Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-135

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 135

               Wednesday, 16 September 1998

Today's Topics:

                  chalkhils classifieds
                       CC97 reviews
       Delay in release of Modern Time Neros (CC98)
                   Reuben Blades & Andy
          Help me Obie-Wan. You're my only hope.
                  Re: Testimonial Dinner
                Antipodean spelling quirks
                  "Drums and Wireless"?
                        club chat
                       Song Stories
       Wannadies in the sun (sorry, no XTC content)
            Loving the Farmer's Pages (Ouch!)
          Ordered Listing for Rag & Bone Buffet
                       Song Stories
                 I want my, I want my XTC
                    Pop bands and TVT
             The interview's out and about...
                 Re: Costello/Bacharach
              Lumiere and the light is on !
      almost forgot a great disc I should recommend
                   My book has arrived!
             a series of letters to Dear God?
                Contacting Little Express
                        The Nines


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I've trapped you in my song.


Message-Id: <>>
From: Jonathan Monnickendam <>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 14:01:27 +0000
Subject: chalkhils classifieds

THOSE FREE CDs - only BECK remains
It must say something about the man's thin popularity that no one has yet
asked for it. If  you want it let me know.

Else where on the classifieds are copies of Beeswax/waxworks, Peter Blegvad
cds with AP and Stephen Duffy.

Other than that the apocalypse must be nigh because mott the hoople are
reforming to play a gig at the Virgin Megastore, wednesday, 6pm. I 'll try
and be there of course.


Current Reading ; 'Goldfish hide & seek' by Satoshi Kitamura

* ---------------------------------------------------------------
The views expressed are of the individual, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The United Bank of Kuwait PLC.
* ---------------------------------------------------------------


From: "Pedretti-Allen, Richard (Richard)" <>
Message-ID: <72EDB966944AD1118DC90080D8207488A98A95@ex-campus2>
Subject: CC97 reviews
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 13:00:32 -0700

To purchasers of CC97:

I have only received 8 reviews.  I'd like to get a few more.

I would like to get the digest member's impressions of CC97.  Please
email me privately ( and I will compile the results
(with the exception of question number 4 which is simply for my

Regarding the covers on CC97:
1) What song did you like the best?
2) What is the most "radio-worthy" song?
3) What is the most professional sounding song?
4) What was the worst song?
(You can also specify your reason for any of the above questions)
Additional comments welcome:


Cheers, Richard


From: "Pedretti-Allen, Richard (Richard)" <>
Message-ID: <72EDB966944AD1118DC90080D8207488A98A98@ex-campus2>
Subject: Delay in release of Modern Time Neros (CC98)
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 13:30:26 -0700

There is a change that I would like made to the master disc and that
means that there will be a bit of a delay in the release of Modern Time
Neros.  I'm probably looking at a release date of October 17 (maybe a
week sooner if things happen faster).

We've got bluegrass, we've got polka, we've got dark, mancing synth pop,
we've got calypso-flavored, we've even got a nod to Lynyrd Skynyrd,
we've Chalkchatter fodder that should keep us plenty busy until we get
real XTC.

There is some really stunning stuff on Modern Time Neros.  I hate the
added delay in distributing tapes because I want to share this stuff and
get response and read the Chalktraffic.

For what it's worth, I have never claimed that Ted Lee was responsible
for any delays, though he stated that I did.  So as to make his
statement true, I blame this delay on him.

Cheers, Richard


Message-Id: <>
From: "RoadKill" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 17:11:14 +0000
Subject: Reuben Blades & Andy

Dom wrote about Testimonial Dinner:
> Full marks also to Reuben Blades for his "The Man Who Sailed...".
>   Blades makes his rendition more Latin than ever- it grooves!!!

	I have enjoyed being on this list, so please don't hurt me too much,
I actually like Reuben's version better.  OWOWOWOWOW!  Not to take
anything away from the original, but I feel more emotion from the
Blades remake.  I always loved the song, but usually spent it waiting
to end so I can get to "D.G." and "Sacrificial Bonfire."  I felt that
confessing now would be better than letting it fester in me until
forced to testify on this by an independent counsel.  I thank those
of you that are still willing to accept me.

Let's all lift a glass to the dream that one day Andy and Colin will
take a hint from Steely Dan.  Imagine a world that the two of them
(Andy and Colin, not XTC and Steely Dan)  travel with an all star
collection of musicians.  It would be a gesture to the fans for all
of the years of loyalty.  Could it be called The Contrition Tour?
Oh, well.



