Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-104

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 104

                 Friday, 26 February 1999

Today's Topics:

                 What's New on Chalkhills
                  Philly Radio revisited
              Lay Your Head on *This*, Baby!
                      A classic.....
                       First Listen
                     AppleVenusHeaven be King For A Day (but I digress)
                 I have ONE word for you
                   No Lyrics, No Crime
                       Soaring high
           Jules Verne Sketchbook demos on CD?
                    NYC Tower signing!
                     Andy in Toronto
                   signing of the times
     River of Orchids ~~Heroes & Villains/Barnyard???
          More of the same commentary, perhaps?
         anyone taping any of these appearances?


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More than enough to keep me fed all year.


Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 10:27:46 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: What's New on Chalkhills

What's new this week?  Better to ask what isn't!

John Morrish contributed an exclusive version of a piece he wrote for
The Independent, many thanks to John for that.

Don't forget the XTC web chat scheduled for Thursday March 4th.

Cory Radosevic sent in the chords for "Earn Enough For Us", Jeffrey
Fariello sent in chords and tab for "The Last Balloon", "Easter
Theatre", and ""Frivolous Tonight".  Mark Strijbos sent in a
photograph of Colin taken in Brussels which was featured in
Volkskrant, and Mitch McGlothlin sent in a scan of the flyer
distributed at the Chicago in-store at Borders Books.

Many people sent in reviews of "Apple Venus Volume 1".  Many thanks to
Wes Hanks (I think all he does is surf for reviews), Duncan Kimball,
Karl Witter, Perry Pandrea, Jennifer Ralston, Chris Pratt, and Neil
Oliver!  Publications who reviewed AV1 include Sydney Morning Herald,
Hartford Courant, CMJ New Music Report, The Dallas Morning News,
Orange County Register, NME, BBC News, E! Online, New Times LA, The
Independent (London) Sunday Times (London), The Daily Telegraph
(London), The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA), Daily Mail (London),
Chicago Tribune, and of course, New Times Broward-Palm Beach.  (I'm
sure I've forgotten someone in all the excitement.)

We also received a couple of interviews (thanks to Wes Hanks and
Andrew Sholl), from the Dallas Observer and the New York Post.

Elsewhere on the web you can read the Sidewalk and Salon Magazine
reviews of AV1, and the review of "Transistor Blast".

And another correction: Philippe Bihan's book is to be titled "XTC:
Art sonique et vieilles querelles".  More details as we get them.

Enjoy your surfing at (and if you have links to
Chalkhills, please remember to change them to point to our new home).

	-- John

P.S. This morning I woke up with "Harvest Festival" in my brain.


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 17:22:16 -0500
Subject: Philly Radio revisited
Message-ID: <>
From: Bar From The Sky <>

Heya Chalkheads

Philly radio is a damn joke. It has been ever since WDRE was changed to
an "Urban Contemporary", or in non-bullshit terms, "rap, rap rap!". Y100
then became the station that those who listened to DRE depended on for
"Modern Rock". At least I did until it became the Ska-swing-crap station.

Knowing what Y100 thinks we want, I did not even bother trying to request
any new XTC. I figured they'd give me the ol' "not radio friendly" story.
I guess if XTC tried to be Sugar Imbruglia Orchestra Daddies, they would
be sure to get some airplay. When i think of that, I just say "Thank GOD
XTC gets no airplay!!"

Oh, and I can just hear an ever-so-intelligent Y100 DJ calling them
"Ecstacy". THAT burns me up more than them not getting any friggin

Wishing he could have made his post sound so much more mature,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 17:37:25 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Organization: Averstar, Inc.
Subject: Lay Your Head on *This*, Baby!

See the Greenman blow his kiss from high church wall
    An unknowing church will amplify his call

[BTW: John R. and other Keepers of the Lyrics: That should be "High Church,"
capitalized, don't you think? And "An unknowing," not "And unknowing"?]

for some links to images of actual Green Men found on church walls in
Britain and elsewhere. Pretty interesting stuff. Here's a sample of some
accompanying prose:

> John Barleycorn - celebrated in song - shows the same themes of death
> and rebirth, as does the Green Knight in the Arthurian story of Sir
> Gawain. Medieval legends of the Wild Men- dressed in leaves, living
> in the forest and venturing forth to take food, have been connected
> with the Green Man. In some stories of Robin Hood - the robber and
> hero dressed in green - he attains godlike status and links with the
> Horned God Herne. Present-day Western pagan thought identifies the
> Green Man as the symbol of the qualities of godhood within the male,
> as well as being an expression of the life/death/rebirth cycle and
> its relationship with the transcendent life-force, the Goddess, the
> female expression of godhood.

