Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-121

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 121

                   Sunday, 7 March 1999

Today's Topics:

                 philip glass influence?
                      Andy on video
            Re: Incredibly Picky Lyric Details
                       Philip Glass
             AV1 seeps into other discussions
            NEWS: Easter Theatre first single
     Andy's influences on AV1/more random commentary
      Re: Album titles in songs from album before...
The Albums titles come from Old Songs. Yes they Really Do!!!
               Hope I Get Old Before I Die
            re: Incredibly Picky Lyric Details
                     Re: hi-new here
                    Can't help myself
    Video From Chicago Appearance Available On the Web
                      Phillip Glass
     So and so Man VS. Something-or-other Man battles
                      Welcome, Ryan
                      What a crock!
                         AOL Chat
                     Grinning again!
          Andy joke in Toronto & River of Glass?


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

No bridge of thought / No mental link.


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 13:05:09 -0600 (CST)
From: Andrea Lynn Rossillon <>
Subject: philip glass influence?
Message-ID: <>

Dan Wiencek wrote:
> I was just wondering: of all the critics who've compared River of Orchids to
> a Phillip Glass composition, how many do you suppose have actually listened
> to Glass' work?
> My guess: Not very damned many.  But I'm a cynic, after all.

Philip Glass, hmmm?    When I finally listened to AV1 yesterday (Thanks,
Carl!!!) I was thinking more Brian Eno, actually.

Speaking of Philip Glass: GO AND SEE HIM.  He's on tour right now with
Robert Wilson, the whole thing is titled "Monsters of Grace: A Digital
Opera in Three Dimensions".  All the dates are listed on the web.  I saw
the concert Tuesday night, it was fucking fantabulous.  They passed out 3D
glasses with the programs, and we listened to his music (with the Philip
Glass Ensemble and Singers) and watched these freaky computer-generated
animated shorts.  Pretty cool.  Even better, the next morning I met him!
I met Philip Glass!  That almost makes up for missing Andy in Chicago last

A bien tot



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 11:05:04 -0800
From: Rob Cervero <>
Subject: Andy on video

Did any one from the Bay Area video-record Andy's appearance on
Bay TV's morning show (9-10) on Wednesday, March 3?  I set up
my home video recorder to record the show and,  !!#*&#!#!!, my
video machine deep-sixed on me.

If you recorded the TV appearance, I'd love to trade for it -- I've got a
fair amount
of XTC/Dukes videos from the past.   I also filmed about 8 minutes of Andy
briefly talking and autographing at Virgin Records in San Fran (...including
that magic moment when Prairie Prince meekishly approach Andy
about signing his CD, and a stunned Andy broke up in laughter). [(Also...I
only managed to record the last five minutes of Andy's KFOG interview on
Tuesday (around 1-1:30 p.m.)...if anyone recorded the whole interview, I'd
love to trade for it as well.]

Apple Venus #1 is growing on current favorites are
Greenman & The Last Balloon (which, to my ears at least, has lots of musical
and metaphoric similarities to "Chalkhills and Children", IMHO, XTC's high

Back to Lurking Mode....

Rob  (First time poster, long-time lurker, and very long-time
XTC nut ... saw them twice, and hell, even made a pilgramage to
Swindon, with somewhat bewildered wife in tow, 9 years ago).


Message-ID: <70C9C5C2CA53D111BD3B006097CF27812E39AF@BOSTON>
From: Eric Brittingham <>
Subject: Re: Incredibly Picky Lyric Details
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 14:14:50 -0500

In 5-115, John Hedges asked:

>1. In I'd Like That, it's "I'll be growing in your rain", not "brain",

That's my vote.  At least, for the last several times it's sung, once Andy's
vocal ends, that's what I hear.

I trust your ears for the others you mention, as well.  Your impressions
match mine.

And I have to throw McCartney's Magneto and Titanium Man into our MAN
battle.  Of course, Magneto would say, "The time has come to gather our
forces and run."  (And who the hell is this Crimson Dynamo, who just
couldn't cut it no more?)

You were the law.


