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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-63


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 63

                 Tuesday, 19 January 1999

Today's Topics:

               Re: Molly Molly Molly......
                   The Cautious Apostle
                    Re: A wakeup call
                       Another one
                       Paper & Iron
                   The Countdown Starts
           you'd be the sunshine of my life...
               Re: Apple Venus release date
                     Two Questions...
                  Re: Cooking Mouse Pads
                   Re: Cooking on Vinyl
               Re: One word to Apple Venus
                        Chameleons
          Re; Digestive biscuits #5-58 (crunchy)
                   Re: This World Over
                  Mike Keneally and XTC
                          Gold.
                  Sucking and blolwing.
      Why XTC are better than REM/ Transistor Blast
                 NO JAPANESE LTD. EDITION
                    Mummer vs. Murmur
                    message from Andy
                     Top of the Pops
               chalkhiller inside Anyware?

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Push your car from the road.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <3459ebd4.36a28ba0@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 20:17:20 EST
Subject: Re: Molly Molly Molly......

>From: "Amanda Owens" <daveizgod@hotmail.com>
>
>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.

  Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if she stole it from one of my
songs, "In This Life," the intro of which was used in a public service
announcement for medical ID bracelets on the CBC radio all across
Canada. Unfortunately, it was just the instrumental opening, so there
was oppurtunity for personal promotion. It was heard by millions of
people, though. The point is, "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" uses
the same chord changes in the bridge section(you know, yimme yi, yimme
yo, etc.)as the intro to my song. But that's OK, mine in turn
resembles the fadeout on The The's "Uncertain Smile," which I'm not
sure I'd even heard when I wrote the song.

Chris       0bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb.////////////////////////h(Sorry- kitten
jumped on the keyboard!)

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36A2650C.AC69EABE@erols.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 22:32:44 +0000
From: "Neal H. Buck" <nealhbuck@erols.com>
Subject: The Cautious Apostle

Cheers Chalks!

A couple of weeks ago, listening to my local alterna-rock station (WHFS
in Balt/Wash DC), I heard a short clip of Andy & Colin saying hello to
the morning guy, Lou (Lew?) Brutus. I know there is a radio term for
this, but I'm not in radio. Anyway, after the clip, Lou gave a plug for
TB, calling XTC one of the most underrated bands around. However, he
didn't mention AV at all. I would have thought he would know about it,
especially since TVT distributes both albums. I was tempted to call up
and spread the news about the "new XTC album," but I thought that there
might be some sort of marketing strategy at work here. Don't play the
trump card to early - build up recognition and interest with TB, then
finesse with AV.

So that got me to wondering - Is there a correct way to proselytize an
album? Apparently, there ARE people on the list who ARE in radio/media,
so any suggestions to us well-meaning neophytes on the do's and don'ts?
Obviously, going out and buying a copy (or ten) of AV would be number
one on the DO list. And sending a letter to the radio station saying.
"You fuckin' assholes better fuckin' play this fuckin' great album by
fuckin' great XTC, or I'll hunt you down and wring your fuckin' necks!"
is probably high on the DON'T list. Apart from that, it's up to you.

BTW, I'm planning a trip to London in mid-March, and would love to meet
some of you native Chalkers. I'll be staying near the Marble Arch. Maybe
a tour of Swindon would be in order. Maybe Andy would be home, who
knows? If you're interested, you know my address.^

Neal

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36A29D7D.4791@bhip.infi.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 22:33:42 -0400
From: Brian <mattone@bhip.infi.net>
Subject: Re: A wakeup call

Tschalkgerz!

>Picture this:
A world-weary old dog.
Bored and mean.
Chained down outside.
Running in circles.  Chasing its tail.  Which is bloody, frayed, and
half-chewed off.<

Yeah, although the visual metaphor is different from mine (which
involves Mr. Boredom turning into Mr. Cranky), I've gotten the same
vibe. Just wait until the new album comes out, it'll all change.

--
 BRIAN THOMAS MATTHEWS
* Digital & traditional illustration/animation
* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire
SAPRINGER CENTRAL ~ http://www.angelfire.com/fl/sapringer
mailto:mattone@bhip.infi.net

------------------------------

Message-ID: <19990118034721.13557.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Bill Davups" <schtorposk@hotmail.com>
Subject: Another one
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 19:47:21 PST

"Papersnow" demo in MP3 form:

http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Pavilion/9209

Any questions about MP3 files can be answered at http://www.mp3.com

Enjoy!

