Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-235

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 235

                  Thursday, 22 July 1999

Today's Topics:

                   XTC in a weird place
                    Sean Dwyer's turn.
                  Stung by the question
                 March of the sequencers
                       Get in tune
                        X25 != XTC
              "fuzzy warbles" release date?
                       RE: Hip Hop
         The History of Rock'n'Roll: my two cents
      A strange and fickle animal is the music biz!
                       Rock is dead
Real Astrology | The Televisionary Oracle | Saint of the Month
                    Travels in Nihilon
             E.Costello On XTC/St.Lillywhite
                      The Idle Race
                       square music
                      Summer Theatre
                  just follow your ears


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From: "Andrew Notarian" <>
Subject: XTC in a weird place
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 13:50:57 -0400
Message-ID: <000201bed2d8$6be41070$>

I know the "I heard XTC at the Safeway/Mall/K-Mart" thread is usually kind
of lame.... But I was at Camden Yards in Baltimore Sunday night to see the
New York Mets defeat the Orioles... and they played "I'd Like That" for its
ENTIRE length in the stadium somewhere towards the 7th inning.  For those
of you who don't or can't frequent major league baseball games, most music
gets cut off pretty quickly so it won't distract the players, but ILT made
it all the way to the end.  The game was sold out, so 47,000 people had
XTC's music forced upon them with most likely minimal impact.


Message-Id: <s7947ac0.009@OAG.STATE.TX.US>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 13:33:26 -0600
From: "Steve Oleson" <Steve.Oleson@OAG.STATE.TX.US>
Subject: Sean Dwyer's turn.

Sean said about Andy's vocals on River of Orchids:

"Is it just me, or do i detect a Sting impersonation in

It's just you, Shawn.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 15:22:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Chris Desmond <>
Subject: Stung by the question

Sean Dwyer asked, as if it wasn't an obvious question:
>River of Orchids is simply amazing in XTC terms; i can see why they
>were excited about it. Is it just me, or do i detect a Sting
>impersonation in there?

Duh! Without a shadow of a doubt, it's just you. If Andy was going to
impersonate anyone, I'm sure he'd have the good sense not to have it be


Chris D.


Message-ID: <000a01bed2e9$d2744240$4403883e@atidy>
From: "Adrian Ransome" <>
Subject: March of the sequencers
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 20:54:12 +0100

Dan wrote:
>i guess what i'm trying to figure out is: what exactly is [the
>equivilant to] "garage" music now? and exactly how are people utilizing
>new media and communications to distribute it? and is there still an
>aversion to "selling out"? alot of punk bands stayed punk on principle
>and never tried to get signed, even turned down offers in the interest
>of not compromising the music and to remain equals with their fans

Check out the .MOD scene, dude! Lots of people with half decent pc's, free
sequencing & sampling software, not a little skill and time on their hands.
There's a whole community of musicians creating free music for their own

Probably each one of them would jump at the chance of doing it for a
living, but at the moment they do it for the music (man).
Check out alt.binaries.sounds.mods on Usenet or, better still, ModPlug
Central at  for enlightenment.

Yes, some of it is ravey-davey mindless tripe, but a few of the more
'adventurous' types dabble in jazz or avant-garde stuff.

XTC content- err....Hey! I like em too!


find a penny/pick it up/all day long/you've got a penny


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 15:56:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Chris Desmond <>
Subject: Get in tune

Bob O'Bannon, states, on current youth music:
>XTC fans prided themselves for being on the cutting edge when they
>discovered the band 20 years ago (and we were), but to your average
>kid today who listens to Public Enemy or Snoop Doggy Dog, XTC is
>nearly the relative equivalent of listening to Air Supply.

Hate to nitpick, Bobby boy (well, okay, I don't really), but if you
think the "average kid" today is listening to Public Enemy, you haven't
turned on the radio in a few years. Great as they are/were, PE haven't
been popular with the kids for quite some time, minor radio-play for
"He Got Game" notwithstanding...