Message-Id: <v04003a00b222f933504d@[]>
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: Help me Obie-Wan. You're my only hope.
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 17:12:37 -0600

This is totally out of nowhere but, darnit, I need your help. Now, I
love the thrill of the hunt -- the occasional several-year quest for
the "great lost CD." But this isn't fun anymore.

You see, I'm a big fan of Eddie Jobson (U.K. violinist and keys
player). Haven't had any trouble finding the "Zinc" CD to augment my
vinyl, but darned if I can't find his Private Label CD, "Theme of
Secrets." I've looked everywhere ....the internet, K-Mart dust-bins,
underneath the bloody glove in O.J.'s White Bronco.


Help....everything...dark.......rocking..self .....fetal
position....give money..........

anything.....stocks....bonds...marble name
it....everything dark......rocking...self....

Please email  privately. Thanks....Ken H.


Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 19:57:21 -0400
Subject: wannnadies
Message-ID: <>
From: (Ken Amato)

Also, I can't remember if anyone's mentioned the Swedish power pop band,
The Wannadies.>>>>>

WOW! SOmebody else on this Earth has heard of the Wannadies???? I
strongly reccomend them. I have been without luck trying to find anything
by them in stores, but I hread a lot of their stuff on a college TV show
called Sonic Ignition. It's a show that showcases one band every episode
and shows tons of their videos. I fell in love with every single song of
their I heard.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 16:36:06 -0700
From: Rich/MetalMan <>
Subject: Re: Testimonial Dinner

>IMO, too many of the artists suffer by treating the songs too reverentially,
>and failing to exert their own personality on things.  Case in point is
>TMBG's "25 o'clock", it is a reasonable enough rendition, but just too
>faithful, likewise the Rembrandts' "Making plans for Nigel" (though the
>doo-wop ending is kinda cute).

   In my opinion, and after hearing the original version of "25 O'Clock"
finally, I think that TMBG did a fantastic job with the song -- while
some of the psychadelic-ness of it is gone, John Flansburgh's voice
sounds really good in place of Andy's fragmented psychadelic vocals on
the original.
   Plus, they really put their mark on the song -- it isn't that they
didn't change the song to their signature style, it's simply that the
style of the song was already really TMBG-ish as it was, and their
rendition is really great.
   But this probably just stems from the fact that TMBG is pretty much
my favorite band of all time -- XTC probably coming in second and at
least coming in third...

Rich Bunnell or "Metal Man," whichever sounds more insane
"This is your life and you do what you want to do, just don't hurt
nobody, unless they ask you" -XTC
"Do you have a special something you take to bed with you? Does it make
you feel good if you hold your special something?" -Mr. Rogers


Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 19:51:27 -0400
Subject: Antipodean spelling quirks

> So, when we talk about the ES album we are talking about the original
> double LP with 15 tracks. And Skylarking does not include Dear God.

This is unfortunate in my case, since I already owned "Mermaid
Smiled" on "Rag n Bone Buffet" before I bought "Skylarking".  I had
to get the single of "Dear God".

> In the early years in particular XTC always tried to release
> non-album tracks as singles to give us fans our money's worth
> The fact that Virgin added the 'bogus tracks' to the CD re-releases
> does IMHO not make an album track out of a single (b-side)

Okay, but I still have it on my record of "Drums and Wires", and I've
always thought of it as an album track.  It makes a good opening to
the album.  What's the first song on the British version?  Wait, I'll
go look at the website.  Before I start seeming to be one of those
people who argue too much, I'll ask a serious question:

Is it possible to get "Nonsuch" on vinyl?  In the United States?  The
website thinks it was only released in the UK (on double LP) and
Italy, of all places (single LP).  Is that Italian version impossible
to find?  I'd prefer slightly lower fidelity (that I wouldn't notice,
since my record player sucks) to having to switch the record three
times in the middle of the album.

she's an indie rocker, and nothing's gonna stop her
Michael davies


Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 19:56:59 -0400
Subject: "Drums and Wireless"?

