Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-19

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 19

                Thursday, 30 October 1997

Today's Topics:

                    He Takes the Pills
       An Apology to Amanda and Andy's Alliteration
                   Burt Bacharach Live!
                   Campaign for vinyl.
              "Sessions at West 54th"-YES!!
                     Church of Chalk
             Out of the black, Into the blue
         Middle earth middle eight middle muddle
                   I've changed my mind
                   Re: Frank sings XTC
                  Hail Bridge Hail Wheel
              Re: Self Indulgent Guitarists
                      Oooooh, Frank!
                        XTC books
                    Our New Beginning
                XTC as Live as We Wanna Be
                 Give peace a chance....
             Letterman video - King for a Day
                      song structure
               (Middle) 8 Bar Phallus Blues
                  Re: Oranges and Lemons
                   Piggy In The MIddle


WARNING: This digest contains yet another posting about the sonic
advantages of vinyl records over compact discs.  Know ye that this
is a religious issue and intense flame wars can develop.  If you
wish to discuss the relative pros and cons of vinyl versus compact
discs, please take it to private e-mail.  Thank you.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Make your Union Jack and make your flag unfurl.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: He Takes the Pills
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 18:25:12 -0500

>From: Natalie Jacobs <>
>Subject: "Bad Zoot! Bad, naughty Zoot!"
>Kekkone in dusky Finland says,
>>(Another question is, can we ever know the "true" intentions of an
>>artist, or indeed, should we deduce intentions from a work of art. This
>>is the "intentional fallacy" Natalie J. once brought up and maybe could
>>elaborate on... )
>An artist might say, "I wrote this song because I was embittered
>about the Great Pumpkin Massacre of 1852," but maybe she's lying, or maybe
>she forgot her original intention, or wasn't aware of it in the first
>place.  And artists *are* notorious liars...

Ah, but songs *aren't,* and that's the crux of the biscuit.

Mea culpa--I'm guilty of imprecision: I'm not arguing that we must
necessarily know the artist's motivations in order to understand the
song. Nor do I think that a song is a kind of puzzle, there for us to
guess at the artist's intent from Clues and Hidden Meanings contained
within it. You're all quite right: Thinking in this way is futile, and
moreover presumptuous.

What I've been trying to get at is this: unless the composer offers
insight into something true and genuine and real to us through the song,
the song is Not Good. _There's_ where the Intentionality Test comes into
play. It's not a criterion for the listener; it's for the composer.

You can lie all you want in a song, but all you'll get is a song full of

Given enough time, sensitive people of goodwill and intelligence and
discrimination are pretty good at detecting falsehood and bad faith in
art, even if a toe-tapping groove and a kicky little guitar riff make it
immediately appealing. History bears this out: The music that has
survived over time has been tested and found worthy by generations of
pretty smart people. (Although to this day I *still* don't get Chopin,
who seems to me the nineteenth century's answer to Queen. And yes,
that'd be an example of me being dogmatic and opinionated. Tell me
something I don't know.)

>Maybe that
>Beach Boys song Harrison mentioned *isn't* a heartfelt outpouring of
>emotion - maybe Brian Wilson was just trying to impress a girl or sell a
>lot of records.

And I contend that if that *was* his intent, he wouldn't have come up
with "In My Room." ("Little Deuce Coupe," maybe!) The song itself would
betray him.

>When I think about the middle eight, I immediately think of the Beatles.

I think of Oiving Berlin waving a straw skimmer in the air and limning a
buck-and-wing while wearing the ugliest pants history has ever known. I
think of ice cream socials and pincurls, I think of cast-iron Art
Nouveau chairs, I think of marinading an OEM tranny in Adolph's Meat
Tenderizer (now with Mesquite Flavor!) somewhere in the Science Building
of Parlous State University, Wyo., I think of sweeping lawns,
professionally dappled, I think of a four-course meal at my favorite
restaurant--Duke "Gastric" Lavaggio's just off Michigan and Balboa, I
think I need my mommy take the pills Harrison take the pills

>Lennon writes
>this amazing frigging incomplete song and McCartney listens for a bit, sits
>down at the piano and intones "Woke up, got out of bed,...

My favorite story in this line: Macca is showing song-in-progress to
George M. in the course of recording "Sgt. Pepper." Lennon, unnoticed,
has slipped in at the other end of the studio, and is listening to this
song, which he's hearing for the first time. Macca gets to the verse:
"'s getting better all the time...." Lennon pipes up from across
the room, "Can't get much worse!" It stays.

