Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-2

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 2

                 Thursday, 3 January 2002


          You say fellate, and I say fallate...
                Piper at the Gates of Yawn
     car commercial and ranking stuff as if you care
                        Power Pop
                      Re: Pink Floyd
         You can't get the buttons these days....
             Oh By the Way, Which One's Pink?
                  Phil And Pete (NO XTC)
               Knights in glaring pun~mour
                    Rights and Wrongs
                   Supertramp apologia
                    XTC, The Jazz Band
                       Easy does it


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Racing forward can't look back / On a bike ride to the moon.


Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 13:36:59 -0500
From: William Loring <bloring@TIRERACK.COM>
Subject: You say fellate, and I say fallate...
Message-ID: <>

Kyla wrote:

> Ever happy to smith those words for ya, I'll close here by pointing
> out that it's 'fellate', not 'fallate'.  From 'fellatio',
> donchaknow...

It was that damn Microsoft's fault. Stupid corporate monopoly, they are. And
they don't put any of the good words in the spell checker, either.

Welcome to Chalkhills!


William (I'm buying flowers for everyone, thanks Iggy!) Loring


Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 17:42:16 EST
Subject: Piper at the Gates of Yawn
Message-ID: <>

A long post for which I apologize---
Interesting tread from Clifford--

> How many people agree? I most certainly do not.
> Comparing Syd Barrett Pink Floyd and post Ummagumma Floyd is like comparing
> chalk to cheese. Both styles are terrific and I enjoy listening to Piper

1. Roger or Dave? Why?

Well I disagree with Andy on this one. It reminds me about the debate on
Fleetwood Mac. I prefer Peter Green's FM but, depending on who was the
dominant songwriter, you could argue that they are really different bands
just sharing the same name. Although in PF's case, Wright, Waters & Mason had
more of an impact on the band's overall sound.

Who's to say whether Waters would have emerged out of Syd's shadow and become
a major contributor. I really do feel that the major change in the band was
with the introduction  of Gilmour. His guitar playing helped to redefine the
sound of the band just as much as Wright's experimentalism and Waters' sharp
edged lyrics.

Roger certainly provided the bite to Floyd but I've found his solo career
uninteresting. His songs also tend to all sound the same to me (which tends
to support my theory about Dave as being the musical arranger in the band). I
felt MLOR could have used Waters' lyrical touch but felt that the music
captured the essence of "classic" Floyd. I also have always preferred Dave's
singing to Roger's.

2. Syd or Post Syd? Why?

Both. The two don't compare at all. When Syd left the band took a completely
different direction. I've always felt that Syd (if he had managed to hold on
to his grip on reality) had he stayed with the band would have ended up in
the direction favored by Robyn Hitchcock musically (and since Hitchcock owes
a huge debt to Syd and early Floyd it's certainly possible).

3. What is your opinion of the two post Roger albums (Momentary lapse of
reason and The Division Bell)?

I like them both. Really, though, MLOR is a Dave Gilmour solo album. It's
quite a good solo album but it's clearly not a "band" effort. Again, Gilmour
isn't as strong a lyricist as Waters but he also isn't as morbid. There's an
element of hope in a lot of Gilmour's post-Waters compositions that was
missing towards the end with PF.  I suppose a Watersless PF would be similar
to a Partridgeless Xtc.

I personally was hoping that Colin would take Dave Gilmour up on his offer
and had played with PF on a temporary basis. Would have been interesting.

The Division Bell (I've always thought) demonstrated what PF was a viable
option without Waters. It's truly more of a band effort and has much of the
lyrical bite that was missing from MLOR. It also has a sense of compassion
which was missing from a lot of Waters' later stuff.

4. What is your opinion of the Wall Movie?

Hated it. Horrible movie. Captures the essence of the album but I didn't
really need to see it.  Waters mined what happened to Syd for far too long.
Granted, he came up with some truly powerful material as a result but, again,
I felt the results were morbid and depressing at the end.

Ironic as it may seem I actually like The Final Cut quite a bit. It's a bit
heavy handed but some of Waters' most affecting material appears on the
album. Yes, it's pretty much a Waters' solo album but still some powerful
moments. Gilmour's guitar needed to be used much more though.

