Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-122

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 122

                 Wednesday, 5 August 1998

Today's Topics:

                       A Comparison
           The Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina"
               English Settlement versions
                       Musical Rush
                      Re: Liz Phair
                     XTC book, part 2
                     Eleven Feet Tall
                   Re: BBC Boxed CD Set
             And we'll have fun, fun, fun...
                   From MTV, no less...
                     PB correction...
         The universal pop language of breakdowns
                     Sounds like XTC?
              Snippet of an Avengers review
                   Wheel Talk & xtcPop
                    The Disappointed?
               Favorite Song Survey Results
             thank you, thank you, thank you!
                    TVT Press Release
         Mind games you can play at home with XTC
                     The Good Things


Check out the Articles in the Chalkhills Archives, lots of new reviews
and other changes!

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The dark night's closing in, my dark thoughts follow.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 20:15:25 EDT
Subject: A Comparison


I was just thinking about something.  I was just comparing two of my favorite
groups, Talk Talk and XTC.  Here it goes.

Both Talk Talk and XTC are both from England.  They both had three members.
They both have creative songwriters (Talk Talk has Mark Hollis and XTC, of
course, has Andy Partridge).  One of the members left, Paul Webb (1990) and
Dave Gregory (1998).  The only difference is that Talk Talk broke up in the
early 1990's, thank goodness XTC hasn't broken up.

That's my observation.  I'm not sure how great it is, but those are my

Bye for now.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 17:32:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mark Rushton <>
Subject: The Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina"

A couple months ago I posted here talking about my first time finally
hearing the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" and totally digging it.  I had
always hated the Beach Boys because of their early surfing songs
("Surfer Girl" and "Little Deuce Coupe", among others which I've never
liked) and especially for the wretched "Kokomo", but "Pet Sounds was

So I was totally shocked on a Saturday morning drive to the post
office when the usually banal oldies station in town played The Left
Banke's "Pretty Ballerina".  Now I've heard "Walk Away Renee" before
and it's more in-line with the Righteous Brothers and Association and
all that sort of quasi-vocal-orchestral stuff, but I've never heard
"Pretty Ballerina" because I would have remembered it.

Imagine "Skylarking"-era XTC, probably a tune sung by Colin, but full
of Andy's favorite Minor and 7th chords - with extra musicians
arranged by Dave.  That's what it reminded me of.  At first I didn't
know the song, it wasn't announced until afterwards, so I had no idea
who it was.  Initially I thought it was an ad, because the song did
not sound 32 years old!  I thought, "This isn't an oldie like 'Rockin
Robin' which proceeded it...  Anyway, done a bit of reading up on the
"band" and may go and buy something eventually.  Interesting story.


Stay young and keep in touch,

Mark Rushton
Author of the Bill Nelson Web Site


Message-ID: <>
From: "Brent John Palmer" <>
Subject: English Settlement versions
Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 17:53:45 PDT

Re. Seb's enquiry about _English Settlement_:

In Australia, the album was released as the single-LP.  (However, 5000
double-album copies were pressed.)  In the US, it was initially a
single-disc affair as well, but just a couple of years later, Geffen
re-issued it in 2-record form.


Message-ID: <>
From: Steve Bunda <>
Subject: Musical Rush
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 20:41:47 -0500

To Jason who discussed the rush of "You Little Fool", "Close To Me",
I know exactly what you mean, including the Go Go's reference.

I would like to suggest that there are songs that are like Calgon:  They
Take Me Away.   Such as: EC's "How Much I Lied" (just for the piano
riff), Robyn Hitchcock's "Airscape", and Billy Bragg's "Cindy Of A
Thousand Lives".  For some reason, those songs strike a "copper chord"
with me.

