Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-31

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 31

               Wednesday, 19 November 1997

Today's Topics:

                     GOLDEN SLUMBERS
                   Blessed Be The Demos
                      Naughty Zoot!
                    RE: XTC in college
                      Slippery Music
                   Demo Rating Results
                  no thugs on this list
                    earn enough for it
                   All hail the Prince!
                 Dates for Sight & Sound
               worst song list is the worst
              Your Very Own Atom Bomb FREE!
                       CC97 Update
                  The post with no title
                     Firework & more
                  Go Friend Yourself...
      U.M.I. and I.M.U. and we are all together, eh!
                    response, response
             okay, MY take on the demos.....
                       Thomas Dolby


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

We have sickness in our hair.


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 21:48:25 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>

Hello again, Ch'illers,

Dave Ledbetter <> said:
>XTC songs wake me up!

I literally WAKE UP each morning to River of Orchids on my CD Clock Radio.
The opening is so soothing it doesn't jar me from my sleep. Previously, I was
using the Kinks'
A ROCK 'N' ROLL FANTASY. Does anyone have a preference as to what XTC song
they would prefer to WAKE UP to? Remember, you don't want to fall out of bed.
GOLD comes to mind as a definite 'no-no'. In fact, those who wish to
participate, can send me one "WAKE-UP" track, and one "NO-NO" track and I'll
post the top 10 or so results, at a later date. Please SUBJECT your letter
Wake up you sleepy head...put on some clothes, shake up your bed
Paul LoPiccolo   < >


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 21:41:39 -0600
From: Dean Zemel <>
Subject: Blessed Be The Demos

All the talk about whether listening to the demos might somehow taint
appreciation for the finished product and the talk about which demos might
make the released CD makes me think of how lucky I am to have heard these
demos no matter what the consequences, if any.  I love all of the songs I've
heard, post Nonsuch in demo form, but from the very beginning, You And The
Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful has stood out to me, personally.  On the
first listen, I was thinking what weird beats and rhythms but it slowly
started coming together until it got to the point where I couldn't hear that
song enough.  There were times it actually brought tears to my eyes---to me
it was THAT beautiful.

And now comes the word that it may very well not be on the finished album.
If not for those demos, I might have never heard this precious, tender,
sweet song.  I can't imagine it.

Thank you, Andy, for the songs and the demos...and especially for You And
The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful.

Dean Zemel


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 22:56:55 -0800
From: Chaos Harlequin <>
Organization: Nil
Subject: Naughty Zoot!

Kenneth Leight:

>Life's a bitch when the A&R guy cares more about the band that sells
>more records but a little subtlety can help sometimes.

Within this theme, I still think TMBG's "Rhythm Section Want Ad," from
their self-titled debut album, is probably the best song about the
music business I've ever heard. No whining, no insults, just a frank
-- and funny -- look at the process of getting signed to a label.

On some recent issues:

Watchtower: I like it. Colin's ultra-cool bass, and Andy's drunken
harmonica and wild vocals, all on top of a strong groove. Personally,
I prefer the live version I have from the ES tour to the WM version,
especially with the 2-minute extended intro. Of course, I <gasp> am
unfamiliar with the original! So perhaps my opinion doesn't count.

Demo selections: First, Dame Fortune is such a sweet little song,
I'm sorry to see it go. And second, YOU AND THE CLOUDS MUST BE ON
THE ALBUM! Please please please.

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

Oh, very true. Where'd it go? We've gotten news of "The Last Balloon,"
but ILT is still missing in action.

Hmm indeed. I'd much more like to see Dame Fortune and I'd Like That than,
say, Your Dictionary and The Last Balloon. Sigh.

<Explode Together>
>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.

Hah. I got a used copy for $8 at a local medium-sized record store.

Joshua Hall-Bachner
Chaos Harlequin


From: "Sparks" <grife.R.STU.VU@ARTEMIS.VALPO.EDU>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 00:07:07 -0600
Subject: RE: XTC in college
Message-ID: <>

    Hey chalkers,

        The question was posed... asking the "young-uns" what turned
them on to XTC? I will give my testimony. (note: feel good that i mad
eno testimonial dinner jokes.)
    It started for me about fiv eyears ago when i first heard
"The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" played on our local alterna-station
WENZ in cleveland. The first few times i heard it i was a littl
eannoyed, almost tto the extent of not likeing the group at all (i
had heard nigel and mayor of simpleton several times before but
thought nothing of it. Soon the song grew on me and i went out and
purchased nonsvch. And was I impressed. That CD was amazing. it had
an excellent mmix of every mini-genre i listened to at the time, and
more often than not had a great message too (books are burning, upon
my purchase of the album, was played way too much.)

