Jerry Schwartz

Booklover, Novelist, Songwriter, One-Man Band

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My Fender Acoustic Guitar

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When I recently discovered that I had more than a few stickers lying around, I decided that my Fender CD60CE dreadnought guitar was fair game for a few of them and proceeded to give it a new look. I’m guessing this is only the start, but for now, this is what my guitar looks like. The stickers I used were The Who (3), Propellerhead Reason (3), WZRD’s 40th Anniversary, and Batman. Long live rock.

Filed under Fender guitar acoustic guitar stickers musical instruments The Who Pete Townsend Propellerhead Propellerhead Reason WZRD WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM Batman

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20 Famous Writers Who Never Finished College

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Here’s a list of 20 famous writers who either did not attend or never finished college:

  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Maya Angelou
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Joseph Conrad
  • Charles Dickens
  • William Faulkner
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Jack Kerouac (shown above)
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Doris Lessing
  • Jack London
  • Herman Melville
  • George Orwell
  • Carl Sandburg
  • William Shakespeare
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Mark Twain
  • H. G. Wells
  • Virginia Woolf

That’s an impressive bunch by anyone’s standards, and I didn’t even include those who only wrote poetry (Robert Frost would have been included here, for instance). Can you think of anyone to add to this list?

Filed under writer author college degree college degree college dropout success fame Hans Christian Anderson Maya Angelou Ray Bradbury Joseph Conrad Charles Dickens William Faulkner Ernest Hemingway Jack Kerouac Rudyard Kipling Doris Lessing Jack London Herman Melville George Orwell Carl Sandburg William Shakespeare George Bernard Shaw Dylan Thomas Mark Twain H. G. Wells Virginia Woolf

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New 5-Star Review for Pixels of Young Mueller

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Amazon customer Tony Parsons gave Pixels of Young Mueller 5 out of 5 stars, calling it “very well written” with “a lot of enlightening scenarios and a host of great characters,” a book that “could make a great movie or TV series.” Here’s the review:

Klaus Mueller dreams about leaving Southland someday to be a rock star. He chooses the so called glamorous lifestyle over college. He has lots/lots of setbacks: poor paying or unfit jobs, and his music is constantly being rejected.

Fast forward he moves to Chicago, IL he finds a career and becomes a father. Klaus is still not thoroughly happy with his current lifestyle.

It’s amazing since I have started reading regular people’s books instead of college textbooks how many others struggle besides musicians, such as writers and artists. 9 to 5 is that really what we want out of our life?

Cool book cover, great font and writing style. A very well written true to life book. It was very easy to read/follow and never a dull moment from start/finish. No grammar errors, repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. A lot of enlightening scenarios and a host of great characters. This could make a great movie or TV series. A book you must read to the end. No doubt in my mind a very easy rating of 5 stars for this book.

Pixels of Young Mueller is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle Edition. Check it out!

Filed under novel Bildungsroman Kunstlerroman coming of age artist artist novel musician rock and roll book review books fiction auto-fiction Chicago Jerry Schwartz

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My Favorite Albums of 2008

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Here are my favorite albums of 2008 in order of preference.

Arena (Todd Rundgren)
Without a doubt, my most-listened-to album of 2008. Some of my fave moments on the album remind me of P.O.V. (Utopia), and I enjoy all the rest as well.

Earth to the Dandy Warhols (The Dandy Warhols)
Great stuff, and like Arena, a pleasant mix of old sounds and new in terms of the respective artists and their output. With the exception of “Mis Amigos,” I gave these tracks lots of plays. It seems like I waited forever for this album, and the Dandys made it worth the wait.

Funplex (The B-52’s)
The B-52’s have always been a guilty pleasure of mine, and this album was no exception. I would have preferred more of the distinctive guitar sounds I have come to enjoy from this group, but that did not detract from the fun.

Brown Submarine (Boston Spaceships)
This debut CD from Robert Pollard's new band got my vote for Surprise of the Year. I sometimes listen to a song I really like over and over, and “Two Girl Area” (track 5) was one of those in 2008.

Filed under music albums faves list Todd Rundgren The Dandy Warhols B-52's Robert Pollard Boston Spaceships

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The Jerrys Live at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM

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I had fun playing the music of The Jerrys live on May 1 in the WZRD studio. Playing and singing while accompanying myself via a laptop, I played ten songs by The Jerrys, including a preview of the not-yet-released single, “I’m a Reader”:

1. Every Girl
2. What the World Could Use a Lot More Of
3. New Day
4. Let’s Groove
5. Bigger Than Oprah
6. When I’m in Love
7. Bridget and Me
8. Back in the Day
9. Telepop
10. I’m a Reader

Alejandro Aguilar interviewed me halfway through the set, and he and the other folks at WZRD (or “wizards,” as they are known) were fantastic. I especially thank Alejandro, Ellie, and Rick for all of their help and for making the night so enjoyable. Check out the video I posted for “Every Girl.”

Stay tuned for more music from The Jerrys, and be sure to visit The Jerrys’ website.

Filed under one-man band Chicago The Jerrys Jerry Schwartz WZRD 88.3 fm radio appearance diy guitar guitar pop Every Girl What the World Could Use a Lot More Of New Day Let's Groove Bigger Than Oprah When I'm in Love Bridget and Me Back in the Day Telepop I'm a Reader

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My Top 10 Favorite Onomatopoeic Words

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Wikipedia defines onomatopoeia as “a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the source of the sound that it describes.” I’ve always thought of these types of words as fun. Even as a child, I marveled at how words describing animal noises (eg, “oink,” “moo,” “arf”) sounded like the sounds the animals made. Here are my top 10 favorite onomatopoeic words.

  • arf
  • bang
  • buzz
  • click
  • hiss
  • kerplunk
  • pop
  • twang
  • tweet
  • zap

For some real onomatopoeic fun, be sure to listen to “Onomatopoeia” by Todd Rundgren. The song, from Rundgren’s Hermit of Mink Hollow, contains many onomatopoeic words as well as samples of the sounds themselves.

Filed under words language onomatopoeia Todd Rundgren sounds

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My Favorite Plays by William Shakespeare

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I’ve read all of Shakespeare's plays at least once, and I've read many of them numerous times. Here are my top 10 favorites:

  • Hamlet
  • Henry IV, Part 1
  • Henry IV, Part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • Henry VI, Part 2
  • Henry VI, Part 3
  • Macbeth
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Romeo and Juliet

It wasn’t easy getting the list down to ten, but each time I tried, the Henry plays made the list. They are so underrated—I hope to read them again someday.

Filed under William Shakespeare Shakespeare drama plays Hamlet Henry IV Henry V Henry VI Macbeth The Merchant of Venice Romeo and Juliet top 10 list favorites fave Jerry Schwartz