Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-200

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 200

                    Sunday, 9 May 1999

Today's Topics:

           Excuse my French/Extra album tracks
                    Re: Lennon Towers
              Re: From Genesis To Revulsion
Labouring Lennon Again (so scroll through if you're bored)
            smartest monkeys and dullest posts
                 RE: Lennon in the 'Hills
                        The Demos
                      Abusive Comedy
                       Yes, really!
                    Queen and Ice Cube
                      beatles vs...
                   funeral arrangements
                  Re: Traduise pour vous
                     Vinyl Settlement
            Colin-lust and other nagging items
             Traduction : faux pas/faut pas?


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Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 18:29:10 EDT
Subject: Excuse my French/Extra album tracks

>Hi all,
>I joined the Chalkhills talks a few weeks (maybe monthes now) ago and
>despite some ununderstandable things for a frenchman like me (just like the
>"british vs US tv shows" debate) I quite enjoy it.
>Why am I writing you right now ? I don't really now, expect the fact it's
>sometimes a bit "embarassing" to receive all the messages without sending a
>single word... There's so many times I had something to say about
>something... but I'm too bloody shy, probably. And my english is not that
>good, that's another great reason.
>Anyway, here I am. And just like one of my compatriot on the precedent
>digest, here are some of my thoughts. And yes, Romain, hurrah for the

  Fear not, your English is better than some so-called Americans I've met
in Vermont, 'dere. Les emigres Quebecois qui demenage de chez eux par ici,
pi aussi ses enfants va misprononcier ses noms...And far better than my
very rusty French.

>1- For me, the trouble with Nonsuch is the lenght of the record. Nonsuch is
>really too long. It's a big problem in those CD ages : today, you look lazy
>or stingy if you only give 40-45 minutes of music (which was what we had on
>most of the vinyls). With such "rich" songs just like the Nonsuch ones were,
>I guess 45 minutes would have been great. When I'm listening to the 63
>minutes (and 17 songs !!!!) we had, I feel like if I ate too much chantilly

  I don't have that problem with Nonsuch, because every song has a reason
for being there, I'd be hard pressed to know which songs to cut to bring it
down to 45 minutes. Only "Smartest Monkeys" for certain, maybe "Crocodile"
or "The Ugly Underneath," otherwise everything fits to these ears. As for
the problem of the CD versions of Mummer and The Big Express, for example,
I'd be more comfortable putting the extra tracks at the end to preserve the
continuity of the original LPs, as the recent Velvel rereleases of klassic
Kinks albums did so well. That way if I want to hear the extra tracks I can
skip to the end or let them play after the main attraction is over. In
XTC's case the extra tracks were left off for a reason, most likely because
they didn't fit the feel of the album. It's a little muddier with, say,
Drums And Wires, though, because there's several different versions of the
album I know of, depending on whether you're used to the American,
Canadian, British, or any other version. I never knew "Life Begins At The
Hop" wasn't on the American version(I have the Canadian), and I can't
imagine the album without it.  Definitely one of Colin's best songs.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 18:29:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Lennon Towers

>To me, Lennon towers over any political figure, and stands above all other
>artists (not too high over some, mind you, but still above). He
>successfully communicated a unifying spiritual worldview in both political
>and entertainment context, and showed through example that creativity,
>kindness and love are the most powerful, most persuasive forces at our
>grasp, and he (alone and with the beatles) encouraged us to experience that
>for ourselves.
>In my mind, a no-brainer. John Lennon, musician and person of the century.
>Burning with Optimism's Flame (sparked in Andy in part by John, I'll bet --
>the optimism, not the song), Will J

  Musician very likely, as a person, debatable. His Stupid John period
around '73-75 during his separation from Yoko, going to parties in LA
with a tampon stuck to his head. Charming. And if you asked Julian,
you'd get a picture of a man who basically abandoned his older son as
a small boy and only attempted half-hearted reconciliation in the last
couple of years of his life. Too little too late, IMO. Maybe I'm as
biased on the subject of John Lennon as Tyler is about Ab Fab. My Dad
was just as much of a shit when I was growing up, after all, so maybe
when a father neglects any of his children voluntarily it just strikes
too close to home.

