Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-23

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 23

                Saturday, 8 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                   Pet Sounds Sessions
          xtc content:this post::needle:haystack
                    skylarking concept
                  XTC Live-Rockpalast...
               The XTC 7 Song Charity Fund
                Best, Worst and Otherwise
                Knuckle Down, Bumper Cars
                      Drums and Wise
                       THIS IS XTC
                    It's alive! Alive!
                        Day In...
                         120 Min
   Repent Sinners -- your least faves are an outrage!!!
              My Doctoral Thesis, phase one
          But really, I don't like XTC very much
                Not So Respectable Street
                    Oh woe is me......
                     Post Punk Diary
              Nonmusical music/help the band
            "Why can't they be like we were...


1. Concerning the recent characterization of hip-hop as "non-musical",
please don't take it personally, and if you feel the need to flame,
take it to private e-mail.  Personally, I think the poster is about
as wrong as one can get, but hey, it's an opinion.

2. Please remember to send your Ten Worst List directly to

If you posted your list to Chalkhills, I have forwarded it
to Gary, and it won't appear in the digest.  Thank you.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Who's that lad with his cobblers clad in a disguise of some form?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 10:07:50 -0500
Subject: Pet Sounds Sessions

Had to share this with any and all Brian Wilson fanatics on the list (and
if you're an XTC fan, you owe it to yourself to at least investigate the
album I'm about to pontificate on -- it's a touchstone for our fave
Swindonians, as well as probably every other band you know and like):

I broke down and bought "Pet Sounds Sessions" last night.  I thought it
would be an interesting historical document to satisfy my Brian Wilson
obsession -- of no interest to anyone else, in other words.  Boy, was I
wrong.  This 4-CD set has the first true stereo version of the album,
created using the original masters, and it is breathtaking, earth-shaking,
unbelievable.  The album has always been at the pinnacle of my "greatest
pop creations" list, but being able to hear what Brian achieved in this new
level of sonic clarity is literally awe-inspiring.  Please understand --
this is not hyperbole.  Pet Sounds has now changed my life -- for a second
time.  Buy it!

Thank you for your indulgence.


p.s.:  am extremely gratified that there seem to be Minutemen fans on this
list, too.  There's an interesting connection, I think, between AP's
occasional fringe lunacy and the "genius or mad fool" perspectives of Watt.
And George Hurley is a monster!

p.p.s.:  sorry about lack of XTC content.

p.p.p.s. :  really, I mean it.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Rick Mealey" <>
Subject: xtc content:this post::needle:haystack
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 07:09:28 PST

My first posting to your fine newsgroup, or, here goes nothing (and
I'm sure you'll agree once you've read through it). (James Dignan) has an attack of

>>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?

James, instead of trying to Inuit, why don't you Eskimo?

James also insists:
>Eagerly awaiting Zoot...

I came in late, in fact I just came in, so this may be an FAQ.
Apologies in advance. However-- Zoot? I guess we're referring to the
forthcoming gem from Messrs Partridge, Moulding, and Gregory (yes, and
Prince), but-- *Zoot*? As in Zoot the sax player from Dr Teeth and the
Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show? Zoot as in Zoot Sims the sax
player? Zoot as in Bad Wicked Naughty Zoot in Monty Python and the
Holy Grail? Straighten me, 'cause I'm ready....

Loquacious Music <> gives us this point to ponder.
>Philip Glass, anyone?

Non-XTC content ahead, proceed with caution, fines double in work

Philip Glass? Oh, God, please, no.... Earlier this year the missus and
I spent a tidy sum to hear Glass reduce some of his better known
orchestral works to two hands on piano. Each song sounded like An
Evening of Hanon Exercises With Phillip Glass.  He got a standing
ovation at the end of the night.  The missus and I wondered who was
kidding whom....

>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".

I suppose the example you cite could be considered a coda, though a
more blatant example of a coda might be the end of Wrapped in Grey,
when the tempo picks up and Andy exhorts us to stand up naked and

Here's my take on codas: if a song is a sentence, then the coda is the
exclamation point at the end of it. Usually; sometimes it's a period,
other times a question mark, or ellipsis points....  Insert your
favorite punctuation at the end of your song, and that's your coda. opines:
>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.

