Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-24

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 24

                 Monday, 10 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                  Runaways - weak? eh!!
                 All Along the Garfunkel
                   Multi-threading ...
                    It's Early Africa
Nature/Nurture...Stiff Little Fingers...Faves...Bongos Over Swindon?
         Drums and Wires the first " XTC " album?
                  Sgt Rock in bottom 10
                  From e-pulse magazine
                   Rate the Zoot Demos
               Bipolar listening disorders
                      SALVATION Road
          John's supercool Rag-n-Bone cd booklet
                    album title redux
             re: The XTC 7 Song Charity Fund
             The Rhythm / Black Sea Tour '81
                     New Town Animal
                        Take Cover
               Subjectivity & objectivity.
             I'm ramblin, ramblin' 'round...
                      Urban Bassman


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

I'm under a flourescent light.


Message-ID: <>
Organization: University of Salford
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 11:58:39 +0000
Subject: Runaways - weak? eh!!

I agree strongly with the contributor who states that Runaways is a
fine opening track.  OK - for an album of standard length, a strong
'poppy' opener serves as a good attention-grabber or statement of
English Settlement is, however,  of the length which requires
careful pacing.  I think the sinister mood Runaways evokes draws the
listener in and sets the scene for an album, which thematically
addresses the moral and cultural health of the country at that time.
Making some pretty damning observations in the process!  A frothy 45
would have been a poor choice.  Listen again. . .the bass drum in the
forefront of the mix is a wake-up call, if ever there was one!


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 15:24:43 -0500
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: All Along the Garfunkel

Just a little commentary to fill this issue of Chalkhills:

Chris Coolidge listed among his least fav XTC songs:
>>4. All Along The Watchtower- One of the worst Dylan covers I've ever heard.

To which John Relph replied:
>One of the most original covers I've ever heard.  One of the few
>things worth listening to on _White Music_.

And then I say:

I've got to agree with the illustrious Mr. Relph. Although it took a little
while to grow on me, this one is among my favorites on the album too. I
LOVE that bass line and the way the harmonica weaves in and out of it. I've
always categorized it with Devo's version of "Satisfaction" and The Flying
Fish's version of "Money"  -- both great deconstructive covers as well.

And in the same give-and-take, Chris and John said:
>>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.)

And I say:

Doesn't really matter which comes first -- I could say that the Faces sound
like the Black Crowes without it necessarily implying anything about
chronology. The point is that the two things sound similar in some way,
which doesn't take away from XTC's song.

And finally, they said:
>>--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.

Paul Simon also happens to be a master songwriter...his attempts at
incorporating various ethnic styles in his music aren't meant to be held up
as an example of that style, any more than the Police could have tried to
pass off their music as actual reggae. The point is one of fusing different
types of music, which I believe Paul Simon has been quite successful at --
criticizing him for not being soulful is kind of beside the point...he's
never exactly been a "soulful" singer anyway.

And with that, I bid you adieu, till next time.

Dave Gershman


Message-ID: <01BCEB92.4D03D2A0@nts-webdev>
From: Tony Nowikowski <>
Subject: Multi-threading ...
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 15:31:33 -0500

... in which this humble usually-lurker comes out of his lair to offer
opinions on several current topics ...
(But as David/Spanky noted a few issues back,
"Using the word 'lurker' sounds creepy, so I'll just refer to myself as an
interested bystander finally caught up in the conversation."
Myself, I prefer the phrase "posting-challenged".)


