Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-34

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 34

                   Monday, 10 June 2002


And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
                  New York Times, Baby!
                 shameful bastardization
                   Test matches/Woking
                XTC Football / Paul Weller
                  It's quiet in here ...
               RE: A few things Brit . . .
       Did I buy the right XTC CD's? Moby Shmoby...
                     Re: Test Matches
                Record cover, Paul Weller
                 Musicians bedside manor
                  Goat of Many Gubments
               The NINES released in Japan
                Moby and Lomax: the Facts
                      control freak
                      Mountain Time
                    more jam already?
             Troubled Past, Troubled Future?
                       video wanted


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Time is but clay and I'll see / You and the wheel turn.


Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 22:24:00 -0500
From: Chris Vreeland <>
Subject: And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Message-ID: <a05111700b90f54e251fa@[]>

Chalkish pilgrims,
	There are those songs, right? You know the kind I'm talking
about... If you're a musically inclined sort, you've no doubt got a
few of them that belong to you in a certain way. Maybe a half dozen,
or maybe ten, really, really magical ones. They'll always evoke the
moment they revealed themselves, like when you had to pull over to
the side of the road and just... listen... the first time you heard
it, and then it haunted you for days until you brought it home, those
are the kinds of songs I'm talking about.
	I've got a short list of songs that really nailed me, just
sat me down and made me mutter "wow." They only come along once every
few years, and they're always little jewels that I treasure like
gifts from the ethers. I  have a lot of favorites, but many, maybe
most, of those grew on me with time, like Easter Theater, or
Something. Some of them were just always there, like A Day in the
Life. But there's those few... Thomas Dolby's One of our Submarines
sticks out,-- had a car-parking moment with that one, and Kevin
Gilbert's Goodness Gracious, (northbound on TX. 79 towards Tyler) but
this isn't really a list, it's a more of a celebration of another of
those Moments. I had one a month or so ago.
	My alarm clock is set to a tolerable, though not fantastic
radio station here, KGSR, to go off at exactly 6 A.M. The morning DJ
usually lists prominent birthdays right after 6, and might play a
musical selection by an artist who's having a birthday shortly
thereafter. April 16, however, he skipped the rattling off of the
list and just played a song. My alarm clock literally turned on at
the exact moment of the first note of Dusty Springfield's Windmills
of Your Mind:

(strings and voice)

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon...

That was it-- I was hooked.  And the "Girl from Impanima" style
guitar part hadn't even started. By the time the shaker came in at
the third verse, I was levitating. What a voice. Dusty Springfield
was one of dozens of girl singers who's slow slide into obscurity
began with the Beatles, and the British invasion. Her music verges on
the edge of lounge in some places, and you can see why by 1968, it
just wasn't hip anymore. I know in most cases, it's only possible to
enjoy lounge music when it's filtered through the sort of smirking
irony that's reserved for Star Trek and That Girl, when we profess to
enjoy such things at all, but people (if I may call you that), this
song transcends.

I'm not even familiar with the names of the songwriters, as
Springfield was not a writer, merely a vehicle, but lyrically it
touches on the same theme that Andy keeps coming back to over and
over, the revolving cycle of things-- seasons, relationships, life.
And as an added bonus, it has a metaphorical cave reference,
something that always perks my ear up:

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shown...

and finishes:

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Turgid, I know. Turgid, but beautiful. and Oh, the voice, the Voice, the

It ran through my brain for a week, until I finally succumbed to the
urge and visited my LOCAL, INDEPENDENT music retailer, and bought the
Rhino reissue of Dusty in Memphis. (Produced by Jerry Wexler [no
relation].) I realize that I risk exposing myself as a Philistine by
even admitting my ignorance of this album up until this point, but my
one eye has now seen the light. Some of the bonus tracks were left
off the original for the usual good reasons, but over all, this is a
phenomenal piece of work, which to my delight actually evokes a lot
of the "orchoustic" concepts we all know and love from AVI, albeit,
in a schmaltzier, Bacharach sort of way.  Not that that's a bad
thing, as one of his songs appears here.

I hereby urge those amongst you not wishing to be judged philistines
to follow suit, and drop an hour's wages on this quality recording. I
doubt you'll regret it.

Ever your humble reviewer,
Chris "Assistant Undersecretary, Metaphorical Cave References
division" Vreeland

footnote** I have gleaned that Windmills...  was the theme song for a
no-doubt mediocre Steve McQueen movie called the Thomas Crown Affair
(cinematography: Haskell Wexler--no relation?) and the song won an
Oscar for best theme song. Have yet to ascertain whether it was
Dusty's version used in the movie, as it's been covered at least 119
times (

Oh, joy. It's another website.


Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 08:37:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: New York Times, Baby!
Message-ID: <>

Spending a quiet Sunday morning like I always do,
reading the NY Times. I get to the arts section, and
what do I find?
An article on XTC, full of praise. Small innacuracies
aside ("Dave Gregory, the band's last original member,
..."), it's a really nice article that will hopefully
spark sales of  the box set. I love the comparisons to
Beck and Moby ("And none of them is remotely in Mr.
Partridge's class as a writer.") but we already knew
that, didnt we?

