Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-16

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 16

                 Monday, 27 October 1997

Today's Topics:

      Brookes, Brookes gaze in your r- Oh, darn....
    Do you have pics of the band? Want to be FAMOUS??
                        Very short
               OPINIONS contained herein...
               If A Tree Falls In Sherwood
               No Language In Our Strings?
                      Young Caligula
                Sequential Chords, et. al.
                  Bridges and middle 8s
the Hills are alive with the sound of guitar masturbating
                  Fave XTC guitar solos
          Even Great Songwriters can be Mediocre
    It doesn't matter if you win or lose a little face
                    Damned Old Threads
           Dear Madam Andy and his Crystal Ball
        ...putting end to evil doer's SHAME ON YOU
                      Buster etc...
                Help with the latin please
                    Little drummer boy
                    Masterbatory solos


Enough with the personal attacks.  Chill out, people.  Or maybe
I'll have to turn Chalkhills off for two weeks.  Really.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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It isn't even winter and I'm freezing, freezing.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 23:08:11 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Brookes, Brookes gaze in your r- Oh, darn....

From: Brookes, aka Louise <>

>they should do an album that is the
>_Dukes_ alter ego, so that when people say, "Don't you just love this album
>by the Velour Draperies? but who are they?", those of us in the know can
>say, "Why, they're the Dukes of Stratosphear under a different name."

This is a _wonderful_ thought, though - judging by the relative commerical
performance of 25 O'clock compared to The Big Express - it might do the band
some good after such a lay-off to promote the next _XTC_ album as being the
Dukes under a different name...

>[from Simon Sleightholm <>, who is starting to gain on
>Mitch F. as Chalkhills resident "Ear of God":]

Ha! I feel more like Satan's Ringpiece at the moment...

>is *that* how you pronounce his name?! to rhyme with "Doomy"?! i would have
>thought it was "Twoh-me". please enlighten me Sir Simon.

I wasn't sure exactly, I guessed it was Too-me (having heard some big lug -
probably played by William Bendix or Victor McLaglan - in a b&w war movie
being called that) but, as I always do in such cases, I take my first
instincts as being nothing more than the antagonistic action of a spiteful
mind ever keen on tripping me up. It was equally probably that is was
pronounced T-woo-me, T-woe-me, t-woo-may, or that all the letters apart from
the _implied_ Q and X were silent. But, having heard it from the mouth of
Andy I can reveal that it is, in fact, pronounced Too-me to rhyme with
"doomy" . On a similar tack, I discovered that Moulding is pronouced
Gregory, Gregory is pronounced Moulding and Partridge is just _pronounced_
(he's that kind of guy).

>YES!!! "Playground"!!! oh yes, baby. i'm telling you all - those songs are
>amazingly _even better_ than the '94-'95 demos. just thinking about hearing
>"Playground" again in my lifetime, let alone approx. eight months from now,
>makes my mouth water.

I don't know for certain that it's going to be on the album, but that is the
only one of the newest tracks I've heard - it was showcased on a UK radio
show Andy did earlier this year - and it's a great song indeed, a pure XTC
track - one of those songs that no other band could have done. A clever
lyric and a slightly Beatley (in the "Cherry In Your Tree", "Earn Enough For
Us", "Some Lovely" mould) tune. I _hope_ it makes the album, 'cos it's one
of those songs that gives you a happy buzz when you just remember it _exists_

>oh, man! it's like christmas around here!! Andy writing Peake songs - it
>doesn't get much better than this. maybe they'll find another animator,
>because that is such an amazing idea that it really shouldn't go to waste.

I'm a _major_ Peake fan myself, and that's why I raised the question with
him, having hurled it around the Rifff forum on both occasions only to have
it skipped - he mentioned working on a Peake project in the NME years ago
and I was baying to find out what it was. I thought - perhaps being overly
obvious - that it was going to be something for a Gormenghast project, but I
should have known better. "Lost Uncle" isn't a book I've read or even seen -
it's not currently available anywhere as far as I can determine, having
trawled the web-bookstores in search of it.  It seems, though, that Andy no
longer has any stake in the rights for the project so it's probably unlikely
that we'll see anything of it. I know Peake's name has been floated around
Chalkhills before but I _do_ urge you all to seek out some of this guy's
work - a genius, true and real.

"I waxes and I wanes, sir,
I ebbses and I flows,
Some say it be my brains, sir,
Some say it be my nose.

