Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-30

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 30

                Wednesday, 2 December 1998

Today's Topics:

             Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy!
               A Collideascope of Corniness
                    Sorry from Yazbek
               Transistor Blast Review (!)
                    Re: get off my ass
                   Youth Culture, redux
              A Saint In The Church of Women
               Transistor Blast & diatribes
             on contemporary poetry and music
                   Alternative to what?
                       a word a day
                 Question for old people
                   fat women in videos
                  Iva "Icehouse" Davies
                        Brain Fizz
                       Colonel Kant
                   Oh Please, Children
                Remixes and stop wanking !


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She's a girl in a tree...


Message-ID: <>
From: "Martin, Alan" <>
Subject: Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy!
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 08:52:11 -0500

Hey Chalkies!

Thought you might all find this little bit of trivia interesting.  I was at
work today and the guy in the cubicle next to me had this book called "Scuse
Me While I Kiss This Guy and other misunderstood lyrics" on page 81 they
reference My God and cite the lyric "and you believe all that junk is too"
to be misunderstood as "and you believe in that chunky stew".  It's silly,
but I just had to share it.  Now they've REALLY made it.. :))

Alan J. Martin
Electronic Commerce Services
(919) 851-8888 x3076


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 10:54:11 -0500
From: "Jason Hauser" <>
Subject: A Collideascope of Corniness

Vol. 5.27
Jon Rosenberger said:
So I think Chambers, Andrews and Gregory should just go out and tour on
their own and call themselves "I'MNOTINXTC".
-How about "The Affiliated"?

Noriko said:
"Ball and chain ( Reminds me of Newbury bypath
-Hmm, Newbury Bypath, is that the latest heart surgery, as said by Sylvester
the Cat?

Michael Versaci said:
Relationships between melodies and rhythms are seamlessly woven into the
fabric of the arrangement, in the same way that a Salvador Dali painting
combines multiple images that appear as one from one perspective and as many
from another.
-"Her gold dress is shaming the stars,
a thousand melting Dali guitars", a lot like, "seamlessly woven into the
fabric","Salvador Dali"

Benjamin said:
I'm sure that someone's going to tell me that Mr Gregory has a huge
collection of Kylie Minogue photographs in his studio...
-Yes, Mr. Gregory Evigan, of BJ and the Bear, and My Two Dads.  Huge Kylie

Ian Stewart said:
Does anybody here like the band LOW? I bring them up because there was
arecent album of remixes of their material (called OWL) that is
solife-changingly good that I think the idea should be presented to XTC.
-I kind of like Low, but the XTC remix idea is a fantastic one!  When these
are done properly, as you said, it's a whole new take on the songs.  It
would have to be someone who is a huge fan, to care for the songs with the
right reverence, but someone in a different musical arena, to bring a
different perspective.  Good idea!  This could very well happen!

Eric Rosen said:
Just as likely, something that you think is compelling now may not have such
sway with you, 10 years from today.
-Or 10 minutes.

David McGuiness said:
I decided that the three least singablewords in the English language were
'bits', 'thug' and 'teabag'
-"Bits, thug, teabag, five, senses working..."

Mandy said:
Personally, I can't find any grasshopper on the Big Express cover. Though
I'll keep looking.
-Yes, in the corner, a pin sized yearbook picture of David Carradine.

Bless you all of you pretty girls,
ChuChu McMillimeter


Message-Id: <v02140b02b289ccc2f70e@[]>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 11:45:55 -0500
From: (Yazbek)
Subject: Sorry from Yazbek

I was glancing at the last digest and saw that my record label's publicist
had posted, word for word, the press release for my upcoming NYC gig.  In
the past, the label and I have tried to at the very least disguise our
blatent attempts at self-promotion with some witty homilies or some
second-rate XTC news.  In the future we will continue to do so.
Oh, incidentally, Partridge was in town two weeks ago and we had Italian food.
Yazbek (Brownie's in NYC on 12/15 at 9p.m.  Free Keg!)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 12:49:02 -0500
Subject: Remix

