Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-1

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 1

                Monday, 21 September 1998

Today's Topics:

            Throwing A Spanner Into The Works
                   Partridge Interview
     The Nines (yes, there's an XTC connection here)
         What are your thoughts on Todd Rundgren?
                Breaking up is hard to do
            Re: Drums and Wireless & The Nines
                    XTC: Song Stories
        Drums And Wireless / Jump Little Children
                   Tyranny of Distance
               Re: I want my, I want my XTC
                       Terry Rules
                     Nonsuch on vinyl
                   Drums And Wannadies
                        Dear Sarah
                     My Mailing List
                     Oh, happy day!!!
                  NEW GREGSY REAL AUDIO
                    XTC: Song Stories
                       Song Stories
    All I really want is an el...pee's worth of tunes.
                      XTC on Ice...


XTC: Song Stories is available now.  Read all about it on Chalkhills:

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All I get is transistor blast.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 11:39:40 +1000
Subject: Throwing A Spanner Into The Works

To put in my two cents/pence/etc. on the whole "non-LP song" debate -

Ralph DeMarco (or should that be "Rowlf"?) mentioned that "Life Begins At
The Hop" is the opening track on his UK vinyl copy of "Drums & Wires", in
response to someone (sorry, I can't remember who) commenting on that
track's "non-LP" status. Just to make things slightly *more* confusing, I
have the Virgin CD of "Drums And Wires", and LBATH is something like track
7 ; the opening track is "Making Plans For Nigel". Can someone tell me what
the hell Virgin have been doing with the tracklistings?

While I'm here, Michael Davies asked about "Drums & Wireless". A few weeks
ago, fellow OzChalkgeezer Paul Culnane made a copy for me of something
called "Drums & Wireless : The BBC Radio Sessions". It was introduced by
BBC DJ and legend John Peel, and included new performances of "No Thugs In
Our House", "Seagulls Screaming", "Scarecrow People", and other assorted
stuff. I assume this is the album Michael was asking about....hope so,


In The CD Player : "Gordon" - Barenaked Ladies
Quote of the Day : "The secret of government is not how it works, but how
to make it stop" - P.J.O'Rourke (Guess whose country has an election coming
up? Forgive me if I'm not foaming at the mouth with anticipation...).


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 06:40:41 +0100
From: John Bartlett <>
Subject: Partridge Interview

If anybody wants it, I have a copy of the Independent interview to give



Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 10:02:49 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <l03130300b22685720a2c@[]>
From: Jonas Lind <>
Subject: The Nines (yes, there's an XTC connection here)

Yo, Chalkies,

Mike wrote about the Nines:

>These 2 songs win
>my nomination for "Best XTC Songs not written by, played by, or probably
>ever heard by the band XTC".   In other words, these guys have the XTC
>sound down cold on these 2 numbers.
>The songs are called "Ghost Town Sunday" and "Free of It All", and from a
>melody standpoint, arrangements and harmonies, it might as well be our
>heroes singing these songs.  I find it uncanny. Is anyone else out there
>familiar with this CD?  I'd like your opinions.

Yes! I couldn't agree more!

A friend of mine who always makes these tapes with "obscure" music gave me
a tape with a band called The Nines. I had never heard about them at the
time, but my friend described their sound as "a mixture between XTC and The
Beach Boys" (a description which, for obvious reasons, caught my interest).
Well, definitely more XTC than The Beach Boys, I would say. As Mike points
out, some songs might as well be genuine XTC songs! "Ghost Town Sunday" is
my favourite, a truly superb pop song, as is "Free Of It All", "I'm Sorry"
and "After School Special". Well worth checking out!!

My friend (incindentally a member of the Swedish band The Mop Tops, if
anyone have heard of them?) tells me that The Nines have a brand new album
out. I don't know if they have kept the XTC/Beach Boys sound on this album,
but I would assume so.

