at www.RARWRITER.com      

--------------------"The best source on the web for what's real in arts and entertainment" ---------------------------

Volume 1-2016






Use this link to add your email address to the RARWRITER Publishing Group mailing list for updates on activities associated with the Creative Culture and Revolution Culture journals, and other RARWRITER Publishing Group interests.


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.


(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"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 calledATWOOD. 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 Deliveranceis 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 atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.





Young Beard

Just guessing, but my bet is that it isn't too often that guys form bands with their Dad and somehow produce something anyone would want to see or hear. Somehow Vacaville, California trio Young Beard has broken through that perceived barrier to produce cross-generational new-Grunge that is utterly infectious. Who woulda thunk it?

According to their website, "Guitarist Frank Garay III (Papa Frank) called his son, bassist/singer Frank Garay IV (Little Frank), and asked him if he'd like to form a band together. Little Frank thought is was a great idea and quickly recruited his childhood friend and previous band mate Kevin Escalante to handle the drums. After an initial meeting at a Dickey's BBQ, the band started writing songs and rehearsing. With influences between them all ranging from Rush, Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd to Cursive, Two Gallants and Modest Mouse they developed a very 'simple and honest' sound that ranges from hard hitting fast songs to songs with an almost folk psychedelia. After crafting about 10 songs they whittled them down to their favorite 5 and decided to record their first EP - The Big September. Recording sessions were handled by engineer/producer Robbie Gardunio in Vacaville, and the EP was finished in August of 2016 just before Robbie moved to Los Angeles CA. The band and Robbie quickly hit it off which is easy to hear in the completed project, and the band plans on recording future songs with him in Los Angeles early next year." This band is dynamite and unsigned. They would like inquiries sent to Info@YoungBeard.net.


Columbus, Ohio-based band Earwig is out with a new LP, Pause for the Jets. Lizard McGee's upbeat and edgy rock unit has been around for almost a decade now; long enough that Lizard has lost his hair and his daughter now sings with the band. The video shown here is from 2008, and the band has changed since then, though the songwriting and vocal talents of McGee remain at the heart of the act. McGee is a strong, melodic songwriter, not quite as lyrically clever as he could be, but very musical. The new album, which began last year as a Kickstarter project, has a kind of bookish conceit. From their press kit - "The unpublished novel “My Own Secret Service” details the origins of the underground band Earwig and their fantastic adventures as they battle to save the Multiverse from a secret society of invading demons who occupy a parallel dimension." Hear Earwig with Lydia Lovelace, and find Earwig on Facebook.


Bobby Rush carries the title "King of the Chitlin Circuit", and having him still around educates and reminds us all of the role that Blues music has played in our ongoing effort to become more whole as a human community. Rush is into the 65th year of his music career, one that once paid him only chitlins in return for his marvelous talents. Rush has a new album out on Rounder Records, Porcupine Meat. As this video from earlier this year shows, there is still a lot of life left in Bobby Rush, and listening to him is a pleasure. Early reviews have noted Porcupine Meat as one of Rush’s finest recordings. “One of his best albums in ages … fresh funky and fun,” said AllMusic in its four-star review. No Depression called it “already a first runner for Record of the Year.” Learn more about Bobby Rush at www.bobbyrushbluesman.com.

Mathias H. Tjønn

And now for something pretty close to completely different. This video of Norwegian singer/songwriter Mathias H. Tjønn talking with his mother may not get your heart racing, but perhaps this track from his new LP Racing Heart will. Tjøn is said "to make music that is both complex and catchy, with lyrics that are not afraid of taking on bigger issues in a personal way." That sounds fair. The quirky songwriter is supported on this LP by some of the best and most noteworthy musicians from both Norway and the US, such as Jenny Hval, Hanne Hukkelberg and previously members of The War on Drugs, St. Vincent and Sufjan Stevens’ band. Listen to another track here. Find out more about Mathias here.

Juliana Hatfield

Juliana Hatfield's first vinyl pressing of her Whatever, My Love LP went so well that she has released another round. It is available from American Laundromat Records, Amazon, and Cargo UK (UK/Europe). She has also landed a track, "Needle In The Hay", on the upcoming Elliott Smith tribute LP out Oct 14th on CD, LP and Cassette at all those same websites. Juliana is a very effective songwriter, who most of us discovered through her song "My Sister", which she performs on this video. It was one of the rare female gems to come out of the Grunge era of rock. It is one of those classics, like Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" and "Left of Center", which came out of that same era, that just never stops sounding great. Juliana is tough, smart and complicated and you sense that she could write more memorable tunes before she is done, which is saying something for someone who has been around now for more than two decades.

No Nets

This is cool - not the video, but the tune. No Nets is a rock band from Brooklyn by way of the Bronx and Jersey, made up of a few grown-up-ish punk and emo kids – and a metalhead. After playing in bands together for over six years, Sal Mastrocola, John O’Neill, Walter Shock, and Dave Hauenstein moved into an apartment in Brooklyn in 2012 – and No Nets was born. The band started by way of an electronic drum kit in their Brooklyn closet, and has grown over the last three years musically and personally. Their sophomore album Bright Light reflects that growth, exploring themes that bounce from topics like marriage, adulting, keeping your creative life while working that nine to five, and the painful reality that you might never be able to afford that fancy piece of New York real estate you always dreamed about.