    A year later i was in florida with a friend of mine and we came
accross a used CD store, where i found a copy of skylarking for $4.
an excellent buy. Listened to that all the way home. then I purchased
oranges and lemons (my current second-favorate xtc cd to date. and
pretty much kept to those three for a year or so. The came the summe
rof my xtc/new wave purchasing craze. in one month i bought big
express, black sea, english settlement, go2, white music, drums and
wires, drums and wireless, rag and bone buffet, waxworks, all 15 of
rhino records "just can't get enough" new wave cd serise and the
dukes chips from the chocolate fireball cd oh yeah and testimonial
dinner and the sugarplastic's bang the earth is round, adam ant's
"antic's" cd and the david bowie changes cd.

now it is my sophomore year in college and i run a new wave radio
show where i play xtc songs all the time (mostly wake up, which
starts the morning show off) and other osngs throughout. We're doing
a top 80 of the 80s new wave count down next month and have a
difficult time keeping the list fair (my co-host has several TMBG
songs he wants on there, abd i have sevral XTC songs i desire to
place on teh list.. unfortunately we're playing none by either to
make it fair (we would have a fist fight over which song would be #1)
so to be fair we ommitted both bands from the running. off subject,

anyway my advise to you (it worked for me) is to recommend big
express. nonsvch and oranges and lemons.. the three best in my humble
opinion.... or at least the three most internally different with the
possible exception of skylarking. Maybe a good idea, for the "young-
uns" is the testimonial dinner tribute album.. those who listen to
todays modern rockers would appreciate "their" bands doing even
betrter songs.

    well that's just my opinion, i coul dbe wrong


 "I've got it bad
 you don't know how bad I got it
 You've got it easy
 you don't know when you've got it good."
                -Nik Kershaw
                    "Wouldn't it be good"


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 02:09:22 -0600
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
Subject: Slippery Music

Dave Blackburn is the lucky winner of the 'guess that polyrhythm!'  Dave,
you and a guest have won backstage passes at the next Shaggs' concert, where
you will present them with your meticulously notated scores of the compleat
'Philosophy of the World' album.

Here's Dave's winning entry:
>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.

He then went on to discuss the virtues of 'Miniture Sun.'
Yeah, that last verse going into the refrain ALWAYS screws me up.   I think
they're actually straight eigth note triplets ('I'll spin with rage/ all
summertime') that are tied to swung quarter notes that begin the line 'You
made a Miniture Sun,' all over a swing rhythm.  I love that part.

Alexander Werth asked the musical question...
>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 hate to admit it, but I found out about XTC when Oranges and Lemons came
out by reading about it in Rolling Stone.  After that, I remembered reading
about 'Skylarking' and 'Psonic Psunspot,' but I hadn't paid any attention at
the time.  RS basically slagged them off as bad hippie music.  Blah!!  What
a crock of I Can't Believe It's Not Music Journalism!  O&L turned out to be
a good place to get on the train.  It was pretty accessable, and not their
best album (IMHO, of course).  So once I'd digested the contents of O&L and
began to wonder what else they had out there, I suddenly opened the door to
TONS of incredible music.  My next purchase was Go2.  I was very confused,
but the purchase of English Settlement (single disk version bought out of
naivite) assured me that there would be more.

"Macdonald, Robert" ...
>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.
Yes, but it's no 'I Want You'.  (see Elvis Costello 'Blood & Chocolate' for
I think that it seems more personal beacause we all know that the song is
directly tied to his personal life.  Forget about the insider-scoop-trivia
and the song still holds up like a champ!

>	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.
Maybe we didn't get a full report...
And, I just don't care for 'You and the Clouds,' so I won't share the
lamenting of its b-list status.

