Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: TC&I’s Colin Moulding (Airdate: February 7, 2018)

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

TC&I's Colin Moulding - photo credit Laima Bit sharpened

Colin Moulding | Still from TC&I’s “Scatter Me” video (Credit: Director Laima Bite)

Colin Moulding, ex-and-for-all-time-XTCer visited with me on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on February 7 for an hour-long chat about Great Aspirations, the EP he recently released with also-ex-and-for-all-time-XTCer Terry Chambers under the group name TC&I (Colin is the “I”!). During the program, Colin talked about working again with Terry after a long layoff; recording the EP in his garage; and three of his new songs, including the pure pop smash “Scatter Me,” the lovely “Greatness (The Aspiration Song),” and the pop-rocker “Kenny.”

(Listen to “Scatter Me” by clicking on the following link: Soundcloud)

TC&I - Photo credit Geoff Winn 2

(Left to right) TC&I’s Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers

xtc apple bite coverDuring this show, you will also hear about three of my favorite of Colin’s compositions, written and sung during the XTC years: “Frivolous Tonight,” from Apple Venus; “One of the Millions,” from Oranges and Lemons; and “Say It,” from the Apple Bite EP that was released in conjunction with the Apple Box, a compilation of Apple Venus and its followup Wasp Star, along with the demos for both. Colin goes in-depth on all of this and more during one of our top shows of the year, now available for listening and downloading from our podcast page.

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pprListen to my interview with TC&I’s Colin Moulding from the February 7 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)


Purchase TC&I’s Great Aspirations EP by clicking on the following links at Burning Shed: Signed EP, Unsigned EP.

Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

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Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

XTC’s Colin Moulding and Today’s Top Melodic Popsters Star in This Week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation and Pop Tunes Deejay Shows

by Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

pure pop radio radioXTC’s Colin Moulding and a bevy of today’s top popsters star in this week’s Pure Pop Radio specialty shows, all airing on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. It’s a big week for lovers of melodic pop; let’s see what’s on our docket.

TC&I's Colin Moulding - photo credit Laima Bit sharpened

Colin Moulding | Still from TC&I’s “Scatter Me” video (Credit: Director Laima Bite)

This Wednesday night at 9 pm ET, ex-XTCer Colin Moulding drops in to Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation for an hour-long chat about the EP he has released with also-ex-XTCer Terry Chambers, Great Aspirations. You’ll hear three songs from the EP, released under the name TC&I, along with three choice songs that Colin wrote and sang during XTC’s prosperous run. Colin goes in-depth on all of this and more during one of our top shows of the year.

pop tunes disc smallTwo all-new editions of the Pop Tunes Deejay Show roll tomorrow night (Tuesday) and Thursday night at 8 pm ET. On tomorrow night’s show, new songs from TC&I, David Myhr, Tommy Sistak, Dropkick, Super 8, Nick Batterham, Terry Draper, and Poppermost sing sweetly alongside classic tracks from the Dream Academy, the Beach Boys, Mason Williams, NRBQ (from the forthcoming re-release by Omnivore Records of the band’s debut, self-titled album), Ummagma, Paul and Linda McCartney and lots more.

Thursday night’s also-all-new Pop Tunes Deejay Show adds new songs from Farrington, JoDee Purkeypile, Anchor and Bear, the Foreign Films, and Terry Draper, among others, to a mix of top tracks from across the decades from the Young Rascals, Mark Wirtz, and Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie.

It’s another full week of top melodic pop tunes on two all-new editions of the Pop Tunes Deejay Show, and another top interview, this time with ex-XTCer Colin Moulding on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. Don’t miss a minute!

alanhaberspurepopradiographiclarge1-wp header

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

 

XTC’s Colin Moulding Guests Next Wednesday on a Very Special Edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

by Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

TC&I's Colin Moulding - photo credit Laima Bit sharpened

Colin Moulding | Still from TC&I’s “Scatter Me” video (Credit: Director Laima Bite)

Colin Moulding, ex-XTCer and one-half of TC&I with also-ex-XTCer Terry Chambers, guests next Wednesday night, February 7, at 9 pm ET on a very special edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation.

