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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-152


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 152

                   Monday, 5 June 2000

Topics:

                        Dear Enema
                     Various musings
              WASP STAR and bonus cd review
                  WS Dutch chart action
                Introducing on guitar.....
                       a distortion
                    Station to Station
                       I got it!!!!
            Boarded Up (hints of Smiley Smile)
                  Maypoles are circular
                   T-shirts and context
                   Return of the Dragon
                       Arena rock!

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Don't waste time, go on and taste them all.

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

Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 20:28:39 PDT
From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
Subject: Dear Enema
Message-ID: <20000605032839.44133.qmail@hotmail.com>

[Another bitzer, as I digest the digests. Geez, it's busy all of a sudden,
isn't it?]

* * *

Andrew Sneddon reveals his associative reaction to Wasp Star:

>Golly, I havent felt this good since I used to sit on
>the water vent in the school swimming pool.

Euuuuuuwww! File under "More information than we needed"!

* * *

Sushiman wondered what tracks our kids like? My kids love the whole record,
just about.

Boy Lucas cracked us up on the way home the other night. I'd been playing WS
for friends, and as we drove home he began singing his version of the chorus
of "The Wheel, from "The Wheel & The Maypole":

"It's a popcorn holder, love
It's a popcorn holder, love"

I nearly crashed the car.

* * *

The heartless Clifford Smith and others have lambasted dear little Britney
['parents can be so cruel'] Spears.

>Take Britney Spears for example. I can't verify this, but just about >every
>song she sings has SOMETHING to do with either having a guy, >wanting a
>guy, or losing a guy. Kinda crap, right?

Poor, defenceless little lamb that she is, I will leap to her assistance. Is
Britney the inventor of this genre? I think not. Hardly fair that she should
shoulder the blame. You could make exactly the same criticism of
"Yesterday", or "Wouldn't It Be Nice". I've said oit before and I'll say it
again: Britney's music isn't really my taste, but I have to say that, as a
fan of Pop, I thought that her first single (the one where they all dance
around in the school gym -- as you do) was a very catchy and well-produced
bit of work.

Face it kids, if we are talking LERV songs, there are only three basic
themes, and ever has it been thus. At the risk of repeating myself, I'll
outline them for you again:

Type I: "Oh, baby, it'll be great when I get you"

Type II: "Oh baby, it's so great now that we're together"

Type III: "Oh baby, it's so bad since I lost you."

As Roy and H.G. always say: "It's a simple game. for simple people."

(For barbarians not familiar with the work of these sporting legends - see
me after class)

Bagging Britney for the lyrical content of her songs is a simple case of
shooting the messenger. Blame that fat, balding middle-aged guy who writes
and produces all the songs for her if you're must bag someone. And let's be
mindful of:

(A) the audience at whom these songs are aimed

(B) the fact that the vast revenues generated by the Britney Spears of this
world help to underwrite all the other little acts that get picked up by the
majors and get a release (even though they may never sell more than 40 or 50
copies per annum).

* * *

In Chalkhills #6-149, The Artist Formerly Known As "d. Taylor Singletary"
offered us his insights on many salient points concerning the XTC oeuvre,
including this gem:

>I bought English Settlement... Liked many songs, but
>the b-sides for the most part were crappy. Ball &
>Chain to me is insepid crap.

Two major observations arise from your post:

(A) you have taken too much acid

(B) you have not taken enough acid

With all due respect "d." - go away write a song even 1/10th as good as
"Ball & Chain" or "Life Begins At The Hop" or "Generals & Majors" and then
come back and we'll discuss their relative merits. Until then, I'd be
obliged if you'd stop annoying us with such nonsense. I am sure that the
prospect of reading ignorant, mean-spirited posts like this is one of the
reasons Andy does not contribute.

* * *

Brian Matthews responded to my pasting of Depeche Mode's lead singer thus:

>I'm sure he doesn't wish he was Hutchence NOW... considering he's >dead.
>:-)

Probably true, Brian. That does not prevent me from fervently wishing that
they could change places as soon as possible.

