Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-30

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 30

                 Monday, 21 February 2000

Today's Topics:

                        AV2 vinyl?
            Browsing in the produce department
                    Re: XtC on its own
                       promo press
 Chalkhills, me the XTC fan and Let's All Make A Record.
Welcome Ed (well sort of, since you lurked!) and Jamie's proposition.
            XTC LIVE AND DIRECT back for real
                       Bush vs Hill
               xtc collaborations, con't...
                  a startling discovery!
                         Hot Jazz
                 Re: Green Eggs and Spam
                   Little Express Again
                   Re: Nonsuch on Vinyl
                      Spam and Eggs
                Colin's Missing Muse . . ?
                      Little Express


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I put it in a letter, what could be better?


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 08:35:10 +0100
Subject: AV2 vinyl?
From: "Per Aronsson" <>

Here I go again...

Does anybody know if AV2 will be released on vinyl? I think that Cooking
Vinyl listened to the voices on Chalkhills and decided to release AV1 on

I can only hope that they do the same again. If not, I hope many of you join
me in a campaign...

So if anyone has information on this subject - please let us all know.

Per Aronsson.


Message-ID: <000901bf7ad6$7b0246c0$71e17ad1@default>
Subject: Browsing in the produce department
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 07:32:19 -0500

Jamie proposed:
>  Let's (Chalkhills Children) produce a future Xtc CD.

You know, I've had this thought before, except it's always one of those "if
I won the lottery..." kind of daydreams.

> ...the point is to produce new Xtc Music!

It seems like Andy and Colin aren't having too much of a problem coming up
with the dough to produce CDs right now, but I was thinking, maybe if
someone else were to say "here's a bunch of money", maybe they could be
persuaded to produce some *old* XTC music -- that is, band versions of their
favorite unproduced demos (like, in my perfect dream world, "Young
Cleopatra" and "This is the End").  I'm a non-Rockefeller, but if I were
reasonably sure of recouping my investment, I'd probably chip in for such a
zany scheme.

And Mitch reports:
> Oh, what does Andy say? He says that just about everyone who knows him
> has been told to listen to this cd called "Fascinating Rhythm! - Great
> Hits of the Twenties".

Thanks for the tip.  Another fun old-oldies album is "That's What I Call
Sweet Music", a CD of '20s dance music compiled by R. Crumb.

-- Francis

"You there, you're no square -- a love rectangle with sides that flare."
   -- Make Up


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 10:37:09 EST
Subject: Re: XtC on its own

In a message dated 02/19/2000 1:35:01

> A lot of reviewers comparing Skylarking to Sgt Pepper
>  at the time (perhaps this is what DavidOh's referring to - I remember quite
>  a few reviews of this album containing lines like "trying to re-make Sgt.
>  Pepper

    OK people help me out.  I've been an XTC fan for over a dozen years and
can never understand why people make this connection.  I own all major
releases from them. Frankly, in my opinion I find them very much unlike each
other with the exception of a few songs, and this IMHO just a passing
similarity that you can say about many bands.  The phrase "Beatlesque"
thoroughly confuses me.  They fit in much better with bands of their own
genre such as Dolby, Joe, Elvis, Heads, etc.
    Perhaps you all can open my eyes to something other than thinking people
are desperately trying to attach something "great" to a band that has been
under appreciated for far too long.  That is the cynic in me talking "help me
get through these cynical days,  they say it's just a passing phase".
    Best of.. to all of you who believe differently and I anxiously await
your berating words.

Note:  Do not send me spittle covered emails about the Dukes stuff because
that was not released as XtC music ;-p~

Unconvinced in Connecticut,


Message-ID: <001601bf7b01$45174580$>
From: "Kate Burda" <>
Subject: promo press
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 12:46:36 -0500

>First off, as far as I have been led to believe the new album has been
>mastered and will be pressed up into promo copies any day now.

I'm not familiar with production timeframes- does this mean early April is
still a realistic release date?



Message-ID: <001a01bf7b0f$cb3d95c0$e940063e@computer>
From: "Pledge" <>
Subject: Chalkhills, me the XTC fan and Let's All Make A Record.
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 19:30:34 -0000

Hello. I'm new to Chalkhills, but not new to XTC by any stretch of the
imagination. I grew up hearing plenty of XTC's early singles on Radio 1 in
the UK, but didn't eventually buy anything until around the time Oranges And
Lemons was released. A mate played Skylarking regularly in his car and I'd
been meaning to buy Senses Working Overtime and Love On A Farmboys Wages for
years, so Mayor Of Simpleton would have been one of my first purchases.
Since then I have not looked back buying each release as soon as it has
appeared in the shops (yes I know that hasn't exactly amounted to much) and
have picked up the earlier CD albums and the compilations.

