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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-63


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 63

                Thursday, 26 December 1996

Today's Topics:

                   Re: Chalkhills 1996
   A LOT OF NON-XTC CONTENT (with a little at the end)
               Todd the second time around.
                Re: Wondermints and Wilson
 Hello music &  ambience (John paints Andy, Buffy paints
    Driving in someone else's wheels on a rented road
            Jerry Maguire and Through The Hill
         love songs and the people who write them
              Now don't get totally upset...
                        video tree
                           Todd
             XTC lyrics/Thanks For Chalkhills
                       Michael Penn
                    "corporate rock"?
                      ambient music
                 Most frequent artists...
           Re: Chalkhills FAQ, 17 December 1996
                        Ash gash?
         "New" in music, a nibble of politics...
                       (no subject)
                    Broadcasting XTC?
                     Yazbek review...
                    Fossil Fuel Review

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Always winter but never Christmas.

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

Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 17:38:35 -0500 (EST)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <ccoolidg@zoo.uvm.edu>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills 1996
Message-ID: <Pine.A32.3.91.961222173618.30970C-100000@gnu.uvm.edu>

  To all listmembers:

  Thank you all for providing me with food for thought this year. I won't
be online for possibly as much as a week, so I thought a seasonal message
would be appropriate. Regardless of our personal beliefs this time of
year is a time of personal reflection. I look at my aging family every
year and am amazed at how many things change and how many stay the same.
  It's been a rough year for my wife and me, but things are looking up.
Sometimes adversity can split two people apart, sometimes it brings them
closer. In our case the latter is true.
  Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for the
lively on-line conversation.

Christopher R. Coolidge
Eleventh Hour Cauldron Publications
cauldron@together.net
zoo.uvm.edu

"Andy Partridge In A Pear Tree!"

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

Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 18:03:46 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199612222303.SAA06128@en.com>
From: mikek@cleveplayhouse.org (Michael Kearns)
Subject: A LOT OF NON-XTC CONTENT (with a little at the end)

From: kmarkman@netwestonline.com (Debutante)

>is *any* music really new anymore?

You are suggesting the opening up of quite a large Pandora's Box here my
friend! But I lief I grok from whence you originate (if you bag my
dough-eating squid).. Thus promiseth I to, er.. succumb (Beavis & Butthead
would have a field day with _that_ word..) to this invitation.. (curses)

>it strikes
>me that a lot of "new" musical styles which have appeared in this century

On the North American continent alone: Ragtime, blues, jazz, rock and roll..
to name a few -- and without resorting to '-isms': or were the '-isms'
mostly European? ..or just American tags affixed to European phenomena which
had different, more evocative, names (like 'skiffle')?

>were in some way derived from some other pre-existing style, usually with
>new bits appended or some kind of twist(s) which then made it "new."

.. often even without the 'twists'.. Where did I read it (here on
Chalkhills?) and who said it? [paraphrased] 'It took centuries to produce a
genius in the person of a Mozart; Rolling Stone magazine creates one every
two weeks.'

Sorry I can't quote my sources but somewhere else I read the words of some
major jazz-fusion guitar cat (John McLaughlin?) riffin on a similar vibe
along these lines: 'So - The Yardbirds were supposed to be 'new' and
'innovative' - I mean, I'm still hearin' square diatonic progressions and
basic 4/4 time - so, come on, what's new? Reverb, fuzztone and blues licks?
Get real!'

>From
>what I understand, for example, rock & roll was originally derived from
>R&B, which came in part from blues, whcih came from....and on and on.
>Along the way different artists combined different styles or came up with
>their own and the style was born.

IMO, rock and roll is the ultimate 'fusion'. Funny, I once heard a choir
director laud the praises of a composer noted for her extensive use of folk
melodies.. he said "she also wrote legitimate music". I thought that was
weird - "legitimate"? I looked it up in the dictionary and the only
definition of that word pertained to children born out of wedlock.. IMO, to
call someone's music _illegitimate_ would be the ultimate compliment!

"The blues had a baby, and they named it rock and roll" (Muddy Waters).

So perhaps all great musics are hybrid love children born of unwed parents,
who are themselves bastards!

>My main point, which I seem rather slow in getting at, is to ponder what we
>mean when we talk of "new" music. Are we really looking for a different
>interpretation of an existing form (as I find XTC to be a differing and
>altogether pleasing variation on pop music), or do we want something really
>and truly "new?" And is that possible?

Truly new? Sure, it's possible, but I think it's already been done <G>..

