Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-158

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 158

                  Thursday, 8 June 2000


                    spacious oddities
                   Andy's guitar lesson
                  jukebox ju ju (no xtc)
                     Comments on AV2
               Colin's Beach Boys influence
                         wether ?
                     XTC video tapes
                    Boarded Up no more
                   More Waspish Moments
            Re: An Open Letter To TVT Records.
                    A little Clearasil
                   He Can Play Everyday
           Barn door shut; horse *long* gone...
                      The poison pen
                    One Wasp Buzzing.
               Guitar Lesson on


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

If I could see you, I'd complain about the noise.


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 14:47:35 EDT
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Subject: spacious oddities
Message-ID: <CMM.>

Dangerous territory, first-listening impressions with XTC.  Here are a
few, because they can't go anywhere else.

Yes, it's still them- which says a lot!  But...

I find the album an odd mosaic of sounds and ideas. There's so much
clipping, chopping, layering.  There seems to be an effort to insert
lots of empty space in the middle of things, making it kind of like
looking at a stainless steel sculpture in a funhouse mirror.  And
speaking of metal, those gorgeous silvery guitar tones seem to be gone
forever.  Dave's Rickenbacker 12 string has been relegated to the
dustbin of history along with the clapped steam organ and
dungeon-echoed snare of earlier days.  Can't help thinking about what
happened to the drums and wires.

Mummer also sounded like a mutant on first listening and I now love it,
so AV2 must get more plays.  But like that album, the stress appears
to be on differentiating new from old. They say every new relationship
seeks to fix the problems of the old one.  Maybe too many dials were
twiddled.  The music certainly matches the font on the cover art!
Somehow Tim Finn's Say it is So does it a little more gracefully.

I can't stand Colin's voice on Standing in for Joe, but Boarded Up is
the runaway best tune on the album.  Frankly, I like almost all of the
demos better than the album tracks- meaning that they are great songs,
but the treatment leaves me baffled.  Had to get that out of my system.

Bring on the flatbed tour.  It's the perfect foil.



Date: 07 Jun 2000 15:49:33 -0500
Subject: Andy's guitar lesson
Message-ID: <[]>

Go to the website as suggested by Jan Harris

Two streaming videos with sound of Andy Partridge giving guitar
lessons using songs from Wasp Star. Plus an article. Fantastic.

