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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #7-58


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 7, Number 58

                Saturday, 17 November 2001

Topics:

                  Bizarre Cover Version
                     Colin's Conceits
                           WFMU
              Best XTC song "for beginners"
                      First time XtC
              A fresh coat for your cupboard
                        Go 2 Good
                      Free the King!
                      Congealing XTC
            RE: Best XTC song "for beginners"
               Expect to find Him laughing
               Best XTC song for beginners
 xtc video page back up / king crimson? / scott nuckles?
            Re: Best XTC song "for beginners"
                 Best Song For Beginners
                     XTC compilations
                      Beginners XTC
                         Re: Go2
            Re: Best XTC song "for beginners"
                  Converting the masses
                          Opined
       ...As Opposed to Graduate-Level Mysticism...
                 A Frozen Moment in Time
          Though I'm not a techhead............
            Re: Best XTC song "for beginners"

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But my world shakes for me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 20:27:38
From: "* Hobbes *" <hazchem25@hotmail.com>
Subject: Bizarre Cover Version
Message-ID: <F72jtrSByh133tYwlib00000162@hotmail.com>

I'm still too confused to comment on this, just listen...

http://www.dictionaraoke.org/music/theformeryugoslavia-senses_working_overtime.mp3

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 18:50:15 -0500
From: Sylvan <psiogen@hotpop.com>
Subject: Colin's Conceits
Message-ID: <20011114235251.8BC945002B@zagnut.hotpop.com>

Justin Lee wrote:
> PS:  Am I the only one who thinks "Go 2" is a really good album?  Maybe
> its
> just my sick sense of humor...

Nope! Go2 is great! :D
I definitely prefer White Music, but I think both of these albums are
muchos underrated.

Anyway, I'll bet you're wondering why I asked you here tonight.
Actually, I was thinking about Colin's songwriting... it's always seemed
to me that there was some particular theme running through a lot of his
songs, but I couldn't quite pinpoint what it was. And then, suddenly, it
all became clear! Yessirreebob! It's...
*******Maturity & Responsibility (Or lack thereof)*******
[cue dramatic organ music]

Some songs where this theme seems to appear:
One of the Millions
Love at First Sight
Making Plans for Nigel
Grass
Big Day
Limelight
That Is the Way
The Meeting Place
Frivolous Tonight
Standing In For Joe
Runaways
I'll Set Myself on Fire
Officer Blue
The World Is Full of Angry Young Men

Is this pure BS? Has this been discussed to death in years past? Am I on
to something? I suspect the truth is somewhere in between...
--
Sylvan
http://agodslife.cjb.net
"History: read it and weep." --Kurt Vonnegut

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 22:37:34 -0500
From: "hjstrole@earthlink.net" <hjstrole@earthlink.net>
Subject: WFMU
Message-ID: <RELAY1P850lpblSlqji00005290@relay1.softcomca.com>

I was looking to listen some web radio at work today and I happend
upon    www.wfmu.org   where I notice they have a poll for who should
be in the Rock -n- Roll Hall of Fame.  Those who are not familiar with
WFMU should note its programming is esoteric to say the least.  Upon
examination of their list I noticed one Andy Partridge (why not XTC; who
knows?) for whom I cast my vote.  Of course, The Ramones will
probably end up being the winner and deservedly so.  But, what the
heck, its not often anybody mentions Andy for such an honor.

So stop on by and listen, you may just hear XTC.  If not you will probably
hear something you always wished a radio station would play and no, I
have nothing to do with the station.

Actually what I do do is sell jazz (and classical) CDs.  Though I agree
with those who get a little lost in the meandering, I would have to say
seeing a jazz artist perform live is much more satisfying than trying to
get "it" from a recording.

Harry

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 00:11:16 -0500
From: "Alec Berlin" <alecberlin@hotmail.com>
Subject: Best XTC song "for beginners"
Message-ID: <LAW2-F104f1eNnBp85Q0000a200@hotmail.com>

It wasn't that long ago that I heard my first XTC song, I am both ashamed
and excited to say - and that song was "Playground," the first on Wasp Star.
  But the first song that I heard - I mean really heard, in my TOES - was
"You and the Clouds Will Still be Beautiful." Now, I know you long-time
XTCers will find this sacrilege, but I, a lifelong musician, contend that
Wasp Star is as good as anything they've every poduced and as listenable as
any pop music ever - anywhere. Vol 1 is really, really good, as is Nonsuch,
Mummer, and English Settlement, and I think if I had to choose I'd say that
Skylarking is their masterpiece. BUT - I defy anyone who has ever felt a
morsel of love in his/her heart to not relish the pure joy of Wasp Star.
Even on a first listen.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 22:03:10 +1100
From: "*SUPER SPANGER*" <superspanger@hotmail.com>
Subject: First time XtC
Message-ID: <F1029P1qiSJMPmM9j3z00006904@hotmail.com>

Well...  All of AV1, it got me into XtC.  I'd say any thing of that album.