It's not as though I'm slow, sir,
To cut a story long,
It's just I'd love to know, sir,
Which one of them is _wrong_." - Mervyn Peake

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too
dark to read." - Groucho Marx


>Alright ladies and gents, need your help in identifying another song...I've
>heard this one several times on the radio, but I can never catch who sings
>it.  The chorus is "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're
>(they're?) never gonna keep me down.", or something like that. So..thinking
>caps on, and GO!

This is the _mighty_ and most _excellent_ "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba. A
record that is still making me shake my head and say "This is _Chumbawamba_?
Are you _sure_?".  Definitely the best use of the word "pissing" in a hit
record since the Jam's "Funeral Pyre." I watched a whole club full of people
explode to this track last Friday. An excellent moment, which quite allayed
my general feeling of "who let all these _children_ in here?" for a moment
or two. And, oh, the _jiggling_ that was going on...

This isn't as easy as it looks,


-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 23:08:14 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Do you have pics of the band? Want to be FAMOUS??


Satan's Ringpiece here,

I just got off the phone with Neville Farmer who is nearing completion of
his book with the band.

He's urgently in need of photographs of the band that fans may have taken.
He's looking for anything, from any period and in any situation. He says
that unfortunately there will be no payments available for the use the
photographs but full credit will be given in the book.

Anyone who has any pictures should email me with the following information:-

Subject and setting of the photograph
Some indication of the quality of the photograph
A contact phone/fax number
A contact address

He's in a bit of a rush for this information so the plan we came up with was
that on the evening of Friday 31 October (going by GMT) I will call him and
let him know what I've got. Any submissions not in by then are likely not to
be considered.

As a taster for the book, and to encourage people to want to be a part of
it, he offered the following info.

The book will contain a lot of original and unseen artwork by Andy.

The introduction of the book will reveal which member of the band released
the most and worst farts during the interview sessions in Andy's shed.
Apparently an efficient evacuation (no pun intended) procedure was required.

Farmer himself was involved heavily in the Buster Gonad single - indeed he
set the project up - and offered some rare insights into the solemn
recording procedure:-

The b-side was supposed to be "Terry Fuckwit's Christmas Song" but they ran
out of time. The notion of the song was to have the Viz character singing
"Merry Easter" to the tune of "Happy Birthday". If you know the character,
you'll know why I nearly bust a gut when he told me this. Pushed for time,
though, they had an hour to record a b-side so - as scratch remixes were all
the rage then - they knocked the A side into a new shape.  Amanda, brace
yourself... When it came to producing the actual sound for the "Scrotal
Scratch Mix" they were at a loss. They tried various methods but nothing
sounded right. All the people in the studio were wearing jeans apart from
Dave who was wearing very spacious corduroy trousers. Legs akimbo, the great
man produced the actual scratching sound by rubbing a studio mic against his
crotch in time to the music. The sax part - that approximation of competence
that I thought from past exposure must be Andy's - was actually John
Otway's. Although he has no writing credit on the song he was very heavily
involved, but his publishing deal at that time forced him to remain

Neville was working for a music magazine at the time of the recording and,
as Andy and he were working on the lyric togethe,r Andy would ring him up at
the (crowded) office and make him sing his lyric down the phone.

In October next year John Otway will be holding a big show in the Royal
Albert Hall, London, to celebrate some anniversary or other (Neville wasn't
sure) - as part of the celebrations he's giving a free CD away with each
pair of tickets and that CD will contain the Buster Gonad single - its only
CD release, I think. That's the plan, anyway.

The book sounds like a lot of fun from what Neville told me, it's very much
what the _band_ think and he says it likely to be a real treat for the fans.
Apparently this kind of discussion about the songs is not something the lads
do very often, even during the recording process, so it seems a lot of the
conversations went, "So Colin, what's this song about?" Colin: "It's about
X": Andy "What? Never! I thought it was about Y". Colin: "No."  Andy: "Are
you _sure_?"

I asked Andy when I first spoke to him if not having played the old songs
regularly - as a gigging band would - they'd forgotten bits, but he said as
soon as the playback of song started they'd all start spilling out the
strangest bits of trivia.

The book will cover every track - Dukes and other offshoots, Johnny Japes,
for example - and will explain why certain producers were chosen, etc.

Oh, and the band have a drummer now. Neville wouldn't say who it was
("You'll all know soon enough," he said) but he said he was "a surprise" but
that he was good. I asked if it was Michael Bland and he said "No", but this
could have been a cunning bluff.

So again, ANY photographs you have are potential illustration for this book,
please get in touch as soon as possible and I'll pass your details on to
Neville. Come on Chalksters, the band need your help...