1) Best Album Opener.  My vote's for Wake Up.  I remember how my attention
was grabbed by those great panned guitars bouncing back and forth the very
first time I heard it ... and it still sounds fresh and exciting listening
to it now as I'm writing this.  (Plus I've always loved the vocal effect on
"the girl who smiled and made the liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiift"!)
The song is a musical alarm clock, "waking up" the album with a bang.  I'd
rate Respectable Street a respectable second, though, and give a special nod
to Summer's Cauldron for "best mood setting".
2) Worst song.  Ooooh, what a flame-inspiring topic THAT is.  Amazing that
there hasn't been much torch and twang on it (or, for that matter, much
flameage of ANY sort lately.  Guess we've all been on our best behaviors?
Or are just too groggy from Halloween candy overload to attack?!?)  In the
slightly modified category of "XTC songs Tony would prefer to not listen to"
(in no particular order):
* Human Alchemy.  Dark and lumbering, and, actually, fairly BORING.
Especially the minute-plus-long coda.
* This World Over.  Just a little too preachy for my tastes, and again,
IMHO, the song could end WAAY before it actually does.
(Melt The Guns has a similar problem with running on quite a bit at the end,
but somehow the song as a whole doesn't alienate me nearly as much.)
* (Flame time, boys & girls!)  Go2.  Yes, I know it's an album, not a song!
But I just could never embrace it at all.  It's the one XTC album I haven't
bought on CD.  (And yeah, I have gone back and listened to the vinyl several
times since I started hanging around the Chalkhillfolk, and I'm still no
closer to spending my discretionary income on the CD than I ever was before.
3) The "guitar as phallic symbol" discussion.  Thought I'd drop this quote
from Mistah Partridge hisownself, from the liner notes to the BBC Radio One
Live disc:
"It's an interesting cocktail, that mixture of fear, defiance, casanova
cockiness and decibels that washes over you up there on stage.
Guitar/Gun/Penis in hand, you simultaneously struggle to kiss and kill
everyone in the room.  Not an easy task as you're trying to play the solo
section of "Life Begins At The Hop" at the same time."



From: "JH3" <>
Subject: It's Early Africa
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 15:34:56 -0600
Message-ID: <01bcebc4$fdc69aa0$>


>>4.  It's Nearly Africa -- ...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.)...

Interestingly enough, at the time some people accused XTC of ripping off the
Talking Heads, who had just released the somewhat tribal-sounding "Remain In
Light". But when he was asked about it in interviews, Andy told people that
they'd actually written it for Drums and Wires, over two years earlier --
and that originally they weren't really trying to sound African at all, they
were just messing around with the rhythm a bit, but once they realized what
they'd done they put in the "Africa" lyrics -- after the song was
practically finished.

One more thing -- I'd bet my right arm that Andy and the lads would never
name an album just "XTC". Good idea or not, I just don't think they'd ever
do it.

--John H. Hedges


Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 22:16:20 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Nature/Nurture...Stiff Little Fingers...Faves...Bongos Over Swindon?

Are any Chalksters in the DC area planning to attend Todd Rundgren's show on
November 29 at JAXX in Springfield, VA? E-mail me if you'd like to meet up!

My opinions on the burning issues of this week:

>From Dave Seaman:
>- 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.

I think it would matter more what kind of experiences a kid had up to the
point of the music being revealed. Are we talking about just suburban kids
with a relatively idyllic upbringing, or also those who had the inner city
experience that might make them sympathetic to the gang-banger mentality?
Also, many kids of all ages love fantasy entertainment that depicts the
chopping up of their fellow man. I think a large part of "hard" rap's appeal
is the same as Freddie Krueger's or any crime story shoot-em-up. "That's
Entertainment...(to the tune of MGM, not Paul Weller)."

>From Lynn S.:
>Does anyone else here like Stiff Little Fingers?  Just curious really.

Yes! I recently saw a great show in DC, and they did all the old songs great
justice. Bruce Foxton of the mighty Jam did a terrific job holding down the
bass end and filling out the vocal harmonies.

Regarding All Along The Watchtower:

It is a textbook case of a band making a famous song their own using a
highly idiosyncratic approach. I was at a party once with a reasonable
cross-section of music fans where the host put this track on the CD player,
and challenged the guests to identify the song. It took a long time for
anyone to hit on the answer (I bit my tongue).

>From Matt Keeley:
>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.

