Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-107

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 107

                Saturday, 27 February 1999

Today's Topics:

                  Gotta tell someone!!!
                     Brevity sullied
                    A Difficult Birth?
              My meeting with Andy and Colin
                        Re: stunt
                Popeye's Harvest Festival
                        No lyrics?
              This Could Be Our Finest Hour
                    Towering with Andy
 My brush (or is it inappropriate contact) with greatness
                       The Loving.
                 Re: WHFS 99.1 Interview
              One (or two) more thing(s)...
                Easter Theatre/AV comments
Impressionists, I'd Like That(autographed, please), and Ravel
                Who's pushing the pedals?
                  Lyrics & photo booklet
           RE: davidoh's anger w/ dallas folks


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Who's that dragging what looks like a pink sack of spanners down the road?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 13:17:07 -0800
From: "R. Cris Palmer" <>
Organization: Brookside Farm
Subject: Gotta tell someone!!!

I just got a call from my good friend Kate in Boston...  Even though
she's not especially a big fan of XTC, she does enjoy their music and I
had "suggested" she brave the elements at Tower Records yesterday to get
Andy Partridge's autograph. I live in Connecticut, incidentally, and
could not make the 200-mile trip to be there myself. I guess she must
have explained to Andy about my lowly status as an underappreciated
musician, for this is what he wrote across the peacock-feather artwork
(adorning the new CD cover):

	"Hail Cris... I love your music! Andy Partridge."

My feet may never touch the Earth again!

That holy relic is going under glass, in a frame, and will enjoy pride
of place on the wall of my home studio!

Sorry... don't mean to gloat, but I positively HAD to share the good

Ten feet tall,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 13:12:29 -0500
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Brevity sullied


Good gawd! These digests are flying off the press since AV1 came out,
so I'll be brief.

The Relphmeister said:
>Yes, you *can* make a difference!<

Between my purchases for myself and for gifts for friends and family,
and the recommendations (and info about Music Blvd.'s $10-off coupon)
that I've given to others who have expressed interest or who I think
will buy the album, I'm probably directly or indirectly responsible
for moving 10-15 units. Think of the album sales if each one of us
could do this! Let's go for it, Chalkies!!

Nicole said:
>Afterward... they played.... DEAR GOD.<

Thank you, WHFS, for living down to my expectations.

Kristin said:
>I'll go back to lurking I suppose.<

Don't do it! There's nothing wrong with differing opinions and good,
healthy arguments. That's the lifeblood of this list. Keep
contributing -- it's great seeing so many posts from new people.
That's what we want, right? To spread the XTCreed and help the band
find the success (and that means a wider audience, folks) they

Eric Brittingham said:
>And as a dyed-in-the-wool Beatles fan, this album whips my cream.  Colin's
Fixing a Hole bass on Frivolous Tonight ... The little Julia guitar and
vocal part on Knights in Shining Karma (around the 'jealous winter sun'

I also love the Beatlisms throughout the album, but the bass line in
FT struck me as more of a nod of the head to "A Little Help from my
Friends" than FaH. And while the overall feel of KiSK also reminds me
of "Julia," I also love the little lift from "I Will" (the little
pattern he plays before singing the title line later in the song). And
thanks, Eric, for the info you shared as we scrambled to find out if
they'd do an in-store appearance in Philly.

Ben said:
>Laurie doesn't much like "Frivolous Tonight" because it reminds her of a
circus (and she's scared of clowns).<

Who isn't? But tell her it's a drinking song, not a circus song.

>I remember reading in the Art Dudley interview (the best XTC interview
I've read, next to Todd B.'s)<

Why, thanks! That $20 I sent you was money well-spent.

and still:
>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!<

That triplet he plays before the vocals come in just kills me. It's
that world-music feel thang ... but you're right, his drumming is
outstanding throughout the entire album. Very subtle, very precise,
very humble -- it serves the music and adds to it without calling too
much attention to itself. And ain't that what it's all about?

