Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-81

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 81

                 Sunday, 9 February 1997

Today's Topics:

                     Roy Harper & Son
                   A curious reference
                     The end is near!
            Daily Telegraph Article - Feb 6 97
                    If you met Andy...
                   Smalltown, Roy & Bob
                        Pink Thing
        WARNING: Extreme Musical Pedantry Ahead!!
                   Great Googly Moogly!
        Tying together two sub-Chalkhills artists
                    Videos, and stuff
                      Na na na na...
                      Re: Greatness
              C flat; Prefab Sprout and XTC
                     one more for Al
                      The Kat's meow
                      Paul Is Dead?
              I just recalled something....
           Okay, I'll end it on a C sharp then!
                    English Settlement
                       Best of '96


Loads of new articles have been culled from back issues of Chalkhills.
Soon I will get around to writing a search engine.  Yeah.  Right.

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Message-Id: <v01530502af1ef78ca4ec@[]>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 22:10:12 -0500
Subject: amanda

been on the list two or three months and have never posted.  reading
through the digest has been painful, with a few exceptions.  i stay on in
the hope that i'll get some news on a new xtc release earlier than i might
otherwise.  hey amanda, do you post to other lists as well?
currently in the cdplayer:  pavement's "slanted and enchanted"

visit the wide world of teamgal at
through 02 march 1997
Alix Stewart Lambert
virtual:  24/7
physical:  527 West 26th Street, NY, NY, 10001
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 7pm


From: (Jon Eva)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 16:04:33 +0000
Subject: Roy Harper & Son

From: "Witter, Karl F" <>:

> A review of a recent club show by Roy Harper mentions that he's been
> in the music trade for 30 years, and that Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd,
> and Paul McCartney have shared studio time with him. It also mentioned
> his compilation CD, released in 1994 on his own UK label.
> And the name of the label is............ Science Friction!

All I can say is that if you get a chance to see Roy Harper play, go!

He's got a high pitched, wailing sort of singing voice which works
brilliantly live and he's a wonderful guitarist (esp. if you like
He talks hilarious rubbish between songs and if the venue is small enough
and the audience friendly enough he'll get as stoned as them.

The first time I saw Roy play was just after he had just been in the News
of the World because Nigel Kennedy (!) had just stolen his girlfriend. He
was understandably depressed. Personally I'm surprised he didn't top
I mean, Nigel Kennedy of all people!

His son, Nick Harper, is also a musician, and an even better guitarist.
I don't like his song writing quite as much but he's still well worth
going to see. He often supports and accompanies his dad.

The best source for funny stories about Roy (and there are plenty) is the
Led Zepplin book "Hammer of the Gods". It tells of his strange obsession
with a rubber gorilla that reminded me of "The Rubber Shark Incident".


Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 17:44:03 +0100 (CET)
From: James Isaacs <>
Subject: A curious reference
Message-Id: <>

Not that any more than seven per cent of you will get this, but I saw a
CD in a cutout bin by the Barron Knights.  Guess that answers that.


Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 11:21:59 -0600 (CST)
Subject: The end is near!
Message-id: <>

Did you ever think that hell is beginning to freeze over when your father
starts to like the music you listen to? My dad and I have NEVER had matching
musical tastes. He was into his oldies when I was into heavy metal, and now
that I'm into alternative, he's into New Age.....pardon me for cutting in
with this little scene right here, but I am in a crowded computer lab and
someone's bratty little kid is running around screaming. HELP!....anyways, I
was listening to my Through the Hill cd yesterday. My dad asked if he could
borrow it, so I lent it to him. He liked it, so he started listening to my
other XTC stuff, and this man, who hated seventies sounding punk/rock/pop,

It's a miracle that curiousity survives formal education-Albert Einstein
If the Bible wasn't the Bible it would be banned by Bible-thumpers.
Seminars: noun. From "semi" and "arse". Therefore, a half-assed discussion.
If you don't have anything good to say, say it often.
My Canada includes Florida.