In the late 50's Leonard Bernstein once referred to the neo-classicists
(Copland, Hanson, et al.) as being determined to "breathe new life into the
old tonal boy"

[..the presumption being that Boulez, Babbitt, Cage and other atonalists,
serialists, and purveyors of ('chance') aleatory music were the yardstick of
'modernism' (i.e., remember, this was decades before Nine Inch Nails <G>)..
A decade later, on TV, Lenny decried much of this atonal academicism -- as
being as stale and puerile as the tonal conventions these composers sought
to break down -- to preface his heralding of late 60's pop music as a breath
of tonal fresh air.]

But we _are_ talking good ol' illegitimate _pop_ music here <G>. Since 1977
- XTC rules! And on their own terms.. much to the delight of their loyal
subjects (and the abject confusion of nearly everyone else.)

Within a pop framework, they craft dissonant tensions (guitar solo on
"Complicated Game"), playful chance operations (Andy's vocalizations at the
end of "Desert Island"), Wagnerian ultra-chromaticism ("That Wave"),
Partch-like instrumental explorations (train-whistle guitar on "Train
Running Low On Soul Coal"), otherworldly orchestrations (the impressionistic
horns in "Humble Daisy"), worldly rhythmic grooves ("This World Over"),
sinister anti-grooves ("Burning With Optimism's Flames" intro), and
classical realism (their impossible note-for-note replica of Captain
Beefheart's "Ella Guru"!!!)

I'm sure I'm leaving things out in my haste..

My parenthetical examples are not necessarily the best (and certainly not
the only..) -- merely those which sprung to mind in this typing frenzy..

And let's not forget the lyrics!! And how well they fit with their melodies..

"Ain't nothing in the world like a black-skinned girl / make your
shakespeare hard and make your oyster pearl."

"Now they talk about abortions / In cosmopolitan proportion to their
daughters / as they speak of contraception / and immaculate receptions on
their portable Sony entertainment centers." (from "Respectable Street" -
dispensing with, for all time, the thin line between urban and suburban.)

In my opinion, and own limited frame of reference, XTC are indeed one of an
extreme few pop groups (whose stuff I enjoy anyway) who are really breathing
any fresh air into the old tonal boy!

Favorite nuances? I don't have time to pick 'em (not right now anyway -
maybe later.. it _has_ been an interesting thread)

XTC is "new" enough for me!

The latest demos are brilliant. I feel sneaky, even guilty, when I hear 'em,
but hey! It's been over 4 years since "Nonsuch"!

Markman - Don't take too much Nyquil! Try Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask
Replica" - it's always restored me to wellness! Prithee get well soon
godspeed you.

P.S. My Dad is converted! He loves "Thanks For Christmas" and "Ella Guru",
and can't wait to hear the Todd Rundgren-produced "Skylarking".

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

From: Hedblade@aol.com
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 18:38:04 -0500
Message-ID: <961222183804_236647073@emout19.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Todd the second time around.

<<Here's a good question.  I often tell people that Todd Rundgren
is a really good producer/songwriter but none of the bands he produces
ever do more than one album with him'cause he's difficult to work
with.  Can anyone think of a band that worked twice with Todd
(other than the ones he was in of course, Utopia doesn't count.)
New York Dolls, Grand Funk, Hall and Oates, XTC, etc. never
worked w/him a second time.>>

To my knowledge, Todd produced the first TWO records from Canadian pop-sters
The Pursuit Of Happiness.  As usual, his signature is all over the damn
things - they really are charming records.  They were a young group and
obviously very taken with Todd, so I'm sure it was a hero-worship type of
relationship.  That said, I have no real details of the relationship.

Any others?

Sincerely,

Jay

P.S.  Fans of power pop a la Matthew Sweet, Jason Falkner, Semisonic, and
70's American AM radio should check out Sugarbuzz from Chicago.  GREAT tunes
and vocals.  Go to http://www.mcs.net/~breedman/sugarbuzz.html to find out
about them, or http://www.cu-online.com/~parasol/ to order.  Look up Brian
Leach's "The Sunrise Nearly Killed Me" while you're at it - Freakin'
BRILLIANT!!!!!

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

Message-Id: <v01540b04aee36b9b2cdc@[199.171.191.102]>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 16:10:29 -0700
From: gondola@deltanet.com (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Wondermints and Wilson

>From: Hedblade@aol.com
>
>Not sure if they've been mentioned here before, but I just got a new, self
>titled album by a group called the Wondermints.  The disc is on Big Deal
>Records (p.o. Box 2072, Peter Stuyvesant Station, New York, NY 10009-9998-
>e-mail BIGDEALNYC@aol.com).

