Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-72

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 72

                Thursday, 23 January 1997

Today's Topics:

                   Re: Long and Spotty
                    A puzzle, of sorts
                    Re: She's baaaaack
                  Re: Long album debate
                   Still working on it
              Chords to "Little Lighthouse"?
            Alas, poor demo, I knew it well...
                       XTC's style
                   For a million years
                Songs that "become" great
                      Red Wigglers?
         Album Lengths and The Contract From Hell
                  From Austin to Boston
              even longer english settlement
                 And David Yazbeck too!!!
                     IS THIS A JOKE?
           Mark David Chapman= Andy Partridge?
                     The Star Chamber
                    A response or two
                   How to Tell It's XTC
                     Wasn't that XTC?
       If I may jog your memories for a moment.....


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

It's not a game I'm gonna play with you.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 00:00:10 +0000
Subject: Scargillian


> to grow our hair in more of a Scargillian manner.
Andy P. is referring here to Arthur Scargill who used to lead the
UK miners in the strikes against the Thatcher government.
He also starred (as Monty The Mole) in a popular computer game

Had quite a wild & scruffy look :)


Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 07:40:06 -0800
From: Keith Hanlon <>
Subject: Re: Long and Spotty

My response to Simon Knight's response to my post....

> People without the patience to reap a more intricate records' rewards
> should just sod off and buy Alanis Morrisette anyway.  Like they'd
> EVER pick up XTC's next album.

First of all, I don't think the running time of a record has anything to
do with how "intricate" it is. Second of all, you're either making a
huge generalization, or maybe I didn't communicate my thoughts too well.
I did use the phrase "majority of the record buying public." I wasn't
trying to zero in on the people who buy only Top 40 records. I'm
referring to people who buy lots and lots of records - music lovers.
Besides, I'm sure there are artists that you like a lot, but you don't
buy everything they put out. Well, for some people, XTC falls in to this
category. I'd love it if those people would want to go out and buy the
next album(s) and get something that delivers.

Go ahead and flame if you want, but many of XTC's longer albums
(Nonsuch, O&L, and yes, even English Settlement, are spotty. This is my
opinion and I'm entitled to that. I will say that I am in love with the
majority of those records.

> >Very few artists (IMO) can deliver a 75 minute MASTERPIECE.
> Funny, give or take 3 minutes, i thought XTC already did with
> english settlement.

See above. It's all opinion.

> >XTC, on the other hand, made a masterpiece with Skylarking, clocking in at
> >45:48
> Which had FOURTEEN songs (fifteen if you're canadian and one
> out-of-place one if you're american).

Agreed - but how long will these new songs be?

> Look at it this way.  When i was a kid and i'd finally saved up
> enough money to afford to buy my first record did i buy Devo with 10
> songs or Blondie with 12?

I don't know - I bought Devo, because Blondie blew after their second
album... again, just my opinion.

Then again, this is a silly thing to get hung up about. It's all up to
the band, not us.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 17:08:08 -0800
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: A puzzle, of sorts

Tally Ho! Chalkmarks,

Here's a wee puzzle for you. It's no great mind bender :^) don't ponder it
for too long after the initial: aha! Some parts are weaker than others and
may reveal limitations of the source (I guess that's me).

Day Trip Danger /I'm In Long Cloud /A Grand Dye Trip
Id? I'm No Null Cog! /Grade A Dry Pint /Very Dear Gog
Dirty Red Pagan /I'm Old Nun Logic /Eve, Drag Orgy
Dang Arty Pride /Grave Dry Ego /I'm No Loud Cling
Rev Drag, Ye Go! /Long Idol Cumin /Dig Art And Pyre
God, I'm Null Coin /Did Try Earn Gap /Glum Colon Din, I

just random fun, void where inhibited,


Message-Id: <v01540b04af0c5c2aa7c5@[]>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 17:23:12 -0700
From: (Eb)
Subject: Re: She's baaaaack

>1.Crash Test Dummies-A Worm's Life (well DUH!)
>....but did you notice that all the bands that were really big in
>1994 have gone nowhere this year?????