-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 15:22:10 +0000
Subject: Very short

> From: Chaos Harlequin <>
> Matt Keeley:
> >Young Cleopatra: Two words. Nabokov indeed.
> I don't think you can by any reasonable stretch compare Young
> Cleopatra to Lolita. I mean, it's the difference between someone
> appreciating his friend's young daughter from a reasonable distance
> and someone marrying a young girl's mother so he can run away with
> and have sex with the daughter. Just a little matter of degree, you
> understand.
Well, yeah... I suppose... the song just sounded more as a love song
written to a young girl, even though it did have the flavour of
never doing anything about the love and all... mainly, I'm just happy
someone caught the reference...8)

Ah well, that's this world over...


Living Through | (ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 15:42:57 -0700
From: Burlingame <!!!peets!peets218>
Subject: OPINIONS contained herein...

Hey ho!

>Subject: The Green Man... all this time I have assumed The Green
>Man was going to be part of the album. In fact, I think it would make a
>great opening track.

AGREED! I LOVE this song. Not that the fans can have much say, but
wow...what an amazing "set-up" song for an album ceratin to be full of riches.

>And just curious, which of the demos do you think ARE cinches to make the
>album?  I'd say Easter Theatre, River of Orchids and (hopefully) The Green
>Man are the only ones I would consider "locks." Oh, and Playground, which
>seems to be part of a "school" theme Andy and Colin are looking into.

My 6 hopes (of the 92-95 demos):
6. Knights in Shining Karma
5. Your Dictionary
4. Church of Women
3. I'd Like That
2. The Green Man
1. Easter Theatre

>If you want to fling more hardened little balls of excrement at me about
>the level of my emotional maturity, my comments in Chalkhills, or my
>writing style, please mail them to me privately, where I can mock them
>for you in relative peace and quiet.

Amen. What gives? Someone is obviously deluded by the sound of their own
keystrokes. Whatever happened to being brief yet concise?

>Ho-hum Trainspotters,
>Well, I must say I'm certainly impressed with the high falutin' nature
>of the latest intellectual extrapolations regarding guitar solos and the
>only hypothesis that I can possibly postulate at this moment in time is
>that big words sure are impressive!

Uh...why is it that no-one has either blasted or lovingly embraced the
"rippin'" solo in the middle of "Church of Women"? I, incidentally, love the
solos on BAB as well as COW. Andy is one of the few tasteful soloists
around. He and Dave ARE, that is.

>Subject: I'm pretty sure Michael Bland likes XTC, so........
>>  I can tell you (me being a drummer) that the man is an absolute monster
>> drummer.

I just went to see "The Artist" (ahem, Prince) two weeks ago. Yes indeed -
the drummerman is exactly the kind of dynamic and rich (not $$, TASTE-wise)
player I could see doing the tracks.
Did I read this correctly: did M. Bland really play with Paul Westerberg too?

Let's keep the peace,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 19:08:36 -0400
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: If A Tree Falls In Sherwood


I liked Harrison's explanation of his point about bad music.  "In My
Truck" indeed!

The fact is, though, I can't completely agree.  Perspective is the
key.   The listener brings his perspective along with his ears.  To
continue with the "In My Truck" example, if it was identical to the
original "In My Room" in every way but the lyric, it could be as good to
an adult that didn't understand English, or to a child that can't
distinguish between an introspective heartfelt lyric and a pitch to sell

There's a world where I can go and
Blast my Country Songs
In my truck
In my truck

Four wheel drive and rack and pinion
Leather seats so fine
In my truck
In my truck

Do my hauling and my plowing
Starts up everyday
Room for children and the groceries
Here is where I'll stay

When the time comes to cash in my chips
Won't you bury me
In my truck
In my truck

Anyway, attack the opinion, not the person.

Stormy Monday


Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 19:34:39 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Michael Kearns <>
Subject: No Language In Our Strings?

Harrison Sherwood wrote:

>> I'd pit Dave Gregory's 14 bars in "No Language in Our Lungs"
>> against any guitar solo you'd care to name for emotional power.

That one's definitely a goodie wonderthing.. Well, I don't know if I could
pit one great solo against another -- "In this corner, weighing in at 14
bars, from Black Sea..." :) ..but speaking of emotional power, Robin
Trower's solos on Procol Harum's 1967 instrumental "Repent Walpurgis" and
the Finale of "In Held Twas In I" (1968) are great examples of defiant blues
howling out to the ends of the universe. They speak to something very deep
within me.

My favorite XTC guitar solos? Today's picks: "Complicated Game", "Do What
You Do", "Train Running Low On Soul Coal" -- the latter one of my all-time
favorite songs.

