Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #7-16

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 7, Number 16

                  Sunday, 11 March 2001


                Umm...wha? What was that?
                    RE: Mystery Video
                 It's a total eclipse ...
             Not project is to build a house
                 Identical Nunsuch Naked
            RE: Mother, Mummers, pickled beets
                    Re: Nonsuch debate
           It's not XTC without the heartbreak
              The Curliest Hair on The Block
         Standing In for Martha and the Vandellas
                    Progadelic, baby!
            XTC prisoners in tube shock horror
                         Re: URGH
                       Washed away
           David Gregory As The Angry Professor
     severe silliness should be nipped in the bud...
                 weird Klaus washed away
            She said, he said..I, not so sad.
                 Re: Kirlian Photography
            RE: Editing XTC Records for Filler
              Mr. Artecona already has one!
                    Take No Prisoners


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

So pale and precious is the light that will shine.


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 11:30:45 +0100
Subject: Umm...wha? What was that?
Message-ID: <>

Hi Kreideberger,

What was that?  Was that my computer beeping to tell me "You've got mail"?
Oh, yeah, Chalkh.. -- WHAT, #7-14???  Now way!!!...

Can it be true?  Is it really possible that I have been in lurk mode since
#6-258 in mid-September?  (And you all missed me, I know...)  Jeez, what a
hangover!  What has coaxed me out of it?  I don't know, actually, but I
think it's because the last few issues have had all that I love about the

One of my all-time favorite 'Hillers and bad-lyric-sufferers Deb goes out
on a limb with Smudgie and a few others and claims "Mummer" is great.
Well, as far as I was concerned, that isn't going out on a limb, that is
fact.  What bugs me is that the "Mummer" fan club here seems to believe
there are only 1-2 members.  I've said it before and will say it again: I
love Mummer.  And yes, I, too, have always considered it to be
Skylarking's older brother.  (Stay tuned, the Mummer debate will
re-surface in about 6 months, as will the Nonsuch debate.)

Another of my all-time favorite 'Hillers, Beatles fans and Kevin Gilbert
fans (who is about to hear from me -- be excited, buddy) asks a perfectly
on-topic Q about J.L.'s 2nd Playboy interview.  Mike, I think I HAVE that
issue (yes, I'm that old), but it might take YEARS before I find it again.
But let me know if no one else can help you, maybe I can have a look come
December or so.  (Sorry, Randy, I don't have any 126 film, but I do
remember what it looks like.)

Skylar-King is taking on the duty of annoying people, because the previous
King, Dom, abdicated (although, thankfully, as proven recently, rumors of
his demise are greatly exaggerated).  Vee Tube is still out
there....somewhere, wherever that is where he is.  Todd and Dunks and
Harrison and Mark are still...Todd and Dunks and Harrison and Mark.
WesLONG is getting older.  Annandale can still be found just about
everywhere you go, "Joe" still sounds like "Barrytown"/"Tell Me What You
See", and Dan (Phipps, not Steely) is probably still sending in "Happy New
Year" posts.

Tom is still trying to keep his posts short.  Ed is still writing huge
paragraphs with far too few empty lines in between.  Mitchard and Rich are
still reporting first-hand from the front.  (And Paul from the back...or
the outback.)  There're still recommendations of what I should buy, links
to other groups, and even links to the Chalkheads.  And the list goes

What am I trying to say?  I love this place!!  You guys, girls, and French
Canadians (bienvenue!) are all the greatest.  I'm sorry that I couldn't
keep in touch with you very well the past few months, but things've been
crazy.  Maybe that'll change soon (or maybe it won't).

In the meantime, a quick request to a certain few: Last year, a bunch of
you helped me with a George Harrison problem.  You know who you are.  Get
in touch with me (off line, please), I need your addresses.  And Mitch,
Harrison, Steph, Todd, send me your addresses.  A few of you sent me some
neat XTC demos: get in touch.  And Wes Long, I think I do have something
to trade, after all: send me your address.  And any of my other
Chalkhills/Beatles friends with whom I've had valuable communication,
please get in touch even if I haven't mentioned you by name.

Keep on Chalkin'!


* * * * *
PS - "Wake Up" gets my vote as most Andy-like of Colin's songs, if just
for the style of the singing.  I remember when I bought the LP (round
cover and all) back when it came out and listened to that "great Andy
Partridge song" at the beginning.  I guess it took me about 3 listens to
realize my mistake.

PPS - But that's still better than the fact that I have yet to stop
mis-hearing the lyrics to "Your Dictionary".  Or to "I'm So Tired", for
that matter.


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 11:45:09 -0000
From: Jason Witcher <>
Subject: RE: Mystery Video
Message-ID: <D93A503A5230D411B96A00508B67107F01AEA650@EXCHSRV1>

> From:	Wright Jonathan []

	>Actually I'm pretty certain it was "The man who sailed
	>around his soul". I have the video of Portmerion on
	>The Tube somewhere too. oh well.. thats this email over.....

