The idea of this album came from working with Jay Daniels on the Muffin Junkee Serves Tunes with your Tea Podcast. I have to give Jay most of the credit. We had been talking about live albums as a way to get my listeners to be aware of my diverse music catalogue. In our conversations, Jay turned me onto a rare Syd Barrett live album. It was the one recorded by the legendary John Peel in February of 1970. The album is stripped down with minimal instrumentation and vocals. This is the kind of vibe that I was going for on Jays show. On the particular podcast, I recorded a live set which turned out to be the live album. Jay was interviewing a guest named “Ms Pipa Stafford Shelby” who happened to be the head spokeswoman for the Global Alliance for Muffins, Biscuits, and Crumpets. Ms. Shelby began to trash Jay and I did not like that and so it was that I burst into his studio punk style to have a few words with this crotchety snob of a lady who was pushing Jay around and telling him that he should shave and get a haircut.
The songs for the live album have tracks from my albums Busted in Bulgaria, Forward, California Daze, Rise, the Guittard Tapes Vol. 2, and also several tunes that have not been released on any albums thus far. I think you will enjoy the album. I am proud of it! Thanks Jay!
You can hear the podcast I did with Jay here entitled: muffin-junkee-18-jim-guittard-takes-over-the-studio-for-a-live-set
And here is the Syd Barrett album that Jay and I had in mind when planning the podcast:
Billy Mack, a folk artist friend of mine based in Allentown, Pennsylvania has come up with a couple of projects that I have taken part. The latest project revolves around putting out a compilation of songs all relating to coffee. Mr. Mack is putting together a coffee art house to open in September in Allentown, PA called Coffee House Without Limits which aims to serve as an art gallery, all ages music venue, and community space.
Billy Mack performs around the country on a low budget using Greyhound buses or whatever it happens to be to get from place to place. He has quite an underground following and it is this community of similarly thinking do it yourselfers that he called upon for the coffee compilation.
I wrote a song simply titled “Coffee”.
A little video I made for my song:
Billy’s Coffee compilation can be listened and bought here: (I’m song 20).
Recently, I’ve uncovered more tapes from the archives. This batch of tunes is from the Ragas era in Los Angeles – circa 2000. The tunes were recorded on my Tascam 4 Track in Austin, Texas during a road trip with Henry McGuinn. Our duo called the Ragas was heavily influenced by the Byrds 1965-1967 era. More to come….
I’m really diggin’ Spotify lately. There’s so many bands to be discovered. One of my songs got on an official Spotify “freak folk” playlist and is getting quite a few listens. I will add more and more songs to this playlist as I go but feel free to add lofi psychedelic folk bands that you discover as well to the list as it is collaborative.
You can find my music at Spotify here: Jim Guittard – Spotify I’ve got eight albums up ranging from lofi psychedelic/country-folk-rock to experimental. There’s a little bit for everybody. Just recently some of my songs have been put in various commercials and trailers.
A few weeks ago, I compiled together more songs from my lost “Guittard Tapes.” I hadn’t had much time to go through the tapes but I did manage to find some songs and I have finally put together the second volume of the Guittard Tapes. The tracks all come from a very productive period of mine from 1999-2003 when I was living in Los Angeles. If you like lo-fi do-it-yourself tunes, you’ll dig these on Volume 2 of the Guittard Tapes.
There are 12 new tracks which are as following:
Girl’s On Crack2:22
Tired (Experimental version)1:32
Can’t Be Down That Very Long 2002 Demo2:54
Spacey Synth Instrumental2:53
Tired – Acoustic Version2:31
Airy Jangly Instrumental1:48
Gotta Get Out of Here2:49
Back in June, Jay Daniels, the host of the Muffin Junkee lo-fi Psychedelic podcast, featured me and the Guittard Tapes on an hour-long show broadcasting from British Columbia. Since June, I have compiled the music for the Guittard Tapes Volume II. The tunes were unreleased until this year and were just sitting in storage until early this year when my dad called me and said I had some things in his storage unit. And how pleased I was to find the tapes!!!
The Guittard Tapes Volume II
* Track 7 was released on the California Daze album.
The Guittard Tapes Volume I
* Tracks 7 and 8 were released on the California Daze album.
Myself with my Rickenbacker and fellow Musicians Institute student Regi – 2000.
Over the past six weeks, Jay Daniels of the Muffin Junkee Serves Tunes with Your Tea show out of British Columbia and I have been working on a podcast that is about my “Busted In Bulgaria” album that I released in 2008. In 2013, things are still a bit uncertain in Bulgaria. That is why I chose this particular album to do a show. During my 2006 – 2008 Peace Corps service, times were quite uncertain also.