And one more note, to "Chauffefamily," who opted for whatever reason
not to sign his/her real name: have you even *listened* to Lauryn
Hill's (and it would only help your argument if you knew how to spell
her name -- oh, but there I go nitpicking again) album? To call her a
"pathetic rip-off" is itself pathetic, because she is one of the few
current artists who actually has something to say and doesn't rely on
recycled riffs to say it. Just who would you say she's ripping off? And
I don't know what world you're living in, but to hope that rock will
"reclaim" the airwaves is pretty misguided. The Top 40 world you
dislike so much has always been dominated by fluffy, insubstantial
music and always will be. Whatever music that you're hoping will be
doing the "reclaiming" will always remain primarily outside the Top 40,
with a precious few anomalous exceptions, and even most of those will
You say, "I think pop in general (except for alternative bands) all has
the same formula..." -- well, in case you haven't noticed, bucko, 95%
of the so-called "alternative" bands are totally formulaic too,
alternative to nothing. Wake up and smell the airwaves...

Lauryn Hill could kick your pappy's ass,

Chris D.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Will Lewis" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 21:17:09 GMT
Subject: X25 != XTC

Fellow Chalkhillers;

I have an embarrassing anecdote to report. I purchased, about 6 months
ago, a few XTC CDs to add to the ol' collection, including "Mummer", "Upsy
Daisy Assortment" and "Tidy". Before you say anything, just wait!  Before
I had a chance to listen to "Tidy" I lent it to a coworker who was
interested in XTC from hearing my collection at work. He quickly brought
it back and told me how much it sucked. I had a hurt heart for another
loss of a potential XTC fan and let it go at that. As I do with many CDs,
I let it collect a little dust before I pop it in for a play. I popped it
in today. It turns out that it is some group called X25 (at least that's
what my RealJukebox says it is) and must have been in with the sacred XTC
selection. My coworker was right.  It does suck and I feel so bad at
having blown the chance to wrangle a convert. I'm so embarrassed.

This is a good time to make mention of my own conversion to the chalky
side.  The album "Oranges and Lemons" stirred my soul and got me
started. But the song "Seagulls Screaming (Kiss Her, Kiss Her)" had me
trapped and trapped I remain. My fave by far is Skylarking, with an aching
passion for the song "Satellite" (God, I hope that's the name. My CD
player chewed it up and I haven't replaced it yet.). And I owe it all to
my big brother, David. When I was a teen and almost succumbed to the Bon
Jovi side, you rescued my musical soul. I thank you.

Regards to all from Dallas,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 21:39:59 -0700
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: CIC
Subject: "fuzzy warbles" release date?

Anybody got a release date yet on that
"fuzzy warbles" box?

Just wodnering...

/Dan Phipps <>

"Imagination like a muscle will increase with exercise."
(Peter Blegvad)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 21:48:00 -0600
Subject: Buzzcocks
From: "Bob O'Bannon" <>

>I think part of the reason that so many of us don't find music (or insert
>your favorite art form here) surprising, challenging or shocking anymore
>is that, as we have more life experience, our own immunity to being
>shocked, challenged or surprised is building up.

I think it would be interesting to discuss the way in which new musical
forms "advance" from the cutting edge to relative mass acceptance in such a
short amount of time. Case in point: the Buzzcocks are now being used to
sell cars. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard "What Do I Get?"  as
background music for a Toyota SUV. This could be partly due to the fact
that punk fans from the late 70s are now running the marketing departments
for major corporations, but that still does not explain why the Buzzcocks,
a band that never achieved commercial success, would appear to be a logical
choice to sell cars.

Today we hear the Beatles in the doctor's office, when 35 years ago that
would have seemed unthinkable. Now the Buzzcocks sell Toyotas. It can't be
long before we hear "Train Running Low..." in the local mall.

Bob O


Message-Id: <>
From: Lawson Dominic <>
Subject: RE: Hip Hop
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 10:42:25 +0100

Oh dear.

>>I think most hip-hop & Lauren Hill
especially, is a pathetic rip-off.

Meaning what? You don't like it? It's not good value-for-money? Sorry,
that's a really, really weak thing to say.

>> It seems to me it is good only
because a few R n' B artist say so and because that is what MTV & the
commercial radio stations are jamming down everyone's throats.