Lyndy."Super-carbs". Now you all sound like my math teacher.
"Super-anuity, not just anuity." "Super-accurate".... The sad thing is
I'm being serious, or is that super-serious not just serious??"

"**Bounding and leaping... Like a fearless deer!**"

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 03:48:04 -0800 (PST)
From: Wes Long <optimismsflames@yahoo.com>
Subject: A fresh coat for your cupboard
Message-ID: <20011115114804.79536.qmail@web14908.mail.yahoo.com>

Kidz...

Spoke with our Andy yesterday and it seems that the
Coat of Many Cupboards release is coming along nicely.
Andy and Colin are looking through stacks of old
Virgin publicity stills and putting the artwork
together as you read this, and the music is being
mastered.  Shouldn't be long now.

We also chatted briefly about... and I think you will
all appreciate these words as much as I do... NEW
MATERIAL!

Bring it on says I,

wesLONG
www.optimismsflames.com
(launches Jan. 1, 2002)

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 09:24:13 EST
From: RMuRocks@aol.com
Subject: Go 2 Good
Message-ID: <74.13255b6b.29252a0d@aol.com>

Justin wrote:

<<Am I the only one who thinks "Go 2" is a really good album?  Maybe
its just my sick sense of humor...>>

Oh, I doubt you're the only one with a sick sense of humor here, nor
will you be the only one to love Go 2. The first XTC I bought was
Black Sea, but I picked up Go 2 shortly thereafter and have enjoyed it
ever since.

The near-perfect pop of "Battery Brides", "Are You Receiving Me?", and
"Jumping in Gomorrah" are delightful, and I love the frantic-ness of
songs like "Red", which sounds to me like it's trying to catch up to
itself!

Some of it sounds a little dated, but it WAS almost 25 years ago...a
nice transition between the quirkier "White Music" & the cleaner
power-pop of "Drums & Wires".

It's all good! :~)

Bob

NP: The Beatles, "Something"

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 09:27:24 EST
From: RMuRocks@aol.com
Subject: Free the King!
Message-ID: <8e.1e160bdc.29252acc@aol.com>

Oh, I meant to mention...I have a copy of King Crimson live in San
Francisco this year, given to me by a friend who recorded it. I don't
care for it, and rather than throw it away I thought someone here
might want it. Seems to be a few KC fans here...first one to send me a
message who's willing to send me an SASE gets it.

Bob in South Carolina

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 15:41:34 +0100
From: art et affiche <art.affiche@wanadoo.fr>
Subject: Congealing XTC
Message-ID: <3BF3D418.85FAD0B7@wanadoo.fr>

Chalkfolks,

What about loving or hating Jazz... Oh, how can you miss such
a huge continent on the music planet? As Mr Duncan Kimball
said, a whole century of music is at your disposal. I was raised
with jazz in my ears when I was a kid. My father was an rather
good amateur trumpet player an pianist, and on his turntable there
was a lot of Satchmo (I remember particularly "The Good Book"
and a record in duo with the great Ella Fitzgerald), and the Duke
(faaaaantastic melodies and amazing orchestral arrangements),
piano's kings as Count Basie, Fats Waller (one of the most jubilatory
music I ever heard), Dizzy Gillespie, M. Davis and so many others
from New-Orleans to Be-Bop...
First, I never rejected this music as "parents' music" that generally
kids hate, and second, I can see now, 20 years later, how much it
"formed" my ear, making me able to later appreciate a lot of different
musics, from indian ragas to pop... and XTC!

I wonder what is the average profile of the XTC's listener... Might be
there on this list a lot of different people. Do they have large musical
background or not? Do we have to get a big musical culture to get
into XTC? I don't think so, but as Justin Lee (hello, welcome!) in his
first post was asking "what is the best song to use to lure people in
withoutmisleading them as to what XTC is about"?
What a hell of a question! Knowing (and rather well, I think) XTC
music for a long time, I am still unable to answer to that.