[You can see why Andy rejected the early drafts of the lyrics: "Please to
dance round with the expression of the life/death/rebirth cycle and its
relationship with the transcendent life-force, the Goddess, the female
expression of godhood/He wants to make you his bride."]

> His re-adoption by some present-day morris sides as the Fool reflects
> the seasonal nature of the morris, its roots in fertility celebrations,
> and the nature of its male-ness....
> This link with death has led some to describe the Green Man as the symbol
> of the natural cycle of mortal life--birth, life, death, decay. To
> Christians it is this cycle that the soul can overcome, with Faith. To
> some others the cycle continues - from decay back to the soil, to food
> from the soil, back into life- a symbol of the continuous regeneration of
> life and the interdependence of all things.
> Another direction we can take when looking for the meaning behind the Green
> Man is to study the character known in England as 'Jack-in-the-Green'....

[Somebody was mentioning Jethro Tull...?]


So now that we've gotten "phallic" and "priapic" all straightened out,
what's the difference between "anal" and "rectal"? Anybody?


I will not darken's door, I'm afraid, if it gets
newgrouped. I came to Chalkhills to *escape* the hopeless signal-to-noise
ratio in the alt.* hierarchy, and along about the twentieth time some
hapless feeb rises to a Hotmail "Dear God" troll you'll know what I mean.


Finally, from John "nature of its male-ness" Morrish Dansh (quote
guaranteed verbatim):

> In the early days he [Colin] was notorious for his lack of interest in
> equipment. Really, Dave's your man for that stuff (sigh...) Anyway, he is
> currently putting together a website which will cater quite nicely for
> those of us who like that kind of thing. It will also have the definitive

That last sentence produced in this thitherto rapt reader a vertiginous
sensation not unlike that so realistically evinced by Wile E. Coyote
following his miraculous-yet-inevitable defiance of the laws of physics
just long enough to hold up a small sign reading "Oops." In fact, the very
next shot was an extreme closeup of my bloodshot eyes, dwindling away from
the camera at 32 feet/sec^2, my ballistic body at long last to raise, on
the canyon floor two thousand feet below, a microscopic puff of dust.


Harrison "Acme Proofreader--Guaranteed!" Sherwood


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 17:47:49 -0500
Subject: A classic.....

Hello, my chalkie-neighbors,

Wow. What a day.....From the moment my eyes popped open Tuesday morning,
(and, by an excellent stroke of luck, getting Tuesday off...) I had only
one thought in my mind----get to the record store! I drove fairly
respectably, actually, didn't run over any poor folk in my way....well,
once I got the cds (I bought 3, 2 for my "converts") popped it into my
disc changer in the trunk, and heard that first water drip, I was having
so many chills down the spine it was like I was skinny dipping in the
Arctic ....simply incredible songs, sound and far as
I'm concerned, they can keep using Bendall/Davis for all future
releases, as this thing sounds great, and BIG, while still so small and
intimate, and clear.... They've used an orchestra as a precise weapon,
picking their spots for maximum effect, without overdoing it or using it
as an end in itself, which other artists sometimes fail at.  This thing
is a classic, no first listen Colins' songs didn't leap
out at me at all, but by the 2nd or 3rd time, they floored me...the end
piano on 'Frivilous tonight' puts a lump in my throat. I think it may be
his best stuff ever. Plus, this album has a totality and "weight" to it
that just works...I can't imagine any song off it now, or any added. Am
I caught up in post-release euphoria (and if i am, who cares!---its been
7 years!) by saying this may be their best? Guys, its good to have you
back in the shops with new stuff!
The only song I am not that into is Greenman, but it was like that for
me on the demos,too. But, Xtc songs are always like that for me, the
ones that don't move me at first listen usually later reveal theirselves
to me later on, even months or years for the
demo-to-have-first-or-not-issue, I can say it didn't spoil anything for
me to have heard most of this already. In fact, it only fed into my
excitement, because I could hear the fully realized version as an XTC
record. An excellent day, to be sure.....and an excellent album. The
wait has been worth it.

Perry  (climb aboard, climb aboard....)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:49:43 -0800
From: Daniel Pinder <>
Subject: First Listen

Just re-subscribed after years of only checking the digest archives. Great
to see Chalkhills still thriving after all this time!