Message-Id: <v02130500af1fa4212673@[]>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 16:38:52 +0000
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: Daily Telegraph Article - Feb 6 97

The following article was written by David Gritten of the Daily Telegraph
arts section - Thursday February 6, 1997:

The English rock band XTC have just emerged from a four year strike. David
Gritten hears why they did it.


The notion of pop stars going on strike is an amusing one. If nurses, train
drivers or teachers decide to withhold their labour, the effect on us is
obvious. But pop stars? It's hardly holding the nation to ransom.

"Seems strange, doesn't it?" muses Andy Partridge, of XTC, the quirky,
melodic English group who have survived the vagaries of musical fashion for
two decades. "I can see the funny side. I mean, going on strike is
something you aren't supposed to in this business."

Yet XTC did just that - and won. They told their long-time label, Virgin,
that they would make no more records for it back in 1992, and demanded a
release from their contract. Virgin refused to comply - so XTC, as it were,
downed tools. Only now has Virgin finally agreed to let them go and find a
new label.

What made the trio take such a tough stance against Virgin, for whom they
had recorded since 1977? "Something was very amiss," says Partridge. "We
estimate Virgin made in excess of 30 million Pounds from us over the years
- yet we never went into profit for the first 18 years of our career."

Partridge, a droll man of 42 and an unlikely pop star with his cropped
hair, tinted glasses, baggy sweater and Hush Puppies, is in the living-room
of his terraced house in Swindon, XTC's home town. His colleagues, bassist
Colin Moulding (who along with Partridge writes XTC's songs) and guitarist
Dave Gregory, live in comparable homes locally. "Tells you everything,
doesn't it?" says Partridge. "We've been going this long, and we live like
this. It's a nice enough house. But it's terraced. And it is in Swindon."

Certainly it's far from the stately Home Counties piles you associate with
rock's aristocracy. Consider that XTC have made 15 albums, enjoying several
hits (Making Plans for Nigel, Senses Working Overtime, Sgt Rock, The Mayor
of Simpleton) and the disparity is more glaring.

How did this happen? Partridge insists XTC's contract with Virgin was badly
structured from the outset: "It was a low percentage for us, and even from
that they cut away more. We'd have to pay for our own recording sessions -
which we then didn't own." In the end, he said, the group earned "fractions
of a penny" for each record sold.

They had wanted tp extricate themselves from Virgin since the late 1980's,
when they were also fighting a former manager in the courts. "Our contract
wasup, but our legal bills were around 400,000 Pounds. Virgin loaned us
money to pay off those debts, but insisted we sign a new contract on the
same terms for another six years. They had us over a barrel."

But then XTC and Virgin had long had their differences. "They have never
known quite what to do with us," Partridge says. "We didn't fit into the
punk mould at first, which was an annoyance for them. Then we weren't New
Romantics. Nor were we Power Pop. We had this strange, English, almost
rustic edge."

It's true. XTC lyrics are littered with English references, many from a
more innocent era: Oxo, Happy Families, Avon ladies, England's Glory
matches, church bells, caravans parked in front gardens. Few other pop
groups would title a song Grass, and write about the green stuff found on
lawns. If the music industry is a family gathering, Partridge says, "XTC
are like the clumsy cousins, sitting in the corner shyly with their specs

Their albums sell 500,000 apiece in the US, bit Virgin wanted more, and
asked them to make their music simpler, harder-driving, more friendly to
American radio. One executive rejected an XTC album and suggested they
emulate the prodigiously bearded American rockers ZZ Top. The idea
mystified them. "I can't even grow facial hair," says Partridge.

The final straw came with their 1992 single Wrapped in Grey - a lush
Partridge ballad which anticipated the recent Burt Bacharach vogue. "It's
one of my best songs ever, but Virgin put out a few thousand copies then
took it off the shelves as soon as possible," he mourns. "They stifled it
in the crib. So we had a label not prepared to let us earn anything, and
also dabbling in infanticide."

XTC announced strike action. "It was all we had over them, to withold our
talents." By now they were pleading poverty: Moulding and Gregory were
working collecting abandoned rental cars, while Partridge was producing
other artists, including Blur's second album.

