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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-107


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 107

                  Thursday, 9 July 1998

Today's Topics:

She says Im taking all the time but I dont return it, thats right.....
                      God is a verb
          Vanishing Girl = Lion Sleeps = Wimoweh
                        Andy news
                        Sing Along
              Re: Avengers Soundtrack Track
                       Re: 4 CD box
                The Dead Milkmen/Dear God
           swearing on the radio and the telly
Mummer vs The Big Express - Thoughts From One Who Waited Expectantly to Buy!
             Re: Big Express/Funk Pop A Roll
My Honest God-awful Opinion of Big Express, and other stuff
Lots of stuff. Skip message unless curious of FCC and videos
                    it's quite obscene
                     The Big Espresso
                      Assorted Notes
           A Smiling Mermaid speaks no secrets.
Goody-Good Bullfinch, aired fucks and Bowie (almost XTC-free post)
 Re: The Lion Sleeps Tonight? (essentially XTC-free post)

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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled using Digest 3.6 (John Relph <relph@sgi.com>).

She's not expected home this evening.

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

Message-ID: <000d01bdaa66$46f3a280$f7965ed1@nate>
From: "Gineen" <natalia@javanet.com>
Subject: She says Im taking all the time but I dont return it, thats right.....
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 07:48:07 -0400

Vanishing Girl sounds like In the Jungle? Sorta, I guess, but It's totally
different too. Almost not close enough to even make an issue. I think It's
got the same few chords though, yup.  I was going to pinch my friend when we
were driving and listening to Nonsuch and I think it may have been King For
a Day where he starts singing the lyrics "Everybody wants to rule the world"
Ughhhh........Not that I dislike that song by any means.......but when I am
listening to the boys and someone decides to mingle there perception of the
song into it like that.......Goof Ball. haha.

How is everyone?
Ok .......one thing....The post that read <<<<<I live in Swindon (have done
all my life)!  I regularly see Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory strolling
along the High Street in Old Town, Swindon!>>>> I am going to admit I am 100
percent envious. I would almost give my ear to see Andy on a "Regular"
basis.  Just walking along. Ahhhhhh. Oh gee, golly, wow.
Mr.. Partridge.......Walk by him,accidentaly slip and sneak a kiss on
the way down.

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

From: resident@geocities.com
Message-ID: <35A37F39.60A4@geocities.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 09:16:25 -0500
Subject: God is a verb

Richard said in 4-104

> The line that always gets me is from This World Over...
> "Will you tell them about that far off and mythical land,
> Where a child to the virgin came."
> Always sends shivers down my spine tha

I'd like to point out the word 'mythical' in that quote.

The line that gets me is the very next one:

"Will you tell them that the reason why we murdered
everthing upon the surface of the world
So we can stand right up and say we did it in his name"

I've seen nothing in andy's words (lyrics or interviews) that indicates
that he is 'religious'...quite the contrary I think....
AND, I don't think knowledge of religion (scriptures, dogma, et al)
indicates
a strong religious belief...

Some people do prefer to have a firm understanding of a subject before
determining it's doodle. (shite for you brits) ;)

I for one occasionally view MTV, just to verify that it still sucks.
Once a year, I might even turn on the 'radio'  (visible shudder)

Maybe I should mention here that I live in the 'heartland' (read 'the
vast wasteband') of america. I grew up here, moved away for 12 years,
and came back recently. The play lists of the 2 major radio stations
are literally the same today as they were 12 years ago. LITERALLY. I
swear on my scratchy vinyl copy of "Commerciality: The art of salvage"
....or is it the lure...  obviously I don't get it out often....it's
sitting on top of Go 2.

For lack of a snappy ending, there you have it.
Red

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

From: keone@ix.netcom.com
Message-ID: <35A38C16.A8200C4C@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 09:11:19 -0600
Subject: Vanishing Girl = Lion Sleeps = Wimoweh

The melody used in "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens and echoed in
"Vanishing Girl" is actually a traditional folk melody of African
origin.  The Tokens added the "In the jungle..." lyrics and sent it into
pop history.  The lyrics are copyrighted, but the melody is public
domain.

The tune is commonly known as "Wimoweh", and was most recently covered
by Nanci Griffith on her album "Different Voices, Different Rooms" (sans
"In the jungle..." lyrics).

The earliest recording I have heard of it is "Wimoweh" by the Weavers
(1951) in which that traditionally folksy group is backed by a full
orchestra playing the "In the jungle..." melody line while the lead
singer trills and yodels the melody (no lyrics) while a chorus of
singers rhythmically repeat "wimoweh" throughout.  It's a surreal blast
from the 50s!

