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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-8


          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 8

                Thursday, 15 October 1998

Today's Topics:

              probably on the FAQ, but......
                    Dave, Nellie & Tom
                         GLR Help
                      GLR Interview
              Re: Colin's Report by Lumiere
                  XTC interview on GLR.
                       song stories
            Andy, Colin & Neville on the radio
                      Fanny-whipped
                      arse & Church
                     Zappa/Beefheart
                  Sticking up for Ceri!
                 Re: Tom Waits For No One
                    Re: "Americanisms"
                      GLR interview
                      Yazbek Playing
               American Vs. British idioms
                       Ass or Arse?
        Agreeing with Jill: "Song Stories" regrets
                     Engilsh-English
          DAVE GREGORY REAL AUDIO--NO, SERIOUSLY
                        XTC demos
                         Just Tom
                 Ceri, Ceri, In Your Tree

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    Chalkhills is compiled using Digest 3.6b (by John Relph <relph@sgi.com>).

Really marked down in your sale of the century.

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

Message-ID: <19981014153554.27115.rocketmail@send201.yahoomail.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 08:35:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Daryl b <dtuba74@yahoo.com>
Subject: probably on the FAQ, but......

Hi Listers,

My question is probably on the FAQ, but being new to the list, please
excuse my lack of knowledge.  I was curious to know if there was a
fairly reliable way of reaching Messrs. Partridge, Moulding, and
Gregory (even though he is no longer with the band).  I realize that
no way is absolute, but what are some means I might try to coorespond
with them, if only to worship to their greatness....;)  Thanks for any
information!

Daryl
Lansing, MI

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

Message-Id: <s624d296.097@plextek.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 16:34:08 +0100
From: Philip Lawes <PJL@plextek.co.uk>
Subject: Dave, Nellie & Tom

>As I have read through the past digests, I noticed many posts from
>parents whose children find Swindon's finest appealing. Due to this, I
>think that maybe the boys should just take a shot at making a children's
>album, under a different name, of course. Whaddaya thinka that? Or have
>they done so already and I just never knew?

Well, I've got an Early Learning Centre cassette entitled 'Down In the
Jungle' that bears a striking resemblance to the work of a certain Mr.
D. Gregory in the vocals and arrangements  (the interpretation of
'Nellie The Elephant' is probably the most striking I've heard in this
particular oeuvre).  It's certainly about the only listenable tape they
sell (if your more than three years old) and sounds as though they spent
more than the usual hour and a half recording it.  I really can't really
believe that Dave was ever so far down on his uppers that he had to do
it though.
So, UK subscribers get down to the 'Yearly Earnings Centre', spend a
couple of quid on a copy and tell me what you think (I don't think it's
a chart return shop though).

>Anway, I wanted to know if there are any people on this list who are
>also fans of Tom Waits. I've recently been introduced to his music
>and I find that he appeals to me in the same way that XTC did
>originially in that he sounds fresh and original despite the fact
>that his records may date from several years ago. I know that he may
>not have much in common with XTC musically, but what they do share in
>common is that they both pursue their own unique musical vision
>without any regard to its commercial success.

Right on. Tom Waits is the James Joyce of the popular song - one day
they'll be able to reconstruct LA in it's entirety just from his work.
I don't know what he's doing these days other than the odd bit of acting
(some say he's doing the obituary mambo, some say that he's hanging on
the wall).

>Tom Waits is reluctant to tour as well.

I remember seeing him on the Tube when he toured the UK after Raindogs
came out, maybe twelve years ago.  The audience seemed to consist of
white handbagged Newcastle teenage girl club goers who didn't know what
to make of him and reacted by killing themselves laughing and giggling
throughout both the numbers that he played.  The more Tom got into his
crazy old man at the euphonium routine the worse it got.  This followed
a completely incoherent Paula Yates interview - ahhh, how I miss the
Tube - luckily I have a good excuse not to watch TFI Friday as I'm
usually bathing the kids.

All those who'd like Rod Stewart's version of 'Downtown Train' banned
from the airwaves raise your right hand.

