Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-43

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 43

                 Thursday, 11 August 2005


                   Re: Jammin' wif Andy
                      Melt The Goons
                   nits for the picking
              Bad apples affecting the pure
                  Hair-splitting Update
                    Brian Wilson show
                XTC *live* across the web!
                       Dead Horse.
                     Andy P Interview


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Hey it's Alan Burston tonight!


Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 03:13:24 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <>
Subject: Somesuch
Message-ID: <>

Hi there

Firstly, I have recently been following with some zeal, the erudite
comments about the songwriting process, from the freshly-emergent
Simon Knight of this parish.  Good stuff. Simon's personal
blog/journal contains some excellent examples of these.  Whatever
else, I've always admired and respected - and indeed, enjoyed - his
essays on this subject.  Which brings me to a recommendation for a new

"Songwriters Speak", by Debbie Kruger.  She interviews various
songriters about the genesis of their best-known songs (there is also
a companion CD with audio samples of her conversations).  I suppose
it's a bit like "Song Stories" or "Revolution In The Head".  Being an
Australian tome (and it *is* just that - like a bloody door-stop!), it
is by its nature Aussie-centric.  But I know that quite a few
subscribers to this list enjoy the work of such as the Finn Brothers
and Paul Kelly, just two (three?) of many respected song-crafters
featured in the book.  A search of might yield you a

Secondly, there's been this chucklesome to-ing & fro-ing lately:

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.

That's interesting.   Not to take anything away from that, I recall
seeing an interview that Andy did on MTV - back in the early 90s - in
which he pointed out that the castle on the cover of the Nonsuch album
bleonged to King Henry VIII, and was indeed called Nonsuch.  So...

How many "indeeds" did this posting include?  What's another word for



Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 22:27:41 -0500
From: Chris Derfler <>
Subject: Re: Jammin' wif Andy
Message-ID: <>

Wow... having read Del's note about jamming with Andy I'm thinking how
right my intuitions were, just slightly off on timing and location.

My wife and I made our European vacation-ending pilgrimage to Swindon,
arriving on Monday July 25th without a clue, just following the Town
Centre signs and landing at the Holiday Inn EXPRESS on Fleet in the old
part of town. (Sadly I left the helpful suggestions from a couple
Chalksters at home.) So we checked in and then went down to Edwards to
eat, drink and inquire about the fabulous ones. Even more sadly we
asked no fewer than 7 young people, including a clerk at HVM where I
bought the only XTC CD in the bin (Fossil Fuel), and none of them knew
of the band. The next day Fletcher of Fletcher's said that it's simply
XTC was/is much more popular in the US and Canada, but I'm still
So we walked over to STEAM and then drove to Uffington and then after
dinner (at a place called Savoy, a block or so up from the weird
eyeball clock) I heard live music and pulled my ever patient wife into
a pub. (It probably wasn't the Roaring Donkey but I like to think it
was.) And at their simple open mike night I heard a very talented trio
do three songs and all we could think was wouldn't it be cool if all of
a sudden Andy and/or Colin asked to sit in. Alas, we missed that
opportunity it seems by only 5 days. The next day I was trying to
navigate rainy morning rush hour traffic to Heathrow from the wrong
side of the car on the other side of the road shifting with the
sinister hand, and all of a sudden we were 6 hours and 3500 miles away
from the Chalkhills.
As Fletcher said the day before, Swindon isn't very pretty, but the
people are very nice. We had a short but great time there, it capped
off 28 days all over Britain and the Continent, and I only hope the
Meeting/Festival in September exposes some of the locals to the
treasures that came from right under their feet.

As for the discussion of the politics etc. in the XTC library, I think
we're all pretty aware of the power in the poetry. Across the board,
from the simple to the sublime, from the pastoral to the industrial XTC
nails the essence of   everything from love to war to everyday life
again and again with spectacular, moving imagery and pure melody,
harmony and rhythm.

My wife and I have one thing engraved in our wedding bands: Stupidly
Happy. That's how the music from Swindon makes us feel.

Chris and Iris Derfler


Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 15:17:56 +0100 (BST)
From: Dom Lawson <>
Subject: Melt The Goons
Message-ID: <>

Hello, hello...good to be back.

