Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-231

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 231

                 Thursday, 10 August 2000


    Ray Davies vs. Neil Young! Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
                        AP in CMJ
                 Pissing Off The Parents
                        My Briefs
                 The Stuff Just Pours Out
     The Joy Of The New, The Comfort Of The Familiar
                      Like a Virgin
                     pure XTC content
           The Andy Partridge Quote Collection?
                  I love XTC because...
                      Star Park MP3s
            Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
                Who started mtv unplugged?
               Friendly fire and topicality


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

He lead them up into a wood.


Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 13:41:51 -0400
From: Jeff Eason <>
Subject: Ray Davies vs. Neil Young! Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
Message-ID: <>

Hello All,

In response to someone's query (I forget who, sorry) about why there seems
to be a universal embracing of "Stupidly Happy":
 All of my non-XTC fanatical friends picked up on that song almost
immediately when I played WASP STAR for them. I imagine if they were on the
Rate-A-Record portion of American Bandstand they would say, "Gosh, Dick, it
has a groovy beat that I can dance to and the chord changes were cool."
Astute XTC fans are probably saying, "What chord changes?"
And I think the lack of movement is actually what gives this song its
robust character (when describing music, it often helps to talk like a wine
critic). The lack of chord changes gives the piece an Indian raga-like
drone that I happen to like, especially with the little sonic parts thrown
in. I especially love the megaphone vocals on the "Devil" lyrics. I think
if non-XTC fans glom onto a track, then it probably has a good shot at
radio play. Let's face it, we (XTC fans) are a minority. Not an oppressed
minority eligible for college scholarships...but a minority nonetheless.

IN OTHER NEWS: To throw my two bits on the Kinks and Neil Young threads: I
was watching VH1 the other night and "You Really Got Me" was used in two
advertisements, one right after the other. The first was a true glimpse
into my private ring of Hell as ten year olds bashed out the Kinks standard
as a way of promoting Kids GAP and the second was a promo for VH1's Fall TV
Lineup. Thanks, Ray!
Love or hate Neil Young, at least you won't hear a "Tonight's the Night"
advertisement for Trojan Condoms or "Heart of Gold" for California


Jeff "Your Message Here" Eason


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 14:18:26 -0400
From: Andrew Boyle <>
Subject: AP in CMJ
Message-ID: <v04210100b5b5fccf05a8@[]>

Hello All,

I have been happily lurking until vee tube exposed me for helping him
with some idrive stuff (loves me some Vee Tube!)  so I feel obligated
to share:

Just got my Sept. issue of CMJ and it has a great picture of Andy and
his toy soldiers with a quick note about Andy and Wasp Star. (page 84)

Also, CMJ has a Top 75 of College, non-commercial, and commercial
radio stations every month and I see that Wasp Star is sitting at
number 10. Not too bad, eh.

In case you are interested in subscribing you can always go to

I don't work for them but I have subscribed for 6 years and find it
very instrumental in adding new music to my CD collection.

It was also the first place I heard ITMWML and I'd Like That.

Got to go listen to Star Park (thanks, again, to vee tube)!

Orlando, FL


Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 14:43:42 EDT
Subject: Content?
Message-ID: <>

<Click on>

Todd is right: most of the stuff posted in Chalkhills is about the
person posting.  In fact, most (if not all) of the stuff people say in
any venue by any means is about themselves, period.

And the Fripp note was spot-on: the bunch of us meet and lurk here
because we like the music of XTC.  It's apparent that we disagree on
many other topics.

So the benefit, if there be one, is about enlightened opinion (based
on some perception that hopefully includes facts), and sharing
information you have that I may not, or vice versa.  All the rest is
society, and subject to the same pratfalls and bellywash as any other
gathering.  Just because we all have too many XTC CDs in our rack
doesn't mean we're all the same.

