Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-109

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 109

                 Sunday, 28 February 1999

Today's Topics:

                     Tending My Fruit
                       Colin's Bass
                   Re: River of Orchids
                   Melodramatic tears ?
        Life is good back here in this greenhouse
                    A Bit Of A Shower
          I'm a man with a plan, i yam, i yam...
                     Tears Of A Clown
               Dave Gregory as Mick Taylor
                       A mixed bag
                     Andy in Chicago
                   Chalkhills Charity?
         The (Detailed!) Andy Experience- Chicago
                    dear GOD it's good
               Reaction to reactions to AV1
                      XTC fans in AK
                 Wall of sound review...
                     I can't help it.


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

Fast, night goes fast.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:50:57 +0000
Subject: Tending My Fruit

Dear Chalkers,

One of our major national newspapers "de Volkskrant" featured an
interview with Colin today. The usual subjects are rounded up: the
seven year strike, Andy's stage fright ("sooner or later all of us
would 've collapsed" ), the early years but he also taks about
Transistor Blast and Apple Venus. BTW: Colin doesn't expect Volume 2
to hit the shops before early next year... ouch!

Anyway, the whole article was accompanied by a nice exclusive picture
that i have scanned and mailed to the esteemed John Relph for the
picture archive

That's it, i'm off to Swindon tomorrow to buy some more copies of
Apple Venus. If you live around there and spot a "strawberry fool"
in a Chalkhills shirt dancing to Greenman on top of the White Horse
don't worry; it's only me

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:00:28 +0000
Subject: Colin's Bass

Mike Myers wrote
> Before I close, I suggest that you listen closely to Colin's bass playing
> on "Greenman".  It is fantastic.  I don't mean to get into another long
> debate over the best bass players in the world, but this piece reveals his
>technique to be tasty and melodic.

I agree that most of Colin's playing on AV1 is rooted firmly in the mellow
melodic McCartney/Sgt Pepper style to suit the orchestral feel of the album
- On Greenman, however, he shows his grasp of Larry Graham funk and has
that track kicking along nicely - I wonder if he still used the Vox Phantom
or his old Wal which I suspect would be better suited to that style?.

-Steve Clarke


Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:14:03 +0000 (GMT)
From: Chris Clee <>
Subject: Re: River of Orchids
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.00.9902260923120.10915-100000@piranha>

i must say that my initial opinions to this track were somewhat mixed but
i have to say that if you leave it for a few days and relisten it grows on
one tracks greenman and the last track on side 2 my
dictionary and river of orchids, I am really impressed with the vinyl
pressing on heavy vinyl. So long since I owned a first pressing i plain
forgot just how good vinyl sounds without the pops and clicks, well done
Cooking Vinyl, who even if not cook, can still press and sell top quality
vinyl, well done chaps especially Claire in sales who has been most



The views expressed in this message are purely mine and not necessarily
those of the Sanger Centre


Message-ID: <000201be617b$57458c80$715791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Melodramatic tears ?
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 17:28:47 +0900

Dave in San Francisco wrote :

>P.S.  I find the melodrama on Chalkhills regarding AV1 quite hilarious.
>Did someone actually say he/she cried when he/she first listened to it?

Yes , it was I who shed some tears . What is so bloody hilarious about that
? Seven years between albums is a helluva long time , and AV1 is THAT good
IMHO . I have had e-mail from others who shared my experience . My first AV1
listening experience was comparable to the first time I saw my daughter
perform at a piano recital when she was 5 . Sure , I had heard her practice
hundreds of hours , but seeing her up on that stage in front of all those
people actually DOING it , well , naturally I shed some tears as I was so
damn proud of her ; and proud to be her Dad . Likewise , as a fan of XTC for
20 years , I am " proud " of my boys for what they have accomplished in
spite of all the adversity . Yea - I am proud to say I am an XTC fan . Andy
Partridge is a musical genius on par with anyone you care too mention .
How anyone can claim to be an XTC fan and be " disappointed "
with AV1 ( the finished product that is ) bewilders me . Let's lighten up on
the criticism of not only the music , but also of fans who love the band and
AV1 enough to cry and joylaugh while having their minds blown by one of the
great albums of the decade .

