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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-188

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 188

                  Friday, 30 April 1999

Today's Topics:

             Knight of Shining Bruce Cockburn
              Schoolkids is almost no more.
                    A Visit to London
            This morning with David not Peter
                Re: Apple Venus vinyl ...
               Re: Tablas Working Overtime
             Squeezing Bacharach by the Nuts
                     Transistor Blast
                   Re: Partridge Power
                    Re: Easter TheArte
                 Easter Theatre CD single
      M-O-L-L-Y pronounced TARGET in our DICKtionary
                  Re: Behind the ET tray
          Re: May You Live in Interesting Times
           "Three's Company" and Wired Magazine
                  "Philling" in for Dave


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Well my friends all said / You won't sink if you paddle.


Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 06:16:32 -0400
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Knight of Shining Bruce Cockburn
Message-ID: <>

For those who don't know Bruce Cockburn he is ...
Check out his record on Cooking Vinyl @


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 05:44:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Schoolkids is almost no more.

Richard P. mentioned in the last chalk.

>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,

I am very sad to report that Schoolkids was evicted from their store on
Liberty St. in Downtown Ann Arbor,last summer. Some sort of a building
project going on. They have secured a small space in the basement of a
T-Shirt shop on State Street but their stock is pitiful. I tried to
pre-order Transistor Blast there last fall and I got a big question
mark from the owner. He had no clue it was even coming out. This is
from the store where I bought all of the UK versions of the XTC CDs as
Imports way before they were released here in the US. It really is a
sad fall to a great store.

They have basically ceased operations and are just selling off there
old stock.

All of you music buyers out there take heed. If you enjoy your
independent Record shops then buy from them and only from them. Tower
and Virgin do not need your money, they have enough of their own.
Independent shops with good stocks and knowledgeable sales staff are
getting rarer. Find one today and tell em Schoolkids sent ya.


Jon Rosenberger
The Mole

PS Wazoo is still up that long ugly flight of stairs though Richard so
the town still has some integrity.


Message-ID: <0325F31466C9D111A76D00A0C99DD2691BE837@MSXCHNY2>
Subject: A Visit to London
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 09:32:13 -0400

Not much XTC content.

Hiya, Chalkhillies,

My wife and I are visiting London next week (from New Jersey). I'm very
interested in the beer over there (Real Ale?). Don't care for lager. Not
into stout much. More into Bitter. Anyone out there have any preferences
for any kind/brand? How about pubs. Any recommendations? We don't want to
do any of the after hours joints with loud, crappie-fashion show-catwalk
music.  Just good ale and pub grub. Mail me privately. All suggestions
welcome.  We're also getting a car and and driving to Wales. So, we'll be
stopping by the great chalkhill. I just want a picture standing in front of
the foot or something.

Dom L.-Don't you ever leave this group! I usually print out these digests
at work, and read them on my dreary commutes home. Your posts have almost
always put a smile on this grumpy old man's face.

Same to you, Molly. What the hell would everyone write about if you should
ever stop posting?

Thank you for allowing me this time.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 15:44:35 +0100
From: chris <>
Subject: This morning with David not Peter

Just to add to Dunks' otherwise splendid list of British TV comedy that
Americans should look out for: 'This Morning with Richard not Judy',
quite possibly the best programme, let alone comedy, made in the last
ten years. However, it is also one of those programmes that if you try
to describe you make sound like the unfunniest thing ever, so I won't
bother. Suffice to say I have no idea how they manage to get the BBC to
show it on Sunday lunchtime.

Also, thanks to Mitch for the Dave information. A cover version of
'Supper's Ready'? Possibly the best song ever ? This had better be good
(and don't say it's got to be because it's Dave..if that sort of
argument were true Elvis Costello would still be making good records




Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 04:38:40 -0400
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Re: Apple Venus vinyl ...
Message-ID: <>

Message text written by Robert.D'
>Just in case anyone is interested ... a vinyl copy of AV1 can be had from a
>record store in Port Chester, NY ...
>send an e-mail to Jeff ... ... he said the price is: $25
>including shipping ...

also available from Cooking Vinyl


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Tablas Working Overtime
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 16:38:52 -0400

> Time Signatures are only divisible or a multiple of the numbers 2 or 3, on
> the upper number of the signature, which shows the number of beats.  The
> bottom number is only divisible or a multiple of the number 2.

