Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-17

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 17

                 Tuesday, 28 October 1997

Today's Topics:

              "Bad Zoot! Bad, naughty Zoot!"
            Rifff and the Prize Autograph CDs
                  ALRIGHT! THAT DOES IT!
                       ICP vs. XTC
     Re: Bumper Books / Amanda and the Vicious Circle
             Of Shatner, Django and Halloran
                    You could do verse
                     This Just In....
     condescending remarks, rudeness, thoughtlessness
              Guitar solos and masturbation
                   Finnishing albums...
                   Middle Eight Musings
                   So It's OFFICIAL...?
                      Beware Of Maya
                   the middle middle 8
                     Virtual Insanity
      Ratio between Andy's and Colin's contributions


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

        unsubscribe chalkhills

For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


World Wide Web: <>

The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Chalkhills is digested with Digest 3.5 (John Relph <>).

S-H-*-T / Is that how you spelt me / In your dictionary?


Message-Id: <l03020900b07a4358a2a5@[]>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 09:30:46 -0400
From: Natalie Jacobs <>
Subject: "Bad Zoot! Bad, naughty Zoot!"

Fellow feg James Isaacs opines,

>I think, since Robyn is more clever than any of us, we should call it

Well, since Zoot seems to have caught on (sort of), I hereby proclaim it to
be the official unofficial name of the new album.  Unless you want to call
it something else.  (Not that I'm suggesting that the album *actually* be
called Zoot, which sounds like the name of a King Crimson album for some
reason, but just a convenient temporary label, y'know...)

Kekkone in dusky Finland says,

>(Another question is, can we ever know the "true" intentions of an
>artist, or indeed, should we deduce intentions from a work of art. This
>is the "intentional fallacy" Natalie J. once brought up and maybe could
>elaborate on... )

Oh, now you've done it... :)  (deep breath) The "intentional fallacy" is
the notion that we can't ever know what an artist is thinking, and
therefore we shouldn't base our opinions or interpretations of an artist's
work on his or her supposed intention, even if the artist states it
outright.  An artist might say, "I wrote this song because I was embittered
about the Great Pumpkin Massacre of 1852," but maybe she's lying, or maybe
she forgot her original intention, or wasn't aware of it in the first
place.  And artists *are* notorious liars...

So the basic relevance of this to the ongoing argument is that it's hard to
say whether music is "good" or "bad" based on an artist's intentions, when
we don't even necessarily know those intentions to begin with.  Maybe that
Beach Boys song Harrison mentioned *isn't* a heartfelt outpouring of
emotion - maybe Brian Wilson was just trying to impress a girl or sell a
lot of records.  We don't know, and therefore we can't say that it's "good"
just because its intention appears to be sincere.

For my part, I go with Frank Zappa: Music *is* just "wiggling air
molecules" - that's a fact.  Music is also "the best" - that's an opinion,
one which I happen to share.  In the final analysis, music, like any art,
is what we bring to it.

Michael Wix inquires,

>As for Andy's "new"  demos: which song(s) do you think Mr. Gregory's
>presence will be most felt?  i.e. what song(s) will benefit from Dave's
>musical expertise?

The guitar solo in "Church of Women" has always grated on me.  It seems to
have a large sign stuck over it saying "PUT DAVE SOLO HERE."

A person whose name I can't remember remarks,

>  I can't keep quiet on this anymore. Trio is one of the most original bands
>I've ever heard, one of the few I've heard where even if they were singing
>in Tagalog rather than German or English they'd still be droll and
>funny. Not ROTFL funny, just lightly tickled funny.

The first time I heard "Da Da Da," I was utterly baffled - it seemed like
some sort of bizarre joke.  Rinky-dink Casio keyboards!  Nonsensical
deadpan lyrics!  What could this be?  I asked all my friends who were into
strange music and none of them knew.  I'm not sure how I eventually found
out - and the answer wasn't very enlightening, since I didn't (and still
don't) know who Trio were, but at least I could put a name to the

light the Grail-shaped beacon,



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 09:38:20 -0500
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: Rifff and the Prize Autograph CDs

Hey Chalk-eaters! (just an expression...I hope you've all outgrown that by

 Sad news that Rifff is no means that there will be no more
chats with Andy, at least not through that channel. It also made me worry
because I had been one of the lucky winners of an autographed-by-Andy copy
of "Fossil Fuel" the first time that his "show" was run. I have still not
received it, sad to say...I e-mailed Rita Hardman, the Rifff person who had
told me of my good fortune in winning the CD, to see what was up, and here
is her reply, for any others of you who are in the same boat:

>Greetings Dave,
>Fossil Fuels never arrived at Rifff. The Producer is looking into some
>substitution prize. I will forward your message to be sure you get it.
>Sadly most of the prizes came direct from either the artist or manager since
>so many were hand signed. Only those artists who were live at Rifff did we
>have the prizes on hand.
>Sorry for the delay but it was out of our hands.

