Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-10

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 10

                 Sunday, 16 January 2000

Today's Topics:

           Ramblings on weddings, love and tosh
         My Book Report: "A School Guide to XTC"
                 Johnny's back! (no xtc)
                        First post
                     XTC Pagen Names
        Andy indulgent? and Laibach's I Dig A Pony
                      Big Day Music
           XTC and Phish:There is a connection
            100 greatest rock 'n' roll songs ?
                    Re: Nupital Bliss
                Re: Insipid Entertainment
                    hitchhiker's guide


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7 (John Relph <>).

I saw you asking for western thinking.


Message-ID: <000d01bf5ec6$7feae7e0$419001d5@default>
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Ramblings on weddings, love and tosh
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 19:34:34 -0000

Wedding music:

Well, at our wedding, I made up at tape to play during the reception and
was enjoying myself so much that I forgot to play it.  We now call it "The
Wedding Album" and it gets played in the car occasionally.  It contained
songs chosen by both of us (including Mayor of Simpleton) with suitable

>so why can't I think of a song about the state of lasting and
>flawless love?Hmmm...

What about John Lennon's Love?  Simple and perfect.

Now, I know that none of us here care a great deal about the charts, but
nevertheless perhaps they are worthy of comment.  If they are a barometer of
public taste then it seems that it's only 12-15 year old girls who are
buying singles.  That can't be so, so what's happened to mass taste?  Now
don't tell me it's always been poor, because it hasn't and we can all point
to times when the charts had better stuff in than now!  So, have you got as
fed up as I was last Friday, by the domination of the pop charts by boy
bands?  Watching Top of The Pops these days (which I do about 4 or 5 times a
year, I guess) is a bit like going into a book shop and finding that it
sells nothing but Mills and Boon.  These bands seem to get worse.  This
awful version of Seasons in the Sun is even worse than the original (which
got in the list of my worst 20 records ever made), and who would listen to I
Have a Dream by a bunch of talentless, non-singers, when you could listen to
the original?  I'm not an Abba fan, but even if you don't like them you
can't deny that they did have musical talent.  What's happening to music?
There really does seem to be a dearth of talent around.

One idea I had was to get a group of Granddads together and get them to do a
boyband type routine.  It might not be good, but at least it would be funny
and entertaining, not like this diet of icing-sugar.  Let's hope that our
boys can show them how to make music and get in the charts with something
off of AV2.  Any possible singles there do you think?  We're all Light

PS. I agree with the fellow who went on about All Things Must Pass.  That
was an awesome album.  One of the best three albums by ex-Beatles and full
of powerful and uplifting stuff.  IMO the best of solo Beatles work in the
70s would regularly (tho' not always) have made a great album if they'd
stayed together and edited the poorer stuff out.   That's not to say that I
would have wished it (let's be realistic), but it shows that the quality was
there, although unrefined and not paired down to the best as it was when
there were three songwriters to share the glory.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 13:51:19 -0800
From: Randy Hiatt <>
Subject: Spunillion/Marrilion/Crimillion

The questions about HomeSpun and it's release...  I had the Vol.1-2
demo's early (was starved for them), and still purchased the CD because
I owed it to them.  I enjoy the behind the scenes peeks we can get from
stuff like this, and even if early listens tend to take away a bit of
the suprize value of the real release, you can imagine my sustained
thrill at all the previews.

Stephen Mahoney asked:
"marrilion is a group I havent listened to ever .......
do they bring to mind genesis and king crimson????
or was crimson a reference to something else?"

I'd say they are a cheap replacement/immatation for those "Classic
Progressive Rock" stylings of a Yes/Genesis, with a tad too much spandex
for me.  Since I am an old (46) Prog Rock fan I have a hard time getting
behind them.

Regarding the still vital King Crimson Todd Bernhardt corrected my
double vision about their line up:
"They're down to a four-piece. Tony Levin's schedule has not allowed
for involvement in the album KC currently has in the works, and God,
Bill Bruford declined to participate, citing the band's emphasis on
electronica and his own current preference for more-acoustic and
jazz-oriented endeavors. Apparently the door remains open for their
but for now KC is a double-duo."

