Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-210

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 210

                   Tuesday, 18 May 1999

Today's Topics:

                  Robyn Hitchcock on VH1
                 Richard dates the Dukes
                   Jason Falkner, etc.
                      I'd Like That
                       A cool idea?
                      Andy lurking?
           In addition to CD Bonus Tracks etc..
       No, *I'M* Andy Partridge, and so's my wife!
                A band you ought check out
                      Tribute album
               Just stuff it in your mouth
                     Father likes XTC
                   What in the World?!
                       cd centers.
              Casey Casem Voices His Concern
                   Baby, baby, baby...
              Don't Look At Me, I'm Not Andy
                  Re: My Dinner With XTC
                       Elvis Sings
                   That's It I'm Afraid


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Steer me Anna.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 13:06:15 -0700
From: Queenie <>
Subject: Robyn Hitchcock on VH1

For those Robyn Hitchcock fans out there, keep your eye out for a "Midnight
Minute" featuring the man himself!! If you don't know what the "Midnight
Minute" is, they do it every day at midnight, and it's called the world's
fastest live music show.  They usually take someone you've never heard of
(which I guess Robyn Hitchcock is to most people) and they sing and play
for exactly 60 seconds.  I've seen the Robyn H. one twice now and it's very
cool.  He does "1974."  Watch for it!!

Also, look for Tom Waits Storytellers on VH1 coming in June!!

If you think about it, I've seen my three favorite artists in the world on
VH1 in the last couple of months, including XTC on "Where are they now?"

Man, what I wouldn't give for an XTC Storytellers.   One can dream...



Message-ID: <>
From: "Andrew Gowans" <>
Subject: Richard dates the Dukes
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 07:47:03 EST

Elizabeth I Spencer wrote in Volume 5, Number 206....


I haven't yet got Chips, I have to rely upon my old vinyl (Sunspot is in
the VERY TASTY swirly/purply/vomitous limited vinyl..yum yum).

I would agree that 25 O'clock was intended to homage/mock/refer to mid/late
60's Brit-acid rock, but I remember being very impressed with the
production of the LP at the time.

*This is a line of text that does not include any forward-slashes, for the
benfit of those, like myself, who are currently suffering from a surfeit of
slashes, I now return you to your regular programming :)*

Am I back on...? Good, anyway I was discussing the production of 25
O'clock, at the time every record available was super-smooth in production,
most of which was attemtping to compensate for unimpressive material in the
first place.

I and a producer friend spent quite a bit of time listening to John
Leckie's production and were quite excited by what was done.

I still feel this way, and as opposed to thinking it sounds dated I believe
that it trancends it's time and it's roots to sound progressive even now.

I dig the songs, too.

Ciao for niao,

The Rat


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 00:45:40 +0200
From: Erich Sellheim <>
Subject: Jason Falkner, etc.

Hello everyone,

as I've repeatedly seen Jason Falkner getting mentioned on the digest, I
thought I'd share his following quote which I found in a free German music
magazine (I translated it back into English):

"I'm constantly looking for the perfect song which combines both: melody
and that certain compelling element that grips you. The Buzzcocks and XTC
were pretty close to it. I hope I'll succeed one day."

Does anyone else think that Falkner's estimation of XTC is "pretty close"
to the truth?

Regarding the "bonus tracks" debate, frankly I don't see what all the fuss
is about. Aren't there "Program"-buttons on your CD players? I guess I can
program a CD faster than it would take me to put on the respective
record. When I realised that the CD versions have songs on them that I
didn't know, I didn't even consider bemoaning where on the CD these tracks
were placed; I was so happy to be able to hear them, they could as well
have started the album, as far as I'm concerned! And as, contrary to
popular belief, XTC haven't released a single dull or even mediocre song in
their whole career, any sequence of tracks should make for a great
listening experience; why people talk about skipping certain songs all the
time, is completely beyond me; the more XTC, the better! (Nonsuch too long?
What do you mean?)