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Philip Glass
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 14:16:26 -0500

Dan Wiencek wrote:

> I was just wondering: of all the critics who've compared River of Orchids to
> a Phillip Glass composition, how many do you suppose have actually listened
> to Glass' work?
> My guess: Not very damned many.  But I'm a cynic, after all.

Seems like a good guess, particularly since I don't think "River of
Orchids" sounds _anything_ like Philip Glass.  I think it has a lot more in
common with Steve Reich, the "other" minimalist composer (of course, there
are others, but he's pretty much the only other one who gets lots of press)
-- and, I think, the most consistent minimalist composer in terms of
quality.  Reich's works are more of a dense, complex tapestry of
interlocking parts, whereas Glass is not very rhythmically complex (though
"Koyaanisqatsi" is very good, especially with the movie behind it).  If you
like "River of Orchids", you may wish to try Reich's "Music for 18
Musicians" or "Tehillim" (two of my favorites).

-- Francis Heaney

"Things are not all that out of control."
   -- Stereolab


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 14:16:34 -0500
From: erik schlichting <>
Subject: AV1 seeps into other discussions


It's good to see the excitement over AV1 hasn't peaked yet. A couple
digests back, someone mentioned that AV1 discussion had crossed internet
lines into the Elvis Costello list. Today, I found that it had (quite
favorably) leached into the Catherine Wheel list. Has anyone seen other
inroads made anywhere?

My brief opinion of AV1: I had a hard time with both O&L and Nonsuch
when they came out; it took a long time and many listens to reach a full
appreciation for them. AV1 appealed to me immediately, though I can
readily see how it might not have an immediate impact for many people.
"The Last Balloon" is still eluding me, though, and I'm having
difficulty with Colin's songs. I guess my point is that, I'm sure they
will grow on me, as did so many others.

One of the best, most concise reviews I've seen on AV1 is at:

AV1 was the only release on this critic's (Dan Aquilante) list to get
five stars. From that article:

"If you don't have the time to listen, don't bother with the latest XTC
project, "Apple Venus Vol. 1." "

" Still, don't expect to hear the tunes on video TV or radio. None of it
will fit into current formats. "
This last is sad but true, I think.

A couple of my own AV1 highlights:

Andy's conspiratorial "Yeah, you know you can do it" in my left ear on
"River of Orchids"

That tremulous "longing loOoOoOok" in "Harvest Festival"

Whatever that is playing rhythm in "Greenman." An oboe? Bassoon?

And, finally, does anyone know where or if AV1 is on the Billboard



Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 22:41:27 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: NEWS: Easter Theatre first single


Just a quick note to say that it appears the first single from Apple
Venus Volume 1 will be Easter Theatre, the B-side should be the demo
of that track.  Initial reports claim the single will be released by
Cooking Vinyl UK on 2 April in CD single and 7-inch vinyl.

	-- John


Message-Id: <v04003a00b3047f2e0a0e@[]>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 14:43:45 -0500
From: "Bucky Z. Theorem" <>
Subject: Andy's influences on AV1/more random commentary

'Hill people -

ever since Yazbek came on the scene i've been wondering why AP said he
wished he could write songs like him (sorry Dave, but i would think it
would be the other way around!), but now i suddenly see what it was he got
out of Yazbek's style - it's the way he writes those long lines packed with
words (many examples but the one that comes to mind is "Black Cowboys on
the Beach") and manages to fit them into an interesting rhythmic scheme.
AP took that and brilliantly (of course) applied it to "I Can't Own Her" -
"Of all the things you want the thing you want the most is her/And she's
the one thing that you just can't have" - I can definitely hear some Yazbek
influence in that.  not that Andy hasn't done it before, but it's an
interesting variation on the theme.  also the combination of a slow song
and fast lyrics - reminds me of the two AP/Yazbek collaborations.

ditto, but even more so, for BLOCK, aka Jamie Block, whose cd didn't
impress me all that much but which Andy raved about - but i hear the
influence in the AV version of "Your Dictionary", particularly in "Black on
black, a guidebook for the blind", which also reminds me of Billy Bragg in
some strange kind of way (the chords, maybe? i don't know - not being all
that familiar with Bragg).  that strident, folksinger tone, but applied to
a personal break-up song - again AP's application is so much more
intriguing than his source.