Yeah, like Crash Test Dummies.  ;)

>2.Dave Matthews Band-Crash. Just plain great album.
>3.Fiona Apple-Tidal. Another just plain great album.
>4-The Monkees-Justus. See above answer.
>And those are the only four albums of 96 that I really paid any attention to.

Ouch. Not much reason to submit your list then, is there?  ;P

Eb, who just finally got the new Tricky album and really wishes he had
included that on the Top 10 list he submitted a few weeks ago....


From: Richard Aaron Manfredi <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Long album debate
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 17:20:56 -0800 (PST)

   One of the main complaints I had about Nonsuch was that it probably
would have been an incredible single album, but probably was too much
information to be one album.  Meaning that even though there was plenty
of good music to fill up the spaces, after such a long delay between new
music, it was just all too much to take in for one dose, especially since
the musical approach of the band had drastically changed since O&L.
   I have a feeling that even if (and I'm sure) there is plenty of material
to go around for one double-album, one has to look at the concept of the
album in a broader sense.  This is why the best XTC albums (English
Settlement, Skylarking, Black Sea) had a sense of continuity, that all of
the songs fit into the general concept of the "album," even if they weren't
all "concept albums."  On the other hand, the albums that sound the most
disjointed are the ones that sound like "Well, here's our best 20 or so
songs we have right now, let's put them on an album." (see O&L, the first
two albums, etc.)
   Maybe they should release an EP of good songs that didn't make the album
"cut," then, instead of relagated songs to B-sides.  But that seems pretty
silly, since great bands are going to have really good songs that aren't
good enough to go on albums.  I'm sure we all have a few non-album tracks
that we would rank above most other XTC songs and most songs from the albums
they were destined to not make (Mine's 'Living In A Haunted Heart'), and
about which we've all wondered "Why was that left off?"
   Point is that we don't know why, but we have to trust the artists to know
what are the best songs to go on an album.  I don't think the band is being
"chinzty" or "cheap", rather it's just the band exercising a little self-
censorship.  After all, one of the greatest rock albums is "The White Album"
if you do your own editing to make it a single record.

Richard Manfredi


Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 11:58:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Still working on it
Message-ID: <>

Hi kids -

At the instigation of a fellow Chalkhillian, I've been giving "Nonsuch"
another whirl and, though I'm not yet eating my harsh words, I'm nibbling
at them around the edges.  I finally realized that "That Wave" was pretty
cool when it ended and I was sorry it was over - though thanks to you
clowns I keep hearing "address cloud eleven" as "dressed up in leather"...
As for the guitar solo - hot damn!  Dave's smokin'!  I think that's what
really won me over. "Then She Appeared" is great as well - I like the
cherubim cheering ("hoo-RAY!!").  The cerebral lyrics are kind of
ridiculous, but in a good way.   Those two songs are my favorites at the
moment though there's several others that I like, too.  But I agree with
said Chalkhillian, who remarked to me that the album should have ended
after "Then She Appeared."  With the exception of "The Ugly Underneath," I
think the last cluster of songs is permanently lost on me.

I would like to know, though, because Andy seems so proud of it and
everyone quotes it, what is so wonderful about "Wrapped in Grey"?  Unlike
apparently every other XTC fan in existence, I find it neither beautiful
nor moving. I have a faulty gene which renders me hostile to anything
designed to be "inspirational" - maybe that's the problem.  Anyway, e-mail
me privately with your thoughts.

Anyway, I still haven't reversed my opinion that this is XTC's weakest
album - but it's not as weak as I thought it was.

Non-sequitur - I was watching the Rutles movie on VH1 (for about the
millionth time) and in the credits I saw the name of John Relph, credited
as a sound engineer or something like that.  Was I hallucinating?  Is this
*our* John Relph?  Do tell.

cherubim cheered,

Natalie Jacobs
Visit the Land of Do-As-You-Please!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 18:43:37 -0800
From: Jason Brownell <>
Organization: Liquid Audio
Subject: Chords to "Little Lighthouse"?

Has anyone figured out the chords to "Little Lighthouse"?
The verse sounds to me like:
(F# on "Psonic Psunspot", "Jules Verne" key varies according to the
speed of my cassette deck!)

