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From: Chalkhills <owner-chalkhills@chalkhills.org>
To: chalkhills@chalkhills.org
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #13-29


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 13, Number 29

                   Friday, 29 June 2007

Topics:

            RE: Recent sighting of Mr Moulding
                     Re:co:ver:sions
                  Orpheus : The Lowdown
      McCartney's Memory seems pretty good to me...
               Dissections And Speculations

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I'm living in a haunted heart.

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 16:11:14 +0100
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <peterfit@microsoft.com>
Subject: RE: Recent sighting of Mr Moulding
Message-ID: <DCA83D5F3861C941808187D4D387875011E0D6F199@EA-EXMSG-C312.europe.corp.microsoft.com>

I met up with Dave in December when he guested with the Pugwash gang for a
TV appearance

(here on You Tube http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hqdk50a3o9c  )

He was in consideration for a tour with a British music icon but I can't
confirm whether that ever happened or not (I'll try to find out).

Peter in Dublin
http://myspace.com/imadethebbc

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 09:31:05 -0700
From: mjoann <mjoann@woh.rr.com>
Subject: Re:co:ver:sions
Message-ID: <46813F49.7030904@woh.rr.com>

Chalkhills wrote:
> --- Someone wrote:
>
> There is also an XTC version of "I Am The Walrus" with
> Colin on lead vocals. Dandy cover, that.

Are you referring to the version of "I Am The Walrus" that Dave recorded
as Colin's Hermits as seen here?
http://cdbaby.com/cd/jarmusic3
I have the CD, and despite the name, that is definitely Dave and only
Dave on lead vocals and everything else.

Did Colin also record a version?

Mary

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 10:04:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <tahewitt@yahoo.com>
Subject: Orpheus : The Lowdown
Message-ID: <651257.58478.qm@web51704.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

I just found this review of Orpheus: THe Lowdown
online.

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/music/reviews/41719/andy-partridge-and-peter-blegvad-orpheus-the-lowdown/

Pretty favorable review. Apperantly, it just had a
U.S. release in April. FIrst I've heard of it, but
then again, I bought it when it was first availble.

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

Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 15:12:58 -0700
From: "Wayne Klein" <wtdk123@msn.com>
Subject: McCartney's Memory seems pretty good to me...
Message-ID: <BAY108-F1269675FA6E578A245D9A7F90B0@phx.gbl>

>From Steve:

>I'm a Beatle (and even a Paul) completist (Yes, I even
have mono mixes of Ram) but I can't understand the
high praise for Memory Almost Full.

I found it to be sedate, predestrian, uninspired and
quite dull.  The sort of throw-aways that shows Paul
is sorely lacking a foil.<

Well Steve, I have to disagree. This is an album by a guy at 64 (now 65)
reflecting on his life and trying new challenging material that recalls the
past without repeating it. I actually find it to be a better album in terms
of material than some of his other work (although the sound of the recording
sucks--it's loud and has no dynamic range which reflects the mp3 culture we
live in where the fidelity of the recording no longer matters to our half
deaf and indiscriminate youths out there).

It features all the hallmarks that McCartney is well known for with
insightful llyrics from McCartney. I actually prefer it (inspite of the
limited dynamic range) to "Chaos abd Creatuib in the Backyard". Personally
I've only found one track that underwhelmed me and that's "Nod Your Head"
which is a throwback to stuff like "Why Don't We Do In The Road" and "Helter
Skelter". Musically it's savage but it could have had better lyrics.

Interesting that Colin has been around town....maybe he'll actually return
to making music at some point or rediscover his love for it but if not,
well, that's OK, too. I'd love to hear new music from him but recognize that
an artist gives everything that they have when making albums. Perhaps he'll
return as a producer or do a solo album at one point.

Personally, I'd love to see Dave hook up permanently with Andy and play on
albums again but if XTC does, indeed, decide to call it a day, I'm more than
willing to follow Andy (Dave or Colin for that matter) as he makes more
albums. Partridge has always seemed more compelled to create new music to me
than the others (as far as writing/recording) on a regular basis.

Looking forward to the new Crowded House CD (it hasn't been released in the
U.S. yet and has been pushed back to July 10 for some reason) and Tim Finn's
latest is also quite good as well. As with McCartney, artists change with
time and as a fan you either find you're willing to follow along or not.
There have been plenty of bands I've lost interest in over time and then
picked up again because our interests have converged (Sting would be one
example..I lost interest in his music shortly after "Ten Sommner's Tales"
but have an interest in the reunited Police if only to see what they are
capable of).

For those who are interested I saw the band in Oakland, CA and was impressed
with some of the new, leaner arrangements for the more complex material but
felt that they should also perform some of the new material that Sting has
cooked up prior to the reunion. He's a talented guy even if I don't always
appreciate his music.