I'll just say (without any knowledge) that I hope this is just part of
their bigger picture... where they all are allowed to break off and
explore musical ideas on their own, then bring back the juicy parts for
the "good of the greater Crim" when the time is right.

Randy Hiatt


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 14:45:23 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: My Book Report: "A School Guide to XTC"

Hello Chalkers and Collectors

On my way home today I thought I would stop and see what was in the old
Ministry PO Box. Not really expecting much since I just got it on Wed
and it had some juicy XTC stuff then, I was amazed and rewarded (and
confused) to find the much heralded "A School Guide to XTC" I had
ordered this quite a while back and had been told it wouldn't be
available until Jan 17th. Apparently they got em a little early. :~D

Anyway sitting in the post office parking lot I eagerly ripped open the
package expecting to find a book. What I found was a Shrink Wrapped CD.
Or so I thought.

I rushed home and plopped down in the ministry to dissect this new

Cellophane shrink wrapped, brown cover with a sheet music motif. A
sticker on the back that says Made In England and another smaller
sticker that I immediately recognized as symbolizing something being
produced in Italy. It stated that it was the new "Star Park" CD.

I carefully removed the cellophane to find. Gasp it's not a CD it's a
book. That's right a book sized exactly to look like a CD jewel case. I
flipped it open and out fell a CD slipped inside a plain white
cardboard cover, no markings of any kind. The CD (a real one not a CDR)
is silver and has "Star Park" printed at the top. The track listing
printed on it is

1. Star Park
2. Yabber Yabber Yabber
3. Saturn Boy
4. Walking 'cross The Ceiling
5. Neon Shuffle
6. Do You Really

It also lists every track as being a "Partridge, Moulding"

The Catalog Number is Sonic .021 with the SIAE symbol above it which
indicates to me that it is from Italy, also beneath that there are some
words that appear to be Italian. The strange thing is that on the other
side of the CD it states that it is Made In Austria.

So what we have so far is an outer cover that says it was Made in
England with a CD that says it is made In Austria with italian markings
all over it. A Real European Mish mash. I suspect this was done
intentionally to hide it's true origin but I suspect it's source is

I threw it on and am listening to it now. It appears to me to be the
exact same material that surfaced a few years back on the Exatic Demo
CD series from Japan. The sound might be a little better, but not much.
These tracks are pretty rough still. I just checked chalkhills and it
looks like there isn't anything here that wasn't on one of those Exatic

Back to the Book, the title page inside has "una guida scolastica" as a
subtitle and it looks like it was written by Massimiano Bucchi It has a
publisher number of #21 with a date of November 1999.

Our very own John Relph is thanked for the Discography.

What follows is 82 pages of Photo's & facts and stories none-of which I
have read yet since I only opened the thing an hour ago. The amazing
thing is that each page is typeset in two colums with the left column
printed in English and the right column printed in what I believe is
Italian. I assume that the Dialogue is the same just translated. The
various chapters are title "Mathmatics, Geography, History, Chemistry"
etc to make it appear like a School text. At the end it appears that
the entire Chalkhills Discography is here. Well not quite it looks like
not all the catalog numbers are given but I don't see anything else
missing. It lists all of the contributions to other peoples records as
well but omits the Bootleg and Sampler CD stuff.

All In all a wonderful package, I paid about $20 for mine. And I think
it was money well spent. I will try to send John some Pics to post at
Chalkhills tomorrow (Sat)

Cheers all, Hope I didn't bore you with too much detail.

The Mole jamming to "Star Park" at the Ministry


Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 17:02:50 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: brown <>
Subject: Johnny's back! (no xtc)

 Hey all you old punks...I just read something that might interest you!
Late Sunday night VH1 premieres Rotten Televison, hosted by Johnny Rotten
(aka John Lydon of the Sex Pistols). Johnny refuses to provide a show
description, format description, or explanation of his new show on VH1.  He
simply invites you to "enjoyor die."  Check your telly guide or VH1's
website for specific times....I know I'm more than a little curious...


