Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-11

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 11

                 Tuesday, 21 October 1997

Today's Topics:

                  XTC aren't vile enough
   Must think clean thoughts....must be a good girl....
                  Admission And Apology
                        Vinyl XTC!
            Bumpers, Colin, and those solos...
                   Devastating Torture
             re: Into the ear of the beholder
          UDA: No busses skidding on black ice?
               A coupla small responses....
                  Gotta love it live...
     Nietzche Pops: Bring out der Uebermensch in you!
                        New album
   "Sabine, Sabine, Sabine" b/w "Bogey Music" [no XTC]
           GIG REVIEW: Yazbek at Arlene Grocery
                 Wires and drummerless ?
The Solos--The Final Word, Todzilla solves the debate, we can
                    Re: Michael Bland


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Chalkhills is digested with Digest 3.5 (John Relph <>).

The strings of your instrument were strangling me.


Message-ID: <>
From: Catherine Sweeney <>
Subject: XTC aren't vile enough
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 13:17:11 +0100

<This, IMO, just furthers the feeling that XTC have never gotten the
credit they so richly deserve.  Are they not cute enough?  Do they not
have a good enough image?  Did they come out too SOON after the Beatles
broke up?>

Re your comparison with Oasis and why XTC earn less attention....apart
from the fact that they do not tour, which has been to their detriment,
and which we all know about, I've come up with some observations.  So if
they want fame, here's what I think they've done wrong so far, followed
by some advice.  By the way, I think their failure to be anything like
Oasis is commendable, but it's unfortunate that in the current
superficial atmosphere pervading the UK, people like them (i.e people
with a set of bollocks, basically) have no place in this anodyne new
world of ours.

1 XTC have made the mistake of not being complete bastards who blatantly
copy everyone else and then call themselves original.
2 None of them have gone out with Patsy 'my ambition is to be famous'
Kensit.  3 None of them are mouthy or ill mannered enough to draw
attention to themselves - that is, attention which relates more to their
behaviour than their music
4.  Rather than being seen at New Labour love fests, they put their
politics in their lyrics.

My advice to them is to do a minor tour and then do the following. Smash
a hotel to smithereens, say something sexist and then stick two fingers
up at a photographer (my, my, Liam Gallagher, how original of you).
They should refuse to shave for three days, and then emerge from their
respective houses with a simpering minor actress on their arms.  they
should then visit the Chancellor of the Exchequer and arselick their way
through a dinner which has been thrown in honour of the music industry.

I don't see it happening, somehow.  They're clearly doomed.


Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 09:39:45 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Must think clean thoughts....must be a good girl....
Message-id: <>

Well whoever brought the interesting image of Dave up, I must say that I
cannot at all see Dave doing any of that, seeing as how reserved he
is. (Although I CAN say what I could see him doing with his tongue....but
not on THIS list. ;)

Somebody smack me and get my mind OUT OF THE GUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm seeing some interesting little..anagrams, I think the word is the list.
Let me add my own...
Go hang a salami! I'm a lasagna hog!

(Or are those called palindromes....I dunno, this ain't English class...and
"ain't" ain't a word.)

Should BUmper Cars be on the next album???? No. It's a good song, but not
one of Andy's better ones. I will say this....if they leave "Easter Theatre"
off, I will scream. This might be Andy's best song to date, IMNSHO. The
lyrics, the music, Andy's voice, everything about it. I would love if they
could alter it the least amount they could. That along with You & the Clouds
Will Still Be Beautiful.

LE had conducted a poll about XTC right before the release of Oranges &
Lemons awhile back, and some of the answers suprised me, with regards to
worst XTC songand stuff like that. But since then we've seen two more albums
and a flurry of b-sides, compilations, and demos come out. I wonder what the
general attitude would be these days.....(No, I'm not taking another poll,
collective sigh of relief.)

Funny moment...watching the stupid kids show Andy and Colin (and WHERE was
GREGSY????) appeared on, what it Saturday Swapshop?? Anyhoo, I was watching
that this morning, and my father walked into the room. Andy was talking
about a video they'd just reviewed. I was engrossed in it when I hear my dad
"Who is the geek holding the horn?"

