Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-156

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 156

                 Wednesday, 31 March 1999

Today's Topics:

               Re: Speak for yourself/Drums
                       Re: April 1
                Re: Krakatoan Balloons...
                    Your rant at Molly
                     Cents Your Ship
          Vichyssoise for the Horribly Addicted
           Italian AV1 Different and a response
                     xtc underground
              one last sgt pepper type thing
          Stop attacking Molly, for God's sake!
                        Trade bait
              another dumb lyrics question.
                      cROCK indeed!
                     Radios In Motion
                     Since You Lit Me
                      Straight To Ya
                 The Drummingest of Songs
             Ted V. Andy V. Technology V. Me
           The dumbing down of Dominic Lawason
             Ain't No Fool Like an April Fool
                   Re: Rhythmic Peppers
       An XTC Novice's Impressions of "Apple Venus"
                     DAMNED/FRIPP MP3


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Don't he realise this is Respectable Street?!


Message-Id: <4782AD6ADDBDD2119B570008C75DD5C1021FEF@MGMTM02>
From: Lawson Dominic <>
Subject: Re: Speak for yourself/Drums
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 12:36:59 +0100

At the risk of enraging the usual suspects....

(i)	Thanks to Duncan Kimball. I couldn't have (and didn't) put it better

(ii)	Molly! Don't panic! Just be grateful that you're not being
patronized off-list and treated like a simpleton, unlike certain people who
shall remain (ME!) nameless.

(iii)	To Jefferson - yes, I am impaled on your rapier-like wit and I am

	>>Dom issued a formal, if strained, apology to the list. He was not
	>>entirely committed to the apology, perhaps because he had had
	>>only good intentions when he wrote the original note, and didn't
	>>feel right about apologizing for the unintended dismay suffered
	>>by people whose linguistic values differ from his own.
	>>Nevertheless, he publically disavowed the intent to wound.

	I'm just checking, but you do realise that my apology was sarcastic
don't you? Damn this written word!

(iv)	To the numerous dickless cowards who have flamed certain individuals
for agreeing with me, and/or failing to conform to non-existent rules of
etiquette....SHAME ON YOU! How incredibly spineless can you get?

Taking arguments off-line is one thing, but don't hide in the shadows
sniping at those of us with the balls to stand up for what we believe in. I
am really, really disappointed by this. I thought Chalkhills was free from
this sort of bullshit.

Re: Drums

Oh yes, drums have always been one of my favourite things about live-era
XTC. Let's face it, Terry really knew how to batter the shit out his kit
didn't he? I have been known to slap the skins myself from time to time, so
if you'll allow me...

"Travels In Nihilon" is certainly TC's finest performance. Twisting that Bo
Diddley/tribal thing into a vast psychedelic behemoth of rhythm, Mr
Chambers was clearly having a very good day indeed. Spectacular stuff. It's
no wonder that "Black Sea" has the reputation it has, i.e. for being the
ultimate representation of the live XTC experience. Chambers' thumping
dominates the album and injects so much rockular muscle into the
proceedings that it remains my absolute favourite XTC album in terms of
crank-it-up-and-shout-along pre-piss up potential. "Drums & Wires" comes a
close second, but the production on "Black Sea" is pretty unbeatable.  A
special mention has to go to the wonderful drum patterns on "I'm Bugged"
and "Scissor Man", especially the latter where the brilliance of AP's
jabbering vocals is perfectly mirrored by the stuttering snares and
pinpoint cymbal stabs (or whatever they call it in Rhythm Magazine these that was a fascinating read!).

Post-TC, I've always felt that despite some worthy contributions, drums
have always played a much less significant role in XTC's music (or at least
in its effect on me as a listener). Much as I appreciate the skills of the
various session players who've added their talents to more recent XTC
albums, I'm not particularly fond of that measured, technical approach to
drumming. It's accurate and solid enough, but ultimately fairly soulless.
The drum machine sounds on O&L are even worse, but the strength of the
songs saves the day (give or take a vile keyboard sound or two). Such is
the nature of AV1 that up till now I hadn't really considered the drums at
all.  Maybe this is indicative of the songs' subtly anti-rock vibe - I'm
not entirely sure - but either way I do have to give a mighty thumbs-aloft
to the patterns on "Greenman". It's easy to neglect the potential of
"additional" percussion, and the effect it has on the overall sound of an
album, but here its impact is obvious. Bizarrely, I love Iron Maiden's drum
patterns for much the same reason. At first they sound like straightforward
heavy metal beats, but the more you listen, the more unexpected frills and
rhythmic interjections (Jesus, I'm turning into Bilge Collins...) jump out
at your lucky ears. Yes, well obviously you won't all be rushing out to buy
"Powerslave", but it was the first decent parallel I could think of! That
Nicko McBrain is an extraordinarily gifted drummer, like XTC's linear pal
Mr Prince, and far more subtle and dextrous than people would give him
credit for. Oh the shame, talking about Iron Maiden on a Chalkhills digest!
So sue me.

