Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-17

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 17

                  Tuesday, 17 April 2007


                   The Record Producers
                Re: Songlines on XM Radio
                Dancing About Architecture
                       Band Madness
                      Elephant Blog
                   Monstrance smackdown
      "Season Cycle" is the MySpace song of the week
                       Dear *Boing*


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Dream your Fu Manchu and she's a slave to your tongs.


Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 17:48:11 +0100
From: "Dean Skilton" <>
Subject: The Record Producers
Message-ID: <003801c77b90$071da980$0100a8c0@mallard>

The recent (9th April) edition of "The Record Producers" on BBC Radio 2
featured Hugh Padgham, with an extensive middle section on XTC. There are
quotes from Andy, and an excellent segment where the original 24-track of
"Senses Working Overtime" is pared down to just the bass & drums. The
programme is available for a week to listen to online at Scroll down the list of
shows to find "The Record Producers".



Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 05:34:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: jose artecona <>
Subject: Re: Songlines on XM Radio
Message-ID: <>

Hey there 'hillers,

This may have already been mentioned, but I have been
skipping a lot of the recent mudslinging.

XM radio has been airing a 3 hour interview with Andy
about FW.  They go through many of the tunes and he
chats about them (eg-Wonder Annual being about female
masturbation).  I heard it on channel 50 (The Loft)
but these shows are usually played on a number of
their channels.  The show is called Songlines.

Take care,



Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 20:24:44 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Subject: Dancing About Architecture
Message-ID: <>

On Apr 10, 2007, at 10:12 PM, Ryan Anthony wrote:

> Here's an idea: Let's talk about music. Can we observe
> one and only one rule?: There is no "right" or "wrong"
> to questions of musical taste.

All right, I'll bite. This is a question that has interested me for

I respectfully disagree.

I think there is such a thing as good music and bad music, and that
these values exist outside my subjectivity. I believe that the more
you know about the technical aspects of music, the more likely you
are to possess the language to express criticism -- that is, describe
exactly *why* a piece of music is good or bad. Quite a few -- indeed,
probably all -- "my-band-rocks-your-band-sucks" arguments arise from
pure inarticulacy and nothing more.

Many (but of course not all) qualities by which we judge music have a
certain measure of objectivity. These include, but are not limited
to, originality, compositional excellence, and skill in execution.
(Go ahead; try it: Think of a piece of music you love, and one you
hate. I bet the one you love succeeds on some combination of these
criteria, and the one you hate fails.)

To apply an extreme example, if you regard with unironic admiration
the self-deluded goobers that they trot out for laffs in the early
stages of American Idol, you are exhibiting an inability to
discriminate good music from bad. (As the father of a 14-year-old
girl who loves some of the awfulest, most cynically exploitative
Disney teenybopper garbage, and who utterly refuses to listen to
anything else with any sympathy, I know from what I'm talking about.
My own flesh and blood, for all love!)

Now, you will answer me back, Must I like all music that is original,
skillfully composed, and played well? Must I dislike all music that
is unoriginal, cliched, or incompetently performed?

Of course not! Chopin, to grab an example out of the air, does
nothing for me. And I love the Shaggs. I freely grant that there is a
highly emotional (that is, subjective) component to one's admiration
or disregard for a particular music: William Hung *rocked*! But not
because he was a good singer by any empirical measurement. We judge
music by many criteria that have nothing to do with music -- such as
the artist's attractiveness, political stance, sense of humor, and so
forth. I'd urge everyone to try to strip away those nonmusical
criteria before getting into arguments about taste. Most of the
arguments will stop exactly at that point at which you decide what
you're *really* arguing about.

Here's the crux of the biscuit: Because I've made a lifelong study of
it (a casual one, to be sure), I know enough about music to recognize
the qualities in Chopin's music that make *others* regard his works
highly. We can't argue about Chopin's lack of emotional appeal to me
personally, but we can judge such quantifiable things as
compositional excellence, his place in musical history, and the skill
it takes to perform his music well -- *if we have in common the
language to express it.* Otherwise, it's "Chopin sucks/No he doesn't."

It would be very wrong of me to say "If you like Chopin, you've got
bad taste." That's a pointless subjective judgment. But it would be
equally wrong to, say, give a good review of an incompetent
performance of a Nocturne because the pianist has a nice ass.

("Anna Maria de la Callipygia's performance of Etude op.10 in C Major
at Alice Tully Hall was only slightly marred by the performer's
audible breaking of wind, the omission of three entire pages of music
(accompanied by a 45-second pause to "find [her] place again") and
her incessant singing along at the top of her voice in what appeared
to be adenoidal Medieval French. But great googly-moogly, the
*caboose* on that honey! Hommina-hommina-hommina A-WOOOOO!")

I loathe the often-cited maxim "Writing about music is like dancing
about architecture." It is absolute fucking balderdash -- and a
cowardly surrender. With the proper vocabulary, a great deal of
careful thought, and a refusal to resort to distracting metaphor,
music can be described and criticized accurately and well.

>  I've got little use for Jello's
> politics and not much more for Andy's, but I respected
> them and their bands more than a quarter of a century
> ago, and I still do.

What's this? Tourette's? In these august walls?

You know, for a cat who's chided this list repeatedly in the past for
dredging up politics, you sure do manage to get your digs in. What's
good for the goose, Ryan...

