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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-144


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 144

                  Thursday, 1 June 2000

Topics:

                    Another Satellite
              the whole "Demo ethics" issue
                        In My Yard
                   and another thing...
                Boston Area Radio Stations
             re: andy and colin/wheel&maypole
                         Quickies
            Why Does MTV Have To Suck So Much?
                Test Matches we might win
                       and deep too
                 Wasp Star - a Jew speaks
                   Demos and divergence
         Re-inventing the Wheel (and the Maypole)
                    Swindon pilgrimage
              Dem-os, dem-os, dem ... DEM-os
          You and the cows are stupid beautiful
                        Boarded Up

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Animals beware / Knives and forks that glare.

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 14:20:22 -0700
From: Eb <gondola@deltanet.com>
Subject: Another Satellite
Message-ID: <f04310109b559d7531d6c@[206.173.208.171]>

Just because I didn't see any other mentions of it....

Did folks know that one of DirecTV's "Music Choice" channels (Channel 802,
to be exact) has recently broadcast a half-hour program on Wasp Star? I saw
it at a friend's. Well, "saw" isn't the right word, since the Music Choice
channels are purely music with no visuals. The screen is entirely black --
it's "radio" on your TV set. I don't know if the program is being broadcast
again or not, but most of those programs do seem to get repeated numerous
times.

Anyway, it wasn't too noteworthy, so don't fret if you missed it. The show
played about four tracks from the album (ummm..."I'm the Man Who Murdered
Love," "Boarded Up," "We're All Light" and "Stupidly Happy"?), and
interspersed the songs with some fairly ordinary soundbites from Partridge
(and at the very end, one from Moulding).

The *troubling* thing about the program was that the interview quotes were
of *appallingly* bad recording quality. It literally sounded like Partridge
and Moulding were recorded with a pocket recorder, while riding on a
downtown bus somewhere -- Moulding's quote, in particular, was *very*
difficult to understand. Hrm. Maybe someone wants to add this to the "TVT
Missteps" file....

While I'm here, I'll sadly re-cast my vote with those heretical "naysayers"
who are sending all the arrogant zealots into self-righteous hysterics. I
think it's the worst XTC album since the '70s. Not a *bad* album, mind you,
but depressingly insubstantial and fluffy by XTC's standards. I've heard at
least three or four other Y2K releases which I like better, and that's
despite the year not yielding too many good releases as yet.

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 13:19:44 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <ed.kedzierski@blvdmedia.com>
Subject: the whole "Demo ethics" issue
Message-ID: <08B5DDC2BABCD311BFC6005004A884B013B680@mgcservices.com>

Before the whole "demo ethics" thing gets going again, I think that there
are a few things to consider, so that everyone can avoid going hoarse &
red-faced with defensive indignation or self-righteous finger-pointing
(depending on which side of the debate one finds oneself...).

In 6-137, Gray Packham said:
>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.
Well, I honestly believe that this will turn out to be moot, as far as
future albums are concerned. The fact that the round of songs which (mostly)
ended up on the last two albums became scattered so widely & were heard by
so many was, I think, a relatively unique situation. The sheer span of time
between albums meant that the songs had more time to spread, and the fact
that so many people ended up with copies was just a "natural" result of
this. Also, there were far more "leak points" through which the songs could
get out, due to the fact that so much stuff was sent around when they were
trying to interest new labels, etc. It seems to me (no, I don't know, it is
all speculation) that they're likely to be more guarded with issues of "demo
leak" in the future, so we won't have to worry so much as to whether we're
strong enough to resist the temptation.