...and that's even weaker. The old "people do what they're told" argument
simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Hip Hop, and to a lesser extent modern
R&B, is the best selling music in the world at the moment, by quite a long
way. Only C&W and Heavy Metal come close. Just because something's
massively popular, it doesn't necessarily follow that it's all a big
conspiracy to keep XTC out of the charts, or even to control people's
listening habits.  Yes, there is a big element of that involved - the media
decides who to promote and then does so, thus influencing millions of
people - but your argument is based on the fact that you don't like or, to
be more accurate, appreciate the value of Hip Hop. That's no reason at all
to imply that people are stupid for buying it.

Besides, radio stations used to jam The Beatles down people's throats and I
don't hear anyone criticizing them for being corporate cack.

Also, Lauryn Hill is a weird choice of target. Her album is probably the
best of its kind since "Songs In The Key Of Life", and yet you consider it
a pathetic rip-off. Utterly bizarre.

>>I think pop in general (except for alternative bands) all has the same
formula to the point where all music has the same r n' b backing sound with
the exception of maybe some different lyrics whether it be a Mariah Carey,
Brittany Spears or N' Sync, etc., etc.

Sorry, but that's a very ignorant view. Apart from the rather feeble
example of "alternative bands" (I dread to think who you consider to be
alternative), your statement is just wrong. If you'd listened to a broad
range of r'n'b or Hip Hop records you would know how varied and interesting
the genres can be. Almost unbelievably, you seem to be implying that Lauryn
Hill has something in common with N'Sync and Britney Spears. Jesus, are you
on crack or something? Yes, there's tons of formulated pap and much of it
dominates radio and TV music programmes, but so what? That's no basis for
dismissing an entire culture and you should really get your facts straight
before diving head first into an argument of this nature.

>>Rock music will survive and I'm sure in time, will find a way to
'reclaim' the airways.

Undoubtedly, but why you consider Rock to be any more worthy than Hip Hop
remains unclear. No doubt I will be bombarded with abuse as usual, but I
can't let such vacuous remarks go unquestioned. I think sometimes people
confuse being massive XTC fans (and the understandable frustration that
they don't sell millions of records) with being non-conformist, radical
music fans. I love XTC with a passion, but they're a pop group - it's not
Stockhausen, John Zorn or Merzbow - and pose far less of a threat to the
white mainstream than Method Man or Busta Rhymes.

>>XTC is out of fashion,
untrendy, conciliatory, easy-going, happy music for people over 30. And
I'll take that over hip-hop anytime.

Why not take both? More music = more fun!




Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 00:47:40 +0200
From: Giovanni Giusti <>
Subject: The History of Rock'n'Roll: my two cents

First cent:

Remember Andy's "The History of Rock and Roll" on R&BB anyone? That IMHO
should be enough to make all of us self-conscious when discussing such
grand topics as "where is rock music going today".

Second cent, self-consciously:

Personally, I think that each generation - and by these I mean the shorter
youth-culture generations, not the parent-to-child ones - sees last
decade's music as boring and obsolete, and the "new" music as cool. Then,
these people turn 30 and suddenly "they" are the ones who are listening to
obsolete, boring music.

In the 80s there were great bands like XTC or U2, and absolute crap such
as... mmhhh... Kim Wilde, "Bette Davis' Eyes", and a lot of commercial and
meaningless music which we have forgotten - this is also why we feel that
those days were not so replete with meaningless and uncreative music,
because we have now blotted out everything that came and went, as crappy
music usually does.

I humbly surmise that there are bands today that make creative and
interesting music that will last well after the end of the millennium: only
I don't know who they are, because I'm not in sync with today's scene.

After all, the 50s had Elvis, the 60s had the Beatles, the 70s had Yes, the
80s had XTC... could it be that this is the first decade which will produce
no memorable new music at all?


"Thank you and good night."


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 09:59:19 EDT
Subject: A strange and fickle animal is the music biz!

Andy's rotten luck: he helps to produce a few songs for Blur's "Modern Life
is Rubbish" album in 1992, but the band dismisses him because he makes them
'sound too much like XTC.'

Blur hits paydirt with (XTC-influenced) "Parklife" (1994) and "The Great
Escape" (1995) then goes "American grunge", essentially tossing off the
"Britpop heroes" mantle.

