Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-228

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 228

                  Saturday, 3 July 1999

Today's Topics:

                   And the winner is...
                        A QUESTION
                  Some assembly required
      Apple Venus discussion plus Greenman on radio
                  That's just too weird.
              XTC Rumour - Any Truth To It?
                      OTHER ARTISTS
                   Apple Venus & Erica
                   Get HEAD today!!!!!
                   some random yakkery
                     Green Grass Men
                 The "New Single" dilemma
            Traveling With Dear God In Nihilon
       the grays and their components, newell, etc.
                DC area stores? Good ones?
               Song Stories for sale/trade
              Funk Pop A Roll the only goal
                      mere opinions


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Down through the skin to the core.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 21:45:10 +0200
Subject: And the winner is...

Dear Chalkers,

Ain't it good to be back?
it sure does!

Anyway, at the risk of hammering dwon the obvious:

> >Apart from the fact that it's a line from Nonsuch, anyone care to venture
> >as to what "Apple Venus" actually MEANS?
> here are my thoughts:
> "Then She Appeared/ Apple Venus On A Half-open Shell..."
> see in your mind's eye the image of botaccelli's painting "venus on the
> half shell" (kill me if that's the wrong artist

no, you are 100% right in that it is referring to that famous picture but
the apple from "apple venus" does NOT have any religious meaning
at all.

it refers to the Judgement of Paris, a story by Homer where this
young Trojan prince had to pick the most beautiful woman from 3
goddesses by handing his favourite a golden apple. he gave it to
Aphrodite ( aka Venus ) who had bribed him with the promise of
delivering Helena to him.

But Helena was already married to a Greek king (Meneleus? i forgot)
and this upset her husband so much that he and his allies started a
war against Troy.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <002301bec3fc$eb977860$5a81b2d1@oemcomputer>
From: "Aaron Pastula" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 13:04:20 -0700

Hey all -

No XTC content (except that I'm wondering if Colin will get to do "How
Frivolous Tonight Came To Be"), but PLEASE READ THIS:

Several months ago there was a posting about an "opera" singer, I believe in
the 30's or so, who was REALLY BAD; a big ol' woman who was able to sing in
Carnagie Hall, I think, because she ran in these high social circles and
because all these little old ladies who used to listen to her apparantly
thought she had talent.  But she was really really hillariously awful, and
the post was put up because there was a thread going on at the time about
the worst music on earth, or something...

There was a link leading to the page where you could by her disc and get bio
information, but I can't find it in the archives for the life of me and I
desperately on one knee...see me



Message-ID: <>
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Some assembly required
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 16:48:43 -0400

Calling All Prog-Chalkers:

How's this for using the power of the 'Net...

Tony Levin, bassist and stick-player extraordinaire, has been (among other
things) part of several collaborations for prog-rock label Magna Carta
Records. He's considering some projects for next year, and -- get this --
has set up a form on his Web site to gather suggestions from all interested
parties as to whom he should collaborate with.

Check it out at:
(and while you're at it, look at the rest of his site, which gives a nice
little glimpse of what it's like to be a down-to-earth but in-demand
musician on tour and in the studio)

Even though it's a form of heresy to think of Andy paired with any bassist
but Colin, it sure would be interesting to hear him stretch out as a
guitarist with TL and some other musicians of note (so to speak). Think of
the possibilities! Post them here! Post them there! Post them EVERYWHERE!!

Hell, I'll suggest Gregsy, too!

--Todd "Am I allowed to suggest myself on drums?" Bernhardt


Message-ID: <900822C71730D2118D8C00805F65765C78B873@EINSTEIN>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: Apple Venus discussion plus Greenman on radio
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 18:31:42 -0500

Greetings Chalkers,

I've enjoyed the various musings on the meaning
of Apple Venus.  Quite likely you are ALL right since
Andy seems to embrace multiple meanings in most
of his lyrics.  I still prefer my own interpretation,
however, that Apple Venus is a woman ripe for the taking.