I don't have that record yet, but I've seen the band live a couple times.
They're a lot of fun and their arrangements/vocals are striking, but at the
same time (to quote a friend) it's basically "necrophilia" at the core --
digging up bits and riffs from dead bands and recycling them anew without
much modern spin (even moreso than Jellyfish). That said, I do want to get
my hands on the album. Apparently, there is already a second album out in
Japan, which is all cover songs. This supports my "necrophilia" position
rather well, I think.  ;)

A little Wondermints tale: I saw this group at the Roxy in Hollywood awhile
back and yes, Brian Wilson himself showed up! You have to understand that
in L.A., there's this whole hermetically isolated "pop clique" who worships
all things fluffy and power-poppy. There's an organization/collective
called Poptopia that puts on all these multi-band bills, which consist of
all these sorts of rather visionless "necrophiliac" '60s-influenced bands.
Anyway, so that was the crowd/demographic at the Roxy. You should've seen
how the crowd just PARTED when Brian Wilson walked in -- it was Moses all
over again.  ;)  No one even had the nerve to talk to him. He just sat at a
back table the whole time, mostly undisturbed, with legendary local DJ
Rodney Bingenheimer and (get this) KATO KAELIN. This was when the OJ trial
was in full bloom, too. The funny thing was, everyone kept going over to
the table and asking Kato to pose for pictures with them, but everyone was
too scared to talk to Brian.  :)

Eb

PS  For whatever reason, the Wondermints keyboardist looks EXACTLY like a
young Esquivel.  :)

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

Message-Id: <199612230147.BAA14676@mule1.mindspring.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 20:46:10 -0500
From: Jason NeSmith <jnesmith@atl.mindspring.com>
Subject: Hello music &  ambience (John paints Andy, Buffy paints

>From: Evan Chakroff <chakroff@ix.netcom.com>
>How are Andy Partridge's EPs released on John Flansburgh's Hello CD Of The
>Month Club??

As far as I know, there's only one Ep.  It's so good, it'll make you agree
with Brian Eno when he said they didn't need a producer.  Another thing,
it's been said on this list before that *It's Snowing Angels* was originally
a Dukes song.  Where did you guys read that?

>This Statement Is False

Ceci n'est pas une mailing list.

from a recent JHB posting:
>>is *any* music really new anymore?
>>From what I understand, for example, rock & roll was originally derived from
>>R&B, which came in part from blues, whcih came from....and on and on.
>
>{snip}   Think
>about ambient music, for example, a very recent "invention." Who would have
>ever thought about putting effort and craft into music that isn't supposed
>to be listened to closely? It's vastly different from any musical form that
>came before it.

Well, what do you mean by *recent*?  If you trace ambient music back to its
roots, you find not only Brian Eno in the early 70's, but Eric Satie in the
1920's (if I remember correctly), who wrote piano music specifically to be
played for people who weren't listening.  Some of it was nice and pretty,
and some of it was meant to disturb the peace.

And as for *Grass* and stoned sex, I saw a bag of those new potato chips
the other day, you know, Baked Lays, and, well, err...forget I said anything.

Buffy
________In Heavy rotation on WCAR (my tape deck):______
---------------David 'Zeus' Henderson: Idiot and the Odyssey
XtC: Nonsuch-----------Les Paul: Best of the Capitol Masters
------------The Cardigans: First Band on the Moon----------------
visit the Orange Hat Cyberhose Page, or you won't have any fun!
www.mindspring.com/~jnesmith

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

Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 22:39:08 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199612230339.WAA25058@cyber1.servtech.com>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <particle@servtech.com>
Subject: Driving in someone else's wheels on a rented road

>How are Andy Partridge's EPs released on John Flansburgh's Hello CD Of The
>Month Club??

I'm a bit confused as to what you're asking. Is it "Why is Andy Partridge
doing solo EPs for HCDotMC?" The answer there would be "Because he has
unreleased demo recordings out the wazoo, he's Flansy's bud, and wanted to
give everyone waiting for some new material something to chew on."

>the correct pronounciation is just as it is written - you
>need to ditch the American English accent, it *is* NONsuch, not NAHN or
>NUHN.

Two points:

First, isn't one sense of the word a sort of opposite to "somesuch"? Then it
would be "NUHN-such." And isn't it spelled "nonesuch" in the O&L liners
(again indicating the UHN pronunciation)?

>I really like the words to "I Remember The Sun" and "Deliver
>Us From The Elements", and even "Angry Young Men".

Hmmm ... I don't recall anyone ever calling those ones preachy. The first
two don't really have a "Message" (in the Capital M sense) per se. And I've
always liked AYM just because the lyrics have just a touch of irony to them
-- "Is Colin being sarcastic or isn't he?"

