Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-102

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 102

                Thursday, 25 February 1999

Today's Topics:

                  Attention UK XTC Fans!
                      More about AV1
                    Tower Records-NYC
             criticism of River Of Orchids ?
                    Re: Chart Position
      AV1 - Premature Assessment: Dull and Lifeless
               Taping Andy's FM Radio Spots
        I feel VENUS towards the APPLE in my hand
        The Blessed Apple is flying home at last!
                   Andy & Colin in NYC
                      -- John's AV1
                 Chiming Shining Glowing
Nothing clever - ever to say, but its newsworthy just the same
          Easter Theatre/AV comments + other biz
                  What? No lyric sheet?
                Having an impact or two...
                        new album
              Self-defense & some apologies
                   Re: incomprehensible
              all XTC on sale at Music Blvd.
                       Re: Krakatoa
                 A-V-1 pronounced as Joy
                    Transistor Blasts?


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    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7 (John Relph <>).

Know it sounds weird / Then she appeared.


Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 07:49:44 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Attention UK XTC Fans!

Choosers of Chalk:

The kind people at Cooking Vinyl have written to say that "Apple Venus
Volume 1" has a mid-week chart placing of #31.  Cooking Vinyl would
like to see the album chart higher, as I'm sure we all would, so if
you and yours could rush out and buy the album (if you have not
already) then perhaps the album could chart about #30 by the end of
the week!

Yes, you *can* make a difference!

	-- John


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:39:48 +0000
From: Brian <>
Subject: More about AV1


Got this from a friend of mine in L.A.

         > ---------------<<!* ZENtertainment *!>>---------------
           February 22nd, 1999                         Issue #292

           <<- - - - - - - - - - - - MUSIC - - - - - - - - - - - ->>

           XTC returns this Tuesday with the TVT Records release
           of "Apple Venus Volume 1," along with a signing tour
           that will take them from New York to California over
           the next week-and-a-half. The first single from the
           album, "I'd Like That," is available for LIQUID AUDIO
           download at the TVT Records website. A full list of
           signing dates are available at the ZEN website.
           In related XTC news, former GETO BOYS rapper Willie D.
           has reinterpreted the band's flashback anthem
           "Dear God" for his upcoming album, with frontman
           Andy Partridge's permission.

* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire


Message-Id: <v04011704b2f96d17103e@[]>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:55:11 +0100
From: "Harold Grey, ITC" <>
Subject: Tower Records-NYC

I went down to the signing last night and was pleasantly surprised to see a
line stretching around the entire block. Andy and Colin showed up at about
6:40 p.m. I couldn't wait on line but I picked up a copy of the CD, which
was playing on Tower's PA system. The album is amazing, but I was extremely
disappointed that there was no lyric sheet, just an insert card with Colin
and Andy's photo on the back of the ostrich feather cover. Does anyone know
if these were early copies or if they wanted to save on the packaging cost
(which I assume is deducted from artist royalties)? Anyone know if the
lyrics will be posted on the TVT site? While the vocals are pretty clear on
most of the cuts, I would really have liked a lyric sheet. Anothera album
that I felt this way about was Elvic Costello/Burt Bachrach's Painted from
Memory, which also arrived sans lyrics...

harold grey
englewood, nj


Message-ID: <004e01be5fd9$ca9bc260$6e5791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: criticism of River Of Orchids ?
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:36:27 +0900

>From: Eb <>

>I don't like "River of Orchids" much either, to be honest. It's certainly
>ambitious and compositionally impressive, but it feels more like a "stunt"
>to me than an actual song.

I respect your privilege to like or dislike whatever tunes you choose (that
said still flummoxed by your dislike for - of all the tunes on this disc -
River Of Orchids , though ) , however I must ask : what in the hell is
wrong with a song being "ambitious and compositionally impressive " ???
You spelled out two very good reasons why probably 90% of XTC fans around
the world are blown away by this tune ! River Of Orchids blows me away in
much the same way " Good Vibrations " does every single time I hear it . A
" stunt " ?  Goodness gracious me ...

