Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-127

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 127

                  Saturday, 20 May 2000


              Fly on the Maypole / Tom Waits
                   Can You Still Feel?
                     The Great Escape
                     Waspie Starshine
                       mp3 tragedy
                     L.A. fans unite!
                         Re: 4:20
                   Armchair Publicist.
                  AV vol. 1 poppin' up!
                  P-Model and lost bands
                     Amazing news!!!
                      Trades wanted
              anybody remember these bands?
                      Driving Blind
            Re: Billy Might Well Be A Mountain
         Can you still feel my pudding, Valerie?
                         BMI, PRO


Read Todd Bernhardt's exclusive interview with drummer Chuck Sabo:

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Maypole, you've spun me round and knocked me off my Axis Mundi.


Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 17:28:21 -0700
From: "Steve Young" <>
Subject: Fly on the Maypole / Tom Waits
Message-ID: <>

Only a few more days before WS "spoilers" become mere "observations".  Until
then, just a few more...

Tape-loop in my head:  Andy Partridge singing [very insistently] "MAYPOLE!"
over and over and over.  I am obsessed with this song, both
musically/lyrically.  Can anyone help?  It makes me wants to kick and scream
and cry with a sort of defeated joy... the buzzing guitar stampede in the
background reminds me of "Fly on the Wall".  Just a tiny little bit.  Notice
how the guitar stampede seems to be losing stream (coal?) as Andy sings of
planets falling apart, empires crumbling... as if the song is barely keeping
it together, running on despite decay.

A constructive comment:  as "pot" explodes into "maypole", the strings
(tempered by drums) go "da, da, da....  da, da da... da, da, da!!"... to
move into "maypole!" -- which doesn't quite have the impact I would want in
a transition between both sections of the song.  Almost as if it was just
pasted in the middle.  The weak joint to two strong bones.  It just has sort
of a classical-as-rock-instrument sound, a sound into which bands like The
Verve and R.E.M. have fallen into but XTC have avoided (to their credit)...

"Playground" reminds me of "progressive rock" (maybe a sort of
Marillion/Steely Dan/Steve Howe sort of progressive), particularly the chord
change into the chorus.  Not sure why.  I don't own a lot of prog. but I
live with someone who does.  Holly's chanting in the background is one of
the high points of this track to me.  I still prefer "ROA" as an opening
track, though...

RN Van Vliet has hit upon *exactly* the right idea.  The casual, soothing,
gravelly voice of Tom Waits should be projected through giant speakers to
every street corner in the world.  Yes.  Or maybe to doctors' waiting rooms,
like sort of a _Music for Hospitals_.  If I may add a few suggestions:
"That's a big bag you got there."  "Got any extra change?"  "Special of the
day is teriyaki salmon."  "Take a tylenol and come back tomorrow."  "No
pedestrians."  "Keep your hands and feet inside the car..."  I realize this
inclusive rambling means nothing if you haven't heard Tom Waits - so go out
and listen!  Not only is his new album "The Mule Variations" packed with
brand-new tunes, it also serves as a kind of stylistic retrospective of his
career... visiting his styles from the seventies, eighties, ninteties... Tom
Waits' approach to recording is different from Andy's... it's less about
perfection of the finished canvas and more about the right "groove"... I
recall reading an interview with a session guitarist who told Tom, "wait,
let's do it again, I can play it [technically] better."  Tom told him no, it
was perfect, it achieved what he was looking for.  So whereas XTC is a High
Renaissance master, Tom Waits is brown and bright red abstract.

