Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #7-33

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 7, Number 33

                   Tuesday, 29 May 2001


                     I Can't Own Her
               A single English Settlement
                    the reissues, etc.
           An Open Letter To Sir 'PowerPoPBoy'!
                     Re-issues part 2
                    Tricks Up My Steve
                Re-Masters by the Masters
            Yazbek/XTC/USA TODAY May 24, 2001
           Courtney Love and an artist's revolt
                     Viscous Rumours
                     Posting posting
                Express train to love....
                      Homegrown Oil
                    Homegrown Chutzpah
                   Orchestra Fantastik
              Well guess who decided to post
                     The next five...
                UK press reissue write-ups


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

I'm full of light and sound making my head go round, round.


Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 16:43:39 EDT
Subject: I Can't Own Her
Message-ID: <>

greetings fellow folkes and folkettes. I'm a long time XTC fan ... ,
etc., etc., etc., anyway Every time I hear "I can't own her" I think
of early split enz (before- I got you). does this make sense to anyone
else ... oh yes for some strange reason I just started singing the boy
from NYCity in me head. I can't wait to get remastered copies of ES
and the others. ES import was not a gatefold, both LP's were in paper
lyric sheets and tucked in a record jacket.  I would love to see big
express in a round CD case.....
         Bill Goodfellow       "knuckle down love his skin "


Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 20:58:11 EDT
Subject: A single English Settlement
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 5/22/01 1:22:16 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
Drude said:

> -Why didn't they put the Cd's IN the paper lyric sheets (as in the vinyl)
> in BS?  Those little plastic bags are annoying!  Yet they DID make one of
> the lyric sheets able to hold a disc in ES...PLUS included the CD in the
> little plastic bag... very strange...  Wasn't ES a gatefold...?  Can't
> remember...
> -How would all of you Hillians have felt if ES had been re-issued as a
> DOUBLE CD in the paper sleeve format (if price hadn't been affected...)?
> I think it would have made for a nice package.
> -Does anyone out there remember the track listing for the SINGLE LP
> version of ES?  And has it ever been released on CD?  I doubt it,
> but....worth asking...

No, it wasn't a gatefold sleeve. It was a single sleeve that opened from the
top (with the title on the bottom spine, or maybe that was supposed to be the

Leisure, Fly on the Wall, Yacht Dance were all missing on the single album
that I had put on Epic Records.

To the best of my knowledge it never made an appearance on CD. I have to
agree that ES doesn't exhibit as large an improvement in sound. I had both
the Geffen and British import. The latter sounded great, the former very
good. BS on the other hand sounds great. Travels sounds better than ever.

I would have gladly ponied up for a two disc set provided they added the b
sides from the same time period (Heaven is paved with broken glass, Blame the
weather, etc.). at the end of the second disc.

>From Tyler:
>>Siren Disc were pretty good service wise, though.
We'll see how mV works out.

I've had great success with mV. They are incredibly nice. I actually prefer
them to everyone.  I have a post coming to you folks that states the same

Doug said---

>>The re-mastering is *very* nice: unlike, say, some of the recent King
Crimson re-masters, the sound doesn't seem so much drastically altered as
*restored*, as if I'm hearing information/frequencies that I always knew
were missing. Compared to the older CD, the drums have more of a "thwack"
to them and the bass is much more prominent -- but the guitars and
keyboards and vocals aren't obscured. Well, done, IMHO.

I haven't heard the remastered White Music (it's a little lower on my
priority list) but I have to disagree about the Crimson remasters. The first
three were very good although they weren't as loud as previous versions I
thought the dynamic range was improved.

While I like the packaging for the "vinyl" clones they don't hold up as well
as the KC stuff (which is on heavy cardboard stock). Still, I appreciate the
fact that Virgin Japan actually went to the effort to put these together.

That isn't the case with the remastered versions of Discipline, Beat and
Three of a Perfect Pair.

>>Anyone else start singing " Ooo-wah Ooo-wah, cool cool kitty, talk about
the boy from New York City" during the second demo of "I'm  The Man..." ?
     Roger, an adult lowland gorilla, chuckling at the Philadelphia Zoo

No, but I did start singing a couple of Motown tunes.

>>A few weeks ago they spent about two weeks in Idea Studios finishing
off the Nonsuch abandoned studio version of Colin's "It Didn't Hurt a
Bit". Apparently it sounds great now and will be in the boxed set.