This is my opinion; take it for what it's worth.  As much as we'd all
love to see the lads succeed and have that great big hit on their own
terms, I believe those terms tend to sift out the larger mass of music
listeners who just don't get XTC, for whatever reason-- as wheat from
chaff. I believe the "top producers" you speak of are necessarily
trying to reach that audience-- the chaff, if you will. So any
producer willing to lock horns with Andy in the studio is going to
find himself at cross-purposes with the band, who just jumped from a
great big PR machine at Virgin to (??) because of that very issue.

So I'm not surprised the "name producers" didn't jump-- I won't speak
for them, but aren't XTC known in certain circles of the industry to
be box-office poison? I mean, they've already worked with Steve
Lillywhite, Hugh Padgham, Todd Rundgren, Gus Dudgeon-- and XTC still
"enjoy" cult status. Part of it is PR, but part is the songs
themselves. Like I said, we'd all love to see XTC in the Top Ten, but
Andy just can't help being Andy; ditto Colin.  (I don't think we'd
love them so much if they could help it-- yes?)

Ouch, there were some possibly incendiary comments in there. I'd
better shut up now.

As you were...

***brilliant .sig file under construction***


From: ERA1970 <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 17:09:20 EST
Subject: skylarking concept
Organization: AOL (

okay,i've lurked long enough,it's time to get you people to really hate
me...  my question is,what exactly is skylarking about and why do so many
people like it?I pulled it out of mothballs the other day and it still is a
disappointing album (on the other hand I loved nonesvch.go figure.) Anyway,I
had read that Mr. rundgren had taken all of ap & cm's songs and said"these
fall in the cycle,and these fall out of the cycle"or words to that effect.I
JUST DON'T GET IT,PEOPLE!!!could someone explain this concept track by track
so I can listen to this (alleged)masterpiece with the proper appreciation?
Remember that's 1-800-BLASPHEMY,operators are standing by...


"Use a pen,sideshow bob"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 18:02:04 -0500
From: Chris Kushmider <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: XTC Live-Rockpalast...


I have a tape of XTC Live from the rebroadcast of their Rockpalast
performance circa 1981. However, the aloof German forgot to record it
with his NTSC VCR, leaving me with a PAL master of this show.  If anyone
could convert this video for me (PAL>NTSC | and convert whatever else is
on the video), there's a free copy for yourself in it for you...

"... but sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled
making Christmas cards for the mentally ill."


Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 18:30:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Adam Lipkin <>
Subject: The XTC 7 Song Charity Fund
Message-ID: <>

> > 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 ?

Well, isn't there someone in here who receives calls from Mr Partridge
from time to time? Perhaps that person can suggest it to Andy, see what he
thinks, and find out if there's a way to do it.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 15:22:23 +0000
Subject: Best, Worst and Otherwise

Ah... more random bits...

> From: John Relph <relph>
> >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.
I'lll second that... especially the bit with the cover art... Other
nominees for best cover art, This is Pop?, Dear God and Go 2... but
that's just me.

> >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.
Ah, so ANDY was Guy... I thought that I heard somewhere that it was
Hugh, but it does sound like Andy....

> >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.
I don't really hate this song, like I said in my last post, but you
have to admit, it's a lot better live when Colin shouts the ends of
some lines, esp. "wedding bells the SHOT GUN KIND"... that's really
cool... again, just me.

> From: steve mcallister <>
>   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.
I'll have to agree, but Bungalow has started to grow on me... I no
longer skip it... And it is better than a lot of stuff out there.
Not XTC stuff that is.

>       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 don't know... I've always found the "worst/best" song threads
interesting... at least they provide lots of messages and
springboards for other threads... that and it helps you know where
you are on taste with the rest of the list..8)

>       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
Ah, this one's easy... XTC is GOOD...8)

Oh yeah, new South Park on 11/19!

