Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-120

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 120

                  Saturday, 6 March 1999

Today's Topics:

                What's New on Chalkhills?
            Two new albums, one set of ears...
                   The Onion AV1 review
      Once again breaking the flow of the digest....
           various musings about serious music
                 The Return Of Rectal Boy
                     Harvest Festival
               Another XTC fan *elated*!!!
                       Re: Greenman
                     "The New Album"
                 Re: Recent Demo Material
                        Re: posted
           My AV1 Thoughts (as if you asked...)
                  My mistake, your gain
                    XTC Chart position
  Easter Parade, Chicago, Seagulls Screaming in Japanese
                    Song Order on AV1
              APPLE VENUS AT #106 IN THE USA
            Two AV1 related things (surprise)
                     Garden vs. River
                   Some thoughts on AV1
                    Review of letter!


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

We can't go on meeting / This once in every year.


Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 12:07:30 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: What's New on Chalkhills?

Le pommes de Venus,

As many of you have figured, it's still intensely busy here at
Chalkhills Central.

First item of business: please remember to update your links and
bookmarks to point to the new home of Chalkhills at

Second item of business: I assume some of you were able to participate
in the XTC web chat on AOL on Thursday (or Friday morning, depending
on your time zone).  If you had any trouble with the chat or you have
any comments on the format of the chat, please send your comments to
John Hammond at TVT Records <>.  I was unable to
connect to the chat myself because of problems with Java, being unable
to connect to port 4020, and other technical glitches.  Josh Sierles
told me that the user interface was not easy to use or intuitive and
that the applet would die after a short time.  Also, half an hour is
barely long enough to get connected!  And has anybody been able to
figure out if the chat has been archived?

On to the more positive:  David Veitch, entertainment editor at the
Calgary Sun, spoke with Andy Partridge recently.  David graciously
granted Chalkhills the opportunity to post the transcript of his full
interview, check it out at
David also wrote two reviews of Apple Venus for the Calgary Sun, the
reviews can be found on Chalkhills as well.

Tim Harris sent in the chords to "Fruit Nut" (three times) and
"Frivolous Tonight".  Jeffrey Fariello sent in chords and tab to
"Harvest Festival" and "Blue Beret".  Duncan "Dunks" Kimball sent in
chords and tab to "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)".

Richard Pedretti-Allen scanned cover photos from "I'd Like That", and
the AV1 promo CD.  David Lake sent in photos from the Borders Chicago
Andy Partridge in-store, and Doug Mashkow sent in photos from the
Tower Records NYC in-store.

Robert Cosentino (and others) sent in a long article from The
Washington Post.  Robert actually went so far as to scan the newspaper
page, so we've got the photos as well (see

Adrian Ogden sent in the entire text of the article and interview in
MOJO magazine (see

We've got "Buzzcity Talking", a list of XTC chat rooms and bulletin
boards, on the Other Sites of Interest page.

And of course there are innumerable new reviews of AV1 available.
(Actually, I'm just too lazy to count them all.)  Wes Hanks still wins
for the most reviews sent in (do he do anything else?):
    Richmond Times-Dispatch
    The Columbus Dispatch
    Akron Beacon Journal
    New York Post
    The Indianapolis Star
    The Calgary Sun
    Sun-Sentinel Ft. Lauderdale
    Chicago Sun-Times
    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    The Times (London)
    Sydney Morning Herald
    The Fresno Bee
    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Other folks who helped:
    Jason Kirkman: San Francisco Chronicle
    Simon Coward: The Guardian (London), Uncut
    Troy Peters: Entertainment Weekly
    Kurt Muehlner, Jeff Langr: CDnow
    David Oh: Toronto Star
    Francis Heaney: The Onion
    Bill Curran: The Hamilton Spectator
    Randy Posynick: BAM
    Stephen Harper: Atlanta Journal Constitution

And there are even more reviews left to catalog.  My fingers are
getting tired.

