Music


Music and Philosophy and Poetry and Politics and Psychology and Social Issues13 Aug 2017 07:38 pm

For those of you new to the site, or who haven’t visited in awhile I invite you to fully explore GuidoWorld and all it has to offer. If you click on to the Words tab at the far top right you will currently see four of my novels along with two of my nonfiction books.

I have recently updated the page so that the entire books are posted rather than just some selected chapters. Within the next year I plan on posting two or three more of my books, so by the time you finish reading the current menu of my works more should be available.

A couple tabs to the left of Words you will find the Music tab. There you will find the growing library of my albums. The music contained on the albums spans from the early 80’s all the way up to the present. Similar to the book menu, the posted music library will continue to grow and be of a higher quality throughout the year. Of the 19 albums currently listed 14 of them have been remixed and remastered and will show themselves as part of Bandcamp.

The remaining five plus an additional five more albums are in the process of being updated and remixed. My son, who is a far better recording technician than myself will be in charge of the new revised mixes. Since I have a huge backlog of songs and I still write and record between 8 and 12 songs a year, new albums will be appearing in the foreseeable future.

The podcast button is new and is rather sparse at this point. Within the next year or so I plan on beginning to record a number of podcasts that discuss my books and music, as well as all discuss and expand upon all of the social, political and psychological topics that you have covered in my posts over the last decade.

Those who have been faithful readers to this site know how much I am enthralled with life, and how much I relish the opportunity to share and to grow. Thanks for taking the time to read, listen to and ponder all that I have produced and posted over the years.
Enjoy!

United in Compassion,

Jim

Art and Music and Relationships13 Aug 2016 09:28 am

Album Release and The Art of Living:

People attain a sense of meaning and purpose in their life through a variety of means. An abbreviated list of ways would include: tasks and accomplishments, thought and ideas, experience and emotions, faith and belief, and events and adventures. The way we derive meaning, joy and satisfaction from our lives could be referred to as the Art of Living.

I advocate for an approach which attempts to maximize the moment by integrating sensorial, visceral, emotional, conceptual and psychological elements as often as possible. Both experience and logic seem to verify that such well rounded and comprehensiveness provides our lives with much depth, richness and satisfaction.

While everyone is free to find what best works for them I must admit a sense of wariness and fear when people employ methods that emphasize mind, spirit and consciousness at the expense of dismissing, ignoring, devaluing and sometimes demonizing the body and sensorial life.

If we lived in a global community that was life affirming all personal preferences would be safe and acceptable. Yet, when our and all of organic life’s continued existence is threatened through war, intolerance, etc. the respect for and valuing of physical organic life becomes essential. The less one values and appreciates our bodies and tangible organic life, the more likely it becomes that we will engage in or tolerate actions which harm and destroy organic life. The more the body and the world is a burden, obstacle, temptation, illusion or thing to transcend the less likely we are vigilantly insure its survival.

My music and lyrics are a major way in which I personally grow and find meaning in life. It is also the means by which I try to have a positive impact on the quality of life of others as well as have a life affirming influence on the world as a whole. I, therefore, greatly appreciate your taking the time to listen to my songs, and ask that you introduce and share it with others.

So, here are 2 songs from my latest release Go!
Below for those who are interested is a little insight into how I create music and write songs.
Just tap on links immediately below and enjoy!

 https://guido2.bandcamp.com/track/feelin…
 https://guido2.bandcamp.com/track/carniv…

To read lyrics and listen to songs from all currently released albums go to:

 https://guido2.bandcamp.com/music

Just tap on any album cover and go from there.

Me and my music

Occasionally when writing a song I’ll start with an image, or a phrase and then find a couple of chords which fit. Yet, the vast majority of the time I start with a totally clean slate and play chords on the guitar (or piano) until they create a distinct emotional environment.

Out of this musical mood/environment a tentative vocal line emerges. After singing nonsense words for hours over a number of days, the song usually coalesces into a few distinct musical sections with their own chord patterns. Then the dance between actual words and melody lines begins to happen which shapes the length and order of each section, verse and refrain,

My entire songwriting process is extremely organic and as reflexive as speech or driving a car. I usually enter a kind of emotional trance state trusting that words will come to me which elicit and evoke what I’m feeling. In many ways I experience the bulk of the process as me listening and paying attention to my emotional and sentient body. While my ego does help in the decision process by and large my ego spends its time trying to listen and portray what I’m feeling.

Songwriting is a form of personal therapy in which I learn about me as I create. I often find that the longer I sit with my original lyrics the more comfortable I become with them making it unnecessary to make many changes or alterations. While words serve many purposes in my lyrics I find a certain hierarchy of preferences. I most often use words to evoke and elicit an experience or mood, next I prefer words that express, after that comes words that articulate and my least favorite lyrics are those that explain.
I would learn little about myself if I all that I created was managed or filtered through my self-conscious ego. The learning of myself comes after a songs completion when i reflect on and savor what I’ve created.

Ironically, I find that my music is easiest for people to enjoy if they start first by reading the lyrics and my liner notes. In this way most people find a way to appreciate the mood and intensity of the music. Most modern music is a consumable, while my songs are more art than easily digestible sound.

