Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-59

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 59

                Thursday, 14 January 1999

Today's Topics:

               Big Rivers, Like The Amazon
                     Re: Pony Canyon
             My Best Of 98 picks (long post)
             Big audio dynamite breakthrough
                    one more question
                 You lucky, lucky b*st*rd
                 REM defense, XTC content
                 In Defense Of One David
                     Temporary Adieu
             "I don't want to brag, but ..."
                         me too!
            Re: Just about all I can take...!
        The Very Model Of A Newsgroup Personality
                   Read more Carefully?
              No XTC content! - Pixies boots
                    Apple Venus review
                 Molly Molly Molly......
             A response to a very old post...
      Andy and Colin in Stereo Review's Sound&Vision
               Made in Japan LE APPLE VENUS
                     Sno 'nuff stuff


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And your criticism doesn't worry me.


Message-Id: <>
From: Janis VanCourt <>
Subject: Big Rivers, Like The Amazon
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:05:30 -0500

I was just reading about various XTC albums at, and it struck
me how exceptionally well-written and lucid all of the Listener Reviews
were (especially when compared to fan-reviews of other bands on Amazon!
No offense, but some of They Might Be Giants' fan reviewers seemed
fairly... um... verbally challenged.)

Many of these wonderful XTC comments and reviews were contributed by
fellow Chalkhillians, I'm sure.  I've come to expect quality writing
from you folks, but it was especially pleasing to see XTC fans
represented so intelligently at Amazon, too.  Even the Costello reviews
ain't as literate.

And no, I didn't buy anything... I was just looking (in vain of course)
for possible advance-order information on Apple Venus. When, oh

-Janis (wondering who the "Music Fan In Ballston Spa, NY" XTC
review-writer might be... someone on this list?  I live upstate, too,
and frequently drive through Ballston Spa on my way to Vermont.)

PS:  A personal thank-you to Steve S. for tapes received.


Message-id: <5693543@mailbox2.Hitchcock.ORG>
Date: 13 Jan 99 17:37:08 EST
From: John.J.Pinto@Hitchcock.ORG (John J. Pinto)
Subject: Re: Pony Canyon

The word from Pony Canyon in Japan is:
NO limited edition,
NO special art work,
NO single (surprise, surprise)
but a lyric sheet that will not appear in other countries.


Message-Id: <v03102802b2c2c405cc31@[]>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 14:46:10 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <>
Subject: My Best Of 98 picks (long post)

While I have made mention of my
favorite release of 1998,  I didn't list anything other than that.  Now
that the year is over, I will list the CDs that stayed in heavy
rotation in 1998.

The really cool thing about this thread is that there are so many
artists that people have listed that I haven't heard, early 1999 is
going to be an expensive time for me as I pick up a ton of stuff that
looks promising or interesting.


	Gomez: Bring It On - A grand blend of acoustic and electric and
electronic, gruff and sweet, attitude and complacency, fresh with a
hint of familiar.  The use of the "frayed-feel" factor has not been so
effectively presented since the likes of Music From Big Pink.  One lead
vocalist is smooth sounding, the other sounds like a seismic reading.
They work very well together.  This is like when your Significant Other
dresses ragged and loose for work around the house and for some odd
reason, you find it incredibly interesting and sexy.  Gritty and

GREAT STUFF (in no particular order):

	Yazbek: Tock - A credible follow-up to "The Laughing Man" with every
track enjoyable.  The only detraction I have is that some of the motifs in a
few songs seem very similar to some motifs from the previous ...but I have
yet to determine if this is bad.  Still, a very enjoyable CD start to
finish.  A popping good time!

	Whale: All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones - Swerving through,
or knitting in, a breadth of styles from murky trance to grunge, electronica
noise to rap, heavy metal power chords to psychedelia, soft rock to trip
hop, and just plain old rock.  Fun to explore from the first day but I
haven't really owned it very long.

	Ken Siegert: Up From The Murky Depths (actually released in 1997 but
I believe it was too late in '97 to get noticed) - Mr. Siegert can write
some fun, quirky pop songs in theme, verse and structure.  There are a few
moments when his years spent listening to Eno's vocal works show through
(including a song, Your Train Out, that reunites the Eno vox with Fripp's
eternal sustain).  The good thing is he learned those influences well and
uses them quite effectively without sounding redundant and, in only a few
instances, obvious.

