Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-56

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 56

                Tuesday, 17 February 1998

Today's Topics:

           Robert Woods and the Issue of Mania
                XTC Sandwich - Good Sign?
                   RE: One Tin Soldier
                      Astronomy 101
                    Well It Was, Hello
                        Okay, okay
                      Straight To Ya
     promotional copy not for sale, total time 30:10
                 Helping from a Distance
                       Jimm Chanson
                       Adam Sandler
         Just a quick quote about something......
                   XTC & Ben Folds Five
                      Six year itch.
               Rag And Bone Buffet Sampler
                Last call for Liner Notes
              The Sincerest Farm of Flannery
                     Re: I NEED DEMOS


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


Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 22:03:39 -0600 (CST)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: Suffering...?
Message-ID: <>

  While waiting on an appoinment at school the other day, I picked up the
Feb 98 issue of The Web Magazine lying on the table in the waiting area
(not really a room...more of a hallway).  On page 60, they review a
Pearl Jam site (, for those interested), with the
following lead sentence:

   "With Pearl Jam keeping a lower profile these days, thank Eddie - er-
God that the band's fans (perhaps the longest-suffering lot since XTC
suporters) have kept their alterna-flames lit in the form of exhaustive
sites such at this one..."

Let's see.  The last time XTC had new wax (uh...metal 'n' plastic) out
there, Pearl Jam had been in existence for a year, and _Ten_ was
getting hot....since that time, PJ have a had THEIR ENTIRE CAREER OCCUR,
releasing four full length albums as of last week; they tour fitfully,
sure, but there's no comparison a't'all.
   Folks, we are the _hardest_ people in the rock 'n' roll universe. Nice
to know others care about our plight.  Unless a Chalkhead wrote that



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 01:06:20 -0500
From: Eric Leidberg <>
Subject: Robert Woods and the Issue of Mania

 This is my first post. Lets get to it, shall we?

I dont agree with Steve Graff.. Who would want Andy Partridge to stay a
perennial teenager? Drum and Wires was a good outing, but the
sentiments expressed in Roads Girdle the Globe wouldnt have
neccessarily brought me back for more. Although it was certainly a
disc than most bands put out after ten years, Drums and Wires  was
only a half-baked meal, and personally I prefer my Partridge well-done.
To give up a little mania for  the deeply satisfying lyrics, and
wonderful melodies that were to come, was certainly worth the loss.
     That being said, I disagree as well with Robert Woods, and his
description of the early XTC. The ONLY thing even remotely and truly
80s-frenetic-spike-haired about the band, was Andys goofy arrow pants
on their first cover. XTC had about as much to do with Nick Lowe, and
skinny ties as my grandmother. Their early music was lumped, as we all
know, into that package because the idiots in the industry didnt know
what else to do with them.
      But, as mentioned in the subject area the real issue is mania.
Andy has always been quoted as saying that the first two discs were his
spottty, adolescent stage, and he was somewhat embarassed by them. I
certainly cant disagree with that, but I wouldnt exactly call them
adolescent. Maybe, more child-like. After Drums and Wires and through
to The Big Express, is where we see the adolescent phase: the
questions, the confusion and rage, the emotional ups and downs. When
Andys valium supply got flushed, and therapy probably helped to make
life at home, (at least back then!,) somewhat peaceful, I think some of
our heros anger and confusion got allayed. He didnt always ask the BIG
QUESTIONS anymore.  Now, I dont begrudge Andy his peace and
poo-poo Humble Daisy. This man continues to astound me with his
lyrical brilliance, and as far as Im concerned can use as many
orchestral bits as he likes. But, some of the psychic confusion or the
mania, was what really slayed me, and honestly, I kinda miss it. Its
the age-old question:
 Do you have to be completely out of your mind to create great art?
            I dont know.
Liz Spencer
"And by the half-light of burning republics Joe Stalin looks just like
Uncle Sam..."


Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 10:09:16 -0500 (EST)
From: Thomas Slack <>
Subject: XTC Sandwich - Good Sign?
Message-ID: <>

Well, my Friday the 13th has gotten off to a good start. Last night when I
pulled into my driveway and was about to turn the radio off, "Mayor of
Simpleton" came on, so of course I had to sit there in my garage and
listen to it. Then this morning, as soon as I turned it on, the sounds of
"Dear Madam Barnum" came blasting out. This station does play XTC
occasionally, but I seem to be hearing more lately. Could it be that word
of a new album has stoked up renewed interest? (Let's hope.)

Happy Bad Luck Day,
Tom Slack

PS- Speaking of which, keep an eye out for 13 Turtles in Musician
Magazine's BUB contest. 'Nuff said.


Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 14:07:45 -0500
Message-Id: <980213140745.21413f3f@RCMACA.UPR.CLU.EDU>
Subject: RE: One Tin Soldier

Hey all,

just a thought on the money thread....whatever happened to that really rare
toy soldier we were going to buy for Andy? I think that would be much more
appropiate and probably free of tax problems. I'm in for 20.

I also spent 45 for the Andy Hello! cd.....I still have all the others in
their sleeves except for John Linnel's State Songs (quite good BTW). And I
bought the cd of the demos as well and thought it was well worth it, it was
a fine and clean recording which I can keep forever and I really don't think
anyone is getting rich of that scheme.

And while I am at it, I was really touched by Dave Gregory's gift to Amanda.
What an incredibly nice person! Just as I always thought he would be, a
noble soul indeed. And while I would kill to hear the songs I understand his
concern and shall live without the pleasure unless he changes his mind. Life
is good in the greenhouse, and Amanda I was very happy for you, what a
Christmas surprise!

Anyway, last bit of news was I spent a weekend in a lovely little island off
the east coast of Puerto Rico with the most incredible bioluminescent
bay. ANyway, during my daily trips to the beach I was pleased to keep seeing
this boat called X-T-Sea although I never got close enough to it to ask if
they too loved the boys from Swindon. Maybe I am not the only XTC fan in
this desert island after all.

Enough already.



Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 13:42:30 -0500 (EST)
From: (Alexander Werth)
Subject: Astronomy 101
Message-id: <v01530503b109febcc83e@[]>

>Anybody got any ideas for other XTC tunes with astronomical significance? I
>can think of "I Remember The Sun" and "Miniature Sun" right off the bat.

How about the obvious "Another Satellite," plus "Season Cycle" and  "Across
This Antheap" ("The stars are laughing at us...")?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 15:13:11 -0500

Hello fans,

FYI, Amazon, the world's largest bookstore, has the Chalkhills and Children
XTC biography by Chris Twomey for under $20 US delivered, sa well as many
of the band's recordings on cassette and cd.  You can also order the new
book, XTC: The Authorized Story Behind the Music, due out in June, and it
will be delivered when it gets published.

Just search for XTC on the homepage, and you're in.

Live from the Swindon Youth Club,


Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 14:01:55 -0500
Message-ID: <>
From: (Ian Baker)
Subject: Well It Was, Hello

     From a lurker... I've loved XTC from the moment I saw them on the
     Black Sea tour. I came to see The Police (Zenyatta was just coming out
     and THEY were unknown to the general public.

     But I left with XTC (the show warmup band) in my brain. Bought
     EVERYTHING. Every picture disc, every import 7" and 12", the badges,
     the t-shirts. EVERYTHING I could find. And kept at it for quite a few

     A tad disappointed when all my hard won b-sides became CD fodder. I
     know, I know, I know what you're saying, and you're right... but some
     of the romance WAS lost when 1) you didn't have to work so hard to get
     it 2) it was now on an 'indestructible' format so it didn't have the
     delicate, perishable feel of vinyl and 3) latecomers missed some
     brilliant cover art and packaging of the old singles.


     The reason I emerge is that I'D LOVE TO HAVE A CD OF 'THE DEMOS'. I've
     stopped my earlier obsessive ways but I miss XTC like a friend I
     haven't received a letter from in a long time. Plus (and I don't want
     to jump into the Nonesuch battleground) some of the last studio stuff
     didn't do much for me.. and I think it was more the production than
     the songs or performances.

