Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-262

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 262

               Wednesday, 1 September 1999

Today's Topics:

                 Pink Thing and Petition
         Chalkhills recommends / no XTC content!!
        for better or worse, for richer or poorer
              Rebellious Vietnamese Jukebox
                we have another convert...
                     He said, He said
                  This Thing Called Pink
                     quotable quotes
                         That Dog
                  Re: The Only XTC Song
                  Re: Rag and Bone, Man
                     Two Faces Have I
                   My 4 favorite lists
                     Christmas grass
                     Many old threads
                        The Big 5


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Shiney grey black snake of bikes / He slithers.


Date: 31 Aug 1999 05:06:23 -0700
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Pink Thing and Petition

Regarding Pink Thing, it was actually my all-time favorite XTC song until
Knights in Shining Karma began it's reign. I've always felt that Pink Thing
was the most innocent and purely jubilant song I'd ever heard. PT has a
cool groove paired with tender humor. It also has one of the most perfect
guitar solos ever. Every single note in the guitar line is a perfectly
beautiful bubble placed in the most gorgeously happy, laid-back, and
uplifting order! (if Plato's was right then that axe rif has got to be a
Anyway, regarding the idea to submit a petition to Phish requesting an XTC
cover for their annual cover album, I would love to sign it! Nothing
ventured, nothing gained, right! And, even if by some slim chance Phish
decides to cover another band this year, we would still be planting the
seed of suggestion! I'm in for the long-game, if not this year, maybe next!


Subject: Chalkhills recommends / no XTC content!!
Message-Id: <0006800014609193000002L032*@MHS>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 14:52:01 +0200

Hi there Kreideberger,

One of the most valuable aspects of Chalkhills has been to hear fellow XTC
fans rant or rave about other groups I must or must not buy.  Chalkhills
has been the single largest influence on my music-buying/listening/wanting
habits of the past half year, either directly, or by way of contacts I have
made here.  Within the past few months I have bought:

Guided by Voices - "Bee Thousand"
Richard Thompson - "Mock Tudor"
D. Yazbek - "The Laughing Man"
M. Newell - "Greatest Living Englishman"
The La's - "The La's"
Joni Mitchell - "Hejira"
Flaming Lips - "Soft Bulletin"
Residents - "Commercial Album"
Duncan Sheik - "Humming"
Beach Boys - "Smile" (Dave: money is on its way, finally!)
Jason Falkner - "Can You Still Feel"
Fountains of Wayne - "Utopia Parkway"
The The - "Dusk"
Various - "Without the Beatles"

In addition, I have ordered "Copper Blue" by Sugar, "Kon Tiki" by Cotton
Mather, "Owsley", and "King Strut" by Peter Blegvad.

What I'm looking for today is a bit of guidance (directly to my personal
address off-list please) from the fans of all these groups as to what else
I should buy, or if I bought the right thing, or whatever.  Something along
the lines of "'Bee Thousand' is strange, you'll like 'Do the Collapse'
better" or "If you like 'Hejira', then I would really recommend that you
buy 'ABCXYZ'".

And one more thing: I would love to have something by The Bears, The Grays,
The Negro Problem, The Irresponsibles, Shudder to Think, Mitch Friedman,
etc.  Except for one problem: I can't get them here.  Who can help?

For those of you who would like a sampler of the ones I have (for instance
those who can't afford to buy all the albums), I would be happy to select
2-3 from each record and make a 90-minute cassette for you.

I'll also take this opportunity to make a recommendation for a couple of
groups I have been listening to a lot lately.  The group Dada made a very
hooky, pop-rock album called "Puzzle" a few years back that still gets to
me every time I hear it.  Super melodies/harmonies, plenty of guitars, some
intersting lyrics -- all in all an excellent package.  And a well-known
band over here, virtually unknown in North America, is the Beautiful South,
a band that, like XTC, matures markedly from album to album.  Great lyrics
band, particularly good songs about strange relationships and wasted lives
("Liar's Bar" on "Blue is the Colour"!).  Some of their songs are more like
musicals than regular pop; for some, they will be a little too "soft" (like
"AV1" can be for some).  Been listening to "Miaow" and "Quench" recently,
just 2 of their more interesting records.

