Jutze 52 #32 – Don’t Listen to the Music

This is one of three or four song sketches that I came up with once I had caught the idea of writing a song about not listening to music all the time. Music is good, don’t get me wrong. Still, it can be just too much when it’s everywhere, always, nonstop. This song is, of course, a paradox.

#32 Don’t Listen to the Music

Every day you rise to the sound of the radio
Every day you jog with your ear plugs in
Every day you drive to work with the radio on
Don’t listen to the music all the time
Don’t listen to the music all the time
Don’t listen to the music all the time

Everywhere you go there’s a song on the radio
Every night you listen some mp3s
Every night you dream of a world that is silent and quiet
Don’t listen to the music all the time
Don’t listen to the music all the time
Don’t listen to the music all the time

(words and music by Johannes Schult 2015 Creative Commons by-nc 4.0)

Envisioning My Crowdfunding Campaign

If I were to run a crowd funding campaign for one of my musical endeavours, here are some likely perks (gosh, I hate this word):

  • Music as download (5$?)
  • Music as download and on CD (15$?)
  • Music as download, bonus music as download (20$?)
  • Music as download and on CD, bonus music as download (30$?)
  • Music as download and on CD, bonus music as download, Manticess – God Save the Writer CD (from 2010), Jutze – Vivien CD (from 1999) (50$?)
  • Music as download and on CD, bonus music as download, original hand-written lyrics to a Jutze of your choice (subject to availability; these are the lyrics written during the song writing process, each sheet is unique; some songs had no written lyrics, some were lost) (50$?)
  • Music as download and on CD, bonus music as download, plus I write and record a 52-second song about a topic of your choice (restrictions apply) (60$?)

Depending on the production, I might also add some sort making of footage, maybe for free, maybe via link in the CD, maybe a separate DVD (including some live songs?)

Meet Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

When was the first time you heard Simon & Garfunkel? Which song was it? Did you like it instantly? Do you want to have a similar experience? Then meet Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. You will hear beautiful harmony vocals, nuanced lead melodies, a folky-edge, and a reckless passion for original music. You will find lyrics that venture beyond beyond the run-of-the-mill nonsense of mainstream pop music. And be warned: You will end up yearning for more even though you know very well that the duo is no longer making new music.

Just like Simon & Garfunkel, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer do not have one typical song. They have a dozen or so masterpieces. And yes, they have some weaker songs, as well. The bleak banjo of “When I Go” is a signature moment; the upbeat number “Gentle Arms of Eden” is another one. “Kate and the Ghost of Lost Love” – a haunting ballad – has been said to have attained the ever-ellusive state of perfection. And then there is “The Mountain”, an enigmatic tune that Joan Baez once played for the Dalai Lama. Personally, I would recommend their 2002 album “Drum Hat Buddha” to newcomers. “Ordinary Town”, its opening track, is the sort of simple song which takes a talented songwriter years to flesh out. Dave Carter’s songwriting, however, is effortless. Tracy Grammer’s clear voice brings the song to life and is augmented by subtle harmonies in the chorus. The second song paints a seemingly complete picture of “Tillman Co.”, mostly thanks to the catchy mandoline hookline and Carter’s poignant vocal performance. I could go on, but hopefully you get the picture. The lyrics are remarkably thoughtful, yet the music is mostly positive and uplifting. This is especially true for “Happytown”, the opener of their second album “Tanglewood Tree“.

Sadly, your local record store is unlikely to carry the duo’s works. I suggest you make the effort to get the music through Tracy Grammer’s homepage, webshops, or digital downloads; regard it as an active protest against soulless mainstream plastic songs and music business politics. Or better, regard it as a treat for your ears and your heart.

Tim Minchin Is Awesome

Last week I got my copy of Tim Minchin’s double album “Live at the O2”. It is totally awesome. I will rave about this for the remainder of this entry. Of course, I hope that you’ve already heard of Tim and that you just keep nodding while you read this. If for some sad reason you haven’t heard of Tim Minchin yet, you’re in for a treat.

