Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-22

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 22

                Thursday, 6 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                      Paint It Black
                    Questions for You
                     Re: Album Opener
                      Re: Ten Worst
                     Lyrical Querical
                       Finger Spew
                  I second that emotion
                 XTC: EZ Listening Disc?
             coda - your friendly end-ly bit
              Atlanta Bash 2 / A prediction.
                Respectable Paper And Iron
   XTC, Counting Prose, In my opinion , I told you so !
                       catching up
                   Shocked, I Tell You!
                       Wired Dream
                        XTC vs XTC


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 16:57:22 -0500
Message-Id: <971104165722.22206486@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU>
Subject: Paint It Black

Ok, this is not big news but it is XTC related.....

after numerous listens, my new fave rave XTC album is Black Sea!

Pure brilliance! Talk about a well oiled musical juggernaut. Are there
live videos of that tour? Please let me know. It beats Nonsuch hands down,
much more inventive songwriting, IMO. Sorry for sharing but where else
could I express my excitement.

XTC song of the day- "There is no language in our lungs"
Favorite song title I wish I had written- "Love comes in spurts" Richard Hell
and the Voidoids


Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 18:51:47 -0500 (EST)
From: Dave Seaman <SEAMAN@A1.ISD.UPMC.EDU>
Subject: bridges
Message-id: <C392ZXCFQOF81*/R=EDISON/R=A1/U=SEAMAN/@MHS>

after lurking for ages...

re: songwriting terms - being a longterm songwriter myself and working with
many others, i can say with a fair amount of confidence that the "bridge" in
a song refers to the section that (as the term implies) connects one piece
to another; this is most commonly the section that connects a verse to a
chorus. so, in SWO, "...and all the world is biscuit shaped" would be the

now, the part that is a departure from the verse/chorus of the song, and
which often occurs after a couple of verse/choruses, is usually refered to
as the "middle 8" or "interlude".  if you listen to some of the early
beatles songs, or doo-wop or pop from the late 50s and early 60s, interludes
often consisted of 8 bars of music, and often fell in the middle of the song
(after the 2nd chorus), hence the term "middle 8".  eventually, interludes
took on the name "middle 8" regardless of the number of musical bars in
their construct.

i've also heard/read some songwriters referring to middle 8/interludes as
the "refrain"; and i've also heard the chorus refered to as the refrain.  i
don't know which is truly correct, or even if there really is a "correct".
but callit what you will, XTC, like the Beatles and others before them,
write some pretty damn marvelous and/or gorgeous middle 8/interludes!

by the way, a popular pop songwriter once said (sorry, name escapes me) that
a middle 8 should only be included in a song if it is at least as good in
terms of message and melody as the verses and choruses.  this is a good rule
of thumb for the songwriter.  i've often marvelled at how lennon and
mccartney in their primes managed to come up with middle 8s that took the
listener to a different place than the rest of the song, yet didn't seem out
of place; middle 8s that are strong melodically and harmonically, sometimes
even more so than the already catchy chorus; middle 8s that alter the mood
of the songs, takes the songs to a new level, then as it closes, pushes the
listener into a solo or back into the verse or chorus with so much energy
that it gives you chills.  and our friend Andy has the genius to do just
this, as he's often shown us.

- re: kimberly martin's comments on suburban kids digging rap/techno/etc. -
boy, do i agree with your viewpoints.  i can't figure how suburban and rural
kids can relate so much to these forms of (in my humble opinion) negative
and non-musical forms of music.  i grew up in the suburbs, and most kids i
new didn't "live" the pain/alienation expressed in much of this music.  i
guess i've always thought that they don't truly "like" the stuff as much as
that they are falling into trendiness.  they're surrounded and immersed in
it, and don't know any better, like sheep.  just like most kids don't really
like the taste of cigarettes, but hey, it's the cool thing to do, even
though the first several puffs make you cough, and then you grow accustomed
to the bad taste, then you get addicted.  but you don't admit all of this,
because smoking cigarettes is "cool" and all your friends are doing it.