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

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


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 17:54:19 -0600
From: Dave Ledbetter <>
Subject: Knuckle Down, Bumper Cars

Matt Keeley wrote:

>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.

Now I am totally alone.  Leisure, It's Nearly Africa, and especially
Knuckle Down are my three favorite songs off of English Settlement and
define that "period" of XTC for me.  In fact, Knuckle Down one of the BEST
XTC songs ever.  Please give these songs another listen.

And in keeping with the theme of flip-flopping on a song.  I was listening
to the Demos the other day and Bumper Cars came on.  I had not really liked
this song and had skipped it many times.  But for some reason something

Bumper Cars (Bumper to Bumper) -- And you'll know when it's time to change
gear.  Great song!  That makes about 8 of us.

I can already see this ranking of least favorite XTC songs getting UGLY and


One bright morning the world might end with a big bang... a big... bang.
and you'll never ever get yourself another chance.


Date: 7 NOV 97 10:53:24 AES
Subject: Drums and Wise
Message-ID: <>


In 'Hills # 22, Matt Kaden made the following shrewd assessments:

>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.

Yes!!!!  My friend Dom & I were discussing the notion that it would be
interesting to hear Prairie Prince recorded without the 'generic' Rundgren
sound, and I alluded to the Young & Rich album as an example of hearing his
mighty drumming, albeit with taste and aplomb, recorded clearly, fuss-free,
and generally loud.  And Pimp in particular displays PP's imaginative style
brilliantly.  That album was produced & engineered by Ken Scott (cf White
Album, Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane etc)

>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.

....then Matt replied:

>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.

I couldn't agree more with both of you.  This is the *defining* moment for
me that launched my obsession with XtC in the first place. I purchased the
single (the white sleeve depicted a ?  on one side and a !  on t'other,
which I found pretty cute and arresting for a start), among a huge batch of
records from the period.  I knew nowt about XtC but in those heady days I
had the funds and the impetus to take risks and experiment with new
sounds. Putting "AYRM" on, I was immediately startled by the power, energy
and sheer glee of the performance.  "Wow! The Beatles go punk!", I thought.
I fell in love with this song and its perpetrators immediately.  But by the
time the song careened with pure abandon in its final moments, with the
speeding up adrenalin timewarp mayhem at the end, I was reduced to a
quivering mass of jelly (a good thing mind you).  Of course, from then on I
became an addict.  And a particular catalyst was Terry's drumming.

Incidentally, the other day a friend was showing me a video of Dragon
performing live.  Dragon is the band TC joined after leaving XtC.  Terry's
performance is astonishingly good, given that the Dragon material was much
more straight-ahead rock than XtC, lessening his opportunities to be as
inventive as he was on, say, Black Sea or ES.  It's a pity really that he
hung up his sticks, cos he was a bloody fine skinsman.

PS: re ZOOT.  References to Zappa's album "Zoot Allures", his former sideman
Zoot Horn Rollo, Zoot Money, zoot suits, etc etc.  But did you know there
was a late-60s Oz band called Zoot?  They featured, among others, Rick
Springfield.  Did a cod-metal version of Eleanor Rigby and dressed in pink
blouses.  Oh dear.....



Date: 7 NOV 97 13:03:51 AES
Subject: THIS IS XTC
Message-ID: <>

Jason Phelan said:

     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.

Well, how about entitling it:  "THIS IS XTC"  ????


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 11:08:33 +0000
Subject: It's alive! Alive!

John Relph stated:
> 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"...

Spot on.  I posted this about 16 months ago - but you and i seem
to be the only ones who can hear it.  Andy has a habit of pinching
sections from unreleased songs and working them into newer works.
Sometimes it's a whole slab of the song, as in the case of Goodbye
Humanosaurus / Then She Appeared or Shaking Skin House / Merely a
man.  Other times it's more subtle - the snatch of melody of "Rome
wasn't built in a day" from Blue Beret is removed and becomes "Wave
carried me overboard" in That Wave.

