Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-90

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 90

                 Thursday, 27 April 2000


            disturbing thought about "wanking"
                 Faulty Towers of London
             New Sugarplastic cd coming soon
                      The Bum's Rush
               Evil Virgin and Good Virgin
                     Fanboy Blindness
                Re: Apple Venus double LP
                  WS Available Anywhere?
                  Geddy, or is it Getty?
         How to make enemies and aggravate people
                       Season Cycle
                  Random Responses Redux
                     Digital Bastard
                    Stop That Thread!
          'Life' ain't all it's cracked up to be
              Re: Mad ramblings on old posts


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

Someone leans in my direction.


Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 20:08:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: "brenan w. campbell" <>
Subject: disturbing thought about "wanking"
Message-ID: <>

	Hello chalkers,

		So if Andy said that "My Love Explodes" by the Dukes
is about having a really awesome orgasm, then what does that say about
the title of their dub mix compilation: "XTC Explode Together." Makes
you wonder, eh?

			love and affection,
				brenan w. campbell


Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 22:02:19 EDT
Subject: Faulty Towers of London
Message-ID: <>

John Keel spake thusly:
a few cuts on "Skylarking" are really great


Then said:
And while we're on the subject of great albums, uh . . . people keep posting
about how great the new Elliott Smith CD is and, well, I don't hear it. He
makes me sleepy, but maybe I should try again.


David Smith said that there's usually a track on each XTC album that he skips
over, then lists Pink Thing as one of them.

_(ughghg, hack, gag)_CAN'T BREATHE_(hack, cough)_MUST_GET_AIR.



Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 01:56:41 -0700
From: Herne <>
Subject: New Sugarplastic cd coming soon
Message-ID: <>

FYI for Sugarplastic fans.      Word from the band via the Spastic
Lughter mailing list is that a new album entitled "Resin" I believe will
be self released very soon.  Info forthcoming.  Also be on the lookout
for a




Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 01:53:35 -0700
From: Herne <>
Subject: The Bum's Rush
Message-ID: <>

Now I know it's easy to target RUSH but you know I got a little spot in
my heart for some of their stuff in sort of a 1979 thru 1981 classic
rock/7th grade/WAAF Worscester/WBCN Boston kind of way.

For lack of a better expression "Working Man" kicks ass!!!!



"The words of the prophets are written on the studio walls...CONCERT


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 12:05:52 +0200
From: Martin Herles <>
Subject: Evil Virgin and Good Virgin
Message-ID: <>

lately there's been some self-flagellation by chalkers buying at Virgin
Megastore and some astonishment why Andy & Colin would do their signings
there. The solution is: Virgin ain't just Virgin. The evil Virgin Records
was sold by Mr., sorry, Sir Branson to Thorn EMI in 1992 (when the ship
really got trapped in the ice...). True, the boys had plenty of trouble
before that time, but I s'ppose that was to a large part a matter of the
executives there, not so much the owners. Virgin Megastores, on the other
hand, are still  owned by Branson (25%) and WHSmith (75%) (via a company
called Virgin Retail UK). Outside the UK there might also be some
franchising involved. So you see, names can be misleading and you can all
stop feeling bad now...

Dr.Martin Herles
Vienna University of Economics
English Department


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 06:44:09 -0500
From: Roger Carvey <>
Subject: Fanboy Blindness
Message-ID: <>

From: Drew MacDonald (quote):
"People of conscience like us, who will buy the Wasp Star CD when it
comes out and for whom the downloads are promotional previews, nothing
more-- are probably in the minority of Napster subscribers. There is a
generation of kids growing up thinking that they should be able to
obtain art without ever compensating the artist, and I just can't go
along with that. Maybe it's an age thing."

Not picking on Drew, simply using one of his paragraphs to illustrate a
current phenomenon, which is:

A few people on this list, and many internet users, seem to
intentionally forget that there was no permission granted by the
creators and owners of "Wasp Star" (as one example) to the individual(s)
who ripped the CD to MP3 format and uploaded it to NAPSTER, a website
that was possibly organized for the free distribution of copyrighted
material (infringement), yet its owners hide behind the premise of a
"user watchdog" policy.  As far as any of us know, Wasp Star was NOT
placed there as a "promotional preview," which would imply that the
owners of the work intended that use and approved its online
distribution.  Sweet Jesus, must we all suffer from Fanboy Blindness!?!

As Tyler wrote, in reference to the NAPSTER debate: Yawn.  "Yawn,"

I sure hope that pirated music, at this volume, at this worldwide level,
is NOT the future of the recording industry, solely because some of the
best artists recording today already have such a tough time making a
living, trying to be heard.

