Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-39

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 39

                 Monday, 14 December 1998

Today's Topics:

                    All I've Got Is...
                         100 Best
                     Transistor Blast
                "better" than who? what?!?
                    The Gold Standard
                     we like to pork
                  Enough of Phil Collins
              Fair Taxation or confiscation?
                      Falknews, etc.
          No Thugs in Our House (kind of thing)
                   My first 'sighting'!
                     ES->Mummer; Man
                      My new address
                  read before you reply
                       Release date
        Re: Who wrote the New Book of Rock Lists?
                 losteder and obscureder
                     My TB arrives!!!
          TVT TB X 2 = 2 MUCH 4 ME + BIG OP 4 U


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All the kids are complaining.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 15:12:40 -0500
From: Ben Gott/Loquacious Music <>
Subject: All I've Got Is...


Luckily enough, my local music store (Bull Moose Music) is run by some
big-time XTC fans. So, I went and got my copy of "Transistor Blast" in
downtown Brunswick, ME! So far: I like the songs (although I've heard most
of them before), and the packaging is superb! (I've filled out the little
postcard, too!)

Anyway...I'd recommend it.


    Benjamin Gott :: Bowdoin College :: Brunswick, Maine 04011
 ICQ 7737594 :: Telephone (207) 721-5513 :: Mobile (207) 798-1859
   You've got to nail it down / That ultra-unbelievable love...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 16:55:05 -0500
From: Ben Gott/Loquacious Music <>
Subject: 100 Best

Hawks of Chalk,

Sorry to double-post...

The Dukes made iMusic's list of the "100 Best Albums You've Never Heard."
(No mention of XTC "proper" anywhere on the list, but there are albums there
from all of our favourites: Blur, Robyn Hitchcock, Tom Waits, Laurie
Anderson, Brian Eno...)

Check it out at:



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 21:09:35 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <>
Subject: Transistor Blast

Well, the packaging of Transistor Blast is lovely, or it was for
about 2 days until I picked it up, tipped the contents all over
the floor and broke one of the silly coloured & printed slimline
CD cases. Fortunately I persuaded the shop I bought it from that
it arrived like that and got a replacement, but I'm not unwrapping
it from its shrinkwrapping until i've invested in a couple of
sturdy elastic bands. You have been warned...

As for the tracks, I would have liked to have heard all of the
1979 gig, and I could have coped without the 1980 one which had
been released before. Whatever, I'd rather have something like
this than the usual "best of + 2 new songs" that most record
companies seem to spew out at this time of year.

That 1978 live version of 'All Along The Watchtower' is far and
away the finest moment in the set, it completely blows away the
studio version which, although I got to liking, I was never
totally sure about. But that live version is awesome.

|_) |_  * |    Me:
|   | ) | |    Then for Shriekback add: shrkindx.html
===========    Or for Gang Of Four: gof/gof_indx.html


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 17:38:30 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: "better" than who? what?!?

warning: incoming mega-diatribe! i just have 2 beat on this drum!

>>Pat Mastelotto was an inappropriate choice for XTC

all this crap about pat mastelotto vs. terry chambers vs. ian gregory vs.
dave mattacks vs. prairie prince vs. peter phipps vs. phil collins (?!?) is
unjust &, ultimately, pointless, just as is all this crap about "o&l" vs.
"e.s" vs. "d&w", etc., ad nauseum!

yes, prairie's playing was very good, especially on "tmwsahs", but listen
to pat's playing on "poor skeleton" against the drum machine, or on
"chalkhills" or even on "scarecrow people". pat, prairie, dave, terry,
whoever, they r all talented drummers & they r all unique in their styles.
is any one "better" than the other? give me a fucking break, people! the
same goes 4 any one xtc album being "better" than another? ditto! as an
aside, i read a "musician" article from the time of "o&l", where our
beloved andy praised pat's ability, & willingness, 2 play along side of the
drum machine. if anyone is interested, i can dig up the article & give a
direct quote!

we all have different tastes, some broader than other's. does this make any
one's opinion "better" than another's, or is anyone's opinion right &
another's is wrong? puh-lease! another point is this; does our loving, &
listening to, xtc make us "better" than others? no, it doesn't! more
enlightened, perhaps, but not "better".

