Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-35

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 35

                 Tuesday, 8 December 1998

Today's Topics:

                       Kill Collins
              Male dominated society... NOT.
                 bad, spellchecker, bad!
                        The Dukes
                SF Bay Area XTC Gathering
                  re: Albums and smells
                    Sweet Home Alabama
                     Spot This Train
                        O&L lyrics
         circumferentially challenged artists...
           Alison Moyet. And the Weather Girls!
                      Cardiacs Rule!
                     Leonard Knee Moy
                    B in the bonnet??
                      Re: The Artist
             Getting in bed with Big Bad Bill
              The Real TB Is Cheaper To Get
                     Drums & Wireless
                   Re: Transistor Last
                     I ain't confused
              The major issues of the day...


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Broadcasting from his killing den.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 10:47:26 +0000
From: Dominic Lawson <>
Subject: Kill Collins

Molly says:
>>I actually like him
and Genesis with him.  He's a talented drummer and producer.  You might not
like him, but that doesn't mean anybody else can.  I'm always going to like
his music, and nobody can stop me from liking him.

Oh, but we'll try, we really will. "No More Phil Collins"? With great
pleasure. Now, where's that shotgun....?

Next week - "Why I can't stand Level 42". I thank you.

>>Other bands you might love on this tip:
Ruins, Melt Banana

STOP THERE!! Yes, Melt Banana rule. Not terribly XTC-like, but much more in
tune with them than bleedin' Genesis. "Rough Dogs Have Bumps", apparently.

Oh, and BTW, I had a go at "chuffing" my "wanker" just now and it didn't
make sense. Sorry. In case anyone's wondering, "chuffing" is a multi-purpose
substitute for the dreaded f-word. Now chuff off, the lot of you.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 06:05:44 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: Male dominated society... NOT.

I believe it was Cheryl that wrote in Digest #29 that this
list seems to be male dominated... on the basis it seems of
all the wanker talk.

I am female and I feel somewhat responsible the the extension of
these sexual diversions.

Female. not male.  Actually, I believe there are a lot of articulate
women on this list that do offer up worthwile opinions without the need
to be nasty or derogatory.  We have our place on this list, no question.



Message-ID: <>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: bad, spellchecker, bad!
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 09:58:18 -0600

Okay, I thought it was funny that my spellchecker
changed "Oh, Chalkers" to "Oh, Talkers" in my last post
but switching "Lyle Lovett" to "Lyle Loft" was just plain mean.
Bad, spellchecker, bad!  Sorry for the confusion.  Hope you
could wade your way through my "Drums and Wires"-era
flashback and enjoy the story.

Jill Oleson


Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 09:12:33 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: The Dukes


In case you weren't paying attention, and also to make sure he gets
the recognition he deserves, let me point out that Tim Harris has been
slowly compiling chord charts for the songs of The Dukes of
Stratosphear.  To date he has contributed charts for "25 O'Clock",
"You're a Good Man, Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)", "Bike Ride
to the Moon", "Mole from the Ministry", "My Love Explodes", "Shiny
Cage", "What in the World..?", "Your Gold Dress", and most recently,
"You're My Drug" and "The Affiliated".  Check them out in the
Chalkhills Archives.

Tim has also transcribed charts for a number of other XTC songs,
including "Church of Women", "Dame Fortune", "I'd Like That", "Knights
in Shining Karma", "The Loving", "Merely a Man", "Season Cycle",
"Smalltown" "The Ugly Underneath", "You and the Clouds", and "Your

Good work, Tim!

	-- John


Message-Id: <v03102801b291b38e81c3@[]>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 09:38:29 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <>
Subject: SF Bay Area XTC Gathering

What the hell was I thinking?!

I have spoken with Becki dG and we agreed that the idea of having an XTC
gathering right before Christmas was pretty damned loopy.  The new concept
is to have it in January.

It will take place at Scotties Pub in Sunnyvale.  I will post directions
and contact info when we decide on a date.  They will let me put a few CDs
on the jukebox, so we can have some more XTC stuff warbling along.



