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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-88


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 88

                   Tuesday, 2 June 1998

Today's Topics:

                      Mark Knopfler?
              A slightly inaccurate article
                   This you gotta love!
                       Rap? Again?
                   dON'T lET uS bUG ya
                        Re: Metal
                     Re: Black Music
              Regarding Chalkhills Originals
                 I'm white and I'm proud!
                          Grass
                      Re: xtc demos
                      Musical Taste?
                   AOL Skylarking Chat
                 Re: Just about everyone
            Meeting with our hero, Richard P-A
                     Tours Of London
                      Wierd Tunings?
              Re: listen to this record !!!
                      Is it just me?

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Let it die / Let it lay down.

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

Message-ID: <3570C466.460A@together.net>
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 21:45:58 -0500
From: "K. Zimmer" <kzimmer@together.net>
Subject: Mark Knopfler?

I can relate to the guy who wailed about JC Superstar. For weeks I've
been saying "Mark Knopfler in XTC?" I mean, Dire Straits is cool and
Mark is, too, but I just don't see the connection to XTC.

That's what's amazing about this band, tho'. We're all coming at it from
different angles.

Thanks for the Stereolab tip, folks. I snagged "Dots & Loops" and love
it. Mars whatever is next. I've bitten on two other CDs that people
recommended on this list and wasted $30. Oh well, ya gotta gamble to
find the good stuff.

Double album? "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway!" Deeeeep.

OK, no one responded to my request for personal information. I'll start
here, like the first geek who dances at a wedding reception.

Religion: raised Baptist, now agnostic
Political party: Democrat (I'm betting that most XTC fans are either
Democrat, Labour, or independent. Any Republicans or Tories out there?)
Drugs: not as often as the old days, but sometimes
Job: public relations
Dream: best-selling novelist or ski bum

By the way, Adrian Belew is also a wicked drummer, so he can fill in two
areas of need. Adrian should pay me to be his lobbyist.

One last random question: does anyone know what ever happened to the
La's? I played that album to DEATH for about a year. My poor wife was so
patient.

Take care everyone!
-Kirt in Vermont

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

Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19980530223023.006a7e38@mail.clemson.edu>
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 22:30:23 -0400
From: Adam Tyner <ctyner@clemson.edu>
Subject: A slightly inaccurate article

Here's an article from http://smokin.muzic.com/htdb/news/daily.html#2
(which might be changed by the time you see this message)...  It contains a
number of inaccuracies, to say the least (it's May 30, and Dave left last
week?  :), but I thought you might be interested.  You might want to point
out the inaccuracies to info@muzic.com...  Anyway, here 'tis!

<<
XTC Record Two-Record Set, Lose Guitarist David Gregory

XTC: And then there were two. In the midst of recording not one but two
albums for release on their newly formed Idea Records, New Wave rockers XTC
have lost long-time guitarist Dave Gregory over that old band nemesis,
"creative differences." Gregory, with the band since 1979's Drums and Wires
LP, walked out of studio sessions last week, angered that XTC nucleus Andy
Partridge and Colin Moulding were ignoring his creative imput. He then
reportedly contacted Debbie Harry, expressing interest in hiring on as an
extra guitarist for the forthcoming Blondie reunion tour and album once his
split from XTC was official. Harry was interested, but unfortunately
Gregory's query came a day too late, as Blondie had already hired a new --
as-yet-unnamed -- string-bender.

