Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-146

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 146

                  Thursday, 1 June 2000


                 Moving past guilt, etc.
         I'm The Man Who Murdered Love Single CD
     Slightly Urgent: Another Try at Listening Party
                 Greetings from Fintasia!
                     The Double Album
                   Re: A Vernal Spring
                        Aw, c'mon!
                      UK Chart News
                Wasp Star Hits The Charts
                     Following up...
                Guitar on Church of Women
                    brief impressions
               Wonder Stuff (no XTC, sorry)
                   XTC on!
                        Wasp Star!
        CD single, Aunt Sally's head, WS postcard
                     got it, at last


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

You know where you itch.


Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 17:58:54 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: Moving past guilt, etc.
Message-ID: <>

Interestingly enough, I had barely fired off a post predicting that "demo
leak" would not be happening again, and later that day a digest arrives in
which Mitch Friedman confirms that this is indeed the case. (and I'm not
bragging about being some sort of super-accurate master guesser, it's just
that what I posted will show up after this news and look like I'm repeating
something already said.)

Re-reading my post, it seems I ended up indulging in some of the "defensive
indignation" I was putting down at the beginning. Sorry. I do think,
however, that every bit as much as it may be time to let go of the demos as
history, it's (just got to be) best to also leave behind the guilt. What's
done is done, and no-one can "un-hear" anything. From the sound of things,
it was a case of, if anything, people being too nice. I doubt that anyone
deliberately or maliciously misled Mitch (or any of the "direct
recipients"), when they said it would go no farther, it's just not that easy
to keep one's resolve later on in the face of big pleading eyes (or their
e-mail equivalent). Like anyone, I want the band to get paid, but this was
no rip-off conspiracy, just a string of people being old softies. Yeah, I
know the old saw "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" but people
who are fond of that saying seem to me to tend to be pinch-faced old
Calvinists bent on the elimination of dancing, etc. I'm just saying that
flogging one another or ourselves over "demo guilt" is a fruitless endeavor
& we should get over the whole issue before it goes much further. And to be
fair, there was a lot of stuff floating around that seemed to say that
demo-trading was fine with the band as long as no money changed hands, and
not just on the list; I recall words to that effect (or hinting at it) in a
fair number of media articles/interviews (check the archives, I know there's
something to that effect to be found). True, maybe the scale of things got a
lot bigger than they thought... And someone said something about how bad it
is to "buy" bootleg demos: correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems unlikely
that much cash ever found its way into bootlegger's coffers in any of this.

In any case, I hope that more "after the fact" demos do get released
(legitimately, of course), because the glimpse into the process is damn
I also hope that Mitch's "ByeBye" was a "Funk Pop A Roll" one and not a "you
won't hear from me again" one...

On a happier note, my 2nd copy of  Wasp Star (w/bonus single) has - Yay! -
finally arrived from HMV. I agree emphatically with the people who've been
praising "Didn't Hurt a Bit". Great song. In fact, put me down as a big fan
of Colin's recent stuff in general - more on that in an upcoming post.

A minor quibble, but, in 6-142, Tom said:
>Those of you who are not musicians may find it hard to relate to...
Don't forget that artists other than musicians can also have those feelings,
Tom. True, when it comes to music I'm 100 per cent audience member, but I
know the urge to "get it out" with as little interference as possible, and
the way some things can seem to come of their own accord from a place that
scarcely seems a part of one's conscious processes... (though I am in the
middle of a block/shutdown/dry spell that has me freaked out big time, but
that's my problem...)

And regarding Harrison's "find the ITMWML guitar solo inspiration"
You just want people to be crouched on their living room floors in their
underwear at 3am surrounded by stacks of CDs & vinyl, muttering obscenities
to themselves, don't you? How sadistic can you be? Well, I'd better get

And I'm still playing this thing repeatedly & it just seems to keep getting
better: I somewhat foolishly bought a stack of albums (more than I've bought
in some time) the weekend just before Wasp Star came out & I feel kind of
badly that their eartime keeps getting delayed, but they'll get their
turn... eventually. (I won't let myself OD on it, though).

Ed K.


Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 19:46:58 EDT
Subject: I'm The Man Who Murdered Love Single CD
Message-ID: <>

I may be imagining this but does anybody else notice that I'm The Man Who
Murdered Love on the extra CD (available at certain record stores and HMV)
sounds slightly different from the mix on the album version. I finally got
around to listening to Didn't Hurt A. Bit. What an improvement on the boot
copy I traded for last year (or so).