Aaron Pastula writes:

>>Seriously, I answered that question when my XTC
>>tribute band did a *kick-ass* version of "Melt the
>>Guns" that was passionately sung (and has always
>>been loved) by yours truly, a card-carrying member
>>of the NRA and someone who thinks Andy has it all
>>wrong when it comes to gun culture in the USA.

But WHY does he write that? Seriously, I need to know,
because wading through this tar-thick irony is hard
work and my waders are beginning to fill up with bile
and liquid machismo.
Is it because, like most grown men who have a thing
about firearms, Aaron has minuscule, deformed
genitalia? I doubt it. He likes XTC, which is more or
less a confirmation of enormous virility (right,
Todd?) so the old bell-end must be working.
Could it be, perhaps, that like most weapon-waving
buffoons Mr. Pastula fails to see the connection
between lots of people owning guns and lots of people
being shot (accidentally or otherwise)? No, surely
not. You'd have to be thicker than pigshit and blind
as a bat to miss that nugget of cause-and-effect
And I'm sure Mr. P (NRA division) hasn't really
completely misunderstood his own constitutional right
to be a violent, oppressive, pistol-packing
slave-whore to the fascist, corporate right in
America-again, that CD collection full of beautiful
XTC records would seem to discount that potential
faux-pas-Christ, I'm at a loss, people.
Is shooting fun? Well, duh, I guess it is when you're
five years old, running around, rolling over imaginary
car bonnets and shouting `peeeeoowwww!' at your
friends and pretending to be David Soul (or the modern
equivalent...aahhh, sweet childhood!). But for adults?
Maybe so, maybe so-some kind of knuckleheaded
catharsis or, like, whatever. Dude.
And I guess, like that erudite bear-fucker Ted Nugent,
you could make a reasonable argument for being a gun
freak if you regularly find yourself staring down the
barrel of a highly edible Kodiak or Grizzly-but
really, Aaron, what's your point about gun culture in
the USA? Sentient beings all over the planet have
looked at the evidence, noted that you guys in America
have a serious problem, laughed bitterly at the tragic
"if one o' dem dirty low-life junkies comes at me wid
a piece then it's him or me" chest-beating, no-nuts,
hate-the-poor-and-anyone-who-isn't-white lobby's
desperate attempts to justify their love of polishing
their killing utensils on a daily basis and, after
mulling it all over for about two seconds, thought
with utter conviction: "No guns for us, thanks! Those
things are frickin' dangerous!".
Yeah, yeah-guns don't kill people, people kill
people-yeah, that's just peeechy, but those
aforementioned people use guns, don't they? At least
some of the time. You can't repair someone's shattered
and shredded face with a witty bumper sticker slogan.
Or even a non-witty,
one. But you CAN, given the talent, write a great song
about how horrific the whole slavering,
me-man-must-shoot-stuff culture is and then hope, to
the very marrow of your brittle human bones, that
people won't think you're dim enough to misunderstand
what the whole sorry business is about. Poor old Mr. P
(Swindon division)-I bet he'd choke on that
passionately-sung cover version like a lump of
recently-slain-kiddy gristle.

Right. Now I'm off to watch `Kill Bill' and have a
strenuous wank.



NP: Immolation 'Harnessing Ruin'


Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 16:27:38 +0200
From: "don device" <>
Subject: nits for the picking
Message-ID: <000a01c59db7$a915ee90$a43e4251@computer>


I'm not sue I'd define 'Axis Mundi' as a strictly or even mostly theological
term. Often alchemical, perhaps... Within the context of the song, I believe
Andy's using it as an emotional metaphore, though I'm quite sure you're
right in thinking our friend picked it up from some medieval dictionary or

Pedantically yours,


Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 07:29:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Bad apples affecting the pure
Message-ID: <>


In responding to Simon Knight, Aaron Pastula opined:
> Well, why on earth do we have opinions and preferences, if not because we
> think there is a better, more preferable way of thinking or doing things?
> At its core, this statemement makes no sense -- you will only respect my
> opinions on condition that I admit that my outlook on the world really is
> no better than yours; therefore, my opinions and convictions are
> automatically inferior to yours, in your eyes, because you will simply
> discount them unless I admit that they really have no intristic value that
> makes them more preferable to *your* worldview (and I would never do that,
> because if I did, then what would be the point of choosing them as my
> beliefs and convictions?).