Why does it seem only guitarists are so often being singled out (in this and
other forums) for being "self indulgent" or "masturbatory" by dint of
composing or improvising an extended solo, yet a singer can go on for
several entire verses, choruses and a middle eight and never be accused of
not serving the song? Is the human voice not an "instrument" of sorts? Is a
guitarist not allowed to "sing" through his or her instrument? True, some
guitar soloing I've heard -- and much I've done :) -- rates as "noodling" in
my book, some drum solos are perhaps "gratuitous".. there is certainly
_much_ to be said for the tasteful balance of instrumental virtuosity and
rich songcraft exhibited in XTC's music.. but why is it necessary to lay
into non-singing musicians for speaking their non-verbal language in the
manner of a storyteller or even a raving lunatic? It seems to me a

Really I think too much of anything can be boring. Like using the word
"masturbatory".. seems to be an odd fascination of late!

Re: Skynyrd and Vai.. Skynyrd's so-called 'Beer soaked' guitar playing
doesn't bother me. In fact, some of it is kind of cool. I haven't been in a
situation were I've been forced to listen to it, so I guess it doesn't make
me puke (like beer-soaked socks). Sometimes when I do hear it, it can be fun
to "turn it up". "Freebird" is actually a pretty well-developed solo. I
don't see anything wrong with it, sonically or length-wise. I love Steve
Vai's early-80's "Flexable".. it's diverse and often song-oriented, while
still allowing him to play his heart out, and wonderfully crafted, while
still being kinda crunchy. Does anyone else think I'm totally off my nut? :D

Mark Fisher wrote:

>On a different subject, I've been trying to play the A-minor riff from Dear
>God on the guitar (downloaded from Chalkhills), and it strikes me that it's
>such a simple yet striking sequence that it'd be surprising if it hadn't
>been used before. Does anyone know if it has?

I'm not saying this was intentional, but Am - Am/F - Am/G - Am/F# is a
well-chosen permutation of a common descending 'linear alteration
progression' (one voice in the progression moves while the others stay the
same): Am - Am/G - Am/F# - Am/F.. in any order the chords seem to lay well
under the fingers, but I've never heard anyone else play those chords in the
order Andy chose for "Dear God".. whereas the latter progression crops up
every so often (Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", Chicago's "25 or 6
to 4", Led Zep's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You")

Wouldn't it be cool if XTC were to appear on "Sessions at West 54th"
someday? I have been so blown away by that TV show!

Final note: I too get the feeling lately that one can actually get more
totally unwarranted verbal abuse directly flung at them right here on this
list than out in the real world. (Maybe I'm just hypersensitive to that sort
of thing -- after all, I used to play violin in elementary school -- not
exactly a guarantor of popularity!) I'm not saying we all have to be
symbiotically nurturing and affirming 'Stuart Smalley' types.. I'm eager to
have any of my ideas or assumptions raked over hot coals; what I'm not so
looking forward to is having someone tell me how stupid I am for posting
them and wasting their time, but at least I won't be able to say I didn't
have fair warning. I just don't think this is the place for it.

Not that I have a lot of time to produce plentiful petals of postworthy
potables, though I wish I could make more time..

Mike Kearns
"With the power of soul anthing is possible" - Jimi Hendrix


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 09:42:28 +0000
Subject: Young Caligula

Jason wrote:
> MUST be on the album, I agree.  DEFINITELY could lose "Last Balloon"
> and "Some Lovely"...although it's heartening to hear them, because I
> know I write better songs than THAT.

Then why does XTC have a mailing list and you don't?
Or am i unaware of Jaybayhills?  Please, share your gift with us all.

One word.  Hubris.  Look it up.


From: "Glen E. Uber" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 16:56:46 -0700
Subject: Sequential Chords, et. al.
Message-Id: <>

Greg Marrs sez:

> to Mark Fisher, who wrote:
> <<On a different subject, I've been trying to play the A-minor riff
> from Dear God on the guitar (downloaded from Chalkhills), and it
> strikes me that it's such a simple yet striking sequence that it'd
> be surprising if it hadn't been used before. Does anyone know if it
> has?>>
> You're quite right -- everybody and their grandma has used this
> sequence (you're also quite right not to call it a progression) --
> you may remember a little tune from the early seventies by Chicago
> called 25 or 6 to 4...

Or, "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" by Led Zeppelin and *that* song by
Green Day...whose title I can't remember right now. "Angie" by the
Stones is similar, but not quite there...There was also "I'd Love To
Change The World" by Ten Years After. I think it had Am-Am/G-F#dim7-E
or something. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

I think the Am-Am/G-Dm7/F#-F-E "sequence" is as ubiquitous in rock
music as the E-A-B7.

