Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-217

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 217

                  Tuesday, 1 August 2000


                 "Give the singer some!"
     bleeeeeeeeecccccccchhhhhhhhhh!!!!! newage music
                  (c)rap and other music
                We're All Light(the video)
                        Neil Young
           Young - A Road to Self Actualization
           Annoying the 'rents; An XTC Spotting
              Will this finish the argument?
             As another new thread unravels..
                  Pop, torch, and twang
                  Paul Simon's Graceland
                   Late In The Evening
                    Other (Good) Bands


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If we listen quietly we can hear them shooting from grave to grave.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 02:53:09 GMT
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: "Give the singer some!"
Message-ID: <>

"Give the singer some"

Sorry folks - another bitsy post. I'm still catching up because my home
computer has died (*sob!*) and the Brain Police don't like us using work
computers for Fun, let alone Self-Expression.

Before I go any further: Way to go: Victor Rocha!! The revolution may not
be televised, but there's still an outside chance you can catch it on
streaming video.

* * *

re: The Doors


>It may just be that Jim Morrison (as opposed to the Doors) is simply >an
>easy target for ridicule and that the Doors got dragged into it.

Why? Because he dared to recite poetry? Because he got a bit fat later on?

>Yes: Jim and Phil and Gordy are Andy Partridge with the humor glands
> >forcibly removed by their adoring fanbase or crushed under the weight >of
>their ponderous, bloated egos.

No offence to Phil or Sting, but I don't place them in the same league as
Jim at all! And I just can't buy the argument that Morrison had no sense of
humour. I think a lot of his stuff was loaded with humour and irony. What
about that "...petition the Lord with prayer.." bit on
"Absolutely Live"? Hilarious! Or the way he was always bunging on that
Southern accent for effect. The guy had his tongue firmly planted in his
cheek a lot of the time, but nobody seems to notice. I'm not saying the guy
wasn't in need of a little reality check now and then, but in his position,
who wouldn't be?

As for the value of otherwise of his poetry ... well, I am not a big poetry
reader, to be honest -- I like what I like, but I don't read poetry widely
and have never found it all that compelling to me as an art form. But for
some people, like Jim, it's a very important form of expression, and I
respect that. I also know people who are poets and writers themslves
(professional, not self-professed) who have always liked and admired Jim's
lyrics, at least. I don't know what they
think of his poetry, but personally I've read a lot worse.

It's easy to make jibes these days, and equally it's easy to forget (or not
know) how utterly different American culture was when Morrison was growing
up. Wanting to be a Poet in early 1960s America was seen as totally deviant
desire by the Establishment.  It would have been a pretty challenging,
mysterious, alluringly dangerous thing to be - especially if your dad was a
high-ranking US Navy officer. Being a pop-star AND a poet? Heresy in

>Now, there are a few parallels between each of these guys and Andy...
>Jim recited his (often meaningless and always pompous and
> >pseudointellectual) poetry to music


>But Jim was such a ramrod Amurican with as much a sense of humor as a >wet
>cat, that he just  puffed up into a great Hindenburg of >self-importance
>and burst.

Sorry "rnv" but, for mine, that doesn't come under the heading "reasoned and
reasonable". That's just mean-spirited invective. Try again. He was anything
BUT a ramrod American.

And now ...

Dom - you know I love you -- in a purely platonic, blokey way of course --
but I can't let your anti-Jim tirade pass without comment:

>I also think The Doors were, and are, vastly overrated. And I smoke >pot.
>Go figure. I know what you're saying about Break On Through and >so on...
>they certainly produced some classic tunes & I wouldn't >pretend otherwise
>(well, unless there was some cheap joke to be made >at someone's expense),
>but come on! Morrison was a fat, drunk idiot >whose lyrics sucked harder
>than an industrial Dyson, and whose >poetry was even worse. The rest of the
>band looked like a bunch of >history teachers

Ooooh, give him a bowl of milk! Actually, they looked like a bunch of arts
students ... which of course they were.

>and rhyming "fire" with "pyre" and "desire" is only one step away >from the
>old "sky", "why", >"fly", "pie" routine so beloved of Cast >and fuck-wits
>around the world. Come on baby, run my bath more >like...

