Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-244

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 244

                  Friday, 18 August 2000


                        Ramble on
                       My Concerts
                     All of a Sudden
                Promo discs are everywhere
                       Re: Squeeze
              concerts! concerts! concerts!
                    Skylarking Summer
                    melt the opinions
  Brooklynites' 5,000 reasons to wear green T's tonight
                       Sample Venus
                        sad songs
                       Re: Concerts
            What the hell was I thinking....?
                      Guns 'n' Roses
                       Re: Concerts
                     Optiganlly Mine


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Everybody needs a place in the rat race.


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 08:41:35 -0700
Subject: Ramble on
Message-ID: <016f01c00866$785819e0$>

Hi kids,

Just the usual reply to miscellaneous posts of late.  Away we go . .

Josh - If used CD stores didn't sell promotional CD's, they would have at
least 1/3 less inventory.  It seems I buy at least one promotional CD every
time I go.  I guess you could theorize that by buying a promotional CD the
artist never received any royalties like they would have if you'd bought a
used CD of a non-promotional CD (did that make ANY sense?).  BUt, in this
case it was XTC, so they wouldn't have received much if any money either
way.  In fact, isn't "Nonsuch" one of the Geffen Records discount line that
costs about the same new as it does used?

With apologies to dear Jayne and those others that love "Mummer" & "Big
Express" - I'm not crazy about 'em.  BUT (and as Pee Wee Herman says
"Everyone I know has a big but.") Thanks to Ed K. for just mentioning
Colin's bass on "Me and the Wind" which means I'll be getting it out and
playing it.  I keep thinking that if I continue to play both records every
now and then they'll suddenly jump out at me.  Not yet, but I'll keep

And what's this about some new development with Virgin

> Xtc content: Glad to hear that Virgin has finally stopped screwing the
> A pity that the royalities aren't all that much.
> Wayne

What did I miss?

I also obviously missed the HMV deal on "Fossil Fuel"?  What was it?  I know
where it's (hopefully) sitting in a used bin right now and will finally
break down and get it after work.

Lastly, someone recently asked about other artists we love that sound
nothing like XTC.  Well, aside from that fact that I think nobody really
sounds like XTC to begin with, I would say my main pick would be Tom Waits.

Thanks for listening,



Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:46:10 EDT
Subject: My Concerts
Message-ID: <>

First Concert:  Paul McCartney World Tour, 1990
Best Concert:  Hmm. . . . probably Man Or Astro-Man, 2000 (August 11th)
Best Concert Runner-Up:  Jethro Tull, 1998 (also saw them in 1996, and
earlier this year)  or Phish,. 12-4-99
What Was I thinking?!:  Alan Parsons Project, 1994 or 1995
Wish I'd Been There:  The three Phish shows at Deer Creek this July that I
missed due to illness :(

- - -
Reverend Jody L. Barnes
"May the baby Jesus shut your mouth and open your mind." - Don Vliet
"He who hesitates is lost." - Andy Partridge


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:59:13 -0400
From: "Michael Versaci" <>
Subject: All of a Sudden
Message-ID: <000c01c0087d$3c14e370$45bff6d1@mtwe50004>


	Last night, I was feeling relaxed after an early evening bath.
The kids were relatively quiet, the television was tuned to "The Antiques
Road Show," and my wife was dozing on the couch with her feet in my lap.
The telephone rang.  I walked over and noticed on the Caller-ID "Unknown
Name / Unknown Number."  I picked it up, and a distraught voice that I
didn't recognize croaked,

	"Michael Versaci?"


	"This is Jon Becker's friend, Billy."


	"There has been a terrible accident.  He's gone, man."

	Jon was a landscaper, and a fine one.  Billy went on to explain
that Jon had been stung by a bee.  He had mentioned this to his crew,
warning them to stay away from a particular bush.  He walked around to the
rear of the residence and never returned.  He was later found lying on the
ground unconscious.  The ambulance came.  He was pronounced dead at the

							*  *  *

	I first met Jon Becker back in 1983.  I was between bands.  My
previous band had crashed and burned in 1981.  The concept behind that one
was a hybrid of Steely Dan, The Beatles, and progressive rock.  We thought
we were clever; the people who heard us play held an entirely different
opinion.  Our songs were complicated, riddled with odd time signatures and
abrupt changes in tempo.  The music was fun to play from a musician's
standpoint, but the record companies (and club audiences) couldn't have
been less interested.

