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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-243


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 243

                 Thursday, 17 August 2000

Topics:

      a little more frivolous than usual tonight...
                    Does my post suck?
                      First concerts
       ...then my fingers did the walking on the...
                  *I'm* Colin Moulding!
                       concertgoing
                           Self
              re: baby, we've got a date...
            The The VS. The Corporate Monster
                They Might Be Little Kids.
                  Happy Birthday Colin!
                     Service and such
                    Whoosh - 2 Points!
                    clink-clink-clink
                   Re: nonsuch question
                     Wrapped in Gary
       Little Hitlers, memorable concerts, Greggsy
                They Might Be Johnny Cash
                      xtc old school

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Well, me I like to think while the other fish swim.

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

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 20:46:20 EDT
From: RblTrouser@aol.com
Subject: a little more frivolous than usual tonight...
Message-ID: <ac.947f671.26cc8fdc@aol.com>

It's ring-a-ding-ding for you bozos....

Anyway, this was thought of a LONNNG time ago, and it has resurfaced in my
mid, so thought I'd sound y'all out and possibly get some gristy new ideas
into the mill...

I've been thinking of an XTC parody site for a while now, "The Real, 100%
Accurate, Completely True XTC Story" which is of course completely false, and
I need ideas and suggestions for this. Is this legal? Will I get killed for
this? etc. I also need new ideas, since I can't think of all this myself, and
the only definites I have so far are Colin being outgoing, Andy being quiet,
and guest speaker Dave talking about nothing but candy. This is probably in
extremely poor taste, but if anyone fancies the idea, mail me and we'll see.
I have no practical knowledge of computers whatsoever, so I need you people!
I really do! I may be insufferably witty, but only to a point...

non-threatening XTC content-first album I got to anticipate was AV1 (c'mon,
I'm 17, I came in late!), and boy was it worth anticipating. I wanted WS more
though, I had to wait for it longer since TVT didn't get it out to me right
away for some odd reason....oh well, I'll stop bashing them, don't want to
start THAT thread again.

Wombles,
Sarah D.

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

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 17:52:05 -0700
From: "NickJeriSantangelo" <calenduh@yahoo.com>
Subject: Does my post suck?
Message-ID: <011e01c007e5$948dcc80$3a14f4d8@compaq>

Q: Does my life suck ?

A: This is my life:

Phone calls from idiots complaining about their
computers not working.
Visits to offices of more demanding idiots complaining
about their computers, who want to
do it IN PERSON.
E-mails from idiots who.....   it's not even
interesting enough to finish.

Okay, so not all my clients ask stupid questions, but
it seems the more retarded the question/demand
the more obnoxious the asking party.

Whoever came up with the notion of the "happy idiot"
was dead wrong.  It has not been my experience that really
stupid people are happy all the time -- in point of fact,
really stupid people are meaner than shit.

Favorite call of the day:
Client called  *frantic*  who just started work at a new
office.  Problem - her predecessor had been
left-handed, and the mouse at the desk was configured
"wrong" for the new right-handed client.

I bit back my usual rant: "Do you have any IDEA how much
you people PAY me.... ?? "  Doesn't work anyway...
these people don't CARE if they have a
Sr. engineer plugging in mice and formating floppies, and I
think I've figured out why.  It has something to do with the
fact that they are morons.  More on this later as I
work it out.

But I digress.
Instead of raging outwardly against any sort of
machine, dutifully went to assist client.

Arrived at scene, client began loudly complaining about the
trials and tribs of starting a new job and having to
work with the "wrong kind" of mouse.

Listened politely, nodded several times, all the while
carefully assessing the situation.  After several
seconds, reached a decision as to the best course of
action.

Walked over to the desk, picked up the mouse, moved
it verrrrrry sloooooooowly through the air and set it down
"just so" on the right side.

Stared silently at client.  Client stared back.  Left
just as client began to open mouth again.