The result? Still no big hit single for XTC, Blur's popularity declines,
but fans can pick up the Blur poptunes thread with enormously popular
Smashmouth, which sounds like Blur circa 1994-1995, with Richard Butler




Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 07:26:55 EDT
Subject: Rock is dead

>Rock has had its day -- an artificially extended day at that, thanks to
>the huge size and clout of the baby-boomer population segment. There is
>still room for artistic exploration within the form, but let's all stop
>waiting for the next Elvis/Beatles/Dylan/Sex Pistols to "save" the
>idiom. We are in the late twilight of rock as a significant cultural
>force, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the pretty sunset and then go
>sit around the bright campfire of our choice.
>Ouch. That metaphor just stretched so far that it broke and snapped back
>into my eye.
>-- Drew

  For me the last truly important rock band was Nirvana, and when Kurt
Cobain offed himself IMO he killed rock.(I can't even listen to my Nirvana
albums anymore) All the new bands I've heard since then have been either
pretty good retreads of what's gone before(Fastball, Sugarplastic)or little
more than snide musical novelties(Presidents Of The United States Of
America). The only really original pock/rock based new music I've heard has
been by singer-songwriters.  Nonetheless, most of my purchases in the past
year have been by already established bands I'm already into. I'd never
have believed I'd have got this conservative. I have little use for rap but
it's intrinsically as viable a form of self-expression as everything else,
it's just not to my taste.

  Rock is dead. Long live rock, said The Who.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 12:13:23 -0400
From: William <>
Organization: Palazzo Guido
Subject: Real Astrology | The Televisionary Oracle | Saint of the Month

Dear Chalkhills:

News Flash:  Andy Partridge is Saint of the Month!
Hope you and Andy like this...


From: "paolo di modica" <>
Subject: Travels in Nihilon
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 19:44:09 +0200
Message-ID: <000801bed3a0$a2ee31e0$b491d8d4@pii350>

I write for the first time and to say a foolishness:

To the end of Travels in Nihilon, the first time I have thought that it was
the noise of an egg that fried in frying pan: -))))


Paolo Di Modica


From: "Franz Fuchs" <>
Subject: E.Costello On XTC/St.Lillywhite
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 21:23:02 +0200
Message-ID: <000001bed3ae$732c35c0$af4aaac3@franzfuc>

In late 1983 Elvis Costello did a blindfold test for the German magazine
(I've taken these two qotes from the interesting "Elvis Costello

XTC: "Love On A Farmboy's Wages"

(Laughs) "Wonderful - XTC. I like the band because they always do the
opposite of what you expect. XTC is a lesson in real English cleverness.
The boys are so clever and smart that the press have great problems with
them. I don't like everything on their albums, but you can find some
absolute jewels. I think "Great Fire" and this song are fantastic. I also
love the sound of their acoustic guitars."

U2: "40 (How Long)"

Who is this? He's continually singing "40 How Long" and then nothing
happens. Overblown bombastic arrangement. Could Steve Lillywhite be
behind this? He ruins everything with his monster productions. I have
nothing against hard, crashing drum sounds, but when it's used just for
the sake of it...? No, I can't get this one, who is it? ... Oh, U2!
Never liked them. No subtlety. Solid sound-wall. Mush."

fax: ++43 6132 28744


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 20:19:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Susperia Five <>
Subject: The Idle Race

To Mark, who is sure of flaming for mention Jeff Lynne and the Idle

No flaming from this chica.  I love both and have loved Jeff since I
was just a wee one at 11 years old (about 700 years ago).  And, since
I'm new to the list, why is the mention of Jeff Lynne so blasphemous
here?  I always felt it a natural progression to adore XTC since I was
so into ELO (particularly the Eldorado years).  And as far as The Idle
Race, one particular song they did "The Skeleton and the Roundabout"
immediately put me in mind of some of the Dukes songs.  "Come with Me"
is also just beautiful, with those soaring vocalisations so often heard
in XTC compositions.  Anyway, that's my 2 cents.  If you're flamed, you
won't be flamed alone.  ::hunkers down, with a wet towel on her head so
as not to lose her hair in the fire::

Peace and Victory,

The value of anything is how much it hurts ~~ Shriekback


Message-ID: <000d01bed40d$68fc9680$51398ad1@funtosplamisham>
Subject: square music
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 02:42:45 -0400

and i quote:
"Face it, everybody -- we listen to square music... XTC is out of fashion,
untrendy, conciliatory, easy-going, happy music for people over 30."