Howdy Chalkpatrol,

 Just read the new digest, and I have to agree with Ian Stewarts' Xtc
Remix fantasy. I've always liked to see artists I like remix other
artists I like, to see what may come out of it. Sometimes you are left
with a big disappointment, maybe because the remixing artist doesn't
have any sympathy or sensiblities with the material to be remixed. On
the other hand, some of the best remixes work because of that very
reason---the remixer isn't too worshiping or respectful to the source
material to be afraid to tinker with it...there is a fine line of
knowing what to tear down, and what to leave, iMHO....the recent High
Llamas remix album, Lollo Rosso is an example of artists who all seem to
be of a similar mindset, and yet some take chances with the material,
while others leave things almost too much the same... so, in my mind I
would LOVE to see these artists all have a crack at remixing Xtc in some
shape or form:

Stereolab----mmmm, a beautiful droning version of "Summers cauldron"
neatly dovetailing into a bossa nova/drum-n-bass version of

High llamas/Sean O'Hagan----it would be fun to see him remix "Pale and
Precious" or "Chalkhills and Children" and see if they would get even
more Beach Boyish, or would he go into different territory with
How about letting Richard D.James (Aphex twin) loose in the toy shop?
Could be pretty fun, I'd imagine...same with Mike Paradinas (Muziq).
Both artists have a strong melodic sense, and could turn out some very
mutated versions...speaking of mutated, Beck could do something cool

For the far end of the spectrum, it would be almost alien to hear what
Autechre might do...they would break the sound down into component
parts, deconstruct it, and leave us with a sonic artifact from the outer
reaches of the solar system....very intriguing...
Jack Dangers, from meat beat manifesto (also a Swindon boy) might be
interesting--in fact on their album Satyricon, Xtc is mentioned in the
little "thank you/ influences" type thing, if I recall correctly...

De la Soul or Tribe called Quest would be a nice choice for River of
Orchids, in my mind.....

> Lest ye all think that I'm advocating the same type of sonic rape
> applied to "King For A Day," remixing circa 1998 is a vast improvement
> over 1989, where the basic premise seemed to be "add some snare samples
> and add five minutes to the song by putting delay on the drum tracks and
> then taking it back off after the song finishes. Oh, and synth bass, we
> need lots of synth bass."

Don't forget handclaps, preferably from the Linn drum...and maybe a few
echo-ey repeats of the singer saying something:----"Senses----Senses---
Senses-----senses working overtime!...."

I'm thinking of artists like ULTRAMARINE...
> who make some of the most melodic and amazing ass-music for the mind
> ever... and possibly ORBITAL to transform XTC tracks into something
> different but equally wonderful.

I'd agree with both those in a second-----lets add tortoise, too....

> because it's fun and different.

nothing wrong with that, thats for sure.....

> Not all remixes have to be totally mechanical, quantized and sound

thats were getting the right remixers would be the key----you'd want
interesting people who aren't afraid to go into the source material with
an open mind...... Since Primus have done a couple Xtc covers, lets let
Les Claypool remix something, see where he takes it......this whole
remix fantasy is a fun idea to think over, even if it will most likely
never happen!

see ya,



Message-ID: <C4D3F9980FD4D111892B00805FBBF5D10108B829@MAILSVR1>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: Transistor Blast Review (!)
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 12:48:42 -0500


I'm glad my copy is on the you can read about it online! Wall Of
Sound (of the overkill 0-100 grading system for new releases) gives it a 72
-- here's the link:

Enjoy! I know I will.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Catherine Piazolla" <>
Subject: Re: get off my ass
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 10:25:41 PST

Thanks Sherwood, it's good to know that your taste for culture runs the
gamut from Swindon to Springer.  Of course, I suppose I should be
"intimidated" to post after such a display of "wit," but being just of
one the millions, I wouldn't know a "genius" when I saw one.  And for
the record, I checked your last offering for XTC content, and I must
have been too easily distracted by all the funny noises and shining
lights because I never saw any.