i've seen all but ian, dave & peter playing live. i saw pat with king
crimson, drumming along side of bill bruford. what a contrast in styles!
bruford was all technique; straight back & arms, all his power coming from
his wrists. pat is a big man & is a real "meat & potatoes" drummer; leaning
in2 the kit & attacking, & playing subtly, whenever it was needed! all of
pat's power was coming from his arms, shoulders & chest. did i think bill
was "better" than pat? not on yer fucking life, mate! both were excellent,
& 4 very different reasons. i've also seen bill with pill collins (with
genesis) & with alan white (with yes). again, completely different styles
in both cases, & neither were "better" than bruford & vice versa!

i saw xtc twice in 1980. terry's drumming was very interesting indeed.
again, "meat & potatoes"; solid, hard & just right 4 the songs. terry was
definitely the sparkplug of the band @ the time! listen 2 "bbc radio 1 -
live"; he had the tendency 2 push the songs 2 a higher level & pace. an
interesting fact; during both "nigel" & "generals & majors", terry used his
left hand 2 play the "peasoup - peasoup" part on the hi-hats, while the
right hand either played the tom-toms and/or snare drum. think about that!
it was very unusual 2 c that in a right-handed drummer, it almost looked

2 continue the discussion of drummers, i saw the tubes twice around the
time of "what do u want from life?". highly theatrical, & very
entertaining, but underneath it all was very solid playing, tightly held
together by one prairie prince. "better" than bruford? mastelotto?
chambers? i think u should know my answer by now!

lastly, as 4 the pill collins debate (let's hope this is the end of it,
2!), i said it b4, i'll say it again, as a singer he makes a great drummer!
he has played on many of my favourite albums, including eno's "b4 & after
science". as 4 his own music, well... i'd rather listen to car brakes
squealing (almost the same thing, but i think that car brakes sound more
musical!). & 4 those who don't know, that "pill collins drum sound" heard
on "in the air 2nite", was discovered by peter gabriel & his production
team during recording of his 3rd album & is technically known as the "gated
drum" sound. the sound signal is run thru an electronic device call a gate,
which "opens" & "closes" @ pre-determined set points. shorter set points
causes the signal 2 b "clipped off", give it that distinctive sound. & 4
the record, the producer was one steven lilywhite! sound familiar? also
present on that album was "gregsy". real chalkhillbillies will know these

ok, i'm done spouting off @ the mouth! spark yer flame-throwers, i've got
me asbestos suit on!

o yeah, btw:
>>Subject: Zappa

>> There aren't too many people out there who enjoy listening to Zappa


yeah, o really? zappa is 1 of my favourite artists. agree or disagree, but
imho, he was 1 of america's most important composers, if not one of the
world's! do i like everything he did? absolutely not! some is crap, some is
juvenile, but some is brilliant, some is beautiful & some is insanely
complex! listen 2 "the black page", "sofa", "night school", or listen to
the social commentary of "dumb all over", "the meek shall inherit nothing",
"heavenly bank account", "hungry freaks, daddy", "trouble coming every
day". the last 2, written in the 1960s, r just as poignant & relative 2day
as they were then. & compare our beloved "dear god" 2 "dumb all over". both
express similar opinions in very different ways. & both andy & frank use(d)
a lot of humour in their writing!

education is "better" than ignorance! music is the best!

hear endeth the lesson! [climbs down from the pulpit]



ps: i've had "skylarking" (followed by fz's "apostrophe(')/overnite
sensation") on in the background while typing this novel. it (skylarking)
is a great album, but i still like "o&l" more (but it's definitely not
"better") than "sky...". but that's just me! hee-hee-hee!

 \            \     _
  \  /\ \  /|  \   / \ |_|
/__\/ _\ \/ |/__\  \_/ | |


Message-Id: <>
From: "RoadKill" <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 17:38:19 +0000
Subject: The Gold Standard

Chris V in #5-38:
> I suggest that all of you don't dismiss Pat Mastellato until you get the
> Gold CD of Oranges and Lemons. A breathtaking improvement over the original
> release.