Sorta sums the two of them up in a neat little package. If It Didn't
Happen It Should Have(tm).

(Anybody ever comment on the similarity between the opening strains of
"Getting Better" and "Ball and Chain"? I'm sure it's a "quote" thing,
not a "ripoff" thing.)

>The typical exec would say,
>"Pop songs are supposed to go ABABCAB, and yours go ABCABDABECAB, etc".  In
>other words, pop is supposed to be simple, and the theory is that the pop
>audience can't digest complex song structures.

Am I turning into a horrible hidebound old curmudgeon, or is it the
general observation that a lot of the songs we hear these days have a
structure that can be summarized thus:


Harrison  "I don't care what critix say/The best songs go ABBA" Sherwood


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 09:34:50 +0000
Subject: An Apology to Amanda and Andy's Alliteration

Amanda - i'm genuinely sorry and ashamed of what i posted before.
No-one deserves to be slapped in the face with that kind of
disrespect for just voicing their own opinions.  I apologise for
doing it in such an especially nasty way.  I don't expect you to
forgive me, but i'll respect your right to post just as much as
anyone else.  I hope you'll ignore my idiotic rant and continue to
post - after all, if XTC do play from the back of that truck to
support "zoot" i'll expect you to be pressed against the
tailgate, dancing to the music and screaming your head off.  I'll be
next to you in spirit.  :)

On to XTC, which is the reason for this list, after all.

From Skylarking onwards i can notice a sharp increase in Andy's use
of alliteration.  "Cushions Cascade" and "Pearls Perplex" in That
Wave; Then She Appeared offers us the "First Photograph from
Fox-Talbot"; A "Nonsuch net" and "Souless Sequinned Showbiz" moon
appear in "Chalkhills and Children"; the especially lovely "Raincoats
Roll and Tumble Together" as "Scenery Sunlight Shifts"amongst the
"Melting Miracle" play in Ballet for a rainy day.

I know there's many others i can't remember off hand-though.
Does anyone have any other particular favourites?  My vote goes for
Summer's Cauldron which gives the us brilliant "Breathing in the
Boiling Butter" and "Bug in Brandy in this Big Bronze cup", and the
delicious "Copper Chord from August's Organ".


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 19:36:54 -0500
From: Ian C Stewart <>
Organization: AUTOreverse
Subject: Burt Bacharach Live!


I saw Burt Bacharach in concert here in sunny Columbus Ohio on Friday night.
I'm not a huge fan, I never even heard of the guy before AP mentioned him in
damn-near every NONSVCH interview that discussed "Rook".  Decent show.  I
mean, I was surprised they played "Bond Street," really one of the kinkier
songs that wasn't used for the Benny Hill show.  Crazy.

It was when Bacharach was recalling from the stage how he just finished
writing an album with Elvis Costello that I was reminded of AP saying a
few years back that he wanted to do an album with no guitars or
drums--just him and an orchestra---but that Elvis Costello had beaten
him to it, and it would look like XTC were copying him if they did it
now.  I mean... I can't really see the Master Of Cheese writing with
Herr Partridge, but... stranger shit has happened, you know?  AP writing
with Cathy Dennis mainly.  XTC beaten to the punch!  Haaaaaaa.

Ian "no, I don't have anymore SKYLACKINGs" Stewart


Message-Id: <v01510101b07cd5d03dd4@[]>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 14:21:41 +0200
From: (Per Aronsson)
Subject: Campaign for vinyl.

LP:s sounds better than CD:s. The reason is that the CD-format from the
beginning isn't good enough. You dont get the same bottom and higts as with

When you listen to a good vinylrig, you just get in to music. I can listen
for hours and hours. Just this morning I spent some great time with English
Settlement, Nonsuch and Orange & Lemons.

But when you are listening to CD:s, now matter how good the machines are,
it isn't the same thing. (Listeningfatigue is the audiophileterm, I think.)
I for one starts reading magasines or just push the off-button when the CD
is spinning.

Why talking about this? Well, I dont know how it should work, but I hope
that someone out there that knows the band let them know that vinyl is
alive. And that we are many that hopes that the new album also should be
available on vinyl.

Talking about vinyl. I have lots ot items that I am willing to trade:

7-singles: Love At first Sight, Canada. Earn Enough For Us, Australia promo.
To Many Cooks in The Kithcen (The Colonel). Thanks For Christmas (Three
Wise Men). Bags Of Fun With Buster (Johnny Jap hand His Jesticles).

