Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-185

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 185

                 Wednesday, 28 April 1999

Today's Topics:

                     Boingo & over it
          Swindon Mentioned on the Tonight Show
                  Something for everyone
                 Laugh? I nearly did ...
                     Boston Chalkies
             Another XTC-influenced band....
                      More Green Men
                    RE: New Dave news
                The Donner (Dinner) Party
                 Re: Dave news from Mitch
                XTC Gone From TVT Website?
                    Swindon Roundabout
                    Belew The Belt...
                      more Green men
                   only in Canada.....
           "No Thugs" again & again & again...


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

I pray now / You boys will tire of these games.


Message-Id: <v01540b04b34acd6c44be@[]>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 14:12:08 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Woolfson?

I notice the name Eric Woolfson in the credits to AV12 - is this the same
Eric Woolfson who used to be in the Alan Parsons Project? If so, what
contribution did he make to AV1?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 23:44:25 +0000
From: Brian <>
Subject: Boingo & over it

(*SNIF*) bless me... (*SNIF*)

>Best Concert: U.S. Festival in the early 80's. great show. great line up:
Ramones, English Beat, Oingo Boingo, B-52's Talking Heads, and The Police<

Yeah, I can speak for Oingo Boingo - best damn shows I've ever seen (3
times)... if anyone who would have liked to see them didn't... well, you
missed it.

You truly missed it.



Now that I've got that off my chest...

As you were.

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


Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 23:50:39 -0400
Subject: Swindon Mentioned on the Tonight Show
Message-ID: <>

I'm watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and he mentioned Swindon,
well he mispronounced it.  He called it Swinedon.  I was yelling at the
TV saying Jay it's Swindon, not Swinedon.  I just thought I would mention
this.  Sorry no XTC content.

Molly's Pages


Message-Id: <l03130300b34a950ab1f7@[]>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 00:34:22 +0100
From: MinerWerks <>
Subject: Something for everyone

Some thoughts on other artists mentioned in Chalkhills, and I promise -
nothing about Brian Wilson or the fab four...

First off, to whoever suggested the Owsley album - THANK YOU! Great songs,
catchy melodies... reminded me of Jellyfish, Sugarplastic and (of course)

In Digest #5-183, continued slagging Fiona Apple's "Across
the Universe" cover... I don't know what turned my head on this song, but I
do know the first time I heard it, I was very offended (flashbacks of
Tiffany's vomit-inducing cover of "I Saw Her Standing There" flooded my
mind)... but when I saw "Pleasantville," I actually found the cover quite
appropriate, and I have warmed to the rendition even more since. As for
what "these directors" are thinking about I refer you to the DVD edition of
"Pleasantville" (which I highly recommend) to hear Gary Ross' commentary
where he describes exactly what he was thinking when he chose "Across the
Universe" as the song for the credits. Strangely enough, score composer
Randy Newman had nothing to say about the song on the other commentary
track. And I also liked the music video (sorry Dunks...)

Speaking of DVDs... I noticed the occasional mention of Tom Waits, so I can
safely assume there are some fans here. Well, I also recommend the recently
released-on-video "Fishing With John" series. John Lurie - of the Lounge
Lizards and various indie film projects - did this six part series in 1992,
and in the second show, he went to Jamaica with Tom Waits. The series is a
deadpan takeoff of real fishing shows, and it's completely hilarious - from
Jim Jarmusch trying to catch fish by holding cheese over the edge of the
boat to the narrator chiming in "I'd love a bite of your sandwich." XTC
fans should appreciate this type of show. A DVD of all six episodes is
available from Criterion, with VHS tapes available from John Lurie's site

Lastly, I noticed some mentions of Green Day and Alanis Morissette either
as overrated or deserving of slow painful death in the recent polls...
while I would never suggest that XTC fans should particularly like these
artists, I do feel compelled to defend their status as worthwhile artists
as opposed to commercial hacks.