to further illustrate, consider this experiment: if most kids were raised
from birth in an environment that is average and "normal" (whatever that is)
in every way EXCEPT that they were never exposed to music at all - then, at
the age of say, 13, they were fed an audio diet consisting of generally
"positive" music such as Beatles/XTC/etc on certain days, and
Techno/rap/death metal/grunge on other days - and they were completely
isolated from the influence of radio programming, MTV, and other trendmakers
- i would bet that MOST kids would gravitate towards the "positive" music.
i think this is more true to the basic human spirit.  of course, there are
some that would still relate more to the "negative" music, but i think they
would be in the minority.

anyone care to comment, agree or disagree, or just tell me i'm full of it?

- and finally, Miss Amanda, i respectfully disagree with you - i think Peter
Pumpkinhead is a GREAT album opener, and i never liked Runaways as an
opener.  maybe this has to do with my penchant for starting things off with
a bang, a grabber, a major key pop song, an uplifting message, etc.  but
hey, our difference in tastes is an example of one of the things i like best
about XTC - they have such an incredible variety in their songs - words,
concepts, melodies, moods, textures, instruments, styles, etc., from A to
Zed - there's something for all of us.  i never get bored and boring music
is the ultimate turn-off.  they command a world of music.

"why sip from a teacup, when you can drink from the river?"

well, back to the lurk.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 23:17:15 -0800
From: "Lynn S." <>
Subject: Questions for You

I was on this mailing list a couple years ago I think.  Anyone still here
from then?  I see at least one other female, that is always good!

I have a couple questions for you:
Does anyone else here like Stiff Little Fingers?  Just curious really.

Also, I am looking for copies of tapes, videos and things, don't have much
to trade, but will be glad to pay a little here or there.  Write offlist if
you like.

Someone asked about a book on XTC.  There's the one published a couple
years ago by Chris Twomey called "Chalkhills and Children"  Read it through
in one day.  It was good enough I supppose.
Lynn S.


Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 01:51:54 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Re: Album Opener

>I also think the best album opener is Runaways-the guitar, keyboards and
>cymbals mixed together like they are are great. Worst-Peter Pumpkinhead.
>There's nothing as uninteresting as hearing a guy plugging a guitar
>in. (Even if it is Dave.)

Good Lord, I couldn't disagree more. Runaways to me is a very weak opening
song. And I think ES is just a fantastic album. Peter Pumpkinhead, on the
other hand, is perfectly suited to open an album or (God forbid) a live
Among the other album openers I like:
Beating of Hearts
Garden of Earthly Delights
Respectable Street
Summer's Cauldron/Grass
Making Plans for Nigel

In fact, now that I have listed them, Runaways is probably the only one I
don't care for as an album opener. Not a flame, just an opinion.

  Jim S.     <>

Serious fan of:
*St. Louis Rams        *Michigan Wolverines          *"JAWS"
   *St. Louis Cardinals          *XTC           *MST3K

Owner/GM of the Amity White Sharks, 1998 Polanski Division Champions
         Weaver League International internet baseball league


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 13:08:39 -0500
From: Adam Tyner <ctyner@CLEMSON.EDU>

I was browsing, and I saw that they had an XTC
cassette of acoustic radio shows from '89...I remember seeing a similar
tape that was put together by our esteemed Mr. Relph, and I have the bad
feeling that someone is profiting off of John's work (well, and that of
XTC, of course).

I thought I'd let everyone know what an awful site
is...they're also selling bootlegs on cassette, which is a cardinal sin
among many music fans.  :)

The home of He-Man, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, and more!           O-         MiSTie #67,326


Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 11:27:49 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Re: Ten Worst

Chris Coolidge <> writes:
>>Subject: Re: Ten Worst
>2. This World Over- So bleak I can't stand it. Goes too far.

I disagree.  When this album was new this song always brought tears to
my eyes.  Even now it still has power.  I have to admit it sounds a
little much like The Police, but the lyrical imagery is vivid.  And
the single has some of the best cover art they've released.

