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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-132

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 132

                   Tuesday, 23 May 2000


               Wasp Star arrives in Germany
                    Anybody Miss Dave?
                     XTC - Wasp Star
       Re: Ultraprophets of thee Psykick Revolution
                        Aunt Sally
                        Wasp Star
                     Faded Wasp Star
                    first impressions
          First impressions of first impressions
                         Got it!
                      TVT inanity...
                   Stung by Wasp Star!
                    RE: Rolling Stone
                     Waiting in Vain
                      More Football
Football, a long drive and the ultimate lost band a challenge!
                      smiling clocks


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

I'm stupidly happy / With idiot grin.


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 07:52:20 +0200
Subject: Wasp Star arrives in Germany
Message-ID: <0006800024831944000002L042*@MHS>

Hey all you "Kreideberger",

Just got it!  ("Monday" is the answer, Vee.)  Listened through it once.
Excited, happy, wow!  "First first" impression:

To those of you who don't like "Boarded Up":  YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING
MINDS!!!  What a great song!

I'll send my "second first" impressions a little later!

Ciao for niao

- Jeff


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 10:13:35 -0500
From: Mark <>
Subject: Anybody Miss Dave?
Message-ID: <>

Swimming in delight with my copy of Wasp Star............I have to
wonder though......what would it sound like with Dave on guitars??

Mark in a house on a hill in Omaha
Still stupidly happy that WS is finally here


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 11:22:01 +0100
From: "Michael Volpe" <>
Subject: XTC - Wasp Star
Message-ID: <000801bfc4a0$bd86c200$dd8c93c3@pc16237>

Having been a fan of the boys since - well since they were boys ! - I wanted
to register, for the benefit of any followers visiting your pages, my view
of the latest album.

Been through it all and I must say, without doubt, unquestionably and beyond
all argument, this is XTC's finest hour. I listened intake car this morning
and was stunned. I read  a review by someone on the digest and thought the
descriptions of the songs were just too weak to do them justice. Taste of
course is an issue but the track he accuses of being "Sting-like" is nothing
of the sort whatever. Everything of the past  - however good - is consigned
to also-ran material now as far as I am concerned. Settlement, Oranges and
Lemons, Mummer, Black Sea, Big Express et al, all those great albums. This
is the pinnacle. Long live Andy Partridge !

Mike V


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Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 08:30:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Ultraprophets of thee Psykick Revolution
Message-ID: <>

Jeff Eason <> wrote:
>I'm new to this site but has anyone listed great albums by bands that only
>had one release? My favorite in that category would have to be Quiet Sun's
>eponymous album with the runner up prize going to Ultraprophets of the
>Psykick Revolution's album "Christmas".

Actually, the album is called "Ultraprophets of thee Psykick
Revolution", the band is Christmas.  Christmas recorded three albums,
two of which made it to CD, the second being "Vortex".  The album "In
Excelsior Dayglo" never made it to CD.  Christmas has long since
warped into Combustible Edison, darlings of the lounge set.  Far from
a one album wonder.

	-- John


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 17:39:51 +0200
From: "Alan Welby" <>
Subject: Aunt Sally
Message-ID: <003c01bfc4cd$27e63000$ce05bed4@default>

It has been impossible to sleep, I have tried counting sheep, and finally
the door creaks that Santa Claus or my Dad creeping in with with
my stocking laden down with Christmas pressies?
Who cares?? It is Christmas day at last!
Within two seconds of "Santa" leaving the room; I rip open my pressies,
greedily devouring everything - the waiting is over.....
And so it was yesterday, when Wasp Star finally reached the shops.
I scuttled back to Brussels via Eurostar, panting with excitement. I had
read all the reviews / fought off downloading from Napster and there I sat
in my flat fingering the cd.
In to the stereo with the cd and lie back to have my Wasp Star virginity
roughly taken.....

My first impressions are mixed - for me the stand out tracks are In another
life and the Wheel and Maypole.
And while I think it is think that album is as accessible as any in XTC's
canon, I can't imagine any hits coming from it. Almost all the songs are
excellent but none have that x factor to produce a hit with the traditional
single buying public (given that XTC is no boy band or an underground dance

While the reviews have generally been good (deservedly so) and I think that
WS will outsell Apple Venus (AV1 has given momentum to XTC which they have
lacked since Skylarking) - I have to agree with Huw Davies who sees XTC as
Radio 2 band.....not really the place for cutting edge music.

