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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-21


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 21

                Wednesday, 5 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                       It's a Boy!!
    Address change; Hurray for Prairie Prince on heads
              And The Winning Drummer Is...
                         Drummers
              Prarie Prince and peppermints
               Write a little note, boys...
                  no xtc content, sorry!
                      Ball and Elvis
                   RE: Swindon Bridges
                   French Trumpet Solo
Nudge nudge, wink wink, arf arf, whack whack, say no more...
                George Hurley, local dude
Producer, Prince, Pat, Parallels, Pumpkinhead, and Problem
                   'Zoot' & its budget
                JASON and the ARGUE NOT!!!
                   Sacrificial Bonfire
              Re: All of a Sudden (it ends)
                      Re: Ten Worst
                       SON OF ZOOT
                      Middle eight.
                  No! Not Bill Berry!!!
                  French Trombone Solo?
                       pre-cussions
                   the human instrument
UDA: Black Ice resolved, but what About Absorption, Child

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Chalkhills is digested with Digest 3.5 (John Relph <relph@sgi.com>).

Welcome to a billion Arabian nights.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 23:48:43 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <199711011448.XAA25799@japan.co.jp>
From: mikewix <mikewix@japan.co.jp>
Subject: It's a Boy!!

Hi Chalkaholics!

First of all, a big thank you for everyone on the whole damn list, its been
great reading these past two years...hope to enjoy it for another twenty!

Just wanted to let you all know that my beautiful Japanese wife gave birth
to a 3kg (4lb 8oz?) baby BOY tonight, around 8PM Japan time...healthy and
happy, it seems, all things going well so far...

Obligitory XTC content: Our new son's name is Andrew (purely coincidental,
since my wife said she loves the name Andrew/Andy!  She also knows how much
of an XTC fan I am...but she didn't go for the name Colin-my first
choice!-so...  and "Dave", in Japanese, means "debu" or, "chunky/fat/a bit
overweight"; needless to say, we're going with Andrew on this one!  :-)

A round of beer (Mr. P's favorite, whichever that may be) and symbolic
cigars for the house, for all you Chalkies out there.....on me!!

Most definately ecstatically yours,

Michael W

Song of the Day:  Pink Thing  (too obvious a choice, perhaps?? :-)

------------------------------

From: TBERNHA@columbiaenergy.com
Subject: Address change; Hurray for Prairie Prince on heads
Message-ID: <0017110000660496000002L162*@MHS>
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 15:51:35 -0500

Hi Chalkfriends:

With the permission of our kind moderator, I'd like to first conduct a bit o'
personal business: I'm leaving my current job and start a new job on the
17th. Unfortunately, the proxy server we go through here "masks" the
complete e-mail address of the various people that I've been
corresponding with and want to notify of this, so I'm posting this address
change here (the source of most of my Internet friends, natch) as the
most-efficient way of doing this (thanks for your patience, Relph-san).

So, don't send any more mail to my old address
<tbernha@columbiaenergy.com>; instead, send it to my home address,
<toddjenn@erols.com>.  I'll try and let everyone I write to know my new
business e-mail address once I get there and find out myself.

Now, onto XTCrelated schtuff -- Short of Pete Thomas in the drum throne,
Prairie Prince is just about the best choice XTC could have made, IMO.
He's one of those drummers who have technique out the wazoo but
make it sound simple, and he always serves the song, not his ego. Now
I'm REALLY looking forward to this album!

That's it from me. ByeBye!

--Todd Bernhardt

------------------------------

Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19971101211329.00673b7c@mail.execpc.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 15:13:29 -0600
From: Dean Zemel <dbzemel@execpc.com>
Subject: And The Winning Drummer Is...

Yet another confirmation that Prairie Prince will be the next XTC drummer
comes from the Todd Rundgren AWizard digest:

>In a message dated 10/30/97 3:20:15 PM, MOONSILVER@prodigy.net >wrote:

<<Is it true that Prairie Prince will be pounding the skins on the
upcoming XTC record?>>

>That's the rumour coming out of rehersals for WaT tour, too. He'd be
>headed  for England right after this tour wraps up...

Then came the response from Kelli Richards, who works with Todd and posts
"official" news to the AWizard group:

>Rumor is true -- Prairie confirmed this when we were at rehearsals
>earlier in the week.
>
>FYI,
>Kelli

So there we have it...once and for all?

