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2015 23 Jun

I was looking through some old pics from 2001 and saw one where I was driving with my window down. I found on Google Maps the location that showed out my window. It is interesting to look at it as a game.  There is probably no place on earth where one cannot be tracked.

Westbound on Hollywood Blvd. Circa 2001

scan0001

 

Here’s the location on Googlemaps circa December 2014.

Greco's Pizzeria

 

 

Published under Lifesend this post
2015 7 Mar

Lately, I’ve found quite a few unlabeled cassette tapes that I’m thinking would be great for a third addition for the Guittard Tapes. It’ll be a trilogy now! The tunes have been heavy with pedals including digital delay, distortion, and phaser. I was wowed when I heard the tunes. The challenge as always is to get them transferred from the tapes to the digital tascam machine and then finally to the laptop where I can mix it down. Part of the challenge is that the originally Tascam machine that I recorded the songs has a defective second track. I cannot hear anything while listening. So I have to flip the tape over and record the track now from the third track which now plays backwards. So, once on the computer I have to reverse the track back to normal and then line up all the tracks in sequence so that it sounds in time. There’s no click track so I have to look and listening for anything hiss, click, or whatever.

So here are a few stand out tracks thus far:
Phaser Attack – Most dominant effect is the phaser pedal with trippy distortion, screaming Rickenbacker and drum machine.  Great!

Feedback Rock – Most dominant here is the out of control digital delay pedal with tremolo pedal and chaotic Rickenbacker.  I guess it was a few months before 9-11 when a lot of bad vibes were swirling about.

Vacuum B-Bender – This is an interest piece in that I used a vacuum cleaner hose in front of the amplifier to trick up the sound.  I remember my friend Jolie visiting me and seeing this vacuum hose next to my recording gear and tripping out! Well, here’s the song.  It has my B-Bender on it.

Get It Together Man – This one’s really weird.  The dominant sound track is an actual guy in Hollywood having a melt down outside my apartment banging a shovel on the ground and screaming.  Imagine that! The music is quite chaotic and is a picture of my life back in 2001.  Things were not perfect in all areas but I was still persevering with my music.  The main influence was Beck and his Stereopathetic Soulmanure album.

1989 Highlander Band

Published under Lifesend this post
2014 31 Jul

Cyber Space is much like a desert.  There are those who sound the trumpet on what is important to them.  After some time, they disappear and sound another trumpet to go off in another direction.  But there are those who continue to wander, not aimlessly, but with purpose.  They are rounding up the troops becoming fishers of men.   To some, they seem like outsiders but really they are peacemakers.

Technology has given the little guy an opportunity to sound his trumpet and to voice everything from when he brushes his teeth to when he tells of some kind of disaster in his life.  The playing field is level but with that there are more and more people “doing their thing.”  The result is much more stuff for people to wade through to get the nuggets.  However, there are a few “John the Baptists” that articulate a strong message that the masses can relate to.  It’s not all about things “in da club.”  We’re getting beyond that.

The buzz word of the day is community.  Can there be community up in the clouds of the cyber world?  Definitely!  I mean, really.  There are those that live for Justin Bieber’s every last word on twitter.  They may be a little bit misguided but that’s community.

I wrote a song called “Leave the Desert.”  Maybe I was a bit misquided.

Matthew 5:9English Standard Version (ESV)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

Published under Lifesend this post
2014 20 Mar

The tunes from the tapes just keep coming.  It is a time capsule into the life that began in late 1999 and lasted until about 2004.  The Guittard Tapes era was an especially  creative period of my life.  In 1999, after three years of being a working stiff at an insurance company in Dallas, I struck out for a music school in Hollywood.  I made a dry run out there to search for an apartment and found one near Hollywood and Highland that was available for $925 a month.  I wonder what it is now that they remodeled that whole area where the Academy Awards are now held.

I was bright-eyed and optimistic, thinking that I could do something important.  At the school, I put up flyers to see if anybody was interested in making a “Byrds-influenced” band.  I had NO takers.  It was kinda weird that no one was turned on to the jangly psychedelic music.  Henry and I began to hold auditions for our band The Ragas in my Hollywood apartment.  We had a whole biker gang show up but it just wasn’t the vibe we wanted.  We also drove way out to the Inland Empire to audition a drummer.  Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to put an ad in the L.A. Weekly about our little band.  We never did find anyone that way.  Imagine the characters going through my apartment to audition.  One guy didn’t have a bass so we let him use my bass and he picked up a coaster to use as a pick.  That was weird.

