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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-38


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 38

                 Monday, 8 December 1997

Today's Topics:

           if you were waiting for an MSN prize
                    Big Box Of Paints
        The Green Man, Upsy Daisy and Other Things
           Re: Signal Processing for The Future
                   I was the walrus....
   Old Andy P. interview unearthed - real fossil fuel?
            2 musings on XTC BBC Radio 1 Live
                     Detroit Ghoulers
                 airplane/firework lyrics
                The ubiquitous a/d debate
                     Holidays galore!
               this, and furthermore, that
                        Fingerings
                   What a co-inky-dink!
      Music for airports, cassettes, and the Rutles
                      copy of demos?
                   Album title thoughts
                 Re: Raving and Drooling
                       Brain Growth
                      Cute kid story
                  Fun on Saturday night

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And I don't know what she done wrong but I want to hurt her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message-ID: <711E5B56586DCF11BAF100805F38C43903381F39@DUB-03-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <peterfit@MICROSOFT.com>
Subject: if you were waiting for an MSN prize
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 06:10:04 -0800

I know some of you won an autographed "Fossil Fuel" CD from MSN.

I also know that you haven't received it.

This is due to a problem involving a courier company....

Anyway. The team from MSN that worked on Rifff with Andy have contacted me
and I'm going to help get this wrapped. Apparently the discs were signed by
Andy but somehow never made it to the Rifff team. They're now back in the
UK.

So - I'm going to do my best to get these discs to you all asap.

Peter

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199712032214.XAA15396@mail2.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 23:22:40 +0000
Subject: Big Box Of Paints

Dear Chalkers,

> One question: when you were researching in Swindon, did you ever
> find out about "The Famous Person's Mural".  I have seen this thing
> on TV (possibly on the "Play at Home" programme)

Yes, Andy and Dave provide us with a guided tour of the famous mural
in the Play At Home TV documentary

> but when I was in Swindon a few years back
> I couldn't find the damn thing.

According to Andy it's not there any more...
( i have an interview on tape were he talks about this )
The building it was painted on was torn down some time ago.
If i remember correctly from the interview attempts were made to
rescue and / or transfer the mural but these have failed so it was
destroyed with the building.

Luckily it was still there when i made my pilgrimage in 1986 :)

yours paintstakingly,
Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @ http://come.to/xtc
and http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello

------------------------------

From: Stroo@aol.com
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 00:23:46 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <971204002345_543207138@mrin45.mail.aol.com>
Subject: The Green Man, Upsy Daisy and Other Things

Hello fellow Chalkhillians,

It's good to finally be making my first posting.  Hopefully my contribution
will be at least somewhat thought-provoking...

First, thanks Amanda for the demos.  Green Man stands tall and MUST be on
the new CD.  I do like River of Orchids, even though I'm probably missing
its meaning.  I usually like the boys' ballads a little less than their more
upbeat tunes, but I really like the potential on "I Can't Own Her",
especially after a session of XTCizing in the studio.

As for recent discussion listing the top ten worst songs, I have another
idea.  Let's consider what would happen if Geffen made Andy put out one more
CD.  What would be on Upsy Daisy II ?  My choices would be:

Reel by Real
Love At First Sight
Runaways
(All of a Sudden)...
All You Pretty Girls
The..Smalltown
Reign of Blows
I Remember the Sun
Beating of Hearts
Great Fire (I always hit repeat when this track is over)
Ladybird
Summer's Cauldron
The Meeting Place
Season Cycle
The Loving
Scarecrow People
Merely A Man (one of my faves)
Dear Madam Barnum
Then She Appeared

Of course, I've heard the stories of Geffen "promoting" the boys with a
video and boxed set.  Are these rumors true?

So many things separate XTC from the rest, but I personally enjoy looking
for the catchy musical nuances (I have no better term to offer).  Examples
off the top of my head: the quick percussion before the line "But me made
too many enemies" from "PP"; the first piano in "Summer's Cauldron"; the
bridge between the two chorus verses on "Pretty Girls" and before the chorus
on "Then She Appeared"; the bass' first appearances on "Senses" and
"Seagulls"; and to me, the psuedo-foghorn on "Seagulls" and regal trumpet on
"Merely A Man" exemplify sheer brilliance that the average listener misses,
which to me is key to appreciating their music.

One final thought: Living in the Cleveland area, the location of the R & R
Hall of Fame, I don't feel it's too early to look into what can be done to
give the world's most underrated band the ultimate honor they deserve.  If
eligibility begins 25 years after a band's first release, the time is really
not that far away.

