Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-28

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 28

                 Friday, 14 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                      Demos request
Hmm... the amusing thing is that DEVO seems to be coming up more
            More from the resident spaz(chow)
                        Zoot Suit
                       With a Twist
                  Are you confusing me?
                 Wow, They're Rehersing?
               re: All Along the Garfunkel
                 Re: Blurred Distinctions
                      explode you me
           And now, My least favorite XTC songs
              Five against four in "Wake Up"
              quisling, boycott, burnside...
              Scuse me while I kiss this guy
                     Smashing clouds
                Waning Enthusiasm for XTC


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

Someone else will come along and move it / And it's always been the same.


Message-Id: <>
Date: 13 Nov 97 12:00:46 -0400
From: Tom Cole <>
Subject: Demos request

You know, there's been discussion of these recent demos on the list for
some time now and up until this point I've thought "Ah, I can live without
'em.  It'll be cool to hear the stuff new when the album comes out, and
then maybe I'll try to track them down."  Part of me still feels that way,
but with the recent discussion of which ones should or shouldn't be on the
album and the news from Mitch(?) about which ones maybe will or won't be
on the album, I can resist no longer.

So, if there's anyone out there who would be willing to make me a copy
for the cost of your materials and trouble, I'd be most grateful.  I recall
a couple of people offering to make CD copies, which would be ideal, but I
won't be picky.  Please get in touch by private e-mail.  And if there's
no one out there, I'll just go back to Plan A.

Many thanks.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 18:18:15 +0000
Subject: Hmm... the amusing thing is that DEVO seems to be coming up more

And I'm only part of it... but it is interesting... anyway...

> From: kraig olmstead <>
> I'd like to second the appreciation for Terry's drumming.

Yes, Terry Chambers is definately the Man.  Everyone's said it and/or
heard it a million times before, but the drumming on Nigel is just
brilliant, even though Terry's even said that he wasn't doing
anything special or anything... I mean, I kinda wish he stayed on
after Mummer... and in a way, it's a bit too bad that Barry left...
his anemic keyboard solos were cool... but, well...

> From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
> were to narrow it down to 10. In its place I'd place:
> The World is Full of Angry Young Men --
> First of all, who told the man that the way is to be absolutely spineless?
> He's pronouncing the words clearly alright but this only brings out out the
> lyric which addresses the issue that he was only vaguely inspired when he
> wrote this thing. What bugs me the most is that it is driven by formula
> alone and this will not do.

Yes... this song is good musically, but lyrically, it pisses me
off... Colin's way to happy and I still think he has the wrong
idea... so much that I even re-wrote the lyrics, but I won't subject
you to them, so, if you're interested, mail me, and I'll send them to
you via e-mail, but well, 4 words: remember "Dear Mister Branson"...

> >2.-Super Tuff-Too many songwriters spoil the broth.
> Still, I love Barry's keys but his songs just didn't gel with Andy's and
> Colin's flavor... at all.

Yes, and now to continue on Barry's departure... I think it's too
bad, but I think some rules should have been laid down.
1) Barry can play keyboards
2) Dave can come in and do stuff to, making it a 5 member band.
3) Barry is NOT to write songs, or at the least, not to write
lyrics... no more songs about rape!  Hmm... maybe that's why Colin
and Andy don't let anyone else write songs... they're afraid of
another My Weapon...8), although, of course, neither Terry nor Dave
have the whole sort of... look... Barry had... I mean, personally, I
look at Barry, and it's not that hard to imagine him writing My
Weapon or Super-Tuff, y'know... but that's just me...

> >7.-Washaway-I think Colin hit a bit of writer's block with this one.
> Thanks, Amanda. There's another one!

Ah, this song... it's like Colin was watching too many Buster Keaton
movies after being hit on the head in a laundromat with an ice cream
cone... this one, the best thing about it is that it was a b-side.
Y'know, the Big Express seemed to be the only album that had B-sides
that were, well, B-sides... none of which seemed exceptionally
good, unlike most of the B-sides from other albums... I mean, many of
XTC's B-sides are in my favourite list of songs... but Red Brick
Dream gets on my nerves... Blue Overall is way too long, but the best
of them, which ain't saying much, and well, Washaway, see above rant.

> From: Chaos Harlequin <>
> And "It's Snowing Angels" could have been on PP if it had been written five
> years earlier.