Jason Garcia (?) set the bait, and I fell into the trap...
>I think it was "Anderson-Walkman-Buttholes-and how!", actually. ;)
I'm afraid I'm gonna turn into a lesbain left-handed eskimo midget albino
when the moon is full.

And to the person wondering where the naughty backwards bit is on the Dukes'
EP '25 O'Clock' (I think it was Amanda)...
Yeah, that's a sneaky one.  They pulled the most wonderful of 60's vinyl
tricks, the secret message on the inner-groove.  The only other one I know
of is, of course, Sgt. Pepper.  Sonic Youth's got a few locking grooves, but
this is a little different.
If you can find a record player that doesn't automatically pick up the tone
arm at the end of the side you will usually hear the
'critch--critch--critch' noise of the needle going around and around the
inner groove.  In the case of _25_O'Clock_, you'll hear some backwards
stuff, which upon reversal reveals itself as Tuli Kupferberg (of the Fugs)
telling you to: "Hey, go fuck yourself with your atom bomb."
It's easier to hear on the Dukes' CD, where it comes right before "Vanishing

Speaking of Tuli, I recently purchased a criminaly abused copy of the Fugs'
album, 'It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest.'  With a lot of digital tweezing
I've managed to make it listenable again.  Mein Gott im Himmel!!  What an
album!!  It really is a long lost masterpiece.  Only in the 60's could the
smelliest, freakiest, hippie poet-intellectual, pot smokin', no-instrument
playin', group sex havin' weirdo's get a budget big enough to hire extra
songwriters, multiple arrangers, choirs, string and horn sections, package
the product in a hyper-designed super cool sleeve and actually pull the
whole thing together!  If any fans of the Bonzo Dog Band, the Mothers of
Invention, Van Dyke Parks' "Song Cycle" (which I don't yet have), Firesign
Theater, or any zany, brilliant, genius 60's stuff in general haven't heard
this album yet, we need to work out a trade, buddy.  Profane and beautiful,
like Carmina Burana.  Okay, hyperbole mode <off>.

love and slurpings of the narvex,

now playing: Richard & Linda Thompson 'I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight'
Lookit Meee! rekkids...


Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 05:16:57 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Demo Rating Results

The polls are closed!  I hope no one was trapped inside the voting booth.

With 1% of the Chalkhills population reporting (13 people -- sorry, that's
all the responses I got), the 15 most widely heard demos were ranked as

1.  Easter Theater                   (8.0)
2.  You and the Clouds...         (7.4)
3.   I'd Like That                      (7.4)
4.   Church of Women             (7.2)
5.   Wonder Annual                 (7.1)
6.   The Green Man                 (6.7)
7.   Dame Fortune                   (6.3)
8.   Knights in Shining Karma   (6.1)
9.   Prince of Orange               (6.1)
10.  Your Dictionary                (5.8)
11.  Some Lovely                    (5.4)
12.  River of Orchids                (5.4)
13.  I Can't Own Her                (5.0)
14.  The Last Balloon              (4.3)
14. (tie)  Bumper Cars             (4.3)

The songs that invited the most disagreement (as measured by their standard
deviation) were "I Can't Own Her" and "Your Dictionary."  The song inviting
the least disagreement was "Knights in Shining Karma."

Thanks for your votes --


Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E0362DABB@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: no thugs on this list
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 02:34:21 -0800

So, I arrive in the office this morning and there's a package on my desk
"all the way from America"...

Hey ! A copy of 'Drums & Wireless'.

Thank you  - you know who you are [Mr.Pumpkinhead] .

(I had casually mentioned to someone on this list that it was the only CD I
had not yet purchased)

What a pleasant bunch of souls we are.



Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E0362DABC@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: earn enough for it
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 02:36:40 -0800

The mastertape for Chalkhills Children '97 has gone back to Richard
Pedretti-Allen, all nicely cleaned up and mastered.

I was listening to it and realised that , despite having heard it several
times over the last couple of weeks, I was still enjoying it.

My recommendation : BUY IT !

Richard will post info. on how to acquire this great album (yes - it's an
album as far as I'm concerned).

Damn you're a talented bunch.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 08:39:28 +0000
Subject: All hail the Prince!


