Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-11

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 11

                 Friday, 1 February 2002


                      Re: Kinky talk
                   RE: singing drummers
                     Kinks discussion
                     A lurker speaks!
            Finally! found a U.S. release date
                     XTC box set info
                   Greater than Caruso
                Flaming Lips Next Album...
         Various & Sundries; Andy's Spelling Bee
                      Fireball XL-5
                      Re: Radiohead
                  More Abstruse Verbiage
                     Re:Toddler Tunes
Older and better and a slight correction to my previous post.
                  RE: Everything Decays
                     voices ans pasta
           Assorted comments on all and sundry
                    Wheel vs. Maypole
        Another "Lucrative" XTC Commercial Moment
                     XTC in the USA?


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

No power to illuminate dark nights.


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 15:04:08 +1100
From: "Crawford, Jeff" <>
Subject: Re: Kinky talk
Message-ID: <>

Dear Chalkhillians,
I'd just like to weigh into the Kinks discussion for a moment. I didn't
exactly get on board for Ray's most extravagant concept, "Preservation Act"
vol I and II, but claiming that everything after "Lola" was bollocks is a
bit strong. For starters, there are some gems on the "Percy" soundtrack, and
"Everybody's in Show-biz" is a wonderful album (surely "Celluloid Heroes"
must be considered as one of Ray's masterpieces). "Muswell Hillbillies" is a
lot better than OK, and "Misfits" and "Sleepwalker" have their moments.
I won't get started on the Stones, but it's certainly not all dross after
"Exile" either (though they never went close to topping it).
Re: drummers who sing - Phil Collins I can understand, but why is Don Henley
regarded as some kind of anti-Christ? I'm not defending everything he's
done, or The Eagles for that matter, but they've both made good records and
some pretty bland ones as well. "Boys of Summer" and "End of Innocence" were
fine singles (or are they guilty pleasures I should keep to myself?)
XTC content: Am I the only one who doesn't have a problem with "The Man Who
Murdered Love"? Fabulous power pop, if you ask me. Commercial? Sure it is,
and in a perfect world it'd be all over the radio.
On another subject, are any Chalkhillians fans of the fab Seattle band The
Posies? They seem pretty underrated to me.
Cheers from the deep south of Orstralia!


Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 19:49:56 -0800
From: "da9ve stovall" <>
Subject: RE: singing drummers
Message-ID: <>

>From: Ryan Anthony <>
>James Isaacs asks in Digest #8-9:
>"Is there a singing drummer of a successful act that
>has had a solo career that is both critically and
>commmercially successful? . . .
>Successful solo singing drummers are a select club.
>Those who can be mentioned in Chalkhills without fear
>of ridicule are rarer still. Two names come to mind:
>I don't think anyone here despises Levon Helm. I don't
>think anyone here despises Ringo Starr, either.

The one that springs to my mind quickest is Robert Wyatt, he
of the Soft Machine and many fine albums under his own name,
not to mention Matching Mole and lots of session work/guest slots.

I'm a drummer, so now that you've gotten me started on culling
the identities of singing drummers who have had solo careers
from the much longer list of drummers in general, I have to agree,
it IS a pretty select group.

Dave Grohl played drums in Nirvana, but he's on guitar in Foo
Fighters. . . .

Nick D'Virgilio plays drums in Spock's Beard, (and with Mike
Keneally), and has a solo album out now. . . .

. . . and I can't think of any more right away. . . but I'll
be awake late tonight.  Grrrrrrrrr.

da9ve, who can't carry a tune in a bucket


Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 20:10:51 -0800 (PST)
From: Pete <>
Subject: Kinks discussion
Message-ID: <>

Re Kinks and shark references.

  I don't know what you chaps are refering to (I guess a bad album) with
the Shark references, but being a long term devoted kinks fan I have to
have my say.
  Muswell Hillbillies is a great album, while not being the supernatural
erie force of something else it has some great sounds and lyrics.
  I agree that Ray had probably over mined the
melancholy-english-nostalgia vien, as so had to turn seek a new muse.  His
work of the post 71 period is largely reflective (as to be expected) of
his psychological state.   Not that I m his psychatrist but with the
sucide attempt/breakdown I think I can understand his slip into
plastic-concept land where it all seems more important to make a cohesive
statement (back up singers n' all).  Lucky he got out of that by the
mid-seventies, and hopefully this years solo-album might find his
subconscious writing the songs again, and not the prentense - opera
director so dominant 71 - 74.
  I put 1974 at the end deliberately, Schoolboys in disgrace is a good
album.  Daves sonic weavings are evident and it sounds like more of a band
effort.  The songs are less abstract, based more on the personal
experiences that made the mid-sixties Kinks so Vital.
  Other highlights: Well I like Misfits, but I prefer Schoolboys and if
you listen to the eighties stuff with an open mind it has resonance and
communicates quite well.  Word of mouth is pretty good, if a little forced
in parts, but it has about five tracks I consider essential.
Do it again, Word of Mouth, Summers gone, Living on a thin line, O.k maybe
only four.
  Anyway I am not going to argue that the sixties didn't see Ray and the
Kinks at the peak.  But you know many artists bloom again later in life,
so I am still hopeful for a kinks Komeback.

