Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-73

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 73

                 Sunday, 26 January 1997

Today's Topics:

                 The Death of Lillywhite
                       Axe Cleavage
                  A Call to Cohesiveness
                     Re: Andy's Shed
                   Sorry to disturb you
                 Big Country & Lillywhite
              lengthy albums & "girl groups"
                  Phil, sounds, sense...
                 Any of you in Colorado?
                        Black Sea
                       Wake Up Boo!
          "What in the world" songs, Lillywhite
                XTC ID (100% XTC content)
                      Almost forgot!
           Recognizably XTC/Hate-Love an Album
                 Don't Step On My Rainbow
                        top tens?
                     Re: demo changes
                   What's with u, kids?
                   AP 1995 DEMOS review


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Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 13:24:00 -0500
From: "Sawyer, Keith" <keith.sawyer@FMR.Com>
Subject: The Death of Lillywhite

While I detest bringing up Mr. Lillywhite's name again, I must correct
this statement:

>From: Paul Haines <>

>Steve Lillywhite produced Big Country's first three albums.

>If I'm not mistaken.

BC's first single was "Harvest Home," produced by Chris Thomas (an early
Pretenders and INXS producer, among many others).  Steve Lillywhite
stepped in and produced their debut (The Crossing) and their 2nd
(Steeltown).  However, the 3rd album you refer to was not produced by
him.  Robin Millar produced The Seer, which IMO was their finest
sounding album ... an excellent toning down of (without departing from)
the bombastic sound that Lillywhite pushed.  Plus, Kate Bush sang backup
vocals on one of the songs (it logically follows that it has to be
good).  Thanks goes to - a Big Country expert.

Oh yeah, anyone who posits girl groups are not 'hard' enough and then
doesn't at least mention Babes in Toyland or Juned shouldn't be
discussing girl groups.  Bikini Kill?  Lunachicks?  Huggy Bear?


"Throw yourself at the tide/I'll see you on the other side"
 -The Auteurs, 'Child Brides'


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 13:06:11, -0500
Subject: Axe Cleavage

>From AOL Chat the other night as moderated by THOMAS DOLBY:

Setting - a previous query regarding Dolby's production of Prefab
Sprout... then,

TMDR (Dolby): Todd, you know what these young bands are like. Our
friends XTC have a few quirks, right?

TheRealTRi: Andy once said he would like to cleave my head with an

TMDR: He still dreams about that.

TheRealTRi: ... but otherwise, a couple of talented blokes.

As a TR/XTC fan, I say let's bury that hatchet?...

Regarding ten song XTC albums: financially speaking, consumers have a
right to expect about 45-60 minutes of musical product on a silver
platter while paying about $14 for that platter. Should XTC's songs
average about 4 and a half minutes each then there really is no need
to complain at all. But I suspect the real reason for releasing two
separate CDs is the ability to charge the buyer twice. WHICH IS
COMPLETELY ALRIGHT WITH ME. Musical artistry is often shortchanged by
society's dollar votes. I would happily fork over $50 a year for an
hour's worth of new XTC material. Probably more. I place added value
on their "product". In fact, five years from now you will probably
subscribe to XTC via the net and download their product directly for
about 20 bucks a year. In fact, Rundgren will begin subscriptions in
March of 1997, obviously way ahead of the market's time, but it will
be a start. So toss aside all (or at least most) of the previous
standards for musical consumption. The balance is starting to tip in
the artist's favor.

ps: anyone who subscribes to this list that complains of "ONLY" ten
song albums ought to have their brain cells re-counted... Noble K


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 97 16:05:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: A Call to Cohesiveness

In the last Chalkhills, Tim De Cock adoodle-dooed:
> I'm not saying I support the ten-song idea as such: I want to see as
> much songs making it on CD as possible. But this is true: I've always
> felt that Nonsuch as an album (not considering the individual songs)
> lacked a certain inner strength, a cohesiveness that is very much
> present on e.g. Skylarking, D&W, Mummer, O&L (though that one's
> pretty lengthy) and I think length is a crucial factor in this
> feeling. The latter albums I usually listen to as a whole and in
> sequence; I've only once done that with Nonsuch. Of course, that can
> prove just about anything so I'll just shut up.

