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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-106


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 106

                Saturday, 27 February 1999

Today's Topics:

                   XTC in Guitar Player
                    Apple Venus vol. 1
            Close encounter with Andy & more!
                    Met Mr Partridge!
                      Re: No Lyrics?
                        AV1 Review
                        Priorities
                     Re: Old Threads
            Babbittry--oh yeah and that new CD
          I say, any picture-scanners out there?
         AV: First Impressions and the word WOW!
                     another lurker !
                  Girlfriend forbids XTC
                      Much Apologies
            Wow, this album really blows guys
                Oh... okay, I'll chime in
  Jammed Apples, Trapped Ships & I'd like it to be there
                       XTC signings
        My GLE LP and AV1 Sleeve...Marred Forever!
                GREENMAN GREENMAN GREENMAN
               AV1 review from BBC Teletext

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A man must have a shed to keep him sane.

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

From: KingJeffe@aol.com
Message-ID: <36e86f44.36d55d7a@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:26:02 EST
Subject: XTC in Guitar Player

Howdy chalklodites,

In case anybody's interested, there's an article on our boys in the latest
(April) issue of Guitar Player magazine. I also have to confess that,
although I live just across the river, I did not go to the NYC Tower
Records appearance/signing on release day. I could've, should've, but
didn't.  Ohhhh...the regret! I hope those that showed up had a good
time.....I hear the turn out was good. My self imposed punishment shall be
to lock myself in my room with AV1 looping for the weekend. Bad boy!

Jeff

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

From: JStrole@aol.com
Message-ID: <a9d2ba8f.36d55f20@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:33:04 EST
Subject: Apple Venus vol. 1

Now that I heard about 10 times in 2 days here's my knee jerk reaction:

1. River of Orchids- One of the most inventive songs in a long time (in pop
music in general).  Yet, I would have to say my least favorite at this
point on the record.  I keep waiting for this to go somewhere else.  Next
week this will probably be the reason I like it.  This song is an enigma.
I believe keeping close to the demo may have hurt this aching-to-be
masterpiece.

2. I'd Like That- Breezy, nice, perfect single.  After the jumble
overlapping of River..., I'd Like That shows the other side of XTC so often
overlooked by the public at large.  Nothing quirky here.  Paul McCartney
would be proud.

3. Easter Theatre- The build up continues in this Beatlesque/showtune.  If
there is ever another great Broadway musical Andy Partridge will write it.
And you know it won't be about cats or roller skating trains, et all.

4. Knights In Shining Karma- When I heard this demo I thought this song was
a big let down from it's title.  I guess that's why they record 'em.  A
major improvement from The Shed version.

5. Frivilous Tonight- Colin has outdone himself on this record.  This is
the first of his two best songs in decades.  Here he out Squeezes Squeeze.
Difford & Tilbrook would give their eye tooth to write such an ode to the
mundane.

6. Greenman- The climax of this record.  The peak right in the center of
this lush album we have the rythmic bounce of Greenman.  A hold over from
Pagan times, which says a lot about this record in general.

7. Your Dictionary- Advice to all people: Don't break up with your genius
songwriter/spouses.  This makes you hope you never have to go through what
Andy did.  Of all the break up songs I've heard he tops them all.  It sends
a shiver down the spine.  It also serves as a hopeful excorcism of the
"she's cheating on me" songs Andy was always so good at writing.

8. Fruit Nut- What a welcome follow up to Your Dictionary.  This light
Beatlesque romp that has Colin telling us to let him have a few minutes to
tend to his garden.  We all need a place to keep our sanity.

9. I Can't Own Her- This better be a single.  People otuside the XTC world
like this song.  Not my favorite from the demo days, but once again right
on in the studio.

10. Harvest Festival- This is a very Pagan album.  The feel of the songs
make you think The West Country olde English feel really took over the mood
of this record.  Like Julian Cope before them, but yet not at all, Andy
really seems to see something in the old ways that you can use today.
Hardly reactionary, but owing to the past.

11. The Last Balloon- The best closer since Chalkhills & Children.  Puts
nice bow on a fantastic package that invites everyone to unwrap.