Really dig the color conversations.  Unfortunately, my coloring of songs is
probably influenced by the album cover ("hey, D&W is green and yellow...
white music is black & white!  so is go2!  skylarking is teal..." as much as
anything else... first impressions... playground=blue; stupidly happy=grey
turning to orange then red as it heats up; in another life=airy wisps of
yellow and blue; my brown guitar=(gotta think about this one); boarded
up=brown and black; i'm the man=red; we're all light=black and yellow;
standing in for joe=red and black; wounded horse=deep green; you and the
clouds=white and blue; church of women=brown and skin-colored (hee);
wheel&maypole=red,black,and yellow for maypole.. all mixing together at the
end into a stew... come to think, these are probably all influenced by the

Has anyone seen the show "Fishing With John"?  John Lurie, member of the
Lounge Lizards (and noted guitarist/actor/musician), takes various
"celebrity figures" on fishing expeditions around the world- sort of a
"surreal spoof" of late-night fishing shows.  In episode two, John Lurie
takes Tom Waits to Jamaica.  This is strongly recommended viewing for Tom
Waits afficionados, or the merely curious... available on DVD [The Criterion
Collection]... but hey, I get ahead of myself...

How about "Fishing with Andy"?  Episode One:  an oily lake in Swindon,
three-eyed bass bobbing lifelessly on its rainbow surface... Andy meditates
on the cycle of life, death, and radio airplay with Colin.  "Look at it,
it's all like fish, really.  Radio audiences are like fish.  You put the
fresh young hooks in their mouths, they're carried by the market, by steel
hooks in a stagnant pond.  Nibble here, nibble there, and we're pulled up by
our wallets and thrown back in again, only to come up for more.  Like steel
shavings pulling towards a magnet.  Or a dog to vomit, a tail to its comet,
or Siddhartha to Om-It, or Wallace to Grommet..."  Colin sits with his rod
(Andy would make quite a few comments about that) and whispers occasionally:
"Ah, bugger, almost got one, there.."

I am filling the Northern California air with Wasp Star... it trails from my
car as smoke from an incense stick.




Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 17:02:14 -0800
From: Patrick M Adamek <>
Subject: Can You Still Feel?
Message-ID: <>

people of chalk,

I received the following message in my e-mail box today:

We have shipped the following items in your order 72737 on 2000-05-19:
2  CD      XTC          V2/WASP STAR/APPLE VENUS

from  I received Neil Young's latest (Silver & Gold) from them
in short order (about 3 days) when I ordered it last week.  Their
service is quite excellent!  Thanks to John Pelph for recommending their
site (I belive it was him who did so).  I am so psyched to get these (I
ordered two copies...why not?!)

I checked out Sound & Vision's Top 10 of 1999.  None other than our own
XTC is at #3 with AV1.  Here's the whole list:

1. Tom Waits  Mule Variations
2. Wilco Summerteeth
3. XTC Apple Venus Vol. 1
4. Robyn Hitchcock  Jewels for Sophia
5. Continental Drifters  Vermillion
6. Guided By Voices  Do the Collapse
7. Chris Cornell  Euphoria Morning
8. Sleater-Kinney  The Hot Rock
9. FOuntains of Wayne  Utopia Parkway
10. Jason Falkner  Can You Still Feel?

     I do not necessarily react to these type of lists right away but
this one caught my eye because XTC was featured so prominently.  I
decided to buy all 10 of them (in an effort also to update my collection
(I spent all of 1999 filling up my back catalogue with Woody Guthrie,
Fats Domino, Leadbelly and the Carter Family stuff).

     Coming in at #10 was Jason Falkner with his 1999 album "Can You
Still Feel?"   This is one of the most brilliant CDs that I have heard
in a long time.  It is considered Beatlesque by the "experts" and I
believe it to be one of the most consistently good albums that I have
heard (by a new artist) in years.  I really think that it is second only
to AV1 in 1999.  Does anyone else have a comment on Mr. Falkner?

     Re: Bill Frisell.  A friend of mine let me borrow his "Nashville"
CD about 6 months ago and it did not leave my player for about 2 months
(unitl my copy arrived in the mail).  I cannot recommend it more
enthusiastically!  His latest (Good Dog Happy Man) continues in a
similar way but the power of "Nashville" (for me anyway) was stronger.

