Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-336

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 336

                Saturday, 11 December 1999

Today's Topics:

                       MiNsTeR Hill
                       Re: imagery
                 Re: religious discussion
                   Atheist Chicken Soup
              Re: Diamond Cuts Nonsuch Gems!
                  My xTc Moments o' Love
           Drumming, Nihilon, and offensiveness
                  all over the place...
                       gold records
                      Re: Joe Beatle
      Ringo plays that solo, cut the guy some slack
                     Re: Being There
                  The Party is Under Way
              Sweeping generalisations? Moi?
                   listing to starboard


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

I'm locked in adult land.


Message-ID: <381255595.944835403231.JavaMail.root@web19.pub01>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 09:16:43 -0500 (EST)
From: "Beth O'Neil" <>
Subject: MiNsTeR Hill

Yes great cd!  Not only my favorite of the year but one of my tops of
Did you return the postcard inside the cd???  If not, do so!  The band sent
me a few goodies including an unreleased cd single of an incredible song.
A class act all around!
Love you all
Mary Beth

>I can't believe that this CD is not being listened to more
>people.......please don't judge it by just what I am saying.........but if
>you love'll have a keen interest and something excellent to
>listen to while waiting for AV2.......Peace......Bob


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 12:04:20 EST
Subject: Re: imagery

Dan Duncan in digest #5-333 remembered a web site with a guide to the
lyrics of XTC. That site would be Bungalow
To tie up the rest of his post I can only offer this: Country
music-Good God!

I have been reading this list since I bought my computer earlier in the
year and have found the interchange quite fascinating if not always what I
expected. During the past year I have managed to turn my 5 year old
daughter into a huge XTC fan, whose favorite songs are: "No Thugs in Our
House", or as she puts it "No Folks in Our House" and "Greenman" ("I like
it because of the rhythm"). They are a big hit at our Saturday night
pre-bedtime "fever dances".


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 12:13:51 EST
Subject: Re: religious discussion

Dan wrote:
<<PS: I want to express that I feel the discussion of personal religious
beliefs or lack thereof on this list is inappropriate, personally offensive
to me, and really mucks up the music discussion. Keep the faith, but keep it
to yourself.>>

Bravo to you, Dan! I really commend your expressing yourself, and putting
that statement of Who You Are out there for us, that's always a delicious
thing to experience both for you and us. And now, given your fantastic
comment, I will ask and discuss:

Politics great, but religion off limits? That seems to me a tall order on a
mailing list for a band whose major lyrical thematics include a wide
philosophical variety, many centered around both politics AND religion (or
more broadly, spirituality), not to mention that one of the band's most
well-known (and most liked/hated by many) track is Dear God, one of the most
sweeping and powerful atheist songs ever written (not to mention it's so darn
catchy and musically ingenious I practically weep like like a female nsync
fan at a concert when it washes and bowls over me). Why censor religious
and/or spiritual discussion as it relates to XTC and the list members? It's
as rich a topic as any on the list, including the music itself -- always
makes for good fun in my book.

The truth is, every expression we make is a statement of our spiritual
awareness and beliefs about life and the universe and the way it all works
and the purpose behind it. Whether you currently believe that there is a
higher intelligence behind it all or just a bunch of energy, chemicals and
gas (pardon about that, cutting down on my dairy intake), our words here
reflect our viewpoints, even if no specific mention of God or religion is
made. If you're offended or annoyed by some Christian who tells you that
you're going to hell because you haven't accepted Jesus, remember that
they're doing it at some level because they believe that to be true, and
they're showing you that in some way they care about what happens to you --
good to see people caring about the welfare of their fellow human, I always
welcome kindness of that sort! I'm not Christian, but I've never been
offended by people who preach to me. Quite the opposite, I always love an
opportunity for spirited discussion (pun intended) -- to me it's some of the
best conversation of all!

I'd venture to guess that with a band with thematic content like XTC, just
about everyone here probably has a strong conviction one way or the other on
God, life, the universe, organized religion and natural spirituality. I say,
let's add a little logic and love to the mix, we may gain power enough to
raise consciousness HIGHER! We could chase superstition and fear from our
hearts, go to "thrive" from "survive" and take  levels of sanity -- HIGHER!

