Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-203

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 203

                   Tuesday, 11 May 1999

Today's Topics:

          Re: smartest monkeys and dullest posts
                Martin Newell's Been Quiet
             Kicking the dead horse of Lennon
               Actual XTC content!!! Books!
                    In defense of GO2
              Story of English, but not XTC
                       Extra tracks
        XTC/AV1 Review from Sydney Daily Telegraph
             XTC sees the future and it is us
                     Re: Bill's Dream
                 Chris Can't Hackett!!!!!
     You better see right through that mother's eyes
           Nonsuch PLUS! and lost demo nuggets
            Morgasm and its variants explained
         Embarassing and ridiculous Contest Clues
                   Yoooohooo--I'm here
               More language in our digest
                  VH-1 must employ Dom?


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All that fancy play-talk / Sticks in the throat like cocktail swords.


Message-ID: <utDR$>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 16:26:59 +0100
From: KT <>
Subject: Re: smartest monkeys and dullest posts

In article <>, writes
> How can you NOT like the way Colin sings  " QUICK, call the Guinness book
>of RAYcords".

 heh.. I love all of Nonsuch, It was the first XTC album my dad played
to  me, and that I still love it to this day..
   But it seems I'm the only person on this list who doesn't like 'that

>  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)

 not quite. Yeah, I love XTC, but not every single song. and anyway, it
is very difficult to judge a song as being better or worse than ANY
OTHER.. one persons trash is an other's treasure..
 Y'see, I think 'Human Alchemy' isn't all that brilliant, as with
'Thanks for Christmas' (yeah, I do know that was a piss take.. or at
least I think it is..)
   I mean, a damn brilliant song like Robbie William's 'Karma killer'
(worth buying the album for, I might add) Ranks much higher than XTC's
worst stuff..
   But thaen again, I'm not know for great taste. after all, I'm a

>  Lets not have a "Whos the best musician?" thread for the next year.I hate
>paging down.

  And lets see if we can avoid the 'music theory' lectures too. some of
us have a low attention span n.n

> And a Baba Booey to you all!!


>     Roger

KT Coope
           "I hope you choak in yer bacardi and coke!.."


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 14:58:46 EDT
Subject: Martin Newell's Been Quiet

Anything up with Martin Newell making any more records? It's been a while
since "The Off-White Album," which featured Dave Gregory on guitar.

What a loss if Martin were to hang it up.

(For those new to Martin Newell, Andy produced, engineered, etc. on "The
Greatest Living Englishman," a Martin Newell album, back in 1994.)



Message-ID: <697A4CA51395D111A658AA0004005806E12F5A@NT6>
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: Kicking the dead horse of Lennon
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 14:21:14 -0500

Appy-polly-logies in advance to those who are sick of this thread. Scroll
down if you like; I shan't be offended.

Rich Frers wrote, in reference to John Lennon:

He managed to make it hip (for awhile) to embrace the peace/love
philosophy (the world could use some of it today).

Sure, the world could always use a little more love, but the truth is,
John's politics were just as much the result of fashion as they were the
result of deeply-held convictions. He admitted that his art was
self-centered-in fact, he made no apologies for the fact that he preferred
to write and sing about his own life, rather than (for the most part) the
world at large. Most of his greatest songs are about himself-Help!,
Strawberry Fields, Across the Universe, all of Plastic Ono Band-and
certainly the ones he was most proud of fell into that category.

As for John's "peace and love" songs, most were written in a particular
span of time (say 1969-1971 or so) when the peace movement was pretty much
a household word.  All of his (artistically) successful anthems-Give Peace
a Chance, Imagine, Happy XMas (War Is Over), etc.-are from this period.
Two of them are not. The Word, written with Paul in late 1965, really was
ahead of its time but didn't make much impact, despite being a pretty damn
good song. All You Need Is Love, written at the height of the Summer of
Love, is sub-par by Beatles standards and, by Lennon standards, not very
convincing.  "There's nothing you can do that can't be done," begin the
lyrics.  Well, no shit.  If you can do it, obviously it can be done.  The
whole song basically consists of a series of Zen-sounding phrases that are
meant to be inspirational but, actually, aren't. There's nothing of John
really in this song: none of the usual wit, self-effacing irony, or that
unique viewpoint of his that makes you question the familiar or the sacred;
even Imagine managed a few potshots at God and religion.  The song is
simply a rather careless distillation of a mood that had been pervasive
throughout society, and particularly the counterculture, for at least the
preceding few months.  John didn't make peace and love fashionable with
this song: he was conforming to fashion.