Thanks New York Times!
Here's the article:

XTC: Adventurous Punk of a Troubled Past

 From Poison to Beck and Moby, today's pop artists are
recycling the musical schlock of the 1970's and 80's.
Their fascination with kitsch, however, can make us
all myopic. Unambiguously good music from those years
is being overlooked.

Take the British band XTC. The release of "Coat of
Many Cupboards," a four-CD boxed set from Caroline
Records covering XTC's prolific early years, 1978 to
1989, is currently generating hosannas from the
English music press. Here in the United States,
though, it has barely been noticed, which is a shame.

XTC first appeared on the London punk scene in 1976,
just as punk music was about to evolve into new wave.
A quartet initially, the group had two primary
songwriters, the guitarist Andy Partridge and the
bassist Colin Moulding. Though each wrote his own
songs, they shared a gift for catchy, three-minute pop
tunes in the Lennon-McCartney tradition. It was Mr.
Moulding's "Making Plans for Nigel" from XTC's third
album, "Drums and Wires," that finally landed the band
on the British charts in 1979. The song reached only
No. 17 in England, but that was enough; XTC began
touring internationally, performing in New York at
CBGB alongside Talking Heads, to whom it was then

Meanwhile, the band members were seeing no money from
their increasing record sales and finding themselves
deep in debt to their label, Virgin Records. The
situation gave rise to a lawsuit, in which the band
members accused XTC's manager of borrowing heavily
from Virgin against the band's royalties. The suit was
settled out of court, with both parties barred from
discussing the terms.

It is this period of creative ferment, commercial
breakthrough and economic catastrophe that the first
two CD's on "Coat of Many Cupboards" document. The
final discs offer up music from the years following
what Mr. Partridge calls his "nervous collapse," in
1982, after which the band quit touring for good. This
collapse, triggered by Mr. Partidge's paralyzing stage
fright and compounded by his having just kicked a
Valium addiction, became a creative turning point for
both Mr. Partridge and XTC.

Over the next 10 years the band recorded six
increasingly accomplished, adventurous and
idiosyncratic albums. From the stiff-jointed,
ska-influenced new wave of their early years, Mr.
Partridge and Mr. Moulding blossomed. Mr. Partridge,
in particular, produced richly textured, elegantly
structured tunes that, on occasion, even became
mainstream radio hits.

Challenging yet accessible, these perfectly simple pop
songs, like "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkin Head" and
"Dear God," wove together ingenious sonic
experimentation, wordplay and chiming vocal harmonies
redolent of the later Beatles and Brian Wilson's "Pet

Listening to this music today, one wonders whether
there would even be a Moby or a Beck without XTC.
Absent Mr. Partridge and his band's pioneering
intelligence and craftsmanship, these studio-obsessed
latecomers would not sound nearly as interesting. And
none of them is remotely in Mr. Partridge's class as a

True to their iconoclastic form, Mr. Partridge and Mr.
Moulding have deviated from the familiar greatest-hits
package on "Coat of Many Cupboards." Many songs are
represented not by their original album versions but
by early demos, outtakes, rehearsal dubs or live
recordings. The compilation is, as Mr. Partridge
described it recently, "something of a Savile Row
suit, but with lots of food stains."

At 48, Mr. Partridge has not stepped onstage before a
concert audience in almost 20 years. This is perhaps
the main reason XTC never caught on in America. Unlike
Sting and the Police (who, in 1981, toured here with
XTC), Mr. Partridge and his band never provided
America with much of a flesh and blood presence.

Still, XTC did enjoy a small but devoted following
here and in England. In 1993, though, at Mr.
Partridge's instigation, the band went on strike
against Virgin. "We had the world's worst record
deal," Mr. Partridge recalled, seated serenely now in
the garden of the tidy house in Swindon that he bought
with Virgin's initial advance. "We were never going to
make any money. I asked Virgin if we could go and
Virgin said no."

THE strike lasted until 1997, when Virgin released XTC
from its contract. "The most difficult years of my
life," Mr. Partridge said. "And I wrote a ton. It's
either extreme joy or extreme pain that gets you

The fruits of this productivity were finally released
in 1999 and 2000 - two XTC albums on the independent
label TVT: "Apple Venus," which featured a 40-piece
orchestra, and "Wasp Star," subtitled "Apple Venus
Volume 2," a return, in Mr. Partridge's words, to
"sonorous guitar bashing." Both discs were critically
acclaimed, but neither sold well.

"I realize, of course, that audiences have changed
dramatically," Mr. Partridge said. " Still, it really
was a kick in the groin for me."

XTC is, today, a two-man enterprise; the lead
guitarist Dave Gregory, the band's last original
member, fled in frustration not long ago. Caroline
Records is nontheless planning to follow up "Coat of
Many Cupboards" by reissuing XTC's first 10 albums.
Could this mean that the band is being rediscovered?

"Nah," said Mr. Partridge. "I think we're just going
to discover as this century grinds on that the
three-minute pop song was, in fact, a 20th-century art
form. Why is it fading away? Computers. People don't
want to put the years in, the apprenticeship, learning
how to make a great chair anymore. They can just press
a button and - phhlooff! - this inflatable piece of
furniture flips up in front of them."