Peter Wilson.


Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 22:33:46 -0500
From: Megan Hull <>
Subject: A lurker speaks!
Message-ID: <>

A lurker speaks!

Kristin wrote:

> Subject: Thanks to XTC and Chalkhills for Easter
> Well, none of the puny humans in the book knew but I
> did, and you know why?  Bwah hah hah, because of the best song from AVI,
> "Easter Theater," and from reading discussions on Chalkhills regarding
> paganism and said song.

I'm sorry that I missed those discussions as a Pagan myself. (Yes, Megan
the Pagan, go on then. I've heard it since I was a kid--long before I
actually was a Pagan!) I have been painting our bedroom the last 2 days and
have been listening to XTC while doing so. I have heard so many references
to things that could be classified as Pagan that it made me wonder where
all this Paganism comes from.  Anyone care to fill me in?

And Duncan wrote:

> "Bob" ( wroteth, re: XTC for toddlers:
> > I've always found that kids respond better to They Might Be Giants
> > though...
> ...yes, my 5-year-old runs around all riffin' "S-E-X-X-Y"...

My husband is a huge TMBG fan! He sang "Dr. Worm" to our son the day he was
born. I'm not a big TMBG fan, but I must admit, their songs *are* fun--and

The other Duncan wrote:

> Re: Records of the Year - it is my observation that there are far too many
> people with far too much disposable income on this list. How the HELL can
> you afford all those records?

I haven't posted my list and I can't speak for everyone here, but we own a
record store. Whee!

And Ira wrote:

> Ryan Anthony: you crack me up. Women screaming your name in supermarkets. Ha!
> As a matter of fact, when we moved into our house and started taking walks
> around to meet the neighbors, we found out there are 3 other Ryans (I think
> they're 10, 8, and 2 now) on our street.

I may have the female equivalent of the Ryan Problem. I'm a 33 year old
Megan.  Seems like every girl under 10 is named Megan, Ashley, or Britney
(and choose your various spellings). When I was a young Megan, I was the
only one I knew.  Now I hear some woman screech "Megan!" and I wonder what
the Hell my mother is doing showing up unannounced.

Megan the Elder


Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 20:59:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: Finally! found a U.S. release date
Message-ID: <>

According to Billboard, A Coat of Many Cupboards will
be released in the U.S. by Caroline Records on April
2.  Caroline is also apparently planning on putting
out their own U.S. printings of the remastered albums.

After dishing out those facts the article goes onto
some really halfassed reporting of news found at the
official site.

You can see the whole article here:

"Y'all don't know what it's like/ being male, middle-class, and white"


Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 10:01:49 -0800
From: Elizabeth Setler <>
Subject: XTC box set info
Message-ID: <>

I think I'm looking forward to Harrison Sherwood's liner notes most
of all... :-)

--- begin forwarded message ---

The XTC box set,  "A Coat of Many Cupboards" is being described as "the
definitive treasure trove of tracks from one of the finest pop rock
bands ever."    (Street date yet to be determined, but soon!)

It is interesting to note that none of the added tracks on the
individual reissues (to be released later)  are duplicated on the box
set!   We will give different catalog numbers to cardboard sleeve and
jewel case versions so that there will not be a question as to what
format of packaging is in stock.

-  $59.98C list (same price as the Tangerine Dream "Tangents" box set)
- 4 CDs in a long box format
- 60 tracks covering XTC's 10 classic 1978-1989 period albums (including
their Dukes of Stratosphear side project)
- All tracks have been digitally remastered
- Compiled by XTC founders/songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding
- A gold mine of outtakes, demo versions, home recordings, rehearsal
extracts, acoustic versions, and never-before released live tracks.