okay, so i still don't think Colin's songs fit in with the album -
especially "Frivolous Tonight", which has irritated me into liking it
melodically speaking - but i must confess they're fun to listen to.  i like
the sprightly guitar bits in "Fruit Nut" and the British hick way he says
"Sprayin' my buds" - although how much spraying does he personally do, what
with a hired gardener and all!!  BTW that information came from the Tower
Records free publication _Pulse!_, which has an interview with AP and an
excerpt from _Song Stories_ in the issue with Lauryn Hill on the cover.
ironically this was available at the signing but i forgot to look at it
more closely in my rush to get home and listen to the album.

i can't believe more people don't love "River of Orchids" - not only does
it make a lot more sense with a beginning (my demo tape cut in abruptly and
sounded wavery and like the tape was being eaten to boot), but i think the
dissonant harmonies are great - perfectly pitched to put one's neck-hairs
on end. i love it when he goes "you know... you can do it" - it reminds me
of the muttering end of "Melt the Guns" - so intimate.  and the horns are
delicious, circling round and honking like a muted version of the
pseudo-geese in "It's Nearly Africa".  and the fab delivery of the line
"the grass is always greener when it bursts up through con-crete" kills me.

last and most definitely least, here are some of the amusing (to me anyway)
things i thought Andy was saying on the demos before i heard the enunciated
versions, in no particular order:

"I Can't Own Her" - "Eye on this river/Eye on this town"

"Easter Theatre" - "Are there ribbons?/Free ties everywhere"

"Greenman" - "He's the Greenman"

"Harvest Festival" - "And out of nowhere invitation in gold pants" (!)

"The Last Balloon" - "Leave all that to your former _wives_" and "One way
down - buy our evil pass"

	ttfn -

		- Brookes

line i miss most from the demos that didn't make it this go-round:
"And if love equals knowledge
  Then I side with the snake." - "Wonder Annual"


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 14:51:44 -0500
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: Album titles in songs from album before...
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9903041441130.23212-100000@esun2028>

To Red Curtin--

Others have probably set you straight, but just in case...

Yes, the album-title-from-previous-album-lyric theory *has* been discussed
before (but good on ya for noticing it yourself).  Andy has confirmed that
"Oranges and Lemons" and "Nonsuch" were coincidences, but that, having
heard the above-referenced theory, he named "Apple Venus" as such on

(And the "Apple Venus on a half-open shell" lyric is from "Then She
Appeared", not "That Wave", which the song that precedes it.)

BTW -- John?  Shouldn't this be a FAQ?

("Color me happy!")


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:54:24 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: The Albums titles come from Old Songs. Yes they Really Do!!!

Red Curtain Wrote

>>>Subject: Album Titles in songs from album before!!!

>>>I can't believe no one else has posted this info, but I could be

And amazingingly you are!! As this has been widely discussed in the
past and has even been admitted to by Andy in Interviews.

Yes people, the Album titles for the last three albums are all song
Maybe this should go into the FAQ John.

Jon Rosenberger


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 14:59:36 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Organization: Averstar, Inc.
Subject: Hope I Get Old Before I Die

What if They find it convenient to preach an island of life
     surrounded by a void? Not just the Earth in space, but your
     own individual life in time?
                                    --Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_

That Todd Guy said:

> So, what say, kids? What
> are your opinions about the concept and the reason for the song-order?
> Find the hidden concept, win valuable prizes!

Well, if you want something done right, grumble, grumble....

I think we understand now why Partridge originally wanted to call the AV
project "A History of the Middle Ages." It's also not at all surprising
that Dave Gregory, the only unmarried and childless member of the band,
objected vigorously to such an overt admission of encroaching age. As a
husband and a father of two children, I too have experienced at first hand
the concessions, the compromises, the loss of freedom, the endless small
daily defeats, exacted by parenthood and maturity--and I too feel the
effects of time on my body. As I watch the wrinkles appear around my eyes
and the slow unstoppable expansion of my waistline, and realize that yet
another year has whisked by nearly unseen, it's not at all difficult to
project forward a pitifully few years into decrepitude, senility and
death. That inexorability, that damnable, long, slow slide into uselessness
and loss, is what Andy and Colin have faced over seven years in the
wilderness--and Apple Venus is their offering for the fellow travelers who
stride with them into oblivion.