Harrison "Just sayin'" Sherwood


Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 19:08:33 -0700
From: Jemiah Jefferson <>
Subject: Band Madness
Message-ID: <>

> From: Ryan Anthony <>
> Subject: More posts and fewer insults
> I suppose it's time to delurk -- Chalkhills is in need
> of more posts and fewer insults aimed at fellow
> posters. Here's an idea: Let's talk about music. Can we observe
> one and only one rule?: There is no "right" or "wrong"
> to questions of musical taste.
> <snip>
> Tough seed this year. If "Band Madness" resumes in
> '08, maybe we'll be treated to a first-round laugher
> with a tomato can like A Flock Of Seagulls.

Hey now, there, some of us out here like A Flock Of Seagulls! Of
course XTC would have my vote against them, but the Seagulls'
amazingly crisp guitar sound is one of my signposts of quality and it
thrills me to hear its influence in the music of my favorite pastiche
group VHS or Beta? (my vote for worst band name for a band I love).
AFOS's sound is like the musical equivalent of the smell of a freshly
cut lime. Their self-titled debut is one of the vinyl albums that I
own that I can now listen to in no other format (Mummer is another
one); there's something so massive and majestic about it that hasn't
diminished, no matter how many haircut jokes I have to put up with
about them...

That said, I'm glad that I was turned on to Band Madness - it is
great entertainment for slacking off at work for five minutes. (I
wonder who won between Elton John and the Dave Matthews Band? Elton
was in the lead by a thread last I checked, but things can change so,
so quickly...)

-Jemiah, the perennially disgruntled


Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 06:17:35 -0500
From: "jxnsmom" <>
Subject: Elephant Blog
Message-ID: <000001c77df4$7a8c0f40$0200a8c0@NICKELFAMILY>

Some of you might be interested in checking out Adrian Belew's blog here:

He's posted some great stories about working with King Crimson, Talking
Heads, and Laurie Anderson, photos of his artwork and gear, and updates on
current and future musical projects.

XTC Content: My three sons (8, 4, and 4) have developed a passion for
"Greenman." After years of kid-oriented tunes in the family vehicle, this is
a welcome change.



Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 21:04:12 -0400
From: "Fred Weaver" <>
Subject: Monstrance smackdown
Message-ID: <>

Didn't mean to make a personal attack on Ben Gott about his review of
Monstrance, but looking back on what I posted -- it did some off as such.
For that my bottle of Bushmills and  I apologize.
Now that the orange and blue have been out for a bit; other reviews are
starting to trickle out , and most of them are very positive...
I think the project came out  great; Hell, Andy Gill gave it 5 Stars...

OK, back to the gentleman's Chalkhills discussion .

I won't fire off another blast......

unless Ben slags off the new XTC disc when it comes out.


Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2007 19:10:41 -0400
From: "mark kirk" <>
Subject: monstrance
Message-ID: <000701c77fb3$49c29170$6401a8c0@yourd137mzmhow>

I recieved it last Tueday (Orange and Blue versions) and had the chance for
my first listen on Friday morning after work... and it's become the
soundtrack of my weekend.

Benjamin, Benji, Ben, Buh <----- tip of the hat to The Kids in the Hall
------ what were you thinking when you wrote that review for
Yeah, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion and all that - but,
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I'm no serial killer (not yet anyway) and I find it
an amazing piece of work... I'm left stunned to think this is two discs
wotrh of totally improvised music. Am I alone? Somehow I don't think so...

Give it another spin with an open mind... don't write it off like that. I
think you'll be pleasently surprised at how good Monstrance really is.



Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2007 18:42:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: "Season Cycle" is the MySpace song of the week
Message-ID: <>


Over at the XTCfans MySpace site (, the
song of the week is "Season Cycle."

If you want to know what Utopia Sound Studios are *really* like, and
what Andy's favorite part of the whole song is, check out the XTCfans
blog site at

Everybody says join our religion get to Heaven
I say, No thanks -- why bless my soul, I'm already there!



Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 23:33:57 +0000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: Dear *Boing*
Message-ID: <BAY128-F288FE5DB68F3E9CD7DAE28D0520@phx.gbl>

Recently, I've been spending a lot of time waiting around for appointments,
and, as such, have heard more current radio playlisting than I've heard for

Aside from the shock at realizing they're actually still playing a song like in the year 2007, I keep hearing
a song with the repeated hook that it's a "*beep* damn arm's race".

Initially, I thought the worst, since I'm in a country that seemed to have
no problems with Christina Amphlett singing "Please don't ask me how I've
been getting off" in 1985, or Deborah Conway singing of `penis envy' and
pubes on her pillow in 1987.  The song they played immediately before it the
last time I heard it was Sir Mixalot's `Baby Got Back', and they're rapping
about anal sex!  What on *earth* could be so bad about that other song that
they had to censor it?

My best guess was that it was `Sexy MF', but when I ran into a mate last
night, and mentioned the song in passing, he pulled out a Triple J Hot 100
CD and played the song in question.

The *beep* is bleeping out `God'.

I was stunned.  `God'?  They censored `God'?  Even if it's because it's
`Goddamn', it's still a tame swear word.  I mean, (to quote Eric Idle), it's
not like it's *beep*, or *boing*, or *blaaargh*.

How embarrassing for the band, to hold their head up in nu-metal circles:

"Yeah, our single was censored!"

"Keepin' it real, homie!  Too politically volatile?  Language too

"We said `goddamn'."

(Sound of stifled laughter)

I imagine all the other bands point and laugh at them behind their backs,
and they're never invited to all the cool parties.

Of course, the main thing that popped into my mind was, when they now play
`Dear God' on the radio, is it `Dear *Beeeeep*'?


End of Chalkhills Digest #13-17

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