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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-140


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 140

                   Tuesday, 30 May 2000

Topics:

                       Nice doggie
                    how now brown cow
          Are the stars in alignment or what??!!
            Review time (run for the hills...)
                      ELECTRIC X T C
                     The Full Yazbek
                   good god almighty!!!
             Translating English to American
            Various rantings from a de-lurker
      Cardiff man fries brain in sunny shock horror!
                   Purge your demo(n)s
               Long, but worth it (I hope)
                       Picture Book
   Blastin' XTC & The Worst Songs From The Best Bands.
                        xtc ON npr

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Is this anybody's golden age?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 05:20:32 PDT
From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
Subject: Nice doggie
Message-ID: <20000527122032.9404.qmail@hotmail.com>

Hail, Argonauts!

Vee Tube:
- Christ! I actually UNDERSTOOD what you were saying! Have I ascended to a
higher plane of conscousness, or are you just dumbing it down for the plebs?

* * *

davidoh:
- you must have really liked math(s) at school. *Really* ... REALLY

* * *

Frank McDonnell:

>... at each listen SIFJ gains more of it's own identity in my mind.

Good call!

(That descending bassline, just before the chorus ...mmmm...chocolatey....)

>XTC are the kings at closing an album.

I was totally out of line with that crack about "Church of Women" being the
closer. What was I thinking? Was I on drugs? (If not, why not?)

* * *

WES:

>Well, I guess Andy just
>hasn't mastered the art of the fade.

>There's always next album Andy,
>don't give up.

Are you being sar-carstic?

* * *

This week's winner of the Chalkhills  "Johnny On The Spot" Award goes to:

[drum roll]

- David ("Well, actually, that guy would have been me, in my office")
Hathaway

Is this service above and beyond the call of duty, or what?? Man, you should
be put on retainer by TVT's Marketing Dep't. Talk about Presence of Mind!
Good work!

* * *

Metaphor of the week:

>..."like a masturbator stopping in mid-
>stroke..."

- Ben Gott

I have it on good authority that an advance copy of this line was shown to
Barbara Cartland only moments before her death.

* * *

>Subject: Harrison? I'm waiting...

Master, we await your wisdom.

* * *

John " I just didn't think customer service like this existed any longer"
Boudreau"

Any chance you could get those people from Polk to do a bit of customer
service training for the Australian banks?

* * *

>Re: Iain Murray and the Dog with no Nuts!!

Iain
- Class act, old son

Toni
- if I were your dog I would think myself lucky I got away with only having
my nuts cut off. If it were my dog ....

(yeah, picture that ... Me? WITH A DOG?? bwahahahaha)

Duncan ("I had a pet once. It was delicious.") Kimball

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 18:50:14 EDT
From: Saints3Den@aol.com
Subject: how now brown cow
Message-ID: <35.5b723b1.266059a6@aol.com>

folks... strange how such a great song as
"church" ends up with COW as an acronym.
but then again, mebbe thats where the milk that turns to butter comes from...

 and speaking of church of women...I can just imagine some future "Lilith
Fair" with the grand finale as a stage full of "divas" going on and on, ad
infinitum -singing Church Of Women...  "   like those men like those men, we
are nothing like those men...   "  a veritable lesbian anthem...

Wounded Horse   .  really growing on me . I originally fell for the advance
"it sucks" announcement before hearing it. I wonder if those who can't
stomach it are in the "Bungalo rules" club ? This song brings to me the image
from the "stage-fright" concert, where the band starts to rip through
"Respectable Street", only to have Andy "stumble and fall like a wounded
horse" off the stage. Hey! I wonder if that is around the same time that Andy
"found out she was riding another man"?  Anyone know the chronology of these
things? Could it really be "her " fault XTC no longer tours?

 Is it only a coincidence that two of the Wasp Star nay-sayers are big time
Dave Gregory collaborators?  I am thinking of that RSMOORE fellow and Mark
Stribjos, who I can't recall ever saying anything against XTC.  You two!
front and center! Is it only a coincidence, or are you letting your tethers
to the great squinty cloud your vision?   Also... Mark, I don''t care how old
Andy's songs are as long as the pipeline stays open. Please Sir Partridge. I
want some more.