	Although I don't have a stand on the Pat issue, what intrigues me
about this post is gold vs. normal.  Maybe it's because I don't have
"state-of-the-art" speakers but I've never been able to tell that
much difference to warrant buying gold over the typical disc (for
the most part at twice the cost or more).  I confess that I bought
"Dope Side of the Moon" on the remastered gold disc.  In some of the
songs I can hear more (the pumping of the heart more than anything
else) than I could on the standard.  However, I sit and look at my
XTC CDs and go, "Do I really need to replace my O&L w/ the gold
disc?"  Any ideas on this one?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 18:36:59 EST
Subject: we like to pork

Yay to Prince fans, and people who like to pork.  Admittedly, this is
definitely true, as it is nigh-on-impossible to avoid the subject in his

Question for those who know more about the upcoming albums than I: I saw the
list of the upcoming Apple Venus Vol. 1 (the eleven or twelve song one,
ending with The Last Balloon) Now, those extra songs in Song Stories that
didn't make the cut, are any of them likely to come out on the following
record, the one that's supposedly going to be more like Black Sea in tone,
according to Andy?  Did they record any of them already, or did they decide
simply to record the 11 in the final track list for Vol 1. and tackle the
others once they finished building the studio in Colin's garage?  What are
the preferred pieces among those demos (and final versions for some lucky
ones) that people have heard.  Just curious.




Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 18:48:51 EST
Subject: Enough of Phil Collins


Can we PLEASE get off the subject of Phil Collins.  It's getting tiresome.
I'm actually a fan of his music, and I don't care what his political tastes
are.  I believe in the person's music not their political beliefs.  I say
who cares.

I really don't agree with Dom, but he has every right to say what he wants.
I just hit page down when I see his e-mail addy on the come up.  I just like
to say this, I'm seen some venomous stuff from him, and maybe it's me, but
he seems to like to personally attack some of the posters.  And that's not
right.  That's why I tend to just skip his posts.

That's all I have to say.

Come look at it and sign my guestbook


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 06:17:26 -0500
From: Michael Roden <>
Subject: Fair Taxation or confiscation?


>From Dominic Lawson <>:

>Personally I firmly believe that NO ONE needs to earn the sort of money
>that "fat cats" and the likes of Mr Collins earn.

I thought that this would be the LAST place that I would read such utter
nonsense. After three digests of your garbage, I have had enough.

I don't know which is more infuriating... your preposterous views on
politics and economics or the insufferable arrogance with which you
inflict such views on all of us here, none of it having anything to do
with XTC. I consider it an abuse of this list.

>Re-distributing that wealth is the only open and manageable way to
>ensure that those in society who need help, actually get it.

This is the oldest of socialist dogma... confiscate the wealth of the
successful to buy the support of the envious... of course AFTER the
hiring of an army of bureaucrats who will first skim off a nice fat
percentage of the confiscated booty to line their own pockets for
doing essentially nothing and creating nothing.

>you are somewhat naive about how capitalism works. I say impose a
>maximum wage.

That is idiotic. I suggest that it is YOU who is naive about how
capitalism works. What wealthy person would willingly remain in a country
which imposed such a tax? No one should ever pay more than 33% of their
income in tax regardless of salary... more than that is THEFT.
A maximum tax bracket of 33% for everyone should be more than enough
to fund public services. If it isn't, then there are too many
bureaucrats with their snouts in the public trough.

>Wealthy scumbags, one and all, up against the ****ing wall, as we
>used to say at primary school.

You shouted a slogan like THAT in primary school? No wonder you
hold such extreme leftist views... they've been pounded into your
head since you were a child. Have you ever questioned them at all?

> Yeah, I know, I'm full of it.

Well, at least you admit it.

I'm really sick of all the Phil Collins bashing. It is such an easy
thing to do. Well, I am not a fan of much of his music, but his
music does bring enjoyment to millions of people. When he was at
the peak of his popularity, the profits he and other mainstream
artists like him made for record labels meant that a lot of other
who made not-so-obvious music got signed to a major label and got their
chance... bands similar to XTC. Also... Phil Collins wrote a very
nice recommendation which was included on the back cover of one of my
favourite albums of the 70s, _Round the Back_ by Cafe Jacques (1977).
He wrote it because he thought that they had made an album with great
songwriting and musicianship and he was concerned that it might be
ignored because of the punk explosion of that year... hardly the
Great Satan you paint him to be. The only reason that his crass Tory
partisanship annoys you is because it isn't the same crass partisanship
that you have for Labour... I detect no other differences. I do hold
one serious grudge against Phil... he stole the drum pattern for "Mama"
from Rupert Hine's "Samsara".