I patiently await the release of Wasp Star.


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 08:39:04 -0600
From: William Loring <>
Subject: Re: Apple Venus double LP
Message-ID: <>

John wrote:

> I was thinking about "Wasp Star - Apple Venus Volume 2" and it
> occurred to me that it is the second half of a double LP.  Perhaps not
> a novel thought, but what that brought to mind was this question: If
> one put "Apple Venus Volume 1" and "Wasp Star" together, how would one
> order the tracks to make the best possible listening experience?
> I will not attempt to construct such an ordering at the moment, and
> I'll let the question rattle around this mostly empty braincage of
> mine for a few weeks.  At least until the new album is released and we
> have all listened to it enough to get familiar with it.

This is a thought which had also occurred to me (and I'm sure others too).
I've thought about putting the two discs in my car changer on random play,
but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I think this would make a fantastic double album, much like what Dave
Gregory had pushed for, if I recall correctly. If only I could burn a CD
long enough to hold all the songs! I suppose that's where MP3 comes in, but
then I have to listen to it at my computer, which is not too convenient.

If the double album idea had been feasible, would Dave have stuck around for
the whole recording? Would that have been a good idea? Should we even bother
to discuss it, since the point is moot anyway?



Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 09:51:21 EDT
Subject: WS Available Anywhere?
Message-ID: <>

Is Wasp Star available *anywhere* yet? Sometimes, XTC albums are released a
little sooner in Japan.

Also, does anyone else have "Us and Us Only" by The Charlatans? I bought the
U.S. version of the disc, and it's weird:  the CD looks as if someone took a
piece of tape and lifted up a section of the "paint" before it dried. Is this

Wes Wilson


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 09:05:02 -0500
From: "Damian Wise (Foulger)" <>
Subject: Geddy, or is it Getty?
Message-ID: <390802BE.31631.28A30A@localhost>

Dear all,

This has no XTC content, page down.  Sorry.

Anyhow, this Geddy thing I can understand.  With the common
pronounciation, in the USofA, of 't' in the middle of words as 'd',
when one is faced by a unfamiliar word such as 'Geddy' it is
impossible to tell the difference.  Try saying 'getty' out loud
followed by 'geddy' if you are USAan.  I guess what I am trying
to say is, how do you tell the difference?  Other names I have a
problem with is 'Paddy' and 'Patty'.

If anyone has any solutions to this problem please let me know.

Dames tWd

'Real' is an adjective and 'Really' is an adverb.


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 16:28:13 +0200
Subject: How to make enemies and aggravate people
Message-ID: <0006800023644854000002L042*@MHS>

Hi again, 'Hillers,

By the way, if *I* had to choose songs to remove from "Nonsuch", I'd say
dump "Peter Pumpkinhead" and "Books are Burning" (yes, *despite* that
guitar solo) and consider maybe, just maybe, one of the following:
"Crocodile" or "Holly Up on Poppy".  Maybe "The Ugly Underneath".  Then I'd
love it.  Then it wouldn't suffer from "White Album Syndrome".

Songs you'd better keep your damn hands off: "Humble Daisy", "Rook", "The
Smartest Monkeys", "Then She Appeared", "That Wave", "Bungalow", "Dear
Madam Barnum".  And the rest of 'em too, while you're at it.

"O&L" could probably use similar treatment.

Hey, they're both big, sprawling albums.  Maybe I think they sprawl just a
bit too much.

I'm running for cover!

- Jeff


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 10:29:49 -0400
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: #6-88
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.


>From our esteemed editor:

> I was thinking about "Wasp Star - Apple Venus Volume 2" and it
> occurred to me that it is the second half of a double LP.  Perhaps not
> a novel thought, but what that brought to mind was this question: If
> one put "Apple Venus Volume 1" and "Wasp Star" together, how would one
> order the tracks to make the best possible listening experience?

Okay, how about this:

LP 1, side A:
River of Orchids
I'd Like That
Easter Theatre
Knights in Shining Karma
Frivolous Tonight

LP 1, side B:
Your Dictionary
Fruit Nut
I Can't Own Her
Harvest Festival
The Last Balloon

LP 2, side A:
Stupidly Happy
In Another Life
My Brown Guitar
Boarded Up
I'm The Man Who Murdered Love

LP 2, side B:
We're All Light
Standing In For Joe
Wounded Horse
You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful
Church of Women
The Wheel and the Maypole

Hmmm, seems I wouldn't change much of anything...