On a different note, I don't have a full "Testimonial Dessert" in my mind,
but I'd love to hear Robert Wyatt do "The Last Balloon".

Best wishes,



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 00:51:03 +0200
Subject: I'd Like That

Dear Chalkers,

What's up with this list lately? I would have thought the release of a
new album and several singles plus the myriad of media events
would have kept us happily pre-occupied for at least a year.

But the level of XTC content is dropping as fast as the number of
personal attacks and other off-topic bullshit is rising.

> The more I think about it, I really do believe that Andy P. is lurking
> behind a pseudonym or alter ego on this list.
But thank God he isn't!
He's blissfully unaware of all this nonsense

Re. the Dream Covers thread:
> >7.     Another Satellite - Kate Bush
> Very interesting choice -- then again, the idea of Kate putting out
> anything in the next decade would be interesting.
Nah, only if she'd be putting out with me :)
But i agree that AS would be a perfect vehicle for her

> Does anyone know what she's up to these days?
does anyone really care?

But here are a couple of my suggested XTC covers:

Yacht Dance - any of the current crop of top RnB producers
could do magic with this i think... something for TLC perhaps?
Reign Of Blows - The Fall (do they still exist?)
This Is The End - Tom Waits
Always Winter, Never Christmas - Brian Setzer/Stray Cats or the
My Train Is Coming - Preferably by The Beatles a.d. 1964 (this is the
song they _should_ have played in the train scene of A Hard Day's
Night !) but the latter-day Sir Macca would be great too
Bungalow - Roxy Music

etc etc etc

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 19:47:25 -0700
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: CIC
Subject: A cool idea?

Hey all on this Hill of Chalk! --

Just thought of something wild...

As popular as the VH1 series "Behind
The Music" and "VH1's Storytellers"
both are right now, wouldn't it be
way cool if they both did an episode
on "The Swindon Two?"

Man, I can actually hear the VCR's
taping away, if that were to take

Maybe we should "plant the seed" as
it were by letting VH1 know this and
see about possibly having a "harvest
festival" with XTC!!!  :-)

Just dreaming...and waiting for AV2!

Peace through Music --

/Dan Phipps <>

"I would have made this instrumental,
 but the words got in the way."
(Andy Partridge)



Date: 17 May 99 11:07:18 AES
Subject: Andy lurking?
Message-ID: <>


This recent speculation as to whether Andy Partridge is a member of
Chalkhills prompted me to dig out a segment of my interview with him in
which he addresses the issue of the internet and mailing lists and such.
Do these sound like the words of a man who would willingly participate in a
forum such as this?  You decide....

* ____________________________________

AP: No, I stay away from these websites because it's a bit like you've died
and you're kind of there at the wake or something and you get all these
people talking about you. I mean, once upon a time somebody printed up a
load of stuff like, like six months' worth of chat from one of the
websites [Chalkhills] and I was amazed and shocked and delighted and upset
and all the emotions, it went through the gamut of every emotion, just the
amazing stuff that people talk about. Talk about the misinformation
highway, I mean, half of it was wrong, it was some great Chinese whispers,
some really inventive there was some immensely
personal stuff that you'd think, well, do people, are they really
interested in that side of somebody? And I don't dive into that on purpose
now because, as I say, it's like being dead and having people say these
things about you. So sure, the nice things are nice, but the nasty things
are really painful sometimes....I don't wanna know what people are saying
about me

PC: So you'd prefer to keep a good distance from all that sorta stuff....

AP: Yeah, was it Robbie Burns?: "an awesome power, the gift he give to see
ourselves as others see us"....I don't want that gift, I don't think it's a
gift at all, I think it's painful to get an insight into how others
perceive you....I'll keep my little computer unplugged, I think. Actually I
don't own....I own a computer, but only to run a musical program; I don't
go anywhere near the Net or anything. Bit of a luddite like that....


