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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-161


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 161

                   Monday, 5 April 1999

Today's Topics:

             Live At The World Cafe - Listen
(no XTC) OK, OK, don't tell me, I didn't follow my own advice
                    Colin gets jipped!
             XTC's influence on Nixon's Head
                       Jules Shear
                         Re: Roky
                    Re: taste in music
              I have always been here before
               CHAMELEONS UK update: no XTC
                  string pizz laid bare
            Bull With the Golden Guts at E-bay
                         Pedantry
                     RE: Vichyssoise
              eh, what did you say sonny???
                   Some thoughts on AV1
                Hamill, Fripp, Stranglers
                     Re: Sgt. Pepper
                   Re: Little Green Men
                      Re: Unabomber
                        Vichysoise
                   River of Bore, kids
                Herne's Apple Venus Tales

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Life goes on after the show.

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

Message-ID: <19990404030151.75329.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Hank Tomczak" <htomczak@hotmail.com>
Subject: Live At The World Cafe - Listen
Date: Sat, 03 Apr 1999 19:01:51 PST

I've posted the World Cafe interview in Real Audio at:

http://www.angelfire.com/nj/hankt/xtc.html

It's an excellent interview - Andy making fun of my great state of New
Jersey! I've cut the music out to decrease the download - no in-studio -
just album cuts anyway.

Hank

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

Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 22:03:19 -0800 (PST)
From: Benjamin Lukoff <blukoff@alvord.com>
Subject: (no XTC) OK, OK, don't tell me, I didn't follow my own advice
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.990403220009.21099C-100000@locutus.alvord.com>

>This has absolutely nothing to do with XTC, so I apologize for the waste
>of the bandwidth, but I hate seeing incorrect corrections.  The man's
>last name is spelled Kaczysnki.  Be sure you yourself are correct before
>you correct others!

It has been pointed out to me that I too misspelled this guy's name wrong
in my correction.  I transposed the 's' and the 'n'...it is Kaczynski.  In
my defense it was the result of imprecise typing (too fast)...I had
double-checked my information before I wrote the post, I just didn't think
to double-check the post itself.

Sorry

Ben

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

Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 23:06:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Misty Shock <mccrtny@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Colin gets jipped!
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.10.9904032303070.15065-100000@saul4.u.washington.edu>

Sorry if someone has noted this, but I was looking at an extremely stupid
book 'bout the greatest guitarists, and for the Andy and Dave sections
they state several times that Andy wrote "Making Plans For Nigel."  And
then they called the lyrics "pithy."  Idiots...

I'll agree with Dan Wiencek in saying that Andy and Colin should sing in
each other songs.  I saying this alone in support of this assertion:

All of a Sudden

Misty Shock
mccrtny@u.washington.edu

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

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

From: STakesh@aol.com
Message-ID: <ebfb159d.2438cf19@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 10:20:09 EDT
Subject: XTC's influence on Nixon's Head

Hi, 'Hillians,

What follows is Salon's review of the "Gourmet" LP by Nixon's Head,
admittedly a band I'd never heard of before.  But I found the descrip-
tion intriguing (for obvious reasons) and forwarded the review to the band;
their frontman Jim Slade wrote back, elaborating a bit on their style and
influences.  And that's all the XTC content in this one....

N.B.:  On his label's website, Jim writes that the riff used in track one
is actually from "Lies" by The Knickerbockers, and not "I Want To Hold
Your Hand".

So, the obvious question:  is anybody familiar with this band, and just
how good/whatever are they?

Stephanie T.
*****************************

Nixon's Head
GOURMET | GROOVE DISQUES

BY DAWN EDEN | When a band kicks off its album with the intro of "I Want to
Hold Your Hand," and keeps pumping that riff throughout the number, the
listener may make one of three assumptions. Either A) the band is too lame to
come up with an original idea, B) they are record snobs, proud to wear their
influences on their sleeves or C) they are record snobs, proud to wear their
influences on their sleeves -- and yet, amazingly, truly have something
original to offer.

In the case of Nixon's Head, the answer is C. Their use of the Beatles riff
in "Saturate," the leadoff cut on "Gourmet," is a statement of purpose. It
heralds a 14-course ear candy pig-out courtesy of some exceedingly choosy
epicures of pure pop.

"Gourmet," the first full-length release from Nixon's Head, marks the return
of the Philadelphia-based group after an eight-year hiatus. In their original
incarnation, they made the world safe for alternative rock with such releases
as the lighthearted EP "The Doug Factor." Since then, they have lightened
their punk edge, moving on to songs that have greater melodic and musical
depth. (A good comparison would be "English Settlement"-era XTC, though that
is due more to shared influences than actual homage.)