Actually, I think this one was a "lost" Dukes track... wasn't in
originally on "Window Box" or something credited to the Dukes?  Well,
it's a great song anyway, and is very Donovan... which is good.

> From: relph (John Relph)
> Speaking of which, I was thinking about putting together a _Fossil
> Fuel_ CD insert

Actually, I was thinking about back-engineering the R&BB booklet to
do ones for Go2 and ES... Pros: You'd have the lyrics in one piece.
Cons: I couldn't provide any of the nifty info, like in R&BB, and it
probably wouldn't look nearly as good, and I'm an incompetent. (Which
does have it's advantages... people get annoyed at watching you botch
things and swear at you and tell you to sit down so they can do
it...)  Of course, if I ever do, I'll give Mr. Relph most of the
credit, and if anywhere, put my name in small letters as the bozo who
stole the idea, code and lyrics from him.  Well, a) if I get around
to it, and b) if it's OK with him.. don't want to do anything bad,

> From: Kenneth Leicht <>
> I haven't posted since I don't even know when.  Computer problems kept
> me off the net from April to September and surgery kept me off the rest
> of the time.

Hope you're feeling better!

> Strange tails, Strange tales---Am I the only person alive who liked this
> and Officer Blue?

Nope!  I love both of those... like I've said, they're crap, but
they're really really really good crap.  People need to understand
that crap isn't always bad.

> 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.

Well, IMHO It's Nearly Africa is the dumbest song on the record,
but... I mainly wanted to reply to say that I won't make the Sladek
reference that I instantly thought of... if you're really interested,
pick up a copy of _Muller-Fokker Effect_ (umlaut on the u)... and I
personally really like Down in the Cockpit, ah well...

> Funk Pop a Roll---CON:There should be a law against musicians singing
> about how bitter they are about the record business.

Well, I personally think these songs are great.... I love it when XTC
starts bitching about the record industry... I just like the whole
slightly-hypocritical-but-we-know-it-so-there feel to them...

> And to the person who said English Settlement would be better without
> side 3 I say it would better if it added Side 5...namely the b-sides
> Blame the Weather/tissue Tigers/Punch & Judy/Heaven is Paved...One
> annoying thing about Rag and Bone Buffet is that these songs are
> presented out of order.  I much prefer the Beeswax chronological
> order-style.  I wish they would redo Rag & Bone that way but hey I'm
> anal.

Ah, t'would be me... I think that you've got a good idea, but flip
Side 5 with 3 and side 3 with a bonus single/flexi...  And I wish
they did put Rag and Bone in more of a chronological order, but not
completely... I'd like to see how they progressed, but I wouldn't
really like the 3 Wise Men or Colonel tracks stuck together, and it'd
be hard to have it not end with History of Rock and Roll... But album
wise, it should have been... y'know...

> From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
> Matt Keeley, on the note about Mark Mothersbaugh's EZ Listening project -
> You might get into the experimental records by Raymond Scott from
> the early 60's, entitled Soothing Sounds For Baby.

Hmm... maybe... after all Mark's on the board of Raymond Scott
protecting-work thing... can't remember what it's called... but
still... 8)

> Slight somewhat related to XTC content-Richard Branson was named on of the
> sexiest men alive in the latest issue of People. (Calm down stomach, stop
> twitching.)

Dude!  (Don't worry, I call everyone "dude", even those who obviously
aren't dudes... y'know, like Stan or Kyle!) People is _messed up_!
Richard Branson, apart from being one of the most evil people alive
and my nominee for current re-incarnation of Satan (hey, you DON'T
take Mark and Jerry to Jamaica to get them high on a table full of
pot to convince them to let you replace Mark with Johnny Rotten as
the lead singer for DEVO... IT'S JUST NOT DONE!), he's not all that
attractive anyway... I admit, I am a bit biased, but still... I don't
think he's all that handsome, or in the words of People Magazine,
sexy.  Just me, I guess...

BTW, not 100% on topic for this list, and in somewhat bad taste, I
heard that Thomas Dolby committed suicide by jumping off the roof he
was dancing on in the "She Blinded Me with Science" video... I could
have sworn he was still alive... ah well... so, anyone know for sure?

