of them in deep sea outfits,
well, actually I thought the green wrapping was a weird idea, too.

	Here's my memory of buying "The Big Express" album:  I used to
live in Maryland in the Mid-80's and I worked at a job where I had to get
there by 6am, but I also used to stay up and watch Letterman so I would
take naps after work.  One afternoon I woke up to this song I thought was
fastastic, but I couldn't hang around to find out who it was so I just
left it at that until I went record shopping a week or so later.  As I'm
going through the record stacks I noticed XTC had a new record out so as
I'm looking at it I realized the record store is playing that song I woke
up to which I realize as I'm standing there looking at "The Big Express"
album was XTC.  Of course, I immediately left the store without buying the
album because I didn't want to it to seem like they influence me to buy it
so I went back the next day and brought it.  I fell in love with the album
the second I heard the opening guitars of "Wake Up" and that song I loved
so much, "All You Pretty Girls".  I loved the album so much I seriously
considered writing the fan club address provided on the inner sleeve
something I never considered with any other groups not even my beloved
Kinks.  Also, "The Big Express" along with the Kinks' Kink Kontroversy
album were my first CDs I purchased even before I had a CD player.



Message-Id: <v03010d00aeeb72571513@[]>
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 17:16:33 -0800
From: Brian Tucker <>
Subject: Rip Van Winkle wants XTC tapes

I'm a lapsed XTC fan.  I just came across Chalkhills and learned of the
various "fan" releases (Jules Verne's Sketchbook, Bull With the Golden
Guts, Hello Recording Club EP, etc.) that Andy Partridge/XTC have produced
in the past few years.

Could anyone point me to sources for these "irregular" releases that I
napped through?

Thank you kindly.


Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 02:42:15 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Thud! Do You Have The Cards?

Hey Chalkies...

I'm catching up on, honest, no less than 31 Chalkhills digests. I'm on
sabbatical from work and I have nothing to do for awhile...can you think
of a better way to spend your weekend? I think not! Two quick thoughts
before I dive back in.

First, if anyone is interested, I have a copy of Kevin Gilbert's "Thud"
that also includes the bonus CD "EP" Kasmir. I've listened to both a few
times, but that's it. If you want them, drop me email and I'll ship 'em
along for what I paid (it was around $12 U.S.).

And to turn the tables, if anyone out there has a deck of the Nonsuch
Playing Cards, I am absolutely lusting for them. Please email me...let's
make a deal, a trade, a swap, roll me for all my money - I don't care. I
just want 'em!

Bye for now...

Greg (aka dr.beat)


Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 11:19:24 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Twice Told Todd Tales
Message-ID: <>

  I can only think of two bands that have worked with Todd Rundgren
twice; The Tubes and Pursuit Of Happiness. Actually, Pursuit Of Happiness
worked with him three times, if you include his guitar overdub credit on
their third Ed Stadium, er, Stasium produced album.


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: The "bongo biz" rocking and reeling
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 16:16:00 -0500

Just wanted to alert my favorite music fans to a decent article by Steve
Morse in today's (12/30) Boston Globe.

He discusses the music industry from more than a $-oriented standpoint,
appears to have done some research and interviews, and isn't soundbiting
as far as I can tell. Everyone, save the consumer, stands for a bit
of criticism.

Even if Morse is just holding up the mirror to the "general public" in a
newspaper, I'm glad to see this being tackled somewhere besides our
mailing list. The lag time is still disappointing, cos it seems that
*everyone* has to agree with the prognosis for the industry to do some-
thing. As a music consumer, I don't have cable, don't really go to
concerts, don't buy any mags, or even listen to a lot of radio, so I
have to get my news from somewhere--and you guys are pretty much it.
(This *can't* be healthy for me!)

Selected highlights you *may* appreciate:

"What's ailing the music industry? Suddenly, the word 'crisis' is
up everywhere. CD sales are down. So are concert ticket sales.
Consumer loyalty is fading. [But] while pop fans are famous for
short attention spans, they're not being helped by an industry that
seems to have an even shorter one.

"The loyalty between artists and record companies has eroded. The 70
minutes of music that can fit on CDs also means a lot of filler is
used today, [so] there are few great recordings anymore.

