Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-135

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 135

                  Thursday, 25 May 2000


              I've fallen and I can't get up
     Uncorked:an interview with XTC's Andy Partridge
                The Wheel and The Maypole
                   Andy's Brown Guitar
                    Man Is This Great
                 Wasp Star track-by-track
                  wasp star and football
                        Wasp Boise
                       Is this pop?
                   I wish I wish I wish
                    poking for cracks
              First impression? Blown away!
                  Re: anybody miss Dave?
                 Wasp Star in Lincoln, NE
      Why Women Love their Mr Potato Head ? - Part 2


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

He must be happy in his work.


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 10:15:43 -0700
From: "Victor Rocha" <>
Subject: I've fallen and I can't get up
Message-ID: <006201bfc5a3$b1c545a0$>

Wasp Star knocks me off my axis mundi. The anvil in "Playground" sounds like
an old friend.


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 13:40:34 -0400
From: "Gilmartin, Bob" <>
Subject: Uncorked:an interview with XTC's Andy Partridge
Message-ID: <>

THE CORK IS OUT people!  The latest interview with
Wasp Star

Check out this exclusive interview with XTC's Andy Partridge
just click on the link below!

an interview with XTC's Andy Partridge



Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 14:33:37 EDT
Subject: The Wheel and The Maypole
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 5/24/00 9:36:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<> writes:

<< "The Wheel And The Maypole" on first listen does not live up to the hype
 that's been zinging about these hallowed halls, and yet again displays the
 pared-down  new XTC sound. >>

To be honest, I didn't like this song the first couple times I heard it.
Now, I almost can't get enough of it.  What a great song... I love the ones
that kind of hit you later.



Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 14:20:25 EDT
Subject: Andy's Brown Guitar
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 5/24/00 9:36:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<> writes:

<< What I think I've been learning for the last month is that Andy is a
 much more technically proficient, and inovative player than I ever gave him
 credit for. (Check out the link if you need further
 evidence!) >>

Just want to chime in on the "I don't miss Dave" posts.  Well, I do miss
Dave's contributions to the band.  His guitar work and his arranging skills
were excellent.  Still watching the video of Andy, I definately
agree with this statement.  Andy is a better guitarist than I ever gave him
credit for.  I was very surpised.  I think on Wasp Star he still doesn't
sound comfortable in the lead guitarist role (yet) but I think it will be
intersting how he takes over this position



Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:14:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: Man Is This Great
Message-ID: <>

I love hearing people's first impressions of the
album.  It's so great to get three or four digests in
one day again.  Sadly, I can't get my copy until I get
back to my apartment, which might be in another three
weeks (thanks to my ankle).  At least I have the promo
copy to fill up my hunger, but it'll be great to get
the original copy.  I can use the promo as back up if
somethin happens to the original (or vise versa).
Changing the subject, I've been wondering how many
women in here find Andy Partridge sexy?  My reasoning
is that even though he's not the greatest looking man
in the world, his sexiness (sp) comes out in his wit.
He's very clever and seems to have a great sense of
humor.  And being British helps a great deal. :)
Erica's a very lucky woman to have him as the lover of
her life.  I wish I was that lucky.  I have these
dreams of him falling head over heels for me,
especially when the song, "Grass" comes on. :P
I'won't be online for a few days, because I'm going to
Boston, MA for my older brother's wedding.  I'm
bringing all my XTC CDs with me (thanks to my CD
wallet that holds 48 CDs).  I'll be back Sunday night.
 Talk to you then. :)


Molly's Pages:
My Tribute to Talk Talk & .O.Rang:


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:49:25 -0700
From: Rich Bunnell <>
Subject: Wasp Star track-by-track
Message-ID: <>
Organization: @Home Network

I really don't understand the people who don't like this album because
it's "not as good as Nonsuch or Volume 1". Do you guys really want XTC
to continue in that slow-pop vein for their entire career? I love those
albums just as much as the next guy, but I don't want them to fall into
a rut with it. Anyway, here're my track-by-track opinions...

Playground: Greatly improved from the demo version thanks to a beefed-up
guitar line and the wonderful vocals of Holly Partridge, this is a
glorious opening track and for my money, one of the band's best ever.
It's such an impressive song, and just emanates great songwriting. The
lyrics are really good too, with the exception of all of the rhymings of
the title ("Playground, every dayground"...wha?").