XTC, meanwhile, are carrying on with sessions for the albums. In keeping
with a staunch tradition of never having a full-time drummer, the band have
this time brought in two guys -- ex-Prince & The New Power Generation
skinsbeater Michael Bland and Prarie Prince, who previously worked with the
group on 1986's near-perfect Skylarking -- for some session work. No
replacement guitar player has been named, and seeing as how XTC don't tour
due to Partridge's intense stage fright, this seems an unlikely event.
Material for the albums was written over the past six years while the band
went on a record release "strike" from Virgin Records, whom they felt had
done them grave promotional injustice. Virgin eventually let them go, and
XTC went on to form Idea Records, a label that's yet to sign any other
groups. The new records, one of which was rumored to be called The History
Of The Middle Ages, should be out in early '99, with a few months
in-between releases. XTC have yet to secure a stateside distribution deal
for the records, but Partridge has made a few cross-Atlantic jaunts of
late, luring New York power brokers with the promise of more great
Brit-rock. -Greg Heller
>>
/=---------------- http://www.he-man.org/ctyner/ ----------------=\
             http://www.awod.com/gallery/rwav/ctyner/
The home of He-Man, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, and more!
   Demented music list admin           O-         MiSTie #67,326

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

From: ERA1970@aol.com
Message-ID: <d84e0e97.3570fd0f@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 02:47:42 EDT
Subject: This you gotta love!

Okay, I hate to say it, but I've found an act of unconscious plagiarism on
the part of Andy Partridge It seems that arcade emulators are all the rage
lately so I downloaded the free software off the net, as well as all the
cheesy video games like donkey kong, etc.  Well, as I started to play
pac-man, I thought the "startup" music sounded familiar, then it hit me--The
music is damn near identical to the melody of "Omnibus" off the Nonesvch
album.  (Before you flame me, I'm well aware that Andy probably never played
the game, its just kind of a weird coincidence.)

"Time is an affliction"
--F. Zappa

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

Message-ID: <357137BD.39647534@usa.net>
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 08:58:11 -0200
From: Ben Gott <loquacious@usa.net>
Organization: Loquacious Music - http://www.bowdoin.edu/~bgott
Subject: Rap? Again?

Chalkers,

I haven't read the past few digests (as I've been interred at a hospital and
then recovering at home), but I find it interesting that we have this
conversation -- "Why don't Chalkhillians listen to rap?" -- every so often.
Maybe it's healthy. Here's my tuppence:

I listen to rap and hip hop, but own only a few CDs of this genre. Why?
Because, frankly, the music just doesn't *interest* me that much. Sure,
there have been some great rap/hip-hop/R&B albums and singles released in
the past 3 or 4 years ("No Diggity" comes immediately to mind...What a great
song!), but there has also been a great deal of crap. Puff Daddy, for
example, is the kind of musician I abhor: to many, however, he is the
epitomy of R&B. This is sad, because he's not. What's even sadder, though,
is that current R&B artists are reinterpreting their music within a
frighteningly materialistic context (s.c., Puff Daddy's knife job to
Grandmaster Flash's seminal rap, "The Message," which has been reinterpreted
into a song about Puffy's wealth and success). If anyone's interested in
reading more about what I think (damn!), send me an e-mail: I just finished
a paper called "Gangsta Rap Invades Mendham, NJ: Why?" for my Sociology
class, and I'd be glad to shoot it off to whomever's interested. Basically,
I talk about why there's been a great deal of insurgence in a white,
middle-class teenage (adolescent) population of this kind of music. Why
would suburban kids listen to gangsta rap? What makes this music appealing?
I answer all of these questions, and more! (Well, maybe not...) I'd be
interested in Chalkers' opinions of my thoughts.

And not that I'd expect it from any of my loving Chalkhills friends, but
don't give me crapola about the fact that I'm only 18 years old. "You didn't
live through blah blah!" Well, bite me. My now 58-year-old mother saw James
Brown and Elvis at the Apollo in the early 1960s, so I'm genetically
programmed to be cool. I'd be interested to know, too, when "Making Plans
for Nigel" was released as a single. Seeing as I was born on 20 July 1979,
and I'm covering the song on CC98, it would be quite a funny coincidence
if...

Karl (congrats on your wedding!) wrote:

>The Spice Boys!!! I'm refering specifically to Control Freak >Spice, Solemn
Spice, and Aloha Spice (and I'll leave you to >figure out which is which).

Add "Lawsuit Spice," and you'd have The Smiths! Har har!