Maybe the real question is "What IS XTC"? ; )

I am unable to tell which album is my favourite. I am unable to tell wich
song I prefer. I admire Chalkhills' fellows who have made "definitive"
compilations of XTC's songs. I've read some good listings here, but
I couldn't choose! And the fact of "congealing" XTC's "best" music on
CD is scary for me. Folks, this music is so emotional, with so different
moods and feelings, how can I definitively choose wich songs I like
the most? Sometimes, climate on Andy Partridge' songs is so  strong
and (I don't know the right word in english, sorry for the vocabulary),
tense? strained? I can barely listen (I think of "Train is running out of
soul coal" or "Travel in Nihilon" "Across this antheap" type, or "Shake you
donkey up", "Crocodile", "That wave", even "Greenman"! ), sometimes with
these same songs, I'm in heaven, adress cloud eleven, and they really make
me want to shout or cry... (that's why I need to be alone sometimes to
listening to the Swindon lads!). Is somebody here feeling the same? I'm
sure!

Anyway, I got a problem. I promised a very good friend of mine a
compilation of XTC. Just because I've told her I was on this list, she
asked me naively "Oh, so you must really like this band, I'd really fancy
to listen to their music, will you burn me a CD?", and just because she is
my friend, I mumbled "Errrrr - (terrible blank) -  yes, of course".

I am in the shit.

Marie Omnibus.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 08:28:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Tyler Hewitt <tahewitt@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: Best XTC song "for beginners"
Message-ID: <20011115162807.97744.qmail@web14207.mail.yahoo.com>

Well, Generals and Majors worked for me back in 1980.
Heard it a couple of times on the radio, and I was
hooked!
Nigel would be a pretty good bet,I think, as would
almost anything off of Skylarking.

RE:
I  can't help but wonder what is the best song to use
to lure people in  without misleading them as to what
XTC is about.  So I turn to you guys, what
do you all think?

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 10:57:54 -0600
From: JH3 <jh3@winco.net>
Subject: Expect to find Him laughing
Message-ID: <00ec01c16df6$ac131a40$68df90cf@alternatech.net>
Organization: JH3 Unlimited, Ltd.

From: Justin Lee (GnXn282@aol.com):
>...Am I the only one who thinks "Go 2" is a really
>good album?  Maybe its just my sick sense of humor...

NOOOO! One of us thinks it's actually the best album ever
recorded by anyone... And I prefer the term "twisted" to
"sick," thank you very much!

John "not normally the audience" Hedges
XTCware: www.jh3.com/xtc

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 12:28:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Your Friend Courtney <courtbee_2000@yahoo.com>
Subject: Best XTC song for beginners
Message-ID: <20011115202850.15036.qmail@web20001.mail.yahoo.com>

Wow, I think it really depends on what XTC you are
going for.  They have so many personalities over the
years.  If you want absolute dementia, try "Neon
Shuffle," or "Helicopter."  But if you want good folk
rock, I think "Earn Enough For Us" or "You and the
Clouds..." are winners.  My personal favorite is "Wake
Up."  I was born when XTC's first album came out and I
think I'm their biggest fan in the San Diego area.
Quick story:  I had known that Brian Vander Ark, lead
singer of the Verve Pipe, was a big XTC fan, so when I
had the opportunity to meet him at the opening of a
play he was in at La Jolla Playhouse, I jumped on it.
I just went up to him and said, "Excuse me, I think
you and I have a mutual admiration for the band XTC."
and he said, "I love XTC," so then he and I started
talking about it for a few minutes before he was
wisked away by a fellow cast member.  It was pretty
cool.  So in the six-degrees-of-separation world, I'm
now only one away from at least Andy, because he and
Brian have worked on stuff together.
Is there anyone out there in San Diego that loves XTC
like I do?  Write to me!

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 18:17:00 -0500
From: Ian C Stewart <iancstewart@columbus.rr.com>
Subject: xtc video page back up / king crimson? / scott nuckles?
Message-ID: <3BF44CEC.6040107@columbus.rr.com>

howdy all

after a long absence from the web, my list of XTC videos has made a
return -

http://bizarredepiction.batcave.net/xtcvideo.htm

Please do jet over and see if there's anything you have that I don't.

see my entire trading list at http://bizarredepiction.batcave.net/avlist.htm

You can also find my old webzine AUTOreverse at its new home:
http://autoreverse.batcave.net
Interviews with many of the more musical Chalkhills peeps past and
present, plus a long-ass interview with Martin Newell and other junk.

