Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-27

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 27

                    Friday, 3 May 2002


                 Re: really LOUD masters
                       Idea website
                     do da do da dum.
                  remasters, and Newell
                         Re: Coat
                      It's Baaaaack!
                        Aural Eden
                   Are Lemurs Friendly?
                    Re: Hidden Tracks
               Albert Brown-Corporal Clegg
                   Shaving Brush boogie
                    Short-shifted tees
         "And you will be my Venus of the stars"
               Why don't you just listen...
                XTC and Neutral Milk Hotel
          Standing up for Harrison? Sure would!
                   XTC England's Glory
                        Barrys gem
                  XTC Infringement Issue
           XTC featured in Get Rhythm Magazine


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Princess Margaret going down on the whole damn band.


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 13:01:22 -0400
From: Keith Hanlon <>
Subject: Re: really LOUD masters
Message-ID: <>

At 09:11 AM 4/28/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>  I almost blew out my
>car speakers the other day when my CD changer
>switched from the incredibly quiet and
>shitty-sounding "Joshua Tree" to the loud and crisp
>"Isolation Drills" by Guided by Voices.

"Crisp" is too kind... distorted and undynamic is more accurate. I love
this album, but I cannot stand to listen to it because the mastering just
plain blows. I can't believe that somebody at TVT or Mr. Pollard would
actually approve of something like this. If you wanted it to sound loud,
the time to do that was during mixdown, not mastering!

And when will the U2 catalog get a proper re-release? Dylan? Springsteen?
As long as they don't mess it up, I'll be thrilled when they finally
re-release those albums on disc. In the meantime, my vinyl is getting worn...



Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 11:00:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: Idea website
Message-ID: <>

I registered on the Idea website, forum page, but have
been unable to login.  For seeral months now, I get
error messages when logging in. I've even tried
re-registering with different name/password, this
didn't work either.

Anyone have any suggestions?


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 18:11:48 +0000
From: "pop boy" <>
Subject: do da do da dum.
Message-ID: <>

Oh God, I can feel the wrath of 'real xtc fans' coming down with all it's
might on those of us who don't like a certain album for whatever reasons.
Someone has dared to criticise Wasp Star and of course it's their fault that
Andy's and Colin's music is too 'witty and deep' for them.
Wasp Star is a bore.....end of story.
However Im wet with anticipation for the next product to be released from
our boys. Apparently Andy whistling into a sock on Mendip Hills and recorded
into Binatone tape recorder is only going to be #34.00, but hey, it
comes in a lovely box.

ho hum.


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 12:01:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Don Share <>
Subject: remasters, and Newell
Message-ID: <>

Would someone venture a comparison between the sound
on the new UK remasters and the recent Japanese
cardboard-cover discs?

Also, has anyone heard Martin Newell's newest?  Any
Andy on it??  (Speaking of M.N, if anyone's interested
in the Japanese CD version of the "Off-White Album,"
or the UK "Spirit Cage," e-mail me off-list!)



Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 15:44:11 EDT
Subject: Re: Coat
Message-ID: <>

So... anyone else's booklet fall out yet?

grrrrrr... shoddy Virgin... grrrrrr....

wondering what glue is best to use


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 16:40:04 EDT
Subject: It's Baaaaack!
Message-ID: <>


I don't know where this rumor got started that there will be a new XTC album
released this year, but it is not true. I suggest you stop holding your
breath. Andy and Colin have been very busy with the Coat of Many Cupboards
and Karaoke projects, and have not been doing much writing. They have no
plans to do any recording in the near future, and certainly do not have a
completed album in the can or anywhere near it.

An amusing reminder of Flapdoodles Past happened recently. Fellow
Chalk-o-Lyte Marie-Helene, Onmibus Extraordinaire, alerted me to an interview
with Robert "Apples in Stereo" Schneider in which he speaks of the project he
has been doing in collaboration with Our Slothful Hero. (

The article mentions that the title chosen for the project is "Trombone Or"
([sic]: rather fractured French for "golden paperclip," according to the

Yes, in their man-to-man, no holds-barred transatlantic "collaboration," Andy
Partridge and Robert Schneider have decided to call their labor of manly


In French.

