Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-62

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 62

                Tuesday, 19 November 2002


                    My Mom is Cool :)
                "Wonderland" Shite? Na!!!
     XTC In Top 100 Selling All-Time Singles Shocker
                       Wuzzy Fables
             Of Birds and Smiths and Homicide
   XTC in top 100 best selling UK singles shocker!!!!!
                  Beatles, Andy mention
                   eating familiar food
 XTC in "The top 100 Selling British singles of all time"
     teaching: disciplining tomorrow's leaders today
                      EMI Wonderland
                  Mastering The Beatles
                      Jesus is Lard
My Sister Vs. XTC / Connection Problems / More Jangle Pop
                      Record sleeves
                    Don't buy CD-R's!
                   Weird XTC sighting!
               All the good names are taken
                  Alas, poor Cordwainer


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My contemporary house is all the rage.


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 14:48:54 -0500
From: "Molly, the New Wave Queen" <>
Subject: My Mom is Cool :)
Message-ID: <007c01c28da9$3396b760$a401590c@vogmudet>
Organization: AT&T Worldnet

WARNING:  This post has almost no XTC content.

My Mom is totally cool.  I just found out that she's getting into New Wave
music.  She told me that when she's in her darkroom processing her photos
she put on the New Wave channel on Music Choice, and the first song that
came on was from Kate Bush.  She told me that the New Wave channel has a lot
of great songs on it.
For Christmas, I'm thinking of making her a mix tape of all New Wave songs.
I'm going to add songs from XTC, Elvis Costello (who she really likes thanks
to "The Sopranos" soundtrack) and a few other artists/groups.  I'll get her
into this genre.
Yeah, an almost 60 year old woman loving New Wave music is great.  :)



Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 15:05:49 -0500
From: "Molly, the New Wave Queen" <>
Subject: "Wonderland" Shite? Na!!!
Message-ID: <008101c28dab$9074e860$a401590c@vogmudet>
Organization: AT&T Worldnet

Crawford rambled:
<<Wonderland is a load of poncey shite, always has been always will be,>>

Crawford, my boy, why do you say that?  I love the song, "Wonderland", it's
one of my favorites off the "Mummer" album, and I love the video for it.  I
would love Colin's reaction to your comment and to those others who think
"Wonderland" is a piece of shite.



Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 00:14:58 -0000
From: "David Smith" <>
Subject: XTC In Top 100 Selling All-Time Singles Shocker
Message-ID: <000001c28dce$5f0cd0d0$92751e3e@oemcomputer>

I don't know whether this is happening in the States, but over here in
good ol' blighty, whenever a TV station needs a cheap 3-hour filler
programme for a Saturday night slot, they trot out one of these
endlessly dull "list" programmes.

You know the sort, the "All Time Top 50 Songs Featuring The Zither", or
"Your 25 Greatest Cartoons Not By Mel Blanc", where they pay
micro-celebrities (read "discarded soap actors and actresses") to do
talking head cameos about how they "remember being moved by going to see
High Noon when it was first released", despite the fact that they're
only 21 years old, accompanied by a sneering voiceover - usually by Boy
George or John Lydon ('cos they're sooooooo anarchic).

Well, tonight it was the turn of Channel 4 to give us "The 100 Top
Selling UK Singles of All Time" - so at least this one was based on
sales, so perhaps some merit. Perhaps.

And guess what - XTC were in it!

Yes, after boring us silly with everything from Will Young to Aqua,
marvelling at the fact that the 100th best selling single was
"Mississippi" by Pussycat (three Dutch sisters singing in a
country-stylee about a place they'd never been to) and ending with
Bohemian Rhapsody (Brian May: "I don't think we invented the pop video";
Roger Taylor: "I think we probably invented the pop video"), Band Aid
(Bob Geldof: "What a waste") and, at number one, Elton's "Candle In The
Wind" (you know the "sob sob, Diana's dead, how're my sales figures
looking?" version), I was just preparing to click the remote in disgust
when the closing credits rattled past to the strains of Swindon's
finest, and the strains of "This Is Pop".

Oh well, they may never get in the charts on sales, but it was still the
best song that I heard on TV tonight.

Toodle pip for now.



Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 18:31:24 -0600
From: "eriC draveS" <>
Subject: Wuzzy Fables
Message-ID: <004901c28dd0$a9fe6250$a042f843@XLZOOM>

Ryan Anthony asked me:
 Would you prefer this funny old postage stamp with an upside-down biplane,
or Micky Mantle's rookie card, or *Action* Comics No. 1?

eriC draveS replies:
 What would I do with them? Get high off of old mucilage fumes? Read all the
impressive statistics of a baseball legend that he didn't earn yet? Watch
some idiot in a circus costume lift an obvious prop car in the air?