Stay tuned......

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 13:44:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Randy Posynick <posynick@netcom.com>
Subject: Drummers
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9711011302.A28062-0100000@netcom19>

I wrote:

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

John Relph replied:

>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 Dime_.

George is still living in Pedro and planning on getting married in June.
He and Mike had a falling out over the disbandment of fireHOSE and haven't
talked in a while (notice who wasn't on Mike's album...).  He's gigging
with a band whose name escapes me, but I think you're right: XTC just
wouldn't be his sort of thing!

OK - enough non-XTC stuff....

RP

------------------------------

Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19971102043752.0071c5ac@pop.mindspring.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:37:52 -0600
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <jnesmith@mindspring.com>
Subject: Prarie Prince and peppermints

PCulnane@dca.gov.au did exclaim:

>PS  Prairie Prince eh?  Whooo-hooo - bring on this friggin' album!!!!

Yeah.  This really feels like the initiation of the album to me.  Ladies and
gentlemen, commence salivating!

The inimitable JH3 stated thusly:

>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. Nor have I ever used one as an accessory, toy, or
>"appliance" for sexual purposes.

Well, funny you should say that.  Because Vai has in fact used used the
guitar as a, erm marital aide and admitted as much on public record.  Check
out the Zappa cuts 'Church Chat' and 'Stevie's Spanking' from You Can't Do
That On Stage Anymore vol. 4.
I think of Vai as one of those guys who like music because it makes him feel
tingly.  Like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Please note that by mentioning the RHCP I do not mean to start a thread, as
that would be downright boring.

Erich Walther typed exactly this:

>Prairie Prince again? Good choice, but I still have the fantasy of Terry
>coming back some day.

You know, after someone suggested that Andy told Terry what to play and when
to play it I started thinking.  It really wouldn't surprise me at all.  He
was a more than capable drummer, but I'm certain that his creative
limitations wouldn't work for the present-day XTC.  This is not to say that
I don't still feel as if my car were about to blow apart everytime the last
chorus of 'Are You Recieving Me?' comes around right after the solo, and
Terry lays into the fucking drums like his life was in the balance.

I only know of Prarie Prince's work through Skylarking and selected Tubes
cuts, but he's definately a top-notch drummer that can use the rhythm to
really enhance the feel of a song, and push it through subtle yet creative
means.  Like Jim Keltner.

now playing: Stereolab 'Refried Ectoplasm'
Lookit Meee! rekkids...
http://www.mindspring.com/~jnesmith

------------------------------

Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19971102043803.00725e48@pop.mindspring.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:38:03 -0600
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <jnesmith@mindspring.com>
Subject: Write a little note, boys...

The man they call "Rob Crawford" voiced as follows:
>Possibly sombody can put me straight was to why AP, DG & CM agreed to
>this man (machine) (Gus Dudgeon) producing Nonsuch (I hope it wasn't their
idea)
>though I suppose Virgin may have been to blame.

Well, I don't know if he was their choice.  It's likely that the record
company gave them a list of possibly producers and they picked him.  IMHO,
the Elton John records Gus worked on were some of the best of his carreer.
However, I suspect the reason Gus was chosen was his production on numerous
albums for the Bonzo Dog Band.  A year ago, a friend of mine was involved in
putting together a tribute to the Bonzo's; Mr. Gus Dudgeon was also involved
in the project to some extent.  I have no idea if that project will ever
materialize, but at one point XTC were slated to contribute 'I'm the Urban
Spaceman.'  For reasons unknown, they opted out of the project.  Gus also
produced some records for Manfred Mann.  So the guy's not a total loser.
Slick, maybe, but so is Pet Sounds.

Oh! And I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but I've got a copy of
3d EP right here and it says... Produced and engineered by John
Leckie...tapes 'worked' by Haydn Bendall.  Mr. Bendall officially gets my
approval.  Let the overdubs commence!