If not here, where? I interact with no group of individuals that is more
intelligent than this one -- I would love more such discussions to take place
here, as we all relish the mighty output of the Swindon Duo as we laugh and
type. Just keep it loving and respectful, and I think it would only elevate
the list.

And, as is always true with the many other threads that take place here among
the Chalktalkers, you can always page down and skip any discussion you

Let it all flow -- whatever's on your mind, let it flow, people. Be it Kurt
Cobain, politics, speed metal, or God and religion -- it's all good.

Currently in an early Beatles mode, but I'm feeling XTC creeping up on my
consciousness, this time in the guise of Skylarking: "I really get confused,
ah who would make all this, is there a God in Heaven?"

Cor blimey, there I've gone again mixing my XTC content with religious
topics!  ;)

Eagerly awaiting AV2, though even more eager to hear the album AFTER AV2, as
I haven't heard a single note or demo of it yet, nor do I plan to -- the
surprise will be truly awesome -- plus, new, current-day songs to boot, which
will be awesome. Andy, if you're reading, or if anyone speaks to him
regularly (hint, hint Mitch), let him know that if he and Colin each throw
one new, just written track on this album that will suprise us all, they will
genuinely start this new approaching era off on an unbelievably fantastic
note. Put 'em at the end of the album, and give us a preview of where XTC is
headed today, and what virgin territory (or TVT/CV territory?) we will all
venture into together over the next few years.

Or don't, I'm fine either way. And either way, I'm very excited for the next
two XTC albums. OK, I'm excited for the next ten -- Just trying to pace
myself and avoid hyperventalation.

Have a great weekend, Will J


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 12:30:26 EST
Subject: Atheist Chicken Soup

Chris Coolidge wrote a fantastic post that included:

<<but you can't cheapen beauty by
reducing it to chemical reactions and scientific phenomena, it misses the
point. To do so would be curmudgeonly(though technically correct). If you
believe in beauty, love and talent, you can say you're an atheist, but you
can't be because God is all these things.>>

Loved this entire post, just copied the end because it was there, though
every bit of it was awesomely enjoyable for me. Thanks, Chris. Best, Will


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 07:57:08 -1000
From: "Jim Smart" <>
Organization: ksbe
Subject: god

Dan wrote: " I want to express that I feel the discussion of personal
religious beliefs or lack thereof on this list is inappropriate,
personally offensive to me, and really mucks up the music discussion.
Keep the faith, but keep it to yourself."

I can appreciate that. However, as a non-practicing atheist who works
and lives amid overly fervent Christians, I see Chalkhills as a kind of
haven where I can be myself and be free of all the preaching and belief
that oppresses me everyday. I think a little "back and forth" about this
sort of thing is interesting. I enjoyed the last few posts by the vocal
and articulate atheists (hey, what a name for a band!). And I don't find
it out of place on a list about a band who had a hit with Dear God. Just
my two cents.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 13:40:18 EST
Subject: Re: Diamond Cuts Nonsuch Gems!

<< In a recent post, Chalker Kevin Diamond opined that Nonsuch should have
 ended after Rook.
 I say, take a vacation! >>

on yet another road trip listening to xtc, i was struck by the cohesiveness
(is that a word?) of that whole chunk of album. i've always thought peter
pumpkinhead very well written in a very classic storytelling form, but
recognizing the thread running through that whole series of songs really
impressed me... it seemed like one long pumpkinhead... my favorite is the
transition between that wave and then she appeared (which i think is one of
the most beautiful and well written songs in the world. i mean who else could
work the mary celeste into a song?). anyway, i think all that is very cool.

well as long as i'm in the neighborhood, i might as well shoot off a few
favorite moments...
green man (especially the chorus)
garden of earthly delights, the "unless of course they ask you". that's
i love the part in pink thing about "that man is unfit to be a father". i
don't know why, he just sounds really... into it? when he sings that. anyway,
it's funny.
all of river of orchids, especially the beginning. it's really something.
i love the visuals in wrapped in gray about balloons and streamers and
parrots and lemurs. and the rest of it, for that matter.

anyway, that's all.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 12:04:09 -0800
From: Kerry Chicoine <>
Organization: American Computer Group
Subject: My xTc Moments o' Love

Dear 'Hillsters,

Some of my spine-tingling, ecstacy-filled moments occur during:

1) The amazing string crescendo during the ' the swirling
sky...' section of I Can't Own Her. When I first heard this song,
I literally cried like a child. I must have played this repeatedly
at least three dozen times, savoring the delicious-ness of it all.