Although, in retrospect, I think it's comforting to see one of the
Internet's great minds to lower himself to my level (ie, cursing, oh
my).  Shows a real flair for humanity; a talent even.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 01:25:37 EST
Subject: xtc

Anyone interested in seeing pictures of XTC in Suma Studios go to this site.
plus a couple of bonus XTC in concert pics.  Enjoy


Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 13:22:24 -0800 (PST)
From: Haligonian Man Chowder <>
Subject: Youth Culture, redux
Message-ID: <>


Yes, two posts in one year -- that's a record!

I won't defend youth culture.  However, it's not just the fault of the
youth culture that the industry is in the sorry  state it's been in for
How would you suggest that people hear new music?  I certainly have never
heard almost any of the artists I listen to on the radio, and I've only
occasionally seen a video on Empty-Vee.  (Big Fat Exception:  AMP,
responsible for about 40% of my musical exposure over the last two years
-- purveyors of such great electronic marginalia as Towa Tei, Tipsy, Alec
Empire, Death In Vegas, Autechre -- the list goes on -- but even AMP has
lost is lustre)  I get music recommendations from my friends.  Lots of
them.  Belle and Sebastian.  Sloan.  Slooooan.  Slooooan....

I have, in addition, almost never seen a video by any of the artists that
I like.  See, I LIKE videos.  I am a member of the video generation (yes,
it's gross, but there it is).  I like having little three-minute pieces of
cinema, wehter professional or amatuer.  However, it does help if the
music is good.  I do like to watch MTV with the sound off and something
nice on the CD player -- like Atari Teenage Riot.

I happen to like XTC videos.  I've only seen the ones from O&L.  The only
way I'll ever see the others is if I get them from like-minded folks,
probably off the internet.  I've been an XTC fan for 10 years and this is
the case.

Am I surprised?  No.  Disgruntled?  maybe a little.
            nothing to say, but that's OK


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 15:43:30 -0600
From: John A Lane <>
Subject: A Saint In The Church of Women

Citizens of Chalk:
Just wanted to quickly respond to Duncan Watt's rant (and I mean nothing
derogatory about calling it a "rant") which was at turns eloquent and wild,
but overall thought-provoking.
The point I wanted to touch upon was your bemoaning the Music Industry's
promotion of rock-and-roll women as usually being sex objects (you
mentioned Tori Amos, for example).  If you want a bit of relief in the
whole mess -- and I share most of your criticisms -- then I'd advise you to
look at someone like Suzanne Vega, who professed her love for "Oranges and
Lemons" when it came out.  Although my wife is more of a fan of Ms. V. than
I am, I still think she speaks to your idea (and mine) of an incredibly
talented and capable FEMALE songwriter/musician who knows how to work
around The System. Each of her records is pretty darn tight, well-crafted,
and whatever other superlatives I can think of.  And she doesn't sell
herself cheap either!
"An evil petting zoo?" -- Dr. Evil


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 13:52:09 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Langr <>
Subject: Transistor Blast & diatribes

I think the only way I'm going to plunk out the
excessive bucks for Transistor Blast is to hope
that Columbia House or BMG pick it up and offer
it in their boxed set sale.  Does TVT have any
other artists represented?  I think you can get
NIN through CH, but I can't recall.  Any chance in
promoting this idea?

Regarding the digest o' endless sermons (5-29)
and that old art debate: art is what *you* want
to be.  Serrano's Piss Christ is art if you think
it is.  It becomes *product* when you want someone
to buy it.  At which point, "sadly", the whole
idea of consumerism comes into play... which means
of course that someone has to want to buy the shit
you call art.

> Don't ask the government to get involved.
> I actually *liked* "Piss Jesus".

Having the government involved in funding art
is absolutely moronic.  I personally happen to
find great artistic appeal in the trails of deer
shit running through my yard, but I don't see the
government funding it anytime soon, nor do I expect
them to.