5. Can you detect Floyd influences in XTC's music? Give examples.

I actually hear more of the spirit of Syd's music in the band more than
actual influences. Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her and Wake Up both
remind me of something that Syd might have done. In fact, The Big Express has
the strongest Floyd connection.

from Mary--

>And one more thing, risking to get flogged by one and all; as a mother of a
four year old who is crazy about Disney's Tarzan, where Phil Collins does
the music, I have to say that it is a great soundtrack.  (He even sings it
in Italian, did the same for French, Spanish and German). The guy was/is a
great percussionist, and sometimes even his pop songs reach levels of <

I have an 8 yearold and  twin 3 year old boys who love the music to Tarzan so
you won't get an arguement from me. Again, I always felt that Collins first
solo album offered a lot of promise. I felt he slid the role of light
entertainer after that.

from Sughosh Varadarajan--

>"Ooh, that track they used in the pizza jingle is really cool... I must
find out who it's by, and get the CD." But it offers people like you and
me, the XTC fans, the Nick Drake fans, that much more chance of being able
to popularise the music among those we know.<

Very good point. The one advantage ot all this is that an artist is
rediscovered by a new generation. That rediscover is what keeps the artist's
music alive. The question, I suppose, is how the music is used vs. if it is
used at all.  The second question is whether or not the artist (or their
estate) was consulted. I don't see that much difference between Yoko Ono's
John Lennon commerical ventures and a television commerical.

On the other hand, I did really resent having to sit through a horrible
commerical on a finanical company that used The Beatles'  Help!. The
performance was pretty poor as well (don't know who they hired to do it).

Very sad news about Stuart Adamson. I have very fond memories of Big County.
Sounds like his drinking problem and suicide may have been related to bipolar
depression based on what I've read. Adamson was a very talented songwriter.
He collaborated on a couple of songs with Ray Davies on the band's last
album. He was the heart and soul of that band.

from Richard --

All this hooey about artistic purity gets annoying.  (suggested reading,

"Mansion On The Hill" by Fred Goodman - it's all about Dylan, Grossman,
Springsteen, Geffen and the improbable blending of bohemia and business)

Great book and it does put it all into perspective.

Amanda commented--

And on one final, completely un-music related note, is anyone on the list a
fan of the sci-fi show Babylon 5? Just curious. I just recently discovered
it, having met two of its most talented cast members, Jason Carter & Robin
Atkin Downes at a convention in September.

A well written show that didn't get the press it deserved. It could have used
something else....perhaps Science Friction as it's theme music?

>>In 2000, on the italian television, "Frivolous tonight" has been used
"to sell" a car (la "Lupo" from Wolkswagen I think).<<

I certainly hope he made some money from it as well.  It's his tune but,
again, there are some songs that are just too sacred to do that with (any
suggestions for songs you never, ever want to hear in a television
commerical?). Again, it's not a huge diff to me. You could compare it to an
inexpensive music video for the band.

I still think it's a lazy way to sell a product but, hey, if they're willing
to pay a musican well, more power to them!



Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 15:20:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: car commercial and ranking stuff as if you care
Message-ID: <>

I mentioned this on the idea records XTC forum about
the italian VW car commercial with Frivolous Tonight
in it  and didn't get any feedback.  Do you think it's
significant that it's a Colin song selling a car,
considering Andy's outspoken views on cars (roads
girdle the globe, River of Orchids)


  Okay, albums I listened to this year
  and would recommend with no hesitation:
Kristin Hersh, Sunny Border Blue (Best of 2001)
TMBG, Mink Car
  Albums I bought and liked but can find
  some tiny bad moments in:
Tool, Lautalus
Bjork, Vespertine
Tori Amos, Strange Little Girls (hideous Hapiness is a
warm gun)
Erykah Badu: Mama's Gun
Afro Celt Sound System V. 3:Further In Time
Kate Rusby: Little Lights

I also got and loved older stuff from Apples in
Stereo, Rage agasinst the Machine, Wyclef Jean,
OutKast, Portishead, Soul Coughing.

  my current XTC rankings( the middle changes
constantly, I'll probably change my mind by the time I
see it posted

1. Skylarking
2. A.V. 1
3. Nonsuch
4. Chips From the Chocolate Fireball
5. Black Sea
6. English Settlement
7. Oranges and Lemons
8. Wasp Star
9. Big Express
10. Mummer
11. Drums and Wires
12. White Music
13. Go2