    Lou Reed's new album is called Ecstacy.  This fact caused some
confusion when discussing a multiple CD order over the phone with
someone from CD universe, for I had also ordered some material by
XTC..and get the picture.  Anyway, it is great.  I have
really liked everything from him since "New York" and this is likely his
best since that time (1989).  Who knows, maybe old Lou was paying a
tribute to his favorite quirky English band when he named his album!

   Eagerly awaiting AV2 (and I still have not heard any of the demos or
any single!) in Juneau, Alaska



Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 19:17:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: travis schulz <>
Subject: Video?
Message-ID: <>

Well fellow it time to put our vcrs
to work and start taping 120 Minutes on MTV in the
hope of them playing a new XTC video?  They gotta play
it pretty soon I imagine, with the album coming out
soon.  XTC is already charting well on the adult
alternative charts by the way.  yada yada yada.


Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 23:07:56 EDT
Subject: The Great Escape
Message-ID: <>

From: "Steve Pitts"

> > Prefab Sprout-2 Wheels Good <
>  This is the third or fourth time I've seen this album mentioned, but I've
>  never seen it. Is it a compilation, or the Stateside name for an album that
>  has a different title here in the UK??

For a very good reason---it's Steve McQueen redux. Actually, due to legal
reasons PS had to retitle it (although the visual still very much recalls The
Great Escape--well, except for the 3 other members of the band.

By the way, while the sound quality on Two Wheels Good isn't quite as warm as
Steve McQueen, it does have the advantage of three bonus tracks two of which
I have yet to see anywhere else on CD.

I envy you folks in the UK--you get to see both PS and Martin Newell! All we
have to settle for is the Eagles for the umpteenth time (they are, after all,
making a new album and planning on touring next year if all works out).



Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 11:20:57 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Waspie Starshine
Message-ID: <001101bfc202$2b893a40$745791d2@oemcomputer>

All ,

Have had WS for 4 days now ... The first time I heard that there was going
to be a Colin tune on WS called " Standing In For Joe " ,  I knew it was
going to be a clunker . Just not an XTC song title , you know ... The Ship
Trapped In The Ice or Prince Of Orange much stronger tunes , and would have
been more appropriate  ...

Fave songs are Playground ; ITMWML ;  and Church Of Women  ... Sure miss
Gregsy's tasty licks ... I have read that Andy and Colin were super
impressed with Chuck Sabo's drumming .  I really don't hear why ...

Perhaps my expectations were set too high . I imagined this was going to be
album , which it isn't . Maybe they could hire Richard Thompson and Dave
Mattacks for the next album ...  Whoever said 3 out of 5 stars got it just
about right . That said , it will no doubt sell better than AV1 because it
IS electric guitar-based and more radio friendly .



Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 22:27:43 -0700
From: "John Keel" <>
Subject: mp3 tragedy
Message-ID: <002301bfc21c$20b3f280$>

Hi kids,

The debate on Napster and mp3's is sure to intensify after this shocking
event.  For details go to :

It was bound to happen sooner or later ;-)


"The world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through."
Tom Waits


Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 22:57:25 -0700
From: "John Keel" <>
Subject: L.A. fans unite!
Message-ID: <003301bfc220$4687a520$>

Hi kids,

So, a few weeks ago I mentioned that the XTC fans in the So Cal area should
get together to celebrate the release of "Wasp Star".  I got a few positive
responses, but it's time to get serious!  If any of you want to do this send
me a message off-list.  We need to figure out where everyone is to
coordinate our "meeting place" (I'm in Playa Del Rey just to kick things
off) and what night.  Maybe we should just meet for dinner somewhere.  I'll
already tell you that Wednesday night is the Macy Gray show at the Greek so
that's out for me (oh hell, I think it's Wednesday - I'll have to check).
Or maybe the next week is better since everyone will have had time to listen
to "Wasp Star" a few hundred times (those of you who haven't already heard
it that much anyway) and it will be after the holiday.

Let me know what you think!  Maybe this will become a regular gathering.


"I could be here and now. I could be, I should be, but how?"
Nick Drake


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 00:16:44 -0600
From: Michael De Bernardi <>
Subject: Re: 4:20
Message-ID: <p04310100b54bde02868e@[]>

April 20 is also the day that Albert Hoffman discovered LSD.



Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 22:30:59 -0700
From: "Radiosinmotion" <>
Subject: Armchair Publicist.
Message-ID: <004501bfc21c$95164240$0200a8c0@digitalpc>


Instead of kissing up to TVT to score points so they will make your next
interview easier, you should read through peoples post before jumping the
gun to call someone an "Armchair Publicist."  I have worked as a lead
promoter for many years and had a lot to do with the promotion of many
groups throughout California.  Second, whether you want to accept it or not,
regardless how good TVT is to you, they could have done better, PERIOD.

They could have notified us letting us know where XTC was so we could have
tuned in.  It would not have taken that long to send a few notes.
Regardless, they are not a perfect label and though I appreciate that they
put out XTC's stuff, I am going to complain when I feel something is not
being done right.  I doubt anyone would disagree, but as with most labels,
they are more concerned with promoting their Rap acts and wannabe rage
against the machine acts instead of promoting good music (or at least better
artists).  That is just my opinion...


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 00:57:36 -0700
From: "Shawn Stone" <>
Subject: AV vol. 1 poppin' up!
Message-ID: <001001bfc231$101a2c40$>

Hey.  Check this out.  I was in Borders, perusing the CD travel cases, and
what do I see quietly peeking out from one of the cases in a photo on a
package, but a familiar red and green disc, with the words "Apple Venus" on
it.  Nice, eh?


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 19:48:24 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: P-Model and lost bands
Message-ID: <001401bfc24a$5d19bec0$7e5791d2@oemcomputer>

speaking of lost bands , anybody out there ever heard of the japanese band
P-MODEL ? their first  album on warner brothers japan entitled " in a model
room " ( 1979 )  was most definitely heavily influenced by White Music / Go
2 XTC ( with synthesizers ) . i got to seem them in concert in tokyo in 1986
by which time their sound had changed , nevertheless the show was very
impressive . as far as i know they were still together ( after various
member changes ) a couple of years ago .

oh - my 3 out of 5 star rating for wasp star was 3 out of 5 on the XTC SCALE
. 5 being Black Sea in my record book .



Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 14:29:40 +0200
From: Jeff Thomas <>
Subject: Amazing news!!!
Message-ID: <>

Hey everybody!

You won't believe what I heard today!!  XTC is coming out with *A NEW
ALBUM*!!!!  And to top it off, it'll be out NEXT WEEK!!!  Wow!!  Cool,
huh??  I wonder what's gonna be on it??!!??  I thought to myself, I just
*have* to share this amazing news with my "Kreideberger" friends.  Tell
someone else -- pass it on!!!

Hey, I'm psyched -- if you're half as excited as I am, then... well,
then I'm twice as excited as you!!

Wow, I can hardly wait!!!

Jeff "no, not at Bayer today (surprisingly)" Thomas


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 09:35:45 EDT
Subject: Trades wanted
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkhillers,

I'm hoping that someone or someones can help me complete my XTC collection.
Can anyone out there sent me a CD-R or high quality MP3 files of the
following tracks.  In return, I have a lot of rarities to trade.

How Frivalous Tonight Came To Be (From Japanese "Homespun")
Humble Daisy (Demo) (From "Gribouillage)
Dear Madam Barnum (Demo) (From "Gribouillage")
Acoustic Medley from "On The XRT" CD
Rip Van Reuben (From "Wrapped In Grey" CD)

I appreciate any response I receive.

J. D. Mack


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 08:58:43 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: anybody remember these bands?
Message-ID: <l03130302b54c471441d9@[]>

>The music has not aged well over the years, but I did enjoy it
>at the time....
>Roman Holliday
>Big Bam Boo
>Big Daddy
>The Bluebells
>Anyone else remember these bands?