Imagine if tomorrow the government decided that
Phil Collins was the epitome of art, and decided
to fund his tour (instead of Sears, eh).  I'm sure
you wouldn't be pleased -- the only reason you're
happy now with the government funding of art
is that you think the current trend is "cool."

Government as arbiters of what is art sounds
pretty damn frightening to me.  The reality is
that someone must be willing to consume your
art, otherwise it is indeed worthless.  If my
art is deer shit, it should be my problem alone
that I'm not going to get rich off my art.

Re: overweight women, I think Ella Fitzgerald,
Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Mama Cass, and a
few others weren't exactly skinny.  I'm not going
to even get into the reality of what performing
art is all about, but if you have the talent,
you can still succeed.  Your definition of success
seems to be MTV, which as far as I'm concerned
is close to being nothing about art.

PS, I wouldn't call Ani Difranco art, I find
her extremely annoying.  So far the only
definition of "art" that I've been able to
glean from the 5-29 chalkhills diatribe is that
it has to be not extremely popular or
non-mainstream.  That ends up being a
rather unfortunate definition.

Jeff L.


Message-ID: <>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: on contemporary poetry and music
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 16:09:07 -0600

I've long been of the opinion that most contemporary poets
set their words to music, but I figured that was because I
simply am unfamiliar with contemporary poetry outside of
the music genre.  I've read much of Patti Smith's poetry
(the stuff not set to music -- or at least I think it hasn't been).
And I remember Kurt Cobain bragging about how good
Courtney Love's poetry is -- but I haven't read any of it.
I'm not sure she's even published it). Beyond that, I haven't
looked far beyond Sylvia Plath.

I adore Emily Dickinson, but as a person who's been
dead for over 100 years, she fails to meet the contemporary
classification, eh?  Come to think of it, Sylvia Plath has
been dead for over a quarter century too.

I'd love some recommendations for contemporary poetry
to read. So if you don't mind my asking:

Who is your favorite contemporary poet and why? (Be brief!)

Email me direct or post to Chalkhills if you like.  (Again, be brief!)
Lyricists welcome.  XTC bandmembers are already assumed.
(Thanks to Wesley Hanks for bringing this subject up.)

Here is my current favorite line from a song I've been listening
to a lot lately.  It, perhaps, sums up my life:

  "June Bug versus hurricane"

Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Message-ID: <000601be1d7c$dea30b50$f06dcec0@t24806009694.DOA.STATE.LA.US>
From: "John Voorhees" <>
Subject: Alternative to what?
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 16:49:33 -0600

Well, Martin wanted to know...
> I noted that XTC is now an "alternative" band, quite a feat considering that
> the bulk of the album was recorded before the term was ever applied to a
> style of rock music.  What ever happened to "new wave"?

Whoa, there.  "Alternative" was being used to describe unusual sorts of
rockin 'stuff back in the mid-to-late 80's!  See, "new wave" begat
"progressive" about '83 or so, and then the art-rock crowd got ticked off at
their label being re-used, so "alternative" became the monicker-du-jour.
These days I've heard "modern rock" applied to the genre that was once
"alternative", and "alternative" applied strictly to the esthetic
descendants of Nirvana.  Which, quite frankly, bites.
Most of this stuff became problematic about the time REM became a top 40
act.  They were once the alternative to something, and I would say that they
still are, but I couldn't tell you what, exactly.  Perhaps Hanson.  Or Phil

Oh, yeah.  Duncan had to go and say... well, a lot of things that probably
pissed off a lot of people, but let's just focus on this little tidbit,
shall we?

> College radio is mostly a bunch of scared wanna-be's that respond to
> potential criticism by playing things that are completely hideous and
> pretending to really like them, while dancing to ABBA oldies and Kool And
> The Gang in the back of their tiny little shrunken minds. Being cool is
> really great, isn't it?

See, I spent a long time as a college DJ, and I still have a real soft spot
for college radio, even when they grab onto the repulsive and refuse to let
it go.
So I just wanted to say, Duncan, thanks so much for grinding my ass.

