at www.RARWRITER.com      

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Volume 1-2019




What happened to the list?

As the CCJ transitions to a model better geared to leverage social networks, we are moving away from our past use of email notification services. If you would like to be added to our internal email distribution, please send your request to Rick@RARWRITER.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, which we will use to keep you notified of new features and news articles.


ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.



Use the RARADIO link to go to our radio page, where you will hear songs you are not likely to hear elsewhere.



"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively called ATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance is the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves at NOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.





MUSIC  by RAR  Originals Library


This page functions as a Library of RAR originals.




Here are RAR originals published to Soundcloud:


Click on the graphics or links provided to listen to the following originals from the RAR catalog.

Donald's House came into being as an exercise in chord substitution, ala the kind of thing that Donald Fagen does with his "fake jazz" (his words). The song "Donald's House" is nothing like a Steely Dan or Donald Fagen song, it's just that I think of the compositional technique as being "in Donald's house".

And while I was there I thought I would steal some stuff. As a song, "Donald's House" turns out to be about social mobility, or lack thereof, unobtainable dreams, and grand larceny.
Phrygian Dominatrix - On another compositional track, the tune "Phrygian Dominatrix" is an exercise in writing in the Phrygian mode. This is one of those modes that the likes of Dream Theater get lost in because it is just inherently spooky and dark. I used it to build a really lovely story about somebody in a dead relationship who can't find anything on his car radio so would just prefer to die.

You read about that kind of stuff all the time.

No Matter What She Said

We have this cat, a Snowshoe Siamese, who my wife named "Magnolia Thunder Pussy" after a '60s San Francisco radio spot, and who came to us as a replacement for our dear deceased cat "Gary Gilmore", also named by my wife. (One can imagine the psychological damage or purr enlightenment the children have endured.) Anyway, "Maggie" was a rescue cat, plucked from the Stanford University campus by a student who found her injured, starving, alone; a refugee from God knows what. Maggie grew to the size of a house living in the student's apartment, but upon graduating Maggie's student-savior had to give her up to move wherever Stanford graduates move to, so she put Maggie on Craigslist and my wife brought this fat cat home. She slimmed down, given some room to roam, and is now a much different cat from that which she was when she came to us - accept for her monotonic meow. I have no idea what this cat is saying. It may be "hello"; it may be "there is a tarantula on your head", I don't know, it all sounds the same. I assume her issues in this song.


"Mine Yours & Ours"

No one ever achieved wealth by themselves. It is time we began emphasizing that fundamental truth and treating all of those who contribute with their due respect.

Rock Rap


"Suicide More Less"

Feeling a little down? Sometimes a little perspective may be in order. A lot of silliness here to help with that.

Rabble Rock

"Dark Matter"

"Dark Matter" re-envisions the Apollo moon landing as an end of life voyage culminating in the touch down at Tranquility Base.


"Another Day in Cali"

Knockoff tune depicts a day in the downward spiral that is California in 2012.

Folk Rock


"A Simple Explanation"

Yours truly is offering up a little Jazz-Pop confection, with all admiration for the ancient Romans, like the playwright Plautus, who inspired the tile below and knew a thing or two about winging it philosophically and comically.

Pop Jazz

"That Thing That Sets Me Free (Remix)"

Oh perversity at the county fair! I'm sure involvement with the Future Farmers of America has ruined more than a few young boys, what with all the glamour and all, and the exposure to breeding stock... This song is just stupid, which is a part of my personal cathartic process based on the assumption that no one is listening anyway. Surprise be mine, I have had this song referenced by others as a RAR favorite. I have never understood these things.

Uptempo Country


"Betty from Memphis", a tribute to stable types such as my actual Aunt Betty (Olita) in Memphis (not shown here), as well as to all those weary road warriors out there playing the soundtracks to everybody else's movies.



"Brideshead Suite"

This is one of those songs that started as a guitar exercise a little along the lines of "Little Wing" and then just kept morphing into something bigger, more operatic in structure, if not vocal arrangement. I have no idea where the song came from or why this particular one made it this far. I write 10, record a couple, and this one moved quickly from idea to finished demo. It is derivative, to be sure, referencing everyone from Pink Floyd to The Beatles to Tears for Fears and Tom Petty. In that, it breaks a cardinal rule against imitation. On the other hand, I feel this tune personally so it can't be all bad.


"Until Sam Walty's Dead" (Remix)

"Until Sam Walty's Dead" is a cowboy yarn about a villain - portrayed by the late and wonderful Warren Oates (below) - who has left an unfortunate legacy for himself (see chorus...). Walty is my metaphor for early 21st Century predatory capitalism, a force that must be dealt with so that honest souls can carry on.

Alternative Country


"Hoping That You're Lonely"

I can't seem to get my country roots out of my system - I hear Marty Robbins in my sleep - and yet can't do a country tune without turning it into a joke. I love those sappy background vocals of 1950s-era classic country and I tried to replicate some of that with this tune, which, by the way, I love. I hope you do too.

Classic Country


"Glow of Your Dark Eyes"

Glory be unto Angie Omaha, whoever she is, pictured below on the cover to my re-recording of "The Glow of Your Dark Eyes" introduced several years back as a tune about "the dark side of loving a dark soul". Our girl Angie may not let me exploit her in this way for long, but as long as she does isn't she perfect? I mean, for this song?

Country 2-Step


"The Clues"

Sometimes songs just arrive unannounced and this is one that did so with great impact for me. The whole feeling of the piece is helped along by the great photo above, the photographer of which I am trying to find. Click on the picture (left) to hear the RAR original, "The Clues," a new personal favorite.