Jonas Lind
Lund, Sweden

XTC song of the day -- Season Cycle


Message-ID: <>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: What are your thoughts on Todd Rundgren?
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 09:28:59 -0500

Thanks to those of you who have posted reviews of the
new "Song Stories."  Mike Myers post on that topic included
the following text, which has me coming to grips with my own
feelings about Todd Rundgren as a producer:

> There are a bunch of things that come to mind as I reflect
> upon what I read.  For instance, Dave corrects Andy's
> impressions of things several times.  For instance, Andy
> would say something like, "Oh that Todd Rundgren
> was a tyrant, and very difficult to work with."  Dave comes
> back with, "No, he's not, he's a genius and it was a pleasure
> to work with him, and he made us the best album we ever had."
> Andy, begrudgingly, "Well, I guess you're right."

When I first began listening to Todd Rundgren in the 1970s,
I adored his music as much as I admired his rather daring
sense of presentation.  EVERYONE said he was a GENIUS.
Being young and impressionable, I -of couse- agreed.  Afterall,
TODD IS GODD.  To this day, his "Something/Anything" album
remains one of my all-time favorites and I still play it frequently.
He is a great musician.

But as a producer, I'd have to give him mixed marks. Todd
has a way of stripping the life and soul out of a group as he
obliterates their sound with HIS brand, HIS intentions.  The
Psychedelic Furs and Bougeoise Tagg come to mind as examples.
Perhaps not so coincidently, each of those bands essentially died
after working with Todd.  When I learned that he was going to
produce an album for XTC, I worried that the process might destroy
them as well.

I saw Todd perform at a small venue here in Austin, Texas two
years ago.  He started off with "Black Mariah," one of my favorite
Rundgren songs.  It was a powerful opening that immediately
made me glad I had bought a ticket.  Then he wallowed the rest
of the night in a 50+ white man's version of street rap, which take
it from me, is NOT his forte.

Personally, I'd like to see XTC work with Paul Leary of the
Butthole Surfers as their next producer.  Paul's work with many
bands, such as the Meat Puppets, Supersuckers, Toadies and
Bad Livers, shows that he can bring the best out of those bands
without overriding their unique style.

** So, having said all that, what are your thoughts on Todd Rundgren
as a producer?  As a musician?  **


Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 22:07:05 -0700
From: Jason Kirkman__Carol Kawase <>
Subject: Breaking up is hard to do

Hi everyone,

The latest Little Express appears to tell the real story about how our
heroes are feeling in the wake of Dave's departure.  It appears it really
is a Dave vs. Andy situation (am I the only one on the list who wasn't sure
about that already?).  The thing that impressed me about their comments is
how hurt they are, especially Andy.

For instance, Andy says, "...he's [Dave's] not a creative kind of chap."
And, "His only ability seems to be able to say 'No, I don't like it like

Say what?

I'd guess the members of this list would says that Dave *is* a creative
kind of chap.  That string arrangement for 1000 Unbrellas is pretty tasty,
no ordinary piece of work, certainly.  And Neville Farmer's Song Stories
book reveals that Dave composed the intro to Earn Enough For Us after Todd
Rundgren challenged him to "think up one of those melodies every kid in his
bedroom wants to learn to play."  Dave's leads are generally extraordinary,
the works, I'd submit, of a creative mind at work.

The Song Stories book indicates that, while Dave does write songs, he never
had the nerve to bring one to the group because it would mean subjecting it
to "Andy's scrutiny."

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not Andy-bashing here.  I have trememdous
respect for Andy's musicianship, his songwriting in particular.  I'm sure
we can agree he's one of the most creative individuals on the planet.  My
point is, it seems Andy is saying things about Dave that are a mite
reckless because he's hurt badly by what's happened.  I had no clue how
badly he and Dave feel until I read the Little Express interviews.  Dave
says, "As soon as he [Andy] gets over being offended then maybe we can be
friends again."  We can only hope.

The other impression I got from the Little Express interviews is that it's
definitely the best thing for XTC that Dave left.  There's no way they
could carry on as a trio with that level of animosity smoldering.  Wishing
Dave would come back to the band is right up there on the pointlessness
scale with hoping, even pre-1980, for a Beatles reunion.

Jason K.