Ah, but that's what makes the world go round, i'n't it?
- John V.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 20:49:36 EST
Subject: Nyah-nyah

Hey all--

I got a cool prize from my cool public radio station recently.
WAPS (go to and give them a listen)
gives you free CDs when you join the station, and since they
know I'm a hard-core XTC'er (I tend to be rather vocal in my playlist
suggestions), I got a little bonus:

"What Do You Call That Noise? - Selections from the Box Set Transistor Blast"

It's in a little cardboard sleeve and sez on the bottom of the back
side "All tracks from the upcoming 4-CD box set Transistor Blast.
US release date: 11/24/98"

Would that that were so.

The tracklist is as follows:

1. Speech (by John Peel)
2. Life Begins At The Hop (Peel Session 1979)
3. Scarecrow People (Peel Session 1989)
4. No Thugs In Our House (Peel Session 1982)
5. No Language In Our Lungs (Hammersmith Palais 22.12.80)
6. Making Plans For Nigel (Peel Session 1979)
7. The Rhythm (Peel Session 1978)
8. This Is Pop (BBC Live Recording 1978)
9. Roads Girdle The Globe (Peel Session 1979)

I'm not the one to ask if you want to hear about the "sound" of the
thing. I will tell you that it's definitely NOT overproduced.

[Funny, I'm the last one to be able to tell overproduction from a hole
in the ground, but I do have an inkling what is meant when the word
is applied to O&L. But it's still one of my favorites. As someone
said, it's overproduced, but it fits. I _like_ the "sleek, shiny" sound
(again, things I shouldn't understand, but somehow do).]

Re Song Stories, I absolutely loved it. I'd like to read again some time
and write some witty commentary.

I'm mega-chuffed that I even got a mention in the book. Not by name, so
don't go running for the index, but I was the one who pointed out Andy's
poor diction on The Last Balloon (page 291 of the US edition). So


Dom sez:

> And look, all that text and not a single snot-fest!

I sez:

It's about time!  But seriously, folks, I was pleased and suprised at
the mature level of discourse in the last issue. (No thanks for once
to Sherwood. Have he and Dom switched bodies? Like on the X-Files
the other night????? I know, I know: eat him.) Why between Dom
and Wesley, you'd almost think we were a decent, intelligent bunch
of human beings who cared deeply about XTC and music in general.
I also enjoyed Duncan's post on the lack of women of my, um, caliber
on eMpTy-Vee.

But really, I hate posts that are just about the quality of discourse,
so I'll shut up. Maybe.

Cheryl sez:

> It has never been so appearant than from these last
> few digest how male dominated this list is!

> Can you men stop thinking about your willies and
> focus on XTC....PLEASE! Trainspotting penis
> references?! I am at a loss for words.

I sez:

Why, you must be right! For wasn't it *I*, a silly female, who
trainspotted the "fanny" quote?

And as for what I think of the whole O&L sux (does not/does
too) thread, here is my review of the entire XTC catalog:

White Music	-	Brilliant!
Go2			-	Brilliant!
Drums & Wires	-	Brilliant!
Black Sea		-	Brilliant!
English Settlement, Mummer, Big Express, Skylarking, O&L, Nonsuch - all

Well, I think I had more to say, but for the moment it's escaped me.
(Lucky you.) So I'll sign off for the moment. Till next time.

Yours in XTC,

Melissa Reaves

P.S. I love Genesis, with and without Gabriel. Chris was right, Banks is
the man. But I also like Phil and I don't see what's the big fuckin' deal.
Calling All Stations sucked majorly. MA- JOR- LY.


Message-Id: <v01540b00b28a5216cddc@[]>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 15:11:52 +1300
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: a word a day

I am on a free mailing listr called - it simply sends all its
subscribers one unusual word every day, along with its meaning. Today's
word was one which has recently been questioned on Chalkhills, so I thought
I'd report the real oil on the matter:

>yob (yob) noun
>   Chiefly British. A rowdy, destructive youth; a hooligan or ruffian.
>[Alteration of boy (spelled backward).]



Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 22:35:58 -0400
Subject: Question for old people

To anyone who was already an XTC fan in 1983....

Was there a lot of surprise among listeners when the ornately
arranged and produced "Mummer" came out after the guitar-bass-drums
"English Settlement"?  Or was it expected since they were now known
to be a studio entity only?  And on that topic, was it a surprise
when they suddenly stopped touring?

Because I just listened to those two albums and they're very
different, and everything before "Mummer" is very different from
everything after "English Settlement".

To be the center of the universe, don't orbit things
Michael Davies


Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 22:38:24 -0400
Subject: fat women in videos

> There are DEFINITELY no fat *women* in videos. AM I SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE

there was an article about that in the latest Rolling Stone.  a
couple recent black women have become successful in music while not
being thin.  rapper Mia X, singer Kelly Price, and rapper/producer
Missy Elliot, off the top of my head.  (do British people say "off
the top of my head"?)  i can't think of any popular fat rock females
though, not in the last 15 years.

Michael Davies


Message-Id: <>
From: "J & J Greaves" <>
Subject: Iva "Icehouse" Davies
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 19:00:13 -0800

Recently heard from the webmaster of the Icehouse site that one of the
Partridge/Davies tunes is slated for the new Icehouse recording, and that
it's a "killer", in his words. Recording hasn't started yet though.



Message-ID: <>
Date: 1 Dec 98 22:01:52 MST
From: Derek Miner <>
Subject: Brain Fizz

Greetings, fellow chalkfolk. In the last few weeks, I've been glad to be
subscribing to the digest... it just seems more and more eloquence spills
out of my mailbox everyday, and it's usually pleasurable to read - even if
it is about "wanking" (side note: I began to wonder how long it would take
for people to mention the "Not Noel Coward" song from Monty Python's Meaning
of Life over the John Thomas line earlier in the film!! The song, to me,
seems more memorable!)

Now to the XTC business at hand, which last digest seemed to lead to some
very interesting comments on the eternal question, "What is art?"

Bravo to Duncan Watt for his commentary on art versus commerce.

Duncan said:
>Most artists believe they deserve to make as much money as, say, a plumber
>does. Most of them are wrong.
>Making beautiful things doesn't mean you get your mortgage paid for life.
>Making something that everyone likes gets you the pesos(See: "Collins,
>Phil"). This is sad, but true.

So I'd venture that you might agree if I amended your statement to say that
artists don't deserve to "make" money, but they deserve to "earn" money,
>You need to sell your beautiful thing to expect money. Or have someone else
>sell it for you.

>So on to MTV, the culture-dealer:
>There are no fat people in videos, unless they're making fun of themselves
>There are DEFINITELY no fat *women* in videos. AM I SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE
>not one fat woman has one good musical idea? What if Joni Mitchell (or if
>you don't like her, insert your favorite not-fat woman musician here)was
>fat? Am I supposed to tell a ten-year old student(I'm a piano teacher) that
>she better start losing weight now? Or how about 'you'd be better in the
>production side of things'?

I found the comments on the Blues Traveller video interesting. Strangely
enough, MTV used John Popper as a correspondent once. However, he seemed to
be doing a good job of making himself look like a weirdo, which I bet is an
MTV-sanctioned occupation for fat guys (actually, for all guys on MTV I

An interesting aside to the weight issue... I can think of only two other
large people on MTV - The Notorious B.I.G. and Missy Elliott. They are both
rap artists. I don't pretend to know anything about hip-hop culture OR the
politics of MTV, so I would appreciate anyone who could comment on how those
artists fit into Duncan's analysis.

>You can't eliminate cocaine use by killing the dealers, you'll have to
>address the users' needs first.

Which, in general terms, is an example of my philosophy on most divisive
political issues...