Should I have hit him????                 ?

Ciao for now, mi amigos,
Daemon est deus inversus
XTC song of the day-the "Andy's Recording Shed" version of "Dear Madum Barnum",
complete with Andy singing a completely off-key note and crying "Oh My God!"
in the middle of the song.
non XTC-Mexican Radio-Wall of Voodoo


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 17:31:15 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Admission And Apology

As a quick follow up to my recent "chat with Andy" post and the mention of
the Busted Amp, please ignore that line (I thought I'd edited it out but
realised with horror that I'd left it in) because _I_ have claimed it for
myself. Sorry, but I simply couldn't resist it. I shall of course take it to
the next convention for people to stroke.

Oh, and for those that don't know, the Microsoft Rifff project is no more.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 16:47:14 -0400
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Vinyl XTC!

Hi all,

  Just wanted to let you know that I have a couple of XTC items that I'd
like to find good, loving homes for. I've listed one of these in the
Chalkhills Classifieds, but I haven't placed the other one yet.

 1) Vinyl "Skylarking" LP, original American pressing, with "Mermaid
Smiled" rather than "Dear God." It's in excellent condition.

 2) Vinyl Dukes' "25 O'Clock" LP, also excellent to near-mint condition.
This is the one I haven't put in the "classifieds" yet...just thought I'd
see what response I got here before posting it there.

E-mail me privately with any questions or offers. Thanks!

Your own personal vinyl vendor (at least for these two items...I have
nothing else to offer),

Dave Gershman


From: "Bob Prowse" <>
Subject: Bumpers, Colin, and those solos...
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 22:10:13 +0100
Message-ID: <01bcdd9c$8ebb2f80$0100007f@localhost>

Chalksters, I've been saving a few things up: wrote:

>>All this talk about Bumper Cars got me wondering:
>>If everyone agrees it doesn't belong on the new album, how come every time I
>>read about it I can't get its melody out of my head for the next hour or so?
>>Huh? Well?

Well I for one don't agree that it doesn't belong on the album (ooh err,
double negatives already!). Its *dead* catchy. Its a great little song.
Nothing 'big' or 'heavy' but still pure Andy P. OK, so it probably won't
make it on to the new record and sure there are 'better' songs in abundance
(more so since this collection was put together no doubt) but a definite
B-side contender, surely? (do we have b-sides anymore?). Rather this than
pinch another track from the album I'd say. Prince of Orange I also really
rate. Damn, thats gone and done it. I expect I won't get *that* out of my
head for the rest of the night now! (Sorry John Relph, I don't see the 'King
of the Road' connection at all!).

The only thing that grates me about this track is the rinky-plink piano
part. Andy seems to be looking for something to extend the song (for
structural balance sake) before the big 'up' major-key outro section
(brilliant, IMHO) and just needs coming back to with some fresh ears.
Perhaps Amanda, you could 'thought transfer' some inspiration to your
beloved Dave G to have a go at something sexy :-)  Oh, I've just thought.
Maybe it is Dave playing that part? Sounds like Andy though. Correct me

And while I'm on the outlook for the new record, someone find out what Colin
has been up to p-l-e-a-s-e??? Surely with a 20 song album Colin's got to get
a look in with more than 5 or 6 songs? Anyone heard any demos he's put
together yet? Simon S, the next time Andy 'phones you up', get some info
about Colin's output/input for me, for us? And, I've asked this once before
without luck but I'll try again. Anyone know if it is Colin playing the bass
part on 'I'd Like That'? Its fab whoever - especially the outro.

Oh, and Sherwood (or 'Sugarhips' - great nickname!) just you keep those
fingers tapping away my man! I love it. I mean, what about this for a
sentence from the last digest:

>>I think the "Books Are Burning" solos, while not self-aggrandizing in that
>>way, are a cheaply manipulative and cliched attempt to end the album on a
>>valedictory note, along with a "la-la-la" singalong that attempts to
>>invoke a communal spirit that the weakness of the song's subject matter
>>doesn't deserve.