And finally, my christams mix CD for the uninitated

1. This is Pop (Transitor Blast 4)
2. Statue of Liberty
3. Making Plans for Nigel
4. Respectable Street
5. Senses Working Overtime
6. No Thugs in our House (Transistor Blast 2)
7. Love on a Farmboys Wages
8. Wake Up
9. Dear God
10. You're My Drug
11. Mayor of Simpleton
12. Collidescope
13. Earn For Us
14. 1000 Umbrellas
15. The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
16. Wounded Horse
17. Your Dictionary
18. Then She Appeared
19. Easter Theatre

The DUKES say it's time... it's time to visit the planet smile... it's
time the love bomb was dropped... it's time to kiss the sun... -The
Dukes of Stratosphear


Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 19:17:32 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Power Pop
Message-ID: <>

on 12/31/01 9:34 PM, a power pop connoisseur wrote:

> <<As to Supertramp....well they were basically a power pop band that made it
> very big>>
> Thanks for setting us straight on that one.
> Silly me, I thought that the ingredients of power pop included crunchy
> and/or chiming guitars and tight, concise arrangements balanced with catchy
> melodies and sweet harmony.
> Imagine my surprise to discover that the true recipe requires chirpy
> electric pianos, precious, reedy vocals and the least-swinging rhythm
> section of the rock era.

  Couldn't help noticing, in the Behind The Music on Genesis on VH1(they
were doing a Behind The Music marathon, every single one they'd ever
produced, ending yesterday), they referred to the later 80's/early 90's
Genesis as "power pop." Depends on how broad your definition of power pop
is, I suppose; if Genesis is power pop, then it's not too much of a stretch
to call Supertramp power pop as well.


Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 21:18:15 -0600
From: "vee tube" <>
Message-ID: <> sayeth,

"My music does pretty well- this year I got a #1 bestseller on Amazon's
Indie Alternative Rock chart with my CD "Pat *rtman", and the previous year
my all-MP3 album got to #1 on MP3's rock chart.


Certainly, Moby's the biggest success out of commercials. Sting's   done a
few, too. The point is, I don't think you need to be soft or irrelevant to
be in commercials in this century. I think there's a difference between
selling and selling -out."


"we think your point is *quite* obvious, thank you very much!"

Also sayeth; FK! 2001! 2002! Is HERE!


P.S. Sell!Sell!Sell!!


Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 13:33:24 +0900
From: "jazzbo" <>
Subject: DM
Message-ID: <007901c1940f$c88d5390$06247ad3@FM2B25C593258D>

Lotsa mention about Nick Drake recently ... Might interest you to know that
Dave Mattacks ( Nonsuch ) played drums on Drake's " Bryter Layter " ...

Sushiman John


Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 04:37:25 +0000
From: "Roger Blass" <>
Subject: Re: Pink Floyd
Message-ID: <>

>Andy Partridge once said that after the departure of Syd Barrett, Pink
>Floyd stopped making good music.
>How many people agree? I most certainly do not.

I agree with Mr. Partridge.  I picked up a few of the post-Barrett albums in
$1 bins, and only in my most generous moments can I consider them
worthwhile.  I don't dislike them in the manner I dislike '70s corporate
rock (eg, Styx, Journey, Toto) - I will grant that they are "artists" - but
the post-Barrett band rarely did anything for me.  They did have excellent
album covers throughout their career.

>1. Roger or Dave? Why?

Dave.  He's a dreamboat!

>2. Syd or Post Syd? Why?

Syd.  Chances that a concise, quirky pop song would result were greatly

>3. What is your opinion of the two post Roger albums (Momentary lapse of
>reason and The Division Bell)?

See my feelings on Journey, Styx, et al.  Hope they made the taxman happy.

>4. What is your opinion of the Wall Movie?

Surprisingly, at the height of my teenage hatred of Pink Floyd, I nearly
loved that movie.  I have seen it since, and it's still good.

>5. Can you detect Floyd influences in XTC's music? Give examples.

Not of the post-Barrett era.  Dukes of Stratosphear obviously made some nods
toward Syd.