>4. All Along The Watchtower- One of the worst Dylan covers I've ever heard.

One of the most original covers I've ever heard.  One of the few
things worth listening to on _White Music_.

>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.

Hilarious remix.  Love that London Zoo bit.  Andy is the gorilla.

>8. Love At first Sight- Black Sea's only less than good song.

Is this the one with the cool guitar solo?  Great opening riff and
nice drum pattern as well.  Perhaps a bit simplistic lyrically but I
think that's one of the song's strengths.

>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.

_Skylarking_ just doesn't make it without this song.  I can't stand
"Dear God" in its place.

>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?

But that's the whole point!  It's a paradox.  Just like faith.

Which continued from KIMBERLY MARTIN <KMAR0971@Mercury.GC.PeachNet.EDU>:
>I liked the idea about the top 10 WORST XTC songs.
>I can't even think of 10
>right off the top of my head, but here are some (in no particular
>order) that still make me hit the skip button most times I get to
>1.  shake your donkey up--  uggghhhh....

But... but... Hey!  This is a great song!  (No evidence to support it,
I just like it a lot.  Especially the pseudo-American sound, the
fiddle, etc.  And the bad grammar.)

>4.  It's Nearly Africa--  I like it much better than I used to, but
>for some reason it just sounds like something from Paul Simon's
>"Graceland" album;

But _English Settlement_ came first.  1982.  _Graceland_ came out in
1986.  So _Graceland_ sounds like something off of _English
Settlement_ ("It's Nearly Africa", I think.)  But yes, the faux
Afrikan sound is a little overused nowadays (or something).  However,
I still really like the Jit ending to "Pink Thing".  It fits right
into music from The Bhundu Boys first two or three rekkids.

>--the SOUL of the
>original, ethnic musical style seems to be lost when attempted by
>white musicians.

Yeah, and Paul Simon is definitely the master at that.

	-- John


Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 11:36:38 -0800 (PST)
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Lyrical Querical writes:
> 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!"?

"No-oh no-one" it is.

Jeff Cotter <> writes:
>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.

Yes, it's true, and I suppose this question should make it into the
FAQ.  Actually, XTC entirely re-recorded the vocal tracks for the
"Respectable Street" single, because (1) the BBC wouldn't play the
track with the original lyrics, or (2) XTC's management or Virgin
records *believed* that the BBC wouldn't play it.

Finally, John <> asks:
>However, does anyone else think that the "A" melody in
>Bumper Cars is a close relative of the "A" melody from Happy
>Families?  The chorus and "B" & "C" melodies are quite
>distinctive, but when I hear the tune I can't help but start
>hearing Happy Families in the back of my head.

Actually, the "B" part of "Bumper Cars" reminds me of "Disque Blue",
I think.  "All week sell pain to the plebs"...  "The bar is crowded
and bright"...

	-- John


From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 15:03:16 -0500
Subject: Finger Spew

Randy Posynick 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_.

The drum tones on Double Nickels on the Dime. Double Nickels on the Dime.
Double Nickels on the Dime. If anyone has any thoughts or facts about this
drum sound, LAUNCH. To this day I have not heard a drum sound to even
compete! One other thing on that line; the drums do NOT sound bad or
"low-fi" or anything like that on Skylarking. It was a claim that was
obviously submitted by a jealous engineer and it's been repeated by earless
simpletons ever since (No, not YOU Amanda). Prairie Prince is an incredible
visionary with the drums. Anyone heard the song "Pimp" by the Tubes on the
record Young and Rich? I know I have.

Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith wrote:
>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'm glad you singled out that moment. The whole band speeds up at that
climax. Yes, the tempo increases and Terry plays harder. The rush of
adrenaline still surges through me when this moment kicks in. It seems like
such a simple tactic: play faster now, but surprisingly it's hardly ever
used; it's never been used more effectively than in this song.

Chris Coolidge wrote:
>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.

Excuse me, could I have your address so I can kill you?

>6. Strange Tails, Strange Tales- Ditto.


And now I'll continue.