Phew! Tell me/us. On occasion, has anybody ever remarked that you speak
really fast, in real life? Just curious. But wait, there's more:

>>And worst of all, they're not even faintly original--I mean, come on:
>>squeals and Floyd Rose dive-bombing--on an XTC record? It's not a guitar
>>passage, it's a mid-life crisis.

Hee, hee, hee-ee!! The guitar solos on BAB? I think it would be true to say
they both had fat smiles on their faces when they played them and then
consequently spent a long hard time desperately trying to convince themslves
that they really *can't* get away with this, - can we??  They're just a bit
of fun and a bit brave of them to pull it off - which they j-u-s-t manage to
do I reckon. Whoever made the decision that 'we're gonna keep it, boys' made
a good decision. All the intellectualising thats been going on about this
recently has made the section far more of a big deal than it deserves.

Now, anyone know of a location for the recording yet? I think this will be
more crucial to the final sound than who's producing somehow. Lets face it.
They just wouldn't let the Bobby Brown's or Quincy Jones's of the world get
anywhere near it, right? (The money would last a day!) The budget constraint
may be a blessing in disguise. I don't want another Nonsuch sounding record
- big, bright, shiny, good and cohesive though it is, I'm looking (hoping)
for some character in the sound this time round.

Got to get up for work in, oh shit, three hours!! (gulp!)

Bob P


From: "Kevin Keeler" <>
Subject: synchsynchsynch
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 19:19:16 -0400
Message-ID: <01bcddae$959eedc0$93abf4ce@hobbes>

Well,  I wasn't going to post this time around...but i was persuaded
My friend just messaged me on IRC that his coworker had given him this movie
and that he had to watch it.  what movie, you ask?  'In Like Flint.'  I bout
shat myself.  Told him I practically already know the whole damn plot from
chalkhills.  how odd (note: neither he nor his coworker are xtc fans).
damn synchronicity.  always trips me up.

also, I finally got my copies of the demos.  I like.  That man had a *lot*
of time on his hands (if I were in his hands-around-ankles position, I would
too :p  ).  I like them.  I like green man.  And 'your dictionary'--tho
repetitive and odd--does have an odd personality all  its own.

oh, and  a public thanx to jason.  you're my boy!

I'm putting them all on CD as we speak (well, not *right* now (parallel to
SCSI has a tendency to munch CPU), so if anyone doesnt have them yet or
would like a digital copy (cash or trade (reasonably cheap, too--less than
$5)), feel free to contact me.

And I do so love Simon's inside scoop.  Its so neat to get a first hand
account like that.  Always informative, always appreciated--the wonderful AP
fone calls.

>To quote Flanders and Swann - "wonderful national anthem they have -
>'German, German overalls'"

I was talking to  A german exchange student I know. She said they're all
afraid to even know the nat'l anthem cuz they dont want to look like nazi's.
kinda sad.  also, she said they took that line out (yes, I *did* get the
pun)     and why am i so non-relevant?  i think its that damn radiohead list
having some effect on me.  if any of you ar eon it, you know what i mean :p


>In other Buffy news, I just got a CD burner, so if anyone's got a really
>good copy of any demos, I'd love to send you a five-or-so-inch shiny
>aluminum disk for your troubles.

heyheyhey--ive started a trend :p

And the cool thing last issue seems to be: analyze harrison.  He started out
strong and true, but started waning.  While arguing against the definitive
'goodness' of a piece, he ended up attempting to define it in his own,
biased terms.  He was on the right track, but with a few wheels hanging off
to the side.
    then of course, Mark Stevenson lept in, and--while shouting loudly and
poining and gesticulating like a baboon--declared: 'hey! some of his wheels
are off track!'  The problem being no one takes a spastic baboon-no mater
how accurate they may be--seriously.


             Kevin Keeler


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 22:21:49 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: Devastating Torture


>>I think there are exceptions to this rule: William Shatner and
Leonard Nimoy have both recorded albums, remember?<<

>Hey, careful now. William Shatner's "Transformed Man" is *good*, no
question about it. His interpretation of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
is simply *devastating*.<

"Devastating" being the key word here. It's interesting, this, because a
co-worker just picked up a copy (on CD, no less), and has been torturing
us at work with the opening few moments of "Lucy" every chance he gets.
This stuff - God, I can't even think of a word - what the hell was going
through these people's heads?!? Reading the liner notes is a real hoot,
too. You'd think that this was the greatest idea since sliced bread or
somethin'... Shatner should have stuck to acting (!), and left the music
to those who have some kind of a clue.