Other times it's a chord progression, or a certain rhythm.  Listen to
the campfire chord progression of the intro to Rah rah for red
rocking horse... sound familiar?  It's the verse progression of
Humanosaurus.  Sing the four notes of "Diff-i-cult Age".  Then sing
"Then she ap-peared".  It's obviously a hook he was toying with for a
while until he found the right hole to slot it into.

There are other examples - has anyone spotted the steal in the verses
for Church of women?

Andy's digging up his compositional cadavers and stealing aural
organs to reanimate his own perfect Frankenstein's Monster of a song.
It's not something i've heard in Colin's work though - but then
again, Colin's works-in-progress are kept much more tightly under


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 22:20:54 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: Day In...

Zoot-happy folxtc,

Dave "Black Sea" Man wrote:

>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 work with junior high kids, and I was also at a loss until I read a
spectacular book by two Boston journalists called "Signifying Rappers."
I can't remember the authors, but the book is probably available through
your local Border's, or at Anyway, the authors talked about
the fact that, when suburban kids listen to urban music, they
immediately strip the music of all its original message, and assign a
"new" message to it. This new message has something to do with their
lives, but it's a different message than the layperson listener finds on
the outside. It's all terribly interesting, and I'd love to talk to
someone about this phenomenon -- e-mail me privately, if you'd like.

Peter Wright wrote:

>`Easter Theatre' is not only the best of the demo tracks, it is also
>one of the very best songs that Andy ever conceived .

Although "River of Orchids" is my favourite new demo, I agree
completely. "Easter Theatre" is a spectacular song, and I think that it
shows Andy's lyrical and kestral genius.

I think that "Day In Day Out" is a spectacular song. I have some great
memories associated with it.

The prospective student who is staying with me tonight saw my XTC
poster, and said, "XTC? Are they still around?" I said "yeah," and he
said, "Do you have that album with 'Summer's Cauldron' on it?"

Just thought that was weird.


* --------------------------------------------- *
B e n   G o t t      ::          Bowdoin College
Telephone            ::           (207) 721-5142
Internet             ::
Why waste good time fighting the people you like?
* --------------------------------------------- *


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 01:18:00 -0500
From: RocketRob <>
Organization: Pink Palace Productions
Subject: 120 Min

Hello All,
Does anybody out there have the FULL MTV 120 min that Andy Partridge
hosted? I have it but it cuts off at this one part where he's about to
tell an Elvis Costello story, I'm dying to hear the story! can anybody


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 22:51:10 -0800
From: Eric Rosen <>
Subject: Repent Sinners -- your least faves are an outrage!!!

Hi Folx,

The discussion on least faves rustled me out of another long lurk.

Maybe the lot of you just don't like things with a reggae tinge...

Hey Relph-san... I always thought of "This World Over" as everything the
Police could have been but never quite achieved.  A very moving song indeed.
I'll never forget the satisfaction I felt in 1985 when during a summer night
party I got a room full people bopping away to "This World Over... over &
out."  The imagery there is so powerful.  Things like "washing odd numbered
limbs" and "winning the craziest race."  Love those descending single
keyboard notes near the end, hanging in limbo while the mid tempo ska
interplay of guitar-drums-bass jaunts along.

Runaways might not be an in your face tune but it has such texture!
Swirling keyboards, speedy rhythm guitar chording, niftily placed bass
(Colin's forte) and that dilectable bass drum THUD!!!!  Sounds straight
out of medieval Europe!  A charming piece not worthy of such derision!

Wait till Your Boat Goes Down.  WIth 20-20 hindsight, this one looks
like a direct ancestor of "One of the Millions" (another fave of mine
with a nautical quality (not to mention Yacht Dance)).  "THis song has
the essential XTC elements that annoy the crap out of non-fans. Parts of
the song where it gets really atonal or there are strange chordings,
bizarre transitions and so on. I think this could have been as big a hit
as anything else they had done to that point had it had a whiff of
promotion (like most anything they've done!).