Here's another actual question:

I remember about four years ago, in what was probably the first
issue of "Rolling Stone" I got, there was a review of some XTC album
called "Drums and Wireless".  I had never heard of the band before I
read that, and I don't know what brought the memory back or why it
was even there to bring back, since it meant nothing to me at the
time I read it, but I thought a couple weeks ago, "Hey!  Wasn't there
some XTC release consisting of alternate mixes or live songs or
something called "Drums and Wireless"?"  So, was there?  This may
possibly have been a dream on my part, since it isn't listed in the
dicography and I've never seen it mentioned anywhere else, including
the Spin Alternative Music Guide, which I think was put out late
enough to contain a mention of "Drums and Wireless".

"I want the mall removed.  I want them ALL removed!"
Michael davies


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 18:19:11 -0700
From: Wesley Hanks <>
Subject: club chat

There will be a weekly XTC chat every Sunday at 2 pm Pacific at "XTC -
England's Glory". This is the Yahoo club page I set up for XTC fans.
There is currently a dozen registered members of the club so far. To
participate in the chat and post to it's bulletin board, you have to
become a member (register) of the club -- no hazing involved.

Stroll over to
to join the fun.

Cheers to Mark C. and all of the talented folk on "Awaken You Dreamers".
Run, don't walk to post your order today!

I picked up Bob Mould's latest "Last Dog and Pony Show" and was touched.
Album of the year potential.

Wes Hanks


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Song Stories
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 98 21:26:20 -0600
From: steve <>

Hello all -

The XTC: Songs Stories book should be available in U.S. bookstores as of
Monday, September 14.  Any store that has an account with Ingram Books
(a wholesaler) can order it for you.

- Steve


Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:54:32 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <l03130301b223f2148fc3@[]>
From: Jonas Lind <>
Subject: Wannadies in the sun (sorry, no XTC content)

Ken Herbst wrote:
>"The Wannadies" is an excellent
>introduction to the band, and one of the best cd's release last year. "Hit"
>sounds like the great lost Pixies song. Should really please Chalkers.

The Wannadies also made a great cover version of Violent Femmes' "Blister
In The Sun". Not available on any album I'm afraid, but it can be found on
a single, which should be available in the US.

Jonas Lind
Lund, Sweden


Message-Id: <s5fe3f44.036@BTA.ORG.UK>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:19:42 +0100
Subject: Loving the Farmer's Pages (Ouch!)

OK - so I know I'm preaching to the converted but 'Song Stories' has been in
my sweaty mitts for just over 12 hours (it's now 0830 Tuesday!) and I really
can't recommend it highly enough. It is indeed the book we've been waiting

Each album is assigned a chapter which begins with a four-way conversation
about the build-up-to and recording-environment-of that release (Neville
Farmer acting as prompt, should the recollections veer too left-field).

As the 'Mojo' review suggests, in these sections there is many a frank
exchange of opinions (some, you feel, long-supressed or - in the case of
Colin and Dave - simply never given such a _public_ airing... for obvious
reasons!) but this only re-inforces the quite-touching personal chemistry
that exists between the three of them (most especially Andy and Colin - as
Dave seems, and hindsight now reveals, somewhat distant).

Like many fans, I have yards of audio/video-tape of the band being
interviewed and one personality (who, I wonder?) tends to dominate. In 'Song
Stories', however, Colin finally finds his voice ('Moulding Talks!') and you
see - especially in the roundtable chats - just how he and Andy 'click'.

What then follows is a track-by-track analysis of that album (with the
emphasis on 'anal' - hurrah!). These may sometimes take the form of '...and
that strange noise you hear during the middle-eight is actually....' - which
is fun, especially for the muscians among us - whilst elsewhere it might
focus on the evolution of a lyric ('....Around this time, Andy had been
reading a lot of.....') which is always enlightening with a magpie-mind like
Partridge's (to kill two birds with one crushing metaphor). Mostly though, a
song is worthy of being taken apart on both fronts.

This is naturally unputdownable stuff - and a joy to dip into during idle
moments (sorry, I can' t read this sort of thing in chronological order); my
only gripe being that most of us will find 80% of Song Stories 'old news'
(having gorged on UK/US magazine interviews, Limelight/The Little Express
plus, of course, Chalkhills and its inestimable sister-sites). That said, it
at least puts everything under one roof and does so with the band's total
co-operation (one shudders to think what John Lennon would have made of Iain
McDonald's assessment of 'I am the Walrus').

Truly this is the 'authorized story behind the music'. Thanks be to Neville
Farmer, Sean at Helter Skelter and, of course, XTC.