If, by some miracle, XTC's next album sells more than a million
copies, I would not be envious at all of Andy and Colin becoming
rich. They deserve it. Anyone who puts themselves on the line by
making a record deserves to keep most of the money that comes with
success, if it happens... both the artist and the label. It would be
absolutely unjust if they had to leave Swindon to protect wealth that
would be rightfully theirs. If you want your ship to come in, you have
to send one out first. Socialists will never understand that.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 09:46:38 -0500
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Falknews, etc.


> From: Ken Herbst <>
> Any word on the new Jason Faulkner disc that's supposed to be coming out
> soon.


It's been a long time (10 months?!) since I've put any news about Jason on
the site and that's because I've been too busy to give him a ring, which I
finally did today so I figgered, I'd better let the world know of his plans
for world domination....

Yes, the album is coming out, sometime in February. The working title was
"17A", then "Amazing The Survivors" but he's decided on "Can You Still
Feel?". <snip> The early mix of the album which has made the rounds in the
industry and trading circles makes him cringe, not because he's worried
about home taping killing the industry, but the finished version is simply
much better. <snip> He's going to Europe in January for press, promotion,
handshakes, photos, and sex with radio station owner's daughters (please
reserve your timeslot in advance). Look for the jetsetter in Paris, London,
Sweden, and Germany. The first single from the album will be "Author
Unknown" which is an interesting choice considering it was the title of the
last album and the tune was actually recorded for said record. He also
considered releasing the album under the name Author Unknown, a la other
mainly one man projects like World Party, the Eels, Foo Fighters, the New
Radicals and Scritti Politti. Anyways, look for Betty Crocker product
placement tie ins since the lyrics talk about baking cakes. Maybe they can
do something with the old Holly Hobby Easy Bake Ovens as promo items.....<

Interesting that some of the best pop songwriters of our time have albums
coming out at about the same time...

> From: "Lynn S." <>
> Also, even though the Civil War had
> been over for more than eighty years, a lot of people still despised
> northerners.

So, you moved there in, what, the late '40s?   ;^)

Wes said:

> Last week, I received an e-mail from the English Web CD company
> ( "Your order has been despatched..." And, lo, it came to
> pass that Transistor Blast was in my mailbox when I got home
> yesterday. So, it took about a week from the time it was despatched 'til I
> received it.

Well, dammit, where's _my_ copy? I got my copy of "Sing to God" by the
Cardiacs (haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, Dom), which I ordered
after TB. The only thing I've heard recently about TB from IMVS was an "out
of stock" message they sent me. Still, thanks for giving me hope, Wes.

Matt the musician said:

> Go 2 is good, but, being a pianist/keyboardist, the keyboard sound is
> extremely annoying to listen to

Hmm, I find Barry's dissonant madness _inspiring,_ but that's just me I guess.

> From: Miller <>
> Hello does anyone know what type of equipment XTC has been known to use?
> In particular guitars.  Thanks.

You could start by checking out the Chalkhills archives for an interview
w/Musician magazine from the mid-80s (I think) that goes into some detail
about their equipment.

To Dom:
To hell with poverty/Let's get drunk on cheap wine!

Duncan said:
>I'm simply suggesting AP would look pretty silly humping a fire pole with
his ass hanging out of a yellow leotard like The Artist Formerly Making

Yeah, but I'd pay a LOT of money to see that.

Rick Buist noted that:
>I disagree that Ball and Chain is STEADY. The tempo changes all over this
song.  That's not to say I don't like the song; I do like the song,
especially for the in-your-face triplet fill on the snare after the guitar

Andy said that they never used a click track w/Terry, which could explain
the variations in time. But at the same, um, time, that's not necessarily a
_bad_ thing -- the best drummers know how to push and pull the beat to fit
the mood of the music. That's one of several reasons why drum machines will
never replace human beings.

