Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #158

                  Chalkhills, Number 158

                   Tuesday, 14 May 1991
Today's Topics:
                   Re: Chalkhills #156
              RUSHER's musical observations
                      john thomases
            clanking drums and stranger things
                   Re: Chalkhills #157
                   Re: This World Over
                   Where to find BoFwB
                     Chalkhills #157
          Some modulations in English Settlement
          "Call my name on your dream telephone"

Date: Fri, 10 May 91 14:13:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: Chap Godbey <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #156

Somebody asked about "Pink Thing" and what it was in reference to--I was
rather surprised and my wife went into hysterics laughing when we found
out that it's an ode to his private parts--no joke, read it in a phone
interview about the time of "O&L" a while back that was printed in a
local fanzine.

What we really need in this Skylarking diskussion is a transcript of the
Warner Brothers interview disk Andy talked on with Todd that got
released as a promo.  Any takers?

        Chap Godbey (WACK@DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)
                 Un! Znqr lbh ybbx!


Date: Fri, 10 May 91 14:16:03 EDT
From: (Robert Krajewski)

    From: (Bird Rendell H) in Chalkhills #157

    I was at the CD shop the other day (looking for the new Elvis Costello --
    which won't be released until May 14th) and I got a look at the upcoming
    releases list. XTC _Rag and Bone Buffet_ was on the list for mid June
    release by a company with the acronym "UNI".

As John Relph pointed out in #157, Geffen is going to release R&BB
domestically -- that explains the marked-down prices on the import
copies. (Now, what about explode together.)

David Geffen's production company and record company were under the
wing of Time/Warner, but not owned by it. As part of a deal,
Mitsubishi bought MCA/Universal, and brought in Geffen to manage it.
(Or at least a large part. See a recent past issue of _Spy_ for
details.) Evidently, MCA has changed the name of its record
distribution arm to UNI, which was also used as the name of one of its
record divisions in the 60s.  The division was revived about three
years ago, with acts like Eric B & Rakim and Transvision Vamp, but
it's gone again.


Date: Fri, 10 May 91 13:48:50 PDT
From: (Duane Day)
Subject: RUSHER's musical observations

Some time ago...

RUSHER writes:
>I supposed the producer(s) of `Big Express' caused me
>to  be  confounded.  But I don't know of David Lord's works.

The only other album he produced that I know of is Peter Gabriel's fourth,
sometimes called _Security_ (at least in the U.S.; I don't know how it's
referred to in Japan.)  I know he's done at least a few other things, but
I don't remember the titles or artists.

>For  example, "Funk Pop A Roll" is played in G-lydian (someone might
>express  it  as A7th on G). I have never heard tunes written in such
>unstable  scale.

I'd think of this as being basically in A mixolydian, with the bass
shifting between G and A.  This makes the most sense to me - it makes
the D and E chord in each verse a straight IV V progression, resolving
to I (A, except with the bass going back and forth between G and A.)

Many pieces of modern music make more sense if you don't try to think
of everything happening at the same time as a single chord, simple
or complex, but rather as the sum of several elements each of which
can be described in simpler terms.

This month's issue of _Keyboard_ (Patrick Moraz on the cover) has a
nice column by Dave Stewart (Hatfield & the North, National Health,
Bruford, Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin, etc.) which discusses
this issue - I think it's referred to as "the naming wars" wherein
you say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe, you say G11 no 3 no 5, I say
F major/G bass, etc.

[Obligatory XTC tie-in:  Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin do a great
cover of "Roads Girdle the Globe" on _Up From the Dark_.  Their
most recent album, _The Big Idea_, contains several excellent originals
as well as great covers of Billy Bragg ("Levi Stubbs' Tears") and
The Blue Nile ("Heatwave").  Both albums are unique and wonderful,
both on Ryko, at least in the U.S.]


Subject: john thomases
Date: Fri, 10 May 91 14:19:00 PDT

May I be the first to confess that I took my list of synonyms for John Thomas
[et al] from Monty Python's `Not the Noel Coward Song' [or, `Isn't It Awfully
Nice to Have a Penis?'] in _The Meaning of Life_.  Never let it be said that I
am an original thinker.