Bob
stroo@aol.com

end

------------------------------

From: "Dr. Foulger" <spxdlf@carina.astro.cf.ac.uk>
Organization: Cutting Edge Optronics, Inc.
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 09:30:01 -0600
Subject: Re: Signal Processing for The Future
Message-Id: <19971204093255.287d06a0.in@ceo.ceolasers.com>

Wood Robert MMUk <robert.wood@micromass.co.uk> wrote:

> The difference is quite simply enourmous! But I suspect that's not what
...
> The long and short of all this is that analogue sounds far better than
> digital for the reproduction of music. If anyone doubts this they should
> listen to a good hifi system set up with something like a Linn Sondek
> LP12 record deck and a set of Naim amps. Then compare it to a CD system;
> the difference will blow you away.
...
> "Analogue is for music, digital is for satellite."

To back this up with what I remember of a signal processing course I
took and a quasi-scientific argument, analogue (as it stands) is
better than CD/DAT techonology (as it stands).  It goes something
like this...

Human ears can hear frequencies somewhere up to 15KHz-20KHz depending
on the age and damage of the ears.  Digital theory says that the
CD/DAT techonology (all things being perfect) will reproduce
frequencies upto 22KHz without signal loss.  This should be more than
enough, even for those with great hearing, right?  Wrong.  Digital
techonology has to chose what type of alternating signal it samples.
Will it be a square wave or a sinewave?  Or some other more exotic
wave?  This is where digital techonology falls down, if one is using
sine-waves to reconstruct a 10KHz square-wave then we need a 10KHz
sine-wave, a 20KHz sine-wave, a 40KHz sine-wave, a 80KHz sine-wave,
ad-infinitum.  so, you can see the problem, CD/DAT cannot reproduce a
40KHz sine-wave and hence the square-wave at 10KHz ( a really
metallic sound ) sounds more like a sine-wave ( a really smooth and
soft sound ).

I have pointed out the failings of digital techology, but what of
analogue?  Is it perfect?  Well, the answer is no, but it is less
imperfect that digital.  Analogue as a limited bandwidth (e.g. it
also cannot reproduce some high frequencies ) and the 'cut-off' on a
good system is somewhere round-about 20KHz, but the 'cut-off' isn't
actually a cut-off, its a roll-off.  So an analogue system will
reproduce high-frequency sounds, but with ever decreasing volumes.
So, although it isn't perfect, the roll-off instead of a cut-off is
enough to make it sound better than CD/DAT.  That said, quadruple
the sampling rate of digital techology and you'd probably have a
better medium than analogue.

Sorry that this went on for so long, and even though I beleive what I
wrote my turntable (Rega Planar 2 (not even a 3!) is sitting in it's
box as I have just moved from UK to USA and a it plays 20% faster due
to the 60Hz mains electricity.  Anyone know how to fix this?

Dames tWd

* --------------------------------------------------
Please note new EMAIL address: damian@ceolasers.com
Old one will work for the indefinite future.
* --------------------------------------------------
Dr. Damian Foulger
20 Point West Boulevard, St. Charles, MO 63301
Tel. (314) 916-5599 #323, Fax. (314) 916-4994

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 04 Dec 1997 10:21:11 -0600 (CST)
From: lady cornelius plum <ACOEA@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>
Subject: I was the walrus....
Message-id: <01IQRTA6X6SO9095L0@jazz.ucc.uno.edu>

Now I am she as you are she as you are me and we are all together....

Anyhoo, enough of that. Anyone catch those planets in alignment? It's a
looker.

(Drum roll please....) RESPONSE TIME!

Mandy-Well, looks to me like Terry tried to jump on Dave's back at the end
of the video (who wouldn't? ;), causing the thing to tumble and the band to
all fall on top of each other.

JW-You left out a few useless bands-Spice Girls, Hanson, and No Doubt. (Gwen
Stefani and Gavin Rossdale's relationship is so manufactured it's pathetic.
Two people who look like they never wash their hair yet everyone thinks they
are "SO FINE". Perfect!)

XTC can't name their new album "Firework." It's too close to the title of
Lisa Loeb's latest, "Firecracker."

Everyone's asking questions about "What XTC song would be best to do
________ to?", but nobody's asked the provocative one yet...do I have to? ;)

Someone made a good point about Pancho's armpit post. (Sorry to dredge it
up.)  I'll admit, it might have been in bad taste for me to make the initial
comment, but dude, that was sick. (I can't believe I just said "dude." South
Park is really rubbing off on me. People are incorporating it into Rocky
Horror for Chrissake!!!!!) What if I said I love guys with really long
nosehairs?  (It's a JOKE! I DON'T!)

Lunchtime, I must be going now. Chowing down on some good ole fashioned
corn dogs soaked in mustard.