But back to the issue of art, Harrison made a conclusion in a manner similar
to Andy Partridge's lyrical succintness:

>What the hell is music for? Is it for the head or for the heart? Is it for
>"fun and dancing and having a laugh" or is it for getting all frowny and
>thoughtful and serious and analytical? Does it speak to the cerebral cortex
>or the wee-wee?
>The answer, of course, is Yes.

In other news, Michael Stone commented on some of the songs from Nonsuch:

>[re:"Crocodile"] Yeah, Dave's solo is excellent, but that's a given.  I never
>noticed the arpegiating before, that is cool.  But there's too many cute
>sound effects - they just get tiring.  Also I find the drumming a little
>generic (like other songs on Nonsuch), and the melody on the
>line "But he's your pet now...",  that goofy old pseudo-Arabian
>tune, is way annoying.  Get that outta there and maybe it's decent.
>I agree with you on "The Disapointed" - real nice song. Andy uses the
>the old descending chord pattern very nicely.  Though again
>the drumming is a bit on the lifeless side.  Maybe Andy requested it
>that way, to reflect the 'break-up of marriage' motif that runs through
>Disapointed, Crocodile, Ugly Underneath, Dear Madam Barnum(?).
>Speaking of Colin's great bass playing, how about those fills he puts
>in "Holly Up On Poppy".  Downright Tchaikovskian.  Just stunning.

Nonsuch has a lot of songs that I consider favorites. Even though there's
merit to a lot of the problems people bring up about the production or
songwriting (like Michael does above), I still consider songs like "Dear
Madam Barnum," "Crocodile," "Humble Daisy" and "Then She Appeared" to
represent a sublime merger of melody with metaphor. The lyrics of these
songs are among my favorite from Partridge.

To throw fuel in the dying embers of the Oranges and Lemons discussion, I
always considered the overproduction (and I mean that in a good way!) on
that album to be much more harsh and inappropriate than the overproduction
on Nonsuch. I enjoy a song like "Merely A Man," but it *calls* for a style
of overproduction (another example of this idea from a different session is
"Extrovert.") And while I like "Scarecrow People" and "Poor Skeleton Steps
Out," plain acoustic performance does better justice to them in my eyes.

Perhaps the most disquieting sound to my ears on O&L however is the
synthetic trumpet on "Minature Sun" which one Chalkperson compared to the
startup chime of his Mac! I much prefer the chime to come from my computer
rather than an XTC record, thank you very much!

On Nonsuch, however, the most glaring faux pas in my ear is the darned
repetitive synthetic cymbal hit (is it out of time???) that hangs quitely
yet distractingly in the left channel until the bridge where it proceeds to
being dancing around the stereo image in a very distracing way... But this
is more than made up for by the wonderful sounds I hear in the intro to "My
Bird Performs," all of "Humble Daisy," and the extremely McCartney-esque
bass fills on "Then She Appears"...

The simple version: O&L - distracting; Nonsuch - involving.

Not to dis Paul Fox, however. He did go on to produce two of my favorite
albums - "Cereal Killers" by Too Much Joy and "John Henry" by They Might Be
Giants.  Both of which I find to be much more organic than O&L, even though
they are heavily "produced." (Darn, I really have to watch those passive
sentence structures...)

But count me guilty of perhaps falling prey to Phil Smith's theory...

>My spin on the O & L Love-Hate relationship: first of all, O & L was my
>first XTC album and, yes, it's one of my favorites...but I understand
>completely those fans who think its one of the worst.

Strangely enough, Nonsuch was my first disc. Before 1992, I had no idea who
XTC were.

>... Some of my all-time fav albums are
>most definitely overproduced: Elvis Costello's "Spike," Tears for Fears'
>"The Seeds of Love," Thomas Dolby's "Astronauts & Heretics," Jellyfish's
>"Spilt Milk," etc.  ... (You can imagine that
>"Nonsuch" was a big disappointment for me!)

Aside from this last dismissal, I think Phil's and my music tastes would jell
pretty nicely!

