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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-39

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 39

                  Thursday, 28 July 2005


                     Re: Fifth notes
                   Piggy in the Middle
                   Re: nonsuch/nonesuch
                    tacky vs tasteful
             Re: Nancarrow, other stuff, etc.
                     Re: Fifth notes
    Bleeps, Chirps, Farts, Giggles, and No Blunders!!
          Mooron with s'more on "More on Oompas"
The Nomenclature Of Nonesuch / End Of The Pier Of The Album


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.8c (John Relph <>).

The taped crusader leaps in / licking all foes / Zap! Pow!


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 21:43:26 -0400
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Fifth notes
Message-ID: <>

On Tuesday, 2005, "J. D. Mack" <> wrote:
> 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).

Oh, another smackdown, and me the recipient.

Thanks for setting me straight, J.D.

	-- John

NP. The Wild Band of Snee: Gree-himfeny


Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 19:50:55 -0700
From: "Wayne Klein" <>
Subject: Piggy in the Middle
Message-ID: <BAY108-F250F2F830E2DF04FC32E7DF9CF0@phx.gbl>

>>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. <<

Good observations...I actually thought that some of the songs in "Charlie"
could easily have been written by AP and, in fact, a couple sound like
imitations of the Dukes material AP wrote.

Oh, the ho-ho, etc. idea was George Martin's. John approached Martin about
the orchestration and Martin got together the Mike Samms Singers (if memory
serves) to record the parts including the all the absurd bits. Although it
was Lennon's idea to add the bit from "Macbeth".


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 08:55:46 +0100
From: John Morrish <>
Subject: Re: nonsuch/nonesuch
Message-ID: <>

Without lowering the tone too much, can I just point out that,
according to the indispensable Cassell Dictionary of Slang, nonesuch/
nonsuch was an 18th/19th century term for vagina.

Did Andy know that? I don't suppose it would surprise any of us if he



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 07:21:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Laura Hamons <>
Subject: tacky vs tasteful
Message-ID: <>

Since Frank Zappa came up into conversation, I've been thinking. Frank
Zappa is from Baltimore, John Waters is from Baltimore - the
commonality? They each tend to caricature or exaggerate things in
their work. I mean, I believe that the Zappa-Waters flair for the
obscene and kitch is pretty much undisputed.

So this got me thinking that Andy Partridge and XTC are NOT kitch in
anyway. I mean, they don't really ever use nasty or crude satire to
illustrate whatever point they're making. I suppose Shaving Brush
Boogie is the closest thing to vulgar in my XTC library.

You could suppose that its Baltimore that twists and warps. Or not.

Not the biggest insight, I know, but hey - there is XTC content!!
- Laura H.


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 08:42:04 -0700
From: Gil Lamont <>
Subject: Re: Nancarrow, other stuff, etc.
Message-ID: <>


The original version of Copland's FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN is not
in his 3rd Symphony. The symphony uses the material, and somewhat
replicates the original version, but really isn't a patch on the
original piece, performances of which are fairly easy to find. But it
is so much better in the original version for just brass and
percussion (timpani, tam-tam, and bass drum).


Tyler Hewitt <> wrote:
>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


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 12:04:33 -0400
From: Dan Schmidt <>
Subject: Re: Fifth notes
Message-ID: <>

J. D. Mack wrote:
 >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
 >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).

In Soundgarden's song "Pretty Noose", there is a measure of five
eighth-note triplets (instead of the six you would expect to make the
beat line up again).  In my opinion, the best way to notate this would
be to use a time signature of 5/12 for that measure.  The alternative
would be to make a metric modulation into and out of a measure of 5/8,
but to me that makes it less clear what is going on.

It is true that I have never seen a non-power-of-2 denominator in any
actual written music.