Oops, this wasn't so brief after all,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:35:40 -0800
From: "Jeffrey W Wall M.D." <>
Subject: A Difficult Birth?

it is 2:30 in the morning, and I am laying in the physician call room in
Labor and Delivery waiting for Mrs. Blah! to finally deliver her baby.
It has been a long day for me and a long hard labor for her.  I know I
should get some sleep but I can't.  I'm not even tired.  The songs of
Apple Venus keep swirling around in my head.  Finally at 5:30 am she
delivers - Easter Theater happily spilling around my neurons as she does
- nice - and it's a boy too.

XTC have meant alot to me over the past 20 years - it is just so nice
to  finally hear master Partridges's and Moulding's voices again.

I hope they make boatloads of money off this.

Any chance XTC might stop off in Kansas City?  Am I truly the last fan
here in K.C.?



Message-Id: <v03007800b2f9191d17f4@[]>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 23:27:28 -0500
From: "Tom X. Chao" <>
Subject: My meeting with Andy and Colin

Venus Apple in the Big Apple (no, that's lame)
Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding
Tower Records In-Store appearance
E. 4th & Broadway, NYC
Tuesday, February 23, 1999

PRE-SIGNING CRAP (you can skip)

All day long I couldn't concentrate at work.  I kept thinking that today
would be the day I finally meet my childhood idols!  Even though I've
gotten autographs from Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach and also John Cale
in recent months, not even they could match meeting Andy and Colin (because
I've gotten Costello's and Cale's autographs before).

I called the store several times during the day to see if anyone was lining
up and at 3pm, no one was foolhardy to start standing outside in
below-freezing temperatures.  However, I left work early at 4pm to insure
that I got a good spot in line for the 6pm signing.

When I got to the store, I saw there were about 30 people in line.  I ran
into a nearby drugstore to buy a blue Sharpie, which Jeff Wong had said
would not fade and discolor like the black ones.  I got in line at 4:45, an
hour and 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time of 6pm.

Slowly people began to trickle into the line behind me.  As usual,
passers-by would stop and ask what we were waiting for.  They thought the
line was for the Roots, who were scheduled for the next day.  When we said
"XTC" they looked baffled and walked away.  At first the people in line
around me seemed a bit reticent, but as I knew would happen, as soon as
people started talking XTC, everyone jumped right in with various bits of
information, me not the least, boasting of my Reader phone interview with
Andy and also my encounter with Dave at the Aimee Mann gig in LA.  They guy
behind me was on the Chalkhills mailing list, and said he recognized the
"Chalkhills Entrance Exam" that I had written many years ago and is still
on the Chalkhills website.  (I did not print that out to give to the boys!)

Although none of the store personnel had mentioned it to me when I had
called, some people in line were saying that you had to buy the "Apple
Venus" disc before having it signed.  Of course I knew that they weren't
going to insist that you only could have that item signed.  However, as a
precaution, I went into the store and bought the disc ($13.99).  I didn't
really want them to sign it, as I had brought my only rare item to make it
out here with me, the Nonsuch-era CD bin divider card that had all the XTC
album covers printed on it with little blurbs written by Andy about each.
(I had gotten it from Rhino in West LA, when, on a whim, I took it up to
the counter and asked how much they wanted for it.  The clerks looked at
it, at each other, then at me and said: take it and get the hell out of

Back in the line, I told people that the TVT office was at 23 E. 4th St.,
as printed on the back cover of the CD, and someone went down the block to
see if Andy and Colin were in the offices.  No such luck.  The line began
to stretch around the block.  More people walked by, wondering what the
hell was going on.  At around 5:50, my friend Jeff Wong, whom I had met
after numerous Elvis Costello shows, showed up with his bag full of early
XTC vinyl discs for signing.  At that point everyone around me had been
standing in the cold for over an hour and started to really feel the
effects.  I had all my cold-weather gear on but I was really getting
chilled feet and hands.

