Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-151

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 151

                   Monday, 5 June 2000


                     Couldn't Resist
                       Why oh why?
                    Wasp & the Mermaid
         Advanced XTC Analysis 201 Questionairre
                        USA Today
                       Mother Oeuf
                     Re: Ask the Kids
                     v is for spring
                     Colin Interview
                What the youngsters think
                       enter easter
                   Gimme Sugar and XTC
                  greetings from Nihilon
                     Advice For Andy
                     Re: Ask The Kids
                        no Videos?
                     Double Standard
                   axis mundi explained
                   My take on Wasp Star


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Just a casual thing / Not really worth a mention.


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 00:31:59 EDT
Subject: Couldn't Resist
Message-ID: <>

John Boudreau probed:

"Ask The Kids" My 12 year old daughter says that " Stupidly Happy " is
her fave track from WS , and that she hopes my band will cover it !
Which tune is your kid's favorite ?

Anna, my 3.5 year old crumb snatcher, is actually more than a bit
obsessed with XTC these days.  A few months back she latched on to
Cherry In Your Tree, which she sings incessantly at the top of her
mini lungs.  She seems to relish, shouting out to everyone who will
listen (not that she minds telling you if you aren't), that her
favorite band is XTC. (her poor mother__and then there were two) In
the last few weeks she's latched on to Poor Skeleton Steps Out,
calling it Poor Skelekon Steps Out.  She also loves Hold Me My Daddy.

I know this isn't quite what you asked John, can't get her to listen
to the new one yet.  Still, I couldn't resist.  Now, if you'll all
come over here and sit with me on the couch I'll show you some slides
of Anna I took on our summer vacation.  (wes, upon returning from the
attic with the slide projector) "Where did they go? Those not so
ordinary people."



Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 21:44:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: Why oh why?
Message-ID: <>

wesSOLong said:

I just got off the phone with Mark Strijbos and
he told me, and I quote:
"XTC are the most abominable piece of crap band
on this God forsaken
planet!"  He actually HATES XTC!!!!!  I found out
that he created his
Little Lighthouse site only to attract women!
Apparently he's under the
misconception that chicks dig a man with a big
website.  (Hey, it's not
the size of the website, it's what you do with
it!)  All his incessant
talk about the band over the years was no more
than an attempt to supply
"Mr. Horny" with some all too eager XTC babes.
That's right folks, he's a
wolf in Partridge's clothing.  Ladies, avert your
gaze from his strangely
hypnotic site.  Don't be lured into Mark's
saccharine sweet lair of debauchery!>>

I can't believe I'm reading this crap.  Wes, if you
have something personal against Mark take it off
e-mail okay.  I highly doubt Mark would just have a
site to get women.  Then why does he have all of XTC's
stuff if he doesn't like them, huh?  Maybe you're the
one who hates XTC.  Why don't you leave poor Mark


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

	[ It was a joke.  I got it.  So should you be too.  -- John ]


Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 21:40:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Thomas Long <>
Subject: Wasp & the Mermaid
Message-ID: <>

Pink Things,

It's hilarious reading all the different reactions to WS. I dislike SIFJ &
WAL, and others see 'em as singles! There definitely seems to be two camps
where XTC is concerned: the Drums & Wires/English Settlement/Big Express
esotaric pop fans vs the Skylarking/Oranges & Lemons/Nonsuch melodic
pop fans. Not to say the two paths don't cross, but it often appears as
if we're talking about different bands. Is it any wonder the same people
who embraced AVI are having trouble with AVII?

I played AVI to death, but find the lighter approach of AVII a little more
difficult to embrace so far. Not to say I dislike it, just that it
doesn't HIT me on the same emotional level... nor was it intended to,
judged by what Andy & Colin have said in recent interviews. It IS a summer
album in every sense of the word.

By way of ridiculous comparison, the week after WS came out, the latest
installment of Bragg/Wilco's Mermaid Avenue was released. That album DOES
hit me, and I've since listened to nothing else. Though I'll no doubt
return to WS with fresh ears soon enough.