12-single: Great Fire, US Promo. LP: Live And More, Japan. Cassettes: Jules
Vernes Sketchbook and The Bull With The Golden Guts. (Yes, the originals.)

Please e-mail if you have any rare items that you dont need... I am amongst
others looking for Science Friction, Austraila and Andys christmas
greetings om a Geffen-CD.

Per Aronsson


Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 19:52:35 -0500
Subject: "Sessions at West 54th"-YES!!
Message-ID: <>


A tip of the cyber-hat to Michael Kearns-XTC on "Sessions" seems like a
perfect fit, doesn't it? A relatively small audience for a taped show and
a decent amount of exposure for the band. I would imagine that a pretty
wide cross-section of music fans tune into the show, so it might be a way
to showcase their talents to new group of people. I'm gonna surf over to
the PBS web site and see if I can plant a seed. It would be a gas to see
it happen.

Peace (please!),


P.S.- I was spell-checking this post and the spell-checker program
suggested replacing "gonna" with "gonad"....Buster perhaps? Later, folks.


Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 22:14:51 -0800 (PST)
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Church of Chalk

No cheese in these hills, Gromit!

Pete <>, secluded on a mountaintop, wrote:
>I've never heard the term 'middle 8' in my 23 years of playing music.

Whoa!  Where were you?  Actually, I've heard the term "middle eight"
much more often concerning Tin Pan Alley standards, swing, and jazz
songs than I have concerning rock songs.  Where's the bridge?

Simon Sleightholm <> wrote, via his wretched IE:
>Apologies to all for the duplication of two large posts of mine in a recent
>digest, I did notify Mr Relph of the screw up but my mail musn't have
>reached him in time.

I never received a personal mail from you, late or otherwise.
So it goes.

John <> asks:
>However, does anyone else think that the "A" melody in
>Bumper Cars is a close relative of the "A" melody from Happy

Yes, I've been thinking that all along.  But I think "Bumper Cars" is
a much more hummable tune.  All I have to do is see those two words
and those cars are off again banging together in my head.  (Slight
innuendo intended.)

p@ul <> asks:
>How about some judicial editing of
>posts that contain personal, vitriolic attacks, John?

I will almost never edit posts.  However, if I receive any more
vitriolic personal attacks in the guise of Chalkhills posts, I will
reject the postings.  I will notify the poster, and that person can
reconsider, and repost as necessary.  So be warned.

Randy Posynick <> wrote:
>I'm glad that Prairie
>Prince has been recruited.  I think his contributions on "Skylarking" are
>great, as is his work with The Tubes.

Agreed.  I have always liked his drumming, right from the first Tubes
album.  Yes, I bought that album soon after its release.  Their third
is the best, and of course Todd Rundgren produced their _Remote Control_.

>Personally, I was hoping for George Hurley.  Stop laughing, Relph!

It's a funny thought, indeed, but I think he could do it.  But I doubt
he would want to, so I can't laugh too hard.  Is George actually
drumming these days?  I loved the drum tone on _Double Nickels on the

>Re: Introduction by I.Q. vs. Age

Actually, perhaps it should be I.Q. multiplied by age.  You young
whippersnappers should show us old fogeys some respect.

John H. Hedges III <> wrote:
>I would just like to state, publicly, for the record, that while I have been
>playing the guitar for over 25 years, including numerous "solos" during that
>time, I have never once had an auto-erotic impulse or other sexual reaction
>while playing one.

I must admit that in 25 years of playing guitar I have, in fact, used
my musical instrument to try to pick up women.  Or perhaps it was just
the fact that I was "on stage".  But there you go.

>Now I can't speak for Andy or Dave, but I suspect they, too, would be
>unlikely to treat a stringed instrument (no matter how phallic in
>appearance) as a sex object.

Agreed, but they would also admit that they wanted to attract women in
their younger days.  At least, Andy has admitted as much.  The free
beer was good, too.

Erich Walther <> asks:
>Anyone tried to play a guitar solo with one hand?

Left or right?

gregory <> asks:
>Dave in San Francisco, re: "Bumper Cars":
>>I'm at a loss to understand why no one, besides the two of us, seems to
>like it.<
>Do I make that three of us?

At least four of us.