Diamond said:
> Another strange phenomenon is that the three most argued-about albums seem
> to be Nonsuch, Mummer, and The Big Express, and almost no one likes all
> three of those albums. Personally, I love Nonsuch and The Big Express, yet
> find very little value in Mummer. Almost everyone on this list seems to love
> two of those albums, and hate the other. It's strange how that works.

I like Nonsuch, Mummer and The Big Express. In fact, if you held a gun
to my head and made me choose, I'd pick Mummer as my favorite (though
I'd make you put the B-sides at the end of the CD's running order). But
I think the point here is that the band's oeuvre covers a remarkable
amount of stylistic ground. There's something for every time and mood in
your life. If an album or song doesn't reach you, it's because you're
not letting it.

And sorry you find the Napster debate so boring, Tyler. I would have
thought, as an artist, you'd be interested in issues such as this. If we
care about the future of art and want to help influence that future, we
need to be aware of what the fuck is going on. Debate on the issues
involved is part of building that awareness. If you *don't* care, and
don't want to contribute, use the page-down key and spare us your bitchy
comments, please.



Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 15:54:40 +0200
Subject: Season Cycle
Message-ID: <0006800023642364000002L042*@MHS>

Hi "Kreideberger",

Hmm, the "Nonsuch" debate is in full swing again.  It seems to be a
cyclical thing like so many others here on the 'Hills (Beatles/Stones,
Beach Boys, etc.).  The last round of debate about 3/4 of a year ago led to
my finally liking the album -- it had been the sleeper in the lot for me,
too, up until then.  And although David Seddon and a few others love it to
bits, I see it for XTC as others see the White Album for the Beatles -- it
seems to be just a bit too much at times.  But the jewels are priceless,
and there are lots of them!

Also interesting, as usual, is to see that what *you* think is a gem and
what *I* think is a gem can be soooo different!  I will certainly join the
group that calls "That Wave" a gem -- what a monstrous song!  Back in the
days when I didn't understand the album yet, there were only 3 songs I
really, *really* liked: "Then She Appeared", "That Wave", and "The Smartest
Monkeys".  (...and I've taken plenty of heat for that 3rd choice, too!)

"O&L", "Mummer", and "Big Express" are also getting their regular share of
criticism from lots of folks.  It's nothing new here, "season cycle going
round and round".  After the last cycle of "I love this album"/"I hate this
album" stuff, way back in digest #5-262, I attempted to summarize this
topic with the following list:

>Here's a new list that has been swirling around in my little brain: The top
>five "most controversial" XTC albums.  I mean the ones where there seems to
>be a pretty even split between "lovers of" and "haters of", all for reasons
>you can never really quite comprehend, no matter how much they try to
>defend their choices by explaining it to you in great detail on or

>My choices: 1) Mummer, 2) Nonsuch, 3) The Big Express, 4) O&L, 5) anything
>by the Dukes

>And, conversely, the top 5 "least controversial" XTC albums:

>My choices:  1) Drums & Wires, 2) Black Sea, 3) White Music/Go 2, 4) ES,
>5) Skylarking

>I know, I know, I cheated on both lists.  But they're my lists, so I can...

And I don't think my list would change much this time around.  Maybe this
time, "Black Sea" would be the least controversial of all (because
*everyone* seems to love it), "White Music" and/or "Go 2" would be either
tied for first or close No. 2s (because *nobody* seems to love them), and
"D&W" would come 3rd (because there was *one* dissenting voice one or two
digests back).

It appears to me that (as the "Kinks fraction" of this list recently
pointed out to me very clearly) groups have "hot periods" and "transitional
periods".  The "hot periods" for XTC might be:
 1) 'Drums' to 'ES',
and either
 2) 'Skylarking' to present,
or possibly
 2) 'Skylarking'/Dukes and then
 3) 'AV1' to present.
During these phases, there is a sense amongst their fans that XTC is/are
standing on solid ground and making a clear statement.  Often, almost
everyone "gets" what they are "saying" and likes it, so you have general
consensus that "Black Sea" is amazing, or "Skylarking", or whatever.

The "transitional periods" are the in-betweens.  These are the times when
the band is searching for its direction, when it isn't certain where it is
going -- and neither are we, as listeners.  And the first 2 albums,
"Mummer", "Express", and probably "Nonsuch" or maybe even "O&L" seem to fit
into this group.  The band takes tentative steps to the left or to the
right, and we, the listeners, can either follow them and trace their steps
-- in which case we like the records in question -- or we can't, in which
case we don't like the records.

