Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-9

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 9

                 Friday, 17 October 1997

Today's Topics:

              What I'd like / Accessibility
                      Solo Together
                       XTC on TheDJ
         A bit obvious, but I couldn't resist...
             More On (not moron) Guitar Solos
               Are we not men? We are XTC!
                   About those solos...
                      Hayden Bendall
               Which demos will go missing?
                     Prince of Orange
                'there she blows,' indeed.
                       Chili beans
       Yes, I'm back, the shit has been stirred....
                      Stage left...
                    One more thing....
                         My Oh My
                   roches & poosies (?)
                      Lost In Music
           The Post of Laughter and Forgetting


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Yes you'll know when it's time to change gear.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: What I'd like / Accessibility
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 13:25:57 -0400

As is my habit, I'm posting on what everyone was saying a fortnight
ago. "I'd Like That" grabs me with the opening line in each verse:

I'd like that, if we could cycle down some lane,
I'd like that, if we could lay before my fire,
I'd like that, if we could float away in bed,

Starts out measured and simple, giving each an equivalence in the
singer's mind. (You can even call it "romantic".) The first verse is
childlike--hey, let's go get wet in the rain--but the others only
sound right from somebody of a certain age or experience. It'd be
much different, and of lesser impact, coming from a 20-year-old.

>[Ben Gott] I'm very happy...I just shelled out a measly $4.00
>to buy a used copy of Nonsuch in which was hidden the infamous "If
>those dollars are burning a hole in your pocket, Andy tells you
>how to rationalize the musical universe."

Wow, does this make mine a collectible?! My very first!

>[Maryanne] I would like some recommendations on the following
>CD's: Go-2, Mummer, and Big Express..anyone recommend any others?

Don't have Go 2, but I heartily recommend Mummer and TBE. My key
adjectives are "reflective" and "off-kilter", respectively. As for
the collections, others here know more than I. Curiously enough, I
have a related experience. Sunday, after determining in about 5 secs.
that all available radio stations fell short of my desire merely
not to be irritated, I put on English Settlement. My fellow cat-
owner started singing along to "No Thugs" as I stared in rapt
amazement. Wow, she's learning the words! "This was the last
thing Hugh Padgham did before producing 'Synchronicity'" I informed
her, Sting fan that she is. "So is this one considered their most
accessible album?" I was asked. "Well, my favorite is 'Skylarking'"
I responded, then thought: Birds tweeting, buzzing bees, crackling
fires, 7/4 time. All things with which a recording screams
"understand me seamlessly without an iota of effort" ;-).

So here's the question rephrased: XTC have made albums all over the
place. What record do you put in the centermost of their map?

And Harrison, I knew somebody was going to bring up Old Metal Head Pat
Boone. The odds were 3-2 that you'd be it and I collected handsomely.
For my money, the culprit is Oscar Hammerstein II. With Show Boat,
the highbrows started writing in slang speech, leading to the downfall
of da Englidge langridge. Get that lowering influence off the stage!
Where are Gilbert & Sullivan when you really need them ;-)?

Old Man River, that Old Man River,
He must know something but doesn't say anything,


Date: 16 Oct 97 13:44:49 +0000
Subject: Solo Together
From: "David vanWert" <>
Message-Id: <B06BCADA-712E9@>

On Wed, Oct 15, 1997 6:22 PM, (David Friel) wrote:
> Don't you geeks have anything better to do than microanalyze a 20-something
> second guitar solo? Is it
> against some sort of pop songwriting convention to have a solo, god forbid
> played by more than one person, that lasts longer than, say, 5 seconds???

An answer to question #1: This list is for people with a very focused
interest so the answer is no-- just as philatelist geeks have nothing
better to do than discuss stamps in great detail. If you find it
bothersome, please research the many resources available on the 'net
because something more to your taste is certainly out there. You may wish
to check out the fun over on alt.namecalling.

An answer to question #2: A solo exceeding five seconds in length is
sometimes acceptable, but a solo played by more than one person is not.
I'll leave it to Merriam, Webster, et al, to explain why.