Date: Wed, 05 Nov 97 14:26:41 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: I second that emotion

     Dearest Chalk-children,

     I second Ben Gott's suggestion that the new (2 cd/single cover)record
     should have the self-title of "XTC"

     First of all, they have been gone for too long in the eye of the media
     to try and obscure their name with a title. Somehow, nowadays, I only
     see the use of clever or pretty titles to get glossed and glanced over
     to easily. Let everyone know - THIS IS XTC.

     Secondly, It goes along well with the idea of having two
     representative discs. One CD is orchestral type songs, the other CD is
     the more rockier stuff. But both of these together = XTC. This
     eliminates having to double title or use some kind of Part I and
     Part II thingymajig.

     Lastly I just think it is still a relevant name. Short, sweet, stood
     the test o' time. A self titled album says "this is us and where we
     are now" way better than a clever title.

     Just my opinion.
     Jason Phelan


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 13:25:00 +0000
Subject: XTC: EZ Listening Disc?

Ah, well, having day 83 of this hideous migraine, being unable to
listen to any XTC, or just about anything at all, I really wish XTC
would let Mark Mothersbaugh do an EZ Listening Disc of their songs,
like he did with the DEVO songs (originally released on 2 fan club
cassettes, then comp. on the wonderful Ryko release)... I mean, I was
in some serious need of De-evolution, among other things, so I
finally bought the EZ Listening Disc so I could actually listen to a
version of Jocko Homo that didn't make my head explode... now I wish
there were the same for XTC, for I'm now in some serious need of
some... ah... er... XTC.  Ah well, enough wishful thinking....
Although the dub experiments were slightly Devoid... hmmm...


> From: Loquacious Music <>
> 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 like the idea of an eponymous disc, but the cover should just be
blank, with "XTC" written in a serify font in grey.  And failing
that, it should just be all black.  8)

Actually, I do like that idea... simplicity is great.

> From: Adam Lipkin <>
> 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?
Y'know, I'm rather poor/cheap over here, but I'd be willing to pitch
in a few bucks... And maybe as the little gift, Andy could send out a
thank you, or put our names in the liners or something.... Ah, but
the greatest reward would have to be the 7 extra songs, I guess...

> From:
> >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?
>   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
I think that AoaS is, apart from being a really excellent song, not
the best closer, but good for the ending of the first disc.  Snowman,
on the other hand is one of my favourite ending tracks...  BTW, is it
just me, or is the 3rd side (Melt, Leisure, Knuckle and Africa)
kinda... well, with the exception of Melt the Guns, which I love,
crappy?  I personnally think that ES should have been a 3 sided
album or a 4 sided, replacing L,KD and INA with some of the B-sides
from ES, and just juggling around... Either that, or do what DEVO did
on "Now it Can be Told" and have a 3 sided album with each member of
the band inscribe something on the 4th side to keep it from warping,
and then placing those three songs in as a bonus single/EP/Flexi or
something... I don't know...

>   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.
Ah, I'm not a big Boat fan, but I don't think it's the worst...
probably #9 or so... I don't know... I used to regret it wasn't on an
album, until I heard it.

> 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.
Dude!  This World Over is great BECAUSE it's bleak!  But I just love
depressing songs... And I personally don't think we have much of a
chance, but that's just me...

> 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.
Ah, being pretty fluent in Partridgese (avoiding the obvious pun, for
once in my life... don't want to be the one to unleash it on
Chalkhills, even though everyone's probably thought of it before...8)
I can understand the lyrics, but I agree.. It is a bit dull and

> 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.
Agh!  This is my #1!  I can't stand Dylan (sorry... but well, hey...
I know someone who hates the Beatles... flame HIM!), so naturally I
hate the cover... and it's the LONGEST track on the album... usually,
I like to hear Andy messing around at the end of tracks, but DAMN!
Usually they're good to begin with!  Agh!