Chalkhills has been a great venue for sending me to this, the
Strawberry Fields demo, and various other great sites. Thanks

~~~ Derek C.


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 12:29:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <>
Subject: jukebox ju ju (no xtc)
Message-ID: <>

..all this chitter-chatter about the jukebox 'pariah' selection...
here's mine-

About ten years ago, while drinking with some childhood pals at the local
watering hole, I decided to pop my change into the music machine and fire up
Foghat's Slowride...    it wasn't 30 seconds before I got up and left...

Debora 'fool for the city' Brown


Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 16:01:49 -0400
From: Dempsey Elks <>
Subject: Comments on AV2
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Alcatel USA Inc, Raleigh NC

Ok, sufficient time has gone buy to give my assessment of AV vol II
and other things.

First I must say that I have been listening to XTC since White
Music. With the release of each recording I initially get the same
feeling. At first it seems a little disappointing mostly because I
have dreamed up in my imagination something that could only exist in
my head. Then I start to hear the new recording and realize it is
even better than I had imagined.

I have always been impressed with Andy's lyrics, the interplay
between the guitars, (Drums and Wires - to - Nonesuch) and Colin's
brilliantly melodic bass lines. From early on I was hooked.

I really like the sound of Wasp Star. To me it has more of a band
sound than anything they have done in a long time. I like the open
feel of the recording. It doesn't seem like it was recorded in a
totally dead environment. There is a live, room feel to the overall
sound. The vocals seem clear to me as well. There is space in the

As for the songs, I didn't listen to the Demo's so the songs are all
new and fresh to me. Songs of note that surprise me are: "Boarded
Up" The first thing that came to mind is Daniel Lanois for some
reason. Probably the ambience of the recording.

"Wounded Horse" Just when I think I have him pegged Andy pops up
with this gem. I think it is great how he uses the style of the song
combined with vocalization to convey mood and meaning.

"The Man Wo Murdered Love" What can I say? I just think is is a
great song.

I think Wasp Star is a great record. I liked AV1 and thought it was
a stellar work but I'm a fan of the electric pop sound and Wasp Star
appeals to that side of me.

To comment on recent posts:

> 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."

Not for me.

> 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 don't want to start one of those vinyl vs Digital recordings
arguments but I don't quite agree. Digital recordings can, given the
proper equipment and technique, sound better than vinyl. I still
have a turntable and plenty of records and some of them do sound
very good but I don't miss the fact that every time I play one I am
reducing its sound quality. I don't miss tape hiss and crack and
pop. I don't miss turning the records over and I don't miss all the
tracking setup and cleaning I did with records.

What I do miss is the size of the artwork and the smell of opening a
new record and sliding it out of the sleeve for the first time. I
think 16 bit audio CD's are going to go away in the near future and
be replaced with something like the audio on DVD's and this I will

> Is there anybody out there who can download the 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.

This would be cool...

I'll go back to lurk mode now.


Dempsey Elks
Alcatel USA			Raleigh N.C.


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 17:29:24 -0400
Subject: Colin's Beach Boys influence
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalksters:

Jim Hinchman wrote:

  Has anyone besides me noticed the (harmonium) on
Boarded Up? It sounds extremely reminiscent of "Fall
Breaks Then Back To Winter..." by the Beach Boys
(from Smiley Smile)....

Yes, and it's not the only instance of Colin's Beach Boys
influence.  Compare the clarinet on "War Dance" to the
clarinets on the  coda (long fadeout) of the alternate "Heroes and
Villains" (the one with the "in the cantina" segment) on the Good
Vibrations box.  It's nearly the same line.  Also compare the last
choruses of "Cynical Days," (where they really pile on the vocals) to,
say, "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times."  Not as close, but
definitely of the same family.  Any more?




Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 23:01:33 +0000
From: Jayne Myrone <>
Subject: wether ?
Message-ID: <>

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

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

Useless info - I was checking that it wasn't my spelling,
and came across a definition for "wether":
"A castrated ram"
Is there something I'm missing here?

Re Latin & "axis mundi" - I thought that the Vactican used
