Jim Guittard’s Place

Record Companies Are Irrelevant

Posted in Music, Society by guittard on June 25, 2008

Good music cannot be heard if people don’t rise up in defense of good artists.

The money making machine has been in control of what music gets out. But today, artists and fans are fed up.  The elite record labels are overthrown.  They have no respect anymore.  They are only after making the almighty buck.  They care nothing about music.

We, the artists, are sticking it to them.  They have no authority over the artist anymore.  They will not control the release of good music anymore.  They rarely put out good music.  The record company is irrelevant and outdated.

The revolution is upon us.  The fearful status quo thinking of the record company suits is over.  We, the artists, have taken charge.

There are many alternatives to getting the music out there. There is a free culture movement going on. Artists are starting to give their music away. I have have done this. The bottom line is to have my music heard. Look me up at Jamendo

How ’bout that Capital, Geffen, Warner Brothers, A&M, Columbia, etc.?

Jim Guittard

Me

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I Am Releasing 2 Albums On Jamendo For Free

Posted in Music by guittard on May 19, 2008

2008 – “Busted In Bulgaria”

2002 – “California Daze”

“Busted In Bulgaria” is a collection of songs that document living in a strange land. During a two year period, the tracks were all recorded in a raw stripped down way on a laptop using Adobe Audition 2.0. The songs range from psychedelic, shoegaze, folk-rock to experimental. The album is full of sound effects to add a creative vibe. Some songs even have the actual sound from students in the Bulgarian school where I have taught English in Pernik. I also sing a handful of songs in the Bulgarian language.

“California Daze” was recorded in Hollywood, California around 2002 by me on my 4-track recorder and later mixed with Adobe Audition 2.0. The songs pay tribute to the birth of the Neo-Psychedelic scene that emerged beginning in 2000 in Silverlake, California with groups such as the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Quarter After, smallstone, the Warlocks, the Tyde, and the Belle Isle.

I play the shaker, drum machine, and sing all lead and background vocals with the help of friend Vladimir Maskov for bass. Brian McKay engineered the recording of the Beach the acoustic version. I also play all lead and rhythm guitars. The song Beach is co-written by myself and Dominic Campanella of the Quarter After.

The “Swing Tune” and “Jazz Tune” are instrumentals I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute from 1999 to 2000. Here I play the lead guitar with session bassist and drummer. On the rhythm guitar is a guy from Brazil named Reginaldo. He was a student with Jim at the school. You can hear the teacher, “Mr. Lupo Groinig” giving a critique after the instrumentals end.

2008 – Busted in Bulgaria

2008 - Busted in Bulgaria

2002 – California Daze

2002 - California Daze

Please download both albums for free:

Jim at Jamendo

Enjoy!

The BJM Dallas Show

Posted in Good Music, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on May 10, 2008

Journal entry from August 13, 2005

I caught the BJM show here in Dallas on Saturday night. It was different but really glad Anton chose to play. The preceding shows in Palm Beach Florida and Orlando were cancelled. The Quarter After, the opener, was good as usual. I had seen them in L.A.

Before the show, when I spoke to Rob, he said Anton’s voice was not up to par so they were kinda nervous about the show. I was going to say hello to Anton but decided I didn’t want to bother him with talk cause I figured he would be in his zone about the show. Anton was sitting at the sound board before the show. I got a good picture of him at the board with his thumbs up. Glad it wasn’t the middle finger.

Anton – Before Dallas Show

Anton - Dallas, Texas - Trees

After the Quarter After played, there was Innaway led by Reid Black. They were a Pink Floydish band from Philadelphia. It was cool and mellow. After Innaway, the crowd was getting anxious. The whole place was packed. I was rather pleased for Anton. I couldn’t even walk around. It was shoulder to shoulder. I had seen BJM at the same place 2 years prior and it was a pretty good crowd but not like shoulder to shoulder.

As I stood in the audience, the BJM brought out all their gear and set up but I wondered where’s Anton? The band patiently waited on stage smoking cigarettes and tuning and retuning etc. I looked around and Anton was on the board again DJ’ing music, kinda trippy hip-hop beat type stuff. It sounded really cool. Anton had his head phones on creating a vibe. I wish I knew what he was playing. That went on for 30 minutes. The band was ready to go and Anton was jamming out with his head phones still on at the sound board. I thought it was great. After probably 6 or so songs, the lights went low and Anton emerged onto stage.

He got on the mic pretty quick, “Anton style.” He was real nice though and the audience I thought was pretty good. They didn’t heckle him too much. Anton laid down the law from the start.