The release of Apple Venus 1 came as quite a shock as I'd been an infrequent
visitor to the Chalkhills web site since getting on the net in April 98 and
was well aware of the band's problems with Virgin in the UK. Like many
others I imagine, I didn't have a clue if I would still like XTC after the
prolonged break after Nonsuch but after a few plays I quickly realised I
owned one of the finest albums I'd ever bought. The first track I heard was
River of Orchids (free with the Uncut magazine CD). It took ages for this to
'click' but I knew I'd try the album out all the same. The album had the
same effect when I purchased it, eventually clicking when I let it into my
subconscious by putting it on very quietly when I was trying to get to sleep
and listening to it constantly in my car or when working on my computer.
Over a year later I still hear bits I'm convinced I've never noticed before
(surely the sign of a great album). The only song on AV1 that I'm still not
really into is Knights In Shining Karma, but the rest I simply love. I have
managed to convert a few people of varying ages and musical tastes by
playing them the album and this ensured a few more sales were clocked up as
Christmas presents. Requested by them, not forced upon them I might add!

Apple Venus is now up there with Skylarking as far as I'm concerned. Anyway
enough about me, the reason for this posting was to reply to Jamie Lowe's
suggestion that we should try to finance future XTC recordings. In
principle, this seems a good idea (although I couldn't afford to chip in)
but I think it is fundamentally flawed:

My first argument would be that a larger budget would not necessarily make a
better album. It would also make it more difficult to recoup the cost.
Surely releases such as Homespun and Transistor Blast will have contributed
enough money to finance a cheap but well made album?

My second argument would be (from personal experience) that fans should not
strive to get too closely involved with the artists they like. A few years
ago I sold T shirts and ran an information service for a band which was a
spin off from a very famous and successful band that I had liked for over
ten years. Sometimes going to their gigs seemed more like a chore than a
form of entertainment. I'd hate to listen to an XTC album and think "If only
they'd put another single on it I'd have recouped all of my money".

I am sure that would detract from the thrill of listening to probably the
only band I know that seem to record and release songs that mean something
to themselves and a relatively small fanbase only. I wouldn't want my
perception of XTC to change. As it stands my contract with them reads "XTC
release an album and I do my level best to enjoy it" and that's how I want
things to stay. If it takes another 7 years after Apple Venus 2 for their
next album to come out so be it.

If that happened I'd be 39 then but I bet I'd still be interested enough to
buy it, after all, despite not listening religiously to all the albums
regularly, I can honestly say that I enjoy the chronological listing of the
whole of Fossil Fuel, just the tracks hit me on a different level: This Is
Pop gives me a massive adrenaline rush, whereas Easter Theatre makes my hair
stand on end and that's the way I like it.

Finally, please don't rush to point out that there is more to XTC than the
singles: I am well aware of that I just used that compilation to illustrate
my point!



Message-ID: <003301bf7b1b$a074b600$0200a8c0@digitalpc>
From: "Digitalmaster" <>
Subject: Welcome Ed (well sort of, since you lurked!) and Jamie's proposition.
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 12:55:15 -0800

Ed, nice meeting you and reading through your extremely LONG post.
Although, I'm glad I did.  Its funny hearing about someone with the Robert
Smith hair faze... (I for one won't admit it, but yes, I am familiar with
the pains of putting on the white make up and lipstick, but you did not hear
that from me!!!)

I went through so many phases.  From the early 80's Human League and Devo
phase, to the Minor Threat and Dead Kennedy's,, The Ska phase and even the
Gothic Phase (god I miss being a teenager!).  Over the years though, when
the smoke cleared, bands like XTC, Devo, etc, never left my collection.
When groups like The Cure bored me, I still had my XTC, Boingo and Missing
Persons to bring me up.

You have a nice list of bands mentioned.  I am actually getting ready to see
Robyn Hitchcock tonight and am ecstatic.  I have never seen him in concert
so this is a real treat for me.  Other bands I enjoy are Camper Van
Beethoven (and every related group, Cracker, V.K.,Segal, Electric Chairmen,
etc.), Talking Heads, The Clash, etc.  Anyway, nice meeting you ed and
welcome to Chalkhills (though you have been here a hell of a lot longer than

Jamie, I love the idea, though $1000.00 might be too much for many of us to
handle, but I am down.  I think $100 split between 10,000 people is more
reasonable, but less likely to happen.  Also, another problem is, who would
handle such a thing?  Who would want the responsibility of handling all that
money, and who could we trust?  I know I would not trust just anybody with
$1000.00 of my money.  Though these obstacles are pretty big ones, I still
like the idea and have seen things like this work out before. (Of course, I
would prefer a petition and a $100,000 bribe for them to go on the road,


Message-ID: <002401bf7b49$dd455200$705791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Converted
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 09:21:03 +0900

Here's part of an e-mail I received from a Japanese girlfriend whom I turned
on to XTC , Durutti Column , Eno ...