ObXTC: I have tried to play this riff for years and have found the
guitar fingerings maddening. I haven't checked the tab site so
forgive my ignorance: Is Andy (or is it Dave?) using an alternate
tuning? I've tried a couple and none of them seem to make the
fingering any easier. The easiest I've found is a double drop-D (low
to high: D-A-D-G-B-D). I'll check the Web Site to see what I *SHOULD*
be doing.

It reminds me of when I was trying to learn to play Fleetwood Mac's
"Never Goin' Back Again" in standard tuning. After nearly a month of
frustration, I found a transcription that gave the tuning as (low to
high): C-G-D-G-B-E capoed at the 6th fret. From that point on, my
life was much easier.

Sorry for the rambling...this is my first post after over a year and
a half of luking and I wanted to make it count. :-)


"My school colors were clear. We used to say, 'I'm
not naked, I'm in the band.'" --Steven Wright

Glen E. Uber
Web Site of the Week:
"Yeah Man, Itellyawhat..."


Message-Id: <l03102800b0784f2693ab@[]>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 17:49:50 -0800
From: Dave Blackburn <>
Subject: Bridges and middle 8s

Hi all,

Kaja Leena Rebane wrote,

<I always thought the "middle eight" and the "bridge" were two different
parts of a song.  To me, the "bridge" is the bit that, if you've got
a verse-chorus-verse structure, either connects the verse and chorus,
or throws something different into the mix.  XTC's songs don't always
conform to this, but to take, say "Senses Working Overtime":  the "hey
hey, the clouds are whey..." bits would be the verse, and obviously the
"1-2-3-4-5.." bit is the chorus, but "And all the world is football-
shaped..." I would consider the bridge.  I think the "middle eight" is
sort of an antiquated term that in the old days of rock 'n' roll
referred to the part, in the middle, where the guitarist would solo..
This was indeed often eight bars long and echoed the verse.  So I think
there is a little bit of a distinction there, and not just because
we're pagan colonials!>

	There are, it's true plenty of uses and misuses of terms when it
comes to song structure but, the section to which you refer as the bridge
is better called the "pre-chorus" or "climb." The true bridge/middle 8
usually appears only once in the song and may be vocal or instrumental (in
which case it might also be called a "break").
	 Often, if it is a vocal bridge, it involves a shift in lyric
perspective such as a 'zoom out' or empirical comment on the subject matter
["they never read those pamphlets in his bottom drawer"] and often shows
off some interesting harmonic movement, sometimes moving through alternate
keys, as in the rather long-winded bridge of "Senses..." Andy is a master
of bridge/middle8  writing. Simon is absolutely right to point out though
that it is neither always in the middle or 8 bars long. Hope that helps.

Dave Blackburn


Message-Id: <l03020900b0788517d4e5@[]>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 02:17:12 -0400
From: aka Louise <>
Subject: the Hills are alive with the sound of guitar masturbating


[Stafford, Dave <> apparently wrote:]

>Dave at 17, trying to forget about y*u k*ow w*at...

ONH?  Onanistic Nit-picking Harrassment, or the Omaha Nebraska Huskies?

[David Gershman <> definitely wrote:]

>bring this up): I don't really understand what doing a song "in bad faith"
>means. One could have "bad ideas" (in some people's opinions), "lack of
>creativity/ability," "greedy intentions," etc., but I don't think "bad
>faith" comes into this. With the exception of a Milli-Vanilli-like
>situation, where something truly IS being put over on people, I have a
>strong suspicion that every artist who records something truly believes
>that what they are doing is good and/or original, no matter how "bad" or
>how much of a "ripoff" other people may find it to be. And there's always
>someone who will agree with them.

[long and illustrative rant snipped (and i mean rant in the best possible way)]

you know, you have a good point here. a lot of the time this is true. but i
think that there are still a lot of people who just want to make money and
don't have enough talent to come up with something worthwhile, and instead
of making up their own crappy thing, they rip off someone else's great
song, or - even worse - sound. i don't think Jamiroquai is really trying to
be deep - they're just trying to score by sounding like Stevie Wonder.
Oasis is trying to be serious on one pathetically simplistic level, but
they care a lot more about looking like rock stars than making really good
music, because if they were i'm sure they could come up with something
better than *that*. they're lazy more than anything. (ironically, of
course, old Irony Andy _likes_ Jamiroquai, or at least he liked the song
I'm talking about ["Virtual Insanity", AMANDA], which proves that even
geniuses can have bad taste.)