- 41 tracks (70% of the contents of the box set) have never been
released before in any form
- 60 page booklet written by XTC expert Harrison Sherwood featuring a
track by track commentaries

Of special interest to XTC fans is that the versions of the band's hit
singles included in this box set are the never-before heard alternative
or demo versions. These include the Mutt Lange produced version of "This
Is Pop," Dave Gregory's home demo version of "Dear God," rehearsal
recording of "Generals and Majors," the discarded single version of
"Life Begins At The Hop," and the band's first ever demo recording of
"Science Friction"

Track listings :
CD1: 1977-1979
Science Friction (CBS Demo, pre signing to Virgin)
Spinning Top (Live @ Eric's, Liverpool - 1977)
Traffic Light Rock(Live @ Eric's, Liverpool - 1977)
Radios In Motion (From White Music)
Let's Have Fun (White Music outtake)
Fireball XL5/Fireball Dub (White Music outtake)
Heatwave Mk.2 Deluxe (White Music outtake)
This Is Pop (Mutt Lange single version)
Are You Receiving Me? (Go 2 outtake)
Things Fall To Bits (Go 2 outtake)
Us Being Us (Go 2 outtake)
Life Begins At The Hop (Drum machine rehearsal - extract)
Life Begins At The Hop (Discarded single recording)
Making Plans For Nigel (Red Brick studio version, demo)
Ten Feet Tall (From Drums and Wires)
Sleepyheads (Drums and Wires outtake)

CD2: 1979-1981
Meccanik Dancing (Live @ The Marconi Club, Sydney,1979)
Atom Age/Hang Onto The Night/Neon Shuffle (medley) (Live @ The Marconi
Club, Sydney,1979)
Life Begins At The Hop (Cameron Allen vesion for America)
Reel By Real (DJM version)
When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty (DJM version)
Helicopter (DJM version)
Towers Of London (Polygram Studios recording)
Generals and Majors (Polygram Studios recording, rehearsal)
No Language In Our Lungs (from Black Sea)
Sgt. Rock Is Going To Help Me (from Black Sea)
Paper and Iron (Live @ The Lyceum, London, 1980
Crowded Room (Live @ The Lyceum. London, 1980
Senses Working Overtime  (early Andy Partridge home demo)
Snowman (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon, 1981)
Ball and Chain (Langer/Winstanley version)

CD3: 1981-1986
Punch and Judy (Langer/Winstanley version)
Fly On The Wall (from English Settlement)
Yacht Dance (Live on The Old Grey Whistle Test,1982)
Jason and The Argonauts (from English Settlement)
Love On A Farmboy's Wages (Demo)
Wonderland (Demo)
Ladybird (from Mummer)
All You Pretty Girls (Demo)
Wake Up (Demo)
The Everyday Story Of Smalltown (from The Big Express)
Grass (Demo)
Let's Make A Den (Demo)
The Meeting Place (Demo)
Dear God (Dave Gregory's house demo)

CD4: 1987-1992
Brainiac's Daughter  (from Dukes Of The Stratosphear)
Vanishing Girl (from Dukes Of The Stratosphear)
Terrorism (Demo)
Find The Fox (Demo)
Season Cycle (from Skylarking)
The Troubles (Demo)
Mayor Of Simpleton (Acoustic demo)
King For A Day (Demo)
Chalkhills And Children (from Oranges & Lemons)
The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead (Demo)
Omnibus (from Nonsuch)
The Disappointed (Demo)
Bungalow (from Nonsuch)
Didn't Hurt A Bit (Nonsuch outtake)
Books Are Burning (Live on the BBC's The Late Show, 1992)



Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 00:40:20 -0800
From: "Blindowl" <>
Subject: badfinger
Message-ID: <>

I may have missed it, but I dont think anyone on Chalkhills has mentioned
the new/old Badfinger issue. "Head First", the 1975 final album before Pete
Hams death has been properly and righteously released after a 25 year wait
and what a GEM! it is. The original playlist is on disc 1 and disc 2 has
demos and outtakes a la "Homegrown". It is available at CDNOW and

I know all you XTC/Beatle/Badfinger fans out there will love that this great
lost record has finally been released. Also worthy of mention is the book
"Without You, the Tragic Story of Badfinger" which contains a CD of rare
music recordings, interviews and other things. It's a terribly sad story of
a cruel recording industry and it's effect on people.

I haven't seen much on Chalkhills about Badfinger but Pete Ham and Tom Evans
were musically very much like Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, not to
mention the obvious Beatle connection. It was and is a tragic loss for us
all. Get the CD, in fact if you haven't already, get them all. Badfinger
were a GREAT band and Pete Ham was a true talent.

