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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-193


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 193

                   Tuesday, 4 May 1999

Today's Topics:

                     No Self Control
                      Not him again
                       FRIGHT X #12
         Re: Some Folks See the World as a Stone
                    Re: Dreamboad Andy
                       XTC Flavours
  I like Nonesuch. Nonesuch is cool. Listen to Nonesuch.
                    PG, PC, DM and XTC
                     Riding with Andy
                         Gangway!
               Top Fuel Records.....Kompost
                         Various
                   In Defense of Thugs
                 Re: Harrison's Epiphany
                    Mama Cass't Stones
     Re: Harrison's Epiphany IIa, the Phantom Menaces
                  Laughing Bursting Buds

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The disappointed / All shuffle round in circles.

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

Message-ID: <19990504021840.55636.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
Subject: No Self Control
Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 19:18:39 PDT

Two responses to David Ferguson's blinding flash of insight:

> >"I walked right out of the machinery."
> >   -- Peter Gabriel
>
>No he didn't! Anyone else see the commercial for Disney's animated version
>of Tarzan yet?  Pete MUST be doing the music, it was Rhythm of the Heat
>drums....saw him on the Oscars singing. Fat, balding and trying to hide
>himself in a long black coat

1. Hahahahahah! Gotcha! Hoist by the old journalist's petard - CHECK YOUR
FACTS. The music you refer to is, in fact, provided by Chalkhills own 'bete
noir' and our very, very dear friend, Mr Phil Collins.

2. PG has put on some weight and his hair is thinning? Well, isn't that
just awful. So f***ing what? For crissake David - he's 50. He has the good
grace to age with dignity, which is exactly what I would expect of someone
who respects themselves. If you look as good - and have achieved as much -
by the time you're fifty, maybe then we can talk.

(Is he like Sampson? Does his talent disappear as his hair falls out?)

And what would you suggest to remedy the situation, Dr Ferguson? A call to
Jacko to get the number of his plastic surgeon. Pop over to Elton's place
for the address of his wigmaker? Some advice from Roseanne about
liposuction?

I for one am glad - and not at all surprised - that PG doesn't buy into all
that bullshit. I'm not interested in teenage music, and I'm not interested
in middle-aged musicians who pretend they are teenagers. I want people with
dignity, credibility and creativity, and PG has that in spades.

(BTW - I thought Randy and Peter's number was beautifully performed, very
poignant, and the highlight of the evening - just as was Elvis and Burt's
dignified showing at the otherwise excremental American Music Awards.)

PG *DID* walk right out of the machinery. He could have stuck it out with
the Genesis roadshow, made himself a mint, and become a joke. Instead he
put himself and his career on the line again and again, and proved that he
is his own man. (Not to mention his support for WOMAD, Amnesty and many
other causes).

There - I think I've calmed down now.

Dunks

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

From: RickBuist2@aol.com
Message-ID: <39e265e8.245fb52b@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 22:27:55 EDT
Subject: Not him again

>"I walked right out of the machinery."
>   -- Peter Gabriel

>No he didn't! Anyone else see the commercial for Disney's animated version
>of Tarzan yet?  Pete MUST be doing the music, it was Rhythm of the Heat
>drums....saw him on the Oscars singing. Fat, balding and trying to hide
>himself in a long black coat

Nope - the person responsible for the music of Disney's Tarzan is Mr.
Ubiquitous himself...

PHIL COLLINS!

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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

From: "Wesley Hanks" <whanks@earthlink.net>
Subject: FRIGHT X #12
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 19:37:55 -0700
Message-ID: <01be95d7$1d7b9c20$LocalHost@default>

Hill-folk,
The upcoming issue (#12) of "Fright X" magazine promises interviews with:
"GWAR, XTC, Trinket, and David Sylvian"... the Coney Island Wonder Wheel
photo of Colin & Andy is featured on the cover. Fright X is a quarterly that
concentrates on film, animation, comics, music, etc. Interested parties can
order their copy through your friendly comic book shop, it's featured on
page 300 of the latest, May 99, issue of "Previews". Previews is the monthly
comic book cataloge that most comic book shops use to place orders for their
customers of upcoming releases.