David vanWert

"I hate quotations."  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1849


Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 12:15:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: Randy Posynick <>
Subject: XTC on TheDJ
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9710161156.A28301-0100000@netcom21>

Unlike most "xtc on the radio" reports that show up here, I'll bet the
majority of you can actually check this station out.  There's a web site
called TheDJ (at, appropriately enough) which offers 50
online radio stations.  Basically, if you have a 28K+ internet connection,
RealAudio 3, and a decent computer, you can receive continuous music just
like a radio.  (Wow, ain't that internet somethin'!) Anyway, the 50
stations they offer are categorized by genre, ranging from Showtunes to
Punk.  I was tuned into the Alt. Classics station this morning at work and
in the span of an hour they played "Scarecrow People" and "Cynical Days"!
I don't know if the (song) programming is generated randomly or actually
chosen by a dj.  Either way, it was cool to hear them twice in an hour....

Randy "not affiliated with _TheDJ_ " Posynick


From: Squidly <>
Subject: A bit obvious, but I couldn't resist...
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 97 22:17:16 GMT

  "Wondering if Uebercalifragilistikexpialidoschlich is a Word"

Hmmmm......the sound of it is something QUITE precocious!

Will Poppins.......


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 14:25:54 -0700
From: James McGowan <>
Subject: More On (not moron) Guitar Solos

In Chalkhills Volume 4, Number 8, Mark Stevenson ( wrote:

> Hard though some of
> you may find this to stomach - David Gilmour is one of my favourite
> guitarists - because there is melody and beauty in his notes (for me). The
> guitar solo anti-lobby are not listening to the music, they are listening to
> an internal prejudice. "Oh no! A guitar solo. EVIL!". The solos on the end
> of Books are Burning are quite stunningly beautiful. They are *music*. And
> if XTC decided to produce a concept album with all one side made up of a
> single song then I'd buy it as would all of you.

Rave on, Mark.  I'm a long time fan of Gilmour's myself, though I generally
hated most of the Floyd's post-Dark Side material.  He's a lyricist with
six strings, ya know?  The Books are Burning solo is similar in many ways
to a Dave Gilmour solo: It's structured and *builds* throughout.

As a guitar player, I've always looked at the "guitar break" as a useful
compositional device:  After several verses/choruses, insert a solo (OK,
not necessarilly a guitar either) to give the listener a moment to chew on
what's been said in the lyrics.  Typical XTC example: In the bridge to
Towers of London, (er, the bridge in the song, that is) after Andy belts
out one of my all-time favorite lines "clear as children's chalk lines on
the paving" (fits well into this group, no?), Dave follows with a simple,
multi-tracked lead break that makes the song positively soar.  High drama
in a three minute pop song.  What more do you want?

James McGowan 
CMS Corporation
Los Angeles, CA


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 14:34:49 +0000
Subject: Are we not men? We are XTC!

Hi...(Well, actually, we're all DEVO, but this is the _XTC_ mailing
list, isn't it..)

> From: Cheryl <>
> You know I have never sniffed any of my CD's, which consist mostly of
> XTC, when I have purchased them.  Is that really recommended to get
> the full affect of THE NEW CD?  I might just give it a go come May.
> Is there a special way to approach the sniff job?  Any comments
> appreciated.  : )
I don't know... I usually just sort of smell it as I open it... break
seal, take off all that blasted plastic, try to open the case, find I
missed a bunch of plastic, remove that, try again, inhale and enjoy.

So, what's with all the plastic?  8)

> From: Jason Legacy <>
> This will be nice and mercifully short(I hope). I stopped listening to
> They Might Be Giants a few years back (something definately changed in
> their music once they started using real musicians more, though I love
> Tony Maimone's bass work, in particular). Therefore, could someone please
> print the lyrics to this "XTC vs Adam Ant" song? They've probably been
> printed here before, but one more time wouldn't hurt, would it? As a fan
> of both XTC and TMBGs I've been curious for some time. Thanks. Oh yeah,
Ah, at the risk of making a plug for my page, I'll make a plug for
my page.  You can find the lyrics to XTC V. Adam Ant, and all other
released TMBG songs (and quite a few unreleased) at my lyric site:

XTC v. Adam Ant was on the album Factory Showroom, released in
1996... so that's where it'll be on the big list...  Oh yeah, I'm
really proud of the new URL!