So something MAY be coming, but I guess it won't be the autographed CD. Oh

Sadly (but not without hope that something else cool may be substituted),

Dave Gershman


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 09:41:13 -0600 (CST)
Message-id: <>

Now listen! Why is it that everything happening today has involved things
either going in or coming out of my ass!!!!!!!!
(Quote courtesy of Eric Cartman.)

I'm just...laughing my ass off right now at the fact that some of you aree
getting so riled up over one person. How many people are on this list, and
you choose to focus your attention on me? I will wax poetic for a few
moments now....

"What we've got here is....failure to communicate. Some men you just can't
reach. So we get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it.
Well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you do."

And now, responses (start playing soft, serene music in the background,

Brookes-I've seen countless people ask questions that have already been
answered. Why is it, my dear friend, that you choose to focus your time on
me? You tell me to stop wasting your time, but all your doing is wasting
your own with your little rants. Could you do us all a favor, get off your
soapbox and stop preaching.
BTW-Chalkhills? what the hell is that? I thought this was a list about
blackboards or something.

NAMES IN CAPS-I think I love you.
People have differing opinions. Get used to it. The Nazi-type attitude that
is beginning to prevail around here is sickening me. And no , I will make
no apologies for my use of that word. It's like a lurker friend of mine and
I discussed quite some time ago. So many people are probably lurking b/c
they're afraid to open their mouths in front of the elitist members of this
group who think that THEIR way is the ONLY way. This is the 90's. Get used
to the fact that XTC fans are a diverse group of people. We lean to the left
and to the right. Some of us believe in God, some of us don't. Some of us
actually like the goddamn guitar solos at the end of "Books Are Burning",
some of us despise them, and so on and so forth. My point is, that the best
thing about this list is that we are all different, but one thing links us
together-XTC. You might hate my opinions, but don't disrespect me for
voicing them.
BTW-I'll actually quote a bit from Brookes-Do YOU read Chalkhills? Did I not
say a few issues back tghat you can say whatever the hell you want about
the Dummies??? Thought so. Buh-bye now. I still think I love you.

And now for my calm, controlled, responses....

Ben-Oh my God I think I'm going to lose my breakfast....

Phelan-Yes! You've figured it out! That's exactly what I am!

Jeff-Megadittoes headed in your direction. You said it perfectly. (Now if
only some people would listen to people like you, this list might be a bit
more calm.)

Perry-Ooooh, I would've spit on that nasty little prick. But it's his
opinion. Not everyone can be an XTC fan. (I'm sure he's heard only one song
by them.)

Joshua-Ouch! That was scathing. Probably singed the bleach right off her

Might I add a disclaimer:
(Or whatever you want to call it.)
Thank you.

BTW-Getting a present for my manager. SHould I get him Upsy Daisy or get him
an airbrushed t-shirt with the D&W logo????

I'm going to have to run out and get that...Chumbawhatever cd. (Sorry, I
forgot how to spell the name!!!!)

Ciao for now, peace to all,
XTC song of the day-Rook
non XTC song of the day-W.W.W.-Trio


From: "KIMBERLY MARTIN" <KMAR0971@Mercury.GC.PeachNet.EDU>
Organization: Gainesville College, Univ Sys of GA
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 11:32:13 EST5EDT
Subject: ICP vs. XTC
Message-ID: <207315742BE@Mercury.GC.PeachNet.EDU>

