Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-70

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 70

                   Sunday, 9 April 2000


         we hold these truths to be self-evident
                    Say NO to Napster
    formal introduction in the hopes of making friends
     if the devil walks up with his business card out
                       A Prediction
              Officer Blue - idle questions
                    Black River Falls
                       Vai bother?
                    Napped In The Bud
                   That Sinking Feeling
                canadian wasp star release
        Wasp Star Rumbles, Mp3's and other piffle
                 Rumble & Bone Buffet :)
         Curiosity is eating away at this cat...
                 partner's musical tastes
                         Get Bach


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Has there been a thief in your storehouse?


Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 11:00:41 -0500
From: RN van Vliet <>
Subject: we hold these truths to be self-evident
Message-ID: <>

In #6-66, Al LaCarte wrote:

> All:
> Harrison said:
> >Even the Beatles were not in this league
> >in 1966.
> I said, "No no no, you're wrong!"
> Al


I think that the attempt to tease out exactly who influenced whom in the
60s will always be futile. It was such a loamy, rich, fecund era in pop
music, with so many cross-fertilizing innovations, everyone leaving
lovely looped contrails in everyone else's skies. It is, for example,
astonishing to think that you could parallel park the entire span of
Beatles releases, from Please Please Me to Let It Be, between Nonsuch
and Apple Venus. Amazing.

And way back in Chalkhills 6-64 (seems like years ago, but no, it was
just last Tuesday...) Jim Smart wrote:

> . . . [Catherine's Wheel] is a word for a
> spinning wheel type of....*Firework* Now, it is possible to postulate
> that Andy wanted to "sort of" name Apple Venus after a lyric from
> Nonsuch by using the term Firework instead of Catherine's Wheel, in
> the same way Wasp Star is another name for Venus.

Stop me if you've heard this one, but "firework" would have alluded to
three (count em) prior songs: All of a Sudden, The Loving, and (please
note) My Bird Performs.



Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 11:40:18 EDT
Subject: Huurrummphhh!
Message-ID: <>

 Dont get your panties in a bunch about people reviewing Wasp Star. Get
excited!!!  Its a great,great album. Its like no other album of theirs.
Unlike past albums where I would have to listen many times to like certain
songs, within three listens I was hooked by every one.
  Wes, THANKS for letting us know what that line was. I couldnt figure it
out. God, thats great.
 BTW, Headphones are a MUST on this one. Theres a lot going on.
           Play nice, Roger
 " Dont you know,about a zillion years ago, some star sneezed , now they're
paging you in reception"


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 08:33:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: Say NO to Napster
Message-ID: <>

I think that the idiots who use Napster should have
their computers taken away, and they should be fined
for the money they've stolen from the record
companies, artists and whomever.  I think you are all
Boy, that sounded very hypacritical of me to say that,
since I tape stuff off TV and CD/Cassette.  I think we
all are hypacritical when we say "Oh you're thieves
when you use Napster, because you're stealing.",
because we ALL videotape stuff offf TV and we ALL tape
stuff off of radio/CD/audio cassette.  So we should
bow our heads down in shame for what we are doing.
But this whole topic of taping songs/albums can get
into a dirty debate, so let's keep it clean. :)

Molly, who will be taking a copyright law class in
three weeks


Molly's Pages


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 11:39:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: "brenan w. campbell" <>
Subject: formal introduction in the hopes of making friends
Message-ID: <>


        My name is Brenan Campbell, and after several months
of leisurely reading your mailing list, I have decided to
join in your conversations. I love XTC extremely. So much so,
that I have received quite a bit of ridicule about the
massive section of my CD rack dedicated to all of their
albums, the BBC boxed set, and a couple of imports. I am 17
glorious years of age and I live in the midst of Indiana. I
am into acting, I am the leader of a comedy troupe and I am
three weeks away from directing my first school-sponsered
play. Just in case you're curious, I am also into They Might
Be Giants, Ben Folds Five, Moxy Fruvous, Cibo Matto, Soul
Coughing (hehe, I talked to Doughty the day I after they
broke up!), and many many many many others. Anyway, I'm not
really expecting any responses and I'm more likely to recieve
people ranting about how annoying it was that I did this. But
anyway, when you see me posting you at least sort of know who
I am.


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 09:05:47 -1000
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: if the devil walks up with his business card out
Message-ID: <>

Stars Del Wasp:

I never thought so many ethical issues would come up over rock and roll
album.  But Wasp Star isn't just an album, it's the manifestation of years
of hard work by the members of XTC. Yes, it's intellectual property. And
they haven't been paid a penny yet for all the hard work that went into
We're All Light and Playground and the rest. So there's clearly some issues
of fairness, right and wrong, and compensation, and we all must make our
choices. As I said before, I'll be buying several legal copies on the day
it is released. I want them to be well compensated for this work. I'm also
optimistic that there'll be radio hits and much praise for Andy's guitar

It was simpler before, like when I heard the Mayor of Simpleton on the radio
several times and decided to buy the album, and was delighted. There were no
ethical issues. But now we have Chalkhills, where intelligent people come to
talk about the things I like to talk about. There's no one in my "real" life
that would care to explain what a Catherine Wheel is, or whether the horn on
Church of Women belongs there (it's growing on me), or at which chord change
on God Only Knows we should bow down to Brian Wilson, or which drummer best
suits XTC, or the rest of it.

So now, some star sneezed, someone stirred the sky at night, and I opened my
mail box to find a CD of Wasp Star. I became a "have" as opposed to a "have
not". In a month and a half, I believe most of us will buy at least one copy
of Wasp Star, and these ethical question will be moot. But we will have to
live with the choices we made.

I felt guilty when I first received a tape of the demos for AV 1 and 2.
Would Andy and Colin want me to listen to this? But I couldn't help myself,
of course. Should I make copies of it for others? I never did, but is it
wrong or right? Heck, I even feel guilty listening to the John Lennon boxed
set I paid full price for, because it contains all sorts of demos and
unguarded moments that I'm quite sure John did not intend for people to get
their hands on.

It was partly this sort of guilt that caused me to buy Homespun, and I'm
very glad I did.

The circles of Wasp Star Hell (for those lucky enough to "have" a CD of

1. listening to it.....well, this one seems pretty tame. How could it hurt?
I'm probably the only person in the whole state of Hawaii who is playing
this album right now, unless a few radio guys got one. It's a little warm.

2. writing about it on the digest....hmmmm....some people enjoyed hearing
about it, while others are furious that their surprise is being ruined. I
don't want to spoil anyone's experience with this album. But I'm just dying
to talk about it, and as I said, there's no one in my "real" life who gives
a shit about it. So, I'll try to keep it off digest....e mail me privately
to weigh the pros and pros of the album. I'm definitely noticing a little
heat in the air.

Here we get to the sticky bit in ethics.  "It doesn't matter if I do or
don't, because if I don't, someone else surely will." Perhaps the
philosophers in the group can offer some guidance here.

This is as far down into the heat I plan to go.

3. Making a copy of the album for someone else. Here's where it gets
tricky.  New technology makes all sorts of things possible, and raises new
questions.  It's like a secret. "I'll tell you if you promise not to tell
anyone else"...and then that person tells two people, as long as they
promise not to tell... But if a kind soul hadn't stooped to #3, I would be
a "have not", so obviously I can't damn it. But I know that it's understood
that I won't descend deeper than #2 into the Roasting Room. Which is not to
say I haven't been tempted....when nice chalkies write to me and explain
what a Catherine Wheel is, or when they have something I would love to
trade for, like that delicious smelling Crowded House record (yes, a CD is
a record) Afterglow.

4. Making MP3s of the songs and putting them up onto the net. The problem
is that the further you descend, the more people get their hands on the
thing, and who knows how low they will go? Things are getting pretty
warm. Is that charred hair I smell?

5. Selling the disc on eBay. This is really low. No one has paid for their
copy at this point. Selling it is wrong. Crackle crackle. It's not the heat
that'll get you, it's the humidity (and the smoke).

6. Making lots of copies and selling them on eBay (or otherwhere).
Spontaneous combustion!

Well, we all have to make our choices and live with them. "Everyone else is
doing it" isn't a good enough reason to do anything.

And as Drew pointed out, how can the "haves" tell the "have nots" what to

The "have nots" have choices too, from whether or not to read the "spoiler"
posts to battling Napster (or whatever) to begging a friend for a copy. To
be a "have" or not to be.

Jim "tear it to confetti" Smart


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 19:20:15 +0100
Subject: XTC
Message-ID: <>

I am desperate to hear from MARK FISHER.I have not heard from him
since 1987.Also any XTC fans like myself.


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 12:53:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al LaCarte <>
Subject: A Prediction
Message-ID: <>


I predict that "Wasp Star" will become the biggest
selling album for XTC to date.

Apologies to those who have not yet heard it.  You



Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 17:00:45 EDT
Subject: Officer Blue - idle questions
Message-ID: <>

Hey Chalkers--

Whilst we wait, I have a silly question brought on by listening to Rag &
Bone and The Smiths in short succession. What's up with Officer Blue? Is he
some Postman Pat (and his black-and-white cat) type character? Or what?

The bit about "Really love the things you do - even when I was just eight
years old (eight years old)" always makes me think of that Smiths song
where Moz laments "He was a policeman when he was thirteen. And somehow
that really impressed me. And it's written all over my face."

But since I never got that french trombone vibe from Colin, I wondered if
there was some other explanation. Like maybe he just always wanted to be a
cop. Other insights??

--Melissa "now I'll be singing that Postman Pat song all day" Reaves

PS Any news on promotional activities for WS: AVV2? Enquiring minds want to


Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 01:24:11 +0200
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Subject: Black River Falls
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Somebody recently asked if the Cathal Coughal album featuring
Dave Gregory on most of the tracks was any good. Well, Dave
himself says it's probably the best work he's ever done outside of
XTC. I think that should settle it...

Cathal Coughal: Black River Falls
Cooking Vinyl COOKCD 126

If you have any difficulty finding it, surf to the online store at

Mark Strijbos


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 15:54:43 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: Vai bother?
Message-ID: <>

In 6-68, Mike Myers said:
		I just had a discussion with a fellow musician the other day
who told me that Jimi Hendrix was in no way as good as present-day
guitarists such as Steve Vai.  I decided after a while that it was no use
arguing with him because for him, that is a truth that I couldn't influence.
He couldn't understand that without Jimi Hendrix the chain of guitarists
that extends to Vai would be different and therefore Vai's sound and
accomplishments would be different.  Believe me, if you heard what most lead
guitarists were playing in 1966, your head would explode when you heard Jimi
Hendrix for the first time; I know mine did (and this is no slam on Clapton
or Jeff Beck, who were also doing some great stuff at that time; it's just
that they were not reaching as far out there as Jimi was).

And also, non-musicians can still get a great deal more enjoyment from a
Hendrix album (featuring actual songs to be enjoyed - with catchy-type words
yet! - and recognizable-to-the-layperson textural trademarks of the Hendrix
guitar sound) than from a technique-wanker like Vai or Satriani
(deedly-deedly waaahh, endlessly and uninterestingly unless you happen to be
a virtuosity-obsessed guitar freak yourself). I had a friend at work a while
back, we liked quite a bit of the same stuff, at least as far as newer
things went (TMBG, Stereolab, etc.), but not when it came to what we'd
listened to when younger: I'd been into the Beatles, he'd hated them, didn't
like their poppy pussy image; he'd been quite into prog, I was totally
driven away by jam & soloing wankery and high-pitched pseudo-operatic
caterwauling. I remember him putting on a Vai album one time and being
surprised when I said that I'd rather have a root canal than sit through it.
I don't know, I just don't see how it's interesting or enjoyable, unless
you're a guitarist using it as a training tool or something...

Now, I suppose I'll try to lay off the rants slagging technical jam-wankery
before I get someone really mad...

XTC content: They've never made the mistake of thinking that a great guitar
solo can be made twice as good by making it twice as long.

Doo-do-do-do-doot, ("Stupidly Happy" riff)

Ed K.


Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 01:24:11 +0200
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Subject: Napped In The Bud
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Harrison Sherwood remarked:

> But I have to insist that announcing an unreleased
> album's availability on Napster is far, far over that line, and any
> future "announcements" of this sort should be summarily deleted before
> publication.
i second this motion.

And the whippersnapper who did it should be hanged, quartered and
burnt at the stake until dead - that'll teach him !

yours in xtc,

Mark S. @ the Little Lighthouse


Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 01:24:11 +0200
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Subject: That Sinking Feeling
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Kevin Diamond said this about  Wait Til Your Boat Goes Down:
> favorite song of his? I mean, I realize that this came out before
> English Settlement, but I consider this song to be one of his absolute
> WORST songs ever...
No way!
Great lyrics and a smashing tune: what more do you want?
But it's much too subtle for a single and should never have been
released as such but as an outstanding album track instead.

Finally, Harry pointed out that:

> Mark, I believe the reference to The Faces meant the Rod Stewart/Ron
> Wood led band they became after Steve Marriott left.
i think you are absolutely right and i completely missed it.

And Stevie (hi there!) said:

to be honest: yes

yours in xtc,

Mark S. @ the Little Lighthouse


Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 00:56:30 -0400
From: David Oh <>
Subject: canadian wasp star release
Message-ID: <>

according to hmv at 333 yonge street in toronto, "wasp star/av2" is
tentatively scheduled to be released in canada on tuesday, may 23rd.

however, they did say it was based on the u.s. release date and could take
as much as 2 weeks more to appear in canadian stores. homespun was released
one week later in canada than it was in the states.

i will post more info when i have it.

 peace & xtc,



Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 21:46:27 EDT
Subject: Wasp Star Rumbles, Mp3's and other piffle
Message-ID: <>

Hey Chalkies....

   As far as the various discussions regarding Wasp Star:
   I don't mind the descriptions at all because ....I can't hear 'em. So
telling me about a song doesn't give away any surprises because email has no
actual pitch to it; so bring it on, it only makes me look forward even more
to the albums release.
   As to Napster; uh-uh .... I just read a piece in Rolling Stone about it,
and as a struggling songwriter I'd be pissed if someone could download the
whole album for free. I don't mind Mp3's in general; I have several up on to listen to and download, with a link to my website with an
invitation to buy the whole CD if you like what I do. I think that Mp3's are
a great thing for promotion, and IF Andy and Colin chose to put a track up on
Riffage or to check out, I'd be there. But not without the artists
permission, nosirreeebob.
  So to while away the days before WS dominates my listening for at least a
month, I will entertain myself with Supergrass (what took the US release so
long....yikes what a record), various and sundry Mophine CD's, Eels, Deathray
(local heros out on April 25 on Capricorn), Jackpot (local indie band ....the
Replacements in Grateful Dead drag but really drunk instead of stoned), and
just about any XTC that falls into my hands in the coming weeks.
  For the record, the Mp3's are at ... any comments
should be emailed to me privately.
  Thank you for your kind attention ....


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 19:15:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Molly Fanton <>
Subject: Rumble & Bone Buffet :)
Message-ID: <>

Brian wrote:
<<I ask of everyone - SHUT UP about the new album
until it's released.>>

I very highly doubt the people who have already got
Wasp Star will shut up.  They don't have any
consideration for us folk who don't have it.  They're
too excited to notice how very rude it is to spout out
Nobody has listened to our please, they just bitch
about us bitching about it.  They don't give a flying
f*ck for what we think.  Yes, we can scroll down, but
that gets real tiresome.  So again people who have
gotten Wasp Star either from that rip off Napster or
by getting a promo copy.  SHUT THE HELL UP UNTIL THE
ALBUMS RELEASE!!!!!  Thank you for that.
Also, I have to be a bit apologetic for my little
bitchy rant I had about the listening party.  I was
just caught off guard when a certain person told me
they did it already.  I didn't really like that, but
hey we can do it again when the whole listen party
thing is done.  I feel so embarrassed for reacting the
way I did.  I do that, I get upset, then I start
bitching and then I regret ever writing it.  I just
let my emotions take over.
So, with that said, this coming Wednesday, April 12 at
10pm EST I will be doing Skylarking (if anybody shows
up, I don't blame you guys if you don't show up.  With
the way I acted and all.).  If you do want to come
just go to:
 I hope someone shows up.  We can do The Dukes at the
end.  I was thinking on doing a little vote to see who
the top three XTC albums were and listen to them
again, but we can wait until Wasp Star comes out.
I'll definitely do a Wasp Star listening party.



Molly's Pages


Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 23:17:20 -0400
From: "Cheryl" <>
Subject: Curiosity is eating away at this cat...
Message-ID: <001101bfa1d2$3458c460$>

Hiya everyone,

>"Carl" <>
>  Wasp Star is terrible. This album is NOT xtc.
Oh Carl, Carl, Carl.  I accept your opinion but perhaps you need time to let
it grow on you.  What were you expecting?  How did you imagine Wasp Star to

Of those who have legitimate copies, what is the overall feel of the album?
Is it more jangly guitar music?  Does it still follow the original plan of
the double album?  Be non-specific, if anyone bothers to answer.  Curiosity
is getting to me.  I know others are asking you to keep mum, but
I_just_gotta_ KNOW!

I was very impressed with Colin's offerings on AV1 and wonder if his newer
songs are as impressive?  On AV1 his songs were very nostalgic sounding,
does this still hold true on Wasp Star?

I don't agree with downloading the album from this Napster site.  That's
like opening your presents a week before Christmas and then saying you'll
buy and wrap them again.  I just wonder when it comes down to it, how many
will actually buy the album?  This just reeks of cheating to me.