  So don't try to tell me John Lennon was anything close to a saint. I
don't buy it. Great musician, sure. Lou Reed, John Cale, Van Morrison
and Ray Davies all also have a rather checkered reputation on the
personal level, but I buy their music because they all have more
talent than I have in my index finger.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 18:29:15 EDT
Subject: Re: From Genesis To Revulsion

>PG *DID* walk right out of the machinery. He could have stuck it out with
>the Genesis roadshow, made himself a mint, and become a joke. Instead he
>put himself and his career on the line again and again, and proved that he
>is his own man. (Not to mention his support for WOMAD, Amnesty and many
>other causes).
>There - I think I've calmed down now.

  I second that, upon looking at a recent photo of myself I can't help
thinking I'm becoming a candidate for the Phil Collins lookalike
contest, only with hair. As for PG, my only regret is he hasn't come
out with any new albums since '91, but at least he hasn't been
inundating the airwaves with sentimental crapola like Collins. I've
rediscovering Genesis lately, having found Trespass, Nursery Cryme,
And Then There Were Three, Duke and Abacab on cassette at the local
used music place for a dollar or two and From Genesis To Revelation on
CD for three dollars. Interesting history lesson. The stuff with
Collins fronting holds up surprisingly well, it wasn't until the mid
80's around the time of No Jacket Required(uh, make that no talent
required)that he started the slide into the banalities we know him for
today.  Each of his solo albums was progressively worse than the last
one, I think the turning point was when he came off the drum stool
more regularly. I'm especially fond of And Then There Were Three and
most of Duke, makes me think that Steve Hackett was actually the weak
link in Genesis, as talented as a guitarist he is, he never quite
seemed to fit somehow. That's why I found it interesting listening to
FGTR and Trespass, to speculate how they would have sounded if Anthony
Philips had stayed. His guitar sound sounded more incorporated into
the band's sound, but they were still trying to find that sound when
he was in the band. Imagine if he'd stuck with the boys he grew up

  XTC content- I find it interesting that Dave is covering Supper's
Ready.  Another incredible shrinking band! Maybe Genesis could use a
permanent guitarist.



Message-ID: <001b01be98d8$de7c5280$c8e1abc3@vucqprlj>
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Labouring Lennon Again (so scroll through if you're bored)
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 23:27:03 +0100

The Lennon thread will rightly run out of steam soon, but a few more points
about the comments of Tyler and Dunks on digest 5-197:

Can't agree with Tyler that Stravinsky or Guthrie changed the world.  Can't
see that either of them brought pleasure to millions, conquered the world's
affections, changed fashion, attitudes, and made their form of music
serious for the first time.

"98% of rock music is" indeed was roughly the same level of
classical music in Mozart's time (so the scholars tell us).  That doesn't
deny it it's place then, or rock music's now.

Stravinsky's place?  Well I like the Firebird and some of his piano music,
but personally I doubt he'll be considered up with the best in 1000 years.
I guess this is debatable!!  But that's my call on it.  I prefer Prokofiev,

It's difficult to compare Stravinsky with The Beatles and probably
erroneous if it is as a direct comparison.  My point is that the Beatles
are top of their tree and I don't think Stravinsky is of his.  The Beatles
certainly affected the century more than Stravinsky.  Personally, I think
you'll find it difficult to find a whole lot of people to argue the
opposite case.  For instance, I have visited Russia twice (in 1976 and
1985).  On both ocassions I found that all the Russians I met, aged from
16-60 asked to talk about the Beatles when I said that I was English, and
that's before they knew I was a scouser!  As the statue in Mathew Street
says "four guys who shook the world."

I agree about the comments about baby boomers.  Yes they/we are self
obsessed, but I don't see that that changes the argument about music.

I'd "be fine too without Abbey Road", but I'd be less happy without it.  If
you measure happiness created, then across the world, the Beatles score
higher than anything I can think of this century.  They were the great
entertainers of the century and they were also great artists.  I don't mean
saving lives or improving health...I just mean pleasure.  Neither would I
try to argue that pleasure was the ultimate goal of life.  Far from it!  I
am not a hedonist, but I do believe that pleasure is important and that it
is one of the main purposes of Art.  This is also the century of mass
communication and I don't think that anyone did it better than the Beatles.

Bill Clinton's sex life is funny or was for a while.  I can't see it being
that interesting in the future especially outside of America.  It is not
seriously a measure of the culture of this century and it will be
forgotten.  Indeed it should never have been debated so much as it was.  In
France it would have been no news at all.  Politicians and people in power
have always bonked around.