Colin and Terry’s miraculous four-track pop and roll excursion, Great Aspirations, brings the joy that accompanied Colin’s compositions played during XTC’s weighty run into the current musical landscape. These terrific new songs combine for a top-flight pure pop-meets-pop and roll experience from two musical masters.

TC&I - Photo credit Geoff Winn 2

(Left to right) Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers

During this hour-long program, Colin talks about Great Aspirations’ overarching theme–aspiring to certain states of existence in life and beyond–and goes behind the scenes with three of the EP’s stellar songs–the pure poppy “Scatter Me,” featuring Colin’s signature, energetic bass and Terry’s very Ringo Starr drum part, the also-poppy  “Greatness (The Aspiration Song),” and the pop and roller “Kenny.”

Colin also talks about the writing and performances of three of his signature songs recorded with XTC: the lovely “Frivolous Tonight” from Apple Venus, the introspective classic “One of the Millions” from Oranges and Lemons, and the absolutely gorgeous “Say It,” the latter being one of my favorite–if not the favorite–of Colin’s creations, released in conjunction with XTC’s Apple Box.

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It has long been my dream to welcome Colin Moulding as a guest on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. I hope you enjoy listening to our chat. Circle the date and time on your calendar: next Wednesday night, February 7, 9 pm ET on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. (The atmospheric video for “Scatter Me,” featuring Colin and Terry and directed with flourish by Laima Bite, appears below.)

alanhaberspurepopradiographiclarge1-wp header

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

New on Pure Pop Radio 1.16.18: XTC’s Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers Return as TC&I

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

Spins and Reviews | 1.16.18

TC&I - Great Aspirations (cover)TC&I | Great Aspirations (2017)
On this delightful, ruminative and playfully earnest four-song EP, Colin Moulding, clever, melodic bassist, singer and warmhearted songwriter, ex of XTC, continues his earthy exploration of human exploits and foibles, joined by equally ex-XTC drummer and brother-in-arms Terry Chambers.

Moulding’s observant treatises, examining life’s travails amidst lovely melodies powered by his tender singing and playing and Chambers’ meaty percussive bottom end, ring true as they offer topics for discussion and hints of next, explorative and mindful steps on the road to sorting things out. Slotting comfortably into Moulding’s body of work as essayed joyfully during his XTC years, these songs beg sisters, brothers and cousins more on future EPs and albums.

“Scatter Me” plays its pure melodic pop card at the start with percussive piano and Moulding’s familiar, yearning vocal, quickly topped by his pumping bass and Chambers’ assured drums. The narrator’s plea for his ashes being scattered into the open air celebrates life (“Then live on/Bang a gong/Sing a song/For the land of the living”) and posits the possibility of sticking around in some ethereal fashion to underline the notion of some measure of afterlife in and around this mortal plain (“And if one day it cuts up rough/I’m at your window/Be careful where you tread/It might be me swept in”).

TC&I - Photo credit Geoff Winn 2

(left to right) Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers

The playful “Greatness” begins with a heavenly-sounding statement of purpose (“Greatness/It’s where I wanna be”) at the start of a journey toward achievement, ostensibly in the arts. Name checking such high artistic watermarked figures as Hitchcock, Spielberg, Gershwin and McCartney, the narrator expresses hope that his parents will be able to experience his cultural ascent (“When I’m sold a lemon/I’ll just make lemonade/Show my daddy I’m no dope/As he waves me down the road”). Aspiring to greatness, however, is hardly assured, although commitment and confidence are collectively half the battle (“Just you wait”).

The deterioration of the playgrounds and lands of neighborhoods as so-called progress marches on is explored in the upbeat pop-rocker “Kenny.” And in the spoken-word-over-faintly-military-backing closer “Comrades of Pop,” harsh realities are conveyed to musicians aspiring to ascend to the top of the pop charts. “Comrades of pop turn away/In love and war all is fair,” Moulding notes. But the title of this number is hopeful–comrades, after all, being brothers-in-arms in sync with each other, always join together with their eyes on some sort of prize.

