Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-109

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 109

                   Monday, 13 July 1998

Today's Topics:

                      Re: Andy News
                      More McCartney
                         Dear God
                   XTC, Memories, & Me
                Collecting 'collab' tracks
                 XTC Chat for AOL Members
                      Beats My Soul
                       The New Book
              odds, ends, and even some xtc!
                         XTC chat
       Stock up on the Big Express/Rag&Bone Buffet
                   The Blackest of C's
             that "one martyr fits all" song
               Re: Mother Mary Come For Me
                       Re: Jalousie
     As rare as a Mermaid's Smile or a pigeon's fart
       Andy and God, SYDonkeyUp, Andrews, Dunnery.
                        what band?
                 Re: To Have and Have Not
                  Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
                      Oh You Tease!
                 Replies to 4-96 to 4-108


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As the rusting North Star shines above.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 22:27:33 -0400
From: "Maus. Airmaus." <>
Subject: Re: Andy News

<They just -- yesterday, I think -- signed in the U.S. with TVT Records,
which Andy said is a big indy that used to have (and still does?) Nine
Inch Nails, among others.>

Actually, TVT only carries NIN's first album, "Pretty Hate Machine."
Trent Reznor got mighty pissed at them for some reason after that, and
now has moved on(to Interscope).

The fact XTC have signed to TVT, though, is very, VERY interesting news.

Remember TVT also carries Aphex Twin's first album (under the name AFX)
plus owns Wax Trax! (a very fine label in the industrial/techno genres).
Thus, XTC (indirectly) shares labelspace with AFX, NIN, KMFDM, B12, etc.

(Are you receiving me?)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 22:53:32 -0400
From: "Maus. Airmaus." <>
Subject: More McCartney

<  re: Paul McCartney
      If you want to learn how to write great pop songs...start here.
      He's the most successful Beatle, and the most talented.
      Anyone who argues about Lennon has to explain or get around his
years of (hard) drug abuse and untimely Yoko.>

Okay, bring on the flames, but here are my opinions:

1) I love Yoko. (Anybody out there who seriously likes Trout Mask
Replica should give Yoko's solo albums a listen.)

2) Paul blows.

3) John was shot. I don't think he had a say in that.

4) George still owns "The Best Beatle Solo Album" award. (All Things
Must Pass, of course.)

BUT PLEASE BEAR IN MIND all of this is irrelevant anyway, since XTC is
the REAL reason God/Mermaids gave us ears.



Message-ID: <0143041F00B7D011B7C500A0C90051511409D8@IMA_NT1>
From: "BOB O'BANNON" <>
Subject: Dear God
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 10:59:23 -0500

I have refrained from involving myself in the rerun of the "Dear God"
thread because I thought it would die quickly, but since people seem to
be interested, I will put my head on the block. If someone wants to
disagree respectfully, let's talk. But keep in mind that I'm only
answering a question, I am not demanding that anyone believe like I do,
I don't hate anyone, I am not bigoted, and I don't burn books.

Musically, I think "Dear God" is gorgeous, and if it weren't for the
attitude of the lyrics, it could have been my all-time XTC favorite. But
the lyrics are hostile to all things Christian and actually fit the very
definition of blasphemy, which is simply to attribute evil to God. By
writing that "Father, Son and Holy Ghost is just somebody's unholy
hoax," Andy is taking the most essential and sacred beliefs of the
Christian tradition and calling them false and deceitful.

However, these comments of Andy's do not anger me for a couple of
reasons. First, I believe he was actually being honest with his feelings
toward God, and was not pulling a Howard Stern by simply trying to
offend as many people as he could. His honesty does not excuse his
arrogance, but at least he's taking the issue seriously. And second, I
believe that Andy is only acting consistently with his nature as an
unbeliever. The Bible says that unbelievers are hostile to God and that
they hate God, so Andy was actually being unwittingly consistent with
the Bible's description of who he is. In this respect, his sentiments
toward God only bolster my confidence in the Scriptures.