There are plenty of tunes that I found grating but would come back to
years later, hit myself in the head and say "now I get it" and see the
piece in a whole new light.  This was the case for Paper & Iron, No
Language in our Lungs, Shake You Donkey Up, Blue Overall...  Now I find
myself hoping to get something as klanking, metallic, and jarring as
Black Sea or Big Express because they've now proven past the point of
intelligent debate that they can out-melodicize(!) and out-harmonize
anyone on the map.  It'll be interesting to see how they do the electric
guitar portion of the new album in light of their vast storehouse of
studio tricks, harmonies, pop deferences, etc.

Choice of Prairie Prince is most welcome.  He's sinfully good in the Man
Who Sailed Around his Soul.

The reasoning various folks have given for calling the next one, "XTC"
is very cogent yet I would not want to see it come to pass.  Notice XTC
never had title tracks (maybe another anti-commercial tendency!).
They're just too hyper-creative.  You get more psychic bang for the buck
with album titles that are self standing.  Gives us more to psychically
munch on.

I'd like to see a title that expresses the duality of the next
recording.  Something like "Riff-raff at the Opera" or "Crime in the
Suites."  Any other IDEAS?

Ah well that's this lurk over...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 01:47:24 -0600
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
Subject: My Doctoral Thesis, phase one

Warning:  this is one long-ass post.

Dave Seaman made me do it when he said:

>- 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.

Urgh.  I almost understand, but I would ask that you think about that word,
'non-musical,' a little more before you use it.  It's worse than any other
insult you could think of.

>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.

True enough.

>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?

Okay.  I'll take a stab.  I'm 25 years old. (BTW, Time likes to call us
GenXer's; I quote Paul Westerberg: 'They've got no war to name us') A lot of
kids in my generation can't stand the Beatles because they've been rammed
down their throats since the day they found out about rock music.   I see

The Beatles and XTC as neighbors in my heart.  Even though the bleakest of
XTC's output (i.e. 'All of a Sudden' or 'Bungalow') can lift my spirits,
it's just not for everyone.  I personally think there's a place for
'negative' fantasy in our lives.  Previous generations had murder mysteries,
Edgar Allen Poe, Greek tragedies.  XTC's sadder material makes me feel
something.  It often moves me to tears if I'm in the right mood.

I also think you're over-generalizing when you call 'Techno/rap/death
metal/grunge' all forms of 'negative' music.   Listen to De La Soul, for
crying out loud!!!  This is from the song 'I Am I Be' from the album
'Buhloone Mind State':

"I am Posdunos/ ...Product of a North Carolina cat/ Who scratched the back
of a pretty woman names 'Hattie'/ Who departed life just a little too soon
and didn't see me grab the Plug Two fame/ As we go a little something like
this:/ Look ma, no protection./ Now I've got a daughter names Ayannah Mone,/
And I can play the cowboy to rustle in the dough so the scenery is pretty
where her eyes lay."

And there's lots more where that came from.  The best Techno is experimental
in nature, like Brian Eno.  The worst is your darkest 'Funk Pop a Roll'
nightmare.  I'd put Death Metal in the 'Greek tragedy' category.  (not that
I like that shit, mind you.)  And you'll have to be more specific than
Grunge to give me an idea of what you mean.

I certainly agree that for most fans of popular music, its all about
fashion.  These kids are one day going to grow up, get boring jobs and
continue to think of music as a fashion accessory.  And when all is said and
done, ..."If you're bored, that's your fault."  (-Andy P. from the Boston
Oranges & Lemmons radio shows)

Hmm.  I think my next post will be about two words long.

love and a farmboy's wedgies,


now playing: Mike Watt 'Contemplating the Engine Room'
Lookit Meee! rekkids...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 01:50:35 -0600
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
Subject: But really, I don't like XTC very much

Ha.  Made ya look.

You know, I pretty much hate it when bands that are years and years old
release an eponymously titled album.  I know it's just a prejudice, but to
me it just says 'We're out of Ideas,' which obviously XTC are not.

Can you say,'Living in a Box' by Living in a Box?  From the album Living in
a Box?  How does the song go?  'I'm a-living in a box.  I'm a-living in a
cardboard box.'