Enjoying Fountains of Wayne - "Utopia Parkway".

The glowing Crash Test Dummies put on a wonderful show last Friday, (House
of Blues, Las Vegas), despite the high preponderance of unappreciative,
spiral-permed, you-keep-the-glass-as-a-souvenier drinking, clueless twits
who where there for the opening act, Sixpence, None the Talented, or some
such crap.

Tea's on,
Wes Hanks

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

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 20:19:18 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199905040319.UAA37738@mando.engr.sgi.com>
From: John Relph <relph@cthulhu>
Subject: Re: Some Folks See the World as a Stone

"David Seddon" <D.Seddon@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
>For me Nonsuch (Minor point, but please leave out the e because it's one of
>Henry VIII s Palaces!) is XTCs best work and the one I consider most
>perfect.
>
>As there was no list in those days and I had no computer anyhow, allow me
>the indulgence of reveiwing it here:

David, David, David.  Perhaps you had no computer, but there was
definitely a list.  Chalkhills had already been going for three years
by the time Nonsuch was released.

But I have to agree that Nonsuch contains some of XTC's best work.
But it is also sprawling and unfocussed, and contains a couple of
complete duds as well.  Like Oranges & Lemons, I have trouble
listening to the entire album in one go.  Perhaps Will J or some other
Chalker with too much time on her hands should come up with some
alternate album track listings for Nonsuch and Oranges & Lemons.  We
could have the "Nonsuch easy listening" and the "Nonsuch orchustic"
and the "Nonsuch rocks" albums, or perhaps the "Oranges & Lemons up"
and the "Oranges & Lemons down" albums...

Speaking of Will J, I am enjoying the latest AV1 New Order as we speak
(so to speak).  I've made it to Greenman and so far it's pretty good.
We'll see if it holds up.

But I meant to say that neither Oranges & Lemons nor Nonsuch measures
up to the consistency and strength of The Big Express, Skylarking, or
Black Sea.  English Settlement may have been sprawling as well, but it
also was compelling and consistent.

Anyway, my train of thought was derailed.

	-- John

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

From: mollyfa@juno.com
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 00:09:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Dreamboad Andy
Message-ID: <19990504.000938.4542.0.MollyFa@juno.com>

Oh I couldn't resist this thread.  I've had a huge crush on Andy for a
long time.  He's just so wonderful.  He's British, writes clever lyrics
and has a great sense of humor.  If he wasn't a singer/songwriter he
should have gone into comedy.  =o)

Molly
http://www.angelfire.com/mn/mollyfa99/index.html

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

From: music@telisphere.com
Message-ID: <372E79FC.6B8D@telisphere.com>
Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 21:39:24 -0700
Subject: XTC Flavours

David Setton: Enjoyed your analysis of Nonsuch!
Pretty much agreed except, the more I hear The Smartest Monkeys,
the more I like it. That organ solo/the English Beat outro...very cool!
(Monkeys unite! :)

David Setton wrote about Skylarking:
> "it sounds like Todd Rundgren not XTC.."

This comment and the other disparaging comparisons to the Beatles,
made me realize..
  I think Beatle/Todd Rundgren fans in general (pun) prefer the later
(Nonsuch, Skylarking, Oranges&Lemons, VH1) BECAUSE of those influences.
 To me the earlier XTC sounds more Devo/Oingo-Boingo/New Age-ish,
and I would guess those who prefer that material are also big fans
of those influences.
 Seems to come down to a matter of what you prefer.
 Generally, I prefer the later stuff.
 (btw, I like Devo).

 To start another thread:
 What artists/CD's would you recommend to a friend who recently
discovered and loved the later XTC?

 I've heard mention of Martin Newell, Neil Finn...
 Opinions?

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

Message-Id: <l03130301b35430b25b97@[204.144.224.52]>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 23:21:53 -0600
From: Brian Landy <blandy@lawyernet.com>
Subject: I like Nonesuch. Nonesuch is cool. Listen to Nonesuch.