Josh
TTTWWWOOO DDDAAAYYYSSS!!!

/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|     particle@servtech.com    http://www.servtech.com/public/particle/   |
|"We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease." |
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/

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

From: PiriyaV3@aol.com
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 00:35:14 -0500
Message-ID: <961223003513_1556961397@emout02.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Jerry Maguire and Through The Hill

Hiya Chalkhillians!  I just got back from seeing the movie "Jerry Maguire,"
and almost at the very end of the movie, a part of one of the Andy
Partridge/Harold Budd songs was in the film!  I flipped and started hitting
my friend next to me...needless to say, he wasn't exactly fazed.  Oh
well...at least I could enjoy the moment. :) Ah, okay, I just looked on my
CD, and I think they had played either part of "Through the hill" or
"Western island of apples" in the movie...  I was so excited that I can't
really remember the difference right now. ;) I'm not going to tell you to go
see the movie just because that song is in it...but it is very well used,
IMHO.  <g> Anywho, before I ramble on anymore, "Jerry Maguire" is a great
movie and "Through The Hill" makes it that much better!

Piriya :D

P.S. - sorry if somebody else has already mentioned this in earlier posts; I
haven't been reading the digests lately (shame on me!)

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

Message-ID: <32BE4A51.4BAF@aone.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 01:01:05 -0800
From: William Ham <bham@aone.com>
Subject: love songs and the people who write them

i've been skulking around for a bit and felt compelled to comment on the
love song issue that was brought up by someone who said "...the
attractions of XTC...most of their lyrics aren't endless noodling on
love...which some artists can't seem to do anything but?"
this is just my piddly opinion, but i realized a long while ago that i
tend to have an affinity towards bands/artists that seem to specialize in
love songs (usually relationships gone/going off the deep end), i.e. the
wedding present, sebadoh, lloyd cole. and the love songs of XTC was what
attracted me to really start getting into the band (my personal favorite
at the moment is colin's utterly sublime "the meeting place"). i guess i
tend to lean towards those bands because the issue of love is generally
one everyone can relate to and has been affected by, not like, say, a
song about the political workings of england or the u.s. what i really
mean there is that a political song can raise some conciousness in us and
maybe intice someone to read up more on that issue or ask around about
it whereas love songs are something that are instantly affecting because
those are feelings you can either relate to or (in terms of a happy love
song) can hope to feel some day. and this is not at all to say that i
have anything against or don't listent to bands/artists who can't or
don't write love songs...

on the love/XTC tip: i'm dating a girl now who, while i was doing my
radio show and playing "shake you donkey up," said, "hey i know this
song." i'm taking that as a good sign.

all you who sent me stuff for my radio show (as i work the stream of
conciousness thang to the hilt), don't fret that i haven't played it or
that i won't be sending you tapes as promised. things have been rather in
a pinch financially, but i do give you my solemn vow that i will get you
a tape of your work getting the royal treatment on my show.

have a merry christmas everyone and even better new year

bob ham

currently playing in my room:
-"jawbox"-jawbox
-"steal away"-charlie haden/hank jones
-"small change"-tom waits
-"beleza tropical"-various artists
-"punch the clock"-elvis costello & the attractions

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

Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 04:01:34 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007803aee3b20bae5f@[207.77.26.102]>
From: Ira Lieman <ira@myself.com>
Subject: Now don't get totally upset...

Hey there, ho there. I just got back from a short jaunt to the left coast
to visit a friend in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I actually had gotten him to
hear XTC, and he likes the quasi-greatest hits tape I made for him. He's
also a big Police fan (but not really Sting solo, he says that's "girlie
music.") so I explained the XTC-Police connection to him and he was a
little surprised they toured together. Oh well.

Now here's what we all shouldn't get upset about. Everyone who has the
special edition Fossil Fuels bought it for ROUGHLY US$30-35, right? Well
(ha!) while perusing the selections in a record store (Now I forget which
one...a&b maybe?) they were selling the SPECIAL EDITION Fossil Fuels for
(get this) $25.98 CANADIAN...that's about $21 US. I almost shit in my
pants. One side of my head said, "Go ahead, buy three of 'em and advertise
on Chalkhills! You don't have to tell them how much you paid for it and you
can make $10 per copy!" The other side of my head said, "Get real, you
really think you can charge $60 without your credit card exploding?" So
alas I didn't get it. But if anyone wants to go to Vancouver to pick it up
I'll gladly give directions. Just don't fly through Minneapolis. I was
delayed 4 hours.

Oh yeah I also bought "Explode Together." Whether or not it's worth it, I
have it. For what it's worth.