2) The running bassline during the second verse and chorus of the
amazing Mermaid Smiled (one of the most interesting pop
compositions I have *ever* heard).

3) That funny little unexpected chord change in That Wave that
comes just before 'I was in heaven....'.

4) The bassline in Summer's Cauldron, especially during 'When Miss

5) The ending fade-out of 'Your Gold Dress'.

6) All of Humble Daisy, but especially the line 'I fell down to
heaven' and the fade-out guitar solo. Super burnished bronze

7) The last verse of Lady Bird, with the vocal harmonies.

8) The *amazing* fade out of Mayor of Simpleton (...please be

9) The vocal harmonies during the last, I guess, pre-chorus of The
Last Balloon, where Andy sings 'Climb aboard, climb aboard, you

10) The ending ' my heart' line from Some Lovely (My Brown
Guitar).  I can't wait to hear the finalized version of that one!

Suffice to say that there are literally *dozens* more moments that
absolutely floor me. That's what keeps me coming back for more and
more and more.....

Favorite unexpected xTc aural sighting? I was in the Seattle
suburbs on my way to the beautiful and aptly named Cascade Range
and had stopped at a mom and pop restaurant for breakfast.  Over
breakfast I was stunned to hear King for a Day over the house
music system.

Falling down to heaven,

Kerry Kompost


Message-ID: <>
From: "Nathan Mulac DeHoff" <>
Subject: Drumming, Nihilon, and offensiveness
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 22:11:03 GMT

>to Nathan Mulac DeHoff, who said, "the band hasn't done all that much
>percussion-intensive work in the post-Terry era":
>what about "poor skeleton steps out" (pat mastelotto), from "o&l"? the
>combination of electronic percussion and pat's playing is brilliant.

True.  Of course, if you go through XTC's catalogue, there's probably an
exception to every rule.  Maybe I'm missing the mark, but I think that there
was less percussive-intensive stuff after Terry left.  "Poor Skeleton"
really does have some excellent percussion in it.  Also, the drumsticks
dropping at the end of that song makes for one of my favourite moments in an
XTC song.

>travels in nihilon:
>maybe it's me, but i always thought that the ending to this song sounded
>like someone having a veeerrryyy looonnnggg piss!
>perhaps terry after a night down the pub and at the chippy? :->

Wasn't it recorded in the shower?  I think it was supposed to sound like
rain, but the impression didn't come across quite as well as the band would
have hoped.

>Ever see the Learning Channel (?) special on the History of LSD?

I think it was on the History Channel, actually.  I remember seeing some
advertisements for it when I was watching that channel in a hotel room.  My
campus doesn't seem to get the History Channel, though, so I was never able
to actually watch the special.

>By the way, mention of one of my favorite XTC songs (Funk Pop a Roll) in
>a recent digest had me it my imagination or did I hear at
>some point that Andy thought that Mummer would be the band's last album,
>and that he sincerely thought of that song as his last with the band
>(bringing more significance to his "goodbye" sendoff)?

According to Song Stories:

"And then, right at the end of the album, convinced he had just committed
professional suicide, Andy said 'bye-bye.'  'I honestly thought this could
be the last thing anyone heard of us on record,' he says.  'Somebody should
have said "hello" on the next one then,' answered Colin."

I think Andy was a bit unnecessarily worried, actually; most of Andy's
bitter songs seem a little too genteel to really be seriously offensive.
Then again, some people can be offended ridiculously easily, as can be
evidenced by the protests and bomb threats against "Dear God."
Relaxing on my hands and knees, relaxing on my face,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 18:26:47 -0500
From: "Michael Otero" <>
Subject: all over the place...