So what's the nature of the extra booklet in the Japanese edition of Wasp
Star? Maybe I missed it. Is it photos, an essay, what exactly?

In support of Mark Strijbos he has done quite a bit for the band and its
fans. I didn't look at his comments as an attack on Andy's guitar playing.
Does Wasp Star sound different? Yep. would it have sounded different with
Dave? Yep. Is it great? Yep.  The "band" continues without Dave just as it
did with Barry Andrews. Dave was a big contributor to the band but Andy &
Colin did write the songs. It would be similar if George Harrison or Ringo
Starr left the Beatles. It couldn't help but have an impact on the band's
sound.  An example is the single Ballad of John & Yoko. John & Paul wrote it
and play everything on it. It sounds like the Beatles but has a slightly
different quality than the band's recordings.

Any more info on the airdate for the VH1 program (whatever that show is
called). I have to agree with others assessment of the program--it's pretty
lame. Although Kevin Bacon and Meat Loaf did a better job as hosts than I
thought most did.  Maybe they should invite Andy & Colin to host for a week.
They can do point-counterpoint on the merits of different bands.

I have to give TVT a lot of credit---they have done a  really big push for
Wasp Star from what I've seen. To expect them to do the same type of job as
Columbia might do for Billy Joel or EMI/Capitol for McCartney is a bit much.
They're in a different league and Xtc is a fairly big band for them. Xtc was
considered small potatoes by Virgin (which is one of the reasons that they
treated them so badly. Doesn't excuse it but they thought they could get away
with it. Seems that recording for a large corporation ain't what it used to
be. Look at how shabby Aimee Mann was treated by Geffen! Pretty poor
treatment overall).

If you haven't picked up Aimee Mann's latest CD you're doing a disservice to
your ears. It is as marvelous as Wasp Star.

On a different track---I seem to remember reading some posts back about
complaints about the amount of songs on AV1 and WS. Seems the perfect amount
of songs to me. Both are a little shorter than Oranges & Lemons  but longer
than Skylarking. I don't remember anybody complaining about the length of
Skylarking. Remember, too, that AV1 & WS are really a double album.



Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 21:38:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: Slightly Urgent: Another Try at Listening Party
Message-ID: <>

There were only three people tonight at the Wasp Star
listening party, probably because of the delay in the
digests.  So the there was a decision at the listening
party last night (May 31st) to hold another Wasp Star
listening party so we can hear other people's views of
the album.  The listening party will be at Talk City @
10pm EST Wednesday, June 7th.  I hope more people make
it.  I'll be using the nickname BFerryFan (because I'm
a fan of Bryan Ferry).
Also, after next week's WS listening party I've
decided to redo the XTC listening party's for those of
you who missed them.  I'll go in chronological (sp)
order starting with White Music.  There will be more
details to come.
For information about next weeks's listening party
please go to
 Oh and the room the Wasp Star listening party will be
in will be in #xtclisteningparty, but just type in
xtclisteningparty.  I hope to see twenty or more
people there.

Molly's Pages:
My Tribute to Talk Talk & .O.Rang:


Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 23:40:00 CDT
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: Greetings from Fintasia!
Message-ID: <>

       I just transported back from Fintasia,
          And boy, are my fins tired!

  Had an !EXCELLENT! evening with the High Spawnstriss.
She was so hot for my 'Wasp' we did it OVER and OVER and
OVER {played the CD, you filthy minded ones)

  After we did it again the next morning, I received more
good news. Seems our technicians have refined the...


      What does it do? Who should fear it?

  It de-calcifies the skeletor structure of 'Dirt Walkers'
    turning them into muddled masses of flesh/gut bags.

             Who should fear it?

     You know who you are! You don't get the WASP!

            Is there an antidote?

    Yes! (Damn! Our techs are good! They've even included
   a full function un-installer!) All you have to do is,squish
   your way over to the phone, roll around on the keys and call
   your best friend. Have them come over, put 'Wasp' in your
   stereo,press play, AND! REPEAT!

   You should be able to walk and talk again in about 2 weeks.

    If you need further instructions, please see me off post.



Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 10:42:26 +0100
From: Belinda Blanchard <>
Subject: LE
Message-ID: <>

Still never got my final Little Express.

