Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-201

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 201

                   Monday, 10 May 1999

Today's Topics:

                    Re: New Age on VH1
                        Tom Waits
  Various responses to bits of Chalkhills Digest #5-197
              regarding bonus tracks on cds
            From the Mouth of the Man Himself
                     Apple Venus VOL2
                re: Out of the woodwork...
              Son of Can You CD Difference?
          Return of the Son of ... ah, forget it
 Heavy Metal Thunder, a little XTC and Crash Test Dummies
                      XTC in Vermont
                 Re: The Story of English
                     Musical Lifespan
                         A Saint?


Hey folks, can we get back on the topic of XTC?  We've been straying
quite a bit lately and I'm starting to get complaints.

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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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When their logic grows cold and all thinking gets done.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 19:59:38 -0700
Subject: Re: New Age on VH1

>I assume "VH1" was intended as "AV1."
>I REALLY HOPE that "New Age" was intended as "New Wave."

Ack! Ye got me!
What can I say except:
Long, hard day at work (exhaustion).
Premature senility.
I should chek mye spelling an kontent mor offen.. :)
'umble apologies Chalkies!

 Sitting in corner with dunce cap,
  - Stoopid


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 05:34:13 EDT
Subject: 1,2,3,4,5..

I must confess that I know very little (read absolutley nothing) about the
band XTC.  I was fortunately able to strain my memory banks  just enough to
recall something about name...3 letters .

Apparently, I had heard one of the band's songs years ago.  Well, to cut to
the chase as they say, I recently had a dream which was extremely (I won't be
too silly + say "ineffably") beautiful--but you get the idea.

I found myself in a vague--it was a dream afterall--but wonderful place..or
was it a feeling..but it was something, yes, spiritual. And all the while,
like some magical mantra which contained all of the love and beauty there
could ever be, I kept hearing "One, two, three, four, five...senses working
The strange beauty that those few notes expressed were causing me to weep
with joy...while I was silently laughing inside.

Whoever these blokes in XTC may be, they're rather special.

Good luck,

Bill S.,


Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 16:34:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: "J. Brown" <>
Subject: Tom Waits
Message-ID: <>

Megan Wrote:
>> PS : I've seen the new Tom Waits album get a few mentions here. I
>> bought it last weekend, and it's really good.....
> you think?  I heard it last weekend, and it struck me as kind of a
> re-hash of _Bone Machine_ (eg, "What's He Building?" and "The Ocean
> Doesn't Want Me Today").  I liked _Bone Machine_, true, but after so
> many years, I was hoping for something different.  Anyway, I found there
> was a bit too much of the whole vocal distortion thing, and several of
> the songs just sounded too familiar.  Granted, I could be wrong-- I
> didn't get to listen to it very carefully.  I don't know-- I may just
> like the old stuff better.

Listen again.  I think that the Mule Variations is the ultimate Tom waits
album.  By which i don't mean it is his best but it clearly has a little
bit from every period of Tom's career.  While you are right about some of
it sounding very bone machinesque (Big in Japan, what's he Building)  but
there are also serveral songs that wouldnt seem out of place on the heart
of Saturday night or other early albums (Hold On, House Where Nobody
Lives, Picture in a Frame)  And some somgs that are very
Swordfishtrombonesy like Chocolate Jesus, and Georgia Lee.

I'd go so far to say that Mule Variations is better than AV1 even.
Several of tom's new songs really get to me emotionally whereas AV1 is a
great album none of the songs really gets to me  escept maybe you can't
own her.


 Jason Wilson Brown - History & Canadian Studies - Seattle, WA USA
"Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque" -Paddy McAloon


Message-Id: <>
From: "Tim Parsons" <>
Organization: Oblivion
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 03:23:31 +0100
Subject: Various responses to bits of Chalkhills Digest #5-197


I can't be bothered to carve this up into multiple postings, being
basically an idle so-and-so... sorry about the lack of attributions,
but I'm sure the original authors of quotes will know who they are!

> I think Stravinsky and Woody Guthrie both changed the world, as well.  the
> Rites of Spring triggered the first major art riot of this century, and
> has influenced culture more than you or I can fully realize.