I seldom find music that moves me more than that which arises out of me. I feel that my music speaks and shares many aspects of myself in an intimate and powerful fashion. I invite you to viscerally enter my world and inspires you to further explore yours and maybe even motivates you to share with me some of your reactions and experiences.

Jim Guido

Government and Music and Philosophy and Poetry and Politics and Social Issues03 Aug 2014 10:54 am

The following is the lyrics and reverie for Deus Ex Machina a song of mine which will be released as a track on the album I’m Just Saying later this week.

Deus Ex Machina

Deus ex Machina is literally “the god machine”. In ancient Greek tragedies it was a device used at the end of the play to save the day through divine intervention to extricate the lead characters from sure and utter ruin.

In this song a strong proud woman is counseled to remain patient despite the fact that the speed of life is seemingly careening out of control. The counsel of her contemporaries seem to suggest that she should take solace in her beliefs and that soon her prayers will be answered by a last minute appearance of the god machine. We moderns are likewise being asked to trust that through our faith in religion, spirituality, technology or science will be plucked out of the immanent disaster our current path seems to be on.

In the late 60’s Buckminster Fuller published a book entitled Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. The book focused on how the earth is essentially a huge spaceship with a limited amount of resources which cannot be resupplied. All of the life on this self-contained ship traveling through space is fragile and mutually dependent on each other for its continued survival.

Our blatant over use of finite resources such as oil, and our continual polluting of our air and water since his book was released bear comparison to the way the characters in the old greek plays ignored the prophesies of the savants in the tragedies. Our foolhardiness becomes even more obvious when we take the analogy between the earth and a giant space ship a little further.

Imagine the fate of the Star Ship Enterprise or some other city sized spaceship, if they allowed their water and air supply to be polluted and toxic. In addition, imagine the repercussions if they routinely had battles between different sectors of the ship in which passengers were killed and their living environment (hardware) were destroyed. How long would the voyage last?

The interdependence of organic and sentient life is a functional and practical reality, while our concepts of nation, political ideology, belief and judgment are relatively arbitrary. Without trees we could not breathe, nor could our bodies function and survive without germs and bacteria. The kill of be killed philosophy which dominates our modern world view is misguided and untenable. Strategies of how to coexist should not be relegated to the realm of utopia or idealism, for they are essential to our continual survival.

Words of hope, promise, and national or ethnic superiority pale in comparison to the importance of actions which increase the quality of life for all the inhabitants of space ship earth. The earth is a lush and vibrant planet due more to the ability of organic life to cooperate, adapt, harmonize and thrive than for its ability for individual organisms to defeat and destroy other organisms. While each individual organism must eat or perish, they also depend on the overall health and expansion of all life on the planet for their continued existence.

People turn a blind eye to the atrocities done in their name, or even defend, justify and support the actions of governments which are destroying people and nature. We are endangered by nuclear warheads and accidents, the degradation and increased toxicity of our water and air, the destruction of arable land and the overuse of non replenish-able resources. The earths growing population and advances in technology have created the opportunity for us to have killed and caused more human suffering than any previous empire on earth. We have killed millions upon millions of innocents under the ironic and absurd pretext of giving people their freedom.

So should we be like the ancient Greeks and still pin our hopes on divine intervention or the eleventh hour appearance of a god machine?

The earth has successfully dealt with every crisis it has faced. Despite the fact that life has always been fragile and survival has always been a reality, life on our planet has not only persisted but flourished. The earth is the only blue/green planet that our science has been able to find, so our planet had to do something right in order to create and support organic life. All we have to do is tap into and continue the tradition of our flourishing planet.

Deus Ex Machina

Deluge of broken comedies, the joker licks the steam
Laura struggles to make it better puts her pride in relief
The treadmill keeps moving faster all is on the increase
Before you slip into the chasm enter the god machine

Keep your toes on the line don’t trip on that line, trip on that line
Your hopes are in the future, so they tell you, so they tell you
So they tell you, so they sell you all will be improve a little later
Running cold, running bold, running blind, can you set the pace?

Lunge onward in darkness blindfolded by the mask of innocence
Walk softly pretty lady have faith in the guiding hand
Take a sleep on stony ground, not much you can do with this land
Listen safe to the deep voice that tells you what lies below

It’s cold, so cold and shady but a few yards yonder lies a brook
You can rest there for awhile, rest there lover
All looks so bleak, the edge of defeat, have faith in some alien god machine
Kiss the treasure the golden dream for here comes the god machine

Adorable god of fortune is late upon the scene
Make me shiver in wonder of your awesome majesty
Pluck us from the danger, the climactic deed
If you’re made of plaster what awaits sweet destiny?

Golden idol of reason celestial or divine
Save us at eleven before our last midnight
All looks so bleak, the edge of defeat, have faith in some alien god machine
Kiss the treasure the golden dream for here comes the god machine
Deus ex machina
Enter the god machine
Deus ex machina

Art and Music and Poetry16 Jan 2014 06:47 pm

This is a copy of the release announcement for my new album.