  Somewhat; Roman Holliday I have vaguely distasteful memories of from some
early MTV video, JoBoxers I remember their minor hit "Just Got Lucky,"
reminded me of Ian Dury and the Blockheads hijacked by a knuckleheaded
American singer(the band was mostly British with an expatriate American
singing lead, as I recall from my college radio days). Big Bam Boo I
remember seeing in the cutout bins constantly in the late 80's but never
took a chance on them. Big Daddy is an absolute hoot, a supposedly 50's
rockabilly band whose plane crashed on a USO tour in Vietnam sometime in
the early 60's, and upon being rescued in the early 80's and returning
home, they went back to work in the only way they knew how, covering the
hits of the day early rock and roll style. Imagine "I Want To Know What
Love Is" done "La Bamba" style, "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" "Duke Of
Earl" style and "Like A Virgin" done like Frankie Avalon's "Venus,"("Oh
virgin...Hey virgin...")and you've got the idea. Perfect for warping the
minds of 80's top 40 pop fans like my wife. To my knowledge they don't do
either Air Supply or XTC.
  The Bluebells put out a wonderful Celtic rock-twelve string guitar hybrid
EP that was quite wonderful, and disappeared. Pity, "Cath" was a joyous
piece of twelve string guitar pop. Black's one album Wonderful Life was one
of the most morose pieces of work I've ever heard, title aside. It's very
well written and similar musically to what Seal was doing in the early
90's, but though I have it on cassette, I haven't been able to listen to it
for a long time, though I brought it on the strength of the single
"Everything Is Coming Up Roses," which did well in Montreal where I was
living at the time. I like my depression somewhat more therapeutic, and I
find Black kind of whiny, kind of a bargain basement Morrissey.

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at

"A Great law protects me from the government. The Bill of rights has
10 GREAT laws.  A Good law protects me from you.  Laws against murder,
theft, assault and the like are good laws.  A Poor law attempts to
protect me from myself."  - Unknown


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 09:05:50 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Driving Blind
Message-ID: <l03130303b54c4b935032@[]>

>Toured northern Ontario with an original R&B/Roots/Alternative band called
>Monkeywalk (they later changed their name to Driving Blind - anyone out
>there ever heard of them?). Spent the better part of two weeks curled up in
>a ball in the back of dilapidated van, blissfully soaking in my brand new
>cassette copy of Nonsuch under headphones.

  Yes, I have their album under the Driving Blind name; didn't know they
were from Montreal until I bought the album which I found in a cutout bin
for three dollars. Good stuff, though I haven't listened to the album in a
while, with all the stuff I keep getting. My wife is getting very fed up
with all the space taken up by CDs, cassettes and LPs, but hey- she knew
who she was marrying.

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at

"A Great law protects me from the government. The Bill of rights has
10 GREAT laws.  A Good law protects me from you.  Laws against murder,
theft, assault and the like are good laws.  A Poor law attempts to
protect me from myself."  - Unknown


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 08:42:15 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Billy Might Well Be A Mountain
Message-ID: <l03130301b54c46811f2e@[]>

>.All declarative sentences form the logical statement "A equals B" --
>"Billy is a mountain." What's missing from this construction is the notion
>that Billy may be hundreds or thousands of things *other* than a mountain, he
>may also be a father, a lover, a drunk, an awesome snowboarder. By using that
>pesky little verb "to be" we *force* things to be what we declare them to be,
>and nothing else. How about if we had recast "Billy is a mountain" to "Billy
>has all the characteristics of a mountain," thus removing that "A equals B"
>construction: Doesn't that free Billy from the artificial strictures of

  I suppose you'd have to ask Frank Zappa, if he weren't dead, that is.

Christopher R. Coolidge


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 09:52:50 -0400
From: "Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Can you still feel my pudding, Valerie?
Message-ID: <>


> From: Valerie Pedretti-Allen <>
> (I'm sending this from my wife's account because my email is down)

Sure you are, "Richard."

And Dan Pinder quoted me:

> > The proof's in the pudding, right?
> Actually, no. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Hmmm, that's not what my _USA Today's Big Book o' Misquotes_ says! It's in
the P's, right after the M's, which includes such favorites as "Music calms
the savage beast" and "Money is the root of all evil." Damn their eyes.