Re; The impending recording of the new XTC effort (courtesy Mitch):

>The past few weeks were spent sequencing computers, setting tempos,
deciding on how many and what kinds of strings would play a particular part,
adjusting lyrics, etc. and as of tomorrow they are off to start recording
guitars and acoustic piano and some strings. The drummer currently known as
Prince will arrive on December 11th.<

Oh! I'll consider that a birthday present (of sorts) for moi!
Can't wait...!

Eating future & shitting past


Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 13:10:08 +0200
Message-Id: <>
From: (Paul Hosken)
Subject: Dates for Sight & Sound

  I have tapes of 2 early XTC broadcasts on BBC radio. They're both from
the 'Sight & Sound' concert series and I was wondering if anyone can tell
me when they were recorded or broadcast.

Tape 1: XTC were the second band and the set list was:
          Beatown/Meccanik Dancing/The Rhythm/Battery Brides/ This Is
          Pop/Crowded Room/Statue Of Liberty/Science Friction/I'll Set
          Myself On Fire

Tape 2: XTC were the first band, Steel Pulse were the second. Set list:
          Radios In Motion/Crossed Wires/Statue Of Liberty/I'll Set Myself
          On Fire/New Town Animal/All Along The Watchtower/This Is Pop/
          Dance Band/Neon Shuffle

Thanks for any help,



Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 09:44:39 -0600 (CST)
From: lady cornelius plum <>
Subject: Arrgh!!!!!!
Message-id: <>

Whaddya mean Wonder Annual was rejected??????? Have they gone nuts??????
That was one of my favorite of the demos, damnit!!!!!!
Hmmph. Now I'm in a bad mood. :(


Angel on my shoulder (Mark)-Oh I play my vinyl once and never again. Just to
compare sounds to cd. Yesterday I got my last batch of vinyl stuff from
Vinyl Vendors, and was in XTC all day long. I got D&W with an insert of all
the lyrics to all the songs from White Music and Go 2, The Big Express in a
wheel-shaped sleeve, White Music, Mummer, Senses, the Loving, and No Thugs.

Kevin-I fall asleep to White Noise all the time. Only in this case it's the
Anthrax album.

Ed-As much as these people are enjoying their success right now, do you
think in 20 years people are going to remember who Beck, Paula Cole(who has
such hairy armpits she looks like she has Buckwheat in a headlock), and
Sarah McLachlan are? Artists these days have ZERO staying power, something
that XTC is fortunate enough to have been blessed with, mainly because of us
sorry ass devotees ;) Most of the supergroups have been around since the
60's.  The Seattle flavor of the month has long since disappeared, thank God
for small favors. These days you have to die a violent death to be
remembered. I'll bet any money that if You Know Who hadn't blown his brains
out that Nirvana would be amongst the forgotten and discarded bands of the
early 90's, and he'd be working at a gas station right now to support his
little girl. (Poor dear.)

Scenario-Could anyone see Andy and Howard Stern going at it? Who'd get the
word in edge-wise??????

Till next time, try to avoid the daylight.
Lady Cornelius Plum
XTC song of the day-Wonder Annual
non XTC-Everybody Wants Some-Danger Danger


Message-Id: <>
From: "Greg Singer" <>
Subject: worst song list is the worst
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 10:50:41 -0600

>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.

I agree with Per. The worst-song-list idea is a horrible concept. We are
the fans of XTC. The fanatics. We love them for the melodies they write and
the words they sing. We are all one of the few. For us to berate a song is
foolish. Everybody is not going to like every song. Of the many many pieces
that our boys have created over time, there are MAYBE two songs I would
skip over, but usually won't.
Possibly, the only good the worst-song-list does is to get us to defend our
favorites. I've read that some of the songs that move me the most, are the
most hated. Who wants to hear that about something you love. And anyway,
how can one have hate for an inatimate (sp?) object. I think it says more
about the hater than the hated. (I do not mean to insult anyone).

Frequently, after listening to a song after many years, it will finally
connect with something in my brain. A song that was only fun to listen to
or just normally enjoyable, crosses the line and evokes intense emotion. Or
a lyrical connection is made and yet another bond is created our beloved
authors. I'm *sure* this has happened to many of us.

Looking forward to the new album like no one else.

Greg Singer


From: "JH3" <>
Subject: Your Very Own Atom Bomb FREE!
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 11:10:11 -0600
Message-ID: <01bcf444$d440c7e0$>

Dear Partners in Chalk:

Amanda originally wrote the following:

>>Now that I've got 25 O' Clock on vinyl, I've been vigorously trying to
>>"You can fuck your atom bomb", but no luck!