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199901180441.XAA24622@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
Subject: Paper & Iron
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 99 23:41:56 -0500
From: Constantine Pappas <locp@clark.net>

The Fruit Nut is ready for cracking, the Green Man has been sitting on
the window sill for some time now and is nearly ripe, the orchids are
a-blooming, the Dictionary is ready for printing, the Apple of my Venus
is nigh and I'll be damned if I can't own her.

What I propose is this (with all due respect and sympathy to Molly
Fanton's pecuniary situation):

If possible, everyone on the list should try to buy two (or more) copies
of AV-1 right when it comes out.  Give the extra to a friend.  Let's see
just how high we can get the band on the Billboard charts.  The higher
the better, like a really high thing, say a sunflower.

NON XTC:  I bought Todd Runt's "Nearly Human" album years ago, right when
it came out.  It was hailed as a masterpiece, and every critic went gaga
for it.  Anyhow, I still have it and put on the CD every year or so to
see why people like it so much.  I just don't get it.  I know taste is
subjective, etc... , but usually I can appreciate something of such
reputed quality, even if I don't fancy it.  Will someone please tell me
what I'm missing?  Thanks.

"Like, zoinks, Scoob, like here comes that creepy phantom ghost." - Shaggy

------------------------------

Message-ID: <19990118061547.9356.rocketmail@web303.yahoomail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 22:15:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Matt Smith <eleu_pikake@yahoo.com>
Subject: The Countdown Starts

Ladies and gentlemen, raise your glasses:
For those of us in the U.S. it's only 30 more days until the release
of AV vol. 1. I,for one, cannot wait. Yippee!

meps

song of the day: Crazy - Afghan Whigs

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 17:40:56 +0000
From: Sebastien Maury <MAURY.SEBASTIEN@a2.abc.net.au>
Subject: you'd be the sunshine of my life...
Message-Id: <E1031ITC3TQ4H*/R=A1/R=ABCNET/U=MAURYS6G/@MHS>

Dunks, don't do this to me. It's not bad enough that I had to miss it
through sheer stupidity, but that now I have to read about it in
Chalkhills...I got a bit carried away on Saturday night...did any Aussie
Chalkie tape this splendid Stevie Wonder special on SBS? Anyone? Perhaps you
could let me know privately...
In someone's eternal debt,
Seb.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36A2DBA7.B7272FE3@vistar.ca>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 01:58:47 -0500
From: Michael Roden <mroden@vistar.ca>
Subject: Re: Apple Venus release date

Hi Chalkhillerz,

Wesley Hanks reported:

> The Toronto Sun, January 15, 1999

> MARCH 2: XTC, Apple Venus Volume One;

The Billboard website http://www.billboard.com lists Feb. 16
as the release date for _Apple Venus_ (in the US).

The March 2 release date in Canada makes sense, since release
dates in the Canadian market commonly occur 2 weeks after the
US release (sadly).

I may have to order my copy on-line to get it sooner than
March 2. I haven't heard the demos, so I'm really anxious to
hear the new album.

Cheerio,

Michael

------------------------------

From: ERA1970@aol.com
Message-ID: <78a37394.36a2ec52@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 03:09:54 EST
Subject: Two Questions...

I am interested in acquiring copies of Bull with the Golden guts and Jules
Verne's Sketchbook.  However, I have nothing that I feel would be of value
to trade.  Can someone e-mail me privately about acquiring a copy of either
of these (it doesn't have to be a 1st generation copy, as long as I can make
the songs out)?
Also, does anybody else agree that the Homo Safari series should be released
by Cooking Vinyl as a complete set?

Chris W.

"Music is the Best"
--F. Zappa

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 05:05:47 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <Cooking_Vinyl@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Cooking Mouse Pads
Message-ID: <199901180505_MC2-66FD-ADCA@compuserve.com>

Message text written by INTERNET:<chalkhills@chalkhills.org>
>Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 06:20:15 -0500

>Yo Cooking Vinyl!
>
>Since you are obviously monitoring this List maybe you could come up
>with some kind of a cool Chalkhills only XTC offer for the fans here.
>We really are the biggest supporters of this band. A chalkhills only
>Special Numbered Limited Edition Vinyl version of AV1? Or a cool print
>or poster? Mouse pads? Key Chains? XTC Rubber ducks? Something?
>Anything!