I can't believe after 7 years that I'm finally hearing a new record. It
baffles me to think what I did with myself during that long stretch. AV vol
1 is wonderful. I can't help but favour Harvest Festival (made me weep...)
and Easter Theatre (sublime, if not as sweet as HV). Colin's Frivolous
Tonight caught me on second listen. Great tune, that. I was really worried
about being disappointed, what with years of build up about a new
record. I'm not.

Hope I can make it to their appearance at Virgin Megastore...

Sorry for this "frivolous" post, but I'm elated like I've not been since
1992 (my wedding notwithstanding...;-)

Daniel Pinder <>


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:53:38 -0800
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: AppleVenusHeaven

Well, to start, just to nitpick...

>From: Joel Reamer <>
>Message-Id: <>
>Subject: Not a member of the Greenman Fan Club

>But I am kind of interested about the band's choice of "Greenman" as their
>second single. I'm just personally not really into the song, which is
>irrelevant, but I don't believe something so bombastic and well, reminiscent
>of white middle-age western guys sounding leaden whilst attempting African
>rhythms (Phil Collins anyone?Flame away.), will sway anyone over to XTC. I

You know, why is that any other culture can embrace "white culture" musical
elements and be comfortable with it, yet we have so many examples of "white
middle-age western guys" getting bashed for the attempts?

Anyways, rant mode off, I have always liked XTC's and particularily Andy's
ability to use other "world beat" stuff and make it sound credible. Or, in
my view anyways. To split hairs, Greenman would properly be classed as an
eastern, indian'ish type of thing... 8)

Personally, I adore the tune, its easily my favorite on the entire CD, it
sends a shiver up and down my spine in the opening and it rarely leaves.
And, BOTH people that I played that single tune for were contemplating
buying the CD based upon the track, so, so much for the second single
theory bombing idea, at least in my small world...

My CD story is pretty damn simple, I interrogated the local stores on
Monday, assuring myself it would actually arrive, then I simply showed up
at 9:00AM and bought it immediately. As did the guy who was behind me in
the store as well. I was SOOOOO psyched that I had my walkman with me and
handed the cellophane to the clerk, stating thanks, I don't need a bag,
I'll it eat it on my way..

And what a lovely feast it was. I had been left a bit confused after a week
of somewhat shoddy sounding RealAudio samples (no slam on cooking vinyl, I
appreciated it immensely). When one hears a minute of "Easter Theatre" ,
ist a bit confusing, even more so for River Of Orchids, but, the songs make
much more sense now. You can include me in the "blah to river of orchids"
club. While it is an interesting tune, it just does nothing for me, despite
MANY listenings.

The rest of the just floors me. Even songs I was convinced would do nothing
for me at all just make me purr like a crazed cat in front of a fireplace...

thank you to Andy and Colin , and, hey, Amanda, if you have any words with
Dave in the next while, thank him muchly as well. While his contributions
aren't many, they are key bits in a few songs and he'll be missed.
Personally, I fantasize that they will bury the entire mess and have
Gregory back for Volume 2 but, who knows...

Its simply a luscious, delicious, meal of an album, easily worth the 7
years of waiting. And, on that note, back to listening to it again,


|We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million
|typewriters will eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare.
|Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
|David Hathaway, CEO Of monkey-boy industries,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:22:33 EST
Subject: be King For A Day (but I digress)

In Digest 100, (R. Stevie Moore) asked:

<<Since when were you "King for a Day"?>>

C'hillers (and I wish some of you would),

Back in May of '98, the gracious Bob Crain sent me a .wav file of Andy's
walk-on appearance at an Aimee Mann show at the Bottom Line in NYC.  At
that time, Dave Gregory was dating Aimee (sorry, Amanda) and touring with
her band.  The .wav file was of Andy performing Collideoscope with them,
but I digress.

In my gratitude to Bob, when I found out that he couldn't attend the New
York City Tower Records signing, I offered to get him Andy and Colin's
autographs on a copy of Apple Venus.  We exchanged a few e-mails leading up
to the event.  When I got home from the signing, I had an e-mail from Bob
asking me what I said to Andy and Colin and what, if anything, they said to
me.  The following is excerpted from my letter to Bob.

<< the big event............
Bob, I had no idea what to expect....I wouldn't be surprised if only 10 or
20 people showed up. Well, I arrive at TOWER about 4:50PM but can't park on
the street until 6PM. I want to park alongside Tower, where the line will
form so I can show off my XTC license plates, but you can't park there
until 7PM. So, we sit in the car for 1 hour and 10 minutes, diagonally
across the street from TOWER.

