Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #9-14

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 9, Number 14

                  Monday, 17 March 2003


                      In visible ink
     RE: financial salvation for the record industry
       North American XTC Convention?/Todd Is Godd!
           Frankie Goes to Hell in a Handbasket
                    A recommended read
                     Eno Paints Brian
                       Best Of 2002
                  Re: Impending Invasion
                       Re: Strummer
                         Re: How?
           Greetings and Cupboards liner notes
                     More bookishness


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War is polishing his drum and peace plays second fiddle.


Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 18:01:45 +0100
Subject: In visible ink
Message-ID: <>

Hi there, 'Hillers,

Just wanted to come out of hibernation for a minute here to say something
very appropriate for this XTC website: I saw Aimee Mann in concert last
Saturday evening.  It started out to be a pleasant evening in Cologne, but
it then became a great one.  What a concert!  Ron Sexsmith, often lauded
here on Chalkhills, was unplugged and solo as the opening act.  I was
excited when I heard his name (the opening act had not been announced ahead
of time) -- after all, I'd heard of him often enough.  However, I can't say
I really was able to form an opinion about him from the 8-10 songs he sang.
Maybe the band was missing...

Then came Aimee.  Wow!  What a great concert!  She sang songs every solo
album except "Whatever" (even though fans kept requesting "Mr. Harris" and
"4th of July"), a couple of Til Tuesday tunes ("Telescope"), a couple of
covers (including a Coldplay song) but, unfortunately, no "Collideascope".
They started a bit late and there was a 10:00 curfew, so the show only
lasted about 1-1/2 hours, but it was great nonetheless.  The band was
tight-tight-tight and some of the songs we know as rather placid on her
albums had real power.  Very, very good concert, and as someone before me
mentioned a few weeks back, it made me go back to "Lost in Space" and play
it more often -- very much to my enjoyment.  Particularly good were songs
like "The Moth" and "Invisible Ink", which were absolutely stunning to hear

If she comes your way, go see her!  If you like her already, you know why,
if you're undecided: she'll help you decide.  Wonderful evening.

XTC?  I like 'em!

- Jeff


Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 13:23:53 EST
Subject: RE: financial salvation for the record industry
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 3/14/2003 8:40:07 AM Pacific Standard Time,
<> writes:

>>before you had mp3 files to
download, everyone i knew made copies on cassette tape and the record
companies thought that it would kill their bottom lines as well.<<

All very true but the thing is you didn't have the massive worldwide
interconneted network in which these cassettes could be exchanged in the
millions.  The average home taper (barring rare things like bootlegs) if they
exchanged tapes at all, it would be on such a miniscule scale.  For that
reason I can see why record companies freaked out.

But still, as pointed out already, record companies are mainly responsible
for their current state and trying the place the blame solely on filesharing
is yet another example of their shortsighted-ness.  The marketing of crappy
product, the "new payola" system with independant promotors, Clear Channel's
radio domination, over-priced CDs and not embracing the new technology in its
infant stages have a lot more to do with it.  Filesharing does play a part,
but shouldn't take all the blame.

Imagine if one record company took a chance decided to buck the trend?
They'd probably be hailed as innovators lol.  Especially now because, is it
me or has anyone else noticed (on WinMX at least) how difficult it has become
to download due to the volume of people doing this?  Its becoming easier to
just buy the CD!  Some "innovative" record company could set up a service and
say "sure you pay a small fee to download a song, but you're days of waiting
in queue are over!"

On filesharing in general, its difficult for me to say whether it has changed
my own spending habits in regards to CD purchases.  Probably getting older
has changed my habits more as I don't even download songs as much as I use
too.  Hell, I have yet to buy "Coat of Many Cupboards or Fuzzy Warbles!  What
kind of XTC fan am I?.  But if I hear something I really like, I'll still buy
the CD.