Debora Brown


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 02:46:34 +0100
Subject: Meltdown
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Sorry but i needed to add my 2 cents:

> > when the law abiding public has been stripped of all means to defend
> itself, who will protect them from the non law abiding public? <

Contrary to popular belief, there is no Them vs Us. They are us and
we are them. People are not born criminal and everybody who is
sane and law-abiding today can go postal tomorrow.
And wreak havoc if he or she has access to firearms. I'd rather face
a lunatic armed with a stick or knife than a madman with a gun.

Finally: i fail to see how arming yourself can keep a bullet from
hitting you... it just doesn't compute

RE: what does Andy mean when he says "Melt The Guns" ?

IMHO and in view of the general "religious" setting/tone of the song
this is a clear and direct reference to that famous Biblical quote
about swords and ploughs... wasn't it something like "Melt thy
swords unto ploughshears" ???
Another indication that gun ownership is at least at odds with being
a good Christian.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Jan 00 18:48:51 PST
From: vee tube <>
Subject: Ooops!

     Just read my last post!

   What Da F!.................

  Too many worms if you ask me!

 So,I'm still working on my "Best of the 90's'
   list" (Hey! It was 10 years long!)

  And while I'm thinking of it, the next time you're
 in your local indepentent CD store (the ones that let
 you listen before you buy, or better yet, the ones that
 let you buy used CDs, take them home and listen to them
 for a couple of weeks, and if you don't like it, take it
 back for a full cash refund) Please do the Fish Boy a favor,

     Check out...

...eeLs! (please don't abuse their gift for personal

  'Beautiful Freak' and 'Electro-shock therapy' make me
     wish I had wings instead of gills!



Message-Id: <>
Subject: First post
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 00 22:41:04 -0600
From: Paul Fricke <>

Dear Folks,

I've been reading for a year or so, and I feel fortunate to have found
such a fine community of people with a similar
interest/passion/obsession, especially at a time so exciting for the
group after a period of hibernation.

I find AV1 to be the finest complete disk they've so far released.
Cohesive in tone and theme, consistent in quality of song, production and
performance. We can't stop playing it, and my 3-year-old daughter knows a
bunch of tunes by heart. Sometimes, she'll spontaneously erupt into "I'd
Like That" or "Green Man." It's so damn cute! What a proud poppa. But it
should be no surprise as the only tune which would calm her down as a
baby was "Snowman," with it's twinkly intro and steady, heart-like beat.
XTC has become a family affair in our house, which will no doubt hold
true for our new daughter Emily, who just arrived a few days back.

Most XTC disks contain a tune or two I just don't like, but I now
appreciate many others I hadn't liked at first. They've always taken
chances, played with many sounds and genres, so they're not going to
please everyone all the time. Looking at their entire catalog, though,
it's obvious they've evolved more than any other group I can think of,
including The Beatles.

"...the singular genius of Lennon and McCartney's songs was that they
were able to be simple without being simplistic and sophisticated without
being obscure."

from "A Day In The Life" by Mark Hertsgaard (1995; pg. 120)

Some folks on the list bemoan our boys aren't more popular, but the very
reason we like them so much is because they are so eclectic and have so
much character. XTC songs are rarely simple, and occasionally obscure. By
definition, their audience is somewhat limited. That's fine by me, and
seems to be fine with them. It doesn't stop me from spreading the word,

I must thank all of you on this list for your recommendations of other
artists work; Martin Newell's "Greatest Living Englishmen" and Yazbek's
"Tock" are two of my favorite disks I've purchased in the last year.

Thanks, as well to Ian for making available the Oranges & Lemons/Nonsuch
vid. It was a blast to watch, and in some cases a revelation. I loved the
acoustic renditions of "That Wave" and "Scarecrow People."