Like XTC.

Eating future and shitting past...


Date: 21 Oct 1997 09:12:07 +0000
Subject: re: Into the ear of the beholder
Message-Id: <00030E0C00000004*@MHS>

Johnny Rotten did in fact receive vocal training.
Take a look at "The great rock 'n' roll swindle".

Gary Dean,
Basel Switzerland

BTW: The last issue was my first, is it always this pretentious?


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 21:04:27 +1100
From: Jeff Cotter <>
Subject: UDA: No busses skidding on black ice?

Friends and Chockstones,

Why do I keep thinking that the line "and busses might skid on black ice"
is missing from Senses on the Upsy Daisy Assortment?  I can't figure out
why and where I remember hearing this line.  Any clues?

Also: any tips on XTC promo appearances forwarded to e-mail address below
would be greatly appreciated.

* -------------------------------------------
Jeff Cotter
Photovoltaics Special Research Center
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia
I'm not the same now...
* -------------------------------------------


Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 08:14:08 -0600 (CST)
Subject: A coupla small responses....
Message-id: <>

Simon-I'd been wondering for the longest time why XTC hadn't considered Ian
Gregory as a permanent drummer. I guess Andy cleared that one up.

Todd-ROTFLMAO!!! But I don't think I said "we", did I???? OH WHO CARES???
To pick something out of South Park "And here we have a four-assed monkey..."

I say pit any of Dave's solos against anyone else's and the clear winner is
obvious. (Then again, I do have an excruciatingly biased opinion on Dave's

Boober Fraggle (This has been my nickname since I was about 4 years old.)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 09:25:09 -0400
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Gotta love it live...

Hey XTiCians... (I'm going to keep calling us this. Tzschalgerz just
doesn't do it for me. ;)

It was a good evening. Sure, I had to make a round trip back home
beforehand, and I was about 30 mins late, but it was still good, and the
cat is fine.

Met Chris Van Valen and his wife at a Mexican dive called "Hat" and the
margarita (and company) was good. Andy Partridge with a beard? Naah. But
the Chalkhills shirt gave him away.

Afterwards we headed over to Arlene Grocery...what a funky little setup.
And Yazbek was just great. Late, but great. We won't be calling him the
late great Yazbek though. It wasn't his fault.

Yazbek's new album, Tock!, will be released right after the New Year. He
said so himself. He also said he hated the movie "Boogie Nights" but I
reserve judgment until it comes out on video.

I'm going to drink my a.m. amongst yourselves.

-ira, who is Gerry Rafferty's latest fan. Gotta love the internet.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 20:04:32 +0000
Subject: Nietzche Pops: Bring out der Uebermensch in you!

Hi... Ah, for those wondering about the subject line, it's from a
animated short I saw on Liquid TV about a cereal ad for Nietzche
(probably misspelled -- sorry) Pops... I think that was the ad
slogan, but if it wasn't, well it should have been!  Anyway...

> From: Wesley Hanks <>
> Pals,
> Well then why didn't Shonen Knife incur the wrath of Mattel with their
> song "Twist Barbie"?
Well, I think that the reason for this one is that SK's song wasn't
that popular... was it released as a single in Japan even?  I think
it was just a standard album track (was it on Yamo No Attachan?
Can't remember... I know it was on Let's Knife over here and in
Japan... different version or re-issue of the same mix?).  Aqua's
song, on the other hand, got scads of radio play, and probably even a
bit on MTV, providing they found some place between Singled Out and
the Real World... feh.

>From: (Patrick M Adamek)
> of the first four, I'd say Go2 epitomizes the quirkiness, energy and
> imagery the best.
Hmm... I'd have to go with _Drums and Wires_... (although I wouldn't
really include _Black Sea_ in this group so much... it was more
later-sounding, I thought... ah well...  D&W just seemed a little
more refined than the earlier releases, and just a bit, well better.
A close runner up, though is _White Music_ for me...

