Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-136

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 136

                   Friday, 26 May 2000


                 Cloven Hoofed Ingrates!
                wasp star's skip quotient
                 The XTCness of Wasp Star
                      Re: stup-appy
           Dave/Barrytown/Album Closers/Thanks
                 Brian's starting to fade
           Re: those mp3's and that wasp star.
                  "Wasp" haters, beware!
          Iain Murray and the Dog with no Nuts!!
                     VIRUS ALERT !!!
                 free Wasp Star CD single
               TVT is doing something right
                        Car wars!
                 Harrison? I'm waiting...
               Service Beyond The Call ...


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

I'm guilty.

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


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 21:16:11 CDT
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: Cloven Hoofed Ingrates!
Message-ID: <>

          Shame! on you who say,

"I'm Tired of these songs,I want new stuff!"

     How dare you? You connect the dots!

              .    .     .

             .  .     .     .!

         XTC do not live for YOU!

   250,000 people bought AV1. How many do you
        think bought it and said...

  "...I'm tired of these songs! I like the demos better"?

    I'm very sorry you like the old ones better, I'm very
  sorry you like '---' more than 'Wasp' I'm very sorry you
  don't like WASP STAR!

     "I like the solo on the demo better!"

             Good For you!

    Now for something completely different!

         My review....

  ...XTC sound more like a 'Band' then they have since
  D&W. They are welcome in my abode any time. Maybe we
  can jam.


P.S. Don't forget to grab your free MP3 of Dave and Andy
             doing 'Strawberry Fields'


   Vee " I won't be impressed by a robot 'till I see
  one unwrap an 'individually wrapped,processed American,
          cheese FOOD slice'" Tube


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 22:31:46 -0400
From: David Oh <>
Subject: wasp star's skip quotient
Message-ID: <>

on the day after ws/av2's release, i have my rating available for scrutiny.

first, i must admit that i've had a cassette tape (thanks joe jarrett) of
an advanced copy (thanks jennifer ralston) of wasp star for the last 2
weeks. my subway rides to and from work have been filled with new xtc. it's
given me the time to choose my likes and dislikes about it.

however, i will not fully disclose exactly what my likes and dislikes are
about it here on chalkhills, other than to reveal my "skip quotient"
rating. i apply this rating to many of the albums i listen to frequently.
here is my formula:


or; (number of listenable tracks divided by total number of tracks) times
10, rounded to a zero decimal place.

using this formula, wasp star rates 8 out of 10.

just for the record, the following is a list of my ratings for some of the
xtc albums i have on cd:

drums & wires:                  9
black sea:                      9
english settlement:             8
mummer:                         6
the big express:                8
skylarking:                     9
chips from the chocolate fireball:      9
oranges & lemons:               9
rag & bone buffet:              8
nonsuch:                        9
bbc radio 1 live in concert:    9
fossil fuel:                    9
apple venus vol. 1:             9
wasp star/apple venus vol. 2:   8

i have a few other xtc cds, but these are the ones that matter... to me, at

last thing i want to say is this:

playground _must_ be released as a single!

what a great song! of course, if it were to be released, it would be
totally ignored by the masses, much like the mayor of simpleton was. there
is nothing that can measure ignorance.

 peace & xtc,



Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 13:34:17 EST
From: "Vzzz bx" <>
Subject: The XTCness of Wasp Star
Message-ID: <>

To all those people who are disappointed with WS because it's not 'XTC
enough':  Try listening to it as an album.  Not an XTC album.  Just an

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd like to think XTC are capable of
producing more than just XTC songs.  'Wheel/Maypole' is high XTC; 'Clouds',
'Stupidly Happy', and 'Boarded Up' aren't archetypal XTC at all.  Who cares?
  They're still bloody good songs in their own right.

In my opinion, XTC is original, dynamic, amorphous, and eclectic.  If the
style didn't change in 23 years, I wouldn't be as big a fan as I am now.