Someone mentioned that the radio version of Greenman
has been trimmed to 4+ minutes, so I called KGSR a
local Austin radio station that has been playing the hell
out of that song, and asked the DJ how long the version
they've got in rotation is.  Sure enough, it's 4:24 minutes.
Now I'm embarrassed that I never noticed the difference.
I'd say that whoever chopped two minutes out of that song
did a really nice job.

While we were talking, the DJ (Jody Denberg for those
who care) mentioned that Andy recorded a station
identification tape for them.  This is a 15- or 20-second
snippet where Andy announces the name of the station
as well as spouts some other delightful nonsense.  Jody
played it over the phone for me, but unfortunately I couldn't
hear it very well.  Not to worry, Jody says, I'll be hearing
it every so often just before they play Greenman, which is
every 7 hours right now! You can hear it for yourself if
your computer has speakers because KGSR broadcasts
over the Internet.  If you want to check it out:


Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 22:09:45 -0400
From: Don & Sue <>
Subject: That's just too weird.

Cheers Chalk Children,

Dan just wrote:
>so i picked up 2 items that came highly recommended on chalkhills: the
>grays 'ro sham bo' and martin newell 'greatest living englishman'.
>i fu*king love martin newell! it was just what i hoped it would be and
>lived up to all the praise i'd heard about it. but would someone please
>back up and tell me what is so special about the grays??!

I just finished reading that a minute ago while listening to *my* new
copy of GLE for the first time.  It's awesome!  But the really freaky
part is that my copy of *RoShamBo* is presently on it's way from our own
Phil Corliss.  I recently won it from him on eBay and he's sending it
along with a straggling Apple Venus tanktop.  A cool coincidence - the
only downside being that since I agree with Dan so much on Newell, I'm
worried that I'll agree with him also on The Grays.  Optimism alone
makes me suggest that maybe it pales so much only by comparison?  I
mean, I'm sitting here still trying to recover from We'll Build a House,
A Street Called Prospect, and especially The Jangling Man, but now
sudddenly the swirling, psychedelic ending to The Green-Gold Girl of
Summer is threatening to carry me far away as I write this.  Wow.

Anyway . . .  Not much else to say . . .



Message-ID: <001001bec430$05d25fa0$ae2756d1@susanpav>
From: "Andisheh Nouraee" <>
Subject: XTC Rumour - Any Truth To It?
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 22:10:13 -0400

Is there any truth to the rumour that XTC is recording their new album in
bottom drawer of my desk?  It sure would be interesting if it was true.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 22:01:41 -0500
From: Erik Meyer <>
Subject: electronic

I would shit my perverbial pants if Marr did anything with

Erik The Smiths Lover.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 22:09:30 -0500
From: Erik Meyer <>

I was just wondering who else was a fan of the The.  I put
(them) up with the greatest,


Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 20:23:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Misty Shock <>
Subject: Apple Venus & Erica
Message-ID: <>

<<Therefore I arrive at the conclusion that Andy's girlfriend Ms. Wexler
is the "Venus of Apple" in question and the album named for her

Song Stories denies this is about Erica.  Neville Farmer notes that the
tricolor and Phrygian cap refers to the French national figure, named
Marianne.  Farmer also says that Andy thinks of it as "inconsequential
fluff."  Kind of reminds me of John Lennon's comments about "It's Only
Love."  Does anybody else think this song is not as awful as he thinks?
Listen to the Anthology version.  Anyway...