Thanks for the info Mitch. I'm salivating already. It's a great little tune
and now it'll get its due.

Waiting for the other re-releases with bated breath



Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 20:01:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: the reissues, etc.
Message-ID: <>

-Does anyone out there remember the track listing for
the SINGLE LP version
of ES?

Side 1:
Ball & Chain

Side 2
Melt the Guns
No Thugs
It's nearly Africa
English Roundabout
All of a Sudden

Also, the cover is not embossed, the paper sleeve is
white, not brown, and they left off Yacht Dance, one
of my all-time favorites!
I still have the vinyl copy I bought back in '82.At
the time I had no idea it came any other way. Course I
had to buy the import copy as well...

-I noticed the puke-green paper 'bag' that BS has been
re-issued in.  I know that is how the original vinyl
was released, but when I bought my vinyl,
back in '84 or so, it was issued in a BLACK PLASTIC
bag, complete with carrying handles!

I love the puke-green bag! The new cd looks just like
the lp I bought in 1980. Opening it up brought back a
rush of high school memories!
Was the black plastic bag on British copies? I've
heard of it, but have only seen the green paper one.


Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 22:05:30 -0500
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: An Open Letter To Sir 'PowerPoPBoy'!
Message-ID: <>

        Mr.Boy starts with a quote from 'The Times'

  "Sounding at times like lost fragments of old Beatles songs
  and at others like a fully completed Keith Richards album,
  it is a collection that is likely to be of limited interest
  to even the most hardcore XTC completist."

        Human 'Boy' then pukes up this $0.25 insight..

  "Have to say that I agree with the sentiment. Why xtc couldnt
   have put this stuff out as free downloads? What next? Stuff
   Andy whistled in the toilet?"

     Perhaps Mr.Boy would like to do what he does "For Free".
   Then again, I get the feeling Mr.boy already performs his
   act in the bathroom stalls of Greyhound stations in a fe-
   eble attempt to regain his dignity.

     As far as fin's concerned, a lump in with the Beatles and
   Stones 'rarities' "bootleg" for $14.99 (US domestic) ain't
   that bad a deal!



P.S. When's the last time you saw Mr.Boy give away FREE XTC



Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 11:19:44 +0200
From: "Clinton, Martin" <>
Subject: Re-issues part 2
Message-ID: <>

Hi everyone,

Odd that some people have said the re-issues are being delayed until June
(are these the Japanese ones or the UK ones?), as the second 5 are available
in the UK in HMV in London, so they ARE out. Packaging is pretty much the
same as the first 5, haven't had a chance to listen to them yet so I can't
tell you if they are noticeably better.

All the best



Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:26:01 -0700
From: "Steven Young" <>
Subject: Homestunned
Message-ID: <>

I must disagree respectfully (and strongly) with powerpopboy's recent
vitriolic excerpt from The Times and even more strongly with his "solution"
to a complaint I feel is unjustified.

The Times: "This procedure [of releasing demo tracks] is roughly the
equivalent of me submitting for publication the various rough notes and
doodles which went into the writing of this article, you have to wonder at
the sheer chutzpah involved."

In comparing such paint-by-numbers music critic rubbish to the 20-year-plus
delights of Partridge & Co. - there, alas, is the chutzpah.  XTC isn't
exactly "cashing in" nowadays.  Is the critic somehow worried about
fairweather consumers getting "tricked" into purchasing "Homegrown"?  How
compassionate.  The album is clear about what it is - a collection of
various home demos for "Wasp Star".  "Jilted consumers" can simply return
the disc for a full refund.  Next.

More from The Times: "After all, this isn't Elvis Presley or the Beatles
we're talking about, but XTC, a band who may enjoy national treasure status
but these days would count themselves lucky to sell 20,000 copies of a
'proper' album in this country."

I'm getting confused.  So the problem is...?  They should not have released
"Homegrown" because this critic deems them not important enough for creative
scrutiny?  That only more marketable acts like Elvis and the Beatles (or
their estates) have the moral or economic justification for the release of a
demo collection?  "Homegrown" is a gift to the modestly-sized legion of fans
who appreciate the music of XTC (in all its incarnations) - a worthy
supplement to AV2.  It is not (if you've gotten a copy you know) any kind of
thrown-together release aimed at the unwary market.

