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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-129


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 129

                 Thursday, 11 March 1999

Today's Topics:

                     Re: AV1 (again!)
                     Duffy on 'Stunt'
   In response to a Robert Wood Post... no XTC Content
                    I've got my copy!
                      Oh Yes It Does
                    It Strikes a Chord
                      Re: Jeff Lynne
                        Hip Hooray
               AV1-They wasted their money
                         Whoops!!
        Another review of AV 1 in the Dutch press
                     I heard XTC too
                       Lincoln Imp
                    AV2 Title Nonsense
                       Verne Rules
                     feeling entish?
                        Gary Graff
                       Xtc & Italy
                      the name game
       Partridge , Moulding , Badeill and Skinner !
             Re: Whatever Happened to Beauty?
                        AV1 chart
            Austin Chalkers gathering for SXSW
        MOJO article & N. American music magazines
   re: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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Don't waste time, go on and taste them all.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message-ID: <36E631F8.5A1F@bhip.infi.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 08:49:14 +0000
From: Brian <mattone@bhip.infi.net>
Subject: Re: AV1 (again!)

Tschalkgerz!

Harrison was commenting on Colin's contributions to AV1, and mentioned
being able to whistle to them at work...

I caught my 12-year old son whistling "Easter Theatre" the other day!

That speaks volumes, people.

--
 BRIAN THOMAS MATTHEWS
* Digital & traditional illustration/animation
* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire
SAPRINGER CENTRAL ~ http://www.angelfire.com/fl/sapringer

------------------------------

From: WWi8064839@aol.com
Message-ID: <27b4d92e.36e67969@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 08:53:45 EST
Subject: Duffy on 'Stunt'

Fans of Stephen Duffy, note:

He co-wrote three songs on the Barenaked Ladies 'Stunt' album. One of them.
"I'll Be That Girl," is a tribute to The Lilac Time. It DOES sound very
LTish, in fact.

RE: MollyFa - Thanks for the transcript of the AOL chat with Andy and
Colin.  (By the by, browsing your site, I saw mention of the obnoxious
next-door neighbor, who you claim to hear having sex. His last name
wouldn't be "Clinton" by any chance? ;-))

Okay, so XTC is no longer in the Top 100, of whatever. What you have to do
is take songs by OTHER artists who ARE in the Top 100 and modify them. For
example:

"Thank you Swindon. Thank you Uffington. Thank you, THANK YOU, AV - 1!"

and

"I like sex and...Andy."

Wes

------------------------------

Message-ID: <19990310135720.2631.rocketmail@web1.rocketmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 05:57:20 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <phoenixyellowrose@rocketmail.com>
Subject: In response to a Robert Wood Post... no XTC Content

Oh... okay... not to jump on some stupid non-conformist chant that I
heard throughout high school, which was about ten years ago for me...
but, in answer to this post, which offends me because I've been to
England enough to know that, okay, not everyone there drinks stout or
this particular stout...:

From: Robert Wood <wobbit@bigfoot.com>
Subject: Drinking song

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yeh, I guess you can see it as that... but I choose to imagine a bunch
of Brits in a pub drinking Guiness, ahavin' a good old time
and all that other nonsuch. HA! <<

<Shiver> Not Guiness - just 'cos Guiness is the only non-lager you've heard
of, don't assume we all drink that muck, it's foul stuff outside of Dublin.
It's far more likely to be a pint of bitter...
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I actually like the damn stuff... okay! "I don't care what anybody else
drinks" (there's the stupid chant, but in this case its true). I like the
fucking taste. I like it better than anything but the Sam Adams cream stout
(which is very very tasty). I like it I like it I like it I say! I only put
it there because its what I would drink, not because I'm some ignorant
American Chick who was trying to be cool by not saying Budweiser.

Can you TELL I took offense to your statement, CAN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          Really, now.

-Nicole

------------------------------

Message-ID: <00f301be6b0a$1775e580$32e09b92@stg.stg.puc.cl>
From: "Fernando Gonzalez B." <fgonzalb@puc.cl>
Subject: I've got my copy!
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 11:24:22 -0400

    Hi. First let me introduce myself. I'm Fernando, a chilean XTC fan for a
long time (so I apologize if my english isn't accurate). This is my first
post, although I've been a member of this list for about a year.

