Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-195

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 195

                   Thursday, 6 May 1999

Today's Topics:

                 Re: Turkish music redux
                    frivolous tonight
                       Radio Story
                      A need for DG
          Snippets of a letter from the Almighty
                 American (Nostalgia) Pie
                 Re: Music for my funeral
                   The Smartest Monkeys
       Schoolkids Ann Arbor; RIP ( and world music)
           They're out! (in the USA, anyway...)
             Ann Arbor & The Fleetwood Diner
                      Re: XTC/Boingo
                     No Molly Bashing
                       Great Music
                 Nonsvch tread continued


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7 (John Relph <>).

Our brains are bigger / This we've found.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Andrew Gowans" <>
Subject: Re: Turkish music redux
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 08:06:00 EST


In digest #5-181 Don Rogalski wrote of tuning into Turkish music whilst
spending some time there the previous summer.

Yes, Don, I know what you mean.

My Wife and I spent a couple of months there over 10 years ago travelling
around the country by coach, which appeared to be the main form of civil
transport available.

Just like a coach trip anywhere in the world (or at least anywhere I have
been to) the coach drivers play cassette tapes of their fave music whilst on
the move.

Initially the music was almost incomprehensible to our ears, but over time
we came to some understanding of the music, even to the point of detecting
"better" tracks amongst what we heard ("better" being in quotation marks
because our opinion was that only and subjective too).

I wanted a Saz, but kept putting it off....lost opportunity.

Anyway, that element of "dissonance" in music is one I have found myself
appreciating more greatly over the intervening years, the tension and
interest it creates for me.

I agree with you on "1000 Umbrellas" also.

Ciao for niao,

The Rat.


Message-Id: <v01550100b353e37768ae@[]>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 01:44:25 +0200
From: (meiling)
Subject: frivolous tonight

hello dear chalkers

maybe it's not new for you...I didn't read the lists for a while, but
doesn't the beginning of "frivolous night" sound like the beginning of
"getting better" of the Beatles?

ralph meiling


Message-Id: <l03130301b354eff63065@[]>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 19:52:45 +0100
From: MinerWerks <>
Subject: Radio Story


I actually heard a mention of XTC and Andy Partridge on the radio
yesterday. It wasn't completely accurate, but at least they were mentioned!
A DJ on the "70s-80s-90s" rock station played Todd Rundgren's "Bang on a
drum all day" song (the actual title escaped me, if that's not it) and then
mentioned Rundgren got into a fight with Andy Partridge of XTC. She
proceeded to say that while producing XTC, Rundgren worked his neighbor's
daughter into a song, singing the "Dear God" part. Well, that much is true,
but the DJ claimed that this event created the rift between Partridge and
Rundgren, which, as far as I have heard, started long before that...

Also, sorry if I offended any followers of The Creatures. I was absolutely
unaware that this was a side project during the Banshees days as well!
Guess I need to do some fact checking.


Come on, Dunks, admit it, you own a copy of "101 Accordions Play The Hits
Of The Style Council"!!

= Derek =


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 18:50:27 -0700
From: Randy Hiatt <>
Subject: A need for DG

David Ferguson <> wrote:

I was lucky enough to hear about and get to see
(twice) a band called Musical Box (see if you can
still find their presence on the web), that
performed the ORIGINAL old Genesis Fox Trot and
Selling England by the Pound concerts, complete
with background and costume changes. They stopped
touring after the last concert, but it was like
going back to 1975....

Cool, wish they would have toured the NW...   I
need this DG CD bad... when and how will I get

continuing Dave wrote:

"They stopped touring after the last concert"

I'll exercise the Molly Clause and just not say

Randy (I will make my bed with her tonight) Hiatt


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: Snippets of a letter from the Almighty
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 21:15:22 CDT

And a fond howdy ho to all on this miserable, rainy Louisiana day. I
thought you might like to hear a couple of snippets of a letter from Dave I
got a few days ago, so here's a sample:

".....thank you for standing in my corner on the Chalkhills shenanigans. I
haven't been keeping tabs on the arguments, because frankly everybody is
misinformed; the whole story can never be presented accurately and I'd
probably just end up getting upset."