Well, you're half right.  The bottom half, anyway.  There are plenty of
time signatures where the top number isn't divisible by two or three (Peter
Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" in 7/4, Jethro Tull's "Living in the Past" in
5/8, etc., etc.).

-- Francis Heaney

"I walked right out of the machinery."
   -- Peter Gabriel


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 18:10:22 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Organization: Averstar, Inc.
Subject: Squeezing Bacharach by the Nuts

I need to murder those who influenced me. There are some big ghosts
   I still can't get rid of.... Ray Davies just will not get out of my
   house. I have to kill Ray. I have to bludgeon Brian Wilson to death.
   If not kill, I certainly have to squeeze Burt Bacharach by the nuts.

                       --Andy Partridge, The Times (London), March 5 1999

The current issue of the New York Review of Books features a lengthy
essay/review that falls into the Definitely Not to Be Missed category:
Geoffrey O'Brien reviews the Rhino compilation "The Look of Love: The Burt
Bacharach Collection" and "Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach," executive
producer, John Zorn. Luckily for us, the essay's online at

A lengthy essay on Bacharach may sound like a bit of a yawn to those folks
who prefer to jack their Sixties fix somewhere closer to the MC5 mainline,
and I can sympathize. But O'Brien's quite brilliant piece touches on a
whole lot of stuff we frequently skirt in Chalkhills (that is, when we're
not playing a rousing rubber of Flogging the Boy in Blue). Not long at all
before there was a Pet Sounds/Smile/Revolver/Pepper, there was Bacharach
and Hal David, and the line between "Walk on By" and "Oh Caroline No" (and,
for that matter, "Humble Daisy" or "I Can't Own Her") is a thin one
indeed--damned near invisible, quite a lot of the time, especially when you
ignore all the extraneous cultural signifiers (admittedly not easy to do)
and just listen to the music.

The first half of the essay is particularly compelling, a meditation on the
uses and abuses of Nostalgia, and the current iconic worship of the
slightly lurid demimonde we have come to know as Lounge, "the music track
for a lost dream of adulthood set in an alternative Kennedy Era, in which
the man who reads Playboy meets the Cosmopolitan girl on a spring evening
in Central Park and discovers that Romance really exists."

Here O'Brien jabs a few _bandilleras_ into his subject, on the topic of the
Bacharach Revival, and comebacks in general:

> In such a process, the myth of the original career is amplified by
> the myth of the return, each step of the comeback charted as part of
> a legendary progression: years of glory, years in limbo, years of
> triumphant rebirth. The past is symbolically brought into the
> present, so that through the contemplation of Bacharach and his
> music--not as museum exhibit but as living presence--latter-day
> devotees can gain access to a realm of lost bliss. By a
> back-derivation typical of pop revivals, the fantasy glamour of the
> original songs is translated into a description of the era in which
> they originated, as if life in the early Sixties had been a
> live-action Dionne Warwick song, with deft periodic accentuation by
> oboe, xylophone, or celeste.

A few stylish veronicas with the cape--the irresistible lure of Sleaze:

> Permissiveness is the key here. The listener is encouraged to
> surrender to music that not so long ago might have been defined as
> the Other, the enemy, the counter-counterculture, but at the same
> time he is left free to distort or reimagine it in any way that
> suits. History in this sense amounts to little more than a crowded
> closet from which, with a bit of scrounging, useable bits of fabric
> or costume jewelry can be salvaged.