That being said, here's my content (rolling my eyes):

1.  I like Wasp Star, but I find it having less substance (in my
judgment) as other XTC things.  The beauty of it for me is in a few
sublime moments, rather than the whole: the elegance of the key change
in 'Playground', or the modal shifts and vocal arrangement in 'Some
Lovely'.  Some of it sounds like stuff we've heard before-- 'The Wheel
and The Maypole' might fit on 'Big Express', and 'You And The
Clouds...' on 'O&L'.  The production is pretty fab: clean,
uncluttered, and without the stamp of Andy-mania I find on 'Big
Express', for instance.

Don't get me wrong: even a middling XTC release is better than just
about anything else in pop music.  I'll probably burn myself a CD for
the car containing my favorites from AV and WS.  I like all of the
CDs, just some more than others.

2.  I'm glad they're doing it themselves.  Notice NO LOSS of
promotional muscle by not having the  Virgin/Geffen label on the back.
Notice no lack of quality.  Notice that Andy and Colin get to keep
more of the money.  Hooray for them, they deserve it.

3.  I miss Dave.  If nothing else, you could count on several lovely
guitar bits on each record.  Andy's a champion songwriter, but not
such a great guitarist.  I know, XTC is all about the songs, but
there's nothing wrong with offering up some great guitar playing in
the service of a song.

4.  I'd like to publicly apologize to that guy in England who sent me
the cassettes of WS & AV over a year ago, whom I told I would
transcribe guitar chords for.  I've lost his name and address long
ago.  I will post chords to all the songs that are missing them from
WS.  (I did this with Mummer a few years ago, just for giggles.)  I've
since learned that I can't transcribe off of a cassette -- too much
stop & start.

5.  I'd like to see a photo of Andy with his lovely Erica.  Just

6.  I don't want to talk about other bands here.  This is Chalkhills.

7.  Somehow, all of the above is about me, too.  Judgments are just
something we all have, like feelings, or facts, or wants.  Without
them, we'd be less.


<Click off>


Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 14:49:26 -0400
From: Steve Dockery <>
Subject: Pissing Off The Parents
Message-ID: <>

I'm gonna come off as a serious momma's boy for saying this, but:

I never ever played any kind of music with the intention of pissing off my
parents. My parents (apparently unlike most) didn't give me much reason to
try to piss them off.

-Steve "Stayed In His Room and Didn't Cause Much Trouble" Dockery


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 16:22:56 EDT
Subject: My Briefs
Message-ID: <>

> That said, here's what I want to talk about:
>  STUPIDLY HAPPY.  I still just don't get it.  Why do
>  most people on this list like this song???  I've tried, I've
>  really tried.  But it's just too simple for me.

That's the beauty of the song for me. It captures perfectly the feeling when
you fall in love. It's probably one of Andy's most straight forward songs. I
love some of his more complex pieces but like a lot of the best work by
Davies, Lennon, Simon, Dylan, Thompson, etc., the simplest sentiments are
sometimes the best. The directness of the song appeals to me.

Complete artist collections--(that thread started a while back I
believe--I'll give the abridged version so as not to bore everyone)
The Beatles (including Lennon, McCartney and Harrison's stuff)
Roxy Music (including Eno's solo stuff)
The Police (some Sting but far from complete--he's been spotty in his solo
Badfinger (including Pete Ham demos)
Suzanne Vega
Los Lobos
Joan Armatrading
Stevie Wonder
The Kinks
Xtc (of course)
The Velvet Underground
Peter Gabriel
The Pretenders

Jez-- that wasn't very brief! Sorry next time brevity is the rule.

I personally like the stuff Andy did with Nicky Holland.

Re: Napster and other bits and pieces--
Remember when VCR's first appeared? The death of movies! Instead, it
contribute to a whole new market niche  (the prerecorded video tape, and,
eventually, DVD's, etc.)   By the way, the  same was said of television when
it reared its ugly little heard. I agree that Napster can be nothing more
than theft and can devalue an artist's work.