Nonesuch is fantastic!  While the band does not "rock out" on most of the
tracks,  this album is probably my favorite (ignoring skylarking, which I
have trouble ranking and categorizing because it was my first XTC album).
Don't ignore the raw energy evident on Peter Pumpkinhead, Books are Burning
and even the Disappointed.

To illustrate:

I rarely record mixes for anyone, but wanted to introduce a Beatles fan to
XTC with a sixty-minute compliation.  I ended up including the second half
of Nonesuch, absent one or two tracks.  I feel no guilt about this obvious
imbalance.

These tracks are among the most original songs I have heard from anyone.
Bungalow is hauntingly beautiful.  War Dance is a hip groove.  Etc., etc.

However, I wouldn't miss Crocodile - my least favorite XTC song of all time.

I enjoy XTC because they set their own rules for music.  They don't give a
shit about the usual pop or rock song form or instrumentation.  This is
what makes them ultimately cool.  In my opinion, the likeness to other
psychedelic or punk bands dissipated long ago.  I don't care if they don't
jam on every song like bands you will hear on the radio.  I just want thim
to do something new in each song.  I submit that it is difficult to say
that any of the songs on the second half of Nonesuch sound like any others
done by XTC or any other band.

==================================
Brian Landy, Attorney at Law
==================================

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

Message-ID: <19990504052912.30731.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Steve Stearns" <xteve@hotmail.com>
Subject: PG, PC, DM and XTC
Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 22:29:11 PDT

Greetings to the 'Hill from another (YES ANOTHER) Seattle Chalker.

In Chalkhills 5-190, someone wrote:

! Anyone else see the commercial for Disney's animated version of Tarzan
yet?  (Peter Gabriel) MUST be doing the music, it was Rhythm of the Heat
drums....saw him on the Oscars singing. Fat, balding and trying to hide
himself in a long black coat.

I too saw PG's appearance on the Oscars & thought the same.  However, I'm
sorry to report that the music for Tarzan is done by none other than
Chalkhills' favorite wanker, former Genesis drummer P*** C*****s.  This
info courtesy of a promo I saw on the videotape of "A Bug's Life." (Which
is really cool, BTW.)

My two cents on the Nonsvch thread:

I was NOT impressed with this album overall when it came out.  I agree that
there are a few songs on this album that rank with the finest in the XTC
catalogue, (namely "Barnum", "Wrapped In Grey","That Wave" and "Books . .
.") but a lot of this record just didn't move me the way that English
Settlement, Black Sea and O&L did.  I don't think that it's the production,
as some have claimed: in my opinion Gus Dudgeon and Nick Davis are the best
production team besides the redoubtable John Leckie, who just seems to be a
great match for the band. (Any chance of getting Leckie to do AV2?) I just
don't think that Nonsvch is a particularly strong group of songs. It's a
scattershot album, like Mummer -- it has some strong points but no overall
vision holding it together.  I will say, however, that Dave Mattacks is the
absolute hands-down best drummer XTC have used post-TC.  His no-frills
style just fits perfectly with theirs.  Which brings me to my next point
. . .

Whilst scanning through the channels a couple of days ago on FX Movies they
were showing Macca's dreadful 1980's era ego trip "Give My Regards To Broad
Street."  During one of the musical numbers in the film Paul is backed by a
rhythm section of none other than John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame (and
who came within a few thousand pounds of producing Nonsvch) and drummer,
yes that's right, Dave Mattacks.  Yes, I do watch too much cable.

Let it also be known that this is one guitarist who can't wait to hear
Dave's CD as well as AV2.

So when's that Greenman video coming out?

Later,

Steve

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

Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 01:31:28 -0400
Subject: Riding with Andy
Message-ID: <19990504.014020.10750.2.BrainiacsDaughter@juno.com>
From: Elizabeth I Spencer <brainiacsdaughter@juno.com>

I just can't help but respond to Dave Seddon's take on Skylarking...

and I couldn't agree more, (though I gotta say that 1,000 Umbrellas
absolutely kills me.)