End of day, blasting XTC from my car radio all the way
through downtown L.A, just as "We're All Light" reaches
full, glorious crescendo, I ask myself again, "Does my life suck?"

Answer:    "Not  *Right*  *Now*"

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

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 21:12:30 EDT
From: IMSUNBAKE@aol.com
Subject: First concerts
Message-ID: <a8.95a3ea5.26cc95fe@aol.com>

Ok, Chalkies, somebody beat this one on the "first concert" circuit:

1958, Frankie Avalon (Venus,  Bobby Socks to Stockings ... great stuff!).

OK, I was 3, and I didn't stand in line to buy the tickets. My
then-26-year-old Mom did. Frankie wore a red velvet tux, and I had on a white
fluffy dress with red velvet embroidery. Mom says I went nuts when I saw him.
I think Mom went nuts when SHE saw him! He even sang to me, so there.

Moving from the Stone Age into the Rock and Roll Age, we're talking
1971, Fifth Dimension/Temptations/Four Tops, Carter Barron Amphitheatre,
Washington, D.C.

More early-mid 1970s: Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John,
Beach Boys, Chicago, Rolling Stones (the tour that included the giant penis
rising through the middle of the stage. An Andy thing, I think.)

Any takers?

Annamarie, trying to fit into her old bell-bottom pants, which are quite in
style again.

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 13:36:47 +1200
From: "Simon Curtiss" <s_curtiss@clear.net.nz>
Subject: ...then my fingers did the walking on the...
Message-ID: <00b801c007eb$c08c40e0$2d64a8c0@emigre>

squirrelgirl wrote:

>6.  Since some of you have proven your superior knowledge of Awful Songs:
>does anybody remember an awful song from 1978ish, sung by a female and
>called "Telephone Man"?  Who was that?  Why do I remember it?

*blush*

I have this single!  I will have to go and open up my large cardboard box of
singles (haven't played a piece of 7" vinyl for years - probably won't get
the time until the kids have left home - so only another 17 years to go!)
and find out her name - something Wilson or Mari something.

I got it to piss off a colleague who was a bit desperate for sex and jumped
the phone installation man when he came round to install the line in her new
flat ( and was silly enough to tell someone <grin>).

It goes hand in hand with the 'Gotta be a hustler if you want to get on'
song - although that had slightly more wit (emphasis on slight).

cheers

Simon
"singing hey lally lally, hey lally lally, get anyway you can"

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

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 22:31:40 EDT
From: SLEDZNH@aol.com
Subject: *I'm* Colin Moulding!
Message-ID: <78.90ec287.26cca88c@aol.com>

Jill's post in #6-240 is one of the funniest things I have read in Chalkhills
ever!  What a great story and thank you for sharing.  I have to send that
along to two of my XTC-friends with kids.

I can only ever hope that maybe somehow, someone out there with connevtions
could actually share that story with Colin himself as I am sure he would get
a big old laugh out of it!!

~~Jim

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

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 23:55:44 CDT
From: "Megan Heller" <hellerm@hotmail.com>
Subject: concertgoing
Message-ID: <F6YrbsXpd564vnoAc8y000024c0@hotmail.com>

I'm enjoying the small concert thread that's popped up in the past couple
days.  I don't think I can chime in on the "worst date concert" thread (I've
only been to one concert that I didn't choose with a date, and that was
good), but my ex-boyfriend could probably write a novel... we always seemed
to end up going to concerts the night after he'd gotten little sleep and
didn't feel like going out.

but as for the other questions posted--

>First concert:

The Cure, 1989

>Best concert:

Peter Murphy (with opening act Nine Inch Nails), 1990

>Best concert Runner-up:

Morrissey, 1991  (at age 14, it was a religious experience)

>Most disappointing concert:

I don't think I've been to a really disappointing show-- I don't go to  many
concerts.  I saw Mansun and The Seahorses play a few years ago, and I left
two songs into The Seahorses' set-- bleh.  I got punched by a drunk guy at a
concert by The Church in 1990, but that wasn't their fault, and the rest of
the show was excellent.  (I had to love noticing that Peter Koppes was
looking somewhat concerned into our portion of the audience, as we were
somewhat close to the stage and directly in front of him).  Oh, and there
was the Luka Bloom concert in 1992, which was a wonderful show, but I was
mildly disappointed that he kissed the girl in the audience next to me
(although all for the best, in hindsight, since I was 15).