Overall you will be allowed to utter the dreaded words "comparable to
Sgt.Pepper" but now they will be truer than ever.  They did it and it is
great.

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

Message-Id: <v03110700b2fb0a13d704@[18.156.0.43]>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:43:25 -0500
From: josh getman <jgetman@MIT.EDU>
Subject: Close encounter with Andy & more!

I returned to Boston from New York on Wednesday.  After I got off the
plane, I was checking out the newsstand when I noticed Andy exiting the
plane after me.  He was wearing the trademark shades and the suede cap.  He
was a lot smaller than I thought.  I wanted to say something to him, but I
didn't for the following 4 reasons:
1)  What is our fascination with stardom?  He is, pardon me, "merely a man"
- he just happens to make music that I admire, but that's all there is to
it.  What does his name scribbled on a piece of paper accomplish?  What
right do I have to be a pest to the guy who's just trying to collect his
baggage?
2)  I wondered how I'd feel if the encounter was negative
3)  He quickly walked into the airport bathroom, and that would've been
just plain weird.
4)  I chickened out

BTW, also on the plane was Stiller and Meara.  For those who don't know,
they are famous for...
-Being the parents of Ben Stiller
-they were a famous comedy team
-Stiller played George Costanza's wacky father in Seinfeld

Also, I wanted to say that AV is terrific.  I agree with those who've said
that River of Orchids is a remarkable song.  I also want to put my vote in
for Greenman and My Dictionary - very good songs.  I'm having trouble with
Frivilous Tonight, though.  No snap judgements here, but it's not my
favorite.  It's good for what it's intended to be, but I don't particularly
enjoy it.

AND FINALLY, to Duncan Kimball who wrote:

>PS - the next person who mentions either Objectivism or Libertarianism
>on this list gets a nasty surprise in the mail. There are forums
>elsewhere for that rubbish - keep it there.

Relax.  You write some mightly long posts - don't waste space telling
others what NOT to write.  No one has a political agenda.  The topic came
up (I don't even remember why) and people responded to it.  Remain calm.

Josh

----------
Josh Getman
MIT Technology Review

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

From: Robert Salvini <natalia@javanet.com>
Message-ID: <003901be606b$ef745ba0$588d5ed1@nate>
Subject: Met Mr Partridge!
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 22:07:09 -0500

Finally, Got to meet Mr. Partridge himself at Tower Records in Boston last
night.
Ahhhhhh.......Yes..............*Sigh*
Got there early enough that I was about eighth in line. The line grew with
the hour. Met some great folks in line......Hello Dave Grisman! not
Dan,right? Dave?
Very mellow crowd......nice vibe.
Andy was about 40 mins late to come out but when he did "Whoopee!"
What a sensation, I was truly honored as was the entire crowd.
When it came my time to step up to the red table he sat behind, I looked him
in the eyes, rested my hand on his and said "It's just so,so very good to
meet you Andy"
That said it all,,,,,,
I handed him the roses I had brought for him and he was actually bashful.
Haha.
I was surprised I was the only one to have brought flowers for the bloke.
I made a joke about the flowers not really being for him.....
Then said "Ahhhh yes they are for you!"  He was truly grateful and said he
would put them in water at the hotel.
We exchanged a few sarcastic jokes and then my friend Mario asked to take a
shot of us so
I put my arm around Andy...he put his arm around me.....,I said   "Andy
babay,Ive known ya my whole life!"  pretending we were like old
friends......he says "Gineen darlin'!"
and then "snap!"and there is was, a moment in time. a picture to frame.
hahaa.........great fun to share humor.
I am still grinning cheek to cheek....What a night to remember. 40 seconds
of ahhhhhhhh.
Got AV autographed and also my journal which said For GiNEEN, with a little
Andy doodle of himself which he animated with his voice after he drew it. He
said "It's saying......Ohhh what am I doing here?"
He commented ont the unique spelling of my name.
OK,Okay fellow Chalkers.... I was in awe guys! I have to point out the
details.
What a nice fellow he is...........Somehow my life is that much more
complete having met him.
I listen to XTC in a different light after that. Somehow it's much more
meaningful....if thats possible.
....My friend had told Andy how inspirational he had been to him as a
musician but that
he had not a thing to be signed, Andy said "Sure you do! Your camera!" So he
signed the camera! In gold metallic marker. Hahaa.....
I have about 4 pictures of us......hope to scan them and put them on the web
........once I update my homepage.
I am happy for all of those who were graced with Andy recently in there home
towns.
Hey guys......Think XTC will be played on the radio now....since AV has come
out?
I know Green man would go over well on the radio today.
Hope they dont get ultra popular again,although it would be deserved!
Guess I just like my part in our cult following....
Gineen