> From:
> I think somebody mentioned this in 'Hills recently:
> If you consult the liner notes to "GO2", there you will find Haydn Bendall
> credited as an engineer. What goes around comes around.....
So, I'm just curious... did the vinyl version of Go2 have a nice
colour booklet like the CD case alluded to?  I haven't seen a vinyl
copy around here yet, so I can't pick one up...8( I'm just curious to
the packaging, other than the poster... anyway...

 Ah well, that's this world over....

     -=>Matt Keeley<=-
Living Through | Visit my home page
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak
(ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)


Date: Thu, 16 Oct 97 14:32:25 PST
From: "MARK HEGGEN" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: About those solos...

I thought it seemed pretty obvious that the triple-guitarist interchange on
"Books are Burning" was a tip of the hat to the same on "The End" on ABBEY
ROAD, rather than the sort of 15-minute progressive rock wire-twanging that
annoys most of us...


Message-ID: <>
From: Martin & Jamie Monkman <>
Subject: Hayden Bendall
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 17:52:14 -0700

After David Gershman tells us that Hayden Bendall was an engineer for Pat
Metheny, Ben Gott chimes in with:

>If Haydn produced a Pat Metheny album, he's alright with me. Yes, yes,
>we've already had this discussion -- "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita
>Falls" is a masterpiece. (My brother is going to see the Group in
>Houston in November...He's hoping to get backstage...)

Uhhm, Bendall was an engineer on Metheny's "Secret Story" album.  The bulk
of the album was recorded at the Power Station studio in NYC, but the
orchestral overdubs were done at Abbey Road ... and it was for the
orchestral sessions that our Mr. Bendall was the engineer.  The album was
produced by Metheny, with a trio of co-producers and associate producers
(none of whom were Bendall).

The "As Falls Wichita..." album was produced by Mr. ECM Records, Manfred



Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 15:11:36 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <v01540b08b06d312beb15@[]>
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: varia

gregory <> sez: (BTW - is that your surname?)

>Re: Amanda bashing:
>Ooooohhhhh! YEOW! Gettin' back to the ol' Chalkhills knock-down drag-out -
>YEEEEEEHAW!!!! Bash away, bash away, bash away all! I'm game!! YEAH!!

;) for my sake, won't you put your knuckles down, boy?

hey - this list has become somewhat heated lately, no? Let's all calm down
and behave like we're the smartest monkeys, huh?

Amanda says she can't imagine XTC singing "I don't know how to love him".
Why not? Perhaps with some tasteful accompaniment on the French trombone...

James (or "tacit, I hate gas, aroma of foam, or a sage Tahiti cat!", as J
Artecona might say)


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Which demos will go missing?
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 97 22:02:10 -0000
From: Della & Steve Schiavo <>

Jim asked:
>Are we sure all of the demo songs we have are going to be recorderd for the

We can be sure that all of the demo songs *won't* be on the album(s) -
that's the torture, eh?  If the plan holds up, only half will be of the
orchestral type (like the demos) and the rest will be guitary.  And are
there not more orchestral songs that are not on the tape?

So that's ten orchestral songs.  Eight for Andy and two for Colin?
That's seven strikes off the demo tape already - and I've been thinking
that Andy might be less inclined to vote for some of the songs already in
circulation, just to make things more of a surprise?

Anybody in the know?

- Steve

(If I hit the lotto this Saturday, I promise that I'll offer to
underwrite the other seven songs the guys wanted to do).


Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 21:08:11 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Prince of Orange


Is anybody else reminded of Roger Miller's "King of the Road" when you
listen to "Prince of Orange"?  Or am I the only one?

	-- John


Message-Id: <l03020900b06cab15abdb@[]>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 02:24:11 -0400
From: aka Louise <>
Subject: 'there she blows,' indeed.

Amanda - *i'm* completely finished. i should think that there was nothing
left to say on the subject, especially considering the fact that everyone
seems to have gotten the point. whether or not it was the same point i was
trying to make is another matter entirely.

[from "Roger 'the masturbation agitator' (or was that just 'the
masturbator'?) McDonald" <>:]

>Cor Blimey! Bring the petrol, Amanda's done it again! Didn't take long.

(playful rant snipped)

why, Roger, do you know what you are? a national treasure. much better than
Crocodile Dundee. Australia's answer to Harrison Sherwood. Or Sherwood
Harrison, for that matter. speaking of which,

>P.S. Hey Sherwood Harrison, right on, right on, right on! Tell it like
>it is, BABY!

