Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-27

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 27

                Thursday, 13 November 1997

Today's Topics:

               What makes it, what doesn't
                 Last post, I swear.....
                       letters pray
                 Green Man Blue Plus Two
                       White Noise
                      Prince Buster
                        mistake #1
                     Oops: Excuse Me!
                 float some and jet some
     Jeez, I LIKE these songs...Plus a comment or two
A/B list screwup? Maybe, but here's another A list for sure . . .
                   we got the beat (?)
             Re: Bipolar listening disorders
            Re: Sparks (Eyesight to the Blind)
                   Bow before the lady
                    Songs in the Works
             Excuse me, while I kiss the sky
                   Militant Mouldingism
                  For All You New-timers


There is now a DIY _Go 2_ CD booklet insert available on the
Chalkhills Products & Merchandise page.  Check it out.

To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
<> with the following command:


For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


World Wide Web: <>

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

The 80's: . . . [an electronic fart]


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 12:22:29 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: What makes it, what doesn't

After reading Mitch's post on the songs that will make, might make, and
won't make the next album, I (for one) am eXtaTiC! Glad they chose to
keep what they did, and (aside from "Dame Fortune," which I've always
enjoyed), glad they dumped what they did. I think that "Your Dictionary"
is going to turn out fine, and I'm also pleased to see some songs listed
for recording that I haven't heard before...


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


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 11:48:49 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Last post, I swear.....
Message-id: <>

back to the old routine...anyhoo, I was fishing through some more misheard
lyrics archives and pulled up another XTC one. I think the actual website is you want a good laugh, head over there. Anyhoo, someone heard
"I feel like I'm walking 'round a telephone pole" in Ten Feet Tall.

Well I thought it was funny, damnit!
-Lady Cornelius Plum, who disdains the rain that falls on the plain at UNO.


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 09:58:54 -0800
Message-Id: <v01510100b08fa3c51c50@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: letters pray

Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, but I keep thinking that the origin
of *Dear God* was probably when Andy heard someone using the expression as
an exclamation, as in "Dear God! Whatever will they think of next!" (You
hear an echo of this thought in the drawled, almost contemptuous iteration
of the phrase that finishes the song.)

With his typical penchant for finding double meanings, Andy would have
taken the phrase, turned it on its head, and started imagining what might
happen if instead of a minor conversational blasphemy, "Dear God" was
actually the start of a letter.

Only at a later stage of songwriting - when it was too late - would he have
become conscious of the paradox of writing a letter to someone he doesn't
believe in.

I do think this gives the song a kind of tension, but I don't think it
implies that Andy is in any way uncertain about his atheism. It's just a
songwriting conceit.



Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 14:09:58 -0500
Message-Id: <971112140958.2220eb7a@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU>
Subject: Green Man Blue Plus Two

Hey all,

must admit it is still a thrill to read Mitch's and Simon's reports after
speaking with the lads. I will, however, go into mourning at the thought
that The Green Man will not make the album. I actually thought that with a
trippy video this could have been their big single! But what do I know
about hit singles anyway, or better yet, what does XTC know about huge
singles? Oh well.

On another note I have 2 questions:
1- What is the Explode Together cd like?
2- Can someone tell me what video or audio material exists out there from
the Black Sea period and of course if any can be bought or traded for.
Please e-mail me privately.


Pancho "The Blue Man" PRXTCFAN


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 14:01:10 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: White Noise

In #4-24, Don Rogalski suggested:

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

>> 1.	White Noise --> White Boys

I guess Don hasn't realized that he already changed the name of
*White Music*, making this an album *three*duex.  Seems to me that Don
isn't the only one who has made this error in writing Chalkhills.  Perhaps
we all have the killer Bill Nelson and *Red Noise* on the brain when thinking
of early XTC.  Funny that someone else should mention Bill in a later post
in the same digest . . .

I have to admit that White Music has always struck me as an odd title.
I picture XTC steering away from racism, except to strike it down like in
*No Thugs* or *Human Alchemy*.  Yet the title *White Music* strikes me
as something the house band for the National Front would claim as their own.
Anyone know the story behind choosing this album title?


XTC Song of the Day :  Me and the Clouds
non-XTC Song of the Day:  Down with Disease - Phish


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 19:25:46 +0000
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Prince Buster

I spoke with Neville Farmer again this weekend and he's still very
interested in any photos that are floating around out there.

