Intro: Tom Pearce & I have a deal. When it’s either of our turns to go to work, that person has full control. Tom Pearce has attracted attention within the music industry as a respected producer & electronica artist. Through his new affiliation we have a new distro deal that offers us great penetration into the music business.
We have set an official release date for “Millennial Whoop” at 11/26. This song is a monster crossover single, so we’re doing everything we can to get it as much distribution as possible. “Millennial Whoop” is the first single from the 4-song mini-album: Extended Play 2019.
Note, November 27, 2019 is when this song will be available on all the major streaming services including: Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, etc… “Millennial Whoop” can be downloaded here & now for FREE, because we’re about the fans. Share it if you love it, and let the new-release, underground buzz begin!!
1. Millennial Whoop - Ric Size
I’ve never done a rap/pop song to this extreme, so this was fun. A year ago, Tom sent me a YouTube link on this phenomenon in modern pop music production. Patrick Metzger coined the phrase a few years earlier in a study he published, which is now well-known & cited. Months later after learning about this, I was out and recognized it on someone’s cranked-up car speakers as they drove by, and starting singing my own improvised chorus back to them on the spot.
Millennial Whoop official video (YouTube): Coming soon!
I consider this song to be partly a public service announcement, as well as a punk cross-over single. References include: Woody Guthrie, The Sound of Music (1965), Kelly Clarkson, Coca-Cola, square dancing call-outs, Donald Trump’s aversion to people coughing, The Birdcage (1996) & Basic Instinct (1992). I ‘baby’ it up a lot, which is my hybrid of Barry White & Justin Bieber. We had a real good time together.
Rachel Decker: vocals
Tom Pearce: beats & tones
Bill Pelick: bass
Written, published, & copyrighted by Ric Size; No Cliché Songs / Infinitelink Records 2019
Produced by Tom Pearce / Last Minute Production
We are currently about two decades into the “noise wars,” which is defined as excessive compression to make songs louder for cheap mobile headphones. Car commercials which blast non-stop, louder than the rest, is the comparative to the “noise wars” in television audio production. The only way an independent artist can compete against this degradation of music is by having better songs, and knowing how to record & produce them.
As the 2010’s close out, this is a review of all my albums and their songs. When people ask me, “What is your best song?” I reply, “I have a lot a great songs, go to Spotify, et al, and pick a title that looks interesting.” Then people ask me, “What are your best songs?” That’s tough again, because I feel I can easily fill any top-10 (20, 30…) list with songs that no one in my era can beat. My personal top-3 are “Ridiculous”, “Anna Rex”, and whatever other song you love. I have a lot of amazing songs. Much depends on what you prefer.
I was really excited, and very naive, when I finally released my debut album Magnified in January 2012. It was really fun to record with Jay Stanley, who is a songwriter, turned producer. He had a great studio on the 2nd floor of his house in Ocoee, Florida. It was separated from everybody else, which allowed us to work well together without interruptions in the summer & fall of 2011.
I would come in with my songs, and we would usually record 2 per two-hour session. I laid down the guitars, vocals, bass and harmonica– in that order. Jay would loop the rhythm guitars & bass to keep it tight to the click track. Then Jay would drop in beats electronically, as I would monitor & make suggestions. I’ve said it before– in many ways this is a rock-electronica album. I did the beats (mostly looped) on “Mercury Rising,” and the hi-hat on “Pay to Play.” The rest were done by Jay, and I feel he was very creative with them.
The biggest limitation of this album is in its production. Jay Stanley isn’t a professional producer, which is a skill that takes decades to master. He has the passion for music, which can get you a long ways, but there’s a lot of harshness of sound & distortion clipping on Magnified. I wanted that punk, trebly edge, but there’s too much in hindsight– IMO.
There’s also very little bass, which is under-mixed, and a common error among under-experienced producers. There’s a lot of wash in the sound, but I accepted that knowing I played everything, and that much of it was looped. For a debut album, this is a 4.5 star effort on the 5-star album scale. Every song is an anthem, and it’s delivered on time. It was a lot of fun to make, and nothing else from 2012 sounds anything like this underground classic. I dubbed it revolution rock, and established this site with the help of webmaster Tom Pearce to promote the record.
I wanted better sound separations, and more live playing for my follow-up album. I went back to Jay Stanley in the summer of 2013, who had by then moved his residence (and home studio) to Apopka. I was to be among his first clients in this new studio, which is a suburb garage converted into a music studio. The acoustics and sound-proofing were problematic from the start.
This is when I brought in Tom Pearce to be my drummer. Tom is a professional musician and sound savant. He immediately began making me aware of issues with the recordings. I intended Electrified to be my best album, and as Tom began to challenge my conceptions of what this album could sound like, I began to butt heads with Jay. There was one time where Jay’s needy girlfriend busted in on our session (again), and Jay flipped out. He left the control room in anger, then came back and said to me, “The session is over.” I had been there for 20 minutes.
I packed up & left, stopping at the first gas station to relax and gain my composure, when Jay texted me that I could come back, and that the issue was his girlfriend is an alcoholic. I went back in a mood, pulled out my Stratocaster and told Jay to record. It was the guitar riff to “Brothers.” I remember singing those sobering lyrics to him in the soundbooth. That’s an example of the intensity level throughout the recording of Electrified.
I also brought in videographer Susan Cameron to film a studio session, and it was inserted into my attempt at a documentary movie of the same title. There was a lot going on, for sure. By autumn all the songs had been tracked (except for Rachel’s vocals), and I asked Jay to do a rough mix-down. I was asking him to impress me, but he didn’t. It was at that point I asked for a copy of all the tracks to Electrified. Jay wasn’t happy about it, as anyone would be, but to his credit he acquiesced and put the tracks on an external hard drive. From this point, onward, everything I have recorded has been produced by Tom Pearce.