	Mediaeval Baebes: Salva Nos - Simply, not pop.  A group of 12 women
vocalists.  Most songs are 500 to 800 years old.  Celtic/English
traditionals.  Primarily vocals.  Minimal instrumentation (recorders,
tambourines, drum).  At times, haunting, pastoral, passionate, soft, hymnal,
sublime or conjuring a spirit I've never experienced.  What "Chant" could
have been if sung by women (and an engaging melody).  At times, the voice of
angels.  At others, ghost voices echoing through the abbey halls.  This is
NOT everyone's cup-o-Lapsang Souchong.

	CC98: Modern Time Neros - (Where else could someone like Harrison
get away with integrating a Lynard Skynard reference into an XTC song?!

In any event, this may seem like a shameless plug but I didn't even
contribute any music to this one and I am essentially out of tapes so,
my only motivation can be to say "Thanks."  I am simply very, very
proud of the level of musicianship, unique interpretations and the care
that went into this compilation BEFORE it ever got to me and I can't
believe how many times I've listened to it.  I simply provided a forum
to gather, laid out a few bucks and spent a bizarre amount of time in
long lines at the post office.  The artwork is also better than ever
(my only contribution was the rubber stamp).  Special thanks to Peter
for tolerating my pleas for multiple reworks and remasterings of
various bits and pieces.  The reviews speak for themselves.  I am
doubtful that I could repeat or surpass the overall level.

	William Pears: William Pears - Pure, blissful, pristine, melodic
pop.  Nothing too challenging (and the rhyming structures are sometimes a
bit stiff) but totally pleasant and catchy.  Listenable and hummable.
Includes possible (but I doubt it) XTC reference in the song "Sound Advice":

	"We sent our demos everywhere
	The record companies don't care
	We give them orange, lemons and pears
	Still there is nothing in the air"


	Reel Big Fish: Why Do They Rock So Hard? - Heavy metal guitar meets
ska.  Great fun!  Catchy, humorous tunes without drifting into the deadly
realm of "comedy" recordings.

	(The resurgence of Swing) Being a fan of Glenn Miller, Louis Prima
and others of that ilk, I am really enjoying the recordings of The Brian
Setzer Orchestra, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Jumpim Jimes, The Royal Crown
Revue, etc..  So... I site not one particular recording but the genre.

	Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves - The female singer in this band is
horrible and tolerable for one, possibly two songs, at best but only as a
novelty.  The wounded-dog female vocals waste many wonderful tracks (hint:
it's only okay to sing bad if you really CAN sing well ...not that it ever
hindered Lou Reed or Neil Young).  This brings the 11 track CD down to 7
tracks and therefore not much of a bargain.  Moody, lush layering of
distortion and drone that works in almost every instance and the songs are
more tangible than some other distortion-orchestras like My Bloody
Valentine.  If the lame vocals are not intentional, shoot her and put her
out of her (AND OUR) misery.  If it is intentional, the joke is old and

	Chocolate Genius: Black Music - A wealth of great moods and feels.
Mostly soft (and some are even sluggish) in their melancholy presentation.
Seriously soulful balance of intellect, idealism, reverie and a nice
"hole-in-your-shoe, no-money shrug" kind of reality.

	Phanton Planet: Is Missing - Very, very good power pop.  (Paul Fox
produced half of the songs, if you care.)  Lots of catchy rock material but
lacking a little breadth of style.  Beyond that, if they stick together,
don't burn out and continue to grow, et cetera, et cetera, they could reach
their goal which is obviously not to enlighten the world or broaden many
people's horizons but just get some hits.

	Rufus Wainwright: Rufus Wainwright - Meloncholy pop tunes with
torchsong or caberet influence in almost every song.  Very enjoyable
but... but... my wife asks, "How can you like this and NOT like Peter Allen?
It's the same stuff!"  Yikes and ouch.  Keeping an open mind I will give her
Peter Allen vinyl a listen... but I'm skeptical.  In any event, there is
some big bucks behind this release.  A freshman release with Jon Brion, Van
Dyke Parks, Jim Keltner and Benmont Tench?!  Somebody (probably Exec
Producer, Lenny Waronker) dearly wanted this guy to succeed.

	Air: Moon Safari - Very nice texture.  Angelic (where it needs to
be) with some nice groove.  Sexy.

And the obligatory "Released at some other time but I didn't find it until

	The Paperboys: Molinos (released in 1996)- These folks do some
really nice stuff but it is all over the spectrum.  They run through or
totally mix up pop, polka, Celtic and folk with some occasional reggae

There it is.  Thanks to all who contributed their lists with some
description of the music.  I have a lot of leads and look forward to
the exploration.

Cheers, Richard


Message-ID: <>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: Big audio dynamite breakthrough
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 16:52:29 PST

Great news Chalkhillers!