Of course we have - if you join the Cooking Vinyl club #10 then it is
#11.50.  We had some signed copies of Transistor Blast  for a competition.
But we will take note of your suggestion and come up with some more.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 05:06:07 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <Cooking_Vinyl@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Cooking on Vinyl
Message-ID: <199901180506_MC2-66FD-ADDA@compuserve.com>

Message text written by INTERNET:<chalkhills@chalkhills.org>
>To Cooking Vinyl (and TVT).....
>
>We want Apple Venus on vinyl! Come on! I'll buy 10! Just picture this...

how many minidiscs will you buy?

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 05:06:05 -0500
From: Cooking Vinyl <Cooking_Vinyl@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: One word to Apple Venus
Message-ID: <199901180506_MC2-66FD-ADD9@compuserve.com>

Message text written by INTERNET:<chalkhills@chalkhills.org>
>>>One word to Apple Venus:
>>How come a label called Cooking Vinyl doesn't release an album which
>>is supposedly of such an aural complexity on vinyl ?
>
>I've never understood this either. If I have two criticisms of
>Cooking Vinyl then they are these:
>
>(1) Why the name, when almost _nothing_ they do is released on vinyl?
>(2) Why so few singles?
>
>I suspect the answer is simply cost. CDs cost less to produce and
>can typically be sold for more. The days of the CD version including
>a bonus track are pretty much gone - it's not unknown now for the
>_vinyl_ version to include bonus tracks.

"We can't Cook and we don't sell vinl"-Official motto 1999

Seriously- vinyl as a format has been superceeded - we tried to keep it
going but couldn't sell enough except on big releases to avoid losing
money-
the good news is that AV1 is a big release and we will do it on vinyl! - UK
release date Feb 23rd - more info from mailorder@cookingvinyl.demon.co.uk

Singles are a very expensive marketing tool (#30,000 to #100,000 a go) for
major record companies aimed at radio 1.  We only do them if radio 1 (top
40 radio/chr for not brits) - is interested otherwise we try to find other
ways to promote our artists.

------------------------------

From: "Andy" <Plysadh@nottingham.ac.uk>
Organization: The University of Nottingham
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 10:39:54 GMT0BST
Subject: Chameleons
Message-Id: <E102C8Q-0001up-00@nottingham.ac.uk>

Nice to see a mention of another of the best bands ever, nice one
Ian, is there a Chameleons mailing list or anything?
Andy

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 12:27:33 +0000 (GMT)
From: Chris Clee <cmc@sanger.ac.uk>
Subject: Re; Digestive biscuits #5-58 (crunchy)
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.00.9901181222290.13215-100000@piranha>

Phil said

>Collecting CDs is an expensive business. I have lost count of how

>many I have (it's over 1000), but then again I drive around in a 10
>year old Austin Maestro (made almost entirely of rust), because I
>can't justify the expense of a new car,

Me too and I'm about to trade it in for a newish Skoda   hehe lets face it
cars are a ripoff, gotta keep that vinyl/cd collection happy

chill out molly..........lifes too short to get so wound up about
marketing strategy,

ttfn

chris

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 13:06:09 +0000 (GMT)
From: Chris Clee <cmc@sanger.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: This World Over
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.00.9901181257570.13215-100000@piranha>

> Lady Cornelia, High Priestess of the Church of Dave said:
>
> > Talked to Dave again a few nights ago, and he said that yes
> > indeed, the Transistor Blast version of This World Over is the
> > same one from The Big Express.
>
> WOW! I think we better keep this to ourselves a bit... if Virgin
> finds out they'll sue our Heroes to hell !
>
> Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse

sorry to pipe up again on this but sorry amanda they are not the same,
possibly a remix but deinately not the same......they would sound very
simillar simply because (i assume) the Lin was programmed already so the
drums should be identical, however i've listened to the original vinyl and
the new TB versions side by side and even my wife Sarah agrees that the
new version is different,

i stand by my original statement that it's different.........

ttfn

chris

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36A33274.CA77FF0B@post.bsnet.com.br>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 11:09:08 -0200
From: "Alexandre de Alcbntara Ferraz" <alexandre.ferraz@lead.bsnet.com.br>
Subject: Mike Keneally and XTC

Hello again , Chalkers !