sure Madonna's trying to be real, now, too - because it's cool to be real,
the 60's and then alt-rock (in '77, of course) made it impossible to do
pure fluff without at least being embarrassed about it (Hanson
notwithstanding), so i don't give people any credit for that - but do you
really think she was being all that sincere in the days of "Material Girl"
and "Like A Virgin"? i highly doubt it. no one wants to admit anymore that
they don't write their own music - c.f. the aforementioned Milli Vanilli,
and people like Alannis Morissette - because it makes them look like the
shallow untalented idiots that they are.
in the 50's no one cared if you wrote your own music, and then Bob Dylan
ruined things for singers everywhere. oh well. it helped music in a lot of
ways, made it leap about 5 evolutionary levels, but it left the poor
innocent pop song in the mud, which is more or less where it's been ever
since. of course i think 10cc's "The Things We Do For Love" is a fabulous
little song, but lyrically it's about as deep as my bathroom mirror.

>Having said that, I'd like to clarify that I agree with many of the points
>Harrison originally made, but also believe, as Mark said (however bluntly),
>that it's pretty much impossible to discuss anything's degree of "badness"
>from anything but one's personal viewpoint/bias. In the arts, there is no
>absolute bad or good.

i categorically disagree. i've never bought the "all art is subjective"
theory. there are likes and dislikes, and matters of taste or exposure, but
they have nothing to do with whether something is bad or good. there's
plenty of music that i listen to and enjoy even though i know it's crappy -
i just like it anyway. just as there's whole genres of music (jazz, for
instance) that i know is good but i don't happen to like it. it doesn't
float my boat. how do i know things are bad or good? easy, i just perceive
it with my senses, and take into account the opinions of others i respect.
i juggle those two factors until i come to a conclusion - to wit, that it
sucks or its mediocre or its okay but you can't dance to it or its great or
it rocks my fucking world. people who disagree (who think a song is fab-o
when i think it's shite, not people who theoretically believe all art is
subjective) simply have bad taste and don't know it. it's okay, though - we
can still be friends. :P

[Kaja Leena Rebane ("Jason") <krebane@leland.Stanford.EDU> apparently wrote:]

>I always thought the "middle eight" and the "bridge" were two different
>parts of a song.  To me, the "bridge" is the bit that, if you've got
>a verse-chorus-verse structure, either connects the verse and chorus,
>or throws something different into the mix.  XTC's songs don't always
>conform to this, but to take, say "Senses Working Overtime":  the "hey
>hey, the clouds are whey..." bits would be the verse, and obviously the
>"1-2-3-4-5.." bit is the chorus, but "And all the world is football-
>shaped..." I would consider the bridge.

then what would you call the "And birds might fall from black skies.."
part? 'cause that's what i would consider the bridge, simply because it's
more differentiated from the rest of the song. i have no idea if i'm right
or not, but that's as far as i know what a bridge is - the most different
part of a song. but then i never did have an explanation for why in many
songs there's two parts to the verse that don't sound very alike either,
but they're still musically related. if anyone can clear this up, please
jump in...

>I think the "middle eight" is
>sort of an antiquated term that in the old days of rock 'n' roll
>referred to the part, in the middle, where the guitarist would solo.
>This was indeed often eight bars long and echoed the verse.  So I think
>there is a little bit of a distinction there, and not just because
>we're pagan colonials!

yeah, but so then does that make every long instrumental part (guitar solos
or no) in current songs a 'middle eight' - has the definition stretched?

>Pretty good band name though.  "EXCESSIVE GUITAR MASTURBATING" or "EGM".
>Alright, nevermind...

heh. he said 'excessive'.

			- brookes
			  (aka Louise)
R. Brookes McKenzie                             aka Louise B. Minetti
        Baby I feel romantic
        But I'm just a sick snuff freak
                                       - Matthew Sweet, "Born in Sin"


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 07:10:18 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Jim S)
Subject: Fave XTC guitar solos

>I know this a bit of a cliche subject, but what other XTC guitar solos do
>you other 'hillsters get off on?

I love the final burst on "Outside World" as well as all the guitar work in
"Merely A Man."
As someone else mentioned, the solo in "That's Really Super, Supergirl" is a
wonder to behold;
all aspiring guitar heroes out there should give it a shot to see what I

  Jim S.     <>

Serious fan of:
*St. Louis Rams        *Michigan Wolverines          *"JAWS"
   *St. Louis Cardinals          *XTC           *MST3K

Movie buffs: Check out Jake Gove's excellent "JAWS" homepage.
Video, sound, reviews, trivia and more from the 1975 classic!