Chris Van Valen said:
>I suggest that all of you don't dismiss Pat Mastellato until you get the
Gold CD of Oranges and Lemons. A breathtaking improvement over the original

True enough, and I'd add that any drummer that Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford
think is good enough to play with is probably a fine player. There are those
among us who might not like his playing on O&L (though I haven't seen any
cogent arguments backing up those opinions), but don't dis the man himself.



Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 10:43:06 -0700
From: "James  " <>
Message-ID: <>
Subject: No Thugs in Our House (kind of thing)
Organization: QUALCOMM Eudora Web-Mail  (

Dear All,

I was greatly cheered last week when Jack Straw, the Home Secretary of the
United Kingdom, allowed proceedings to begin in the extradition of General
Pinochet to Spain to answer charges of mass murder, torture and
genocide. Psychologically at least, it seemed that one or two of the cobwebs
of the Thatcher era had been shaken off the country's brow. Margaret
Thatcher, as you may well know, is a close friend of General Pinochet, and
didn't let the trifling question of mass murder, torture and genocide put
her off inviting the General around for tea before he was arrested. After
living through the long years under Thatcher when greed and self interest
were always put before humanity, last week was both a symbolic and heart
warming moment for me.

**********End of serious part of message************

At the end of the week, whilst pondering on the promise by the Chilean
Government that they would try Pinochet for his crimes if Britain returned
him to his homeland, I had an idea. I don't know what the rest of you will
make of it, but personally I think it's a fucking corker. It goes like

There are already several countries lining up to extradite Pinochet and even
if they all find him guilty, only one country will be able to imprison
him. And I'd be pretty surprised if any of the countries involved will let
Chile be the jailers. So why don't we send a substitute back to Chile to
take his place. My choice to replace General Pinochet is Phil Collins. My
reasoning goes like this:

1) Phil Collins has expressed, in the past at least, a desire to leave
Britain and live in another country.
2) Like General Pinochet, Phil Collins leans to the right of centre as far
as politics goes.
3)  Like the General, Phil has a solid body of fervent supporters.
4) Also like the General, Phil has caused suffering to millions of people.
5) And, of course, both are complete wankers.

I rest my case M'Lud.

Happy hols to you all


XTC song of the day: No Thugs in our House
Non XTC song of the day: Leaving on a Jet Plane (unfortunately I can't
remember who sang it)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 10:45:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Cheryl <>
Subject: My first 'sighting'!

Hey Chalkheads!

So I'm out doing a morning walk today and I round the
corner.  My head is organizing lists of to do when I
look down at this car and I read a number like 458
XTC on the license plate.   I keep going and then it
waps me across the head....OH!  XTC! Oh!   There I am
looking like the crazy mad woman who talks to
herself...Oh!  Yeah!  XTC!  Cooooool!  I figure I
will walk up to the far corner and on the return trip
back I will check it out again to make sure I wasn't
just seeing things.  On the way back there is no car
with XTC on the plates.  Now I'm left wondering if it
was just some trick of the brain.  I hate it when
that happens.

While in Newbury Comics searching for the perfect
gifts for all my preteen neices and nephews, I
stopped to gawk at Transitor Blast.  It is pretty
nifty looking.  I had to pass it up this time but
soon it will be mine, oh yes it will be mine.

It's hard to believe we've nearly made it to the end
of this year.  Thank god.

Take care,


Message-Id: <v01540b07b29a2b003cdd@[]>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 15:41:01 +1300
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: ES->Mummer; Man

>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?

hmmm... Lessee... as an XTC fan since Go2 (gasp), I had seen the style
change dramatically with every album: Go2, D&W, BS, ES, Mummer. Had Mummer
sounded similar to English Settlement, I would have been mightily
disappointed in the guys. Hell, I *wanted* to be stretched musically,
otherwise I would have stuck to Abba.