John in Japan


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 07:32:36 +0000
From: Chris Mezzolesta <>
Subject: Life is good back here in this greenhouse

...that is called Chalkhills. I was a listmember many moons ago when I had
barely a passing understanding of XTC - I know now that some things just
take time. After extremely casual listening to my library's "O&L" (this is
like '94) I slowly came along, not really knowing the band, reading
Chalkhills without "getting" it, then a friend sent me 2 vital XTC comp
cassettes she made, covering everything including the one-off projects; On
came "Radios in Motion", and THEN.......


So it went, filed the tapes away, signed off Chalkhills, went on with my
life - - but still I kept going back to O&L, eventually bought it, listened
deeper, then something made me pull those tapes back out....

Maybe it was my 5-year-old daughter singing along with "Making Plans for
Nigel". (hemuthbe happy hemuthbe happy) Maybe it was her and my 10-year-old
son going "a-dadadadat-dah" with "Atom Age" in the car....Maybe it was the
sudden exhilaration I got from "Generals and Majors" - well folks I went
out and bought Upsy Daisy just to make sure I wasn't dreaming - and no,
this is a truly wonderful and multi-faceted band, as complex as I am (maybe
it's a challenge for me)...The change hath occurr-ed.

In short Chalkhillians, I'm home. I was away in the shed so to speak, but I
am now amongst you all. I'm no mystic or anything but I can see the perfect
synergy in Andy's complexity up against Colin's down-to-earthiness (in most
cases anyway), it just plain works.

So now thanks to eBay I have had the proverbial QUICK FIX of XTC (on vinyl,
woo-hoo), trying to digest everything from White Music up thru Big Express,
not to mention the triumph (in more ways than one) of AV1, which I picked
up as soon as it hit the shelves, at the Camelot at Great Lakes Mall in
Mentor (Cleveland), Ohio. Yes, our Best Buy shows it coming out next week
as well (what's with these guys, a month ago every single XTC CD was on the
shelf, now it's Upsy Daisy and the box)

So I apologize for the initial Tolstoy-length post, I haven't been this
excited about music to listen to in YEARS, it's a forehead-slapping moment,
where the hell have I been all these years, XTC started when I was like 14
or 15, I should've been into them - - - maybe they speak to maturity a bit
easier, I dunno...but I hope as a "relative" newbie to be accepted into the
Chalkhills fold, I have by now read every word of the website and eagerly
await each digest. I hope everyone here delights together in the beauty of
not only AV1, but how Andy and Colin have managed to continue making great
music in the face of....yikes.....

Back to my furnished cage....

Chris Mezzolesta
Chris Mezzolesta/Member, AFTRA
I'm headed into the Atom Age, a-da-da-da-dat-dah
ICQ: 26901946


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 14:05:24 +0000
Subject: A Bit Of A Shower

Dear Chalkers,

First of all: yesterday somebody put a signed copy of AV1 up for
auction on eBay... sad, innit? to get them to sign a copy so you can
make a buck? geez...

Dave from S.F. said a couple of things:

>  Personally, I think the songs on the '95 demo tape were in their most
> pristine, perfect form 
> and shouldn't have been tinkered with.
first of all: get real. Those demos may, in some cases, sound
amazingly good for a home recording, but they are most certainly
not perfect and not fit for release to the general public.

It's exactly like Steve Stearns said  :
> the vocals sound much richer and the orchestra adds a definite
> dimension that wasn't on the demos . . .kind of like watching TV on
> a scratchy old B&W set then suddenly seeing the same program in
> 70mm Panavision.

Secondly: if you feel that way why on earth did you buy the album?
I think you already had your mind made up that you were not going to
like it

Are you not forgetting about the milions of people who don't have
access to your fabulous demo tape ? And furthermore: how are Andy and
Colin supposed to survive if we do not buy their albums any more ?

> P.S.  I find the melodrama on Chalkhills regarding AV1 quite
> hilarious. Did someone actually say he/she cried when he/she
> first listened to it?
And why not?
I know i was  moved to tears when i first played the AV1 cd,
i was literally overflowing with joy and happiness. Because i knew
they had pulled it off, that against all odds and under
extraordinarily adverse conditions they managed to create a
magnificent work of art that could be yet another turning point in
their career.