Hey,

This email is to announce the fourth album of mine to be released on Bandcamp.com. The album is entitled Opportunity Lost, and joins Flesh of Life, Life in the Shadows, and Edge of Eden on the site. To access all four albums click on or type in  http://guido2.bandcamp.com and scout about to your hearts content. All albums and individual songs come with notes and credits to help you better digest all that is there. Please read my sneak preview of Peek-a-Boo that follows……sneak preview…… (peek-a-boo)….. okay one pun down many to go.

Peek-a-Boo

Shortly after the first glimmer of self-awareness a child develops the life long need to be recognized and appreciated for being a unique individual while also feeling connected to and loved by others. These two basic dual needs of humans often become a source of interpersonal conflict and ambivalence in adolescence when teenagers demand total autonomy and privacy one moment and then bemoan being ignored and abandoned by others the next.

In infancy these dual needs get met simultaneously in the game of peek-a-boo with mom, dad or a caretaker. Most infants wriggle, giggle and squeal in delight at the prospect of being discovered anew time and time again during a peek-a-boo session. At this moment the child feels recognized and appreciated for being a unique entity while feeling swathed in their mothers love and care. Most parents have experienced the urgent cries of a child who feels the game is being terminated too quickly.

Since the desire to be loved and recognized lasts throughout our lives we usually find ways to encourage others to recognize us (think bellbottoms, or candy colored hair) and to be emotionally connected to us (teams, play groups, clubs, etc.). In latter childhood peek-a-boo gets replaced with more sophisticated games of being discovered and recognized like hide-and-seek, tag, red light, Marco Polo and even less obvious games such as Simon Says, Mother May I and Charades.

The primal need for recognition, a sense of belonging, and being appreciated for one’s uniqueness is demonstrated by the emotional power contained in live artistic performances, award ceremonies and personal tributes. We can attend a ceremony or watch a tribute or award ceremony and get a lump in our throat at the prospect of a total stranger getting a standing ovation. Similarly the emotional power of a wedding ceremony is often heightened and amplified by the number of people witnessing the public acknowledgment of love and appreciation of one person to another.

Actually the whole veil aspect of the wedding does seem to go out of its way to replicate the whole peek-a-boo moment of discovery and unbridled (pun intended) attention given at the moment preceding the exchange of vows.

So, one of the ways in which I personally seek to continue to play the game of peek-a-boo and hopefully get re-discovered, validated and appreciated for my uniqueness is through my art. The time and care that goes into every lyric I write and song I compose is my attempt to share the most intimate parts of myself with friends and the world in general. Anyone who has seen my drawing and handwriting immediately realizes that as a child I did not get the usual “props” when I brought home such works from early school years.

While the desire and need for appreciation, validation, recognition and connection never leaves us, it does appear that most of us find few avenues in our adult lives to get those needs met (charades and Pictionary only go so far).

All in all I can’t tell you how much it means to me when any of you take the time and care to read my words and listen to the songs. In many ways my music is my public personal diary. There is little in life I enjoy more than sharing with others. As many of you know I treat the average conversation as a hungry man approaches a smorgasbord. Please click on http://guido2.bandcamp.com and dine on my musical offerings. Come visit often and invite friends to dine there also. If you get a chance email or write me your thoughts and feelings whether they are related or inspired by my songs or just to satisfy your need for a round of peek-a-boo.

So the last thing I have to say is: “Tag, you’re it”.

United in Compassion,

Jim

The album and lyrics can be downloaded at Bandcamp. Click on the music tab above if you’d like to listen to some more of my music. Yet you can only download music at http://guido2.bandcamp.com.

Music and Poetry01 Jan 2014 08:40 pm

The following is a fictional interview of I interviewing me, (or more phenomenologically accurate me interviewing I) regarding the lyrics to Mottled Morn.

Lyric alert:
This song rated M for mature minds as some content maybe existentially uncomfortable or emotionally challenging.

Q: How did you come up with the song title?
A: I often like to engage in meditative musings, or reflective reverie on a single word. The word mottled came into my head while on a walk, and I decided to savor the word and all of its associated meanings.

Q: Meditative musing, reflective reverie? Did your predilection for alliteration have anything to do with your choosing to pair mottled with morn?
A: Most definitely.

Q: So with all the endless permutations and combinations of possible syntax how did you arrive at this particular assemblage of words?
A: Wow, that seems more like a question to be answered by the reflective me rather than the speaking self, but I’ll do my best to give you a decent answer.

Q: I’m sure you will. So how did the lyrics take shape?
A: Well it all started from my initial reverie on the word mottled, in which I focused on staying loyal to its aspects of irregularity or asymmetry with regard to presentation of patterns while not being as committed to its having to do with color. My propensity for alliteration once again had me find areas of similarity between mottled and motley.

Q: So if not color, what is mottled in your song?
A: Well as I said I wanted to do homage to the idea of irregularity or symmetry. So when the first line, “like a voice from another dimension, the day began out of phase” came to me, I quickly transferred the mottled pattern from color to sound. The voice broke the patterns of symmetry and familiarity by neither coming from within (thought) or from a recognizable source of a person in my presence.