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 09:26:11 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Even Great Songwriters can be Mediocre

  On the subject of taste, I know some very intelligent people who don't
particularly like XTC, for example my brother(their only song he's admitted
to liking has been "Mayor Of Simpleton;" he loves The Dukes Of Stratosphear,
though. His tastes runs towards garage rock and avant-garde weirdness, so he
finds XTC to be actually too commercial for his discerning taste). I also
know some very intelligent people who like music that i consider crap. My
wife, for example, is a diehard Air Supply fan. Has every single album
they've ever put out. Until I met my wife I'd run screaming, practically,
whenever I heard them on the radio. Obviously my wife has other qualities
that transcend mere musical taste, however, because I married her. Over the
years I've learned to tolerate Air Supply and recognise that they actually
have talent, they're just not to my taste. I've even noticed some
well-written and thought provoking album tracks buried on their albums, and I
sat through a recent Air Supply concert with my wife and noticed the songs
they previewed from their next album were much more challenging than they'd
ever done. Seems like Graham Russell, their main songwriter, has undergone
primal scream therapy lately or something. A couple of their new songs would
have been right at home on John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album.
  Good taste can come from the most unexpected places; Barry Manilow has
covered Ian Hunter and Richard Thompson, Meat Loaf has covered Tom Waits,
Linda Thompson co-wrote a song on Celine Dion's next album, and Linda
Ronstadt has covered four Elvis Costello songs and about six Warren Zevon
songs. Of course you could make a case for these people taking great songs
and ruining them. I'm sure the above songwriters would accept the royalties,
though. At this point I'm prepared to be surprised by anything, including
Randy Newman doing the soundtrack to one of the most successful movies of the
'90's(Toy Story), bearing little resemblance to his solo material from the
'70's and '80's. Even great songwriters can be mediocre if they make the
effort(or not!).


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 11:24:43 +0000
Subject: It doesn't matter if you win or lose a little face
Message-ID: <>
From: (Patrick M Adamek)

In Chalkhills#4-14, I read the following:

>one word, Amanda: DUH. quit wasting people's time for once.
>		- brookes

This was dissapointing to say the least.  And you talk about the pot
calling the kettle black?!

To the individual who wrote on the possibility of being dissapointed with
the next XTC output.....bravo.

Your thoughts on music and how we view it are well taken and needed to be
stated.   Nonsuch was the first XTC album that I wasn't totally in love
with, and I had the same sort of reaction that you had described.  (i.e.)
I may not like it but I respect them for the direction they took.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 15:09:43 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: Damned Old Threads


Gratifying to know that I was being funny... you were laughing, right,

Holding his bulb... *chuckle*... HONK!! (*chuckle*)

So, why does Andy carry around a horn? Or is this the infamous 'kestral'?

What IS XTC 'all about'? And what does this philosophy have to do with
what we post to this Digest? Hmmm?

>I realize that there will be someone out there who will probably
write something negative about what Ive just stated<

My suggestion - let's go back and dredge up some real damned old
threads, like stuff from before I got on the Digest, and we won't worry
about 'slaying' each other (unless these old threads do that, too... I
rather think some probably did), 'cause we'll have some new/old content
to talk about...:-(
FCOL... until the lads can give us what we are looking for, until we
have some positive focus for content in this Digest, YES, things are
going to be said that will rub some rhubarbs wrong here... AND? I, for
one, do not get choked up about it - it's human nature, and we are not
in the same room together to be in fear of being thrown tomatoes at or
anything; it's cyberspace, FCOL... let them be! Sticks and stones, you
Someone said it right - post some content, and ya might get what ya

Thank you, and good night.

Eating future and shitting past...


Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 14:58:48 +0000
Subject: Dear Madam Andy and his Crystal Ball

> From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
> Easy, you are absolutely right! Virgin insisted on having that
> line edited from the single version of Senses Working Overtime.
> Why? To get to the chorus a bit sooner...

Or it could have been because of Andy's precognition.  Once in an
interview he stated something along the lines of a bus accident
that involved black ice taking place just as Senses was being
considered for a single and the line was removed lest it was thought
to be in bad taste.  Is it the truth?  Well.... it did come from Andy
in interview mode.  Pass the salt.  :)

It got me thinking though - is Andy the New Town Nostrodamus or an
Old Town Oracle?  He did say he predicted the breakdown of his own
marriage with songs like "Everything" and "Crocodile".  So what of
his other predictions?  Whilst i could live with a "River of orchids"
or a "Church of women", "This world over" has me worried.

(This is) The End is nigh!  The Rockolypse is at hand!