Colin deals with the fact of death by reveling in life, in hearth and home.
Both "Fruit Nut" and "Frivolous Tonight" are gently satirical and
self-mocking--and yet there is an affection for everyday experience in both
of these songs that reveals that their author cares passionately for those
things he knows and loves, and a defiance toward those who would ridicule
him for his enthusiasms. His hobbies and his garrulous friends may look
ridiculous to you and me, but like talismans they stand between him and the
Evil Eye, thank you very much, and that is all ye know and all ye need to
know. Note the twin messages in the songs: "Fruit Nut": I don't need people
at all; "Frivolous": God, I really need people!

Two things are pursued on Andy's part of the record, to the exclusion of
all else. They are:

1) Nature, and humankind's place in it. Andy's charming squishy chewtoy
Brit paganism, the thing that leads him to feature Bronze Age horses on
album covers and do Beach Boys pastiches about the passing of the
seasons. It is by turns holy, profane, exalted, base, celebratory,
desperate, loving and angry.  For the sake of argument, let's call it

2) Men and women. Erotic and conjugal love. Goodbye Marianne, hello Erica.
Venus, by Jove!*

Here's a quick schematic--take a look and see if a pattern emerges:

1)  River of Orchids        Apple
2)  I'd Like That           Venus
3)  Easter Theater          Apple                    Spring
4)  Shining Karma           Venus
5)  Frivolous Tonight       Social/Satirical
6)  Greenman                Apple
7)  Your Dictionary         Venus
8)  Fruit Nut               Antisocial/Satirical
9)  I Can't Own Her         Venus
10) Harvest Festival        Apple/Venus (!!!)        Autumn
11) The Last Balloon        Valediction

"River of Orchids" is an absolutely perfect choice to start this
record. The song stands by itself as an amazing construction, pitting
repetitive cycles of melody against each other in a roiling stew. But
what's remarkable is that this compositional technique also recapitulates
the _thematic_ technique that the rest of the record will employ: the
themes of Apple and Venus will cycle against each other, with occasional
dips into Mouldingean satire, until the last song. The Sequence Doesn't

Taken as a whole, "River of Orchids," "Easter Theater" and "Greenman" (want
to try for Earth, Eostre/Astarte, and Osiris/Pan in that trinity? Child,
Mother and Father?) provide an overt declaration of the religious
principles Andy's been hinting at for years. The Wicca element is, I think,
useful to him more as a set of symbols on which to hang his art rather than
a concrete declaration of allegiance to an "established" religion: Somehow,
I can't quite see the author of "Travels in Nihilon" drawing pentangles and
walking widdershins to purify a Sacred Space. We know from the man himself
that he was always deeply embarrassed by "Dear God," feeling it inadequate
and amateurish, and this triptych feels like the examination of religiosity
he always _wanted_ to make.

(I don't want to make a big deal out of it, but Easter Theater is Eostre
and Harvest Festival is Samhain, or my name isn't Hawkfart Elventoast,
Boss-jock Warlock of the Dragonbreath Coven of the Winking Starfish.)

The Apple songs interact with and provide a backdrop for the Venus songs,
and it is the interplay between the two that makes for the album's most
wonderfully affecting moments. Look at the progression of the Venus songs:

I'd Like That        Nascent Love, Conditional Tense
Shining Karma        Adolescent Worship From Afar, Desire to Protect
Your Dictionary      Death of Immature Love, Petulance
I Can't Own Her      Rebirth of Love, Mature

"Now the son is dead, the father can be born"!!!