	I had decided to start a band with a different concept.  I wanted
to play songs that people could like on first listen.  My goal was to
record a new-wave "With The Beatles" as our debut album, where every track
was a potential single.  My brother, who was one of the songwriters and a
driving force behind my previous band, had been jamming with a new drummer
and keyboard-player / vocalist.  We decided to join forces.  That
keyboard-player / vocalist was Jon Becker.

	Jon was quiet at first.  He mentioned that he was a serious
Genesis and Peter Gabriel fan, and was curious about XTC, as my brother
and I loved them and referenced their music often.  I told him to go out
and buy "Mummer," (that's right, "MUMMER"!) and I made him promise to
listen to it at least 3 times, no matter what he thought of it on first
listen.  He followed my advice and picked it up the very next day.  That
night at rehearsal he said, "I listened to 'Mummer' today and I'll listen
to it two more times, but I don't think I'm ever going to like it."  My
brother and I smiled at each other, because we just *knew* that he was
going to love it.

	A few days later, Jon walked into rehearsal and said, "I'm now
ready to say that 'Mummer' is one of my all-time top 3 favorite albums,
and that includes Genesis and Peter Gabriel!"

	Our band, Mind Over Matter, went through many changes, and finally
broke up in 1987.  In retrospect, it is easy to see the fatal flaw of that
band: You can't deliberately set out to play "commercial" music.  Good
music comes from the heart, not from a desire to be a "successful
recording artist."  As a recording engineer once said to us in all
sincerity during a session, "I don't get it.  You guys love the music of
XTC and Peter Gabriel.  What are you doing trying to play Top 40?"

	We both married and started families.  He continued to write and
play music with my brother, but he and I would seldom see each other
again. Still, we would find time to call and talk about music, especially
when a new XTC album was released.

	We never got around to "Wasp Star."

							*  *  *

	For the last few years, Jon, my brother and I began to share a
dream.  We dreamed a dream whose seeds had been planted by The Beatles so
many years ago with the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band."  We dreamed of a place and a time where we could write, arrange and
record songs that we loved, regardless of their commercial potential, with
total creative freedom.  We dreamed of doing this for no reason except for
our love of music.  We dreamed a dream that was made possible by today's
inexpensive recording technology, but unlikely due to the constraints that
we had placed upon ourselves: our careers, families, mortgages and the
fact that we lived hundreds of miles apart.  We dreamed of a day when we
could be like our heroes, Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding.  We dreamed a
dream that died the day before yesterday.

Michael Versaci

"All of a sudden
 We find the cupboard's bare
 All of a sudden
 We find heaven's not there
 All of a sudden we find that we've lost love
 Please don't push and shove because
 It's too late"

	- Andy Partridge


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:21:31 EDT
Subject: Concerts
Message-ID: <>

Okay, here are my lists of concerts.

First Concert: The Who (Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY, 1989)
Best Concert: Squeeze (Lsfayette Square, Buffalo, NY, 1998)
Most Disappointing Concert: Live/Weezer (Alfred State College, 1992)
Why Did I Go?: Blues Traveller (Alfred University, 1995)
Dream Concert: Either XTC (HA!) or Paul McCartney



Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:04:17 -0500
From: "Richard" <>
Subject: Promo discs are everywhere
Message-ID: <001601c0087d$f1509c20$>

re: Nonsuch CD marked "PROMOTIONAL."

Whether there are many Nonsuch promos out there is unknown to me but I have
MANY CDs marked promo in my collection.

Promo CDs are sent out to magazines, record reviewers, interviewers, radio
stations, program consultants, distributors, retailers and friends &
associates of the band.

I don't actually know the quantity of promos that have been made for any
particular release (I have been told that Arista made many thousands of
"extra" promo copies of Santana's "Supernatural" and sent them out long
after it had become a hit - a post-release promo?! - presumably to brag
about the fact that they have shipped more Santana platters than McDonalds
has served patties.)  By the fact that I have been sent XTC promos proves
that promos are rather freely distributed (as well as noting how many show
up on Ebay).

In any event, people who regularly receive promos of most releases often
sell off the stuff they are not interested in.  And, in case your CD has the
typical "warning", no, the record company will never ask to have the CD back
and they are not illegal to own.



Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:24:34 EDT
Subject: Re: Squeeze
Message-ID: <>

Misty, I stand corrected. :)  Talking about weenies you should hear Jools
Holland's voice. :P  (this is coming from a Jools Holland fan)



Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:30:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: "May O'Mahoney" <>
Subject: concerts! concerts! concerts!
Message-ID: <>

* First concert: INXS - Santa Barbara Bowl - 1986

* Best concert: Sting - Santa Barbara Bowl - 2000

* Best concert Runner-up:
Smashing Pumpkins/Shudder To Think - Palladium - 1993

* "What the hell was I thinking?" concert:
NOFX - Underground - 1994
(note: the band sounded great - the "what was I thinking" came from the fact
that I was stupid enough to position myself on the "fringe" of the mosh pit)

* "Wish I'd Been There" concert:
Bob Marley - Santa Barbara Bowl - ca. 1979

For those of you who have had the pleasure of enjoying a concert at this
wondrous place, you will fully understand the "Wish I Been There" for this

May "I'm so happy to live here" O'Mahoney


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 12:45:09 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: Skylarking Summer
Message-ID: <>

In 6-242, MJC said:
>Oh, and-I guess it's because I bought the album in the winter, but to me,
Skylarking is not so much a summer album as an evocative-of-summer album to
be >heard in winter.

Interestingly enough, (and I was going to bring this up at some point, this
seems like the opportunity) I on the other hand have found that I am
actually pretty much unable to listen to Skylarking unless it is summer. For
me, the ideal time to hear the bugs & birds at the start of "Summer's
Cauldron" is when the air is actually warm when you breathe it in; trying to
play it when there's a chill in the air actually makes me (almost
physically) uncomfortable and I can't continue through the rest of the
album. It's like having warm water thrown on you when you're out in the
cold; you feel warm for a few seconds, then you're colder than ever.
This does keep me from overplaying the album, though, and the first playing
of Skylarking once it gets warm enough out is definitely a treat and a
personal yearly/seasonal milestone.
Am I a freak or what?

Er... that's it.
Ed K.

PS: The fact that the Canadian CD version of the album is the only one with
the "rational" order (original w/"Dear God" as bonus track at the end) was a
surprise to me when I found out about it in the Chalkhills discography
(being in Canada, that's the one I always saw, obviously). I'd always
assumed that that was the standard for the CD version everywhere - it just
seemed so logical.


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:01:48 -0600
From: "Joseph Easter" <>
Subject: melt the opinions
Message-ID: <003301c00885$fae29600$1e720a3f@default>

I'd like to refrain from the latest round of issue-banter, but I need to add
my thread...

As for the guns, imagine this...You live in a world where only the
government and the criminals have firepower. That's what will happen if you
take away the right of the people to shoot the hell out of things. I don't
think we need more guns for Christ's sake, but this is the queen in our
little chess game. It (guns) offers us a bit more leverage in an
increasingly unstable and less-free environment, at least here in he states.
If we could back up and take away the guns and the nukes and Hitler and the
Garden of Eden, of course we'd do it, but it simply isn't in the cards. Only
move forward (we're all pawns.)

Obligatory...Finally got my turntable and listened to the Original
Skylarking (sans Dear God), what a difference! Never felt that the track
meshed with the rest of the album.

Joseph "Shoot that little skunk, Cleetus!" Easter


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 21:13:41 +0000
From: Jayne Myrone <>
Subject: Picts
Message-ID: <>

OK as apparently the only living Chalkhiller in Scotland I think
it's about time to sort out the whole 'Picts & who were they?' thing.

Chris Vreeland wrote
until I found out that a Pict is a
person who speaks Pictish, which sounds just like english, only it's
totally unintelligible

Dan "The drones they throng on mossy seats?" Wiencek also wrote
Waters is actually saying, in extremely guttural
Pictish (a Scots dialect, if you were wondering)

In the interests  of things Scottish & just to be a pain in the fundament
questions will be asked at the end of this Chalkhills

The Picts were an ancient people who lived in Scotland.  They were
described by various cold, wet & very bored Roman writers as small
dark haired folk who were covered in blue tattoos who tried to beat
the crap out of them on a regular basis.
The Romans were so scared of them they built a couple of walls -
Hadrain's & the Antonine - just to keep the little buggers out.  In
short  they made William 'BraveHeart' Wallace look like a wuss.

The Scots, who were originally from Ireland, invaded Scotland on the
west side and spread. They too spent time fighting the Picts until a
king called MacAlpine, with a Pictish background became king of the
Scots on the slogan "Can't we all get along?"  The Picts were
assimilated and became part of the Scots, so their language and
culture became submerged and disappeared.

Whatever language/dialect they spoke was definitely NOT English.

They also produced very fine carvings with intricate knot work and
fabulous animals which was later hijacked by the Celts.