> 5. Day In Day Out- Hardly even there, doesn't say anything. Repetitious, too.
Ah, it's ok, but it beats Life Begins at the Hop... Which is a
perfectly good song, until you see the video...8)

> 6. Strange Tails, Strange Tales- Ditto.
Ah, I like this one... It's cool... just the whole lyric set and
all... it's weird, most definately a B-side, but good in its little
messed up sort of way... although I did used to hate it.

> 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.
Ah, I'm assuming you mean the Cockpit Dance Mixture... Personally,
I'm not a big fan of remixes, but well, this one is one of the best
I've heard, other than the Josh Fried remix of "She's Actual Size" by
TMBG... Most songs are the source song with samples from other
sources.  This one is a different song with samples from "SAS"!  I
really like that one.. but that's a different list.

> 8. Love At first Sight- Black Sea's only less than good song. "Smokeless
> Zone" would have been a better choice.
Ah, it's ok... I'm just glad Sonambulist was banished to a B-side...

> 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.
I'd still like to get a hold of a copy of Skylarking with that on
it... Ah well... song-wise, it's pretty good though.  Although I
hardly ever notice it on R&BB!

> 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?
Well, I think that's the point of the song about the addressing
thing, but I still don't really care for this one... musically, it's
pretty good, but Andy's done better songs like this... still trying
to figure out why the religious types got upset about this one...
it's practically pious... if they want something to be pissed about,
try "Jumping in Gomorrah" (a much better song, anyway, IMHO)..."All
aboard for Sodom!"... ah... love that song!

Hmm... Well, I might do a list later... when I can actually HEAR XTC
again... Feh.

> From: Greg Marrs <>
> 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 don't know... I like Shake You Donkey Up, if only for the lines
"Ain't it a shame you kicked that girl?/Ain't it a shame she kicked
you back, jackass?"  Ah, I LOVE that bit... rest of the song is
respectable (street).

> From: Bob Estus <>
> > 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 don't know, I thought that the "no one" was sort of the point of
the song, ah, again I'm using that phrase, anyway... it's sort of
saying how people see this thing in plays and puppet shows and laugh
and maybe get concerned, but just turn their eyes when it happens in
real life... but that's just me... ah well...

> From: Jeff Cotter <>
> 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
Ah, what happened with this one is they did the version on Black Sea,
and the A&R (or someone like that... Virgin bozo, I think) came to
Andy and said "Hey, I'd like to release this as a single, but I think
the lyrics are too blatant for the BBC to air," and, as Andy said,
since he was a good boy, he rewrote and rerecorded the song in the
"pre-chewed old-people's version", and released that as a single,
and, natch, the BBC STILL wouldn't play it...

Got a swelling, itching brain, a painful, yellow headache...

Living Through | (ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak


Message-Id: <>
From: steve mcallister <>
Date: Wed,  5 Nov 97 16:11:03 -0600
Subject: coda - your friendly end-ly bit

. . .someone ask what a coda is.
     "A concluding musical section that is formally distinct from
the main structure".  -Webster's

  Of course, commom usage has streched the word to a few meanings
(much like the previously discussed 'bridge').  As far as musical
notation goes, a coda is a section of music designated by a coda
symbol - a circle with a cross through it.  Often used to make the
writing/reading of a piece of music easier, rather than signifying a
dramatic musical change (I personally prefer Webster's definition -
musical terms, after all, are meant to be heard, not seen).
  In the realm of XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights", "Pink Thing",
and "Smalltown" all qualify as having codas, as well as a host of
other songs.

  Fave nixed demo lyric:  "Then she appeared, like a wish from out
of somebody's well".
  Least fave XTC song might be "Bungalow" - though it's a bit
piddly picking the worst of great band . . . especially as their
worst is shoulders above most of the crap out there.

. . .and you'll all bow down to me



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 18:02:02 -0500
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: Atlanta Bash 2 / A prediction.


Wrapped In Gray is on the Hi-Fi, and I'm here to announce another XTC
Bash in Atlanta.  Please e-mail me at the above address as to your
interest.  Party date to be determined.

