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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-18


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 18

                  Friday, 20 April 2007

Topics:

                   YAZBEK Comes Alive!
                     Music? (where?)
              Greenman appeals to kids, too
             Re: More posts and fewer insults
                      Jason Falkner
          Enough to give me itchy digits all day
         the good the bad and the ugly underneath

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In a milk bar and feeling lost...

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 08:05:04 -0400
From: David Yazbek <dyaz@optonline.net>
Subject: YAZBEK Comes Alive!
Message-ID: <4BDA005A-88BA-4295-9B26-69FFE1B9397D@optonline.net>

DAVID YAZBEK
and his WARMEST REGARDS
(Dean Sharenow, Erik Dellapenna, Mike DuClos)
In a Rare Live Appearance
Playing songs from his upcoming album
May 10th, 7:30 p.m.
JOE'S PUB
425 Lafayete St.
212-967-7555
  $25
For Tix and Info go to--
http://www.joespub.com/caltool/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail&performanceID=2953

"One of the most underated singer/songwriters in the business. Yazbek
is an original." - New York Post

"a payload of witty insights and cutting observations of the sort in
which Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello used to specialize." - Boston
Sunday Herald

"The amazing bastard! He's my hero. I wish I'd written all his
songs!" - Andy Partridge of XTC

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 00:16:18 -0300
From: "Brunkhorst" <brunkhorstk@hotmail.com>
Subject: Music? (where?)
Message-ID: <BAY117-DAV1186131182A5828CF2B555B6500@phx.gbl>

<unlurk>

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.

But so few people are qualified to talk about music.  To talk about music
sort of asks that the talker know something.
Yes, I know: in Ken Burns' 'Jazz' film, Cecil Taylor said he wants his
audience to know something about the music he plays, and Branford Marsalis
says that's bullshit - that you can enjoy baseball without having to know
how to play it.  In time, even non-baseball players get an idea of what a
strike looks like.
How many listeners learn something about harmony, rhythm, pitch, melody,
timbre, or anything else?  It's not required.  Anyone can hear and enjoy.
But when people who can't tell flats from sharps insist that their opinions
(or 'taste', whatever that is) are as good as anyone's, I look for the door.
Yes, I am an elitist.  Without elitism, there is no place for excellence,
and we could all take turns flying the airplane next time we travel.
Most people, when they talk about music, are really talking about themselves
- how they hear or respond to it, what they like or don't, and how it 'makes
them feel'.
The really useful 'talking about music' would seek to get the 'talker' out
of the picture, and say something about the music that has not been revealed
to the 'listener'.

'Good' and 'bad' or 'right' and 'wrong' are dangerous labels for some
(although I have no problem with them, personally).  They suggest that there
is some sort of ideal somewhere, or some sort of order, or rules.  There are
certainly principles of tonality, harmony, voice leading, etc., etc., ad
infinitum.  Many of them are useful, and some are antiques.  They're
designed to put the third of the chord in between the root and the fifth, so
to speak.  (OK, I'm grossly oversimplifying.)  And finally, every rule
becomes more exciting when it's bent slightly, doesn't it?

Andy doesn't know much about music from a technical standpoint, but has very
good intution and ears.  Dave knows more, and keeping a handle on that used
to be part of his job.  John Lennon knew only a little about music.
McCartney knows slightly more.  George Martin knows far more, and for that,
I am grateful.

The question of whether one likes something is entirely separate from that.
Hell, I like the Shaggs, too.  And 'Trout Mask Replica', which I can't
reconcile with anything that I know about music, but still love.  And I even
owned, in the late 70's, a Supertramp record.  So goes my cred.

So my point (yes, I have one) is this: it's damn near impossible to keep
music separate from people.  Fine.  Music is best when people are involved.
But just as in sports (sacred ground for Americans), the odds of saying
something intelligent go up when one actually knows something about it.
Otherwise, try not to be fooled by the opinons of the rest.

Here's an idea: Take Ian MacDonald's 'Revolution In The Head', one of the
best books written about the Beatles' music.  (It's not about the people,
mind you.)  I want to read that level of intelligent discourse about XTC's
music.  (If you haven't read that book, you're missing a great time.)