I need to respond to the many posts I've saved over the last year, but
that'll wait till another time.

Thanks again to all!


Blue Moon Studios
Cartoons, Comics, Storyboards & Illustration

"There are no rules, just reasons. Good reasons."
Laura Fricke - 11/99


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 22:47:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: XTC Pagen Names

I was just fooling around with this site I found that translates
people's names into Pagen names.  Well, I decided to show you what the
Pagen names of XTC were.  This list includes old and current band

Andy Partridge - Kinky Panther

Colin Moulding - Treehugging Pebble

Dave Gregory - Fluffy Mule

Terry Chambers - Sun Twinkletoes

Barry Andrews - Pink Cloud Dancer

There ya go.


Molly's Pages


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 10:14:40 EST
Subject: HELP!

Fellow Chalkgeeks:

Thanks to all who responded to my Sugarplastic question.....

I've been swamped with trades and have just gotten my head above water;
however, there are two trades that I'm WAY late my computer crashed
and I lost all my trader files and email addresses.

1.  Recieved a vid of Partsy @ Tower Records in exchange for a vid of
Rockpalast, but sadly I cannot mail it out as I can't recall who the trader

2. Received a CD by a band called Grass-Show........I know this trader was
outside of the USA, and I've spoken to you several times....but can't recall
your name, much less your email address.

Thanks for your help,

wesLONG @ Optimism's Flames
Click here:


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 06:50:53 -0800
From: awa <>
Subject: Andy indulgent? and Laibach's I Dig A Pony

> From:
> I believe Andy is becoming a little
> self-indulgent with age. (Come to think of it, "how Easter Theatre came to
> be" was quite self-indulgent too)

AP was indulgent from a very early age and he's always had a strong
sense of self but I don't think those aspects are any stronger now
than when he sang the words to "Battery Brides".

AP has said that the USA buys the bulk of XTC releases and remains
"streets ahead" of the rest of the world, including the UK, in that
pretty key area.  US fans, it is assumed, like to hear about what the
songs mean and so I'm sure he had that "came to be" bit recorded for
our benefit.  While listening to that explaination when he says that
every Englishman's home is his garden shed, or something like that, I
started to realize that this was the concept of the "Song Stories"
book continued.  That book probably sold the most copies in the US.
In a recent interview in the magazine called The Big Takeover, AP said
that the book was a failure content-wise because "We don't have any
stories."  Obviously they do have stories and they like telling them.
It's part of XTC tradition going back at least to the "Oranges and
Lemons"-era acoustic radio tour and I liked the story telling although
I couldn't listen to more than twice.

> >By the way, the year half the Beatles turned to shit was 1972--Lennon
> >released his awful Sometime in New York City and McCartney released Wild
> >Life. Both are horrible albums with absolutely nothing to recommend them.
> >Then again, the hard-core Beatles fan might appreciate them. I personally
> >like one track on Wild Life--McCartney answers How Do You Sleep? with the
> >song Dear Friend.
> I am convinced that at least half of the "shitty" post-1970 songs by John or
> Paul would have been regarded as good songs if released in 1969.
> (let's face the truth, "Let it be" had no more than a couple of really great
> songs, and John was already missing. But no one has ever said or written
> that "dig a pony" is shit, though it undoubtedly is.)

It's probably true that some of the 1972 ex-Beatle songs would have
seemed good in 1969.

Lennon, McCartney or any of the Beatles at their lowest, to these ears
at least, still seem streets ahead of not all but most.  The reason is
that there was a soulfulness in the delivery of the vocals and the
playing, even if what they were singing and playing wasn't always
their usual pop gem.  In ages since the Beatles, there's been a lot of
pop-by-numbers type of pop poop, especially right now, with so much
hollow center it's like the living dead and pop is, by and large,
completely apalling.