Seeing Green Day in concert (thrice now, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!)
provided some insight on their approach to their art. While most bands I
have seen in the neo-punk/slacker-exploitation genre wear their stupidity
like a badge of honor (making for irritating performances - and limited
careers), Green Day often masks digs *at* that audience with their toilet
humor and their lyrics. While not all winners, a lot of songs on Green
Day's last two albums show interesting lyrical prowess and musical
innovation in a genre with admittedly limited resources. Take a look at the
other "punk" band that hit it big at the same time as Green Day broke - the
Offspring. Their musical growth has been nil over three albums - unless you
count ripping off the melody of "Ob La Di, Ob La Da" or a weak "social
commentary" on wannabe culture as "growth"....

As for Morissette, I think there's a lot of emotional openness and honesty
in her songs which draw me to her music. Many critics have (unfairly, in my
view) focused on the "bitch" persona of a song like "You Oughta Know" or
the grammatical inaccuracies of "Ironic," while nobody seems to recognize
songs like "All I Really Want," which (to me) eloquently expresses the
confusion of trying "to find a soulmate, someone else to catch this drift,"
as she puts it. I also like the interesting twist on a love song, "Head
Over Feet," where the singer comes to accept and appreciate the previously
declined advances of another. And on her new album, there's a lovely
rememberance of friends and lovers past called "Unsent" that I'd rate up
there with Lennon's "In My Life". Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but that's how
I felt when I heard it!

Now, I don't expect to really convert any of you, but as XTC fans, I can
assume that you'll all take thoughtful commentary on these artists under
advisement before completely dismissing them as sucking hefty moose dung.
And I'll welcome negative commentary back, too (which I suppose should be
kept out of the digest).

By the way - I do have some XTC content. I had the immense pleasure of
hearing "Your Dictionary" on the radio here in the Tampa Bay area of
Florida. A DJ on community radio WMNF 88.5 played the song during a
Saturday afternoon show a couple weeks ago. He called it "the song banned
by commercial radio just because they spelled a dirty word"... the same day
I listened to AV1 at work three times in a row, causing "Harvest Festival"
to grow on me a lot. I am still a bit cold on "I Can't Own Her" and "The
Last Balloon," though. I've never liked songs in the style of these by any
artist (unfortunately, "I Can't Own Her" makes me think of cheezy
faux-piano adult contemporary music), so it isn't anything against Andy

Later all,
 Derek (


Message-ID: <>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: Laugh? I nearly did ...
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 23:57:59 PDT

Chalkers ho!

Thank you Richard Pedretti-Allen for your 'Band Names' contribution -
'Retardo Montalban' creased me right up!

And yes, we should all thank Captain Beefheart for his unmatched
contributions to weird titles, music, and stage-names. 'Winged Eel
Fingerling' - how can you top that?

Speaking parochially, though, I've always had a real soft spot for the
name 'Mental As Anything' - and they really live up to it! Reg
Mombassa (aka Chris O'Doherty) is one of the funniest musicians around
- I once read a Playboy survery where Reg revealed his greatest erotic
fanatsy to be "having a shit in the bush".


From: nross <>:
>"Anyway... if you like Rolling Stone (the magazine)... then I think I
>can safely say the pairing of Stones vs. Beatles is not so odd...
>The magazine has a set of their own wars... we can all vote...
>but one of which is the Stones against the Beatles... I believe the
>Beatles are wooping Jagger's bum... something like 75% to 25%."

Jagger's bum? What a scary image that is ...

Rolling Stone is such a load of old cobblers. I stopped buying it
about 10 years ago, and moronic features like this do nothing to
dissuade me from the virtue of that decision. Stop wasting your money
and start subscribing to Mojo.

(Finally got the XTC edition! Today at least, a few moments of
happiness ...)

* ---------------------------------

>From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
>Subject: British TV

>So, tell a Yank, what's a good British TV comedy and what's the
>difference, and what's the best thing that isn't being exported?

These examples may be useful for comparison, because the same star
(Rowan Atkinson) and writer (Ben Elton) are involved:

GOOD: Blackadder
Five-star humour. Like Fawlty Towers they kept it brief - only 4
series were made; sharp, witty, bawdy, sarcastic, nutty, great acting,
hilarious characters (Lord Percy rules!), and very clever series
development - the 1st series is set in the Middle Ages, 2nd in
Elizabethan times, 3rd in the Georgian era and the 4th in WWI, giving
plenty of scope for new jokes; plus, the two main characters
(Blackadder and Baldrick) reverse their roles as the series

BAD: The Thin Blue Line
A giant retrograde step into the early '70s, and potently unfunny. It
attempts to eke humour out of the stalest situation imaginable (a
police station), is hobbled by jokes so leaden and obvious even Benny
Hill would have rejected them, and is populated with caricatures that
make Mrs Slocum's character look like it was created by Tom Stoppard.
I call this one "Are You Being Policed?"