As far as lyrics, please note that it's "Rael Brook" shirts.  And in
"I Can't Own Her", the lyrics run

    I own this river, I own this town
    All of its climbers and its winos sliding down

As in "social climbers" and winos sliding into the gutter.  I think of
vines when I hear this line.

And in closing let me say that the LP release of AV1 is quite
impressive: embossed cover, gatefold sleeve, liner notes that can be
read.  And very heavy disc.  No messages in the runout grooves,
however.  Well worth a dollar.

	-- John


Message-ID: <>
From: "Chris Crouch" <>
Subject: Two new albums, one set of ears...
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 01:45:22 CST

"Andy Miller" <> wrote:

Apple Venus #1 entered the UK album chart at number 42 - don't know the
sales figures, but that's three places higher than The Sebadoh by
Sebadoh, also in its first week of release.

Is this a good showing? Better than Nonsuch?

To which I reply:

While I can't speak for the chart placing, I can say that I purchased
both AV1 and The Sebadoh last Tuesday and only one of them has recieved
near-constant play on my stereo. AV1 is pure magic, plain and simple.  I
find a little something new in it every time I listen.  I've probably
spun it a hundred times in the last week and have not even begun to tire
of it (The same cannot be said for my roommate, I fear.  Perhaps now he
can appriciate the suffering I went though when he first got his KC and
Jojo disc.  Good god...).

Chris in Ames

PS - I'm going to be spending the next year studying at the University
of Exeter.  If there is anyone on Chalkhills with information on the
area (the best pubs, places to see concerts, ect.) who would like to
drop me a line, I would be very thankful.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 19:04:04 +1100
From: Luetjens <>
Subject: The Onion AV1 review

Hello all

There's a very favourable review of Apple Venus 1 at everyone's
favourite online newspaper, The Onion.



Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:28:35 +0100 (MET)
From: Martin van Rappard <>
Subject: Once again breaking the flow of the digest....
Message-ID: <>

...with a few questions and remarks.

1) Chris Kushmider <> posted to the
digest looking for tape trades. I'm sorry to say this (as I've traded
succesfully with him in the past), but he has a very bad reputation among
traders - a Dejanews search will confirm this.

2) Where can I get CD-R copies of the Chalkhills and Children

3) A few digests ago someone mentioned:
"Did he hear about the "climb aboard Jewchildren" controversy on 'Hills?"
Could someone fill me in on this - I'm rather new to the list, as you
might have guessed from question 2.

4) is listing several copies of the Japanese bootleg demos
series for around $25 each - are these worth it? Chalkhills has the track
lists, but no word on sound quality. If anyone has these on CD and can do
CD-R, we might be able to set up a trade - my list is at




Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 05:54:37 EST
Subject: various musings about serious music

hi people!
                  WHAT A FINE TIME TO BE AN XTC FAN!

     Here are a few thougts and the like.  I am one of those connecticut
chalker-types who just didn't go to either of the conveniently located
signings in ny or boston. i may be kicking myself for years over this .
My small purchase story is that i drove a few extra miles to a borders,
bypassing a few local stores to reward a store which i know carries xtc.
I thought i saw it immediatly- but it turned out to be the lauren hill cd
(damn those dreadlocks looked like one big peacock feather from a
distance!)OH-there it is!  No...thats TLC (im dyslexic) In reality it was
nicely displayed and i found it immediately.

  Please will you not refer to this as worth the seven year wait? That
might convince andy to hold av two back for 7 years.  To me -colins songs
keep this from being a too serious of a cd-just the right counter punch to
andys (for the most part )very serious approach.  Regarding the cassette
package -if pack of cigs bugs you, think deck of cards-my first thought on
seeing it,and cant you just imagine playing a nice game of cribbage with
such a deck?

  colin in this months bass player magasine -cover says xtc, but its a
just colin article . my choice for band names "Phil and the Blanks"

 Lastly... the lost chorus for easter theater:

   Dave left ! 'cos he had enough of andy partridge,
   Dave's right! Apple Venus should have had electric songs,
   Stand up! if you all beleive in what Daves saying...
   New life -Dave just got a new life...