There is a refreshing lack of irony on "Gourmet." Admittedly, the more
humorous tracks, particularly "The Loving Finger" (sung by guest vocalist
Dorothy Haug), would in lesser hands be downright embarrassing. Somehow, in
Nixon's Head's care, such songs seem positively wistful. (It helps that Haug
has the clear, unaffected voice of a Pennsylvanian Emmylou Harris.) Although
"Gourmet" may not be, as its cover boasts, "five minutes ahead of its time,"
it can take its place among the sharpest and freshest pop albums since Stiff
Records ruled the earth.

*******************************

Subj:	 Re: Salon review of "Gourmet"
Date:	99-04-02 23:25:43 EST
From:	castells@bellatlantic.net (Jim Slade)
Reply-to:	castells@bellatlantic.net
To:	STakesh@aol.com

Hi Stephanie,

[snip]

As the band's primary songwriter, guitarist, sometimes singer, and (for
recordings only) organist/percussionist/bassist, I'll do my best to answer
your XTC question.

First of all, XTC is one of our favorite bands.  Number one is by far the
Beatles.  Elvis Costello and the Attractions (emphasis on "and the
Attractions") are our second biggest influence.  After that it's a toss-up
among XTC (especially Drums and Wires through Skylarking [the new album's
really good too]), The Who, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The
Undertones, The dBs, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, The Buzzcocks, The Beach
Boys, and The Jam.

The fact that the Salon writer compared us with both English Settlement -
our favorite XTC album - and Stiff Records (original home of Elvis, Nick
Lowe, and other poppier punks) couldn't have made us happier.  I'd like to
think that what we identify most with from XTC are a sense of late-'60s pop
adventurism, a dash of early-70s art rock (eg, Eno), and personal but
somewhat whimsical and hopeful lyrics.  We are obvious devotees of '60s pop
styles without feeling obligated to all the trappings of a "retro" band, be
it of the power pop or garage-rock variety.  Our musicianship and basement
production is more along the '60s lines of the Dukes of Stratosphear than
the masterful English Settlement, but I believe our lyrics share a
plainspoken positive spirit and values with the likes of XTC and the Dukes,
for that matter.  With limited resources, I believe we put out an
idiosynchrantic pop album that gets the hips shaking and keeps one's brain
occupied.  For lack of an easy genre, I call our music "adult bubblegum."

BTW, Frankenslade, a 1989 offshoot band from Nixon's Head (me and bassist
Mike Frank), was a very clear tribute to XTC and the late-60s Kinks.
"X-Ray", a song from the unreleased Frankenslade album, appears on a recent
power pop compilation called Pop Goes the World (RPM USA).

[snip]

Yours,
Jim
 http://www.groovedisques.com

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <9c6e2f9e.2438d5aa@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 10:48:10 EDT
Subject: Jules Shear

>While listening to AV1 for the hundredth time and thinking about
>someone's post on song collaborators for AP, my brain immediately
>shouted "Jules Shear"!
>
>After seeing him play Saturday night for ~two hours, my ears agree
>wholeheartedly (now if he would only get a decent haircut!)
>
>Cheers,
>
>Keith

  That's such a brilliant idea, I wonder why nobody's thought of it. Maybe
it's because Andy doesn't collaborate much, though if anyone could pull it
off, Jules could. They're both about the same age, and he and Andy could
woodshed in his house in Woodstock until they come up with something. I've
been a fan of Jules since Jules And The Polar Bears in '78, even quoted
from one of his songs in my high school yearbook. Didn't even start getting
into XTC until '81. Jules is sort of the Kevin Bacon of pop music,
providing direct connections between those as diverse as The Pursuit Of
Happiness, Art Garfunkel, Ian Matthews, 10,000 Maniacs, Aimee Mann(Aha,
there's an XTC connection right there!), and Elliot Easton, to name a very
few. I even met him backstage after his show in my area last year. Very
amiable and laid-back guy, one of those guys who seems like he can get
along with anybody(even Andy!), which is probably why so many people have
worked with him, besides his skills as a song doctor and collaborator.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <376f4272.2438d5b0@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 10:48:16 EDT
Subject: Re: Roky

>I've often meant to get hold of a copy of the tribute to Roky E album.
>Didn't some great artists appear on it?  Did XTC?  Probably not but if they
>did I wouldn't be surprised.  Other interesting artists who like to make
>challenging music (like Julian Cope and REM, for instance) are certainly
>into them!  I never saw the album so I don't know.

  I have the album; it's one of the few tribute albums I've heard that I
actually enjoy hearing again and again. The only other one I can think of
that I've enjoyed as much is Victoria Williams' tribute album Sweet
Relief.  Figures that both feature relatively obscure songwriters with a
cult following. I mean, I grew up loving Elton John but his tribute album
was lame-o.