Message-ID: <006e01be2219$af157b60$261017d4@default>
From: "Steve Jackson" <>
Subject: Drummers
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 19:14:44 -0000

<Dons asbestos suit>


Robert Wood writes...<
I *have* to agree with Mark Strijbos, Pat Mastelotto is far from the best
drummer XTC ever had. Also agree with Mark that Terry was a really good
drummer. He had a very distinctive way of playing. He may not have been the
most technically gifted player that XTC ever had, but he fitted the music
very well. >

Speaking as a drummer of 15 years, I agree with you that TC was a very good,
(albeit a non-technical drummer) People dont play drums like he did
anymore....listen to Roads Girdle the Globe..piece of piss to play, but that
isn't the point at all. He plays the drums like it matters.

<The start of "Nigel" is really quite odd and not easy to play for

Odd yes....hard to play? No. It's a very easy thing to play, but to come up
with it in the first place....(although AP likes to take credit for the drum
pattern, I don't believe it for a minute) The beginning to Making Plans For
Nigel is simply one of the most distinctive 'drum starts' ever (The only
others I can think of are 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' by U2 and 'Trophy' by
Siouxie and the Banshees, oh and Antmusic <decides to stop thinking along
these lines at this point>) It's one of the reasons why I became a drummer
in the first place.

<Actually, I think most drummers that XTC have had over the years have been
better than Pat Mastelotto, except for maybe Prarie Prince.>

Bizarre. I think Prarie Prince is the best by a long shot. Listen to The Man
Who Sailed Around His Soul (beautifully recorded cymbals too) or Summer's
Cauldron. Fantastic drumming.

Pat Mastelotto? Hmmmm...too busy..although I like One of the Milllions

And those who raved about Dave Mattacks recently. So he's got 527 snare doesn't make him anything overly special....Jesus, even I could
have drummed on Nonsuch, (although start of Omnibus' is a bit tricky)

Anyway...I'm a cat....where are the pigeons?


Message-Id: <v03110702b291df19176b@[]>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 14:50:44 -0500
From: josh getman <jgetman@MIT.EDU>
Subject: re: Albums and smells

Leon wrote:
>Collins is crap and will die crap.
>Prince is crap and will also die crap.
>Has Prince actually written ONE good song?

As fans of XTC you (we) should be able to make the distinction between
music you like and music you don't like-but can appreciate.  I do not like
listening to Prince's music.  To call him crap, however, is ridiculous.
The man obviously has more talent in his pinky (or pink thing, for that
matter) than any of us - there aren't too many multi-instumental virtuosos
out there anymore.  There aren't too many people out there who enjoy
listening to Zappa, but he is certainly, and rightfully, appreciated as a

On a side a relatively new subscriber to this newsletter, can
someone explain to me the mild anti-Skylarking tenor I've noticed?  I think
it's absolutely the best XTC album, and I'd argue that it's the greatest
concept album I've ever heard.  What's the problem?


Josh Getman
MIT Technology Review
201 Vassar Street
MIT Bldg W59-230C
Camridge, MA  02139
ph:  (617) 253-3650
fax: (617) 258-5850


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 11:54:31 -0800 (PST)
From: Veronica Kyle Robertson <>
Subject: Sweet Home Alabama

-- Lynn S. said:
>"Hey Cory Berry, DJ from UA, I am dumbfounded to find an XTC fan from
that state.  Did you grow up there or just go to school there?  I had
the misfortune of spending quite a few of my growing up years in
Birmingham. Beautiful land, ugly experiences.  Of course it didn't
help that I was moved there in the late sixties, as a small, naive
child. Upon my arrival I ran around the neighborhood proclaiming my
proud yankee heritage.  It set the tone for all things to come. Well,
things must be looking up by now, if the place has produced an XTC fan."