The Beatles were hummable, so was Mozart most of the time (not
Stravinsky!).  Their compositions also have depth and originality.  These
three characteristics mark them out from the herd.

However, I agree with Dunks that Lennon was not man of the Century.  I see
him as a great but flawed man, much in the way of most geniuses.  He was
not a saint, not a man who always practised what he preached and not always
altruistic.  Taken all in all, he did a lot of good things and he was
nearly always honest, even to the point of soul-bearing.  He did a lot of
crazy things, but as someone once said "great men have great faults."
Nelson was vain, Churchill was proud, Mozart was crude and infantile,
Mother Teresa could be a real bully to her nuns, Ghandi was a well known
lecher.  The list goes on.

I stick by Lennon as Musician of the Century, but he doesn't get my vote as
man/woman of the century.  Don't know who would.  That's more difficult
than picking a musician!

Now I know that this is getting as boring as the Sit Com debate.  Back to
XTC next time.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 20:32:59 EDT
Subject: smartest monkeys and dullest posts

 How can you NOT like the way Colin sings  " QUICK, call the Guinness book
of RAYcords".
  EVERY XTC album has its place and time. Theres not a bad song on any of
the albums.Their worst song is better than anyone elses best song.Trust
me.(Even GO2)
  Lets not have a "Whos the best musician?" thread for the next year.I hate
paging down.
 And a Baba Booey to you all!!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 18:21:45 -0700
From: Ken Sanders <>
Organization: Pacific Bell Internet Services
Subject: RE: Lennon in the 'Hills

 Y'know, I think my one of my brothers summed it up best about Lennon
when he said in response to Instant Karma, "It got you."  So now that
I've probably enraged some Hillers hither and yon, I just submitted this
missive to Chalkhills in the hopes that there might be a change to
topics more germaine to XTC,  et al.  Granted, I don't mind the mental
exercises afforded by the recent postings on various topics *excluding
Dom's "Treatise on Heavy Metal".  MAINLY due to the length, mind you..if
I wanted to opine on that topic, I'd send Dom a personal note..and I
ain't gonna, 'cause in the whole scheme of things, my opinion would have
the worth in which it'd be given....freely and I'll stay

I've been enjoying "Nonsuch" lately, ever since I broke through my
personal misgivings about the album *due to the dearth of  airplay of
anything OTHER than "Pumpkinhead" (got tired of it quick, me)*

I prefer to play HUOP, That Wave *simply A-FREAKIN'-MAZING song!*, Then
She Appeared, Crocodile, Ugly Underneath..I'll occasionally listen to
Rook or Wrapped in Grey.

*back to lurker mode*


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 20:16:49 -0700
Subject: The Demos

Regarding the XTC demos:

Are they much different than the finished versions?
Can you hear them somewhere online?
Where do most of ye get them?
Have they been commercially released?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 20:35:25 -0700
Subject: Abusive Comedy

"Abusive comedy".

For me anyway, its only funny if the abusive individual is a joke,
or laughable. Archie Bunker, Ralph Kramden for example.
The exception would be when its clever: Blackadder (even there,
the audience doesn't really like the character).
It does turn me off when the verbal abuse is delivered by a character
we're supposed to like and admire.
That kind of condescension is a turn-off (to me anyway).
  In the previous examples, it's a matter of context, and typically
at the end of the episode, the "abuser" shows his soft underbelly.
(Shows his humanity, etc).


Message-ID: <003701be9918$6fa37240$>
From: "JH3" <>
Subject: Yes, really!
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 01:03:02 -0500

>>[Me:] Despite what certain polls might indicate, several of us Chalkies
>>consider Go 2 to be XTC's best album... I, for one, consider it to be
>>the greatest album of all time...

>???? Seriously???? I mean, okay, *maybe* I can see someone thinking it's
>XTC's best, but "greatest album of all time"? Wow.

But if it's XTC's best album then it has to be the greatest album of all
time by default, doesn't it? [Insert ASCII smiley-face here... but wait, I
meant that sincerely...]

>I don't mean to tell you that I think your opinion is wrong, but I have to
>admit that I'm just stunned by this concept! I like the album well enough
>and all, but geez...I guess I just can't imagine anyone seeing it as being
>THAT good.