When we first arrived, I'd say there were about 20 or 30 people on line. By
the way, it was cold! During the course of our wait in the car, the line
kept growing and growing. When we finally got out of the car, the line had
turned the corner. I'd say there were at least 400 to 500 people on
line. So, from 6PM until 9:40, my wife and I and a few other friendly
people bitched and moaned while the line crawled. We had a lot of laughs as
passersby and passing motorists would stop and ask what was going on. What
were we waiting for?. I, being a clown at times, would shout to passing
motorists that we were waiting to use the phone.

OK. Sometime around 8:30PM an employee with TVT came out and told people
that Andy and Colin intended to serve the whole line, but that it would be
a while and to keep warm, he offered for people to take turns holding spots
for their neighbors while they went into the store to get warm. In doing
this, you could stand about 5 feet from Andy and Colin, but no way could
you jump the line. On one of my many trips into the store to keep warm, I
asked the guard near where you'd exit after seeing Andy and Colin if it
would be alright to stand there and take a few pictures. He was very
obliging and even let me past the rope to get a better angle. I only took
one or two pictures at this time, thanked the guard very sincerely, which
turned out to be a wise move. He remembered me when we finally got into the
store on the proper line and was ready to accommodate my every wish. At one
point, when my wife went into the store to keep warm, she also made nice
with this guy and he told her that I was such a gentleman. That's really
neither here nor there, but it did add to the ambiance of the night.

While my wife was standing near this exiting rope, she claims she got
Andy's attention as he was posing for a picture and complaining about the
flashes.  She claims Andy was looking at her while complaining, so she said
something to the effect about everybody outside being cold. With that, she
says Andy came over to her and kissed her on the chin and then the
forehead. I didn't believe her until later on when it was my turn to
approach the table they were signing at. As I approached Andy, she said
something to him about me being jealous that he kissed her and I approached
as if I was angry. Andy read this, and he acted as if he was afraid. It was
all in fun, and it only got better.

Earlier in the afternoon, before we left for Tower, I had typed Andy and
Colin a letter that I never thought I had the ability to do. In fact, when
I finished typing the letter and reread it, I literally burst into
tears. Bob, I am not a wimp by any means, and haven't cried in a very very
long time (except for this past Saturday, when I saw ANALYZE THIS in Sneak
Preview. Be sure to see this movie when it comes out. You will die
laughing). Damn! Have I been digressing lately!

So, I first shake Colin's hand and then Andy's. As I am shaking Andy's
hand, he notices the Uffington Horse pin attached to my XTC baseball
cap. He immediately is taken by it and asks where I got it. Oh! I forgot to
mention that my girlfriend was also there and had spoke to the guys about a
half hour before I did. She was there by herself because of the situation I
explained in a previous letter. She is a rather large woman -- one that you
don't forget seeing. I happened to be in the store when she was talking
with them and I took a picture of her with them. So, when Andy asked about
the pin, I asked him if he remembered Mimi, the professor who I had taken
the picture for.  "Sure," he said, and I know he wasn't lying, because when
she was speaking to him, I noticed how intently he was listening to
her. She is a professor of architecture at Pratt Institute here in
Brooklyn, and told the guys that she would like to recommend them for
Honorary Degrees for all their work and views in the Arts. Digress,
digress, digress. Well, I told Andy she had visited Uffington in her
travels and had given it to me. He was so taken by it that he called
Colin's attention to it. [I add here, now, that I offered the pin to Andy,
and he vehemently refused.]

Next, I told them about the letter I had written and asked that they read
it whenever they get the chance. I told them I poured my heart into it and
how I had wept like a baby after writing it. Colin took the letter and put
it in his inside jacket pocket. I had noticed they were putting gifts and
such behind them, but my letter went into his pocket! They were so
attentive, cordial and sincere. I felt so comfortable with them.

Next, as I asked if they would take a picture with me, I opened my jacket
and now Andy notices my NONSUCH t-shirt. Again, he is stunned and asked,
"now where did you ever get that?" I told him I got it at a Beatle Fest
flea market and again he called Colin's attention to it. He said something
to the effect of where do these people get all these things. As we're
posing for the picture, and I throw out my chest and am standing there all
XTC'd out -- XTC hat, XTC Black Sea button, Uffington Horse pin, and
NONSUCH t-shirt -- I hear the TVT guy say, "now that's a fan!" Bob, I was
10 Feet Tall! I was even higher than that, say, like a sunflower!