Inspired by Rob's post (5-57) I've been hard at work in the shed,
devising a revolutionary new organic audio recording system. I'm VERY
confident that Andy and Colin will want to use it for recording Apple
Venus Vol. II

It works like this:

1. Place singer's mouth in proximity to tubular mineral resonance
transducer (tin can), attached to linear filamental transmitter (wire).

2. Insert wire into rectum of suitable species of bird (that's the best
bit). Woodpecker provides highest fidelity due to great neck strength
and high rating on BPI (Beak Pointyness Index), but pigeon is cheap and

3. Place bird in front of high-speed conveyer belt, across which is
passed long strip of soft, pliable clay,

4. Force bird's head down onto clay with specially designed,
spring-loaded weight and pulley system

Result: as singer sings, bird is 'transduced' to peck in sympathy with
singers' voice by vibrating wire in butthole, create magical tippy-tappy
pattern on clay which exactly mimics musical emanations. Then ...

5. Bake long clay strip until hardened in specially-constructed,
extremely long kiln

6. When clay is baked hard, re-insert wire into woodpecker's anus, and
force head down again onto clay strip by means of specially-designed
weight and pulley system

7. Activate conveyer belt and place tin can to ear

Result? As bird beak is dragged back over tippy-tappy pattern etched in
clay, avian viscera vibrates in sympathy, and transduces sound. Sound
passes from beak to anus, thence along wire to tin can and finally to
listener's ear, thus magically recreating the sounds of your favourite
singer in full flight! Incredible but true!!

Recent tests indicate that system captures a wonderfully organic sound
quality, surpassing even that provided by 8-track cartridge. Best of
all, most system components are cheap, easily available and fully
recycleable. Also, when bird beak is worn out, bird can be eaten.

Only hitch so far? Storage of recordings is proving to be something of a
challenge (e.g. my test recordings of "Travels in Nihilon" are averaging
about 457 linear metres)... but I'm working on it.

Place your orders now.

Dr Dunks
down in the basement in the white coat, with the thick glasses on and
all those glass vials full of bubbly dry ice and lots of big electric
dials and

... no Mongo - don't touch that!! you'll destroy ev


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 17:14:56 -0800
From: David Friel <>
Subject: one more question

Due to my AWOL from Chalkhills for so long I also missed why Dave is no
longer part of the band.  Would someone mind filling me in on that as well?
BTW, I'm thoroughly enjoying all the "hair pulling" matches on Chalkhills
these days, especially the ones involving David Oh, who I thought did a
brilliant job of defending himself.

Amanda, I appreciate you dedicating your Hotmail email address to me.  I'm
eternally flattered, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to categorize me
as a "god"...I appreciate the thought, however.

Whose idea was it to have the Bay Area Chalkhills gathering in Sunnyvale?
I'd love to meet other Bay Area Chalkhillians, buy why Sunnyvale?  I fucking
hate the peninsula!  It's so sterile and whitebread, I almost feel like I'm
back in Ohio when I drive down 101.  Can't we have a gathering in San

- Dave in San Francisco


From: "Wesley Hanks" <>
Subject: You lucky, lucky b*st*rd
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 18:06:51 -0800
Message-ID: <000001be3f62$8d1597a0$a91c1d26@wes>

Molly, avert your eyes,
Ok, fess up. Who was the lucky bidder on the pre-release, advance copy of
AV1 on cassette, complete with title error today on e-bay! I think the
winning bid was about $26.

"Smithers, who was that corpse?"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 21:33:27 EST
Subject: REM defense, XTC content

in Chalk #57:

>REM w/o Bill Berry
Ah, good riddance. Pity they didn't ALL leave. God almighty, when are
people going to realise that REM are the most ORDINARY band in the
world? Anyway, Berry was only the drummer for god's sake ... and he's
certainly no Terry Chambers ...
>REM might be a bad example as they started to suck long before Berry
Oh, good call! What? you mean there was a time when they *didn't* suck??
Christ, the only way this band could get any duller is if Tony Bennett
Oh, and Stipey, if yo're reading this - for crissakes lose tha bloody
eye makeup OK? It's not "rock" - it's STUPID and you look like a dick!

My question...why the nastiness?  We all know very well by now that we have
likes and dislikes...maybe you should keep your comments about bands or acts
other than XTC to private e-mails or better yet, to yourself.