The Beatles "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" is coming out in 2 weeks!

And yes, I am waiting for "AV2".  Without our boys in Swindon, none of this
would have happened!

- Jeff


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 08:53:34 -0700
From: "Brent Dougans" <>
Subject: for better or worse, for richer or poorer

Morning All.

Iain.Murray wrote:

What is the best XTC single that never was?...
Earn Enough For Us, followed by Beatown.

Hey... Earn Enough For Us was issued as a 7" in Canada.
and Beatown was issued on a Canadian 7" as well (live B-side...).

Hey Raymond Aoki.... I'm from Vancouver too... Weather sucks eh.

All he said was true. AV1 sold like hot cakes here when it
first came out. The original Canadian issue has the front
peacock feather standing upright instead of 'pointing right'.
I've been told that's been fixed now.

Dunks wrote...

...another moronic "100 Greatest Something-or-others of
All Time". Needless to say, this silly phenomenon flourishes because it
pleases our vanity with its easy appeal to our belief in the superiority of
our own good taste, and our compulsive need to rank and categorise.

Couldn't agree more. All you people out there love XTC and say they're
the best. What is the group XTC best at ?  Anything............?????

Some could say the Backstreet Boys are better because they sell more albums.
Some could say Motorhead is better because they played louder live.
Some could say XTC are best because they use more 'tracks' in the studio.
Some could say the Stones are the best because they have the most
	semi-trailers of equipment for a concert.

Even ranking record sales is silly. There are more people on the planet now
than 20 years ago so that means there are more potential album buyers now.
Same goes for movie box office totals. With this millennium thing around
the corner, there are going to be piles of 'biased' "best of the century"
lists out there.  Full of peoples selective memory of the past with a dash
of corporate marketing.  Remember they are only for entertainment purposes
so please... no wagering......

Hey. I enjoy XTC. We don't need to say they are better than anyone else..

Finally on getting screwed by the music biz.

A musical artist I also enjoy is Dean Martin.. (who.....???)
The cool one from the Rat Pack.... Had a TV show for 9 years....
Other half of Martin & Lewis comedy team..... That's Amore.......
Anyhow, when he left Capitol Records in 1962 and went to Reprise Records,
he retained ownership of all his music he did in his Reprise Years.
He leased his songs back to the record company for them to issue.

Today, his family owns all the songs he recorded from 1962 onwards.
The family controls his catalogue and gets the money from the songs.
I believe he was one of the first artists to do this........

Maybe the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones should have
followed his business smartness back then.

Oh and who finally knocked the Beatles out of Number One spot
during their 'Invasion of America' back in 1964......

Dean Martin   -  Everybody Loves Somebody    August 1964.

Brent in Vancouver.

"Don't hit me with logic,
I don' wanna chit-chat.
It's not the chat I mind.
It's the CHIT".
             DEAN MARTIN


Message-ID: <004901bef3d4$5d8eab80$>
From: "JH3" <>
Subject: Rebellious Vietnamese Jukebox
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 12:15:03 -0500

>>Can anybody think of any songs that have dealt with Vietnam in
>>the last 20 or so years? If so, could you send them privately to me?
>>Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

>Back across the Big Pond, there is of course Broooooce "Born In
>The USA" Spingsteen. There must be hundreds.

More like barely a handful, I'd say. For some reason people outside
of the US are often surprised by our collective state of oblivious denial
about Vietnam...

Also, Matt's question was specifically about "alternative" songs, and
Brooooce hardly qualifies as "alternative." He did mention the Dead
Kennedys, the Clash, and the Ramones, which means he already knows
about "Holiday in Cambodia," "Charlie Don't Surf," and "Commando,"

Most American alt-rockers have treated the whole subject of Vietnam
as more of a joke than anything else (witness Lee Harvey Oswald Band's
"Panic in Hanoi," Dead Milkmen's "Beach Party Vietnam," and Lotion's
"Marijuana Vietnam"). As for UK bands, there's "The Beatles and the
Stones" by House of Love (they put the "V" in Vietnam, you see), and
apparently Gary Numan put a song called "Hanoi" on the last disc of
his box set, but I didn't feel like shelling out $70 to hear it, thank you.