If you're a Beatle fan who has doubts about "Let It Be", you owe it to
yourself to hear Laibach's version of that album.  Their "Dig A Pony"
is the final statement on that song.  They buried it and raised it up
again as some gigantic Teutonic/East Euro angry god, hungry and
thirsty for revenge as he growls through the Commie/Fascist
re-reading.  I sort of want to hear Laibach giving "I'd Like That" the
Slavic militaristic touch.


Message-ID: <000e01bf5ffc$959ffa30$>
From: "Larry Marchese" <>
Subject: Big Day Music
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 03:35:02 -0500

Bungalow is an absolute must for the wedding.  Please tell me you will use


Message-ID: <>
From: "garret harkawik" <>
Subject: XTC and Phish:There is a connection
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 21:07:33 EST

I just bought Billy Breathes by Phish and it is by far their best album.
About halfway through listening to it I realised why: It was produced by
none other than Steve Lilywhite!


Message-ID: <005101bf5fc7$5347ac80$745791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: 100 greatest rock 'n' roll songs ?
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 11:12:45 +0900

Re: The 100 greatest rock 'n' roll songs, as determined by a panel of 700
voters assembled by the music network VH1:

Hmmm... This looks suspiciously like the list of * foreign * songs
listed in the songbook at the local karaoke box ( I am in Japan ) !...
Out of the 100 I picked 6 that I thought * deserved * to be there :
Satisfaction ( though not #  1 ) ; Good Vibrations ; Hey Jude ; Purple Haze
; You Really Got Me and California Girls ...  Amazing what is considered
rock and roll these days - " Crazy " by Patsy Cline ??? Bob Marley ?

Trivia time ... Studio legend Hal Blaine played drums on 6 of the 100 songs
on the list : which ? First correct answer ( mail me privately ) gets a
cassette tape of XTC boots " Live in Boston 1980 " or " Live At The Paradiso
Club Amsterdam " .

The Sushiman


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:27:12 -0500
From: Mark Newberg <>
Organization: @Home Network
Subject: Re: Nupital Bliss

My XTC suggestion for the wedding day nuptials: Earn Enough For Us.

	Mark N.
Do I have to tell the story of a hundred rainy days since we first met,
It's a big enough umbrella but it's always me that ends up getting wet.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 20:26:52 -0800
Subject: Re: Insipid Entertainment
From: "Jeannie" <>

> cher? ricky martin?? the backstreet boys??? - gmafb!
> none of these androids even write their own music, nevermind playing any
> musical instruments as well! what a load of crap!
> frank zappa was right; if you celebrate mediocrity, you get mediocrity!
> thank god we have xtc's music to listen to, instead of the pablum that
> passes for "good" music these days!

Amen to that!  Vh1's "the List" their latest exercise in insipid
entertainment talk-shows, named the backstreet boys, Nsync and .....
The Beatles as their top three best "boy bands."  GMAFB! INDEED! I mean the
Beatles lumped with those contrived, prechewed pablum pretty boy groups,

 I'm so relieved to know there are people out there who feel the way I
do--all is not lost!
xTc forever!
Take care,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 04:23:44 +0000
From: John Peacock <>
Organization: The Nice Organization
Subject: hitchhiker's guide

> David Oh asked re the Hitch hiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

> can anyone who has read the book _and_ seen the show tell me if the show
> is as good/funny as the book?

Yes they can, and no it isn't. I personally prefer the radio series, which
came before either, but I'm a git.


> --

In the spirit of shameless self promotion, my songs may be found at:
"sell yourself, sell yourself, expect nothing" as a sage saith.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 01:38:39 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: 1000000s

"set the way-back machine, sherman, for late 1979-early 1980".