	I remember it as being fairly slow paced, which would suit 'The
Meeting Place' better. Plus 'TMP' was a single. But then it was 14 years
ago, so I could be wrong...


Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 16:42:00
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: It's a total eclipse ...
Message-ID: <>

1. Debora Brown - marry me! (just don't tell my wife OK?)

2. Klaus Nomi rules. Really. How can you not love "Total Eclipse" - it's
completely berserk. It's just one of those magic moments in music where you
watch /hear someone perform and think "I have no friggin' idea WHAT this guy
is on, or what he's on' about ... but I like it!" I think Jimmy Sommerville
could take a few pointers from our Klaus. I mean if you're gonna sing like a
demented soprano from the far side of the planent Koozbane, then do it
PROPERLY, luvvy. Compared to Klaus he has about as much stage presence as a

3. The other SERIOUS attraction of URGH! (pour moi) is the presence, in
their heydeay, of the Lords of Akron, DEVO. Goddam but those guys could
rock. That was my first  exposure to DEVO live and I was SO excited when
they came out here. I needn't have been. By then they'd binned all the
guitars and the whole thing was done to backing tapes. I was expecting
"Uncontrollable Urge" and got a flabby rendition of "Working In A Coalmine"
... BIG disappointment.



Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 08:47:30 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: Not project is to build a house
Message-ID: <>

Was it TK who wrote the "if it aint broke don't fix it post"?
To respond to how I think it should sound... I'm listening to some CD
not of the classical music you hear in all those Omen Movies.. don't
know who buy, or the proper name... but, well anyways, thats how I
imagine Rook. A bit stronger, and not so dreamy.

Regarding this post (too lazy to go back and find out who wrote it):



> If I were a musician, I
> would do a cover of it... work day and night until I could get the
> music to match with the beautiful words .

Don't bother - someone's already done it!! :-)

???????? Huh ????????????????? 1st, what's the argh for and 2nd, did
someone make a cover, who, and whats it sound like... or are you
stating that Andy's song needs no fixing, period.

Thanks in advance for the clarification.

I am now going out to eat a bagel w/ cream cheese and smoked salmon.
You must be jealous, all of you... The only foods better: lobster and
Fillet Mignon. Dare to disagree. Oh, there I go again, antagonistic!!!


Nicole's internet music station:


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 10:18:59 -0700
From: "Angie Kelson Packer & Shaun Packer" <>
Subject: Identical Nunsuch Naked
Message-ID: <007201c0a8bd$1ee23380$3918adcf@packer>

Holy cow! Do all my chalksiblings have spring fever, or do we all need
to switch to decaf?! Gotta love the fast and furious posts.

I'm starting to wonder if we don't have the whole Colin sounding like
Andy thing all bass-ackward. Mike Myers asked "What Colin song sounds
most like an Andy song."  There were enough responses on list, and I'm
guessing Mike got some off-list, that I'm wondering if Colin isn't the
one influencing Andy more than the other way 'round. Just playing Devil'
s Advocate...not that Colin is the Devil <G>.

The lads have been together for over 20 years. To hook up with someone,
both parties must share some sort of common ground. This helps explain
the musical similarities in the early years. As they've gotten older
too, the songwriting has changed. The two have experiences that are
shared as Men, but individual in occurrence and perception as one unique
Colin and one unique Andy; growing up; falling in love, falling out of
love; settling down; fatherhood; poverty; receding hairline <G>. Add to
this, the fact that they have known one another for so long and striking
similarities in their words/music are bound to crop up. People who have
known each other intimately for a long time develop a rapport where each
reflects the other to a greater and greater degree. C'mon, haven't
those of you in long-term relationships, platonic or romantic, noticed
this? I'm not saying that long-term relationships are forever sweetness
and light, which would be a fallacy of the highest order, nor that
people in a long-term relationship turn into lock-step identical  twins,
which would be boring, but that similarities between folks aren't

Nunsuch Nonesense. See above. If we all lock-stepped in unison, life
would be boring. Some people like Nunsuch better than others.
Personally, I've never loved "Omnibus," "Rook," and "Wrapped in Grey" as
much as I do now. The latter 2 are a matching pair, "Wrapped in Grey" a
compassionate, humanistic answer to the spiritual longing/uncertainty in

Different XTC recordings appeal more to me at different times. Took
awhile for Nunsuch to grow on me. I fell in love with "English
Settlement" on first listen, and TBE on the second listening. Then, it
wasn't love at first listen with any other XTC album, as a whole,  until
Wasp Star. I would fall in love with certain *songs*, but not with whole
albums. I didn't much care for Nunsuch, in its entirety, until I was a
bit older. At certain point in my life I could simply identify more with
Nunsuch.  Now, the songs have plenty of emotional weight and Oomph. And
I've undergone the same process with other XTC songs/albums. With XTC
songs, the listener isn't passive. The more of yourself, and your life
experiences you bring  to the music, the better the music becomes. To
quote Henry Green, and changing prose  to music: "Prose (music) should
be a long intimacy between strangers...It should slowly appeal to
feelings unexpressed, it should in the end  draw tears out of the
 stone." A bit heavy, yes, but for me it partially describes XTC.