She's a little lighthouse when she
Opens up her huge eyes
And streams of diamonds shoot out
           B                 Am               (F#)
'Til we're wading waist deep in her brilliant love

It's the
"For how long will this dark age last..."
section that is a little trickier. Anyone have any insights?


Message-Id: <v03007801af0c7707cf8f@[]>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 21:06:42 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Alas, poor demo, I knew it well...

>I picked up a copy of it a year ago in San Diego in a used CD store
>called Music Trader.  I assumed if I could find it in SD it couldn't
>be that rare, but since its a promo CD for radio stations there
>can't be that many copies.  There were actually two copies there
>that day, but stupid me figured I could always get it later if I
>wanted two copies (sorry Ira).  Haven't seen it since.

Oh, that's OK Mike. I'll be <snif> OK. Just give me a minute to digest this
frosty mug o' hemlock. <gulp> <hack> <wheeze>

But does anyone know of any other "promo" CDs that have been put out only
for the benefit of radio stations? I mean, many artists have strange
promotional things put together so that the radio stations will like them
and play their music. I know many of the newer artists do...perfect example
is Pearl Jam who gives some live versions of songs to radio stations
leaving you to wonder, "That don't sound that way on the album..." (I mean,
for anyone who buys Pearl Jam.)

I am awaiting the delivery of Mono Puff's "Unsupervised" from the good ol'
boyz at Columbia House. I hope it's good, because someone (Bob) really
wants MY opinions on it before he buys it. Strange boy, that Bob. I still
think the Go-Gos are cool.


Ira Lieman - -
"Awaken you dreamers, asleep at your desks!" - A. Partridge


Message-ID: <01BC0899.4569A060@DIALUP1235.ISAT.COM>
From: Randy Watkins <>
Subject: XTC's style
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 19:20:01 -0800

Hi Chalkhillians!

Cheryl commented in the last digest:

"I was browsing through my thoughts this morning and Pink Floyd came on.  I
didn't know what song it was but I could tell from the sound of it who it
was, which leads into my thought:  What would you say is XTC's trademark

I can always tell by the guitar sound that its Pink Floyd. The funny thing
is I'm not a big fan of theirs, I don't own any of their albums but I can
spot them a mile away."

Funny, for me it's always been the keyboards.

That, for some reason, made me think of how really cool the endings of some
XTC songs are.  "Desert Island," with it's foghorn fadeout...."Chalkhills"
and it's channel-to-channel drumming/Andy's voice fadeout, "Wake Up" with
it's fantastic instrumental-to-"choir" fade.  Perhaps the only band to do
cool endings to compare would be Pink Floyd.  ;)

I think I could probably recognise a new XTC song by the hook.  Partridge &
Co. write some great original hooks.  I remember when I heard "Mayor of
Simpleton" for the first time, which was on local college radio (they had a
promo!)  ... I spotted it instantly as XTC.  In fact, I was in my car at the
time and drove to the station and had a friend of mine that worked there dub
it for me.  Ahhhh, memories!

"And what exactly is a dream,
 And what exactly is a joke?"
  ... Syd Barrett


Message-Id: <>
From: (Chaos Harlequin)
Subject: For a million years
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 04:22:02 GMT

Woo-ha. With the length of this post, looks like I'm back in form.

>Uh-Oh, I think she's become an XTC groupie (in addition to frogs and TMBG)

The Frogs? Would these be the "It's Only Right And Natural" Frogs or
some other Frogs of which I am unaware?

>Some people tell us..."It's like you snuck into my house and stole my CD
>collection and put it on the radio."
>We DID.

Evidently the advice of some national advertising company, because we
have the exact same ad (with the name changed, of course) for local
station WMAX 106.7.

>Padded, overlong album of the year: Tool's Aenima. Blecch. And you'd think
>they could write one decent song within all that time, wouldn't you?

Are we still talking about Tool? Then no.

>Could someone, say our good buddy Mitch, set up a bank account that us folks
>on the mailing list could send money to for our possession of demos?

This was raised a little while before. Other than my half-facetious
objection that "People are greedy and suck," I believe the other main
problem was that it's not really so much that the lads are annoyed
that we're getting these demos for free, but that it would be so easy
for someone to press up a bootleg CD of them. While sending royalties
to the band would be a great step (one that I would wholeheartedly
support, and one for which I might even be able to scrape up some cash
:) I don't know how much it could do to help the underlying problem.