Ciao,
LCP
XTC song of the day-I'm the Man Who Murdered Love
non XTC song of the day-Cover of a Rolling Stone-Dr. Hook
XTC moment of the week-(Sorry to copy....)-Another manager picking up a
copy of my LE and telling all the workers "This is the weird magazine she
brings in every day."
This was followed by hearing "King For a Day" again.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199712041748.JAA07509@ glenn.electric.net>
From: "Steve Clarke" <clarke@vanlab.paprican.ca>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 09:49:25 +0000
Subject: Old Andy P. interview unearthed - real fossil fuel?

Chalk dwellers:

While clearing old boxes of junk out in preparation for a move, I
discovered a treasure which I thought I'd lost years ago.

An old interview with Andy, recorded by University of Bath student
radio in 1981.  The guys were playing there that night and Andy
obliged with an interview.  I got a copy of it because the station
did'nt have their own copy of Black Sea.  I did so we exchanged album
loan for interview tape.

Andy talks about the very early days of XTC and  "Dukes of
Stratosphere" is mentioned as an early conceptual band name.

I went to the gig...best one ever (for me).  My cloudy memory tells
me that they were last minute stand-ins for someone who had been
booked but made it big in the meantime and decided that a provincial
university was too small potatoes.

If anyone is interested in a copy, let me know and I'll make a few
cassette copies.  I'll probably say OK to the first five or so
people.

Steve Clarke
B.C. Canada

------------------------------

Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=HFD-EXCH003-971204185041Z-88551@aetna.aetna.com>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <WitterKF@aetna.com>
Subject: 2 musings on XTC BBC Radio 1 Live
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 13:50:41 -0500

One: Andy now dismisses much of his early stuff from before
Drums and Wires. However, in late 1980 on the Black Sea tour
(circa XTC BBC Radio 1 Live in concert CD) there were only
Battery Brides, This is Pop and Are You Receiving Me left from
that era. Coincidence? I wouldn't be surprised if Andy's was
a heady influence when it came to cobbling together playlists.

Two: I heard some people post about XTC's not being a very
good and "accessible" live band. I read that Black Sea was
their first top-50 US album thanks to the accrueing (sp?)
of fans via touring. Not having any first-hand experience or
opinion, I can only realize that these statements cannot both
be true at once. Can someone please explain a bit of this?

>>Eric Rosen, bravo for knowing your animation history. I've
been through at least one bio of Uncle Walt that'll frighten
children more than Bambi's mother dying.

>>Pancho hasn't "had a good pit in quite awhile mind you, so [he]
will have to wait until [he runs] into a more progressive lass
with a hairy underneath."

At first I said "There's a song in there somewhere" but now
I know better. But still not well enough, so I post:

"The Hairy Underneath"

First it's the shedding that spills all over the bedding
and there's no denying that it's getting hairy underneeeeeeath.

Then comes berating from your mum suggesting braiding
or perhaps the silver plating of the hairy underneeeeeath.

Did you ever want to scrape away the hair,
go ahead, grab a Schick and try.

I can promise it's beyond the point of Nair,
lather up, have a shave, and dry.

What you're combing through's the truth and that's the hardest
thing to hack at with a disposable blade.

(I don't know what came over me since I have no real preference,
and don't even know what Paula Cole looks like!)

Now reading Walt Disney's "I drew Goofy for the FBI",
Karl

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199712041922.MAA00759@access.tucson.org>
From: "J. D. SMX" <jsmelser@access.tucson.org>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 12:41:58 -0700
Subject: Detroit Ghoulers

Hi Chalkazoids-

Just to chime in and say I know of the Ghoul and Froggy, being a
dislicated Detroiter, myself.

This thread is definately, "pre-XTC," their time, and my knowledge of
them.

I think the Ghoul used chroma key to get Froggy into some of the
cheezy films he used to run.  But, all I remember of the show was the
Ghoul (from Parma, Ohio) squirting cheeze-whiz into the Froggy and
then beating the crap out of him, and the Mickey Mouse Club theme
playing while the zombies (in the film) walked around looking for
victims.  Hiya, hiya, hiya!

Meanwhile back in Tucson.....

J. D. SMX
Engineering Services Manager
Access Tucson
jsmelser@access.tucson.org

------------------------------

From: candlabra@lewiston.com
Message-Id: <l03010d01b0acc6098fc0@[209.37.93.135]>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 12:53:45 -0800
Subject: airplane/firework lyrics

MARKROCKS@aol.com wrote

>Also, while listening to O&L the other day, I noticed the word
>FIREWORK firmly implanted in the lyrics.  So, if you ignore the
>release of Nonsvch, as I would sometimes like to, the trend of
>the LP title coming from a previous record continues.  "Like a
>FIREWORK to which we're tied, be prepared to go through
>your ceiling" when the new record comes out!

You dont have to ignore Nonsuch - the lyric to "My Bird Performs"
contains the lyric  "the brightest firework is lighting up my sky"  : p
Cudos to Colin.