Latin still & had/has a radio station that broadcasts in Latin.

A quick review of WS:
If this CD was a man I'd want to take it home & have it's
children - & I make cuckoos look maternal.

wondering if CDs wear out
Jayne the Worrier Queen

please take a minute & visit the site below.  By clicking on the donate
button money is given to the UN's World Food Programme.

"Nothing is meaningless if one likes to do it"
Gertrude Stein


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 18:01:54 -0400
From: "Ian C Stewart" <>
Subject: XTC video tapes
Message-ID: <>


Many people have posted lately about the availablilty of XTC videos on

Peep my list, y'all. It's all there...

disclaimer: NTSC VHS ONLY, there is no possibility of me doing PAL dubs
since I just don't have the machinery! Sorry everyone in Europe (unless you
have one of those snazzy NTSC/PAL VCRs)!

Ian C Stewart

np: Gene Simmons "See You Tonite" awfully Beatley for the bat-liz...


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 23:51:04 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Post-Modern
Message-ID: <>

Ah, c'mon guys! Don't you think that it's totally
appropriate for an XTC list to have an irony-free
zone? Kind of like the non-smoking (flaming? ;-0)

Maybe she's secretly taking the piss out of your

Rory "Who knows? We certainly don't!" Wilsher


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 16:18:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: James Reimer <>
Subject: Colin
Message-ID: <>

Radios In Motion wrote:
Oh, I know someone mentioned this before but I had to
say something again.  A lot of people talk about how
good Andy is, but Collin is a damn fine musician.  I
am only learning now how to play guitar and bass, but
I have to admibt some of the most mesmerizing bass I
have ever heard has been from Collin's playing.  He
is an esential part to the XTC sound.

I couldn't agree more.  This will give me the platform
for yet another XTC fan to explain his first encounter
with the band.
I am only 26, but the first XTC song I remember
hearing was "Mayor of Simpleton"  I was in High School
at the time and exploring new music, and I liked what
I heard.  I was already a huge Beatles fan, so this
was perfect. I bought Oranges and Lemons first, and
was quite dumbfounded by the "Garden of Earthly
Delights", but found it tolerable at the time.  Then
on to "Mayor"
What captivated me about this song in particular was
Colin's bass.  It's busy but simple; and I still can't
get it out of my head to this day!  Even throughout
that album, the bass is simply wonderful.  Then I read
the lyrics, and I was hooked.  They were brilliant,
their musicianship was superior, and I slowly started
collecting, and what an iceberg I uncovered.
Which is also probably the reason I didn't like White
Music and Go 2 all that much at first.  I had all the
newer albums by the time I got these, and they seemed
a bit silly, and I didn't care much for Colin's songs
(I have since grown to appreciate them; some still
grate on me a little).
I have burned a CD for myself called "Colin Mouldings
Greatest Hits".  It's not that I am favourable to him;
I just sometimes like to hear his songs taken out by
themselves.  They're not as edgy lyrically and
sometimes I need that.
Still, perhaps not normally, it was Colin, not
Andy,(or Dave) that originally brought me to love XTC.

Alright enough of this rambling; it's silly.  Now
let's see something decent and military.  On my cue,



Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 19:15:54 EDT
Subject: Boarded Up no more
Message-ID: <>

This being my first posting to chalkhills after eons of reading I feel a bit
nervous but here goes.  Just when was boarded up written.  I have been to
Swindon myself as a youth and my Mother who was born and raised there just
came back from an extended visit.  For the record, Swindon did indeed go
through a period of economic downturn that turned the downtown area into a
bit of a plywood garden, but in the last several years the area has been
turned into a pedestrian mall with rail works machinery adorning the walks
and shops.  The closing of the rail works themselves was believed to be the
death of Swindon but the arrival of Auto giant Honda with it's huge assembly
plant has brought most Swindoners great job security and wealth to some
degree or another.
Although Swindon will never be mistaken for some folksy English cottage town,
It's still the place that gave our young lads the inspiration to write many
of my favorite songs.  I absolutely love "English Roundabout" which hit home
so strongly upon my last visit to find old Copse Avenue, which was always the
dead end street my Mum grew up on, to have a new roundabout at the end that
defied every attempt to navigate safely!
In any event, "Boarded Up" must have been written early in the strike period.
 Any thoughts or solid facts about this are welcome, of course


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 19:53:35 -0400