Tim is an amazingly talented person. He’s a singer, a piano player, a comedian, a thinker, and an all around fun guy. He comes all the way from Australia. Last month he played a concert in the O2 Arena in London, England. There he made statistic jokes in front of 10,000 people. And he sang about how it’s overly simplistic to divide everything into two groups. This may sound boring when I write it. But trust me, it’s hilarious. No, wait, don’t trust me – check it out yourself! A recording of the concert is available from Tim’s homepage. The song about dichotomies is on it. It’s called “The Fence”. No, that’s not really funny. But the song itself is funny. And it’s also terribly catchy – and beautiful. Even if the music is not your cup of tea, you might still want to hear Tim’s talk between songs. The way he rants about “poo and crocodiles” being “natural organic substances” is priceless. (Actually, it’s 10 pounds for the download version, a few more for the CDs.)

Another highlight is “Thank You God”. It’s basically a song about evidence. Again, it starts out with a wonderful introduction during which Tim remarks that “Love without evidence is stalking.” He then launches into a wild bonanza of pop, big band and the debate on prayer (incidently solving the latter). To illustrate the extent of awesomeness achieved here, let it suffice to say that I’m totally in love with the brass section on this track. Seriously, it’s fantastic! Ba, badada, ba. Yes, it’s the part where the lyrics go something like “mistaken attributional causation born of a coincidental temporal correlation.”

The set contains several other new songs (“Cont”!) along with a collection of old songs like “If I Didn’t Have You” (“You’re obviously special but you fall within bell curve.”), “Not Perfect” and the wonderful Christmas song “White Wine in the Sun”. I was skeptical about Tim being joined by an orchestra. But the result speaks for itself, I think. (Hint: It’s great!)

Until now I’ve focused on “Live at the O2”, mainly because it’s new and offers a perfect showcase of Tim Minchin’s wit and talent. That doesn’t mean that his older material isn’t worth further attention. But I already raved long enough to make my point – which is: Tim Minchin is awesome!

PS: Tim Minchin is probably not for you if you’re easily offended by atheism, cursing, and sarcasm. There is, of course, much more to the songs than that. And when Tim manages to put what feels like 300 fucks into his 3-minute long “Pope Song”, the underlying anger is far from baseless.

These Are the Days

These are the days music is given back to me; not always in the way I like or expect it. But who am I to make demands? I guess it’s better to settle with what is there than to complain.

WatchTower put out a new song and went on to play a fantastic gig at the Keep It True festival. Now a few weeks later I get the news that Alan is no longer in the band. So instead of hoping for another album or tour any time oon I now treasure the memory of the concert even more.

Änglagård reissue their second album “Epilog” with a proper recording of “Rösten”. I have no idea why they had to add a bonus cd for less than four minutes of music. But those precious few notes and chords are achingly beautiful. One couldn’t imagine a piece of music fitting the atmosphere of the album more perfectly. It’s both amazing and shocking to learn that it took basically years to complete the recording of just this tune. So instead of hoping for another album or tour any time soon I now treasure the wild and strange creativity of Änglagård even more.

The Hooters just played a series of shows in Europe. I’m truly lucky to live here. Last Friday they even played in my birth town. The band keeps coming up with new material, the majority of which is really great. Still, they tend to stick with the songs I like less. Another change I regret the lack of jamming on stage. I remember long improvisations in “Twenty Five Hours a Day”, “Deliver Me” and “Mr. Big Baboon”. I loved it when they inserted Beatles or Elvis tunes. Needless to say I was happy that at least some of that spirit returned with Tommy Williams in “500 Miles” this time around. So instead of hoping for another album any time soon I now treasure the live shows even more. And I keep the memory of their previous tours, especially the incredible show in Stuttgart in 2004 and the then new songs they played in 2005.

Manticess music now available on bandcamp.com

Check out manticess.bandcamp.com! The site contains all music Manticess have released so far. You can listen to all songs online. If you like them, you can download them in the format of your choice – for free! (Just enter 0 when asked to name your price.) If you really like our music, you can pay us! We’d like that. Now tell all your friends!

Future Plans

Despite the upcoming soccer mania, there are several promising concerts announced for 2010. I just saw that The Hooters will be playing in my hometown (Waiblingen) on Friday, May 7th. Great news!

I’m also looking forward to produce some of my own music next year. Manticess are going to release a single and I’m currently trying to decide whether or not to promise to put out solo music on a regular basis, probably weekly. I’d welcome the challenge, but I’m also thinking of writing more often. I’ve started two novels, one back in Belgium, and one this November (for NaNoWriMo). I like both outsets, but only the latter seems to be suited for a prediodical release format on this very homepage. I mean, I wouldn’t start publishing parts until I’m almost through, but it might be an alternative to the song-a-week-madness outlined above.