    It's very difficult to be an XTC fan in this part of the world. The band
is hardly known, and the record stores rarely have their material. That's
why I bought my copy from Amazon, and after a few weeks it finally arrived
yesterday (so don't worry, Rafael (from Buenos Aires, Argentina), your copy
should arrive soon).

    Well, sorry about the lack of information in this post, but I needed to
tell somebody the good news: I finally got my copy!! Woohoo!!   :-)    (by
the way, the record is a masterpiece...)

    Greetings from Chile,
--
Fernando Gonzalez
Santiago de Chile

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199903101448.PAA25535@mail.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 15:59:03 +0000
Subject: Oh Yes It Does

Dear Chalkers,

Sometimes the wheel needs a bit of reinventing

> And, to the guy who thought that Nonsuch was named after a lyric in
> Oranges and Lemons: The answer is that this title comes from Henry
> the IIIV's castle called Nonsuch Palace.

"while some nonsuch net holds me aloft"

is a line from Chalkhills And Children, last and seminal track on the
Oranges And Lemons album

Now we could argue if the title was chosen for that reason
or not but the line is there, however you want to interpret it.

>In my career as a visual artist I have often found myself
>in the position of appropriating images to incorporate into my own
>collage-based work.  The key here is recontextualization.

That's just a bunch of fancy words for theft, innit?

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello/
     or http://come.to/xtc

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.2.32.19990309231448.0076bf40@itis.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1999 23:14:48 -0600
Subject: It Strikes a Chord
From: James Powell <powell@itis.com>

You guys are fun!

A friend told me XTC has a new album coming out in February and for some
reason I searched on the web and found all you chalkhillers. I then bought
the CD, played it sporadically at low volume while my two-year old demanded
my attention, but finally sat down and listened to it tonight (at high
headphone volume while the child and wife slept).

Apple Venus Volume 1 is, how should I say, sonically rich--and mesmerising.
So much to listen to. While I do miss the guitars, the CD does have great
rhythmic moments (Greenman, Your Dictionary, Knights in Shining Karma) and
lyric moments too (obviously).

Colin Moulding's songs do seem a little... light, but they are fun (if just
for the Beatles derivitiveness [such a word?]). And I say this as someone
who like almost all of Colin's songs.

You know, almost everyone's comments seems to strike a resonance with me.
Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Jethro Tull, etc., mentions all make sense if
you just allow the listener (and commenter) the leeway that they're
referring to little snippets of sound. River of Orchids is very unique but
certain sound phrases are reminiscent of other writer/composers. The
overall feel of Apple Venus does remind one of certain other artists. Don't
be so critical of others in XTC who are simply sharing their
big-as-the-world responses to a captivating new aural experience.

As someone definitely not in the know, it's been fun (and sometimes
disconcerting) to see such an exuberant reception of this new set of songs
on this discussion list. Remember, when replying to this list, do what you
will but harm none.

Yours in celebrating life,
XXX___TTT___CCC

------------------------------

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <4d1d5fee.36e656c5@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 06:25:57 EST
Subject: Re: Jeff Lynne

>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

True, unfortunately; he didn't do a terrible job, but it wasn't real
interesting. Then again, George Martin probably couldn't have done
them justice either, considering he's gone so deaf that he's
apparently decided Celine Dion and Jim Carrey are good choices for
covering Beatles material. His recent Beatles tribute album(though I
haven't heard a note of it)is the weirdest on paper, at least, since
All This And World War Too, which was supposed to be a movie that
thankfully was never released. In comparison Lynne's work on Lennon's
unreleased songs is merely workmanlike, which is something you could
never accuse George Martin(or Paul Mccartney)of.

Chris

------------------------------

Message-Id: <v03102801b30c55eb26d8@[129.105.37.210]>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 11:04:28 -0600
From: Olof Hellman <hellman@ksan.ms.nwu.edu>
Subject: Hip Hooray

I chuckled realizing that "hip hooray" is a great pun, considering that it
follows the line about some chap putting it on display, where I assume
'it' means a private body part.

- Olof

------------------------------

Message-ID: <000601be6b23$b4468360$9b5808c3@w8k1p3>
From: "Dave Hall" <goldwing@clara.net>
Subject: AV1-They wasted their money
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 18:26:12 -0000

Firstly-anyone who thinks the cover reminds them of a fanny/beaver/bearded
clam (delete according to where you are) must have gone out with some oddly
built women.

