Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-119

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 119

                  Saturday, 6 March 1999

Today's Topics:

               NEWS: Win A Signed AV1 cd !
               Re: Greenman (Yet Once More)
                     Too Much Freedom
                      Re: Green Man
               Anybody checking the charts?
        Apple Venus, Volume 2 - Alternative Titles
           Re: XTC rap? This is a joke, right?
                Canadian Lurker's thoughts
                   All aboard for Sodom
                    Holy Land Invader
          The Not So Everyday Story Of Smalltown
                    Andy on video clip
                   sorry for the typos
                      XTC in Toronto
                greenman & other comments
               Entertainment Weekly review
                  Apple Venus and stuff
               Small note to Curious George
                     All-Music Guide


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You're writing your diary in innocents' blood.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 03:19:42 +0000
Subject: NEWS: Win A Signed AV1 cd !

Dear Chalkers,

You could already be a winner!

If you would like the chance to win one of five signed copies of the
fabulous new XTC album Apple Venus Volume 1, please read on

Yes, that's right: thanks to Cooking Vinyl i'm giving away five
highly collectable signed cd's and you can win one too!

All you have to do is go to the following URL

and all will be revealed...

PS: don't wait too long - this competition ends March the 16th, 1999

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 12:21:57 -0800
From: "Dane Pereslete" <>
Subject: Re: Greenman (Yet Once More)

> Who do you think would win in a fight: Soundgarden's "Spoonman" or
> XTC's "Greenman"?
>TMBG's Triangle Man, of course (he always wins).
>Robyn Hitchcock's Balloon Man could join in, but
>Black Sabbath's Ironman would kick all their asses...

Secret Agent Man could just banish them all to "The Village" forever,
never to be seen again!!

Logging in from beautiful Glendale, CA  USA
"Hurry up Andy & Colin!!"  -or-


Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 15:39:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Tom Getter Slack <>
Subject: Too Much Freedom
Message-ID: <>

> ...XRT's Sound Opinions ... reviewed AV1 and said that it was
> pretty good, but that Andy has too much freedom.

This is a very puzzling statement. I would very much like to know what the
shit that is supposed to mean. Does it mean that Mr. Partridge has the
balls to think he can get away with creating art that doesn't pander to
the all-knowing music professional's viewpoint of what is acceptable to
present to the public?  It must be quite obvious that Partridge simply
doesn't grasp the formula. I mean, how dare he write songs that shun the
simplistic appeal-to-the-masses mentality of "Hope You Had the Time of
Your Life" in favor of something so blatantly obscure as the appreciation
of a legendary forest spirit or a fantasy about a world without
gasoline-powered vehicles? And on the musical level, what's with the use
of these weird arrangements? - where the hell is the droning, distorted
guitar that backs the Hootie-rythm mellow "alternative" three-chord
progression that, quite obviously, is the key to success?

While I'm slamming critics, I may as well gripe about the overused
"Beatley" comments regarding AV1. It's such an uneducated point of view-
that comment could be (in fact has been) made about any XTC album. It's
like your wife, who you mutually agree bears a resemblance to Audrey
Hepburn, gets all dressed up to go out, and you comment that she looks
very Audrey Hepburnish. Duh. In my opinion, part of what XTC has done is
to perpetuate a musical style that the Beatles, either as a group or
individually, were unable to reproduce after 1969. I like it as much as I
liked the Beatles material. Hail XTC.

Having engaged in my favorite activity of critic-bashing, I must now be
completely hypocritical by offering my own meaningless subjective comments
about the gem, the monumental collection of material known as Apple Venus
Volume One. I did get ahold of the demos beforehand, only because I wanted
to hear what Andy would come up with in a situation that compares to my
own in terms of equipment and personnel, but, being privilege to the
insider information provided by Chalkhills members (thanks Mitch), I knew
what songs were to be on this disc and, after listening once, did not
expose myself to the chosen tunes again (while still indulging in the ones
that weren't picked - I like both Prince of Orange and Wonder Annual very
much). Oddly, the songs on AV1 have struck me as belonging in categories
by pair, so that's how I'm structuring my comments.

River of Orchids/Greenman
Orchestrally backed odes to a non-modern world.