There's been some positive(?) vibrations about "The Smartest Monkeys"
despite the grief it's been given in the past.  Personally, I like the
song, though I suppose it helps that my 6-year old loves it.  He just
asked if he could play some music and dug out "Nonsvch", spinning
"Peter" and letting it rip right through "Bird", "Barnum", et al.  As he
and his little sister dance to these songs, I wonder if they'd like
whatever I threw at them...  They don't seem to get excited about
anything else.  "Tissue Tigers" is a big hit with them as well, and I
agree with Brent that it could've stood on it's own as a single.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 19:36:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Veronica Kyle <>
Subject: Re: Liz Phair

>This is a cool teacher. One time, she played "Fuck and Run" by
> Liz Phair as an example of a song that could offend people. i was like
> "WOW! A Liz Phair fan!" Too cool.
> Tis all for now. back to lurking.
> Ken

     Which reminds me, Liz has a new album coming out called
Whitechocolatespaceegg in less than 2 weeks! It's already getting
great reviews. I haven't heard anything from it yet, but I'll be the
first kid on my block with one!
     Oh, and someone mentioned Rufus Wainwright. Sorry, guys I could
have told you about his brilliance back in March after I first heard
"April Fools". I've been too busy telling people on all the other
lists I belong to about him. As I've said before to others, I
guarantee you won't regret buying it. If you don't like it, make sure
you give it to someone you love, because it is one of the most
romantic albums in decades. It makes me swoon and feel all giddy
inside like when I listen to "Rocket From a Bottle" and "Braniac's
Daughter" and weep like when I hear "Snowman" and "Another Sattelite".
After listening to it, you won't be able to stop humming and wanting
to sing along out loud. I'm sure I get a few funny looks when I'm
driving to work, belting out these songs. Some have described the
music as "Popera" because, although it is pop, he is heavily
influenced by opera.
   By the way, I'm going to see Rufus open for Lisa Loeb and Steve
Poltz tommorow night! I'm secretly hoping (OK, it's not a secret) that
his sister Martha, who sings on several songs will suddenly come down
with a little cold, thus forcing Rufus to call out to the crowd, "Does
anyone know my songs? I need a last minute understudy for my sister!"
At which time, I'll go running up to the stage screaming, "I do! I
know them all by heart!" Because otherwise I do not know how I'll
contain myself, keeping my seat during the entire show.


 P.S. I recently bought a copy of Beeswax on vinyl finally, only to
discover it has a skip in it! #@*%!


Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 00:37:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jennifer L. Geese" <>
Subject: XTC book, part 2
Message-Id: <>

Oh my very chalky friends,

Sit and listen to my terrible tale of woe.  It is perhaps not all my tale
to tell, but tell it I shall.  While at work this very night, which shall
go down as the most horrible night in all of history, I checked the status
of the upcoming XTC book.  You may remember that a while back, my friends,
I informed you that it ws to be available after the 5th of this month.
Sadly, and with great regret, I must tell you that my screen now shows a
horrifying date of September 1st.  This is the publishing date that we
have been given.  If anyone has any questions, e-mail me privately and I
will try and answer them.

Jen, the disappointed

"Blot the sun to black"


Date: 4 Aug 98 14:50:52 AST
Subject: Eleven Feet Tall
Message-ID: <>

G'day Ch**ks,

Finally a short moment in my current hecticity to comment on some recent

1) becki, darling - yeah, Ambrosia!  I'm a big fan of this fine LA band
from late 70s-early 80s, but (a) was only aware of a comiplation CD and (b)
could not bear to part with my treasured vinyl collection of their albums.
However, I have prepared a high-quality cassette tape for you of their
first two albums (S/T - the one you mentioned, and "Somewhere I've Never
Travelled"); each of which involved Alan Parsons in mixdown engineer &/or
producer capacities. Will that do for the time being, becki?  No charge,
except I'd love to hear "seven worthies" sometime, hint hint....  please
send your acoustic address by private email.