Phil

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

Message-ID: <002701bdf78a$3f1489a0$bd14883e@o.e.e>
From: "John Bartlett" <john@bartlett132.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: GLR Help
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 16:47:17 +0100

Can anybody help me!
I was on my way back from Witham at 4.00pm today, which is right on the edge
of GLRs' broadcasting range. I caught Pete Pumpkin, Science Friction, and a
small amount of chat before I had driven too far east to recieve the signal
any longer.
    Does anybody have a tape of this show they could let me have ? E-mail me
privately if you can help me out.
        Cheers,
            John

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

From: "Edward Percival" <edward@surfshack.demon.co.uk>
Subject: GLR Interview
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 22:03:28 +0100
Message-ID: <000001bdf7b6$186f5560$f13cedc1@surfshack>

Thanks to the wonderful Chalkhillbillies who publicised our heroes'
appearance on GLR today, I am now the proud owner of a tape of the latest
interview.

They played lots of old stuff- Peter Pumpkinhead, Science Friction, The
Dissappointed, Great Fire and had a rather hurried chat about the book.
Nothing of note came up, save for confirmation that the new album is called
Apple Venus.  Dave's departure was mentioned, and whether it's due to the
conversations we've had in this group, I sensed some bitterness on Andy's
part. If anyone is desperate I'll transcribe it, but to be honest there's
much more to be had out of reading song stories.  It was the first time I've
heard Colin speak.. but I don't remember him saying anything particularly
earth shattering.

The album version of Easter Theatre received its 'World Premiere'. I have to
say it is remarkably close to the version on the demos, save a slightly more
fluid guitar solo, some bass, some more guitar underneath the last verse and
some beach-boyesque harmonies on the outro.  It sounded fabulous, though the
second time it goes into the 'Stage Left' hook, it seems to lack something
which the demo has, but I look forward to getting it on CD.

Andy made some issue of ensuring that the CD he had was returned to him (I
wonder why!!?!) at the end of the interview- which appeared to have been cut
short to make way for some nonentity.

3 months to go then......

A few issues back there was a brief discussion of my other obsession- Neil
Finn.  I went to the first and penultimate shows of his tour and as a huge
fan, I have to say I thought he is not a patch on Crowded House, but it was
still streets ahead of anything else around at the moment.  I also just got
hold of 'Something so strong' the biography of Crowded House.  It is a
superb book.

Just off to listen to Easter Theatre again then.  Nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah nyah
:)

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

Message-ID: <n4TblDA+GRJ2Ew$P@demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 22:03:58 +0100
From: Jon Holden-Dye <jon@jhd-designs.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Colin's Report by Lumiere

In article <3621258A.D542C9E2@hol.fr>, Patrick Bourcier
<pbourcier@hol.fr> writes
> SNIP . . .
>First of all, the album will probably named : 'APPLE VENUS'. Just to
>continue in the vein of the links between their albums. Remember that
>the title 'Oranges & Lemons' was extract from the song "Ballet for a
>rainy day" (Skylarking), Nonsuch was from "Chalkhills and Children" (O
>&L) and 'Apple Venus' from "Then She Appeared" (Nonsuch).
> END SNIP

That A.P. - he's an ornery critter, ain't he ? For those who haven't
read it yet, a quote from "Song Stories", chapter "The Last Balloon",
the section on "Then She Appeared" :

'It certainly sounded like a single, but Andy thought it was
"inconsequential fluff", and it didn't make the grade.'

Thanks for the diary of events, Patrick. Some of it sounds so XTC, so
ordinary people - and that's why I like them so much !
--
Jon Holden-Dye
"I like to keep an open mind - but
not so open my brain falls out." (Anon.)

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

Message-ID: <36252012.39E0@virgin.net>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 23:05:06 +0100
From: peter.wright2@virgin.net (peter.wright2@virgin.net)
Subject: XTC interview on GLR.

