“Primary Colors”

      1. Primary Colors - Ric Size

 

Recorded March 1, 2021 in Sanford, FL, by Tom Pearce who used Behringer software to record & monitor on his Mac flatscreen, to match with his Behringer wireless pre-amp, which is the heart of everything. Two cabled microphones, one on vocals & one on acoustic guitar, and a line-in guitar through a DI-box to the pre-amp.

Photo by Jose Luis Magana (AP), taken on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Production & art design by Tom Pearce. Previous references to this song on Extended Play 2019-21 are to a version we recorded in 2019 which didn’t work out. This song was also recorded (mono live) on March 20, 2020 as part of my Coronavirus Concerts project.

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Bandcamp page promo

I’ve been repeatedly asked how my music can be legally purchased in a way that pays the artist. As of now, everything Ric Size from Magnified (2012), Electrified! (2015), Hwy 19 & Main St (2015), Fully Covered (2016), and Over & Out (2017) is available as a HQ digital download on Bandcamp.
 
Over & Out (above) is available on CD for $10 + S&H. Supplies are limited. This is currently my only album available on CD, as the cost of production is too high, while sales opportunities are too restricted, under conditions of censorship & de facto blacklisting.
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“When You’re Out There”

      1. When You're Out There - Ric Size

 

Recorded on December 2, 2020 in Sanford FL by Tom Pearce. Photos, production & art design also by Tom.

“When You’re Out There” was written in August, 2020 after I listened to a LOT of Sun Ra on YouTube. With COVID-19 killing the live music scene, it was a good opportunity for me to finally hear many of his records which were never really available during the vinyl era, and were too overpriced during the CD era.

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth was always a champion of Sun Ra, and was the one who introduced this unheralded genius jazz composer & virtuoso to me & many others. Sun Ra’s music is timeless, with depth, and a spirit of fierce independence. He’s out there, and that’s what inspired this song.

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“It’s a Steamy Jungle”

      1. It's A Steamy Jungle - Ric Size

 

This is the fifth single from Extended Play 2019-21.

“It’s a Steamy Jungle” is an acoustic reggae song I came up with in October 2020.

Guitar & vocal by Ric Size. Recorded March 1, 2021 in Sanford, FL, by Tom Pearce.

Photo, cover art design & production also by Tom Pearce.

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Coronavirus Vaccination: A case study

My first vaccine report card is below. It was a painless injection with no initial side effects. WUCF 89.9 was playing Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” on my drive home. Irony?

There is a lot of misinformation, which is creating hesitancy to get vaccinated. As a doctor, I categorically state that everyone should get vaccinated, and take whatever brand you can get. They are ALL better than being unvaccinated. It’s the only way to end the pandemic.

Until we can get all 7+ billion people on this planet vaccinated, this pandemic will continue. This coronavirus is a deadly flu strain, which is mutating before our very eyes. The problem is that too many people remain willfully blind. These people are known as anti-vaxxers & capitalists, and they must be politically defeated forever to win the Coronavirus War.

Here’s a truth: you need to be ready to be vaccinated, physically & mentally. There’s no question about that, so forced vaccinations aren’t the answer. Everyone has to be educated with real science, and when they are, they will realize they need to be vaccinated. It’s a political struggle against ignorance, reaction & fascism on one front, and a battle to educate the international working masses & youth on the other.

If you are obese, alcoholic, have heart problems, liver, kidney, etc, issues– then you will have more adverse reactions to any of these vaccines. This is a nasty virus, and the vaccines are made of its bits & pieces. It’s your immune system that needs to be ready. You need to be rested, not stressed, when you get vaccinated. It helps to be in good shape, outside & in.

With all the mutations, we may need boosters in the future. That means we need to change our way of thinking entirely. There is no “getting back to normal” anymore. That’s a big lie. This pandemic has been a world-historic “trigger event” which leads to revolution, as every nation’s leaders, especially the US, have no answers for humanity in this struggle to defeat coronavirus.

It is clear this is foremost a political battle. The technology is there to win easily, but capitalism can’t bring humanity together to get it done. It only wants to make profits for itself.

