Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #14-17

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 14, Number 17

                   Monday, 12 May 2008


                   Joe Jackson's "Rain"
                     Singing Brokemen
                    Re: We_Are_Amused
                   music and perception
                 Where did the fourm go??
                   Blog posts about XTC
              A halfhearted defense of mp3s
                 XTC forum gone tits up?
                         EAT BEEF
          "Rook" is the MySpace song of the week


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.8f (John Relph <>).

Blue in Paradise, the paint runs down.


Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 08:52:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Michael Versaci <>
Subject: Joe Jackson's "Rain"
Message-ID: <>


I haven't posted much of anything anywhere recently, but I was very moved by
Joe Jackson's latest release.

Here is my review published under my blogger pseudonym:

- Michael "The Viscount" Versaci


Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 20:00:09 +0200
From: Don Device <>
Subject: Singing Brokemen
Message-ID: <>


In/re Harrison's thought experiment on JImmy Rodgers recording on a
900 grand system as opposed to a wax cylinder....

Brian Eno (and perhaps others before him) posed an interesting
question: Are recorded music and live music both the same thing?
Shouldn't there be another word for recorded music? It's adifferent
experience, created differently and with different intentions.

even when a band tries to record 'live' in the studio it doesn't end
up sounding the same. Ask any Grunger who tried to turn his amp up to
11 in the studio and found it just didn't bite. band like the BEatles
and out boys changed totally when the focus changed from concerts to
recorded music, and not only because they started using orchestras.
the conception, execution and intention change.

Is a concert the same as a ^plastic disc you can hold in your pocket?

Of course the medium, and slight changes therein can change your
appreciation of the work in question. 'Hamlet' is less enjoyable when
shouted out loud in a loud echoey subway station. Trust me on this, it
just happened to me this week...

  As I believe the italians say (excuse me for my phonetic Italian,
I'm sure one of our friends from down that way will have the kindness
to correct me: Traducte/Tradorre.

To translate is to betray.

Judasly yours;

don device

now playing: "I Can Hear You' by TMBG... Who can tell me why?

PS:  Did any of you hear the playback of an audio transcription from
France a few weeks back? It was made with a device that predates
Edison's recordings by up to 50 years and was intended, not for
playback, but to transcribe what people said in legal proceedings. it
is a recording of the French song 'Clair de Lune' and is warbly, but
recognizable. The inventor felt that Edison was on the wrong track
with the whole playback thing and didn't want to be involved. Oh well.
A rose by any other name, ot playback method... Right all?


Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 11:42:11 -0700
From: "Jemiah Jefferson" <>
Subject: Re: We_Are_Amused
Message-ID: <>

> From: <>
> look me straight in the eye and tell me you'd be
> excited to hear an XTC album recorded by Steve Albini.

I'm looking at you. I would be excited, because I believe in the quality of
songwriting, and Albini's production would be an unusual approach. Not to
mention - it'd be an XTC album, and I am always excited about that.

I know what you mean, but I couldn't resist. You know I never post unless
it's to puckishly disagree.
-Jemiah (17 years on Chalkhills - I should get a gold watch or something)


Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 12:30:54 -0300
From: Kevin Brunkhorst <>
Subject: music and perception
Message-ID: <BAY141-W504377CCA54A26048775ABB6D40@phx.gbl>

various quotes to establish context:

>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.

>If communication becomes so bad on a telephone that you can only make out
every other word is it still the same message? Nope.   You can't divorce the
medium from the message completely particularly if the medium is a badly
produced one.

>Suppose we had Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, From Whom All Country
Music Flows.

Suppose we recorded Jimmie straight to wax in 1927. Singing, I dunno, "Blue
Yodel No. 1," about a month before the first talking movie, for Victor
Talking Machine Company, "as pre-eminent among phonographs as the Steinway
is pre-eminent among pianos."   Then, we transport Jimmie forward 81 years
to today.



ah good, my favorite subject.

EVERYTHING about a musical experience is there for the listener to perceive,
and all of it is somehow perceived (or not) by the listeners.  This means
the sound of the recording, and the musical elements (melodic, harmonic,
ryhthmic, etc.), and the layers of meaning provided by the lyrics, and the
various layers built into the cultural elements (stuff the artist counts on
the audience to have heard before, like the sound of the snare drum, the
guitar tone, the quality of the singing... or what we might call 'style').