From: "squirrelgirl" <>
Subject: More Waspish Moments
Message-ID: <001501bfd0db$c21da080$5d49c0cf@meredith-s>

Howdy 'Hillians!

Please bear with me while I share some more Waspish moments:

I had the pleasure this past weekend of driving the 2 1/2 hours across this
great peninsula we call Florida, to visit friends.  Of course, I made a WS
cassette to bring in the car.  On the 3rd time through, my long-suffering
husband said, out of the blue, "They have nice voices."

Imagine my surprise when, on the way home, he commented on the placement of
SIFJ and WH.  He had actually been listening and not just humoring me as
usual!  For me, after 8 years together and his totally ignoring XTC despite
my nearly constant attempts at indoctrination, it was like winning the
Ironman Triathlon.  I believe this indicates a better shot at "mass appeal"
for WS compared with other XTC offerings.  Wow!


Some Favorite Waspish Moments (not all-inclusive, and in no particular

*  "Laying waiting naked for you"

*  The way Andy says "reverberate".  And, of course, the famous "hiccup" (or
"guitar") on SH.

*   The entire last 30-45 sec. of WAL

*  The musical transition in the middle of TWATM.

*  "Men have gargoyles round their hearts"

*   Holly's contribution on Playground.

*  The way the vocals start at just a slightly different place in relation
to the drums on each verse of WAL


Some Waspy Questions:

Who is Spoofy?

What is Andy saying at the end of "YATC" (...From your pretty little

I have sleeve art and "portraits" of Andy & Colin in between ITMWML and WAL,
but what are "playground pictures"?


Klaus, I'm the one who said TWATM reminded "him" of Fly on the Wall.  And
for the record, it's "SquirrelGIRL".

That's it for now; hope all my sarcasm hasn't gone unnoticed :-)



Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 19:30:04 +0000
From: d-erelict <>
Subject: Re: An Open Letter To TVT Records.
Message-ID: <>

> From: "vee tube" <>
>     The last time I checked your website,you didn't list
>   one store in the entire state of Texas that I could spend
>   $$$$$$ at and get the 'bonus'CD.    THANK!YOU!

Funny, but I got the bonus single at Waterloo Records here in Austin, and
I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure I got the info from the TVT site (I
could be wrong)...

>    (Please note: I'm not a native and I'm not into the whole
>             YEE! HAR! WE'RE! TEXAN! SHIT!)

So, you think it's cool to berate other Texans?
Yer kewl...

> So, if I want the 'bonus'CD I have to SCREW! my local stores?

How are you "screwing your local indy store"? But not giving them the $2
they'd make on the cd if you purchased it there?
Get real...

While it IS of my opinion that TVT is one of the worst label in existance
right now, I think your arguement is pretty convoluted...



Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 20:31:13 EDT
Subject: A little Clearasil
Message-ID: <>

    There seems to be a little confusion stemming from my comments about the
fidelity of records vs. CD's.  I am stating a fact of physics that records
reproduce a higher fidelity signal than CD's.  Due to the sampling rate,
commercial CD's cannot present sound above 22k which is thought to be about
the highest pitch that humans can hear.  As an analog source a record can
produce a much wider range of sound than a CD can.  The only sound advantage
a CD has over a record is a lower noise floor.  From a technical standpoint,
a record kicks butt on a CD.
    That being said I still listen to CD's.  They are easier to transport,
much easier to care for, and the random access thing makes them clearly
superior from a practicality standpoint.
    I personally don't have a problem with this and was only putting it out
as something to think about.  Whatever tools XTC use to make their albums, it
is still the composition and performance that shine through.  If it makes a
good song I don't care if they twiddle paper clips and yodel through a garden
    By the way, I wanted to mention that this is a great little list here and
thank John Relph for making it possible.  What a bunch of lunatics!  I like

Brett Reeves
"What do you call that noise that you put on?"


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 21:03:06 -0400
From: "Michael Versaci" <>
Subject: He Can Play Everyday
Message-ID: <000101bfd0e5$4efb6650$6401a8c0@mtwe50004>


The first time I heard the "solo" in "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love," it
brought to mind the instrumental phrasings of "The Garden of Earthy
Delights."  I thought, "This sounds like Dave!"

Remember when AVI came out?  Many people falsely believed that the guitar
solo in "Easter Theater" was Dave.  I would guess that had the band kept
Dave's departure a secret, we would have assumed that at least half of the
guitars were played by him. I could easily imagine Mr. Strijbos chiming in,
"Look at what Dave did to 'Church of Women!'  What an improvement!"