     A slightly less produced, rougher version would make me VERY VERY

     I've seen some posts of the DEMOS CD with a full color booklet... a
     labor of love. Who has 'em? Who has that friend's letter.

     email me at

     thanks in advance!


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 17:18:16 -0500
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Okay, okay

For my comment to J.J. Pinto, Dave Ledbetter scolded me back:

>In other news, Dave Gershman scolds:
>>Who do you think you are to say "we" in your sentence, to
>>include the rest of us in such a small-minded spit of a remark? I'm fairly
>>certain that I speak for most of the people on this list when I say
>It's probably not the most effective approach to denounce Mr. Pinto as the
>spokesman, only to then claim the position as your own.

Yeah, but...but...but...oh, never mind. Point taken. Set, match.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 00:33:54 +0000
Subject: Straight To Ya

Dear Chalkers,

I suppose everybody knows how one never ceases to discover new bits
in XTC's  music, those lovely small details you never noticed before
even though you think you "know" all those songs by heart...
In fact, this has always been one of the reasons i love them so much!

Today i discovered such a hidden gem in The Loving (1989!)
Crank up them headphones real high at the end of the song; where
Colin is signing his infamous "straight to ya" lines.
In the background there is this beautiful little choir singing
not unlike the Beach Boys circa Good Vibrations. Wow!
Where did they get those singers? :)

It's absolutely amazing and brill, it made my miserable day much
better and I just wanted to share it with you all.

yours in xtc,
Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 18:49:40 EST
Subject: promotional copy not for sale, total time 30:10

hey everybody-
    i am just full of questions i guess, because i have another one. i was
wondering if anybody knows how much a record i just got is worth or if it's
worth anything- a friend of mine bought it for me, and i dont know how much
she paid. i'm just curious, it's red and on the cover it just says "LIVE THE
WARNER BROS. MUSIC SHOW" it's for radio prgrams and it provides for
comercial breaks, it's skylarking with breaks between songs where andy talks
about each song. it was made in 1979. anybody have any ideas?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 23:44:28 EST
Subject: Wow.......

My one response this week is directed at Jason Legacy......

It never occured to me before, but what you say rings a very harsh truth.It
DOES seem that XTC has done nothing over the last few years to try to reach
new fans.
But to each his own.

XTC song of the day-New Broom
non XTC song-Don't Fear the Reaper-Blue Oyster Cult


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 01:40:02 -0800
From: Eric Rosen <>
Subject: Helping from a Distance

Hi all,

Re: M. Strijbos remark:
"Do you love them because nobody else does or would you be thrilled if
they had a number 1 with a bullet?"

I would love to see XTC at the height of fame and popularity PROVIDED it
did NOT threaten their future artistic freedom and control.

Re: Richard Pendretti-Allen's reply re: non-profits:
At the end of my original post, I acknowledged that there could be
complications because it could be construed as "profit-oriented" if it
were assisting IDEA.  The remarks were merely "brainstorms" meant to
come up with a viable way to help the band.

I have absolutely no reason to doubt what you say about having the IRS
"crawl up your butt and through your intestines" (thanks for the
warning!) however, non-profit status is NOT a prerequisite for that!!!
I work for an extremely well-known, privately owned, highly profitable
corporation and down the hall from our wing is a room staffed with an
IRS agent who's been there for years and all he does is analyze our

Re: Helping the band:
If it be our fate to have to help from a distance (buy more, turn others
on, etc.) that's fine but I just can't get it out of my system that
there's more we can do (especially in this wired age). I can't help but
think of the Beatles arrival at JFK and how the screaming girls were
induced with T-shirts and stuff to act their most manic (Oh, that shrewd
Brian Epstein).