My only complaint is against Christians on the one hand who want to ban
the song and seem shocked that Andy would express such an idea, as if
they expect him to sing praises to Jesus even though he is an atheist.
But I am also bewildered by so-called Christians who can't see how
offensive those lyrics are to the God who has given Andy everything he
has, including the talent to write such a song, and who has the right
and the power to snuff out his life in an instant.

And for the record, Andy has written to me personally that he does not
believe that God exists, so the theory that he is only expressing his
anger to a God he does believe exists does not hold water. But then
we're left with a major inconsistency in the song's lyrics: How can Andy
address someone he doesn't believe exists? And if there are "no saints,
no sinners, no devil," then you're left with a situation in which you
can't even define what evil is because no one is to blame. And at this
point you've entered the land of the absurd, which is the logical
conclusion of a worldview that denies God. At least Andy's honesty makes
this conclusion discernable.

To any of you getting ready to start flaming my head off, I would
request one thing: If Andy is correct in singing that there are "no
saints, no sinners," then don't accuse me of being a sinner while
holding him up as a saint.

Bob O'Bannon


Message-ID: <>
From: "k. siegel" <>
Subject: XTC, Memories, & Me
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 11:20:21 PDT

Mr Trent Turner wrote:

>Sorry to ramble on, but Iain's post from the last digest brought back
>a flood of memories, & if any one in the world would care, it would
>be someone on this list!

Memories ahoy! That someone is me, & when it comes to connecting XTC to
a life situation, I hear you loud & clear.

In 1987, my husband and I were very young, newly married, and were
expecting our first child.  We were also the proud parents of a brand
new CD player -- which, at the time, were still relatively unpopular;
and, to hourly-waged middle class workers like us, expensive. But we
bought one cheap from a friend, and it became our main source of
entertainment. CDs themselves were kinda expensive too, but we brought
home a few, including the new "Skylarking" -- which, to this day, I
still own. And the song "Earn Enough for Us" -- with its references
about "the bus" (which we both used then), and especially the "we're
going to be three" line -- with our very own on the way -- kind of
became our unofficial theme. It's not a glamorous song, doesn't conjure
up images of living the high life, but today we still joke about it
being the song du jour 11 years ago.

And that #3 is now a pre-adolescent boy who loves "The Ballad of Peter
Pumpkinhead." We even have it on video, and he watches it all the time
in lieu of that yucky MTV.

Just my 2 cents,


Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 15:46:57 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: bg769@lafn.ORG (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: Collecting 'collab' tracks

Hey hey,

        All this talk of Andy collaborations has me wanting to get my hands
on them, thru a trade perhaps.  I'm interested in the Stephen Duffy tracks
but I'd have to shell out more than the usual bucks and special order his
CD, it being an import for me.  The Cathy D's "Am I...Girl" and Terry
Hall's songs has my interest as well.  I do have the "Paperchase,""New York
Inside My Head", and "Blue in Paradise" collabs' to offer in exchange as
well as a mess of other recorded XTC items.  I guess I'm hesitant to shell
out big bucks for more imported music than I may want; I'm just interested
in the collaborations.

        I have to fully agree on the comments that Nicky Holland's songs
seem to be entirely Andy's handywork.  I believe they were, as I remember
reading about Andy's being frustrated with Nicky because she didn't lift
much of a finger to contribute.  I also remember reading Andy regretting
giving away "New York" as he thought it was one of his best efforts.