  Anyway, XTC is not on the album, unfortunately, but REM(their "I Walked
With A Zombie" is one of only two lame tracks on the album),
ZZTop("Reverberation(Doubt," a faboo version too), T-Bone Burnett, Thin
White Rope are, along with a number of other second-string alterna-pop
type bands who I've either never heard of or haven't interested me enough
to investigate them further, but almost all of them acquit themselves
quite well, doing versions that are faithful to the original without quite
imitating, something like The Dukes only The Dukes went one step further:
they wrote their own songs. I have it on cassette, unfortunately, so
copying it for anyone would result in a significant loss of sound
quality. If you don't mind that, I'd be glad to do it.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <ad63d97d.2438d5b8@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 10:48:24 EDT
Subject: Re: taste in music

>XANADU - MOVIE SOUNDTRACK - Okay before you say something bad, I just
>love this album.  It's a sentimental favorite.  I'm a Olivia Newton-John
>and ELO fan.  Please don't ridicule me because I like this type of music.
> I listen to this music when I'm stressed and I need to lighten up.  I
>bet most of you like certain music artists/groups that you would never
>tell others of liking.
>
>Oh yeah, I also love Sgt. Pepper's and I don't think it's dull or boring.
> It's a great album, but my fave Beatles album is REVOLVER, because the
>songs just are wonderfully written.
>
>That's all for now.
>
>Molly

  That's OK, Molly, I wouldn't go that far myself, but I married a fan of
not only Olivia, but Air Supply, Phil Collins, and Chris DeBurgh as
well. I learned from my wife that some things are more important(like
between the sheets, heh heh)than such a fleeting thing as taste in
music. We share basic values, and that's what's important, and we do agree
on some things, such as the Talking Heads, The B-52's, ABBA(MY guilty
pleasure!), Jonathan Richman and Christine Lavin(the last two I turned her
onto), and I've developed more of a tolerance for much of what I used to
hate with a passion. I used to say horrible things at the very mention of
Livvy's name, now I can tolerate at least a side of Greatest Hits before I
start getting itchy(and scratchy, heh heh). She has what she likes and I
have what I like, and we learn from each other. I have yet to get her to
grok XTC, though; she recognised "Senses Working Overtime" from watching
MTV in high school, and that's about it. She doesn't hate them, but they
haven't made much of an impression on her either, aside from "my husband's
weird music."

  Vive la difference, anyway...I'm never bored with her.

Chris

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

Message-Id: <v03007800b32d3597ab44@[209.242.85.26]>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 09:36:01 -0600
From: John Yuelkenbeck <jy@tomrussell.com>
Subject: I have always been here before

>>>I've often meant to get hold of a copy of the tribute to Roky E album.
Didn't some great artists appear on it?  Did XTC?  Probably not but if they
did I wouldn't be surprised.  Other interesting artists who like to make
challenging music (like Julian Cope and REM, for instance) are certainly
into them!  I never saw the album so I don't know.

I highly recommend the album "Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute To
Roky Erickson." I think it is one of the best of the tribute discs out
there (along with the Merle Haggard tribute "Tulare Dust") because it seems
to somehow hold together well as an album instead of just a collection of
songs by various artists.

The T Bone Burnett track, "Nothing In Return," is an absolutely gorgeous
heartbreaking song that brings up the spirit of another Texas
singer-songwriter, Buddy Holly, as much as it evoke Roky. The R.E.M. cover
of "I Walked With A Zombie" will stick in your head, as does the Judybats
song.

You really can't go wrong with this one. Even ZZTop manages to fit in.
Unbelievable.

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

Message-ID: <3707A9FD.FF3A949E@autoreverse.net>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 14:05:50 -0400
From: Ian C Stewart <ian@autoreverse.net>
Subject: CHAMELEONS UK update: no XTC

Howdy-dudes,

I know there are lots of old CHAMELEONS fans here that are unaware of
recent activities.
MARK BURGESS has a new band called INVINCIBLE. Check out their site.
They have just uploaded their first "internet single," "Dangerous" in
MP3 and I think WAV formats. Great song!
Download 'em! Highly recommended!
http://www.siddibouard.demon.co.uk/

it should be obvious that I don't work for INVINCIBLE... notice the lack
of a snazzy new t-shirt around my neck...
Ian C Stewart
xtc videos: http://www.netwalk.com/~stewart/xtcvideo.htm

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

Message-ID: <3707C615.EF24FB44@mnsi.net>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 16:07:20 -0400
From: Michael Stone <nedrise@MNSi.Net>
Subject: string pizz laid bare

Chalk abouts

in #160, Phil says:
>>From the posts I've read, I've only seen one person get it right on
>River of Orchids - sorry I've got primitive WebTV so I can't go back &
>credit the right person, but he/she pointed out how each section of the
>vocals in ROO begins on beat 2, 3 or 4 (never on 1) over the recurring
>accompaniment.

NOT!   -Sorry, I must disagree.  It's pretty obvious to me that every
vocal phrase begins on beat 1 of the repeating accompaniment.  I guess
we disagree on where 1 is.