That’s why I just go into Walmart, and get my shot, then leave. Walmart is part of Florida’s pay-to-play vaccine rollout program. Vaccines are distributed at places like Walmart to get people into their stores. They ask for your insurance card, and if you don’t have one, then you sign a form and you’re good to go. The shots are free, but this delivery model boosts the economy in the right direction. Walmart gets the insurance money (if possible), and since you’re already in their store, you might as well go shopping! Convenient, huh?

First dose: Wed 21 Apr 2021 ~9:30 AM EDT

Doctors make the worst patients. When the nice Puerto Rican woman who was injecting everyone pre-swabbed the site with alcohol, I screamed in pain. She jumped back, until I winked at her and said through my mask, “Just kidding.”

She injects, then peels off the injector target, and says, “Oh, a bleeder– that’s rare.” She gets a band-aid and places it on the site. I say to her, so that all the other patients in the room can hear, “I heard that if you get a bleeder, that means you received a placebo.” She’s stunned, and doesn’t know what to say, until I reply, “Just kidding.” You’re supposed to stay for 15 minutes, and they hand you a timer, but I just put it on a table and left. Leave ’em laughing, I say.

A few hours later, there’s a bit of swelling & tightness in my left triceps area. You know something has been injected there. The histamines have been inflamed, and my body is processing the vaccine to achieve a level of immunity. I think I’ll get the second dose in my right arm for comparison. I hope I don’t get a bleeder. The next appointment date is on the back of the card, and it can be time-scheduled online, or just walk-in that day.

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YouTube channel reorganized & updated

The entire Ric Size song catalog is now on YouTube. Magnified (2012), Electrified! (2015), Hwy 19 & Main St (2015), Fully Covered (2016), Over & Out (2017), Coronavirus Concerts (2020), and Extended Play 2019-21 [still unfinished] now have at least thumbnail image videos for every song.

For those who don’t subscribe to a steaming service, this is where online fans can listen for free.

There’s also an “Official Videos & Interviews” playlist, along with a “Films” section for Electrified!, the movie attempt released in September 2015.

Most musical artists have turned off YouTube comments at this point, as it’s a lot of spam & other unwanted distractions. That’s what’s been done here, so speak with your like (or dislike) button, and by sharing.

Electrified! is far & away the best rock album in the last 25 years or so. It’s at least as good as Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991). Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation (1988) is tough to beat, and there are about twenty records that can match that in rock history. Bob Dylan, the Beatles & Rolling Stones made a few of them, so did the Velvet Underground & Captain Beefheart. Wire’s Pink Flag (1977), Cheap Trick Live at Budokan (1978), The Pretenders (1980), Husker Du & the Minutemen classic double LP’s in 1984, Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990), PJ Harvey’s 4-Track demos: Rid of Me (1993, )and Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville (1993) are tough to beat.

That’s the list Electrified! is on. And just to show my appreciation, if that list had to be shortened to the 20 best songwriters of the rock era, then Iggy Stooge/Pop, Neil Young, CCR, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Pete Townsend, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Van Halen, David Byrne, Devo, Blondie, U2, REM, Pixies, Fugazi, etc, join that list. Tough to beat.

The second & third best rock albums of the past decade are Magnified (2012) and Over & Out (2017), in whatever order you prefer. And our EP’s are even better. This is the level Tom Pearce & I work on. It’s the reason this site & music are so blacklisted.

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“Bitter to Better”

      1. Bitter To Better - Ric Size

 

Photo, production & art design by Tom Pearce.

Recorded March 1, 2021 in Sanford, FL. Tom Pearce is now using Behringer software to record & monitor on a Mac flatscreen, to match with his Behringer wireless pre-amp, which is the heart of everything. Two microphones, one on vocals & one on acoustic guitar, and a line-in guitar through a DI-box to the pre-amp. Three-track recording, clean as a pin.

