Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #9-17

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 9, Number 17

                  Tuesday, 8 April 2003


              Here comes Resident Andy again
                      Re: Residents
                    re: Barry US Tour
    Let's Dress Up Like Cops, Think What We Could Do!
Happy Anniversary you ol roadhogs! Your turn to buy a round.
                   She's having a baby
                       New XTC Hats
                 Billboard April 4, 1964
                   Re: Liberty for free
                    They Might Be Late
                  Urgh! A Music War VHS
            In Loving Forgetfulness of a Name


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Apples and cherries / Are varnished in water.


Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 10:51:24 -0500
From: "" <>
Subject: Here comes Resident Andy again
Message-ID: <>


To add to the discussion about Andy and The Residents . . .
While he only recorded with them once on the aforementioned
"Margaret Freeman" from The Commercial Album, he also wrote
lyrics for two songs that they never used. They were called
"The Mariner and The Moth" and "Who Owns The Periscope Infant?"

I've been asking him for about 15 years if he could find those
lyrics but it seems they are gone forever.




Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 11:42:29 EST
Subject: Re: Residents
Message-ID: <>

I saw the Residents WITHOUT their eyeballs/disguises in early 1986 or so, and
Andy was NOT one of them.  Whether Les Claypool was, I don't know, as I had
no idea who he was until the 90s!  I was buying tickets for Fine Young
Cannibals (remember when) first New York show at the old Ritz on 11th St.,
and I heard someone rehearsing upstairs.  I snuck up and saw the eyeballs on
stage and got a quick look at the band before a roadie screamed at me to get
out.  Wish I had a camera...that picture could have been worth something!


Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 08:49:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Tracy Angelina <>
Subject: re: Barry US Tour
Message-ID: <>

Hola Chalkers

Chris Rees posted the bad news about Barry Andrews' US tour.  Just
wanted to add that the tour has not, at this time, been cancelled
outright; rather, it looks like the whole megillah is postponed until
July.  More news as it arises.



Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 14:09:49 EST
Subject: Let's Dress Up Like Cops, Think What We Could Do!
Message-ID: <>

So. Television at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC.... Yes.... Some Surprises
and some Observations.

Fed and watered, I arrived at the 9:30 just as Tom and the Boys were tuning
up. They were taking a *very* long time about it. I insinuated myself two
rows back from center stage, took off my sweater, and got ready to rock.

The extended tuning routine was a bit of a ruse: Through all the droning and
micro-adjusting I could already hear emerging the beginnings of "1880 Or So"
from their 1992 reunion album. The audience got restless with all the slow
buildup, which was, of course, exactly where Tom Verlaine wanted them. He
looked back at Billy Ficca, gave a little nod, and WHOMP the whole band gave
a big kick. Then...back to tuning and noodling. Someone behind me said,
rather stupidly, "You'd think they'd have tuned up before they came out
here." Then WHOMP, another kick. And another. Then they finally relented, and
they were off.

Surprise #1: Richard Lloyd plays a *lot* of the lead parts that I thought
were Tom's.

Observation #1: A critic writing about Tom Verlaine's solo album "Dreamtime,"
said something that's always stuck with me: That no matter how you feel about
some Verlaine composition or other, there's always *something* in every song
that's just indescribably great. It might be something as simple as a
delicate little twiddle extracted from a guitar, or a big riff, or a vocal
mannerism, but there's always *something*. Two other artists have always
struck me as sharing this quality: Andy Partridge and Thomas Pynchon.

Richard Lloyd puts in a hell of a solo on "1880 Or So." His tone is meaty
where Tom's is glassy.

Observation #2: Tom plays a Telecaster, the same ax throughout the gig. His
glassy tone is modified through a row of pedals, which he dicks with
constantly. He gets really neat effects, both subtle and coarse, with delay
and reverb. Virtually never any chorus. At one point, Tom uses a Dremel
handheld drill to get some very groovy zooming sounds. Lloyd's more muscular
tone comes from two Stratocasters, which he trades off. He mostly leaves his
pedal rack alone. They play through identical Vox amps, almost certainly
AC-30's. Fred Smith plays a Fender Precision, bog-standard Gallien-Kruger
head, Hughes & Kettner cab. Billy Ficca's drums are, uh, cylindrical. He has
some cymbals. He's very fond of his hi-hat, and it rewards his attentions.