Adam D


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 22:52:44 -0700
From: "Dan P." <>
Subject: Re: stup-appy
Message-ID: <>

 "Just a couple of lips away is an evolutionary Bean Feast whose
insides are jumping." (We're All Light)

Funny you mention that lyric as it also caught my ear.  Great intro
phrase with  "Just a couple of lips away......" that sounds so catchy
(dare I say 'commercial') but is then somewhat diminished by the 'bean
feast' many words/syllables and incomprehensible.  In any
case, a big thumbs up from me for the entire CD.  I sense these guys
are trying to be more mainstream without selling out.......I think
they've succeeded.


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 00:35:34 -0400
From: "Frank McDonnell" <>
Subject: Dave/Barrytown/Album Closers/Thanks
Message-ID: <>

	New releases always bring out the Chalkhills hermits ...

	- After 20+ listens, I must cast my vote for the "Don't Miss Dave"
party.  While Dave is unquestionably a great player and added more than
his share to the material he played on (I'll trot out the well worn "That
Wave" solo in example), I do not feel that Andy's guitar playing on AV2 is
lacking in any way.  As a guitarist myself I always keyed in on Dave's
guitar parts; but it's always the songs themselves that rope me in.  I
think the negative reaction to the IMTWML "solo" that is going around is
misfounded - It's not even a solo, just a piece of the puzzle.

	- Yes, SIFJ apes the melody of "Barrytown", but I found that at
each listen SIFJ gains more of it's own identity in my mind.  If you are
stuck on the Dan similarity, give it a few more listens.  It's worth it; I
think it is Colin's best song on the disk.

	- XTC are the kings at closing an album.  They never fail to
provide a whollop to finish off a disk.  COW into TWATMP is sublime; I
Can't Own Her/Harvest Festival/The Last Balloon closes AV1 perfectly; I
could go on forever (Train Running Low ..., Complicated Game, Chalkhills
and Children) but will spare the bandwidth.

	- As a ridiculously infrequent poster (3 times in 7 years?????, I
just wanted to say thank you to the Chalkhills community as a whole.
While not a contributor (mainly because I am always 5-6 digests behind), I
rely on Chalkhills not only as a source of information about the Boys but
as a forum for interesting discussions about music in general.  Good show
John and crew!

	- One quick return to the great lost bands, I want to proffer up a
Portland, OR. band from the mid-90's called the Canaries.  They were never
signed, so I can't expect anyone out there to be familiar with them.  They
were a cross between the Mommyheads (RIP) and XTC, and deserved a better
fate.  If by any strange chance someone out there has heard of them and/or
has a copy of their Salt Money EP (which my tape player destroyed in self
defense), please email me off list.

	- Church of Women has been my favorite XTC song of all time from
the minute I heard the demo 3+ years ago.

	Frank "corporate America has forced me to write everything in
bullet-point lists" McDonnell


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 23:23:17 EDT
Subject: Brian's starting to fade
Message-ID: <>


-Brian Matthews wrote regarding Wasp Star:

P.S. I heard a bad cutoff in headphones at the tail end of a fade-out on
one of the tunes... ouch.

Yeah, that just couldn't have been done on purpose could it?  Andy's so
damn slack in the studio.  They just don't pay enough attention to the
songs.  They just spit 'em out and make albums as fast as they can,
quality be damned!  They didn't have enough time to fix that bad fade-out
did they?  Or, maybe slack ass Andy just didn't notice it.  I'm sure he
never listened to the album with headphones like you did, or perhaps your
headphones are better and his weren't good enough to catch the error.
Really neat that you heard it and Andy didn't.  Maybe you should produce
the next XTC album so that all the fade-outs will be perfect.  I think you
can blame this whole imperfect fade for the fact that XTC have never
received the commercial acclaim they so richly deserve.  I mean, you don't
hear 311 or Kid Rock albums with flawed fade-outs.  Hell, even the New
Kids On The Block got the damn fade-outs right.  Well, I guess Andy just
hasn't mastered the art of the fade.  There's always next album Andy,
don't give up.




Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 20:27:40 -0700
From: David Hathaway <>
Subject: Re: those mp3's and that wasp star.
Message-ID: <>

>From: "Brent" <>
>Morning Chalksters.
>Was flipping channels last night and on the local CBC news I came across a
>story on MP3's and Napster etc. I came in half way thru the story. They
>showed this guy searching and finding MP3's using Napster ( I believe) and
>lo and behold the computer screen was full of XTC tracks. Then they went
>to a close up of the PC screen showing the downloading of one of the songs
>and it was XTC 'Love On A Farmboys Wages'. Wish I saw the whole news

Well, actually, that guy would have been me, in my office.  My brother who
does booking and promo stuff here in Vancouver, and a CBC reporter had
phoned him to talk about Napster and copyright issues. He then sent the
reporter my way as I actually have Napster installed and certainly had an
opinion, so about 30 minutes later, cameraman in tow, I rambled for about
30 minutes. XTC's inclusion was my choice, I figured "love on a farm boy's
wages" was just too appropriate to use and talked about how Wasp Star
(which, I had on my desk already) was available via Napster weeks before
the actual release.

my little bit to promote XTC.


David Hathaway                        
The Electric Mail Company                         +1 (604) 482-1111

Dogbert: Has your electronic mail system made you more efficient?
Dilbert: In a way... Now I'm getting ignored at the speed of light.
                                                 -- Scott Adams


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 23:56:37 -0400
From: Ben Gott/Loquacious Music <>
Subject: "Wasp" haters, beware!
Message-ID: <>


So, I went to buy a few copies of "Wasp Star" on Tuesday, but my local
music store had gotten shafted by their suppliers!  Egads!  They had made
room on the "New Releases" shelf, and had been playing the promo on the
in-store system, but none of the seven copies they ordered showed up!  The
warehouse they order from is the same one from which most large stores
order (i.e., the one in Woodland, CA), so I'm surprised the shipment got
screwed up.

Anyway, despite this, I've turned many people onto this CD, and expect to
turn many, many, many more.  I still think it's XTC's best effort.  If you
don't like it, I'm sorry...If you give it a few more listens, maybe you
will...I sense an overwhelming unhappiness on the part of those who don't
like the album, though, and the sense that they'll try their damndest to
make it fit *somewhere* into the XTC side of their brain.

Here are some fave moments from "Wasp Star":

"Playground" - Holly's backing vocals, of course, and the harmonies on the
final "wooooooorld."

"Stupidly Happy" - The guitar ostinato at the end that sounds like Peter
Buck on steroids...

"In Another Life" - The horns!

"My Brown Guitar" - It sounds so much like the demo, but sparser...Less
complicated...I've always liked the "you want some I got some you want
some..." backing vox, though.

"Boarded Up" - For all those who hate this song, listen to it on headphones
in a dark room.  It's wonderful, really, but Colin's whispers make it
spooky, too.

"I'm the Man" - Why, the "It's the middle of the song!  Yeah!  I'm guilty!
I'm guilty!  I'm guilty!  Yeah!" bit that started this whole "spoiler"
discussion a month ago!

"We're All Light" - The synthy bits at the end of the choruses.

"Standing in for Joe" - Colin's syrupy smooth vocal delivery on "Love is
like a river / You cannot stop its flow"...

"Wounded Horse" - The "Drunk Tank" jams, revisited...I love the slurred

"You and the Clouds" - Andy's "Black Sea"-like guitars on the "so let it
rain" outro...Crunchy and driven...

"Church of Women" - The horn in the final choruses, and the segue to...

"The Wheel and the Maypole" - This *is* one of Andy's best, methinks, and
I'm particularly impressed with the loud, raw, but weirdly restrained
feedback-y electric guitar during the first "everything decays" section
(punctuated by Colin's amazing bass line).