Times: "Sounding at times like lost fragments of old Beatles songs and at
others like a fully completed Keith Richards album [note: I assume this is
meant as an insult?], it is a collection that is likely to be of limited
interest to even the most hardcore XTC completist."

So you don't really like the idea of "Homegrown".  Fair enough.  But to say
it is 'likely to be of little interest to . . . hardcore XTC completist(s)'?
  -- says who?  This critic?  With such evident distaste for the music and
"Homegrown"'s supposed intentions, how can he/she even presume to have a
pinky finger on the pulse of XTC's fan-base?

Then powerpopboy threw me a little:

>Have to say that I agree with the sentiment. Why xtc couldnt
>have put this stuff out as free downloads?

Okay, I'll back up.  We're getting two (!) box sets of demos later this year
or next.  A repackaged and remastered back catalog.  More "proper" albums
certainly on the way (new songs being written as we type).  "Homegrown" in
no way impedes any of these releases; rather it supplements them and fills
the gap and makes waiting easier.  Are these all to be free?

As for the album's musical merit (which I can argue until my Northern
Californian cows come home, which I can tell you is not for a while) you can
buy it or you can let it be, but you can't have it free.  Most of us (and I,
unlike the Times critic, am equipped to speak for the 'hardcore completist')
have been very, very happy with it.  Happy to pay, happy to listen.  And
don't tell The Suits, but I would have paid much more for such an
illuminating glimpse into the creative process.

Critical "visions" aside, I love that I own these germinations complete with
superb artwork, in-depth liner notes and uncompressed audio all on a
nice-looking compact disc.  Beautiful.  I already had many of these tracks
burned to CD, but I didn't have to think twice about this release.
(coincidentally, this idea is the thorn in the side of any contention that
file sharing digs into record profits).  I certainly don't want to download
them in compressed audio files and burn them to CD.  No, not even for free.
I appreciate the gesture of "Homegrown", and am -- shall I say it? --
appalled that anyone can stare into this fine plowhorse's throat!

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.  Carry on.



Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:38:51 +0100
From: Dom Lawson <>
Subject: Tricks Up My Steve
Message-ID: <F1C32CD48B89D411AD2B00D0B78EC389ABE41D@MAPPINMAIL01>

'Ello slags...

>>DOM-a-nick Lawson! Where are you?
>>You've gone all Howard Hughes on us since the Pizzicato 5 did that concept
>>album about you.

My status as a recluse is largely due to the sheer, breathtaking chaos which
has descended upon my tawdry existence since taking this job at the UK's
biggest rock weakly...oh, and I'm a lazy c**t as well. Thanks for your
concern, though.

Still, great to see that you're all foaming at the cock over these XTC
re-issues. Fortunately, due to the shameless blaggery which consumes my
every working (and waking...well, and wanking too, now I think about it)
moment, I will be able to get the whole lot for free. Go on, admit it,
you're wild with jealousy! Preen, posture, smirk etc etc.

Just so you don't all club together to have me killed, here's a
recommendation from up my alley...and no, it's not ropy heavy metal

Burning Airlines - Identikit (Desoto Records)
...a splendid album from some guy who used to be in Jawbox. There's a
distinct whiff of both XTC and Gang Of Four in these angular, melodic
vignettes, and it's available in all good record shops. Like, now!

Beyond that, my sad little world is currently revolving around the tricky
task of putting together my band's first album. I may be far too old to
engage the enthusiasm of "the kids", but we're picking up little bits of
press here and there, and the as yet untitled opus should emerge in October
on tiny Undergroove Records in the UK. We're called Matter, by the way.
There will be no melodies, so 99.9% of you will probably hate it, but I
thought I'd force air down my own sackbut anyway...

Oh yeah, the new Weezer album is pretty cool. Two-and-a-half minute pop
songs of a fuzzy, Ric Ocasek-produced nature. Nice. The new Tool album is
also utterly astounding, but then you probably knew that already...

Finally, is it me or are King Crimson just about the coolest thing on
Satan's Earth???

Back to work...deadline approaching at high speed...back soon!


P.S. Ozzfest on Saturday! Black fuckin' Sabbath!!!! Cooooome


Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 09:23:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve Johnson <>
Subject: Re-Masters by the Masters
Message-ID: <>

I do not have any of the re-masters, and for some
reason, I feel no compelling need to go out and get
them.  Is there something wrong with me?

Just wondering.


Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 13:07:54 EDT
Subject: Yazbek/XTC/USA TODAY May 24, 2001
Message-ID: <>

Greetings, Chalksters -
May 24th's USA Today features an article on David Yazbek.

Speaking about his band and its new release, Damascus, he says:

 From the article:
He describes the band's sound as ''challenging pop,'' citing XTC as a
key influence. ''I had explored classical music, and I was also sort
of a jazz snob,'' Yazbek says of his early education. ''Then I heard
XTC, and it was exactly the right blend of musicality and anger, with
raw emotion served by intricate music and lyrics. It wasn't like most
pop music, which just floats like scum on the surface.''

Try this url: It's in the
"Life" section.

I have the entire article, if anyone is interested.



Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 16:53:42 -0400
From: "Michael D. Myers" <>
Subject: Courtney Love and an artist's revolt
Message-ID: <>

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

I'm not sure if you read Rolling Stone or not, but the June 7th issue has a
detailed analysis of Courtney Love's lawsuit regarding her band Hole's
contract with Interscope Records.  It is a far-ranging suit that has 3
major elements:

-  the assigment clause that is in most artist's standard contract which
allows a label to assume control of the artist when they buy out another
label.  So, for instance, even though Hole were courted by and signed with
Geffen Records originally, they ended up with Interscope who has treated
them differently, marketed them differently, etc.  By the way, the road to
Interscope also included the sale of Geffen to MCA, who sold out to Japan's
Matsushita, who sold out to Seagram's, who folded Polygram and Geffen into
UMG, who sold out to Vivendi, and thus did Interscope emerge.

-  her claim that the typical artist's contract is impossible to fulfill.
For instance, the label typically demands 7 albums over the life of the
contract.  Let's say that the artist enjoys a few hit singles from their
first album and that the label chooses to delay the release of album number
2 until album number 1 leaves the charts.  This standard clause (even
though it only guarantees the artist one or two albums) allows the label to
tie up an artist for as long as it takes to release those 7 albums, so if
that takes 15 years, then that's how long the contract lasts.  This can tie
up an artist for the length of most artist's careers if there is no
renegotiation.  For instance, California's personal services contract law
dictates that this type of contract can only last for 7 years, so this is a
real bone of contention depending upon the jurisdiction.

-  the fact that labels have a right to seel lost profits at the end of 7
years if the artist has not met the terms of the contract.  Thus, if the
artist cannot release albums fast enough to meet the second claim above,
then the label can make an assumption as to how much money they would have
made from these theoretical albums.  Some of the claims that labels have
made over the years are almost ludicrous and of course damaging to the

The bottom line is that standard recording contracts are onerous and
totally one-sided.  How does this discussion relate to XTC?  Are you
kidding?  If you've been paying attention to the band for a long time
you'll know that they felt that many of the issues listed above were
relevant to their relationship with Virgin Records, and that it took a
7-year strike on their part to get released.  They now seem to have a
workable licensing arrangement with some smaller labels around the world
where they in general control what and how they produce for the
marketplace.  I know that Ms. Love is regarded by many as a loudmouthed
no-talent, but I wish her luck because almost any artist you can think of
has gotten hosed by the contracts they signed as young, naive talents who
just wanted to get their record released.  It's hard to imagine another
artistic forum where the artist doesn't even control their work and in fact
can get financially penalized even though they had every intention of
meeting their contract.



Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 21:39:51 +0100
From: "Rory Wilsher" <>
Subject: Viscous Rumours
Message-ID: <000001c0e492$6d0cfde0$f762063e@oemcomputer>


Wayne sez:

< It would a great chance to promote their next album for 2002  >

And Mr Pop chips in with:

< What next? Stuff Andy whistled in the toilet? >

So, guys, what do you know that we don't? Please share!

Rory Wilsher "In the noisy camp"


Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 23:07:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: eriC draveS <>
Subject: Posting posting
Message-ID: <>

Last year I bought from CDNOW the Dukes CD. I was under the impression
that it was Psonic Psunspot too. But I searched somewhere, somehow in
the CDNOW site and it said "Chips..." and had a full track listing.
There was a Level 42 album with an inaccurate track listing as well,
but they corrected it. The tracks listed were those of some country
band! And speaking of which...