                                                Ian Dahlberg


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 20:28:03 EDT
Subject: XTC Chat for AOL Members


On Thursday, July 16, I will be holding a XTC chat.  It's open for AOL
members who are interested in discussing anything about XTC.  For more
information check out my web page at  If there are any problems
e-mail me at

Also, if you're also a Squeeze fan I'm having a Squeeze chat on Wednesday,
July 15.  Check for info on my web page.  I hope to see you there.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 01:16:48 +0000
Subject: Beats My Soul

Dear Chalkers,

Our friend David McGuinness reported:

>  "It appears there is some uncertainty about the meaning of the
>   word twat
Really? I would've thought Autie Beeb has something like a
Book Of Naughty Words. My copy of "Slang And Euphemism; a
dictionary of oaths, insults, slurs, sexual slang [...] and related
matters" is very clear about the meaning of this word: the female

> While on the subject of censorship, I'd be interested to hear from
> anyone regarding their own opinions on music censorship.
Any censorship is wrong IMHO.
Last Tuesday our soccer team was beaten by Brazil and when star
player de Boer was interviewed after the match, he used both
the C-word and the B-word (bollocks) in one sentence. Two thirds of
our population saw this live on national TV and nobody cared.
And why should they? In real life, these words are used quite
frequently so why should our media output and our cultural
expressions not reflect this? beats my soul...

Then somebody else said:
> > >  "Funk Pop A Roll" is just annoying
Say what? Are you on the right mailing list? ;)
IMHO you are very wrong in dismissing this track so easily.
The lyrics are first class and nicely sum up the XTC attitude towards
the music biz. And musically it fits perfectly between the quiet,
pastoral rest of Mummer and the harsh, aggresive Big Express
Give it some time, it'll grow on you

> > In about four more listens you are going to be dancing all around the place
> > like a freaking madperson in total awe of the 'pure pop perfection' of this
> > ass-kicking masterpiece!
Hear hear!
And I couldn't agree more; it can take a while to get used to.
IMHO the "production value" of this track stinks a bit when compared
to the other songs... It sounds very differently, almost as if the
producer(s) didn't quite know how to handle this type of song.

yours funky,
Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 21:26:12 EDT
Subject: The New Book


I've heard the new book is being released in September, but is this in the UK
or is it in America.  If it's just being released in the UK, when will it be
released in America?  I'm just curious, because I preordered it at
Just let me know by e-mailing me at  Thanks.

Molly :)
XTC Song of the Month: "Towers of London"


Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 18:44:55 -0700
Subject: odds, ends, and even some xtc!
Message-ID: <>
From: (jim d deuchars)

hey chalkfolk,

	On the "time 'twixt release" thread: The Beatles example is
actually completely legitimate. The argument's been made that "Free as a
Bird" and "Real Love" don't count, cause John wasn't really there.

	The "last"  Beatles recording was "I Me Mine" and this was
recorded only by the fab three, after Lennon had quit. for the
producer, the team responsible for each of these bookends was exactly the

	On "Wimoweh": one of my fave versions is fairly recent. Ladysmith
Black Mambazo and The Mint Juleps performed an absolutely transcendant
acappella version for Spike Lee's PBS special in the early nineties. I
believe it was called "Doin' it Acappella" and a cd was released.

	On xtc conversions: Rather than overwhelm da virgins with the
incredible range of sounds and styles, I just play'em "Skylarking".

	xtc moment: Working across the border in Toronto, broke,
cigarettes two or three times as expensive as in the US. The only good
part is that my employer had put me up in a posh high rise hotel. I was
on the 15th floor overlooking Lake Ontario.
	 I go into a record store and see the newly released "Nonsuch". I
snap up the cassette (instead of food). I listen to it on my walkman a
few times while strolling 'round downtown Toronto. I head back to my
room, turn on the tv: Pumpkinhead is on MuchMusic!
	That night, a full lunar eclipse over the Lake!

	 Next morning, I hop a bus back to the states.

				Never trust those staring humans...
				Especially when they're hungry,



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 22:06:53 -0400
From: james isaacs <>
Subject: XTC chat

hello all
there have been rumblings recently (or maybe it is the sausages) about
XTC chat on AOL.  Another, better alternative (since I don't have AOL)
is to do the chat in a web-related chat area, such as yahoo! or
webchat.    If anyone is interested, gimme a note and we can try to
organize something.

