Errors-To: owner-chalkhills@sgiblab.sgi.com
Reply-To: chalkhills@sgiblab.sgi.com
Sender: owner-chalkhills@sgiblab.sgi.com
Precedence: bulk
From: owner-chalkhills@sgiblab.sgi.com
To: chalkhills@sgiblab.sgi.com
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-155


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 155

                  Wednesday, 7 June 2000

Topics:

                      Happily Stupid
                Fall Breaks To Boarded Up
                     Miscellaneous X
                         Ol' Moll
               Radio/Car/Opinions in Motion
          The Muse inside that Englishman's head
                  In Buenos Aire's life
                    My Sense of Humor
                   Andy's Guitar lesson
                 maundy mandy mendy mindy
                         Various
                     All bets are off
                          never
             Brett, Molly & A RARE XTC ALBUM
                      www.guitar.com
        Pronunciation, String, And A Bit Of A Rant
 coming and going in conversational circles, so to speak
                XTC in German charts (not)

Administrivia:

    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org> with the following command:

	unsubscribe

    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:

	<chalkhills-request@chalkhills.org>

    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:

	<chalkhills@chalkhills.org>

    World Wide Web: <http://chalkhills.org/>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7b (John Relph <relph@tmbg.org>).

Hiding faces turning pages / Still they read and read.

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

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 00:47:52 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <aso1@mocha.ocn.ne.jp>
Subject: Happily Stupid
Message-ID: <000001bfcfce$9ca5fe00$785791d2@johnboud>

Chockful Of Hillers ,

I posed the q : what song is your kid's fave on WS ( my 12 yr. old had said
Stupidly Happy was hers ) . Well , it would appear so far that Stupidly
Happy is the hands down fave . I say trust the kids' ( some elders on this
list have said that JOE ought to be the single ! ) and urge XTC and Cooking
Vinyl to release SH as the first single . The kids know best ...

Sushiman

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 12:29:43 EDT
From: Robeach11@aol.com
Subject: Fall Breaks To Boarded Up
Message-ID: <9a.5c3eacd.266e80f7@aol.com>

Jim Hinchman writes:

<<    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).....
  >>

Oh my God!!! I caught that too! Absolutely correct. Thematically, "Boarded
Up" wouldn't fit on "Smiley Smile", but the sparse/demo-like quality PLUS
that harmonium (?) really seem to be a knowing wink toward Mr. Wilson. "Fall
Breaks Then Back To Winter" is a groovy minor masterpiece.

Colin's songs are sounding fabulous. "Frivoulous Tonight" was my fave "AV1"
track, while "In Another Life" is my second choice for "Wasp Star" after
"Wheel & the Maypole".

LAKERS RULE!!!!

Rob
Carson, Ca

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

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 11:14:25 -0500
From: "Robert Kulick" <kulicro@groupwise1.duc.auburn.edu>
Subject: Miscellaneous X
Message-ID: <s93cdd1a.086@groupwise1.duc.auburn.edu>

Just a couple of thingees cuz I haven't posted since the album arrived
in my cd player....
WaspStar is a truly delightful blend of all the best things XTC has to
offer. I have listened to it easily 50 or 60 times, with Church of
Women, Brown Guitar, Wheel & Maypole (my 5 year old's fav) and You and
the Clouds as my most palyed most favorite tunes....Some ES some O&L
some Big Express and even some Drums & Wires for goodness sake....I hope
this bodes well for their future endeavors.

The interview two Sundays ago on Sunday Edition (NPR) was light and
informative, although for someone with stagefright, Andy seemed a bit
the microphone hog....Is there something wrong with Colin's voice? Maybe
I'm misinformed, but he seems a little coarse in the vocal area. Not the
same clarity as on Fruit Nut or Frivolous Tonight...is everything ok?

Who out there knows how to get a copy of XTC videos? I used to have a
small collection from when I worked with MTV back when they were more
about music and less about tits and ass. I had Wonderland, Senses
Working Overtime, Ball and Chain, Peter Pumkinhead and Dear God...I know
there are videos for Mole from the Ministry and a few others....How can
i get a tape of them?

all 4 now....