As mentioned, I made an attempt at a feature length motion picture. Electrified! the movie died in the rough cut phase because: 1) no more money, and 2) creative differences between myself & Susan Cameron– my partner on the project. I financed the project, and she was underpaid for sure. Susan Cameron was an amazing inspiration to this film, and we patched it together in a little over a year– using entirely local talent.
All it needed was some production polish & final editing, but when I introduced the “Marxist lecture” portions of the film (near the end of shooting), she suddenly lost interest. By January 2014, local businesses & influencers had gotten wind of Ric Size, so they threw a bunch of money at her to do their overblown projects while abandoning the film. That’s my version of what happened. I’m not bitter, just disappointed.
When it came to forming a list of potential promotional partners (sponsors) for the film, Sue kept suggesting Bill Maher, et al. I kept insisting it could only be a revolutionary superstar artist, such as Madonna or Brian Eno. Sue is a liberal Democrat producer, and I ‘m a Trotskyist artist with creative control. In the end we did amazingly well to get that far into production (~98% finished) before breaking up. It’s still a powerful film, and the original soundtrack is all Jay Stanley mixed.
Orson Welles was asked near the end of his life at a press conference, “What is the best part of making movies?” A once-again defeated Orson Welles candidly replied, “When you know the money is in the bank.” Don’t attempt to make a film, unless all the money is there to finish & distribute it. That’s a hard lesson.
Tom had to transfer the digital files out of ProTools (Apple), and convert them into PC format so he could use Studio One, which is the software he decided upon. It has been a great choice, as it records very clean, and I am doubly happy because I paid for all this.
ProTools mucks-up the recorded sound with its built in effects. ProTools is the “industry standard,” but it’s also why so much of today’s music sounds the same. Many serious musicians have moved away from ProTools in the past few years for the same reason. Tom & I have been leaders in this movement towards better sound quality & the return of dynamics.
There were many tracks on Electrified that had to be re-recorded after my split with Jay Stanley, due to poor or faulty microphoning, especially on the drum kit. Tom used his own snare, but the rest was Jay’s in-house kit, which was mic-ed by at least 8-10 microphones. Some worked, and some didn’t. Lots of spillage, etc. There were 30-40 tracks for each song, due to this style of microphoning, along with digitally duplicated tracks. Many were just empty air.
Once again, this isn’t good professional technique, and I want people to understand how much work it was for Tom Pearce to wade through all this jumble, and piece this album back together. This was also very frustrating for the songwriter, as I knew these were great songs, but the studio engineer/producer kept dropping the ball and making me look bad, when he’s supposed to be covering my mistakes and making me sound good. Like I said, there’s lots of tension on this album, but in the end it was worth it. I thank Jay Stanley for giving me what he could. At least he was willing to “go there” with me, which no one else would do. It takes balls.
The biggest improvement on Electrified are the professional musicians & producer. The song quality is roughly equal to Magnified, perhaps a bit better. Tom’s live drumming shows up instantly in “Spirit of the Road” and is an essential element to this 5-star classic. There is (again) not a bad song on this album, and I’m pushing every button. I’ve got what sounds like a backing band, but in reality, are supremely artistic musicians helping out. Electrified may be the best rock album of the past 25 years or so. I know I haven’t heard anything better, or even close to it. If you have a suggestion I’d love to hear it.
Craig Roy did all his bass in two sessions– Anna Rex, Old Friends, Tip of the Cap, Listen to the Woman, Brothers, Moneybug & More Like Us. Bill Pelick did his guitars & bass (Tip of the Cap & Just Because) in one session. Jessica Lynn Martens did her violin & vocals (Anna Rex, Old Friends & Moneybug) in one quickie session. Rachel Decker did her vocals twice, because Tom accidentally erased her initial session for “Listen to the Woman.” That’s kinda how it went.
The biggest blunder I made with Electrified was the cover. I already had the image, which is shown above as Tom & I playing live in Apopka in summer 2012. The photo was taken by Laura Rivera, my ex-step daughter. But I eventually switched the cover to a black & white screenshot from the movie, as a promotional tie-in. Big mistake, as the movie was never finished, and the live image is better. Tom says he wants to re-mix & re-master Electrified, and when he does, Laura’s live photo will be the cover.
Tom worked on producing this record, night & day, for nearly two years. He had finally opened up a watch repair shop of his own in a tin shack at the corner of Highway 19 & Main St in Tavares, FL and set to work on producing when things got slow– which they mostly were.
When he finally finished production and put Electrified online in October 2015, he then asked me with a smile, “What’s next?” I told him I wanted to make a “Beefheart record.” Tom instinctively understood what this meant, and so he closed the watch shop for a few hot afternoons in October-November. We recorded six songs live in the makeshift studio he had built. I had taken up the slide by this point, as it was apparent I was never going to find a stable backing band for live shows. A slide adds an element of attack and sound separation to guitar playing. A solo performer can use this effect to stand out.
We recorded “Haters, Step Aside”, “Rolling Stoned”, “Problem Solved” and the rest in two sessions, I took the album art pictures immediately after the final session, and TomP shot me while I was playing. Tom recommended the title, the format of me playing solo, and doing it as an EP. Today, Highway 19 & Main St already stands as one of the best rock EP’s ever. Tom & I both like this record better than Electrified, because it’s recorded live and we were having fun.