To those individuals who have not yet been moved by River of Orchids, a
recommendation- get someone who has a really nice stereo or PA system to
blast it out in a large room. This song is amazing, powerful, absolutely
unique, and as rythmically moving as can be imagined without any
percussion instruments. I want to hear this in Symphony Hall.

Greenman would be my pick for the single. It has immediate appeal, nice
rythm, and is much more intriguing than the lighter "I'd Like That". If
length is a concern, why not do a remix to release as a single? The Lay
Your Head part goes on for 45 seconds, and could be quickly faded out into
the incredibly beautiful, other-worldy orchestral ending.

Easter Theatre/Harvest Festival
Partridgian seasonally connected slices of life.

Easter Theatre is a celebration of birth, or rebirth, that perfectly
combines lyrics and music to conjure up the atmosphere of Springtime. How
does he do that? This one was most definitely improved by the orchestral
backing. It would be sad if a great number of people don't hear this.

Harvest Festival is just another great song that seems to get better with
each listen. I very much like it's placement after I Can't Own Her,
because it picks you up from the chair where you've been weeping, gets you
dressed, and takes you out to celebrate the marriage of a good friend. I
did get the feeling an orchestra was used only because that was the theme
of the album- this one could be as effective with a Nonsuch type of

I'd Like That/Knights in Shining Karma
Beatlesque (sorry, but it's true) lighthearted ballads

Having heard I'd Like That once, there wasn't much that surprised me about
the final version (except the very cool Like a Sunflower part). It's nice,
blows away anything McCartney has done solo, but it's kind of simple. As a
single, I'm afraid it's not going to clue the world in on what a
masterpiece XTC has just come out with.

Knights in Shining Karma was very much improved from the demo version. I
really like the boy's choir feel it has now, and the sound of the guitar,
Andy's singing, and Colin's fretless bass. A very pleasant tune.

Frivolous Tonight/Fruit Nut
Songs about middle-aged life.

These two really don't need to be treated separately, they're so similar
in style and delivery. Not strong on the immediate impact scale, they grow
on you kind of like the warm fuzzy feeling hits you after a couple of
bourbons. What struck me about these is they are truly like show tunes, an
almost parody-like exaggeration of basically unremarkable situations that
inherit poignancy because of their relevance to real life. Thinking about
them this way actually enhanced their meaning to me. Makes me think of
Colin like an old pal with whom I could take comfort in sharing life

Your Dictionary/I Can't Own Her
Broken hearted outpourings of emotion about loss of love.

I'm trying to understand why bitter emotion validates this song as
something that is deserving of widespread airplay. I wrote a song like
this (pretty good one) after a divorce, and I never wanted to play it
again after the emotion faded. Andy didn't want to play this one either,
but was talked into it. Clever word play that vents nicely, but too
personal for my liking. Unlike other codas that Andy has done, the ending
to this is beautiful and poignant, and actually saves the song.

I Can't Own Her - I Can't Begin to express what an astounding song this
is, on so many levels. Whether or not you agree with the sentiment of this
song, if you aren't touched by the emotion that is so compellingly
expressed, you're in need of a chakral heart transplant. Makes Wrapped in
Grey look like an amateur attempt at songwriting (something I could never
have pictured myself saying). I honestly think this song is a classic that
will stand up to the greatest songs in history. You can rest assured that
it will be on my own list of unforgettable musical moments. And yes, I
shed tears.

The Last Balloon/[oops]
OK, there are 11 songs, which makes this the perfect last song!

This strikes me as a new take on This World Over, but actually much better
done. Manages to incorporate the dreaminess of Chalkhills and Children
into a kind of resigned sadness and world-weariness. The horn solo is
really exquisite, and the slowest fade out I ever heard provides the
perfect visualization of a balloon drifting off becoming smaller and
smaller until it disappears.

Yup, AV1 is the best they've done yet, in my book. Naturally (for them),
it first hits you as strange, then grows on you, then possesses your heart
and spirit (that's as far as I've gotten to date). I think I will be
forever dumbfounded that this music may go unheralded in the annals of
popular music history.

Sorry this post is so long, but since I post maybe twice a year, I figured
I had a right to use up some KB's.