In Level 42's song "Dream Crazy" Mark King sings, "You find the ways
of ecstacy", and that's about as close to XTC that they come, unlike
They Might Be Giants as we all know, which sang "XTC vs. Adam Ant".
But a few years ago our local alternative radio station had this guy
always calling in during the 1980's request hour, asking specifically
for XTC AND Level 42. And I always liked both groups the most-- I was
wondering, is this prevalent throughout XTC's fan base?
When I first heard music by XTC (KNOWINGLY; see below) it was the
Nonsuch CD, and it sounded to me like a more energetic version of
Level 42 (They had just released Guaranteed, and arguably had lost
their edge by then), though it is obvious that XTC predates Level.

Regarding the White Music bit about liking the extra tracks at the
end, aren't the extra tracks (including their first single, "Hang Onto
the Night"), from 3D-EP? If so, shouldn't they be put at the
Anyway, Neon Shuffle should be the last song. Unlike some concluding
tracks ("Train Running Low...", "Funk Pop A Roll", etc.), I think it
makes a fitting conclusion to the noisome glorious mess that makes
this lasered plastic.

Any CD with a paper cover gets scratched by me easier and earlier than
with the standard jewel case. Plus I'm out of money to buy these
imports. :(
It's a similar excuse to why not to buy "Homespun"-- why spend money
for the same songs in demo form when the finished product is already
in my grubby hands? I already have the original CDs, they sound fine
to me.
Still, I guess I'm not enough of a true fan to appreciate little
nuances such as remastering.

In the page describing the endless influences and song references in
"Chocolate Fireball", "25 O'Clock" has mentions of Pink Floyd's
"Time", and a somewhat obscure song. But I noticed two more things on
that song alone.
First, the vocals sound like the Animals, and second, does anyone
remember the 1960's hit "The Twelfth of Never"? The title sounds like
some girl telling a guy when she will date him, in a teasing way of
letting him down. I assume this was the tone of the song (I haven't
heard it since infancy, I think) and a similar theme runs across
here. ("That's when you're going to be mine", but when is it EVER

The song "We're All Light" definitely does NOT have a theremin. I bet
it's just a keyboard with a pitchbender dial (I have one of those). A
similar use of pitchbending is right there in the opening of Wings'
"Band On the Run".
The theremin story is very entertaining and it was sad when the
inventor had to go back to the then Soviet Union.

The secret to XTC being a great "underground" band in the USA is, of
course, the fact that critics and their fans like it, but mainstream
people like sex appeal, wicked rapstars, etc. and have mostly
nonmusical taste.
But it occurs to me that XTC GOT their few US fans from limited
airplay of their singles, and the simple fact appears to be that if
one heard an XTC song on the radio in the 80's, one almost never found
out whose song it was!
I remember hearing much of English Settlement on the radio (Runaways,
Senses Working Overtime, Jason and the Argonauts, Fly on the Wall, and
possibly Melt the Guns), and this when Settlement was supposed to be
of truncated length in the US!... not ever knowing then who did the
Similarly, I have "phantom memories" of the title Generals and Majors,
I remember hearing the bridge sequence to Towers of London ("I've seen
it in a painting...")... and so on and so forth.
Of course, "Dear God" is a given, it got lots of US airplay, but I
used to think it was by The Who or Pink Floyd or someone else!
It came as a great relief when the phantom songs lost in spacetime
turned up in the back albums of a group I only just had become
interested in, around 1993.
So, think of all those potential XTC fans out there, sleeping (hence
the title of this thread) away without the key of knowledge to set
them free of their musical constraints!

Hey, does anyone like XTC AND heavy metal (say, Metallica or
Megadeth)? How eclectic are your tastes? What do most XTC fans think
of Primus? Did Les Claypool do justice to "Nigel"? Here's wondering.


Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 04:14:17 EDT
Subject: Express train to love....
Message-ID: <>

Hi all!

Strange thing....although it was announced that Big Express, Mummer,
Skylarking, O&L and Nonesuch were all being delayed until June 5 for
release, I managed to find them at my local CD dealer! I ended up paying
way too much for BE and Skylarking (couldn't afford to pick up Nonesuch and
they didn't receive Mummer).


Immediate impressions -- The new version of BE looks great and is pretty
darn close to an exact replica of my old vinyl copy. The sound quality is
stunning! I always knew that BE sounded pretty bad on the Geffen/Virgin CD
released in 89, but an AB comparison demonstrated just how bad the previous
version was on CD.

