Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-41

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 41

               Wednesday, 16 December 1998

Today's Topics:

                 Did I say holidays suck?
                       Viva Zappata
                 here come the Nigels!!!
                    Significant Others
                It's all right Sherwood!!!
                 Broken Transistor Blast
                    RE: Best of 1998?
            License Plates, Transistors, etc.
             Barenaked Ladies sound like XTC
                      Poor, poor Pat
              Odds and a walrus tap dancing.
                   The politics of envy
                         Viva XTC
                       Re: Rye Post
                   AV 1/2 release order
                       Best of '98
                    top 5 / news list
                     Re: Astrophobia
            RE: have you got Miss Givings....?
                TB: enough for all of us?


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>
		or: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled using Digest 3.6b (by John Relph <>).

Will you tell them about that far off and mythical land...


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: Did I say holidays suck?
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 17:49:48 PST

Boy was I ever wrong. Once again, the Almighty bestowed his gifts upon
me, in the form of a book, letter and some pictures of him wearing the
shirt I sent him for his birthday. :):):):):):):):):)

Amanda C. Owens
"People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on anything with
welcome written on it."-Andy Partridge


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 21:38:28 +0000
From: "Neal H. Buck" <>
Subject: Viva Zappata

Chalkies (or Chalkers?),

I don't know where the notion came that us sophisticated, musically
superior lovers of a band few others have ever heard of, would not like
FZ! Well of course there are always some un/mis-informed savages out
there (but don't we say that about the Swindonians?), but at least Frank
has/had more notoriety/publicity. Maybe if Andy writes some songs about
an anal orgy with goats he would be rich and/or (in)famous. What it gets
down to is the music (yawn).  I've seen FZ 3 times, and have several of
his albums. He's written too many great songs to be included here, and
many more that are too disgusting/stupid/boring for my tastes. I know, I
know - they are all masterful in their challenges to society/music and I
probably agree. I just don't like to listen to 'em. Wish he wasn't dead.

Prince (as he'll always be to me) I've liked to a much lesser extent. I
think it's funny that the last album he did before becoming a "funky,
fresh dingbat" (10 pts if you guess where that reference comes from)
included a song, "My Name is Prince" extolling his Prince-ly identity.

Speaking of Princes, I notice nobody's mentioned that Prairie has been a
regular on Todd Rundgren's tours. He's been on just about every one
since Utopia disbanded. Not that it should surprise any of us given the
Tubes "Remote Control" -> "Skylarking" connection.

I've never disliked an XTC song because of bad drumming.

You know, every time someone sends a post requesting a certain theme be
stopped, they are just perpetuating that theme. If you want to move on,
move on!

All for now, ta-ta,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 08:32:48 +1100
From: "Joseph J. Ierano" <>
Organization: chiropractic ierano
Subject: Over-produced

May I point out that "over production" may be a poor choice of words.
Some bands record and think that the music doesn't sound live enough, or
like it does on stage. Is this over or under-production? Getting a live
sound entails more than just putting a microphone in front and pressing
play. It is good production that acheives a good lively sound.

I like Skylarking, but feel that the sound lacks depth. English
settlement is much thicker and smooth. Listen to The Church's Blurred
Crusade, produced by Bob Clearmountain...real solid sound with depth.

Production may entail producing a "live feel", which an incompetent
producer may not acheive. Now if a band acheives a certain sound on an
album, that is probably how they wanted it. Sometimes it's not.

What I am trying to say is that when people complain about "over
production", such as has been the alleged case with O & L, they may find
that it is poor production that does not acheive the adequate "feel" of
the music for them.

just a thought,

Joseph J Ierano BSc DC
chiropractic ierano
PO Box 108
Camden  NSW  Australia  2570
Ph: +61 2 4655 4010


Message-ID: <000701be28b5$3b0186e0$82706420@oemcomputer>
From: "timothys" <>
Subject: here come the Nigels!!!
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 00:30:42 -0500

in 1993, there was a NY band called the Nigels.  the only music they played
was that of XTC.  The band have taken a long hiatus to take care of some
business, and would like to hit the road again.  Timothy O"Byrne, the Andy
of the band, says"If people want us back, we're there!..there's nothing in
the world like playing the music of the best band in the world.  Just let us
know where you want us!!.."let us know if you want live XTC music and we'll
come knock your knickers off!!