Message-ID: <>
From: "Andrew Gowans" <>
Subject: In addition to CD Bonus Tracks etc..
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 14:30:33 EST

In vol 5 #208 Martin drew our attention to minidisc as a means to edit the
Virgin CD's back to original, well there's also MP3. Admittedly, unless you
have one of those Rio thingies, this ties you down to your PC, however if
your like me and work with the damnable things it is a way to use all that
HDD space just lying there begging to be filled with lovely music.

Before I get jumped on for breaking copyright, particularly that of AP and
CM, I treat it as a means to listen to my cd's without running the risk of
them being stolen from my place of employ or being damaged in transit.
Rather lke the way I tape music for pleasure whilst travelling on the train.

Most of the MP3 players available allow you to create playlists from the
tracks available or, my favourite, randomise play. This way I have a
playlist for whatever my current mood is, without mucking around with
minidisc recorders (mind you I'd love one..I just can't justify the
expense), CD burners or editing tracks on your CD jukebox.

Currently I am listening to a random mix of all my available XTC tracks (I
still have a lot of XTC vinyl I need to update to CD) and other
"inspirational" music, Icehouse, Chills, Beatles, Kinks, Blur.........etc.
Just like my own personal radio station.

Without sounding too pompous (I hope), I try to respect the rights of the
artists by recording this stuff for my consumption only, and I already own
the source CD's.

Time to get off the soapbox before someone sets fire to it beneath me.

P.S. I use Sonique as my MP3 player, it has a great interface. Look in
Winfiles or go to their web site,, for the beta freeware

Ciao for niao,

The Rat.


Subject: No, *I'M* Andy Partridge, and so's my wife!
Message-Id: <0006800011362341000002L012*@MHS>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 09:46:15 +0200

Wait a minute... I don't *have* a wife...

Oh well.

- Brian of Nazareth


Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 18:18:11 +0930
From: "Van Abbe, Dominic" <>
Subject: A band you ought check out
Message-id: <>


Apologies for the lack of Genesis, Phil Collins, heavy metal, John Lennon
and Beach Boys content, but........

There's an English band y'all ought check out called XtC.  Their 11th album,
Apple Venus Volume 1, was released a couple of months ago, and it's a
cracker.  Their albums are generally met with critical acclaim but
commercial indifference so you may not have heard of them, however they are
well worth checking out.

If you can remove Kokomo, Invisible Touch, Sussudio or Slippery When Wet
from your CD player, I'd heartily recommend this album.  Apparently they
don't play live, so CD is the only format to enjoy them.

Sorry for the interruption- back to normal programming....


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 20:55:03 +1200
From: Peter Mellow <>
Organization: Auckland Institute of Technology
Subject: Greenman?

Hi everyone,
I have lurked here off and on for awhile. I have been in love with XTC
music since their first album. I remember 1980 as a first year
university student finding out they were coming to New Zealand, and
cueing up to get the tickets. I also cued at the venue (Mainstreet - a
nightclub that does not exist any more!) and was first thru the door and
stood in front of the stage ALL night. Then there was another show
announced the next night, so I did the same thing again! ANd the big
thrill for me was that Andy winked at me once!
Here I am 19 years on and I still love everything sound XTC have made,
and play their albums every day. I think I understand most of their
lyrics with New Zealand being an ex-british colony, we share a lot of
the same quirks of language, BUT
I am really stumped with Greenman? Could some people give me their idea
of who he is? As I want to play it at my wedding in 6 weeks time. God,
Nature? Who the fek is the Greenman?????

Thanks in advance. Cheers!
Best regards,

Be lucky!

Peter Mellow.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 13:35:47 +0200
From: dieling <>
Subject: Tribute album

Hi all !

Can't make up a complete tribute album, but some suggestions:

"Travels in Nihilon" by Sepultura
"The Day They Pulled The North Pole Down" by Aphex Twin
"Mermaid Smiled" by The Sea And Cake
"Funk Pop A Roll" by Ed Rush and Optical

They should be very far from the originals, and that's what counts.
Bye all.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 06:14:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: nross <>
Subject: Just stuff it in your mouth


From: gene <>
Subject: What Dog Doo Tastes Like

>>>Apologies in advance for the following. Just needed to clear a few
things up.<<<<


                          BLAH BLAH BLAH.