"There are too many records being released, too many novelty acts, too
many confusing radio formats, too little respect for established stars
development of new bands" means telling them to sell right now or get

"A major problem may be the civil war now being fought on radio
[between] 'modern rock vs. classic rock' insulting listeners who
like to hear both on one station."

But don't take my word for it, and I won't clutter up this space. Check
it out for yourself. (On good old newsprint, or from

(This article has been sliced, diced and condensed to fit your monitor.
The Globe and/or author maintain all rights, yadda-yadda-yadda.)

Trying to be a good fish in shoals,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 23:23:09 +0000
From: Simon <>
Subject: Record Collector Interview

Well hello.

The latest issue of the UK magazine Record Collector (January 1997, Issue No
209) has a rather good Andy Partridge interview in it.

I have transcribed the interview for Bungalow, but if there's anyone out
there who wants me to email a copy to them then please get in touch. It's
quite lengthy and quite interesting. Although it does cover the same old
topics of the "breakdown" and "money troubles", there are other areas
covered well too.

Here's an excerpt which touches on a recent thread...

RC: Was it a concious decision not to do any drugs?

AP: I never did any drugs. For a mixture of reasons: I was scared because,
as a kid, I was hooked on valium, which went on for 13 years. I took them as
a kid because my mother was rather nutty. She got me on these valium. He's a
bit upset, is he? Not doing to well at school? Stick him on valium. I ended
up taking them for 13 years, until my girlfriend flushed them down a toilet
on tour in Los Angeles. That's the only time I've ever smashed up a hotel
room. I was intensely angry because my little support line had gone down the
toilet. I came back from a heavy night's drinking... But also, and I'm not
joking, I always thought that people who took drugs came across as such
wankers! Nothing to do with creativity. You hear all the stories about the
Beatles taking drugs, but you can't fucntion. Mal would have to drive poor
John home because he'd drop a tab of acid, sit there with his head in his
hands feeling sick while his hands turned into lobsters! You can't be
creative on drugs. All that bollocks about "Lucy I The Sky With Diamonds"
being LSD. No it's not, it's LITSWD! That's Welsh lavatory cleaner. There's
so much wankerdom tied up in drug taking. It turns people into cabbages. I
did get into heavy drinking, though. I was a lot fatter.

RC: But you do like "drug" music?

AP: Ironically, yes. John Leckie (XTC producer)worked with the Pink Floyd
and he said Syd Barrett would just sit there and dribble and you'd have to
call the sesion off and go home. "Oh dear, Syd's taken some acid!". He'd
turn the volume on his guitar off. The people in the control room would be
thinking something was wrong because they couldn't hear his guitar and it
would be Syd. He'd say, "I don't want to disturb anyone." Have you taken
anything, Syd? "Er, yeah."

Some other tasters from the interview...

"Fuck right fucking off!"

"It got me a lot of "finger action" at the time. It never actually got me a

"But some people put out singles that are terrible. R.E.M! "E-Bow The
Letter" E-Bow Shite!."

All the best for the New Year.

Simon (and Hopkin, the all-new email pixie - I'm afraid your old job's gone,

XTC - This Is Pop?


Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 02:54:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Philip M Adamek <>
Subject: Jumping in a Chalkhill
Message-ID: <>

Thanks Chalkhillers for the lively response (from 3-62) to my first post.
I especially appreciated Natalie Jane Jacobs's attempt to summarize my
views and Stormy Monday's convincing "defense" of "Melt the Guns."  As for
the characterization of me as a suicidally pyromaniac infantile
reincarnation of William Buckley, I laughed heartily.

But, now, about the issues I raised...

Let me once more express my general view, this time in simplicity and,
most important, polemics-free.  Hopefully, then, you will be able to
disagree with my views and not react merely to the tone in which they are
expressed or the examples which are chosen to support them.

But first: my general view of the group has, actually, nothing to do with
opposing "Dukes" to "XTC," "engagement to escapism," "joke-telling to
being 'honest'," "politics to poetry," or "this or that XTC album (esp.
O&L) to any other."  (All of these oppositions cropped up in the responses
I received and, admittedly, in part because my first post lazily allowed
them to.)