Incidentally, has anyone heard "Caramel" from the new Blur album? It's a
beauty, especially when the drums drift off into pure Can, circa "Ege
Bamyasi", territory. Glorious.

...and look, XTC content! Hopefully that will shut the whining maggots up
for a day or two...



Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:29:51 -0500
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: April 1
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9903310928220.26099-100000@esun2028>

Regarding the "Dave Trade" article quoted, in which Ray Davies and Andy
Partridge, like a couple of major league team owners, trade band members:

I think the Subject line says it all.  : )

("Color me happy!")


Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 10:26:41 -0500
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: Krakatoan Balloons...
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9903311020240.26099-100000@esun2028>

Kristen Reed wrote:
> I recall seeing a reference to Krakatoa a few weeks ago...why was
> Krakatoa initially brought up?

Because Russ Reynolds wanted to see if anyone else knew the original title
of the movie "Volcano", and the glaring geographical error in it.
(Answer: "East of Java", whereas Krakatoa is west of Java.  Michael
Versaci got it.)

> I'm curious as to whether it had to do with _The Twenty-One Balloons_ by
> William Pene duBois? [which is set on Krakatoa]

No, but I'd like to crow that I own & treasure an *autographed* copy of
this wonderful piece of children's literature.

> I immediately thought of the book ... when I heard "The Last Balloon",
> believe it or not.

I believe it, because it came to my mind, too!

("Color me happy!")


Message-Id: <199903311054.KAA029.23@GATEWAY.TIRERACK.COM>
Subject: Your rant at Molly
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 99 10:53:23 -0600
From: William Loring <>

To all the censorship/swearing posters:

Take it offline. There is such a thing as personal mail for personal
attacks such as the ones that you have consistently launched against
people on this list. It is thoughtless and rude of you to use the
Chalkhills forum for belittling others.

What was it that Andy said? "Just don't hurt nobody" Think about it.

I am amazed that a group of such intelligent people can be so completely
lacking in social skills. This has nothing to do with censorship, and
everything to do with basic human decency, which several list members
seems to lack.

When posting a message, it might be adviseable to ask yourself this
question: Would I actually say this to this person's _face_? Would I say
this if I were accountable for the consequences?

William Loring


Message-ID: <>
Date: 31 Mar 99 08:04:28 PST
From: domenic staffieri <>
Subject: Cents Your Ship

Enough already!!!! You people are cluttering up the newsletter with this
neverending debate. I suggest you email amongst yourselves so I could look
forward to reading something about XTC. Even better, why don't you create
your own newsletter entitled, "****".

"Damn that Television"


Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:36:43 -0500
From: Maus <>
Subject: Vichyssoise for the Horribly Addicted
Message-id: <>

Hi Chalkies!

The week AV1 came out, I called CD101 (Columbus, Ohio's only worthwhile
station) and requested "I'd Like That". This is a station where I have
heard such treats as Nigel and SWO, things I never expected to hear on
the radio these days... hell, last night they played TMBG's "Cowtown"
out of nowhere! Well, they told me then I would have to listen to the
Thursday night "Specialty Show" to have a hope of hearing it. I was
disappointed, but not surprised.

But last night I was doing research and listening to CD101's nightly
request countdown, and who do you think appeared at number two?!! I
danced around the room with delight. A quick look at the online playlist
shows our single in HEAVY ROTATION, sitting comfortably next to
Everclear and Fatboy Slim. I admit I initially doubted the commercial
appeal of this album, but at least one station has apparently discovered
that people *like* it.

If anyone on this list is from the Columbus area, be sure to make your
voice heard at CD101. A spot on the countdown equals prime exposure,
every night.