Well, enough of that.  Which logo is the best?  "D&W" made the most impact,
to be sure; hundreds of graffiti artists can't be wrong.  But my favorite
is "ES", which is simple and lovely, and, like the entire cover, just seems
so...*right*.  (The Uffington Horse was also the better symbol for
"Chalkhills" than the current one, I might add.)  I like to use customized
scans of both the "D&W" and "ES" XTC scripts for the labels I make for my
custom XTC tapes, by the way.  Having read recent digests, I may add the
drum script from "O&L" to my repertoire, too -- thanks for the tip, whoever
you are!

Ciao from sunny, hot Germany!

- Jeff


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 09:51:05 -0500
From: Programs Temp <>
Subject: Random Responses Redux
Message-ID: <FCC7EC9332B9D211B0100008C759359D0183D548@NPTA1_MAIL>

Hello from a chilly Midwestern city trying to encourage a reluctant

One of things I've decided I like about XTC is this; it's very hard for me
to flat-out hate any XTC song.  There is always something - a guitar riff,
a lyric, a tweedling trumpet - that I just like too much.  Even songs that
everyone says suck, like Officer Blue or War Dance, have something in them
I find pleasant.  In War Dance, it's definitely the...what was it? Singing
Penis? That great clarinet sound - and that BOMP-BOMP at the beginning.
The thing about War Dance I DON'T like are the topical lyrics that don't
stand the test of time, and the laughably cheesy ("Yeah I'm talking about
this WAR DANCE) delivery and lyrical melody. If I want too cheer myself
up, I pop in "Countdown to Christmas Party Time" and laugh my ass off.

I will say this (as I brace for blows about the neck and shoulders), there
is one XTC song that has elements I so completely detest that they overide
anything I like about it. (Deep breath) It's Green Man. The subject matter
kind of gives me the creeps coming from two men in their late forties,
(was that bend down, or bend over?)the lyrical melody goes way beyond show
tune straight to velveeta, and that "lay in him" thing that Colin does
makes me want to set sail for Swindon and slap him. Consequently, My vote
for most over-rated XTC album, even though I absolutely love he first four
songs, is Apple Venus 1.

I was listening to Prefab Sprout YESTERDAY, as a matter of fact.  I wish I
had their first album (SWOON). I was listening to "No Hallelujahs" from
Two Wheels Good (or Steve McQueen, depending on which part of the country
you're from). Fuckin'Awesome, man.

I haven't want to chime in on the Font/Napster comparison because I'm in
no way an expert, but I do know for a fact that here in Chicago there are
at least 3 VERY successful Font Houses. I used to work for a Marketing
Agency, and that industry is (and, I believe, always have been in the 20th
century) the largest buyers of custom fonts.  So I don't see that
particular argument holding water, but once again I'm not an expert.

As for record companies and A & R people, piss on 'em.  They do good by
accident and bad on purpose, as far as I'm concerned.  It's like Andy
said, record companies are the only corporations who make %100 profit on
their "product", which is other people's creative sweat and blood.
They're fucking pimps.  I will never forget the year that Warner Brothers
cut Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Loudon Wainwright and Tom Waits from their
contracts (1987, the year Warner Brothers had two of the top music earners
in the world - Madonna and Prince). They have no love for music, and no
sense of loyalty to musicians.

I honestly hope the whole Napster debate forces Musicians to re-examine
the contracts they have, given the possibility of diminishing profits.  I
know that's sort of a simplistic conclusion to come to, and I suspect I'm
just speaking from my gut and/or asshole, but I honestly think that record
companies do more harm to musicians than Napster ever will.

I started taping off the radio when I was 9, sometimes whole albums at
Midnight, and I don't feel a jot of guilt about it.  I know when something
is just turning me on for a moment, and when I actually need it.  In fact,
I went out and bought English Settlement when I was 13 because the twenty
seconds at the end of "Snowman" that I had taped drove me out of my
mind. On the other hand, I had "Ring my Bell" (Anita Ward) on tape as
well, and taped over it in a month.

I like the fact that the CD format had made more people think of music in
terms of durable goods rather than junk food (as we all did back in the
day of $1.50 single records), because I think it has improved the quality
of music over-all. To be honest, I think Napster will do the same.  Record
companies (piss on 'em) and Artists are going to have to come up with
more, and soon, as well they should. I'm still waiting for that fabled
drop in CD prices we were promised when CDs first came out.  How about an
improvement in CD artwork and less-lazy liner notes? Change is good!
Change is inevitable! Damn the torpedos and lock up yer daughters! Aargh!

Speaking of singing penises, Andy Partridge has more penis references than
any musician on earth.  And they're not just erect, they're almost always
*oozing*. I think someone out there should count them. I would, but I get
these fainting spells.

I went to Ben Gott's website.  I think he's neat.