During this time, I was soaking up the vibes of Southern California and often found myself in the Brian Jonestown Massacre scene.  The music was all around me and the folks in Texas wondered exactly what I was doing.  The Guittard Tapes were what I was doing.  I have hundreds of tapes from that period and it is great that I still have the tapes because for a period of ten years I had no idea where the tapes were.  I had spent some time in Bulgaria and my stuff was kinda scattered everywhere.

Jim Cine GrillOctober 1999 – Hollywood

The tunes from the Guittard Tapes have been extracted from tapes for over the last year.  I’ve put out two volumes of the Guittard Tapes and now I’m working to possibly put out a third volume.  If you want to know what was going on in my life between 1999 and 2003, listen to the tapes.  One song that I wrote just after two weeks of being in L.A. was called “Standing in the Doorway.”  What prompted the song was the earthquake that occurred on October 16, 1999.  I had never experienced a quake and so that day I did at two o’clock in the morning.  I didn’t know what to do with all the rattling pipes on the third story apartment building so I got out of bed and stood in the doorway.  It seemed like forever the ground was shaking.  It was  a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

After quitting the school, I mainly went to a lot of shows with the Quarter After, Beachwood Sparks and others.  I was writing the whole time.  For awhile I was in a band with Cliff Magreta and Rob Campanella called the Belle Isle.  It was really a happening time.  And then 9-11 occurred and it seemed that a lot of things changed.  The optimism wasn’t there like it used to be.  As part of the Guittard Tapes there was a tune a did a few weeks after 9-11 that is an instrumental and I named it “3 Weeks After.”  It has a psychedelic trippy feel with Rickenbacker Twelve String and sitar.

Byron& JimWith Byron Berline at McCabe’s Guitar Shop

 Around late 2001  to 2002, my brother Bob was also in Los Angeles and for a few months we were in a band together with a guy named Andy McCutcheon.  It was really crazy how I met Andy.  My brother had been auditioning for bands as a bass player.  He came over to my apartment and played me a CD of Andy McCutcheon.  Instantly, I recognized it.  I had heard the music a few years earlier back in Texas as I had found him on MP3.com. I had previously downloaded Andy’s music back in 1998 or early 1999.  I had never met him but he was into psychedelic type 1960’s music.  It was really wild that my brother would say to me that he was auditioning for this band.  And so after a month or so, I was in Andy’s band as a rhythm guitarist.  We had some shows at the Crooked Bar, The Gig, the Rainbow Bar and Grill, and some other places.  I had read about Led Zeppelin hanging at the Rainbow and being up to no good there.

Scan10002Myself, Brother Bob, and Andy McCutcheon

During this period, I was working odd jobs at a rental car place, a talent agency, and some other places.  I did have the misfortune of being robbed of several guitars and some of the material in the Guittard Tapes deal with the loss of guitars and themes of betrayal and a sense of digging in my heels to the ground to stay in L.A. at all costs.  It cost me a lot but the Guittard Tapes to me our priceless.  It’s a musical diary.

Here are a few songs that I’ve just extracted recently from the tapes.

You Are On Track

You Are On Track by Guittard Tapes 2

The song is trying to hype myself up to stay and continue with the musical pursuit in Los Angeles. It wasn’t going exactly how I had hoped but this was an honest plea to dig in.

Jangly Ordinary Guy
Jangly Ordinary Guy by Guittard Tapes 2

The lyrics for this tune was written at a coffee shop on Melrose Blvd. I was waiting to meet someone and they did not show up. Being a bit frustrated I wrote the tune. The music for this one is more jangly with my 12 string Rickenbacker and I play simple drum beat. The other version I play the B-Bender Telecaster and it is more a country-rock feel.

Beach Basement Session
Beach Basement Session by Guittard Tapes 2

This one here is a early version of Beach before the more well known one on my “California Daze” album. The tune here was recorded in a care-free way trying to emulate the vibe of Dylan on the Basement Sessions album with the Band. The recording is imperfect but I’m not about perfection.

Station
Station basement session by Guittard Tapes 2

This tune is another raw alternate take. It was again trying to be recorded in a basement session way that was carefree and emotional.

I left L.A. in February 2003 and the picture below is just after I came back to Dallas, Texas.
Jim February 2003

 

Published under Lifesend this post
2013 21 Dec

The lyrics for this song “California” were written during a time of reflection concerning my three and a half year mission pursuing music in Los Angeles, California from 1999-2003. (If interested in other songs from this era, please download my two volume album called “The Guittard Tapes” –  Volume 1  and Volume 2.)

Things ended on a kind of sour note with three guitars being stolen. Consequently, I left L.A. as it was unsafe and too expensive to live.  My mind was in a sort of fog upon return to Texas understandably and I put my Rickenbackers away for some time.  The music was still in my heart but I needed a break.