Thanks for being gentle, Dan.

Patrick Adamek asked:
>      Coming in at #10 was Jason Falkner with his 1999 album "Can You
> Still Feel?"   This is one of the most brilliant CDs that I have heard
> in a long time.  It is considered Beatlesque by the "experts" and I
> believe it to be one of the most consistently good albums that I have
> heard (by a new artist) in years.  I really think that it is second only
> to AV1 in 1999.  Does anyone else have a comment on Mr. Falkner?

Check out his previous effort, "Jason Falkner presents Author Unknown."
Great, great album, engineered by pal'o'mine Jim Ebert, whom I worked with
on several albums at Cue Recording Studios, in the DC area. Also, if you can
find it, I recommend "Ro Sham Bo" by The Grays -- Falkner's songs really
shine on that one, which is saying something, since the other
songwriters/frontmen involved are Jon Brion and Buddy Judge.



Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 09:42:09 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: BMI, PRO
Message-ID: <l03130305b54c505c7030@[]>

>It turns out that BMI owns a good deal of the licensing rights for
>public performance of a ton of regularly played radio staples and other
>stuff. We're talking Beatles, Elton John probably Phil Collins etc...
>You know the really big guys that everyone likes  (OK STOP we do not
>need another P. Collins Debate) . So BMI has a new deal, if you want to
>broadcast music over your website (or simply play it while people are
>doing their surfing) you can pay BMI an annual stipend and then have
>access to ALL of the tunes that they license. This will cost you a
>minimum of $250 and a maximum of $500 a year.  So I am thinking to
>myself. WOW I wonder if any of the boys stuff is out here. I figure out
>how to search their site and LO AND BEHOLD the tunes listed above are
>all part of the package.
>So if you are a web developer or have any sayso over your company's web
>page and you are thinking about some background music to play for your
>surfers, you might consider getting a BMI license and playing XTC for
>your audience instead of some elevator music stuff.
>BMI claims that 80% of their revenues get back to the artist which I
>think is a load of CACK! But who knows? the boys might get a buck or
>two from it and it certainly can't hurt to give their music some more
>Mole OUT

  It's a great deal, and the amount the artist gets might not be as much as
80%, but it's a lot more than they get from their record companies. BMI is
a non-profit organisation, as is their somewhat larger competitor ASCAP,
and the two of them control 98 percent of the performance royalties in the
USA(a third company, SESAC, covers almost exclusively Christian music).
What doesn't go towards salaries and operating expenses goes directly to
the artist. Canada has a similar organisation called PRO(Performance Rights
Canada)which does the same thing, I've been affiliated with them since high
school in the late 70's, when I registered four of my songs with them, and
I never got around to withdrawing when I moved to Vermont in 1990. PRO's
been very good to my friend Blizz from my old band Welcome Home, his
previous band, the legendary hardcore band Zyklon B, put out one single in
'82(with yours truly on backup vocals), and he still gets occasional checks
from PRO for public performance of the single, mostly in Eastern Europe and
Scandinavia. BMI works the same way, though I'm not sure if BMI works
worldwide. I worked for BMI for a while in the mid 80's as a logger, one of
the people who goes into public places where songs are played on the radio,
jukebox, top 40 band, whatever, and writes down a couple of hours worth of
song titles and artists, and returns them to BMI for evidence. This would
only be done if a certain business ignored repeated letters from BMI to
either pay the annual fee or cease and desist public performance of BMI
licensed music. This mostly applied to jukeboxes and top 40 bands;
technically the radio applies too, but you can turn off the radio, and
radio stations are already covered by their own fees, so playing the radio
in your store doesn't really count, since the performance is coming from
the radio station itself.

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at

"A Great law protects me from the government. The Bill of rights has
10 GREAT laws.  A Good law protects me from you.  Laws against murder,
theft, assault and the like are good laws.  A Poor law attempts to
protect me from myself."  - Unknown


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-127

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