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 13:24:25 -0400
Subject: Bleeps, Chirps, Farts, Giggles, and No Blunders!!
Message-ID: <>


You said:  <<Had he really wanted to, FZ could have
easily reproduced the damaged elements of the album almost exactly to the
original specs.>>

Yeah, I whole-heartedly agree with all you've said and more, here, but I
guess that my ear heard the bass riffs reconstructed for the fully mended
WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY and just didn't see the need for "phat" or
funk bass riffs where I heard more like raw, Fender lines or whatever kind
of bass style that Zappa himself has played on earlier albums to synch
better with his lead guitar lines as he perhaps has done on some of his
instrumental work through albums like WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH, HOT RATS,
BURNT WEENIE SANDWICH (an album that still gives me the shivers even today,
as advanced as technology might have gotten between now and then) and even
in sections of CHUNGA'S REVENGE.  I'm sorry but, as I write this, I realize
that I should have credits to albums in front of me to be more accurate in
my assumptions, here, but maybe, in hindsight, I was just wishing that
Frank, himself, decided to add his own bass lines to the songs to better
complement that late '60's style sound.  It's knit-picking, I realize, and
it is sooo great to hear the dialogue and lyrics as they might have
appeared had Verve given him complete artistic freedom.  Sure don't know
what Verve was whining about; if they were cringing at the "language" on
the album, they did manage to leave in the line "I will love the cops as
they kick the shit out of me on the street" while removing (and reversing)
the line "shut your fucking mouth about the length of my hair" and screwing
up that Lenny Bruce reference earlier on.  All such censored material was
vocally restored and I'm grateful that he had the chance to do this.  My
ear hears that funky bass track and winces at times.  Actually, another
reason why I would like to have seen that album revisited yet again by
musicians who hold the original in such high esteem is because, since this
album was remixed by Frank for first compact disk transference, the
technology of CD recording has advanced and the sound of all reissued
recordings has become much fuller.  Frank Zappa had jumped on the
technology in its earliest stages and some of those earliest recordings now
pale in contrast to such reissues given us since the year 2000.

It is exciting news to hear that Frank's sons are going out to the live
stage with a kind of orchestra, and it sure would be fascinating if
segments of WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY were brought to the live stage.

One such Zappa process that always intrigued me is how he was always
recording the bare bones of a given piece or song on a live stage with his
instrumental band of Mothers and then taking it back into the studio for
this incredible transformation that often turned the seemingly dull little
bit of rock riffing into this multi-layered piece that would realize music
in sounds no other musician since had ever conceived.  I'm referring to the
process that gave us the oft-played and referred to original studio track,
"My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama".  When Frank issued his own bootleg
recordings, one of these included the bare bones track for "My Guitar".
Analogue was such a warm sound overall that you could nicely meld live with
reversed or sped-up studio trickery and it all sounds like it was actually
played in real time by live musicians...well, you know what I mean.  In the
1980's, the techniques found in the more modern recording studio with
digital advances changed so radically, to my ears, to the point where the
beat of a snare drum always sounded as if it were created by
synthesizer/computer rather than that of someone actually playing.

Oh, and one last thing; I had written in to ICE Magazine, wondering if the
Zappas would ever agree to having Frank's albums someday reissued as, say,
dual disks with multi-channel DVD audio on one side, so we can actually
hear Frank Zappa's earliest attempts at multi-channel recording.  When I
hear his remastering of HOT RATS for CD, it sounds to me as if we're only
hearing half the spectrum.  Listen to some of the percussion on "Got Any
Camels".  There are times when some of it sounds as if we're hearing it so
far in the distance, while the original first Barking Pumpkin vinyl reissue
has that same bit of percussion right out front.  Imagine this whole album
realized amid five speakers' worth of distributed sound!!

In the days of analogue, Frank Zappa liked to play with the studio in so
many ways.  I still don't know how he created that memorable stereo effect
whereby you're hearing the actual notes of Frank's guitar solo out of one
ear and his fingers plucking the strings out of the other--am I making that
clear at all?  Just listen to the solo which closes side one and opens side

Yikes, I'm sorry to the other listers that I've gone on so obsessively
about Zappa material, but hey, I know that Andy Partridge has mentioned
Frank Zappa as one of his musical influences, along with the Bonzo Dog Band
and Judee Sill and Brian Wilson and...hey, wasn't that Iron Butterfly whose
spirit he was dredging up on the extraordinary title tune to 25 O'CLOCK?
Loved the stereophonic noodling with the instrumental break in that track.