So, in the '90's, my thoughts are in the digital domain [QUALIFIER -
these ideas and efforts would require a well-coordinated effort that is
tactful, tasteful and rolled out in phases - as opposed to everyone
running off helter skelter to do their 2 cents]--

One fellow (from NYC I recall - how's life in my hometown?) mentioned
creating a web site to help publicize the album.  This could be done at
relatively low expense however, it's not something that lends itself to
mass participation.  Nevertheless, this is precisely the type of project
for which I hereby publicly volunteer.  In fact, what I do at work all
day is build online interactive training content (HTML, Shockwave,
JavaScript, etc.).  I would be only too eager to put these skills to
non-corporate use!!  As it would NOT be commerce enabled, there would be
no reason for the IRS to "crawl up our butts" however, it could be chock
full of links to places where the new album could be purchased.  The
site could be optimized for search engine hits and be actively
registered with the major ones.

The site could gather visitor statistics via forms and this info could
be passed on to IDEA.

Another idea is to use newsgroups in the same fashion as the screaming
ladies at JFK in '64.  Plant a buzz but don't be a crass spammer about
it.  There are other groups with viable connections to XTC (Costello,
Hitchcock, etc.) plus ones that are generic (alt.whateverkindofmusic).

Email the URL (or attach the website homepage) to our friends not on
this list.

Repeat the email thing to every music journalist on the web (again don't
be a crass spammer about it).

Repeat the email thing to every appropriate radio station on the web
(again don't be a crass spammer about it).

People with ties to XTC (Mitch, John Wedemeyer, etc.) could put out
feelers to them about doing online concerts via RealMedia streaming
technology (now shouldn't Andy consider this "having his cake and eating
it too!"). [I could see it now... XTC playing out of a flatbed truck -
indoors for digital transmission]

Anyway, these are a few stream-of-consciousness ideas and I want to
encourage the Chalkhills community to keep coming up with more.  By
April, we should have a solid list and a few people ready to project
manage and implement.

The more distasteful the truth,
The less it will be believed in America
-- 1944 Radio Show "High Command"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 08:37:11 EST
Subject: Jimm Chanson

>I can't be trusted to be objective when it comes to Lennon, but having
>said that, let me say this:  An artist like him is rare.  While I don't
>doubt that there are some very talented people out there whose music
>never reaches the ears of the masses, we do get to hear a good deal of
>music by some extraordinary people, and I can't see any of them being
>"just as talented as" John Lennon.  His vision, coupled with the many
>talents of his bandmates and producer changed the face of music in the
>20th century,  and had an impact on the world at large.

  A sage observation indeed, but I can tell you from experience that there's
people out there just as talented as John Lennon(or Andy, for that
matter)who just some how never got it together. There was one Jimm
Chanson(or Jim Erickson, his given name)who I knew in college who quite
frankly is the most talented unsigned songwriter I have ever met. By the age
of twenty-one he'd written and demoed at least three concept albums or rock
operas(one of which, I believe, was based on Heidegger's Being And Time, a
weighty concept and very difficult read in its original form), and was
performing some very energetic Elvis C./Squeeze/XTC-influenced rock and roll
with his band The Answer, including among the sometime members Harrison
Sherwood's brother Bob(so, there's a connection to this list, though not
XTC). Jimm, unfortunately, was also severely manic-depressive or something
similar. His bursts of creative energy would be sabotaged by months of
inactivity and dementia, during which he'd be unable to function. I'm not
sure if he even graduated. All he's got to show for it was one song on The
Malarians' LP of about ten years ago, the band The Answer eventually turned
into, and a whole lot of rough demos of brilliant fully-realised songs in
embryonic form that will probably never see the light of day. Sad. Most
cities and towns have at least one person like this, though few of Jimm's
potential. I'm a songwriter myself and people like him make me wonder why I
bother; I'm not an original like him, just a good mimic like Clive Gregson
or those guys from The Rembrandts. In fact that's probably why I haven't
written much lately. There's just too many second-rate songwriters out
there; why should there be one more?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 22:57:00 -0500
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Replies


Tony Nowikowski said:
>When the new album comes out, buy an additional copy (or two) and donate
them to your local library.<

I think this is a great idea.