I don't know that the thing is exactly sanitized, but it does feel
Americanized and oriented toward that "possible-hit-single" attitude that
is the bane of any right-thinking band's existence.

But I won't belabor the point. Andy Partridge can write a better song
drunk, naked and lost than just about anyone around. Even Skylarking is a
wild ride through his madman-musical mind...

and I dig the trip.

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

Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 01:12:37 -0400
Subject: Gangway!
Message-ID: <19990504.014020.10750.1.BrainiacsDaughter@juno.com>
From: Elizabeth I Spencer <brainiacsdaughter@juno.com>

Ben-

Check my post in Vol 5 #180...

Was thanking Mitch for suggesting it to the man himself.

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

Message-Id: <3.0.32.19990504101139.00e9a1a0@cam-mail1.cambridge.arm.com>
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 10:11:40 +0100
From: Adam Parsons <Adam.Parsons@arm.com>
Subject: Top Fuel Records.....Kompost

Chalkers,

Did anyone get a bit of spam from Top Fuel Records, recently? The email I
got sounded like a promotion for an XTC-soundalike band. But when I went to
download some sample MP3's, I found this:

http://chooser.mp3.com/cgi-bin/download/mp3-download.cgi?fmt=0&path=/mp3s/kompost/andy_partridges_shit.mp3&genre=1118&id=65415&ds=13

(You may need to unbreak this line to get it to work, or look at the main
page, http://www.mp3.com/artists/15/kompost.html).

I somehow think they're not going to make many friends in the XTC fan-base,
is they continue writing songs about Andy, like that.

Or perhaps I've just got a temporary sense of humour failure....

Adam.

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

Message-ID: <372EE981.BB3D24A5@which.net>
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 13:35:13 +0100
From: B Blanchard <b.blanchard@which.net>
Subject: Various

Hi gang.
Oops!  A long one!  (Wish - ho ho)
Like many of us I am fascinated by the English language even if I
am not always able to use it to the best of my ability.  (I mean,
do you KNOW how many words there are out there?)  However, I can
recommend an excellent book on the subject which explains just
HOW English has come to be world dominant more or less.  I mean
doesn't it just amaze you that when some awful disaster has
struck some small country or a remote community in some far away
land, that the journalists can nearly always find some farmer or
some shopkeeper who for some reason has learned enough English to
tell us about what happened? The book is: THE STORY OF ENGLISH by
ROBERT McCRUM published by Faber & Faber and the BBC way back in
1986 (and I'm reading through it for the second time.
ISBN  0 571 13828 4

I also recommend Made in America by America's own Anglophile Bill
Bryson.

Now on to Absolutely Fabulous. Yes Edina abused her daughter.
Edina was an alcoholic and her friend Patsy was also an alcoholic
and drug abuser who was extremely abusive towards Patsy's
daughter.  So why was the series the funniest IMO on TV?  Because
there is nothing funnier that seeing a drunk woman fall out of a
taxi?!  Because there is nothing funnier than seeing a 40
something woman try desperately to keep hold of her youth and her
(dubious) looks by making an absolutely arse of herself?? Or
what.  Absolutely the daughter was abused.  But Jennifer Saunders
who wrote and starred in the series made that daughter absolutely
a million times more intelligent that the mother and mother's
friend will ever be.  The daughter cried, sure, and despaired,
sure, and worried, sure, but she had an ally in her mother's
mother (showing yet again how traits jump a generation). The
daughter was smart and strong and you always knew she would
survive.  She would be emotionally scarred - but hell, who
isn't!  At least she wasn't starving and to prove a point about
her strength, Patsy knew that the daughter was the only one she
could go to when she found a lump on her breast and didn't know
what to do about it.  And to see THAT scene was the funniest
thing - the daughter knew more about everything than her mother
and her mother's friend put together.  Jennifer Saunders would
not have written the daughter to be so abused if she had not been
able to have the strength to survive it and be smart.

