Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-43

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 43

                 Friday, 18 December 1998

Today's Topics:

                    Zappatistas Unite!
          Oh Hell! My vote for the worst artist!
                     Re: Best of 98?
                  I'm bilious - fly me.
                      First single?
                 Cost of TB and royalties
    Re: XTC throws Barenaked Ladies for ippon any day
                     Orchoustic woes
     Have you heard Jackie, he tells you her Top '98
    Jeez. Alright already with the recommendations :)
                    Re: Lots of things
              Let' s hear it for The Nigels
                 Re: Videos since Mummer?
            XTC Sight & Sound In Concert 1978
                       Review Spew
                    converting others
                     Transistor Blast
                    Give Me a Break!!
            Year-end lists, paging down, etc.
                      TB, or not TB?
                        best of 98
         The Woman Just Won't Listen (long post)
                 First APPLE VENUS Review


    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 <>).

No more fighting, no more fuss.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 08:28:33 -0500
From: todd steed <>
Subject: Zappatistas Unite!

Sure Zap-boy had a lot of really stupid songs taking vicious shots at very
easy targets, and yeah he had a perverted side.  (Most people do/have
both)  But the man put out 50 (count em) 50 freakin  rekerds.  Maybe a
third of those I enjoy.  But that is a LOT of rekerds by one artist for
somebody to enjoy.  If ANY artist could give me 10 - 17 rekerds i really
loved in this day and age I'd be amazed. Shit, I'd be amazed if they could
give me 17 songs in their career worth a dang.

Zappa was leaps and bounds ahead of most of his competition to the
point it's almost silly to compare him to somebody like, say ...uh Phil
Col....uh never mind on that one.

In any case, like the writers of XTC--he was full of ideas and was never
afraid to take chances and explore.  Which, like XTC often left him
ignored and misunderstood.

Thank God he left Uncle Meat, Burnt Weeny Sandwhich, Yellow Shark,
One Size Fits All, Hot Rats, Grand Wazoo, Weasels Ripped My Flesh,
Roxy and Elsewhere, Freak Out,  Waka Jawaka, Zappa in NY, Joe's
Garage (if not simply for Watermelon), We're only in it for the Money,
Rueben and the Jets,  about half of Sheik Yer Booty, Make a Jazz Noise
Here, and yes even that guitar one....Fz Plays the music of Frank Zappa
(mail order)

There, that's 17 rekerds that at least I find worth scores of listens.

I'm trying to think of another artist that has done that for/to me.

At this point you're probably wondering why I'm here....

So am I, so am I. ... (kazoo riff here)

Twist, dance the poot, music is best, we're all Devo.

Long Live Frank, Power to XTC--take us where we ain't never been.

Todd of the Short Forest


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 05:48:01 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: Oh Hell! My vote for the worst artist!

The quote of the day, thanks to my trusty rocketmail:

Procrastinate later.

Anyways... while people are having fun dogging bands and artists
I thought I'd offer up my opinion of a band that SUCKS BIG TIME...

Roxette.  I hate their music.

Please, lets dog them now. It will be so much fun... as a Holiday
present for me.


XTC content: Nobody is going to buy me Transistor Blast or songstories
for the holidays... I'll have to spend money on it now!
Oh well!

I just wanted to lighten up some of the discussions on the digest...
I know the above message is frivilous dribble...oh well.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 09:16:10 EST
Subject: Re: Best of 98?

 John Irvine wrote

>...and that's about it.  I bought some stuff that sucked, but I won't go
>into that here.  What did y'all buy that floated yer boats?

Neil Finn - Try Whistling This
Paul Weller - Heavy Soul( I know, that's last year, but I finally bought it
this year).
Ray Davies - Storyteller.
That's the new stuff.

The Who - Odds & Sods Remaster
The Kinks - Face to Face Remaster and VGPS Remaster


Message-ID: <7792192DE506D2119A6100A024F0274A158792@PIMAIL>
Subject: I'm bilious - fly me.
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:32:20 -0000

In the last digest Jeff Langr <> commented on my
>I thought Mr. Stratford's idea of a separate
>XTC news digest was great, even if his bilious
>political statements are unoriginal party-line

Sorry if you thought I was bilious, we've only recently got Pepto-Bismol
in the UK.
I think that we've found another cultural difference here, what sounds
like plain fairness and humanitarianism in the UK sounds like
socialism\leftiness and near-communism to an American (or Tory).