However, it can also be a way for artist's to reach their audience directly.
It's also possible that it will provide yet another outlet for rarities,
singles and other music that might be deemed unreleasable by a major record
company. There are pros and cons to Napster  -- It all depends on how it is

Napster could easily occupy the niche that is currently occupied by
bootleggers--to the benefit of the audience. You won't have to pay $50.00 for
that rare Xtc bootleg, etc.




Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 20:22:10 +0100
Subject: The Stuff Just Pours Out
Message-ID: <>


In #6-226 King Tomston asked:

> How about artists that you would always buy their next offering, unheard,
whether it sucked or not? <

How would I know whether or not it sucked until I'd heard it??

> (In other words, you haven't given up on them.) <

Ah well, if you put it like that:

Billy Bragg (original material - the Woody Guthrie stuff is all fine and
dandy, but it ain't Bill)
Ian Dury (included for sentimental reasons - I still have trouble accepting
that there won't be a 'next offering')
The Fall
Roy Harper
Sade (if only she'd release another album)
Squeeze (in the, possibly vain, hope that Domino was a temporary
Suzanne Vega

I'd also include Peter Gabriel on that list, were it not for the fact that
he has just released an album of material from shows put on in the
fantastic white elephant that is the Millennium Dome, and I've sworn off
anything to do with that monstrous carbuncle which continues to suck money
out of the public purse (petty, I know, but sometimes ...)

He also asked:

> does not opinion require an element of arrogance? <

I don't think so. An opinion of the 'I'm right and everyone else is wrong'
variety does, so too 'my opinion is more valid than yours because...', but
not all opinions fit the bill. Arrogance implies a disdain for other
opinions, contrary or otherwise, and I somehow doubt that every opinion is
expressed with such a backdrop. As to avoiding 'the offense that arrogance
brings?', I don't see that one can do any more than reading what you've
written as if it had been addressed to you, and judging your own feelings
on the matter. Some folk are thinner skinned than others, though, so you
still have the dilemma of how thin do you go??

In #6-227 Ryan Anthony enquired:

> Well, he typed "Grooving," but isn't it "Conversing"? <

Nope. They were definitely grooving.

In #6-228 Robert Wood reminded us:

> There was big campaign in the '70s that went something like, Home taping
is killing music. It had a picture of a cassette and crossbones below the
cassette <

Laughable, wasn't it. I remember buying Billy Bragg's first 'album' -
Life's A Riot With Spy vs. Spy - on pre-recorded cassette and being highly
amused by the fact that it was supplied on one side of a cassette, with the
other left blank, and a message on the box to the effect (I don't remember
the exact words) of 'Kill the music industry - bootleg the Bragg'. The
industry has reacted the same way to every new recording medium that has
come along, whether it be cassettes, DATs, CD-Rs or MP3. In the process
folk like me, who buy legitimate copies of pretty much everything they have
in their collections, get to pay a levy on a lot of blank recording media
in order to 'pay for the piracy' that said media is obviously the sole
reason for anyone buying. Pah

On the general subject of bad records/bands it occurred to me whilst on my
way home from work the other night that no one has, as yet, mentioned the
abysmal Boney M in that context, so I thought I'd throw them into the ring
(as it were - check the Profanisaurus for double entendres, intend-red or
otherwise). 'Brown Girl In The Ring' (there we go again) and
'Ra-Ra-Rasputin' have to be amongst the most execrable creations ever to
gain such a public airing. Truly offal

Oh, and in response to whoever asked if we were still listening to the
whole of Wasp Star, you bet. The CD hasn't left slot 6 in the autochanger
in my motor since the day after I bought it, other than the occasional
excursion into the office to be played whilst I'm slaving away at a hot
computer keyboard. I am not the sort that puts an album on repeat, over and
over, but I have not yet tired of hearing it every third or fourth day, and
it also has a pleasantly soothing effect on my offspring. In fact, my good
lady wife said to me on Saturday afternoon, when I realised that WS was the
only wife-and-child-suitable CD that I'd got in the car - 'this CD is
always going to remind me of this summer'. I wouldn't count her as a 'fan'
of XTC, but she certainly seems to like both volumes of Apple Venus, so my
eternal thanks to Andy and Colin :))

Cheers, Steve

NP: Mike Oldfield - Voyager


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 21:51:45 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: The Joy Of The New, The Comfort Of The Familiar
Message-ID: <>


Rigidly on-topic here!