Well, munchkins, I'm off to enjoy more of my week-long tonsillectomy liquid
diet! I'm 6'1", and am now at a whopping 136 pounds! Whew! Hold me back!

-Ben (a pizza would be nice...)

P.S. Ben Gott has left XTC. He will be replaced by Debbie Gibson.

+------------------------------------------------------------+
     Ben Gott :: Loquacious Music :: Salisbury, CT 06068
       http://www.bowdoin.edu/~bgott :: (860) 435-9726
  You've still got your dignity, or the next best disguise...
+------------------------------------------------------------+

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

Message-ID: <002d01bd8c9a$485abbc0$7c975ed1@nate>
From: "Gineen" <natalia@javanet.com>
Subject: dON'T lET uS bUG ya
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 09:44:48 -0400

Hello fellow XTC fans!
I thought I would post my homepage address here for anyone who may want to
check it out.
If you have any links or information you would like for me to put on my
page, let me know.
I am always adding new XTC links on my page.
I am always looking for NEW XTC pages as well.........I want something
new!!!! anyone know of any aside from
Lighthouse,Chalkhills,Bungalow,Roundabout,Dukes Of Strat.page, Limelight
etc.........just curious
if perhaps there are some great pages on the net I am missing out on :-) Got
any great keywords to search for that
may open up some great XTC pages? Hahahhahaa like perhaps a link to Andys
front door? :-) Oh it would be lovely to meet that man :-)
Gineen      http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Arena/9501/

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <74d2a56.3571716f@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 11:04:13 EDT
Subject: Re: Metal

>Apart from that, I agree with everything you say Don. And thanks for the
>welcome.
>
>Dom.

  Boy, that one's too long to quote in full. Bandwidth! To me there's only
two heavy metal bands that matter, Judas Priest and Motorhead(that are
currently together, I mean). Judas Priest just reformed with the original
guitarists and bassist, and a new drummer and muscular young buck replacing
lead singer Rob Halford(who announced he was gay last year; almost as
satisfying a development as my finding out Gene Simmons' birth name is Chaim
Lifshitz). I picked up their new album out of curiousity that they were
actually still around; save your bucks folks. Musically it's quite intricate
and interesting, and the new lead singer barks and screams like a
minor-league Rob Halford, but the lyrics are unspeakable rantings about
blood and guts and death that are a far cry from even Rob Halford's
comparitively articulate work.(Check out "Blood Red Skies" from one of their
80's albums for sheer heavy metal poetry)

  Personally I respect any musician in any genre that either tries to do
something different with it, or at least tries to be the best it can be in
that field,(or in the case of Ozzy, makes a spectacle of himself in an
interesting way; that scene of him in The Decline Of Western
Civilization:The Metal Years pouring orange juice all over the kitchen table
is one of the priceless rock and roll moments. I enjoyed This Is Spinal Tap
over and over again because it's so close to reality.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <b4a704d5.3571716b@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 11:04:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Black Music

>Many thanks to Don Parker for his spirited reply to my first
>contribution. I'll even go as far as to say that he made some reasonable
>points, but I can't pretend that I'm not disappointed by the tone of Don's
>reply.
>
>Firstly, I am sorry to hear that you belong to the masses of people who
>consider Hip Hop to lack imagination. Without being too condascending (and
>it is hard in the circumstances), I would suggest that you should perhaps
>listen to a great deal more "rap" music before you dismiss,

  Rap/hip-hop interested me from a distance in the 80's; the last hip-hop
group that seemed original as well as intelligent to me was Public Enemy. I
haven't heard any since then that's interested me much. I approve of it as
"street art" that anyone can do, which is what early rock and roll and later
punk was supposed to be about until the record companies decided they could
make some money from it. Same thing with black urban street sounds(I
hesitate to call rap/hip-hop music. I don't think it was intended to be
music in the first place). Rap is falling prey to the same conventions and
cliches that rock fell prey to in the 70's which punk rose up to smash and
reinvent.