Simon from Oz
Who really needs a new album


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 03:00:10 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: ...putting end to evil doer's SHAME ON YOU

aka Louise <>  said
<<do you even READ chalkhills?! Simon mentioned that in the issue before this
one - of course, being a slightly oblique reference, it might have taken
about half an ounce of intelligence to decipher what he meant, but for
someone who has heard the song in question, i would think it would be
blindingly obvious if one were paying the least bit of attention.>>


<<one word, Amanda: DUH. quit wasting people's time for once.>>


Are you receiving me!!!!?????
Paul LoPiccolo............ Dear god, deliver us from the BAD elements!!!!


Date: 27 Oct 1997 08:49:20 +0000
Subject: Buster etc...
Message-Id: <000316A100000004*@MHS>

There seems to be a bit of confusion about Buster Gonad. I have a big
collection of back issues of Viz comic back in Blighty. When I go back
at christmas I'll dig a few out, scan 'em and zip 'em and if anybody
wants to see "where the boys were coming from" I'll e-mail it to them.

>Let's take, oh, the Beach Boys' "In My Room." It would take a much
>harder heart than mine to argue that this isn't a numinously beautiful,
>heartfelt, innocent, sensitively arranged and executed bit o' teenage
>gorgeousness straight from the soul of a traumatized but uncannily
>talented artist who is beginning to suspect he might be going insane.

Surely this is not the same Beach Boys who so blatantly ripped-off
Chuck Berry?

Rob Hill, before you recommend anything to your Grandma you might like
to look at the part of the film I'm talking about. My emission was a little
bit tongue in cheek.

I met John Leckie once, he told me that John Lydon was the worst "artist" he
ever worked with (he produced PIL's first single) but then he also said that
John Squire wasn't a very good guitarist (dunno, he must've improved though).
He also said that AP is the funniest bloke he's ever met.

>The Dukes are entirely different, songs are done in the style of many
>different artists (note the plural), and no
>rip offs it's called a pastiche.

Emulate, copy or pastiche? It's a fine line between clever and stupid.
I don't need a "flame war" over Oasis. I just think they're a good band,
I'm from a part of England just south of their home town and know what
they mean - yeah yeah?

Gary Dean.

Muso joke 1. The proper term for a guitar solo is "Fret wanking".

Muso joke 2. Q. What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
	     A. A drummer.


Message-Id: <v03110700b07a3b076330@[]>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 07:42:27 -0500
From: David Ferguson <>
Subject: Help with the latin please

> ...>Phish are a New Hampshire rockSLASHfolkSLASHjazzSLASHaccapellaSLASH
>   Phish are from Vermont. Don't you dare even SUGGEST they're from New
> Hampshire.

Opps. Well you know, its quite easy to get those *tiny, itty bitty* eastern
seaboard states all mixed up. sheesh.

Dave reporting for the only state cool enough to have a penninsula ;)

Still hoping someone can find that Phish version of Melt the Guns. Lots of
juicy music to trade!

Circum spica!

Boil that dust speck!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 14:43:50 +0100
Subject: Little drummer boy

Simon (the one with the sweaty hand&ear from the telephone) wrote about his
conversation with Neville Farmer:
>Oh, and the band have a drummer now. Neville wouldn't say who it was
>("You'll all know soon enough," he said) but he said he was "a surprise"
>that he was good. I asked if it was Michael Bland and he said "No", but
>could have been a cunning bluff.
I bet it's Phil Collins, now that he lost his job with Genesis ;)

Andre (cheek getting red from pushing his tongue in)


From: kraig olmstead <>
Subject: Masterbatory solos
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 97 07:58:00 PST
Message-ID: <>

I am a guiaer player and can admire dexterity but must agree that long
solos tend to get old fast.  However, a heavy-metal loving friend of
mine recently made me a tape with stuff by Steve Howe, Steve Vai,
Steve Morse and Rick Emmett. The stuff is, as expected , quite
brilliant technically, but for me rather hollow.

I'd just like to put in my two cents worth.  Steve Morse is a musical
genius who happens to play guitar.  And anyone who Frank Zappa chose to
be in his band (Steve Vai) is in another plane as well.  I'd be willing
to wager that Vai would suprise you in his reading tastes - he is not
shallow, but he's also not above selling his services for a quick buck.
 Listen to the Dregs _Night of the Living Dregs_ for a demonstration of
Morse's skills, both compositionally and for guitar skills.  There may be
better Dregs records, but I know that one and it's great.

I'm not a big fan of guitar solos, but both Morse and Vai are deserving
of alot of leeway - They work at quite a different plane than, well, at
least me.  I guess I was offended by the strained materbation analogy.
 While I don't listen to Vai, anyone who has Mike Keneally in his band
and had Frank Zappa publicly declare him a genius is more than deserving
of a shadow of a doubt.



End of Chalkhills Digest #4-16

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