In their review of AV 1 MOJO magazine had this to say about River Of Orchids

" TO BEGIN : a little ripple of water , a pause , another pause and a
softly plucked double-bass ; like one of those ECM ambient jazz pieces
entitled Awakening or Tranquil Fjord . As random-sounding violins enter the
picture , followed by parping , Young-Composer-Of-The-Year brass , one's
eyebrows can't help but assume the skeptical position . But as the six
minutes of River Of Orchids unfold- Andy Partridge's bold first song on
this very of-its-own-world album - more and more recognition and pleasure
seep into the listening experience and various strands start to link up
until , when Miles Davis / Gil Evans muted trumpets commence to swing low a
la Porgy and Bess , the whole thing becomes an impossible triumph and
you're willing to accept just about everything that XTC in 1999 can throw
at you . "

Nail on the head ...

Still joylaughing ...

John in Japan


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 04:46:30 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Re: Chart Position
Message-ID: <>

Message text written by INTERNET:<>
>Just one tiny question: do the copies that were sold through your
mail order devision count ?<

I'm afraid mail order sales don't count.  The good news is that early shop
reports indicate that a top 40 chart position is very likely!  In Japan it
is no 8 in the International chart!!!


From: (Todd E. Jones)
Subject: AV1 - Premature Assessment: Dull and Lifeless
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 11:53:50 GMT
Organization: Not Usually
Message-ID: <>

Was it the antici...pation?
Was it merely too-much-for-one-sitting?
Was it the inevitable first listening negativity?

Whatever it was, my first listen was dissappointing. Although the last
three tunes (Can't Own Her, Harvest Festival & Last Balloon) seem
quite promising, the bulk of the material seems void of vim.

My opinion will certainly evolve, mature and most probably improve as
familiarity breeds a deeper appreciation. My initial assessments of
English Settlement, Skylarking and Nonsuch (three faves) were
similarly harsh, so I suppose I should have held off for a couple

So go ahead, flame me back, but make sure you address the following

1) Todd, you're an idiot who cannot appreciate the wondrous subtlety
of this great band.
2) Todd, I suppose you need some "Peter Pumpkinhead" or "Generals and
Majors" to draw you in
3) Todd, you've been listening to too much "N' Sync."

Todd Jones
Owner, Producer, Industrial Hygenist, Janitor
HUGE sound generation & capture facility
Cape Fear River Basin, NC


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:04:00 EST
Subject: Taping Andy's FM Radio Spots

I'll tell ya, that l'il Macintosh guy in my machine gotta have a mile-wide
grin. I know I do! This album is fantastic! (I'm playing AV on my iMac CD

About the radio spots - I'm going to try to tape Andy's radio appearance
today on the River (92.5); rumor has it he'll be on between 2 and 4.

He's also doing appearances on WFNX (101.7) and WBOS (92.9). Who knows?
Maybe later we can collectively compile a tape of the appearances?

Is anyone else taping the radio shows? I'd say it's worth it; he's such a


P.S. I noted BRISK sales of AV V1 in Newbury Comics in Harvard Square last
night when I was there from 8 to 8:30. Two other copies were sold beside
the one I bought. I also having the British (Cooking Vinyl) CD on mail
order. (As an aside, I also got the 12-inch of Fat Boy Slim's "Praise You."
Trip hop, house, Manchester sound revival? I wouldn't mind!)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:27:24 EST
Subject: Beware!

No, this is not a virus hoax posting!

Last night, I went to the Best Buy in Rockville, MD, where their computer
showed that "AV1" was not due to be released until next week! AAAARGH!.
But fortunately, a cool head prevailed, and I made my way over to Tower
Records where, of course, "AV1" was sitting quietly on the shelf winking at
me.  The moral of the story - don't bother going to Best Buy to get this

J. D.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:52:10 -0500
From: "todd steed" <>
Subject: I feel VENUS towards the APPLE in my hand

Seven years. Seven years.