> Of the next several, I'd say the Big Express represented the more mature
> song crafting and move away from dance-club stuff
Ah, I'd go with English Settlement here.. Big Express seemed a bit
harder sounding than the other surrounding albums.  English
Settlement put a large focus on the music, and the only thing I could
see that could be in a dance-club was the Cockpit Dance Mixture, and
even that's iffy...

> The latter part of their output I'd nominate Oranges and Lemons for it's
> move to a bit lighter, imaginative lyrics (certainly the latter part of
> XTC's work is more palpable).
Yeah, I'd go along with this one...

> OVERALL:  The Big Express    for maintaining some of the energy (Your the
> wish....) and some of the more palpable, easier going but smart songs
> (Liarbird, Seagulls), and the ready-for-radio (in a perfect world) hit
> (Smalltown).
Ah, I'd have to go with ES or D&W here... But I just never really
loved BE as much as the other albums... It's a great record, but
XTC's done better, I think...

> From: "Matt Keeley" <>
> Subject: Hmm... I finally put my 2 Yen in on the Solo mess...
Oh yeah, I apologise for the extreme length of the last one.. sorry.

> From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
> For any Zappa fans out there, Ryko, the world's coolest record company, just
Well, I think the coolest major label... but that's just my bias.
For minor, probably either Oglio, Bar/None or Idea... well,
technically I shouldn't include Idea yet, but, well, I have faith in
our boys!

Ah well, that's this world over...

     -=>Matt Keeley<=-
Living Through | Visit my home page
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak
(ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 08:30:38 -0700
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Organization: Nil
Subject: New album

Well, after reading the last few digests (had a backlog of over ten
issues...) I shall once again be forced to spew my opinions out to all
for consideration. It's good to be back.

New album: Oh yes. This is good. I am rather disappointed in part of the
news -- the band having to lop off 7 songs from the album due to budget
considerations. At this point, with the large number of demos floating
around and the sheer length of time since the last album, we need every
song we can get! Personally, I'd suggest that the band hit the shed and
record the other seven songs there... Anyway, though, hopefully we can
get ahold of some of these other songs, either in demo form or as honest
to goodness recordings, either on the *next* next album, or as B-sides...

Ben Gott:

>Where is the calming influence of Josh Hall-Bachner? Josh --
>show yourself!

Where are the mystical incantations and altar sacrificies of bad CDs?
Come on, you can do better than that! :)

> And now for something completely different -- a man with three buttocks.

"Oh no, this monkey has only one ass! He is of no use to me! I'll have to
burn the lab!"

Simon Sleightholm:

>There are 21 songs sheduled for the sessions and these are split between
>those we almost all know (the Virgin-era demos) and the newer demos
>(Playground, Wheel And The Maypole,etc.) that virtually no-one has heard.

Hmmm. That means that we probably get around eight or nine of the "old
demos" for this album. There are fifteen of them; that means we'd have
to cut six. If it were my painful choice, I'd have to lose Knights
in Shining Karma (interesting but *way* too slow and quiet), The Last
Balloon (ditto), Some Lovely (my least favorite demo), Church of Women
(fun but just a little too fluffy) Bumper Cars (we know about this one)
and Your Dictionary (too vindictive.) No matter what, I'd want to make sure
that River of Orchids, You and The Clouds, I'd Like That, Easter Theatre,
Dame Fortune, and I Can't Own Her were on the album.

Joshua Hall-Bachner
Chaos Harlequin


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 97 10:20:53 -0500
Subject: "Sabine, Sabine, Sabine" b/w "Bogey Music" [no XTC]

Another brief resurfacing from an inveterate Chalklurker...and for an
XTC-less post, no less!

Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith mentions McCartney II (and 'Temporary Secretary' in
particular), then goes on to confess his pre-VW Trio HERE'S a
guy whose record/CD collection I'd like to see (except that it's probably
exactly like mine -- any Woodentops, Vapors, or Wire in there?).

OK, I admit this was kind of a pointless posting -- was just struck by all
the Trio talk.

Back to the depths of lurkdom...