Here's how I hear the string pizz  phrase:

                 1           2           3           4
1           2           3           4

high                       F#         G                F#        G
D                        E
part                        D           D                D          D
C                        C

midpart     D          F#          B                       A   G    F#
E    G    F#   E    C

low part          C                  G                C
A                 B

All the vocal parts start on 1(of the first bar) in this version of it.

Stick that in your sequencers and try it out.

Mike

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

Message-ID: <000201be7ed9$53979a80$7882cfa9@dfranson.execpc.com>
From: "Dave Franson" <dfranson@execpc.com>
Subject: Bull With the Golden Guts at E-bay
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 15:25:32 -0500

Hi,

I have the following extremely rare item up for auction at e-bay.

*NEW*, *NEVER PLAYED* XTC BULL WITH THE GOLDEN GUTS CASSETTE

The Bull with the Golden Guts
(A Collection of Andy Partridge Home Demos).

Ridgeway Path; Goodbye Humanosaurus; Space Wray; Rocket; Goosey Goosey; Blue
Beret; Zonked Right Out (On Life); My Train is Coming; Child Crusade;
Difficult Age; Was a Yes (extract); No One Here Available; Don't You Ever
Dare Call Me Chickenhead; Everything; This is the End. North American fan
club limited edition cassette.

CT, Little Express Canada, LE 03, March 1992.

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=86755517

Check it out!

Thanks,

Dave

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

Message-Id: <199904042040.QAA22844@lima.epix.net>
From: "Michael Davies" <miser17@epix.net>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 16:38:27 -0500
Subject: Pedantry

> > >>You're not the only person to feel that way. Many brilliant, intelligent
> > >people disdain technology and go off to live in the woods somewhere. In
> > >fact, we had an infamous one here in the U.S. recently. His name? Ted
> > >Kosinski-the Unibomber>.
> >
> >   That's Kacsinski, kids. I'd love it if we could all pull our cars
>
> This has absolutely nothing to do with XTC, so I apologize for the waste
> of the bandwidth, but I hate seeing incorrect corrections.  The man's last
> name is spelled Kaczysnki.  Be sure you yourself are correct before you
> correct others!

This is getting silly.  It's Kaczynski.  I'm not sure how it's
pronounced, though.  It should be pronounced "Kachinski", but maybe
it's "Kazinski".  I live in an area that had a lot of Polish etc.
settlers, but instead of helping me know how to pronounce names like
that it's confused me because people have changed their
pronunciations in many different ways to supposedly make them easier.
I know people who pronounce "cz" as if it was "c", "z", "cs", "ts",
"dz", and "ch".  Also "ow" is pronounced as if it was "ow", "ov",
"of", and "oh".  I can give a pretty good try on names like
Pasynkiewicz, Blaszczak, Kieczkajlo, Niebieszczanski, Stajewski,
Kosakowski, Burakiewicz, and Zdanowicz, but it's impossible to
correctly guess pronunciation.  I'd probably do a lot better with
natives of the European countries whose names haven't been
Americanized.

Wait, what was I talking about?  Sorry I said all that stuff you
don't care about.  I'm not going to delete it, though.  I'm just
not.

> And just for your info, Mister Bigshot Spelling-Flamer, just because the
> honourable Exteecee mispleled "coherant" doesn't make you Noah Webster! AND
> I QUOTE: when you wrote "there's some history for ya" you mispelled
> YOU!!!!! Plus it's an incomplete sentence!!!! LOL! LOL! LOL!

How is "There's some history for you" an incomplete sentence?

do the bartman,
Michael davies
miser17@epix.net

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

Message-ID: <3707E1E7.D559067C@opal.iupui.edu>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 17:04:23 -0500
From: Kristen Bennett <klbennet@opal.iupui.edu>
Subject: RE: Vichyssoise

>Kristen Bennett wrote that vichyssoise is a cold fish soup, but it is
>not. It is a potato and leek soup that is best when served ice-cold on
a
>hot summer (or spring) day.

D'OH!  Sorry!  I was getting my vichyssoises and bouillabaises
confused.  Guess I shouldn't run my mouth when I don't know what the
hell I'm talking about.  For penance, I shall seek out a bowl of
vichyssoise and eat it all up.  Well, that wouldn't be much of a
penance, 'cause potatoes and leeks sound pretty damn good
actually....Thanks Claudia, and any others who corrected me....

Kristen

"Now, by the world, it is a lusty wench; I love her ten times more than
e'er I did:
O, how I long for a chat with her."    Shakespeare, TOTS

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

Message-ID: <3707E757.BEA12F2F@gte.net>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 14:27:38 -0800
From: Randy Hiatt <rhiatt@gte.net>
Subject: eh, what did you say sonny???