From: Dances With Voles <>
Subject: clanking drums and stranger things
Organization: Mangled Bloody Carcass Of Sound Productions
Date: Fri, 10 May 91 11:39:57 PDT (James McGowan):

>I've always thought the drums on that song were a dead ringo for the
>Fab Four drum sound.  The snare drum has that "toonk" sound, ya know?
>Note also how the song ends in 3/4, just like "We Can Work It Out."
>Clever lad, that Todd, Faithful as ever.

I completely agree.  Of course, they have been pushing the Fab 4 connection
since The Dukes came on the scene, so I don't know how much of this we can
attribute to Todd's Faith.  And the drums of Mayor Of Simpleton also

------- (Bird Rendell H):

>_Skylarking_ sound quality  -- sounds pitiful in headphones, easily
>the worst sounding CD in my XTC catalog. Sonics are over-bright, bass
>is non-existant.

I think maybe a survey is required to settle this.  I've listened to my
disc several times since this debate has started.  I've got a portable CD
player at work with a pretty good set of Koss porta-pro headphones.  I have
no problem hearing the bass, and that's even without the XBS switched in.
The highs are not bad enough to make me wince, like some of the ones on my
Severed Heads "City Slab Horror" CD.  Maybe there was more than one

>_Big Express_ --  I have to agree with 'Jones Rutledge', not one
>of the better XTC CDs. Quite a few of the songs wear thin easily.
>It is strange to note that "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"
>is one of my favortie XTC songs of all time (...maybe because I, too,
>am nearing 30, and 'doing what I'm told'...)

HERETIC!  Burn in the everlasting fires of hell for your blasphemy.

It seems to me that The Big Express is a love-it-or-hate-it album.  I
haven't seen too many "well, it's just OK" kind of posts on it.

jon drukman              always note the sequencer:
sco docland wage slave      uunet!sco!jondr     this will never let us down


Date: 11 May 91 01:19:36 EDT
From: Jones Rutledge <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #157

re: Chalkhills #157

Big Express - The songs soul coul this world over reign of blows and smalltown.
I doubt my dislike was as dependant on the quality of the songs as much as the
fact my neighbors (who came to XTC from a progressive rock background (while I
came from more of a punk background) would play those particular songs over ad
infinitum, and I am the type that has often to space a least a year between
replays of a album after my initial exposure if I wish to enjoy it all in the
future. Soul Coal in particular was a particular favorite of theirs during
times of their personal duress from exams, relationships etc. Also I tend to
favor interpersonal themes to global sociopolitic ones at times (although the
themes can be mixed quite well.)

Another thing that makes me not reach for Big Express that often is the fact
that it was about the only XTC cd my local record haunt had in stock for the
longest time. If I were a bit anxious around time of a new xtc release, I
always had that wagon wheel staring me in the face.

What I meant was... dept: I could see someone mistaking Black sea with Big
Express as far as cover art themes has that industrial revolution flavor. I
misplaced Senses Working Overtime proper place due to its video being a fixture
at a local club regardless of what my Xtc platter du jour was, and becuse I'm
plain stoopid.

Pink Thing on Retrospect - people who didn't know of Partridges Baby through
reading interviews would probably would not have thought of anything other than
a phallus or a damn fine place for one rather than the consequences of such a

Jones Rutledge


Subject: Re: This World Over
Organization: Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Institute of Technology, JAPAN
Date: Sun, 12 May 91 18:19:13 +0900
From: Yuji `RUSHER' Chikahiro <>

  Thank you folks for comments on "This World Over".

  John M. Relph <> wrote:

>     As you dry odd numbered limbs?

  I had misunderstood this meaning, because I read translated lyrics
  in a CD which written as "you dry limbs written strange number.
  Last week my friend had me notice the lyrics means deformed twins.

  p.s. I must correct myself ; I wrote about "Funk Pop A Roll" ;

>  Also  I would like to point out wonderful counterpoint in this tune,
>  Eflat -5 add9.   I  have  no courage  enough to use such un-harmonic
  It is incorrect. It should be Eb7 -5. excuse me.

>  voicing in the process(Fortschreitung).

  - RUSHER <>


From: mrp@polari (Mad Rabbit Productions)
Date: Sun, 12 May 91 09:41:51 PDT
Subject: Where to find BoFwB

Many thanks to and for the "Bags
of Fun with Buster" information.  Anyone know where a copy might be found?
(I'm presuming it's never been released in the US, so if you know of a UK
source, please provide a mailing address)



Date: Mon, 13 May 91 17:12:48 BST
From: toby <>
Subject: Chalkhills #157

> The CD _Lyrics by Ernest Noyes Brookings Vol. II_

Who, what, when or where is Ernest Noyes Brookings?