Now let me ask you a question. If you were a tree, what kind of dog would
you have piddle on you? :)

Anyway, thanks for the gone-offer.


P.S. I just got a pile of Duran Duran albums and am busy reliving more 80's
favorites... strangely, my Beatles collection is still missing some albums.
I'll get around to it when I feel like it.

"Doctor Who couldn't beat the Daleks, he didn't have a stick."


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 18:51:30 -0800
From: Kyla <>
Subject: Of Birds and Smiths and Homicide
Message-ID: <>

Well now, Ben, as Amy notes, look at the great service you've done for the
children of Chalkers.  Silver lining and all that rot, er, I mean jazz.

And Moley suggests:

> Stopping eating from the Apples, Oranges and Lemons and go try some guava
> and mango try kiwi, hell try dirt.

Have to inject here that I recently ate a Bertie Botts dirt-flavoured jelly
bean, and I can't recommend 'em. Taste *exactly* like dirt. Extremely nasty
with long lingering overtones. Which makes me wonder, how is it that I can
identify the flavour of dirt so well? After long thought, have to admit I
think it's from eating things that dropped on the floor, or at the least,
putting them in my mouth before spitting them out. Haven't done that in a
*very* long time, though.

Heartfelt thank yous to those who e-mailed sympathy to me, among them
Ryan. Cordwainer Bird's name was after a pseudonym used by Harlan
Ellison. When Mr. Ellison writes screenplays, he has a rider in his contract
that if the final finished film does not resemble the script he wrote, his
name is to be removed from the credits as the writer, and the name
'Cordwainer Bird' is to be used instead. The Cordwainer is indeed in homage
to the great SF writer Cordwainer Smith (whose own pen name sorta translates
as Shoemaker Shoemaker.)

And I also was going to extoll the virtues of Homicide! I liked it so much I
convinced my brother to watch, and he *hates* tv. I didn't know there would
be prizes! I love prizes! Alas, for my bitten tongue!

Talking Heads, yah alright, I suppose there is another well-known quartet
with another Harrison. But in my heart, there's only the one.


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 12:21:21 -0000
From: "Pledge" <>
Subject: XTC in top 100 best selling UK singles shocker!!!!!
Message-ID: <000c01c28e33$d71eee40$182f7ad5@oemcomputer>

Last night, having endured nearly 3 hours of dross, broken up by the
occasional genuinely great record, I was giving up on hearing a record that
I actually own and like as the UK's Channel 4 did the run down of the 100
best selling singles in the UK of the last 50 years.

Luckily the sadness brought on by the mediocrity of the massive sellers was
reduced by plenty of sharp, witty and sarcastic comments deriding the public
and the artists for buying records by Wet Wet Wet, Celine Dion and Bryan

Then it happened, the abject misery caused by realising that the record that
will probably remain the UK's biggest seller, Candle In The Wind '97 by
Elton John, was broken when I realised I recognised the massively uplifting
piece of music being used for the end credits of the show: This Is Pop, by
our boys, was being used to bring the programme to a close. Ok so a
continuity announcer talked over most of it, but, hey!, any bit of exposure
for XTC has to be a good thing.

That's about it for now, back to lurking...



Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 09:03:25 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Beatles, Andy mention
Message-ID: <>

on 11/16/02 1:30 PM, Ben wrote:
> Well, I'm pleased that I survived that one!  At least you didn't run me off
> the list as some folk have been run off in the past.  For those of you who
> care, I'm already three Beatles albums in the hole (thanks, Annamarie, for
> providing a brand-new copy of "Sgt. Pepper's").  For those of you who were
> sarcastic biznatches, I hope you get trapped in a room with the song "Put It
> In My Mouth" (which is *not* by the Beatles) playing on "Repeat" forever and
> ever until your head explodes.
> Speaking of things exploding, isn't "My Love Explodes" a fantastic song?