BE sounds stunning. The sound isn't murky and I can finally appreciate
David Lord's subtle production touches. This World Over sounds crisp, sharp
and like it was released yesterday vs. 16 years ago.  The lack of
compression is really noticeable. Ian Cooper did a great job of remastering
this CD.  I'm just curious as to whether or not Andy, Colin and Dave were
involved in the remastering (beyond having to approve the final product) as
they aren't credited anywhere on the sleeve or booklet. BE has always been
one of my fav albums so the reissue made me a happy camper!

The placing of the bonus tracks on BE never bothered me that much as the b
sides were of a similar quality and fit in quite well (unlike, say, some of
the bonus tracks on Mummer). Still, it's nice to have the original
configuration back.

Skylarking--I haven't had a chance to compare Skylarking to my gold edition
but I can state that this is a huge improvement over previous CD editions
(including the one I picked up in Canada which featured the original line
up plus Dear God as a bonus track).  Again, this new version blows away the
Geffen version. The imaging is sharp. The sound is crisp with considerably
more detail.

I did compare my import copy from Canada to the new remaster and am happy
to report that the sound is fuller. The Canadian CD suffered from a thin,
brittle sound on CD.  The production details on that older CD were very
much in evidence (unlike the Geffen CD).

The original artwork has been expertly restored. The sleeve can hold the CD
(like the English Settlement CD lyric sleeve).  Both were well worth
repurchasing. I'm waiting a bit on Nonesuch as there aren't any bonus
tracks.  A pity that Virgin didn't see fit to include the demos for
Skylarking that were released as b sides. It's a bit cheap on their part.

 I originally purchased that on CD when it first came out so the
reproduction of the vinyl sleeve isn't as big a deal to me.  I plan on
trading in some CDs tomorrow and hope to pick it up. The same goes for O&L
which, although it has many great moments, isn't one of my fav Xtc
albums. I was hoping to see the Dukes CD as well but they didn't get it.
The next priority is Mummer for me as I've always felt (despite its flaws)
that it is an underrated gem. The b sides inclusion at the end of this CD
would be an improvement over the original CD.

Off topic for just a sec-- I received a very early Father's Day gift. My
wife purchased the remastered editions of Discipline and 3 of a Perfect
Pair by King Crimson for me. The former has one bonus track while the
latter has 6 (including a fun Barbershop Quartet promo recording that is
funny as hell).  I'm happy to have the XTC stuff available in improved
editions but wish that Virgin would have taken the time (or contracted with
Andy, Dave or Colin for this) to put together a scrapbook like the ones
that come with the Crimson CDs.

Anyhow, back to lurker mode!



Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 10:16:09 -0600
From: "Angie Kelson Packer & Shaun Packer" <>
Subject: Homegrown Oil
Message-ID: <000b01c0e536$0390f480$9919adcf@packer>


A friend recently gave me "Homegrown," thank you very much again dearie.
Despite the journalistic criticism that, "it is a collection that is
likely to be of limited interest to even the most hardcore XTC
completest," I must jump up and down, wave my arms and say, "it just ain
't so!" I don't consider myself an "XTC completest," largely due to
pecuniary restraints, read summer clothes for the kids, swimming pool
passes, saving up for Disneyland, and other miscellaneous family
expenses.  Homegrown comes organically grown from the garden of earthly
delights. Popped it in the CD player, took an hour-long car ride and
could not wipe the grin off my face. I felt like I was falling in love.
Upon hearing the CD, my 5-year old said, "Is this the guy who doesn't
have any money?" I told him yes to which he replied,
"I think he should get a hundred dollars now. Or maybe a nickle."

Thoroughly delighted, also, for Mitch's info.that Colin's "Didn't Hurt a
Bit" sounds great now and will be in a boxed set.  Hey, whaddya mean
*now*?! Hasn't it always sounded great?. Sigh. I do love that song.
Quite the songwriter. Quite the gem.

MIchael V. and Duncan W. need to provide some sort of warning on their
posts to prevent some of us from scalding ourselves when we laugh so
hard we spill our coffee. Ah, if only I *could* purchase the Andy
Partridge line of clothing at my local SuperTarget! What about formal
wear? Prom night and bridal gowns?