Let's face it - Depeche Mode are so rock'n'roll that they didn't quit their
day jobs a the bank until they were sure they could make a good living out
of what they broadly describe as their "music". What a bunch of dags.

* * *

Re: 'The Full Monty'

[Preferatory caveat - I HATE musicals.]

I'm probably doing exactly what I just attacked "d." for doing, and I have
no wish to badmouth David Yazbeck, whose work I don't know, and whom I know
Andy holds in high regard.

But ... a MUSICAL ... based on "The Full Monty"?

Jesus Christ, WHY? What could possibly make anyone want to watch such a
thing, let alone write it?? What weird impulse drives people to turn a
perfectly good little movie, or a famous book, into a musical?? I'm sorry
but the whole genre is totally bizarre to me. I can't fathom it.

* * *

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled program

Dunks

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 00:39:29 EDT
From: KINGSTUNES@aol.com
Subject: Various musings
Message-ID: <2b.68e4ad9.266c8901@aol.com>

Dear denizens of the great chalky hills,

Some random responses and thoughts.  Sorry for the length, but it's been a
week, and it will probably be another until.

>From Jason Garcia-
>I haven't mentioned Dave Gregory yet.  He's missing, and yes, it's obvious.
>I went into this album thinking I wouldn't notice, but many of the songs
>have a strange two-dimensional musical quality that I can't exactly
>pinpoint;  proponents of the "Dave is missing" school of thought will
>definitely agree.  And while Andy's solos are adequate, admit it, he's no
>Dave Gregory.

We're all going to hear what we want to hear, so this kind of discussion is
pretty subjective.  I've always, in my mind, compared XTC to Steely Dan
(organizationally)
from Mummer on, as the vehicle for Andy and Colin's song realizations.  I
love Greg, and his work with them is unforgettable, but I always viewed him
as a sideman who provided his own unique style of arranging and playing.  It
was a shock, of course, when he left, but I found at the core that AV1's and
now WS's sound is as essentially XTC as ever, and I can't really say that the
work suffered without Dave.  Of course Dave is more technically proficient,
but that was never crucial to me where the overall sound was concerned.  And
Andy's no slouch!  I find his wilder, more intuitive touch a welcome change,
actually.  IMHO.  So, who's to say?  If you miss him, you miss him.
********

Ray Michno writes-
>p.p.s. Does anybody else think, like me, that
       Wasp Star is a perfect summertime album?

You betcha!  Right up there with The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street
Shuffle and Joshua Tree!  (Among others)
***********

Annmarie likes -
>And that hiccup thing on Stupidly Happy. Darlin'<

I believe it's actually Klingon for "Paul is dead".
***********

Roger (OMBEAN1)points out -
>Oh Tom, I think you & I are the only 2 people who know who Michaela Majoun
>are.

For those not in the know, Michaela is a DJ on WXPN, U of P, Philadelphia,
one of the better alternative stations on the market.  She hosts a show
weekday mornings featuring women artists only.  My thought was she might pick
up on Church Of Women as a non sexist anthem by men for women.  By the way,
Roger, I ran into her backstage at the Appel Farm Fest, where she hosted the
grove stage and introduced Richard Thompson (who was just incredible, by the
way!  Were you there?)  Didn't get a chance to talk to her about it, it was a
little busy there, but I'll drop her a line about COW if I can remember to. I
will say that XPN plays more XTC than any other station does, and not just
hits!  KUDOS to you, XPN!!!!!
*************

Matt Mitchell dares -
>Come on, anyone else out there who CAN'T STAND 'I'm the man who murdered
>love?"  I defy anyone to tell me that it's even remotely in the league of
>ANY of his other songs...