6pm came and went and everyone began to get very punchy and restless.
Finally around 6:30 someone ran up and said Andy was spotted going into the
store!  I didn't hear any explanation for the delay.  Eventually we were
able to see through the windows Andy and Colin coming down the stairs from
the second floor and everyone was energized by that.  However, it readily
became apparent that the line, when it finally began to move, was going to
go extremely slowly.  Someone reported that Colin and Andy were giving each
person 2 or 3 minutes of their undivided attention for chat, autographs,
and pictures!  However that meant the line was crawling and I was really
freezing my ass off.  Fortunately everyone was in a good mood and making
idiotic jokes about Andy getting "autograph-signing fright" and cancelling
the event.

It wasn't until 7:05 pm that my part of the line got into the store, and we
were shuttled into the aisle that had been blocked off for the signing.  We
unbundled their coats and began to warm up a bit.  I nervously prepared the
bin divider card, the blue Sharpie, and the photocopy of the Reader
interview that I intended to give to Andy, although I knew he would not
remember anything about it.

As we inched closer to the desk with Colin (left) and Andy (right), the
fact that I was actually going to meet my childhood idols began to sink in
and I felt extremely self-conscious and nervous, even more so than I feel
in preparing for my one-man show, which is happening this month.  What
would I say?  How would they react?  The usual questions flowed through my
mind.  When I saw that people ahead of me were all asking for photos with
the boys, and they were granting the requests, I quickly gave my camera to
Jeff and asked him to take a picture of me with them at the conclusion of
my signing and discussion period.

Andy was wearing a brown leather baseball cap, while Colin's head was
uncovered.  I may have been mistaken, but it looked like there was a bit of
gray in Colin's hair now.  When the couple ahead of me stepped away from
the table, I approached and smoothly set the bin divider card on the table
in front of Colin, saying I had been a fan since "Drums & Wires."  I gave
him the blue Sharpie and tried to explain the thing about how the black ink
discolors.  He probably thought I was a loony.  I slid the interview in
front of Andy and said that I had once interviewed him on the phone for
"Through the Hill."  He didn't make any attempt to pretend he remembered,
but he did look at it and asked if he could keep it.  (What could I say to
jog his memory?  "Do you remember me, the guy who kept saying 'I see' and
'Exactly' a lot?")  I said that the copy was for him to keep and he said he
had never seen it and placed it on the platform behind him with his signing
beverages (juice and water) and a slowly-growing pile of presents.  Colin
signed the bin divider card and said he had never seen it before.  When
Andy spotted it, he looked at it and said, "Ah, the Bible in miniature," as
he signed it.  I tried to fill in the gap by saying "I've got all of your
albums" which is goddamn stupid if you think about it.  Andy went further
by asking me where I got the divider card and I repeated the anecdote about
getting it from Rhino, which I thought was hilarious, but, in retrospect,
perhaps they thought the bin divider card should still be where it
belongs--in the bin encouraging people to buy more XTC discs!  No, I could
always pretend I had gotten it many years after it would have been
reasonably expected to serve that function.  I then asked them for a
picture and scooted around the table so that I could be photographed by
Jeff.  Andy said something funny which I partially missed: "I should stop
saying 'fire away.'"  I was too excited to reply with something witty.
After Jeff took the shot I shook both their hands and told Andy I was glad
to finally meet him.  I also told Colin to keep the blue Sharpie and he
must have (again) thought I was some kind of maniac.  Then I stepped
throught the cordon gingerly holding my new prize.

I paused to watch Jeff getting his stuff signed and Andy and Colin agreed
to sign all of his vinyl discs, including the import English Settlement,
and 2x copies of Black Sea with the green outer bags intact!  Colin even
accidentally signed his own name on the Dukes album, and Andy pointed out
that he had never slipped up and done that before!  I briefly regretted not
bringing more stuff for them to sign, but what is the point, really?  Jeff
returned my camera to me and I used it to take a shot of the guys just
sitting at the table by themselves.  Jeff and I were giddy with excitement
and went up to the second floor to pack up our stuff, in particular Jeff
had to put the plastic sleeves back on his vinyl LP's (do you remember
that?).  Then we went back down to the main floor and stood off to the side
to watch other people getting their stuff signed.  A guy came up to me and
asked me about the thing that I had gotten signed.  Man, he had sharp eyes
to recognize it was a rarity.  He started talking to Jeff and me and it was
readily apparent that he was a true fanatic, as he knew minute details
about obscure releases.  Then the 3 of us stood there checking out the
stuff that other people had brought for signing, and coolly evaluated all
of the odd 12" and 7" items that were laid before Colin and Andy for
inscription.  As Jeff pointed out, every person who met them was grinning
from ear-to-ear--they were all like us, boggled by the fact that they were
meeting their musical idols!  At one point, Andy stood up on his chair and
started waving to the people outside, as if to encourage them to stick out
the cold!  It was fucking hilarious!

