Becki diGregorio


Becki's new CD, "God's Empty Chair" features longtime XTC guitar guru Dave Gregory and Lyle Workman (Todd Rundgren, Frank Black, Beck). It also features one of Andy Partridge's many unreleased gems - "Susan Revolving" - dolled up in true Duke fashion! Becki says, "the music is a mixture of rock and heavy-pop, with a touch of psychedelia and middle-eastern influences nestled in between." Her debut album - "Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove" - also features the talents of Dave Gregory... nuff said. (Click on the cover of "God's Empty Chair" - above - to pay a visit to Becki's website, and pick up a copy for yourself) It's a great disc.


The Multicolored Sections of Optimism's Flames


Here are the main sections of the site, which can be accessed by the faintly colored bars on the left of the site - or by using the colored balls beneath the image of The Shed. Or just click on these links below... A digital connection is highly recommended for viewing the site.


Access these links from the icons on the bottom of the main page. Or, again - just click on the links provided below...

You're on your own for the hidden pages.



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~ The Latest On Swindon's Finest ~

Ape Releases ~ (8/8/04) Not much happenin' on the XTC front, right? Well - sort of, drop by Andy's Ape site and pick up some great tunes... his fantastic disc with Peter Blegvad, Orpheus... the new release by The Milk & Honey Band... and get ready for the latest edition of Warbles, coming very soon... stay on the look-see for some Pugwash, who will release a disc on Ape in the future. They currently have Dave Gregory working on some backing tracks for 'em at Abbey Road, for an album that should see light this year... check the Pugwash link I provided for more info.
Wonderfalls Video! & Fano & More ~ (12/12/03) Andy penned the theme song for the new Fox TV show called Wonderfalls. He created several versions, but in the end it was his first work that was chosen; "I Wonder Why the Wonderfalls." The show debuts March 12, 2004. And if you visit the link above, you can see the video - AND HEAR THE SONG!! Also - check out the Fano guitar site for the new Oranges & Lemons guitar. (Sadly, Wonderfalls has fallen... damn, TV sucks.)
DVD Coming! ~ (12/12/03) (Update - the DVD is on hold for a spell, bit of legal shite going on with Virgin again... arghhhhhhhh!) Spoke with Colin today - found him editing footage for a new XTC DVD release that will be at least two discs large, and will include all the Virgin vids - exclusive footage from recording sessions & stuff from Holland & Australia - as well as whatever else they can get hold of. If you've got an original copy of Look Look - you should consider Ebay about now.
APE Site ~ (4/12/03) Andy's new APE site is up and running - for the latest on the next two Fuzzy Warbles releases, including track listings - as well as info on the new album with Peter Blegvad and info on the band Andy's wanting to sign and promote: The Milk and Honey Band - while there be sure to check out the links section and read Andy's description of Optimism's Flames. Aw - shucks.
The XTC Gig Guru ~ (July '02) Dave Gregory supplied me with hundreds of dates for the Optimism's Flames list of all the known XTC live shows. In most cases he provided me information on venue, set list & the acts to shar the stage with the lads. In some cases he offered memories of specific shows. Thanks to Dave - Optimism's Flames is home to the most exhaustive list of XTC live gigs yet compiled. You can find the GIG LIST in the My bird performed section of the site.



April 28, 2004 - The ever-kind Andy Partridge provided me with yet another amazing box of goodies for the site... I've just upped four exclusive, one-of-a-kind sketches from the stack he sent. Many, many more coming over the next months... Visit the Big box of paint, now!

Wonder Box - Got a box full of items from Andy yesterday - stacks of sketches and test pressings - and some other amazing goodies that I'll be sure to upload to the site over the coming months. Thanks again Andy!

Colin Chat - Interviewed Colin 6/16/03 - plan on having the entire interview transcribed quickly and offered in text form.

Little Express - We now offer many back issues of the famed LE fanzine, and you can find them in A little tribute. There are only 20 or so of some issues, so you'd better grab 'em up. Optimism's Flames makes no money off the sale - we're just happy to be able to bring the fantastic LE to the fantastic XTC fans. Oh - did I mention?... one issue is about the Dukes!

Andy Speaks - I spent a bit more than 3 hours on the phone with Andy, 9/12/02, and the majority of the conversation will be featured in the It's nearly audio section. We spent a great deal of time chatting about XTCover art - and I got the inside story on *every* XTCover, including some of the singles. A text version of this will be run in Big box of paint.

Neil & Adrian Warren Go 2 Swindon ~ Neil and Adrian Warren, brothers in life and XTC fandom, have contributed to OF's in the past - see the dandy photos of Ken White's

once famed, now defunct Swindon mural in the GALLERY of the OUR HISTORY BENDS section. The brothers Warren recently wandered the streets of Swindon with the Moulding's Swindon Street Plan, from the Go 2 release, and photographed all the major points of interest. We are currently putting together an interactive version of the map.

Feb 28, 2004 - There are now two sweet Dukes interviews, in MP3 audio, for you in the Dukes portion of the site. You've found it, right? Look for the little lighthouse. I've also added to the cover art section - Big Express and Oranges & Lemons - in the Big box of paint

Jan 11, 2004 - The Gig List just got deeper! There are 50+ updates to the list of all the known gigs the band played (list of dates) - and you can find it all in the GIG LIST, found in the My bird performed

Dec 12, 2003 - The poster section of The good things has been updated. There are 36 XTC posters represented - 6 new ones, and much better shots of the old ones. Flats added next!

July 2, 2003 - The 6/16/03 OF's interview with Colin Moulding is now up and running - and opens outside the site for easy viewing. Click HERE for now, text chat page coming soon.

June 5, 2003 - The Little Express is now selling many back issues of their famed fanzine at $5 a pop US (including shipping!) - so you better grab 'em up while you can, supplies are limited - find the sales page under Peter & June in the A little tribute section.

June 3, 2003 - Exclusive chats with Andy Partridge on XTCover art - this time it's the singles. You can find it in the Big box of paint section, in Cover ARt... and there is much more to come.
May 3, 2003 - Larry Miller sent in stubs from the following gigs in New York: 1/20/80; 3/1480; 10/15/80; 12/4/80; 4/18/81 in the Gig List: My bird performed
April 27, 2003 - New info on live gigs: 3/14/80, 3/15/80 & 10/15/80 - as well as links to 40 venues XTC played: My bird performed

January 24, 2003 - Sir John Johns tells all on Dukes cover art... surely you've found the Dukes section? FEB ~ Exclusive, Andy Partridge tells the history of 8 more of XTC's album covers. This time, compilations and EP's, in the Big box of paint section. We've covered most of the album covers... need to address the Fuzzy Warbles series and some other singles...

The impotency of speech?

Mitch Friedman


Mitch's music is goofy - quirky - fun - and, well... good. Much like his first album - "The Importance of Sauce" - "Fred" delivers well-penned tunes with both thought provoking and downright hilarious lyrics. Our own Dave Gregory appears - as does the demo-guru R. Stevie Moore. My six-year-old daughter enjoys this album as much as I do, and there are only a few bands I can say that about - XTC included. (Click on the cover of "Fred" - above - to pay a visit to Mitch's website, and pick up a copy for yourself)




Coat of many Cupboards is XTC's latest release. This 4 disc set is a must have for the XTCgeeks and features a damn good XTC essay by our pal Harrison Sherwood. (Hey, it's in the library now, so it must be good!)



10/26/02 - Fuzzy Warbles to be released in the next few weeks. It will feature songs done completely by Andy, as well as some full band versions of unreleased material. Though it's not an "official" XTC release, it's going to be every bit as good.