I woke up late this morning and did my usual cucumber juicing in the kitchen. Two raw cukes, and if I have an apple core or fresh ginger, I’ll add that for some sweetness & zing. But I didn’t have any (as usual), so I slugged my veggies down & commented to myself, “It’s bitter, but it makes you better… ‘Bitter to Better’…. That’s a song title!” So I grabbed a paper & pen and wrote the song. You need a title.

What helps with riffs is knowing many, many covers, across the genres. Keep cycling through them, so when you have a title, you can invent the riff you need– by distilling from favorite covers. That’s how this song was done.

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Trump pardons Lil Wayne, but I don’t

Packers fans: Who is better Lil Wayne, or Aikman/Buck?

I took an impromptu straw poll last weekend, and speculated it to be a classic ‘Hillary or Trump’ conundrum, but I learned that Green Bay Packers fans much prefer Buck/Aikman to Lil Wayne. That says something.

Song/video review: Lame beats, stupid rhymes, with no melody hook. All compression in production. Someone tell Lil Wayne this is low-grade dog shit. I’ve heard better music at the ballgame…

He claims he worked on this for three (3) whole days. Lil Wayne says he never takes that long to do a song. Amazing results, huh? How can I be a big rock star like him? If we didn’t have Lil Wayne (and the rest) keepin’ it real, and providing the soundtrack for our lives, what would we have?

Listen to Lil Wayne rap, “Number 12, number 12…”  He probably never heard of Lynn Dickey. No images of him in the video. Typical front-runner fan. Obviously Aaron Rodgers is one of the best NFL QB’s ever, but it’ still disrespectful to ancient Lambeau faithful. There are many of them.

Lynn Dickey was a more-than-adequate QB when he had WR James Lofton, TE Paul Coffman & RB Terdell Middleton. They were a prolific NFL offense for a few years. The problem was their defense & special teams were shit.

Green & gold, green & gold to Trump Tower, baby
Green & gold, green & gold CMB power, baby

Representin’– you know what I mean?

A lot of celebrity rappers apparently bought themselves a pardon. It’s a disgusting lot that was pardoned, in whole. I wonder what Trump wanted for Julian Assange’s pardon? NO support from this gangsta crowd for the WikiLeaks founder. It’s just another reason to dislike Lil Wayne’s latest song, which was only released on YouTube 4 days ago!

      1. Millennial Whoop - Ric Size

 

Donald Trump’s pardoning Lil Wayne and the rest of these black rappers is nothing more than a cash pay-off to Trump, which is how he does business. The white supremacists can’t be happy about this one. Trump has been a very divisive President, no question.

The nuclear football hand-off has been executed and the führer in officially in exile, just like Adolf Hitler after his failed Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. The political lessons of January 6 won’t be forgotten by the working masses. Fascism is storming the Capitol, then trying to hide from it.

The political question to the fascists from everybody else is, “What is next for your movement?”  Marxists take what Nazis say seriously. You don’t get to use History as a platform, when you don’t know it. Everyone needs to be listening, and very interested in their answer(s).

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Bob Dylan sells his songs

When an artist dies, the inheritors are often not equipped to deal with the responsibility of owning such valuable work. The estate inheritors almost always end up selling this intellectual property to a conglomerate, and for less than the artist would have received, because they don’t know the business, or have the clout. This is why Bob Dylan just sold his entire song catalog of over 600 songs to Universal Music Group, for reportedly over $300 million.

Bob Dylan is 79 years old, and he lived a hard life, which means he knows his death is near. Selling his song catalog makes inheritance easier, as an artist can’t control their music when they’re dead. I’m guessing that’s Bob Dylan’s primary motive for selling out at this time. A lot of other prolific musicians have been doing the same lately, and it’s because they need the money.

As for Dylan’s legacy, he did his part as an artist, and more. A major reason Bob Dylan turned towards the mainstream was because there was no politically organized “left” back in the 1960’s. The Trotskyist movement itself was splintered, and needed to be ridden of Pabloists, Stalinists, and worthless middle-class radicals.

Bob Dylan was so far ahead of his time in 1965, that in many ways, the world has yet to catch up. That’s why “It’s Alright, Ma”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Visions of Johanna” lead his list of timeless classics. Find those albums and you will discover the meaning of art in songwriting.