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: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 18:30:49 +0000
Subject: More from the resident spaz(chow)

> From: aka Louise <>
> side b of english settlement _rules_. apparently most people prefer side a,
> whereas the only songs i can even stand on it are "Runaways", "Senses",
> "Yacht Dance" and "All of a Sudden".

Ah, disc 2... caught me off guard... Anyway, I still think Side 4
kicks an unlawful amount of ass... just side three completely leaves
me cold.. the only song I like on it is Melt the Guns... but we knew
that.  That's all I've ranted about for the last 20 issues.

> [Matt "Super Tuff" Keeley <> apparently wrote:]
> >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.
> um, yes - that is exactly why it's the song i love to hate and vice versa
> (as Van the Man would say) - it's the double attack that's so deadly.

Ah, you've never met me... you'd never say I was "Super Tuff"... 8)
But yes... I wish that Andy or Colin would re-write the lyrics and
re-release it, say on a B-side or something, but since it's owned by
Virgin, that'll never happen, (yeah, like it was anyway...) so....

> 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."

Ah, the first line of Heatwave is easy!  Try the entirety of "X Wires"...

ah well, that was a much shorter post, well, seeing as I kinda want
food now and all...

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, 13 Nov 1997 10:43:40 +0000
Subject: Zoot Suit

Concerning the "type" of sound for the new album...

I was interested to hear some of Andy's demos bear rhythmic
resemblance to the English Settlement / Big Express era song

I think one component of the distinctive XTC sound lies in
creating agitated rhythms to propel the songs along --
syncopated rhythms interweaving the melodies.  Rhythms that
make your ears perk up on first hearing.

Having been out of circulation for 6 years, I hope that Andy
and the boys will infuse the album with a rhythmic vibrancy,
hopefully giving their material a leg up in competition with
what's currently on the air waves.

Sure, the critics will gush about the return of pop's kings
of melody and invention, but if their new material isn't
distinctive enough to duke it out with the ska revivalists,
the punk revivalists, the power pop traditionalists, and the
avant rockists, then their audience won't expand beyond
their loyalists.  Besides, the new trend in rock today is to
mimic the trends of 15 years ago -- this should give the
boys incentive to build upon what made them a critical and
popular force at the beginning of their career --
distinctive rhythms, gorgeous melodies, articulate lyrics,
and inventive song structure.

- John


From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 14:12:50 -0500
Subject: Hello???

What is all this about 'getting' the Hello CD. How is it done? Every digest
ushers forth a new proud owner of this Hello disc. I'd love to be one of
those future new proud owners of the Hello CD, but apparently it is not
available. So, how are you all acquiring them? Could anyone out there
assist me in acquiring one? I'm asking because I want one too. I hope I've
made myself clear.




From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 14:41:20 -0500
Subject: With a Twist

Yes, I will be seeing Todd on the 28th here in Boston at this small club.
Anyone have anything they want me to tell Prairie Prince?



Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 08:37:32 +0000
Subject: Are you confusing me?

A couple of things:

 > I dunno, Wake Up confuses the crap out of me till the
> drums/piano kick  in. I can never get the tempo right.

This is one thing i love about XTC.  Battery Brides is THE highpoint
of Go2 for me - i must have listened to that song at least one
hundred times, but everytime i decide to howl along with Andy to it,
do you think i can EVER start singing the moment Andy does?  I think
the ability of a song to *still* confuse you after that long a period
of listening  is the sign of a truly *special* band.

As for Andy and Colin's ennunciation - i thought that
nervous / spastic swallowed vocal thing was the whole point of their
early style.  One favourite moment for me - on This is Pop? Andy
manages to rhyme "direction" with "selection" but it sounds like
"directuawl" and "station selectuawl..."  It took me forever to work
out what they were singing at times.  (Yes, i know there's lyric
sheets, but that takes all the fun out of it).  I still don't know
all the words to "Science friction", but it doesn't stop me singing
along like an idiot to it in when i'm driving.

Lastly, Andy once claimed to be "Singularly dyslexic" in an
interview, and i'm starting to believe him.  If the band can't hear
what a *KILLER* big fat must-be-a single they have lurking stage
left with "The Green Man" they need to be told, and no small error!
Someone show me where the petition is so i can sign!  Forget about
the whales - save the Green Man!


Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 20:24:15 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Wow, They're Rehersing?