The word was that the duo was going to stay and sign for everyone in line,
and I almost felt as if I should stand there for the entire duration, but
Jeff and I left the store.  Outside, I turned to the line (which still
stretched down the block) and screamed "XTC rules!  Yeah!" which got a
laugh and then we went to get a burger and reflect on the
almost-unbelievable fact that we had just met Andy and Colin.

By the way, Colin's signature looks like "CL. Moulding" and Andy's is an
angular, illegible scrawl that scarcely looks like "Andy Partridge."

Jeff suggested that I should have duped the cassettes of the interview for
Andy, which I had considered, but I have no gear for doing that now.

Presently listening to "Drums & Wireless" right now--going to wait for a
quiet moment to absorb "Apple Venus" on phones.  What if I hate it?

THE RESIDENTS are coming to Irving Plaza in April!!!!


Message-Id: <l03110706b2fb4dc5ba1e@[]>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:25:15 -0800
From: Eb <>
Subject: Re: stunt

>From: "John Boudreau" <>
>>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!

So, I'm guessing you're a big prog-rock fan? The more complex the playing
and time changes, the better the song? ;)

Anyway, "dislike" would be too strong a word. I just don't like the song
*much*. I may dislike "Fruit Nut," however. Weak song, and the clumsy
singing and tacky synthesizer licks make it even worse. A real clunker,
sorry to say.


PS  I heard the album of the year this week, and it ain't's the
upcoming Tom Waits disc, Mule Variations. Wooooooow.


Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Feb 99 11:46:08 PST
From: Brian Wysolmierski <>
Subject: Popeye's Harvest Festival

**I'm re-posting this because I don't think it went throught the first time
around. I'm sorry if its posted twice!**

OK, you all are going to think I'm nuts

I think Harvest Festival is a wonderful epic, but there's one thing that
keeps getting in the way of my enjoyment...

  At the end of the song when the recorder/flute solo comes in, I cant help
but think about Popeye. I picture Popeye sitting there tooting his pipe to
the song. Also, I imagine him playing the Popeye theme song with the music.

  Its gotten so bad, that whenever I hear Harvest Festival, I imagine
Popeye as a child. I imagine Popeye contemplating the loves he missed out
on. He's not cynical though... Popeye still has fond memories of that girl
who gave him those longing looks from across the canvas chairs. He wishes
the two who got married well (even if its Bluto).

Anybody else have this problem???
  -Brian Wysol


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 15:03:24 -0800
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: CIC
Subject: No lyrics?

You know, it's kinda sad that the new disc
doesn't have any lyrics printed, but after
waiting for more than 7 friggin' years for
this new material, I don't give a damn!!!

This stuff is fucking AMAZING!!!!  :-)

Was well worth the wait, guys!  Thank you
Andy, Colin (and you, too!) Dave for once
again coming through with flying colors!

Life is good...

/Dan Phipps <>

"Imagination like a muscle will
 increase with exercise."
(Peter Blegvad)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:46:22 +0000
Subject: This Could Be Our Finest Hour

Dear Chalkers,

Our help is needed... according to Cooking Vinyl, the current
uk midweek chart position for Apple Venus Volume 1 is 31.

All UK residents: buy another copy today! We simply must get this
album into the Top 30  to give it some momemtum. We could be on the
verge of that long overdue comeback.

To set an example i've decided to fly to the UK this Saturday, go
all the way up to Swindon and buy that extra copy.
No, i'm not kidding!