".....Partridge is apparently claiming that we never had a friendship, that
I did nothing to enhance the development of the band and that he was going
to sack me anyway. Well, how sour is them apples? I'm convinced the twerp
is finally on the slippery slopes of Wacko Gulch. Still wants to use some
of the guitar tracks I did for Vol. II. I've refused permission unless I'm
paid for them."

"And yes, I'm soon to be represented on the internet, thanks to the kind
offices of Debie Edmonds and Mark Strijbos. They've asked to set up a
website for me, and I've agreed, initially on a six month trial basis. The
work they've done so far is quite remarkable; I've supplied them with
photographs, lists, a complete discography, in fact more information about
ME than you would ever need to know. I'll be updating them with as much
topical news as I can, as and when it happens, so I'm praying enough work
continues to come my way in order to make the project worthwhile! It's to
be called Guitargonauts, and should be up and running in 4-6 weeks."

"On my return from the supermarket at lunch-time, I chanced upon some
10-ear old kids playing in the street. I overheard one of them say 'Look,
that bloke looks like one of the Bee Gees!' Then they all joined in. 'Oy
mate!  BEEEJEEEEE!' Well really, the youngsters of to-day....."

Tis all for now,
Amanda C. Owens
"It seems the thinkers you call greatest are the sort who often fall ill
young or pine away. how can they help but drag the species down?"-Brad
XTC song of the day-Down in the Cockpit
non-XTC song-Sticky Sweet-Motley Crue


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 19:46:01 -0700
Subject: American (Nostalgia) Pie

American Pie...?
I always thought that song vastly over-rated (and way too long).
(McClean's "Vincent" is a much better song).
I suppose American Pie was such a big hit because of the frightening
nostalgia virus. Brings to light again, the unfortunate fact that
many people choose their music, not for its artistic merit, but
rather because it reminds them of themselves and their lives.
A frustrating situation for an artist trying to create something new...


Message-Id: <v01540b03b355735d5a0b@[]>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 16:05:05 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Re: Music for my funeral

>The only trouble is I won't hear it. Still ... "All Of A Sudden" is the
>obvious choice if we're picking one from the home team; apart from that, at
>my send-off the DJ will be presenting the following musical interludes as I
>get crisped:

I agree that All of a Sudden is a good choice, Dunks. good to see an 801
song in there, too. My own choice is by another member of 801 - I'm kinda
hoping that when the time comes someone will see fit to play Brian Eno's
song "Here he comes". A perfect funeral song.



Subject: The Smartest Monkeys
Message-Id: <0006800010968062000002L022*@MHS>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 13:33:40 +0200

Hi from Germany, all you "Kreideberger",

Although I've already put in my 2 pfennigs' worth on the relative quality
of various XTC songs and albums, as just about everyone else does at one
point or another, it now seems opportune to add a 3rd pfennig.  Bearing in
mind that it is all completely subjective and, therefore, that I cannot
prove to anyone that I'm right, I nevertheless must take issue with one
small aspect of Dan and Dave's otherwise excellent posts re. Nonsuch.  I,
along with my newest bestest friend music@telisphere (and I thought Moon
Unit was a strange name...), feel compelled to come to the defense of a
certain song: I like "The Smartest Monkeys".  It's a good song!  Good,
Good, Good!!  IT IS GOOD!!!  *SO THERE!!!!!*

Now I realize this is not as eloquent an argument as some contributors to
Chalkhills would have made -- and yes, I am jealous of their abilities,
very much so -- but it is of equal value to anything more eloquent,
because...  because I say so.  And you can't prove me wrong.  I know you
will probably try, but forget it, you will fail.

Now that I've had my little tantrum, I'd like to turn to another topic
everybody loves, Phil Collins.  I feel I must also come to his defense in
this Peter Gabriel thing.  I will not try to tell anyone that Collins is a
great songwriter or whatever -- while I recognize his incredible ability to
write a *hit song*, I also recognize that I hate a lot of songs that are
*hit songs*, including much of Collins' stuff.  In fact, I am sick to death
of Phil Collins and his songs and his playing.