To whomsoever it was enquired (too hasty with the delete key, that's me!)
yes, Skylarking is a concept album. IIRC Andy said it was supposed to be
the course of a summer's day from morning to evening, or something like

From: Jonathan Monnickendam <>
>Other than that i was pleased to see so many of my favourite songs written
>off as fluff and to see Welsh band Man get a mention in '25 O Clock' as I
>thought they were great (in 72)...

well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again - you must be out of your

NP (and being enjoyed!) Frank Zappa - Apostrophe


PS - re thin=talented (feh!), I * quote Dawn French. "If I had lived during
Goya's time, I would have been a supermodel. Kate Moss would've been the

* approximately, from memory


Message-Id: <>
From: "Molly Fanton" <>
Subject: My new address
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 22:02:09 PST

I just wanted to let you know that I changed my e-mail addy again.  I'm
sorry, but I was getting tired of AOL's e-mail.  They're so slow, and
I'm just not happy with them.  So I've chosen Hotmail.  Here's my new
addy:  But I'm keeping my old addy for certain
things.  Talk to you later.



Message-Id: <v03110706b29ad9c4b84e@[]>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 10:17:37 -0500
From: josh getman <jgetman@MIT.EDU>
Subject: read before you reply

>> There aren't too many people out there who enjoy listening to Zappa<<


>>Yeah... oh?
>>Man, I can see maybe bashing Phil, but Frank?

If you guys read the complete context of what I was saying, you'd know I
wasn't bashing Zappa.  I LOVE Zappa.  I was making a point that Zappa is
widely considered a genius even by those who don't particularly enjoy
listening to his music:  he's famous yet, by most people, not very well
known, so to speak.  And I'll reiterate my original point - the average Joe
on the street does not enjoy listening to Zappa.  Sure, he has tons of fans
(I'm happy to see many of them are on this list), but if you put a Zappa
album on in a room full of people, most of them will not enjoy listening to
it.  People who appreciate Zappa are a minority.  I'm not bashing Zappa -
I'm bashing people who like spoonfed crap music.

Jesus!  You express one thought in this digest and the whole place turns
into an impeachment hearing!

Josh Getman
MIT Technology Review


Message-ID: <0143041F00B7D011B7C500A0C9005151206F16@IMA_NT1>
From: "BOB O'BANNON" <>
Subject: Release date
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 11:18:29 -0500

Does anyone have legitimate reason to believe that Apple Venus will
actually be out in January, as originally planned? Of the record stores
I have visited, none has a release date for the album yet, and we're
already half way through December. Knowing how fickle album release
dates are, I'm guessing we'll be lucky if we get it by March.



Message-ID: <>
From: Don Rogalski <>
Subject: Re: Who wrote the New Book of Rock Lists?
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 23:45:04 +0800

Dear Chalkhills people:

I really have had too much spare time lately.  This is the second
posting I've made this year.  From out of Chalkhills Digest #5-37

>From: "Jason Hauser" <>

>Just some bits and pieces culled from "The New Book
>of Rock Lists"....  Books of lists are generally entertaining

I agree.  I find that lists of almost any kind are a guilty
pleasure that I indulge far too much, although I'd never
go so far as to pay money to look at them.   Did you know
that you can view the Harper's Index on-line for free at
the Harper's website?  Neato, huh?  It makes perfect sense
to me too, as I never used to read the articles anyway.

Hey, maybe I could send in an entry for the Harper's
Index.  It might go something like this:

Amount, in pounds, that the English pop band XTC
earned for Virgin Records while still being in debt to
the company:  30,000,000

> It is extremely opinionated and tries to be hip
>by overdoing the rap and hip hop genres.

Sounds like me.  I'm extremely opinionated, I try
to be hip, and... hey, does being forced to listen
to Snoop Doggy Dog in the back of an El Camino
doing 180 on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway
count for overdoing the rap and hip hop genres?

>Critics Pets:  Artists Critics Believe Can Do No Wrong
>1. Arrested Development               5. The Clash
>2. The Beatles                               6. Elvis Costello
>3. James Brown                             38. XTC
>4. Butthole Surfers                         40. Neil Young

Hmm... call me a skeptic, but I'd have a hard time believing
that none of the above artists have ever done wrong.  In fact,
if I sit still and think about it for a while, I can come up with
countless examples of them doing wrong.

Yep, that settles it in my mind.  At one point or another,
whether intentional or not, the artists mentioned above have
done wrong.

>Loosen Up!  Rockers Who Should Read Fewer Books
>1. Elvis Costello:  Who *cares* why people write letters
>to Shakespearean characters?

