Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-114

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 114

                  Saturday, 18 July 1998

Today's Topics:

Why don't atheists get upset when we say "There is a God"
                 no linguini in our lunch
                  On Andy's family.....
           Johns K and L; Gone Colin Demos Gone
                    Difficult rhythms
                      I'll Be Brief
            Coming to a supermarket near you!
                  Re: Youngest XTC fan?
                     Dear Pumpkinhead
                     Perfect Bridges
                      A few thoughts
          Haven't I Heard This Somewhere Before
            GLE, Martin Newell CD, where, how?
                    A measure of time
                       Odd Time Out
                  Three Cheers For Terry
               Ghem Fleegba Modge Da Rempo
                Barenaked Ladies like XTC
                  getting hooked on XTC


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No we're leaving nothing.


Message-ID: <>
From: Robert Wood <>
Subject: 7/8
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 22:34:45 +0100

The Gingerbread Man asked:

>> It's such an amazing song and few pop/rock songs have unusual time;
signatures.  Indeed, what other recognizable rock tunes have used; anything
other than 4/4 and 3/4 times? <<

Oooh, off the top of my head, "Money" by Pink Floyd, 7/8.


Message-Id: <v03020900b1d432e57562@[]>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 17:14:45 -0600
From: Olof Hellman <>
Subject: Why don't atheists get upset when we say "There is a God"

Got to agree with Todd Bernhardt that this is the best so far of the Dear
God threads, and He knows the veterans around here have suffered through
some painful ones.

I partly instigated this one with a tease for the less religious of you:
how do you feel when, for example, in "Deliver us from the Elements", a
deity is addressed straightforwardly.  Does that song mean any less to you
because you don't believe in God?  And why not?  If you take your beliefs
seriously (and from some of the responses to Bob's well-worded but
a-tad-too-Fundamentalist-for-my-tastes post, some people do), you should be
denouncing a song like that for its lack of depth and its naivite.  The
first time around this challenge elicited no response at all.  Why is that?
I mean there's even XTC content there.

One of the things that I've really come to like even more about "Dear God"
recently is that the most blasphemous part of the lyrics occurs at the same
time as the height of the musical tension.  Everything after "hoax"  seems
to be denoument: the change in the painful long o vowels to long e, the
softening of the percussion, the step down in pitch, as if the speaker
knows that it was blasphemy and unconsiously retreats from it.

Also, in my last post I said that XTC might just qualify as prophets in my
book.  I didn't mean that on the level of XTC being carriers of a message
from God in any explicit way, but if this thread takes a turn for the worse
again (i.e. towards incivility) it will only show how prophetic were the
words "fighting  ... 'cause we can't make opinions meet".  Let's try and
prove Andy wrong here, just this once.

May the Lord bless us and keep us....

- Olof

And for the more religious of you, I'm working on a little piece about why
I think it's not as blasphemous as it sounds.  I'll post it on my web site
at some point.  Wouldn't want to add kindling here...


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 18:19:05 EDT
Subject: Whoa


Boy, I just read the latest Chalkhills digest, and I can't understand why
can't we talk about something else besides religion?  This isn't a religious
mailing list, it's a mailing list to discuss music, mainly XTC.  I'm getting
sick of this religious talk.  This should be discussed someplace else. (my
opinion).  I like this digest, but I'm getting sick of reading things about
Dear God and religious things.

On this Beatles thing, I like both Paul McCartney and John Lennon equally.
They are both excellent songwriters.  Sometimes I like to listen to Paul and
sometimes I like to listen to John.  I also like George and Ringo.

To that person who bashed "Wonderland" I like that song.  I think it's a
great song.  It makes me think of the summer.  I also think Mummer is a
great album, but so is Big Express.  I can't really choose what album I
really like, and why should I choose?

That's all I have to say.  Please no flames.  I don't appreciate them.


Fave quote - "Try not to operate this computer in a state of intoxication,
and I find it's best not to lick your mouse." - Andy Partridge


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 19:10:16 EDT
Subject: #XTC


I'm announcing a chat on IRC on Thursday, July 24, at 10pm EST.  I'll be
posting the time soon on my web page at  I'm going to see if I can do
an ICQ chat soon, if I can download it.  More details to come.



Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 16:21:42 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Bob Estus <>
Subject: no linguini in our lunch

Vaguely Chalkflavoured,

Suzanne Cerquone explaining what she left over:
>TVT gave them free reign: food, cars, clothing, even office space for
>smoking blunts.  When these Freddie Freeloaders started eating my lunch out
>of the office refrigerator, I had had enough. This is something XTC has no
>control over either, but it's still maddening.

Heh. Was I the only one with visions of Colin and Andy rummaging through the
company fridge. Hey! Did that freeloading sonbitch Andy eat my lunch? :^)


k. siegel wondered:
>Does anyone know anything about Andy's kids...gender, age, names,
>whether they are professing an interest in music as a career like their
>dad <snip>

More swiped from Bungalows Rifff transcripts (4 September 1997):
(another) Andy says: How's your little girl ? Am i correct in thinking that
Holly up on Poppy off Nonsuch is a kind of a diitto about her ?

AP: Yeah, but strike the word little. She is 12 but looks 16. She goes in
and out now as opposed to up and down. I used to love to watch her ride her
rocking horse, Poppy, but now if she were to climb on it, I would be really
worried. But she plays piano very primitively and has a fantastic voice so
stand by your bunks.


Andy's kids are named Holly and Harry, very poetic but limited in scope for
future gets. If Andy had another child they would have to be named observing
the current form: H + previously unused vowel + double previously unused
consonant + Y. This leaving the possibilities of: Heddy, Hemmy, Henny,
Hetty, Hevvy, Higgy, Hippy, Hissy, Huffy, Huggy, and Hussy. As I said



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 22:56:54 EDT
Subject: On Andy's family.....

Kristi, I shall answer the questions you posed, to the best of my slight

Kids-Andy has two, Holly and Harry. (Coincidentally, also the names of two of
the great Terry Gilliam's children.)
Ages-This year, Holly is 13, Harry is 11.
Gender-Draw your own conclusions. ;)
Professing interest in music-Dunno. But if they inherited anything from Andy,
they'd be damn good songwriters.
Andy's marriage-Married once, to Marianne Wyborn, from 1979-1994. And he's
involved with someone right now too.

Cool? Cool.

XTC song of the day-Wonderland (Say what you want, I love that friggin' song.)
non XTC song-The Lumberjack Song-Monty Python's Flying Circus


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 20:46:08 -0700
From: Eric Rosen <>
Subject: Johns K and L; Gone Colin Demos Gone


To those who say that XTC has little or no influence on the content of
their videos, I agree and have seen AP state as much on various
occasions.  Where PP and JFK are concerned, the sequence in question is
so blatant that it's hard to imagine that this was "stuck in" without
any consultation.

Perhaps one of our chalxters with access could find out?


These Lennon threads have been interesting.

Has anyone seen the VH1 Behind the Music show on "stalkers?"  There was
a lengthy bit on Lennon's assassination that was re-hashing all of the
standard, sanitized info that comes from the book, "Let Me Take You
Down."  I can't remember the author's name but he was interviewed on the

It was depressing how they never interviewed British author Fenton
Bresler, author of "Who Killed John Lennon?"  Bresler has a completely
different take on the assassination.  It would be nice if VH1 would at
least juxtapose the two.

Bresler makes a cogent case that Lennon's murder was by Chapman and that
Chapman is/was a victim of "mind control."  By virtue of the fact that
his claim is covert in nature, it's unreasoable to expect an author
(someone without subpoena power) to be able to write 100% fact and 0%
speculation nevertheless, the murder, the life and times of the assassin
and the events in Lennon's life (don't forget J Edgar Hoover's FBI
constant wiretaps, the efforts at deporting him and the efforts to
thwart his US citizenship initiative) are covered in considerable detail
and *** at the very least*** the questions he asks are justified.

Bresler points out that the weekend following the assassination, he &
Yoko had tickets to fly to California where they were going to
participate in demonstrations protesting unequal pay for Japanese
Americans doing the same work as white Americans and to participate in a
Teamsters rally.  Bresler debunks Albert Goldman's book that claims the
housedad persona was a public smokescreen for a fiendish drug dominated
existence.  Bresler claims that by the late '70s, JL was sober and a
naturalized US citizen that was ready to return to activist mode.
Considering that Reagan was a film actor, what was to stop JL from a
career in politics later in life?