Gordon Wood r <11gwood@mach1.wlu.ca> wrote

>What a weird coincidence. When I flew over to Britain for the first
>time last winter, "Roads Girdle The Globe" came ringing through my
>brains as we descended through the clouds to land at Manchester
>International.

Just got back from a trip to Ketchikan Alaska. Brought the camcorder
along, and you know the song "Rocket From a Bottle" fits perfectly over
the shots I took out the plane window  (yes, I'm dubbing a soundtrack
onto the video so it doesnt absolutely BORE people whom I might force
to sit down and watch). Also used a snatch of "Yacht Dance" later in the
video for the boating scenes. BTW,  Ketchikan is in the rainforest
area of Alaska. Anybody guess which XTC CD (which I brought along)
was the perfect CD for your average Ketchikan day?

take care, all

Charles F.
candlabra@lewiston.com

------------------------------

Message-Id: <l03102800b0acbfc63bab@[207.104.109.137]>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 12:54:45 -0800
From: Dave Blackburn <dblack@access1.net>
Subject: The ubiquitous a/d debate

Evening All,
	Just to add to the thread on analog/digital recording in general,
and Robert Wood's knowledgeable post in particular, I have these musings.
	Digital recording is blamed for sonic sterility, but it is not
because of inherent coldness in the electronics (whatever that means) but
because of the poor resolution of the 16-bit 44.1kHz medium, which was the
format settled on by Philips, the inventors of the CD. Twelve years have
now elapsed since CDs emerged and in that time digital converters have
become smoother and warmer sounding, yes, even on CD. Listen to anything on
the ECM label if you want to hear buttery smooth top end and lush depth.
	The new crop of digital recording systems are in the 24-bit 96kHz
domain which capture about ten times the detail of their 16-bit forbears.
If DVD audio can gain a foothold as a consumer medium in the next couple of
years, I expect to see the analog/digital debate become almost moot, as the
beauty of high resolution digital becomes available. Everyone can tell a
low resolution photo side by side with a higher resolution version. Why
would audio be different?
	As a producer and engineer I have worked with analog and digital
media for several years, and it is not at all true that analog
automatically sounds better; but, you do have to relearn some recording and
mixing techniques with digital; it is not forgiving. It reproduces what you
send it. Most engineers used to analog tape got accustomed to the magnetic
tape giving you back a pleasing version of what you put in, due to
saturation and a natural rounding of the tone. A good digital system will
not do that; you have to send it the smooth, rounded sound first, using
tubes, room sound or whatever. Rock music, such as XTC, suffers more than
other styles when going digital because rock recordings are supposed to be
larger than life; the analog bottom end boost and smoothing of wailing
cymbals really suit a typical rock mix. What I'm saying is, analog devotees
have a good case, but don't assume that you've really heard what digital
recording can do yet, because we're just getting past phase one of its
growth. Analog recordings in their first 12 years (ie in the 50s) sounded
pretty bad next to today's machines with DolbySR.
	Once we are past the 16-bit CD and once recordists master the art
of getting the " butter" to happen before hitting the A/D converters, I
think digital sound will get a better rep.
	And boy I'd like to hear a properly remastered version of O&L,
which as it stands, epitomizes what is wrong with late 80's digital sound.

Happy Holidays out there; what a fun list this is...

Dave Blackburn
dblack@access1.net

------------------------------

Message-ID: <31790FAD9CB8D011BD6A0000F877207D26C65B@tu-server2.micromass.co.uk>
From: Wood Robert MMUk <robert.wood@micromass.co.uk>
Subject: Holidays galore!
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 09:05:53 -0000

After my question about Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in 4-37,
I've had a couple of private responses. Please, please don't feel this
was a jibe! The more holidays you can get the better! I was just
intrigued, if you had 300 days a year off in the States I'd be delighted
for you!

------------------------------

Message-ID: <19971205134504.19027.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Rick Mealey" <rickmealey@hotmail.com>
Subject: this, and furthermore, that
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 1997 05:45:03 PST

Helllll-LOOOOOWWWWW!

First, I too have knelt at the shrine that is the Roundabout, which URL
is reproduced here for the convenience and edification of those who
haven't seen it the first fifty times it was posted here:

http://www.znet.com/~bobestus/index.htm

What a welcoming site. It begs to be explored, and rewards the explorer.
I can't say enough about it. Jolly good.

Into the breach with Gene_Yoon@brown.edu:

>>From: SLEDZNH@aol.com
> >
> >Everytime I get into a plane and look out the window, the song "Roads
Girdle
> >The Globe" comes streaming into my brain.
>
>Actually, the song I always think of at airports and in planes is the
>Dukes' "You're My Drug".  It's the jumbo jet blast followed by the
>infectious bass line.  I love it and it makes me want to MOVE!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Flying into Heathrow, or better, Gatwick, at sunrise...
Does anyone else hear The Byrds' Eight Miles High reverberating in that
song anyplace?