Dear Chalkers,
              Heres a quick report on the GLR radio interview today
(14.10.98).
  Peter Curran played 'Peter Pumpkinhead' , 'Science Friction' then 'The
Disappointed' before introducing Andy , Colin and Neville. Neville was
asked a couple of routine questions about the book before Curran told
him that was enough of that and it was time to talk to the boys !!
As expected, Andy was his Spike Milligan self while Colin interjected
only occasionally. Halfway through we heard 'Great Fire' before the
highlight. They had brought along a recordable CD with the album on it.
(Later, Andy said "we'll have the CD back now please , Mr. Curran "
which brought a Homer Simpson "Doh !!" from the host as he begrudgingly
took the CD from where he'd hidden it and handed it back. ) Then they
played track 3 - 'Easter Theatre' which just happens to be my absolute
favourite from the demos . And guess what ! It is absolutely
note-for-note the same as the demo ! The only difference was the
excellent quality of the recording instead of the wow,hiss and flutter
on my 10th generation dub of the demos. Beautiful. To be honest, we
learned nothing earth shattering from the guys. It was confirmed the new
album was to be called 'Apple Venus'. That the second album was on hold
through cronic lack of funds. Worryingly, when Curran said "so the album
comes out in January ?" Andys answer was "er...hopefully....").Daves
departure was barely mentioned. They also said they had virtually no
promotional duties for the book which I took to mean nobody in the media
was interested . Lets hope theres more enthusiasm when Apple Venus
eventually comes out. Curran made them promise to come back for an
extended interview when the album is out and they could play some live
tunes  which they seemed happy to promise.
   So it was nice to hear XTC back in the game. Lets hope theres more to
come...
Pete.

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

From: OMBEAN1@aol.com
Message-ID: <b0bdb29a.36251c1c@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 17:48:12 EDT
Subject: song stories

Man, what a great f'n book! All that GREAT music and they put up with and
took a lot of shit. It just makes me like them that much more. the greatest
to begin with, the greaterest now. ALL HAIL XTC!!!!!

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

Message-ID: <002501bdf7ca$1c731340$2e3570c2@default>
From: "Mick Casey" <casey@dircon.co.uk>
Subject: Andy, Colin & Neville on the radio
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 00:24:40 +0100

Hi chalkkids

There was an alert put out a few digests ago about the imminent AP interview
on GLR (local London radio station).

For those of you outside the area (and I guess that's most of you) the
interview was this afternoon and featured, in fact, Andy, Colin and Neville
Farmer, who spent about 30 minutes chatting to radio presenter Peter Curran
about Song Stories and the January album release.

I'm not going to try and transcript it or anything - nothing much was said
that all those on the list haven't heard or read a couple of squillion times
before - but I thought I'd relate a couple of items.

1) The album's going to be called 'Apple Venus'.
2) They played the finished version of Easter Theatre and it's quite
magnificent. It's arranged exactly the same as the demo version, so no
surprises there, but the overall sound........WOW! It's got this kind of
grand, majestic 'bigness' about it which you're all gonna love to bits. Lets
just hope no more unexpected pitfalls are encountered between now and
January, although someone in the interview made a point of saying that it's
been a long time, but at least the band are now in profit (no further
explanation given, I'm afraid).

No mention of Transistor Blast, by the way. Wonder why not?

* ------------------------------------------------------------------
Mick Casey                          casey@dircon.co.uk
* ------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Message-ID: <19981015024658.28319.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Bob Crain" <bobcrain@hotmail.com>
Subject: Fanny-whipped
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:46:57 PDT

>From: Robert Wood <wobbit@bigfoot.com>
 <g>) I'm sure that
>Americans know an arse is a fanny! (Different word in England y'know!)

Am I mistaken in believing that "fanny" means something more ribald than
"buttocks" or "posterior" in British slang?

(_8(|)  doh!

-Bob Crain

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

Message-Id: <v01540b00b24b10f7b800@[139.80.100.166]>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 15:50:05 +1300
From: james.dignan@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (James Dignan)
Subject: arse & Church

>kaitain@netcomuk.co.u> wedi ysgrifennu

>>I appreciated Ceri's comments about the Americanization of
>>the new XTC book "Song Stories."  I had wondered too if Andy
>>really says "ass" instead of "arse," and so on.
>
>I *severely* doubt it......"Arse" is a word that sounds great in a Wiltshire
>accent, by the way. :)

'get on your knees and pray and while you're down there kiss your ass
goodbye'? I think not!