While I didn't necessarily mean *strictly* 10 songs in my original
statement, I think you've hit on the basic point of what I was saying about
preferring a shorter album that is more consistent to a longer one that just
gets more songs onto it:

 In and of themselves, I love just about every song on "Nonsuch"...HOWEVER,
I think that, as an *album* (as we've come to know them ever since they
stopped being just collections of, more or less), it
tends to amble a bit. It doesn't have the cohesive feel of "Black Sea" or
"English Settlement" or "Skylarking" and so on (just to mention XTC albums).
Or "Revolver," "Rubber Soul," "Who's Next," and so on (to mention non-XTC
albums). Although I did state my opinion that longer CDs for the sake of
length lend themselves to more filler, I guess my point really was more to
do with the *cohesiveness* of the albums. Releasing a whole ton o' songs
just because you got 'em, no matter how good they are, does not an album
make. To me, albums provide maximum impact when they hold together well. As
someone mentioned previously, the La's album was a perfect example of that.

And an aside to the person who chided me for using the Clash's "Sandinista!"
as an example of not being choosy enough about song selection: I still have
to disagree... even narrowing it down to 2 discs would have improved it
immensely. While it has some excellent songs, it just doesn't hold together
the way that "London Calling" does.

Signing off before I fill up my 75 minutes with filler opinions,

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 00:35:09 +0000
Subject: Re: Andy's Shed

Dear Chalkies,

Last issue someone asked about the equipment in Andy's Shed.
>(my bet is on an ADAT but I can't figure out what MIDI gear he's
Your bet is correct - He uses a (Fostex?) ADAT - that's a
kind of digital multi track tape recorder for you non-musos.
The ADAT was used to record the album The Greatest Living Englishman
by Martin Newell. Excellent music BTW...

I have here an article from 1989 that lists a lot of A.P's
other equipment... i'm sure a musician like Him will never throw
out anything (no money!) so He's probably still using most of it.
SO here's an excerpt:

- Teac-144 4 track recorder (probably obsolete now)
- Alesis Midiverb
- Yamaha D-1500 digital delay
- Korg DD1 drum computer
- some Alesis drum computer
- Roland D-50 sample synth (nice one, Andy!)
- a cheap Yamaha sampler; model unknown
and some guitars:
- Martin D-35 acoustic
- Squir Telecaster

yours ecstatically,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
Everything you eat is waste,
but swallowing is easy when it's got no taste


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 00:35:09 +0000
Subject: Sorry to disturb you


Last issue Autumn said:

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

I'm almost tempted to exclaim "Dear God!"
I think have watched too many videos on your MTV, Autumn...
They DON'T look like each other and comparing Andy to that insane
killer is very insulting IMHO.

BTW: If you call "Dear God" blasphemous you did not really listen to
the lyrics.


Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

===> Mark's Random XTC Quote <==
Hail mother motor, hail piston rotor, hail wheel!


Message-ID: <>
From: Paul Haines <>
Subject: Big Country & Lillywhite
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 10:56:36 +1000


Actually I was mistaken. Lillywhite only did the first two Big Country
albums. Robin Millar did the third. What a ****wit am I.



Message-Id: <v01540b04af0df2604337@[]>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 16:01:04 +1100
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: lengthy albums & "girl groups"

maaaan! Every band on the planet sems to have been named in the last couple
of digests - whats up with youse folk? We had people NOT HAPPY that xtc are
thinking of releasing two short albums (hell, they could release a 7" 45
and I'd be in raptures). Sure they're short albums. So what? Just because
the technology's there to release CDs at 79 minutes or whatever it doesn't
mean that that length becomes the law, and everyone else is 'skimping'.
That's like saying "The speed limit is 50 miles per hour, so to drive at
only 49 m.p.h. is a crime". When I think of the finest albums I know,
almost all are much shorter than this length (that INCLUDES those issued
since the advent of the CD). Would they have been better with more tracks?
Questionable. Often the extra tracks may be good ones, but they detract
from the thematic nature of the work. Having heard XTC earlier work on
vinyl and then bought the CDs with extra tracks, I didn't think the albums
had been improved by the additions. Sure, the added tracks were good (one
or two excellent), but the albums themselves weren't markedly better.