In case you still doubt it, just look at how angry his songwriting got
immediately after Imagine, once the counterculture's patience with
flower-power finally ran out.  Power to the People is a deliberate
repudiation of the pacifism he had espoused in the original version of
Revolution ("You say you want a revolution/We'd better get it on right
away").  He would later repudiate these sentiments, but it goes to show how
he often flew in whatever direction the wind was blowing. As John himself
admitted, he was easy to con; he tended to fall for people who seemed
knowledgeable and who spoke his language.  Nothing wrong with that, but it
does mean that those who try to view him as a philosopher are in uncertain

I don't write this to denigrate the man ... I enjoy practically all of his
work, including the peace-n-love stuff, and I even enjoy All You Need Is
Love; sub-par Beatles, after all, is still Beatles, and I like the
sentiment even if it's not expressed as well as it might be.  But I'm
uncomfortable when people start talking about John the Peacenik Saint.  He
wasn't.  The two things he cared about most, once he settled into
comfortable middle age, were his music and his family.  And if our
descendents remember John as something he wasn't, as some peace-loving holy
fool and balladeer, they'll significantly shortchange themselves and his
legacy.  I wouldn't want our descendents to revere Imagine at the expense
of Strawberry Fields: the former is a simple, moving, and timeless
expression of optimism and hope; the latter is a dense, confused,
completely idiosyncratic and utterly gobsmacking work of fucking
genius. Both are essential, but only one makes me shake my head with wonder
every time I hear it.

Taking you down ('cause I'm going, too),


Dan Wiencek
American Academy
of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Message-ID: <65B793F0016DD11196E800A0C960343612A6BB@FS_1>
From: Sheridan Zabel <>
Subject: Actual XTC content!!! Books!
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 15:30:46 -0400

I f anyone lives in Boston, Borders downtown has "Chalkhills and
Children" AND "songstories".   They were in with the jazz section, but I
moved them when the Store Patrol wasn't looking so they are in the right
order now and easier to find.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: In defense of GO2
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 13:53:55 PDT

John H. dreams:

>While I hope the rest of the world (for their sake!) will eventually come
>to bask in the eternal joyous light of Go-2-ness forever and ever

While I don't know that I can agree that GO2 is XTC's *greatest* album, I
must agree that it gets quite too much criticism in these parts.  "My
Weapon" may be one of my least favorite XTC songs, but I have a lot of
admiration for the rest of the album-- "Battery Brides" is actually one of
my favorite XTC songs.  I think this album shows a lot more potential for
growth than the wilder White Music, and I can't imagine a transition from WM
to D&W without it.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: Story of English, but not XTC
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 14:47:39 PDT

John Gray said of _The Story 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?

yes; it was shown on PBS stations in the US oh...I guess about twelve or
thirteen years ago.  It was quite excellent.  I was only about nine or ten
when it showed, but my father was hooked on it so I watched it.  I seem to
remember a very interesting piece on Tangiers Island in Maryland, where they
still speak colonial English. (digging that memory out just cost me a few
brain cells)  The set of tapes is still available, although it will set you
back a bit-- $90 from



Message-Id: <>
Subject: Extra tracks
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 17:20:07 -0400

Todd wrote:

> 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?

The extra tracks in the middle of the CDs drive me batty on Mummer and
Black Sea.  I'm sorry, they're just wrong, and they interrupt the flow in
the big way.  However, I don't feel the same way about White Music (that
album doesn't have as much of an overall flow, I feel, and the extra songs
all have the same hyper herky-jerky this point I can barely tell
when the extra tracks start if I'm not paying attention), GO2 (only one
extra on that one anyway, and it's "Are You Receiving Me?", which is
already better than most of the songs on that album), Drums and Wires
(except for "Chain of Command"), or The Big Express (which I think is
actually _improved_ by the extra songs).  And, yes, I did hear all these
albums first in their pre-CD versions...which reminds me, is the CD
mastering on "Drums and Wires" really lame or is it just my imagination?

-- Francis

"Less is only more where more is no good."
  -- Frank Lloyd Wright


Message-ID: <>
From: "Andrew Gowans" <>
Subject: XTC/AV1 Review from Sydney Daily Telegraph
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 07:41:15 EST

Riding the rails from the Central Coast this morning the cold and mist of a
Sydney winter were lifted somewhat by a review of the Lads and their AV1

	[ see ]

Also, a message for Amanda C. Owens, re your posting of 27/4/99.
Accidental Goat Sodomy !!!
I nearly split my sides laughing at that!
Thanks for affording me the most number of strange stares from my fellow
commuters tha I have xperienced in a long time.