  For your next Beatles album, Ben, grab a copy of Revolver, IMO the best
album they ever did and an example of The Beatles at their creative peak.
Every song on it makes Andy look like Wayne Campbell by comparison,(We're
not worthy! We're not worthy!...) with the possible exception of "Yellow
Submarine," which is a bit too twee for my taste, but great to play for
kids. I guarantee it'll rip your skull off. The musical diversity of it is
stunning, yet it all sounds like the same band.
  Sgt Pepper, on the other hand, I find overrated. A little too LSD addled,
too much Paul and not enough John. John's creative contribution to the
album, besides playing rhythm guitar, piano and singing backup vocals, was
limited to a 50/50 cowrite with Paul("With A Little Help From My Friends,"
one of the few times they ACTUALLY cowrote- usually if Paul sings it's
Paul's song, if John sings it's John's, if Ringo sings it's probably a
cowrite), half of "A Day In The Life"(the only truly great, rather than
good, song on the album) and two by himself, one "Lucy In The Sky With
Diamonds," while a good song, got way too much press for its supposed drug
references, where all it was was a stream of consciousness based on a
drawing of Julian's; the other, "Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite," was
basically a throwaway and one of the Beatles most negligible full-length
songs. Sgt Pepper was Paul's concept and baby, he wrote the majority of the
album by himself. Mind you, it's good Paul, good solid pop/rock that Paul
does when he's really trying, and the quieter stuff like "She's Leaving
Home" and "When I'm 64"(written when he was a teenager, too) is downright
heartwarming, unlike later solo piffle in a similar musical style like "My
Love" or "Let 'Em In." Nonetheless, "A Day In The Life" is the primary
reason to own Sgt Pepper, it ranks with Andy's "The Wheel And The Maypole"
as one of the few examples of putting two independently written songs
together in one song and having it actually work. (The other I can think of
offhand is Badfinger's "Without You.")

-- Satan: "Saddam, you're dead. I killed you."
   Saddam: "Yeah, well, where was I gonna go- Detroit?"

Chris Coolidge

visit my church at


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 10:05:37 EST
Subject: eating familiar food
Message-ID: <>

mole says...

> Go buy something you know nothing about and see what
> happens. If anone who in my vernacular "Eats incessantly from the same
> tree" would like to resond I would love to read your thoughts cause I
> really don't get it and I'd like to at least understand that mindset.

OK   since you talk about eating, and use fruits earlier as an example...
i'll try it with MEAT.

 I like meat. Beef,especially.  Growing up,we ate a lot of hamburger at my
house,and every Sunday, a nice roast beef.

  We were not well off,and eventually,the Roast wasn't there to be had any
Damn,I missed it.  I feel it gave me strength,as well as great taste.

 Once I had my own income, I was able to eat Beef much more often. Not just
Hamburger and Roast Beef, but other types as well.

 Steaks...Ribs...Filet Mignon...mmmmm...branching out to other meats as
well...i like eating it, so,why abandon it to try quiche...falafel...tofu...

 similarly... in music...xtc reigns supreme, to me.  but i felt the need to
try some recommendations I have seen here as xtc like / influenced.

 Most i have truly enjoyed...Martin Newell...The La's...The Greys... Jason
Falkner...Sam Phillips...Yazbeck...Mitch Friedman ...Some good but not really
my cuppa' ...Jellyfish...jeff buckley  ...some i do not like...BLUR...

either way, it is trying similar things to things you know you like,which to
me should mean there is a greater chance of me liking that as well.

Sure, I take chances,a have quite a diverse selection of things I have tried
,and like, in other styles of music...and food...

I do not like bananas, so,i won't try plantains... i do not like metal,so i
won't try Gorelord

you can't understand this???


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 15:05:43 +0000
From: "James McRae" <>
Subject: XTC in "The top 100 Selling British singles of all time"
Message-ID: <>

To celebrate 50 years of the UK Pop charts, "The top 100 Selling British
singles of all time" was on the telly (ITV or Ch4, can't remember which)
last night, and XTC featured...

..Unfortunately, it was only because "This is Pop" was played with the end

At least the producer had some taste, even if the people of Britain don't.
(That ghastly "Candle in the Wind/Goodbye England's Rose" came top, with
nearly 5 million sales..  I despair..)

Time to go back down my lurky hole.

Toodle pip!



Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 08:56:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: teaching: disciplining tomorrow's leaders today
Message-ID: <>

Ben's unawareness of the Beatles is cause for
reflection. Last summer as I drove my sons (age 10 and
12) to summer school and surfing I deliberately chose
several bands and played their entire catalogs for the
boys during the many car rides around Honolulu. I
started with the Beatles, though that mention of the
American Graffiti soundtrack has me thinking I should
have started there. We also heard all the Kinks and
XTC in order, and a large dollop of Beach Boys and The
Who, though I don't own all of the releases by those

Another instance where I deliberately exposed the next
generation to some good things was when I chose a list
of songs to teach my students at our one week camp. In
addition to the Bobs (Marley and Dylan), the Beatles
and Kinks, etc, I threw in Senses Working Overtime. I
had to smile on our fourth day in the wilderness when
some students were trying archery and I caught them
whistling the chorus. How could they help it.