Wow. This is one of my favorites. The moment when the congas or bongos come
galloping in gets me every time. I love "Dear God" also, but I wish it had
been simply added to the running order after "Mermaid", rather than
substituted for it.

Also from Matt Keeley:
>I really wish XTC would let Mark Mothersbaugh do an EZ Listening Disc of
>their songs,

Maybe this would be a good Chalkhills' Children sort of project? I get dibs
on the bossa version of "Are You Receiving Me?" 8^)

* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Crain: Fan, Musician, and Computer Guy.
- Good Band: The Sugarplastic
* ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Message-Id: <>
From: "J & J Greaves" <>
Subject: Drums and Wires the first " XTC " album?
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 19:22:47 -0800

Re: Recent opinion on  White Music and Go2

To me these are different enough from the rest of the catalogue of releases
to be considered as albums by the "Helium Kidz". Not that they are worse (
because I like them ) , but for me XTC begins with Dave joining the band.(
no shot at Barry intended either )

Pete, your idea of a band of photogenic lipsynchers was ( probably jokingly
) mentioned by Andy in an interview once, in response to yet another
touring question. He thought to combat his stage fright, he would hire a
live performing band called Farmboys Wages or something, that would perform
XTC songs. He would then handle the writing of songs and the stage design
etc. It all became a bit too "Beatlemania" for him though.

Certain songs do connect with the "masses" in my experience. Many of my
friends who otherwise aren't too excited by the band really thought Dear
Madam Barnum was a great song, and should have been a "single". And thanks
to CTD, friends of mine already knew the words to Pumpkinhead from radio
exposure, and were able to sing along!

The fact that Prarie Prince is again playing the part of the time bomb
makes the wait just that much harder!

Take care all....John


Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 03:18:43 -0800
From: Stephen Larson <>
Subject: Sgt Rock in bottom 10
Message-ID: <>

In Chalkhills 4-22, John Relph wrote:
>>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.

I was certainly glad to see our esteemed moderator step in on this
thread, not only to make the important point above but to defend
the other "bottom-10" songs as well.  I, for one, was amazed to see
_It's Nearly Africa_  make this list as it's always been one of my
very favorite XTC songs.  AP's ability to create songs in different
styles and have them sound better than the work of the principal
practitioners of those styles never ceases to amaze me.

I strongly suspect that the problem with this potential thread is that
every XTC song seems to have its own magic.  Some of us find
that spark in one song, others find it in another.  Sgt. Rock would
easily make my own bottom-10 but *somebody* out there must
like it; it *was* released as a single.  I suspect that my own animosity
toward the song isn't based solely on the songs merits or lack thereof,
but rather on the fact that it was released as a single while so many
better songs on Black Sea remained hidden from public view.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 08:32:08 -0600
From: Dave White <>
Subject: From e-pulse magazine

This is from Tower Records on-line e-mail magazine (apologies if this is
old news)
2. ... or is it memorex of the week:
     There's nothing like admiring a car as some stranger speeds by,
only to realize that, waitaminnit, that's MY car!. That's how XTC's
Andy Partridge should feel upon hearing YOU AM I's debut album,
'HOURLY DAILY' (Sire/Warner Bros., out now), which contains a
virtually note-perfect rip-off ... er, that is, _homage_ to the bridge
of XTC's "Senses Working Overtime." When asked if XTC was going to
receive a co-writing credit, a la Ben Mink and k.d. lang on the recent
Rolling Stones single, a label spokesperson merely expressed
bewilderment as to why so many people were mentioning XTC (sounded
like the Jam to him). And, to conclude a real red letter day for
postmodern poaching, we also received a tape of the Brian Jonestown
Massacre which opens with an even more unimaginative Byrds swipe.
Now, far be it from us to criticize sampling or otherwise referencing
past artists in interesting new ways, but -- even in the music
industry -- there's a difference between paying tribute and robbing
folks blind.  Maybe not a _big_ difference, but a difference
nonetheless ...


Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 09:39:06 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Rate the Zoot Demos

Hi everyone,

XTC fanatic John B. from Madison, NJ, USA here.  I'm the one who solicited
your ratings of the recent (possibly Zoot-bound) XTC demos.

Since I've received only 9 responses, and was hoping for at least two dozen,
I'll wait to post results until I receive a few more.

This is an important exercise, because a question hangs in the balance --
what kind of sound do we want Andy, Colin, and Dave to pursue?  More of the
60's sound, like "Some Lovely"?  Something deliberately offbeat, like
"Bumper Cars"?  Something experimental like "River of Orchids" or "Prince of
Orange"?  Something folky, borrowed and blue (like recent Fairport
Convention), such as "I'd Like That"?

Let me know!

And since I may have put some people off by devising a complicated rating
system (it's my math/stat background), let's make it simple.  Just give all
the demos you've heard (and which might appear on the next XTC album) a
score between 0 and 10.

One last thing: be sure to send your replies DIRECTLY to me at  (which you can remember either as a character from Proust,
or as a mixture of cottage cheese and custard.)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 11:42:01 -0800
From: Wesley Hanks <>
Subject: Bipolar listening disorders

Hmmm... songs that you once hated but now enjoy.
How about that weird middle stage of that transition -- where during the
opening of the song you immediately think, "nope, don't like this one,
never did." but as the song progresses, your thinking changes to, "am I
nuts, this [rocks, is beautiful, has awsome lyrics, how did they do that
bit, etc.]"? The next phase is "wow, this cd has THAT song on it, can't
For me, it for no apparent reason happens whenever I listen to D&W.
(collective gasp)

Safely listening to XTC since 1978 with no reported accidents,

ps Dave Gersham send me your address.


Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 14:54:40 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <971108145440_1103796741@mrin79>
Subject: SALVATION Road

Hello Ch'illers,
    This afternoon I took my wife to a Salvation Army store, near my job, to
look for a winter coat. While browsing through their albums (vinyl), I was
both Xt(c)atic and saddened to find the single version of ENGLISH SETTLEMENT
(ARE 37943). I looked at both sides of the LP, and would have to say it's in
ex(t)cellent condition. The sleeve has the lyrics and a picture of the band
with very 'slight slits on the sealed sides' (say that 3 times fast!). The
jacket is tainted with, what looks to be, 2 small and barely noticable cola
stains. Anyway, I had to rescue the LP from this store. I paid $1.99. Anyone
interested? It's yours for cost.
E-mail me to set-up arrangements. Naturally, first come, first served.
Paul LoPiccolo     < >


From: "Mitch H. McGlothlin" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: John's supercool Rag-n-Bone cd booklet
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 21:14:40 -0500 (EST)

Hey fellow Chalkies,

 Have you checked out our moderator's cool Rag-n-Bone Buffet cd booklet
supplement? It can be found on the Chalkhills' web page under the
'products and merchandise' section.

 It's a great addition to your Rag-n-Bone Buffet cd with a lot of
detailed track info and lyrics. Highly recommended.


ps. The booklet is a postscript file. If you're a pc user
    without a postscript program, 'Printfile' located at  might help.
    Your printer has to be postscript capable, though.


Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 22:57:54 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Murder

>From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/

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

No, thank you. My wife would miss me very much. Kindly refrain from
murderous threats unless you're prepared to carry them out. If you don't
like my opinions, you can say so. I got a thick skin, I can handle it. I do
feel a need to clarify about my opinion on White Music though. I don't mean
to step on the toes of those who have special feelings about that album, but
for me it's the one XTC album I never got into. I've listened to it all the
way through at least twice, and "This Is Pop" and "Statue Of Liberty" would
be welcome on my stereo any time, but the rest I found underwhelming. I'll
admit their version of "All Along The Watchtower" was original, but
personally I found it grating. In a way I'm mystified as to why I don't like
the album, since I enjoy the 3D EP very much, and GO2 is at worst
listenable, at best damn good; I have my reservations about "My Weapon," in
fact it almost made my ten worst list, but its catchiness almost mitigates
the offensive lyrics.  "Mechannik Dancing" would definitely be on my best
list though. In fact, it was the first XTC song I ever heard, about a year
before I started hearing "Making Plans For Nigel" on the radio in
'79. Didn't know who it was at the time, though.