He didn't know that the identity of the new drummer was known now and, when
I told him we knew, he revealed that the impetus to approach Prairie Prince
came from the interview sessions he was conducting for his book. Andy and
Colin were listening to Skylarking and by the end of it they were sitting up
straight in their chairs saying, "Bloody hell, he's _good_ isn't he?" " Do
you think he'd..?" "We could ask..." "No, he wouldn't. Would he?" until
finally they made the decision to call him.

The book is currently at the Mummer stage and there are still interviews to

All this talk of guitar/phallus stuff; I own a 3/4 size acoustic, should I
be concerned?

Move over darlin',


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


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 14:38:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Thomas Slack <>
Subject: Vomitorium
Message-ID: <>

Sorry about the subject- just following a personal credo that if
I can't say something intelligent, I may as well make it patently
stupid. Posting in untypical JHB/Relph fashion (except for this):

> In regards to who the better songwriter is, AP or CM, I say
> they're tied. It's one of those things where I'd probably favor
> one if I was listening to one of his song, but the other when
> listening to one of his songs.

I wonder how each of them would rate if they had never been in a
band together. I think of them as having a Lennon/McArtney type of
relationship - you know, maybe Colin always feels compelled to add
the odd eccentric twist and Andy tempers his manic outbursts in an
attempt to keep it somewhat smooth, because these are the influences
they had on each other while attempting to develop the "XTC" sound.

And while on the songwriting topic:

> ... I think his [Paul Simon's] lyrics have become more separated
> from the atmosphere the music invokes. The music is interesting by
> itself, and the lyrics are good by themselves, but put the two
> together and all I get is discord.

I went to a lecture that Paul Simon once gave on songwriting where
he expounded on his method of lyric writing. He takes the words that
spilled out on impulse and changes them to something conceived. For
example, the words that popped out for the chorus of "Kodachrome"
were "Comin' home", but he didn't want to write another "Homeward
Bound", so he made up an entirely different image. Maybe this method
leads too easily to the disparity mentioned above.

> Am I in the extreme minority of folks who don't want to hear the
> demos so as not to spoil the album?

I felt this way for a long time, and still sort of do, but I began
to realize that 1) I may never hear some of these songs and 2) I'm
really curious how Andy does with a recording setup that is not much
different from my own little shed behind the garden. I broke down and
got the CD that Rob Cosentino put together (great job BTW, thanks Rob)
but, after listening to it once, I'm now tempted to leave it on the
shelf (if I can) until after I have experienced Firework the way it
was meant to be. One thing about XTC albums for me- they always seem
to form the soundtrack for a particular phase of my life, and I don't
want to ruin that effect for the new one.

>> 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?"

> Hmm... that would be interesting, actually... Hmm, providing I can
> actually get it together, can I have "All of a Sudden"?

I've always had this loony notion of doing an orchestral version
of "Respectable Street".



Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 15:15:49 -0500 (EST)
From: Sean Hennessey <>
Subject: Stuff!
Message-ID: <>

Hallo all,

>  From: kraig olmstead <>
>  Subject: Terry Chambers
> >I'd like to second the appreciation for Terry's drumming.  I think that
> > his contributions are being glossed over in a big way.  Listen again to
> > English Settlement - the whole damn thing.  On "All of a Sudden" listen
> > for the little high hat "chick" on the three - it's subtle, but
> > oh-so-fine (and difficult to do).  There are alot of great drum moments
> > on that album, and do you know what?  I'm sure that Terry came up with
> > alot of them.

Terry was a monster.  Recently I've been going through another of my XTC
only obssesive bouts, this time with the slant of, having recently
transferred over to fretless bass, I've been listening harder to the Colin
and 'rhythm section' side of things.  Asides from noting what magic Colin
sprays all over ES with a fretless, I've been seriously pondering Terry

Funnily enough, I think it would be ridiculous to uderstimate his playing,
mainly because you can still hear elements of it in the music made after
he left, bits like the heavily rooted, four on the floor, bass drum parts.
The musicality of his use of the drums, such as his moving tom parts
instead of a straight backbeat, have had a heavy influence on XTC, through
to Nonsuch.  Funnily enough, though, I also started thinking that, in a
way, it was a blessing when he left.  Asides from being one of the most
powerful and creative drummers ever, he was also a bit one-sided.  I think
XTC have benefitted greatly from working with more, erm, subtle drummers
since, though even with them they've never escaped the Chambers-part

> >      I have at my desk a can of XTC. I thought I'd share with you a quote
> >      on the can: "Please note XTC's stimulating effect if consumed in the
> >      evening". Amen to that.