Troy Peters <> asks:
>2) Listening to the "Acoustic Radio Tour" tape of the Letterman
>performance of "King for a Day," I wondered:  Who played what?  For
>those of you with the videotape, could you enlighten the rest of us?  It
>sounds like good old Paul S. wailing on the keyboards, but my main
>question is whether the bass is, as I suspect, Will Lee.  Did Colin
>*just* sing, or sing *and* play guitar, or sing *and* play bass?

Both Will Lee and Colin Moulding played bass.  If you'll listen
closely, you'll hear the low underpinning bassline played by Mr. Lee,
and the high "blues riff" bassline played by Mr. Moulding.  Yes, it's
our esteemed Mr. Shaffer missing notes on the keys.  Andy wears the
tall white hat.

Yours in JHB,

	-- John

Chalk is church, cheese is chapel.


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 02:55:24 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Out of the black, Into the blue

Using the word 'lurker' sounds sounds creepy, so I'll just refer to myself
as an interested bystander finally caught up in the conversation.  After
subscribing a few months ago, I've learned I have much in common with many
of the 'Hillians' (and not so much with others).  Overall, I think I am just
about as excited as all about next year's offering.

Not to sound to drippy, but a little background on my first XTC 'X'posure...
In my mid teens, watching a pre-MTV very early Sunday morning music video
show (about 2 a.m. I think) I was awakened from my daze by a fantastic drum
beat, guitar and.... whistling!?
What was this? - I had to find it!  After about 2 days of asking in every
record store I could find, I finally got my copy of Black Sea - and played
Generals and Majors so many times, I had to buy a fresh copy.

Flash forward a number of mumbled years... now I find a place on the 'net
where I can 'partake' in all the news about one of my fav bands.  How cool
is that!?

Anyway, I never have been a tremendous collector, but all this talk of demos
has me curious.  Is there one set of demos floating around or are there
smaller sets that are being pieced together by all?

BTW- For any interested, Chumbawamba came through here last night (Chicago)
and had a fantastic show.  It's good to see bands having fun again.

Lurker no more,
Cheers, David
(sometimes goes by Spanky)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 00:06:29 -0800
Subject: Middle earth middle eight middle muddle

Been watching for a while saw something harmless and kinda interesting to
respond too!
Just came back from New Hampshire (I reside in LA) a day late and one cd
short it seems. Didn't make the Lechmere sale,but hey, my sister still
lives there so......?ha ha..Thanks for Christmas?
Now about this middle eight thing...
I first heard the term middle eight in the sixties.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney used the term to define that part of a song
which is slightly/wildly different from the rest of the song but somehow
fits and helps it from being a boring old verse- chorus- verse- chorus
-out- type of song.
Lets say for example Day in a Life the part , "woke up fell out of bed..."
that is known as a middle eight.
In Mayor of Simpleton it would be "I'm not proud of the fact that I never
learned much.......etc.
In the book Lennon Remembers he refers to "the middle eight" often.
If memory serves he used "Girl" to explain. The part that goes " she's the
kind of girl who puts you down...titititititititit....ect.
Good to hear things seem to be moving forward on a new record.
I don't know another word for "pre-chorus" but can any one tell me another
word for thesaurus.
(insert your favorite lyric here)
John Murphy


Date: 30 Oct 1997 08:50:13 +0000
Subject: I've changed my mind
Message-Id: <00031D2700000004*@MHS>

Hey you're all right and I'm wrong. Oasis are crap.
They're not "original", all their songs sound just
like The Beatles, for example "Wonderwall" is not
a heartfelt love/tribute song written by Liam for
his wife,it's a blatant copy of that famous song
err,ummm (perhaps someone can help me out on this).
Take "Champagne Supernova", you only have to re-arrange
the letters, add some and take some away and you get
"let it be".

I've also just found out that my favourite country singer
George Jones doesn't write his own songs. All these years
he's been playing with my emotions using somebody else's
words. "From strangers, to lovers, to freinds" now means
nothing to me. How can Jones be sincere if the songs he
sings are not from his own soul? George Jones is a
talentless fake and should be exposed. Anybody wants my
George Jones collection they can have it.

Oh my god it gets worse, in his sleeve notes to "Trust"
Elvis Costello says he based "25 o'clock" entirely on a
David Bowie song - he's a fake too.

I must also apologise for accusing Brian Wilson of
being a Chuck Berry rip-off merchant. He's a tortured
genius. Any similarity between The Beach Boys and Chuck
Berry is purely co-incidental.