XTC:  Does anyone think I have a legitimate chance of finding the Japanese
import in my local privately owned CD store, or should I break down and
"order" it?  I most certainly (despite Molly's disappointment) will buy the
import if I do indeed get bonus tracks (or for that matter a recording of
Andy's answering machine message).  I admit I have not splurged for a lot of
imports in the past out of lack of interest, but for some reason I find myself
very much interested in this import.  :-)



Message-ID: <>
From: "Bob Crain" <>
Subject: In Defense Of One David
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 18:51:46 PST

                                       niarC boB-

                                .nuf dlrow 'nikcor
      siht peek uoy hO divaD 'ninkcor peek ,yawynA
       ?gniht elyts a tsuj ti si ro ,"s" naht epyt
        ot reisae "z" si yhw ,si rednow I tahw tuB
     .tniop eht ot dna ysae era snosirapmoc ecnirP
 eht ,esruoc fO  .elpoep ynam os ffo ssip ot thgir
     gnihtemos gniod eb tsum eh ,sdradnats emos yB
!hO divaD ta demia ffuts yrotagored hcum oS  !aohW

                                ,seinooreklahC yeH


Message-Id: <v01540b0bb2c30ab96cd5@[]>
Subject: Temporary Adieu
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 15:45:28 +1300
From: (James Dignan)

Well, I'm off for a couple of weeks of fairly well earned R&R... which
means I've got to temporarily unsub again. Be good while I'm gone, don't
start too many flame wars - or threads that I'd want to comment on! Have
fun and I'll be back around the beginning of February.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: "I don't want to brag, but ..."
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 20:28:19 PST

Dear Amanda, Mark and other Chalkhillian mega-gloaters.

OK - you are all lucky bastards. You get to talk to Andy, and Dave and
get advanced copies of the new album, bla bla bla. Cool.

So why be hypocrites and prefix your posting with lines like that old
favourite "I know I shouldn't gloat, but ..."? You're *not* sorry! You
aren't really ashamed of skiting about it, are you?

No, I thought not. Don't think you can fool us. So dispense with the
niceties in future. Apologising for being in the 'in-crowd' just rubs
more salt into the wounds. Out yourslves as the priveleged swine you
really are. Go ahead and gloat. See if I care .... sob ... splutter ...
I don't care if Andy IS your best friend ... sniff ... choke ... I'm
taking my bat and ball and I'm going home ...

[ totally off track - for any Aussie Chalkies  - SBS, Saturday night,
7.30 pm; the next instalment of the Classic Albums series, Stevie
Wonder's "Songs In The Key Of Life". DON'T miss it.]

And did anyone see Stevie at the Grammy press conference the other day?
Hilarious - he got onto the podium and said:

"I was going to announce this in 2000, but now seems like the right time
.... this whole blind thing is a gimmick - I can really see."

Hilarious - the whole press conference erupted in laughter. What a



Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 23:37:32 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007809b2c2dc0bbe7e@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: me too!

Hi Chalkhillbillies,

I too would not like to be seen as gloating or boasting but I was lucky
enough to get an advanced cd of Apple Venus also (guess who sent it? ;-)
). Sooooooo brilliant!

For those of you with a jonesing for Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach live
I'd suggest looking for a video in your local Tower or Virgin Megastore
which is a full length (two hour) version of the live show they taped for
Sessions at West 54th Street. A one hour version was broadcast but you must
see the whole thing to be *completely* blown away. I was at the taping and
if you know what I look like you can spot me in the first row next to the
violin session just like Waldo.


p.s. Dave G told me he was trying to write songs of his own too. Not only
that but he's already busy at work on the followup to Remoulds which is
going to be a double album of progressive rock from '70-'72 to be called
"21st Century Dinosaur Egg". Yesterday he was busy trying to program a Phil
Collins 23 minute long drum track from a whole side of an early Genesis
album! He feels the same way we all do about Phil. Great drummer, grating


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 23:55:24 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: Re: Just about all I can take...!

it seemz 2 me that i've gotten up a few people'z nozez with my posts. hmmm...
it also seemz 2 me that sum r only concerned with style & not content.
double hmmm...

methinkz that thoze who r more concerned with the style of posts, any
posts, r really in the wrong discussion group. i believe that 4 most _real_
xtc fanz, that they luv the band 4 their content, not their style. or even
their lack thereof. if style over content really iz yer concern, might i
suggest that u find another discussion group... pill collinz, perhaps?

i hearby declare that from this day 4ward, i will _not_ be changing my
"style". if u don't like my "style", fine, use the damned page down key. i
really don't give a fuck! i do, however, feel that the content of me posts
have been more on topic than thoze who r throwing stonez. i am _not_
"trying 2 b clever", this iz the way i prefer 2 type & i won't b changing
it anytime soon, ok?