Harrison said:
> 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.
True enough, in the same sense that we have only ourselves to blame for
smoking, laziness, overeating or masturbating too much. Such things are
weaknesses, not malicious evils. I respect the fortitude of anyone who was
able to say no to the demos ahead of time, and somewhat shamefacedly admit
that I just didn't have the strength. Does that mean that I'm claiming that
the kind people (they know who they are & I thank them again) who sent me
stuff when I expressed curiosity somehow lured me into a conspiracy to spy
on the band & that I was some kind of innocent tempted onto the path of
unrighteousness? Of course not. They did me a favour for which I am
grateful, and certainly nobody had to twist my arm. Like anyone, I prefer
not to think of myself as a bad person, and I've done my best to purchase at
full retail price everything that is legitimately available, but given the
opportunity to hear something that I couldn't just walk into a store and
buy, for any amount of money, well... Deride me for my weakness if you must,
but don't conclude that everyone who's heard them is automatically
"despicable". Putting down the final versions (which blow the demos away
mostly IMO) because you got too attached to the roughs through repeated
listening is silly and pointless, though...

For what it's worth, I'm very impressed with the final versions, and I've
found it quite easy to let go of the rough sketches in favour of the full
paintings (so to speak). I've heard the demos AND loved the official album,
so the two are certainly not mutually exclusive. For me, I did hear the old
"why do they bother going into the studio when their demos are so good"
question posed by the demos; the album provided a most satisfactory answer.
The glimpse into the process was fascinating, whether you consider it
"looking over someone's shoulder while they're working" or not. In my
opinion, the production on this album is a triumph, and my surprise and
delight at the sounds that were used made up for any dropped demo touches.
Maybe it's because I've only had them for months instead of years, though
I'm sure there are plenty of people here who are well aquainted with the
demos who love the final result - it can't be that every single person who
didn't wait is unhappy with the album... aren't there any long-term demo
listeners who prefer the final album? There must be. Speak up!
I do agree, though, that the demos are history, and it's time to put them to
bed. The album versions ARE the songs now, and the demos are curiosities
that just make one's collection a bit more interesting. Hopefully, the box
set mess will get sorted out & we'll all be able to hear everything & make
sure that the band gets paid for it as well... (then everyone can have fun
comparing the remasters to their old boots, etc.)

All things considered, though, I'm still grateful to know what "Ship Trapped
in the Ice" and "I Don't Want to Be Here" sound like...

Ed K.

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 13:42:50 -0700
From: "Dane Pereslete" <peresd@tcwgroup.com>
Subject: In My Yard
Message-ID: <s933c55c.042@acacia.tcwgroup.com>

That's right, I've been clumsily limping about with a permanent
"musical woodie" over Wasp Star...It's been on endless repeat
on my player at work since Tuesday (it seems like only yesterday).
Standout tracks for me are (in no particular order) My Brown Guitar,
Boarded Up, Church Of Women, Wheel/Maypole, You And The
Clouds, Standing In For Joe, Stupidly Happy, Playground.  I'm
ashamed to admit that I find I'm the Man Who Murdered Love the
weakest track on the album...

Andy just sounds like he's having (and poking) so much fun on
Wounded Horse!  Take the song in its intended context, and you
can't help but love it!  All of the talk about this song reminds me of
the buzz over the cut "Forward March" by Pat Metheny.  This song
is the Wounded Horse equivalent for Methenyheads. The principal
songwriters for the Pat Metheny Group (Pat M. and Lyle Mays) spoof
their early days in their respective school marching bands by deliberately
reproducing the deliciously perverse sounds one can experience from
such "seasoned" musicians. Those of us who have been there can relate.
Behind the obvious parody, there still remains a striking and beautiful
composition...as is so often the case, many fail to find the tongue that's
planted firmly in cheek.

Aha!, it seems many of us had trouble getting our mitts on the single!  I
had a similar story regarding the day of release Limited Edition
single-with-purchase.  I weighed the options between buying it at Aron's
Records in Hollywood, or going to Moby Disc in Santa Monica.  Since I was
using my lunch hour to get the album, I opted to run to Moby Disc which is
just down the street from where I work.  As we now know I should have
followed my first instinct and trekked to Aron's.  I ended up doing that
anyway!!  Aron's not only *knew* about the offer (unlike the poor clerk at
Moby Disc) but they reserved my two copies until I arrived.