The apogee of the album, the moment when the Apple and Venus cycles mesh
and become one, is in the breathtaking "Harvest Festival." Here, within the
context of a school ritual--once a pagan rite that has now lost its
powerful mystery and become a modern, dull, prosaic civic event ("an
unknowing church will amplify its call"!)--a love is born and just as
quickly dies, only to be remembered (new life!) much later as the one truly
perfect moment the rememberer has ever experienced--"the longing look." It
is worth pointing out that this is the only point in the Apple/Venus story
in which *love is reciprocal*. In all the other songs, love is a one-way
street, flowing from the lover toward the beloved. Only here, in the midst
of an atavistic religious rite, a festival celebrating the bounty of the
earth, do the two pairs of eyes meet, and the very force that urges us all
to replenish and propagate--love, *both erotic and religious*--flows
equally between them. That this perfect moment of balance and harmony
cannot exist again, but can only be remembered by the singer across a gulf
of nostalgia, is the final touch of sadness and beauty in this the
climactic moment of this magnificent record.

And oh, the details! Oh, the novelistic observations! Over what deftly
delivered symbol do the eyes meet? Why, *hymnbooks*, of course! (You know,
religious songs...?) The identification of love and sustenance in "more
than enough to keep me fed all year" ("chocolate nipple brown")! The
repetition of the detail of the flowers round both the "child" and the
"adult" marriage altars. The exquisite pairing of the failure of both the
"exams and crops"--conjuring once again the Farmboy and the harassed menial
of "Earn Enough for Us." The resentment that "we got screwed and cut and
nailed" like so many pieces of wood ("build a bed out of oak and pine"!) by
the uncaring progression of time, which finally reveals the last cruel
truth: No, that's right. You can't own her. And you never will. This is an
indescribably beautiful song, perfectly conceived, and the most moving
thing Partridge has ever written. I defy anyone of sensitivity and goodwill
_not_ to weep on hearing it.

(I can't resist this: shows two posters
made by a couple of kids for a church Harvest Festival on the island of
Guernsey. Take a look, tell me that doesn't sum it all up for you....)

After the aching melancholy of "Harvest Festival," the climax of the
Apple/Venus cycle, it remains only to read the lesson, draw the conclusion,
and sail off into.... Well. Not yet, anyway. But Andy and Colin leave us
with a sobering thought: as surely as the night follows the day, you *will*
be "dropped like sand" from that departing balloon, you have no choice in
the matter, and the best you can do is pass along to the next generation of
balloonists the summary of your knowledge and experience, in the vain hope
they won't repeat your "evil past." Perhaps they might not look too
unkindly on you if you were to surreptitiously toss a parting gift into the
ascending basket: A copy of Apple Venus.

Harrison "Do what you will but harm...about four, I should think" Sherwood

*Did you know that the night of the day AV1 was released, there was a rare
conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, so close in the early evening sky you
could cover them with the nail of your littlest finger held at arm's
length? Just thought I'd mention it.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 14:59:31 EST
Subject: re: Incredibly Picky Lyric Details

John et al.,

If I'm at the L.A. signing tomorrow I'll ask Andy, but here are a few more
twists on your observations, and then some:

1. I'd Like That: I thought it was "brain," and I thought I heard about TVT
doing some ads where that specific lyric was mentioned (around Valentine's,
anyone?). I'd never considered "rain," but it certainly is a nice

2. Knights: I've seen "sparkless dharma," but I could swear it's
"spotless."  Anyone familiar with the concept of dharma would likely agree
with me that this makes more sense, and that sparkless would almost be the
opposite -- one in dharma is burning with optimism's flame, likely shooting
off sparks in all directions! "Spotless" also makes lyrical sense with the
previous line, "Wash your feet."

3. Greenman- I'm an optimist and Unitist (one who encourages Unity,
different from Unitarian which dismisses the Trinity - I say they
misunderstand it), so my ears have been hearing (maybe because they want
to) "a knowing church". I don't currently attend any church, but let's hear
it for the knowing ones!

4. I Can't Own Her - I'm laying claim to cracking this lyric, and it makes
more sense to me than any other I've seen! I'm hearing , "...and its WHITE
HORSE sliding down." Wasn't there a story about Swindon's chalk horse
sliding or being in need of repair? Anyone with me? Am I a hero or a nut?