Shriekback listed Vietnamese as one of the many languages they were
speaking on their mega-smash hit "The Reptiles and I," though of
course that had nothing to do with the war or American foreign policy.
("Living Through Another Cuba" is really about the conflict in Afghanistan,
but you all knew that, of course.)

Finally, if you want to go back 28 years to one of punk's finest
progenitors (and a big XTC influence), there's the New York Dolls'
"Vietnamese Baby," from their first LP, and later covered by
Poison Idea on their "Blank Blackout Vacant" album. (Poison Idea,
now THERE's an interesting band...)

John Hedges


Message-Id: <>
Date: 31 Aug 99 14:39:06 -0400
From: Jennifer Ralston <>
Subject: we have another convert...

Hello friends,
I don't write too often, having preferred to sit back and just read the
comings & goings, ups & downs of this fine digest over the past 4 years or
Just wanted to write in, however, to say that recently
i made an XTC compilation tape (yes, another one of
THOSE posts) for a friend who had only ever heard
"Dear God." He asked me to make him a tape as he
suspected he would like them...having no idea that he
was asking me to compress some 21 years into 90
minutes! *yeesh*

Anyway, I did it, had a grand time doing so, and his
resulting e-mail was "these guys must have influenced nearly every band i
like. i can't believe it's taken this long to be drawn to them."
He said he was "quivering at their genius." I'd call that a success!

I thought some of you might be curious as to what I'd put on there.
Disclaimer: I didn't put a lot of thought into this. I knew what songs I
wanted to include, but for the running order I went by feeling, as opposed
to theme or lyrical content. I'd copy a song, then think "what
would I want to hear right after this?" Not much to analyse here folks.
Surprising how quickly/easily it went...

C90, side A:
Life Begins at the Hop (live, from Transistor Blast)
Making Plans for Nigel
Then She Appeared
Senses Working Overtime
I'd Like That
Burning With Optimism's Flames
Love on a Farmboy's Wages
Sacrificial Bonfire
The World is Full of Angry Young Men
Garden of Earthly Delights

side B:
Easter Theatre
You're the Wish You Are I Had
Vanishing Girl
Don't Lose Your Temper
Always Winter Never Christmas
This is Pop
When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty
Yacht Dance
Respectable Street
Wrapped in Grey
Dear God
Mayor of Simpleton
History of Rock & Roll

You may disagree, but it worked...

awaken you dreamers,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 15:34:23 EDT
Subject: He said, He said

  Not to stir up the Andy vs. Dave thang, but here are two direct quotes
from Dave (from Guitargonauts).
 1. "Finding chords on a piano is so much more satisfying than on guitar"
 2. " Im able to get more original ideas from keyboard than from the guitar"
 It sounds like he rather liked the idea of keyboards.
  Your witness,counselor.   Roger


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 23:04:16 +0200
Subject: This Thing Called Pink
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Melissa "I too read (and enjoyed) the whole long Dunks post" Reaves
added a very interesting twist to the everlasting Pink Thing debate:

>  I couldn't get rid of the thought that the words applied
> _almost_ equally well to a penis. Eww. I was afraid it was just my own
> dirty mind (above disclaimer notwithstanding), and was quite relieved when
> I read that it was _intended_ as double-entendre. Is this (our differing
> perceptions) a girl-guy thing? Girls? Guys? What do you say?

Mmm i dunno, i've always felt the double meaning was a bit forced,
merely an excuse for the old leecher to write a real dirty song.
Sure, if you stretch & bend it you could say it's also a bit about baby
Harry but my gut feeling says that Andy just wanted to write a song
about his 'thing'.

