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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-20


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 20

                   Thursday, 3 May 2007

Topics:

                         Burning
                        Well said
                          Yeesh!
                   Brewed by Partridge
    "We're All Light" is the MySpace song of the week
       Rolling Stone's Underappreciated Bands List
In Which I Picture Billy Joel playing 'Yakkety Sax' In The Style Of
                    Dukes Make-up gig

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Don't you know, 'pon the pillion of times bike / We roar on to the stage.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 09:44:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <hamsterranch@yahoo.com>
Subject: Burning
Message-ID: <395391.6706.qm@web51103.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

Nigel Turner, in Book 13, Chapter 18, of the Gospel
According to Relph, offered a deft reminder of how
quickly language changes in his discussion of "good"
music and "bad" music and the curious ways we come to
conclusions regarding which is which:

"... 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. ..."

In my days of editing a newsletter that covered the
goings-on in a national network of social clubs, I
presented annual Hypothetical Hamster Awards (the name
was intentionally silly to head off criticism that I
was taking these citations too seriously) for the best
writing in chapter club newsletters. A Hammie
nomination, at least, for Turn of Phrase of the Year
would have to go to Nigel for reminding us that
"burning music" used to make us think of something
else entirely.

You and I think of "burning," as in public destruction
through rapid oxidation in order to protest
nonconforming opinion, as bad (assuming we are in
agreement with said nonconforming opinion), and
"burning," as in copying, as good, but perhaps a
recording artist would have the opposite view. After
all, the former involves massive sales of the product
(you can't throw it on the bonfire if you don't buy it
first), and the latter doesn't.

Is the smell of burnt mp3 not unlike human hair?

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider

P.S.: Am I right in thinking that it would be somewhat
less difficult to go through life as an XTC fan named
Nigel than as a Beach Boys fan named Barbara Ann?

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

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 16:44:13 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <paulculnane@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Well said
Message-ID: <20070429154413.81569.qmail@web86905.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>

Nice to see some ol' faces popping up.

1) Ryan Anthony: well argued POV (that's point of view, not plate of
   vomit)  I'm not a white boy from Arizona, but like Ryan I am able
   to glean the meaning of "rap" lyrics and the general idiom's
   intent.  The "caboose" can be admired without beckoning what some
   people may regard as unsavoury desires.

2) Hello Debra: great to hear from you.  Mr Strijbos MIA (that's
   missing in action, not necessarily mellowed  in amsterdam).  I hope
   he's alright, he was always one of the best and most vociferous on
   this forum.  In a good way, by definition.

3) Todd Bernhardt: an ongoing pleasure to read his song stories with
   Andy.  Great PAS (that's public address system, not passive
   aggressive syndrome). Thanks Todd.

4)  XTC: a fine little pop group.  Just the other night, cable TV here
    in Oz (I think it was VH-1) played a clip of them performing
    "Generals & Majors" in Oz in 1979.  I remember that, it was
    hilarious.  The ineptness of the camera diector was outstandingly
    silly, focusing on AP while it was actually Colin singing.  Then
    to top it, resident host Molly Meldrum presented Andy  with a
    commemorative  plaque in the shape of Australia.  Andy's response?
    "Just what I always wanted,  a map  of Portugal!"  An SPM  (that's
    sublime pop moment,  not specious partridge megalomania).

5) Steve Somerset: one of nature's true gentlemen and a marvellous
   musician and tactician.  RGV (that's really good vibes, not
   necessarily red green violet, though that's been known to happen
   from time to time).

NP: "That's The Way I Like It" by KC & the Sunshine Band

PAUL.  FLO (that's feeling left out, not necessarily florence, thank you).

"What???" - Ludwig Van Beethoven

Paul Culnane
ICE Productions Australia

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

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 20:27:21 -0400
From: Benjamin Gott <bgott@rectoryschool.org>
Subject: Yeesh!
Message-ID: <C70E42DB-37E8-4495-9C34-18A66D92D9CE@rectoryschool.org>

Gang,

I hate to be "that guy," but it looks like PopMatters wrote an even
nastier review of "Monstrance" than I did.  An excerpt:

"Monstrance`s two CDs of `songs' are harsh, scattered and tough to
fully fathom. Moments come across like New Age gone antisocial, while
some sequences sear the synapses right off of your nerves. Unlike his
work with Harold Budd (for the remarkable ambient album Through the
Hill) or his own remix/dub collection of `70s era XTC tracks (the
still strange Take Away/The Lure of Salvage), this certainly sounds
like a bunch of drinking buddies, sitting around, fiddling with their
instruments. Definitive beats are hard to find, as is anything
remotely melodic. Even more elusive are completed structures or a
sense of definable direction."

Whew!  And I'm the guy who gets quoted on the Ape House site?  C'mon
now!  My review looks positively smashing next to this one!

And I'm still loving the new Jason Falkner.  And Jason Falkner even
wrote me an e-mail.  So there.  Thbfffffpt.

Slightly vindicated,
-Ben

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

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 21:01:26 -0400
From: Kevin <dancingweed@optonline.net>
Subject: Brewed by Partridge
Message-ID: <000001c78ac3$1470a190$dd282d18@Kevin>

Folks:

Well, I'd heard MONSTRANCE compared to many different types of
improvisation--Eno, Fripp, etc., but here's one that folks hadn't thought of
at all--I heard shades of Miles Davis' BITCHES' BREW.  Especially on the
second disk, all you've got to add are horn parts and it would almost sound
like the sessions were meant to be outtakes from the original Miles Davis
introduction to fusion/space jamming!!

Terrific stuff!

