Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-29

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 29

                 Sunday, 16 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                     re: White Noise
                   Re: we got the beat
                XTC as college experience
   I'd Like That the Green Man make the album but......
           PP did not drum on "The Good Things"
            Never say I didn't tell you so...
               Demo selections/ XTC's music
                      That's no lady
                  Anomalies, trades etc.
    Where You & the Clouds... Meets Jimi's Little Wing
                  Disintegration Endings
                       Good Things
                        The dukes
                       To be a fan.
                 whitey, god, and others
             You are deceiving me right now!
                   A couple of replies
                   Finding one's voice
          XTC: No ZZTop, and I like it that way
                  2 steps from lurkerdom
                      Black Sea ERA
                   It's snowing angels


Tim Harris has contributed the guitar chords to "The Ugly Underneath".
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Message-Id: <l03010d0bb09215262918@[]>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 08:50:27 -0800
Subject: re: White Noise

Mark  ( wrote
>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?

This reminds me of that scene from the Monkees "Head", you know after Davy
Jones' artfully choreographed/lit/edited "Daddy's Song"? Frank Zappa is
leading a cow thru the soundstage, talking with Davy and tells him  "man,
your music's pretty white". To which Jones replies, "Yeah, well so am I".

The skin-tone issue aside, if you look at some of the Brit connotations of
"white", you see that the album title could be a glimpse into what would
become a main theme of Andy's work - anti-war, anti-miltary anti-gun etc.
White denotes "cowardice" , especially in the sense of *not* being a
patriotic enlistee:

"During the Boer War, "patriotic" ladies presented white feathers to young
men not in uniform. The taunt of cowardice was expected to shame them into
enlisting. This practice was revived during WWI....William  Bancroft Mellor
reports : "To show the white feather",  a phrase denoting cowardice
..refers to the white fluff found at the base of the tail in many strains
of game fowl..when the tail of one of these is drooped during fight, the
cock thus acknowledges defeat; the white fluff, normally covered by the
saddle and the feathers, shows plainly"      _British English A to Zed_,
Schur,  p 398

As for the white fluff at the base of game fowl, take a look at the cover
of White Music.  Damn all if Andy's not wearing pants with arrows pointing
to the base of _his_  Partridge tail!!

(Maybe the reason "All Along" is covered on "White Music" is to dispel any
notions of inherent racism/bigotry - it's a song written by a Jewish bloke
and made famous by an Afro-American, after all)

Anyhoo, I think XTC's debut was their "whitest" album, all political
connotations aside.  Not that it doesnt have soul - it's good
"white-pop-soul".  Andy has introduced more colour into his work as time's
gone by...

>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?

Ever play "all the children sing" from "The Continuing Story of Bungalow
Bill" (from  the neo-NationalFront houseband *White Album*  so sayeth
Manson) backwards.  Swear Lennon is saying "Here's to Lucifer!" , but it
could be the product of a alienated youth.....  ; )

take care, all

Charles F.


Message-Id: <l03102800b0924ef4ead6@[]>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 11:09:48 -0800
From: Dave Blackburn <>
Subject: Re: we got the beat

Dear Chalkies,
	There seems to be a thread going on XTC's use of syncopated intros,
such as "Wake Up". Ted Harms  posted they thought one guitar was in 4 and
the other in 5.
	The "garden path" technique of leaving out the downbeat of one is a
favorite ska/reggae thing, which is also where The Police's "Spirits in the
material world" comes from.
	On "Wake Up" here's how the two choppy guitars fit together,
Guitar one plays up beat eighth notes (the "ands") only. Guitar two plays a
rhythm associated with 2-3 clave which is an afro-cuban figure that goes:
eighth note rest and then five dotted eighth notes. In other words the song
starts with an eighth note rest, obviously fooling the ear into thinking
that is "one". It would be notated using ties rather than all dotted
eighths but that describes the way it sounds.
	I think a more bizarre XTC rhythm moment is in Miniature Sun, where
the track lays down a firm swing eighth feel and the vocal sings in
straight eighths until the "you made a miniature sun" line where Andy slips
into the swing groove. Ordinarily this is a no-no to be avoided; AP makes
it sound brilliant. "Omnibus" is also a strange on because of the very
unorthodox bass line.