Now - you might say - we're not talking about extra tracks slapped onto a
completed album, we're talking about albums of extra length. Does longer
automatically mean better? Think of the triple albums that were made in
moments of indulgence over the years. How many of them stand up to repeated
listening? "All things must pass", maybe (and even that has a side or so of
jam noodlings). But for every ATMP, you get at least one equivalent "Tales
from Topographic Oceans" or "Welcome back my friends to the show that never
ends" (what an apt title). How many double CDs sustain interest right

Remember too that the album that frequently gets polled as XTC's best is
Skylarking, which on CD measures around 43 minutes (depending on your
version), an album from that delightful age when you could buy records in
either CD or Vinyl form with no hassle.

One more thought - considering what a perfectionist our Mr P. is, trying to
get the albums to the 70 minute mark might well add another year or so to
the release date. You prepared to wait?

What else was going on... oh yes, "girl groups". Has anyone mentioned
Miranda Sex Garden yet? *WHY NOT*?!?!?! I agree about early Bangles,
though: "All over the place" is a must, as is their earlier EP, if you can
find it. As also is the work of some of the bands they were hanging around
with at that time, groups like Rain Parade.



Date: 23 Jan 1997 23:37:34 -0000
Message-ID: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Phil, sounds, sense...

DeWitt: I didn't necessarily mean that Genesis *sucked* after Peter Gabriel
left because they lack instrumental talent or anything, but because Phil
Collins's voice grates on my nerves.

Why didn't anyone tell me to buy Joe Jackson's remastered "Greatest Hits" CD
sooner? (As in: "Yo! Ben! Buy Joe Jackson!") I listened to it all night last
night. It's incredible. Except for "Stepping Out," which I used to listen to
when I was about six, everything else was completely new, and a sonic feast.

If anyone is looking for new XTC-like material, check out the Justice
Records (Houston) page on the Net (, and a band
contained therein named Thrillcat. They are described by their record
company as "...Stevie Wonder meets acoustic XTC," and I'd tend to agree --
their "oneword" is a great album.

I'm premiering a piece tomorrow (at a concert) that I wrote called
"Complicated Game." Okay, it's an instrumental for piano, and, OK, it's
going between Mozart and Bach, but I wanted to pay homage to our boys


XTC SONG OF THE DAY: Reign of Blows

* -------------------------------------------
Ben Gott
The Hotchkiss School
"Been in the cold too long-along-along..."


Message-Id: <>
From: "Ed Miller" <>
Subject: Any of you in Colorado?
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 00:17:37 -0700

Hi, everyone!

It figures.... Dallas finally gets an "adult alternative" radio station
that has fulfilled my request to play XTC, and I get a new gig in Denver!

If I owe anyone email or tapes or anything, let me know soon, because I may
change my ISP in a month or so.

***** Are any of you in Colorado? ****

Send me a message if you'd like... maybe I'll have a party for the Rocky
Mountain Chalkhillians when I get settled.

Later...... ed


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 8:51:17 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Black Sea

Hello all,

back from the holidays with all these chalkhills awaiting.....Lots of XTC
musings over Yule. Got the Fossil Fuels with the broken case, but, having
been forewarned about the possibility I had already scoped out a healthy
copy I quickly exchanged.
After Fossils I went out and bought Drums and Wires as well as Black Sea,
the only 2 I lacked......great albums, and really puts the Swindonian ouvre
in better perspective. I have gained more respect for Colin's songwriting
since Drums and Wires. It seems he carried a lot of that record while my
beloved Andy was fiddling around with syncopation, jagged vocals and less
than linear approaches to songwriting that really matured by Black Sea.
THERE IS NO LANGUAGE IN MY LUNGS to describe BS...just great, very
inventive and Andy starts singing with a clear and brilliant voice and the
clever songwriting I love him for. This is not to belittle earlier efforts,
I love his whole output, just that he seemed to really mature on BS.