  Just so it doesn't seem like I'm singling out the black urban scene I have
the same problem with white popular music these days. It seems everything's
looking backwards, aside from the electronic/techno craze that's going
around.  Even with that, though, it's nothing that Kraftwerk didn't do
better with more primitive equipment twenty-five years ago. I've never been
more depressed with popular music in general in my life. At least the grunge
scene of a few years ago attempted something new, even though it eventually
became a parody of itself. Since then rock and roll's been
compartmentalising itself into rehashing something old in a (hopefully)new
way, which I have no problem with as far as my individual taste is
concerned(hey, any band that sounds like The Beatles is fine by me anytime).

  That said, there's still plenty of new music out there I enjoy, but most
of it sounds like what I grew up with(or, in the case of XTC, IS what I grew
up with), only not quite as good. I do notice many of the few original bands
I've heard lately have at least a slight Celtic feel to what they're doing,
so maybe that's the wave of the future. Celtic rock for the 21st century!
Might as well explore my WASP roots like my black brothers are exploring
theirs.

Chris

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

From: Jdmack01@aol.com
Message-ID: <5d0b05a.3571d960@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 18:27:43 EDT
Subject: Regarding Chalkhills Originals

Dear Friendly Folks,

I've been reading the posts about "Chalkhills Originals" out of the corner
of my eye, and I would like to offer a suggestion to every member of this
community.  If your Internet Service Provider offers you web site space, and
you have original music you would like the world to hear, then encode your
muisc into RealAudio files, and put them on your site!  For an example of
how this can be done, please visit my page at
http://members.aol.com/jdmack01, and choose "Meaningful Lather, The Album."
I've been told by a few people that my song "She's Bizarre" sounds very
XTC-ish.

J.D. Mack

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

Message-ID: <01BD8D49.F45FF3E0@h210.s253.ts32.hinet.net>
From: Macgyver <tonikuo@ms10.hinet.net>
Subject: I'm white and I'm proud!
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 10:42:18 +0800

Whew!  Next time I delurk after a six month hiatus (and after
one or two changes of software) I'll make sure I know exactly
how my e-mail message will show up on Chalkhills.  For, in
the last digest I discovered, to my horror, that the drivel written
by "Dom" was not properly separated from my response to
said drivel.  Meaning that somebody might ascribe his words
to me.

So I'll do it right this time.

I delurk for a moment and respond to:

>  Much as I've enjoyed discovering a world of fellow XTC fans, I have
> been a little disturbed by the somewhat narrow musical view shared by many
> of you.

Having a "somewhat narrow musical view" is indeed disturbing.  I think we're
finally starting to dig to the marrow of what's wrong with the people on
this list, and it took a newcomer to point it out for us.  Let's unshackle
ourselves from the chains of our stifling sonic esthetic, and find room to
breathe in the heady vistas of other musical genres, shall we?

> As a proud fan of heavy metal, hip hop, various strands of dance music and
> pretty much anything with imagination, I'm puzzled as to why everyone seems
> to be solely into white, commercial, adult-orientated pop music, albeit of
> an often vaguely quirky nature.

I'm puzzled too.  I'll tell you what, Dom.  I'll shift into another literary
genre (nifty, huh?) for the explanation.  It's like this...

I don't t'ink d'eese people are like you and me... I don't t'ink dey get it.
And you know why?  Dey ain't... PROUD.  Not like you and me.  We got pride.
We like hip hop.

>  Acoustic guitars are not necessarily a prerequisite for good music, and nor
> is sounding like The Beatles.  TMBG are a prime example. This is what
> conservative people consider to be "left of centre" music. The term
> "alternative" is redundant and has been for years, and it's no wonder, if
> people won't broaden their minds beyond catchy tunes and "things that sound
> a bit like XTC".

I like you, Dom.  You ain't like d'eese narrow-minded low-lifes.  I bin
waitin' for someone like you tah come along so's I could blow d'is popstand.
Tell ya what, let's you and me start our own list.  None 'ah d'is
narrow-minded CRAPOLA fer us, huh?  Nah, we're gonna start our own list.
And I got just da name fer it.

