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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-41

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 41

                  Friday, 5 August 2005


                   Andy Partridge Sings
                        Some Such
                     Re: Pop Politics
                 A World Wrapped In Grey
            Good Old King Coal rocked my soul
                    Newly crowned.....
                  Re: Your Private Book
          "Just sweet pop music?" Not really...
                   RE: Time signatures


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Two, four, and counting / Head nod in twenty.


Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 11:18:09 +0100
From: "Del" <>
Subject: Andy Partridge Sings
Message-ID: <000601c5974b$7b773b00$11428256@Del>


On Sunday evening I had the great pleasure to perform with my band Mid
Life Crisis at the "Roaring Donkey" Pub in Old Town Swindon. In the
audience for our debut gig was a certain Mr Andy Partridge.

After watching our short set Andy asked if he could perform with us and
did we know Roadrunner by Jonathan Richmond and The Modern Lovers. We
knew the song "sort off" and away we went with Andy singing and playing
my telecaster. Needless to say Andy was superb and wowed the pub with
his very modern English slant on the old 70s hit.

Before we could say thanks for making our night Andy had gone. Was this
all a dream or had it really happened. Today (Tuesday) there is  review
of our gig in the Swindon Advertiser, and yes we have witnesses to just
about the most amazing debut gig ever!

Through your pages can I say on behalf of all of Mid Life Crisis thanks
Andy you were brilliant and you made our first gig together something we
will never forget.

Del Fry and all of Mid Life Crisis.


Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 12:03:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Andrew Boyle <>
Subject: Some Such
Message-ID: <>

Hello, All.

Jason Fox wrote:

> Why does everyone have to relate everything
> by XTC to sex?

Because...doesn't everything? Eventually?

> If Andy meant Nonsuch to mean Vagina, why didn't he
just call it Vagina?

I'm not even gonna touch this. Well, THAT. But not

> Huw Davies wrote:
> XTC don't do politics that often and for the most part
> this is probably a good thing. Mixing pop and politics
> is extremely difficult to do well.

Um...who's gonna hold me back???

Angie? HB? Todd? Anybody?

Mr. Relph did back in, oh, 2000.

So, (deep breath) I'll be over here looking at picture
from the Hubble.

Maybe crank up "Here Comes President Kill Again"...




Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 18:17:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve <>
Subject: Re: Pop Politics
Message-ID: <>

> The discussion of XTC's politics and the use of their
> music by that right-wing radio host made me think that
> English Settlement is possibly XTC's most politicised
> album. There are a lot of songs with political themes
> on there: 'Ball and Chain', 'No Thugs in Our House',
> 'Melt the Guns', 'Leisure' and 'Fly on the Wall'. XTC
> don't do politics that often and for the most part
> this is probably a good thing. Mixing pop and politics
> is extremely difficult to do well.
> Huw Davies

I agree politics and pop are difficult to do well together as the art
quickly becomes activism (besides the fact that commercialism usually
won't allow it). But I disagree about XTC not being all that political.
Every XTC album has socio-political commentary and some references are
quite specific such as the "piggy in the middle" thing on Another Cuba.
 Though I must say its much easier to publicly name a specific event 20
years later. Their handling of politics is one reason why I like XTC.

these are only a few examples (I love these lyrics!):

starting with Drums and Wires:
-Real By Reel couldn't be more appropriate today (have you heard of
lyrics - read them:
-Roads Girdle the Globe - "hail mother motor, hail piston rotor, hail
-Millions - "I see you asking for Western thinking, I say its poison
you'll be drinking. Stay as East as faraway as dreams will let you be"

Each and every XTC album has similar lyrics.

I won't go on (as much I'd like to).
XTC did politics in their art and they did it well... they just tip
toed from specifying names and places.

Another Steve


Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:55:13 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: A World Wrapped In Grey
Message-ID: <BAY18-F1290C3ABEC169503B79EAFD0C50@phx.gbl>

Tongue-half-in-cheek, I wrote:

>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. <snip>

To which Jeff responded:

>I would hope that Aaron would, in a case such as this, think along the
>lines of Voltaire in, while disagreeing with Andy's point of view,
>being prepared to defend to the death his right to say it.  And that
>Andy would do the same for Aaron.  So here, yes, Andy can be pleased
>that he has earned such respect from his listeners that they are
>prepared to hear views of his that are diametrically opposed to
>theirs, yet they retain their love for Andy and his music!

Just to clarify, (and I'm not attacking you personally) - I was thinking
more along the lines of intensely personal the act of songwriting can be,
and the time and effort that goes into getting your point across and how
frustrating it must be for your message to remain unheard or misinterpreted
as `Just a pop song' or simply used for advertising.

Imagine Andy hard at work in an Orwellian B&W future searching for just the
right combination of words to match the beauty of his music, and penning the
line: "Don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey".
Surely that will make them feel *something*!  He lets this beautiful song
out into the public arena, only to see the message distorted and use that
line as a party political song perfect for propaganda broadcasts, for Big
Brother has decided `The Loveless Ones' is a perfect description of their

In less fanciful imagination, the point I was trying to get across was that
I believe that these people aren't consciously listening to `views
diametrically opposed to theirs', as you put it, (and thinking `I don't
agree with that but they're allowed to say it'), but more as being
*completely oblivious* to the message of the song as it's playing.
(Remember `Born In The USA' being used as a jingoistic political anthem by

>From The Simpsons:

Homer: "Yvan eht nioj! You gotta love that crazy chorus!"

Lisa: "What does it mean?"