Message-ID: <009601bde271$78973840$170417d4@default>
From: "Steve Jackson" <>
Subject: Re: Drums and Wireless & The Nines
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 20:27:56 +0100

D & Wireless is a compilation of BBC radio sessions from '79-'89. It was
released on Nightingale Records in '94 (CDNT008) and it is excellent,
containing IMO better versions of No Thugs and One of the Millions.

Bands with the XTC "sound"?...... What about "Chemical World" by Blur, which
is off "Modern Life is Rubbish", the album Partridge nearly produced. It
sounds very much like Braniac's Daughter.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 20:27:35 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: XTC: Song Stories

XTC Song Stories is quite a treat for the XTC fan.  The presentation and
layout is exemplary - in a way oddly reminiscent of Chris Twomey's earlier
"Chalkhills and Children" biography though here the rare (often
snigger-inducing) illustrations are lodged in appropriate places within the
text, not ghettoised into plate sections - with a classy cover shot which
could keep theorists happy for weeks; the now absent-Dave Gregory is the
only one standing, the only one with a guitar and the only one with
startling facial hair.  What can it all mean?

Neville Farmer's text is eminently readable and quietly witty.  In works of
this type, that is, written by a friend of the band, there is often a
tendency, however muted, for the author to perhaps insinuate a certain
"fifth-Beatle" claim and write themselves up with their subject, but this
effect is generally absent here.  Instead the Farmer voice arises only to
set out some back-story and prompt the band once in a while: for the most
part we get fairly undiluted XTC with many of the tics, slight repetitions
and fumblings one would normally encounter in conversation (Colin's
persistent recollections of having one forceful producer or another "cook a
pretty good groove out of us", for example).  As might be expected Andy's
voice rings loudest - revealing in itself - and is spiced with the kind of
inventive wordplay and well-timed delivery of comic anecdotes fans have come
to expect after years of interviews, but Colin and Dave (or Ken B-Side and
Squinty Two Strats as they have been termed respectively, if not
respectfully) both manage to sneak a healthy quota of insight and bruisingly
blunt comment in edgeways.

Of course this is largely a fan's book and it doesn't try to hide the fact
(with Twomey's book Omnibus made a faintly risible attempt on the sleeve
notes to sell the XTC story as a cautionary tale for all upcoming musicians)
instead glorying in the kind of trivia that will delight.  Though the
sensitive should be aware that there are details of a chord-change on page
25, scholarly musical deconstruction is pretty much absent - even from Dave,
the "proper" musician - and the book successfully tackles the general
dynamics around the song - the mood of the band, the intention of the lyric,
the texture of the music - without ever getting beyond very basic and brief
indications of studio technique.

What strikes the reader most is the sheer invention the band bring to hand
when making their music, from the makeshift language the non-musician
elements employ to communicate musical ideas (Ernying, Bjorn Borg and
Peasoup, for example), to the amalgamation of a dozen disparate musical
styles into something unique and knife-edge dizzying/abhorrent, depending on
whether their music peels your banana or not.

In 1992 when Nonsuch, the band's last studio album was released, their
record company at the time, Virgin, had something approaching a mid-life
crisis in its relationship with XTC and marketed the album in the UK with
the slogan "XTC: Part of your musical heritage" (those straw-clutching
classes paid off, I see) a tacit admission along the lines of "Well, we
don't know what to do with them now, but you lot used to like them..."  The
past has always been a stigma for XTC; to some they've never been able to
escape the tar-and-feathers of new-wave oddity, to others they're the band
who did that "Nigel" song and then must've split, presumably to live lives
of wealth-assisted sin in a warm spot somewhere.  When Andy, as nominal band
figurehead, gets interviewed the first 9/10 of the interview covers
non-touring, the Dukes Of Stratosphear off-shoot, the Dear God controversy
and the Virgin strike: any new developments or future plans are shoe-horned
into the last two paragraphs (with the last line generally being reserved
for some appalling pun on the band's name or a paraphrase of "Making Plans
For Nigel").  Of course the band wouldn't have matured into such a tasty, if
slightly crumbly, fine Wiltshire cheese without such an eventful past but
it's a lot of baggage to drag around when you're looking to load up for the
future.  Perhaps this book will, to some extent, help draw a line under
what's gone before and mark the point at which XTC begin again to be widely
recognised for what they do, rather than remembered for what they did.

