Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-137

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 137

                  Saturday, 27 May 2000


                        The Single
                     Virus Alert Pt.2
                    Awash and Immersed
                 Miscellaneous ramblings
    Wasp Star appraisal and some other things to say.
                       Who is whom?
                 My worst fears realized
                   A Different Drummer
              "Wasp Star" is a load of shit!
      A flat in an E Chord? I don't think so, Andy!
                     This Is Pop-Up?
                        Wasp Stir
         Quote of the millenium (so far, anyway)
  The Sound of A Thousand Chickens Coming Home to Roost
          How to get more airplay for WASP STAR
                   First thoughts on WS


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


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 19:20:09 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: The Single
Message-ID: <003701bfc644$485d19c0$735791d2@johnboud>

All ,

Still being treated for flame burns ( sent off list )
after posting a few negative comments about WS ...

The obvious choice for single is " I'm The Man Who Murdered Love " . Whoever
said " Standing In For Joe " should be considered needs his ears AND head
examined . It would die a very quick ( and justifiably so ) death on the
charts .



Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 13:34:32 +0200
From: Volker Dieling <>
Subject: Virus Alert Pt.2
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Universitaet Oldenburg

Virus Alert Pt.2, see part 1 for introduction.

Oops, see what it is doing ? I wasn't ready yet but my brain is infected
so I pressed the Send button way too early. Obviously the virus doesn't
want me to reveal its source code, but I hope I can just keep me in
control just a little longer to warn you.

Phase 4: My brown guitar

Seducing you with an incredibly warm guitar sound so all you want to do
is just give up. There's a magic Yes moment near the end where there's
lots of drums and a voice singing "In my heart..",  just two guitar
notes who brought me way back to the Gates of Delirium.

Phase 5: Boarded Up

It seems like a pause, motoric systems get a break, you lean back to
roll a cigarette, but this back-alley desert blues has incredible
rhythmic stuff under the surface, lo-fi minimalism, what you don't know
is  that by now you're already defeated and the next phase proves it.

Phase 6: I'm the man who murdered love

Pop Heaven ! you think, but remember, this catchy little cute pop song
is really a nasty little earworm, and it will not leave your ear for the
rest of your lives. Incredible break in the "middle of the song" which
is in fact not the middle of the song, but it doesn't matter as it's the
hardest rocking bit they've done for years.

Phase 7: We're All Light

Nothing is like before. A revelation. Summer 2000.  We are photons. The
guitar solo is indescribably beautiful, reminds me of Procession Towards
Learning Land.

Phase 8: Standing in for Joe

Again, you think it's a normal pop song  but it is so subtle, it just
drills to the core and leaves you wondering.
Poor Joe, I almost started crying for you (no joke).

Phase 9: Wounded Horse

This is how Joe must have felt, this is how I have felt, how I guess
everyone has felt once, and this
5 a.m.-smokey bar-empty bottles on the table - blues projected the
sorrow I felt for Joe onto myself and I did cry but laugh at the same
time.Wounded Horses get shot, but you can't do it, as the virus is still
active and keeps you listening.

Phase 10: You and the clouds will still be ...

... BEAUTIFUL !!! Suddenly you laugh at the clouds, keep swirling around
your room, and you know new love is on the way, for you, for me and for
Joe. Just let it rain

Phase 11: Church of Woman

Uniting the pain and the bliss men receive  from women into the only
reasonable form: worship. Excellent singing. The narrative guitar solo
says it all: stunned, breathless first, then just starting to talk and
being unable to stop, regardless of the danger of giving the complete
fool. Men, they are nothing like us.

Phase 12: The Wheel and the Maypole

Just when you think you know the virus, when you think it's all over, it
releases its real power and knocks you off your axis mundi. An
unexpected change when you think you know it all.
That's how love is. The bass guitar takes you to heaven.

Now the virus is completely uploaded into your harddrive. It will begin
erasing standards for music you thought for sure. The first effect
you'll notice is that you'll press "Play" again and also press "Repeat"
and turn up the volume. Then you put up headphones and look at the album
cover and see your reflection in the artwork and you'll look like an
astronaut on your way to Wasp Star.
You have become assimilated. Welcome to the community.
And don't forget: "In this new Dark Age, we're all light."

To make it short: Wasp Star is a very good record.

Bye all, Lemoncurry

"They are nothing like us men. Men have gargoyles round their hearts."
 - Church of Women / XTC
Lemoncurry residing in the Lemon Lounge at
Send your spam to
Save the Mudokons !