Rob

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 10:54:32 -0500
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <dwiencek@crateandbarrel.com>
Subject: Ol' Moll
Message-ID: <B697DB46B423D411BE970050DA793DE0341FE0@escorp1.crate.barrel.com>

Molly, bless her little heart, said:

> I'm sorry, I didn't realize that thing
> about Mark S. was a joke.  It didn't seem like a joke
> when I read it, but John noted that it was.  It's just
> hard sometimes online to tell whether a person's
> telling a joke or not.  That's why smileys or *just
> kidding* should be noted somewhere.

Mmm, no they shouldn't. It wouldn't be funny. There's nothing so annoying
as a comedian who winks at every punch line. And come on, Moll (may I call
you Moll?)--how could it not "seem like a joke"? Everybody knows that, far
from feigning a liking for XTC solely to attract women, Mark actually
pretends to like XTC solely to shield a thriving online pornography
business, featuring, among other things, the largest collection of
Swindonian erotica ever collected. Or haven't you been to the "Members
Only" section of the Little Lighthouse? Whip out the plastic and find out
what "XTC" REALLY means ...

(And yes, this too is a joke. See ... not as funny when you have to 'fess
up.)

And Kate asked:

> Any Chicagoans heard Q101 play 'Murdered' yet?  I'm still waiting.  I'm
> lucky enough to have a short commute (20 min!), but that probably means
> I've missed it quite a few times.  Haven't heard XRT play it either.

I haven't heard Q101 play it at all, but I doubt they would. With the sole
(bewildering) exception on Sarah McLaughlin, Q101 doesn't play anything
other than guitar-choked, smeg-heavy post-grunge alternative; most of
their playlist is unlistenable to my ears. I haven't heard it on Mix 102
either, which is a bit more surprising, as they go for more poppy stuff
and are, as you know, the official torchbearers of 80s nostalgia in
Chicago, so XTC would conceivably fit in.

And XRT, for all its faults, has played I'm the Man Who Murdered Love
regularly for at least the last three weeks (I first heard it Easter
morning, in fact). If you're a regular listener, I'm very surprised you
haven't heard it.

Dan "Do something for ME, girls" Wiencek

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:54:26 -0700
From: "Steve Young" <sjyoung@hotmail.com>
Subject: Radio/Car/Opinions in Motion
Message-ID: <20000606165720.11948.qmail@hotmail.com>

"Hey Dave," [my roommate], "I haven't heard any of Wasp Star on the radio
yet.  What's wrong with me?"

[I hop into my car, turn on the radio]

[Immediately from speaker]: "That was U2, before that Bruce Springsteen, and
you just heard "Desert Rose" from Sting.  Now here's the latest from
Ecks-Tee-See, on KRSH, 98.7, the crush."

[familiar guitar, then "IIIIiiiiiIIiiii...."]  Oh, cool.  I wanted to swerve
my car into back alleys so I might hear radio static weave in and out of the
song.  Isn't that part of the experience?

A friend of mine collects data on radio airplay.  He listens to ten-second
clips from songs (taken from 24-hour periods) and identifies them for
advertisers.  I looked down his list last night and noticed they played
ITMWML two or three times on Santa Rosa's most XTC-friendly station (98.7
KRSH).  And apparently it's been "steady" airplay!  Someone else must be
calling in for this thing.

I can't help but imagine Sonoma County drivers flicking off their radios in
disgust at Andy's baroque conceits... "Wut?  He shot someone in the head?
Blood?  What the...?  [reaching for the dial]  Where's that new Eminem?.."

I really like (!) reading all the negative (or less-than-orgasmic) thoughts
on Wasp Star.  At this point I'm *very* secure in my enjoyment of it... so
other peoples' [occasionally articulate] dismissals of my favorite songs (or
albums) only put the whole listening experience into three dimensions for
me.  I guess I'm one of the lucky people who culls all sorts of sticky bliss
from it.  I got my opinions, too, after all.  I mean... like... "Officer
Blue" really doesn't float my raft all the way down-river, you know?

~~Steve

P.S. [non-xtc content] Has anyone heard the new King Crimson studio album?
(I haven't yet)  Please give me your thoughts via e-mail - I'm writing from
hotmail.