Thank you Chalkhillians for putting me straight, I feel

XTC content
Maybe it's been done before (somebody stop me) but
how about a "worst of XTC" top 10. Obviously the
No. 1 should be the worst song and from then on
the songs should get progressively better.
Mail me privately and I'll post my findings.

Gary "back on message" Dean.

	[ The previous posting was sarcasm.  Ignore it. -- Ed. ]


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 08:48:52 +0000
From: JP Nicholls <>
Organization: It came off in my hand, Mum!
Subject: Re: Frank sings XTC said:
> XTC are from Swindon, My older brother has just moved to Swindon,
> last year he went to see Oasis (who I've been defending) at Maine
> road.

Swindon / Oasis trivia -

True fact - when Noel Gallagher was a guitar roadie for the
Inspiral Carpets and they played Swindon Oasis Centre,
he thought "Oasis - great name for a band" and that's how they
got their name.

I saw XTC at the Oasis in about 1980...

JP Nicholls (19 years a Swindon resident, 3 years a Chalkhills resident)

P.S.  We're impressed with your brother's commitment to the band...


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 06:59:57 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Hail Bridge Hail Wheel

>XTC's songs don't always
>conform to this, but to take, say "Senses Working Overtime":  the "hey
>hey, the clouds are whey..." bits would be the verse, and obviously the
>"1-2-3-4-5.." bit is the chorus, but "And all the world is football-
>shaped..." I would consider the bridge.  I think the "middle eight" is
>sort of an antiquated term that in the old days of rock 'n' roll
>referred to the part, in the middle, where the guitarist would solo..

  A bit of reinventing the wheel here, huh? "And all the world..."would be
the pre-chorus. The bridge never precedes the chorus. The bridge would be
the part with the infamous line "And busses might skid on black ice." It
almost always comes in after at least two verses and choruses and provides
contrast and variety. For me what seperates the great songwriters from the
merely good ones is their ability to write an effective bridge. It's one of
the biggest challenges in pop songwriting; so many go verse, chorus, verse,
chorus, guitar solo, maybe another verse, chorus, then out. Or they might
try to stick in a bridge as an afterthought, and it shows. After writing
several hundred songs myself, I have maybe ten that I could see stacking
against the best that's out there, and I don't take credit for those; I must
have had a higher power of some sort help out, becuase they just seemed to
write themselves.

  Colin's written some good bridges too, but he's not as consistent as Andy,
too often he'll fall victim to verse/chorus/verse/chorus. One good one from
him is in "King For A Day," though, so I know he's got it in him. Another
great non-XTC bridge writer is Neil Finn of Crowded House, such as "World
Where You Live" off their first album. Sheer pop genius!


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 07:00:31 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Self Indulgent Guitarists

>Why does it seem only guitarists are so often being singled out (in this and
>other forums) for being "self indulgent" or "masturbatory" by dint of
>composing or improvising an extended solo, yet a singer can go on for
>several entire verses, choruses and a middle eight and never be accused of
>not serving the song? Is the human voice not an "instrument" of sorts?

  There's keyboardists who are equally guilty of being "masturbatory."(Take a
bow, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman)That's a danger when you mix classical
music with pop/rock. Though the result can also be Procol Harum or Genesis,
who are more stately and draw from the church rather than the conservatory.
The human voice, on the other hand, Bobby McFerrin excepted, is rarely used
as a soloing instrument in a pop music context. The voice is there to sing
the lyrics, unless they can find a way for a guitar to do that too.


Message-ID: <>
From: Catherine Sweeney <>
Subject: Oooooh, Frank!
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 12:02:31 -0000

> wrote <Does anybody know if Frank recorded his tribute to

I don't know.  But the mere remembrance of Frank Sidebottom made me go
weak with delight.  He was on Cable TV the other night pretending to be
Darth Vader.


If a Frank tribute to XTC does exist, and anyone knows where it is, I
want to know too.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 08:31:18 -0800
From: "Raul Escudero Jr." <>
Subject: XTC books

All this talk about the new upcoming book on XTC and their songs has me
wondering if there are any other XTC books out there worth getting. I've
never had the pleasure of reading much on our favorite band.

Thanks in advance,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 09:13:38 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: Our New Beginning

Chalkhillians, will you still love a man out of time?

The last Chalkhills (4-18) was wonderfully flame free. Thank you,
John...You're the best moderator in all of cyberspace.