On the contrary, my general view (or, let's say 'working idea'--since I am
open to being convinced otherwise) has everything to do with the degree of
metaphoricity the band achieves in their songs (lyrically, of course, but
also musically).  I am interested in 'metaphor' precisely because I think
XTC employs metaphors in a way that so few other pop artists do (or are
talented enough to do).  (Kat stated this view well in the same 3-62 by
commenting that the band metaphorize in countless ways "your lover
leaving.")  So, it is largely for this reason that, contrary to Dewitt
Henderson's impression that I like only the Dukes, I have been a long-time
(13 years), passionate fan of XTC (in whatever guise).  It is for this
reason, too, that I wished in my post to address a 'snare' in my
appreciation of the group's recent development.

My working idea is precisely this: When it comes to the sort of 'stance'
or metaphorical distance that the band assumes, one can identify two
distinct trends (which, however, are not in every instance entirely
opposed).  The first stance is 'worldly' (marked by clear contemporary
references and issues, as well as a lack of metaphorical distance); the
second is 'otherworldly' (showing no 'give away' references to
contemporary existence and exemplifying extended metaphors).  I have to
thank Natalie for these terms, but also to say at once that they may lead
to a misunderstanding, since in no way is 'escape from the world' at
issue.  As I understand the term, a "metaphor" is no way 'unreal'
'escapist' 'dishonest' or 'uncommitting.'

As a second part of my working idea, this distinction (worldly /
otherworldly) seems to me relevant to XTC in particular for a specific
reason, and then only after a certain period in their career.  This
distinction imposed itself on the band, so to speak, during the period
when they were withdrawing from the world in a real sense (roughly, during
the recording of Mummer, but already during English Settlement).  Before
this 'rupture,' the brash pop band occupied the same terrain as such
contemporary artists as The Clash.  For this reason, one revels
unproblematically in the young XTC's denouncing of religion ("Jumping in
Gomorrha") or of the British club scene ("Life Begins at the Hop")--and so
on and so forth, the examples being of only secondary importance.
However, the band's "retreat" from the scene brought with it a crisis
which itself had the positive result of freeing them to explore a new
terrain (Swindon and surrounds, yes, as Mummer is, thematically, for the
most part bucolic--but, more important, a new terrain of vigorous
metaphoricity--e.g., "Great Fire").

The crisis was positive in that it allowed the band to discover the
metaphorical genius that came to set the group apart from so many others,
and, in fact, allowed the band to survive and remain genuinely creative
long after the fires of the Anglo-American punk explosion had fizzled.
(For a contrast to their fate, think of those of the numberless bands that
expired along with their own youthful energy (e.g., the Buzzcocks), or
simply stagnated indefinitely (e.g., The Ramones)).

It was nonetheless a crisis.  And this because, in removing themselves
from the 'scene,' XTC was no longer entitled to ask of its listeners that
they 'take the band at their word.' A crisis, perhaps, only because the
band themselves seem in recent years not to have understood the postures
they have variously assumed.  Thus, the 'identity crisis,' a crisis which
their assuming the role of the Dukes exemplifies only in the most outward
manner.  (I do not feel that calling the Dukes a 'joke'--of course, at one
level they are just that--to be a sufficient explanation of why the band
took on new names.)  Other bands may go on writing straightforward lyrics
about lost love, political issues, etc.; other bands may chock their songs
full of predictable guitar fills and patterned horn embellishments, but
as political as Newt Gangrich; but they can no longer do so by pushing
their true genius aside.  Not, that is, without denying their own past and
arresting their artistic development.

To appreciate XTC's unique development itself presents something of a
crisis because in some cases it leads to having one's expectations crushed.

I am tempted to explore a few examples of what I am calling a crisis, but
I would hope that you could respond to my general view as I have stated
it, without focusing on examples.  So, instead, let me conclude by
revisiting your initial comments.

First, those of Natalie Jane Jacobs.  Natalie, you say that you respect a
band that chooses to engage with "reality."  You mention "Chalkhills and
Children"  as an example of a song that is "honest" and "real."  You
affirm also that you are "not much into escapism."  I have no problem with
any of these opinions--I share them wholly.  In fact, I was that your
favorite XTC albums were precisely mine too.