--And I say:
  Hey, Alabama has it's share of XTC fans.  Cory's not the only one.
I also attended the University of Alabama for my master's degree.  The
college station there (V100) is great. I spent 21 years of my life in
Alabama and I am obviously a fan of XTC.  I also had friends who were
into them.  My brother introduced me to their music.  I'm sorry you
had a bad experience in Alabama, but you can't assume the whole state
sucks just because you didn't have a good time.  I think Disney World
is highly over-rated (and probably evil), but millions of other people
seem to like it.  I never knew how much I'd miss the South until I
moved to Kansas.  Alabama is no worse than any other state (and it's
probably better than some).



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 21:33:58 +0000
Subject: Spot This Train

dear chalkers,

i'm having some trouble with my shift-key so no capitals today
anyway, some questions were asked:

> >Is it entirely conceivable that the American releases of O&L
> >came without the lyrical sleeve insert?

conceivable maybe, but not correct
i've got all the vinyl versions of this album - except the italian
and brazilian - and they all come with lyrics.

> The original CD release definitely included lyrics.  However, it is
> possible that the cassette and that later "Goldline" editions did
> not include lyrics.  But I doubt it.

the cassette released in the usa had lyrics on the insert and the
Goldline reissue too. and the mo-fi gold cd version...

> 30) Does Andy sing the word "Fuck" in the song "Great Fire"?
> And I don't know if original US LP and cassette releases
> included lyrics.

well, the us lp version of mummer did, but of course colin's
inadvertent expletive is not included in the printed lyrics of
any release or format.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 17:24:44 -0400
Subject: O&L lyrics

> People that need to ask this question fall into one of two categories (or
> both):
> 1. People that GENUINELY bought O&L without sleeve inserts.
> 2. People who have cheated themselves and the band by copying the album onto
> cassette (or whatever new-fangled thing we have these days) without the
> lyrics.

maybe the person could have bought a commercial cassette of it, also.
until recently the packaging on cassette copies of major label
releases was basically a maybe 3" by 3" photo of the album cover on
the front of the j-card with a list of the songs under it.  no info
at all.  that's what the copy of "Thriller" i had (a long time ago)
was like, anyway.  maybe Geffen did that through 1989.

or maybe even if there was nice packaging on the cassette, it still
didn't include the words.  my cassette of Nonsuch doesn't have
lyrics, and it says who played on every song and has those
olde-fashioned pictures of the guys in the band.

when i was young and give and take and foolish said my fool awake
Michael Davies


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 17:12:57 EST
Subject: circumferentially challenged artists...

<< *And* all others already mentioned,  like Mama Cass
etc. Just 'cos they're not recent, doesn't mean they don't count...>>

I'd like to quibble here and say that they DON'T count because they are pre-
MTV examples.  MTV/video play is definitely the factor that changed this for
artists (female and otherwise).  Now one of the biggest ways that a label is
going to promote any artist they get behind is with a zillion-dollar
video....  which means the label is going to believe that the artists need
to look "good".  I know an amazing female singer/guitarist who was told by a
major label A&R person "I won't be able to 'sell' you in an A&R meeting
because you need to lose weight."  I know a male artist who was given
$30,000 by his major label to get his teeth fixed!  (that's big money for
teeth, folks)

In the video age, I think you're hardpressed to find more than a few isolated
examples of the Rubenesque type...   I think Janis Joplin (chubby, acne-
scarred) and women like her would have a harder time finding a record deal
now... isn't that a shame...



Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 17:33:23 -0400
Subject: Alison Moyet. And the Weather Girls!

> Come ON! Alison Moyet.
> And the Weather Girls! *And* all others already mentioned,  like Mama Cass
> etc. Just 'cos they're not recent, doesn't mean they don't count...

I think it might, because they were only around at the very beginning
of the video era, and all the other examples people have given are
from before the video era.


Message-ID: <>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: Cardiacs Rule!
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 16:36:17 -0600

Gotta agree with Dom, Cardiacs RULE!
I'll forever be grateful to him for telling me
about this incredible (and rather unique) band.
I hear all kinds of influences in their music,
but they definitely have their own sound.
What did you think Todd/Jenn?  Did it arrive
in your mail yet?

IMHO, the Cardiacs just as British as XTC.