Can't get into WS.  Nothing to do with having had the
demos as I couldn't get into that either.  I had the
demos for AV1 and couldn't stop playing them but with
WS the demos AND the real thing, I just can't find a
true beat of my heart over it.  Don't know why. Not
bothering to try and analyse it.  Just feel that it
doesn't have the magic of other previous albums
including the simple beauty of AV1.  Don't bother
flaming me - I shan't read them!
Having said that - and in a sad attempt at trying to
claw my way back into your affections, I do admit the
music is better than 99% of stuff out there which leads
me to believe there may be a chance I could have simply
got USED to perfection.  But, no, and I'm playing it
now, it's not grabbing me.
Roll on the new work.


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 12:31:40 +0100
From: "Davies, Huw (TPE)" <Huw.Davies3@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK>
Subject: The Double Album
Message-ID: <7209B69A281BD4119EE50001FA7EA975AEADFA@WOMAIL2>

I've made myself a 90 minute tape of songs from Wasp Star and AV1 to listen
to on my way to and from work. I came up with an order of songs that could
be the running order if Wasp Star and AV1 were one double album. As it
wasn't possible to fit all of both albums on one 90 minute tape I had to
miss out my three least favourite songs, so apologies to those who are fans
of I'd Like That, Knights in Shining Karma and My Brown Guitar, but I came
up with the following (with sides 1 and 2 representing discs 1 and 2):

Side 1
River of Orchids/ Stupidly Happy/ Frivolous Tonight/ I Can't Own Her/
Standing in for Joe/ Your Dictionary/ We're All Light/ Wounded Hourse/ In
Another Life/ The Last Balloon

Side 2
Green Man/ Boarded Up/ I'm the Man Who Murdered Love/ You and the Clouds.../
Playground/ Harvest Festival/ Fruit Nut/ Easter Theatre/ Church of Women/
The Wheel and the Maypole

If I was able to do it I would have had a crossfade in the style of Summer's
Cauldron/ Grass between Stupidly Happy and Frivolous Tonight, and Playground
and Harvest Festival. I think The Wheel and the Maypole is the ideal album
closer as it seems to sum up the musical and lyrical themes of both albums
and points the way to the future.

And while we're on the subject of The Wheel and the Maypole I just have to
say what a fantastic song! It's another in Andy Partridge's series of
religion and nature songs which he usually does so well: Season Cycle,
Easter Theatre, etc. The references to the Wheel and cycle of nature seem to
remind me of what I think is an old English folk song which I have vague
memories of. The lyrics of which go along these lines: "Turn and Spin/ Wheel
we're in/...Round and round/ The wheel it is turning forever". Does anyone
have a better idea of what I am talking about?

Other comments about Wasp Star I feel I must make at this stage are:
- Boarded Up - this is probably Colin's best song for a long time (since
Skylarking anyway)
- Church of Women - The lyrics of this could have been extremely
patronising, but Andy manages to avoid that. It has the best lines on the
album - "Stop trying to diet 'em on wafers and wine/ And some myth we're in

Does anyone know what Wasp Star's UK chart position is?

Huw Davies
(Who is wondering when the rain in Cardiff will stop)


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 09:36:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: A Vernal Spring
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.10006010933330.24716-100000@esun2028>

Jim Smart asked if there were a word, beginning with the letter "V", that
means "Spring".

The word "vernal" ('relating to spring') leapt to mind; it's root is the
Latin "ver" ('spring').



Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 09:45:10 -0400
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: Aw, c'mon!
Message-ID: <>

 From Wall of Sound's Billboard Chart Watch:
Last, but most certainly not least, is XTC's new one, Wasp Star (Apple
Venus, Vol. II), which is picked up by more than 12,700 fans to come in at
No. 110.

Well, they don't have boob jobs like Britney Spears, they don't fit most
definitions of "Boy Band," and they are probably not that good at rap -- I
guess this is what you need to crack the top 100 on the Billboard chart. But
if it continues to sell this many copies per week they're only 40 weeks from
going gold.

Anyone know how "ITMWML" is doing on the singles chart?

> -ira "lies, damn lies, and statistics" lieman

	[ Britney claims they're real.  -- John ]


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 14:19:17 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: UK Chart News
Message-ID: <>

WS entered the UK album charts at number 40 in its
first week. HMV's in-store chart lists it at 29.