BROADEN DA MIND

Accent on da "broad", if ya know what I mean (wink).  Cause you and me,
we know broads don't go fa dis XTC too much.  And we ain't gonna have
no rules neidah, 'cept maybe you can't bring up dis "alternative" word.
You say dat word, and you out.

Chalkhills!  Cripes...  losers....

Regards,

Don
(and our names are almost the same!  Fate?)

[Attachment omitted, unknown MIME type or encoding (application/ms-tnef)]

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

From: MFa2707621@aol.com
Message-ID: <685486a2.35722770@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 00:00:34 EDT
Subject: Grass

Chalkers,

I just got the video for GRASS, and I was wondering who that "woman" with the
blonde hair is?  Is it one of the members of XTC in drag?  It sort of looks
like Colin, but I don't know.

Also, I like almost all types of music, not just XTC.  If you want to check
out my Music List go to my web page at members.tripod.com/~MollyFa/index.html.
You'll see how eclectic my music tastes are.

Bye for now.

Molly

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

Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 11:46:01 +0100 (BST)
From: Chris Clee <cmc@sanger.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: xtc demos
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.980601114354.27232B-100000@piranha>

being that i've been lurking about here for a year or so now, i was
wondering how to obtain a copy of the fabled demos from the forthcoming
album as i would be most interested to hear them,

thanks for reading

chris

******************************************
Chris Clee

email cmc@sanger.ac.uk

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

Message-Id: <3.0.32.19980601112804.0069058c@acton.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 11:28:06 -0500
From: Dave Ledbetter <dbetter@acton.com>
Subject: Musical Taste?

>From Dom Lawson:
>It's sad enough that as people get older they lose the ability to listen to
>anything remotely challenging or imaginative, but Jesus Christ Superstar???
>This is too much - I sincerely hope we get a good explanation! Aside from
>the obvious fact that anything Lloyd Webber does is vile by definition, what
>the lushly-carpeted arse is an XTC fan doing recommending such pitiful
>drivel. Mendelson's Greatest Hits I can do without, thank you very much.
>Go away and listen to "Travels In Nihilon" for fuck's sake.

I happen to like everything done by Andrew Lloyd-Webber.  Pure Joy.

In the prior digest, Mr. Dom Lawson said:
>"(iii) Much as I've enjoyed discovering a world of fellow XTC fans, I have
>been a little disturbed by the somewhat narrow musical view shared by many
>of you...."

So which is it Mr. Lawson?  Narrow views are O.K., so long as they're yours?

Finally, the last digest has Mr. Lawson saying:
>My complaint was that a very narrow view of music was being
>expressed in the digest, and that I find this puzzling. I don't want
>everyone to like the same thing as me - I couldn't really give a shit - I
>just expected a bigger variety of views.

It seems to me that Chalkhills is a digest for XTC fans.  Many different
bands have been mentioned here in the time I've been on the list.  However,
it makes sense that bands most resembling XTC would be most talked about on
the XTC digest.  This is not the Rock and Roll history digest.

The Web is a wonderful thing.  Somewhere out there is probably a digest
which you would like.

One more thing, Mr. Lawson.  At last count there were more than 1200
INDIVIDUALS receiving Chalkhills.  You might keep this fact in mind before
issuing blanket statements about our musical tastes.

Long live XTC.

David

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

From: StarlingV@aol.com
Message-ID: <6d98115.3572d693@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 12:28:02 EDT
Subject: AOL Skylarking Chat

Hi-

I hardly ever post here on Chalkhills, but I do read every digest; and as
I've spotted a few AOL addresses, I thought I'd extend this invite.

Anyone with an AOL account or access who's interested in joining a
Skylarking listening party on Tuesday evening (10 pm eastern time) is
welcome to join me and a few Elvis-Costello mailing-list pals in one of the
AOL chat rooms.  We've cycled through all of Elvis' albums twice this year,
you see, and so are branching out into other artist's areas.  XTC is a fave
for many of us.