  Anyway, I last heard White Music about fifteen years ago; it's within the
realm of possiblility that I'd like the album better now, but I can only
speculate. If I saw it used for a couple of dollars I'd pick it up.

Chris Coolidge


Message-Id: <>
From: "Don Rogalski" <>
Subject: album title redux
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 13:28:07 +0800

Dear Chalkhills readers:

I've been following with interest the thread concerning
a title for the new album.  Isn't it interesting that
none of XTC's albums have been named after one
of the album's songs?  I'd like to see some statistics
concerning this practice; the survey could include
all music recorded in the twentieth century... maybe we
could dip into the previous century too, hell... why not?

But debating the title of an album yet to be released
seems to me to be just so much speculation on an
unknown quantity.  Doing this is not safe.  People could
get hurt.  They could get married, even.  I myself prefer to
muse on what might have been.

And in this day and age, retro-active changes are well
within the realm of possibility, no?  Why insist on the
linear nature of the space-time continuum?

The following is a list of album name changes for
XTC's catalogue:

1.	White Noise --> White Boys

Sort of a nod to the American South and
its glorious tradition of good ol' boy music.

2.	Go 2 --> Goat

"Go 2" actually sounds like a native speaker
of an Asiatic language attempting to
pronounce the word "goat" for the first time,
due to the tyrannical nature of the Germanic
languages' obsession with ending words with
consonants.  In this regard the original album title
might be construed by some as slightly patronizing.

3.	Drums and Wires
	-->  Rums and Wines

1979 saw the emergence of Jamaican-influenced
ska, which no doubt owed some of its
inspiration to the pleasures of a good bottle of
rum, and who's to argue against the merits of
a fine bottle of wine?

4.	Black Sea -->
	Hedgerows on the Starboard Side

Does this really need any explanation?

5.	English Settlement -->
	Settling with the English

Never before has a cultural document so perfectly
encapsulated the resignation with which the French
view their neighbours across the channel.  Mr. P
did a fine job of "narrative standpoint shifting",
which, to those in the know, is a technical
description of a shift in narrative standpoint.  This
most often occurs when middle-aged alcoholics
in Bel Air write "treatments" of Jane Austen novels.

6.	Mummer -->

You lose a drummer, go through three producers,
and see how YOU feel.

7.	The Big Express -->
	Moguls Screaming... Kiss the Virgin

This also needs little explanation

8.	Skylarking -->
	The Three Seasons

It couldn't be "The Four Seasons" as the
Italians already have a claim to it.  And dig
the nifty pun on "seasons", a la "sons of the
sea".  Fits in nicely with the seafaring motifs
of past albums, not to mention the epiphanical
line "those lost at sea and never found" of the
flagship single.

9.	Oranges and Lemons -->
	Limey... Limes!!!

Oranges may have a distinctive taste, but
they're a bit commonplace, don't you think?
I like the campy 1960's feel to my prospective
album title much better.

10.	Nonsuch -->
	A Buffet of Pumpkins

Again, a pun.  Buffet can be either a meal at which
guests serve themselves, or as a verb can be either a
punch or a slap, or "to beat back as by repeated blows;
thrust about".  All connotations may apply.

And for their newest album?  Having worked through
the new titles for those already released, I feel sufficiently
emboldened to throw caution to the wind and disregard
my original disdain for speculation.  I submit the following

"To wit:  we are here"

A gentle reminder to those who may have become distracted
by the preponderance of grunge and commercial rap in the years
since 1992.

I think it will do nicely.  Can you send it to the boys?