Also: I only read it as an excerpted quote, but Mark Strijbos's comment
about the "I'm the Man" guitar solo caught my eye.

> 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.

Why would any of us think that Andy would, could, or should want to
replicate Dave Gregory's guitar work?  Where would Dave's solos have fit
in these songs?  I think that Andy's done fine: the "Man" solo has that
cool Middle Eastern feel to it...The first few seconds of the "Church"
solo sounds like a masturbator stopping in mid-stroke...Sure, Dave's
twiddly bits were invaluable to songs like "It's Really Super, Supergirl"
and "Garden of Earthly Delights," but I don't think that he could've added
much to these straight-ahead rockers.  We've seen XTC go in many different
directions, and we all like what we like -- but the D.G. era is over!
Let's cross our fingers for a Dave Gregory solo album, and let Andy and
Colin be Andy and Colin!

Disappointment, be gone!

-Ben (and don't give me crap about my .sig quote!)

      Benjamin Gott . Loquacious Music . Salisbury, CT 06068
AIM: Plan4Nigel . Tel: (860) 435-9726 .
   People all over the world / Join hands / Start a love train.


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 17:46:33 +1000
From: "Toni Adler" <>
Subject: Iain Murray and the Dog with no Nuts!!
Message-ID: <003401bfc61d$597bcca0$bc01000a@LocalHost>

Dear Chalkfolk

Let it be known, throughout these hills of Chalk, that one damn fine
human being in the form of Iain Murray moves amongst us. Yesterday, I
sent an email to Iain bemoaning the fact that I couldn't participate in
some of the local chalkchat about Wasp Star because I didn't have the CD
and couldn't afford it because my dog Russell had to have his nuts off
(see below).  Today, the postman delivered to my door an express post
envelope from Canberra, containing one "replacement set of dog's nuts"
otherwise known as Wasp Star!!! I am just blown away by this unexpected
act of kindness and generosity. I totally overwhelmed. Even without
listening to Wasp Star, I proclaim it as my favourite XTC album ever
because it has shown me such a wonderful side of human nature.  Iain
Murray, you are a very special human being and you should feel proud of
yourself.  I am honoured to call you my friend.

Now back to Russie's nuts... I spent quite a bit of time umming and
aahing about whether Russell should have the chop.  He is after all a
pedigreed Jack Russell Terrier who has fathered some lovely pups in his
time. I put up with his marking behaviour and tried to make allowances
for his "maleness".  I didn't get annoyed when he pissed on just about
every stationary object in the house including my backpack and my
favourite purple sneakers.  I did, however, loose it big time, when my
niece (G'day Spanger) noticed a curious yellow liquid oozing out of the
CD stand. I think could have forgiven him for this also, if he had been
a bit taller. However, because he is rather short, he could only reach
to X.  Yep, that's right X !!! He pissed all over Fossil Fuel and
Oranges and Lemons and some other things which don't count. After I had
cooled down I realised how much I loved the little blighter.  If I could
still feel affection for him after he had committed such hideous crime
then it was definitely love.  I am sure he regrets his decision now
(what an understatement). It's funny how things turn out isn't it?
Russie pissed on part of my XTC collection, which resulted in him
loosing his nuts and me realising, amongst other things, what an
excellent friend I have in Iain.  Thanks Russ and thanks Iain.

Cheers, toni.


Date: 25 May 2000 10:13:00 +0100
From: "Robert Wood" <>
Subject: Phew
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Mutech Ltd

Got Wasp Star on Tuesday and after having given it a couple of listens can
happily say it's a return to form. :-) It amuses me all these postings
from people saying this or that's not as good as the demo. Some people
have no patience, you should wait for the real thing! ;-)

Some really great guitar sounds, lovely, clangy and metallic - closest I
can relate them [the guitar sounds] to XTC wise is Black Sea. Very bare
production in comparison to most XTC, but there is still some depth to it,
especially backing vocal wise. Has a great energy to it overall, and the
songs fortunately are so much better than most of the wishy washy stuff
that pervaded much of AV1.