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:50:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <mb2@deltanet.com>
Subject: The Muse inside that Englishman's head
Message-ID: <200006061650.JAA28397@mail2.deltanet.com>

Hi-ho!

So many interviews/ reviews, and miska-llaneous schtuff, all lovingly culled
and waiting for all at the Chalkhills site.. Thank you very kindly, Mr.
Relph.  I've been feasting away, gluttonous little piggie that I am...

One of the quotes from the B&N chat that tickles me:

<<Andy on creative juices:

AP: "I don't actually know what gets the creativity flowing. You can't buy
inspiration by the glass, unfortunately. What you have to do, I find, is
tune your head to blank and let your subconscious run riot. If the conscious
is in control, it's like a newspaper office full of editors. No story's
going to be allowed through the frontal lobes. You have to drift off and do
nothing. Drugs and drink are anti-creative.">>

        That quote got me thinking about the good old right hemisphere, or
the 'God brain' that drives creative thought.  I won't try to pretend I know
much about the subject (no sh*t, Deb), but I do know that 'divine'
hallucinations and song/poetry, were thought to originate in the right
temporal lobe of the ancient human brain, and the temporal lobe is still
'singing' for us modern folk.  Not a lightning bolt, fresh off the press or
anything, but I was getting around to a fun little experiment, one that
proves your 'accountant' can't carry a tune, so to speak.  You can find this
experiment in the book, The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The
Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes.  Here's the experiment:

        "First, think of two topics, anything, personal or general, on which
you would like to talk for a couple of paragraphs.  Now, imagining you are
with a friend, speak out loud on one of the topics.  Next, imagining you are
with a friend, sing out loud on the other topic.  Do each for one full
minute, demanding of yourself that you keep going.  Compare introspectively."
        The second should be much more difficult, with the singing
"crumbling into cliches', the melody eroding into recitative,  and the topic
deserting you in midmelody."  Your topic is in 'Wernick's' area on your left
hemisphere, and your song is in the corresponding region of your right
hemisphere.
        Did you enjoy it?  Again, no revelation here, but I thought it was
pretty nifty.  Thank you, Julian... Great book, great subject, sorry to
stray.  It's all Andy's fault, he started it!

Say 'cheese'! :D

Debora Brown

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 14:28:45 -0300
From: "=?iso-8859-1?B?U2ViYXN0aeFuIEFk+nJpeg==?=" <sebasaduriz@movi.com.ar>
Subject: In Buenos Aire's life
Message-ID: <00a501bfcfdc$c38cc2c0$630333c8@sebasaduriz>

Dear Chalkers:

Despite my occupations and HMV that kept me out of posting - I'm still
waiting my pre-ordered copy of WS -, as a proud father that I am, I also
find irresistible quoting my child's tastes in music.

My precious thirteen year old daughter is an acceptable XTC fan.  She can
identify most of their songs and as far as I know, Melt the Guns remains her
favorite ( reminiscences of her early childhood, perhaps).

No the same, instead, with her six year old brother whose musical world
circumscribes to just four songs: The Dragonball Z 's and Pokemon's TV show
openings ( both in their Spanish version), Mc Cartney's My Brave Face, and
El Fantasma de Canterville by Leon Gieco ( for local connoisseurs only). The
four of them regularly sung out of key, at the top of his lungs, for the
amusement (??) of all the habitants that share with him a common place. When
introduced to any XTC sound and asked if he likes it, an impassable and dry
NO will come for answer. Last hope with the slow upcoming Wasp Star. If no
visible attitude change occurs, I'll somehow get him in touch with Anita
Long - Wes' daughter - , who DOES know how to please an XTC obssesed parent.

Imanol (Chalkhills Volume 6, 147): A mi tambien me causo gracia la
"cabroneada" de Pancho. Dando por sentado que en espanol oficial la cosa
andaria por "El CD esta de puta madre", ?cual seria tu version en vasco? Con
un sobrino recientemente bautizado Inaki, no estaria mal enterarme.

