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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-38


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 38

                 Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Topics:

               Nancarrow, other stuff, etc.
                   speaking of zappa...
                       RE: Nunsutch
           It's all about the music, isn't it?
                       Fifth notes
  In which I acknowledge some deficiencies in knowledge
                         On Zappa
                 To "e" or not to "e"...
        Time Signatures and Clueless Song Choices
                      More on Oompas
                          Bozzio

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Well the way that we're living, is all take and no giving.

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

Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 21:37:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <tahewitt@yahoo.com>
Subject: Nancarrow, other stuff, etc.
Message-ID: <20050726043712.92065.qmail@web51711.mail.yahoo.com>

King Relph said:
Check out Nancarrow's Studies for Player Piano, if you
haven't already.

I love the Nancarrow player piano music. Weird,
wonderful stuff. Come to think of it, I may have
mentioned that before on this list. I vaguely recall
discussing it with someone online a ways back.

-------

Thanks, Ringo! This list hasn't been so busy in a good
long time. Of course, I'd rather it were busy because
we were all discussing a new XTC cd, but I'll take
what I can get.
As a non-musician, my take on Ringo has always been
that he's the luckiest guy in show business. I
actually like most of his drumming with The Beatles.
Could do without hearing him sing, though.

-------

Kirsty MacColl has been discussed a fair amount on
this list. I recently picked up the reissue of Kite,
and love it. Well worth getting, if you haven't yet.

---------

Thanks to whomever mentioned that the uncut version of
ELP's Fanfare for the Common Man was available on
iTunes. I've always liked that piece. Definately worth
the 99 cents.
If you haven't heard it, you should definately check
out Copland's 3rd symphony, which contains the fanfare
in it's original version. One of my favorite pieces of
music.

---------

Speaking of favorite music, one of my current
obsessions, the Japanese band The Pillows, has finally
released a domestic (in the US) cd. Penalty Life was
released back in May. It's one of their better
records. I would rate it just under the 3 or so best
records they've done. Highly recommended for fans of
loud, energetic, melodic pop/punk. Fans of Green Day,
Husker Du, Pixies would find it most agreeable. And at
about $14 US instead of $35+ for the Japanese import,
how can you refuse?

----------

I'll be traveling to Seattle and Olympic Natl. Park at
the end of the week. Anyone have any suggestions on
things I shouldent miss?

--------

Ok, no XTC content. I tried to think of something,
really I did!

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

Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 23:20:58 -0700
From: idahlberg@verizon.net
Subject: speaking of zappa...
Message-ID: <377b0839bc87a30805845ac2b828ccf1@verizon.net>

...I got a call a few weeks ago from a contractor to audition for a
band that Dweezil and Ahmet were putting together to tour, playing
Dad's music. I was in agony knowing I couldn't skip out of my day job
for 6 weeks and tour with them (if i had made it in). I had even worked
up some Inca Roads on keyboard for my own amusement! Grrr. I hate
getting sweet gig calls I can't take. A trade off for having a steady
job, house and car I suppose. It would have been woodwinds and keys.
But then, I find out that my friend and former roomie gets the gig. I'm
very jealous now...Just Europe dates are slated, but they might do the
U.S. next year, or the year after. Don't want to give too much away -
never know who's reading these posts...Check it out:

http://www.noblepr.co.uk/zappa/

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 07:46:32 +0100
From: "Darryl W. Bullock" <dwbullock@tiscali.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Nunsutch
Message-ID: <427BE714001C2E66@mk-cpfrontend-4.mail.uk.tiscali.com>

Surely Chalkhillian Ryan Anthony jests when he doth speculate Squire
Partridge forgot the letter 'e' "from the title of XTC's 1992 release?"

According to wordreference.com, Nonesuch (n.) means a 'model of excellence
or perfection of a kind; one having no equal'. You can spell it either way.

Now some people may rate Nonsuch highly (an opinion they're welcome to), but
having no equal? XTC have released 15 albums of new material over their
career, which by my reckoning means that there are at least 14 albums better
than their last Virgin venture.