Thanks and thanks again to everyone on the list for being the greatest
group of strangers I've ever eavesdropped upon. I'm a young one (first
album- Nonsuch), but the last two years led me from a casual listen to
Rag & Bone to an upwardly spiraling love for all the albums (along with
a rather empty wallet). Even as a college DJ, I was slowly becoming
disinterested and bored with music. XTC grabbed me, smacked me around a
little, and renewed my love affair with music!  I was making mix tapes
for friends just to have someone I could talk to about the songs-
anyone! Then a few months ago I subscribed ...with some reservations. I
have had less than pleasant experiences with mailing lists. But you guys
manage make the best music in the world even more fun. A more
intelligent, hilarious, and friendly bunch of music lovers I have never
met. Case in point: AP's hysterical "Snowman" post. You rival TMBG fans
for camaraderie, and that's saying a lot.

I have just one question: what exactly is vichyssoise? Would you eat it?
And just how cold is the stuff?

On first, second, and third listens, "Yacht Dance" made me laugh, cry,
and then laugh some more.

Thanks again for feeding my Horrible Addiction, as my best friend likes
to call it-
Ave Marie

Number one 10 years ago this week in CMJ:  Oranges and Lemons

No need to look back through diaries of lost now turned to dust-
We, we will skate across the surface of the storm as if we're wheeling
sea-birds. -XTC


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 08:42:46 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Italian AV1 Different and a response

Greetings Hillians.

First a quick response to Mary Beth who said

"Do you think it's worth all the trouble to grow nails just so I can
wear XTC nailpolish?"

Of course it is. I am wearing it right now. Lovely shade and it goes so
well with my Moustache. ;-D

And then a collectors note. Maybe you want to note this in the
discography John?

The Italian AV1 Cd which I just received (Thank you, You Saint, you know
who you are) has a different cover than the US, Japan and UK ones.

The Italian cover features the feather pointing left (On mine anyways)
but the background color is a silver instead of white. It is slightly
reflective and the feather looks great on that surface. Pretty cool.
The Italian tape also comes in a regular case not a bio-box. I guess
that is a US only thing.

Anyone know if either Japan or Australia issued cassettes?

Jon Rosenberger
The Mole


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:47:56 -0800
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: CIC
Subject: Simply...


HAPPY EASTER, everyone!!

/Dan Phipps <>

"We are eagles of one nest;
 The nest is in our soul."
(Robert Plant / Jimmy Page)


Message-ID: <>
From: Steve Sims <>
Subject: xtc underground
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:46:16 -0800

Did anyone catch the recent Discovery Channel show concerning what lies
underneath New York City?  It was a very enlightening look at life under
ground.  There was a tour of subways, sewers, water mains under
construction, etc.  There were interviews with construction workers,
police, and homeless people who make homes in the dark recesses of the
subway system.  The most entertaining thing to me (HERE COMES THE THREAD)
was the night spent following around a graffiti artist.  This guy was in
the subways, dancing over 3rd rails, plastering himself against walls when
trains went zipping by, all for his ART.  And what was his art?  This night
it was spraying a D&W logo "XTC" on the side of a stalled train.  They may
not be making  money, but it looks like Andy and Colin have made a mark on
pop culture.



Message-Id: <v03110701b32812c61b88@[]>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 13:04:33 -0500
From: josh getman <jgetman@MIT.EDU>
Subject: one last sgt pepper type thing

Someone mentioned:

>Weather Report's "Heavy Weather"

YES!  If Clapton is God, Jaco Pastorius is Clapton.  I'd like to add the
following to the Sgt Pepper list:

Tom Waits - Closing Time
Pat Metheny - Travels
Michael Hedges - Breakfast in the Field
Zappa - Broadway the Hard Way


Josh Getman
Technology Review -
	Nominated for The 1999 National Magazine Award for General Excellence


Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 10:21:18 -0800 (PST)
From: Misty Shock <>
Subject: Stop attacking Molly, for God's sake!
Message-ID: <>

Dunks said to Molly:
<<Now, I have no doubt that your position is genuine, and stems from good
motives. I'm sure you're a nice person (and I'm not being sarcacstic).
BUT I find your position, and the arguments you defend it with to be
both deseptive and patronising. It implies/assumes that these undefined
"people", on whose behalf you claim to act, cannot speak for themsleves,
and that you must therefore act to protect them. >>

I think that it should be clarified that Molly was not intending to be
deceptive or patronizing.  You claim that while Molly was masking
something as a kind act, she was really belittling listmembers by
attempting to speak for people who don't need to be spoken for.  Even if
this is the case, I'm certain that this was not Molly's intention.  It's
akin to people offering an old person their arm.  It may be patronizing
but it is not intentionally so, ultimately derived from good will.