CCooli9575@aol.com did stand up and declare:

>  I can't keep quiet on this anymore. Trio is one of the most original bands
>I've ever heard, ---snip-=--

I posted about them a few issues ago declaring my undying love for them.  I
got a couple of replys from others expressing their love of this rare German
commodity.  Since that time, I've bought $60 worth of import Trio CD's from
www.cduniverse.com.  They have the first eponymously titled album (so
good!), a German greatest hits package (with otherwise unavailable
German-language versions of songs like Boom Boom) and a live disk from '82.
Tooralooralooraloo... Is it old or is it new?

now playing: Stereolab 'Refried Ectoplasm'
Lookit Meee! rekkids...
http://www.mindspring.com/~jnesmith

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 16:34:38 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b07b0825c89449e@[139.80.86.42]>
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: no xtc content, sorry!

>Dave reporting for the only state cool enough to have a peninsula ;)

he's could be from Cape Cod, Florida or Alaska. At least two of these
peninsulae are real - but is one of them merely an Aleutian?

>Erich in Ottawa, where El Nino is a cruel joke

A joke in Ottawa? You sould try it down here where we've got nothing a big
ocean getting hot under the collar around us!

>is *that* how you pronounce his name?! to rhyme with "Doomy"?! i would
>have thought it was "Twoh-me". please enlighten me Sir Simon.

apparently - now all we need to know is how to pronounced Sleightholm!

Eagerly awaiting Zoot...

James  "it-sounds-a-bit-like-signal" Dignan

------------------------------

Message-Id: <345C1727.7F149FB6@bowdoin.edu>
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 1997 01:01:15 -0500
From: Loquacious Music <bgott@bowdoin.edu>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: Ball and Elvis

Erasers,

Has anyone noticed the similarity between the first few chords of Elvis
Costello's "The Loved Ones" and "Ball and Chain"?

Someone commented (Kim, I think) that "It's Nearly Africa" sounds too
much like something from "Graceland." The chronology's all off, and,
besides, I think that "Graceland" is one of the best albums of the
1980's.

Bill's quitting REM? Does Mr. Stipe know, or is he too busy telling
himself how wonderful he is? (Respond to me if you want to chat, not to
the list!)

I think that "River of Orchids" would make the perfect opening to the CD
on which Andy plays the kestral. Although it is repetitive, some of us
prefer to call "repetitive" music "minimalist." Philip Glass, anyone?

I think the new album should be called "XTC." Imagine a simple cover --
black, dark blue -- with "XTC" written across the front in some kind of
nice typeface.

I'm so psyched about Prairie Prince drumming, you don't even know...

There! Some new threads to peruse!

Benjermin

* ------------------------------------------ *
B e n   G o t t     ::         Bowdoin College
Telephone           ::          (207) 721-5142
Internet            :: http://www.wp.com/58596
...The more you ignore me, the closer I get...
* ------------------------------------------ *

------------------------------

From: J_ARTECONA@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 10:31:57 -0500
Message-Id: <971102103157.22203960@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU>
Subject: RE: Swindon Bridges

Hey Chalksters,

I have greatly appreciated the info on Bridges, I think I finally get
the point.  And while we are at it, can someone explain: A) the coda,
B) what is the name of the repetitive fade out in many songs (or if
that is the coda) eg the end of Then She Appeared "out of nowhere".

And another observation made with my newfound understanding of the
bridge: I just listened to Nonsuch again, and it seems to me that
there is nary a bridge in the whole thing as opposed to regular doses
of bridges on, say, Black Sea.  Maybe that helps explain why it is my
least favorite XTC album. It is also quite overproduced IMO.

So coda please.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <345C9238.187A@geocities.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 1997 09:46:16 -0500
From: Troy Peters <troypeters@geocities.com>
Subject: French Trumpet Solo

In Chalkhills #4-20, Kevin Keeler wrote:

> Loquacious (prolly spelled *that* wrong) Music wrote:
>
> > I've also always liked the trumpet solo at the end of "My
> > Bird Performs."
>
> Actually, it's a trombone solo.  I remeber those things cuz I used to play
> trombone.  As ugly as it can be, I't's a great instrument when done well.

Sorry, Kevin, the Nonsuch liner notes credit Guy Barker with playing
"Flugelhorns & trumpet solo".  Nobody is listed for trombone.  Much of
the solo is too high to have been played by any trombonist, and the
timbre gives it away -- even the mellow playing of Mr. Barker has a
brighter color than the wider bored trombone would have, especially in
that register.

The solo is especially successful, I think, because of the way it
gradually emerges.  It is in the background for about 30 seconds,
embellishing the texture before it emerges just briefly as the leading
voice in the fadeout.