However, if these opinions are presented so as to contrast with the praise
I offered for the Dukes, I can no longer go along with you.  In fact, of
the favorite albums you mentioned (Skylarking, Mummer, English
Settlement), I count them among my favorite precisely because these albums
are so rich in developed metaphors and colorful instrumentation, the types
of which the Dukes just happen to offer a more consistent presentation.
So, to make myself clear on this point, it is not a matter of The Dukes
being whimsical, silly, or derivative, but of their writing wonderful
metaphors (e.g., "25 O'Clock").  So, then, with XTC.  "Another Satellite"
is just one of the gems that could be mentioned.  But, also, in later
albums, XTC at times rediscovers its happier stance:  "Dear Madam Barnum"
is, of course, a developed circus/clown metaphor for the reactions of a
husband to his unfaithful wife's activities; "Pink Thing" an extended,
muched debated metaphor for baby/penis affections.

Finally, then, I don't think one can throw metaphors onto the side of
either "engagement" or "escape."  You may be right in implying that Dukes
songs, because 'jokes,' do not have the same capacity to move people, but
little matter if Chalkhillers have shed tears over vanishing girls or at
some point actually said to their lovers, "You're my drug"--the important
thing is that the metaphoricity of XTC's songs is what makes them
memorable, lasting, and, I would even say, truly moving.

Stormy, you had more storm and less substance, so I have to say just that
I was thoroughly convinced by your comments about "Melt the Guns."  I
chose that song unwittingly.  It did not work well as an example.  Whether
this will mean much, I am not sure, but perhaps you should be reassured
that I have no problem with the politics of this song, nor of Andy in
general.  I was glad that you took the trouble to contemporize its
message.   Also, you were right about the theme of "Mayor of Simpleton"
not having to be original.  I must hate that song for other reasons.
Again, a misplaced example.  Finally, about "making puppets dance," hey,
it's only nearly Africa, isn't it?

Philip Adamek
SUNY at Buffalo
New York


Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 08:20:21 -0700 (MST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Phil Corless)
Subject: Shirts, CDs, Hitchcock

This is my first personal post in a long time.... The past six months
were taken up with the Chalkhills t-shirts' second order.  Yes, it
was nearly six months.  Two months to collect checks, two months
to get the shirts, and another two months before the very last shirt
arrived at its destination somewhere in Scotland.

And for those of you about to ask, yes I'm going to do it all again
in a few months.  Enough people have written me already asking
for more shirts.  I think this time I'll open up the shirt color to
include black, blue, dark green and a few others.  Whatever looks
good with white ink.  And I'm determined to do this next batch
in a shorter time period than six months!!!   Which means that
I'll have to set a definite cut-off date for accepting new orders.

Anyway, since we've all been waiting for a new XTC CD and I've
heard people recently asking for recommendations, I thought I would
go through my collection and make a list of all the CDs that I bought
solely after reading about them on Chalkhills during the past two years.

These are the CDs that YOU PEOPLE MADE ME BUY.......

Eric Matthews - It's Heavy In Here
Jason Falkner - Presents Author Unknown
The Grays - Ro Sham Bo
Blur - Parklife
Blur - The Great Escape
Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
Pulp - Different Class
Brian Stevens - Prettier Than You
Martin Newell - Greatest Living Englishman
David Yazbek - The Laughing Man
Lloyd Cole - Love Story
Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five
Oasis - What's The Story
Radiohead - The Bends

The funny thing is, and you can all take this as a great compliment,
every one of these recommendations turned out to be exceptional!
If I were to make a top 50 favorite CDs from my collection of
400 or so, those listed above would all make the top 50 I'm sure.
So, if there are any new people on the list who are looking for
some new music while we wait for the new pair of XTC CDs,
I heartily recommend those listed above.  If I had to pick just
one as "Best Recommendation from Chalkhills" it would come
down to either Radiohead or Lloyd Cole.....  And I think Lloyd
Cole would be the one I pick as best of the bunch.

Anyway, thanks to you all for helping me to expand my musical

One more thing before I go..... Saw this blurb on the Mercury
News Service (too bad it's not "Storefront Partridge") .......

A concert performance film starring British singer-songwriter Robyn
Hitchcock is set for theatrical release next fall. Orion Pictures has
acquired worldwide rights to "Storefont Hitchcock," which was directed
by "Silence of the Lambs" director Jonathan Demme. The film was shot
the week of Dec. 9 in New York, with Hitchcock performing in a
downtown storefront before a live audience. This isn't Demme's first
concert film. He made the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense."