[Attachment omitted, unknown MIME type or encoding (text/html)]


From: (Nanette & Phil Smith)
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 23:39:58 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Significant Others
Message-ID: <>

I don't know how many regular Chalkhills readers are married, or have
'significant others' (as=A0opposed to 'insignificant others?') but I
have to believe others out there have faced this situation:

My wife doesn't like XTC. Well, at least she doesn't like XTC like I
LIKE XTC; I don't think she understands what about them appeals to me so
much. So I'm appealing to my fellow XTC fans for the answers to two

1.) How would you explain why you enjoy the music of XTC, to a non-fan?

2.) What songs/albums would you suggest as most likely to interest her
(before you say 'how should I know?' see more details below.)

(Reply privately to me, or via Chalkhills - I don't know the etiquette;
this may or may not be a subject of general interest.)

I would characterize my wife's musical tastes as more diverse than the
average listener; she is heavily into classical music (all periods,)
lighter jazz (GRP, etc.,) lighter rock (Kenny Loggins, the infamous PC,
etc.) and as a holdover from childhood, some art rock (Yes, ELP, Mody
Blues, etc.) Definitely nothing harder rock than that, so for example
"Reign of Blows" is right out!

Her reactions to hearing XTC in the car have been negative to
non-commital - the two comments I remember are "His (AP's) voice sounds
generic - nothing special" and "He (AP) reminds me of Anthony Phillips."
(We're both Anthony Phillips fans, but frankly, comparing any singer to
Anthony Phillips is like comparing one to Steve Howe ; or William
Shatner, for that matter; or like saying 'your keyboard playing reminds
me of Eddie Van Halen's.')

I wonder if other couples have experienced what I call our diametrically
opposite approaches to listening to music. My main focus in listening is
on the songwriting, perhaps because I dabble in songwriting myself. This
is what intrigues me about XTC: I think the songwriting is at a much
higher level than the average band's today. (I also feel that
songwriting is way down the list of priorities for most labels signing
bands nowadays - in the same way that screenwriting seems to be
unimportant in movie deals - but that's another story...)

As for my wife, she listens to the performance more than the writing.
Perhaps this comes from her classically trained background. Still, she
can appreciate a wonderful performance of a banal song in the same way I
can appreciate a fantastic song in a mediocre performance. Are we just
strange, or is this common in relationships?

BTW - this is not to say that XTC records mediocre performances of great
songs; on the contrary, the musicianship on XTC albums is second to
none. But is it possible that my love for the songs isn't letting me
hear the vocals as 'mundane' or rough? I'm beginning to wonder. Help me
out here!

I'll end this ramble for now; sometime I'd also like to ask about
whether XTC possibly appeals more to males than females (and don't tell
me there aren't gender gaps in music - or why is the ratio of men to
women so high at Jean Luc Ponty or Pat Metheny concerts?)

Any suggestions appreciated...thank you!



Message-ID: <>
From: "James Campbell" <>
Subject: It's all right Sherwood!!!
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 00:44:19 PST

The wonderfully eloquent, and always delightfully exuberent Sherwood
(and knowingly easily to make drink the cheap wine that the highly
respected Todd B. can attest to from last digest) said......

>May I just point out that it is not without reason that countless
>generations have passed down to us the shining wisdom that one does
>not discuss religion or politics at table? And may I further suggest
>that Chalkhills is the very table that they meant? The Phil Collins
>"thing"--a complete house of mirrors by this time--has gone way
>beyond tiresome and is now veering dangerously close to the
>Please, for everyone's sake: Take it private.

