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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-14

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 14

                 Wednesday, 28 March 2007


Time is running out ... XTC is losing! Please get this message out on Chalkh
                      Monstrous Rot
               Thanks Ben, everyone share!
        The Disappearing Moulding/An Announcement.
                Monstrance *is* a Monster
              Obnoxious Monstrance "review"


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(Oh!  Look what is this creature down in that hole?)


Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 22:17:40 -0400
From: "Frey,Ned" <>
Subject: Time is running out ... XTC is losing! Please get this message out
Message-ID: <>

on Chalkhills ...
XTC is losing badly to The Dead Kennedys in the first round of the "Band
Madness" tournament at

There's only a few days left for folks to vote for XTC and avoid an
embarrassing first-round loss. Please post a message on chalkhills
telling XTC fans to get over to that site and vote. XTC is in bracket D.
(I'd post something in Chalkhills, but I'm not subscribed to the list
any more.)

And yes, the whole concept is silly, but strangely fascinating at the
same time. Check out the huge image under the "Bracket" tab, which shows
all the bands and their seedings ... it's a wonder to behold.


Ned Frey
Senior Writer


Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 08:16:47 +0000 (GMT)
From: Dom Lawson <>
Subject: Monstrous Rot
Message-ID: <>

Greetings nerds!

Mr Gott said:
I find Monstrance to be almost unlistenable.
There is none of the sweetness that characterized Through the Hill --
or, indeed, any of Partridge's other instrumental compositions.  The
first track, "I Lovely Cosmonaut," contains almost nine-and-a-half
minutes of guitar echoes and screeches.

Don't take this the wrong way, Mr. G, but your review has made me
almost psychotically interested in hearing this Monstrance
thing. Unlistenable?? Where do I sign! Sounds fantastic from your
description and much as I love AP's "sweetness", his skronk has always
been extremely appealing to my ear(s).

Mr Frey said:
As I write this, XTC is losing to The Dead Kennedies
by 16 votes to 26! (I mean, no offense to the Dead Kennedies, but they
were a punk novelty act that lasted, what a year or two? How can they
prevail over the musical legacy that is XTC?)

Firstly, it's the Dead Kennedys. Jeeeezus. Secondly, they were not a
"punk novelty act". In fact, they are widely regarded (by fans of the
genre, natch) as one of the most important punk rock bands of all
time. Lyrically brilliant - razor sharp satire, anyone? - and
musically inventive in a way that most punk bands simply weren't, the
DKs legacy is a fine thing indeed. Okay, so it's not quite on a par
with XTC's in terms of musicality or melodic power, but the Dead
Kennedys - who lasted for a lot longer than two years, you great dolt
- changed my life in a more profound way than most. Punk novelty act?
How dare you!!! Honestly, you can't get the staff...

Now I'm off to vote for Megadeth (they're up against Belle &
Sebastian, so maybe you can infer how sensible this poll really
is...let the tears flow, my brothers...)



NP: MONSTROSITY - Spiritual Apocalypse


Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 21:12:43 +1200
From: "Neil Sheppard" <>
Subject: Trust
Message-ID: <>

After Andy mentioned "LHC" the other day during one of Todd's "songs of the
week" I thought I'd mention this, which I happened upon earlier...


Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 11:03:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jackson <>
Subject: Thanks Ben, everyone share!
Message-ID: <>

Thanks for the heads up on Monstrance, from the teaser at Ape House,
it sounded like an 80s Enoesque ambient noise experiment.....but what
do I know?

While sharing your undyeing loyalty to all things Andy Partridge, I
've been thinking about emailing the list to elicit their most
disliked XTC song...mine, CROCODILE, it always reminds me of
something an 11 year old would have written....



Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 22:45:03 -0500
From: Chris Vreeland <>
Subject: The Disappearing Moulding/An Announcement.
Message-ID: <>

I've gotta say that this disappearing Colin stuff has got me uneasy.
Yes, the implications for the future of XTC have been hashed out
enough, and while that's sad, what's worse is that a musician and
writer of his stature could reach a point where it holds nothing for
him any longer. It speaks volumes about the state of the music
industry to me when all the crap heaped on one's head in 30 years of
the biz could cause him to totally lose his love for the thing he was
so obviously gifted at. In a perfect world, even if he & Andy
Partridge were sick of one another personally or professionally, his
talent would still be sought & nurtured by those whose job it is to
do such things -- but alas, it doesn't appear to be anybody's job any
more to nurture talent in the music business.

And so what if he's all written-out? Even so, I wish I could live in
a universe where I had an array of releases by *insert great band
name here* with Mr. Moulding providing his stellar talents on the
bass. I ask myself this a lot --  Why doesn't he get more studio
work? He's done a couple of tracks here and there, but with him not
touring, it seems like over the last 25 years, he'd have certainly
had the time. But apparently, he doesn't get the calls. This kind of
breaks my heart.

Still, someone somewhere must know what he's up to. He hasn't bugged
out for the Mongolian heights, has he? One must make a living, and do
royalties from Nigel keep food on his plate, or what?

Sign me saddened and mystified.