>I have to say, I found it very hard to imagine Andy saying "ass"! (Except
>when refering to the quadraped of the same name! <g>) I'm sure that
>Americans know an arse is a fanny! (Different word in England y'know!)

erm... remember that what the Amewricans refer to as a fanny is different
to what the rest of us refer to as a fanny! :)

To those Americans out there who don't know, in England, Australia and New
Zealand, the fanny is, um, part of the female genitalia.

>Strange that you mention The Church; I have always considered both bands
>to be in a class above all others; specifically the task of writing
>"complete" songs that keep you interested from start to finish and
>finding deeper lyrical meaning listen after listen.

for those wot are interested, there is a fairly fine mailing list for the
Church called Seance, run by matthew green <mrg@eterna.com.au>. I was a
member of it quite a while back, and I really should get back there again
(or to put it another way, I haven't been there for A Month Of Sundays)

James

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

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <5e72f106.3625ccfe@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 06:22:54 EDT
Subject: Zappa/Beefheart

>He has done some great stuff no doubt, but out of the 15,000 or so albums he
>made, how much is really good?  Enough to fill 5or 6 records, I'd say.>
>Take your comments about beefheart and zappa and reverse them,and i think
>you'd be a lot closer to the truth. Zappa overrated? then why can I not find
>anyone that likes him,other than on the 'net?

  I see the point about Zappa being overrated; I enjoy his very early stuff
myself, pretty much up until Uncle Meat(though especially Freak Out,
Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For The Money; practically the only
genius of the 60's who wasn't on drugs), but after that he got a bit too arch,
like he was playing to the cheap seats. He gave a lot of talented musicians
their first major job, though. Where would George Duke, Adrian Belew, and
practically the entire lineup of Missing Persons be without him? Playing in a
top 40 band somewhere probably. Zappa's main problem for me is he seemed to
have released practically every note he ever recorded by the time he died. His
great stuff is great, but after his first five or six albums with The Mothers
anybody but the biggest Zappaphile would be advised to tread carefully and
look out for #2.
  Captain Beefheart, on the other hand, IS a true genius and one of the few
totally original talents in the music business. Unfortunately he was limited
by how well his players understood what he was trying to do. If I ever heard
his self-played demos that would probably give me a better idea what he was up
to, but on the other hand Drumbo, Rocket Morton and Zoot Horn Rolo were
technically far better players and were probably more responsible for the
bluesy feel of his best stuff than he would have been on his own.
  Zappa's talent comes more from the left side of the brain and Beefheart's
comes more from the right, in a nutshell.

Chris

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

Message-ID: <00000732@naughtyboy.mutech.co.uk>
Date: 15 Oct 1998 12:38:00 0100
From: "Robert  Wood" <Robert.Wood@mutech.co.uk>
Organization: Mutech
Subject: Sticking up for Ceri!

John said in 5-7:

>> I have no doubt that the "special relationship" will be considerably less
special for a while as a result of Ceri Stagg's intemperate remarks about
the transatlantic language used in the "British" edition of Song Stories. <<

I hardly think that Ceri's remarks were intemperate. In fact I reckon that's
most unfair. *He* <g> was asking a question, not sounding off!

>> Put bluntly, we, the British, are prepared to put up with unfamiliar
words, idioms and
references when we read American books: indeed, we like them, because we
think they're hip. <<

*Sometimes*, that's true, but I must say often it grates. To an extent I
think we're seeing British culture being eroded by such examples. I'm not
for one second saying there's anything wrong with American culture, I'm just
saying that by the same token our culture should be cherished too!

>>Americans, on the other hand, won't tolerate them (or so our British
publishers tell us). <<

I'd wager that in this case the Americans would have *appreciated* the
British English. For goodness' sake, XTC are a quintessentially *English*
band, and that's one of their biggest appeals.

>> I suspect that there is only one basic text behind the two versions of
Song Stories, and that has been prepared using a kind of "transatlantic"
lingua franca.