Wayne

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

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 03:02:51 +0000
From: <homefrontradio@hotmail.com>
Subject: Dissections And Speculations
Message-ID: <BAY128-W7E40DAC8058DD0D81F557D00A0@phx.gbl>

I've been recently dissecting the music and melody of `Dame Fortune' in
admiration of the balance of melody across the scale, and the wonderful wide
vertical intervals that I see as the hallmark of the `singability' of a
great melody, so it was a joy to read Todd Bernhardt's interview with Andy
just a few days later.

I also realized I'd completely misunderstood the song.  I'd approached it as
someone who'd been having a really rough time of things just wishing for
some good luck, given the circumstances of the time in his life when it was
written, and now I realize it is simply a love song about closing the door
on one relationship and opening another, and now the domestic imagery now
makes perfect sense.  (So approach my later discussion here of someone who
might have completely missed the point).

It's a sweet song, and, at least in my opinion, would have balanced out
`Knights In Shining Karma' on what I think of the second side of `Apple
Venus' beautifully.  (Incidentally, if you also added `Wonder Annual'
somewhere on there, I'd consider it one of the greatest albums ever made).

As to current dissections, I'm trying to ponder the songwriting relationship
between `Difficult Age', `Then She Appeared' and `Goodbye Humanosaurus' and
the sequence of events that might have transpired for it to be worth
rewriting the same idea three times, something I don't think I've ever
stumbled across before in a songwriter's outtakes.

(Revisions of a song, yes.  R.E.M. claimed `Burning Down' was written as
`Ages Of You' and then abandoned because they `grew tired' of it.  I've long
thought this was a suspect explanation since I can't be the only one who've
noticed it shares a large chunk of the chord progression of Culture Club's
`Karma Chameleon' leading up to both song's choruses - far more than the
allowable `7 bars then it's plagiarism rule').

`Age' and `Appeared' share the exact same series of intervals under their
titles, (in the key of C, the series of notes is E F G C), the notable
difference being in the use of the minor 7th (Bb) in the melody of the
former, and the major 7th (B)in the later.  The `How can can they love a man
who does that to himself' section sounds like a less-refined version of the
`I was a little troubled / Hookah with my senses bubbled' section of
`Appeared'.

Given the harmonic simplicity of `Difficult Age', it sounds like a less
successful dry run for `Then She Appeared'.  If that's the case, Andy kept
the hook, added a cyclical I IV V progression and the major 7th, and tossed
off the much stronger song and coupled it with `It's Snowing Angels' as a
throwaway for the `Strange Things Are Happening' magazine.

Given the intended fate of the song, would it really have likely to have
been considered in the running for the next XTC album?  It might explain the
likely rewriting of the song as `Goodbye Humanosaurus' for `wider' exposure.
The progression has been simplified to a cyclical I to IV, but it's
basically the same song except for the extensions on the end of each verse,
the bridge, and one minor difference in the harmonics.

In probably the most recognizably similar sections, the `troubled' section I
mentioned above, `Appeared' leads back into the cycle by sounding the ii
then V.  `Goodbye' sounds the II7 then V.  (In C, this is the difference
between Dm G and D7 G).  The later is the classic `middle feeling',
considered a sophisticated way of returning to the I, and continuing the
cycle.  You can hear it in `I've Been Working On The Railroad', (`just to
pass the time away'), or `Jingle Bells', (`in a one horse open sleigh-
hey!'), to cite two examples.

This, coupled with the more detailed harmonies / countermelodies makes the
think of `Goodbye' as a more *refined* version of `Appeared', (though I have
a sneaky feeling I'm probably the only one who feels that way, let alone
even loves the song).

(Bonus note - not only does andy still use the hook from the other two
songs, contained in the phrasing at the end of `bombs' in the 2nd line and
completed by the first note of the 3rd line - he also uses the hook in
*reverse*, you'll hear it as `[suit]-case from your war- [drobe] in the
first line:  A great use of balance).

My guess is, after this, the band and producer weren't particularly
interested in `Humanosaurus', Andy might have felt the hook idea was too
good to waste, took another look at the unused `Appeared' and brushed up the
lyrics into what I personally feel is one of his finest, in terms economy,
wit, playfulness, metaphor, imagery and alliteration.

Of course this is all fanwank speculation, but it's as close as I can guess
as to a *possible* chain of events given the lack of explanation in the
`Fuzzy Warbles' liner notes for all three songs.

>From memory, I think Todd and Andy have already discussed `Appeared'.  But
Todd, keep this relationship in mind if either of the other two songs come
up in discussion, because I'm deeply curious as to what happened, since I
have a habit or writing similar songs in pairs, then not being able to
figure out which one is the stronger song.

Cheers,
Simon

p.s. (Once again, Mr. Sherwood, you'll notice the I IV cycle haunts me).

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #13-29
*******************************

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