2) Mark Strijbos - count on you to gimme the lowdown on that Canadian "Love
At First Sight" EP, and that the live trax were recorded right here in
Australia - "play at home", indeed!  As always, thanx Mark for your help.
Your "Lure of salvage" is (almost) in the mail, if you will just send me
(ahem) your address too as I seem to have lost it.

3) OzDudes - Iain Murray and Roger McDonald - enjoying the wit and , er,
wisdom.  I have recently met the former, an XtC neophyte and a charming
fellow to boot (pun he might appreciate).  And yeah, Rog, we both drew the
naughty bits until my theodolite fogged up.

4) Of course, another consummate legend, reason enough to cite Chalkhills
as the source of some of the nicest people I've ever met, is P.D.R.V.  But
he's not here to defend himself so I won't try to embarrass him with my
gushy superlatives.  But *you* know who you are mate, and top o' the
mornin' to you.

This was written after a few too many ales at our new Irish theme pub.
Shurely shome mishtake......

p@ul "no, I'm a mocker" culnane in Oz: XtC bastion


Message-Id: <v04011708b1ec6e1204dc@[]>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 09:11:40 +0100
From: Stephen Varga <>
Subject: Re: BBC Boxed CD Set

On Sun, 26 Jul 1998 23:07:10 -0400 (EDT)
Mitch Friedman wrote:

>I spoke with Andy earlier today and amongst other things I found out *some*
>more info about the BBC box set thing. It will come out in September but
>won't be out in the US. It will be four discs: one of the material on Drums
>and Wireless, one of the Live in 1980 disc that came out previously, one of
>9 or 10 more songs from various BBC sessions (the ones they really wanted
>were erased by the BBC prompting me to inquire as to whether Colin works for
>them too!), and the final disc will be a live concert from 1978 combined
>with a few tracks from a show from '79 which was Barry's last gig.

This is not very good news. Although I'm keen to support XTC's own label,
I'm not so keen about having to buy 2 CDs I already own again. Also, the
fact that the remaining 2 CDs contain Barry Andrews era material and that
the best sessions were erased leaving what seems like 9 or 10 substandard
sessions left as the "new" material doesn't give me a great deal of
excitement. I don't think I'll be wanting to buy this unless the price is
right. How do other fans feel about this looking at the matter objectively?

Nevertheless, I'll still be first in the queue for the forthcoming XTC
biography, the new XTC album (Codename Firework) and the desperately needed
Fossil Fuel video compilation.

Stephen Varga


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 06:58:04 -0400
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: And we'll have fun, fun, fun...


In our special "back from the beach" issue, Dom said:

> Oh come on, this is silly. It was a joke, albeit a poor one, and hardly
> worth getting steamed up over. I'm sure Harrison is man enough to ignore
> my childish jibes.


> Anyway, rumour has it that you and Mr Sherwood are pals. It's great that
> you're prepared to stick up for your friends, but why not wait until
> someone actually has a go at him?

True, true, true and true. However, I certainly don't feel compelled
to defend Harrison, and that wasn't my intent. I was talking about
something _you_ were doing that _I_ found unnecessary. This list has
always stood out for me as an island of civility in the anarchic sea
of the Internet, and my (very) little shot across the bow was meant to
defend that -- nothing else.

> What, you want people to have fun? Oh good. Does that mean I can attempt
> to be funny occasionally, or is that only allowed if it doesn't risk
> winding up your friends? Frankly, I'm not the malicious type. Humour
> doesn't necessarily translate, and as my girlfriend often points out, I'm
> not that funny anyway. But I'm enjoying myself, and enjoying Chalkhills.
> Let me have my fun! I promise you, no one will get hurt.

Sorry. Guess I'm too literal minded, and I just don't get it. Even on
the playground I was never into participating in that kind of fun,
regardless of the ability of its target to defend him or herself. But
I'm probably being too serious here. How about helping out the
humor-challenged among us with some notation -- an emoticon or
something -- of your intent, since, as you say, humor (esp. sarcastic
or sardonic comments) doesn't necessarily translate well in print?