I have been fortunate in owning the demos for some time (thanks Mark) and
it`s rarely been off my player since acquired and having owned AV1 for a
week now there's a few things that seem to stand out:

1. How annoying is that really slow intro to River of Orchids, just spoils
it.

2. Colins songs are embarrassingly bad and I`ve really rated him over the
years.

3. The orchestral parts on Greenman & I cant own her just don't enhance the
tracks sufficiently to warrant the expense.

4. What happened to Wonder Annual, Church of women and Bumper cars?
brilliant tracks, I hope they get onto AV2.

5.  The quality of the recording is`nt significantly better than that of
the demos, they should have tidied them up and released it last year, I
think they`ve wasted precious time & money.

I think I`ll keep listening to the demos quite frankly.

Flame away I don't give a shit.

Dave Hall

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 13:57:01 -0500
Subject: Whoops!!
Message-ID: <19990310.135753.-133231.0.skybar80@juno.com>
From: Ken A! <skybar80@juno.com>

Hey Chalkies...

Before I get flamed by both Chalkies and Texturites who are also
Chalkies, I need to sincerely apologize for my scathing attack on my
fellow Catherine Wheel fans. I should have done what someone else (I
can't remember your name, sorry!!) said he does : Type the letter, "gloat
over it and delete it" instead of sending it.  I was just in the pissiest
mood a man can be in, and I was ready to just EXPLODE! Yeah, it does get
annoying when you post and no one notices it, then someone else posts the
same damn thing days/weeks/months later and then it's the biggest damn
topic! But it's only a mailing list and I shouldn't get so riled up over
that!

Oh, but I still stand by my defense of  "'My Weapon' and/ or anything
else Barry Andrews wrote."

Hoping no one will flip out,
Ken

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19990310200456.007bb300@pop.xs4all.nl>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 20:04:56 +0100
From: jan bletz <jan@xs4all.nl>
Subject: Another review of AV 1 in the Dutch press

The Dutch Nieuwe Revu (a magazine read mainly by young people) had a short
review of AV 1.

They gave it four stars out of five.

The reviewer compared XTC to The Beatles in their psychedelic period and
said 'OK, it's studio music, but the best studio music there is.'

Jan Bletz

------------------------------

From: mollyfa@juno.com
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:10:11 -0500
Subject: I heard XTC too
Message-ID: <19990310.141012.2870.4.MollyFa@juno.com>

Dan said:
<<I heard Muzak instrumentals of "Mayor of Simpleton" and "King for a
Day" in the lobby of an airport hotel in South San Francisco.>>

I heard King For a Day (the real thing) once while waiting at the Buffalo
Internationa Airport a few years ago.  I almost freaked out.  I started
singing to myself.  A couple of people looked at me like I was weird, but
I didn't care.  I heard the Muzak version of Mayor of Simpleton once in a
supermarket though.

Molly

------------------------------

From: Paul@pi-design.com
Message-ID: <7792192DE506D2119A6100A024F0274A1EABD5@PIMAIL>
Subject: Lincoln Imp
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 19:27:19 -0000

On this "from high church wall" thang.

I believe that AP is referring to the medieval practice of putting plaques
of pagan deities up on (high) church walls.
For instance in Lincoln Cathedral there is an Imp.. and in Norwich there's
a... Greenman (Okay, it's just his face)  UK C'hillians can go to a Past
Times shop and buy replica Greenman faces (they come in two sizes.)

So Greenman would be quite literally looking down from a high church wall
and as far as I'm aware the Grammar Police do not have jurisdiction on song
lyrics so it's perfectly okay to miss out an "a".