>Very few artists (IMO) can deliver a 75 minute MASTERPIECE.

As Simon stated in 3-70, many of us were under the impression that XTC
already had.

>I guess I'm rambling. All I want to say is that I'd rather have 2 albums
>that are XTC's definitive statments, rather than "here's all the stuff
>we've written in the last 5 years."

Well, it really depends. If they could put out two 60 minute albums
that fit together well and were consistently good, I'd say go for it.
I mean, they have five years worth of songs built up -- more than
they've ever had at any other stage of their career, I believe. I
believe there are over 40 songs written. If we see fifteen on each
album, and the other ten on the various singles, we could get *40* new
XTC songs over the period of a year -- more than enough to make up for
the five year drought. Personally, I'd like to see as many songs on
the album as the band feels comfortable releasing, with the remainder
made up by the various singles.

>[Short Album] the Beatles - "Revolver"

I must concur here, to a certain degree. Revolver is, indeed, an
excellent album, clocking in at about 35 minutes. *But* ... I don't
know how including the contemporary single, Paperback Writer/Rain
(also quite excellent) could have done anything but improved the
album. Unfortunately, I don't own Past Masters 2, so I can't give it a

>I was just paraphrasing Colin's attitude that rehashing unreleased
>material was cynical exploitation.  I called it an honest ripoff
>because we would all buy it and enjoy it anyway.

Okay. I always find the "B-sides albums are ripoffs" attitude
displayed by the press rather naive, because it's really a *bonus* for
the fans -- they can pay twelve bucks for all those B-sides instead of
$100 for all the singles and soundtracks they were originally on.

>they could have recorded at least one new song, or added on a couple
>of unreleased tracks from the vaults.

Personally, speaking as someone who wouldn't buy FF unless it were $2,
I think including new songs on it would be a *bigger* ripoff than not
doing so. That puts people like me, who are on a tight budget, of
needing to spend $20 to get one or two songs, or of having to bum a
dub off of someone. Of course, if you would buy FF anyway, new songs
would be a bonus. I think this is really an unresolvable issue, except
perhaps to see what percentage of fans buy FF as is.

>The ten songs thing.  We're coming off the backs of Skylarking (14
>songs), O&L (15 songs) and Nonsuch (17 songs).  10 seems a little
>sad, considering the backlog.

You know, while I have my preferences, I'll really be happy as long as
we get all 40 songs in some form or another. I realize that's
unlikely, but I can still hope...

>[That Thing You Do]
>Was this or any of Andy's material used in the film or was it all rejected

Unfortunately, Andy did not in any way grace the score or soundtrack
of That Thing You Do. The movie was good, though.

>So, what I want to know is, has anyone out there had a total 180 degree
>turn around about a particular song/album/CD ; one that when they first
>heard it, they found it to be weak, either musically or lyrically, but that
>suddenly one day the damn songs actually come together and make sense?

Nonsuch. When I first bought it (quick on the heels of O&L and
Skylarking) I couldn't stand half the songs on there. In six months I
adored it. How could I have hated Bungalow? Omnibus? HUMBLE DAISY? Oh,
the horror...

>If anyone would give me a review of the new demos I'd really love it

They're the best material Andy has ever written. (Is that good?)

>And I disagree that the deleted tracks are necessarily the "inferior"
>ones whose inclusion would've reduced the impact of the CD.

Once again, I partially agree. The songs left out are certainly not
always inferior -- one only has to look at Blame The Weather, Always
Winter Never Christmas, or Young Cleopatra to see that. But often
these songs *are* left off because they'd reduce the impact -- YC and
Angry Young Men, for example, would be rather hard-pressed to fit in
with the pastoral material of Mummer.

>While we're on the subject, XTC always has a boffo finishing song on their

Which is why the Canadian Skylarking is bad, because Dear God is *not*
an ending track. The only XTC CDs where I don't care all that much for
the ending (this is not my opinion of the last song as a song, but as
an *ender,* a significant difference) are ES (Snowman is a good ender
but could be better) and Mummer (FPAR just don't do it for me.)

