A Glorious Cacophony of XTC for Boxing Day
Here's something that I found a while back but never had a chance to properly pass on. But now that we've hit what might be the ultimate chill-out holiday (in those places where it is a holiday--where it's not, people generally chill out anyway), the timing seems right. I know that there are many XTC fans out there (and if you're not one yet--what's the hold-up?), so here's a chance to play with a handful of their building blocks.
On the official XTC homepage, like on most homepages, there are a variety of links to take you to the specific subject area you desire. But where XTC has a leg up on every other homepage on the Web, each of the ten links features the guitar opening of an XTC song. Still not surprising, I know, but this is where it gets good. Track your mouse over the various guitar-pick links, and you can hear them all together. One sound cue doesn't end when the next begins, which means you can potentially get all ten going at once, if you so desire. And these aren't all the obvious songs you might expect. Sure, "Senses Working Overtime" is there, and "Wake Up" was a single, but we've also got "Neon Shuffle," "Poor Skeleton Steps Out," "Playground," and "Meccanic Dancing (Oh We Go)." Although not every album is represented (because there are only ten, after all), the entire career appears here, from White Music all the way to Wasp Star.
After you've spent some time with it and gotten used to which guitar picks produce which guitar licks, start making your own mixes. For starters, you might find "Neon Shuffle" works well with a bit of "Funk Pop a Roll" slipped in, and "Scissor Man" spices up "My Bird Performs" nicely. If you get bored, you can roll your mouse over and over the "Meccanic Dancing" pick until the machine rhythm overloads (although I refuse any responsibility if the speakers start smoking). But give it time, and you'll find what works well to your own ear. Happy Boxing Day!