They may have grooved with small furry animals, but have left no
archaeological evidence.

XTC content:  saddest XTC song so far - The Last Balloon.
Jayne the Worrier Queen
Want to know how many boxes have been packed? And just
how many books there are here?
Moving on 19th August.


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 20:27:52 +0100
Message-ID: <>

hi chalks,glen tilbrook,chris difford,ourandy and neil finn are still
the finest tunesmiths of the last 20 years.its not my opinion.. its a
proven fact.check ou any track by any of em.whats a bloody weenie?

kind regards, DAVE


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 16:56:43 -0400
From: "Stephanie Takeshita" <>
Subject: Brooklynites' 5,000 reasons to wear green T's tonight
Message-ID: <>

Just heard this on NPR:  tonight's outdoor feature flick at Brooklyn's
Prospect Park:  "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T".   [relevance:  one of Andy
P's faves, about a monstrous "Dr. T" [Vincent Price?] who forces kids to
play pianos endlessly, or something.  Sounds wild.  I've never seen it,
and so can only wonder...]

I just hope Mitch F. and others in the NYC area hear about this in

Stephanie Takeshita
x. 3625


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:20:49 -0600
Subject: Sample Venus
Message-ID: <>

Kevin sez: "And a drum machine is different from sampling, because the
artist programs it to play what they want it to play."

Not true, mutton breath !

How to put this - when it comes to electronic music, there are, to make a
huge generalization, two parts to the equation. There is the method that
the musician/artist/human uses to "play" the sound. This would be a
keyboard or a sequencer or drum machine or whatever. These "instruments"
trigger the other part of the equation, which are the actual sounds, which
are created and stored in a wide variety of ways. There's synthesizers,
which, well, "synthesize" the sounds from scratch and allow the user all
kinds of control over the sounds, and there are boxes that contain banks
of preset sounds that were already created by other folks. And then there
are "samplers," which use sounds that are "sampled" from reality, like
oboes or cellos or crickets or farts or pieces of old songs or even sounds
from old synths or organs or whatever.

So a drum machine (the "instrument") might trigger sounds that are
synthesized OR sampled. Or a mix of both in some cases. So, all this
long-winded shite is just to say that a sample doesn't have to be a bit of
a classic old song ala Puff Crappy. For example, a band may record a song,
and decide that the snare drum sound isn't working. The producer will have
a piece of equipment that will take the recording of the snare, and use
that sound to trigger a snare sample that sounds exactly right. And I'm
telling you, you CAN'T TELL that they did it.  The rhythm is exactly what
the drummer played, but the sound is from another source entirely.

(Oh, and I was just kidding about the whole "mutton breath" thing. Sorry)


"parrots and lemurs"


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 17:10:36 -0500
From: "William Sherlock" <>
Subject: sad songs
Message-ID: <>

what are some of the saddest songs you've ever heard. Songs
that are so powerful, they can actually make you cry?

"Lick My Love Pump"  Spinal Tap(unreleased)

"I should be in bed, I need my 11 hours. I'm a real sleep addict. I started
off just napping. Then I got into the harder stuff...siestas. Before I knew
what was happening I was a sleep junkie."    Andy Partridge, Melody Maker,


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 16:46:18 -0600
Subject: Re: Concerts
Message-ID: <>

Ok. Concerts. Let's see........

First concert: Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and the Carter Family
First rock concert: Doobie Bros., War, Golden Earring, Henry Gross,
circa 1975.
Best Concert: Laurie Anderson, "Mr. Heartbreak" tour.
Runner Up: Oingo Boingo and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Red Rocks
Most times seen in concert: Richard Thompson, Los Lobos
Exceeded minimal expectations: Pearl Jam
Most Disappointing: Aerosmith (they were WASTED).
Concerts I've seen by people who are now dead: Benny Goodman, Dennis
and Carl Wilson (Beach Boys), whoever
   that dead guy was who was in Thin Lizzy, Frank Zappa, Lynrd Skynrd
Missed Opportunity: Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps tour (bought
tickets, got grounded)
Wish I'd been there concert: Woodstock. Would have only been 7 years
old, but ................................

I'd have loved to have seen XTC, but by the time I knew they existed,
they were decidedly off the road...........