As for the best of the more recent stuff: I don't think all of these
have been exported to the US yet; I know Father Ted is yet to be shown
there; and some only recently made it out here to Australia -  but I
would strongly recommend:

- The Fast Show (it's called "Brilliant" in the US): basically a
weekly set of variations on a standard group of sketches - but really
off-beat and damn funny. BTW - once you see it, the various
catchphrases will suddenly make sense of all those mysterious captions
they keep putting in Q magazine. (Mmmm - nice!)

- Reeves & Mortimer: try to imagine Morcambe & Wise - on acid -
performing sketches by Spike Milligan and the Pythons. (This is my 4yo
son's favourite show - he thinks "Le Corbusier & Papin" is the
funniest thing in the world; nothing like a good fart joke, eh?). A
monster - my fave Brit-com of the 90s

- Father Ted: surreal satire about a bunch of lunatic Irish priests.
No description can do it justice. If you can find it, just watch it.
(Word is that an American version is in the offing, and it sounds
absolutely awful)

- Big Train: newish sketch show by the 'Father Ted' team. Not as
consistent as The Fast Show, but some great moments, and weird too.


>Subject: Mrs. Slocombe and her Pussy

>Americans, including myself, like this sitcom because it is humorous!
>Mrs. Slocombe and her Pussy are hysterical!  What's not to like about
>this show...very entertaining...

And this is the same nation that produced "The Larry Sanders Show"? Go
figure. 'Mr Bean' I'll grant you willingly, John, but "Are You Being
Served"? Are all those pussy jokes and the excrutiating gay
affectations of Mr Humphries really so novel to Americans that they
find it funny? That kind of humour is the reason vaudeville died,

Must be a cultural thing - perhaps a phenomenon similar to that which
permits the French to find Jerry Lewis so hugely amusing? Can't see it
myself ...

My position is this - I do not subscribe to the Anglocentric view
which holds only the Brits can really "do" comedy. I don't think
American could have produced "Monty Python" but, equally, I doubt that
Britain could have produced "Green Acres". (And let's not forget that
Spike Milligan main inspiration for Eccles was Disney's 'Goofy'
cartoons). I think America has originated some of the great comedy of
this century. I'm with Woody Allen - a world without the Marx Brothers
would be intolerable. But however much I like American comedy, I can
draw the line with three little words - The Three Stooges.

But don't get smug, you Brits. To those who think *all* British comedy
is better, I need only cite two examples: "Love Thy Neihgbour" and "It
Ain't Half Hot, Mum".

Case closed, I think.

Yours in a white wine sauce, with shallots, mushrooms and garlic,


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Boston Chalkies
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 99 07:54:11 -0400
From: Max Germer <>

A tip to any of you Boston-area fans - a friend of mine told me that Disc
Diggers in Sommerville, MA, has a bin (?) of XTC promos for sale. I'm
unable to make the trip out there someone on this list will get some
goodies out of it. The only specific cd that my friend could remember
seeing was a promo for Transistor Blast.

Good luck!


Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 12:49:13 +0200 (MET DST)
From: Martin van Rappard <>
Subject: Another XTC-influenced band....
Message-ID: <>

Given that probably not too many people on this list subscribe to the Big
Takeover list, I thought it might be worthwhile to repost the following
from that list:

   Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 20:09:56 -0700
   From: Heidi Chiao <>
Subject: Re: The Pills in NYC on Fri. 4/30

I agree, check out this great Boston band!  They are, in my mind, a cool
combination of great artists like The Kinks, early era XTC and The Jam.
They have very strong songs and a crackling energy and power both live and
on record.  It will be worth your time.



Message-Id: <v03102801b34b93619912@[]>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 09:33:31 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <>
Subject: More Green Men

Just got back from the Southeastern Microbrewers' Conference and, to add
more to a largely unrelated thread, there is a Green Man Brewing Company in
Asheville, North Carolina.