But when we are talking about "that Peter Gabriel sound", I must refer all
the XTC fans here to the musicians' credits on Gabriel's 3rd eponymous
album.  (Was that not the album that was a turning point for Gabriel,
moving rhythms into the forefront [with Steve Lillywhite at the helm, of
course] and starting that eclectic "Jembey/Bagpipe" sound he continued with
on the fourth album, and developed further on the next 2?)  Not only Dave
Gregory is in there making new sounds, not only Tony Levin and Fripp.  Take
a look at those drums, and you will see two players, one Marotta brother
and one Genesis member.  I.e., is it so far-fetched that Phil Collins can
still do that kind of work?  His musical drum sound, until it became a
"Trademark Product" designed to guarantee sales, was very interesting and
quite influential.  Just because he has now become the "Easy Lover" or
whatever, doesn't mean he has totally lost his mind.  He still has talent,
or at least potential, even if it is often left unused.  I am not as
surprised as many Chalkhillers that Collins can still make "that kind of
sound", although I admit I *would* be surprised if anything close to the
entire soundtrack turned out to be as good as the trailers seem to be
(based on comments in these digests).  Because I also predict there will be
an awful ballad that hits no. 1 in all charts around the world, and Whitney
Houston will feel compelled to "top" it sometime soon.  And we will all
hate Phil Collins.  Amen.

And by the way, I like "The Smartest Monkeys".  It's a great song!

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Jeff


Message-ID: <>
From: "jonathan monnickendam" <>
Subject: Schoolkids Ann Arbor; RIP ( and world music)
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 04:46:27 PDT

Sad to see Schookids go.
But a big thanks too as I bought my first copy of Gabby Pahinui's WEA album
there and discovered the wonderful world of slack key and some quality
schmaltz. A few years later i returned to AA to to buy a King Benny Nawahi
compliation upstairs at Wazoo and got into 1930's hot hawaiian steel guitar.
Then it was the world of world music. My main advice would to talk/e-mail
the guys that write for the obvious magazines for ideas, find labels that
you like (Traditional Crossroads for example)and buy stuff when you are on
holiday. Oh yeah, and be prepared for the odd turkey (the recent Klezmatics
collaboration with the israeli singer being seriously awful no matter what
you read).

AS for XTC content... I know well desire to see the boys back on stage but
be warned ; the UK advert for the upcoming Stones tour starts with 'Castrol
present...' Pitiful stuff unless your eye is focussed on the cashflow. I
think that performing live would involve just too many compromises ; B&Q
Garden Centres proudly present XTC's Fruit Nut tour or General Motors
proudly presents XTC's River of Orchids tour. No thanks. We would also
spend years debating the proposed set list.

river of Orchids YTour  s the rhthe Fr   rosies
stnes currentalk abotu the can only

H 's I  of y Hawaian music. cis nnworkd musici suic

it go


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 08:16:20 EDT
Subject: They're out! (in the USA, anyway...)

Hi, Chalkfolk!

Monday night I went to my neighborhood indie music shop
and picked up "Easter Theatre".  (Unfortunately, "I'd Like
That" is on back-order...)

The question:  is it worth it?  Well, you get the song, its
home demo, and about 13 minutes of Partsy's ramblings
and guitar noodlings on the song's origins, going back to
1986.  But, admittedly, it's the kind of thing you really only
need to hear once, unless you're a guitar-playing muso and
wants to crunch the chords along with Andy....  On the other
hand, if TVT places enough stock in XTC for TV adverts, vinyl,
and CD singles, then we've just got to support them both,
don't we?

Stephanie Takeshita
"There goes another tenner" -- Kate Bush


Message-ID: <>
From: "jonathan monnickendam" <>
Subject: Ann Arbor & The Fleetwood Diner
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 05:01:37 PDT

Indulgent to ask but is that still there ?

My experience in AA was as a Brit in the late 70's who had to go to the USA
to join a Morris Dance team (which was run by Eastcoast ex-Russian jews).
Needless to say I fitted in well and worked a summer cleaning a
church. This was the first time i came across a reverend with personalised
number plates on his moped, FR ALEX

over & out



Message-ID: <003c01be96f3$0f14e700$c9a1883e@o.e.e>
From: "John Bartlett" <>
Subject: Minders
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 13:28:14 +0100

Hello all,
    sorry to use C'hills for this, but someone sent me a tape recently with
a mob called The Minders on it, and I was wondering whether anyone on this
list could tell me anything about them.
    Thanks in advance,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 07:47:50 -0700
From: Steve & Cheri Bunnell <>
Subject: Re: XTC/Boingo

>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).