Didn't know they'd started on the new album.  Kewl!

As for picking a title, I have no suggestions.  I do wonder now if I'm the
only person on the list who loves 'Prince of Orange'.  I actually like it
better than 'Green Man'.  'Green Man' starts fantastically but then seems to
go nowhere.  Gets kind of repetative.  Oh well, we all have our opinions.

I just hope 'I Like That' is somewhere on the A list.


PS - Fellow Chalkhill poster Jason Garcia has a new batch of great tunes!
 Get them immediately!


Message-Id: <v03010d04b091bacca9f6@[]>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 03:51:36 -0500
Subject: re: All Along the Garfunkel

>From: David Gershman <>
>John said:
>>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.

True, but it does matter if you're talking about one artist influencing the
work of another.

And here I would say that _Graceland_ (the album) has an authenticity that
'It's Nearly Africa' lacks, since in this listener's opinion Andy was
playing with stereotyped impressions of an "ethnic" sound, as he did with
'Millions'.  Which is not to say I dislike either song.  I actually like
both of them very much.  HOWEVER, Paul Simon went to the source, so to
speak, for his inspiration, whereas AP did little more than play pretend.
To good effect and to his credit, I should add.

I think it may be more appropriate to say that 'Hold Me My Daddy' wants to
sound like 'Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes' than to say _Graceland_
sounds like something off of _English Settlement_.  I'll bet anything that
Andy's got _Graceland_ and _Rhythm of the Saints_ in his record collection,
whereas it would be fortunate if Paul Simon knows more than two songs by

By the way, a Garfunkel-type sitting here waiting for a Simon-type to sweep
me away to starmdom.... any takers?  ("I Wanna Be Art Garfunkel....")

Also, isn't it cool (or groovy) how Andy quotes the '59th Street Bridge
Song' in the fade out of "Jump"?

Also, wouldn't it be neat if Andy Partridge did his own "Capeman"?

Gene (also known to be as rabid about S&G as he is about XTC)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 10:02:33 +0000
Subject: Re: Blurred Distinctions

Hmmm, I aint had much to say recently though I did hear on Virgin radio
that Damian Albarn has announced that Blue will stop touring because......

Wait for it......

The band dont want to have to worry about recreating the tracks live

Cue Twilight Zone theme........

It's nineteen eighty two again !

Anyway in with miscellainious comments as usual

Subject: White Noise

>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?

I always reckoned it was a bit of word play on whit noise

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.
Well for embarisment purposes you could always suggest the photo story that
appeared in Smash Hits (for all you non UK readers it is a kiddies pop
magazine), around the time of Sgt Rock, and feastures the band in full "It
ain't half hot Mum" uniforms (no I don't think I can explain it to non UK

I have a copy somewhere in the house and Terry looks really happy in the
pics (NOT)

>All this talk of guitar/phallus stuff; I own a 3/4 size acoustic, should I
>be concerned?
Now I'm really worried mine was rebuilt after it was abused bu a punk band



Message-ID: <>
From: Wood Robert MMUk <>
Subject: Phases.
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 11:47:14 -0000

Re: Hearing the demos. >> 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 know exactly what you mean on this one. I can remember the first time
I heard most of the albums very clearly, and often when I listen to an
[XTC] album it sends me back to the period of my life that the album in
question came out. No other artist's music does this in quite the same
way for some reason. It's nothing to do with XTC being one of few bands
whose music I buy, I'm a prolific record buyer. No other band touches my
life in quite the same way as XTC. I couldn't imagine writing to any
other band's mailing list.

And once a new XTC album comes out it makes me start playing the old
ones again and it's time for a trip down memory lane!

I'm looking forward to the next trip... (With no demo preconceptions!)