Message-ID: <65B793F0016DD11196E800A0C960343612A721@FS_1>
From: Sheridan Zabel <>
Subject: Father likes XTC
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 10:02:55 -0400

Okay, so over the weekend I went to New Hampshire to visit the old folks
(well, not really old, but it sounded neat.  Dad's almost 60).

ANYWAY, I brought AV1 with me because if I don't administer listenings
to myself on a daily basis, I go into withdrawal and get DT's.

So, I forced my Dad to listen to it and he loved it!  He listens to
mostly classical, with the occasional Kingston Trio thrown in  to mix
things up a bit.  I was shocked.  The only thing he didn't care for all
that much was Andy's vocals.  He said it sounded like he was straining.
But he thinks Andy is brilliant and wants to HEAR MORE!

Pretty cool, eh?


- I would like you on a long black lead
  You can bring me all the things I need
      ~Soft Cell


Message-ID: <>
From: "Ralph Simpson DeMarco" <>
Subject: What in the World?!
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 10:33:26 PDT

Dear One Arm Bandits and Affiliated Members:

1) Andy: on-line? I suggest some of you actually read interviews with Andy
and some of your questions will be answered. No, Andy is not on-line. He
has said this over and over. Yes, he has read some of the posting from
Chalkhills and he was upset by how much of our musings are totally wrong! I
think we all can understand why he would not wish to read them on a regular
basis. Andy seems to be rather thin-skinned.

2) Andy: bad man? OK, why are you people worried about defending Andy?
Does he need it? No. So, someone thinks he's a jerk, so what? Perhaps he
is, who cares? Many said John Lennon was the same way: arrogant and very
opinionated. Ray Davies? Yep, just ask his brother Dave. Ray is a bit of an
asshole. Deal with it. Andy is very witty, very smart and a creative
dynamo.  I think I can forgive him his personality faults. I find it
strange that any time is spent on this subject.

Abe Lincoln once said: "It is wiser to keep one's mouth shut even though
others think you a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."

Ralph Simpson DeMarco


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 14:10:03 EDT
Subject: cd centers.


         I wonder if any of you feel as I do regarding b-sides placed in
the middle of the cds.  My basic theory is -the harder it was to get those
"bonus Traks" the more you appreciate them.

    F'rinstance, when I first got into xtc, I only knew about the albums.
('tween ES and Mummer) When I started looking for their earlier stuff, that
is when I noticed that they had a wealth of other songs. So I started
looking around, and slowly bought up what I could find. It wasn't easy
doings, and I loved and appreciated all of them.

   However... after awhile, I had no working turntable, and could only
listen to xt-cassette tapes. No more singles.

   Then I finally got a CD player (only 2 years ago)!!!  And re-discovered
all those lost singles!!!  I *got to* Listen to them again. yippee! I don't
care where they are on any cd as long as i get to hear them.

   It seems some of you didn't have to work very hard to get any of those
songs, and that could be part of the reason they seem like extra baggage.
eddie st. martin


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 17:21:13 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Organization: Averstar, Inc.
Subject: Casey Casem Voices His Concern

Lots to chew on in the last couple digests:

> From:
> Subject: Andy in Rolling Stone



> Burt Bacharach- Casino Royale
> Distressingly perfect. This seemed to be the best side of the music of my
> parent's generation.

My Chalkie friends will no doubt indulge me as I arise from my usual Nero
Wolfean torpor and execute a little knock-kneed Victory Dance, licking my
finger and touching it to my capacious ass while making a comical little
"Tsssss!" sound....


> From:
> Subject: Dave and Andy's Guitar Solos
> Honestly, I could never tell Dave and Andy's guitar solos apart unless it
> was specifically written somewhere. Andy's quite a soloist and can create
> some clever doodles on the fretboard. Check out the solos on "We'll Build a
> House" from Martin Newell's "Greatest Living Englishman" and "Books are
> Burning" (in which he and Dave trade solos).