Ladies and Gentlemen, MR. Stormy Monday said:
>Unfortunately, the arts are driven by profit.  If your definition of
success is reaching the masses, you must be able to demonstrate that
your "art" is marketable.  As much as I love the music of XTC, I can't
blame their lack of commercial success on anything but the fact that
their music isn't commercial, whatever that means.  Certainly their
music has had more opportunity to reach the public at large than the
aspiring musicians on this list.   How did "The Dave Matthews Band" get
signed?  They were playing to packed houses and marketing their own
merchandise to their fans.  The labels can't ignore that type of
success.  While it isn't fair, it is a reality:  if you can prove that
people will buy your music, you can get signed.<

This reminds me of what a friend I had long ago used to say as we sat
doing our humdrum jobs in a Washington, DC, recording studio
(duplicating tapes, mostly, but HEY, we worked in a recording studio,
right?) listening to the radio. I was still very much the prog-rock
musical idealist, and he was the ultimate pragmatist. We'd hear a song,
I'd rip into it for being simplistic and inane, and he'd say, "You're
right, it's a stupid song, but hey, it sells" -- as in, "They're on the
radio and you're not, so maybe you should shut your pretentious little
yap and learn what you can from this tripe." I came to realize that he
was right: in music (and in life, for that matter) you can learn from
just about anyone, whether you respect them or not, and even if they're
showing you what NOT to do.

Jason Legacy said:
>They have done NOTHING to reach out to us in the past 5 years, at least
nothing in my memory. Do they fully realize their responsibility in the
delicate artist/fan relationship? They have seemed woefully ignorant for a
decade now.<

First off, let me say that, IMO, XTC owes us NOTHING. They bear no
responsibility in this "relationship" -- it is completely consensual,
and all of us, at any time, has the option of ending it. The only
responsibility I see the band as having is to their respective muses.
The moment XTC stops being a truly great band is the moment when they
begin to care about "the delicate artist/fan relationship" instead of
caring about their art and their individual relationship to it. I'm
happy to have the opportunity to get the briefest of glimpses into THAT
relationship by buying their albums. Anything on top of that (live
shows, etc.) is gravy, IMO.

For a far-more eloquent and insightful discussion of this topic than I
can provide, check out Robert Fripp's posts on
about the nature of the audience/artist relationship.

Along those lines, Mark Stribos asks:
>how would we, as their loyal(?) fans, react if Firework would be a bit of a
success and XTC would be catapulted to sudden fame and fortune?  Do you love
them because nobody else does or would you be thrilled if they had a number
1 with a bullet?<

Count one vote for thrilled. For as long as I've listened to them, I've
wanted them to get the recognition they deserve. If anything, I think a
hit album and some $$ would be the greatest thing in the world for the
band. They'd be able to relax and concentrate on making great music,
instead of dealing with all the mundane nuisiances that come along with
living from royalty check to royalty check.

Plus, people might stop looking at my XTC FAN license plate and thinking
I'm a drug addict.

BTW, Yazbek and crew were in fine form last night here in NoVa. The only
problem was, I thought he was headlining and so I sauntered in at 9:45
with some friends after a leisurely dinner to find that Yazbek was the
backup band and had started at 9:30. They played 'til 10:30 (the crowd
convinced them to play two encores), and I and my friends picked up some
copies of his newest CD, Tock. Great album, and it includes a song
cowritten with our favorite musical genius, Mr. P, who also sings and
plays. Bug your local megarecordchainoutletstore to STOCK TOCK -- keep
in mind Harrison and Stormy's dialogue about artists that deserve to be
heard, and don't be an accomplice in keeping this talented guy and his
merry men mired in obscurity.

In fact, they're playing a CD-release party in NYC on Thursday night,
and I'm thinking ROAD TRIP -- what other NuYawk Chalkhillers are gonna
be there? Drop me a line.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 01:20:13 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music -
Subject: Adam Sandler

This is sketchy on the XTC content...