Part 2 of the post:

While Colin Moulding might not be getting much out of his musical
past, I have to say that I've been soaking it up. I've been playing
the bass at least semi-professionally since the early 80s, and my
participation in the Dukes of Simpleton tribute project has been an
inspiration to me as a player. The things I've learned about accuracy
and melody as a result of studying his parts have really caught me by
surprise. I've found myself loving the instrument anew the last
couple of years, as I glean more and more information from a true
master of the instrument. I always knew he was good, but now I'm more
convinced than ever, that as a technician, he's truly one of the
greats, right up there with Jamerson & Levin. The man simply
understands what the bass is for, better than damn near anyone who's
ever played one. Tuesday nights, practice night for me, is my big
escape valve now in a life full of travails, and it re-energizes and
recharges me, and I go away a happy, fulfilled person for my love of
this music. Thanks, Colin, I wish in my heart of hearts it was still
doing the same for you.

Part 3 of the post:

The upshot of these seemingly interminable rehearsals is, you guessed
it, a show. If you're within earshot of this post, come out & see us
do two sets of XTC live on Saturday, April 14th at Threadgill's World
Headquarters, in Austin TX. from 9 till 11 pm. We've got 5 new songs
on tap for tis show, and a new drummer, Pat Brown, formerly of the
well known (To Austinites, anyway) acts Year Zero & Joe Rockhead.
Pat's quite the thrasher, and he really leans into Terry's old parts
with a particular abandon. We're having fun with him in the band, to
say the least. Hope to see a few of you there, and don't forget to
check the audio and video on our site:

Chris Vreeland


Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 06:27:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Monstrance *is* a Monster
Message-ID: <>


Ben didn't like Monstrance (or, perhaps, just the two songs that have
been posted for download so far?) ... I beg to differ.

For what it's worth, I've had a copy of Monstrance for several weeks
now, and have been thoroughly enjoying it, as it reveals itself to me
through repeated listenings. It's groove-y and textural -- a fine
example of ensemble playing where no one feels the need to pull their
ego out of their pants and wave it around. One of the joys of
listening to this album, especially as a musician, is the obvious
listening and empathy going on among the three players.

As for the players, I'm impressed by all. Barry's palette has never
been more varied -- he moves easily from lyrical piano playing to
jagged-edge, avant-garde, "where'd the hell did he find that" sounds
of the type I've adored since I first heard musique concrete as a
lad. Just as his dissonant chords and fills provided the perfect
counterpoint to Andy's aggressive and angular guitar playing on White
Music and Go2, Barry shines on this album, always playing just what's
necessary and never failing to surprise. In some ways, he's the sonic
glue that holds the pieces together.

Martyn Barker also moves easily across a wide range of styles and
approaches -- making fine use of (as the song demands) brushes, soft
mallets, or sticks -- and playing the drum kit and assorted percussion
in a resolutely *musical* way. Most importantly, he supplies the
grooves missing from so many improv albums, which have a tendency to
descend into pointless wheedle-ee wheedle-ee wheedle-ee wanking, and
helps these songs be *songs* -- no, they're not traditional pop songs,
but they are extremely interesting and musical explorations that
develop, that *breathe*, and that ultimately reward the listener who
is willing to open themselves to the possibilities of each song, just
as the players did.

Finally, there's Mr. Partridge, who proves his pedigree as one of the
world's foremost rhythm guitarists. As I said above, there's precious
little soloing on the album, and given my high regard for Andy's lead
playing, my one complaint is that I would have loved for him to air it
out a bit -- but he's said that this was not that kind of project, and
after hearing the album, I understand and admire his restraint. He
ends up providing the rhythmic bedrock for quite a few of the songs,
making use of delay and other effects to provide quite interesting and
sometimes very beautiful melodies that build and play off each other
in an almost Gamelan fashion.

Who is the audience for this album? Well, off the top of my head, I'd
say any fans of Brian Eno, or Steve Reich, or '73-'74 King Crimson, or
... well, the list goes on. Basically, in my opinion, this album will
please anyone who's willing to open themselves to the possibilities
and opportunities provided when three world-class musicians get
together and open themselves to Music.


"What we hear is the way that we hear."
 -Robert Fripp


Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 19:18:00 -0400
From: "Fred Weaver" <>
Subject: Obnoxious Monstrance "review"
Message-ID: <>


This is my review of the inane "Monstrance," "review"  written for ( whatever the hell that is )  It
speaks for itself.

First off, the reviewer  is the same guy who posted the following
inappropriate and inaccurate entry in a recent digest:


March 3
Ben Gott writes, "In honour of the end of XTC, I have compiled an MP3 of
some of my favourite XTC endings
 . . ."

( didn't that subject line piss anyone else off ? )


Nowhere in the AV Club interview ( that he seems to have gleaned this
information from )  was it explicitly clear that this is "the end of

Anyway, aside from that, if you actually bothered to read his "review" of
Monstrance, you'd have been treated to this fine example of his prose:

"So what is the market for an album like Monstrance? Modern dance companies?
German film majors? Serial killers? Danny Elfman? It certainly isn't fans of
Andy Partridge, Barry Andrews, or Martyn Baker. It is simply too
experimental -- too jagged -- to satisfy."


I guess the ignorant and offensive statement above " speaks for itself ".

Those who can't do
Those who can't make music
review it


Be good and have fun,


End of Chalkhills Digest #13-14

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