	Hello, all, and greetings of the season. I'm de-lurking with an
assortment of comments, some relating to threads long since
expired, but I hope you'll bear with me.
	I'm pleased the personality disputes seem to be over for now. I
was barely skimming the topics and discarding the digest without reading
for a while there. Apologies to all who posted about the band in that time
frame, but life's too short to waste time observing cyber-pissing
	Joe Jackson versus Elvis Costello: Joe wins, in my mind. I really
liked the first few Elvis LPs (still do), but then his output got a little
too much, quantity-wise. Not his fault, no reflection on the quality of
his work, I just couldn't afford to keep up with him at the time: too few
dollars and too much music begging to be brought home and loved. A bit
later, Imperial Bedroom got my attention back... but Joe, both lyrically
and musically, seems to strike closer to home. Look Sharp, I'm The Man and
Beat Crazy are all still impressive albums to me. Jumpin' Jive really
spoke to the Glenn Milller & Cab Calloway fan in me. Night & Day is not
exactly Sgt. Pepper, but represents a great leap forward (with apologies
to the Chinese Communist Party) in his music to me. Another few giant
steps with Body And Soul (turn "You Can't Get What You Want" and "Go For
It" *WAY* up on the stereo...). Then Big World was the one of the great
replies to the Reagan era. I can't get into his more recent "classical"
stuff , my tastes just don't run that way. But he remains higher on my
musical totem pole. God, I'd love to see him in concert!
	I enjoyed reading stuff about Tom Robbins as I was finishing up
Jitterbug Perfume and starting Half-Asleep In Frog Pajamas. Several times,
I've used examples from XTC and Robbins to try and convey to my kids what
a truly talented writer does; using original combinations of words to make
us think of things in new ways. You CAN'T end Nonsuch after Rook, I use
the line about your heart is a big box of paints and others the canvas
we're dealt to illustrate that point. Tom Robbins would like Church Of
Women, methinks.
	The list here constantly amazes me with knowledge of music I love
which seem obscure to my acquaintances (a top 40 bunch, it's true...): The
La's, World Party and Fountains Of Wayne come to mind. So, who remembers
The Strawbs? Their album Deep Cuts (1976) is still one of my all-time
favorties, and seems like it ought to fit in with folks who appreciate
XTC. Listen to "Simple Visions" and try not to be moved, I dare you...
	I still think that, lovely as it is, AV1 feels like half an
album. I think I'd feel that way even without the knowledge of an AV2 on
the horizon. I wonder if AV2 will feel equally incomplete to me, and that
together they'll make the perfect double album. I may have to come up with
a new track order for this theoretical double album, mixing AV1 & AV2 as
	So many XTC "moments," musical and lyrical both... let's sample a
few: the intro to "Jason and The Argonauts" leading into that big bold
drum and Andy's vocal... the outro of "Melt The Guns"   and the (to my
mind) accurate summation of one of the roots of the violence problem in
the USA - "program(me)s of violence as entertainment bring the disease
into your room... as long as your killers are heroes." When the language
gets corrupted by the glorification of criminality ("bad" means "good")
the problem is pretty well entrenched... oops, sorry, was talking music
here... the little growl when Andy sings that Peter Pumpkinhead would
rrraise the roof... the beat of "Making Plans For Nigel," and the keyboard
that sounds like a factory assembly line (stick thet in Billy Joel's
"Allentown" and smoke it...)... the exotic world that opens up "Garden Of
Earthly Delights," and the wry addition of "unless of course they ask you"
after the line about just don't hurt nobody... the middle of "I Can't Own
Her" about nothing whatever to do with money, I simply want to hold
her... I've stopped crying when I hear that part, but I do still get the
chills. This is just a band full of miracles, you know?
	The millenium minus one? (hair-splitting is my strong suit,
sorry...) I'm over the hype, but was never a big fan of New Year's
generally. Sour grapes, perhaps. Anyway, I'll be at home with some family
members, probably kill a few brain cells, and play some music - loud
	Abbey Road drum solo: I'm a crummy drummer so I love it, 'cause I
can play it exactly. Hey, side 2's a gem, and the solo, while not
technically awesome, fits nicely. Tom Robbins had a nice bit about seeing
John & Paul singing together in Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas. Something
about how they were so close together at the microphone, their faces
blended into one, and how it was like the most beautiful face he'd ever
seen...   I miss John, too. I didn't hear about it 'til the next day, when
I brought the newspaper in. It said something like ex-Beatle John Lennon
Slain in NY. I read the story several times, because they didn't say what
condidtion he was in. Any references to his being dead, like the word
"slain," for example, failed to register. Denial kicked in
immediately. "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" are kind of appropriate in
that John's vocal is so tinny relative to the rest of the recording that
it sounds as if he's singing from "beyond." Rest in peace...
	As to whether rock is dead: hell, no. Just less popular. But
recent releases from the Pretenders, Los Lobos, Tom Petty, Santana, and
Southern Culture On The Skids (OK, anyone know them?), among others,
convince me that the genre has a strong pulse indeed. I know there's lots
more great stuff out there (Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros? I must check it
out!!!), but radio in my corner of creation (Melbourne, Florida) is well
beyond dismal. I stopped listening years ago. Now new music must arrive by
accident (or NPR) for me to take notice.
	Well, as promised (or threatened), I'd be pulled over for DUI if
this were a car trip, but you are saved by the dinner bell: I must conjure
up something in the kitchen for the small fry.
	Here's hoping that some holiday magic touches you all
(y'all). Think I'll go fire up the Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping."
	It's all over here, citizens. Return to your digest. Take care,
and peace.