I recommend the book to fans (and those who know fans, but who have always
been puzzled as ducks in a maze by the allegiance) with only one tiny
caveat..  By its nature the book is episodic and piecemeal.  It's not, nor
is it intended to be, a sustained narrative covering minutiae of the band's
career.  While the notes accompanying each song include snippets of
biographical detail which are of intrinsic interest to the fan, to get the
very best from this book is to have the music blasting away while you absorb
the text.  But then, you knew that already didn't you?


-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:38:28 -0400
From: Adam Tyner <ctyner@CLEMSON.EDU>
Subject: Drums And Wireless / Jump Little Children

At 04:15 PM 9/16/98 -0700, you wrote:
>time I read it, but I thought a couple weeks ago, "Hey!  Wasn't there
>some XTC release consisting of alternate mixes or live songs or
>something called "Drums and Wireless"?"  So, was there?  This may

Yup, it's in the Chalkhills discography, under "Collections &
Retrospectives" (or somesuch).  Drums and Wireless is a fantastic
collection, but if you plan on getting the BBC 4-CD set, you might as well
just wait; D&Wless will be included in that set in its entirety.

BTW, it consists of live in-studio BBC recordings, some of which are
actually superior to their album equivalents.

>find a good pop band, which is why I highly recommend Jump, Little
>Children. Jump,Little Children is an American pop band from North
>Carolina and I am just amazed by them. You'll probably have to order their
>new album "Magazine"- unless you're in the southeast region of the
>states-but it is well worth it!

I'm a big fan of J,LC, but I found Magazine to be a bit lacking.  It's
good, but Licorice Tea Demos was *much* better, IMO -- much closer to their
Irish roots as a band than the guitar-pop of Magazine.  Plus "Smiling Down"
and "Opium" are two of my favorite songs by any band, ever.

While we're recommending bands, I've recently fallen in love with a band
from D.C. called Tuscadero and was even inspired to throw together a
website -

I plan on seeing them in Charlotte on 10/2 if anyone feels like meeting up.

Running to the bookstore to get "Song Stories",

/=---------------- ----------------=\
The home of He-Man, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, and more!
   Demented music list admin           O-         MiSTie #67,326


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:54:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff Langr <>
Subject: soundalikes

> Which leads me to ask:  are there any other
> songs that list members can think of that
> are virtual carbon-copies of the XTC "sound"
> by groups other than XTC, The Three Wise Men,
> or Terry and the Lovemen?

Wasn't there that "Spys" thing?  An XTC fanatic
at Yesterday & Today in Rockville, Maryland tried
to pawn it off on me as really being XTC many
years ago...


From: "Greg Wright" <>
Organization: Flinders University
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 10:30:45 GMT+0930
Subject: Tyranny of Distance
Message-ID: <>

As per usual, Antipodean lovers of xTc and fine literature are being
overlooked by US and UK/European distributors.

Received the following message from an Oz national bookseller
regarding Neville Farmer's book:

>Thank you for your email and query.  Unfortunately this title is not
>being released into Australia.  Any of our stores would be able to
>special order a copy through our US Wholesaler.  Delivery would be
>between 6 - 8 weeks if stock is available at the US
>Angus & Robertson Bookworld Online Store

6 - 8 weeks! F that ... an order to is on its way. Just
thought I'd let my Oz colleagues know...unless someone knows of an
alternative Australian outlet??



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 09:53:21 +0100
Subject: Re: I want my, I want my XTC

>From: Ralph DeMarco <>

Ermm, just to add my tuppence worth (2c for the US listeners)

>"Life Begins At The Hop" isn't a non-LP song, I have it on
>my LP version of "Drums and Wires".  maybe it isn't on the
>British version.

