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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-54


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 54

               Wednesday, 24 November 2004

Topics:

                    This Little Ziggy
                      Fuzzy Warbles
              Hamilton and Burr: Cornholers?
                     Andy's Cornhole
                    Punctuation marks
                        Wish away
                 Columnated ruins domino
                  Young Cleopatra Cover
                      music and sex
              Hello from School for the Dead

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Always turkey time, never thanksgiving.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 10:32:02 -0500
From: <jim@groovedisques.com>
Subject: This Little Ziggy
Message-ID: <200411191532.iAJFW2ll014299@mail3.atl.registeredsite.com>

I should probably get back on the Jangly list for the following
comment, but may I state here that Martin Newell's memoir, This Little
Ziggy, is a work of clear-headed brilliance about not so clear-headed
days that a few of you, like myself, may vaguely recall. I'm sure a
lot of you dig the man's music and are at least familiar with his
writing. If you haven't read this book, I encourage you - no command
you - to run out or log on and pick up a copy!

Jim
www.groovedisques.com

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 10:58:03 -0800 (PST)
From: Benjamin Lukoff <blukoff@alvord.com>
Subject: Fuzzy Warbles
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0411191044280.2060-100000@vaal.killerlink.net>

BrianSolodrum@aol.com wrote

> I went to CDNOW to order F.W. 's # 5&6 but noticed they are selling
> for 30.00 a pop.  I'll have to wait until they become available used
> since I am currently not working.  Does anyone know where I can get
> them for less (substantially) than 30.00??

They're GBP10.20 at http://www.ape.uk.net/acatalog/compact_discs.html --
Andy's own store. (That's before shipping.)

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 13:52:09 -0500
From: "Matthew Hiner" <Mhiner@northampton.edu>
Subject: Hamilton and Burr: Cornholers?
Message-ID: <s19dfaac.071@gwmail.northampton.edu>

Sorry to add this, but as a purveyor of history I can't resist.

The brilliant Harrison "But I Shot into the Air" Sherwood wrote:

  "Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and ended with the Andrew Jackson accession
  in 1828, with the advent of the Spoils System and the dismantling of
  Madison's Second National Bank.  (Damned thing was unconstitutional!
  It exposed the government to control by foreign interests, people!
  I'll fight anybody who says otherwise! Right here!)"

The Second National Bank was actually not dismantled during this time
period, although most Americans expected it after the election of
Jackson (champion of the common man my ass!).  The Bank was not actually
up for rechartering until 1836, but its director, Nicholas Biddle, in
collusion with anti-Jacksonian Henry Clay, asked Congress for an early
reapproval in 1832 hoping Jackson would not act decisively to kill the
bank during an election year.  Not only did Jackson refuse to sign the
renewed charter, but in 1833 began to remove federal funds from the
Bank, reducing its power to regulate state banks, issue loans, or
control monetary supply.

Once the Bank finally disappeared in 1836, the result was one of the
worst depressions in American history (the infamous Panic of 1837).
Without the Bank as regulator, state banks irresponsibly began printing
and loaning money without any thought to consequences, forcing the
British to get involved.  The monetary chaos was so complete that the
American people voted for William Henry Harrison in 1840, Zachary Taylor
in 1848, and Abraham Lincoln in 1860 when all of them promised to revive
the National Bank.  Lincoln would partially do so with the National
Banking Act of 1863, and ultimately most of the Bank's functions would
be recreated with the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.

The Supreme Court ruled that both the National Bank and the current
Federal Reserve Bank ARE constitutional.  Andrew "states rights are
important to me unless it involves murdering Cherokee Indians" Jackson
acted beyond the purvue of Presidential power in this case, and damn
near brought down the entire nation.

So when do we fight?

XTC content?  For those not willing to spend the extra cash, you can
download the Warbles series direct from the Ape website.  You lose out
on the liner notes and lyrics, but you still get the album artwork and,
of course, the music.

--
Matthew Hiner
Assistant Professor of History
Northampton Community College
mhiner@northampton.edu

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Ben Franklin

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 22:46:16 -0000
From: "mervyn.sparks" <mervyn.sparks@btopenworld.com>
Subject: Andy's Cornhole
Message-ID: <001201c4ce89$9528ffb0$89927ad5@mervynnzjuwamc>

I first started taking notice of XTC's music in 1983 when a friend played a
compilation album that contained "It's Nearly Africa". Next day I bought
English Settlement and since then I have bought virtually everything
Partridge & Co. have turned out including Dukes and Look Look video. So I'm
a long-standing, card-carrying, fully-paid-up fan with knobs on who thinks
Mr. Partridge is a true genius.

I say this because you might not like the rest of this posting.

Of course I snapped up Warbles 1 & 2 and played them both non-stop 3 times
over. Here's where it starts to get uncomfortable.