And, if my black hole serves me right, i believe he did talk about
wanting to write a song about his trouser snake / masturbation,
years before Oranges & Lemons was conceived (no pun intended)

Mark "I didn't read that Dunks post but i did get the Tshirt" Strijbos


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 15:23:53 -0700
Subject: quotable quotes

kevin diamond said:
>As someone once said, go west, young man.

horace greeley

i'm only going to answer this one and not take the whole quiz:
>What non-XTC subject would you most want to chat to Andy, Colin, Dave
i would want andy to show me his collection of games and toy soldiers
he's designed. also, i'd love to smoke pot with colin. don't know why,
he just seems like the sort of fella i'd like to get really stoned with.
i don't know what i'd have to talk w/ dave about. i'd see if he knows
how to play the banjo i guess.

not a misheard lyric, but i keep singing it this way in my head:
"...oh lord, deliver us from the elephants..."

now that autumn is approaching i will prolly be listening to alot more
of ES. its my favorite time of year for that album. it just seems to

autumn is royal
as spring is clown,


Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 19:59:02 -0400
From: Lincolnfong <>
Subject: That Dog
Message-ID: <>

Re Michael Davies posting:

Yes, Yes, Yes I like That Dog. I like them very VERY much. Especially the
last album, Retreat From The Sun.

So anyway- Kurt Cobain...

Say John, is there anyway I can get a 'Chalkhills Lite'? You know precis it
for me and anyone who has a job so I can find out what the main characters
are up to because Im about 6 posts behind (and that's after an hour
catching up) and anything I might write is going to be horribly out of

XTC content?; reasonably I suppose though I miss Dave


Oh and Ive BEEN to a Nirvana website and they're just talking about English
Settlement, can ya dig it?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 10:31:14 -0400
Subject: Re: The Only XTC Song

Melissa responded to Winky Fish:

<<It was the only XTC song my P.O.S. bar band was
> capable of playing.

And how did said "unsuspecting masses react to that?>>

Reminds me of when I went to hear The Swimming Pool Q's locally in the mid
eighties, and there was an opening POS Bar Band called "Matthew Knight &
The Days". They played a version of "Don't Lose Your Temper", and got so
into it that the lead singer/bass player (Matthew I assume) tried to do a
funky 360 and cold-cocked the guitarist upside the head with his
instrument...Ouch! Talk about "unsuspecting"!

Of course the audience didn't know the song; as far as they were concerned
it was a band original. They did a pretty good version of it I thought; of
course I was just glad to hear live XTC so my opinion was somewhat tainted.


NP: Scruffy The Cat, "Love So Amazing"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 10:48:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Rag and Bone, Man

Kevin said:

<<Also, I've been listening to Rag And Bone Buffet recently, and I
wanted to know what everyone thought the best song on that "Album" is,
as well the worst. >>

For me, hands down, the best is "The World if Full of Angry Young Men" (
one of Colin's, right?)
Nice lyric about "you only get out what goes in"...and nice jazzy chord
changes. It was one of several XTC songs I played
for my Sunday School students (11th/12th graders) in a blatant attempt to
influence their musical tastes and/or
stimulate a discussion.

I don't even consider the remixes as "new" songs really...and I would
say "History of Rock and Roll" is the worst, but as it's just a
throwaway anyway it doesn't qualify as a "song". The worst "song" on
the disc to my ears is "Thanks for Christmas", sounds like something
off the "Brady Bunch Christmas Album" or something (I don't even know
if such a thing exists, actually). I hated it when I bought the 45
years ago, although the flipside found its way onto some Christmas
Party mix tapes over the years so I have a soft spot in my heart for
it, especially the aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh - IT'S CHRISTMAS!! part...

I like the cover as well. Very creative, as are all of them.

That's my .02 on Rags & Bones for today,



Message-ID: <>
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: Eggstone
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 20:52:33 PDT

Been gone for five days, but I'm purging the XTC list stuff without reading
it (seems like a good idea, noticing the Phish stuff; I dislike them

However, on while I was out of town, I visited with a friend of my best
friend who playe da band called Eggstone for me.  They're out of Sweden, and
he told me a lot of their stuff sounds a lot like XTC-- the lead singer, he
said, often sounds uncannily XTC-ish.  Anyone familiar with them?