Roger Blass


Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 00:08:20 -0500
From: Virginia Rosenberg <>
Subject: POPularity
Message-ID: <>

Just a few more comments on pop music & commerce.  Some art can do with a
limited audience- some art is even created solely to provide pleasure or
amusement for the artist. By its very definition, however, pop music is
created with the goal of gaining popularity. The bigger the audience, the
more people who go about whistling the tune, the more of us going crazy
because we've got catchy tunes lodging in our crania, the more successful,
ipso facto, pop music is. If people hear pop songs via commercials which
they had not heard before, then those commercials have given those songs a
wider audience: the very thing pop music seeks as its goal. The popularity
of music often gets confused with its commercial potential for obvious
reasons, but even the most jaded hacks wishing to make big bucks in the
music industry need to first create, or acquire at least a percentage of,
songs which become popular.

And when we find songs that we love, we try to get our friends (&
acquaintances & total strangers- anyone, really) to listen to them, we get
evangelical about sharing our tastes, because pop music desires an audience-
the bigger the better, the more the merrier. Why else do we ask fellow
Chalkillions for suggestions about which  songs we should  include on mix
tapes to get our friends hooked on XTC? Or recommend the music of other
artists we like?

As for the idea that commercials are behavioral conditioning, I s'pose there
are some folks out there who respond like Skinner's rats & Pavolov's dogs to
the power of suggestion (they must go broke pretty quickly, though).
Personally, I believe that free will & freedom of choice are not just pretty
phrases- if we take the trouble to learn to think for ourselves, then we
really don't need to worry that we'll be helpless to resist the lure of that
XTC ad for Lupo's or whatever. And in a way, I think the very prevalence of
advertising tends to weaken its effect- we may enjoy a commercial more if
it's clever or has good background music, but we've become savvy or cynical
enough- through overexposure to all these demands on our attention- that we
don't feel compelled to put down our remotes to go buy color copiers just
because John Cleese tells us they're fantastic.

Now I have to ask- because I'm curious & don't watch TV much, but love Nick
Drake- which song- I'm supposing it was just one song-  actually got used
for the commercial?

Curiouser & curiouser,


Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 21:49:36 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: You can't get the buttons these days....
Message-ID: <>

Cliff did Ponder...

Here's a few questions for you all:

1. Roger or Dave? Why?

Dave, cause Rog is just such a WANKER! I mean how can anyone take
themselves that seriously?

2. Syd or Post Syd? Why?

Post actually, Syd stuff is great but I mean come on..Dark Side,
Meddle, The Wall, Animals.... Hell have you seen the Video "Floyd Live
in Pompei"? MIND BLOWING! And I don't even use those kinds of chemicals
anymore! Echoes is still one of my alltime fave tracks to veg out to.
And Dark side well we all know what Dark side is used for.

3. What is your opinion of the two post Roger albums (Momentary lapse
reason and The Division Bell)?

Not as good but better than what most bands can produce, for a real
thrill check out Radio K.A.O.S. by RW, should have been a movie made
about this one. Amazing talent that WANKER has.

4. What is your opinion of the Wall Movie?

It freaks me out when he shaves his eyelids.

5. Can you detect Floyd influences in XTC's music? Give examples.

You mean besides the Dukes? Try Oranges and Lemons and Skylarking.

And since I am here I will chip in my euro on another subject.

I like Phil Collins, I like post PG Genesis better than Genesis with
PG. Frankly I like PG better outside of Genesis too, but back to Phil.
I think he is an accomplished musician who has worked his ASS off to
get where he is today. His lyrics may be a bit inane but hell at least
they are catchy and he is a freaking drummer for gods sake he never
claimed to be Marvin Hamlisch. I find his comments to be funny, I am
damn grateful that he went and dragged Eric Clapton out of the needle
and reminded him how much fun playing music is. I laughed during the
movie Buster. Actually his acting reminds me of Bob Hoskins. Again he
ain't Alec Guiness but he never claimed to be he just likes goofing
around in front of the camera a bit. What the hell, why not! I saw
Genesis on the Invisible Touch tour and to say they blew the roof off
the place is a vast understatement. Every one of these guys knows their
instruments inside and out and they pulled no punchs, I also got the
feeling that they didn't really give two spits about the audience, they
were playing cause they loved it. Either that or the girls up front
were flashing them....I was a ways back on the main floor and it was
tough to see. So basically what I am saying is "Sure Sussudio is a crap
song, so what?" Lighten up! And take this shit outside, cause this is
an XTC list and whether any of us like or dislike PC\Genesis doesn't
matter one twit.