I think of it as grounding them in the basics.

which brings me to what Kevin wrote:

"a member of this band has to *DIE* before any
upgrades on their catalogue becomes more than a blip
on the industry's radar!  George Harrison recently
passed away, so *NOW* we just *MIGHT* get his entire
back catalogue reissued properly!  Thanks, guys."

Yes, Tom Petty makes a point about this on The Last
DJ. There's a slimy record executive named Joe who
says something like "What do we need this old has been
for? If he dies, then we can move some catalog".

There's another song on it where an artist uses their
song to sell lite beer. I'm always surprised when
people are excited that a good band's song has
appeared in a commercial. I suppose Ben might never
have heard the Beatles without that commercial, but
what an awful way to come to the temple.

When I play "All Day and All of the Night" for my
students, they all say "Oh yeah! The Jolly Rancher
commercial!!" Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Mole says that none of the bands that are like XTC are
as good as XTC. A fair point. However, if we go on the
criteria that a band must make albums where every song
is an amazing gem that breaks new ground, the lyrics
are far beyond what is normally found in rock music,
the demos are better than anyone else's final product,
and the band was totally amazing live, then one must
give consideration to Jellyfish. Sure, they only did
it for 2 albums, but what a pair! Britney's pears got
nothing on that pair. The new box set of demos and
live stuff makes it clear that there was something
really special there for a short while.

And finally, let's hear if for the Clash getting into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!



Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 12:39:05 EST
Subject: EMI Wonderland
Message-ID: <>

Regarding the whole re-mastered Beatles albums issue, I too am surprised that
EMI haven't bothered to lavish care on getting the albums re-issued properly.
It's not as if they are going to lose any money on such a project. One thing
they should do is re-issue the Magical Mystery Tour double E.P. set on CD
which they have yet to do. The current Magical Mystery Tour CD doesn't have
the songs in their original order and doesn't reproduce the fantastic booklet
that accompanied the original release which is a great shame.

Anyway, we should be talking about XTC here. Wonderland? No, I don't like it
either. In fact I don't particularly like any of Colin's songs on Mummer and
consider it to be one of his creative low points.



Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 13:09:39 EST
Subject: Mastering The Beatles
Message-ID: <>

I've been away for a while and haven't followed much of the list lately but
am catching up...

Ben asked--

>  So what's up with no new Beatles remasters?  Or should I even open up
> that particular Pandora's box?

Re: Ben's inquiry about The Beatles' catalog

Some information on the hold ups, proposals, etc.

Not everyone had The Beatles as the background music of their life.

 Kevin had an opinion ---

This is partially the fault of the industry, once again.  Look at the state
of the Rolling Stones' catalogue.  I'll bet you know who the Rolling Stones
are, right? That is because (1) they are still active and touring each year
and (2) there have been reissues and upgrades of their catalogue, even with
mini-LP sleeve editions here in the U.S.  If Capitol even cared one bit
about what the Fab Four have done, their entire catalogue would have been
given royal treatment beyond what the Stones are now seeing.  Of course,
I'm not denying that there were expensive bits of Beatles audio and visual
memorabelia out there, like two large sets devoted to Beatles singles and
U.K. e.p.'s, but the fans were waiting for the full and complete albums,
with original cover art and the whole nine yards of attention that we've
seen given much lesser (but still as interesting)bands!  Hey, the '70's
group, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA or Chicago) are treated better than
the Beatles!  Could you imagine how wonderful the stuff would be if it was
reissued from the absolute *ORIGINAL* master tapes?  It almost seems as if
a member of this band has to *DIE* before any upgrades on their catalogue
becomes more than a blip on the industry's radar!  George Harrison recently
passed away, so *NOW* we just *MIGHT* get his entire back catalogue
reissued properly!  Thanks, guys.  --The End of Kevin's Opinion

It's a bit more complicated than that. Much of it has to do with Apple and
The Beatles themselves as much as Capitol. My understanding is that the
former members of the band (and their widows) didn't want their back catalog
constantly remastered as 1) They felt it take $$ from fans and 2) When they
remaster it they want to get it right (much as they did the first time--even
though they were issued some time ago on CD, at the time they were state of
the art).