Subject: Some modulations in English Settlement
Organization: Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Institute of Technology, JAPAN
Date: Tue, 14 May 91 14:52:35 +0900
From: Yuji `RUSHER' Chikahiro <>

  I found a little  obvious customary courses of chords or modulations
  in some tunes of _English Settlement_......

  XTC often plays or sings on lydian scale for major-chord, instead of
  normal ionian scale.  XTC's modulations show me that  XTC belongs to
  pops actually.  However,  except for several  classical modulations,
  their modulations seems to close to jazzy kinds of so-called :
  `minor-3 degree up or down' (Across This Antheap ;E->G etc.),
  `minor-2 degree up'  (All You Pretty Girls ;Bb->B etc.),
  `major-3 degree down' (Garden Of Earthly Delights ;D->Bb etc.)
  `add-4 degree up'---above are normal also in pop music---, and
  `major-3 degree up' (Merely A Man ;E->Ab etc.)

  While "Sences Working Overtime" seems to be ordinally kinds of pops,
  it includes some smart course of chords.
  Basic  pattern  of  this song begins in key=G#minor, is modulated to
  Emajor  in  the  bridges  through  (A,  G/A, B, A/B,).  After second
  bridge part, you listen to  variety chords,  and you might find last
  bridge  is in key=Fmajor.  Modulation from Emaj to Fmaj  is `minor-2
  degree up'.

  "Melt The Guns" begins with F7, is immediately modulated into Dmajor,
  goes through F#major, and  returns to F7 by means of Bmaj7(lydian).
  Modulation Dmaj to F#maj is `major-3 degree up' of seldom kinds.

  Another case in "It's Nearly To Africa" is classically simple, A7 ->
  Emaj(Em).   But  at the same time, I comprehend this tune doesn't be
  played in diatonic chords.

  I  say  "Snowman"  is remarkable tune.  It begins with piano playing
  Bb-diminish scale, goes forward into  Bb add9th +11th   C#maj7 -9th,
  and  starts  main  theme, key=Amaj.  I am impressed deeply with this
  introduction/coda course.

  If  you  would  listen  to  Jazz, you easily find there are a lot of
  musicians who use unharmonic chord harmonically.  On the contrary, I
  suppose  XTC  were  good at using  harmonic chord or available notes
  unharmonically. It is very interesting.

  - RUSHER <>


Date: Tue, 14 May 91 19:36:14 PDT
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: "Call my name on your dream telephone"

Hello folks,

  I had a dream the other night.  A benefit was being staged and a
band was playing on a barge floating in a lake.  Andy Partridge and
Dave Gregory were both in this band.  The barge broke free and started
to float untethered around the lake.  It seemed dangerous.  The barge
floated near one end of the lake and it was discovered that there was
a dam across that end of the lake, a dam which nobody knew about.  In
fact the dam was actually two very large metal doors, painted red,
each perhaps forty feet tall and fifty feet wide.  The doors were
bolted shut, of course, and had a set of rungs welded over the seam
where they met.  The doors kept the water from flooding a small valley
nestled in the rolling hills at that end of the lake.  There were
trees on the hills and dry brush lay as if it had been undisturbed for
years.  And in fact it had.  Andy climbed down, very excited.  He
found lots of spent ammunition, both shells and slugs, as if a battle
had occurred there long ago.  Many other odd small objects lay strewn
around, partially hidden in the dirt.  I climbed down (how did I get
there?) and noticed a small gold object lying on the edge of a small
mound.  I picked it up and examined it.  It was very delicate, shaped
almost like an old-fashioned key, and it had a small gold chain or
wire attached.

  Then the scene changed.

  I was looking at a magazine.  It contained the latest gossip about
which stars were donating their time to charity appearances.  A two
page spread contained a collage of various pictures from recent
charity events.  There was a picture of Colin Moulding and Larry
Hagman standing on a grassy field.  The picture was taken from a high
angle, as if from the second story of a building (that's the first
story for you non-Yanks).  The picture was cropped, but you could see
a number of variously coloured electric guitars and basses lying
nearby.  There was also a picture of Andy or Dave, but then...

  I woke up.

  XTC on the brain!  What's happening to me?

	-- John


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