... for whatever reason, I always associated "apple venus" with the term

Misty Shock
"No round of drinks can extinguish this feeling of love and engulfing
bliss."						--Andy Partridge


Message-ID: <>
From: Daniel Wrzesinski <>
Subject: Get HEAD today!!!!!
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 20:55:50 PDT

The following letter is for all, regarding postings by DANIELLE, RALPH, JON
and LISA

I say I must agree with Mr. Ralph Simpson DeMarco!
    The Monkees movie, "HEAD", is a fantastic film.  It's better than any
Beatles flick in my opinion.  It's "A Hard Days Night" on acid.  But anyone
who really sees the symbolic messages within the movie will be amazed at
what is being said. (Think of the lyrics to "Funk Pop A Roll")  One can no
longer pass The Monkees off as some untalented puppets of the music/TV biz.
These boys had wit, they had brains and they had a lot of nerve too.  Don't
expect anything like the TV show.  This is one weird flick that's out to
make you think.  And yes the music is good too.  I own the soundtrack and it
is my favorite Monkees album. Get HEAD today!

Another good recommendation was made by LISA!
   The Big Takeover Interview with XTC is outrageously funny!  It's a nice
long article too.  The kind you could read again and again.  Andy really
rips on Celine Dion and Brad Roberts (from Crash Test Dummies)! Wait until
you read about what Colin likes Andy to do with his balls!

    What must I do to get a copy of "Bags of Fun with Buster"?!?!?!?  It's
the only XTC side-project I haven't heard.  I must get my hands on it!
    Do you also have the "Scrotal Scratch Mix?"

So, how about that English Settlement, ay?!?!  Ya know, even XTC themselves
don't think that it's all that great of an album either! Ya know what the
worst song on it is?  "Senses Working Overtime"  Good song, but I'm so bored
of that one.  "Snowman" aint that good either.  My favorite song is
"Leisure" which didn't even appear on the original version.  So my favorite
original version song would have to be "Ball and Chain"
   Does anyone else agree with me on this?!?!
   Drums & Wires  and Nonsuch forever!!! Whoo-hooooo!



Message-ID: <001401bec449$14a27380$4d6dc2d1@joeblow>
From: "otis career jr" <>
Subject: some random yakkery
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 22:09:34 -0700

first discovered 'the boys' after reading a review of 'drums and wires' in
creem magazine, back in 79....immidiately aquired back lps and 45s and was
hooked. had heard 'nigel' but remain unimpressed by that cut.
the monkee's 'head' movie is definately an unsung treasure. highly second
the reccomendation!
madame barnum simply about guy being played for sucker born every minute by
i, by the way, am always seeking decent cassette copies of xtc demos.....
being a writer, i invite your eyes to:


Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 13:59:01 +1000
From: SEBASTIEN MAURY 02 9950 3315 <>
Subject: Green Grass Men

Are we not Green Men?
The heights of commercialism reached by our illustrious heroes know no
bounds...from Lavish Rolling Stone praise to Sydney Morning Herald darlings
(no, really!) and then on to Who Weekly's list of hip CDs (hip? well, yeah,
I guess, if they say so). As if all that wasn't enough, they broke through
the crassometer that filters out all taste on Australia's premier purveyor
of prime shittv (TM), to be featured for about 2 mins on the Wimbledon
coverage last night: Channel 9 around 11pm, the first 2 minutes of
Greenman, complete with "bassoon" intro...all over the top of graceful
slowmo swan dives and graceless dummy spitting hulks in white.
I'm assuming that Australian TV buys the images of the tennis only and
provides all their own links, commentary and soundtracks...but can any
English viewers/readers/listeners confirm this (it was during the Dokic v
Stevenson match)?
Other Oz happenings: Does anyone have a local release date for I'd Like
That here? Paul?
What next? "Grass", the muzak version to accompany Lawn Bowls?


Message-ID: <000b01bec441$b10ead40$e0a4b3d1@oemcomputer>
From: "Aaron Pastula" <>
Subject: The "New Single" dilemma
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 21:15:55 -0700

Said Dunks,

>After all, what do we get? A song we already own, a demo version of same
>(which IMHO will really only be of value to completists) and a little yarn
>from Andy about how he wrote the song.
>Cute package, I guess, but does it really represent the sort of value and
>fun XTC singles used to provide? Not really.