And finally, the matador's blade finds its mark, in this virtuosic
formulation, a thought I have intuited over and over with increasing
urgency over twenty years of adulthood, but have never been able to

> Irony quickly becomes a dead issue: finally you are left alone with
> your ears. Either you get pleasure from listening to Martin Denny or
> the Hollyridge Strings, or you don't; the only variations are on the
> order of how much pleasure, repeated how many times. Irony meets its
> double, banality, as the alienated contemplation of schmaltz merges
> with the unrepentant enjoyment of it; or doesn't quite merge, the
> mind clinging to a detachment in which unironic enjoyment is almost
> successfully simulated. You get all the pleasurable abandon of
> sincerity with none of the heartbreak.

*Whew!* Give the boy two ears and a tail, and break out the Dean Martin
LPs!  Martinis on the house!

We are once again treading, here, the breastwork surrounding the question
posed in Chalkhills a little while ago: "why has everyone rejected the
Beautiful?" Our Swingin' Swindon Bacharachs have put out an album that is
unabashedly and unrepentantly Beautiful, a record that for all intents
seems to be aimed at precisely the same ganglia as those tickled by Dusty
Springfield or Dionne Warwick. How very strange to think....

Next time you put on "Apple Venus," listen to your heart as your heart
listens to "Harvest Festival," when whatever-it-is wells up along with the
rush of strings behind "the swirling sky" in "I Can't Own Her," when "The
Last Balloon" wends its melancholy way toward the acceptance of the
inevitability of death: Is what you are feeling "ironic"? "Detached"?
"Alienated"? Was "unironic enjoyment almost successfully simulated"?

Now try some "alienated contemplation" on "Do You Know the Way to San Jose"
or "This Guy's in Love with You": what precisely is it that's different
about that experience? Here's the thing: We fail to remember (either
through ignorance or lack of empathy) that not very long ago at all--within
the lifetimes of most of us--Bacharach songs spoke quite eloquently and
filled a very palpable and immediate need for a large, vital and potent
audience. Who the hell are we, wattles flapping, crows-feet like canyons,
to sit smug in our condescending "ironic" enjoyment of "old people's
music," archly appropriating cute signifiers like martoonie glasses and
cigars? *Old* people?

> As the decade moved forward or downward, these ballads inevitably
> became emblems of the part of the Sixties that was not about youth,
> of those listeners who still aspired toward some kind of sleek
> adulthood, modern and liberated but never sloppy; who coveted nice
> suits, hairdos with architectonic grace rather than the free flow of
> the "natural," all the artifices of comfort, the rituals of air
> travel, whatever evoked the big dream of the modern, as if the
> twentieth century were a reverie best indulged "while you're
> lounging in your leather chair."

I submit that, after thousands upon thousands of surrenderings to "music
defined as the Other, the enemy, the counter-counterculture," we have
finally reached a moment of perfect cultural stasis, of radical equality:
In Apocalyptic 1999, when both Marilyn Manson and Henry Mancini are brought
to us by Seagram's, no music is any "better" or "worse" than any other
music--there no longer *is* an Other. And after all this time, after what
seems like hundreds of variations on the theme of Counterculture have
uselessly waxed and waned...the Counter-Counterculture, c'est nous. We have
finally crossed the Great Divide.

We have become our parents.

Harrison "Short back & sides, Murray, and try to get a little more
architectonic grace into it this time" Sherwood

PS: Happy Birthday, Duke Ellington! A hundred years old, and still going
strong! Here's ten bucks! Get some lunch for the boys!


From: "Damian Foulger" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 17:59:13 -0500
Subject: Transistor Blast
Message-Id: <>

I've just realised where Transistor Blast got it's name from.  Most of
you probably know, but I don't remember seeing it on the list.  It's
from the lyric of This Is Pop!

Also, KCRW have realaudio archive with an hour interview with
Messers Partridge and Moulding done in march this year.  Head to:

Actually, KCRW have some really rather fine interviews available.
You can listen to the funniest man alive, Eddie Izzard there.  Well
worth a visit.

