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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #7-61

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 7, Number 61

                 Friday, 30 November 2001


                      Re: Los Lobos
                 skiddly doo bop doo wah
                       guitar guys
                  Re: Oranges or Lemons
                   Regarding Radio XTC
                      All That Jazz
                   I'm in the Limelight
                      re: Survivors
                On the Passing of a Beatle
                   all things must pass


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Sacrificial bonfire must burn.


Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 07:35:38 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Los Lobos
Message-ID: <>

on 11/28/01 2:11 AM, Dan wrote:

> Mr. Olesen asked: "I can' think of another band that has survived all
> these years and flourished as XTC has. Can any of you?"
> Only Los Lobos.  Some may say Sting but he's sorta boring.  Los Lobos
> reached a peak of growth with the album "Kiko", which I have on vinyl, lucky
> me.  They still do great work.

  What's even more amazing is Los Lobos has survived since the late 70's
without losing any members, unlike XTC who's lost three.


Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 07:37:01 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Likes/Dislikes
Message-ID: <>

on 11/28/01 2:11 AM, an unverified informant wrote:

> Then, in about '78, I discovered XtC.  Here was a group that had everything
> I wanted!  They made you want to think and dance at the same time.  They
> could be angry and aggressive one moment, delicate and pastoral the next.
> They made serious music, but unlike King Crimson, did not take themselves
> too seriously.  To me, "Mayor of Simpleton" was and still is a perfect song.
> (You want to introduce someone to XtC?  Play her "Mayor of Simpleton."  If
> that doesn't persuade her, nothing will.)
> Yeah, I like Joe Jackson and Steely Dan and others with strong jazz or
> classical influences.  But I think I'll always like them better than their
> influences.
> My brother plays in a major metropolitan symphony.  Now don't get me started
> on classical...   :)

  Can't argue with likes and dislikes. For example, I don't like rap/hip-hop
as a genre in general, I don't think I have a single album in that genre in
my collection, not even The Beastie Boys(I used to have their very early
Cooky Puss 12 inch, but it got lost in one of my many moves during the 80's
and I've been kicking myself, I could sell for a mint on EBay now), but I
have nothing against using rap rhythms and influences in otherwise melodic
songwriting, including using turntable scratching live and in the studio,
it's just one of the many ways of staying fresh and creative. While I don't
do that as such in my songwriting, if I hear a drum sound I like, for
example, on somebody else's album, I have no problem with snipping a bar or
two and putting it on one of my own songs. I did that recently with the
opening drumbeat in Peter Gabriel's "Intruder." Now I can say Phil Collins
plays on one of my songs. Really.
  Oh, I'm listening to Radio XTC at the moment. Some pretty cool stuff here.
I might set up a station of my own sometime to give my own material an
outlet. I'd start with any material of my own(I've got about fifty of my own
songs in either AIFF or MP3 format or both, with more added fairly regularly
as I convert old cassette demos or record entirely new stuff) but I'd also
be interested in including demos from other people on this list or any other
list I'm on. I'm going to see what's involved in setting one up as soon as I
finish scrolling this digest, if I have time I'll start setting it up
-- Satan: "Saddam, you're dead. I killed you."
   Saddam: "Yeah, well, where was I gonna go- Detroit?"

Chris Coolidge

mp3's of my band available at


Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 00:29:34
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: skiddly doo bop doo wah
Message-ID: <>

>From: "Steve Johnson" <>
>Subject: All That Jazz


>When I was in high school, many of my fellow musician friends were >really
>into the "let's see how many notes we can cram into a measure" >school of
>song-writing.  Chick Corea comes to mind.  I always felt >that this was
>music written and performed for other musicians.  While >I appreciated the
>musicians' proficiency on their instruments, I did >not really like the
>songs.  I bought some of the records but didn't >play them.  While I tried
>to be sophisticated and listen to >the "serious" music that others enjoyed,
>once I got home, I put on >10cc while my Mahavishnu Orchestra record sat in
>the corner collecting >dust.