"okay, mr. peabody!"

at that time, i was just coming out of a progressive/experimental-rock
phase and entering into a new wave/post-punk phase in my listening choices.
pink floyd, genesis, yes, king crimson and, especially, brian eno were
making way for talking heads, elvis costello, a little devo, some squeeze,
very early u2 and, especially, xtc.

xtc had the biggest impact on these ears, then and now. i was not aware of
xtc before this point and so i hadn't heard anything of the barry andrews
era xtc. i bought "drums and wires" solely on the strength of the single
"making plans for nigel", but i soon listened to the whole album
extensively, right up until the release of "black sea".

as a whole, i found the album very refreshing, with smartly written
pop/rock songs played with joy and enthusiasm. while i feel that there are
stronger songs in their (now considerable) catalogue, "drums and wires" is
one of the few xtc albums that (to me) does not contain a weak song amongst
its (original) 12 tracks. the whole album is a blast from start to finish.

there is one song, however, that stood out - and still stands out - above
all the others on that album, for me at least, because it was/is so
different from the rest. it was the song that made me aware of the genius
that is andy partridge for the first time. that song is "millions".

there are other songs by andy on that album that are lyrically stronger,
such as "when you're near me...", "roads girdle the globe", "real by reel"
and especially "complicated game", but they are all basically rock songs,
whereas "millions" is a song that uses rock instrumentation in a non-rock
arrangement. i also feel that the lyrics fit perfectly into the framework
of the music, both rhythmically and thematically.

i used to listen to "millions", very loud, very late at night with
headphones, with my bedroom illuminated only by the blue glow from my
marantz receiver. i would close my eyes and go on a journey with this song.
i would see images of red, gold and black; not specific images but sort of
like red choppy water with gold and black ripples or waves - perhaps the
yangtse river? whatever, it had me captured for its five-and-a-half-minute
length. it still captures me today.

it is the arrangement and atmosphere that fascinates me. terry's circular
drumming - always an integral part of early xtc - with the choked hi-hat
(which andy so appropriately described as the "peasoup" sound) playing
on-the-one, the splash cymbal accent (panned and isolated just right of
centre) that closely follows the choked hi-hat (panned hard right), along
with the tom-tom fills (panned hard right and hard left) scattered
throughout in combination with colin's slippery/rubbery bass line all
provide the hypnotic hook.

what intrigues me the most, though, are the arrangements of the guitars.
first, there's the opening chords, panned hard left and right, voiced
slightly differently from each other, with the left channel chords (which
sounds like they are ascending against the right channel's descending
chords) ever so slightly ahead of the right channel, for 8 bars. then, for
4 bars, there's the introduction of the "faux-chinese" riff on the left
with the main guitar figure on the right. when the "faux-chinese" riff
finishes, andy and dave play a kind of call-and-response with the main riff
(panned hard left and hard right), with quick, repetative pickings and

this is followed by a guitar part that resembles a lyrical melody and it is
almost a narrative in itself. it is so simple and yet so evocative, it
makes the small hairs on the back of my neck rise up and the skin below
these hairs tingle, especially that little harmonic at the end.

when andy's voice comes in on the first verse, it appears to be on an
off-beat, which adds the exotica of the song. the lyrics have almost
child-like images to them, such as "we saw your toys and your pencils
looking bright" (although, there's a mistake in the cd lyric sheet. andy
sings, "stay as east..." and the booklet has "stay as fast..."; i don't
remember if the lp has the same error).

on the chorus, there's an interesting chord played right after the
"mill-yuns" that i find intriguing, too. not so much for its voicing, but
for its apparent volume swell effect.

scattered throughout the track - very economically - are various percussion
accents, including the finger cymbals that have been treated electronically
(or is it a synthesizer?).

the ending is so cool, too. after a gong crash, a slight exhale from andy
and a pregnant pause, the track resumes on a long and slow fade out which
is at slightly lower volume in the mix than the main part of the song with
an added reverb, as if it is playing from a distance and getting further

i - i - i - i - i - i - i - i - i love it!

it's the amount of detail in this song that amazes me in this song, as the
whole track sounds minimalistic on an initial listening and yet it is very
dense when examined closely. it's one of my all-time favourite songs - by
any artist - and it remains as fresh and as timeless today as it did 20
years ago.

thanks for the warm memories, andy.

 peace & xtc,



End of Chalkhills Digest #6-10

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