PS: I find your attitude quite patronising to be honest; and i have
a feeling that when AV1 turns out to be a hit you will be the first
to shout "sellout"

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <000401be618f$82e313d0$f06dcec0@t24806009694.DOA.STATE.LA.US>
From: "John Voorhees" <>
Subject: I'm a man with a plan, i yam, i yam...
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 07:51:11 -0600

Yes, while so much of the list shudders in orgasmic pleasure at getting to
hear the much anticipated AV1, it seems that quite a few of us are STILL
sitting with our thumbs up our... ears... waiting for the postman to bring
us a sparkling feathery package from whatever TOO DARN SLOW online service
we ordered it from.
When I got my acknowledgement from Music Blvd that the glorious thing had
been sent out Monday, I said, "Uh-Oh... Long wait  coming here."  So I have
taken this time and my hour long daily commute to progress through the
entirety of the XTC album catalog in order.  No extra tracks, no singles, no
B-sides (with the exception of a version of Skylarking that includes both
Mermaid Smiled AND Dear God), and I threw in the Dukes for good measure,
cuz, yes, it's taking THAT LONG!  But what a pleasure.  I've got one side of
O&L to go before I plunge into Nonsuch at work, and then...  hopefully I'll
have a special treat wating at the door.
So so far in 3 days I've gone the range from Radios in Motion to Across This
Antheap.  Now that's a journey, friends.  What a Transistor Blast. (Which I
don't own.)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 10:05:21 EST
Subject: Tears Of A Clown

Greetings C'hillers,

Somebody stated:
<< I find the melodrama on Chalkhills regarding AV1 quite hilarious.
Did someone actually say he/she cried when he/she first listened to it? >>

What's wrong with crying? I recently had a good one (XTC induced, of course),
and boy, did it ever feel good!

A few people mentioned:
<<Soundgarden's "Spoonman"
    XTC's "Greenman"
    TMBG's Triangle Man
    Robyn Hitchcock's Balloon Man
    Black Sabbath's Ironman
    Mr. Tambourine Man
    Dogman by King's X
    REM's Superman
    ELP's Lucky Man
    Big Man on Mulberry Street
    Indigo Girls Chicken Man
    Dio's the Man on the Silver Mountain
    Sammy Davis Jr.'s Candyman >>

I hope everyone realizes, the whole combined lot above don't stand a chance
should The KINKS send in:
Apeman, Artificial Man, Elevator Man, Mr. Big Man, Plastic Man, Powerman,
Session Man, Superman, Tin Soldier Man, 20th Century Man (he's on his way out,
though), and of course, A Well Respected Man!  :-)

This MAN He Weeps Tonight.....
It's BOYS Don't Cry!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 09:26:48 EST
Subject: Dave Gregory as Mick Taylor

Hello Chalkies!

I had to respond to this thread while waiting patiently for AV1 to arrive
from CdNow:

>But Dave is the one I can't get over! He just seems to contradict
>everything the others say. It gets quite embarrassing at times and
>makes you wonder how why he didn't leave a hell of a lot earlier. And
>as for his blunt put-down of "Wake Up"! Shocking!! What have you
>written then, Gregsy, eh, EH?

>Could`nt agree more!!, I love Daves playing but unless he writes some
>original stuff then he cant criticise AP who`s got it about right when he
>suggests the only way he could help Dave is by buying him a pencil.

I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion to voice, but here it goes.
Ever since Dave quit, something about the situation has bothered me.  And
it seems that there are some similarities between the DG/XTC breakup and
the Mick Taylor/Rolling Stones breakup.  Did Dave leave because he wanted
to write more?  Having never heard any of his demos, all I've heard is that
Dave, when alone, is a very talented copycat artist, doing remakes of
others' songs. When Mick Taylor left the Stones, part of the reason was
because he wasn't allowed the opportunity to get his songs recorded by that
group.  And what did he end up doing?  Releasing one decent album of
original songs.  Will Dave even do that?  Dave Gregory is a fantastic
guitar player, but so was/is Mick Taylor.  XTC will survive as the Stones
did, but will their best work be behind them because Gregsy left, like what
happened when Taylor left the Stones?  I think not.

I wish DG the best of luck at finding equal or better songs in his next gig.
It's going to be a difficult thing to do, if not impossible.