Anyway I trust this answers the question of Gordon Wood r
<11gwood@mach1.wlu.ca>, who seems to have an "r" dangling:

>Any other non-Brit XTC'ers have similar observations upon visiting
>the U.K.?

Just out of curiosity, can I get a consensus from the group on Dave
Stewart and Barbara Gaskin's cover of Roads Girdle The Globe? I still
like this version somewhat, Dave Stewart being one of my own personal
keyboard heroes, but these days I wonder if their version has maybe just
a little too much politeness.

Non-XTC content coming right up, sir:

Wood Robert MMUk <robert.wood@micromass.co.uk> offers a precis about
mastering technique and adds:

>You'll find that many recording engineers prefer to mix to 1/2"
>rather than DAT. And contrary to what you may think, analogue tape,
>especially with Dolby SR noise reduction, is technically superior in
>many ways to digital, for example in dynamic range.

FWIW, my big problem with analog is the noise floor. When I master my
own stuff, I'd prefer to poot digitally (when the cost is justified!)
rather than use reel-by-real, er, reel-to-reel and have to doctor it
after the fact with noise reduction, which necessarily has to color the
sound. Your mileage may vary on this issue. But it's an interesting
thread.

Simon of Slightholm began yet another thread thusly:

 << If "Wayne's World" had been a movie about XTC fans, what tune
 << would they have used in the head-banging scene instead of
 << "Bohemian Rhapsody"?

Has no one else explored the comic potential in setting that scene to
Wake Up? Imagine: the boys turn the radio on, Andy and Dave begin their
cross-pollinated skank/clave, someone yells "Most excellent!", and all
four begin banging their heads-- on *different beats*, looking at each
other, searching desperately for the downbeat, their glances conveying
"Am I right?" "You're definitely wrong, doood" etc. The drums barge in
and the scene plays out.... Hey, it even has the pseudo-operatic vocals
on the fade-out...

Oh boy, off to another topic. The often-imitated but never quite
duplicated Amanda touched off a firestorm a few digests ago with her
comments on Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, and Beck.... I haven't really
heard much of either McLachlan or Beck to have an opinion either way
about their staying power, but I do know Cole's first album rocked and
the second was just too karkin' histrionic. Jay-zus, could she lighten
up a little? She's turning into another Melissa Etheridge, with her
overly melodramatic delivery of poetry you might have written for your
high school literary supplement....

Hey, wasn't it Lady Plum in the conservatory with the candlestick? Lead
pipe? Damn....

And someone else (I don't have the original in front of me, apologies to
writer of original post) reminds us of The Rutles:

>"After Nasty's 'Bigger than God' comment, people started to burn
>their records.  In fact, they were buying them just to burn them.
>Record sales skyrocketed..."

Didn't it turn out that Nasty was really talking about being bigger than
Rod? I think we're agreed that if life were just, XTC would indeed be
bigger than Rod Stupid, who should just hang it up. Whatever "it" is.

Finally, Stroo@aol.com joins the fray with a comment:

>Living in the Cleveland area, the location of the R & R
>Hall of Fame, I don't feel it's too early to look what can be done to
give
>the world's most underrated band the ultimate honor they deserve.  If
>eligibility begins 25 years after a band's first release, the time is
really
>not that far away.

Way I see it, in spite of a lot of fan support, the yokels on the board
of the "Rock'n'Roll" Hall o' Fame looked the other way when it came time
for Steely Dan to take their rightful place of prominence-- what chance
does XTC have?

Where's that confounded bridge,

Rick

------------------------------

Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=BTG._Inc.%l=EXCH_HQ-971205163805Z-30056@exchserver.btg.com>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <hsherwood@btg.com>
Subject: Fingerings
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 11:38:05 -0500

>From: Ryan Walsh <factory@bu.edu>
>Organization: Boston University
>Subject: more of my questions?
>
>1. anyone know the fingerings for the chords  Cm and G/F#  ?

Sample of the tablature available at the FTP site, entered as
second-class matter: "The little finger goes over to the left..._your_
left...right...no, I mean correct--the little finger presses the B
string down _there_...no, _there_..._that's_ it. Now, the ring finger on
the fourth fret, next string up...no _up_...the _thicker_
string...Thaaaat's it. Now you've got to do a barre on the third fret
with your index finger...."

(Try http://www.candisc.com/candisc/melchord/index.html--Mel Wilson's
Chord Dictionary. Or, if you're not afraid of Java, check
http://www.emedia.org/chord.html, a neat-o little chord-dictionary
applet. Safe as milk, baby.)