>"What the hell was I thinking?" concert:

I'm lucky not to have one of those.  Even a concert I thought I would really
dislike turned out to be fun-- a bunch of my friends were going to see
Metallica in 1994, and one of my friends had a death in the family and had
to leave town.  Because it was last minute, I did him a favor and bought his
ticket, figuring, what the hell?  Anyway, while not necessarily my style, a
very good show.

>"Wish I'd been there" concert:

Well, of course, an XTC show on the Black Sea tour.  As far as concerts I
actually could have gone to but missed for some reason, I was disappointed
about missing Suede when I was 17.

I'll add two of my most interesting concert experiences--

When I went to see King Missile in 1995, it was in a tiny, horrible little
bar in Newport News, Virginia, one where the "stage" was actually only a
platform raised about five inches off the floor.  I was practically on the
stage, and I made John S. Hall (lead) start laughing when he was trying to
stay deadpan for the beginning of a song by smiling at him.  He introduced
himself to me at the end of the show.

Second, I was immortalized on HBO's "Reverb" thanks to the Mark Eitzel/
Tuatara/ The Minus 5 show that I went to in 1997.  If you ever see that
episode (which they still run occasionally), I'm in the front in a black
dress with the front of my hair bleached blonde (it was a phase).

I don't actually go to many concerts anymore-- I despise large events,
because I always leave feeling oddly empty.  I don't get the rush I did when
I was younger-- when my parents (note-- my parents were extremely supportive
and understanding when it came to my music) took me to see the Cure when I
was twelve, it was in an amphitheatre in Atlanta and I was out on the green,
but I still felt that kind of naive connection to the musicians.  Now,
though, I'm out of that, and the sound isn't usually good enough at larger
concerts to bother (the only exception I've made in the past few years was
to see David Bowie on his Earthling tour at the Ballroom in DC-- a
comparatively small venue for him, and an excellent show).  Now I stick to
certain smaller shows (Momus, The Magnetic Fields, Mark Eitzel), or go to
hear djs spin (I heard Carl Craig in Brussels this summer-- I highly
recommend seeing him if you can).

m.

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

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 23:58:45 CDT
From: "Megan Heller" <hellerm@hotmail.com>
Subject: Self
Message-ID: <F217lnJ2IKkVmkLb8bA00001fec@hotmail.com>

Thanks to a compilation I'm reviewing, I've recently heard the band Self for
the first time.  I seem to recall people on this list mentioning Self, and
the song definitely sounds XTC-ish.  Anyone have anything to say about them?
  They seem appealing to me, and I'd like to know more.

m.

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

Date: 17 Aug 00 15:10:31 AES
From: Paul.Culnane@dcita.gov.au
Subject: re: baby, we've got a date...
Message-ID: <0006ftpvdjjn.0006nxtznllr@dcita.gov.au>

Chorx

I was reading Wes Hanks' post in 'Hills #236 where he mused about bad "date"
concerts.  I immediately thought, "oh, Jackson Browne"...

Then I scrolled down and found that was Wes' nightmare as well!  Spooky...

Nor did I marry my date.  The concert put me to sleep frankly.

