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.
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
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.)
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
West Hollywood, CA 90046
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 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.
I got into the BJM in late 1999. It was well before Dig but after the Viper Room and other events made “famous” in the movie. Put aside all the fistfights, verbal attacks or whatever, the music of the Brian Jonestown Massacre stands the test of time. Forget all the hype of Anton Newcombe being some crazy guy. Who cares? It’s about music right?
Starting in late 1999, I was lucky enough to see the band in person while living in Los Angeles. Anton was a cool dude to me. I never saw any of the abuse the movie is so based upon. In fact, he’s quite intelligent and courteous.
But the mark left with me from experiencing the BJM firsthand is tremendous. If I could sum up what I have gotten out of it. For me it left me with the feeling that I can have numerous chances to do “my thing.”
It’s about going for it no matter what, not giving up. Striving through all the hype. One does not have to be near famous to have hype about them. It seems that most families have hype. They have opinions on how one’s career should be or when they should marry, etc.
With the BJM, it’s about showing the press or mainstream or others that they are wrong with their close-minded routine thinking. It is a wake up call to society to think more positively and courageously with vision. A Beatles’ song comes to mind: “Think For Yourself.” Words are “Do what you want to do and go where you’re going to. Think for yourself ‘Cause I won’t be there with you.” It’s about standing on your own feet. Making your own history.
It is funny how when I read news stories about this famous person or that. The articles always bring up the past. Writers say nothing new. They write about what they’ve been told and don’t give people the chance to better themselves. Writers go along with the status quo, maybe for what is entertaining or controversial. I think the BJM evokes courage.
In America, we talk about free speech and everything but I think, in general, it is slanted toward the controversial, trashy, and rubbish category. Why do Americans like to read about controversy? I don’t but maybe most people do. I’m 33. Not that old. I’m among the Generation X, which have been written about to be cynical or the children of divorce families. I am from a divorced family and some of my family’s past is chaotic with fistfights and verbal attacks.
Here’s an excerpt from a news article I was mentioned in concerning “Generation X” finding their place in the world.1
Jim Guittard of Dallas, who will be 32 in October, lives with his grandparents, shelves books part-time at a branch of the Dallas Public Library and hopes to head to Eastern Europe or Central Asia for the Peace Corps this fall.
Armed with a degree in American history from Colorado’s Western State College, Guittard started out working as an automobile-insurance-claims adjuster but grew tired of the constant bickering over money.
To pursue his passion for playing the guitar, he moved to Hollywood, Calif., where he found gigs playing in clubs. But the money wasn’t enough to provide a steady living. To survive, he worked a series of low-paying jobs at a talent agency, a rental-car office and an apartment-locator firm.
The experiences left him disillusioned about working in corporate America, and he moved back to Dallas a little more than two years ago.
“I don’t want to settle,” he says of his decision to seek happiness rather than money. “Do what your heart says.”
That’s why I take comfort in the BJM. The BJM, I think, looks past the obvious. The obvious is, yes, you may have a disfunctional past but you can be somebody. It’s about not labeling others. Labels can be bad.
So what else can I say? Well, if you’ve read this far then, thank you. The BJM is cool.
Back in 2001, I recorded an instrumental in tribute to the BJM.
up1Katherine Yung, “As Generation X begins to hit 40, it’s finding its place in the world,” The Dallas Morning News, 8 July 2005.
Those of you who remember the old Bomp Magazine (1970-1979) know that my editorials were one of the staple features. The topic was usually “the State of Rock and Roll.” In the early to mid 1970s, when music had never been so oppressively controlled by corporate powers, and choice so limited, it seemed insane to believe that we, as fans, could ever have a meaningful voice in what we were allowed to hear, or how it was presented. But we had to try, because we loved rock & roll and didn’t want to let those bastards kill it.
Strangely enough, all the things dreamt of in those editorials came to pass, and sooner than anyone expected. Local bands re-emerged. The great raw sounds of the ’50s and ’60s were reissued (either by major labels under fan supervision, or on fan-made compilations), and had a galvanizing influence on a new generation of bands. Punk Rock was born in the spirit of the ’60s garage explosion, blowing open the doors that the industry had held fast against any fresh breath of rebellion. Vast networks of indie labels, fanzines, radio shows, record distributors and more, scarcely imaginable in 1975, were fully in place two or three years later.
Bomp’s editorials didn’t cause these things to happen, of course; rather, they voiced the need for them, encouraged people to believe in and work for change, and pointed out areas in which progress seemed possible. There wasintense resistance from the established order to the kinds of changes we wanted, but amazingly enough, a relative handful of people who shared a common vision were able to make a huge difference simply by doing the right thing at the right time.
I stopped writing editorials 20 years ago, and don’t intend to make a practice of it again. My views are my own, and I recognize that I am of no mind to formulate any grand theories of pop or anything else. Yet I can’t help being struck lately by the similarities between 1975 and today.
Item:In both cases the record industry had turned its back on new talent and concentrated on a handful of boring superstars they could count on to sell a huge volume of records.
Item:In both times, local music either didn’t exist at all, had no focus, or lacked any kind of scene to take root in.
Item: Then as now, audiences had been turned into passive consumers of prefab culture, with no interest in creating anything of their own
All this could be coincidence. Or it could be a clue that the conditions for a revolution are once again ripe.
There is a misconception about revolution, namely that they are supposed to accomplish somethng lasting. This is simply not true. What a revolution does is replace an existing order with a new one, which left to itself, will soon become as rigid as the one it replaced. Revolution is a process, and its main payoff is to add value to the lives of those who participate in it, and improve conditions in general for awhile. When it stops moving, it dies.