Anyone?  Todd?  Harrison?  (I'll jump back in, when I get a moment...)

Kevin
Nova Scotia

<lurk>

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 19:53:44 -0700
From: "Wayne Klein" <wtdk123@msn.com>
Subject: Greenman appeals to kids, too
Message-ID: <BAY108-F63BB6887267A3991B1576F9500@phx.gbl>

>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.

Amy<

Amy try "Bumper Cars" next. My 8 year olds love it and so does my 14 year
old (who has loved "Greenman" from the day it blasted out of my car stereo).
Oh, and you might want to try a bit of Jellyfish with them as well. Worked
for me.

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 01:54:50 -0400
From: Kevin Hiscock <KHiscock@hidebound.com>
Subject: Re: More posts and fewer insults
Message-ID: <OF00F69421.8A72FD00-ON852572C1.001F0126-852572C1.0020BC5B@prominic.com>

> 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
> years.
>
> I respectfully disagree.

Kinda glad I was too busy to even lurk for awhile given some of what I've
been catching up on, but, yeah, I'm with Herwood on this one.  There is
music I like and don't like, and music I think is good and not so good.
Sometimes they are the same, sometimes not.  I have the "guilty pleasures"
just like everyone, but I have, I think, a pretty good idea about what a
"guilty pleasure" is.  Doesn't lessen my enjoyment, but I'm not gonna get
on a soapbox (or subscribe to a mailing list).  I'll argue till I'm blue
in the face about whether a bit of music is good, my lips are sealed about
personal enjoyment. To me, "taste" is an intersection of "I like" and "it
is good".  It's the music you WANT a stranger to know you listen to for
that tells the stranger a little about you that nothing else will.

cheers.kah

http://www.radiohidebound.com - if you liked listening to college radio in
the 80's, you might just like radio hidebound
currently spinning: Don Dixon - Renaissance Eyes

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 18:17:29 -0400
From: Benjamin Gott <bgott@rectoryschool.org>
Subject: Jason Falkner
Message-ID: <51BFD4E7-3F23-4C56-B9F9-21312A507965@rectoryschool.org>

Hi kids,

If you hated my review of "Monstrance," you'll love my review of
Jason Falkner's new album, "I'm OK...You're OK."  I say the following
asshole-esque things, which I'll excerpt for your reading pleasure:

"...the best album that Falkner has ever made...."

"There is always something surprising in every Falkner song, and this
album contains twelve tracks with dozens of places where you, the
listener, will perk up your ears and say, 'Woah!  I didn't see that
coming!  I wish I'd thought of that!'..."

"The most wonderful aspect of I'm OK...You're OK, however, is that
Falkner brings an intimacy to his songs that we simply don't hear
nowadays.  These tracks, put together, are true, real, and beautiful,
alternating between moments of pure joy and pure sadness..."

"Jason Falkner isn't trying to prove anything.  He is simply trying
to share his songs with us.  His stunning, complex, rich, and
eminently enjoyable songs..."

"I might as well save my money.  There won't be another album like
this in 2007.  Jason, you have restored my faith in music..."

Try to take *those* quotes out of context, suckers!  And try to blast
me for knowingly using sentence fragments!  And starting sentences
with "and"!  C'mon!  It's fun!

But seriously.  Even if you can't read Japanese, go to amazon.co.jp
and set up an account.  The album will come to you ASAP, and you'll
only pay the U.S. equivalent of $34, which is worth it for the bliss
that it will bring you.  Even if you hate "Monstrance."  Or love it.
Or whatever.

You can read the whole review at:

http://loquaciousmusic.blogspot.com/2007/04/blogcritics-im-okyoure-ok.html

But only if you want to.

xoxo
-Ben

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 23:56:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <hamsterranch@yahoo.com>
Subject: Enough to give me itchy digits all day
Message-ID: <886212.70728.qm@web51109.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

Life is good! To know that Harrison Sherwood and
Jemiah Jefferson have responded to my previous 'Hills
post and that they both "need answerin'," to put a
non-violent spin on the old Texas folk expression, was
enough to give me itchy digits all day.