I thanked the guys, shook their hands once again, told them I loved them
and wished them luck. As we were walking away, the TVT guy said to me that
"it's fans like you that makes these guys love to do this"

Oh shit! I forgot to get you an autograph!!!!!!

Just kiddin', buddy!

[Snippet, snippet, snippet goes the scissorman....]

All in all, it was a religious experience. Between the great cry I had this
afternoon, meeting Andy and Colin, and hearing this exquisitely masterful
CD, I am almost ready to die happy. The only thing missing now is an XTC
concert, but don't worry, I mentioned that in my letter to the guys. In
fact, depending on my mood and that of the Chalkhill's Digest members, I
may post my letter for all to see. Believe it or not, I am quite shy,
especially about my writing capability.

Hope you enjoyed reading this recap as much as I enjoyed telling you about

XTC ya,

I guess I'm overcoming my shyness.  Here's a copy of the aforementioned
letter I gave to Andy and Colin. It's been a while since I've posted
anything other than the "FUCK YOU, assholes" to in Digest #97.  So, I figure this will also
introduce me to some of the newcomers to Chalkhills, as a way of saying

<<Dear Andy & Colin,

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Paul LoPiccolo, and I'm 43 years
old.  I was born, raised, and still live in Brooklyn NY.  Around 1970 I
discovered The KINKS. From that moment on, my passion for them was somewhat
abnormal.  I ate, slept and drank KINKS for the next 15 years.  I saw them
in concert well over 50 times, sometimes twice in one night.  I'm not
saying I was a 'walking KINKS encyclopedia'. I didn't own everything they
ever released. I didn't know the running order of songs on every album.  I
didn't know the running time of each and every song, either.  What I'm
trying to say is that I just purely and simply loved them and their music.
Sometimes, I blame my obsession for them and their lyrics on my failure to
do more with my life, but I digress.

Switch to 1979. WPIX-FM Radio in NY was playing some pretty cool music.
Squeeze, The Jam, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello.  You get the idea.  This is
where I first heard Life Begins At The Hop.  WOW!!!  Who's that band?  I
immediately bought Drums And Wires, fell in love with it and soon searched
out and bought White Music and Go2.  When Black Sea came out, I was
fortunate enough to see you guys in concert.  I couldn't get over the live
reproduction of the album's sound. I've always wondered why I've read that
you, Andy, weren't happy with the band's live sound. I'll never forget the

So, it was around this time that I proclaimed XTC my second favorite band,
ever.  Next(c) came English Settlement and so on.  Somewhere in the mid
80's I began to realize that XTC did more for me than The KINKS, who were
immersed in their Arena Rock sound.

I don't know ex(tc)actly what day it was, but I finally declared XTC my new
favorite band.  As I mentioned about the KINKS, I didn't become an XTC
encyclopedia, either.  I just enjoyed your music to a point where no one
could understand.  You guys have produced so much emotional good feeling in
me.  I had (still do, and always will), a passion for XTC that I just can't
put into words.  I became obsessed with all things 'X'.  My high school was
called Xaverian.  I currently work on Ave X in Brooklyn.  I even have XTC
94 on my car's license plates.  The 94 is to commemorate the year the NY
RANGERS hockey team won the Stanley Cup (championship).  I even have XTC
letters that are for a kid's bedroom wall hanging on my living room wall.
You know the kind; X with a xylophone, T with a tiger, and C with a cat.

Around 11 or 12 years ago, a guy with a Drums And Wires T-shirt walks into
the Post Office where I was a Window Jerk, and I struck up a conversation
with him.  I think you might know who I'm talking about.  His name is David

[C'hillers: Let me add here that Dasch is a personal friend of Dave
Gregory, and gave him a rare guitar that, according to Dasch, Dave G. had
wanted badly but couldn't find. Dasch said that Dave Gregory told him that
that was the guitar being plugged in at the very beginning of Peter
Pumpkinhead. In fact, David Dasch is acknowledged in the liner notes of
Nonsuch, but as usual, I digress.]  :-)

<<It turns out he doesn't live too far from me.  I'd bump into him
occasionally, but we barely spoke XTC.  Then, about 2 years ago, when I first
bought a computer, I looked up info on XTC on the Internet and found the
Chalkhill's Digest.  The next(c) time I saw David Dasch, we ex(t)changed phone
numbers and addresses.  The communication, unfortunately, was short-lived.
Somehow, David hasn't answered my last letter or phone messages.