Sorry, I wish I could help you there!  I'm crazy about it!!!  And since
you're throwing down the gauntlet, I have to tell you that I think that as
one of Andy's pop numbers, it's as devilishly clever as anything he's
written!  F**ing brilliant!!  Note I said "pop" numbers.  I compare ITMWML to
such songs as Towers of London, Earn Enough For Us, Senses Working Overtime,
Mayor of Simpleton and so on.  Yes, I definitely put in in the same ballpark
as those tunes.  IMHO.  The concept alone is a scream!  But, hey, if ya don't
like it, ya don't like it!  Ya know?
*************

Mark Stribjos corrects -
> (I have heard Andy & Colin's Strawberry Fields MP3 - my statement)
>Slight correction: The "band" in question is called Colin's Hermits
>and the singer is indeed Andy Partridge but _all_ the other parts
>have been painstakingly recreated by Dave Gregory in his home
>studio.

In my best Dana Carvey as Johnny Carson voice:  I did not know that.   Weird
stuff!  Anyway, My apologies, but I could swear whoever posted the URL called
it "Andy and Colin's .., and that's why I said it.  By the way, has anyone
heard Todd Rundgren's attempt at Strawberry Fields on his album Faithful?
*************

Jon Rosenberger admonishes
>Kingtunes....Me thinks thy verbosity is done oer much, and by this I
>intend to say that "You type superfluosly".

Yeah, and your mother wears Army boots!   Nyah!  Any thoughts on WHAT I had
to say, instead of not very clever superflous comments about my verbal
acuity?
Playground, playground, careful how you say it, ground!
*************

Ed K. opines -
>aren't there any long-term demo
>listeners who prefer the final album? There must be. Speak up!

Yes!  I Do!

>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...

Same here!!!  GOD, I wish they were on the album!
Oh, and by the way, Ed, I hope I wasn't appearing condescending when I made
the statement about non musicians being able to relate to the pain of being a
musician.  I'm trying to be careful here with getting into a slippery slope
of "I'm a musician and I know better" sort of thing.  (I can feel the
flamethrowers lurking!  Dom's peering at me from his bunker!)  Also, I did
point out that this was a state of affairs for all artists. But I have made
tremendous sacrifices to remain involved in music, and it is like a drug
addiction for some people.  As I was trying to point out, like Andy.  Just
watch him in that Guitar.com video!!!!

As for the great demo debate, I'm just tired of thinking about it.  Like I
have mentioned before, the best thing to do at this point is listen to WS and
not the demos for a while.  I have no guilt about having them, as I didn't
know the future as far as what would be on WS and XTC's future in general.
But I wish I hadn't heard them before the release.  I'm still miserable about
IDWBH and STITI not making it.  But I'm glad I've got copies!  Round and
round we go...
*********

Favorite WS metaphor (so far):  God as Buffalo Bill, "Picking off the whole
heard as we enter" (We're All Light).  That whole song is about, 'Hey, we're
gettin' the big ax sooner or later, so let's get laid!'  An old theme, but I
love it!   Anyone ever read "The Eagles Gift" by Castenda?  Every time I see
a Christian sect use the term 'harvest' I chuckle now.

Does anyone know where I can get copies of the XTC videos from Mummer on?  I
have everything up to English Settlement.

Yours in Buffalo Bill,
Tom Kingston

"And all the cheering angels shook my hand"!

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

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 01:21:49 -0700
From: Herne <herne@earthlink.net>
Subject: WASP STAR and bonus cd review
Message-ID: <393B631C.728BE028@earthlink.net>

Okay...here we go...

No XTC record post GO2 ever quite sounds like another.  That's part of
the agony and part of the fun.  This time more fun than agony.

I went to Aron's in L.A. for opening day last Tuesday.  I got my promo
cd.  Also got new Belle and Sebastian single and new Sugarplastic album
RESIN(to be reviewed later).  Also scored a few other fun things I can't
recall.

Stylistically it sounds like a mutant of Oranges and Lemons and
Nonsuch...and dare I say it late 70's early 80's AOR.   Yeah it could
blend in with the Alan Parsons Project and Supertramp.   Even the
artwork.  And I don't mean any of that in a bad way.

Anyway, here' s my song by song.

Playground---From the opening guitar you know you're back in Rockville.
Right away you can see that the big rock sound is back.   This song is
great.  Love the backup singing.  May be fun to have more guest
vocalists in the future.  "You can leave school but it never leaves
you."   Truer words  etc....