Kevin Wollenweber

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

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 20:14:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <beat_town@yahoo.com>
Subject: "We're All Light" is the MySpace song of the week
Message-ID: <372775.26553.qm@web32001.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

Hi:

Over at the XTCfans MySpace site (http://www.myspace.com/xtcfans), the
song of the week is "We're All Light.

If you want to know what a "pillion" is, or whether or not XTC has
ever used an autotuner, check out the XTCfans blog site at
http://blog.myspace.com/xtcfans.

Don't you know we're all light?
Yeah, I read that someplace

-Todd

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

Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 07:45:10 -0400
From: "James White" <jameswhite@gsinet.net>
Subject: Rolling Stone's Underappreciated Bands List
Message-ID: <003101c78be6$2cbcad10$2201a8c0@DJTY0Y11>

Hi,

Rolling Stone published a list of "Most Underappreciated Bands" and I was
surprised (or maybe not...) that XTC was not on the list.  What is
interesting is how many times XTC is mentioned following the list in the
comments section...check it out at:

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/04/30/rolling-stones-to
p-25-underappreciated-artists/

~~James

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

Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 21:26:25 +0000
From: <homefrontradio@hotmail.com>
Subject: In Which I Picture Billy Joel playing 'Yakkety Sax' In The Style Of
Message-ID: <BAY128-W1B222EB465B690A108B0ED0420@phx.gbl>

'Piano Man'
Yeah Ryan, you got me, I unabashedly hate "Baby Got Back":

>If you can get past the smut -- and I know it's a
>deal-killer for some of you -- this song is every bit
>as positive a message from real men to real women as
>Billy Joel's (I Love You) "Just The Way You Are."

Let's not get carried away here.  The difference between the Billy Joel and
Sir Mixalot songs is, if you have a romantic dinner with a woman, and you
chose the latter as a soundtrack, she'll be dining out on the story for
months.  Unfortunately, it will be with other men.  You'd stand a better
chance of getting laid by playing 'Rock Lobster'.

The main message might as well be: "I've got a Merc and a Mongrel.  You've
got a big arse.  You'll do!"  I've never read a feminist dissection of the
song, but i imagine the words 'objectification', 'leering male gaze' and
'exploitation' are used more often than 'positive self-image'.

I'm anything but a prude.  I'm currently reading a biography of Australian
writer and artist Norman Lindsay, and this quote leaps off the page at me:

"The richest, and rarest approach to life and art is by humour, and most of
all, humour is the key of light-hearted bawdiness".

That being said, I might enjoy the celebratory intention of 'Baby Got Back',
but loathe the execution.  The language is clumsy and amateurish.  The
internal rhythm and meter of the lines are awkward.  If you scan the lyrics,
it reads as juvenilia.

>Give me a sister, I can't resist her,
>Red beans and rice didn't miss her.

The latter line there is particularly desperate and internally awkward.  As
a lyricist, I groan inwardly.  If I may indulge in a private joke here:

>"You don't say hello
>You're making me yellow"

You might thinking I'm being too hard on the song, but since it lacks a
strong melody, the focus is completely upon the language and the rhyming
schemes, and highlights their awkwardness.  Jerome Kern and Dorothy Field's
"A Fine Romance" has some terrible forced rhymes, (and lines that seemingly
exist only to rhyme), but the melody is so masterful it takes the focus off
the words.

People often say that lyrics don't have to be poetry, or sonnets, but if
it's a choice between hearing:

"Get on your back
Spread your rack
Show me your twat
Oh baby that's hot
Part your beef curtains
That's sexy, I'm certain"

Or,

"Open up your Wonder Annual.
Turn on the leaves of your private book.
Open up your Wonder Annual
and, if I may, can I lay and look?"

Then I'll side with the Snakespeare.

As to the positive message to `real men' and `real women' statement, it's
also a negative message for skinnier women and the men who like them, who
are just as `real' as larger framed people.  If, as Sir Mix-A-Lot is saying,
that big butts are his personal sexual fetish and he uses that as a deciding
factor in who he wants to have sex with, (after all, he's not talking about
her intellect, her looks, her personality, or even the *front* of her body),
then why is that really any less shallow than a man who is turned on by a
small butt?

Lastly, like any novelty hit, (for it's far more `Dr. Demento' than `in
flagrante delicto'), it's status as popular culture means it's inescapable.
If you've never wanted to slide under a table and die at a wedding because
your `My-Friend-Flicka-faced fifty-year-old four-sheets-to-the-wind' Aunt is
shaking her booty in time to the song at a septuagenarian war veteran who
obviously needs every drop of blood he has left rushing through his heart,
rather than to his nether regions, then you're a luckier man than I.

If I ever meet Sir Mix-A-Lot, I'll kick him in the nuts.

>Without elitism, there is no place for musicologists.

With non-judgementalism, nothing is inspirational.

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

Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 22:24:42 -0500
From: Chris Vreeland <CVREELAND@austin.rr.com>
Subject: Dukes Make-up gig
Message-ID: <D81CEBA7-3FFD-4A8F-9968-DC0A32CD4793@austin.rr.com>

Howdy from Texas,

Unfortunately, the last Dukes of Simpleton gig was cancelled at the
last minute due to inclement weather (outdoor venue). The good news
is that we have a new date at the same club. So if you're in the
Austin area, please join  us for 2 hours of live XTC music at
Threadgill's World Headquarters, , on Saturday June 9th. We'll be
playing from 9pm until 11.

Like I announced in my last post, we've got 5 new songs, and a new
drummer, who really leans into those Terry Chambers parts. I'm having
fun, anyway. We've even got good stock of Dukes T-shirts which we'll
be selling at the show, and if I can find the time, I'm going to be
setting up to sell them online, soon.

Cheers,
Chris Vreeland

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #13-20
*******************************

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