Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-23

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 23

                  Friday, 12 April 2002


                        XTC on MD
"Hidden track, hidden track, I'm under house arrest....."
                      COMC thoughts
                    re: Remaster This
                Gathering of the Faithful
       Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is bare no longer!
                        Too Short
         OT: re Rall v Hellman - a nasty business
                       Look Look Q.
              Burning With Optimism's Flames
                        cheap coat
                My Cupboard Spilleth Over
               Re: Where is the box set?!?
             Re: Roy Wood's Army attacks NYC
             Thoughts and a few questions...
         Rag 'n' Bone, No Beggar's Banquet This!
                    Worth every penny
          For all you music snobs out there ...
                      My First Post
             Jacket with lots of Pigeonholes
                       White horses
                      Thugs in Lungs


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Is it true what they say? / That when you work you're still at play.


Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 10:56:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: XTC on MD
Message-ID: <>

Thomas Vest asked:
Just curious to know if anyone has ever seen any of the Swindon boy's
material on the minidisc format?

Sharon replied:
I've never seen anything on pre-recorded MD, I doubt it exists.

Mole says:
It sure does. Nonsuch was released on MD in the European market and is
the only XTC MD. It is impossibly rare, I myself have only seen it for
sale a few times and looking for XTC stuff for my collection is pretty
much my full time job, er hobby (feels like a job somedays though) If
you can find one expect to pay about $50 for it.


Oh and Harrison, I am not worthy! Truly inspired! I mean it man, top
drawer all the way!



Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 15:09:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jay Gillespie <>
Subject: "Hidden track, hidden track, I'm under house arrest....."
Message-ID: <>

I've gotten several thank yous for providing
information on how to access the Hidden Tracks
on "Coat..." as well as a request for a list of
other CDs that have such tracks. The ones I have are:

They Might Be Giants - Factory Showroom
   "Token Back to Brooklyn"

Mono Puff - It's Fun To Steal
   "Hidden Track"

X-Files - Songs in the Key of X
   A Nick Cave song and "X-files Theme" demo

This trick has been around since at least 1996,
when the Factory Showroom and X-Files CDs came
out, soany CD after that might have such a track.
Some might have a clue, like in the liner notes of
the X-files album, there's a note saying "Nick Cave
would like you to know that "0" is also a number."
The back of the CD also has a warning that states:
"This compact disc does not fully conform with
Phillips' "Red Book" specifications, in that the
"pre-gap" may not play on all CD players."

I'm also requesting that if anyone else has info
on other CDs with the pre-track one hidden tracks
to please email me so I can compile a larger list
to post later.  Note that these should be only
the hidden tracks that come BEFORE track 1, and
not the more typical "hidden track" that comes
after the last song on the CD, which are relatively
easy to find.



Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 15:32:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: COMC thoughts
Message-ID: <>

I've had a few days to listen and figured I'd throw
out a couple of my praises and observations.

Album tracks-I think I figured out a reason why these
single recordings were included, it's kind of a teaser
built into the set. It gives us people who haven't
gotten the remastered CDs a sample of what the
reworked songs sound like, they definitely make me
want to get the remastered discs of the early stuff.

The rough demos- I'll probably end up skiping alot of
these in the future, but they're a great insight into
the creative process.  Alot like the home---- stuff,
some of it is just messy versions of the finished
product, but also a couple real gems that definitely
deserved to be heard.

Great liner notes, I haven't read the essay yet.

in particular:

1.- probably have listened to this the most, it's such
Science friction- great for a first demo, though it
still sounds like "He put a wig on me!"
Live tracks-these early live ones are fantastic!
Let's have fun- definitely should be the intro to a
Barry's songs- this is the most I've ever enjoyed
Barry's songs, I can see why Andy was worried.
Sleepyheads- Awesome!  I always thought "looking for
footprints" was pretty boring, but it polishes up very

Atom medley- yes this definitely rocks
Life begins at the hop(US single)- What does
"Skanking" mean?  I don't know about Andy, but I loved
the twelve string, I'll probably never be able to hear
the song from now on without hearing it in my head.
Tower's of London- IMHO, better than the original,
slowed down beautifully.  Great guitar buzz.
Ball and Chain- maybe too much of a good thing, I
think I prefer the original.

extra tracks- funny, defitely the right place to place
'Wanking Man.'  I was kind of hoping for a complete
Drunken Sessions in Fuzzy Warbles though. And who
decided to censor the two nastiest parts?  Let's find
'em and wank 'em til they bleed.