BTW: do you remember the days when it was bloody hard work to find
the new (or any) XTC album in the shops? Not anymore!
I'm seeing stacks and stacks of AV1 in the 'right' shops here in
Holland, and even some TB boxes. that's an essential  first step
towards succes of course.. distribution!

In the meantime:
Ask not what XTC can do for you, ask how many extra copies of
AV1 _you_ can afford to buy for your friends and family...

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 04:28:41 -0500
From: Dave Gershman <>
Subject: Towering with Andy


Apple Venus is incredible, even having known the demos beforehand! I
have to admit that I wasn't enthused with Colin's songs at first,
especially "Frivolous Tonight," but on repeated listening, they've
really grown on me -- I think of the two that I like "Fruit Nut" better,
but they've both been running through my head as much as Andy's songs,
which I take to be a good sign. This is my first time hearing "Harvest
Festival," but it's easily among my favorite on the album. "Favorite"
status goes to "Easter Theatre" for at least the time being...the studio
version has made it even better, in my mind, though I've read that some
of you feel otherwise. Hey, to each their own, as always.

To add to all the excitement, last night (Wednesday), I had the extreme
pleasure of meeting Andy Partridge at Tower Records in Boston! Things
got rolling about 40 minutes late (I think he got on a late plane out of
NYC, as he also missed a radio appearance on WFNX -- he apparently was
able to keep his appointment with WXRV, "The River," though, by calling
in from the plane). Upon his arrival at the signing table, Andy seemed
in good spirits and immediately went to work on anything and everything
that was brought to him. Several lovely Chalkhillers were in evidence --
Cheryl MacGregor, David Pardue, Jennifer Strom (? -- sorry if that's
wrong, Jennifer...I seem to be having a mind-seizure of some sort about
your last name), Gineen "Natalia" Salvini (who has informed me by e-mail
today that, in a post to this list, possibly to be found in this very
digest, she has mistakenly referred to me as David "Grisman" but she
means me), Chuck (didn't catch your last name), and a couple of others I
noted by their T-shirts but whom I didn't have the chance to meet.
 Another fine fellow in line in front of me, named Matt, had thought
ahead enough to have a camera with him. He offered to take my photo with
Andy if I would do the same for him, and he'll be sending it to me in
exchange for some taped demos. Cool! :) Among the items I brought to
have signed were two copies of AV1 (one of them for Wes Hanks -- you're
going to love it, Wes!), my copy of "Song Stories," my A.P. "Hello CD of
the Month Club" CD, and my "Chalkhills Children '97," which I appear on.
Upon my approaching the table, Andy immediately commented, "I like your
shirt," referring to my Chalkhills shirt (did you hear that, Phil?). So
I said, "Speaking of the mailing list, I have here my copy of CC'97,
which I did a track on." Says Andy, "Oh really? Which one? I have all
these, you know." I pointed out to him on the disc that I did "One of
the Millions," and he said, "Oh, yes, I know that one...that's a pretty
good version." Well, let me tell you, to have one of your musical idols
KNOW a recording you have done and say what he said, even if he was just
being polite and really thinks it's crap (which may well be the case),
is simply the thrill of a lifetime! I got an immediate adrenaline rush
and stammered out something like, "well, it's pretty low recording
quality, home 4-track and all that," as he signed it, but he pooh-poohed
that and moved on to my Hello CD. As he signed it, adding a little gold
marker to his nose on the sleeve's picture, he pointed to the song
listing and told me, "You know, we're going to be putting "Some Lovely"
on Volume 2," which I know will please many of you, as it did me. This
made me think to ask, "Will you be putting "You and the Clouds..." on as
well?" His response to the affirmative was yet another high point of the
exchange! Volume 2 is going to be as great as Volume 1, I suspect!
 After adding a hat to his head on the cover of the book (as well as his
autograph), we shook hands and I thanked him for everything, and he
said, pointing to the Chalkhills Children CD, "Keep up the good never know where that might get you!" What a nice guy -- so
relaxed and patient with everyone -- just watching the people ahead of
me in line getting things signed was a pleasure. My line-mate Matt, who
had snapped a photo for me from the sidelines, then suggested I stand
next to Andy for a quick photo, to which Andy kindly obliged. Can't wait
to get those photos! :)
 Afterward, Cheryl, David, Jennifer, and I made our way to Small Planet
for a post-signing dinner and beer, and unwound from our respective
adrenaline highs, comparing Andy's handywork on our respective CDs, etc.
Thank you all for a fine ending to an excellent evening!