Dave Blackburn


Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 14:24:39 -0500 (EST)
From: (Alexander Werth)
Subject: XTC as college experience
Message-id: <v01530502b091e764632d@[]>

Random note from a long, long, loooong-time lurker who emerges from his
hole every year or so as the spirit moves or as time permits.  I use most
of my sparse free time to listen to XTC, which I've been doing lovingly and
devotedly since Drums and Wires was released in those great new wave
post-punk years, right before I set off for college.  (And yes, I still
listen to Talking Heads, The Police, Joe Jackson, etc. along with a slew of
current artists.)

What moves me to post now is recalling how my college years are truly
marked by the XTC albums that came out in those early and mid-80s years,
from English Settlement and Mummer to the Big Express and the Dukes' 25
O'Clock (and on to Skylarking, O & L, and Nonsuch in grad school!).  My
freshman year was spent spinning ES on the turntable again and again (and
for the record, I do love the third side that everyone's been chatting
about lately: "It's Nearly Africa" and "Knuckle Down" are absolute gems).
I vividly recall snapping up the "Great  Fire" 12" single and playing it
over and over one July, then finding the "Wonderland" 7" and doing the
same.  I spent the month before graduation turning people on to the Dukes
of Stratosphear.  Could it be that that wondrous time when just about every
year meant a new release from our boys, when there was such a productive
explosion of not just clandestine demos but whole polished albums, was the
golden age of XTC?  BTW: Please don't misconstrue this as a knock on the
recent albums or demos, which needless to say are top notch too.  So where
am I going with all this...

I'm still in college, but now as a professor.  Most of my students have
never heard of XTC, but a select few of them are solid fans.  Still, I
suspect it must be incredibly odd listening to a group that hasn't put out
a bona fide release in over five years, when most of these students were in
junior high.  I can see where this would make the true "younger" fans all
the more devoted, given that they have had less to gobble up during their
formative years apart from lots of demos, covers, compilations, etc.  But I
can also see why so few of my college students have ever heard of XTC:
they're ancient history to most twentysomethings.  Sure, exceptions abound:
I became a huge Steely Dan fan in fifth grade, but that's just mainly from
my older brother's influence.  Musical awareness typically develops later,
I'd guess.

For me, college was such a great time to be an XTC fan because I could turn
on all my dorm-mates to this group, and even if it is an admittedly
acquired taste I did win loads of converts.  I guess the web and internet
groups like this now enable us to reach out to other fans, but isn't it
hard--or close to impossible--to become a new fan where there is so little
new material?  (Of course this will change soon, oh joy!).

So here's the punchline of this long, rambling observation/commentary.  I
already know there are many hard-cores who were turned on by "Nigel" in
1980, or even earlier by the two Barry Andrews-era albums.  But you young
folk, you students out there who have not been following XTC for near 20
years, how and when did you start listening?  I suppose it's nice to have
such a deep back catalogue to discover, but I suspect it sure would be nice
for a developing first-timer fan to have had a brand new album to discover
over each of the past five years too.  Is XTC in danger of becoming a
golden oldies group for old-timers?  I know from faithfully reading this
digest for the past two years that that's a silly exaggeration, but is XTC
(at least until the upcoming release) long past its heyday as an
alternative band with a big college following?


Message-ID: <>
From: "Macdonald, Robert" <>
Subject: I'd Like That the Green Man make the album but......
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 10:18:05 -0800

	I am just assuming that "I'd Like That" will be recorded.  It's
just a great catchy upbeat pop song.  I was relieved to hear from Mitch
that he thinks that "The Green Man" is on the 'A' list.