And I consider it a good sign when my 19 year old nephew, who has all the
perks of high speed internet connection, CD burner, disposible income and is
an avid music listner, discovered the beauty of going to a store like Amoeba
Records here in LA and buying a stack of used CDs.  He was blown away by the
variety of music available and the affordable pricing.  Subtle hint for the
record industry there.

Laurie Collins


Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 15:20:13 EST
Subject: North American XTC Convention?/Todd Is Godd!
Message-ID: <>

Hello to ALL!
LONGTIME reader, first time post'r.
Little bit about me.  My name is Erich.  I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota
(any one else on the list from the cities?).  When I was a junior in high
school a girlfriend gave me a newly released copy of Drums & Wires (she hated
it).... Ooodles of vinyl, CD's, memorabilia, neon & two tattoo's (Skylarking
logo, Uffington horse) later.... I have never been the same.  By far XTC is
and will always be my all time favorite!  I am a hard-core music junkie
owning 2,000 CD's & roughly 1500 LP's. I am a HUGE residents fan as well if
anyone has questions regarding Andy's work with them!

I attended the first North American XTC convention in Illinois years ago &
had a guruvy time.  I have wondered over the years why there has never been
an effort to stage another in the states?  Anyone else interested in getting
the ball rolling?  Maybe to coincide with the next legitimate release?

Prior to learning of XTC I was heavily into Peter Gabriel & yes....
Utopia/Todd Rundgren.  I have seen Todd/Utopia 25 times (which qualifies me
as a light Todd head amongst his fans).  And have never once been
disappointed by his live performance.  Since selling the rights for "Bat Out
Of Hell" back to Sony Todd has not toured out of necessity.  He is out there
for the love of music & for his fans.  I agree he is not what he was during
his Teens, 20's, 30's 40's.  But if you are a fan (know of more than "Bang on
the drum" and "I saw the light") it is evident Todd still has as much passion
for his music & his fans as anyone (yes that includes our Andy & Colin)!  If
you play someone who's only knowledge of XTC is "Senses" & "Dear God" chances
are they are not going to be blown away by Apple Venus.  (way back)When I
discovered Todd was going to be producing XTC's next release (Skylarking)....
 I lost sleep thinking of the possibilities of things to come.  I/we were not
disappointed.  XTC's most successful/lush release to date.  I have a hard
time believing that if another producer took on the task we would have
anything close to as succesful & gorgeous as what Todd did with our boy's(&
oodles of other artists).  I will take the sloppy piano remark with a grain
of salt since even Andy has mellowed out the "Toddzilla" banter over the
years.  I would put Todd's recorded guitar solo's right up there with any of
our boy's solo's.  Here are some recommendations (if anyone cares).

Recommended Todd (for those interested):
Something anything
Wizard a true star
Hermit of Mink Hollow

Recommended Utopia:
Road to Utopia
Ooops wrong planet
Deface the music

Have also seen Squeeze a dozen times and have never been disappointed.  Glen
Tilbrook solo is a gas!

Latest concert "wow's":  Simian, Flaming Lips, Residents, Neil Finn, Camper
Van Beethoven, the Hang Ups, Super Furry Animals, Robyn & the Softboys,
Marshall Crenshaw....

Concerts in the queue:  John Parish & Howe Gelb, King Crimson, Joe Jackson
Band, Polyphonic Spree, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Of Montreal, the Silo's,
Motorhead & Anthrax (just kidding)...

After all these years It took some Todd bashing to finally get me to halt the
busy schedule & shout out!  Whew!

Peace, Love & 25 O'clock!

Erich Karius

& yes.... Love is the answer!


Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 17:45:13 -0500
From: Matt Hiner <>
Subject: Frankie Goes to Hell in a Handbasket
Message-ID: <>

Delurking for two seconds to chime in on the worst concert thread:

In 1984 I had the honor of escorting my then girlfriend to the Music
Hall in Cleveland to sit through 90 minutes of Frankie Goes to
Hollywood.  It still has to be the worst show I have ever seen - the
band was flat and uninteresting, the music sounded "dead," and (how lame
is this?) they played "Relax" twice during the show - once about 3/4
through the concert and again as an encore.  I mean, couldn't these guys
learn another song?