What a lusty little thrill to go to the shop today and pick up AV. And the
new Paul Westerberg along with Ornette Coleman Beauty is A Rare...

But AV was the star of the show.

First Reactions:

I wish I wouldn't have listened to the demo tapes so much!! That kinda
killed the surprise...but, what the hell. The demos got me through a bad
time when I was stuck in Indonesia.  So that's fine.  And there are tons of
subtle changes.  Enough to keep my ears happy...which brings me to my next
The orchestration== fan-fuckn-tastic. I mean wonderful.  Lush, rich, and
delicious like an accesible candy bar from Mars.  GREAT arrangements and
wonderful odd little twists and turns.  I love that they split this one up
in to two records.  I like the mood created and sustained.

The Songs==  by and large superb.  I wish he would be more clear as in
Dictionary, at least every now and then.  But then again, that's a minor
complaint.  I really dig the lyrics and songwriting.  Colin, well, his voice
and his songwriting chops are a bit below par on this one.  Still
entertaining, but not quite there, if you know what I mean.  I find the
tunes themselves the best since SKYLARKING.  I would say my favorite XTC
albums will probably always be SKYLARKING, English S, Mummer and
AV..probably Nonesuch, too.  The  rest are fine but just don't hold up as
well for me as a total package...though of course all are full of gems.

I like on Sunflower how they change some of the bits and bobs.

The vocals: Colin is, well, not so hot.  Andy's vocals on a few cuts are the
best he's EVER sang in my op.  He strains here and there, but that's part of
the charm.

Production:  Fan-fuckn'tastic


I'm fanfuckinglytasticly happy. I yam.

I didn't even want to go to work today.

todzilla of apelife


From: "Rafael" <>
Subject: The Blessed Apple is flying home at last!
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:53:07 -0300
Message-ID: <>

Hi people!

It's hard for a guy who lives so far from where the best music of the world
is given birth, to read hundreds of mails full of excited phrases related
to the most expected release in almost a decade and expect just a single
note from Amazon telling me that... AV1 cd copy is on its way to Argentina at last!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!  Now
I must cross my fingers another week I guess, and then my soul will born
again, the blood will run again throw my veins and my life will be
completed once again.

Thanks to some of the people that already have the new album, I knew that
it has no written lyrics inside, so I have to ask a big favour to my
IN YOUR SITE!! It's hard sometimes for someone who doesn't speak English
everyday to understand the meaning of the words even you could read them,
imagine when you don't have anything to read!! Thanks in advance.


Rafael Diaz Mallea
Buenos Aires


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:53:54 EST
Subject: Andy & Colin in NYC


Happy Birthday to me!!!!

2/23 was my birthday and who should be at Tower Records but Andy Partridge
& Colin Moulding.  Well we already knew that bit.  So I walk in and
purchase AV1 and take my place on line (it hasn't been this cold in NYC in
about 2 or 3 years).  They took their time with all their fans and seemed
genuinely happy to see so many people after a 7-year layoff.  I tried my
best to make my comments as quick as I could so the other people waiting
would have their chance.  I brought the 8x10 photo I had taken w/ XTC back
in 1989 for Colin to sign (Andy signed during a Nonsuch appearance @ HMV).
Colin took a look at it and was awfully curious about the time it was
taken.  We chatted a bit & I gave them some CDs from the record company I
worked for.  I went home, listened to AV1 and when my wife finally came
home from her night class I felt less intense about another year going by.

Hope to hear all your stories out there soon.



From: "Damian Foulger" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 07:58:52 -0600
Subject: -- John's AV1
Message-Id: <>

John Relph wrote:
> I am so very very sorry.  But at least I got to hear the album this
> morning...
Isn't there something wrong with this picture?  Our most esteemed
John has to get AV1 on the day it is released.  One would think that
the composter of the Chalkhills digest would have got an advanced
copy from somewhere.  Was this a choice John?