>The songs could (and most likely will) change considerably before they're

That ignores the precedent that Andy and Colin have set in their 18
years of demo-making; that is, to record the music almost identically
to the demo and to in most cases leave the lyrics more or less as is.
The only examples where the lyrics underwent major changes, I think,
are "Then She Appeared" and "My Bird Performs."

Tumble from your arms...

/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease."|
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/


Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 23:19:27 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Greg Brady <>
Subject: Songs that "become" great

>So, what I want to know is, has anyone out there had a total 180 degree
>turn around about a particular song/album/CD ; one that when they first
>heard it, they found it to be weak, either musically or lyrically, but that
>suddenly one day the damn songs actually come together and make sense?

        Well I can't name an XTC example at this juncture, but it happened
to me with Elvis Costello.  About five years ago I checked out "Spike"
because of critical acclaim and I had read he had collabored with Paul
McCartney on "Flowers in the Dirt". (I am a Macca fan.)
        To make a long story short, I found his voice grating.  I disliked
his cuts on "Flowers" as well.  About three years later, I found myself
enjoying his duets w/Paul on "Flowers" a lot and reassessed "Spike".  Since
then, I've bought a copy and have "Brutal Youth" and "My Aim is True" on my
shopping list as well.
"I'm a leaf on a windy day, pretty soon I'll be blown away..."
Brian Wilson,"Til I Die" "If you were ever happy all the time, you wouldn't
be human,you'd be a game show host." _Heathers_
	Add some music to your day.............


Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 12:10:47 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Red Wigglers?
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.970123115445.29020A-100000@ms10>

Hello one and all.  I've been lurking for a few months now.  What has
finally brought me out of the woodwork was James Isaacs' post-script to a
posting he made in Digest #3-71.

It was:  "Red wigglers, the Cadillac of worms" (old song).

Now, maybe somebody can back me up on this, but I'm almost completely and
100% certain that it ISN'T an old song, but rather one of the few
advertising accounts Herb Tarlek managed to get for his radio station in

WKRP?  Remember?

For the contingent living outside of North America (I say NORTH America
and not simply AMERICA, as any sensitive soul should in deference to the
fact that many of us on this continent are Canadians -- don't get me
started -- I just spent two months winging through Mexico where they get
REAL pissed off if you use the term "Americanos" to refer to citizens of
the States)...

Anyway, WKRP IN CINCINNATI was a late 70's early 80's comedy show about
a bunch flakes running a radio station and spinning records, with lots of
pointed references to the pop music of the period, along with an ever
changing array of posters on the walls of the DJ's booth.

And now for some XTC content.  Does anybody remember seeing a poster of
an XTC album, or hearing one of their songs, or even, unlikely as it
might seem, hearing a reference made to the band on the show?



Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 22:49:25 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: JH3 <>
Subject: Album Lengths and The Contract From Hell

Karl <> sez:
>..."Nonsuch isn't much shorter than the double LPs, and it
>probably wouldn't fit on a single LP."

It didn't -- on vinyl, Nonsuch WAS a double-LP, as was O&L. Now it's not
like I'm an expert on this album-length issue, but these are the facts as I
understand them:

It all harkens back to the Virgin contract -- for every album released after
ES, and maybe all of them, XTC was only being paid mechanical (songwriter's)
royalties for 10 songs per *disc*, no matter how many songs were actually

As long as most of their album sales were on vinyl, this was fine because
they didn't usually exceed this limit by much -- on vinyl. When CD's started
taking over, though, each compact "disc" now contained the complete contents
of two vinyl "discs." The band were now getting paid for only 10 songs on CD
vs. *all* the songs on the far more limited vinyl releases.

That meant that the Nonsvch CD's contained seven songs that XTC were never
paid for; O&L had five. They, apparently, didn't know about this until
*after* Nonsvch came out. On Nonsvch they could have saved themselves
thousands of pounds of expensive studio time and producer's fees, which like
all recording artists they had to pay for out of future *sales* royalties of
the album. And because of another contract stipulation, those royalties were
about half of the $1.25 or so per CD that other artists normally make.