I used to be unsure about which guitarist played what parts, until I got
hold of two records: David Yazbek's "The Laughing Man," and Becki Di
Gregorio's "Seven Worthies... of the Bamboo Grove," each featuring guitar
solos (among many other things) from, respectively, Andy and Dave. Once
you've heard the Andy solo on "Black Cowboys on the Beach" and Dave's work
on "Inside the Dream" and "Godbox" there will never be a question in your
mind again. In particular, Dave has a "touch" with his wrist-vibrato that's
utterly characteristic, a signature sound. Also, Dave is highly
architectural, playing melodic patterns that follow each other with a logic
that's relentless: Think of the second phrase in his solo in "Real By
Reel," the one right after he states the main riff: rocket upward quickly,
and float downward with these carefully carved little filigreed
sixteenth-note figures. Equal parts Django and Chopin. If you wanted to be
uncharitable you could call it fastidious and academic. (On the other hand,
there's "No Language," which is...oh, what the hell...The Greatest Electric
Guitar Solo Ever Played.)

You're right: Our Bespectacled Buddha can play some guitar himself--he's
intensely rhythmic and pleasingly unpredictable. Once, in search of a
future opportunity to drop a name in Chalkhills, I asked David Yazbek about
Andy's guitar playing (he was dandling my four-year-old son on his knee
over breakfast at the time, if you simply MUST know), and he described a
time when, at loose ends in the studio recording "The Laughing Man," they
decided to just jam, throwing little bits of melody at each other on their
respective instruments. Yazbek described himself as amazed by how much of
what Andy was playing seemed to be completely at right angles from ordinary
musical reality: it worked brilliantly, from a harmonic point of view, but
it just wasn't anywhere near what anybody else would have played. An Idiot
Savant's approach to the guitar.


> From: Charles <>
> Subject: Newell and other recommendations

> Is
> there any archive of bands/artists that people in this newsgroup have
> recommended?

Curtiss Hammock has a site called "Funk Pop A Roll: Music That You Might
Enjoy If You're An XTC Fan" at

You can also, of course, search the Chalkhills archives of back
issues. Search on the term "IMHO"; that ought to get you a few choice


> From: Yoshiko Yeto <> (Although I infinitely prefer your other monicker, "Malady Nelson"...)
> Subject: my convoluted picks

> 5. The Shaggs
> The Shaggs defied all conventions of music theory, musicianship, and
> musicality!  Their songs breathtakingly teetered on impending
> disintegration, yet they always miraculously managed to "stay together".  I
> defy anyone to try their nerve shattering tightrope act!  As an all girl
> group, they provide inspiration to us deranged members of the double x
> chromosome set.

From "The Worst Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time," by Jimmy Guterman &
Owen O'Donnell:

   Groups like the Shaggs are the perfect justification for a book
   like this: the group is fundamentally awful, yet you can't help
   loving them.

   What's special about the songs of Dorothy Wiggin, as played by
   her and sisters Betty and Helen, is their straightforward pureness
   coupled with the trio's less than rudimentary instrumental ability.
   In their insistence that technical proficiency was immaterial,
   the Shaggs were the original punk rockers.

   Unlike the punks' lack of chops, the minimalism of the Shaggs
   wasn't an act of will. "Going into the recording studio was all
   my father's idea," Dorothy told interviewer John DeAngelis 15
   years later. "We didn't feel like we were ready yet; we didn't
   feel that we knew that much about music." Indeed, the studio
   engineer suggested to Austin Wiggin Jr., that his daughters
   might benefit from some practice before he shelled out the
   cash for studio time.

   "Nope," answered the beaming father. "I want to get them
   while they're hot." All aspiring musicians should enjoy such
   a father's love.

   ...["Philosophy of the World"] sounds like nothing else in
   the history of the universe. It's a true original: listen
   to it and you'll doubt the Shaggs had ever heard any music
   other than their own. You might also doubt that they were
   holding their instruments correctly....