How would he describe his own music?

"The pop canvas," Mr. Partridge replied. "Songs that
are immediate but go on forever saying a good thing.
Songs with no spare flesh. Songs full of surprises
that delight on first hearing but hopefully you don't
tire of easily; like naive art or toys. Though some of
my music can be miserable" - he paused - "but
delightfully miserable."


Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 18:19:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: shameful bastardization
Message-ID: <>

Craig Vreeken wrote about "Gonna Make You Stupid"
>>Well, what do you think?  Is it a shameful
bastardization and ruination of a perfectly good XTC
tune, or is it a new and innovative Fair Use or
reimagining, destined to be a dance floor smash?

God that 'thing' is hideous. I guess it's fair enough
for a person to amuse themselves with a 'mix' like
that.  I've done it myself as a comedy bit back on
college radio (playing Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful
People" along with the old 60's tune of the same name
is hilarious).

But the track in question is extremely unimgainative,
isn't innovative in the least and may just be
dangerous.  Just think of it like the brainwashing
done in 'A Clockwork Orange' if you hear this 'mix'
too many times you may just become physically ill when
you try to listen to "Stupidly Happy", hear it many
more times and you may just be afraid of listening to
XTC at all for fear of remembering this atrocity.
That's how bad "Gonna Make You Stupid" is.

"That is trash!  That is filth! That is, I... I... I,
How could make a mix as filthy and degeneratized as
that!  And I'm complimenting you by considering it a

That which does not kill me can only make me whinier


Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 10:03:15 +0100
From: Jason Witcher <>
Subject: Test matches/Woking
Message-ID: <32D4AD886C11D511955C00508BAD1C10060B801A@exchback.teletext.dom>

Ryan Anthony <> wrote:

    >How many times has (or "have," for the Brits) XTC
    >mentioned association football in lyrics? Only two
    >come to my mind: this one of Andy's, and Colin's
    >plaintive dream of "test matches we might win."

    Actually test matches are cricket, rather than football.

"Phil Cusimano" <> wrote:

    >>And does anyone know if the Jam originated anywhere near the Swindon
    >The Jam originated from the town of Woking which is southeast of London.

    In fact it's to the south-west.


Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 08:50:33 +0530
From: "Sughosh Varadarajan" <>
Subject: XTC Football / Paul Weller
Message-ID: <000401c20f64$ef357740$fa0dfea9@sughosh>

> How many times has (or "have," for the Brits) XTC
> mentioned association football in lyrics? Only two
> come to my mind: this one of Andy's, and Colin's
> plaintive dream of "test matches we might win."

Um, I always thought Colin was talking about cricket.. I don't think the
English football team is that much of an object of ridicule..though I'd say
their cricket team is doing pretty decently now as well.

Re Weller, well, I'm surprised no one has mentioned his last studio effort
"Heliocentric", which I personally enjoyed far more than Heavy soul (which
had its moments, but wasn't particularly consistent). Style Council.. well I
guess the greatest hits would probably be the best bet.. I've only heard Our
favourite shop, which has a couple of gems amongst some rather trashy

> I am staking a claim to be the biggest XTC fan in Lexington, perhaps
> all of Kentucky (poulation of almost 4 million)- any challengers?

Ah, well, I'll stake that very same claim for the whole of India (pop. - 1
billion plus).. and I know for a fact that there's no one on this list to
challenge me at least!

Cheers all

"Never really understood religion
 except.. it seems a good excuse to kill"

     - Alvin Lee


Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 02:50:19 +0000
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: It's quiet in here ...
Message-ID: <>

Where have you all been??

Gad it's been quiet on this list, which is just as well I suppose cos I've
been flat out like a lizard drinking in recent months. Not to say that I
haven't missed y'all.

Harrison, old chum -- again my hat must be doffed in your general direction.
I guess I started this little spat by daring to declare that I found Moby,
shall we say, less than essential. However your admirable riposte to the
critic(s) of your previous post was:

(A) revelatory, exposing (once again) the underlying shameless
rip-offsinherent in so much sampled music, a situatin that permits "artists"
like Moby to make millions by simply riding on the coattails of those whose
creative efforts are the real meat and potatoes of "their" "music"

(B) eloquent, articulate, funny and passionate, as always.

I'm a bit stunned that this is what happened. Moby should be ashamed of
himself. This guy calls himself a Christian, yet thinks nothing of making a
fortune out of the creative efforts of others whilst sharing none of the
proceeds with the familes of those whose music provides the only real point
of interest in this otherwise "hastily cobbled-together farrago" (thanks
very much HG Nelson).

Who said slavery was dead?


The Jam. I loved 'em. I think they started losing it around the time of
"Malice" (for mine) and I recall Weller himself saying that he hit a big
writing block just after the magnificent "Funeral Pyre" (their last truly
great single IMO) but prior to that they were one of the shining lights, no
doubt. Almost as popular here as they were at home I daresay, and a damn
shame we never got a tour here in Oz. 'Sound Affects' was a great album, no
doubt about it.

One of the great 3-piece units of all time, right up there with Cream and
The Police IMO, yet they absolutely loathed each other by all accounts, and
apparently still do.