Stupidly Happy: This was one of my favorite demos in spite of the
repetitiveness factor, and they managed to make the song even better
through a kickarse drumbeat and a lot of cool new little things (like
that quick acoustic strum after the first part of the second verse).
Though it doesn't really go anywhere, it's really catchy and just rolls
right through.

In Another Life: Colin's still in bouncy mode, but as opposed to "Fruit
Nut" bouncy, this is a bit more hard-edged (meaning that it has electric
guitars in it, though not very many). I really like this song's melody--
it flows really well. Could be a good single in a better world.

Some Lovely: Sort of disappointing if you ask me. They took Andy's
charming version of this song from the Hello EP, toned down the
harmonies, put these loud, crunching guitars in the chorus which really
hurt my ears, and somehow make the song even slower than it was before.
I like all of the innuendos in the lyrics, and the song isn't bad, but
it sounds like it needs editing and for now I'd rather stick with the
old version.

Boarded Up: There's a word for people who don't like this song because
it's "too simple," and it's spelled like this: S-U-P-E-R-F-I-C-I-A-L.
Sure, the melody was probably written in like 4 minutes (which
technically means that Colin's back to classic songwriting mode, when
you think about "Ball and Chain" and "Love at First Sight"), but the
cool part of the song is all of the stuff that they've put around it,
like those clumsy riffs after each mention of the title, the footsteps
in the background, the overall ATMOSPHERE of the song-- one of the best
on the album.

I'm The Man Who Murdered Love: I was wondering why they chose to release
this as the single, because the demo, while really good, didn't sound
very commercial at all. Yeesh, they really beefed it up. The lyrics are
hilarious (this has got to be Andy's funniest song of all time) and the
defiant outburst of the chorus just captivates my ears every time it
jumps out.

We're All Light: The demo (yeah, I'm referring a lot to demos, live with
it) was really good in a sort of bouncy guitar-pop kind of way, so
that's why I was so surprised to hear them graft a dance-beat onto the
song and (gasp) not make it suck! My favorite part of the song is Andy's
really fast singing ("The STUFF just pours out!") right before the
fadeout, but this is one really cool song. The only thing I don't think
needed to be there was that Cypress Hill sound after each chorus-- not
really bad, but it seems to be there just for the purpose of making
people call the band "old posers" or something.

Standing In For Joe: It should've started with a harmonious chorus like
the demo did instead of having Colin almost whisper it to us, but this
is Colin's funniest song ever, no doubt. The music is simple catchy
bubblegum pop, but then you listen to the lyrics and it's actually a
story about having sex with Joe's wife while he's out of town. "Love is
like a river, you cannot stop its flow"--ha.

Wounded Horse: It sort of disrupts the flow of the album. It's okay, but
it doesn't really have a distinctive melody, it's sort of just generic
hard-edged blues. I like Colin's "Back in the saddle!" but while sitting
through it I really just want it to end so the album can get to the last
three magnificent tracks.

You And The Clouds: Yeah, it sounds like Sting, but it sounds like the
best song Sting ever wrote (outside of the Police) so I don't have too
much of a gripe. Winner of the "most improved" song award, since the
demo just sounded like a clumsy rhythm track trying to impersonate an
actual song.

Church Of Women: Excellent, though a little long if you ask me. Could've
been about four minutes long as opposed to five. That truthfully isn't a
problem (this is one of my favorite songs on the album) but the problem
is that I really want the song following it to start, for obvious
reasons. I like the lyrics a lot, along with the backing vocals during
the second verse which start out a beat late but still manage to catch
up to Andy. And I'm not exactly a guitar afficionado, so I don't really
care about the change in the guitar solo. To tell you the truth, I
didn't even notice it.

Wheel and the Maypole: EXCEL-FRICKIN-LENT. Two equally well-written and
entirely different songs merged into one like they were meant to be that
way. I especially love how the "And the pot won't hold our love!" chorus
completely EXPLODES in comparison to the verses. I really don't get the
comment a couple of digests ago that said that they overproduced the
song and that the demo was "so much better." I liked the demo, but Andy
really pissed me off when he took the great first half of the song and
turned it into this bouncy, boring banjo ditty for the next four
minutes-- that problem's fixed here because they really meated up the
"Maypole" half of the song. Andy also gets credit for realizing that the
song's original intro was a ripoff of the intro to "Brass In Pocket" by
the Pretenders, and fixing that problem.