	In my opinion from the demo's that they are choosing it is
shaping up to be a fine album.

	As for "Your Dictionary", for the longest time I just assumed
that it wouldn't make the album....too personal....too nasty......a
little awkward.  Then when Mitch said it was on the 'A' list I started
thinking about it more and there is a little voice in the back of my
head that tells me maybe they need to release something that is a little
controversial......f_u_c_k could maybe open some eyes......or
better yet get banned from the BBC with lots of press coverage.  Or on
the other hand maybe it could get released as a B side to a single and
if enough DJ's flip the single (oh, wait a minute....I mean play track 2
on the cd single) a la "Dear God"  who knows???

	Does anybody else find it odd that there is no real mention of
Colin's songs yet??  You would think that they would be rehearsing them
as well.

	As for the conversation on listening to the Demo's or not.
Personally I just couldn't wait any longer.....I was _dying_ to hear
something new.   Will it ruin the new album for me?   Well I have tried
not to listen to the demo's too often.....also when I listen to demo's
for some of the older songs  in most cases they sound like raw bare bone
simplified versions of the final full XTC treatment....I think people
will be surprised by the transformation of many of these songs.  The
songs will be _so_  good and they will sound even better!!

	Unrealistically high expectations?   Hell no....this is XTC.

	Rob Macdonald
	Victoria, B.C. Canada


Message-Id: <>
Subject: PP did not drum on "The Good Things"
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 97 16:35:27 -0600
From: Della & Steve Schiavo <>

>From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
>Mark speaketh:
>>Did Prairie play on Good Things?  I didn't realize that!

That's because he didn't.  Can't remeber the name, but Andy said (on Rock
Over London) that he was in The La's and the Lightning Seeds.

- Steve

	[ Chris Sharrock.  See FAQ #6.  -- Ed. ]


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 15:25:34 +0000
Subject: Never say I didn't tell you so...

Hmm... hello.

> 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.

I've heard that interpretation, but to me it sounds kinda like "I'm
walking 'round antenna-feet tall"... ah well... I mean, I know what
it is... it's in the title, for christ's sake, and I can hear "ten
feet tall" in it, it's just that, well...


> From:
> 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?

Actually, the album was originally named "Black Music", however
Virgin didn't like that, so they said no, since they thought people
would assume it was R&B and that sort of music... so XTC called it
"White Music" because it was mainly white noise (their words, not
mine)... I wouldn't be surprised if their looks may have factored
in... Of course, they still aren't nearly as pale as I am... they
don't look like they've died... a while ago.  8)

> From: Thomas Slack <>
> >> 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".

That'd be kinda interesting, but I'd like to hear an orchestral
version of, say the enitrity of the first 3 albums w/B-sides... that
was the problem with the LSO does the Beatles CD I have... almost all
the tracks on there were ALREADY orchestral.. "Eleanor Rigby??"  Come
on!  Try some imagination!  And what's up with using the electric
guitar, bass and drum kit?  It's like the original versions, only
with the orchestral bits no longer being overdubs!  Agh!  I want to
hear something that you'd never expect to be orchestral...
Respectable Street, White Music, Go2, D&W, DEVO (especially Gut
Feeling/Slap Your Mammy)... anyway, there's plenty of non-orchestral
Beatles songs they could do... Revolution (single version, not
1...well, don't think it'd really matter), Tomorrow Never Knows, And
Your Bird Can Sing... anyway, if they wanted to do already
orchestrated versions, they could have at least had the decency to do
I Am the Walrus and A Day in the Life... Feh!

BTW, the tracks they did do were all very good, and it's a nice CD...
I just wish they chose different tracks...

> From: Sean Hennessey <>
> > >      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.
> 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!

Take another look at the can... it's really a toy satellite... [OK,
spot THIS reference]

> From: Mitch Friedman <>
> 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.

Agh!  Agh!  Your Dictionary has to be on the A list, and Last Balloon
should be on the B, dammit... agh!  Agh!  Agh!  Sorry.