We then recorded 16 covers for what I titled Fully Covered, but never released officially, because of licensing rights. Fully Covered was only released on YouTube and linked through this page on my site in November-December 2016 & January 2017, with videos for every song. I provided most of the content, and TomP put the images together to produce the videos.
YouTube has brutally censored my content, so this project hasn’t been allowed to receive the distribution it deserves. We’ll eventually release Hwy 19/Fully Covered on a single CD. Honestly, I don’t believe any solo performer can do these types of covers as well as I do, so everything that Tom & I recorded in this tin shack is a 5-star classic.
After these landmark underground albums were released in rapid-fire succession, I focused on blogging, as no touring or live performance opportunities were available to me. My influential blogging career began in earnest in 2016, and has continued up to the present, as there are still no live performance opportunities for me.
I was sent an eviction notice in the spring of 2017, and had to move from my Mount Dora apartment by July. Before I left, I told Tom I wanted to record my last batch of songs. I wanted to make sure this final album would get made, as I wasn’t sure where I was moving to, and if I would be able to record with Tom after I had moved.
Over & Out was released that summer, and was somewhat a rush job, as everything except “Yes/No Wave” was recorded in one session that May. Tom brought his recording rig to my apartment, and was experimenting with different techniques, which is why some of the recordings sound a bit different. If you really listen to this album, you realize how intense & serious these thoughts are. To keep them in one’s head indefinitely can only lead to frustration & insanity. That was my motivation to get this record done, and for its title.
This was another solo, acoustic record. Tom added beats & effects to “Up Around the Clock” & “Many Miles.” We now have a rehearsal recording of “Up Around the Clock,” with Tom on drums & Bill on bass from fall 2018, and maybe someday we’ll release it, as it’s surely better than the album version. The song I really don’t like on Over & Out is “Waves,” as I had issues with my capo, which I rarely use. The songs on Over & Out are strong, but could have used some help from other musicians in certain areas. I rate this as a 4-star record, as the best songs are really strong and it does hold together, but could have been better.
One of the hardest things to do as an artist is to let go. Once an album is done & released, it’s not yours anymore. It now belongs to everybody who listens, and it’s what they think that counts– especially the kids. I’ve spent a lot of time here, nitpicking at my work, which is what you have to do to be a honest critic of yourself. It’s not easy, and definitely not fun, but it’s necessary– since it is the only way you can control your narrative. If you don’t do this, then someone else will, and they may promote a version you don’t approve.
I really did think I was finished with music after Over & Out, but somehow a few new songs crept into my head and wouldn’t leave me alone, so by late 2018, I had informed Tom of my intention to record a new single– at least. This morphed into a 4-song EP which is currently in production.
I think Extended Play 2019 will be the best batch yet. The songs are strong, and the playing & production have overwhelming technique– it’s remarkable. It’s a lot more fun this time, because I have great help everywhere. It’s easier to do now, but that’s only because of all the challenging experiences I’ve had in the past. Actually it’s never easy making art. It’s fulfilling, but always challenging. Making it look easy is the genius part.
Final Critique: What TomP & I have accomplished, with a little help from our friends, is nothing less than revolutionary. How many rock artists are considered as a serious political leader & theorist? None, until I came along. This has opened up new artistic fields for musicians, as blogging has become THE influential underground internet journalism format. Now everyone makes their own movies and uploads them to YouTube. I still say Electrified! is the best of the bunch, and deserves a sponsor to produce & distribute it.
The fact is that even the best songwriters can’t write a really great song every day, week or even month. Artists can fill that creative void in music, by reading & analyzing world events in all fields: economics, politics, sports, art, science, literature & pop culture. That was never possible before the internet & social media. What the persona of Ric Size did was show everyone how to do it. I got essays, mp3s, pics, videos & a movie. That’s hard to beat, especially considering it’s all DIY and in the establishment’s face. Imagine if I had some real money to work with…
When it comes to “Artist of the Decade,” it isn’t close. No one has been the artist I have been in this era. No one has been more influential in revolutionary politics & youth pop culture. That’s why I am blacklisted. So I will never appear on any mainstream lists of this “decade’s best.” The further reality is that 2nd place isn’t even close, and that really can’t be acknowledged. That’s the current impasse with me not being critically acclaimed. It’s the power of art.
In this era fans want/expect to be informed– as things are happening. So in that spirit, here’s a good chunk of the liner notes from the upcoming 4-song EP.
Extended liners: We lined-in dry on all guitars & bass. Lining-in means direct cabling from the instrument to the soundboard that links to a computer, which records the performance. Dry means no effects. If you are studio recording “live as a band,” then effects can be used, as long as they are kept under control. But if you apply effects to the guitar/bass during multi-track recording, insisting “that’s the sound I gotta have,” then the guitarist is leaving the producer with little-to-no headroom for sound treatments, including the three most important parameters: reverb, equalization & compression.
Those three effects are ~95% of properly-done sound production– in any era. Getting the best sound is the purpose of multi-track recording, and it’s how most music is put together. To all those guitar heroes with racks of effects & foot pedals, here’s some good advice from studio experience: save them for the live shows. They are mostly useless in the studio today, due to computers & digital-effects software.
We are currently about two decades into the “noise wars,” which is defined as excessive compression to make songs louder for cheap mobile headphones. Car commercials which blast non-stop, louder than the rest, is the comparative to the “noise wars” in television audio production. The only way an independent artist can compete against this degradation of music is by having better songs, and knowing how to record & produce them.