Paul "I'm incredibly bored" Stratford


Message-ID: <C4D3F9980FD4D111892B00805FBBF5D1012A22F2@MAILSVR1>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: First single?
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 09:28:32 -0500

Yeah, it's slightly premature but do we know which track will be released as
the first single from "Apple Venus Vol I?" Someone in the know has got to
know, otherwise what would they know?

-ira, with 30 seconds to spare until yet another "touchbase" meeting. Ack!


From: "Damian Foulger" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 08:31:35 -0600
Subject: Cost of TB and royalties
Message-Id: <>

The very disperate prices that I've seen people paying for TB has
made me wonder where the difference comes from and who gets
the money?  I seems that one can pay between $23 and $45.  One
of the most expensive prices is from TVT the US distributor.  I did a
quick zoom around the web and found these prices:

Amazon: $45
TVT $43
IMVS $23

So what's up.  If one buys the set from TVT do XTC get more
royalties or is it all profit to TVT?  I want to know because it might
sway my buying practices.  Do XTC get 50p extra if I pay stlg10
more for a CD?  Is it worth it in that case?  Hmmm.

Dames tWd
"People will always be tempted to rip off you .sig files if they have
'welcome' in them"  But then I don't have copyright.  ;-)


Message-Id: <l03010d01b29ec902428b@[]>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 09:54:30 -0500
From: Duncan Watt <>
Subject: Re: XTC throws Barenaked Ladies for ippon any day

>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.

ouch, Brian, ouch really. Really ouch. O-uchi-gari ouchie-ow.

Have you noticed yet that their big hit there is, basically, The Macarena
(hum-a-num-a hum-a-num-a hum-a-Macarena...) sung over "All Right Now" (bah
(rest rest) buh-nah bah...)?

Although I've got to give them credit for not losing the weight...

Duncan Watt

ps sure would like to find out what's been happening to my re:'s... sure


Message-Id: <>
Subject: XTC-esque
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 15:24:32 +0100

Hi Chalksters,
This may well be old news, but I recently finally got round to buying the
album by Swedish popster's Grass-Show. The album, Something Smells Good in
Stinkville, has a very distinct XTC (around Drums & Wires era I guess) feel,
and the lead vocalist sounds a lot like Colin in parts. Er.... that 's about
it really, except to say I can certainly recommend the album to anyone
thinking of getting it.
Merry XTCmas to you all


Message-ID: <000801be29d0$289a9bb0$f06dcec0@t24806009694.DOA.STATE.LA.US>
From: "John Voorhees" <>
Subject: Orchoustic woes
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 09:16:00 -0600

Before we all start to worry that Apple Venus will sink like a stone due to
lushness and brilliance, remember that Fiona Apple's Tidal rocked the cosmos
with a grand piano and no previous releases to stand on.  Most folks have
already at least heard of XTC, even if it was from their gran'pa (Yes,
children, gather 'round me lap and I'll tell ye of a powerful righteous rock
band that didn't suck...).  There may not be any obvious
Mayor-of-Simpleton-type singles (one of the best pop songs ever written, I'd
say, up there with Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic), but let's have
faith, people!

John V.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 18:24:01 +0100
From: dieling <>
Subject: Have you heard Jackie, he tells you her Top '98

> Chalkhillbillies !

> Oooh, the year is nearing its end. What will the next year bring ? In any
> case, it'll bring the record we've all been awaiting for years. And if the
> world's going into armageddon as 2000 comes nearer, I shall be glad
> listening to Apple Venus Vol whatever on my headphones.