Odd that they never really caught on in the US, but as far as "getting
arrested" is concerned, I was fairly praying for it (in the literal sense)
by the time The Style Council hit its alleged stride. "Long Hot Summer" was
a decent start, but it was all downhill from there and much of their output
was positively nauseating to me, some of the lamest white-boy wanna-be cod
soul I've ever heard. And that keyboard player REALLY shitted me for some
reason. I'm sure he was a good player, but he just looked like a total tool.
I generally find The Style Council a case of "what was he thinking?" in
exclesis, especially when watching some of the film clips. If that was his
idea of style, he's welcome to it. His heart was in the right place, and his
love of soul music was never in doubt, but I think his whole direction was
misplaced and poorly executed. He's a great performer, but certainly not a
great soul singer by any means, which to me was always the biggest drawback
fo the whole enterprise.

>Have you heard of the latest trend, bootlegging?

Ahhh, well I guess that's where "Is This The Real Life" fits in.

As a famous person once said:

"I don't care how thin you slice it, it still tastes like baloney."



Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 13:44:01 +0100
From: "David Smith" <>
Subject: RE: A few things Brit . . .
Message-ID: <000201c20fb3$58039e70$dd48fd3e@oemcomputer>

Hello again, my little pumpkins.

Just a few snippets of info I may be able to offer re certain things
that have ariz in the last post (so to speak)

Tyler Hewitt said re The Jam:
> hell, all their work is good. Might as well buy the
> box set!

Amen to that, bro!

Tony Picco said:

> Yow! I'm sure quite a number of English Chalkhillers will be shocked
> at your ignorance... The Jam, as I understand it, were HUGE across
> the pond but couldn't get arrested here in the States.

True enough - it's probably fair to say that, if you coupled chart
positions along with musical respect and integrity, the Jam were one of
the three biggest bands of the late 70s/early 80s over here. OK, they
were outsold by the Police and a couple fo other bands, but Weller and
co were probably RESPECTED more than any of them.

When they split (in the mid 80s??) their record company re-released all
their singles on the same day. Something like 12 of them made the top 30
for a couple of weeks.

Back to Tyler:
> Don't know too much about the solo Paul Weller work,
> but Wildwood is a good one.

> Is anyone on
> this list familiar with a lot of his stuff?  Has the
> rest of his material (in either group or solo) been
> good?

After the Jam, Weller joined with Mick Talbot to form the Style Council.
They lasted most of the 80s but always battled against comparisons with
the Jam, nearly always unfavourably. To this day, questions remain as to
whether the Style Council was a little Weller joke, as the image seemed
to be as important as the music, much of which seemed tongue in cheek.

Don't agree with Huw that this was his best work - it never really did
much for me (but that's just opinions and tastes, and vive la
difference, huh?)

The Style Council's stuff (You're The Best Thing, Long Hot Summer, My
Ever Changing Moods) was VERY "poppy" in comparison to the Jam's
agitprop mod-influenced sound. I personally found it a bit too
lightweight for my tastes. As Phil said, Cafe Bleu is pretty much all
you need from this era.

Weller went solo in the early 90s and has so far released five albums
(not including compilations): Paul Weller, Wildwood, Stanley Road, Heavy
Soul, Heliocentric. Again agreeing with Phil, it's patchy, but the good
stuff is great.

Wildwood and Stanley Road have probably had the most critical acclaim -
my favourite is Paul Weller, his first, and most jazzy album. As he's
moved on, the jazzy influences have shifted somewhat to more rocky ones,
but all in all, his solo stuff is a fine body of work.

If you're not sure, there are multiple compilations out there - all give
a pretty reasonable intro.

> And does anyone know if the Jam originated anywhere near the Swindon
> scene?

As Phil said, Paul was born in Woking which is about 20 miles South West
of London. It's really one of those periphery towns, outside the M25
(London orbital motorway) - close enough to be a commuter suburb, but
far enough not to be a "real" London suburb. That's where it differs
from Swindon, which is much further west.

His middle-class suburban upbringing (which he hated and rebelled
against) was in fact the inspiration for A Town Called Malice.

I vaguely recall an interview in which Weller said it was a town full of
despair, where middle class families went when they ran out of dreams -
and it was also the home of a huge Express Dairy milk distribution
depot, hence the lyric:

Rows and rows of milkfloats
In dying dairy yards
And a hundred lonely housewives
Clutching milk bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters
On the line to dry . . .

Anyway, if you like the Jam, and you like XTC, I reckon you won't be too
disappointed by much of Weller's solo material. All told, he's a very
good songwriter - and we like those, don't we?

Ryan Anthony said:
> How many times has (or "have," for the Brits) XTC
> mentioned association football in lyrics? Only two
> come to my mind: this one of Andy's, and Colin's
> plaintive dream of "test matches we might win."

Sorry Ryan old son - there's only ONE reference: test matches are
CRICKET, not football.

Will responded to my earlier post in which I called Moby's latest, a
"Casio-programmed, throwaway, euro-dance ditty"

> BELOW THE BELT!!!!! OW OW OW OW OW OW OW  OW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry mate - can't help the way I feel. OK, maybe he programmed it on a
Mac, rather than a Casio :-)

Errrr, that's all.




Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 01:02:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: "" <>
Subject: Did I buy the right XTC CD's? Moby Shmoby...
Message-ID: <>

I bought most of the masters a few weeks ago at Amazon. I purchased
the US Remastered versions. What I recieved is the Japaneese LP style
versions. Are there any differences between the two? Amazon is bad at
that when it comes to CD's...

Second, what is all this with Moby? Honestly, I don't really know much
about the guy other than some stupid techno video with him and that
chick from that wannabe ska band no doubt...

On a side note, I hung out with John Avila recently and it really
brought back some good memories of when bands were good and music was
worth listening too. I try to like new stuff, but I just can't find
myself interested in the stuff that is coming out. I did here one new
band called the Strokes that sounded pretty cool... : )


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 08:20:20 +0000
From: "James McRae" <>
Subject: Re: Test Matches
Message-ID: <>

Ryan Anthony wrote:

>How many times has (or "have," for the Brits) XTC
>mentioned association football in lyrics? Only two
>come to my mind: this one of Andy's, and Colin's
>plaintive dream of "test matches we might win."

I think it is more likely, given the context of Colin's lyrics for "Another
Life", that he was talking about the best sport in the universe, cricket,
and England's seemingly perennial failure to succeed.  Footie is not usually
associated with test matches, unlike Cricket (all international 3-5 day
matches) and Rugby Union and League internationals.

Anyone think of any other cricket references in the XTC oeuvre?



P.S.  I'm buying a shed.....


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 11:25:45 +0200
From: =?iso-8859-1?B?T2xvZiDWYmVyZw==?= <>
Subject: Record cover, Paul Weller
Message-ID: <001001c21060$d0ce96e0$070e69d4@default>

Ryan Anthony wrote:
> was it really
> necessary to change "This is a RECORD COVER" to "This
> On the back, was it really necessary to change "The
> record is by XTC. This is their second album" to "The
> COMPACT DISC is by XTC. This is taken from their
> second album."?
> On the vinyl: "This sleeve was written and
> photographed by Hipgnosis." On the CD, that credit has
> been eliminated
> The enormous full-color head-shots (count the
> zits! Count the pores!) are gone from the CD "booklet"
> (actually, one folded sheet), as is Andy's poem,
> "Fifties Kitchen Curtain (of Mr and Mrs Partridge)."

The cover of the 2001 remaster has "record cover", Hipgnosis credit,
and the poem intact. I don't have the original LP, but there is also a
"large" picture, zits and all, in the CD booklet - which could be the
"full-color head shots" you refer to.

However, apart from that I'm not at all pleased with those 2001
covers... I wonder who had the bright idea to shrink EVERYTHING on the
covers from 12" to 5" (including now unreadable lyric sheets)?! Not
what I would call an intelligent reissue. Sure, the sound is good,

On Paul Weller:
I agree with most of what's been written on this subject here. One
could mention that the Jam box set not only includes all albums, but
also most of the singles (a's&b's), which is a good thing since there
are lots of (good) tracks that aren't on the original albums.

I'm not very familiar with his solo output, but I like the live album
"Live wood" a lot. I also have the "Modern classics" collection, but I
think the live recording is superior.

Olof Vberg


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 09:36:22 -0400
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Musicians bedside manor
Message-ID: <>

on 6/8/02 2:59 PM, Harrison "And live with yourself" Sherwood wrote:

> Now, remind me again, how is it that I'm supposed to separate the foregoing
> from the music-in-itself? Do I nod my head appreciatively to the rockin'
> tunes while frantically ignoring the fact that the people whose songs were
> sliced & diced & served up on a bed of drum-machine sludge are in the process
> of getting yet one more shaft job from life, even after their deaths? Hell
> yes, give that Nigro boy a shiny nickel!
> Principle Number One: TV Culture makes you think you live in a vacuum.
> Principle Number Two: You don't.
>> I despise Moby's MUSIC
>> as much as anybody, but if you enjoy it then I'm
>> pleased for you, and congrats to him for making
>> himself a nice living out of it.
> Yes, indeed. Nice work if you can get it.

  It's certainly great to be both a nice guy and extremely talented. The
guys from Phish, for example, who I've met on a couple of occasions(Trey and
Page, anyway). However, not all talented people are nice guys, and not all
nice guys are particularly talented. In the former category people like Lou
Reed, Van Morrison, J Mascis, Alex Chilton, to name a few, have reputations
as very prickly and difficult individuals, but because they have more talent
in their middle finger than I could hope to have in my whole body, I'm
willing to cut them some slack in the personal qualities department. Of
course, if I'd never heard of these guys before and one of them ticked me
off on a personal level(as J Mascis did on one occasion, I knew him slightly
in college), I'd be even more in my rights to boycott their music forever.
In Lou Reed's case, I'd already made up my mind on his merits as a recording
artist, he would have had to have murdered his own mother for me to
completely write him off. I still don't particularly want to meet the guy,
  As for the latter category, I hear David Hasselhoff, Barry Manilow and Air
Supply are incredibly nice people to talk to and gracious and appreciative
to their fans, but their music still makes me want to run screaming from the
room. That being said, however, I'd love all the musicians I respect
musically to have the same standards of socially acceptable behavior as I
do, but that isn't always the case.