Troy

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199711020230.SAA07091@mail.eskimo.com>
From: "Matt Keeley" <mrme@eskimo.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 18:30:26 +0000
Subject: Nudge nudge, wink wink, arf arf, whack whack, say no more...

Hello...

> Mr. Relph our wonderful moderator spake thus :
> >>I must admit that in 25 years of playing guitar I have, in fact, used
> >>my musical instrument to try to pick up women.
As an aspiring guitarist and a mediocre keyboardist, I must ask the
question that's been on my mind... So... did it work?  8)

> From: andy.miller@waterstones.co.uk
> Go and find your copy of Punch and Judy. Play it. After the line "Cos who do
> we know dear who acts like that?" does Andy sing "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" or
> "No-wo-wo-one!"?
> Yours, TOTALLY relevant for once, Andy
> PS. I know it says "oh-oh-oh-oh!" (or something) in the lyric archive, but
> I'm not convinced.
I've always heard it as "no-o-o-one", but I could be wrong...
wouldn't be the first time...

> From: david@connors.com (David Friel)
> I'm happy to throw something else in to sweeten the deal (perhaps my
> personal copy of a very rare recording of John Denver whistling Generals &
> Majors in his experimental aircraft just moments before...well, you know -
> truly tasteless, I know).  Please let me know.
Ah, man... as a fan of both XTC and John Denver (to some extent) I
have to say that that was disgusting, uncalled for, and downright
hilarious.

> From: Erich Walther <enrico@fox.nstn.ca>
> Well John, it depends on if your left or right handed, I suppose. I was
> just wondering what the other hand was doing at the time - diddling dials?
The left hand diddlin' now, while the right had go to work...

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

Matt
(who'd like to remind everyone that migranes do, indeed, suck)
Living Through | (ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)
Another        | http://www.eskimo.com/~mrme
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak
Yeah.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19971102043758.00721578@pop.mindspring.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:37:58 -0600
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <jnesmith@mindspring.com>
Subject: George Hurley, local dude

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

who responded:
>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
>Dime_.

Yes, Ol' Fireman Hurley is on the last two albums by the Red Krayola.  Which
is even funnier and more unlikely than Hurley and XTC.
Indeed, the drum sound on 'Double Nickles' is very interesting.  It sounds
wooden (in a good way) and under-produced, which was of course the main
aesthetic of the Minutemen.

now playing: Stereolab 'Refried Ectoplasm'
Lookit Meee! rekkids...
http://www.mindspring.com/~jnesmith

------------------------------

From: BobCrain@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 17:31:39 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <971102154803_784443127@emout11.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Producer, Prince, Pat, Parallels, Pumpkinhead, and Problem

Zoot Allures!

This is my first post, after checking out the digests for a couple of months.
I wanted to see if I could contribute something before adding to the
bandwidth. So, here goes...

Hayden Bendall:

I have to admit to being slightly "disappointed" in the choice of producer
for the new album. The XTC fan in me finds it incredible that top producers
didn't fall all over themselves to work with the boys at a reduced fee.  A
commercial hit would do so much for the band, and I feel some of their best
work has been done with a strong producer who can channel the XTC genius into
mass palatable form. The budget is probably a primary consideration, and this
is understandable. I just hope Idea can afford a REALLY GOOD song plugger to
get the tunes on the radio.

Prarie Prince:

This is a wonderful choice. Maybe he can work with Andy on the packaging. I
was hoping for Pat "Master-lotto," but he's probably too busy with Crimson.

Weirdness:

There are some interesting parallels between XTC and REM in light of recent
events. REM is working with their long-time engineer as producer for their
next album, and just lost a key member of the band in drummer Bill Berry. REM
soldiers on with three, as has XTC since losing Terry. Three letters, three
members. Hmm.

Possibly Ill Advised Comment on an Old Thread:

I remember each time I've heard a new XTC song on the radio, and the
excitement is palpable. Even with "Cherry in Your Tree."  But with so few new
XTC releases, I am denied this kick on as frequent a basis I desire. However,
I remember the time a couple of years ago I was walking in Springfield Mall,
VA, and heard some familiar chords slicing through the PA system directly to
me, accompanied by a similarly familiar harmonica riff. I felt that tingle.
 I grinned.  Other shoppers were apparently untouched by this bolt from
heaven, but I smiled nonstop at each one I passed, before ducking my head in
humility.  A female voice sang, "Peter Pumpkinhead...." I didn't know what
band was delivering to me one of my favorite tunes of the XTC nineties, but I
was grateful. I later found out who the band was, and it raised my respect
for them many notches.