I always regarded Igor as the first punk rocker. :-)  I'm not the
greatest fan of classical music (Mozart /really/ gets up my nose,
and any lover of classical music would regard that as a deeply
treasonous statement) but Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring", "Firebird"
and (to a lesser extent) "Petrushka" are all great pieces of music.

I'd add Satie to the list of greats of this century, however. I'm not
sure that /anyone/ before him managed to make music that could
be funny, as well as often almost visual in its ability to evoke
emotions in the listener. He was /years/ ahead of his time.

> >Rock music will go down as the dominant music of the century.
> Thats probably true, but its a shame. 98% of the rock produced in last 20
> years or so has been a vapid waste of time.

That's probably true of any musical category you care to name.
Many innovators work in many musical genres, and tagging along
on the coat-tails of the innovators are hosts of copyists and
manufactured attempts to cash in on something that's making
someone else money...

For instance, if it hadn't been for the Sex Pistols, the punk rock
thing would almost certainly not have happened. They inspired
many bands (some good, some not) and represented to the record
companies something they could cash in on. Nobody actually
noticed that Malcolm McLaren's assertion that the Sex Pistols
couldn't play was actually garbage, and there was a mad scramble
to sign up any band who could arguable have had a punk label tied
round their necks. There's /no/ way XTC would have got a record
deal if that hadn't been happening, because no-one was signing
bands who didn't work within the well-trodden ruts of 1975-style
music. XTC bloomed, metamorphosed, grew away from the frenetic
style that got them their contract, but for every XTC there were
dozens of bands who /genuinely/ couldn't play, couldn't sing,
couldn't write and, ultimately, couldn't sell records...

> >I don't know. Don't get me wrong, I love the Beatles, but I think I'd
> be fine right now had I never heard Abbey Road.

Maybe. But the influence they had was /immense/. By Abbey
Road they were maybe no longer at their best, but "Revolver" and
"Sgt. Pepper" have had a long-lasting influence on vast numbers of
musicians. Whether you like them or not, their influence is

> I've often wondered about the attitude toward Mummer on this list --
> people generally seem to not care for it too much, but I'm crazy about the
> album. Though I think this has to do with it being the first "new" release
> I bought after discovering the band (that's right, after they stopped
> touring ... stoopid!), I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that
> my experience of it for years and years was via vinyl.

I'd agree with that. I've had the CD copy for about 3 years, but my
vinyl copy was bought when the album was first released, and
several of the songs are inextricably linked with events in my life
back then - I bought the CD copy for the extra tracks (admittedly I
could see why they weren't on the vinyl release!) and because I try
to look after my vinyl - the more so now it's getting so difficult to
find! I like Mummer a lot, anyway, at least as much as "English
Settlement" and a good deal more than "Skylarking"...

> >Despite what certain polls might indicate, several of us Chalkies
> >consider Go 2 to be XTC's best album; we just don't make a lot of noise
> >about it. I, for one, consider it to be the greatest album of all time,
> >by anyone, anywhere, ever. Better than Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds,
> >Beethoven's 5th, Apple Venus Vol. I, you name it.
>  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'd rank it more like the 924th best album of all time, give or
> take a couple of positions.

FWIW, I like Go2 too. Not my favourite XTC album, for sure, but it
has much to recommend it. If only for the different flavour it's given
by Barry's contributions - odd, deadpan and ironic songs that
always seemed to me to be about shoving the whole "stereotype"
thing right into the listener's face so they see, up close and
personal, just how stupid /all/ stereotypes are...

> 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,

A good comparison. I remember hearing/reading that Andy himself
didn't much rate his earlier work, but I always feel that the earlier
stuff has a raw, live feel to it that, even now, at the grand old age of
37, I wouldn't object to seeing performed and jumping up and down
as energetically as my knees would allow!



...What do you call that noise that you put on? This is Pop!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 22:40:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: regarding bonus tracks on cds

yeah, I'm annoyed with the extra tracks on the XTC  back catalog cd's.
I don't find the songs themselves annoying, just where they are placed.
Who had the bright idea to place them between the first and second side
of the lp?