Anton Laying Down the Law

Anton - Dallas, Texas - Trees

He said, “Texas had been real good to him and the band.” He didn’t want to cancel the show. He said that he couldn’t really sing that night. He said something like, “Look, I’m your guest; treat your guests right. If ya want to kill someone, go to Iraq. You be patient!” That was classic talk.

He explained that he would show us how they make up songs. He had his drummer start a hip hop beat and they all joined in. At one point he told his bassist to try not to lead for once or something like that. They jammed out this instrumental for probably 20 minutes.

I saw a couple of people walk out but I’m sure they had never seen the BJM before. Anton ends the instrumental song and says something like, “Well who in the audience can sing?”

Some guy with a cowboy hat on and sunglasses came up on stage to sing the first song “Sailor.” Anton made it clear that he would throw him out the door and never let him back in if he was a fuck up
or “pissed in the well.”

Anton and Cowboy

Anton With Cowboy-Hatted Fan

The songs they played were:
Unknown Jam
Sailor*
Nevertheless*
Whoever You Are#
Nailing Honey to the Bee#
Who?
This is Why You Love Me#
Jennifer*
Jennifer restart#
When Jokers Attack#
Unknown Jam

* – random fan(s) on vocals
# – Rob Campanella on vocals
? – Reid Black

As a girl came up to sing Jennifer, Anton said her name was Jennifer. She piped up it was “Jill.” There were a few false starts on that song. The girl was eventually told to get off and someone else came up. Rob stepped up to the mic to help out and did a good job. He did “This Is Why You Love Me.”

Rob C. Drops Some Rhymes

Rob C. Singing BJM vocals

Several times during the show Anton said something like you don’t know me just because of some movie. And at least “I don’t give up.” Wise words.

The BJM played from 12 midnight to a little after 2. It was great that Anton let some fans help out. We are in this all together, right? Screw all this attacking stuff.

Betcha those fans who sang up there will remember for ever. I’m not disappointed.

Rob Sells Revolution Products

Rob C. Selling Revolution Products

Anton with FanThe Quarter AfterAnton Laying the Law DownDominic and Rob of the QAReid Black of Innaway Helping Out the BJM

Influencing Society Through Music

Posted in Change, Good Music, Music, Society by guittard on May 7, 2008

Today’s mainstream music is not very healthy for the average person’s psyche. It leaves most people going in circles and never resolving anything, only hoping to win the lotto of material wealth and fame.

Music in the past had worthwhile messages and often empowered the listeners to strive for something good and meaningful. Nowadays, the listeners are often led on selfish head trips that do not empower at all but rather cripple.

Much of the music of the past was geared to correct society’s problems. Now, music is rather limited in its focus. The main focus is on appearance, material gain and other rather selfish themes. Take a look at MTV for evidence.

Plato

In Plato’s, The Republic, the role of music was discussed for the ideal state. In the ideal state, harmonies which expressed excessive sorrow and relaxation were to be banished completely. In musical terms, Plato only allowed for two modes in songs and melodies: Dorian and Phrygian1 Probably, Spinal Tap’s sad piece, “Lick My Love Pump”, would have been banned.

The modern Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said in his Case of Wagner in 1888: “Only sick music makes money today.” I believe this quotation has much relevance to most of today’s mainstream music.

Here is the Top Ten hits from Top 40 Charts for May 2, 2008 for sales and airplays.

1. Lil Wayne – Lollipop
2. Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
3. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown – No Air
4. Usher & Young Jeezy – Love in This Club
5. Mariah Carey – Touch My Body
6. Madonna & Justin Timberlake – 4 minutes
7. Sara Bareilles – Love Song
8. Ray J & Jung Berg – Sexy Can I
9. Chris Brown – With You
10. Lupe Fiasco – Superstar

Let us examine some of the lyrics.

Partial lyrics Chris Brown – With You

‘Cause if I got you
I don’t need money
I don’t need cars
Girl you’re my heart

Mr. Brown’s implied message is good. He implies that material things are less important than people. I give him a thumbs up for good positive message.

Usher & Young Jeezy – Love In This Club

Might as well give me a kiss, if we keep touching like this
I know you’re scared, baby, they don’t know what we’re doing.
Let’s both get undressed right here, keep it up and, girl, I swear.
I’m gonna give it to you non-stop.
And I don’t care, who’s watching.

I believe this is bad message that promotes impulse and lack of commitment. Thumbs down.

Mariah Carey – Touch My Body

Touch my body
Put me on the floor
Wrestle me around
Play with me some more
Touch my body
Throw me on the bed
I just wanna make you feel
Like you never did.
Touch my body
Let me wrap my thighs
All around your waist
Just a little taste
Touch my body
Know you love my curves
Come on and give me what I deserve
And touch my body….