The honourable Sir Stormy Monday has this to say:
>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.

Hell yeah!  You know all us Atlanta Chalkers just use this list as a
thinly-veiled excuse to get together and PLAY SUM SKYNNERD, DUDE!

Regarding Nonsuch, Rob C. says this:
>Well I was going to say that I wouldn't forgive (Gus Dudgeon) 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.

Yes, those execs plooked the fuck out of him.  (Insert graphic of Big stupid
cheezy Zappa-type grin)

then I said:
>>Gus also produced some records for Manfred Mann.  So the
>>guy's not a total loser.
then he said:
>Hmm, that's a bit do close to call one way or the other <grin> (The real
>Manfreds or the Earth Band ?)

The 'real' Manfreds of 'Doo Wah Ditty' fame.  I'm not sure if he produced
that single, but they were his big break.

>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.

The slickness isn't what bugs me. I feel that they probably had better songs
that were left off in an effort to 'create an overall mood.' Unfortunately,
that mood never quite gels. I can recall hearing a quote from Andy at the
time of its release about the more 'mazelike' character of the compositions
and how that would likely limits its accessability.  Maybe this is the
'concept' they were going for.  That's what made them take a relatively
straightforward song like 'Ugly Underneath' and tack on a beautiful, yet
awkward ending.

And now we're up to our long distance dedication.  It's from a man named Rob
Crawford, and here's what he writes...
>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).

Mark Fisher wrote a post, and it goes a little something like this:
>What I would like to question is the received wisdom - often stated on
>Chalkhills - that Colin is more consistent a writer than Andy.

Yeah, at the end of the day, it's Andy whose songs most often leave me
breathless.  Not to state the obvious, but 'Pale & Precious', 'Brainiac's
Daughter' & 'Earn Enough for Us' are three of my favorite songs ever by
anyone.  And that's just a recent tally.  This is actually something I've
shied away from saying on this list.  I love some of Colin's songs, but
given the chance, this straight man would leap at the chance to give Andy a
great big kiss to thank him for his music.  Ooh!  Did I just say that?

And last but not lust-- er, least,
>Favorite song title I wish I had written- "Love comes in spurts" Richard Hell
>and the Voidoids

'Love comes in spurts/ In dangerous flirts/
And it murders your heart/ They didn't tell you that part.

now playing: Mike Watt 'Contemplating the Engine Room'
Lookit Meee! rekkids...


Message-ID: <840C6065282CD111A6B400805FEA5AC50E25D7@BENEXCHG>
From: Gary Minns <>
Subject: Not So Respectable Street
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 10:01:44 -0000

Following the discussion on the re-recorded Respectable Street lyrics
(due to Virgin and BBC censorship), it has always seemed strange to me
that Virgin pushed this change.  The Sex Pistols hit number 1 (or was it
number 2) in the UK with a record that had an almost blanket
broadcasting ban imposed on it.

2 or 3 years after Respectable Street, Frankie Goes to Hollywood were,
overnight, turned from a mediocre pop band into international stars by
the BBC's insistence on banning Relax.  The single flew to number 1 in
the UK because every 13 year old in the country dashed out to buy this
record to listen to the alleged rude bits in it!

However, there are, I'm sure, instances of groups having singles banned
and the songs flopping because of this.

What do you hear, what do you say?



Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 08:56:18 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Oh woe is me......
Message-id: <>

I hate being sick and having to make my way some 50 odd miles to get to
school because I have a damn test I can't afford to miss, then having to go to
work later that evening.

Anyhoo, enough of that. Response time.....

Michael-Congrats on the new baby! I hope you got as much sleep in as possible,
because you can forget about it for the next year or two.