Message-ID: <>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: Two Faces Have I
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 1999 00:03:57 PDT

OK OK I was mouthing off... (how unusual, I hear you think...). Sorry Iain.
No offence!

I was kind of going off on a tangent, leading off from your current list.
Now guess I'm really shouldn't really say that *all* lists suck ... after
all we had some pretty funny ones going here earlier in the year. But I
have to reiterate that I find a lot of this obsessive comparitive
list-making a bit hard to comprehend, especially when it comes to something
as subejective as music, or your favourite album. And I was mostly
referring to magazines, and I guess by extension, the whole silly system of
awards and Halls of Fame.

E.g. ... I see and read everywhere that people consider Radiohead's "OK
Computer" to be THE album of the 90s. Now for me (so far at least but I'm
always open to change) it's just a guy with a whiny voice, depressing songs
and a wonky eye. Does NOTHING for me at all. The comparisons to Floyd
escape me entirely. Radiohead are a total downer experience for me and I
generally avoid such music. I have enough to be depressed about already
thank you. I react to their music in much the same way as say, Nirvana or
silverchair: i.e. my immediate reaction is "What is this guy's problem?
He's making money; he's playing music, he's on my TV - what does HE have to
complain about?"

(Re Radiohead: I am reminded of the hilarious moment in the final "Father
Ted" episode, when the depressed young priest - restored to happiness by
hearing the Theme From Shaft - boards the bus for home and is suddenly
plunged into misery once again as the new Radiohead single comes on the bus

>Our, our, our, our - wouldn't that include you as well, O

Well, unless English grammar has suddenly changed without my knowledge ...
by defintion AND intention the answer is obviously YES.

>Actually, I *was* wondering why I didn't get a vote from you <snip> >so I
>took the liberty of doing one for you - if anyone wants to know >who gave
>Dean Friedman's new album the full 5 points, there's a clue >in this

Well ... I'm afraid only one of us knows who the hell Dean Friedman is, and
"it aint me babe".

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't really see the point, Iain - I
personally gain nothing from the music of Barenaked Ladies or Radiohead, so
any such list means nothing to me. The only one that really clicks with me
is 'Grace', though that's purely because I haven't really heard those Waits

And what exactly IS the purpose of trying to determine the "Best" album or
song (or whatever) of any given period or genre? (Let alone comparing
across genres or eras?) And how exactly does one compare Jeff Buckley with,
say, Tom Waits? Is he a better singer? A better songwriter? It doesn't make
sense to me. Why do we even need to think about music in these terms? I
find it a wasteful and counterproductive exercise.

Is Beethoven "better" than Bach? Was Picasso a "better" painter than Van

> >>It is in effect the print equivalent of talkback radio - i.e.
> >>exploiting the audience while giving the appearance of inclusion - >
> >>but in fact it is saying (and meaning) nothing.
>Gee, Dunks - why don't you tell us what you *really* think? Anyway, >it's
>not like I've ever pretended that my posts have anything worth >reading (as
>a matter of fact, why are you reading *this*?).

1. I ALWAYS say what I think - that's the problem.

2. Don't pull that Uriah Heep act OK? I hate that. False modesty is a bad

3. I was actually talking about music magazines there Iain - not you! I
guess I wasn't clear enough.

Where is this going? Fucked if I know. Time for my tablets ... well it
would be if I had any ...



Subject: My 4 favorite lists
Message-Id: <0006800014634212000002L022*@MHS>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 09:49:20 +0200

Hi "Kreideberger",

I love this place!  A day without Chalkhills is like a day without...
without... orange juice?  Anita Bryant?  Oh, I don't know!  I guess what I
wanted to say was, like, both Dunks' and Iain's posts on lists were super.
Entirely wrong...but super :-)  And then Wes comes along and tells us he's
feeling soft and delicate like the fragile petals of a sunflower...  God, I
love you guys (sniff!!).