Well, now that I've let the cat out of the bag, I may as well go the whole
9 yards.

OK, I've never bought into this Dave Gregory is god line of thought.  He is
a very, very good guitar player, but I can name a hundred of very good
guitar players in a very short period of time.  A guitar god, IMHO, changes
the musical vocabulary or sonic texture of the instrument.  Jimi Hendrix or
Adrian Belew come to mind.  Will DG ever even be mentioned as an influence
on another guitarist 5 years from now? Is he as distinctive, as say:

Hendrix? Belew? Carlos Santana? Phil Manzanera? Glenn Phillips? Robert
Fripp?  Zappa? Neil Young? Steve Vai? Mike Keneally? Tommy Bolin? Jimmy
Page? Jeff Beck? Pat Methany? Reeves Gabrels? Vernon Reid? David Torn?

Hell, even Andy Gill, Keith Levine or Tom Verlaine?

But then again, how would we really know ?(uh-oh, ...losing...control)
Other than the Chosen Few, none of us have heard his demos.  And why aren't
these demos in circulation if he's such a god?  Why aren't they shared and
traded freely?  Damn right, I'm jealous!  What do I have to do, change my
screen name to one seemingly female, and pretend I'm a 20 something groupie
and express sexual attraction if not outright devotion to DG to get a copy?

So NOW you're gonna flame me?  Naughty naughty shame shame kiss kiss goodbye
from your cheeky monkey,

Curious George


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 09:19:33 -0600
From: "John Caruso" <>
Subject: A mixed bag

Hello all,

Chalkhills was the first mailing list that I subscribed to when I finally
gained access to this fin-de-siecle technology.  It has been a great time
to get on board.

I, too, listed to AV1 in the car on the way home from the record store.  At
first listen, I was struck by how there seemed to be just sooo much there.
I knew I was in for one of those glorious processes whereby repeated
listening will unfold, and unfold, and unfold all of the nuances and
layers.  As of today, I am about seven or eight unfoldings into it, and I
couldn't be happier.

In short, a typical XTC disc.

Also, in my mailbox this morning I had a message form Amazon's
rock-subcription.  This section was prominent at the head of the message:

>"Apple Venus, Volume One"
>Few albums in recent memory have generated as much fervent
>anticipation as "Apple Venus, Volume One," XTC's first
>studio collection since 1992. Conceived as a double CD (a
>second volume of "Apple Venus" will come out in late 1999),
>this 11-track collection finds Andy Partridge and Colin
>Moulding exploring their "orchustic" (i.e., acoustic
>orchestral) impulses.

That's all for now.  I hope to continue this conversation with all of you.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:40:33 -0500
From: "TOM GRIFFIN" <>
Subject: Andy in Chicago

OK here are a few notes from Andy's appearance in Chicago:

I drove 4 hours from Detroit to see him.  I arrived 2 hours early, knowing
that there would be a crowd.  When I got there, there were already 10 people
waiting.  They notified me that I was actually 3 hours early.  I forgot
about the time zone difference.

     I met many nice people there, many of whom are on this site.  I'd say
that there were several hundred people at the event.  We waited in line for
about 2 hours to see Andy.  When I left it looked like he still had about 2
hours worth of people to go!

     Andy was extremely nice, signing everything that we brought him
(including my Chalkhills t-shirt), and happily posing for pictures.  He was,
however, very nervous during the question & answer period.

     He did mention to me that plans are still moving forward to release
demos sometime in the future.  However, they will not be in box set form,
but rather released as individual discs.  He said they are trying to get
them out to everyone at as cheap a price as humanly possible.

     I have to say that I have worked autographing events many times before,
and Andy was among the most pleasant toward his fans.


PS- The Beatles' "Taxman" puts fear into the heart of Ironman, Greenman,
Spoonman, etc.


Message-ID: <001001be61b2$06234400$e8499cd0@alexivie>
From: "Eddie" <>
Subject: Chalkhills Charity?
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 12:00:43 -0600

Since I no longer call Los Angeles home, and have exiled myself to
Northwest Arkansas, I haven't exactly kept my finger on the pulse of
music. I would pop in to the Fayetteville Arkansas Hastings store one a
month and check the X section of the CD rack, and seeing nothing new, would
wander about aimlessly.