While some chalxters claim that Double Fantasy was sappy, I agree in
part but clearly there were songs that pointed in the direction of born
again activism.  Clean Up Time and Nobody Told Me (There Would be Days
Like This) [sic?] make that clear.

I find it virtually impossible to imagine the '80s and John Lennon
co-existing.  I find the timing of his death eerie.  Carter just lost
the election and Reagan was yet to take power (as if to avoid an
association in the public mind between JL's death and the Reagan

I recently heard from a friend that Sean Lennon has gone on record
stating that Chapman was more than a "lone nut."


Mitch F. recently recounted how Colin must have taped over all his
demos.  OOOOOUUUUUUCCCCCHHHHH!!!!!  Back in the early '90s when I was
feverishly collecting all "non-cannonical" XTC material, I suspected
that Colin had a multitude of demos that never made the bootleg circuit
due to something personal at his end (reluctance to share unfinished
work or something like that).  When I saw how many great songs of his
were left off of Nonsuch, I felt this suspicion to be vindicated.  I
even recall meeting Chris Twoomey at the 1990 fan club convention in
Manchester  where he brought some 'reel to real' tapes that had some
Colin demo material on them.  To hear that they no longer exist is just
too painful but nevertheless, thanks for sharing, Mitch.


Message-Id: <v01540b02b1d47850c3f9@[]>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 15:49:34 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Difficult rhythms sez:
>Indeed, what other recognizable rock tunes have used
>anything other than 4/4 and 3/4 times?

I once did a two hour radio special called "Difficult rhythms" which was
entirely made up of rock songs in other than 3/4 and 4/4. I could try to
hunt out the list, but there are quite a number

off the top of my head:
* Money - Pink Floyd (7/8)
* Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel (7/8)
* All you need is love - Beatles (verse in 7/8)
* I Generate a Feeling - Pete Shelley (13/8)
* Living in the Past - Jethro Tull (5/4)
* Light Flight - Pentangle (alternating 5/8 amnd 7/8 with 3/4 bridge)
* sections of Something by the Beatles are in 2/4, 3/4 and 5/4 IIRC
* about 1/3 of the works of King Crimson (for example "Indiscipline", 5/4),
and acres of stuff by Genesis
* there is a Joe Jackson song off Blaze of Glory in 5/4 - the title eludes me
* for NZ music fans, Sneaky Feelings' "Walk to the square" is in 5/4


PS - in my head, I hear English roundabout as simply being a syncopated
4/4, but I'll go and have a closer listen tonight


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 23:16:51 -0400
From: "Jeffrey C. Krajewski" <>
Subject: I'll Be Brief

Hello out there,

    I have been reading the newsletters for sometime now and this is my
first posting. I unfortunately have to be brief.
To Rick Avard : I can relate. I've been listening to alot of Monkees
lately(sure there prefab, but I can't help it). There is alot of good
song writing there.
To The Gingerbread man: I belive it is 5/4.
To Bob and Jeff: You're not alone, but this isn't the place.
To Don Rogalski: Lighten up Francis.
To everyone else: This is Chalkhills, not Jerry Springer.



Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 01:16:00 -0600
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Coming to a supermarket near you!

     Why is it that the joy of hearing something as wonderful and
     unexpected as King For a Day, while perusing the Hostess Ding Dongs at
     the neighborhood market, has to be dashed by the fact that some
     retired baseball organist can't force him/herself to hit a simple note
     progression while recording said gem for Musak Inc.  All major, no

     I hope God chooses to smash the insect.

     While we're (I'm) on the subject, I personally think that Paul's music
     is much better suited to musak conversion.

     Now, where is that beer sale?


     ps. For all of you non-yanks, a baseball organist is a surgeon who
     specializes in removing the baseball gland from parents so that they
     can allow their children to lead normal summers without having to be
     embarrassed by mothers and fathers screaming obscenities at 16 year
     old umpires who mistakenly think that the child in question is capable
     of being anything less than a 1000 hitter.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 09:24:29 EDT
Subject: Re: Youngest XTC fan?

>In my four months on board I've seen only a few Chalkhillers
>mention their *kids* and XTC.

Great story.  Now that's a smart kid.