What about Boingo though?!? The early XTC albums only sound like -early-
Oingo Boingo--their "Only A Lad" title track almost directly sounds like
XTC. Once Boingo got to "Dead Man's Party" their music became much too
complex to really compare to XTC's early period, though still poppy (in
fact, more so than Boingo's first three albums).

Of course, with the exception of "Insanity" from their last album, they
became generic crap after 1987, in particular their boring adult
contemporary 1990 "Dark At The End Of The Tunnel" album. Whatever, at
least Danny Elfman made the Simpsons theme song in that time.

Rich Bunnell


Message-Id: <4782AD6ADDBDD2119B570008C75DD5C10A2FFF@MGMTM02>
From: Lawson Dominic <>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 16:07:58 +0100

In response to recent references to converting poor, misguided non-XTC fans
to the wonders of our beloved curmudgeons, I yet again find myself hurtling
downwards to the lowly world of Heavy Metal. Oi! Stop yawning at the back!

As you probably now realize, I am a fully licensed and officially approved
Heavy Metal Fan and have spent a large part of my life enthusiastically
(and sometimes with rather more passion than would appear strictly
necessary) defending and singing the praises of this genre for which the
phrase "much-maligned" was originally designed. Fuck it, I'm a headbanger,
pure and simple. Grunt, sweat, consume lager etc etc

Anyway, with only the tiniest of crowbars to lever Metal yet again into the
tray marked "on-topic", I thought I'd draw a (potentially) interesting
parallel between the inexplicably tricky task of convincing the average sap
that XTC are the two and only Kings Of Pop (Michael Jackson being a vastly
over-rated, sexually twisted, originality vacuum for lovers of insipid
sub-Christian bilge the world over - like, obviously!) with the perhaps
even more difficult task of convincing ostensibly intelligent people (my
friends, your good selves, my dear muvva etc) that the world of HM is not
entirely populated by drooling, neanderthal fuckwits with personal hygiene
problems, grubby trainers (or "sneakers" if you find yourself soiled by the
stars and stripes) and a deeply retarded attitude towards matters of a
sexual nature.  A long sentence? You betcha!

Yes, many of those pre-conceived ideas have more than a sliver of truth to
them, and for those of us who fought in the Real Metal Wars of the late 80s
and early 90s the compulsion to concur with the whole prejudiced media view
of Metal is occasionally overwhelming (DISASSOCIATE! DISASSOCIATE!).
However, like XTC, Heavy Metal is not the easily defined musical phenomenon
that representatives of other, far snootier genres would have us believe.
For anyone who has had trouble taking their pro-XTC arguments beyond the
realms of "no, they actually made a couple more records after Making Plans
For Nigel" and "yes, they are still going, you fucking moron", imagine the
frustration which invariably follows when I have to explain, for the
fourteenth fucking time, that Bon Jovi are even further removed from being
genuine Heavy Metal than I am from joining the Conservative Party (and for
anyone who is unaware of British politics, I am more likely to swallow my
own head). The worst thing of all, and the factor most relevant here, is
people's appalling ignorance of the sheer size, scale and diversity of the
Heavy Metal scene, circa 1999. Most people will never get any further than
Metallica or Iron Maiden, assuming with a staggering disregard for the
screamingly obvious that this is all HM has to offer musically and that
outside the realms of the "I'm dead angry, me!" and "Lo! A goblin
approacheth" school of rawk-lyricism, the whole genre has absolutely fuck
all to say to the pallid, apathetic shits that pass for teenagers these
days. Well force me into women's clothes and call me Mr Subversion, but I
couldn't agree less if you accused me of quite liking Level 42. If such
criticism were based on knowledge of the facts then maybe I would be more
likely to concede, or at least accept such opinions as valid, but as with
XTC's self-evident brilliance, the creatively vibrant Metal scene has so
little in common with the public's usual perception of it that it makes me
spit blood just thinking about it.

If anyone's genuinely interested in viewing an alternative perspective on
my favourite style of music - and yes, I realize how unlikely this is -
then you'd be well advised to check out a book by Robert Walser called
"Running With The Devil: Power, Gender & Madness in Heavy Metal Music"...