For directions on how to get to the chat room (which we'll open in the
Members section of the Arts and Entertainment category and call
"Skylarking"), take a look at the AOLvis Chat Home Page

http://members.aol.com/starlingv/aolvis.htm

Or just send me e-mail and I can answer questions and help you out.

Thanks,
Janis (StarlingV)

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

From: "Dr. Foulger" <damian@ceolasers.com>
Organization: Cutting Edge Optronics, Inc.
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 09:42:55 -0600
Subject: Re: Just about everyone
Message-Id: <19980601093910.04e6da5a.in@ceo.ceolasers.com>

Chalkhills used to be such a polite list.

We had discussions rather than vitriolic messages of whose music
taste is better than anyone else's and who is a better fan than
anyone else.  Can't we just discuss XTC's music and various
off-shoots?  Civil-like?

Dames tWd

* ------------------------------------------------
'People will always wipe their feet on anything
with welcome written on it.' - AP

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

Message-ID: <211D4A0926D2D011859E0060972D8848462683@azmail.rjconsult.com>
From: "Miller, Ed" <emiller@rjconsult.com>
Subject: Meeting with our hero, Richard P-A
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 11:20:51 -0600

Hi, all...

I've been absent from posting lately, but now have something quite
worthwhile to report.

A business trip took me to San Jose, CA last week and provided the
opportunity to meet Richard Pedretti-Allen for the first time.  Although
we have exchanged countless emails and a few telephone conversations, it
was great to have the opportunity to meet Richard and his lovely family
in person.

I won't go into detail about the number of microbrews or glasses of red
wine we consumed or the details of the several hours of XtC and non-XtC
related ramblings, but I will say this.  I've only meet a couple of
Chalkers in person so far, but my in-person meetings (along with other
interactions) serve as undeniable verification that the folks on this
list are some of the most upstanding, intelligent, creative and humorous
people I've ever met.  I look forward to meeting more of you soon.

Thanks, Richard and to you all....

Ed

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

Message-Id: <2.2.32.19980601175228.006e97a0@popmail.dircon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 18:52:28 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <nonsuch@dircon.co.uk>
Subject: Tours Of London

Hi gang,

A little late in coming, I suppose, but some people prefer it that way.
Massing waves of respect and gratitude are directed towards Tim Kendrick,
gracious host and organiser of the London Chalkhills gathering, an event
which not only allowed me to indulge myself in endless XTC monologues
(things which make my posts seem interesting in comparison), but which was
also a catalyst for the mutually long-awaited meeting between me and the
numinous Becki diGregorio.

To begin with there was the train journey from Newcastle to London -
purgatory; I was sharing a table with two men who used phrases like
"careerwise", "jumping ship", "touching base" and who both clutched headed
paper from the "International Society of Organisations".  Thank Sony for the
personal stereo.

Once in London I paid eight pounds for a guided tour of the local traffic
jam by a balding psychotic with rudimentary motor skills; I only started to
feel even remotely safe in the taxi when I contrasted my position with that
of the cyclists - _cyclists_ - who ducked in and around the seething steel
beasts.  As one cyclist to another I doff my helmet to you, and then hurl it
at your misguided heads - you are a suicidal menace and you added at least
two pounds to my cab fare by taunting my driver into chasing you up blind
alleys out of spite.  I would no more ride a bike in central London than sew
my lips to a diseased duck.

My initial meeting with Becki went perfectly - we clicked like a waltzing
skeleton - and, after an exchange of gifts, some lunch and a little light
tourism we met up with Steve Clarke for a rather splendid meal in Manoram
(is that right Steve?), a Thai restaurant in Maiden Lane.  A real treat,
thanks Steve - my only previous experience of Thai food had been sucking
chip fat out of my neck wear - we enjoyed that very much.  The wearing
effects of travel had taken their toll on both Becki and I and, knowing we
had a full evening ahead of us on Saturday, we had to wimp out on Steve and
return to the hotel early.  Ah yes, the hotel - the architectural missing
link between a tithe-barn and the murkier areas of the Bastille.  The razor
power point by the mirror didn't work and the only other power outlet in the
room was over at the far side.  So I had to shave a bit, walk across to the
mirror, memorize which bits needed shaving, go and shave, check back and so
on.  This took a long time.