Rory "No caption" Wilsher


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 09:49:09 -0400
From: Paul Burgess <>
Subject: Wasp Star Hits The Charts
Message-ID: <v04220808b55c199de72c@[]>

Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) debuted on Billboard's Top 200 Album
Chart at #108 with 12,716 units sold in the first week.
Congratulations to everyone on a great beginning for this great album.


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 09:48:58 -0400
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: Following up...
Message-ID: <>

Quoting Spin Magazine's Charts column ...

"Other notable debuts are Lee Ann Womak's I Hope You Dance, coming in at No.
17, Lucy Pearl's Lucy Pearl at No. 26, and the lovely XTC's Wasp Star (Apple
Venus Volume 2) arriving at No. 108."

Once you're below, say...100, does two places really matter? And I wouldn't
call WS "lovely" -- that's probably an adjective more descriptive of AV1.

> -ira "12,700 XTC fans can't be wrong" lieman


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 09:02:23 -0500
From: "Dupuy, James" <>
Subject: Guitar on Church of Women
Message-ID: <>

Can anybody tell me what guitar, effects, and amp Andy uses on the lead solo
for Church of Women? I love the sound of that guitar. It has an almost
Santana-ish (Europa like off of Amigo) sound. If you have an idea please
e-mail me at

As a side note, I have been pushing XTC (Wasp Star) around some of my
friends who have teenage kids. To my surprise they do like "I'm The Man Who
Murdered Love". Maybe TVT did pick the right single. Other songs liked are
Stupidly Happy and Church of Women (COW being mostly popular amongst
females, imagine teenage boys liking COW?) I still think Playground makes
the best single but my opinion has been warped by time.

To those who haven't "gotten it" yet, give it a few more listens, Wasp Star
is an amazing CD.


"marked by the masters and bruised by the bullies"


Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 10:20:40 CDT
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: brief impressions
Message-ID: <>

I finally got Wasp Star in the mail the other day, and while I don't really
want to post a song-by-song epic, I don't have anyone else with whom I might
share impressions at the moment...

I like it very much.  It took two listens.  AV1 only took one, but it was
the first XTC I'd heard in 7 years, and being as excellent as it is, that
produced quite an effect.  I was thrown by "We're All Light" the first time
I heard it-- the theramin sample (although I, too, think it sounds like a
synthesized theramin effect, whether it is or not), but it worked for me the
second time.  I would have liked "Playground" as a single-- I think it came
out very well.  I love "The Wheel and the Maypole".  I was very happy with
Colin's songs-- I was only half-happy with his contributions to AV1 (I was
part of the camp who didn't like "Fruit Nut")-- "Boarded Up" is interesting,
but I really love "In Another Life".  It is a very summery album, to
whomever said that.  I can hear the O&L comparisons, particularly O&L
without the overproduction (very happy with the production in general).

Jim Smart
>Thinking of the yin/yang aspects of AV I and II. Wasp Star = Winter
>Summer, Apple Venus - Autumn...uh, can anyone can think of a word for
>Spring that starts with V?

The first day of spring is the Vernal Equinox (Autumn is the Autumnal
Equinox, then there is Winter Solstice, and Summer Solstice, for the longest
night and day of the year, respectively).

hm, clever parallels.



Date: 01 Jun 00 11:21:47 -0400
From: Jennifer Ralston <>
Subject: Wonder Stuff (no XTC, sorry)
Message-ID: <>

Radiosinmotion wrote:

>Reminds me of groups like Wonderstuff who were also a really good group (I
>heard they came out with an album without Miles on it... What?!

Here's where I have to step in, being an even bigger WS fan than XTC
at times (don't hurt me). Also, Miles Hunt is a friend...