XTC is a great band.
The Dukes Rock!
The Colonel likes to go fishing!
Mr. Twangy is working a session somewhere.
Terry is\was a real beater!
Steve Warren had the job I really want.
Ian Reid is THE BASTARD!
RP-A is gonna finish that thing if it kills him!
Mitch are you working on a new release?
How about you Becki? Is it done yet?
Gott, seriously go read the words to "This is Pop".
Have the metalgods finally accepted Dom as a sacrifice?
Holy Cow Amanda posted again! We miss you, come back!
Dunks is wordy!
Where the hell is Harrison? I need satirical, cynical humour dammit!
Congrats on the New Job TB! Sorry I didn't send word earlier.
Strijbos, just post every once in a while so we know you are alive OK?
DB, how do you get so much free time? I'm working on your disc really!
Culnane got a home PC, HOORAY!
Dom how is the wind downunder these days ?
Hello Madam Muller!
How is Vancouver Ed? Snow yet?

I can't posible say it too many times John thanks for creating this
place, and thanks for introducing me to this crazy family. I raise my
glass to you and all that you have accomplished here.

I say "These things matter, Phil really doesn't".

But that's just the way I see it, I could be wrong.

Have a Happy New Year everyone.

PS: Simon Curtiss please get in touch with me if you see this, I am
worried about you. Post here if you can't get a message through to me.


Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 01:04:58 -0600
From: "eriC draveS" <>
Subject: Oh By the Way, Which One's Pink?
Message-ID: <001201c19424$f5611b80$0da02a3f@XLZOOM>


Clifford asks, in regard to Fink Ployd:

> 1. Roger or Dave? Why?

Roger was willing to stick to his principles when he took offence at PF for
taking forever to do new albums, concerts, etc, but is still a willing
traitor to the band and we like him less for it. Also bear in mind that some
of his stuff seems unlistenable without the rest of PF involved. After "The
Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking", he did "Radio Kaos", "Amused to Death", etc.
and each new album is worse.

Of course, you can say the same thing with Dave. The problem with Dave is
that when he's the only main singer in PF, all the songs sound more the
same. It's like if Andy sung all the XTC songs: but what about the
complementing vocals of Colin?

I admire Dave as a guitarist now, but beyond that Pink Floyd have no future.
But if I had to pick my favorite I'd choose Dave. This despite the great
stuff Roger did in the past, especially his contributions to Ummagumma.

> 2. Syd or Post Syd? Why?

In my cassette days, I never heard Syd because I didn't know about the first
two albums except on "A Nice Pair". When I finally got it, I thought, "What
the F*** are all these childish songs? I'd be embarrassed to listen to them
in public!"

Then I learned that the psychedelia of England was somewhat different and
involved songs about gnomes, scarecrows, etc. and that PF had it right.

And Syd had a mad genius that I really, really like now. The song called
"Have You Got it Yet?" which he kept changing the tune of so nobody would
ever learn it. The song "Interstellar Overdrive" was a fantastic exercise in
freeform guitar work. The time he crushed Mandrax tablets in a jar of hair
cream and dumped the gooey mess over his head, BEFORE going out to perform.
Performing by not singing or even strumming the guitar. Strumming a guitar
with loose strings. I could go on...

But, mad genius aside, you can't deny the fantastic power that is "Careful
With that Axe, Eugene", "Brain Damage/Eclipse", "Dogs", "Echoes", even
"Comfortably Numb" which made #2 of the greatest songs of all time on a
local radio station a couple years ago.

Therefore,  I have to go with Post-Syd. Despite the wonderful things Syd
did, he's only one person, and great albums like Dark Side of the Moon put
PF on the map.

> 3. What is your opinion of the two post Roger albums (Momentary Lapse of
Reason and The Division Bell)?

Many of the songs are terrible by PF standards, but I still love many of
them. Particularly "Dogs of War", "Keep Talking", "What do You Want from Me"
and "Learning to Fly".

> 4. What is your opinion of the Wall Movie?