To my mind the series was completely hysterical - and also showed
women could be funny without the need for men to help them do so
- .  We all know that the abuse of drink and drugs ruins lives
relationships and so on.  Yet people still do it.  We are stupid
sometimes.  So let's make fun of ourselves!  It's what we Brits
do so well. Some working class people and those of limited
intelligence did not tune into AbFab. Call me a classist (or a
classicist I don't care) but research showed this to be so.
Indeed my own Mother could not see the joke - nor could she stand
Fawlty Towers or Monty Python
or anything else she can't understand. What made her laugh?
Benny Hill and Mrs Slocombe's pussy and the appalling gay
stereotype who ran around limp wristed saying "I'm free!"  Yes I
love my mother.  I cannot work this essay any longer!  It wasn't
meant to be so but all I am saying is that - and William Goldman
I think said it - that in this [show] business - when it comes to
knowing what will work and why it will work one thing is certain
and only one thing "Nobody knows anything".

On the subject of talent and comedy shows. Brass Eye
probably wasn't shown in USA but it was a sort of piss take on
the current state of news and current affairs mostly written by
the incredibly dangerous seeming, talented, and to my mind
acutely fuckable Christopher Morris.  Someone earlier wrote how
this list has a kind of confessionary nature about it and they
are dead right: I am and have been attracted to bastards. I
remember ages ago writing a piece on this list about being
attracted to an actor on stage and being stuck to the seat with
wet for being so attracted to his talent and then once realising
that the actor is a bit of a cunt in his real life still going to
see his WORK again in the theatre but being more in charge of
emotional fantasies after that!  (That sentence alone contained
phrases not explained in The Story of English!) I am sure that
the hugely talented and hunksville actor writer and broadcaster
Chris Morris is no bastard but he plays one beautifully and I am
attracted to that.  For the record my boyfriend of ten years is
absolutely fabulous and wouldn't hurt a living thing. So I can't
be that fucked up.
Chris Morris's web site is:
http://www.koekie.org.uk/funnel/
And there is a whole nother subject - why women fall for
bastards.  I don't fall for them any longer but I still find them
or their talent attractive sometimes.

XTC content?  Well there was some between the lines but what the
hell.

Lastly,  a small question - don't ask me why I need to know this
but can anyone of you Nebraskans past or present tell me if there
are any roundabouts in Nebraska?  Email privately if you like or
enlighten us all.

I think that's quite enough for now.  Welcome back Neal Buck!
BELINDA

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

Message-ID: <000401be962d$91cfec10$1df1c4cc@ois-010783.DOA.STATE.LA.US>
From: "John Voorhees" <griffon@earthling.net>
Subject: In Defense of Thugs
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 07:56:43 -0500

Well, Kristen had this to say...

>AND.....Least Favorite XTC Song:  No Thugs in Our House
>And before anyone takes umbrage, I don't hate this song because of those
>long, lyric-discussing posts!  I just plain can't stand the song.  I think
>it has something to do with the two songs it's placed between on ES--
>between the melodic "Jason" and the ethereal "Yacht Dance."  I'd rather
>listen to these two by themselves, without the interruptive yelling and
>jarring chords that comprise "No Thugs."  By the time "Jason" nears its
>end, my finger is poised over the "skip" button on my CD player, ready to
>keep this real-world intrusion out of my melodic, string-inducedfantasy....

I can understand how Thugs might be a bit of a jar on the ES CD... but I
grew accustomed to this album on vinyl, which in this case makes all the
difference in the world.  Two records, four sides.  First side is great,
ranging from Runaways to Jason.  But Record One, Side Two is my favorite,
even with only 3 songs!  It kicks off with the raw political anger and
sarcasm of No Thugs in our House, segs magnificently into the yaw and pitch
of Yacht Dance, and closes with the painful, nihilistic All Of A Sudden.
Song order for most bands of the vinyl age was shaped by the concept of
"sides" of a record, and I think XTC were doing that at least through O&L
(another 4 sider).
BTW, how many Vermonters are ON this list, anyhoo?  I lived in Burlington
for four years and had no idea there could be other Chalkhillers in there.
I mean, it's a small state, guys...