Y'now Sherwood.....I've thought about this for the few editions that
have progressed and it finally hit me today as I hit the tape recorder
out that had "Goosey Goosey" playing and landed on Phil's "Two
Hearts".  People are begrudgingly jealous!!  That's all it is.  The
bottom line is that while Partridge is clearly the best all around
songwriter that I've ever been privileged to lay ears upon...
....he has never been able to capture that silly, albeit cheezzy
moment in time that people are able to focus thir ears upon and
swallow in one grape syrupy gulp.

Now, there is no defense for either party involved in this note.
And....I really despise those few moments that I hear the disgustingly
repugnant Collins boy.....but I will always maintain that there is
an unquestionable tug in our throats that says that our favorite group
of this millennium should be the one and only thing played on hit
radio stations.  Despite our best intentions, we unknowingly question
our faiths in the great Black Sea above why they aren't.  Hence, I
offer the preceding...

Don't blame Phil for the groups inability to reach the mainstream....
....just turn the station!!  Like the Cure.....he's bound to have
one or two good songs...if you play everything off of the album

With only the best for those lay in Chalk for the holidays, and
looking forward to '99.....(why didn't Andy/Colin write '1999'
for Mummer!!!)


-- James

In the CD Player:  San Diego's Wise Monkey Orchestra!!  See 'em or
buy' em damnit!  Especially Amanda!!!


From: "Joe Odukoya" <>
Subject: ES->Mummer
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 09:44:24 +0100
Message-ID: <000001be28d0$49494600$>

>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

Well I have to say that I was initially very very dissapointed with Mummer
mainly because I thought that each album Go2 -> D&W -> BS -> ES (I wasn't
into them when White Music came out) had been an improvement on the last.
When I heard ES I was blown away and still am whenever I play it (far too
often - it is my second fave album of all time!).
As much as I love synths and Drum machines I felt that the music XTC made
did not really suit their usage...
I still feel that Mummer is weak for an XTC album (although that still puts
it well above most other peoples best efforts). Also while ES comes across
as a unified work Mummer sounds disjointed (maybe caused by the multiple
produders that worked on it...). The CD in particular suffers because the
extra tracks are (again in my opinon) really really weak and are placed in
the middle of the album - terrible crime!).
However, tracks like Human Alchemy, Wonderland & Funk Pop a Roll are just

Much as I now like Mummer and The Big Express I don't think that *for me*
XTC had managed to come anywhere near ES until Skylarking (and we all know
how painful that experience was for the band). Since then, however, I feel
the guys have been on a real roll...

My two cents worth...



P.S. Just finished "Song Stories" and loved it - sad, funny, enlightening,
entertaining. As a musician (of sorts) I would have liked more
musical/recording detail but I fully appreciate that this probably would
have bored the pants off 95% of the intended audience so...


Message-Id: <v04011700b29d5f119bee@[]>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 08:03:06 -0500
From: Curtiss Hammock <>
Subject: Broken Transistor Blast

Phil Hetherington <> wrote:

> 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...

Mine really *did* arrive broken.

I ordered it directly from TVT, and it came via UPS yesterday. As soon as I
got the shrinkwrap off, little colored shards of plastic spilled out of the
box. In each of the four cases, the "hub clip" that is supposed to hold the
CD in was broken. I've e-mailed TVT, and I hope they will replace it.

Man, does this stink!


 Curtiss R. Hammock II                    Atlanta, GA, USA
 Online Portfolio
 The Cavedogs
 Funk Pop A Roll


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 08:18:58 -0500
From: Jim Slade <>
Subject: RE: Best of 1998?

Please don't shoot me if one of my "best of 1998" picks technically came
out, say, this time in 1997.  My CD-buying year was pretty good.

(In no particular order)
Neil Finn, Try Whistling This: Since the last Crowded House album, Finn has
picked up where XTC left off years ago - seamlessly melding disparate styles
and unusual production for a sound that is still well within the boundaries
of pop rock.

Fountains of Wayne (eponymous): More pure punk-pop fun than anything since
Cheap Trick, The Cars, or The Buzzcocks.