The melody line of "Vanishing Girl" was definitely influenced by
"Wimoweh", but most people think it was a direct lift from the Tokens
only because their recording was such a big hit, has familiar lyrics,
and is still played ad nauseum on oldies top 40 radio stations.

I prefer to give Colin the benefit of the doubt and credit him with
being a musician of diverse musical taste and influence.  Enjoy without
guilt.

- John, aka "The Gingerbread Man"

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

Message-Id: <s5a35d2f.021@chemonics.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 11:48:26 -0400
From: Todd Bernhardt <tbernhardt@chemonics.com>
Subject: Andy news

Hi:

Thrilled to say I just got off the phone with Andy -- I just found out
that  _Modern Drummer_ is running my interview w/him in their November
issue, which hits the stands in September, which means they're
printing it next week, which means they need a photo of Andy RIGHT
NOW. Sheesh. I knew they had a long lead time -- consumer magazines
often do -- but this is a trifle ridiculous.

So I called him in a panic and began to leave a message when he picked
up. I caught him gardening -- "ripping apart flowers" as he put it,
"or rather, ripping apart some to make the short lives of the others
more pleasant."

In between asking for the names of people I could call to find a promo
photo, I got some info that I thought I'd pass along to the list.

This has been an "extraordinarily difficult and eventful album," he
said, and pointed out the fact that "we're now a duo, not a trio." I
told him that yeah, Dave's departure had been the topic of quite a bit
of discussion on Chalkhills. He chuckled at that and said, "Yeah, I
imagine."

Good news/bad news time: They're still planning on having the first,
orchestral CD out in Jan. 1999, but it looks like CD #2 will follow in
six months, rather than the one-to-three months we had originally
thought. The fact that they couldn't finish both CDs boils down to a
matter of time and money, he said, and "a very good but very slow
producer." Apparently they've finished recording the instruments for
the first CD (I _think_ he was talking about the first -- perhaps it's
the second; I know the drums and some other instruments for the second
CD are already down), and are now getting set up to record the vocals
at Colin's house -- apparently he has the equipment for this. Perhaps
Mitch/Peter/Simon can supply details that would tell us whether Andy
was talking about the first or second CD.

The book is coming out in September. Didn't ask him about promo plans
because I didn't want to start frothing at the mouth in true
crazed-fan fashion.

Interesting tidbit: While talking about photos, I asked him if I
should talk to Paul Bailey, saying, "He is your manager, right?" His
reply: "Um, no, actually." This came on the heels of the remark about
Dave leaving and the fact that it's been an eventful album, so we both
had a laugh, and I said something along the lines of, "Well, it _has_
been eventful, hasn't it?" Andy is handling the management duties for
now -- as for the future, I don't know ... I didn't ask him his plans
along those lines. Cooking Vinyl apparently doesn't yet have the
standard promo materials, so I'm going to have to try and contact
someone at Geffen who might have photos from materials they used to
promote Upsy Daisy. I already struck out with the first number he gave
me -- the guy is now at another label, which isn't too unusual for the
biz.

Final news, and it's good: They just -- yesterday, I think -- signed
in the U.S. with TVT Records, which Andy said is a big indy that used
to have (and still does?) Nine Inch Nails, among others. Apparently
the label started out flogging TV soundtrack stuff (hence the name --
TVT -- television tunes), and now has a very good distribution network
set up, which is all the band really cares about. Except, that is, for
the fact that they also offered the band a "sensible deal" -- Andy
said that in the course of finding a U.S. label they talked to about
30 labels, and most of them just offered horrible, standard-contract
kind of stuff.

Well, that's it. Time to slip into post-conversation-with-Andy
depression (Did I say the right things? Did I come off as a blithering
idiot or merely an idiot? Or merely a man?) and get back to work.

Cheers,
Todd

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

Message-ID: <9B8C1E03F07BD1119F6B00805FE633CA0EF8C3@ahqex1>
From: Steve Sims <ssims@rei.com>
Subject: Sing Along
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 10:53:34 -0700

My 8 year-old daughter recently surprised me with a complete a cappella
chorus from "No Thugs In Our House."
There's no tattoo yet, but I did check for pamphlets in her bottom drawer.

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

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:08:45 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199807081808.LAA08772@mando.engr.sgi.com>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Re: Avengers Soundtrack Track

Janis Van Court <janis_vancourt@partech.com> asks:
>
>Can someone give me information about the song Andy co-wrote for the
>Avengers movie?  What's it called and who performs it?

It's called "Blow You Away", performed by The Verve Pipe, I believe.
Co-written by Andy Partridge and Brian Vander Ark.