I loved it. A phantasmagoria of animation and live action. My parents, who
hate most rock'n'roll, loved the movie. I only got upset when I found out
there were some songs not in the movie, but it's like one big long music
video, and very well done. Admittedly the vision was done a little
differently by the director and by Gerald Scarfe the animator than the way
Roger wanted, but Roger did approve the final cut of it, so to speak.

> 5. Can you detect Floyd influences in XTC's music? Give examples.

The clocks ticking in "25 O'Clock" reminiscent of PF's "Time"
"Bike Ride to the Moon" similar to PF's "Bike"
The opening to "My Love Explodes" reminiscent of PF soundtrack work
"You're a Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)" VERY similar to
"Corporal Clegg"

Hmmm... that'd just the Dukes, not XTC. Still, there is one important PF
influence in XTC, and that is, as time goes on there are fewer members of
the group. Roger Waters can be seen as a precursor of Dave Gregory,
especially as I haven't bought any DG solo albums...
Hmmm... maybe I should try to find a PF Digest as well, but I really don't
like them the way I used to. If you look at the later PF albums they lose
quality, but XTC ones aren't that bad yet (Wasp Star seems to be just
slightly lower until the last song).

Anyway, time to go...

eriC draveS

"That is the most obscene... abomination of a song..."


Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 11:19:12 -0000
From: Edward Collier <>
Subject: Phil And Pete (NO XTC)
Message-ID: <4359BE5CC01DD311886500A0C9D4406922C472@SERVER1>

Spake Pat:

>... Phil started singing by doubling Peter's vocal parts in concert ...

>And I always thought their voices had some striking similarities...

So did I.  It was the vertiginous, rollercoaster drop in lyric quality (and,
frankly, choon quality) that made post-PG Genesis such a pale and dull
imitation; from the sublime (or at least pretty interesting) to the
... not sublime at all, actually.



Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 15:37:14 -0000
From: "Pledge" <>
Subject: Knights in glaring pun~mour
Message-ID: <001401c1946c$8bd8bae0$96aa7ad5@oemcomputer>

>I can't express much more than that (being a long-time
>Hari collector), except a couple things. For once I
>feel quite alone in the world.
>I miss him, too... as many others do. Although I hear
>rumours that he may be knighted posthumously in June.
>Perhaps it is "just a rumour", but it would be nice,
>although a bit too late, IMO.

Sorry can't resist this: Surely now is about the right time to posthumously
knight George Harrison. Any earlier and he'd hasve still been alive.



Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 10:00:56 -0600
From: "Richard" <>
Subject: Rights and Wrongs
Message-ID: <01f001c1946f$d465b300$>

re: Steve Johnson's thoughtful and timely response (at least much more
timely than mine).

Steve stated: "No artist is forced to sign away rights to songs."

While this might be "technically" true, there is a hell of a lot of
bargaining that goes on and things are surrendurred for other gains.  Case
in point, a band called XTC.  They surrendurred their back catalog to Virgin
(and a few compilation sets) to be released from their contract.

There are also plenty of stories from the "old days" (before musicians had
to think of this thing as a business) wherein artists like, say XTC, signed
away various rights or settled for meager percentages because they were
simply thrilled to be able to record their music in a studio and put out a
record.  Granted they weren't "forced" to sign away rights but many
trade-offs were made and many agreements were signed with naivete.

Consider that there are many musicians who have a fair amount of disdain for
some or all of their back-catalog.  I honestly don't think that Andy cares
enough about anything before Black Sea to fight for it.

Now the record company innevitably ends up being branded the "bad guy" but
the record company KNEW they were in a business and in business you do the
best you can.  Yes, you could be more diplomatic and nurturing as a company
but it has never been listed as a requirement.  Artists like Elvis Costello
KNEW he was in a business right from the start and played the game
accordingly.  That is not to say that he hasn't had any losses or made any
mistakes, but he knew it was business.  For some it took much longer to
learn - and some NEVER did.


p.s. To Virginia (re: ...the man who grew the money tree...) - You wacky
American, you!  Not all money is green!


Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 11:28:21 -0600
From: "Steve Oleson" <>
Subject: Supertramp apologia
Message-ID: <>

While I almost always agree with Todd Bernhardt, I must take issue
with at least part of his comments re Supertramp: "...chirpy electric
pianos, precious, reedy vocals and the least-swinging rhythm section
of the rock era"

OK, I am not a big fan of Supertramp, but they are at times
brilliant. Their entire career can be forgiven for the greatness of
"Fool's Overture". Maybe I'm just a sucker for Churchill's uttering:
"We shall never surrender, no matter the cost."