Rob Macdonald says:

>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)
<snip>
>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!!

Well, I keep trying to remain optimistic, but I see the same old fade to
obscurity with this album...at least as radio airplay in SoCal is
concerned, we're all too enchanted with the usual array of vapid, moronic
acts to notice brilliance when it jumps in and stings us on the bum!  This
album will (sadly) make nary a scratch on commercial radio playlists here -
in any format.  Despite the "schoolgirl crush" gushing we were treated to
by the interviewer on 103.1, I have yet to hear any cuts on that station as
well...

Muchas Gracias to Tim for the translations of English phrases...I had a
vague notion of the meaning inherent in the lyrics, and it was nice to see
that I wasn't *too* far off in my guesses...However, in keeping with
Colin's textile theme from Frivolous Tonight, I mistakenly assumed that
"Mills and Boon" were manu- facturers of some frumpy, old fashioned flannel
sleepwear (as opposed to "Victoria's Secret" lingerie)!!

To add to the Demo preference/griping mess I say...take a lesson from the
lizard - let it go...this album is what it is, and to those like me who
never heard a single note of the demos, it is glorious!

Jerry says:

>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.

Don't be too impressed, because you have to take that quote in context...
Andy explains (in the videotaped interview on Guitar.com) that Jerry was
a big influence thanks to his simplicity, which was relatively easy for a
budding young Andy to copy!  However, he nearly *gushes* with admiration
at the licks he learned from good ol' Ollie...

Oh yeah, and if it hasn't already come up, Andy and Colin's NPR interview is
available in RealAudio at www.npr.org/programs/wesun/ .  Good show, Liane!!

Returning to my disc player,

Dane (where's the on switch?) Pereslete

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 19:42:15 EDT
From: Saints3Den@aol.com
Subject: and another thing...
Message-ID: <97.60aea4c.2665abd7@aol.com>

hey people!   What is it with being against silly "playground" rhymes?

 if  "pink thing, pink thing, tell me what you think thing" is ok, then so is
 "playground, playground, careful what you say ground " and whatever else he
says.

  Also, Stupidly Happy has a "heartbeat" drum rhythm to it. So, what is the
pulse rate for that song?

 more anagrams...  we know TWAT maypole--COW--- how about how about changing
running order a bit?  Supidly Happy/ I'm the Man Whop Murdered Love--
  SH/IT (MWML)  thats enough   eddie

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 18:46:58 EDT
From: WWi8064839@aol.com
Subject: Boston Area Radio Stations
Message-ID: <7e.58b42fe.26659ee2@aol.com>

If someone already has the request line numbers of any FM Boston radio
stations (such as 96.9, The River, WBCN, WBOS) can you please post them to
Chalkhills so we can call and promote Wasp Star?

Thanks,

Wes Wilson

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 15:39:25 PDT
From: "James Campbell" <jquatz@hotmail.com>
Subject: re: andy and colin/wheel&maypole
Message-ID: <20000530223925.46715.qmail@hotmail.com>

Mitch said...

>3) Both Andy and Colin secretly worry that the end of "The Wheel and
>The Maypole" sounds too much like the end of "You're My Drug"

NO! NO! NO!  Brilliant...brilliant...brilliant...the only time
I've ever been so inclined to get up and dance to an XTC song
(I generally dislike dancing...).  An incredible way to end
the album...

No more demos eh??  Right on.....from now on y'all can wait 'til
x-mas morning like good boys and girls.....8^)

Cheers,

-- james

p.s....great work Todd B....any news on when the article will be
published?

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 20:40:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Dave Rutherford <drutherf@techmail.gdc.com>
Subject: Quickies
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.21.0005302018540.16015-100000@esun1006>

Chalkers,

HMV have come through, O my brothers.  Worth the wait.  Two ponderances:

Is "Wounded Horse" (musically) the song Depeche Mode forgot to write?