With this in mind, what you need from a guitar in the studio is a clean & strong signal. If the player(s) get it right, and the engineer records it properly, then the music has a chance of eventually smashing all the loud junk on the radio, MTV, American Idol, AGT, et al. Effects muddle the input signal, which hurts the cause, so apply them only in the mixing stage, not during recording.
Marketing, social media & internet censorship: Once uploaded to the internet, mp3’s quickly proliferate onto all the streaming services, big & small. But don’t be deceived, each service has their own proprietary algorithms which mysteriously work against independent artists. I’m at the top of these blacklists. YouTube, Facebook, et al, are revolutionary social media platforms, which have been hijacked by corporate ownership to work for the military-intelligence apparatus.
Therefore, don’t waste too much time in these domains, because they can (& will) turn you down, make you invisible, & de-platform you without your consent or knowledge. Make quickie thumbnail-image videos for the songs, and let your fans speak for you in the social media forums. That way you’re not devastated if/when videos get taken down, turned down, etc… Fakebook has designed its AI algorithms, so you’ll only see your haters if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t like you.
The greater truth is that most kids today download mp3’s either through the artist’s site directly (free– like me), or through an illicit sites (if not free). The message is: make your mp3’s free, as their quality isn’t that of wav files– which is compact disc quality sound. Free mp3’s maximizes distribution, and the name-of-the-game is making new fans.
Streaming is internet radio, so don’t expect to get paid, because you won’t. You don’t have the industry clout. This scientific understanding & revolutionary approach is how underground artists can keep their sanity, while fighting fascist censorship & winning the loudness wars.
Final thoughts on recording: You must be able to work with a click track in order to get set pieces like “Patch Me Up Doc” or “Millennial Whoop” to work. Set pieces are defined as songs you don’t play live. They are more studio creations than anything else. A songwriter typically needs lots of help with set pieces, in musicianship & production. The Beatles “A Day in a Life” is a classic example of a set piece.
It often depends on what instrument the songwriter plays, to determine the order of recording. Does the songwriter have perfect time? Most often, the answer is “No.” The rock music songwriter must find a way to match up melody, riffing & lyrical ideas, with beats.
If both the songwriter & producer aren’t drummers, then the drum track should be recorded first, followed by the bass. This is typically recorded by placing a microphone in front of each guitar & bass amplifier, and around the drum kit. That is a traditional recording sequence & microphone technique when multi-tracking.
You have to know the circumstances & your strengths, while having no weaknesses when studio recording, otherwise you will crack– wasting time, money & relationships. Your team is there to cover your weaknesses with their expertise & skills. It’s a lot easier with digital, if you know what you are doing. My colleagues on this project are true professionals, they are as talented as anyone, and have my eternal respect & gratitude.
What happens to the original tracks & recording masters? Today, any independent musical artist & record label needs to be at the cutting edge to make an impact– both creatively & in business practice. The model we’ve developed is low-cost & top-notch because it’s revolutionary DIY, using the latest technology & boldest ideas from start to finish. Every studio recording that I’ve ever made, dating back to 1997, has been uploaded to a Google share drive. TomP does the same thing with his ex08 project, and everything else.
The Universal Music Group (UMG) fire that blazed through its irreplaceable archives in 2008 (and then was hushed-up for over 10 years) is a valuable lesson in corporate priority & artist responsibility. UMG is a conglomerate money-making machine, with little sense of artistic value towards it archives. They kept things quiet, and collected the insurance money, while the artists whose masters were torched didn’t even know what had happened. UMG allowed the works of many, many legends it was supposedly safeguarding, to carelessly burn to ashes. Many of these incinerated archives were never transferred digitally, or uploaded to a cloud server– so they are lost forever.
Of course, Tom & I have these files on our computers & external backup drives too, but a cloud-based share drive is how to communicate large amounts of data, such as multi-track recordings, final masters, videos, etc, with a producer. The other benefit is that it protects the music & art from being destroyed into posterity.
This also means a private corporation (Google) has all my stuff in its cloud. And by extension, it means the NSA, FBI, CIA, et al, also have them. That’s the price an artist has to pay today, to protect the existence of content. This takes confidence that you have maximized your abilities, knowing that no one else can do it as well. These songs be proof.
Introduction: This is a self-analysis of my twelve most-viewed blog posts over the past year, dated as of this publication. This is what my fans (& haters) are viewing, so if you want to get up-to-speed, this is where to start.
These aren’t necessarily all of my best writings, just the most popular. I now have over 340 posts on this site, and there are several on politics which I consider to be my best, but aren’t among the most-viewed. This is strictly how my readers have judged the writings.
These essays span a period of over 5 years, from August 2014, up to last week. This proves these writings have weight & substance, which makes them not only timely reporting, but classics which last into posterity– unlike the garbage propaganda produced by corporate fake news media.
Final note: I excluded FREE Music Downloads (the coolest original downloads page, anywhere!) from this list. Pages with my music content are different from written publications, which are posted as a blog. FREE Music Downloads would have ranked 12th on this list, just ahead of the MST3K piece.
1)Why Does Danica Patrick Wreck So Often in NASCAR? Published March 14, 2016, this is still my number-one, most-viewed article– by a 3:1 margin over the runner-up. This piece made me infamous as a blogger for lots of reasons. The subject is both beautiful & controversial. The content & style was revolutionary. A few of the damning YouTube videos I originally linked have been taken down, which only proves the case further. Danica Patrick retired from racing over a year ago, and yet she still remains relevant to the public. Many right-wing gun nuts link this piece around their forums. You don’t have fans without gaining haters too– that’s the lesson here.