Date: Wed,  3 Mar 1999 16:38:35 EDT
Message-Id: <>
From: "John McGreivey" <>
Subject: Re: Green Man

>Then John Entwhistle's
>"Whiskey Man" would get them all roaring drunk.

How 'bout Mission of Burna's "Go Fun Burn Man"?



Message-ID: <01BE65C0.631AF5B0@robert>
From: Robert Wood <>
Subject: Position
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 21:54:09 -0000

I'm surprised no-one else has posted this.

Apple Venus reaches number 42 in the album charts for its first week. Just
2 places higher would have been good...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 16:30:22 -0600
Subject: Anybody checking the charts?

Has anyone checked Billboard's album charts recently?  Are all of our
purchases sending this album flying up the charts, or have we not generated
enough critcal mass yet?  Billboard has a top 100 album chart, but their
web page only lists the top 50 (or at least that was what I could only
get).  I looked on Monday (March 1), but didn't see it listed in the top
50.  Did anyone look the week before when it was released?  What about
UK/Canadian/Australian charts?




Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:43:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Iain Murray <>
Subject: Apple Venus, Volume 2 - Alternative Titles

In keeping with XTC's recent trend, and since there's no lyric on AV1
that goes "Apple Venus, Volume Two", I hereby humbly submit a few
suggestions for an alternative title to the next volume :

Piccadilly Circus
Peckham Rose
Strawberry Fool
Chocolate Nipple (okay, that's pretty much out of the running already,
but I like it for some reason)
Hairy Backs (see "Chocolate Nipple")
Stage Left (or "Stage Right, I suppose...)

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that "Apple Venus, Vol.2"
lacks a bit of imagination as a title?


"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not
truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music. Music is
the best." - Frank Zappa


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:25:44 +0000
From: Jon Holden-Dye <>
Subject: Re: XTC rap? This is a joke, right?

In Digest 5-111, sick, sad and stunned Charles <>

--snip snip snip
>Hey, remember when REM had a rapper (KRS-One...or some other
>combination of letters, numbers, and symbols) "sing" on
>their album?  That was their breakthrough album and they
>even won a packet of Grammys, that exalted American symbol
>of commercial acceptance.  Perhaps XTC is embarking on a
>similar strategy, and "Dear God" is the first salvo (or
>their last gasp).
>Dear god indeed.

Just ignore it and keep on playing those old records of yours. Give me
your address and I might even send you some of mine (I'll remember to
filter-out all the Rap, first).
Jon Holden-Dye
"I like to keep an open mind - but
not so open my brain falls out." (Anon.)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 17:13:02 -0600
Subject: Canadian Lurker's thoughts
From: "McCausland_Ian" <>

Yet another Canuck , this time in Winnipeg, yet another person returning to
the chalkhills list after the long draught... yet another offering of
thoughts on AV1!

I must admit I didn't like it on listens #1-4...but then listen #5 it hit
me, solid, like someone punched me... this album is brilliant! Now I play it

One of my fave moments is the slow parts in Easter Theater. ..."Easter in
her bonnet.." and how it ends. Man I love that, so full of mystery...

The piano in Frivious Tonight conjures up The Zombies-Care of Cell 44 (I
think its called)...which happens to be one of my fave zombies song.

You really must find the biggest stereo system and crank Greenman! Its

The first time I heard that recorder riff in Harvest Festival,it made me
think of grade 6. Perfect! Anyone else forced to learn the recorder?

Last night right after yet another listen, I threw on Mayor of Simpleton.
Wow quite jarring but it then reminded me that there's more coming of the
electric variety... anyone have a sense when?

to all those brave souls who met AP and CM in those in-stores, Bravo.
Personally I would be too humbled to say anything.I mean what can you say to
these guys they haven't heard?

After wandering away from chalkhills-lurking its great to be back. I have
dabbled with other mailing lists but the level of intelligence on this one
has always impressed!



From: "Michael Versaci" <>
Subject: All aboard for Sodom
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 18:42:08 -0500
Message-ID: <000501be65cf$74140fa0$>


Harrison Sherwood already knows the answer to his famous question:

>So now that we've gotten "phallic" and "priapic" all straightened out,

(couldn't resist, could you?)

>what's the difference between "anal" and "rectal"? Anybody?