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 10:07:52 EDT
Subject: Awash and Immersed
Message-ID: <>

The short, pitiful, sad story is I became addicted to XTC JUST THIS
YEAR. Ok, bear with me. I'm 20 years behind. But I'm doing my best to
catch up.

Oh, I had heard Pumpkinhead, and Simpleton, and Disappointed, but it
wasn't until Apple Venus I that I said, OK, time to get on board. I
reached back to the 70s and 80s and bought Skylarking, Oranges & Lemons
(my favorite), Mummer, and more. I haven't been able to listen to another
band, and long comes Wasp Star.

Now, I'm REALLY unable to listen to another band.

The last time I felt like THIS about music I was 8 years old and the
Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. Give me WE'RE ALL LIGHT for hours and hours!

So imagine, all of you long-time fans: I'm cramming all of this stuff into
the last 6 months. It's a total rush - and geez, I'm supposed to be a
grown-up, whatever THAT is. My husband is concerned because I'm getting
daily deliveries from CDNOW and EIL. The XTC stack keeps growing

So, I hereby apply for adoption into this family. And I send prayers to
Dear God for an XTC appearance in the Washington, D.C. area. Soon.



Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 07:18:20 -0700
From: "John Keel" <>
Subject: Miscellaneous ramblings
Message-ID: <003a01bfc654$156ed200$>

Hi Kids,

A few notes . . .

I loved hearing about Glen's experience with the "young people" in NC.  I
had a much smaller thing happen yesterday.  There is a young woman who
works in our office as a receptionist.  She's 23 years old, really sweet
and absolutely gorgeous.  She also just found out she has a brain tumor,
and not just a little one (I saw the MRI); it's pretty damn big and so
she's up for major surgery coming up and an estimated long, difficult
recovery.  In spite of all this her spirits are great.

Now, she sits down in a little "booth" by herself a lot and listens to a
lot of CD's.  Yesterday I gave her my copy of "Wasp Star" to listen to.  I
told her I wasn't sure if she'd like it, but I was curious.  About fifteen
minutes later I went down and heard "We're All Light" blasting out of her
area.  I stuck my head in and she said she loved it.  In her words
"there's a lot of happy songs on here".  So, I'm giving her my copy (I
still have my one from HMV on the way and the advance) and maybe the seed
will spread out to more of her younger friends.

Lastly, I'm so in total agreement with Laura's comments on "The Wheel and
the Maypole".  The more I listen to this song, the more amazing it
becomes.  Once the "everything decays" section starts I get all giddy and
by the time I hear Andy sing "was I so naive?" I'm just in some sort of
euphoria.  A truly splendid, perfect song.

Oh, also I got an e-mail off-list from a guy at TVT (I assume) who was
pretty upset with me over my "TVT SNAFU" post.  I'll say here first, and
to as soon as I finish, that my information that it was TVT's error in not
getting the CD singles in the store in time came from the guy at Moby
Disc.  I didn't make any assumptions or give a personal opinion.  Just
possibly mis-information.  Sorry for any hurt feelings!

Thanks for listening,



Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 15:13:53 GMT
From: "Gray Packham" <>
Subject: Wasp Star appraisal and some other things to say.
Message-ID: <>

Firstly, the new album is great. I love the "sound " of it. It has a "now"
sound.  It's almost lo-fi but with enough sparkle and polish to lift it. I
don't find it overproduced in the slightest. On the contrary, some songs
(eg: Boarded Up) are a little underproduced. But that's part of this
album's mood.

The songs are all over the place (as per usual). Some of the melody lines
and intonations are very derivitive (of other XTC songs, as per
usual). Andy and Colin will always be Andy and Colin and that is the crux
of the XTC appeal.

Wounded Horse is the best song on the album. "When I found out she was
riding another man". What a line!

I do think the drumming on the album is very good. Drumming is such an
important part of the feel and texture of a song and both Prince Prairie
and Chuck Sabo have helped Andy and Colin nail each one.

On the downside (but not entirely) some of the guitar solos are found
wanting a bit. I've always liked Andy's guitar work (check out his stuff
on the Lilac Time album "& Love For All") and feel at times he has
underachieved on Wasp Star. I don't think Dave Gregory's style would have
suited this time around and I for one haven't missed his playing (or
arranging abilities). Andy's alleged lack of guitar virtuosity has minimal
impact on the album because of the album's very nature. Everybody may have
been expecting a big guitar album to wank by but that's not what we've
got. We've got crunchy not airborne.