Stormy Monday

Now, I know that I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm in direct
opposition to those who've been bracing themselves for an inferior
album:  The new album will be exceptional.  Listen to the Terry & The
Lovemen track from the tribute album, and then imagine the AP demos
being recorded with the Dave, Colin and Prarie Prince.  Expect
excellence, because that is what is on the way.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 00:43:14 +0000
Subject: Respectable Paper And Iron

Dear Chalkers,

Respectable Street was indeed 'edited' to avoid problems with the
British (BBC) censor - Virgin felt that if  it did not get any
airplay on national radio, it would never chart.
The Respectable Street video version was also cleaned up...

And as far as i know the reason for shortening Senses is common
knowledge; Virgin were never happy with 'weird bits' that ruined
a fairly straightforward chart buster (in their eyes) and wanted the
song to get to the ending choruses a bit sooner; so it would fit
better in to radio format slots etc. After much heated debate the
compromise of removing just 1 line was reached.

The story about a bus that actually skidded on black ice sounds a
bit too good to be true IMHO... Maybe Andy got a bit bored with
answering the same old boring questions from yet another interviewer?
He has been known to be euh... stretching the truth a bit before

Last issue Adam Lipkin suggested:

> 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
> [...] who knows what we could do?
Who knows indeed... it's worth trying i guess
But _how_ exactly are we going to do this ?

IMHO there are a lot of practical problems to be solved and the
recording sessions will start in 2 weeks time.
Maybe we can collect a nice sum to bribe them into recording the
Bootleg Album instead... :)

BTW: those of you with personal homepages might want to take a look
at the Button Program page at my site  (see the URL in my signature)
for some cool 'XTC Now!' tag buttons you are free to use on your

yours etc,
Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 00:14:21 +0000
Subject: XTC, Counting Prose, In my opinion , I told you so !

Dear All,
      Forgive my length (oo-err!) but I haven't posted for months so a
little spleen-venting follows !
> Everyone's entitled to his or her opinion.
> Mine's based on firsthand observation of the genuine article.  Others on
>the list have seen the band live--what have you got to say? 

Judging by the numerous TV shows I saw them play live on and the
'Rockpalast' performance I recently saw ( thanks to Mark Stijbos ),
XTCs live performance was excellent. Powerful and passionate with a mad
sense of humour thrown in for good measure. Maybe Rob Hill should stay
'safe' and stick to Dire Straits !! zzzzzzzzz....
      Did anybody else notice the similarity between Del Amitris last
single and Andys " The Loving " ?
      One recent thread that has irritated me is the pointless ` worst
XTC songs `.  Its yet another of those `opinion' topics that gets us
nowhere. No offence, Chris Coolidge , but what makes you think that I
care what your least favourite songs are ? None of us has the right to
say we're right or wrong when we are stating an opinion so this kind of
thread just fills up `Chalkhills' with a flame war that ultimately is
totally irrelevant.  The fact that 5 of your bottom 10 are personal
favourites of mine is also irrelevant !!   :-)
      I seem to remember a recent post that mentioned a new XTC
biography . I would be grateful if  somebody would repost and let me
know who its by , the publisher and when its available .
      Somebody ( very recently !!! ) stated arrogantly that " opinions
are pointless " . Well , In MY opinion , `Easter Theatre' is not only
the best of the demo tracks, it is also one of the very best songs that
Andy ever conceived . Given the right production and the wind in
the right direction , this track could be the big hit that XTC have been
searching for for years . And what a boost that would be for IDEA
Records Inc.
      Somebody asked : Why are XTC not up there as a huge hit-making
band  ?  I think the answer is fairly obvious. XTC always challenge and
never compromise. Andy has often stated that if he were a big hit
songwriter , life would be sweeter. No more worries about the mortgage,
bills etc.  However, of the 3, Andy is the least compromising and
that is why we love this band.  If they were another bland hit-making
machine we Chalkers would not like it one bit.  For example , your
honour, exhibit A : REM. A band who were challenging , uncompromising
and cultish . ergo : Hitless !!  Solution ? Two very good but ultimately
mainstream and bland albums in `Out of Time' and `Automatic for the
People'. Result : Worldwide megahits, oodles of dosh and now ,
unfortunately , yesterdays band. Who really, honestly  salivates over a
new REM album nowadays ? You know exactly what your gonna get. There are
other examples but I think the point is made.  Now ,  XTC are never
happier than when they throw in a totally dischordant riff ,
uncomfortable melody or gutteral scream . THAT is when we love them the
most and THAT is why your average REM , Genesis or Dire Straitzzzzzzz
buyer will never slap XTC on the in-car CD player. Sad but true.
     On a parallel plane, what do you think of this idea ?  The guys `do
a Dukes' and write one of those above-mentioned ` comfortable' albums .
Ten tracks of great-but-safe music. Then find 3 good looking, indie band
types and make some videos of these guys lip-synching  to the tracks .
Call them something suitably `now' like ... Counting Prose or something
and put the album out on IDEA. Make a truck-load of mazuma to finance
the next 10 XTC albums !! Can't fail .  You see, my serious point here
is that as much as we may hate it , the name XTC makes non-fans eyes
glaze over. Likewise the guys that matter at the radio stations who
probably think XTC split up years ago . It really worries me that XTC
will be overlooked for airplay because radio stations only want to play
the new , happening and - dare I say it - young bands.  I really ,
really hope I'm wrong but it bothers me.  Having said this, I really
think `Easter Theatre' could break a new audience with the right
production and video / marketing. Heres to it !!
     PS. I pride myself on being the first person on this list to
suggest XTC start their own label when things were going horribly months
ago. Whats the point in being right if you can't say `I told you
so `  :-))    I have said enough. Bye bye folks .