I'm really sick of the hole thing.  There is entirely too much flatulence on
this list.  Why go around the world?  Let me  get to the bottom of this for
those who have been seeking the answer in your dictionaries:

Harrison is anal.

Dom is rectal.

And for those of you that insist on comparing ELO to XTC: Just remember,
Jeff Lynne took two very nice unreleased Lennon songs, and wrecked 'em!

Michael Versaci


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 18:55:56 -0500
From: Pete <>
Subject: glue

From: "Jeffrey W Wall M.D." <>
Subject: Re: Wow, this album really blows guys

<<Here's my hasty assessment after about three listens to AV: I waited
<<seven years for this?

what kind of glue have you been sniffing?


good glue, obviously.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 01:29:55 +0000
Subject: Holy Land Invader

Dear Chalkers,

A Slonedog told us :

> 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
you sure you like XTC at all?

and added:

> irritatingly repetititve nonsense
not unlike your "review" then, is it?

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 01:29:55 +0000
Subject: The Not So Everyday Story Of Smalltown

Dear Chalkers,

This is a quite long post but it does have a few good bits
here & there so just bear with me...

I'm sure most of you didn't believe me when i told you i would travel
to Swindon to buy some more copies of AV1, but i _really_ did.
But of course that's not the only thing i did while i over there...

After i arrived at the Goddard Arms hotel i met up with friendly
locals Debie and Pete, who took me for a mini-tour of XTC related
pubs, including Colin's "local". And very early next morning Debie
dragged me along on an extensive guided XTC tour of Swindon and
surroundings. I took a lot of photographs of interesting places where
people used to live or where "they" used to rehearse but managed to
ruin the film when i tried to replace it.

We also visited the infamous Penhill estate and saw some genuine
Penhill Mutants but they didn't perform any deviant sexual acts while
we were there. But the site that impressed me the most was (of
course) Chalk Horse Hill in Uffington.  We went all the way up there
in dreadful weather and heavy gusts of wind but that somehow seemed
fitting for such an awe inspiring place. One couldn't help but wonder
how it must have been like to live there in that valley 3000 years
ago when this magnificent sign was put up. Or why they did it... and
for who?

The weather turned really nasty so we headed back to the car
and off for a short stop at the Town Park open air theatre (where
Andy & Dave performed an unplugged Train Running Low On Soul Coal for
the Play At Home film). Of course i couldn't resist the chance of
having my picture taken on that stage, in my Chalkhills Tshirt !

I was rushed back to the hotel for a quick shower and a disastrous
shave in preparation for the main event of the day... a dinner at the
Curry Garden restaurant with local curry expert Dave Gregory and his
brother Ian aka E.I.E.I Owen of the Dukes.

We (Debie, Pete and yours truly) arrived a little early so we could
settle our nerves a bit before we would meet Dave and Ian. But while
we were trying to calm down, Debie said: "there he is, under the
umbrella... he's coming in!" and indeed, Dave entered the restaurant.
Hearts leapt, throats went dry and all the prepared speeches
evaporated as we shook hands.  All i could manage to utter was "you
must be Dave, pleased to meet you"

We all settled down to enjoy a wonderful and spicy meal. Both Dave
and Ian were very kind and friendly and did their best to make us
feel comfortable so after just a little while we were chatting away
in a very relaxed atmosphere.

Many subjects were discussed during the conversations; from Dutch
prog rockers Focus (Dave really knows his stuff!) to royalty rates
for compilation albums, our backgrounds, their Dutch connection,
Indian cuisine and many many more.

After we all had our fill of the lovely meal, Dave suggested we might
like some coffee or deserts or would we like to come back to his
place for a drink? Debie and i exchanged one stunned look and said
"sure, we'd love to!"

So we all ended up at Dave's house, not totally believing this was
all really happening. But it was and we spent the rest of the evening
there just talking about anything that came up, including the horrors
of Swindon rush hour traffic and Apple Venus Volume I
Dave and I agreed that it would probably be a minor hit and outsell
many of their previous efforts in the UK. "it's really a good album"
he said

After somebody who shall remain nameless because i don't want to
embarrass her, asked Dave if a 12 string guitar really had 12 strings
he went and fetched a truly gorgeous (and priceless!) sunburst 1964
Rickenbacker 12 string - the famous Beatles & Byrds model for all you
non musos - and proceeded to play a couple of 'unplugged' XTC tunes
while we sang along! this was too good to be true!