Nixon's Head, Gourmet: I liked this adult bubblegum CD so much that I bought
1000 copies:-)

Sloan, Navy Blues: Although the '70s concert pop (eg, Wings, Queen, Kiss,
Thin Lizzy) leanings on this follow-up to the excellent, '60-based One Chord
to Another scare me (what's next, an album that sounds like late-70s
"geography rock" like Boston and Kansas?), the execution is flawless!  Is
there a better solo Beatles release than Band on the Run?  Buy this CD and
grow a shag!

Apples in Stereo, Tone Soul Evolution: The five or six brilliant songs save
this CD from its strict reliance on ripping off *nothing but* riffs from the
Velvet Underground's Loaded, Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and
The Kinks late-60s work.  Very cool production (for fans of the Dukes of

Pop Goes the World (compilation): An extremely solid collection of power pop
bands from around the globe.  Frankenslade's "X-Ray" is worth the price of

Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out: This is what punk rock promised so many moons
ago - cool beats and guitar riffs, spirited vocals, immediate satisfaction.

Oh, a little more XTC content: If comparing CDs, songs, and drummers from
the long career of our favorite Swindonians are not appropriate Chalkhills
activities, as some seem to believe any time a few fires break out, how
'bout comparing album covers?  What beats the text-heavy cover of Go 2 for
making a stance against the star-making machinery of rock?  What better
representation of why XTC never reached the commercial appeal of, say, The



Message-ID: <C4D3F9980FD4D111892B00805FBBF5D1012A22E0@MAILSVR1>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: License Plates, Transistors, etc.
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 09:04:46 -0500

Hey folk...

While we are on the topic of license plates, I had seen one outside
Baltimore, MD last summer -- I think it was a Pennsylvania plate "U2 XTC" --
anyone here know this person? It's gotta be a vanity plate...but it's OK to
be vain, really. Incidentally, my plate is "NGRYNGMN" (New York) -- taken
originally because of Billy Joel but glad it's an XTC reference as well.

Got Transistor Blast in the mail (gotta love Amazon) -- gift-wrapped and
everything. Haven't listened to it yet but in time all things will happen.
:) The flimsy neon cd-cases are very cheezy though. One would expect
slightly sturdier construction for $40+, but I'm glad I have it nonetheless.
(Anyone here have "Costello & Nieve?" That 5-CD set has much better

-ira, slurping yukky coffee at work


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 09:33:17 -0400
From: Brian <>
Subject: Barenaked Ladies sound like XTC


Hey, boys and girls, I've been spending the past week getting into the
Barenaked Ladies album 'Stunt', and there's a song on there called
"Alcohol" that you just imagine XTC doing.

The whole album is pretty cool, too.

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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 06:51:24 -0800
From: Jon Davis <>
Subject: Poor, poor Pat

Not long ago I had the pleasure of seeing an incredible live show:
ProjeKct 4. This band is a King Crimson spin-off featuring Robert Fripp,
Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, and Pat Mastelotto. They performed an entire
evening of mostly improvised music, which could be a disaster waiting to
happen, but given the strength and good sense of the musicians involved
turned out to be something completely amazing. To go on too long about
this would be decidedly off-list, so I'll confine my comments to Pat
Mastelotto's playing. He is an incredible drummer: tight, accurate,
inventive, and sensitive to what the others were playing (especially
given that it wasn't all worked out in rehearsal).
I too revile Mr Mister, but I'm quite willing by now to forgive Pat his
involvement in that hideous example of misguided 80s pop. His playing
with David Sylvian and King Crimson (as well as XTC) has more than
redeemed him in my eyes.
Long time nonposter,
Jon Davis


From: nedrise@MNSi.Net
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 22:17:20 -0400
Subject: Odds and a walrus tap dancing.

Chalk - lates:

Iain was saying:

<At one point, Bev Bevan makes the drums sound like a motorbike
<starting up - nifty in the extreme (which is almost enough to forgive him
<for his later ELO involvement....).