<snip>

 If we Brits are really that upset about this, we should
have done something about it when we had the chance. A few holes in that
Mayflower wouldn't have hurt. <<

I think the general consensus is, that it's a shame, but we do understand
why, and we still love the book!

>> (It is also said that some American English sounds like West Country
English, possibly because of the early influence of Bristolian sailors,
merchants and, er, slavers...) <<

In fact that's a good a fair point, Bill Bryson's book "Mother Tongue" (I
think it's called) actually describes how much of today's American English
is actually the British English of 200 years ago. (They still spell "centre"
wrong though! <G>)
And I still think Andy'd say "arse"!

>> Ex-XTC content: Dave also pronounces the word "arse" as "ass".
Particularly in the word "ass-hole"... <<

Yeah, I say asshole sometimes, it rolls of the tongue better than arsehole,
but I still *always* say arse!

As Father Jack would say... "ARSE"!

Maybe we should all get lives, eh?! <g>

Rob.

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

Message-Id: <199810151339.JAA09365@gw32t.fmr.com>
From: "Sawyer, Keith" <Keith.Sawyer@fmr.com>
Subject: Re: Tom Waits For No One
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 09:38:48 -0400

Dominic Lawson <LAWSOND@parliament.uk> contributes:

<<If you don't already own "Swordfishtrombones", "Rain Dogs" or "Bone
Machine"
(or preferably all three), you are barely human and I claim my five
pounds>>

I've become convinced by his consistent tone (surely not his content)
that Dom works in a promotions department for a major label.  What is
Dom ... Capitol?  Sire?  Geffen?  Fess up, now ...

keith
Moped listener

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

Message-ID: <19981015141636.5452.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Doug Terrell" <terrell@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: "Americanisms"
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 07:16:36 PDT

>From: Robert Wood <wobbit@bigfoot.com>
>(Is Neville, English or American, BTW? Haven't
>managed to work that one out.)

Gotta be English. No American would be named Neville. ;  )

Seriously, though, I think book publishers should give us Americans a
little credit, and use appropriate language. Especially considering that
most American XTC fans are also likely to be Anglophiles, and are aware
of what certain regional terms may mean anyway.

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

Message-Id: <2A10AFDF054FD211B4B300805FEF42FA032868@mailbox.cima.org.uk>
From: QDD Desk <qdd@cima.org.uk>
Subject: GLR interview
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 13:51:30 +0100

Does anyone have a transcript of the interview from Wednesday's (14/10/98)
Pete Curran show that they can post on Chalkhills? I managed to miss it,
despite running round to the studios from work at 5pm in the vain hope of
catching a sight of Andy and Colin.  were any new tracks played?  Any info
would be much appreciated.

andy mills

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

Message-Id: <v02140b01b24bc8cc8b10@[208.251.162.4]>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 10:47:02 -0500
From: gloop@ntr.net (Yazbek)
Subject: Yazbek Playing

Yazbek is playing in NYC.  3 Fridays in a row-- Oct. 16, 23, 30th at CB
Gallery at 9:00 with a full horn section and an attitude.  313 Bowery...
212-677-0455.
Love,
Yazbek

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

Message-Id: <v04003a03b24bd11a7764@[208.240.250.142]>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 10:30:26 -0600
From: Ken Herbst <ken@bamadvertising.com>
Subject: American Vs. British idioms

Jill Oleson posts:

> I had wondered too if Andy really says "ass" instead of "arse," and so
>on. Comments, anyone?

You know, both "arse" and "ass" are quite acceptable.  But, only on the
right person.

----  Ken Herbst

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

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 11:05:23 -0700
From: "George Borden" <gborden@mailexcite.com>
Message-ID: <DMKLMEMCADKDAAAA@mailexcite.com>
Subject: Ass or Arse?
Organization: MailExcite  (http://www.mailexcite.com:80)

     Even though I'm from America, I still noticed the ass comment.  At
first I figured that it may have been changed for us "daft americans" but
then I read that the band themselves had a hand in editing the text for the
book.  Maybe we should ask them.