Hello again...
Yes, it's me, "another one"...  :D
I have an idea as to how to stop these flame wars once and for all.
How about, instead of comparing our respective numerical ages (i.e.,
my name is Kimberly, I am 19 years old) and having those of
the over 25 set slagging off on us young'uns for saying dumb things
and blaming it on our year of birth (after all, something which is
quite out of everyone's control), how about we just introduce
ourselves by our I.Q. points instead!  THEN we could see who REALLY
has the more intelligent and thoughtful points... (BTW, my IQ is
somewhere around 130 to 135, just in case you were wondering...).
NOT saying that makes my posts more "intelligent" than anyone
else's, I just think it would be interesting to know and give us some
more reasons to be pretentious  :> --"oh yeah, well, my point is much
more valid than yours, why, you're only of 'above average'
intelligence as opposed to my 'highly gifted'"... but, I've read some
silly things from many folx on this list, regardless of age, although
I can admit that at times it is pretty obvious what generation is
speaking. I generally read the content of the posts
only and don't pay a whole lot of attention to who they are from
specifically unless it's someone who has about 3 or 4 posts per flame, but AMANDA does spring to mind...
    Ah, but I DO notice if someone mentions ME in a post (hee hee, I
love atten-ci-on), so hello brookes aka louise!  So, you wanna know
about the Insane Clown Posse??  Well, blame it on my age, cos my IQ
should really keep me away from music like this.  They are, TO ME
(and maybe I'm interpreting their "message" all wrong), a gangsta-rap
parody group--two white guys who sound like a higher-pitched Beastie
Boys, dress up like killer clowns, and spray their audiences with
gallons of Faygo at their shows.  Not exactly up the alley of
your average XTC fan.  They rap about such lofty themes as dead
bodies, carnival freak shows, psychopathic toys, and violent game
shows.  I think they're extremely fun, hilarious, and creative (they
could give Moxy Fruvous a run for their money in the slant-rhyme
department).  Many think they're insipid, excessively violent,
untalented, and annoying...sherwood harrison, or anyone, would
probably label them as "bad music."  well, so do I, but I can't have
good taste 100% of the time (oh yeah, they're catchy as hell too, and
I am NOT a rap fan)...
    and BILL HICKS...The first time I ever heard one of his shows (on
videocassette, mind you, I'm STILL not bar-age yet) it literally
scared the be-jeezus out of me, it was almost like listening to
myself.  Especially the religion and smoking rants.  He died in '94, I
THINK...yeah, early '94.  I STILL haven't seen his picture in the
Tool cd, being that I am not a Tool fan...(notice I seem to like
things that I am not a fan of)
    HOWEVER, I am of COURSE a raving XTC fan; just thought I'd be
REDUNDANT so you wouldn't all get the impression that I just joined
this list to promote my fanzine ($2 ppd to Juxtaposition c/o Kim
Martin  P.O. Box 308  Gainesville GA 30503) and type screens full of
schlock that has nothing at all to do with all the other "threads" on
the list just cos i have about 3 or 4 hours a day to kill here at
school and enjoy writing long posts cos, hell, you're a captive
audience and none of my friends even remotely appreciate getting long
e-mails.  (and practically NO ONE likes sentences that long!)
    I have a fantasy XTC meeting.  I'm going to England in about a
month (YES! SERIOUSLY! I'm arriving on Dec. 6th in London, if anyone
would like to meet this nutty Yank [do the British really still refer
to Americans as that?] please let me know! I plan on staying for
about 10 days) and I think it'd be great fun to rent out a club (a la
the electric psychedelic pussycat swingers club, or whatever the
hell, in AUSTIN POWERS) and have the boys do an entire set of Dukes
tunes, with of course a few of the spazzier XTC tunes thrown in to
boot ("Helicopter" and "AYRM?" come instantly to mind), and have a
groovy psychedelic par-teee.  Okay, this is sad, I watch too many
Mike Myers movies, but I'd have to say that a happening of this sort
would just make me go gooey!
    Ah, yipes!  I'd better shattup, this post is WAAY too long.  back
to guitar solos and demo reviews...
p.s.  demo reviews:  I LOVE "your dictionary."  I see nothing wrong
with emotional songwriting.  I actually dig "some lovely" (cos it's
groovy, bay-bee). I really can't stand "bumper cars."  I like the
music on almost all of the songs, but feel some of the lyrics could
use some revision, esp. "I'd like That."  What's that line,
something like "we could go real high / like a really high thing /
like a sunflower."  I just think it sounds silly, like Mr. P couldn't
think of a damn thing else to stick in.  It makes me cringe every
time I hear it!
okay, I'm really going this time...
AU REVOIR MES AMIS DE L'ORDINATEUR!!  Mon francais n'est pas tres
bon, mais la langue de francais est tres pretentieuse [probably not a
real french word, ALORS, je ne me soucie pas...], alors je vais
l'utiliser quand j'ecrire a CHALKHILLS parce qu'il est tres
enneuyeuse aux autres gens ici probablement!!


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:04:08 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Sorry
Message-id: <>

You guys, I feel really shitty about all the stuff I've been saying about
Aimme Mann lately. I don't know her, so it's a bit of an assumption to say
anything about her relationship with Dave based on one side of the story. I
was glancing back at the issue of LE where a pic of her and Dave appeared,
and Dave looks SO happy.

And I feel real shitty for turning Chalkhills into a war zone, although I
can honestly say that I'm tired of the flaming and keep trying to bring out
my fire extinguisher, but some people seem to enjoy fanning the flames. (You
knw who you are, I don't need to name names.)

I'll direct this question to the people who can't seem to leave things
alone: do you honestly get a kick out of watching people go off on you? If
you do, I'd like to know what sort of bent childhoods you had.....

I also apologise for my remarks regarding whatever other bands or
Chalkhillians I might have offended over the past few months.