Lady first. Jemiah, I knew that I'd irk SOMEone, no
matter which group I named as the "first-round
laugher" and "tomato can" we XTC fans -- disappointed
at the first-round loss we suffered at the strings,
sticks, brass balls, and leather tonsils of the Dead
Kennedys in this year's "Band Madness" tournament --
can only hope we face in the first round next year.

Maybe this will mollify you. To be called a
"first-round laugher" means you were good enough to
get into the tourney in the first place, and to be
called a "tomato can" (Sweet Science slang for a white
boxer who bleeds) means you were good enough to be put
up against the champ, or the highly-rated contender,
in a match people were expected to pay good money to
see.

In my original post, I also named Bow Wow Wow as the
sort of sacrificial lamb I hope XTC gets bracketed
athwart in '08. I notice nobody stood up for that
lightweight combo -- probably because its big hit, "I
Want Candy," is a transparently shameless theft of the
Bo Diddley beat that would embarrass even Col. Parker
and the clown who managed Creedence.

Anyway, Jemiah, I've been mildly annoyed at A Flock Of
Seagulls ever since 1982-'83, when rock radio was
lying near death on the marble slab and "new wave"
mainstay AFOS was supposed to save the medium ... and
didn't. Ditto Flash And The Pan three years earlier,
and the whole Grunge scene nine years later.

Notice that at least I didn't crack any haircut jokes.

As for you, Harrison, you are a Vesuvius of erudite
indignation, and it is an honor to be the target of
your eruptions and eructations. Happily for me, I'm a
bit more nimble than Herculaneum.

I never said there's no such thing as good or bad
music. Of course there is wide variance in quality in
that art form, as in all others. I'm as elitist and
judgmental (if less lettered) as you -- although I
usually refrain from venting opinions that could get
career-crippling words ending in "-ist" shot at me. I
love to seek, discover, praise, and enjoy excellence,
and the merit-despising hysteriacracy be damned.

What I did say is, to disinter the cliche, there's no
accounting for taste, and can we please refrain from
beating each other's brains out over nonconforming
opinions of *Monstrance*, or whether it is permissable
to, uh, what's a good example?, to enjoy an ABBA song
on occasion.

(I tried to type that first "B" backward. Did it
work?)

I did indeed say, "I've got little use for Jello's
politics and not much more for Andy's." I then went on
at some length to explain how, despite those
differences, out of respect for their musical talents,
I've done my admittedly minuscule best, for more than
a quarter of a century, to make those gents and their
bandmates rich.

"Tourette's," Harrison? Thank you for deeming my posts
important enough to remember what I've written and
attempt to use one of my own words against me, but
reach for your trusty dead-tree dictionary, Mate.
Where is the insult or dirty word in that sentence of
mine? Faberge eggs can withstand rougher treatment.
Are you aiming to get hired as the new writer of press
releases for the Rutgers women's basketball team?

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider

P.S.: Apologies to 'Hillians in Oz, India, France, the
UK, Sudamerica, and everywhere else for the strictly
Yank political reference above.

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 17:28:03 +0100 (BST)
From: nigel turner <nigelgo2@btinternet.com>
Subject: the good the bad and the ugly underneath
Message-ID: <973989.82371.qm@web86103.mail.ird.yahoo.com>

Hello people

I'm glad that most of the mudslinging has calmed down on the hill. I
have to agree with Ryan Anthony about the good and bad music
thing. If music is either just good or bad, how can music grow on you
? Does it become good overnight ? Have I got this wrong ? When i was
a boy (many moons ago) I was very clear about what I thought was good
and bad. I was into new wave / punk and thought that everything else
was.....well....crap. I hated anything folky and once threatened to
burn (not in the modern sense) a Nick Drake LP. As I got older (I was
going to say matured but that's not quite true) I heard Pink Moon
again and loved it. I don't think you can say that music, along with
any other art form, is not subjective. For the musicians out there
I'm sure that the argument about technical ability and construction
of songs etc is where good and bad are defined. I just enjoy what i
like and ignor what i don't like. Someone once said that no two
people hear the same sound in the same way. Or was that dogs.....?

What do you call that noise that you put on..............................?

Nigel T.

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #13-18
*******************************

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