                                                         eddie st. martin


Message-Id: <4782AD6ADDBDD2119B570008C75DD5C1021EEF@MGMTM02>
From: Lawson Dominic <>
Subject: The Return Of Rectal Boy
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:52:32 -0000

Greetings, sports fans. I'll hold back on my review of AV1 because (a) I
haven't heard it on CD yet and my one good ear just ain't reliable enough
to assess a 2nd gen copy, and (b) our Webmaster is on holiday so there
won't be anything new on the site (
<> ) for a while

>>One of XTC's finest recordings, a boffo achievment!

And if you ever use the word boffo again, I will personally pay to have you

And on a more irritating and brain-dead note....

>>Wow, this album really blows guys

No it doesn't. And you're an ugly tosser. Sorry - kneejerk reaction.

>>River of Dreams--Irritating from the first drop.

Well, that's Billy Joel for you.

>>A mediocre pop song with pretty dumb lyrics

Hands up who disagrees? Oh, that'll be everyone then. Twat.

>>The opening is almost as irritating as "River of Dreams"
but once it kicks in, it gets much better.

You are a prize penis. Keep going, this is great...

>>Pretty but sterile ballad

Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. No, stop it. Seriously, STOP IT!!!

>>Did somebody say this was the greatest XTC song ever?  What
kind of drugs are you on?

OK, "Greenman" isn't the best XTC song ever, but it's the drugs you're
taking that worry me. Try oxygen - I gather your brain could do with

>>Mean-spirited, heavy-handed diatribe that might benefit
from a rockier arrangement.  Still, as someone else said, I hate songs where
the spell stuff out

I can imagine. It must be tricky having to work out what the words are in
such a short space of time. T - W - A - T . Quick, leg it before he works it

>>Frothy little throwaway from Colin.  At least it breaks up
the monotony.

Jesus, what a misery. Does anyone think that he's bought a Bob Dylan album
by mistake?

>>Boring, completely off-key, out of tune mess.

Now you're starting to piss me off. Come back when you know the first thing
about music and try again. Amateur criticism is all very well, but moronic
bullshit is another matter entirely.

>>Speaking of boring...  Atleast Andy finally shuts up
for the last couple of minutes for that great trumpet solo.

Oh well I am relieved. You liked the trumpet solo. Perhaps a Herb Alpert
record might make more sense next time.
Just for the record, I'm completely deaf in one ear and prone to sudden acts
of verbal diarrhoea, but even I wouldn't have had the audacity to post such
a pitiful litany of cack-handed drivel. Are you sure you actually like XTC
at all?

And speaking of major cock-ups...

>>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.

No she doesn't. The world has gone mad, and I shall weep for you all.

>>Dom, keep stirring the pot, please.

Well as you all know, I am an expert pot-stirrer. I am also a dab hand at
nudging heroin, and once disturbed some crack so it's kind of a career
thing really...

>>Hey, remember when REM had a rapper (KRS-One...or some other
combination of letters, numbers, and symbols) "sing" on
their album?

Yes, and it was rather good. KRS-One is something of a legend, despite
what you might think, so it was an inspired collaboration. OK, sampling
"Dear God" is a potentially awful idea but you never know, it could
work....just ask Ozzy. Contrary to popular belief, there is an awful lot
of excellent rap music around at the moment...

>>there a bit too much mutual masterbation at the alter of XTC on
this list most of the time

Possibly, but that is somewhat inevitable since Chalkhills is devoted to
XTC rather than merely curious about them....They're not my favourite band
in the whole world either, but I can totally understand a few jets of jism
gently splattering the digest from time to time...........AND LEARN TO

And getting my shots in early....