"Humanity is the history of revenge"-Robyn Hitchcock
The James Isaacs Garage/Tour of Europe


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 20:58:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Alex Stein <>
Subject: Stock up on the Big Express/Rag&Bone Buffet

Okay... If you don't own these albums (or just want to do your
Thanks-for-Xmas shopping early), is selling them for $6.27
each... Six dollars and twenty-seven cents!  You can't get much better
than that...



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 00:28:05 EDT
Subject: The Blackest of C's

Have I been struck blind?
For the life of me and mine, I find it curious, flippent and unfamiliar.
Blah blah blah.  In the moments of my perusing the "Chaulkhills," diatribe,
I have nary seen a comment of the force of composition, and transition of
songs that exists sailing with "The Black Sea."

Oh, sure!  A periodic travel to nihilon", between a casual stroll down a
respectable street, is lip service parlayed through "the somnambulest's,"
derisions(wake up all you pretty girls, Sgt. Rock will help you).  Don't
lose your temper, generals and majors, but during my college lessons of
white (boy) music, I experienced the XTC genius.  A go-to cut-out lp.
version of black.  See!  Yes, you, are right it was love at first sight.  A
discovery for me in the earlyish 80's.  I was burning with optimisms flames
and needed more than a reggae beat to keep my ship sailing.  The music
jibbed an uncontrollable urge to come about, within my psychological tower
of London.  Ironic as you may think, was in a smokeless zone. (at this point
you may think something else may be in my lungs, I assure you it is merely a
mans language) My desire to need to listen to XTC releases sailed out of me
like a rocket from a bottle shot free.  My dilemma was not a farm boys wage
but a wage one would associate with a college under grad utopioid working
for paper, iron, notes, coins, etc., and/or a draught of cold kegged beer
when an opportunity presented herself in the student getto, on Oak and Cedar
St's.(not very respectable).

As you may imagine I have continued to drift along my sensibilities with
each of XTC's releases that followed and preceded.  A bootleg here and there
(sorry fellah's) to keep my pumkinhead appeased.  Now I feel like a piggy in
the middle, living through the 90's without an XTC treat to inspire my pink
thing.  I think I'm living through another Cubaaaaah.

Note to all   Enjoy a CD98.  The Books will burn hot!

Ein  Haus


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 22:04:36 -0700
From: Eric Rosen <>
Subject: that "one martyr fits all" song

If one had never seen the video, I could easily agree that the song has
content that is inappropriate to a JFK interpretation.  OTOH, it does
have content that is.  I believe it was 120 minutes on which I saw AP
say that it is a "one martyr fits all" song.

Once seeing the video, it's hard to conclude that JFK is not among those
"martyrs."  There's a sequence where we see the following:

* a gun prominently displayed on a light color solid background (if
  memory serves)
* in all caps, the word "TWO" joins the gun
* a second gun appears
* in all caps, the word "BROTHERS" joins the two guns
* a third gun appears
* in all caps, the word "CONSPIRACY" joins the foregoing

This is NOT subtle!!!

My own take on the meaning of a third gun is that it is symbolic of
Martin Luther King taken together with JFK & RFK but maybe it's a


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 07:49:06 EDT
Subject: Re: Mother Mary Come For Me

>Not exactly sure what you're on about here Chris.  Paul's mother's name is
>Oh, I HAD to post about this one!  That is, ultimately, the utter genius
>behind "Let It Be".  Everyone's like, "oh, what a beautiful religious song!"

  Now that I know it's about Paulie's mother, it makes sense that my
wife's family's Spiritualist church includes "Let It Be" in its thin
photocopied hymnal(about 15 songs all told). Communication with
departed spirits is one of the important practices in the Spiritualist
church, especially those of relatives and other loved ones. For some
reason, my father-in-law picks old chestnuts like "In The Garden" and
"The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" instead; the only time I've heard
"Let It Be" done in that church was when a guest speaker chose
it. Then everybody sings loud and a cappella(which means off-key, of
course. :-)).