More sightseeing on Saturday and then, a little after the appointed time
(Becki and I had been looking at the old Assyrian relics - as featured on
her CD cover *buy it* *buy it* *buy it* - in the British museum and had been
laid low with hysterics after hearing an American tourist ask; "Say, do you
have the Rosetta Stone in English?"), we made our way to the Langham Hilton.
As casual as slippers we stood before this spectacular edifice to swankery
and expenditure.  F**k, we thought, they'll think we've come to steal the
silverware.  Becki, clothed in best plaid and denim maxime-relaxorama
threads, approached the pink faced young man with the top hat who stood
guard at the door.  "Is this the Langham Hilton?"  "Yes Madam."  Madam?!
Oh, we're _doomed_.  In we went.  A gathering of finely-dressed
young-and-wonderfuls stood at the top of the stairs.  Our note from Tim said
that he'd booked the Elgar Suite for the afternoon.  There was no sign for
the Elgar Suite.  The fearless Becki strode on, "We'll ask", she said.  And
there you have the difference between the English and Americans - I felt
like I was simply in the wrong place, that I should apologise to _everyone_
and then leave, hurling myself bodily under the first bus I saw to cover my
shame.  We approached the desk - looking like a plumber's convention - much
to the horror of the girl behind it who was _very_ helpful, tracking Tim's
booking down to another room and then escorting us directly to the lift (do
not pass go, do not speak to anyone, try to look like you're not here) and
making quite sure that we were out of public view as soon as possible.

The room was easily found, the door bulging out with each beat of the XTC
music it strained to hold back.  Already assembled when we arrived were Tim
our gracious host, Andy Miller, Steve Clarke, Phil Hetherington, Mick Casey
and my old pal Dan Prendiville.  It's always odd meeting people you've
emailed - Dan and Steve I'd met before, but the others I hadn't, even though
there had been certain previous exchanges of email and contraband.  As usual
I'd forgotten my camera (I should nail it to my eye).  Conversation flowed
pretty free and easy and the subjects trailed around all aspects of XTC and
off into the murky foothills of other subjects as movies ("XTC are the Orson
Welles' of the music industry.  Discuss." - and we _did_) a very rough poll
showing that the favourite movie of all right-thinking XTC fans is Powell
and Pressburger's "A Matter Of Life And Death" (known as "Stairway To
Heaven" in the USA).  As you can imagine, with three hours of so of
wide-ranging conversation a lot of ground was covered and little of what was
said will translate well into the written word - what I _can_ report
faithfully, though, is a happy gathering, with plenty of enthusiasm and
laughter.  About halfway through the afternoon Bob Prowse arrived and joined
the fun.

Thereafter we left the hotel, trekking on to the Spaghetti house, a journey
which we made with such efficiency that we arrived with 45 minutes to spare
and thus were forced to sample various ales in a nearby establishment.  Poor
Andy Miller!  Having already decided that he would be unable to attend the
evening meal he bought a full round of drinks as his contribution to the
continuing festivities.  Then, in a moment of utter madness, he called home
and declared his intention to stay the distance.  Hope you didn't get into
too much trouble, Andy...

The conversation and theorising continued at the Spaghetti house, where we
partook of food and fine wines ("we want cake") and warmly greeted the
arrival of Neville Farmer.  Neville happily turned out to be as nice as guy
in person as he had over the phone - friendly, open, informative and -
though obviously protective of his friendship with the band - enlightening
in respect of band politics and studio procedures, etc.  He brought some
excellent photographs of the band in action, covering - I think - the
recording of O & L, Nonsuch and the forthcoming album.  Just after Neville's
arrival, Tom Slack arrived and our number was complete.  The food was
wonderful - pasta and pesto, yeum - and our decision to move on coincided
exactly with the dying notes of a well-fed group rendition of "Punch And
Judy".  In the pub, Finnegan's Wake, we continued our conversation and
tippling, Neville coping very well with the the barrage of questions and
theories from all of us.