This is not.  a complete. post.  Sorry.
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: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 18:02:49 -0600
From: Dave Ledbetter <>
Subject: Demo selections/ XTC's music


RE:  Mitch's report of the A and B list songs.  I must admit I was rather
disappointed Dame Fortune is not even being practiced.  This is far and
away my favorite Demo song, but hey -- at least I can listen to the demo,

Missing from all mention was my second favorite demo: I'd like that.  Hmm...

Now, I'm sure XTC will put out a great album.  What makes me a little
nervous is they're cutting this (Dame Fortune) simple, catchy style in
favor of the more orchestral songs.  Not that I don't like the orchestral
songs, I just like the simpler, more straight-forward sound of a "Dame
Fortune" or "I'd like that" better.

And what's with "The last baloon" being on the probably make the album A
list.  Ughh!!  Am I missing something here?  Honestly?  To me, it's just
too drippy and sad-ass, and let's face it, there's enough of that on the
radios as it is.  Admittedly, not quite like TLB but come on.

XTC songs wake me up!  The best are unrelenting in their attempts to win me
over -- the changes and hooks and harmonies and lyrics leave me saying
"Wow!".  The deeper I dig the more I find.  I like that in a song and I
like that in a band.

The last baloon, on the other hand, recalls what I feel is the worst of
XTC, or any band for that matter.  (Disclaimer:  XTC's worst is still as
good as many other's best) .  Too much effort on the "emotional impact"
front and not enough on the nuts and bolts of rhythm, melody, and harmony.
Nuts and bolts of which XTC are the masters.

Yeah whatever.


Warning:  this posts most likely contains mis-spelled words, poor grammer,
contradictions, mis-stated facts, and incorrectly attributed quotes --
these were left in intentionally.  Please don't feel you must point them
out to me.  :)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 09:29:04 -0800
From: "MARK G. CUEVAS" <>
Subject: That's no lady

That's no lady -- that's AMANDA.

	[ Editor's note: the above is an attempt at humor. ]


Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 10:26 +0930
From: "VanAbbe, Dominic" <>
Subject: Anomalies, trades etc.
Message-id: <>

Hi All,

     A couple of things quickly:

a)  There has been plenty of discussion of the prize cock-up Virgin made
with "Drums & Wires", but I'm wondering if an item I have in my collection
was a common occurrence.  I have an, apparently, UK printed CD of "The Big
Express" with allegedly 14 tracks on it.  The label of the disc itself, the
booklet, even the rear of the CD case all indicate 14 tracks, and everything
is hunky-dory until you actually go to play the disc....   It actually only
has the 11 songs from the LP proper on it, and *does not* have the bonus
trax (Red Brick Dream, Washaway and Blue Overall) in the middle (or anywhere
else for that matter...)   Anyone else had the same problem??  Just as well
I've got This World Over 7" and All you pretty girls 12" isn't it??

b)   After recieving some XtC records from a (now regrettfully ex-)
girlfriend it seems I have ended up with *two* copies of the AUSTRALIAN
double-LP vinyl version of English Settlement (remembering that ES was only
available as a double in Oz. for 5000 copies, with each one individually
numbered).  Any one interested in a trade?  If so, e-mail me *PRIVATELY*.  I
also have an Oz. picture sleeve single of Sgt.Rock for trade.  The
tracklisting is identical to any other SR(IGTHM) single, but it doesn't have
the fold-out poster sleeve, and might be of interest to any trainspotters
(note: respectful use of the word!) out there.   Again, private e-mail

The new LP seems to be shaping up nicely, does it not??


	[ (a) See FAQ #16.  -- Ed. ]


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 19:05:38 -0800
From: Eric Rosen <>
Subject: Where You & the Clouds... Meets Jimi's Little Wing

>From: David Gershman <>
>Subject: Songs in the Works

>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.