But all good things must come to an end and after what seemed like
only a short while we had to take our leave and say our goodbyes. Of
course we all thanked him profusely for his generous hospitality and
the excellent curry. It had been his pleasure he said and he'd love
to do it again.

So we went our way and after we dropped off Ian at his home, Debie
and Pete brought me back to my my hotel. Still dazed, i couldn't get
to sleep until late in the night, constantly replaying the evening's
events before my mind's eye. And worrying about how i could avoid
washing the hand that shook the hands of the Gregory brothers :)

tomorrow: final part of my travelogue: the Warren Report

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 19:13:47 -0600
Subject: Similarities
From: "Bob O'Bannon" <>

Has anyone noticed how much "Frivolous Tonight" sounds like a Van Dyke Parks
tune, circa "Jump"? This simply reminded me how appropriate Mr. Parks would
have been as producer of AV1. Production is fine as it is, but Parks would
have been better.

Also, the long intro to "River of Orchids" sounds suspicously like the long,
building intro to "Train Running Low..." but with strings instead of train
noises. And those circular repeating keyboard patches remind me of an old
album by Colin Newman called "Commercial Suicide."

None of this minimizes my enjoyment of the album, mind you, because I keep
liking it more and more. And better yet, it's the first XTC album my wife
has been able to enjoy.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 18:42:17 -0800
From: Jim English <>
Organization: vitamin research products
Subject: Andy on video clip

Greetings from San Francisco.  While I missed the chance to see Andy at the
San Francisco Virgin Megastore last night, I found something that I think
chalkhills readers will appreciate - a video clip of an interview with Andy
on a local cable channel.  The clip is available at:

You'll need RealPlayer to view and hear the interview which is about 6.5
minutes in length.  Now if I could only figure out how to save the clip on
my drive!



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 22:31:44 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: sorry for the typos

well, i was really excited about the signing event with andy & in my
excitement & haste, i failed to proof-read my "meeting with andy" post. i
wish i had because it was riddled with typos & i'm very embarrassed!

as a further addition to "meeting with andy", when he signed my copy of
"trans-blast", he made a little doodle of a man, using the radio dial for
its face & drawing little arms & legs beneath the dial. he called it
hmmm, i wonder if he has any relation to the "greenman"?

av1 is still rolling around in me 'ead, i'm still absorbing it & so i won't
be giving any of my detailed impressions just yet. here's an indication of
what it is like, though;

my wife, kathy, does appreciate music, but not on the level that i do, or
anyone else on this list does, for that matter. however, after meeting andy
with me, she's come away greatly impressed by his wit, intelligence &
accessablility & now she has a greater appreciation of xtc's music. why,
she's even suggested we buy a second copy; one for the car & one for the

what a great gal, huh?

peace & xtc,



Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:57:14 -0500 (EST)
From: "" <>
Subject: XTC in Toronto
Message-ID: <>