Yesterday I had an overwhelming experience. I visited a friend who has a
kind of home studio, with PC, Emax(?) Sampler and Nordlead Synth. We're
making a song for university together (both musicologists) which we have to
make a video for.
So, apart from samples from Sample CDs, we wanted to sample something from
existing records, so we took a drumbeat of a Barenaked Ladies song, a tabla
beat from Muslimgauze, and I brought with me The Dukes of Stratosphear, as
there's all this Lewis Carroll-like nonsense spoken by that girl, which I
thought would fit in perfectly.
Now, remember "Have You Seen Jackie ?"
Right at the start of that track, before the girl says "By this time...",
there's that high, strange sound I always loved and have often used for
DJing.  Now, we sampled that bit, and when I was playing it slower (which is
no problem for a sampler, just press a lower key on the master keyboard,
which was the Nordlead Synth in this setup) , guess what I found ?
This sound is really a very highpitched voice, the one of the girl, saying:
"Jackie couldn' t decide if he was a girl or if she was a boy" with lots of
delay and flange.
I was stunned. That phrase is repeated in the song, before the organ solo, as
you'll know.
This makes XTC aka The Dukes of Stratosphere even more clever to me, as it
links that sound with the song and takes forth the central message of
"Jackie".  I've been singing the song all day now and I feel good !

Now, the best albums in '98:

Transistor Blast - uknowho
TNT - Tortoise
Lifelike - Ui
El Oso - Soul Coughing

So, everyone have a HAPPY XMAS and also a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
See ya in 99.
residing in The Lemon Lounge
XTC Songs of the Day - Have you seen Jackie ? and Thanks For Christmas


Message-Id: <v04011707b29eeaea9770@[]>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 12:27:47 -0600
From: Ken Herbst <>
Subject: Jeez. Alright already with the recommendations :)

>I bought a Sloan album (from
>One Chord to Another).  I do rather like it. What other Sloan is good?

Sloan's 1992 "Smeared" is total butta. The first tune, "Underwhelmed", is
one of my favorite dashboard-pounding songs of all time.


My '98 Top Discs:

Neil Finn  (Try Whistling This)  -- What else can be said? Wow.
Asian Dub Foundation (Rafi's Revenge) -- Angry, Electro-sitar driven angst
with a beat. Wow.
Talvin Singh (OK) -- More Indo-Punjabi electronica. But, very clever and
P.M. Dawn (Dearest Christian) -- Mellow, cerebral tone poems. Bliss out and
smooch to this disc.
Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi) -- Newly recorded, expanded score of the
amazing soundtrack.
Rialto (Rialto) -- Technically released in '97, but didn't make it to the
US until a few months ago. Hard band to categorize...something like a
poppier, all-male,  cinema-influenced band like Portishead.
Fear of Pop (Vol. 1) -- Seriously funky solo project by Ben Folds. YO!
Right on, brotha!

* --------

Best Discs You Didn't Buy in '97:

Eye TV (Snakes and Ladders) -- Awesome Kiwi powerpop. Surf the net to find it!
The Negro Problem (The Negro Problem) -- Too many styles to easily
categorize. But, if you like XTC, Steely Dan, Bob Mould, Jellyfish I can't
imagine you not loving this disc.
Pierre Henry/Michael Colombier  (Messe Pour Le Temps Present) -- A weird
and wonderful pastiche of 60's French grooves whipped into something that
resembles trip-hop. Very cool. Very hard to describe.
David Ryan Harris -- Maybe the best pop release of the year. Complex,
surprising and rich.
The Wannadies -- Okay, so this is a best of, but it's still one of the best
power pop CD's of the 90's.
Henry Fool (Soundtrack) -- Weird instrumental music from a weird movie you
never saw. Both were great.
Cotton Mather (Kontiki) -- Beatles/Byrd's influenced, gritty power pop.
Bill Nelson (Weird Critters/Magnificent Dream People) -- Two discs of
unreleased experimental musings from the one of the original home-studio

* --------

Thanks to everyone who posted new music recommendations this year. This is
one of the main reasons I frequent Chalkhills. I confess that the endless
ruminating about our Swindon lads gets a little tiresome for me at times.

Which reminds me.....where else do you go for references to new music?
Obviously, quirk-pop and power-pop are what jazz most of us here at
Chalkhills. Any good "year-in-review" lists you've seen (and trust)?