As always, keep up the good work.

Dames tWd

P.s. My AV1 came to my door yesterday and then the FedEx
(wo)man took it away again.  :-(

"We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we merely borrow it from
our children." -- Native American Saying


From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
Subject: Chiming Shining Glowing
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 99 14:06:52 GMT
Message-ID: <>

Yesterday I woke up with X T C chiming to me, shining from the glowing
window. I got up and walked to the phone, called my boss and said
"something came up which requires immediate attention" and I took that
mystery trip into the heart of town where AV1 grows bountifully. As soon as
I heard the first few drops I knew I was in for it.
                B    R    I    L    L    I    A     N    T    !
Even when I was waiting and anticipating - all these years, it is easy to
forget just how mind-blowing a new record from XTC can be, even when I'm so
familiar with their treasury of tricks, even when I knew most of the songs
already by heart... So many elements of surprise!

I think a negative review would be extremely challenging.
I got in this morning and there was a message from yesterday. It was the
mailroom saying that I had received a package from Music Boulevard. So it
worked - received on the release date. By then, of course, I was already
soaking in the sonorous tones of AV1. I know, what to do now with the other
copy? Send forth any suggestions and I'd be more than happy to read them.

So, I might be meeting Andy tonight at Tower but I don't know when or which
location. That's my investigation for the day.

what am i doing here?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 06:17:06 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: Nothing clever - ever to say, but its newsworthy just the same

Hi people,

A funny story:

     While driving to Tower's to buy her copy of AV1, Nicole was
listening to WHFS, 99.1 in the DC area.  Nicole screamed with delight
to hear the words "in a few minutes... XTC". She decided to drive up
and down 355, so that she could continue to listen... it turned
out to be an interview. 10-15 minute spot of Andy talking to Lou
Brutus about (yeh) not touring and about space ghost. Nicole was elated.
Afterward... they played.... DEAR GOD.


But, I guess the cool thing is... it was 10-15 minutes of a 3 HOUR
interview the guy did with both Colin and Andy (in Philly, not DC).
Supposidly... Brutus had his guitar with him... and there is some
playing of it on the tapes... which will be aired from time to time.

-okay back to whatever we all are doing at the moment,
Nicole, the one that de-lurked a LOOOOONG time ago.

Hi! to the other Nicole out there...
"I've got a name... I've got a name..."


Message-ID: <697A4CA51395D111A658AA00040058069D9FCF@NT6>
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: Easter Theatre/AV comments + other biz
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:32:10 -0600

(Close your eyes, Molly)

Tim K, reviewing Apple Venus, rated Easter Theatre thus:

3. Easter Theatre
      Andy said he was worried that, with so many people
      having heard the demos for so long a time, we wouldn't like
      the final versions as much.  This is the only song on the CD that,
      unfortunately, proves Andy right.  I just don't think this
      is as good as the demo version.  I'm not quite sure why - they
      are very similar.  Maybe it's just that the demo had a little
      more passion or something.  In any case, it's still a great song.
      But it didn't live up to my expectations.
      RATING:  A-  (demo version rating: A+)

I must admit I concur.  The frustrating thing is that it could very easily
have lived up to the demo, and beyond (River of Orchids exceeded my
expectations, which were very high).  I think what I miss are the string
phrases that introduce the last two choruses: on the demo, after the "Stage
leeeeeft [pause]" bit, the song suddenly swoops back to life with a burst of
string (and I think some wind) samples, and these are repeated on the next
chorus.  The finished version has ... I'm not sure what it has.  Bass,
mostly, but whatever it is lacks the drama that the demo arrangement had.  A
missed opportunity methinks, though still, as Tim says, a brilliant song.