Anyone going to see King Crimson? We have 3rd row seats for the Columbus
Ohio show. Mmmm-baby.

When I saw them in Cincinnati over the summer, two odd things happened
as I was leaving.

One: seeing CC Deville, the guitarist from the band Poison, shuffling
out through the crowd along with everybody else. Poison was in town
early for their show the next day. Nobody even recognized him.

Two: I was wearing my rather haggard old red Nonsvch shirt and I got
spotted by a vaguely-familiar-looking guy with a beard. He said "XTC!
Nice shirt!" I said "... Scott Nuckles?" And he looked at me like a
person tends to do when they get recognized by the person they were
trying to recognize. I reminded him of who I was since we've only
actually met officially in person once (1993 - XTC Convention in
Illinois. Hands up - any other attendees here?) even though we traded
tapes and letters and phonecalls many many times over the years.

So that was odd. And if Scott is here or if anybody knows where to email
him, please make yourself my new best friend by sharing that information
with me.

cheers
Ian C Stewart

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 23:03:58 -0500
From: Groove Disques <info@groovedisques.com>
Subject: Re: Best XTC song "for beginners"
Message-ID: <4.1.20011115225957.009a59d0@mail.groovedisques.com>

Justin wrote:
>Today I was trying to get my friend into XTC by recommending some songs for
>her to download, and then I drew a total blank.  I thought to myself "What
>song would be the most accessible for newcomers?" and I just couldn't figure
>out.  She ended up getting "Senses Working Overtime" and loved it, but I
>can't help but wonder what is the best song to use to lure people in without
>misleading them as to what XTC is about.  So I turn to you guys, what do you
>all think?

I think you picked a good one to represent the band's variety of strenghts.
 There are later songs that may go down even easier, but "Senses Working
Overtime" lays it all on the table.  "Respectable Street" should have been
a "classic rock" song too.

And no, you're not the only person who likes Go 2.  Just yesterday I found
myself humming "Battery Brides".

Jim
http://www.groovedisques.com

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 07:39:40 -0500
From: "Michael Versaci" <mwversaci@att.net>
Subject: Best Song For Beginners
Message-ID: <000401c16e9b$c39bfa10$c95c5041@atl430nb>

Folxtc,

"The Somnambulist"

:^D

Ok, my nominations (in no particular order) are:

"I'm The Man Who Murdered Love"
"We're All Light"
"Greenman"
"One of the Millions"
"Love on a Farm boy's .....................................Wage-ez!"
"Wrapped in Grey"
"Generals and Majors"
"Ballet for a Rainy Day"
"Dear Madame Barnum"
"All I Dream of is a Friend"

Mv

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 13:54:07 -0000
From: Warren.Butson@getty-images.com
Subject: XTC compilations
Message-ID: <2BDAE71C765ED511A4B200508B5DC8133F530C@lonexchg00.getty-images.com>

Justin Lee asked:
what is the best songs to use to lure people in without
misleading them as to what XTC is about?

I think Justin it all depends on the circumstances.of the listener.
If they have enjoyed "senses" that should help to guide the
compilation down the route of commercial xtc.

What I did for a friend was to have one side singles starting from
"Nigel" and finishing with "Easter theatre" and omitting the edgier
singles eg "Boat" and "no thugs". Ie keep it pop. Side two I made up
with some of the catchier album tracks such as "burning with Optimism"
"wish you are" and "season cycle" but also add the odd non-commercial
thing ie "train running low" "all of a sudden" "maypole".

The best way in to any band is to give a point of reference thus if a
friend liked early Pink Floyd and wanted to know about the beatles i
would play the more psychedelic stuff not hard days night, similarly
if an elo fan wanted to get into genesis I would probably avoid
Suppers ready or Battle of Epping forrest for a first listen!

Hope this helps.

On another matter does anyone have the slightest clue as to the next
xtc studio release, it all seems to have gone worryingly quiet.
Wazza

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 09:56:58 -0500
From: Tony Picco <tpicco@iesna.org>
Subject: Beginners XTC
Message-ID: <B81A936A.26E0%tpicco@iesna.org>

"What song would be the most accessible for newcomers?"