Then a month or so ago I found myself on the list and discovered that I
wasn't the only XTC fan left on Earth. That not only was XTC well
appreciated, that they were also producing music again. I got my copy of
the CD, but the last few days of chalkhills posts have opened my eyes to
the fact that I may be the only one who has not heard the AV1 songs in
their demo state ahead of time. I read that there are even demos of songs
that weren't included on AV1.

I would absolutely love to get a copy of these demos on cassette if
possible. I don't have much to pay, I am supporting a stay at home wife and
two little girls on a meager, small town radio salary. It doesn't pay much,
in fact... I'm just praying by the weekend, I can earn enough for us.

I can pay for the cassettes, and I can pay for any postage, so if some big
hearted person wouldn't mind running them off on cassette for me, I would
be forever greatful.

please let me know,



Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:56:51 -0600
Subject: The (Detailed!) Andy Experience- Chicago

I got the chance to meet Andy last night in Chicago, and I thought I'd
share my experiences with everyone:

To begin with, I arrived at Border's with my friend Jennifer a little after
4pm.  There was a large posterboard-sized sign prominently displayed by the
front door directing us up to the third floor.  We wandered a little bit
and noticed AV1 not only prominently displayed on various CD racks, but
fliers announcing Andy's appearance at every info desk.  We walked up to
the third floor, and there were already at least twenty people there.  We
grabbed seats in the second row and felt pretty lucky about being so close.
There was a small table for Andy, a mike, and two speakers.  I was
convinced that this would be the extent of the crowd & we were just the
diehards who would do anything to see him.  WAS I WRONG!!  Every minute
would see someone else join the audience.  A crowd was starting to form.

I whittled the next three hours away talking to people I'd met at various
get-togethers & teaching others the basics (someone asked me how XTC
determines who sings what song & believe me, I was gladly willing to
educate the man!).  By 5pm people were standing in the back and starting to
sit on the floor.  By 6pm there were easily 200 people and the crowd was
growing.  An extra register had been set up for CD sales and AV1 was flying
out the door.  By the start of the appearance they had sold out of every
copy of AV1, and only a few older releases were left on the stands.  At
6:45, there were at least THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE piled all around and
overflowing.  A third of the crowd probably wasn't even able to see him, as
they were standing behind the interview area and 10-20 feet away.  The
tension was building, and the crowd was getting excited.

A few minutes after 7pm Andy walked in.  The crowd gave him a standing
ovation, and Andy seemed a bit embarassed by it all.  The local DJ from
WXRT announced him, and after a quick review of the schedule (questions,
then signings) Andy sat down to be grilled by the group.  He was in good
spirits and looked great as well.  He reviewed the Chris Difford fiasco and
said that TVT was treating him "too well" (he'd had no time to do anything
and had been living on 5 hrs of sleep a night for the past week or so).
Someone said that his brother had no trouble learning music by ear but
couldn't figure out anything from BE.  Andy admitted that he'd broken a
string (an E?), been too lazy to replace it, and thus written everything
based on four strings.  There are no plans to sell AV1/XTC merchandise,
although Andy mentioned that there is a company in the UK which makes and
sells his versions of soldiers for 30p (50 cents) each.  He gave a great
analogy of the music industry.  Take a full sheet of paper and tear off a
piece the size of your fingernail.  As a band, that's what they would be
offered in contracts.  The studios and stores would split the rest.  But,
as a company representing XTC they would get a third of the paper.  The
lesson to be learned is that if you're in the music business, you'd better
be a company representing yourself or you're in trouble!  He also did
awonderful impersonation of an evil villan.  And, if he had to be
reincarnated as akitchen appliance, he'd be a good, solid table.  After 10
minutes the Q&A ended, and everyone lined up for the autographs.