* --------------------------------
Phil Corless
Boise, Idaho
* --------------------------------


Date: Mon, 30 Dec 96 08:35:08 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: FF LTD.CASE

     Does anyone have one that hasn't broke. Nice packaging



Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 12:08:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Philip M Adamek <adamek@ACSU.Buffalo.EDU>
Subject: having jumped too soon (addenda)
Message-ID: <>

Readers of my first 3-64 submission:

Rereading my post, "Jumping in a Chalkhill," I noticed the follow
three omissions, which I provide between ellipses:

	1) patterned horn embellishments, but . . . for XTC the stakes
	have shifted.  XTC may address the same issues (politics, love,
	contemporary crises...) as many other bands; they may be . . . as
	political as Newt Gangrich...

	2) I was . . . pleasantly surprised . . . that your favorite XTC
	albums were precisely mine too.

	3) the types of which the Dukes just happen to offer a more
	consistent presentation . . . (when compared to the overall
	production of XTC these last few years especially).

So, thanks for taking the trouble to read these addenda in.

Philip Adamek
SUNY at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York

p.s. A friend was kind to tell me who William Buckley is.


Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 18:21:30 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: 1996 in retreat

I've slapped a "little" list together. This is off of the top of my head,
which is probably best, but it will insure there are a few gems I've left by
the side.  That said, here's my ego speaking out on the greatest records of

  1) Jolene - Hell's Half Acre (EVERYONE check this young SC band out NOW)
  2) Grant Lee Buffalo - Copperopolis (the beauty took me by surprise)
  3) Suzanne Vega - 9 Objects Of Desire
  4) Me'shell Ndegeocello - Peace Beyond Passion (finally- SOUL music again)
  5) Robyn Hitchcock - Moss Elixir (The more I listen, the better it gets)
  6) Los Lobos - Colossal Head (not a fan, but they won me with this one)
  7) Beck - Odelay (God, I hate to be so trendy, but... it IS great)
  8) Cast - All Change (from the dust of The La's comes a great little combo)
  9) Sam Phillips - Omnipop
  10) Aimee Mann - I'm With Stupid (end of 1995?  Played to death in '96)
  11) Jason Falkner - Presents Author Unknown
  12) Los Straitjackets - Viva! Los Straitjackets (surf rock that isn't trad)
  13) Cocteau Twins - Milk & Kisses
  14) Fiona Apple - Tidal (if "Shadowboxer" is all you've heard, hold
  15) Barenaked Ladies - Born On A Pirate Ship

  Honerable Mention:

 Semisonic "Great Divide," Ween "12 Golden Country Greats," Daniel Tashian
"Sweetie," The Mysteries Of Life "Keep A Secret," Squeeze "Ridiculous," The
Blue Nile "Peace At Last," Sugarbuzz "Three Mil Thick," Moxy Fruvous "The B
Album," Craig Ross "Dead Spy Report," The Bluetones "Expecting To Fly," Paul
Westerberg "Eventually," Nora O'Connor "Cerulean Blue," They Might Be Giants
"Factory Showroom," Frazier Chorus "Wide Awake," Barbara Kessler "Notion,"
Cake "Fashion Nugget," Yazbek "The Laughing Man," Kostars "Klassics With A
'K'," Everything But The Girl "Walking Wounded," Fun Lovin' Criminals "Come
Find Yourself," Eels "Beautiful Freak," Nil Lara "Nil Lara," Paula Cole "This

  Stuff From 1995 That Rocked Straight Into 1996

 Black Grape "It's Great When You're Straight, Yeah!", The Rugburns "Taking
The World By Donkey," Old 97's "Wreck Your Life,"  Swales "What's His Name,"
The High Llamas "Gideon Gaye,"  Ivy "Realistic," Poi Dog Pondering
"Pomegranate," Lloyd Cole "Love Story," Francis Dunnery "Tall Blonde

  One Record From 1994 That I Just Discoverd This Year, So It Counts

  Brian Leach "The Sunrise Nearly Killed Me"

  Hmmmmmmm, anything I left out?

  How about Kula Shaker and The Sugarplastic?


  All the best to you all in 1997!!!




Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 1997 22:11:39 -0800
From: Herne <>
Subject: 1996 in almost as long as the Year in Question

Greetings folks at TMBG and Chalkhills...

Here is my self-indulgent year ending post...