Right, now back to that bit about the chord-changes in 'Train Running

David Fatscher
(BTW: Sean at Helter Skelter told me that any in-store signings would not
take place before October and, when asked if these would be limited  solely
to Neville Farmer, claimed that he (Sean) would only contemplate them if
Andy agreed to show-up too. He'll be posting advanced notice of any PAs to
Bungalow /Chalkhills, so Simon/John, don't leave the house for the next few
weeks, OK?!).


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 23:10:09 +1000
From: Matthew Seery <>
Subject: Ordered Listing for Rag & Bone Buffet

I remember some time ago seeing a list of the songs from Rag & Bone Buffet
in some sort of chronological order showing the year they were
recorded/released. I thought I saw it on someones web site but can't be sure
or maybe someone posted it to this mailing list. Can someone either email
the list or direct me to the relevant web page.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:11:20 -0400
Subject: Song Stories

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

I received my copy of Song Stories a couple of weeks ago after
pre-reserving a copy from Helter-Skelter in London, and after reading it
can attest to the fact that is an interesting and fun read.  There is much
to be learned from reading the boys' recollections and insights about each

There are a bunch of things that come to mind as I reflect upon what I
read.  For instance, Dave corrects Andy's impressions of things several
times.  For instance, Andy would say something like, "Oh that Todd Rundgren
was a tyrant, and very difficult to work with."  Dave comes back with, "No,
he's not, he's a genius and it was a pleasure to work with him, and he made
us the best album we ever had."   Andy, begrudgingly, "Well, I guess you're
right."  It was an interesting insight to see how the band all knows that
Andy is in charge, but they don't let him operate as a dictator, and
because they are friends as well as bandmates they found a way to get along
for way over a decade, until the recent departure of Dave, of course.  A
favorite quote from Andy:  "Two Fuhrers, one bunker."

In fact, it seems that Andy is always the most pessimistic of the bunch,
and the other two come off as pretty mellow guys who don't sweat the small
stuff.  Maybe they're not as ambitious as Andy, but it seems that they were
able to get through the tough times with a minimum of turmoil.

It is also fascinating to hear Colin's opinions of events or songs.  I have
always wondered what he was about, and now I know a little more.  I
especially enjoyed the story about "Making Plans for Nigel" and the
reaction of the British Steel company.  It was quite poignant.

In summary, if you already have the book, I'm sure that you're already
treasuring it.  If you don't have it, why not?  You must purchase this
book.  It is required reading!!  :-)

Final note:  another CD that I got recently from Not Lame records is Bubble
Gun, by the Merrymakers, a Swedish pop band who are so good they're scary.
I find their sound to be a pleasant mix of Jellyfish and Badfinger (IMHO);
as a matter of fact, Andy Sturmer, Jellyfish drummer, produces.  Check them
out at;  I have no affiliation with Not Lame except that I
have found a ton of great CDs there.  They also had the good sense to pick
up the new CD from Chalkster Paul Rogers' band Clockwise for distribution.
This is another very good release that you should pick up without

OK, that's enough from me.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:31:43 -0400
From: Ralph DeMarco <>
Subject: I want my, I want my XTC

Dear Affiliated Members:

The dedicated XTC agent Mark Strijbos responds:

>"Life Begins At The Hop" isn't a non-LP song, I have it on
>my LP version of "Drums and Wires".  maybe it isn't on the
>British version.

Actually, I own the original U.K. Virgin vinyl of "Drums and
Wires" and "Life Begins at the Hop" starts off the album!
I also own the original U.S. Epic version and the big difference
is the noticeably absent "Making Plans for Nigel". My guess
is that Epic wanted to squeeze it out as a single. Kind of
reminds you of ....well never mind.

>> However, my all-time favourite XTC LP is "Mummer"
>>Their first album after quitting touring (and their first sans
>>Terry) it marked a dramatic maturing [snip snip] The
>>drumming was vastly superior to that on their previous

>Get real, mate... Terry rules!

Yes Mark, Terry rules. But, I think you might have missed the
point. The song writing, the arrangements, the subtle
transitions and delicate melodies are what distinguish
Mummer from any previous XTC at that time. To say that
Terry was a great live drummer and could keep up with the
best of 'em does not mean he was cut out for the musical
direction the band was taking after their hard-rocking touring
days were over.