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 04:35:20 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <Cooking_Vinyl@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: No Lyrics?
Message-ID: <199902250435_MC2-6BCC-FBBF@compuserve.com>

Message text written by INTERNET:<chalkhills@chalkhills.org>
>
(As an aside, Cooking Vinyl folk, why on earth doesn't the CD include a
booklet with the lyrics??)<

This was how Andy and Colin wanted the artwork.

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

From: martin.clinton@dnb.no
Message-Id: <199902251026.CAA05376@sgi.com>
Subject: AV1 Review
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:25:53 +0100

Hello AV1ators (sorry!),

In the UK, next weeks issue of 'Heat' A new weekly TV listings magazine,
that has entertainment news & reviews, has an AV1 review. It gives if 4 out
of 5, and ends with the line 'at last a comeback album that's worth coming
back for'.

All the best

Martin

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

Message-ID: <36D59B17.501E@snet.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:48:55 -0800
From: "R. Cris Palmer" <crisp@snet.net>
Organization: Brookside Farm
Subject: Priorities

How does Andy know about rabid behaviour on the internet?
 I thought his home computer had him on the run.

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

Message-ID: <19990225120212.2889.rocketmail@send206.yahoomail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 04:02:12 -0800 (PST)
From: pancho artecona <partecona@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Old Threads

chalkhillers,

puertorican mail is SOOO SLOOOW!
My AVI copy was sent 4 days ago and every day I go to the mailbox I am
dissapointed.
I just read that AP cancelled a radio appearance in Boston due to fear
of flying?!! Does anyone know more about this? I hope AP doesn't
sabotage this great opportunity to be heard by loads more people than
ever. I am afraid he has a bit of a tendency to do that and be
compulsively difficult (I still love him anyhow).
And this is an old thread but I don't write much.
band names:
The Cargo Cult
The Abscesses (or The Pimples if you really want to sell out)
Facile Poses
Thy Womb Jesus

Oh, and I just realized that Rob Zombie took the riff for his last
song from Marilyn Manson's 'Beautiful People'. The sheer gall of it! ;)

And finally, thanks for all the good suggestions regarding music. This
past year I became acquainted with Brian Wilson, Jason Faulkner, early
Kinks and Guided By Voices (Bee Thousand has to be one of the greatest
albums ever) and I am still looking for the Cardiacs. Chalkhills
remains the most informative and enjoyable list, IMO.
Anyhow, I remain hopeful that AP will decide to do a book signing in
Puerto Rico. I know I will be there and have him all for myself.
Pancho PRXTCFAN

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

Message-ID: <618F91505D89D21185330001FA6A4954229A11@HFD-EXCH008>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <WitterKF@aetna.com>
Subject: Babbittry--oh yeah and that new CD
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:40:27 -0500

>Jefferson Ogata: I stuck Mermaid Smiled in between The Man Who
>sailed Around His Soul and Dear God.

I put it in after Big Day and before Another Satellite. Mermaid
Smiled always reminded me of those visions Babbitt has of the
fairy. Finally, at the end of the book, he quits trying to
run around with the flappers, and that's where Another Satellite
comes in.

I've run through Apple Venus Vol 1 about five times today at
work. It's been that kind of day, and this is the tonic.

Frivolous Tonight seems so essentially English to someone who's
never been in that pub setting. I love the music hall sound,
and the rinky-tink piano. It isn't "real", but succeeds in
giving you the impression, and that's what artifice is.