Often the plaques would have to be put up high so that they couldn't be seen
easily by those squeaky-clean christians below.  You'll also get local
dignitaries and bishops caricaturised too.  There's a small area in Dorset
that has particularly funny examples, they've also got a funny name that I
can remember - see what happens when you watch "Countryfile"?
(It's a BBC country-oriented programme)

Regarding the freewheel sound in "I'd Like That" and someone's wonderings if
there are any other cyclists on the list... well, I'm one.
Non-club good-ish road\MTB race type person.  Off-topic:  If anyone's
interested I was in Paris last weekend and saw the start of the Paris-Nice -
that was fun.  Anyone going to the Paris-Roubaix in April?  It's a one day
"Spring Classic"  cycle race and involves a quarter to a third of the
distance on farm-track cobbles (on road bikes).  If you ever get the chance
to see it either live or on TV - do, it's one of the most impressive one day
races in the world and is up there with watching a mountain stage of the
Tour de France. (BTW, my hopeful 123 will be Tchmil, Durand and some nobody.
If you know cycling you'll know who I mean, if you don't you wont.)

Back on topic.... while in Paris, popped into the Champs-Elysses(?) branch
of Virgin, they had an XTC display stand in a kind of pagan bronze style.
I'll scan in the photo sometime soon.  Picked up the Japanese CD for 199FF
too.  Well, I'm all in favour of AP exerting control on the CD design but
all the same I would have preferred it if the lyric booklet was included,
particularly with the grooooovy pics.

It's really odd about the UK appearance thing, Cooking Vinyl have responded
relatively quickly to other questions but have stayed remarkably quiet on
this subject.  Could it be that they feel there isn't a sufficiently large
fan base here in the UK to warrant a signing?  Maybe they don't want a
Frasier Fan Club type debacle.  Of course, remember the US market is a
little more lucrative and spread out than the UK and needs a little more
attention or maybe TVT said we'll distribute only if..

"Harvest Festival" is soon to be particularly poignient for me... Oh, you
know the lyrics by now.  It could well be too much for me to go to the
wedding, I might well have to wimp out.  Anyway, my other half wouldn't
understand.

Anyone coming to the UK soon or any UK meetings planned?  Fate seems to
conspire against me and I'm always busy or away.  What's the latest info?

"Easter Theatre" to be UK single.  To use a "US"-ian phrase "Fuckin' A!"
It, along with "Greenman" are the most playable and, urch, catchy without
being too idiosynchratic.

I think I've covered everything... oh!
David Oh... thanks for popping some more letters into your postings - I now
read them.

Paul S.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <19990310193941.25564.rocketmail@send105.yahoomail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 11:39:41 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <wile1coyote@yahoo.com>
Subject: AV2 Title Nonsense

To add to a common thread

>If XTC were not going to call their next album "Apple Venus Vol.  2," what
>phrase or word from the lyrics to "Apple Venus Vol. I" would make a good
>title?

I am sure that Andy would agree that the next title is clearly:

"Please to bend down"  Maybe "Pleased to bend down"

Good old AP he never changes. :-D

Jon Rosenberger
The Mole

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199903101940.UAA03414@mail.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 20:51:31 +0000
Subject: Verne Rules

Dear Chalkers,

How pleased i am to see a reference to my fave daily comic Over The
Hedge with RJ the raccoon and Verne the turtle

> Has anyone noticed XTC references in this strip in the
> past?
Yes, most certainly!
I do remember at one time one of them was playing records and one of
the sleeves said: XTC - Black Sea. On another occasion, they were
pictured against a backdrop of bright neonsigns with stuff like
"GIRLS!" "GAMBLE" but also "XTC" I did save those pictures but have
since "lost" them

I wrote to the authors a couple of weeks ago asking if they could slip
in another XTC reference to celebrate the arrival of AV1. I didn't get
a reply but perhaps they did do it anyway

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello/
     or http://come.to/xtc

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:08:26 -0600 (CST)
From: John Fulton <fulton@ssc.wisc.edu>
Subject: feeling entish?
Message-Id: <Pine.OSF.3.95.990310135907.10005A-100000@guy.ssc.wisc.edu>

Here are some silly thoughts:

Is the "Green Man" partly inspired by Treebeard?  Treebeard is among the
oldest old, and the Green Man has been your lover for 10E6 years.  Hmmm,
hoom - "build a bed out of oak and pine" - living, I presume...

Is the "Last Balloon" departing the Grey Havens?  Sort of via the Wizard
of Oz.  Though it also reminds me of a short story by Ian McKewan with a
less favorable balloon connotation.

Cheers, John.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <C4D3F9980FD4D111892B00805FBBF5D101A3896B@mailsvr1.lernerny.com>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <ilieman@lernerny.com>
Subject: Gary Graff
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 16:01:55 -0500

Hey guys.