Jason Rylan

Wow, so bitchy! Here is a nasty little ditty from California LGBT songster Jason Rylan, in which he taunts somebody for being a hot mess and not that good at doing some unspecified thing, but one gets the feeling it was probably sexual. There is not a lot of subtlety here. Rylan is sort of bedroom-Garage Band Brian Ferry, minus the lush cool. He released this third LP recently, titled "The Charm", which might be tongue in cheek, or perhaps "charm" is a word that doesn't mean what Rylan thinks it means. He says he draws his inspiration from classic rock legends such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, but he's really more of a Calvin Harris kind of deejay type, an EDM-inspired flamethrower who would like to think of himself as an acid Madonna or Alanis Morrisette, eager to call somebody out for the crime of being overly puffed up about him or herself. Probably too much mirror time. Go to Jason Rylan's website.


This is sort of interesting, if you happen to be a San Francisco Bay Area type of person, or if you happen to have fallen prey to the hype machine surrounding Massachusetts singer/songwriter Jamie Kent. Kent somehow got named by RollingStone.com as one the "Must See Acts of CMA Fest 2016", and dubbed a "rising country star" by Fox & Friends, which are credits prominently featured in his press material, so for a guy who hasn't really done anything yet in his music career - if you call playing 200-plus shows a year not having done much - he has gotten a big early push. What interests me, personally, is Kent's connection to the Bay Area marquis act Huey Lewis & The News. That band augmented his studio unit for his All American Mutt album, coming out in October 2016. Kent is one of those opening act guys affixed to Huey Lewis & The News, The Doobie Bros, America, Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, and Marc Broussard. He uses social media effectively, has a grassroots fan organization, and he is endorsed by Durango Boots, BOSE and Telefunken Microphones. The Boston Red Sox used his song "Changes" all season, as their club morphed into a bunch with new, young faces.  "All American Mutt" was recorded in Nashville with Grammy nominated Producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jerrod Neimann, Jamey Johnson). The title track in this video is good-hearted, but the sort of lightweight stuff that doesn't lead one to believe that Kent is going to develop into one of the important people in music history.


Okay, not totally sure what this is, but I suspect that if you put it on as you are falling asleep that you might be visited by that creepy Lam guy conjured up by Aleister Crowley.


This clip is something of a tip-of-the-hat to the East Bay Grease that has been of huge importance to the history of popular music in the San Francisco Bay Area. People who grew up here love the funk, as personified by bands like Oakland's Tower of Power. In fact, East Bay Grease was the title of ToPs first LP, released way back in 1970.  This quartet includes and Jeff Tamelier on Guitar, David Margen on Bass, T Moran on Drums, and Tony Stead on Keys, videotaped here at a benefit performance at Vallejo's classic Empress Theatre. They often perform as The Sunday Paper and each of these fine players are veterans of other East Bay funk bands, including Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, and Herbie Hancock.


Oh my God, please step aside for the great - and I do mean great! - Charlie Hunter and his extraordinary quartet. Hunter, who lives in Berkeley, has been a principal innovator of the 7 and 8-string guitar, and folks in the Bay Area can enjoy experiencing him in small club settings, like the great club Armando's in Martinez. Hunter attracts and inspires "next level" musicians, as you can see exemplified in this video. These guys are cool - as cool as the title of Hunter's most recent album: Everybody Has a Plan Until they Get Punched in the Mouth. Words to live by, an insight from the trenches. Hunter has played with another Bay Area luminary, the super-inventive bassist Les Claypool, though generally Hunter's 7 and 8-string guitar work render a separate bassist unnecessary. Just watch Hunter's amazing approach and technique in this video and ask yourself if there is anybody out there in the world today demonstrating this level of innovation and virtuosity? The answer may be yes, but you'd have to look pretty hard to find such persons.


Jinx Jones is one fascinating character. He comes out of the Denver area and was around in Boulder when I (RAR) was living there in the early 1980s. He was a little late for the hey-day of the Boulder music scene, and as an MTV-type of hair rocker he seemed not to get a lot of traction on the Boulder club scene. He did perform with the legendary Roy Buchanan while there, and in this video he is playing one of Buchanan's tunes, "The Messiah Will Come Again". Jones moved to the San Francisco area around the same time that I did and here he was reborn as a Rockabilly artist. He is a fixture now in West Coast music, and also known to play the Las Vegas lounge scene, but he is still way too little known. He is a great and inspired player, certainly the most innovative guitarist to ever come out of the Colorado music incubator. This video - sort of a casual performance at Bird & Beckett's Books and Records in San Francisco from 2015 - is just spectacular. Jinx is a world-class musician and way deserving of big-time recognition. I love this guy!


San Francisco Bay Area songwriter Deborah Crooks responded a couple months back to my (RAR) sad sack request for ideas about where one could find music these days, during a time when it was feeling to me like music had died, or at least disappeared for a time into the deep woods. Where could one go to find the muse? She told me there was plenty of good music to be found at The Lost Church in San Francisco, The Monkey House in Berkeley, and The Back Room in Berkeley. Deborah is a true believer, not just in music, but also in another of my personal obsessions: Bigfoot. It probably wouldn't surprise anyone anywhere to learn that there are a lot of us west coast types who believe in the mythical creature, or at least believe in the wonder of the possibilities that Sasquatch represents. Deborah is a dynamite songwriter and a good vibe and I hope she holds on to her childlike optimism that magic still exists out there in the wilderness, amid a world of banal nay-sayers and debunkers of all that is rare and beautiful. In fact, Deborah has a new album available titled Beauty Everywhere. Go to http://www.deborahcrooks.com/ to learn more and maybe order your copy.


PREVIOUS EDITION: Looking for something you saw previously on the Music page? Use this link to access the previous edition, and you can follow links further back from there.


Arts & Entertainment News Feed

The CCJ at RARWRITER provides a steady stream of news feeds from a variety of sources. Use this link to visit the Music News page.


Looking for something in the RARWRITER.com archives? Type the item you wish to find in the custom search field below, then click on the magnifying glass to see a list of previously published articles relevant to your query.








Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)