If you see your name misspelled, you still know it's your name.  If it's on
a check, you cash it anyway.  If it's on a summons, you get your lawyer to
weasel you out of it.  When can we say something is 'wrong' in a piece of
music?  We can say something does not communicate, or it communicates
something closer or farther from expectations.  If a piece of music (or
film, or poetry, or visual art) is so 'other' as to not be recognizable,
then it may not make its connection between its maker and its listener

Sometimes my students prize originality over knowledge.  So I tell them to
make up an original sentence with original words, and tell it to me.  Then
they have to tell me what it means.

It ALL counts.  The Singing Brakeman sounds like he does, and the lack of
fidelity is part of the message we have received.   Sometimes music
undergoes willful 'distortion' at the hands of the artist, producer, or
record company.  It is what it is.  Yet somehow we recognize the symbols.
Who knows what Shakespeare's manuscript looked like?  Kerouac put 'On The
Road' on a big long scroll.  Yet we read it in a book.  Would it have said
something else if it were in MS Word?

I highly recommend 'This Is You Brain On Music' by Daniel J. Levitin.  That
might make you think about how music works for you.  Or not.

And by the way, what does 'sucks' really mean, anyway?

Kevin Brunkhorst
Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada


Date: Mon, 05 May 2008 02:42:58 +0000
Subject: Where did the fourm go??
Message-ID: <>

I want my forum back forum back forum back......

BTW, this following quote was taken from Youtube comment section on
the "Towers Of London " video...HAHA!!!!

"XTC are THE greatest band the UK has ever produced. The only reason I
am proud to be a Swindonian. I still see Andy, Colin around town from
time to time. True story, I worked for a guy who married Andy
Partridges ex and was the reason they separated. A friend at work made
this guy a coffee with the only intention of spitting in it, which she
did. I would have dumped in it, but I think he would have noticed. So
Martin, if you ever read this, you know why the coffee tasted funny."


Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 09:49:40 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
From: "" <>
Subject: Blog posts about XTC
Message-ID: <18832655.1209977380261.JavaMail.root@ps25>

Hi John,

You and your readers may be interested in the latest entry in Backed
With, my blog about B sides, which tackles 'Dear God':

I have also posted about XTC over at my other blog, A Jumped-up Pantry

Chalkhills is an amazing resource - keep up the good work.

All the best

Daniel Williams


Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 11:51:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: A halfhearted defense of mp3s
Message-ID: <>

Digest #14-16 was sweet and meaty! (Who was the comedian who made a
riff out of that agreeably carnivorous phrase?) It's been a long time
since the Messrs. Sherwood and Coolidge contributed to the same
release, has it not?

The best line of #14-16 came from David "Smudgeboy" Smith of Kent, who
had no apology for including no XTC content in his post: "If they
can't be bothered, neither can I." His immediate disclaimer ("It's a
joke") was unnecessary; I think everyone on this Hill shares his
frustration with our uncooperative heroes and their never-ending
middle-age crises. (Could we all pitch in and buy Colin a red sports
car? Would that help? Would anything?)

(I'm listening to talk radio, and the host, who uses "Generals and
Majors" as a bump, just mentioned Dave Gregory. Of course, it's the
other Dave Gregory.)

Ian Dahlberg's reference to Ric Burns' *New York*, which used XTC's
"Frost Circus," was a welcome reminder of that excellent
documentary. How good a job did Ric do? Imagine you want to tell the
story of New York City -- but you can't talk much about the Statue of
Liberty, because your brother Ken already did, or the Brooklyn Bridge,
because your brother Ken already did, or the Civil War's effect on the
city, because your brother Ken already did, or baseball, because your
brother Ken already did, or jazz, because your brother Ken already
did. But you don't abort the project. You proceed, and you
triumph. Forget Peabodys and Emmys and Pulitzers; you deserve a Nobel
Peace Prize, if only for not beating brother Ken's brains out.

"Simpsons already did it! Simpsons already did it!"

