Retail Sales

If you live in Adelaide, you can buy Jim's album from Big Star CDs & Records, in Rundle Street, City.

You can also buy the album from the Folk Trax outlet at the SA Folk Centre, located on the corner of George Street and South Road, Thebarton.



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Computer Music 



SCALA
(Songwriters, Composers, and Lyricists Assoc.)
 

 

 

American Dream is available online through FolkTrax (in Australia);
or through CDBABY (in the USA).

Bonus Songs

A whole album full of bonus songs! We don't know of any other performer who has done this previously, so we asked Jim why he was being so generous. Here is what he writes: 

"Initially, I was going to include two or three bonus songs at the end of American Dream, but I decided they would interfere with the overall mood and flow of the album proper. Then I decided to put these songs onto a CDR which I would give away at gigs. Then I thought, why restrict the bonus CD to only three songs, why not put a full albums worth of songs on the CDR? After all, burning a CD with three songs was just as much work as burning one with nine or ten songs - so a full album it was going to be."

Again, we asked Jim for some insight into the story behind the songs. Here are his comments...

The Future Is Theirs (acoustic version (Click to Hear the Song))
As already mentioned, I wrote this song way back in 1975, when I was living and working in London, England. This version of the song is how I originally used to perform it, as an acoustic folk protest type of song. After recording the rap/hip hop version for American Dream, I decided to record the acoustic version as well since most people are more inclined to sing this style of song than the rap version.

Heartache to Heartache (Click to Hear the Song)
An out-take from American Dream. This was my very first attempt at home recording. On the strength of this effort, I decided I would record American Dream at home, entirely on my own. But first, the story behind the song...
While at a local shopping centre having a meal with a client, I noticed a woman eating on her own. What struck me in particular about the woman was her body language. She kept her eyes cast down, and focused on her food. She didnít look at the other people around her, and indeed, seemed to be trying to make herself as inconspicuous as possible. She was not unattractive, but I got the feeling that she wasnít simply alone, but that she was also lonely as well.
Of course, it's quite possible - indeed likely - that the woman was having a quick meal break like I and my client were at the time, and none of the above was how I perceived it to be. But hey, I'm a songwriter, and of such ephemeral events are songs created. As the saying goes: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. This song arrived out of the blue, like they tend to do the following day.

Keeping Up Appearances (Click to Hear the Song)
Another out-take from American Dream. I was standing at the kitchen sink one day reflecting on the sad state of my affairs at that particular point in my life, and feeling somewhat sorry for myself. Although I was going through a bout of unemployment at the time, I was 'keeping up appearances' by pretending it wasn't having any real effect on me. But it was, and this song is one of several I wrote during that period (Don't Sell Us Pipe Dreams is another).
By the way, the word 'bloody' is often referred to as 'the great Australian adjective', and its use in that capacity has been documented in Australia since the 1850's. As you can imagine, it has a multitude of meanings and uses depending on how and when it is used.

Eye of The Beholder (Click to Listen)
An instrumental piece inspired by a collection of copyright free sound samples that came with the June 2004 issue of Computer Music. The work started out as an experiment in ambient music composition. The June issue had a bunch of ambient sound samples, most no more than ten seconds long. I took a few of these samples and strung them together in a sequence that appealed to me. I then multi-tracked my own improvisations over the top of the loops to create this instrumental.

 

Ah, Peggio (Click to Listen)
Another instrumental piece, this time inspired by the arpeggiator function on my CASIO MZ2000 keyboard. Every 'instrument' you hear is sampled from the keyboard itself. It's amazing to hear the quality of sounds you can get from these modern electronic marvels, and just as amazing to explore the variety of instruments modern keyboards let you 'play'. I have only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities here. 

Baby, I (Click to Hear the Song)
A demo version of one of my attempts at writing a song in the pop style. I will have a finished version of this on my next album, Dance Like No-one is Watching

Fashion Pages (Click to Hear the Song)
A live version of a song that I intend to record a studio version of, and which in turn may also appear on Dance Like No-one is Watching. This was recorded at one of my early SCALA gigs, but the exact date is lost in the mists of time.

The Ballad of Billy Winter (Click to Hear the Song)
Another live version of a song that appeared on my first album, Sometimes I Wake Up Naked. Again, this was recorded at a SCALA gig on Saturday, February 15, 2003. 

The Future Is Theirs (Sergio's Theme (Click to Listen))
I really liked some of the musical elements underlining the acoustic version of this song. So much so, that I decided to add a few extras things, and turn it into an instrumental. 

Why Sergio's Theme? The late, great, Italian film director, Sergio Leone was, and remains, one of my favourite directors of all time. It was Sergio Leone who put Clint Eastwood in one his first 'spaghetti' westerns, A Fistful of Dollars, and turned Eastwood into a star. He followed these up with two other westerns, also starring Eastwood,  A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. 
But Sergio Leone's two great masterpieces were another western, Once Upon a Time in The West, and the epic gangster movie, Once Upon a Time in America

NOTE: Some early versions of the bonus disk simply call this tune, The Future is Theirs (instrumental version). Yet other CDR labels carry the inscription, The Future is Theirs (Ennio's Theme). However, my final(?) name for the piece is now The Future is Theirs (Sergio's Theme). Ennio's Theme was going to be my dedication to Ennio Morricone, Sergio Leone's great musical collaborator, but I didn't want anyone to think I was comparing my humble instrumental to any of Ennio Morricone's magnificent film scores.

What? Never heard any of Ennio Morricone's music! Impossible. The Internet Music Database lists over 500 compositions and film scores by Ennio Morricone. Unless you never go to the movies, watch video's or DVDs, or watch television you will almost certainly have heard something by Morricone over the past 40 years.

 

JIM LESSES: American Dream

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