>Actually, I own the original U.K. Virgin vinyl of "Drums and
>Wires" and "Life Begins at the Hop" starts off the album!
>I also own the original U.S. Epic version and the big difference
>is the noticeably absent "Making Plans for Nigel". My guess
>is that Epic wanted to squeeze it out as a single. Kind of
>reminds you of ....well never mind.

My D&W dosn't have Life Begins at all on it. I bought it in early 1980 and
it starts with Nigel and is followed by Real by Real (a much underestimated

The only version of 'Life Begins...' I managed to buy during that period
was the Clear single.

Perhaps it was a limited edition or somthing, but my standard version (sans
extra single), ain't got it.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 18:46:31 +0000
Subject: Terry Rules

Dear Chalkers,

Our friend Ralph DeMarco challenged me:

> Actually, I own the original U.K. Virgin vinyl of "Drums and
> Wires" and "Life Begins at the Hop" starts off the album!

I'm sorry but it doesn't.. i've got the original first issue with all
trimmings and it doesn't include LBATH at all.
The UK OVED113 reissue doesn't include LBATH either.
I think maybe you are confused with the US LP releases?
Those are the only ones starting off with LBATH

> I also own the original U.S. Epic version

that's a reissue from 1982. The original US album was released by
Virgin International USA (Atlantic) in october 1979.
And the original US version _did_ include "that Nigel song" and LBATH
but not Day In, Day Out, similar to most European pressings of the
album. If you don't believe me, check your copies - i did!

> and the big difference is the noticeably absent "Making Plans for Nigel".
> My guess is that Epic wanted to squeeze it out as a single.

Very unlikely given the fact that it already had been a single three
years before.

BTW: i think this is the only version of D&W that manages to omit
Nigel as well as LBATH. This re-release followed the release of
the butchered low-budget version of English Settlement in the US.
Virgin probably figured they could get away with anything :)

Then Ralph went on to say:

> Yes Mark, Terry rules. But, I think you might have missed the
> point. The song writing, the arrangements, the subtle
> transitions and delicate melodies are what distinguish Mummer
> from any previous XTC at that time.

So you reckon English Settlement or Drums And Wires for that matter
are not subtle and delicate? Or well written ?

> To say that Terry was a  great live drummer and could keep up
> with the best of 'em does  not mean he was cut out for the
> musical direction the band was taking after their hard-rocking
> touring days were over.

Just imagine The Big Express with a proper big Chambers & Padgham
drum sound instead of those puny Linn drums.

And IMHO Terry did not just "keep up with the best of them";
he was one of the best. Innovative, daring, tight as a nun's ass...
his unique playing style inspired lots of drummers.

One of the first to adopt electronic drum pads, roto toms and never
afraid to experiment, he progressed as much as the rest of the band
and i think chances are he would have grown with them.

yours in xtc,
Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 19:48:26 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <l03130300b22863d91e59@[]>
From: Jonas Lind <>
Subject: Nonsuch on vinyl

>Is it possible to get "Nonsuch" on vinyl?  In the United States?  The
>website thinks it was only released in the UK (on double LP) and
>Italy, of all places (single LP).  Is that Italian version impossible
>to find?  I'd prefer slightly lower fidelity (that I wouldn't notice,
>since my record player sucks) to having to switch the record three
>times in the middle of the album.

Well, I came across the double LP this summer, in a tiny vinyl shop in
Skovde. That's in Sweden, I'm afraid. Since I already own the Nonsuch
double LP I didn't buy it, but I would think it's still there though, since
it's a tiny store in a tiny town in a tiny country where few people have
ever heard of XTC...

Until my boat goes down,
Jonas Lind
Lund, Sweden



Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 20:19:20 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <l03130301b2286763f354@[]>
From: Jonas Lind <>
Subject: Drums And Wannadies

Ehm, sorry about this multiple posting thing I have going here, but I'm
just sooo happy to be back on the list I can't help myself. Please forgive

Michael Davies wrote:

>"Hey!  Wasn't there
>some XTC release consisting of alternate mixes or live songs or
>something called "Drums and Wireless"?"  So, was there?

