Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-139

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 139

                   Monday, 29 May 2000


               RE: free Wasp Star CD single
                slapp happy & the zombies
                Bungalow rises (a bit...)
                     Wasp Star Review
          !FREE! Better sound on your PC !FREE!
                    eff ewe sea que!!!
                   Standing in for Dave
              Don't even give 'em that much
             Now THIS could get some airplay!
                    Now THIS is Weird
                  The Soul of Wasp Star
              Wasp Star Promotion in Chicago
              andy p. on vh1's "the list"??
                      Re: Wasp Star
               let the nail-biting begin!!
                       Lene Lovich
                       Star Struck
           Another little thing regarding TVT.


I was on holiday over the weekend, sorry for the delay.  I will also be on
vacation during the week of 18 June and the week of 2 July.  Chalkhills
will be off the air during those weeks.  I think you'll manage.

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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

No doubt, no consequence.


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 11:24:49 -0400
From: "Jeff Partyka" <>
Subject: RE: free Wasp Star CD single
Message-ID: <009901bfc726$887029c0$0700a8c0@miscoord>
Organization: Alzheimer's Association

I anticipated trouble with the stores getting their copies of Wasp Star with
the free bonus single attached, so I went ahead and ordered it direct from
TVT last week. Seemed like the safest way to go. It cost an extra couple of
dollars for shipping, but it was so worth it not to have to bite my nails
wondering if I'd snag a copy. And I never had to make a special trip to the
record store. (Although the fact that I had to wait 'til Wednesday to get
and hear the disc, rather than buying it first thing on Tuesday, was a
slight nuisance.)

I purposely avoided listening to the demos more than a few times in the past
few years, and I'm glad I did ... the album sounds fresh and great to me.
The only demo I'd let seep into my subconscious had been "My Brown Guitar,"
but I like both versions equally ... my fave track overall though is
"Stupidly Happy."

Jeff P.


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 09:24:56 PDT
From: "jonathan monnickendam" <>
Subject: slapp happy & the zombies
Message-ID: <>

are performing on the South Bank (london) on 13 June with David Thomas as
support. Should be good... I'll be there.

Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent are currently touring the UK and still sound
wonderful ; they do a range of stuff, zombie and otherwise, and pull it off
so well as blunstone's voice is still beautiful. His singing on 'i don't
believe on miracles' was the thing that makes you reslise the worth of live
music. I'd happily watch Blunstone, Miro or (Bridget) Riley paint a picture
any day of the week.

Re the white album - it reappears every few months so any suggestions as to
how it could be made into a wonderful 3 lp set rather than slimmed it down
to a single LP ?



Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 13:32:09 EDT
Subject: Waspalicious
Message-ID: <>

After ten or so listens to "Wasp Star" I gotta tell ya, it's another gem.
Took a few listens (as usual) to sink in.

1) Andy's guitar playing is fine. And I was/am a huge Dave Gregory fan.

2) "The Wheel & the Maypole" may be my favorite XTC closer song... right up
there with "Chalkhills & Children"

3) I, too, went to Moby Disc (Pasadena) to pick up my bonus disc. Now I have
to drive all the way back there this coming Monday to get it.

4) I work in music/video retail (not Moby Disc), and our large store
initially had 30 "Wasp Star" CD's. After 3 days, we have sold 8 copies. All
in all, I guess that's o.k.. Hopefully the radio airplay will sell some more.

5) Where do I work? Here's a clue for you all..... Check out the new (free)
Pulse Magazine. Andy Partridge wrote his own article in it (XTC shares the
cover). It's an epitaph/obituary as he would write it for himself. It's
available at....Tower Records.

6) Really enjoyed Colin's interview alluded to a few Chalkhills ago.

Carson, Ca


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 13:58:40 EDT
Subject: Seagulls
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 5/25/00 8:53:45 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<> writes:

<< 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? >>

Yes. I have heard OF them but never heard them. They are from Japan where XTC
has a large, faithful following (AV1 hit #14 on their album chart!). I think
the missing 's' is misprint on the ad.