After "1880 or So," Tom says hi, and that they were going to do a "rehearsal"
of a new song, a bouncy little thing that alluded to balloons, with a
cheerful little "Pop, pop" chorus. Then more of the 1992 album: "Call Mr.
Lee," certainly one of my favorites from that record. Again, Richard Lloyd
works out a hellacious minor-key solo: Surprise #1 above is beginning to make
itself evident.

Observation #3: Never in the history of rock and roll have two guitars been
more beautifully matched than Tom Verlaine's and Richard Lloyd's. Not even
Lennon and Harrison at the height of their powers (and those powers were
considerable: try teasing apart the guitar parts in some of their pre-1966
songs and see what they're doing) could touch these two in creating
incredibly subtle textures with two sets of six strings.

Surprise #2: Tom Verlaine's stage demeanor is jokey, pleasant, and relaxed. I
had expected punky smoldering and menace, I got a really nice guy. There were
a couple of technical problems, a buzzing bass speaker, for instance, that
would have made a high-strung performer go all Superstar Supernova, and he
just laughed at them. Richard Lloyd is definitely Second Banana, never says
anything. Smith hardly moves -- or needs to -- easiest job on the planet.
Can't see Ficca behind his drums.

Surprise #3: Given this band's history of heroin problems, they are all
remarkably well preserved. Tom's face has always had that drawn-out junkie
look -- you would never expect that guy from that ultra-famous Robert
Mapplethorpe cover of "Marquee Moon" (|PM&sql=A5ns9kett7q7m)
to age gracefully, but he's managed it. His front teeth are nastily crooked,
and he has a slight speech impediment because of it, but I think the girls
still think he's sexy. Lloyd is very slightly chubby, looking well fed and
happy (he was the worst junkie of the bunch). Smith hasn't aged a day, looks
like he could rip your head off if needed. Ficca looks very much the same as

After "Mr. Lee," they finally get to what most of the audience is here to
see: The chiming guitar-hero stuff from 1977. First off it's "Venus de Milo."
I am *very* happy during this song.

Observation #4: This band (literally) built the stage at CBGB. I mean, they
convinced owner Hilly Kristal ( that they
represented the first wave of a new scene, and they helped to actually
construct the stage that the Ramones and Patti Smith and all them played on.
During "Venus de Milo," for the first time ever I hear (ah-HA!) the germ that
would become the early Talking Heads. That martial thrum-pum-pum of the verse
(surrounded by those glassy arpeggios) is a direct and obvious influence on
"Psycho Killer," "Love Comes to Buildings on Fire," and all the rest of those
buildings-and-food songs, as if David Byrne had been watching in the wings at
a Television gig and though, "OK, I'll do it like that, but without the
five-minute guitar solos..."

"See No Evil," absolutely my favorite song from the Whole New York Punk
Thing, certainly had my fist pumping in the air. Again, the damned solo was
played by Richard Lloyd, destroying a cherished notion. Yes, it's 25 years
on, a whole lot of water has gone under the bridge, but that sentiment, "I
understand all destructive urges/They seem so perfect/I see no evil!" has l
ost none of its urgency or potency. Plus, there's a war on... "I get your
point... Oooooh, you're so sharp!"

Other songs done: Guiding Light, Prove It, Rhyme, Beauty Trip.

Observation #5: These guys pull off the Aimless Noodle better than anybody.
It's not egocentric Grateful Dead-ish Aimless Noodling; it's highly focused
Aimless Noodling, the sort of Aimless Noodling you do when you know you've
got some laserlike point to get to....