See you on the other side,


Message-Id: <v03007801b07a153b7518@[]>
From: (David Friel)
Subject: Re: Bumper Books / Amanda and the Vicious Circle
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:00:50 -0500

I'm totally with you on "Bumper Cars."  It's definitely one of my favorite
songs on Andy's demo tape.  In fact, if there's one song I find myself
rewinding and listening to over and over, it's "Bumper Cars"!  I'm at a
loss to understand why no one, besides the two of us, seems to like it.
Maybe it's a California thing as I see you have what appears to be a Cal
State email address.  Perhaps we can get people to rally around this gem,
and if it winds up on the new album we can send all the nay-sayers crows
and watch with delight as they eat them whole!

Yours in Chalk,

Dave in San Francisco


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:37:30 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Of Shatner, Django and Halloran

In #4-11, Brian wrote:

>> Shatner should have stuck to acting (!)

Last I heard, William Shatner was being sued by the Internal
Revenue Service for falsifying his tax returns.  It seems under the
category _Occupation_, Shatner wrote ACTOR.

In #4-14, Harrison Sherwood wrote:
>> *Thank* you, aka. Not only couldn't I have said it better myself, but
>> didn't. (No, it works. You have to stare at for a while, but it works.)

Reminds me of King Crimson and the immortal words:
The more I look at it, the more I like it.  I do think it's good!

Of course, in that same digest, Harrison also wrote:

>> Say, I hope you don't mind if I just...sorta...virtually...GRAB your
>> arm, TWIST it around behind your back, and put this KNEE in your
>> kidneys, and grit Eastwoodly, "OK, Buster, did the DUCK send you?"?

So much for trying to rise above the fray, eh?  The funny thing is, I
didn't get a chance to read #4-14 until Monday, October 27.  By this time,
I had already receive three e-mails (including one from Harrison himself),
explaining away his _outburst_!  You can't believe the anticipation I've had
waiting to read this puppy.

And, yes.  Django Reinhardt is _exactly_ who I had in mind when I said
that solo has a jazzy feel.  I just wasn't sharp enough to recall his name,
which I always seem to confuse with the German Beer Purity Law of 1516.

Finally, anyone out there in the San Diego/Tijuana area tell me if Mike
Halloran is still a DJ at 91X?  He strated his career here in Detroit with a
public radio show aptly titled _Radio's in Motion_  (Gee, that sounds
strikingly familiar, doesn't it?)  Those cranking guitar sounds of XTC
started every show, whick I looked forward to every Thursday night.
He eventually took his act to commercial radio and opened up a lot of
ears in Detroit before moving on to 91X.  Just like to know if he's still at
it down yonder.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: You could do verse
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 14:35:02 -0500

>[Gerardo]What does suck is the ending to Garden of Earthly Delights.

Whoa Nellie, back up! I find that XTC often pay as much attention to
the song endings as beginnings. This is a good thing, especially so
in Garden of Earthly Delights, and several others I can recall w/o
effort: Earn Enough for Us, Pink Thing, and Leisure.

And connectedly: I often imagine blathering solos as announcing
"Hey, there isn't any more left in this song lyrically or musically
that you don't know about. Please disperse. Nothing to see here."
I want to hear a groove build and reach critical mass (can you
imagine a 3'20" Hey Jude?) or grow and go new places, but
otherwise, emm, _WEE-deedle-deedle_ says enuff.

>[Rob Hill] Hence my grandmother laments the passing of Jeanette

If you've never seen her traipse and sing her way through a
good comedy (e.g. "One Hour with You" or "The Love Parade",
you don't know what you missed. Ernst Lubitsch has had a much-
greater-than-healthy effect on my romantic ideal in the fair sex.

"Everything's rock now. And now that we've matured a little and
we're wanting something that's still tasty, but a little bit
more adult...all we get is a dial tone -- or a sneer."
     --Gavin McNett, Salon magazine online

>[Ben Gott]Additionally, as much as I like "You and the Clouds,"
>I'd like to see it "pimped up" (as my fourth graders say.)

Well, if XTC doesn't, there's always the chance Puff Daddy will
karaoke over it, and your wish will be granted.

To Brookes, aka Louise: How can Oasis respect you in the morning
when they don't respect you NOW? ;-)

>[Bob Prowse]There's a little dance that goes with ['Tubthumping'
>by Chumbawumba]...'Birdy-Song' MkII.

By 'Birdy-Song', do you mean the nefarious "Chicken Dance" (gasp)?

>[Kaja Rebane] "'And all the world is football-shaped...' I
>would consider the bridge" in [Senses Working Overtime].

I thought the bridge was "And busses may skid on black ice" &c.

I gave up on trying to figure out how to fit XTC into conventional
songwriting terms in pop/rock. The stanza, chorus, stanza, chourus,
bridge, solo (optional), chorus bit had me stymied. For a fun game
you can play at home, divide Skylarking songs into lists of
"Bridge" and "No Bridge". Then compare to the selections below,
but no cheating! Make sure you page down over it (like that hasn't
happened before!). Any corrections are welcome to my blind stab.