Two albums a year apart. Very different in style and sound. What more
could we ask for. Job well done chaps.

Secondly, (remember, I stared this posting with a firstly) I don't want to
get into a personal slanging match but I can't let some of Mark Strijbos'
comments go by unchallenged.

Mark wrote:
>>"it's also a just a tad over-produced"
and cited the comparison of demo and album versions of Wheel and
   Do you understand the concept of a demo? It's a guide or a blueprint
usually for structural purposes. Andy and Colin decided to record the
album version differently. That's their call (and a good call too). The
song fits in perfectly with the rest of the album. You shouldn't even have
the demo (more on that shortly).

>>"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 and >>for all."
   Andy is not Dave, Dave is not Andy. Andy writes songs, Dave
doesn't. Andy is in XTC, Dave isn't. Andy and Colin have made an album
with partial input from Dave and one with no input from Dave. Both cut the
mustard. Dave was never an integral part of XTC. His role (and important
it was at various times) added colour and texture to the crucial building
blocks of XTC.....THE SONGS. No songs, no XTC. What Dave brought to the
table was a decidedly different kettle of fish.  Take away Dave, you still
have XTC. Take away Andy or Colin, no XTC, you have Andy or Colin.

As I said earlier, Andy's solos are little primitive but they don't
detract from the album in a big way. People need to do what Dave has
done.......move on. Colin and Andy have, time we all did.

>>"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!"
   By far, these comments have raised my ire the most. Seven years between
albums might seem like just cause in buying bootleg CDs of their demos but
it doesn't give you the right to denegrade their "official"
recordings. Suggesting that because you've been listening to the tunes
over and over in demo form for years that they are no longer fresh by the
time the album is released is despicable.

The demos "floating around" are doing so by illegal means. As far as I'm
aware neither Colin nor Andy are happy about it. They work in private on
their craft, preparing for the time they can return to the studio for
professional recording sessions and people all over the world have already
heard the record before it's finished and released. Then some condemn them
because they strayed from their rough sketches (which by the way aren't
meant for public consumption, unless so approved by their

How galling to criticise Andy's creative output. If you don't like the
songs, fine. That's the nature of the artform. But to rudely suggest the
Wasp Star songs are too old and then demand Andy "get working" on the next
batch is frankly offensive.

The band are quite happy to shed light on their creation process by
officially releasing demos AFTER the appearance of the studio
material. For that, we should be thankful. Not too many other artists
allow it.

So, will you let the next XTC album remain fresh until it hits the buying
public officially? Or will your insatiable appetite for their product
consume you whole again? Trust me, it's worth the wait.

Yours (in anticipation),
Gray Packham.


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 08:48:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Who is whom?
Message-ID: <>

>From the last post.
"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!"

Don't assume it is all Andy there folks. COLIN plays guitar on some of
these tracks. Let the trainspotting continue....



Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 23:43:47 -0800
From: Patrick M Adamek <>
Subject: My worst fears realized
Message-ID: <>


Hope you are all enjoying the new CD.  I unfortunately am not able to
listen to it because of a conspiracy of events that have kept me from
getting my hands on it.

It is not like I didn't try to secure a copy.  Sushiman sent me a copy
the day that he got his from Japan, HMV online indicates that my order
was sent last week without incident and I visited the only record store
in town in order to try to buy it outright (even though I have three
copies coming in the mail), but they "do not usually get new CDs for a
few weeks."

What do I have attribute all of this bad luck to?  I live in isolated
Juneau, Alaska and the package delivery can take 15-20 days at times.

I had delusions that either the packages would slip through and get here
(maybe even before the release date?) or that (gasp) the record store in
town would somehow have it in stock and I would pay the $18.95 for
it (the going rate for almost all CDs, the price for used CDs is
$10.95...I wonder how they make a profit).  Of course, none of these has
happened so I am saving up all of my Chalkhills issues until such time
that I can enjoy them as I have anticipated doing for the past 6 months
or so.

I did get the Fountains of Wayne - Utopia Parkway in the mail from CD
Universe the other day and while it is really pretty good I sort of have
a blank spot in my CD player.

Temporarily not reading Chalkhills in Juneau,


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:47:34 -0400
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: A Different Drummer
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.


The Sushiman said:
> get dave mattacks in for the next
> album !

and, in #127:
>I have read that Andy and Colin were super
>impressed with Chuck Sabo's drumming .
>I really don't hear why ...