On the subject of football teams - my heart sinks with all this sympathy for
Swindon Town. Having grown up in the shadow of the White Horse (note: which
is in Oxfordshire -ahem-) - there was only one team to support: Oxford
United - Swindon's deadly rivals. From what I understand Terry is the only
XTC band member who is footie fan and he supported (can you follow football
in oz?) Chelsea. How any one could support Swindon is beyond me - even if
you have the misfortune to come from there. For those who haven't been to
Swindon - it is no Venice (cf Boarded Up). Now that Partridge has some cash
coming in, it must be a matter of time before he moves out a la Moulding.
Great to see Swindon down in Div 2 and looking forward to an easy 6 points
next year!

Is Aunt Sally (as mentioned in the Wheel and Maypole and by Joshua
Hall-Bachner) a reference to the game of the same name. It is a pub game
only played in Oxfordshire / bits of  Wilts and Berks by throwing a stick at
a white "head" or "dolly".
There is even a Aunt Sally league in the Vale of White Horse and I remember
an Aunt Sally World Cup in Abingdon (which only had teams from Oxfordshire /
Wilts /Berks in it)!!

Alan Welby


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 08:41:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: chris ormsby <>
Subject: Wasp Star
Message-ID: <>

The only thing better than listening and reading about
Wasp Star on the Internet is having it delivered to
you in an hour.  Kudos to for
having Wasp Star primed and ready to go (and delivered
under an hour) to anyone in Manhattan first thing this

This is simply an incredible album.

Also, for all you XTC COLLECTORS I notice that a place
called Chameleon Collectibles is auctioning off a
Hippy Bag, a promotional item for the Duke's of
 I am not involved with it.

Also, on Ebay in general there are a few XTC items
lurking about.......


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 18:58:36 +0100
From: Michael Martin <>
Subject: Faded Wasp Star
Message-ID: <002401bfc4e0$84a9c460$070b10ac@m9v7a9>

Sorry me hearties, but a bit of a sad de-lurk here.  Had Wasp Star all
of one day, and it ain't really happening for me.  Where did the magic
go?  Who turned the tunes button off?  Not saying it's a bad album, but
as of a couple of listens, it is a disappointment.

Every so often my ears perked up and had me twitching "there! that bit
was XTC! that's them!", but occasional signature flourishes and noodles
do not a whole song make.  I ignored the advance Chalkhills previews in
order to make my own-mind up, but in retrospect I can see where the
"this isn't the work of our beloved"-vibes were coming from.

I have to say that I've approached every album since (and including)
Skylarking with sky-high expectations, which normally take a while to
reach some sort of fulfilment, but it really feels like this is maybe
the weakest effort to date.  Colin's efforts are the most ear-catching
for me so far, maybe because there the nearest to what I was expecting -
I'm not against progression, but just bring some decent melodies along
for the ride...

Ironically, I part-paid with a refund from the last Barenaked Ladies CD
(utter pants - unwanted present), but so much of WS reminded me of the
same kind of sound.

Oh dear.  I don't suppose this will win me many new friends.  If Wasp
Star grows on me after a few more listens I'll come back and fess up.
AV1 didn't blow me away to start with but I now see as one of their
finest, so you never know.

On the football theme from a few mails back, am I the only Chalkhills
Don?  Now relegation - that's real disappointment, oh yes...still,
"Wombles 'til I die!" and all that.

Pip pip!


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 10:28:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: first impressions
Message-ID: <>

Tuesday, 5/23/00:
woke up, groomed, quick spin through the NY Times then
off to Border's for my copy of Wasp Star (had a 15%
off coupon).

One quick listen provokes this response:
It's good!
-Not as challenging or immediately stunning as AV1,
but really yummy!
-This has been said already, but it sounds closest to
O&L to me, with somewhat less busy arrangements.
-We're All Light has hit single written all over it!
-Wounded Horse, while not as bad as the demo, thrills
me the least of anything on WS.
-Lots 'o sex in the lyrics!

Will it be a hit? who knows? Parts of it sound radio
friendly, but it's intelligent, which is out of sync
with the Kid Rock/Limp Biskit shit peing played now.


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 13:12:44 -0500
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: First impressions of first impressions
Message-ID: <>

Also Spracht Mark Strijbos:

> - the "guitar solo" in I'm The Man is a joke.
> Those of you who predicted that A.P. would be able to replace or at
> least replicate Dave's parts are proven wrong once & for all.