Stupidly Happy---This is perhaps my least favorite so far for no reason
I can fathom yet.  In fact I'm having trouble remembering how it goes
while I write this.(Pause while I refer to song).  Okay I remember now.
Sort of the Wasp Star expression of the "Pale and Precious" vibe...or
not.  There's lots of optimism in between all the vitriol on this CD.

Boarded Up---I'm hard pressed to come up with another XTC song that
sounds like this one.  Essentially XTC unplugged.  Or maybe even
unplugged and instruments put away so lets bang on the suitcase.  Sounds
almost off the cuff.  Great.  Since our last musical report card on
Swindon was what?,  Red Brick Dream 16 years ago?,  Guess things aren't
looking up.

In Another Life---Until I read a few digests and interviews, the
"shuffle" thing never entered my mind.  But now it's here to stay.
That's not a bad thing however.  Another great one.  Colin is definitely
3 for 3 on this outing.

Some Lovely---Don't like the chorus as much of the body of the song.
The chorus sounds like one of those late 70's/early 80's bands like Toto
or Asia or something.  Why it evokes that in me I don't know.
Hmmm...Toto.   Somewhere in my collection lurks HYDRA.  Be afraid.  Be
very afraid.  "All us boys like to drink and smoke.  Pull off a
joke(sic).  Blow your minds and leave...HOT TIRES Be-Hiiiinnnnnd."
Scared you didn't I?

I'm the Man Who Murdered Love---The single and as with all of the post
English Settlement singles...not my first choice.  I like it but I think
that as of this writing Andy's explanation of the song in that radio
interview is more interesting than the song itself.  As for the opening
guitar licks...almost sound like Peter Frampton in "Show Me The Way".
Think About it.  "I Want yoouuu to show me the way..."  Well,  in the
ballpark maybe.  No wait  I know...BLOODY WELL RIGHT by Supertramp.
That's It!  Zowie!!

We're All Light---This song is the closest thing to radio friendly in
the Brittany era.  Boy I could just hear her singing this one.  That
would be incredible.  If someone could just slip her a copy...who
knows?   Forgetting all that...A great song.  Though it apparently
doesn't seem to be on tap as a single, it cries out to be one.

Standing in for Joe---Here's my vote for best song on the album.
Possibly the strongest of Colin's Apple Venus period material that
actually made it to CD.  Simple storytelling.  Well executed.  Guitar
echoes from "My Bird Performs".   I also like how it essentially
embraces the spirit of romantic betrayal in counter to all of Andy's
musical opinoins on the subject which surround it.  Sad to say this one
rang a few bells for me personally.  Oh well, love is like a river....

Wounded Horse---At first listen, it seems like a candidate for weakest
track.  But a second listen is more of a "What the fuck?...Oh I get it"
sort of vibe.  Stylistically a giant leap into another place they've
never been.  And the wah-wah-ish guitar.  Is this Andy's version of
Steve Miller's "The Joker"?  Some echoes of Blue Overall here IMHO.  If
the style is not meant as a joke, which I don't think it is, it's
brilliant.  If it is a joke, well I guess it's still brilliant.

You and the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful---Oranges and Lemons meets
Steely Dan.  Great fade out.  This album is definitely overloaded with
great repating fade outs.  "So Let it Rain..." being perhaps the best of
the lot.

Church of Women---A most welcome return of the wacky vocal stylings of
"Leisure"   "Turns to butter-RRR-RRR-RRR."  It does tend to go on just a
tiny bit too long but too much is never enough as they say.  I remember
when I first heard BLACK SEA, I thought all the songs on that one seemed
endless.  Damn me if Living through Another Cuba wasn't ten years long.
But later I got past it.

Wheel and The Maypole---One of the great things about this album closer
is that it doesn't feel like an album closer.  Pretty much every XTC
album closer is some big heavy number.   The last song seems to take on
an air of importance.  More recently the last song seems to have to live
up to closing masterpiece "Chalkhills and Children."  But now a
different choice.  This time, it seems to do it without trying.  It's so
infectuous that it sounds like anything but an ending.  When it stops it
seems a surprise but without the finality.  A happy outro for a change.
And a sense that maybe they'll be back soon.