>Does anyone know anything about the 2nd XTC supposed to be coming out on
>the Hyperion publishing company?

Yes, the rumors you have heard are true! Just got this off the web: The
original can be found at http://www.realdoll.com/private/realdoll.html

+++

URGENT--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hyperion Publishing Company, New York & London, November 19, 1997

HYPERION ANNOUNCES NEW BUSINESS VENTURE: "SECOND XTC"

Bandy de Hoaks, Hyperion President and Publisher-in-Chief, today
announced an exciting new business initiative that will "endow Hyperion
with greater opportunities for reaching our target demographic, the
aging 'Blank Generation' which came of age in the late seventies and
early eighties and now commands a substantial amount of the Western
Hemisphere's disposable income, not to mention its cynicism and apathy."

According to de Hoaks, the new product is unique in the history of the
publishing and entertainment industries: Intended as a piece of
deconstructionist "profit-art," the venture is a fully functioning and
performing rock group that completely co-opts the identity of an already
existing rock group--but that "rectifies the suicidal commercial
blunders the 'original' group has made over the years."

As the subject of the "post-semiotic Saussurian profit-reification
project," Hyperion chose XTC, a little-known combo from the U.K. Largely
supported by a pathetically small but rabid international cult
following, XTC had some minor radio hits in the late Seventies and
Eighties, but has largely dropped off the map for the duration of the
Nineties. "If you're looking for a basically competent act that made
some memorably thick-skulled commercial decisions over the duration of
its career--decisions that just _beg_ for a good, solid second-guessing,
you need look no farther than these guys," says de Hoaks. "The Second
XTC, for example, won't forsake public performances right at the point
of commercial breakthrough. They won't follow up a 'Making Plans for
Nigel' with a 'Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down,' that's for damned sure.
And the first time a journalist refers to them as 'quirky," I will
personally take them all outside and shoot them.

"Down the line I envision a possible television series coming out of
this venture, perhaps in a half-hour format with two new songs per
weekly episode, a regular love interest, fart jokes, and so on. We have
a treatment now in the development stage that has the lads traveling
around the countryside solving mysteries and unmasking malevolent,
ghost-impersonating criminals through their special combination of pluck
and moxie, despite having no visible means of support and being
encumbered by a cretinous Great Dane."

De Hoaks, a longtime associate of international playboy and unconvicted
non-felon Richard Branson, says that he auditioned nearly 3,000
actor/musicians to become members of the Second XTC, and has now settled
on the final four members. The band's spiritual center and lead singer
is de Hoaks's own son, Bruiten, a preternaturally handsome,
lantern-jawed young man of twenty-two who has spectacularly long, blond,
television-friendly hair, which he has been known to whip around in
large, sexually provocative circles during instrumental passages. The
brooding, craggy bass player and second lead role will be taken by Nigel
Festring, an erstwhile curtain salesman from Hull. Taking the part of
the guitar whiz, and expected to be the butt of the other lads' humorous
pranks, will be Airain Vent, a delicate young Parisian who gave up a
promising career in the horn section of the jazz-tinged Maison du Biere
in order to join the Second XTC. As drummer and comic relief, de Hoaks
chose T.B.D. Layter, a crusty, balding homunculus with a filthy raincoat
and nothing underneath, who nevertheless "just hits 'em" with authority.
"If a concert goes by without Layter dry-humping his kick drum and
waggling his pecker at the audience, I'm gonna want to know the reason
why!" enthuses de Hoaks.

De Hoaks says the band's first musical release will be a reverent cover
of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." "In light of Mr. Dylan's
recent health problems and all the joy that he has given us through the
years, we thought it most appropriate to show our appreciation and love
with our gospel-tinged take on this deathless classic, with our special
guests Sweet Honey in the Rock," says de Hoaks. "The 'first' XTC, of
course, made a typically horrible cacophonous bosh of the thing,
establishing themselves as punk postmodernists with a disrespectful
attitude toward the established rock order. And look where it got them."

Direct inquiries to: Bad Idea Management, 345 5th Avenue, New York, NY,
12345

+++

>Sorry for all the silly questions.
>Ryan

Not at all, Ryan. Glad I could help. Remember, here in Chalkhills the
only silly question is the one that gets inadvertently asked owing to
failure to proofread.

Harrison "Zip it, Neville" Sherwood

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 12:20:49 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <199712051820.MAA19173@thor.inlink.com>
From: jims@inlink.com (Jim S)
Subject: What a co-inky-dink!