  Seems George Harrison wasn't the only Beatle with Spiritualist
leanings, though George's took a more Hindu turn...



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 07:49:09 EDT
Subject: Re: Jalousie

>Ok thing....The post that read <<<<<I live in Swindon (have done
>all my life)!  I regularly see Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory strolling
>along the High Street in Old Town, Swindon!>>>> I am going to admit I am 100
>percent envious. I would almost give my ear to see Andy on a "Regular"
>basis.  Just walking along. Ahhhhhh. Oh gee, golly, wow.
>Mr.. Partridge.......Walk by him,accidentaly slip and sneak a kiss on
>the way down.

  I can get just as blase about Phish, whose corporate office is in
the same city where I work, and across the street from my company's
office. I held the door open for keyboardist Page McConnell once and
stood in line at a movie with bassist Mike Gordon, and guitarist Trey
Anastasio can often be seen downtown with his wife and baby. The good
folks of Burlington, VT are very protective of them and leave them
alone as four more members of the community, just like the mailman and
cop on the beat. Not being a huge Phish fan it's no big deal to me
anyway, though they seem to have worn their burgeoning fame very well
and manage to still be the laid-back regular folks they always were.
They even share two producers with XTC; Paul Fox and Steve Lillywhite.



Message-ID: <002f01bdacce$bb0131a0$f13cedc1@default>
From: "Edward Percival" <>
Subject: As rare as a Mermaid's Smile or a pigeon's fart
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 14:20:20 +0100

Three recent items caught my eye-

The mail where someone found a record shop with a whole pile of XTC albums.
I always judge a shop by how many XTC albums are there.  In the UK you are
lucky to find one or two these days.  A friend of mine is a salesman for
Virgin and had real difficulty getting the stores in the West End (of
London) to take in stocks.  He also ranks as a hero, because he refused to
take the then unknown Spice Girls around the stores, quote- "I'm not having
those old slags in my car!"

I searched for about 10 years for a copy of Skylarking which had dear God on
it, rather than Mermaid Smiles- so the guy who was proud of his 'rarity' is
clearly a Yank.  Thankfully a friend took a trip to New York and brought me
back a 'rare' copy of Skylarking including dear God.

And my original copy? Well it's turned gold (as pointed out by another
contributor)- perhaps it's some sort of magic!

I've been to Swindon 3 times.

The first time (1981) I found three dead pigeons arrranged in a line on a
bench, but no trace of the boys. (was this an omen??)

The second time (1995) I wandered up and down the high street hoping for a
'Debie' (New chalkhillian noun describing chance encounter with AP/CM/DG),
but no luck. Another friend used to manage the 'Our Price' record shop in
Swindon and shared many a cup of tea with Andy.  No pigeons were mentioned.

The third time (1996) I dragged my XTCphobic wife and 3 kids up to see the
white horse.  They remained unimpressed.  I can't interest my children in
listening to them (my daughters prefer the aforementioned 'old slags'), but
I take silent pleasure in that when my wife whistles absent mindedly, she
does 'The Loving' without realising.

I considered a trip to Chipping Norton and Abbey Road at the appropriate
times, but felt that 'stalking' was unbecoming to a gentleman in his latter

No comment as yet about the 'Mayors of Simpleton'.

I remain intrigued.


Message-Id: <v01530500b1cd93809d86@[]>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 16:13:20 -0600
From: (Robert Dassie)
Subject: Andy and God, SYDonkeyUp, Andrews, Dunnery.

Hello all,

I've been a'lurking for years now and finally decided to post.

On Andy and God:  I distinctly remember an article in a guitar(?) magazine
around the time of Nonsuch that had an interview with Andy.  In this
article, Andy clearly states that the belief in a higher power is simply
nonsense.  He said something along the lines of how it just wasn't logical
(or something like that).  Can anyone confirm this?  I believe Dave Gregory
also was talking about "Books are Burning" and the dueling guitar stuff.