>Subject: chalkhillz grammar
>I second that emotion
pleeze see my response to dave about my alleged grammar problem in ch #5-57...

>Subject: Just about all I can take...!
>Enough bickering and name-calling already!!
>And while I'm at it, STOP PICKING ON DAVIDOH.
yeah, stop picking on me or i'll hafta tell me mum!

>>(PPS. David Oh, I see you've used up your quota of the letter Z for '99.)
no, i haven't used up me quota of the letter z. i'm not even close yet...

>In case you didn't read several digests ago, Davidoh is missing several
>digits and is thus hindered from typing in the manner that you all would
>like him to, so give it a rest already!
confession time: the above iz not true, i'm only missing partz of sum. ;-)

>If we were in English class here, I could go through any given Chalkhills
with >my red pen and most of you would get about a C+, but here's some news
yeah, again, see my commentz above about style over content...

>>Subject: Pleazzz, give us a break!
>Dave - thanks! It needed to be said, and you said it well. Letz hope he
>getz the mezzage. For the time being Davidoh can wear the special new
>version of the Colonel C*** hat that I have made, featuring pictures of
>Phil Collins and Mark Knopfler.
i usually wear a size 8... :-)

>>WARNING:  Denigrating Elvis Presley --THE KING--
>>especially on his birthday, will be hazardous to your health!
yeah, u'll end up being found dead sitting on the toilet!

>>I've been AWOL from Chalkhills for many months. [snip]
>>Please fill me in on these questions and any other answers to the
>>universe I may have missed.  Many thanks.
>OK here it is in a nutshell:
>- Apple Venus Vol. I is due sometime this century ... maybe
>- Dave's left the group, but he'll be on the album
>- there WILL be life after Dave
>- Phil Collins is a wanker
i couldn'ta summed it up any better!

peace, brotherz & sisterz, peace!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 22:13:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Iain Murray <>
Subject: The Very Model Of A Newsgroup Personality

Penzance thing) :

I am the very model of a Newsgroup personality
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality
Addresses I have plenty of, both genuine & ghosted too
On all the countless newsgroups that my drivel is cross-posted to
Your bandwidth I will fritter with my whining and my snivelling
And you're the one who pays the bill, downloading all my drivelling
My enemies are numerous, and no-one would be blaming you
For cracking my head open after I've been rudely flaming you

I hate to lose an argument, although I should be used to it
I wouldn't know a valid point if I was introduced to it
My learning is extensive but consists of mindless trivia
Designed to fan my ego, which is larger than Bolivia
The comments that I vomit forth, disguised as jest and drollery
Are really just an exercise in unremitting trollery
I say I'm frank and forthright, but that's merely lies and vanity
The gibberings of one who's at the limits of his sanity

If only I could get a life, as many people tell me to
If only you could find a circus freakshow you could sell me to
If I go off to Zanzibar to paint the local scenery
If I lose all my fingers in a mishap with machinery
If I survive to thirty, which is somewhat problematical
If what I post was more mature, or slightly more grammatical
If I could learn to spell a bit, and maybe even punctuate
Would I still be the loathsome and objectionable punk you hate?

But while I have this tiresome urge to prance around and show my face
It simply isn't safe for normal people here in Cyberspace
To stick me in Ol' Sparky and turn on the electricity
Would be a fitting punishment for my egocentricity
I always have the last word, so with uttermost finality
That's all from me, the model of a Newsgroup personality.


"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom,
wisdom is not truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not
love, love is not music. Music is the best." - Frank Zappa


Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Jan 1999 10:59:00 0000
From: "Robert  Wood" <>
Organization: Mutech
Subject: Read more Carefully?

Marie said in 5-57

>> In case you didn't read several digests ago, Davidoh is missing several
digits and is thus hindered from typing in the manner that you all would
like him to, so give it a rest already!  If we were in English class here, I
could go through any given Chalkhills with my red pen and most of you
would get about a C+, but here's some news for you--WE'RE NOT IN
ENGLISH CLASS.  Could we all perhaps find a little more kindness and
acceptance and bring that to Chalkhills instead of all the negativity and
vitriol? <<

Yeah right. And in another digest he said he was a guitarist... And I have
this vague recollection he once said he was a drummer. Pretty good going for
a dude with only a couple of fingers. Maybe what's nearer the truth is he's
someone who posts annoying messages that most of us no longer read 'cos
they're so tiresome...