I'm so excited about the new XTC album, I stood in line for the new
Phish album. Let me explain: our local music store was having a 12
midnight sale (on Monday/Tuesday) of the new live Phish CD, which
includes a spectacular version of the superb Talking Heads song,
"Cities." I walked down there, in the freezing cold, with my friends
Jill and Laurie (who bears a striking resemblance to Laurie Anderson, by
the way) and stood in line with about 50-80 other Brunswickians. I
wanted to ask them if they had a copy of the 04/29/87 show, but the
first one I went up to asked me if I had a pipe...Ooh. Bad call. Anyway,
I bought the Phish CD ($11!) and walked back to school, cracking it open
along the way.

Jill asked me what I was doing.

"Taking in the new CD smell!" I replied.

Then, I proceeded to tell them about the new XTC album (because it was the
same day in which I had heard that Prairie Prince would be drumming), and
the discussion on Chalkhills about "new CD smell." They laughed, which could
mean they thought it was funny, or they thought I was crazy.

The latter, I suppose.


XTC SONG OF THE DAY: Across this Antheap
LISTENING TO: Elvis Costello, "Town Crier"

* ----------------------------------------------- *
B e n   G o t t          ::         Bowdoin College  ::          (207) 721-5142
* ----------------------------------------------- *


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 10:05:56 -0500 (EST)
From: Sean Hennessey <>
Subject: XTC as Live as We Wanna Be
Message-ID: <>

Hallo yet again,

<< They were a cruddy live band. (Hold it, put down that brick and
listen for a sec.) Judging from live footage, Andy is spastic and the
others are constipated. Colin always looks like he'd rather be having
unnecessary root canal work than be playing live. While the musicianship
was consistently good, they didn't project well. They didn't communicate
well to the audience (who if you'll notice, generally stood rigid with a
perplexed look of "should we be dancing or laying down?"). The
storyteller aspect was lacking. Compare to the Police, mock rivals at
the time. Sting was a far more successful "performer" and connected well
with the great ocean of people swarming around him. Actually XTC as a
live band is a great metaphor for their post-concert music. They don't
reach out to include you. You have to enter their world and investigate,
armed with headphones and a lyric sheet, and frequently an encyclopedia.>>

Now, no brick in hand here, but I've just got to beg to differ.  No, I've
never seen the live, but I have heard numerous boots and seen various live
footage.  While maybe they didn't put on a carnival, who says that a band
has to become a cabaret act?  Just take a look at the Urrgh! A Music War
footage and tell me that the band is not captivating.  Yes, Andy's
spastic, yes he's yelling rather than singing (and yes, his throat is
blown), yes Colin doesn't dance about wildly, but who cares.  The version
of Respectable Street is electric (and superior in many ways to the
recorded version) and the 'spasticity' of Andy's looks, prowlis and yells
just adds to the overall overwraught magic of it.  Let's also not forget
that this was 'post-punk' time, and they were sparkling kings of the New
Wave Live Appearance.

Finally, a boot of their appearance at the Paradise in Boston, which has
become my favourite XTC 'album', shows them to be an amazingly tight,
inventive, and, well er, rocking live band.  I've *never* heard a band so
brilliant in a live setting, whether on boot or not (and I might add that
I tend to shun boots as I usually find live music to be, well, better in
the moment then afterwards).

tara - Sean

                  Sean Hennessey, President of the Boston Reds,
                an 'unoffical' Manchester United Supporters' Club
               email:       *Bassist: Slippy Keane*


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 10:22:48 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Give peace a chance....
Message-id: <>

And it has been. Thank you John for stepping in....don't mean this to sound
like anything, but IT'S ABOUT TIME! :)

And now, before I click into XTC mode, I must ask...who caught the South
Park Halloween special last night? "Oh my God, I killed Kenny! You bastard!"

And now, rrrrrrrrrresponses......

Joshua-actually, I believe the Insane Clown Posse's album was yanked the
same day it was released. I don't see what the big deal is, there are far
worse bands than that.
The guitar on Yacht Dance is great. That nylon strung Spanish guitar Dave
plays has a great sound to it.