Granted, the precious reedy  vocals do get on my nerves sometimes, but
I think many bass players will agree that Supertramp's Dougie Thompson
was the foundation that made the band have the balls that they did. He
does swing!

It is interesting how many people can be completely turned off by the
quality of a band's lead vocalist's voice, so much so that they "hate
the band" on that judgement alone. People have told me that they dont
like XTC for that reason!

Other bands rejected because of vocalist's voice:
Todd Rundgren
Steely Dan
Neil Young
Elvis Costello
Gentle Giant
etc, etc, etc...

Speaking of "precious reedy vocals" I'm imagine that even Mr Bernhardt
can overlook Kerry Minnear's vocals on Gentle Giant recordings, and
concentrate on their extravagent musicianship and compositional

Steve "Dejected in Texas" Oleson


Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 10:46:19 -0800
From: Rando <>
Subject: Answers
Message-ID: <>

Okay, being a longtime Floyd fan, I couldn't resist giving my two cents.

1. Roger or Dave? Why?

Roger's music and especially lyrics are much better to my ears.  Dave's
music is good, but his lyrics are laughable.  They were at their best
with Roger's lyrics and basic melodic ideas combined with Dave's musical
sensibilities and playing ability.  Waters' "In the Flesh" tour kicked
the hell out of anything the Gilmour-Mason-Wright "Floyd" did in the
80's and 90's.

2. Syd or Post Syd? Why?

You can't compare them.  I consider them two different bands -- "The
Pink Floyd" (Syd's) and "Pink Floyd" (post-Syd).

3. What is your opinion of the two post Roger albums (Momentary lapse of
reason and The Division Bell)?

MLOR is annoyingly dull.  Geez, count how many session men are in the
credits.  TDB is better because of it's more unified "band" sound, but
rambles too long and is in sore need of some good lyrics.  "Take It
Back" is the worst Floyd song EVER, followed quickly by "Learning to
Fly."  As a side note, the 3-piece Floyd's live rendition of Syd's
"Astronomy Domine" on the 1994 tour was incredibly well done.  Since
Dave helped to teach Syd to play guitar, he can mimic his style like no
one else.

4. What is your opinion of the Wall Movie?

Gerald Scarfe's animation is striking.  I wish they would have stuck to
the original plan of making it a live concert film with extra animation
and goodies.  I agree with Water's sentiment that it's "better to watch
it in 15 minutes chunks."  I also find it hilarious that he's thinking
of turning it into a Broadway show "with more humor in it."  Huh?!

5. Can you detect Floyd influences in XTC's music? Give examples.

The most obvious would be "Bike Ride to the Moon" and "Fruit Nut," both
of which remind me of Syd's music.  Actually, "Mole from the Ministry"
reminds me of Syd's "Scream Thy Last Scream" a bit because of the little
"chipmunk" voice that's present in both.  For some reason, I hear MUCH
more musical Floyd influence in Radiohead's later music, but that's
another topic altogether.



Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 12:51:11 -0600 (CST)
From: Brown <>
Subject: XTC, The Jazz Band
Message-ID: <>

Mr. Vreeland's XTC collection as a jazz quartet, err, trio, I mean duo is
right on the money *EXCEPT* for one glaring omission-

<<<With recent discussions about tailoring a CD's worth of selected XtC
songs to a particular prospective listener, it occurred to me that
you could build and entire CD's worth of material on which xTC were
almost entirely disguised as a Jazz band. Consider an album comprised
of the following:

Mantis on Parole
Me and the Wind
I Bought Myself a Liarbird
You're the Wish You Are I Had
I Remember the Sun
Mermaid Smiled
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
Cynical Days
River of Orchids
Knights in Shining Karma
The Last Balloon>>>

Eegads, lad! Have ya been at the floor wax again?
I don't see The World Is Full Of Angry Young Men listed here!!

One of Colin's best.. TWIFOAYM has that Steely Danish, minty fresh funk, but
with half the calories as the next leading jazzy pop piece!

And speaking of the use of pop music in commercial advertising:

Dunks, you granola-munching mucker, you.. Love to hear you ga'wan..