>re:  xtc
>i like the cd a lot!  makes me spirited and cheers me up...  even though
>its words are not so cheerful...  i bought the cd among many was because
>>its title "NONSVCH" and cover pictures caught my eyes.

Another satisfied customer ! In case you are interested , she also digs
Durutti Column and Eno .  She * used to *  listen to " ... Sting, James
Taylor, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Michael Franks, Alan
Parsons, Eagles, Bobby Caldwell , Ricky Martin , ... " , so quite a
turnaround .



Message-Id: <>
From: "Ian C Stewart" <>
Subject: XTC LIVE AND DIRECT back for real
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 21:45:00 -0500

Online XTC radio station of sorts. Playing about two hundred million hours
worth of demos, live tracks, guest appearances, production jobs, er
answering machine messages, you name it. All the damn time. We back on
track, baby.

The playlist features albums and tracks by XTC, Helium Kidz, Martin Newell,
Mitch Friedman, R Stevie Moore, Cathy Dennis, Sam Phillips and so many more
it's really not funny actually. A chap could get carpal tunnel trying to
list it all out. Let's put it this way: I have a lot of XTC stuff. A lot.
And I'm almost done encoding it all, okay? So check it out! It's fun 'n

later somnambulators,
Ian C Stewart


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 02:04:46 +0100
Subject: Bush vs Hill
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

The ever charming Kate Bush popped up again:

> As I type 'Hounds Of Love' is in the old
> >player. I just love the drums in 'Running Up That Hill'.

And let's not forget that the video for Cloudbusting (with Donald
Sutherland as her father/mad professor) was actually recorded in
Uffington on the burial or sacrificial mound facing 'our' White Horse.
But the horsey is never in view which must have been on purpose
coz it's not easy to miss - it's rather large

Anyway, one has to admire Miss Bush if only for the way in which
she maintained her indepedence, artistic freedom and integrity
througout her career.

PS: last week i got hold of the US "longbox" cd version of Nonsuch.
Now i want more, more, more!!! So if you've got any XTC longbox
cd's email me privately - i've got a huge cd-r archive of bootlegs,
interviews, radio shows and much more to offer in return. And some
nice original items too

Mark Strijbos



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 02:11:55 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: xtc collaborations, con't...

<<Which brings up my question: Has XTC ever recorded with any other big
named artist or used anyone as backup vocals>>

the irrepressible molly fanton mentioned andy p. playing harmonica on
thomas dolby's "europa and the pirate twins" single, but she might have
missed the fact that our andy also played drums on dolby's song "urges",
which was found on the original (vinyl) version dolby's first album "the
golden age of wireless". indeed, our andy and thomas are the only musicians
playing on "urges". the subsequent re-release of the "... wireless" album
(at least, here in canada) dropped the songs "urges" and "leipzig" (both
songs co-produced by thomas d. & andy p.) to make way for the surprise hit
singles "she blinded me with science" and "one of our submarines" (does
that sound familiar?). they also completely scambled the original running
order, too, much to the album's detriment, in my opinion. the cd release of
"... wireless" reflects the second edition of this album.

all of the songs mentioned above, including the ones featuring our andy,
can be found on dolby's excellent compilation disc "retrospectacle - the
best of thomas dolby". even though some of his early material sounds very
dated today, i highly recommend this disc as i've always felt that dolby
and xtc were cut from the same cloth - or perhaps that should be, cut from
the same pattern using different cloth... or something like that.

that's what i know about that, but i was wondering... does anyone know if
our andy has ever collaborated with ryuichi sakamoto? i'm not sure, but i
think i read that somewhere before...

 peace & xtc,



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 05:42:19 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: a startling discovery!

i have found an xtc related item that i think - i believe - that i am the
first one to discover this little bit of information.