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 10:46:33 EDT
Subject: Allentown
Message-ID: <>

with everyone claiming to be the biggest XTC fan in their state, I was just
wondering if any Chalksters lived in the Allentown, PA area.  If you do, my
condolences, but please contact me, maybe we can meet up, have a few, and
talk XTC.  Thanks....


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 10:51:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: (Marston Moor)
Subject: Goat of Many Gubments
Message-ID: <>

hi hillers, hi harrison, hi mitch, hi relphie boy!

know what i'd really like? mr sherwood's fine essay reproduced online!
is it posted anywhere yet? do i gotta type it all up? whew & yikes!

reasons to be cheerful, pt. 1) cuz my poor eyesight's decaying by the
hour, the print is typically micro-tiny, and the CoMC background colour
schemes border on the absurd. and 4) it's a fucking great read that
shouldn't be reserved only for those who buy the box. who buy the box,
who buy the box (to be sung to the tune of the ending lines of "Find The
Fox") :o)>

let's get that sucker up on a webpage asap, y'all. font size=98.6 !

also: been rereading the chris twomey book, such great stuff.

foghorn leghorn sez: The Jam were okay. but Weller don't hold a stick to
Partsy, nuh uh. not gonna go there, wouldn't be prudent!

harrison, i quite dug yer post re: moby/alanlomax & 'rules' for musical

now batting: barry bonds. here comes president kill again.

vanishing boy,


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 11:13:15 -0400
From: "david henwood" <>
Subject: The NINES released in Japan
Message-ID: <>

Just wanted to quickly let anyone who is interested know that the popular
XTC influenced band the Nines have just released Properties of Sound in
Japan on Airmail Recordings, The Japanese version
of Properties includes new artwork, lyric book and 2 unreleased tracks not
available on the North American version.

David Henwood
SPR Music Group


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 16:48:17 +0100 (BST)
From: Bert Millichip <>
Subject: Moby and Lomax: the Facts
Message-ID: <>

Harrison wrote a long an unpleasant diatribe in which
he suggested that Moby had ripped off the Alan Lomax
Archive and exploited the singers who are sampled on

Lomax's daughter, Anna Chairetakis, who also happens
to run the aforementioned Lomax Archive, takes a
rather different view. She has said:

"The way that they were done was very tasteful and
really gave a chance for the true, the original music
to come out... I was very, very happy that he had done
that, and that they did so well. He set a very good

...Another advantage is that any income that comes
from [commercials] to us is good for the artists, and
it's good also for the archives because we're able to
help support the work that goes on here... I wish that
more people would follow Moby's example. I think he
did a really good job."

(Full interview is at,23009,3368305,00.html.
By the way, if you want to find out where Harrison got
most of his "facts", not to mention some of his prose,
check out the article by David Dayen at,23009,3346111,00.html.)

Chairetakis has stated elsewhere: "I'm glad, and I'm
sure Alan would also be glad, that people are finding
these songs and that these recordings are inspiring a
new source of creativity and new musical ideas. It's
also a very good thing that the artists' heirs receive
royalties and licensing fees."

Harrison's version of events is called further into
question on the official Lomax web site:

After all that, any comment from me would be utterly
superfluous, but I'll make a few anyway. There are
some who argue - and I agree with them - that what
Lomax did was far more exploitational and plagiaristic
than anything Moby is guilty of. All Lomax did was
switch on a tape recorder, and for this he is lauded
as a "legendary musicologist". Moby did something with
those recordings that actually required a little
talent and know-how (only a little, I admit) and he is
lambasted mercilessly for it. What's more, whereas
Lomax took a notoriously arbitrary line on contracts
and royalties (he didn't even stop to take the names
of some of the people who's recordings have
subsequently netted substantial sums of money), Moby
played the whole thing strictly by the book. Perhaps
you don't like the book in question, but that's not
Moby's fault. A few reservations aside, the Lomax
Archive seem to be delighted with the exposure (and
money) they and the artists have received as a result
of Moby's record, though I am sure they would
appreciate Harrison's moral indignation on their

On an artistic level, I can't say I agree with Lomax's
daughter's glowing praise of Moby as I have only ever
heard one or two of the singles and they weren't my
cup of tea at all. I didn't "get" them, and there's no
shame in that. However, from what I have read there
seem to be a lot of parallels between what Moby did
and a favourite CD of mine, Gavin Bryars' "Jesus'
Blood Never Failed Me Yet". A friend of Bryars was
making a documentary about vagrants in London in 1971
when he filmed an alcoholic tramp singing the hymn of
the title. Nobody knows who the man was. Years later,
Bryars took a twenty second sample of the tramp,
looped it for seventy odd minutes, and wrote an
orchestral backing for it. The result is a sublime
work of genius, by far the most moving piece of music
I have ever heard. No doubt Harrison would say that
Bryars is a thieving c**t who has stolen from that
destitute old man and trampled him further into the
gutter. Well, I've never looked at it that way. To me,
Bryars is an honest man who tried to make something
that is beautiful and inspirational, something that
would help that tramp's spirit live on forever, and he
succeeded. If he made some money out of it, I don't
begrudge him that.