If I remember correctly, the only song I enjoyed was their cover of
"Born to Run," which featured fairly decent bass work.  Even the opening
band, Belouis Some, was lame.

In a close second was the Power Station in 1985 featuring the highly
annoying Michael Des Barres.  If Robert Palmer had toured with the band,
it may have been a different story, but Des Barres was more irritating
than entertaining.  And the 10,000 crying teenage girls didn't help the
ambiance either.  Of course, I only went to the show to see the opening
band - OMD.

Gene Loves Jezebel in 1986 would rank third.  When I told my future wife
about seeing that show, she asked me if I was gay.

Matt Hiner, Associate Lecturer of History

"We live as we dream - alone;
The space between our work and its product."


Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 23:53:16 -0500
From: DMiner <>
Subject: A recommended read
Message-ID: <a05100300ba985c6c3384@[]>

Hey, Chalkfolks,

I recently read an amazing graphic novel called "Box Office Poison"
by Alex Robinson. This is a 600-page collection of a series that ran
from 1994 to 2000. I guess the original comic was only vaguely known
and the collected book has sold less than 10,000 copies, but I'm
still surprised the XTC allusions within the book haven't been
discovered by anyone here yet.

The book starts with disgruntled bookstore employee Sherman looking
for an apartment and lamenting a recent breakup. His best pal Ed is a
cartoonist who dreams of working for the legendary Zoom Comics.
Sherman moves in with Jane and Stephen. The book has occasional side
stories about these characters, but a continuing narrative develops
with Sherman meeting a difficult new girlfriend, Dorothy, and Ed
going to work for a long-forgotten comic writer named Irving Flavor,
who happened to create Zoom's most popular character ever, but ended
up turning the rights over to them.

I'm not a big comics fan. I do enjoy some small press off-the-wall
humor stuff and books that treat their audience with respect, but I
do not read or care about super hero stuff. There's some of that
world in "Box Office Poison," but the characters and story are so
rich, it's easy to get involved nonetheless.

The author, Alex Robinson, lets some of his tastes in literature and
music intrude into the book. There are some pretty big Beatles drops,
a couple subtle They Might Be Giants allusions, and at least three
background appearances of Elvis Costello. A party scene features
lyric quotes from the Clash, the Police and Richard Thompson among

XTC is referenced three times. Once "segment" of the book is titled
"Another Satellite." One panel showing a record store puts the
Oranges & Lemons cover next to albums by Elvis Costello, They Might
Be Giants, The Kinks and the Velvet Underground. And most
intriguingly, a scene where Sherman is considering kissing a girl who
is NOT his girlfriend has the line "I'm happy standing on my feet of
clay..." from "Another Satellite" playing through the window.

But I'll mention again that the book is quite involving and
emotional. I absolutely loved it, and the musical references were
icing on the cake. Be on the lookout for this sucker, a huge book
with four colored boxes on the front (orange, green, blue and yellow).

= Derek =


Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 01:06:58 -0500 (EST)
From: (Marston Moor)
Subject: Eno Paints Brian
Message-ID: <>

off-topic, sorry... but not really. quite thought provoking.

------- ----- ----- ---- --- --

The U.S. Needs to Open Up to the World

To this European, America is trapped in a fortress of arrogance and

Posted Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003; 2.09 p.m. GMT

Europeans have always looked at America with a mixture of fascination
and puzzlement, and now, increasingly, disbelief. How is it that a
country that prides itself on its economic success could have so many
very poor people? How is it that a country so insistent on the rule of
law should seek to exempt itself from international agreements? And how
is it that the world's beacon of democracy can have elections dominated
by wealthy special interest groups? For me, the question has become:
"How can a country that has produced so much cultural and economic
wealth act so dumb?"