>It was supposed to be released today, no?

The soundtrack is supposed to come out today, yes.

	-- John

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

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:10:48 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199807081810.LAA08777@mando.engr.sgi.com>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Re: 4 CD box

"Darryl R. Stewart" <DarrylStewart@worldnet.att.net> asks:
>
>Any body "in the know" that can find out if the 4-CD box will
>contain any performances from the acoustic radio tour of '89?

As far as I know, the 4 CD box set will include only tracks that XTC
recorded for the BBC since 1977.  That's a lot of tracks!  I had no
idea they recorded so many.  (Did they?)

	-- John

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

From: wwilson@star.zko.dec.com
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 14:07:33 -0400
Message-Id: <98070814073326@star.zko.dec.com>
Subject: The Dead Milkmen/Dear God

If anyone has The Dead Milkmen album with "Bitchin' Camaro" on it...
interested in a tape trade? I haven't done a tape trade in a long time
and they're fun. I have loads of XTC, plus "fun" (novelty?) bands like
Fountains of Wayne, The Lemonheads...

Regarding "Dear God": One of my prized possessions is a copy of "Skylarking"
with Mermaid Smiled instead of Dear God. Personally, I happen to think
there are more arguments for the existence of God or gods than against. But,
please don't e-mail me about this...let's just agree to disagree.

L@@king forward to Dead Milkmen replies!

Wes

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

From: "David McGuinness" <dmcg@btinternet.com>
Subject: swearing on the radio and the telly
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 19:46:25 +0100
Message-ID: <01bdaaa0$b5b577e0$LocalHost@default>

Hello everyone.

Cory noted the
>famous 7 Dirty Words That
>Cannot Be Said on TV

Alas, there is now one more.  Recently a memo arrived in my BBC in-tray
headed 'Sensitivities towards the use of the word TWAT'.

An extract follows:
"It appears there is some uncertainty about the meaning of the word twat
and, therefore, about attitudes towards its suitability for inclusion in our
output.
In many parts of the country it is another term for the C-word and has the
same capacity to offend.  Where relevant, you may want to warn your
programme-makers about its meaning and that it is not acceptable
pre-watershed on television, and on radio at times when children are likely
to be listening. Referral procedures apply for proposed use post-watershed."

So now you know.  Just as well it's not in the song really.

Incidentally, does anyone know if Peter Blegvad is a relation of the Erik
Blegvad who illustrated some wonderful children's books?

bye for now
-David

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

From: "Trent Turner" <trent.turner@mci.com>
Subject: Mummer vs The Big Express - Thoughts From One Who Waited Expectantly to Buy!
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 12:58:07 -0600
Message-Id: <19980708185924.CNLI11946@tturner.cos.mcit.com>

Ah - Mummer, November 1983, stuck in Tulsa, Oklahoma, bemoaning the complete
& total lack of culture (I just couldn't find it at the time!)  I remember
bringing home Mummer and sitting on the couch, listening to it straight
through.

Beating of Hearts moved me immediately.  Love on a Farmboy's wages made me
grin & horny all at once (actually those two things generally occur
simultaneously).  Then, it wasn't until Funk Pop a Roll that I actually got
up & jumped around.  That was my first favorite from Mummer.  I remember how
strange it was to me at the time that once again (as with Black Sea & Drums
& Wires) that I had to listen 3-5 times to like the entire album (yes back
then CD's were still in Popular Science as the next big thing - in 10
years).

FPAR was the Travels in Nihilon from Black Sea & Complicated Game from D&W
for me.  That hard edged rock, get up & kick your ass type of music that I
loved from XTC (& the last song on the album).  I actually found Human
Alchemy annoying, but made myself listen to it because of the lyrics.

I remember being scared after hearing the end of FPAR, where Andy sings
"Bye-Bye" thinking that this might be their last album!

Then a long wait.  3 years of torture working for a boss who was an
alcoholic.  (That IS the nice thing to say about him.)  Then finally, I
can't remember the season so well, but late 86 - early 87, The Big Express
came out.

Again, a few songs grabbed me, the rest required more time.  Wake Up,  All
You Pretty Girls, Reign of Blows.  Train Running Low (on Soul Coal) only
took one more listen.  The rest of the album came along quickly.  I sang
many of those songs to my newborn son to rock him to sleep.
Ballet for a Rainy Day was butchered many a night, but he didn't care, & I'm
sure Andy didn't care.

Then just before leaving Tulsa in August 1988, Skylarking came out a few
months before, getting me through those last few months of living hell.