And if you want to jump up and down on the living room floor, singing at
the top of your lungs and generally looking ridiculous, but having a
heart-soaring good time, XTC can do that for you, too. <G> Today, I
suggest "Mechanic Dancing" and "Vanishing Girl, " and yes, "Washaway."

Hope everyone is well, and remember: "In the very least you can stand up
naked and grin."

I meant metaphysically naked! Metaphysically naked! You...and you
and...I"m so sorry, is it *supposed* to do that?...wait, I never guessed
you had a tatoo *there*...Hey! You over there! You *all* need to put
your clothes back on, and wait, dearie, don't take off, too
late. Ahh, why not...



Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 12:23:38 EST
Subject: RE: Mother, Mummers, pickled beets
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 3/9/01 10:59:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Brown <> writes:

> Mothers, Mummers, pickled beets

Fathers, Drummers, tickled feets!

Sorry, I suddenly found myself channeling B. Kliban

J. D.


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 12:34:55 EST
Subject: Re: Nonsuch debate
Message-ID: <>

Just to add my ha'apworth, I'd like to put it to the assembled throng that
Nonsuch occupies much the same place in the XTC canon as Britannia Hospital
does in Lindsay Anderson's and Godfather III does in Francis Coppola's - to
wit, the last part of a career-defining trilogy. Hence the inevitable - but
undeserved - snubs. It's certainly my most-played album, for craftsmanship,
diversity and lyrical oomph. Play that funky protest music, white boy...

The Mayor of Dimpleton


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 13:27:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Jessica Gluckman <>
Subject: It's not XTC without the heartbreak
Message-ID: <> wrote:

> it still moves me more than any other XTC recording, except perhaps Black
> Sea. Not because they're necessarily the "best," but because of the impact
> they had on me. And because I pretty much bought all of those "category 1"
> recordings at the same time, without any historical context (much less any
> published criticism) to help point my opinion in one direction or another

Hooray!  Me too!  Hear hear!

I think my favorite XTC albums tend to be the first ones that I bought,
although I do notice that my ranking is also affected by whatever major
life event was occurring at or around the time of my buying it.  For
example I bought Nonsuch about a year ago (I'm a relatively new fan, yes)
right before moving across the country, so whenever I listen to it, I
always associate it with that move, so it's a very exciting, positive
album for me.  Since I'm now known as "The person who doesn't like
Mummer," (which isn't true, I just said it wasn't my favorite) I'll admit
that there's something that my cloud my objectivity -- the day I bought
it, the VERY day I bought it, I got my heart broken and the perpertrator
thought he'd cheer me up by playing my new Mummer cd on his stereo to get
my mind off things.  Bah!  Especially since a lot of those songs are about
LOVE (B0H, Wonderland, Great Fire).  But I've since recovered and these
days when I do listen to Mummer, I make sure to turn it up a bit during
"Me and the Wind."

Anyone else like that where an album got either spoiled or, if you're
lucky enough, enchanted for you because of somebody else?  Anyone dance to
an XTC song at their wedding?  Anyone paint the words to "Blue Overall" on
their walls after a breakup?  Anyone try to win someone over and send a
subtle message by putting "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her" on a mix

I know you're out there.


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 12:50:17 -0600
From: Jason Phelan <>
Subject: The Curliest Hair on The Block
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkhilltoppers,

I recently called and had a phone conversation with Desmond Morello, an
experienced pipe-fitter recently relocated to Nashville Tennessee from New
Jersey about whether Nonfvch was good or not.

It went something like this.

"Morello's, this is Des may I help you?"

"Is this Desmond Morello, pipe-fitter?"

"Yes, yes it is."

"What do you think about Nonsuch?"

"About what?"

"Nonsuch. The album."

"Uh, I am not sure you have the right num..."

"It's by XTC."

"No, you got the wrong number..."

"Do you like it?"


Desmond Morello, pipe-fitter CLEARLY did not like it.  Now one could read
this two different ways.

1. Desmond didn't like it. Case closed, it's no good.
2. Desmond's a pipe-fitter. What does a pipe fitter know about MUSIC anyway.
Sheesh, what a maroon!  Clearly, we know better than any pipe-fitter.
Therefore, case is closed. Nonsuch is excellent.

What did this phone call accomplish, what does it all mean....well my
friends, sometimes when you take that bus, you get there. Do you know what I
am saying?

