I’m posting here the source files to three HP-related songs that you can download and remix. I hope you will think is interesting. I wrote and recorded them back in 2005 at a time of transition. I was trying to figure out my next move and where God was calling me. In early 2003, I had come back from California after literally being run out of town by real hoodlums. Back in Texas, I was living with my grandparents going here and there as errand boy. Often at night while they were snoring away downstairs in the “hothouse” I was recording music. That’s what I called it anyway. There were wars over the thermostat.
My grandfather had these hip red lights in the den.
My alter ego during this period was the Notorious G.I.D.D. I seriously felt like a hoodlum and not able to fit in with the “country club” scene in H.P that my grandparents were members. The mundane routine had become going to CVS to pick up prescriptions, the bank and the grocery store to buy Oreos for the grandparents. I also worked a public library job while I was applying to join the Peace Corps. Answering questions and giving status updates was a regular thing with family during this long Peace Corps application process. Well, let’s just say the Federal Government is SLOW! As Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are those that never leave America.
They believe it’s a great utopia.
They spew out their arrogance.
And live in their racist trance.
They say, “the west is the best.”
And they forbid any foreign guest.
They push the “American Dreams”
But it’s not what it seems.
It’s a neverending chase for wealth
That will destroy your health.
They rule now by fear.
Always saying, “The end could be near.”
What ever happened to living by faith?
And the Golden Rule that the Lord did saith?
They speak of worse case scenarios
While they eat their morning Cheerios.
They believe their 401K and insurance plans will save them.
They will not; it’s only by Him.
They talk of jobs nonstop.
They work ’til they pop, flop, and drop.
America the Cult rules the world
With its brainwashing media face.
The foundation is torn apart
With each little fear alert.
Don’t care what you think. I love America and feel that something is VERY wrong here and that I must call the American leadership out. Poem was written on 3/7/2007 while living abroad in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Yes I’m back now and fighting the Good Fight.
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
By MARK NORRIS / The Dallas Morning News
Applications are up for the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps as Texans turn to service organizations in increasing numbers during the economic downturn.
The state numbers mirror national figures that show year-to-year increases beginning in 2007. Initial numbers of applicants this year are far outpacing those for any previous year.
Jim Guittard, who returned in late 2008 from a two-year mission for the Peace Corps, isn’t surprised.
“With the economy the way it is, people are looking for other things,” said Guittard, who lives in northeast Dallas. “They’re searching for a more satisfying or fulfilling life.”
Officials with the Peace Corps are still tallying the number of applications received in February, but according to the Dallas office’s Shannon Borders, it will probably be a record for one month.
AmeriCorps tripled the amount of applications it received in February this year compared with last.
Kerci Marcello Stroud, Teach for America’s regional communications director, said more people mentioned the economy during the just-completed application period than in years past. Some applicants told her the economic downturn made them re-evaluate what was important to them.
“There’s a growing interest among young people to engage in public service,” Stroud said.
The vast majority of applicants for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and Teach for America are recent college graduates.
Of the 35,000 applications Teach for America received this year, 25,000 were from graduating seniors. The remainder was split between graduate students and young professionals less than five years removed from graduation.
Sandy Nunez volunteered for Teach for America after graduating in spring 2007 from the University of Texas at Austin. She thought about joining the Peace Corps or other service organizations before deciding she could be most effective teaching children in underperforming schools.
“It seemed like a very appealing way to get involved,” said Nunez, who is about to complete her two-year commitment in the San Benito schools.
She recently decided to stay on for a third year, saying the state of the economy was a small part of her decision.
Borders said the Peace Corps targets recent college graduates. The median age of its volunteers in 25. There is no age limit, however, and 5 percent of the volunteer force is over 50. The oldest current volunteer is 84.
Guittard joined the Peace Corps 10 years after graduating from college. He had worked at an insurance company among other jobs and decided he wanted to take his life in a different direction.
“In college, I had considered the Peace Corps,” he said. “I didn’t want to have regrets in my life, so I decided to go apply.”
Guittard wound up teaching English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years and taking away an appreciation of how tight-knit families were and how tough his students’ lives were.
He said people who apply need to have the maturity to handle being the situation they are entering.
That vetting is part of the application process, said Borders. She said the biggest surprise is people finding out it can take six to12 months to complete.
But it’s worth it, according to Guittard, who said, “I learned a lot and I’m more appreciative of what I have.”
JUAN GARCIA/DMN Jim Guittard taught English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years.
America is rather silly right now. More and more news is negative about the crisis at hand. Where are the positive stories about good news. All we hear is bad and slanted toward going deeper and deeper down. Let’s write some positive stuff. It is funny that my having spent two years abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria isn’t worth mentioning. Many papers that I have contacted have turned down the story.
Seems that greed and money is the only thing that is important to write about these days. There are a lot of hardworking, sacrificing people out there that need notice. And I am writing to toot my own horn maybe. I taught in rough school in Pernik, Bulgaria for two years getting paid less than $400 a month. I returned to America just last November and like everybody else I am also looking for a job. I have seen how the world views America and it is not so positive. We need to do our part and get back to hard work in whatever it is.
I think America is obsessed with money and careers. You know what? It doesn’t matter so much the career that one takes if there is passion and purpose behind it. If you want to be a street sweeper then go for it. There is respect in working hard and not just collecting hand out and doing nothing.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Bulgaria
Back on September 30, 2008, I was interviewed for Sofia, Bulgaria Internet Radio Station ‘Tangra Mega Rock’. Radio DJ Vassil Varbanov ran the show. Various tracks were played and I got a chance to explain the real scoop behind my 3 Psychedelic/Folk-Rock albums, living in Bulgaria as foreigner, and my previous work teaching as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik. The Albums are:
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.