Great Aspirations comes at a time of increased visibility and group hugs for XTC’s legacy, what with the documentary celebration This is Pop and Mark Fisher’s lovingly-assembled, exhaustive book The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls currently finding love and affection among fans. Moreover, this EP sits as proof positive that melodic pop music is alive and well in the hands of a couple of pros by the names of Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers.

black box Where to Get It: Burning Shed

alanhaberspurepopradiographiclarge1-wp header

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

 

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Returns Tonight With XTC’s Andy Partridge

purepoplogoThe triumphant return of our signature melodic pop talk show, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, is happening tonight, Tuesday, August 11, at 7 pm ET (4 pm PT). We’re looking back to May 3, 2005 when our wide-ranging interview with XTC’s Andy Partridge first aired. Andy talks with Alan Haber about his career with the band and his mammoth collection of demos and orphaned tracks contained within the Fuzzy Warbles series, plus a whole lot more.

andy partridgeThis two-hour show, which will repeat this Sunday at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT), is one of the most popular we’ve ever aired. Andy has no shortage of great stories or opinions, which makes for a lively discussion that will surely delight XTC and Partridge fans. A few songs from the band and Andy’s solo years will be heard during the program.

For more interviews with both current and heritage pop artists, visit the Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page. More than 60 interviews are on hand to listen to and/or download, with more on the way. Click here to be magically transported.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation airs Tuesday nights at 7 pm ET (4 pm PT) and repeats on Sunday afternoons at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT). New interviews with your favorite artists are coming soon. Stay tuned to this website for news you need to know about future episodes!

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Apples, Apples, Everywhere

(Here is a look at XTC’s wonderful, unfortunately out-of-print, Apple Box. It originally appeared on the buhdge website on November 6, 2005. Note that the two new songs discussed below were also available on a single, promotional CD entitled Apple Bite and as part of the also-no-longer-available Apple Set, which also came with two t-shirts and a badge.)

XTC's Apple Set

XTC’s Apple Set

Just released by XTC’s Idea Records, Apple Box brings together the entirety of the Apple Venus project as originally envisioned by the band: a two-record set, one acoustic, the other electric–Apple Venus and Wasp Star all in one place, with their respective demos discs, Homespun and Homegrown, in tow. Apple Box rights the wrongs, and then some.

Along with all of the music, you get a spiffy, well-designed 64-page book sporting all of the lyrics to the songs and new notes from Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding (who also provide their autographs on the cover). There’s a surprise that bursts out at you when you open the box; I won’t spoil it here, though (it’s very unexpected and very cool). There’s another surprise: a coupon you mail in so the folks at Idea can send you a heretofore unknown goodie. That’s perfect. I love surprises!

But wait…there’s more! You also get a plastic card with a little scratch-off area on the back. Rub a penny over it and, voila, a number is revealed that you use to download two brand-new XTC songs, the first such numbers since Wasp Star. And, boy, are they wonderful. (You can also download a ringtone for your cell phone from any country.)

XTC's Apple Bite

XTC’s Apple Bite

Colin’s wistful, breezy melodic masterpiece, “Say It,” is an instant classic, with a warm, affecting vocal performance from Moulding and an extremely satisfying, natural chord progression. Beautiful harmonies, too, adorn this sweet tale of spreading the gospel of love before it’s too late. The lyrics are among the bassist’s best. For example, this tasty verse: “Say it very soon/When you take your tea and toast/Don’t leave the house without saying/Whose toast you love the most.” Very, very endearing, very clever, and very English.

Andy’s new song, the lively, poppy “Spiral,” a groovy love letter to the 45 rpm disc and all its magical qualities, is fun all the way, adorned with unique chord changes and varied connecting musical tissue, not to mention a generous sense of humor. The ending is a happy, smiling surprise. Instantly memorable and catchy and classic. A real toe-tapper, this is.

