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).
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)
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
Where are you going today?
Will you always stay in the same spot?
Or will you get up and go away?
It is all okay.
We’ve been here before.
They want us to be afraid.
But it’s not gonna keep us down.
Get up from your desk.
You’ve spent too much time there.
You wasting away.
Make something happen.
Create. Be the change you want to see.
The skies will part
and the clouds will go away.
There’s something okay and beautiful to see everyday.
Burn down the past. Go On.
We know there are other people waiting to get up.
JIM GUITTARD is an accomplished mockerizer, freak-flag waver and hoodlum based in Pasadena, California. Having finagled his way into faking he knows how to play music and writing hundreds of really horrible songs, making diy home recordings, and touring his apartment as both a sitar player and producer, he gained a plethora of insight and wisdom on the music industry as a whole. Jim is the founder of Mockerizer Front Entertainment LLC. Jim has also written “The Hoodlum’s Guide to Faking It in the Music Business,” a book sure to help independent scam artists to achieve outlaw status with sustainable scamming opportunities.
Here’s one of his crazy eccentric masterpieces complete with pots and pans percussion, drumming on old computer parts, and an arrogant improvised street-wise angry gangster thug lyrics:
Basically I saw this dude ranting and raving about customer service on youtube. I thought it would be a good opportunity to make a raging song around his rants. So I did. For my video, the idea was to get a clean-cut 1950’s guy who is lecturing and transform him into a dictator ranter type who is so frustrated. I took the sound from the raging guy on youtube and edited and inserted it into the my new video.
If you watch the original video of the 1950’s man you will be surprised at how pleasant he is talking about bombs. Maybe he is a dictator after all! 🙂
Music and art can change our World for the good. You already know how chaotic it is these days if you are awake: Swine Flu hype, G20 Riots, Vaccinations, Nuclear Standoffs, RFID chips, health care arguments, economy, Iraq War, terrorism, the New World Order, 1st amendment violations, unemployment, and the list can go on and on.
Now if we all rise up together we can push the oppressive things out of the way. I have compiled a Jamendo only playlist of artists I really like because of their honesty and musical quality. Please download at the link below and pass around. We can do this. It isn’t over and as long as we are breathing we can do something.
And here is another idea: If you can play guitar or piano, sing or write, get going and make a song about whatever you are going through. No matter what. Flood the internet with your viewpoint. Let’s not give in to the elite bullies in charge who want to manipulate, con and destroy us with their fear-mongering. These are all distractions.
if you paint or draw do that, too. Flood the internet with your world. We have more numbers behind us than those elite. They hide behind their power and wealth. Come and get going.
Make youtube videos, too and post. Do it!
Here’s the playlist:
1. Rancho Relaxo – From The Hip
2. Rancho Relaxo – Quebec
3. The Zombie Drivers – There Is No Law
4. The Zombie Drivers – Shine in the Rain
5. The Henry Chinaski’s Ashtray – A Girl Got A Car Accident
6. The Henry Chinaski’s Ashtray – One-eyed-woman’s dream
7. The Ragas – Blues Raga 2
8. The Ragas – What Ya Say
9. The Dada Weatherman – What Gandhi Said
10. The Dada Weatherman – Flying On A Cloud
11. Timado – True Blue
12. Timado – Turning
13. THE GOLDEN DAWN – Enjoy the Nature
14. The Golden Dawn – Let the Sunshine In
15. I Am Not Lefthanded – Falling
16. I Am Not Lefthanded – Long Goodbyes
17. Jamison Young – Live On A Moon
18. Jamison Young – Cold World
19. Blancheneige Bazaar Orchestra – Monkey Boy
20. Blancheneige Bazaar Orchestra – Meshugge
21. Jim Guittard – BJM-Like Song
22. Jim Guittard – The Sun Shines Today
23. Ben’s Imaginary Band – Connectiveness
24. Ben’s Imaginary Band – My Self-Centered World
25. Charline Lucie – Crimes de compagnie
26. Brad Sucks – Overreacting
27. Brad Sucks – Gasoline
28. Waterfalls – The Dandy Bell
29. Waterfalls – Get Tight And Loose
30. alterlabel -Optimystic
31. Blood Ruby – Midsummer Fires
32. Blood Ruby – Babel Babel
33. Illusion of Art – Machines
34. Illusion of Art – La Plano
35. The Heavens – Echo Serena
36. The Heavens – This Beautiful Machine
37. The Wagner Logic – Conflicting Sound
38. The Wagner Logic – So Hard
39. Glass Waves – Hey Nuclear
40. Glass Waves – Virginia Tech
41. FATHER JOHNSON – Treat Ya Kind
42. FATHER JOHNSON – Transcending
43. ARTSomerville – Are You Sleeping?
44. ARTSomerville – I know, I know
45. Chapter 9 – In the Universe
46. Chapter 9 – Small Apocalypse Song
47. The Verandas – Rescue Me
48. The Verandas – Anemone
49. Charlie Gibson – Eu Só Posso Cantar
50. Charlie Gibson – Porto ou Faxinal
Here are some paintings done by Henry McGuinn. They are quite colorful and much like the “Yellow Submarine” cartoon of the Beatles. During that time, Henry and I watched the Yellow Submarine a thousand times.
Jim with 12-String Rickenbacker and Korg
The Ragas at Topanga Beach
Jim Sleeps In Bush On PCH Near Malibu
The Car Chase
3 of Clubs in Hollywood
Jim Drinking Stout for Breakfast at Neptune’s Lounge – Topanga Canyon
Thanks Henry. The art is rad and really sums up my life in 2000. Cheers. Jim Guittard
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
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.