Even if it does assume that people can't speak for themselves, that
assumption is not unfounded.  Aren't there like thousands of people on te
list while only very few post?  It's not that these people can't talk for
themselves but they choose not to (I'm a lurker on most of the lists or
newsgroups I read) which quantitatively equals the same thing.  Plus, it
seems like you're saying that nobody should ever speak about things that
involve more than their direct self-interest, lest they appear
patronizing!  I don't think she was even necessarily dictating what the
list is like for others but rather describing the kind of environment she
would like -- one that is considerate to all of its member.

Am I being patronizing by posting this message? :)

Misty Shock

"No round of drinks can extinguish this feeling of love and engulfing
bliss."						--Andy Partridge


From: "Dean Martucci" <>
Subject: Trade bait
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:58:34 -0800
Message-ID: <000701be7bb0$dbaf1e60$a88715cf@oemcomputer>

Chalk Completists,

If you want the promo cd from Transistor Blast "What Do You Call That
Noise?," I'll trade ya for pretty much anything. I'm easy stylee...

Unicycle Records
"Get Up For The Download!"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 14:54:25 +0100
From: KT <>
Subject: another dumb lyrics question.

What are the words to the first verse of 'No thugs in our house'?
I tried looking on the lyrics book in fossil fuel, but it misses a line,
only pritng the first half of the second line, joined up to the second
half of the third line... anyone else noticed this mistake?
KT Coope


Message-ID: <000a01be7bb6$5f7c2b70$d8f0c4cc@t24806009694.DOA.STATE.LA.US>
From: "John Voorhees" <>
Subject: cROCK indeed!
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 14:37:58 -0600

> I can't believe what I just read at

 Yeah, neither can I!  I don't know whether the Hallmark card was real, but
this is a delightful little hoax, it is.  I.P.  Daily indeed...
Now Adrian Belew, there's a potential trade!  :)

John Voorhees


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 21:39:56 +0100
From: Andy Ruffell <>
Subject: Radios In Motion

My first posting - I only joined last week.

I was surfing the cable channels at 3.00am last Saturday and came across
'The Best Of The Old Grey Whistle test' on UKGold.

The first song was 'Radios In Motion' - live in the TV studio.

Its amazing - I've followed the band since buying Generals + Majors on its
release, but you tend to forget just how young these people were when they
started. Mr.Partridge was not waering any flat caps then.
They were excellent, though, and so energetic. My main regret is not going
to see them live, especially as I lived near Swindon then!

Did anybody else see the programme on saturday night?

All the best



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 23:00:50 +0000
Subject: Since You Lit Me

Dear Chalkers,

Elena asked:

> What are some other "strange" locations that their music has been
> heard?

Tent City, a large camping site somewhere in the London suburbs
during the summer of '86.  That year i made my first pilgrimage to
Swindon and after 2 weeks of hitch-hiking across England
i eventually ended up there.

During that trip i spend a lot of time and the little money i had on
XTC goodies but i had no means to play them! So i was going cold
turkey while my rucksack was loaded :)

Anyway, Tent City was a great place with lots of friendly young(ish)
tourists who were also doing London on 10 quid a day. But for me the
best part was the fact that this girl who worked the reception desk
had a tape of Black Sea. What's more, she played it a lot. Like 10 or
15 times a day, at high volume _and_ she knew all the words.

Of course i immediately fell in love and of course i didn't have the
guts to approach her. He who hesitates is lost...

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 23:12:25 +0000
Subject: Straight To Ya

Dear Chalkers,

Censorship rears its ugly head again and again:

> (Molly has her) head screwed on straight.  I believe we should set an
> example for others, especially children, as they only learn bad language
> off adults.

Seems to me you two just don't get it... "bad language" is just a
concept, there is no such thing as inherently bad language. And the
whole problem with censorship is that your definition of "bad" is
very likely not the same as mine. And i don't want you to control
what i get to hear - or say. No fucking way (pardon my French)

BTW: i used to learn "bad language" from my peers, not from adults

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:28:03 -0400
From: Micheal Stone <nedrise@MNSi.Net>
Subject: The Drummingest of Songs

Chalk a longs

Drude spoketh thus like:
   >and I would have to say that a few XTC songs stand out for amazing
   >drumming/drum sound:

   >1)Travels In Nihilon
   >2)Paper and Iron
   >3)Tissue Tigers
   >5)Train Running Low

Good list, but how could you leave off Summer's Cauldron?  Amazing
performance by Prarie Prince.  Hearing that song (along with Grass, of
course) on the radio was the final piece of the puzzle for me as far as
becoming a worshipper at the Church of XTC. And I'd also put Senses Working
Overtime on the list, if only for that one great drum fill by Terry



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:28:32 EST
Subject: Ted V. Andy V. Technology V. Me

Good day to all.