They suffered four hard years. Most fans assumed XTC had split up.
Partridge went through a painful divorce, and a middle-ear infection left
him deaf for several months. "I'm glad we struck," he says. "It was
absolutely necessary."

Virgin was invited to reply to Partridge's complaints, but declined. In
fairness to the company, XTC are not easy to handle; they have not toured
since 1982, when Partridge announced that live concerts caused him to
suffer panic attacks and other ailments.

XTC are not alone in squaring up to record companies. George Michael and
Prince have had battles with Sony and Warner Bros respectively: Michael
took his case through the courts in a blaze of publicity, while Prince
never ceased recording.

The case closest to XTC is American singer-composer Michelle Shocked, who
last year ended a four-year strike with Mercury Records. The company
finally agreed to tear up her contract. Her fight triggered a debate in
America about music business practices.

"Do you ever hear of an actor who has to give up his first million dollars
pay from a movie to get it made?" says music attorney Don Engel. "Yet all
artists pay recording costs from their advances. It's counterproductive and
unfair." Songwriter Van Dyke Parks has written of the "abusive nature" of
recording contracts, and calls music industry bosses "robber barons".

Partridge agrees. "The industry runs on signing young bands with a short
shelf-life. There's an assumption they'll soon argue amongst themselves and
go back to the building site. Ninety per cent of the groups you see on Top
of the Pops aren't making a penny, and never will. Record companies dislike
bands with longevity, because eventually they want to know where the
money's going. Hang around long enough and your eyes get opened."

Still, XTC are content after their strike. "We're free and we've  stored up
40 songs to record," Partridge says. "What we want now is a profit-sharing
deal, preferably on a small label who respect what we do and love us for
what we are."

Reproduced without permission, but also without commercial gain from the
Daily Telegraph 6/2/97.


Date: Thu, 6 Feb 97 22:20:35 UT
From: "Peter Fitzpatrick" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: If you met Andy...

Here's a couple of questions  . . . . . . .

if you were to meet Andy in an interview-type situation what would be the
three questions you'd like to ask him ?

also : if you hoped he would sign two items for you - what would they be ?



Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 14:44:30 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b00af20eff6c669@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Smalltown, Roy & Bob

>Has anyone out there been able to figure out what Colin is singing during
>the last chorus of "Smalltown" ???

>It's around the point when Andy is singing "crouching in the valley". I
>know the second line Colin sings right after that is "If it's all the
>same, to you" but what is he singing before that ??? (This has been
>bothering me for years ... well, not bothering me, I love listening to it,
>I just wish I could make out the line.)

I always thought it was "setting out the things to do", but I'm not 100%

>A review of a recent club show by Roy Harper mentions that he's been in
>the music trade for 30 years, and that Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Paul
>McCartney have shared studio time with him. It also mentioned his
>compilation CD, released in 1994 on his own UK label.

>And the name of the label is............ Science Friction!

>How about it, Chalkies? Who is he, what's the significance, which "Science
>Friction" came first, or is this one of those coincidences?

WHO IS HE??? gah! How come so few people have heard of this wild eyed folk
rocker? Roy's best known as the singer on Pink Floyd's song "Have a Cigar",
but that seriously downplays his immense significance and huge body of
work. I'd recommend Harper's work toanyone, but with the caveat that it is
an acquired taste. ZHmmm. It's veirtually impossible to compare Harper with
anyone else... there are bits of Kevin Coyne, some early ("Nebraska" era)
Springsteen touches, Aussies would recognise the influence Harper's been on
Ed Kuepper. Check out "When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease", or

>>And now, what you have all been waiting for so patiently: I have a
>>producer for XTCs next work! Yeah, I know this thread died in the late
>>fifties, and someone probably mentioned this name already, but I was
>>inspired. Its Bob Mould!

>Not only does he have that lovely anagram of a name...

Bulb doom? Loud bomb? Blob o' mud? I give up...



Message-ID: <>
From: Paul Haines <>
Subject: Pink Thing
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 13:32:23 +1000


Pink Thing, according to the book 'Chalkhills and Children', I think,
memory is flakey, is about both the penis and the baby.

Flick it either you want. Pun intended.