Mike Otero


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 20:14:21 -0500
Subject: gold records

I checked the RIAA database (at, and it seems XTC has no gold
records in the United States. For a US gold record, a band has to sell
500,000 copies of an album (a platinum is 1 million, and the
recently-instated "diamond" is 10 million). I wasn't surprised, really,
but I was still hoping to see Skylarking or O&L (the two most likely
candidates) in there.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 00:07:41 EST
Subject: Re: Joe Beatle

Re: Jasper's comments on Joe Jackson--good to hear that Joe would consider
working with Andy. I personally would love to see XTC record both a Joe
Jackson song and Elvis Costello song.

Could to hear that Jackson and EC have a mutual respect for each other. So it
seems the Steve Nieve keyboard work in Hit Single might be more of a tribute.

I have to admit, despite being a JJ fan, I never did care that much for Joe's
version of Statue of Liberty from the TD tribute CD. My fav XTC cover is
still the Rueben Blades version of Man Who Sailed Around His Soul. The best
cover songs reimagine the originals in a unique way.

On the Beatles thread....I always imagined that Ringo played the solo on
Abbey Road almost as a parody of  drum solos. I took it to be a witty comment
on them. Paul's drum work on the White Album is pretty good, although not as
imaginative as Ringo's work. Ringo always played with taste and imagination.
The other thing that was always fun on a Beatles album was looking for the
mistakes. The band (as in Day Tripper) was very much aware of the mistakes
they made on recordings and left them in on purpose to see if anyone noticed
or because it fit the mood of the song.

I could be mistaken here, but I was always under the impression that XTC
didn't start using a click track until after Terry left the band. I thought
it was noticeable on Mummer but, again, I could be wrong.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 00:17:52 EST
Subject: Ringo plays that solo, cut the guy some slack

<that's not ringo playing the solo on the second side of abbey road, that
was paul.>

According to The Beatles Recording Sessions book on Wednesday 23 July 1969 in
studio three of Abbey Road they recorded "...Ringo's one and only drum solo
on a Beatles song."  Too bad some of you cannot appreciate this tasteful nod
to a tradition that, even in 1969, was getting out of hand.  Though I feel it
was well played, I also feel Ringo's tongue was pressed firmly in his cheek
as he participated in what was fast becoming a monster in rock-and-roll: the
drum solo.  By the seventies the drum solo became obligatory (for those who
aren't old enough to remember or have thankfully forgotten) at rock shows.  I
guess that's why I was so attracted to "new wave" bands that put the
songwriting in front of instrumental prowness (i.e., solos).  Bands like XTC
had brilliant musicians who put their talents to a cause; great songs.