Now, back to Homegrown, having lauded it, I must confess that my inner
jaded cynic agrees with powerpop boy. I mean, if AP pissed in an empty
soda can, and added vocals for "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands,"
would we all clamor to purchase this rarity and declare it inspired
gold? Are we being cleverly manipulated by a master snake-oil pitchman
who can sell us the same set of goods over and over again in different
packaging? Or, since we're all aware of the trails and trials of XTC
through  the valley of the shadow of death by record company, and we're
all hep to AP's eccentricities, are we immune to marketing manipulation?
Do we knowingly play along with any  audience manipulation by Partridge,
thus negating it as true "marketing manipulation." That is, you can't
manipulate someone who already knows that they're being manipulated.
Could I work in the word "manipulate" just one more time? Sometimes I
have the uneasy feeling that Mr. Partridge is sniggering at folks for
fawning over XTC. Oh well, a man has got to have a hobby.

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm off to put on my flame-retardant
underwear and pack my bags for parts unknown to Chalkfolk. Maybe the
Alvin & the Chipmunks chatroom. I'll be listening to my special
compilation CD containing, in part: Brittney Spears covering Lionel
Ritchie's "Dancing on the Ceiling"; Madonna singing "Will you still need
me/will you still feed me/when I'm sixty-four"; The Backstreet Boyz
crooning a Metallica ensemble, and N'Sync gamely attempting "No Thugs in
Our House," butchering Mr. Partridge's gorgeous  lion's roar.

Irreverently submitted,


Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 17:03:17 +0100
From: "David Edwards" <>
Subject: Homegrown Chutzpah
Message-ID: <003a01c0e78f$cdeee920$ae90883e@oemcomputer>

Dear Folks

It was interesting to see the Times reviewer wondering at the "sheer
chutzpah" of XTC putting out an album of demos - they're not Elvis, after
all, or the Beatles! What's revealing is the idea that you need to be some
kind of 'authority' before you're allowed to do anything different,
especially anything that explores the creative process: 'If it's generally
accepted that you're +this+ good, then you can do this - everyone else will
be put in their place with ridicule.' This authoritarian mindset really
believes that there +are+ objective 'authorities' in art - Elvis, the
Beatles, Shakespeare - and that anyone who places equal, or more, value on
the art of Andy Partridge, or anyone else, is somehow deluded. This is a
great way of controlling people: you feel one way, 'authority' tells you
something else is far superior (and makes fun of you for being 'embarrassing
'), and so you learn to doubt yourself and to defer to what is +supposed+ to
be true. XTC's songs have moved and inspired me far more than Elvis or the
Beatles - so that either makes me a fit subject for enlightened ridicule, or
it suggests that one person's experience of being moved is as valid as
anyone else's.

After reading that review I bought Homegrown: it's worth the price just to
hear the different versions of The Man Who Murdered Love, We're All Light,
Wounded Horse and The Wheel and the Maypole - all fantastic! I also love the
sleeve notes with their insight into the minds of one of the most creative
and inspired bands around - Andy has the "chutzpah" to express views on the
status of women and religion, and personal stuff about love. If we've been
properly trained we'll all blush with embarrassment at this - it's not as if
he's qualified...!


David Edwards


Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 16:12:46 -0500
From: "jamielowe" <>
Subject: Orchestra Fantastik
Message-ID: <001101c0e7bc$b6a7ebe0$be96243f@unlpm>

Dear Chalkholders,

A couple of us got together at Chicago's Indie Pop Fest this past weekend to
see a couple of great pop bands and chat about Xtc and music in general.  On
the bill were the Salteens from Vancouver, B.C.  who were a tight quintet
that in Chalker David Lakes' opinion stole the show.  They were indeed
great, but the high light for me was to see The Apples in stereo who
headlined.   As good as the Apples are on cd, Robert Schneider was suffering
from a cold which he medicated with a Hot toddy. The cold undoubtedly
affecting his performance for the worse.  On two occasions he invited others
to help out on vocals.  The first guest was the lead singer and
percussionist from Australia's Locksmiths (also on the bill) and he and
Robert did a nice duet .  However, the second guest vocalist was a guy named
Simon from the audience who swore he knew the lyrics and he did an admirable
job.  The show was good and a lot of fun.  But it unfortunately did not live
up to the studio work these guys and girl do, which I highly recommend.