After my first year as an English teacher, the second year started with a bang when there was a country-wide teacher strike in all of Bulgaria. As a volunteer, my job was to come to class everyday whether the students were there or not. Mostly, they were not and so I seized the opportunity to write down some of my thoughts on the situation and that would become the basis for much of the Busted in Bulgaria album.
The podcast is a selection of songs that both Jay and I compiled. We chose the following songs:
1. Listen To Your Voice
2. Hoola Hoop Girl
4. Breaking the Language Barrier
5. 8A Class
7 Survival Mode
8. What’s Your Role in Life
9. Be Real True
10.I want to go to the Moon (2013)
11.The Sun Shines Today
In the show, you will hear commentary about each song which focuses on what was going on at the time of its writing and recording. Also included in the podcast are some surreal psychedelic skits and a nice segment on Bulgarian breakfast foods to go along with Jay’s breakfast theme.
1 Introduction – 02:16
2 Commentary On Beach – 01:30
3 Beach – 03:55
4 Commentary on BJM-Like Song – 01:45
5 BJM-Like Song – 03:04
6 Commentary On Confusion Lies Guns and Drugs – 02:08
7 Confusion, Lies, Guns, And Drugs – 02:34
8 Commentary on Can’t Be Down That Very Long – 00:58
9 Can’t Be Down That Very Long – 02:29
10 Commentary on 3 of Clubs – 00:53
11 3 of Clubs – 03:46
12 Commentary On Swing Tune – 00:50
13 Swing Tune – 01:28
14 Commentary on Jazz Tune – 00:43
15 Jazz Tune – 02:23
16 Commentary On Beach Acoustic – 01:24
17 Beach (Acoustic) – 05:24
18 Outro Influence of West Coast Scene – 02:27
SAMPLE Press Articles
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 Nothing “Flat” About Flat People’s Bob Guittard
Digesting music from a steady bowl of oldies, with large sprinkles of the Beatles on top, Bob Guittard developed an interest in music very early in life thanks to the combined influences of his father and brother. “I played violin and piano growing up for years, then my brother gave me one of his guitars when I was fourteen and that completely changed me forever. I taught myself to play out of Hendrix and Zeppelin tab books and immediately started writing songs and formed a band with my buddies.”
His first band, formed in the seventh grade, was called The Little Puppy Dogs. His eighth grade year saw the birth of The Daring Chapstick Officers, followed by Fandango in late high school, The Bob Guittard Band during his first year as a Radio-TV-Film major at The University of Texas at Austin, Timado in his second year of college, and on and on through a variety of front man and back up band positions until, in 2007, he formed his current enterprise Flat People. Guittard’s older brother, Jim, writes music as well. He plays sitar, guitar, trombone and he sings. Guittard’s father and grandfather both played brass instruments in their respective high school marching bands. And his mother, maternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother played violin and piano quite well, which explains how he came to choose his first instruments as a child. “[That] was kind of forced on me as a kid. I liked it for a few years then gave it up when high school hit, probably because I felt like a nerd in the orchestra would rather play the guitar.”
Guittard and his wife recently had a child of their own, a little boy named Miles, and Guittard, although he has no intention of forcing music on his son, is adamant that the boy’s time not be wasted playing video games. He’s hoping that a love of music and creativity will grow from time not spent… well… wasting time. “I think about that a lot,“ said Guittard. “He’ll always be around music and I think he won’t be able to help loving music. Kids love banging on drums so I’ll bet he’ll originally be into that. I’m definitely not going to discourage him playing music. I’m all for my kids not melting their brains and wasting the years away on video games. It seems so common these days and is such a huge waste of time. Think of all the time that could have been spent creating art, music, stories, using the imagination, whatever. I don’t get on a soapbox often, but overuse of video games for kids and overuse and prescribing of anti-depressants, especially for kids, really bugs me. I talk about that in one of the songs on my album called ‘Everybody’s Got a Syndrome Here.’”
Guittard admits that his primary musical influences as a now-seasoned songwriter vary greatly from those of his childhood. He continues to cite the Beatles as a major influence, but has added Jeff Buckley, Wilco, Neil Young, Beck, Radiohead, Air, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and more to the list, explaining, “All of these folks stretched themselves either musically, vocally, lyrically, or sonically. They were all so passionate and so good. These are the folks that will give me goosebumps on that long road trip at night, or make me cry, or make me wish I could write a song like that. Or angry that I didn’t.”