My responce to the question:

"we were trying to find out who the _oldest_ member of
the list is. So c'mon, all long-in-the-toothers out there,
'fess up."

Though I should be far from the oldest (46) I bet I'm in the
top 1/3.  My teeth are short but does grey hair get me bonus
points?

As a side, I met Mitch (of Seattle) who posted a request to
join an XTC tribute band.  Though I'm "too old for that" we
hit it off well and may get something in the can for the
next Chalkhills effort.

Randy (we don't need another Seattleite) Hiatt
http://home1.gte.net/rhiatt/index.htm

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

Message-ID: <19990405004642.66340.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "kevin donnelly" <kevin_j_donnelly@hotmail.com>
Subject: Some thoughts on AV1
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 17:46:39 PDT

I managed to beg the money to buy AV1, thankfully, so here are my
initial thoughts on the Work: I like it a lot (like I like Nonsuch) but
I don't worship it (like I do English Settlement and Skylarking). I
don't think it's radically different from anything that goes before it,
but is rather a logical continuation of the development begun with
Mummer, away from the constraints of the three minute pop piece (ie into
the orchestral style). For me the outstanding track, in its own right
absolutely astonishing, is Green Man. This track seems to me to carry
with it the psychic mythology of Englishness, perhaps achieves what XTC
have appeared to look for for years (down from Senses WO to In Loving
Memory, past Sacrificial Bonfire and through King for a Day). It
contains so much of the country life ( take in the country air/ you'll
never win), and resounds a spring day's walk through my village.  I find
River of Orchids and Easter Theatre, though I adore them both, very
Nonsuch like. Your Dictionary perhaps captured too much pre release
attention: it's not really like Dear God in either quality of polemic or
quality of music (I like it though).  Colin's voice seems to have
changed in the last five years, as if it's matured like a fine Scotch
whisky in a barrel. I love Fruit Nut, a lot of fun!
Well, as I said these are only preliminary thoughts, and it feels damn
good to be talking about new XTC for a change.

Kevin

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <b2c887da.243983f9@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:11:53 EDT
Subject: Hamill, Fripp, Stranglers

>Apparently Fripp also jammed with The Stranglers when Hugh Cornwell was
>in jail for a heroin bust.

  Not only that but Peter Hamill sang lead in Cornwell's place for about six
months. As far as I know there's no recorded instances of this, but I did
read it in a major national magazine(probably Trouser Press). I would have
loved to be at one of those shows, being a fairly avid Hamill fan(I don't
have all his albums, but I'd say I have about half, which is quite an
accomplishment considering how many he's released and how sporadically
they've been available stateside), though I find The Stranglers' work
frustratingly uneven.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <b10a70c.24398406@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:12:06 EDT
Subject: Re: Sgt. Pepper

>From: Micheal Stone <nedrise@MNSi.Net>
>Subject: Pepper Steak
>
>Chalk bots
>
>To continue the "Sgt. Pepper" thread, here's some of my mind blowers. In
>some sort of chronilogical order.
>
>Blood Sweat & Tears -4
>         -the best album by the greatest horn band of them all

