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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #14-15

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 14, Number 15

                  Sunday, 27 April 2008


                     Uffington tattoo
                The Medium is the Message
                compression vs good music
           XTC friends past and still present!
        Re: We_Are_Amused,_Plus_Ca_Change_Division


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To the church of dance with the light on low.


Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 14:09:23 +0200
Subject: Uffington tattoo
Message-ID: <>

Check the April 10, 2008 entry on




Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 10:48:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Benjamin Lukoff <>
Subject: The Medium is the Message
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 22 Apr 2008, Harrison Sherwood wrote:

> No amount of production trickery or compression or equalization
> is going to rescue bad music, or degrade good music. If I think a
> record sucks, I think it sucks because the notes-n-lyrics-n-stuff
> suck, not because there's a microscopic distortion at a frequency only
> my dog can hear.
> It's like complaining about an edition of Shakespeare because you
> don't like the choice of typeface. Are you reading words-words-words,
> or are you looking at 10/12 Garamond Premier under a magnifying glass
> and tutting because Adobe's version skimped on the serifs by a
> thousandth of a pica?

To me, Shakespeare is a lot more just the words than the Beatles are just
the music. And Shakespeare would still be great even if he'd originally
printed his works in Comic Sans. But yes indeed, I will complain about a
particular EDITION of Shakespeare if it comes out in Comic Sans or even
Helvetica rather than a good, proper serif me crazy, but I
think it's hard to divorce the content entirely from the medium.

Not speaking of which, what are Andy, Colin, and Dave (and for that matter
Barry and Terry) up to these days, anyway? Especially Andy and Dave and
Barry, as I gather the others have kind of stopped with the whole music


Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 15:57:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve <>
Subject: compression vs good music
Message-ID: <>

From: Sherwood
Subject: We_Are_Amused,_Plus_Ca_Change_Division

>No amount of production trickery or compression or equalization
>is going to rescue bad music, or degrade good music.

-- snip --

> -- I am no expert on the matter -- but surely that anomie is
>dwarfed by that produced by one's realization that the music, you
>know, sucks?

The original post last year by Simon complaining about compression
techniques of newer music and blaming them for a difficult listen went
as follows:

>The most obvious test was the two new XTC songs, both of which I knew I
>*should* have liked, but both completely failed to move me.

...sorry, I couldn't resist.

Another Steve


Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 00:49:02 +0100 (BST)
From: Belinda Blanchard <>
Subject: XTC friends past and still present!
Message-ID: <>

Well if it weren't for the XTC forum and the conventions in Manchester
Uk in 1990 and 1991, our two month road trip around USA would only be
very fabulous; not very very fabulous.

Hubby and I stopped our lives, left our jobs and are touring around
USA coast to coast border to border for two months, and have met up
with one of the crazy Schappert twins in Nashville that I have not
seen since the conventions 17 years ago when they came over to UK for
them.  And then have just met with the gorgeous Neal Buck in Columbia
near Baltimore and stayed with him too.

Thanks XTC and Paul Wilde and the Forum folk for the friendships that
were made.

Belinda, from London UK,  currently in Amish country Pennsylvania!


Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 18:44:29 +0100
From: Jon Holden-Dye <>
Subject: Re: We_Are_Amused,_Plus_Ca_Change_Division
Message-ID: <>

Harrison (the casual dog torturer),
    maybe you've come across whilst poking around? To

    "In research published in 2000 in the Journal of Neurophysiology,
    researchers described double-blind
    <> experiments in which
    subjects were played music, sometimes containing high-frequency
    components (HFCs) above 25 kHz and sometimes not. The subjects could
    not consciously tell the difference, but when played music with the
    HFCs they showed differences measured in two ways:

    * EEG monitoring of their brain activity showed statistically
      enhancement in alpha-wave activity
    * The subjects preferred the music with the HFCs"

The first bullet-point suggests that our auditory system (even mine,
subjected to 110dBA+ pure, distorted rawk since the age of 13 - first
gig, The Who in a small, provincial ballroom; second gig Black Sabbath,
ears still ringing 24 hours later; and so on for the next 40 years) is a
complex wee beastie (rather like the Human Visual System...).
Concerning the second bullet-point, whilst the Wikipedia article doesn't
state it, I would assume the 'HFCs' refers to an extended frequency
range in the playback chain (including the original recording). The key
here is that the HFC is harmonically related (to the 20Hz-16kHz stuff) -
it all comes from the musical instruments (+ environment). The spectral
crap caused by peak distortion (squaring-off the original musical
waveform) is not harmonically related. (C13, C13#, and everything
Would you not agree that it's _possible_ that your psychoacoustic
appreciation may be affected by "distortion at a frequency only my dog
can hear"? (And said distortion is not "microscopic", by the way.) Scary.

For further droning-on, see

    "Back to vinyl - as endorsed by The Canine Appreciation Society."




End of Chalkhills Digest #14-15

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