Oops, big logic gap there, Aaron! Your "therefore" doesn't work. Why does
acknowledging that opinions are equal ("no better than yours")
"automatically" mean one is inferior to the other? I don't quite get the
leap of faith there.  (And I am talking about opinions that simply involve
beliefs and faith, btw ...  when facts come on to the scene, then it's
perfectly possible for one opinion to be more valid than another. For
example, my opinion that natural selection is the force behind the way that
all life on this planet evolved is backed by literally millions of pieces of
scientific data, while an opinion -- held, say, by the current
U.S. president -- that "intelligent design" is a theory that should be given
equal status to the theory of evolution is just plain wrong.  The first is
backed by an overwhelming amount of cold, hard, peer-reviewed facts; the
second is simply a matter of faulty logic, buttressed by plenty of personal

But when you're talking about beliefs, it's perfectly possible to have (and
hold) an opinion, and to acknowledge the validity of others' opinions as
working for them, for their contexts, etc. The point is, you believe in what
works for *you*. I personally believe that Polish potato vodka right out of
the freezer with a lemon twist is the closest thing to ambrosia on this
Earth; but I don't force this belief on others. That way, they can find
pleasure however they want ("just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they
ask you"), and there's more vodka for me.

Religion works like this, too. Unless you're an extremist.

> Seriously, I answered that question when my XTC tribute band did a
> *kick-ass* version of "Melt the Guns" that was passionately sung (and has
> always been loved) by yours truly, a card-carrying member of the NRA and
> someone who thinks Andy has it all wrong when it comes to gun culture in
> the USA.

How could you "passionately" sing that song if you don't believe in the
lyrics?  Do you give a disclaimer before the song or something?

Jim Smart said:
> I love the way Green Day's "American Idiot" is the perfect use of punk
> pop anger. Something to shout about! Something to be angry about! I
> love it, but so does my right winger friend. So maybe he's your
> example of someone liking something he doesn't agree with.

Or maybe he just doesn't get it? There seems to be a lot of that going
around in the black-and-white world nowadays...


"A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead."
   Leo Rosten, author (1908-1997)


Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 16:37:14 +0200
From: "don device" <>
Subject: Hair-splitting Update
Message-ID: <001101c59db9$00c5a2b0$a43e4251@computer>

Oh yeah,

Sorry, I almost forgot: "Axis Mundi" simply means the axis of the world, the
point at which it turns. It is still the correct latin term. It has often
been used to refer to the 'belly-button' of the world, meaning, for example,
a person who thinks they are (or is thought to be) the absolute mostest.
Before (and unfortunately during, and for quite a long time after) Galileo,
it meant the center of the entire universe, world being the same thing as
universe at the time (if you didn't want to chat with the Holy Inquisition,

The whole song's a    bout spinning, anyways, so I'm fairly certain this is
the intended interpretation.

It may be just me, but I always felt a little pun was implied by M.
Partridge as in 'knocked me off my axis, Monday...", but I'm far from

spun out,


Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 00:12:56 -0400
From: "J. D. Mack" <>
Subject: Brian Wilson show
Message-ID: <>

Tonight, I went to see Brian Wilson's show near Washington, DC.  Before the
show, there was an assortment of music playing over the P.A.  It really
made me *SMiLE* when the song "Pale and Precious" came on!  After the show,
I asked the soundman who chose the pre-show music.  I was really hoping he
was going to say Brian, but the pre-show tape was assembled by band member
Darian Sahanaja.  Still cool, none the less!

J. D.


Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 08:16:58 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <>
Subject: XTC *live* across the web!
Message-ID: <>

Every Thursday afternoon, the program director of Australia's
Triple-J-FM, Richard Kingsmill, presents a track derived from their
vast archive of live recordings.

Today he played "Generals & Majors", recorded in Sydney on Sunday, 7th
September 1980 (Black Sea tour).  I just happened to be in the
audience for that show - front row seats!

Kingsmill was explaining Andy's stagefright - there was speculation
about how AP took to wearing, erm, "incontinence knickers" on

Anyway, after playing that one number, Kingsmill also suggested that
the full XTC concert recording is a prime contender for the Jays'
forthcoming live concerts weekend marathon.  The details are:  - you can get a real-time streaming feed from
the site.