{Bridges: Earn Enough for Us, 1000 Umbrellas, Season Cycle, Big Day,
Ballet for a Rainy Day, Another Satellite.} {No bridge: Summer's
Cauldron, Supergirl, Mermaid Smiled, Dying, Sacrificial Bonfire.}
{Bridge a.k.a. 3rd bit of melody: Grass, The Meeting Place.}
{Just can't tell: Dear God.}

>[Kekkone]Mozart scribbled most of his piano concertos in a state
>of delirium tremens under a table in some seedy bar just to pay
>the rent; today they are "classical" pieces and therefore,
>inevitably and undeniably, "good" music.

Ahh, the old "why don't we get drunk and compose" school of art.

'PSST--Don't tell them it was a country band'*,

(*"The Road to Oranges and Lemons", re: Dave G's pre-XTC gig.)


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 12:07:31 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <l03020901b07a338ed2b1@[]>
Subject: This Just In....

   I have it on very good authority that the drummer for the new XTC album
will be none other than Prairie Prince! Good news indeed, if you ask
                  Best Wishes;
                       John Wedemeyer(
   "Should the devil walk up with his business card out/I'll tear it to
confetti, give a grin and shout!"


From: "Stafford, Dave" <>
Subject: condescending remarks, rudeness, thoughtlessness
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 97 12:54:00 PST
Message-ID: <34550E87@dilbert>

Just wanted you all to know: Brooke knows everything about me.  I never
pay attention, and I am confused.  And of course, she is right about
everything.  I'm really really ignorant, and she is an authority on what
guitar solos are and aren't.

First she says "apparently" so that there is no need to pretend I'm a
real person with feelings.

>>[Dave Stafford <> apparently wrote:]

Then she tells me how confused I am

>let me clear up your confusion here
(I vote this the most condescending remark I have ever heard)

Then she tells me she was going to be mean to me, but decides not to
because I didn't make the error:

>i was tempted to be mean to you about this mistake, but it was
>>actually not your fault - the Kid was childishly incompetent at leaving in
>>the attributions.

Then she proceeds to be mean, condescending and rude by basically stating
that all my opinions (and of course that's all we have here, is a big
bunch of OPINIONS) are completely wrong, borne of ignorance, intimating
that I know nothing about the Beatles or XTC.

Example one, brooke speaking as if to a retarded child:

>>the only relationship is this, which has been spelled out about eighteen
>>times now, but for the slow

So I am slow?  I doubt you'd say that to my face.  The reaction might not
be to your liking.  And *obviously* if I am slow, you are "quick" (smart,
all-knowing, etc).

>, i will explain it again -

Yes *please* do, for all of us brain-dead idiots who do not live on your
higher plane of existence.


By whose standards?  What is your basis for comparison?  Why is BAB
"bloated" and the solo in "Complicated Game" [insert any XTC song name
with 10 second or more long solo] not?   I happen to think both are
brilliant, and are the result of talent, technique and musical knowledge
and ability.  But hey, if Brooke *wants* to think BAB is Skynd-Like than
she MUST be right.  After all, as a musician myself, who has played
guitar and keyboards for many many years, *I* certainly would have no
idea about these concepts.  My musical education and experience obviously
BLIND me to the realities as spelled out by she who knows all.

Example two, brooke missing the point completely:

>>i don't know how on earth you got to "peace and maturity" from "long guitar
>>solos." i think excessive guitar masturbating is not only IMmature, it's
>>not particularly peaceful, let alone much of a concept.

She *ASSUMES* automatically that we are all in agreement that we are
talking about "masturbatory" solos.  I really don't think the majority of
us feel that there are ANY masturbatory solos in ANY XTC songs.  (Or else
we wouldn't be here).  Of COURSE masturbatory guitar solos are immature,
which is why these days I almost never play ANY KIND of solo whatsoever.
 But this discussion, IN MY OPINION, is ONLY valid with groups such as
Lynrd Skynrd.

Maturity I wouldn't expect her to understand.  Maturity might be
recognizing that it is appropriate to *not* play a solo.  Maturity might
be recognizing that it IS appropriate to create a beautiful guitar duet.
 Maturity might be not speaking in condescending tones to real people
with feelings.  Maturity might be considering that YOUR opinion may be in
a minority of one.  Maturity might be considering that OTHERS opinions
MAY ACTUALLY be more well-informed than yours.

Example three: I missed the point and I'm stupid about the Beatles

>>again, if you were paying attention and actually reading the discussion
>>instead of quoting only the parts you disliked, you would have noticed that
>>the point that was made is that the Beatles' output of 'jam' songs
>>including guitar solos, is actually quite good. in fact no one has said
>>anything even remotely intimating that the Early Beatles are to be
>>preferred over the Late.