And to Kris: thanks for your cyber-rose-petal-throwing. :) But I have to
admit, anyone who can willingly stay on the phone with me for 2 hours is OK
in my book.

I haven't listened to Costello/Nieve in over a week. Maybe I'll put it on
now and wake the neighbors.

-ira

Ira Lieman - ira@myself.com - http://www.intercall.com/~aym
"Awaken you dreamers, asleep at your desks!" - A. Partridge

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

Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:01:10 -0500
Message-Id: <96122309011072@mbcc.mass.edu>
From: sharedon@mbcc.mass.edu (Don)
Subject: video tree

looks like we wuz robbed?  some of us have never received a thing for our 12
bucks except one or two testy e-mail messages.  i must say, this is the only
place & time i've ever been ripped-off dealing with fellow music folks.  i
guess it happens...

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

Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:29:04 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <1.5.4.16.19961223093041.2dbf98fc@mindspring.com>
From: jes <xtc@mindspring.com>
Subject: Todd

Jeff Smelser <jsmelser@access.tucson.org> asked "Can anyone think of a band
that worked twice with Todd (other than the ones he was in of course, Utopia
doesn't count.) New York Dolls, Grand Funk, Hall and Oates, XTC, etc. never
worked w/him a second time."  Sorry to disagree, but Grand Funk did indeed
record two albums with him.  "We're An American Band" and then the album
that came immediately afterward, which had their massive hit "Loco-motion."
The album had a cover that required 3-D glasses, if anyone remembers this
one.  The title escapes me.

Also, if I'm not heinously mistaken, Todd was responsible for the first two
The Pursuit Of Happiness albums.

I would agree, though, that while Todd has an amazing pop sensibility, and
has recorded some of the finest records of all time (my desert island has
"Something/Anything" and "Utopia" in the library), I am willing to imagine
that working for him, as a producer, can be an excercise in frustration.
Most really excellent artists have the ego to go with it, and Todd demands a
tremendous amount of the control.  (I know exactly what I am talking about
too.  I was once in a band, a really good band, that could have gone
somewhere.  But we were four control freaks, and to enlist the aid of a
producer would have meant giving up too much control.  Tis a pity.)

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

Message-Id: <2.2.16.19961223155215.41279900@cic-mail.lanl.gov>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 08:52:15 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <dewitth@lanl.gov>
Subject: XTC lyrics/Thanks For Chalkhills

> Isn't one of the attractions of XTC
>the fact that most of their lyrics are not endless noodling on love,
>relationships, etc., which some artists/bands can't seem to do anything
>BUT?

  Since a couple of people have snipped the above quote (originally mine)
  and made a few comments, I have to add one more of my own - I didn't
  mean that I dislike love songs, or that XTC's love songs (in particular)
  weren't good or interesting.  I just meant that I really enjoy XTC's
  forays into more interesting and/or unusual lyrical topics, in addition
  to their love songs.  Some bands are just terminally boring to me when
  I listen to a record with 12 tracks and every single one is about a
  relationship.  But even when XTC does tackle love or relationships, I
  think they often do it in a (not surprisingly) different way.  "The Loving"
  is probably one of my favorite songs by our boys, for example.  Then
  again, I have dozens of 'favorite XTC songs', like most of us...

  Merry Christmas to all Chalkhillians, your families, friends, significant
  others, etc., and I'll talk to you in the new year, which shall bring us
  a new, double-CD release by the Swimmingly Superior Swindonians.

  P.S. - I actually got my demo tape back from the record-store owner, who
  finally found it!!!!!  Thanks for Christmas!
* ----------------------------------
| DeWitt Henderson               |
| Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| CIC-13   MS P223               |
| Los Alamos, NM 87544           |
| 505/665-0720                   |
* ----------------------------------

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

Message-ID: <32BE8ECE.967@wworld.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 07:53:19 -0600
From: holcomb@wworld.com (John Holcomb)
Subject: Michael Penn

Hello Chalkhilladites:

According to the Jan.'97 issue of ICE Magazine (subscribe if you don't
already-I get about fifteen music related mags and it's by far the most
indispensible), Michael Penn's new album, "Resigned" is due for release
on Feb. 18th on Epic Records (Date, of course, subject to change.  We
know the music biz!)

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!  May we all get that new XTC record
in 1997!

John Holcomb

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

Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 11:37:44 -0600 (CST)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <jenor@csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: "corporate rock"?
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.91.961223112517.13471A-100000@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu>

> From: "Jeff Smelser" <jsmelser@access.tucson.org>
> Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 12:24:55 -0700

Re Cheap Trick:
> see them on tour that time.  To this day they remain on my Top Ten
> Favorite Corporate Rock Bands list along with ZZ Top, Heart,+REM.