Funnyman Adam Sandler has a new film out, entitled "The Wedding Singer."
It takes place in Ridgefield, CT (!!) in 1985, and has a great
soundtrack. Included on the CD are "How Soon is Now?" by The Smiths,
and..."Everyday I Write the Book," by Elvis Costello! Isn't that
awesome? Of course, it's sandwiched in between "Hold Me Now" and "White
Wedding," and the version of "Video Killed the Radio Star" is performed
by The Presidents of the United States of America, but still...

Sorry to consume bandwidth, but just one more Elvis thing: who else
thinks that "The Bridge I Burned," the first track on his "Extreme
Honey" collection, kicks some serious ass? I do. E-mail me privately and
we shall discuss his effective use of samples. Dig it!

Oh, what the hell: obligxtc...I've been listening to "Drums and
Wireless" a lot. Anyone like the "No Thugs" on there better than the
"English Settlement" version? And what about that great piano chord at
the end of "Runaways"?

Also, if anyone cares, I think that David Byrne's "Feelings" is the best
album of 1997, and Morrissey's "Alma Matters" the best single.


I am the son and heir of nothing in particular.

* -------------------------------------- *
B e n   G o t t   ::       Bowdoin College
(207) 721-5142    ::   Brunswick, ME 04011
Own Yazbek's new album!
* -------------------------------------- *


Date: 16 FEB 98 10:57:04 AES
Subject: Singles
Message-ID: <>

I was wondering whether the band may have formulated plans for singles (CD
and/or vinyl) to be culled from the new album yet?  I'd be interested to
know what the b-sides might be.  Perhaps two or three songs that get
properly recorded but don't make the final cut of the album?  Or maybe some
demos of songs that aren't scheduled for inclusion in the current recording
sessions, as occurred with the various single releases accompanying

Could Mitch ask Andy or Dave when next he speaks with either?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 22:18:27 EST
Subject: Just a quick quote about something......

Getting back into the old routine of more than one post per digest, I must
say this....the talk of not feeling sympathy for XTC's financial plight has
made me think a little.  It IS, after all, their decision to not tour,
although it appears Andy's opinion carries more weight than Colin and
Gregsy. I found an interesting coupla quotes from an 89' interview w/Dave
about the band's non- touring state. Here's an excerpt of the 'view....

DB-"If you could play with anybody right now, who would be some of the
people you'd like the opportunity to play with?"

DG-(....skip list of many names)".....But to be totally honest with you, I'd
like XTC to tour so that I could have my old job back because that was the
best gig of all."

DB-"What do you think, come the 90's, will we ever see the band on stage

DG-"It's a distinct possibility, but don't hold your breath waiting for the
event. I'd like to think that we will because otherwise my days are
numbered.  I mean, what am I going to be doing ten years from now, you
can''t be a sideman in a band that only makes records, I don't think that's

Food for thought, and interesting considering that it's been almost ten
years since the 'view was conducted. I wonder...........

Tis all for now,
AMANDA'S quote of the day-"Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam......."


Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 22:57:17 -0600 (CST)
From: James Dupuy <>
Subject: XTC & Ben Folds Five
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalkhill People

	Just wanted to thank the people on this digest for turning me onto
Ben Folds Five. I went to see them last Thursday night, (in Houston)
sporting my Chalkhills T-shirt, and had my ass thoroughly blown away. It
was kinda nice having people come up and comment on how they like XTC for
once. (thanks for the chalkhills t-shirt) I was a little surprised that
they did not know about Chalkhills but I did let them know that it
existed and to look out for the new cd. I can see why XTC fans would
like BF5. I took three of my band members who don't like XTC but I think
they enjoyed the BF5 show. One of them is now a BF5 fan. (there is hope
after all) The tightness of the band impressed them as I
was hoping it would. Now if only I could get them into XTC.
I also watched the JamTV internet display of the Chicago show of BF5 and
was wondering if XTC would do something like this. Anybody know if they
would be interested in something like this? Also is it possible to save to
disk the RealMedia stream that these JamTV shows generate?