I have forgotten more about The Beatles than you have ever learned.  By
saying that solos should remain SHORT, the Kid denies that a long solo
might be appropriate.  The Beatles evolved from three chord rock songs
with SHORT 8-bar solos, to an incredible musical unit integrating a vast
array of styles, techniques, harmonies, ideas and influences.  This
involved them playing LONGER SOLOS.   "THE KID" feared that XTC were
going down this same apparent "path to destruction".  Ergo, they should
NOT progress, NOT mature, just keep playin' those three chords,boys, so
they fit into THE KID's perception of how "his" favorite band should
STAY, forever.  In a RUT.

In closing....just wanted you all to know what an ignorant, inattentive
idiot I am.  I've been on this list for quite some time now and it
saddens me to see some of the cruel, thoughtless attacks on people by
CONSIDERATION.   If you can't maintain ordinary politeness, then you are
losing or have lost your civilization.

We were a much quieter, more rational group at first.  The sheer numbers
are destroying what used to be my favourite mailing list.  Maybe they'll
realize that it's about music, it's about people, it's not about forcing
YOUR OPINION down an individual's or the whole group's throat.

I start to have an idea how Amanda must feel-all those senseless attacks
against her for having an opinion.

How dare she?

And how dare I?

Yielding now to the established fact:  the solos in Books Are Burning are
masturbatory, immature, overlong, overblown, bloated, stupied, pointless,
useless...(per Brooke October 1997).

Or on the other hand, what probably 90% of us believe is true.

I'm not really sure if I can go on reading Chalkhills if it continues in
this vein.  Perhaps I should have sent this privately to Brooke.  She
however, apparently felt it important to explain my ignorance,
inattentiveness and generally stupidity to EVERYONE on Chalkhills.  The
least I can do in parting is let the whole group know how hurtful and
thoughtless her remarks felt to me, a long time subscriber and
contributor or NORMALLY positive input.

Ben Gott-let me know privately if anything important (I mean XTC-related)
occurs on Chalkhills.

Everyone else - Bye for now


Then she says I don't pay attention

>again, if you were paying attention

It is not my fault if people are unable to quote other's posts with >
marks.  Nor is it my responsibility to read EVERY SINGLE post by ERVERY
SINGLE person.  I supposed Brooke has never missed one line, of one post,
and can accurately recall EXACTLY what everyone said from any post in any


Message-ID: <>
From: "Miller, Ed" <>
Subject: Guitar solos and masturbation
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 15:48:13 -0700

Just one question....

If you are listening to a really great guitar solo, like Steve Howe's in
Yes' "Starship Trooper", which I consider to be one of the finest guitar
solos ever, and you masturbate at the same time, does that count????

Just wondering while snowbound in Denver,



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 01:51:35 -0800
Subject: Finnishing albums...

>From richard leighton:
> this is what Dave had to say.
> "Let's have a guitar battle just for the crack. What
> better way to finnish the album?"

Egg-zackly. Couldn't have said it better myself!

>From Rob Crawford:

> Part of 'Stand by Me' seems to have been lifted straight from a Mott
> the Hoople single

That would be the legendary "All the Young Dudes", their best song
which, ironically, Bowie wrote for them.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 21:21:53 -0500
Subject: Middle Eight Musings

Chalkies and Chalkettes;

Thought I'd throw a thought or two into the "middle eight" discussion
(which is way more fun to talk about than flame wars).  When I think about
the middle eight, I immediately think of the Beatles.  Lennon and McCartney
used to contribute very frequently to each other's songs, and the main
methodology used was the aforementioned middle eight.

It seems that this was something they stumbled on early in their career
when they would play each other songs-in-progress and the other would say
something like, "Hey, why don't you throw this bit in right after the
second chorus?"  A perfect example is "A Day in the Life".  Lennon writes
this amazing frigging incomplete song and McCartney listens for a bit, sits
down at the piano and intones "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb
across my head", etc, etc.  Boom, masterpiece.

There have to be many others that we could reference from their canon.
(For a really great description, find and read "Shout!" by Philip Norman.)

So, I guess the real answer is that the middle eight could be the bridge
but doesn't have to be, and it almost never is the instrumental (solo)
because that is usually played over the song's verse or chorus chord
structure so that the soloist can express their idea of the song in an
improvised manner.

Think about typical pop music where A is the verse, B is the chorus and C
is the bridge.  Many (but not all) pop songs go something like ABABCAB.  I
remember an interview with Jim Steinman, who wrote all of Meat Loaf's "Bat
Out of Hell" songs (please no flames, I'm just using this as an
example....stick with me here).  He was told by many record company execs
that those songs would never find an audience.  The typical exec would say,
"Pop songs are supposed to go ABABCAB, and yours go ABCABDABECAB, etc".  In
other words, pop is supposed to be simple, and the theory is that the pop
audience can't digest complex song structures.  (Oh, and by the way, didn't
Todd R. have something to do with the production of that album, too?  Oh
no, let's not get that thread going again!)