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I got the same feeling seeing Stanley Clarke
and Alphonse Mouzon. GREAT players, and you have to admire the dexterity,
but in the end they just sounded to me like they were playing scales
*really* fast. For the same reason, I still find some of Coltrane's more
"out there" excursions hard to follow, simply because there's often no
'hook' to hang your ear on.

... yet on the other hand I can listen to Zappa, which is often pretty
tricksy sstuff, but it clicks with me. Maybe there's a difference in
'approach', 'feeling', 'intent', I dunno. Hard to define. He can be just as
jazz-rock as a lot of those other guys, but for some reason it's much more
compelling to me. I think maybe 'cos he NEVER lost sight of the fact that a
lot of his job was Entertainment. PlLus he was never interested in noodling
for its own sake. Everything had a purpose.

I think the problem is that you've been put off by one very specific and
fairly inaccessible recent form of jazz, which is indeed very muso-oriented.
Jazz is MUCH more than that of course. Go back to the 20s, 30s, 40s -- jazz
WAS pop music then.

re: listening to 10CC over Mahavishnu -- so did I. Nothing wrong with that.
I'm primarily a pop person too. I find you just have to be in a certain
space, or frame of mind to get into certain things at certain times. It's
like listening to avant-garde classical music. I found, initially, that the
trick was just to imagine it as some kind of soundtrack to something. Then
once you started visualising stuff you could just go with the flow.
Sometimes it worked (e.g. Aussie composer Peter Sculthorpe, for instance)
but if it didn't spark, I just turned it off.

Also I found that getting into jazz was often reminiscent of Leary's trip
dictum about Set and Setting. If I was with the right people, in the right
atmosphere, it was amazing what I found I liked, stuff I'd never have
thought to listen to before.

By way of reinforcing my earlier advice, Steve, a BIG breakthrough for me
was a radio show here (this was in the 80s) that used to play LOTS of 30s
and 40s swing music, which was of course the pop of its day. Duke, Artie
Shaw, Fletcher Henderson, Goodman etc. Lovely stuff, and mostly very
accessible indeed. Granted, you have to like saxophones, but even then,
there are interesting sideroads, like Goodman's small group recordings with
harpsichord etc and the AMAZING stuff he did with Charlie Christian.

I din't twig at the time, but that stuff -- even the sometimes tedious vocal
numbers which I didnt always like -- was VERY important in priming me for
bebop. To be fair, I 'd have to say that one of the preconditions for
'getting' bop is that you need to know the songs and the song structures
it's based on, the 30s/40s pop standards. The basic trick with bop
(certainly the Parker/Monk variety) was that they either took the chord
structures of old faves and wrote new melody lines for them, or they
improvised on them in new ways. Once I knew some of those standards -- 'All
of Me', 'My Funny Valentine', 'Someone To Watch Over Me', bla bla, which
were pure pop in their own time -- I found it was WAY easier to follow the
bop improvisations. It DOES require a bit of listening, but I found that
swing was a really good way into that for me.

The major breakthrough for me with bop was Thelonious Monk, and I REALLY
REALLY exhort you to go and find "Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington". By
the time I was introduced to Monk I was moderately familiar with Duke's
oeuvre (Take the A Train, Caravan etc) so I was able to make some sense of
when Monk was doing, which was quite simple in some ways but very radical in
others. The other thing -- and this IS personal I admit -- was that I
realised pretty quickly that what appealed to me (but which puts others off
I know) was the wild eccentricity of Monk's phrasing, metre and melodic
sense, the way he seems to "trip over" notes, and those weird 'kitten on the
keys' cascading runs he does -- what Dizzy charmingly likened to a man going
downstairs in the dark and missing a step. (Later on I found out that those
seemingly random arpeggios were in fact often very carefully practised.) The
other thing that 'clicked' for me was that a lot of Monk's originals have
very straight forward blues structures to them, which ppl often miss. Plus
he's funny as hell.