What?!  What other band do you know that has ever put an explanation of how
their song was written on a single (or has songs even *worth* explaining,
but that's another issue...)?!  This is as close as 99.999% of us will get
to sitting down with Andy and getting a tour of his music...sounds pretty
fun to me, and I personally got them solely to hear the explanation track.
Sure, you can't necessarily listen to it over and over again, but still...I
think it's a pretty novel idea, and certainly one of value.

>What happened to the tradition
>of adding some *different* and otherwise unreleased tracks?

Andy probably figured most people *had* all those already, and with another
album so close on the heels of AV1 and, possibly, track selection still not
finalized, he probably didn't want to show all his cards.

I think you've certainly got a point, but just because there's no "Hetero
Safari Series" on these doesn't mean they're not worth getting.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 21:29:28 -0700
From: "May O'Mahoney" <>
Subject: Traveling With Dear God In Nihilon

Wisemoon writes:
> What religon are the members of xtc... i noticed that many of the new album
> themes seen EXTREMLY pagan... and with the Wiccan Rede on the back cover of
> Apple Venus i wonder...... can you help??? :) thanks

Religion?  Where?  (Looks around nervously.)  No offense Wisemoon, but
finding out what religious beliefs these boys may have is no grand
revelation.  So what if Andy is a messenger of Satan and Colin is a
Southern Baptist bible thumper? (smart ass grin)

It all boils down to a handful of incredibly talented musicians that
make inspiring music.

That's all the religion I need.


Message-ID: <000f01beacb9$6ff4e440$>
From: "Drew MacDonald" <>
Subject: the grays and their components, newell, etc.
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 22:33:25 -0700

Dan, I agree fully with your assessment of Martin Newell's "The Greatest
Living Englishman." Fabulous in all respects. A recent bit of used-bin luck
turned up a limited edition copy of that CD gatefolded with a "Live At The
Greyhound" CD, featuring a spoken-word performance by Martin.  Hilarious
and insightful! I can see why Andy wanted to work with him. Does anybody
out there know if the other Martin Newell music (solo or with Cleaners From
Venus) is as good as "Englishman?" Or is AP's influence so pervasive on
that record that I will miss it on the other, Andy-less works?

Sorry that you didn't enjoy The Grays much, Dan, but you don't want to give
up on those artists' later works. Jason Falkner's new solo record "Can You
Still Feel" should definitely appeal to Chalkhillers, and if Jon Brion can
capture on his upcoming record the brilliance he displays in his weekly
club gigs here in L.A., we'll all love that, too. Incidentally, Jon is
producing Robyn Hitchcock's next record, and I've been lucky enough to be
in the audience when Robyn has popped up to join Jon on stage.

Finally, a friend -- who is usually trustworthy in these matters -- insists
that there is another XTC tribute CD out there other than "Testimonial
Dinner."  Not true, right? What could he be thinking of, do you suppose?

Glad to have found you, Chalkhillers. (This is my first post).


From: "Andrew Notarian" <>
Subject: DC area stores? Good ones?
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 09:37:41 -0400
Message-ID: <000101bec490$0eceef50$>

While searching for a good record store in Washington last weekend, I found
several 12" singles at a store called Phantasmagoria near DuPont Circle.
There were all $4.99 and I am not familiar enough with the condition
ratings to hazard a guess...  There were also many studio albums on vinyl.

My real reason for posting is to ask where the good record stores in the DC
area are.  Let's Go Washington said some good things about some stores in
Adams-Morgan which will be my next trip.  I'm pretty sure we all consider a
store good if it has a nice selection of XTC albums and not just an empty
slot or 6 copies of AV1.  Even though I own all the albums I still check
for XTC every time I enter a new store.


Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 09:42:19 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <l03130300b3a23905b5c6@[]>
From: Chris Van Valen <>
Subject: Song Stories for sale/trade

Hi Chalksticks

I just got a copy of Song Stories for my birthday and I already have a
copy. Make me an offer.