3. -I Will probably end up skipping alot of this one,
messiest home demos that don't veer far from finished.
Punch and Judy- Just as great as the R&BB version.
I'm sure others will say it's better.
Let's Make a Den- great to have this on an official
release, but it's not much improved over the one I got
off of Napster a couple years back.  Wish they had
given it the "Didn't hurt a bit" treatment and worked
this out more.
Dear God- This is a nice demo, a couple altered
lyrics, I prefer the album version but the full band
sound is nice too.

4.- The best discs for demos, very accomplished.
Mayor of Simpleton Demo- Here's a gem of a demo, great
Didn't Hurt a bit- IMHO, this finished version and the
testimonial version of "The Good Things" make me think
the picked the wrong songs of Colin's for Nonesuch.
"Burning Books"- what a half-assed treatment they got
on this late show, couldn't even get the name of the
song right.  If you listen behind the crappy mix
though you can see how great they'd be live today if
they decided to do so.

I did have one immediate detraction when I got my

David Smith wrote:
>>Heck, it even SMELLS nice.
Did Idea records spray theirs with perfume?  I got
mine from CDUniverse (cheaper) and it smelled like

"A flock of blue fying things grinned down on us, they
were half heifer and half dressing table."


Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 18:38:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: "" <>
Subject: re: Remaster This
Message-ID: <>

Mark, great post. I too have heard people complain about the Who
reissues, but one thing I noticed is that someone will always complain
about something.

For example, if a boot comes out low quality, people will complain
about that... We have to decide whether we want good quality or bad. I
personally don't care as long as I get the music! I can just remaster
it myself (though it wont be as good as a direct master-remaster).

I understand the arguments against remixing old stuff, but remastering
is a different process completely. It mostly consists of eq'ing and
compressing the music. It really depends on who is doing the
remastering. Some remastered albums that I have heard sound really
crappy in my opinion. Others on the other hand make it worth spending
the money to buy the stuff all over again.

For the most part however, if there is no additional tracks, you don't
have the money you can always remaster things yourself with a good
software program.


Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 23:44:18 +0100 (BST)
From: David Lister <>
Subject: Gathering of the Faithful
Message-ID: <>

Hi guys. I've been a chalkhills subscriber for sometime now
but never posted till now.
All I want to say is that I definitely want to come to the
chalkhills gathering in May (having missed last years) - who's
organising and what info can you give me? I'm actually at
university in oxford so i'll be around anyway - keep us all
informed. I'm sure we can make this years event memorable!

Dave Lister


Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 18:02:12 -0500
From: Brown <>
Subject: Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is bare no longer!
Message-ID: <>

It sho' is a sweet, sweet time to be an XTC fan, innit, darlings?

Hello every good body:

As some of you Chalkers who have the misfortune to suffer me on a daily
basis already know, I am just mad for the Cupboards boxed set, and I can't
stop singing its praises!  Between the elegantly clever packaging,
Harrison's breathtaking, spot-on essay, the lads' entertaining liner notes,
and the*t howdy! THE MUSIC!..why, this baby packs more bang for
the buck than just about anything I've purchased in quite some time!

So on that breathless note I would like to chime in with Diamond Dave Smith
and the resta you crazy, wunnerful kidz, and urge, nay, INSIST that those of
you who have not yet picked up a copy of Cupboards, get yer lazy arses in
gear and do so... and DO IT NOW!  You *will* be happy that you did!

And while we are on the subject of A Coat Of Many Cupboards, just who is
this 'Wanking Man' we've heard tell about?

I've got a hunch as to his true identity, but it's just a theory at this
point, mind you. . .  ;o)

Hugs and strawberry jam,

Debora 'by Jove, it does smell nice!' Brown


Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 20:14:14 -0500
From: "eriC draveS" <>
Subject: Too Short
Message-ID: <000e01c1de9a$bd63f8e0$4d3cf843@XLZOOM>

I listened to Coat of Many Cupboards, enjoyed it thoroughly. Then I copied
ONLY the new songs into my Windows Music Player (WiMP). I also added "Blue
Beret" from The Adventure Club Sessions CD because it was getting lonely


That's IT???? Not enough to make a single album! (What is the shortest
non-EP album of all time anyway?)