And to those who object to the acronym (TWAT)Maypole, may I humbly
suggest "the WHeel And the Maypole" (WHAM!)  Perhaps that will be
less objectionable...

Tongue firmly etc.,
   Dave

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 17:15:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: travis schulz <xtcisadarngoodband@yahoo.com>
Subject: Why Does MTV Have To Suck So Much?
Message-ID: <20000531001548.29932.qmail@web1106.mail.yahoo.com>

Well, why do they?  If only they could have one good
program for people like us who like intelligent pop
music. Maybe put it on at three in the morning so we
could tape it even.  XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, Tom Waits,
Elliot Smith, Elvis Costello, Wilco etc. instead of
Kid Rock for just an hour or two weekly would be SO
FUCKING AWESOME!  Can anyone confirm if M2 is any
better?

On another note.....the first half of 2000 has almost
come and gone.  What are the best albums so far, and
what are YOU listening to?  I've got cash now, tell me
what to buy!    Have a great one, Travis.

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

Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 08:11:29 +1000
From: Iain Murray <iain.murray@looksmart.com.au>
Subject: Test Matches we might win
Message-ID: <200005302329.JAA18597@send01.start.com.au>

>From: "Tim Kendrick" <tim63@earthlink.net>
>Subject: Translating English to American
>
>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.
>
>LINE: "Test matches we might win"
>England apparently never wins their test matches
>(cricket).

Oh come on - they just beat Zimbabwe! What more do you want? (snigger)

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Damn, I'm looking forward to the Ashes
series next year!

XTC content : Wasp Star's really quite good.....

Iain

"I believe there's a commonality to humanity. We all suck." -- Bill
Hicks

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 15:38:05 -0700
From: "Victor Rocha" <wstsidela@mediaone.net>
Subject: and deep too
Message-ID: <005f01bfca87$b8e3dd40$4e568218@we.mediaone.net>

Dear Mouldy Partridge Heads: I don't know if you've read "Picture Book - The
Art And Soul Of XTC" @ Mark Strijbos' website
http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello/ but the Andy Partridge review of My
Brown Guitar is hysterical, and I quote: " My Brown Guitar sounds like the
entire Beatles 'White Album' put into a blender. The lyrics make no sense at
all but they're probably about my penis (modestly sized but beautifully
formed)"

I'm still crying from laughter.

the question has to be asked, has Colin written any songs about his body
parts?

living in XTC,
Victor Rocha
Los Angeles, California

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 19:07:31 -0400
From: Mark Newberg <mhnewberg@home.com>
Subject: Wasp Star - a Jew speaks
Message-ID: <393449B0.47523614@home.com>
Organization: @Home Network

How is everyone today/tonight?

I know the title has no religious connotation, but I just had to.

I had decided to pick up Wasp Star when I saw it. Luckily, my favorite
public radio station (http://www.wyep.org) that gives away a new CD with a
membership to the station had Wasp Star as their promotional CD of the
week. My membership to the station was up anyway and so I killed two birds
with one stone. I should be receiving it any day now.

I was watching CNN and I saw an absolutely funny event that people
participate in over in England. It takes place on a long, steep (atleast a
45 degree angle) hill and the organizer rolls a wheel of cheese down the
hill. As the cheese wheel rolls down the hill at forty mph a throng of
people chase it. People were chasing this thing and falling on their asses
and rolling down the slope themselves. As you Europeans say, it was
brilliant.

Just thought I'd tell the group of my good fortune,

Mark

--
Is that my name on the bell?

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 16:33:17 -0700
From: "Drew MacDonald" <drewmacdonald@mediaone.net>
Subject: Demos and divergence
Message-ID: <001101bfca8f$6f1144c0$ac841818@we.mediaone.net>

Mitch:
> ... don't worry, from now on Andy has promised me that NO ONE
> will be receiving copies of his demos. He wants all future XTC albums
> to be fresh and surprising for everyone. On the off chance that he
> changes his mind and does send me something, the best anyone can hope
> for is for me to play them a tape. It's for our own good and more
> importantly for XTC's.