And that is another reason that I like XTC so much as creators of great
music, because they stretch the boundaries and write songs the way they
want to and hell with convention!



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 16:24:39 -0800
From: "B.Game" <!!!peets!peets218>
Subject: So It's OFFICIAL...?

Good Monday,
Am I the first one with this info?

San Francisco Chronicle
Monday October 27th, 1997

"Drummer Prarie Prince flies to Sussex at the end of next month to record a
long-awaited album with XTC. It's the first in six years for the acclaimed
English rock group ("Dear God"). The lads have been at loggerheads with
their record label. Prince jets off at the end of the Todd Rundgren "With a
Twist" tour, opening Wednesday and Thursday at Slim's, then going national.
They're rehearsing at San Rafael Studios."

I'm pleased with this choice. He's most likely a "bargain" as well.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 22:19:51 -0500
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: Beware Of Maya


I'm in Cincinnati, Ohio on business this week.  "brookes aka louise"
posted to Chalkhills 4-16:

> i've never bought the "all art is subjective"
> theory.

and also ...

> 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

Anyway, I was in a Pub called "The Rock Bottom Brewery", and I was
trying to continue reading Herman Hesse's excellent novel, "The Glass
Bead Game" aka "Magister Ludi", but I couldn't concentrate.  I was
struggling with the idea of responding to aka louise, and couldn't
decide if I should or not.  I enjoyed a pint of an unfiltered wheat
beer, followed by a half-pint of a red ale, "brewed in the tradition of
the English" and ate my Caesar salad pensively.  As I rose to leave, I
heard the distinct opening sequence of "Generals And Majors" through the
pub's sound system, and took it as sign to write my thoughts on this

All art is most certainly subjective, and aka louise states this in her
post.  "I just perceive it with my senses".  There is a concept from
Eastern Indian philosophy, perhaps Hinduism that is often completely
misunderstood by westerners.  The concept is known as "Maya".  Now, I am
a product of western thought, born and raised in the US of A, so I'm not
in any way portraying myself as an Asian mystic or even as a serious
student of Asian philosophy.  It is purely a hobby of mine.  My
understanding of "Maya" is as follows:

We perceive the world through our senses.  Our consciousness interprets
the sensory data.  Senses are in essence, filters, as opposed to
windows.  Our consciousness cannot comprehend the world as it is, it
must break it up into small bits of reality.  We separate reality into
objects.  We see the tree as a separate and distinct object from the
rest of the landscape.  When we gaze at the stars, we perceive the stars
as significant, and the empty space between the stars as a void.  In
reality, the tree and the landscape are one, and the stars and space are
one.  Our senses and our consciousness deceive us by their imperfect
nature.  Therefore, our reality is subjective, i.e.,  a version of the
true, objective reality, colored by our own imperfections.

Biology actually supports this.  Most of us perceive the sense of sight
as "looking out" at the world from inside of our heads, as if our eyes
are lights shining onto the object that we are looking at.  This is an
illusion.  Our eyes are like cameras, letting the light into our heads.
We are really "looking in" at the image that our brain has created based
on the sensory data that our eyes have let in.  By definition, the image
is not reality, it is a perception of reality.

This does not mean that reality is only an illusion, it simply means
that each of us creates our own version of reality.

Western music is based on a twelve note scale.  Eastern music is based
on a seventeen note scale.  To the untrained western ear, some eastern
music sounds "out of tune", or "bad", because we are listening from a
different reference point. I have learned to love Indian classical
music, but I still have a hard time with Indian popular music.  The
singer often sounds out of tune to me.

Most of us that read and post to Chalkhills share a love for the music
of XTC.  Even so, James Isaccs loves "Go 2", Natalie Jacobs describes
"Humble Daisy" as "insipid", and Jeff Langr rates "Nonsensesuch" (his
name for it) as XTC's weakest effort.  I'm not a major fan of "Go 2" or
"White Music", and I like about half of "Drums and Wires" and love all
of their other albums, including "Nonsuch".  All I can say is that.
James is right for him, Natalie is right for her, and Jeff is right for
him, but none of us are absolutely right in our opinions.

Many have tried to define "good art".  The definition goes something
like "Good art has a universal appeal to the young and old, across the
boundaries of culture and of time".  Clearly, XTC's music cannot be
considered "good" based on this definition.  Neither could have Van
Gogh's paintings during his lifetime.  Perhaps one day, the rest of the
world will catch on to XTC, the way we did with Van Gogh.