Must whole heartedly agree.  Bev Bevan in ELO is a great example of terrible
drumming.  So heavy and plodding.  Like a walrus tap dancing.

On recommendations read here in Chalkhills, I bought a Sloan album (from
One Chord to Another).  I do rather like it. What other Sloan is good?

Another Canadian band I highly recommend is Odds.  Haven't noticed them
mentioned here, but they're similar to Sloan (and definitely descendants in
the XTC family tree).  They had a hit about a year and a half ago (at least
here in the Windsor-Detroit area) called "Someone Who's Cool".  I'd
definitely recommend their albums Bedbugs and Nest to anyone into quirky(!)
power pop.

Merry Christmas and Happy Harmonica!

Michael Stone
Windsor, Ontario


From: Huw P T Davies <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:57:20 GMT0BST
Subject: The politics of envy
Message-ID: <20BDB9F27E2@PARKLA1S.CF.AC.UK>

This fair taxation debate has definitely made Chaklhills more lively
of late. I just thought I'd make one point. Those who argue against
higher tax of the wealthy say that the demand for such taxation is
only motivated by envy. I'm sorry, but I find this argument rather
weak. Those who argue for higher taxes to pay for such things as a
better health service, education etc. are more likely to be motivated
by compassion. Clearly compassion is an alien concept to some people.

What are the political persuasions of people on this list anyway? I
thought fans of XTC would be slightly left leaning, but clearly I was
mistaken there.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here is my list of the best albums of 98:
Find de Siecle- The Divine Comedy
Mermaid Avenue- Billy Bragg and Wilco
This is Hardcore- Pulp
Painted from Memory- Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach

Huw Davies


Message-Id: <v04011703b29d8da7196d@[]>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:20:41 -0600
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: Viva XTC

>Perdon por no escribir en ingles. Yo adoro la musica de Zappa, XTC, Split
>Enz y Cardiacs. Luis Reynaldo.

Ole amigo!  Ingles es muy stupido!

- K.


Message-Id: <v04011704b29d8eb558e9@[]>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:23:12 -0600
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: Bill

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

I wonder if this is how President Bill feels right about now...!

Like inhaling.

"All we are say-ing, is give weed a chance....."


Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:29:07 -0600 (CST)
From: Andrea Lynn Rossillon <>
Subject: Re: Rye Post
Message-ID: <>

> From:
> Some of your reposts are sound a little trite, is this a hobby of yours?
> (BTW: That's repost as in fencing and conversation not re-post as in

Paul, I believe what you mean is "riposte", which looks suspiciously
Italian to me, but the other fencing terms ("epee", "foil") are French so
maybe riposte is as well.



Message-ID: <697A4CA51395D111A658AA00040058069D9EB0@NT6>
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: AV 1/2 release order
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:36:33 -0600

Jonathon Simmons wrote:

I realize that I am just one person, and that my preferences are nothing on
which to base sweeping generalizations (is there another kind?). And I may
well be the only one who feels that songs like "The Last Balloon," "Easter
Theater," and "River of Orchids" may not be as immediately accessible as,
say, songs like "Prince of Orange," "Dame Fortune," or even "Ship Trapped in
the Ice." There is certainly nothing wrong with songs that require a little
patience or even work to "get," but I fear that "second-tier" XTC fans (fans
who may not be rabid enough to follow the goings-on here at Chalkhills, but
who would perk up when the new album hits the stores) and the uninitiated
may jump at AV1 then recoil a bit when they hear a collection of songs that
are largely...grand and ponderous.

Judging from the commentary at the end of Song Stories, Partridge and
Moulding are both determined that their "return" to the world of
music-making should be as impressive as possible.  I think releasing the
orchestral songs first will generate a more positive buzz for the album than
the more straightforward guitar songs would--it'll get people thinking "So
*that's* what they were doing all those years," and make the long delay
following Nonsuch seem more justified.