Ok, it might be quite interesting getting an insight into the process by
which a classic track like "All Of A Sudden" starts life as a few chords and
a chorus and then ripens into one of the bands finest. But pretty soon I got
fed up of listening to unenhanced versions of "I Bought Myself A Liar Bird",
"Summers Cauldron" etc. etc when I already love the finished article. The
irritating instrumental experiments and ditties and that awfully unfunny
prelude to "That Wave" made me think that Andy had finally copped out. The
stuff I hadn't heard and which must have been considered not good enough to
grace an album carrying the prestigeous XTC logo was there in demo form
only. What is the point of that? If the bare bones of "Merely A Man" can be
worked into a masterpiece, perhaps a little extra work and a sprinkle of
Partridge magic might have been able to do the same for, say, "I Don't Want
To Be Here". But it seemed Andy couldn't be bothered. Just like we have to
wait eons for each genuine XTC album. Too fucking lazy.

And here's where it gets worse. I'm worried that Andy is an arse. Whenever
I've heard Andy interviewed he's come across as a bit of an arse. The
boringly predictable contractual rows with every record label he's had
dealings with, fights with every producer he's worked with, the Disney
squabble, and Dave Gregory's departure all suggest that he's an arse.

And I don't buy that stage fright crap either. Lots of performers suffer
stage fright, some to the point of being physically sick prior to going on
stage. But so fucking what? They get on with it, they get used to it and
they overcome it. Does anyone know another band/performer who refuses to go
on stage? (Ok, maybe Bananarama but that was because they couldn't perform).
It's Andy being an arse again.

Now imagine an XTC Nationwide Tour. Imagine the resulting live double album.
Imagine Dave Gregory back in the fold adding his undisputed talents to the
mix.

I still can't bring myself to buy any more Warbles. Instead I think I'll
donate the money to a fund to get Andy an arsehole transplant.

Give generously.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 06:40:49 +0000 (GMT)
From: Paul Culnane <paulculnane@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Punctuation marks
Message-ID: <20041122064049.65213.qmail@web86903.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>

WOW and FUCK!!! (and other feeble superlatives)...

I just had the most amazing phone convo with Terry Chambers.  He's up
and happy and full o' beans.  There is no way I will this time, pass
up his invitation to visit him & his family o'er Xmas!!!!

He's pictured with the guys from Dogs Die In Hot Cars in the latest
issue of OZ "Rolling Stone" mag.  Once I get my copy, I'll send it
through to Relphie for you all to look at.

Terry sends his fond regards to everyone - he's overwhelmed by all the
support and interest and affection about his role in our fave band.
He said: "Paul, what sort of hornet's nest have you stirred up?"

It's all very weird, but at the same time, very cool...

PORL

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 13:45:44 +0000 (GMT)
From: Paul Culnane <paulculnane@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Wish away
Message-ID: <20041122134544.22159.qmail@web86909.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>

I have discovered, unsurprisingly, that Steve Somerset of Camden Town,
London, is pretty damn cool.  When he laughs it makes you feel so
happy.  www.shadowkabinet.com

PORL

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 09:53:24 +0100
From: jeffrey.thomas@bayercropscience.com
Subject: Columnated ruins domino
Message-ID: <OF217DDD1F.2E6C259B-ONC1256F55.002AF05E@bayer.de>

Hello people of the collines de la craie,

Well, thanks to all of your great reviews, capped by the Aussies' (Dunks and
Paul's) contributions, I actually took "SMiLE" off of my Christmas list and
bought it myself.

Words cannot express.

Wow.  Fantastic.  "Columnated ruins domino?"  "SMiLE" is just the opposite,
the ruins are standing again, are whole.  And yes, "Porl", I, too, had tears
in my eyes when I first heard it.  I am floored.  Think of how cool 1967
would have been if both this and Sgt. Pepper had come out in the same
season.  The Summer of Love indeed.

As enough people have give their reviews, I will limit my comments to the
"meta" level.  Some have complained about Brian's voice.  I guess I can
understand you, even if I don't agree.  His voice has certainly aged, and
compared to others of his times (Ray Davies, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger)
the change is certainly more acute.  (Some of his cronies have better voices
now than in most of the 60s -- Ringo Starr, for example, although he never
was actually much of a singer.  But his range and pitch have improved with
age!  I guess that can happen when you quit smoking 60-80 cigarettes a
day...)  But, I still like his voice on most of the tunes.  He/it is of
course older, but I still like it when he hits the high notes (even if not
as high as in the old days), like "most of all" on "Vegetables" and
especially "a children's so-o-o-ong" on "Surf's Up".  But of course I can
see your point on bits like "mahalo lu le" on "Roll Plymouth Rock": Where
the youthful alto-tenor once drifted through the tune, the aged baritone now
plods.

Come to think of it, though, I have long wondered why I have yet to read
similar discussions of Colin's voice, which is obviously undergoing similar
changes.  (I assume he smokes, which certainly aids the decline.)  The
simplest demonstration of this is to listen to songs on Nonsuch and then the
new Nonsuch out-take "Didn't Hurt a Bit" on Coat.  You quite obviously hear
that his voice has lost a lot of its high harmonics and gained a lot of
sandy, smoky low tones.  This "new/old" sound is also evident in all of the
post-strike recordings.  He can still hit high notes, but I seriously wonder
if he'd still be able to sing some of his earlier stuff (the end of "One of
the Millions", for example).  Nevertheless, I really enjoy his new sound.