>>Harrison is anal.
>>Dom is rectal.
Hang on a minute. That's terribly rude. Why can't we all just be nice to
each other? Oh, and BTW (spew!) I'm definitely anal (behold my
alphabetically organized record collection and weep, sweet chalksods,
weep...) - I wouldn't like to speak for Harrison though. Oh alright then,
he's more sphinctral than anything else. Did I just make a word up? Cool.
>>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!
Rectum? You sneaky devil....
Back soon!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 08:20:46 -0500
From: Jefferson Ogata <>
Subject: Harvest Festival wrote:
> Harvest Festival- Will probably get flamed for this. But it kinda
>                 bores me. Just don't get the point of it, not yet
>                 anyway.

I think this is the most moving song on the disc. Boy #1 meets girl
in youth, girl participates in harvest festival ritual with boy #2,
they all grow up and boy #1 loses track of girl, then boy #1 receives
an unexpected invitation to attend the wedding of girl and boy #2.
Watching the wedding he remembers the feelings of youth.

I don't know about you but I can definitely relate to this story. It's
fraught with the wondering regret of unrealized possibility, and also
with the interesting suggestion that marriage itself is a kind of
harvest festival, or vice versa. This song is beautifully subtle, with
ingenious musical cues at the beginnings of the two sections. To me it
stands out from the rest of the album like a sunflower in a field of

Of course, the poppies are really nice too.

Jefferson Ogata.  smtp: <>
finger:  ICQ: 19569681  whois:


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 08:56:51 -0800
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: CIC
Subject: Another XTC fan *elated*!!!

Hi all! --

Have had the new one now for a bit over
a week, and must say without a doubt that
this is THE BEST XTC release yet!  It
was well worth the seven + year wait, in
my opinion.  Every song on it is top-notch
and makes this XTC fan smile!  :-)

I'd like to ask though how can I possibly
get hold of some of these demos that I've
never heard before -- "I Don't Want To Be
Here" etc., etc., etc....??  Would love to
hear these!  Please advise...

Quick question in closing -- "twatic cover

Thanks guys for AV1!!  Welcome back!  :-)

/Dan Phipps <>

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


Message-ID: <000b01be6646$ec9b57e0$28010101@dave>
From: "david robson" <>
Subject: Re: Greenman
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 00:57:19 +1100

Well another lurker surfaces I hear you all moan....

I`ve been reading the comments about the new album for what seems like weeks
now, and just today the call came through that my copy had finally arrived!!
I`m not even going to attempt to give a song-by-song synopsis of the album
(all has been said) but as David oh wrote...

<i'm having a problem with the album, tho... it seems i can't get past
<"greenman", i have to hear it all over again! it may take some time for the
<full picture to be seen by me... i keep going back to the beginning before
<i've even finished listening to all of it... help!


This I will say...."Greenman" is to me XTC`s FINEST moment I can ever
recall. The deftness of arrangment and execution (not to even get into the
playing and singing!) has created a song that almost beggars belief on my
part - I am truly stunned!! While there are many superb songs on the album
this one is for me a MAGIC moment indeed, kind of a synthesis of
Celtic/Indian mysticism that truly touches the soul - take a bow Mr
Partridge, you have raised the beam once again.....

Thanks for reading

Dave Robson


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 09:39:54 EST
Subject: "The New Album"

Hello out there to all of you anonymous Fans.

My name is John Gardner.  I am new to the "Club."

I am a musician, have been since I was 3 years old.  (Am 33 now.)  I
played and recorded with The Freddy Jones Band, and a local Chicago band,
Stefano's Face; outside all the many "3rd and 4th world's greatest garage
bands!" ( which I have graced by playing the chops).

I have been an XTC Fan since 1983, when WXRT Radio Chicago really started
crankin up XTC on the FM dial.  By 1984, it was all over.  This stuff that
XTC puts out is insatiable.  I could not stop buying their albums; I was
buying albums I had never heard of; not knowing any of the older songs or
albums.  I would drive miles away from home in search for that album which
could not be found.  I have found them.  Just barely in some occasions.