     Anyways, most Americans know the meaning of arse and have even been
known to use the word.

     Ass or arse, it's still an excellent book.

George Borden
California

Free web-based email, Forever, From anywhere!
http://www.mailexcite.com

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

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 13:22:56 -0500
From: LAG2471@ACS.TAMU.EDU
Message-Id: <981015132256.2043b98c@ACS.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: Agreeing with Jill: "Song Stories" regrets

Chiming in on the "Song Stories" discussion...

I was interested to read Jill Oleson's comment that after reading the book
she somehow wished that she hadn't, for reasons that she couldn't name.
I'll have to agree with her, although I think that I *can* name my
disappointment.

I was interested to read the background information behind XTC's songs.
Lines and words that had previously escaped my notice now make sense.  But
I was disturbed to know how miserable Andy and the rest of XTC apparently
were during the recording of almost all of their albums.

Before I read "Song Stories" I could play "Skylarking" and remember
listening to "Summer's Cauldron" while walking through a beautifully wooded
park several years ago.  I could turn on "Mayor of Simpleton" and then
dance happily around the living room.  But now "Skylarking" makes me think
of Andy and Colin suffering strange pizza-related nutritional deficiencies
while living in a miserable shack in upstate New York.  "Oranges and
Lemons" conjures visions of fleabag apartments in the San Fernando valley.

I appreciate the music that XTC have brought to us out of these apparently
unpleasant experiences. But I tell you, a part of me wishes that I hadn't
learned about them.

Then again, if misery created all of their previous masterworks it bodes
well for their upcoming albums that they (at least the remaining "they")
finally seem "happy in their work," so to speak.

So, Jill, I think I agree with you, if for possibly different reasons.  Or
maybe this is just a problem we Texan XTC Fan Chicks have to work through?
:-)

Lore Guilmartin
Lore@tamu.edu

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

From: JStrole@aol.com
Message-ID: <b5a37b18.36264136@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 14:38:46 EDT
Subject: Engilsh-English

To those who care,

Though I am an American, I do have to say that it did bother me that Song
Stories was Americanized.  I, too, appreciate the nuances of the English
Language when spoken by someone from the isles.  I also find it hard to
believe that an American would have a hard time "sussing out" what an "arse"
is.  But I guess those quaint British have that cute way of talking that we
Americans just don't understand.  What'd ya think, ya invented da language or
sumptin'.(sic)

For those in the NYC area Yazbek will be playing @ CB's Gallery on Fridays
Oct. 16 & 23.  It is adjacent to CBGBs, which is probably the last venue left
standing that XTC played in the US.  My band, Kingfisher, will be playing @
Kenny's Castaways on Friday Nov. 6. Our sound fits nicely somewhere between
The Church and Echo & The Bunnymen.

Harry

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

Message-ID: <36264E9A.C4E5C233@geocities.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 15:35:54 -0400
From: xychq <xychq@geocities.com>
Subject: DAVE GREGORY REAL AUDIO--NO, SERIOUSLY

IT'S FUNCTIONAL, I'M JUST AN IDIOT:
http://listen.to/DG

(REMEMBER YOU NEED A REAL PLAYER 5.0 OR BETTER)

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

Message-Id: <199810151950.PAA00345@mailhost.sju.edu>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 16:00:21 -0700
From: Scott Goldman <goldman@mailhost.sju.edu>
Subject: XTC demos

Hi I was hoping somebody might be able to help me locate some of the
material located on the chalkhills web page. I was looking for some of the
demos I saw on the lyrics page.
If available could you please help me locate them.

Thanks in advance
Scott Goldman
Goldman@sju.edu

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

Message-ID: <0143041F00B7D011B7C500A0C90051511ACA54@IMA_NT1>
From: "BOB O'BANNON" <BOBANNON@IMAweb.com>
Subject: Just Tom
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 17:02:16 -0500

Allow me to chime in on the effusive praise of Tom Waits. One thing that
amazes me about Tom is that he absolutely defies any genre or category
or pigeonholing. Tom almost seems independent of any previous influence,
as if he were musically self-sufficient. I suppose the "alternative" bin
at the CD store is the best place to put him, but Tom transcends
"alternative" - in fact, he's supra-alternative, if I may coin a new
term. And folks, even XTC doesn't qualify for that kind of description.