Nonesuch was also the name given to a no longer extant palace, built for
Henry VIII (c1538). It was completely destroyed during the Civil Wars. As if
you didn't know. ;)

D
Darryl W. Bullock

www.writesight.com/writers/thisispop

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 12:58:20 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <paulculnane@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: It's all about the music, isn't it?
Message-ID: <20050726115820.51706.qmail@web86902.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>

Danny Phipps <phipps117@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>please forgive my ignorance, but does anyone know when "fuzzy warbles
>7 & 8" are planned to be released - if at all now?
>
>
>"You can't say anything bad about the people you love."
>                                       ~ Ray Charles

Yeah well Danny.  I can't help you there, but I'm wondering too.
Bring it on!  Lovely quote too  man.  And I just wanna say, I've
noticed your posts, and I will defend to the death your right to be
lovely and effusive and just quite nice.  When I do it, I get shot
down in flames sometimes.  But I take comfort in knowing that you can
be REAL and OKAY.  And you can put your opinions forward without
having someone smack your head in.  Nice is better than nasty - any
day of the week!  Thank you Dan.

Standby folks for my extravaganza interview with Steve Somerset, Prime
Minister of The Shadow Kabinet.  It is quite special.  John Relph is
gonna put it up onto Chalkhills real soon.  It will be announced.
ENJOY!

All you need is love
PAUL
in cold Oz

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 08:46:31 -0400
From: "J. D. Mack" <jdmack01@verizon.net>
Subject: Fifth notes
Message-ID: <5.1.0.14.2.20050726084412.023a2a68@incoming.verizon.net>

At 10:24 PM 7/25/2005 -0400, John Relph wrote:
>I think Frank Zappa might disagree.  That was one of the reasons he
>gave up on human musicians.  Same with Conlon Nancarrow.  A fifth-note
>would be 1/5 of a whole note, so one would play five notes in the same
>time period four quarter notes would normally take.

The technical term for that is a quintuplet, rather than a fifth note.  So
Todd's point stands, in that you can't have a measure of 7/5 (which even
Frank Zappa never attempted).

Interestingly, Charles Ives wrote music with measures of 3 1/2 / 4, rather
than 7/8.

J. D.

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 06:41:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <beat_town@yahoo.com>
Subject: In which I acknowledge some deficiencies in knowledge
Message-ID: <20050726134112.51146.qmail@web32001.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

Hi:

Andrew Gowans said:
> Todd - thanks for the smackdown...Ouch!

No smackdown intended, my good man, though it seems I got my comeuppance
elsewhere in the digest.

John Relph, in talking about my assertion that there's no such thing
as a fifth note, pointed out that:
> Frank Zappa might disagree. That was one of the reasons he
> gave up on human musicians. Same with Conlon Nancarrow.  A fifth-note
> would be 1/5 of a whole note, so one would play five notes in the same
> time period four quarter notes would normally take.  But Mssrs. Zappa
> and Nancarrow would take it further and do something like play 17
> notes in the time usually taken by 8 quarter notes, while at the same
> time having another voice play 13 notes in that same time period.
> Yeah, seventeenths vs. thirteenths.  Or other rhythms equally
> ridiculous.  Oy.

Yeah, I should have thought of this, given that I've seen/heard drummers do
this kind of stuff, and have attempted it myself (with varying degrees of
success). But how do you notate it?  A quick search of Nancarrow's stuff on
the Web shows mostly a collection of overlapping dashes, without the usual
staff, measure bars, or time signature ... is there a traditional way of
notating this?

Also, JD Mack reminded me that:
> I think the song is called "Frank Mills."

Right you are, and now I'm going to be singing it *correctly* to myself for
the rest of the day! To add to the smackdowns, at a recent get-together
Mr. Relph told me Hille is pronounced "Hill-ee". Did I get it right, John?