So it is no small surprise that my friends think I am nuts.  I am sure
they don't understand the connection I have to this band, but am certain
you all can relate.  It is almost a calling to listen to Andy, Colin, and
Dave {regretfully I will only now be able to listen to the "earlier
recordings" of Dave}.  Dave truly is the catalyst for this band's sound.
Not taking anything away from Andy's superb writing and arrangements.  The
middle eight in Id' like that, Greenman, and Fruit Nut all have the Andy
Partridge signiture which flourishes from the Album Mummer, taking us to
date with that "sound" of XTC.  The double guitaring so reticent of this
band will likely be lost without Dave.

At any rate, Apple Venus, has a new "sound" to it, but still retains the
XTC characteristics and idiosynchracies that only you the fans know.  It
is an innate thing to know this band's sound.  The minor chord scales, the
vocal patterns, the movements, and the harmonizing backing vocals are so

However, this album does one thing most others didn't: uses a computer for
sequencing.  There are other albums which have used computers, I know
this, but it is on this album that I think XTC is cheating us from their
talents.  The entire album is sequenced-sounding.  Even the string
compositions.  One reason why I am sure Dave left the band, due to lack of
creativity/musical -acoustical input.  Dave is clearly not a
synth/sequencing techo-junkie; he's acoustic.  And, while I enjoy this
album, it has lost that acoustic-ness (or electric-ness, for that matter).
Let's hope Dave comes back at the bequest of Andy's vanity.

Does anyone else get this stuff?  Am I too far out there?

Anyway, besides myself, I know of only one other person who has all but a
few albums, and is familiar with the band.  So I guess I feel right at
home with you "Chalkhillians," telling all of my thoughts.

For whatever it is worth, I have the Biography by Neville, and I am
reading it album by album.  Try reading that way: Reading the book along
with each album playing in the background that relates directly to that
chapter is fun.  Probably the best way to read about the history of XTC,
and am finding new insights this way, in addition to re-introducing myself
to those all too familiar sounds and songs, which I have not heard in some

Well, must get to work.  Thanks for reading, and we'll type to you all
another time.



Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 05:20:11 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Re: Recent Demo Material
Message-ID: <>

Message text written by INTERNET:<>
One question concerning the recent demo material of XTC:
Does Cooking Vinyl plan to give this stuff an official release ? If so - in
between AV1 and AV2 or following the release of AV2 ??<

possibly in between???


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 14:06:29 +0000
Subject: Re: posted

Dear Chalkers,

Rick Hap said:

> Apple Venus Volume One has been posted to [censored]
> Enjoy.


I cannot find any joy in the fact that somebody pirated this album
Don't you think Andy and Colin deserve a bit of cash for their hard

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-Id: <>
From: David J Arnold <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 9:35:27 -0600
Subject: My AV1 Thoughts (as if you asked...)

As a long-time lurker, I couldn't resist commenting on the excellence of
AV1. I apologize for weird text formatting - it happens automatically at
work here, and there's nothing I can do about it.

My release-day adventure: after calling many record stores here in Houston
on the 23rd, my best answer was that Borders could have it in three or four
days. As a hardcore XTC fan with no demo experience, I found that to be the
wrong answer. As a longshot, I called a Sam Goody store in a half-deserted
mall, thinking the staff would be bored enough to open any boxes of new
releases. They had it! I won't tell you how much I paid for it, but I
believe three or four days is certainly worth a few bucks.

"River of Orchids" seemed jarring when Andy's vocals popped in, but I was so
entranced by the end of the song that I had to listen to it again before
moving on.

I won't go through every song (sighs of relief all around), but I'd like to
praise "River of Orchids" and "Easter Theatre" as true epics - classic,
grand gestures as wonderful as anything ever done by XTC.

"Knights in Shining Kharma": great song, but does anyone notice how
out-of-tunre that guitar arpeggio is? Could it be deliberate?

Colin's songs: jaunty little ditties; not what I'd call great works of art,
but pleasant counterpoint to the other songs.