So, now, at the risk of offending Dunks (would the "wanker" thing apply
here, Dom?), here's my take on Dave Seddon's list:

> What is the best XTC single that never was?...

Seagulls Screaming
(Possibly my "most favorite" XTC song ever, despite the fact that it is
from my least favorite album.  Why I don't like "Express", I can't say,
because it is chock full of great songs, but there you are.)

> Which is the best XTC song to be more or less a hidden
> gem (ie: it doesn't receive the plaudits of other songs
> around it on an album etc)?...

Very difficult question.  Maybe...
The Smartest Monkeys (here we go again?)
Dear Madam Barnum

> What is the best lyric on AV1?...

I heard the dandelions roar in Picadilly Circus.
(And that as the first line of the record.  Love to play that song to
non-believers.  Not that it converts anybody, but I love to play it...)

> The worst lyric on AV1?...

Then you could fix it with your kissing glue
(Admittedly a silly lyric about the silly feeling you can get when you're
in love.  But silly, nevertheless, and possibly *too clever* [Michael D.?],
well, sort of, anyway)

> When you first heard the album, what did you think should have
> been the first single?...

(turn up that volume, get out the congas, ride to Agadir...)

> Which song on The Transistor Belt Sessions do you most prefer
> to the original? / Which song on Transistor Belt Live in Concert
> does it the most for you?...

Are we talking about Transistor *Blast* here, or am I missing something?  Is
there a demos thing or a bootleg I should know about?

> What non-XTC subject would you most want to chat to Andy, Colin,
> Dave about?...

I thought about using the movie "Ronin" as an intro to the subject of tin
soldiers, and then seeing if Andy is also interested in hearing about my
Matchbox/Lledo/etc. car collection.  And otherwise, what it's like to be a
celebrity and not a celebrity at the same time.

> What XTC subject would you most like to discuss?...

Why Dave really left the band, why they can't resolve their differences,
why Andy and Colin hated each other during the Skylarking sessions, etc.
Probably wouldn't be a long conversation, but it is what I would most like
to discuss.

> Which unreleased XTC song do you like best?...

What's the name of that *hugely* Beatle-y one amongst the AV2 demos?  That
one, whatever it's called.

> What are your 5 favourite XTC Songs (in no order)?...

Different list every day.  Today?  Hmm, Seagulls Screaming, Grass, Then She
Appeared, Meeting Place, River of Orchids.  Five new songs tomorrow.

Here's a new list that has been swirling around in my little brain: The top
five "most controversial" XTC albums.  I mean the ones where there seems to
be a pretty even split between "lovers of" and "haters of", all for reasons
you can never really quite comprehend, no matter how much they try to
defend their choices by explaining it to you in great detail on or

My choices:  1) Mummer, 2) Nonsuch, 3) The Big Express, 4) O&L, 5) anything by
the Dukes

And, conversely, the top 5 "least controversial" XTC albums:

My choices:  1) Drums & Wires, 2) Black Sea, 3) White Music/Go 2, 4) ES, 5)

I know, I know, I cheated on both lists.  But they're my lists, so I can...

Or how about: What are your favorite 5 bass lines that Colin plays?  That's
one I'll have to do some serious thinking about before answering.  (C'mon,
Malady, help me out here...)

Wrote enough for us...

- Jeff


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 1999 11:24:33 -0700
From: Giovanni Giusti <>
Subject: Christmas grass

>[Chalkhills Digest #5-260]

>From: "Diamond" <>

> (...) i think the worst is probably either
>Cockpit Dance Mixture, or Countdown to Christmas Party Time.

You kidding? Countdown to Xmas is marvelous. XTC doing the Bee Gees! My
dream come true!


>From: Molly E Fanton <>

>What is the best XTC single that never was?...
>Grass/Jump (These two songs are my two fave songs from them.  I don't
>have a good reason why I like them though.)

But "Grass" *was* a single! In Europe, it had "Dear God" as a B-side. It
had a marvelous cover, too.