Anyway, write to me and let's take this off the list. I'm sure we have
plenty to talk about -- after all, any friend of Catherine Sweeney is
a friend of mine...



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 09:33:43 -0400
Subject: From MTV, no less...

Hey there... from MTV Snooz...

>The album accompanying "The Avengers" movie is slightly more
>eclectic, as Sugar Ray, Roni Size, Dishwalla and the Stereo MCs are
>all on-board for the made-over '60s U.K. TV program. Two of the more
>unique selections on the "Avengers" include "Blow You Away," a song
>co-written by XTC frontman Andy Partridge and the Verve Pipe, and Annie
>Lennox's cover of the Sugarcubes' "Mama"

Cool, eh? From MTV! Who woulda thunk it?

Hope your summer's been cool...Kris M., if you're watching, I hope your
AC works...Yeesh.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 09:47:20 -0700
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: Champion International
Subject: PB correction...

Hello all! --

Just got a post from Chris Cutler of
Peter Blegvad's band and he informed
me that The Peter Blegvad Trio do indeed
have a new album coming out at
some point in September.  Called
HANGMAN'S HILL, it features the same
line-up as that on the "Just Woke
Up" disc!  The trio is also planning a
"small east coast tour" beginning in New
York on 09.07 (that's Sept. 7 for all
you UK-ers reading!) with guest Fred
Frith at some of the gigs.  (see below)

Only downer to this news of a new PB release
is the fact that Blegvad's US record label
ESD will NOT be releasing it.  Chris said --

> ESD will not release it in the US (long
> story, but I decided not to licence it
> to them this time, so it will come out
> on ReR through Cuneiform/Wayside like
> all our other releases.  You can get it
> from them, from us direct or at one of
> the shows...

So there is indeed a way to get a copy of this
new album, if you're interested.  So, XTC people,
let's get together and show some support for a
fellow cohort and friend of Andy Partridge and
Colin Moulding by purchasing this new album, okay?
Like Partridge and Moulding, this man is trying
to make a living at his music as well, so we can
at least be there to let him know that SOMEONE is
indeed listening!!!  How 'bout it?

BTW, acc. to Chris, as part of the "small east
coast tour," --

> This trio plays New York on 7th Sept (with guest
> Fred Frith) and thereafter in Boston, Philadelphia,
> Washington, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Chicago.

Show some support!!  Go see The Peter Blegvad Trio!

Who knows who might be there?  Maybe a Partridge?

Sound as ever --

/Dan Phipps <>

"In the mountains of truth
 you never climb in vain."
(Friedrich Nietzsche)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 15:09:24 +0100
From: Andy Miller <>
Subject: The universal pop language of breakdowns

>From an interview with Blur guitarist Graham Coxon in today's NME
(promoting his new solo album, The Sky is Too High):

"I always said that I didn't want being on the road to feel like the norm,
and it really did for a while. You get woken up, you get your food put in
front of you, you get driven everywhere, and then you're back home and
you feel... freaky. I know it sounds really Andy Partridge (lead singer of
XTC and notorious sufferer from stage fright - NME) to say that, but that's
what it gets like. So I'd start going AWOL and forgetting my passport on

So there you are. Not content with ripping off XTC musically, Blur also
cultivate the same personal problems as their heroes. Coming soon...
Dave Rowntree leaves to become a policeman in, er, New Zealand, yes
that'll do, and Graham and Alex start driving vans for a living, while
Damon goes deaf in one ear and records a whole album with Yazbek.

Ha ha ha



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 09:55:01 -0400
From: Ralph DeMarco <>
Subject: Sounds like XTC?

Dear One Armed Bandits and Affiliated Members:

"...a cross between Sly Stone and XTC's Andy Partridge."
Such was the blurb given to The Negro Problem - a group
which recently performed at the Intel Music Festival in New
York City. I didn't get to see them unfortunately. Has anyone
heard of them? They sound interesting, No?