So as not be accused by certain parties on the list with the initials
D.L. (and whose first name spell checkers commonly want to change to
"Doom") of trying to put my tongue where it didn't ought to be, I'll let
Colin talk about Chuck and Dave (no Vera, sorry):

"The beats he played were ever so precise, but not in a mechanical way.
Lots of little beats, but very brought-up sharp. He'd do these sort-of
double bass-drum things, kind of [imitates 16th-note bass drum hits],
that sort of thing. Very precise on those. Those little half beats
really make a thing swing, you know. And little taps on the snare that
you wouldn't expect. You've got the on-beat and the backbeat going, but
there's also the little [grace notes] tapping along. Not all the
drummers do that ... Dave Mattacks is another one of those people who
can put those in, but I don't think he's quite as precise as Chuck...

Yes, a different type of drummer than what we've worked with, really.
We've never worked with anybody with quite so much precision and a
different way of looking at it."

And Andy:
"He came along, and we were wowed immediately. You know, his playing was
just really lovely. Colin and I were just grinning at each other in the
control room, thinking, 'Yes, we've really found a great player here.'
I'd love to work with him again, I really would."

As I said to Su-Su-Sushiman offline, the thing I like about Chuck's
drumming on the album is his feel and his willingness to support Andy
and Colin's songs. By that, I mean that he plays very appropriate parts
for the song -- adding his own subtle inflections and accents, but
interpreting Andy and Colin's intent very, very well. As a songwriter
and producer, I appreciate that; as a drummer, I know just how hard it
can be.

I'm not saying Chuck is better than Dave Mattacks. I love DM's drumming,
and one of the reasons I steadfastly defend "The Smartest Monkeys" is my
love of the instrumental interplay between him and Colin during that
song. In fact, the reason I love his drumming on that album (and various
others I've heard) is the same reason I like Chuck's playing on WS -- he
supports the songs. They've both got chops, but trot them out only when
they're appropriate. On WS, that means places like the intro to "You and
the Clouds," the subtle stuff on "We're All Light," the kick drum on
"Wounded Horse" ... you get my drift. Making it sound easy is
particularly hard to do.

IMO, it's not about who's better (after all, when you get to a certain
level of musicianship, no one is better than anyone else -- just
different). It's about what's most appropriate for the song; it's about
communicating the songwriter's intent. As Andy says, "drummers have
different strengths and weaknesses. I guess it's the same as other



Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 17:47:47 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: "Wasp Star" is a load of shit!
Message-ID: <>

Only kidding...which is more than can be said for some of you miserable,
kill-joy bastards!

Ooh, Dave's left the band! Tragic? No, not really. It was a shame, no
doubt, but Andy is a fine enough guitarist and all this drivel about the
new album suffering for Gregory's absence is just the most feeble-minded,
lookit-me-I'm-an-individual pish I think I've ever read on this list. The
only explanation I can think of is that one or two of the assembled
several have their tongues (and more besides) firmly entrenched up the
Gregorian sphincter...OK, it's a hobby, but it's no basis for critical

"Wasp Star" rules, but it's bound to whiff a bit if you're listening to it
through your buttocks.



Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:29:47 EDT
Subject: A flat in an E Chord? I don't think so, Andy!
Message-ID: <>

>From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
>Subject: First Impressions

>- 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.

Yes, it is a joke, but not in the sense that you mean. It's a deliberate
joke, a guitaristic nudge in the ribs. I mean, come *on*, Mark, you know
Andy's a much, much better guitarist than that, you haven't been a fan of
the band as long as you have not to know that. Those interviews
show a guitarist quite thoroughly at home in several styles, able to jump
from Jimi Hendrix to Ollie Halsell to Roger McGuinn in the wink of an
eye. Even the damned Drunken Jam Sessions have some brilliant off-the-cuff
lead riffs on them, played when pissed out of his brain! Are you really
going to try to suggest that the guitarist who contributed half of the
fireworks on "Books Are Burning" has now suddenly become so completely
fumble-fingered that he can only manage a few cod-Arabic sub-Count-Five
modal-moron trills? I would think you would have been able to grant some
more of that rare commodity, The Benefit of the Doubt.

Here's a prediction. Perhaps we can enlist the awesomely powerful
collective brainpower of the huge store of musical knowledge that
subscribes to this list: Somewhere down the line one of us is going to be
listening to a piece of Sixties psychedelia--probably the Yardbirds or the
Kinks, or perhaps something more garage-y, something off Nuggets, maybe
the Seeds or the Amboy Dukes, and it's going to jump out & grab you by the
throat: There's the solo from I'm the Man Who Murdered Love!