*sigh* ... here we go again. For starters: "Light My Fire" was written by
Robby Krieger, not Morrison (although Morrison always praised Robby as a
great pop songwriter, which he was, and often regretted that Robby's
contributions to The Doors'songwriting were overlooked because
people thought Jim wrote all the lyrics, which he didn't.)  Second: I'm not
a poet, but anyone who can come up with lines like "Your fingers weave quick
minarets" is a pretty fair writer IMHO.
Personally, I think it's nifty. Call me a fool - I know you will anyway.

And what the hell else are you going to rhyme "Fire" with anyway,

I've always found Morrison a compelling and intruiging figure, simply
because you can't pigeonhole him - he's full of contradictions. People
selectively focus on one aspect of his personality or behaviour -- the Fat
Drunk Jim is usually the choice -- and write him off because
he lost control for a bit. Well I'm sorry but that's an easy target for a
cheap shot.

The guy made an amazing transformation, from the chubby, unpopular, unhappy
loner son of a conservative military family, to college druggo dropout, to
svelte, articulate rock god, sex-idol of millions, terror of the
Establishment, poet, singer, songwriter, filmaker and performance artist of
international repute. Yes, he was also overblown, grandiose, egotistical and
perhaps pompous at times -- but do you think the role he chose called for
less? Actually he played it to perfection if you ask me. Who would remember
him if had given it anything other than than the maximum?

If you think for a second that Morrison was not aware of the extent to which
he was playing out a part, you're fooling yourself. I don't doubt he got
caught up in it to some degree, but I also don't doubt that the tremendous
irony of his own stardom was ever-present in his mind. Let's not forget that
he deliberately chose to walk away from it all, once he felt that he had
taken it as far as he could. Imagine how bonecrushingly, Stonesishly,
stadium HUUUGE they *could* have become if he had stayed with them to tour
after "L.A. Woman" came out? But no - he saw that it was time to go and he
graciously, quietly went.

I also think it's pretty hypocritical to simultaneously bag Morrison while
leaping to the rabid defence of The Sex Pistols, when in fact they have a
lot more in common than most people would care to admit. Morrison and Lydon
were both classic outsiders, both were articulate, cynical and media-savvy,
and both used the forum of rock music to (A) reinvent themselves and (B)
stage an ongoing Situationist-style theatre of confrontation in and around
the relationship between rock music and the mass-media.

The only major difference was that rock itself was still new and threatening
when Morrison started out. When Lydon arrived it was old and fat. Lydon
merely took his confrontation one logical step further by *publicly*
repudiating the previous generation and the ethos that Morrison belonged to,
or at least was seen to represent -- which had become the orthodoxy. (But
ONLY publicly, mind -- in private of course they cheerfully admitted to
loving The Monkees and The Small Faces and
The Who as much as anyone else with sense and taste).

I also point to the fact that the Pistols self-destructed after only one
album (more or less), whereas the Doors managed to survive five years,
produce six studio albums (all of which are at least good and most of which
are great) plus a terrific live double album, which effectively set the
benchmark for all subsequent efforts in this genre, and remains a testament
to what a superb live act they really were.

Another point: Morrison, as the sole public focus of the group, deliberately
played out both the Apollonian and Dionysiac elements of this 'theatre'
himself. (I for one tend to believe that he was *deliberately* destroying
his own image in the last couple of years, pushing as far as it could go in
all directions. Like Hendrix, he realised very quickly that he was a
prisoner of other people's expectations).

Fortunately however, Lydon was spared this necessity, since the
self-destructive side of this theatre was played out through and on Sid
Vicious, who was duly served up as the required ritual sacrifice, and did it
pretty damned efficiently. Lydon lived on, and can now happily reinvent
history and himself, and do Filthy Lucre tours and cable TV shows to his
heart's content. Jim, sadly, had no such luck.

* * *

>From: Mark <>
>Subject: A nervous introduction

Welcome Mark! Another Aussie Chalker! Woo-hoo! Let's go to the pub!