Now, 300 people wanting things signed is a lot of people.  When people want
more than one thing signed, AND Andy shakes everyone's hand + talks to
everyone, you know it's going to be a long night.  Border's was kind enough
to allow non-Border's purchases to be signed.  We stood in line for THREE
hours, and we were only in the middle of the line.  By 10pm I was getting
nervous.  Here I was, only 15 feet from ANDY!!  I got my liner notes out
and Song Stories ready.  Jerry's wife Fran was kind enough to come along
and play photographer for everyone, so I handed her my camera and prepared

As it turns out, Andy is a VERY approachable and friendly person.  I was a
bit nervous throughout the whole thing, but Andy was calm throughout it
all.  I walked up and shook his hand.  "Hi, nice to meet you", I said.
"Long night, eh?", I asked.  "Yes", he said and looked at his watch.  "It's
past my bedtime".  I told him I'd make it quick.  He signed my Song Stories
and signed & dated the liner notes for BS, AV1, and Explode Together (just
bought a few hours before!).  I had my T-shirt on and forgot to 1) get his
feedback and 2) have him sign it!!  The chance of my life and I blew it!
Sorry, Phil!  I asked him what his favorite color is and he said, "At the
moment, brown!" (He was wearing brown shoes, shirt and hat +
green/brown/beige pants.  It isn't as bad as it sounds- the outfit was
simple and attractive).  I told him that I figured it would be black.  He
responded that brown symbolized death and decay.  I showed him two pictures
from MilCon, our mini- convention from last May.  I had made XTC-shaped
pretzels, and Dave had taken a picture.  Andy got quite excited and asked
if he could have the picture.  "I know someone who'll like this", he said.
It was gladly given to him.  I asked (half-jokingly) if Terry Chambers
would come back as a session drummer for AV2 and after a short laugh the
answer was an emphatic NO.  He explained that "Terry would forget
everything two weeks into it."  I asked if they had someone and with a sly
grin he said, "We've got someone in mind."  By that point he'd signed
everything, so I wished him luck with the album, his family, and Erica.  He
seemed to appreciate it.  We posed for a picture (with Andy putting me into
a headlock!) at the end.  I'll try to get a copy to someone who can scan it
in if people are interested in seeing it.

For those of you who can't make it to an appearance, TRY YOUR HARDEST TO
GET TO ONE!  It was an incredible experience to meet someone like Andy and
see that he's friendly and willing to go out of his way to meet the fans.
It was great to sit in a room with 300 of your closest friends and discuss
the band & music.  For those of you going, you won't regret standing in
line to meet him.  I wished that I would have had more time to talk to him,
and a longer Q&A, but I won't squabble!  It was worth the day off, no
matter how tired I am today & how much work I've got piled up!

Living on cloud nine,


Message-Id: <v04104400b2fc8a3044a8@[]>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 13:15:52 -0500
From: "Bucky Z. Theorem" <>
Subject: dear GOD it's good

of course, we knew it would be.  but i did get chills several times
over - the orchestration on River of Orchids, Greenman and I Can't
Own Her are too beautiful for words, and all the parts I didn't get
in the demos are fleshed out to perfection.  i agree with whoever
said the demos didn't ruin it at all - on the contrary they made it
more interesting, but there are still parts i miss that didn't make
it to the final versions - that last thrilling ululation on Greenman
was so perfect, so Eastern.  but the bass playing!  and the "high
church walls" part!!  and i definitely miss the high "i'd like
that"'s at the end of that song - almost but not quite made up for by
the excellently rhythmic guitar strums.  and the effects on
"sunflower". and the "say it again" part.

one of the ones i think was less well done on AV1 is Your Dictionary
- he doesn't sing it like he really means it anymore, and the
background needs more fleshing.  although the very end is exquisite -
a typically delicious ending to a depressing song.  but that was a
song i loved in demo form that somehow didn't translate as well as
i'd thought.  but I Can't Own Her - which i *hated* on the demo -
came out amazingly well.

i hadn't heard either of Colin's tunes before, and i hate to say it,
but i'm not all that impressed.  i mean, they're cute and all, but
compared to Andy's tunes they're not only utter fluff but not even
stylistically related to the album as a whole.  i'd so much rather
have had Wonder Annual, Dame Fortune, Wheel and the Maypole, and/or
We're All Light.  not to even mention Bumper Cars or You and the
Clouds (which i expect *has* to be on Volume 2).  but i'm just being
greedy.  let's see what we'd like to see Volume 2 look like:

You and the Clouds
Wonder Annual
Church of Women
Dame Fortune
Bumper Cars
Wheel and the Maypole
We're All Light
Wounded Horse
I Don't Wanna Be Here

i'd love it if Ship Trapped in the Ice made it, but i doubt it will.
Stupidly Happy isn't worth bothering about IMHO.  and maybe we'll get
even newer ones!