Carson, Ca


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 19:08:12 +0100
From: "Simon Sleightholm" <>
Subject: Bungalow rises (a bit...)
Message-ID: <000401bfc73d$5d4998a0$743770c2@workstation98>


My XTC web page, Bungalow ( has
been stagnating for about a year since I got hectic new job and a perfect
new son, but I'm starting to put some energy back into it again.

After "officially" putting the site on hold a couple of weeks ago I have
reconsidered and begun actively working on it again - doubt I'll ever get
back to my old levels of activity, but I'm sure you lucky people can look
forward to at least a dozen new 'Your Dictionary' entries.  ("Mum, I can't
find the irony button on this keyboard..."

Some of you will know the page already: nothing has changed in the style of
the site (i.e., it still hasn't acquired any), and it's still the same
slightly-frayed, suspiciously lumpy, trouser-pocket of a web page it always
was.  Way mending is not a future option - up north we do a great

Bungalow has never been able to compete with the mighty Chalkhills for
fast-breaking news or scope of content (nor does it try), but, well, there's
a couple of chocolate biscuits left in the pack, so feel free to pop over



-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 14:32:54 -0400
From: Steve Dockery <>
Subject: Wasp Star Review
Message-ID: <>

Hello folks- I'm finally de-lurking after quite a while to offer up my take
on the new album.

I'm glad I never heard any of the demos. That way I can take the album on
its own merits. After I played the theoretical grooves off AV1, I got
homespun, and while I enjoy hearing the demos, they clearly are no match for
the real thing. I expect I will feel the same way when i finally hear the
Wasp Star demos.

Having said that, here's my review:

Terminally catchy. This song has been stuck in my head ever since I got the
CD on Tuesday. I do agree with the person who thought the "careful what you
say ground" rhymes were a little off. I thought they were incredibly corny
at first. I've gotten used to them, but they still make me uncomfortable.
But not uncomfortable enough to make me not want to immediately learn all
the words and chords, which I'm doing.

Likeable, but too much the same all the way through. Andy's always been
great at making songs that sound conventional at first, then throw you a
curve, but I keep waiting for the twist on this one and it never comes.

I like the lyrics on this song a lot. The tune is pretty good for the most
part, but the guitar sounds a little clumsy, and the nasty-sounding
harmonica sawing away doesn't do a whole lot for me.

This one didn't grab me at all at first, but now I think it's excellent.
Very inventive. Almost sounds like it could be a Dukes song. All it needs is
some backwards masking.

I don't like it much, but it is growing on me bit by bit. The lyrics are
kind of repetitive, and the song moves along a bit too slackly to keep my

Very clever lyrics, catchy as hell.

I don't care who else it might sound like, I love the way this song moves,
the way it's recorded, and the lyrics are wonderful. My favorite song on the

The lyrics are clever, and the story interesting. (This Joe guy is kind of
dim, I think?) A cool melody (kinda George Harrison-y) helps make this a
very nice tune.

Sorry. Like others have said. A one-joke song that overstays its welcome.

A marvelous song, and a pain in the ass (the throat, actually) to sing along
with. I love the rhythm of the song, and the lyrics are very clever.

A lot of people have gushed about these last two. I trust that I will grow
to love them as you do. I don't immediately dislike them (like Wounded
Horse), but I don't "get" them right away either. I do like the contrast
between the sections of The Wheel and the Maypole, however. I'll let you
know when these two songs finally grab me.

In all, an album that I love and cherish, but it's not masterpiece material
like AV1. Every album can't be the very best one they've ever made. It's
enough that Wasp Star is one of the best!

-Steve Dockery


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 21:55:18 CDT
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: !FREE! Better sound on your PC !FREE!
Message-ID: <>

      I just found a great FREE! Juke Box for
    your PC. Toss WinAmp and Sonique out the
        'Windows' (sorry about that one)

This is not a 'crack' 'warez' 'trial' or 'demo'

           It's FREE! Forever!

     Download the FREE! Siren Xpress.

Use it to play CDs,MP3s,.WAV,etc. on your PC.