If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work. - J.G. Bennett

And it's potato, potato, potato. - Mike Keneally


Message-ID: <>
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Funk Pop A Roll the only goal
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 10:01:16 -0400


In #5-227, Giovanni Giusti said:
>Thus record stores, where still a lot of people buy their CDs, could
"virtually" carry all possible record titles available. No more plodding
from mall to mall in search of the only copy of "I Like That" arrived in
your town, no long waits for imports and back orders... just walk in your
record store and *always* find your CDs.<

The online services are now offering this same kind of "assemble your own
CD" service, which, along with MP3, I believe is one of the "paradigm
shifts" (businesspeak bullshit, I know, but appropriate in this case)
currently rocking every aspect of the music industry, including the way it
markets music, the way people will perceive and buy music and, ultimately,
the way musicians will get paid.

A lot can be said about this, but to scratch the surface, consider the way
many people here have admitted they fell in love with XTC and how this new
paradigm could affect newcomers' approach to the band. Most people have
been drawn to the band by one of its (relatively rare) immediately likable,
radio-friendly songs (the "sweets," as Andy likes to call them), bought the
album, and were then hooked over time by the depth and intelligence of
other songs on the album, songs that may not necessarily have appealed to
them at first but that they fell in love with as their understanding of the
band's talents and message grew over time. Once "converted," these same
fans bought subsequent (or previous) albums with the faith that the music
would speak to them eventually, whether it appealed to them on first listen
or not.

Now fans have the capability (as they always have, to a degree, if they
wanted to buy singles or samplers, or make their own mixes) and, more
important, the _convenience_ of _only_ buying the "sweets" and missing out
on the meat and potatoes, which used to come included as part of a meal
served up by a particular artist. This will potentially create a much more
fickle fan base and could prod musicians and music marketers to pursue the
flavor of the moment with even more gusto than they currently do. At the
same time, musicians (like XTC) who refuse to cater to the ever-changing
tastes of the masses could be punished financially because, though they'll
no doubt retain a loyal fan base, they may only sell one or two songs off
an album rather than an elpee's worth of toones.

How to balance this? Well, the Internet and direct marketing of music by
musicians to fans may be an answer, as may new guidelines for royalty
payments negotiated by musicians for songs included on such Frankenstein
CDs, but don't count The Industry out yet. It's going to protect its
interests (making money, basically), and there is plenty of label fodder to
be found in the legions of wannabe musicians who will gladly take the place
of those bad soldiers who fall out (or are drummed out) of service because
they want just compensation for their art. The battle between good and
evil, which has been raging for eons, will no doubt continue...

This change, like so many others engendered by digital technology, is
inevitable. The question, I suppose, is how do we -- both as fans of
intelligent music and as musicians (because many of us here are) --
approach/deal with this change?



From: Kimberly Martin <>
Subject: mere opinions
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 12:14:54 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

The reason English Settlement is probably your least favorite XTC album
is because "Shake You Donkey Up" is one of your favorite XTC songs. ES
is my fave XTC album, and "Donkey" is my least fave XTC song.  But, so
what??  That's your opinion versus mine.  so, no flame, sorry to
disappoint you!  :)  It's hard to say why ES is my fave XTC album, b/c
I think it does have some of XTC's weakest songs, ex. "Runaways," and
the end of "Melt the Guns" just drags on and on.  I think choosing
"Skylarking" as a fave is just the too-obvious choice, and that's not
my fave just b/c it doesn't seem to encompass what XTC can really
do--Skylarking is great, it's just their most commercially accessible
work.  ES, on the other hand, shows the full range of what XTC can
do--pretty pop, acoustic, rock, "tribal" beats (I still chuckle when I
think about white pasty Andy dressed up in tribal gear dancing around a
fire to "It's Nearly Africa"), etc..."Big Express" is my least favorite
(blue) overall, just because it's so darn overproduced.  I think Andy
meant for it to sound big and bombastic after the pretty pastorality
(sp?) of "Mummer," but I think that concept fell pretty flat--it just
sounded like XTC was trying to sound like other over-produced early
80's bands.
That's it for now!


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-228

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