and yes, i was there at Tower on Tuesday - thank God for that girl
from Boston (sorry, i forgot your name) who'd been there since
4:30...  i showed Andy my book on Tantra which i really think he
would love, since it basically is the closest thing to a Church of
Women i can think of.  he did sign it, which is so cool.  although i
wish i could talk to him again since i heard the album - *now* i have
a million and one questions to ask him.

one more thing re: the Last Balloon - i noticed how well he
enunciates on this version - did he hear about the "climb aboard Jew
children" controversy on 'Hills?  also the song as a whole as a
metaphor for leaving the planet - _very_ interesting.  kind of a
millenial thing, really.

yes, i know i haven't written in a few eons - i haven't been reading
for months and months, just waiting for Apple Venus and couldn't bear
to torment myself with thoughts of poor old Dave G.  how they're
going to miss him on the electric album... Wounded Horse in
particular will be even more wounded by his absence.

	- brookes

do what you will but harm none.  i too was very moved by that.


From: "Damian Foulger" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 12:14:29 -0600
Subject: Reaction to reactions to AV1
Message-Id: <>

Cynical Dave in SF wrote:
> I must say, and I'm probably one of the few, if only, that will go on
> record to say this, that I'm pretty disappointed with AV1.  After
> listening to Andy's '95 Demo Tape for three years, I don't think the songs
> on AV1 hold a candle to the genius he displayed on the aforementioned

Is this due to being more familiar with the demos than the album?  I
suspect that the album will grow on Dave and he'll grow to like it
more than the demos.  As anecdotal evidence, when I was younger
and hadn't discovered the Beatles I became familiar with the cover
of Something by Shirly Basey and I Want To Hold Your Hand by a
couple who I forget.  Well, when I first heard the originals I was
disappointed with them.  They weren't as good.  But, of course, I
was mistaken and the originals soon grew on me.

Is this a good reason not to listen to demos before the album comes
out;  to avoid not liking the album tracks as much?  I think that it
probably is.  I have been listening to the AV1 repeatedly for a
couple of days now, and though, at first, I was a little difappointed
[sic] with the quality of the songs, I now LOVE them.  I can't get
Your Dictionary out of my head!

Dave also wrote:
> P.S.  I find the melodrama on Chalkhills regarding AV1 quite
> hilarious.  Did someone actually say he/she cried when he/she
> first listened to it?

Please!  Just because some people may more emotional than you
and are effected differently by songs don't poo-poo them.  I think
that we've established that we have diverse music tastes and don't
bash people too much for stating that they like ELO.  Let's realise
that we are diverse in all aspects and respect reactions to, and likes
of, everything in our diverse tastes.  Just because we are
(presumably) the same in our like of XTC's music, doesn't mean that
we have any other similarities.  Of course, this said, I respect Dave
finding emotional reactions hilarious, but I feel that he shouldn't
sound so incredulous about it, and maybe keep it to himself, so
protect the feelings of sensitive people.  As our guru (!?) wrote:
"This is your life and you do what you want to do, just don't hurt
nobody. "

Personally, I have been moved by some of the new songs; boy are
they beautiful!  They remind me of some of the beautiful things in
my life (of which I have many) and this brings me close to tears.

Dames tWd

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


Message-ID: <>
From: "Joseph Revard" <>
Subject: XTC fans in AK
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 10:25:19 PST

Howdy Chalkers,
Well AV1 finally arrived in my town - I think a wopping total of 5
copies which were gone in a few hours. And I'm presently listening to
it for the first time on the Dell computer at the 'U'. Of course I
love it, I've always liked orchestral touches, and I have no
preconcptions from listening to the demos (however I WOULD LIKE TO ...
hint..hint..hear them!) Please keep me informed on your adventures
with the personal appearences, and I am extremely envious, in AK we
have to do a lot of vicarious living! Thanks to D-erek for the
Eng.Stlmt theme, it was(is!) great. Also a big thanks to Mr.Relph for
helping me get on the list, kindness to the newbie is always a sign of
a good heart. Hello to my friends in the Emerald City, miss it, but
not the traffic! And good luck to Tommy in the hospital today, my only
friend in Sitka I can talk XTC to!              Joseph


Message-ID: <>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: Wall of sound review...
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 13:33:16 -0500

XTC Apple Venus
Label: TVT Genre: Alternative File Under: Dazzling British orch-pop  Rating:

Wow. They like it too... :)
But what is it with everyone calling XTC "Alternative" still? This album
might be most Beatle-like and they're still lumping XTC in a class with The
Offspring and Bjork. Can someone explain this to me?