The flute-y sound in Greenman--how real is it? The long
note ending little riff has plenty of that fluttery trill
stuff (technical term) and I can't figure if that's by intent
or it couldn't be reduced out of the synthing.

Finally, Fruit Nut at first read like one of Andy's farming-as-
sex-metaphor lyrics, but it bounces it up like the most jovial
thing in the world.

On the whole general "sound" thing, Apple Venus I reminds me of
the slower bits of Nonsuch and Mummer but done righter than they
are. The sound is cooked-in, not poured on at the last minute
before serving. Plus, all the usual XTC stuff about taking music
into a new dimension, never done quite that way before, doesn't
feel particularly like anyone else, blah blah blah :-).

And just to add to the "which way is up" AV cover, here they're
shipped with the base of the feather off the left. But if you
look at the photo on the other side of the card, that's right
side up when the feather base is off the bottom. I must confess
a preference for the upside down and the odd sly chuckle.

Thanks to Stef and Tim and anyone else I might have bumped into
in NYC. (Ira--maybe next time.) I was dumbstruck when I got my
autographs, and admitted as such, but didn't forget anything
clever to say; I didn't have anything clever in the first place!

All the latest from Zip City,
Karl

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

From: STakesh@aol.com
Message-ID: <286d4cbf.36d56f6a@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:42:34 EST
Subject: I say, any picture-scanners out there?

'ello, everyone!

My pictures of XTC at Tower in NYC are developed.  The ones
I took w/o flash are a washout (I was hoping for a burnished,
more natural light; oh well...), but a few came out great.

Is anyone out there able/willing to scan a few pics for an available
website?  There's only a few, worthy of the honor, really: an establishing,
3/4-angle shot of Andy & Colin with the XTC panel backdrop in full view &
no fans visible; one centered on Colin signing with Andy flipping through
the book on hats with a bemused expression; one of David A.  and his friend
Larry at the table (this is my best shot of Andy); and one formal pose of
me at the table (I look awful and Colin looks peaked, but Andy has the same
imperious tilt of the head & expression on his face as on the "Black Sea"
album, only here he's wearing aviator glasses and a *bit* less hair.
Priceless!).  Only the last photo was posed; the rest were caught on the
fly.  Y'know, those perfect Henri Cartier-Bresson moments... [g]

Any takers?  Anybody with an available website willing to give these a
home?  Please write me off-line...

Much thanks to David Adler, XTC fan & Monty Python scholar extraordinaire,
for taking the ones of me at the signing table.  If David Adler sees this,
write me for your print, O.K.?  I took one of you and the one of both you
and Larry...  You must have these; you look like the cat who ate the
canary, I swear to God!

Saving it all up for you-ouuu,
Stephanie

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

Message-ID: <36D65FA1.FEAF549@po.twin.ne.jp>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 00:47:27 -0800
From: michaelw <michaelw@po.twin.ne.jp>
Subject: AV: First Impressions and the word WOW!

Hi Chalkers!

It's cold outside here in Osaka...had to go somewhere, get in from the
cold.  Wait!  There's a Tower Records, might they have Apple Venus 1? I
check out the XTC bin...  nothing! But wait...would they, perhaps, have a
display? You're DAMN RIGHT they do!  One whole end, a nice table set
up...posters and pictures of our Swindon laddies, as well as the
feather....and, woah, look how many CD's, there's gotta be 30 or so...but
the stacks seem small, like customers have been buying them up! WhooHoo!

Of course, I do my duty and subtract one CD from the stacks...i get home,
put it on...and.....aw, man, words don't express...they can't express the
pure genius, the satisfaction, the shee....ok, what the hell, i'll give it
a go!

1.  River of Orchids

This is one brilliant opening song!  The opening few seconds, those first
few drops....very cyclical, very Andy!  Also, the horns are great! If any
of you drive, better push those cars to the side, because after listening
to this song, you, too, will be showering the roads with all kinds of
floral donations. Listen to it more, and it becomes much more than Andy's
idealistic sentiments....what I want to know is, how could Andy sing "I
remember when cars were reduced to a fossil" over and over, so good and yet
so fast? This song gets better as it goes on...

