Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-66

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 66

                   Friday, 7 April 2000


                       UK promo CD
            The Karma doesn't shine, it glows
                      Re: Pet Sounds
                Sorry, I can't help it...
                  Re: Smith, Hell, etc.
                         Deja Vu
   Brian Wilson... he's not just for breakfast anymore
              Re: Even CDs can have spoilers
                 Garbo's Celluloid Heroes
                Re: Wasp + Star = Amazing
                    middle of the song
                    Please don't spoil
                    the butler did it
       He Said, "You Don't Understand What I Said"
                   Re: Rita Mitsouko...
                  Did You See His Name?
 very little in the way of things actually related to XTC


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Sometimes he's standing in the rain.


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 08:08:49 -0700
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: UK promo CD
Message-ID: <B9B4268C8F87D11195DC0000F840FABE12AF72AD@DUB-MSG-02>

Andy sent me a CD a couple of days ago, it arrived in Dublin today.

I've had only one chance to listen to the album and will reserve comment
until I've had a chance to really listen to it.

This is *not* Apple Venus 1 revisited nor is it Nonsvch part two...
..this is closer to 'Black Sea with a few years under our belts, older and

for the collectors among you (Hi Mark !) it is a 'real' CD (not a CD-R) with
a full colour label and cardboard sleeve. The cover is black (none more
black !!! geddit ?) with what looks like a coloured x-ray of an
apple....Andy drew a face in it "hope you like it" (as if !)

Does anyone (Mark ?) want me to scan this and put it online ? I don't know
if it's available to view for those who care. Let me know.

Peter, Dublin, Ireland - a label - some stuff (xtc included)


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 08:59:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <>
Subject: The Karma doesn't shine, it glows
Message-ID: <>

If I may refer to a portion of Jill's musings on Knights In Shining Karma-

<..Although I had possessed the album for several months at that
point, I think I truly heard the song for the first time that night.
It stood out from the rest as a thing of beauty, a few minutes
of sublime perfection.  It washed over me and I reveled in the

Yes, absolutely... Knights In Shining Karma is THE slow burn track on AV1.
No bells and whistles...just a quiet grace about it...It doesn't demand your
attention, it whispers softly in your ear, inviting you to discover its
subtle charms.  Ending the piece with an unanswered question fits the
melancholy mood of the song, and leaves you with a feeling of longing...
It's just so right!

Debora Brown

-Some of you Hillies may be interested in an upcoming All-Star Tribute to
Joni Mitchell.  It airs on TNT (telly) on April 16.  I'm not much for
tribute shows, but it is Joni...k.d. Lang and Richard Thompson are among the
artists slated to perform.---


Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 17:32:32 GMT
From: "Dominique Leone" <>
Subject: Re: Pet Sounds
Message-ID: <>

>A-and look at the word that introduces the long-awaited cadence!

This is pretty neat.  I bet it's news to Brian Wilson.  Maybe that's another
reason to believe he is a genius.

It's true, though.  You can always find out cool stuff like that when you
look at the really great music.  It does seem, however, that you usually
only find this kind of advanced harmony in classical music.  Maybe that's
why Brian Wilson isn't as 'cool' as, say, Bono or Beck.  I think his method
of writing music is closer to classical composition, with so much attention
to detail and timbre.  Not to mention form and tradition.  Of course, he
didn't actually notate any music, but then again, he didn't study under
Nadia Boulanger either.



Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 18:59:20 +0100
From: Lawson Dominic <>
Subject: Sorry, I can't help it...
Message-ID: <>


Yeah, but his view of objectivity really ****ing sucks......


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 14:16:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Joe Hartley <>
Subject: Re: Smith, Hell, etc.
Message-ID: <>

> You're thinking of the Patti Smith who married ex-Soft Boys bassist Richard
> Hell, with whom they formed the original, pre-Bono U2 and had an
> international hit with "Stop! in the Name of Love," produced by (Hey! XTC
> connection!) Elton John's drummer Gus Dudgeon. After Hell's death in 1992,
> the peripatetic Patti, daughter of early-television pioneer "Buffalo Bob"
> Smith, wrote several episodes of the Star Wars sequel, Babylon-5. She can be
> seen nowadays as the center square in the New Hollywood Squares, making
> scathing puns and reciting off-the-cuff free verse. She last used heroin in
> 1986, but since has been going "clean for Gene" (Simmons, her new paramour).

Omigod, this almost made my head explode.  Coming as it did right after
the brilliant analysis of "God Only Knows," this one paragraph of mis-
information is mind-boggling,

> Harrison "Go on--ask me another one!" Sherwood

I don't dare!

       Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant -
Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 19:59:16 +0100
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Deja Vu
Message-ID: <003501bf9ffa$4d74bdc0$8b4d01d5@default>

Diamond said:

"Nirvana - I saw no talent in this band... how could they be the #1 band of
the nineties? "

Ah, shucks, don't start me on that one again!

Re word play ...Apple Venus/Wasp Star.  People have been going on about the
Venus and Star connection and that's the second of the two words in the two
titles, fair enough...but what about the Wasp and Apple connection?  Is this
album the stinger that comes out of the apple to bite a few Virgin bums!
Let's hope so.


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 15:56:26 EDT
Subject: Brian Wilson... he's not just for breakfast anymore
Message-ID: <>

In regards to Mr. Harrison Sherwood's eloquent defense of Brian Wilson as
artist/ genius in Chalkhills 6-64. Thank you sir, I could not have said it
better myself.


Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 15:53:31 -0400
From: "Brian" <>
Subject: Re: Even CDs can have spoilers
Message-ID: <005b01bfa0ca$f4e74b60$1a0affd1@Brian>


>> As the
>>song goes into its middle eight Andy screams "IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE

>Gosh, thanks for ruining the surprise for the rest of us.<

I agree.
You people with the album already...
Shut the hell up, would ya?

As if it wasn't bad enough...

-Brian Matthews


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 20:05:21 +0100
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Garbo's Celluloid Heroes
Message-ID: <004201bf9ffb$2889f240$8b4d01d5@default>

I can't see it. Such a beautiful song, one that would be more appropriate
to play at a wedding than a suicide(as evidenced by the gorgeous boy's
choir treatment at Saphy's wedding in Absolutely Fabulous.) More
appropriate "suicide music"
Suicide Song- Loudon Wainwright III
The End Of The Rainbow- Richard Thompson
Suicide Solution- Ozzy Ozbourne
Anything by Joy Division or Nirvana
No Presents For Vivian- yours truly

Well there was a double A-side in the late 70's that I guess few have heard
of, but which was a laugh...

Won't You Come to My Funeral/Only Death is Fatal, by Garbo's Celluloid

Don't know who they were or what became of them, but it was quite good stuff
from the punk era.


Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 13:20:54 -0700
From: Kerry Chicoine <>
Subject: Re: Wasp + Star = Amazing
Message-ID: <>
Organization: American Computer Group

Just a few comments on the new xTc album!

I think it's fantastic! FANTASTIC! Andy's voice and backing
harmonies are wonderful, and very Macca-esque in places (ala AV1's
'I'd Like That').  There are so many choruses that just stick in
your head as if crazy-glued there! The overall tone of the LP is
upbeat, silly, goofy, yet optimistic.  There are quite a bit of
blues-based songs, which is very un-xTc in many ways. The
production is deliberately understated, yet still very ornate,
with touches of brass, strings and lots of electric guitar
everywhere and not a piano in sight. There are incredible layered
backing vocals throughout with many spine-tingling moments
scattered here and there, gemstones awaiting your ears.

I can see how one might find this album very simple and un-xTc,
but, put it this way: if this were a debut from a new band, you'd
be going absolutely crazy for them! xTc fans have such high
standards (we've been spoiled!) but I, personally, find this to be
a great, inspired collection of songs regardless of the simplicity
or production. Definitely my spring 2000 soundtrack.

The album opens with the fantastic Playground; a catchy, repeating
guitar riff wraps around Andy's voice, followed by an amazing
chorus. Tons of cool changes happening here. This gives me
goosebumps! I get a general late '60's buzz from this one.
Wonderfully layered backing vocals (as found throughout this
album). Man do these guys know how to open an album.

Stupidly Happy is the best goofy love song since Macca's Silly
Love Longs. Nothing more than a repeating riff, it gets under your
skin and builds, builds, builds! Playful, restrained bass, busting
loose in places. Love the descending guitar riff that comes in
halfway into the tune. Closes with descending 'doo doo doo' vocals
that are reminiscent of those that close AV1's Easter Theater.

In Another Life. A 'typical' Colin Moulding tune, thank you very
much. Opens with harmonica, and a bouncy bouncy feel. Clever
lyrics sung in that endearing english accent of his. Features a
cool bridge and a very nice arrangement complemented by a building
horn section. Tub-thumping drums! Very nice.

My Brown Guitar. One of my many fave tracks at this point. Great
non-traditional, non-droning arrangement. Damn, that chorus is
catchy in a '70's way! I love it. Kinda Beatle-y in an 'Octopus'
Garden' kind of way. Fantastic backing vocals and guitar stabs

Boarded Up. I call it Bored Up.  Another Colin song, evocative in
a '70's kind of way, semi-bluesy. The arrangement doesn't seem to
go anywhere, and it's very, very sparse in a John Entwistle way.
Is this where Dave would've worked some magic? Definitely the
least realized song on the album, IMHO, but so different from
everything else that it seems to fit perfectly. An inspired
decision at the very least.