I'll admit that some of my reasons for liking it so much are sentimental
and/or personal, but that's probably true of everyone's favorite album.
I probably shouldn't have used the word "greatest" because that
could be interpreted as an objective assessment of it's historical
importance, stature, etc., and I realize that it pretty much doesn't
have any. I just meant it in the Tony-the-Tiger sense.

>Andy himself has admitted it was hastily recorded, and was not
>exactly them at their best, (though Red completely ROCKS!) You're
>certainly welcome to your opinion if you think Go2 is the best of their
>work, I just thought it was like comparing the work of an exuberant
>teenager to that of a mature man...

I'm glad you mentioned that stuff! To me it all comes back to the
idea of "musical quality" being mostly subjective. You could
just as easily argue that hastily-recorded albums are better
because they have more, I dunno, immediacy, and that teenage
exuberance can, in some cases, result in a better album than
maturity and all that comes with it. And as much as it pains
me to say it, the fact that Andy Partridge himself has practically
disowned Go 2 is just irrelevant to me. Lots of longtime recording
artists (maybe even a majority of them) would like to forget their
earlier work, but I figure their opinion of it (relative to their later
stuff) is no more or less valid than that of their fans or anyone
else. Maybe even less so in this case, since Andy also admitted
to not having listened to the album for, like, 10-15 years.

But I do agree with the part about comparing apples to Philips-
head screwdrivers, and I realize it's all just semantics in the end.
So there's no reason for me to get worked up over it. (You're
quite right about "Red", btw!)

John "don't you let them make you" Hedges


Message-ID: <001801be9926$79a647a0$cbb694d1@drude>
From: "Drude" <>
Subject: Queen and Ice Cube
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 00:43:32 -0700

Actually, the name "QUEEN" is in reference to ... uh ... well ... Queen! As
in drag.
The band, especially Freddie Mercury, had a very flamboyant and, yes,
campy, "feminine" look that carried on until about the time of THE GAME
being released, when Freddie went for a more "leather - biker" look. The
band (or at least Mercury) was very popular with the Gay crowd, and Mercury
himself was openly bi-sexual. Many of the songs' lyrics refer to this as

XTC content...

The new (or most recent) single and video by ICE CUBE has an XTC sample in
it, but I can't figure out which song it's taken from. I'm relatively new to
this group, so if this has already been brought - up, please forgive me, but
fill me in if you know the source of the sample. Tomorrow, I'll check a copy
of the CD for a sample credit. Hopefully, I can find out without having to
listen to the whole damn thing!

Do what you will but harm none.



Message-ID: <001901be9935$f09ba080$3dc1f7a5@funtosplamisham>
Subject: beatles vs...
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 05:34:14 -0400

>I'm not
>saying the Beatles were not significant songwriters (they were), but
>they weren' better than Stavinsky. period.

wonderful!  beatles vs. stravinsky...
the beatles were just as fine of songwriters as stravinsky.  different, but
just as good.  too different to compare.
for those who thought bb vs. beatles was stupid, now we have perspective.


Message-ID: <003b01be993b$f76d2cc0$3dc1f7a5@funtosplamisham>
Subject: funeral arrangements
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 06:17:17 -0400

id go out with prince's "17 days" playing, just because its the finest pop
song ive heard yet.  its not particularily sad or sentimental, but i wouldnt
want my funeral to be either of those.


From: "Rat Fink" <>
Subject: Re: Traduise pour vous
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 09:58:56 -0400
Message-ID: <01be995a$ea0735c0$>

I missed the beginning of this thread, but when I saw this post, I couldn't
resist putting it through the previously-mentioned Alta Vista Translator.
Here's the original:

>> >>>  j'ecris l'anglais en le burinant a la
>> >>>  serpe ce qui me laisse peu de moyens de reparties. Cela dit,
>> >>>  n'entravant que pouic quand ca se corse, ca me fait le dos large en
>> >>>  matiere d'amour-propre ecorche

And now, Babelized:

I write English by engraving it has the bill hook what leaves me few means
of set out again. That said, blocking only pouic when Corsican Ca, Ca makes
me the broad matter back of love-clean skins

Thanks to whoever brought this site to my attention.  I think that when my
band puts together it's next CD, I'm going to translate the lyrics into
German or Portugese and back again and make that the lyric sheet!

XTC content:  I don't have anything right now.  So sue me.