To Tyler: Regarding Ted Kuzinski: I too was being a smartass when I posted
my response.  And sure, there clearly is no comparison re: Ted V(ersus)

It is an interesting thought far out of proportion we've managed to
blow up one specific line in one specific song.  And even then, is the
phrasing "push your car from the road" even about the detestation of

Or, is Andy simply saying...."move that piece of shit out of the way ( or
out of my way?)?"  Or something to that effect?  "I am late for a recording
gig, get that thing out of the way?"  with a smile?? Perhaps this is Andy's
way of mocking us?

To Dunks: Sorry we made you vent in a two page post, but man you're
awesome!  Are you in politics?  If not, you should be.  Your arguments are
on point.  Come to Chicago, I've got a soap box waiting for you here!!!!!

But, by the end of the day.....I really need my car!  Sorry chuckles.

-John "you can't get the buttoms these days!" Gardner
In Chicago

P>S> to you aol-ers...see you on the 7th at 9 CDT in the Art and
Entertainment room?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 23:03:55 +0100
From: Jon Holden-Dye <>
Subject: The dumbing down of Dominic Lawason

In Digest #5-154, Lawson Dominic <> writes :-

>Firstly, I'm sure you're all gagging to hear what my Sgt Pepper was. Just
>Dom ****ing Lawson.

Bollocks, Dom - not one REAL sweary thing, and two '****' type things.
Wha' 'appen ? Is it really time to hang up the cool duds, break out the
pipe 'n' slippers and chill out (to Foreigner, or suchlike) ? Hi honey,
I'm emasculated.

In summary - not_nearly_enough swearing, too much niceness.

Please try harder, in future.
Jon Holden-Dye
"I like to keep an open mind - but
not so open my brain falls out." (Anon.)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 18:09:52 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Organization: Averstar, Inc.
Subject: Ain't No Fool Like an April Fool

It all began a couple of weeks ago with a post about Beauty.

The lovely & talented Jill Oleson, perhaps under the influence of a couple
of bone-dry Shirley Temples and a gray day, posed the age-old question,
What the hell ever happened to Beauty?  Why, queried Jill, have we come to
evince such expressions of oogieness when confronted with art that's
unabashedly, simply, sincerely, un-post-modernistically _beautiful_?

An excellent question, I thought, and began a little mental journey of my
own, examining my own feelings about it. My first, instinctual conclusion
was that, in this age characterized by ironic detachment and "cool"
indifference to genuinely felt emotion, we have so thoroughly eradicated
any connection to our less cynical impulses that we have completely
forgotten they are there--and we are embarrassed by any reminders of their

This was all very well, but to me unsatisfying--chiefly because I knew
somewhere back in my head that this debate had gone on before, somewhere in
history, a less media-saturated time, and blaming These Days of Modern
Times answered only part of the question.

Then the lovely and talented Stephanie Takeshita set me straight: "...The
problem for the artist in aiming for sheer beauty in his or her art is that
falling short often results in a work of easily-derided kitsch instead."

Aha! methought, slapping the Sherwood forehead. Kitsch! Of course! Kitsch
is the hinge-point in this whole discussion! At what point does beauty stop
being beautiful and become kitsch? ("Something that appeals to popular or
low-brow taste and is often of poor quality," according to the Big Dic,
which dates the word to 1925--which is just about exactly right for our
purposes.) And this is where I began to solve my problem of historicity. I
remembered who it was in the past who had hashed out this question--the
generation of artists that were most directly affected by the horrors of
the First World War. These artists, who included the Dadaists and
Surrealists, directly asked the thitherto unnecessary question, If
modernity and the political status quo can bring about something as
inconceivably evil as World War I and trench warfare, what is the use of
beauty? Is "beauty" (read, "kitsch") not simply a tool of the war-machine
and the oppressor classes that "inspires" the cannon-fodder to sacrifice
themselves before the machine gun and mustard gas? In light of this, should
we not seek the beautiful in the obscene?