This brings up the issue of artists becoming dinosaurs. “Dinosaur” is an industry term for a performer who can no longer adapt to the current culture, and gets left behind. It’s partially a misnomer, as the real dinosaurs didn’t go extinct because they failed to adapt, they were wiped-out by an asteroid impact which changed the conditions of life on our planet. In truth, they survived in miniature form, as birds.

With that anthropological understanding in mind, it can be said that all artists eventually become dinosaurs, because no one can stay current & relevant forever. Once you become a dinosaur, your priorities change from being an artist, to making a living & survival. Bob Dylan is the most extreme example of this phenomenon. Fans can debate when he became ossified, but by the 1980’s (for sure) Bob Dylan was a dinosaur.

This is what capitalism does to all artists. You have a choice of “playing ball,” or being left out in the cold. By orienting towards a genuinely revolutionary organization such as the Socialist Equality Party, an artist can remain relevant much longer than most contemporaries, because that artist is staying in-tune with the times for inspiration. It’s reactionary politics which overwhelmed & ossified Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna & the rest. The price of remaining a true artist is the lack of money, sponsorship & venues to perform. That’s the lesson to be learned here.

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Eddie Van Halen obituary

Classic rock fundamentalists claim Cream was the all-time greatest supergroup, but Van Halen in their initial incarnation broke rock music in half, with their amazing skills & originality. Van Halen was the greatest rock supergroup ever: with Eddie on guitar, brother Alex on drums, Michael Anthony on bass, and David Lee Roth as the vocal frontman.

Rock acts were either post-punk or a dinosaurs after Van Halen I (1977). David Lee Roth brought an obnoxious, yet hilarious, sense-of-humor & style, which further separated Van Halen from the rest of heavy metal.

Roth suggested to Eddie that the band be named Van Halen, when he joined. When Eddie Van Halen married TV-star Valerie Bertenelli, they became the biggest paparazzi couple on the planet. These pressures eventually tore the band (and their marriage) apart.

Van Halen was the original ‘hair metal’ band, eventually becoming a parody of themselves, like so many others in the industry. Ted Templeman was their ‘5th member’ for all six of the classic David Lee Roth records, a first rate producer whose credits include Captain Beefheart’s Clear Spot (1972). Van Halen was very much like the Velvet Underground & Nico with Andy Warhol, in that they had it all, until the egos blew it.

Supergroup means everyone is a star. Alex Van Halen pioneered the ‘double kick’ sound. Listen to his drum intro to “Hot for Teacher,” which he plays live. It sounds like Alex has at least one extra appendage. The way Alex & Eddie play together sounds like no one else.

On bass was Michael Anthony, a rock solid player with all the chops, and also their main backing vocalist. Classic songs like “Ain’t Talkin’ About Love”,  “You Really Got Me”, & “Panama” are great examples of Michael Anthony’s backing vocals, and how it filled out their sound. “Eruption” is the all-time Eddie classic.

Here’s an explanation of tapping as an innovative guitar technique. As a right-handed player, such as Eddie Van Halen, it is possible to sound notes using only the left hand by applying hammer-ons & pull-offs. That’s traditional guitar playing technique. What Eddie pioneered was tapping, which is using his right-hand fingers to hammer-on & pull-off, higher up the neck– instead of picking. He’s doing this, while playing with his left hand simultaneously on the lower frets. This is almost impossible to do on an acoustic guitar. You need an electric, with a slim neck and a ‘fast action’ set-up. You also need a ton of practice, and some talent.

When MTV came along in 1981, Van Halen made their first video, “Intruder/(Oh) Pretty Woman” from Diver Down (1982), which was promptly banned from MTV– for it’s surprise ending…

Four amazingly talented people working together, Van Halen was even greater than the sum of their parts– through 1984.

Eddie kicked Roth out in 1985, and that was it for the real Van Halen. Van Hagar was mostly uninspired, and ‘Extreme’ Van Halen was terrible. Eddie bringing in his son Wolfgang, to replace Michael Anthony on bass, was maybe the worst. RIP Van Halen

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