Since then several of us have made comments about various backwards
recordings on other records, but no one has gone to the extent of actually
setting the record straight (no pun intended). The actual phrase that was
recorded backwards (at 33% speed, BTW) is "Hey go fuck yourself with your
atom bomb." (Sorry Mom, I know you read these posts...) Anyway, if you don't
believe me, I've put a slowed down, reversed WAV file of this snippet on my
XTCWare web page which is at As for
where it appeared, my copy of "25 O'Clock" does have it in the Side 2
run-off grooves, and I think it's also on the Chips CD right before
"Vanishing Girl," but I don't have either disc in front of me.


1) If you see "Beeswax" on CD, buy it! (But make sure it isn't the far more
common "Waxworks" first!) If you decide you don't like it you can always
sell it to me for a sizable profit, unless you prefer to trade for
something. (I would, but that's just me.)

2) The live version of "Set Myself on Fire" that's on the Towers 45 is not
the same as the Hope & Anchor Live version. (It wasn't even the same

3) Nonsuch is very hard to find on vinyl! Only a few thousand were pressed.
Good luck wid'dat.

Let's see, what else... Oh yeah. Go 2 RULES. The reason people like Barry
Andrews is because he was (is) a fantastic musician. It's not often that you
hear that kind of inventiveness and sheer musicality out of an old Crumar or
whatever the heck it was. People who are used to hearing 48-bit digital
waveform synths on today's glossy zillion-dollar albums (or even Shriekback
LP's) might think of Go 2 and White Music as sounding a bit dated or quaint
because of the keyboard sound, but you have to get past that and listen just
a few more times until you can appreciate the HOOKS. It's the hooks, I
tellya! That's why we're all here, reading this digest! The hooks!

Sorry, lost control of myself there.

--John H. Hedges


Message-Id: <72EDB966944AD1118DC90080D820748802A1EB@ex-campus2>
Subject: CC97 Update
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 09:45:38 -0800

Dear Chalk Outlines,

Peter Fitzpatrick handled mastering of the tribute tape this time
because he has better audio mastering gear than I do.  It took him a
little longer than expected for a variety of external and internal

The dubbing masters are on their way to me right now!  I will be
scheduling tape duplication after I listen to the master a few times
through to make sure I agree with everything.  I am rushing to get the
artwork completed (I'm a bit behind schedule).  We are cutting it close
but I believe I can get the initial shipment of the copies out in time
for holiday stocking stuffers.

I'll post ordering info on Chalkhills next Monday.

Cheers, Richard


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 15:16:21 -0500
From: Rob Hill <>
Subject: Bmobmotarouykcufnacuoy!

This has been overheard echoing throughout the chamber:
>>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's not there, dear... so stop mutilating your vinyl!

Ah, but it is there. It's that little highspeed backwards blurb after
the final Mole From the Ministry fadeout that sounds like a tubby
munchkin trapped in an entymologists jar. On Chips From the Chocolate
Fireball it occurs a split second before Vanishing Girl begins. In order
to hear it, though, you must listen to it backwards and considerably
slowed down.

Your Dictionary doesn't seem to be a favourite in this neck of the
woods, but I'll wager it is a potential Dear God. If done starkly (as in
Richard Starkly) and with the right amount of pain in Andys voice, I
predict this song will go over huge with ordinarily non-XTC types
(including those easily impressed by swearing). Whether we want this or
not, of course, is another discussion...


Psst. Pearl, oh Pearl, no one seems to know who you are.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 15:26:53 -0500
From: james isaacs <>
Subject: The post with no title

Someone asked last missive about the state of radio and MTV and XTC's
likelihood of being in it.

Not likely, I put forth.

I would think they would not make any videos for this album, and kudos to
them if they don't.  Unreturned investment funds.  Does anyone actually
watch MTV, hoping to see an XTC video?  Ain't ever happened, ain't gonna
happen in the future.  Does MTV actually show videos?  If so, do they show
any beyond one per hour, squeezed in between snorting morons and steidex
commercials.  Jello Biafra had it right in 1984- MTV, get off the air.  Now.