Sorry to ramble on, but Iain's post from the last digest brought back a
flood of memories, & if any one in the world would care, it would be some
one on this list!

Bottom Line, Iain, you did the right thing: spend next week's food money on
music for today!  Especially XTC!

Respectfully,
Trent Turner
ichat: trentturner

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

Message-ID: <35A3DCDE.6837@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 13:55:58 -0700
From: Rich/MetalMan <cbunnell@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Big Express/Funk Pop A Roll

> > Subject: Mummer vs The Big Express - Thoughts From A Recent Buyer
> >
> >  "Funk Pop A Roll" is just annoying
>
> In about four more listens you are going to be dancing all around the place
> like a freaking madperson in total awe of the 'pure pop perfection' of this
> ass-kicking masterpiece!

    Yeah, really, when I first heard it I despised it, it started
with a good guitar riff and then degraded into an annoying tune, but
now I absolutely love it, especially the way Andy sings "Funk pop a roll
heats UP my soul!" It sounds great, while still a little offbeat.

>> From: "Witter, Karl F" <WitterKF@aetna.com>
>>
>> The Big Express?? Go and get it!!
>
>First listen?  Hated it.  But this stuff "burns" entirely new pathways into
>your brain, and then every additional listen offers the following
>experience, "Where did this fantastic song come from, and how could I have
>missed it last time through?"

   I have my copy of The Big Express now (got it before most of the
Chalkhills recommendations reached me, as a matter of fact) and I
loved it- it's probably the only XTC album that grew on me immediately
(with the possible exception of Black Sea.).

   I guess I just like the hard-edged XTC sound quite a bit. "Wake Up"
--
awesome, especially the chorus. "I Remember The Sun" -- great! "This
World Over" -- a masterpiece. "Train Running Low On Soul Coal" --- wow.

*----------------------------------------------
Rich Bunnell or "Metal Man," whichever sounds more insane
http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/4527/
*----------------------------------------------

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

Message-ID: <35A3E95B.F7E42913@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 14:49:15 -0700
From: Steven Graff <slapdash@earthlink.net>
Organization: SLAPDASH
Subject: My Honest God-awful Opinion of Big Express, and other stuff

Hey Hillers

     The Big Express is possibly the hardest XTC album for me to get
behind, but I've succeeded from liking only one song ('Wake Up!') to
about 7. the big turn off was the production, expecially after I heard
the details, as mentioned in Chris Twomeys book. It was the last CD I
bought before buying the non-album cd's because of this. I just didn't
like the project for some reason, and had to learn to love it.
     "All You Pretty Girls" seems just silly. When i saw the video, I
was won over. Andy looked so young and into it, and the video is
somewhat funnier and better than others, such as "Generals & Majors"
     "This World Over" is classic, but over-keyboarded, escpecially in
the bridge. Great lyrics and music otherwise.
     "Red Brick Dream" is a great tribute to Swindon.
     "Blue Overall" sounds like Andy's holding back a massive belch
throughout, and goes back to his blues roots very well. (Yes he has
blues roots, as such)
     "The Everyday Story of Smalltown" is a nice song that addresses a
universal concern. This is my favorite song of the album now, and is a
great summing up of the essential role small towns play in making a
great nation/society/culture thrive. Development and Progress sometimes
sucks -- causes imbalance -- that can affect the way cities operate, and
the way governments apportion their budgets.
     "I Bought Myself a Liarbird" is a great dig at Ian Reid. Great
guitar stuff too. So great I can't play it even after about 3 years!
     "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her,Kiss Her" I only liked this song after
hearing the Drums & Wireless version, which was even more mechanical
sounding than the record. I think it had a lot to do with the mood I was
in too.
     "Remember the Sun" is either post-apocalyptic, or simply post
adolecent. Either way, another gem from Colin.
     "You're the Wish you Are I Had" the second song i liked on the
album, and not because of the ending. Very giddy, but not as silly as
"All You Pretty Girls."
     I cannot get behind "Shake You Donkey Up" or "Train Running Low on
Soul Coal." Given enough time though, I'll probably do so eventually.

     re: Religious outbursts about 'Dear God':
     I agree with Andy. it may be a good song, but it doesn't seem to
say as much , and in as much detail as you could with several songs. And
this is only if you WANT to delve into such issues, which I think, Andy
doesn't, because that's not really his bag. I think the song says more
about society's contradictions in their interpretation of good and evil,
and creating a great big source to blame their confusion on.
Churches/religions and spirituality are not necessarily a well matched
pair. I have my own beliefs about such things, and wouldn't tell anyone
because I figure, they, like me, just have their own beliefs and live
their lives within that context.