The best place to start with Tom is "Rain Dogs," as that is the one
album that leans the most toward conventional songwriting and playing.
But since then, bless his heart, Tom has only gotten weirder. In fact,
he's one of the few performers who actually began his career sounding
relatively normal but has become increasingly bizarre over time. And one
can get just as much joy out of reading his lyrics as listening to them
(maybe even more so, depending on how you deal with Tom's voice).

As for one myself who is heavily "under the influence of Christianity"
(to quote Dom, another gifted writer), I'd like to affirm Tom's genius
and give praise to God as the ultimate originator of this blissful
noise.

Bob

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Message-ID: <36267D67.92972629@intermetrics.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 18:56:44 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <sherwood@intermetrics.com>
Subject: Ceri, Ceri, In Your Tree

> From: Simon Sleightholm <simon@nonsuch.dircon.co.uk>
> Subject: Newsgroup, USA influence, Tom Waits (my poetry gene is

> It's very sad
> because language and identity are very closely intertwined (see the current
> strife in Quebec) and any erasure of the cultural stamp is to be mourned.

That's spelled "erazure" and "morned," you big chuff.

Some years ago, as a desperately underpaid staff copyeditor at Simon &
Schuster, I was forced to perform one of these cultural eviscerations (Brit.
sp. "disembowelllllling") on a Clive Barker manuscript ("Weaveworld"--orig.
title: "It May Be a Carpet to the Old Pot and Pan, But it's a Fanny to Your
Dear Old Mum"), and the whole exercize left me feeling gloopy.

But the point may be moot (Brit. "mought"), however. The International
Standards Organisation (ISO), a United Nations body under the auspices of
NATO and the International Red Cross, recently commissioned a linguistic
study in collaboration with King's College, Stanford University, and the
James Murray Estate. The findings were quite astonishing: After studying
several hundred cases of variant British and American spellings, they found
that in an overwhelming 97.65 percent of cases the correct spelling was in
fact the American. I understand the BBC and OED people are backing this to
the hilt, and the Blair Cabinet have (no, make that _has_) issued stern
directives to local school districts. The Queen's English is about to become
the Bronx English too. See the supporting documentation at
http://www.erols.com/fiction-net/iso_study.htm

Sad but, alas, true.

> From: morrish <morrish@dircon.co.uk>

> As someone who has had books published (if not actually read) on both
> sides of the Atlantic, I know how difficult this can be. Put bluntly, we,
> the British, are prepared to put up with unfamiliar words, idioms and
> references when we read American books: indeed, we like them, because we
> think they're hip. Americans, on the other hand, won't tolerate them (or
> so our British publishers tell us).

This is so silly (on the publishers' part, not John's). Thirty, forty years
ago, when we were a deeply xenophobic and isolationist little melting pot
(as opposed to now, when we're a _shallowly_ x. & i.l.m.p.), this may have
been arguable, but after generations of exposure to Britcoms on public
television, to Mahhhsterpiece Thea-tah (Thee-ATE-er), and countless British
celebrities and singers and Arthur Zarking Treacher, I think we can probably
handle "lorry" and "nappies" and commas outside quote marks without going
apeshit (barking).

I mean, think of it: can you actually *imagine* a YooEssian walking into a
bookstore, picking up an Anglophonic "Song Stories," thinking, Hmmm, XTC,
yes, great band, I liked that "Dear God" number, hmm, let's see, skim a
bit...what's this? "Arse"? Hmm. Search me, I don't know _what_ the hell that
means...must be some sort of *foreign* word...just put it back, reach for
this other one over here.... Ah, yes, a bio of Grand Funk Railroad...won't
be any of that greasy language in *here*...

> (It is also said that some American English sounds like West Country
> English, possibly because of the early influence of Bristolian sailors,
> merchants and, er, slavers...)

You're darned Teuton!

Harrison "independent as a hog on ice" Sherwood

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