Saw Gary Graff's article in http://WallOfSound.com this morning (it's an
Andy-view). I don't have it with me because I can't get onto the 'net at
work (grumble grumble)

Anyway, why is he calling Dave Gregory a "founding guitarist" of the band?
Isn't there enough reading material he had available to him for background
info? All things considered, XTC has been a very informationally-rich band
for a long time...Mr. Graff didn't do his homework well enough.

We should all pelt his home with oranges and lemons. Maybe he'll see the
significance of this. Naah.

-ira

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36E6E4E1.D96C0BF4@mbox.argosid.it>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 22:32:17 +0100
From: Antonino Masturzo <antmas@sorrento.argosid.it>
Subject: Xtc & Italy

Hi Venusians
After all i've found it here in the South Italy, i've got AV1, it was
the one only copy in the shop and i grabbed it as quick as i can!!!
No words to say, just listen to it...it grows on me day after day!!!
Tx to everybody here for your reviews, i've read all!
Keep on writin'

ciao

Tonino Masturzo
"Awaken you dreamers"

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 15:59:50 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007800b30c36c6caaf@[209.86.137.109]>
From: Mitch Friedman <mitchf@mindspring.com>
Subject: the name game

So yes, the next album will be called Apple Venus Volume 2 but does this
mean that the album after that one can choose its name from either volume
of Apple Venus? Hmm.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36E6E3FA.22A4@virgin.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 21:28:27 +0000
From: Peter Wright <Peter.wright2@virgin.net>
Subject: Partridge , Moulding , Badeill and Skinner !

Hi Hillbillys,
              Only the Brits will get this one. Every time I hear the
first 8 bars (intro/build-up) of the wonderful 'Frivolous Tonight' , I
can't control the urge to sing "Its coming Home , its coming home, its
coming....footballs coming home "  !!!!!! Try it - you'll see what I
mean.    Pete.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.32.19990310145244.0069c890@mail.halcyon.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:54:38 -0800
From: "Lynn S." <nemaliand@halcyon.com>
Subject: Re: Whatever Happened to Beauty?

Jill Olsen wrote in part:

>While it seems that in both fine art and music, concepts such
>as pain and angst are readily embraced, concepts such as joy
>and beauty are reviled.  Why is that?  Have we lost our ability
>to appreciate beauty?  Do we not trust it?  Does it somehow
>seem more shallow than that which is ugly?

I think it has been handed down to us by all the artists who rebelled
against widely held notions about art and beauty that existed before this
century.  There were times when artists were making the assertion that
beauty is not only irrelevant, but often hinders the effectiveness of a
work.  This idea is still with us today, along with many of the ideals of
pasts rebellions.  The reason they are perpetuated is another subject
entirely and too complicated to go into here.  But I will say that I think
the barrier of comprehension that the average viewer encounters in a
contemporary work perpetuates a situation that is very profitable to the
elite in the art world.
I'm with you, I think it's time to get back to valuing beauty, and (oh my
god) craft in our fine arts.
I am an artist too.  I think beauty adds to how well art can communicate
its message, even if the message is ugly.  We may not all agree on what is
beautiful, but we can tell when there's been no attempt at all to make
something appealing.  I'm really tired of seeing intentionally poorly
executed art, I think it's an insult to the viewer.
Lynn S.

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 18:10:37 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <tmharms@library.uwaterloo.ca>
Subject: AV1 chart
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.990310180658.23616A-100000@library.uwaterloo.ca>

Well, as far as SoundScan Canada is concerned, AV1 is the second best
'alternative' recording debut for the week ending Feb. 28.

No word on how many copies have been sold.

It logged in at #39.  It narrowly edged out Paul Westerberg's newest and
the only higher debut recording was Slim Shady by Enimen.