My friends and I have had may discussions about what
should be considered pop music. I have come to the
conclusion that if it makes your toe-tap and your humming
the melody the next day without realizing it - it's pop music.
It's funny because XTC has all the crafty hooks and catchy
melodies that define top 40 songs but with a significant
difference - XTC is smart, perhaps too smart for their own
good. Too bad people need to hear the same old crap. Any
world where artists like Hootie and the Blowfish and Cheryl
Crow sell truck loads of albums has little room for XTC. Sigh.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 10:47:38 -0400
From: Adam Tyner <>
Subject: Snippet of an Avengers review

Taken from

"The rest of The Avengerssome songs from the movie, some "inspired" by
itaims for the dance floor (Utah Saints' "Technowledgy," Merz's tribal
"Many Weathers Apart") as well as the ears, with modern rockers like
Dishwalla ("Truth Serum") and the Verve Pipe ("Blow You Away") flaunting
tuneful melodies and catchy choruses."

Catchy choruses, eh?  Wasn't the chorus Andy's contribution to "Blow You
Away"?  :-)

/=---------------- ----------------=\
The home of He-Man, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, and more!
   Demented music list admin           O-         MiSTie #67,326


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 11:35:52 -0400
From: erik schlichting <>
Subject: Wheel Talk & xtcPop

Salutations, All,

Ken <> wrote:

<<Now, on to another reason for my note - two CDs that XTCers might
want to note are Catherine Wheel's "Adam and Eve>>

> WOW! A chalkhed that likes CW!!

In the last year or so, I too have discovered Catherine Wheel, though by
an other-than-xtc relation. Two members of one of my other all-time
favorite bands, the now defunct Talk Talk, appear on CW's "Happy Days"
(and Tim Friese-Greene has appeared on all of them, I think). CW has a
bit heavier electric guitar/feedback/fuzz sound than I generally like,
but they've really grown on me. I have yet to purchase "Adam & Eve," but
all the others have redeeming qualities, with (IMHO) "Happy Days" being
the strongest. Those of you who followed xtc through the '80's and saw
the first few years of MTV probably remember Talk Talk, those of you who
missed 'em are missing out. BTW, their albums were recently re-mastered
and re-released.

Keith <> wrote:

> There's hasn't been much in the retro-pop genre that has really
twigged my
> ear since Brendan Benson's fabulous _One Mississippi_

Yes, yes, yes! This is a great disc. Of course, I never heard it get any
airplay. "Crosseyed" should have been all over college and "alternative"

And, lastly, a bit about xtc & "pop":

While xtc has often been described as "pop," they've never been
"popular." For music to get popular, to chart in the top 40, it has to
appeal to the 'least common denominator.' While I believe that there are
plenty of xtc songs that should have charted, xtc has simply never
appealed to the least common denominator. Their music is too complex,
their lyrics too clever and understated. LISTENING to xtc requires too
much attention, too much effort for the average record buyer. Peter
Gabriel pretty much said that "Sledgehammer" and "Steam" were designed
to be charting singles provided to help promote sales of their
respective albums. I think that Partridge & Moulding could easily,
purposefully write a top 40 single- just think of the Dukes with a
release in 1967. But, how much of their talent would they have to leave
in the box? Would they be selling out? Would it be what we expect from
Personally, I wouldn't mind them throwing a "popular" crumb here & there
to get the average music fan interested in the whole cake....



Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 13:54:47 -0400
Message-Id: <>
Subject: The Disappointed?

Were you ever disappointed with a recommendation from another Chalkster
on the list? I've gone out and bought two albums wildly recommended
by folks, only to be disappointed. In trun, I have recommended discs
to others and have wondered if they liked them?

Please e-mail me privately on this. What did you buy that you found
disappointing, and why? In turn, I can tell you what I've brought in
to used record and tape stores for a few bucks or a trade.