(Of course, I only said that so this message
would have XTC content!)

Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 17:39:49 -0400
Subject: Leonard Knee Moy

> While we're on the subject of Star
> Trek-associated "musical" careers, does anyone else agree that Leonard
> Nimoy's version of "Proud Mary" is one of the most hilarious tracks ever
> recorded?

Oh yes.  I love how he abruptly switches in the middle of the song
from saying "burning" to "buyning".

smashing the antiu,
Michael Davies


Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 17:44:05 -0500
From: Steve Pitts <>
Subject: B in the bonnet??
Message-ID: <>


Todd wrote, with reference to Mummer:

> the B-sides in the middle of the CD still break its flow, IMO <

Why anyone would do it that way escapes me. I much prefer the way that
Demon did things with the Elvis Costello re-releases, put all the extra
stuff at the end, and separate it from the original studio material using a
longer gap. That way, if all you want to listen to is the record as
originally released then it is easy to press Stop at that point, rather
than trying to remember which tracks to skip over. Of the CD versions that
I have 'Black Sea' and 'White Music' also suffer from this, with the latter
winding me up more than a little as, in several cases, the extra tracks
just aren't quite up to snuff IMO

From my own post of yesterday (hang on, let me think about the chronology
here. That'll be the day before yesterday by the time anyone sees this.

> Transmission Blast <

Weird Freudian slip, and I did it in the title too <sigh> Must be cause I
listen to more music in the car than anywhere else ;)

Cheers, Steve

(Using OzWIN in Hemel Hempstead, England on 07-Dec-98 at 22:44:17)


Message-Id: <v04003a00b291f7ffdc87@[]>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 15:59:31 -0800
From: Mark French <>
Subject: Re: The Artist

Leon X. Deggs said:

"Prince is crap and will also die crap.
Has Prince actually written ONE good song?"

Prince, under various nom de plumes, has released hundreds of songs.
Many of his best-selling hits are not very good.
Most of his songs of the last 10 years are pitiful and tired.
His lyrics are frequently boring and juvenile.
But he has written many great songs; lyrically, musically and sonically,
but it usually takes some effort to find them.

"Another Lonely Christmas", B-side of  "I Would Die For You", 1984
	Just another ditty about his Xmas depression. Mid-tempo psychedelia,
	but expertly arranged-- even the sound is depressing.

"Anotherloverholenyourhead", Parade, 1986
	A failed single, yet an intelligently written funk tune. Smoldering
on record,
	funkier on the 12''. (Another issue with Prince--until he started
to hire remixers,
	his 12"  singles were just longer recordings, and usually trumped
the album version.)

"Forever in My Life", Sign of the Times, 1987:
	A simple love song, stating one's desire to bond with another for
	Merely vocals and drum machines, it's not sappy, salacious,
indulgent, OR overly long,
	which many bad Prince songs are.

"Positivity", Lovesexy, 1988:
	I found "Lovesexy" to be such an awful pile that I refused to buy
another Prince album
	without hearing it first. This song is the only reason I haven't
sold it. Hypnotic, expansive
	and lush.

"Slave", Emancipation, 1996:
	Stuck on Disc 3 is a unique tune about the joys of being screwed by
your owners.
	Its use of percussion as an anti-melody device puts it in that rare
	experimental-yet-listenable category.

"Crystal Ball", Crystall Ball, 1998:
	A four-disc set of Prince outtakes sounds like a day in purgatory,
and it mostly is.
	And yet the title song is a lost gem. It's a13 minute epic, from
bone-spare drums to
	full-out orchestra, without ever losing it's focus.

Have you heard these songs? Even if you dislike them, I would think that
these would rank far above "Cream" or "Batdance" or that godawful "Diamonds
& Pearls."

Conversely, "Dear God" may the best known XTC song (along with "Making
Plans for Nigel") but is not representative of their BEST songs. Even Andy
thinks so.

Is Prince crap? Lately, yes.
Has he written at least ONE good song? Absolutely.