No, what concerns me is that, in comparison to Vol 1, Apple Venus Volume 2
is likely to sound pretty darn prosaic.  Granted, I haven't heard as many of
the demos for Vol 2, so I maybe talking out my backside, but I think
critics/listeners who buy Volume 1 will reasonably expect Volume 2 to be
somewhat similar, and they may be disappointed.  I don't think the albums
should have the same name, and the fact that Partridge balked at mixing the
"orchoustic" songs with the guitar-rock songs indicates to me he isn't
confident that the songs are similar enough to stand together.  Fair enough,
but why confuse people by releasing them under the same name?  This could
turn out to be another of Partsy's infamous "uncommercial" decisions ...

Enjoying Transistor Blast,

* ___________________________

Dan Wiencek
American Academy
of Orthopaedic Surgeons
(847) 384-4125


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 11:16:20 -0500
From: Adam Tyner <>
Subject: Best of '98

Most of the albums I've bought this year weren't released in '98, but of
those that were, here are my favorites:

XTC - Transistor Blast (even though I already had Drums & Wireless and the
Live 1980 disc, disc 3 alone was worth the price of purchase, at least as
long as I try not to think about how much I paid.  ;-)

Tuscadero - My Way Or The Highway (one of my favorite albums of all time,

Moxy Fruvous - Live Noise (my favorite live disc until Transistor Blast)

The Giraffes - 13 Other Dimensions (sort of in the same vein as the Dukes
of Stratosphear)

Various Artists - WCBN Naked Too (all live, in studio (and mostly acoustic)
performances by a number of bands)


BTW, anyone have any interesting discussions with the cashier when buying
TB?  At the independent record store where I got mine, the cashier asked me
if I liked the Dukes and mentioned that he was borrowing Psonic Psunspot on
vinyl from a friend of his.  Then, as I was leaving, I walked past the
manager, and he said it was the first copy of the box set that they've sold
and how he was planning on buying a copy for himself.
/=---------------- ----------------=\
 He-Man, Tuscadero, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, & more!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:39:25 +0000 (GMT)
From: Jeff Langr <>
Subject: top 5 / news list

I thought Mr. Stratford's idea of a separate
XTC news digest was great, even if his bilious
political statements are unoriginal party-line
fare.  I've been tempted to drop out of this list
a few times, but there have been pieces of very
useful information coming across the wire every
few months.  Mr. Relph?  Possibilities?

Regarding top X of the year, there sadly won't
be any XTC there for me unless someone shells
out the $40 to get Transistor Blast for me for
Christmas.  In lieu of that, then, for 1998:

1.  Beck -- Mutations
2.  Pulp -- This is Hardcore
3.  Belle & Sebastian -- The Boy With The Arab Strap
4.  Drugstore -- White Magic for Lovers
5.  Kinks' Velvel Reissues (8 so far!)
6.  Kinks' Castle Reissues (10)
7.  Lyres -- Lyres Lyres (reissue)
8.  Pere Ubu -- Pennsylvania
9.  Radiohead -- Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP
10. PJ Harvey -- Is This Desire?

Biggest Disappointments of the Year:
1. Liz Phair -- whitechocolatespaceegg
2. Tori Amos -- From the Choirgirl Hotel
3. Garbage -- Version 2.0

Chumbawumba-style one-hit wonder of the year:
Harvey Danger, "Flagpole Sitta"

Best album I didn't buy:
The Best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.  Buy it.
Or buy all of the back collection.

Pretty standard stuff.  Geez, all white artists...
I guess I should be disappointed in myself
according to the Chalkhills digest arbiters of
taste (you know who you are).  I did get hold
of the Atlantic Rhythm & Blues collection (8 CDs)
this year, and it is spectacular... highly

Jeff L.

