Jim Guittard’s Place

The Quarter After

Posted in Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on October 2, 2008

by Jim Guittard

Something has been going on for the past eight years. It is the musical revolution that the Brian Jonestown Massacre front man Anton Newcombe is famous for talking about. In 2000, a Neo-Psychedelic scene with half a dozen bands was birthed in Silverlake, California. The Quarter After was one of those pioneer bands that was turned on from the start and continues today to turn on others.

As described by the band itself, the Quarter After is psychedelic music for the 21st century. The group is led by the Campanella brothers: Dominic and Rob. They formed in the summer of 2000 with then bassist Dave Koenig and drummer Nelson Bragg.

They began playing shows at the Silverlake Lounge, 3 of Clubs, and Spaceland. It was here that the hipsters gathered by the thing that was going on. You ask what was going on? Well simply, it was a spiritual awakening or rather a wake up call. It was a real departure from the philosophy underlying the excess mainstream music.

A new social consciousness was formed which was held together by the reverence of the older music acts such as the Kinks, the Beatles, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Buffalo Springfield, Love, the Left Banke, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Zombies, the Searchers, and the Association. There are too many bands to name.

It was not all by chance that this scene formed. Early on, the Campanella brothers made 4-track recordings of psychedelic pop. It was at the time of grunge. They were following the path set by the previous revival of psychedelic pop with bands like the Bangles, the Three O’Clock, and Dream Syndicate. In 1994, at a show at the Foothill Club in Signal Hill, Rob obtained the stamp of approval he needed to make psychedelic music. The show was a Sonic Boom concert where the Brian Jonestown Massacre was opening. It was even before the BJM had released any records. That night Rob listened to the psychedelic sounds of Anton’s band and something clicked. It was the green light and no turning back for Rob and Dom.

For a long time Rob remained behind the recording console as music producer for other psychedelic bands- the Beachwood Sparks, the Tyde, Dead Meadow, the Black Angels, and even the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Sunstorm. It was only two years after establishing the Quarter After, that the band caught the ears of Arthur Lee of Love. The band was asked to open up for Arthur Lee’s first show after being released from prison. In May 2002, the Quarter After soared high at this Los Angeles Knitting Factory gig. They were well received but shortly thereafter unofficially split.

But Rob was pulled back in 2003. The band reformed with a new bassist (Victor Peсalosa), and drummer and opened for Dead Meadow, a band Anton had found for the Committee to Keep Music Evil label. With renewed interest in the Quarter After, Rob and the band resumed work on their debut album that had already been started. The tracks were mostly recorded live with very little overdubs. Much of the time, Anton Newcombe manned the recording console.

The standout tracks from the debut album were “Too Much To Think About,” “Always Returning,” “One Trip Later,” and “So Far To Fall.” The album on a whole has a hypnotic energy, featuring soaring Rickenbacker 12-String, high harmonies and a hint of raga rock influence. Any serious lover of the Byrds, Gene Clark and the Beatles would be satisfied with the album.

After the record was released in 2005, Newcombe asked them to go out on tour with him as opening band for the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The tour went well and the revolutionary spirit was kept alive. The boys were writing new songs and were preparing to record their second album once back in Los Angeles.

The second album is Changes Near and was released in April 2008. A standout track is “Sanctuary,” which has a spiritual undertone- a beautiful song about faith, where fear and doubt are wiped away. “Follow Your Own Way” and the title track also follow this theme of faith and believe in the self.

This is the part of the revolution that Newcombe has been pushing, where he once said “I’m here to destroy this fucked up system… I’ll use our strength. Let’s fucking burn it to the ground.” He was pointing to the whole music industry. Time has now caught up with him as the record companies and labels are no longer in charge. And the Quarter After is poised to be part of this new world.

Also see The Quarter After’s website

Article is reprinted from the October/November 2008 Edition
Perfect Sound Forever Online Music Magazine

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Creative Passionate Types

Posted in Change, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic, Society by guittard on May 22, 2008

The creative pursuit is one of the most important things one can do. Sometimes the creative types are a bit fiery and extreme in their thinking. But, isn’t this good though? Creative types bring the passion into society and really are the catalyst to make things happen.