No judegments here (after all, there's no accounting for taste); I'm
just curious.




Message-Id: <>
From: "Gerardo Tellez" <>
Subject: Favorite Song Survey Results
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 14:18:04 -0700

Hi Chalkers,
    Remember the survey I started some digests back? If you don't, it was a
try to pick a favorite song off of each XTC album survey. Here are the

White Music-Statue of Liberty
Out of all the songs off of every album, this one got the most votes.

Go2-Are You Receiving Me?
"Hey, that wasn't on the LP!" Well then, Meccanic Dancing won with Battery
Brides a close second.

Drums and Wires-Complicated Game

Black Sea-Burning With Optimism's Flame

English Settlement-Yacht Dance
What place did Senses end up in? Second.

Mummer-Great Fire

The Big Express-Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her
Smalltown and Train Running Low on Soul Coal both where very close to

Skylarking-TIE! Ballad for a Rainy Day and 1000 Umbrellas

Oranges and Lemons-Mayor of Simpleton

Nonsuch-Wrapped in Grey
Then She Appeared got a close second

Rag & Bone Buffet-Extrovert

The Dukes of Stratosphear-Collideascope
If you divide them into the LP format Bike Ride to the Moon won for 25

Pretty much no one voted for the rest of the cds, so I won't bother with
those results. If you have any questions about the survey like "what place
did (insert name of song) come in?" then send me an e-mail and I'll
respond. Thanks to everyone who voted.

PS: Does anyone know what the real name of the second song off of White
Music is? Cross Wires or X-Wires?


Message-Id: <v03007800b1ecf0d69299@[]>
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: thank you, thank you, thank you!
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 17:53:24 -0600

Hi everyone,

Seems I followed up too quickly on my request for new music
recommendations. Sorry.

A big thanks to the terrific folks who listed some of their favorite
underrated, under-exposed, or unknown bands.

As for me, not a lot of new stuff has blown me away, with the huge
exception of _Neil Finn's_ latest effort called, _Try Whistling This_
(Work Records). What a voice this man has! What song writing skills!
Have to admit, though, this album took a couple of listens to get
into. Crowded House fans rejoice, _Try Whistling This_ is a huge leap
forward from the recent, uninspired_ Finn Brothers_ disc. Plus, he's
out touring behind the album -- coming to Austin, Texas at the end of

Looking backwards to the music of some of XTC's early contemporaries:
If you haven't heard _The Jam's_ (Original Master Recording)
remastering of _Sound Effects_ and _All Mod Cons_, rush out right now
and give it a listen. It's worth twice the 20-something dollars I
spent on it, and you get both albums on one disc! If you like truly
experimental British electronica (e.g. Eno), nothing beats _Bill
Nelson's_ early work which has now been released on CD. A great start
is _Chamber of Dreams_ (Enigma Records). Not techno. Not ambient. Not
like anything you've ever heard.  Still fresh after 14+ years. Then
there's _Robyn Hitchcock's_ large body of work. Both _Queen Elvis_ and
_Eye_ are phenomenal, and should appeal to some of XTC's newer/
younger fans.

And, as for the fellow who said he felt self-conscious about his age
when going to clubs to hear new bands, I have to confess I feel the
same way. Although, thankfully, I really don't look any older than most
of them, yet.  I'm only 34, but I can't Pogo for 4 hours at a time like
I used to. Oh well.....

Thanks again for all your recommendations. Please keep them coming.
I'll try to report on some new music too.

Yours -- Ken Herbst


Message-Id: <>
Subject: TVT Press Release
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 98 21:14:37 -0600
From: Della & Steve Schiavo <>

For Immediate Release:


* Songwriter Laureate Andy Partridge Brings Ecstasy To New Label And
 Long-Time Fans *

New York, NY, July 30 -- TVT Records is proud to announce the North
American signing of English pop purveyors XTC, one of the UK's most
prolific and treasured musical imports. TVT plans to release the band's
first studio album since 1992's Nonsuch during the first quarter of 1999
followed by a subsequent release in the Fall. XTC's first album under the
TVT agreement will feature a mixture of orchestral and acoustic melodies
along with the band's trademark lyrical content. The band's Fall 1999
release is scheduled to be a more traditional XTC pop album. The band
previously recorded for Virgin Records in the UK and Geffen in the States.