Thanks again Chalkhillians!   =>  Ken H.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:08:42 EST
Subject: Re: Lots of things

To the license plate person: I assume that plate refers to Angry Young Man
by Billy Joel, as well as Colin's The World is Full of Angry Young Men (a
beauty, overlooked).

With respect to the issue regarding significant others into XTC, I just
turned someone on to XTC, someone I used to date a while ago and have been
kind of seeing again.  She LOVES those guys and is now obsessed.  We have
differences of taste within the XTC realm, of course: she doesn't like any
of Colin's songs, save My Bird Performs.  She's obsessed with Andy in
particular.  Her fave album is English Settlement, with Nonsuch a close
second.  She likes Mummer as well, and Skylarking and Big Express not as
much, though there are many songs of those albums that she does like (in
particular Another Satellite, the song that started it all, and You're the
Wish You Are I Had) She's heard Black Sea once and loves it.  She also loves
Dukes of Stratosphear, Psonic Psunspot much more than 25 o'Clock.  As for
her other tastes, she started as a 'punk' girl when I knew her in high
school.  She likes Sonic Youth, Pavement, Cocteau Twins, Guided By Voices,
My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths (though not as much now, thank god),
Mr. Bungle.  Her tastes have since broadened.  She likes Keith Jarrett
(through meeting me), Phish, Frank Zappa (though she's only heard a few
things), Jeff Buckley.

By the way, I finally JUST HEARD Jeff Buckley.  Holy Shit, that man was
amazing.  What a loss!  Dave matthews, eat your heart out!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:43:23 EST
Subject: Let' s hear it for The Nigels

- Hopefully the NYC area will be seeing The Nigels soon, though I hear The
Hunt Club won't be touring anytime soon.

-  Odds are a very good group from Vancouver, Canada!  On their first LP,
Neapolitan, they include a song called Horsehead Nebula that is very
reminiscent of Complicated Games.  It should be noted that Craig Northey of
Odds did the music for the Kids In The Hall movie.

- If you like Stunt by The Barenaked Ladies check out their other LPs,
especially Gordon. Oh, Canada!

- I can't find Transistor Blast anywhere.  Maybe I'm too busy doing the
Christmas shopping thing.  Is anyone else having this problem? (I don't want
to order through the web until I pay down my credit card, like you had to

- I too would have liked to see more about studio techniques in Song
Stories, probably why Dave didn't have a good opinion of the book.  That guy
knew every instrument that was played on all the songs (probably the ones w/
Barry, too)

Fave 1998 albums:

Moxy Fuvous - Live Noise, what a great live band (Hat trick for Canada in this
Luna - Pup Tent, well I bought it in '98
R.E.M.- Up, yeah they miss Bill, but it's still better just about anything
else out there
Cornershop - Born For The 7th Time, it's weak in spots but where its strong,
its very strong

Happy Holidays


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 12:56:24 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Videos since Mummer?

Greg Mascioli <> asked:
>I know that there many videos of XTC since Mummer, but where do I find
>them?  And how do I get them?  Help!

     Love On a Farmboy's Wages
     Human Alchemy
     In Loving Memory of a Name
     Funk Pop a Roll
     All You Pretty Girls
     The Meeting Place
     The Dukes of Stratosphear: Mole From the Ministry
     The Dukes of Stratosphear: Albert Brown
     Dear God
     The Road to Oranges and Lemons
     Mayor of Simpleton
     King for a Day
     The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
     The Disappointed

These videos have been filmed, but the only one commercially available
is "Dear God" which was released on *The Best of MTV's 120 Minutes*
video compilation in the US.

You'll have to trade for illicit copies of the others.

	-- John


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:36:14 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: XTC Sight & Sound In Concert 1978


Did I mention that XTC rocked in 1978?


	-- John


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:38:31 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Review Spew

Wesley Hanks has submitted reviews of *Transistor Blast* from the
following publications:

    The Washington Post
    Boston Herald
    The Commercial Appeal  Memphis, TN

Surf to
to get the full text.  (Too much traffic on Chalkhills lately, I'm
trying to cut down.)

Thanks, Wes!