Yes, there was, and there is. "Drums and Wireless" contains quite a few
songs from XTC's BBC sessions, from the John Peel show and others. Some
great versions of old favourites there. The Peel Sessions version of "No
Thugs In Our House" really kicks posterior parts of the human body.

My question is: will the songs from "Drums and Wireless" be included on
that upcoming compilation of BBC material?

Valerie wrote:
>The Wannadies song on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack was one
>of the best songs I have heard in a long time.

You people seem to like The Wannadies. In case you don't know that much
about them, I thought I might list their albums, so you'll know what to
look for:
1. The Wannadies (1990) 2. Aquanautic (1992) 3. Be A Girl (1994) 4. Bagsy
Me (1997)
There is also a compilation of songs from these four albums called
"Skelleftea" (which is the name of the town where they come from), which
should be available outside of Sweden, it really should.
In my humble opinion, Be A Girl is their best album, but Bagsy Me (whith
the single tracks "Hit", "Shorty", and "Friends") isn't that bad either.

Once again, sorry. I'll shut up now.

Jonas Lind
Lund, Sweden


Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: Dear Sarah
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 15:43:44 -0400

>[Ralph deMarco] Sarah McLaughlin's "Dear God". It just seems that
>her heart is not really in it. She sings "angry" only when the
>songs demands it. When Andy sings it, I truly believe that his
>heart is on his sleeve, and he is so passionate about what he
>is singing. SM's version puts me to sleep.

Agreed. More's the pity cos: She has the ethereal pipes. She has
the "convincability", the I'm-leveling-with-you-as-a-grownup (as
does Andy), and as very few alterna-types do today. She ain't
no pop-tart or ironico-grunger. Autopsy: It's a matter
of interpretation which fails the number.

Shaking the tree of faith and waiting for the fruit to fall & rot,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 20:10:16 EDT
Subject: My Mailing List


Since I don't have that much time now to moderate two mailing lists
(newwave2 and AndyPartridge).  I've decided to get rid of the AndyPartridge
mailing list.  For those of you who are looking for another XTC mailing
list, check out XTCFANS.  Just go to and go to Find a
List and type in XTC or XTCFANS.

I just received the new book.  It looks very interesting.  I haven't started
reading it yet, because I've been busy with other things.  I did see a
picture of Andy at the age of 18 with, get this, LONG HAIR!!!

Talk to you later.



Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 00:34:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jennifer L. Geese" <>
Subject: Oh, happy day!!!
Message-Id: <>

Yes, my friends, it's the day we've all been waiting for <insert drum roll

The book has arrived!  After a 3 month wait, I have finally been able to
order it and it was shipped to my place of employment today.
Unfortunately, due to an error on my part, I don't have it in my hands
yet.  Tomorrow.  Stupid me.  So, anyway, those of you who are interested
in this tome should rush down to your local bookstore and implore them to
order your copy if they don't have it in stock (as they SHOULD).  Very
nice cover done in (IIRC) shades of purple with a picture of all three
of the boys on it.  Since Dave has left, perhaps this cover will be a
collector's item of sorts?  :)

Happy reading,



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 14:19:45 -0400
From: XYCHQ <>
Organization: FRIENDS OF FARUQ

don't ask why... or how. Just listen.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 02:25:42 EDT
Subject: XTC: Song Stories


I received my copy of XTC: Song Stories a couple of days ago, and I think
it's wonderful.  I was flipping through the book, and it looks interesting.
After I'm done reading Chalkhills & Children I'll start this one.

Amanda's right about Andy's picture when he's 18 years old.  DAMN!  Man, he
looks totally different from he does now.  I almost flipped when I saw it.

Well, I'm off to bed now.  Bye.

A very Sleepy XTC Fan


Message-ID: <001001bde4c3$15013c00$0f5008c3@default>
From: "goldwing" <>
Subject: Song Stories
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 19:18:02 +0100

I too have my copy of the new book and it is great, my only criticism is the
way Neville (or some proof reader) has changed the word `arse` to `ass`
presumably to make the book more readable to our colonial friends in the US.
I think it`s a bit patronising, surely at the first instance of the word
`arse`, a short explanation could be inserted!.  Just a thought. nit picking
really, great book, good work, keep it up.