   A campy cult has grown around the Shaggs' charming, talent-
   free oeuvre, led by NRBQ's Terry Adams, an aficionado of the
   bizarre and inexplicable who oversaw the rerelease of both
   Shaggs records....

   "I'd like to continue with music lessons," Dorothy said in
   1984, "but right now I'm pretty busy."

All Hail Mother Internet! There's a Unofficial Shaggs web site at, with (manna!) RealAudio
clips at

Trust me: The Shaggs *didn't* know the Brit-slang connotation when they
chose that name.

Hey: just had one of those last-minute masterpiece-of-synthesis thoughts
I'm always annoying my wife with: A marriage between Tuli Kupferberg and
Dorothy Wiggin! The Fugs and the Shaggs!

Harrison "Diddle-diddle-bang-bang, Roger and out!" Sherwood


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 18:05:35 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Organization: Averstar, Inc.
Subject: Baby, baby, baby...

I'm given to understand there's a red-hot market in pagan babies going on
over in E-Bay. Me, I'm thinking of taking this thing to the next level,
getting into trading pagan-baby _futures_ at E*Trade... Picture me, there,
talking on my cellphone in my two-tone Italian loafers, cover of _Business
Week_ or maybe _Barrons_: "Modest Proposals--New Net Entrepreneurs Corner
Pagan-Baby Market, Condemn Selves, World to Hell Everlasting..."

Could be something in it.


Reason I was writing was, I'd noticed a little passage in the Epilogue of
"Song Stories" referring to the "debacle captured on the legendary Troggs
tapes" (p. 309), and I realized I had been meaning to share this link with
you: "TGG's Demos from Hell" and particularly "TGG's Sessions from Hell,"
both at

The "Sessions" part consists of "spy tapes" taken from the mixing board of
various acts trying to get something recorded--everybody from Orson Welles
to Buddy Rich. The Troggs Tape is "Session from Hell #2" and is just as
Neville Farmer describes it: "A band out of control, without a guiding
influence."  (Warning: Do not play this RA clip when children with easily
influenced minds are present--which means Magister Lawson can't come
anywhere near this link--because there's a heavy--and I mean
HEAVY--rhetorical reliance on the F-Bomb.)

The site's owner sez this tape was the inspiration for Spinal Tap, and one
listen will show you why.

Guaranteed laff riot. The "Demos" are a scream too.

Harrison "Shaggy? Is that *you*?" Sherwood


Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 19:03:57 -0400
Subject: Don't Look At Me, I'm Not Andy
Message-ID: <>

I just wanted to mention something, I'm not Andy.  It was a compliment
that someone would think that I would be him.  But sadly I'm a different
sex than him, and I don't have his wit.
That's all I have to say.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 19:00:52 EDT
Subject: Re: My Dinner With XTC

In a message dated 5/14/99 1:47:43 AM, <>

<< I know there's already been Testimonial Dinner, but I was thinking about
what would your dream XTC tribute album be?  Who would you have on it and
what songs would they sing. >>

  Good idea. I may have to come back to this later before I send it,
but here  goes with a few.

Chalkhills and Children- Suzanne Vega
All Of A Sudden(It's Too Late)-Richard Thompson
My Love Explodes- Sky Saxon
She's A Little Lighthouse-ZZ Top
The Mole From The Ministry-Julian Lennon
Travels In Nihilon- Nine Inch Nails


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 16:30:19 -0700
From: "Elena F. Sirignano" <>
Subject: Elvis Sings

Elvis would sing "Ball and Chain" as a follow up to "In the Getto".
                              NY Elena


From: "Michael Versaci" <>
Subject: That's It I'm Afraid
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 21:00:40 -0400
Message-ID: <000301bea0c9$d9da36e0$>


Mitch Friedman lists 12 songs for the upcoming AV2  including, "You and the
Clouds", "We're All Light", "Playground", "Church Of Women", "The Wheel and
the Maypole"  and three CM songs, and then ends with the apologetic:

>That's it I'm afraid


I can't wait!

Michael Versaci


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-210

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