I just want to mention one more thing, and this is mainly directed to you,
Andy.  I've recently met a very spiritual and well-educated woman, a
professor of architecture, and a culturally learned woman to whom I've
introduced your music.  At first she was apathetic to my passion for you.
I didn't pressure her, but in less than a month she started to hear what I
hear.  She began to analyze your lyrics.  She really took to your sense of
humour, Andy.  Again, I digress.

What I wanted to say is, hanging out with the professor (her name is Mimi
Lobell), whom you will meet tonight at Tower, I have discovered parts of my
personality through self-testing and reading up on personalities that
indicate I am a very INTUITIVE person.  Here's the catch......for years
now, I have been telling those who will listen, that I FEEL that one day I
will see XTC in concert again, before I die.  The David Letterman
appearance in the late 80's was a beginning.  Meeting you tonight is
another step in the right direction.  Another indication that XTC and I are
on a collision course, and you'll think this is dumb, but there is a
women's perfume out that I love so much I say I'd drink it.  It's called
SUNFLOWER. Lo and behold!  What does XTC mention in their new song, 'I'd
Like That'!?

Please, Andy, make me die a happy man.  As I said, I haven't done much with
my life, but I have had the greatest pleasures from hearing both the Kinks
and now you.  I'm talking goosebumps on top of goosebumps.  I'm talking top

I don't know how to end this letter.  I don't want to infringe on you guys
at all.  What I wish, though, if I can't have my lifelong wish of seeing
you guys perform live again, is this: can I at least be honoured to be
considered by you as one of your biggest fans?  Again, I'm not an XTC
encyclopedia, but nothing in this world -- no book, no woman, no amount of
money -- can make me feel as great as you guys make me feel.  To quote
someone I know both of you admire, THANK YOU FOR THE DAYS!


Bless you, I love you!>>

In closing, welcome newcomers.  I hope all of you enjoy XTC at least half as
much as I do.
And to some of you others, to quote another King (for a day), "Can't we all
just get along?"

I'm "oh! so Frivolous Tonight"!
Digressingly yours,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:44:13 -0500
Subject: I have ONE word for you
From: "Steve Dockery" <>

Hey Chalkies-

I realize this isn't news to you folks (particularly the ones who've heard
the demos, etc), but I just feel the need to express this:


Apple Venus #1 is AMAZING. I just got home and found it in my front door. It
is playing at high volume from the Bose stereo speakers of my 20th
Anniversary Macintosh even as I type this. I'm not even halfway through it
yet and I'm in ecstasy. Or XTC. :)

To anyone who doesn't like "River of Orchids": Huh? Listen to it again. You
must not have heard it right.

"engulfing bliss..."



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 00:56:02 +0000
Subject: No Lyrics, No Crime

> Got AV1 today!!! Suprise!!! A piece of cardboard with the cover on
> front and the guy's pictures on the back....No Lyrics!!!!!!!!!  Was
> this a mistake, or is TVT to cheap to include a lyric booklet!!!

According to Martin from Cooking Vinyl, Andy didn't want the lyrics

BTW: i have just uploaded the new, improved and corrected version of
the Apple Venus lyrics to my site. Thanks to John B. for supplying us
all with the Japanese cd that _does_ include the lyrics.
And lots of lovely pictures too!

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:40:08 EST
Subject: Soaring high

 Anyone else see it as more than coincidence that the day AV1 was released,
two balloonists by the name of Andy & Colin took off to fly around the world?
 Soaring above the rest!  Lets just hope they dont crash.
  The cassette holder for AV1 is pretty cool.In the shape of a cigarette
box,like one of those designer types.Even as a non-smoker Im not offended.
 For those still trying to get used to songs,dont give up! They get better
everytime you listen.Every song is a gem.
      Sprayin' my buds,Roger


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:38:21 -0600
Message-Id: <>
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Jules Verne Sketchbook demos on CD?

Does anyone have a good-quality CD version of this?  I'd be very interested
in a copy.  I have started collecting demos on CD and just love them.  BTW,
Apple Venus Volume 1 is amazing, no surprise.  Some of the songs that
really came out better than on the demos are I Can't Own Her and Harvest
Festival.  The way River of Orchids starts up is just incredible.  Now I
wish the boys would get back in the studio and get going on Volume 2.  Any
idea if pre-planning has begun?

