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.





What Was I Thinking?

The Greatest Story Ever Told

One day, in the not too distant future, scientists and archaeologists will look back on 20th and 21st century mankind, and our achievements, and if there is any factual history left to be salvaged and deciphered, they will see that we were a species under the influence. We were doped with information and misinformation and mind-altering drugs and led to pursue answers to questions that were not even our own.

People have probably known how to manipulate others for as long as humans have existed, but the manipulations that have steered the course of man over the last one hundred-plus years have elevated the form. Much of it can be traced to those two relatives pictured, the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, and his nephew, and father of public relations, Edward Bernays. Sigmund found the keys to unlocking the human mind, and Bernays used those keys to influence peoples' behaviors, particularly their impulses to perceive value in things that may not have been what they were advertised as being.

They weren't alone. Walter Lippmann wrote in the 1920s about the use of media to steer the ignorant masses. Behaviorist B.F. Skinner added a rewards-and-punishment conditioning component. And all of these breakthroughs in controlling the thoughts of others became the subject of research done by a non-profit group called the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. They studied World War II trauma victims and developed additional breakthrough understandings of associative disorder, or split personality, as well as how to reassemble broken minds. Connected through their war efforts to the British military, they soon expanded, with the help of funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, burrowing into Britain's National Health System, and from there branching out to a wide-ranging research and consultancy with close ties to conservative political think tanks, Stanford and other prestigious research universities, and military intelligence groups.

There seems to be a dawning awareness among the Baby Boomer generation that the social revolution we thought we owned may, in fact, have owned us. The proof is in the natural association many of us have felt for the rallying cry of "Sex, Drugs and Rock'n Roll". But where did that come from, and why does it, and other memes in society, resonate so? And has it proven to be an association that has been of benefit to society as a whole?

Is it possible that the pop culture, with which we all have so closely associated, has been and continues to be a control device? This edition, we explore that in two special feature pages:

  Mind Control and Cultural Creation

  Who Is Paul McCartney?



EarthQuake Lights

Legit Phenomena in Brooklyn

Are you aware of reports of "earthquake lights", in which orbs of light appear before an earthquake?

More than just weird phenomena, Earthquake Lights is also an indie-rock group in New York City. Their lineup - on keys and singing lead, Myles Rodenhouse; the drummer, Stephen Helms; playing electric bass, James DiGorlamo; on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Cam Underhill; and on lead guitar, Evan Douaihy - all met as college music students. In 2011 they began playing clubs around NYC, showcasing original material that is a hybrid of Jazz, Rock, and R&B, though with the song in this video they are well into coffee house balladry. The video is nicely done and probably makes the song feel more intriguing. You might keep an eye on this band, which seems to have marketing savvy, having licensed one track from their "Bangups & Hangups" release to NBA-sponsored watch maker Tissot and another for the soundtrack of the TV series "Edge of Eighteen", which airs on Al Jazeera.

Music Highs

American Government Drug Running

There was a global survey recently that found that the United States is considered the greatest threat to peace in the world. The Pew Research Center has repeated this poll of people around the globe over the last decade, and the findings are that 65 percent of respondents consider the U.S. to be the world's largest terrorist organization, measured in terms of the fear it inspires.

Part of what makes the U.S. a villain in the world is the extent to which U.S. black operations have engaged in a multi-faceted drug trade to fund rebel organizations, as with Iran-Contra, and with the CIA's involvement in distributing mind-altering drugs to targeted groups. Crack-cocaine was distributed to America's inner cities. In recent years, stories have surfaced linking intelligence communities to the LSD that flooded America in 1967. In a variety of ways, these operations destabilize countries and create enemies.

The name of recently deceased former president George H.W. Bush comes up in all of these stories. According to a 1988 Rolling Stone article, as Vice-President during the Reagan administration, Bush ran the Iran-Contra operation, which used cocaine sales to fund the Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua. Cocaine was being flown into an airstrip in Mena, Arkansas, where Bush worked with his presidential successor, then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, to manage the secret program's logistics. This was the subject of the recent Tom Cruise movie "American Made", about CIA pilot Bobby Seal.

George W. Bush would later reignite the opium trade out of Afghanistan, through military invasion and overthrown of the Taliban, which contributed to a wide-ranging opioid crisis.

Recently the targeting seems to be on country music fans, with rumors that the big country music festivals are being used to distribute drugs to that segment of society the way festivals in the 1960s were used to introduce marijuana and LSD to rock music fans. A recent Rolling Stone story reported on an Addiction.com study of "more than a million songs collected from the Songmeanings API database" to determine which genres of popular music have the highest frequency of drug references in song lyrics.

The country folk win, hands down, with an average of 1.6 drug references per song. Rappers, on the other hand, are the "cleanest" artists, with less than 1 drug reference per song, possibly defying general perception.