     re: My Weapon,Super-Tuff
     I never cared for them myself, but they seem somwhat appropriate on
a risky collection like Go 2. XTC was stretching their arms out on this
one. Beatown and Jumping in Gommorah, and I Am the Audience are equally
weird and wacky, but we like them better because we've trained ourselves
on Colin and Andy. I wonder what our opinions would be if we experienced
them as everyone else did in 78....the second album of a band no-one
knows (outside of Swindon, London....). Would we examine Barry with as
much care as we do Andy and Colin and come to the same conclusion?

     re: The Lion Sleeps Tonight (wee-ma-weh)
     Brian Eno covered it as a b-side to a single, available on CD in
the Eno I boxed set. (and yes, it's "boxed set", not "box set"...a
phrase I abhor and blame on the idiot who made the mistake in the first
place way back when boxed sets made their first appearance with CD's.
     A box set is a set of boxes. A boxed-set is a set within one
collective box.)

    re: Paul McCartney
      If you want to learn how to write great pop songs...start here.
      Then check out Brian Wilson.
      He's the most successful Beatle, and the most talented.
      Period.
      Anyone who argues about Lennon has to explain or get around his
years of (hard) drug abuse and untimely death...plus Yoko.
      They also have to come up with his contributions outside music and
weigh them with McCartneys.
      Yes. I like him a lot. He and Andy are two people I'd love to meet
before I, or they, die.
      I'd also love to hang out with Paul's gorgeous daughters if
possible...one at a time of course :)

     That's all...
      Steven Graff

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

From: nsps@usa.net
Message-ID: <19980708192642.22113.qmail@www09.netaddress.usa.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 19:26:42
Subject: Lots of stuff. Skip message unless curious of FCC and videos

Hello all,

I've been a reader for a long time, and suddenly and a number of
comments to make. I'm replying to three different posts, so please
excuse the length.

> From: RiknBkr@aol.com
> Subject: Re:Big Express
>
>>What I want to know is, does the rest of The Big Express match up
>>to the first 5 songs?
>
> Yes.  IMHO I think it's better than the first side......well at
>least I played it more on vinyl when it came out in '84.

I'll agree with that. Yes, my first post and I admit I love The Big
Express. There are some great songs on side two. Especially "I Bought
Myseld a Liar Bird" and "... Small Town.

> From: Adam Tyner <ctyner@clemson.edu>
> Subject: Radio / breakeven point
>
> During my very brief experience with college radio, there were
> fliers and warnings posted all over the booth saying how there was a
> $500 fine (or somesuch) fine from the FCC if you used "hard"
> profanity on the air, but then I hear the uncensored version of Ben
> Folds Five's "Song For The Dumped" on a local station.

I used to work at a radio station, and the station basically tried to
get away with as much profanity as possible. IF the song was known for
vulgarity, or that song where the singer yells "Fuck you I won't do
what you tell me" or something over and over it is bleeped, but if
it's just one fuck/shit/cunt (I don't think we ever played a song with
cunt, but it's one of the words) that isn't really obvious they didn't
bleep it and hoped no one noticed. If a station edited the word bitch
it is probably something to do with religious management.

> From: "STEVE PERLEY" <steveandlauren@grolen.com>
>
> You'll recall from the last issue that Stephanie Takeshita sent MTV
> a press release about Dave's departure.
>
> It was a nice thought and everything, but you forgot one vital
> point: if you can't work the Puff Daddy* angle into a story, MTV
> News won't touch it!
>
> While I'm being pessimistic here, maybe Mitch should suggest to Andy
> that they not waste any money on a video.  After all, nobody will
> ever see it.
>
> [*Not to seem narrow-minded or anything, but screw Puff Daddy.  He
> sucks.]

Hehehe. I was meaning to write that I recently got to see the " Dear
God" video! My sister was watching Pop Up Video on VH1 and it said
they were doing an alphabetical history all weekend of the fourth. I
assumed they would have at least one band for X, so I tuned in during
the last hour and sure enough, they played the "God Video" It was
interesting, and I learned something Andy isn't good at: Lip synching
(sp???). But no problem, more power to him!. But I agree that video
promotion wouldn't be great. I just wanted to inform people since the
whole thing is over and they couldn't see it.  MTV wants to make
money, and they make it with tested formulas, not by playing XTC.