"Benjamin Adams" <> asked:
>First, to get this off on an XTC-related topic -- heh! -- I'm just
>how many folks here prefer AV1 or Homespun?  I largely prefer the versions
>of the Andy songs on Homespun myself.  They seem to have a bit more
>immediacy, while the orchestrated AV1 versions are almost too antiseptic.
I liked a few of the extras added on Homespun that weren't available when
the demos were circulating.  My guilty pleasure is the demos themselves on
Sony tape.  There is a raw, more...god what is the word...personal feel to
it that isn't on the Homespun disc.  I guess there is still that excitement
attached to the demos from when I first received them.  It was so amazing
hearing something NEW and still in it's infancy.  Through the hiss of the
tape it was as if I was eavesdropping on Andy as he played.  I relish those
Dom, the images you invoke in my head.....You are ruining my INNOCENCE!
Scarred me for life.
My poor virgin eyes...  ;)

Molly Fanton <>
>I just got an e-mail telling me that some of you did the listening
>party last night WITHOUT ME.  Why?  Couldn't you wait until next week?
How were they to know you just forgot?  These people took the time to be
online for this listening party.  Isn't it fair they at least got something
out of it for their effort?

Wes says:
>NOW...a little fictional drama from the Long household:
Again...innocence lost on the Chalkhills list.  Oh my eyes!

"Drew MacDonald" <>
>Of course, anyone who free-downloads any unauthorized copyrighted material
>without later purchasing the material is certainly guilty of theft and
>deserving of Sherwood's righteous ire.
I don't think it's Harrison's wrath these people should be wary of...  What
about XTC themselves?  What a pisser it must be to think you may finally be
getting ahead and hey! no album sales (okay that's a bit dramatic..)because
everyone can get the fucking thing for free.
>See that shiny apple over there? You know, on the grocers sidewalk
>display? Want it? Just grab it and put it under your coat.
>Have I done wrong by pointing to the apple? All I've done is shown
>you, it's up to you to pocket it or not.
This is a  weak attempt to rationalize stealing.  Tempting someone in the
manner you described is baiting  and it isn't done out of the goodness of
one's heart.

Good gosh!  The digests are flying like crazy!  It hasn't been this active
since '96/'97!

May is sure taking a looooooooong time to get here.  What time is it again?
Is it May it May now? :)

Take care everyone.



Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 21:54:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: partner's musical tastes
Message-ID: <>

I've been reading these posts about people's paerners,
dates, etc. and how it's important to have similar
musical tastes.

Dunno about that. My partner of 6 years and I have
pretty dissimilar tastes in music, and we get along
fine. When I met him, he listened mainly to classical
music, show tunes, and a little salsa. I like
classical just fine, but have other tastes as well.
Not him! or at least not then. Six years with me, and
lately he's into Talking Heads, Los Lobos, Suzanne
Vega, jazz (which he had no tolerance for when we
met), and a bunch of other non-classical stuff. He
likes AV1 too, but doesn't play it often. In return, I
discovered a love of 20th century classical music and
an appreciation of Sondheim I never knew I had.
So, it is sometimes good that you have different
tastes fom your partner. I think it's best to have
some common intersts, and others not at all in common.
Keeps things from being too smooth or too rough.
Now, If I could only get him to start listening to
Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits!


Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 10:06:57 -0500
From: "Joe Funk" <>
Subject: Get Bach
Message-ID: <000001bfa237$77701b80$7721fea9@jomama68>


Tyler recommened the following book to Kevin:

>I reccomend (sp)
>Godel, Escher, Bach
>by Douglas R.Hofstadter.

Excellent choice!  The Eternal Golden Triangle. I read this book about 20
years ago in my first attempt at college..  There were a lot of other things
going on at the time (I was 19!), so it took me about 6 months to read..  It
was a real mind opener.  To put it succinctly, it is a comparison/contrast
of these 3 great minds;  Godel: Mathemetician, M.C. Escher:Artist,  J.S.
Bach:Composer. < (Was that too condescending?). Anyway, without going into
too much detail, it goes into varying depths of the mathematical principles
used in each man's craft.  Great Stuff!  Listening to Bach's " A Musical
Offering ", with it's 'endlessly rising canon' will never be the same after
reading this book...

Well... Napster Carl, I like your idea.. not as a replacement for Wasp Star
- but just a regular release:

>          Which brings me to my next topic:
>                         My own Personal 'Wasp Star'. Since I am one of the
>'dissapointed' here, I've come up with a song list I'd DIE to see as an XTC

                          1.Prince Of Orange
                          2.Blue Beret
                          4.It's Snowing Angels
                          5.Gangway Electric Guitars
                          6.Ship Trapped In Ice
                          7.Down A Peg
                          8.Living In A Haunted Heart
                          9.When We Get To England
                         10.My Train Is Coming
>                         12.Disque Bleu

I think # 11 could be "Everything" from "Bull".  Probably Andy's most
beautiful song to never make an album.  Period....

Waiting impatiently for my copy of Wasp Star,

Joe 'Maj7th-Flat5th' Funk
"Ah, now then, did you write this the shed?""


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-70

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