John Voorhees

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

Message-Id: <199905041322.JAA07126@hammurabi.nh.ultra.net>
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 09:20:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Harrison's Epiphany
From: "Duncan Watt" <kanuba@nh.ultranet.com>

Harrison wrote, quite eloquently:

>In Apocalyptic 1999, when both Marilyn Manson and Henry Mancini are
>brought to us by Seagram's, no music is any "better" or "worse" than any
>other music--there no longer *is* an Other. And after all this time,
>after what seems like hundreds of variations on the theme of
>Counterculture have uselessly waxed and waned...the
>Counter-Counterculture, c'est nous. We have finally crossed the Great
>Divide.
>
>We have become our parents.

Have you heard the new Limp Bizkit?

Duncan Watt

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

Message-ID: <19990504135742.2504.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Joe Funk" <jomama64@hotmail.com>
Subject: Mama Cass't Stones
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 06:57:41 PDT

Chalkerz:

I know Malady gave implicit instructions to not cast stones or aspersion at
her for her love of .....,HMMM....Journey!  But there are a copla' things
that really bother me about her "reasons" for liking Journey.....

>It can be traced to my grade school years, when I listened to their albums
>in the safety of my bedroom.

I listened to Grand Funk Railroad when I was young, but does that  mean that
I still have to like them!?

And my favorite!.....

>What I like best are the homoerotic duets as epitomized by "Just the Same
>Way" between Mr. Perry and Gregg Rolie, whose modest voice acts as the
>perfect foil for the pyrotechnical feats of his partner.

Golly! Geewillikers!!  Couldn't have said it better myself!  Though I do
disagree on Perry's "pyrotechnic" vocals!!?  Don't get me wrong, I have
nothing against Steve Perry's androginy, but Journey for me reflects
everything that was wrong with music in the late seventies, early eighties.
Template oriented rock with shallow lyrics!!!  Actually, before Perry
arrived, they were a listenable band with Neil Schonn on vocals.  But I just
don't see a correlation between XTC and Journey!!

Speaking of XTC:
A copla' Sundays ago I was listening to our local PBS station, KUT 90.5 FM,
Austin, and there is a morning show where students read various newspaper
articles from around the world.  I just caught the very end of one of them,
wherein they were talking about a band that had only been doing studio work
for the last 18 or so years!  I turned up the volume and they began playing
"the Last Balloon" while talking about Andy Partridge's stage fright and
the upcoming AV2.  I think it was from an article from the Detroit Free
Press.  Hooray for PBS!!

Also, I've been listening to the AV2 "bootlegs", and really think "Bumper
Cars" is a riot!  I think it is going to be a sleeper!!  Sounds like a
mixture of White Music and Black Sea!!!

JoMAMA

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

Message-Id: <199905041402.KAA10717@hammurabi.nh.ultra.net>
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 10:00:33 -0400
Subject: Re: Harrison's Epiphany IIa, the Phantom Menaces
From: "Duncan Watt" <kanuba@nh.ultranet.com>

Once again, HS:

>Next time you put on "Apple Venus," listen to your heart as your heart
>listens to "Harvest Festival," when whatever-it-is wells up along with the
>rush of strings behind "the swirling sky" in "I Can't Own Her," when "The
>Last Balloon" wends its melancholy way toward the acceptance of the
>inevitability of death: Is what you are feeling "ironic"? "Detached"?
>"Alienated"? Was "unironic enjoyment almost successfully simulated"?

...and on this point, I've got to completely agree. No, I experienced real,
crossbow-bolt-to-the-heart true, reach-out-and-touch-it palpable
Beauty. But I don't think I would've gotten it earlier on in life, before
my heart was broken, or before I saw What The Game Really Is. Rock 'N Roll
is a young man's(and woman's, providing she wears a size 3 or less, thanks
to MTV) game, and I'm just happy that there are still some old farts
scraping out a tune or two for Us Who've Been Through It Already.