	L E R N E R   N E W   Y O R K
	Ira Lieman, Information Center Analyst
	212.884.2122  &  800.723.5333 x42122
	Pager: 1-800-PAGE-MCI   Pin: 1431988


Message-ID: <000901be61b6$5441e7a0$9164b2d1@oemcomputer>
From: "Aaron Pastula" <>
Subject: I can't help it.
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 10:31:23 -0800

I wasn't going to do this, but since NO ONE I know likes this band like I do
I need to air my thoughts somewhere.  I'll try to keep it brief, I promise!

1. River of Orchids
A perfect masterpiece.  This song is amazingly fantastic and utterly
humbling.  Thank you, Andy, for this one.

2. I'd Like That
Nice little tune.  Much improved from the demo version, which I thought was
a great B-side at best.  They really got this one to move.

3. Easter Theater
This song, I think, is going to be a point of contention for many people.
It IS different from the demo, and while it is probably the most complex
song on the record it DOES feel kind of anticlimatic in this version.  I
think the trick is to realize that they were probably going for a "smaller"
feel than on the demo - if you were to perfom the play depicted in the
lyrics, it would be done in some traveling minstrel theater and not in a
huge concert hall (which the demo seems to suggest).  True, the song doesn't
"burst" in after the bridge anymore, but after a few a listens the way it
graudally builds in the end is satisfying enough and one could make the
argument that this version more carefully walks the "orchoustic" line that
Andy's been touting.  EITHER WAY, it's a brilliant song.  If this is truly
the direction of the "new" XTC, the next few albums will be groundbreaking.

4. Knights...
Thought the demo was pretty cheesy, but I really really like how this one
turned out; I was worried when I saw that it was going to be on the record.
It feels like a lullaby for grownups.

5. Frivolous...
Colin Moulding kicks ass.  In this one song he shows as much desire for
progression and risk-taking as Andy ever could, and proves himself as a
vital member of this team.  Has a timeless feel that I can't explain...

6. Greenman
Another one that will probably take a little getting used to.  Sounds a
little too "Casio" I think; it needs to sound deeper and more verdant.  For
some reason I think it needs some "pagan grunts" or something on the
downbeats in the end to drive the subject matter home.  Still, the
"Greensleeves"-esque fade out is brilliant.

7. Your Dictionary
Another one I figured would stay in the demo bin, but I have to admit that
this song is haunting and damn clever.

8. Fruit Nut
Sounds incredibly "English" to this American, like something out of a wierd
Beatle musical or something.  Love it.  Did I tell you that Colin Moulding
kicks ass?  If he's truly going "full Bungalow" I'm all for it.

9. I Can't Own Her
Wins the "Most Improved Demo" award.  When I first heard this I thought it
was trite and corny, but the way they tightened up the song is PERFECT for
it.  It too sounds like a piece from a musical, and you can almost picture
Partridge walking near a seaside carnival or something when the chorus comes
in.  Just the right amout of cheese; doesn't take itself too seriously
anymore.  Still, I just wish they'd left out the opening line and had only
an intrumental inro.  The first words you hear should, in my opinion, be "I
own this river..."  The fade out is great.

10.  Harvest Festival
LOVE THIS ONE.  The bridge that begins "And what a year..." is one of the
more amazing passages, lyrically and musically, that I think he's ever done.
How DOES he convey so much?  I would like to see a brilliant video for this.

11.  Last Balloon
A great closer, but I would've like to see it get a smoother transition, a
la "Snowman," from the previous track.  Still, it's a perfect way to end the

That's all.  Despite it's minor faults AV1 is a perfect way to end a 7 year
drought.  They're in top form; let's hope the success of this and Vol. 2
pave the way for many future (and frequent!) releases.




End of Chalkhills Digest #5-109

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