Count me in.  You & the Clouds... is too beautiful to leave off.  I
can't find a coherent explanation why, but, as I see it, You & the
Clouds is to XTC what Little Wing is to Jimi Hendrix.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 19:24:32 -0800
From: Eric Rosen <>
Subject: Disintegration Endings

Hi ChalXTers,

Ever notice how many XTC tunes go through a process where different
elements "drop out" until the song is left with a single element to
finish off?

For example:

Melt the Guns-- Guitars drop out first, then bass, then vocals, then the
knocka-knocka percussion concludes it (very unpredictably, I might add -
oh, so cool)

Human Alchemy-- keyboards drop out, then vocals and percussion, then the
rattled chain ends it.  [I know this one is not their strongest, but I
think it takes too much heat on this list.  Think of how gutsy it is to
write a song about slavery (and how musically off the wall it is) that
crosses (pun intended) gregorian chants with reggae.]

Desert Island-- guitars drop out first, then the super cool bass and
tasteful reggae drummming escort the vocals into oblivion and we are
left with that menacing texture of keyboard.

Snowman-- we're left with the shaking christmas bells.

No Language in Our Lungs-- long envelope on the last guitar chord
leaving interesting drum work with the cymbals & high hats.

Deliver Us from the Elements-- all of the rhythmic instrumentation gets
swept up in that tornado of sound effects that closes out the tune [very
reminiscient of the Revolver album, especially the George & John

I know there are plenty of others but I just can't think of them right
now.  Anyone?


Message-Id: <>
From: "J & J Greaves" <>
Subject: Good Things
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 21:46:12 -0800

Somebody else will probably also bring this up, but it's Chris Sharrock on
drums on The Good Things. You will have heard him with The Icicle Works,
The La's and World Party.

Re: It Didn't Hurt A Bit being left off Nonsuch. This was Colin's decision
according to an interview ( with Dave I think ) in the Little Express. It
was an A list tune and Andy and Gus wanted it on the record. Recording was
even started but then Colin said he really didn't want to do it, and it was
dropped. Too bad because it's my favorite of the Colin songs from Nonsuch
along with My Bird Performs.

I thought that those were sniffs created "nasally" on the beginnings of
both New Town Animal and the lp version of Respectable Street, until I read
Harrison's gassy post. The evidence therfore points to Mr. P as the Wazir
of Wind. ( and he's also the writer of Me and the Wind ). We will see when
we get the book. The band got together for a Little Express interview a few
years back and talked about three songs, in what sounds like the same
format as this new book. It was very entertaining as they all shared their
thoughts. The songs discussed were Blame the Weather, Yacht Dance and , I
think, Me and the Wind.

I picked up Upsy Daisy this week just to have Chalkhills and Children
without the fade of Miniature Sun at its beginning. Who am I kidding, I
would have picked it up just because it's an XTC cd that I didn't have!

Take care all


Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 02:31:02 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Scott Kennedy <>
Subject: The dukes

Maybe its just me, but if The Dukes released some stuff right now, 1997,
don't you think it would take off? They were into retro just a bit too
early, but in the current retro-mania climate, I think they could really
find an audience. Especially if they played a few live shows. And if Andy is
still a freak about playing out, maybe they could get a ghost band to
pretend to be them, and do a tour Milli-Vannilli style. I volunteer as


Message-Id: <v01510100b09362397642@[]>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 16:34:14 +0200
From: (Per Aronsson)
Subject: To be a fan.

Why do I read and contribute to Chalkhills? The answer is obvius. I not
only like XTC, I am a fanatic fan. I hope and think that most of the
Chalkhill-crowd thinks that XTC is the biggest popband in the world.

In issue 4-28 says Wesley H. Wilson that he is tired of Andy Partridge and
his voice. Mr Wilson is bored and don't look forward that much to the next

Well, of course it's okey to feel like that.