Bonus cd:

I'm the Man Who Murdered Love Demo---Different vocal delivery and the
music sounds more circa Black Sea or something.  Not bad.  Anxious to
hear more of the Wasp Star demos as they seem to to change more than
their AV1 counterparts.  Bring on Homespun 2 or Homegroan or whatever it
is!

Didn't Hurt A Bit---Another great discarded Colin song.  Think of all of
the great songs that didn't make the cut...World is Full of Angry Young
Men, Blame the Weather, Find the Fox, Down a Peg and this classic.  The
hilarious boast "People come to me cause I know the score" is just too
f**king funny.  Give me more!!!

I should mention that as I could never tell who played what I can't
really tell if Dave's absence can truly be felt or not.  Just not enough
of a musician to be able to tell.  But I do think that the Apple Venus
volumes do both sound, dare I say it, low tech.  Although still with the
few traces of that ever present over-producedness thing which is always
lurking in some way for better or for worse.  It's almost like the
current XTC sound is that of the over-produced home demo.  Though I
didn't hear any demos beforehand, afterwards it remains an impression,
albeit a Chalkhills Digest induced one I'm sure.

OVERALL... I really like it so far.  Curious to see how it does.  With
me it's definitely a hit.

Cheers,

KL

Also playing LEGAL MAN (ep) by Belle and Sebastian.  Boy these guys are
definitely going into a weird Austin Powers vein.  But in the greatest
way.  These guys and gals are fucking brilliant.

RESIN---by the Sugarplastic
eels---Daisies of the Galaxy
ZZ Top---2 CD promo compilation
Dr. WHO "Seeds of Doom"/"Terror of the Zygons" soundtrack.---Oddly
inventive given they had no money and very few musicians.
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS---Working Undercover for the Man EP(MP3 only) but
if you order now they send you a promo cd of it...and only for $7.99!
Charlatans UK---Some Friendly
Chameleans UK---Script of the Bridge

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 12:46:44 +0200
From: a.de.koning@bp.vnu.com
Subject: WS Dutch chart action
Message-ID: <C12568F5.003C4BE2.00@bpa.vnu.com>

Week 22: WS has entered the Dutch 'sharp edge of recordland' (de
scherpe rand van platenland) chart on number 30 (the last place).
This list is a sort of 'selected' list from the 'real' album top100
(so, without the collections and the likes of Jantje Smit, which means
that this is the only dutch album list based on sales that matters).

The dutch radiostation Kink-FM has WS coming in at number 20 in it's
Mania30.

Andre

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 12:58:20 +0100
From: Adrian Ransome <Adrian.Ransome@tsi-ltd.co.uk>
Subject: Introducing on guitar.....
Message-ID: <497FEA72C392D3118AE700508B73117718ABB6@NT4SERVER03>

In #6-148 the independent Internet content provider Ryan Anthony
pondered....
> I know of one band which wrote and recorded two entirely
different songs with the same name......Has this ever happened before or
since?<

The album Warp by New Muzik from 1982 - the last two tracks on side 1 were
"All you Need Is Love" by Tony Mansfield and "All You Need is Love" by
Lennon/McCartney.

XTC Content:
For my money the 'Church of Women' guitar solo is the best Houdini-style
guitar solo I've ever heard. Halfway through I'm wondering where the hell
it's going; it sounds like he's noodling himself into a corner with no sign
of escape. Then suddenly out of nowhere, he turns on a sixpence and
brilliantly sneaks it into the chorus. Pure corduroius!!!

Thought for the day:
If 'My Brown Guitar' is another Partridgian sexual metaphor style song then
I think Mr Partridge should see a doctor.