The thing is, you just have to find a way in. Once you find what you like,
keep going. Explore other tangents. You'll be richly rewarded.

Oh yeah and my other real 'Road to Damascus' experience for me with modern
jazz was Abdullah Ibrahim aka Dollar Brand. Go and find the track called
"Mannenberg (is where it's happening)". It's just utterly marvellous. It
swings, it dances, it GRINS. If you're not completely under its spell by the
end, I'll eat my hat.


>Subject: Surviviors
>Mr. Olesen asked: "I can' think of another band that has survived all
>these years and flourished as XTC has. Can any of you?"

I can. The Bee Gees. Let's face it, if we're talking about pop music
survivors, those guys invented the concept. I watched that newish
documentary about them last night. Good stuff. You can't help thinking (A)
what a huge number of totally fantastic songs they did, in SO many styles
(B) what truly magnificent singers they are and (C) why the fuck did it take
the music industry so long to realise this?

I find them fascinating. Think about the mid-70s. Who was left from their
era? Half of them were dead, and as for the rest ... Byrds? Forget it.
Doors. Pffft. The individual Beatles had all but given up. (Wings? 'Venus
and Mars'?? Bwahahahahaha). The Stones were just about the only ones still
doing OK; 'Some Girls' was good, but 'Sticky Fingers' it ain't. The Beach
Boys? Well ... the less said about that era the better. The Who were on
their last legs.

Then out of nowhere the Bee Gees manage to pull the Saturday Night Fever
songs out of a hat. Just one hit would have been impressive enough. But no
-- BLAMMO! instant hypermega world success, AND on a totally unparalleled
scale. Seriously -- who else from the Sixties EVER had such an astounding
'comeback' as that? Bloody nobody, that's who.

This might offend McCartney fans (of whom I'm one), but in terms of
long-term quality output, consistent success over time and just plain
scoring hits, he can't hold a candle to the Gibbs. I really do think he's
traded on his reputation a lot of the time, and much of his output really
just doesnt hold up in the cold light of day. I know it's simplistic, but if
you put something like "Coming Up" against, say "Tragedy" ... well, there's
no contest, is there?

Add up all the HUGE MASSIVE GIGANTIC hits the Bee Gees have written and/or
produced for themselves and/or others. No-one even comes close. Six
consecutive #1 hits in the US in their own right -- a feat still unmatched
by any other act. And even after the disco backlash, hit after hit after hit
for brother Andy, Dionne, Barbra, Kenny & Dolly ...

And they STILL coming back with *great* stuff. "You Win Again" - fantastic.
Be brutally honest -- McCartney would kill for a song half as good as "This
Is Just Where I Came In".

Yeah I reckon it's about bloody time the Gibbs got some kudos. They're just



Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 01:05:28 EST
Subject: guitar guys
Message-ID: <>

any of you guys guitar players who've picked off some of XTC tunes by ear?  I
am interested in figuring out a few chords in some songs that stump me, like
in the chorus of "Summer's Cauldron", among others.  Lemme know, Thanks


Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 01:36:24 -0700
From: "DHF2000" <>
Subject: Re: Oranges or Lemons
Message-ID: <00b901c178b0$ee133d20$>

<<Am I the only one who doesn't really dig Oranges and Lemons as much as
they feel they should?  I mean, it has some brilliant lyrics, but the songs
hardly deliver them with justice (in my twisted opinion).<<

Well, I have trouble connecting with this recording because the sonics are
rather poor.  When sonics are poor in certain ways, the emotional impact of
a recording is diminished.

Now, Elvis on Sun may be primitive sonically, but it isn't poor in the same
way. It is perfectly engaging.

It has been a frustration for me for years that Oranges and Lemons sounds so
uninvolving.  It sounds like dirty pots on the board, but I bet it is a
digital related problem. Wish XTC would go all analog.