>More than anything else, this is what concerns me for the future of my
>enjoyment of XTC. Frankly, I love live drums! And I'm enthusiastically
>looking forward to Prairie Prince (another great drummer) on the new

I think Andy's been working on getting more realistic drums in his demos,
and the technology has definitely gotten better in the almost ten years
since Oranges and Lemons. This bodes well for his songwriting and possible
productions from his shed, with or without real drummers!

>Be easy on me, it's my first post.
Welcome to the Garden of Earthly Delights, Phil!

And while I must compliment Dominic on his defense of "quirk" (the
overriding theme of my CD collection), I have to disagree a teensy bit on
one thing...

>[what many fans like about XTC] is the complete lack of artifice,
>pseudo-intellectualism and meaningless cack masquerading as "depth" which
>many bands suffer from. The honesty, warmth and wit of Andy & Colin's
>lyrics, and the refreshing exuberance of their many great melodies, have
>always set them apart from the wobbling, glutinous excesses and
>lowest-common-denomiwhatsit dribblings of most mainstream pop music.

I agree, except occasionally I think issue intrudes into some of XTC's
material to a detrimental effect (personally, I'd cite "Melt The Guns," "War
Dance," and "Goodbye Humanosaurus")

Thanks everyone for keeping my mind working amidst my daily grind!

=Derek Miner=


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 23:35:32 EST
Subject: Colonel Kant

Hi all (again)--

I remembererd one of the things I was going to say (poor you):

All this wanger/fanny talk is more than appropriate on an XTC list.
Any time spent reading Andy Partridge's uncensored speech will
show that the man is absolutely obsessed with sex, or at least
with sex-talk. The interviews and casual conversations reported
here always contain all sorts of crude little sex jokes. From the
Colonel Kant Cap of Song Stories legend to Testicular Dinner,
one would almost think the guy has a speech disorder of some kind.

Now I'm not saying I like or don't like this kind of talk, but the fact
remains that it is most definitely in the spirit of our Main Man.

Which reminds me of the other thing I wanted to say (poor, poor you):

Re the term "John Thomas" we actually had a local politician by
that name around here, and all the Anglophiles would snicker
whenever we saw his campaign signs in somebody's front yard,
obviously ignorant as they were to what they were advertising.
A friend of mine had his photo taken next to one such sign and
sent it in to Benny Hill, who sent him back a nice note and a
signed autograph.

Just thought you'd like to know.

--Melissa Reaves


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 01:14:01 EST
Subject: Oh Please, Children

Cheryl wrote:
<<It has never been so appearant than from these last
few digest how male dominated this list is!
Can you men stop thinking about your willies and
focus on XTC....PLEASE! Trainspotting penis
references?! I am at a lose for words.>>

I agree with her.  I'm getting sick of the childishness going on here.
Don't forget fellows that there are women who read this mailing list, and
talking about some of these things makes some of us sick.  It was funny at
first, but now it's getting sick.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 11:45:49 +0100
From: dieling <>
Subject: Remixes and stop wanking !

> Ahoi Chalkhilluminati !

In Chalkhills 5-28 Ian C. Stewart wrote about Remixes.

I have had this idea,too, and oftentimes, listening to XTC, I wonder, "what
would someone like Aphex Twin or Bundy K. Brown make out of this ?"  I think
it would be very interesting, just think about the "Explode Together" album,
which is one of my favourites, that's remixing in '79.  It's fantastic. But
today there would be totally different new songs coming out of a remix.

As much as I would love a XTC Remix album, as much I doubt it will ever be,
or be with the wrong people, since inventive remixing is a thing in the
techno/breakbeat/postrock scene, and Andy P. has always dismissed these kind
of styles as boring (to be honest, he doesn't care for any new music at all
!).  You can't bring a man who sees a "Tyranny of the Beat" to work together
with a DJ who cuts up his material, twisting it and glueing it back
together.  Well, so I guess it will stay a fantasy, and will be happy enough
to listen to Transistor Blast and the Tortoise remixes.  By the way, though
I'm male, all this wanking is a bit tiresome, isn't it ?

residing in The Lemon Lounge


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-30

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