That said, on to what equipment I use when I act like a musician. My guitars
are a Gretsch Anniversary w/ Bigsby Tremolo arm, Rickenbacker 360/12-string
(if they're good enough for Dave Gregory & George Harrison...), played
through a Vox Super Berkeley III amp (the amp's tremolo and reverb are great
for a solid state). My acoustic is a Yamaha FG312II 12-string.  Effects:
Vox-Valve Tone (overdrive) (it also makes my amp sound like an AC30), Ibanez
Phaser, Ibanez Digital Delay, Boss Volume Pedal, Brownsville wah-wah & an

<oh, and the walrus wasn't paul, either, it was john.>

How do we know John wasn't singing from Paul's point of view


Message-ID: <>
From: "Nathan Mulac DeHoff" <>
Subject: Re: Being There
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 06:33:01 GMT

John (Chauncy):
><From: "Megan Heller" <>
>Subject: my post is but a sad grain of sand in the Sahara>
><*someone* said, and I don't know who or I'd credit it, but it was quoted
>in Todd Bernhardt's post--
> >From "Chauncy" Gardner:
>brilliant reference!  I tip my invisible hat.>
>So Megan, Todd figured out exactly what?  Have you pieced this together
>Any one care to take a stab at *who* Chauncy Gardner was/is?

It's a reference to the movie "Being There," isn't it?  I saw that movie
some years back, and I recall not liking it very much.  I wonder if I'd like
it better at this point in my life.

On the subject of XTC-spotting, I worked in a grocery store over the summer,
and I heard "King For A Day" played there.  While that's not really a track
of which I am overly fond, it was still XTC, and I was still excited to hear

Now, I just have a few questions before I send this off:

On _A Testimonial Dinner_, there's a song by Terry and the Lovemen.  Now, I
know who Terry and the Lovemen really are, but the liner notes for this song
refer to the players as:

"Terry-guitar; Terry-bass; Terry-vocals; Chris Sharrock-drums"

But it certainly sounds like Colin singing, so shouldn't it be the same
Terry for vocals and bass?

And, for my final question of the evening, why was the "And buses might skid
on black ice" line left out of the version of "Senses Working Overtime"
that's on _Upsy Daisy Assortment_?  Was it that way on the single?
Relaxing on my hands and knees, relaxing on my face,


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 22:39:44 -0800
Subject: The Party is Under Way
From: "Jeannie Uhrik" <>


Okay, I'm new to Chalkhills, and I've been holding back contributing
because I feel as if I've walked into a party that's well underway.
But, I love XTC, and I am grateful that there are other intelligent
beings out there who are apparently as fanatical as I.  In this
spirit, I'll venture to stick my neck out and offer my abbreviated XTC
favorite lyrics and musical moments:

the swirling, merry-go-round-like organ sound in  Holly Up On Poppy

"We're the scarecrow people, have we got lots in common with you."
(the Jerry Springer studio audience comes to mind)

"And I'm getting older too, But I don't want to die like you..."
(I'm a critical care nurse--this lyric hits the mark with comatose
patients--I know, morbid!)

Books Are Burning -- (everything about it, especially the jab at the
"church of matches"--love it!)

There's much more, of course, but I won't bore you.  Oh, forgot to
add, Dave's guitar solo in Pink Thing. Lastly, just want to say to
all, thanks for existing--jeannie.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: Sweeping generalisations? Moi?
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 22:51:15 PST

Let my try to alleviate Iain Murray's confusion (gee did I hit a raw nerve
or something?)

>Hang on a sec - I'm confused.....(again).

Let me explain it mate.

Point #1: How come I'm not allowed to change my mind?

Point #2: Don't take it personally. I wasn't trying to shoot the messenger

Point #3: The lists I had in mind back then (I think) were exactly what I
was railing about a few weeks ago. Things like those peurile "100 greatest
singers of all time" exercises.

If I recall correctly, I had been gagging over just such a list in either Q
or Mojo Magazine, which ranked Phony Bennett, Frank Cosanatra and  Luciano
Pavarotti alongside Bono and Stipey; it listed Aretha but ignored Patti
Labelle, who can still pretty nearly sing the ass off anyone on the planet
(simultaneously). That kind of list gets my goat in the same way that "Who
is better - Elvis or Joe?" gets right up my nose. They are nonsensical, and
serve only to direct musical debate into entirely unproductive areas.

I have DON'T have a problem with people listing their FAVOURITE singers,
albums, XTC moments or whatever. That's what I was doing, I hope. I didn't
number them, or say that any one moment or album was "better" than any
other, or that these were "better" than any other moment of album or
anything. Geez, lighten up!