Hope this helps, please add me to the distribution for the finished lyric
sheet file (two page version please). Thanks, Will J


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 15:23:18 +0000
From: Brian <>
Subject: Re: hi-new here


> I've just subscribed to Chalkhills and I plan to get as much out of it as
I can.  First of all, my name's Ryan Holquist, I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania,
and I'm 14 years old.  Basic'ly just wanted to say 'hi' and see what the
main "no-no's" are (other than the rules at the top of the digest).<

Ryan, I can tell you what I know the no-no's are:

	 Don't make gay jokes
	 Don't say you like "War Dance"
	 Don't get on davidoh's case about his way of posting


If I think of others, I'll let ya know.


* Digital & traditional illustration/animation
* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 15:39:12 -0500
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Can't help myself


Some things in #115 caught my I:

-- Way to go, Rick Buist! Two copies of AV1 and counting...

-- Welcome, Ryan Holquist. I wish everyone had the good sense to ask
the question you asked. If you know what's good for you, you'll stay
away from any statements relating to "Dear God," politics, or Dave
Gregory's sexual orientation and its relation to an imaginary brass

-- John Hedges asked:
>3. In Greenman (Harrison Sherwood recently posted about this) it's either
"And a knowing church," "An unknowing church," or "And unknowing church,"
but this one is especially difficult because they all make sense, sort of.
(I hear "and a knowing" myself.)<

Gotta go with you on that. I've always heard it that way, and was
surprised to see it another way. Still don't know if Andy meant "High
Church" or "high church," tho.

-- Pete said:
>2. I agree with Curious George, and I think he stated the 'guitar god'
thing perfectly. Dave has NOT changed the guitar's role in music, but don't
get me wrong, I'd rather hear him than a thousand others!<

I agree on both points, and would add that Andy Partridge, however,
DOES belong in the pantheon of guitar gods. Or, as Dr. "Bend Over"
Dunks put it,
>it's Andy's playing that always makes me sit up and go "What the fuck
was that?" <

-- And yes, Dunks, not only did you mention the Eagles, but you
mentioned Fleetwood Mac.



Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 15:17:04 -0600 (CST)
From: Dave Franson <>
Subject: Video From Chicago Appearance Available On the Web
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.95.990304150329.12516B-100000@earth>

Fellow XTC Devotees,

Dean Zemel taped and I digitized Andy's Chicago Borders appearance last
week. It's available as RealVideo in three parts for your viewing
enjoyment at

There are also digital camera pics at

Sounds like most of you, like me, are groovin' to AV1.

In case I never get my Chicago report written up, special hellos to John
Hedges, Dan Weincek, Dennis McGuire, and Matt Springer, none of whom I
managed to spend enough quality time with. John, see you on the next
Hitchcock tour. D, D, and M... see you when the next Costello fan
gathering occurs.

Happy listening to you all.

The Nonsuch Colouring Book


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 16:41:23 -0500
From: (Bill Peschel)
Organization: The Herald
Subject: Phillip Glass


RE: the chalker who asked how many listen to Glass' work.

I do, although to a limited extent:
	* Glass' work appears on music shows on public radio such as 
"Hearts of Space" (Windham Hill-type New Age music)
	* The Kronos Quartet has played some of Glass' music. I have a few
of their CDs. As an aside, you haven't lived until you've heard them do
"Purple Haze" complete with violins attempting to replicate feedback in
the finale.

I particularly like Glass' work in the thoroughly unpronouncable film
"Koyaanisqatsi" (Life out of Balance) which was recently re-recorded.

-- Bill Peschel
Book page editor, Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 16:50:23 -0500
Subject: So and so Man VS. Something-or-other Man battles
Message-ID: <>
From: Ken A! <>

Hi people.

<---Begin De-lurk--->

I just thought I'd contribute to the little Something Man vs. Something
Man thread.

I dunno about Spoonman vs. Greenman, but I don't think Spoonman could
take on Babylon Zoo's Spaceman (he's got tons of laser guns, I guess).
God knows what Nick Cave's Loverman would do. I don't think I wanna know.

XTC Content : AV1 is just plain stunning. I think my feelings have been
pretty much summed up by posts from others.