	-- John


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 14:11:43 -0600 (CST)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: converting others
Message-ID: <>

 << 1.) How would you explain why you enjoy the music of XTC, to a

   Several years ago, my housemate Bill and I were an ill-fated band named
Flood, not after the U2/Smashing Pumpkins producer, but for other reasons
I don't really remember.  We had our own songs, but of course we learnt
covers mostly to explore the music the other guy liked.  He was into
things like Fugazi, Buffalo Tom, Minor Threat, Soulside, etc. etc. I was
into [around then] Big Star, XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, Neil Young, Wire, etc.
So one day I say to him "Let's learn 'Respectable Street'."  He says
okay, he doesn't know that song from a hole in the ground.  I play it on
disc for him, he purses his lips, shrugs his shoulders and says, mmmm,
alright. We work out the bass/guitar parts (a little complicated for him,
though), do like a runthrough or two, I sing, it's not bad.  A couple days
later, we're rehearsing again, and I say, "Let's do 'Respectable Street'."
Bill folds his arms violently, sets his mouth, and growls, "I'm NOT
playing any more a'your dancing-through-the-flowers-with-my-faggot-friends
music again!"  We immediately get into a shouting match about the whole
thing, but I promised to learn Buffalo Tom's "Enemy" as a trade-off for
XTC.  Still haven't let him forget that outburst.
   I've never been able to convert anyone, really.  Most of the people I
know who like XTC already were that way when I met them.

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

   _English Settlement_ was the one I started with, and in an odd way,
I kind of assume everybody should have started with it.  A great
transitional album from the touring band to the exclusively in-studio
band, and I think it's the most representative of them, if I had to pick
just one.



From: "Damian Foulger" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 08:09:06 -0600
Subject: Transistor Blast
Message-Id: <>

> :) The flimsy neon cd-cases are very cheezy though. One would expect
> slightly sturdier construction for $40+, but I'm glad I have it

I must have a different version of the above mentioned set.  I
thought that the flimsy neon cd-cases were great value for the $23
that I paid for TB.  It all sounds the same though.  (When is the Mo-
Fi gold disc version coming out? ;-) )

Dames tWd

* ------------------------------------------------
'People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on
anything with welcome written on it.' - AP


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 16:39:32 -0800 (PST)
From: "J. Brown" <>
Subject: Give Me a Break!!
Message-ID: <>

David Oh wrote
> Amanda Wrote
>>non XTC song-Don't Let Me Down-The Beatles (I have been on an incredible
>> Beatles kick since the anniversary of John's death passed. "It was
>> 18years ago today, that fucking xxxxxxx took a genius away.....")
> every1, please, as a favour 2 me, anytime any1 mentions john's tragic
> passing in the future, can u never, ever mention the name of the
> perpetrator? i can't even bring myself 2 think of that selfish asshole,
> & i hate that i even have 2 refer 2 that incident here!

Come on!!  I fail to see why John's murder is so sacred.  Now mind you i'm
as big a Beatles fan as anyone but why is John's death such a tragedy? Now
if John had died in say 1967 i can see the tragedy.  The murder of anyone
is awful but i think the deification of Lennon is ridiculous. What did Mr.
Chapman's gun rob the world of?  More half-baked liberal platitudes? A
pointless beatles Reunion? Further evidence of Lennon's diminished
songwriting skills? John hadn't put out a good album since Imagine.  Even
Wings at its worst is better than Somewhere in New York City or Mind Games
or Walls and Bridges or Double Fantasy, not mention the atrocious Stand By

Am I glad John lennon's dead?  Of Course Not.  But these sorts of
hysterics are really silly.  "he can not be named"  come off it man!  Mark
David Chapman is a crazy man!  He is not satan for christ sakes.  John
Lennon was not a god (inspite of what Grant Morrison argues), he was just
a songwriter, and most of the time a great songwriter but that's all.