 Lastly. whew!  "Zippy the pinhead" is looking for the voice of zippy for
some tv project . you can send choices via zippythepinhead.com  site. With
all the mention on the 'hills recently, I sent in TOM WAITS as a suggestion.
I also submitted Wallace Shawn and Christopher Lloyd... whaddaya think?

   push me off to start the fun on a  bike ride to the Wasp Star   eddie
st.martin

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 16:35:36 -0700
From: "Macdonald, Robert " <RMacdonald@bcbc.bc.ca>
Subject: Are the stars in alignment or what??!!
Message-ID: <EB3FE924F73DD11187E400805FEA8E810495570F@bcbcmail.bcbc.bc.ca>

	Just a quickie to be followed by a more thorough exploration of Wasp
Star at a later date.
	I don't know about the rest of you but I have been hearing a much
better buzz about this album than from AV vol. 1.    (don't get me wrong I
<<LOVED>>  AV1)

	Evidence.
	1.  When I picked it up from the local HMV they had it in their new
release shelf on the release date!
	2.  The sales clerk actually said to me when I walked up with the
cd...."I've heard good things about this".  Usually they don't have a clue.
	3.  The local mainstream rock station 100.3 the Q which will only
play Nigel and occasionally Dear God (and then usually by Sarah M.) has been
playing "I'm The Man..." and the dj was heard saying before playing it that
they had been getting quite a few calls for it!!
	4.  I went into the Future Shop today (electronics superstore with
cd area) and they actually had Wasp Star in their new release bin and
previous to that they didn't even have and XTC slot in their cd racks!!

	If this kind of thing is happening here in sleepy Victoria, then it
must be happening at a greater rate elsewhere.  I'm hoping that they will
be able to sell way more copies then they did Vol. 1!!

	Cheers

	Rob Macdonald
	Victoria BC

	PS  I just finished listening to the cd and The Wheel and the
Maypole still raised the hair on the back of my neck and that's after
hearing it around 20 times in the past four days!!!

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 17:58:59 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <ed.kedzierski@blvdmedia.com>
Subject: Review time (run for the hills...)
Message-ID: <08B5DDC2BABCD311BFC6005004A884B013B67A@mgcservices.com>

Well, it's time for me to add to the obligatory review glut, not that I feel
guilty about it or anything...
(of course the usuall disclaimers about how it's all opinion, apologies for
mentioning demos, etc. Oh, and sorry that so much of it is actually arguing
with stuff that others have said, but it was too late to change that once I
read some of the stuff that's been posted...)

Playground: Love the way this begins. Did I mention how much I love the
guitar sound on this album? This song makes me wish that the last
album-opener to start with an electric guitar (Peter Pumkinhead, as if you
didn't know) had been recorded more like this, as I always thought that PP's
guitar sound was too clean and sterile - even the distortion & the noise at
the beginning was too clean, but this... the guitars have a great
trebly-scratchy sound, (totally unlike the generic "fake alternative" guitar
sound I was complaining about a while back, based on a sound that was maybe
enjoyable on one Sonic Youth song 15 years ago, but now... enough!) and a
presence that makes it sound like your stereo speaker IS the amp the guitar
is plugged into, an effect I love but haven't heard for years and years
(since early "guitar in one speaker, drums & vocals in the other" stereo
recordings from the sixties). Funnily enough, I used to have quite a thing
about what this song is about (the whole "your school experiences affect
your entire life" thing), but these days I'm pretty much over it (still
think it's fairly true, but it doesn't send me into the rant it used to); a
few years ago this would have had me playing it several times before going
to the next song (similarly, had I heard "Your Dictionary" in around '95
when I was pretty bitter over being dumped... well perhaps it's just as well
that I didn't have that song to help me keep dwelling on it). Like this
version quite a bit more than the demo (which, weirdly enough, took the
longest of all the demos I heard for me to get into).

Stupidly Happy: DOO-do-do-do-doot! I'm tempted to leave it at that. What can
I say? Massively fun. Love the extra layering, especially when the giant
plays the big guitar...

In Another Life: Walked around the office today with that harmonica bit
running through my head. This song makes me want to create a TV show just to
use this song as a theme (in fact, I think some sort of fake opening credit
sequence to a fictitious sitcom would would make a good video for this...)