Message-Id: <l03020901b091efb2da33@[]>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 08:58:50 -0400
From: aka Louise <>
Subject: explode you me


[Pancho "the Blue Man" <J_ARTECONA@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU> apparently wrote:]

>1- What is the Explode Together cd like?

sublime. i have been listening to it for about four days straight as of
this writing - for some reason i just can't get enough of it right now.
it's extremely experimental - those of us who don't like techno probably
hate it, as a lot of it sounds like good ambient/techno - but at the same
time somehow strangely melodic. i like the way that it manages to be dark
without being overly depressing, and the way the whole scheme of the album
fits together, from the insectile jittering opening of "Dance with me,
Germany" to the clanking, echoing "New Broom", which has a very NIN-esque
feeling to it (without the silly Trent vocals of course), and the insolent
trumpet blare at the end of "New Broom" makes you want to hear nothing in
the world but "Dance with me, Germany" (formerly known as "Meccanic
Dancing") again. and frankly, you haven't really lived until you've heard
"Shore Leave Ornithography (Another 1950)" turned up to 11. people who
don't like "Strange Tails" should check it out as i think it's a much
better use of that oh-so-evocative bassline. the only song that grates on
me a little is "Dictionary of Modern Marriage" (aka "Battery Brides") - it
sounds as if Andy just sped it up and then basically left it on autopilot,
and the bassline is way too repetitive for that to really work. the rest of
the cd i absolutely love. see my sig file for my mishearing of a line from
"Shore Leave".

>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.

i'm sure this is in the FAQ, or at least the discography, but off the top
of my head there is the BBC Live in Concert 1980 cd, which was put out by
Windsong Records and can be purchased at many on-line vendors (check the
bigger ones like Cdnow, MusicBoulevard, CdExpress, etc). it's quite good
IMHO - very energetic, even though Andy does sound like a seal (as he
remarks in the liner notes).

[Mark <> writes:]

>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?

yeah, apparently their first choice for a title was "Black Music", as they
were going for a depressing theme, but the Virgin execs thought that _that_
sounded racist, so they reversed the colour, so to speak. obviously that
would never fly today (except as the album title of the aforementioned
National Front house band), but hey, this was the 80's, nearly anything
seems to have gone. this info is from _Chalkhills and Children_ if i
remember correctly.

[Harrison "Who's for some Mexican?" Sherwood wrote:]

>I smell a rat, boys & girls.

that's not all you smell! (ha, ha.) we'd have to ask Mitch to be sure, but
i'd be willing to bet my snake that Andy is the one that talks about it the
most. Colin may be the one that deals 'em, but Andy is the one with the
sick sense of humor. plus i do remember hearing a tape from the _Oranges
and Lemons_ radio tour in which they were at Fort Collins, and Andy was
saying it should be called FART Collins due to the apparently excessive
amount of gas Colin had emitted in the studio.

i don't think this is a death cry for the book, though - if anything it'll
just make it even funnier than the sidesplitting read it's already shaping
up to be. the only way it could be better IMO is if AP had written it
himself, in which case i could officially die happy.

Mark Fisher - i like your idea about the genesis (heh) of "Dear God". i
agree it's a plausible scenario, and might explain why AP was never very
happy with it, given that he was constrained by his original idea.

Catherine Sweeney - you are extremely funny. write more.

decent techno artists include Aphex Twin (i love his 1994 cd _i care
because you do_), Bjork (obvious but had to be said), Nine Inch Nails,
Tricky/Massive Attack, and some others i can't remember off the top of my
head. Prodigy, on the other hand, is a pathetic excuse for a techno band -
now let us never speak of them again. i also confess to a secret and
probably never to be indulged liking for the Chemical Bros. make of this
what you will.

		- brookes
R. Brookes McKenzie                             aka Louise B. Minetti
     Sex with unmentioned barbers  - not really Andy Partridge


Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 21:11:07 +0700 (WIB)
Message-Id: <>
From: Todd Steed <>
Subject: And now, My least favorite XTC songs

Don't turn off your flame throwers just yet, folks.

Making Plans For Nigel.

Yeah, Yeah, I know's a fave. But it's such plastic trying too hard
jerking motion music. Don't like it. Devo lite.

Earn Enough For Us

A sloppy re-write of an earlier song with similar subject on Mrm. Not enough
for me.

Big Day

I hate songs about weddings. Big bore.

Respectable Street

I know this one seems to be a fave here. But for me, it seems immature and
So Obvious. Too be anti-respectable is SO cool.

Mayor of Simpleton

Simple, indeed. TOO simple.

Knuckles Down

They should have put this song down before they recorded it.

Season Cycle

Ugggg...what stupid metaphors. Ugggg. Bad lines abound.

Vanishing Girl

No wonder they recorded this under a different name. They were obviously

Church of Women

So, now Andy is trying to get laid.  Good luck. What a pathetic attempt to
impress women now that he's divorced.