It's obviously too early to place WS in the XTC canon, and many disagree
with "judging" it at all (and will "judge" you for doing it!). But it's
all a game now isn't it? Who actually gives a toss what we think accept
us? So why not revel in the chance to express yourself yea or nay, and
piss on all those who rain on your parade. Democracy is messy, so let's
keep up our end of the bargain here in Chalkhills Land.



Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 00:57:49 -0500
From: "Joe Funk" <>
Subject: Advanced XTC Analysis 201 Questionairre
Message-ID: <001f01bfcdea$2ef7db20$7721fea9@user>

Dear Chalklings:

C.U. (Chalkhills University) would like your feedback on yesterday's lecture
by Prof. Sherwood.
There seems to be some controversy surrounding his closing statements:

>First there is no mountain.

>Then there are two mountains.

>Then there is.

>Harrison "Then there is the urge to put the face between the mountains and
>go BRRRRRRRRR" Sherwood

It seems that a number of students were seen falling out of their chairs,
laughing uncontrollably; unable to finish the rest of their digest lessons.

As this is a safety issue,  the C.H.U.M.P.S. (Chalkhills Hazard Underwriters
Monitoring Personal Safety) unit may have to called in, and Prof. Sherwood
may be banned from any further "live" demonstrations of the "Two Mountains".

Please address any comments or concerns to: <>

Thanks You for you time and attention,

Joe Funk-C.H.A.P. (Chalkhills Horse's Ass Personified)


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 02:45:45 -0700
From: "Drew MacDonald" <>
Subject: USA Today
Message-ID: <002c01bfce09$a7c81b40$>

Veronica Kyle Robertson, commenting on Michael D. Myers' report that
WASP STAR got a 3 1/2-out-of-4 stars review in USA Today:
>  I rely on USA Today as a news source as much as
 > I do People and the Today Show, which means not
>  at all. It's News Lite for people who like everything
>  to explained to them in pie charts and public opinion
>  polls.

While it's true that USA Today is a piece of crap compared to any *real*
newspaper, it is a popular, high-circulation piece of crap with a national
readership. Let's not go slagging the messenger when the message itself --
that WS is a terrific album -- is reaching a huge number of folks who
might otherwise never hear of the record. A positive WS mention in People
magazine or the Today Show would be equally welcome. Good press is good



Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 10:44:40 +0100
From: Belinda Blanchard <>
Subject: Mother Oeuf
Message-ID: <>

Damn - the kids will be so annoyed

Wes Long enlightened us thus:

"I found out that he created his Little Lighthouse site
only to attract women!  Apparently he's under the
misconception that chicks dig a man with a big
website.  (Hey, it's not the size of the website, it's
what you do with it!)  All his incessant talk about the
band over the years was no more than an attempt to
supply "Mr. Horny" with some all too eager XTC babes."

Well it worked on me - we live together in domestic
hiss with our three kids in sunny Canterbury - he told
me he works away a lot. You don't think he's got othr
happy families do you?

Yours (and his) Belinda

Great chat uplines and put downs of the century:
"How do you like your eggs?"
"Unfertilised thanks - fuck off"


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 11:28:31 EDT
Subject: Re: Ask the Kids
Message-ID: <>

>  Which tune is your kid's favorite ?

My seven and four year old both give a thumbs up to ITMWML.


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 7:11:21 -0500
From: "William Sherlock" <>
Subject: v is for spring
Message-ID: <>

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?

How about vernal, as in vernal equinox, or "verdant spiral"

Hope to see all of the Chicago Chalkhillers at the Red Lion on Weds.