Ah. And here it is. Tom looks back at Fred: like to kick things off, maestro?
Fred gets ready, Tom gives two little bomp-bomps on his guitar, everybody
recognizes it, it's "Marquee Moon," yay!!!! And Fred's bass cabinet goes
bzzzzzzzzzttttttt. Fuck. Tom realizes the moment's shot, stops, lets Fred
smack his amp, he's back in business. Tom laughs. His lack of uptightitude is
very reassuring to the crowd, and everybody relaxes a bit. Tom starts off
again with the tune.

Observation #6: Television's "Marquee Moon" is an extremely important song in
the history of rock and roll. How many songs were *mechanical* before
"Marquee Moon"? Mechanical in that square-wave, hard-edged, herky-jerky way
that New Wave music became? Yes, Kraftwerk was already mining that lode, but
they were synth weenies. Eno, yes. (And who championed Television? Why, Eno!)
How many *guitar* songs were mechanical? And how many afterward? Devo? How
about the first three XTC albums? The first two Talking Heads albums? (And
Eno loved 'em all!)

This tune is godalmighty powerful.... Tom (finally) takes a solo, and he just
builds it and builds it and builds it.... The climax of "Marquee Moon," where
the whole band has assumed Tom's one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three
ppattern (which screams out the song's core pulse), is the most brilliantly
wonderful thing I have seen on a musical stage in literally decades. As close
to an orgasm in sound as you can get without actually getting messy. Then
they release the incredible tension they've built with all those glorious
open-string guitar chords, back to noodling, only to build it up again two
more times.... Christ, what a band!

Encore: "Little Johnny Jewel." Nuff Sed. Oh -- and they finish with the most
demented version of the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" ever performed
anywhere. Obviously completely off-the-cuff, every instrument playing in a
different time signature and key, Tom strangling the vocal, stuttering and
moaning: "I feel depressed, I feel so bad/'Cause you're the best girl that I
ever had..." And laughing his fool head off at the sheer ridiculousness of

If Television does nothing else, it stands as a mighty monument to the
incredibly rich possibilities of two-guitars-bass-drums. So much came after,
so much is *still* coming after, Television, but they stand as a high-water
mark -- nobody ever did the arty-garage-band thing quite as beautifully as
they did, and so much that can be measured against their example fails the

Harrison "It's Yonki Time!" Sherwood

PS: It isn't Chalkhills by a long shot, but there's a quite decent Television
fan site at


Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 00:16:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Happy Anniversary you ol roadhogs! Your turn to buy a round.
Message-ID: <>

XTC played their last concert, today April 3rd back in 1982. Which
means they have officially not toured for 21 years now. I think they
are doing OK with their decision since they only toured for 6 years. I
have been listening to a lot of old shows lately and I see a real
monotony in Andy on that Black Sea tour.

Speaking of live, I caught The Original Joe Jackson band last night
here in Motown and was blown away by their musicianship and power.
Theses guys are all 10+ years older than me but they were seriously

I cannot reccomend the current tour highly enough if you are fan of his
early stuff. Joe does a little solo set in the middle of the show and
he has been doing covers of Mayor of Simpleton some nights too. He
didn't last night unfortunately, he did a Neil Finn cover instead. He
has been known to cover Senses Working Overtime in the past too. So who
knows. There is about another week of shows here in the US and then
they are off to the continent for a month of shows and then they wrap
it up in England in May I think. Details at

As a side note for my money the only bassist that holds a candle to
Colin is Graham Maby from the JJ band. Fingers like rubbery licorice
glue and a soul that thumps all on its own. I have seen him 8 times
live now either with Joe or Marshall Crenshaw and I am always stunned
at how good he is. Tremendous feel! Be sure to check him out if you get
a chance.

Night all.



Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 14:28:56 -0800
From: "Thomas Vest" <>
Subject: She's having a baby
Message-ID: <>

hello chalkfriends

I was in my local record store last week and noticed that the soundtrack to
"She's Having a Baby" is back in print.   It appears that two or three songs
are ommitted from the re-release according to a review that I saw on the
Amazon website: Everything But the Girl's "Apron Strings"  and Carmel's
"It's All in the Game," and something by Dr. Calculus (sorry, not familiar
with this).



Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 19:06:14 -0700
From: Phil Corless <>
Subject: New XTC Hats
Message-ID: <>

Hi... I've got some new-style hats to go along with the Uffington Horse
ones... Check them out at:

Also, I'm expecting a new t-shirt design next week, so check back soon.

- Phil


Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2003 12:01:50 -0500
From: "R. Stevie Moore" <>
Subject: Billboard April 4, 1964
Message-ID: <>


Billboard charts
Issue for week ending April 4, 1964

Hot 100 Singles

1 - Can't Buy Me Love (Capitol 5150)
2 - Twist and Shout (Tollie 9001)
3 - She Loves You (Swan 4152)
4 - I Want To Hold Your Hand (Capitol 5112)
5 - Please Please Me (Vee Jay 498)

31 - I Saw Her Standing There (Capitol 5112b)
41 - From Me To You (Vee Jay 522)
46 - Do You Want to Know A Secret (Vee Jay 587)
58 - All My Loving (Capitol Canada 72144)
65 - You Can't Do That (Capitol 5150b)
68 - Roll Over Beethoven (Capitol Canada 72133)
79 - Thank You Girl (Vee Jay 587b)

Top LPs chart

1 - Meet The Beatles (Capitol 2047)
2 - Introducing The Beatles (Vee Jay 1062)



Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2003 18:08:11 -0800
From: Stephen <>
Subject: Re: Liberty for free
Message-ID: <>

>Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 12:50:14 +0000
>From: "James McRae" <>

>You've probably all got this and know it already, but I happened to notice
>the Old Grey Whistle Test performance of Statue of Liberty in the 77-78
>section of this website.

I tried buying the DVD just now and BBC states they can't ship outside
of the European Union due to publishing rights. Alas... (probably a
great item to sell from your cyber-garage to us folks in the the USA).

Another Steve


Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 14:48:37 -0800
From: Benjamin Gott <>
Subject: They Might Be Late
Message-ID: <>


I went to see XTC-obsessed They Might Be Giants last night at Toad's
Place in New Haven.  I only got to stay for part of the show (it was
supposed to start at 9:00; although shows never start on time, as we
all know, the Giants didn't take the stage until 11:15), but what I saw
was great.  They were loud and rockin', and they played the entire
"Fingertips" cycle, from beginning to end, without interruption.  It
was weird and cool.  The opening act, a twenty-something chick who
sounded like a sub-par Ani DiFranco and had hair like Bozo the Clown,
was easily the worst musician I have ever heard perform, ever.  She was
fucking horrible.  She and her drummer dude did seven or eight
horrible, wretched, death-laden songs with lyrics that sounded like
they were written by Mrs. Johnson's kindergarten class.  The audience
spent the entire time making fun of her songs.  Blech.

I'll be in Philadelphia on May 10th to see Pete Yorn.  Any Chalkies
plan to attend?  Since that band we love doesn't tour, I guess we've
got to meet at other folks' concerts!



Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 10:09:30 -0700
Subject: Urgh! A Music War VHS
Message-ID: <>

I just rented this video from my local video rental. It has XTC live
footage. This video came out in 1981 "Urgh! A Music War." It has XTC
playing "Respectable Street" and at the end Andy Partridge sings part
of a duet with Sting "So Lonely" and after presenting a pineapple on
top of Sting's head (all in good fun). Also note worthy, Gang of Four
"He'd Send In The Army," The Dead Kennedy's, UB40, X, The Cramps,
Steel Pulse; Sting sports an English Beat T-shirt. However, they're
not in it; many others.


Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 19:18:49 -0500
From: "eriC draveS" <>
Subject: In Loving Forgetfulness of a Name
Message-ID: <000801c2fe2d$989db150$026456d1@XLZOOM>

May I draw your attention to the following link?

Apparently our heroes have had their album re-titled "Lemons & Oranges". A
grimace slowly wafts across my face and digs its roots in deeply.


"Doesn't matter what it says."


End of Chalkhills Digest #9-17

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