(I hasten to add that all of the other songs, whether I've heard the demos
for them or not, are without exception brilliant.  I'll spare you a
track-by-track, and say only that I Can't Own Her is light-years beyond the
demo version--it gives me chills--and River of Orchids has just crept onto
my short list of all-time-favorite XTC songs.  Heeeeyyy ...)

BTW, a big blanket welcome to all the newbies who have uncloaked to say
hello.  There was much speculation as to whether the new album would bring
new subscribers and I'm glad to see it's actually happening.  You are all
welcome and I hope you have as much fun with the list as I have had.

Looking forward to Thursday at Borders,


Dan Wiencek
American Academy
of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Message-Id: <>
From: David J Arnold <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 8:35:31 -0600
Subject: What? No lyric sheet?

Thank God for the Chalkhills website. Full lyrics for all of the wonderful
songs on AV1 are generously posted there, providing solace for those of us
who thought that Easter was dressed in yum-yums, yo-yos, or oil...


Message-ID: <000801be6003$f97a41e0$f06dcec0@t24806009694.DOA.STATE.LA.US>
From: "John Voorhees" <>
Subject: Having an impact or two...
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:42:58 -0600

Steve Pitts assuredly tells us:
> Since we're being picky (although I'm not picky, I'm pedantic) 'impacts'
> not a valid form, even for a tooth. A tooth can be 'impacted' but there is
> no verb form of 'impact' and therefore 'impacts' can only be more than one
> 'impact' not a participle of the verb 'impact'

Man, do I _not_ want to end up with a long thread on this subject...

There is a copy of the 1913 Webster Dictionary online, lest anyone think the
use of "impact" as a verb is somehow a new Madison Avenue type deal.  Read
it and weep.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:44:44 -0500
From: "TOM GRIFFIN" <>
Subject: new album

OK - I don't want to get in too much trouble here, but here are some

River of Orchids - thumbs down.  Sorry, maybe I'll grow to love it (it has
happened before - eg. Chalkhills & Children), but for now - ugh!

Andy's contributions to this album seem a little bit into the "light music"
category for me. (sorry everyone)

On the other hand I am in love with Colin's stuff.  This kinda surprises me
because I haven't really loved his stuff on O&L and Nonsuch.

Finally, before I dig too deep a hole, I must say that this album has
flashes of brilliance.  And, I always hate every XTC album at first, then
fall in love.  Nevertheless, I can't  wait until AV2.  I need my rock

See y'all in Chicago!



Message-ID: <>
From: "Kristen Reed" <>
Subject: Self-defense & some apologies
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 06:49:13 PST


Sorry if some this is a bit off-topic, but I've got to defend myself

In Vol. 5, #98 Miss Valerie wrote:

>However, I'm just as irriatated that I have to read Miss
>Kristin's rude comments about the "cultural black hole" of the South.

Geez, it was an attempt at levitude.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised
that some didn't get it.

>Perhaps instead of dogging your place of residence you should try
>visiting local music venues or visit an art gallery.

I have spent many a night at various music venues over the past years,
am extremely well-read and well-educated --- *even* in art history.  I'm
no stranger to either music venues nor museums.

>An area is only as good as it's citizens are wiling to make
>it and you are hardly doing your part.

Thanks for the civics lecture. And I've donated time & books to literacy
organizations; funny, I thought I was "wiling" to make this a bit of a
better place. And I'm sure it's all my fault that it's not safe to walk
the streets here. Just like I'm sure it's my lack of civic pride that
led me to be robbed recently.

>Remember Miss Kristin if it weren't for this so called "black hole"
rock n' roll as we know it would not exist. Or perhaps you aren't aware
that rock n' roll is a derivitive of southern music ie: the blues.

Well Miss Valerie, I happen to be very aware of that.  I know many of
the local musicians, and I am very aware of their influences and the
rich musical history of this city.

>Hmmm... Louisiana...isn't that the same state famous for it's jazz >and
blues? A place that harbors the French Quarter could hardly be
>considered a wasteland.