"Shine On"



Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 04:22:19 EST
Subject: Kinks
Message-ID: <>

Jim Smart scripsit :
"I agree. Though Muswell Hillbillies is OK, it marks
the start of a major downward spiral."

I dare say, "Everybody's in showbiz", which was released just after MH, may
be my favourite Kinks album ! Fun lyrics, very different moods from one song
to another (sunny, gloomy, sad or cynical...), and the big band taste seems
quite appropriate. And the second record has that fabulous live version of
Alcohol on it...
Even after that one, they always had two or three unforgettable songs on
their albums, for example "Life on the road" on Sleepwalker (76) or "Out of
the wardrobe" on Misfits (77), those two albums being really surprising for
those who don't believe in later Kinks.
XTC content : I've been set off by a pretty little girl.
Martin, from Versailles.


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:43:17 +0100
From: "Mary" <>
Subject: Greater than Caruso
Message-ID: <001a01c1ab12$7ee3bda0$acad1b97@mary>

Something that Amy said about Andy, Peter Gabriel and Elvis Costello having
voices that are important (and theoretically greater than Pavarotti, to add
to some of the earlier discussion) made me recall a comment that Dylan made
in the documentary "Don't Look Back", "I don't sing like Caruso, I'm a
BETTER singer".  In my humble opinion, he was right. It takes feeling to be
a great singer, and if someone's got the airbag, the chops and the breathing
down, fine. But when the emotion transpires, that's something that really
only a few people have been able to do, and I agree with the three choices
of our Amy totally. (But have to add my beloved Nick Cave).

"King of America" could be Costello's "worst" vocal performance, and I
remember thinking that when it came out, but it is definitely one of the
most intense ones for me. Gabriel's "Blood of Eden", also thanks to a really
fine vocal by Sinead O'Connor, reaches an emotional level that I think no
training or practice can make anyone acquire, it is naked feeling. The
"breathlessness" in certain Partridge performances, take for example
"Optimism's Flames" can't be learned or taught, they just "are", even with
very dizzying melodies. I never grow tired of them. But I REALLY want to
know, is it true that he took singing lessons recently?? I can't recall
where I read that, but I wonder if it's true. Anyone know with any degree of

And happy belated birthday to Ryuichi Sakamoto and my sister Sandy!! (same
birthday, although I'm the only one who cares!)


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 07:09:36 -0600
From: "Toby Thomas" <>
Subject: Flaming Lips Next Album...
Message-ID: <003501c1ab21$b5768b40$9e488942@silvermoon>
Organization: Prodigy Internet

... is due this summer. A nice article this week in the Oklahoma Gazzette
regarding it. The writer, who received a 3-song sampler, raves. An extension
of the SOFT BULLETIN sound and way beyond...


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 08:54:31 -0500
Subject: Various & Sundries; Andy's Spelling Bee
Message-ID: <>

Duncan saith:

<<...yes, my 5-year-old runs around all riffin' "S-E-X-X-Y"...>>

Still, it would be preferred to Andy's "F-U-C-K", no? :~)

<<Further proof that there is no god: Peggy Lee dies - Kenneth Lay
lives.  Come on, theists - explain to me how a just and all-powerful
god could get THAT so wrong?>>

If YOU were God, wouldn't YOU take Peggy Lee before Kenneth Lay? And Peggy
did what Andy couldn't do, that is squeeze more deserved income from the
Disney money machine for her contributions to "Lady & The Tramp". Andy's
great "James & The Giant Peach" songs got flushed because they wouldn't pay
him his due, right?

<<Am I turning into an old codger? Why is it that Radiohead leaves me
utterly cold? Maybe it's due in some measure to the fact that I CAN'T

It's not about lyrical brilliance, it's about musical texture, at least for
me anyway. I love all their stuff but would only offer a shrug if asked
what Thom is singing about. We have Elvis & Joni & XTC (and many others)
for lyrical brilliance. Listen to Radiohead at that level, and see if it

Ira saith:

<<I appreciate your suggestions, and maybe I'll make him a TMBG mix as well
(thanks to Bob) because his friend Sam likes them too.>>

And I would say the key to these band's appeal to toddlers is the focus on
melody rather than writing songs around riffs. Check out the kid's class
singing "Particle Man".

As for drummers of successful bands leading their own successful band, I
would throw Dave Grohl out there for consideration. Nirvana was sorta
successful (insert wink), and I think the Foo's rock as well.