From: ERIC DAY <>
Subject: WARNING: Extreme Musical Pedantry Ahead!!
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 97 18:14:00 PST
Message-ID: <> (jason garcia) wrote:
>Aha!  But as anyone who reads music knows, C-flat doesn't
>actually exist-- it's B!  This, obviously, renders your
>entire argument invalid!  (You realize, of course, that I'm
>Kidding, with a capital K).

Don't know if you were kidding about the C-flat stuff, but just in


The G-flat diatonic major scale goes something like this:

     Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb

And now, class, for your next assignment...

Pretentiously yours,
 - Eric


Message-Id: <v03020702af20472809eb@[]>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 21:56:24 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Great Googly Moogly!

Tim Kendrick emoted:
>  I was watching the begining of the show and they said XTC would
>  be their musical guest.  I went wild and immediately put a tape into
>  my VCR for taping.  It was a great performance by the guys !!!
What did they SING though?!? Nobody ever mentioned it. Either that, or my
fast-forward-digest button was stuck down when it had been brought up. I
want it, if possible. We'll talk.

Todd Bernhardt characterized Becki DiGregorio's story as:
>  <incredible, awesome story about the accessibility and musical generosity
>  of Mssrs. Gregory and Partridge>
And Ira agrees with it! (Ira likes to talk about himself in the third

>  Wow. Completely cool. Put me down for a CD. Something tells me, after a
>  story like that, that you may have 1,000 or so orders on your hands...
Ira wants one of those too. On what label are you signed to, Becki? This,
of course, is out of total unnecessary curiosity. And have the boys from
Swindon helped you in that area as well? (Or, have you helped THEM?)

I was listening to Drums and Wires today, and then I spoke to Ben (hi...)
and the two of us agreed that there are high points to it and low points,
but it's NOT the album you listen to if you're going to be doing work while
you pay attention to it. It's not like I do brain surgery (well, I wouldn't
mind excising the useless brains of my co-workers but I digress), but I
still have to concentrate sometimes. Drums and Wires either requires your
entire attention or you can't play it. There. I said it. Anyone else agree?
If you do, I'll send you a 1/2 inch paper clip. Ben already has his.

Gotta go run, ER is on.


I danced imprisoned in your drumbeat.


Message-Id: <l03010d02af203d048879@[]>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 19:22:32 -0700
From: Eb <>
Subject: Tying together two sub-Chalkhills artists

A few years ago, I went to a They Might Be Giants concert in LA. The Young
Fresh Fellows were opening. Anyway, I spent the whole show seated next to
Weird Al Yankovic. Very nice guy. It was very strange, though -- people
were coming up to him all night and treating him like he was John Lennon or
something. "Oh, your music has meant so much to me," etc. Just a reflection
of the TMBG demographic, I suppose. I talked to Al throughout -- he hadn't
heard of the Fellows, so I was "hyping" him on them because frankly I like
the YFFs more than TMBG. He seemed happy to talk to someone who wasn't
drooling over him, and he also came off a lot smarter than he does in his
videos, etc. I jokingly asked him if I could tell the autograph seekers
that I was his keyboardist. Al said, "Sure!" Heh heh. Oh, he has a very
sweet girlfriend also.

To make this a truly off-topic Chalkhills post, I should point out that no
Crash Test Dummies were in the building, as far as I could tell.



Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 05:26:39 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: "Ben Gott" <>
Subject: Videos, and stuff

Status: OR


I hear folks saying that they don't like videos in general, including XTC in
this category. All I can say is that the videos I have received as of late have
really made my week. Some are silly (like "Statue of Liberty"), some are ahead
of their time (like "All of a Sudden (It's Sorta in Black and White)"), and
some are clouded up with a strange Sex Pistols poster and Dave Gregory's facial
hair (like "Respectable Street"). It's always fun for me to see the boys
performing, however, since I never saw them live (and probably never will).

Has anyone else ever noticed something about the times of "Hold Me My Daddy,"
"Pink Thing," and "Miniature Sun" on "Oranges and Lemons"? Pull out your CD
copy, open up the leaflet, and tell me if you see what I see...(Speaking of new
producers and drummers: bring back Paul "Look! Now I'm Famous!" Fox and Pat

Don't want demolition.