Un abrazo a todos,

Sebastian

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 10:34:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <mfanton99@yahoo.com>
Subject: My Sense of Humor
Message-ID: <20000606173434.18923.qmail@web1303.mail.yahoo.com>

Periwinkle wrote:
<<In regards to:

wesSOLong said:
<<WARNING:

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!!!!!>>

  Molly- I think you're missing something - it's
called a sense of humor.
Sorry if I sound condescending.>>

I do have a sense of humor, but I didn't get this one.
 I've learned if you're going to tell a joke online
you should put a smiley :) or something to indicate a
joke.  That's what I've learned in netiqueete, because
sometimes it's very hard to tell if someone's telling
a joke or not.  If he put a smiley face at the end of
the post, then I would have known he was joking.  But
of course some people don't like smileys or they don't
like to indicate a joke, because of some fear.  Oh
well, that's life.

Molly, who hates defending herself all the time

=====
Molly's Pages: http://www.angelfire.com/mn/mollyfa99/index.html
My Tribute to Talk Talk & .O.Rang:
http://www.angelfire.com/mn/mollyfa99/talktalkorang.html

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 12:33:04 -0500
From: "Jan C. Harris" <wow@bluemarble.net>
Subject: Andy's Guitar lesson
Message-ID: <0d1501bfcfde$56a4e640$152f573f@janstrigem>

I went to:

http://www.guitar.com/features/viewfeature.asp?featureID=81

And there's streaming video of the man!

Damn the luck, though, I can't get any sound!  ARGH!

JanCarol
wow@bluemarble.net
www.bluemarble.net/~wow

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

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 13:04:29 -0500
From: RNV <rnv@mac.com>
Subject: maundy mandy mendy mindy
Message-ID: <B562A75D.1C6%rnv@mac.com>

> OK, looky here. When Sting sings 'mundi', he pronounces it "MOON-di",
> as heard on the Synchronicity album, which I haven't heard in 15
> years. I recall him singing "spiritus mundi" at one point. When Andy
> sings it, he pronounces it "MUN-di", like the day of the
> week. Undoubtedly there will be a Chalker who will know which
> pronuciation is correct.
>
> Jim

Neither (or both, I suppose). Oughta sound like "would" -- not "mood" or
"mud."

~~ Rob

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

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 14:11:05 -0400
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <todd.bernhardt@enterworks.com>
Subject: Various
Message-ID: <393D3EB9.9338AA8C@enterworks.com>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.

Hi:

Dunks wondered
> But ... a MUSICAL ... based on "The Full Monty"?
> Jesus Christ, WHY?

Because some people like musicals, even if you don't, my man! Would you
have the same question about "South Pacific", which is also based on a
book? "My Fair Lady"? "The Wizard of Oz"? C'mon, mate...

Yo! Adrian said:
> If 'My Brown Guitar' is another Partridgian sexual metaphor style song then
> I think Mr Partridge should see a doctor.

Hey, cut the guy a break, he's been havin' trouble with his prostate.

Warren Butson wondered
> 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?

Yes.

Bob O'Bannon made:
> 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.

You're missing the satire.

Jim "still chuckling" Smart talked about his:
>younger son...who spent hours afterwards going up to people's faces
>and singing "don't you KNOW jack and jillion years ago" over and
>over. Just that fragment. It was his birthday, so he could get away
>with it.

Hah! Good lad. Of course, he was searching for someone to complete the
sacred phrase. Had that happened, all would have been light.

-Todd

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 10:55:07 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <ed.kedzierski@blvdmedia.com>
Subject: All bets are off
Message-ID: <08B5DDC2BABCD311BFC6005004A884B013B6AA@mgcservices.com>

In
6-152, Bob O'Bannon said something that's just not on:
		"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."

I'll take my money now, please. I started off on D&W, BS and Waxworks (was
addicted to the songs w/Barry's keys on the first side of that comp. for
months) . Love this album (which, I may already have said, reminds me of BE
more than anything) Actually, I was going to start arguing the exact
opposite, so I guess we'll just have to look elsewhere for clues to the
great "conflicted opinions about Wasp Star among fans" mystery.
Sorry,
Ed K.