XTC founding members Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding are currently
working on their yet untitled 15th studio album with producer Haydn
Bendall (Kate Bush) and longtime collaborator and Nonsuch producer
Nick Davis. The record also features former XTC guitarist Dave Gregory
as well as the 120-piece London Sessions Symphony. The album was
partially recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and at band-mate
Colin's Wiltshire home.

"I like to call it an Orch-ustic record really," said Andy Partridge.
"It's not Rock-n-Roll and we like it!"

"The return of XTC already makes 1999 a great year for music," said
TVT Records President Steve Gottlieb. "From what I've heard so far the
songwriting for this orchestral record is some of Andy's best
yet. This is a great addition to the TVT family."

Formed in the urban English town of Swindon in 1975, XTC fashioned a
smart, quirky brand of power pop that made them one of the most
influential bands to emerge from the post-punk movement of the
late-seventies/early-eighties.  Their enigmatic 23-year career
includes many critically lauded records, several offbeat "side"
projects and an abundance of memorable singles including "Life Begins
At The Hop" (1979), "Senses Working Overtime" (1982), "Dear God"
(1987), "The Mayor Of Simpleton" (1989) and "The Ballad Of Peter
Pumpkinhead" (1992).


Message-Id: <>
From: "J & J Greaves" <>
Subject: Dragon/Duffy
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 20:07:41 -0700


Terry Chambers did indeed work with Dragon on their Body and the Beat LP,
and the songs Rain and Magic got airplay in N. America, which was probably
about the only time they got noticed there. Terry left after that LP. There
was a CD of that album out back in 1983? when it came out, but it's pretty
impossible to find now. Dragon's lead singer Marc Hunter sadly recently
died of cancer.

Terry supplied steady, solid drumming to the LP, but wasn't used as
creatively as in XTC. He did apparently really help out Dragon when they
played live, which isn't too hard to imagine. This info comes from the
Little Express before it was called the LE, back in 1983.

Found Duffy's I Love My Friends yesterday and would like to add my thumbs
up to those who have already  mentioned this CD. Dave Mattacks plays drums
on the two Andy produced tracks.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 23:34:00 EDT
Subject: Mind games you can play at home with XTC

Hi Chalkhillians,

I've been lurking since 1995 (positively astounding, in retrospect) but this
is my first post, mostly because I've been in a learning phase. I got into
XTC much later than any person of refined tastes has an excuse for - well,
it was 1995, actually - so I've been attempting to catch up for the last few
years. I think I may have a handle on it now.

Anyway, I thought that this was interesting and that some of you might find
it so as well. My boyfriend is a classical musician for the most part. He's
done some arranging & conducting for pop albums, but as an overall
statement, he knows almost everything about classical & jazz, and about pop,
other than projects he or his brother worked on of which he got free copies,
not much since the heyday of the Beatles and the Monkees. So I've been
catching him up on the past quarter century this year.

As a music fan, I'm generally hooked by lyrics, melody, and/or the quality
of the singer. He never listens to lyrics and hears the vocals mainly as
nothing more than part of the orchestration. So when I put something on for
him, I have no clue if he'll love it or hate it. I've taken to just putting
CDs in the changer and not telling him anything about them, just to see what
he says.  He has no idea I'm using him as a pop guinea pig, poor darling.