2)NFL History: The Super Bowl Era Published August 16, 2014 along with American Football & Early NFL History, my intention was to kill the NFL. I played football on the playground as a kid, and loved the game. But for a long time the NFL has been allowed to mask its ugliness & violent nature in glory, and that is dangerous. I care mostly about current football players who have to deal with this, and if this two-part historical essay discouraged one kid from joining this mad parade of concussions & conformity (or encouraged a player to leave), then it served its purpose.
3)Taipan! (1982): Gameplay Basics & Tips Published May 10, 2015, and I’ll confess this is my all-time favorite– for several reasons. Firstly for me, it is the most personal in spirit. This game is elegant, thrilling & difficult– it simply kicks ass. I re-discovered something beautiful here which had been lost, and shared its secrets with everybody. The programmer of Taipan! is brilliant, as this ancient computer game has layers of nuances which need to be peeled back like an onion in order to discern its essence. There are life lessons here and if you don’t understand the game, then you don’t have a chance of succeeding.
4) Patient Refunds at Aspen Dental Published August 30, 2017 as a discussion on dental ethics. I am still a dentist by profession, since I can’t make money at music or writing– due to blacklisting censorship. The videos I posted of Aspen Dental’s then-latest advertising campaign have all been taken down by their owners. Aspen Dental is a joke, a disgrace to the profession. Hedge-fund investors, Wall Street, and multi-national corporations have ruined the professions of medicine in the 1980’s & 1990’s, and then dentistry in the 2000’s.
5) The Ambidextrous Athlete Published November 26, 2016, this piece references medical essays previously written on hip & back injuries. This article is more of a layman approach, discussing the benefits of becoming ambidextrous. The originality of this is that it targets people of all age. Most sports training essays are written for young athletes or professionals, but the healing & energizing power of ambidexterity applies to all ages. So whether it’s training oneself to be the dominant Next-Gen athlete in a sport, orrehabilitating old injuries, this piece has revolutionary ideas & overflows with pearls of wisdom.
6)Where Were You When…? Published January 1, 2016 because I had just seen Soaked in Bleach (2015) on Netflix. It turns out Kurt Cobain was most-likely murdered by his wife Courtney Love & her accomplice Michael “Cali” Dewitt. This conspiracy is not to be discussed in the music industry, nor mainstream media, but by this point the fans already know. I was a big Nirvana fan back in the day, and Kurt Cobain was a huge influence on my performing & songwriting style. Being murdered is better than suicide, but someday this case needs to be re-opened so an honest investigation can proceed. I included many photos of what’s left of the evidence. These pictures of the crime scene & suicide note, as well as Cobain’s personal notes, have become harder to find over the years on the internet. People come here to get them.
7) Lieutenant Columbo on the Jeffery Epstein case Published August 10, 2019, just 9 days ago [!]– this became an instant classic. This event took up precisely one week’s news cycle, and has already been flushed by the media. Where is the CC video of Jeffery Epstein’s cell during his death? One can’t even make a case for cause-of-death, much less close it, without that crucial & definitive evidence. My follow-up titled Conspiring to squelch conspiracy theories published on August 14, 2019 completes my thoughts for now. The photo above is Jeffery Epstein walking with Prince Andrew in Central Park, NYC. There are still lots of loose ends to tie up here, if you know what I mean.
8) Marquette: What’s in a Name? Published February 23, 2015, this essay is from the perspective of an alumnus. It deals with racism, jingoism, and loyalty to an institution. It deals with “selling one’s likeness,” in a way few people have considered. This piece was difficult yet fascinating to write, because of the emotions one has towards a university one attended for seven years. Marquette University alumni have passed this essay around extensively, but no one from MU ever asks me to speak there, nor mentions this article publicly.
9) San Diego Padres: Gay Pride Night, Smokeless Tobacco & Losing Published May 26, 2016, I had to re-read this piece to remember what I’d written. It is one, in a long line of Padres reports during a most-interesting season, where their GM traded away their entire pitching rotation, closer, and overpaid veteran position players– changing the rules-of-the-game in the process. Baseball is about handling losing, so maybe that’s what resonates here. Or maybe it’s my censored comment to ‘MLB satisfied with Padres’ response to chorus mix-up’ on mlb.com/padres. “Unfortunate, but well-handled, Padres. Bring the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus back to sing the national anthem on a military Sunday. Now that would be interesting!”
10)Lone Ranger Norris: Beer, Guns & Stupidity Published July 22, 2016 as a narrative on Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), which stars Chuck Norris. I took pictures of this movie playing on DVD, which really helps. Otherwise the reader might not believe what’s written. This is an awful movie, but to be fair, I do like A Force of One (1979),The Octagon (1980), An Eye for an Eye (1981), and Invasion U.S.A. (1985) as guilty indulgences. Also note that Breaker, Breaker (1977) is so bad, it has extreme camp value. Everything else from the reactionary actor Chuck Norris is pretty much unwatchable, IMO.
12) The Circus of Dr. Lao & the Satellite of Love Published December 19, 2014 this references Mystery Science Theater 3000, my favorite television series ever. Episodes (experiments) ran two hours for 10 seasons on cable during the 1990’s, and MST3K was brilliant in concept & execution– until most of the talent departed after Season 7. Joel Hodgson leaving during Season 5 was the beginning of that demise.
Every great player needs a theme song. This kid (age 20) is going to be a great player.
So here’s my “Weird Al” Yankovic version of “Fernando,” the ABBA melodramatic classic…
Note: There’s only the opening two verses in my version, because he’s still a rookie.