I could fill this page with the names of Americans who have influenced,
entertained and educated me. They represent what I admire about America:
a vigorous originality of thought, and a confidence that things can be
changed for the better. That was the America I lived in and enjoyed from
1978 until 1983. That America was an act of faith  the faith that
"otherness" was not threatening but nourishing, the faith that there
could be a country big enough in spirit to welcome and nurture all the
diversity the world could throw at it. But since Sept. 11, that vision
has been eclipsed by a suspicious, introverted America, a country-sized
version of that peculiarly American form of ghetto: the gated community.
A gated community is defensive. Designed to keep the "others" out, it
dissolves the rich web of society into a random clustering of
disconnected individuals. It turns paranoia and isolation into a

Surely this isn't the America that anyone dreamed of; it's a last
resort, nobody's choice. It's especially ironic since so much of the
best new thinking about society, economics, politics and philosophy in
the last century came from America. Unhampered by the snobbery and
exclusivity of much European thought, American thinkers vaulted forward
 courageous, innovative and determined to talk in a public language.
But, unfortunately, over the same period, the mass media vaulted
backward, thriving on increasingly simple stories and trivializing news
into something indistinguishable from entertainment. As a result, a
wealth of original and subtle thought  America's real wealth  is

This narrowing of the American mind is exacerbated by the withdrawal of
the left from active politics. Virtually ignored by the media, the left
has further marginalized itself by a retreat into introspective cultural
criticism. It seems content to do yoga and gender studies, leaving the
fundamentalist Christian right and the multinationals to do the
politics. The separation of church and state seems to be breaking down
too. Political discourse is now dominated by moralizing, like George W.
Bush's promotion of American "family values" abroad, and dissent is
unpatriotic. "You're either with us or against us" is the kind of cant
you'd expect from a zealous mullah, not an American President.

When Europeans make such criticisms, Americans assume we're envious.
"They want what we've got," the thinking goes, "and if they can't get
it, they're going to stop us from having it." But does everyone want
what America has? Well, we like some of it but could do without the
rest: among the highest rates of violent crime, economic inequality,
functional illiteracy, incarceration and drug use in the developed
world. President Bush recently declared that the U.S. was "the single
surviving model of human progress." Maybe some Americans think this
self-evident, but the rest of us see it as a clumsy arrogance born of
Europeans tend to regard free national health services, unemployment
benefits, social housing and so on as pretty good models of human
progress. We think it's important  civilized, in fact  to help
people who fall through society's cracks. This isn't just altruism, but
an understanding that having too many losers in society hurts everyone.
It's better for everybody to have a stake in society than to have a
resentful underclass bent on wrecking things. To many Americans, this
sounds like socialism, big government, the nanny state. But so what? The
result is: Europe has less gun crime and homicide, less poverty and
arguably a higher quality of life than the U.S., which makes a lot of us
wonder why America doesn't want some of what we've got.

Too often, the U.S. presents the "American way" as the only way,
insisting on its kind of free-market Darwinism as the only acceptable
"model of human progress." But isn't civilization what happens when
people stop behaving as if they're trapped in a ruthless Darwinian
struggle and start thinking about communities and shared futures?
America as a gated community won't work, because not even the world's
sole superpower can build walls high enough to shield itself from the
intertwined realities of the 21st century. There's a better form of
security: reconnect with the rest of the world, don't shut it out; stop
making enemies and start making friends. Perhaps it's asking a lot to
expect America to act differently from all the other empires in history,
but wasn't that the original idea?

Brian Eno is a musician who believes that regime change begins at home.
He almost joined XTC one fine day.