Don Rogalski


Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E033F879A@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: re: The XTC 7 Song Charity Fund
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 05:40:31 -0800

Well we put this question to Andy earlier this year (I put some questions to
him from the folks here on Chalkhills)
and his answer is basically that for various reasons they won't see any
money sent to them (the context of the question was in relation to "paying"
the band for the tapes and bootlegs that are circulating). My guess is that
it would be a tax nightmare for the band.

Either way : the budget for the new album is not too bad , they've borrowed
#100,000 from their Japanese label/distributor.

> > 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.


Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 12:54:07 -0700
From: Miles & Gigi Coleman <mdc2@EMAIL.BYU.EDU>
Subject: The Rhythm / Black Sea Tour '81
Message-id: <>

Hello chalkies,

I was looking over the Unauthorized Releases in the Chalkhills discography
and was wondering what one of those releases might be worth to someone.  I
might have a connection who has a connection who might have the possibility
of getting a hold of The Rhythm, which as it states in the discography "The
Rhythm; LP (2), Centrifugal UK, 12 CENT-07, March 1980. double LP, live
bootleg" and also "Black Sea Tour '81, pirate album, from BBC Rock Hour
#212, LP, Fury USA, FURY 81, 1989."

Do I want them?  What are they worth?  What would it be worth to you
as a fan?

Email me personally,

Thanks for your help,


Miles & Gigi Coleman				Provo, Utah			Family Home Page


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 10:03:33 +0000
Subject: Oi!


> From: ERA1970 <>
> 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
Well, the concept for the album is sort of like a tour through life,
from birth to death to rebirth.  Of course, while it is a good album
and all, the concepty bit kinda fails... There are a few songs that
don't really seem to fit in with the life cycle (especially Dear God
to me, but that wasn't on the original album, so...)... Actually,
with the exception of the Who's Tommy and Quadrophrenia, I've yet to
see a concept album that kept the concept going... (well, anyway,
Tommy and Quad were Rock Operas, so...)  I mean, look at Sgt. Pepper.
 Really wonderful album, it kicks an unlawful amount of ass, but the
concept part is a bit flawed... if I'm not mistaken, it was supposed
to be another band giving a concert, in a pub, or similar venue... I
don't know... I don't know many pub-bands that go around with a full
orchestra and sitar and tabla players... Of course, I want to make
clear I'm not dumping on Sgt. Pepper, after all, it did have "A Day
in the Life" on it, just the concept was a bit flawed.  As for why
people like Skylarking so much, I think it's a combo of being a very
good album 8), and also, I'm pretty sure for many people it was their
first XTC album... a lot of people seem to romanticise their first
album by a really good band that they like... for me, it was Oranges
and Lemons/Dukes of Strat., so those are a couple of my absolute
favourite albums... they're probably not as good as I make them out
to be, but hey...

> From: Dave Ledbetter <>
> 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.
I don't know... "Knuckle Down" is OK... the least objectionable,
IMHO... "Leisure" flatly pisses me off... I can't stand it...
normally I kinda like Andy's "wacky sax", but this track it ruins
it... "Africa", musically it's ok, and the sax bit is really cool,
but with the exception of the bridge, the lyrics seem to come of as
kinda dopey... but if the song were like the bridge, then it would be
one of my favourites...

> Subject: THIS IS XTC
> Well, how about entitling it:  "THIS IS XTC"  ????
Only if they add the obligatory "Yeah Yeah" to the title.

> From: Eric Rosen <>
> 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.
OK, I thought _I_ was the only one who thought that giving an album
the title of the single was a cop out...

> From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
> 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!
No, P14Y 5uM 5kY|\||\|3rD, d00d...8)  If you're going to be 1337, you
have to be all the way 1337...8)

> 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.
Ah, not always... I'm kinda partial to some of the earlier tracks
where you can hardly make out a thing that Andy is saying... although
admittedly, it doesn't work as well with Colin...