Q: Doesn’t that harken more to schizophrenia than a breaking of a pattern?
A: Yes, there is nothing more central to the idea of needing consistency and regularity than the sense of self. The singer uses this as an opportunity to depict the severity of his disorientation with which he finds himself when waking from slumber. He wakes due to a bright light which steals away dream and replaces it with a fragile and disoriented semi wakefulness.

Q: Why did you introduce the girl and hint at a break up?
A: There are few things which anchor our lives more than love. The loss of love, or the sense that the feeling of loving someone was an illusion can definitely place us in a position of great angst and lead to our entire existence seeming displaced, empty and lacking in any order and meaning.

Q: Yet, in the long run the song does not seem to be about lost love. Isn’t the song more about you than a relationship gone wrong?
A: Yes that’s true. The line “I saw right through her into me” changed the entire direction of the song. That line came about totally organically as I was singing generally nonsense words trying to find a cadence and vocal line that matched the chords that I was playing. Yet, once that line seeped in and resonated with me I knew that the song was about to write itself.

Q: Did the song take much editing? How long did it take you to write the song?
A: I standardly do not edit my songs much. In general I use my art as a way for me to learn about me, where editing seems more like an exercise into consciously managing me. The words of the song were written over a couple of days, a musical section at a time. Each section had its own cadence and meter and it took awhile for the words to settle in with the chordal mood and ambience. I had been playing with the chords on and off for a few months before deciding to write the lyrics.

Q: So what was the lost love theme replaced with?
A: Well it wasn’t really replaced it just became less a song about a lover and more about one’s love of life. The love of life is the measure by which all other love’s are judged. The singer finds the cure to the disconcerting quality of the mottled morn to be embracing irregularity and not to fight it.

He gets over his lost love, by realizing that she wanted certainty and was unable to adapt and enjoy the capricious aspects of insight and personal growth. He on the other hand professes to “reap the joys” of his sense of doubt. He experiences intimacy as the never ending process of self-discovery and becoming more familiar and at home with so many aspects of life and knowledge. The unwillingness of his lover, others, or even himself to stay committed to the unfurling of intimacy seems to be structured in fears and inhibitions.

Intimacy, the singer feels, is the entire realm between certainty and chaos, in which all is experienced as neither arbitrary nor predestined. His allegiance is to life itself, not just its essence or spirit, but its deep visceral reality.

Q: How did you decide that the song was complete? Is there a final lesson to be learned in Mottled Morn?
A: No I don’t think there is an ultimate message or meaning to Mottled Morn, it was just an exploration of a feeling. It is rare when I feel a song is truly complete, usually they are just snap shots that one ends before they become as laborious as a library of photo albums. In this song, at some point I just stopped and reread the lyrics and it just felt like a good place to pause.

Q: Could you read them to see if we agree?
A: I’d be honored to do so.

Mottled Morn 12/5/13

Like a voice from another dimension
The day began out of phase

The light stole my mind from a dream
Forgetfullness gave my heart a much needed reprieve
Emotional waves crash on rocky shores
Their hollow echoes prey on my mottled morn

I saw right through her into me
I found her distance quite disorienting
Waves of emotion crashed on rocky shores
Their hollow echoes haunt me to my core

She left my soul stranded on the beach
When she set her heart slightly out of reach
I look out into the endlessness of sky
Sensing the reasons why

She is afraid of a life in transition
Feels betrayed and exposed by all that is uncertain
I reap such joys from the sense of doubt
Each day a new puzzle that cries to be sorted out

The fresh and the discovered draw my fascination
Every mystery deepens richens my infatuation
I long to share to revel in amazement
To treat her body as a fragile present

I’m in love with every warm breath
of this precious life
It’s mystery and its passion
intoxicate my mind

Life touches me so tenderly
sends tingles up my spine
The intimate and the familar
fan the flames of desire

Today and all tomorrows I sense I will treasure it
I am hopelessly dependent, devoted and in love with life

Hope you all enjoyed listening in on my little conversation with myself.

Jim Guido

While this song has been recorded, it will not be available for some time. In the meantime please go listen to my some of my albums located in the music section of this website, or go to Bandcamp and type in or click on http://guido2.bandcamp.com to get to my homepage. You can listen and download my songs on Bandcamp to your heart’s content.

Art and Music and Poetry30 Aug 2013 09:24 pm

Hey,

My music is now being released on Bandcamp.
All of you loyal listeners of my music can now download my album on Bandcamp.
You can also download individual tracks for as little as $1.
Just go to Bandcamp and type in Jim Guido, or GuidoWorld and the album Flesh of Life will be there for you to listen to and download.
The songs have been remixed and are of a higher quality than on this website.
Each and every month I plan on releasing another of my albums on band camp.
Let me know what album you want me to release next.
If you’ve never listened to my music, just click on the music tab on the upper right and have a listen.

Also let me know what songs you like best. I will keep track of your votes and combine them with sales from Bandcamp and give you updates on the top songs.