Moore Steven Robt


Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 11:12:47 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <>
Subject: Best Of 2002
Message-ID: <>

I'm running a bit late here (too snowed under with work) so as most of
you have probably forgotten 2002 ever happened, I'll keep it brief:

Best album of 2002 for me, unquestionably, was this one:

Looper - The Snare

Looper is basically one of the guys out of Belle & Sebastian who has
since broken ranks and veered off in his own direction. His first couple
of albums were patchy, to say the least, so I didn't hold out much hope
for this one. In fact I nearly didn't bother buying it, but I'm so glad
I did - it's been on near-constant heavy rotation for months now. If I
described it as slowed-down dance music with proper songs, that would be
about right, but if someone described it like that to me I'd run a mile,
so I won't. But I will mention the final track, 'Fucking Around', which
as the title suggests is not something you'll hear on the radio. But
it's actually a really nice song! There's not a bad song on this album,
and it's not very often you can say that.

And numbers 2-10 in no particular order:

+ Afel Bocoum, Damon Albarn, Toumani Diabate & Friends - Mali Music
+ Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel
  (Which includes my favourite lyric of the year, from 'Alibi' and
delivered with typical Costello bile, the lines "Sister is a whore /
Brother isn't sure")
+ Cousteau - Sirena
  (The weirdest thing about this was hearing one of the tracks in
Argentina, despite there being no sign of the album in the shops there)
+ Tanya Donnelly - Beauty Sleep
  (Pretty sloppy live though)
+ Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man - Out Of Season
+ Gemma Hayes - Night On My Side
  (Missed most of her live set supporting Suede, from the little I did
see, she rocks. Great debut)
+ Suede - A New Morning
+ They Might Be Giants - No!
+ Kathryn Williams - Old Low Light
  (Great songs let down by lousy production)

And five non-studio albums but still great CDs:

+ The Bluetones - The Singles
+ Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Volume 5 - Live 1975
  (wasn't so keen on the '66 one which everyone raved about, but this
one is absolutely stunning)
+ Christy Moore - Live At Vicar Street
+ Andy Partridge - Fuzzy Warbles 2
  (wish I could say the same about volume 1, but it bores me stiff)
+ They Might Be Giants - They Got Lost

So there you have it. Some good stuff there in the end, though hardly a
vintage year.
Phil Hetherington


Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 12:21:32 -0000
From: "" <>
Subject: Re:Newell
Message-ID: <000801c2ebb6$9558df80$05018351@mesh>

Martin Newell, who some of you seem interested in at the moment, is playing
a one off live music gig to celebrate his 50th birthday. He was 50 on March
4th and so the gig is on the 14th of June. Those of you familiar with Martin
will appreciate the logic in this.
Anyway it's at the Colchester Arts Centre and will take place between 2 and
5pm. Yes it is an afternoon gig. It's a kind of party too with cakes and tea
etc. All very Martin.
All are welcome, and you really should try to make it as he may not do any
more after this. He's recording it for a live album.

All the best to the Chalkhillians at this very weird time.
Paul Wilkinson


Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 10:16:48 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Impending Invasion
Message-ID: <>

on 3/14/03 10:15 AM, Dunks wrote:

> From La-la-Londinium -- assuming we are not turned back at the border -- we
> then go west young man to Noo Yawk and other points in the East, and then
> over to L.A., then north to Vancouver, Canada, and finally back home via
> Hawaii.
> It would indeed be a pleasure to meet up with any Chalkers on either
> continent (who have not by then been rounded up by homeland security) who
> might be in or near our intended path and who might feel disposed to join us
> a beverage or a meal and a chinwag on topics chalkish or otherwise.
> Any and all suggestions concerning modes of transport, places of
> accommodation and points of interest will be gratefully accepted.
> For those less favourably disposed to our impending invasion, we will
> provide a full intinerary in due course, along with suggested vantage points
> from which you may safely hurl fruit and vegetables in our general
> direction.
> You have been warned.