Dames tWd

-- Waiting for AV2


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 23:13:05 +0100
From: Jon Holden-Dye <>
Subject: Re: Partridge Power

In article <>, Nigel Doran
<> writes

>With the good seargent holding my hand, I made my move, and it
>worked! Cheers Andy, youre an inspiration.
>Have any other fans had any life enhancing experiences because of
>an XTC track

Well, Nigel. As it happens, I'd been a card-carrying Mafia hitman for
over twenty years, until my mum locked me in the broom cupboard with
nothing but a Walkman, 5,000 AA batteries, and a C90 filled with "Melt
The Guns". Need I say more ?

But, seriously, in answer to your question. No.
Jon Holden-Dye
"I like to keep an open mind - but
not so open my brain falls out." (Anon.)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 01:06:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Easter TheArte

Dear Chalkers,

XTC's ambassador to Australia Paul Culnane remarked:

> There seems to be some kind of artwork behind the disc tray on the
> Easter  Theatre digipak.

there certainly is... so you noticed it too

> Has anybody taken the plunge to steam the plastic tray
> off to find out what's underneath?

nope, but it looks very much like the (center of) the peacock feather
to me

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 19:45:31 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Dave Hughes <>
Subject: Easter Theatre CD single

I was listening today to Partridge's explanation of how "Easter Theatre"
came about from the the ET CD single when I realized something that I had
almost forgotten...this man is a musical genius.  I almost enjoyed the
explanation more than the song itself...

BTW, it was good to have all of the lyrics for ET printed inside the cover,
now if I had access to all of the lyrics for all of the songs on AV1, I'd
be a happy Chalker!  Anybody have all of the lyrics?

Also, when is the "I'd Like That" CD single coming out and will it be
similar to the ET CD single?  And, is there rumor of a third CD single?

Finally, AV1 is still getting major airplay on my radio show, with "I'd
Like That" and "Green Man" the most played tracks.

* --------------------------------------------
Dave Hughes
Host of "Late in the Evening"
Nebraska Public Radio


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 17:38:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: Nonesuch........

someone wrote:
>At least, I say, it didnt outright suck, like Nonesuch, which, to this
>day, I am sad to have to admit, I play periodically, trying to find
>SOMETHING I like, and fail.

Well, I'm ready to come out of the closet here and admit the same
thing. I've been an XTC fan since 1980, own everything the've done,
love most of it, yet just can't get it up for Nonesuch. This isn't an
issue with recent work-I love Oranges & Lemons, and think that AV1 has
some of their best work ever. A few individual songs are ok (Rook,
Books are Burning), but to listen to it as a whole leaves me flat. A
month or so ago someone posted here recommending putting Nonesuch and
AV1 together in the cd player and hitting random pay. Well, I tried,
but everytime a song from Nonesuch came on I got all annoyed and ended
up taking Nonesuch out and just listening to AV1.
I've tried to figure out why I don't like that album, but I really
can't come up with anything, other than not liking the production at
all. Thats usually not enough to make me stop listening, but in this case...


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 20:33:29 EDT
Subject: M-O-L-L-Y pronounced TARGET in our DICKtionary

In Digest #180, said of MOLLY'S
FIVE MOST OVERRATED ACTS IN HISTORY (mind you, there's not even an X in his
posting, let alone any XTC content)...............

<<(Any answers that said there were only four acts in the
"Five Most Overrated" section don't count, because this isn't a
contradiction - it's just an adding mistake or something).

By the way, Molly, this isn't a personal attack...BLAH BLAH BLAH, YADA YADA

Dear Shit-Don't-Stink C'hillers and other RESPECTABLE Angry Young Men,

I think I found the 5th!!!!


1) Backstreet Boys
2) Mariah Carey
3) Whitney Houston
4) In Sync
5) Iain.Murray

He also said.......