~~p@ul

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 08:47:50 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <aso1@mocha.ocn.ne.jp>
Subject: The The VS. The Corporate Monster
Message-ID: <001401c00815$1f030180$705791d2@oemcomputer>

All ,

I recommend you all check out The The's Matt Johnson's article " The The VS.
The Corporate Monster . URL is :

 www.thethe.com

Sushiman

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 04:30:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: Radios In Motion <radiosinmotion@iwon.com>
Subject: They Might Be Little Kids.
Message-ID: <381787479.966501028322.JavaMail.root@web191-iw>

I am not going to get into a debate about this too but TMBG did use samples.
Your somehow misguided into believe that no one in the whole world uses
samples but rap artists and if that is what you believe, you are quite
ignorant.  A SAMPLE IS A PIECE OF MUSIC!  So, if you are using a synth with
drum sounds, or orchestra sounds, or whatever sounds, that is called, uhhhh,
yes A SAMPLE! Yes, they used drum machines, and ask anyone with any
knowledge of music equipment and you will find out that a drum machine is a
machine where buttons trigger samples stored in memory.

TMBG used lots of samples on their early albums.  Actually, all their first
albums used nothing but samples, an accordian and a guitar.  There is NO
difference in their use of sampling than most rap artists.  As I said
before, only a small percent of rap music uses complete loops of other
peoples music.  This is not the norm.  Believing that all rap is just dumbed
down loops is like believing that all "alternative" or "new wave," etc is
just simple dumbed down guitar rifts.  My point, the mainstream industry
does not represent the entire genres of music.  Most artists in my oppinion
could not compare to XTC, or Zappa, or Boingo, or TMBG.  Most mainstream
artists are just one hit wonders like Kajagoogoo who come up with a simple
quick hit.

Anyway, as I said before, rap is not just based on samples and loops, its
just used much more in comercial rap.
Most rap artists who do sample only use bits and pieces of sounds, just like
most of the 80's synth groups did, such as Depeche Mode, Camouflage,
Erasure, Yaz, etc.  Those sounds, and noises you are hearing are samples,
put into the memory banks of a synthesizer.  XTC has used a drum machine in
the past as well, so they too have used samples.  Please, if you are going
to try to debate someone, at least try and research what they are talking
about instead of trying to act like a smart ass little kid to start a
debate. Thank you.

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 07:59:50 -0400
From: Gary McBride <garym@usa.com>
Subject: Happy Birthday Colin!
Message-ID: <v04220801b5c181db1ca8@[199.218.243.122]>

According to ancient folklore (and my local newspaper) today
(8/17/00) marks Colin's 45th birthday!  Cheers Colin, hope it's a
happy one, and that all Chalkhillers raise a glass to you to mark the
day!

Our newspaper's feature editor must have found a copy of the "Big
Book of Alternative Music Birthdays" as they always list birthdays
that you wouldn't normally expect. For instance, Colin shares the day
with:

Kevin Rowland (Dexy's Midnight Runners) - 47
Kevin Welch (new country guy) - 45
Belinda Carlisle (Go-Go's) - 42
Sean Penn - 40
Gilby Clarke (not sure...Butthole Surfers maybe?) - 38
Maria McKee (Lone Justice) - 36
Jill Cunniff (Luscious Jackson, I think) - 34
and
Donnie Wahlberg (New Kids on the Block) - 31

Now THAT'S a supergroup I'd pay to see perform together...once!

Aloha,
G

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 07:05:02 -0400
From: "Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt" <toddjenn@erols.com>
Subject: Service and such
Message-ID: <NABBKDAOLCDJBNEFDNLLEEBICEAA.toddjenn@erols.com>

Hi:

Chris Coolidge responded to a question of mine in #235 by saying:

>   I'd have to search out the original digest to jog my memory for a
> complete answer,
<snip>
>I could be entirely wrong, but
> that's the impression I got. My moemory of his post could be
> entirely wrong
> though, since I don't have it in front of me.

Hint: http://chalkhills.org/digests/

There's a cool thing there called a "search engine."

Sincere question #2: Why would you waste bandwidth in the digest with this
twice-qualified "answer" when a tiny bit of effort would have easily
jogged your memory and allowed you to respond with certainty? Do you
read/post e-mails in a place where you have no access to a Web browser? Or
is it something else?