 "spit in my eye...I'd love you for it"


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 17:47:17 EDT
Subject: What the hell was I thinking....?
Message-ID: <>

This concert thing is interesting reading to are mine:

First concert: Peter Frampton, Boston Garden 1976
Best concert: The Jam, Orpheum Theatre, Boston 1981
Best concert Runner-up: Elvis Costello & The Attractions, many, many shows...
Most disappointing concert: U2, Foxboro Stadium 1998 - ish
"What the hell was I thinking?" concert: Huey Lewis & The News, Manchester,
NH (ok - don't laugh I was trying to go out with this girl and....).
Most inexplicable concert:  Peter Gabriel, Boston Garden (didn't really know
his material actually was the problem).
"Wish I'd been there" concert: XTC, Beatles

On introducing other people to XTC....

I have found that when trying to interest anyone in any kind of music they
are not familiar with, it is best to give them a tape or CD of it and let
them listen on their own time.  People rarely 'get into' any music upon first
listen, and especially XTC.

....Over and Out.....


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 17:28:42 -0400
From: "Walker, Keith (Imprimis)" <>
Subject: Guns 'n' Roses
Message-ID: <7A57F750AF65D411949C00508BDFD818010943F1@USPLM202>

Christopher Coolidge sez:
"I'd love to see a world where nobody owns a gun, every child is
a wanted child, and everybody loves their neighbor. Ain't gonna happen in
my lifetime."

So.  Am I the only hopeless bastard in the world who honestly, truly
believes that the only thing keeping us from this goal is, well, us?
"That's the way the world is. . . " has always struck me as a lame excuse
rather than a dose of reality.  The reality, to me, is that, if we want the
world (or society, or whatever) to be more equitable (or fair, or whatever)
then we simply need to make the decision to do that.  **The only thing
limiting human behavior is human behavior.**  This is, of course, somewhat
oversimplified, I know, but I don't want to prattle on forever.  Suffice it
to say that, I believe if you want the world to change you simply change
yourself and encourage the rest of the world to follow you.  Unrealistic?
In a world where X million households can be encouraged to watch the same
television program, or buy the same CD, or visit the same website, or follow
the same news story with very little obvious effort on the part of the
creators of those media (think Survivor), I don't think its too far
off-base.  At least my hope springs eternal that one day many others will
come to this same conclusion, as well, and the world *will* change for the
better.  But all I can do is keep moving myself toward the goal, and I will,
I will. . . .

XTC content:  isn't this the Slim Pickens list?

Keith "We now return to our originally scheduled programming" Walker


Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 07:51:44 EST
From: "Iain Murray" <>
Subject: Re: Concerts
Message-ID: <>

> > While we're on the subject of concerts:

First: Jackson Browne, 1986 (I was 14 and went with my sister and her
boyfriend - a good time was probably had by some, but not me)
Best Concert: a tie between John Hammond (1995) and Elvis Costello & Steve
Nieve (1999)
Worst Concert: Bob Dylan, 1992 (the first five songs were totally
unrecognisable until they were almost over, his singing was so garbled and
Most Inexplicable: Hall & Oates, 1991 (I was trying to impress some girl,
and it didn't even come close to working)
Worst Concert Moment: even though it wasn't a music show, I saw Billy
Connolly at the Canberra Theatre in 1995. We had front-row seats (brave or
what?) and the guy I was sitting next to started yelling out the punchlines.
Wish I'd Been There: Stevie Wonder, "Hotter Than July" tour 1980; Buddy Guy,
1992 (it was in the same week as the Bob Dylan concert, and I only had
enough money for one show)


"I believe there is a commonality to humanity. We all suck." -- Bill Hicks


Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 18:00:08 CDT
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: Optiganlly Mine
Message-ID: <>

Kevin Diamond has is on the same wavelength as myself--

>>Here's a question. I've been getting into this group called Optiganally
Yours which, oddly enough, makes all it's music with Optigans, (Optical
Organs) which basically, from what I've read, are exactly like what you guys
are calling Mellotrons. What is the difference between the two? The only
thing I can think of is that I know that the Optigan wasn't very well made,
because it was made mostly using Mechanics, as opposed to Electronics. Are
Mellotrongs just Electronically made Optigans?<<

Wow!  I just heard Optiganally Yours for the first time last night, on a
compilation I'm reviewing (I almost posted asking people about them, but
chose instead to ask about Self, also on the comp).  From what I heard
excellent stuff.  Anyway, as for your question, I'm not sure, although I
know that the Optigan was actually a children's toy (as is the Talentmaker,
their instrument of choice for their second album, apparently).  Have you
been on ?  If not, there's lots of information, both about
the Optigan and Optiganally Yours.

coincidences abound!



End of Chalkhills Digest #6-244

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