Having listened to AV1 repeatedly at home, in the car, at work, and even
while walking in my neighborhood, I can now say that it's my favorite XTC

Does anyone have any info on U.S. Billboard Chart position?

- David in Houston


From: William H Stoner III <bilbo@Progressive-Systems.Com>
Message-Id: <9903041631.AA07387@stingray>
Subject: My mistake, your gain
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:31:12 -0500 (EST)

Hey all,

I was burning a disc of miscellaneous demos/etc to swap in between
listenings of Apple Venus, which is growing on me.  Anyway it died
and I restarted but messed up the running order (perfectionism
is (can be) most evil).

Share the mess I say. So the person who writes the most compelling,
50 word (or less) essay on why they should recieve the botched disk
will recieve said disk free of charge (within the US or Canada,
elsewhere I'd want postage to be covered by the recipient).

Submissions will be open until 9am US Eastern Time, Friday (tomorrow
3-5-99). Depending upon amount of submissions the winner will be
announced later Friday or Monday (3-8-99). Likely on Monday. Note that
the winning submission will be posted (to chalkhills) along with said

I'm the final judge and arbiter concerning the winning submission.
good luck

the track list:

 1 King for a Day (Czar Mix)
 2 Frost Circus (Homo Safari No 5)
 3 Smartest Monkeys (demo)
 4 Third Stone from the Sun [David Dreams aka Squinty two Strats]
 5 Ella Guru
 6 Skeletons (demo)
 7 Down a Peg (demo)
 8 Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down
 9 The Good Things (demo)
10 Cherry in Your Tree
11 King for a Day (Versailles Mix)
12 Mantis on Parole (Homo Safari No 4)
13 My Bird Performs (demo)
14 Egyptian Solution (Homo Safari No 3)
15 Bushman President (Homo Safari No 2)
16 Homo Safari No 1
17 The Good Things
18 Gold
19 Procession Towards Learning Land (Homo Safari No 6)

PS - there's no fancy cover or anything just the tracklisting
     done with an ultra fine marker in my non-cursive scrawl.

PPS -  AV's so mellow that I had to wait a couple of days to
       be in the proper frame of mind to give it a good listen
       and not end up dissapointed.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: XTC Chart position
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:27:07 -0500

  From Wall Of Sound: XTC's latest, Apple Venus, Vol. 1 lands at No. 106.
(Billboard doesn't show albums below position 100 on their website.) This
probably means they sold in the 10,000 range.

	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: <v03020900b3046947fbb6@[]>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:04:17 -0600
From: Olof Hellman <>
Subject: Easter Parade, Chicago, Seagulls Screaming in Japanese


 >    Easter Parade- This snuck up on me. Love it now.

Uh, That's "Easter Theatre", but I, too, was thinking about "Easter Parade"

In your Easter bonnet,  with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the finest lady in the Easter Parade.

What is that from?

I was at the Chicago signing. Yes those of us way back in line actually did
make it through, even as Borders was  closed and it was past eleven.
Anyone else back there will remember me as the Dad whose 1 year old was
running around terrorizing the merchandise.

What is it that makes us turn into jelly when we meet Andy (or any of the
band...)  At first I felt really stupid for even thinking about spending so
much time in line.  Then pure ecstacy at meeting Andy and having him sign
some stuff.  (vinyl -- British release English Settlement and the Senses
Working Overtime EP)  Andy laughed as I "introduced my Pink Thing", and
said how much fun my wife and I had with that song.    Andy held the SWO EP
-- the one with the African-design face --  up in front of his own face and
clowned for my son.  Then he drew booties on the chalkhorse.  I'm just so
impressed at how genial he was, even in "working overtime" hours.

And a question for Isogai Naoyuki, who contributed "Seagulls Screaming" to
Chalkhills Children '97,  if he still reads the list:  Where can I get the
funky Japanese lyrics you used for that?

- Olof


Message-ID: <>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: Song Order on AV1
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 12:24:07 -0500

Fellow Venusians (?)