Go to the above link and you'll find out quite a bit more. Capitol/EMI/Apple
are in the process of doing something about it. What? Well, no one really
knows. Supposedly much of the debate has to do with 1) How they will
presented (UK& US albums on the same disc, in mono or remixed stereo) 2) The
format (CD, HDCD, SACD, DVD-A, DVD).

Despite my apprehension over The Stones reissues, they sound terrific. There
are no bonus tracks or outtakes and the packaging is pretty shoddy (no
comments on the making of the album, etc.). Against my better judgement, I
have to praise Abkco for waiting to reissue them. The Stones albums the band
owns have been reissued/remastered roughly 3 times. Was there any noticable
improvement? Only on the batch remastered using Apogee's system.

 An example of, perhaps, what is in store is the Yellow Submarine songtrack
album (remixed, remastered). In that instance, they considered it a new
compilation because there had never been a proper soundtrack with all the
songs from the film. I'd also like to remind everyone how long it took the
Xtc catalog to be remastered/reissued. That was with a band that had 1) Less
fans and 2) Little say so about their back catalog.

By the way, this remix process was started some time ago. George Martin was
never happy with the mixes on Help! and Rubber Soul. He felt they were rushed
(given that the band was touring, making movies, etc.) and he went back and
remixed them for stereo himself. There are those who carp about the fact that
they don't "sound" the same. Well of course not. They still sound pretty damn
good even when compared to the original vinyl mixes.

Harrison was in the process of going through his back catalog and putting
together discs similar to All Things Must Pass with bonus tracks, etc.  That
process will continue according to Harrison's son Dhani.

McCartney owns his own masters and overseas his catalog was remastered in
1993 (Band on the Run received the royal remaster treatment at the 25 year
mark). Macca's Venus and Mars and Band on the Run were both remastered for
DTS 5.1 some time ago.

Lennon's back catalog has been remastered (with the exception of Walls and
Bridges and Rock 'n' Roll) with exceptional sound quality. Yes, there is some
debate about remixing the tracks but comparison's between the recently
reissued Mind Games and the previous CD (or vinyl) versions demonstrates it
was a pretty good idea.

Ringo's stuff--well the better CDs will hopefully be reissued although his
niche is so marginal who knows when they'll reissue them.

 <A HREF="">Abbeyrd's Beatle Page</A>


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 19:03:05 +0000 (GMT)
From: Dom Lawson <>
Subject: Jesus is Lard
Message-ID: <>


>>how dare you speak of my own personal Lord in that

My apologies. Seriously. As a good Christian boy, I
should have known better. What a c*nt, eh?

Actually, we all know that Wes is really in the employ
of the omnipotent goatlord, so be careful when reading
his's those hidden messages you've got to
watch out for. The spooky bastid...

>>DOM! I missed ya, god did I miss ya- welcome home!

Noted. Now get your feet off the goddamn coffee table!

>>It ain't their worst
song, least not on my list.

I might have to think about this one...bear with me...

>>Is this really even a Band or is my chain on
perma-yank? I am
SOOOO out of touch with metal

No perma-yanking going on (well, except for the
occasional recreational hand shandy...). Gorelord is
oh so real, and oh so ace. I don't suggest for a
minute that you check out their 2 albums to date -
'Force Fed On Human Flesh' and 'Zombie Suicide Part
666' - but it's not just the product of my sad brain.
At least I hope not. Incidentally, I've been invited
to contribute backing vocals to the next Gorelord
opus...hardly a claim to fame, but f**k it, a man
needs to VENT!

Crawford, baby, you're playing my tune!

>>Wonderland is a load of poncey shite

Amen, brother! He speak da plain truth. Still trying
to work out if there's an XTC song more deserving of a
quick boot to the gonads...this could take a while.
There aren't many to choose from, let's face it...

Right, I'm off to Stockholm to freeze my nuts off in
the name of rock journalism. Behave yourselves while
I'm gone...

>>Why is Wonderland so bad?

And this, my friends, is what I have missed these last
two or so years...Chalkhills f'kin' rules! Where else
could you find someone who isn't compelled to vomit
blood at the sound of that godawful plinky plonky
atrocity? Ralph, I love you.