I resent the saracasm here.  Who cares, huh?  I do, and I don't
see why I should be afraid to admit it.  Creating characters in a
story that are so memorable that people actually write letters to
them inspires in the observer a psychologically compelling
consideration of said compulsion, and I'm certain Mr. Shakespearean
gloats as we speak.

>3. Andy Partridge (XTC): To take a break, and just to
>remind yourself that you're a real guy, not a fictional conceit.

This has yet to be proven beyond a doubt, the way I see it.  For,
have not AP's songwriting skills been described by many as
"unreal"?  Were there not discussions on this very list about
the "fictional conceits" of a song called Dear God?

>4. Tom Waits: Take the pledge on that beatnik stuff.

I disagree.  I think Tom Waits has done the beatnik thing
better than anyone else, including the much hyped and
much over-rated Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs,
Gregory Corso, etc.  "Page fifteeners", the lot of them.
Now that we're almost finished with this century, if there
remains but one beatnik left to serve as a reminder
of a pretty post-WWII myth that turned ugly when hipsters
were superceded by hippies, then let it be Tom, I tell ya.

"Let it be"... nyuck, nyuck.

>Alphabet Soup
>1. REM                           6. UFO
>2. NWA                          7. UB40
>3. OMD                          8. U2
>4. EMF                            9. ABC
>5. XTC                            10. INXS
        >11-25: any guesses?

What about:

URMT? (former gas jockeys, now big on
the truckstop circuit);
I8ANAM&AM (southern US band, heavy
Texas accents apparently);
SKLSDO (Mexican Christian pop band);
42CK? (Russian New Yorkers, apparently
got tired of landlords wanting rent money
up front without looking at the place first);
DkklRk (American Bandstand devotees
in Guadalajara);
IM2DZ (All-blond band out of Tel Aviv,
with apologies to non-Yank readers);
UR1CDMP (a band infatuated with
Christine Keelor and Mandy Rice-Davies).

Dom wrote, awhile back:

>>You can't be vastly wealthy, right-wing, utterly
>>conformist and MOR and then pretend to understand
>>the plight of the homeless, or revolutionary struggle...

Stop the pressing!  You mean to say Phil Collins
actually wrote a song about "revolutionary struggle"?
This, I gotta hear.  Might put him in the same league
as Leonard Nimoy.

Then, in response:

> From: Brian <>

>But, WHY can't Phil be concerned about problems
>to the extent that he wants to sing about them?

Oi vey... de man vants to sing, let hyim sing already!
Didn't you ever see SCTV's take on the "Jazz Singer"?

> (I mean, hell, that's what it's all about - you can't
>have a song about NOTHING...

This may come as a rude surprise, but there are reports
that the American astronauts who rendezvoused with
the Russian cosmonauts on the space station Mir
a while back were overcome by an intense apprehension
of the apparent meaningless of life, that it all means
nothing... very hush-hush this piece of news, what
with the religious nature of the American electorate,
but there was a CIA leak... if it's true, then all of the songs
ever written are, ipso facto, about NOTHING.

Isn't that something?


Don Rogalski


Message-ID: <618F91505D89D21185330001FA6A4954082221@HFD-EXCH008>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: losteder and obscureder
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 11:32:19 -0500

>Melissa R. quotes a book's "After Nonsuch failed to light up the charts,
>XTC faded into obscurity."

I checked out another big tome-o'-rock that sums them up as "possibly the
great lost pop band". That'll teach Colin to let Andy drive into the magic

"I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to....................I guess",


Message-Id: <v04011704b29af18c4bb2@[]>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 10:48:13 -0600
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: Bonjour!

Salut a vous, Fredo Fat Bassman! You rock!

There's a response to your request!


Message-ID: <0143041F00B7D011B7C500A0C9005151206F19@IMA_NT1>
From: "BOB O'BANNON" <>
Subject: Musiconomics
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 13:59:28 -0500

Dom wrote:

>>>Personally I firmly believe that NO ONE needs to earn the sort of
money that "fat cats" and the likes of Mr Collins earn. The "they earned
it" argument is, of course, bollocks - making records and travelling
extensively is hardly comparable to being a nurse, for instance.<<<

You can hardly blame Phil for being willing to simply take the money
that hordes of people are willing to give him. The real problem is the
desires of the masses - they actually take joy in laying piles of money
in Phil's hands, even while superior groups like XTC struggle to make a
living. Restructuring the tax system isn't going to change the
inclinations and tastes of the record-buying masses.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 18:46:11 -0800
From: Dan Phipps <>
Organization: CIC
Subject: My TB arrives!!!