Given this progression (perhaps the very central obsession of artists of
every kind in this here Dying Twentieth Century), and noting the imminence
of my Very Favorite-est Holiday (that's April Fool's Day, not Easter), I
hatched a little prank as a sort of _gedankenexperiment_ for people in the
throes of debate over Beauty and Its Uses. Zip over to, pick
the goopiest, kitschiest E-Greeting they had, deface it with gibbering
Surrealist sloganeering, sign it with the names of two artists who would
never in a million years *dream* of sending such a greeting, and off to
Chalkhills with it. All in a Surrealist's (or perhaps better, a
Neo-Expressionist's) day's work: "recontextualization" of iconic figures,
jarring juxtaposition of "beautiful" and "ugly" imagery, disregard for
bourgeois sensibilities, confusing misdirection of cultural signifiers--but
wearing (I *thought*!)  enough red noses and fright wigs to tip folks off
that this was not what it appeared to be--Ceci N'Est Pas Une Pipe, as the
man once said.

I'm prepared to call the experiment a crashing failure, apologize to
anybody whose feathers got ruffled, and Move On, as the current expression
goes. An April Fool's joke that nobody gets is no joke at all, and I'll
just have to do better next year. I will blow a cheerful raspberry to the
folks who feel the thing was in bad taste: Show me a piece of Surrealism in
*good* taste and I'll show you...kitsch.

Harrison "April Fool's gags will be impulsive or not at all" Sherwood


Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 15:14:24 -0800 (PST)
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Rhythmic Peppers

dieling <> asks:
>Does anyone actually understand how the line "River of Orchids" fits in
>rhythmically in the rest of that song. I feel it starts somewhere between
>the second bar (assuming it's 4/4 which might be wrong) and any other bar,
>I don' know, its pronounciation and intonation sounds like it had to be
>starting on the 1, but like someone moved it around on the harddisc
>recording program window.

If you count the beats starting with the first syllable of "River" it
works out to eight beats, or 4/4 (or something, my music theory
knowledge is nearly nil).

1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8
Ri  -  ver of or  -  chids  wind - ing my way /  Want to
Walk   into   London on my  hands  one    day

Completely straightforward.

>Same with Greenman, the intro woodwind bit is not starting on the 1 of the
>rest of the song, how does it work ? Anyone knows ?

This is exactly the same as on "Wake Up".  The first note starts on
the "and".  Count "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and".  So if you start counting
on the first note of the melody you're actually half a beat off.

	-- John


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 18:12:52 EST
Subject: An XTC Novice's Impressions of "Apple Venus"

The week AV1 arrived, I received e-mail from a friend in Homer Alaska
begging me for some musical recommendations. I had a copy of AV1 shipped
immediately, and have made a convert. I know we've had a thousand reviews
posted, but I found it interesting to hear the perspective of someone who
is listening to XTC for the first time. Here is the latest e-mail I
received from her:

An XTC Novice's Impressions of "Apple Venus"

"River of Orchids": closely recorded water droplets syncopate with
orchestral pluckings, cool! Strange, nothing ever seems to fall on the
beat. Trumpets!  Voice! Lots of triplets! This feels as if it's in some
exotic time signature, 5/4, maybe? or--gasp!--9/12? but no my foot keeps
patting out 4. Wonderful voices, strong but breathy, masculine and sexy
like Sting. I like this bouncy, bubbly synthesis.

"I'd Like That" is so charming and happy, innocent, traditional rock like
younger Beatles, but better. What a fresh, sunshiny line: "I'd smile so
much my face would crack in two/ then you could fix it with your kissing
glue." Not much orchestral complexity here, it feels so youthful and easy,
like I'm free and joyful on a sunny day, riding bikes with my sweetie down
a country lane--it's a pastoral! There's no trace of irony or bitterness;
it's a great expression of youthful love.

"Easter Theatre" is the track of the disc, the song in which the farthest
extremes marry. Complicated rhythms, far-flung pitches. Relentless
syncopation in the trumpet and strong voice on top of an equally relentless
downbeat. It gets increasingly disjointed, building to an uncomfortable
tension just before the bridge, where there is a sudden, glorious
resolution, softens, becomes feminine, buoyant--and that trumpet! Upright!
On Pitch! Certain! Triumphant!  so happy, happy! I'm at a circus, riding
the Ferris wheel, dizzy with joy, but then, thankfully, the voices melt
soothingly over me like cheese, stilling my sensations under a thick,
healing coat. "Easter in her bonnet/ Easter in her hair"-- fabulous
line. So moving, the highs and lows, the rushed transition back into the
melody. Dway-do-wipp-di-do, dway-do-wipp-di-do," a charming finish. This
track pretty much pushes all the relevant buttons, providing a rich
listening experience.