On Big Express: Definately my favorite XTC songs. "Shake Your Donkey Up" IMO is
the definition of XTC.  Quirky, jerky, happy and angry, full of energy and
humor, and all with a message.  A perfect song, no?

On Andrews:  Yes, I like both ST and MW.  ST is a nice reggae flavored
ditty, while I believe MW to be a character's tale and a comment on man's
mentality.  Which leads me to ask, which Shreikback CD's shoud I look into?
I have all of Barry's stuff with Fripp, but I've only heard a couple of
Shreikbacks songs.  Any suggestions?

Finally, Francis Dunnery:  Someone posted a favorable mention of Mr.
Dunnery a while back.  I completely agree.  FD is a fantastic song crafter
and performer and I highly encourage a looksy into his work.

At least until Jan 1999...

Thanks for the continued info and intresting post.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 1998 23:13:58 EDT
Subject: what band?

Hey Chalksters,

I was reading a magazine article the other day about a band.  This band lost
their original drummer, but rather than replacing him, they've used various
session drummers and drum machines, and carried on as a three piece.  They've
moved away from their rawer original sound of their first few albums.  One guy
writes most of the songs which appear on their albums, even though there is a
second song writer in the band who writes quite a few songs that don't appear
on the albums.  In interviews, the main songwriter does most of the talking,
with the other two members sit quiet and bored.  There seems to be a bit of
animosity that the main songwriter has such control over the band.

Am I writing about XTC?  No - The Smashing Pumpkins!

Let's not carry this thread for too long, but I see this as almost a "Lincoln-
Kennedy coincidences" kind of idea.  What other parallels are there between
XTC and The Smashing Pumpkins?



Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 16:29:06 +0800 (SST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Kevin M Mathews <>
Subject: Tock

Hi there.

All XTC fans must listen to Yazbek's latest called Tock. Partridge himself
co-wrote and performed You Are Here. Check out for details.

Cheers, KEvin.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 08:53:52 EDT
Subject: Re: To Have and Have Not

>Sorry to rant, and I hope this doesn't start some sort of flaming, but this
>just really sticks in my craw and has for years. Sure, McCartney's solo work
>has been wildly inconsistent. And sure we should mourn the loss of
>Lennon. We should also appreciate that we still have McCartney with us.

  A valid point. While I'm more of a Lennon fan than a McCartney fan
myself, Lennon's solo work was just as inconsistent as McCartney's,
just in different ways and for different reasons. As brilliant as his
work on Plastic Ono Band and Imagine was, he was also responsible for
the strident preachiness of Some Time In New York City and the
emptyheaded commercial compromise of Mind Games.  Then Walls And
Bridges was merely competent and workmanlike(with the sole exception
of "Bless You," supposedly a musical apology to Yoko for his "lost
wekend."), and Rock And Roll a pointless experiment. Which leaves
Double Fantasy, and the leftovers that wound up on the posthumous Milk
And Honey, a notable return to form in a mainstream commercial format,
though a bucolic and peaceful John Lennon took some getting used to,
and songs like "Woman" and "Beautiful Boy" come uncomfortably close to
the banalness of McCartney's "My Love," but make it over on aw-shucks
heartfeltness, while McCartney's banalities smell of pure product.

  Lennon and McCartney needed each other; without McCartney Lennon had
a tendency to be unfocused and undisciplined and twisted towards
whoever and whatever was influencing him at the moment, and without
Lennon McCartney had a tendency to lack depth. Both have been able to
buck that trend at times, though, as cited above in Lennon's case, and
in McCartney's case on numerous songs scattered throughout his career.



Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 13:13:36 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <v03007803b1ce65e54d06@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

I just want to alert anyone in the NYC area who is a fan or wants to be
exposed to some of the best music they've never heard that Gorky's Zygotic
Mynci, a fantastic Welsh psychedelic renaisssance pop band with a good sense
of the absurd, are playing at The Knitting Factory this coming Wednesday
night the 15th.