But I digress.  Here at Chalkhills, we should spend more time talking about
"SMiLE".  In #49, Dunks mentioned in his *excellent* review of the record
that Brian was very fast in the studio:

>Given Brian's known efficiency in the studio -- and can you believe
that the basic tracks for the new album were cut in FOUR DAYS??? --
it's even sadder that he obviously got so close and yet was unable to
get it over the line.

I wonder about that "efficiency".  Obviously, he wasn't efficient in
1966-67, despite the fact that the Beach Boys might have been blocking him,
etc., as mentioned in your post.  But comments you can read everywhere also
tell a different tale.  Mike Love is quoted somewhere saying they often
recorded individual vocals over and over again, 50 times or more, just to
get the right harmonics - and he was talking about 5-second bits of bits of
bits of songs.  Yes, I do think Brian was quite close to being finished in
1967, and that his frustration is now, if possible, even more understandable
to the casual observer than it was in the past.  But I also think this new
"FOUR DAY" recording shows that he wanted to get it down *now* while the
muse was with him, and he *chose* to get it down fast.  He had most of it in
his head, I'm sure, and he's had 37 years to think about it, so that
certainly helped, speed-wise.

But I wonder if his desire for expediency in the studio today might explain
why he/they chose not to include lots of the more psychedelic stuff that
might have made the new album even grander.  Dunks also mentioned that:

>I found the hardest thing was to distance myself from the existing
SMiLE recordings and try and come at it afresh.

 I agree, particularly when the existing versions were more complex and
absolutely more psychedelic.  3 examples: The crazier version of "Heroes &
Villains" with the various extra bits including the instrumental "explosion"
(pre-"A Day in the Life", of course); the more sitar-sounding banjo stuff
near the end of "Cabinessence"; and especially the finished, polished
version of "Vegetables" with extra "modules" built in and the much wilder
and more psychedelic version of "Mama Says" in the first of the two
respective breaks.  All of these songs were, in my opinion, much more
interesting still in their respective original versions, and the wildness of
the period recordings was sacrificed in "SMiLE 2004" for whatever reasons,
maybe speed.

And because the sacrifice is so evident, I fervently hope that the people at
Capitol or wherever who have been working on the old Beach Boys stuff will
now feel the impulse to go and put together a good mix of the Beach Boys
"Smile" material (like the attempt started in 1988).  Otherwise, I guess I
will have to do it by myself -- although a lot of the stuff I have is "39th
tape copy" quality.  But versions of almost every bit of the record are
available either officially or on bootlegs, it *was* pretty close to
completion.

And as a closing thought:
Does any one of you close-to-Andy types out there (Richard, Mitch, Wes,
Harrison, etc...) know if Andy has a copy of "SMiLE"?  If he doesn't, maybe
a few of us could team up and buy him one for Christmas.  Not that any one
of us couldn't afford to do it ourselves, but as a symbolic gesture from his
fans at Chalkhills it'd seem to me to be a good "team present".  I'm sure
he'd love it to bits.  And we should get one for Colin, too.

Au revoir,

Jeff

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 22:28:12 -0600
From: "Dr. Charles W. Crane, Esq., O.B.E." <reddogmg@comcast.net>
Subject: Young Cleopatra Cover
Message-ID: <039301c4d114$eee4ce20$6401a8c0@CRANE>

On my blog, I routinely add mp3s of covers of songs I record. This update I
put up my cover of "Young Cleopatra" (more similar in style to the "Jules
Verne" version than the "Fuzzy Warble" version). If you wish to check it
out, the URL is http://www.livejournal.com/users/in_articulation/18821.html.

-Charlie

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:59:27 -0500
From: John Relph <relph@tmbg.org>
Subject: music and sex
Message-ID: <16804.41423.934409.270075@f5.idiot-dog.com>

Folks,

I found a mention of Andy Partridge and XTC in Aftonbladet, a Swedish
publication.  There appears to be a paragraph concerning Mr. Partridge
and Olivier Messiaen.  However, my Swedish is not so good.  Would
anybody care to try their hand at a translation?  (Babelfish doesn't
do Swedish to English yet.)

  http://www.aftonbladet.se/noje/kronikor/klass/klass000816.html

Thanks!

	-- John

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 12:01:46 -0500
From: "Henning Ohlenbusch" <henning@schoolforthedead.com>
Subject: Hello from School for the Dead
Message-ID: <348b9f133d8c7d763cd86051866f8e81@goepp.net>

Hello,

Henning here from a band called School for the Dead.  I was looking through
your XTC site, as I do, and thought the following mp3 might fit in well
with your sounds and midi list.  It's not an XTC song but it IS a song
based on many XTC lyrics and styles.  It's called Thug and is littered with
references to the band and to the songs.

It's here: http://www.schoolforthedead.com/schoolforthedeadthug.mp3

Thanks for your time,
Henning Ohlenbusch
School for the Dead
http://rockumentary.net

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #10-54
*******************************

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