Ok, syncronicity at work again.  I'm working as a temp, and was yesterday
finishing up a position at an insurance place where the boss insisted I
listen to my walkman whilst doing one chore, as it was such a dull one.  I
managed to make it through ES about 5 or 6 times over the day, and left
still listening to it to go to rehearsal.  Upon disembarking from the
train, I went to cross the street and, with Melt the Guns blaring in my
ears, my eyes fell upon a can of the stuff, semi-crushed, in the street.
It was crushed in such a way that i got XTC straight in the eyes!  To make
it spookier, after aborting rehearsal, the drummer from one of my bands,
and the drummer from the current one and I went out for a number of pints
to celebrate the second drummer's new job.  Upon our second one, first
drummer (another XTC fanatic, with whom I'm working on turning the second
into one too), announce that this round was in honour of Andy's birthday!

I have a feeling I'm getting a message from someone big... :)

> > >I just can't "get" techno
> >
> > I stand by my conviction that the best techno music is that found in video
> > games.

True, in a way.  Though I'll stand by some techno.  I've heard some
brilliant stuff (mainly, I admit, the obvious like the Orb and Orbital).
Occassionally you can stumble on some of it that's well produced to the
point of having melodies and song structure!  I think it can be a very
viable and moving form of music when well done, but like many recently
famous forms of music, it tends to be jumped on and done half-assed by

tara - Sean

                   Sean Hennessey, President of the Boston Reds,
                 an 'unoffical' Manchester United Supporters' Club
          bassist: Slippy Keane, url:


Message-Id: <l03110702b08fc1008e2c@[]>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 14:29:25 -0600
From: jason garcia <>
Subject: mistake #1

> The following songs will not even be rehearsed: <gulp> Dame Fortune,
>Prince of Orange, The Ship Trapped in the Ice, I Don't Want to Be Here,
>Bumper Cars.

Andy could have seen me flying down the highway to the coast with his
demo of that song playing, perhaps he'd change his mind.  THAT'S A

Sorry about that.  So, where were we?



Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Oops: Excuse Me!
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 18:25:22 -0500

'Long about, oh, 150 Chorkhillses ago, Satan's Talented Ringpiece, in
the guise of a case of juvenile-onset dementia praecox named Simon,
regaled us with the following aromatic tidbit courtesy of Frightful Hack
Neville Farmer:

>From: Simon Sleightholm <>
>Subject: Do you have pics of the band? Want to be FAMOUS??
[abba dabba dabba said the monkey to the chimp]

>The introduction of the book will reveal which member of the band released
>the most and worst farts during the interview sessions in Andy's shed.
>Apparently an efficient evacuation (no pun intended) procedure was

My friends, I can no longer contain my mortification.

I am what the French call _desole_, and what the Texans call _snakebit_.

Incredulously, I let--count them!--*nine* issues of this electronic
digest of unfounded opinion go by without comment, my despair rising
exponentially with each iteration, hoping against hope that _some_ brave
soul, _some_ inspired listie, would take this cup of poison away from
me. But none did. Calvary, here I come, bearing broccoli salad and fava
beans...set the good ship Methane full speed ahead for the Island of

At long last, O best-beloved, has it come to this? My drooling fanboy
compadres in XTC, have we become so unspeakably sobersided, so
worshipfully solemn, so arrantly fucking REVERENT, that a thunderous
revelation like this can pass--a stentorian sulphurous
explosion--without so much as a suppressed giggle, not a titter, not
even a sinovial snork from the two or three gathered in Their name? No,
I say! A thousand times, No! There *is* room for Fart Humor within these
hallowed halls, or my name isn't Eamonn Graf de von Fernsprech "Watch
the Teeth, Honey" M'Boko-Boko, Ninth Earl of Pungent

Is it not the *slightest* bit significant to the Assembled Multitudes
that Our Heroes, grown men aged between 45 and 43--husbands, fathers,
businessmen, voters--regularly and apparently without dissension indulge
in pranks so unspeakably puerile that a ten-year-old boy of average
tastes would raise his eyebrow and curl his lip with a contemptuous
"That's so funny I forgot to laugh"?

I smell a rat, boys & girls.

In our unseemly haste to beat our breasts in exhibitionistic fervor at
the prospect of new product from the Swans of Swindon, we have failed
utterly to appreciate the nearly silent but deadly glimpse into the
creative process F. H. Farmer has offered us here. Shame on us,
Chorkies. Shame!