And for XTC content, I always thought the end of "Funk Pop A Roll" could
be interpreted as "Buy! Buy!" which would be fitting.



Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 11:32:18 -0600
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Oh You Tease!

     Hill-to-fore Mitch stated:

     >I only got a partial list of what songs will be on the orchestral
     >album before the subject was changed to something *unmentionable*

     Way to dangle us Mitchy Boy.  I bet you're the guy who the networks go
     to when they need that season-ending cliffhanger to hook us into a
     summers worth of anticipation for the 'New Fall Season'.

     I can picture you now, savouring that juicy plate of brisket whilst
     sitting on the steps of some Dickensian orphanage, hungry faces
     pressed against the soot-stained windows, the last scrap thrown to the
     pigeons disdainfully.  As always, thanks for the updates Mitch. ;@>

     Oh, and can anybody help me in the acquisition of The Bull With the
     Golden Guts, Jules Verne, and/or the Prince of Orange - Some Lovely


     p.s. Jason P.  Tape's in the mail!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 22:23:09 +0100
From: Phil Hetherington <>
Subject: Replies to 4-96 to 4-108

I'm way way behind here so I'll try to keep it brief. As usual
though, I will fail. Sorry.

>From 4-96:
"Miller, Ed" <> wrote:

>Jeepers, Molly!  Did you really mean this?
>>I thought this digest was about the discussion about XTC and things
>>relating to XTC.  I know that XTC won't have an album out until next year,
>>but there must be something to talk about them.  I pass over stuff about
>>Sterolab (even though they're great) and any other bands.  If you want to
>>discuss other bands start another mailing list.

I have a strange feeling I already replied to this one; sorry if I'm
repeating myself. Well said Ed, basically, but I wanted to add that,
some of the bands which get mentioned here are so obscure that nobody
much would want to subscribe to a dedicated mailing list, and for the
rest, there probably is a mailing list but it is probably full of
spam. If I wanted a decent discussion about another band I'd be far
more likely to find it here.

Don't get me wrong Molly, I don't generally read the posts about other
bands either, but just occasionally something accidently slips by the
PageDown key and I discover a great band I otherwise might not have
heard of. Ben Folds Five, for example, who I would be blissfully
unaware of if it were not for this list. Stereolab, on the other hand,
I discovered when I bought "Transient Random Noise Bursts With
Announcements" purely for the title. The High Llamas, incidently, I
discovered of my own accord precisely 2 weeks before they suddenly
became famous, so nyah.

Lets face it, some of us don't get out much and we need to discover
our new music _somewhere_...

>From 4-98:

Misty Shock <> wrote:
>By the way, could anybody suggest a good Shriekback album to act as a bit
>of an introduction?  I'm kinda curious.

Depends what you prefer... if your more of a Skylarking/Mummer kind
of person I'd recommend 'Big Night Music'; if you're more of a Big
Express/Go2 kind of person then perhaps 'Care', and if you're more of
an O&L/Black Sea type then maybe 'Oil & Gold'. Then again, if you're
more of an ES/Dukes person then maybe 'Sacred City' is the one to go
for. ('Tench' and 'Jam Science' aren't on CD, and 'Go Bang!' is
probably best left to the enthusiast, though to be fair it has its
moments - 'Over The Wire' is a great song).

My analogies are probably hopeless. Personally I think 'Big Night
Music' and 'Sacred City' are the best, but a lot of people seem to
prefer 'Oil & Gold'. You could do worse than buy one of the 'Natural
History' or 'Priests & Kanibals' compilations, both of which include
tracks from the first 4 albums (Tench, Care, Jam Science, Oil &
Gold). 'Natural History' includes some otherwise unavailable remixes
and is a 2CD rather than single CD compilation, so is probably the
best place to start of the two.

Whilst on the subject, please check out the Shriekback web site at - I've recently made
two significant changes, firstly the Gang Of Four section has now
become a page in its own right (which I've christened "Not Great Men"
- check out, and
secondly there are now details of a possible _new_ (well, nearly
new) Shriekback album... but the problem, as ever, is the lack of a
record company, so if any of you have any ideas... next time you
take the boss of EMI out for dinner or whatever, you may like to
drop a few hints.