Lemme welcome my pal Sheridan to Chalkhills. Nice to see ya join us :)

<---End De-lurk--->

Ken A.
The What The Hills?? Guy


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 01:31:16 +0000
Subject: Welcome, Ryan

Dear Chalkers,

A warm welcome to our newest member Ryan
who appears to be very sensible 14 year old :)

> (for example, are there any songs/albums that you'll get killed for

Yes, English Settlement and the new album. Todd Rundgren is a bit
controversial and you'd better avoid mentioning Bungalow and French
horns also. But perhaps most importantly: you must hate My
Weapon and / or anything else Barry Andrews wrote.

If you keep to these simple guidelines you'll be safe.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: What a crock!
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 18:34:16 CST

Well, AOL chat has come and gone, and it was....very dull. Only a
half-hour, and not too many question got asked. The web cam was nice,
but overall, it sucked big time!

Tis all for now,
Amanda C. Owens
"People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on anything with
welcome written on it."-Andy Partridge


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 19:39:26 -0500
Subject: AOL Chat
Message-ID: <>
From: Molly E Fanton <>

I just thought the AOL chat wasn't that great.  I only got one question
about their influences.  I loved the answer though.  I was MrsHugh for
the newbies out there.  I wish it went a bit longer, but most AOL chats
go for 30 minutes, which sucks because I had a lot of questions to ask.
I also hope Andy saw my comment to him thanking him and Colin for their
music.  Oh well, at least I got to ask one question.  And what was with
the web cam?  I didn't like it at all, at least it showed them just
sitting there.



Message-ID: <01BE66A3.89606190@robert>
From: Robert Wood <>
Subject: Grinning again!
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 00:59:26 -0000

Duncs is once again making me put fingers to QWERTY...

He responded to my claim about session musicans *generally* not caring about
the songs as much as band members...

>> What??? I think that's a pretty wild call, Robert. There are many, many
classic moments, on many classic records, that have been created by
those "uncreative" session players. <<

There are some...

>> These people are *not* mediocre neer-do-wells who get paid to be
pedestrian or hang around recording
studios in the hope of sneaking a lacklustre solo onto someone's album.
They are the cream of the crop - highly trained, highly-experienced
players with nouse and taste to burn. <<

Sure they're great *players*, but not great creators. I'm not saying they're
not great musos though. Big difference. And I'm not saying they *never*
create, just nowhere near as often as a band member would.

>> For example: most of the Steely Dan albums those classic solos people
talk about - were done by these same "dull" session musos. Do you think
they paid Larry Carlton $50,000 for his solo on "Aja" because they
wanted something boring? <<

Can't comment, dunno ought about S.D. But I bet for example, most people
will think, "ha, what about that sax solo on 'Baker Street' where they got
Raphael Richardson (I think!) in, what a solo, he made that up". No, he
didn't. They'd tried the same solo on lots of different instruments and as a
last resort thought they'd try the sax. He was the means to an end. Don't
get me wrong, he was important, but not as important as the person who
thought up the notes.

>> Session players work incredibly hard and they are VERY dedicated people
- not journeymen. Let me tell you - Carol Kaye says that during her peak
as a session bass player in the late 60s, she earned more per annum than
the US President. I read in Mojo the other day that Glenn Campbell was
making over $500,000 a year back then! <<

Big deal, money ain't everything, creativity is the point. If you're in a
band, you work for a long time on a song, as practices/gigs/studio sessions
go by, you shape songs. As a session muso you come in, play something and
then bugger off. No refining, making it better or suddenly coming up with
something amazing that you didn't think of first time.

>>A song may not mean the same to them in terms of their emotional
attachment, if only because they didn't write it (and isn't that true of
Dave anyway?) <<

No, it's not the same, because Dave was in XTC and it was a part of him. I
know, I've done it with songs that our other guitarist has written - it
makes me feel really proud to have added something to it, 'cos it's part of
*our* band. If I'm engineering another band then it means not much to me as
long as I make it *sound* good, as long as I do my job well, that's the big

>> ... but they ARE musicians - they play for the love of the
music, and to earn a living. <<

Sure they do, no arguments there!