Alerted by a sharp-eyed correspondent to the thitherto unknown,
code-word-intensive nature of the title, Mr. P. laughed very immoderately and
agreed that, yes, perhaps he and Robert needed to go back to the drawing
board on the title front.

Idle thought: Maybe the title was floated by Dave Gregory...?

Harrison "Why yes, Partsy, I've got a great idea for a title..." Sherwood


Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 01:14:05 -0700
From: "Steve Young" <>
Subject: Aural Eden
Message-ID: <>

I (for one) very much enjoyed Harrison's epic liner essay for COMC, which is
at least verbose enough to be comprehensible.  If it seems to meander
ever-so-slightly, as "radiosinmotion" contends, it is only through a crazy
ramblin' love for XTC and its music.  It's like the greatest epic Chalkhills
post you never read.  Come to think of it, I wish it had been longer...

Which gets me thinking...

I was riding with my friend the other week with the sounds of XTC emitting
discreetly from my car's speakers (discreetly because I don't like to blow
out my friends' eardrums).  Anyhow my friend, who [through me] has been
exposed to much XTC and who, for the past minute, had seemed to be deep in
thought, said out loud (and this may be more of a paraphrase):  "Steve, you
know, I've come to the conclusion I really don't like XTC."

I stopped the disc and paused briefly then asked her why.

"I guess it's his *voice*.  There's two of them, right?  Well the guy who
was just singing.  There's just something about the way he enunciates the
words, like he's eating a giant sandwich filled with the letter "R" and he's
just so bombastic in his vocal approach, like the dishes and the kitchen
sink and everything are all rattling through his throat.  I mean the music's
cool, but I just don't like his voice."

Suddenly I remembered how another person had told me several years before
(in response to a similar query, prompted by a very similar assertion):
"What I don't like about XTC is their lyrics are too trite and obvious."

Your first thought may be, "why do you continue to associate with these
heathens?"  But apart from the harsh aesthetic judgements inherent in the
phrase "I don't like" and the word "trite", they may have been onto
something, whether they knew it or not (neither has dived into the catalog
with any fervor).  But let me explain.

I think we are here because we most decidedly *enjoy* the on-pitch assaults
of Partridge and Moulding's husky summertime yarls.  But XTC has never been,
as the esteemed Mr. Sherwood has recently inferred, the kings of irony and
cynicism and ambiguity.  Not *really*.  And I mean that, as Harrison did,
with the greatest possible praise.

You can surely point out spots of detachment and pessimism and sarsasm in
the lyrics.  But the themes are right there, beating like a heart to the
rhythm of the song, leading the way.  They're not generally hidden in
techno-poetic cryptograms (a la Bjork or Radiohead -- musicians I also
appreciate, by the way).  Not just content to say "wars are bad" or "love is
good" or "sex is good" (lately an XTC favorite), we are spun yarns of dance
crazes, national monuments, childhood memories, souless skeletons and
scarecrows, and lest we forget those phallic metaphors we love so much...

So to say that so-called "obvious" themes -- whether expressed explicitly or
shielded in elaborate metaphors -- are bad, or to go further, "trite", seems
to me not altogether a given.  Now as to the question of Andy's voice, that
is a matter of taste, and whereas one of my roommates and I have our own
exaggerated impersonations of the line "FEEEN-GERRRRRRS" from "Science
Friction" (and countless similar intonations), which we scream to each other
at every opportunity, such madness is birthed out of a love for the music
rather than a desire to ridicule any spectacled Swindonians.

I must also weigh in on the never-ending "endless release" controversy,
i.e., in regards to those upset that XTC are releasing so much back-catalog
and not so much new material.