Wow...I haven't posted this much since...well...never.

I've had a little while to digest this tasty Apple, and I've noticed lots of
people have griped about the song order or misplacement of certain songs,
and after wrestling with it for a *LITTLE* while I realize that the order of
the songs are perfect, both musically and lyrically, to arrive at a story.
Originally, I thought the song order could be switched around so that it
could explain a relationship from beginning to end, and it realistically
could, but that's not what's happening here. It's seeming like Andy is
describing the beginning, fruition, and demise of his first marriage and
then entering into a new relationship.

It seems that the only "out of place" song seems to be "Greenman," but by
looking at it more carefully it might be directed at the new relationship
while still involved in the old one. And "Fruit Nut" can be said to describe
exactly what a bachelor would do for a hobby when there's no family to take
care of directly. It's a great song to get the bitter taste of "Your
Dictionary" out of your head (and btw, I love the song.) "The Last Balloon"
answers to the new start that "Harvest Festival" alludes to.

Sure, the running order of the songs could be rearranged to tell a different
story, but that isn't the case. And whomever decided that Apple Venus would
play in this order is proof that you don't need Toddzilla to come up with an
album with such a tightly related theme.

There. My two cents.
	L E R N E R   N E W   Y O R K
	Ira Lieman, Information Center Analyst


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 10:31:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Mark Rushton <>

According to Billboard, XTC's Apple Venus debuted at #106. check it
out at - if you're not a subscriber you can
only see the Top 100 album -


"Other debuts on The Billboard 200 this week include new titles from
Blondie (No. 18), Yukmouth (No. 40), Jimi Hendrix (No. 65), the
Chieftains (No. 73), Tracy Byrd (No. 74), and Tevin Campbell (No. 88).

Also bowing this week are much-anticipated sets by Paul Westerberg
(No. 104) and XTC (No. 106)."


Mark Rushton
webmaster, Permanent Flame, The Bill Nelson Web Site


From: "Andrew Notarian" <>
Subject: Two AV1 related things (surprise)
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 13:32:06 -0500
Message-ID: <001801be666d$4e763270$>

1.) Music Blvd doesn't guarantee that a new album will arrive on the release
date unless you order on the Friday before the release date and use FedEx
overnight shipping.   Since they ship most of their stuff from the West
Coast, it takes forever to get to the East Coast by snail mail.  Why is
their customer service in the Philly area if they ship everything from

2.) I was pondering taking the time to create a web interface for all of us
to vote on AV1 opinions.  Things like Thumbs Up/Down per track, or opinion
polls on questions like "Do you like River of Orchids."  I would hook this
into an SQL database so that once it's all set up an ready to go it will
just work automatically ad infinitum.  If there seems to be any interest I
will ask my employer if they mind sparing some bandwidth and SQL processing
time to this...

I know reponse to past polls has been sparse, which is why I thought I'd
assess the interest first.  AV1 rocks btw, was not at Gaithersburg Best Buy,
but was available at Borders.  They had a third the amount of the other new
releases that day.  Sorry for looking for and then buying the album in an
evil chain store.  There is no such thing as a non chain store in
Gaithersburg from what I can tell.  I also ruined my chances of meeting
Andy/Colin by moving.  I could have gone to Philly AND New York last year.


Message-Id: <>
From: steve mcallister <>
Date: Thu,  4 Mar 99 12:32:16 -0600
Subject: Garden vs. River

. . . another Austinite chiming in.

A big ole welcome to the new folks, young and old.

      This AV1 is quite the treat.  'Frivolous Tonight' is so lovely and
'Harvest Festival' just knocks me out.