Plus, with Rag 'N Bone Buffet we have a good patchwork of songs that work
well with each other. Here it's Barry Andrews rejects followed by pastoral

Not that I hate any of the new stuff-- it all sounds great, even Terrorism,
which I was sure would disappoint me but hasn't. Plus, "Things Fall to Bits"
and "Us Being Us" have some great riffs, etc. etc. But come on, only 25
minutes of new stuff on COMC? And it doesn't fit together quite right?!?

At least we can wait for Fuzzy Warbles, that should make up for it. And now
I have a new favorite lyric quote to end these posts.

eriC draveS

"Bits and bits and bits and bits and bits and bits and bits..."


Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 01:43:34 +0000
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: OT: re Rall v Hellman - a nasty business
Message-ID: <>

>From: Sylvan <>
>Subject: Re: Rallicious

>Heh. As much as I admire Mr. Rall's comics, I just can't feel to sorry >for
>him on an issue like this. This is the man who is currently suing a fellow
>cartoonist for zillions of dollars in damages for making fun >of him in a
>joke email...
>Info on that pile of horse manure is at:
>Books are burning...

Well, there are two sides to every story. Regrettably, it wasn't quite as
simple as Hellman "making fun of him in a joke email". You can read Ted's
version at:

and following pages.

While I'm not *fully* conversant with the facts yet, I tend to agree with
Rall's stand on this. Although I think he *might* be making a poor decision
by pursuing legal action, I can understand that he has valid reasons for
doing so.

Clearly, he had an axe to grind with Art Spiegelman, as evidenced by his
original Village Voice article, but hey, that's editorial journalism for
you. Hellman's reaction to Ted's article could have been dealt with in a
number of ways, but regretably Hellman chose this path:

(a) he impersonated Ted Rall and various of Rall's employers in a series of
spurious emails spammed to more than 30 people, including Rall and his
employers, via a specially created mailing list on OneList. Hellman claimed
it was a private list available only to members, but this was later shown
not to be the case. How damaging these emails really were to Rall's
reputation is not for me to say, but I can see why Ted would have been
outraged by them.

(b) According to Rall, Hellman also "made public postings on the Web
offering a $500 bounty to someone willing to assault him and encouraged
readers to vandalize his car. After one of Mr. Hellman's friends posted
Ted's home phone number and address to the Web, Ted and his wife received
threats at their home." [nice one, Danny]

(c) Ted's lawyers commenced legal action ONLY after two cease-and-desist
letters were ignored by Hellman.

At last report, the legal costs to Rall for this suit are now over $30,000,
all of which he has covered out of his own pocket. Hellman, on the other
hand, is whining about having spent about $15,000 -- of which $7000 came
from the proceeds of a benefit concert in his "honour". All of which could
have been avoided if Hellman had done the decent thing and apologised in the
first place.

Was Hellman exercising his right to free speech, as he has claimed? Had he
signed the emails "Danny Hellman" the answer would obviously be "yes".
However, by impersonating Ted Rall and others, he has made a serious error
of judgement, one which I fear will cost both parties a great deal of money
and bring neither of them any credit.

Ted finds himself in an invidious position. If he backs down, he tacitly
endorses Hellman's attack on him. So he has committed himself to seeking
legal redress, which will potentially compensate him for the "damage" he
feels that his career and reputation have sustained. However, if he beats
Hellman and gets a pile of money, he's going to come off as the bad guy and
he'll make Hellman into a "free speech" martyr to boot.

Did Ted overreact? Quite possibly. The wise thing to do would have been to
ignore it all. Was he libelled? That's not for me to decide. If Ted feels he
was, if his lawyers agree and if he can present a prima facie case that the
courts will accept, then he has a right to seek legal redress.

The sad thing is that as always, it's always the lawyers who win.



Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 22:19:19 EDT
Subject: Look Look Q.
Message-ID: <>

Was the "Look Look" video compilation ever released on laser disc?  I've
searched the web to the extent that I could, and found no mention of such a

J. D.


Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 19:42:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Wes Long <>
Subject: Burning With Optimism's Flames
Message-ID: <>

Currently Burning @ -

The latest portions of Todd Bernhardt's nifty chat
with Ian Gregory, Dave's younger Dukes of Stratosphear
drumming bro, are available now on the site... free
MP3's for you all.  Also available are the first 9
portions of the chat with the Duke of Drumming.  If
you're a fan of the Dukes you'll dig all sorts of
exotic hells outta this audio.  Here's a list of the
segments you can now down -

1. How Ian Gregory got "drum malaria."
2. Influences and ambitions.
3. Why Ian could never be a record producer.
4. On the importance of performing.
5. How the Dukes came to be.
6. Why the drummer has the hardest job.
7. The search for vintage drums.
8. Reviewing 25 O'Clock
9. Reviewing Psonic Psunspot (side 1)
10. Reviewing Psonic Psunspot (side 2)
11. "It's so nice to be totally anonymous."
12. Being "the brother of a named musician."

The final two segments - Playing on XTC's videos & "I
was very lucky, wasn't I?" - will be available May 1,

Coming soon - thanks to Dave Gregory - the most
detailed list of XTC gigs ever compiled...

Set your screen res to 1024x768 and pay the site a
visit - if you don't have a quick computer, and
connection... you may have trouble viewing the site,
sorry... may take some time to load, but good things
come to those who wait.  Since Jan there have been
more than 125,000 page views at Optimism's Flames...

Keep burnin'...



Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 20:56:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: cheap coat
Message-ID: <>

Hi everyone
I just ordered a copy of 'Coat of Many...' from the
Cheap Cd's website

They had it the cheapest I've found it, $47.99 U.S.

I would have bought it from Idea's website, but I just
bought a house that won't repair itself and am sinking
tons of money into it.  New roof, lots of electrical
work,  etc. plus a bunch of furniture I need to buy as
well. So, with NO extra cash at the moment, I had to
go for cheap over supporting A&C directly. MAybe next

Thanks to whomever posted about the hidden tracks. I
keep forgetting to check for them on my cd's.


Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 15:04:00 +0100
From: Dom Lawson <>
Subject: My Cupboard Spilleth Over
Message-ID: <F1C32CD48B89D411AD2B00D0B78EC38904FD35D4@MAPPINMAIL01>

Hail fucknuts!

I've missed the last few digests - so many pints of beer, so little time -
so this will all have been discussed previously. Or not. Not that I give
much of a shit, so here's my fourteen pence worth on the subject of our
favourite objet d'art...

5 reasons why 'A Coat Of Many Cupboards' is fucking ace...

	1.	The packaging...ooh baby! Have you ever seen such a gorgeous
box set? Er, possibly. Either way, this goes some way to letting Virgin off
the hook after that disgraceful re-issues debacle. I particularly liked the
little flappy door things. Sadly they will be f**ked in a couple of years
but until my grubby paws do their worst it's a feast for the eyes.

	2.	Harrison's sleevenotes...ooh baby! Far be it from me to play
a tune on the old pervert's sackbut, but I have never enjoyed reading
something like that to anything like the same extent. I laughed - and it was
real laughter, rather than the usual mean-spirited cackling that I use when
children fall and graze their knees - and I very nearly shed a tear. When I
reached the end, I felt like I'd actually learnt something about XTC, and
that's a pretty damn good result. He hides it well, bless 'im, but that Mr.
Sherwood sure wields a mean biro.

	3.	The music...ooh baby! Whether it's the tried and tested
studio versions, the numerous out takes and unused versions, or the
uniformly great live stuff, these lovingly-crafted cupboards are simply
magnificent. (Even the couple of tracks which are, if we're honest, a bit
shit, are well worth the admission fee. Andy's clumsy stumble through 'Mayor
Of Simpleton' had me clutching my sides, tears streaming down my leg...and
you can give me as many versions of 'Wonderland' as you like. It's still
rubbish.) Hearing the band give it some live-and-plugged-in action on 'Books
Are Burning' - or 'Burning Books' as the cretinous tart from The Late Show
would have it - sent shivers up, and indeed down, my spine.

	4.	I got my copy for free. Sorry.

	5.	Since starting work as a "rock journalist" (stop sniggering
at the back, f**kwits!) I have spent the vast majority of my time listening
to either rock or metal stuff, with very little spare time to contemplate
the slightly more beauteous side of music. The one exception throughout this
fraught period has, of course, been XTC. This new cavalcade of sonic fun has
prompted a sudden re-investigation of the entire back catalogue, much to the
apparent delight of my better half and trusty lodger. Don't worry, I will be
playing the new Dio album at top volume very soon - preferably when the
neighbours are trying to get some well-earned kip after a hard night on the
disco biscuits - but it doesn't hurt to change pace once in a while...don't
tell anyone I said that, though.