Totally agree with whoever said you couldn't call it a favourite -
yet. You can only really tell where an album sits in all time favourites
after a few months' hard listening!

Rob - whose car journeys are suddenyl a little more fun. :-)


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:52:30 +0200
From: Volker Dieling <>
Subject: VIRUS ALERT !!!
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Universitaet Oldenburg

Hi all !

I wanted to warn all of you: there's a new Virus ready to occupy all
your harddrives !
It's made up like a normal pop album, and it changes its name, so it's
hard to recognize.
It's either called "Wasp Star" or "Apple Venus Vol. II". It was created
by some weird hacker group calling themselves XTC, who are located not
in South-East Asia or Iraq, as you might suspect, but in the heart of
rural England.
If you receive it and upload it into your stereo, it will immediately
gain acces to your harddrives by acoustic waves ( yep, highest of the
high technologies is used here) and YOU WILL NOT GET RID OF IT !!!
Fortunately, I was able to analyse its source code. It is structured in
twelve phases. Here I will reveal it to you, so you'll be able to guard

Phase 1: Playground

In this first phase, the virus will gain acces to your RAM and it uses a
trick to keep you uploading: The Hook.
This small guitar melody just keeps you going and you think:"Wow, that's
cool." while all the time your anti-virus programs are undermined and
the virus eats itself into your harddrive.

Phase 2: Stupidly Happy

Here access to your motoric systems is gained. You can't control your
muscles any longer, they just keep itching, the only thing left to do is
moving to the musical datastream.
But remember: the guitar figure that keeps repeating itself all the time
is also a weapon, and it washes away your firewalls...

Phase 3: In Another Life

Made up as a simple british pop song, but in fact a crucial phase in the
infiltration process. The underrated but ingenious hacker Colin
Mouldings best piece of work in the last years. Motoric systems still at
100 %.

"I have a feeling that I dislike you, but do not let us be hasty." -

Lemoncurry residing in the Lemon Lounge at
Send your spam to
Save the Mudokons !


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 22:00:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: chris ormsby <>
Subject: Diehards....
Message-ID: <>

someone is auctioning off rare Helium Kidz on Ebay:


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 22:01:03 PDT
From: "Dave O'Connell" <>
Subject: free Wasp Star CD single
Message-ID: <>

Hi!  About the free "Wasp Star" CD single: some of the 'participating'
retailers haven't received their copies.  I tried 3 of the Record & Tape
Traders locations in the Baltimore area and none of them had recieved
their free CD single shipment yet.  Getting one might be a shaky
proposition even if you can make it to one of the stores.  Has nyone else
had trouble with this?


Of Cardinals and Moles: The Richard Davies & Eric Matthews Website
new album out: June 6th (hopefully)


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 00:39:27 -0500
From: Steve Schiavo <>
Subject: TVT is doing something right
Message-ID: <>

Win a signed copy of WS.

- Steve


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 01:19:44 EDT
Subject: Car wars!
Message-ID: <>

Somebody recently suggested that our modern kids wouldn't be caught dead
blasting something like Stupidly Happy from their cars.  I was at an
intersection today with my windows rolled down with a car of teenagers next
to me.  Guess what just happened to be playing on my system?  Synchronicity,
I guess.

I'm The Man Who Murdered Love is GRRRRRRREAT!  AHHHHHHH!   I can't stop
listening to it!

How's that for a short post?

Tom K


Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 21:57:51 -0700
From: "Joel Enbom" <>
Subject: Harrison? I'm waiting...
Message-ID: <001c01bfc605$c91cb0a0$289b1a3f@homepc>

And hello.