For years I was certain that the solo guitars in "I Remember The Sun" and
"The World Is Full of Angry Young Men" were played by Dave, because they
were so sophisticated.  My good friend Todd Bernhardt gently set me
straight, informing me that they were indeed the work of Mr. Partridge. That
was when I began to realize that while Dave complemented XTC rather nicely,
he wasn't the *only* great guitarist in the band.

The guitars on "Wasp Star" are exceptional, dripping with Andy's eccentric
personality.  Andy doesn't play the guitar on "You and the Clouds Will Still
Be Beautiful" - he IS the guitar. One of the highpoints of XTC for me has
always been the way the music aurally represents the lyrics and how the
lyrics fit so perfectly with the music. Some songwriters set their words to
music; others add words to the song.  Andy's songs appear to have been born
whole. A fine example of this is the exquisite "Across This Antheap."  Music
and lyrics are symbiotic.  Once you "get" the song, you think, "Of course!
How else would it go?"

Dave's influence and contributions to XTC are incalculable and no doubt
still felt today.  Who can listen to the strings in "1000 Umbrellas" or the
arrangement of "Wrapped in Gray" and not be moved?  We can only guess what
"Wasp Star" would have sounded like had he and Andy worked out their
differences.  Having said that though, Andy is a fantastic guitar player, no
doubt better than many that are hailed by the masses as such.  He doesn't
fancy himself a fine guitarist; that definition would be too narrow. Andy is
a composer using instruments as vehicles for the lovely melodies that he
weaves into and around his compositions, and out of his guitar flows some of
the best music that these ears have ever heard.

Michael Versaci


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 21:36:20 EDT
Subject: Pronunciation
Message-ID: <>

wasp listeners

 > 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

Let none of us forget, he uses "mundi" to rhyme with "one day".  Much like
"umbil-eye-cal" --- "cycle" so, it could be a purposeful
mispronunciation..  what is Mr. Sting rhyming "spiritus moon-di" with?
eddie st.martin


  here is a spelling/ pronunciation quiz.

  1)What is the one word, which, if correctly spelled, is pronounced wrong?

  2)Which word is always spelled correctly?

  3)Which word is always misspelled?

  4)What is the longest word in the english language?

  5)Which three words are always pronounced right?


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 21:39:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: Dorothy Spirito <spiritod@TECHMAIL.GDC.COM>
Subject: Barn door shut; horse *long* gone...
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.10006072133340.24478-100000@esun1006> just auto-emailed me to let me know that XTC have a new
release out.

No kidding; I was listening to it when their email hit my inbox.

(Now playing:  "We're All Light".)


Date: 8 Jun 00 11:20:18 AES
Subject: The poison pen
Message-ID: <>

Hi folks

I was most amused to pick up today's local newspaper, The Canberra Times,
to find possibly the most poisonous and outright nasty review I think I
have ever read on XtC, anywhere.  Just exactly what point the reviewer was
trying to make I'm not sure, but it was putrid!  So there ya go.

Might account in some small part for this very same organ not returning my
phonecalls after I provided them with a fully-researched, balanced report
on Wasp Star, replete with authentic interview excerpts and official
photos. It doesn't worry me though.  This rag obviously prefers to go with
the bile and the banal.

~~ p @ u l

	[ ]


Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 21:39:19 CDT
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: One Wasp Buzzing.
Message-ID: <>

         "Weedhopper,what have you learned?"

   "Well,Master Gill-Moron!, I've heard vinyl,acetate,
  shellac's,78's,45's,CDs,DATs,Edison Cylinders,and,well,
  this one wasp buzz be weird!

   "Ah,you have tuned your audio receptacles well!"

           "Glub On! Young One!"



Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 22:36:15 -0500
From: "joe" <>
Subject: Guitar Lesson on
Message-ID: <>

In #155, John Relph wrote:

> Is there anybody out there who can download the 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.

I hear the gang at TVT is having a blast with vids.  No problems reported

Not Standing In For,


Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 21:03:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rob Hill <>
Subject: Beatown
Message-ID: <>

Attention Boston-based Chalkhillers! I've just joined your midst as of
this weekend. So if you have any advice as to what a fellow with very
little money but a whole wad of taste can do in this town, or if you
just wanna meet up to compare our collections of Andy Partridge toenail
clippings, give me a ring offlist.



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