My Brown Guitar: I also loved the earlier version, but after a month or two
of having my expectations for the final version hammered into the ground by
everyone's bitching, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally heard it.
Very pleasantly surprised. It's a little slower, but the way some people
were going on about it I almost expected it to sound like HAL shutting down.
I mean come on, it's not THAT much slower. I think that this is one where I
like the two versions almost equally: I loved the twangy, echoey leads in
the original, but I also like the skewed (almost tempted to use the q
word...) noisy one here, and I definitely prefer the way this one ends.
Also, the guitars on the chorus remind me more than a little of "Merely A
Man" (in a very good way).

Boarded Up: I really tried to like the demo for this but it was the one I
kept skipping. Gave the official version a listen and... WOW! Talk about
coming to life! I really like this song now, and before I thought it would
be the weak link. The noises, strings, the slightly altered guitar part,
Colin's vocal performance, the whispered bits... all a vast improvement.
This version is eerie and intriguing, where the demo was merely bleak.

Man Who Murdered Love: this might be the one that is reminding people of
XTC's imitators, but as far as I'm concerned it's really a case of the true
masters returning and blowing the pretenders off the stage. If this one
doesn't catch in your brain, you must be some sort of earless space toad.
Very reminiscent of XTC of some year's past (which I guess it kind of is,
being written so long ago), but there's no way that that's a bad thing.

We're All Light: What a lot of fuss over a sound effect! And a very cool,
fun one at that - gives each part of the song an extra little burst of
energy & really helps drive things along. And I'm sorry, but I think a lot
of people are being historically confused here - there seems to be this
attitude that XTC are sacrificing the timelessness of their sound by
allowing such a "techno" or "hip-hop" sound into one of their songs.
Nonsense. They're just extending that timelessness further. This is not an
invention of the nineties, and dates back to the ancestors of current
tech-dominated genres (at least 15 or more years) like old industrial,
"extra-old-school" rap & hip-hop (who mentioned Cypress Hill? Do you really
think that they invented these sounds? Even just within rap you can go back
many many years before that band was even formed & find these sounds... ever
even heard of Grandmaster Flash?) and of course good old synth-pop. It also
really reminds me of the days when there was a rich and fertile cross
pollination constantly going on between all these genres, which was always
leaking out into even the poppiest post-punk stuff. To me this represents
the band casually showing off (not full frontal, just a cheeky little flash
of nipple) the fact that they've been around since the days when people felt
free to mix & match and people didn't worry as much about sticking to their
genres. I mean, why are "techno" (the specifically named current genre) and
hip-hop the only things anyone can think of? How about, say, Severed Heads?
Or even something like Skinny Puppy, or that little percussion effect in the
Woodentops' "Love Affair With Everyday Living?" In my mind, there's a
certain 80s feel to this song, but in a totally good way, with the band
showing the same expertise with the 80s elements as they always have with
60s elements. I've veered off a bit here but basically: song me like. Also,
reminds me just a bit of "Omnibus".

Standing in for Joe: Speaking of 60s elements... Man, whatever band name
this would have gone under if the bubblegum album had come out, this song is
the "Dukes' Cameo" for this album. The mix of sounds forming the main riff,
the bassline, the strings, the guitar touches - this could be a newly found
Dukes song given the "Yellow Submarine" remix treatment. Reminds me of so
many things (texturally, that is; I've never heard "Barrytown" & can barely
remember what "Tell Me What You See" sounds like.) '67 Stones, Love, even a
bit of Donovan... Sure, it's a silly song, but what's the harm in that? Not
only my favourite Colin song on this album, but one of my favourites on this
album period.

Wounded Horse: Now come on. What's not to like? I'm getting into some pretty
tenuous (and based on purely personal reactions) connections here, but to me
this song is like "Shake You Donkey Up" pulled ass backwards through "No
Language in Our Lungs" until it turns inside out an becomes the bastard
child of "2000 Umbrellas" and "Blue Overall". As it were. With really loud
guitars. At first, I kind of missed the "lonesome cowboy" whistle at the
beginning of the demo, but that's worn off. In fact, this was the song that
was playing in my head the most today.