I'm another member of the David Oh, oh, oh,  *please* stop it page down


Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 14:13:28 +0100 (MET)
From: Martin van Rappard <>
Subject: No XTC content! - Pixies boots
Message-ID: <>

Given that there are a fair number of Pixies fans on this list, this
seemed interesting enough:

I recently bought three vinyl Pixies boots at a fair, and will probably
transfer them to CD-R in the near future. If anyone is interested in copies,
let me know - if there's enough interest I might have it done professionally
by a friend.
The shows are:
Crystal Palace Bowl UK - 6/8/1991 (Death To The Pixies)
Hamburg - 9/8/1990 (Le Mouria)
Hamburg - 6/24/1989 (Leviation Time)

For further details you can check




Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 13:59:16 +0000
From: JP Nicholls <>
Organization: It came off in my hand, Mum!
Subject: Apple Venus review

I've just re-subscribed after a year off from Chalkhills. But I
did visit the White Horse a few times in the summer...

My re-subscription has been prompted by getting hold of an
advance copy of "Apple Venus". My attempt at a review follows,
but this more a review of the album in context of Swindon,
January 1999 than a detailed deconstruction of the tracks. I'll
leave that to those more used to such prose...

Track listing:

1.  River of Orchids
2.  I'd Like That
3.  Easter Theatre
4.  Knights in Shining Karma
5.  Frivolous Tonight
6.  Greenman
7.  Your Dictionary
8.  Fruit Nut
9.  I Can't Own Her
10. Harvest Festival
11. The Last Balloon

This is the best XTC album since Drums and Wires.

As a white middle-class 30-something engineer living and working
in the UK today I feel that there is pre-millenial sense of
hopelessness in my society. We all seem hollow. We all seem lost
in a distressed and diseased technological world whose boundaries
seems constantly accelerating beyond our reach, and whose
spirituality has disappeared inside a blinding light of
scientific reasoning and materialistic philosphy, not helped by
distant and dictatorial churches whose anachronistic message is
utterly irrelevant. There is a sense of needing to re-assess the
things that are meaningful to us, to consider Mother Earth, to
look back at older faiths. To reflect upon what we have lost and
try to re-attain it. It's not "New Age" - that implies a
wishy-washy acceptance of something as irrelevant as that which
we are desperate to escape. It's some sort of "New Reasoning".
All we have is questions, we have no answers.

This album perfectly captures that zeitgeist. This is not a
concept album, but there is a strong thread of "New Reasoning".
It can be felt from the opening "River of Orchids" (a proactive
counterpoint to "Roads Girdle the Globe"), through to the pagan
echoes of "Harvest Festival" where Andy recalls his school
assemblies, and as an adult is able to see how strongly this
simple, supposedly Christian festival directly connects to the
primitive rituals which gave thanks to an unspecified power for a
bountiful harvest. It is most obvious in "Greenman", where Andy
firmly nails his ribbon to the pagan maypole.

Musically, this is for me a typical XTC album in the best
possible way. There are rarely easy hooks to XTC's music, every
song seems to push out the bounds of songwriting and requires
several takes to fully absorb. This album continues that
tradition, except this time you will quickly find yourself
singing the tracks on the way home from the pub.

I also get a feeling that behind this album a completely
different impetus than any previous release. It is no longer
"Virgin contractual obligation", it is "Look at what we can DO!".

The orchestration on the album is outstanding. It not obtrusive
(as is often the case when an artist discovers the "Strings" key
on the synth), and beautifully captures the emotions in the
songs. I can't listen to the hopeful, poignant fade out to the
"The Last Balloon" without the hairs standing on the back of my

This album is long overdue. In the last few years there have been
many bands laying claim to "Britpop"s crown, as if they are
somehow carrying a banner for British Pop Music. But they are all
looking backwards, treading water. XTC stand on the shoulders of
the same 60s giants as the young pretenders, but they are not
revelling in the past. They are moving forwards, building on this
island's musical history to create something vibrant and new.

As a long-time fan I love this album, but if I had just heard of
them this week I would be logging on to Lycos and typing in
"XTC". The West Country farmers are back, and the crops will not

JP Nicholls    /
"Someone take these dreams away"


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: Molly Molly Molly......
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 06:11:12 PST

Quick slight note on XTC-They got a nice little mention on the official
Paula Cole website. Seems it was whilst listening to them that she was
inspired to write "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?", hoping to model
after the sarcastic sound of their lyrics.