       I thought you would like to know what Mike Keneally said in his
mailing list about the possibility of joining XTC :

Not that I think there's any specific danger of my being asked to join XTC
(and if I were I would have some soul-searching to do, seeing as how Dave is
a dear friend), but if I were asked, and if I decided to do it, I don't
think anyone would have to worry about BFD falling by the wayside,
considering that XTC makes albums once every five years and tours once every
never.

MK

      In case you don't know, BFD is the name of his great band Beer For
Dolphins. Most of the Keneally fans thought that by joining XTC, Mike would
end his solo career. I personally think that Mike would fit perfectly in the
band. Does anybody have different opinions on this subject ?

Rogerio
Brazil

------------------------------

Message-ID: <000018D0@print-server.mutech.co.uk.mutech.co.uk>
Date: 18 Jan 1999 13:57:00 0000
From: "Robert  Wood" <Robert.Wood@mutech.co.uk>
Organization: Mutech
Subject: Gold.

Brent said in 5-60

>> Just purchased the Gold Ultradisc of Skylarking, thinking I would get
some sound improvement, and the damn album sounds as shitty as Geffen's!
And I understand that these CD's are only as good as the master tapes were,
but the album HAD to sound better than this.  Is anyone who has this version
as disappointed as I am? <<

Problem is Brent, that the information stored on CDs is just a stream of
ones and zeros. As Duncan's surprisingly well written, but terribly flawed
Web site argument explains, there's no mechanical or analogue involvement in
getting the information off the CD's surface. So unless the "normal" CD has
lots of damage and the error correction circuitry of the CD is working
overtime, what the CD reads from the gold disk is going to be exactly the
same as the normal CD. i.e. lots of numbers that are turned into voltages.
Whether the CD is made of gold, platinum or Cadbury's Dairy Milk, the
numbers that are read will always be the same. The only way to make these
numbers sound any better would be to buy a CD player with better A/Ds or
better analogue circuitry. However, it'll still sound like a bag of shite.
There's a saying in the audio industry, "you can't polish a turd".

You are a victim of the marketing man. (Actually *anyone* who buys a CD is a
victim of the marketing man, but you're a double victim.) Ask for your money
back!

------------------------------

Message-ID: <000018CE@print-server.mutech.co.uk.mutech.co.uk>
Date: 18 Jan 1999 13:47:00 0000
From: "Robert  Wood" <Robert.Wood@mutech.co.uk>
Organization: Mutech
Subject: Sucking and blolwing.

>From a confused Englishman...

Dave in San Francisco was saying how REM blows...

I've come across this something "blows" thing a few times recently, not
least on Friends. From context I guess it means that something sucks? Where
did this bizarre turnaround come from?

I live in Manchester and there's a big black community that lives in an area
called Mosside. A few years ago, they were known to go into Maplin (a kind
of more techy Radio Shack for the Americans' reference) and ask for "those
really bad big bass drivers to put in our wardrobe doors". They used to use
the word "bad" to mean something was really good. And yes, they used to buy
these huge, nob off bass drivers to stick in their wardrobes to get some
outrageous bass sounds!

English, a living and breathing language, that no doubt confuses the fuck
out of non English speakers!

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 14:11:13 -0000
From: "James  " <terbaxter@eudoramail.com>
Message-ID: <HIMOMGMOMDHDAAAA@shared1-mail.whowhere.com>
Subject: Why XTC are better than REM/ Transistor Blast
Organization: QUALCOMM Eudora Web-Mail  (http://www.eudoramail.com:80)

Dear All,

First of all, a slightly belated, but nevertheless extremely HAPPY NEW YEAR
to you all. Yes, all of you, including (swallows hard) conservatives and
(swallows hard, then coughs and splutters alot before swallowing even
harder) Phil Collins lovers.

Now to stick my oar in:-

>From: Ken Herbst <ken@bamadvertising.com>
>Subject: A wakeup call
>
>Picture this:
>
>A world-weary old dog.
>Bored and mean.
>Chained down outside.
>Running in circles.  Chasing its tail.  Which is bloody, frayed, and
>half-chewed off.
>
>Welcome to the current state of Chalkhills.