Ciao for niao,

The Rat


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 20:15:06 EDT
Subject: XTC sees the future and it is us

Well, I'm going to take a risk and stray back into XTC territory
again. Looks like Waxworks is soon to be deleted by Geffen and Virgin. A
pity, although I have all the albums, there is a strange continuity to this
compilation that makes it work almost as a concept album about the band's
time with Virgin (ironic, since it came out during their most successful

Could it be? Are our heroes Timelords (or Kreskin) and can they see the
future? If they can why do they want to live it....well foresight doesn't
always mean forewarned or something like that. Let's take a trip down the
Time Tunnel (sorry, mixing pulp science fiction programs) and find out....

State Of Liberty seems like a bit of hope now that this band has finally
been signed! This Is Pop seems now like an ironic comment (all this
irony--I guess you can't get too much of it in your diet after all!) on the
music industry as much as much as it was the band's later power pop sound).
Are You receiving me? Well, maybe not...this works well in respect to the
band's post English Settlement albums up to Skylarking since no the fickle
public had dropped them like one-hit wonders.

Making Plans For Nigel? Well of course that's about Virgin's plans to try
and turn them into a mainstream hit machine and rob them of their soul!
Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down seems to be as much about Andy's doubters,
ex-girlfriends, etc. as it is about Virgin .

Generals And Majors, to be labor a point, could be about XTC's A&R man
(Jeremy what's his face...) post Skylarking and his attempts to "mold" the
band and send them into battle on the charts. Towers Of London---trapped at
Virgin, with their manager and trying to make a living...all of that adds
up to imprisonment of a sort.

Will Sgt. Rock help our heroes?  Perhaps that's Todd and could be about the
Skylarking sessions...until they turned completely sour( like a lot of
military experiences do). Senses Working Overtime...haven't got a clue what
it could be about in this futurama.

Finally, Ball And Chain--Virgin again and finally they!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 17:27:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: pancho artecona <>
Subject: Re: Bill's Dream

Hey All,

in response to dreaming Bill's post:

"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 overtime..."  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.,"


I am a renowned dream interpreter in these parts and will give you a
little freebie. Your dream was saying that you should go buy Apple
Venus Vol. I, XTC's latest release so that you can really be
spiritually lifted. There you have it, I could have charged you $20 for
that pearl.

Regarding crushes on the lads. I am not gay (in real life at least, one
can always fantasize:) but must admit quite an attraction to Andy. Not
only is he bright and funny but also (an absolute requirement in my
book) a little neurotic and difficult which makes the whole thing the
more enticing to me. Besides, he seems to be a hell of a good dad
which, for whatever reason, is also important to me (no John Lennon,
he). And finally, he revels in the mundane and the little things that
make everyday he says its all in one's
backyard...something that I concur with. Most of my happest moments
have been with very simple interactions or with little things....not a
roller coaster kind of guy I guess. Besides that, Gregsy is quite
charming as well...quite the find if you can get him. He seems quite
set in his ways though, I guess its all those years of living alone
(now THAT's projection since I am quite the curmudgeon and the loner
set in his ways....bun then again, the fate of the fan is projection so
this could all be projection but that's the fun).
Anyway, that's my bit. I figured that if all these women in
relationships could swoon over the lads then why not me.

Pancho PRXTCFAN (I am not wet, though)

Raising a family in a house full of mice currently going around in my head.


Message-ID: <000701be9bae$b1ca6a00$ec8afbd0@default>
From: "Joe Funk" <>
Subject: Chris Can't Hackett!!!!!
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 08:03:11 -0500

Chris Chris Chris Chris Chris!!!!!!