Making as much sense as the rest of these posts,


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 15:46:09 EST
Subject: Standing In for Martha and the Vandellas
Message-ID: <>

Was tooling down Scenic Route 28 in Herndon just a minute ago, Steely Dan's
"Two Against Nature" on the box. The chords of "What a Shame About Me"
slithered out of the speakers. Donnie Fagen delivered the first line, "I was
grinding through my day gig/Stackin' cutouts at the Strand" and I realized
that it was quite suspiciously similar to (not to say an "unconscious
plagiarism" of) the first line of the Martha and the Vandellas hit, "Dancing
in the Street": "Callin' out around the world/Are you ready for a brand new

Immoderate laughter ensued.

Doesn't take much to amuse me.


>From: Brown <>
>Subject: One for all and all for Mummer!

>Todd, Smudge, Adrian, Virginia, myself, and anyone else who has sworn to
>uphold the good name of 'Mummer', we are crusaders, agreed?.. and of course,
>crusaders need a uniform, nay, we'll make it a dashing costume instead!..
>How about this.. moss green tights under navy blue velvet body suits, with
>perhaps a matching cape?.. no! a matching poncho!.. do any of you know
>if Sears still sells ponchos?  Perhaps velvet is a poor choice of fabric for
>the suits, but the moss green tights are *not* up for negotiation!

Maybe *your* moss-green tights aren't up for negotiation, Ms. Brown. All mine
are up for is the nonce.

And I will drop them for a song. Preferably "Beating of Hearts," played
tastefully on hammered dulcimer, and sung through a Rudy Vallee megaphone by
an Albanian pastry chef with a lisp. I can't *wait* to get home and get these
damned things off. They were invented by a man, I'm sure of it!

Now surely--SURELY--the uniform of the Mummerista would have to incorporate
those ripped-newspaper confections that Andy, Colin and Dave wear on the
inner sleeve photo of Mummer...? Or is this all too vinyl-era for you? See THAT's what yer
crime-fighting Mummerian is wearing to soirees and square dances alike this
season! I'm thinking that maybe Phil Corless, our resident haberdasher,
should consider whipping up a few of those babies--I'm betting demand is
going to get hot, hot, hot in the very near future.


Good gravy, John! How'd those links get all YELLOW...?

	[ You don't like yellow?  -- John ]

I'm very glad you got rid of that Separated At Birth? graphic. That was
butt-tasteless, and whoever made that thing up ought to be hung by his

Harrison "You don't do Heavy Metal in Dobly, you know" Sherwood


Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 16:03:35 -0500
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Progadelic, baby!
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.


My, the pace has picked up a bit again, hasn't it? Nothing like a little
controversy to spark conversation (such as it is...)

Steve Pitts countered me with:
> > from Skylarking on, they've worn their psychedelic influences prominently
> on their sleeves (not that there's too much wrong with that) and shied away
> (kind of) from their progressive/avant garde influences <
> Judas H Priest!! What on earth is the difference?? I've never understood
> this pigeon-holing of music into discrete (and frankly irrelevant)
> categories and this one passes me by altogether.

I'll attempt to parry thusly:
IMO, there is progressive psychedelic music, and there is psychedelic
progressive music, but despite this significant overlap (hence The Pink
Floyd's inclusion in Channel 4's Top 10 of Prog Rock), the two exist as
separate genres. (As for why we feel the need to pigeonhole music, I
think it stems from an attempt to objectively appraise what is
essentially a subjective experience ... but that's grist for another

Psychedelia for me is about "drawing outside the lines" of
traditional/established music and lyrics. It eschews technique and
conventions, and instead pursues a stream-of-consciousness approach to
*everything* in the recording process -- writing, recording, mixing,
cover art, etc. It's about textures, emotions, colors, man, the colors
are everywhere and have you ever really *looked* at your hand? It's not
afraid to be silly or childlike ... or even childish.

Prog Rock, however, is Serious Stuff. Its roots lie in classical music,
and in an effort to bring technique to rawkenroll, to validate it as an
important art form. 32nd-note runs, odd time signatures, polymelodic
song structures, symphony-length songs, weighty and sometimes pompous or
pedantic lyrics ... all these things are hallmarks of Prog. (There are
exceptions to these cliches in both genres, of course.)

As I said, there's a huge overlap. You want silly lyrics? Just try to
decipher any of Jon Anderson's stuff. You want odd time signatures? Look
at Floyd and countless other psychedelic bands. Anyway, Steve, you're
right in that it's all just music, and we should take it on its merits
as such, without regard to its pigeon's hole. I was just trying to
explain my take on Mummer and the Big Express' place in XTC's oeuvre,
and on what I perceive as the shift in the band's approach from
Skylarking on.

Steve quoted someone else, and responded:
> > As for being an a**hole that is your opinion.  I think the guy is a great
> songwriter <
> Since when were the two mutually exclusive??

Doesn't sound like any other songwriters *we* know...