-Todd

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
     Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 12:25:20 -0700
From: "Pastula Aaron" <pastula12@hotmail.com>
Subject: On Zappa
Message-ID: <BAY24-F143AEC06FD935217C582BCA2CD0@phx.gbl>

KEVIN.WOLLENWEBER posted the following:

>when Frank got the rights to his back catalogue, the Verve material came to
>him severely worn and/or damaged, with the most noticeable damage being
>found throughout the masters to WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY, an album
>that I always hoped that FZ could have realized upon gaining control of all
>his music.  Now, I'm not sure whether Zappa then knew about the "baking"
>process for old and somewhat decayed recordings, but Zappa chose to bring
>in some of the members of his '80's Mothers configuration...

I'm not sure what the "baking" process is, but I'll bet Frank did.  My own
personal suspicion is this:  Frank *loved* recording technology, and he
loved to tweak his material into different versions when the spirit moved
him...not just as evidenced in the massive number of live recordings in his
catalog, but also in albums like "Thing Fish," where he used a lot of
previous material and reversed it, overdubbed it, and re-vocalized it in
order to give it new life and a new purpose.  I mean, you're talking about a
guy who waited nearly *thirty years* for digital technology to get to the
point where he could create "Civilization Phase III," the follow up to
"Lumpy Gravy..."

Personally, I think that he turned the unfortunate state of the old masters
into an opportunity to "re-think" the "We're Only In It For The Money"
album, and I think he did so 1) merely because he could, 2) because it might
have sounded to "dated" to him all those years later, and 3) because he was
somewhat entranced by the opportunity to put things on to those new-fangled,
indestructible discs called CDs.  Had he really wanted to, FZ could have
easily reproduced the damaged elements of the album almost exactly to the
original specs; the fact that he changed not only certain parts but also
made editorial changes (the reversal of the "censored section," for example)
and coupled the first version with "Lumpy Gravy" tells me that he saw it as
an opportunity to issue a "new Coke" version of a classic record...in other
words, I think FZ did it simply because he wanted to, just like everything
else in his life...

Like you, however, I'm glad we later got the original version on CD!

AP

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 18:37:34 +0100
From: "Steve Morton" <steven.morton4@ntlworld.com>
Subject: To "e" or not to "e"...
Message-ID: <000d01c59208$b50192a0$0100a8c0@mshome.net>

Hi Chums,

In #11/37 Ryan Anthony wrote of additional e's:

"Andy Partridge had the opposite problem when he typed
the title of XTC's 1992 release."

My understanding is that Andy's title referred to Henry VIII's long since
destroyed Nonsuch Palace (hence the picture on the cover). In terms of
English language though, Ryan is quite correct :-)

Yours lacking irony,

Steve.

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

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 14:47:11 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <homefrontradio@hotmail.com>
Subject: Time Signatures and Clueless Song Choices
Message-ID: <BAY18-F15D58E1697D1785C453314D0CC0@phx.gbl>

Ian wrote:

>I don't think musicians (myself included) think about one time sig
>against another, but just notice an offset pattern. I was trying to
>find a term for this, but found that polyrhythmic, polymetric, and
>hemiola don't exactly apply here. Anyone have a term?

I don't know the proper term for this either, I've just always considered it
just repeating a riff without regard for the formal time structure of the
song - you get in a loop that you can break out of.  The reptition lead to
interesting and unexpected harmonics as it's always changing.  It tends to
be an unconcious, going-with-the-moment thing from my experience.  At a
guess, I'd say the concept comes from jazz musicans, and they'd have a name
for it.  (It also happens enough in songs by the XTC-ish band 'Sugarplastic'
that it could almost be considered their 'style').

Following up on Michael Versaci's article about the right-wing-ironic-song
thread, check out this recent thread on Slate about ill-advised song choices
for advertising purposes:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2120229

I'll second his recommendation of http://www.mediamatters.org (Yeah, i'm an
Australian, but I feel a deep-seated guilt for my country inflicting Rupert
Murdoch on the world).

>Just remember, folks, even we right-wing savages enjoy the sweet, dulcet
>tones of perfect pop on a regular basis...and I bet even Andy can
>appreciate that.