“Fernando (Tatis, Jr)”
Can you hear the drums Fernando? I remember long ago another starry night like this In the firelight Fernando You were traded from the White Sox, by an owner who had no clue We saw the Padres future at shortstop And waited patiently through the minors just for you
Now you’re in MLB, Fernando Every hour, every minute seems to last eternally I was so afraid Fernando When you tore your hamstring on a painful stretching try And I’m not ashamed to say That gruesome injury almost made me cry…
There was something in the air that night The stars were bright, Fernando They were shining there for you & me, Padres victory, Fernando Though we never thought we’d dump James Shields– there’s no regret If we had to make that trade again We would, my friend, Fernando If we had to make that trade again We would, my friend, Fernando
[Listen to ABBA original 3rd verse in solemn silence for his father; then repeat chorus & fade out..]
My discussions of hip & back injuries has led to a revolution in thinking on rehabilitation & athletic training. Beginning with Undiagnosed Hip Injuries & Stubborn Fat Loss, I theorized that most humans are suffering from a variety of back & hip injuries, discussed the science, and then presented a rehabilitation program.
I’ve used neurology as the primary anatomical science, since all muscles are connected to nerves. The idea is to stimulate these nerves in the right way, in order to re-activate atrophied muscles. This is a rehabilitation process that can take years for severe & long-standing hip/back injuries.
Note that this is much different from the traditional short-term approach to rehabilitation. Many of these programs don’t target the injury deep enough, for fear on eliciting pain, and only superficiality “rehabilitate.” The injury victim incorrectly believes he/she is back to normal, when in fact they have decreased mobility in their trunk, which then deactivates corresponding musculature in every branch, so as to not provoke injury & pain radially.
Misguided patients will work out incessantly, building only certain (non-injured) muscle groups, while neglecting the atrophied source of their problem. Eventually these individuals breakdown in pain, despite their dedication to exercise. The truth is, they were afraid to face the depth of their pain, and too ignorant to learn the necessary anatomical & physiological realities needed to deal with these injuries.
The deepest pain is in the spine. Here it is most intense to release, but that’s where you have to go in order to fully rehabilitate. Half-hearted efforts are no good. You either acknowledge this & handle it, or the pain handles you.
Here’s a link to the latest scientific obesity study in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 40% of today’s US adults are obese, and over two-thirds are classified as overweight. About 20% of children (age 2-19) are obese. This is a serious health crisis. At this point, having a healthy body makes you extraordinary, when it used to be ordinary.
So how can we be healthier? First, eat right. Vegetables, fruits, tubers & nuts go a long way. Local & organic are more nutrient dense, which is what your body needs. Drink water. You are what you eat. It costs more to be good to yourself here, but it’s worth it. Cut out something else you don’t need to make up the difference, if you are on a budget. Most people eat too much meat.
You must get enough sleep, and it must be of good quality. Pain interferes with sleep. Many people take narcotic analgesics and other sleep-interfering medications, just to get a minimal amount of poor rest. The pain that our society is not dealing with, has led to dysfunction everywhere, most starkly illustrated by the opioid crisis which has been going on for decades.
As we get sicker & fatter, we become more dependent on pills to numb the pain, just to keep us going. The questions most people never ask themselves are, “What am I doing this for?”, or “Are we just automatons to be kept working, indulged & anesthetized for our entire existence?” It doesn’t even seem right to call that a “life.” Work, pain, narcotic escapism, and then death is a failure of capitalism, in that our species doesn’t realize its own true worth, and rewards the wrong values.
What releasing the pain does is improve our health & decision making. It is impossible to make consistently correct decisions when suffering from pain. Pain is physical & emotional, and we all want it to go away. If that isn’t possible (or isn’t presented as a possibility), then (at least) we want the pain diminished. Most humans living on this planet today are in pain. The above-cited obesity rates prove that point.
If we don’t handle our pain, individually and as a civilization, then we as a species won’t survive. when someone with enough power decides they can’t take the pain anymore, it will end for everybody. That’s why I consider these writings my most-important contribution, as this applies to everybody, regardless of artistic sensibility, class, or politics. Humans can’t escape science, anatomy & physiology. Therefore it must rule our existence, over religion & money. That’s the only way to relieve the pain.
As explained earlier, fat needs to be reconsidered entirely. Fat comes in two forms: visceral & subcutaneous. Visceral fat is excess potential energy– stored everywhere. Subcutaneous fat is the “stubborn fat” on the belly, lower back, thighs & butt– which most people can’t lose. The reason for this is because they take the wrong approach, and don’t understand the differences between the two forms of fat.
To illustrate their differences, lets describe the extremely obese individual. This person (male or female) has both forms of fat in excess, but their first priority is to lose their visceral fat, which forms everywhere, including around the internal organs, clogging the arteries, etc.
Free radicals & carcinogens have room to hide here too, and this is why diseases like cancer & dementia are linked with obesity. This life-shortening health risk must be dealt with correctly, otherwise the obese individual stays in pain until he/she dies a miserable death. This visceral fat can be easily lost with proper diet & exercise.
Subcutaneous is different from visceral fat, in physiology & characteristics. Subcutaneous fat clings to the belly, back, thighs & butt– despite all the diet & hard work. Clearly, a different approach is needed to conquer stubborn (subcutaneous) fat. Encased inside stubborn fat is atrophied muscle, which needs to be gently re-activated through rehabilitation. Trying to liposuction subcutaneous fat is a really bad idea.
You have to understand anatomy to reach the atrophied muscles encased in stubborn fat, in order to activate these neurons & their muscles, which then removes the stubborn fat. Most traditional workouts don’t target the deep-injury areas, so they are useless against stubborn fat. If you exercise everything around the injury, but never go after the root of the pain, then you will get middling results no one wants to look at.