Steve Perley

Oh, yeah...If you're in the neighborhood, stop by our new Rat Fink website


Message-ID: <006701be995c$38d9ee80$37f1abc3@vucqprlj>
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Vinyl Settlement
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 15:02:18 +0100

One more comment on ES.  Well said those of you on the vinyl vein!  ES
sounds much better in 4 parts than 1!  It's well thought out in that way.
There's great satisfying ritual in taking out the plastic from that lovely
green sleeve and those great inner sleeves.  The records look good spinning
on the turntable with their oversized numerals and it adds to the emotion
of it for me.  I don't dislike CD at all.  But ES is best on vinyl!


Message-ID: <004001be9968$dd43a900$15bfa0d0@meridith-s>
From: "squirrelgirl" <>
Subject: Colin-lust and other nagging items
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 11:38:46 -0400

Howdy 'Hillians!

I've been out of touch a couple weeks and just finished catching up on all
my digests.  I really can't resist this thread, though a bit belated.

Chris Desmond and I seem to agree in our opinion about Colin.  He has
always been my favorite overall, though I have gone through periodic
crushes on Andy and Dave both over the past 13 years.  Colin has always
*seemed* (obviously, I don't have any authority on the subject) the most
complete to me - great looks, unbelievably sexy voice (gets better with
time, IMHO), soft-spoken, loyal and talented.  Since he and I are both
happily married, it's very safe for me to have my little fantasies about
him, right?  BUT, if he and Carol should ever split, I'll be right there in
line with Chris!

Another place where I've felt the need to insert my two "sense" is that I,
too, implore, nay BEG you, Andy Partridge, if you are indeed lurking out
there, to reveal yourself.  I agree with you, we are all totally nuts here
on this list; why not join us proudly?

One last thing that's been bugging me for ages:  Does anybody know Pam
Moore?  She used to live in Philly; I met her through Little Express and I
spent some quality XTC time with her and her boyfirend (at the time), Kurt.
They moved away back in '90 or '91 and I lost track of her.  Great
homebrewers, they were.

I'd also like to get back in touch with another Little Express pen pal,
Steve Levenstein.  Anybody, anybody?

It's nice to be back...that's all for now.



Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 13:45:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Traduction : faux pas/faut pas?
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalkhillians,

in response to James Dignan's recent post, re: a tentative translation
of Frederic Solans' slangy French on this here list (a translation
attempted, curiously enough, on the Robyn Hitchcock list, as I gather):

>> >>>  j'ecris l'anglais en le burinant a la
>> >>>  serpe ce qui me laisse peu de moyens de reparties. Cela dit,
>> >>>  n'entravant que pouic quand ca se corse, ca me fait le dos large en
>> >>>  matiere d'amour-propre ecorche
>"Normally, when I write English it's graffiti scratched with a knife, so I
>can't get too clever.  When all you can do is 'scritch', it's a bit
>dangerous to take on too much to build up your ego."
>Ross Overbury

Well... Not quite there yet! (Especially in regards to the first sentence,
although it's a nice try; it sure is fun to see a bit of French labored
over like it's an encrypted message right out of an Enigma machine,
though... Pas vrai, Fredo?)

Just so I doesn't seem like I'm gloating over the mishaps in this
translation business (matter of fact, I rather appreciate the
consideration it's been given, et vive les echanges culturels), I'll
contribute a tidbit to the unofficial press kit on "Apple Venus Vol. 1",
namely the sort of welcome the album found in the pages of the four
(yep, you read right, four) "alternative" newsweeklies in my burg.

First off, the one with the biggest circulation -- over 100,000, methinks
-- chose it a few weeks back as its "disc of the week"; not such a grand
gesture, since their obnoxious reviewer-in-chief, who wrote the review,
managed to squeeze in one of the main moronic cliches on XTC, mainly that
they produce "music too clever for its own good", or words to that effect
(now, we all heard that one at least one time too many, right?).

As for the other three, two of them managed to squeeze in positive,
overall favorable reviews, while the third one gave it, if memory serves
me well, something like a 6 or 6.5 out of ten, their reviewer deploring
the Beatlish streak of the album, while simultaneously longing for the
sound of the Dukes of Stratosphear. Not altogether very coherent, I

Well, at least the local rags did their job, and the album seems to be
selling quite well in these parts (look North, ye Americans), so it's back
to sorta lurking and a few more spins of that latest stellar platter.

Hope to be back soon,

Mario Beaulac


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-200

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