2.  I'd Like That (Say a Sunflower)

A great song to walk briskly to! This one will sound even better in the
Spring (in fact, this whole damn AV is seasonal; not cyclical-don't confuse
it with Skylarking-but there ARE similarities between the two).  Colin's
background vocals are so bright and sunny; this is a beaut!  What reverb!

3.  Easter Theatre

From the upbeat fading melodies of the previous song comes machine
assembly-line like horns. Like a factory march: one-two one-two step; and
then, suddenly, waking from a dream, next to that special someone... Scene
two: a more languid, morning vividness....aw, hell, mere words cannot
express this extraordinarily Majestic composition; my simple prose cannot
do it justice--listen for yourself.  The line about son and
father....Andy's best line, EVER!  Colin's vocal ending is the
icing....this is THE song, the BEST one on the album......Wow.. :-)

4.  Knights In Shining Karma

A vast improvement on the demo version, this one really took me by
surprise.  Andy's best vocals ever? His sweetest, smoothest, most "pure"
vocals? Almost made me cry, this one. Damn, it is perfect in a simplistic,
serene, Medieval sort of way.

5.  Frivolous Tonight

And to think, this is the same person that wrote X-Wires and
Limelight....wow...  THIS is so mature, yet so playful! If Life begins at
40, then Colin is at his peak on this one.  You could detect shades of The
Affiliated here, but just around the edges...very nice brush strokes on
this one, reminds me of when I was little, and my parents used to invite
their friends over on a Saturday night to have dinner, play cards, talk,
drink, and be merry!

6.  Greenman

First time I listened to this, I thought, ok, it goes on for a while, too
much like the demo...blah blah...but after a few listens....and that's what
this song takes...man, was I wrong! Actually, now, it seems too short, and
I love the regal flavour of the song. But what really floors me is the
passion, the gusto, in the way Andy sings, "lay your head" , over and
over....this song really moves, has a nice rhythm, very Middle Eastern
(Latin?  African? whatever it is, it isn't of this Earth, I can tell you
that!).  One of XTC's finest recordings, a boffo achievment!

7.  Your Dictioonary

Oh, my dear...very biting, rough around the edges, but there lurks a
softer, more poignant creature inside....could it be that the crocodile is
on the outside, or is it inside, too?  When he sings the name "joey", can't
help but to think his accent is very NewYork-ish!  The instrumentation of
this song is bold and bitter; the piano (is that Dave playing?)  fits
precicely where it should come in, the strings and other orchestration...a
dagger to the heart, very deep, a very heavy song....and the finality of
the ending lingered with me for a few moments, before...

8.  Fruit Nut

A complete 360 of Andy's previous spelling song, this one is kooky, krazy,
and just plain fun!  I've always had a soft spot for Colin, like many of
his offerings, and more often that not, likehis songs more than Andy's.  I
bet Dave liked playing on this one; it's that wacky yet typically dark
British humor (see Python, Monty ; Adder, Black; or Dwarf, Red); the melody
is so sugary and peppy, so bright as to almost make me want to hire this
guy that Colin sings about to come over and tend my fruit, for god's sake!
The ending may very well be Dave's one-note swan song.  My question is: why
was this (and, perhaps, Greenman, for that matter) included on this
collection, when they very well could (possibly) go on AV2?? Help, someone!

9. I Can't Own Her

Much better than the demo....a nice backing vocal by
Colin....thought-provoking and simple, like taking a walk by yourself, a
stroll down the sidewalk of your neighborhood, on a Sunday
afternoon...thinking to yourself these lyrics....not wanting to lose
someone you love...  Very poetic, a truly gorgeous, yet somber and
reflective song...

10. Harvest Festival

Now Andy's treading on (for me) both unfamiliar and almost too familiar
ground here.  The unfamiliar part is, I'm American, didn't know what the
hell a Harvest Festival was (until I read Song Stories-thanks
Neville!). The part I relate to, though, is Andy's relating to childhood
loves; I, too, received a "look" from a classmate of mine...we were
actually good friends, talked, played, and laughed a lot...I truly did
believe, in my pre-teen naivety, that we would be married someday...  Aah,
good childhood memories...what this song evokes, and, hell, I ain't even
British! Splendid song.