East Sussex


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 22:28:33 +0000
From: "*Hobbes *" <>
Subject: My Sister Vs. XTC / Connection Problems / More Jangle Pop
Message-ID: <>

Hey All,

XTC Content:  My Sister vs. XTC

My sister was given a Vinyl Beatles Boxset by our father for her 9th
birthday, which made it practially about the only music she ever played
until her hormones kicked in and she discovered Duran Duran a few years
later.  But after her and her friends lost interest in the every  ovement of
Simon Le Bon (circa 'View to a Kill') she still played the Beatles endlessly
and had the posters and calenders on her wall.

I always attributed her devotion to them as having been In Utero during
early 1968, when all my father ever played was Sgt. Pepper (at least
according to my mother, who still cringes every time she hears 'Getting
better' on the radio since she associates it with morning sickness).

So, obviously, when i first became obsessed with 'Skylarking' in 1986 I
figured she'd become as obssessed with it as I was.  (I had an intense
teenage love affair with that album, as only a 15 year old can... where you
play it three times a day and decide that a certain song on it is the best
song ever written until suddenly you realise so is each song either side of
it, and you wonder why everyone else is listening to Bon Jovi when this
music is just SO good, but at least that makes it YOUR album, this big
secret that only you discovered...  ...Which is why, Pawnee Q Ribber, the
music that excited you in 1982 can never be equalled by what's currently out
there, because who has time to devote to listening to an album with that
kind of intensity after your teenage years, when jobs and family intervene?)

So eventually I gave my sister the cd and waited for her to go 'wow'...
...and she didn't! 'But don't you think it sounds like the Beatles?' i'd
ask, to be met with a resounding 'NO!  He sings strange'  I'd point out the
strings on 1000 Umbrellas, the chiming guitar of 'earn enough for us', the
guitar / violins on 'Grass', the intricate harmonies.  No luck.  Not that my
sister has bad taste - at the time she was similarly obssessed with Crowded
House's eponymous album (which always sounded like it was playing on the
wrong speed to me, and took me until Woodface to realise their greatness),
and had a later teenage obssession with Michael Penn's 'March'.  (2 years
later in 1991 that album suddenly clicked for me).

Oranges and Lemons and Nonsuch came and went...  surely she'd click to 'The
Loving'!  How could she pass up 'Then she appeared'?  She could and did.  No
amount of 'isn't this like the Beach Boys' poking and prodding re:
'Chalkhills and Children' would work (she'd just purchased 'Pet Sounds').
In the mid 90's i managed to convince her to duet with me one of the
Chalkhill's Children fan tributes, only to find she hadn't learnt 'summer's
cauldron', meaning i had to sing out of my range and give her the easier
part of 'Grass' to sing.  What would it take to make her realise?

Then It Appeared:  Apple Venus Volume 1.  The first XTC album since 1983
where the production isn't distracting... And the songs!  Andy channelling
McCartney circa 'Two of us' with 'I'd like that'.  All of 'Easter Theatre',
which is still the only song i've ever heard that makes me shiver EVERY time
i hear it!    The intricate melody and baroque strings of "Your dictionary".
  Surely this would be the one to make her realise...

So i wait on eggshells...  then she calls me.  "I listened to that album you
gave me."  "And?" I asked.  "Oh it's SO good, that Easter Theatre song gives
me the shivers!"

It may have taken me 13 years to convert her but I'm proud to say I
succeeded!  Can anyone else on the list top that?

There's a postscript to this story: she phones me up few weeks ago to say "I
heard a song on tv the other day and it sounded JUST like XTC!!!!" and
proceeds to rave about said song for ages, and says she had to run out and
buy it and has been playing it ever since.  'It' being Silverchair - "Luv
your life".

No, no, no!  Didn't she learn anything???  How can Silverchair sound like
XTC?  How can she have ignored my trying to convert he to the joys of Cotton
Mather's 'Kon Tiki' and Silver-bloody-chair catch her ear as sounding

So i listen to the song.  Oh dear.  Maybe i'm too prejudiced against them
since their previous work bored me to tears.  (The dearth of melody and
over-earnst white boy whine rock of grunge made the early 90's a tedious
time for me musically).  It seems like a weak song melodically, lots of
repetition of a simple melody line, overinflated
with a over-the-top orchestral score that the body of the song is just too
weak to support.  (Van Dyke Parks?  Really?  On Crack?)  It wants to be "A
day in the life" when it's really "Sowing the seeds of love".  (Popular band
with Beatlesque pretensions and craving critical appreciation gets out of
their depth).

It'll be interesting to see how it does on the charts since all the artists
i admire who currently are working in the beatlesque pop field seem pretty
much ignored by the radio.

But XTC?  Where?  How?  Does anyone else hear the connection?