> 2.-Super Tuff-Too many songwriters spoil the broth.
Well, that's what happens when you let the keyboardist/rapist write

BTW, am I alone in thinking that the worst thing about "My Weapon" is
not the lyrics or the subject matter, but the fact that it's so
damned CATCHY?  "don't know what she ... MY GOD!  WHAT AM I SINGING?
AGH!"  Happened to me on more than one occasion.

> 4.-Don't Lose Your Temper-Dunno why, just could never get into it.
I like this song a lot.  It's crap, but it's really good crap.

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: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 13:55:48 -0500
From: "Neal H. Buck" <>
Organization: Lionarts
Subject: New Town Animal

>From the Gilded Cage of
Neal Buck

Greetings and hello from the "New Town" of Columbia, MD (actually 30
yrs. old now). Obstensibly a "new" (read: hippie/liberal) view of "The
Next America" created by visionary James Rouse and/or a Mall with a
built-in clientele created by the Rouse Co. (builder of Malls).

So let me get right to my XTC story to qualify my membership in this
august group. I heard the band first through my friend Pat Michel (who
also turned me on to a lot of other great groups) around '78/'79.
Shortly afterward, they came a-callin' to support the newly-released
Drums & Wires at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall. I went with Pat
and other friends a little hesitantly. I still wasn't sure about this
"new wave" thing. Fingerprintz was the opening band, and for the first
half of XTC's set, I sat back and judged these "wierdos." Then at some
point something clicked and I realized that if I didn't join in, that I
wouldn't know what all the fun was about. So I did, and the rest of the
concert to me was great. Afterwards, Pat insisted we hang around and see
if we could go backstage. About an hour later, a security guard waved us
back and we found ourselves in a little room with the guys themselves.
This was my first time ever meeting a "real band." I would love to be
able to give you a transcript of what was said, but 1) This was 15 years
ago, 2) I was probably stoned at the time, and 3) I was rather ignorant
of their music and the significance they would have to my musical life.
What I do remember is asking about a particular song I enjoyed, and the
resulting dialog going something like this:

Me: "What was that song?"
XTC: "Dance Band"
Me: "It was a danceable number, what was its name?"
XTC: "Dance Band"
Me: "Yes I know you are, but what was the name of the song?"

I know they thought I was daft (and I was at the time [see reason 2]).
In my defense, I also was not used to those limey accents of theirs, why
can't they all just speak plain English like us Americans?

The other thing I remember was asking about Bill Nelson and Red Noise,
who's "Sound on Sound" album I was really into. They told me they were
good friends with Bill since they both had the same producer (John
Leckie). I was also told of an upcoming album by Mr. Nelson, "Quit
Dreaming and Get On the Beam," which ended up being released two years
later (along with an album note condemning people who had delayed it -
sound familiar, fans?). So, thank you XTC, for that advance notice.  I
also got out of that meeting, and autographed poster from the concert
(its not for sale), and a love for their music.

Which brings me to my request for the day. Any Bill Nelson fans out
there who can tell me where to find the CDs for "Sound-on-Sound," "The
Two-Fold Aspect of Everything," or Be-Bop Deluxe's "Drastic Plastic,"
"Futurama," or "Modern Music?" All XTC fans should check these classics
out on whatever form they can.

More later...



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 01:01:09 +0000
Subject: Take Cover

Dear Chalkers,

Last issue Mr. Relph reacted to this statement
> >4. All Along The Watchtower- One of the worst Dylan
> > covers I've ever heard.
> [JR] One of the most original covers I've ever heard.  One of the few
> [JR] things worth listening to on _White Music_.

I think I have to agree with John Relph here...

And I don't think it's actually a Dylan cover at all ( yes, I know
he has written the original - no need to flame! )
IMHO the XTC interpretation is much more based on / related to the
Jimi Hendrix version of this song.