11. The Last Balloon

Why do I think of either Chalkhills and Children or that part in the (get
ready, yes..)  Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy goes up in that balloon? Why do I
visualize a solitary balloon, with a dozen or so "survivors" on it , mostly
children, leaving the utter crap that we, their parents have left? (OK, I
admit, I read Song Stories!). The horn solo is sheer brilliance, a
near-perfect way to end what is easily the best XTC recording since
Skylarking (or whichever is your fav one)

I would have to give AV1 an A- , a whopping 9 out of 10 stars, two thumbs
WAY UP, simply an Outstanding job lads....and, yeah, I heard the demos
first; didn't matter one aiota...I was more than compensated with such
aural beauty.....I agree with the person who wrote in the last digest,
"Unlike anything I've ever heard before..."  Indeed, XTC are, again, in a
class by themselves!

Michael Wicks

P.S. Incidentally, I get the feeling that Andy Partridge is interested in
All Things Pagan....it certainly does crop up from time to time (is that
what Mummer was all about, all those Pagan rituals? Hmmm... :-)

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

From: "john gray" <jt.gray@btinternet.com>
Subject: another lurker !
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 16:42:39 -0000
Message-Id: <E10G3pS-0002D0-00@rhenium.btinternet.com>

Hi guys - I haven't been lurking too long, I'm ashamed to say
I only discovered the Chalkhills NG recently .
I have been envious to read of all you people who have been
listening to AV1 demos . My advance listening was limited to
buying a variety of magazines just for the cover CDs - can anyone
email me with details of the demo tapes/availability ? please ?

on a separate, off-topic NG subject - of course Krakatoa is East
of Java, it's just the long way round ! As Steven Wright similarly
observed - 'anywhere is within walking distance if you've got the time '

John Gray
<jt.gray@btinternet.com>

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

Message-ID: <006401be60dd$ca127a00$6f5791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <aso1@mocha.ocn.ne.jp>
Subject: Girlfriend forbids XTC
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 01:41:18 +0900

Eric B. wrote :

>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

>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.

Pardon me for saying so there Eric , but I think you ought to " do some more
research " on a new girlfriend . Any woman ( or man as the case may be ) who
" forbids " the playing of XTC ( or anything else for that matter ) " for
very long or not at all " would have been history in my book a long time ago
. Are you a man or a mouse my friend ?

John in Japan

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:43:04 -0500
Subject: Much Apologies
Message-ID: <19990225.114305.2686.0.MollyFa@juno.com>
From: Molly E Fanton <mollyfa@juno.com>

I just wanted to apologise for the double posts I had about XTC not
coming to Buffalo.  When I read John's message about losing some of the
posts I wanted to be on the safe side, and typed it up again.  I wasn't
trying to be annoying or anything.  And I haven't gotten my copy of AV1
yet, but hopefully it'll be in my mail box today.  But you guys can write
about it.  It's sort of fun reading the reviews.  I think I was in a bad
mood when I wrote that post.  I should learn to think about it before I
post.

Molly

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

From: SSLONE@c-span.org
Message-ID: <0DF85E690FAFD21197A90060083C6FEA0BCE14@206-135-9-5.gw.eni.net>
Subject: Wow, this album really blows guys
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:54:18 -0500