I also looked at a lot of the guitar tablature and chords downloaded from
Chalkhills home page. I noticed some of the transcriptions were quite good
but others seemed to stem from ears worse than mine.I have always dreamed
of a good XTC songbook, I think Dave should put one out.....such tasty
licks, and I with such a bad ear! If anyone knows where I can find more
accurate transcriptions please let me know.

Anyway, just wanted to put in my three cents....I really like the threads
and comments.


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 13:49:06 GMT
Message-Id: <v01510100af0e6bf2a6aa@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Wake Up Boo!

>From todays's edition of The Guardian - an on-the-road diary written by
Sice, lead-singer of the Boo Radleys in Toulouse:

"Later on Martin and myself are met by a man asaking us for autographs. He
tells us he is 45, and that in 1968 he saw Pink Floyd play to 30 people in
a London classroom. He is in love with music and his favourite bands are
The Beatles, XTC, Pink Floyd and us.

During both Linoleum's and our own act, he stands at the front of the stage
and watches both guitarists intently, a warm smile spread across his face.
I think from now on, when I talk about 'the kids', I'll be unable to stop
myself using him as my archetype."

- Mark


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: "What in the world" songs, Lillywhite
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 08:59:00 -0500

>[Michael Wicks] 180 degree turn around about a particular song/album/CD;
>...suddenly one day the damn songs actually come together and make sense?

Good topic. So many XTC songs only come into focus on repeated hearing that
I'll set my limit. Five "what in the world" XTC songs, chronologically:

Jason and the Argonauts
All You Pretty Girls
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul

>[Paul Haines] Steve Lillywhite produced Big Country's first three albums.
>If I'm not mistaken. I haven't gone back and checked but on their 4th
>album they used Peter Wolf from the J Geils Band and their sound changed
>a lot. So did a lot of their fans.

But not me. "Steeltown" was Lillywhite. "The Seer" was produced by Robin
Millar and mixed by Walter Torbitt, according to the sleeve, but it does
sound like Lillywhite. After "Peace in our Time" by Wolf, they were
self-produced on "The Buffalo Skinners" in '93.

Extraneous comment (like they all aren't): Peter Wolf also produced the
zippy pop confection "King of Wishful Thinking" by Go West. Never thought
I'd see that mentioned here.

One "boys only" band comment: Males, uninterrupted and with others of their
gender, are able to convince themselves that the **stupidest things will be
irresistible to the female of the species!**. This includes wearing a
tee-shirt from the "Hooters" restaurant chain while trying to meet women, or
forming a boys-only manly macho band and singing lots of songs about
indiscriminate, interchangeable and drunken flings.

One girl-band/girls-forming-bands comment: I can't let that go by without
saying Chrissie Hynde, as I don't think she's been mentioned.

Hey! My "brain just works like that" too,


Message-Id: <v01550102af0eb3160849@[]>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 12:56:52 -0600
From: (jason garcia)
Subject: Greatness


>After all, one of the greatest rock albums is "The White Album"
>if you do your own editing to make it a single record.

Oh man.  I've never understood this logic.  I side with Paul
McCartney, when he says, "It's the bloody Beatles White Album!"
You don't edit what's already great.  That reminds me of the
"single record" version of English Settlement-- that's not
English Settlement!

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

Andy's voice, and the extent that Colin sounds like Andy (sorry

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

Yes!! He rocked, even though half the stuff was what Andy told him
to play and I've read he wasn't really a musician as such, but his
parts are fantastic.

Hey AMANDA, are the Monkees really touring as a foursome?!?!