Last comment: Anybody heard the latest Eels CD, "Souljacker"? Worth having?
I liked Daisies of the Galaxy a bunch.


NP: Earth, Wind & Fire, "Reasons"


Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 08:31:35 -0600
From: "Steve Oleson" <>
Subject: Fireball XL-5
Message-ID: <>

I remember Fireball XL-5. Loved it! Cant wait to hear Andy sing the
song!  Maybe it was Venus the marionette of XL-5 that inspired Andy?
She was SOOOO sexy!
;-) My Heart would be a Fireball, a Fireball!!!!

I LOVED Fireball XL-5. I even had a plastic model of the ship that I
played with.

I have a shameful memory to confess: I must have been in 4th grade
when President Kennedy was assasinated, and I was MAD when they
pre-empted Fireball XL-5 TWO SATURDAYS IN A ROW because of coverage of
his death and his funeral. I was sad that he'd been murdered of
course, and had an inkling of the impact on everyone, but two
weekends? Ahhh, the shame of my youth!

Almost pointless aside: In the mid-seventies I played in a band that
did an instrumental called "Potatobug XL-5".

Do you remember Supercar? It must be a "cousin" of Fireball: it had
marionettes (Dr Beaker, Mitch, and Jimmy... dont remember the "male
lead", though) Loved it too.

If you are interested in Fireball XL-5 or Supercar, go to:

Steve "Zodiac" Oleson


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 06:38:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Various
Message-ID: <>


Phil Corless lamented:
> These stories of toddlers bouncing around the room to XTC songs is making
> me sad..... My 3 1/2 year old will only sing "C is For Cookie," "Twinkle
> Twinkle Little Star," and the "Veggie Tales" theme song.

Hey, "C is for Cookie" is good enough for me! And ain't nothin wrong with
"Twinkle, Twinkle...", which features a melody that, of course, does triple
duty supporting that song, the ABC song, and "Bah Bah Black Sheep."

> When I play XTC, or any other artist that I love, he says to me, "Daddy,
> turn that music off.... it's bad."

Here's what I'd suggest: Try individual songs that have lyrics they can relate
to (so, skip "Reign of Blows" and try "Playground"); keep the volume low and
focus on other fun activities, like playing favorite games; and sing along on
the especially singalongable parts. If that doesn't work, lock the little scamp
in the utility closet until he comes around.

MISTER Jon Rosenberger said:
> But..
> Radios In Motion has to be the one. I mean the thing screams SINGLE
> yet it never got any notice from Virgin. The CADS!

I also have a fondness for that song ... in fact, when Richard Pedretti-Allen's
"King for a Day" compilation comes out, look for that song as performed by The
Deuterium Kidz, of which I am one-half.

Dunks said:
> Todd -- SPELLCHECK ALERT!! Has anyone yet twigged you to the fact you yet
> that the name of my own dear old Smalltown has been misspelled on the list?
> It's SYDNEY, dear heart, not "Sidney". The Marconi Club is in SYDNEY, OK???

Talk to the dear hearts at Virgin, laddie. It ain't my thang.

> I can only hope this grievous error hasn't made it into print yet on the
> boxed-set. Go to it, lad -- oh and congrats on the payoff for decades of
> obsessive fandom! Nice one, centurion!

Lest my comments about the boxed set be misinterpreted, let me clarify that the
Hapless Goober to be congratulated is one Harrison Sherwood -- bon vivant, man
about town, 50% of The Deuterium Kidz, and the author of the liner notes
accompanying said boxed set. But I'm sure he appreciates the good wishes!

On the singing-drummers-as-solo-artists thread ... Hmm, the only one who comes
to mind is Nick D'Virgilio, who's just starting out on a solo career (he has
one album, called NDV, which is pretty durn good), so I don't think Chalkhills
can hate him yet. Does that qualify?

-Todd "just another singing drummer" Bernhardt


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 10:25:39 -0500
From: "" <>
Subject: Re: Radiohead
Message-ID: <>

"Am I turning into an old codger? Why is it that Radiohead leaves me utterly
cold? Maybe it's due in some measure to the fact that I CAN'T UNDERSTAND A
BLOODY WORD HE'S SAYING ... *sigh* ..."