Right, I'm off to celebrate the fact that my band are supporting Napalm
Death in London on Friday night. Hurrah!

Th**k you and good night.

Do(o)m Lawson.


Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 11:08:38 -0500
From: "Johnny Daytona" <>
Subject: Re: Where is the box set?!?
Message-ID: <>

Hey all,

>In Chalkhills #8-21, Sharon wrote:
>I'm going crazy, where is the box set?!?  I want it!  I need it!  It's now
>4 days since supposed release date, but nothing.  No word from Idea,
>nothing on the website.  Has anyone received their copy yet, any word from
>the record company?

If anyone out there is having problems tracking the set down, here's some
info.  Apparently there has been some problems with the slightly more
technical than normal construction of the box, and the manufacturers are
runnng behind.  Alot of box sets are out there, just not as many as there
should be, yet.  I work at the big Tower Records in Chicago, and our order
of twenty sets still hasn't arrived.  We transfered four over from one of
our other stores (so I am very happy this weekend), but our twenty are
presumably still being made in Holland.  But there still are a lot of sets
out there, as all the positive reactions on the list indicate.

- Darren


Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 17:08:55 +0000
From: "Roger Blass" <>
Subject: Re: Roy Wood's Army attacks NYC
Message-ID: <>

Ah, Andy and Roy would be quite a match!  Something tells me Andy's got a
copy of Boulders sitting around. - Roger


Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 16:56:22 -0700
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: Thoughts and a few questions...
Message-ID: <>

Hello in Chalkland!

I received my copy of the box set last Thursday and I am very pleased.  I
read the booklet in one sitting that evening.  I started listening to the
discs the next day.  WOW!!! great stuff.  Mr Sherwood's essays were

some answers and another question or two:

Mick Casey said:

Firstly, I'd like to mention that I was one of the lucky few who attended
the 1st Annual gathering in Oxford last year. A bloody good time was had by
all (how could it not have been bearing in mind the kind of folk on the
Hill?), friendships were forged, beer was consumed and chalkhorses were
almost viewed (Foot & Mouth restrictions were rife at the time). Any of you
out there in two minds about coming down this year, please dispense with all
doubts and contact now. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Unfortunately, some of us in the states cannot make this event.  I would
dearly love to and I know fun will had by all.  I am curious to know if
there is any chance of some sort of gathering in the states?  San
Francisco/New York/Los Angeles?  John, do you have any thoughts on this?

Sharon said:

I've never seen anything on pre-recorded MD, I doubt it exists.  But if it
was out there, I would buy it in a flash.  I have a full collection of XTC
on minidisc, everything I own.  I even have a specific brand of minidiscs,
Axia slim-case, that I use exclusively for XTC.  XTC on MD, nothing better
than that.

WOW!!  This is kind of scary, but I recently bought a 5 pack of the Axia
slim case MD's for XTC recording!  Really weird.  I get mine at in Berkeley.  Shame about no pre-recorded MD's.  Thanks for

Jay Gillespie said:

I stuck discs 2 and 3 of the box-set which I just got
today into my CD player, pressed play, pause, and then
REVERSE SCAN from the start of track one, and low and
behold, the two hidden tracks start BEFORE track one.

Thanks for the tip Jay.  I forgot about the hidden track sneakies that can
be at the front.

John Greaves Said:

Does the Atomic Medley not KICK some ASS! (The further we
get away from the White Music - GO2 era, the more it seems I get a new
appreciation of those songs, and what it may have been like to experience

Yes it does an then some.  I agree that the early stuff has been totally
unappreciated (i count myself heavily in that category).  My early favorite
for best cut on the set is All You Pretty Girls from disc 3.  It makes me
have a total new appreciation for the Big Express.

Thank you to Andy & Colin for agreeing to autograph these sets for us.
Also, big thanks to Idea for getting these out pretty quickly although
seeing the email about the damaged sets and the delay for others is sad.

As a really funny "extra bonus", when I pulled the 3rd disc out of the tray,
I discovered to my horror and then later laughter, that a stray hair is
stuck underneath the plastic tray!!!!  Manufacturing at its finest!  Could
this be one of Andy or Col.... oh, I am so not going there.