Last year, about this time, Mr. Sherwood graced Chalkhills with a lovely
piece whose thesis was (at its essence) that Apple Venus, vol. 1 was a
chronicle of of someone's (Andy Partridge, presumably) journey toward
mature love and acceptance of the path his relationships had taken.
Like Partridge at his finest, Harrison stated what should've been
obvious to anyone, but was missed by most.  The grand unifying theory,

A month or two ago (that would be about 735 digests past) he made a
comment that he was working on a new hypothesis; namely that each song
on Vol. 1 has a counterpart on Vol 2.  He wrote that he would expound on
the idea later.  IT'S LATER, MY FRIEND.  I've been listening to Wasp
Star with that hypothesis firmly lodged just below my hypothalamus.
The pressure on my pituitary gland is causing my thyroid to work
overtime, throwing my whole body out of it's proverbial "whack."

So, please, Harrison, help my out.  I think I'm getting it.  I want to
hear what you have to say, though.  I'll chime in again, afterward.

In the meantime, didja notice:

    Andy hiccups again!!!  Once on Stupidly Happy.  Ha!

    What clever guitar work on We're All Light.  Specifically, the
reversed-sounding/no-attack chords during the "You won't mind if I kiss
you now.." part.

    Colin's EXTRAORDINARY climbing bass-riff during "You may leave
school but it never leaves you."

    Andy's smile while singing "...butter-errr-errr."

    How remarkably like "No Language in our Lungs" the Church of Women
guitar part is during "...gargoyles round their hearts."

    How *funny* Andy's vocal on Wounded Horse is.  Hammy and wonderful.
Contrast with Colin's woefully bad vocal stylings at the end of Standing
in for Joe.  Funny for a completely different reason, in my humble

    The verse's in "My Brown Guitar" are most definately a wonderfully
synethetic brown.

Thanks for my turn.  I now pass the pipe to the esteemed Mr. Sherwood.

            Best Regards to all,


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 06:43:02 -0700
From: "Russ Reynolds" <>
Message-ID: <>

> I'm a new chalkhillian from Rome, Italy and, Ok, Hip Hooray for XTC and WS
> (great!), but...
> don't you think/hear/feel that "Standing in for Joe" is a devoted tribute to
> "Tell me what you see" (John Lennon, maybe in "Help")? I'm not here to say
> the same stupid things 'bout XTC and Beatles: it's only, if you want, a new
> discussion line on "XTC remembering...". Tell me what you see! ;-)

The nice thing about big lists of music fans is that somebody will always
point out how one song sounds strikingly like another song and if I try
really hard to figure out why the person thought that I can *almost* hear
it.  The oddest was some guy on the Pearl Jam list swearing up and down that
"Tremor Christ" sounds like "A Day In The Life".

This one's not *that* far off--there are some similar patterns in the vocal
line--but other that I think we've got another case of accidental similarity
due to the fact that practically every combination of notes & rythms has
been recorded before by someone.

But thanks to Pier Luigi I'll be listening to Help! today.


PS Thanks Richard for setting up the Wasp Star listening party at the
Planetarium.  It reminded me of the old days except it wasn't Pink Floyd and
I wasn't on acid.  (of course, I didn't eat any of those "jelly beans"...)


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 21:22:03 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Service Beyond The Call ...
Message-ID: <003901bfc644$4ce958a0$735791d2@johnboud>

all ,

excuse me for taking up precious space on a non-xtc topic , but i just had
to relate this to you ...

i own a set polk audio speakers which were bought new back in the u.s. in
1995 . a week ago i began noticing a barely audible but annoying high
pitched distorted buzz/squeal coming from one of the drivers in my left
speaker . i immediately emailed polk with an inquiry . within 24 hours i
received a reply . the asked me to send my address in japan , and said that
as soon as they received it they would post me free of charge , not a
replacement driver , but two complete sets of drivers/tweeters ( 6 speakers
in all ) ! they arrived today via fed ex priority ! unbelievable
service/customer !!! this is my second set of polks ( no trouble with the
first ) and you just KNOW that if and when i replace this set what brand i
am going to purchase . i just didn't think customer service like this
existed any longer .

sonically happy ,



End of Chalkhills Digest #6-136

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