"Triple-J's Impossible Music Festival".  To be held from Friday night
26th August, non-stop until late Sunday evening 28th August.  This is
Australian Eastern Standard Time, so for overseas listeners, you'll
have to work out the time conversion differential for where you

If you click on the site-link for "Impossible Music Festival", you
will find a large list of concerts by a wide variety of artists,
including the XTC one.  You can vote for up to ten different artists
for inclusion in the festival.  Check it out and cast your vote if you

Should you miss out on it, fear ye not, the complete XTC show was
recently captured (and beautifully mastered) by our on-the-ball
Chalkfriend, Jon Rosenberger (aka The Mole).  He has a copy, and he
made one for me too (with my souvenir ticket-stub as the CD cover).
Perhaps a suitable trade arrangement could be intered into between
either of us and any interested parties.

But I urge you to investigate this rare and throroughly dynamic XTC
performance by following the instructions provided here...

Yours - Paul-of-Oz


Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 01:18:58 -0700
From: "Pastula Aaron" <>
Subject: Dead Horse.
Message-ID: <BAY24-F826D5F890317612BA5E0CA2BD0@phx.gbl>

Simon says:

>I was intentionally lumping you in with Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter et al,
>the banner of right wing extremity, seeing you as one faceless group, with
>the actions of a few within that group speaking for all of you.

See, that's funny, because I was hoping that my comment about "right-wing
savages" would be taken somewhat lightheartedly (I mean, it was *obviously*
delivered in jest, wasn't it?), and that upon reading it you might instead
think, "hey, maybe they're not all 'one faceless group;' maybe some of them
are different...hell, maybe some of them are even XTC fans with whom I might
have common ground!"

Alas, it seems you took the ball and ran in the opposite direction of what I
had intended.

To use your words, I was hoping to "humanize" the other side of the
political spectrum for those of you who seem to get all worked up because
some radio producer used a bit of a pop song as bumper music in a way didn't
gel with your opinion of how the tune should or should not be interpreted --
I mean, wasn't it one of Andy's "non-political" tunes anyway?  It wasn't
even *capable* of being a statement of any kind!  Instead, you decided to
take it personally and, in turn, "dehumanize" me, as if the conversation had
somehow started with -- or was ultimately even relevant to -- debates over
class structure and our lots in life.

>The simple act of creating Songs, Novels, and Art
>can be our Voice, since we don't want to resort to guns, bombs and violence
>to get our point across...

I don't think any rational person *wants* to resort to those things.  I
certainly don't know anyone who does.

But, look -- I'm not trying to pick fights; just pointing out what I find to
be an interesting aspect of "open-mindedness" in today's rhetorical climate.
  Let me tell you, Simon, you want to talk about feeling powerless, try
being a level-headed republican in San about being behind
enemy lines...!

Anyway, I'm calling the horse dead from my end.  Hope my comments aren't
seen as inflammatory or anything of the sort; apologies to they who see them
as such.  I just like the debate, that's all.  Someday, I promise to post
something truly relevant about XTC again.  Like when they get off their
hides and make us a new album...hint hint...

Trying to get back to sleep now,



Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 11:05:19 -0500
From: "James Lowe" <>
Subject: Andy P Interview
Message-ID: <BAY104-DAV485807B2EDEFDB3E2F7A6BEBD0@phx.gbl>

Chalkholders: this in from Alan Haber, WEBR FM Fairfax, VA

    Hello, all.

    I wanted to let you know that the first three segments of my
    career-spanning interview with XTC's Andy Partridge are now playing on
    my buhdge pop culture web site.

    The first three segments present Andy waxing poetic about the Apple
    Venus albums; his record company, Ape; working with other artists; the
    Fuzzy Warbles series of discs featuring demos, orphaned songs and the
    like; the Dukes of Stratosphear; and the future of XTC. Subsequent
    segments will be posted to the audio buhdge section of buhdge in the
    coming weeks.


    Alan (new site for my Pure Pop radio 
    show, coming soon)

This XTC service announcement has been brought to you by:

Jamie Lowe
Purveyor of the Worlds Finest XTC Bumper Stickers<>

If you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, you
don't need advice. - Anonymous


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-43

Go back to the previous page.