	I attended the Andy Partridge autograph session at Tower Records
here in Toronto last Saturday and it was a blissful day which I shall
always remember. I was fortunate to be surrounded by friendly and
interesting people, and was also fortunate to be able to retire to a pub
after the signing to speak further with them.
	Though I arrived very early, the autograph line was organised in
such a way that forced me to wait a rather long time. When I finally did
arrive in front of Andy, clutching my copy of AV1 and 3D EP, I could think
of nothing else to do but to say hello and thrust my items in front of
him. He illustrated the photo on 3D EP by drawing cowboy apparel over
himself, and also signed the inside of the AV cover. A moment later I
regretted not having asked him about Yazbek, for during the Q&A he
mentioned Yazbek to which I let out a cheer and applause, which caught
Andy's approving attention. In any case, I decided to go right ahead and
talk to Andy, so I mentioned that I was the one who had applauded for
Yazbek, and this got Andy excited, as he implored me to find The Laughing
Man which he considers an even finer album than Tock, to which I informed
him that I thought Tock was the best record of '98. (I made that
proclamation here on this list back in December, and I stand by it still).
Much to my delight, all this talk of Yazbek prompted numerous people that
I spoke to in line to try to seek out his stuff.
	Much loitering ensued following my brief encounter, at which time
a small group of us, mainly strangers until this moment, began to form,
including the man, Peter I believe, who publishes the Little Express.  I
found all of these people to be wonderfully passionate about music and
eager to share this enthusiasm, and other common pursuits, with strangers
who were no longer so strange after this long and great day.
	On AV1: the cover art is extremely beautiful, and I stare at it in
rapt awe. The music contained within is equally beautiful. There is no
need to promote the album within this forum, as everyone here is bound to
own it soon enough, but it is worth it to say that we will not be buying
this album out of any sense of obligation, rather we will buy it because
we could not imagine our lives without it. Great artists who rise to the
highest level of creative achievement produce work which weaves itself
into the fabric of those among us who would recognise the need within
ourselves that such work fulfills. A record like AV1 is not just a good
listen, but a work of art by true visionaries who see where music needs to
go, and take it there, and us along with them.
	A band this good draws a particular type of fan, and it's no
surprise that spending time with such a person is singularly enjoyable.
Hello and thanks to everyone I spoke to, let's do it again soon.
	PS: If you were close enough to me in line to hear me speak, you
know that I was trying not to let the playing of AV1 over the store's
shitty PA system ruin the first time I'd ever heard a note off the record,
demos included. Just so you'll know, when I did play the CD later that
night, all memories of what I heard over the PA were wiped away as I heard
the CD in all its stereophonic splendor. So no, I don't feel that the
experience of hearing it for the first time was robbed from me.
	It's wonderful to think of how many AV1 discs were spinning in CD
players all over Toronto that night.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 23:10:45 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: greenman & other comments

Kristen Reed asked;
Has anyone listened to that thing w/the volume absolutely *cranked* up?
is there any other way to play it? i can't get enough of it - loud!

Wes (Wilson) asked;
Greenman - I ask you, who's writing songs like this these days?
Who has the ability to produce such songs?
nobody! nobody!

Mike Myers said:
listen closely to Colin's bass playing on "Greenman".  It is fantastic.
many posts-ago, i commented on colin's bass playing after listening to
"skylarking" & "o&l" back to back in my car. he is one of the most musical
bass players around & can play some of the funkiest basslines i've ever
heard, second only to flea for funk-style playing, in my opinion.

Who's paid the LEAST for AV1? Who's paid the MOST? (Me? $18.99)
this is not what i paid, but i did see it at hmv yorkdale (in toronto)
selling for $25.99 (cdn). also, there were only 2 copies in the xtc bin, &
none on the "new releases" rack. typical. i paid $15.99(cdn) at tower for
the andy in-store signing.

"greenman" is my current fave track on the album, i really crank it
"absolutely" up in my car. i really feel like dancing whenever i hear it, &
those who've met me know what that means...  ;-)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 20:08:01 EST
Subject: Entertainment Weekly review

  From Entertainment Weekly #475, March 5th 1999:

  On their first new album in seven years, these venerable English pop
artisans eschew rock electricity in favor of subtler acoustic and
orchestral textures, with compelling results. The gorgeous yet vaguely
unsettling arrangements are well suited to the exquisitely flawed humanism
of Andy Partridge's and Colin Moulding's compositions, lending an
appropriately uneasy edge to bittersweet tunes like "I Can't Own Her,"
Greenman," and "The Last Balloon." A-

  I think Andy and Colin should include this review in their press
portfolio if they have one. The writer is obviously already a fan. His name
is Scott Schinder if anybody knows him. Might scare away all those Britney
Spears fans who brought this issue because she's on the cover,
though. Meanwhile I eagerly await my copy of AV1 which is in transit by



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 23:24:56 EST
Subject: Apple Venus and stuff

Hi folks.  I've lurked for a coupla months, but am now de-lurking in order
to voice things that the past few digests have gotten me thinking about.