The debate about compression, signal degradation, and loudness is over
my head -- anything more technical than the *Electronics For Dogs*
book Gromit used to tame Wallace's ex-NASA techno-trousers and I'm
lost -- but may I offer this halfhearted defense of mp3s?  ...

Granted, you don't want to listen to the Moonlight Sonata or "Easter
Theatre" in mp3 format through earbuds. But what about pop? Didn't we
Baby Boomers grow up happily consuming "White Rabbit" and "Yummy Yummy
Yummy" through tinny monaural AM transistors and push-button car
radios? (You younger Xers had higher-quality options.) Don't those
sugary pop gems we love (guiltily, in some cases) sound good, then and
even now, under suboptimal conditions? "It's A Long Way To The Top (If
You Want To Rock 'N' Roll)" was a pleasure through a transistor radio
in 1976, and today it sounds great as a 192-kbps mp3 routed through a
middle-quality Altec Lansing computer speaker system with subwoofer.

As storage capacity grows -- 1TB external hard drives are getting
cheaper and cheaper -- I'll begin to reinstall my orchestral
recordings and highest-quality rock titles such as *Apple Venus* as
lossless encodes. But "Ben Dewberry's Final Run" (thank you for
reminding me who came before Hank, Harrison) and "Good Vibrations" and
"Buzzcity Talking" ... does it make sense to ask if modest little gems
like those are intended to sound the slightest bit tinny?

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider


Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 11:55:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: XTC forum gone tits up?
Message-ID: <>

The forum's been dead for a few days so I thought I'd share the little
I know about it.

I sent Steve Young an email on Friday (as I assume dozens did with the
error messages provided webmaster address). I just got a response that
says he's been looking into it.

I actually wouldn't be too surprised if the damned buggy forum
software has finally bitten the dust.

If you try going straight to a thread you get a page on the forum that
says "missing data" and you can access your profile, messenger and
help files but no threads.

On further inspection, if you do some advanced googling you can access
some printable pages or "posting in" thread reviews

if you wanted to try some lost thread try advanced googling, here's
what you put in the google box: word or "phrase in quotes"

and look for the results that say "posting in" or "printable version"


Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 03:43:48 +0100 (BST)
From: Belinda Blanchard <>
Subject: EAT BEEF
Message-ID: <>

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

You ask how was Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand?  Missed both. Great
names though.  Now close to Yellowstone, Wyoming.  Upon entering the
state we saw (and photo'd) a sign welcoming us, reminding us to EAT
BEEF.  Our waitress was a vegetarian but admitted it was hard to be so
in this state.

Smudgeboy, previously have spent months in California on separate road
trips, and am sure you will be inundated with recommendations.  Here's

GUERNEVILLE (a fabulous gay male town north of San Francisco in the
mountains, and perfectly perfectly wonderful and peaceful and
Sausalito (Excuse spelling)
San Jose
The Pacific Coast Highway as far down or up as you can spare the time for.
Big Sur
Sequoia national park
Redwood City
add more!

Incidentally - we took our laptop, and every motel has wifi, and
sometimes sitting in the car in the main road or in a restaurant you
can hook up to a free unsecured connection.

Back to the road....

XTC content - none. Except I can see why the Bible Belt trashed Dear
God when it was released.  We're driving into little towns where the
welcome signs have "BABIES HAVE RIGHTS TOO!" and other antiabortion
stuff, and "Hunting and Fishing Country, NO ACTIVISTS WELCOME!"

What is interesting is how we have just ridden through Big Horn
National Park where there are loads of geological signs telling us the
fact that the rocks are so many hundred million years old and
wondering how long it will be before the religious folk insist on
another sign advising that the first sign is a matter ofDarwin's
opinion and that these rocks are in fact about 2000 years old....

OK I'm drinkin'



Date: Sun, 11 May 2008 14:50:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: "Rook" is the MySpace song of the week
Message-ID: <>


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

If you want to know why the song almost didn't make it on to the
album, or which band Andy "gently borrowed" the high harmony part
from, check out the XTCfans blog site at

Rook, rook, by hook or by crook
I'll make you tell me what this whole thing's about...



End of Chalkhills Digest #14-17

Go back to the previous page.