Well speak for yourself, mate. Personally I'm Burning With Optimism's
Flame. What's more I thought that the digest which preceded Ken's gloomy
outburst was a particularly good one. Thanks in particular to:-

>From: Dominic Lawson <LAWSOND@parliament.uk>
Subject: Re: David Oh For ****'s Sake

>>>it seemz 2 me that I've gotten up a few people'z nozes with my posts

(snip)
>You're not annoying - just dull. Yes, certain words can be replaced with
numbers or other symbols. Get used to it. Pretending that you always type
like that is pathetic. It must take far longer and the effort is entirely
wasted. Tw@.

Couldn't have said it better myself - Y don't u gro up & stop b-ing such an
r-sol David?

And now to things more musical: why XTC are better than REM: I'm sure we all
swing to the same side when comparing the two bands. REM don't, to be
honest, inspire any strong feeling in me of either a positive or negative
nature. I rather liked "Life's Rich Pageant" but to my ears the band's
output hasn't evolved much over the years and after a while I got a bit
bored with it all. What REM lack that XTC have is the ability to surprise
and go off at an unexpected tangent in a song, a musical kind of lateral
thinking. To wit: quirkiness. A perfect illustration for me of XTC's ability
to do what REM can't is the song "Here Comes President Kill Again" (one of
my all time XTC favourites incidentally). The first verse is all pretty
straight ahead and at a push I wouldn't have been that surprised to see REM
do something similar. The masterstroke however is that wonderful horn melody
(which always reminds me of the theme tune to "Are You Being Served" for
those reading in Blighty) which comes in in the second verse and which
totally transforms the song. The hallmark XTC quirkiness is still there on
Oranges and Lemons (and Nonsvch), even if you have to dig a little deeper to
find it than on their early albums.

Finally, Transistor Blast - what a bloody good buy for twenty quid! In fact
it would have been worth it for the 1980 concert alone. Great to be able to
hear who plays what and who sings what (really liked AP's backing vocals on
Life Begins at the Hop for instance). I personally find that XTC in the buff
at the Hammersmith Odeon makes more exciting listening anyday than the boys
in their Todd Rundgren embossed bathrobes on Skylarking. Anyway, getting
back to Transistor Blast, some of my favourites of the studio sessions are
Cross Wires (resplendent in its quirkiness), Dance Band (ditto), Another
Satellite (the toy sampler-sampled guitar sounds even better than on the
album) and Seagulls Screaming (nice to have the vocals more to the
fore). And of course the Peel Introduction followed by Life Begins at the
Hop - stonker!!

All that remains is for me to wait with baited breath and sweaty palms for
the arrival in the shops of Apple Venus. So far the posts from people who've
already got to hear it has elicited in me a reaction of salivation rather
than jealousy - I'm sure it's going to be well worth the long wait!

See you later,

James

------------------------------

Message-ID: <000901be42fa$bd261780$655791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <aso1@mocha.ocn.ne.jp>
Subject: NO JAPANESE LTD. EDITION
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 00:48:24 +0900

Greetings Chalkers ,

Steve Franklin's report was accurate ; there is NO Limited Edition . I
phoned Pony Canyon in Tokyo today and got the word . They had " planned " to
release an LE of AV , but as Steve said Andy was not happy with the quality
of the demo tracks they wanted to include so ... The Japanese version DOES
come with a 24 page photo booklet  and that is the ONLY difference between
it and others in the world ... besides the PRICE that is !

Cheers ,

John

------------------------------

From: BNGrifter@aol.com
Message-ID: <a3831518.36a35fbb@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 11:22:19 EST
Subject: Mummer vs. Murmur

I should probably know to leave well enough alone (especially as this is my
first posting) but here's my thimble of gasoline:

Is "Shiny Happy People" REALLY any dumber than "Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help
Me)"? Is "Stand" any more bubblegum than "Generals & Majors"? I like all of
the above songs, although none of them are even close to my favorites in
either band's oeuvre. There's a fickle 'cooler-than-thou' atmosphere which
permeates this list. Take the recent 1998 Top 10 lists--other than an
occasional mention of Lauryn Hill, no-one seemed to include anything that
basked on a Billboard Sales Chart for any significant amount of time. Don't
get me wrong--I found the lists informative, and the recommendations of
fellow XTC fans is more substantial to me than a random music magazine
reviewer who listens to god-knows-what on his free time. And it's an
opportunity to hear about artists who AREN'T sucking up all the press. But
there's this underlying sense of fear of claiming to like anything that has
sold more than a few dozen copies, or may have been--gasp, choke--purchased
by a fourteen-year-old somewhere in the world.