In different news, look what my mom made me for Christmas (with a little help from Carissa’s patterns):

Jutze with R2D2 beanie

Merry Christmas (from Chiron Beta Prime)

For the lack of other news, here’s a song by Jonathan Coulton. I chose the ASL video by Stephen Torrence to go with it, because his face expressions are awesome. The choice was a difficult one, because there’s other nice ones like Christmas lights, Muppets and plenty of live versions.

Also, check out the two new Ninja Dolls songs – good, friendly punk rock.

Manitcess – 423. Red (Song Fu #5, Round 1)

Russ Rogers (of Gödz Pöödlz) said it much better than I ever could. Please read on:

The first challenge for Masters of Song Fu #5 was posted last week. The challenge was to write a song based on one Mole-man from a list of 700 Mole-men created by John Hodgman. (Hodgman is the “I’m a PC”-guy from the Mac ads. You’ve seen him on the Daily Show. He’s got two books out. The Mole-men are from his second book, “More Information Than You Require”.)

The first round songs are now posted and ready for your votes. The songs are phenomenally creative and diverse. Seriously, a good crop.


You can vote ONLY once, but you can vote for up to FIVE different songs.

So take some time to listen to at least part of every song. There are 33, so it will take a little time. Listen closely to ALL of the songs you like. Then, choose your TOP FIVE SONGS and vote for them.

You can even download ALL the songs for FREE!

You will receive Special Silver Bonus Points in Heaven if you comment at the bottom of the Song Fu page. This can be as brief or as in depth as you like. But speaking from experience, one person taking the time to comment on my song with either praise or constructive criticism was worth more than 50 votes to me! You’re comment could be as simple as listing the five songs you voted for. If you want to be more complex, give your reasons and mention the songs that almost got your vote (the ones you wish you had more votes to give). Try to stay positive or constructive.

Extra Special Heavenly GOLDEN Points are awarded to folks who encourage other folks to check out the songs and vote. Post it to your facebook status. Twitter about it. Blog about it. Make sure you link to the Song Fu site. Talk about Song Fu. This is a concept that deserves viral attention from the Hive-Mind.

Masters of Song Fu is a special contest. There is NO prize money involved. The songwriters are doing this out of love for their craft and in the hopes that SOMEONE will notice, enjoy and appreciate their efforts.

So take some time, VOTE, COMMENT and POST about the contest.

This is the first of 3 preliminary rounds of voting. The Challenger with the most cumulative votes after 3 rounds will meet a Super-secret Champion, “The Master of Song Fu” in a final head-to-head challenge for the title and trophy of Master of Song Fu!

Voting will end this Saturday, November 21 at 11:59 PM EST.

The website’s system is designed to lock out IP Addresses that have already voted. So, when I say you can only vote once, technically it means that each computer only gets one chance to vote. Sometimes the voting system gets locked up, allowing NOBODY to vote for a while. Don’t let this frustrate you. Just come back another time and vote. You can always leave a comment, even when the voting system is SNAFU.

Thanks for Supporting Song Fu. Now, got Vote, Comment and Post.

This being quoted, and yes, I second every word Russ wrote, here’s a list of my six favourite entries, followed by the video Susanne and I shot last Sunday to go with our own entry, “423. Red” by Manticess.

  • Caleb Hines
  • Joe “Covenant” Lamb
  • Lex Vader
  • Gorbzilla
  • Spencer Sokol
  • Sara Parsons

The Last Fandango

Maybe you already know it: I’m about to move back to Konstanz. Tomorrow will be the last day I’ll record music here in Trier. At least, that’s the plan. I’ll approach a wannabe-Nightwish song Susanne and I wrote during our last rehearsal, adding clavinet scales and double bass drums. I’ll also wrap the songs for the upcoming Manticess release (single, EP, whatever). I won’t be recording anything in October apart from stuff I can do outside my interim accommodation. It’s going to be headphones and mixing, instead. Finally, I should do something to bid this place farewell and to commemorate my time here. I created some of my favourite songs (e.g., A Mallful of Brains, Natalie Portman’s Doormat) at this place, after all.