Dave Hall


Message-Id: <v04003a04b22be95641cf@[]>
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: All I really want is an el...pee's worth of tunes.
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:06:48 -0600

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to recommend a pop group or
musician without being referential to other bands and musicians. For
example..... ________ kind of reminds of ________ during their Arista days.
It's really hard not to do this. It's like trying to describe a color to a
blind person without using other colors as reference points. With that
caveat in mind I make these recommendations to you folks because I think
the bands tread a similar quirky pop path as our lovely Swindonians. So,
here goes.....

A couple more bands I think you guys will really like:

"Wondermints" (Big Deal Records) soaring Brian Wilson-esque vocal
harmonies, Jellyfish-esque production and Queen orchestral bombast. Yummy,
if you're into those things.

"Umajets" (Intrigue Music Records) Again, more Jellyfish influences here
(Roger Manning contributes on keys). Terrific songs. Challenging
production. Lots of fun.

The British band, "Rialto" has finally released their first disc in the
U.S. (Sire Records in the U.S., China Records in the U.K.) Again, if you're
into the whole nouveau-cinema thing going on in England right now, I think
you'll like this disc. Certainly not as strident or trip-hoppy as
Portishead. There's just something different about this disc that grows on

I mentioned "Flop" in an earlier post. In my opinion: "Whenever You're
Ready" (Frontier Records, 1993), and "Flop & The Fall Of The Mopsqueezer"
(Frontier Records, 1992) are two of the best power-pop records of all time.
They're really that good. I swear.

Someone that younger XTC'ers may not remember is the venerable Joe Jackson.
His "Night and Day" was one of the seminal albums of the early eighties,
and has aged well. "Big World" is also a terrific album. If you're into the
lyrical and melodic qualities of XTC, I can't imagine you not liking these

Anyway, hope these discs turn you on.

Seez ya...........Ken H.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 18:04:47 -0700
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: Champion International
Subject: XTC on Ice...

Hey!!  XTC people!!!

Great news for anyone who's a fan of ICE magazine,
"the CD news authority." (!!!)  XTC has a cover story
in the October 1998 issue!

Yep, it tells about the new 4-CD boxed set (to be
entitled "Transistor Blast") and essentially states
as follows:  (certain punctuation was personally added)

"Celebrated English popsters XTC reemerge from their
self-imposed exile in grand fashion on November 17
with a 4-CD box set of previously unreleased performances
titled *Transistor Blast.*  The TVT Records release (!!!)
was culled from the BBC Radio archives, and features both
radio sessions and live performances from the late '70s
through the late '80s.

"XTC leader Andy Partridge, who assembled the set himself,
tells ICE, 'We would trundle down to the BBC Studios in
London with our little amplifiers and, in a day, recreate
more-or-less-live versions of four songs.  You could play
the [backing] track, get maybe one overdub and then sing
it, so they were basically shoot-from-the-hip versions.
We picked from 11 different sessions that stretched from
1977 to '89.'"

Then they go on to list the various tracks on the first
two of the four discs with Partridge's comments on each
individual one!!  It's a really good cover-view of the
eventual release of this much-anticipated set for all
us XTC fans out here!!!  And according the article it-
self, it seems that TVT is gonna release it DOMESTICALLY,
isn't that the impression you all get from this??  Hmmm...

God, this is really beginning to be an exciting time
to be an XTC fan, innit?  I do believe it is!!  :-)

Can't wait to see if this comes to fruition, as it were,
and to eventually get my hands on this one!!  Looks like
now we don't have to worry about a UK-only release of
this stuff, right?

"Happy days are here again!"  (indeed)

BTW, on a somewhat more indirect non-XTC note:

Thank you, my good friend Oleh, for the special
effort you put forward to successfully get me
Peter Blegvad's autograph from the PA gig!!!
A pure treasure if there ever was one!!  :-)


/Dan Phipps <>

"I would have made this insrumental,
 but the words got in the way."
(Andy Partridge)



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