Bravo. This is as it should be.

Unrelated minor note:
Proselytizing for XTC is one of my life's missions,  and given the band's
relative obscurity overall and their COMPLETE obscurity for seven years, I
usually find myself starting from scratch when trying to turn people on to
them. My would-be converts either don't have any XTC or maybe just
SKYLARKING. Now, with WASP STAR available, I find that the first-timers I
recommend WS to (or buy the record for) are always folks other than the
newbies who got my AV1 recommendations/gifts. The albums are just
that different.

So, at least from my micro-marketing perspective, it appears that splitting
the Apple Venus project into two records was indeed a wise move.

Drew

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 17:40:51 -0500
From: "Joe Funk" <twosheds@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re-inventing the Wheel (and the Maypole)
Message-ID: <005201bfca88$1c973da0$7721fea9@user>

Greetings!  Chalklings!

 "Bob O'Bannon" <batchain@earthlink.net> quipped:

>As much as I love the tunefulness of Wasp Star, I am plagued by this
>recurring question: what has caused XTC to quit reinventing themselves with
>each successive album?

Followed by:

>There was a way in which Black Sea transcended Drums and Wires, in
>which English Settlement departed from Black Sea, and in which Big Express
>stepped outward from Mummer, that no XTC album since Skylarking has
>accomplished in quite the same way. It seems the band has been rather
>content lately to take ideas from previous albums and simply streamline
them
>for a more focused effect.

I'm sorry Bob, but have you ever heard "Nonsuch"?  IMHO, the band never
"reinvented" themselves...  They  matured.  I love "O&L's" with a passion,
but on "Nonsuch", XTC was clearly changing gears from the powerful pop mode
into realms yet traveled.. i.e.: "Rook", "Wrapped in Grey", etc...  And what
I am seeing (hearing) in the Apple Venus releases, (mind you! Wasp Star is
AV II!!!) is them extending their musical realm even further!!  For God's
sakes man!!  Haven't you listened to "River of Orchids"?

Here's the deal..  These two recordings were originally supposed to be
released together....  Who knows what the running order would have been
(before they decided to separate them)?  Put the whole package together and
you've got one monster epic!!  That's the deal!!  The combination of
"Orcoustic" and "Eclectric" that, we, THE FANS, waited anxiously for, for
way too long.........

Now, if that is not "reinventing themselves" or ......whatever....  I don't
know what is!!

Anyway.... I, too, still get shivery and goosebumpy during the 'decay'
portion of TWAT M, even after about 50 listens..

Joe "Relax...Have a smoke..Think of a nice, quiet place.." Funk

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 18:40:16 -0400
From: "Michael D. Myers" <mmyers@telcordia.com>
Subject: Swindon pilgrimage
Message-ID: <852568EF.007C8D22.00@notes949.cc.telcordia.com>

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

I am in seventh heaven because I was able to take some time out from a
business trip to London and go to Swindon this past weekend.  So I not
only was able to see all of those magical places we all read and hear
about, but I had the lovely Debie Edmonds and her mate Pete as my expert
guides (being natives of Swindon town).

Wow!  What fun.  I saw Andy's house, Dave's house, the places where they
grew up and went to school, rehearsed, and yes, I peeked over a fence and
got a glimpse of the shed.  I'm pretty sure that my pulse has slowed down
to normal, but after all, it's been 2 days since I returned to reality.
Perhaps the most fun was driving down Colin's lane and using some
detective work to deduce just which house his must be.