But I honestly don't understand why Mr Wilson is writing about it in
Chalkhills. I want to communicate with people that likes XTC. (I get enough
negative opinions about XTC from my friends and wife. They like artists
such as Elton John and Rod Stewart.)

So what should Mr Wilson do? Well, if there is a market for it, he could
start a anti-xtc-mailing-list. Meanwhile we others can go on and keep on
thinking that Andy Partridge has a wonderful voice.

I also think that worst-song-list is a bad idea. I for one can't even
mention a bad XTC-song. I like them all. Somnabulist is a masterpiece.

Per Aronsson.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Kevin Keeler" <>
Subject: whitey, god, and others
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 11:08:06 -0500

>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 *dont* think it was an accident.  Just think how much more it opens
everything up to interpretations.  personally, I love the irony.  telling
god you dont believe in him (or her or it <--- phew! good thing i remembered
to add that in!).

i also originally heard somewhere that the song was written from the
perspective of a little kid.  now imagine the kid
mom: "billy, we must go to church now and worship god."
billy: "why?"
dad: "because god is kind and benevolent and we tells us to worship him"
billy: "do we ever get to meet him?"
dad: "well, no--not until we die."
billy: "so how do we know he's there?"
mom: "dammit, boy! dont ask those things he said he is, so he is!"
billy: "?"

and hes just all confused, but mammy and daddy and everyone *tell* him that
god exists.  so he believes it to the extent that he can tell god that he
thinks he (god) is not there.
    its from the kid's perspective! not andy's!
also 'i don't believe in you' coud be meant in another sense of the word.
like i dont believe in what you do.  like i have no faith in you.  that
works too.

>1- What is the Explode Together cd like?

odd.  old skool technoish.  not this industrial stuff, just drum machines
and elctronic stuff.  if you can find it for a decent price, I'd say go
ahead.  it is an *experience*--just not necessarily a great album. the copy
i found was an import (but i think they all are) in an overpriced mall
record store.  so i had to shell out for it.  suck.

>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 just know 'white music' is also a name for static.  that hissing
(soothing?) but usually unwelcome noise you get between radio stations and
at the end of movies adn stuff.  the snow.  this what i always thought of.
white (supremecist) music?  i dont think so.

and i guess that is all.

oh, and for an on-topic joke...go to

i ganked it from the R.A. Wilson site.  enjoy. (low on "humor" lon on
length, but i liked it.)

              Kevin Keeler

who is a digest (at least) behind and for some reason unable to make it
through chalkhill's longwindedness.  hope im not repeating stuff.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 12:41:12 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: You are deceiving me right now!


Todzilla fooled us into thinking.

>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.

Aah, but they're also some of my favourites. There are only two XTC
songs that I skip through, and I'm not going to tell you all what they
are. I also disagree with all the flaming of "It's Nearly Africa."
Listen to it from a purely instrumental angle, and you'll get my point.
I think it's one of the toughtest songs Andy's ever written, musically.

I received the single "English Settlement" on vinyl, and couldn't be
more surprised or pleased with the running order. I think that "All of a
Sudden" is a perfect ending: "in all your hurry/You've accidentally
locked the gates..." I also like the entire Side 2 progression

Harrison: you like "The Green Man," right? Could you e-mail me,
privately, and tell me what you think I'm missing? It's just never
caught on.

Chalk up another member of the "Go2" club.


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Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 17:39:12 -0500
From: Adam Tyner <ctyner@CLEMSON.EDU>
Subject: A couple of replies

In response to the person asking how I got a copy of the Hello CD: A friend
of mine with all the Hello CDs was burning some John Linnell and Mono Puff
stuff on CD for me, and I asked him to add on the 4 tracks.  2 of the
tracks are on Rob's absolutely phenomenal CD (Prince of Orange and Some
Lovely).  The other 2, "It's Snowing Angels" and "Candymines" are decent
songs, but not particularly memorable.

By the way, I think I'm the only person here who really enjoys "Some
Lovely".  Although it's not an intricate song with complex structure and
deep lyrics, I still think it has a very nice sound to it.  :)  To each
their own, I suppose.