The Stuffies never released a non-Miles album; after the band split, they
formed 2 different groups, Vent 414 (fronted by Miles) and We Know Where
You Live. WKWYL released one album & split, as did Vent 414. Miles has
recorded 2 solo acoustic CDs, 1 CD of new material, and is completing his
2nd of original songs. He's also putting together a band...not sure where
you are, but he's gigging in the UK right now. Check for his CDs on Gig

/Wonder Stuff info mode off! XTC next time.

awaken you dreamers,


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 10:50:04 -0400
From: "Webb, Leah" <>
Subject: XTC on!
Message-ID: <>

XTC Listening Room
Tuesday, May 30 - Tuesday, June 6

Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding paced the rise of alternative music with
songs like "Dear God" and "Mayor of Simpleton." For over 25 years, XTC, has
been creating uniquely uncategorizable pop music. Their newest release, Wasp
Star: Apple Venus Volume 2 is a true XTC record -- bright as sunshine and
crisp as rain with a wide rangeof textures.   Top to bottom this is a pop
masterpiece that will stagger fans and signal the return of XTC.
The com Listening Room features Andy and Colin's thoughts on
the new release as well full tracks from the CD.



Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 12:27:25 -0500
From: "Jan C. Harris" <>
Subject: Wasp Star!
Message-ID: <065b01bfcbef$d60c0f00$152f573f@janstrigem>

FINALLY!!!!!  It just arrived today!!!!!  And I *got* the x-tra
bonus CD!!!!  YAYYYYYYY!!!!!

Furthermore - good news - a local station - 92.3 WTTS is playing
ITMWML a few times a day!!!!

NP:  In Another Life


Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 13:42:35 -0400
From: Peter Nau <>
Subject: CD single, Aunt Sally's head, WS postcard
Message-ID: <>

Responding to a couple of ongoing items, and adding one new (I think):

1. To the gentleman from Baltimore who asked whether anyone else was able to
obtain the CD single, things were no better down the road here in
Washington. Kemp Mill didn't have it at the downtown D.C. store on May 23rd,
which didn't surprise me because they don't usually seem to have their act
together. On the bright side, I was able to pick up WS for four dollars
cheaper at Borders just a block away.

2. As far as "Aunt Sally's head," Andy gives the definitive (and graphic)
explanation in the Barnes & Noble chat in reply to a question asked by yours
truly. I didn't really need the metaphor part explained, but there it is. I
posted three different questions, but they wound up using only one (the one
I wanted answered the least of the three -- oh well).

3. Although it seems like the CD single hasn't found its way into too many
hands, I thought folks might be interested in another small promotional item
I stumbled across. I was in NYC for the weekend, and one afternoon I had
lunch at a Malaysian restaurant in Soho. Near the bathrooms they had a rack
of postcards free for the taking --  advertisements for things such as
Michael Jordon's IMAX movie. Among the group was, yes you guessed it,
postcards for WS. It's nothing fancy -- it says "Wasp Star, XTC, Apple Venus
Volume 2" in type that is identical to the track listing on the back of the
CD. Resisting the temptation to be greedy and take the whole lot, I took
only a few.


Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 10:07:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: jemiah <>
Subject: got it, at last
Message-ID: <>

One store (my favorite one) didn't have it.  The only explanation I could
think of is that they'd only picked up four or five copies, and all of
them were sold.  I complained loudly and went to another store (which I
like much less).

They had it fortunately (and I also indulged in the Cornelius FM disk,
Boards of Canada, and "At Home With The Groovebox") and I brought it home
and popped it in.  Now mind you, Chalkies, I've been avoiding/skimming all
talk of Wasp Star all these months/years; nonetheless some things slipped
in, and I read a bunch of record reviews (and every single one of them
overwelmingly positive -- it's enough to make you paranoid).

I think this album will take a while to grow on me, because on one listen,
I can't imagine how anyone could possibly say with a straight face that
this is the best album XTC have ever made.  It's not even close.  It's
really, really good, mind you, the first seven tracks (with the exception
of Colin's, which pretty much make up for the "um... you are slipping,
sir" sensation I first got from "Fruit Nut", which I now adore) totally
fail to grab me. I expected something more ... well, I don't know,
JARRING.  Certainly I've been listening to a lot of the Crystal Method and
Boss Hog for the last few days, so that might have something to do with
it... but you know, I expected something closer to "Funk Pop A Roll" than
to "My Bird Performs". I must be growing cynical these days.

Of course, "Wounded Horse", "You and the Clouds", "Church of Women" and
"The Wheel and the Maypole" delighted me... but... at this point in time,
I don't like it one tenth as much as I like Volume 1.

If my opinions change in the near future, I'll be sure to speak up again.
But I thought I'd throw a muddy wrench into the well oiled harmony of
Chalkhills.  I'm a mixer.

"People don't wanna see someone wrestling with their soul!" - Barton Fink


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-146

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