The fact is that R.E.M., whether you love or hate their music, are not sell-
outs. They didn't tour at the height of their popularity. They have complete
creative control over their work. They haven't had an obvious single since
"Everybody Hurts" (although I like the chances of "Walk Unafraid" from the
new record). And when was the last time there's been any sort of question
whether a band would forge on after after the departure of the DRUMMER? A
few have cited or implied that from the "Green" album forward--read: the
Warner Brothers era--is when the band really took its tumble. Does the
introduction of major label dollars have a lot to do with the ability to
promote a band? Of course. Is it much of a coincedence that this is when
R.E.M. jumped into the stratosphere? Of course not. Is it a coincedence that
the cooler-than-thou crowd dismisses R.E.M. at this same juncture? I really
don't think so. The fact is that Warner Bros. (as did countless labels; it
was a massive bidding war) saw the talent of the band, gave them almost
unprecedented freedom and a whopping pile of cash. Anyone--ANYONE--who was
offered millions of dollars to do anything they felt like doing would take
it. And if they felt any pressure to deliver multi-platinum albums, it sure
didn't come through on "Monster". I didn't like that album much either, but
it clearly demonstrates that they are artists following their muse wherever
it takes them. (Personally, I think they were uncomfortable with the size of
their fanbase, and "Monster" was a conscious attempt to shrink it.)

I believe an interested observer can always tell the difference between
people who make music out of passion and those who do it to become pop/rock
stars.  That some in the former group actually manage to achieve superstar
status is no reason to summarily dismiss their work. To do so is (hand
trembling as he completes the sentence) snobbery. I loved "Up"--loved it so
much that it made me go back and listen to "Monster" and "New Adventures In
Hi-Fi" with a new ear, and gain a greater appreciation for those
records. And if Warner Brothers isn't happy with the band's sales drops in
recent years, they ain't telling--they recently resigned the band to another
multi-album deal.

It's obvious that XTC fans aren't followers of the latest flavor, since XTC
has never really BEEN the latest flavor. Most of the postings I've read have
been written with intelligence and wit and articulation. The intrinsic flaw
in many intelligent, witty people (myself sometimes included) is that it can
turn dismissive, snobbish and bullying in a heartbeat. And when you wield
your opinion as a weapon to beat back the folks you perceive as idiots, you
force them to use their own opinions as a sort of sheild. That's when the
berating starts. There was a line from an episode of the TV show Frasier
that has stuck in my head (the Niles character said it, and claimed he
wasn't quoting anybody, so I don't if the writers actually coined this gem
on their own): "Popularity is the hallmark of mediocrity." There's a lot of
truth in that, but I'd like to propose that there is a flip side, too:
"Popularity is the touchstone of snobbery."

Having read Song Stories, Andy admits to having written some songs in an
attempt to score a hit single. Is that any less of a sell-out, just because
he wasn't very successful with it? I recall a "Nonsuch"-era quote from him,
where he said (paraphrasing): "I don't listen to anyone else. Only the work
of one other modern songwriter interests me, and luckily for me, he's in my
band." An unbelievably snobbish quote, to be sure. But wait--here comes Song
Stories, and he comes clean on a laundry list of influences, including a
horde of stuff that no-one with any degree of cool would ever admit
listening to. Or, worse, LIKING.

Okay, so I didn't join this mailing list to audition for the roles of
Solomon, Confucius, or Mom. But I do believe a debate can take place on this
list with a little more respect to opposing viewpoints. Suggesting that we
should kill the singer from Ally McBeal, or that we're better off now that
Sinatra is dead, or that R.E.M. should stop recording because YOU don't care
for them--even in jest--does nothing to lend creedence to your opinion, it
just shows a lack of ability to support your opinion. And it makes you come
off (to me, at least--I won't presume to speak for anyone else) like a petty
snob.  Remember, just because you have the RIGHT to say pretty much anything
you want doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD indulge yourself.