Since this post is already too long, I'd like to take two more lines
to plug my new album, "Those Wacky Crazy Canadians" by Nutra Sweet
Pixie Sticks. Visit the page. Due to technical difficulties, the best
songs aren't up yet.  http://members.tripod.com/~Jeremyly

I'll be shorter next time,
Jeremy Mathews

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

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 17:31:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <mojo@owlnet.rice.edu>
Subject: it's quite obscene
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.95q.980708165045.1073B-100000@long-eared.owlnet.rice.edu>

  <<The trick is this...it is a matter of enforcement.  Listen to a
classic rock station.  When you hear Pink Floyd's "Money," you will,
morethan likely, hear the word "bullshit."  The FCC is dependent on
people in the community to inform them of violations.  Unless you are
being monitored by a bible thumping group, no one regularly tapes
the radio signal to file a complaint and have a copy of the offending
broadcast.>>

   Right.  A few years ago when our station manager was going over
the guidelines about what can be aired and what can't, she went
through the list of usual violations, no offensive descriptions or
terms for sexual/excretory organs or acts, no hate speech, no
saying anything to incite a riot, etc. but she also said that
expletives alone weren't enough to arouse the FCC's ire...namely
that in the abstract sense, the f-word is okay if you're saying
it in anger, or in a sentence like, "F--- the rules!"  However,
you can't say, "F--- the (person, animal, thing)!", because, no
matter how you intend it, it implies physical contact in some way,
and is therefore obscene.
   If we had anything on the naughty side, typically we'd wait
until after 9 to air it, when presumably all the kiddiewinks had
gone to bed.

   marshall

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

Message-Id: <35A41FF9.3906A257@usa.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 20:42:22 -0500
From: Ben Gott <loquacious@usa.net>
Organization: Loquacious Music - http://www.bowdoin.edu/~bgott
Subject: The Big Espresso

Hillpeople,

You'd better hope that Paul is still offering free copies of his band's CD.
"Clockwise" has some really nice roots-rocky stuff...and I can hear some XTC
influence, too! Mmm Mmm good -- and I don't mean "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"!
(although all owners of Crash Test Dummies' "God Shuffled His Feet" should
pull it out and listen to it).

"I Remember the Sun" is truly one of the best XTC songs ever written. Dave's
piano part is astonishing, and the whole song screams "string arrangement! I
need a string arrangement!" "The Big Express" takes awhile to get into, but
once you're there, it's quite warm and cozy.

I would like to stand up and defend "Super Tuff" and "The Smartest Monkeys."
I like the growliness of one, and the cheeziness of the other (can you guess
which is which?)

Debie, your post was great. Keep 'em coming, OK? Maybe next time you walk
past Mr. Partridge, you could -- oops! -- accidentally bump into him!

And, finally, as to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight": American humour columnist
Dave Barry had a "Bad Song Survey" a few years back. "Lion" was included,
and some interpretations of its chorus included: "Weem-o-wep,"
"Wee-ma-wack," "Weenawack," "A-ween-a-wap," and "Wingle whip."

-Ben

+------------------------------------------------------------+
     Ben Gott :: Loquacious Music :: Salisbury, CT 06068
       http://www.bowdoin.edu/~bgott :: (860) 435-9726
   Six or eight thousand years ago, they laid down the law!
+------------------------------------------------------------+

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

Message-ID: <19980709052046.13330.qmail@www05.netaddress.usa.net>
Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 05:20:46
From: Derek Miner <minerwerks@usa.net>
Subject: Assorted Notes

Iain Murray wrote in Digest #4-105:

> Derek Miner (#4-104) mentioned the fact that "Your Dictionary" would
> not receive radio airplay because of the so-called risk of causing
> widespread offence. Unfortunately, this is not just confined to the
> more conservative areas of the United States.
> In Australia, we have a self-regulating national broadcaster (Triple
> J Radio - check out the website at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej)
> which is probably the only station that will play uncensored
> material at any time of day. Therefore, I would suggest that this is
> the only place where Australian Chalkhillians will be able to hear
> "Your Dictionary" receive even the smallest amount of radio time.
> While on the subject of censorship, I'd be interested to hear from
> anyone regarding their own opinions on music censorship. IMHO, there
> is no point in censoring music - what kind of backward,
> repressionist society tries to ban a *song*? Music does not cause
> cancer, it does not provoke people to commit crimes against humanity
> (the sort of people who might do something like that can easily be
> set off by any stimulus, not necessarily Andy Partridge spelling
> "F-U-C-K"), and music does not turn teenagers into rampaging demon
> spawn. God forbid, some music might actually encourage people to
> think!

All good points. There are groups in the U.S. which take these ideas and use
them as scare-tactic propaganda, however. I used to love catching late-night
programs on religious channels spending time to denounce rock and roll in
depth. The best stuff was when they started playing songs backwards and
claiming the devil put evil messages there. Haven't seen any of these shows
on gangsta rap, though... hmmmm.