Hey all in Chalktown!! --

Just to inform the others out there interested:

I got my imported copy of "Transistor Blast" from
my good mate Pearce McCann over in North Ireland
and this mother is simply GREAT!!!  I dig the whole
concept of the transistor radio and all -- original
to be damned!!  Each disc comes in a colored slim-line
jewel case with artwork silkscreened on each cover!
There's also a small booklet that's really cool with
colorful graphics and all and a reply card from Cooking
Vinyl that'll enable you to get on the XTC mailing
list by mailing it back in!  So, in this fan's eyes,
the one word that best describes this new release is --
COLORFUL!!!  :-)

I know that most (if not all) the people on this
list are already aware of what's in the boxed set
from Cooking Vinyl, but I just had to let you know
myself...This thing is GREAT!

And the sound is FUCKING UNREAL!!

Thank you Pearce McCann for this treasure, dude!
Here's to the dream of one day eventually getting
together and sharing a Bass Ale and talking XTC
nonstop!!!  (fingers crossed)  I owe you BIGTIME
for this one, man...

No XTC collection is truly without this box being
included, ya'll!  So get to it!!  Let's put some
money in these lads' pockets, okay??

Later then --

/Dan Phipps <>

"Imagination like a muscle will
 increase with exercise."
(Peter Blegvad)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 23:09:09 -0500
From: Don & Sue Parker <>
Subject: TVT TB X 2 = 2 MUCH 4 ME + BIG OP 4 U

Hello Chalkhellions,

Remember a few posts back some newbie was whining about trying to order
Transistor Blast from but getting a warning from his browser
about the transmission being 'no longer secure' and 'did he want to
continue?'  Well, I'm back.  But I'm done whining because I'm SO HAPPY
to have some new XTC to listen to!  I don't know whether my browser
never really had the option of cancelling the order, or I just clicked
the wrong stupid button, but I ended up getting two separate copies of
TB on the same day!

And it's some really amazing stuff!  Why the hell didn't any of you
tell me how fantastic these guys sounded live?  Ok, maybe you did, but I
thought, being fans and all, you were just overwhelmed by their presence
or something.  I certainly don't remember hearing anybody raving about
(my personal favorite of the four) the previously released 'Live In
Concert Hammersmith Palais'.  Why not?  This has them in tremendous form
on songs from their first four albums, and having a good time to boot!
Don't believe me?  Here's what Andy says in the liner notes about
'Burning with Optimism's Flames', "Dave's having fender fun, how the
hell he sneaked in that perky run after the line... "Littlest finger",
I'll never know.  By the time we got to the "Every bird and bee" middle
bit I'm smiling so hard I can hardly sing."

Can you _imagine_ this?!  Andy smiling so hard he can hardly sing?!!!
Doesn't it make your heart burst just thinking about it?  And then to
relive the moment by listening to the very part he's referring to,
hearing Dave's amazing 'perky run' then listening to Andy sing through a
clearly widening smile gave me the most thrilling pop rush that I've had
in years . . .

But what the hell am I going to do with two copies?  When I first
thought about the TWO $42.93 charges, I was ready to ship one right
back, but suddenly a gloriously XTC-obsessed and almost _evil_ thought
occurred to me: I've finally got something to trade!  This brand new,
unopened, essential boxed set of XTC can be yours for any worthy
combination of these My Most Dire Needs (CD or tape): Demos, Rare
tracks, Jules Verne Sketchbook, Bull With The Golden Guts, or the early
tribute tape Skylacking.  Other considerables include: CD versions of
Chalkhill's Children '96, '97 or '98 (Just got the tapes - they're ALL
tremendous, but I'll save that for another post) and last, but not
least, 'The Collection of Collaborations": with Cathy Dennis, Nicki
Holland, Peter Blegvad, Yazbek, Terry Hall, Harold Budd, Martin

E-mail me directly please.

Don "Hey, you can't blame a guy for trying, can you?"  Parker


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