All that said, I'm glad to be here. I think it's fantastic that someone who
talks regularly to David Gregory is on the list. I loved the recent jazz
thread--very edifying. The "Very Model of a Newsgroup Personality" was
incredibly funny (Was that original? If so, well done.). And I'm enjoying
the building excitment for the new record, and having someplace to share it
with others. With the impending album, the release of "Transistor Blast",
and Song Stories, as well as my recent acquisition of a couple of those demo
compendiums (um, side question: Is that Andy singing "It's Snowing Angels"?
It doesn't sound like Andy or Colin. More like Leon Redbone or
somebody. Good tune, though.) and the joining of this list, my XTC-vibe is
at an unprecedented fever pitch. It's got me rediscovering "English
Settlement" and "Drums & Wires"--discs that haven't seen the inside of my CD
player since I made XTC compilations for my car years ago. Squabbling aside,
this is a great time to be an XTC fan!

-Bryce.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <B9B4268C8F87D11195DC0000F840FABE0838730F@DUB-MSG-02>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <peterfit@MICROSOFT.com>
Subject: message from Andy
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 16:29:32 -0000

/interrupting current debate

it's been difficult to get Andy on the 'phone for a while now and my
suspicions were confirmed this morning when I got a phone message (at home)
from him.

He received his "Chalkhills Children 98" CDs today (one for him , one for
Colin, Dave's is on the way to him) and had given it a quick listen.

He knows we'd love a review of this CD (and the last one) but is "submerged
in promotion-land" as he put it. But his initial reaction is "I really like
this !" some of it made him go "hmm?" , some of it made him go "oh?" some of
it made him go "uuugh" and some of it was "hysterical !"

Rest assured I faxed him and told him to concentrate on the promotion of
APPLE VENUS.....it's more important than reviewing the CD : RIGHT ?

He's off to France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Belgium, America & Japan over
the next several weeks to promote APPLE VENUS....so keep your eyes peeled -
you just never know where he's gonna turn up.

I think that this is GOOD NEWS : someone obviously has to be funding this
travel and promotional activity. He is into it and is obviously prepared to
work hard to make the album a success.

/back to your normal debate....

Peter Fitzpatrick
Multimedia Production Manager
Microsoft European Product Development Centre, Dublin.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 12:46:56 +0000
From: Sebastien Maury <MAURY.SEBASTIEN@a2.abc.net.au>
Message-Id: <E1032ITC2SJIH*/R=A1/R=ABCNET/U=MAURYS6G/@MHS>
Subject: Top of the Pops

Well I don't know how they've fared in other countries, but if, in our
outpost by the Pacific, the Barenaked Ladies can fabricate a National
Top 20 hit (actually 16), then I guess anything's possible when AV is
released. Heavy rotation on all AM talkback stations perhaps. Get on
the phone to Alan Jones, chaps (Sydney's answer to Rush, I
guess. That'd be the announcer, not the band).  I guess dreaming is
not a lost art form, even in a public service arts-based workplace.

Seb.

PS: whoever mentioned the Monochrome Set a few digests back, bravo mon
cher/ma chere for leaping in ahead of me; I had intended to start 1999
conversation with a reference to 'em. I have two albums, but know
nothing about them (except that they're quite clearly lunatics, and
probably surf about as much as the Beach Boys). Any info gladly
received. A Japanese exchange student who had been living in New
Zealand introduced me to them about 10 years ago, and they remain
bubbling in my consciousness until about every 6 weeks or so, I give
one of their albums a spin. Thanks for reminding me.  PPS: Any Aussies
know how we can get AV to be feature album for a week on JJJ?  It
shouldn't be that hard given their status and predilection by some DJs
for their music. Not to mention the SEVEN years, dammit that we've
been waiting.

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19990118094541.00816350@pop3.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 09:45:41 +0000
From: The Larsons <MereBrian@larson4.demon.co.uk>
Subject: chalkhiller inside Anyware?

Hello,

I recently acquired the shareware program "Anyware Anti-virus" and was
quite amused that during the set-up procedure, when the user is
asked for their Name and Company, the defaults were, respectively,
Holly and Poppy!

Anyone know if one of our own has infiltrated this software company?

Cheers,

Steve
* ------------------------------
Larson Family Web Page:
http://www.larson4.demon.co.uk
* ------------------------------

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #5-63
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