Message-ID: <>
From: Martin & Jamie Monkman <>
Subject: catching up
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 19:15:05 -0800

Ben Gott writes in #4-21:
>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.

Hey, maybe we should refer to the album as "Smell The Glove" until it gets
released!  Or alternatively, why not plain white with "XTC" embossed, not
printed, on the cover?!?

(That was a joke.  Laugh if you feel compelled.)

But <I>September?!?!?!?!?!?!</I>  Anyone on the inside loop (Simon? Mitch?) got
any word on the reason for the delay from May, as originally reported?

Drummers:  Prairie Prince is indeed good news; a fine choice.  His work
balances energy with subtlety, making him ideal for XTC.

And on Phish and XTC: I read somewhere that Phish picked Paul Fox to produce
their 1994 album "Hoist" because Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio liked the
sound of "Oranges and Lemons" (they also got Ed Thacker as engineer and
mixer as part of the package deal).  And on a quasi-related note, the 1996
Phish issue "Billy Breathes" (and my favorite of all the Phish albums) was
produced by the band and Steve Lillywhite.



Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 22:13:54 +1300
Message-Id: <>
From: joseph <>
Subject: Shocked, I Tell You!

well people, i have finally got onto chalkhills, months after receiving my
chalkhills t-short from my bro....anyway just read the first digest and was
horrified to see a posting on XTC's bad songs..bad songs????? which songs
are these....are there any?????
anyway..i hoping to find out if there are any XTC fans in New if
you are out there email me...cos i only know 2 XTC and my
i dont think all the otehr new zealanders have that bad a musical taste eh?
i just hope it soent take too long for their new album to reach new zealand....
oh yeah  cd's are the only format you should have really eh....

until later



Message-ID: <>
From: "Rob Crawford" <>
Subject: Wired Dream
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 03:33:56 PST

I think I have been reading aboyt XTC too much as I had a real wired
dream about DG this week, so coupled with thinking that I was going to
have to reply via my work email and what seems to be defective brain
waves I added the disclaimer at the bottom of the posting.

From: Jeff Cotter <>
Subject: UDA: Black Ice resolved, but what About Absorption, Child

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

>I figure they probably made the substitutions to avoid censorship or
>controversy or or maybe over some other little nervous reason.  In

They where forced to by virgin as the BBC wouldn't play it otherwise.

The band complained quite a bit in the press about re recording the
revelant parts and AP as I remember tried to add sound alike words that
where obviously out of place.