More and more people in America are waking up to what’s going on. Right now, an underground scene is emerging. We are in the midst of the “3rd Wave of Psychedelic” music. The first wave was with the Beatles, the Byrds, the Jefferson Airplane, Love, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the 13th Floor Elevators, Pink Floyd and many others. The second wave had two offshoots: the 1980’s “Paisley Underground” scene in Los Angeles with such bands as the Bangles, the Dream Syndicate, the Three O’clock, Green On Red, the Secret Syde, and Rain Parade. The British offshoot included the post “new wave” bands such as XTC, the Soft Boys, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Shamen, and Doctor and the Medics.1

The “3rd Wave” was born in 2000. The wave is spreading out, now. It consists of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde, Beachwood Sparks, the Quarter After, the Warlocks, the Lovetones, the Telescopes, Spindrift, the High Dials, Floorian, the Black Angels, Silver Apples. (My music fits in this wave. I co-write a song with Dominic Campanella from the Quarter After back in 2001.)

Beach by Jim Guittard

“Beach”

I look up into the sky
See the clouds and colours all around.
I hear the waves go in and out
See the birds and stars tonight.

Chorus

Going with the rising tide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.
Moments pass as I decide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.

I tell myself the reason why.
Waters flow and there’s no turning back.
Reaching for the horizon line,
Where it ends has only just begun.

Chorus

Going with the rising tide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.
Moments pass as I decide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.

Drifting through my open mind,
Ray of light about to shine.

Music by Jim Guittard 2001
Words by Jim Guittard and Dominic Campanella of the Quarter After

The Quarter After

We shall see how things progress from here. The world needs freethinkers and people with passion to guide the way. No need to dumb things down anymore. As the New Hampshire motto says, “Live Free or Die.”  America really is at a crossroads.  It is time for decisions.


up1Wikipedia contributors. Psychedelic music. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 21 2008, at 23:57. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_music. Accessed May 22, 2004.

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

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

The Ragas Press Packet

Posted in Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on March 17, 2007

I am putting in a bit of my history.  It’s been about five years since I was living in Los Angeles.  Today, I can only think that I am really fortunate to have experienced, firsthand, the 1960’s music revival in its re-birth.  The following is the letter Henry and I used when contacting clubs. 

May 24, 2000

Booking
Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA  90046

RE:  Booking

Dear Club:

The Ragas duo was formed in mid-March 2000 after discovering a major musical chemistry between us.  I moved to Los Angeles from Texas to pursue my musical passion.  Henry was born here in L.A.  Henry is the son of 60’s icon, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds.

We are influenced by the Beatles, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and incorporate 12-String guitars, and vocal harmonies in our songs.  We play both cover songs and original songs.  We focus on musicianship rather than cool grooves or beats.  The old school sounds are what we are focused on.  Our songs range from jazz rock, country- rock, folk-rock, psychedelic, and raga-rock to name a few.

At present, we are searching for a bassist and drummer to complete our band.  In mid-June, we will have two English fellows visit us to most likely join the band.  We switch off with lead guitar.

We are so excited to be involved in the music scene in Los Angeles.  We can be reached at 323-###-#### and at our address in Hollywood, California.

Please find our demo tape included.

Thanks For Your Consideration,
Jim Guittard and Henry McGuinn

Here’s one of our setlists that I scanned.

The Ragas - Setlist
*The starred songs are the ones we played.

We did not play too many shows back then but we sure went to see a lot of shows by the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Quarter After, Sunstorm, smallstone, the Tyde, the Belle Isle, Whiskey Biscuit, the Snakes, and the Warlocks. Many of these bands are still around today.

Smallstone evolved into the Electromagnetic led by James Ambrose. The Belle Isle disbanded and Cliff Magreta now leads Minutes Til Midnight. Beachwood Sparks unofficially disbanded in 2003 and other groups were formed in its wake such as All Night Radio with sometimes BWS drummer Jimi Hey and BWS lap steel and organist Farmer Dave. Mystic Chords of Memory was formed by BWS leader Chris Gunst and Frausdots was BWS bassist Brent Rademaker’s. Brent continued to play in the Tyde with his brother Darren.

I am hopeful in seeing the Beachwood Sparks get back together. We’ll see.

The Ragas – June 2000 Los Angeles, California
The Ragas - June 2000

You can listen to the show here:

The Ragas Live 2000