Message-Id: <>
From: "J. D. SMX" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 16:10:54 -0700
Subject: XTC ID (100% XTC content)

Hello All,

Suddenly, I can't "reply" to the Digest 'cause I get a message that
says, This program has performed an illegal operation.  So, now I
can't "quote" anybody anymore.

That said: I'd like to give my input as to what is the identifing
sound of XTC.  Someone in the last posts was close when they
said, the hook....well, I'd like to take that one further and say it's
the combonation/layering of hooks.  i.e. All You Pretty Girls and
Generals and Majors.

When one listens to both of those songs we can hear at least 4 hooks
per song.  (now I'll try to remember them as I don't have access to
them here at work.)  AYPG= the background vocals that go ah-hmm,
ah-hmm, the chorus melody, the guitar part, the verse melody.
GAM= the whistling part, the chorus melody, the guitar part with the
decending scale, the verse melody. Now try to find the 4 hooks in
Wait Til Your Boat Goes Down.

Because I Didn't Contribute To This Thread Yet:
My favourite nuance in an XTC song is the phonic pronunciation of the
letters in B E A T O W N. (no wonder I'm on the Love Go 2 club)

So glad to hear gnat latched on to That Wave.  Also one of my top 5
from Nonsuch.  Reminds me of Blue Overall somehow.

Thanks to JH3 for the insight to the 10/Virgin ripoff. Great read.

And finally, as for Stewart Copland being drummer for XTC.
Yes, the connection is there (they toured together more than once)
and he has always been my favourite thing about the Police, but I
think his drumming style is to overpowering to be w/XTC.  I think a
better choice would be someone more like Pete Defretas (sp.) of Echo
and the Bunneymen, if he were still alive, <snif>.  When I met the
band E&thB he was definately the most congenial (sp.) member of the
group as well.  Now that they've reformed and thrown away
Electrafixion I wonder who they'll get to play drums, Terry Chambers?
(ho h0 ho)

Until next week,    SMX

Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Message-Id: <>
From: "J. D. SMX" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 16:53:28 -0700
Subject: Almost forgot!

Hi Again,

I forgot to ask, did anyone else see Xtc spraypainted on the wall
behind the flamanco dancer during the "moment of zen," at the end of
the Daily Show one day last week?  The Daily Show is the funniest new
show I've found in a ling time.  The interview w/John Cleese this
week was really cool.  Check it out y'all.     SMX

Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 16:35:05 -0700
From: Craig Larson <Craig_L@TSJC.CCCOES.EDU>
Subject: Recognizably XTC/Hate-Love an Album
Message-id: <>

Pretty weird subject line.  What I wanted to contribute to were two distinct
threads in the previous digest.  First, what is instantly recognizable about
an XTC song?  That's a tough question, but there must be an answer.  When I
heard the song from the _Testimonial Dinner_ album by "Terry and the Love
Men," I knew, instantly, that here was a new XTC song.  Echoing another
poster, the first time I heard "Mayor of Simpleton" and "Ballad of Peter
Pumpkinhead," both immediately stuck out-that's XTC!  I guess, for me, one
of the distinctive factors is the vocals.  Andy doesn't sing _every_ song,
but it sometimes seems that way.  Also, there's a distinctive, skewed pop
sensibility that shows up in almost everything they do that marks it.

Have I ever disliked an album intensely, only to turn around and start
loving it?  This has happened to me a number of times and one of them, I
must confess, was my first exposure to XTC, _Skylarking_.  I had a tape with
this on one side and _Mummer_ on the reverse, made by a friend of mine into
experimenting with new music purchases.  I made copies of his stuff, he
copied mine, etc.  It took me several months of occasional listens to get
past my original "huh?" reaction, but once I did, I was hooked for good.  I
soon had the entire XTC discography in my possession, while my friend never
did buy another one of their albums-I guess it was "Dear God" that hooked
him and he didn't have the patience to let the guys work their magic.

This also happened to me with New Order and my first exposure to their work,
_Low- Life_.  The circumstances were almost identical, with the dubbing done
for me by the same friend.  One day I was sitting in a bean bag chair in my
dorm room as the sun slowly set and, POW!--"Love Vigilantes" finally made
sense.  As with XTC, I became a solid fan.