WS has now metamorphosed (for me at any rate) from the
state of being a "new" XTC album into one with which I
am now thoroughly familiar, and I can listen to it and
compare/contrast with earlier works without being
overwhelmed by "newness" and finding things in the
songs that I hadn't heard before.

Jim Kendrick opined:

>That said, here's what I want to talk about:
>STUPIDLY HAPPY.  I still just don't get it.  Why do
>most people on this list like this song???

I sort of agree with you. I don't think it's BAAAD,
just not as good as everything else on the album. With
the exception of You And The Clouds... which I still
can't listen to properly on the album, largely because
of the anticipation of what's to follow! So I've put
it on a separate compilation tape and tried listening
to it like that, and I'm gradually coming around to
this song.

Obligatory Non-XTC content: Peter Gabriel overheard
Paul Simon talking about Sting's opinion of David
Bowie's thoughts on the Beatles' comments re the
Clash's take on...

Rory "You and the clouds will gradually get better"


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 21:56:50 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Conversion
Message-ID: <>


Just thought I'd share this with y'all - part message
from a friend:

>Okay so it took a while, but I finally got Wasp Star
last week. I'm>supposed to be sworn off CD purchases
as part of the pre-australia-trip >economy drive, but
frankly after the day I'd had it was a straight
>choice between some new music or Class A drugs ;)

>What a treat! I'm hopeless at writing about music;
and you've heard it >already so I don't need to tell
you how good it is.

>And now I feel fantastically stupid, because the
point at which I first >thought 'Ooh I like them -
must get the album', was about the time that >Making
Plans for Nigel was released. So I guess I've got
about 2 >decades' worth to catch up on. Where would
you suggest I start? ;)

My response is a tape containing the following, which
I'll deliver this weekend. I'm assuming she's heard
all the (regrettably few) songs that actually charted.
It's called "What XTC Did Next"...

Side 1:

All Of A Sudden (it's Too Late)
Love On A Farmboy's Wages
Heaven Is Paved With Broken Glass
All You Pretty Girls
This World Over
Season Cycle
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
Earn Enough For Us
Mayor Of Simpleton
History Of Rock'n'Roll

Side 2:

Here Comes President Kill Again
The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead
Books Are Burning
The Ugly Underneath
The Disappointed
Easter Theatre
Your Dictionary
Frivolous Tonight
I'm The Man Who Murdered Love
My Brown Guitar
The Wheel And The Maypole

i.e. a lot of my favourites, with a fair mix of
singles to album tracks, and going round the houses in
terms of styles (but deliberately leaving out some
of the more "difficult" stuff - don't want to scare
her away!)

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to
devise a similar list. Must fit onto one tape/CD.

Obligatory London sense of humour bypass: Phil Collins
and I were chatting down the pub last night. We didn't
mention XTC ONCE!

Rory "An over-sensitive Southern twat" Wilsher

p.s. I'm saving the Dukes for a later treat...


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 15:03:38 -0600
Subject: Like a Virgin
Message-ID: <>

My "Intro to XTC Story" (for what it's worth)

I have to start at the beginning. I was watching an episode of The Ed
Sullivan Show in the very late 60's or early 70's (yes, I'm THAT old), and
they showed a clip of the Beatles that I now assume was from the movie Let
It Be. Paul, magnificent in his overwhelming hair and beard, was singing,
and I decided at that moment that I wanted to look like that, be like
that, listen to that, etc.  Although the first album I'd ever actually
purchased with my own money was John Denver's "Poems, Prayers, and
Promises," I decided that I NEEDED a Beatles album, and soon afterward a
Beatles retrospective called "Beatles Alpha-Omega" was advertised on
television. I began trying to do extra work around the house, weeding the
garden, washing the cars, to earn a dollar or two to buy the 4-record set
(it was $12.99, I believe). I found that my mom was foiling me at every
turn, and was denying me the ability to buy the record, and I thought that
she just didn't want me listening to them, which made me want to listen
even more. Of course, she'd bought the records for me for Christmas, and
was just preventing me from having TWO copies. Anyway, by virtue of that
compilation, I got the Beatles all at once. Early stuff and later stuff
and even post-Beatle stuff all at once, and not in chronological order. It
stunned me and overtook my life. I literally ground those four pieces of
vinyl into dust with thousands of listenings.