Adrian

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 10:13:31 -0400
From: "Michael D. Myers" <mmyers@telcordia.com>
Subject: a distortion
Message-ID: <852568F5.004E2AEA.00@notes949.cc.telcordia.com>

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

Just to clear something up:

Veronica Kyle Robertson distorted my message of a few days ago in
order to make a point; she deleted a crucial part of my original
message in order to focus on something else:

She included only part of my original message, as follows:
>I was flying from Amsterdam to Newark, NJ yesterday
>and they gave us a copy of the USA Today newspaper on
>the plane. I'm not sure if this international version
>is different in any way than the version that is
>available in the States, but it had a very favorable
>review of Wasp Star.
>In fact, they gave it 3 1/2 stars out of 4...
>Not bad, huh?"

Then she said:
>Mike, there's a reason that USA Today is given away
>at airports and hotels: no one in their right mind
>would actually pay for it! I rely on USA Today as a
>news source as much as I do People and the Today Show,
>which means not at all...........

Veronica, I am quite aware that the USA Today is not on a par with the
New York Times.  However, what you omitted was the actual review that
I quoted from.  When I said "Not bad, huh?", I was clearly indicating
that I thought that the reviewer had listened to the album and written
a thoughtful commentary, as opposed to say, the Rolling Stone
reviewer, who wrote something that appeared to be perfunctory.  In
fact, I would not have taken the time to write my original Chalkhills
post if I hadn't been impressed by the quality of the review I read.
If you go back and look at what I wrote, you'd see that I was able to
create a thread connecting the notion of "romantic folly" (from the
review of Wasp Star) to my conjecture about Colin's song "Didn't Hurt
a Bit" (on the CD single) possibly belonging on the album proper.

Also, even though the USA Today is a bit of a throwaway news daily,
have you considered that XTC might benefit from this review in that
some people might buy the album after reading it?

I would appreciate it if you were more careful in your editing in the
future.

Thanks,
Mike

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

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 10:30:53 -0400
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <todd.bernhardt@enterworks.com>
Subject: Station to Station
Message-ID: <393BB99D.84AF9508@enterworks.com>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.

Hi:

Jim Smart was very provocative in #149:
> I found my local rock/alt radio station's web page (I guess everything
> has a web page now). I e mailed each DJ individually, asking them to
> play something from the new XTC album. I started by praising their
> work on the air. A little butt-lickery never hurts.

Not for the buttlickee, anyway.

> Try it in your local region.

If only I were that flexible. (Q: Why does a dog lick his balls? A:
Because he can.)

> Heck, we could all do that to each other's stations, I suppose.

*That* would make the list a lot more interesting! My wife might object,
though...

> I'll also be calling in requests most days for the next couple of weeks.

Hmmm, wonder who'll respond? Keep us posted, Jim!

In #150, Sushiman asked:
>Which tune is your kid's favorite?

My 18-month-old daughter shakes her diapered booty to just about every
song on the album (sans Boarded Up, because -- atmospheric as it is --
it don't have that driving beat), but my 4-year-old son's faves are
"Pwaygwound," "Stupid and Happy," and "We're All Wight."

Debora said Melissa said:
<<I've said it once and I'll say it again - "My Bird Performs" is
Colin's
answer to Pink Thing. So there.>>

Then added,
>...bird, schmird... give me a couple of ripe peaches any day, duckie!

If I'm interpreting the British use of the word "bird" correctly, "My
Bird Performs" would be about *Carol's* pink thing, right? (Or her use
of it, anyway.) And four out of five ornithologists confirm that birds
love fruit nuts...

Spraying my butt,
Todd

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 14:16:05 +0100
From: Warren Butson <Warren.Butson@getty-images.com>
Subject: I got it!!!!
Message-ID: <41BC73C88FDBD2119D2908002BB32B39036E96C7@lonexchg02.getty-images.com>

I finally "GOT" Wasp Star after about 18 plays.
I was one of the "Disappointed" after my first hearing of the new album and
was quite
distraught as most everyone else was proclaiming it as better than sliced
bread etc so I persevered and I found out what I was missing.

I was looking at it from an av1 point of view, which is a sit down at home
and listen intently kind of record. So I removed wounded horse and boarded
up and just played the faster numbers in my car, with windows down and the
sun shining down and hey presto, I heard it in a totally different light.
It's a fun record that doesn't work if you take the arty analysis approach,
a bit like comparing Sgt Pepper with Hard days night,one works at home alone
the other works as a soundtrack to summer.