Chris-Unfortunately, I got the single LP. I miss hearing Yacht Dance on it,
that was probably my favorite from that album.
I do have to disagree with you on some of your choices of worst songs.
Mermaid Smiled is a gem, and it fit so much better into the running order of
Skylarking than Dear God did. As far as This World Over goes, this is my
favorite song of all time, not just by XTC, but overall.
But I'll step up and list MY least fave songs, one from each album.....
1.-I'll Set Myself On Fire-Diction is a GOOD thing, my dear Mr. Moulding. In
the early days, Colin's voice sounded like his tongue was too big for his
mouth and was just sort of flapping in the way of everything.
2.-Super Tuff-Too many songwriters spoil the broth.
3.-Limelight-Was a nice fanzine, but as a song, it wasn't one of Colin's
better ones.
4.-Don't Lose Your Temper-Dunno why, just could never get into it.
5.-English Roundabout-See above answer.
6.-Gold-Once again, see above answer.
7.-Washaway-I think Colin hit a bit of writer's block with this one.
8.-Big Day-Although I do plan on hearing this one at my wedding, whenever
that day comes, once again, I don't think it's one of his beter songs.
9.-Here Comes President Kill Again-Ths is probably the only song on Oranges
& Lemons I don't listen to when I play the cd. I always program it out.
10.-Bungalow-Many of you like it, I don't. Yet again, I just can't get into
it damnit!

And now I must be going to flunk a math test. But before I go, might I drop
in a quick comment about my favorite person in the whole world, Aimee

Last night, they showed Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry" on the VH-1 show Pop Up
Video, you know the show where every now and then little facts about the
band or the video pop up on the scrren. Anyhoo, one of the facts was that
Aimee thought the guy in the video who played her love interest was too
macho, and that she perferred "wimpier guys"......  (and spell
checkers......)  So how did she end of with Dave then???? I'd hardly
classify him as a wimp.

I'll end on this note....I wish I was a microphone. To figure out why, you
must either spool back a few digests or spool to Bungalow, then to the
heading about the band needing our help, then to the sentence right after
"Amanda, brace yourself."  And you'll see why everyone in the computer lab
was staring at me as I fell out of my chair laughing.

XTC song of the day-Bags of Fun With Buster
non XTC-One-U2


Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 10:06:30 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v01510100b088a5bd8314@[]>
From: (Harold Grey, ITC)
Subject: Post Punk Diary

Hi. I don't know if you have all seen the new book called PostPunk Diary by
George Gimarc (SP?) but it has some great XTC info. The book is a follow-up
to his Punk Diary and covers the years 1980-82. I couldn't put it down last
night. It brought back such fond memories. It's funny but I have had The
Lure of Salvage for many years on vinyl, and the book has soem interesting
tidbits about how that record came about and which XTC songs (or bits of
songs) were used for the music. I especially like the gig listings: Joy
Division and the Clash, Gang of Four and the Au Pairs, Psych Furs opening
for Iggy Pop. Check it out...

Harold Grey


Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Nov 1997 10:21:37 U
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: Nonmusical music/help the band

>From one lurker to another ...

Dave wrote:

"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."

I *really* have to diagree with this.  Someone once asked a rapper--might've
been Ice Cube, not sure--why so many suburban white kids were buying gangsta
rap.  He said that when these kids get into the music, they don't do it
half-assed: they want the most intense, most extreme and out-there stuff
they can find.  And, speaking as a suburbanite myself, I think it's a very
normal reaction to a very staid, controlled, and rather bland environment.
I think rap and techo and any other form of "nonmusical" expression are
attractive precisely because they are loud, disruptive, profane; they offer
a glimpse into a realm where things aren't so damn ordered.  To assume that
one can only appreciate music that directly relates to one's own experience
is fanciful at best--I can get chills hearing Robert Johnson's Hellhound on
My Trail without having been born poor, southern, and black, to say nothing
of believing that the devil is after me.

As for rap or techno being "nonmusical," while I don't entirely disagree, I
wanted to point out that music started with rhthym: the drumbeat.  I think
it connects us to something primal and will/should always be with us for
that reason.

Other business:

Someone suggested we all chip in to help the guys record the rest of the
songs for the new album.  I'd do it in a second, but aren't there some legal
snags to this kind of thing?  I remember back in the 70's, when Tom Baker
was trying to finance a Dr. Who movie, he made a suggestion in the press
that all the fans who wanted to see the film could send in a fiver to help
out.  He was inundated with money but wound up having to give it all back.
Giving money would probably make us, legally, co-investors in a commercial
enterprise or some such thing, and there'd be all sorts of tangles.  Does
anyone know more about the law in this area?