Some suggestions:
"Senses Working Overtime"
"Mayor of Simpleton"
"Garden of Earthly Delights"
The entire Skylarking and/or Mummer albums, but in particular:
"Beating of Hearts"
"Great Fire"
"Ballet for a Rainy Day/1,000 Umbrellas"
"We're All Light"
"Respectable Street"

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 10:58:04 -0500
From: Tony Picco <tpicco@iesna.org>
Subject: Re: Go2
Message-ID: <B81AA1BC.26E3%tpicco@iesna.org>

PS:  Am I the only one who thinks "Go 2" is a really good album?  Maybe its
just my sick sense of humor...

On New Year's Eve in NYC, waaay back in 1978/79, I went to a Talking Heads
concert at The Beacon Theater. I saw X T C on the marquee but thought some
of the letters must have fallen off. Before the concert began, David Byrne
himself came out and introduced the opening act as a band he thought was
very good, and told us we should listen. The curtains parted and XTC
launched into "Mecchnnik Dancing (Oh We Go)." I was captivated immediately.
Halfway through the song the audience stopped their usual
ignore-the-opening-act-murmuring and started asking each other "psst.. who
is this?" By the end of the set, XTC version 1.0 (Barry was in the band
then) had won over the crowd. Within a few days I bought Go2 as an import,
and spent the next few months wearing out the vinyl playing it over and
over. By the time Drums & Wires was released, I was a lifelong XTC fan. I
saw them play live in NYC on three separate occasions before Andy retreated
from the stage. Go2 is a remarkably sophisticated album that I still listen
to, and I feel sad that pig-headed-ol-Andy disavows the earlier work.
Personally I think Nonesuch is their weakest album. (Still a good one, just
their weakest.)

Tony Picco

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 16:21:17 +0000
From: "apparratus null" <apparratus_null@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Best XTC song "for beginners"
Message-ID: <F80RkF8iK8n0cTN0Qmc000101f9@hotmail.com>

if itsjust one song its actually easier, as any single or otherwise
representative song between english settlement and apple venus will not give
amisleading impression of most of xtc's output (exept maybe "wonderland").
as for a first album, thats not easy. i would go for skylarking.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 11:25:01 -0600
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <Dan_Wiencek@mcgraw-hill.com>
Subject: Converting the masses
Message-ID: <6C7D4904C7A2D94DA0A1A91B4A01C88101505987@dbq-exchange.mcgraw-hill.com>

> Today I was trying to get my friend into XTC by recommending some
> songs for her to download, and then I drew a total blank.  I thought
> to myself "What song would be the most accessible for newcomers?"
> and I just couldn't figure out.  ...  So I turn to you guys, what do
> you all think?
>
> Justin Lee
> (first time poster, short time reader)

This will sound weird, but I swear to you: Rook. On two seperate occasions I
was playing the song and a bystander asked, without any solicitation from
me, who the band was and what the song was called. One girl found herself
humming the bridge and remarked, "This is really catchy"; the other, a
professional singer, said it was "really good" and reminiscent of Burt
Bacharach (good ears, I say). So don't be afraid: cue up Andy's terrifying
ruminations on mortality and being and watch their eyes light up.

Dan

PS. So long, Ken Kesey; I always wished I could've been on the bus ... :(

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 11:51:30 -0700
From: Kirk.Gill@equifax.com
Subject: Opined
Message-ID: <OFAB2A678F.F3ED769D-ON87256B06.005A27FF@fin.equifax.com>

I've read with interest the recent comments on Echo and the Bunnymen and
Ben Folds Five, as I really don't care at all for either of those bands.
Still, I love to hear people praising bands I don't like, 'cause sometimes
I learn something, or get some insight into either people or music that
surprises or challenges me.

So I dug through my cd's, and found my one and only Ben Folds Five disc
(Whatever and Ever Amen). I listened to it again, with my eyes more wide
open than ever before........

And it still doesn't do much for me. What can I say?

As to what XTC songs to use as introduction, I think it's hard with a band
like XTC, as they've worn so many different hats over the years, and they
can be loved for so many different reasons. So there's two possible
answers. One, if you really know this person, use your imagination and try
to find that one tune that will tweak them. Of course, this is a
hit-or-miss operation. For example, the event that really spurred my
interest in XTC was receiving a tunes tape that a friend of mine made
containing the song "The Meeting Place." Strangely, that is not EVEN one of
my fave XTC songs now, but at the time it was enough to get me to go pick
up a record and start the madness.