At first, I have to admit I didn't understand Thom Yorke's ramblings on the
albums post- The Bends.  I read the lyric sheets, listened to the songs,
didn't get it.  Then I picked up some video on OK Computer and midway through
the visual stream of consciousness on the screen it hit me.  All the outside
noises and bleeps and interference add up to feeling very lonely and
insignificant in a world that was supposedly made smaller through technology.
 His lyrics aren't the traditional song variety that Andy Partridge is so
great at, but more like some cut & paste, beat poetry, which owes more to
Micheal Stipe or David Byrne (hence the name "Radiohead").

Thanks for the link to the dBs site.  Now if only some one would do something
like that for Let's Active, "Big Plans For Everyone" is still up there on my
all-time favorites.

The wait will soon be over and we can all get the goodies on "Coat of Many



Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:25:43 EST
Subject: More Abstruse Verbiage
Message-ID: <>

>From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
>Subject: Is that all there is? (Yes)
>OK, once or twice in eternity, you can understand -- we all make mistakes.
>Even Her. (Don't believe me? How about bubonic plague - I mean seriously,
>what *was* She thinking when She created that?)

Let's not forget wisdom teeth and the vermiform appendix, which I like to
trot out with the Argument-from-Design johnnies.

Ah, screw it, let's get drunk and mock Christ for a little while. It's good
for the soul. Start off at (tip of the
trilby to Her Debness...)

>Am I turning into an old codger? Why is it that Radiohead leaves me utterly

Shameful Admission Dept., #35 of a series: Fuck it, I don't get Radiohead
either. They seem just utterly....ordinary.

Who mentioned Spoon? (Wes Long? Who's that?) Why aren't they rich-n-famous
yet? (You don't have to answer that.)

>Todd -- SPELLCHECK ALERT!! Has anyone yet twigged you to the fact you yet
>that the name of my own dear old Smalltown has been misspelled on the list?
>It's SYDNEY, dear heart, not "Sidney". The Marconi Club is in SYDNEY, OK???

Your ire is misplaced, old cock: The Toddmeister did not misspell the name of
that toddlin' town; he merely pointed out the existence of a list that
misspelled it. Your beef is with the keeper of that list, who is/are (if
internal evidence is anything to go by) Two Brown Girls. If you are going to
ridicule the unfortunate spelling solecisms of the downtrodden underclass,
well, that's your lookout, but I for one won't be joining you.

Two Brown Girls claim at their site to be neither brown nor girls, nor even
two in number, but I think this is just a tragic case of Identifying with the
Oppressor. Lots of Irish Catholics who came to America conveniently became
Presbyterians, too.

At any rate, the Brown Girls (Macromedia Flash THUNDER LIZARDS, the both of
'em!) seem to have caught the problem, and Sidney is spelled to your
satisfaction at the XTC/Idea site now.

I have taken out a new AOL screenname in honor of Flash-powered web sites
everywhere: email addressed to will reach me lickety-split.
Perhaps the Brown Girls would like to begin a dialogue about the complete
uselessness of the Idea Records site when browsed through AOL 5.0 for the

>Re: Records of the Year - it is my observation that there are far too many
>people with far too much disposable income on this list. How the HELL can
>you afford all those records?

Cackling insanely, I alert my learned friend to the following URL:

>From: Ira Lieman <>
>Subject: Thanks for the feedback...

>ObXTC: TVT records signed with Pressplay. Wonder what Andy has to say about

Well, straight from Gnutella to Pressplay, we certainly have run the gamut in
a shortish while, what?

I don't want to put words into his mouth, but I can't think he would
disapprove. We don't know the details of the deal, but *some* money coming in
from a paid download subscription service has got to be better than *no*
money coming in from P2P piracy.

(Word to the wise: PressPlay and MusicNet are doomed -- *doomed*, I tell
you... By this time next year, we won't even be discussing them. They're
stopgaps, desperation measures.... It only remains to be seen how malignant
the Real Final Solution to the P2P Problem turns out to be.)

Harrison "What Would Ian Reid Do?" Sherwood


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:39:41 EST
Subject: Re:Toddler Tunes
Message-ID: <>

> From: Phil Corless <>
>  These stories of toddlers bouncing around the room to XTC songs is making
>  me sad..... My 3 1/2 year old will only sing "C is For Cookie," "Twinkle
>  Twinkle Little Star," and the "Veggie Tales" theme song.
>  When I play XTC, or any other artist that I love, he says to me, "Daddy,
>  turn that music off.... it's bad."
>  Excuse me while I go sit in the dark and cry.

Maybe you may want to try to make the songs "fun" for your child and
yourself.  In other words I used to make strange dances with my child to such
tunes as "pulsing, Pulsing" or "Tissue Tigers".  She loved them, so much so
that she would request dancing to them all of the time.