As always with these things there is never enough time to talk with everyone
as much as you'd like - I was so overawed at having my soul-sister Becki to
hand that I missed the chance to talk with the others quite as much, even
though we did bunch into groups towards the end of the evening; as the
gathering broke up I was concious of not having spent as much time as I
would have liked talking with Mick Casey and Andy Miller, fine fellows both.
I hardly got to speak to Neville either, but that was more by design - he's
already been subject to my dumb questions often enough, it was time for
other people to persecute him for a change.

To you all, it was great to see you; Becki and I both had a lot of fun
(she's curently still in residence at our house - I watched her play at an
open mic last night, which was nice).

Thanks again for all you hard work, Tim; everything went wonderfully - it
could only have been better if one or two other friends could have been
there - maybe next time, huh, Cheryl?

Bye y'all,

Simon

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
http://www.nonsuch.dircon.co.uk/bungalow.htm  (http://come.to/bungalow)
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."

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

From: "andy&shell" <andy.shell@virgin.net>
Subject: Wierd Tunings?
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 08:47:30 +0100
Message-ID: <19980602135918.AAA16496@x>

			Hello,
Recently a friend, not a chalker, asked these questions, to which I
couldn't answer.  Any of you more knowledgeable people help out please?

Love Shell

I had been paying more attention than usual to the
guitar parts, for example the intro to "Peter Pumpkinhead".
By the way, what do you reckon the second chord is?  It seems to go from
D major to "G-add9-with-some-other-notes", but WHAT notes?!?  I can't quite
get it right.  Do you know whether or not Gregory uses any weird tunings?

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

Subject: Re: listen to this record !!!
Organization: Harmonix Musick Systems
From: dfan@harmonixmusic.com (Dan Schmidt)
Date: 02 Jun 1998 14:19:30 -0400
Message-ID: <wkzpfvr7il.fsf@turangalila.harmonixmusic.com>

Lemoncurry <dieling@hrz1.uni-oldenburg.de> writes:
|
| For all of you who like brilliant pop music (and that means all of
| you, otherwise you wouldn't be on this list), check out this LP:
|
| Fantasma by Cornelius
|
| Cornelius is a japanese youngster who
| a) knows how to use his sampler to make you grin and dance,
| b) has the words: Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her in his booklet
|     without further explanations, under the ThankYou list,
| c) features Sean O'Hagan of High Llamas fame on the banjo,
| d) is cool.
|
| This record is really really good.

Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her is another Japanese band.  They
took the name from the XTC song, of course.

I didn't like Fantasma that much - the sampling was fun, but I thought
the songwriting was rather weak.  Lots of major seventh chords that
didn't go anywhere.

My favorite record of the year is the new Lotion album (with a telephone
icon).  I think it would appeal to fans of Black Sea era XTC.  Quirky
loud pop-rock, miles better than their last album, which was good but
not astounding like this one.

--
                 Dan Schmidt -> dfan@harmonixmusic.com, dfan@alum.mit.edu
Honest Bob & the                http://www2.thecia.net/users/dfan/
Factory-to-Dealer Incentives -> http://www2.thecia.net/users/dfan/hbob/
          Gamelan Galak Tika -> http://web.mit.edu/galak-tika/www/

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

From: PeyRC@aol.com
Message-ID: <e66f17f2.35746b5a@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 17:15:01 EDT
Subject: Is it just me?

>With the exception of Zappa's Freak Out (double and debut) album, name a
>multi-album worth owning (barring collections)

Surely someone MUST have already mentioned "English Settlement" ?

Pete

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #4-88
******************************

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