Barry Chapman talked about HMV and Fossil Fuel, and I know I've been going
on about them, but I wanted to tell a story of good customer service. My
copy of FF arrived with the jewel-case damaged -- that is, the little
raised circles in the middle of the center platter that holds the two CDs
were missing teeth, so when I opened the case the CDs would either get
caught between two hard plastic surfaces or fall to the ground. Not a good
thing, obviously. I wrote HMV about it, and within a half-hour got an
e-mail in reply saying a new jewel case was on the way -- at their
expense, of course.

Again, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, etc., but it's nice to see
that kind of effort. And, now that the special promotion is over, they
still offer free S&H to the US and Canada if you order four or more items.

Simon "T.M." Auger treated us to the following lyrics:
> Went into my apartment on a Monday at one
> singing ooh la ly la ly shaky bum shaky bum
> Started moving in it on a Tuesday at two
> singing ooh la ly la ly shaky do shaky do
> Wednesday at three I rang the phone company
> singing hey baby put a phone in for me
> Thursday at four he came a knocking at my door
> singing hey baby I'm your telephone man
> You can show me where you want it and I'll put it where I can
> you can have it with a buzz
> you can have it with a ring
> and if you really want it you can have a ding a ling.....

Is it just me or does there seem to be an ever-so-slight *sexual*
connotation to that song? Nah ... I'm sure the lyrics writer and record
company would never allow anything as crass as that. I'm sure it's really
just a slice-of-life thing, someone telling the mundane-yet-compelling
story of the mechanics of setting up a new, independent life. Kinda sweet,
really.

--Todd "Are you the lady who ordered the pepperoni pizza? Well, here's the
pizza..." Bernhardt

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

Date: 17 Aug 2000 06:43:48 -0700
From: unna@worldmailer.com
Subject: Whoosh - 2 Points!
Message-ID: <20000817134348.19696.cpmta@c008.sfo.cp.net>

Hi Ho! (Watchoo call me?)

1. Band Names:
Cyclops
The Pugs
The Rutger Hauers
Hoodlum Imagination
Yes, Master

2. XTC COntent: If some people are the big box of paints and others
the canvas they're dealt, and you add a third type of person, the
Observer of the paint-to-canvas relationship, I'll bet you can
accurately include every living person in every category at all
times. (I would say "to some degree" but that ruins the effect.)

With reckless affection,

Laura (Crazy, I'm crazy for bumbling so nova) H.

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 10:08:40 -0400
From: "Kate Burda" <burdakat@pilot.msu.edu>
Subject: clink-clink-clink
Message-ID: <00a401c00854$a587f640$8e05fea9@user.msu.edu>

The metal-on-metal clinking noise in Towers has got to be my favorite "added
bonus".  I swear it brings the song to life- it certainly always invokes
images in my mind of people sweating away to build it!  How many other
artists would take the time to add something this creative to further
develop and enrich a song?

Kate

P.S.  Heard a Stone Roses track the other day and was somewhat impressed.
Is their stuff worth buying?  E-mail me off-list, please!!

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 07:45:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Relph <relph@mando.engr.sgi.com>
Subject: Re: nonsuch question
Message-ID: <10008170745.ZM331568@mando.engr.sgi.com>

Josh Scott <joshdscott@uswest.net> asked:
>
>Do all Nonsuch CDs have PROMOTIONAL stamped across them or
>do I have one of these CDs that should have never seen the
>light of day in the public?

The latter.  Only the CDs sent to radio stations, reviewers, and the
like have PROMOTIONAL stamped on them.  But they aren't that rare, as
I have one, too.

	-- John

NP: Starflower (Celebrating the Spirit of Brian Wilson & the Beach Boys)

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 10:10:07 -0500
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <Dan_Wiencek@mcgraw-hill.com>
Subject: Wrapped in Gary
Message-ID: <200008171510.IAA03057@sgiblab.sgi.com>

Gary asked:

"Anyone else wish Andy had left the coda off "Wrapped in Grey" ("And
at the very least you can stand up naked and grin")?  To my ear, it's
like Mozart ending a piano concerto with "shave and a haircut, two
bits." (I'm bracing for flames informing me that the line is the
essence of the song's message, and that I'm a Philistine for
suggesting it may be less than wonderful, but it still bugs me.)"