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

------------------------------

Message-ID: <900822C71730D2118D8C00805F65765C4818D5@EINSTEIN>
From: Jill Oleson <oleson@moneystar.com>
Subject: Austin Chalkers gathering for SXSW
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 17:07:42 -0600

In honor of Austin's South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival,
all Chalkers in the Central Texas area are invited to join us in a
toast to our favorite band, et al, on Friday, March 19th.  Exact
time and location to be announced. Please contact me asap
for more information if you plan to attend:

Jill Oleson
oleson@moneystar.com

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 18:24:15 -0500 (EST)
From: Ted Harms <tmharms@library.uwaterloo.ca>
Subject: MOJO article & N. American music magazines
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.990310181837.23616B-100000@library.uwaterloo.ca>

Finally managed to plough my way through the excellent article in MOJO on
the lads - very well written and a great summation of the band thus far, I
thought.

Here's my rant: why aren't there any decent music magazines in N. America
that can rank with the quality of MOJO or Q?

I mean, Musician was good but then they changed their focus to a more
industry-oriented approach and then they went belly up about 3 weeks ago.

Spin was good but then wanted to be the new Rolling Stone and Rolling
Stone is, plain and simple, a piece of crap - there's no depth or
ingenuity to the writing of either mag....

Too bad MOJO set me back over #10Cdn and Q is around there, too.  If I
could afford them, I'd read them all the time...

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

------------------------------

Message-ID: <001d01be6b4c$8289ad60$28010101@dave>
From: "david robson" <hodad@ozemail.com.au>
Subject: re: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:19:54 +1100

Simon Curtiss wrote....

>Simon

>Who loves Nonsuch and can't believe people don't like Omnibus. Maybe you
>have to be a) English, b) male c)have been on a school/college/company/etc
>trip on a bus/coach/ferry/hovercraft/transit van/train with a bunch of half
>pissed (english use of the word) people and tried to chat up everyone of
>the opposite persuasion not caring if you were rebuffed or not 'cos you
>were happy. Maaaaaaaaaaan that song makes me smile.

Hi Simon!

Well I am forced to agree with you most wholeheartedly on "Omnibus" - I love
it!
It appears that many on this list tend to favour the early XTC releases over
the later ones. Comments on AV1 tend to be tempered with "almost as good as
English Settlement and Drums and Wires" etc.etc. While I did (and still do)
love ES, I really don`t find that the earlier stuff ( say pre-"Black Sea" )
does much for me at all. I`m a melody man primarily; you can have some of
the best lyrics ever, but if the melody isn`t great it leaves me cold.
Before the flaming starts from people who consider the early XTC material to
be their finest work, I would also like to state that this is only MHO and
you do not have to agree with it in any shape or form. I just look at their
catalogue and see a constant development of their songwritig/arranging muse
- especially since "Skylarking". Every subsequent release has shown
consistent improvement in all areas of musical development. When I first
purchased "Oranges and Lemons" I thought that it could not be topped! Then
"Nonsuch" arrived and proved me wrong. Now "Apple Venus 1" has again shown
messrs A.P and C.M literally at the top of their form. After constant plays
of this album over the last 10 days I can honestly say there isn`t a song on
it I don`t like; and some that are so unbelievably moving that they are
almost spiritual! I mean what band would return after a 7 year hiatus with
an album so patently challenging to the fan/listener. Most reviewers can`t
believe they have taken such a risk, however it simply shows that the boys
are not prepared to lock themselves in to a certain style - I mean XTC with
almost NO DRUMS on an album!! Who`d of thought it!! I`m awaiting with
anticipation the release of part 2 of AV ( I`m sure I`m not alone there )
but I cannot concieve of any improvement on AV1. But hey, I`ve been wrong
before.

On first listen, "Greenman" was far and away my favorite track on the new
album, but it has now been usurped by "Easter Theatre". The melody lines are
so incredibly constructed that when they burst into the "stage left" "stage
right" of the chorus I cannot help but smile and tap along with Colin`s
GLORIOUS bass. Also Colins songs, espescially "Fruit Nut" are maddeningly
catchy. The other night I couldn`t get to sleep because the damn thing was
reverberating in my brain ( keep him sane indeed! ;-)..I have always
considered CM to be a superb bass player, as well as a perfect foil to
Andy`s songwriting, and this album only highlights the way they compliment
each other. I can only hope that they never stop coming up with such a
wonderful gift. Every album makes a memory, and this is a mighty fine one
indeed.

Dave Robson

P.S. Thanks to John Relph for your assistance with my inquiry. I now realise
just how busy you are and feel a little guilty for adding to your workload.
Your efforts were sincerely appreciated.

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