One might argue that those albums might not have sold as well with only 10
songs, but does anybody (outside of Australia) really believe that?

So it isn't a question of "trimming down" or "filling up" -- it's a question
of trying to survive financially within the confines of a system that's
designed to exploit musicians as much as possible. The 10-song limit isn't
all that unusual though -- the industry's view is that if they paid
mechanicals for every song, no matter how many are released, everybody would
release their own version of "The Residents' Commercial Album" (forty
1-minute songs) and make around $2.80 per CD off the top, and that would
actually make a noticeable dent in the labels' profits! Heaven forbid!

Virgin kept XTC on as long as possible, despite their refusing to record,
because their contract was ridiculously in Virgin's favor. XTC's sales have
been more than respectable -- around 4- to 500,000 copies of Nonsvch
(correct me if I'm wrong).

Conversely (and this is just a guess), XTC is probably looking at smaller,
independent UK labels to sign with now because these labels *might* be more
willing to make non-standard revenue/profit sharing concessions in exchange
for the respectability gained by signing a respected artist like XTC. But
their future US label, which will have to be a major to ensure wide US
distribution, will still probably insist on only paying mechanicals for only
10-12 songs per CD.

So that's why the next album will probably only have ten songs -- XTC are
tired of getting ripped off and have learned how to avoid it, so they're
probably eager to put their new knowledge into practice. (Wouldn't you be?)

Oh dear, I've JHB'ed!

--John "JH3" Hedges
(I guess I should be glad that nobody ever gets accused of "JH3'ing")


Message-Id: <v01550102af0ca3c9b6f0@[]>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 23:13:40 -0600
From: (jason garcia)
Subject: From Austin to Boston

A few quick thoughts:

>Personally, I wouldn't mind if XTC went back to making an occasional
>naive album like "White Music" or "Go2", preferrably with Elvis Costello
>as their producer and Stewart Copeland as their sit-in drummer. Would

Not if it were 1981.

re: "Dear God", the Video
>I  found that video inappropriate to be shown.

To YOU, it seems inappropriate.  However, it's all subjective.

Hey guys, I have a question.  With so many people on this list, it's
kind of difficult to keep track of where in the country (or out of it)
people reside, so I may have forgotten...I'd like to ask:  is anyone
on this list from Boston?  I've become intrigued with the city as a
possible place to relocate.  If anyone has any info on it, please
email me.



Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 01:43:04 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v01510103af0c6ded1c26@[]>
From: (Paul Brantley)
Subject: even longer english settlement

My version of English Settlement was created in the spirit of the rest of
the pre-Skylarking CD re-releases -- with the B sides -- which in this case
are every bit worthy of the rest of the album. So, with Heaven is paved
with Broken Glass ("Band's own mix"), Punch and Judy, Tissue Tigers and
Blame the Weather (all strategically placed), I have the best 90 minute pop
album I've ever heard. Everyone a gem.

And here are some more fightin' words: does anyone else think the the
b-sides version of Mummer is far superior to the original. Jump and Gold
are the Mummer experience for me.

Paul Brantley


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 13:33:32 +0100
From: Alberto Castagna <>
Subject: And David Yazbeck too!!!

Hi Chalkills,

this is my first partecipation at the discussion (except for a little
contribute for the discography) so sorry for the lenght (John, divide in two
parts if you believe) but I have many things to say. I'm a 34 years old XTC
fan from Italy. I follow them since many years and I have a very rich
collection of records, CD, tapes, bootlegs, programs, videos etc. (the best
in Italy?). I didn't buy anything by mail cause I like very much to find the
stuff by myself, all around the world (but I never find the first, fucking
single!!!) I work as journalist, writing for many newspapers of movies and
videos but music is my great passion. Some years ago I wrote a critical
essay about the influence of the Beatles on XTC, published in a monography
about the Beatles.

The essay is in italian: my english, as you can see, is not so good so if
someone would translate it I can send him by fax. I play in a pop band since
15 years (just an hobby, of course) and we play all original songs but on
stage we play also three covers: "Tempted" by Squeeze, "Don't let me be
misunderstood" (in a version very slow, more than the Costello version) and
"The ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" in a very respectful version (with the
armonica, too!).