Alternative Folk


"Just Eleven Minutes (Nashville)"

"Just Eleven Minutes" comes from a few years back, and from the same box as "The Glow of Your Dark Eyes", but the versions provided below come much closer to my ambitions for this story of a cuckold speeding toward a crime of passion and revenge. Almost the entire song is the single chord of E, with brief passes through A-B, for those keeping score. The "psycho" version was the original inspiration, but the Nashville chicken-pickin' version has some nice qualities. Unfortunately it probably also shows that as a guitar player I am no Randy Barker, though I hope to be when I grow up.

Country Boogie


"Laughing (Nuke'em From Orbit)"


The line "nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" resonated both comically and viscerally. It came from the film Aliens, and carries such broad metaphorical potential for social commentary and self hatred that I sang this song for years before finally getting around to this draft.





Hard Rock



How many ways interesting was the Gates/Crowley incident of President Obama's first year in office? And does anyone ever do anything right where "race" is concerned?



"Start A Fire"

Inspired by the demonstrations in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy Wall Street locations around the country, "Start A Fire" explores the motivations of those who aren't quite ready to make the commitment that those people living outside in the cold are making. Click on the cover shot above to listen to "Start A Fire", a RAR casual. And thanks to whomever is pictured in the shot above, taken recently in Zuccotti Park.

Acoustic Pop



Other than for a few musical devices common to earlier Beatles recordings, this song doesn't really have anything to do with that band. It has more to do with a desire to capture a certain feeling of youth and of the redemptive power of love that really typified later Beatles recordings. Mostly, it is about the energy of dreams yet to be explored, a gift exclusive to the young.


"Ooh Baby (The Jolly Cuckold)"

Accepting resignation on the playing field of...well, you know... an appreciative tip of the hat to the New Orleans sound of Dr. John...

New Orleans Pop

"Para Conquistarle"

More silliness with sound clips from "Sexy Spanish" and some other source I need to re-find and properly credit. I'll get back to you with this info.

Alternative Pop


"Porn International"

"Porn International" is a tune of mine from the ’80s previously known as "If We Get Buzz." I recently revisioned it around some of the great sound samples available at freesound.com. I grabbed a variety of sounds and mixed them, hopefully to humorous effect, to create the appropriate ambience for my tale of temptation, pornography and free market capitalism. I felt compelled to rename the song because the voices in the freesound samples seemed obviously Asian, so my bump on the American porn industry morphed into a riff on porn international. I don’t really know anything about the porn industry, but I like this tale of this older guy who gets into the company of impressionable nubiles, "understands" and ultimately exploits them.

Pop Rock

"Down These Stairs"

For when being under wrought just isn't enough

Pop/Adult Contemporary



"Reason I Wrote"

Lay it light on Uncle Bob: This one was written for the 2006 election cycle and I may bring it back every two years just to remind myself why we vote...or don't. (That's my Aunt Lillian on the left, my Uncle Chas in the center, my Dad Phil on the right.)

Alternative Country

"Ralph Nader"

Remember back to having a soul? (My Bechtel song): This one is resurrected from five years back, a good election cycle offering, an opus of the common man.

Pop Rock



"Bobby's Sister"

A neighborhood tragedy -- in Spanish


Oh help me my father, for I have dissembled

From beauty and grace and from passion and fear

The love of a maiden so pure and so precious

Lord what have I done to a heart that’s so dear

"Not Perfect"

Evidence of understatement...



"The Essential Me"

"Essential Me" is just Eros rising. It portrays inner character that is universal, though not revealed in the same way with everybody. This guy’s a little much for my own comfort level. (You sense split self?) Interesting to me is that this song, which I did as a knock off, is one I get the most positive comments on. Weird, huh



Woh! Look what I found in the medicine cabinet!



"On the Brink of Happiness"

Sometimes all that's left is to throw one's self into the flames


"Wake of Your Whiskey Blues"

Saying goodbye to the alcoholic in your life. "Wake of Your Whiskey Blues" is a folk anthem for the fed up.



"Dime Bag Darryl"

A film directed in my mind, infer nothing, apologies to the great guitarist

"Dime Bag Darryl" could be considered a racist slapper-doodle (thanks Ricky) if it weren’t so silly. It is a soundtrack for a video I have been trying to get produced and it would be helpful to scroll through story boards to get the actual nature of the piece. It is a joint on the weird schizophrenic yet symbiotic relationship that many white people have with a certain segment of the black community. The visuals are all about poking fun at white insecurity and need, and an Alice In Wonderland cast of ghetto community representatives climaxing in the image of Dime Bag Darryl himself, who I have always seen as Samuel Jackson.

Pop Rock

"Riding On A Zephyr"

Autobiography -- what has happened to America?




Marriage dissolution (not autobiographical)



Pain at the pump.  "RATZ" is a personal favorite about a vulnerable older man who does things he shouldn’t and whithers in the blast of youth.



So What #4


"So What #4"

Port in a storm, situation dire

Pop Rock

6:30 Ferry

"6:30 Ferry"

Unrequited love on the Vallejo to San Francisco ferry


"Death Trip Taxi"

Tibetan way of death played out in a taxi

Pop Rock

"Dancing With Angels"

Disappointment on a spiritual plain

Pop Country


Your High

"Your High"

What will you make of your life?


She Is the Queen

"She Is the Queen"

From 20 years ago. I've known some awful women


When We First Met

"When We First Met"

From 20 years ago, noisy garage jam




A corrupted soul



Riot Grrrl of my twisted dreams


Cold Moths

"Cold Moths"

Unrequited love among the homeless


Warrior for Love

"Warrior for Love"



The Cove

"The Cove"

Instrumental theme













Copyright © September, 2019 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)