Duhhhh. Hah aha. So funny. Not. Fake put on bitter on the sleeve. He needs
to look up OBVIOUS.

Life Begins At The Hop

Hop down off your new wave pose, boys.

In Loving Memory of A Name

They should have buried this one, get it?


Must have smoked too much before they recorded this lethargic piece of sleep
inducing nonsense. Can we all sneeze on Todd Rundgren?

Toys/Desert Island

Side A: Good title, cause the song is for children only.  Side B:  Paul
McCartney clone rhumba number. Indsidious!

Books Are Burning

I like the solos, but the song should have been torched.

The Put On

Never heard this one? Rare demo from l987 writen by Colin and his sister
plays harmonica on it. ... Perhaps you should have read this whole message
before you fired off your reply.  This is a list of my current favorite XTC
songs, actually.  You can find something 'wrong' with all of them if you
look hard enough.  So why look? Every one of them is a classic in my book. I
think I'll go listen to them now.

todzilla "hell, I like em all" steed


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 09:36:22 -0500
From: Troy Peters <>
Subject: Five against four in "Wake Up"

Ted wrote:

> 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.

If you count it carefully that way, you'll find that the first four
beats of the guitar part in five are shorter than the last one (four
dotted eighths followed by a quarter).

BUT what's pretty cool is that the first three beats of the combined
pattern are four against three -- that is, while one part plays three
even notes, the others plays four even notes (obviously, the second part
goes a little faster to do this -- again the notorious dotted eighth
notes).  Then both guitars crash together on the fourth beat for a full
quarter note.

And then it turns out the whole thing is an eighth note off from the
rest of the song...

I will never stop digging this song.

For what it's worth, how about the similarity in lyrical themes between
"Wake Up" and "A Day in Life" -- stumble out of the house in the
morning, struggle to concentrate at work, witness a bizarre accident in
the street.  The two songs are so different musically, but the lyric of
"Wake Up" certainly echoes the 'plot' of "A Day in the Life" to my




Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: quisling, boycott, burnside...
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 09:59:07 -0500

...hector. In musing along with others if "I'd like that" is A-
list, B-list, not-rehearsed or merely forgotten, I pulled some-
thing out of the lyric. "I wouldn't hector if you'd be Helen of
Troy, oh boy" is what I hear, but the transcribed lyric is "I
would be Hector if you'd be Helen of Troy". Am I right or am I
just trying "to intimidate by bluster or personal pressure"?

If Runaways doesn't grab ya as the first cut on to English
Settlement, what would people rather hear at its beginning?
Runaways does serve alert to the eclectic, jazzy, 5/4, world-muso
-type feel which is such a sharp turn after Black Sea. No Thugs
might make the listener think "Ah, another slammin' rock album"
and dislocate their ears with Yacht Dance. (But then, is that a
bad thing?)

>[Buffy] "I pretty much hate it when bands that are years and years
>old release an eponymously titled me it just says
>'We're out of Ideas,' which obviously XTC are not"

That observation brings to mind two more fright-stories:
"Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe" by some gents whose names I forget.
"Union" by two different sets of 4 guys each of whom recorded half
a CD released as Yes.

If too-clever is what we're looking for, how about "The Album of
the Same Name", or "Eponymous"? Is that common-clever?

>[Amanda] Big Day-Although I do plan on hearing this one at my
>wedding, whenever that day comes...

Huh?? I'm as anti-pap as the next betrothed man, but isn't that
a bit of a downer for the situation? My knee-jerk choice
would be Prince's "Let's Pretend We're Married".

>Ken Leicht mentioned "Starry Eyes" by the Records.

Wow, I hadn't heard that in so long I was beginning to think I'd
imagined it. Now I miss it terribly and pine for the old WBRU,
back when alternative was music and A-A-A wasn't yet a radio

>[Amanda] Slight somewhat related to XTC content-Richard Branson
>was named on of the sexiest men alive in the latest issue of
>People. (Calm down stomach, stop twitching.)

My most malevolent wish, ever: One Branson. One hot-air balloon.
One shotgun. (And I'm not a violent man.)

>[Mark] Anyone know the story behind choosing the White Music
>album title?