The bottom line is that if it gets the artist some exposure then rave on, I
say... right? ...RIGHT??
Though I find the use of Bolan's Bang A Gong to sell a Ragu product very
hard to swallow. . .

Come on, peeps! T. Rex and microwaveable pasta, together at last?!?  When
the ad drones start dipping into my personal Cool Tunes Bin to find their
music they may be taking it a bit too far. . .

OK, OK.. I'm *leaving*.

Later, love monkeys-

Debora Brown

RPA, Harvard Blankenship De La Croix III sends his regards!


Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 16:14:58 -0700
Subject: Prambling
Message-ID: <>

Pat Ortman says: "I think there's a difference between selling and selling

Agreed. While the musicians we hear on the radio or whose music we buy at
the record store are at least participating in commerce, the degree to
which they've sold out their "artistic integrity" is unknown. But I think
it's hard for a listener to tell what the artists intent was just from
listening to their music. Seems like people's preconceived notions get in
the way of an objective take on where an artist is coming from. Isn't it
obvious to all of us that Britney (et. al.), or Phil Collins or Madonna
have sold out? But I really have no idea. I don't know enough about them,
or their creative process, to know, and judging them seems an act of little
worth. Whoever it was that said "If I like it, I'll listen to it, and if I
don't, I won't" had it right.

And on a related note, one of my favorite bits of music is the version of
"Supper's Ready" on the Genesis "Seconds Out" record, where Phil sings,

A post or two back, Chris Vreeland talked about XTC as a "jazz band." A lot
of great jazz tunes, especially "back in the day" were based on "pop"
standards that were taken to new heights by the jazz musicians who loved
them. I think particularly of Coltrane's take on "My Favorite Things,"
which was decidedly not a jazz tune until JC made it into one. In that
spirit, I think there are many XTC tunes that would benefit from such
treatment. Some, as Chris mentioned, could already, in their original form,
be considered jazz-Y, if not really outright jazz. But here's my list of
songs that I'd love to hear some great jazz musicians take apart and
restructure to their own ends:

I Remember the Sun
Chalkhills and Children
Yacht Dance
No Language In Our Lungs (Can you imagine what a bunch of horns could do
with that one?)
Seagulls Screaming
World Wrapped in Grey
Garden of Earthly Delights

And there's many more. The chord structures and melodies of Andy and
Colin's songs have the kind of complexity and interest  that would reward a
jazz musician, I think.

By the way, congratulations to the aforementioned Pat Ortman for having the
#1 bestseller on's indie chart. Nice to hear that a Chalker is
doing so well. Wish I could listen to your stuff, but my company's firewall
forbids any streaming audio.........


"Melt the Guns"


Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 20:04:46 -0500
From: "Scott Barnard" <>
Subject: Easy does it
Message-ID: <>

>Todd responded to a comment that I made describing Breakfast In America as
>power pop-->

It wasn't Todd, it was me, though I'm beginning to regret it.

>By that definition half
>of the stuff the Raspberries and Badfinger did wasn't power pop.  I guess
>because Badfinger did ballads like Day After Day they aren't a power pop
>band.  Same with the Raspberries and the tune Overnight Sensation.>

Perhaps, but "Baby Blue" and "Go All the Way" *are* power pop songs, by any
reasonable definition (including my intentionally narrow one). I think you'd
be hard pressed to convince anyone (well, me at least) that anything on
Breakfast in America truly qualifies as power pop. Your point seems to be
that Supertramp is power pop because YOU SAY IT IS, but you don't say WHY.
Well, fine. By that reasoning, if I wanted to say that GWAR is a klezmer
band then I'd be right too, though I'd be making a right twit of myself in
the process.

I hear the pop, Wayne, don't get me wrong. I just don't hear the power.

>Oh and the last time I checked chirpy electric pianos and reedy vocals
>prevent The Beatles from being described as a "rock band".<

The Beatles' electric piano playing was often clumsy, but never chirpy. I
don't know what your definition of reedy is (do tell!) but IMHO it's not an
adjective that readily applies to the Fabs' vocals.

 >Off to the party
>Happy New Year All!>

Cheers! All the best in the new year and remember that sometimes a smart-ass
comment is just that, and nothing more.


Next time, XTC content, I promise.


End of Chalkhills Digest #8-2

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