Cool beans about Prairie Prince being the next drummer. Let's hope the sound
quality is better so that we can actually HEAR the drums, unlike on

Rob-Andy....BIG BIRD???? Oh no no...he sounds more like Ernie to me. I can
just see him in the bubble bath "Rubber Ducky you're the one....."
Cruddy live band-To a certain degree, I agree with you. Mind you, I've never
seen XTC actually live, but I have plenty of video of live shows. I guess I
miss a certain aspect of it just seeing it on tv, but Andy could be VERY
spastic at times. Rockpalast was a time when they all looked like they
wanted to go somewhere else. Colin just didn't put anything into his
performance, I think Andy had a bit too much to drink, and Dave looked like
he was in pain sometimes. (But many people in LE say that Dave looked great
onstage while touring with Aimee Mann.....) However, there was a show
in....was it Holland, I think, in either 1980 that they did, and it was
great. It was kinda weird too, by the end of the show Andy and Colin looked
like they'd just gotten dressed, all nice and neat, then you look at Dave
and he's just sweating his head off. I think Dave put the most energy into
the shows, honestly.  MOS video_Dave has ALWAYS looked stupidly happy in XTC
vids. Want a great example, watch Life Begins At the Hop. He jumps around
the whole time with this goofy smile on his face. He evn cracks a smile or
two in All of a Sudden. He's just a happy guy, I guess.

Stephen-Yes, let's hope Neville's book goes into MUCH greater detail. If
there's one thing that bugged me about Chris' book, it was that it just
glossed over certain areas, such as (yes, another refernce to YOU KNOW WHO)
Dave's diabetes. There were...I think three paragraphs total about it. This
disease altered his life completely, and there was no word from Dave himself
about it.  I wanted to know how he dealt with it, what did he have to change
about himself, etc. No, we just get a comment about going through customs
with syringes. And I know it might've been painful to talk about, but it
also glossedover Colin's affair in 1979, it almost felt like it was being
treated as no big deal, everyone does it at least once.  And yes, 'twould be
nice to hear a lot more on Ian Reid and his swindling of the band.

XTC in Burger King commercials-Well, at least they can collect some sort of
royalties, can't they?

Kelly-"If I have to stop this post one more time....." ROTFLMAO!

Howzabout we talk about the best song to listen to while driving on a really
dark, deserted road late at night. I pick either The Somnambulist, cranked
as high as it will go, or Travels In Nihilon, also at maximum volume.

Paul-Work towards whirled peas, and stop the violins.

Album title-Let's get Monty Python-"Rotten English Kennigits" (Spelling?)

(Damn I need a spellchecker.) There is also another bassist to help Colin
out, but Colin IS playing the bass.

Guitar solo-For some strange reason, the solo from Hold Me My Daddy always
perked my ears up. Dunno why.......

That's all for now, till next time,

Keep your eye on the sammich....9those of you who haven't seen MST3K's
version of "Mitchell" will not get that one.)

Amanda Caryl Owens
XTC song of the day-Beatown
non XTC-Voices Carry-Til Tuesday (I'll leave that one up to you.)


Message-ID: <>
From: "Miller, Ed" <>
Subject: Letterman video - King for a Day
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 10:09:09 -0700

 Troy Peters wrote:
    2) Listening to the "Acoustic Radio Tour" tape of the Letterman
    performance of "King for a Day," I wondered:  Who played what?  For
    those of you with the videotape, could you enlighten the rest of us?  It
    sounds like good old Paul S. wailing on the keyboards, but my main
    question is whether the bass is, as I suspect, Will Lee.  Did Colin
    *just* sing, or sing *and* play guitar, or sing *and* play bass?

Colin played bass and Andy and Dave did the guitar work.  Shafer did the
keys, with Anton Figg on drums.  Can't remember what Sid did... acoustic
gtr maybe???

Will Lee ALSO played bass.  Odd, eh?  I haven't watched it in a while,
but it seems that Colin did most of the low notes, while Will played the
stuff up the neck.  Actually, I thought it was pretty neat...

Also, with regard to the request for info on CC 97.... that would be
cool, Richard.  After Peter's post a few issues back, I'm really excited
to hear the tape.  A little more info would be welcome.

That's it for now....



Message-ID: <>
Date: 30 Oct 1997 11:49:49 -0600
From: "Ken Salaets" <>
Subject: song structure

Pete proffered:  I've never heard the term 'middle 8' in my
23 years of playing music.

Another term for the bridge.  Also, the section of the song
where soloists dabble.  A fairly typical reference in a
blues number, at least where I came from (SoCal).

>> Any songwriting heavies out there?? My questions are:
- Is there any other (more correct?) term than pre-chorus?