>From some time ago on the list (sorry, no attribution) it was said
they wanted "Black Music" and perhaps Virgin or their manager
nixed that because the unknowing might be expecting something by
or about black people, or that there was anything racial about
it at all. My college once had done similar creative things to
make sure people didn't walk into the play "Black Comedy" with
the wrong expectations.

Me and the wind are pulling kites and pushing cars,


Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 09:59:59 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Scuse me while I kiss this guy
Message-id: <>

Yes, there is a brand-spanking new book of misheard lyrics out, entitled
"When a Man Loves a Walnut." It's very hilarious, and if you have a sense of
huymor at all I suggest you pick a copy up.

And now, onto XTC.......

Pancho-Explode Together is very odd. There are two songs on it that I fancy,
"Commerciality", and "The Day They Pulled the North Pole Down". The rest of
it is just too much my dad's taste in music for me.

Mark-Since you asked about White Music, and since I have my copy of
CHALKHILLS AND CHILDREN, in all its torn, tattered dropped in the bathtub
numerous times glory right here with me, I shall quoth directly the
author......  "During the sessions the prospective LP was given the name
'Black Music'.  Andy thought it was a fitting title because, just as black
humour is funny because it's not, XTC's music was a challenging combination
of melody, jumpy rhythms and gratuitous noise; music, but not music. But the
idea was rejected by Simon Draper at Virgin who was worried that the
uninitiated would think XTC were a soul band!"

"On Day Ian Reid said jokingly, 'Well why don't you call it 'White Music'?'
says Andy. "I thought "Wow! White Music as in white noise as in white boys
making it. Yeah, that'll do!"

So endeth the tale.

Jason-I agree totally about "Dame Fortune". I LOVE that song. Mitch, get on
the phone and tell Dave & Co. to rehearse that song, gosh darnit!!!!!!!

Harrison-I dunno.....I think farting is actually a bit more couth (is that
how you spell it?) than rubbing a microphone against your rod in time to
music, as our dear Dave did. (Although I must say, I've never wanted to be a
microphone more in my life.)

(And a small hand reaches from her right shoulder, smacking her squarely
across the face and telling her to behave. Lady Plum fixes her halo atop her
head and moves on.......)

Phelan-Oh yes, all hail George Lucas. My brothers dragged me to the whole
special edition trilogy. I've never seen anyone more obsessed with Star Wars
than my oldest brother. He's got every figure ever made. I on the other hand
have a shrine to the almighty Gregsy in my room. Go figure.

That's all for now.
Ciao mi amigos,
Lady Cornelius Plum
XTC song of the day-You & the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful (this song had
better make it onto the album.)
non XTC song of the day-we will now take you back in time to when Amanda
wore all black, gawked at guys with long greasy hair, and rebelled against
parental authority. Let's visit Amanda's METAL YEARS......
How the Gods Kill-Danzig


Message-Id: <l03020902b092063345fb@[]>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 11:03:01 -0400
From: Natalie Jacobs <>
Subject: Smashing clouds

Mark asks,

>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?

OK, everyone's going to answer this, but what the hell.  The album was
originally going to be called "Black Music" - like "black humor," humor
that's funny but isn't supposed to be, just as this was musical but wasn't
really.  Someone thought this sounded too much like a soul record, though,
so the title was changed to "White Music," as in "white noise," and white
kids making white noise.  And so it came to pass.

Harrison Sherwood expectorates,

> Calvary, here I come, bearing broccoli salad and fava
>beans...set the good ship Methane full speed ahead for the Island of

He came, he saw, he pooted.  Harrison, you are truly mighty.  May I kiss
the hem of your... eeww, never mind.

Mitch Friedman ponders,

>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.

Hmm... so hope glimmers on the horizon?  "The Last Balloon" is an
interesting one - sort of a follow-up to "Rook," with that somber mood.
It's a song that could do without much studio trickery.  I hope they keep
it stark and bleak.

Dave Gershman sez,

>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!)

Umm... I will.  Though I think I'd change it to "nifty."  (Thanks, Dave. :)

>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.

I forgot about that one, mainly because, although I love it, I associate it
with a car accident I was in about a year ago, in which the road took a
left and my car didn't.  The results, as my car gleefully skidded across
the asphalt and smashed into a guard rail while my tape player kept
running, sounded something like this:

"No matter what the weather
You and the clouds will still be -"

I was also wondering about "I'd Like That."  Although it's not my favorite,
it's a nice 'un, and I'd like that if it was on the album.