Apart from the allegedly reckless inclusion of already-available studio
tracks or the multitude of demos that sound much like lower-fidelity
versions of their album counterparts, I cannot find it in my heart to be
upset that "Fuzzy Warbles" may be twelve discs.  Or that, like out of a wet
dream, instrumental versions of my favorite songs from AV1/2 may soon be
available to us "hard-cores" through mail-order.  Here is the alternative:
these "extraneous" releases are cancelled ("finally, not so much to spend on
unwanted XTC!"), and Andy and Colin sharpen their guitars and head back to
the studio.

But rest assured -- the notebook scribbling, tape recording, and guitar
sharpening is going to occur whether AV-instra or Fuzzy Warbles arrive or
not.  I share everyone's desire for new material but doubt that wiping the
current release slate clean (an act which would have deprived us of the many
joys of COMC) will somehow rush new material to our doorsteps.

To those who do not really *want* these titles, but feel compelled to buy
them anyway, just to "have" them: defeat those completist instincts!  Your
lack of interest may keep the titles YOU want on the fast track, and us
other freaks and weirdos who *really really want* to listen to
instrumental-venus or wear fifty-dollar uffington horse shirts will have to
surrender to the whims of the market.

Until then, just rub some soothing lotion on your pocketbooks and hope they
re-fill in time for the next project -- "the next project", by the way, is a
concept which makes many of us who lived through the great drought of the
1990s feel like giggling harvest festival children.

With love,


baroque p.s.:  I like "track zero" as a psychological idea.  the only
drawback as I see it, beyond the obvious incompatibility issues and the need
to rewind manually all thirteen minutes into the track (for example), is be
the inability to extract said audio for personal compilations.

my reasoning: some audio (whether music or...) belongs outside the realm of
the "listenable album."  not to be heard four minutes after the last song,
or couched in the middle, or even flung onto a second bulky disc.  it
belongs on the disc but not as part of the normal listening experience, by
which I mean track 1-x and the standard 'beyond' after the last selection.
track zero is the hidden meeting place of the compact disc, to be forgotten
most of the time but then remembered and re-discovered and enjoyed.

now keep in mind -- from a practical standpoint this is all "rubbish", as
they say, but that's honestly the reason I like it.


Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 06:25:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nicole Ross <>
Subject: Are Lemurs Friendly?
Message-ID: <>

In Response to:

"Iain Murray" <>
Subject: What Sounds Like A Very Friendly Lemur?

Who stated that the best way to see the white horse is
by air...

I guess I agree with you there, but then you'd be
missing the wonder of being able to walk by it from
its head to its tail. Worthwhile.

Also... you stated that you were bad at photography,
but the picture you mention with the sign and the two
people blatantly disregarding it... well, one was
JUST KIDDING (ha ha, so predictable)... anyways,
sounds like a good picture to me!!!

Maybe they should put that on a T Shirt.

-Its too early to write a post,


Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 10:51:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Hidden Tracks
Message-ID: <>


Why hidden tracks?  Because they can.

Doing weird things with hidden tracks is not a new thing and is not
restricted to CDs.  I've got LPs with "hidden tracks".  You have to
manually move the needle to the next groove in order to hear the
"hidden track".  Yeah, some turntables or record players won't play
the tracks automatically.  Sucks, doesn't it?  I've got some records
that have pictures etched into the surface of the vinyl, and a "hidden"
track in the middle.  You don't want to "play" the picture, or your
stylus gets trashed.  Gotta manually move the needle to the "hidden
track".  Oh, yeah, what about those records with multiple parallel
grooves?  There's a Monty Python record like that.  It's a mystery
which groove you'll get when you set down the needle.  What a pain!
And how about those repeating messages in the inner groove?  If you've
got a turntable that automatically picks up the arm when it gets to
the center, then you don't get to hear those inner groove grooves.
That's just not right.

Why do people do these things with records?  Because they can.


	-- John

(not having a good day)


Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 14:22:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: DANIEL B <>
Subject: Albert Brown-Corporal Clegg
Message-ID: <>

Has anyone noticed a connection between Pink Floyd's
"Corporal Clegg" and albert brown from the dukes?I
wonder if that song had an influence on albert brown.
Lyrically, i think they are very similar...