Bobby Guthrie!!  Are you out there?  Please respond if you are.




Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 11:06:59 -0400
Subject: Rag 'n' Bone, No Beggar's Banquet This!
Message-ID: <>

Hello, fellow XTC-files.  I'm new to this mailing list and just wanted to
make an initial post.
The first XTC album I'd ever bought was BLACK SEA, produced by Steve
Lilywhite; I found I liked everything on it, so I knew I'd be a committed
XTC fan.  The same goes for the follow-up, ENGLISH SETTLEMENT, oddly issued
on vinyl here in the States as a *SINGLE* platter.  I opted to purchase the
import double, but was saddened when I bought the full first CD pressing of
the album because it didn't have the full lyric print-out that was on the
record sleeves of the vinyl album.
At any rate, I have always felt that XTC is one of the U.K.'s most diverse
bands!  They began in the late 1970's as a new wave/punk band, moved on to
experiment with Third World rhythms and, as they aged and became a mere
duo, changing their backup musicians as frequently as our own Steely Dan,
they've matured and continuously leave me speechless with each new package.
Like Joni Mitchell, Andy Partridge has expressed his distaste for touring
and the music business in general, wanting his music seen as the work of a
painter, who doesn't have to tour the country to justify his creation.  I'm
in full agreement; I mean, if you don't find joy in getting up there
onstage and playing your tunes again and again, why do it?  The albums, for
me, have been enough.
I'm also fondest of the collective wit of the duo.  I howled at Andy's
sendup of John Peel at the opening of TRANSISTOR BLASTER, and I am sure
he's poking good fun at the twisted names that pop bands were giving
themselves in the 1960's.  I recently bought a box of "nuggets", some of
which never saw release, called THE TRASH BOX, and the names of the bands
and the names of the songs would truly puzzle you, but Andy and colin
nailed 'em on that fabulous 25 O'CLOCK and SONIC SUNSPOT albums by their
alter-egos, the Dukes of Stratosphere.  I also liked how XTC thanked their
session guests, the Dukes, on the BIG EXPRESS album.
At any rate, most of you have probably gone through the same impressions of
these albums; so I won't bore you with details, but I think my dismay over
the minimal packaging that was given the first CD release of ENGLISH
SETTLEMENT is the main reason I'm looking forward to the sonically upgraded
versions of all their albums, even with mini-LP sleeves.  When I met the
lads at a rare record signing at Tower Records, here in Manhattan at West
4th Street and Broadway, I felt foolish asking Colin all kinds of questions
about when this or that project is going to be completed.  After all, it
has been seven years since we'd seen new product from them, and the last
thing I wanted to sound like was some record company type screaming at 'em
to "get the stuff out there, snap to it!"  I also didn't want to leave a
bad taste since that particular night was a *BITTERLY* cold one and one
that I'm sure *THEY* did not really want to be out in!  So it is with deep
appreciation that I acknowledge the new box set and forthcoming upgrades of
*ALL* their albums, including an import of the combined CHIPS FROM THE
CHOCOLATE FIREBALL Dukes collection.  I cannot wait to get it!
I am totally blind, but I'll bet the COAT OF MANY CUPBOARDS set is a
stunning package (and I hope that Andy succeeded in getting his way when he
expressed wishes that the set's title not be put anywhere on the box,
leaving only the initials, XTC placed prominently on the book-binder set's
elaborate cover.
And I hear that they're finishing a brand *NEW* album?  Whew, these artists
have done *MORE* than their share in recent years and proved their
versatility thrice over.  I'll admit that I've wished that they'd at least
perform a gig or two at a small club here in town, like the Bottom Line
with some of Downtown's finest musicians, but I'd only want this if both
Andy and colin were truly up for it and as excited to entertain us as we
are to be entertained by them, kind of like the atmosphere of Elvis
Costello's week-long stint on Broadway where each night was a new set of
songs, sometimes unpredictably done and mixed with incredible covers.
I, for one, am glad they're back and will wait forever, if need be, for a
project well done!