Craig Larson
Trinidad, CO


Message-Id: <v01510101af0f0f8b167e@[]>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 15:23:42 -1000
From: (Jim Smart)
Subject: lies

>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.

I need to confess my lie as well. I told you all my first song was Nigel,
on the radio.

I feel so guilty, but apparently I've been repressing the following memory.
It was the late seventies. New Wave was just coming on strong. My friends
and I were discovering all these new interesting bands. A friend gave me a
tape of Go2. I absolutely hated it. Couldn't stand it. Thought it sounded
out of tune. Moved on to Squeeze, Talking Heads, and the rest.

Then, later, when U2 first came out, I confused U2 with Go2. I thought,
"Gee, they sound a lot better now. I can't believe that's the same band."

Now I find U2 pretty dull, and am fascinated by XTC. And I haven't heard
Go2 since that first disasterous experience. Now I'd like to hear it. But I
have to wait, because I'm slowly buying XTC's albums in reverse order (I
bought Mummer this week, and I've never heard a single song on it before!)

Whew. Nothing like holding in a terrible lie like that.

          DAILY HOWL
  "what's the point in cracking up,
    all because of shepherd's pie?"
                          -The Kinks


Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 01:04:37 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Don't Step On My Rainbow

Hello everyone. I know it has been mentioned here before, but I just got The
Cleaners From Venus new box set called "Don't Step On My Rainbow". The
Cleaners are, of course, led by Martin Newell. Two of the tracks included in
the set feature Dave Greogory on guitar. Jarmusic, the company that made the
box set, did a great job again with the packaging. The box contains five 7"
singles all on colored vinyl. Also included in the box is a mini photo album
with pictures, lyrics, and news clippings. There are a total of 20 tracks
which span The Cleaners and Newell's recording career. Two tracks were
recorded specifically for this box. The tracks that Dave Gregory appear on is
a live cover of "Bus Stop" that was recorded during Newell's tour of Japan in
1994. The other track to feature Gregory is a live version of "A Street
Called Prospect" recorded during Newell's 1995 tour of Germany. Well worth
checking out!

On to other things...

I recently came across a promo radio show CD that featured XTC that is not in
the Chalkhills discography. The radio show is called "Out Of Order" (96-32)
and was for broadcast on August 10, 1996. It is a weekly syndicated show.
This show has an interview with Andy Partridge and Making Plans For Nigel is
featured during their Time Warp section.

Along with this interview, I have collected 4 other Andy interviews on tape
from his recent round of promotional radio interviews. They are:
09/26/96 Andy speaks to Gary Crowley, Greater London Radio UK
10/04/96 Andy speaks to Studio Brussels, Belgium
11/07/96 Soundbites, BBC Radio includes Andy interview
11/10/96 Rock Over London w/Andy co-hosting
If anyone has tapes of any other recent Andy interviews I would love to
arrange a trade. Please e-mail me!

And now a few questions:

I saw a recent post elsewhere that Steve Hogarth's (of Marillion) band called
"H" was releasing their new CD "Ice Cream Genius" in Europe on January 21st.
No U.S. release date was mentioned. Dave Gregory plays guitar on the CD. Has
anyone purchased this yet? If someone has this I would love to see their
review of it.

Same goes for two other CDs not yet released in the U.S.. If anyone is not
too embarrassed from having bought it, I would love to see reviews of Mark
Owens (ex- Take That member) new CD that features Dave Gregory called "Green
Man". Is it worth buying to hear Dave's guitar playing? I also have not heard
much about the new Cathy Dennis CD called "Am I The Kind Of Girl". The title
track is written by Andy Partridge. I am not sure if Andy had any other
involvement with the album. Is this worth getting?