I remember when Oranges and Lemons appeared and I used to skip 'Garden of
Earthly Delights' so that I could jump right into MoS.  For some reason, GoED
just bugged me and I never could get used to it.
     About 3 years later, me knowing all the songs well, I heard it in a
friend's house and almost hit the floor. . . what was this wonderful XTC song
I'd never heard?  So I had to reassess, relisten, and lo & behold, GoED
becam one of my faves from that release.  Finally, I *got* the song.
     What suprised me more was then learning that AP thought it was a
horrible song to start a record with.
     Flash forward to AV1.  Song one, RoO, I just don't get.  It's cool,
amazingly arranged, and how the hell he was able to split 16 beats into
3-3-3-3-4 I'll never know, but it doesn't grab me.
     Maybe it's me.  Give me a few years and maybe my head will find the
delight, I maintain hope.

     One of you asked if it is Colin playing bass on Greenman - I have to
say it is real bass played by him; albiet compressed and god-knows-what else.
 It is such an absolute delight to hear him play again.  I only wish I could
make it to an in-store just to tell him 'thanks' for teaching me a lot about
the instrument.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 18:38:59 +0000
From: Peter Wright <>
Subject: Some thoughts on AV1

Hi Chalkies,
            I won't review every track on AV1 but I have some thoughts
on certain songs. Here goes.......
My fave from the demos was 'Easter Theatre'. I still love it but it has
been superceded by the mighty ' Green Man'. If there is to be a single ,
I would urge Andy to catch a train to Brighton and take Norman Cook down
the pub. Ply Cooky with booze and persuade him to give GM the Fatboy
Slim 'fairy dust' treatment !! A big fat hit would ensue and hence lots
of dosh to keep XTC in business for the forseeable future.
'Frivolous Tonight' . I know this has you all split but I think its
superb. Colin brilliantly sums up the old British tradition of going to
the pub with your mates (no wives/girlfriends) and spend the evening
getting increasingly drunk while talking about the 'trivial things'. ie.
Sport , women , cars and er....more women. Its a great night out
practised by boys and men all over this fair land. Then Colin spoils it
all with that uncalled for last line : 'we're all so RIDICULOUS tonight'
Theres nothing ridiculous about it , Col. Its just a bit of fun !!
(Incidentally , in the lyrics for this song on the Chalkhills website ,
there are a couple of errors which only a Brit would spot :
'Let our railbrook shirts hang out' is actually RAELBROOK shirts. These
were naff nylon shirts that the less fashionable would wear - Raelbrook
being the manufacturers name.
'Some might think we're a bit overshot' should be 'a bit of a shower'.
In Britain , this means a group of people who are a bit of a sorry lot.
A rabble. As for 'Fruit Nut' - its cute but incredibly lightweight.
After 7 years I would have thought Col would have written something far
stronger than this.
'River of Orchids'. I like this track til about 75% through and then it
starts to get terribly cluttered. Don't get me wrong , I love a bit of
choral staggered vocalising but this is too much. When the muted trumpet
adds to the confusion I start to lose it ! Also, a bad choice for an
opening track cos it takes forever to get started ! In with a bang , I
say - especially after so long away.
'Knights In Shining Karma' . Seems to me Andys going for the 'most chord
changes in one song' award at the Grammys !! Whitney Houston recently
won the 'most notes sung in a single sylable (?) ' Grammy !!
Some general thoughts to finish :
Andy is often cited as the new Ray Davies. I'd say Colin should get that
title. He has a great way of observing life and getting it down
brilliantly in his songs. Andy seems to go off on flights of fancy most
of the time these days.
Finally , I hope Colin isn't becoming to Andy what John Oates is to
Daryl Hall. ie. A couple of songs on each album and very little to do
vocally. It pretty much ends up as a solo album with a 'special guest'
appearance by the artists 'close personal friend' !!
AV1 : Hate the title , indifferent about the sleeve , LOVE THE MUSIC !!
See you - Pete.


Message-ID: <01BE666F.F560AFF0@robert>
From: Robert Wood <>
Subject: Review of letter!
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 23:07:21 -0000

Jason's letter in reply to the San Francisco Chronicle was excellent. The
exact same critism could be levelled at many reviews and reviewers the world
over, I hope they print your lettter.


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-120

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