Ok, fast forward. Many years later, a friend gave me a tunes tape. Lots of
good stuff, including a couple of nuggets called "The Meeting Place" and
"Knuckle Down." I didn't really like either of the songs all that much at
first, and there were other artists and songs whose records I bought first
due to the tape.  But my friend told me that he thought that XTC were like
a new Beatles, a new version of that alternatively fluffy and demanding,
poppy and rocking English pop that I'd programmed into my brain so many
years before. So I bought my first XTC disc - Oranges and Lemons.

It was LOVE. And it's love now. I think finding and listening to XTC is
the most satisfying musical experience of my adult life. Emotion and
intellect and melody and rhythm bound together, English to the core,
almost blues-less but still appealing to my guitar-player "it's got to be
hard to play for me to like it" mentality. And I was lucky, because there
were so many records to "discover," a whole catalogue of great music, a
growth and progression of tunes to take in all at once, just like I had a
chance to do with the Beatles so many years before.

And better, because they still exist, they're still an ongoing musical
entity, and they're still making great music and still growing.

So there it is. Thanks for listening.....


"...gone where the goblins go, below, below below..."


Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 22:18:41 +0000
From: Jayne Myrone <>
Subject: pure XTC content
Message-ID: <>

So there I was listening to Fossil Fuel (still filling in the gaps) &
I'd got to Sgt Rock and all of a sudden there was a shiver going
down my spine at some speed.
Why this perturbation (not as good as suaveolent) in the spinal region?

Well, it was this song that made me think "By 'eck that's good" and then

"By 'eck they're good."
Both statements are still true even if Sgt Rock is a little un-pc n'est

And that's my 'why I started buying XTC albums' story.

I love XTC because every song is like a little movie.
Victor Rocha (Pechanga Band of Luiseoo Indians)

This is the other reason why I buy XTC.  It's all so visual.

Other news - I waiting for copies of Skylarking, Big Express and Mummer.

Expect complaints from the local postman as he is greeted with
"What do mean you haven't got the parcel,"
Wish me luck

Darlin' Debora - Adorable Annamarie is defiantly right about getting the

Duke's stuff - pure dead brilliant or what?  My suggestions:
Your Gold Dress & Little Lighthouse.

Mark - Congrats (I think) on being sacked and seeing it as an XTC

veetube's Welcome Newbies should be engraved on tablets of stone and put

somewhere prominent.

Wasp Star is still being played about once a day and it still rocks.
I still can't take Wounded Horse seriously after the "Wounded whore"
post.  (sorry I can't remember who it was.)  I think it's down to the
clip-clop percussion, and the fact that Andy sounds relatively
cheerful to me.  Good for those long dark drunken nights.

And whoever mentioned
Napalm in relation to TW&TM will not be getting an Xmas card.
Jayne the Worrier Queen
Want to know how many boxes have been packed? And just
how many books there are here?

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


Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 07:38:12 +1000
From: "Clifford Smith" <>
Subject: The Andy Partridge Quote Collection?
Message-ID: <000e01c00180$f46252e0$290ffea9@dracon>

This is what we should! Compile a large collection of wise/funny/silly Andy
Partridge quotes!!!
Send all quotes to me at


Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 18:25:37 EDT
From: "Kevin Diamond" <>
Subject: I love XTC because...
Message-ID: <>

Andy Partridge is a sexy bastard!

no, seriously, I love XTC for so many reasons. I will list some.
Respectable Street
Funk Pop a Roll
Great Fire
Easter Theatre
Church of Women
Complicated Game
Senses Working Overtime
Across This Antheap
Battery Brides
Then She Appeared
and, of course, the best XTC song ever written: I Remeber The Sun. Yes, now
the truth comes out, the best XTC song is this incredible, incredible gem of
a song. I want this song played as I quietly die in slow motion. but not any
time soon.