This revelation of Farmer's is the sort that raises many more questions
than it answers, and in my case I feel I must release them from their
pent-up confinement or explode. First, is this sort of flatus-tourney a
_regular_ thing with the members of XTC, or were they just trying to
impress Mr. Farmer with their heady skill? And if this sort of thing
_does_ go on all the time, might this not explain the departures of
Barry Andrews and Terry Chambers? It must be hell, to be constantly in
competition with men of the titanic talents of Messrs Partridge,
Moulding and Gregory! Think of the rivalries, the constant taunting, the
heckling when one's best efforts fail to measure up! Think of the
monotonous cabbage-and-beer diet one must needs keep if one is to remain
in a high state of readiness--the DEFCON 4 of the Fart Wars! Think,
above all, of the underwear bills!

Another question (and perhaps, Simon, you might pose this to Andy if the
conversation flags next time you chat with him): have they ever tried,
slumber-party-style, to place a lighted match near their nether regions
in the hopes of effecting ignition? This was always a show-stopper on
the New Wave touring circuit 'long about 1979 (I seem to remember Bruce
Thomas of the Attractions being particularly adept at this bit of
Kiss-style stage business) and no doubt many a pair of acrylan
leopard-print leggings bit the dust this way. (It goes without saying,
of course, this is plainly the inspiration for "Set Myself on Fire.")
Corollary question: Did they ever _record_ their contests, either live
or in the studio? If so, I have a marketing suggestion: first release an
EP--GoPu: The Best of the Shed. That should soften up the critix for

Yet one more question is burning to be asked: Is any one band member
_better_ at these gastrointestinal gymkhanas than any other? A clear
leader, the Master Blaster, the Wazir of Wind? If I may be permitted a
wild guess, my money goes on Colin. You know. The Quiet One.

Oh, the more one thinks about it, the more obvious it becomes that an
entire master's thesis lurks herein. The "amphibian samples" credited to
Dave Mattacks in "Crocodile"? Whatta load! And I think we've figured out
what's making that lamb float around ten feet tall on the cover of "Upsy
Daisy." And of course, there's the famous Suppressed Verse from "Burning
with Optimism's Flames":

She's been drinking beer and Running for the Border
Cleaned both our fridges, starting on the larder
Bloated up, uncomfortable
She's round and pink and frothy like a shaken-up bottle of Pepto-Bismol
She says she's found a way to make her own light....

Now I've got to tear, because I just put down a force-ten paint-peeler,
and I've got to be out of here before Nancy in the next cube over gets
wind of it. Mmmm. I'm hungry!

Harrison "Who's for some Mexican?" Sherwood


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 20:32:47 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: float some and jet some
Message-ID: <>

re: the 'Wake Up' opening - I always counted the one guitar part in 4 and
	the other in 5.  I believe Andy mentioned something like this in
	the last article ever done on the band in Musician magazine.  I
	think the Verve Pipe's version of it blows big chunks.

re: Minutemen afficiandos - this band rules.  Mike Watt is as much of an
	unsung bass hero as our beloved Colin.

re: Colin thread - I'm mighty happy with the 'Colin is god' thread that
	has been going on now for several months (I'll admit to helping
	fanned its flames!). It's almost as good as the 'pointless guitar
	solo' thread (which seems to have died out).

re: Don's album titles - very funny stuff indeed, Mr. Rogalski.  But you
	shall forever be in my heart as you told me (many, many years ago)
	that there was a double-album version of English Settlement.

re: 'All Along the Watchtower' - a great song from a very great album -
	not a bad song in the bunch.  And that album is even more amazing
	in light of the overall progression of the band.  How many other
	bands can so slowly and so beautifully morph themselves into the
	complete opposite of what they started out as?

re: tiring

Ted Harms                                   Library, Univ. of Waterloo                        519.888.4567 x3761
"I was a victim of a series of accidents as are we all." Kurt Vonnegut


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 19:40:29 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Jeez, I LIKE these songs...Plus a comment or two

>From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/


Wow. One of my faves. Fits into the psychadelic 60's mtif suggested by
the Oranges and Lemons cover art.

>>Don't Lose Your Temper

It's harmless fun.

>>6.-Gold-Once again, see above answer.
>Again, there are others I'd choose before this poor song. I think the demo
>is better, for it's just guitars, drums, bass and lead vocals. One of the
>few outtakes that actually deserve that status. It is not good enough to
>include on an album.