Artists have "borrowed" tunes, images, phrases, ideas
etc etc etc from each other for centuries, and some of
the greatest works of art have come from this. Moby
may not be great art, but that's just my qualitiative
assessment - millions of others evidently disagree.
The point is that the principle itself is basically
sound. If it isn't, let's dig Mozart up and throw
rotten tomatoes at his corpse for pilfering the odd
theme from Hayden.



Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 09:31:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: control freak
Message-ID: <>

Harrison and Craig's rants have brought up something
that has always bugged me about art, life, fairness,
and creativity. It seems logical that a person who
makes a sound or song should control how that sound is
used. Forever. And make money from it (if money is
being made). This is only logical, yet it is so far
from what happens in this old world of ours.

Over and over I hear complaints similar to XTC's,
where artists have no control over what they have
created. Papers were signed, contracts were entered
into, and some suits have rigged the game in their

Over and over I learn how little of the money
generated by the creative work of the Beatles and
George Martin actually found its way to them
(especially sir George, who earned a weekly salary and
no more for things like the piano solo on In My Life).
A guy called Dick James got 25% of the Beatle money
for doing nothing.

All this makes the Coat of Many Cupboards all the more
delicious. It's amazing that they pulled it off. Also,
from Andy and Colin's perspective, I think they view
it as a step towards freedom from this onerous

My fear is that Virgin (or someone) will still have
them by the balls in some way they don't foresee.  The
control over all those videos, for example.



Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 10:32:56 -0600
Subject: Mountain Time
Message-ID: <>

Oh, Ryan, we may have to battle over XTC fan rights to the Mountain Time
Zone over here in the middle of the US of A. You can have Arizona, with
your cactus and air conditioning, but I claim all of of Colorado as my XTC
fief-dom ! The mountains, the plains, the cities and the towns, all are
mine, mine I tell you !

Whew. Glad I got that out. I'll tell you what - you can have New Mexico and
Utah, and I'll take Wyoming and Montana. That seems fair.

Here's a link to a "Coat" thang in the NY

For what it's worth, my band is currently playing "Church of Women." Our
bass player doesn't care much for XTC (his overall description of their
music is "Gay."), but he likes this song, although the way we play it is
more "Drums and Wires" than "Wasp Star"..............


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 12:43:15 EDT
Subject: more jam already?
Message-ID: <>

Hello 'Hillers

> From: "Bob O'Bannon" <>
 >The Jam was one of the most popular bands in Britain in the late 70s, early
 >80s. I remember reading that their single "Going Underground" actually
 >entered the charts at #1 somewhere around 1982. <snip>

It was April 1980 and I remember vividly buying the double pack single, back
in the days when records entering at #1 were rarities.  They also did it with
Town Called Malice/Precious and Beat Surrender in 1982.

> From:

 > Am I the only one here who thinks that Paul Weller did his best stuff with
the Style Council?
Frankly yes, apart from a few singles the rest of TSC was pretty awful hence
his dip in popularity at the end of the 80s/early 90s.
The Jam were by far his best work and just about all of the singles are
classics, unfortunately the LP tracks veered towards head-up-bottom territory.
Thats just an opinion mind!

Jamie Crampton
Northampton UK


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 15:52:40 -0400
Subject: Troubled Past, Troubled Future?
Message-ID: <>

Hello again, CHALKHILL Dwellers!

Yes, I'm still anticipating the reissues of the first 10 XTC albums.  As I
might have stated here before, I've seen one or two of the Japanese
pressings, although sold not as cheaply as some CHALKHILL subscribers have
seen them.  I'd scoop 'em up for $15 apiece if indeed I could find 'em for
that, but I'd seen GO TO, SKYLARKING and NONSUCH for over $30 apiece,
gulped back my desire for 'em and just sighed, hoping that the reissues
from Caroline Records come real soon, domestically, here in the States with
nowhere near the alterations that I'm hearing about from some of your

Also, I'd read an article sent to me by a friend, called "XTC: Adventurous
Punk of a Troubled Past" by Barry Singer, which was a bit of a downer.  Not
only does this piece state that the last two albums APPLE VENUS and WASP
STAR had not sold well, but Partridge and Moulding have given up the ghost
and decided that XTC is a thing of the past and it seemed as if that were
saying that future recording under that name is just about improbable, as
impossible as it was for those hideous seven years that they were without a
contract!  Ugh!  I'm close to mirroring Harrison's comments in CHALKHILLS
#33 in which he viciously comments that times change, and I add to that the
comment that others have made in the media *ABOUT* the media and music in
that we seem to go from new sensation to new sensation and never wish to
revisit our joys.  While I have probably followed many "fads", some of them
now deemed unworthy of ever revisiting, I think that these artists put
their time and effort into creating interesting musical careers and even,
in some cases, transcending those fads and proving themselves musically
diverse!  Why minimize such careers, even if the musicians do so.  Yeah, I
can understand how musicians can get frustrated with their "lot".  Andy
Partridge is not the only one who has expressed a loathing for touring; and
John Lennon has written that oft-quoted line "feel so suicidal, even hate
my rock 'n' roll!"  Whether the latter was spat out sardonically or not, we
all know the sordid history of the Beatles' career and how the overwhelming
intrusion on privacy and all that rubbish eventually destroyed any
harmonies within the band.