You and the Clouds: I'm still trying not to go "Grrrr... does NOT sound like
Sting, damnit" when I play this, so it may take a while for my enjoyment to
be entirely untainted by that little dispute, but it's getting better all
the time. I'm actually getting the slightest whiff of the Cure's "Close to
Me" as well (perhaps it's just the way the horns come in) but in a good way
(again). Also, I love what Colin's doing on the bass as we get to the final
verses.

Church of Women: Stunning. From the demo I knew that this song would be
nothing less than impressive, but the final version is beyond my
expectations. The sort of "Let it Be" style guitar-keyboard bit that comes
in on the "gargoyles round their hearts/thorns around their minds" parts
pushes a great song into the sublime. The punched up guitars in the "lie for
a lie" part and the fact that Andy chose a more restrained solo after
proving on the demo that he can noodle with the best of them just earn extra
points. I can hear the similarities someone was mentioning between this and
"Books Are Burning", but this makes me wish that "Books" was recorded more
in the way that this song was, giving it a bit more life.

Wheel and the Maypole: for me, one of the reasons I love this song so much
goes back to the whole reason I was never really able to get into prog. I
can remember, when I did check the occasional prog album out, hearing
snippets of actual songs (that I would often not mind) that would go off
into endless instrumental indulgences (which I couldn't stand at all). I can
remember looking at friends' double and triple albums by bands like Yes,
etc. and I would see that an entire side would have only two (or even only
one) songs on it, and as I looked at that expanse of black taking up so much
vinyl, I'd wonder "how much of that is a song that I might enjoy, and how
much is endless deedly-deedly-deedly on the guitar or wep-wep-wep-wep on the
synth? Why can't it all be song?" Same thing with songs that would go on for
7 minutes with endless repititions of the chorus and no new verses - "A long
song sure, but just as long as there's MORE SONG in it!" This song really
delivers on that wish for me; besides, I'm a sucker for the two-part
combined thing, as long as neither part is an extended instrumental jam. A
lesser band, with an inflated opinion of the audiences' interest in hearing
them wank, would have put an interminable meandering instrumental section
between the two sections, but here we go from the real thing to the real
thing, no bullshit. Perfect, a triumph, etc., especially the big chords
after each "pot won't hold our love" (loved that bit in the demo, and love
that it's so much bigger here), and the fuzzy, phasy, feedbacky guitar
behind the "everything decays" part.

Well, maybe I should have arbitrarily chosen something to dislike just to
keep from seeming too gushing, but that would have been a lie. I really
f**king like this album, and it is beyond a shadow of a doubt "real" XTC.

Still not comfortable using song quotes to sign off,

Ed K.

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 21:52:18 +0100
From: davebancroft@cwctv.net
Subject: ELECTRIC X T C
Message-ID: <0c5373749201b50DTVMAIL12@smtp.cwctv.net>

dont they sound more at ease going back tobasics and without VIRGIN?
THEY own their ideas,not virgin,you or I .ws is a kick up the arses
that thought they were aspent force

from dave,the man who murdered love

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 13:59:52 -0700
From: "Drew MacDonald" <drewmacdonald@mediaone.net>
Subject: The Full Yazbek
Message-ID: <000001bfc81e$b11b6580$ac841818@we.mediaone.net>

Sorry if this is old news, but Yazbek fans will be interested to know that
David has done the music & lyrics for the new, big-budget,
hopefully-Broadway-bound stage musical version of "The Full Monty."

It's the cover story of tomorrow's entertainment section of the Los Angeles
Times. They even named Yazbek's albums in the story. I suppose the article
will soon be up at www.latimes.com , but it's not yet there as of this
posting.

Drew

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 13:41:58 -0400
From: "Daniel Phipps" <phipps@schoollink.net>
Subject: good god almighty!!!
Message-ID: <000701bfc802$dc5dfc60$538c04d8@pavilion>

just got back from purchasing "wasp star..." and i'm listening to it now
for the first time as i key this and just have to say --

ANOTHER XTC CLASSIC LIVES!!!!!!!!!!

man, oh man, oh man!!  these guys have done it once again, people!
not a damned bad cut on it!  wonderful!  stupendous!  it is time to shout
out the fact that the "electric" xtc is back and in fine form, thank you!
andy and colin haven't lost a thing in the talent department, no matter
how long it might take between music releases!