LOL - i couldn't agree more.

as usual, John Relph's soothing subliminal messages of calm via the lyric
quotes probably contributed as much as anything to the simmering down of
the battle. but let's hope he doesn't get to "War Dance"! (thrown in to
tease the Colin-worshippers)

[From "The Kid" <>:]

{someone great but nameless wrote:}

>Anyway, you Chalkoids who wonder why some people are violently opposed
>to the guitar solos in "Books Are Burning" have got to understand: There
>are some of us who have deeply distressing memories of the Seventies,
>who consider the extended guitar jam to be the emblem and incarnation of
>lazy, time-filling, clock-punching, beer-sucking, fog-brained Seventies
>Don't you geeks have anything better to do than microanalyze a
>>20-something second guitar solo?  I wasn't sure if you were talking about
>>the solos in "Books are Burning" or "Freebird" from your melodramatic

a) no. that is why we subscribe to chalkhills.

b) duh, i think that was sort of like, the point. the writer was saying
that "Books Are Burning" *sounds* a lot more like "Freebird" than like "Hey
Jude" (which would be an example of "Good Seventies Music," which is
alarmingly small in proportion to the rest of the music of the decade,
which in turn is called "Unrepentant Pathetic Garbage" [aka the Eagles]).
my own thought on the matter is that XTC were aiming for late Beatles -
what they got instead was ELO.

>Is it against some sort of pop songwriting convention to have a solo, god
>>forbid played by more than one person, that lasts longer than, say, 5
>>seconds??? Perhaps it's time to liberate yourself from the parameters of
>>"the perfect 3-minute pop song."

no one said anything about pop songwriting conventions - and if someone had
it probably would have been pointed out that XTC in general and AP in
particular have probably broken more of them than they've kept, especially
since _English Settlement_. if anything what we're talking about here is
_classic rock_ conventions, which are not only far cheesier to begin with
but far more difficult to pay homage to without resorting to pop
conventions or lame cliches.

i agree with whoever said that Barry Andrews added something different when
he came aboard for his brief and troubled stay, but i don't think it was
necessarily the pop - certainly the first half of _Go 2_ is short and sharp
enough. actually i think his contribution was to make things catchier, as
if Andy needed any help in that department - "My Weapon" and "Super-Tuff",
despite their lyrical belly-flops, are catchy as all hell, and even Andy's
avant-garde explorations (namely "Battery Brides") are more melodic.

			- brookes
		          who has a love/hate relationship with songwriting
R. Brookes McKenzie                             aka Louise B. Minetti
"Conditions during the tea hour, the marquee having having stood all day
under a blazing sun, were generally such that Shadrach, Mesach
and Abednego, had they been there, could have learned something about
burning fiery furnaces." - P. G. Wodehouse, _Plum's Peaches_


Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 04:54:31 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Chili beans

Oh my god............ I'M POSTING!
Ok, got that out of my system. Here it goes..........

Me and a friend of mine where listening to Nonsuch a little while ago. We
where arguing about what Dave (?) says in about the middle of Wrapped in
Grey. It's right after "Drab and dragging dreams made of slate". I think
he's saying something, but I don't know what it is. My friend said that he's
probably just scat singing. Does anyone know what it really is?

One other thing before I forget..............
The guitar solos in Books are Burning are great! I don't know how you can
think they suck. What does suck is the ending to Garden of Earthly Delights.



Message-Id: <l03020902b06d0984260a@[]>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 09:32:02 -0400
From: Natalie Jacobs <>
Subject: Plunderwall

Matt John sayeth,

>Almost bought English Settlement last night but opted for Beck instead.
>D'oh!  [snip]  Anyway, if anyone wants to email me and
>instruct me to kick myself for not getting that disc you can do it.

Well, Beck is way cool, but "English Settlement" is utterly fucking
brilliant, so you probably should be kicking yourself a bit - just go easy
on yourself.  :)

Patrick Adamek, swinging intellectual, remarked,

>I'd like to know if anyone else has shared in this frustration, or maybe
>do I need to listen more closely to Oasis?!