The Chalkhills and Children book relates an interesting story of a boy who
took his school's office hostage until they played "Dear God" over the
intercoms. Most of the time, yes, anyone who's going to do something that
drastic was ready to snap before they heard such-and-such a song.

To clarify, though, I was suggesting that *radio people* might claim "Your
Dictionary" would offend as an excuse not to play the song.

> Are there any genuine instances of "offensive" songs causing anti-
> social behaviour? (And I'd really appreciate it if nobody brings up
> the Judas Priest example....) If anyone has any thoughts about this,
> please E-Mail me (so we don't clutter up the posting board).

But Judas Priest is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Ozzy Osborne has
been blamed for suicide. The Beatles were said to influence Charles
Manson. The group Negativland started a rumor that a boy who had brutally
murdered his family had listened to a song of theirs called "Christianity Is
Stupid." This started a media circus larger than they had expected, and they
had to admit it was a stunt. But they created a great audio collage called
"Helter Stupid" in response to the situation...

Sorry to "clutter up," but it's too good a topic!

And Keith Sawyer wrote:

> I was told several years ago that safe harbor regulations you refer
> to (I always thought they were midnight to 6am) are no longer in
> effect ... can any radio-affiliated Chalkhill member confirm or
> rebut this?

I'd like to know myself... I haven't heard anything since I got out of
school... but I do know the hours had changed several times over the
years. Safe harbor at one point began at 8pm!

> In any case, you're right - I misspoke when I used the word
> 'obscene' in the context of the F-U-C-K debate.

I'm sorry if it appeared as a correction directed at you... I was going for
a more general reach. My comments tend to come out a bit heavy,
unfortunately...

On a drastically different thread, Jonathan Monnickendam asked:

> Has anybody heard the new [Brian] Wilson cd ?

It's a wonderful listen... As I've read in several places, this is not a
disc that will be groundbreaking, or redefine Brian as an artist. But he has
made huge strides in getting back to the creative shape he was before
breaking down. The most spectacular aspect of the disc is Brian singing
*all* the vocals, and they sound wonderful! He's come a long way in getting
his voice back...

And before I forget once again, my thoughts on Andy's songs for Nicky
Holland...

When this disc came out, I was working at a record store. One day while the
CD was playing on the store system, I got this feeling that the song I was
hearing sounded a whole lot like something Andy Partridge would
write. Surprisingly enough, I found I was right when looking in the
booklet. I've only taken a passing notice in Andy's extracurricular
songwriting, so there's no way I would have known about this collaboration
in advance... at least consciously.

Oh, and shame on all of you! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
Shame on Debie Edmonds for flaunting the Swindon life hanging out with EIEI
Owen who replaces broken collectible records...  Shame on Mr. Relph for
flaunting how great the new XTC book is when he knows good well we can't
read it yet!
But cheers to Mr. Jason Phelan, Nice Guy (you bet your sweet bippy I'll
address my envelope that way) for offering to copy demos for us!  I guess
I'll just slip off to bed and stare at my autographed Oranges and Lemons
album slick... oops! Shame on me! ;)

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

Message-ID: <8191BF798BAFD111817B0001FA0E3A574EDA7B@ZSCED004>
From: "ARCHER-MAY,Mark" <Mark.ARCHER-MAY@deetya.gov.au>
Subject: A Smiling Mermaid speaks no secrets.
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 15:44:09 +1000

>Also, the TMBG version of it is from the '90s, and I wouldn't
 really call it a "cover," it has the title "The Guitar" and for
the most part, besides the twist on the chorus ("In the
spaceship, the silver spaceship, the lion takes control")
the song is wildly different.<

Yes I know it's from the nineties and I know the variations
on the lyrics and that TMBG managed to add a few more
lyrics to the song with a different tune but lets face it the
whole song is formed around this variation on the theme
of the Lion Sleeps Tonight for comedic impact (without
the Lion section it's pretty pointless) and as I look at the
Lyrics right now their isn't a whole lot of new lyrics
attached, infact on a lyric content more than 50% of
the lyrics are the Lion Sleeps Tonight. Even in these
days of sampling I feel if the major part of a song is
lifted and used in another song it is another version of
it, after all when Erasure covered the Abba song "Take
a chance on me" and stuck a (c)rap (the C is silent by
the way) section in the middle it was a version of the
Abba song and not a (c)rap song (but I suppose that
depends on your taste.) My statement was more
directed to the fact that the Lion Sleeps Tonight
has been used over and over again and has been
used to ad nauseum since a date beyond my
knowledge.