Maybe i'm just full of hot cheese on this or maybe i've just had it up to
here with boomer icon worship shoved down my throat every year just before
my birthday (you should all be celbrating me dammnit not mourning him! ;-)
sorry if i offended anyone this little rant has been building for some
 Jason Wilson Brown - History & Canadian Studies - Seattle, WA USA
"Wasn't it a millionaire who said Imagine no possessions?"
				-Elvis Costello


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:47:20 EST
Subject: Year-end lists, paging down, etc.

A slightly modified version of a 1998 year-end thang I wrote for another

1. Yazbek - Tock. This album just slays me, pure and simple. Saves me huge
amounts of listening time by rolling almost everything I like about music
into one shiny, portable package. The baby on the cover is awfully cute,

2. The Solipsistics - Whatever Makes You Happy. Main Solipsistic Jeff
McGregor is possibly the most underrated (under-heard-of?) songwriter
working today.  He's Jon Brion's favorite collaborator, and Aimee Mann's
favorite opening act.  And he'd be mine, too, if I could get him to
collaborate with or open for me.  And yes, this *is* an act on the label I
tout in my sigfile, but no shameless promo going on here... I help them out
for free because I think they're amazing.

3. eels - Electro-Shock Blues. The second eels album resurrects the
strongest points of E's solo work and combines them with the eels'
supergroovy collage soundscapes to create an album that's both highly
original and deeply touching.

4. Deanna Kirk - Where Are You Now. This cabaret-pop album is just
indescribably beautiful. She cowrites all her songs, so I'm not sure who
does what exactly, but some of the song structures here should be used in
songwriting classes, they're so perfect. Plus, she covers "You're A Mean
One, Mr. Grinch," with just the right blend of camp and restraint.

5. Elliott Smith -XO. Proof that lo-fi indie guys *can* come out sounding
pretty damn cool with an actual budget.

6. Pernice Brothers - Overcome by Happiness. Really lovely orchestrated pop
album from the former (or perhaps current) vocalist of the Scud Mountain

7. Rufus Wainwright - Rufus Wainwright. Rufus is the chanteuse of the
year. I wish I'd made this album.

8. Sparks - Plagiarism. Despite some overly techno-ish remixes (for my non-
dancing taste), this is largely an excellent reworking of some classic

9. Rebekah Florence - Mexican Prozak. Because she's hilarious, painfully
honest, and because she really wails. Too bad "country" fans don't listen to
stuff like this instead of Garth and Leeann...

10. Jonathan Richman - I'm So Confused. Well... he's Jojo! What more do you

Honorable Mention: Sheryl Crow, Mary Lou Lord, Sun Sawed in 1/2, Wendy &
Lisa, Dave's True Story, Brad Mehldau.

Box sets of the year:

1. Louis Armstrong
2. John Lennon
3. XTC
4. Randy Newman

Stuff that might well have made the 1998 list except I haven't heard it yet:
Squeeze, Dave Dobbyn.

Stuff I wanted to like more than I did based on the artist's previous
output, but which is still pretty OK: Neil Finn, Paul Kelly, the Nields,
Hothouse Flowers.

Stuff I'm really excited about that's theoretically coming out next year:
Michael Penn, Aimee Mann, Jon Brion, the Solipsistics.

Live performances of the year: Andy Prieboy's White Trash Wins Lotto, Jon
Brion's weekly psychodrama (maybe either last week's
Hawaiian/Birthday-Themed Ukulele Night or the Spontaneous 2-Hour Show-Tune
Medley, if I had to choose one), Sparks at the Key Club. Well, those are the
ones I saw, anyway!

And on the subject of what we should & shouldn't discuss... I've left lists
because of excessive off-topic discussion. But I love reading Chalkhills, no
matter what the topic. Most of the folks here are such gifted writers that
it's a joy to read what they have to say, whether I happen to agree with it
or not. Sure, in the last few years, I've thought, "OK, enough already!"
once or twice... but I certainly don't think that my tolerance limits should
be forced on everyone. The only posts that I routinely find trying are the
ones that ask everyone to stop discussing something the writer is bored
with... do people do that at parties and things, too? While paging down
isn't always a viable option, the listing of contents (and generally
accurate subject lines) at the top of each Chalkhills certainly make it an
easier proposition!