...and, omigod!!, this one has the lyrics!!!!!!!!

good job as usual, guys!  :-)  dan is indeed "stupidly happy"!!!

xtc rules! --

/dan

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------
/dan & ginger phipps <phipps@schoollink.net>

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

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 12:16:35 -0400
From: "Tim Kendrick" <tim63@earthlink.net>
Subject: Translating English to American
Message-ID: <000e01bfc7f6$ef67c220$3f981b3f@tim63>

Hi Everyone!

One of the benefits of living with an Englishman
is that he helps me understand some of the English
phrases that Colin and Andy use.

Specifically in this case, some of the lyrics to
"In Another Life".

LINE: "In your mills and boon"
Mills and Boon publish trashy English romance novels.

LINE: "I'll bring you Milk Tray from a parachute"
Milk Tray is a box of chocolates - TV commercials feature death defying
ways a guy can bring the candy to his love, including dropping down
from the sky in a parachute. (A spoof of James Bond kind of thing.)

LINE: "Test matches we might win"
England apparently never wins their test matches (cricket).

I'll give out more for my fellow Americans later!

     Tim K.

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 10:04:54 -0400
From: "Jerry" <xtc@mindspring.com>
Subject: Various rantings from a de-lurker
Message-ID: <NEBBIAFGAKPHLJBBHBIAAEDKCAAA.xtc@mindspring.com>

Does anyone even use that word anymore?  De-lurker...

First off, the album has hardly left my player since it got in my house, a
day after release.  Favorite line:  "Some sweet girl, playing my wife/runs
off with a boy whose bike she'll ride."  As a man who had his first wife
leave him for a man who rides bikes for recreation (not that I don't, but
it's another story), a man who "played in my playground," so to speak... the
line hit home, as does the whole song.  I'm sure Marianne was lurking (there
it is again) in that song's line, somewhere?

Don't know if anyone has picked up the latest Guitar Player magazine (look
for the 'zine with the most talentless hypocrite sell-out on the cover, and
you will see at the bottom a teaser for an interview with Andy), but in this
article he is asked to pick his two favorite guitar influences.  I will ruin
the suspenes when I tell you that it's Ollie Halsall and Jerry Garcia.  As a
bass player in a Dead cover band in Atlanta (plug, plug) I'm impressed.
(The suspense will have to remain if you are curious about who the hypocrite
is and about the rest of the interview.  For instance, I was shocked to
learn that the album was recorded almost entierly through a Pod, rather than
miking the amps.)

Now, an unrleated XTC question for Duncan Kimball... it is true that your
highly politicized signature line is annoying, but for the life of me, it is
also incomprehensible.  Mind explaining it?

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 11:36:30 +0000
From: Scott Barnard <gforsche@videotron.ca>
Subject: Cardiff man fries brain in sunny shock horror!
Message-ID: <"000f01bfc7cf$cd5c5000$736ac818"@oemcomputer.videotron.ca>

We poor misguided souls should all take a moment to thank Mr powerpop for
setting us straight on Wasp Star.  Through his benevolence we can now see
that what we had thought was a joyful, giddy, slammin' slice of perfect
summer pop is really a rather substandard collection of b-sides and retreads
(as was the pompous,  overblown, tuneless AV1). How could we have so deluded
ourselves?

Mr powerpop? On evidence, a misnomer of the highest order, methinks.

 ----

I wholeheartedly agree with vee tube that WS has a very real "band" feel to
it. And as much as I loved his work, I think Dave's absence is at least part
of the reason. A friend of mine, who rather grudgingly admires XTC (he's a
metalloid), on hearing certain tracks (Supergirl,
Pink Thing, Merely a Man) will invariably remark, "Oh, did they bring in a
session guy to do that?". That sort of sums it up for me. On the last
several albums, it always felt like Andy's guitar was mixed down, depriving
us of what, on D&W, BS, ES, etc. had been the essence of the XTC sound. With
less dwiddley-dee and more chunk-a-ronk we are reminded of what made us love
this band twenty-odd years ago.