Dominic VanAbbe
Subject: Testimonial Winner

Just a few cents (pence): I agree that Ruben Blade's version
is one of the best on the CD.  And Spacehog's "Senses" is
amazing! What the heck is wrong with starting the song with
the chorus. Andy already said that it was a combination of
two entirely different songs pasted together. TMBG's should
be praised for doing the impossible - covering that damn song
and living up to it...go ahead you try it. And...Sarah
McLaughlin's "Dear God". It just seems that her heart is not
really in it. She sings "angry" only when the songs demands
it. When Andy sings it, I truly believe that his heart is on his
sleeve, and he is so passionate about what he is singing.
SM's version puts me to sleep. Oh, end I expect a lot more
from Joe Jackson than that pathetic version of "Statue of

Anyway...agree to disagree I always say.

Should be working,

(The only alternative spelling nobody on Chalkills suggested
to me! I think it means "swift wolf" yea right)


Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:02:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Funk Genie <>
Subject: Pop bands and TVT
Message-ID: <>

Just thought I would add my two skints. In reply to Ken Herbst post about
pop bands, The Wannadies song on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack was one
of the best songs I have heard in a long time. It always makes me happy to
find a good pop band, which is why I highly recommend Jump, Little
Children. Jump,Little Children is an American pop band from North
Carolina and I am just amazed by them. You'll probably have to order their
new album "Magazine"- unless you're in the southeast region of the
states-but it is well worth it!
As for XTC and TVT: I certainly hope the Andy and Co have a better
experience than other bands that were with TVT. There seems to be an
ongoing exodus of bands from the label, most recently KMFDM and sister
machine gun. Apparently they aren't the nicest people to work for.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:06:53 -0400
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: The interview's out and about...

Andy, of course.

The November issue of _Modern Drummer_, which has Billy Cobham on the
cover and contains an interview with Mr. P, has hit the stands, so run
to your nearest music retailer and buy yerself a copy to show MD's
ignorant editors that Andy Partridge does indeed sell magazines, even
if they think an interview with him doesn't rate a mention on the
cover. Hrumph.

Overall, the piece is okay, though they chopped away at it, and no
writer likes having his (purple and) precious prose pared down. But
I've been on the other side of the fence enough to understand. The
editors do show off their Americacentrism by mentioning TVT (I told
them  when the deal was signed, but they got it slightly wrong -- they
imply that XTC has been recording for TVT for some time now) and
ignoring Cooking Vinyl or Idea Records, and they've taken away some
details in the interview that I thought conveyed Andy's wit, but in
the end I think the interview as it's been published will still be a
good way of introducing the magazine's readership (some 200,000
strong) to the band. They retained my plug at the end of the article
for Chalkhills (at the expense of my bio!) and also kept my mention of
the new book, so I hope we'll get some new traffic on the site and
sell some additional copies of the book (and upcoming albums).

If you want to see the intro as I submitted it to MD, along with an
expanded version of the interview, go to  Thanks again
to Mr. Relph for letting me post it there unfettered by the space
constraints of the printed page.

As far as Peter F.'s plea for publicity goes, does anyone know anyone
at _Musician_ magazine, or any other magazines that cater to
musicians, esp. guitarists and bassists? I think that would be our
best chance of preaching to a receptive audience, and the magazines
might be more inclined to print a review of the book, since it's
obviously geared toward obsessive fans (a high proportion of whom are

Still waiting for my pre-ordered copy from Amazon...


Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 16:56:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Costello/Bacharach
From: (pancho1)
Message-ID: <19980915204240.AAA76452@[]>

Hey Chalkhillers,

I am delurking thanks to the recent email from Amazon with news that my XTC
book is in the mail! Rah, rah!

To jason

>My dad told me he did an album with Burt Bacharach.  Too bad Sinatra's
>dead;  I could see him and Costello getting together.

 I think the Costello/Bacharach album is either recently out or soon to be.
My brother informed me that they are doing a 5-6 city tour with a 40 piece
I also remember reading that Costello really wanted Sinatra to sing "Almost
Blue" but the now deceased crooner rejected his request. Chet Baker did do a
great version that can be seen in a biodocumentary called Let's Get Lost
that an apparently unsuspecting Costello first heard when watching the
Oh, and I really enjoyed Chalkhills Children. Pure Pop for Then People!
Sort of like getting invited to lots of people's living rooms to hear their
songs. Oh and the bands They Might Be Friedman and Sherwoodi Politti
(semiotic rock) included as well ;).....can't be beat!
Well, be well all. Puerto Rico continues to exist without the cultural
experience that is Xtc.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 23:13:05 +0200
From: Patrick Bourcier <>
Organization: Lumiere
Subject: Lumiere and the light is on !