At any rate, do read this piece by Barry Singer when you get the chance,
and if you do, I'd like to know if there are any inconsistencies with what
some of you who might have communicated with Partridge or Moulding have
heard.  When the release of COAT OF MANY CUPBOARDS was first announced in
ICE Magazine, the last paragraph mentioned that a new release of all new
material was possible, but that seems to have died a sour and fast death
with the news that the two albums have not sold all that much (surprising
considering all the fans writing in this and past issues of DIGEST with
glowing or any kinds of reviews on CUPBOARDS and inconsistancies in the
Japanese reissues, etc.  Does this mean that TVT Records has dropped the

I know that Mr. Sherwood had said that, right now, XTC's Partridge and
Moulding have put all their efforts into promoting these reissues and that
is fine.  Believe me, I'm not complaining about that; but I do hope they
haven't given up ever recording any music.  In a world where the only
existence of history that is promoted in the mainstream comes from samples
and loops in other snotty songs that seem to disregard the struggles of
those who have united us all in the past, as M.r. Sherwood has pointed out,
we need to pass around news that diversity is still out there.

   Unfortunately, I have not read the XTC bios that you all have read,
since it is not in a format that is accessable to me.  So how could I read
passages out of ICE or MOJO Magazines?  I have a flatbed scanner here at
the office and, when I can find the time, I scan the full contents of said
publications into its memory for future reading.  In many cases, however,
the fancy page layouts jumble the information up and the scan is not clear.
Reading a whole book this way would be tedious, not like listening to a
terrific reader interpret a bio with genuine human enthusiasm!  At any
rate, I don't know near the vast amounts of information and rumors that
some of you have heard, and I usually discount all such stories, even if
the rockers themselves tell it, because I'm willing to accept most
performers, even with their "blemishes".  Hell, I know there's a human
being in there somewhere!
   I am glad for this forum to air our views and talk about music that
eternally pleases us.  I only hope that record company types read this and
take heed.  I, for one, am coming from a generation that likes tangible
copies of music.  Thus, I'm not entirely fond of downloads 'n' such because
there are no covers and credits with the deal, unless you are an enormous
bootlegger who has the good fortune to be able to create your own cover art
for your compilations!  Boy, did I like vinyl packaging, and I really wish
that more record companies here in the States would indulge in the mini-LP

   Now, I'm hearing rumors up from below about the possible overhaul and
reissue of the Rolling Stones back catalogue?  Ooooh, I'm thinking that
this is too good to be true!  Will BEGGAR'S BANQUET finally be reissued
with its original censored idea for an album cover intact here in the
States?  God, I hope so!  There surely must be all kinds of rareties in
those vast and dusty vaults and I surely hope they are all allowed to
resurface.  From what I'm hearing, distilled along the grapevine, the
Stones' current tour is being conducted the way most aging rockers should
do so, if indeed they feel they *MUST* tour!  They are playing smaller
clubs.  I just never understood the arena gigs over the indoor halls or
even the smaller clubs.  Just listen to how fresh and beautiful those early
Talking Heads live recordings sound on the vinyl-only THIS BAND IS set.
While the band gets larger and hits larger venues in subsequent tours, the
music begins to sound labored over to the point where the studio albums
have the raw power that the live music should be generating.  But that is
the problem with touring and such; the spontaneity is gone and it just
isn't worth it anymore.  At their age, the Rolling Stones really should be
playing shorter stints in small clubs, changing the song lineup so it isn't
just tedius nostalgia.  After all, I'm sure that Keith Richards still has
this diverse love of music, as might Mick Jagger, and what fan would turn
down a Stones gig in which they perform a small section of their favorite
tunes throughout the years?

   I think that most artists have resigned themselves to being "samples" on
new recordings, and sometimes those samples are well worth it if the song
itself isn't just wanking off in the studio.  Chumbawamba is such a band.
they have a lot to say in their music, and the sampling of other folks'
work merely proves that they realize that music has a vast and wonderful
history worth listening to.  Besides, in reviews, for those who can't look
beyond MTV, some writers mention the music that is being sampled and we can
only hope that, once the fans find out that the repetitive folk guitar riff
is a sample from an earlier time, they might want to explore and listen
back to those recordings, believing that their favorite band of the moment
was listening to those albums and was inspired by their contents.  And,
yes, some of our more creative DJ's do play the music that has been sampled
in any given new synthetic track.  I wish such creative DJ's were found on
commercial radio, but they are out there.  Ya just gotta search for 'em.
I've not got a computer, but I hear that great sets are found daily on
streaming audio.  I guess that is our equivalent to pirate radio.  More
power to 'em.


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 15:32:01 -0500
From: Patrick Blomquist <>
Subject: video wanted
Message-ID: <>

Anybody out there know where or how I can get my hands on a copy of the
1999 VH1 Where Are They Now segment featuring XTC?  I'd certainly be
willing to pay a few bucks for a copy.  Anybody with info can e-mail me
directly.  Thanks.


End of Chalkhills Digest #8-34

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