All lists in no particular order

My favorite albums of the year

1.)Nine Objects of Desire---Suzanne Vega-another great collection from
	Suzanne and Mitchell Froom.
2.)Return of the aquabats---the Aquabats---cross Devo with the Specials
	and this is the result.  A hilarious live show features back
flips, psychic powers and chopping a block of wood in half with
a bare hand.  A must see if you can find them out in California.

3.)Firme---Voodoo Glow Skulls---not the greatest band name but a great
punk/ska band and a great album.

4.)Television's greatest Hits Vols. 4-7---Yes now you too can have the
themes to Honk Kong Phooey and the Dukes of Hazard and even Fish as

5.)All this Useless Beauty & Costello/Nieve Box Set---I don't know if
this is Elvis Costello's fact I know it's not but it's great
stuff and some of his strongest vocals to date.  Box set of
Costello/Nieve acoustic shows a great Christmas bonus.  Find it if you
can.  they only made 30,000.

6.)the Schoolhouse Rock Box Set---"Conjunction Junction..."  Well you
know the rest.

7.)Lovelife---I liked them better in their shoestaring days but this is
still a good cd.

8.)The Genius of Komeda---Komeda---It's kind of difficult to describe
these guys from Scandanavia.  Sort of a New Wave/Siouxsie/bachelor
pad/jazz/Abba mutation one minute and then well it's
great. just buy it and then figure it out for yourself.  Available from
Minty Fresh records.

9.)the Fantasy worlds of Irwin Allen---Available as individual Discs or
as a 5CD set.  the original soundtracks to Lost In Space, Land of the
Giants,time Tunnel and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  Scored by a
pre-Jaws Johnny Williams and Star Trek regular Alexander Courage among
others.  Great stuff.  Box set comes with extra disc featuring hokey
sound effects and Robot-isms (bubble headed booby etc.)  A must for SFTV
afficianados such as myself.  Suprisingly good scores to boot.

10.)Factory Showroom---they Might Be Giants---Not their best but a
standout nonetheless.

11.)Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits---various---Killer versions of
Saturday morning faves.  Highlights include Reverand Horton Heat's
scathing Johnny Quest/Stop that Pigeon medlee and Frente's surprisingly
longing Pebbles and Bam-Bam staple "Open up Your Heart and Let the
Sunshine In."  the late lamented Sublime clocks in with Honk Kong
Phooey.  Hands down the years strongest tribute compilation (that I've
heard anyway)

12.)Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory---soundtrack on CD at last.

CD disappointments of the year

1.)today's Specials---the Specials---this limp offering proves that you
just can't go back.  (most of the time anyway)

2.)She's the One---Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers---Tom's albums get
sparser and sparser.  Not terrible but...well maybe I need more time.

3.)Rhythmeen---ZZ Top---Neither cheesy poppy enough or catchy bluesy
enough.  Might be time for them to call it a day.

4.)Songs in the Key of X---Various---Don't know what I wanted out of
this but then when was the last good soundtrack or compilation anyway?

5.)New Adventures in Hi-Fi---REM---probably need to listen to this one
more but with every album they put out I begin to wonder if they really
did lose it when they left IRS.  Love Bittersweet Me though.

6.)Lore---Clannad---maybe I'm just losing my appetite for their druid
Fleetwood Mac-isms or maybe it just needs a few more spins.

7.)Wild Mood Swings---the Cure---When I saw them at the Forum even they
seemed bored with these songs.  When they played 10:15 Saturday Night was a different story.

Best songs/singles

1.)Novacaine for the Soul----the Eels
2.)Bittersweet Me---REM
3.)No cheap thrill/My Favorite Plum---Suzanne Vega
4.)Shoot the Moon---Voodoo Glow Skulls
5.)Metal Detector/Esquisite Dead Guy---TMBG
6.)Idiot Box---the Aquabats
7.)Little Atoms---Elvis Costello and the Attractions (better live)
9.)I want to Be an Anglepoise Lamp---the Soft Boys---okay this an old
song but I just heard it for the first time this year
10.)Emergency---999---see #9
11.)Lexicon Devil---The germs---see #9
12.)Mother Mother-tracy Bonham---the song that best expresses what its
like to call your folks and keep them informed without telling them how
miserable you truly are. "I'm hungry, I'm dirty, I'm losing my
mind....EVERYTHING'S FIIINNNEEE!!!!!" Great stuff.

Old Compilations Worth getting...