Mark French


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 22:06:34 -0400
From: Brian <>
Subject: ES


>But NOTHING prepared me for the brilliance of "English Settlement".  The
production of the album, the diversity of the material, the expansion of the
group's expanded arsenal of musical instruments (notably Dave's Ric 12
string, Andy's acoustic guitar, and the Prophet synth)--the whole
package--was so unexpected, and so much superior to what they'd done before.
It all sounded so damn un-New Wave.  Side One still blows me away--those
songs are one of the most powerful LP sides ever waxed.<

Agreed. ES was my intro to XTC, based on an excellent review in RoSto
mag. Their glowing appreciation of ES prompted me to pick it up (+ a
knowledgeable friend urged me on), and I have never been so
UNdisappointed by an album in my entire. To coin a (new?) phrase, "'tis
fuggin' brilliant, BRILLIANT piece of work." Nothing before or since is
better. NOTHING.

* Digital & traditional illustration/animation
* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 21:48:46 EST
Subject: Getting in bed with Big Bad Bill

>While I'm not entirely surprised to see the words "trails of deer shit" and
>"Phil Collins" jammed into the same post,  I do find your argument to be a
>bit...(dipping finger into the drink you mixed) odd. A strange aftertaste.
>Tastes like chicken. Look, I'll put it simply:

  I'm tempted to compare Phil Collins(as a songwriter, anyway)to trails of
deer shit myself.

>  I don't want the government to be arbiters of artistic taste either.
>That said, nothing is wrong with the government funding art still.
>Governments fund bombs, weapons, 500-hundred-dollar toilet seats, little
>machines that go 'ping', and other useless junk.

  I find getting in bed with any government for any reason somewhat
Faustian.  While just thinking of the junk government spends money on that
practically nobody wants or needs give me conniptions(like the above), I
like most people am tempted to say ..."but not that" when it comes to
funding something I like.  I mean, hey, I'd love the government to front me
some pocket change to start a chain of BinkyBonk's Cool Records stores and
live the rest of my life as a professional rock and roll fan(nice work if
you can get it!), and I could probably get Uncle Sam to do it too, after all
he owes me bigtime. But I'm gonna resist the temptation, because I don't
want to whore myself. I have this healthy distrust of government; it's like
an abusive parent. Some people will bargain with it so they can get what
they want some of the time and put up with a certain amount of abuse to get
their stuff. Others will try to run away from home and join the
circus. Still others will just try to get along, not make any trouble, and
hope they're not noticed(what I used to do). And others, like myself, will
say, "Look, I'll make my own rules according to what's right and wrong as I
see it, and if you have a problem with that, you'll just have to give me
that beating and get it over with." Government is not my friend, nor yours;
it's at best a necessary evil. Somebody has to print money, repair roads,
maintain the infrastructure, and other forms of administration. It is not
the government's job to provide for us what we can provide for ourselves.

>If that's not arbitrating
>taste, than I don't know what is. Thus, I see no problem in the government
>giving pocket change to artists (which is what it amounts to by comparison).
>The idea of "cool" -- as you put it -- doesn't enter in to the picture.
>I'm curious then...was the WPA artwork in the 30s then a massive waste?
>(Waiting for Harrison to finish his Snoopy snowcone and jump into the fray.)

  Having said the above, I have no problem with government funding the arts
at the moment as long as millions and billions are being wasted on things we
definitely don't need. I'd want to trash studies on cow flatulence, old
people in space, and needlessly expensive appliances and hardware first. I
also wouldn't mind seeing the department of defense having to have bake
sales to buy another bomb. I'd want that to happen first. Once all this
waste has been taken care of,(oh, and let's deep-six the IRS too, while
we're at it) then we'll all have more money to spend on the arts ourselves,
and can make our own decisions to support the arts as we choose, rather than
have government take us by the hand and "benevolently" help us. I know, you
may say, government spending on the arts doesn't mean tacit support, blah
blah blah. Don't believe it. It's a slippery slope. Dr Faustus rears his
head again. No need to pull the rug out from our favorite inexpensive and
comparitively innocuous programs, though. Get rid of the evil stuff that
government does, and the people will take care of the rest. I know, I'm a
libertarian and an idealist, and total liberty and justice for all may not
be possible in the USA any time soon, but hey, I can dream, can't I?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 22:11:24 -0400
From: Brian <>
Subject: T&TLM