Case in point - Playground: best album opener since Respectable Street.

 ----

Something else just occurred to me. This, for me, is the first album since
Mummer where I don't find myself thinking of other artists. You know what I
mean: "Ahh, sort of an Autumn Almanac bit there", "Oh, he's really doing a
Caroline No here!", "Uhhh, the Move, right?".
Ok, so I may have flashed briefly on Macca/Badfinger during My Brown Guitar
but this is the exception blahblahblah....
And as for String (thanks, Palin), No Fucking Way.

This sounds like XTC, and gloriously so. I like this album so much I'm going
to buy it lunch. All naysayers are constipated, po-faced killjoys who really
should get out more.

S.

p.s. Song most unlike gloomy descriptions in spoiler-posts: Wounded Horse.

Brilliant!

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 17:28:17 EDT
From: KINGSTUNES@aol.com
Subject: Purge your demo(n)s
Message-ID: <27.622838c.266197f1@aol.com>

I was quite taken with Gray Pakham's and Harrison Sherwoods comments in
6-137, and I wish to cast my vote with the naysaying of the naysayers.  WS
does not suffer from lacking Dave or Mattucks or anything you want to
complain about.  It stands as it's own work of art, as did AVI, and should
be appreciated as such.  It's really that simple.  WS doesn't suffer from
anything at all except our insufferable notions that it would have been
better ONLY IF....  Lighten up, fer chrissakes!  Please!!!  As Harrison
pointed out, the real crux of their art is the songs.  Everything else is
subservient to that.  What on earth does having Van friggin' Halen doing a
lead have to do with it?  XTC is about songcraft and arranging.  And this
batch is as good as it gets!  It's absolutely fabulous!!  Let go, and you
just might begin to see the light and have a good time, ya know?

As for this demo mess, as has been pointed out, we are the ones to blame.
I acquired a copy for the simple reason that I want as much of their
material as I can get my hands on, and I knew that a lot of great tunes
weren't going to make the cut, and I wanted something of them.  And I would
gladly give Andy some good hard earned money for them.  But this is what I
have discovered.  I wish that I would not have heard them before the
release.  Now I have to wean myself from them so I can adjust to the album
(which, fortunately, has not been as hard to do as I thought it would be!).
I wish I could have had the impact of the music as it was released.  I took
that risk, and now I have paid for it.  And I don't think I'll do it again.
Hearing them after the fact would satisfy my anthology urges, but never
again before.  Look what's happened!  All these ridiculous comparisons!  To
each and every one of you, especially those who are still hung up on the
demos, I offer this suggestion to the problem as it stands: STOP LISTENING
TO THE DEMOS!  NOW!  Put em' away, and don't listen to them again for a
long while!  That's what I'm doing, and I'm finding the true impact of this
splendid recording is coming home to me!  If you're crazy enough to sit and
listen to both to make comparisons, you're destroying the beauty of the
experience of WS and tormenting yourselves with woulda coulda shoulda.
STOP!  Listen, learn and love!  And marvel at the fact that these
minstrels, in their mid forties, could produce something like this and that
we are here to enjoy it!  OK?

By the way, my color for this album so far is yellow.  It makes me feel
sunny, you know, like I'm all light or something!  As the little girl
(mentioned in one of the posts) said, happy songs!  Sure, there some downer
stuff, but the overall feeling is uplifting.
I was just listening to TWATM in the car earlier, and I'm not ashamed to
say I was in tears at the end over the beauty of it!  Thank you, Mr. Andy
fucking Partridge!!!

By the way, if some of you haven't had the chance, crank it up!

In the subliminal department - Interesting anagrams.  COW?  TWAT(M)?  Andy
can't be that clever! Or could he....

Tom (I'm gushing unabashedly!) Kingston

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 23:40:10 -0700
From: "John Keel" <jbkev1@ev1.net>
Subject: Long, but worth it (I hope)
Message-ID: <00d301bfc7a6$693d8040$0d525d3f@sony.com>

Hi Kids,

Some more of my mad ramblings and responses . . .

I agree with Drew about "It Didn't Hurt a Bit".  I would love to hear a
fully produced version of this song.