However -I DO have a problem with any attempts to establish that any one
artist, album or song is BETTER than any other, in some objective sense -
especially when they are usually based on "reader polls" which are then
vetted by a "panel" comprising selected members of the musicocracy and the
idle scribblers who perpetrate this drivel ... with said "panel of experts"
presumably being convened within easy reach of the nearest pub and/or an
ample supply of marching powder to see them through their oh-so-strenuous
deliberations .

Such lists are typical of the kind of mindless, rope-a dope column filler
that passes for journalism these days, saves writers and editors from having
to do any real work, and simultaneous eliciting a predictable stream of
responses from"outraged" readers too naive to realise that they are having
their chains yanked.

Does that make it any clearer? Iain Im not claiming to be either  consistent
OR infallible - I'm just giving my opinion. Sorry if I bugged you.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 02:12:24 -0500
From: michael stone <nedrise@MNSi.Net>
Subject: listing to starboard

Greetings folks

A few months ago the 'great lyricists' thread was hot.  I never
contributed then, but I just have to mention a great one whose name
didn't seem to come up then - Leonard Cohen.  To me he belongs on that
list of artists who lyrically are great, but musically are nothing
special. Others who fit: Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Mark E Smith.  Recently
I've been listening to Jennifer Warnes' excellent '87 album, Famous
Blue Raincoat in which she covers Leonard Cohen songs. Especially Song
of Bernadette, which has been comforting me lately as I face the
reality of my Mom's impending death from cancer. It's a beautiful song
of redemption and mercy.  Jennifer's glorious voice lifts the amazing
lyrics in to the realm of the angels...

John - isn't Chauncy Gardener Peter Sellers' character in 'Being
There'? ("I like to watch, Eve").

Megan - try cleaning your CD with pure alcohol, that should dissolve
the glue.  Remember to wipe in a straight line from the center of the
disc to the outside.

Someone mentioned Ween a while back.  Their album 'Pure Guava'('92) is
one of my favourites of the decade.  It's a whacky, glue-sniffing
mother of a record.  I also have their 'Chocolate and Cheese' record -
it's not quite as memorable.

Some favourite movies:

Local Hero
The Manchurian Candidate
The Shining
Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring
Mars Attacks
The Blues Brothers
Pelle the Conqueror

Has anyone seen, or can you comment on any of these flicks: Morons
from Outer Space, Wages of Fear, Pathfinder, The Sacrifice, Sex
Kittens Go To College, Simon of the Desert, The Last Wave, The Bicycle
Thief, International House

Great XTC Moments:

-Terry's thundering triplets-on-the-toms fill near the end of Senses W O
-the incessant anvil in Red Brick Dream
-the vibra slap in Love on a Farmboy's Wages
-Colin's monstrously tasty fills in Holly Up On Poppy
-the gong in Garden of Earthly Delights
-Colin's opening bass flourish in Vanishing Girl
-Prarie Prince's fills and overall style in Summer's Cauldron
-the 'levitating' drill at the beginning of Poor Skeleton S O
-the segue from That Wave to Then She Appeared
-Colin's fill leading into the last section of Then She Appeared
       and on and on and on.........

and finally,

Albums of the 90's

10  The Rhythm of the Saints  - Paul Simon
 9   Maria   - Jane Siberry
 8   Introducing Happiness - Rheostatics
 7   Fumbling Towards Ecstasy  - Sarah McClachlan
 6   Pure Guava  -  Ween
 5   Dressing For Pleasure  - Jon Hassel and Bluescreen
 4   Apple Venus Volume 1  - XTC
 3   Woodface  - Crowded House
 2   Cruel Inventions  - Sam Phillips
 1   Nonsuch  -  XTC

Earlier this year I was convinced that AV1 was #1 for the decade, but
now that the euphoria surrounding AV1's release has faded, it's clear
that Nonsuch still rules.  AV1 is more consistent overall, but the
flawed masterpiece Nonsuch contains for me, their best(and worst!)
songs ever.

Pop on, Mike

MacCarthur Parker: "Ever heard of Planet of the Apes?"
Troy McClure: "Uhh...the movie or the planet?"   (The Simpsons)


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-336

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