I don't like Oasis either - I find them monotonous and cliched, their
lyrics are terrible, and they constantly recycle their own ideas until
every song becomes a carbon copy of the previous song.  It seems odd the
way critics will freely admit this, yet go on to praise Oasis as utterly
brilliant.  As for Oasis being a "successor to the Beatles," if copping the
Beatles' riffs and being super-popular means you've been handed the
Beatles' torch, then I guess Oasis fit the bill.  Obviously talent doesn't
factor in to this equation.  As for XTC, although they are not necessarily
trailblazers or innovators the way the Beatles were, they are certainly
closer to that high standard than Oasis are.  Why haven't they been praised
for this?  For the same ineffable reasons they've never gotten popular -
whatever those reasons may be.

Duellin' guitar solos:  Gotta go with Sugarhips on this one.  I enjoy
hearing Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd trade licks, but XTC are masters of
brief, to-the-point solos (e.g. the aforementioned classy little number in
"Supergirl") and I'd prefer not to hear them do extended jams, especially
in "Books are Burning," a song I dislike anyway - sort of adding insult to

Whilst searching for Chills websites (James Dignan, are you listening?) I
came across a long interview with my future husband, Chills head honcho
Martin Phillipps, in which, among other things, he discusses working with
Daves Gregory and Mattacks on the latest Chills album, "Sunburnt."  The URL

I, too, have been trying to imagine that stunning moment when I get the new
XTC album home and listen to it for the first time... the sheer bliss of
hearing "River of Orchids" without a layer of tape hiss is almost
inconceivable.  I'm wondering what the cover art will look like - it's hard
to imagine holding the CD when I can't see the cover art in my mind's eye;
I have a blurred image of something very dense and elaborate and colorful
(sort of like the music itself).

I wonder what songs they're going to leave off?  I'm gloomily certain
they're going to leave off at least one song that I really like... It's not
a matter of putting on the 15 Andy demos that have been circulating plus 5
Colin songs; Andy has been writing a lot of songs since then and I'm sure
those will get higher priority than the older material.  Man, if they leave
off "The Green Man" they'd better have something damn brilliant to put in
its place.  I'm sure they will, but still...

ObSouth Park: "Cartoons kick ass!"


p.s.  Note for the humor-impaired: Martin Phillipps is not my future
husband.  He is, however, a brilliant songwriter and is quite cute.  Please
refer to for
more details on the latter.


Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 08:34:42 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Yes, I'm back, the shit has been stirred....
Message-id: <>

and it's now simmering over low heat mixed in with a little piss and some

To whoever asked: the difference in the XTC vids is that the American
version is a bit more censored than the Australian one I saw. In the
Australian one, we actually get to see the Marilyn-type women's butt,
whereas we don't (thankfully) in the American one.

Here's my $.02 on the "Books Are Burning" solos.....whenever I hear Dave's
parts start up, I turn the volume as loud as it will go. Yeah, that's about
it.  Anyhoo, I've always quite loved them. I felt it was a great way to end
the album, sort of a "As the band sinks majestically in the West....."-type
thing.  I can see them all gathered round a bonfire, watching people toss
books into it, books like "The Catcher In the Rye" and "Go Ask Alice", with
grim expressions on their faces. (Damn this song could've had a great video
to it.)

I Can't Own Her-It's still a favorite of mine from the new demos. Honestly,
I LIKE the contradictions betweens SONGS, this one and "Your Dictionary". In
ICOH, he's so wistfull, sort of wishing on a star, and in YD, he's
vindictive.  But that's our Andy, a contradiction in terms.

I'm still marvelling over my Little Expresses. I've put pen to paper and
wrote my own little captions on pictures that I felt were particularly
funny. (And blacked out a certain bottled blond's face in the Winter 1994
I will say this though....where the hell di Harry and Holly Partridge get
the blond hair from???????
Seeing pictures of Barry Andrews was a bit scary, however. That man looks
like an elf on acid!
It was rather nice to see some faces to match up with names that have become
familiar to me (Jerry Kaelin, Jim Zittel, Mark Fisher, and so forth and so

On another note, I FINALLY got to hear some of the sound files up on Mark
Mello's Little Lighthouse site. I loved Andy's Happy Birthday. If you
haven't heard it yet, get thee to the Little Lighthouse with all due haste!

Ramblingly yours,
Daemon est deus inversus
XTC songs of the day-Difficult Age
non XTC-Fly Like An Eagle-Steve Miller


Subject: Stage left...
Message-ID: <0017110000573770000002L102*@MHS>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 10:46:47 -0400

Stage right...