Well, I'm off to listen to AV1 yet again...just can't get enough!

Dave Gershman


Message-ID: <618F91505D89D21185330001FA6A4954229A1B@HFD-EXCH008>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: My brush (or is it inappropriate contact) with greatness
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 16:37:20 -0500

I was one of the lucky few (okay, several) Chalkies in NYC for the
autographing. Nobody's fibbing on the cold: I lucked out with
my skiing socks, as standing out there took its toll on many a toe.

First I bought the artifact. Then I wandered around in the store,
coat open, to find some Chalkhillers. Well, I did meet Stephanie,
and her take-charge 'tude found us the line. I recognized my
buddy Tim and, warmed by cocoa, waited out the sunset.

I then trolled for other Chalkhillers by pacing the line a few
times with my coat open and the famous chalk horse visible
(with a turtleneck underneath). (Hi Jules!) Sorry to read that
I missed so many others who were there.

The cruelest part was the 30mph venturi blast of cold air one got
in the doorway just before getting inside. There was time inside
to warm up and get my vocalizing parts back functioning.

At last, there they were! Andy asked me how I was & I took some
3 sec. to splurt out "dumbstruck" and shake his hand. My fashion
sense was complimented by Andy--hope he sees lots of 'em on tour.
Then I couldn't open one of the CD cases (how starry-eyed of me),
but Colin took over and I mentioned my relief at having someone
in the music business to handle things beyond my capability at the
moment. I did remember to have Andy sign Ira's with a little
personal message (look for it soon, Ira).

Here Colin & Andy were on display, putting quite the effort into
making ME feel welcome! And, as others said, they chatted and signed
up a storm for those who wished. I was just giddy to bask in the
glow of genius.

Next time there's a NYC party of Chalkies I have to be there!

A bit of a shower,


Message-Id: <>
Subject: The Loving.
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 99 23:52:20 +0200
From: Per Aronsson <>

I was six years when I bought my first record. It was "She Loves You" with
The Beatles.

Since then I am crazy about music. I have around 1 800 albums (mostly vinyl,
of course) and I have a special room for just music. When my family is away
I can sit 10 hours a day and just listen.

The Beatles have a special place in my heart. But XTC owns my heart. Every
record they have done is a masterpice. No other artists make music that is
so interesting, funny, beautiful, surprising...

Now to my point. I have spinned Apple Venus five times today - and my
feeling right now is that it is the best album I ever have heard.

Andys songs is so brilliant, as usual. And Colin is better than ever. I love
his way to sing on this record.

Okej, I stop there. This is starting to get to tearful...



Message-ID: <>
From: "Cary T" <>
Subject: Re: WHFS 99.1 Interview
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 13:48:33 PST

   <<  While driving to Tower's to buy her copy of AV1, Nicole as
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.>>

I heard this interview, too (and got home in time to record it, if
anyone here wants it), and I was also angered at the fact that Dear God
was played instead of...I don't know...something new, maybe? Lou Brutus
had even said in the interview how great he thought the album was. Oh
well. It's tough to hear XTC on the radio around the DC area anyway, so
I guess I'll take what I can get.

When will XTC come down here to DC? Or have they already and I just
missed it? It's too long a drive from here to New York, and I want to
see Andy and Colin!

(de-lurking and enjoying it)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 05:39:01 -0500
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: One (or two) more thing(s)...

I forgot to mention this in my last post...

Leslie said:
>They [Music Boulevard] are displaying the AV1 cover sideways, by the way,
>turned one notch clockwise.... when did all these online retailers become
>so coy?

