Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-353

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 353

               Wednesday, 29 December 1999

Today's Topics:

                      Re: McCartney
         "2CD's - 31 tracks - prehistoric price!"
               QFTD (question for the day)
                   Irish Beatles & More
An opinion of an interesting opinion of an interesting opinion
                    Trying to explain
                       Don't laugh
               Prog Rock + Power Pop = XTC
                    Re: Favorite CD's
                      More Top Tips
    Christmas seems to bring out the best in everyone
                  Rumblings & Ramblings
                   The wait is over....
                 With a Love Like That...


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7 (John Relph <>).

Another year's gone by, the world's grown older.


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 00:31:04 +0100
Subject: Message
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Don't forget to surf over to for Dave's
special Christmas & New Year message and a news update.

Stay tuned for more: there will be a new and gourgeous Pick of the
Month guitar pinup and more updates in January.

Yours etc,

Mark Strijbos


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 17:29:32 -0600
From: "Jim S." <>
Subject: Re: McCartney

> From:

> And just a sidenote.... some of McCartney's solo work has been horrid
> ("Ebony & Ivory", "The Girl Is Mine", "Spies Like Us", "Say Say Say",
> etc...). This is true. But I feel much of his solo work has been sadly
> neglected. Songs like "Junior's Farm", "Getting Closer", "Arrow Through
> Me", "My Love",etc...... to me, sound great. Among the best work of the
> 1970's. My question is this.... had Paul just appeared out of the blue in
> 1970 (without ever being in a BIG band) , wouldn't music critics/historians
> have been quite enamored with him? I tend to think so. Call it fluff, but
> songs like "Let 'Em In" are really super tunes. Just curious for some
> feedback.

I agree.  I am a huge McCartney fan; always have been.  While it's
true a lot of his stuff can be downright difficult to listen too, a
lot of his stuff is very very good.  I don't think there has been a
better melodist, ever.  And of course he is a master on the bass, and
a pretty damn good guitarist too.  Even his drumming is above average.
He is a damn fine musician, and if some of his stuff is lightweight,
so be it.  When I want to listen to "heady" music I'll steer clear of
Macca, but when I need a lift or just something to enjoy, he fits the
bill quite nicely.
 Jim S.     <>


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 18:41:53 -0800
Subject: "2CD's - 31 tracks - prehistoric price!"
From: "Diamond" <>

First off, I got Fossil Fuel for x-mas from my friend. It's quite a treat.
Were these tracks re-mastered, or what?

Second off, I I just got an e-mail that contained Kurt Vonnegut's latest
article for Playboy. I was going to post it here because It has to do with
the millenium, and that's a topic that we've been discussing as of late.
Anyway, I decided not to post it, cause it's rather long, but I'd be willing
to foreword it to anyone who would like to read it. If anyone can find it on
the internet, please post the link here, that would be easier than me
forewording it to everyone, but I don't really mind.

Kevin "I only read it for the articles, honest!" Diamond
"To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to
create hell."
          -Tom Robbins


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 18:53:53 -0800
Subject: QFTD (question for the day)
From: "Diamond" <>

Question for the day:

does anyone know why they never released any singles from Go2? I know they
did "Are you receiving me", but I think Meccanik dancing or Battery Brides
would have been good singles. How did they expect to sell Go2 with out
releasing any singles?


Kevin Diamond
"To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to
create hell."
          -Tom Robbins


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:53:37 EST
Subject: Irish Beatles & More

Someone (I couldn't find your name on your post) wrote:

"This is a little much.  First of all, Lennon was very much an
Englishman and not an Irishman.  The Beatles ALL have strong Irish
roots.  I think that Lennon said something like, "All four Beatles are
'Potato Irish'," meaning their ancestors traveled over to Liverpool
during the Potato Famine."

Firstly, my comment about Lennon's Irishness being a reason for returning
his MBE was not meant to be taken seriously.  Maybe I should have put a
little :-) at the end of it.  You are correct though - his
self-identification of his Irishness did not come until later.  Same with
McCartney (eg. "Give Ireland Back to the Irish")

Secondly, I must agree with Harry that your remarks about Lennon's politics
are completely wrong (In my opinion).  I think that without his politics
Lennon would be merely remembered as a very good musician/songwriter.  Yet,
with them Lennon is remembered a a great humanist...a legend.  A similar
thing can be seen in the world of sports.  For example, Michael Jordan is
remembered as possibly the best basketball player ever.  Yet, he has very
little true respect beyond that.  Whereas Muhammad Ali is adored and
idolized around the world.  Not merely because he was a great athlete, but
also because he stood up for his beliefs (eg. would not fight in Vietnam).
This is similar to what Lennon did.  While we may question his beliefs (I
for one don't question them), Lennon certainly put his money where his
mouth was.  He was not afraid to make an ass of himself in the name of
justice and peace.

As for all the Irish-British you mention who have received Knighthood, I have
only this to say: "There are traitors in every generation":-)  <------please
note the smiley face.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 18:50:47 -0800
From: awa <>
Subject: An opinion of an interesting opinion of an interesting opinion

> << he started buying into the political
>  philosophies of so-called "radicals" (charlatans) of the time--people
>  like John Sinclair, Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Angela Davis, etc.
>  He also started creating songs with what I'm sure he felt were "Right
>  On!" political lyrics.  >>
> Oh, yes, that's right "Abby Hoffman was wackey," those weirdos had
> nothing important to say, let's just shade our eyes from an embarassing
> time when people thought they could put things right.  Let's all be right
> thinking people and realize our fate is in the hands of our corporate
> overlords.  Suck it up and go with the tide, in fact why am I listening
> to XTC right now, there are so many Celine Dion records that make perfect
> sense right now.  After all Sony wants me to listen to them on my Sony CD
> player that I bow down to every night(sic).
> Sorry if you find this all disturbing but I find a posting basically
> hinting that John Lennon should not have put on his glasses and start
> thinking a little disturbing.  Yes and Andy should have sucked it up and
> kept touring too I suppose.  After all who needs that sentimental hogwash
> like "Merely A Man?"

If you had actually taken the time to read what I wrote, I never said
Abbie or Jerry were weirdos or "wackey".  Far from it.  They were
natural born leaders.  They were also supreme opportunists with a keen
sense of marketing and economics.

"Steal This Book" came from the mind of a marketing genius.

Your "put on his glasses and started thinking" statement was a head
scratcher.  Lennon was always thinking and his glasses were put on in
the color-soaked year of '67 and were even on when he was wearing bits
and pieces of military outfits at the One To One concert in the early
'70s.  He was the thinking Beatle, the writing Beatle, the overtly
experimental Beatle, the Beatle who took lots of chances, the Punk
Beatle, my favorite Beatle.  We got plenty of great political songs from
him, like "Revolution 1" and "Revolution #9", "Mind Games", "Bring on
the Lucie (Freda Peeple)", "Woman Is the Nigger of the World", "I Found
Out".  He was always political.  I think "Tomorrow Never Knows" is
political and life-changing.  It's even more life changing than Abbie or
Jerry instructing young middle class  impressionables how to kick a cop
in the balls.

Actually, "John Sinclair" is another great Lennon political song because
he was writing about something he knew very well:  A controversial
person getting arrested for something as lame as pot possession.

What I meant by charlatans can be seen in many of the so-called
"radical" groups of the time, like the SLA.  A friend of mine, whose
father was one of the founding Black Panthers in Oakland, would say to
me things like, "SLA:  Long on publicity creating ability and short on
substance."  This person was later killed by another son of a Panther.
He would say this to me, no doubt repeating something he heard his
father say a million times, because he'd overheard me say things like,
"But what about the picture of Patty Hearst holding that machine gun and
standing in front of the snake with all the heads!"  Image making on the
level of Hitler or Mao.

Partridge has been wearing the cap and the tinted granny specs for a
while now.

I don't think Andy Partridge has quite surpassed Lennon's best work
(which in my opinion were his not-so-obvious tracks from ANY of his
eras--be they tracks like "#9 Dream" or tracks like "She Said She
Said").  Having said that, I will enthusiastically say that Partridge
AND Moulding have written music that is just as cosmic or timeless as
anything from the Beatles at their peak.

Honestly, the dream is over.  Lennon was never of The People.  He may
have been a hero to the working class (more like the middle class and
upward) but he was never OF the working class. He really did convince
this listener of his Working Class Hero myth when this listener was a
wee lad.

Andy, Terry, Dave and Colin are better at being "working class heroes".

In later interviews he expressed what a let down it was when he woke up
and realized that he got "taken for a ride" by many swindlers, poseurs
and pushers of the political ilk in the late '60s and '70s.

And, yes, John Lennon did more for social change in the USA than Abbie
or Jerry EVER did and he wasn't even American.  According to a recent
interview with Yoko, he did a lot for social change in Britain as well.

Mr. Rubin, in fact, is quite content to suck up and fall in line with
Corporate America right in the center of Respectable Street. I'm sure
Jerry's taken taken to doing what Sony and other "corporate overlords"
want him to do because he was always upwardly mobile and always
professional in whatever he did.  A people pleaser, he told people what
they wanted to hear, whether those people are The People or those robots
in suits moving big numbers on Wall Street.

My POINT was that he, for the most part, was in over his head, Lennon
was, politically, when he penned blatant Political Statement type songs
(like many of those found on "Sometime in New York City").  And, like I
said, some of them work really well, like "Gimme Some Truth" from the
"Imagine" album.

I think this whole insecurity that half of the Beatles felt about their
riches and their politics all stems from John and George feeling they
were somehow missing out on something that Bob Dylan was plugged into.

Also, I never said anything against the idealism of the late 1960s hippy
movement. The reason the '60s and the hippies are such objects of
derision is mainly because there could have been a few less cartoon
characters blurring the message with their self-serving prancing, as
entertaining as they were--like Jerry and Abbie.

Besides all of this, you could have picked someone closer to home if you
wanted call into question my lack of idealism.  Your Celine Dion comment
was just a little too pat.  Even Mariah Carry would have been better.
Actually, you could have written "Phil Collins" instead.  I doubt that
there is anyone in any XTC congregation who would ever voluntarily
listen to Dion but there might be a boomer or two who enjoys some
Collins and Collins is as corporate as Coke, Coors, Puff Daddy or Ben &
Jerry's.  Or you could have picked a big time Conservative, like Neil
Young, to make me feel real bad about what I wrote.  Now, Neil Young is
someone I do enjoy listening to even though it's confusing to me that he
did admit to being a Reagan supporter.  The same goes for James Brown or
Prince for that matter:  Actual working class heroes who, for whatever
reason, have pretty unhip politics.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:45:00 EST
Subject: Trying to explain

"I just don't understand why they are
not the big rich rock stars that they deserve to be.  I don't get it?
why? why?  why? Someone please explain!"

Back in the '80's my friends and I would often express to each other "Where
is our 'Sgt. Pepper's'?"  Until we started looking around and discovered
XTC, The Jam, The Clash, Elvis Costello, etc.  We realized they were there,
but for some reason the rest of the world didn't want to open their eyes to

Fast forward to 1999.  Of course, we have all had our opinions on AV1, but
in a way I would like to revise mine.  If "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band" came out today it would sell 100,000 copies worldwide.  We've gone
over the songs ad infinitum on this list, so we know the quality of pop
songwriting we're talking about.  But, like Sgt. Pepper, AV1 uses
technology to drive it's point (the songs) home.  Sure digital recording
has been used for quite some time now.  Yet, in some ways this technology
hasn't really been used the way XTC did on this record, just as
multitracking analog with Sgt. Pepper.  Like The Beatles, XTC basically
said "We want it to sound like this."  And instead of some laboratory
trained technician saying, "No, things are not done this way."  They had
people who understood where they were coming from (mostly themselves) and
with little interference from their record company (as with The Beatles
during the Sgt. Pepper sessions).

True The Beatles were the most popular group of their era, which is
something XTC doesn't have in common with them.  This, too, would be a
reason why AV1 hasn't sold millions.  But I think people just don't care as
much about their entertainment choices.  We are leaving an era when most
music critics are calling Nirvana's Nevermind this generations Sgt. Pepper.
Though popularity wise and influenentially this may be a correct statement.
Artistically (warning: this is only one's opinion here) I do not see the
comparison.  Kurt Cobain never allowed himself to develop as a songwriter,
which is the real shame here.

BTW, Dennis Fano has an XTC tattoo, in fact I have a T-shirt of it.  It's
quite neat.



Message-Id: <v04003a00b48dbe6c9543@[]>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 20:31:49 -0500
From: maggie jungwirth <>
Subject: Don't laugh


Here is my incredibly important list of all the CD's I bought in 1999;
(feel free to scroll down)

Apple Venus 1 (3)

Sorry, that's it.  I guess that makes me either really inadequit compared
to the rest of you or an obsessed purist...or nothin'.
I think I listened to John Lennon and  Eric Mathews a couple times this

I can't count Black Sea which my 10 yr. old bought me for xmas, the first
CD he ever bought me :-)

whew...confession feels good.

I've been enjoying mentally compiling my fav XTC moments, there are so many
I can tell you it's a herculean task...  but I'm tryin.

under mats of flower lava


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 20:18:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Prog Rock + Power Pop = XTC

Belated Boxing Day greetings to all.

Jennifer Chambers Lynch (David's daughter) tells me
Boxing Day has to do with the de-limbing of beautiful
young women, but I'm not sure I believe her.

Now on to the rant.

The American documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (who
released a bio on a kinswoman of mine, a fourth cousin
four times removed, this past year) alternates big and
small projects. The last biggie was *Baseball* and the
next will be *Jazz*. Then what? In case he takes them,
I have a suggestion: Call it *Rock and Roll*, and
release it in 2005 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of
Elvis Presley's recording debut.

In 1995, two documentaries marked the fortieth
anniversary of those first Sun tracks: WGBH Boston and
BBC Bristol co-produced *Rock & Roll*, and from Time
Warner, Quincy Jones, et al., came *The History of
Rock 'n' Roll*. Both ran ten hours and both were
marvelously entertaining, but both had shortcomings I
hope a fiftieth anniversary retrospective will

F'rinstance? Well, each documentary has ten one-hour
chapters, and both Chapter 9s are titled "Punk." I
think that's a wee bit too much attention.

True, the label "Punk" can be construed to cover lots
of interesting, important music that had nothing to do
with self-mutilation by safety pin, but both docs give
short shrift to acts like the Clash and Elvis
Costello, preferring to linger in masterbatory detail
over the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols.

I hope the more seasoned eyes of the 2005
documentary's creators will pare back on Punk and give
a little attention to two other non-disco phenomena of
the 1970s: Progressive Rock and Power Pop.

If it helps to attach names to genres, think of Peter
Gabriel and Nick Lowe.

The 1995 docs had nothing, or at least nothing good,
to say about either of these musical schools. One of
them sneered at Juilliard-caliber Emerson, Lake &
Palmer-style musicianship and proclaimed that Punk --
and its message that you didn't need to be able to
play an instrument to be in a band; all you needed was
attitude -- was the saving of rock and roll.

Bollocks. Any important rock and roll artist you can
name (starting with Louis Prima!) has, or had, plenty
of attitude, of course, but he has/had even more of
something else: talent.

In Progressive Rock and Power Pop we saw not only
attitude and talent but also intelligence and humor.
Mix those two genres, and all four of those valuable
characteristics, and you get XTC.

I hope that by 2005, the chroniclers of half a century
of rock and roll will understand that this particular
yellow brick road did indeed pass through Swindon.

Ryan Anthony


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 20:04:40 -0800
From: Patricia <>
Subject: Re: Favorite CD's
Message-id: <>

All Right then, here are my two cents worth on the Favorite CD's Topic
(I narrowed my list to the 1990's only and they're in alpha order):

Beastie Boys~Check Your Head; Hello Nasty
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds~Henry's Dream
Paula Cole~This Fire
Vanessa Daou~Zipless
Excursions In Ambience (compilation)
The Reverend Horton Heat~Full-Custom Gospel Sounds of
Morphine~B-Sides and Otherwise
The Murmurs~self-titled
William Orbit~Strange Cargo Hinterland
Primus~Frizzle Fry; Sailing the Seas of Cheese; Pork Soda; Antipop
Red Hot Chili Peppers~Mother's Milk
Sting~Soul Cages
Tom Waits~Bone Machine; Soundtrack to Night on Earth; Mule Variations

I agree with D. Seddon that Harvest Festival is a most incredible song
and that Sting does display great song writing skill and talent.  You
have an ally in your non-Sting-hating status.

Best wishes for the new year, everyone!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 01:08:35 +0000
From: John Peacock <>
Organization: The Nice Organization
Subject: More Top Tips

And Lo! A wise man said unto me:

"And there will be a thing called The Internet. And it will revolutionise
communications and bring nations closer together. And people will just use
it to smear their egoistic opinions across the conciousness of others like
so much grease."

And it came to pass.


XTC - Apple Venus Vol 1
   You know about this one, I assume.

Ben Folds Five- The Unauthorised Bigraphy of Reinhold Messer
   This has also been widely covered - Billy Joel meets Nirvana with added

Stereolab - Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night
   A great huge slab of 'lab. Jazzy, retro, techno, marimba and time for
an extended drone workout too.

Hedningarna - Karelia Visa
   The giants of Nordic Folk are back. It's the new rock and roll, you know.

Scritti Politti - Anomie & Bonhomie
   It was so nice of Green Gartside, taking time off from some important
skateboarding in order to do the best pop/hip-hop/grunge album of the
year, don't you think.

Robert Wyatt - EPs
   Alright, technically a re-release (anything from the wheeled one rates
very highly in my book) but it does contain Shipbuilding, Amber and the
Amberines, I'm a Believer and much other loveliness (I've started a Wyatt
list on OneList, called Dondestan, if anyone's interested).

The Tiger Lillies - Bad Blood Blasphemy
   The usual castrato obscenities, but with turkish musicians they picked
up on their travels. Contains Bad and the unbelievably intense
Maria. Unmissable.

Caroline Kendall - Rebekah's Song
   Long-awaited CD by a friend of mine. Very fab it is too.

David Sylvian - Dead Bees on a Cake
   Perhaps a bit long, but we've waited a very very long time for this.
The first half-hour alone is worth the price of admission.

Felema - Old Blue Balls is Back
  Found it on, and I think it's fab. Sort of Township
Jazz/Electronica crossover. Not so much experimental as idly tinkering.

The complete Jacques Brel box - word to the wise, if you think you may end
up buying the complete back catalogue anyway, bite the bullet and buy the
box. You won't regret it. And I've picked up a lot of French trying to
read the booklets.

Double Bass. A joy forever and a lovesome thing. And it goes plunk in a
very deep way.

A three-way tie: Anonymous Society and The Orient Express Moving Schnorers
at the Edinburgh Festival. Robert Wyatt Tribute Night at the Royal
Festival Hall.

XTC - Nonsuch
Frank Black - Frank Black
The Pixies - Trompe le Monde
Lambchop - What Another Man Spills
The Orb - Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
Hedningarna - Kaksi!
Radiohead - OK Computer
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
Stereolab - Dots and Loops
Scott Walker - Tilt
Squarepusher - Feed Me Wierd Things
King Crimson - Thrak
The Tiger Lillies - The Brothel to the Cemetary
Donald Fagen - Kamakiriad
Robyn Hitchcock - Moss Elixir
Brian Eno - Nerve Net
Eno/Cale - Wrong Way Up
Divine Comedy - Fin De Siecle
Bob Cairns - Green King
Peter Blegvad - Hangman's Hill
Robert Wyatt - Schleep

So what if you don't care. At least I'm real. Sort of. Not like some



Message-ID: <>
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: Christmas seems to bring out the best in everyone
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 23:24:11 CST

sorry, no XTC content, I'm afraid-- just a little history, a little slang,
and a little defensive pettiness on my part, respectively.

Christopher R. Coolidge mentions--
>    I stand corrected, my memory of where I got that information is
>hazy; it may have been in a book on the gay marriage issue my father
>lent me, and it may have been France or even the USA the author was
>referring to.

It was most likely France, if there was reference to societal status.  While
there has been much written on relationships in the Old West (particularly
between women), homosexual acts have been illegal in US states for many
years-- fewer now than at one time, of course, but still a disturbing

Tyler Hewitt observed--
>I for one understood. I think that using 'boys' for
>'men' is commom in the gay commumity, maybe not so
>much anywhere else.

I don't know-- I thought the misunderstanding was interesting, as only a
couple evenings previous I talked to my ex-boyfriend, and he told me about a
couple women he'd gone out with recently.  Both of these women are older
than he is (we're both 22) by a number of years, but he referred to them as
"girls". He corrected himself, and said "women".  (This wasn't for my
benefit.)  I commented that I had referred to a friend's partner as "the boy
she's been dating" that same day, and realized that in that case, too, he's
actually a man by all legal definitions.  (Although, he's 22 and looks 12,
so calling him a "man" sometimes feels ridiculous.)  I said that I figure
old habits (ie, of adolescence) die hard.

Not much point to that paragraph, just an association.

[finally, defensiveness-- you've been warned]
Brian "corrected"--
> >Brian continues his side in a debate which is perhaps more fruitless than
>the whole drug thing--<
>Sorry, Megan, but I was "continuing" nothing on my side. My 'schillenium
>bullshit' commentary was the first thing I posted about this subject.

I'm sorry.  My wording was a bit off due to my drowsiness.  I meant that you
were continuing the argument which was in full swing on the list, not
necessarily adding to anything you (to my mind) may or may not have said
previously in regards to the discussion.  I was also attempting to make a
very weakly humorous offhand comment.

>Your response now rates lower than it might had you not made this

Thank you for letting me know.  I like to keep tabs on my status.

> >with the mentioning of all the different calendars, I'm surprised there's
>been no mention of the Julian calendar.<
>We don't operate on the Julian calendar, so we can stop this discussion
>right now.

Thanks on that point as well.  In future I will attempt to pay more
attention to what questions I may want to pose on the list.

By the way, we can stop *this* discussion right now.  I'm sure no one else
wants to read any of this, and I apologize for posting this much.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:26:33 -0800
Subject: Rushmore
From: "Diamond" <>


>Finally, soundtracks:

Don't own the soundtrack, but the movie is fantastic! I remeber when I saw
it, I was in this indipendent film showing series, and It was the last film
of that  particular season. It was a big secret, no one knew what it was
going to be, and everyone were on the endge of their seats. I remember
thinking to myself that I wished it would be Rushmore. I had heard so much
good reviews about it, and I knew that if they didn't show it here, it would
never come to Nantucket ever. When the lights went down, and I saw the first
shot, of the picture of Bill Murray and his family, I knew itwas Rushmore.
It's quite coincidental that you brought this up, as I just rented it last
night and saw it again.

Kevin "This has absolutely nothing to do with XTC, but I'm sending it
anyway" Diamond

"To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to
create hell."
          -Tom Robbins


Message-ID: <000901a8ea39$92ad8940$66c4163f@6914cqcqa015>
From: "David" <>
Subject: Rumblings & Ramblings
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 1980 01:25:02 -0600

Seventh Grade Says:

1. Praise God and pass the soda crackers.
2. Yes, I was part of the Great Unwashed; I just got my first Joe Jackson
cd. I likes it !!!!!
3. It takes food and fun to get parents to our PTA meetings. Now we can add
free-basing. WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
4. How many will be playing "Duck & Cover" Friday night and "Patch the
Bullet Holes in the Roof" Saturday morning?
5. The "make lard illegal" comment was one of the funniest things I've read.
Lard is a funny word, kinda like urethra.
6. Are there any words that have the letters "xtc" together in them?
7. 12/28 @ 4:41pm and  I can comfortably wear shorts outside, can you?
8. Jeff George MVP? OOHH yeah, I think so.

I ate so much I had to untie my shoes.

Mr. Martin


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 15:27:18 -0700
From: "John Lerfald" <>
Organization: U S WEST Communications, Inc
Subject: The wait is over....

All Right, I've kept you waiting long enough-
My Faves for 99:
CALIFORNIA Mister Bungle (I'm surprised I haven't seen this on too many
lists, it's a masterpiece)
SHLEEP Robert Wyatt( I Know it's not a 99 release)
So there!'
Happy New Year!!
(no disrespect meant to anyone who doesn't celebrate or recognize this as a


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 18:35:22 EST
Subject: With a Love Like That...

>From: awa <>
>Subject: Lennon is an Irish name
>Let's face it,
>Lennon's talent was cosmic but that whole post '67 With-It Hippy
>Guy-cum-Me Generation thing really messed him up:

Let's see if we can't roll out the old New Holland tractor-loader and
haul this thing back toward relevance. A good place to start might be
the following passage from John Lydon's "Rotten: No Dogs, No Blacks,
No Irish," quoting Marco Pirroni, a Sex Pistols camp follower:

    There was a jukebox in Sex. Somebody put on a Beatles record,
    "I'm Down," and someone yelled, "Awwww! My God! The Beatles,"
    and then grabbed it. They started kicking this Beatles record
    around the shop. "We hate the fucking Beatles!" I thought,
    "How brilliant! They hate the Beatles. What a fucking brilliant
    thing to say. I'm going to go back to college and say, "The
    Beatles are shit!" It was like saying "Jesus is queer" or
    having a shit in church. You just didn't say it!"

Plainly, some context is needed here. Beginning in the early Eighties,
with the murder of Lennon, and lasting up through the release of
"Anthology," the corpse of the Beatles underwent a process of washing,
embalming, and lying in state as befits a deceased cultural Caesar of
inconceivable importance. They were made over, the historical image
polished to a lustrous sheen, by countless redactors and revisionists
whose stake in the Myth of Beatle Perfection is high indeed.

Now my purpose is not to churlishly point out an idol's feet of
clay. Plenty of others have already beaten this particular dead horse
beyond recognition.  (But shame on you, Alec, for repeating some of
Albert Goldman's odious and thoroughly discredited hatchet job on
Lennon.) My point, rather, is that the Beatles have not always enjoyed
the hagiographic status they possess now. In particular, the
intelligentsia of the middle Seventies felt more or less like that
anonymous punk above.

It's difficult to imagine nowadays, with Their Fabulosities firmly and
permanently enthroned in the 20th Century pantheon, but those of us
who lived through it remember: By the mid-Seventies, the cultural
uprising of the Sixties--a movement that had started out promising to
destroy the stultifying, hidebound institutions of the past and
replace them with all that was Good and Righteous--had ground itself
to a useless pulp on the rocks of self-absorption, self-indulgence,
and moral cowardice. We younger folks, growing up fully expecting to
inherit the mantle of Sixties idealism (not to mention hedonism), felt
utterly *betrayed.*

And no symbol of that time stood out more clearly than the Former
Beatles: John was a p-whipped recluse (that is, when he wasn't an
embarrassing public nuisance), Paul was entombed like a prehistoric
mosquito in unspeakable treacle of his own creation, George's Hare
Krishna act was way beyond tiresome, and Ringo was an amiable
drunk. They all publicly detested each other, and tales of their
lawsuits and counter-suits filled column inches that would have been
far better given over to the relatively public-spirited shenanigans of
the Eagles and Emerson Lake and Palmer.

So it became the obvious thing, really, for iconoclasts of every
stripe to abominate the Beatles and everything they stood for. I
remember a class in college, in 1979 or so, where the prototypical
Boomer professor wanted to make a particular point about conditions of
privation in post-WWII Europe and its political effect on the
generation that followed the war. He pointed out, with a bright smile,
to provide sympatico context, that this generation, of course,
included the Beatles! The punky snarls that came from the audience, of
a general grumpy fuck-the-Beatles tenor, completely cowed the poor
man. I was reminded of the scene on the train in "A Hard Days' Night"
when the stuffy old commuter sniffs "We fought the war for your sort!"
and Ringo quips snottily, "I bet you're sorry you won!"

(..."We manned the barricades in Paris in '68 for your sort...!")

So you can imagine the suspicion I harbored when, one night during
that selfsame 1979 I heard some music emanating from my dorm
neighbor's room--ordinarily a source of the usual dour, mechanical and
joyless Ultravox and Gary Numan--a music that for all its herky-jerky
cleverness, hiccuppy New-Wave singing and absurdist lyrics, wore its
Beatle-nature front and center: shamelessly melody-driven,
harmonically sophisticated, structurally complex, shifting textures,
exquisite bass playing--driving English guitar-rock that was squarely
and proudly in the tradition of the Beatles and yet a thoroughly
modern rethinking of it.

This record was, of course, "Drums and Wires."

In light of all the foregoing exposition, you can understand I was
both attracted and repelled by such audacity. Imagine that: in 1979,
the year of No-Wave, No-Future, Destroy-the-Dominant-Paradigm, this
band is brave enough, imaginative enough, to drill back through the
years of negativity and cynicism, to reach into the maw of history and
pull out a single shining truth: The Music is All.

Forget the bitter disappointment the Beatle Promise foisted on us,
they said, forget the enervating infighting and backbiting, forget the
embarrassing political posturing and incomprehensible taste in women,
forget the preachiness and the holier-than-thou nagging--forget, in a
word, the personalities of the musicians, and what is left is The
Music.  The Music lifts us, joins us together in an ecstatic Bacchic
dance of freedom.

The Music gives us permission to love.

Now I suspect Andy Partridge would object to this assertion, and come
up with scores of counterexamples, but at a time when respect for the
lessons of history was at an all-time ebb, and when the starry-eyed
peace-and-love holy buffoonery of the late Sixties was well on its way
to becoming the hideously cynical marketing tool it has now come to
be, the XTC of "Drums and Wires" and particularly "Black Sea" echoed a
sacred truth that the Beatles first made abundantly clear in 1963:
that Community inhabits the Beat. That is to say, within the
simplicity of an avowal of love against a four-four beat in a simple
pop song--be it "She Loves You" or "Rocket from a Bottle"--may be
found everything--*everything!*--that makes the world warmer, more
habitable, more comforting, a shelter against hate. Think of the
indescribably joyous sonic sheen of harmonies in "Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
or the orgasmic release of tension in the "every bird and bee" bridge
in "Optimism's Flames"--aren't *these* All the Love You Need?

The unspeakable tragedy of John Lennon's death was that he showed
signs of finally understanding, as a man and as an artist, this
truth. All the political posturing and floundering and breastbeating
and showboating Lennon did during the last ten years of his life came
to nothing: after all is said and done, it is in mature, enduring
I-and-Thou Love that salvation is to be found. Of course, we could
have pointed out he'd already said as much in "She Loves You,"
couldn't we, saved him the trouble....

All this points up a facet of modern life that I think separates our
generation from the preceding ones. It's become so endemic in our
expectations that we pretty much set our watches by it; it's
practically a generational trademark. The mantra goes like this:
Everything Eventually Turns to Shit.

Isn't it always the way? Everything good and true and righteous and
worthy and life-affirming and loving and always, somewhere
along the line, fucks with your expectations, disappoints you, annoys
you, betrays you, lets you down. If the 1966 Beatles can turn to 1971
shit, then anything can.

So why is it that XTC *never* has?

Think about it.

Harrison "But not while you're driving, please" Sherwood


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-353

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