As a rule, stretching & tension bands are more helpful than free weights, but you do need to mix it up sometimes. The bones and muscles in the lower spine are tiny, and need gentle but sustained stimulation, with specific targeting, in order to rehabilitate any injuries to them. Walk & swim as much as possible.
The reason obese people don’t deal with their fat problem is because of the pain. As stated before, pain is physical & psychological. When muscles atrophy, the joints calcify as a protective mechanism. All voluntary muscles in the human body have insertions that ultimately end in the head & feet. This is how stubborn fat is formed, and it becomes most noticeable after we reach our athletic peak at around age 27.
The feet are where many calcifications occur, due to gravity. This is commonly called gout, or bunions, which is nothing more than the small bones of the feet being calcified together. A hip, knee, or ankle sprain causes a histamine reaction. If the victim never fully rehabilitates, the histamine sediment settles in the feet and becomes gout.
Even if there’s an injury in one foot, the contralateral foot will eventually lock up with gout. Histamines flow through-out the body, and they will compensate for the immobility in the other foot. Both feet have to be equal over the long-term, otherwise further injuries occur. The contralateral “healthy foot” in our example gets “locked-up” to equalize and prevent a blow-out. Obviously performance suffers. Today, most adults have feet with more rock (gout) in them than actual muscle. It is impossible to lose any stubborn fat without getting the gout out. Foot surgery with pins, etc. is also a bad idea in most cases.
The muscles in the abdomen & lower back run into the feet. They also run up to the neck & head, as this is how humans can stand & walk upright. The weakest link in the human kinetic chain is the spine. Our backs are exquisitely evolved, but also fragile and susceptible to injury. Any back injury affects the entire body, from head to toe. That needs to be understood as an anatomical fact, when rehabilitating.
Once a calcification breaks in the foot, it immediately activates and breaks the corresponding calcification in the core/back area. Then (if stimulated by upper body action), it will pop all the connected calcifications in the upper body, through the head. This needs to be done over & over, for a long period of time, to completely rehabilitate a serious back injury.
The process I’m describing entails activating the lower back and stretching the legs & feet. When calcifications are broken apart in a controlled & scientific manner, it releases energy which can be used downstream (& upstream) to dissolve more calcifications. This creates a positive feedback loop, which gives the rehabilitation process a momentum of its own. A huge problem in rehabilitation is staying motivated. Anything that comes from within and makes this difficult process easier, should be used to its fullest extent.
As mentioned, a back injury can affect the muscles in the face. Not only does the victim have pain which makes it harder to smile, but also the facial muscles don’t work as well, making smiling even more difficult. On top of all that, the muscles of facial expression can’t be in balance if the bite & TMJ aren’t in balance. No one likes someone who can’t smile, so find a real dentist who understands occlusion & proper TMJ function.
I am a professional dentist with 25 years in practice and a 5-star reputation, and it is my experience that ~98% of people need their bite adjusted, even if they’ve had orthodontics. Sometimes it’s just slightly, but often they need significant adjustments. A properly adjusted bite, done by an experienced dental professional, can make a huge difference in the level of facial pain. The results are painless, immediate & lasting.
Our teeth are covered in enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. That means there is no give to them. If the bite is off, and it goes undiagnosed, this eventually leads to pain in the forms of: abscesses, tooth mobility, broken teeth/restorations, grinding, migraines, and TMJ disorders. This is the only part of the rehabilitation process that you can’t fix yourself.
Here are a few final notes on this rehabilitation process:
1) Sleep on the ground. Our ancient ancestors did this, so there’s no good reason were can’t. The reason we don’t is because we prefer comfort. For many it hurts to sleep on the floor. The hard surface will wake you at first, but then you deal with it, by stretching & moving energy to relieve the pain, so you can get back to sleep. Do this, and over time sleeping on the ground becomes easier and more natural.
2) Yawning is the release of cranial pain. Our brains don’t feel pain in the normal sense. It is my conclusion that yawning is the release of fatigue and other elements of pain in the brain. Whenever I sent massive amounts of released energy up my spine and into the cranial nerves & brain-stem, I was overcome by waves of yawning. Sometimes it went on for hours. I felt my senses (vision, hearing, balance, etc– all controlled by the 12 cranial nerves), sharpen as the fatigue was being relieved by yawning. Our sleep-wake & breathing cycles are controlled by the pons medulla. Calcifications in the head & neck will interfere with the function of this vital brain-stem area.
3) Hiccups are definitely made worse by loss of control of the core muscles. The diaphragm is an involuntary muscle, and therefore a back injury will disable it.
4) When a hip & back injury isn’t fully rehabilitated, other injuries will stack on top. This affects voluntary & involuntary muscles.
5) Strive to become an ambidextrous athlete. This makes you superior, and better equipped to resist injuries.
6) A ripped abdomen is a clear sign of complete physical health, and is always considered most attractive by the opposite sex. In health, this is what motivates us above all else.
The New Year has arrived and one can sense a mood of revolution in the air. Being out on New Year’s Eve in Orlando, in a working-class area, gave me a sense that most people were glad 2018 was ending, and hopeful for a much better 2019. How this will happen is still-to-be-determined, but that is what’s on the minds of people who work & struggle.
The level of fakeness in everything: from our food, to our jobs, to news & entertainment has become too obvious. People are no longer accepting mainstream “experts” at their word. This includes all mass media in sports, politics & business. None of these platforms have much helpful content anymore, as it’s been discredited as “fake news.”