After the show I spoke with RS about his current collaboration with Andy
Partridge.  He told me that he and Andy have been working on a project
dubbed the Orchestra Fantastik which he described as "a druggy Lovin'
Spoonful".  And that we might see this work released in September.  They
have written 25 songs and have been working with one another over the phone
and by sending tapes back and forth.  He also told me that he and AP are
very good editors and tear from one idea to another rapidly to form their
songs.  I can only imagine what it would happen if you put the two of them
in a room together!

 Robert is a demonstrative and effusive man, greeting many with hugs and
more than ready to talk to fans after the show.  As Chalker Bill Sherlock
said "he (Robert Schneider) could have been separated from birth with Andy".
Maybe Mr. Relph can post his picture next to Andy's on Chalkhills?  He also
has the energy level and manic performance style that AP once exhibited on
stage.  His guitar strings left untrimmed at the head flailing about wildly
as he engaged the audience and attacked his instrument!

Thanks to all of you who have espoused the merits of the Apples in stereo
here on Chalkhills.  You and Andy are indeed a great judge of talent.  And
thanks to everyone who came to the second annual Chalkfest.


Jamie Lowe


Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 16:39:56 -0400
From: cbisson <>
Subject: Well guess who decided to post
Message-ID: <>

Hello everyone who I haven't spoken to in a month of Sundays!
With the release of Homegrown, I am hoping that some of you could answer
a couple questions for me.
First, has anyone deciphered Andy's mumbling at the beginning of We're
All Light?  I can't quite make out the words as they are all "squashed"
Second, does anyone know why On The Pot Won't Hold..., it sounds
"peaked?"  On the version that I had prior to this, there were no peaks,
and I wondering why the engineer (I.Cooper) did that.
Third, what exactly is Tamla?  Could someone give me a few example songs
that I could compare with?
Fourth, I have a bunch (40+) cd-rs that I made for someone about a year
ago, but haven't heard from him since.  If anyone wants to buy these
(includes demos, extras, and lots of live shows) contact me off digest.
A small fee for myself plus shipping would be all you'd pay.
Finally, I am STILL looking for a "T" Nonsuch promo flat.  It is the
second of four, on one side there is a picture of Nonsuch Castle in red
and gold and on the rear there is a letter T over one of the vignettes
(I don't know which one because I don't have it) from the rear label of
Nonsuch.  If anyone has this and would be willing to part with it, cash
or trade or even more cash will be paid.  Contact me off digest.
That's all.  I will be returning to non posting mode in 5-4-3-2-
Take care all....



Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 11:15:22 +0100
From: "Stephen Jackson" <>
Subject: The next five...
Message-ID: <003901c0e5cc$db250760$8e1017d4@default>

Curious that people have had correspondence with HMV saying that the next
five re-mastered albums are not out til June, as I got mine on Thursday 24th
of May, and they RAWK! he packaging in excellent, particularly The Big
Express and Oranges and Lemons. Sound impovement less obvious on Skylarking,
Oranges and Lemons and Nonsuch, as you might expect, but vastly superior on
Mummer and The Big Express. Nice full, warm sounds...proper fat bass drums,
and clear high frequencies...

I played "All you pretty girls" and was horrified to hear a burst of
distortion in the first 2 seconds of the song...I initially thought that it
was a fault of the remastering, but I went back to my vinyl/old cd and it's
there too, it's just that I'd never heard it before....

XTC got good press in "Uncut" magazine....These remastered albums can form a
soundtrack for our summers- I've no intention of playing anything else over
the next few days.....

They use the head and not the fist.


Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 12:52:05 +0100
From: Mark Fisher <>
Subject: UK press reissue write-ups
Message-ID: <>

I don't think anyone has mentioned the round-up reviews published in the UK
glossies recently.

The June issue of Uncut gave the following ratings (out of five):

White Music - 3.5
Go 2 - 3
Drums and Wires - 4
Black Sea - 3.5
English Settlement - 4
Mummer - 3
The Big Express - 3.5
Skylarking - 5
Chips From the Chocolate Fireball - 4
Oranges and Lemons - 4.5
Nonsuch - 4
Homegrown - 3

And the July issue of Q goes for:

White Music - 3
Go 2 - 2
Drums and Wires - 3
Black Sea - 4
English Settlement - 4
Mummer - 3
The Big Express - 2
Skylarking - 5
Chips From the Chocolate Fireball - 4
Oranges and Lemons - 5
Nonsuch - 3

The Q write-up is more positive than some of those figures (Big Express -
TWO!!!) might suggest.



End of Chalkhills Digest #7-33

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