Rykodisc did it right on the Elvis Costello reissues. The album ends,
and there's ten seconds of silence before the bonus tracks start. Extra
tracks can be nice if they're handled right.
Come to think of it, woulden't it be nice if Rykodisc were able to
re-release the XTC back catalog? They generally treat their re-issues
with loving care, and lots of input from the artists themselves.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 02:18:02 -0400
From: Michael Stone <nedrise@MNSi.Net>
Subject: From the Mouth of the Man Himself

Hey Folks

Misty wondered what 'morgasm' means, and Harrison gave us a well considered
response.  Harrison, you're right - it's 'more' + 'orgasm' =
'morgasm'. I've got a Nonsuch-era interview- phone in with AP, in which
someone asks him that very question.



Message-ID: <000201be99e9$29d35ce0$06e2abc3@vucqprlj>
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Apple Venus VOL2
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 21:36:57 +0100

I have been searching everywhere to find the latest poss track listing for
AV2.  Seem to remember that I saw it on either Chalkhills or someone posted
it on the list.  Can't find it!  Getting desperate

Haven't heard all the demos, but have heard a few once only.  Since I'm
curious, but don't want to ruin the joy of receiving the new album, I
restricted my listening to one play each.  Loved Ship Trapped in Ice
especially and thought Wounded Horse good too, tho' a little like Neil
Young in tone.  Prince of Orange not so good on first hearing.  Guess STII
won't be on.  Anyone know what will, and what's the latest about when the
boys are going to start recording it?  Again, I read this too somewhere,
but I can't find it now.  Sorry if this leads to a repetitive reply from

ps What tracks do listees most long to see on AV2?


Message-ID: <001001be99fd$33e9f9a0$a5cef7a5@funtosplamisham>
Subject: re: Out of the woodwork...
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 05:20:37 -0400

on this meeting xtc fans at work...
when i was 5 (a good 15 years ago now, oh how the time does drag) i had a
babysitter... blah blah blah... 15 long years later, she gets a managment
(is that spelled right?  dont answer that) position at my hell-hole of
employment and shes a big ol' xtc fan!  so ive got an xtc fan above me,
which gives me that extra edge i need to be able to slack my ass off at
work!  damn right, thirteen ciggie breaks a day!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 07:52:12 -0400
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Son of Can You CD Difference?


>From the gutter-dwelling mind of H. Sherwood:

> the combination of "morgasm" and "action painting," along with
> "cathedrals arriving," "lift me into your mouth," and "spittle of pearls"
> conjures up some fairly viscous thoughts.

I'd like to point out that Viscous Thoughts would be a charming name for a

How right you are, Debora Brown, for reminding us of the gratitude owed to
Mother Relph. Thanks, Mom. (And thanks to all the other moms out there --
regardless of gender -- who are working hard and doing their best. To the
ones who aren't, I say: Wake up and realize that taking care of other
people is the most important job you can have.)

Puzzled Chris said:

> Did respect for his privacy not occur to you at all?  I mean, we all
> know that Dave is upset with Andy, but still...  I feel like I've just
> taken an unauthorized tumble through Dave's dirty laundry hamper, and
> I'm not happy about it.  For your sake I hope he hasn't seen what
> you've done.

I think it's rather naive of you to believe that Dave sends Amanda letters
without being fully conscious of the fact that she's an active member of
Chalkhills and is likely to relay info to the list. This type of PR is
typical in a messy divorce.  Andy's just had the opportunity to be a bit
more public about it.

If you're disillusioned, well, let me remind you of what Nicole said about
John Lennon, which can (and should) of course be applied to Andy Partridge,
Dave Gregory, Colin Moulding, Bill Clinton, etc., etc., etc.:

> People are human. They make human mistakes. They can be great in one
> or more particular areas in life, and suck at many more.
> Please, don't idolize humans. You'll only be disappointed. You'll
> do a disservice to those you idolize, for when you do (and you will)
> take the pedestal away... they'll fall hard and break to pieces.
> You'll find all was sand and there was no soul to begin with.

Dan said, responding to my question about CDs w/bonus tracks:

> i'm fine with it. i had been listening to xtc for a few years on vinyl
> and when cds became the standard i had to buy alot of stuff that i
> already owned. imagine the excitement i got from picking up a familiar
> album and seeing what? six "bonus" tracks?! i don't remember if xtc's
> catalog was re-released (on cd) gradually or all at once, but as i got
> new copies of their work i was able to rediscover them. it was great!