Ah, it's just sweet pop music... I'm sure Andy would be pleased his music
can penetrate the ear but his lyrics fail to penetrate the heart.  What
exactly are these people surmising from 'Dear God', 'Books are Burning',
'Beating Of Hearts', 'This World Over', 'Here Comes President Kill Again'
and 'Melt The Guns', to name but a few examples?

For futher sweet-and-harmless pop listening, may I suggest the frothy pop
confection "It's A Hit" by Rilo Kiley:

"Any chimp can play human for a day
Use his opposable thumbs to iron his uniform
And run for office on election day
Fancy himself a real decision maker
And deploy more troops than salt shakers

But it's a jungle when war is made
And you'll panic and throw your own shit at the enemy
The camera pulls back to reveal your true identity
Look, it's a sheep in wolf's clothing
A smoking gun holding ape"

Or maybe the Motown-ish pop bliss of 'Sixteen Military Wives' by the
Decemberists:

"sixteen military wives
thirty-two softly-focused, brightly-colored eyes
staring at the natural tan
of thirty-two gently clenching, wrinkled little hands
seventeen company men
out of which only twelve will make it back again
sergeant sends a letter to five military wives
his tears drip down from ten little eyes

cheer them on to their rivals
cause America can and America can't say no
and America does if America says it's so:  it's so
and the anchorperson on tv
goes la-di-da-di-da"
--
http://homefrontradio.blogspot.com/
A Songwriter's Journal

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

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 05:56:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve <ste7phen@yahoo.com>
Subject: More on Oompas
Message-ID: <20050727125656.52930.qmail@unknown-206-190-39-12.yahoo.com>

I went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night at the kids
request. It appeared to me in the Oompa theme at the end during credits
Elfman was trying to cement a reference from I Am The Walrus which I'd
never thought much about. ('ho, ho, ho - hee, hee, hee - ha, ha, ha')
...and of course in I am the Walrus there is much ado about "oompas"
...and something about sticking it up joompas as well (not quite so
related - I hope). John Lennon did revere Alice In Wonderland so the
story is told. Its conceivable that I Am The Walrus is making a brief
reference to The Chocolate Factory book as it makes references to about
a half a million other things. My daughter pointed out that Elfman's
version has 4 ho, ho, ho, ho - hee, hee, hee, hee, hee - ha, ha, ha,
ha's rather than the afore mentioned 3. (we'd been discussing
syncopation on the Pink Floydish thread...right?) The ho, ho, ho's in I
Am The Walrus would then be triplets in an otherwise 4 count moderate
beat. Now here is where you can move on to the next post. So with using
the ho ho's in triplet it is then punctuation to a lyrical statement
about smoking while providing an oompa-like graphic of how the joker
might laugh at us. Whereas Elfman's ho ho's are infused into the actual
4 count timing of a song played somewhat more allegro while lyrically
associated with the actual oompas themselves and thought to be direct
quotes from the oompas. By repeating this oompa quote throughout the
entire song as back ground chorus Elfman then emphasizes the psychotic
and morbid nature of the original use of ho he and ha as it might be
related to the film. The statement in the film score would be directed
towards sugar abuse rather than the abuse of tobacco.

I'd still rather listen to The Mole From The Ministry and the likes for
a Walrus alternative.

Another Steve

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

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 10:59:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jemiah Jefferson <jemiah@q7.com>
Subject: Bozzio
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0507271055090.18054-100000@q7.q7.com>

Whenever I think of Terry Bozzio I always think of him bursting into tears
backstage out of sheer exhaustion, much to the hilarity and mockery of the
rest of Zappa's band, in the frankly (pun not intended!) astonishing film
"Baby Snakes", which brought me from being a casual childhood fan of Zappa
(after years of only knowing the song "You Are What You Is") to being a
wide-eyed worshipper. (Of Frank, and Adrian Belew, and of Mr. Bozzio.) And
the fact that Terry Bozzio can sing and play drums like THAT is an Olympic
feat of physical supremity.

I still haven't taken the time to really become a Zappa fanatic, because
his music defines "Rewards close and repeated listening".

I was born too late,
Jemiah

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #11-38
*******************************

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