>(quick namecheck: Soul Coughing, Tom Waits, XTC (of course), Jane's
>Addiction, Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Radiohead, Primus, Mike Watt,
> >Gomez,Elvis Costello, Morphine, Skunkhour, Sly and the Family Stone,
> >Living Colour, Massive Attack, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and
> >Thelonious Monk.

>Am I entirely out of place?)

You are home and hosed. Anyone who likes Monk is OK by me! I can overlook
the Nick Cave :p

* * *

Favourite comedy albums? I played thoose Python albums SO many times it
feels like it's in my DNA, so I vote for anything by the gigantically
brilliant and spaced-out Ivor Cutler (e.g. "Life
In A Scotch Sitting Room"), whose records were uinlike anythign I had ever
heard before, and above all for my sublimely wonderful BBC album of the
immortal Gerard Hoffnung/Charles Richardson recordings:

CR: "Do you like sport, Mr Hoffnung?"

GH: "Oh, yes, I love sport. I rather like that game where everyone is
asleep out in a field, and then it's starts raining, and they all wake up
and someone says "Oh, well played, sir!"

CR: "Oh you mean cricket?"

GH: "Yes cricket -- that's it!"

* * *


>Tallywhacker? Nooo, not exactly. You're close. Think about it. >Nadgers is

Plural? ... or collective?

* * *

I almost forgot: over the weekend I was driving home and heard -- in stereo
for the first time -- that lavish old 70s Beach Boys soundalike/tribute
called "Beach Baby" (which was a biggish hit over here ca. ?1974?). Does
anyone know the story behind this single and who wrote/performed/produced
it? Without doubt it's a massive tribute to Brian, and the production is
pretty amazing. Must have cost a bomb. Any clues?

And did we all know that Brian is currently touring with group + orchestra,
doing the whole "Pet Sounds" album live on stage? Paul Culnane alerted me to
this last week; I have not stopped weeping yet. I can only hope that some
kindly god will inpsire a TV network to tape at least one performance for



Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 20:27:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: bleeeeeeeeecccccccchhhhhhhhhh!!!!! newage music
Message-ID: <>

RE: Alright, so we've gone past artists that suck and
are now listing those bands that make us physically

Not a band, but a type of music (if it can be called
that). I find that New Age (I use the Penn & Teller
description 'newage' to rhyme w/ sewage) music makes
me VERY tense. Literally. It has the opposite effect
on me that it's supposed to have. All this really
tepid, bad, random synth noodling by long-haired guys
with blissed-out expresions on their faces makes me
want to scream. I feel my back muscles tightening up
whenever I hear that crap.

Almost as bad but w/o the negative physiological
effect is that horrid fusion shit they play during the
local forcast on the Weather Channel. Sends me running
for the mute button every time!


Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 21:21:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: (c)rap and other music
Message-ID: <>

Lots of posts lately about rap, both pro and con, and
some accusations that those who dismiss rap dom't have
open minds, etc. Thought I'd throw out some opinions,
half-truths and rants:

1.  Whether or not you admit it, you (the person
reading this) and nearly everyone else is opinionated
when it comes to musical tastes. Of course we all like
some music better than others. Being opinionated is
not the same as being narrow minded.

2.  People should be allowed their opinions regarding
music without having their integrity questionined. I
have been offended on a few occasions when it was
suggested that my dislike of rap made me a racist.  A
claim of this nature only iluminates the microscopic
intellect of the person utterting it.

I have extremely broad tastes in music, and I do mean
extremely. I seem to like nearly every genre of music
I can think of, although the list of artists I like
within each genre seems to be fairly narrow. I am
equally comforatble with XTC, John Coltrane, Gyorgi
Ligeti, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Joni
Mitchell, mariachi music, gamelan music, Negativland,
the Beatles, ec. etc. etc.

That said, there are music genres that I for the most
part have no use for. Rap, Techno, death metal,
contemporary r&b, newage, and celtic are among these.

None of this makes me narrow-minded. I have owned cd's
in  all of the catagories listed above. Still do own a
couple of rap cd's, and maybe a couple of things that
would be classified as newage (that Partridge/Budd cd,
for example).