Here's a couple of thoughts:

- if you can ever get to Swindon, do it, since you will have a much better
feel for the context of the settings and stories that Andy and Colin build
into their songs

- those of us who are real fans and who love the band would be suprised to
see just how modestly these guys live; Andy lives in a brick home that is
one of probably 10 or so on his block, all attached to each other in a
row.  It's probably only about 22-26 feet across the front, and looks
almost exactly like all the others.  You would have NO clue that one of
the Western world's best songwriters lives there.  And if you're like me,
I had this vision that Andy must own this significant piece of property
such that it must be a long walk from his house down to the shed.  Folks,
it's only about 25 feet.  Colin lives in a small cottage on a quiet lane
in a tiny, neighboring village.  Dave lives in a nice but modest house a
few miles away.  Nothing at all screams out "Rock Star"; in fact, it could
be the everyday story of smalltown.

Well, I got to go, but what a thrill!  Thanks, Debie and Pete, for putting
up with my "ooh, look at that!" every time they drove me down a street
where one of the boys grew up or went to school.  You are very patient
people for putting up with this nutty American..........

Mike

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 18:29:47 -0500
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <dwiencek@crateandbarrel.com>
Subject: Dem-os, dem-os, dem ... DEM-os
Message-ID: <B697DB46B423D411BE970050DA793DE0341FC9@escorp1.crate.barrel.com>

==
A word or two on demos, songwriting, Wasp Star and other fiddly pointy
things, responding to (but not quoting) posts from Harrison, Mitch, and
others.
==

This budding flame war began, near as I can recall, when Mark Strijbos
enjoined Andy to start writing new material, owing to the Apple Venus songs
being, for Mark and other demo collectors, quite old. As one who seconded
the basic sentiment, I would only add that I don't believe Mark was
seriously irked that Andy & Colin recorded only old material. A bit
surprised, perhaps, since Andy is known for bringing songs into recording
sessions far beyond the point at which his producer is willing to consider
them.

More to the point, I think he was expressing the desire of the typical
devoted fan: "Come on, give us more! More!" <<sound of rubber hose
tightening and veins being slapped>> I've wondered quite a bit what Andy's
next stylistic do-se-do is going to be, and am eager to find out, so much so
that I already find myself looking beyond Wasp Star's shiny metallic
horizon. Yes, it's unreasonable of me. So what? I'm entitled to wallow in
selfishness now and then. I'm not throwing pennies at Andy's bedroom window
in the dead of night or otherwise harrassing him, so I doubt he cares one
way or the other.

Having said that, Mark's post, as well as my o'erhasty response to it,
forced me to admit something to myself: hearing the demos to Wasp Star has,
to an extent, spoiled my enjoyment of the album. I hasten to add that it
hasn't affected my judgment about the album overall, or at least I don't
think it has; I sincerely believe if I'd had a CD of Wasp Star demos
presented in the same sequence as the finished product--despite the fact
that ALL the finished versions are better--I would feel much the same way
about it. (Which is, in case you're not keeping track, that it's a good but
not great XTC record, a Help! rather than a Revolver.) What I missed--or
rather, what I enjoyed prematurely--was the thrill of discovering the new
material.

(Curiously, this was emphatically NOT the case with AV1. Maybe it was
because those demos relied much more heavily on samples, but the finished
recordings feel light-years beyond what the demos suggested. I don't feel
that hearing the demo for River of Orchids in any way spoiled my enjoyment
of the finished product, and I'm unable to fully account for that.)

My decision to acquire the demos in the first place stemmed from many
factors. For one thing, it knocked me out that it was even possible to do
that (hear unreleased material from my favorite band). Secondly, I had no
idea when these songs would be recorded, if ever (this was way before the
TVT/Cooking Vinyl/Pony Canyon triumvirate). Thirdly ... well, I just hate to
be left out. So sue me.

At any rate, this is something for which I accept responsibility, and I
certainly am not blaming Andy or Colin. I have made the decision for myself
that I will no longer attempt to hear demos of any new XTC songs until after
they are properly recorded and released.