Well, they can flame me too. I've never really been pleased with that coda,
particularly because the lyrics are incomprehensible without consulting the
liner notes. I always try to get to know a new disk without resorting to the
liners, at least until a few listens in, and all I could make of that line
was "And in the very least you can/stand the pink and the green." (Hmm, this
maybe should've gone in the misheard-lyrics thread bin.) Add to that the
fact that Andy's weird, ululating warble is completely at odds with the
lovely, Beach Boy-ie vocal work he does throughout the song proper, and you
have a slight blot on what is otherwise a lovely song.

And as long as we're throwing out flamebait, let me chime in and say I
definitely do not regard English Settlement as XTC's masterpiece. Some very
great songs, to be sure, but "Leisure" and "Knuckle Down" remain two of my
least favorite XTC tracks ever, and I wouldn't get out of my chair to defend
"Down in the Cockpit" either. "Leisure" in particular irks me so bad it
often makes me stop playing the album entirely, rather than just skipping
over it. But then of course I miss "It's Nearly Africa." Wha-OH!

"Some say he was called" Dan W.

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 13:04:17 -0400
From: Michael Kearns <mikearns@voyager.net>
Subject: Little Hitlers, memorable concerts, Greggsy
Message-ID: <3.0.6.32.20000817130417.007a4a50@mail.en.com>

William Loring wrote:

>Or howsabout another fine EC lyric:
>
>She's my soft-touch typewriter,
>and I'm the great dictator

In my conservatory days my classmates and I took "musical dictation" from
our Solfege professor. For years I suspected EC was saying "solfege
typewriter"!! (whatever that is!)

Other things:
> What is the first album (XTC of course) that you waited to be released?
Transistor Blast! (Drove 10 miles in blizzard to pick it up.)

Moving right along...
First (rock) concert: Beach Boys, Central Park, 1977
Most recent outdoor concert: Brian Wilson
Most recent indoor concert: Project Object (Ike Willis' Zappa tribute band)
Most times: Cleveland Orchestra. Runners up: Charlie Byrd, Kinks, Adrian
Belew (incl. w/ King Crimson, Bears, Bowie)
Weirdest: Procol Harum on a floating stage at the Cleveland Rib Burn-Off, 1991
Best in recent memory (indoor): The Artist/Larry Graham/Chaka Khan
Best in recent memory (outdoor): Santana
Wish I coulda seen: Zappa, Miles, XTC, Grateful Dead, Beatles, Hendrix,
Stevie Wonder, Springsteen
So glad I saw: Witold Lutoslawski, Jaco Pastorius w/ Mike Stern, Roches
(1995), Dixie Dregs, Clash (1982)
No small feat: Ashkenazy playing all the Chopin Preludes, intermission,
then all the Etudes.
Other goodies: Carla Bley & Steve Swallow, Stanley Jordan, Tuck & Patti,
John McLaughlin, Ray Davies, The Romeros, Dylan/Ani DiFranco/BR549, David
Byrne, Elvis Costello, Big Brother & Holding Company (1999), Dire Straits,
The Band (1994)

Thanks whoever thought of this. I find this more fun than listing favorite
albums, songs.. even if I did end up listing almost every good concert I've
been to!

Just read blurb in Guitar Player that Dave Gregory has been working on a
band project with Lyle Workman (Beck's guitarist). Anyone know any more
about this? (Well hey.. I suppose I could just bounce on over to
Guitargonauts...)