As far as XTC goes, I'm overwhelmingly partial to Andy's songs over Colin's.
Although I don't really DISlike Colin's work, the only song of his I ever
actively want to hear is My Bird Performs. I've always attributed this to a
certain lack of subtlety in his lyrics. But without fail, my subject (who
doesn't listen to lyrics and has no idea XTC has two songwriters) will, when
a Colin tune comes on, get this perplexed look and say something like,
"Well, I really liked the *last* song they did." I found it interesting that
someone only listening to the overall musicality of the songs could see such
disparity. But generally, I'd say he's becoming an XTC admirer.

But: He likes Yazbek better.

On the "other music" thread, much of the stuff I listen to, popwise, has
gotten a nod or two on Chalkhills. But I'm curious to see if any of you are
familiar with Andy Prieboy's work. (I run his mailing list.) I think many of
you might really appreciate him, especially his solo work (he was also the
frontman for Wall of Voodoo for their last three albums). He's got a
delightfully warped, complex sensibility, both lyrically and musically. His
last album, Sins of our Fathers, came out three years ago on Doctor Dream
Records; in recent times, he's been polishing up his new musical, "White
Trash Wins Lotto!", a Gilbert & Sullivan-styled satire about the life and
times of Axl Rose. I'm going to steal a concise description from Jon Brion,
because I can't do any better than he did: "The conceit is that it's about
Axl, but it's really mostly just what Andy thinks about stuff." It's
incredibly funny, and I'd recommend that any of you in the Los Angeles area
try to catch its next performance at Largo August 15th. If anyone wants more
information on Andy, email me... I've got the archives here!



Date: 4 Aug 98 22:55:32 -0500
Subject: Wonderland
From: "David vanWert" <>
Message-Id: <B1ED41EF-4B60B@>

On Tue, Aug 4, 1998 9:16 PM, <>
<mailto:<> wrote:
>The appeal is rooted in the emotional, not physical,
>turns on the long-observed and highly-regarded, and hints at so
>much more than the surface (common for XTC). Damn! It just feels
>like there's some real cherishing going on here

I must leap to the defense of this song as well (not simply because it's on
my favorite XTC album, Mummer critics be damned!) but I have to say that my
feeling is different about it. This song is about a guy who's crazy for
this girl and they seem to have a good thing going but then she totally
disses him because some popular athlete guy showed some interest in her,
and then when the athlete moves on, the first guy is right there for her to
pick up the pieces and they get back together and all is forgiven, but then
she does it again! And Again!!! AND AGAIN!!!! THIS SONG IS FOR HER!!!

Or at least that's what I thought in high school when the album was
released. I certainly wouldn't hold a grudge that long.      ;-P

David vanWert    <>

"I don't know about the rest of you guys, but these tight, colonial pants
are killing me. I gotta change before I pass out."  Patrick Henry, 1776
(later condensed to "Give me liberty, or give me death.")


Message-Id: <v04011701b1ed244f99f5@[]>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 22:00:48 +0100
From: Jason Garcia <>
Subject: The Good Things

More Bands You Can't Say Enough Good Things About

>as an introduction to Pollard's
>songwriting: start either with _Alien Lanes_ (1995...

YES, I'll second that emotion.  That's an entire ALBUM that
will get stuck in your head.  Not IMMEDIATELY, but soon enough
you'll be humming things like "Big Chief Chinese Restaurant" and
thinking it's as poignant as "Yesterday".  Well, maybe not exactly,
but I'm a HUGE fan of the album;  it was definitely the most
brilliant thing to come out that year.

> Anything that's catchy and has vocal harmonies automatically
>invokes the Liverpudlian B-Boys, but Bob's closer in spirit to
>Ray Davies or Paul Westerberg or Gabriel.

Probably, but the way something like "Alien Lanes" was put together
most strikingly reminds me of the cut-and-paste technique of the
Beatles' 'White Album'.   A collage of songs.

Not so XTC-related but I just had to second that...

And by the way, I've just got a CD pressed of my three new songs,
and the first 10 people who email me can get one absolutely

Spreading the word,


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-122

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