Maybe I just have a different definition from yours, but I have to
disagree w/your categorization of R.E.M. as "corporate rock." Yes,
they're huge now - but they weren't always. In the early '80s when they
began, the whole college radio/indie label network simply was not as
developed - Peter Buck has commented many times how R.E.M., Husker Du,
and Black Flag had to trailblaze tours, finding and passing along info on
sympathetic venues (and fans with crash space), and so forth. It was the
growing success of these tours that clued in "corporate rock" to the fact
that people actually would listen to more innovative, challenging music.

While R.E.M. did have the support of IRS Records, they were at the time a
small venture of an independent label (A&M, before PolyGram or whoever
swallowed them). Each album, each tour, was more successful than the
last. Their stated reasons for signing w/Warners in '88 were that A&M
simply couldn't keep up with distribution & demand.

To me, "corporate rock" applies to bands who either were nearly
manufactured by Big Labels, or are so careerist that they'll make any
compromise in sound, image, etc. to ensure that they keep bucks flowing
to the label's banks. These bands tend to follow trends, not start them.

Whether you like R.E.M.'s music or not, I think it's hard to argue that
the music they make has followed This Year's Model (the concept not the
EC album). Yes, a zillion bands have followed them - but that's not their
fault. If XTC, making the same music they've made, had toured steadily,
had gotten steadily more popular, had made huge hits out of "Mayor,"
"Peter," etc., would you be calling them "corporate rock"? I don't know
if Virgin counts as a major label in the UK, but XTC has been on major
labels in the US for years (Geffen, Atlantic - part of WEA at the time...).

(For that matter, I'm not sure I'd put early Cheap Trick in the
"corporate rock" bin either - they toured the hell out of themselves in
the early days. When I was first becoming aware of what was going on
musically, in my early teens (the early '70s), Cheap Trick played here
(Milwaukee) seemingly every other month: that band worked *hard*, at the
most ground-level impact - live shows - to get where they got. Too bad
they turned to turds - but they didn't begin that way.

--Jeff

J e f f r e y  N o r m a n                            Department of English
http://www.uwm.edu/~jenor/                University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
:: Usually, I grow songs, music, and lyrics together organically. With   ::
:: them it was more like crucifying bits of heretical poetry onto an     ::
:: already extant cross::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::::::::::::Andy Partridge (XTC), on lyric-writing for The Heads::

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

From: Martin_Monkman@fincc04.fin.gov.bc.ca
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 11:52:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: ambient music
Message-id: <9611238513.AA851370602@FINSMTP1.FIN.GOV.BC.CA>

  Joshua Hall-Bachner states in Chalkhills #3-62:
>I would say that as long as people continue to make music, new forms of
>music will continue to arise. Even now, new forms of music appear. Think
>about ambient music, for example, a very recent "invention." Who would have
>ever thought about putting effort and craft into music that isn't supposed
>to be listened to closely? It's vastly different from any musical form that
>came before it.

  Sorry, JHB, but you are wrong.  "Ambient" music as we know it
  draws heavily on minimalist and impressionist music, the latter
  being some 100 years old.  Harold Budd was known as a minimalist
  before turning his attentions to ambient music.

  And musical wallpaper has been around for ages.  First of all,
  there's Muzak:  the corporation started in 1934.  Of course Muzak is
  programmed to be heard but not listened to, enhancing workplace
  productivity and consumer willingness to spend.

  Second, the French composer Erik Satie's "musique d'ameublement"
  of 1920 was intended to be ignored by theatre-goers during
  intermission.  The music's intended effect was spoiled when the
  audience stopped to listen -- this prompted Satie to rush about
  crying "Parlez! Parlez!"

  Third, a LOT of baroque and classical music was written as
  background noise ... Handel's "Water Music" is one such example.

  And finally, when Eno's "Ambient 1:  Music for Airports" (ambient
  music as art) was actually played in an airport (Pittsburgh, I
  recall) the passengers complained.

  Defeat muzak ... listen!

  Martin

  "When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed" (David Byrne)

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

Message-ID: <UX6wkRAaPtvyEw60@emdac.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 18:47:54 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <phil@emdac.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Most frequent artists...

Re: most frequent artists in my record collection...

I've ignored the instructions to exclude promos, but I've removed
bootlegs from the count:

1. OMD          (124 items)
2. Shriekback   (83 items)
3. Gang Of Four (77 items)
4. Pulp         (62 items)
5. XTC          (42 items)

The rest pale into insignificance... nothing else over 30.