Bill Sherlock

"I should be in bed, I need my 11 hours. I'm a real sleep addict. I started
off just napping. Then I got into the harder stuff...siestas. Before I knew
what was happening I was a sleep junkie."    Andy Partridge, Melody Maker,


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 13:36:15 +0200 (MET DST)
Subject: Colin Interview
Message-ID: <>

There's an interview with Colin (not by me, unfortunately) in a zine I
occasionally write for:




Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 09:46:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <>
Subject: What the youngsters think
Message-ID: <>

Sushiman asked-

<<Which tune is your kid's favorite?>>

..well, our 14 yr. old, James, says he likes 'Playground' and 'Stupidly
Happy' equally... but I think he leans towards SH... he's constantly
imitating the opening riff, (over and over again)... You know the kind of
guitar you often 'played' as a kid?  Lips pursed, teeth clenched, forcing
the air out, spittle flying..  Come to think of it, I still do that myself,
oh well..
Rock on, young dude!

Debora Brown


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 11:33:04 -0600
From: "Joseph Easter" <>
Subject: enter easter
Message-ID: <001701bfce4a$f3b52520$95821c3f@default>

It seems to me that this newsletter could better serve us if we were more
sensitive to it's content. XTC is not only a band to me, but serves as a
milepost to certain events in my life. I don't think any of you have
feelings to the contrary otherwise why would you bother subscribing to

Perhaps we could relate what the band means to us here and relate how each
song or album punctuated, changed or marked an experience (other than rehash
the same tired critiques or thoughts on what would make the best single. I
think there is more here than that.) I'll start.

Everyone remembers 120 minutes and the Dear God single. I was pretty young
when that came out but recall the effect it had on me and many others. The
band leapt into my collection and I've been hooked since. During the hiatus,
I had forgotten about XTC, except on rare occasions when I was looking for
something "new" to listen to. XTC never got old.

I remember listening to "Big Day" from Skylarking on a long drive prior to
my wedding, wondering if I was doing the right thing. Thinking I knew it

When I heard Easter Theatre on the college station, I was mesmerized. It was
prior to Spring and I was planning a trip to Paris with my wife. The song
haunted me and halted my speech and thoughts when it played. It was the
soundtrack to my life. I was an actor and Easter was the Marathon de Paris
and I believed the song was about me. Still do.

It was April 4, 1999, when Easter struck. Without a CD player, I could here
AV1 play over and over in my mind, adding a flourish to our trip abroad.
Running the race through the streets of Paris, each word rang as soundly as
the bells of Notre Dame in my head. It was a cosmic date. The time changed,
it was the death day of MLK, the marathon, my one and a half year
anniversary, my best friend's birthday and Easter, dressed in yellow. Worlds

I had a problem with my leg toward the end of the race. I couldn't walk.
Looked to the heavens and wondered after all this work if this is what it ca
me to. Being paralyzed and cold alone in France. I asked for help. In an
instant, I was relieved of the pain. Kept running. Thanked God.

More pain, but this time, marital. Something was wrong. Couldn't put my
finger on it. Couldn't get her to talk about it. That evening,
confrontation. Marriage be undone. Easter struck. Can one see God twice in a
day? Once, I saw the devil in Nevada, but that was over an entire summer.

Throughout that miserable summer of divorce, AV1 was a sweet, but dark
solace for me and my confusion. I was convinced that Easter was my death day
and my birthday. Something new. The son had died so the father could be
born. I believed that the reason the song grabbed me so intensely prior to
the event was because there was some invisible knowledge encoded inside me
that knew the future. Spider Sense.

Time sprints. I make decisions. I change my life. I become Easter. I modify
and move my life to marvelous Montana. I wait for Wasp Star. I no longer

Wasp Star's contrast to AV 1 is like a thumbs up for me. AV 1 can be a
terrifying album, but WS says everything is alright. It is a sweet respite.
It is diificult for me to say anything negative about it because it offers
such happiness and positive energy. The last year was hell. I made sure that
this Easter would be a 180 on the last. A promise to myself. Wasp Star is
like a reward. You've done good work, take the rest of the week off.