I worked in a record store for three years while
preparing for graduate school. Beleive me, I have had
wide exposure to a huge variety of music in all genres
and varying widely in terms of quality. My tastes are
not a result of lack of exposure or narrow-mindedness.

I also have no qualms about expressing opinions
regarding bands/musicians,etc.that I think suck.

I'm not a musician. I have no loyalty to sampled vs.
played instruments. I love Andre Segovia, I love John
Oswald. they both have their merits. I listen to music
for intellectual and/or emotional impact.

In fact, I think the issue of played vs. sampled is
for the most part pointless. Postmodern artistic
practice had (I thought) worked all that out already.
It may just be that the IDEA is key, not how that idea
is made manifest. The world has experienced John Cage
and Marcel Duchamp, it's too late to turn back now!

Rap, with its sampling, is valid as music. I don't
like it personally, but don't question the validity or
worth of the sampling it utilizes. I do think that
sampling works better in the hands of people who
understand concepts of recontextualization, emergance,
and recursion. I have yet to hear ANY rap that uses
samples for other than musical texture (well, there
might be a little recontextualization on the first De
La Soul album). Again, I said it works BETTER when the
peformer is knowledgeable in these concepts. I didn't
say that sampling in Rap doesn't work.

That said, I think that Rap ties with newage for being
the most non-musical music I've heard (throw in the
first few Swans' lp's and The Gerogeregegege as well).
Actually, I've heard some John Cage that sounds pretty
non-musical to my untrained, uneducated ears.

I guess my point in all of this is to admit to my
musical prejudices, and goad everyone else into
admitting theirs while accepting others'.

And to put and end to the boring rap posts!


Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 22:48:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brown <>
Subject: We're All Light(the video)
Message-ID: <>

Hi there, sugarbeets!

<<New thread suggestion:>>
<<Has anyone thought about which WS song you'd like to see up on the little

Great idea, Deb..  (thanks!)

I'd like to see a video for We're All Light.  I see it filmed in black and
white, and it's a heavily scratched print (like an old news reel)-

We find ourselves in the home library of German physicist, Max Planck.  He
sits at a cluttered desk, furiously scribbling out his ideas on the
properties of light.  I see Colin playing the part of Planck.
Distinguished and scholarly in his tweed suit, wouldn't Colin be perfect?
(though I can't quite imagine Colin affecting a convincing German
accent..but who knows?)  Frustrated and exhausted, (Colin)Planck nods off..

Rising up from the pages of notes, Andy appears.. He's wearing tights and a
cape, the whole comic book hero costume.. nothing too revealing.. (is there
such a thing as 'age appropriate' super hero gear?)  Andy Partridge is
Photon Boy and he's materialized in this particular form so he can
enlighten Herr Planck (wake up, Max.. it's revelation time!), as well as
have the kind of adventures that only a particle of light can have!

What kind of adventures, you ask?  I haven't thought that far ahead, though
it does seem ripe with possibilities.. now I ask YOU, who amongst us hasn't
imagined our Andy in tights and a cape?.. (oh no! did I just think that or
did I say it?)  Forget what I just said.
Anyway, Andy has always been a frustrated comic book hero of sorts.. he'd
soar in this role. (all puns apply)-

That's all I have.. looking forward to hearing more of your ideas, Chalkers.

Debora Brown

*answer- Mr. Tube is one grand fish!


Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 23:37:12 -0700
From: Eb <>
Subject: unsub
Message-ID: <f04310107b5aacea79234@[]>

This list is best taken in small doses. See ya when the next album's due.



Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 06:31:55 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Neil Young
Message-ID: <l03130300b5ab105afc09@[]>

>Alright, so we've gone past artists that suck and are now listing those
>bands that make us physically sick. O.K. It is with much physical hatred
>and hostility that I type this "artists" name.... Neil Young! His voice
>makes me cringe. His guitar playing sounds as if the guitar is begging to
>be euthanized. Back in college my housemates had a band and they would
>cover Neil Young songs. Consequently, many of those housemates are heroin
>heads now...
>I really don't want my Chalkhill brethren to think that I have a violent
>streak, but if we were cave people I would definitely be clubbing old Neil
>down to an unrecognizable and silent bundle of fur and stringy hair.