> Oh, and I'd like to join in the defence of 'Washaway', which has always
> been a part of TBE for me because I had no record deck when it came out and
> bought the cassette version instead, which had the same three bonus tracks
> (in the very same location, if memory serves). It is one of a fine group of
> laundrette songs that always make me smile (no track names, but examples by
> Joe Jackson, Pretenders and Talking Heads all spring to my mind's ear
> without any effort)

FWIW, "The Death of Suzzy Roche" is one of my favorite laundry-related

>From Ms. Brown, our Lady of Mummer:
> Todd, Smudge, Adrian, Virginia, myself, and anyone else who has sworn to
> uphold the good name of 'Mummer', we are crusaders, agreed?.. and of course,
> crusaders need a uniform, nay, we'll make it a dashing costume instead!..
> How about this.. moss green tights under navy blue velvet body suits, with
> perhaps a matching cape?.. no! a matching poncho!.. do any of you know if
> Sears still sells ponchos?  Perhaps velvet is a poor choice of fabric for
> the suits, but the moss green tights are *not* up for negotiation!  Since
> Mr. Bernhardt was the kind fellow who steered me towards Mummer in the first
> place, his poncho shall be the grandest of all! (How do you feel about
> sequins, TB?)

All I know is, they've got to be Mexican sequins. Nothin' from Sears,

Ryan Anthony asked:
> Finally: What is Chalkhills Nation's SECOND-favorite
> band? (Not counting the Dukes, Anonymous Bosch, the
> Ever-Lovin' Picadilly Circus Tent Flap Repair Company
> & Marching Society, or any other XTC alter-ego.) I say
> the act on the undercard is Genesis, not King Crimson
> or Steely Dan, especially if one includes references
> to erstwhile and might-have-been members, such as the
> aforementioned Messrs. Gabriel and Gilbert.

Much as I love PG-era Genesis (and any Kevin Gilbert), I've got to part
ways with you, Ryan. I think the answer to your question lies in the
outcome of a free-for-all mud-wrasslin tourney between fans of The
Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Kinks.



Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 21:18:38 -0000
From: "Richard Hall" <>
Subject: XTC prisoners in tube shock horror
Message-ID: <01bc01c0a8de$838dfaa0$bbe030d5@tinypc>

The answer to the question as to which XTC track was filmed by the tube in
Portmerion is both. The Meeting place & Man who sailed were both filmed
there, but shown on different occasions. I think I've still got both of them
some where. (hope so) I'll get hunting. & check


Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 16:25:33 EST
Subject: Re: URGH
Message-ID: <>

Oh, c'mon Matt, you didn't enjoy Toyaerobics? :o)

Actually, the main thing that bugs me about URGH are the poorly spliced crowd
scenes. You're watching some great live music, and suddenly you're treated to
a shot of the crowd, usually with a bleached blonde punk chick in the middle,
and a sudden and very noticeable increase in the crowd volume. Oh, and the
other problem is Skafish. Yeesh! When I saw URGH on the big screen, Skafish
literally made me nauseous.

Ryan, I agree with you ENTIRELY about Respectable Street. I have an EP of 6
tracks from URGH, one of them being Respectable Street. When my brother and I
would listen to it and the song would finish, we'd immediately sing the
musical intro of Generals and Majors. It's just natural.



Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 19:25:02 EST
Subject: Washed away
Message-ID: <>

>I bought Big Express when it came out...on cassette. Washaway was included
>on that, so it's always been part of the album as far as I'm concerned
>(unlike the bonus tracks on Mummer CD). It's not listed as a bonus track.
>Neither are the other two.

I'm looking at my vinyl, as I speak.  S'not there.  Got it the week it came
It is on my All You Pretty Girls EP, however.



Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 22:24:43 -0600
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: David Gregory As The Angry Professor
Message-ID: <>

     Howdee!  Just got done watching the 'Mayor' video.
   And now that you mention it, David Gregory indeed
   looks as if he's ready to rip Andy a 'New One'

          Funny I never noticed this before.

             But that's not why I post.

     No, I post to mention the complete and full astonishment
   I experienced when to my shock! and! amazement! I saw my
   Great,Great,Great,Grand Mother 'PoPCorN' in this video!

     In my childhood, no one ever mentioned 'Mother PoPCorN'
   though her picture hung proudly in our coralminium. It
   seems Mother PoPCorN's cameo led her down an endless trail
   of self abuse and inner destruction followed by a terminal
   case of 'Mad Cow of the Sea' disease.

     Most attribute this to the fact she was never able to
   avoid forever being typecast as "an XTC video extra".
   Others say it was her appearing in drag as 'Terry The
   Fish' that caused her death.

     To this day we honor Mother PoPCorN by paying close
   attention to the aquatic influence on the music of XTC.

NP: Video of 'Farmboy's Wages'. Colin looks way cool
    sliding up (down?) that big acoustic BASS thang!

     eonsagoout!                            )---:)


Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 23:55:45 -0500
From: "Benjamin A. Gott" <>
Subject: Prematurity
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkhillians,

Our Man Harrison wrote that:

> Ben, my little bon-bon, what makes me feel old is knowing that, had
> circumstances aligned themselves differently in the Year of Our Lard
> 1978, and if Yo Mama had been less of a paragon of virtue and more
> inclined to a casual gallop with one particular toothsome Sigma Pi, in
> 60-ish days I'd be enjoying the immediate surcease of enormous annual
> outlays to Bowdoin College.