Trash lyrics. Maybe Mariah is tired of the Paparazzi filming her and claiming they had relationship with her. Thumbs down for negative message. (oh boy).

Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love

Closed off from love
I didn’t need the pain
Once or twice was enough
And it was all in vain
Time starts to pass
Before you know it you’re frozen um ooh ooh ooh yeah

But something happened
For the very first time with you
My heart melts into the ground
Found something true
And everyone’s looking round
Thinking I’m going crazy

But I don’t care what they say
I’m in love with you
They try to pull me away
But they don’t know the truth
My heart’s crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I

Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open

Trying hard not to hear
But they talk so loud
Their piercing sounds fill my ears
Try to fill me with doubt
Yet I know that the goal
Is to keep me from falling

But nothing’s greater
Than the rush that comes with your embrace
And in this world of loneliness
I see your face
Yet everyone around me
Thinks that I’m going crazy, maybe, maybe….

I’ll give credit to Ms. Lewis for staying committed and fighting the good fight through the problems. This song is obviously about love. Thumbs up for positive message.

The music of the 1960s brought about change in a turbulent decade. The time was about questioning authority. George Harrison’s song “Think for Yourself” is a good example of the philosophy of the 1960s. Now people do not question authority much. We have become too satisfied with life. We have too much idle time and so we become obsessed with determining who has “The Sweetest Ass in the World”. If you do not know this song, look up Alex C. on google or youtube. These are the type songs that are not only popular but sell money today. I think Nietzsche would be having a fit!

David

In the past, music had the power to literally break down walls. In Biblical times the town of Jericho was liberated by music and sound. The walls surrounding Jericho came down from the loud blasts of trumpets and the shouting of priests. 2 The music set the people free. The music of today often keeps us in bondage to depression or to bad situation we are going through.

Another Biblical musical reference is about the Shepherd David. David was requested to calm down the anxiety-ridden king of Israel. In the King’s palace, David played his soothing harp. This is an example how music can be used to benefit mental health.3

Most of today’s music is aggressive but it makes sense with the War on Terrorism and Iraq both raging. There are so many bad vibes floating around. The workplace is also very volatile and up and down with lay-offs, wage freezes, and rumors of recession. Maybe we are all fed up with what is going on or we should be. We are in a fearful and uncertain time. It is often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I believe that most people should be a little angry and fed up. If the person is not, then the person is probably numbed by anti-depressants or other pills. (Been there, done that). Living in the comfort zone of America, people have become too apathetic to break away from American Idol or the latest fad or trend.

In the 1960s, there were riots, protests, demonstrations, assassinations, the most turbulent of decades. Today is probably just as turbulent or more but where is the cry for change from the mainstream?

There are a few but it is limited. System of a Down has been one of the more outspoken bands about the war in Iraq.

B.Y.O.B.

Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.

In 1969, at Woodstock, Country Joe sang his famous protest song of the Vietnam War. Here is the first part of the lyrics.

Country Joe

I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die

Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He’s got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die….

The band, Rage Against the Machine has been outspoken on such issues as censorship and artistic freedom.

This is a very big issue in the music industry these days. Stay tuned…

To end on a positive note, here is a list of artists that have thoughtful and forward thinking messages and have meant a lot to me. You cannot go wrong here!!