Well since I haven't mentioned my kids, .let me indulge.  On the drive home
from the hospital with my wife and day old daughter, "Senses" came on the
radio, broadcast by the local FM station.  How appropriate, and this was
videotaped for posterity (anybody for family video time!!!!zzzzzzz..).  As
my daughter grew older and around the age of 2, she started to request
watching that particular home video,.  Which by the way I compiled into her
ultrasound video and added "Then she Appeared" (especially since Nonsuch was
just released during the gestation period) as the musical background.  This
led to her interest in "Senses Working Overtime" .  Along the way we kept
playing all the other XTC tunes, but she definitely lit up whenever she
heard "Senses".  As she started to know the words to the song, she would
start singing along up to the point she made up some words to fit the
unintelligible ones.  My favorite of these lines was the part about "dirt
and treasures", whereas she would sing "turd and treasures".  She had my
wife and I in stitches.  The other one was "Another Satellite" which she
mistook Andy singing "Don't eat another satellite".  Well, back to lurking.


Message-ID: <0143041F00B7D011B7C500A0C90051511409FF@IMA_NT1>
From: "BOB O'BANNON" <>
Subject: Dear Pumpkinhead
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:59:08 -0500

Dave wrote:

>>RE: Peterpumpkinhead
I've heard this is related to JFK before, but do not see the connection
at all.  I've always believed "PeterPumpkinhead" is a sort-of modern day
Jesus Christ.  Kind-of a "this is what would happen if a messiah came
today."  It seems Andy is taking a jab at all the organized religions,
in effect, saying they would crucify him if he came today- in the name
of religion of course.  Wow, isn't that a familiar tale my fellow

If this is the accurate interpretation, it's simply a rewrite of what
the Bible has already declared to have actually happened 2,000 years ago
- the Messiah crucified in the name of religion. If Andy thinks it would
happen that way today (which it would), why hold that the Bible's
account from 2,000 years ago is false ("Father, Son and Holy Ghost is
just somebody's unholy hoax")? Andy's speculation about the fate of a
Messiah in "Pumpkinhead" suggests that the Bible's story is believable,
and yet ironically Andy dismisses this notion in "Dear God."

Bob O'Bannon


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 18:14:19 +0200
From: Imanol Ugarte <>
Subject: Perfect Bridges

Hello Chalkers,

Although I got a copy of the 95 demos three months ago,for
some reasons I haven't  listened to them until now (no more
than three times).
Albeit I haven't  a whole impression of all these demos yet,
I feel a  excellent quality on these : inspired
tunes,variety of moods, cool  instrumentation,... It  almost
sounds  like a  professionally  released  record (superior
than  lo-fi).

Well, I just wanted to remark the gorgeous  bridge part of
Bumper Cars. I really think that it's not easy to  heard
such a wonderful tune these days. It caught me instantly,and
put  my senses working altogether :))

I also think that there's a lot of fantastic short
tunes,bridges and whole songs not officially released by
XTC  that easily overcome other known pop bands music.
Was a Yes, Difficult Age, Raising A Family In A House Full
Of Mice   have  wonderful bridges, mainly melodic but they
are the essence of pure pop for me. We need them

PS: Does anyone know  what is exactly the second guitar
chord on Then She Appeared ("...little frightened"  part) ?
I've been searching through the Chalkhill Archives but I
haven't seen it very clean.I think this part is also used on
Goodbye Humanosaurus ("...home for us" part).

That's all
(forgive language  mistakes)

Imanol Ugarte


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 13:42:17 -0400
Subject: A few thoughts

Chalksters and Chalkettes;

1.  I'm going to touch on the "Dear God" controversy but hopefully add a
different spin.   Now, I recognize that Andy wrote the song and sang it,
but to my knowledge Mr. P has never identified who the narrator of the song
is;  in other words, from whose point of view is it sung?  We're all
presuming that Andy is the narrator.   Before you wonder if I've lost it,
give me a second to make my point.  I feel that this is just a song about
SOMEONE (not necessarily Andy) challenging the concept of a God because of
the confusing world we live in.

Think about it:  Andy wrote a song called "No Thugs in Our House", right?
Andy isn't really the father of a "little Graham", is he?  And he doesn't
have to because that's one of the wonderful things about art and
literature.  An author or songwriter can use their fertile imagination to
compose something that is thought-provoking and/or different.  And just
because Andy sings the words doesn't mean that "Dear God" is sung from his
point of view.

My point is that Dear God is just a song, and it's useless for us to argue
whether or not Andy is an aetheist or whether he even believes in the words
to his own song.  But it is obviously thought-provoking, nonetheless.

