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 of God.
by Jim Guittard
Something has been going on for the past eight years. It is the musical revolution that the Brian Jonestown Massacre front man Anton Newcombe is famous for talking about. In 2000, a Neo-Psychedelic scene with half a dozen bands was birthed in Silverlake, California. The Quarter After was one of those pioneer bands that was turned on from the start and continues today to turn on others.
As described by the band itself, the Quarter After is psychedelic music for the 21st century. The group is led by the Campanella brothers: Dominic and Rob. They formed in the summer of 2000 with then bassist Dave Koenig and drummer Nelson Bragg.
They began playing shows at the Silverlake Lounge, 3 of Clubs, and Spaceland. It was here that the hipsters gathered by the thing that was going on. You ask what was going on? Well simply, it was a spiritual awakening or rather a wake up call. It was a real departure from the philosophy underlying the excess mainstream music.
A new social consciousness was formed which was held together by the reverence of the older music acts such as the Kinks, the Beatles, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Buffalo Springfield, Love, the Left Banke, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Zombies, the Searchers, and the Association. There are too many bands to name.
It was not all by chance that this scene formed. Early on, the Campanella brothers made 4-track recordings of psychedelic pop. It was at the time of grunge. They were following the path set by the previous revival of psychedelic pop with bands like the Bangles, the Three O’Clock, and Dream Syndicate. In 1994, at a show at the Foothill Club in Signal Hill, Rob obtained the stamp of approval he needed to make psychedelic music. The show was a Sonic Boom concert where the Brian Jonestown Massacre was opening. It was even before the BJM had released any records. That night Rob listened to the psychedelic sounds of Anton’s band and something clicked. It was the green light and no turning back for Rob and Dom.
For a long time Rob remained behind the recording console as music producer for other psychedelic bands- the Beachwood Sparks, the Tyde, Dead Meadow, the Black Angels, and even the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Sunstorm. It was only two years after establishing the Quarter After, that the band caught the ears of Arthur Lee of Love. The band was asked to open up for Arthur Lee’s first show after being released from prison. In May 2002, the Quarter After soared high at this Los Angeles Knitting Factory gig. They were well received but shortly thereafter unofficially split.
But Rob was pulled back in 2003. The band reformed with a new bassist (Victor Peсalosa), and drummer and opened for Dead Meadow, a band Anton had found for the Committee to Keep Music Evil label. With renewed interest in the Quarter After, Rob and the band resumed work on their debut album that had already been started. The tracks were mostly recorded live with very little overdubs. Much of the time, Anton Newcombe manned the recording console.
The standout tracks from the debut album were “Too Much To Think About,” “Always Returning,” “One Trip Later,” and “So Far To Fall.” The album on a whole has a hypnotic energy, featuring soaring Rickenbacker 12-String, high harmonies and a hint of raga rock influence. Any serious lover of the Byrds, Gene Clark and the Beatles would be satisfied with the album.
After the record was released in 2005, Newcombe asked them to go out on tour with him as opening band for the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The tour went well and the revolutionary spirit was kept alive. The boys were writing new songs and were preparing to record their second album once back in Los Angeles.
The second album is Changes Near and was released in April 2008. A standout track is “Sanctuary,” which has a spiritual undertone- a beautiful song about faith, where fear and doubt are wiped away. “Follow Your Own Way” and the title track also follow this theme of faith and believe in the self.
This is the part of the revolution that Newcombe has been pushing, where he once said “I’m here to destroy this fucked up system… I’ll use our strength. Let’s fucking burn it to the ground.” He was pointing to the whole music industry. Time has now caught up with him as the record companies and labels are no longer in charge. And the Quarter After is poised to be part of this new world.
Also see The Quarter After’s website
Article is reprinted from the October/November 2008 Edition
Perfect Sound Forever Online Music Magazine
I’m putting up the mp3 source tracks that I recorded to make many of my songs so that anyone can remix or do whatever they want to it. I found a cool website where people can remix other people’s music.
So here’s the site where you can download my source tracks for free of course and create your own thing out of it: ccmixter
I’d be very happy to see what anyone makes out of it. Beware, some of the tracks have sound leakage. I did the best I could to clean it up. I’ll be posting more songs later. Let me know if you have one you’d like to remix that is not up there.
2008 – “Busted In Bulgaria”
2002 – “California Daze”
“Busted In Bulgaria” is a collection of songs that document living in a strange land. During a two year period, the tracks were all recorded in a raw stripped down way on a laptop using Adobe Audition 2.0. The songs range from psychedelic, shoegaze, folk-rock to experimental. The album is full of sound effects to add a creative vibe. Some songs even have the actual sound from students in the Bulgarian school where I have taught English in Pernik. I also sing a handful of songs in the Bulgarian language.
“California Daze” was recorded in Hollywood, California around 2002 by me on my 4-track recorder and later mixed with Adobe Audition 2.0. The songs pay tribute to the birth of the Neo-Psychedelic scene that emerged beginning in 2000 in Silverlake, California with groups such as the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Quarter After, smallstone, the Warlocks, the Tyde, and the Belle Isle.
I play the shaker, drum machine, and sing all lead and background vocals with the help of friend Vladimir Maskov for bass. Brian McKay engineered the recording of the Beach the acoustic version. I also play all lead and rhythm guitars. The song Beach is co-written by myself and Dominic Campanella of the Quarter After.
The “Swing Tune” and “Jazz Tune” are instrumentals I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute from 1999 to 2000. Here I play the lead guitar with session bassist and drummer. On the rhythm guitar is a guy from Brazil named Reginaldo. He was a student with Jim at the school. You can hear the teacher, “Mr. Lupo Groinig” giving a critique after the instrumentals end.
2008 – Busted in Bulgaria
2002 – California Daze
Please download both albums for free:
Jim at Jamendo