It's strange, no-one on this list seems to be answering my emails anymore!
I don't know if they're not going through or if i have started to smell or
something.  I know we're in the midst of a bad drought here in australia but
let me assure you i'm still using soap and water!

Hopefully it was just hotmail acting bizarre, so i'll see if this goes
through to the list.   Try this address to contact me if we've been speaking
and i've suddenly vanished:


Ben Gott, i emailed you a fortnight ago about swapping some jangly songs but
haven't received a reply, so just in case it didn't go through, here's some
songs well worth checking out:

the Minders - Hooray for Tuesday
Aimee Mann - 50 years after the fair
Doleful lions - Hang around in your head
Beachwood sparks - Confusion is nothing new
Flashing lights - Summertime climb
Umajets - Feathered girl
the Greenberry Woods - #37 (Feels so strange)
Hole - Heaven tonight
Cotton Mather - She's only cool
June Panic - David Poe
Teenage Fanclub - Ain't that enough
the 6ths - Falling out of love (with you)
Ric Menck - Perfect day
the La's - There she goes
Big Star - September gurls
Magnetic Fields - Love is lighter than air
Lucksmiths - Broken bones
the Orgone Box - Judy over the rainbow
Merrymakers - I'm... in love!
Nines - Days and days
Mutton Birds - While you sleep
You Am I - Mr. Milk
Velvet Crush - Star trip
the Mockers - Comes as no surprise
Divine Comedy - the Pop Singer's fear of the pollen count (1st version)
Neil Finn - She will have her way
Super Deluxe - Holly's dream vacation
Elliot Smith - Bled white
Archer Prewitt - Gifts of love
Voice of the Beehive - Don't call me baby
the Church - Almost with you
James - Getting away with it (all messed up)
REM - Driver 8
Matthew Sweet - I'll be waiting
Pernice Brothers - Working Girls (Sunlight shines)

Have fun all,
Simon Knight / "Hobbes"


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 05:03:30 +0000
From: "Paul Culnane" <>
Subject: Record sleeves
Message-ID: <>


Sugosh asked:
>Oh, and if anyone on this list happens to own a vinyl copy of
Steeleye Span's "Ten man mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler rides again", I'd sure
like to know what the cover's like...recently got the CD and it says that
was probably one of the most expensive record sleeves ever made!<

And somebody else replied much upon the lines I intended to.  It's a very
lavish maroon textured affair, with gold embossed lettering and beautiful
old sepia pictures embedded in the cover like an old photo album.  Steeleye
often had flash sleeves: "All Around My Hat" had distorted shots of the band
members, which only came into proper perspective when you viewed the cover
through a special insert card device with peculiar holes in it.  Hard to
explain, but it's fun.

Some other noteworthy (and sometimes cumbersome) LP sleeves:
* "Speaking In Tongues" - Talking Heads.  An unwieldy plastic outer with a
strange pinwheel which always fell off.
* "Somewhere I've Never Travelled" - Ambrosia.  Apart from being an
unheralded orch-prog masterpiece, the cover of this assembled into a nifty
pyramid, so you could listen along safe in the knowledge that your razor
blades would remain sharp and your cheese sanger would keep fresh.
* "Once Upon A Twilight" - The Twilights.  This splendid sophomore album
from one of Australia's finest-ever pop groups (future member of LRB, and
future hit songwriter for the likes of Tina Turner and Michael Jackson among
their ranks - but don't let that put you off).  At the time of its release,
EMI were alarmed that the cover actually cost FIVE TIMES what the music cost
to record.  And while the idea is cool, its execution was a tad gauche,
depicting as it does, the six band members dressed in medieval gear,
frolicking about with lusty wenches, around a badly drawn castle, in a
pop-up display that has to be seen to be believed.

...there's more I could cite.  Anybody else got a favourite fancy record
sleeve to nominate?  I guess quite a few of us have lamented the loss of
enjoying a full-size elpee sleeve, versus the tiny CD format.  I miss the
12" (ooo-err).  And I must say this:  what band or artiste other than XTC
can you name who has consistently, from the word go ("3D-EP", indeed in 3D)
up to the present (the brilliant presentation of "Coat Of Many Cupboards"),
housed their musical wares in such a series of beguiling sleeves?  Even the
singles have had fun sleeves.  Sometimes, when I may have over-saturated
myself with the music, I still enjoy looking at the pretty covers.  And full
marks for the replica card sleeves on the recent remasters.  Even though for
a poor ol' sod like me, with coke-bottle specs, the print is impossible to
read in the reduced form!