First of all, Apple Venus is wonderful, a sonic marvel, and their most
marvelously consistent album outside of Nonsuch (still their best album,
with Apple Venus a smidgeon behind, closely followed by Big Express, the
Dukes compilation, and Black Sea.  Fire away, naysayers....)  Andy's voice
is better than ever; this point is not up for debate, because it's not a
matter of opinion.  Remember how he strains for those high A's in Another
Satellite (or - BIT - a - NO - ther year)?  Nothing remotely resembling
that here.  He seems almost to be defying the usual high-register decline
that most aging male vocalists go through (Billy Joel, Elton John, Geddy
Lee, to a lesser extent Peter Gabriel).  He seems to be getting stronger up

Also, pretty much all music magazines suck ass.  I find this to be less and
less a matter of opinion as well, the more I read them.  Being a musician,
I pretty much can always tell when a critic is full of shit, and let me
tell you folks, that's pretty damn close to 100% of the time.  Even the
well meaning ones that are very open-minded can't seem to resist throwing
in some pseudo- music type bullshit that really shows that have no idea
what they're talking about.  I haven't read a magazine where this hasn't
been somewhat true on every page.  They're not completely worthless, just
when you want attempts at informed, bias-free opinions.  Informationally
and interview-wise they can be quite useful.  I wouldn't get too bent out
of shape when Apple Venus gets shafted; that San Francisco reviewer very
likely was truly baffled by the orchestral nature of AV.

(By the way, one reason I love XTC is that they always have been orchestral
in the way they write and record, especially from ES on.  Not literally
ORCHESTRA - l, but sculptor-like in constructing their tracks the way
orchestra writers are [the good one, at least])

Lastly, with respect to the person (sorry, forget your name) who told Andy
in Chicago that AV was almost as good as falling in love, the two things
coincided for me recently.  An ex-girlfriend of mine (we dated a couple of
years, didn't keep in touch for a few more, now we've been seeing each
other for a few months) and I recently, as in the past week and a half,
fell back in love, right around the time of AV's release.  The coincidence
of this isn't lost on me, though I'm not sure what it means.  The best part
is that during the few days visit in which we had our epiphany of sorts,
she was visiting me in NYC (she's in Philadelphia) and we met Andy and
Colin at Tower Records in the Village; she's a huge XTC fan who's probably
listened to AV much more than I have.  Just thought you'd like to know

By the way, leave people alone who don't like the album.  They're not wrong
if they don't like it.  (though the people who said Andy sings off-key are

Thanks for reading.

Matt Mitchell


Message-ID: <>
From: Martin & Jamie Monkman <>
Subject: lurkers
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 22:36:10 -0800

First off, welcome to all those lurkers who have appeared out of the
shadows!  Don't slip back into the gloom; the more the merrier on this
lively forum.

Second, I've composed a review of AV1 that you can find at the review site I
co-write (I guess I'm the de facto editor and publisher, too).
There's many other reviews there as well, so stay a while and poke around a

I'm green with envy hearing all the fabulous reports about the signing
sessions--keep 'em coming.


Our homepage:


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: Small note to Curious George
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 00:58:54 CST

Now now, temper temper. So I'm a groupie, eh? Of course I know you were
talking about me. But you see, my definition of a groupie is a loose
woman who follows bands around just to get her kicks. (Pamela Des
Barres, anyone?) And these people have no respect for themselves or for
the musicians they trail. Me on the other hand, I have nothing but the
utmost respect for Dave. 'Nuff said.

Tis all for now, and can't wait for the chat Thursday!!!!!!!!!
Amanda C. Owens
"People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on anything with
welcome written on it."-Andy Partridge
XTC song of the day=Knights In Shining Karma
non-XTC song-From a Moving Train-America


Message-Id: <>
Subject: All-Music Guide
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 02:11:34 -0500

Dan Wiencek wrote:

> The All-Music ( guide recently updated their XTC
> discography to include Apple Venus, which they award 4.5 stars out of 5.
> However, there's no text to the review.  All-Music allows readers to
> compose reviews for the albums; an intrepid soul who wished to do so can
> find it at...

The All-Music Guide is pretty slow in their updates.  Generally when I post
info there, I don't see it reflected in the actual entries for a month or
two.  Probably by the time any user reviews show up, the actual review will
be there...not that that should discourage anyone from writing one.

-- Francis Heaney

"I'm okay, I feel good; why do I swim in blood?"
   -- Stereolab  (Hey, turns out I'm cool according to John Irvine)


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