And finally (sorry about the length of this post), but I have not seen the
new CD by Herbert Groenemeyer called "Chaos" get a mention on Chalkhills yet.
I heard he originally recorded the album in German. He decided to also do an
english language version and contacted Andy Partridge to help with the
translation and to make sure the lyrics made sense. I know nothing about
Herbert Groenemeyer, so if anyone who is familiar with him could post some
info it would be appreciated. Please also let me know if this is worth



Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 00:31:11 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: top tens?
Message-ID: <>

I've been saving the top tens from these lists and plan on compiling them
shortly (or longly, as the case may be), so if you've been slacking and
have stuff listed that *must* be represented, post yr list now dammit.


J e f f r e y  N o r m a n                            Department of English                University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
::        Time provides the rope, but love will tie the slipknot         ::
::   And I will be the chair you kick away..............Stephin Merritt  ::


Message-Id: <v01540b00af0f5cb7e21b@[]>
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 01:52:56 -0500
From: (Derek Miner)
Subject: Re: demo changes

Joshua Hall-Bachner ( said:

>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."

Actually, there have been other occasions where the lyrics changed
significantly. The original demos for "Dear God" and "Extrovert" had some
extra parts which didn't make it to the final versions. There were also
minor changes in at least half of the demos I've heard.

Incidentally, some of the Skylarking demos I've heard represent the songs
which have changed the most from demo to final version. My guess is that
this is due to the heavy involvement of Todd in the conceptualization of
the album. I'm not making a quality judgment there, just making an

erek Miner


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 13:58:28 +0100
From: Ulrika & Magnus Fredholm <>
Subject: What's with u, kids?

Hi there!
I'm pretty new to Chalkhills, and I'd like to make some general
comments. If you wonder who I am, I'm Magnus, 31, XTC lover since 76 and
not a very deep kind of man. Now, for the comments:

First, there are those chat-mail people send. Fun for you, lots of waste
for me:-(

Secondly, I find it very disturbing that the general discussions
concerning XTC are mostly from people who dissect every song in the
belief that they'll find some hidden meaning no one else knows about.
Admittedly, the boys can be a bit confusing at times, but I do not think
they expect you to look that hard for their messages.
Good metaphors are easily detected if you're in the right state of mind.
And as you all like XTC, you're in that *right* state of mind.

Also, what is this discussion about album playing time??? There are only
two types; right and wrong. I find every original XTC album to be
exactly the right length. However, I find the inclusion of bonus tracks
between the original side one and two on Drums & Wires (GEFD-4034) to be
totally wrong! Ruins my day, it does!

Good night, suckers!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 09:22:27 -0800
From: Ian C Stewart <>
Subject: AP 1995 DEMOS review

Someone mentioned a few weeks back that they'd like to see a review of
the tape of AP demos currently making the rounds.  Here's one, as
published in AUTOreverse #2:

fifteen destined-to-be-classic songs recorded in Andy's shed at the
bottom of the garden, which is outfitted with a digital 8-track studio
among other delectable bits of machinery.  These songs are different from
previous demos-- the moods are more extreme, often being very sad and
damn-near giddy within the same song.  For those keeping score, there's
more emphasis on the orchestral/acoustic/drumless songs (see "Rook" from
NONSUCH).  It's absurd to consider these recordings "demos" since they're
fully realized and fleshed out.  The patented XTC studio gloss will add
much to these songs but they're already shit-hot.  I hope XTC's former
A&R guy at Virgin has heard "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"
and that he's been throttling himself in the neck ever since.  Fuck
Virgin/EMI and may the rest of XTC's albums all go quintuple platinum
just to spite their ignorance.  The overwhelming beauty of "Easter
Theater" is quite unlike any previous Partridge composition.  "I'd Like
That" is a sunshiney mix of MUMMER and SKYLARKING feels, with the happy
ghosts of the Dukes appearing to harmonize on the "sunflower" bits.
"Knights In Shining Karma" is an oddly dour fingerpicked number-- almost
like Nick Drake for electric guitar.  "The Last Balloon" is a patented
Partridge joyous bummer track in the vein of "Chalkhills And Children",
with a heartbroken swing feel.  Sigh.  Fab.  Where does it come from?
How can this stuff be so paralyzingly excellent, even in demo form?  If
Andy Partridge could piss out his brilliance, he could bottle and sell
it, maybe he'll be a rich man yet.  "Dame Fortune" is a playful, uptempo
song with acoustic guitars and penny whistles.  "The Green Man" is a
massive, radio-ready Peter Gabriel-style WOMAD-y world-music anthem.
Andy's painful divorce left him with "Dictionary Of Doubt," a jilted folk
tune.  Excellent b-side material.  "I Can't Own Her" is another giddy
downer.  Imagine "That Wave" after being kicked in the nuts by True Love.
 Wounded.  These tracks are expansive and ornate and amazing and
extremely touching.  Can't wait for the album...though this tape WILL
make the wait a little easier.
Ian C Stewart

