Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #137

                  Chalkhills, Number 137

                  Tuesday, 5 March 1991
Today's Topics:
            Brewing it Up with Andy Partridge
         Songs that Interrupt the flow of albums
                      Re:  theremin
          lilac time,theremin,literal pastorals
                       Re: theremin
                    Nihilon invective

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 91 08:36:48 EST
From: Mike Godfrey <>
Subject: Brewing it Up with Andy Partridge

John Relph (from a press release, no doubt) writes:
> Also, news of the proposed XTC Convention 1991: to be held in Barrie,
> Ontario, the home town of The Little Express (conveniently located
> between Japan and Great Britain), sometime this summer.  They are
> planning an outdoor affair at a park owned by a local brewery.

Some more background...

The "local brewery" is Molson's, one of the largest, multi-million dollar
corporations in Canada.  The park is Molson Park, where the large Toronto-area
folk festival, Marisposa, has been held in recent years.  The park is well
set up for such events -- lots of grassy areas to mill around in plus a large
concert shell with ground seating.  At Mariposa there has usually been the
possibility of camping.  The park is an hour or so from Toronto, so it would
be possible to commute, but Barrie is closer and the Collingwood/Georgian Bay
area (just a little further north) is the summer playground of many
Torontonians.  However, if you go, you really should be sure to spend a day
or so visiting Toronto en route, if only for the fact that the entire XTC
catalogue is out on CD here.



Date: 	Tue, 5 Mar 1991 10:05:50 PST
Subject: Songs that Interrupt the flow of albums

I hate to get picky, but:

John Relph  correctly points out  in #136 that "Gold" is not on the original
release of _Mummer_, but then goes on to make the same mistake himself with

> If anything is out of place on this album, it's "Dear God", sewed
> on to the newborn in an act of post-partum depression.

"Dear God"  was not on the original release of _Skylarking_, it was a B-side
(to "Grass," I believe).  When "Dear God" began getting a lot of attention and
airplay, the album was remastered to include "Dear God" and rereleased.  You
can call this either a fortunate occurence (since "Dear God" is a great song)
or say that "Dear God" is out of place because it was tacked onto the newborn
album in a fit of post-release record-company greed.

Alex Stein
Making plans for Nigel (and others) at:


Date: Tue, 5 Mar 91 13:42:45 PST
From: ( The Lion of Symmetry )
Subject: Re:  theremin

>Theremins are rare,
>expensive, and difficult to play, and their sound (a pure sine wave) is
>very easy to reproduce on even the most rudimentary analog synthesizer.

Well, not really. Most of the analog synths had various triangle, square,
sawtooth, and even stairstep waveforms, but few had sine. To get a good
clean sine you need a extremely well designed and tuned oscillator, therefore
one not really suited for the life of a portable synth. Minimoogs, and of
course the old modular Moog, were the primary synth used for good sine
type sounds (along with those great Moog filters).

Sine waveforms are desirable because they give you a good clean fundamental
tone, a 'pure' sound...

(who used to spend way too much time hanging out in music shops)


Date: Tue, 5 Mar 91 14:22:03 PST
From: (Kevin Carhart)
Subject: lilac time,theremin,literal pastorals

I couldn't keep myself from buying the Partridge-produced Lilac Time CD
("& Love For All") any longer.  Without having done it justice yet, it
is very pleasant and thoughtful, and while I wouldn't exactly be able
to pick out Andy's guitar solos if I hadn't known it was him, I did gape
and hop around at them.
I haven't picked up Cud, and a band with the name of the stuff cows chew
on doesn't sound too promising, but has anyone got it?
I think I've seen a theremin at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  Does
that ring any bells?
I too have been seeing hype about all XTC CDs coming out domestically
on the 19th, so I guess my not buying White Music or Drums and Wires
until now will pay off.  I just hope they don't complicate all the song-
inclusions any further.
This discussion about Travels in Nihilon is great.. how far back do you
think sophisticated, complex XTC songs can be traced?  People talk about
Travels and Towers of London.. what about on Drums and Wires?

I think the "theme" of Skylarking is great.. but before I had ever read
any of it, I always tended to get an impact from taking them more or
less literally... what do you think of the pictures presented with words
in Summer's Cauldron, Ballet for a Rainy Day, Sacrificial Bonfire, The
Meeting Place, aside from the metaphors for points in life?  Especially on
Sacrificial Bonfire, which seems to be one of the least-discussed recent
XTC songs.. if you picture actual an actual religious tribe dancing around
a bonfire.. I always associate them with the musicians on the front cover,
free from Western morality.. very powerful stuff.
(                      I goofed ^^^)



Date:        Tue, 05 Mar 91 19:32:00 AST
From: "jeddiah, swordfish salesman" <>
Subject: greetings

Greetings, all:

This is my first post to Chalkhills, though I've been receiving the
list for a few months.  Three questions:

1)  What's the latest on the upcoming XTC album?

2)  Does Andy generally play all of the guitar parts or does the band
    use a second guitarist every now and then?  If so, are there any
    particularly well-known songs featuring a second guitarist?

3)  I've heard _Black Sea_, _Oranges and Lemons_, and _Skylarking_.
    I hope to hear all of the band's lps, but are there any albums
    by XTC that I must hear or else be doomed to being a musical
    cretin for all of eternity?

4)  Anybody know where the title _Oranges and Lemons_ comes from?
    I seem to remember a phrase from _Skylarking_ talking about
    orange and lemon ... something?  I dunno.

Ok, I was wrong - that was four questions.  Hope you'll suffer my
curiosity - and have a good day.

Mark Dykeman
no funny, wise, profound, obscure, literary phrase accompanying my


Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1991 21:52:19 PST
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Re: theremin

Ben Zimmer <> has this to say:

>Toby asks:
>>Do the Dukes use a theremin on Pale and Precious?
>Yes, I believe so.  I vaguely remember Andy talking about that in an old
>_Little Express_, and he said the only other time a theremin was used in pop
>music history was in the solo for the Troggs' "Wild Thing."

Actually, the instrument you're thinking of is the "ocharina".  I
think it was also used on "Fool On The Hill" by The Beatles, as well
as on "Glass Onion".  The Dukes used the ocharina on "Brainiac's

	-- John


Date:    Wed, 6 Mar 1991 0:19:28 CST
Subject: Nihilon invective

I can't understand why everybody hates "Travels in NIhilon".  What is it?
Is the response as banal as "it has only one chord...oooh how boring" or
"too much noise"?  Are there legitimate reasons for calling it the worst?
I think some of you have what Charles Ives would call "weak ears".

In disgust,

Gary J.


Thanks to Ira Rosenblatt.

For all administrative issues, such as change of address,
withdrawal from the list, fan club addresses, discography
requests (last update 4 March), back issues, etc., send a
message to the following address:


All views expressed in Chalkhills are those of the
individual contributors only.

Go back to the previous page.