P.S. Traders/burners; The $40 'deluxe' version will
   NOT! let you burn the FX to CDR. (I'm trying to
   talk them into a real 'CDR Burning Rom CloneCD'

P.P.S. Don't forget the 'Fab Four in Philly' MP3s!



P.P.P.S Did I mention Siren Xpress is FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

       }-- (oh,never mind......


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 20:18:38 -0700
From: "May O'Mahoney" <>
Subject: eff ewe sea que!!!
Message-ID: <>

I stumbled home from a bit too much mango margarita and ripped open my
Amazon package to put Wasp Star on my stereo.  Is there nothing so
wonderful as joyful anticipation?

It may be the margaritas talking (or me or her or them) but what a
joyous production.  This whole album just melted into my heart.  Of
course I love Playground of course I love ITMWML but what really blew me
away were the lyrics for "Church of Women".  Yeah, yawn away, I know
most of you have been there/done that with Homespun but WOW that song
make me grin from ear to ear.

It's one of the first "odes to women" that didn't sound condescending as
if we were a bunch of fucking inadequate beings that needed help.  It's
the first "ode to women" that wasn't a smarmy sleazy anthem soley
dedicated to physical attributes.

And stop trying to diet 'em
On wafers and wine
And some myth we're in control

Jesus Christ - excuse me - but what a brilliant bit!

The beauty of this song is that it goes BEYOND any male/female
comparison.  It says, at least to me, to tell all these stereotypes and
moldy institutions to fuck off and let's just get down to loving and



Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 22:05:16 EDT
Subject: Standing in for Dave
Message-ID: <>

It's still Xtc.  As much as I love Dave's playing, it was Xtc before his
arrival when Andy played all the guitar parts. The only part I miss is the
opportunity to hear Andy's  instinctive playing in contrast to Dave's more
structured playing).

Looking forward to Dave's solo album. I still think that he should release
most of Remolds on CD with a handful of choice covers or new material.
Although he's quite faithful to the original sound on all the songs, they all
still have his distinctive touch.

I personally love Wasp Star. Even if it wasn't one I loved, I'd still listen
to it. With all the crap that is produced out there it is refreshing to
continue to hear a band that cares. The dynamic duo have clearly put a lot of
effort into this album. As I've stated before hearing the demos isn't hearing
the album. It's akin to see a sketch of a painting prior to the painting
itself. It gives you an idea of its potential. The painting itself has more
depth, emotion and character than the sketch could possibly have. I'd say the
same thing about Wasp Star.  With the exception of one very flawed track, I'd
rank this up with their better albums. Is it their best? Won't know for a
year or two. I see the fingerprints of the canceled bubblegum album all over
Wasp Star (beyond SIFT).

I happen to like John Relph's take on the album---disc two of a two album
set. Playing Apple Venus and Wasp Star back to back gives both albums a new



Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 13:13:15 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: Don't even give 'em that much
Message-ID: <>

In 6-136, Adam D. said:
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

No, I just can't agree. To all those people who are disappointed with WS
because it's not 'XTC enough':  As bloody if. This is definitely an XTC
album, and is veritably packed with XTC sounds and touches. Sure, in its own
way it's as different from AV1 as AV1 is from Nonsuch, as Nonsuch is from
O&L, on and on back through their whole catalog, but I can't understand how
anyone could dismiss this album as "not XTC" unless the only precedents you
acknowledge are from Nonsuch onwards. Take their entire career's output as a
whole and this album makes beautiful sense. Quite frankly, I was hoping that
their electric return would be more of a "Son of Big Express" than a "take
the guitar-based songs from Nonsuch" type of album, and that hope has been
beautifully realized. That's not to say that it's not still full of touches
and elements recognizable from their entire career, from artful sprinklings
of sixties trimmings to heaping bowlfuls of the pure pop "true alternative"
sound that this band played such a major part in developing, and which has
been so widely imitated by lesser bands in their absence. Well, with this
ALBUM (couldn't resist), the masters are back to show the also-rans how it's
really done.

Ed K.