>>  It's a cutthroat business - their
livelihood depends on playing as well they can, because they are
freelance operators; if they give even a fraction less than 100%, or are
late, or fluff their cues, or can't read a chart first-take, they simply
are not called back to the next session.<<

But that's the whole point, they have to get it right first time, play what
they're told to play - it's a whole different thing.

>> And there are PLENTY of hungrey
payers waiting for a break, right behind them. They have far more
incentive than most band members to turn in as perfect a performance as
is humanly possible. <<

It ain't just about the *performance*, it's about *what* is played. Music is
nothing without the creativity.


>> One last thing? Why is it that people seem to think that now Dave has
left the band, all the meaty guitar goodness has left too?<<

Who said that?

>> Andy is fucking brilliant player, <<

Sure is.

>>  and I'll say it to whoever will listen. Dave is great, he's very
creative, very fluid, etc, and his style really
appeals to me, but as a guitarist myself, it's Andy's playing that
always makes me sit up and go "What the fuck was that?" <<

Hmmm, how do you know who played which bit?

>> I just wish we could hear more of it, because his solos really come from
left field,
whereas Dave's are perhaps a bit more what one might expect to hear,
fine as they are. People will disagree, but that what I think. <<

This goes back to what makes a great group to my mind - the balance, the
contrast, the differing styles that make up the whole band picture.

While I'm here, the person who didn't like the bit in "I'd like that", where
Andy sings about smiling so much his face would crack in two. That whole
middle eight lyric is just genius. When he sings about fixing his face with
kissing glue, it's one of the moments the album sometimes sends shivers down
my spine. This is the best song on the album to me, brilliant lyrics. a
brilliant melody and just has a wonderful "feel" to it. The bit about
toasting fork for some reason always makes me thing of Mummer. "Me and the
Wind" I *think*.


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 20:14:26 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: Andy joke in Toronto & River of Glass?
Message-ID: <>

On March 3, "Wiencek, Dan" <>, cynically stated:

> I was just wondering: of all the critics who've compared River of
> Orchids to a Phillip Glass composition, how many do you suppose have
> actually listened to Glass' work?
> My guess: Not very damned many.  But I'm a cynic, after all.

I actually thought it sounded more like Steve Reich.

And yes, I have listened to both Glass and Reich.

It was nice to see two reports of Andy in Toronto - I had a blast, I
was shamed by David, Ed, and Jennifer's collectables (I just had AV1
and _Song Stories_, and too bad I had to leave and missed the beer & bull
session afterwards.  Maybe we should get together for an AV2 listening

I bought Song Stories at Towers and am about half-way through it - so far
I think the text by Neville is crap (he could've used an editor - maybe
the book was rushed to get it out around AV1) while the interview sections
with Andy, Colin, and Squinty are great.

Anyways, since David Oh didn't get the interview on tape, here's the joke
Andy told when asked to tell his best joke:

A man walks into a bar with an alligator under his arm.  Everybody in the
bar notices it and gives the man plenty of space at the bar.  The
bartender comes over and says:

'Look, you can't bring that alligator in here - it's scaring everybody.'

'But it's a calm alligator and he wouldn't hurt a thing.' was the
response, 'and, besides, he's trained and can even to a trick.  Would you
like to see it?'

The barkeep, hesitantly says 'Sure.'

The man pries open the jaws of the alligator.  He then climbs up on the
bar, unzips his fly, and places his willy right between two of the
alligator's teeth.  He then says to the barkeep

'Hand me that empty beer bottle, would you.'

The barkeep does and the man grabs it and SMASHES it right over the
alligator's head.  The jaws don't move an inch.  The man holsters his
weapon and shuts the alligators mouth.

The bar patrons are all suitably impressed and applaud.  One voice from
the back yells

'Fix!  Fix!'

The man addresses the unseen heckler:

'What?  You think this rigged? Would anybody else like to try it?'

He feels a tug at his elbow and there's this little old lady.  And she

'I'd like to try it.  But don't hit me so hard with the bottle, alright.'

Ted Harms                                      Library, Univ. of Waterloo                           519.888.4567 x3761
"But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."  B. Spinoza


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