1.)DIY:the Modern World UK Punk II (1977-78)---part of Rhino's random
study of early punk.  Contains lots of great obscurities like the
aformentioned Anglepoise Lamp as well as gems from Alternative TV, X-Ray
Spex, Wire, Magazine and the Buzzcocks

2.)All of Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough New Wave Compilations

Newer Bands to look out for...

Komeda,Imperial teen,Voodoo Glow Skulls

My favorite albums of the 90's as of 1/1/97.

1.)Apollo 18---they Might Be Giants---my favorite album of theirs
2.)99 Farenheit Degrees---Suzanne Vega---Folky Suzanne crashes into
industrial clangs and the atmospheric wizardry of future husband
Mitchell froom.
3.)Foo Fighters---Foo Fighters---catchiest punk pop since the Buzzcocks.
4.)the Juliet Letters---Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet---these
days Elvis's quieter moments are his strongest and this is beautiful
5.)Kiko---Los Lobos---this is hands down my favorite album of the decade
so far.  Los Lobos mexican roots rock collides with Mitchell Froom and
the result is like nothing I'd heard before or since.  A masterpiece
that must be owned.  there's an atmosphere to this one that's hard
describe.  title track is one of the most unique singles of recent
memory and has a breathtaking video if you can find it.  A long way from
La Bamba.

Best concerts I went to in '96.

1.)TMBG at the Palace...of the two LA shows in November, this was my

2.)Kiss---sorry folks but I can't remember the last time I had more fun
at a concert.  Hadn't heard these songs in almost 20 years and I knew
the words to them all.  Frightening.

3.)the Cure---the second half of their Forum show---after a sluggish
start with the boring new stuff they woke up and did blistering versions
of the classics.

4.)Suzanne Vega at the El Rey 11/20---She and Froom in action.  taped
for a PBS special to air in appprox. Feb.  Keep your eyes out for it.
She also played the five best songs off her last (and my favorite)album
99f...including the long version of IN Liverpool.  great.

5.)Elvis Costello and the Attractions at the Universal
Amptheater---August---In actuality a mixed bag.  Many of the oldies were
performed in unlistenable revisionist versions but the new songs from
ATUB and the slower older songs.  WOW.  You could here a pin drop when
he did the acoustic portion with Steve Nieve.  Those bits of brilliance
made me forgive him for the atrocious pseudo-bluesy rendering of I don't
want to go to Chelsea...well almost.

6.)Lush at the El Rey---despite a PA blowout...which also happened when
I saw them two years ago.

7.)Muzzle and Imperial teen---they opened for Lush at the El Rey and
they were both really good.  Be on the lookout for Imperial teen.

8.)the reverand Horton Heat---opened for ZZ top and they were no less
then Fooken great.  Psycho-rockabilly from hell.

9.)XTC in a dream I had---I dreamt I was working with them on something
and they volunteered to play requests.  As I dumbfoundedly tried to
decide what I wanted they played Helicopter.  Why...I have no idea.

Most Disappointing Concerts of '96

1.)ZZ Top at the Universal Ampitheater---sloppy and dull.  Deadly new
material and obvious old material.  Maybe time to retire.

2.)Sex Pistols at the Palladium---At one point Johnny said to the
audience..."Don't worry.  It's almost over."  Not soon enough. what
should have been a nostalgic punk triumph was a sloppy 55 minute bore
with shitty sound.  What saved the evening was EMI and Pretty vacant
which made you remember why you were there.  One hopes the rumored Clash
reunion fares better.

3.)the Monkees at the Universal Ampitheater---I know what you're
thinking but I've always been a fan of their music.  10 years ago I saw
them on their 20th aniiversay tour in RI.  they played like a punk band
with something to prove and they were great.  Really.  But ten years
later they seemed tired and willing to coast on good feeling and
nostalgia from the audience.  One too many self-deprecating jokes and
far too many lackluster Vegas-y performances of their classics.  Unlike
10 years earlier the absence of Mike Nesmith was keenly felt.  Their
voices also were strained.  Only a brief moment during DW Washburn did
the years melt away.  Oh well.

4.)Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Forum---Aug.---Anthony's arm twisting
histrionics have DEFINITELY worn out their welcome and how many more
variations of Under the Bridge can we take.  time for a new direction.

5.)The 1st half of the Cure show at the Forum---Snore.