>It would appear that you have missed something.  A real appearance by
Terry and The Lovemen performing "The Good Things" on *A Testimonial
Dinner - The Songs of XTC*.  The song was recorded, the cover was
released.  But the name comes from the *Black Sea* era -- it was a
possible title for that album.<

>And yes, Brian Thomas Matthews, you missed something. T&tLM is XTC (and
vice versa).<

And so forth...
Well, there's egg on my face! I did not realize this... I think that
wry, sly, dry Brit humor left me standing at the end of the runway!

And, my, aren't we formal.

* Digital & traditional illustration/animation
* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 14:27:33 +1000
Subject: The Real TB Is Cheaper To Get

Todd mentioned in #5-34 :

>> it was the best price by far that I've found -- I paid #20.46,
which in American currency works out to ... let's see, carry the three
... $337.59. Oops, wait, got to move that pesky decimal (I was an English
major, give me a break) -- it's $33.76, _including shipping_.

I had a look in the local music store at lunchtime today, and was surprised
to actually find a copy of "Transistor Blast" in their usually empty XTC
section....then I looked at the price tag and put it back. I think $75
(Australian) translates as about $45.75 (U.S) and 27.75 pounds sterling. It
might be time to check out that website - I don't think it would be fair of
me to expect Santa to fork out quite that much.

(And yes, I *do* believe in Santa.....and wanking).


"Doesn't Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those gay guys who likes other
guys to pee on him?" - Bill Hicks.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 00:53:29 EST
Subject: Drums & Wireless


I'm kicking myself today, because a few days ago I spotted Drums & Wireless
in a used CD place near me.  It was $9.00, but stupid me only was buying
Christmas presents for other people, and I didn't have the money for it.  Now
after the Christmas shopping thing I did I'm broke, so now I can't get it.  I
would love to get my hands on that album.

Also, I'm upset with myself because I left all of my XTC CDs at my parents
house, so I have no XTC stuff to listen to. :(  It's so depressing.  Oh well,
I still have The Dukes to listen to.

Oh well, that's all I have to say for now.  I've got to stop rambling.  :)



Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 04:47:32 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Re: Transistor Last
Message-ID: <>

>No booklet or other information that
I could see. Have I been ripped off or is that all there should be??<

you've been ripped off!  There's an excellent booklet


From: "Leon X. Deggs" <>
Subject: I ain't confused
Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 01:56:26 PST

In response to a comment of mine concerning O&L inlay sleeves in the US, I
got this guff farted in my face:

>From: relph (John Relph)
>Subject: Re: I wrote your FAQing book
>The original CD release definitely included >lyrics.  However, it is
possible that the >cassette and that later "Goldline" editions >did not
include lyrics.  But I doubt it.

That is interesting information and goes some way to answering my question.
Thanks John.

>>Because one of the FAQs was: Does Partridge >>really swear on 'Skeleton
>Actually, that's not a FAQ.  Perhaps you were >thinking of:
>30) Does Andy sing the word "Fuck" in the song >"Great Fire"?

Where in the entire song could someone be confused into thinking that
Parters swears? 'Great Fire' is a favorite song of mine and has been since
the release of Mummer. And I have listened to the song several times and
have NEVER got so confused as to think that Parters swears on it.
However, I am CERTAIN (regardless of how often someone tells me otherwise)
that I saw something on the FAQs concerning the 'write your book in dust'
quote from O&L. As I said - for those who paid attention to the original
post - it was over two years ago that I read this thing.

I don't want to have a personal attack at you John, but I know what I saw
and I can't see any misinterpretation in 'Great Fire', but I can in 'Poor
Skeleton Steps Out'.

Can we also close the Collins debate too? It's boring, un-XTC-related and
getting increasingly vitriolic.