Here's my hasty assessment after about three listens to AV: I waited seven
years for this?  It's very disappointing to hear your heroes fall so flat
and fail so badly.  If Robert Pollard recorded this record, he could take
the handful of interesting musical ideas and the album would clock in at
about six minutes and be great.  Instead, we get 50 minutes of painfully bad
singing and boring repetitive easy listening music.  XTC sound sadly older,
past their prime, like they've been isolated from other humans and like it's
been a long time since they listened to good music.  The album feels
half-baked, sterile and under-arranged.  Some of it might have been improved
by populating the arrangements with more guitars, drums, etc.  Still, it
sounds like Partridge has been flogging his Pink Thing for the last seven
years insted of writing decent songs.
Track by Track:
1. River of Dreams--Irritating from the first drop.  Repetitive and
uninteresting with the first of many off-key, straining vocal performances
from Andy.
2. I'd Like That--A mediocre pop song with pretty dumb lyrics but otherwise
an album highlight
3. Easter Theatre--The opening is almost as irritating as "River of Dreams"
but once it kicks in, it gets much better.  Wow, is that a guitar solo--what
a concept!
4. Knights in Shining Karma--Pretty but sterile ballad
5. Frivolous Tonight--Whew... Colin baby it is great to hear your voice on
this fun, poppy song.
6. Greenman--Did somebody say this was the greatest XTC song ever?  What
kind of drugs are you on?  Again, irritatingly repetititve nonsense (Lay
your head, lay your head) with another overly-ambitious, straining vocal
turn by Andy.
7. Your Dictionary--Mean-spirited, heavy-handed diatribe that might benefit
from a rockier arrangement.  Still, as someone else said, I hate songs where
the spell stuff out (Hall and Oates come to mind).  Pretty cool Beach Boys
like last 30 seconds.  Maybe I'll look for my Dukes of Stratosphear CD.
8.  Fruit Nut--Frothy little throwaway from Colin.  At least it breaks up
the monotony.
9.  I Can't Own Her--Reminds me of something they've done better on another
album--maybe "One of the Millions" from Oranges & Lemons.  Yet another
overly-ambitious vocal
10. Harvest Festival--Boring, completely off-key, out of tune mess.
11. The Last Balloon--Speaking of boring...  Atleast Andy finally shuts up
for the last couple of minutes for that great trumpet solo.

Hey, don't get me wrong, I'll be first in line for AV2 but this one doesn't
give me high hopes.  Oh well, atleast Steve Earle's bluegrass album and the
new Kelly Willis record are both brilliant.
See ya--Slonedog

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

Message-ID: <19990225165319.16942.rocketmail@web4.rocketmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 08:53:19 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <phoenixyellowrose@rocketmail.com>
Subject: Oh... okay, I'll chime in

I think it is interesting to read all the comment
of the people who are, at the very least, disappointed
in one or more of the songs...

I like them all. I love a lot of them. Like it always is with me.
I love Colin's songs... they are fun, great, wonderful
snapshots of life.

His voice is interesting.

But, I think the difference in opinion around here is nice.
We are not drones, or whathaveyou.

-Nicole

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

Message-ID: <XCMuvGAQfY12Ewqc@wordsrus.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 17:26:40 +0000
From: Tim Harris <Tim@wordsrus.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Jammed Apples, Trapped Ships & I'd like it to be there

AV1's a brilliant whole, a concept album without an explicit concept.
It's head and shoulders above most of the contemporary material on
offer. It's delivered everything it should; true to the demos - not an
attempt at alternative versions - but sonically and dynamically superior
and with sufficient embelishments to the arrangements to add to the
listening experience of anyone who'd already heard the 'songs'.

But should there have been more? And not just the prospective content of
AV2.

It's position in XTCs history is not unlike All Things Must Pass to
George Harrison (the common theme of substantial orchestration is also a
similarity) - an emotionally draining release after a long period of
constraint (constipation I think GH called it). He included the Apple
Jam set as a let-your-hair-down tonic to the main event. It may be that
the AV2 rock set will provide a similar counterpoint  and the pair will
come to be seen as such (but there's still a lot of that emotion bound
up in many of the songs that could form the AV2 set). I just think a
companion CD of Andy's Bubblegum tunes, or something along the lines of
the Dukes, would have made an interesting supplement.