  I'd go with 5 this week(besides XTC, I still have a hard time
keeping Apple Venus out of my CD changer):
1. Blood Sweat & Tears- Child Is Father To The Man
-David Clayton-Who? Al Kooper fronted the only lineup of BS&T that ever
interested me, a fine collection of songs that effortlessly melds
Beatlesque pop, blues and big-band horns like it's the most natural thing
in the world.  David Clayton-Thomas, who replaced him on the second album
and made himself and the band loads of money with fake-jazz/rock/bluesy
covers of Lauro Nyro and Carole King and the odd band original and his
over-the-top gravelly voice. They were still interesting musically,
though, whenever Clayton-Thomas shut up, and on "Go Down Gamblin'" on 4 he
actually impressed me with some genuinely bluesy singing worthy of Gregg
Allman or Kelly Jay of Crowbar.  Otherwise the guy gives me a
headache. I've met longtime keyboardist Fred Lipsius, hell of a nice guy
and more responsible for the more creative aspects of their sound than
casual listens to their hits realise. 4 does have its moments, I must
admit.
2. Love- Forever Changes
  This album sounds like a band at the end of its rope, and main
songwriter Arthur Lee has never been able to come up with anything as good
in the thirty-plus years since it's been released. Interviewer: When did
you realise when you were doing too many drugs? Arthur: When they ran
out. Arthur's in jail, second songwriter Bryan Maclean and bassist Ken
Forssi are dead, and the rest of the original band members have
disappeared; one became a photographer and changed his name to distance
himself from his past. Kinda scary, isn't it?
3. The Beach Boys- Pet Sounds
  The work of another brilliant tortured soul, and the one album he
participated in, Beach Boys or otherwise, that fully realises his
potential as a songwriter and arranger; next closest is Smiley Smile, then
both his solo albums, then isolated songs here and there on subsequent
Beach Boys albums. You're on your own folks, it gets messy and
frustrating. I'd love to put together an album of all his good songs that
The Beach Boys did since 1970.
4. Big Star-Radio City
I've had this on LP for years, but I finally found it on CD with their
first album #1 Record which I've never owned. Heard side by side I still
prefer Radio City, it has a lot more rough edges yet hangs together well
thanks to the solid drumming of Jody Stephens and the dependable bass work
of Andy Hummel. #1 Record is a solid piece of work but somehow sounds a
little too perfect. Their posthumous last album, Big Star Third, which
features only Stephens and remaining songwriter Alex Chilton and a host of
Memphis sessionmen to try to turn it into something saleable(they didn't
quite succeed), is an even more brilliant piece of work, but one I'm not
always in the mood for, it's got some jaw-dropping writing, but the
performances are rather disjointed in places and songs often don't quite
begin or end properly, like they were going to fix it later and never did.
5. The Raspberries Collection.
I'd recommend their last album, Starting Over, but this one collects at
least four songs from all four of their albums, and leaves off only a few
of the good ones from the last two and picks the best from their first two
more uneven albums(they started as very poppy and sugary for the most
part, and matured into a quite impressive and still commercial amalgam of
Free/The Who/The Beach Boys on Starting Over). I hated the first album
except for the hit "Go All The Way," but the material from the second
album still sounds like one of the better American Beatles impressions
around, and their progression into a harder sound on their last two albums
still sounds fresher today than many of the pop-metal bands they
indirectly inspired in the 80's(Ratt, Poison, Enuff Z'Nuff, you get the
idea), to say nothing of main frontman Eric Carmen's solo career, about
which the less said the better. I used to have all four albums on vinyl, I
might just look for Starting Over again.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <83876621.24398416@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:12:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Little Green Men

>Got this catalog in the mail a couple of days ago (I get way too much
>junk mail) from 'Gardener's Supply Company'. Mostly yard decorations,
>with a few actual supplies towards the end of the catalog. Anyways, I
>was thumbing through it and found, on pg. 54, an 8x10 inch limestone
>Green Man for $39.95. It looks a lot like the examples from churches
>I've seen on the web. The catalog description reads "The Green Man is a
>playful spirit that reminds us of the connection between human and plant
>life".
>They have a web page-www. gardeners.com, don't know if the green man is
>on the web page or not.
>Oh-I don't work for them or anything, just thought you might be
>interested.

  Interesting. If that's the same company, they're right here in Burlington
Vt, where I work. In fact, they're clients of my company. It probably is
them, because I know they have a catalogue they send out, though I didn't
know they sent it nationwide. If my printer weren't on the fritz I'd print
this post out for their receptionist next time I'm down there, though I could
just e-mail them with the post above quoted.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <ecff6b8c.2439841d@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:12:29 EDT
Subject: Re: Unabomber

>This has absolutely nothing to do with XTC, so I apologize for the waste
>of the bandwidth, but I hate seeing incorrect corrections.  The man's last
>name is spelled Kaczysnki.  Be sure you yourself are correct before you
>correct others!

>Ben

  You're right, I suspected as much after I sent it; mea culpa.(I spelled
THAT right!) Can't take it back after it's gone.

Chris

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <92b9c558.24398424@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:12:36 EDT
Subject: Vichysoise

>Hey Maus, Vichyssoise (sp?) is a type of French fish soup.  I guess it's
>notable in the soup world for being served cold....

  It's actually a potato soup; it may occasionally have a bit of fish stock
in it but I've never noticed it when I've had it. It's been served
occasionally in French restaurants in Montreal my parents took me to when I
was growing up. I didn't like it, I prefer my soup hot myself. Actually, I'm
not real crazy about French food in general...

Chris

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

Message-ID: <000a01be7f28$eca97320$d63c883e@pbn-computer>
From: "Adrian Ransome" <ade@ruhruh.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: River of Bore, kids
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 06:54:39 +0100

Dear Mr Chalkhills

Had Mr Partridge written a song called "River of Lettuce" where he
instructs us all to '..push the steak from your plate.." no doubt this
mailing list would be chock full of earnest 5-page dissertations
about the merits of vegetarianism.

with respect,

Adrian Ransome

"...just like a hotdog,
you're garnished with onions & mustard - Mmmm!"

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

Message-ID: <37087B09.6DA579FC@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 01:57:47 -0700
From: KenL <herne@earthlink.net>
Subject: Herne's Apple Venus Tales

Greetings there Chalkhills and all the ships at sea,

Right about when Apple Venus came out I decided I would stop reading
Chalkhills so that the reviews would not taint my first impressions of
the album.  Well truthfully I didn't stop reading it but I did start
skipping the reviews.