All for now, thanks,



Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: "Why can't they be like we were...
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 10:59:16 -0500

Day In Day Out in the worst? Many early XTC lyrics read very
simple and minimalistic. DIDO ain't exactly the Soliliquoy from
Carousel, if you catch my drift, and it's not meant to be. I
like the "shop floor" clanginess it dissolves into, too.

>[JD Mack] I have a problem with the lyrics (to River of Orchids).
>I'll leave it up to your imaginations as to what you would have
>to do without in Andy's Utopia.

At first I was gonna be a smartass. Then I realized something:
I'm wrong! I'm failing America by taking the bus or (horror) my
bicycle to work, and if the free market doesn't want me to feel
safe in 2500 lb of auto, there's a $30,000 SUV out there with my
name on it. The commuting rig of choice around here weighs 5000 lb
and contains exactly one person. And if it weren't for roads, the
poseur segment of that owner demographic wouldn't be able to drive
those rigs anywhere. "We safe in you concrete robe."

(Nothing personal JD, for all I know you're a contractor who has
a genuine reason for owning an F-250 dualie.)

Age v. IQ? I've got a problem with quantifying intelligence. Does
IQ really measure much in post-adolescents w/o learning problems?
Do standardised test scores measure your town's ability to keep
the dim bulbs from taking it? (Overheard on SAT weekend at the high
school: "Hey, instead of a test, who wants to go on a picnic?")
And IQ is a *quotient*, the result of doing division. In this case
it's the raw score on a test by the subject's age, I think.

>[Kimberlina] I live in a sub-suburban small town in north georgia
>and as a result am a bit sheltered from some of the problems that
>are out there.

Thanks to modern media, the definition of "sheltered" has changed.
It used to be ignorance of problems, now it's not having them in
your town. And these problems, as you surmised, are some big city
crime thing (prom moms, gangs of crack dealers, carjackers)
which "spreads" to your burg :'). I grew up in the same small
town in New England.

>[Dave Seaman] Anyone care to comment, agree or disagree, or just
>tell me i'm full of it?

It's cool to look back on every wave of mold-breaking music from
the viewpoint of the old folks who don't get it, except when you
wonder if now's *your* time to not get it! And this goes double
when there's a face to put on it, like Elvis, the Beatles, Dylan,
the Grateful Dead, the Ramones or Nirvana, & a few others.

One could imitate Elvis in 1955 with a bunch of 45s, but one can
do a much better job of pretending to be a gangsta rapper now. I
can stop at an upscale chain bookstore for a slick magazine with
brand-name references to the accessories of my favorite rapper,
place a couple of 24-hour-catalog orders, and by this time
tomorrow have an entire convincing Biggie Smalls (or whoever)
costume delivered to my apartment for trick or treating.

It IS just a costume, so why do these kids think they have
something in common with them? Maybe because there's nothing
from their own background they can rebel with. Gen X and
alternativo seem to be fused together in the music industry.
Hanson and the Spice Girls are as threatening as the industry
wants to peddle from the 'burbs.

So I'm wondering, as I see both wannabees and the real thing in my
town, if I can't tell the difference and just feel threatened and
annoyed by these "kids and their crazy music". Maybe it's just 90-
channel TV and live wall-to-wall news repetition that makes "the
big bad city" seem more immediate to me 100 miles away.

My concern is converting them to XTC after they give up the pants-
belted-around-the-knees, windshield-cracking-trunk-full-of-woofers

Note that my comments are tempered by 3 facts: I was a truly
alienated teen (as in I didn't get alienated *with* other teens,
but *from* them as well). I don't like kids much. And finally,
Dave, I've always felt kids should be raised in a box for the
purposes of science--and your experiment is a good start ;-).

...perfect in every way, what's the matter with kids today?",


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-23

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