Matt Kaden states that "Gold" is "inferior"... Ah, but inferior to what?
:)  "Aye, dammit, I love my 'Gold'!" to paraphrase a Stanislaw Lem
character.  I mean, hey - one word:  Trombones.  (Not French ones, just
regular ones.)  OK, it's not the most heavy, deep, and meaningful of songs,
but its sheer exuberance and joy makes it worth listening to, in my mind -
and I love the lyrics.  "And all those pebbles in your shoes are precious
stones" - yeah.  Your mileage, of course, may vary... and probably does.

>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.

It's not the lyrics so much as that nice, relaxed, jazzy shuffle - making
it a companion piece to "I Remember the Sun" and "Ladybird" - and a truly
lovely guitar solo.  I don't really "get" the lyrics either because I am
still a bit of an Angry Young Woman myself; in another ten years or so I'll
probably identify with them a lot more.

>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

Oh, sure.  I just can't stand that wheezy asthmatic tuneless donkey's bray
he has in place of a singing voice - which is why I like Dylan covers a lot
better than Dylan's own material.

It isn't even winter but I'm shivering, shivering,

Natalie Jacobs (in the snowy wastelands of Michigan)
Perdix: The Andy Partridge Appreciation Page


Subject: Waning Enthusiasm for XTC
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 97 11:26:21 -0500

I realize it's not entirely XTC's fault that they haven't released an album
since 1992's "Nonsuch." And, I know that all of the band members have been
busy with other projects in the meantime.

But, I've gotta be honest with you, gang. My enthusiasm for these guys has
been waning since 1995, and it continues to wane, and I'm afraid a new album
isn't going to help. What's the problem? I'm afraid it's Andy.

Wait! Before you reply to this, please consider: I have been an XTC fan
since 1987, and I was a fan in the late 1970s when "Drums and Wires" came
out. When I was in college, a friend of mine bought "Drums..." and, from the
moment he put the needle on the record, I was enthralled. What pronounced
drumming! What sinuous guitar licks! The whole thing was just so bizarre and
wonderful. We played it again and again (and again).

After graduating from college in 1981, I spent a lot of time looking for a
job and getting a career off the ground. I rediscovered XTC in 1987 after I
bought a CD player and "The Compact XTC." I bought their complete back
catalog, and then some. I think that Dave Yazbek had it (mostly) right in
the liner notes for "Testimonial Dinner," when he wrote to the effect that,
"if you have not yet discovered XTC's music, I envy you."

I became an obsessive fan around the time "Oranges and Lemons" came out. I
had to have everything, including XTC's side projects like Dave producing
Cud, Colin's Hermits doing "Strawberry Fields," etc. I still have all of
these CDs, records, and tapes...but, these days I hardly ever listen to

About a week ago, I put on "Fossil Fuel," the second disc with the latest
studio XTC recordings. Keep in mind that I hadn't listened to XTC in a few
MONTHS. I was surprised at how I annoyed I became with Andy's voice. It just
isn't very strong on many songs. And it's especially not good on Nonsuch. It
certainly isn't good enough for ballads like "Wrapped in Grey" and "Rook."
Let's face it, his songs are just not up to par on "Nonsuch," with the
exception of "Then She Appeared."

It's disappointing. Here's an original songwriter and talented guitarist,
mimicking Lennon and McCartney, and Brian Wilson. Can't he hear his *own*
"voice" and originality as a songwriter, the way I hear it? Listen to "Peter
Pumpkinhead" and then listen to "Don't Lose Your Temper." The former sounds
like stuff everyone else writes. The latter is wildly creative!

"Nonsuch" was a marker for me, in many ways. It made me realize, over time,
and in a sad way, that Andy had picked up some influences that were not
moving his songwriting forward. Meanwhile, Colin's songs are now more
listenable than Andy's. I'm going to buy the new XTC album, but for Colin
and Dave's material.  I don't think I'd buy a solo Andy album.

I've heard Andy's demos from 1995 and they're too clever for my own good.
He's still hung up on John Lennon. A reviewer once described XTC as
"Overproduced, overliterate pop with a 'stoopid' voice in front of it." Is
this really what they are? Or did the voice just start taking itself too


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-28

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