Currently the most listened to songs on this site are:

1) Dancing Hippos (Edge of Eden)
2) Live Until You Die (Flesh of Life)
3) Preening Like A Peacock (Priorities)
4) Haunted (Edge of Eden)
5) Dance For Me (Take Me)
6) Making Money (Opportunity Lost)
7) Inexhaustible You (Flesh of Life)
8) Feeling Me, Feeling You (Go!)
9) Every Bit of Your Heart (I’m Just Saying)
10) Take Me (Take Me)
11) Talking About Yesterday (Mortal Joy)
12) Too Many ?’s (I Rock Therefore I Am)
13) Table 4 1 (Significance)
14) Inexhaustible You (Flesh of Life)
15) Bonsai Beauty (Visceral Vicissitudes)

Please also vote for your favorite lyrics.

Happy listening, and I do appreciate your support.

Humor and Music29 Oct 2012 03:44 pm

Please click to here the latest promo for guidoworld. The script for the commercial is below.

Promo

Guidoworld commercial:

I’m Jim Guido and I lampooned this message

Do you feel a sense of impending doom? Do you think that human beings are incapable of world peace? Do you feel that there is a substantial difference in the two political parties? Do you trust corporate media and mistrust alternative media? Do you think people are truly better dead then Red and that the war on terrorism is more of a threat than is corporate globalism? Do you support imperialism and view the impoverished as lazy and deserving of suffering and starvation? Are you convinced that only your nation is good and all others are evil? Than you might find some relief from the anger and bitterness with a visit to guidoworld.

Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for social intercourse and increased intimacy.

At guidoworld you find novels which emphasize the lives of good people trying to do the right thing. Lyrics and songs which challenge and uplift one’s spirits. Essays and books which reconnect us with the wonder, beauty and awe of human life. All portrayed with the honesty and compassion required to inspire us to make the world a better place for everyone.

Join the thousands who have come to guidoworld for temporary and in many cases lasting relief from pessimism, denial and cultural and spiritual elitism. Maybe your story will be like these satisfied customers.

My husband Chuck use to watch Fox News every waking minute. This often resulted in tirades of anger, hatred, and intolerance of other viewpoints. Within ten visits to guidoworld Chuck became a new man, humble, loving and compassionate and appreciative of the gift of life. It is so wonderful to see Chuck interested in the ideas and experiences of others as well as relishing in each and every opportunity to add joy to everyone’s life.

My wife Harriet use to complain about how close minded and blindly defensive the supporters of George Bush were, but once Obama was in office she couldn’t see how she was doing the same thing but only from the other side of the fence. Her excuses for and support of endless wars, predatory drones, sanctions, torture, and bank bailouts as well as Obama’s increase of executive powers at the expense of civil and personal rights were difficult to stomach. Yet, now after guidoworld she is once again the compassionate, empathetic socially conscious woman that I fell in love with. Thank you guidoworld for restoring her vision as well as her heart.

Come visit guidoworld it is free, safe and effective when used as directed. Your results may vary.

Side effects include existential angst, righteous indignation, conspiratorial ideation, empathetic sorrow, ethical regret, global compassion, social consciousness, critical thinking, a decrease in selfishness, and a preoccupation with one’s quality of life.

Additional side effects include nausea as a response to the financial elite and their perceptual managers, sensitivity to bullshit and a craving for intimacy.

Visits to guidoworld may cause a sudden drop in gullibility, or a dramatic increase in compassion.
For insurrections lasting more than four hours please contact your therapist. Please do not visit guidoworld when under the influence of artificial stimulants.

Guidoworld may not be for everybody, but it sure feels like it.

Jim Guido

Music and Poetry and Relationships08 Jul 2012 07:36 am

Thirty years ago I was in the recording studio recording my first album Life in the Shadows. Most of the songs on that album we (the band Ekstasis) had been performing in clubs in the Chicago area for about five years before recording them.

Often I surprise myself when I read the lyrics I penned back then. One of the oddest and most arcane lyrics of that time period was Psittacism Criticism, and in honor of the 30th anniversary of my first album I thought a reverie on that song would be both fun and fitting.

The term psittacism refers to any speech pattern which resembles the monotonous metallic vocalizations which were the staple of futuristic robots. So here’s the lyrics followed by my reflections of what I was thinking when I wrote them.

Psittacism Criticism

Coughing up those bricks
Glorified shibboleths
I’d give you the back of my hand
If I could endorse a cliché

She talks with all the class of escaping gas
To sad little void heads
Glazed eyes and gaping jaw (perpetual sneeze)

Come to my room to play adult Parchesee
Unshuffle me with your card shark hands
Let me be your detour if you desire reconstruction
I’m sad yet hopeful, this blue blood’s not green

Parched man desires refreshment
But even a man dehydrate will decline HCL

Where’s the party, where’s the party?
Put me on remote control
Oh hell, I used to be 21
There’s no time after alcohol

Put me in my time
Put me in my time

I used to be a friend of mine till
You put me in my time

Tell me if you care

This song was written after a weekend of socializing with friends and other young twenty contemporaries. I found most parties to be disappointing and somewhat depressing. Most gatherings lacked the type of intensity and intimacy for which I thirsted. The lyrics of this song sum up my sense of disappointment.