Finally:

There has been some discussion on the "ecstasy" that will greet our unpacking
the new XTC album.  I agree wholeheartedly.  I almost wet my pants when I got
an advance copy of "Nonesuch" on cassette (untitled at the time as far as I
knew).  Check out this XTC musician / fan's solution to the problem of, "What
happens when there's no more new XTC albums to be released?"

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1996/052297/music1.html

* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob Crain: Fan, Musician, and Computer Guy.
- Yeah, baby, YEAH! (The other AP, 1997)
* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 17:44:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Adam Lipkin <alipkin@bu.edu>
Subject: 'Zoot' & its budget
Message-ID: <Pine.A32.3.96.971102173916.114828A-100000@acs5.bu.edu>

'Allo,

To quote the FAQ:

> XTC had 27 songs in mind to record but only had the budget for 20. So 20
> it will be.

Now, I don't know what recording an album costs, but what's the
possibility of us Chalkhillers (I'm including myself, even though this is
my first posting) of raising some small or not so small amount of money to
go to recording those other 7 songs? The cost might be so large as to be
prohibitive, but if there's a large enough number of people here and we
each chip in, I don't know $10, $20, whatever you want (like a PBS pledge,
without the gifts in return, unless you count the XTC content which I
guess we would), who knows what we could do?

Adam

------------------------------

From: Xtckinks <Xtckinks@aol.com>
Message-ID: <7962eed1.345d0408@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 17:52:37 EST
Subject: JASON and the ARGUE NOT!!!
Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)

Jason Kirkman <jkirk@mcn.org> said:
>>Cruddy they were not...........................
>>Others on the list have seen the band live--what have you got to say?

I agree with Jason. I even read once that Andy wasn't happy with the band's
live performances, and couldn't believe it. I saw the Black Sea Tour and was
thoroughly impressed. The boys were ex(tc)act as to replicating the songs on
their albums. Every single sound effect was duplicated. I remember raving
about this for, oh say, the last 15 years.
(X)t(c)atically Yours,
Paul LoPiccolo    < XtcKinks@aol.com OR KinksXtc@aol.com >

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 14:02:30 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b00b0838aae77d2@[139.80.228.164]>
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: Sacrificial Bonfire

erich wrote:
>Seasonal songs: Fall is 'Bonfire' (some latent Guy Fawlkesian image?)

well, since it's the time of year to mention this, yes and no. The onset of
winter was traditionally time for a week-long celebration called Samhain
(usually pronounced Sow-wain). It started with a celebration welcoming the
spirits of ancestors who had died during the past year, for they woruld be
judged by Samhain during this time and sent to their final rest. At the end
of the week-long celebration, there would be a rite to implore that spring
would come after the winter, and that new growth would come from the soil.
This was accompanied by a sacrificial bonfire, the 'sacrifice' being a
wicker man - a man made from straw and cane, as a symbolic offering of
life.

Along came the Christians, who decided that such pagan ceremonies had no
place in their calendar. Despite this, they traditions remained, although
the exact reasons for them were forgotten, or couched in Christian
clothing. This led to the celebration of the dead becoming the eve of All
Saints Day (or, in older parlance, All Hallows Eve, shortened over the
years to Hallows E'en, and from there to Halloween). There was no Christian
equivalent for the wickerman bonfires until the middle ages, when the
arrest of Guido Fawkes for attempting to destroy Britain's parliament, on
November 5th, led to a popular connection between his execution and the
bonfire. (There is no logical explanation for this connection, but it seems
to have stuck). That's why we burn human effigies called Guys on bonfires
one week after dressing as witches. It's a remnant of an old pagan
tradition (as are Easter bunnies, Maypoles, and many other 'Christian' or
'folk' traditions).