You have really struck a nerve with your meanderings on Genesis and Steve

> 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

 First of all, have you ever heard " A Trick of the Tail" or "Wind &
Wuthering"?  Weak link!  Mr. Hackett's ghostly interlude on "Ripples" and
imaginitive arpeggios on "Mad Man Moon" are among his many highlights on "A
Trick" , of which Rolling Stone ( and many other music rags of the day)
called "un-matched creativity shamefully mixed down to an almost inaudible
level!".  I know, opinions are like..well you know, but to imply that Steve
Hackett was a weak link in Genesis is absurd!!  Yeah, he didn't fit in when
he wrote the music to " I Know  What I Like" ( of course, PG wrote the
lyrics ).  Try comparing his solo on the live version of "The Knife" to Mr.
Phillips' on Trespass!  I love Anthony Phillips with Genesis and solo,  but
Hackett's imagination on the guitar blows him out of the water!  You really
think "And Then There Were Three", with Mike Rutherford's dulcet Guitar
work, holds a candle to their previous work?  You are entitled to your
opinion ( however wrong it is).  Give "Los Endos" or "Blood on the Rooftops"
a listen, and then tell me where Steve Hackett doesn't fit in!!!!  They even
had to get an accomplished studio guitarist ( Darryl Stermer ) to tour with
them, because Rutherford couldn't handle Hackett's licks.  Darryl did a
pretty good job, but he is no Steve Hackett!!  Maybe it is because their
music took a turn for the commercial after he left, that you are so
enamoured at aimlessly putting down one of the key ingredients to early
Genesis' critical success!!  Shame on you!!  Go take a Genesis history
lesson before you open your big mouth about something you seem to know
nothing about!!!!!

 Fuming in Austin



Message-Id: <v03007801b35d3545ad93@[]>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 20:17:42 -0500
From: John Yuelkenbeck <>
Subject: You better see right through that mother's eyes

>>>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).

Or "How Do You Sleep?" for example.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 13:01:21 -0800
From: michaelw <>
Subject: Nonsuch PLUS! and lost demo nuggets

Hi Chalkies (and fans of British Comedies!),

The digest has been a real treat to read lately, thanks to all for
cheering me up!

OK, a few comments and questions are in order (page down if you
dare--wait, hold on!

Anyone ever catch any RED DWARF?  I have to put that in with BLACK ADDER,
as one of the, if not the best British Comedy I've ever
friends in Stockton, CA, around '87 (some of whom were into XTC before I
even knew who they were-in fact, the first ever XTC song I heard was "Ten
Feet Tall", on this cassette tape mix of my friends' garage band songs)
were totally in into friend a dead-ringer for Kryton
(Creighton?) voice-wise. Anyways, my friends here in Japan are able to
watch reruns every Friday nite at 12:30AM, which makes for good VCR
recording and watching later...

A few digest ago, our esteemed Mr. Relph talked about Nonsuch and how it
seems "uneven"...this got me to thinking of the cassette mixes I've made of
every album since "Mummer"...what I did was try and compile the
demos/unreleased songs from each album, then mix them in with the regular
songs (for example, I completely "ruined" Skylarking by making a tape with
the songs "Terrorism"; "Find The Fox"; "The Good Things"; "Let's Make A
Den"; and "Extrovert", to name a few, along with the regular songs from
that era.  Same with O & L, Nonsuch, the latter being fun to dub because of
the tracks left out.  Has anyone else done this (yes, I had a hell of a lot
of time on my hands; what can I say, I teach English in Japan!).  More
recently, I took the AV1 demos and paired them with their finished,
polished and "Orchustic-ed" better halves....surprisingly (or perhaps not
so much), some of the demos sounded more passionate, more raw, even better
than what's on AV1...while the "tarting-up" of AV1 is definately an
improvement over the in point: I Can't Own Her, The Demo,
cannot even compare with ICOH, AV1Version. Same goes with Green Man.  OTOH,
Easter Theatre, The Demo, will always be IMHO superior to the outstanding
yet too-pristine AV1 Version....and yet, I still get "all choked up"
listening to both versions!

(BTW#!:  Anyone ever heard of the following songs:
		*Beautiful People (Moulding; Drums and Wires demo)
		*Hangin' Around (Partridge; English Settlement demo)
		*I Overheard (Moulding; Black Sea demo)
		*Lazy Day Play (Moulding; English Settlement demo)
		*My Brother Ralph (Moulding; English Settlement demo?)
		*Pretty Pretty Two Face (Partridge; Black Sea demo)
		*Thataway (Partridge; Nonsuch?)
		*World Colour Banner (Partridge; Mummer demo?)

	any and all information pertaining to these "lost nuggest" would be
	much appreciated!!

Speaking of which, a hearty "chalked-up" welcome to Bob S. who relayed
to us his dream involving Senses Working Overtime....indeed, several of
the songs on English Settlement (skip a few years ahead to Skylarking,
then on to Apple Venus 1, even parts of Mummer and my first favorite
Oranges and Lemmons) have an almost mystical, magical quality to them.
How the boys ever got through Jason And The Argonauts, Snowman, and
Yacht Dance to make them sound so near-perfect is beyond me....which is
where these songs, as well as the whole lot of Skylarking, take me...