Coughing up those bricks
Glorified shibboleths

While shibboleth usually refers to customs and beliefs which are the hallmark of a given group I also used it to mean the lingo and habits of my crowd. The time was the middle to late seventies and we were a proud and somewhat arrogant group. We viewed most adults as ignorant, selfish and power hungry automatons whose lives were generally empty and shallow. In this respect I was in synch with my peer group, yet I was also quite critical of my peers.

The first two lines of the song refers to the catch phrases that accompanied almost every sentence uttered by my crowd. Hardly five seconds ever passed without someone saying “right on”, “heavy”, “cool”, “man” or some other trite response. These words were the “amens” of our social religion and though they were meant to provide validation and solidarity I found them an obstacle to sustaining meaningful dialogue.

The bricks were, of course, those lifeless catch phrases which said nothing and went no where. I chose coughing up those bricks for several reasons. One, coughing is a sign of pain and contagious disease and I was becoming increasingly concerned that the empty party talk was beginning to contaminate my thought process as well as the quality of my relationships with others. Bricks are lifeless dead weight and seemed the perfect vehicle for how I felt about the empty, lifeless discussions which were passing as meaningful conversation.

We believed that our lingo and slang were a sign of our depth and superior social awareness, that is why they were glorified shibboleths. We weren’t up tight inhibited slaves to the establishment as were our parents, but rather fully autonomous revelers of life’s secrets and pleasures. While our parents were “out of touch”, we were “with it” and totally “tuned in”.

Yet, to me the incessant lingo showed that my peers were becoming just as empty as their parents, and the drugs weren’t about self-discovery and opening new universes but no different than our parents alcohol and cigarette dominated socializing. To borrow a phrase from another one of my songs of that time period, Eros and Erosion, “I refuse to speak in ejaculations”. I wanted penetrating discourse which revealed and created life’s meaning and significance, and was not content with the reflexive grunts of community which pervaded all social interaction.

I’d give you the back of my hand
If I could endorse a cliché

My disappointment with my peers was heading towards anger and that is why I said that “I’d give you the back of my hand”. So, while criticizing my peers for engaging in endless trite phrases I engaged in a little self-effacing humor by using a hackneyed saying from a previous generation as my threatening reprimand. I qualify that statement by saying “if I could endorse a cliche”, because the whole idea behind psittacism criticism is to revoke all manner of trite an repetitive speech and expression, rather than attacking one form while glorifying another.

She talks with all the class of escaping gas
To sad little void heads
Glazed eyes and gaping jaw (perpetual sneeze)

I could not help but see my drugged out friends as “sad little void heads”. While I was juiced on life, they were choosing to escape into an anesthetized world which would bar them from remembering the nights conversations when they woke the next day. A sure sign of the drugged out partier was the gaping jaw and perpetual sneeze pose mentioned in the song.

Come to my room to play adult Parchesee
Unshuffle me with your card shark hands
Let me be your detour if you desire reconstruction
I’m sad yet hopeful, this blue blood’s not green

This verse was intended to be rich in obscure sexual innuendo. First off choosing Parchesee as an implicitly tawdry game seems ironic unless you know that it supposedly was originally a game of leisure played by harem girls. I invented the concept of unshuffling to show how deft and agile were my harem girl lover’s hands. Since I was feeling so out of synch with my world, her unshuffling me would most likely restore my life to a sense of meaning and intimacy.

In response to her healing acts of love I would gladly return the favor and help her reconstruct a life of intimacy and fulfillment. All she would have to do is say the word, and we would be each other’s detour from the current emptiness of modern life. The word play of detour and reconstruction were a veiled reference to the “road to enlightenment” that so dominated the counter cultural spiritualism of that time.

The last line of the verse notes how my discontent with the hippie zeitgeist had more to do with my high ideals then any kind of envy of those openly embracing the times. One again I use a bit of ironic self-effacing humor as I equate my aspirations of intimacy with being a blue blood.

Parched man desires refreshment
But even a man dehydrate will decline HCL

The next verse emphasizes the fact that while my thirst for community and intimacy remains unquenched, I will not sacrifice my principles and settle for less. A drink of (HCL) hydrochloric acid will not only not quench my thirst but would only do me further damage.

Where’s the party, where’s the party?
Put me on remote control
Oh hell, I used to be 21
There’s no time after alcohol

As my frustration peaks I cry out and ask where is the party. where is the celebration. I’m beginning to find these gatherings not only unfulfilling but annoying. At these functions I just go through the motions of having a good time, as if I were on remote control. My mainly unconscious drugged out companions are likewise on auto pilot as we seem to be acting out the same play every night. Life is quickly becoming one gigantic alcoholic blackout where we age quickly while our lives go on in a semi-conscious coma.

Put me in my time
Put me in my time

I used to be a friend of mine till
You put me in my time

I remember a time when our conversations were filled with insight and meaning. A time when we openly disclosed things that mattered to us, before they became parodies and caricatures of real feelings dressed in teenage angst and political slogans.

I remember when I felt good about myself, and was a true friend of mine. Yet, the more I become a member of the the partying crowd of the late seventies the less self-respect I have. It seems every time I try to connect with my friends they “put me in my time”, this time of emptiness and self-alienation.