On the other hand, what does it say about pop music that, statistically, every song we hear references drugs? And have you ever noticed the number of rehab centers located in Branson, Missouri? Selling and cleaning up after drugs is a lucrative concern.

Luther Russell Channels Chilton

For reasons not totally clear to me, the Memphis band Big Star has influenced many bands over the years. That was the Alex Chilton project that, based on his teenaged success with The Box Tops ("The Letter"), represented big promise that never really went anywhere. L.A. producer-songwriter Luther Russell has leveraged Chilton's approach to music, and has probably had a little better success with his approach to his career. He is set to release his sixth album, along with a 7" single. (We used to call those 45s, back when "The Letter" first landed.} “With these songs, I thought I could maybe capture the essence of growing up in the San Fernando Valley during the heyday of rock ’n’ roll radio,” Russell told an interviewer. You may want to check out his soon-to-be-released "Medium Cool" to get in on some of those retro moments.


Vikings Don't Stream

Jay-Z's Tidal Targeted in Norwegian Courts

For those of us who just don't believe any of the numbers coming out of modern music stat machines, the legal woes gathering around Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service seem like the proverbial smoking stack of streaming shit.

According to a January 14, 2019 story in The Telegraph U.K. - "Tidal has come under investigation by Økokrim, the Norwegian police’s economic crime unit. The investigation was confirmed in an interview with Økokrim’s chief public prosecutor Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik by the Dagens Næringsliv newspaper in Norway."

Investigators allege that at least 320 million fake streams have been identified in the Tidal database. Back those numbers out and it begins to look like what seems obvious: next to no one is listening to, let alone buying, the steam Tidal is "streaming". 


Old, Weird, Pretty Cool

The Flesh Eaters Channel The Doors

The L.A. rock collective The Flesh Eaters has scored a Billboard chart hit with their album, I Used to Be Pretty, debuting at number 11. That isn't bad for a bunch of dinosaurs who first joined forces in 1977, headlining at a club called the Masque. Remember Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"? The Flesh Eaters were perfect for that kind of fringe provocation.

In fact, The Flesh Eaters, original lineup back in formation, consists of a bunch of individuals who, after their early stints with the band, went on to big things. This is Dave Alvin (guitar) and Bill Bateman (drums) of The Blasters; John Doe (bass) and D.J. Bonebrake (marimba and percussion) of X; and Steve Berlin (saxophones) of The Plugz (and later the Blasters and Los Lobos). Holding it all together is the creative force of vocalist and songwriter Chris Desjardins, who goes by Chris D. In this video, the band vacillates between sounding like the band "X", which has a certain garage appeal, and sounding almost uncannily like a channeling of Jim Morrison.

The Flesh Eaters are touring in the coming months and I'm sure they will provide a special entertainment experience. - RAR

Fake on Facebook

According to a New York Times story, Facebook takes down 7.7 million fake accounts every day, and supposedly took down 754 million fake accounts in the third quarter of 2018 alone.

Fake on YouTube

The New York Times has also reported on the big business of selling YouTube views to create impressions of internet support and influence advertisers.

Psycho World

Publishing and Another Talented Ripley

There is an article from The New Yorker at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions about thriller novelist Dan Mallory, who readers know as A. J. Finn, author of the best-selling début “The Woman in the Window.”

Mallory is of the elite class, and has gone to elite schools and been a denizen of the publishing industry for a decade, during which he developed a reputation as an engaging charmer, a narcissist, and an extraordinarily manipulative liar. Or at least that is the way he is described in the New Yorker piece.

The investigative reporter leaves one with the impression that everyone in the industry knows that Mallory is an imaginative nutcase, so why do they continue to enable him?

The article does not really answer that question, beyond suggesting that Mallory's penchant for turning earlier ideas into his own feel dangerous. They envision Mallory coming after them with an oar, like his role model, The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Yesterday Mallory held a press conference to admit that he lied about the various maladies and diseases he claimed to elicit sympathy, and said it was all born from his depressed condition. A psychiatrist immediately offered that Mallory was lying about that, too.



Going Back, and back, and back...

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Arts & Entertainment News Feed

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Pioneering Guitarists

New on the Music Page




Lisa Papineau

Okey Dokey





60 Years of Musical Bests




The Science of Choosing Your Keys


Rob Beck, a writer for Beginner Guitar HQ, put together this insightful guide on selecting a digital piano or keyboard. Use this link or click on the photo above to go to

How to Choose a Digital Piano – 10 Factors to Consider According to Science



Interested in Filmmaking?

Use this link to gain insights into the ins-and-outs of preparing your script, producing your film, and getting it into distribution.





Copyright © September, 2019 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)