Unless you've been there when tons of people come through and feel free
to urinate frequently in the streets (and I'm not the only one who's
commented on tourists treating our town as a toilet).

My (apparently lame) joke about the South being a cultural black hole is
a phrase that's been shared amongst some of my friends and I for years.
I grew up in a much smaller city that New Orleans, and nothing much ever
happened there culturally (unless you're into rodeos or monster-truck
shows).  I do agree that New Orleans is much better in all respects as
far as cultural opportunities (esp. the food & music). I apologize if I
offended anyone.  But like Seinfeld's dentist who converted to Judaism
for the jokes, it's OK for me to joke about N.O. b/c I live here.  And
believe me, my comments are a lot more amicable than many other

I'll go back to lurking I suppose.



Message-Id: <v04003a00b2f9c18d54f2@[]>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:49:41 -0500
From: John McGann/Original Custom Transcription Service
Subject: Re: incomprehensible

>From: Eb <>
 > I have a similar feeling about "River
>of Orchids," though I do smile at those "mmmm"'s between lines -- a typical
>Partridge vocal decoration which defies all logic yet somehow works.

Actually,that's a cameo by Billy Bob Thornton from "Sling Blade". Isn't it?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:53:21 EST
Subject: all XTC on sale at Music Blvd.

Yep, pretty much what the subject line says...... all XTC on sale right now
at, including imports and the Transistor Blast box set
($42.88) and AV1 ($11.88).  Other notable prices include Nonsuch/Oranges
and Lemons/Big Express/Rag and Bone Buffet each at $5.99..... most other
albums at $10.88.

They are displaying the AV1 cover sideways, by the way, turned one notch
clockwise.... when did all these online retailers become so coy?



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 07:20:18 -0800
Subject: Re: Krakatoa
From: "Russ Reynolds" <>

>>But does anyone remember the original
>>title of the movie "Volcano"?   20 points to the first person who can recall
>>this glaring geographical mixup (one of the reasons the film's title was

>From: "Michael Versaci" <>

>Subject: Krakatoa
>East Of Java!

No more calls, we have a winner!  Krakatoa, as it turns out, is actually
west of Java.    Somewhere Gene Siskel is smirking.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:28:50 -0500
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Organization: Columbia University Libraries
Subject: Yup

Saw them with my own two beady eyes.

That being said, I now qualify as the stupidest fan in the world- got
there nice and early, bought my CD, hung out inside Tower records
watching them set up... by the time I got on line- the *end* of the
line, it went around the block.  In the cold.  Frost Circus.
Refrigerator Blues.  Snowman. Deliver us from the Elements.

Don't you ever dare call me chickenhead (sorry, impeded blood flow).

4 1/2 hours later, I was inside getting my CD and a This World Over
postcard signed.  The lads were in fine form, very polite but obviously
exhausted by that time (as was everyone on line, and even the TVT rep).
Both Colin and Andy look great and seem happy that the record is out.
They were spending several minutes with each individual fan, or so I was
told; by the end we were getting about 30 seconds. But hey, 30 seconds
with XTC are fine with me after 17 years of waiting.  And they signed
several pieces, whatever you had, for every last fan.  Really good

The album does sound great, as expected.  98% faithful to the demos.
I'm sure it will only improve with time like any great vintage.

Oh, and if you want another great (though not brand new) album, consider
Graham Parker's 12 Haunted Episodes.




Message-ID: <70C9C5C2CA53D111BD3B006097CF27812E399F@BOSTON>
From: Eric Brittingham <>
Subject: A-V-1 pronounced as Joy
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:33:01 -0500

I calmly waited all day Tuesday before buying the album that evening after
work.  Today is really the day I will let it sink in, although I'm stuck
with really tinny speaker here on my PC at work.