Tell me if you care

The song ends with the plaintive yet hopeful request of my friends if they still care. Like me, do they still yearn to share what’s important and desire real intimacy, insight and disclosure?

When listening to the song please take note how the stilted rhythm of the beginning verses echo the psittacism that I’m articulating. While the song is in 4/4 it has a kind of demented waltz feel to it. The music lurches and jerks like the automatons it is meant to portray.

Yet, soon after the lead vocalists voice becomes metallic and robotic the music blossoms and gains a hopeful flow. The sax and female vocal solos soar and rage against the machine and end the song in majestic celebration. A sensual celebration which is the hope and means by which the psittacism I have here criticized gets destroyed.

Now, thirty years later my life has played out more like the sax and vocal solo than the stilted disconnected world of the beginning of the song, yet my disappointment in the quality of most human contact remains. I still hunger and thirst for increased intimacy and depth of sharing, and remain vigilant to fully exploit each opportunity for quality conversation that presents itself.

Jim Guido

Art and Music28 May 2012 10:06 pm

Hey,

Check out seven new songs. Click on the music tab.

Go to the Visceral Vicissitudes CD and enjoy the 7 songs that are completed.

While you’re there check out the lyrics and music of some of the other near 200 songs posted.

Should have another 10 to 20 up this year, along with other updated mixes.

Let me know of your favorite and least favorite mixes.

Enjoy

Jim Guido

Music and Philosophy and Psychology18 Dec 2010 11:56 am

The name of my first band was Ekstasis and while I was aware of some of the reasons I chose that rather exotic name for a rock band, many other reasons have been realized through the years. While I was trying to make an artistic and personal point by the name, in many ways Ekstasis has become a symbol of a lot of my life’s purpose. In some ways the concept of Ekstasis has been an underlying thread of my life adventure.

Way back in the early 70’s I was a precocious lad who like most adolescents felt a little out of synch with society and my peers. The bulk of my early years I was relatively intelligent and academically lazy person who favored sports, socializing, and activity over books and reading. Though a straight A student through all of elementary school and most of high school years I rarely, if ever, read my text books. My natural gifts with numbers and my ability to maximize class lecture time allowed me to succeed in classes and tests with ease.

Yet, late in my high school years my rebellious ways led me, with the help of my older brother, to take delight in philosophical thought. By senior year, when not engaged in sports or conversation, I spent the bulk of my time reading phenomenology, comparative religions, psychology, structuralism, mythology, cultural anthropology and the like. I seldom read any fiction and most of that was either negative utopias or existential philosophical literature.

Due to a lack of constant sexual relationships and an excess of mundane conversation I began to feel alone and misunderstood. In the realm of physical activity and sport I continued to feel properly stimulated and rewarded. Yet, when it came to interpersonal relationships I felt deprived and somewhat stagnant.

During the last year of high school I began to write essays and poems which were an expression of my desire and discontent while at the same time a plea to my contemporaries to live life more passionately. I had friends from a variety of artistic and philosophical attitudes and did greatly enjoy dialoguing with them. Yet, in the long run I felt many of our conflicts and disagreements were petty and were a sign of intellectual distance and not really grounded in how we felt and experienced life.

In had noticed that many of the intellectual conflicts I had with females disappeared the more physical our relationship became. It seemed that the more they really felt and experienced me the more they understood what I was really saying. Likewise I found camaraderie much easier on the basketball court than through any abstract discussion regarding sport or any specific game plan.

At was at this time that I began to have the courage to sing at parties. A friend of mine remarked that my voice was more expressive and powerful than most but my sense of pitch was woeful.

He gave me a guitar and told me that playing and singing would probably solve the pitch problem. Within months I was writing songs on a regular basis.When I was in my 20’s I wrote over 20 songs a year and even now in my 50’s I still manage to write between 10 and 12 a year.

During this time period I was reading about the thoughts of Socrates and Plato in the context of the birth of rational thought. This is where I stumbled across the difference between the cults of Apollo and Dionysus. In simplest terms the cults of Apollo revered the rise of rational thought with emphasis being placed on perfection, purity, the sublime, absolutes, and the Platonic ideals. The Dionysiac cults were very visceral and whose goals were more pagan and cathartic, where ecstasy and a sense of unity was the goal.

The texts I was reading talked of a ceremony called Ekstasis where the goal was to get beyond oneself, to alter the static and forge a union with the other. In these states all divisions between people’s vanished and they were organically and ecstatically united with each other.

What I particularly found fascinating with the description of Ekstasis was how the goal of getting beyond oneself and ecstatically merging with others was achieved. The cult was known for its fusing of many different artistic elements, there was poetic performance, percussive and rhythmic dance, along with a crescendo of music and even the performance of a play. This unrelenting sensorial and mental barrage of stimuli allowed the participants to go into a semi-trance state and merge in a world with no demarcation between body and mind, or the self and the other.

In my writing I had begun the skeleton of what was to become my philosophy of intimacy (you can read Exploring Intimacy in the words section of this site), in which I see intimacy as an inherent basic human drive. In this drive we are always oriented to become closer to and strive to merge with not only others, but knowledge, our self, music, nature or whatever else attracts our attention and interest.