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 08:37:02 +0930
From: "Van Abbe, Dominic" <>
Subject: Shaving Brush boogie
Message-ID: <>

Hi Folx,

Has anyone who has managed to listen through the two "bonus tracks" on Coat
Of Many Cupboards noticed there are a couple of judiciously censored bits in
"Shaving Brush Boogie".

It appears the swearing presented no problem (one listen to the humourous
studio banter on "Wanking Man" will confirm this).   No, it's more the Regal
person being referred to at this particular point of the jam.   Unless
they've recently been amended, check the Shaving Brush Boogie lyrics on
Chalkhills for the full transcript, and you'll see what I mean.....



Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 18:39:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: "J. Randles" <>
Subject: Short-shifted tees
Message-ID: <>

Delurking for a moment to add my (unneccessary)
thoughts to the beginning T-shirt topic.

From: Tyler Hewitt:
"I know t-shirts at concerts are often that much, but
dammit, I'll pay 25 bucks for a t-shirt ONLY at an XTC
concert! Get Andy and Colin on a tour, and I'll buy my
shirts then!"

Hear, hear! It's somewhat hard for me to justify that
much for a shirt that I have the know-how and
capability to produce for much less (well, anyone with
the right kind of paper, a color printer/copier and an
iron has the capability- or just go to a copy store,
they usually can do it). Get out on the road, boys,
and make your T-shirt money there. I'll be the slouch
on the side of the road, selling interesting bootleg
tees to pay my tuition. ;)

From: Jeff Eby:
"now that the designs have been revealed I'm a bit
surprised.  I really doubt anyone said.  "Oh, just
plop the square album art on a white tee, that'll do."
"I want an XTC-tee but please say some even slightly
more elaborate offerings are on the way. Color tees at

Agreed!! This is the main reason I'm not interested.
What boring design work! Yes, the album covers are, in
themselves, fascinating, but the pathetic nature of
the design greatly decreases their effectiveness, IMO.

Hopefully, the English Settlement fleece (or whatever
it is) will be green, like those 'Hills shirts long
long ago. ;) It doesn't even look like there will be
anything on the back of the tees... no song lists or
photos? Is this *really* worth anyone's money?

Speaking for myself (as I continue to ramble on), I
have a series of my own designs in the works with
quotes and images that I may produce one day- limited
edition of one each. Perhaps being an artist does have
its perks. *wonders if this will harped upon by
anti-bootleg factions*

Jennifer, just another fabric artist on the i.r.t.


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 10:53:29 +0000
From: "Paul Culnane" <>
Subject: "And you will be my Venus of the stars"
Message-ID: <>

...well, on the whole, COMC is pretty good, ain't it?  I refuse to comment
on the actual musical content, until I've had a chance to absorb it all
properly, summat I'm engaged in as I write this on a Tuesday evening.  But a
coupla peripheral (but important) considerations to comment on, if I may
(now that the "spoiler" period might have died down somewhat):

1)  The mastering.  It sounds so bloody good overall.  The fresh mixes done
recently by XtC themselves, sound detailed and vital.  The others, even
including Colin's sometimes anaemic and tinny-sounding demo sketches, come
up really well with Ian Cooper's sonic fairy-dust.  But Mein Gott! (Ben
Gott?), it's friggin' loud.  It sends the meters on my system well into the
red, and to listen to this series of CDs in my new, more restricted pad,
requires judicious and polite use of the vol knob.

2)  The presentation.  Ever since the get-go, with the 3D-EP, XtC have
continually wrapped their music in a parade of really interesting,
entertaining, and at times breathtakingly beautiful sleeves, covers and
general visual "concepts".  The practice continues to this day.  Witness the
recent spate of "Apple Venus" art.  The fantastically apropos treatment for
"Transistor Blast" is another example.  But man, "Coat Of Many Cupboards"
takes the absolute cake in the design department.  I can only suggest
Bowie's "Sound + Vision" or Floyd's "Shine On" sets to vie for such positive
and creative exploitation of the box set design medium so effectively.