Don't get me wrong -- I love having the bonus tracks on the CDs. I just
don't like them stuck in the middle of the original running order. Doing
that, IMO, changes the "character" of the album, and what I was asking was
this: Do individual preferences (pro vs. con) about Mummer (or Big Express,
or White Music, or any of their CDs with bonus tracks) have any relation to
whether the individual first heard the album pre- or post-CD?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 07:58:31 -0400
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Return of the Son of ... ah, forget it

"Gum Shot" would also be a great name for a band.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 09:32:26 EDT
Subject: Heavy Metal Thunder, a little XTC and Crash Test Dummies


  I like that! I must admit I have a soft spot for three metal bands, Deep
Purple(OK, they're more hard rock but I remember them being called heavy
metal in the 70's), Judas Priest, and ESPECIALLY Motorhead. Motorhead is
the heaviest of them all, there is no other, yet I was floored when I began
discovering SENSITIVE BALLADS on their albums starting around 1990's 1916,
such as the title track. Not sensitive like James Taylor, sensitive like
Andy Partridge, writing bleak and challenging lyrics like 1916's title
track(one of the bleakest antiwar songs ever, along with Randy Newman's
"Song Of The Dead," which it slightly resembles)and "Please Daddy Don't
Kiss Me" from 1993's Bastard, dealing with pedophilia, and from the child's
perspective.  More recent material deals with gun violence(Lemmy's against
it, surprisingly), and other such weighty matters. Unfortunately Lemmy's
three-note croak of a voice is distinctive, all right, but not exactly
versatile. It's great to be able to hear what he's singing though,
sometimes.  One wouldn't expect someone who looks and sounds like Lemmy to
be so intelligent and articulate.

  Besides the three above-mentioned, I admire Kiss, Ozzy Ozborne and Alice
Cooper as cultural icons- they're loads of fun to read about and watch on
TV or video- but I prefer their music in small doses. Same thing with
Metallica, Guns And Roses(I think "November Rain" is a jaw-dropping
masterpiece- heavy metal Mahler, kind of), Slayer, and a few others- I
respect them from a distance, but mainly because I've learned to from
having a metalhead apartmentmate about ten years ago, who was seriously
into all of the above.  It's from him I learned to like Judas Priest. Avoid
the most recent album, Jugulator, though- Rob Halford is replaced by a
young unknown and they sound like a bad parody of Judas Priest, still the
same mean guitars but with the new guy barking and yammering tunelessly
about blood and guts and gore and stuff. The old Judas Priest at least had
melody underneath all that riffing, thanks to Rob Halford(recently out of
the closet too, as in gay. Wonder how my homophobic ex-roomate would take

  Actually, if it weren't for Colin's more mellow tastes to mitigate
things, I'd say Andy has a pretty interesting heavy album in him, if he
ever cared to make it. There's hints of it on The Big Express, such as
"Reign Of Blows" and especially "Train Running Low On Soul Coal." I don't
mean heavy as in metal, but definitely heavy, like Helmet(only with actual
song structures)or a more disciplined and tuneful Stooges. Or The Dead
Kennedys; there's a great metal band waiting to happen, until they went
pretty much boring thrash for their last couple of albums. Fresh Fruit For
Rotting Vegetables and to a lesser extent Plastic Surgery Disasters. With a
different singer(Rob Halford, maybe?)they'd have been the Bay Area's best
metal band, faster, meaner and nimbler than any other(check the impossible
time-signature and chord changes of "Ill In the Head" from FFFRV, for
example.). Then there's Montreal's Zyklon B, my ex-roommate's band, a
textbook example of what happens when a young boy weened on both The Sex
Pistols and Kiss puts a punk band together: they invent speed-metal! Their
one single Independence And Anarchy/No Escape from '82 is a good five years
ahead of its time.(also with yours truly on backup vocals)Unfortunately
most of their best stuff never got to be recorded, but the one single still
gets Blizz(my ex-roommate)mechanicals from airplay in Eastern Europe,
Russia and Scandinavia.