BTW, anyone else think that "Stupidly Happy" has the word "hit" written all
over it?  A bloody fine song, simple and bubbly--you can stroll to it, hum
to it, whistle to it, wash your car/dog to it; and for some reason, parts
of it remind me of "Every Breath You Take" would if the Stones/Keith
Richard had recorded it..but also has that "Mayor of Simpleton" jive to
it...a cool song!  Still wish Andy would put "I Don't Want To Be Here on
AV2"...great song!

I'm outta here (if John Lennon is a saint, can Ringo Starr sing?)

Piously yours,

Michael W. in Osaka


From: "Don Rogalski" <>
Subject: Morgasm and its variants explained
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:23:22 +0800
Message-ID: <000001be9b66$01adf620$d8fd20a3@user>

How come nobody remembered this?

"Morgasm" has got to be directly inspired by 1985 era Saturday Night Live.
The nervous, twitchy guy (can't think of his name) would be a special guest
at the news desk on occasion, and have cards with his nifty new words on

To wit:
Postmen have "door-to-door-gasms".
People with standard drive cars have "four-on-the-floor-gasms".
Evil people have "rotten-to-the-core-gasms".
Newlyweds have "let's-do-it-till-we're-sore-gasms".
Older couples have "I-got-mine-you-get-your-gasms".

And so on.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 22:27:49 -0700
From: Herne <>
Subject: Embarassing and ridiculous Contest Clues

Hey folks.  Just though I'd throw out a clue or two cause some people
have been perplexed.  Many of the songs are by artists or groups who
have been mentioned on the list in recent times.   One that's mentioned
most all of the time. Think "classic rock".   Think "adult
contemporary."  None of the songs are by Phil Collins but some are by
groups people on the list have praised.  That's all you get.  If you've
already entered but come up with more, feel free to send in your answers
and they'll be added to your total.  Remember the deadline is May 18th.
If you missed the contest...refer to Chalkhills Digest #5-199.


KL aka Herne


Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 01:54:57 -0400
Subject: Yoooohooo--I'm here
Message-ID: <>
From: Elizabeth I Spencer <>

Hey Max Germer,

There's an absolutely mad XTC fanatic in Montague. Sorry I missed your
gig at the Iron Horse, but I was slogging at the Hadley Pizza Hut...

Andy Partridge rules and Wal Mart sucks.



Subject: More language in our digest
Message-Id: <0006800011162844000002L042*@MHS>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 11:44:55 +0200

Hi "Kreideberger",

No XTC this time, I'm afraid.

In addition to Belinda's mention of "THE STORY OF ENGLISH" by Robt. McCrum,
published by Faber & Faber and the BBC, 1986, and both Belinda and James'
mention of Bill Bryson books (thanx, guys, I will try to grab all of those
next time I'm in an English-speaking nation with inexpensive
English-language books), I thought I should mention an article I received
from an old Scottish colleague of mine here at work.

Called "The History of the English Language (Where it began and how it
became a great tongue)", this easy-to-read 15 page article by Lincoln
Barnett was -- and maybe still is, I don't know -- available as a LIFE
educational reprint (#54).  It is thoroughly entertaining and gives a very
nice overview of the main phases of the language, from the pre-English
influences of Rome and the Celts via the Angles, Saxons, Danes and Normans
in the "formative years" to the Renaissance and New World influences that
have most affected modern English.  It also dispels some of the prejudices
commonly held/taught today in non-English-speaking countries (and even some
English-speaking countries) about various misconceptions, eg. who changed
the pronunciation of "can't" and who didn't, and the like.

I would be willing to provide a (unfortunately rather poor) copy to anyone
who is interested for the price of the postage (maybe using IRCs).

Even better would be an offer from any of those teachers out there who
might have access to a good copy or an "original reprint", if you can call
it that.  Can anyone help?  (Get in touch privately!)

"Auf Wiedersehen" from the land responsible for starting the whole English
language, and for its name as well!

- Jeff


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 06:15:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: nross <>
Subject: VH-1 must employ Dom?

VH-1 now has a rock show. My husband and I saw Judas Priest on it...
last night Oz was happily singing. Alas, none of my beloved Metallica...
but they did play... Def Leppard (spelling?).

I was just  curious, Dom... you keep mentioning the metal bands
people get "stuck" on, so to speak... what bands are the ones you
listen to... that we, the people who don't "get" metal, don't know

Are they something like Judas Priest, or Queensryche (spelling?).

Preach, oh metal lord, to us cretinous beings!

;-), Nicole

(for the first time in my life, I actually thought Judas Priest sounded
good... I must be getting old.)


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