The second answer is to create an entire tape/cd that covers all the major
bases and helps explain why YOU love XTC so much. I think your enthusiasm
can be infectious.

I must add that the song I tend to use as an introduction is "She's Burning
(With Optimism's Flames)."   For whatever reason!

And on the issue of what season is best for XTC, I must agree that all
seasons are best !   For spring, Skylarking comes to mind, or Mummer and
Wasp Star. Summer hearkens to Oranges and Lemons, White Music, and Nonsuch.
Fall seems to meld best with English Settlement for me, and winter demands
The Big Express or AV1. Of course, all can be interchanged, as moods aren't
necessarily dependent on the season, and individual songs on certain albums
their own seasonal appeal, but.............

And I'd like to throw out one more great jazz record for your perusal. Not
necessarily the kind of easy listening that would always generate immedate
appeal, but if you love music, you will probably love "Mingus Ah Um."
Charles Mingus, bassist,  bandleader, and composer extraordinaire, may have
created his greatest achievement on this record. If you don't love "Goodbye
Porkpie Hat," especially the sax solo, then you're beyond hope (insofar as
ever loving jazz is concerned).

Christmas Cheer to everyone !

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 17:33:13 EST
From: Hbsherwood@aol.com
Subject: ...As Opposed to Graduate-Level Mysticism...
Message-ID: <bd.172b25cc.2926ee29@aol.com>

>From: Steve.Pitts@i-tcs.com
>Subject: It's a small [square] world
>
>I wonder whether those who dislike Go2 (and to a lesser extent White Music)
>are primarily folk who came to XTC later in their careers and have then
>worked their way through the back catalogue?? To me there is a palpable
>flow to XTC's work, especially up to Skylarking, and having taken that
>journey along with the band I still feel comfortable with all the stops
>that they made on the way.

I may be in a more-than-usually-goopy mood, particularly susceptible to
Kindergarten Mysticism, to flannel-pyjama notions of the Interconnectedness
of All Things, but this has particular resonance right now. (Maybe it was
that second North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout, wink wink...)
Recently, for my little research project, I listened to the whole XTC catalog
in chronological order, from the 1975 Helium Kidz with Steve Hutchins all the
way to Wasp Star.

The times change, the context changes, the width of the trouser legs and the
height of the platform heels oscillate with the seasons of fashion, but one
thing really grabs you when you consider the Whole XTC Enchilada: There's
growth between every album, every record is a metamorphosis from the one
before it, a new butterfly grown from the chrysalis of the record before.
English Settlement, to grab an example out of the air, differs palpably from
Black Sea, with new acoustic textures and expansive arrangements, but it's
also unmistakably the record that *followed* Black Sea. Couldn't possibly
have come before it; even less possibly could it have followed, say, The Big
Express.

Now, watching that process unfold forward in real time, you're not
particularly aware of it. Black Sea; Hmm--nice record! English Settlement:
Hey, these guys are *good*! Mummer-Big Express-Dukes-Skylarking, evolution,
each record picking up where the last left off. With each record, the
characteristics that we think of "XTC-isms" (big, motion-filled harmonies,
clever & intricate melodies, nature-centered pantheism, great guitar work)
become more and more evident.

But if you work *backward* through the catalog, you're watching the
stripping-away of your favorite XTC-isms, a gradual flensing of the Beauty
Blubber, until you're down to the skeleton--which, I would contend, is what
you see in White Music and Go2. But I must insist on this point: That those
records are XTC records *just as much* as Apple Venus or Oranges and Lemons.
Already in evidence are those things that will *always* characterize XTC's
music--in particular, that quality that lazy rock journalists will try to
dismiss as "quirkiness," but that is in fact a unique identifier of the art
created by Partridge & Moulding.

To see why White Music and Go2 were so appealing in their own times, and why
lots of people sat up and really took notice of the band in 1977-78, you have
to compare those records to others of the time, to early Talking Heads,
Clash, Police, Buzzcocks, what-have-you. I'm not going to make claims of
superiority--that would be silly--but I will make a claim that XTC stood far,
far *apart* from that herd in those days--witness the willful weirdness (in a
time when everybody bent over backwards to *appear* as weird as possible!) of
X Wires, I'm Bugged, of Barry Andrews' cheeseball organ, of a perverse
Devo-ish cover of All Along the Watchtower. Maybe that "quirky," "arty"
quality is just sheer Partridgean pigheadedness, I don't know. But the XTC I
first heard in 1978 was so *different*, so *challenging*, that.... Well. I'm
still listening.