J. D Mack wrote:

>Amanda wrote to Molly:
><<Oh dear. You're setting yourself up. I'm going to give you some advice
>it took me a long time to start following: choose your words carefully
>on Chalkhills, or your butt will be flamed so bad you'll have to find a
>new way to take a shit. (No offense meant, take it from the voice of
>Does the word "foreigner" ring a bell (hee hee hee)?
>J. D. Mack
>(who has watched the maturation of Amanda with detached amusement over the

Uhhhh.....thanks. I think.

AMANDA Jr. said:

>I hate people like you who say things like that.

Temper temper.......

>I'm not a millionaire, like some of you
>think you are.

Presuming a little too much, don't you think, medear?

>I just don't really understand how can anybody afford
>things with bills and stuff like that.


>Or are most of you people that
>life at home with their parents and don't have to bother with bills.


>understand this is a forum for people to talk about XTC, but do you
>really have to remind us who can't afford things like the different
>versions of AV?

As a matter of fact, YES. You said it yourself, this is a forum about
XTC, which means we can discuss them in any facet/manner we wish.

>I'm really getting sick of it.

Ummmm.....I guess you've never heard of the PAGE DOWN key. If you ever
find it, put it to use.

>I joined this list to
>talk about XTC, and not to bost about what version of AV I got or how
>many copies of TB I bought.

That's funny, I've been on this list for almost three years, and I have
yet to see one person "boast" about anything. (BTW, does your computer
have a spell checker?) I for one am very proud and delighted when I get
my hands on something XTC-related, and my first inclination is always to
post to the list and give my opinion on it. But until you see someone
posting something to the effect of "I got this and you don't, nyah nyah
nyah", then don't say anything about boasting.

>I mainly came to talk about the band, and
>how I appreciate it.

And you can go right ahead and do so, but for God's sake stop talking to
us like we're three-year olds!

>But this is my own opinion, and I like you guys
>have every right to voice it.


Sorry Molly, but your pompous pontificating of late has been getting a
tad annoying!

Tis all for now,
Amanda C. Owens
"People will always be tempted to wipe their feet on anything with
welcome written on it."-Andy Partridge
XTC song of the day-Traffic Light Rock
non XTC song-Edubae-Enya


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 06:35:56 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: A response to a very old post...

Someone, a long long time ago wrote about modern music
being like a form of contemporary poetry and had actually
been at a loss to name any real contemporary female poets
who weren't musicians... I thought of this poem and this writer
but was too lazy to search for it until now... but here it
is and I hope you all enjoy it, because it is cool:

Siren Song: (by Margaret Atwood)

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

With these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing with
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time

.................> I hope you've enjoyed my absolutely non-XTC content.


Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 09:36:35 -0600 (CST)
From: vince <>
Subject: Andy and Colin in Stereo Review's Sound&Vision
Message-ID: <>

Just got the first issue of Stereo Review's Sound&Vision
magazine(used to be Video Magazine). They have a new
feature where they have a band review speakers using
their own cds. In this case, it's Andy and Colin and
a copy of Apple Venus V1.

There is also a review of the new album(4 stars).
I wouldn't buy the mag just for the article but
if you're a video/audiophile, it's worth a



Message-ID: <00c401be3fd4$c1250cc0$685791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Made in Japan LE APPLE VENUS
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 00:43:34 +0900

Dear Friends ,

Would you believe that after all the trouble I have gone through to procure
these soon to be collector's items , that there are folks out there in
Chalkland who say I am asking too much money ( $ 40 ) ? Unappreciative gits
all ! I AIN'T in this for the money honey ! Just tryin to help out fellow
fans in ecstasy .

As mentioned in a previous message , I ordered an extra 10 copies , and
these are not spoken for as yet . AS AN ADDED INCENTIVE , I will include a
tape of AV demos ; or Andy's or Terry's October 1998 interview with each
order .

Call me crazy ... CRAZY about XTC .

John In Sushiland


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 11:09:08 -0500
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Sno 'nuff stuff


Sorry some of these replies are a bit late (and for the length of this
post), but Chalkhills has been showing up late in my box lately (and
you know how painful _that_ can be). Jahnny, are ye trying to tell me

Of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Agent Jason said:
>Simply funniest show i've ever seen.  The 'Little Donny' episode is a

Those bastards. I couldn't get the song out of my head for a week, and
people at work tend to look at you funny when you walk around singing,
"Enormous penis..."

Of course, after I post to the list about UCB, hoping to gain
converts, Comedy Central runs an extra South Park in its place this
week. Now _that's_ what I call a sticky situation...