  As usual I ramble on; sorry guys, it's Friday night and I have time on my
hands for once. For those within a few hours of Winooski, VT, the Crash
Test Dummies are going to be playing at Higher Ground in a couple of
weeks. I'll be there, though I found what I've heard of their last two
albums disappointing. I miss their early folkie sound. Anyone planning on
showing up, let me know how I can recognise you, it's the next best thing
to XTC to come to these parts(aside from Lucinda Williams, who I missed,
and Graham Parker this Sunday, who I don't plan to miss; I was into him
before I even heard of XTC).



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 09:32:31 EDT
Subject: XTC in Vermont

>AS for XTC content... I know well desire to see the boys back on stage but
>be warned ; the UK advert for the upcoming Stones tour starts with 'Castrol
>present...' Pitiful stuff unless your eye is focussed on the cashflow. I
>think that performing live would involve just too many compromises ; B&Q
>Garden Centres proudly present XTC's Fruit Nut tour or General Motors
>proudly presents XTC's River of Orchids tour. No thanks. We would also
>spend years debating the proposed set list.

  Or Gardener's Supply Company presents XTC's Greenman tour. Actually, Andy
and Colin could do a lot worse than a promotional stop in Vermont, I could
give them a tour of the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory, show them
Gardener's Supply's famous Greenman, talk Mayor Clavelle into letting them
take the city of Burlington's demo electric cars(the city owns two,
available for public use on request)for a spin. Of course, Colin would have
to drive. Then I could take them to Uncommon Grounds(not Speeder and
Earl's, too splashy and expensive, sort of a Vermont Starbucks)for a damn
fine cup of coffee(or tea if they prefer, they have two different tea
specials each day). Speaking of the mayor, I've got a song for him for his
next reelection campaign: "Well I may be the mayor of BURLINGTON, but I
know one thing, and that's I love you."

  I'd want to play Andy my answer song to "Dear God," called "Dear Andy,"
of course, in which God answers Andy back. I think I sent the lyrics to
this list a couple of years ago. Dave's certainly welcome up here anytime
too, especially if he brings Amanda. :-)



From: "john gray" <>
Subject: Re: The Story of English
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 14:20:07 +0100
Message-Id: <>

Belinda recommended:
> Like many of us I am fascinated by the English language even if I
> am not always able to use it to the best of my ability.  (I mean,
> do you KNOW how many words there are out there?)  However, I can
> recommend an excellent book on the subject which explains just
> HOW English has come to be world dominant more or less. .......
> ... The book is: THE STORY OF ENGLISH
> by ROBERT McCRUM published by Faber & Faber and the BBC way back > in
1986 (and I'm reading through it for the second time.
> ISBN  0 571 13828 4

     	and quite right she is! This is the story of English as a living
language, not a textbook about the mechanics of grammar. It won't
translate stuff like 'boys in blue' for you but it might help you
appreciate that different people use the same language to mean different
Crushingly obvious to some, maybe, but others seemed to be having real
difficulty accepting some of Andy's use of English!

According to the preface, the book was published as a tie-in to a TV series
shown in both the UK and US. I didn't see it - anyone else?
[and by the way, I have a spare copy in paperback if anyone wants it]

John Gray


Message-Id: <v03102800b35b67aa816f@[]>
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 09:28:05 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <>
Subject: Musical Lifespan

Just listened to The Dukes Of Stratosphear - Chips From The Chocolate
Fireball and noticed that even though it is only eleven or twelve years
old, it REALLY sounds dated.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 09 May 1999 11:09:34 -0700
Subject: A Saint?

"So don't try to tell me John Lennon was anything close to a saint. I
don't buy it."

A saint? No.
But consider the positive energy that he spread in certain songs:
(Imagine/All You Need Is Love/Because, for example),
He managed to make it hip (for awhile) to embrace the peace/love
philosophy (the world could use some of it today).
True, he didn't practice what he preached, but who is perfect among us?
Everyone has better and worse moments, and when you live your life under
a microscope, all is revealed.
How would your life look under a microscope?
Have you no faults? Have you never made a fool out of yourself, or
hurt someone's feelings?
I for one admit to being imperfect.
A saint no, but his positive songs live on..

   All You Need Is Love
    -  Rich Frers


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-201

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