I took the Ultimate Fan Quiz and got absolutly zero - no additions, no

>From 1980 to 1985, it was mandatory in the Midwest to listen to and enjoy
Rush.  I for one had Moving Pictures, 2112, and that one album with
"Subdivisions" on it. I don't have any Rush albums today, and can't say
they interest me. I like Primus though!

"Sex is about as important as a cheese sandwich. but a cheese sandwich,
when your belly's empty, can be pretty fucking important." - Ian Drury

I have to work now. Thanks for all your squishy and tasty brains,

Nina Stratton


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 15:50:56 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: Digital Bastard
Message-ID: <>

Dear Mr Digitalmaster...some responses are inevitable!

>>Oh, maybe I am alone in this, but didn't Heavy Metal really suck?

No. Prick.

Point One - You are definitely not alone in this. However, you are quite
wrong and grotesquely deformed with it.

Point Two - No, it "didn't" suck. In fact, it "doesn't" suck (as we usually
say when talking in the present tense....what, do you live in a fucking
sewer or something? Did someone cut your head off when you were young?) any
more than jazz sucks, or electronica or blues or reggae etc etc's
a wide and varied genre, despite your dim-witted perspective.

Point Three - XTC are a heavy metal band and one day I will prove
it. Seriously.

Point Four - I bet you don't know what you mean by Heavy Metal. Even if you
think you do, you don't. Even if you think I'm being needlessly pedantic,
which I'm not, you're still so wrong I'm actually experiencing severe id
pains. We're not all simpering Sting fans round here you know...

Point Five - You probably don't care about this either way, which is always
one good reason not to spout moronic drivel about a subject you know fuck
all about. Here's another - IT MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE A WITLESS MUPPET. A
shame, really, because you have been known to talk sense on occasion.

Point Six - Primus, Pitch Shifter and Misery Loves Co., all bands
associated with Heavy Metal in one or other of its MYRIAD forms, have all
covered XTC songs. Of course, this doesn't mean you need to give a
lightly-salted gonad about any of them, or any other metal bands for that
matter, but it's worth mentioning just in case some other greasy-palmed,
glans-chewing, monobrowed arse-head decides to step into the arena. I may
be the only person on Chalkhills who loves both XTC and Morbid Angel, but
I'm certainly not the only Metal fan in the world with a functioning brain,
despite what snooty journalists might tell you.

And here endeth today's sermon. Twat.

An over-reaction? Well, I could have said...

>>SHUT YOUR WRETCHED PIE TRAP YOU RIDICULOUS PRICK! of the great sentences of our time, methinks.



Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 12:43:01 -0500
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: Stop That Thread!
Message-ID: <>

Ira wrote:

> We need a "Six Degrees of Separation from XTC" here though.

For the love of God, NO!!

The six degrees thing has been done to death; it's in the Chalkhills
archives if you want to consult it. I personally would rather debate
"Dear God" again than go through another six degrees thread.

Dan "Nonsuch Rules" Wiencek


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 13:48:18 -0400
From: "Kate Burda" <>
Subject: 'Life' ain't all it's cracked up to be
Message-ID: <000901bfb070$c6e22b80$>

Throwing my opinion into the bubbling Nonsuch debate...

I like the album overall, but there are tracks I'll gladly skip (War Dance
and Humble Daisy come to mind at the moment).  I think I can safely say this
about all of the albums except for Black Sea and English Settlement.

I usually listen to all of the albums in their entirely (yes, even White
Music), but if I'm pressed for time I'll start cutting tracks.  However, the
song that I ABSOLUTELY refuse to listen to (no matter how much time I've got
on my hands!) is 'Life Is Good In the Greenhouse'.  Give that one a spin
tonight and tell me it's the worst song XTC has EVER released.



Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 10:10:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <>
Subject: Re: Mad ramblings on old posts
Message-ID: <>

Dearest Chalkman John K.!

In your post you answered my inquiry (thanks!)...

<< Debora Brown asked those of us who had an advance on "Wasp Star" and had
gushed about it here in Chalkhills to give our impression now that we've had
a few weeks to sit with it.  Well, my opinion pretty much stands firm from
my original review. >> etc...-

I just knew that my theory was correct...namely that WS was a keeper.  Now
mind you, I have heard NOTHING, NADA...not one single note off the new
album.  Other than you folks and your ruminations, I've avoided the
temptation to visit the 'N' site or any other audio sites.  I am getting
very torqued up here, waiting and all...but I know it'll be worth the
exquisite torture...  Besides, anticipation is half the fun, right?  Oh my,
yes  :)

Miles of smiles to you,

Debora 'on pins and needles' Brown


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-90

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