To ensure some XTC content, while in N.C. I found a store called Schoolkids
Records and thought, "Cool!  My old Ann Arbor haunt is growing!"  Well,
they have seven store around N.C. and are of no relation to a really great
record store in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  ANYWAY... while there I bought the
Cooking Vinyl release of Easter Theatre which includes the CD version, the
demo version and 13 minutes of Andy (freezing in the shed) talking about
how Easter Theatre came to be.   ...kind of tough to dance to but great fun
once or twice.

Cheers, Richard


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: RE: New Dave news
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 15:17:41 CDT

Ah back for more after a brief absence........
the illustrious MITCH did sayeth, whilst quoting a letter from Dave:

>Expect to see me
>in studded dog-collar and chain by summer's end . . ."

Oh man, I told him not to tell anyone about that! ;)

And I might as well throw a few lines into the band name thread.
There was a webpage up a few years back that had the list of the
weirdest band names, and the two that stuck out in my brain were
Afghanistan Banana Stand and Accidental Goat Sodomy.

PS-John, don't even think about bidding over me for those two Little
Expresses on eBay! (j/k!)

Tis all for now,
Amanda C. Owens
"It seems the thinkers you call greatest are the sort who often fall
ill young or pine away. how can they help but drag the species down?"-
Brad Roberts
XTC song of the day-Knuckle Down
non XTC song-Playing Dead-Crash Test Dummies


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:35:53 -0400
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: The Donner (Dinner) Party

Stephanie says:
>Well, all I can say is, if that was to your liking, check out this
>Donner Party website (and especially the agonized diary entries), at
>Believe it or not, there are Donner Party buffs, who have nothing
>better to do than to study this historical aperitif, visit the actual
>sites, root about for old bone shards, etc.  And I thought "Titanic"
>buffs were sick...

Interesting you should bring that up. Some friends of mine from college
wrote an entire rock opera about the Donner Party tale a few years back --
"The Donner Party: Dying to Eat You," or something to that effect. They
actually did a one-time-only performance of it at a party, complete with a
cast of friends singing the various parts -- needless to say, the audience
was hungry for more...

Dave Gershman


Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:49:17 -0400
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: Dave news from Mitch
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9904271640500.5939-100000@esun2028>

I hadn't any inclination to purchase Dave Gregory's CD -- until you
relayed that he'll be covering "Supper's Ready".  You didn't have to tell
*me* what that song is!  I could sing it in my sleep; I know the words by
heart.  It's a treasured part of my extensive collection of early Genesis
vinyl.  I love the flute solo, and the three bells that lead into the last

I'm guessing Dave's version will be more like Phil's live version on
Seconds Out, than Peter's original on Foxtrot.

Doesn't matter; I'm looking forward to hearing it.

("No sig for you!")


Message-ID: <001701be90f2$640b4c60$a8f645cf@mabrey>
From: "Andisheh Nouraee" <>
Subject: XTC Gone From TVT Website?
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 17:10:33 -0400

Does anyone know why XTC isn't on TVT's web site anymore? Let's complain!

Hotlanta Andy


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 17:22:42 -0400
From: Paul Duncan <>
Subject: Swindon Roundabout

Hello Chalkers,

	I am compelled by coincidence to post a note regarding the Swindon
roundabout posted by Jeffrey Thomas.  I too had the same experience way
back in 1984 when I was travelling in Britain.  I was even then an XTC fan
and I had bought the newly released Big Express there and played it over
and over in my travels through Britain.  I happened to be in Swindon as my
sister lived near there and that was the closest train station.  It did not
occur to me at the time that I could investigate XTC's roots in Swindon, I
merely passed through there from time to time.