<<By the way, Molly, this isn't a personal attack ; but there might be a
case for checking your posts before you send them (I think it's been
mentioned before, but it doesn't seem to have worked.....).>>

I also think it's been mentioned to lay off Molly and keep to XTC content,
but I guess that doesn't seem to have worked, either.
It really saddens me to be a part of such a well-versed, intelligent,
XTC-loving group and then have to read a lot of careless 'personal attacks',
oops! I mean, 'mentions' (how come as we personally attack Molly we first
say "it's not a personal attack"? I've noticed this 2 or 3 times, recently)
of a fellow fan. What do we prove by this? Do we really need to laugh at
someone else's expense?
This is my third posting addressing cruelty in 2 1/2 years (second
regarding Molly). I could have posted many many more times. Is there anyone
else (I know there's one, because you privately emailed your support) who
feels like I do? Speak up! Let's stop the Molly-bashing before I go
POSTAL. There's enough ignorance in the real world. Somehow, I thought XTC
was a little above that. Obviously, some people just don't get it.

Lost in The Garden Of Earthly Delights,

Paul :-(


Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 19:50:30 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Dave Hughes <>
Subject: Re: Behind the ET tray

At 09:58 AM 4/29/99 -0700, Paul wrote:

>There seems to be some kind of artwork behind the disc tray on the Easter
>Theatre digipak.  Has anybody taken the plunge to steam the plastic tray
>off to find out what's underneath?  Or does anybody know what's underneath
>anyway?  Obviously, I don't want to risk finding out with my copy!

I saw it too, and it just looks like a miniature colored feather like on the
cover of AV1.

* --------------------------------------------
Dave Hughes
Host of "Late in the Evening"
Nebraska Public Radio


Message-Id: <v01540b06b34eebcda001@[]>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 17:13:33 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: May You Live in Interesting Times

>Time Signatures are only divisible or a multiple of the numbers 2 or 3, on
>the upper number of the signature, which shows the number of beats.  The
>bottom number is only divisible or a multiple of the number 2.
>Therefore, since 17 and 39 are prime numbers, and can only be divisible by
>themselves or the number 1, they are not a part of the time signature.
>Unless you were joking, that is the fact Jack!

sorry, but this is not the case. 5/4 and 7/8 time are both quite common.
The bottom number has to be a power of 2 (4 and 8 are the most common), but
the top number can be any whole number you want (within reason).

Some examples in odd times: 5/4 - Living in the Past (Jethro Tull). 7/4,
Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel), and The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul (erm,
Ruben Blades? ;)



Message-ID: <7792192DE506D2119A6100A024F0274A22A35D@PIMAIL>
Subject: "Three's Company" and Wired Magazine
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 13:36:46 +0100

Back in 5-184, asked:
> Why do Brits like "Three's Company" and "Facts of Life" so much?

Er... I've never heard of these programmes and I watch or am aware of most
trash that's shown - after all we only have 5 terrestrial channels.  Maybe
you've been talking to some of us who are staying up late and watching too
much cheap, time-filling TV.

XTC Content:
I don't think I've seen it written here (for some reason I didn't get 5-182)
AV1 is featured in the May edition of Wired (the techie mag not the music
one), page 170.  A somewhat short and lyric-heavy paragraph (lots of Fruit
Nut) but they only ever review stuff they like.

That'll do for now... I'm off to lunch.

"Egg! Like a bird's egg!" Pliny


Message-ID: <>
From: "Joe Funk" <>
Subject: "Philling" in for Dave
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 06:33:41 PDT

>BTW - to add a little XTC content : Colin has always flatly denied >that
>this English Roundabout was inspired or even 'triggered' by the
>infamous Swindon roundabout. Not even the peculiar rhythm ( 3/6 or
>4/6? i dunno.. i'm not a muso)

...It is in 5/4 time.

Also, in response to Mitch's news on the upcoming Gregory recording: Who
will sing vocals on "Suppers Ready"? Who will play drums?  Dave isn't going
to sample all of Phil's parts from "Foxtrot", is he?  Apocalypse in 9/8
(featuring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchett), is Phil at his best
(except for with  Brand X).

Anyway, as Narcissus is turned to a flower.....

"A Flower"?!

Jomama Gambleputy de von ashfern crascrebon........of Ulm!


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-188

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