Now, as you open the cupboard door for disc four, what do you see?  It's
Andy's hand outstretched over Dave's shoulder, right?  I theorised to my
friend that it was a nice pic to start with (taken around "Nonsuch" time, I
suspect), but that it symbolised AP reaching out to DG in some way.  What do
you think?  Mind you, my cynical friend said it represented the arrogant
Andy trying to hold Dave back.  Hmmm. Food for thought, but don't read too
much into it.

As it is, I'm gonna go now to disc 2, replete with hidden track "The Ballad
Of The Wanking Man", which thankfully I can access.

Enjoy everybody.  Look, whatever COMC's shortcomings, and there are bound to
be a few with a box set of such scope, it's still a delight and now I'm
gonna go and indulge it.

Not much chat about the actual *music* here; save that for another time.

paul "I want to be a fireball" culnane
Canberra, Australia


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 08:25:28 -0700 (PDT)
From: milo fadite <>
Subject: Why don't you just listen...
Message-ID: <>

Hello "chalkfolk" or whatever...
don't you get bored with all this idle chat...
I have a better idea...
Go out, meet people, introduce them to XTC- you'll be doing a great service!
seriously, come on... specific brand of minidisc for yr XTC
stuff... Good God... look, just stick Mummer on and realise what the
important thing is... it's what you listen to... better still, stick
It's Nearly Africa on, maybe you'll realise what i mean when that
crazy Um Bongo bit comes in, it gives me such a rush... i can't go
near a computer keyboard after that, but people... well, i have to
seek out some XTC virgin or naive and just say "listen to this"...
 Please, please, remember... it's the sounds, the sounds are what's
important... not whether yr Coat of Many Cupboards smells of shit or
flowers... and one last thing, try falling in love to a soundtrack of
XTC... you won't regret it!
much love you crazy chalky guys,
please, just for an album or two, switch off yr computer and listen-
and hey! sorry if i cause any offence...
    Milo Fadite XXX


Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 00:55:54 +0200
From: "hans stromberg" <>
Subject: XTC and Neutral Milk Hotel
Message-ID: <>

There is a straight connection between XTC and The Neutral Milk Hotels album
"In the Aeroplane over the Sea" (Merge Records, 1998), a record that is
totally amazing and one of the best I've heard for years. It has been
described as a "Sgt. Pepper with early 90's lo-fi", though I believe no
description can do justice to this record. The following is notified in
"What's new?" on Chalkhills: "The Los Angeles Times reports: `XTC's Andy
Partridge, having been sent CDs of the band Apples in Stereo by singer (and
XTC fan) Robert Schneider, liked what he heard so much that he called
Schneider, and now the two are co-writing songs for a Schneider solo album
[Orchestre Fantastique], due in the spring.'"
   Now, Neutral Milk Hotel is part of the Elephant 6 collective together
with other bands, among them Olivia Tremor Control and Apples In Stereo. The
collective has it's origins in the small town of Ruston, Louisiana and was
formed by a group of childhood friends who shared a love for music no one
else seemed to know about (XTC!?).  Schneider was the one that helped Jeff
Mangum with the first NMH record, "On Avery Island", and "In the Aeroplane
over the Sea" was recorded at Robert Schneider's "Pet Sounds studio" in
   The album has been mentioned once before in Chalkhills by d. Taylor
Singletary, 22 Mar 2000: "One of the best folkpopfuzz albums ever made. The
words are great. The singing is great. The songs are great." I agree, though
I could easily live without the word "folkpopfuzz".  The singer and
songwriter Jeff Mangum shares a lot with Partridge; for example their
ingenious ability to create songs and lyrics that lasts more than just a few
days or weeks. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Andy has listened to
Aeroplane, and if he has he probably likes it. A lot.


Hans Stromberg
The North Pole

Read more on:

"When we meet on a cloud, I'll be laughing out loud/I'll be laughing at
everyone I can see/Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all"


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 18:09:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: Standing up for Harrison? Sure would!
Message-ID: <>

Walky Chalkies:

Gasp! Criticism of Harrison's essay!