If I'm not mistaken Andy once said he used to think that "Dylan was a
Donovan rip-off; just like Elvis was imitating Cliff..."

yours in an anorak,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @


Message-ID: <31790FAD9CB8D011BD6A0000F877207D1F696A@MM-EXCHANGE>
From: Wood Robert MMUk <>
Subject: Subjectivity & objectivity.
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 12:09:48 -0000

It would appear (I don't know for definate as I'm a recent subscriber)
that there are regular threads on Chalkhills about personal opinions
regarding songs that people like and do not like. Now maybe that's the
whole raison d'etre for a mailing list such as Chalkhills, but is the
whole thing not somewhat self defeating (especially the ten worst songs

Let me tell you a story of what's going on in my life...

We've just finished recording an album and we completed fifteen songs,
all of which at least the majority of the five members of the band
really liked. On completion one band member suggested we pick ten of the
songs, as that is enough for an album (equating to about 40-45 minutes'
worth of music). He then suggeted his ten songs of which *my* favourite
three were missing. This was obviously somewhat alarming to me as we'd
spent weeks working on these songs that wouldn't see the light of day
(as far as the public was concerned). We've now compromised on twelve
songs for the album with a playing time approaching 55 minutes (maybe
too long, but it's a good *band* compromise). Now we've argued long
about which songs are good and which aren't, we've all quoted examples
of people who like the songs we like and don't like the songs the other
person is advocating putting on the album. However our singer probably
made the most valid point. (I paraphrase...)

"Why are we arguing so intensely about songs we all like to a greater or
lesser extent and getting so aggresive about it. We get enough shit in
our lives from people we don't like without dishing it out to people we

OK, the Chalkhills people may not love each other quite like the people
in a close knit band can do, but maybe you can see the point? We've
spent a few bitter weeks arguing about this and almost definiately
shouldn't have done. If one person in our band isn't so keen on a song
it shouldn't blind him/her to the fact that to many other people this
may be their favourite track in the album... Similarly what's the point
in listing least favourite XTC songs within a group of people whose
common interest is a serious passion for that band? Seems counter

For example, personally I think Nonsuch is the best production XTC have
enjoyed on an album, I don't think it's overproduced at all! Now many
people may not like it as much as other albums by XTC, but they still
think it's great I'll wager.

Finally for this posting, if you would allow me a moment of sheer

Rick wrote:

>> Here's my take on codas: if a song is a sentence, then the coda is
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. <<

Er, an ellipsis point only has three dots! <g>

Just don't get me going on the abuse of apostrophes!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 14:03:13 -0500
From: james isaacs <>
Subject: I'm ramblin, ramblin' 'round...

Firstly, count me among those few who find joy in both XTC and the
Secondly, I got a CD this weekend that sets me afire.  It has very
little to do with XTC, but it is one of the few CDs that just kocked me
down on first listen.  It is "the Bends", by Radiohead.  I didn't have
anything by them before, but wow, what a CD.
Thirdly, I had a have a friend who saw Todd Rundgren in concert a couple
of weeks ago.  He asid it was a sort of Tiki-bar setup, and he met TR
afterwards, found him a bore.  I asked him if he asked TR about XTC, but
apparently it slipped his mind.  Oh well.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 19:00:37 +0000
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Urban Bassman

From: "Simon Knight" <>

>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

The only instance I can think of at the moment is Colin's "I Feel Blue" demo
which is basically "I Need Protection" with different lyrics and treatment.
The majority of the melody is there largely intact.

And this urban/suburban music thing... hmmm. I was born in the countryside
and have lived all my life in small towns, yet - somehow - I don't just
listen to music about hedges, sheep, cider and woodcraft. How many Chalkies
live in suburban Swindon? Does our capacity to enjoy XTC's music diminish
the further we get from that Wiltshire enclave? Do we really have to live
the life to enjoy the music? The musicians don't have to live it to write it
(most of Andy's best "split up" songs were written when he was still - as
far as he knew - happily married; witness "Everything"). Who knows? Not me,
that's fer _sure_

It was a bus,


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


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-24

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