1. Animals, The
2. Arlo Guthrie
3. Association, The
4. Band, The
5. Beach Boys, The
6. Beachwood Sparks
7. Beatles, The
8. Beck
9. Black Angels, The
10. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
11. Bob Dylan
12. Bob Gibson
13. Brian Jonestown Massacre, The
14. Bruce Springsteen
15. Buffalo Springfield
16. Byrds, The
17. Canned Heat
18. Carl Perkins
19. Carter Family, The
20. Chi-lites, The
21. Chris Stills
22. Chuck Berry
23. Coasters, The
24. Counting Crows, The
25. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
26. Cure, The
27. Dandy Warhols, The
28. David Bowie
29. Deep Purple
30. Depeche Mode
31. Donovan
32. Doors, The
33. Edie Brickell
34. Elvis Presley
35. Fairpoint Convention
36. Flat People
37. Flying Burrito Brothers, The
38. Further
39. Gene Clark
40. George Harrison
41. Go-Kart Mozart
42. Gram Parsons
43. Grateful Dead, The
44. Hank Williams
45. INXS
46. Janis Joplin
47. Jay Farrar
48. Jefferson Airplane
49. Jesus and the Mary Chain
50. Jimi Hendrix
51. John Lennon
52. Johnny Cash
53. Kinks, The
54. Kula Shaker
55. Led Zeppellin
56. Left Banke
57. Lenny Kravitz
58. Little Richard
59. Lou Reed
60. Louvin Brothers, The
61. Love
62. Lovin’ Spoonful, The
63. Merle Haggard
64. Monkees, The
65. My Bloody Valentine
66. Mystic Chords of Memory
67. Neil Young
68. N.W.A.
69. Oasis
70. Paul McCartney
71. Pink Floyd
72. Poco
73. Police, The
74. Quarter After, the
75. Radiohead
76. Rage Against the Machine
77. Red Hot Chili Peppers
78. Richie Furay
79. Ride
80. Roger McGuinn
81. Rolling Stones, The
82. Ryan Adams
83. Sheryl Crow
84. Sly and the Family Stone
85. Simon and Garfunkle
86. Son Volt
87. Spacemen 3
88. Stephen Stills
89. Strawberry Alarm Clock
90. System of A Down
91. Thrills, The
92. Tom Petty
93. Troggs, The
94. Tyde, The
95. U2
96. Uncle Tupelo
97. Van Halen
98. Van Morrison
99. Velvet Underground, The
100. Violent Femmes, The
101. Warlocks, the
102. Who, The
103. Willie Nelson
104. Wiskey Biscuit
105. Wilco
106. Wings
107. Zombies, The
108. ZZ Top


up1Plato. Republic. Trans. Benjamin Jowett.

up2 Josh. 6:20

up3 1 Sam. 16:23

Modern Psychedelic Influenced Bands

Posted in Good Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on April 27, 2008

First of all I recommend a band called the Beachwood Sparks. They take the torch where Gram Parsons and the Byrds left off particularly with the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. I’ve seen them live numerous times and have never been disappointed. They are the best especially with
their extended Space Echo freakout endings. They have 3 albums out and the first called Beachwood Sparks is my favorite. I hear that the BWS is getting back together (coincidentally on Roger McGuinn’s birthday), July 13th in Seattle for the 20th year for Subpop label. I wish I could be there.

Beachwood Sparks 2000

Beachwood Sparks

The second band I recommend is called the Tyde. This band has mutual members of the Beachwood Sparks. The Tyde is more Bob Dylan or Lou Reed sounding with much reference to surfing. I’ve seen them live, too. They have 3 albums out. I like Once the best.

The Tyde

The third band that I recommend is the Quarter After. This band is Byrds influenced with chimey Rickenbackers and groovy lyrics. It is lead by brothers, Rob Campanella and Dom Campanella. Incidentally, Rob records and produces many of the bands I mention here. I was
fortunate to sit in on a Quarter After session a few years back.

Here’s my somewhat humorous review for their debut album:

The Revolution Is Coming Down!!!

I dig the Quarter After live and on record. They are nice
outstanding citizens who are dedicated followers of the
Revolution effort. If you don’t understand, look up the
Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Their song ‘Too Much to Think About’ can put you in a
trance if you are not careful. It takes you back to 1966
with some Raga-Rock influence. ‘Know Me When I’m Gone’
is my favorite track on the album. It is modern psychedelia.
Dominic’s singing is much like Roger McGuinn’s. Byrds fans
will love the Quarter After. Or any fan of the ’60’s or good music.

Quarter After is authentic and not cheesy. They do not
overdo it. Dominic’s 12 String Rickenbacker work is great.
Good harmonies too by Rob and various personnel.

The Quarter After has recently put out their second album. I have not got my hands on it yet but will review soon.

The Quarter After

The Quarter After

And last but not least is the band called the Brian Jonestown Massacre. These guys are pretty outstanding and have had a documentary about them already called “Dig!” This band is the one
that really should take credit for this revival in psychedelic sound. They have at least a dozen albums out. They are very prolific.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

I hope you will check these bands out. They really cook.

“Good” Musical Genealogy

Posted in Rock and Roll History by guittard on April 24, 2008

Good music has its roots and can be tracked like a family tree. The long historical tree will show exactly where the influence of good music was handed down band to band, or artist to artist. It is naive and incorrect to think that any certain band just appeared and came up with “good music.” There is much tradition.

The Byrds are a great example of “good music.”

It has been written that the Byrds took traditional folk songs and put a Beatle beat.

With Bob Dylan’s philosophical mathematical poetry, the Byrds flew high. They pioneered the folk-rock, country-rock, and jazz-rock genres.

Bob Dylan 1964

But prior to the Byrds and Elvis, the pre-rock and roll genre started in the late 1940’s. Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and others all waited in line for their open door. If it had not been for pre-Rock and Roll, then the Byrds, Beatles, or the Stones would not have been ready. It is all connected.