Haven't found much to comment about lately, so I figured I'd just wait in
the wings. But a couple of things in the latest issues piqued my interest.

Mike Myers noted, about the new producer:
> Also, he probably will play a big role in preproduction activities which
concentrate on several levels including orchestration and arrangement.
What I will be looking for is his involvement in song selection and track
order which a strong producer takes a big role in.  If we hear that he is
not a player during this phase, then I think that Andy's really in charge
and Bendall is just a producer in name only.<

Well, from what I know, English Settlement is a result of an arrangement
like that -- Hugh P. as co-producer/engineer -- so we can't go too far
wrong if that is indeed the case, eh?

About the solos -- I think some people have misinterpreted Master
Sherwood's post about Skynyrd and Books are Burning. His
tongue-in-cheek point was, I think, that people might be afraid that the
band could descend into that kind of self-indulgence, which we all know
will of course never happen but presents an amusing image nonetheless.
Can you imagine Dave with his guitar thrust out phallically, flicking his
tongue at a rapid-fire pace at the teenage groupies and french
trombonists in the audience as he and Andy trade, um,  licks in a
20-minute guitar battle? Of course not!  (Calm DOWN, Amanda!  ;^)

That's not to say that I wouldn't love to hear both Andy and Dave play
more and longer solos (and we can thank Becki for one recent example
of Dave's brilliance), but I think that we can trust them to know when to

Joshua mentioned Steve Howe and Starship Trooper as an example of a
long yet relevant solo. Also check out Perpetual Change (also on
Yessongs) for a brilliant Howe solo and Bill Bruford drum solo, and the
full-length version of America, the last song they did with BB.

Too bad Yes sucks so bad now.  :^)

And Harrison, if you think Skynyrd is scary, try these two words on for
size: MOLLY HATCHET    *shudder*

And the YazMan spake:
> We're playing Arlene Grocery in NYC on Oct. 20th at 9 p.m. Say Hi you
Chalkhill bastards!!! Don't be shy!<

Well, play the DeeCee area, ya Big Apple Bastid, and I will!!  ;^)

Mark Stevenson emphatically said:
>All music is good.<

Mark, I gotta agree with your other points -- including Gilmore's brilliance
despite his lack of pyrotechnics -- but I think you've gone a little too far
here. I think there are exceptions to this rule: William Shatner and Leonard
Nimoy have both recorded albums, remember?  ;^)

But it *is* true, IMO, that the more you love music, the more music you

And finally, though our editor-in-chief, Mr. John Relph rarely directly
weighs in on the content of this digest, I suggest you look at the last
couple of "quotes of the issue" to see what he thinks of all this



Subject: One more thing....
Message-ID: <0017110000574014000002L142*@MHS>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 11:09:51 -0400

All this talk about Bumper Cars got me wondering:

If everyone agrees it doesn't belong on the new album, how come every time I
read about it I can't get its melody out of my head for the next hour or so?
Huh? Well?



Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 16:34:27 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: My Oh My

Like many of you I have quite a selection of out-take and demo tapes lying
about the house. Most don't bear repeated listening - those that do, like
the fairly recent demos - Easter Theatre, Prince Of Orange, etc. - are
stowed away for fear of spoiling the taste of the album when it arrives.
But as I've been going through my tapes, cataloguing them and sifting out
the duplicates, a number of the early demos have stood out.  Prime among
these for me at the moment is "Young Cleopatra".

As far as I know there are two versions of this doing the rounds, the home
demo Andy recorded and made available on Jules Verne's Sketchbook and
another which sounds like a full band workout. The latter version is pure

Touching a slightly taboo area - it seems to be about a guy noticing the
burgeoning sexuality of his friend's school-age daughter - the song sparkles
with sporadically great lyrics and the pure essence of skewed-pop that's
marked much of the band's better work.

The guitar work is the scritchy-scratchy duelling-Martian-maestros style
that can be found on tracks like "Sgt. Rock" and "Wake Up", strange little
stabs of mutant chords owing more to percussive value than melodic
accompaniment.  A short phrase of pseudo-Eastern synth nods at the Egyptian
motif, but it's not over-egged - a touch of Barry Andrews-style organ, a la
"Are You Receiving Me" pops up in the middle eight, too.