Like this one too. Lots of energy, nice horns. No great shakes, but glad it

>From: The Gottschalks <>

>As for my least favorite XTC song- Miniature Sun.

Always like this one, too. This just sounds like typical XTC to me. Quirky,
original and stays in your mind.

>From: "Sean Robison" <>

>     Am I in the extreme minority of folks who don't want to hear the demos
>     so as not to spoil the album? While I'm like everyone in needing a hit
>     of new XTC, I feel listening to the demos will lessen the excitement
>     that has built up over six years. I want to get the album, rip open
>     the wrapper, pop the shiny disc in the player and have my mind blown
>     out.

I completely understand your reasoning. BUT, if you have heard the demos, it
would really tide you over for a while. They are fully fleshed out songs,
not the typical rough demos you are used to hearing. I definitely advise you
to get a copy AFTER the new album comes out.  Plus, many of the songs won't
make the final cut.

>From: Mitch Friedman <>
>Subject: The Gregory Report: 11-10-97 . . . plus more!!

>I just got off the phone with Dave Gregory (yes, I know but I know him
>too). He tells me that 'tape is running' which is Swindonian for 'they have
>started recording!'  He is very happy and excited and all is going smoothly
>so far.

Great news!!!

>In an attempt to find out what songs were being recorded, I only got so far
>as finding out which ones were still being rehearsed and which ones will
>remain forever as demos.  Brace yourselves, this may be ugly!
>There are A list song and B list songs and I still know nothing about
>Colin's songs but first the bad news. The following songs will not even be
>rehearsed: <gulp> Dame Fortune, Prince of Orange, The Ship Trapped in the
>Ice, I Don't Want to Be Here, Bumper Cars.

Not too disappointed in any of these, really.

>The following songs are being
>rehearsed but are now on the B list which means they may or may not make it:
>You and The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful (Dave has come up with a great
>solo for it), Wounded Horse, The Green Man.


> The following songs are
>definitely being considered for the album(s): River of Orchids, Easter
>Theater, Church of Women, My Brown Guitar (Dave says Colin has come up with
>an amazing bass line for it), I Can't Own Her (turning out beautifully and
>suprisingly strong), Knights in Shining Karma (Andy will keep the original
>demo guitar part but they'll add new stuff to it; same with lots of Easter
>Theater too), Playground, Harvest Festival, We're All Light, Stupidly Happy,
>Your Dictionary.

Pleased with most of these. A bit surprised about Knights, but that's okay.
Happy Church of Women and Your Dictionary will likely make the cut.

>  I didn't get a chance to ask about the rest but I may be
>speaking with Andy soon so I'll do my best to complete the list for all of
>you. They have been working at Hayden's studio so far and next week they
>will be packing everything up and heading to Chris Difford's home studio to
>finish the album.

Please keep us informed! This info was fascinating.

>From: Kenneth Leicht <>
>Down in the Cockpit---Yes it is the dumbest song on the record, the
>chink in the armor, the monkey in the wrench...And yes the remix is even
>dumber but it doesn't bother me that much.

Man, I LOVE this song. Great groove, fun lyrics, just a good bit of fun.

>Peter Pumpkinhead---Currently my least favorite.  So much so that I
>commit the cardinal sin of...gasp...skipping it when I play the album.
>It just really feels like an empty tacked on "single".

Good God. I am beginning to think I have really weird taste. One of my faves.

  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


Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 23:01:13 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007800b08fe4f3ccdf@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: A/B list screwup? Maybe, but here's another A list for sure . . .

Well in retrospect and with a bit of uncertainty I do now recall that maybe
"Your Dictionary" is the B list one and "The Green Man" is the A list
one. I'll still try to find out for sure when I speak to Andy. One other
thing I have since remembered is that "The Last Balloon" is a keeper too.

Sorry for the confusion, just in case I was actually confused.



Message-Id: <l03110701b0903ef3895c@[]>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 23:51:40 -0600
From: jason garcia <>
Subject: we got the beat (?)


>> I dunno, Wake Up confuses the crap out of me till the drums/piano kick
>> in. I can never get the tempo right.
>Ah, that, I think, is the point.  The drums/piano kick in an eighth note
>earlier than our ears expect, creating an off-kilter rhythmic drive that
>certainly wakes *me* up.