Hi, Crayonneurs des Collines !
I'm very very HAPPY to announce the real  opening of the website :

"Lumiere : Le Respectable Site sur XTC"

Yes, yes ... I know it takes a long long time. But now, the site is born
and the baby will grow !

Yes, yes .. I know it's in french (95%), a bit in english (4%) and the
rest in 'Pidgin english' (1%).

All remarks and comments are welcome !!

Enjoy !

Lumierly yours,

Patrick from Lumiere


Message-Id: <v04003a09b2245287518c@[]>
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: almost forgot a great disc I should recommend
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 17:30:31 -0600

Please forgive the quick-draw emails, but I just remembered a tremendous CD
that came out last year by a supremely under-promoted talent. It is the
eponymously titled, David Ryan Harris, released and neglected by Columbia.

Think of him as Lenny Kravitz without the cliches, Seal with the melodic
sensibilities of a Paul Weller and the lyrical power of A.P.  Even these
kudos are imprecise and limiting. He truly has his own unique style.

Bbe kind to yourself, and go check this disc out: David Ryan Harris.

I have a strong hunch that XTC'ers will really like him :)

-- Ken H.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 20:33:56 EDT
Subject: My book has arrived!

Run to your local bookstore and grab yourself a copy of Song Stories PRONTO.
It is fabulous. I loved reading the stories of how the songs unfolded, and
Neville's anecdotes on what was going on around the world during certain XTC
events was a great touch. (Not to mention a few lines about The Unmentionable
Band thrown in.)

BTW-Incredible shot of a long-haired, 18-year old Andy. I have one word to say
about it-DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!

XTC song of the day-Omnibus
non-XTC song-Sistinas-Danzig


Message-ID: <>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: a series of letters to Dear God?
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 15:55:38 -0500

It is with much trepidation that I reopen the
festering wound that is the verboten "Dear God"
discussion thread.  I don't want to start another
religious debate, nor do I wish to second guess
Mr. Partridge's personal spiritual beliefs.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, as it were --
"Dear God" is the most fun and the most compelling
of all XTC songs to deconstruct.  It is a seduction I
cannot control.  So here's my latest thought on this
song, and I thank you for your indulgence:

I've begun to think of this song as representing NOT
JUST ONE, but a SERIES of letters to God (whether or
not "He" exists is NOT the issue).  The character singing
the song has written these letters over the course of a
lifetime--as a little kid, and later as an adult.

I welcome your comments on this. I ask that you
try to limit your comments to this very narrow issue.

Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 22:55:53 +0100
From: Jon Holden-Dye <>
Subject: Contacting Little Express

June (and Peter ?), the Little Express crew, do not seem to be "wired"
(no published e-mail address, no URL, etc.). I've had a request, from
June (enclosed with Issue 42 of L.E.), to find out some information
local to me. I've got a whole bunch of blurb, nearly all Web sites (I've
saved what I can as text files, so I could insert it into an e-mail).
Does ANYBODY have ANY idea how to contact them electronically ? If so,
please e-mail me privately.
Jon Holden-Dye
"I like to keep an open mind - but
not so open my brain falls out." (Anon.)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 12:03:43 -0400
Subject: The Nines

Hello folks;

I was listening to a newly-acquired CD called "The Wonderworld of
Colourful" by a group called the Nines.  There's a bunch of good songs on
the CD, but I'm writing about 2 of them in particular.  These 2 songs win
my nomination for "Best XTC Songs not written by, played by, or probably
ever heard by the band XTC".   In other words, these guys have the XTC
sound down cold on these 2 numbers.

The songs are called "Ghost Town Sunday" and "Free of It All", and from a
melody standpoint, arrangements and harmonies, it might as well be our
heroes singing these songs.  I find it uncanny. Is anyone else out there
familiar with this CD?  I'd like your opinions.

Which leads me to ask:  are there any other songs that list members can
think of that are virtual carbon-copies of the XTC "sound" by groups other
than XTC, The Three Wise Men, or Terry and the Lovemen?



End of Chalkhills Digest #4-135

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