Happy Christmas etc.

Phil

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

Message-Id: <199612240411.NAA00439@mita13.cc.mita.keio.ac.jp>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills FAQ, 17 December 1996
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 13:11:33 +0900
From: NAOYUKI ISOGAI <b9400863@cc.mita.keio.ac.jp>

The Japanese FAQ of XTC is now updated.  Check it out!

   http://www.mita.keio.ac.jp/~b9400863/xtc_faq.html

Cheers!

---- NaoyuKing, the department           "Working every hour
     of Economics in KEIO Univ.           that God made,
                                          so we can fly away..."
  E-mail : b9400863@cc.mita.keio.ac.jp
  http://www.mita.keio.ac.jp/~b9400863/

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

Message-Id: <32C03C5D.2EC5@hp.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 12:26:05 -0800
From: Michael Chisholm <mchisholm@hp.com>
Organization: Hewlett Packard FCO
Subject: Ash gash?

After the recent raising of eyebrows at my suggestion that Andy
Partridge liked Ash I hunted through the previous digests to see if the
beefburgers I ate as a child weren't affecting my memory.
In Chalkhills Digest #2-107 Mitch Friedman had been talking to Andy on
the phone:

> He also mentioned checking out a new British band called Ash who has a
> single called "Goldfinger" out now. He likes it because it's a
> guitar/bass/drum sound but they veer off in surprising chords and
> directions at times. Sound familiar?

IMHO the album 1977 is well worth a listen; give these guys a few years
to learn how to turn down the guitars and who knows? (They do rip off
"Strangers in the Night" though)

Wishing everyone a happy Hogmanay

Slainte,
	Michael

"I really really really wanna zig a zig aaah!" - Spice Girls

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

Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/00263D38@aetna.aetna.com>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <witterkf@aetna.com>
Subject: "New" in music, a nibble of politics...
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 09:43:00 -0500

>(Kris Markman) My main point...is to ponder what we mean when we talk
>of "new" music...a different interpretation of an existing form or do
>we want something really and truly "new?" And is that possible?

Ahh, the great question of all creative arts. Since I've been ill for a
couple of weeks, I can ask philosophocally: How will we know the *next*
new thing without answering the question, What is the *last* new thing?

I'm inclined to agree with you about "a different interpretation of the
existing form". Who is so "cutting edge" that they can interpret (then,
enjoy) without a reference to the known quantity? Not I. Cliches exist
because without them, everything would have to start from scratch,
like "The Iliad", "The Deerslayer", "The Great Train Robbery" or "Birth
of a Nation". But if it's true that there are no new stories, I favor
people who can tell the tales in new ways or tweak the cliches. Also,
I crave *effort*, not some half-baked rehash wherein the writer ran out
of ideas and says, "Hmm, people would really understand and enjoy this
if I dropped in 'Here's looking at you, kid'." Oooh, I'm so
impressed :-p. Hey, that doesn't turn your miserable screenplay
into the next "Casablanca".

I know enough about public radio to realize it's a "labor of love".
(At least it's not "a calling", such as teaching. If so, all the poli-
ticians would try to make you public enemy #1.) But all of us who were
DJs in college can live out our establishment-fighting dreams
vicariously through you!

>Political songs: JHB, DeWitt Henderson, Trent Turner, Kris Markman, etc:
I was going to post something long and detailed about political songs,
but after my forced absence, most of my ideas already got here via
others, so you're mainly spared.

However: Yes, their political views mesh with mine often, but that's
not why I favor their political songs. It's the skill in the writing,
using devices such as parables, laments, outright anger, humor and
cynicism.  This is no one-trick pony. And the ones that aren't
top-drawer typically don't need a brain implant. I *don't* hear
"Smartest Monkeys" and think "whoa, who ever told him he was able to
write a socially-oriented tune?"  I think "just some tweaking and
smoothing, and it'd be right there."

While the subject is up, I just have to cite "This World Over": "Will
you sing about the missiles"? Why not? Don't we all know "Ring around
the Rosy", a rhyme about the bubonic plague? It's just another
"epidemic" against which one has no power. "Why nothing grows in the
garden?" The two-pronged wordplay also is just Andy, showing us life
at the small scale on which people really deal with cataclysmic
events.

>Re: Michael Penn, Aimee Mann.
I own both "March" and "Free for All". While listening to Mann's
"Whatever", years ago, I, too, remarked that she seemed to have the
same "songwriter's voice" that he did. Quite a strange circumstance,
given the events.