But, let's talk about the band. Yes, XTC is my favorite band. But I listen
other musicians, of course. This is very interesting: I know some people who
like XTC very much but they listen different music than me. One of my best
friend is an XTC fan just like me but he likes very extreme stuff (John Zorn
and some martian bands)and hate the Beatles. I like the Beatles and the pop
music. I think that I love the XTC cause they put some strange things in the
pop, giving dignity to the pop itself. They are never predictables, never
obvious but they are autentically pop at the same time. Not many other
musicians have the same characteristics: Elvis Costello, Beach Boys (the Pet
Sound era), and few others. This is what I like, so I'm looking for some
others band or musicians to enjoy. These are the bands who I like more of
all (not in the order of preference): XTC, Elvis Costello, the new wave of
the eighties (early Talkin Heads most of all), Beach Boys, Beatles, Burt
Bacharach, They Might Be Giants, Joe Jackson, Crash Test Dummies (the second
LP most of all), Jeff Buckley, Crowded House, Squeeze, Prefab Sprout, Blur,
Oasis, Rem, Aztec Camera. A little schizophrenic? Maybe. But is there,
between the chalkills, someone who likes EXACTLY the same bands I love? If
yes, would you to signal me some band that I don't know? Thanks a lot.

I love you all.


Date: Thu, 23 Jan 97 07:50:40 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: IS THIS A JOKE?

     Hey Chalk-ites,

     Is this post from the "Salem" campus individual a joke?
     It certainly sounds like a witch hunt to me.

     Where did that scum bag, Mark David Chapstick, say that he wanted to
     kill the rest of the Beatles??

     If he did say this, it's probably because if he ever was paroled, he
     would be about as safe as a bloody beefsteak in a kennel. He wants to
     make sure that they keep his ass in prison where he is kept away from
     even the other prisoners.

     And I am not even getting into the "Holier than though" statement
     about the (GASSSPPPP) blaspheming (Half step down crashing piano
     chord!!!!!!!) of God. Well, pardon me, it looks like I just got into
     it a little.

     If this was tounge-in-cheek ( although foot-in-mouth is how I see it )
     , than I am sorry for the tirade. I usually try to say only positive
     things on this list.

     But to tangle Andy and the Beatles in with the same group of words as
     Blaspheming and Mark David Chunkman, I am exasperated. To top it all
     off with "I find that Video innappropriate to be shown," that just
     makes me sick to my stomach.


     P.S. Here is your X-files conspiracy of the day. Mark David Chaplip
     was a victim of C.I.A. subliminal mind suggestion and set up with the
     gun and the plane ticket to Murder John Lennon because the government
     in power now Murders everyone who actually cares about Peace. (JFK,
     RFK, MLK etc....)

     Phelan's Theory : Mark David Chap-pig is just an asshole.

     I'll try to calm down now.


Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 08:09:14 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Mark David Chapman= Andy Partridge?
Message-id: <>

I'll have to admit, there is a light resemblance between the two, although
it's a very detestable comparison to make. Great! Now everytime I watch that
damn video I'll be thinking of crazed killers!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 09:00:14 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: The Star Chamber


Does anyone else besides me think that Terry Chambers was a GREAT



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 10:35:03 EST
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: A response or two

From: Jonas Lind <>:
>Personally, I wouldn't mind if XTC went back to making an occasional
naive album like "White Music" or "Go2", preferrably with Elvis Costello
as their producer and Stewart Copeland as their sit-in drummer. Would

Actually, Jonas, I would. I love those two albums -- they were what first
got me hooked on the band -- but one of the things that I've always loved
about XTC (and this is a common thread with all the artists I love) is their
commitment to growth and progress. A while back, when people were comparing
the size and eclecticness (a word? perhaps it's eclecticity?  :^) of their
willies, um I mean, record collections, someone very correctly pointed out
that anyone with all of XTC's albums already *had* a very diverse collection
of music. There's nothing more pathetic than a washed-up musician taking a
stab at former glory by trying to return to a style that may have been right
for its time but is now out-of-date, or by sticking to the same old thing
because it worked once and oughta work now, dammit!