In other words, I am completely certain that that solo is a jokey musical
allusion, but I'm unable to say immediately exactly what is being alluded
to.  I throw down the gauntlet: Where's it come from, folks?

>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!

To someone who has never heard the demos, these songs are as fresh as if
written yesterday. We have only ourselves to blame for their "floating
around." Andy and Colin would have much preferred that they hadn't
"floated," and they certainly didn't force any of us to listen.


It drives me batty, people comparing the finished product unfavorably to
the demos. Complaints that this or that song isn't as good as a version
done in the shed, are insults directed at Andy Partridge and Colin
Moulding's judgment as musicians, and implicit assertions that you could
have done much better had you only been given the chance. Demos are
objects that 1) were not made for your benefit, 2) were not meant for you
to hear, 3) were made as preliminary sketches and are understood by their
creators as such. They are definitely NOT a "beta" version of a song, to
be passed around and beta-tested by a bunch of armchair producers. I know
it's nearly impossible to keep the things from circulating, but if I were
Andy and Colin I would give anybody who tells me they liked the demo
better than the released version of ANYTHING the sort of summary treatment
that may be found at, in
which Marianne Partridge expresses her opinion of "Wounded Horse."

Harrison "Spell *this* in your dictionary, Seagull-boy!" Sherwood


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 17:42:59 +0100
From: Warren Butson <>
Subject: maypole/beatles
Message-ID: <>

Question: is TWATMaypole XTC's day in the life, the structure seems very
similar to me which i suppose is the only real resemblance, but it just
seemed very noticeable when the string bits come in and he launches into
the maypole bit, just a thought.
I have to say It's starting to grow on me now but I too like someone else on
this list felt the melodies didn't smack me in the face like Easter Theatre
or Harvest festival, maybe it's because it's such an up album and apart from
Boarded up it lacks the meloncholy/depth that I like abou XTC.
However I'm liking it more each play, it's just frustrating that everyone's
raving about how instantly accessable it is and I'm left in the dark a bit.
I want to be jumping around in the air with jubilation but that hasn't
happened. Sorry!


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 11:51:25 -0500
From: "JH3" <>
Subject: This Is Pop-Up?
Message-ID: <000d01bfc669$77214cc0$>

What with all the hubbub over Wasp Star, which I *LOVE*,
nobody seems to have mentioned the fact that XTC has
finally appeared on VH/1's "Pop-Up Video." Apparently they
did a half-hour theme show of "80's Televangelism" videos
in which they included a "popped-up" version of Dear God!

I haven't actually seen it yet, but they re-run these things
all the time, so hopefully it won't be too long... If anyone
else has seen this, was there anything new or interesting
in the little pop-up balloons?

I apologize if someone has already mentioned this and I
missed it, but I *did* search the CH archives and there
was nothing about it there, so I guess this is new info.
(Usually I'm the LAST to know these things!)

John "I prefer a good book most nights" Hedges


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 13:19:53 EDT
Subject: Wasp Stir
Message-ID: <>

Wasp Star has arrived at last and now I've had chance to listen to a few
times these are my humble humble and i know alot of you are going to say
crap, uninformed opinions whatever whatever but i dont's just
good but not that good. ITMWML, Playground, Stupidly Happy, Wheel and the
Maypole, We're All Light.....great tracks and very xtc and dum de dum and we
know all that. But in IMHO it's not the great album that alot people are
proclaiming it.
     Reading the last few digests and reading between the lines in a cod
psycho way it feels as if lots of fans are really trying hard to like the
album but deep down know that it aint that wonderful. Theres alot of ' not
sure about so and so track or this track but it's my fault and a few more
listens and i will teach myself to like it'
To be honest I feel that the best tracks from av and wasp star would have
made a damn fine single album but that's it.
River of Orchids.
I'd Like That.
Easter Theatre.
Cant Own Her
And the above wasp star that would have been some album.
And while Im at it..........;0)
The sooner Colin stops writing clumpty clump tracks about being 'an ordinary
guy who eats marmite and tends an allotment' - the better. Sorry to say this
but all the tracks he did for av and wasp star are little more than so so
I am now going to hide.

Oh and another thing........LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS.

And's sunny in Cardiff.

Mr powerpop


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 13:55:06 -0400
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Quote of the millenium (so far, anyway)
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.