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 09:07:27 EDT
Subject: Worth every penny
Message-ID: <>

  For those who havent bought " Coats" yet, The unreleased version of " Life
Begins at The Hop " is worth the price alone. It is so goddamn good. I
laughed for five minutes of how delightfully different it is. Throw in
"Science Friction" ,"Punch & Judy", Barrys two songs and Andys comment that
"Omnibus" is from the musical "Stop the Girls, I Want to Get On" and you got
yourself a winner. Like I said, worth every penny.
  Another note. Even though I saw them live in 1981, they still astound me
how friggin tight they were in concert. Terry was just a fantastic drummer.
  Thats all.   Roger
p.s. ---Ton Kingston. O' brother ,where Art thou?


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 13:46:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: For all you music snobs out there ...
Message-ID: <>


I have to declare my hysterical love for The Onion. Check out this: -- "37
Record-Store Clerks Feared Dead In Yo La Tengo Concert Disaster"

I might believe there are individuals in this wide world that might
think the same of us -- trumpeting the accomplishments of a band
that has a niche audience (sad, but true). Naah.

I have NOT yet bought "Coat" yet as I have basically spent my next
six or seven biweekly checks prior to having received them. But I'm
living vicariously through the record reviewers. :)

-ira, snipping snipping snipping.


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 17:37:11 -0500
From: "John Sarappo" <>
Subject: My First Post
Message-ID: <008c01c1e0e0$41958a60$>

This is my first ever post, so please be gentle...

1. As far as remasters go, I think that they are both a revenue generator
and a sonic improvement. I am involved in record engineering and essentially
a re-master is when the Original 2 Track (Stereo) tape (that was used to
produce the record and then the original CD) is re-transferred into the
computer. Since the advent of CD technology 20 years ago, there have been
significant improvements in HOW the audio from the original tape is
converted into Digital (those pesky 1's and 0's). Analog to Digital
Conversion is the key here, and that part of the equation has really
improved over the past 20 years. Originally, the audio word was 16 bits, now
it is 24 bits. For those math geeks out there, this simple addition of 8
bits allows the audio to be 256 times more "precise" than the fist time it
was converted. For those of you with the original LP and $1000 worth of
turntable, you will no doubt be saying that the original LP sounds better,
and you would be correct. Because analog is what our ears hear in the end,
not 1's and 0's. Still, most of us do not have $1000 worth of turntable and
love the convenience of CD. So, the record companies are simply trying to
make the CD sound "more like" the original LP. The advances in Signal
Processing also make the re-mastered CDs more in line with the original LP.
For those of you who poo-poo the notion of re-mastering, grab a listen to
any of the "Full Digital Recordings" of the mid 80's like "Brothers in Arms"
or Sting's "Nothing Like The Sun" and tell me how they sound now. They don't
even come close to today's technology! Now, in the end, the CD ends up being
16 bits at the lowly sample rate of 44.1 KHz, but it is what is done in the
computer that makes or breaks the re-master. Here, too, technology has
advanced. So, I think that a re-master is well worth the money if you like
to listen to music through a kick butt Stereo. If you join a CD club, and
find a place to buy back your old CDs, you can get into re-masters for about
$5 or $6 a disc. Finally, please know that once the DVD-A vs. SACD was is
over, you will need to re-buy everything again (as well as the players to
play them on)...
Some truly spectacular re-masters include The Clash Catalog, The Jam Catalog
(their box set is great), Pet Shop Boys and (dating myself) Queen, Zeppelin,
Creedence, and the Who (actually much of the Who catalog is Re-mixed,
whereby the original Multitrack tape was used to create the new CD). Anyway,
I ramble...

2. Am I the only one who thinks that "Mummer" and "Big Express" are
essential XTC? Listen to Side 1 of "Mummer". Every track is brilliant. Ditto
side 1 of "Big Express". I remember when these LPs came out. With "Mummer",
I was expecting another "Settlement". It took me a few listens before I
really got into it. Then, with "Big Express", I was expecting another
"Mummer" only to get bushwhacked with "Shake You Donkey Up". IMHO, I think
"Mummer" and "Big Express" outrank "White Music", "Go 2", "Skylarking" and
"Nonsuch". Only "Drums", "Black Sea", "Settlement" and "Oranges & Lemons"
are better. Just so you know where my XTC tastes lie, I think "Oranges and
Lemons" is the Ultimate XTC release.

3. Coat of Many Cupboards will win XTC a Grammy for best Box Set Design.
Wonderful. Especially Andy's discussion of the Go 2 "Vinyl Solution" to
limit Barry's contribution to the LP. I also like the fact that some LP
tracks are included so that you can get an idea of what they were really
doing in the studio while you listen to the outtakes. I would have chosen
different LP cuts, but I can live with what is there.