To counter the lack of total novelty to me of the AV1 set I invested in
the 97 Demos, so I had some totally unfamiliar XTC to get to grips with.
People have said Ship Trapped ... and I Dont Want To Be Here wont make
AV2 but the reasons dont seem reasonable. Surely not including Ship
Trapped ... is counter to AP's philosophy of Books Are Burning? And if
My Dictionary made AV1 then I Don't Want To Be Here deserves to be on
AV2.
--
Tim Harris

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

Message-ID: <19990225173242.23455.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "a b" <lkjfds@hotmail.com>
Subject: XTC signings
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:32:42 PST

Hello everyone-

In my desperation, I have a favor to ask.  Would anyone who is going to
one of the signings after you read this want to get me a new album with
Andy's or Colin's autograph. Unfortunately I can't make it to any of
their appearances.  I have lots of rare xtc material that I could trade
you or I could pay you quite fairly for you troubles.  After reading the
posts about the NY signings, it seems that it wouldn't be too difficult
to get an extra autograph.  If anyone is interested in giving it a try,
please e-mail me privately so we can work something out. Thanks a lot.

-B.R.

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

From: WWi8064839@aol.com
Message-ID: <68f55368.36d58984@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 12:33:56 EST
Subject: My GLE LP and AV1 Sleeve...Marred Forever!

But they were marred in a most delightful way by an exhausted, yet
incredibly gracious and humorous, Andy Partridge, at Tower Records in
Boston.

I brought along "The Greatest Living Englishman" LP.  I figured that just
above Martin Newell's hat, there would be plenty of room for devilish Andy
to wreak havoc, When I finally met him, he seemed pleased that I had
it. (In fact, earlier, when he first walked into the signing area [to
polite applause], he saw it in my hand and stared at it a bit.)

As he took a millisecond to figure out how he'd mark it up, I blurted, "I
just love the work you do with Martin Newell, and Stephen Duffy. Uh...and
of course - XTC!" Yeah, I flubbed. Damn. But, what the heck, I was meeting
the man in the flesh for the first time and was starstruck.

Before my eyes he squiggled the Union Jack waving atop Big Ben, which made
me laugh (try imagining it!). Then in a dash he signed, "Andy Partridge."
The Union Jack flag really cracked me up because, not only was it so
unexpectedly funny, but I had been watching a stodgy documentary on World
War II, during which Big Ben was shown countless times along with
Parliament.

And then I handed him the AV 1 insert, saying, "And, of course, the
obligatory..." "Of course, the obligatory!" he said, somewhat mockingly. "I
think I'll give this one the voodoo treatment!" he quipped. And in a few
dots and lines he turned the image into a voodoo mask.

I thanked him and walked off with my treasures. What a great time we all
had.  But I felt bad for Andy; he was spent!

Wes

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

Message-ID: <19990225175048.27532.rocketmail@send104.yahoomail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:50:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Mark Rushton <markrushton@yahoo.com>
Subject: GREENMAN GREENMAN GREENMAN

Considering how many times have I hit "repeat" on the CD player since
Tuesday for track 6, I'm wondering why "Greenman" isn't the pick for
radio instead of "I'd Like That"?

If Bittersweet Symphony and Champagne Supervova could be hits in the
US, then.....

Mark Rushton, http://www.billnelson.com

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

From: Paul@pi-design.com
Message-ID: <7792192DE506D2119A6100A024F0274A1EA3EF@PIMAIL>
Subject: AV1 review from BBC Teletext
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 18:01:28 -0000

Here's an Apple Venus review from BBC's teletext..
Page 564 10\10
"It's been a long time coming, but at last the waiting is over - the
Partridge is back in season.

"Andy Partridge, that is, who, together with co-conspirator Colin Moulding,
has awoken XTC from it's seven year slumber.

"Apple Venus Vol 1 is an orchestral juggernaut colliding head-on with a
lorry-load of sagacious rhyming couplets and folky harmonies.

"XTC. 25 years on, make music for pleasure rather than top 20 hits these
days.  The pleasure is all ours."
Review by Chris Charles.
------
I must be bored - I've just transcribed that off of the TV onto the
PalmPilot.... Took about 10 mins to do it... Maybe I should start writing
like DavidOh?
------
Paul Stratford, Systems Mangler, PI Design
XTC content to XTC@PI-DESIGN.COM
Other stuff PAUL@PI-DESIGN.COM

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #5-106
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