>From: adamette@juno.com (Patrick M Adamek)

>In #4-35, Jim S. mentioned a few experiences with XTC that I share.  One
>was the Rolling Stone review of O&L.  I'd been following XTC by then, but
>that article inspired me to subscribe to Rolling Stone, and I have ever
>since.  I did enjoy the comments about Skylarking is to Pepper's what O&L
>is to the White Album.  Also:  paying $24.99 for an import Mummer.  I
>actually paid $29.99 for mine at West End Wax in St. Louis, Mo.

Hey! I live in St. Louis, too! I got my Mummer at Now Hear This in
Crestwood.  Damn, I coulda SWORN I was the lone XTC fan in the midwest. Glad
to know I am not alone!

BTW, am I the only one (I somehow doubt it) that LOVES the song Ladybird?  I
honestly think if I were forced to name my favorite XTC song, Ladybird would
be an appropriate answer. Of course if someone really asked me that I'd tell
them to piss off...

  Jim S.     <jims@inlink.com>

Serious fan of:
*St. Louis Rams        *Michigan Wolverines          *"JAWS"
   *St. Louis Cardinals          *XTC           *MST3K

Owner/GM of the Amity White Sharks, 1998 Polanski Division Champions
         Weaver League International internet baseball league
                     http://www.silicus.com/weaver/

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v01540b04b0ae781160e7@[139.80.100.85]>
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 15:34:26 +1200
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: Music for airports, cassettes, and the Rutles

Re: "Roads Girdle The Globe" & aeroplanes observation by "the other James"

Hmmm. Does that make me the original James, or yet another one? I tend to
get "Chalkhills and Children" running through my head on planes, plus
several non-XTC songs. Suppose it depends where your flying from and to -
here in NZ the view out the plane windows is more often countryside than
city, which probably helps. Other air-related songs that tend to
celerambulate jarringly across my anabatic psyche include Eno's "Burning
airlines", the Byrds' "8 miles high", and Joni Mitchell's "Amelia" (a
forgotten classic!).

>First off, to the recent outbreak of vinyllaphiles, I understand why vinyl
>would sound preferrable to CDs, since digital is awfully sterile--but
>what's the sonic difference between vinyl and analog cassette? After all,
>the albums (except Nonsuch I believe) were originally recorded on analog,
>then transferred to vinyl.

two things: one, the analogue tape that the original recording is on is
much, much higher quality - wider, faster travel, and top quality - than
your cassette. Two, tapes hiss. Every time you add an extra iterative tape
step, you get more hiss. Try making a tape copy of a tape copy of a tape
copy of a tape copy, then listen to how much crap is drowning out the
music. Vinyl only has one tape step in the process, from original recording
tape to vinyl master. Even if your cassette is recorded directly from the
original recording tape (ludicrously unlikely), you have one more tape step
in the process, and therefore more hiss.

>>"After Nasty's 'Bigger than God' comment, people started to burn their
>>records. In fact, they were buying them just to burn them. Record sales
>>skyrocketed..."
>Heheheh I havn't heard him referes to Nasty for so long it has really
>improved my day (along with receiving The Bull with the Golden Guts &
>Jules Vernes Sketchbook this weekend).

I was delighted to find a Rutles sample in a track from British(?) Trancey
outfit Dreadzone the other day. The track is called "Heat the pot" and the
sample is part of the narration about how the Rutles were introduced to
that 'certain substance' called tea.

James (not that one!)

 James Dignan___________________________________               You talk to me
 Deptmt of Psychology, Otago University               As if from a distance
 ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk Street               And I reply. . . . . . . . . .
 Dunedin, New Zealand               with impressions chosen from another time
 steam megaphone (03) 455-7807               (Brian Eno - "By this River")

------------------------------

Message-ID: <3489BFAE.27F2@tc.umn.edu>
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 15:12:14 -0600
From: Ralf D Wiedemann <wied0022@tc.umn.edu>
Subject: copy of demos?

Hello all!

I've just recently subscribed to Chalkhills, and I've heard mentioned
quite a few times now references to a CD of demos that are being
recorded for the new album.  I'm wondering if a kind soul among you
would be willing to make a copy of these demos for me.  Please e-mail me
if you would be.

Thanks for any replies.  Peace,
Ralf Wiedemann
wied0022@tc.umn.edu

------------------------------

Message-ID: <3489C24E.425A@tc.umn.edu>
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 15:23:26 -0600
From: Ralf D Wiedemann <wied0022@tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Album title thoughts

Possible new album titles:

1) Planets Parading (That Wave)
2) Parrots and Lemurs (Wrapped In Grey - sort of a sequel to Oranges and
   Lemons)
3) Fairy Tale Shredding (Ugly Underneath)
4) What You've Trodden In's the Truth (same)
5) Phoenix Up From the Flames (Books Are Burning)

------------------------------

From: CCooli9575 <CCooli9575@aol.com>
Message-ID: <2fc64937.348ab903@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 09:56:01 EST
Subject: Re: Raving and Drooling
Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)