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

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 09:50:04 -1000
From: "Jim Smart" <jismart@ksbe.edu>
Subject: never
Message-ID: <393D55E3.6EA6DD6D@ksbe.edu>
Organization: 3Tripper

I have never:

1. seen an XTC video

2. heard anything from Wasp Star on the radio

3. Laughed so hard at anything in Chalkhills as Todd's bit taking the
mickey out of me on the butt-lickery / local region / front (well,
rear, I guess).

And some of you might want to take note: people who write really funny
stuff on Chalkhills don't add "LOL" to their own posts to let us know
how funny they think they are.

Jim "It's a popcorn holder, love/It's how we're built, love" Smart

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 16:11:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: Radios In Motion <radiosinmotion@iwon.com>
Subject: Brett, Molly & A RARE XTC ALBUM
Message-ID: <384240552.960322319038.JavaMail.root@web193-iw>

Brett Said:
Lastly, the whole thing is then placed onto a CD which is actually a digital
"sample" of the original recording. As amazing as our technology is, a
little known fact is that they still don't quite hold up to the fidelity of
vinyl records. Digital formats make music much like a projector makes
movies. Pictures of the music (samples) are taken at very short intervals
and mathematically grafted together to give the illusion of continuous play.
The stuff you miss in-between these samples also takes an emotional toll on
the music.<<<<<

--------------------------I Say----------------------------

I disagree.  CD's can have the warmth that records have if enough time is
put into the recording and mastering.  There are plug ins like "Magneto"
which actually lays 2 Inch tape sound onto digital recordings to give it
that analog punch and Judy (Ok, so I had to throw some sort of XTC quote in
there!)

I do know what you mean though.  The thing I miss about records, and tapes
for that matter is that each side was like a volume to me.  Though I hated
the extra work it brought, it was good to move to the next side of the
album and listen to Side B.  Now of course CD's don't have 2 sides so its
just not the same.  I don't agree with the emotional toll thing though.  I
don't think it effects that at all.  One thing that did bother me was that
the CD version of English Settlement does not include the Runaway outro
like the tape and record did.

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

Molly, loosen up!

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

I found The XTC album "Acoustic Tales" and wanted to ask if anyone has
heard it before.  Though it would be dumb of me to ask "Is it worth it" I
want to know if it is or not?  If any of you have heard it please let me
know the story on this album.  Thanks.

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 13:29:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Relph <relph@engr.sgi.com>
Subject: www.guitar.com
Message-ID: <200006062029.NAA21481@mando.engr.sgi.com>

Folks,

Is there anybody out there who can download the guitar.com videos and
save them as a QuickTime 3 or AVI movie so that I can watch them?  My
poor machine just can't deal with all this new technology.

	-- John

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

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 23:19:28 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <rory_wilsher@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Pronunciation, String, And A Bit Of A Rant
Message-ID: <20000606221928.22340.qmail@web1502.mail.yahoo.com>

Jim Smart Wrote:

(Point of (non)interest: I seem to start a lot of my
posts like this. Does this mean (i) he's not "smart"?
(previously suggested  by himself, I hasten to add,
as well as others ;-)) (ii) he raises interesting
questions? I feel the latter. Anyway, they provoke a
response from me. Bell rings. Must eat food.)

"OK, looky here. When Sting sings 'mundi', he
pronounces it "MOON-di", as heard on the Synchronicity
album, which I haven't heard in 15 years. I recall him
singing "spiritus mundi" at one point. When Andy sings
it, he pronounces it "MUN-di", like the day of the
week. Undoubtedly there will be a Chalker who will
know which
pronuciation is correct".

Right, here's the real by reel deal: oop North, where
String comes from (Newcastle), the "u" sound is
pronounced as a long "oo" sound; down south, as in
Swindon, it's pronounced "uh". Conversely, the "a"
sound is pronounced as a short sound "ah" (like "bad",
which is pronounced the same wherever you are (I
think)), whereas there is a difference in a word like
"bath", which is pronounced very quickly with a short
"ah" sound oop North, but anyone who lives in the town
of that name, or who takes one in the South, would
pronounce it "barth" (with me so far?). But (here's
the rub) there's considerable controversy, and not a
small amount of snobbishness, about so-called "correct
pronunciation"  "the Queen's English", "BBC English",
"Oxford English" etc. etc. yadda yadda yadda. The
short "a" sound in "Grass" would be seized upon by
those in Respectable Street as a dead giveaway of
lower class. By people who care. On such shallow
foundations some people build their lives. I've met
them, and I KNOW.