Homer: "Ah, it doesn't mean anything. It's like "Rama-Lama Ding Dong" or
"Give Peace a Chance".

Whilst I'm aware of the Voltaire concept you bring up and would like to
think everyone really is that noble, the reality of the situation is
`defending your right to say it' isn't an appropriate description for the
extreme right wing media, who frequently deal in `black and white'
generalities, offer no opposing points of view, interrupt or cut-off their
guest's remarks if they can't trick them into the loaded sound bite they're
after from them, frequently resort to verbal abuse of an opponent when
losing a debate, and don't realise that if you put forward an argument you
need to back up your point of view with verifiable facts that support your

Would you as an American feel you have the right to say `I disagree
with the Iraq war' to the Laura Ingrahams of this world, and be
treated with respected for speaking your mind?  (It's far more likely
some combination of `Traitor', `Unpatriotic' and `You're
either with us or against us' would be uttered).

>I think anyone can respect and even admire another opinion, even if he
>absolutely disagrees with it.

I can respect another's beliefs and admire their convictions upon the
condition that they don't see their beliefs as having any more validity than
my own, and also that their beliefs don't give them the right to invalidate
my own human rights.  (Unfortunately, I also recognise I'm human and
therefore inherently flawed, so frequently contradict myself by word and

Anyway, I'll throw this question wide, because I'm actually very curious:

As listeners, do we seek out songwriter's with worldviews we already
unconsciously agree with, and is it part of what attracts us to the song /
band?  Can anyone name a song they love but violently disagree with the
lyrics?  Just how opposed to the song's view do we have to be to be
completely turned off by it?

Signifying nothing,
A Songwriter's Journal


Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 08:34:12 -0700
From: "Wayne Klein" <>
Subject: Good Old King Coal rocked my soul
Message-ID: <BAY108-F32BE282FF7B12D5EC2C04BF9C50@phx.gbl>

Mr. Davies chimed in:

>"Wayne Klein" wrote regarding 'I am the Walrus':

>Although it was Lennon's idea to add the bit from "Macbeth".

I'm going to delurk and be a bit pedantic here, but it
was actually a performance of "King Lear" that Lennon
added in.

You're quite right. It was "King Lear"

As to the Dukes stuff there's also elements of Vanilla Fudge and just about
every band from that era mixed in. I still think that "Vanishing Girl"
should have been on a proper XTC album (particularly after the Dukes were
"integrated" into XTC with "Oranges and Lemons").

I love Judee Sill's albums but they are an acquired taste. I think that lots
of folks at this site would probably listen to them once at most. Still, I
would recommend her two albums (even the third posthumous release is quite
good)to fans of Partridge's work.

Has (outside of the Kinks) Moulding ever stated what his major influences
are? I don't recall reading as much about his influences as Mr. Partridge's.


Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 20:54:57 +0100
From: "Steve Morton" <>
Subject: Newly crowned.....
Message-ID: <000a01c59865$396b9d80$>

Good Day Chalksters,

Just popping up to say that I have just taken delivery of my "King for a
Day" CD. I know that this is probably old news for most seasoned members of
this list, but I have to say- It's Great! 100+ MP3 tracks, some of which I
have not previously heard despite many years of XTC'dom. Some of the tracks
are brilliant, some cringemaking but all downright interesting. Terrific
entertainment value and the best sick squid's worth (Nine bucks to those of
you the other side of the pond) that I've spent in ages.

Well done to all the contributors for putting my feeble musical efforts in
the shade and to Richard for still pushing it out and my apologies for
taking 5 years to get my copy! My only excuse is that I wasn't on this list
and didn't have broadband back then. Ah, the wonders of technology.



Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 23:29:47 +0100 (BST)
From: Mark <>
Subject: Re: Your Private Book
Message-ID: <>

John Morrish <> wrote:
> 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.

Cool, makes my rather shite website @ sound like a magnet for any 18/19th
century adolescents, if only they had computers.....oh
for the time travelling Internet (copyright me)


"Well my name's Timmy, I have a really short attention span and...."

Timmy Turner


Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 23:08:41 -0700
From: "Pastula Aaron" <>
Subject: "Just sweet pop music?" Not really...
Message-ID: <BAY24-F1106C135BCB65290747A18A2C40@phx.gbl>

Simon said, of my comments:

>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.

Well, that's kind of presumptuous, don't you think?

>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?

It's statements like this that make me chuckle when people say that *I'm*
the one who's close-minded...

"These people," being me, surmise a few things:  1) That subjects like
religion and politics automatically garner differing points of view, 2) that
just because Andy's point of view might be different than mine, that it
doesn't mean that I don't "get it" or can't appreciate it, relate to it, or
even agree with it to a measurable degree, and 3) that Andy is a
*songwriter,* not a politician, theologian, diplomat or historian.  I love
his musings, but more often than not, that's simply what they are -- the
musings of a sensitive, emotional guy from a little town in England and the
view of the world from where he's sitting.  But just as I don't look to
Condi Rice for the final word on pop music, neither do I look to Andy for
the final word on foreign relations.




Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 19:16:46 -0500
Subject: RE: Time signatures
Message-ID: <BAY101-F3CD9E81564071B408B7C6B4C60@phx.gbl>


My percussionist pal Richard in San Diego sent me this joke in regards
to time signatures:  It seems a drummer was trying to impress Abdul,
the leader of a Turkish band.  Abdul pulled him aside and scolded,
"I'm sure all the flourishes are fine, but I just want a simple
back-beat on 7 and 19."  Ha!  (related:) Look at a Stravinski score.
He changes time signatures constantly and nobody who can count gets


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-41

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