        [ Possible?  Yes.  Probable?  No.  Not unless y'all start
          paying my salary :-)          -- John ]


Message-Id: <>
From: Janis VanCourt <>
Subject: Re: Astrophobia
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 11:59:52 -0500

Harrison writes:

<<The astrophobia revelation might also shed light on the emotion he
invests in the line "And the stars are laughing at us" from "Across
this Antheap."  Can anybody think of any others?>>

How about:

"I should be shaking the stars instead of hugging the dirt" - Extrovert


"Up she rises each and every morning / She blows the stars out of the
sky" - Pale and Precious

-Janis (an astrophile, I guess)
"My love explodes like the stars up in space for you"  -AP


Message-Id: <>
From: Janis VanCourt <>
Subject: RE: have you got Miss Givings....?
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 11:43:04 -0500

Jon S. wrote

(a lot of interesting stuff which he summarized by asking:)

<<Someone please tell me that I am nuts, and that AV1 is going to thrive in
the marketplace...>>

I've got to say I share your misgivings in some ways.  You're probably
right that the orchoustic songs on Apple Venus I aren't all that
accessible in terms of modern pop(ularity).  Yeah, it would be great to
hear "I'd Like That" played on the radio, but even that song seems a
bit... tame, I guess... for the radio stations who might normally play
XTC stuff. (Personally, I'm hoping that "Your Dictionary" gets on the
air, naughty words and all; perhaps it will turn out to be their "Dear
God II," in that it'll cause just enough controversy to get airplay.)

But how important *is* airplay?  I'm not talking about financially - of
course I want to see Andy and Colin prosper, and it'd be great if they
ended up selling mega-units of the new album. And I realize that
radio-play is directly linked to sales.  But how important is it to us
as fans of the group?  I guess my own answer would be "somewhat
important" (like filling in the middle circle in a survey on a scale of
one to five.) I always get very excited when my local "modern rock"
station plays XTC (hardly ever) or Elvis Costello or any of my other pet
artists... it's a rush, hearing one of your favorite bands on the radio
and knowing that thousands of others are listening along.

Yet I don't hold high hopes for Apple Venus getting noticed by many
radio stations.  Like Andy, I don't really know who the audience for
this new album will be (apart from the likes of us, of course).  All I
can say is that I've never anticipated a new album more fervently, by
ANY artist.  Ever.  Yeah, I've already heard most of the demos, but
still I long to hear those gorgeous, *brilliant* songs in their finished

I think Jon also has a point about the timing:  it might have been more
shrewd to release the "rocking" album first, for the sake of sales, etc.
But unfortunately, (or fortunately, if you're like me and these new
songs are your equivalent of musical orgasm) this is the direction
Andy's writing has taken since Nonsuch. I'm glad he went with his muse
rather than trying to manufacture pop songs, or to rewrite the whole
Black Sea album, or whatever.

Of course, maybe we're worrying for naught; maybe the world will wise up
and embrace the new work for what it is: poetic ecstasy and musical

-Janis (pretty cocky about an album that hasn't even been released yet,
aren't I?)
"Want to walk into London on my hands one day" -AP


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:10:00 -0500
From: Eric Brittingham <>
Organization: Online Consulting, Inc
Subject: TB: enough for all of us?

Hey.  I'm just curious: does it seem as if the initial demand for the
Transistor Blast set was underestimated, at least here in the States, or is
it that TVT is just having a hell of a time getting them distributed?  I
have gone online and to local stores, and everyone is preaching the gospel
of the 'backorder'.

Additionally, I would like to curse each one of you responsible for the
Phil Collins thread, as it has revived long-dead memories of songs that I
cannot get out of my head.  You have caused the blasted "Land of Confusion"
to surface every morning as I shower and "Mama" to overwhelm me while I eat
my lunch.  I have been taking heavy doses of Drums and Wires and Black Sea
to ease my pain, but like any virus, there is no direct cure, and I must
simply suffer until it passes.

As Prince once said in happier house-quaking times, "Shut up already.

But being a vindictive sort, I send this curse to those who are
responsible: an REO Speedwagon sound bite, which has the power to infect
the vulnerable for weeks.  Ye who are innocent, avert your eyes before it's
too late.

"I heard it from a friend who... heard it from a friend who... heard it
from another you been messing around."



End of Chalkhills Digest #5-41

Go back to the previous page.