Harrison, I don't quite know how to say this, but I was born in 1979 (on
July 20th, a full three months before I was due).  You know, 1979?  The year
in which your career as "Spuds MacSherwood," keg-tapping leprechaun, hit the
talk-radio circuit?  And yes: although I was a wee one in the beginning (2.2
pounds at birth, in fact), my body is growing to a size commensurate with my
ego.  So, there!  (And leave my mother out of it!  She was gallumphing
around the hills of Northwestern Connecticut while you were regurgitating
foodstuffs in Gambier, Ohio!)

If you all wait long enough, you might be privy to my latest "side project":
a bubblegum/teenpop album released under the moniker The Carry Nations.
(Isn't that a great name for a band?  So who's going to tell me that it's
already been taken?)  August will see the release (on, probably) of
tons and tons of new songs about love, love, and high school.  O-Town, watch

I checked out the picture of XTC producer Nick Davis:

[ ]

Don't he and Colin have similar-looking teeth?  What's up with that?

And, finally: Midnight Oil is, apparently, touring in the U.S. beginning in
May.  Does that rock or what?  I'm cranking "Diesel and Dust" right now
because I love songs like "Warakurna" and "Sell My Soul."  Go!  Listen!

Also, for all you music lovers with money to spend: try your damndest to
find a copy of David Rice's "Greenelectric," an album with which I have
recently become obsessed.  Not only does it feature Rice (a Houston-born
12-string guitarist whose voice sounds like liquid gravel) at his finest,
but half of the songs were recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios,
were produced by Bill Bottrell, and feature much of P.G.'s house band
(including Tony Levin and Bottrell himself).  "Thirsty Girl" is one of the
best songs that Rice has ever recorded.  HIGHLY recommended.

Hey!  Ho!  Let's go!


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 00:10:32 -0500
From: Virginia Rosenberg <>
Subject: severe silliness should be nipped in the bud...
Message-ID: <>

...but I'm rather inclined to encourage its spread...

Debora- I must admit the moss-green tights/blue velvet body-suit-with-poncho
ensemble sounds too fetching for words. My only concern-really-is that it
sounds a trifle warm for Southern climes-at least for most of the year.
On a related note, anyone know what constitutes a traditional mummer's
costume? (Hope this one wasn't amongst the answered FAQs.)

And speaking of answered questions, many thanks to both kindly souls who
contacted me re: my plaintive query of recent posts...the squeaky wheel gets
the maypole-or something like.

As for "Bungalow", despite being American, I liked it from first listen-I
find it both funny and sad and that paradox doesn't bother me. "Washaway"
also treats the dreariness of humdrum, everyday (if that's not redundant-or
even if it is) existence in a bittersweet but not depressing way. So, yeah,
you can sign me up for the Washaway Defense League (great website, btw), but
not the Gus Dudgeon Defense League if any of you are getting clever ideas
about starting such. <insert emoticon here>

Someone recently posted about his(her?) surprise at discovering "Drums and
Wires" being in second place amongst favorite xtc albums. Although I think
"Skylarking" and "Mummer" are probably *better* (i.e., more coherent and
consistently brilliant), "D&W" has always been my favorite. This is no doubt
because I got a promo copy of it at an impressionable age (12 or 13 or so),
and for a very long time it was practically all the XTC I had (aside from
promo copies of "Urgh" with it's lone XTC track, and a promo single of
"Generals and Majors"). Still I suspect "D&W" would not have maintained its
elevated status in my affections were it not pretty damned good. Of course,
my American vinyl had "Life Begins at the Hop" on it which my CD version
does not, Damnit. Anyone know if the Virgin reissue is likely to include
said gem?

Keeping my fingers crossed,


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 11:47:17 +0100
From: Bergmaier Klaus <>
Subject: weird Klaus washed away
Message-ID: <41E0B760C85AD3119BE200E0291B6EE5089660@NTSRV>

Dear all!

Matt Hiner wrote:

>But what a fantastic movie!  I was into "new wave" when I first saw
>it in 1984, but that film pushed me over the edge.  The brilliance
>of XTC (even though I was disappointed that Terry was hardly seen
>- he really did carry the live sound), the weirdness of Klaus, the
>rantings of the Dead Kennedys, the wit of Magazine, ...

I think that I'm not weird at all. I can't even rememeber I've been there,
although I wish I would.

BTW: I love Washaway (I even did a cover of it some years ago and tried to
submit it for Testimonial Dinner, which - as history shows us - didn't work,
even the demo never ever ended up where it should have) AND Rook. Although I
usually go more for Colin's songs, Rook is great and sung well.

Please visit me at - there is even some
XTC content, so you really should see it.