"When you're near me I have difficulty..."
Jim Dupuy


Message-ID: <>
From: Wood Robert MMUk <>
Subject: Six year itch.
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 09:04:14 -0000

Jason Legacy wrote in 4-55:

>>               it's been a while since I posted,  <snip>

 I feel next to no sympathy for them in terms of a financial
standpoint. They chose to stop touring. Perhaps it can be blamed on Andy's
stagefright, fine, yet there are numerous other routes of self-promotion,
including acoustic shows, radio-station tours(which I know they did),
etc. My point is that their musical exile is largely self-imposed. Every one
on this list is obviously a highly faithful XTC-devotee, and if we are their
grassroots, than they have what thousands of bands can't have. THEY ARE
LUCKY. They have done NOTHING to reach out to us in the past 5 years, <snip>
They are intelligent men who must know that great talent alone will not
bring them financial security. Not at all. <<

Feel free anyone to correct me if I'm wrong, but the reason they've not
released anything for six years is because they were forced into a corner by
Virgin, and the best way to get out of their contract was to go on
strike. You can't blame them for that, surely? Acoustic shows are still live
shows, so I don't see how that makes it so much easier for Andy. Over the
years as far as I understand it, they've been *seriously* ripped off by
management so helping them out (taking the practical difficluties out of the
equation) seems like a perfectly acceptable notion to me.

Sure they know great talent alone will not bring them money. Dave certainly
has done extra curricular stuff with the likes of Aimee, but what's the
point in Andy doing something that makes him physically ill?  Nothing is
worth ruining your health for. I'd much rather have a band that makes the
occasional great album than a knackered touring band.

The only thing I can't quite understand is the lack of merchandise
available. There are many fans who would genuinely love to be able to buy
the likes of T-Shirts; I hope that Idea records latches on to this...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 07:00:00 -0600
From: Dean Zemel <>
Subject: Rag And Bone Buffet Sampler

If anyone is looking for a Rag and Bone Buffet Four Song Sampler
(Extrovert, Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass, Blame The Weather and
Respectable Street) to complete that XTC collection (oh hell, when is an
XTC collection ever complete?), email me privately.

As long as I'm here, if Keith Beck is out there, you've changed your email
address (you naughty boy) and I'd appreciate hearing from you!

Hope all out there are well.....

Dean Zemel


Message-ID: <>
From: "Miller, Ed" <>
Subject: Last call for Liner Notes
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 10:25:40 -0700


I will be closing out the "liner notes" summary of CC'97 songs three
days after the release of this digest.  If you are a CC'97 artist and
haven't yet sent me your info, please do so ASAP.

Thanks to all who have sent me their notes so far.

This has been very interesting and entertaining reading for me.  I'm
looking forward to getting it out to everyone very soon.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: The Sincerest Farm of Flannery
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 14:58:06 -0500

Hey, I think my favorite part of "The Everyday Story of Smalltown" is
near the end when they go "Shangri-La, Shangri-La, la-la-la,

>From: "Pedretti-Allen, Richard" <>
>Subject: No way on Non-profit
>Let me put it this way, if you donated to the
>Red Cross and they in turn gave your money to some "troubled" company
>like BTG Incorporated (personally, I say it might be a good time to buy
>their stock.  Ticker: BTGI), you might feel like your donation was a
>little "misappropriated" which is exactly the term the IRS will use.

An admirable stock tip, Richard! I personally have quite an alarming
amount of my life's savings tied up in it, and, well, while "down the
toilet" might be stretching a point, "thinking about a cool refreshing
dip in the bidet" seems to fill the bill. Whatever the hell it's doing
in there, it's got the door locked and the grunting and splashing noises
are getting the rest of us mighty antsy.
>Subject: Echoed Phrase Thingy
>My newly acquired "Bosom" Buddy, Harrison writes:
>> [Andy's compositional use of echoed phrases: What's it called?]
>the name for this particular technique is "Imitation"

Exactly one bar later Dave Blackburn ( ) chimes in,

>I learned it as "Imitation"

Did you *plan* that, guys? It was great! Not only do we get two nice,
concise, clearly stated definitions of the term, but your posts, taken
together, provided an *example* as well! Now it's up to the rest of us
to hit our cue (...two, three, four!):

Fa-la-la-la-la, etc.!