Much of my joy in this song comes from remembrance of my time at school and
all the beautiful girls I _adored_ while I was there.  So many of the lines
ring true: "Your school uniform looks grey on others, but silver on you"
(Carol Buchanan, where are you now, you slinky beast? And Lynn
Straker...*sigh*).  And, in a marvellous bit of serendipity or
synchronicity, call it what you will, the song makes a tiny but unmistakable
nod to Adam And The Ants' "Stand And Deliver" a song that was very much
current when I was but a schoolboy, and a song we all tried to do the
wildest dance to in an effort to impress the girls (it doesn't bear thinking
about, does it?).  I don't know whether the "steal" was deliberate, but the
chorus is punctuated by a multi-vocal "Hoh!" in exactly the same way as the
Ants' song.  That tiny phrase is just enough to send me back to my school
days and _live_ the song; those youth-club discos, "my mate fancies your
mate", getting fettled in the bus queue for wearing the wrong T-shirt,
walking a girl home and sharing a bag of terrible chips in the rain.

It's a real lost-gem of a track, this.  A selection of prize lyrics would
include the school uniform reference above, and room would have to be found
for "Don't ever give your love for free, but then again don't ever let it be
sold." Okay, so some of the lines _do_ jar a little; "You have your teachers
in a trap, there's no age limit or no gap for who you set alight with fire
consuming," but on the whole it's a singalong bounce-fest, with a chorus
which begs to be bellowed throatily in a concert hall (*sigh* If only...)
The middle-eight does, to me, seem fairly reminiscent of the middle-eight in
"When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty", but that doesn't diminish the urge
I have to play air-guitar over the scale of chords which bring us back to a
version of the verse twisted slightly out of shape by some vintage
Andy-ranting. The vocal tricksiness continues to the fade, a quick-fire
repetition of "my oh my" that ceases to be words and becomes just noise
before ripping the word "Cleopatra" into its component syllables and
delivering them in near "muezzin" style (I'm guessing this "mantra" style
delivery is what Andy's referring to when he yells "Ok Krishna, light the
wick!" as the song closes), again slightly reminiscent of "When You're Near

I don't know if this is scheduled for the "Bootleg" album or not. I kind of
hope not, the ragged glory of the tape I have is just perfect and I suspect
the scratchiness and the looping gulps of vocal would get ironed out in the
studio. Andy did tell me that another of my favourites, "Obscene Procession"
is due to be recorded for the project, but again I have my worries about
this. It's so chaotic and the vocal is so different to the smoother sound
Andy is giving us these days. Will the mad edge be lost?

Are there any other favourites from the "likely to remain un-recorded" pile
out there?

My name is Simon, and I have a slight flaw in my character.

PS: See you soon, Cheryl my friend, and remember to bring your boots and
something waterproof ;)
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 18:11:20 +0000
Subject: roches & poosies (?)

A while back we were discussing the roches et al. I enjoyed their first one
and have sought without success the other Lp recorded with Robert Fripp ; is
it still available (starting in London , if not the UK) ?
 The first LP is great ; thanks for recommendations

The poosies
I know nothing about them but if the singing is what was discussed a few
months back ; I would appreciate recommendations

67 - through the looking glass
I was listening to Colin's Hermits track on this release with Pierre Menard
who mentioned a long forgotten classic oeuvre of this genre, the Hybrid
Kids' a classic bunch of mutants which come out on Cherry Red and contains
the definitive versions of many songs including Wuthering Heights by one Jah
Wurzel. He said he was thinking of revisiting La Monte Young and Tony

enjoy  the week

The views expressed are of the individual, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The United Bank of Kuwait PLC.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 20:59:39 -0700
Subject: Lost In Music

I have been lurking on this list for a while, but I am stepping out of
the shadows to ask two questions :-
	1. Have any of you read a very funny book by Giles Smith -"Lost
In Music" ? It`s the story of one man`s record collection and has a
number of interesting XTC and Martin Newell related stories. Giles Smith
is a fellow XTC fanatic and a friend of Newell - does anyone know him ?
	2. Who is the pratt who keeps shouting "Beatown!" in between the
songs on the BBC Radio One concert CD ? He really bugs me !



Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: The Post of Laughter and Forgetting
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 18:14:15 -0400

>From: gregory <>
>I don't think it's fair for you to belittle these 'geeks'
>because they found something to talk about.

Yes.... Happy talk, that's the ticket... Keep it cheerful, keep it
chirpy, words of less than one syllable, please... The Unbearable
Lightness of Chalkhills...

Which leads us neatly to...
>From: Mark Stevenson <>
>Subject: Inflammatory Posting
>I have been lurking on this list for a year now.

Ah. Have you.

> But more than XTC, I love music - in all it's forms. Music is my
>career, my one true love and it *annoys me* (hence this posting)

Say, Mark, I tell you what. Apply to the Chalkhills management, return
the unused portion of the digest, and I'm sure they'll be happy to
refund your purchase price in full. We employees of Chalkhills humbly
apologize to those audience members who feel that they have not received
full value for moneys tendered, and solemnly pledge that in future we
will do everything in our power to make sure that your entertainment
dollar gets you everything that was promised in the brochure.

Or, to put it a bit more bluntly: You want a better signal-to-noise
ratio, then post some signal, don't whine about noise. You want content,
then post some. You don't like the way an argument is going, then argue
back. This is a collective effort. We are not here performing for your
amusement, Mark.

> All music is good.

I'm sure you can't actually mean this. This must be some sort of
oversight; perhaps in the course of spreading the cleansing odor of
sanctimony and exorcising the demons of Chalkhills, your censer has
blown smoke into your eyes, temporarily blinding you.

Music is nothing but wiggling air molecules ((c) F. Zappa, 1990).
Nothing is inherently good or bad about wiggling air molecules. Any
value judgment about music is an artificial construct erected by the
listener and informed by tastes acquired through the interplay between
accumulated experiences and learned cultural values.The listener and
composer enter into an agreement whereby the composer is given temporary
permission to manipulate the listener's emotions, through invoking and
commenting on their shared culture and humanity. Without this agreement,
there can be no artistic dialog. If the composer's emotional
manipulation is coarse, or cynical, or unoriginal, or done in bad faith
or is dishonest or dissembling in some way, then the music is _bad_. If
the manipulation cuts off the dialog between the listener and the
composer, then the music is _bad_. If the manipulation is done not for
humanistic reasons but rather for the glorification of the composer,
then the music is _bad_.

The amount of pleasure a piece of music brings any particular individual
is irrelevant. The proposition that "That which brings pleasure is
necessarily good" is rejected by every culture (not to mention every
responsible adult) in the world. It doesn't take Socrates to see through
that dodge: Gimme some candy, Mom.All bad guitar solos belong to one or
another of the above categories. The Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar soloing style
I've been happily trashing would fall into the "self-glorification"
category, along with a healthy dollop of "unoriginality." I think the
"Books Are Burning" solos, while not self-aggrandizing in that way, are
a cheaply manipulative and cliched attempt to end the album on a
valedictory note, along with a "la-la-la" singalong that attempts to
invoke a communal spirit that the weakness of the song's subject matter
doesn't deserve. And worst of all, they're not even faintly original--I
mean, come on: squeals and Floyd Rose dive-bombing--on an XTC record?
It's not a guitar passage, it's a mid-life crisis.
We expect better from XTC, and we have _heard_ better. I'd pit Dave
Gregory's 14 bars in "No Language in Our Lungs" against any guitar solo
you'd care to name for emotional power, technical rigor, and
inventiveness. The solo in "That Wave" is harmonically adventurous,
unpredictable, and affecting. The quality both solos share is that they
comment and expand on the melody of the song: they _serve_ the song,
they're organic, they exist for a good reason. I think the BAB solos are
tacked on, artificially, for no good reason except to have something to
fade out with.

> And
>if XTC decided to produce a concept album with all one side made up of a
>single song then I'd buy it as would all of you.

Oh, I'd buy it, too! Hey, everybody! The Dukes are back! Doin' Jethro
Tull! Where's my chillum and headband? When are they gonna get to "The
Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles"?


>-Melissa "Wondering if Uebercalifragilistikexpialidoschlich is a Word" Reaves

It is now!

Harrison "But I think Doschlichexpialifragilisticalirebue is going a bit
too far, don't you?" Sherwood


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-9

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