All in all, a really great album, with 10 wonderful tracks and 2 okay
ones. A review of it (and all of the other albums) can be found at -- add reader
comments to the page, dammit.

Rich Bunnell


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 13:49:58 -0500
From: "Jan C. Harris" <>
Subject: Synthesia
Message-ID: <017101bfc5b1$eb696760$20a6f5d0@janstrigem>

Ah!  *that* was the word!  Steven Wilder writes:  <<G major is
blue, while Gb is closer to dark purple
D major is green, while Db is darker green, like teal
A major is red
B major is orange, while Bb is a matted, duller, greyer orange
e minor is dark grey or black, E major is lt. grey or maybe

Kay Gardner has done a lot with music therapy and music designed
for meditation and healing.  In her book, "Sounding the Inner
Landscape" she puts the colors of the spectrum on a major scale:
C - Red, C#orD flat - Orange/red
D - Orange, D# or E flat - Yellow/Orange
E - Yellow
F - Yellow/Green
F# or G flat - Summer Green
G - Sky blue
G# or A flat - Royal or deeper blue
A - Indigo, A# or B flat - somewhere in between Indigo and violet
B - Violet

And white is "all sound."

Granted, this fits conveniently into a number of newage systems,
and doesn't take into consideration major / minor, etc.  But it
is an alternate view...

I heard the dandilions roar!


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 15:36:04 EDT
Subject: wasp star and football
Message-ID: <>

this album has to be their most instantaneously infectious album. it doesn't
take 3 or 4 listens before the songs buzz around your head. damn maybe even
some of my mates may like it straight off without wanting to kick the stereo
out the window...

as for football teams, i must say i seem to be the only one with any taste
around here. chelsea? oxford (ooh how i remember wembley '86 bbbrrrrrrr..)?
west ham? charlton? some one put the toilet seat down. dear oh dear. i
thought xtc fans were made of tougher stuff than that. well next season we'll
show you upstarts what quality football is all about. QPR Premiership
champions 2003. remember you heard it here first.

Liam Duggan

The Mush from Shepherds Bush


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 14:50:04 -0600
From: Phil Corless <>
Subject: Wasp Boise
Message-ID: <>

I couldn't wait for the Amazon shipment to arrive, so I paid
a visit to our local Hastings "Discount Entertainment" where
there were NO Wasp Stars waiting for me.... An assistant
manager greeted my queries with, "XTC?  They are amazing...
Andy Partridge is the man!  Apple Venus was brilliant!  And we
probably won't be ordering Wasp Star because they don't
sell very well."


Half-mile down the road, I found 15 copies of Wasp Star at

"Wheel and the Maypole" instantly struck me as a classic.....


Date: 24 May 00 14:39:54 PDT
From: Brian Wysolmierski <>
Subject: Yuck
Message-ID: <>

Someone said:
 "Mr. Potato Head's "Pink Thing" produces images of an adorable Little Tater

**Now that's disgusting!


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 15:31:10 -0700
From: "Drew MacDonald" <>
Subject: Is this pop?
Message-ID: <000501bfc5cf$c2f1ec80$>

I'm looking at an advertisement for an one-day indie-pop festival on July 2
at Irvine Lake here in Southern California. Beck is headlining, and the bill
also features Yo La Tengo, Built To Spill, Sensefield, Grandaddy, Beachwood
Sparks and 14 other acts, including one called Seagull Screaming Kiss Her
Kiss Her.

Have any Chalkhillians heard of this band? If so, are they as XTC-
influenced as their name would indicate? And what's up with the singular
"Seagull" --a mistake in the ad or a choice by the band?

np: the promo single for "ITMWML," which includes Colin's demo for "It
Didn't Hurt A Bit." This is probably old news to many of you, but I'm
hearing it for the first time and I like it as much as any of the Colin cuts
on WS. I wish they'd included a produced version on the album.


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 15:05:37 -0700
From: "Hiatt, Randy" <>
Subject: I wish I wish I wish
Message-ID: <F34536084B78D311AF53009027B0D7EAE3D95B@FSBEX01>

I wish AV2 had Dave all over it.  It really needs his polish, twists,
interplay, keys, guitars.  Too many holes ready for him, too many weak
solo's (sorry Andy).