Thanks Dave Goody for the FF cassettes, which just arrived.  I've lost
your e-mail address.



Message-Id: <v03007802af0ff4e939a5@[]>
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 13:05:22 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: PmAoRuTlRdIiDnGgE

Without knowing what subject to put, I will to bow to Ben and make the
Elvis reference. Now I have to go out and buy Imperial Bedroom. I'm
listening to Brutal Youth now and it's darn good. :) But enough about Elvis.

With all of you making lists of your top albums of 1996, it's making me
want to go out and listen to some of them. First of all, I don't think I
bought more than FIVE albums in 1996 that actually debuted in 1996. Ben
Folds Five was copyrighted 1995. What did I buy from 1996? Costello/Nieve,
TMBG Factory Showroom, Crowded House Very Best Of, Squeeze's Picadilly
Collection, Fossil Fuels, and EC's All This Useless Beauty. Maybe Joe
Jackson's GH was c 1996, but it's at work so I don't know. But I think I
bought somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 (?) other CDs last year, all
with original release dates not within the '96 calendar year. Therefore I
will NOT put in my list of fave albums of 1996 because it would be pretty
short. I listen to all of those mentioned above at least weekly. They don't
make music like they used to though.

JHB asserted:
>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.

Forgive him, he overlooks the obvious flaw in that remark. Many of the
people on this list own Explode Together, right? It's one of those
"completeness" things that make the entire catalog. Now, raise your hands,
how many of you listen to it regularly or at all? I sure don't. I also own
Go2. :) I am quite proud to own just about everything that XTC has put out
on CD. And that includes Fossil Fuels. The only thing I don't own (to my
knowledge) is "The Compleat XTC" which I have only seen ONCE in a store.
Not that I'm clamoring to get it, but I wouldn't mind it.

Also JHB:
>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."

I made the comment probably last month that COLIN definitely sticks close
to the demo but Andy tinkers more with songs off his demos. I would not be
surprised to see songs off these latest demos changed (slightly) to the
most polished, album version.

Paul from Syracuse said,
>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.

I like Toys best of the b-sides on Mummer, but Jump is (to me) for the most
part inane and Gold just doesn't totally do it for me. What? You don't like
"In Loving Memory of a Name?" It's possibly my favorite Colin song! (OK,
flame away.)

Alberto in Italy has just recited my CD collection as bands he likes. You
haven't borrowed anything from me and not returned it, Alberto, have you?

Which reminds me -- GENE! You still have my Sugarplastic disc. Alberto, get
that for your collection. Muy bueno.

>Does anyone else besides me think that Terry Chambers was a GREAT
Stormy Mike-day, I agree.

But while I'm on my major Elvis Costello kick, I would be quite intrigued
by EC producing XTC. He made Squeeze what they were (and arguably still
are) with his guiding hand on "East Side Story." And his high- and low-
register input to "Tempted." But I honestly can't imagine His Andyness
going for it. As I understand, Elvis is a very hands-on type of guy. But
then again it worked with Toddzilla...

Oh well. Time to clean up the apartment for tomorrow's Super Bowl party.
All those who expect to see Bill Parcells coaching the Jets next year,
raise your hands.



"I'm not that plain little boy..."


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