Message-Id: <v01540b00b29285e4b0bb@[]>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 10:40:34 +0000
From: (yukio yung)
Subject: The major issues of the day...

Lengthy work-avoidance rant... deadlines looming... can't write... help...
sorry if it's tedious...

1. It's beyond reasonable dispute that we should all be free to listen to
what the hell we want. That said, I find it frankly scary that more than a
few people should rush to the defence of Phil Collins' music. In my humble
opinion he should be locked in a padded cell for a month and repeatedly
made to listen to his own albums end-to-end... rather like rubbing a
puppy's nose in the shit every time he defecates on the living room carpet.
Following that, he should be force-fed Culturecide's "Some Tacky Souvenirs
of American Culture" for a further week. Only this way can his artistic
sensibilities ever hope to be saved.

2. Before Skylarking, my favourite XTC album was their much-maligned (in
these pages, at least) debut. And I still I think Science Friction's XTC's
best single (OK, I was a small kid - maybe it's sentimental).

3. I didn't like the drumming on O&L because it sounded like a very good
drum machine to my ears - I'll concede that the production didn't help on
that one, though. Otherwise I think it's a great album. And I like
"President Kill".

4. I wasn't as bowled over by English Settlement as many of my friends
were, but vaguely recall that when Mummer came out it was viewed as quite a
big disappointment. I never really got into it - probably my least

5. For the record, I think the Manic Street Preachers are fine indeed. And
I think the best album of all time is "Chairs Missing" by Wire.

6. I think Colin Moulding is the most consistenly EXCELLENT pop bass player
of the past two decades. In fact, I think he's a highly underrated figure -
his songs are nearly always among my favourites. Let's hear it for Colin...

7. Dave Gregory does a killer version of MacArthur Park. When I spoke to
him a few months back he said he was thinking about doing a CD of
progressive rock covers. I'm not kidding...

8. I saw XTC play live twice - Reading University in about 1980, which was
one of my first ever gigs. And they were REALLY terrible. Then again at
Essex University a few years later doing Black Sea stuff - and that still
rates as one of the best gigs I've ever seen. Which brings us on to stage
fright. In my reasonably limited experience of the matter (a couple of
tours in the early 90s), i found that the stage fright thing tends to pull
you to extremes, especially if you are an "unnatural" front man. I found
that I had to make a conscious decision to REALLY try to "perform" or else
I completely withdrew, which may seem odd if you are the lead vocalist, but
it really does happen. This can also cause self-perception problems if you
get into that whole "artist versus entertainer" thing - you know, resenting
having to "put on a show" just to get through it. I know nothing really
about AP's difficulty with stage work - maybe it is really something alot
simpler and I'm talking crap... which I often do - nonetheless, I have
wondered whether the two very different XTCs I saw resulted from something
like this process. I wonder whether any of your other readers have had
similar experiences...

9. I was a huge fan of the ONLY ONES - still rate them as one of the
greatest ever English bands. I bought a Quadraverb off Alan Mair, their
bass player, in about 1990. He told me all about their appalling
heroin-soaked demise just as they were on the cusp of big success. A lesson
to us all, boys and girls...

10. Regarding US/UK cross-cultural offensive terms and TV censorship (etc),
I remember being in New York in the late 80s (I'm English and live in
London, by the way) and seeing Mel Brooks's film Blazing Saddles broadcast
on a national network with every reference to the word "nigger" blanked
out. Furthermore, the famous baked beans farting scene had the farting
noises blanked out. Can anyone in the US confirm that such a thing could be
possible? I'm sure I didn't imagine it, and even though I was at the
Chelsea Hotel, I can confirm that I hadn't been taking drugs. Sorry, that's
completely irrelevant to anything...

11. Let's be frank, guys, are fat women really any good for ANYTHING, let
alone music?! (Sorry, just kidding...)

12. Oh yeah, buy my new album - SOME SONGS ABOUT VEGETABLES by
CHRYS&THEMUMS out in the US in January on the Flamingo label (call

Better do some work now...


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-35

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