Despite being an XTC fan for nearly twenty years, my listening
experience was to be different than ever before because I've never had
this much information going into an album (i.e. how the recording was
going, what songs meant, Dave leaving, promo efforts, etc.) And being a
part of Chalkhills, the strange and wondrous "meadow" as Andy has called
us.  Did everyone read that interview(the Jam interview in toronto,Mar.9
in the archives) in the archives where he said that.   For those who
haven't read it, I strongly recommend it.  In fact I would say it is
MANDATORY.   It sheds a lot of light on our favorite subjects.  Probably
because a lot of the questions came from fans.

Well anyway.  I went to buy the cd on opening day(i.e. feb.20ish) but I
was thwarted.  When I arrived at Aron's Records here in L.A., I found
out that it had sold out.  They only had it available in vinyl!  Now
how's that for a switch?  So I picked up the vinyl.  I ran into a friend
who claimed he could get me the record signed by Andy in Chicago because
a friend of his was going to go the Borders signing.  I was somewhat
lukewarm on the idea because the whole point of getting a signature,
which is something I never do usually(save for Elvis Costello in 1981),
is that you get it while you're meeting the person.  But since I
probably wasn't going to be able to attend the L.A. signing, I said what
the hell.  On the off chance that the vinyl got destroyed in transit, I
picked up a second copy.  My friend took my other copy to Fedex to
Chicago where hopefully it would be signed.

I went home and opened the vinyl and was truly taken aback by the lack
of packaging and the lack of lyrics.  Why bother with the gatefold I
wondered?  Oh well.  I then made a decision which I'm sure you'll all
find odd,  I decided not to play it.  I have two cats and they like to
run rampant through the apartment.  Often on their way to wherever
they're going, they like to step on my turntable.  They have recently
cracked the cover of it.  Actually they've done lots of XTC related
damage around here.  One has gnawed on my vinyl copy of Psonic Sunspot!
And a beautiful Nonsuch poster I found in New York, which I drove all
the way across country in the trunk of my car, got ripped when they were
running around.  They somehow managed to knock it over from where it had
been leaning(it was still rolled and in plastic) and in the process
ripped a hole which went right through three layers of paper.  Right
through the gold XTC lettering.  I was so furious.  More at myself for
not having put the poster in storage yet.  Heaven forbid it wouldn't
cross my mind that it would be destroyed by wild animals..

So after all that, I didn't want to take the chance of the new LP being
a casualty and since I was in the middle of several film shoots anyway,
I wouldn't have time to hear it properly.  So in a new height of
masochism, I waited.  As if seven years wasn't long enough.  Plus I had
never heard the demos.  All I had heard was a few snippets on Cooking
Vinyl's web site, which left little impression.

A week later, when it became definite that I wouldn't be going to the
L.A. signing, I just happened to be talking to my brother in New York.
It suddenly hit me that since he only lives a few blocks from Tower, he
should go to the signing.  Unfortunately, he had to work during the
scheduled appearance.  If I had known the lads were going to stay for so
long after the scheduled time, I would have had my brother go after work
and get me an autograph or something.

Ultimately, I struck out on the XTC signing tour.  My brother couldn't
go in New York.  I couldn't go in L.A. and the person in Chicago had to
leave the line because it took too long.(Yeah I know, but her companion
didn't care).

Maybe it's better that I didn't meet them.  What would I say anyway?

"Ummmm.....like gee.  I think you're like...god or something."

Oh well maybe for Apple Venus 2.  As for why I missed the L.A. signing,
I was at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen where a short film I had
produced was being showed in the film program.  So I had to go because
it's supposedly a big f**king deal.  My partners and I didn't become
instantly famous but as consolation I got to stay in the Rockies, talk
with Steven Wright for 45 minutes about New England and why it's better
than L.A., and meet Bobby Farrelly (dir. and fellow Rhode Islander) and
have him apologize to me for bagging on my home town (Barrington---they
called it Boring-ton in the film)in There's Something About Mary.  I
told him it was okay because we used to call it Borington as well.  He
was a nice guy and he seemed to want to have a chat but press people
were pulling at him.  A little more time and may have occurred to me to
ask him about the Peter Pumpkinhead cover on the Dumb and Dumber
soundtrack.   Oh well.  The only record store I could find in Aspen was
Sam Goody.  They had Apple Venus for $17.99 which was a wee bit too much
so I had to wait longer.

Back in L.A., I had to go to the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade, a
local open air mall, on business, so I brought a few cd's to trade.  I
remember reading here that someone named Elisabeth on this list works at
a record store down there.  Maybe I'd run into her.  I didn't know which
store, so I didn't ask anyone.  If she's reading this, which store is
it?  Anyway, I found Apple Venus in a shop and bought it.  The first cd
I bought for retail (i.e. not used) since who knows when...just so you
know I did my part.  Again with the non-packaging.  Just a cover card.
Shocking!  A big letdown after the beautiful art direction of Nonsuch.