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 06:58:52 +0100
From: "Stephen Jackson" <>
Subject: Zappa/Bozzio/etc
Message-ID: <005301c5933b$ac2e5bc0$bf8f8351@default>

Kevin wrote:

Again, I don't want to take anything away from Terry Bozzio's wizardry, but
I prefer the main drum track originally there on tracks like "Who Needs the
Peace Corps",

Chad Wackerman and Arthur Barrow were the respective drummer and bassist on
the re-recorded "we're only in it for the money" and "Ruben and the Jets."
Bozzio was never utilised as a drummer for the re-recordings, which is a
pity as he's a much more exciting drummer than Wackerman...

Don't know who mentioned, but I would fully agree that Bozzio is one of the
best drummers of all time. He's not a madman always either, some of his
playing is beautifully understated- have a listen to "The Torture Never
Stops" off Zoot Allures...



Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 22:17:17 +0200
From: "don device" <>
Subject: Mooron with s'more on "More on Oompas"
Message-ID: <002701c593b1$5a30a8c0$a43e4251@computer>

" 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."

ummmm..... like, yeah!


don device


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 22:55:35 +0200
From: "don device" <>
Subject: Zapped
Message-ID: <002b01c593b6$b3e7a1c0$a43e4251@computer>


I have a confession to make, honestly... I know I shouldn't feel this way
and I have odten admonished friends for disliking artists for their
political idaes and/or public behaviour, rather than on the art they
produce... and ne'er the twain shall mix, sayeth(ed) I, yet...

Despite my defense of de Sade, Chevallier, Wagner (questionable if he needed
my help),  Nietsche  (ditto) and Celine (a better writer would be difficult
to find, his world view, however...)... and yet...

My view of Zappa has been irretrievably changed by the following story (and
it's one of the reasons i resist meeting idols of mine... it always  goes
pear-shaped darned quickly)

A friend of mine, a HUGE zappa fan, ran a used record store in Canyon
Country, CA, just north of L.A.... One day I went grage-saling with him,
diggin endlessly trhu piles of records when he uncovered a piece of acetate
(the modern pirate's version of 'pieces o' eight', har-har!)... His face
went whote...

"Do you know what this is?' he asked, handing it to me, ginger(baker)ly...

"An acetate recording?" I answered, with my usula aplomb (as in: stuck in
his finger and pulled it out...)

He looked upon mle with disdain, as only that very morning had he read me
part of an interview with Mr Z in which he bemoaned the loss of his first
recording (I believe, w/ the Mothers, but may be wrong)... He called it the
"greatest regret of his life," whilst, it must be said, never regretting

I said, "My friend, you've hi the jackpot! That must be worth a ton of

He said, "Oh no.. I could never do that. He's been my idol ever since I
picked up a guitar... I have the opportunity to make my idol happy... After
all the hours pf ha^^iness he's given me... I'm going to send it to him with
a 'Thank-You' note.3

I said, you're crazy! But he did it any way...

Less than a week later, he recieved a letter by registered mail... Fom Frank
Zappa!.....'S LAWYERS!!! Warning him that if he's made any copy to give it
up now because they were prepared to prosecute to the fullest any
unauthorized copies. As for his request for an autographed picture, he was
informed that any exchange on Mr Zappa's part could be construed as a
exchange permitting my friend to reproduce the acetate, therefore, no dice!

He wrote a letter explaining that there was no problem, he was just a fan,
etc... Twi weeks later, 3 gentle(?) men showed up, in my presence, asking to
search the shop in Mr Zappa's name... My pal said OK, untilm they started
tearing Picture Discs (he collected them) of MR Z's off the wall, a&nd even
openin used duscs wuith razir knives.. When we showed them the door they
offered us a photocopy of the initial letter and informed us that our 'lack
of cooperation would be noted.' Like they were the FBI or something...

I must admit that ever since then, Frank's stands for personal liberty and
against the government have fallen a bit on deaf ears. At least the Edge had
the good grace to consede soime kind of mistake to Negativeland when finally
trapped into a interview in 'Wired', while at the same time hiding behind
attorneys "Hey we're a big rock band, we don't know everything that's done
in our name...' Yeah, right. Like that mkaes it right...