About bands like Marilyn Manson, the Prodigy, etc....that reminds me...a
couple of weeks ago, I saw some teenagers in a mall wearing bookbags with
various names of bands such as MM and NIN scrawled in magic marker, along
with XTC.  Seeing XTC where I least expect them is always interesting.  I
was in Clemson's library and spotted "XTC" 'painted' on one of the desks
with white-out.  :)


-Adam, wondering if XTC needs a really lousy accordion player...?  :)
The home of He-Man, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, and more!
            TMBG Fan           O-         MiSTie #67,326


Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Nov 1997 16:37:00 -0600
From: "Cecile Bellamy" <>
Subject: Finding one's voice

I had read the last article from this most recent issue of Chalkhills to
find that someone felt that Andy's voice wasn't getting any better or was
sounding more like the mainstream. I have to disagree with some of what was
said. For me ,the Nonsuch album was one of the most emotional albums put out
by XTC being that, and this is just a theory, it's band members were going
through a very stressful and emotional time. I would hear and read about how
people didn't like the album because it seemed "too sad" or "too
depressing", I for one would like to see and hear a side to Mr. Partridge
and co. that I hardly ever witnessed from other musicians or artists, a side
that is truly honest and vunerable and in that, shows a great deal of
strength in admitting such a thing. I have found that from listening to a
number of XTC's songs Collin's and Andy's voices have improved by leaps and
bounds. I don't know if they have received any voice lessons but I think
their tonal range is excellent. And another thing, I think it's nice to hear
the softer end of Andy's vocal range every once in a while rather than him
yelling out a song whose lyrics and content can easily hold up on it's
own. All I'm trying to say is that the group shouldn't lose the knowledge
that it has and in this day and age it is even more important now that they
are developing new songs. Another request that I have is that they let Dave
sing a song, if he wants to, I've heard in the past that he was never that
interested in doing such a thing but it would be something I would look
forward to. Sorry this letter is so lengthy, but when it comes to critical
commentary on one of the few bands that seems to really care about what
their fans think, it's important that they get comments that can help them
see all sides to how they plan out their compositions in the future, or
possibly re-record ones that they already have[ I think re-recording the
Troubles would be great ;) ].

Once again, my apologies for the lengthy note.


Message-Id: <l03110700b093d21fb89f@[]>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 17:03:32 -0600
From: jason garcia <>
Subject: XTC: No ZZTop, and I like it that way

>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

When was John Lennon ever "overproduced" and "overliterate"?  Sure,
Lennon liked to play with words, but for the most part he was a basic
rock and roll guy.  On songwriting he once said something like, "say what
it is, plain English, stick a backbeat behind it and there you are."
As for that fitting XTC's bill, you could do FAR worse in the "smart"
department- Robyn Hitchcock comes to mind here (I realize there are a
bunch of Robyn fans on this list and I have been known to crank "Balloon
Man" and "Driving Aloud" every now and then, but sometimes it's just like,
what the FUCK are you talking about, buddy?)  Personally I think XTC's
new demos are MORE down-to-earth than ever, literally AND figuratively.
Hopefully that sound will be replicated on the album- I do like the idea
of keeping some of the parts from the demos and building around them,
like the guitar in "Knights in Shining Karma" (I don't know what people
think is wrong with this song, I always get a little shiver when I hear
it.  Kind of reminds me of "Julia"...stuck on Lennon THERE, perhaps).

>XTC song of the day-You & the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful (this song had
>better make it onto the album.)

NO SHIT.  That's another one I think is VERY underrated.  It's the FEEL,
and Andy's voice sounds particularly good dry on that one.  That's another
one of the songs I enjoyed blasting on the way to the coast last May.

>(Although I must say, I've never wanted to be a microphone more in my life.)