Yes, you have to buy Apple Box to get these very cool and indispensable new songs, and, yeah, I know, you already have all the music, but you don’t have this very nifty collectable, and you don’t want your collection to have a hole in it, do you?

Enough said. Plunk down yer cash already.

Alan Haber
November 6, 2005

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

The Warbles: They’re Still Fuzzy

(The following review appeared July 4, 2005 on the buhdge website. It appears here with only a few changes made.)

Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles 5

Andy Partridge’s Fuzzy Warbles 5

With the release in 2002 of the first few volumes of Fuzzy Warbles discs, another cottage industry–that of illicit Andy Partridge demo collecting–was crushed in its tracks. Suddenly, here were great sounding recordings straight from the man himself–everything from demos to songs offered to, and rejected by, other artists; instrumental weirdness; and other groovy musical trinkets. No more trading of ninth generation dubs necessary. Here was the real thing, and lots of it.

Six volumes in, and two more to go to complete the series, Partridge is continuing to come up with collections stuffed to the gills with pearls and diamonds and all manner of heretofore undiscovered treasure. There seems to be no end to the delights being unearthed and passed on, and we are all the better for it.

If you’re a Partridge fan (and, of course, you are), you’ll dig these discs without me having to convince you of their worth. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a few highlights per volume, so here I go:

On Volume 5, “I Defy You Gravity” is the keeper, a hit song if ever there was one. Written for, and rejected by, as Partridge calls her, “disco lite chanteuse” Sophie Ellis-Bextor, this vaguely dance-oriented pop song has one of those XTC-ish melodies that defy classification, other than to say it’s catchy as catchy can. And it includes a lyric line that is typically inventive: “Isaac Newton’s annoyed with me.” Of course he is! A keeper of the highest order.

More Volume 5 highlights: a fine, tambourine-heavy, four-track demo of Skylarking’s “Earn Enough for Us,” the 007-meets-underwater marching chorus instrumental “Aqua Deum” from the film Ocean’s Daughter; and the majestic, previously-unheard “My Land is Burning,” a criticism of government set against a old-folkish melody.

Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles 6

Andy Partridge’s Fuzzy Warbles 6

As good as Volume 5 is, Volume 6 is even better per pound. Try on for size the sprightly song written for, but not used in, the film James and the Giant Peach. “The Stinking Rich Song” finds Partridge in fine child-esque mettle, adopting a variety of voices perfect to communicate the thoughts of those who might be…stinking rich. Very clever and fun to listen to.

Why XTC didn’t record the wonderful, seemingly-effortless pure pop delight “I Can’t Tell What Truth is Anymore” is anyone’s guess. Scribed for the band’s Nonsuch album, it would have fit well there, or on the second Dukes of Stratosphear release. You won’t be able to get this one out of your head. “Tiny Circus of Life” was used as the title for an XTC greatest hits CD in France, and, lo and behold, here it is the title of a lively, previously-unheard song sporting lots of cool changes and a typically offbeat approach.

But wait: There’s more! “In My Hand,” written by illustrator friend Mark Thomas and Martin “Woody” Wood, was recorded by Partridge at the behest of Thomas’ wife for Mark’s birthday. A song that fits snugly in what Partridge calls “masturbators corner,” comprising this and three other demos appearing side by side by side by side here (including Oranges and Lemons’ “Pink Thing”), it’s a well-written, hooky tune with an instantly memorable chorus. You’ll swear Partridge wrote it using a pseudonym. The closing song on Volume 6, “End of the Pier,” yet another orphan from the Nonsuch writing sessions, shines with dance band underpinning and some of Partridge’s best lyrics, and another wish-I’d-written-it melody for the ages.

Once again accompanied by booklets featuring Partridge’s song-by-song commentary and adorned by smartly designed, postage-stamp covers magically created by Andrew Swainson, the Fuzzy Warbles series continues to delight. Partridge says volumes 7 and 8 will put an end to the gravy train. I, for one, hope he decides to let the gravy continue to flow.

Alan Haber
July 4, 2005

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes