Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-354

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 354

                 Friday, 31 December 1999

Today's Topics:

                    riddle of the ages
          Geffen Skylarking LP w/ Mermaid Smiled
                       Until I Die
          major musicians/composers this century
                       Best of 1999
           Feedback for ROBEACH AND JIMS@INLINK
                      Mister lister
                   Word to the wise...
                     Pedro Pumkinhead
                The End of the World News
                      Blur Blah Blah
              minster hill and soft bulletin
                    music and politics
                       Boxing Day?
            XTC-spotting in THE WEIRDEST place
                     Just raves today


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Burn up the old.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 21:32:58 EST
Subject: riddle of the ages

In a message dated 12/27/1999 7:36:07 PM Eastern Standard Time,
<> writes:

>  My
>  NY's resolution: to bring more into the fold, to open peoples ears up to
>  the under-appreciated music of xTc.  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!
>  ---jeannie

    It's true...we all feel this way I think, but paradoxically wouldn't you
feel somewhat cheated if the whole world discovered xtc?  They have a cult
like following, and isn't wonderful when you meet up with another fan and
begin to talk about the music and lyrics. It's like finding a rare gem.
Isn't it wonderful when you introduce a dozen people to the music and 11 of
them look at you cross-eyed, but when you look at the 12th person he has this
glaze over his eyes and you know you got him?  We do wonder why? why? why?
and the boys from Swindon do deserve their rewards and recognition but
somewhat selfishly I enjoy being one that introduces something wonderful to
someone instead of MTV.  Definitely a "Catch 22."

 "live forever or die trying"  -Joseph Heller


Message-ID: <001901bf51a9$87db91e0$>
From: "benhelen davis" <>
Subject: Geffen Skylarking LP w/ Mermaid Smiled
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 21:04:42 -0600

I just picked up a Geffen copy of Skylarking (on vinyl) that contains
"Mermaid Smiled" instead of "Dear God."  I know that later pressings of the
album in the US contained "Dear God" because of the acclaim/outrage that it
received as the B-side of  the first single, "Grass."

My question is: do I have a valuable XtC collectable, or is the "original"
Geffen release of Skylarking worth little more than the $4 I plopped down
for it?  It's in very good condition (the label on side 2 is slightly torn,
but otherwise it looks mint).  I'm sure several someones on this list have
an answer for me (e-mail me direct if you like).  Thanks -BenD


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 07:25:31 -0800 (PST)
From: pancho artecona <>
Subject: Until I Die

Hey There Chalkhillers,

first of all, i would like to wish you all a happy new
year, and may we hear A LOT more form XTC in the
coming decade.

First, 2 questions and an observation: 1- what came
first, The Beach Boy's 'Darlin'' or 'Because" by the
Beatles? 2- same for "then she appeared" vs "There she
goes" by The La's.....they each seem to owe a lot to
each other. Observation- does anyone else hear the
germ for everything that Stereolab has done in the
Beach Boy's song "Until I Die". I know I do.

Now, about drugs. I just wanted to refute the point
made that the only people involved in the discussion
were those interested or affected by the subject. I
used to shoot heroin and cocaine daily for years
(which almost led to my death mind you, and which also
started by smoking pot, aka the gateway drug).
Thereafter I directed a drug and alcohol treatment
center for 9 years and am presently studying to become
a psychiatrist (somehow managed to salvage a
sufficient number of brain cells), so my interest in
drugs runs quite deeply. Drugs can be mind expanding
but can also kill, so all I can say is be careful
(that's what I plan to tell my kids, I also plan to
tell them about my experience so they know they may
have a genetic predisposition for abuse).
Despite all that, I have always been pro legalization,
although I must admit that in the case of cocaine it
becomes a bit tricky because people will, if faced
with unlimited supply, use cocaine until they die or
start flapping on the floor like fish out of water (I
have experienced a number of seizures as well as
transient ischemic attacks due to abuse), only to come
out of their stupor with an intense desire to do more
cocaine. So I am not sure whether legalization of
cocaine would be feasible. Pot and heroin yes, might
as well collect all those taxes and ensure purity of
product. But then there are all of these new
'designer' drugs eg- China White, Ecstasy, GHB whose
long-tern sequelae I am unfamiliar with so I can't
really form an opinion just yet. I have seen lots of
OD's of GHB, which can mean sudden death if there is
no medical help readily available (people basically
stop breathing and need assisted mechanical
ventilation for about 6-8 hours and then they just
come out of it).
Bottom line, as long as man exists, there are many of
them who will look for ways to get stoned so we may as
well ensure they get good drugs and make a little
money out of it instead of allowing this incredible
underground economy in the hands of colombians and
others to flourish. If alcohol is legal, then drugs
should be legal as well.

Oh well, I guess I just refuted my own refutal. Go



Message-ID: <>
From: "Roberts, Peter" <>
Subject: major musicians/composers this century
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 12:53:01 -0500

OK Chalkies...
here's a poll with a slightly different twist...which composers and/or
musicians have had the most impact on music in the 20th century?? And why??
I'll think about it and post my choices later.

	[ Please respond to Peter and he'll summarize later. -- John ]


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 11:47:26 -0700
Subject: Best of 1999

Hi Chalkfolk,

The best albums of 1999 have to be AV1/Homespun and LIFT by
Love and Rockets.  It's been a whole year and we still can't stop
listening to them.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 11:23:32 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: nonsuch

Just posting a few things before the new year.

I have not been keeping up with the digests, so if I am repetitive...
oh well.

Someone listed their top book purchases this year...
The best books I've purchased:

The Harry Potter series... even though they are a bit old for my
daughter, I insist on buying them... and reading them to her nightly.

Dostoevsky: The Devils (aka The Possessed) and An Accidental Family
(aka  The Adolescent). Okay... so it took about a year for me to finish
The Devils... but still it was a great book. I've not finished An
Accidental Family yet... the character makes me ill sometimes... but if
you can find a book containing characters who make you feel, you've
found a good book.

Favorite music purchase?

other than XTC stuff... because, thats redundant.

Fiona Apple- When The Pawn
Belle and Sebastian - damn, can't remember the title (I think its their
Barenaked Ladies- Stunt, and their live album... very good.

I think thats the main stuff that I BOUGHT this year...
recommendations... do with them what you will!

XTC related stuff... I'm just sitting here waiting for AV2... what more
can I write on it? I love the music... but I suppose I'm just not in a
deep enough mood to write about the lyrics and my opinions on them.
Its been done, anyways, so why repeat?

Nicole's internet music station:


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 11:37:15 -0700
From: "John Lerfald" <>
Organization: U S WEST Communications, Inc
Subject: Feedback for ROBEACH AND JIMS@INLINK

> 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.     <>

I also agree with you two gentlemen regarding Pauls work.
XTC vis a vis: IS IT ME or does I'D LIKE THAT from Apple Venus sound like a
McCartney tune??


Message-ID: <003401bf522e$47d86340$a9e27ad1@default>
Subject: Mister lister
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 13:55:27 -0500

John wrote:
[a top CDs of the '90s list]
> So what if you don't care. At least I'm real. Sort of. Not like some
> people.

This was the most intriguing list so far because every album on it was
either (a) an album I loved to pieces or (b) an album I'd never heard.
(Except for "Kamakiriad", which is just not up to "The Nightfly", but we'll
let that one go.  I am looking forward to the new Steely Dan studio album,
"Two Against Nature", out Feb. 29, I hear.)  So given that kind of taste
overlap, I'll definitely be checking out some of the titles here.  Thanks!

He also mentioned Nordic folk music, and while I'm not familiar with
Hedningnarna, may I recommend Varttina, a Finnish folk/rock combo (4
singers, 5 instrumentalists, periodic guests): crazy time signatures,
beautiful harmonies, catchy as hell.  Too great.  "Kokko" is my favorite of
their albums so far, but I haven't heard them all yet...though I plan to.

Hope I didn't sound off too harshly about the new Julian Lennon album in my
last posting.  It's probably still worth your time and money if you're
looking for some decent Beatle-y pop.  Just don't have your expectations too
high and you won't be disappointed.

-- Francis

"He is so gay and fancy free, and I wish all his money belonged to me."
   -- The Kinks


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 15:19:08 EST
Subject: Word to the wise...


The picture on the "Happy Christmas" page of the Guitargonauts site is
absolutely *hysterical*. Your life will be greatly enriched for having seen

Off you go:

Harrison "That's me and Lucille there on the left" Sherwood


Message-ID: <000a01bf5247$a2644860$5654883e@pbncomputer>
From: "chris browning" <>
Subject: Rushmore
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 21:56:18 -0000

Not only can I heartily recommend the film Rushmore (an absolute gem! It
barely came to any cinemas here in Nottingham, but thankfully I was made
redundant the week it was on matinee and it made being jobless seem
suddenly - to quote Sellars and Yeatman - 'a Good Thing') but the soundtrack
has been definitely the most played CD of the last few weeks - a great
collection of British invasion classics and other more unusual diversions
such as Yves Montand and Zoot Sims. Heartily recommended - film and

Actually this year has been pretty damn good for films - everyone (including
me) has done their albums of the year, so here are my films of the year for
a change.

1. Buena Vista Social Club - I love Wim Wenders, I loved the album, the
combination - well I burst into tears of joy so may times. Emotional,
beautiful, gorgeous - this music is timeless, and the love for it of their
creators. Humbling. Great film.

2. The Straight Story - unexpected from Lynch I must say but again the tear
ducts went flowing. Very recommended.

3. Rushmore - just bloody great

4. Go - Junior Pulp Fiction it may have been, and not quite as great as
Swingers but still so ruddy life affirming and perfectly formed. Staisfying
in the extreme.

5. Election - dark, nasty, fantastic

and honourable mentions to 10 Things I Hate About You, PI, Blair Witch and
lots of others which will come to me after I send this. Greatest cinematical
moment of the year has to be watching Bringing Up Baby on the big screen at
last. It has always been my favourite film ever and to see it as nature
intended. Boy, life doesn't get much better than that I can tell you.

Anyway I shall bore you no longer

Happy New Year to you all.....



From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:21:14 +0100
Subject: Pedro Pumkinhead
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Rob Carson said:

> I noticed Mark Strijbos mentioned a Filipino (!) 7" single of "Peter
> Pumpkinhead". This interests me greatly.
And so it should!
I'm glad i'm not the only one left here who gets excited about things
like this... heck, i already got excited when i discovered it existed!

> Any details?
Sure... it is backed by "Wardance"
It doesn't have a picture sleeve (alas)
Label: Dyna EMI / Virgin
Catalog #: VRN-6669
The label also states: "manufactured in the Philippines by Dyna
Products Inc. under license from Virgin Records"

On my copy someone scribbled "SEPT 23 '92" - probably the
release date

> How did ya get it?
Through eBay, but it was located in Swindon... fancy that !

> Where can I get one?
IMHO your best bet would be to keep checking the specialist
magazines (Record Collector, Goldmine), stuffy shops and online
listings like eBay and GEMM.
The availability of stuff like this is always very limited, usually just
one copy so you have to be quick on your feet if you do find what
you are looking for.

Tell you what - I will upload a scan of the label to my site. Surf to the
Little Lighthouse (URL at the bottom of this message) and check out
the Treasure Trove page.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 15:19:13 -0800 (PST)
From: pancho artecona <>
Subject: The End of the World News

Oh Chalkhills,

I forgot to thank whomever suggested the Book 'The End
Of The World News' by Anthony Burgess. A bit difficult
to get a hold of but tremendously enjoyable! Its
already in line for a reread. Thanks again!

Oh, and to Macca lovers. My brother gave me this demo
cd of Costello and McCartney with about 18 songs on it
that include their hits (eg-Veronica and My Brave
Face) but also all kinds of other stuff like Tommy's
Coming Home. If anyone wants to trade for a tape of
said Cd let me know privately.

Oh, and as always forgot to give my appreciatins to
this list. Still the best despite the absence of Simon
Sleighton and others I've always loved to read. I do
notice quite a lot of change that I don't always like
but then again that is growth, for better or worse (I
can always scroll down). I am sure some of the real
old timers feel like the thing has gone to the doms.

Be well, all. And go ahead and party like its 1999.



Message-ID: <002101bf529d$38412600$e90801d5@bean1>
From: "Jonathan Bean" <>
Subject: Blur Blah Blah
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:09:00 -0800

After all this talk recently about blur, I decided to revist "Modern Life is
Rubbish" once again, but still can't get into it, the influences are clearly
Xtc/kinks et al but if proof further is needed just check out "Tracy Jacks"
on "Parklife. Partridge pastiche or what my friends.
Oh and have a happy new millenium!! (tongue firmly in cheek I think)
Yours in XTC,  Mr Bean


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 20:27:11 -0800
Subject: minster hill and soft bulletin

>    Thanks to the list I am joining in my praises to the great
> Minster Hill cd....I havent been this excited about a band since
> Drums and Wires hit the shores of the states.

I need to hear more about them, anyone?!!!

Also, loving the new Flaming with the Minster Hill they are
listening experiences kind of reminding me how I felt way back in 79'
listening to the Wall.

Get and enjoy..Two favorites for the year and the mil.
Be safe


Message-ID: <>
From: "garret harkawik" <>
Subject: Questions
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 21:04:59 EST

My english teacher gave my class a report to do and told us it could be on
anything we want so,  not surprisingly, I have decided to do it on
XTC.Before I start, I have a few questions:1-when were Colin's kids
2-when did Andy's wife leave him?
3-What has Barry been up to lately?Terry?
4-Who was the keyboardisrt before Barry?

Going over my last post, I relized that I left out one of the best albums I
bought in '99, which was Factory Showroom by They Might Be Giants.  What an
incredable album!

And on a final note, I was wondering what are XTC fans called?  I mean
Graetful Dead fans are deadheads,  Star Trek fans are trekkers, so what the
hell are we?

Garret Harkawik

"Homer: 5$ for bear protection?!?!?! This must be the biggest tax increase
in history!
Lisa: Acually, it's the smallest.
Homer: Bears can pay the bear tax, and I'LL pay the Homer tax.
Lisa: Thats Homeowner tax, dad."-The Simpsons


Message-ID: <000601bf526b$eaf3fca0$625791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: music and politics
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 11:15:45 +0900

Alec wrote :

>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:

If I let the political/religious persuasions of musicians dictate who I did
or didn't listen to , 75 % of my record/cd collection would never have been
bought . Why is it so shocking or " confusing "  that Neil Young " admitted
" he was a Reagan supporter ? Is there some factor I am unaware of ? Or do
you believe being a " conservative " rocker is hypocritical ? As for Raygun
, he was governor of Calif. for years and won two presidential elections by
whopping landslides ; obviously somebody besides " big time conservatives "
supported him .

Some picks for best of the decade include :

XTC : Nonsuch ; Apple Venus 1
Robyn Hitchcock : Moss Elixir
Durutti Column : Sex and Death
The Orb : Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
Morphine : Good ;  Cure For Pain
Solar Quest : Orgship

John in Sushiland


Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 19:43:36 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Brown <>
Subject: Boxing Day?

Ryan Anthony hath said-

"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."

Wouldn't it be 'Boxing Helena' Day?  :-)


Message-ID: <003001bf5284$ad92c120$>
From: "Kate Burda" <>
Subject: XTC-spotting in THE WEIRDEST place
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:11:55 -0500

For those of you that attempt the Yahoo! Games offerings, guess who appeared
in the crossword for today (12-29-99, "Book Report")?  Yep, XTC!  They're
the answer to the 62 Down clue: British art-rock combo with a euphoric name.

Never thought of XTC as being art-rock, but I guess it's better than being
labeled adult contemporary.

If you're interested in the puzzle, go to  You'll
have to register to play any of the games they offer, but it's relatively
painless and they don't ask for anything too personal.


P.S.  AV1 was listed last week in the Detroit Free Press's Top 10 albums of
the year.  I believe it came in at number 9.  I don't have the article in
front of me, but I do remember the writer had a sentence or two of good
stuff to say.

P.P.S.  My New Year's resolution: to buy lots of copies of AV2 and give them
away to everyone I know.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 19:28:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Just raves today

Well, so much for my idea of scarfing up bargains in
the stock market this final week of the year as a
result of pre-apocalyptic panic-selling by investors
who want to exchange their holdings in Cisco,
Qualcomm, and Microsoft for bottled water, toilet
paper, and cartridges.

At least I hold a share of Chalkhills.

Bravo to Christopher R. Coolidge (#5-351) for
introducing me to a book titled *Sound Effects* by
Simon Frith. Had I any musical talent at all, I would
write a song in the author's honor and call it "Firth
of Frith."

Bravo to Todd Bernhardt (#5-352) for describing so
articulately and infectiously the pleasure he gets
from drumming along with his stereo -- more
specifically, with the thumpsational *Black Sea* and
*English Settlement*.

Brava to Megan Heller (#5-353) for her "very weakly
humorous offhand comment[s]." Keep the adjectives;
lose the adverbs.

Bravo to Harrison Sherwood (#5-353) for his
entertaining Beatles-XTC essay. Thirty years ago, I
would have cheered his provocative reference to the
Fabsters' "incomprehensible taste in women" -- I
assume he's speaking primarily of Lennon and
McCartney, although a book could be written about the
pair of sisters who between them married George
Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Mick Fleetwood -- but not
now. Lennon and McCartney, in their day the two most
eligible bachelors on the planet, both married for
love and, it turns out, for life. How many of us can,
or will ever be able to, say as much?

True, as a Tucsonan I owe Linda for bringing Paul here
to live, but I'd have come grudgingly around to giving
the girl her props regardless. (She loved this town
enough to die here. I can only hope he won't come to
hate it for that reason.)

Harrison Sherwood concludes in his essay: "Everything
eventually turns to shit." True, but take heart: Shit
is fertilizer.

Finally, to David Martin (#5-353), who asked, "are
there any words that have the letters 'xtc' together
in them?": Uh, I'll have to get back to you on that

Ryan Anxtchony

P.S.: How many checks/cheques will have to be torn up
and thrown away because their writers begin the year
with 1 instead of 2? How much, in pounds, shillings,
ounces, euros, or galactic credits, will all those
checks be worth? And how many times over would that
sum of money suffice to jet every Chalkhillian to
Swindon for a testimonial dinner?


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-354

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