i have an almost complete collection of the late, but very great, magazine
that was known as musician (i'm missing some 30 or so issues out of 244 -
plus i have about 10 special issues -  and most of the issues i'm missing
are from its earliest days). i've catalogued most of the articles,
interviews and reviews from all of these issues in an ms excel spreadsheet
so that when i want to read information on a particular band or
music/recording related subject, i just open this file and run a "find"
search to see which issue to retrieve. ok, so i'm a little anally retentive...

today, i was looking for xtc articles to scan for the chalkhills site and i
came across about 7 such features. while briefly examining each article, i
made an astonishing discovery!

in issue # 75 (january 1985), under the record reviews section, is a review
of xtc's "the big express" album. naturally, it is a glowing appraisal of
its "invention, originality and wit".

so what, you might be asking yourself, has this got to do with the price of
onions? well, what is so startling is _who_ wrote this particular review.
there, at the bottom of the review is the writer's credit...

erica wexler!

i'm dead serious! what's even more incredible is her comment about the song
"seagulls screaming...". after describing it thus, "[it] rolls in like a
fog with a haunting repetition of mellotron, thundering drums and
unresolved tension", she concludes:

"so kiss her already!"

i'm left wondering, did anyone else know about this or am i the one who
discovered it first? i realize that it's really not that big of a deal in
the grand scheme of things, but i was totally blown away when i saw this!
in this day and age, it's rare to be the first to discover *anything* new
or previously unknown, so i won't be disappointed if someone else knew of
this before.

another thing crossed my mind; did erica know that the song was written
about her before she wrote this review? the "so kiss her already!" comment
would imply that she did, but still i wonder...

anyroad, look for the review, plus everything else i have on xtc from my
musician magazine collection, in the very near future on the chalkhills site.
as an aside, if anyone is looking for articles/interviews/reviews on a
particular recording artist, email me in private what you are looking for
and, if there is such an article, i'll scan and email it to you, just tell
me who or what you're looking for and what file format you'd like (ms word,
text, html, whatever). there are some of the best articles and interviews
of some of the most important and/or influential recording artists in those
200+ issues and i'd be more than happy to help anyone out. just give me
enough time to assemble it and it's yours.

also, if anyone is interested, i could send out the ms excel file for you
to look at yourself to see if there is something of interest to you. again,
let me know in private.

 peace & xtc,



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 08:44:53 -0500
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Hot Jazz


Mitch revealed:

> Oh, what does Andy say? He says that just about everyone who knows him
> has been told to listen to this cd called "Fascinating Rhythm! - Great
> Hits of the Twenties".


> I purchased "Fascinating Rhythm" about three weeks ago and I've
> listened to it about 20 times. The selections are wonderful, and the
> sound is amazing.

If you're interested in early swing and jazz -- as Mitch says, there's
a lot of great music from that era -- check out your local National
Public Radio station on Saturday nights, because they might be one of
the stations playing "Hot Jazz Saturday Night," a program done here in
DC and syndicated throughout the country.  For more info, check out:

As always, thanks for the update, Mitch. And welcome, Ed!



Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 09:19:00 -0800 (PST)
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Green Eggs and Spam

"Digitalmaster" <> writes:
>One comment to those of you who use the list for spaming purposes.  Since
>I joined this list, I have received about 10 spams a day.  This is getting
>old, so I am going to change my email on both the list and with my isp.
>If someone is interested in your product, they will search it out on yahoo
>like I do.  However, its a big turn off to get mail about how I can make a
>million dollars blah blah blah.  This is a great list, but unfortunately
>our email addresses are either being sold by a dishonest user, or sniffed
>out on the site by spammers.

It is certainly possible that someone has joined the list with the
express purpose of gleaning email addresses from the digests.  I can't
stop this.  However, I just took steps to remove email addresses from
digests displayed on the Chalkhills page.  If you surf to Chalkhills,
you will not be able to see the email addresses in the digests.  This
may slow down the spammers slightly.  Then again, it might be too
little, too late.

	-- John


Message-id: <>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 18:09:10 -0500
Subject: Little Express Again
From: (Joe Jarrett)

It's good to see other people expressing their appreciation for Peter and
June's work on the Little Express. In the old days it was the only method
of getting  current and accurate information about the band. They kept us
abreast of things like Andy's illness and the cancellation of the tours.
Another example of the service they provided was just after everyone heard
Mummer for the first time. Some people, including me, thought that the
"bye-bye" at the end Funk Pop a Roll was the sound of Andy riding off into
the sunset. It was through the LE that I learned they were already working
on what was to become The Big Express.