I remember reading at the time that it was through import copies of this
single that DG got its massive (?) success in the US.

(BTW "Grass" was the main soundtrack of a tormented love story I had at the
time. It's still one of the very few songs - all of them XTC - I can sing
to a woman to woo her.)

(It worked last time I tried... I just went "I will pounce on you / just us
and the cuckoos..." and bang!)

(Yes, there are still men who sing at women to woo them. Beware of them.)

(No, I wasn't under her window with a guitar. I was, um, closer.)

(As if anyone cared.)


Giovanni Giusti, Business Development
TV Files S.p.A.


Message-ID: <130CB597E04ED211B2A400104B93AAC47DF654@ESCORP1>
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: Many old threads
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 09:11:52 -0500

John Fulton wrote this:

> About Concrete Blonde:
> I am amazed at how unknown this band was/is.  Including by myself, though
> I have never heard a song by them I disliked.  What's a good starter album
> besides the "Pump up the Volume" soundtrack (a movie I never heard of - I
> think I was asleep for several years straight back then.  Or maybe its
> because I had no MTV.)

In order of merit, I would rank their canon thusly:

- Mexican Moon (their swan song, w/ great songs and the best production of
any of their records)
- Bloodletting (their most cohesive album; contains The Vampire Song)
- Free (excellent sophomore effort)
- Concrete Blonde (debut, w/ Still in Hollywood and a cover of G. Harrison's
Beware of Darkness that surpasses the original)
- Still in Hollywood (rarities and B-sides; includes Everybody Knows)
- Walking in London (bummer follow-up to Bloodletting; has a few good songs)

John then said, in a continuation of an old thread:

> On AV1:  I too have burned out on it.  Its "staying power" ranks for me
> down there with Mummer and Oranges and Lemons.  What I mean by "staying
> power" is degree to which the album approaches a classic; degree to which
> I would recommend it to someone; desert island listening, etc.
I wouldn't say I've "burned out" on AV1, per se.  But I have noticed an
interesting phenomenon.  The first three tracks are killer.  In particular,
I think ROO is as amazing today as when I first heard it, and hearing it
trickle and pop from my car speakers the night I purchased the album (a day
ahead of the official street date) is a musical memory I treasure.  I can
never bring myself to skip I'd Like That; even if I'm not in the mood for
the song, the promise of the clapping at the end makes me stick around.
Brilliant stuff.  And Easter Theatre is, well, Easter Theatre.

Once KISK comes on, I get a little bored.  I start hitting the skip button,
sometimes stopping to hear Frivolous Tonight, sometimes not.  Then I get to
the last three tracks and, again, they're all killer.  I think ICOH is the
bravest thing Partridge has written, apart from perhaps Hold Me My Daddy.
Sure, it sounds old-fashioned, but only XTC would have the balls to make a
love song so unhip.  Harvest Festival, as we've discussed, is wonderful, and
I've really taken to The Last Balloon.  The lyric is succint and powerful,
the arrangement varied and appropriately gloomy.  So in a sense I've come to
look on AV1 as a pair of really great 3-song EPs.  I'm sure the day will
come when I deeply treasure Fruit Nut, but I'm content to be patient for it.

As far as Ghoti is concerned, I too disliked them until, to my surprise, I
actually found myself enjoying the radio tracks from their last album.
They're reasonably catchy and not very stoned or shapeless, in contrast to
recent Dave Matthews, which I can't listen to at all, stoned or not.  But
that's another argument altogether.

Dan W.


Message-ID: <000301bef486$bc684e60$7b5791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: The Big 5
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 17:47:45 +0900

> What are your 5 favourite XTC Songs (in no order)?

1) Towers Of London
2) Wonderland
3) Summer's Cauldron
4) Jason And The Argonauts
5)  Then She Appeared / River Of Orchids ( tie ! )

Runners Up include : The Smartest Monkeys ; The Meeting Place and Generals &
Majors ...

John in Japan

P.S.  I advise any of you who haven't already checked out Dave Gregory's
" Guitargonauts " website  do so soon !


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