Another song that kind of does that is "Millions", until he starts singing.
And the verse of "That Is The Way" also gets me sometimes.  But they don't
even begin to compare to The Police's "Spirits In The Material World", a
song I can listen to wrong all the way through if I really try.

Oh but then there's "Omnibus".  If there's a downbeat anywhere in that
song, somebody tell me.

> It's *incredibly*  annoying being told which of *your* songs
>should be released by someone else.

Right, but it's equally annoying that "Dame Fortune" is NOT GOING TO BE ON
THE ALBUM!!  (slipping into whiny Nicolas Cage mode a la "The Rock")

>I'm surprised to hear that I Can't Own Her is "turning out beautifully and
>suprisingly strong" -- must be a big change from its ersatz 10cc meets the
>Temptations incarnation on the demo.

Ha ha!  That song could do REALLY well if the lyrics were sort of cleaned
up and the slight Beach Boys leanings were removed.  I learned it on
the piano while I was staying with my (ex) girlfriend in California and it
really sounds good if you just play it straight.  I've always liked the
chord progressions in it.  I especially like the countermelody at the end-
"of all the things you've got the thing you want the most..."

>P.S. I hate it when people try to pick out errors in posts, but I
>don't think Prarie Prince played on the Big Express. That is all.

Right. I don't have the album in front of me but I believe that was Pete
Phipps, same guy who played on "Mummer" (how's THAT for changing styles?)
Terry Chambers eat your heart out...ah, but he doesn't give a toss anyway.

How 'bout those brick bats, eh?



Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 07:21:47 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Bipolar listening disorders

>Wesley Hanks <>
>Hmmm... songs that you once hated but now enjoy.

  The first song I ever heard by XTC that I knew was XTC was "Making Plans
For Nigel." Colin was being interviewed live on CHOM-FM when they played in
Montreal on the D&W tour; I remember being more interested in his remarks
and his described premise of the song, which I wrote off as a mediocre Devo
imitation, another one of those herky-jerky new wave bands, yawn. I didn't
even know where XTC was from, I was just vaguely aware they were popular in
Canada(D&W went gold)and that I'd seen their albums around. I filed them
away as a band I wasn't particularly interested in; then a couple of years
later in college in Western Mass. a friend made me listen to Black Sea, and
"Respectable Street" definitely asserted itself as one of XTC's best opening
tracks. I was a scalded dog for sure.

  I soon worked backwards to D&W and Go2, plus 5 Senses and 3D(though not
White Music, for reasons described previously). Nigel's still not my
favorite XTC song, but I've grown to like it; it's simple and effective,
like most of Colin's best songs.

  Another great opening song not yet mentioned: "Mechannik Dancing." Great
for doing the spastic grinning idiot dance.(I think it's supposed to be
about white people who can't dance anyway!)

Chris Coolidge


Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 07:21:44 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Sparks (Eyesight to the Blind)

>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.

  There's two versions of Sgt Rock; if I'd heard the single version first it
would have easily made my ten worst list. The album version is a highlight
of the album. It's amazing how much the mix can make or break a song. For
all I know it's even a different take, they sound that different. The single
sounds like a half-hearted rehearsal take, the album version roars like the
finished product it is.


Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 08:51:40 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Bow before the lady
Message-id: <>

as she steps from her majestic chariot into the computer laboratory with
her fan in one hand, her Lord at her side, in all his majesterial glory.
But enough of that blather......

Tim-Ahh yes, Dave has composed a few instrumentals for the BBC. There was
one, I recall, entitled "Horny Bop". (HELLO!) I wonder if this was some sort
of adult predecessor to "MMMBop".  But Dave has stated that if God would've
wanted him to be a songwriting, blah blah blah.  He's so self-deprecating, I
swear to God. He's always talking about how he can't sing. Might I just kick
his butt and scream "BULL!" My brother has a speaker system in his room that
allows you to turn off all the speakers but these tiny ones in the back. The
main bulk of the music disappears, but it's amazing how well you can hear
the background vocals. If you were to play "King For a Day" and use this,
you could not hear Colin at all, but you could hear Dave and Andy
perfectly. It's great if you want to hear just how the vocals and
instruments are layered.

Troy-I like "Wake Up", it just confuses me! I do, however, despise The Verve
Pipe's version of it. I'd rather it if The VERVE had done it......  and
speaking of the Verve, a few digests ago someone pointed out that they
weren't too fond of "Bittersweet Symphony" because of the repetitive music.
I (damn these computers.) Funny, nobody says anything about the repeptitive
bass line on "Towers of London" (sorry, this thing seems to be operating on
its own!!!!)