  Vermont is lovely in the summer, and there are surprisingly cheap JetBlue
flights to Burlington from LaGuardia. Amtrak will also take you to nearby
Essex Junction,(or IBMville, effectively) a five minute walk from my inlaws'
house. There's loads of half-way decent Chinese restaurants(including one
right across from the station) and even a couple of good Indian restaurants
in Burlington. Relatively cheap accomodations can be found in a chain of
motels along Shelburne Rd, somewhat more mid-priced to upscale elsewhere. I
wouldn't recommend our place at the moment, our twin toddlers daughters are
kind-hearted and friendly but they haven't learned manners yet, they'll
think you're something new to climb on, but we'd gladly meet you for dinner
anywhere that's kid-friendly, we're right near the airport too. (several
decent Chinese places near the airport- Burlington, VT is lousy with them)
  If you can only spend one day in Vermont, I'd recommend heading for Stowe,
pay a visit to the Ben&Jerry's ice cream factory in Waterbury on the way,
then take the gondola ride most of the way up Mt Mansfield(or if you rent a
car you can drive almost to the summit, it's a three-quarter mile walk to
the summit from the end of the road). If you're good with steep hiking
trails there's a short but challenging hike to the top of the ridge from
where it's an easy half mile above treeline to the summit, where there are
great views in all directions and loads of other people in the summer. For
less crowds, if you have a full day for hiking I recommend Camel's Hump or
Mt Abraham further south. Let me know if you plan to pass this way- I look
forward to some of our spirited political discussions in person.


Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 10:26:52 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Squeeze
Message-ID: <>

on 3/14/03 10:15 AM, someone wrote:
> In response to Annamarie's question about the worst concert ever, I'd
> have to say Squeeze, 1985. Though I liked Squeeze well enough, the
> reason I'd bought tickets to their show at George Washington
> University, in DC, was to see Oingo Boingo, who was opening for them
> in support of "Dead Man's Party." BUT ...  someone in OB got sick,
> they didn't play, and instead my girlfriend and I endured a mess of a
> concert by Squeeze. Bad sound, uninspired sleepwalking-type
> performances by all involved (except Glenn Tilbrook ... I was quite
> impressed by his voice and playing), and overall a big
> disappointment. The best part of the night was watching the
> teeny-bopper co-eds in the upper seats attempt to dance along to the
> music without any regard to the actual beat of the song involved.

  You must have caught them on a bad night, the three times I saw them(1982,
1987, and 1995) they were very good. I must admit, though, that aside from
Tilbrook, who's quite a handsome guy, none of the rest of the band would win
beauty contests. The 1987 show was particularly notable in that respect, the
rest of the band resembled extras from an old 30's gangster movie more than
rock and roll musicians, though keyboardist Jools Holland had a rollicking
jazzbo flair and showmanship that made up for it somewhat, I recall he did
most of the talking between songs as well, at one point leading the audience
in a rousing call and response of "Hey, you, Jools, you're Oscar Peterson's
love child!"


Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 10:51:20 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Strummer
Message-ID: <>

on 3/14/03 10:15 AM, Jim wrote:

> I suspect that Joe Strummer's role was a bit like that
> of Roger Waters in Pink Floyd. They both were the main
> movers and shakers, but they needed their partners to
> arrange their strong ideas into magnificent music.

  A better example would Lennon and McCartney in The Beatles, who balanced
each other out, Lennon was more of a rocker, McCartney more of an aspiring
composer(though he did outrock Lennon with "Helter Skelter"). Strummer and
Jones had a fairly equal share in the writing, basically Strummer sang his
stuff and Jones sang his. Strummer was the in-your-face political ranter,
Jones was more of an introspective observer and musical explorer, the one
most responsible for their explorations into reggae, dub, R&B. Without
Jones, The Clash were in their final incarnation just going through the
motions, Strummer should have just gone solo with a stronger bunch of
musicians than those three new guys(whose names completely escape me, though
one of them popped up in another semi-notable British band of the early 90's
whose name also escapes me). Cut The Crap was an album of tuneless football
cheers, that's what it sounded like anyway, with the exception of "This Is
England," a Joe Strummer rant good enough to fit on an earlier Clash album,
and an OK reggae-ish track "Three Card Trick" which sounds like a leftover
Mick Jones demo he thought too dodgy for Big Audio Dynamite. The rest is a
waste of vinyl, one of the sorriest excuses for an album ever recorded by a
major band.


Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 11:05:48 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: How?
Message-ID: <>

on 3/14/03 10:15 AM, Simon Deane wrote:

> 2. I've been wondering for a while how XTC fans "came" to the group i.e.
> musical antecedents before being converted, if that's the right expression.
> As someone nearing mid-40s (bloody hell, am I really that old?), I
> principally liked David Bowie and Jethro Tull (with some mercifully short
> sidetracks into Genesis and Yes - this was the early 70s, you see), before
> settling into XTC. What inspired my interest here was hearing some of the
> other oldsters on Chalkhills mentioning Bowie and Tull favourably in
> dispatches a couple of years ago (yes, it has taken me that long to write in
> about this), and I just wondered whether there was some kind of pattern here
> i.e. all Bowie and Jethro Tull fans end up with XTC.

  I was introduced to XTC by a friend in college who had a show on her
college radio station(my college didn't have a radio station, so I hung out
at hers, which was six miles down the road) who was a major fan and played
the stuffing out of Black Sea when it came out. Until then this former punk
rocker had written off XTC as just another one of those skinny-tie bands
crossed with a bit of watered down Devo who were killing punk rock. How
wrong I was, I even initially wrote off The Cure and The Soft Boys for the
same reason. I based my ill-informed opinion on hearing "Making Plans For
Nigel" a couple of times. After being indoctrinated with "Respectable
Street," "Generals And Majors" and "Sgt Rock" I finally revised my opinion
and decided these guys were instead one of the best British bands since the
Beatles, having also been similarly won over by Squeeze, who I had also
written off on a similar basis. Thus began my discovery of early 80's
Beatles influenced pop bands and my realisation of how musically limiting
punk was. With a gift for melody and words, and an ability to play
instruments well enough to get your ideas across, you can get a lot further
than just knowing a few chords and shouting a lot. I mean- where's Sham 69
and Peter and The Test Tube Babies now? Exactly.

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

Chris Coolidge

visit my church at


Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 02:54:04 -0600
From: "Bobby P" <>
Subject: Greetings and Cupboards liner notes
Message-ID: <>

Hello, all.  I am new to Chalkhills.

I am a newbie XTC-addict... experiencing a bit of mania, you know?  I am
already hunting down obscure tracks and B-sides while I still fully
familiarize myself with their commercial albums.  I keep "Song Stories" by
my bed and occasionally listen to whole albums, reading along with the
lyrics and the stories with each song.  I have been devouring the content of  (What an amazingly great site!)

I am an XTC dork.

And yes, my friends and family think I might be getting a little *too* into
XTC, but I am having fun with it and am thrilled to find that there are so
many other fans who share my passion and enthusiasm for XTC's music.  Hooray
for that.

Also, I wanted to express my appreciation for the liner notes written for
the XTC box set, "Coat of Many Cupboards".  I've had the set for a while but
just tonight sat down and read the booklet.  Harrison Sherwood did an
absolutlely *fantastic* job.  For those of you who haven't already, read it!



Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 08:25:14 -0500
From: DMiner <>
Subject: More bookishness
Message-ID: <a05100300ba9b7a4f27f1@[]>

My last note mentioned the book "Box Office Poison" by Alex Robinson,
which contained a couple XTC references. I have been in contact with
the author and pointed him to Chalkhills. He had no idea there was an
XTC mailing list and seemed very pleased!

He also considered sending a copy of the book to Mr. Partridge, as
Andy is/was a comics fan. I thought one you good folks "in the know"
could suggest the best way for Mr. Robinson to get one of these
fabulous books to Andy. If so, drop me an email at and I can get you in touch with the author.

= Derek =


End of Chalkhills Digest #9-14

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