[Having stepped down from the soapbox, our intrepid hero notices he is much

I don't ever listen to radio since ska took over.  Unfortunately, ska is now
crap.  I reemember back in the good old days, when Ska was the Selector, the
Specials, and their ilk.  Now, any dork with a trumpet and an ugly
girlfriend who can't sing thinks he is Jerry Bleeding Dammers.  Maybe I am
looking at it through a severe dislike for new ska bands, capitalizing on
the hard work of their better ancestors-much like the all those grunge bands
making money off the sweat of Husker Du and the Meat Puppets.  I am a bitter
old man.  Someone put me down.  So-no singles, no videos.  Money lost.
Unless it gives us b-sides.  One more idea-why don't they take the unused
demos, slap them on a disk, and throw it in free with the new album.  They
could call it Zoot or Arc or Live at El Mocambo or something.  That would

James I.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 14:39:53 -0600
From: Dave Ledbetter <>
Subject: Firework & more

>I came in late, in fact I just came in, so this may be an FAQ. Apologies
>in advance. However-- Zoot?

Zoot is the name some Chalkhillians had given the un-named new album.
However, another Chalkhillian, who speaks with the band, has informed us
the album title XTC are considering at this point is "Firework."

<<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 am 25 years old and began listening to XTC when my brother bought Oranges
and Lemons in '89 (or whenever it came out).  At first, I thought it was
kinda cool but ultimately too nice and clean.  (Like soft rock, you know,
greatest hits of the 60's, 70's, and 80's.)  At the time, I was listening
to the Cure, REM, Smiths, Replacements, and other bands, including those
somewhat similar to earlier XTC.  I thought XTC were some kind of
"Pop-lite" band.

It wasn't until later, when listening to a mixed tape a different brother
had made, that I began to like them.  The most critical thing in my growing
to like XTC was hearing the older stuff.  They used to be sort-of a
punk/new-wave band with an edge (Crosswires, Generals & Majors, Respectable
street, Jason & Argonauts).  In my mind, the "nonsuch"-type stuff took on
another, necessary dimension because they had already proven themselves
"legitimate" with the early stuff.

My point is this:  If I had only heard O & L and Nonsuch (like many people,
certainly most people in their early 20's and younger), you'd be reading
the post of a different subscriber.  It seems a lot of people I know think
XTC are some sort of watered-down, easy-listening group - like I did.  Had
I not heard the earlier stuff, O & L and Nonsuch would not be good enough
on their own to get me interested.

Dont get me wrong, O & L and Nonsuch are very good, but in the context of
their other albums, and with what I know about the band.  To some extent, I
think this is the problem many people have with them.

XTC, whether or not they can help it, shoot themselves in the foot by not
touring.  It seems there would be many, many converts if people could just
hear the older stuff too.

Oh well, at least I found them (or they found me).

It seems this is sort-of a never ending thread - "What can we do?  Why
don't people listen to them?  Etc, etc.,."  They impress me as pretty smart
people, definately more savvy in the music business than any of us, I would
guess.  Chances are we aren't going to have any better ideas than they do.
They've likely thought before all the same things we've discussed on

In any case, promotion of XTC's music is XTC's responsibility, and they
seem to get the level of success they want (or are willing to work
for/compromise to).


"All the cards I turn, scowl at me like my ex-wife." - AP


Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 14:10:12 -0800 (PST)
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Go Friend Yourself...

"Mark Strijbos" <> writes:
>Lady AMANDA of the Caps said:
>> >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's not there, dear... so stop mutilating your vinyl! You should
>never play XTC vinyl; you should only love, cherish, preserve and
>admire it in awe. And remember to put on the surgical gloves :)

It's there.  It's the high squeaky backwards snippet at the end of
"Mole From The Ministry" (in the runout groove?).  Play it backwards
nice and slow (keep the gloves on).

>BTW: anyone interested in a dub of the original Leckie recording
>should email me privately

It's quite hilarious, actually.

Gary Minns <> asks:
>> 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...
>Isn't that the same recording that was on the "Hope & Anchor Front Row
>Festival" live double album?
>XTC contribute a couple of good tracks on that LP.

Nope, those were "I'm Bugged" and "Science Friction".