As you may have noticed by now, the image is actually oriented that way in
the unopened CD, so either they changed it at the last minute to make it
less suggestive, or it was never intended that way and we're all just a
bunch of filthy-minded little pervs! ;)  I really like the metallic look of
the image, in any case, though I'm quite disappointed with the lack of a
booklet. If you're reading this, Cooking Vinyl/TVT, I think it would be
great if you could include something a little more "interactive" in the AV2
package. Speaking of which, that makes me think too that it would be very
cool if there was some sort of interactive computer thingie on the CD, as
more and more CDs seem to have these days (maybe something designed by Andy

As I type this, AV1 is #4 on Music Boulevard's charts!

One more song comment: I've noticed that the bit toward the end of
"Greenman," where Andy layers the line "Lay your head," reminds me a lot of
the "melt the guns, melt the guns" part in the song of the same name. Just
a thought.

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 14:09:37 -0800
From: "Lynn S." <>
Subject: Easter Theatre/AV comments

Hey all,
I got it today!
I love it!!  It makes me soul happy.
Just a few comments.  My favorites so far are River of Orchids, Easter
Theatre, and Your dictionary (at least the first part, I'm uncomfortable
with the ending, I wish it had kept its angst and ended in more of a fury,
but who am I to tell Andy how he's feeling?).  The Last Balloon is a
beautiful song too.  I also like Colin's songs, they're cute, and well
contained.  I wish there had been a little less Beatle influence in some
songs, I'd really like to hear something more original behind the melodies.
Re: Easter Theatre Dan Wiencek said:
>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
I hadn't heard any of these songs until today, but I heard this too, it
poops out right when it is building towards the final choruses.  There's an
awkward pause.  This seems like an unusual slip for Andy, who is I think,
the king of transitions.  Perhaps it will seam over with more listenings.
Anyway, AVI is a very, very beautiful work.   I am on the whole so pleased.
Yes, another thank you to XTC.
Lynn S.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 15:08:14 -0800
From: "Dane Pereslete" <>
Subject: Impressionists, I'd Like That(autographed, please), and Ravel

I've had my glorious day off from work on RELEASE DAY!  Believe it
or not, I initially went to Tower for my purchase only to find out that
it hadn't been stocked yet! I hurried off to Virgin Megasaurus
where they had 20-or-so copies.  Much to my consternation, all of
the other new releases were conspicuously displayed on the "new
release" rack, while I had to trudge back to the "X" section to find
AV1...ah, well they're still getting no respect.

First impressions on the album: it's Impressionism!  It is going to take
much scrutiny to fully appreciate the technique.  Andy paints bold
landscape swaths across the aural canvas while Colin depicts the
tranquil, pastoral scenes of the ordinary folk.

Immediate favorites:

River of Orchids - what an opening!  It starts out at ground level and
then lifts you along its swirling whirlwind before dropping you off in
another world.  Welcome to XTC-land!

Easter Theatre - probably my favorite of all.  Not having heard the
demos, I have no previous basis for this track.  The orchestrations
are perfect!

I'd Like That - I can't stop this infernal involuntary toe-tapping and
dancing about!  It's embarrassing as hell in public, I tell you!

The Last Balloon - being a devout Jazzbo, this piece calls to me!  The
chords are gorgeous, and the horn is heavenly.  Their best closer
since "Chalkhills and Children" for sure.

Frivolous Tonight - What is all the row over Colin's voice?  Sure, it's a
little gruff, but isn't that appropriate for the mood?  I break out in a
huge grin listening to that Wiltshire drawl, and I can't wait until he
comes to L.A. to hear it in person!!

Knights in Shining Karma - Excellent guitar work, Andy!!!  It makes me

Harvest Festival - The perfect melody to set the changing mood through-
out the song.  Lyrics are top-notch. Festival into best of
The segue from naive childhood into adulthood...all highlighted by wed-
ding bells...genius!

I Don't Get (or, one that will grow on me):

Greenman - nice, but to me a little too repetitive.  Maybe because my
jaded ears hear real Middle Eastern and Armenian melodies practically
every day (an artifact of my neighborhood demographic), it's just not
that much of a novelty.  The orchestrations, however, are great (I agree
Andy, it _is_ sort of "Vaughan Williams") and Colin's bass line is superb.