* -------------------------------------------
Ben Gott
The Hotchkiss School


Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 23:25:52 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Na na na na...

>Sure, I'll admit you're right, but you have to understand that at the
>time I first heard those songs I was going through a phase of flippantly
>dismissing everything.  But now I'm older and, hopefully, more mature.

I recommend you borrow the CDs from someone who has them and give 'em at
least a week to grow on you. (Nonsvch took me six months, but I was
young[er] and [more] naive back then) If you still hate them, well, more
power to ya. But I think you'll find half of O&L and Nonsvch worth it, at
least. (Despite my non-caring or actual dislike of much of sides 2 and 3 of
O&L, my collection would never be complete without 1 and 4...)

>Alien Lanes is one by Guided by Voices that I haven't heard, actually.  I
>am, like "Jason and the argonauts", experiencing another culture at the
>moment, one far away from good CD stores with XTC or GBV in stock.

Try CDNow or the equivalent.

Listening to Alien Lanes is an interesting experience. (From what I know of
the band, I would assume the rest of the collection is similar...) Pollard,
Pollard and Sprout pour out at least 15 pop gems, but most of them remain
undeveloped, remaining only a wistful base of a song. There's just enough
there to crystallize the song and provide the hook before they get on with
the next song. Even with their more fleshed-out songs, though, they still
deliver the kind of pop that would make many bands drool with envy. "The
Official Ironman Rally Song" is one of the best new pure pop songs I've
heard in quite a while.

>The other half of that is, if one possessed a demo/release/bootleg
>recording and a mechanism was in place for legitimately obtained
>'share-music', then because of the kind and gentle nature of most if not all
>of XTC's listeners, the band could also receive remuneration for that as

Trent, while I agree entirely with your sentiment, I think you're missing
the legal problems with it. Distributing XTC's music ourselves is a
copyright infringement, and if Andy accepts money *for* that distribution,
he's giving tacit permission to us, and more importantly, to *other
bootleggers.* If Andy likes the idea enough to accept money for it, he'd
have to set up a "music shareware" system himself, to legitimize it. If I'm
confused please help me here...

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


Message-Id: <v01550100af2139ed20ea@[]>
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 14:11:04 -0600
From: (jason garcia)
Subject: Re: Greatness

You say yes...

>"If toys are quarreling amongst themselves,
> What hope is there now for the world?"

I always thought that was one of Andy Partridge's most ridiculous
lines.  I mean, I like Mummer, but from "There may be no golden fleece
but human riches I'll release" to that, well, it's kind of a "Jump"...

>[Nonsuch] is just a brilliant record right now, but I'm pretty sure
>we'll hail it as one of the most important albums of this century.

I'm curious to know on what this effusive praise is based.  Don't get
me wrong, it's a great album to be sure, and its title is quite apt,
but one of the most important albums of the CENTURY?  Maybe I'm not
the visionary I thought I was.  Enlighten me.

Not much to say's kind of dull and gray.
Sounds like a song.



Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 14:59:12 +0000 (GMT)
From: "H.Davies" <>
Subject: C flat; Prefab Sprout and XTC
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.970207143526.492B-100000@taylor>

On Thu, 6 Feb 1997 <> wrote:

> > I'd like to end on this note- C flat.
> Aha!  But as anyone who reads music knows, C-flat doesn't
> actually exist-- it's B!  This, obviously, renders your
> entire argument invalid!  (You realize, of course, that I'm
> Kidding, with a capital K).

Sorry to be pedantic, but C-flat can exist if you are in the
key of G flat or E flat minor. It's a stupid and irrelevant point
to make, I know, but we shouldn't misinform people like this.

As a new subscriber to this list I'm interest to see that Prefab
Sprout have been discussed. In my mind XTC and Prefab Spout
seem to be similar bands. Both are critically acclaimed but have
very little commercial success; both are possessed of talented
songwriters (Paddy MacAloon and Andy Partridge and Colin
Moulding); and both haven't released albums for ages. I think
fans of XTC would appreciate Prefab Sprout and I would
reccomend the album "Jordan: the Comeback" as an essential
purchase. Does anyone else feel the same way?