The original feeling of the song, at least when I wrote the lyrics, was to be a Woody Guthrie type “hard times” song. But after reading over the lyrics I condensed it down a bit and decided against the folkie version. Possibly in the future I could put out a folkier version.

I recorded the song in Fort Worth, Texas using my Tascam Recording machine. I played the keyboard, electric guitar, tambourine, and sing the vocals.

California

I left busted and disgusted.
My thoughts were surely not trusted.
I was bombed out and wiped out.
But not down and out.

I was robbed and without a job.
But I didn’t turn to a snob.
I was pushed, and shoved and almost knifed.
All I want was my life.

I had threats against my life
By hoodlums with much strife.
I’ve seen the inside of jails
There were only thugs.

I know the 3 of Clubs bar.
The place where the BJM star.
I’ve played the Sunset Strip
Go there for a special trip.

Chorus

California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.
California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.

I’ve trekked to Santa Ana’s Rickenbacker
To practice in a tent with McGuinn.
I’ve seen the 24-hour church
Go there if you must.

I left a school and was a fool,
Cause I didn’t want to muck about.
The guys there were like robots.
Not my best place.

I put money down on apartments.
They took my deposit and never gave it back.
I never even moved in.
Oh well, that’s allright.

Chorus

California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.
California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.

I’m not a bad guy.
Just trying to follow God’s will.
Nobody likes that.
But I don’t really care.

I’ve had panic attacks on Highway 101.
It was not so fun in the sun.
I think that God was there.
I think that God was there.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2013

Raga Jim and 3 of Clubs Smokes Girl

Drawing by Henry McGuinn

Published under Lifesend this post
2013 30 Sep

Listen to the Podcast below:                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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
3. Rico
4. Breaking the Language Barrier
5. 8A Class
6. Stachkata
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.

cover

Please check out some of Jay’s other podcasts at his buzzsprout site.  You may follow him at his Muffin Junkee Tunes for Tea Facebook page.  Or at ITunes.

I hope you will enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Hard at Work                                          Boza-man Statue – Radomir, BG

crazy hair jim and boza man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Busted in Bulgaria here:

Published under Good Music, Lifesend this post
2013 17 Sep

See Lyrics and Original song below…

I recorded the original song called “Survival Mode” while living overseas in Bulgaria in 2007.  At the time, I felt everything was caving in on me as I was a Peace Corps TEFL Volunteer.  Mostly it was the wall of sound that I was dealing with in the classroom where I taught.  Probably Phil Spector would have dug the wall of sound.

At the time while overseas, I was paying close attention to American politics.  The song was written shortly after Andrew Meyer’s “Don’t Tase Me Bro!” incident.

The times were definitely a time when the basic American liberties such as freedom of speech was rapidly disappearing as is evident by what happened to Andrew for asking questions at a John Kerry discussion at a University of Florida forum.

It was like every day I’d read about another incident of one being tased.  Starting in 2011, the new thing is people getting pepper sprayed.  College campuses have always been  a place of dialogue but the powers that be want passive subjects and in the particular the incident at University of California at Davis sticks out as something to be concerned about.  One police officer very casually sprayed students who were sitting there peacefully during an Occupy protest.

Currently, I’m working on a podcast with a show in British Columbia for my album “Busted in Bulgaria” that came out in 2008.  I’ll be talking about what the background of the songs where and how I came to record them.  The podcast should be out by the last week in September. Survival Mode was one of the songs on the BIB album.  I felt that it still has a good message today and that is why I re-recorded it.  The original was recorded on a laptop in a rather haphazard way with only a handheld microphone and an acoustic guitar.  The updated version has electric guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion and background vocals provided by my wife.

 

We’ve got to preserve our health.
It is all for ourself.
People are running scared.
Just like they haven’t cared.

Some turn to the booze.
This isn’t what I choose.
Which is the way?
Certainly there’s a new day.

Chorus

We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.
We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.

Arguments and tempers flare.
This I don’t wish to bear.
There’s no point to this.
Better avoid and miss.

We live within our cave.
Wishing only to save.
Our egos cause problems.
With pride we wear our emblems.

Chorus

We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.
We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.

We make shady deals.
so we can eat our meals.
We keep up the front.
In our power hunt.

Have faith in one another.
We’re brother and sister.
Fight through the pain.
We’re all the same.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2007

Published under Lifesend this post
2011 23 Oct

Probably it would be something like this if “Uncle Sam” were a real person today. I think arguing the left/right thing is a waste of time. It’s an allusion. They are one and the same and it is only a distraction.