Harrison "8.9% alcohol and smooth as the inside of a Romanov Tsarevna's
thigh. On to Number Three!" Sherwood

-------

PS: Partridgism of the Week: Discussing tape flange used in "Jason and the
Argonauts," he reached for the term "Doppler Effect," and came up with
"Knopfler Effect" instead. Laughed crazily, and then in a German
mad-scientist voice, said, "Ja, ja, ze Knopfler effect: ze silliness und
sentimentality of the ze guitar solo is in direct relation to ze coefficient
of the tightness of ze headband!"

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 18:14:19 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <wile1coyote@yahoo.com>
Subject: A Frozen Moment in Time
Message-ID: <20011117021419.11864.qmail@web13405.mail.yahoo.com>

Am listening to a bit of the boys tonight and I caught this bit, that I
don't know if I had fully appreciated before. The irony (tragedy?) is
so thick it is edible.

On the 31st of May back in 1989, XTC visited Eastern Sound Studios in
Toronto to broadcast the last of their radio station tour concerts here
in North America. Pete and June Dix ( of The Little Express) and an
audience of about 100 or so were in the studio to watch the boys run
through their stuff. This is my favorite radio station tour stop as the
XTC knowledgeable interviewer, John Derringer (Really!), and the
friendly pro XTC audience really bring out a SUPERB performance from
the guys. They play everyhting just a bit better for this one in my
opinion.

So I am listening to this tonight and they play some tunes and then
there are interview sections between the tunes the bands are playing.
Just near the end after the station plays the LP version of "The
Loving" this takes place.....

John:"Is there any possibility of anybody doing any solo work? Or is
this something that is simply an outfit that works together?"

Andy:" Well certainly solo we are allright...but I mean...it's just
like as a group we are 100%, and solo we are not 33 1/3% of that you
know... we are some infinitly tiny amount.

But most bands don't realize that you know... They...most bands...as a
band they are 100%, you take 1 person out and give them a solo record
and they think 'Well he's gonna be great', but it's not cause...usually
bands have a magic uhhhh...I don't know what it is...personalities
together or something that happens and it makes the band so much better
than any 1 portion.

I mean alot of bands don't realize that and they get big egos and they
go...and you know they get all prima-donnafied and..and.. they fall
apart.

We realize that what we do is infinitly much better when there's all
three of us doing it."

Oh to turn back the clock..

Night all

Mole

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 19:04:08 -0000
From: <dan@barrow.uk.com>
Subject: Though I'm not a techhead............
Message-ID: <NFBBLMPAMLLFLLONFHCPGEMFCAAA.dan@barrow.uk.com>

........ I am in need of some technical XTC info.

Can anyone tell me what amps, guitars and pedals were used by the boys, most
specifically when they were touring Black Sea? Even better, if there are any
guitarists out there with a Line 6 processor, have they managed to find the
perfect Partridge and/or Gregory live sound?

I just know there's someone out there who knows this kind of thing.

Dan Barrow

dan@barrow.uk.com

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 23:52:45 +0000
From: Marc Wickens <marc@manicsound.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Best XTC song "for beginners"
Message-ID: <3BF6F84D.10203@manicsound.co.uk>

 >From: GnXn282@aol.com
 >
 >Today I was trying to get my friend into XTC by recommending some
 >songs for her to download, and then I drew a total blank.  I thought
 >to myself "What song would be the most accessible for newcomers?"
 >and I just couldn't figure out.  She ended up getting "Senses
 >Working Overtime" and loved it, but I can't help but wonder what is
 >the best song to use to lure people in without misleading them as to
 >what XTC is about.  So I turn to you guys, what do you all think?

I don't think one song is enough - I got into XTC when my dad made me
a tape which included about six songs, which were mostly recent one -
"We're all light", "You And the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful", "dear
Go", "I'd Like That", "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love", and "Standing
in for Joe".

Since then I have copied "Apple Venus Volume 1/2" "Black Sea"
"Nonsuch" and "Skylarking" and like them all!

Also, some people maybe automatically not like music if they have
preconceptions -- so don't tell them what year it came out or
anything, as it doesn't matter if the songs are good.

HTH

--
Marc Wickens
http://www.manicsound.co.uk
http://www.hoppet.org

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #7-58
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