>If there were a god, I would have heard Mermaid
Smiled on the way to work this morning instead of
Dear God. But then again, maybe the existance of
Mermaid Smiled proves the existance of God.<

Then again perhaps the fact that you heard Dear
God proves that Mermaids exist (something that
I think is much more likely). Perhaps we have
stumbled on a conspiracy to keep the existance
of Mermaids a secret. Perhaps Mermaid Smiled
got to close truth and it had to be silenced and the
Society Of Aquatic Half Humans (or is that half fish)
squelched it with a firm flipper. Don't chuckle with
disbelief less likely conspiracies rate alarmingly well
on T.V.

Remember The Truth Is Currently Sleeping in a Cheap
Hotel in Bali

Mark

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

Message-Id: <v03102800b1ca0268e5d7@[165.227.110.102]>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 23:18:34 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <richard@tactics.com>
Subject: Goody-Good Bullfinch, aired fucks and Bowie (almost XTC-free post)

Having let my FCC license expire, I do not have easy access to the current
data but I did once ask the FCC to provide me with a list of words or terms
not considered acceptable for broadcast (the famous 7 Dirty Words That
Cannot Be Said on TV).  They don't have one and wouldn't tell me the words
over the phone.

In any event, the reality is close to this... the FCC is not monitoring
stations, even sporadically.  To find something offensive and make any
effort to enforce it, it must be , reported and repeated (the logical
outcome is that the offended person will simply change stations and never
report it ) and the worst that will happen is that the station will b
einformed that someone was upset.  It used to be that U.S. DJs had to have
a 3rd class FCC license to be on the air.  This didn't apply to talk show
hosts and, in the 70's, music radio started to have "Radio Personalities"
and rather than "DJs", they had technicians.  The technicians argued that
they couldn't be held liable for indiscretions put forth by the "Radio
Personalities" and the 3rd class license became a zero-value thing.  It was
finally eliminated altogether in the mid-80's.

When Floyd's "Money" first hit the waves, it was run through a device with
some improbable name (Phil Manzanera actually recorded a song playing his
guitar through one) that sampled the "offending" words, took tiny sections
and turned them around but kept them "in place" (i.e., no dropout or dead
air).  This is why early radio copies of "Money" sounded like they were
singing something akin to "Goody-good Bullflitched."

Other notable slip-throughs (that got commercial radio airplay) are Steely
Dan's "Showbiz Kids"  (Well, the showbizniz kids makin' movies of
themselves, ya know they don't give a fuck about anybody else.), The Who's
"Who Are You" (Yeah, who the fuck are you?) and some Foreigner song that I
have thankfully forgotten had some fade-out line (I just want to fuck you.)
Wow.  What a role model.

I'm sure there are many others and I'm not trying to start a contest or get
everyone's opinion about which double album had the most naughty words on
it, I just thought I'd point out that there is virtually nothing stopping
"Your Dick" or "Your Dictionary" from getting airplay.  The possibility is
potentially regretable when schoolboys snicker and grin about hearing the
letters, then XTC will have another oddly motivated single (referring to
"Dear Doug") and then their school will ban the record because "XTC" is
felt to be a drug reference.  This is what happened with Bowie's "Ziggy
Stardust" when "wise" school administrators thought it was a thinly veiled
call for students to snort horse tranquilizers which was easier to get than
vomit sawdust in my high school (I'm guessing they meant "Angel Dust" but
they would not elaborate).

...and speaking of Bowie, T.W. Duke, in regards to live performances, said,
"Those are my final gigs.  That's it.  Period."  Ray Davies essentially
said the same thing... 25 years ago this week.

Oh... by the way... CC98 is progressing with a minor setback... that
rat-bastard Patrick Fitzpeter has the nerve to claim some of his free time
for his personal life!  THE AUDACITY!  He will be taking a vacation and
depriving YOU of YOUR copy of CC98 (which, I might add, is better than any
preceding tribute) so there will be a delay in the release date... probably
a month.  No biggy.  I'll post an update and ordering information in a week.

Cheers, Richard

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

Message-Id: <v03102800b1ca118f54df@[165.227.110.102]>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 23:33:48 -0700
From: Richard Pedretti-Allen <richard@tactics.com>
Subject: Re: The Lion Sleeps Tonight? (essentially XTC-free post)

I always loved The Tokens version (though I wouldn't admit it in the 70's).

My favorite version is Brian Eno's cover who had some loose connection to
XTC somewhere...

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

End of Chalkhills Digest #4-107
*******************************

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