That night... Approximately, mid March, the night Amanda called Andy a
C-U-N-T in her dictionary on this list, I finally heard the album.

Keep in mind, I have not heard the demos.

Here goes:

River of Orchids---First impression was bafflement.  Many of the XTC
albums have had one truly "challenging", of for lack of a better phrase
"f**ked up" song. Travels in Nihilon(which I love...now) for example.
This is it.  This song could have been on Lure of the Savage.  It is a
true oddity.   I can't even imagine what the demo sounds like.  It's
interesting but it's a nut I haven't yet cracked.  It's kind of like I
ZIMBRA at the beginning of Talking Heads Fear of Music.  You're stuck
with it and therefore you adapt.  Not to say that I don't care for it
but...well it's a tad too O SUPERMAN for me if you know what I mean.

I'd Like that---Now the album really begins.  I really like this song.
"Really high like a really high thing, like a sunflower"  Simple yet
brilliant!  And an accurate description of my state of mind at the time
I first heard it.

Easter Theater---That emotional rush I used to get years ago when
listening to XTC is back.
"In her bonnnnettttt".  Whew.  I wasn't sure it's a single candidate but
I like it more every day.

Knights in Shining Karma---This is a big favorite of mine.  It gives me
the biggest "rush".  It seems to be getting lukewarm responses around
here but I love it.  I read that Andy wrote this song to cheer himself
up after all of his personal traumas.  Incredible!  This is a pretty
well crafted, complex, emotional tune.  This is what makes him feel
better?  This song alone is proof of Andy's genius.  It evokes all sorts
of things from the aforementioned Beatles' JULIA to Frank Zappa's IDIOT
BASTARD SON.    Really...Listen and compare.

Frivolous Tonight----Colin's songs on Nonsuch sounded like naval
gazing.  Less than earth shattering observations about nothing
important. ( Maybe I'm wrong.  I've been meaning to give Nonsuch a
serious reappraisal.)   Well he's back in form on this gem.  This is one
of his best EVER.  And I don't really know why.  It sounds like a
Gilbert O'Sullivan outage from 1972 sometimes but it's just great.  I
really do wish XTC albums had more of his songs on them.

Green Man---Wow.  A song about me.  Herne the hunter, Celtic god of the
hunt.  The Green Man.  Okay not really.  But anyway...Many see this as
the climax to the album and that it belongs at the end.  I don't know
about that.  I kind of like it where it is.  It has echoes from a lot of
their other stuff  from Mummer and a little bit of Across this Antheap.

Your Dictionary---This is the true single but of course it's content
will keep that from happening.  Lots of times profanity can get in the
way for me lyrically.  It doesn't offend me, it just gets in the way.
But not this time.  Ouch.  Memo to everyone out there.  Don't break the
heart of a genius.

This is the song where reading Chalkhills has had the most effect, or
one the most damage, depending on your point of view.  Despite being a
fan of longstanding, I don't tend to get to obsessed over lyrics and
what they mean.  Often times I never know what they mean.  And it
doesn't matter.  But this time I knew ahead of time what this was
about.  Fortunately this knowledge didn't get in the way of my enjoying
the track.  Unlike Funk Pop A Roll for example.  Incidentally, after
this current batch of songs (Apple venus 2/Fuzzy Warbles) I think a
moratorium on sings about suffering in the music business may be called
for.  I think you should only be allowed one.    They've had several.
Brilliant as they are.  Enough already.  We know it sucks being in
corporate music hell.  But trust me there are worse places to be.

Fruit Nut---Colin's version of  Rick Nelson's Garden Party?  Who knows?
I like it though.

I Can't Own Her--- or "the Love theme from Apple Venus Vol. 1" My choice
for the climax of the album.  It didn't get to me until after several
listens.  It's just beautiful.  It could be a single in the US cause it
would fit along side Celine Dion and Whitney Houston...except that it
wouldn't be drivel.

Harvest Festival---I don't have any breathtaking observations about this
one but I do like it.

The Last Balloon---Not the epic album closer it wants to be but great
nonetheless.  Though there are moments where it threatens to sound like
Chicago.   I wouldn't have been surprised to hear "I was walking down
the street one day...A man came up to me and..." Well you know the
rest.  I think it's just the orchestrations.

Then, abruptly in my opinion, the album is over.  It seems a really
brief  50 minutes.  And I have to wait till 2000 to hear part two?  No
fair.  Overall impression?  I think it's the best "whole album" since
the Dukes lp.  I play it at least twice a day, which is something I can
honestly say I don't think I've ever done in my life with an album no
matter how much I like it.

It's late and I have jury duty in the morning so I'll wrap it up.  My
Sgt. Pepper will have to wait.

Cheers,

Herne

np----Apple Venus Vol.1...needless to say.

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #5-161
*******************************

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