In my head, I have imagined all these famous guys all standing in a line waiting their turn. Elvis’ opportunity came when DJ Dewey Phillips played his “That’s Alright Mama” on his Memphis radio show. Callers just couldn’t believe that this guy was white.

Elvis needed to give much credit to the sounds he heard on Beale Street. He is linked to such black artists as: B.B. King, Arthur Crudup, and Rufus Thomas. These guys pre-dated the invention of Rock & Roll.

Now the big controversial question is: who copied who? “To some, Presley had undoubtedly “stolen” or at least “derived his style from the Negro rhythm-and-blues performers of the late 1940s.” Some black entertainers, notably Jackie Wilson, countered, “A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.” Blank, Christopher (July 15, 2006). “Elvis & Racism – Elvis Presley Legacy is cloudy through lens of race”.

So whatever you believe, Elvis is generally the one known for opening the doors for artists like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. I guess it is like the old adage “what came first: the chicken or the egg?” I tend to lean toward the opinion that Elvis really was not the original rock and roll pioneer. He was the one that got the most press and made it popular and in style.

So after Elvis, there stood the Beatles, and the Byrds waiting close behind. Here is the important shift. Elvis was a singer-entertainer but the Beatles and Byrds were songwriters and musicians. The bands of the 1960’s migrated towards songwriting.

Roger McGuinn, who was in the Byrds at that time, waited patiently behind Bob Dylan and the Beatles. As Dylan was making waves, the movie Hard Day’s Night soon came out. The door became wide open for the Byrds. McGuinn, Clark, and Crosby quickly formed their jangly poetry beat sound. It became classic and the door was wide open.

Others were to follow through the Byrds-Dylan door. The Turtles, Sonny and Cher all followed copying Dylan and the Byrds’ jangly sound. Arthur Lee with Love fits in there.

During this time the Beatles and the Byrds also got into a little egg/chicken situation. It has been written that George Harrison heard the Byrds’ “Bells of Rhymney” song and was influenced to write “If I Needed Someone.” It was through a mutual public relations man Derek Taylor that Roger received a pre-released copy of “If I Needed Someone”. The bands had a healthy relationship.

The Byrds - 1965

Both bands are linked to the 12-String Rickenbacker guitar and to Ravi Shankar. We know that John and George were already into Rickenbackers but the question is – who was the first band to turn on to Ravi? It has been argued that David Crosby introduced the Beatles to Ravi. But of course, the Beatles probably got more credit for this link after their Indian trip in 1968. It is much like Elvis getting the credit for being the original Rock and Roll pioneer.

So Ravi Shankar is standing in line next to the Beatles and the Byrds in this pretend line-up.

George and Ravi

Fast forward twenty plus years and the line after the Byrds and the Beatles includes bands such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Beachwood Sparks, the Tyde, the Quarter After, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Where do the Ragas fit in the line-up? Hmm?

The Ragas

All the best,
Jim

Optimistic Music

Posted in Good Music, Rock and Roll History by guittard on November 17, 2007

I think we should get back to the mindset of the past. At least the more open-minded thinking of the ’60’s. You say, oh, let’s don’t live in the past, let’s move forward.

I counter you with, “the thinking of the 1960’s was more healthy I think than today.” I’m all about moving forward and it seems that this period was about moving forward for the better.

It is my opinion that if all listened to the music of the ’60’s or that type of thinking then the world would be that much better. You’ve all heard the saying “garbage in garbage out.” Well, put this more positive type of thinking In.

Here’s my top songs that may clean up the pessimistic or status quo thinking. Just look to the words for inspiration out of this fearful terrorist world we live.

1. Bob Dylan – The Times Are A-Changin’

2. The Beatles – Think For Yourself

3. Gene Clark – Keep On Pushin’

4. Stephen Stills (Manassas) – Jesus Gave Love Away For Free

5. The Zombies – Time Of The Season

6. The Byrds – Turn, Turn, Turn

7. The Rolling Stones – Salt of the Earth

8. The Association – The Time Is Today

9. The Kinks – Animal Farm

10. George Harrison – What Is Life?

11. Pink Floyd – Burnin’ Bridges

12. The Beach Boys – I Know There’s An Answer

13. Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth

14. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Teach Your Children

15. Donovan – Catch The Wind

16. The Doors – Take It As It Comes

17. John Lennon – Give Me Some Truth

18. The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe In Magic?

19. Simon and Garfunkle – Bridge Over Troubled Water

20. Sly and The Family Stone – Everybody Is A Star