xtc may be out of fashion, but looks whats in: crap.  people think taste
used to be better... even when the beatles were around, when the rolling
stones could top the charts, when the who was great, most of the charts
were full of shit.  now, this britanny spears, n sync thing is easily
explained.  12-year-old girls and boys (and boys are buying it as much as
anyone) have money nowadays.  in the 60's this wasnt (as) true.  i work in
a record store... in the first month i was there, we sold over 100 copies
each of backstreet boys and that ex-menudo guy's respective albums.  most
of the time, "its for my neice," or "my son, the little meathead singing
'wild wild west' at the top of his lungs five feet from you, wants it" and
the ilk.  regardless, ALL popular taste is crap.  that would explain why
people buy "bras" for their cars... who would want underwear for their car?
to keep the bugs off?  then you have to clean the stupid "bra"!  and that
takes more effort!  xtc is only square to the little maggots buying teenie
bopper shite.  and that will never change.  but, for those who know, who i
assume we are to some extent, xtc is a breath of fresh air in music.
something different at least.  a band that doesnt apologize for not making
hit records.  (although mayor of simpleton comes close.)
there are plenty of bands out there that most people have no clue about,
and therefore cannot judge.  xtc had its moment in the charts, but since
that moment has passed, everyone thinks they are passe.
but, beyond the charts, there are bands like autechre and hafler trio and
prefab sprout (at least in america theyre beyond the charts) and blue nile
who make this era of music quite exciting.  there are unlimited potentials
for music, but they are always explored underground first.  so, if the
charts are dead, theres always the stuff you pay $35 for an import copy of
a 4-song single.  its a sad way to live, but as always, its the only way.
thanks for your time
and attention
jesse (my computer is fixed!  my computer is fixed!)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 12:43:41 +0200
From: dieling <>
Subject: Summer Theatre

Hi Kreiders !

Summer again, even in northern Germany it's damn hot and my brains start
I'll be on Net holiday for the next coupla weeks, as my Uni takes its
summer holiday, so I just wanted to wish all of you a nice happy summer,
well, at least the northern hemisphere residents, all the folks from
Australia, New Zealand and Botswana: A nice and happy winter !
Still waiting for some CD shop to get "Id Like That" for me. I'd like
I'd like that now.
Well, all I can do is wait, I guess.
Okay, so, til in a couple of weeks, but ah !
Nearly forgot my tuppence on HipHop vs. Rock :

My opinion:
Most "New Rock" or "Alternative Rock" is damn boring, so is most of the
Hip Hop stuff today, thanks to guys like Puff Daddy ( time the
Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisiy strike back ).
So, what's the youth's predominant music culture ?
I guess it's a mix of lotsa stuff, from "punk" (like Offspring or
whatever...) to "hiphop" (like Puff Daddy...) to "jungle" (meaning
Prodigy here, although they stopped being breakbeaty about three years
ago...) to "metal" (like Marylin Manson....)
See, I think  whatever is sold as cool, is bought. That's it. I don't
think HipHop is noise whereas Rock is music, I like good music from
classical to death metal to ambient techno to hiphop to xtc. It's all
not so far, there's links everywhere, and XTC are a good example, from
punk rock to ambient sounds to pure pop to chamber-music like minimal
Okay, so they don't do HipHop, but hey, they did Dub Experiments, and
that technique was very important for the development of HipHop,
Drum'n'Bass and any kind of DJing style.
As you see, links everywhere...

So, have a good time this summer, hear from me in September, I guess...

bye, Lemoncurry
residing in the Lemon Lounge at

listen to Lemon Lounge Radio


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 17:55:23 -0700
From: moparson <>
Subject: just follow your ears

Howdy Chalkies;

just poking my head in here after lurking for a bit. I had the wonderful
experience of  being "led" to dinner via "King for A Day"  playing over
a restaurant/brew pub in a nearby shopping center.  What made dinner
even better was running into an acquaintance *he saw me first*, and
catching up on our respective lives, whilst I enjoyed a good pizza and
pint of beer.

 Hearing XTC as I was walking to this place sure was a good omen.
*back to real life/lurk mode*



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