The ceremony of Ekstasis spoke to the very goal of my music. I wasn’t just trying to entertain through my music, but to transform my audience into experiencing the very pulsing of visceral life. The goal of my music was to generate a merging of performers and audience into an ecstatic experience celebrating the wonder of life and our drive towards human intimacy and deep connection.

Where I often found myself feeling misunderstood in intellectual abstract conversation I felt that the same ideas presented in lyric and accompanied by the emotion of voice and instrumentation better succeeded at accomplishing deep expression and intimacy. Petty debates over terms and syntax were erased by the fullness and rawness of a musical/theatrical celebration of life.

On stage I wasn’t just heard I was experienced. In order to effectively accomplish this task I began to refine my presentation by taking jazz dance, ballet and mime. Even though I felt good about my music and the energy and ambiance created by the band, I do feel the exoticness of the band was often difficult for a club environment.

In the seventies the orgiastic music dominated by pounding rhythm seldom contained any intelligence, and songs with thoughtful lyrics with aspirations of social change fell into either the folk or high brow camp. Most people who went to the bars and local clubs were into getting drunk, getting laid, dancing or being engulfed by a wall of sound. While some people enjoyed the power and theater of my music few appreciated or even heard the lyrics. Those who were into thoughtful and poetic words were often turned off by the power and rawness of the music.

I have often referred to my music as art posing as music, and I realized that most local clubs were meat markets where people went to be entertained and not to be transformed. Though we had some good nights, the band never succeeded at creating the orgiastic environment of my dreams.

I probably would have had more success if I stayed more loyal to the corybantic nature of the Dionysus Ekstasis. There were plenty of metal bands whose driving rhythms did accomplish a form of hypertensive ecstasy. The theatrical element was difficult to pull off in small clubs and was better suited for larger venues which some of my performing idols such as Bowie, The Tubes, Jethro Tull, Peter Gabriel and Roxy Music were able to successfully integrate into their music.

Yet, what I hoped to accomplish was both the Apollo and Dionysus aspect in a single format. Dionysus without Apollo can become chaotic and blind ecstasy. It can quickly become pure escapism or potentially violent chaos. I wanted a balance of forces.

I felt that intelligence without the body can become empty and arrogant and that ecstasy without thought can become destructive and irresponsible. When I sang on stage I thought of myself as Apollo performing at a Dionysiac Ekstasis.

In my life I worried of becoming too self-absorbed and just living in my head. I saw the sciences as becoming too absorbed in being objective and divorcing themselves from the real world. In fact I perceived science often treating the planet, animals, and even others as just objects to be studied and manipulated for abstract principles and logical ideals.

Likewise I saw religion and spiritualism avoiding real lived reality by finding refuge in the eternal or the universe. Even though Science and Spiritualism posed themselves as opposites I saw them as two horns of the same animal. In both cases real life was objectified and transcended. Science and spiritualism had absolutes and eternal Truths, which portrayed life as an illusion and unworthy of our respect. Science has mind, and spiritualism has spirit and both have a tendency to devalue and sometimes even demonize the very body which makes experience (life) possible.

In the objectified scientific and transcendent spiritual worlds terms such as mind, spirit, god, thought, intuition, the absolute, supreme being, logic, truth, consciousness and Platonic Ideals are all refined and superior to the body and/or have separate existences that transcend of will outlive the body. For me, then and now, life is a wondrous process whereby all my perceptions and experiences are housed and made possible by my having a body.

My body, the world and my consciousness are all aspects of my experience. None are expendable or inessential. The world is not separate from me, and is not fully outside of me. There is no clear demarcation of where the world ends and my body begins and where my body ends and my consciousness begins. At every moment I live because I breathe, and at every moment I’m breathing in the world which sustains me and creates the experiences which create my sense of self and my personal history. When I exhale I give life to plants and trees just as my perceptions have me sense the aliveness of others and nature.

These are the kind of observations, perceptions and thoughts which make Ekstasis possible. At every moment I dance with life, I suck in its essence as it awaits mine. The gaze of others, birds and animals prevent me from feeling alone and keep me sane.

What need do I have to transcend or overcome? If you ask me to choose between human experience or perfection, I choose the ecstasy of the human life world.

How about you?

Here are some lyrics that pose the interactive beauty of a sensorial life that “makes sense” rather than seeks Truth or Absolute Essences. You can hear this song on the Go! CD in the music section (tab).

The World Touches Me
4/26/2008

What I do see is more than I see everyday
What I do feel is more than I sense
Sometimes the world touches me
Keeps me company while I think

I shoot out thoughts like a Tommy gun
Words pour out in rapid runs
Painting the world that is me
Making the world I am to be

Wonder fills my joy
Laughter seasons the stew I’m steeping
Every day is a feast
So much to taste of which comforts and awakens
Sometimes the world touches me
Talks to me while I think

Sharing all our days
Gives my life dimension widens my perception
Listening to the rain
The rhythm is dreamy soothes like honey

Every breath I take
Is filled with wonder new world to uncover (discover)
Everything takes shape
Random seeks order when the world touches me

Jim Guido

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