 From Andy in the VH-1 "Wire" interview

"All bad things, you are meant to learn from them;
if you don't learn from them, you is stupid."

You go, boy.


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 14:49:42 EDT
Subject: The Sound of A Thousand Chickens Coming Home to Roost
Message-ID: <>


Something tells me we're about to become slightly famous....

>From "Billboard Daily Music News," May 25, 2000, 11:30 a.m. EDT

TVT Sues Over Storage Service, which has already been judged guilty of infringing the
copyrights of the Recording Industry Association of America's
major-label members with its music storage service, is now facing
a similar suit from indie label Tee Vee Toons (TVT) Records.

In the suit, filed Wednesday (May 24) in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York, TVT alleges that the music storage service infringes on the copyrights
of its recordings. TVT attorney Michael S. Elkin says the RIAA
suit addressed only the majors' product. The suit seeks declaratory
and injunctive relief and statutory damages.

Representatives of could not be reached for comment.

Harrison "What goes around comes around" Sherwood


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 14:39:21 -0600
From: "Steve Oleson" <>
Subject: How to get more airplay for WASP STAR
Message-ID: <>

Hi Chalkers!
My thoughts are with you in this joyous season: the release of Wasp
Star! It's a great time to be an XTC fan!

How to get more air play for Wasp Star- ?????

Have you ever noticed how radio stations (at least in the US) always
play certain songs whenever it rains?

Rain - Beatles
Riders on the Storm - Doors
Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
Stormy Weather

Call your radio station every time it rains, and request -

You and the Clouds will be Beautiful - XTC

Pretty soon they will think of it on their own, and play it EVERY time
it rains, or is cloudy, ...

They'll probably even think that it is their idea (and a dang good one, too!)
But we'll know better! hehehehehehehe!!!!!

Steve Oleson


Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 13:27:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <>
Subject: First thoughts on WS
Message-ID: <>

Hi and hello to all of you!

If I may, I'd like to share a few initial thoughts about WS-

Let me begin by saying that Andy is as cheeky as a Sumo wrestler!  His songs
are a joy to behold... playful, bright, and contagious... the musical
arrangements are loose and easy... there is still the trademark humor and
intelligence to the lyrics, but the overall effect is definitely down to
earth.  There is a euphoric quality to Andy's work here, a child-like
hopefulness that colors the songs... I'm thinking of cherry popsicles, and
running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day.... love has renewed this
old boy, me thinks...

In contrast, Colin's pieces are on the darker side... I know some of you
feel that Colin's work is sub-standard... maybe a little corny and
pedestrian...  I think you couldn't be more wrong about that.  As I listened
to 'In Another Life', I was struck by its tender sentiment. Here is a simple
declaration of devotion, from a man to a woman.. Funny, and sweet, and
true.. Even before the song was over, I think I fell just a little in love
with Mr. Moulding...  'Boarded Up' blew me away with its melancholy
atmosphere and sense of emotional vacancy.  It is both spare and powerful.
I could actually smell the dust and damp wood, as I listened.  I also felt
that 'Standing In For Joe' was a good piece, sincerely offered.  Colin bares
his beautiful, fragile soul here.. so please tread lightly.

On the color/music thread, Ms. Jill brought up... I have always felt that
emotion, music and color were tightly wound together, inseperable...  If I
were to describe the general hues of WS, it would go something like this-

Andy's songs are painted in vibrant, passionate colors.. labial pink, wine
red velvet, the frosted blue-purple of a Concord grape... sex-sex-sex...

Once again, in contrast, Colin's work is all done in somber tones... brown,
blue and grey, the color of milky shadows in a fading twilight... sad and

A while back, Mr. Relph put forth the question of whether or not AV1 and WS
were companion pieces, or something of that nature(?).  I do believe the two
works are bookends, or possibly a double album.  The exact song
order?..don't know yet.. have to digest WS more completely.  I do know that
they belong together.

I'm sorry some folks were disappointed by WS... I am not one of them.  I see
WS as another great addition to a widely varied, and impressive body of
work...  Spectacular in its own right... different from the last, and no
doubt, different from the next offering...  What more could you ask for?

Oh one more thing, let me publicly thank that righteous chalker, the 'sloop
John B.'-aka-Sushiman.. this fine fellow procured a copy of WS/Japanese
release for me and many other xtc fans.. three cheers for you, sir!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to be alone with WS...

Please get the lights on your way out...

Singing like a bird released, I am,

Debora Brown


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-137

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