  I'll go easy with you and restrain violent impulses on this one; though I
consider Neil Young one of the great songwriters in rock and roll history
who somehow improves with age(most of his work in the 90's was better and
more clearheaded than anything else he'd ever done), I'll concede his voice
is not for everybody and his guitar playing, though as technically
proficient as any other great guitarist, is an acquired taste. Neil does
have too much of a penchant for steel wool guitar solos. If he's not to
your taste, that's your business, but you can't deny his influence; he
wasn't called the Godfather of Grunge for nothing. The likes of Dinosaur Jr
and Sonic Youth would have been unimaginable without him, and both bands
have covered his material in the past. If you hate heroin so much, you must
REALLY hate Lou Reed; Neil himself hasn't touched the stuff since the late
70's at the very latest, he's been too busy raising two kids with cerebral
palsy(one's hard enough, but two? I don't know how he does it) and raising
money for the school he helped found that they attend with other severely
handicapped kids. You can still hate his music if you like; Air Supply's
not my cup of tea either, but they're probably nice guys who love their
mothers, and my wife loves them. No accounting for taste; my brother could
never get into XTC because he doesn't like Andy's voice. He loves the Dukes
though. Go figure.

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at


Date: 31 Jul 2000 07:37:00 -0700
Subject: Young - A Road to Self Actualization
Message-ID: <>

In a previous post I revealed my deepest feelings for Neil Young (his
music). It was very hard for me to share something so personal, but
since I trust you all so much, I took a full breath and opened
up.(hug?) Some of those feelings were primal and hostile, but I must
own up to them if I am ever to understand them (like, wow). Then, on
7/27 Duncan Watt typed:

>Sad to say it, but up until just a few years ago, I'dda gonna lonnga with
>you, unna, on that one. Then I realized just what Mr. Young was trying to
>do... and I Liked It. He don't need you around, anyhow, so to speak.

And then I realize it! I had projected Neil Young onto my very own
Ugly Underneath! Neil Young's voice and that guitar note he (always)
plays had actually BECOME the physical representation of all that I
despise about MYSELF! None of this illumination would have been
possible without Neil Young, therefore I NEED HIM!

But seriously folks, If I were to start liking Neil Young I wouldn't
be at all surprised, I mean, I didn't like olives till last year,

>ps plus, clubs just bounce right off guys like Neil...
 I hope so because I felt shame for typing such violence - very
harmful to hit with clubs.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 11:12:17 -0400
From: "Martin, Alan" <>
Subject: OK.
Message-ID: <>

In #6-212

LawsonD wrote in response:

AM>>As for melody, very few "Rap songs" have a melody as such and if they
do, they are mundane at best.

LD>>A case in point. This statement has no basis in reality. MOST rap songs
have melody, it's just that the lyrics are spoken and (generally) not
sung. For fuck's sake.

AM>>But keep in mind I am referring to "Mainstream Rap" records
not "Rap" as a whole or idea.

LD>> Oh, well that's alright then. Like you know the difference! Pah!!!

Mark Strijbos wrote in response:

AM>    Go ahead, flame away. I haven't stated anything that you couldn't
AM>    find proof for yourself given a little time and a sample of
AM>    mainstream "Rap" recordings.

LD>> or in other words: i'm stupid because i haven't noticed this yet

Geesh!  You guys are vicious!  I stand by my words.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 15:23:29 -0400
From: "Duncan Watt" <>
Subject: Annoying the 'rents; An XTC Spotting
Message-ID: <>

Some old guy <> wailed:

> It scares me that every time a car of teens pull
> up with music blaring, it's fucking rap!   They are eschewing one of the
>greatest and most joyful elements of human life.

No they're not, they're listening to loud, parent-and-old-duffers-who-
should-know-better-annoying pop music in the car with friends, which is
definitely one of the greatest and most joyful elements of human life, at
least if you grew up where I did. What the hell do you *expect* them to try
and annoy you with? "The Lemon Song"? "Big Ten Inch"? "Dear God"? "Purple
Haze"? "Whole Lotta Rosie"? C'mon, think back, man... SCENE: Family yelling,
stomping feet ascending stairs... CUE Little Tom: "You CAN'T tell me what to
do! I HATE you!" (slams bedroom door, rushes to sadly anemic Emerson stereo
system, stabs at 'On' button while grabbing 'Volume' and *invoking* the
sweet blast to the only correct setting: *all the fucking way up*...