2.   What really suprises me about this list is that while there are many
female members, a lot of posters use non-inclusive language.   I see many
patriarchal terms such as "mankind" used extensively.  I think we should be
a little more considerate of our wording;  for instance, "humankind" is a
more inclusive, accurate word.

3.  Does anyone know about Dave's ability to share in the profits of the
new release(s)?   For instance, is he still (or was he ever) an owner of
IDEA records?  Will he share in the revenues of the new CD's as a band
member at the time of the recording sessions or will he just be paid for
the sessions work he did?

4.   Andy's recent comment about Colin only having 2 original demo copies
in his possession made me chuckle.  I can't imagine someone who creates
such great stuff could be so seemingly uncaring about his art (or more
accurately, the creation phase of his art).  I guess that's another reason
why I love this band so much;  they clearly aren't motivated by greed, and
their naivete is kinda charming.  (You might notice that I'm on a Colin
wave lately.)

5.   I have an idea about promoting the band, but we all need to pull
together.  Now that Andy is also the manager of the band (ahem), will they
get the proper publicity they need?   Does anyone on this list work in
public relations?   Maybe a group of us could work on a document that could
be shared with various publications, on-line sources, etc  AFTER it has
been approved by the band.  For instance, I read a music trade called
"Goldmine" which is exclusively geared toward the record-buying public.
They have a column where they announce who is in the studio and when new
releases are due.  Then, they have a great reviews section of both new and
reissued material (CD's) as well as music-related books.  I would certainly
try to find a way to get a band-approved document or press release to this
publication and others.    I welcome coaching and opinions.

I've said enough.



Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:50:16 -0600
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Haven't I Heard This Somewhere Before

     OK Chalketeers, it's time to play Subtle Song Similarities!

     Jump---> Seagulls---> Omnibus = Get yourself some nooky now!

     Toys---> Melt the guns = We're teaching our kids to hate!

     All right, so they're not so subtle but I couldn't resist the impulse
     to iterate.  Yes, I'm heavily into the Mummer B-sides at the moment.

     Do the former, Stop the latter!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 14:58:53 -0400
From: Steve Hoskins <>
Subject: GLE, Martin Newell CD, where, how?

Anyone know where one might be able to get "The Greatest Living
Englishman" CD (M.Newell, A. Partridge). Seems it's no longer in any
album listing with any US record store. I've tried to track it down
through various US and UK music Sites, but to no avail. I would greatly
appreciate any info XTC and/or Newell fans might have on this.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 16:42:48 -0400
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: A measure of time

Hi folks:

Todd "Ol' Pedant" Reinhardt here. Thought I'd weigh on the odd-time
discussion: You folks are right that "English Roundabout" has five
beats per measure, but them beats are eighth notes, not quarter notes.
That sucker _moves._ Likewise, the verses in "The Man Who Sailed..."
are in 7/8.

And while I'm at it, my pal Dom frothed:
>(i) Big Express vs Mummer :
Two reasons why Big Express is better. Firstly, it has more songs on
it. Secondly, it doesn't have "Wonderland" on it. It pains me to say
it, but that song is dreadful. The sound of the 80s. A Johnny Hates
Jazz b-side. Possibly the most horrible drum machine sound in
recording history. The rest of Mummer is, of course,
fantastic. Especially "Human Alchemy".<

Well, if you're counting the CD version of the albums, Mummer weighs
in at 16 songs, compared with BE's 14. Also, that's Terry beating the
skins on "Beating of Hearts."

But, of course, you _are_ right about Ringo.

Other random thoughts:
And AMANDA, you sweet thing, whodathought a couple of years ago that
you'd emerge as a voice of reason on the list? Nice post, dearie. I
mean it.

No answer to your question, John Schoneboom, but welcome to the list.

Mike said:
>My dick's stuck in the batter,<

Hmmm ... no wonder he struck out. Or did he score?

Anyway, please please please no more talk about "Silly Love Songs" --
every time that song gets mentioned, I can't get the fucking thing out
of my head. There. Now I've done it myself.