Don't claim to be a heavy, but in Nashvegas, we call it a
'build.'  There are other names as well.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 17:23:57 +0000
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: (Middle) 8 Bar Phallus Blues

Hello there,

UK PC users may be interested to know that PC Format magazine has included a
full version of The Music File CDROM as a covermount with its latest issue.
I haven't explored the software fully, but it does contain 48 discography
entries for XTC (singles and albums up to Fossil Fuel) - its main interest
seems to be as a tool for the record collector, ticking off records owned
and flagging others on a wish list. Mojo magazine was involved in the
production of the disc.

And on the middle-8 debate, middle 8 seems to be a purely British expression
and would usually be applied to that bit of the song which is neither verse
nor chorus (nor the linking of the two), it's the "other" element. An
example would be the "And all my servants are leaving..." section of "Train
Running Low", a musical phrase of which a certain Mr Dave Gregory said "The
_middle_eight_ of Train Running Low is one of the best things Andy's ever

The reason I equated it with the "bridge" (oh why didn't I just keep my
fingers still?) is that when using the phrase "middle 8" in a message to our
own Becki she was as puzzled as most Americans seem to be by it and we
decided between us that the US term for it was _probably_ the bridge. Which
is why I used the phrase _probably_ in my response to the query in

Pete <> reckons "'And birds might fall from black
skies' would be the bridge" of Senses and that is what, over here, we would
call the middle 8.

Here's what Andy had to say on the subject to Limelight...

LL: Do you always need a middle 8?

Andy: Sometimes it's just put in there to stop the song being ludicrously
short or  because you have a lyrical idea that you want to present and you
can't present in the same old musical style, because the song will start to
deflate. Or you could feel it's time to put in something different: a white
bit to show how black the earlier pieces were, to stop the meal being all
one thing, a little pepper for you to bite. Using the middle-8 - which is
never 8 bars long! - is an excellent contrast device.

LL: What if you don't have anything extra to say? Can it become too
mechanical a formula?

Andy: You've said verse, chorus, verse, chorus, you can then say something
that reflects on what you've said - I'm really sorry, but I didn't mean the
first two verses, but despite that here comes another! Something that
reflects on the previous stuff, something that just trips the listener up at
the point and says, "but I do really mean that," or something that may point
to what you've said and make it a lot sharper. That area about two thirds of
the way through the song, is a great sort of "and now, by way of contrast..."

From: Kelly Nickel <>

>Better yet, in the words of my father: "IF I HAVE TO STOP THIS CAR...".

:D Perfect!

From: "JH3" <>

>Now I can't speak for Andy or Dave, but I suspect they, too, would be
>unlikely to treat a stringed instrument (no matter how phallic in
>appearance) as a sex object.

Depends on how you look at it, Andy's often been quoted saying how he
carried around a guitar at school just to attract girls and has even
gleefully recalled how they'd reach out and "just stroke this wooden

Oh and Mick Casey, can you email me please...?



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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 15:27:18 +0000
From: Carrie Ross <>
Organization: Blackbird Recording Co.
Subject: Re: Oranges and Lemons


I agree with you - O&L in the long run is much stronger then
Skylarking.  Hense the name of this site - "Chalkhills"   :)
BUT, Skylarking is the best conceptual/coherent recordings ever made.
Aren't they great...

Cheesey Poof Kick Ass! - southpark



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 21:08:43 +0000
Subject: Piggy In The MIddle

Dear Chalkers,

Stormy said:
> Perhaps one day, the rest of the world will catch on to XTC,
> the way we did with Van Gogh.
This is my firm belief; i'm really convinced it will happen one day.
I'm just worried that Andy might have to cut of a part of his body or
it will take so long that I won't be around to enjoy it...

During the recent thread regarding the best or worst guitar parts
somebody remarked:

> What does suck is the ending to Garden of Earthly Delights.

I don't agree ( the 'weird' ending perfectly fits the unearthly
atmosphere of the song ) but i have often wondered why _this_ song
in particular was chosen as the opening track for the O&L album.
And i don't think it's as strong and attention grabbing as most of
the other album openers.

Hey, instead of slinging mud at each other maybe we should start a
new thread on this... what's the best (or worst) album opener ?
In my opinion Respectable Street is the best (so far). The strange
noises, the thrashing guitar and finally the band kicking in make you
sit up and pay attention. And it sets the tone for the entire album.

yours in a trench,
Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @


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