Also  it really would have been a great 2 CD set.  I'll put these in the
changer and hit Random.  Or I may burn my own CD... any ideas of what the 2
CD set list may have been like?

I also wish the tunes ended without cross fading into each other (why did
they do that?).

Church of Women was a better demo (too clean now), and Brown guitar is a
better CD track with all the kick assing going on.

Colin again has astounded me.  I didn't see the need for his part in the
demo's as Andy did a great job too.  BUT... wow, Colin has the touch and
note choice to make me croon... he's a great study.  His songs are great
too.  No wonder Chris Squire was a real influence.

All in all I was expecting a rawer hotter sound, but after all it's the
songs I love, no matter how they lay them down.

To turn on a friend to this CD what would you play 1st?
I'll start off with We're All Light, as it is the most XtCish and the humor
always is a catcher.  I told my girlfriend You And The Clouds reminded me of
her (now she loves the CD).

Randy (just plain Stupidly) Hiatt


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 23:44:04 +0100
Subject: poking for cracks
Message-ID: <>

look look,THIS IS POP,STOP RUNNING THEM DOWN,they are happy with
it.stop poking for cracks,they are X  T  C,and fucking creative

from dave,the man who murdered love


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 17:00:43 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: First impression? Blown away!
Message-ID: <>

I was afraid to write this too soon, for fear of seeming too fawning &
overfull with praise, but I just can't keep it in...

What the hell is the deal with some of you?!

After two or three listens, I won't say that this is their "best ever",
that takes more time, as someone pointed out, but I will say that at the
very least this is definitely proving to be one of the best "first
listens" I've experienced. This album is loaded with great production
decisions, and seems to me to make use of sounds and skills picked up from
every phase of the bands' career. The guitar sound has got to be the best
since "Big Express", which I consider this album's closest relative, more
than Black Sea or O&L (no, I don't mean it's "just like it" or anything,
and yes, I do hear the others too, though I've long thought that anyone
who tends to dismiss BE as "too 80s sounding" should try to get past the
drum machines and listen to the guitars & bass a bit more).

Interesting that we've heard both "overproduced" AND "minimalistic" to
describe the production job on this album. People are already hearing
wildly differing aspects, which I think should be considered a good sign
for an XTC album... (as that often seems to happen with their best stuff)

I just can't understand at all the people who are saying it doesn't sound
like XTC, because it does, through and through, truly and unmistakeably.
Everything is here - all the elements I've grown to expect and cherish,
and more: this album is as "skip free" as though I'd made a mixed tape of
favourites from all the albums. Andy sounds like he's playing his ass off
to make up for being the sole guitarist, and I for one am impressed, and
that's just a compliment to Andy, not an insult to Dave (one does not
automatically lead to the other, in spite of what some people seem to

And of course, there are the ever-incredible Moulding bass parts, an
integral part of the XTC sound for me. Maybe it's because I'm such a bass
fan generally, but losing Colin would be a much bigger and more damaging
loss to the sound of the band. To answer the guy who said a while back
that Dave leaves a bigger gap than Colin would - no disrespect for Dave,
but I just can't agree: listening specifically to Colin's bass is a big
part of my enjoyment of XTC's music - more than guitars, if the hardcore
guitar-centrists can believe such a thing (personally, I could more easily
put together a list of favourite basslines than of favourite guitar solos,
and that's pop music in general, not just XTC, but I realize that that's
just me) - and the way his songs clear the palate during the multi-course
Andy feast isn't always appreciated enough...

And yes, I've had the demos for a while, and was worried that they would
taint my experience, but that just hasn't happened. There were a few
little touches from the demos that I missed at first, but that's fading
fast; for the most part they've been replaced by new little touches that
are starting to cling to my brain like barnacles. Almost without exception
every song has new life and colour in the final versions.