PS: did anyone else have the experience of checking out the record stores
last weekend (just in case there were copies already on the shelves by
accident) and having a split-second of excitement only to realize that what
you'd spotted was just that damned Pearl Jam album? (Now that's a band
that's one of the original perpetrators of what I consider "fake
alternative". Blech.) Only for a split second, mind you, but the similarity
in colours, etc. on the cover was enough to give my heart a little skip,
followed by disappointment once my vision focused & I saw that I was two
circles & not the apple/heart shape from the centre of the peacock


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 10:34:58 +0000
From: Scott Barnard <>
Subject: Now THIS could get some airplay!
Message-ID: <"000d01bfc7c7$34aaeea0$736ac818">

Warren Butson asked:

"Is TWATMaypole XTC's Day in the Life?"

TWAT Maypole?

Is that the Dominic Lawson re-mix?


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 05:54:16 EDT
Subject: Now THIS is Weird
Message-ID: <>

Yesterday, while driving home from work, a wasp (not a bee) flew in my car!
It was in the car for about 15 seconds until I opened the window and it flew

I thought for sure this was a portent of the CD waiting for me in my mailbox,
but alas, although TVT has charged me for the disc and the bonus single, it
was not there. Maybe it'll arrive today.

Wes Wilson


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 07:41:29 EDT
Subject: The Soul of Wasp Star
Message-ID: <>

    Andy's soul seems to shine so brightly it feels like he's going to jump
out of my speakers whenever I put on XTC.  WASP STAR for me is a sweet dose
of concentrated happiness and the loving just drips off every track.  I can't
help but smile cuz I can feel that Andy's having the time of his life, and
God knows these guys have earned it ten times over!  It's like watching
someone I love win the lotto!  XTC is rare in that they give us music that
actually celebrates life and stands for something in a world where most
artists only want to tear everything down.  I can hear it in every note on
the album (solos and all)!  Have fun pissing and moaning about the demos, I
waited for the album and I'm in bliss!

Brett Reeves
"So shines a good deed in a dark world" -Willy Wonka


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 17:28:38 -0600
From: Robert Dassie <>
Subject: Wasp Star Promotion in Chicago
Message-ID: <>

Hello all,

First off, thanks Chalkhills.  I come here for the info and that's
exactly what I get.  Bravo!

Now, for those in Chicago, you'll notice there are several postcard
holders in local establishments here that are used to promote various
things.  One such holder is called "Maxracks" it is currently carrying
a promo postcard of XTC's Wasp Star.  Nice job TVT!  I love the fact
that XTC pops up in the most unlikely of places!

I just got Wasp Star and I love it!  Shame that there are so many out
there that would rather judge it rather than enjoy it.  Need I remind
you all that this time 2 years ago we were all dehydrating from the
XTC drought?  And yes, I do skip over the ratings and the negativity.
We're all entitled to opinions.  I'm just pushing to hear the

Wasp Star is here - drink it up and get drunk off of the xtc.




Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 08:33:49 -0400
From: "Daniel Phipps" <>
Subject: andy p. on vh1's "the list"??
Message-ID: <000d01bfc7d7$d0169460$e28c04d8@pavilion>

sorry if this may be an old question or whatever,
but tell me, xtc-people...

is this indeed true?  he was with a panel of people
supposedly discussing "the most overrated song in
the world."  andy suggested frank sinatra's "my way"
and he was practically booed off the stage?  some
bimbo twat yells, "but frank's a legend!" to which
andy responded, "no darling, he's a leg-end, as in
a piece of meat?"

can anyone verify this?  if it *is* true, then i have GOT
to get my vcr set and ready to tape!!!!!

thanks for any advise...


/dan & ginger phipps <>

"right here in this moment is right where
 i'm meant to be..."  (edwin mccain)


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 10:39:50 -0400
From: "Brian" <>
Subject: Re: Wasp Star
Message-ID: <008901bfc7e9$6b4ed8a0$55e49cd1@Brian>


Now that' I've had a few days to absorb repeated listenings to the latest, I
must return and amend my previous comments concerning the tone and
production of the album (Hi, WesLONG! :-).
Where I was having trouble before with the musical direction the album
seemed to have taken, I now think that it is the most interesting turn XTC
has ever made. Having had time to take these pieces of music apart as I am
wont, being a MIDI musician and all, I find that in these songs the band has
managed to create a new version of themselves that still carries with it the
signature pop quirkyness that has earmarked every XTC album since at least
'Black Sea', and likely farther (even though I am somewhat unfamiliar with a
lot of the early XTC).