Ed Kedzierski made some great comments praising Colin's bass playing being
more of an integral part of XTC's sound than Dave Gregory's playing.  I
really have to agree.  I'm listening to "Nonsuch" through headphones as I
type this, and it's simply stunning what Colin can do.  His bass on "The
Smartest Monkeys" and "Omnibus" - just to name two - are breathtaking.  I
was shocked when I read the much-too-short interview with Colin in "Bass
Player" magazine last year that he doesn't even read music or know any
music theory.  That seems impossible when you hear his mastery.  I'm not one
to waste time wondering or debating what "Wasp Star" would have sounded like
with DG playing on it because we will NEVER know. But I would also never,
ever deny the amazing contributions DG made to the band over the years.
But, ultimately, put a gun to my head and I pick Colin.  Sorry, Dave.

I was reading the liner notes to my "Pet Sounds" CD today at work and I
couldn't help but notice the similarity in Brian Wilson's total breakdown
and Andy's, both incidents which lead to their end of touring and the
beginning of brilliant studio work.  I'm sorry I never got to see XTC play
live, but when you consider the work they did in the studio without having
to consider the constraints of reproducing the songs live (not unlike the
Beatles when they stopped touring) and the fact that we get to hear the
albums infinitely over the years versus maybe seeing them live once a year
at best - I think we've been blessed with much richer music for it.  What do
you think?

(This last bit was sent out a day or so ago, but I didn't see it posted and
I kinda thought it was worth reading.  I'm almost done . . . honest!)

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 promo) and maybe the seed will
spread out to more of her younger friends.

( In a side note, she told me again today how much she loves "Wasp Star".
Ain't that great!?  I think the good vibes on this album mean a lot to her
with her impending surgery, recovery, etc. )

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!

If you stayed with me, then, as always, but even more so this time, thanks
for listening,

John

*********************************************
"Your heart is the big box of paints and others, the canvas we're dealt."
Andy Partridge - "Wrapped in Grey"

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 00:23:16 +0200
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Subject: Picture Book
Message-ID: <20000527221828.A59BAA6CE9@mail.knoware.nl>

Dear Chalkers,

A HTML version of the extra Japanese booklet "Picture Book - The
Art And Soul Of XTC" is now online at my site.

The booklet in question is filled with a lot of paintings by Andy
(some really good ones too), handwritten lyrics and special liner
notes from the both of them. Most certainly worth a visit!

Surf to http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello/ and follow the links

yours in xtc,

Mark S. @ the Little Lighthouse  www.come.to/xtc

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 22:44:42 -0700
From: "Radiosinmotion" <radiosinmotion@earthlink.net>
Subject: Blastin' XTC & The Worst Songs From The Best Bands.
Message-ID: <000d01bfc867$d29c2b60$0200a8c0@digitalpc>

I was sitting in the parking lot while my wife went grocery shopping
blasting XTC.  God this album is so great.  I have not been able to blast it
so this was the first time for me.  I feel so refreshed!  "Were All Light"
is one of the most optimistic songs I have ever heard.

What is the only song you really hate from a group you really dig?  My all
time worse song that I truly hate and skip over every single time is
"Silver" from "The Pixies" album "Doolittle."

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 09:00:20 -0700
From: "John Keel" <jbkev1@ev1.net>
Subject: xtc ON npr
Message-ID: <007401bfc8bd$d4d0efa0$05525d3f@sony.com>

Hi kids,

So, I just got through taping the XTC interview on NPR, but, just as I did
with the 103.1 interview, I missed the first few seconds.  Typical
situation.  I'm sitting in front of the stereo so I can hit the button when
the interview starts and since they don't announce what's coming up I start
my tape everytime a story ends and if it isn't XTC I rewind.  Well, they
went to a commercial and I meant to hit the rewind button and hit something
else and changed the station, then I couldn't remember what the station was!
Of course by the time I found it the damn interview had started so I missed
the very beginning, which isn't bad but  it sure is fucking frustrating.

Anyone who missed it can obtain a copy of the entire interview at
www.npr.org .

John

*********************************************
"Yeah we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun."
 -- John Lennon  "Instant Karma"

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #6-140
*******************************

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