Lots of people have written about Dave G's departure and its effect on
the future of the band, but IMO Aaron Pastula...
>That sucks, but it could be the start of an amazing new time in their
musical development that we could never have imagined with Dave on

and Duncan Kimball...
>Partsy isn't exactly unskilled, he's had plenty of time down the shed
practicing ... and I
personally really love with his angular guitar style.<

...said it best. Listen to Andy's lead on "Dance Band" on disk 3 of TB
-- it's fucking great, and that was more than 20 years ago. Or listen
to the brilliant lead on "Church of Women" on the AV demos, which Andy
admits was pure, throwaway "heavy metal noodling." I'd like to be able
to noodle like that. He's a brilliant guitarist, pure and simple, who
can combine the melodic and dissonant like few others I've heard, and
I personally welcome a future where I'll really be able to know
exactly what he's capable of because he'll be laying down all the
guitar tracks (that's right, no guest guitarists if I have my way).

To those who have talked about Gregsy's influence on Andy, consider
this: Given the fact that Dave admittedly has chaffed all this time
under Andy's influence and rigorous specs about what parts he should
play on Andy's songs, mightn't it be the other way around (Andy
influencing Dave)? Of course, each has influenced the other. Besides,
mightn't this new freedom from Andy open a whole new glorious chapter
in Dave's musical career? That's a good thing, right?

Before you get out the flamethrower, read this: I'm not putting down
or discounting Dave's contribution to the band. I think he's a
stunning musician, and XTC will be decidedly different without him in
it. But different can be good. I think most of us on this list make an
effort to stay away from musicians who don't change, and sometimes
change involves parting ways with long-time musical partners.

Speaking of Dave, tell us more, Amanda. Stop torturing us this way,
and start following the Mitch Friedman model of full disclosure of all
band-member encounters. (Speaking of which, Mitch -- which Mitch?
There's only one, after all -- you've been strangely silent lately.
Any news from the front?)

Though the LPs vs. CDs dead horse has -- of late and of long ago --
been beaten to a barely visible smudge on the road, I haven't seen
this mentioned, so here goes: One relatively low-cost way of improving
the sound quality of CDs is to add a digital-to-analog (D/A) converter
to your stereo setup. I say relatively low cost because you'll still
drop $300-$400 (and easily more if you want) for the unit and a
high-end coaxial cable, but I've found that it does make a noticeable
difference on some CDs, spreading out the sound and making it warmer.

To which Molly would no doubt say:
>I hate people like you who say things like that.<

Why, Molly! I'm surprised at you. I usually like _your_ posts very
much. Most of the time I think they're very funny.

>But this is my own opinion, and I like you guys have every right to
voice it.<

That you do, dearie. But before you voice it, may I suggest that you
re-read what you've written, looking for typos, internal
contradictions, sweeping generalizations, faulty logic and other
little things like that? After all, if you're going to hurl stones,
don't be surprised if people start pointing out the vulnerability of
your own glass house and taking advantage of it.

Speaking of complainers, Marie Davis said:
>I'm a year-long subscriber, first-time poster.<

So, you don't contribute to the list, but...
>I've had it up to my eyeballs and must say something.   I got
on this list to learn about what the band are up to.  Since I've been
subscribing, I've gotten about 5% actual interesting band info, and
95% petty crap.  I'm adding my name to the list of people who want a
news-only XTC newsletter.  Enough bickering and name-calling

Well, thanks for adding to the interesting band info with your post.
Oh, and by the way,
>Davidoh is missing several digits and is thus hindered from typing in
the manner that you all would like him to, so give it a rest already!<

Um, you've been had. As far as I can tell, our pal Dave is fully
digitized and is merely being precious. After all, what's the
difference between typing an "s" and a "z"? About 1 cm of movement? As
far as what I think of his style, Dom's already said it all.

>It's gotten to the point where I see Chalkhills come up on my e-mail
and I absolutely dread it because I know I've got to scroll through a
ton of garbage to maybe find that one morsel of interesting

Kid, swallow but believe us, you won't die of boredom, should you have
to leave us, it'll be
alright ... This is your life and you do what you want to do. Just
don't slam your door on the way out, 'nkay?

Great post about the life-cycle of mailing lists, Catherine P. I'm
hoping we can maintain stage 6.2, though the waters do tend to get a
bit choppy now and then.

Duncan Watt posited:
>Yeah, Ben, I thought the new Sheryl Crow song *was* Aimee Mann...but
they each used Jon Brion at one time, maybe that's it.<

Lucky Jon, eh? A talented musician, _and_ he gets to be used by them
at one time!

Jealous of all those who have heard AV (and of Jon Brion),


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-59

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