The voices in "Knights in Shining Karma" are pure, strong, and airy. I like
that. The lyric, "Jealous winter sun/ cold like vichyssoise"--arresting,
but what does it mean? Jealous sun (?)  like a cold potato soup?
Hmmm... Haunting melody, though.

"Frivolous Tonight" is catchy and easygoing, very Beatlish; the melody is
instantly committed to memory. Reminds me of reading about audiences
humming Mozart's melodies in the streets after his performances. That's how
one could tell a hit in the days before recording.

Ah, "Greenman"! my favorite. It's so full, so meditative, and maybe a tad
humorous with that funky bassoon sound and something twanging in there. I
love its Peter Gabrielish rhythm. It sounds like the Ganges in its
undulating, distorted symphonic passages and lush cymbalic/tympanic
climaxes. Its like a funky score for "Ghandi"--these guys have a lucrative
future in scoring films if they so choose. I like the combo of Indian
meditative tedium (which is energizing rather than tiring in its repetitive
rhythms and seeming directionlessness) and driving rock. Is something
vaguely Irish in there, too?  a mandolin? This is good sound-soup.

Groan, this dictionary song...great melody, but such angry, resentful
lyrics.  Unlike any other song in this collection, most of the words are
clear, so there can be no mistake that this guy is really mad at some
woman. Listening to this is like witnessing the severely personal outburst
of someone I don't know, I feel embarrassed.

"Fruit Nut" is Beatlish, agreeable, but not especially noteworthy, to me,
in comparison to the spectacular reaches of the other songs in this

I love the masculine voices and full orchestral textures of "I Can't Own
Her."  What a build-up to "swirling sky"--chill-city! Full blaring lows and
trilling highs, a flock of birds suddenly lifting off over a great pool of

"Harvest Festival" with its broad, symphonic sounds and resigned beat would
have been a fit conclusion on this disc. We hear people take their chairs,
a few coughs, then silence before the song starts like a ceremony. It's a
wedding, but so sad, so unutterably sad!! What can be worse than watching
your true love get married to someone else? Yet one must accept
facts. Great lyrics: "Harvest Festival/ What was best of all/ Was the
longing look you gave me/ That longing look/ Across the hymn-books and the
canvas chairs./ The longing look you gave me/ That longing look/ More than
enough to keep me fed all year." I am in love with the man who wrote those

After the explosive sadness of "Harvest Festival," I don't want to hear
anything else, especially not the funeral dirge of "The Last Balloon." This
is the saddest waltz I've ever heard. So much sadness is not
healthy. Finish me with lift, with hope! Give me a reason to live, for
crying out loud. Yet it is good, ending with a violet-blue, Miles Davisish
trumpet passage. Did XTC really have to end it like this? I feel like I've
been wrung through a wringer.

Overall, what is exciting, I think, about this CD is that XTC has all but
fulfilled the synthetic promise of the White Album or Sargent Pepper's,
which attempted cross-cultural depth and modern art with patched-in,
added-on classical instruments, Oriental embellishments, and "found"
sounds. But where the Beatles were pastiche, here we finally have
integration, something new.  It's not really rock anymore, it's more
complicated and mature. This music feels like the future.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 17:56:19 -0500
From: Ian C Stewart <>


for all the respondents in the THE DAMNED "Fun Factory" thread (and
others, I suppose): I have
The MP3 just finished uploading... it's at

You may need to experiment with opening Winamp first and opening the
file from there, or just downloading the entire file first. When I tried
to stream it, it was choppy as hell and unlistenable, so just do
whatever works.

TECHNICAL NOTE: yes, I uploaded an MP3. However I am not the person to
ask technical questions of. If you need to know anything at all about
MP3s, please go to or any other such site. I am not
the man!
My record player is kind of fast and this single is  a little warped,
but you definitely get the picture. I'd actually forgotten how great
this song is. You can always tell when a Damned song is GREAT as opposed
to just being good: Captain says "all right" at the beginning.

Ian C Stewart
xtc videos? Aw yeah baby:


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