A big "Howdy do!" to Chalklings: Jen, Kate, Ian, Becki

Mike Kearns

"You like me! You really, really like me!" - Sally Fields

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 11:19:49 -0400
From: MinerWerks <dminer@gte.net>
Subject: They Might Be Johnny Cash
Message-ID: <a04310100b5c1b0808e47@[63.24.115.56]>

Kevin Diamond observed:

>::blink:: :blink::
>
>what?!
>
>::blink::
>
>ummmm... no? They Might Be Giants play all their own music. And a drum
>machine is different from sampling, because the artist programs it to play
>what they want it to play.

Sorry, Kevin, check out "Boat Of Car" which features a sample from
Johnny Cash's "Daddy Sang Bass," then I refer you to "Snowball In
Hell," "Now That I Have Everything" (bonus track on "Then") and "They
Might Be Giants" which all sampled stuff from actual instructional or
informational records, and you might even count the remixes of "The
World's Address" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" which were
released as B-sides and are full of samples. There might even be more
samples on the first two albums that I can't remember right now...

= Derek Miner =

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

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 16:39:53 +0100
From: Warren Butson <Warren.Butson@getty-images.com>
Subject: xtc old school
Message-ID: <917A9E311021D411ABDF00508B605A470F1DA3@lonexchg01.tonystone.com>

In reply to Joseph Easter's query regarding what an old xtc fan finds in the
later xtc to still keep him/her happy and if we get diappointed, here are my
thoughts:

	For me it isn't so much pre or post skylarking that divides
old/later xtc but moreso pre or post Terry Chambers. I got into xtc when
Generals and Majors came out and at the time things were very different for
an English XTC fan. They were slightly hip to like, they had hit singles,
appeared on Top of the Pops, were on many kids shows, they played gigs (I
had tickets to see them during ES...but you know the story about that!) and
even had a prime time tv documentary about the making of Black Sea.So first
off I could really follow this band which was great as my previous favs were
elo (who never appeared on anything by this time) elp who had split, moody
blues who were now crap and the beatles who obviously didn't exist anymore.
The style of music at the time was still new wave and many artists eg
Police, Costello, Ian Dury XTC  played a kind of cod reggae/ska style which
I liked. And no one seemed to drum with quite the ferocity as our Terry. So
post Terry which I feel is Mummer onwards saw a lot of changes. No touring,
few appearences on TV no more hits,
	less electric guitar, less ska type music and less violent drumming.
It was disappointing I have to admit, I almost gave up after Mummer but I
got an advanced copy of B Express and loved the noise and heavy drums even
though I was not aware most of it was Drum machines, I especially loved
Train running Low on soul coal with that total racket of the verses saved by
the sublime chorus, its also the most onamatpeic song I've ever heard.Then
comes skylarking and it may surprise you but I was disappointed with the
music, I thought it lacked balls though I loved the songs, however I can see
why people praise it so much as each song had a mountain of ideas and
textures - it is a delicate masterpiece. Oranges and lemons cheered me up
again as it's very in your face production and great hooks/melodies. Then
Nonsuch BOO! didn't like it I'm afraid but couldn't work out why, I guess it
seemed to me a very intellgent piece of work rather like war and peace that
I didn't want to read.
	Apple Venus pleased me no end. The balls/no balls argument was
superflous as this was orchoustic, but the melodies ooh when I heard Easter
Theatre I thought it was the best song by XTC ever! and Harvest Festival was
also rapture to my ears especially the middle 8. Wasp star has me a bit
confused. I like the Music but I don't think it's the strongest bunch of
songs by the boys, though I think it's a great record to play in the car,
It's so full of fun.

	The thing that keeps me coming back are the wonderful melodies,
acerbic wit  the fact they still sound like no other band, and haven't
become middle of the road boring old farts like most middle age rock stars
eg collins,sting,Mccartney (though I still love mccartney!). But I still
miss Terry and the urgency they had to thier early albums, I want andy to
growl like in NTIOH and Colin to speak up a bit, he sounds a little like a
ghost on the last few albums.
	Anyhoo, that's my 10 cents worth!

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End of Chalkhills Digest #6-243
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