Anyway, since it's the holidays and all, I'll finish by saying a holly jolly
thanks to Mr. Relph for the work he puts into this fine list, and to those
who contribute for keeping it so entertaining. Here's to a year with actual
new XTC music in it!

The Gallery of Indispensable Pop Music coolest cds on the Internet


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 17:04:14 -0800
From: "Dane Pereslete" <>
Subject: TB, or not TB?

Denizens of the Diatomaceous,

Holger bemoaned:

> I am a great fan, chalkers, really - but that has a bad smell of just X-mas
> business.
> I am a bit disappointed.

Yeah?, well, despite this people like myself who jumped on the big express
too late to see the boys play live will still flock to buy this - believe
you me!
We'll scrape together whatever meager earnings we can or resort to em-
barrassing (embare-arse-ing?) acts of base fawning to receive it for

In other news:  I was out holiday shopping and believe it or not, heard
For a Day" _ muzak version _   ugh!!!

Why didn't anyone mention that in addition to XTC, there is also the
of "Winter Wonderland" by the Cocteau Twins on the Starbucks holiday comp-
ilation album?  I've been looking for that for what seems like ages now.

XTC SOTD: "Mermaid Smiled"
Non-XTC SOTD: "Christmas Time is Here" - Vince Guaraldi Trio

    Logging in from beautiful Glendale, CA  USA
    "Where it'll be 85 f***ing degrees at Christmas"


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:58:55 -0500
Subject: best of 98
Message-ID: <>
From: (Keith A Sather)

ive never posted before, and half of the 'best of 98' things ive read
mention stuff ive never heard of, but i thought id tell you my favorites
cuz i like questions like this...

1. eric clapton- pilgrim--- very weird for him, a lot of programmed drum
tracks and shit, but truly excellent. he hadnt released an album of all
new material since 'journeyman' in 1989, and he still has his shit
together but isnt afraid to change a little.
2. the jimi hendrix experience- the bbc sessions--- this shit should have
been released forever ago, but its awesome, with some excellent cover
songs, and great versions of his originals.

im sure transistor blast is cool, but i made the mistake of mentioning it
to my mom, and i think shes gonna buy it for me for xmas. so if i buy it
now and she buys it for me, ill feel bad, but if she doesnt get it for me
for xmas, ill feel like an asshole.

one honorary mention for 98 would be bad religion's no substance. its not
great, but its good, and they had an album signing in nyc so i got to
meet them. then i went to see them that night in concert and they ripped
shit up.

anyway, two things you may have already figured out about me are that i
dont like to use apostropes or capital letters, and i curse a lot in
order to express my thoughts. so, nice to make your acquaintance...


Message-Id: <v03102800b29f5bade93e@[]>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 18:11:31 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <>
Subject: The Woman Just Won't Listen (long post)


Dump the old battle-axe!  What were you thinking when you married?!
Where's your priorities?!  ...Hey, I know this guy that can take care
of this little "PROBLEM" of yours... for a surprisingly small amount of

Just kidding.  You don't need to explain why you like XTC (for many,
it's like trying to explain WHY you like the color blue).  You can if
you are able, but giving her a brief synopsis (which you've probably
already done or attempted) and letting her learn why, should be
redeeming beyond your expectations.

I believe your wife has diverse enough tastes to be suited to some of
the music of XTC but, like my wife, not a majority.

A great fun moment for me was a few weeks back when I noticed my wife
singing along with Oranges And Lemons.  Calling her attention to it
backfired.  It was like busting someone burning off a major posturing,
phallic air guitar lead lick (complete with a painful visage) when they
thought they were home alone.  So, don't force it on her.  Suggest, and
allow her to take what she will from it.