I'm reacting to this one the same way I reacted to Skylarking.  I
immediately liked most of the songs, especially the early ones.  Perhaps
because the production is so straightforward, I can hear what's going on
quite clearly.  The orchestra gives the album a timelessness that allows me
to concentrate on the structure of the music.  Andy's and Colin's vocal
performances seem very live, somewhat fragile--at this point, I think that's

I really like Frivolous Tonight, no matter what the nerds on that Dallas
webcast think.  It just makes me happy.  It seems as if Colin is musically
getting across the exact emotion he wants to portray in his lyric.

Harvest Festival is very touching, but I'm a sentimental weepy girlie-man

And as a dyed-in-the-wool Beatles fan, this album whips my cream.  Colin's
Fixing a Hole bass on Frivolous Tonight (which I can't hear at work thru
these crappy speakers).  The little Julia guitar and vocal part on Knights
in Shining Karma (around the 'jealous winter sun' bit).  I live for finding
that kind of stuff.

Meanwhile, Greenman sounds like something Robert Plant would like a lot
right now.

In an interesting note (to me, anyway), my girlfriend, who only likes the
occasional XTC song (Dear God, Merely a Man) and usually forbids my playing
them for very long or at all (usually a four track limit), let me listen to
the whole thing in her presence and commented on how surprised she was that
she liked so many of the songs.  I'd Like That was a big winner for her.
Frivolous Tonight was cute.  Knights in Shining Karma got a "which one is
this."  She lost interest after Fruit Nut, though.  But Apple Venus survived
for 8 whole tracks!

Looking forward (sort of) to the unavoidable arguments over why one song or
another does or doesn't suck.  I see it's begun with River of Orchids.  I
need to do more research before I join that discussion.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:47:54 -0500
From: Ben Gott/Loquacious Music <>
Subject: Transistor Blasts?


I apologise if I sound like certain "bad elements" on the List, but I've
just got to say this:

Do we think we could reserve the "bashing" until we've heard the album a
few times?  I know that, at least in my case, I didn't like the album
version of "Easter Theatre" as much as the demo...on first listen.
However, after listening to it about ten times, I like it exponentially
more.  There's something about Colin's bassline...Prairie's drumming...the
real strings and horns...Colin's backing vocals...

I'm also beginning to enjoy Colin's songs more and more, although my friend
Laurie doesn't much like "Frivolous Tonight" because it reminds her of a
circus (and she's scared of clowns).

I know it's an odd request, to be sure, but I remember reading in the Art
Dudley interview (the best XTC interview I've read, next to Todd B.'s) that
one of the reasons Andy thinks we're a little nuts is because we tend to
put down his songs.  In his words:

"It's amazing, the stuff they talk about [on Chalkhills]. I've seen a tiny
tip of the iceberg--not even that--of some of the stuff they talk
about...The real hyperbole, I don't believe. Because--it's just me! And I
fart like everyone else. [laughs] I get spots and I'm lazy and I'm just a
normal schmoe. [laughs] So the hyperbole I don't believe, and then the real
hurtful stuff--you know, the stuff like, 'Oh, this record is just crap
compared to such-and-such-and-such-and-such, and when you hear these songs,
it's obviously a once-great man falling apart before your very eyes, it's
so sad to see this'--I'm destroyed by that!"

I know it would be unrealistic to have this forum free of negative opinions
(and we'd probably unsubscribe, 'cos it'd be so boring!), but could we keep
in mind that, maybe, at some point, Andy and Colin might be reading this?

Does the drumming on "Greenman" remind anyone else of Manu Katche's
drumming on Peter Gabriel's "Us" album?  Prairie really outdoes himself
this time!


P.S.  In a completely unrelated e-mail, my friend Chris included this
tidbit about XTC:

"By the way, XTC kicked ass with their new release. I'll buy it the first
chance I get."

P.P.S.  "AV1" is now #6 on Music Boulevard...and climbing...

      Benjamin Gott . Bowdoin College . Brunswick, Maine 04011    .    .
 AOL: Plan4Nigel . Telephone (207) 721-5513 . Mobile (207) 798-1859


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