James

------------------------------

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 22:07:22 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <971102220719_849129839@mrin41.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Re: All of a Sudden (it ends)

>Speaking of that, let me ask a quick question....I recently got English
>Settlement on vinyl, and was actually a bit puzzled by the running
>order. The cd's running order made it sound much more..not necessarily
>coherent, but....  a bit more pieced together. Ending on Snowman was a good
>idea. But the record ends on All of a Sudden, which was very anti-climactic,
>IMNSHO. Comments?

  Do you have the double LP version or the single LP version? I have the
latter myself; I rushed out and brought English Settlement almost as soon as
it came out, not realising that Epic was going to release future pressings of
the full length version. I can do without "Leisure," "Knuckle Down" and "Fly
On The Wall," but "Down In The Cockpit" and "Yacht Dance" I'd have to tape
off my brother next time I see him if I'm not going to hunt down the full
version in some form in the near future. So much XTC, so little time...
  Personally "All Of A Sudden" is a perfect ending for the album, possibly
the bleakest song in pop music not written by Richard Thompson.(until AP came
up with "This World Over," that is) If anything, it ends the album because
nothing could possibly follow it. Listen to those lyrics again, Amanda, and
you may find that the only reason Andy hasn't committed suicide is because he
writes songs like that as an outlet.
  But then again, some people may prefer closing with a bang, as in "Funk Pop
A Roll," with a clank as in "Train Running Low On Soul Coal," or a thud as in
"Travels In Nihilon." To each their own. One critic referred to Black Sea as
being like dining on a sumptuous eleven course meal then stabbing yourself
with the toothpick.(the toothpick being TIN, of course)

Chris Coolidge

------------------------------

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 23:38:04 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <971102220734_1691671919@emout06.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Re: Ten Worst

  I guess I'll don my asbestos suit and sound off on the ten worst XTC songs.
Though with such quality, the pickings are pretty slim; most of them are IMO
songs that may have seemed like a good idea at the time that just kind of
fell flat. It may be of interest that only one song was written by Colin; I
find that Colin is more consistent and dependable and on the other hand takes
less chances than Andy. Andy has a tendency to work without a net; in the
case a few misfires are inevitable. Demos are not included, being that they
weren't intended for general release.
  In rough order, 1 being the worst, and so on...

1. Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down- It did. Fast. Possibly the least catchy
single released by a major band of XTC's caliber.
2. This World Over- So bleak I can't stand it. Goes too far. At least "All Of
A Sudden" expresses roughly the same sentiment poetically. Sounds like Andy's
giving up on the world on this one. I don't need to hear that and neither
does anyone else.
3. Here Comes President Kill Again- Drags and drags. Can't wait for it to be
over. No idea what Andy's trying to say either.
4. All Along The Watchtower- One of the worst Dylan covers I've ever heard.
Grates on my nerves. I'm actually not crazy about White Music in general; if
I knew the album better, other songs from the album would be on my list
besides "This Is Pop" and "Statue Of liberty."(both of which were the only
songs on the album to make a positive impression) It's the only regular
release XTC album i don't have, though I've heard it from friend's
collections a couple of times.
5. Day In Day Out- Hardly even there, doesn't say anything. Repetitious, too.
6. Strange Tails, Strange Tales- Ditto.
7. Down In The Cockpit 12" mix(the one on Waxworks)- If it ain't broke, don't
fix it. XTC is one band that has no business messing with a good thing.
8. Love At first Sight- Black Sea's only less than good song. "Smokeless
Zone" would have been a better choice.
9. Mermaid Smiled- I have nothing against the song, but whenever I play
skylarking, I never notice it. I can't recall a single note of it.
10. Dear God- I still have trouble with this one, but more because I don't
think the lyrics came out quite the way Andy intended. If Andy doesn't
believe in God, then who does he think he's addressing?