BTW, she loved "Senses Working Overtime" from a very early age.  We have
video of her coming home from the hospital right after her birth and on the
video "Sense working Overtime" was being broadcast on the radio. Very
appropriate for the time.


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:49:56 EST
Subject: Older and better and a slight correction to my previous post.
Message-ID: <>

Gads! I'm getting old! On the Harrison question I did forget that it was a
Beatles single. What was I thinking? My apologies. I'll send out the answer
to all who played this weekend.




Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 09:13:17 -0800
From: "Kerry Chicoine" <>
Subject: RE: Everything Decays
Message-ID: <000201c1ab43$bdc2bfe0$>

Kristen ( wrote:

> Oh, and please let me add my vote for best song
> from Wasp Star, which would be "The Wheel."  I
> left off the "and the Maypole" part because that
> is where I stop the CD player and go back to the
> beginning of "The Wheel."  The first half of the
> song is simply transcendent.  No insult intended
> to Andy & Colin & Co., but it almost seems like two
> completely different songs.   Perhaps if someone
> explained it to me I would understand and grow into
> it more.

This, from searching the archives, Andy explains it all
just for you!

The Wheel and the Maypole," Partridge's multi-floored celebration of life
and death, is among his most elaborate constructions. "I had a song called
`The Pot Won't Hold Our Love' and a song called `Everything Decays,' " he
explains. "And I thought, `Why the hell don't I try putting one on top of
the other - putting one of these buildings on top of the other building -
one of them slightly larger so that it can form the main body of it and the
other one on top as a dome or something.' And then, as an end section, I
thought we would smash the two of them together and make a further section -
almost like a spire on top, made of all the essential strands of the two

The song's many twists, turns and hidden stairways make for repeated
explorations. Thematically, the song seems to answer questions Partridge
posed in 1986's "Season Cycle" ("Don't you ever sit and ponder . . . where
we're going in this verdant spiral/who's pushing the pedals on the season
cycle?"). "Everything decays," he sings gleefully in "Maypole." "And what
made me think we'll last forever/Was I so naive? Of course it all unweaves."

"Wow, perhaps I have a very, very slow correspondence with myself, and the
mail service takes almost fifteen years," he says, laughing. "I think you
have to adore decay 'cause it's the only fuel you're gonna get. That's
what's gonna make things grow. Roses won't grow until you put shit on them."

Now you have just a *touch* of insight regarding the origin of my stage

kErrY kOMpOst


Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 18:32:10 +0100
From: art et affiche <>
Subject: voices ans pasta
Message-ID: <>

Hi, some quick comments:

>> I find others have the same problem--my roommate, for example,
loves every XTC song I give him on a mix. But when I try playing an
entire XTC album, it doesn't grab, and I think that's because of too
much Andy. --Jason>>

Too much Andy? My Goodness, it's just like ordering a plate of pasta
with tomato sauce in an italian restaurant, then when the waiter
brings the plate saying to him: Take it back, there's too much

Amy said: >>Andy, Elvis Costello, and Peter Gabriel whose voices are
so unique and immediately recognizable as their own. They each have
wonderful vocal quirks that are so much more interesting than the
garden variety "good voice." I think there's much to be said for vocal
character over vocal perfection.>>

Well done! You wrote exactly what I wanted to express! Perfection can
be boring. That's what I feel everytime I hear ''screaming divas'' (
as Maria Carey (how do you spell it?)  or Celine Dion...

Mark Fisher wrote: >>And I do hope the closing track, Books Are
Burning - Live on The Late Show BBC TV, sounds better than I remember
it watching it on telly the first time round.>>

I've read somewhere in an interview that XTC has spent endless hours
to try to get a decent sound with the BBC sound engineers, without any
success, so Andy drunk a little too much that night before the show to
forget all this sh*t. However, he came with a great guitar solo at the

The greatest single from Wasp Star never released?
We're all light.

Ciao, back to work.
Maria Al dente Omnibus.


Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 23:30:48 -0800
From: "Sughosh Varadarajan" <>
Subject: Assorted comments on all and sundry
Message-ID: <001e01c1abbc$397a4400$1a38c5cb@SughoshVaradarajan>

Amy says:

>" I think there's much to be said for vocal character over vocal

Amen to that. Ask any Dylan/Reed/Cohen fan! Of course, they were all at the
other extreme.. hardly did anything worth calling singing, but greats

>Mmmm.I also find myself strangely drawn to "In Another Life."