Only one thing that works at times like these: FLINTstones, MEET the

--Todd, who just bought a new pair of sneakers (called "running shoes"
nowadays) and had to run to catch the train this morning, sparking a
memory of what it was like to be an 8-year-old with new sneakers and
the wind at his back on a cool summer morning.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 17:16:10 -0400
From: Brian <>
Subject: Odd Time Out

Yes, along with ER, another of my favorite 5/4s is Dave Brubeck
Quartet's "Take Five." In fact, anyone interested in kinky time
signatures should give DBQ's "Time Out" a close listen. 6/4 and a
twisted 9/8 are commonplace here.

For anyone reading this who isn't bored with the whole time sig. thread:
For more kinky time deliciousness, check out Ivo Paposov's "Orpheus
Ascending," King Crimson's "Larks' Tongues in Aspic," or just about
anything from Frank Zappa (esp. "King Kong" on Uncle Meat.) wrote:

> >No need to spend a hundred bucks if it's not released in the States. If
> >anyone wanted a copy I'm sure there would be many of us Brits who would
> >accept a cheque from you and then post it over to you. I know i'd be more
> >than happy to help out.

A Big Thank You! to Robert Wood and any other Brits who would help us
Yanks out.


XTC song of the day: Cairo

XTC connection to Frank Zappa:
XTC (covered Ella Guru)- Captain Beefheart- Frank Zappa


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Organization: The Little Lighthouse
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 23:55:43 +0000
Subject: Three Cheers For Terry

Dear Chalkers,

Could anybody confirm the actual date of Terry Chambers birthday?
The C & C book says it's the 16th of July but another source says
it's the 18th.

I was planning a TC Tribute page on my site but now my scanner isn't
working anymore :(
I beginning to think i'm jinxed; first my brand new computer broke
down three times already (it's still not working) and now this!

yours in misery,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 the XTC website @


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 18:09:48 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Subject: Ghem Fleegba Modge Da Rempo


Karl's citing of "No Language in Our Lungs" in #112 prompted me to dig out
"Black Sea" and give it a spin. I had some thoughts. What can I say?

I confess I've always misunderstood this song. When I first heard it I took
it as an attempt at a sort of vaguely Frenchy recapitulation of PoMo
critical and linguistic thought--language as system of signs, et
Gauloise-huffing cetera.  Now I think differently--there's simultaneously
more and less than meets the eye here. My error was in misinterpreting the
line "to tell the world just how we feel"; I understood it to mean "to speak
precisely to others." But that's not exactly right; a more accurate
interpretation would be "to convey our _emotions_ effectively to others."
This limitation makes more sense. It's certainly more poetical, and more in
line with the Partridge world view.

We distinguish objects from each other by enumerating quantifiable
characteristics that they possess--color, texture, shape, so on. But this
system breaks down when we attempt to describe the characteristics
themselves--we have very little direct language to actually describe color
or sound, for example. We have to resort to metaphor--red is a "hot" color,
a police siren is "piercing." It's the same with emotion--think how
difficult it is to describe degrees and kinds of sadness with any accuracy,
for example, without using metaphorical language like "bitter" or "hollow"
or "A feeling of sadness and longing/That is not akin to pain,/And resembles
sorrow only/As the mist resembles the rain" (Longfellow, "The Day Is Done").

That we have developed no direct taxonomy of emotion is, I suppose, a
telling insight, but I think Our Semiotician is doing a bit of sneaky
simultaneous cake-having and -eating in this song. Oh, poor, pitiful us, he
emotes, stuck in this mortal coil unable to communicate except through
metaphor...and then he unleashes this utterly stunning firestorm:

I thought I had the whole world in my mouth             (metaphor)
I thought I could say what I wanted to say              (direct)
For a second that thought became a sword in my hand     (metaphor)
I could slay any problem that would stand in my way     (metaphor)
I felt just like a crusader                             (simile)
Lionheart, a holy land invader                          (simile)
But nobody can say what they really mean to say and     (direct)
The impotency of speech came up and hit me that day and (metaphor)
I would have made this instrumental
But the words got in the way                            (metaphor/paradox!)

Imprecise and unreliable figures of speech may very well be the language us
humans are doomed to use when we try to tell each other how we feel, but
it's also the province and playground and bread-and-butter of the
artist--indeed, without this dependence on metaphor, there would _be_ no
art. Andy _needs_ there to be No Language in Our Lungs. All
creativity--artistic or otherwise--comes about as a result of exactly this
human characteristic. OK, so he would have made this instrumental, but the
wonderful paradox is, we _applaud and throw money_ when people come up with
seven separate vivid metaphors within ten lines of lyric.