"Witter, Karl F" <> asks:
>>One annoying thing about Rag and Bone Buffet is that these
>>songs are presented out of order.
>Do we have a definite order for these, and wouldn't it be good
>info to put somewhere on the Chalkhills site?

Just program THIS into your player:

    6.  Looking for Footprints
    19. Pulsing Pulsing
    2.  Ten Feet Tall
    17. Scissor Man
    23. Take This Town
    4.  Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
    13. I Need Protection
    24. The History of Rock 'n' Roll
    5.  Respectable Street
    15. Strange Tales, Strange Tails
    16. Officer Blue
    22. Blame the Weather
    12. Tissue Tigers (The Arguers)
    10. Punch and Judy
    8.  Heaven is Paved With Broken Glass
    18. Cockpit Dance Mixture
    7.  Over Rusty Water
    9.  The World is Full of Angry Young Men (see note)
    11. Thanks For Christmas
    21. Countdown to Christmas Party Time
    3.  Mermaid Smiled
    1.  Extrovert
    14. Another Satellite
    20. Happy Families

Note: Depending on your point of view, "The World is Full of Angry
Young Men" could be last.  The original tracks were recorded during
sessions for _Mummer_ (1983), but overdubs and mix were completed
after _Oranges and Lemons_ (1989).

This order was determined by looking at original release dates as
recorded in the Chalkhills XTC Discography.

	-- John


Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 20:01:36 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: U.M.I. and I.M.U. and we are all together, eh!

Hello Ch'illers, (James Dignan) said:
>YOU AM I's debut album...............(SNIP SNIP
>I'd say the influence, if anything, is a group that both the Jam and XTC
>listened to a lot, >i.e., the Kinks

   I never thought I'd read a sentence mentioning my top 3, all-time favorite
Thanx(tc) JD!
   Many years ago, some druggies turned jesus-freaks in my neighborhood
staged a play in the catholic school auditorium. I was the 'reel-to-reel'
 turn-er on-er and off-er. The play was called, ironically, I AM YOU!

Mitch Friedman <mitchf@MINDSPRING.COM> said:
>I had recently sent Andy a dub of TMBG's "XTC vs. Adam Ant" which he had
>never heard. >Now he has and this is his review - - "eh".

"eh"?.... What a great title for the new album!!

X ZOOT, Brute'
Paul LoPiccolo    < >


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 20:42:19 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: Review


Here's a review of "Upsy Daisy" that I discovered at CDnow...


Beginning life as a British post-punk pop band in the late '70s, XTC
eventually metamorphosed into a kind of New Wave Beatles, exhibiting a
mastery of both songwriting and studio techniques as well as the same
disdain for live performance that made the post-'66 Beatles strictly a
recording entity. This collection represents the best of the crop from
XTC's voluminous catalog. While UPSY DAISY concentrates on the catchier,
more accessible side of the band's repertoire, there
are unusual twists and turns aplenty in every track here.

Singer-songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding share an uncanny
ability for turning strange harmonies, extended melody lines and bizarre
lyrics into irresistible pop songs. On "No Thugs In Our House," a young
boy's parents reiterate their denial of their son's incipient fascism
over a jolly backbeat. The child vocalist on "Dear God" assails the
almighty with existential queries to a sinuous, infectious melody. UPSY
DAISY makes a perfect introduction to the masterful work of an important


So there, Hanson!

* ------------------------------------------- *
B e n   G o t t     ::          Bowdoin College
Telephone           ::           (207) 721-5142
Internet            ::
 They beat him up until the teardrops start...
* ------------------------------------------- *


Message-Id: <l03110700b097f414a66c@[]>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 19:53:39 -0600
From: jason garcia <>
Subject: response, response

>>[Spanky] By the way, has anyone noticed a slight Sting
>>flavour in 'Orchids' and 'You and the Clouds..'?
>Yes, except (unlike later Sting) there is actually some
>emotion-creating accent & emphasis connecting the melody,
>lyrics and accompaniment, and each thread just isn't
>floating in its own little world.

Yeah, I always listened to "River" and thought, "gee, this sounds like
Sting, only better- it's INTERE-Sting."  (sorry about that)

I LOVE the album title "Firework", by the way.  And the cover design
sounds just perfect.  This is gonna be good.  Maybe I should go back
and listen to "The Last Balloon" again and try to like it.  It's STILL
no "Dame Fortune" (I know, I know, get over it).