And yes, I had the opportunity to hear a bunch of MP3s ahead of time, and
some of them had me fearing that some of the naysayers might have a point,
but now I've just gained an even lower opinion of most computer's sound
setup (especially the speakers, obviously). It also seems to me that MP3s
have the "cold CD sound" effect decried by vinyl partisans, only much more
so (not that that's a debate I want to start... It's purely subjective, I
have no scientific backing, but I swear I can hear it...). Songs whose
arrangement & production I thought seemed, well, kind of dead when I heard
them as MP3s on a computer really came to life when I listened to the real
deal on a proper stereo. In fact, they sounded much more different than I
ever would have thought possible. Which makes me wonder: have any of those
who've been going on about how disappointed they are by the sound of this
album been listening to it on a computer through shitty computer speakers?
(And even higher-end computer audio setups with subwoofers and everything
are more geared to producing realistic explosion sounds and monster grunts
for gaming than playing music IMO). Now, I think that computers are as
cool as any other geek here, but quite frankly they just can't hold a
candle to a proper stereo system. You might as well judge an album after
hearing it over the phone as through computer speakers, as far as I'm
concerned. And I am NOT an obsessed anal-retentive audiophile, believe me,
I know a few...

I was going to do the old obligatory song-by-song review (which I will do,
come hell or high water; you may not care, you can skip it, but I've been
itching to do one since last year when I was lurking & reading everone's
AV1 reviews) but not today; I'm going to go home and give myself another
evening of listening (maybe a nice drive with it cranked up in the car...)
and sort out my thoughts as to just how to describe my reactions. (Beyond
"Unnh! Me like!")

Ed K.


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 19:50:53 -0500
From: Dave Hughes <>
Subject: Re: anybody miss Dave?
Message-ID: <>

Gary wrote:

<Well...I've been listening to Wasp Star day in and day out for almost a
month now, and I wish I could say otherwise, but I don't miss him in the
least. What I think I've been learning for the last month is that Andy is a
much more technically proficient, and inovative player than I ever gave him
credit for.>

I miss Dave, at least because I know he's not there and was there for 20
years.  However, it sure makes it easier to tell who's playing what guitar
part now!
Dave Hughes
Host of "Late in the Evening" on Nebraska Public Radio


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 19:38:48 -0500
From: Dave Hughes <>
Subject: Wasp Star in Lincoln, NE
Message-ID: <>

Travis wrote:

<Well, today- May 23rd, 2000 was supposed to be the day
I would cruise on down to the record store and get my
hands on the new XTC album "Wasp Star". Let this be a
lesson to not live in the giant cow pasture known as
rural Nebraska.  None of the "major" record store
chains in Norfolk Neb. have it today, and may not have
for a week!>

Dang, that sucks!

<This happened last year with AV1, so I
should have known better.  I really wanted to spend
today- my last day of me being in my twenties, with

Best Buy in Lincoln didn't have AV1, but I picked it up at
Homer's in Lincoln (there's also some Homer's in Omaha as well).
BTW, I also asked for and received a Wasp Star poster and
12 x 12 Wasp Star flat, too at the downtown Lincoln Homer's.
Anybody else get these two things (ther was a third WS poster,
but they didn't have any extra of that colorful thang).

<Oh well, Omaha isn't that far I guess.>

I hope you went, cuz the disc is great!
Dave Hughes
Host of "Late in the Evening" on Nebraska Public Radio
Saturdays Evenings 11 pm to 1 am Central Time
This week, 5-27-00, MIXIN' IT UP SOME MORE. Mixin' up the best new blues,
new XTC (from their new one, "Wasp Star"), plus some ska and reggae.
Live stream available at our website
"I don't understand why we had to play so loud." - Pete Townshend, 2000


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:05:27 +1000
From: "Toni Adler" <>
Subject: Why Women Love their Mr Potato Head ? - Part 2
Message-ID: <007201bfc5ed$b2d3a8c0$bc01000a@LocalHost>

In Chalkhills #6-133 sited some plausible
explanations as to Why Women Love Mr Potato Head?  I haven't time to discuss
each point because I am technically writing an essay but did it ever occur
to you that he could just be the "King of Roots" .  I think most vegos would
agree that the spud is the king of root vegetables and I am prepared to
challenge anyone who says otherwise.  Spuds rule, OK.  Apart from being a
fabulously versatile and delicious vegetable they also provide you with an
opportunity to engage in some rather predictable but nonetheless amusing
sexual innuendo. What more could you ask for?  Well, I suppose there's the
parsnip shaped liked penis but they are hard to find.

Cheers, toni.

"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We
can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."  - Immanuel Kant


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-135

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