What a great album! I already eagerly await what the lads have to offerus in
the future...

-Brian Matthews


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 08:28:21 -0400
From: "Daniel Phipps" <>
Subject: let the nail-biting begin!!
Message-ID: <000701bfc7d7$0cdefe60$e28c04d8@pavilion>

boy oh boy oh boy!! --

i'm so psyched this morning, i can hardly think straight!

i'm soon to be on my way to rocky mount here in north
carolina to pick up my cd copy of "wasp star..." and i
feel just like a kid on christmas morning about ready to
open up a new toy!!!  my hometown here of roanoke
rapids has no earthly idea at all what an xtc is!!  (bastards!)

all the raves i've heard / read so far about this latest release has
me ITCHING to get it within my music collection...alongside
everything else that the swindon boys have done and released!

cannot wait!!!  :-)  i'm on my way...


/dan & ginger phipps <>

"right here in this moment is right where
 i'm meant to be..."  (edwin mccain)


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 08:36:38 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Lene Lovich
Message-ID: <l03130302b5557ebfeb8d@[]>

>Last point before i go "Radios" mentions Lene Lovich good, I say LL
>great. I picked up a 2CD Stifff years compilation in Germany recently
>which contains the whole of her first album which is simply superb,
>quality dips a little on the second CD though. Whatever happened to
>TMB OVER AND (finally) OUT.

  Lene Lovich put out an album last in '89 as far as I know; I have it on
cassette, it may just be the best album she ever did(it's called March), or
for that matter the best album Bjork ever did. Bjork stole all her best
ideas from Lene Lovich IMO. Don't know what she's doing now, March came out
on a small independent label and didn't do much commercially, though I'm
not sure she wanted commercial success anyway, she's probably happy raising
a family with husband Les Chappell(longtime collaborator and co-composer
and player of almost all the instruments on March).

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 13:45:49 +0200
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Subject: Star Struck
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkers,

the ever-present Ben Gott said:

> Why would any of us think that Andy would, could, or should want to
> replicate Dave Gregory's guitar work?
well, quite a number of recent posts here stated that they did not
miss D.G's contributions on Wasp Star and that Andy was doing just
fine. Now i do agree on the latter - Andy is grinding his axe like
never before and indeed did a terrific job - but i did miss Dave's bits

Some may feel they were only the icing on an already well-laden
cake but i disagree; i feel that he contributed much more to their
unique blend of music. And anyway: i like icing!

> Where would Dave's solos have fit in these songs?
Come on, Ben: you already know the answer... look at D&W, Black
Sea, Settlement. he fitted in just brilliantly and not just in the solo
department. Dave was the second best thing that ever happened to
XTC, second only to Barry's departure (flame away!)

yours in xtc,

Mark S. @ the Little Lighthouse


Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 03:21:54 -0700
From: "Radiosinmotion" <>
Subject: Another little thing regarding TVT.
Message-ID: <001f01bfc7c5$619b0fa0$0200a8c0@digitalpc>

Sorry to even bring this up but this is regarding John Keel's post regarding
TVT.  I too have been emailed by people from TVT all pissed off about my
posts.  Its funny, they have plenty of time to bitch at fans, but when I
sent simple questions regarding XTC they would not answer my email or
questions!  What a good label!

I know they have been screwed by the majors but wait until a few years and I
am sure there will be something about how TVT screwed XTC in some new XTC
book.  The only difference from big companies and small companies is that
big companies have the money they need to screw everyone and small companies
screw everyone to have all the money!  I don't want someone to give me an
"inde label" speech on how TVT is a hardworking label that really cares for
their artists.  All labels are just Rod Rooter waiting to slap their little
bitches on the ass and collect the dough (Devo Reference, only fans would

John's Post: >>>>>>>>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


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-139

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