It's a entertaining if slightly dry read for the devoted HM aficionado, but
even for those of you who would rather be hung by your nipples over a
crocodile pit with a huge salami jammed up your catflap than ever hear Ozzy
Osbourne again should find it an illuminating read. If nothing else, it
highlights how marked the contrast is between the shallow view we often
have of aspects of culture alien to our experiences, and the actual reality
of involvement in any artistic sphere. Alternatively, if anyone would like
a few pointers as to the countless great albums and intriguing musical
developments in the increasingly broad and fun-filled world of Metal, just
mail me privately and I'll force one of my ghastly Dompilation tapes into
your sweaty paws.

Of course, Heavy Metal will remain for the majority an enormously crass and
one-dimensional cartoon, just as XTC are for many that Nigel/Senses/Dear
God band and little else, but reading the aforementioned book certainly
opened my eyes to a whole list of factors that I would never have seriously
considered before, not least the sociological significance of this
archetypal white, middle-class rebel music and the undeniable devotion of
its innumerable advocates and supporters.

To an outsider, the size, consistency and (let's face it) brilliance of
XTC's back catalogue, the sheer volume of passionate XTC fans around the
world and the band's status as a genuine underground phenomenon would come
as a massive surprise. Most people I went to school with had never heard of
the band, many of my current friends would be unable to name a single XTC
song and despite the self-evident truth that Andy & Colin's pop songwriting
skills have remained unmatched and unchallenged for over two decades, most
of the media would rather write about Andy's stagefright, the band's
problems with Virgin or in many cases how weird it is that the band has
never really broken through into the mainstream (and how fucking bizarre is
that? The music press acting all surprised because due to their own sheer
neglect and contempt for anything of real worth or longevity, the best and
most obviously gifted pop artists since those Beatle cats are only now
beginning to receive some critical acknowledgement! Journalists, what a
bunch of c***s!) than actually join the rest of us in 1999 where XTC are
rapidly re-establishing themselves with some truly discussion-worthy
material. Likewise, judging by the vast majority of media coverage of Heavy
Metal in the last ten years or so, it has become perfectly acceptable to
operate on this ignorant and unfair level, where the media are allowed to
dictate and distort the public's perception of the Arts - and the Arts are
cynically demeaned and weakened accordingly to fit our narrow and cynical
post-modern view of the world. We are all fucked, my beautiful friends, and
the blame lies squarely at all our feet.

Of course, I could just be talking bollocks's so hard to tell!




Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 08:45:45 -0700
Subject: No Molly Bashing

>Speak up! Let's stop the Molly-bashing before I go
>POSTAL. There's enough ignorance in the real world.
>Obviously, some people just don't get it.

Enough of the superior attitudes.
We all love XTC right?
Peace to ALL
 - Rich


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 09:14:57 -0700
Subject: Great Music

Regarding the "greatest musician of the century", Michael Stone offered:

"Here's just a few musicians who I'd say have got all over Lennon for that
coveted title: Duke Ellington..George Gershwin... Igor Stravinsky..Charlie
Parker - But without a doubt, to me the greatest and most influential
musician of the 20th century:Louie Armstrong.."

Once again showing the "greatest music/artists" are a matter of
personal taste, or by extention a "consensus" of personal tastes.
Great music is great music, regarless of whether it is understood.


Message-Id: <>
From: steve mcallister <>
Date: Wed,  5 May 99 09:35:56 -0500
Subject: Nonsvch tread continued

     I was one of those who had the Nonsuch demos well before the CD was
released - every song save 'The Disappointed'.  While I liked the polished
up sounds, I thought some songs like 'Crocodile' lost their zip when played
at slower tempos and with cleaner sounding guitars.  I also was saddened
that 'Always Winter, Never Christmas' and 'Rip Van Rueben' didn't make the
Nonesuch cut.  Oh well.
     This leads me to topic no. 2.
     We are a lucky bunch - to be privy to a bands sketchbooks prior to the
final work's completion.  Rather than posting what I think should and
shouldn't be on AV1 or AV2, I'll maintain my silence and allow the artist
to create what they create.  I actively choose not to play dentist on this
gift horse.
     Finally, c)
     A huge thank you to the Chalkhill folks who showed up to Plum gigs on
our recent tour.  Some of you even bought CDs and other stuff and we were
stoked to get to play 'Respectable Street' for some of you (and my
apologies for those that missed the XTC-content-gigs).  Thanks.



End of Chalkhills Digest #5-195

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