-Jon in Philly


Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 11:05:10 -0400
Message-Id: <v01510102b07235963121@[]>
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: GIG REVIEW: Yazbek at Arlene Grocery

Hi all

We had a great night last evening. My wife and I met up with Ira Lieman for
some Mexican food and Margaritas and walked down the block To Arlene
Grocery for the Yazbek show. They was scheduled to go on at 9:00, but the
previous band went off at about 8:59 so they had to quickly break down and
set up. To compound the delay, they had cable troubles. But the show began
and the trio kicked serious ass. The show was a mix of songs from "The
Laughing Man" cd and the new one "Tock", due out in January. He also
commented on Siskel and Ebert giving two thumbs up to "Boogie Nights" which
he saw that afternoon and said it blew. So he did a song which had audience
participation with a chorus that went: "Siskel and Ebert. 1-2-3 SUCK!!!".
On another song, "Kill the Lawyers", he had his attorney on stage reading a
disclaimer during the song. During the show, Sean Altman was filming the
band with his camcorder. After an energetic albeit brief 45 minute set,
they were hurried off stage. David was very cheery and approachable before
and after the show as I went up to shake his hand after the show and say
goodbye, what should come on the p.a. but "Peter Pumpkinhead". He said to
me(wearing my Chalkhills shirt), "I wonder who this band is?". Again, a
vert good night.


If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work. -- J.G. Bennett

Catch "Forever Knight" on the Sci-Fi Channel every
Mon-Thurs at 9PM and 1AM EDT. -- Lucien LaCroix


From: "Stafford, Dave" <>
Subject: FORBIDDEN SUBJECT: GUITAR SOLOS (But everything else is OK)
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 97 07:33:00 PDT
Message-ID: <344CBEC4@dilbert>

What a baffling post from "The Kid" !

>>In reference to the previously written statement:
>>Anyway, you Chalkoids who wonder why some people are violently opposed
>>to the guitar solos in "Books Are Burning" have got to understand: There
>>are some of us who have deeply distressing memories of the Seventies,
>>who consider the extended guitar jam to be the emblem and incarnation of
>>lazy, time-filling, clock-punching, beer-sucking, fog-brained Seventies

The point is: the solos in Books Are Burning are concise, intelligent,
musical and in no way shape or form do they resemble the drugged-up
ramblings of the Ly*rD Sk*nD style bands.  THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE TWO.  For which I thank God.

>>It just makes us nervous when we hear a great band, a band that stuck
>>more than one bayonet into the bleeding corpse of that weed-sodden
>>southern-fried aesthetic, a short, sharp, shocking band that in its
>>youthful, nightclubbing incarnation would rather have chewed their own
>>fingers off than do a guitar solo of more than eight bars, suddenly in
>>its studio maturity sounding for a brief, unguarded minute like they
>>might be gearing up for a Big Concept Album where Side Two is all one
>>song that condemns war or something controversial like that.

So, concept albums, the concept of peace and maturity are all to be
condemned as musically undesirable.  And if we go back to the Beatles
analogy that so many have made (re: Books Are Burning as compared to the
end of Abbey Road) I would guess "The Kid" would have preferred that the
Beatles stay stuck in a three chord rut, making endless versions of
"Please Please Me" for fifteen years over ten albums.

>>Don't you geeks have anything better to do than microanalyze a 20-something
>>second guitar solo?

Since I spoke in defense of the solos, which I personally find to be very
beautiful, very musical and not wankerish at all, I assume that I am one
of the "geeks" that "The Kid" speaks of.  Since he has offered this
unsolicited insult, I feel I can reply freely with no fear of
recrimination from the group.

> I wasn't sure if you were talking about the solos in
>>"Books are Burning" or "Freebird" from your melodramatic diatribe.

I am sure I have clarified this by now.  Anyone who can even make a
connection between Books Are Burning and "Fr**b*rd" obviously can't be
listening very carefully.

 >Is it
>>against some sort of pop songwriting convention to have a solo, god forbid
>>played by more than one person, that lasts longer than, say, 5 seconds???

Having criticized us geeks (those of us who listen carefully to music;
study music; perform music; create music; discuss music) "The Kid" then
turns around and DEFENDS lengthy solos.  Very confusing for all of us I'm

>>Perhaps it's time to liberate yourself from the parameters of "the perfect
>>3-minute pop song."