But enough of this Child-Is-The-Father-Of-The-Man bullshit, I want to see
Partridge on this list NOW. Show your face, genius-boy! We know you're out
there, I WANT TO SEE SOME TEXT. Set it off! Just a few tinkly words, to
make it real... the irony! You're God to this little planet of a list...
delicious!  Show your face! Make us believe! Sims-r-us! Give us a sign!
Y'know, up in Portsmouth(NH, USA), a little North of where-I-is, they're
claiming to see Jesus's face in a bookmatched flamed-maple-veneered door of
a bank(I just can't stop laughing, still, I mean the guy in the Gibbs
station pretty much asked me to leave after I saw the headline...a BANK!),
I wonder if it's not YOUR FACE! SEND US A SIGN! NOW! anything... a .jpg of
a burning bush or something... anything! Turn Dom into a pillar of salt!
And if you won't give US your letters, at least whisper in Molly's ear...

I am waiting.

Duncan Watt

ps no lame excuses

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

From: WillJ4comm@aol.com
Message-ID: <238df054.24605ff8@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 10:36:40 EDT
Subject: Laughing Bursting Buds

Someone asked why we thought Andy sounded like he was laughing during the
Easter Theatre lyric, "Buds will laugh and burst, racing to be first." Was
it due to someone making funny faces, did someone drop their tea on their
crotch, etc.

Pretty simple in my mind: SHEER, BLISS-ENGULFED, RAPTUROUS, OVERWHELMING
JOY AND GIDDINESS. If you had been the first person to hear Easter Theatre
as a mere whisp of the ether in your brain, then materialized it in full
sonic form, then were invited to sing along with the towering majesty of
that music, you might get a bit overcome with the same joy as the image of
humble, joyful baby flowers springing to life in the rebirth of the warm,
wet spring day. And hence, we may have heard you laugh, and may on some
future recording of your own. I don't think anyone was making funny faces,
I think it was an unavoidable instant, pleasurable to the last, and
cosmically intentional and very appropriate -- Andy's soul shooting through
the clouds in total ecstacy.  Had it not been wanted or intended, then on a
flawless jewel of an album like AV1, I guarantee it would not be on the
finished product.

And, for the record, the orchestral flourishes in I Can't Own Her are
AWESOME, and not at all shmaltzy. I asked the government music people in
Washington DC AND London, and they both confirmed it as a fact, it's
totally brilliant. Any other opinions to the contrary are simply incorrect,
end of discussion.  :) Seriously, though, they are f***ing beautiful, allow
yourself to be open to someone with Andy's musical vision to seriously use
such an effect the way it was intended, and all the shmaltz will fall by
the wayside. If your thought is, "He can't pull that off seriously," then
my simple question is: if Andy can't, then who can? It's one of the boldest
moves on the record, and though I was a bit taken aback by it at first, I
now look forward to each full-bodied burst of strings as that song that I
initially didn't even like too much flows playfully, wisely, gorgeously
from my speakers.

If you're one of those who are still in doubt about those strings, may I
recommend (yes, I know, for the third time -- studies have shown that
sometimes people need to read something about 25 times before they'll
actually take note) this different listening order for AV1, which I think
puts "I Can't Own Her" in its rightful place, grandly at the close of the
album (and while we're discussing Easter Theatre, this order cements it
firmly as the thematic transcendant moment it truly is):

Side One: 11, 10, 7, 6, 8

Side Two: 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9

And so as not to focus too much on Andy, because I think AV1 is the best
work Colin has done since the Dukes, this order makes Colin's contributions
the critical turning point of the album, and integral to the overall theme.

And while we're on the subject, how can you rag on Colin's voice? It's
different but it's FANTASTIC -- inviting us on a magical mystery tour that
just begins here -- I can't wait to see what Colin and Andy have in store
for us in the coming years! Again, I checked with the official government
music people in Washington DC AND London, and they confirmed it as a fact,
Colin's singing is totally brilliant and charming...so there.

Racing to be first, Will J

P.S. - Nonsuch is awesome.

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End of Chalkhills Digest #5-193
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