Notice also the only two lines marked as "direct" (i.e., nonmetaphorical)
above--take them out of the verse and read them together in sequence.
Partridge is a fucking genius.

One other point: Notice anything _missing_ in that fictive description in
the middle eight? The narrator of this micro-story never tells us what it
was that _caused_ him to come to this realization about language! What
happened "that day" that "the impotency of speech came up and hit me"? WHAT
day? It's the only time it's mentioned. And what is the "holy land" he's
invading? Truth?  Beauty? And doesn't it just kick the living shit out of
the mediocrity when the guitars stop chopping and kick into fourth gear
under that "crusader" line? I go all Wayne Campbell every time.

Harrison "_You_ generative grammar--you _brought_ her!" Sherwood

Pee Es: If you ain't some kind of a pussy you'll do the Predication Be-Bop
at I Am a Camera. A Camera Is Me.

Pee Pee Es: Or is that Wayne County I'm thinking of?


Message-Id: <>
From: "J & J Greaves" <>
Subject: Barenaked Ladies like XTC
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 18:39:44 -0700

Re: Ben Gott's post on Barenaked Ladies LP Stunt.

Yes these boys are fans of XTC. I heard a CBC radio interview with Ed
Robertson , guitarist and songwriter, at the time their second lp Maybe You
Should Drive was released. Ed mentioned a song called Life in A Nutshell
and said the guitar part was an effort to emulate an XTC guitar style, and
that he'd  recently discovered XTC and thought they were excellent.

Canadian bands I can think of, of the top of my head, like The Waltons,
Spirit Of The West, CTDummies, Odds, Cone of Silence, Grapes of Wrath and
54-40 have all said favourable things about XTC in the past as well. None
are Canada's answer to XTC, but are great in their own way.


PS: Who's distributing XTC in Canada?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:17:04 -0700
From: Randy Hiatt <>
Subject: getting hooked on XTC

I leave for Orlando (SIGGRAPH) tommrow so this is my last call for
who may want to meet there.  I (Randy Hiatt) will be at the Disney World
Hilton from 7/18-7/24, call me, lets have a beer!

Heres my approach to getting someone into XTC:

After I have done a complete psychological evaluation I
determine what "flavor" of music they perfer (XTC has something for
anyone/any age).

I start with the latest CD (NonSuch) and go backwards, because they are
getting better with each release (despite what you read about White
Music or Go2).

I usually set up the tune with a description of the story line
(like Pumpkin Head as example) and a verbal tour brochure of any
relavent hooks and harmonies I think they'd find interesting along the
trip.  My friends tend to be musician types so this works sometimes.

Bassists are easy to convert,  Colin is a god, and proof is usually a
tune or two away.  Guitarists are a bit tougher cause they think they're
gods, so I tell them about the rythm guitar tricks (a long lost art in
todays post VanHalen era).  Vocalists are usually dumb struck with the
harmonies, I can get them to sit open mouthed for minutes on end (saying
Nothing!).  Drummers, take a bit longer cause it often sounds like a
machine (even if it isn't).  But all drummers want to play something
anyway so I use one of these other angles on them as backup.

The fun is having many trys at them.  Each time I play them something
new, adding to their intake the building blocks that must be in place to
really hear them.

If I give/loan someone a CD I require a minimum of 6 listens before they
can make judgement (it's my typical yard stick...or is that cubit
stick... for anything Really Good).  You need to get the overall
structure/melodies memorized a bit before you can really understand
where they're going or where they've been.

There writing style is similar to any good story/movie, it's filled with
tension and resolve.  Their ugly melodies set up the beautiful ones,
each end up feeding the other untill you can't figure out which part was
the ugly part.  I have definite opnions about their tunes at early
listenings, some I hated, some were so cool.  After time passes the
tunes I hated the most end up being my favorite tunes on the CD.

My disclaimer to them is:
XTC is an aquired taste (this goats them into trying harder to get it,
right off the bat), their vision is deeper than radio pop that satisfies
at 1st taste (like candy or fast food).  Rather then XTC stuff getting
sickening sweet with repeated listens it keeps growing on you and
it's details/flavors like a full, multi course meal.

My challenge to them is:
Are they good enough at listening to really hear it.

Randy (in some cultures I would be considered normal) Hiatt


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-114

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