> Wonder Annual has been rejected

D'oh!  And I was beginning to really get into that chorus.

>I had recently sent Andy a dub of TMBG's "XTC vs. Adam Ant" which he had
>never heard. Now he has and this is his review - - "eh".

Yep, that was pretty much my reaction to it as well.

> Boarded Up ("a really miserable and depressing one that makes 'Dying'
>sound like 'Life Begins at the Hop'")

YES!!  Maybe XTC can pull some old Cure fans their way with this one.
And is Colin on suicide watch, or what?

Wow, have I contributed anything but responses?  No?  Oh well!



Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 01:07:26 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: okay, MY take on the demos.....

I am EXTREMELY excited about MOST of their choices.....however:

*****You and the Clouds--are they actually considering letting this slide by?
 I think this is their best bet for a single.......I mean, this song has a
sentiment that ANYONE (fan or non-fan) can relate to.....

(speaking of singles--whoever talks to Andy--PLEASE ask him to release "The
Man Who Murdered Love"--I don't CARE how old it is--that song is meant to be
a hit!!!!  listen again--and imagine it just a tiny bit louder and
faster--the song rocks, I tell ya!!!!  I mean it--I really do!!!!!  please
tell them or give me their number and I will tell them!!!!  I am NOT joking

*****Knights in Shining Karma and The Last Balloon.....I hope they sound a
LOT different on the album!
*****Prince of Orange--I thought this would've turned out really great on the
album, alas....

*****Easter Theatre--who doesn't love this one?  it would have to be someone
who doesn't like music, in my opinion!!!!   I hope this is what XTC are known
for from now on!

******church of women, the green man, river of orchids.....GOOD--but not my
faves (sorry, nearly EVERYONE else!)
*****I'd Like That and Some Lovely--absolutely adorable!

*****I Can't Own Her and Your Dictionary--I went full circle on these--hated
'em both the first few times.....I Can't Own Her seems necessary to
me--everyone knows what's going on and how people with the ABILITY to convey
emotion through music need to--and, in this case it is done well--many people
will relate....Your Dictionary is going to come across as amazing, I
think--the spelling parts will likely be less obtrusive.....and I LOVE the
ending....the only problem I have is....what will his kids think?  It makes
mommy sound SO mean!  ( I shudder every time he sings "S-H-I-T, is that how
you spell ME..."  feces and ANDY--in the same sentence?!!!)   MAIN POINT:
 due to the private nature of these songs--and the "raw/slightly uinfinished
feel" I think they will always have.....why don't they both appear as special
secret hidden tracks after the rest of the CD?  I think it is a great
idea....? anyone else?

*****who did I leave out?

overall, I really look forward to the album!!! it sounds fantastic!  even if
the only good song turns out to be Easter Theatre (doubtful!)--it would
STILL be worth the money!!!!

***********I NEED COPIES OF THE BIG EXPRESS DEMOS!!!! anyone?????*********

thanks for yur patience--I know this was unreasonably long...then, again--i
almost never write.....


Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 07:04:31 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Thomas Dolby

>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?

  He is, unless the lookalike and soundalike who put out all the work he's
done under his name since is an impostor. I quite like his last album
Astronauts And Heretics; if XTC could ever use a full-time keyboardist, he'd
fit much better into what they've been doing in the past ten years. His songs
would even fit well with Andy's and Colin's. I hear he's an XTC fan too, and
incidentally he's not really synth-pop anymore, either. Astronauts And
Heretics sounds like what might happen if Van Dyke Parks and Brian Eno
collaborated, kind of.
  I'd love to see Terry rejoin XTC; I don't think he's doing much these days.
I don't think Barry would work, though. They've grown too far apart. Barry
did quite well with Shriekback for a while, and improved greatly as a
songwriter and frontman(such mid-80's college radio classics as Oil And Gold
and Big Night Music mainly; lately Shriekback is pretty much Barry and
whoever happens to be around, I lost interest when they did that KC and the
Sunshine Band cover. Sounded like they were trying to be Dead Or Alive). I
have a feeling he'd take XTC in a sort of funk direction, which does not suit
them. Funk Pop A Roll indeed.


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-31

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