If I can use a pudding analogy (and I think I can) av1 is a knickerbocker
glory (many layers and textures which takes time to digest) whilst av2 is
candyfloss (a sweet straightforward flavour best enjoyed outdoors) both are
great but in different ways!

Anyone not convinced, please give it a go in the car on a hot sunny day!

P.s TWATM is definitely a classic. Unusual subject (I must confess I don't
understand it on the whole) wonderful mixture of orchestral and pop, hints
of the old xtc sound and moments that give you goose bumps! Also it seems
the one song 99% of us agree we like!!
It sometimes seems to me that the only thing that unites us is that we like
xtc, there's always so much variation on likes and dislikes, is that because
we're just all very opinionated or is it xtc's fault for being so varied in
their styles?

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 09:12:25 -0700
From: jim_hinchman@hp.com
Subject: Boarded Up (hints of Smiley Smile)
Message-ID: <H0001a901226fb72@MHS>

     Has anyone besides me noticed the harmonica part (I believe it's
     actually a harmonium?) on Boarded Up? It sounds extremely reminiscent
     of "Fall Breaks Then Back To Winter (Woody Woodpecker Symphony)" by
     the Beach Boys (from Smiley Smile).....

     Will send my review later of WS, but my initial feelings are....very
     good overall...will mix nicely with AV1, thank you.

     However, Brown Guitar and Church Of Women don't do it for me...yet...
     And not quite comfortable with "...Jack and Jillion...."

     More later after I've had time to really digest..until then...

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

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 17:14:45 +0100
From: "Davies, Huw (TPE)" <Huw.Davies3@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK>
Subject: Maypoles are circular
Message-ID: <7209B69A281BD4119EE50001FA7EA975AEAE00@WOMAIL2>

Harrison Sherwood wrote:

"There are two tensions going on in The Wheel and the Maypole: first we have
> the female principle (the Wheel, the circle, the nurturing impulse that
> "raises the living," Yin) and then the male principle (the Maypole, the
> straight line, the rational impulse, Yang). The other tension is between
> order and decay, between the urge to build and admire what one has built,
> and the despair caused by the inevitable destruction of one's works. This
> is, of course, a tension associated with the rational principle, and is
> precisely what the Buddhists mean when they warn us that all suffering is
> caused by desire."

I'm not sure if it's correct to associate the Maypole with the rational
impulse as you could also associate it with the Circle. The tradition is
that you dance around the maypole in a circular fashion. It too is supposed
to represent the cycle of nature. I assume the line "Of course it all
unweaves" is referring to the weaving and unweaving of the bands (is that
the correct name for them?) around the maypole.

XTC songs can work on so many levels can't they?

Harry Strole wrote:

"Plus, every bar has the "White Album" in their jukebox.
If you don't like the patrons, walk over and select "Revolution #9" on
said jukebox then leave.  It is guaranteed to piss off every one and
you don't have to ever see them again."

If the bar or pub has "OK Computer" by Radiohead on its jukebox, it's also
worth trying this trick with the song 'Fitter Happier'. I have.

Huw Davies

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

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 11:37:44 -0600
From: "Bob O'Bannon" <batchain@earthlink.net>
Subject: T-shirts and context
Message-ID: <200006051637.JAA05992@falcon.prod.itd.earthlink.net>

I claimed several digests ago that XTC was not reinventing themselves
anymore, and with many exclamation points, Joe Funk responded:

>>>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"?<<<

I will grant you that the individual songs you have mentioned were, to a
degree, departures from the traditional XTC sound, but by and large the
band's songwriting has become increasingly predictable, and this has never
been so much the case as it is on Wasp Star. If this means the guys are
simply more mature and focused, then I rejoice with you over the resulting
killer pop hooks that abound on the album. But personally, I miss the chaos
of "Train Running Low.." and the dissonance of "100 Umbrellas" and the
experimentation of "It's Nearly Africa" and the clever surprise of the Dukes
project. I am willing to bet that later converts to XTCism are more excited
about Wasp Star than, say, pre-Skylarking converts are, and I think this is
largely because of the point I am trying to make.