Ben Gott <> writes
>Name the song quoted in my .sig line, and you'll get some keen pocket lint!
>   Six or eight thousand years ago, they laid down the law!

I have named it "Matthew". I know that's not actually its name, but
as instructed I have named it, and I claim my prize.

>From 4-101:
=========== wrote:

>I have
>no idea who's in the current Shriekback lineup besides, presumably, Andrews.

OK here goes. After 'Go Bang!', they split up, Andrews re-recordded
some tracks for 'The Dancing Years' more or less on his own (it's not
marvelous but it is the only place you can get "White Out", a much
older song), then in 1992-ish, it was Dave Allen who initiated the
reforming which led to 'Sacred City', so that is basically Allen/
Andrews/Barker, and it's a masterpiece (I'm biassed). Subsequently
Allen left again, but the 1995 gigs featured Barry Andrews, Martyn
Barker, Lu Edmonds (he played on 'Oil And Gold' I think, as well as
previous live gigs - formerly of The Damned, Public Image Ltd, etc.),
and Mark Raudva (played didgeridoo on 'Sacred City'). Simon Edwards
(bass) joined during that year.

Simon, Lu and Martyn were most recently seen playing at the Fleadh in
Finsbury Park, with Billy Bragg who was plugging his album (with Wilco)
of Woody Guithre songs. Martyn has also been playing with Sarah Jane
Morris recently (and plays/cowrites on her forthcoming album).

James Dignan <> writes
>Andy and Robyn have not worked together to the best of my
>knowledge, although both have worked with Thomas Dolby (different tracks on
>the same album, too, IINM)

I think you are mistaken, unless Robyn has worked with TMDR on
more than one album. I think Robyn is on 'The Flat Earth' wheras
Andy is on 'The Golden Age Of Wireless'. But I could be wrong.

>From 4-102:

Er, just thanks to Richard for a merry tale brightening up the
digest, and thanks to Ben for his report on his CC98 recording
exploits (also thanks to the earlier one too).

>From 4-104:

Catherine Sweeney <> writes
<Snip re: Melt The Guns/Knuckle Down>
>If anything, I'd say Andy would prefer if we DID exercise our
>right to speak out.
>So there.

Catherine, that was one of the best posts I've read on here in
ages. Clear, well thought out, and above all spot on. Thank you.

>From 4-105:

Todd Bernhardt <> wrote:
>But, much as I love
>Barry's playing, I agree that he's not the songwriter Andy or Colin

I'd probably have agreed circa 1978 (actually, I think my favourite
record back then was The Mr. Men Songs, but then again I was only
four), but I'm not at all convinced that Andy or Colin could have
written some of Barry's (i.e. Shriekback's) later songs, e.g. 'Faded
Flowers', 'The Shining Path', 'Beatles Zebra Crossing', the
unreleased 'Everything On Fire'. I'm not saying Barry is actually
better than Colin or Andy - they all have their own different styles
- but Barry's best work is more than equal to the task. If only XTC
had nurtured his talent rather than feeling threatened by it -
imagine how 'Sticky Jazz' would have sounded segueing into 'The Man
Who Sailed Around His Soul', or 'Hubris' as an alternate ending to


When I was at university I did a show on the uni's radio station...
one of the DJs once accidently left the mic on when playing a record,
and started talking to someone in the studio. On realising this was
all going out on air she exclaimed "shit, I've left the mic on"
before turning it off. For some reason she was banned for a week.

It's a wet, grey, miserable day in the east midlands and my feet
hurt after a foolish go-karting accident. Have a nice day.


PS: In case you didn't see it buried in the text above: New Gang Of
Four web site:
|_) |_  * |    My web page:
|   | ) | |    Shriekback web pages: The above + shrkindx.html


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-109

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