Thank you Amanda, I now have written a song called "I Wish I Was A Microphone"
'cause I liked the title...has nothing to do with Dave's crotch, however.
Due credit will be given on the album...

>That observation brings to mind two more fright-stories:
>"Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe" by some gents whose names I forget.

I think it was "Anderson-Walkman-Buttholes-and how!", actually. ;)

>If Runaways doesn't grab ya as the first cut on to English
>Settlement, what would people rather hear at its beginning?

"English Settlement" was neatly summed up by Andy as "vast and unfinished".
It almost doesn't have a beginning and end.  "Runaways" is the perfect opener:
subtle, smooth, seemingly insubstantial, preparing you for the cuts that
follow.  The whole album is a journey, but it's an unexpected one, sort of
an unplanned sojourn into XTC's world.  Like you're just walking down a hall
minding your own business when suddenly Colin opens a door and you're off-
like it or not, you're on this trip till it's over.   That's just MY over-
literate take on the thing.

Rock and roll or not, the new album is going to ROCK regardless.

Underrated song of the day: "Bittersweet Me" R.E.M.


Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 00:34:46 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: 2 steps from lurkerdom

Greetings and salutations!
I have to admit that I was hesitant about getting a copy of AP's demos in
fear of the disappointment of not seeing some of my favs getting a final
pressing (especially after reading Mitch's updates).  But after hearing them,
I'm looking forward to hearing what the final production will add/subtract to
the survivors.  I look at it this way.  Whichever I like better will be my

I will join the majority that was instantly hooked by Greenman.  The first
couple measures remind me of 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' - kind of
wicked and childlike (remind us of anyone?).  Other picks so far:  I'd Like
That, You and the Clouds..., Your Dictionary, Easter Theatre, and Knights
(in no particular order and the list is still growing).  By the way, has
anyone noticed a slight Sting flavour in 'Orchids' and 'You and the

As for all of the Worst Song threads, I quote Todd...
>You can find something 'wrong' with all of them if you
>look hard enough.  So why look?

I second the motion! Why not look for a good part of the song instead?  I
have come to love some songs by a single chord change in a half measure.
 It's TOO easy to rip on the downfalls of a song.  I couldn't really put ANY
songs on a worst list.  But then there's Country music...

>All this talk of guitar/phallus stuff
An old memory just surfaced of a small band (name long forgotten) from the
Chicago suburbs whose bass guitarist had an anatomically correctly painted
bass.  As I recall, he always 'got the babes' after the shows.

Last, but far from least, another set of kudos to Rob C for archiving the
demos to CD.  A job well done!

XTC song of the 1/2 hour - Your Dictionary
Non XTC of the other 1/2 - Building a Mystery

Spanky (sometimes goes by David)


Message-Id: <>
From: "J. D. SMX" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 21:24:13 -0700
Subject: Black Sea ERA

Hello Again Chalkhillians,

In reference to Louise's query about Black Sea era recordings:

I've found that there's a lot of LIVE B-sides to be had including the
likes of Scissor Man, Battery Brides, English Roundabout, Living
Through Another Cuba/Generals And Majors but for my $ the live
version of  I'll Set Myself On Fire that appears on the b-side of
Towers Of London is one of the most fantastic jewels to be had by
XTC.  It sends me into the kind of frenzy that has only been described
on this list by those with a penchant for,"Are You Reveiving Me?"
(I, too, am included in this AYRM clique; in case you hadn't

L8r,   SMX

Engineering Services Manager
Access Tucson


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 14:41:15 +0000
Subject: It's snowing angels

Matt Keeley was discussing It's Snowing Angels:
> 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.

Angels was put together to be given away on cassette with a
record collectors magazine that focused mainly on 60's music.  Andy
loves musical forgery and asked the publishers if they could go
along with the joke and present the song as a recently rediscovered
artifact from the period, credited to a band named Choc Cigar Chief
Champion.  Unfortunately the magazine folded before the plan came to
fruition, so the Dukes inherited the track by default.


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-29

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