Quick history lesson: non-one knows how the Romans
pronounced Latin. They're all dead, and didn't have
recording technology. End of lesson.

Now you've got me going. I've been thinking about this
post for a while, and now I just HAVE to go for it.
Andy has a definite Wiltshire burr to his singing
voice, and a lot of people have commented on
"butter-err-err". I contend that any word that
involving the "er", "ir", "ur" or "or" (in some
circumstances the same sound), Andy is really hamming
it up to emphasise the Wiltshire accent on WS (and,
probably, but not so intentionally, on other albums
haven't been through the entire catalogue to research
this, just that it struck me on listening to WS over
the last few weeks). I submit for your approval:

Playground: "big square wuur-uur-uur-uur-uur-uurrlld"
My Brown Guitar "wears the shooore down"
ITMWML: "muurdered" (not as obvious)
Wounded Horse: "houurse", "couuurse"
YATC: "Weatheerrr", "stormtrooperrred",
reverrrberrate" (intentional on that one, I think)
COW: "Butter-err...err" (well, duh!), "Hearr-arr-arts"
TWATM: "and the wheel tuur-uur-uur-uurn", "think we're
any betterr"

Anyway, in answer to your question (at Kingstonian
length  sorry to have strayed!), the answer is
ambiguous  both are correct, there is no independent
verification, it depends where you're from.

Rory "Any resemblance to a rational statement is
entirely coincidental" Wilsher

p.s. there's a typo on my inlay booklet in YATC:
wether instead of whether  is this also on the US
release?

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

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 18:09:07 -0400
From: "Stephanie Takeshita" <edsxt@huber.com>
Subject: coming and going in conversational circles, so to speak
Message-ID: <s93d3e52.088@gwia.huber.com>

Hi, long-suffering XTC fans!

As you might've guessed, this is about those dang maypoles.  .... and about
how well Andy Partridge uses mythological & religious symbolism, even
though he dropped out of school at the age of 15... And about our finally
getting some (mis)use out of those exegetical techniques of textual
analysis we supposedly gained some exposure to in school, and are now using
to decode Partsy's song lyrics....

In reference to Harrison's previous post re. maypoles, Huw wrote,

>>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?>>

Quite right.  And it's worth pointing out that the maypole is also very
much like that "axis mundi," no?  Both are long, phallic poles, 'round
which spins a round body or symbolic body of sorts, and both unite the
(penetrative) phallic and the (receptive) oceanic.  We haven't seen a pop
ditty uniting the cosmic, cosmogonal, and the downright funky like this
since Eric Idle's songs were married to Terry Gilliam's animation in "Monty
Python and the Meaning of Life"!  [NB: also, both Idle and Partridge favor
"banana finger" piano parts... and now, about those bananas....]

And how about that butter ("...milk/Which their love turns to butter, -er,
-er") churn implied in "Church of Women," eh?  Aren't those things usually
round, with a big, uh, churn sticking out of the open top?  (I know, I
know, that ain't exactly what that charming ode to, er, women's sexuality
is really referring to!)  And for some disturbing reason, I keep thinking
of that old '77 ode to female sexuality and tall, looming statuary that men
in boats sail (swim?) 'round and round (or beneath her skirts), almost akin
to sperm encircling ovum....

Also circular/ovoid and symbolic: Fortuna's Wheel (which I'm surprised Andy
didn't drag into his song, somehow), eggs (done already), the womb and
various bodily orifices (if memory serves, and done), Druid stone circles,
and Tibetan and American Indian mandalas (if memory serves), etc.  And
don't forget that soccer ball in "Senses Working Overtime"!

And yes, one "weaves" long ribbons around a maypole, but I see the
"unweaving" reference as broadly symbolic, too.... wasn't it the Furies of
Greek mythology who figuratively determined mortals' lifespans by undoing
their handiwork, some sort of weaving, by snipping the threads that held
warp and woof together?  [help me out, people!]  And FWIW, social
harmony/disharmony in the body politic is often expressed in textile
metaphors; i.e., "the unravelling of society".