It’s like this:

Published under Lifesend this post
2011 6 Sep

War Is Fun by More Jim Guittard

Go to Iraq, that’s where the money’s at.
Be about that – Do it stat.
You know that’s where you wanna be.

They’ve got games and fun over there; you just wait and see.
It’s like a carnival fare.
Do it, I dare.

You’ll be earning money hand over fist.
Just go ahead and enlist.
Go by faith, don’t worry about all the guns.
Don’t worry about all of the guns.

Chorus

War is fun in the desert.
They’ve got a party going on over there
In the desert.
War is fun in the desert.
So get on over there.

Count your money day by day.
Store it up and don’t forget to pray.
You’re doing good conquering all the land.
And you’re making many a grand.

Keep firing on all of the people.
They’re only poor but you’ve got the power.

Go to Iraq, that’s where the money’s at.
Be about that – do it stat.
You know that’s where you wanna be.
It’s fun there you know.

Chorus

War is fun in the desert.
There’s a party going on over there
Shoot everything that moves in the desert.
and don’t forget to get those people praying at the Mosque.

War is hell and it’s stupid.
Why are we there after ten whole years?

Enough is enough.
Get out of Iraq.
Enough is enough.
Get out of Iraq. Peace Corps.

Obama got his Nobel Peace Prize
and what has he done about it?
Wars are going on forever.
He said he would get out of Iraq
and Afghanistan, and Pakistan and all the other “Stans”.

Chorus

War is fun in the desert.
There’s a big party going on over there
In the desert.
Shoot everything that moves in the desert.
You are getting a lot of money in the desert.
It’s all worth it. You now it’s all worth it, in the desert.

Can’t make any money doing good.
All you can make money is from killing people in the desert.
That’s where it’s at.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2011

Let’s end the stupid wars. Pass this song on!

Published under Lifesend this post
2011 5 Sep

Lots of money to be made and partially tax free. What an incentive! For instance, look at these 2 ads at Craigslist:
LATUFF 2006

Customs / Border Patrol Advisor (Afghanistan)
Date: 2011-08-12, 6:39PM PDT
Reply to: see below [Errors when replying to ads?]
Customs / Border Patrol Advisor (Afghanistan)
________________________________________
Date: 2011-12-08, 8:14AM PDT
Reply to: eherring@fedsys.com [Errors when replying to ads?]
________________________________________

***************Graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) IS REQUIRED****************************

Border Management Task Force

WHAT IS THE BMTF? The Border Management Task Force is a Department of Defense Central Command Counter Narcotics funded program. The BMTF is compiled of current Homeland Security Officials, Customs and Border Protection Officers, Border Patrol Agents, Private Sector Subject Matter Expert Advisors and U. S. Military personnel.

Must be former or current CBP Officers or Border Patrol Agents to:

Provide U.S. Mission Subject Matter Expertise:
Customs Operations
Border Security
Counter Narcotics
Stabilize Afghan borders.
Partnership with the United States Embassy Kabul
cross-border smuggling routes.
Create secure borders to encourage legitimate trade and revenue flow.
Executive Mentoring (Customs/Border Police)

www.fedsys.com

UP TO $200K STARTING ANNUAL SALARY
with 6 weeks Paid leave and Airfare
Graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is required.

Erik Herring
BMTF Deputy Program Manager
eherring@fedsys.com

AND:

PASHTO LANGUAGE PERSONNEL NEEDED IMMEDIATELY US CITIZEN OR GREEN CARD
Date: 2011-08-08, 10:46PM PDT
Reply to: job-xkkfx-2537376451@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Global Dimensions is looking for PASHTO language personnel to join a new growing company with an exciting future and be part of a skilled team of professionals. If you can meet the below qualifications please respond.

Job description: Support to ongoing peacekeeping and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan through translation, interpretation, transcription and Cultural Advisement.

Minimum Qualifications:
– U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder
– Speak Pashto
– Great attitude and willingness to travel to Afghanistan

Salary and benefits:
– Current salary for a qualified linguist is from $184,500 to $235,500 (all inclusive) based on overall qualification
– Benefits include Medical, Dental, Life, 401K, Vision, Short and Long Term Disability and 4 weeks paid vacation
– If you are also overseas for more than 330 days, a large portion of your salary is also TAX FREE!!

If you have any additional questions or would like to apply, please respond ASAP!! We also offer a $10,000 bonus for any qualified Pashto referral. If you would like to assist in recruitment, or have someone to refer, please respond as well for more details.

Thank you and we look forward to hopefully having you on board.

Chris Newton
President/CEO
Phone: 410-908-6548

Compensation: up to $235,500

Published under Lifesend this post
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