We in India would appreciate that song as much as anyone else, especially
the line "Test matches we might win..."! Heaven knows the Indian cricket
team finds it as tough, if not worse than England. (Nasser Hussain and his
boys are really giving us a hard time right now!)

>Am I turning into an old codger? Why is it that Radiohead leaves me utterly
cold? Maybe it's due in some measure to the >fact that I CAN'T UNDERSTAND A
BLOODY WORD HE'S SAYING ... *sigh* ...It's like the opposite of Yes.

Yes are wonderful, but as you say, hard to figure out. "'Cause this time
it's time in time in your time and this news is captured for the Queen to
use.'" - HUH??????????

>how many singers have improved as they've gotten older?

I'd vote David Bowie and Van Morrison... both made brilliant albums early in
their career, but sounded a bit thin those days. I worship "Astral Weeks",
but I've often thought about what it would be like to hear it in Van's
"Enlightenment" voice. Ditto for Bowie- thought his voice was better in the
Eno period... "Fantastic voyage" - what a song!

Cheerio all!!
  "Live your life a jigsaw - it goes back in the box in the end."
     - Paul Heaton


Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 11:33:23 -0700
From: "Steve Johnson" <>
Subject: Wheel vs. Maypole
Message-ID: <>

In Chalkhills #8-10, Kristen wrote:

"Oh, and please let me add my vote for best song from Wasp Star, which would
be "The Wheel."  I left off the "and the Maypole" part because that is where
I stop the CD player and go back to the beginning of "The Wheel."  The first
half of the song is simply transcendent.  No insult intended to Andy & Colin
& Co., but it almost seems like two completely different songs.   Perhaps if
someone explained it to me I would understand and grow into it more."

Damn!  Now we have a "Wheel vs. Maypole" debate on our hands!  As for me, I
prefer the "maypole" section.  I love the way the song builds into the
fabulous crescendo that is the maypole.  It makes me wanna dance!

P.S.--You are absolutely correct.  They were originally two different songs
that Andy glued together.  In terms of explanation, the "maypole" section
involves one of Mr. Partridge's favorite themes, death, decay and re-birth.
Only this time he applies the theme to the end of his marriage:

"Everything decays/Forest tumbles down to make the soil/Planets fall
apart/Just to feed the stars and stuff their larders/And what made me think
we're any better/And what made me think we'd last forever/Was I so naive?/Of
course it all unweaves"

I think it's a wonderful and comforting analogy.  Even though we get old,
our loved ones die and our relationships end, it is all part of nature.  So
let's celebrate life!

(See  for a
discussion of the maypole tradition).

I'm sure there are  plenty of subconscious reasons why I prefer the
"maypole" section.  I wonder, is it a "guy" thing?  In the immmortal words
of Randy Newman, maybe "I shouldn't be thinking at all."


Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 11:51:11 -0700
From: "Steve Johnson" <>
Subject: Another "Lucrative" XTC Commercial Moment
Message-ID: <>

My ten-year-old daughter bought my fourteen-year-old son a CD-case for
Christmas at Target.  The photo on the front of the case showed the CD
compartments, with various CD's sticking out of them.  As soon as he
unwrapped it, my son remarked, "Hey Dad, isn't that XTC?"  Sure enough, the
part of the CD that appeared in the photo had the familiar apple slice on


Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 20:28:07 -0600
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: XTC in the USA?
Message-ID: <>

     I just saw this at

               "MARCH PREVIEW

   New albums by Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, Brandy,
R. Kelly/Jay-Z and Super Furry Animals and Goo Goo Dolls.
Plus, vault items by XTC, Patti Smith, Ozzy Osbourne,
The Chieftans and more."

      Please note: "Vault items by XTC".

I don't know if this means the US release of the remastered
individual albums or 'Coat'. Perhaps someone here can 'shed'
more light on this subject.

In the mean time, if you haven't been to, feel free
to stop by and grab some free XTC concerts.

On a personal note. Between Sept.11 and some other thangs that
happened last Autumn, I was unable to conduct the 3rd annual

"Banana Uranus XTC Song Parody Exhibition and Fun Fest".

I'm feeling better now and am quite sure the 4th annual 'BUXSP-
EAFF' will provide "Bags 'O' Fun With Chalkheads" for all!


P.S. I HATED Yazbek's "Damascus" when I first heard it.
     I have changed my mind. Muchly!



End of Chalkhills Digest #8-11

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