Got to disagree with you there, mate ... I think the solo on I'm the Man is
a riot. From out of nowhere this pseudo-Arabic, utterly incongruous guitar
passage drops inthe perfect complement to this light, slightly silly song.
No, I stick to my previous positionit's Church of Women where Gregsy's
absence is most painfully felt. It takes really sharp instincts to use space
in a guitar solo the way Andy tries to, and he doesn't have those instincts
the way Dave does; he ends up sounding simply hesitant. On the whole,
though, I think Andy acquits himself rather well.

> - i don't think it will be a million-seller in today's market

It won't, and you know why? Because the songs are too full of real feeling.
One thing XTC has never been about (at least not since the very early days)
is attitude. However catchy "Stupidly Happy" is, it could never be a hit
because the adolescents and post-adolescents would be too embarassed to
blare it out of their car stereos. Maybe if Pearl Jam or some other morose
alternative act did it, really slow and with layers of heavy depressing
guitars, with a lyric about someone who really was stupid for being happy in
a relationship, then people could get into it ... aw, don't get me started.

> One final point: Andy, can we please get some really new material
> next time around? many of these songs have been floating around
> for almost a decade and that's just too long, even by XTC standards.
> Get writing!

Agreed. Though I still hope to hear Wonder Annual on an XTC record, it's
time to move on to whatever the next direction will be. It sounds like
Andy's becoming conscious of his reputation and the high standard he's set
for himself, which I hope won't paralyze his creativity. And is this the
first time the band went into the studio to record a set of songs and ended
up recording ONLY those songs, without bringing new material into the studio
to at least try out? With luck, Andy's subconscious has been busily storing
up ideas, and his next batch of tunes will be killer. Start writing, Andy!
And Colin!

Dan W.


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 18:10:15 +0100
From: "James McRae" <>
Subject: Got it!
Message-ID: <>

GOT MINE!  Huzzah!


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 12:39:08 -0500
From: "Jan C. Harris" <>
Subject: TVT inanity...
Message-ID: <01d501bfc4de$c9e9f4c0$53a6f5d0@janstrigem>

So I receive a message this morning from TVT.  It is from
"customer service."  It says, in hideous allcaps:  "PLEASE
howe to do this.  Do I go to the website?  Do I reply to this
message?  It lists an email addy and some phone numbers at the

I did figure out why they requested this, (I left the "g" out of
Bloomington) but I'm hoping it doesn't put my order on a shelf
somewhere.  (geez, most companies would figure it out by the zip

Grrrr.  I saw an ad in Wired which showed a shopping cart
floating on a rubber raft on an endless ocean.  The internet
customer experience....



Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 14:22:44 -0400
From: "Martin, Alan" <>
Subject: Stung by Wasp Star!
Message-ID: <>

Oh my God!

More will follow when I recover from being so stupidly happy. . .


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 13:49:42 -0500
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: RE: Rolling Stone
Message-ID: <>

Chris Coolidge said:

>   On an XTC note, I couldn't help noticing Rolling Stone already has a
> review of Wasp Star in the most recent issue(the one with Tom Green on the
> cover- ick). The review is good(three stars), qualified by the reviewer
> saying "They don't all rate with XTC's best(that would be a lot to ask),"
> but it's a favorable review nonetheless, referring to the songs as
> "streamlined, uncluttered miniatures."

That's another thing that pisses me off about Rolling Stone, something which
people tend not to mention. They'll give a band's new album a shallow,
mediocre review, always pointing out how it "doesn't rate with [the
artist's] best." Then you check their website, or the Rolling Stone record
guide or whatever, and *every* album has the same rating! I don't think
Rolling Stone's current music guide rates any XTC album higher than 4 out of
5 stars, and without going back and checking, I think the *only* one rated
that high is Skylarking. Which prompts the question: What exactly is the
artist's "best work," when everything is rated the same cowardly 3-3.5

Grumble grumble ...

Dan W.


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 15:20:12 EDT
Subject: Waiting in Vain
Message-ID: <>

Hey Clan,

Just thought you might like to know:  I don't have my copy of WASP STAR yet;
I haven't heard a scratch of demos; I haven't read any reviews - anywhere; I
have avoided all subject matter concerning this on the digest; MUST GET HELP;
am tearing my remaining hair out waiting for the f**king cd to show up in my
mail; I CAN'T BREATHE; I need new MUSIC.....


I will probably knock OVER the mail man just to get the bloody thing out of
his hands, and rip apart all that goofy bloody packaging to get to the
coveted cd gem I have waited for over a year.........

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programme.



Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 12:37:10 -0700
From: "Hiatt, Randy" <>
Subject: Yeee.....
Message-ID: <F34536084B78D311AF53009027B0D7EA144AD6@FSBEX01>


I'll have headphone rash soon.

Randy (in Seattle) Hiatt


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 20:43:37 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: More Football
Message-ID: <>

Just realised that this is funnier:

I have no interest in English football. I support

Except I don't. I still support Palace Nil.

Rory "Oh for God's Sake" Wilsher


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 20:25:25 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Football, a long drive and the ultimate lost band a challenge!
Message-ID: <>

We invented it so I won't call it "soccer"!

Huw Davies wrote:

"It's interesting to see what English football teams
people on this list support. QPR, Chelsea, Leyton
Orient (my own team) and as I seem to recall, Dom is a
West Ham fan. Of course, as an XTC fan I have
sympathies for poor old Swindon Town FC.

Apologies to those who have absolutely no interest in
English football/soccer."

I have no interest in English football. I support
Crystal Palace.

Tomorrow, I have to drive up to Chester (from Kent).
How many times can WS play on the journey (and back on
Thursday)? Oh joy! I'm expecting about 10 times! If I
don't know this album THOROUGHLY by then . . . I
expect every song to be engraved on my (mem)brain!

Once upon a time (1982?) I bought an  album called
"Fabrique" by a band called Fashion. I believe they
also made a second album, "Twilight Of The Gods" (or
was it "Idols?" dunno). They did a sort of
guitar'n'bass (slappy/plucky style  I'm not a muso)
mixed with synths and sequencers, but it was
GOOOOOOOD! Anyway, they had no impact on the charts,
or people in general. The tape, of course, has long
since gone to the great Cassette Deck In The Sky, and
there doesn't appear to be any info on this band (let
alone CD releases) that I can find. Anyone? Anyone?

Question: did Dom invent Tom to have someone to argue

Rory "just kidding, Tom and Dom" Wilsher


Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 15:46:39 -0500
From: RNV <>
Subject: smiling clocks
Message-ID: <>

> I believe the time to which you are referring is 2:50. This puts both
> hands at a slight upward cant, making the clockface "smile". It's
> done in ads, etc. (I just double-checked, and also found ads
> showing 10:10, which is the same, but the hands are reversed.)

Except that a clock would never display 2:50 as being the same as 10:10. By
the time the minute hand has reached the 10, the hour hand should almost be
at the 3. So maybe we can say that the time *you're* refering to is closer
to "1:50."

XTC content: guess what I've been listening to all day?

Yes, I'm stupid, Lee. Happy?



Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 15:48:12 -0500
From: "Jan C. Harris" <>
Subject: Chalkhills
Message-ID: <023e01bfc4f8$ad424c40$53a6f5d0@janstrigem>

Awright 'Hillians,

This is one of the most excellent lists I've seen.  Lots of
variety and articulate writers, and good netiquette (though I'm
still uncertain of quotes, since no one else here seems to mark
quotes with <<<quote>>>).  A superb influence, as I now have Wasp
Star and Drums and Wires on the way.  (Black Sea to come, but I
can only afford to expand at a certain rate...)

ON THE WAY!!!!!!  Yay!!!!!  (okay, so I'm miles behind everyone
else, but I'm still excited!)



Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 22:22:56 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: review
Message-ID: <>

Here's's review of WS:

The subtitle is perplexing: though apparently intended
as a companion piece to XTC's 1999 comeback album
Apple Venus Volume One, the songs on Wasp Star have
little to do with the pastoral orchestrations of Apple
Venus and much more in common with the XTC albums that
preceded it, especially Oranges & Lemons and
Skylarking. This is altogether welcome news, of
course: though nothing XTC have ever put their name to
has been dull, their greatest strength has always been
fairly straightforward pop songs with subtle kinks in
the musical and lyrical structure (think "Senses
Working Overtime", "Love On A Farmboy's Wages"). The
finest moments of Wasp Star--notably the epic pop hymn
"The Wheel and The Maypole" and the spectacularly
titled devotional "You And The Clouds Will Still Be
Beautiful"-- stand comparison with those or any other
of XTC's many finest hours. That, in pop terms, makes
the best moments of Wasp Star about as good as it
gets. --Andrew Mueller

One word springs to mind: RESEARCH!

Anyway, I've posted my own review, as I'm sure
everyone else has. I gave it a 5 (well, duh!).

Currently (23/5) ranked 17 on sales.

Rory "Dumbly Delirious" Wilsher


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-132

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