>I own the CD.  Also, "Invisible Sun" from the
>"Police", which was banned in the UK, was a pretty big hit in the US.

Well it was a top 3 hit adn played on the radio a lot but the video was
banned because of the content regarding Northern Ireland.

From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
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

Hmm I personally find that the production is so sterile I always have
the feeling that the recording studio is covered in white tiles, (sort
of operating theatre style decor) with that sort of music.

>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.

Well I was going to say that I wouldn't forgive him for neutering any
form of character that Nonsuch may have been capable of having but I
suppose I should pity his decline into middle age or perhaps what the
record company execs have done to him.

>Gus also produced some records for Manfred Mann.  So the
>guy's not a total loser.

Hmm, that's a bit do close to call one way or the other <grin> (The real
Manfreds or the Earth Band ?)

>Slick, maybe, but so is Pet Sounds.

Theres nothing wrong with slick, Steely Dan where just that, I just have
a strong dislike of anything pre-chewed and aimed at being inoffensive
and blandly nice all the way through.

Though ironicly I liked the production on Peter Pumpkinhead (very clean
and sharp), and unusally for me Wrapped in Grey (which I think a certain
Elton John could actually do a good version of (though it would be very


>"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)

Hehehe love the analogy.

>I guess I'll don my asbestos suit and sound off on the
>ten worst XTC songs.

SET Johnny Storm=1

Nope really I thought I would just comment a little

>I find that Colin is more consistent and dependable and
>on the other hand takes less chances than Andy.

When I first got into XTC around the time of Drums & Wires (aged 15) I
was attracted to Colins songs on D&W and BS, but after 100's of
listenings I found it was Andys songs that I kept finding new things
within but it took a very long time (for me).

>1. Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down- It did. Fast. Possibly
>the least catchy single released by a major band of
>XTC's caliber.

I have to agree with that one I never liked it.

>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.

Hmmm, that wonderful mad brass, I adopted President Kill as my ID for
the online game Space Empire Elite

>4. All Along The Watchtower- One of the worst Dylan
>covers I've ever heard. Grates on my nerves.

Dunno I really like it.

The song was totally deconstructed and rebuilt.

When David Fischer (think the spellings right) explained to James
Cameron why he killed off Newt in Alien 3 (no superscript sorry !),
Cameron started off to ask why (he wasn't happy about it), then he
smiled and said good idea.

Why ?

What bearing is this well Fischer was making a David Fischer film not a
James Cameron film, same as the band where making an XTC album not a
Dylan or Hendrix album.

After all if you heard the Butthole Surfers version of Spanish Castle
Magic in the 'If 6 was 9' Hendrix tribute that DG contributed to you
would know what a bad cover version was like.

>8. Love At first Sight- Black Sea's only less than good
>song. "Smokeless Zone" would have been a better choice.

I always likes Smokeless Zone but coming from the UK the lyrics of Love
at First Sight are right on the button regarding ones life between 16 &

Anyway I actually have some work to do.

Any spelling contained in this posting are purely a matter of opinion
therefore see following sentance

Any views espressed in this are nothing to do with my employers (or
indeed myself <grin>).



Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 04:57:50 -0800
Message-Id: <v01510100b087639170dd@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: XTC vs XTC

I can see we're in for a mega discusion along the lines of "what do you
mean, xxx is your least favourite song - it's the only one I'd take to a
desert island."

I've sent my bottom five (I couldn't think of ten) privately to Gary Dean,
so as not to stoke the flame war even further.

What I would like to question is the received wisdom - often stated on
Chalkhills - that Colin is more consistent a writer than Andy. While I
agree that Colin has produced some sublime moments (Bungalow, Day In, Day
Out [ha!], and others), he has also produced at least his fair share of
duff ones - sometimes just clumsy lyrics, but also whole songs that are
redundant. I won't say what I think they are, because they're on my
bottom-five list, but I do think that there is nearly always some redeeming
feature in Andy's songs even at their least sparkling. I just can't agree
with the quality/quantity argument.


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-22

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