Oh man, I just bought the best album in the world! The Pulsars! Self titled
release! It rocks so hard! Oh my god, I can't even stand it. It's as close
to new wave as anyone's got since the early eighties. Buy it now!

Thanks to all who have offered me copies of Big World, but I found that
CDNow stocks an import of it for only 14.99! I'm buying it right away!

Pissing off the parents? Wouldn't dream of it! It's kind of sad, I suppose,
this is the time when I'm supposed to be pissing of my parents, my teenage
years, but the only thing I end up blasting is, say, the outro to Hey Jude,
which I'm sure doesn't really make them all that mad. God, ya gotta love
that outro. It just goes on forever...

Kevin "Naaaaaa Na Na Na-na-na-naaaaa..." Diamond


Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 19:05:40 CDT
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: Star Park MP3s
Message-ID: <>

             For those about to rock.....


     NOTE! If you haven't used my idrives, please see
     Chalkhills Vol.6 #205 RE: Warbles that are fuzzy.

   The details: I haven't 'cleaned' these up as this 'boot'
is still available at better indie stores and I thought you
might like to hear (as close as MP3s will allow) what you'll
get for your money.

    The news: I won't be up-ing anything new for about 3 weeks
as I have a personal project to work on (a KICK ASS EELS concert
from a French radio broadcast). It's full of multi-path and other
noise but it's so cool I HAVE to 'clean' this bastard up and, edit
the sh*t out of it.

   When I return, we'll pick up with Fuzzy2 'Jules Verne' 'Nonsvch'
demos and a few more of Colin's demos.



P.S. DUNKS! Fish says, Mug the delivery boy, buy a CD!



Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 18:38:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brown <>
Subject: Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
Message-ID: <>

Hi all,

Go see what the music of XTC inspired-

Click on the pumpkin..  I think you'll enjoy it.

Debora Brown


Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 20:44:20 -0500
From: "David DeVoto" <>
Subject: Who started mtv unplugged?
Message-ID: <>

 So I'm watching VH1's top 100 moments on T.V. (what's next - top 100 Rock
and Roll hairstyles?) and number 96 or so was Jon Bon Jovi and Richie
Sambora performing "unplugged" on the 1989 MTV video music awards (I think).
This moment, of course, was touted as being the inspiration on the
"Unplugged" series on MTV.  Didn't XTC perform ON MTV with acoustic guitars
that year?  I'd like to know the dates to know who performed on MTV first.

 Not that it matters - just interesting....



Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 18:43:10 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: Friendly fire and topicality
Message-ID: <>