My wife really enjoys songs she likes, avoids the songs she doesn't and
tolerates (bless her heart) the stuff in the middle (most of my

In any event, DO NOT GO CHRONOLOGICAL!  White Music and Go2 is not the
place to start.  My wife is a Kenny L fan, as well as Adult
Contemporary Jazz and if your wife listens to that and some 70's
pop-progressive  (and is an Ant Phillips fan)... we should have no

Perhaps you could make her a tape... "less agressive best of" Mummer &
The Big Express & Skylarking & Nonsuch (with a few others thrown in,
space willing) Beating Of Hearts, Wonderland, Love On A Farmboys Wages,
Desert Island, Ladybird, In Loving Memory Of A Name, Seagulls
Screaming..., This World Over, Red Brick Dream, You're The Wish You Are
I Had, I Remember The Sun, Summer's Cauldron/Grass, Ballet For A Rainy
Day, Season Cycle, Another Satellite, Dear God, Sacrificial Bonfire, My
Bird Performs, Dear Madam Barnum, Humble Daisy, Holly Up On Poppy,
Rook, That Wave, Then She Appeared and Wrapped In Grey with maybe Ten
Feet Tall, The World Is Full Of Angry Young Men, Mermaid Smiled, Pale
And Precious and maybe a dance-pop gem like Mayor Of Simpleton.
Whatever you do, END with Wrapped In Grey.

...and if you get it done within the week add Thanks For Christmas.

If you want to get a bit rougher and then bring her back down, using
Kenny Loggins as a reference, it's possible.  Go for the less angular,
more melodic and danceable, i.e. Footloose.  TBOP Pumpkinhead, Mayor Of
Simpleton, Extrovert or Merely A Man.

Then, when she's boozed up, has taken her shoes off, is dancing in the
living room (even between songs) and ready to scream... Funk Pop A
Roll, Rocket From A Bottle and When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty.

If she's analyzing things, she will find a wealth of exploration
available in the first big bunch of songs.  My wife's biggest critique
with me and music is, "You analyze everything... If I like it, I just
sit back and enjoy it."  While I understand her position, her summary
is not ENTIRELY true.  I do enjoy picking some things apart or figuring
WHY they work but I don't do this every time with every song and I'm
not one to interrupt things with "Hey, listen to this part coming up...
they soak one word with echo and then go dry again... It's too cool."
Well... I don't do that very often anyway.  Okay... I don't do it very
often with people who don't appreciate or understand what I'm talking
about (and those parameters rule most people out).

If your wife is scrutinizing the performance, I am very interested in
hearing what she has to say about XTC.  They had some renegade spirit
to their earlier material that was a bit more loose but I agree that a
vast majority of their released material is very well executed (and if
not technically "tight", seems intentional in light of the songs style
and structure for the sake of the "feel").  Again, give her some of the
softer material and ask her to objectively listen to the "feel" but
also listen to the songwriting, lyrics, chord construction, etc. and
give her time.

Then, post her response!

Cheers, Richard "It could be a zombie, draggin' his foot"

p.s.  Best of 98?  In October of last year, I was picking "Radiohead -
OK Computer" for best of 97.  This year I have picked "Gomez - Bring It
On" a few months back.  Has anyone else checked this out?

The funny thing is... I always seem to find my "Best of..." pick in
October and didn't feel comfortable mentioning it because there was
still two months left.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 21:49:14 -0500
From: Tim Kendrick <>
Subject: First APPLE VENUS Review

Hi Everyone!

WOW!  I can't believe it - a review of APPLE VENUS has
already been published.  It's in the new issue of OUT magazine
(just out - Jan '99 issue) (OUT is an American gay mag, similar to

Here it is (copyright OUT magazine, etc.):

     XTC, 'APPLE VENUS' (TVT).  Rockers dabbling in classical music is
     nothing new - just ask Paul McCartney or Billy Joel.  Not being
     pretentious or feeble, however, is an entirely different matter. On
     their first album since 1992's NONSUCH, Andy Partridge and pals
     masterfully mine more "serious" compositional territory without
     forsaking the pop simplicity of signature recordings like "Dear God"
     or "The Mayor of Simpleton".  In fact, the subtle symphonic underpinnings
     of "River of Orchids" and "Your Dictionary" illuminate the beauty
     of Patridge's concise, Beatlesque tunesmithing far better than
     any traditional rock arrangement could. -
                                        Larry Flick

It's hard to believe that after all this waiting, the
new XTC material is finally seeing the light of day.
Here's to a great 1999 for us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

       Tim K.


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-43

Go back to the previous page.