Might I change my vote of best album opener to "Garden of Earthly Delights"?
Why? Because O&L was the first XTC album I bought, and you know how your
first taste of new food can change your life.....

Till next time, try to avoid the daylight,
Lady Cornelius Plum
XTC song of the day-Red Brick Dream
non XTC-Hot Pattotie, Bless My Soul-Eddie (Are you catching a theme to my
non XTC songs this week....and my abyssmal spelling)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 10:05:09 -0500
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Songs in the Works

The illustrious Natalie Jacobs (if John Relph won't accept my compliment,
I'll be darned if I won't find *somebody* who'll go along with it!)
commented on Mitch's recording-list post:

>>The following songs are being rehearsed but are now on the B list which
>>means they may or may not make it:
>>You and The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful (Dave has come up with a great
>>solo for it), Wounded Horse, The Green Man.

>To what gods must we sacrifice to ensure that "The Green Man" gets on the
>album?  Can we send the band bribes?  Chocolate?  Vintage guitars, a new
>fishing rod, antique toy soldiers?  A Virgin record executive's head on a

If we send ALL of the above bribes, could we also ensure that "You and the
Clouds..." gets on? Of all the demos, that's one that I would really be sad
to see left off the new album.

**Mitch, any word on "I'd Like That"? That's right up there for me too...

And finally, not that anyone probably noticed, but in my last post about
Flying Fish/Lizards, I typed the word "except" when I meant "accept," in
the context of apologies. Being a former copy editor, I HATE when I do that!

There. I feel much better now that that's off my chest.

Dave Gershman

P.S. to John Relph -- how about "quasi-illustrious"? :)


Date: Thu, 13 Nov 97 09:11:05 CST
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Excuse me, while I kiss the sky

     Hello Chalkbillies,

     Pardon me while I geek out here for a second as 2 of the most fabulous
     creators of all time are, right now, as we speak, working on projects
     that I know will bring me happiness and joy for years to come...

     We all know that one of course is XTC, the other one for me is a
     certain Mr. George Lucas. The reason I am relating these two things
     together is for this reason:

     Right now some of us our worried about how the new Album will turn
     out. We are worried because all we have really heard are the demos.
     Granted, they were amazingly complete demos, but they were demos,

     The same thing is happening with all the geek boys and girls ( me
     included ) who are digging out all the information right now about
     George Lucas's Star Wars Prequels. They sometimes get worried because
     they have such high expectations....

     These two areas are so related right now in my life it's scary...
     But all I am trying to say is...Don't Worry.

     The New Album will be way better than we have imagined because we can
     not imagaine what XTC can. We don't have the skills to be as good as
     they are musically, therefore we can not even percieve how good it can
     be. Besides, XTC hasn't let us down up till now...

     And that is the same explanation I have for the new Prequels. I don't
     have the vision that Lucas has and the skills to make his vision come
     to "life", therefore, I can't even percieve it.

     And when all is said and done, and the new Album comes out and the new
     movie comes out and blows everyone away, then we will forget we had
     fears or reservations in the first place and just totally geek out on
     these new creations.

     By the way, I am soooooooooooooo glad they are keeping the guitar from
     KISK because that is a tender and beautiful song.

     But, no one mentioned in the A-B list thingy, "I'd Like that" which
     is, I thought, another favorite among the demo crowd.



Message-ID: <>
From: Catherine Sweeney <>
Subject: Militant Mouldingism
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 15:40:39 -0000

><Colin's diction-Let's try to decipher the first line of "Heatwave".....
>"The liketh it hah, the liketh a ten, the sthteals my inbred when I'm gone
ahnahcabee, we're headed for a heeway.">

Perhaps you are not familiar with the delightful West Country dialect.
To me, this is all perfectly fine.  Colin's singing voice is like an
English Christmas, it's like coming home to a cup of mulled wine,
bedroom slippers and fleecy dressing gowns.  Crunchy snow underfoot,
that sort of thing.

To be honest, he could sing complete gibberish as far as I'm concerned.
His voice is a delight.

Troy, your tape is a good idea.  I think you forgot Sacrificial Bonfire,
but who cares, the rest of it would see me through a long journey.

Fireworks night - Guy Fawkes, having had enough of penal injustices in
the early 17th Century (they weren't nice, believe me), decides to blow
up parliament.  Usual conspiracy theories apply, suffice it to say he
does not succeed and is hung, drawn and quartered.