1.	We are not in the middle of some sort of "flame plague", supposedly
unprecedented and worse than has ever been seen before. People are
discussing, debating and sharing views, allowing everyone to better
understand one another's tastes and the infuences/listening history/personal
evolution that has led each of us to become fans of XTC from a variety of
different directions and routes. Sometimes, people exaggerate, overreact,
get pissed off at one another, or just misunderstand what was said and take
things too personally. I've done all these things, like just about everyone
(who posts and makes the effort, that is). Just as often (IMO), people make
up, clarify the wording of their views, allow themselves to be corrected
when they're mistaken, or just generally forgive one another, accept
differences of opinion and move on. Like many of you, I've done all these
things as well. I don't think I've made any mortal enemies, and, if
anything, I've appreciated learning more about where my "opponents" were
coming from, as well as the opportunity to express my views more clearly
when someone has taken exception to something that I may have written too
hastily. It's all part of the ongoing ever-developing conversation that I
see this list as being. I consider myself a relative newbie here, but in the
year in which I was just a "lurking subscriber" I swear that I saw at least
two periods of "too much flaming lately, not like the golden age of last
year/month/week/whatever, it's all spoiled, the list will never be good
again" panic posts, and this latest one is definitely the second since I've
started posting. The less you let anything intimidate you from speaking your
mind, the more interesting the conversation becomes; calling every
disagreement "flaming" that should be stopped (especially if you take
something out of the context of the thread it comes from) is just as much a
damper on expression as launching an overreactive shitstorm against those
with differing opinions. I myself am shy, reticent, oversensitive, inhibited
and all those other weedy things, and even I'm not intimidated by the
occasional flare-up; I just jumped into the fray one day and haven't looked
back since. I personally believe that I have yet to be involved in a "flame
war"; I've been involved in discussions and debates, sometimes involving
strong disagreement, but never involving malice or a belief that the other
person is some sort of loser or asshole because they hold a differing
opinion or their background as a music fan went through different phases
than mine. Hey, no matter the road we came by, we all arrived as XTC fans,
didn't we? Which brings us to...
2.	The topicality thing. I'd just like to thank all the people who've
protested the lack of sufficient hard XTC content for all the brilliant
observations about the band, cool thread ideas, etc. that they've
contributed as a productive way of getting us wayward types back on track.
That's so much better than "I don't feel like making any kind of effort, so
the rest of you come up with more XTC-related stuff for me to read". (Hey,
sometimes petty sarcasm is the only fit response.) Seriously, though, just
in case it isn't obvious, I'll say it right out and unambiguously: I love
XTC's music, and they are (still) my favourite goddamn band in the world. I
wouldn't have come looking for XTC on the internet and found Chalkhills in
the first place if this wasn't the case. I've said this before, and I'll say
it again: I came here for XTC, and stayed for the people, and the
conversation. As far as the conversation may roam off topic as far as
surface appearances go, the fact that this is a conversation among XTC fans
is always there, if sometimes in the background. And unlike many other
topics, XTC is the one thing that will definitely always come up again
eventually (not counting CD vs. vinyl... heh-heh-heh...). As far as we may
stray, the conversation started with XTC and will always come back on topic
eventually; in between, a lot of interesting things get said by XTC fans
discovering things about one another and finding common interests other
than, and in addition to, their love for this band. I'd be bummed if hard
"on topic" rules were enforced and digests trickled down to once a week or
month, and I couldn't talk to other XTC fans about things that XTC fans are
interested in, whether directly related to the band or not. And, really,
come on, have patience; the way some people have protested, it's like there
hasn't been anything said about the band since the late middle ages. A small
run of digests that are a little thin on direct band stuff does not equal an
ominous trend that threatens to become a permanent state of affairs. We'll
get some news. Someone will have a revelation about a song. A fun,
interesting thread about XTC's music will come around. Just relax, and if
you read a conversation between others than you think isn't XTC-ish enough,
start your own instead of demanding that they shut up. One day, you may read
something off-topic that you find interesting, or have something to add to,
and you won't be very happy when someone you've never heard of slags you for
it, believe me. I raved and gushed over WS (which I still listen to quite
frequently and love, BTW), expressed my disagreement with the disappointed
to the point that I received an off-list e-mail accusing me of being the
sort of person who'd rave over recordings of the band farting, and then a
month or so later I'm not a "real fan" because I participated in a
conversation about something else? As if. Not to be rude, but the only
logical response to the "too much off-topic stuff" complainers has got to
be: put up or shut up (I mean that in the most friendly way possible).
3.	What's the deal with the continual flip-flop between "people should
always specify that they're just stating their opinion" and "the fact that
people are just stating their opinion is obvious, therefore specifying that
it's just one's opinion is redundant and shouldn't be required"? This is
never going to be definitively settled, is it?

By the way, if and when I ever leave the list, I promise right now to slip
quietly into lurkdom, and not make a big show of leaving while pointing
fingers and calling people names.

Ed K.


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-231

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