Guittard has floated from Dallas to Austin to Los Angeles and back again in a quest for creative and musical fulfillment. Originally from Dallas, his move to Austin was prompted by both his desire to attend the University of Texas and Austin’s “vibrant history of music.” Two months after he graduated college, he moved to Los Angeles – following in the footsteps of his brother who had moved there two years earlier and was deeply embedded in the “darker coming” of the 60s era rock revival – hoping to satisfy two dreams. The first was simply to pursue his music. The second was to utilize the RTVF degree he’d earned in college.
“I had aspirations, like everyone else in that town, of becoming the next big screenwriter, director or producer of films. Once I got out to L.A. it was cool, but I figured out that I wasn‘t that into pursuing the film dream and, once I‘d decided that, I figured I didn‘t really need to live in L.A. to do something special with my number one love, music.”
While in L.A. Guittard joined a couple of different bands and played regularly on the Sunset Strip, but didn’t stay long enough to focus on his own music as much as he would have liked to. He said that his time there contained several “dark and low points” which matured him a great deal. His car was stolen and totaled, and he had broken up with his girlfriend, a girl he knew he wanted to spend his life with.
“It made me think a lot. The beach, writing songs, and the upright piano I rented weekly helped me get through it. The journey there was a necessary evil that I look back on fondly.”
Guittard moved back to Dallas in 2002 both in the hopes of getting a “real” job (in case his musical aspirations didn’t work out), and reconnecting with the girl who would later become his wife.
“I’m not planning on leaving Dallas any time soon unless there is a really compelling reason to. Although I’d love to just take off and travel the world, I’ve got some pretty firm roots here and I’m really happy being sedentary for now.”
Art imitates life for Guittard and his music. He stated, “I tend to write about what’s going on in my life, what I’m going through, what’s got me down or up, or general things or insecurities I’ve noticed as I walk through life. Sometimes it’s in the form of a narrative disguised as other folks and sometimes it’s in a vague metaphorical journey that may make sense to me, but no one else. I’m not sure whether it hits home for others or not, but it makes me happy so I’m good with that.” According to SAMPLE Press Music Writer, Jason Manriquez, Guittard’s lyrics are “a cut-and-paste collage of image-laden tongue twisters and fantastical descriptions of everyday occurrences.”
Guittard said of his songwriting style, “I hope [people] think about the lyrics. My songs, I think, are naturally emotive in terms of how they make me feel so I hope they strike a chord with other people. I’d hate to make a record that fails to stir up some emotion in my listeners. What’s the point if not? I’ve never been one to enjoy an entire album of light, fluffy material.”
Guittard’s decision to work with Nourallah on his album was not one that he came by blithely. Although he’d seen Nourallah play a couple of live shows and loved the music, his interest wasn’t peaked until he read the Dallas Observer article regarding the troubled relationship between Salim and his brother, Faris.
“After doing some research, I figured out that he was also a great producer, really putting out some great music. So, because I loved his approach to music and songwriting, I knew he’d be a great fit to work with me on producing my album. I emailed him and he actually said a friend of his had told him about my music already, which was cool. It just seemed like it was meant to be. I later met with him and gave him my songs and he was really excited, so we began the journey together. I can’t say enough about how great that studio experience was.”
The name, Flat People, did not come about until after the studio recording was complete and the final mixing was in progress.
“We were wrapping up the mixing and I was trying my best to take a step back and look objectively back through the song lyrics and general themes that make up the record. Flat People is the result. Vague, I know.”
Vague indeed. But, unraveling the nuances and mysteries behind Guittard’s music and the Flat People name is the link that binds the listener to the sound. However vague it may be, you are guaranteed to be entranced by it.
— Jennifer Manriquez
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
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
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
The songs they played were:
Whoever You Are#
Nailing Honey to the Bee#
This is Why You Love Me#
When Jokers Attack#
* – 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
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.
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.
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.
Lil Wayne – Lollipop
Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown – No Air
Usher & Young Jeezy – Love in This Club
Mariah Carey – Touch My Body
Madonna & Justin Timberlake – 4 minutes
Sara Bareilles – Love Song
Ray J & Jung Berg – Sexy Can I
Chris Brown – With You
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, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
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!
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). In the comfort zone of America or other place, some people have become too apathetic to break away from American Idol or the latest fad or trend. Some are waking up though.
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.
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.
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!!
JIM GUITTARD creates music in a documentary music style from psychedelic folk to lo-fi indie-rock. He's been putting out his brand of do it yourself little demo tapes since his college days that serve as a personal diary. Guittard has spent some time in Hollywood pounding the musical pavement. His album "Busted In Bulgaria" was recorded while he lived overseas in Bulgaria as a teacher. In 2014, Guittard has eight albums to boot that can be purchased at ITUNES.