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 12:43:23 EST
Subject: She said, he said..I, not so sad.
Message-ID: <>

Delurking mode: *ON*
Delightful mood: *ON*
De-Debate... *ON*(wards)

Deborah Brown - She said...
    <Todd, Smudge, Adrian, Virginia, myself, and anyone else who
has sworn to uphold the good name of 'Mummer', we are crusaders,
agreed?.. >

    Aye! Tis' so. Crusaders are we.
    My first copy of 'Mummer' is on cassette and it is has been overplayed
to the extant that it sounds fuzzy and warbled. Not that sounding fuzzy
and warbled is a 'bad' thing, mind you.

  < but the moss green tights are *not* up for negotiation!>

    Moss green?!?... Methinks I do not fare well in green. I, however wouldst
like a certain horse to be the chest emblem.


Smudge Boy - He said
  <In 7-12, Chris said:...
 > > "Wake up" is an important track in the XTC Anthology. It is also my
 > > vote for the most AP sounding of CM's songs. The first two lines, I swear
 > > that's Andy singing.

Donned in familiar green tights <ugh!>, blue body suit, and matching Sears
poncho, one of the infamous 'Chalkhills Mummer Gang'  has reached  his own
verdict on this subject.
   Following is an excerpt from C.M. Gang member, Nor...
  "The first time I heard 'Wake Up', it sounded like a XTC song. On further
investigation I found that, yes, in fact, it was a XTC song."
   He also went on to say...
  "I tapped the horse insignia on my (dashing) costume, to shed some more
light into the matter and found that the lyrics are most certainly
They provoke thoughts of a certain Beatle's song (A Day In The Life), but
the way he sings the tune is reminiscent of Andy's vocal style. Colin
punches out the words and phrases, like Andy would, his voice lifts itself
above where he normally reaches. He uses this style to his advantage to
get the message across, wherein his 'normal' singing might not have done
that. However, it takes one look at the lyrics to assure the listener that
Colin is the songwriter.  He uses the 'everyday-everyman' approach to his
songs.  An example of this would be 'Cynical Days', 'Fuit Nut',
'Bungalow', or 'Wonderland'".

     ...Excerpt taken from: "A Not So Formal Interview with the Chalkhill
DeHorsed...DeHorsed?!? Looks like I will have to walk from here.


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 12:47:03 -0500
From: "Brian" <>
Subject: Re: Kirlian Photography
Message-ID: <00ae01c0a98a$1e990660$2458fc3f@Brian>


>I almost hesitate to ask, but worldwide uncritical thinking has what to do
>with Randy's asking for a lead on Kirlian film? (Sorry if I'm exhibiting
>uncritical thinking in merely asking this question.) And is critical
>required to be rude to someone asking for assistance?

My point was: 'Kirlian photography' is a term that exhibits New-Age
connotation, i.e., the idea of some 'mystical' human energy field that has
somehow escaped the notice of science (like the one with astrology). I
applied Occam's Razor - if such a thing exists, then it's better to first
try to explain the 'Kirlian field' with something simpler that we already
know about - infrared light.
Film for an 'infrared camera', perhaps?
Maybe the manufacturer calls it a 'Kirlian camera', but that does not mean
that a 'Kirlian aura' - in the sense of the term - is what it is taking a
picture of.
I'll throw about an unconfirmed statistic: 95% of the people in the U.S. are
scientifically illiterate. Any figure even approaching this percentage is
alarming. How are we to deal with the issues based on science and technology
that affect our lives everyday if we keep wallowing about in
pseudoscientific terms, labels and positions that explain nothing? Don't we
as a race WANT to be literate in this regard? Isn't it in our best interest?

Maybe I'm going a bit overboard here, but I'm nervous about my children's

-Brian Matthews
With Boingo gone, XTC rules the roost.


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 11:19:17 -0800 (PST)
From: ben woll <>
Subject: RE: Editing XTC Records for Filler
Message-ID: <>

First off, response to Sylvian who thought I was
really cruel for editing out a few songs on my ideal
versions of Nonsuch and a combined Apple Venus/Wasp
Star, namely Ugly Underneath, Peter Pumpkinhead,
Crocodile, Smartest Monkeys, and Fruit Nut.

I like UU, so I guess I could fit it in, and I think
that Fruit Nut successfully communicates the message
it is trying to convey, so I'm OK with that too.  But
I really do think PP is too preachy (fits into the
Melt the Guns, Reign of Blows, Books are Burning,
President Kill camp for me).  Just personal taste, but
the overtly political stuff sours me a bit.  Smartest
Monkeys has a great bass line, but it is not a great
song.  And Crocodile is just filler (yes, even our
heros sometimes stumble - Countdown to Christmas Party
Time, anyone?)

Of course XTC are amazing, and of course their filler
material is better than 90% of the stuff featured
front and center on other records, but super brilliant
as they are, I am not sure Andy and Colin are always
the best at editing song order.  I have a definite
bias towards including less songs (12-13 at the most),
probably because my MTV attention span doesn't do 65
minute records.