Having mea culpa'd all that, I must take exception to Harrison's screed
against fans who profess to like demos more than finished recordings. He
accompanied it with a weblink to a very witty short film (think George C.
Scott in "Man Getting Hit By Football": "Wraaghhh! My groin!") exemplifying
his reaction to such a statement, were it offered to him as an artist. I
have no short film I can link to in riposte; I can only say: big deal.

So a fan likes the demo more than the finished product. He's either a
smartass who's simply trying to show off how much he knows about the
band--in which case he should be pitied, not screamed at or
Rochambeau'ed--or he sincerely believes the demo contained a certain spark
that the studio version lacked. And why is this such a scurrilous opinion?
Artists say the same thing themselves. Dave Gregory said it about
"Bungalow." How much of Apple Venus (both volumes) was lifted wholesale off
Colin's and Andy's demos? Every artist knows: sometimes you only get it
right once.

So, while I will avoid hearing demos before an album's release, all bets are
off once the album comes out. I want to hear everything and I'll trade and
swap and cajole with whoever I need to, and I'm sincerely sorry if that
upsets either Andy or Colin. If as Mitch predicts the demo flow will run
dry, now that the band isn't shopping for a label (which I'm sure is the
real reason the songs proliferated so far, and not Mr. Friedman's humble
tape lending), how many great songs will I never get to hear? How many
future Dame Fortunes, Bumper Cars(es), or Wonder Annuals will I miss? The
thought depresses me.

This is probably enough tinder for now ... flame if you will.

Dan W.

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 18:45:54 PDT
From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
Subject: You and the cows are stupid beautiful
Message-ID: <20000531014554.32111.qmail@hotmail.com>

Chalkleteers!

I've been giving "You and the clouds" a bit of a hiding lately. Boy  Lucas
loves it too, but the above is what *he* thinks Andy is singing. Nothing I
can say will convince him otherwise. His little sister potters around after
him, saying "Stupid beautiful -- that's really funny!"

Toni might have already posted this, but Francis Leach of Triple Jay,
(Australia's national Yoof radio network) did a phoner with Andy and is
broadcasting it in two or three parts, starting this morning. He also gave
WS a huge booster in the preceding spiel - he's a longtime fan and obviously
LOVES the album.

Nothing earth-shattering (that I heard so far -- I missed about a minute
while I ran for a blank cassette) but Andy was in his usual funny form:

AP: "We used to be a four-piece, but I've eaten all the others."

FL: "Is Colin next?"

AP: "He's looking grrreat with a bit of steak sauce on his hair."

FL: "It's a bit like that movie 'Alive'"

AP: "Well, we made a cannibal pact back in 1977, and now it looks like I'm
the fattest surviving member" [laughs]

Yours, in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic,
Dunks

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

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 18:42:16 -0700
From: "Martin & Jamie Monkman" <monkman@coastnet.com>
Subject: Boarded Up
Message-ID: <003401bfcaa1$77895ea0$d6763cc7@monkman.coastnet.com>

Greetings, fellow listeners.  I don't care whether you love the song or hate
it, but listen to "Boarded Up" and imagine the clubs as the were 20 years
ago.  What's that you say?  You can't imagine Swindon's roaring nightlife 20
years ago?  Listen to "Life Begins At The Hop".

Now listen to "Boarded Up" again.

Mitch reported in #6-141 that Andy wishes they'd recorded "Boarded Up" to a
click track.  I'm not sure I agree--I thought that the wayward rhythms added
to the ambience, making it sound like someone wandering through the dusty
cobwebbed halls, with moments of hestitaion in their step as they were
caught up by fleeting memories of the magical life at The Hop.

And, as a public service, here's a couple of links to some reading material.
First up, an interview with Andy & Colin at Gavin, the radio industry rag:
http://www.gavin.com/music/0005/xtc.shtml

And a review of "Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2)" at Salon:
http://www.salon.com/ent/music/review/2000/05/30/xtc/index.html

Martin

The Monkman homepage:  http://www.coastnet.com/~monkman

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End of Chalkhills Digest #6-144
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