Moving on to potentially more volatile waters:

Rich "Burning In Hell" Greenham wrote:

>>Everytime I listen to ITMWML, I substitute the word "love" with "God".
Sometimes it actually works within the context of the song.

Anyone else stumbled on this yet?  Or am I just completely f*cked?  Given
Andy's take on organized religion, I wouldn't be surprised if he makes (or
made) the same substitution as well.<<

This reminds me of a T-shirt I saw once. The top line read: " 'God is dead'
-- Nietzche", and right below it was written: " 'Nietzche is dead' -- God."
Seems like there is more evidence for the latter.

Speaking of T-shirts (GBV fans, pay attention), I found a great one this
weekend -- it's navy blue with nothing written on the front, but with
"Teenage FBI" written in large yellow letters on the back. It's a nice way
to pay homage to the best pop song of the 90s.

One more comment on Wasp Star. I'm not particularly comfortable with the
rather casual attitude Colin takes toward betrayal and adultery in "Standing
in for Joe." Are we supposed to think it's cute that the character in the
song is not only screwing another man's wife, but screwing over his best
friend in the process? Unless I'm missing the satire, I find those lyrics
rather shallow and heartless. And how ironic it is that the song is
sequenced directly before "Wounded Horse," a tune in which Andy laments the
very thing Colin has just made into a complete joke.

Let me finally put my criticisms of Wasp Star in context: Built to Spill's
"Keep it Like a Secret" and Aimee Mann's "Bachelor No. 2" are probably the
only two albums I will listen to more this year.

Go Pacers!

Bob O'Bannon

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

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 17:50:33 +0100
From: paul.sheeran@dtn.ntl.com
Subject: Return of the Dragon
Message-ID: <393BDA59.B8984F0D@dtn.ntl.com>

Hi Chalkhills

I was suprised to see three members of the original line-up of the band
drinking in my local pub last week.

Suprised because I haven't seen Terry Chambers in town since I can't
remember when.

Early hopes of a return of the former drummer to the band were tempered by
the fact that their discussion was quite heated at times and there a fair
bit if finger wagging going on.

end

Living in Hope
Paul Sheeran
Swindon

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

Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 13:28:26 -0400
From: Peter Nau <caps@hockeymail.com>
Subject: Arena rock!
Message-ID: <B5615AFE.BA0%caps@hockeymail.com>

I was watching on TV the third game in the Stanley Cup finals between Dallas
and New Jersey on 6/3 and had what I thought was a little hallucination. At
one point there was a collision with a couple of Dallas players tumbling
over the New Jersey goalie. Right after, I could have sworn that I heard
ITMWML playing on the PA system. "Well," I thought, "that would be a
suitable thing to play at that point," but I dismissed it as the whimsy of
someone who had listened to WS one too many times and was hearing it where
it wasn't.

Then in the New York Times of 6/5, sports columnist Joe Lapointe wrote that
one of the reasons that "hockey in Dallas is pretty cool" is that "unlike
most N.H.L. arenas, they employ a disc jockey who refuses to assault the
senses and sensibilities of the customers by continuously blaring
strip-joint rock." He goes on to describe a couple of clever examples of the
D.J. tying the music to the action. Now I'm pretty sure I wasn't imagining
it. Arena rockers! Who woulda thunk?

To Dan D.: The Caps will win the Stanley Cup before you hear WS played on
WHFS. It stopped being a real alternative station a long time ago and is now
what I think of as "corporate alternative." The only place you are likely to
hear it anywhere near D.C. is on WRNR (103.1), which has a weak signal
emanating out of the Annapolis/Grasonville area and is a true alternative
station the way HFS used to be. Sometimes you can get it in your car in
Northern VA, although there is also a station on the same frequency in
Frederick, and you are just as likely to get that one. You can listen to RNR
at their Web site with RealPlayer, if you don't mind the low fidelity they
use to broadcast on the Internet.

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #6-152
*******************************

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