Bless their criminal little souls, at least the kids are resourceful... long
live loud lecherous keep-me-from-killing-my-parents-right-the-fuck-now ROCK!

... *ahem*, give me a moment to compose myself...okay.

So, anywho, I was drivin' out towards Concord, Massachusetts last Saturday
afternoon and I'm listening to "Only A Game" on NPR(okay sports fans, you
can laugh if you want to, but it gets better) and there's a piece on
Competitive Wife-Carrying. Seems this is something *real* Finnish People do
when the skiing's Gone South... So after much explaining that you don't
actually have to be a Wife to be carried(this is, after all, NPR), and that
the winners take home their Wife's Weight In Beer, they went on to cover the
actual event, which entails some poor sap running up and down a ski run in
the summer with the Old Bag on his back, screaming in his ear "Go FASTER,
you SACK of...". There's even a Water Obstacle.

Mind-bending metaphors aside, why the story, you might ask, hm? Because at
the end of the radio piece(and all of you cool Kreidebergers have already
gleaned it, ha'n't'cha?), up comes the rockin' strains of what has become my
vote for Number One Most Apropos Usage Of A Sadly Obscure Rock Song To Outro
A Radio Piece... "Wounded Horse"! Yeah! "Well I!...
and I!... like a woooo-! ...ooounded!..." Yeah! And they outro-ed the whole show on it, so
it was on pretty much in it's entirety, they even edited on the sad little
ending. Bravo!

Duncan "...we will not let him go/LET HIM GO!" Watt

ps okay, that was *me* with the Emerson stereo.

pps re: Wife-Carrying... I'm partial to the Estonian Carry, myself...

ppps Entrance Form here:

email me:
surf me:


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 15:45:29 EDT
From: "Kevin Diamond" <>
Subject: Will this finish the argument?
Message-ID: <>

Look, one of the biggest arguments people have had against rap has been
that it only uses samples. But if you use that as an excuse against all
rap, you have to realize that rap isn't the only genre that does that. The
perfect example hit me today when this particular song was played for the
3rd time today while I was at work (I didn't choose the radio
station). The new song by Jessica "Not The Real Killer" Simpson called
something like "I Think I'm In Love." The entire song is just a loop of
the begining of "Jack and Diane" by John Cugar Melencamp. It's a pop song,
but it too is using a sample, and the result is worse then most rap songs
I here with samples. Also, I have recorded one or two raps with my band
for shits and giggles, and we play all the music ourself, we use no
samples. So there.

In a future time, children will work together, to build a giant

Kevin "Robot Parade! Robot Parade!" Diamond


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 13:34:14 EDT
Subject: As another new thread unravels..
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 7/31/00 9:19:57 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<> writes:

> With that in mind, I'll suggest a thread:  What pop/rock artist, that you
>  like (almost?) as much as XTC, sounds the most different from XTC?
>  I'll start the bidding with Graham Parker.
>  regards
>  MJC

I'd nominate Roxy Music (all their stuff between 72-75).

On the Paul Simon thread--I'm a little surprised to see so much Paul Simon
bashing. The guy is an incredible songwriter when he is at the top of his
game. I personally like Graceland quite a bit (although I will admit that
the album got more recognition than other artists that had been doing the
same thing, i.e., Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel and Xtc).

The King commented:

Oddly, with the departure of the underrated frontman Gene Clarke, they went
on to do what I consider their true classic albums, 5D and nearly faultless
Younger Than Yesterday (Their best and their peak, IMHO.)  Even Notorious
Byrd Brothers was strong.

As a longtime fan of the Byrds I have to agree although I do think that
when Graham Parsons joined the band they recaptured some of that fire that
disappeared later. Untitled (which, by the way, has just been reissued with
an additional disc of material) is another fine album. Clarence White was
an underrated guitarist. It's sad that he was taken away from us so soon...