	However one day I rented a car for part of my stay there and I
picked it up in Swindon.  Little did I realize that when one rents a basic
model of car in Britain, it has be manual transmission.  As a person whose
main experience with changing gears was on a John Deere tractor on my
Uncle's farm in Ontario, this was rather nerve-wracking.  I did not want to
admit my incompetence so after stalling several times, with my legs
shaking, and the clerk who rented the vehicle coming out to to inquire if
there was a problem, I managed to manoeuver the vehicle into the road going
the wrong way on a one-way street.  After realizing my mistake I somehow
got going in the right direction, grinding gears all the way, and very
shortly found myself in (I'm assuming) the very same roundabout previously
alluded to.  I did as Jeffrey did, I was not about to try to change gears
too frequently, so I just braced myself, perhaps even closed my eyes, and
sailed right through this gargantuan multi-layered roundabout with
surprisingly little resistance, only a few horns, fists waving, and some
quaint English colloquialisms thrown my way that I didn't quite

	I had been thinking of this recently while reading some of the
recent responses to the roundabout queries and then someone else brings it
up!  Coincidence?...I think not.  Not directly XTC related I realize but
Big Express was probably playing frequently on the car stereo, perhaps even
at the very moment I went screaming through the circle, a lucky talisman
maybe.  By the end of that first day I became much more competent with the
gears but the next time I rented a car I made sure it was automatic.  I
currently, however, drive a car with a manual gearbox and XTC still playing
on the stereo.

			Yours in XTC
					Paul D.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 17:28:47 EDT
Subject: Belew The Belt...

OK, so maybe I'm letting myself in on a discussion that I know nothing
about (I've been away and haven't checked the group discussion in
sometime), but it sounds like someone was knocking Adrian Belew. Although
some of the early Crimson stuff was pompous (yes, even the first classic
album--although the music and the wit saved it), it frequently could
transcend its limitations.

Fripp's 80's version of the band with Belew was probably one of the best
line ups. Belew, although not a brilliant lyricist, is more than
adequate. As to the music and playing, well can't question that. He's a
brilliant player.  Period. As to the David Bowie track he "ruined" it seems
to me Bowie probably got what he was after since he was the boss.

As a songwriter Belew has the same influences (power pop, etc) Andy and
Colin. If you check out any of his solo albums or the CDs he made with The
Bears you'll find an uncanny resembence to .....XTC.

In fact the last version of Crimson was a weird attempt to meld early
artrock, mainstream rock and the lessons Fripp learned from Eno & Talking
Heads (while playing with both). OK, now that I've got that off my
chest.........curiously I forgot what I was going to say.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 20:10:11 +0100
From: The Larsons <>
Subject: more Green men

Hi Chalkfolk,

I'll add to the growing Chalkhills catalog of Green Man pubs
by mentioning that I had a pint (of Theakston's, for the sake
of completeness) at the Green Man that is directly across the
street from the Gt Portland Street tube station, in the
vicinity of Regent's Park.

If anyone is doing the "AAA XTC Tour of Britain" - after they
visit Uffington Hill they should also drive north to Yorkshire
and take in Fountains Abbey which has a very fine Green Man
carving on the outside of the east wall of the nave.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 15:14:51 -0700
From: "Brent Dougans" <>
Organization: BC Tel
Subject: only in Canada.....

Up (over... around...) here, the phrase 'boys in blue' is a common term for
policemen.  That is what was intended in the 'No Thugs' song.

Incidentially, Tenpole Tudor was / were (whatever...grrr...) a great band /
group.  Buy the 2 CD set on Recall an enjoy some great music.  You get all
the B-sides too.


Where did XTC receive their first 'gold album' for sales and for which LP

Answer :    Canada for 'Drums And Wires'.

I once saw a 'Drums & Wires' sales award on the wall of a radio station
here that used to play 'Making Plans For Nigel' when it came out.  It was a
hit in Canada back in 79/80.

Why do you think Canada got the '5 Senses' EP and that
every so cool 'Love At First Sight' 7" with the 3 live cuts....
Kind of a little reward of sorts.

Please correct me if I am wrong. This is what I recall.

Haven't read any of the books on the band.


wow.... look.... some XTC content....

oh..  'Apple Venus Vol. 1' has been mentioned on the David Sylvian list
several times....


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 18:57:57 +0000
From: Brian <>
Subject: "No Thugs" again & again & again...


Hey, this is interesting:

Where once I claimed that my interpretation of the lyrics was the
correct one, it now seems that everybody else is claiming to be right,
and I'm the one doing fanciful interpretations.

The irony.


Oh, and Dom, since we've never had a word to say to each other about
ANYTHING on this list, I'd that that cuss-whipped response to what I was
saying on the subject as the first thing you've had to say to me about
it was way out of line, DUDE... or should I stoop and use another, more
decorative nickname for ya?

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


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-185

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