>Sorry for the apparent incoherence of this post...I'm tired and
>raving...Anyone else think of any other useless bands? I can think of at
>least 20 right now offhand...Responses?!?
>Best,
>jw

  Yes, all those new modern rock bands that sound interchangeable from one
another. The contemporary music scene depresses me, everything's so
fragmented. As much as I liked Nirvana, they opened the floodgates to a host
of bands with a sound and no ideas and no soul. Bush is only the worst
culprit, taking the most cliched aspects of Nirvana's sound and having the
gall to say they didn't steal from Nirvana. Of course they're going to say
that, regardless of whether they did or not. The rest of them, I might
remember parts of one of their songs after a few listens (Third Eye Blind:
"Doo doo doo, doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo"), but I'm not about to rush
out and buy one of their albums. The new releases this year that interest me
are all by bands and songwriters that have been knocking around for years
and to one degree or another are finally getting noticed (Chumbawamba, Steve
Earle, Supersuckers, John Hiatt to name a few off the top of my head).
  I'm getting depressed. Hurry up XTC, get that new album out.
Chris

------------------------------

From: jason.phelan@mcmail.vanderbilt.edu
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 97 08:34:51 CST
Message-Id: <9711088815.AA881599697@in2.mcmail.vanderbilt.edu>
Subject: Brain Growth

     Merry Crumble,

     I think the line in the demo "I'd like that" is

     Say a Sunflower I became
     I'd be growing in your RAIN ( or REIGN but NOT BRAIN)

     I mean I know he is poetic, but I think
     a sunflower sprouting roots, and wrapping around someone's
     Medula Oblangata or cerebral cortex is a little freaky,
     Kinda cool, but a little freaky.

     That's all.
     Jason

------------------------------

Message-ID: <348C305C.57871D9A@edenbio.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 09:37:32 -0800
From: Peter Mullin <mullinp@edenbio.com>
Subject: Cute kid story

Watchers of the hills,

Normally, I wouldn't embarass myself relaying cloying anecdotes of
insufferably saccharine exploits of the product of my loins, but this
one I had to pass along:  My son is now a little past two years of age,
and is developing his language skills (no lack thereof in _his_ lungs).
Naturally, many different types of music get played in our home, and
I've taken pains to expose the tyke to as wide a variety as possible,
taking into account my own personal biases (which lean heavily toward
the Fab Four-Minus One-Plus One-Minus One-Plus [Occasionally] One, those
lovable Mop-tops from Swindon).  Imagine my pride when this past
Saturday, as aforementioned P.o.L. was busily manipulating some
truck-like object, I distinctly heard him singing, "This is pop, yeah,
yeah. This is pop, yeah, yeah, This is POP!, ba-dum, ba-dum..." [repeat
frequently].  What a kid!

We'll be learning to count to five this week!

Peter Mullin
(Long past expiry date)

------------------------------

Message-ID: <348C6715.3EF7@erols.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 13:31:01 -0800
From: Todd Bernhardt <editorsp@erols.com>
Organization: sellingpower
Subject: Fun on Saturday night

Heyaay:

I had a dream where the car was reduced to a fossil...

Wait, that's not it -- oh, yeah, I had a lot of fun Saturday night, when
I went down to the Iota club in Northern Va. to see a certified FoA
(friend of Andy): our own list member David Yazbek, who, with drummer
Dean and bassist Chris, rocked the joint and then some. Met a couple
other Chalkies (no names, but you know who you are, James and Craig ;^)
, drank a coupla beers and got a chance to ask Yazbek what Andy is
really like. The truth will shock you! No, I'm not going to say a thing
-- you HAVE to go see them play if you want a chance at ferreting out
the truth about our favorite bald-headed, round-spectacled
English-eccentric genius.

But seriously, ladies and germs, you really should go see these guys
play their unique brand of progressive pop -- they did some really great
versions of songs off The Laughing Man ("666" especially rocked) and the
new stuff from Tock (which is going to be released in February) sounds
really good as well, esp. an upbeat shuffle called "I Want It." They
even did a version of Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance," in which Dean
played a very righteous solo in 7/8. In fact, all the players know their
way around their instruments (it's worth the price of admission just to
watch Yazbek abuse his clavinet) and the songs are catchy as hell. Go
see them in a small club while you can -- if there's any fairness at all
in the world (and yes, I know it's in short supply -- just look at XTC),
they'll be rich, famous and unapproachable soon. As it is, all of the
band members are funny and nice, and, as an added bonus, you don't have
to explain what kind of animal that is on the front of your Chalkhills
shirt.

Just like a mad dog you're chasing your tail in a circle...

ByeBye!

--Todd Bernhardt
toddjenn@erols.com

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #4-38
******************************

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