Chris Coolidge

------------------------------

From: FOPP1@aol.com
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 00:01:45 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <971103000143_358775434@mrin45.mail.aol.com>
Subject: SON OF ZOOT

greetings chalkhellians-
just a couple items...
zoot was the name of a member in captain beefhearts band wasn't it? zoot horn
rollo?

a few postings ago someone asked  if colin had much in the way of material
for the new cd/lp. i don't know, except that on the tape i received (from a
music industry guy a long time ago) there is one very short colin tune called
'fruit nut'. the best way i can find to describe it is a sort of simple
'shuffle'. sad to say, on my tape, the song is short (maybe 30 or 40 seconds)
and partially obliterated.
has anybody else out there heard any more by colin?

lastly, check out a canadian  band, the nines - 'wonderworld of colourful'. i
think if a few of you hear this singer, chalkhills will get a buzz that andy
is moonlighting. not an intentional
parody of xtc, but excellent xtc-ish pop!

back to lurk       martin fopp

------------------------------

Message-ID: <31790FAD9CB8D011BD6A0000F877207D1F6915@MM-EXCHANGE>
From: Wood Robert MMUk <robert.wood@micromass.co.uk>
Subject: Middle eight.
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 13:57:44 -0000

OK (this is my first posting, hi to everyone) here's the definitive <g>
answer on middle eights.

I'm a musician who's been playing in bands for 10 years or so. (XTC have
since the release of English Settlement been one of my favourite bands.)
You'll find that just about every muso knows what a middle eight is.
It's the part of the song that usually occurs in the middle, thus
breaking up the song, so there's a change from the verse-chorus nature
of the it [the song].

There was a discussion about "Senses". The middle eight in this song is
the "And birds may fall from black skies" part. In this song the "And
all the world is football shaped" passage could arguably be called the
bridge. A bridge between verse and chorus if you like.

There you have it, every band I've ever been in has agreed on this
convension. (What's the name of your band I hear you all cry! It's
English Summer; as close as we could get to English Settlement whilst
being different! We're *not* really like XTC though, we have a female
singer.)

And finally, there's no contest. Vinyl is *infinitely* better than CD!
(IMHO, obv!)

Rob.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 03 Nov 1997 09:01:50 -0600 (CST)
From: AMANDA CARYL OWENS <ACOEA@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>
Subject: No! Not Bill Berry!!!
Message-id: <01IPKFJ8F1IQ8ZQL9O@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>

Any element of REM that would sneak its way into XTC would make me sick to
death.

Not much to respond to, just a teeny weny post from KIMBERLY......

I think I'm pretty much in the same situation you are with regards to that
feeling of isolation when it comes to music. I live in the greater New
Orleans area, where you have two choices-rap or country, which I think are
just the worst forms of "music" out there. I also have trouble getting into
the angst of the heavier bands, because on the whole I"m genrally a damn
happy person. (who needs a spell checker) Look around the streets of the
French Quarter on any given weekend, and you'll see 12-16 year old girls in
Marilyn Manson shirts. (No boys, funny enough. I guess the girls thnk
Manson's "so cute!")

Anyhoo, it's difficult to find anyone who even has a fait clue as to who XTC
is. At work I was reading one of my LE's, and one of the workers asked me if
XTC was "one of those Seattle bands". Louisiana is not TOO small a state,
and in the area where I live, I know of 4 people who know who XTC is, not
including my family members-my best friend, her friend, my old English
instructor, and my MANager. A lot more people would probably knwo of them if
the only radio station that ever played XTC hadn't switched formats to
country. (DAMN I need a spell checker!!!!!!)

But, not everyone can have such great musical taste, can they?

Til next time,
try to avoid the daylight
Amanda
XTC song of the day-Everyday Story of a Smalltown
non XTC-Velvet Morning-The Verve

------------------------------

Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=Barnes_?_Noble_I%l=MSENY1-971103150619Z-465558@mseny1.BN.COM>
From: Greg Marrs <GMarrs@bn.com>
Subject: French Trombone Solo?
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 10:06:19 -0500

> I've also always liked the trumpet solo at the end of "My Bird Performs."<
Kevin Keeler :
<<Actually, it's a trombone solo.  I remeber those things cuz I used
to play trombone.  As ugly as it can be, I't's a great instrument when
done well. >>

Hey -- I thought this was a Flugel horn solo -- I played a little
trombone myself in school, and could never have pulled off that
closing trill without a set of valves.  I have heard of valved
trombones, but the overall timbre of the instrument suggested Flugel
horn to me.  Anyone know definitively what was used on this track?

I notice that KIMBERLY MARTIN cites "Shake You Donkey Up" as her #1
Least favorite Xtc song.  This just reinforces how varied in Xtc
tastes we all are on this list -- the colotomic rhythms and outright &
outrageous funkiness of this one place it pretty high up on my list of
personal faves.  I have noticed that mostpeople do really hate it,
though.  My wife made me turn it off on a long drive once -- said it
was making her carsick!