But I wonder if "The Wheel and the Maypole" doesn't have another problem,
in certain circumstances.  I took the album to a party Saturday night, and
one of the guys there - admittedly, quite the campy cut-up - made quite a
fuss out of "maypole" sounding like, to his ears, "napalm".  He loves to
kid people, but this wasn't necessarily a put-on, either.  On the other
hand, the speaker placement (and quality) was less than ideal, and the
music had to compete with everyone's conversations.  And he didn't know
what he was hearing; he didn't have the song title to go by as a context.
But then, neither do we when we're listening to the radio, most of the
time....

And we were afraid that "climb aboard you children" sounded like "climb
aboard Jew children" in the Apple Venus demos!

One more thing: one of public radio stations in the tristate area is using
"I'm the Man....," in a blurb touting the esoteric/quality slant to their
music programming.  I heard it last Friday morning.  It's on 90.5FM,
Brookdale [NJ?  PN?], which carries National Public Radio programming.  The
spot uses three music clips, announcing the artist over each one, and XTC's
the leadoff track (followed by Mike Viola and the Candy Butchers and
B.B. King onstage with Eric Clapton.  It's not the monster public radio
stations out of NYC (93.9) or Philly (91.3?  93.1?), but it ain't bad,
either.

It's late and I'm tired.  And sometimes a cigar's just a cigar, and an
internet posting is just a moment's entertainment.  I'm ready for my
sedative now.

Stephanie "which my fan-love turns to blooper, err, err" Takeshita

Stephanie Takeshita
x. 3625

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

Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 00:39:53 +0200
From: Erich Sellheim <sellheim@zfn.uni-bremen.de>
Subject: XTC in German charts (not)
Message-ID: <393D7DB9.A8D5D120@zfn.uni-bremen.de>

Hello everyone,
two weeks have passed, and the splendid "Wasp Star" still hasn't
emerged on the German Top 100 Album Charts. Surprising? Not
really...one look at this "hit list" clarifies how XTC would have to
sound (and look) like to sell large quantities in this country.
WS thoughts I hope no one hasn't mentioned yet: the only change from
the demos I really had to 'get over' was the different chord structure
of ITMWML's chorus (on the syllable 'love', it had formerly been G
major instead of D major), but repeated listens (and I had quite a
few) quickly changed my point of view, and now I love the song even
more than before. I also think that it's the perfect choice for the
first single, and while resembling in sound earlier songs like "Peter
Pumpkinhead" or "Dear Madam Barnum", I'm also inclined to think of
NRBQ when listening to it, a very good band which I'm sure some of you
know.
Two favourite WS moments: the train imitation (or whatever it is) by
the bass in Stupidly Happy after the line "I roll like a train", and
the segue from Church of Women into The Wheel and the Maypole. And
while I wouldn't call WS the best album XTC have ever made (you only
record Oranges & Lemons once, don't you?), part of the reason I love
it so much certainly is the brilliance of the last two tracks,
something which I just realized being true for my two favourite XTC
albums (O & L with even four unbeatable songs at the end (Hold Me My
Daddy, Pink Thing, Miniature Sun, Chalkhills And Children), and Big
Express with I Remember The Sun and Train Running Low On Soul Coal).
Long live XTC!
By the way, I don't know which kind of prize I'll get for this, but I
think I have the rare opportunity to correct one of the biggest XTC
authorities around, Mark Strijbos, on a major matter: If memory serves
me right, Nonsuch was the third double album the band made, wasn't it?
And finally, a note to Duncan Kimball:
It may well be near to criminal to compare XTC to Depeche Mode, but
probably not half as much as mentioning DM in the same sentence as
Michael Hutchence of INXS!  Dear God, and I had almost forgotten about
this joke of a band. I know, I know, they chose their name in tribute
of XTC, but these songs (or what was supposed to be songs)! In the
words of Andy Partridge (although HE meant Spandau Ballet): "They were
the worst band in the history of foreverness."
Best wishes to all of you;
stupidly happy,
Erich Sellheim

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #6-155
*******************************

Go back to the previous page.