Huw Davies


Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=KPS_Group._Inc.%l=KPSINF-NT040-970207171953Z-1@kpsinf-nt040.KPSGROUP.COM>
From: "Purnell, Vernon" <>
Subject: one more for Al
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 11:19:53 -0600

There I was, looking up "humor" in the dictionary when a light bulb went
on over my head:  so that's what all that Weird Al stuff was about!  So
I decided to join the game and see if I could come up with one myself.
How about "Merely AMANDA"?  (No discourtesy intended, you understand --
just trying to get a handle on this humor concept.)

(with optimism's flames)

P.S.   Can anyone who's heard a Helium Kidz bootleg evaluate it here?
Thanks to Cheryl for the Mystery Train tip.


Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 1:7 GMT0
From: (Sean Jones)
Subject: Unlurk
Message-Id: <>


Trust me to join a list in the middle of a flame war!

I've been listening to XTC man and boy and was becoming very depressed at
the lack of new XTC recordings, having been disappointed (no pun
intended) by much of Nonsuch. I'm delighted to discover (in between the
messages from lapsed Catholics and homages to Weird Al) that it looks as
if the long wait's nearly over! Does anyone know whether there is to be a
UK release or is it Dear God all over again?

Nice to meet you all.


P.S. "in your brand new catalogue nylon nightie" must be the best line
ever written.


Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 21:02:12 -0500
From: Martin R Esselink <>
Subject: The Kat's meow
Message-ID: <>


To Kat: thanks for voicing your good and evil philosophies.  I feel the
same way, but you verbalized it much better than I could have.

Sorry to bring non-XTC content in, but the universe of knowledge that
exists on chalkhills is the best musical reference library I know of:  I
have one CD from a band called "So", the CD is called "Horseshoe in the
Glove".  Has anyone else heard of this band/know if there's any more
material out there?   E-mail me privately if you fear a firestorm.

Apologies in advance for potential copyright infringement:  I've read of
chalkers who have XTC on their answering machines.  I used my CD-ROM to
"sample" the first 2  bars of "Love on a Farmboy's Wages", and made it my
program sound for when I exit windows.  (Makes me eager to turn off my
computer)  Anyone else stumbled onto this concept?

Marty Esselink


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 16:13:40 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: Paul Is Dead?


It was a beautiful sunny day here in Atlanta today.  My friend and I
were on our way back to work from lunch, and I had a "car cassette"
blasting with the windows down.  I made the tape around 1987, and it is
rife with XTC, Dukes, Beatles Bootlegs and some Beach Boys.  Well,
"Shiny Cage" came on, and it occurred to me that in 1969, when the "Paul
Is Dead" rumor was alive, (ahem), many people pointed out that it would
have been difficult to find a replacement.  Well, that may still be
true, but if you close your eyes and listen to "Shiny Cage" (among many
other "Dukes" and XTC records) it is easy to believe that Colin *IS*
Paul.  He is such a fine bass player in his own right, but man, does he
do a good "Paul" or what?

Also, does anyone hear "Psychedelic Stones" a la "Satanic Majesty's
Request" and "Dandelion" in "Your Gold Dress"?

Another also, I like E.I.E.I. Owen's drumming. It must run in the
family, eh Amanda?

Also also,  "Vanishing Girl" sounds like "The Hollies", but also a
little like "The Association".

Can you tell what I've been listening to?

Stormy Monday

"You're my drug, and I don't ever know if can give you up"


Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 09:29:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: I just recalled something....
Message-id: <>

to whoever called me Manda Panda.... :') Thanks for the memories. I haven't
been called that since I was 3!