The point of a music revolution is not to replace today’s pop stars with a new slate; it is to kick out the jams! Riot in the streets! Do it now! etc. It’s all about direct engagement, and the result of all that activity should be a better time for all, a party that will keep everyone coming back to do it some more. And not only that–“parties” are not radicalin themselves. The sense of being more fully alive, empowered, having an impact on your world and your culture, these are the chief rewards. This is what rock & roll at its best can provide–leading to the idea that perhaps rock & roll itself should be seen not as a genre, not as a mere noun or even a verb, but also as a process.
Punk rock was a fantastic thing for those who took part in it, but listening to the Sex Pistols today is not a “punk rock” experience: it is an “oldies” experience. Same for the revolutions of the ’50s and ’60s. The “My Generation” of The Who will be on Social Security soon! The only meaningful revolution is the one that is taking place right now, if at all. There is no other time but now that we can live in, existentially speaking, and we either seize or or we don’t. We can use history to see what other revolutions have looked and sounded like, but we can’t truly know what it is until it’s happening all around us, and we have a personal role to play.
It may be folly to believe you can alter the course of the world, which is inevitably becoming more centralized, more controlled by large money interests, and less free–in terms of mass pop culture, at any rate. Out on the fringes, the Internet is enabling more and more variety, which is great, as long as you’re satisfied with a very small cult following and no money. This you are free to have. But the dream of rock & roll, from Elvis to the Beatles to Nirvana, has been the dream of doing something cool and changing the lives of millions with it. This is a dream each new generation of musicians embraces, for better or worse. And no matter how great the odds seem to be against it, I firmly believe it can happen any time people decide they’ve had enough crap.
Now, there are a couple of things necessary for a revolution. One is that the people be unbearably oppressed. Oppressed we surely are, with only three major record companies now controlling all channels of distribution (even indie records are distributed by a branch of EMI) and desiring nothing more than for us to shut up and buy more Britney Spears and Eminem. But “unbearably”? There are so many other obsessions these days; a kid with a new Nokia cell phone doesn’t have a clue he’s missing the joys of being part of a rock & roll scene. The masses will not rise in the name of something they can’t even imagine.
The other ingredient lacking is some charismatic band to carry the revolutionary banner. There’s been no shortage of overnight sensations in music recently, of course. But whatever their success, acts like Oasis, Radiohead, Beck, or (you name it) have not inspired their generation to “seize the means of production” or whatever it is proletariats are supposed to do. Any such band, I suspect, will need to be a whole lot more subversive than anything we’ve seen before. And probably something incapable of being packaged and sold for a profit!
(In many ways, the Grateful Dead met most of these criteria: underground till the end, they did create a substantial alternative culture around them. Unfortunately it was not a particularly viable one, and not one that many of us would care to join. But it is a valid example of what I’m talking about, I must admit.) Then there are “paint-by numbers” bands, starting possibly with Bomp alumni the Flamin’ Groovies, who think that by retracing the steps of past heroes, they can launch some new Heroic Age. Much as I have enjoyed some of these bands, their premise has clearly been proven wrong. (If we can’t learn from our own history, we may be condemned to endlessly reissue it…)
And yeah, there’s rap… but among other problems, rap comes out of a completely different cultural vein. I’m talking about a tradition called “rock and roll” that has been invented and re-invented continuously since the early ’50s, going always back to its roots and coming up with something new and more powerful. In my opinion, rap is the belated black response to punk, parallel to it in some ways, and like punk, long past its most creative days. Public Enemy and their ilk were subversive, in their way, in their time. But that revolution died when its heroes grabbed the gold chains rather than holding out for real change. Sure, some cool stuff has gone on in the name of rap, not to mentionreggae, techno, the rave scene, and so on, empowering individuals in the context of music culture. Movements have arisen, and changed lives in way I can’t but admire. But all this is a far cry from what rock and roll has done in the past, and from what I expect it to do for me, being who I am. So I address myself to what I believe can be done in the name of Rock and Roll.
An artist who will command the world’s imagination and set it on a new musical course is what’s needed to set off a wide-scalerevolution. In their wake, a whole wave of superior bands would be able to follow. But such an artist may or may not appear, like it or not.
Revolution, however, does not need to be as massive as all that. It is a process that begins at the grass-roots level, and needn’t necessarily rise above it. Horizontal growth may actually be what’s called for… (I’ve always maintained that if punk rock had happened on labels like Rough Trade instead of EMI and Warner Brothers, it would not have burned out so soon.) The point of revolution, in this sense, is to be a part of it. That’s where the pleasure comes from–the involvement, the participation in creating something. And this is a revolution we can have–if we want it badly enough to make it happen.
The conditions for it are better now than they have been in quite awhile. Healthy local music scenes are emerging all over, with bands whose vision embraces folk and blues, ’60s pop and ’70s punk, all the elements of the tradition they yearn to be a part of, with intelligence and historical savvy. I won’t mention any bands, but there are some great ones out there all of a sudden (Parenthetically: of course there are always plenty of cool local bands; most of them, however, have nothing to do with any of this, not to knock them. It may sound vague, but I know the kind of band I mean when I see it, and so will you.) I’ve talked with many in the past year or two and the same ideas keep comig up: there’s something happening here, we’re all a part of it, we don’t know what it is, there’s no marketing slogan, no ad campaign, but it’s real and we can feel it. And that’s the way it ought to be. Right now, there’s no excuse for anyone who loves music not to get out and support the good bands, who are either in your town or coming through soon. Don’t wait to read about it in Rolling Stone; put your ear to the ground.
! ! ! ! ! ! ! The revolution begins with you ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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.