>From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
>Organization: The Little Lighthouse

>how would we, as their loyal(?) fans,
>react if Firework would be a bit of a success and XTC would be
>catapulted to sudden fame and fortune?

Excellent question, Mark, something I've pondered as well.

I honestly can't see XTC becoming a sudden household word, no matter how
successful Firework turns out to be: they are, as others have pointed
out, not aimed at the right demographic, not MTV-friendly, not--pace
Amanda, Natalie, etc!--sexy (in the conventional, toothpaste-model
sense), too smart for their own good, etc., etc. Even if they do this
"back-of-a-truck" tour they've been talking about, they won't get the
exposure they need to put an album into the stratosphere, sales-wise.
They are (all together now, everybody!) A Cult Band. Given the right
publicity, the right reviews, the right word-of-mouth, they'll sell
comfortably, make themselves some money. People who are inclined to buy
an XTC album will buy one. With a radio hit on the order of "Mayor of
Simpleton" they'll make a few new converts. But "sudden fame and
fortune"? Not in this lifetime.

One thing is guaranteed, something we'll have to think long and hard
about: When the new record hits, the Chalkhills list itself is
inevitably going to undergo a massive upheaval. The subscriber list will
grow exponentially, and we will have an enormous rehashing of stuff
we've already driven into the ground. Picture the cliquish specter of
"old hats" versus "new blood," yet another--and lots more
virulent--revival of the Annual "Dear God" Festival of Theologically
Unsound Opinion-Mongering, constant finger-wagging reminders to check
the FAQ before posting, all that self-policing that groups like this
have to do if The Tone is to be Preserved. Ick.

A thought: The Firework cover art and liner notes are probably at this
point only a vague glimmering of the beginning of a thought that's just
now starting to appear on people's to-think-about-sometime-soon list,
but one wonders if Chalkhills (the list or the website) will be
mentioned in the credits, the way The Little Express was on
"Skylarking"? It's not like they don't know how to work word-of-mouth,
and they _are_ aware of where the butter on the side of their bread is
coming from (if that's the expression I want).

Mr. Relph, care to comment? Anyone contacted you about this?

>Do you love them because nobody else does or would you be thrilled if
>they had a number 1 with a bullet?

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but *I* love them because of their
high energy level, their air of slightly menacing sexuality, and their
dreamy leather trousers. I swear, the night I first saw them in that
dank, sweaty nightclub, with the worshipful crowd twisting frenetically
to an urgent rock-and-roll beat, their leader cracking abusive jokes at
the expense of the adoring Sheilas staring up at him with unconditional
love, the quietest member of the group piercing me with his torrid
working-class glare and enquiring with undisguised sarcasm, "Why, what
brings Mr. Lipschitz here?" I was sure I was witnessing a turning point
in history.

Harrison "A Cellarful of Toys in the Attic" Sherwood


Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 14:32:29 -0800
Subject: Re: I NEED DEMOS
Message-ID: <>
From: (Tim Chervenak)


I am new to Chalkhills, and I have just learned of these demo CD's.  Can
someone please email me directly and let me know what is out there and
how I can get my hands on these recordings???



Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 15:54:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Misty Shock <>
Subject: Nonsuch
Message-ID: <>

What is the exact origin of the title, Nonsuch?  I remember watching an
interview on Rage in which Andy stated that it was taken from the name of
the castle of Henry VIII, only later to discover that it meant "without
equal."  However, it was recently pointed out to me that it is one title
in an ongoing trend in which the title is taken from a song on the
previous album.  Hence, Firework --> "My Bird Performs,"  Oranges and
Lemons --> "Ballet For a Rainy Day," *and* Nonsuch --> "Chalkhills and
Children."  Which story is correct?  Or is this just a funny coincidence?
Sorry if I am covering old ground.

nl: Nick the Knife, Nick Lowe

Misty Shock

"No round of drinks can extinguish this feeling of love and engulfing
bliss."						--Andy Partridge


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-56

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