Guess whose birthday is on the 8th.....go ahead, guess....okay, I'll give
you a hint. This tiny little human entity has been a faithful Chalkhills
subscriber for about six months now. In the beginning she was rather quite,
not talking about anything else other than XTC, but then, one little word
escaped her mouth. the word being "fuck", and all of the sudden, BOOM! She's
thrust into the limelight (uh-huh). Then when all was quiet, she brought up
politics, and ZING! there she was in the middle of another flamewar
again. Most recently, when posting what some might say were anti-animal
rights bumpers stickers, BANG! here we go again! She's also known for her
unwavering defence of Brad Roberts/Crash Test Dummies, and for the way she
lusts after one David Gregory on a daily who is this person who
fell onto Planet Earth at 7:50 in the evening on February 8, 1978????????

Nah, I'm not gonna tell. ;)

Later, and since I'm going on vacation next week, I'll wish you all a
Louisiana Happy Mardi Gras! Lessez le bon temps rouler!
Amanda Caryl Owens

If you think you feel good, you should feel me.
When in doubt, use brute force.
How's your wife and my kids?
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
c) Copywight Ewmer Fudd. Aw Wights Wesewved.
The besy way to hold a man (namely a 44-year old guitar player) is in your


Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 09:07:48 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Okay, I'll end it on a C sharp then!
Message-id: <>

A few responses.....

Vern-Your intentions may have been to be civil, but your argument was a
little one sided. It was as if you're entitled to your opinion, and I'm
not. The reason I think everyone was a little perturbed was because you were
trying to argue up another form of censorship. (Or I could be wrong, it
might be for different reasons. David H. is much better at waxing poetic
than I am.) But believe me, if the entire list could've read the letter you
directly sent me, I'm not sure our scorn would've been so polite. (And
believe me, I know hoe ....I mean HOW!!!!! riled up Chalkhillians can get
when confronted with a certain subject....want proof? Go into the Chalkhills
archives and see the furor caused when I said "fuck" and brought up

And I swear to God and Gregsy nameyourowndeity and Brad Roberts that I will
try my best to never EVER bring up anything remotely controversial ever
again.  If I ever do, I give you all permission to scream as loud as you
want and I won't get defensive.

And now I'm off to the microfilm machines to search for more XTC articles.


Behind ever great man is a great ass.
Ever stop to think then forget to start again?
If you can't be weird, why be?
Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.
It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.
i soppurt publick edukashun.
Why use a gargantuan word when a diminutive one will suffice?


Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 10:50:06 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: English Settlement

Being a long-time fan but a short-term fanatic (there are degrees) over XTC,
could someone fill in the history of English Settlement.  It was a double lp
in England but only a single one here in the U.S.?  Was one whole lp of tunes
just chopped off?  Is the U.S. version a best of ?  Have any of the tunes
been added to the cd?  Is the 2lp ever released in U.S. in any form?


Message-ID: <bkIDDRATAi$>
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 1997 19:05:55 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <>
Subject: Best of '96


Opinions mine. Responsibility for anything you buy from this list
yours. :-)

Phil's slightly delayed annual 'best of the year' awards 1996...

I've had a hard time picking my favourite album of 1996, due
entirely to the fact that almost everything I've bought in '96
has been at best, decidedly average. It has not been a good year.

Only one rule: If I didn't buy it, it doesn't count.

Before I go on, previous winners... those marked * are ones I
consider that no self-respecting music lover can afford to be
without. Incidently, does anyone here actually own all of these,
plus this year's winner...?

1992  * Goats Don't Shave - The Rusty Razor
          (Irish folk-rock at its best. My all time favourite album.)
1993    Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
          (Groundbreaking at the time - sounds a bit dated now...)
1994  * Barenaked Ladies - Maybe You Should Drive
          (This had a profound personal effect on me at the time.
          Their best.)
1995  * Low Pop Suicide - The Death Of Excellence.
          (Initially sounds noisy and tuneless. Eleven plays later
          though, it becomes a work of pure genius. Trust me.)

OK, here goes... my favourite album of 1996 is...

1996    JJ Cale - Guitar Man
          His best for a long time, though not having a full set I
          can't say how long. 'Death In The Wilderness' is an amazing
          drum-driven, er, thing (words fail me). The other 11 tracks
          are genuine solo efforts, more in line with his previous
          country-ish folk-ish offerings. Highlights are 'Days Go By',
          'Perfect Woman' and 'Miss Ol' St. Louie'. Not essential, but
          highly recommended.

The only other album which nearly won was:

1996    Earl Brutus - Your Majesty... We Are Here
          Notable for being extremely noisy, except for the one track
          I heard before buying it which is totally different, yet I
          still liked it. Said track is 'On Me Not In Me' and features
          the phrase "monosodium glutonate" and an instrumental break
          which has to be heard twice to be believed. Some dodgy tracks
          in the middle bit of the album, otherwise it'd have won. Also
          notable for its packaging, which I leave for anyone who cares
          to discover for themselves. :-)

Runners up:
        Barenaked Ladies - Born On A Pirate Ship
          Marred by three things. (1) 'In The Drink', for which I'd
          have Jim Creeggan shot if it hadn't been for 'Spider In My
          Room', (2) 'Shoe Box' which should have been subtitled
          '(better write a big single for the US market)', and (3)
          the appalling decision not only to put 'If I Had $1000000
          (UK Edit)' on the UK copies of the album, but to then make
          that the only UK single. Time for a new record label, IMHO.
          [The first 12 tracks, however, are excellent].
        OMD - Universal
          Let down by 'New Head' and, to a much lesser extent, 'The
          Gospel Of St. Jude'. Apart from that, it's _awesome_, and
          I can't recommend it enough.
        Suede - Coming Up
          That'll be The London Suede to some of you, I suppose.
          Suede's albums always suggest that the next one is going
          to be the best thing ever, but they never quite seem to
          get there. Still highly recommended though.
        The Rentals - Return Of The Rentals
          1995, so it doesn't count, though I only discovered them
          in '96 (supporting Garbage). Not quite consistent enough,
          but highly enjoyable.


The absolute worst album of 1996 was The Heads "No Talking Just
Head". The first track was promising (the first two listens), the
rest of it is crap. Andy Partridge or no Andy Partridge, I don't
expect to keep this one for very long.

Runners up: Tasmin Archer "Bloom" (nothing was going to match her
previous album, but after 4 years, this is terrible) and The
Levellers "Headlights White Lines Black Tar Rivers... Best Live"
(an accurate portrayal of their live show, i.e. can I go home yet?)


This is the interesting bit. There have, IMHO, been only two truly
indispensible releases during 1996, and they were both singles. And
everyone should go and buy them both immediately, no excuses...

        Toucan - Shine
          I first saw them supporting Shriekback in 1995, when they
          were nothing special. Since then, they have become, quite
          simply, the BEST new band around. Hard to describe - think
          indie pop, think gorgeous female vocals, think funky bass
          from ex-Special AKA bassist Garry McManus, think brilliant
          songwriting, and you're about half way there. Now buy it.
          Might be hard to track down though - may need to be
          specially ordered. It's published by Detox Artifacts UK,
          and is DTX 9601CD.

        Tanya Donelly - Sliding & Diving
          The only thing to come close to the Toucan single, and it
          is quite close, but Toucan just shades it. Quite similar
          in style. Think of what would happen if Belly's singer
          went solo, which is exactly what this is.

Runner up:

        Honeycrack - Anyway
          Three slightly better than average singles, each issued
          about 300 times on Epic, plus one slightly better than
          average album. Then they split with Epic, sign to E'G, and
          promptly do something quite, quite special. A pity it
          didn't make the charts - looking forward to the next album.

Worst single:

        Paul Weller - Peacock Suit
          Whilst writing this, I've given it its second playing.
          And it's still awful.

Runners up:
        Mansun - Two EP (Take It Easy Chicken)
          The things I do for a complete set...
        Levellers - Exodus Live
          Yawn. See albums.

And that's about it except to say:

Best compilation:   Lost Property - An Alternative History 1979-1992
Worst compilation:  Q Decade - The Very Best Of 1986-1996 (but then
                    again, it was free...)
Best best-of:       XTC
Worst best-of:      Crowded House (love the live CD, disagree with the
                    choice of tracks on the main CD though).
Saddest pop moment: The splitting up of Crowded House. I cried.

Roll on '97, and a Toucan album which XTC will struggle to beat

Phil (with apologies to everyone for the length of this!)


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-81

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