FZ was considerably smaller an attraction (popularly) than U2... He's dead,
so unable to defend himself adn both Dweeezil and Moon said as much when I
brought it up to them...

FZ: Great artist (from what I hear), hell od a guy....


ps: XTC connection... From reading Chalkhills and Children, as well as many
interviews and the French book, I fear that our own Andy might be capable of
the same 'assume the worst, attack first' philosophy... It would be quite
understandable in light of the crap he's had to deal with with dishonest
Rcord compaies, maangers and who knows what all else... If so, I don't wan't
to know. I'd hate to have my heart broken like my friend's. FZ I never gave
a toss for (except perhaps, 'In it for the Money', original version,
natch!), but A.P. and C.M. have often given me the courage to go on, through
divorce, death, failure, etc...

You know, my father was the principle of my HIgh School, and he saw so may
bad kids that he's come home and look at us and we'd get punished for the
slightest thing that reminded him of what some other kid had done... ' All
Thugs in our House', I guess...
So I can see the road from here to there..but I hope they're bigger men
than myself (spiritualy at least! Beer is making my waistline give Andy's a
good run for it.. You don't suppose he's got that idea copyrighted, d'yz?)


Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 08:15:03 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: The Nomenclature Of Nonesuch / End Of The Pier Of The Album
Message-ID: <BAY18-F2DB24C5234DED8E01070AD0CF0@phx.gbl>

>From Darryl W. Bullock,

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

>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. ;)

In an interview around the time of the record's release, Andy basically
described the process of naming the album.  I don't know how much truth
there actually is in what he says, or if it just made good press, but I
particularly noted it as an instance of 'an author's true intentions being
revealed through error', (something I'm a big believer in).

Supposedly he found the drawing of Nonesuch palace and thought it would make
a great album cover, born out of the concept of what he thought nonesuch
meant:  "non-existent".  The idea that this grand thing of beauty had been
built by serf labour, (harkening back to the theme of 'Towers of London'),
and now there was no trace of it's existence (foreshadowing the 'Everything
Decays' theme of 'The Wheel And The Maypole').  In typically
self-deprecating fashion he thought it pretty much summed up how XTC itself
was perceived in England at the time.  Only after the name and artwork being
finalised did he discover the real meaning of 'nonesuch':  a person or thing
without equal.  He thought the press would latch onto this and think they
were being dreadfully boastful, (he obviously has a higher opinion of the
intelligence of the english music press than I do), but went with it anyway.

Whilst it sounds like Andy knocking himself down a peg, I tend to believe
his version of events due to the previous album. In 'Chalkhills and
Children' he's analysing his various forms of dream-state transportation:

- There's 'no balloon' supporting him in the first verse even though he's
floating; suggests he doesn't know how he's being kept afloat.

- The third verse says he's 'a reluctant cannonball, it seems', suggesting
he supposes he's been shot out of a cannon, though he's not entirely sure.

- The second verse speaks of being held aloft by 'some nonesuch net' as he
skates over thin ice.  Thematically tying in with the other two verses, it's
obvious he thinks he's speaking of a 'non-existent' net, (he can't see it
but supposes it's there), not a net 'without equal'.

It's a beautiful resigned sigh of a song about the realities of life, family
and home being the important things in life, and a mature acceptance that
maybe being an underappreciated artist is all he is destined to be.  I was
worried at the time it might have been the last XTC song ever, (especially
with the long silence that followed).

Check out 'Future Generation' on the final Auteurs for a similar theme,
(another gentle kiss-off to the recording industry, though in typical Luke
Haines fashion he boastfully imagines his music won't be considered
important until rediscovered by kids 20 years from now).

Anyway, if Andy wants to boast, he'll get no arguement from me.

Listening to Fuzzy Warbles, does it strike anyone else as odd that the
logical choice to end the 'Nonsuch' album would have been the glorious 'End
Of The Pier', since we were already at the sea-side in the preceding song,
'Bungalow'?  It would have made a great 'Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane'
combo. (I can almost imagine the view from the window including a pier off
in the distance).

A Songwriter's Journal


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-39

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