I thought just occurred to me while I was reading some of the posts of
people who were expressing their feeling about the demise of the Little
Express. The last time I posted I said their post office box address is
still available. But writing letters can be a pain, so if anyone wants to
send a message to Peter and June they can e-mail it to me and I'll get it
to them. They are not on line so you can't e-mail them directly. So if
this is useful, I'd be glad to help.


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 01:17:01 +0100
Subject: Re: Nonsuch on Vinyl
Message-Id: <>

> >A query: was "Nonsuch" ever released on vinyl?
> Indeed it was:

and there is one up for auction on eBay right now.
Scoop it up, coz these lovelies are getting rarer every day and my
beautiful factory sealed copy is not for sale

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


From: "Steve Pitts" <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 10:23:12 +0000
Subject: Spam and Eggs

In #6-29 Chris Vreeland mentioned:

> "That funny song about the guy who can't spell..." <

:)) I have to admit to being a coward on this one - my children have never
even heard that track (their mother has a _big_ thing about children
swearing, and in my view it is better that they hear the other ten tracks
than none of it)

Josh noted:

> Jake, my 4-year-old, digs the songs "No Thugs In Our House" and
especially "Senses Working Overtime" <

I find it intriguing to listen to which tracks the youngsters latch on to.
My eldest has just got into 'No Thugs', as I've been starting to play him
some of the earlier stuff ('but it doesn't sound like XTC, Daddy') whilst
doing my taxi service bit to and from various sporting activities. Up to
now he and his sisters tend to sing along to 'River Of Orchids', 'I'd Like
That', 'Greenman', 'Peter Pumpkinhead', 'Smartest Monkeys' and 'All You
Pretty Girls' more than any other tracks, and 'Nonsuch' and AV1 are
definitely their favourites

Digitalmaster moaned:

> This is a great list, but unfortunately our email addresses are either
being sold by a dishonest user, or sniffed out on the site by spammers <

Hmmm, this may be asking for trouble, but I have not had any problems with
spam and I've been subscribed from this address for nearly a year. Y
You may be pointing the finger at the wrong culprit, old son

Cheers, Steve


Message-ID: <802EE5D7277AD21188D10008C728D44801821E1B@TFSECMSG02>
From: "Smith, David" <>
Subject: Colin's Missing Muse . . ?
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 10:14:24 -0000

First posting - hope I'm doing it right!

Further to the "Colin's missing muse" theories, I think many people
are reading a little too much into this.  Looking back, Colin's
contributions have always tended towards the lighter, more "poppy"
side of the album and I think it's pretty obvious that Andy seems the
naturally inclined to sit and write "because that's what he does".

But so what? Like Jim in the last issue, I often take a while to "get"
Colin's tracks - but when I finally do the experience is akin to
tasting and enjoying a new food for the first time (after years of
gagging at the thought of snails, I had some in Portugal last year and
they were fantastic!).

Songs such as "Loving Memory of a Name" and, more recently "Bungalow",
were, for me, the archetypal "oh, here comes the track to skip" until
one day . . .

I think it's part of the appeal of Colin's writing that many of his
songs are slow-burners. I won't forget the moment I gave "Bungalow"
just one last try and was suddenly captivated by the simplicity of the
track, the crescendo of instruments and - in particular - that brass
band and male voice choir backing.

It reminded me of a track from many years ago by Peter Skellern called
"You're a Lady". This probably won't translate for the non-Brits out
there, but Peter Skellern is a quintessentially English
singer/songwriter, mostly known for writing songs for shows and, in
more recent years a move to his religious roots.

However, in the 70s he had a big hit with "You're a Lady", a song of
tongue-tied first love (for the want of a better description). It was
a nice enough song, but what stood it out from the crowd was
Skellern's trademark use of music from his Yorkshire roots - in
particular a colliery brass band and a male voice choir. In my view,
both elements lifted the song to another level of craft.

It was this sound that Colin "got" on Bungalow and suddenly the pieces
fit.  And I often find that this is what sets both Colin and Andy's
work apart from so much of the dross out there. Put in simple terms,
it's sheer musicality and an obvious love for their craft.

Let's worry about Colin losing his muse when it happens, not IF it

I wish I had a better closing line, but I've probably rambled enough
(no kidding!)

Glad to be here



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 13:09:21 EST
Subject: Little Express

There was nothing better than getting the latest copy of L.E. the mail ...
other than getting the latest XTC album.   I was very suprised when I first
got online that among all the XTC related sites, there wasn't an official
website for The Little Express.  But even after finding the Chalkhills site,
etc. I still got a thrill from receiving that little magazine in the mail.
It was special and it will be sorely missed.

Thanks Peter and June.



End of Chalkhills Digest #6-30

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