Stormy Monday


Message-Id: <>
From: steve mcallister <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 97 18:24:37 -0600
Subject: the middle middle 8

   The middle 8, I believe, comes from jazz.  Specifically the
common 32-bar song lenth, usually broken down to AABA (each bit
being 8 bars).  Terminology is a bit fuzzy due to many definitions
in common usage, but once through the song form is traditionally a
'chorus' with the B part being the middle 8.  "Autumn Leaves", "I've
Got Rhythm", and "On the Sunny Side of the Street" are but three
examples of the 32-bar format.  There are literally thousands.
   Terms get stretched when applied to pop songs with C, D, E, and
F parts, plus tags, climbs, intros, verses, builds, bridges and
   My favorite are songs that fall in the water.

When they bury me at sea, all the sky will sigh relief.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 18:58:35 -0500
From: Loquacious Music <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: Virtual Insanity

Brookes (a person with whom I usually agree) wrote:

>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.)

Ooooh. Brookes. If I've only disagreed with you once, this is it. The
day must come. I know that most bands work within the borders set by our
(especially) American culture industry, and I like the Jamiroquai album
because it's upbeat and funky and a little bubble-gummy, with some
environmental conciousness thrown in. Hey -- I like Dr. Dre albums,
mostly because of his incredibly effective use of samples. That's what
bothers me about music in the 1990's, though, and on this, I must agree:
there's too much similarity. Sure, there was similarity in earlier
decades, but at least I can tell Joni Mitchell from Joan Biaz, Huey
Lewis from Tom Dolby, and Al Jarreau from Luther Vandross. Third Eye
Blind? Hanson? Toad the Wet Sprocket (as much as I like them)? What the
hell? They all sound the same!

Someone asked:

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

"Real by Reel" (or is it "Reel by Real"?) and "That Wave" are two of my
favourites. I've also always liked the trumpet solo at the end of "My
Bird Performs."

If the fighting doesn't stop, where will that leave us? I can just see
the next Eastern Chalkhills convention: Ben, Ira, Mitch, Yazbek, Gene,
Tim, and all the other Chalkhillers gathered around a computer in some
Internet cafe in the east village, reading back issues of Chalkhills,
trying to remember "what it was like, back in the old days." Does anyone
remember? R.I.P., Mike Townsend!


XTC SONG OF THE DAY: "Pulsing, Pulsing"
...AND: Fleetwood Mac - "Welcome to the Room, Sara"

* ------------------------------------------ *
B e n   G o t t     ::         Bowdoin College
Internet            ::
* ------------------------------------------ *


Message-ID: <>
From: "Matthew Seery" <>
Subject: Ratio between Andy's and Colin's contributions
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 15:03:11 EST

>From phelan

>"I have been listening to "SKYLARKING" quite a bit lately, and I
>have decided that it is perhaps in my Opinion, the most coherent,
>solid and beautiful album they have ever made. The ratio of Colin
>and Andy songs are almost even. Do you think that an arrangement
>like that, half Colin/half Andy helps to balance the pretensiousness
>that the band can show sometimes, or do you think it's entirely reliant
>on the material?"

When I first read this I didn't know whether to agree or disagree with
this statement. Skylarking is not my favourite but instead my second
favourite. Oranges & Lemons is my favourite ( I feel I am the only
person in the world who thinks O & L is better than Skylarking) but only
3 of the 15 songs are written by Colin. Furthermore, of the 5 songs
contributed by Colin on Skylarking, I would only rate Grass and Dying as
real stand out songs on the CD. Don't get me wrong though I think the
other 3 songs are still very good but not quite in the same class. With
this in mind my initial reaction was that it probably would not make
much difference if the contributions by Andy and Colin were closer to

I then looked at all my CD's and looked at Colin's contributions and
decided that apart from his contributions on White Music and to a lesser
extent GO 2, he very rarely writes an ordinary song. If all his songs
were put on the one CD (if it would fit) it would be quite a good CD.
Andy has written many great songs there is no doubt about it and I
certainly am not trying to suggest that Colin is better than Andy
because both have different styles. However, I do find myself saying
"What the hell?" (as infrequent as it maybe) on more occasions when I
hear some of Andy's songs compared with Colin. In other words, what I am
trying to say is that Andy and Colin both have written some superb songs
over the years. However, despite Colin's 20-25% contribution to most of
the albums, he still seems to write at least one or two songs that could
be considered stand outs. Colin rarely misses the mark or goes off the
deep end.

One thing that should be considered though, is if Colin had to
contribute more songs than he normally does know then perhaps his high
standards might start to slip. I seem to recall him saying in different
interviews over the years that he has trouble coming up with many songs
when it is time to record the album.

I have to agree with you that Skylarking is the most coherent and
beautiful album they have ever made. The only reason I rate O & L just
ahead of Skylarking is that I think some of the songs better display the
unique style and sound of XTC, although not by much.



End of Chalkhills Digest #4-17

Go back to the previous page.