An interesting note: My wife, on first hearing of "I Can't Own Her" said,
"It sounds like Sting"...AAAARRRGH!!... On second thought, she does have a
point there.

And in the misheard lyrics department: I can't help perverse mind
keeps transforming "Peckham rose" into "pecker-nose".
(apologies, Belinda) :->

CAN'T WAIT for the publicity train to rumble our way!  I'm so happy to
hear that Andy and Colin are doing their best to accomodate all of the
fans.  I just hope that they aren't too exhausted by the time they arrive
on the left coast....

It was recently suggested on Cahlkhills that "River of Orchids" was like
"Bolero".  Well if "River of Orchids" is Andy's "Bolero", then "Easter
Theatre" is his "Rite of Spring"!!

OK! enough mad dog rambling and tail-chasing!

Logging in from beautiful Glendale, CA  USA
"Free at last"  -or-


Date: Thu, 25 Feb 99 16:47:52 +800
Subject: Who's pushing the pedals?
Message-id: <>

   I feel compelled to add my first impressions of AV#1 to this list of
Having bought it here in Sacramento Ca. only
an hour ago, I'm half the way through my second go-round, I
bought it at a small record shop owned by another XTC fanatic
who kept my spirits up(and sometimes let them down with news of delayed
release dates) but ahhhh. Finally!
  First of all the album is great! I also have had to let some
of thier stuff grow on me a bit before really connecting with it,ie,
"Skylarking" but this one is already there!! I feel all the anticipation is
well rewarded.
I will definitly be smiling as I'm pedaling along some California backroad,
with "The Last Balloon" playing in my headphones,(my early favorite).
 I do have to air my one gripe. Why did we have to wait so
long?? I heard a little about record co. buisness and crap,
but 7 years? oh well Colin and Andy and ex-Dave are well worth the wait and
maybe they will make up for it by getting V2 out
to us XTC sponges on time?
   4 thumbs up and a pink thing to boot!!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 09:48:04 +0900
From: Takashi Ikeda <>
Subject: Lyrics & photo booklet

For those frustrated with the simplicity of the cover art:
the first pressings of the japanese release of AV1 include a full color
over-20-page booklet with all lyrics printed over photographs of Andy and
Colin (in a circus setting!). The "feather sheet" is included separately.
It's beautiful and I wonder why they didn't do this with all other

I know the japanese imports aren't that cheap, but it's worth considering.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Bob Crain" <>
Subject: Lyrics
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 17:25:57 PST

>From: "Harold Grey, ITC" <>
>Subject: Tower Records-NYC
>The album is amazing, but I was extremely
>disappointed that there was no lyric sheet,
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.

My guess is that with the very fine (yet undoubtedly expensive) printing
on the CD cover, they were saving money.  Perhaps it was an
artistic decision, to let the songs stand on their own.

-Bob Crain


Message-ID: <001d01be6129$9f18ab20$>
From: "Steven A. Thurber" <>
Subject: RE: davidoh's anger w/ dallas folks
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 20:44:55 -0500

New contributor here, although I've been reading the digest for quite awhile
now.  I'm too lazy to download updated Real Player updates so I didn't
bother to listen to the comments that got davidoh's gander up.  However, I
found this rather long and opinionated piece in their recent archives.
Thought some of you you might want to check it out.

Went to Tower Records in Boston last night to see Andy; had many items for
him to sign and came away with a very pleasant feeling about life in
general.  Andy looked a little tired but seemed very pleased with all the
good vibes coming his way over the last couple of days.  He certainly had
his sense of humor intact.  He affirmed the work being done on a series of
budget demo cd's.  I also had a chance to talk to the TVT rep and reinforced
our interests in all things XTC.  I would imagine that they have a pretty
good idea of what kind of sales consistency there is in the band's fan base.
While a career-long fan (my collection consists of almost all the main US
and British releases bought at the time of issue) I have not heard the bulk
of the demos floating around.  AV 1 is certainly typical in that it gets
better with every listening.  My vote for single is Easter Theatre;  the
Brian Wilson influences are rampant throughout the album.
Here's wishing continued enjoyment to all.


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-107

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