I must decline to list any least favorite Xtc songs.  It ain't that I
don't have'em but I fear they can only elicit nastier versions of this
sort of post in response...

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 10:51:00 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199711031851.KAA13103@intergate.sonyinteractive.com>
From: Bob Estus <bestus@intergate.sonyinteractive.com>
Subject: pre-cussions

Chalksticks,

I took in the Rundgren show last night with XTC's next percussor Prairie
Prince on skins and drum machine. Todd's current show, supporting his last
album of reheated old hits set to a bossa nova beat, is appropriately set up
like a divy hawaiian lounge. Prairie had the look of a healthier Elvis with
a neon island print shirt and pink lensed Vegas style shades.

The first of three sets was disappointing. Prairie merely kept time with a
overpowering cheese of a lounge style drum track. The next two sets were
more true to the original songs with opportunities for Prairie to turn down
the rhythm track and show off.

All in all I thought he did a great job. A very detail oriented drummer with
a soft touch. I also got to meet fellow chalker Dave Blackburn at the show
(hey Dave!).

Unimportant note: Maybe he had a cold, or maybe it's his way of
concentrating, Prairie drums with his mouth agape.

>andy.miller@waterstones.co.uk ponders:
>Go and find your copy of Punch and Judy. Play it. After the line "Cos who do
>we know dear who acts like that?" does Andy sing "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" or
>"No-wo-wo-one!"?

Yeah, it's definitely "no one" but I've always considered it might be also
be read as "know one" as in *I know* of a person that fits this violent
unflattering description.

I'm the bad thoughts inside your shed,
-Bob

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 15:10:19 -0800
From: Stephen Larson <MereBrian@larson4.demon.co.uk>
Subject: the human instrument
Message-ID: <878597469.2015562.0@larson4.demon.co.uk>

CCooli9575@aol.com wrote:
> 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.

This is true enough generally but I always found one of the charms of
(especially Black Sea-era) XTC to be the use of voices as  instruments.  No,
not a soloing instrument but for bass lines as in Generals and Majors,
the vocal gymnastics in Take This Town, the list goes on and on.

SJL

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19971104194024.00813590@pop3.unsw.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 19:40:24 +1100
From: Jeff Cotter <j.cotter@unsw.edu.au>
Subject: UDA: Black Ice resolved, but what About Absorption, Child

Chockers,

Thanks for the warm responses to my question: "What happed to busses
skidding on black ice on UDA?"  To recap: the line was edited out of the
single release either because Virgin felt the song was too long (from Mark
Strijbos) or due to a coincidental bus crash (on black ice no less) (from
Simon Knight).  Seems to me like an expensive way to release music, having
to re-record all of your single releases.  As far as I can tell, I don't
think they spliced it out...

I've also picked up a few "edits" on Respectable Street from same UDA CD.
Among others:

... now, they talk about "absorption" ... as they speak of "child prevention"
... and which "proposition" pleases best her old man ...

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I remember "abortion", "contraception"
and "sex position" in the corresponding lines of the LP release.

I figure they probably made the substitutions to avoid censorship or
controversy or or maybe over some other little nervous reason.  In
retrospect, however, this seems like a big mistake (I have 20/20
retrospect, BTW).  This kind of "shock value" (call it "honesty" if you
like) sells records, well, at least in the US.  For example, Alanis
Morisset crashed onto the US market by barely editing out the word "fu&#"
in "You Aughta Know".  When I frist heard it, I couldn't believe I was
hearing it, and now, I own the CD.  Also, "Invisible Sun" from the
"Police", which was banned in the UK, was a pretty big hit in the US.
Furthermore, syndicated DJ Howard Stern is _huge_ partly because of the
shock value of his radio/TV shows.  (But lets not digress, PLEASE.)  XTC
songs are sometimes quite pointed, and well, IMHO, should be left sharp.

Incidentally, the Respectible Street is also edited for time.  The twangy,
intro is lopped off.

Regards, Jeff Cotter.

* -----------------------------------------
Jeff Cotter
j.cotter@unsw.edu.au
Photovoltaics Special Research Centre
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia 2034
...aren't you aware of the gravity?
* -----------------------------------------

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #4-21
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