 Jim S.     <>


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 19:40:45 -0500 (EST)
From: Jonathan Rosenberg <>
Subject: NYC Tower signing!
Message-ID: <>

Hey all.  Delurking here for two reasons.  A) I wanted to use the word
"delurking" in a message and B) To give my impression of the NYC signing.
What an absolute thrill.  I've never been more dizzingly high in my life.
(No jokes, please...)  Oddly, I got the impression that Andy and Colin
were almost as shy as I was talking to them.  Andy elongated his feet on
the back of the cover card.  This message is disjointed.  Sorry.  One more
thing:  There was a guy standing behind me in line (about 20 people back
or so)  who got an English Settlement LP signed.  Andy drew a guy riding
on the chalkhills horse.  We met on the corner afterwards.  I was
wondering if that guy subscribed to chalkhills, and if so: hello, write me
a message!


PS  The album is, of course, absolutely FAB in every way conceivable.


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 19:41:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: Andy in Toronto
Message-ID: <>

A group of us will be meeting before Andy's appearance at Tower Records at
the southern-most entrance to the Eaton's Centre at 1pm - any and all
Chalkhillians are invited.

(Apologies in advance if this message has already been sent out by
somebody else in the Toronto-area XTC Fan Club.)

Ted Harms                                      Library, Univ. of Waterloo                           519.888.4567 x3761
"But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."  B. Spinoza


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 19:57:16 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007807b2fa093a3be4@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: signing of the times

Hi all you relieved eardrum owners,

I know the album is now out and we are all rejoicing and enjoying it etc
but I did have a chance to wait on line last night in NYC and freeze my
toes off to basically confront Andy about "I Don't Want to Be Here". I told
him that several people were completely aghast and typing in ALL CAPS after
hearing the song. He replied "Why, they think it's that bad?" I assured him
just the opposite and we all want it on the next album. He said "It's *not*
going to be on the next album." So that was that. BUT, I did convince him
that it should be a b-side or at the very least should be on the demos box
set and he agreed and we shook on it. So everyone will get to hear the song
in some form.

More later,


Date: 24 Feb 1999 17:11:26 -0800
From: "HEGGEN, MARK" <>
Subject: River of Orchids ~~Heroes & Villains/Barnyard???

Hey all--
Here's a VERY obscure Beach Boys comparison:

Don't the pizzicato strings on RIVER OF ORCHIDS sound a lot like the
pizzicato's on the "Barnyard" section of "Heroes and Villains" (as in, the
"Sections" version on the box set)?

If you're lucky enough to have a tape of the rehearsal for the Barnyard
string section, you'll really hear what I mean.

Apple Venus 1: perfect for a warm springish night scented with
jasmine--like last night was!  Happy listening, folks.



Date: 24 Feb 1999 17:24:26 -0800
From: "Robison, Sean" <>
Subject: AV1

     As will be the norm for the next few weeks ( or months ), we lurkers
     will be crawling out of the woodwork to express our opinions on AV1.
     Well, here's mine:


     This is the lushest album they've ever done and by far the prettiest.
     Since I was one of the few "I don't wanna here the demos, I wanna be
     surprised" people, I had no idea what to expect. Given all the talk of
     the album being "orchustic", I was expecting the album to have a
     quiet, spare feel. Instead you're totally enveloped by the sound.

     My favorite track from the start is "Greenman." If any song could be
     considered immediately irresistible, it's the one. Colin's songs are
     the most fun. Quite a change from the spareness of "Bungalow" and the
     cynicism of "Smartest Monkeys."

     Nothing like an incredible album to make seven years vanish with the
     push of the "play" button.

     The employee at Virgin where I got the album (also an XTC fan) said of
     all the new releases this week, AV1 was outselling them all by a large
     margin. By the time I got there, the store had only two copies left.

     Now all I need to do is get March 5th off so I can get to Virgin in
     Hollywood and get my copy signed by Andy and Colin!

     And, if you haven't noticed, AV1 states the very obvious: "You may
     like Apple Venus Volume 2"... Uh, duh.