I'm The Man Who Murdered Love.  Gotta love the psychedelic Hendrix
wah-wah opening! A *standout* track, extremely upbeat music with
kind of twisted lyrics. A simple arrangement with a 'Dear Madame
Barnum' type of rhythmic feel.  This is definitely a great choice
for a single. The chorus is sooooo hooky! Features a cool
mid-eastern minor key guitar solo/bridge. Dave who?

We're All Light. God, I love this song.  The lyrics are amazing,
the music is great, and I love the feelings these chords evoke in
me. A toe-tapper for certain. It's a real 'riffy' song, based on a
repeating guitar/banjo-y part that builds accordingly as the song
progresses. Some neat guitar parts interwoven in places and even a
theramin! Again, those dissonant, spine-tingling trademark vocal
harmonies that I cherish in my very soul.

Standing in for Joe. Vintage upbeat Moody Blues-y feel (sort of),
and a *very* cool Beatle-esqe arrangement! Hooray for Colin, I
love this song! This is his best since 'King for a Day', IMHO.
Very traditional pop for purists.

Wounded Horse. God, does this remind me of White Album-era
Beatles.  Again, a blues-based motif with a vintage late 60's
production vibe.  Provocative lyrics, too. This is so *very* John
Lennon in much the same way the Dukes of Stratosphear's
Collideascope is. This is the most un-xTc of the songs presented
here, at least musically. Funny, I hated this on the demo, but I
love this version.

You and the Clouds.  Another 'We're All Light' except more
Sting-y. I could definitely hear this on the radio if radio still
played actual music. Fantastically whimsical lyrics based on
another simple repeating, rhythmic riff coupled with a great hook
of a chorus. There are bluesy elements to the vocals as well. Cool
Andy guitar solo! Closes with supercool vocal harmonies, very
Brian Wilson-esque.

Church of Women.  An amazing song that starts out with the lyric
'A lie for a lie, but a truth for the truth'. Fantastic lyrics and
great guitar-heavy production. This could've fit nicely on AV1,
IMHO. I love the lackadaisical pace of this song. Another vocal
performance to die for (interlocking parts galore) and lyrics that
every he-man should be forced to digest. Vintage Andy. One beef: I
absolutely freaking adored the guitar solo on the demo; that solo
was so amazing it moved me to tears.  Repeatedly. This almost-solo
is simpler, and nearly as effective.

The Wheel and the Maypole. Oh my jesus. Amazing. This is the most
xTc-like song of the bunch; it, too, would've fit very nicely on
AV1. This song is composed of two very different sections. I like
the whole thing, but the end of the second section is
spine-chilling, my favorite moment of the album.  The transition
from the first part to the second is absolutely perfect. The
fade-out guitars are just incredible. Note: the aggressive snare
fill near the end officially marks the place where my mind loses
it and I explode into absolute infinity as this incredibly
timeless music works its way effortlessly through every fiber of
my soul. I actually get tears from this. True ecstasy. Man, do
these guys know how to close an album.

In summary, Wasp Star a wonderful, mature-yet-youthful pop
recording. Granted, it's not 'typical' xTc, but what the hell is?
There's no comparing this to anything they've previously recorded
and it wouldn't be fair to do so. I, for one, am glad that they
released these songs separately from those on AV1. They could be
two totally different bands in a sense. This is *so* worth the
wait. Get it, get it, get it, get it, get it.

Kerry Kompost

NP: Wasp Star MP3's (Note: While noting the potential legal issues
surrounding Napster, I couldn't resist downloading Wasp Star in
its entirety. However, I fully intend to purchase the CD as soon
as it's available!)


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 16:35:23 EDT
Subject: middle of the song
Message-ID: <>

 > As the
 > song goes into its middle eight Andy screams "IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE

 Gosh, thanks for ruining the surprise for the rest of us.

 -- Francis >>

 YES... this is a downside to getting chalkhills. You want inside stuff, you
may get too much of it.  But I bet now I'll get goosebumps the first time I
hear it.    eddie

 P S ; could the choice of this song as single be trouble for XTC?  This was
one of the Andy demos from way back in the Virgin years. With the recent
demo/warbles/virgin S.N.A.F.U.,might virgin see it as xtc using one of
"their" songs?
Weren't we told they gave rights of their back catalogue to virgin, including
the stuff they didn't use?    again,eddie


Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 12:22:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: Please don't spoil
Message-ID: <>

I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, but for those who have
gotten their copies of Wasp Star already NOT spoil it for us.  Can't
you wait for the reviewing until the actual release date?  It's all
I'm asking?  I don't want it ruined before I get it.  My fingers are
getting tired from hitting the scroll button.  Or if you are going to
spoil put the word "SPOILERS" in your subject line, then I'll know to
avoid the post.  Am I in the minority here?


"Listening to "Vanishing Girl" right now. :)

Molly's Pages


Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 15:45:51 CDT
From: "Megan Heller" <>
Subject: the butler did it
Message-ID: <>

Francis laments the spoiling of Wasp Star surprises--
>Gosh, thanks for ruining the surprise for the rest of us.

um, you know, when you complain about spoilers, it's, um, a good idea
NOT to quote said spoiler.  (Yeah, I'd missed that one before.  Not
that it's *that* big a deal.  Just a suggestion.)

No, I do not have the finished Wasp Star yet.  I have the demos, but
I'm leaving them alone for now.  I'm in no huge rush to get it before
May-- I really want it, mind you, but I'm kind of looking forward to
the Christmas-morning feeling I had with AV1.  I wish people wouldn't
go into great detail over the album, of course, because I don't want
it spoiled but, well, it's an XTC list.  It would be ridiculous if
everyone were polite and didn't post on it.  If everyone planned their
actions so as to avoid treading on my toes, well....... okay, sorry,
slipped into a beautiful dream there.  But it's not going to happen.
So I scroll past the epics and back to more lists of cd player
listings, sacred hamburger meat, and what Harrison ate for
breakfast. (Although I'm thinking of starting a mailing list based
around Harrison's eating habits.  I figure between meals we could talk
about XTC.)

back to shredding 1997 W-2 forms.



Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 13:54:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al LaCarte <>
Subject: He Said, "You Don't Understand What I Said"
Message-ID: <>


Harrison said:

>Even the Beatles were not in this league
>in 1966.

I said, "No no no, you're wrong!"



Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 16:07:07 -0600
From: William Loring <>
Subject: Re: Rita Mitsouko...
Message-ID: <>

Fredo fat Bassman:

Ouch! I committed a major faux pas, no? Like asking "Which one's Pink
Floyd?" Sorry! I hadn't realized that the name was the band, and not the
vocalist! I used to work at a TV station that also owned two radio stations.
On occasion they would make available all the records that there was no
chance in hell that they'd ever play on the air. This is a top-40 pop
station, and they aren't known for taking risks. I picked up this LP, and
numerous others over a few years, purely by chance. I just grabbed stuff
with interesting cover art.

Anyway, the album I have is "The No Comprendo" and I remember liking it
quite a bit, although I haven't heard it in many years. All of my vinyl LP's
are stored away in the basement. Someday, I'll get them all back out.

I hope you're enjoying your advance copy of Wasp Star! I'm very jealous of
all you lucky ones...



Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 18:33:14 EDT
Subject: Did You See His Name?
Message-ID: <>


What's all this talk about Kinks?
Who or what are they?

Ahem! :-)


Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 12:38:24 -1000
From: "Jim Smart" <>
Subject: very little in the way of things actually related to XTC
Message-ID: <>
Organization: 3Tripper

As usual, Mr. Sherwood has written a witty and informative post. I
like the chord by chord analysis. I might also point out that the
verse's progression is used at the "lead" (all vocals) which follows
the brilliant instrumental break after the second chorus. EXCEPT:
Brian moves the whole amazing progression up a fourth, does the chorus
in that key, and then very nicely slips back into the original key
when the second verse is repeated. Double wow. At his most inspired
H.S.  wrote:

>Wilson's amazing talents were evident long before Pet Sounds, and if
>you analyze even the "dumb surf music" that most people associate with the
>Beach Boys you'll find chord changes and harmonic settings that twist the
>usual Brill Building/Spector formulas of the time into these amazing,
>intricate, glowing pretzels.

Which reminds me that Phil Spector is the guy whose high esteem I just
don't get.  What's the big deal here? He seems a strange and
unpleasant character, and his work is crap. ("Captain! Photon torpedos
from Quadrant Lovin' Feeling! Shall we put up the shields??") And the
awful work he did with the Beatles and the ex Beatles (All Things Must
Pass is great, but could have been 12 times better with George Martin,
or even my grandmother at the helm). Brian Wilson worships Phil.  Why?
Wait, don't answer that. I think we've all had our fill of Phils here
for awhile.

and Molly wrote: (PLEASE NO ANTI-WEBER COMMENTS), is there an
anti-Weber digest I could join? There's a topic I could really get
into!...ooops, sorry Molly.

Thanks Toby for mentioning my band...I really appreciate that....the
new album is not quite done....

xtc content:

                ~   ANDY PARTRIDGE, MELODY MAKER 18.8.79

Jim "shields up" Smart


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-66

Go back to the previous page.