It's up to you to decide whether attempting to blow up an undemocratic,
unelected, despotic and inbred lunatics is a good or bad thing.  A bit
extreme, perhaps, but that's the seventeenth century for you.  And it's
an excuse for people to let off fireworks and dance madly around
bonfires every year.

Anyway, fireworks night is a traditional English thang - has the same
effect on some people I know as the description of Colin's voice.  See

Now, I don't want to hear another remotely detrimental word about Colin
or I shall be forced to hit the offender with my handbag.


From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 11:13:51 -0500
Subject: For All You New-timers

WELCOME to the slowest discussion of ALL TIME!

Mark speaketh:
>Did Prairie play on Good Things?  I didn't realize that!  XTC's hiring of
>him has made me go back and listen to Tubes records I haven't even
>thought about in years.  And THAT is a beautiful thing.
I have a sneaking suspicion we're not the only ones... Last night I heard
Remote Control for the first time in about a decade. I was stunned
(spelling?) and impressed with all their greatness. Next I'll hear their
1st album, and then Young and Rich. Side 2 of Love Bomb is truly ingenious
and no I did not realize that earlier in this absurd life. I didn't know
Prairie played on Good Things either. Pray tell, what else did the man play
on? Summoning all knowledgeable sources and resources worldwide. (and no,
he did not play on TBE)

Natalie Jacobs scribed:
>In our last episode, Matt Kaden fulminated about his least favorite
>songs... Matt, while I highly disagree with some of your choices ("Angry
>Young Men"?  "GOLD"???)

Well, hold on a minute here. I have always managed to enjoy GOLD and Don't
Lose Your Temper as well as Washaway, but I was in fact only commenting on
Amanda's list because I had the urge. I left those songs on because,
despite my enjoyment of them, I agree 100% with her that they are inferior
songs, that's all. What disturbs me is the fact that I completely forgot
Happy Families. The reason I forgot is this: ever since I first heard it I
vowed to pretend it wasn't really XTC, so my impression of them wouldn't be
too tainted. I won't argue about TWIFOAYM because it works for you and
maybe I'm too young and angry to hear what it really sounds like.

>Although I have grudging respect for "Bungalow," I still find it amazing
>that these three songs made it on "Nonsuch" whilst several superior Colin
>songs were left off (including one of my favorites, "It Didn't Hurt a
>Bit").  I can only presume that glue-sniffing or a bad aspect of Jupiter
>was responsible.  Guys, just say no.

Bungalow - AH, they're are worse. (personally I think finding bad XTC songs
is sort of like fishing for stethoscopes - you rarely find them.) The only
truly horrible ones, which contain no trace of XTC in them are these:
The Smartest Monkeys, War Dance, Happy Families. There, I feel better now
after writing these titles 11 dozen times?

Natalie, I also find it amazing that they made it past the front gate and
onto Nonsvch. The fact that I can't delete songs from CDs is no minor issue
here. "It Didn't Hurt a Bit" is also one of my favorites, and you rarely
find that much passion in one of Colin's tunes. Now, why could that have
been on it. Down a Peg could also work on the record. This doesn't get us
anywhere, but it's good to agree. I have to just ask you what you meant by
that last line there?
I really shouldn't quote your entire post, but Bob Dylan is the master;
it's incredible how many doors he opened - hard to picture today without
him. Everyone looked up to him in the 60's (Lennon, Hendrix, Townshend, The
Stones...) and who is there today like that? Dylan. Day In and Day Out is a
great song. Andy's guitar riffs are very innovative and the refrain after
the 1st chorus where he starts playing hard sustained chords and gradually
mutes them - classic! Oh, I guess you're all right: "Watchtower" bites.

Strange Tales/Officer Blue  {OH YEAH!!!}
Strange Tales/Officer Blue  {OH YEAH!!!}

Amanda typed:
>Now that I've got 25 O' Clock on vinyl, I've been vigorously trying to hear
>"You can fuck your atom bomb", but no luck! It is cool to play the songs
>backwards, though. Maybe there are more hidden messages in there somewhere...
Ever try the Queen "Another One Bites The Dust" backwards? I liked all your
titles, Lady, but don't get hyped up. I think Andy's too serious for all
that malarkey now.

(he takes 3 steps to the left, reaches into vest pocket, brandishes a
glockenspiel, tries to speak and coughs while a large tractor plows over


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-27

Go back to the previous page.