So, somewhat longer solos on Books Are Burning do not accomplish just
I have no idea what

>>- The Kid

is really talking about, but I feel it is rude and uncalled for to call
anyone a geek (and there are several mature, thoughtful people here that
posted in favor (read=positive) of the solos and their quality.  Perhaps
other people have other interests than you.  Perhaps some of us sometimes
like to explore, analyze LEARN about a small focussed aspect of an XTC
song.  Sometimes it's the way it's produced.  Sometimes it's the way it
sounds.  [Sometimes it's a great guitar solo. = FORBIDDEN SUBJECT.  ALL
it's a great vocal.  Sometimes it's just "this song makes me feel good".

So it's alright to all of to discuss these variants, but it's not alright
to discuss a brilliant guitar duet admired by many of us.  Maturity
sucks; if a band begins to sound like they are into a concept, or have a
message, they suck.  Let's all just endlessly repeat a formula, say
fifteen albums of remixes of "Super-Tuff" for ten years.  Talk about
burying your head in the sand.   The notion that matiurity, long guitar
solos, or adopting a concept would "ruin" a great band is ridiculous.  It
would mean the death of growth, the death of learning and the death of
change.  XTC are what they are, right now, precisiely because they HAVE
changed so much.  Bring on the concept album.  Bring on the 20 minutes
guitar solo.  AT LEAST IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT than the last album.

I for one, am not a "geek", and I doubt if "The Kid" would call me one to
my face.  I'm sure no one else here deserves this rudeness.  So, how do
we all feel about this?

Tired of negativity
Tired of rudeness

Offer no violence

Dave at 17


Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 11:18:00 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: "Patrick_BOURCIER" (Patrick BOURCIER)
Subject: Wires and drummerless ?

     Mes hommages, Amis Crayonneurs des Collines,

     No news about the chosen drummer for the recording session ?

     And about the studio where XTC'll record the new jewel (Chris
     Difford's studio, ...) ???

     Just wondering ...

     --------------------- Bonjour chez vous ! -------------------
     ----------------- Lumiere : Patrick Bourcier ----------------
     ---------------------- ---------------------


Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 23:21:24 +0700 (WIB)
Message-Id: <>
From: t <>
Subject: The Solos--The Final Word, Todzilla solves the debate, we can

OK, I will now solve the debate about the Books Are Burning solos.

The solos are good.

They are not the best they have done.

>From now on, just use my opinion if you aren't sure of your own.

Thank you, don't mention it.

Todzilla di Kota Hujan

ps. GOOD to hear 200 motels in on CD. I am a zappa fan of major proportions.
Of course I am here in HAZE-filled-plane-crashing-shitdog record store-good
food but not many good cd's- Indonesia.  Where in the HAY-ELL am I going to
get a copy? Can somebody HEP me? Got cool shit to trade. Let's talk! Let's
DEAL! I am tired of my kerosene-powered record player. Help this third-world
lost soul, increase your karma.


From: kraig olmstead <>
Subject: Re: Michael Bland
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 97 11:53:00 PDT
Message-ID: <>

Having seen Michael Bland play many times in his bar band "Dr. Mambo's
Combo" (actually it wasn't "his band", he was in it) I can tell you (me
being a drummer) that the man is an absolute monster drummer.  XTC would
be very lucky to get him.  He is a very powerful drummer.  There is no
Language in our Lungs to describe the many magical ways that he and the
rest of Mambo's Combo (it takes a steady hand at the helm) could twist
something like "Proud Mary" into a powerhouse R&B tune with many
interesting sidetrips as you take a journey with them.  At Least twice
when I was there, Prince was in the audience watching off from the
distance until he finally poached Michael from the band.

I had never thought of XTC using someone like Michael for their drummer.
 He would add a seasoning that has here-to-fore never been included in
the XTC stew.  I for one really look foreward to hearing something like
that.  He has the skills, sensitivity and artistic vision to help propel
XTC into a powerful new stage of their careers.


P.S.  He's also one hell of a nice guy and humble to boot.


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-11

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