Duncan observed:

Zimmy, however -- and this IS a personal view -- seems to have gradually
slipped away from us. I have not heard anything of his (with the solitary
exception of "Series of Dreams" or whetever it was) that comes anywhere
near the standard he maintained through the 60s and early 70s.

It took me a long time to acquire a taste for Bob Dylan. I personally felt
he ran out of gas around Nashville Skyline. Nevertheless, he occasionally
comes up with an interesting gem.

from Minerworks:  I'd love to hear some
comments from people about the "feel" of the original vinyl LPs
versus the CD remasters of albums up through

My vinyl version of Skylarking and English Settlement were the best
versions until the past couple of years. MFSL's Skylarking sounds
amazing. I picked up an overseas version of English Settlement that is
almost as good as the vinyl version. My Japanese version of Mummer sounds
pretty good (although I have to admit that I've never listened to the
Geffen or Virgin UK versions). The new Fossil Fuel sounds better than most
of the Virgin albums. Still, I'd love to see someone do what the Japanese
did with the Kinks reissues (although with the bonus tracks at the end of
the CD).



Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 14:08:37 EDT
Subject: Pop, torch, and twang
Message-ID: <>

MJC said: << With that in mind, I'll suggest a thread: What pop/rock
artist, that you like (almost?) as much as XTC, sounds the most different
from XTC? >>

Fun thread idea! For me, that would be k.d. lang.

Amy N.


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 20:09:40 GMT
From: "Ralph Simpson DeMarco" <>
Subject: Paul Simon's Graceland
Message-ID: <>

Dear Affiliated Members:

Sorry about attributing the wrong name to someone else's post!


(I hope that) Dunks wrote:

>>In closing I also have to defend Paul Simon. I was not an early convert to
>>the "Graceland" thing, but it really grew on me, and he did more to
>>popularise South African township music around the world than anyone
>>before or since. I hardly imagine people like Ladysmith Black Mambazo,
>>Miriam Makeba or Hugh Masekela would work with him at all if he was the
>>kind of artist he is accused of being. I think the attacks tagging him a
>>tokenist and cultural plunderer were stupid and shortsighted, then and
>>now. The fact is he has been bringing in elements of other styles
>>eversince the Simon & Garfunkel days (remember "El Condor Pasa"?). He has
>>consistently striven to broaden his musical palette with styles from all
>>over the world. Why is this OK for, say, Peter Gabriel, but not OK for
>>Paul Simon? Surely his using elements of township music, gospel or South
>>American folk music is no stranger than a Jewish kid from New York singing
Anglo-American folk music -- a talent for which he was lionised, and
something he evidently should not have progressed beyond, in the minds of
some people.>>

First off, I am not a rabid fan of Paul Simon's solo music. But I do think
that Graceland is his best. The reason why Simon was attacked by many in and
out of the music industry was, really, because in 1986, Mandella was still
in prison, and Apartheid was alive and well. As you know, many boycotted Sun
City concerts and, in effect, drew a line in the sand. Now, I agreed with
all the sanctions and the boycotts, but what got lost is that for some,
music transcends political debates over international policy. The musicians
you mention in your post were not the international stars that they are
today. Suggesting that they were "exploited" by Simon implies that they did
not benefit from the collaboration - and we all know that they did. OK, I
knew about them from listening to Pacifica Radio, but the wider public did
not. For some people, music brings people together. I defended Simon then,
and I am more adamant about it now. Graceland is a landmark album for Paul
Simon as a songwriter AND for South African music (and the interest in world
music generally).


XTC Content: "Didn't Hurt A Bit" sounds strangely like a Pete Townsend demo
(from say, the Scoop discs). Anyone else hear Townsend in that song?

I have heard so many comparisons to ITMWML in the XTC catalogue. So far it
seems I'm the only one who mentioned Dear Madam Barnum. Listen to Colin's
backing vocals at the end of the ITMWML and then compare it to DMB. Ah hah!
The sequel in my mind.



Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 14:13:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al LaCarte <>
Subject: Late In The Evening
Message-ID: <>


Smudge reminded me:

>For every "Loves me . ." or the execrable
"Kodachrome"  there's an
equally great song like "Train In The Distance" or
"Hearts and Bones".<

I love his tribute to Lennon off of "Hearts & Bones" -
"The Late Great Johnny Ace."  Great song and record.

Mr. Dunks, in his continuing quest to defend all that
is good and decent in the world from the likes of me
pointed out:

>and [Paul Simon] did more to popularise South African
township music around the world than anyone before or

Damn him.

>I think the attacks tagging him a tokenist and
cultural plunderer were stupid and shortsighted, then
and now.<

You're right.  He just made a crap record.  Who said
anything about him being "tokenist" or "plundering?"
He paid the South African musicians well.

>Why is this OK for, say, Peter Gabriel, but not OK
>Paul Simon?

Because Peter Gabriel's music has integrity.  Are you
comparing anything off of "Graceland" to songs like
"Red Rain" and "In Your Eyes?" Be serious.
Gabriel understood the music that he was celebrating,
and adjusted his style accordingly.  Simon just
continued doing the same old thing he had been doing
for years, but switched back-up bands.

>Surely his using elements of township music, gospel
or SouthAmerican folk music is no stranger than a
Jewish kid from New York singing Anglo-American folk
music -- a talent for which he was lionised, and
something he evidently should not have progressed
beyond, in the minds of some people.<

Where is all of this cultural and ethnic claptrap
coming from?  I didn't say he wasn't qualified to play
African music based on anything except that he did it
so poorly.  Beyond that, what you see as
"progression," I see as a misguided attempt at doing
something meaningful and significant, but missing the

In his defense I would say that Paul Simon's motives
for recording "Graceland" were pure.  I know people
accused him of all sorts of diabolical things after
the record was released, and I think they were
reaching.  I believe he liked the music and wanted to
make a record that was different.  The problem was,
his melodies didn't mesh with the music.  They sounded
anachronistic and labored to my ears.


>I'm so sorry
>you are missing the joy of this record.  What a

A shame is it?  As if I'm somehow less qualified than
*you* to judge good music? Don't be silly.

To paraphrase Clarence Darrow, I'd say, "I hate
'Graceland,' and I'm glad I hate it, because if I
liked it, I'd listen to it, and I hate it..."


"I've been working on a novel, but I'm just about to
quit, worrying about the future now, well maybe this
is it.  It's not all that I thought it would be, what
a shame about me..."

Becker and Fagen

"First thing I remember I was lying in my bed, I
couldn't been no more then 1 or 2.  I remember there
was a radio, coming from the room next store, and my
mother laughed the way some ladies do..."

Paul Simon


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 23:37:57 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Other (Good) Bands
Message-ID: <>

Poisongold aka MJC asked:

>What pop/rock artist, that you like (almost?) as much
as XTC, sounds the most different from XTC?

>I'll start the bidding with Graham Parker.

As seasoned readers of my posts will have gathered (I
flatter myself that such beings exist!) I like a LOT
of Eighties bands. So, most of them. In differing from
XTC, what should I pick? Bands who write tuneless
songs with vapid lyrics? Sorry, my CD collection
registers nothing in that genre (IMHO!!! Why would I
buy them otherwise?!?). What it does register,
however, is a lot of bands who used synthesizers (as
they were once quaintly known) instead of "real"
instruments. The argument at the time (and now, with
the sampling/rap music threads) was that "anyone could
pick one up and play them". I contend: original music
is in the mind, not the medium. If someone rips off a
riff, or an entire song, but adds nothing to it,
what's the point? If someone can't play an instrument,
but is capable of original composition (whether or not
there's a sample in it) he/she scores higher on my
personal chart. Whilst I appreciate technical ability
(I personally believe Brian May to be one of the most
underrated guitarists in the world today), why should
the lack of it stop people expressing themselves?

OK, ran away with myself a bit there...

SO, back to the point, finally:

Bands I like, who sound different completely
different, in completely different ways:

New Order
Duran Duran
Midnight Oil

(That'll do for now. Time for my medication)

Rory "Banana chairs out on the concrete" Wilsher


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-217

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