First of all, while we have known and loved Harrison's
messages here, we must realize that here is here, and
there is there. Liner notes on a CD are forever.
Chalkhills digests are pretty disposable, mostly. The
audience is different there (perhaps). Here he can
interest in the latest weird web link he found (from
the origins of Wasp Star to edible Christian
underwear) and generally "go off", while on a CD liner
notes, he can't, or at least not as far off.

 And if you think it's too long, there's a Paul Simon
lyric, something about "short little span of
attention" waiting for you on the Graceland album.

I think the real problem here is that his involvement
in this project, and friendship with the band, have
curtailed his writing here. Has this changed the Hill
forever? Come on, Harrison! Let loose here like ya
used to!

And as far as T shirts, instrumental albums, et al, I
personally won't be buying those things, because I
think they are too expensive for what you get. It's
great that they are being offered, but to each his
own. I agree with the Chalker who said he'll buy a tee
when when they tour.

Finally, I would like to make a confession. Heretofore
I have been an orangey sky apple nonsuch snob. I have
cherished the latter stuff and been mildly amused by
the "Terry stuff". But the Coat of Many Cupboards has
opened the doors for me. I am swooning for the early
stuff. I've always liked Black Sea and English
Settlement, but now all I want to hear is the Barry
stuff, loud.

I am healed of my snobbery. Hallelujah!

OK, back to my cupboard,



Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 14:02:47 -0700
From: "Wesley Hanks" <>
Subject: XTC England's Glory
Message-ID: <000c01c1f153$8c0fa660$>

Friends of the Maypole,

The lost XTC Yahoo club, xtcenglandsglory has finally resurfaced as a Yahoo
group under the same name. Two XTC groups! Huzzah!

And, the latest group, Wonder Annual



Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 10:12:04 EDT
Subject: Barrys gem
Message-ID: <>

  I'm here to put out a warning about listening to "Us Being Us" while

  Damage may occur to your steering wheel or dashboard while this song is on.
  Also there is a good chance you may get pulled over for speeding or driving
 That f 'ing song f ' ing ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I would have given my two family jewels to watch Terry drum on that song.
  Thats all.
 " Honesty. Don't believe the hype."  -- Ray Romano


Date: Thu, 02 May 2002 14:01:28 -0400
From: "Daniel DuBray" <>
Subject: XTC Infringement Issue
Message-ID: <>

Mr. Wayne V Shevlin
Director of New Media Development
Virgin Records Ltd

Dear Mr. Shevlin,

I am deeply troubled by the brazen infringement of the trademark of your
artist, XTC, in an advertisement on page W8 of today's (May 2, 2002) New
York Times.  The advert, sponsored by the U.S. Government's drug control
policy office, is intended to provide public information about the epidemic
of the drug 'Ecstacy' yet it directs readers to call a toll-free telephone
number: "1-866-XTC FACTS".  I assume callers will not receive any
information about the band from Swindon.

XTC fans have been annoyed through recent years by the confusion that has
been created by the proliferation of this drug -- an epidemic which has
occurred many years after the band's most prolific period with your
organization.  In one U.S. state, for example, complaints by citizens about
a vanity automobile license plate with the slogan "XTC FAN" resulted in the
state revoking the plate, under the guise that the driver was some sort of
drug fiend.  Now, under the umbrella of formal U.S. Government policy, this
infringment and the growing confusion is being formalized.  In the interests
of protecting your copyright claims, you should demand this issue be
rectified immediately.

Please forward to your legal division and all relevant departments my
concern about this issue.  I know you share the wishes of many of us -- the
loyal fans of XTC -- that this confusion be corrected.


Daniel J. DuBray


Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 20:18:29 -0500
From: Brown <>
Subject: XTC featured in Get Rhythm Magazine
Message-ID: <>

Over at the XTC Idea Records forum, someone posted a heads up on an article
about XTC in the latest issue of Get Rhythm mag:

I thought you kidz might like to know!


End of Chalkhills Digest #8-27

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