As predictable as a fruit cart in a police chase scene,
Karl

PS Best to all for the holidays. My present is my fiancee getting my
guitar fixed. Her present to herself is how long it takes,
mysteriously, to get my guitar fixed. ("Is it done yet?" "The guy said
it'll take 5-6 months."  :-o)

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

Message-ID: <32C031F3.329E@soltec.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 13:41:39 -0600
From: Bruce Buckingham <moebius@soltec.net>
Subject: (no subject)

Yo Ho Ho!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Peace and Love,

Bruce, Marina, Oriom, and Maxwell

                 http://www.prairienet.org/~moebius/

   -------- "The Modern Day Zappa Refuses to Decompose" --------

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

Message-Id: <199612251849.KAA08989@sgi.sgi.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 19:49:32 +0100
Subject: Broadcasting XTC?
From: Lorenzo Valerio Pugliese <shira@mbox.vol.it>

On Wed, 18 Dec 1996, Mark Strijbos (mmello@knoware.nl) wrote:
>Yesterday i was enjoying a typical boring day at the office when
>suddenly I heard that familiar trumpet intro from Thanks For Xmas
>coming from the radio.
> [...]
>It was played on national Dutch radio so this also means some
>hard-earned cash for our Heroes...
I have to admit it: I am envious.    :-)
I am quite shure that the only time I heard a XTC song played at
the radio was when I put it on!
The dj was a friend of mine and he let me the control for about
a quarter of hour - physical needs, you know    ;-)
So I put on "Gold", "English Roundabout" and "That Wave".
This was about two years ago.
:-D        He didn't let me do it again...     :-D
>And guess what? My co-workers liked it too!
And so did Marta, another radio speaker preparing for broadcast.
Well, Mark, these are satisfactions, anyway!   :-)
                                  Rio

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

Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 15:34:44 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007804aee6f7a8aab6@[207.77.26.112]>
From: Ira Lieman <ira@myself.com>
Subject: Yazbek review...

Hey there. Merry Christmas to all whom it applies.

My friend gave me a newspaper clipping he had been meaning to give me for a
while, it's a Dave Yazbek review from when he played in Philly in mid June.
From the "City Week":

"...Yasbek [sic] is also fuzzy [the previous band, Semisonic, was compared
to a kiwi]. His recently released CD, "The Laughing Man" (W.A.R.?), is an
XTC-inspired treat of expressionistic lyrics and delightfully twisted,
catchy melodies. Songs like "Welcome to My World," "Black Cowboys On The
Beach" (featuring XTC's Andy Partridge on guitar) and "Only Dreaming" are
baroque, wacky, and so catchy you'll find yourself singing the songs
without knowing what lyrics are coming next. The multi-instrumental David
Yasbek [sic], leading the proceedings with clavinettes and pianettes, is
the most dangerous of innovators - he's infectious."

First of all, the writer (A.D. Amorosi) misspelled our friend Dave's
name...uh...4 times out of four, including the headline. Oh well. And why
is it that the cliche to describe anything new is "WACKY" ?? ?? ?? I don't
think it's *WACKY* per se, but infectious is OK. :)

Hasta la pasta...

-ira

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

Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 22:56:51 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199612260356.WAA22461@cyber1.servtech.com>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <particle@servtech.com>
Subject: Fossil Fuel Review

Found the following review on rec.music.reviews, and even though it covers
more or less the same ground as the other ones, I thought, what the heck,
it's Christmas. I hope everyone's winter holiday of choice went/is going as
well as mine did. Peace.

>Roch On Music
>By Roch Parisien
> <awrc@access5.digex.net>

...

>One of those great lost British pop bands, adored by critics and cult
>following alike yet always managing to elude anything resembling sustained
>commercial appeal, two-disc set _Fossil Fuel: The XTC Singles 1977-92_
>(Virgin/EMI) collects 15 years-worth of XTC's excellent, intelligent,
>engaging-with-a-barbed-hook single releases. Covering the early dissident
>pop of "Are You Receiving Me" and "Life Begins At The Hop," lurching hit
>single "Making Plans for Nigel," sheer perfection of "Senses Working
>Overtime," pastoral flavor of "Love On A Farmboy's Wages" and "Grass,"
>semi-controversial agnostic anthem "Dear God," and gentle psychedelia of
>"The Loving," this meticulous 31-track set delivers most everything a
>neophyte needs to know while delighting even long-time fans by sequencing
>every single in chronological order. Booklet includes lyrics but,
>regrettably, no discography or biographical notes.

...

Josh
Ohhhhhhh, it's CHRISTMAS!
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|     particle@servtech.com    http://www.servtech.com/public/particle/   |
|"We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease." |
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #3-63
******************************

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