Message-ID: <000501be6065$d20bbaa0$16e8e3cf@joel---virginia>
From: "Joel A. Enbom" <>
Subject: More of the same commentary, perhaps?
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:22:17 -0800

Since we seem to be introducing ourselves, allow me to chime in.  My name is
Joel, I've been reading Chalkhills for the last eight years.  I offer
sincere gratitude to John Relph for investing so much time in my

Since I've only posted a few times (at most), allow me the opportunity to
write a few things that have crossed my mind at one time or another
while/after reading the digest:

    1.    Harrison, your posts ALWAYS brighten my day.  I owe you many
smiles, and a few pondering-induced headaches.
    2.    Amanda, I feel like a proud, distant father when I read your
messages.  I've always appreciated your frankness.  Lately, I've also come
to respect your restraint.  If only I'd grown so much in such short time.
    3.    Dom, keep stirring the pot, please.  It keeps old farts, like
myself (age 31), on their toes.
    4.    I always thought it was "Stand Clear," too.  I, now, know better.
    5.    I love "Crowded Room," and most of GO2, as well.
    6.    I, too, have had dreams about the band.  Go figure.
    7.    I've got the girlfriend person all the way to humming.  She'll be
singing out loud soon.
    8.    Thanks for all of your great recommendations.  I now own CDs by
The Sugarplastic, The Grays, Jason Falkner, Fountains of Wayne, and Sloan
(amongst others, of course).

Well, needless to say, I picked up Apple Venus V.One yesterday and have
since had opportunities to form some very preliminary conclusions.  I will
not venture into a full blown review until someone asks for one and I've had
enough time to settle.

First, I don't think that Andy has ever sung better than he does,
consistently, on AV1, excepting the apparent difficulty reaching the high
note in "I'd Like That," ("Say agaiiiiiin...").  He sings particularly well,
I believe, on "I Can't Own Her," and the music is engineered in such a way
to make the sound of his singing voice unusually pleasant.  I will, in the
interest of warding off flames, point out that I have always liked his
singing.  There seems to be a little bit less Curt Smith in his voice this
time out.

Easter Theatre is, to my surprise, better than I could have hoped it to be.
My natural tendency is to avoid lofty praise for fear of feeling stupid
about it later, but I can safely say that I have not ever heard a work from
this century that has so overwhelmed me.   Mr. Partridge has crafted an opus
that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the best of Gershwin,
Bernstein, and Lennon & Macartney.  Easter Theatre is only the second song
that I've had the privilege to hear that has provoked a physical reaction
(the final 10 seconds of "Dear God," being the other).  "I'd Like That" and
"Greenman" be damned, this is too good not to be released as single.  It
deserves as much exposure as it can get, and then more.

At first, I thought "Harvest Festival" just kind of laid there.  Not
anymore.  However, I think the low pizzicato strings are a little loud in
the mix.

The lyrics to "The Last Balloon" are extraordinary.  What a beautiful, sad

Whenever I listen to "I'd Like That," I'm immediately reminded of "Pink
Thing."  Must be the drum pattern ("...I'd be your..."  versus  "...Anytime
you call...").

Great slide guitar on "Fruit Nut."  Who's playing it, do you suppose?

"Frivolous Tonight," the best that Colin's ever produced?  Perhaps.  It's
tough to top "Dying," and "My Bird Performs," though.

This album needs a libretto.  The music is well suited to the stage.

I really enjoy "I Can't Own Her."  It's somewhat ironic that I hear more of
Todd Rundgren in that song than I do throughout all of "Skylarking."

With that dispensed, I will send out an open invitation, nay--plea, to all
of the list members in the Seattle area.  I will be hosting a listening
party March 6th (in my home) and I'd be thrilled to have you over.  I plan
to make this a real artsy affair with guided discussion and, of  I will be inviting non-initiate friends, so I could use the
support.  So, SEATTLITES:  email me please.  This means you, Randy.  Oh, and
to anyone else doing something similar, wanna do the whole internet hook-up

Thanks for indulging me.  I've enjoyed your company.

    Joel Enbom
    Junior Idiot (trainee)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 02:46:37
Subject: anyone taping any of these appearances?

Fellow Chalkgeeks:

I'm constantly reading of XTC appearances on radio & TV these days, curious
if anyone out there is taping any of them?

I'm a large trade freak, and would love to swap something for any
copies....or for any memorabilia of the lads.

I've got shloads of fantastic quality XTC audio, and video(about 10 hours
or so worth), and memorabilia....lot's of extra copies of things....anyway,
if you are looking for something, or if you have recently taped something,
check me out...

Optimism's Flames:

anyone else think that The Last Balloon is actually about Richard Branson's
attempts to circle the globe?....he's got enough hot air to pull it off!



End of Chalkhills Digest #5-104

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