To close:

>Molly, who can't wait to get her Beth Gibbons and Rustin' Man CD<

Oh yes Molly.  What a combination of Beth Gibbons' (Portishead) singular
voice with the musical prowess and imagination of Rustin' Man (aka Paul
Webb, former bassist for Talk Talk, for it is he).  Lovely music.  You won't
be disappointed Molly.

Okay, I'm off to cook some chunky stew...


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 07:57:36 -0800
From: "Jonny Pop" <>
Subject: Don't buy CD-R's!
Message-ID: <004b01c28f1b$37bff090$37525d3f@johnjulie>

Hi all,

A long overdue post, but I'll keep it brief.

I was in Amoeba Records in L.A. yesterday and I saw a CD-R for sale that was
a "Best of Apple Venus & Wasp Star" compilation.  Whoever made it had taken
the photo from inside the "Wasp Star" CD, run it through Photoshop to jazz
it up and then put a few tracks from each CD and made a back cover with a
scan from the CD Single of "Easter Theatre".  Talk about taking money out of
Andy & Colin's pocket!
I made myself two different compilations from the two CD's, but I would
never have dreamed of trying to sell them.  I know no one on this list would
buy anything like that, but I wanted to spread the word.

I also heard the XTC appearance on Howard Stern (hey, it's better to listen
to in the morning than most everything else - he's actually funny sometimes)
so I'm glad that Brendan posted it.

Lastly ... I think ... apologies all around, especially to Jayne, for our
no-show at the X-sTatiC show in London in September.  We had decided to take
advantage of our stay in London to visit Paris for the day via the Eurostar
train through the Chunnel, and got back late.  I was actually thinking of
heading out, but when we returned to our hotel, someone had broken into our
room and stolen a few things.  I'm not sure how long the show lasted, and I
didn't know how to get in touch with anyone in London.  Appy polly loggies
all around.  Glad to hear it was a packed house, even without us Yanks.




Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 18:53:08 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Weird XTC sighting!
Message-ID: <>


I was watching a wonderful documentary about turntabling and DJs, "Scratch,"
when I spotted a very strange piece of XTC.

The part of the film in which our boys "appear" is in a segment about
"digging," which is the practice of going through piles and piles of records
in order to find the perfect "break."  There are, obviously, many scenes of
record stores, including a scene of a store run by a very cool, crochety old
guy.  The camera pans across the showroom floor and, when I watched the
movie in class today, I though I spotted some red, yellow, and green in one
of the bins.  Sure enough, after taking the DVD home and using some "slow
mo" action, my suspicions were confirmed: in a four-second shot that pans
across the store, the top 1/3 of "Drums and Wires" is displayed amongst
hundreds and hundreds of other records.

Does this mean that I'm an XTC "freak"?



Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 21:28:24 -0600
From: Chris Vreeland <>
Subject: All the good names are taken
Message-ID: <a05200f02b9ff5ab3d7eb@[]>

	As per usual, the most difficult thing about starting a new
band turns out to be naming it. Steve Oleson took it upon himself to
burst my bubble about using the name Scarecrow People for our new
tribute band, since that would have been a good name, which means
it's already taken, of course. He purports to have seen a group by
that name in Corpus Christi, a mere (booooring) four-hour drive from
here, and said that they even played "a couple" xTc songs, though
you'll have to ask him which ones, as I neglected to, and he didn't
	Where does this leave us? After three rehearsals, I'd say
sounding pretty good, growing, (up to 7 1/2 members, now) and...

So.... it is with great relish that I announce to you (the viewer)
the Great Chalkhills Name The Band Contest, with a grand prize for
the contestant who successfully names the band, including an "All
expense paid* trip for two" to our first performance, provided we
find an establishment willing to put up with 2 hours of XtC. Tell me,
faithful, what should an XTC tribute band call itself?

Let 'er rip,
Chris "read the fine print" Vreeland

*offer void where not prohibited, excludes airfare, travel expenses,
lodging, and all meals and incidental expenditures.

Oh, joy. It's another website.


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 08:43:13 -0800
From: "Steve Wilcox" <>
Subject: Alas, poor Cordwainer
Message-ID: <>

To Ryan Anthony: I'd bet real cash money that Kyla's bird (condolences,
Kyla!) was named after Cordwainer Bird, which was a pseudonym that Harlan
Ellison used when he wanted his name pulled off a project. His way of
flipping someone the bird.




End of Chalkhills Digest #8-62

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