So, in an act that I am sure will garner me bitter
hatred and seething flames, here are the running
orders I would have for the D&W-O&L records.  Put my
head on a stick outside the village gates if you must,
but just try to listen to the records like this before
you do...

D&W-When You're Near Me..., Ten Feet Tall, Helicopter,
Day In Day Out, Millions, Real by Reel, That Is The
Way, Scissor Man, Outside World, Roads Girdle The
Globe, Complicated Game

BS-Respectable Street, Sgt. Rock, Don't Lose Your
Temper, Towers of London, Burning With Optimism's
Flames, Rocket From A Bottle, No Language In Our
Lungs, Paper and Iron, Travels In Nihilon

ES-Runaways, Jason, Senses W/O, Yacht Dance, Ball and
Chain, Fly On The Wall, Knuckle Down, No Thugs In Our
House, English Roundabout, Snowman, All Of A Sudden

Mummur-Jump, Beating of Hearts, Great Fire,
Wonderland, Love On A Farmboy's Wages, Me and the
Wind, Ladybird, Desert Island, Gold, Deliver Us from
the Elements

TBE-Wake Up, All You Pretty Girls, Seagulls Screaming,
This World Over, Red Brick Dream, Smalltown, Washaway,
You're the Wish..., Liarbird, I Remember The Sun,
Train Running Low

SL-Summer's Cauldron, Grass, The Meeting Place, Ballet
For A Rainy Day, 1000 Umbrellas, Dear God, Season
Cycle, Earn Enough For Us, Another Satellite, The Man
Who Sailed Around His Soul, Dying, Sacrificial Bonfire

OL-Garden of Earthly Delights, Miniature Sun,
Scarecrow People, Mayor of Simpleton, One of the
Millions, Cynical Days, Across This Antheap, Poor
Skeleton Steps Out, Merely A Man, Chalkhills and

Of course, I would have missed out on a lot of great
songs, but that is what Rag and Bone and Fuzzy Warbles
are for.  And oh yeah, Angry Young Men, Blame the
Weather, and Take This Town definitely belong on
proper records.  Ship Trapped In Ice, Ordinary People,
Dame Fortune, Down a Peg, The Good Things definitely
do too.

OK, I'm done making enemies ;)



Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 13:49:10 -0600 (CST)
From: Brown <>
Subject: Mr. Artecona already has one!
Message-ID: <>

..Through out the world's oceans and waterways, no one aquatic entity has
shown more loyalty to  Mummer than the righteous TROUT.. So naturally I'd
like to fashion a Mummerteer costume for him as well.. The tights won't be a
problem, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find the proper poncho to address
his unique physical characteristics.. Per chance, does anyone out there in
Chalkland still have a McCall's 'Haight-Ashbury' poncho pattern #34713?
..don't confuse it with the 'Good, Bad, Ugly- The Many Faces of Sergio
Leone' poncho pattern series #29678-29684, which features many popular
styles, including; the flirtatious yet rugged 'Once Upon A Time In The
West', the flattering to all figure types 'A Fistful Of Dollars', and the
daringly low-cut 'For A Few Dollars More' poncho, which incidentally was
Clint Eastwood's fave.. The pattern I'm looking for is from the 'Summer Of
Love' commemorative series.. it's the one with the generous insert panels
that can easily accommodate a hastily concealed kilo, a chocolate cake in a
bag, a plaster bust of Jerry Garcia, or.. say.. fins?  Any assistance or
info. would be greatly appreciated by this seamstress for the band... and I
*don't* want to hear "go ask Alice".. already tried, man.. nobody's home...

W.H. and W.L., are you sure these measurements you sent me are.. well..
accurate?.. I hope that it's just wishful thinking and not boasting on your
part, guys, otherwise the thirty yards of moss green lycra blend that I
bought won't be nearly enough to go around.. No Way! ..C'mon, fellas! I'd
expect this kind of Big Fish story from, Vee!

(..and, Jon, while I agree that metallic gold thread against the navy blue
velvet would look stunning, I'm *not* going to embroider the bodice of your
body suit with the lyrics to Love On A Farmboy's Wages.. *you* want that
sort of detail, *you* add it yourself.. Christ, people!..I'm only *one*

Mr. Relph's costume? ..of course, it's on me!

The deadline for all Mummer costume orders is June 1.

Mama Cass Elliot


Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 22:11:35 +0100
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Subject: Take No Prisoners
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkers,

>  >Portmeirion and I was a fan of the Prisoner.  Does anyone
>  >know what the video was for?  Is it quite a well known one?
> It was 'The Meeting Place'.

yes, but they also recorded the Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
featuring a "jazz ballet" trio who prance about to the tune.
Quite good actually (as XTC videos go...)

Here's another factoid for you: in both clips the band "performs"
with E.I.E.I. Owen a.k.a. Ian Gregory sitting in on drums

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


End of Chalkhills Digest #7-16

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