From: McGREGOC <>:
>Okay, so there are some girl bands out there that have Umph!
L7 may have too much Umph!  I can imagine them beating the tar out of
the Sex Pistols!<

Bwa-haha! Cut it out, Cheryl, yer killin me!  :^)

>What would you say is XTC's trademark sound?<

For me, it's the voices. I always recognize Andy and Colin's voices. After
that, of course, it would be that certain je ne sais quoi...  :^)

Oh, and it seems Parvenu Prendiville, disappointed in the direction of the
game, has taken his football and gone home. Later, Dan.  And thank you for
the defense of AP, Mark Fisher. Well said.

And, finally,
>Why does Andy Partridge look so much like John Lennon's assassin Mark David
Chapman in the "Dear God' video? <

Well, basically, it's ... um ... well, never MIND. Get some rest, dude.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 09:06:25 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: How to Tell It's XTC

My shortest post to Chalkhills, ever - in answer to the question: "How
do you know - immediately - when you first hear a new song by XTC?"

Someone said it was Mr. P's voice, but a new song could be by Colin!
I agree, though, that Mr. P's voice is VERY distinctive.  But also,
despite the fact that XTC's sound has drifted quite a few places on
the musical map, they still have a distinctive feel and sound.  I've
never heard something by them and thought it was someone else, or vice-

Burning in optimism's flames...
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |


Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 17:52:58 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: Maurizio Villotta <>
Subject: Wasn't that XTC?

>I couldn't think of anything that when I hear it, it screams XTC at me.
>Of course Mr. P.'s voice is unique and incredible but if I was
>listening to the radio and a new XTC song came on(without the
>announcer annoucing who it was)would I know it?

Well, if you listen carefully it's not so hard. I have experienced something
like this a couple of times. The first one was when I heard the song "Bags
of fun with Buster" the boys did under pseudonym (I can't recall the name
though). After the refrain I was quite sure it was them. The same thing
happened when I caught "Vanishing Girl" on the radio; it just screamed "XTC!
XTC!" all over. Even my brother, who likes them but isn't really a fan,
while I was listening to "The Good Things" came in and asked me: "Hey, are
these XTC?".
I think it has something to do with their crystal clear arrangements and
vocals. Nobody arranges songs like them. And their melodies are always



Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 11:37:19 -0600 (CST)
Subject: If I may jog your memories for a moment.....
Message-id: <>

Remember when someone asked when was the first time we remember
hearing/hearing of XTC? Well, I tell a lie when I say it was with Dear God
and Happy Families.  106.1 is New Orleans Rock Alternative. During the
morning show, they had a few songs that they would play every damn day, over
and over again, stuff like In a Big Country by Big Country, and Gone Daddy
Gone by the Violent Femmes.  I clearly remember hearing this rather annoying
song over and over again, which started off with a guitar, then the drums
kicked in, then this strange voice let out a raucous "AAAAAAOOOOOOOOOO!". I
begged my sister, who drove me to school, to please cahnge the station. That
was 1992. Fast forward to 2 years later, when I am immersing myself in
XTC-ness. Mummer was about the fourth album I bought by them. I tend to
listen to my cd's out of order and look at the titles to see if I can guess
by the title and the music style what song it may be. So I'm about halfway
through when Human Alchemy goes off, and the cd shuffles to pick the next
song. Well imagine my surprise when that familiar guitar/drums/AAAOOOOOO!
greeted my ears. I grabbed my cd and went "THIS is XTC??????" Although I was
sick to death of Funk Pop a Roll, it has become my favorite XTC video.

I was glancing through the old tour dates in the archives and saw that XTC
played in New Orleans in 1980, at a place called Old Man River's. I've never
heard of that place before, and I've lived here for 14 years! Mind you, I
don't think I would've gone at the time, seeing as that not only was I a
mere lass of two years old, but I was living in Simi Valley, California at
the time.

What's in my cd player right now.....A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, DR. DEMENTO'S ALL
What's in my VCR right now.....Head-The Monkees Movie. (I'm experiencing
Monkeemania right now. There was a special on the Disney channel last night
that's got me crazed, besides which, my mother ordered some Monkees stuff
for my birthday next month....ahh 19. Only two years away from being legal!)


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-72

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