4. I wish XTC would do a "Fossil Fuel" treatment to their "B-Sides". I think
"Beeswax" rocks. I always wanted to continue in the "Beeswax" vein and do a
2 CD Set of B-Sides. What we got was "Rag and Bone Buffet". I like "Rag",
but I also love the sequence of songs on Beeswax.

5. As far as I know, the only B-Side that was released on LP that is not on
CD is the Andy Partridge mix of "Heaven is Paved With Broken Glass" which
appeared on the B-Side of the "Ball and Chain" 12".

That is all for now....
Greasy Slikmo


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 14:24:07 -0600
Subject: Jacket with lots of Pigeonholes
Message-ID: <>

Regarding the remasters, Gary wrote: "I still vouch that it's primarily a
revenue generating technique...I don't fault Andy and Colin for this, since
it seems they were denied the opportunity to make any money on these things
the first time 'round."  Of course, he's right about it all being a revenue
generating technique, but one has to wonder exactly how much revenue XTC
the band is getting out of the whole thing. I would have loved to have been
a "Fly on the Wall" for those negotiations..........

Received my copy of COMC, and I'm delighted. The packaging is, natch,
top-notch, and the booklet illuminates the band and the songs in a most
readable way (THANKS, Mr. Sherwood, et. al). I, too, missed the commentary
of Dave Gregory, which might have been interesting, and I, too, wonder at
the inclusion of so many album tracks, but the collection is so listenable,
and so interesting to the fan(atic), that it was eminently worth the
poundage paid. Like many, I have yet to hear the bonus tracks, as none of
my cd players will find them. I'm going to keep trying,

But as someone said here recently, all this collection does is heighten my
desire for new material. Which brings me to my next subject - the
long-discussed recording project of Andy Partridge and Robert Schneider of
Apples in Stereo.

I happen to be from Denver, Colorado, where Apples In Stereo originated,
and there is an article in a local paper this week about the impending move
of Mr. Schneider and his family to Lexington, Kentucky. In the last
paragraph of the article it says: "Schneider is working on a solo album,
and he and Sidney (his wife) are also getting ready to record an album with
Andy Partridge of XTC in England this summer; that effort will be released
under the name Trombone Or. ("In French it means 'golden paper clip,"
Schneider adds mysteriously.)"

Just thought y'all might like t'know............if you want to read the
entire article, go to


"I'm Bugged"


Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 16:04:01 +0100
From: The Worrier Queen <>
Subject: White horses
Message-ID: <>

Came across this the other day and thought I'd share.

"The horse too was sacred. Under the goddess Epona the horse cult was
widespread; represented by a white mare it symbolized - like the king of a
tribe - fertility. The carving of the white horse at Uffington is well
known, and the white mare figures in the description given by Giraldus
Cambrensis of an inauguration of a king in Ulster - a region where Celtic
tradition still remains and whence comes most of its literature.

Before an assembly of people a white mare is led in. The King-Elect then
emerges on his hands and knees. Declaring himself to be a beast he enjoys,
in pantomime, sexual intercourse with the mare which is then killed, cut
into pieces and cooked. The King-Elect then sits in the pot with the
pottage, eats the flesh and drinks the liquid. He is then proclaimed King.

'Here,' writes Anne Ross, 'we seem to have a description of a rite which is
both genuine and archaic.  sexual vigour and fecundity are characteristic of
the horse, and in this scene we supposedly must visualize the animal to be
symbolic of the powers of fertility, very important to a king, whose own
potency was believed to affect the fecundity of the entire tribe and stock
possessed by it. By imitating the stallion mating with the mare, the king
invokes these powers.'

The king, as James Laver remarked, was the personified penis of the
community, while the insertion of his head into a crown was a symbolic
coitus. In some cases a tribe could be ruled by a Queen - Cartimandua*,
Queen of the Brigantes, for example; her role was no less symbolic."

* Cartimandua means Sleek Pony

Philippa Pullar "Consuming Passions - A History of English Food and

This has been An Uffington Pony Goddesses production, powered by the
beating of hearts.


Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 12:06:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: (Marston Moor)
Subject: Thugs in Lungs
Message-ID: <>

F Y I =

"Coat of Many Cupboards" UK promos (discs 1 & 2 only) on eBay!



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