Favorite Movies of the Year

1.)Welcome to the Dollhouse---Junior High Cruelty as it really is.  will
bring back horrible memories after you stop laughing.

2.)Independence Day---I'm a sucker for Apocalypse disaster movies and
this was a fun War of the Worlds for the 90's.  Unfairly maligned by a
bitter media...nobody said it was supposed to be Star Wars.  I may be
biased cause I went to the world premiere and the food was amazing.

3.)Twister---more mainstream stupidity but loved those tornados.

4.)Fargo---great black humor from the Coen brothers.

5.)Executive Decision---surprisingly suspenseful action thriller which
makes the wise decision of killing Steven Sagal off in the first half
hour.  great directing debut by Die Hard editor Stuart Baird.

6.)Jerry Maguire---Director Cameron Crowe and star Tom Cruise bounce
back from their previous underwhelming offerings (Singles, Mission
Impossible respectively).  great support from Cuba gooding and Rene

7.)Lone Star---John Sayle's masterpiece about secrets in a small western
town.  A little on the long side but a great film.  Kris Kristofferson
is a memorable villain.

8.)City of Lost Children---a strange French fantasy that's a feast for
the eyes.

9.)Dead Man Walking---actually a 1995 film but it it is outstanding.

Guilty Pleasures:

1.)My Fellow Americans---it's grumpy old presidents but what the heck.
2.)Eraser---Arnold shoots a crocodile and says "Now you're luggage." Ok.
3.)the Nutty Professor---A surprisingly good Murphy redeems himself.

Worst films of the Year

1.)The Rock---Newest techno-hack Michael Bey  follows up his abysmal Bad
Boys  with this piece of shit that wastes great actors and a cool
premise.  A scripting lowpoint of the year.

2.)Sleepers---Prophetic in it's title.  An overly earnest bore from a
bunch of talented people who should know better.  Manages to trivialize
molestation to a plot point.  an abomination that believes that we
should care because it allegedly really happened.  So what.

3.)Daylight---After a great explosion it's down hill all the way.  rips
off every disaster film ever...and not in a good way.

4.)A time to Kill---Grisham triteness almost saved by the all-star cast
and gusto direction of director Joel Schumaker...almost.

5.)the Chamber---see a time to Kill review above.  Names change.  result
the same.

6.)Mission Impossible---Beats out Sleepers as the worst film of the
year.  this is an incomprehensible overfueled mess which trashes one of
tv's better shows.  In fact the only resemblence between this shit and
the tv show are the use of the theme song and the exploding tape
recorder.  A travesty which also does the unthinkable in making the tv
show's main character the villain.

7.)Tin Cup---is it over yet?

DISAPPOINTMENTS: Star Trek:First Contact---the flaws of the series (too
dry)follow the new films despite the best efforts of everyone involved.


Best: the Simpsons, X-Files, Homicide, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Siskel
and Ebert, Millenium (though it needs a little work), Seinfeld, Mystery,

Worst:all the new shows with washed up stars---Cosby, Ink, Spin City.
	Cybill, Nash bridges  or all the new comedian vehicles.

Saddest loss:The Cancellation of NICK's Adventures of Pete and Pete.

Disappointments:Fox's Doctor Who movie/pilot, David brinkley retires,


Surprise of the year---that mainstream Hollywood made some of the more
enjoyable films this year...even if it was only one or two.

Disappointment of the year---Still no new XTC album.  Come on guys.
Sooner or later you gotta trust somebody.

Ominous comments of the year---Elvis Costello trashing his bandmates on
the Jay Leno show.

RIP:Jon Pertwee, tiny Tim, Mark Lenard,


Silliest Flame:The "Gay" quiz bowls incident on the TMBG list.

Biggest On Net meltdown: AMANDA on Chalkhills.(She got better)

Best Lesson I learned from the net:the power of the written word to
inflame.  Irony can be misinterpreted easily and quickly.  Counting to
ten before posting can be beneficial.

Let me wrap up this epic post by saying thanks to everyone out there for
enriching my life this previous year.  It's great to be able to have so
many people to share my obscure musical tastes with.  I hope there will
be times when I can meet more of you in the flesh.  till then there is
always the net.  Any of you feel free to write me anytime.

Till later


Currently in the CD changer:TMBG-Factory Showroom/Suzanne Vega-Nine
Objects of Desire/Komeda:the Genius of


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-64

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