Wasp Star also has a touch of digititis, but in a much more subtle way.
Listen to Wasp Star after blasting good analog recordings like Donovan's
Hurdy Gurdy Man or any jazz on Blue Note or whatever, preferably on vinyl,
and it sounds lifeless.

Too much digital home studio gear, not just the recording gear but some of
the instruments as well. Apple Venus was much better, but also suffered a
bit.  Nonesuch was better yet, and English Settlement was MUCH better,
sounding like a solid analog recording.  But XTC hasn't gotten the analog
bug, leaving too much to their various producers.  Andy of all people should
be hip to this by now, but has missed the boat for some reason.  Many
musicians are not careful listeners.



Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 10:31:28 -0000
From: Jason Witcher <>
Subject: O&L
Message-ID: <32D4AD886C11D511955C00508BAD1C100322F9CC@exchback.teletext.dom>

Justin L. Abrotsky wrote:
>P.S.:  Am I the only one who doesn't really dig Oranges and Lemons as much as
>they feel they should?  I mean, it has some brilliant lyrics, but the songs
>hardly deliver them with justice (in my twisted opinion).

	I loved O & L when it came out, played it to death, then when
Nonsuch came out thought that was pretty so-so but recently I played them
both and guess what? O&L, while it had its highlights (GOED, Across this
antheap) wasn't as great as I remembered and Nonsuch was a hidden gem.
That's changing tastes for you...


Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 08:02:41 -0500
From: "Purrsia Kat" <>
Subject: Regarding Radio XTC
Message-ID: <>

It's just me again, heh heh.

Regarding Ian C Stewart's last post:

I'm listening to your broadcast as I type ("You're the wish You are I had -
demo" is currently pleasing my ears, heehee).

>The sound quality is somewhat lacking in my opinion. I can upgrade it >to
>near-CD quality sound but I'm afraid it might lose anyone who doesn't
>have a high-speed connection. any thoughts on this?

Um, yer right. Unless you want to lose some listeners, it will be hard to
upgrade the sound without leaving those of us with lesser modems in the
dust. And the sound quality is about par for the course for these kind of
programs, as has been my experience anyhow. But I'm digging it nonetheless

>... unless and until
>live365 turns into a pay site.

Well, if it comes to that, ya might try going over to
This broadcaster is free to download and it's pretty kool. I have neary 700
mp3s loaded into mine (a healthy dose of XTC included, to be sure). And
there's no ads inserted into my broadcasts.
It also allows you to speak over the air if you so choose. So you can be a
"true" dj if you wanted to I suppose :-p

The downside? For starters, you can only broadcast when you yourself are
online, as the songs are broadcast directly from your hard drive to your
Secondly, I can't figure out how to sustain more than a few listeners
without my station buffering like a demon. This is mostly due to the fact
that I'm a puter novice in general, and all the knobs and setting options on
the broadcaster have me quite baffled (which reminds me of a line from
"Mayor of Simpleton", heehee). I do have a few loyal listeners, as the
gadget allows you to see who's listening at any given moment, so I must  be
doing *something* right, heh heh.

Actually, I was going to go with live365 before I found the destiny site.
This was a few months ago, and when I signed up, they didn't offer much free
space and on top of that, I had to agree to this legal thing about not
broadcasting too many songs by the same artist within the same hour, etc
(basically, you had to agree to follow FCC rules) I'm wondering how you
got around that with yer all-XTC station...

At any rate, you've done a fab job with your station, Ian. A wide variety of
XTC stuff, with some versions of songs I've never heard. You've got my seal
of approval, heehee.



Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 15:02:38 +0100
From: "Hanno, G.M." <>
Message-ID: <>

Hello to everyone,

Have been XTC fan for a long time now, and have collected lots of stuff in
my home country, which is Holland.
But what I can't get hold of is their latest cd single, "The Man Who
Love". I think it never came out in Holland.
Can anyone help me??


Ger Hanno.


Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 10:16:42 -0500
From: "Alec Berlin" <>
Subject: All That Jazz
Message-ID: <>

Did I get you, that, in response to your totally understandable
dislike for the emotional coldness of a lot of modern Jazz (Corea,
e.g.) you were told to listen to Louis Armstrong? A little extreme,
don't you think? I mean, if I said that I thought New York was too
biga city, would you send me to Smalltown, Iowa? What about Chicago,
Boston, D.C,Baltimore, etc?


Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 09:16:57 -0800 (PST)
From: Wes Long <>
Subject: I'm in the Limelight
Message-ID: <>

Anyone know how I can get in touch with the folks
behind the Limelight fanzine?




Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 13:46:33 -0600
Subject: Introduction/Compilation
Message-ID: <>

It was repeated listening to a Mayor of Simpleton mp3 that made me buy Upsy
Daisy Assortment.  It was Chalkhills and Children on Upsy Daisy that made
me buy the whole damned XTC catalog and every related thing I can get my
paws on.  Apple Venus was the first album that hooked me in, followed by
English Settlement.  So I have no idea what would make a great introduction
other than a full variety of songs.  I recently made a 2-CD compilation to
introduce 3 friends to the band.  When making a compilation, I think Ballad
of Peter Pumpkinhead is a great starter just for the "Let's begin..." part
and History of Rock n' Roll is a great ender because of "Thank you and good
night."  Trying to represent all the albums and some rarities, here's what
I put on the discs:

Disc 1 -- The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead, Heaven is Paved with Broken
Glass, Life is Good in the Greenhouse, When You're Near Me I Have
Difficulty, Statue of Liberty, It's Snowing Angels, All of a Sudden,
Another Satellite, Candymine, Hang on to the Night, Rocket From A Bottle,
The Good Things, Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her, Wounded Horse, Have
You Seen Jackie, Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen, Your Dictionary, Wrapped In

Disc 2 -- The Mayor of Simpleton, Scissor Man, Bike Ride to the Moon, Day
In-Day Out, Dear God, Cynical Days, Fly on the Wall, Paper and Iron,
Playground, Prince of Orange, Super-Tuff, The World is Full of Angry Young
Men, I Can't Own Her, I Remember the Sun, Mermaid Smiled, The Man who
Sailed Around His Soul, Thanks for Christmas, History of Rock n' Roll

Sharon "not to be confused with Steve Oleson" Olsen


Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 13:18:53 +1100
From: "Iain Murray" <>
Subject: re: Survivors
Message-ID: <000801c17945$5bef5380$096e36cb@dmps>

> From: "DHF2000" <>
> Mr. Olesen asked: "I can' think of another band that has survived all
> these years and flourished as XTC has. Can any of you?"

Jethro Tull?



Date: 30 Nov 2001 14:01:35 -0000
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: On the Passing of a Beatle
Message-ID: <>


I, like a lot of you, woke up this morning to news that shocked and
saddened me. We lost a great, great musician in George Harrison, and
if any good comes out of this, I hope it's that people will now truly
begin to appreciate the pivotal role he played in The Beatles.

He was the perfect foil to the John/Paul writing machine, and his
vocals complemented theirs perfectly. George often had the hardest
parts to sing, and his amazing range enabled him to sing below John or
above Paul, as the situation (and the songwriters) demanded. His
playing was always appropriate for the song, and his songs were, from
the beginning, different enough from his compatriots' to show that
there was a unique talent there.

He *belonged* in that band. His contributions were often subtle, but
without George, it wouldn't have been The Beatles. I will miss him,
but I'm happy we have his music to remember him by.



Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 10:52:41 -0800
From: "Dan Phipps" <>
Subject: all things must pass
Message-ID: <004601c179d0$31f23580$4c8c04d8@pavilion>

sorry for this being an off-topic subject and all, but ~

rest in peace, george harrison!

hare krsna ~

/danny phipps

 "all of the answers you seek can be found
  in the dreams that you dream..."
                                          (dan fogelberg)


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