You may think this is cheesy and ridiculous. After all, XTC is just a pop
band. But certain things occupy a precious place within us all and I think
it would be a positive alteration to share some of these experiences. It's
interesting to see what another peron sees in a piece of art. Sometimes, it
helps you see a darker side (or lighter side) of yourself. I'm sure you all

Hey, I could have had a cosmic experience to Britney Spears or BananaRama. I
feel blessed to be tied to something respectable. OK, let me have it. I'm

Joseph Easter


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 14:55:43 EDT
Subject: Maypole
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 6/2/00 11:01:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
<> writes:

<< Anyway, I'm intrigued that with all the mention of the "Everything decays"
 section of TWAT(M) that sets everyone a-shiver (hmmm, wonder if there's a
 connection between the acronym and the response?) no posts that I've seen
 have commented that the music in this part sounds a lot like Fly on the
 Wall.  That was my first thought when I heard it.

I think it sounds like "Fly" and "Take this Town" personally.



Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 14:06:46 -0400
From: arthur james virgin <>
Subject: Gimme Sugar and XTC
Message-ID: <>


2 things... Sugarplastic and XTC content...

let's start with Sugarplastic....

i ordered "Radio Jejune" and LOVE it, much more rockin' than "Bang..." with
some absolutely fabulous moments.  hey this album was made BEFORE "Bang..."
it is labeled 1995.  i don't mind, cause' its a solid album, but i thought
this was a *new* release like some people here have suggested.  what's the
deal?  did they get dropped from DGC?  someone here mentioned that they know
them... what's going on?

k, now on to Wasp Star...

first off, i like it, BUT there's something about it that i can't put my
finger on.  i think the production is fine, but it doesn't seem "deep"
enough.  all of the instruments sound ace, yet the way they were committed
to tape seems thin.  i'm kind of mixed on the songs.  the last 3 could quite
possibly be my favorite 3 back-to-back by XTC, yet i've got some
reservations about some of the other ones.  i admit, the demos ruined it for
me.  perhaps if the songs had a deeper, more raw sound.  bah, who knows.
this'll stay in my changer for a while... i'm happy to have it :-)



Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 12:46:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: James Reimer <>
Subject: greetings from Nihilon
Message-ID: <>

I live near Dallas, TX, which is probably one of the
last places on a list of possible places an XTC fan
would ever want to live (though there are quite a few
here).  Still, with our radiowaves mostly cluttered by
what clutters it, I find it interesting that I am
starting to get glimpses of Wasp Star.  On a local
station, they are playing the hell out of "I'm The Man
Who Murdered Love".  And while watching the
Stars/Devils game, I noticed it playing in a time
stoppage.  I find it rather interesting that it's that
song they're playing; I think there are more
commercially viable songs than that one.  But I'll
take what I can get.

About "Standing In For Joe":  every time I hear this
song I can't help but think that it's the prequel to
Hendrix's "Hey Joe".

and in Dallas there's a great pop band with some
serious XTC influence.  They're called Chomsky: check
them out at

there's a song called "Sigmund" on it that sounds like
a song that was left off of Drums and Wires; it made
me freak the first time I heard it.

That's All


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 22:44:30 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Advice For Andy
Message-ID: <>

"Furthermore (last rant), what's with people giving
Andy "advice" via the list? My god, what arrogance.
Tell you what -- write, record and release some songs
that even approach XTC's worst, and maybe I'll listen,
eh?  Something tells me Andy won't, though. Thank

My advice to Andy and Colin:

Write some more songs. Record them in a studio or a
shed. Make them available to the public via circular,
shiny plastic/metallic thingies called "CDs". Do this
in your own sweet time. Chances are, we'll like them.

Harrison Sherwood (6-149): Hold that thought . . . and
what's on either side of it!

Rory "Hmmmm. . . looks like a torched cinder to me"


Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 15:15:47 -0700
From: "Elena F. Sirignano" <>
Subject: Re: Ask The Kids
Message-ID: <>

Good Day Folks,
              I haven't posted in about a year but my 9-1/2 year old son's
reaction to WS has inspired me. After KFOG in San Francisco had The Man Who
Murdered Love on their battle of the bands nightly for 5 evenings
running,(the boys won each night) my son Garret made sure he phoned in
every night to vote for them (me too seperately of course).He LOVED the new
song. Then on the day of the album release when he saw the CD case by the
stereo, he promtly grabbed it, locked himself in his room and played it
over and over again. I should probably buy him his own copy, but until then
we shall share. Thanks


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 14:38:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: travis schulz <>
Subject: no Videos?
Message-ID: <>

Someone posted here recently that our band aint making
any videos for the new album.  Granted MTV might only
play an XTC video once, but couldn't TVT sell it on
cassette to us fans?  Wouldn't they make jack n
jillion bucks doing this? Dear God never got played a
lot,  but today it's a cult classic.  Just a thought.


Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 00:33:10 +0200
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Subject: Double Standard
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Like I told my guests at the W.S. launch party: there's nothing in the
world like a new XTC LP - that factory-fresh smell, the static noise as
you carefully pry the heavy platter out of the sleeve with liner notes
you can actually read without a microscope... pure bliss!

Wasp Star is by no means an exception: the sleeve design looks
much much better at full-size for instance; you can actually see
instead of merely guess that it is an apple.

When i finally received my copies yesterday morning, i thought:
mmm yes, nice foldout sleeve but  i soon discovered why it was
there: they've actually done another English Settlement jobbie and
pressed it on two "wide groove" platters. Yep, it's a double album,
only their 3rd after E.S. and O&L

A pity that i will never actually play these discs because i'm pretty
sure that the Wasp Star tracks are very well suited for the warm,
analog medium of vinyl.

Yes, to be honest all the rare limited edition gold-plated stone-
washed hand-carved Peruvian CD's in my collection pale into
insignificance next to something plain and simple as this...
Happiness is a warm slab of XTC vinyl.

yours in xtc,

Mark S. @ the Little Lighthouse


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 23:51:54 -0400
From: mitch friedman <>
Subject: axis mundi explained
Message-ID: <v03007802b560d428bbf7@[]>

Axis Mundi - "Axle of the World". Ancient cosmologies pictured the
earth as a globe spinning on a shaft with the ends fastened at the
celestial poles.  The axis mundi penetrated the earth at its center,
hence it was usually associated with the cosmic lingam or male
principle. Each nation placed this hub at the center of its own

(This is from a most obvious place. Barbara Walker's 'The Woman's
Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets", which happens to be Andy's
favorite book, discovered in Erica's apartment when he was first
dating her).



Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 23:22:37 EDT
Subject: My take on Wasp Star
Message-ID: <>

I promised myself that I wouldn't, so I'll make this shorta|

PLAYGROUND-my favorite song on WS.  Maintains a sense of intelligence while
being catchy at the same time.

STUPIDLY HAPPY-not bad.  I am surprisingly finding out that this is the
favorite of the non-Chalkers that I have let borrow WS, that I am trying to

NUT-is it me, or are these as similar as I think they are?  Doesn't mean I
don't like 'em though.

MY BROWN GUITAR/CHURCH OF WOMEN-these two deserve to be reviewed together.
I like it!

I'M THE MAN WHO MURDERED LOVE-you would think this is catchy enough to get
substantial airplay here in the States, but then again, this is XTCa|

WE'RE ALL LIGHT-this should have been the best song on the CD.  The drums
fit in fantastically, and I can never seem to get this song out of my head.
But the fade seems to ramble on, and the pause after "read that
someplacea|" is so long it almost reminds me of someone who forgot the next
line.  But still, this is a great song, right up there with Playground.

WOUNDED HORSE-I will resist completing the joke about what we do with
wounded horses.  My life would be no less complete if this song had been
omitted.  Actually, it would have fit in terrifically on the CD if it was
retitled, "The Ship Trapped In the Ice."

YOU AND THE CLOUDS-I agree with recent posts stating that this song does
not receive the credit it deserves.  The finished product sounds a lot less
like Sting than the demo.

THE WHEEL AND THE MAYPOLE-OK, it may not be their "A Day in the Life," but
it doesn't matter, this song puts the perfect finishing touch to WS.

In summary, on a contemporary radio scale, this rates an A (sorry Rolling
Stone).  On an XTC scale I give it a B.

There.  Didn't hurt a bit, did it?



End of Chalkhills Digest #6-151

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