Facebook threw in its lot with the NSA/CIA a few years back, and now it’s come home to roost, as Fakebook has been exposed for its manipulations. “Fake news” was the epithet these fakesters threw at whistle-blowers & socialists, before & since Trump 2016, but their Big Lie has blown back onto themselves.
People now recognize their false flag operations almost instantly, as “conspiracy theorists” on the left have more credibility than anyone on the internet now. The World Socialist Website (wsws.org) is the most feared online publication, from a bourgeois perspective, and therefore it is the most-censored.
Mainstream media always tries to smear leftists & Marxists, together with right-wing “conspiracy theorists.” When a neo-fascist such as Alex Jones goes too far with his hate, he’s stifled by the CIA Democrats/deep state; for the purpose of setting a precedence of censorship, which is then ALWAYS used with redoubled vigor against leftists.
This is why the media is working so hard at this moment to confuse the population on the issues of left wing vs. right wing politics. Left wingers are what used to be called “liberals,” when that term still meant something (back in the 1970’s, maybe). Right wing is nationalism & racism. The dirty secret is that BOTH lead to fascism, as that’s capitalism. The political “right” wing leads with brute force, while the political “left” wing cowers & enables by deceiving a constituency that cares.
The two-party system is best described as a political straitjacket. In it, there is very little room to maneuver, and nothing is tolerated to get out. Once this harness is removed, the possibilities are endless, and this is what excites people who have been struggling for a long time, meaning 80-90% of the world’s population.
This phenomenon is happening globally. The “yellow vests” in France are an international symbol of working class unity, in defiance of an authority which has only mistreated them. It’s the arrogance on display, which assumes workers are dull & ignorant masses, that has caught up with them. This has alarmed (frightened) the ruling elites. That’s why the stock markets are crashing, and that’s why there’s political unrest in every country, as social inequality & living conditions have become intolerable.
On top of that, no nation state is doing nearly enough to curtail global warming, which only gets worse every year. I wrote this straight-forward song over 20 years ago, during the wildfires of 1998 in Florida, and it’s more true that ever– which really bothers me. No progress, only denialism and more “free market” giveaways to the richest 10%. That’s not sustainable.
We just had a completely ridiculous midterm “election” in the US, and already now, Democrat Elizabeth Warren has announced her intention to run for US President in 2020. We’re now caught up in a permanent cycle of politicians campaigning for office, which involves setting real issuers aside, and attacking opponents on whatever is allowed– sex scandals, etc…
I’m with those that maintain we need to cancel “Election 2020” in 2019. Do you want to go through another “election” like 2016, only worse? Most thinking people recoil at the thought, yet that is exactly where we are heading, unless there is revolutionary intervention from the masses.
It needs to be coordinated, international, and under complete worker control. The trade unions and their ideological appendages (ISO, etc) need to be cast into the dustbin of history. Workers need to elect their own leaders, and develop their own independent political perspective, outside of the straitjacket system.
Political consciousness needs to be raised on a mass scale, with a clear understanding of what genuine socialism is. It is: 1) worker control over production; 2) social equality in that everyone has what they need; and 3) the end of nationalism & secret diplomacy, which are root causes of global conflict. Everyone is truthfully informed on everything, and is allowed to voice their thoughts publicly.
Notice how there is nothing irrational or evil in that correct definition of socialism, as defined by Karl Marx & Fredrick Engels. Yet mainstream (bourgeois) pundits & “intellectuals” always insist that socialism is a Russian plot meant to destroy all human joy, and turn us into automatons. Ironically, that’s what’s happening under capitalism; so once again, this should be recognized as another application of the “Big Lie” technique by the elites.
Donald Trump made a HUGE blunder when he shutdown the US government over the holidays, insisting on full funding for his wall at the US-Mexico border. It’s just like this overgrown child, to dig in on something that is so doomed to fail. Over 800,000 federal workers aren’t getting paid, and some are even being required to stay on-the-job without pay. What are these workers supposed to say to their bill collectors?
Trump impresses stupid & racist people because he appeals to their emotions– fear, hate & anger. He forced this government shutdown to whip up support from his constituent base, which has largely evaporated. Sure, there are still small minorities of hardcore fascists, who will defend & fight for Trump until the bitter end; but many of his 2016 supporters have jumped ship, and now view him as a liability.
This political stand-off which puts government workers at risk of losing their homes, is really be an impeachable crime. Trump claims he wants jobs in the US, to “Make America Great Again,” while trash piles up in our national parks & monuments, because workers have been furloughed.
It’s time for the US workers to take back their land, by uniting in numbers and across all industries, to reject these hucksters & stick-figurines who are leading humanity into an abyss. The crisis is one of leadership. There are no leaders on Capitol Hill, just corporate criminals– playing with tanks. It’s time to come together and elect new leaders, with real world experience. We need them everywhere, more than ever.
These are the covers I’ve learned & mixed-in over the years, during my limited live performances. Some I don’t play anymore, and new covers (oxymoron) are always being added.
An performer needs to play at least 80% original material (which is well-received), while mixing in quality covers for audience reference, to be worthy of artistic distinction.
This gives you an idea of what I consider punk, post-punk, and fun stuff; and what to expect from me– live.
U2: “Electric Co.” “New Year’s Day” “I Will Follow” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” CCR: “Bootleg” “Lodi” Rick Springfield: “Jessie’s Girl” Bruce Springsteen: “Nebraska” Woody Guthrie: “This Land is Your Land” Sonic Youth: “I Love Her All the Time” “Silver Rocket” “The Burning Spear” Husker Du: “Masochism World” “Green Eyes” Surfaris: “Wipe Out” GNR: “Paradise City” “It’s So Easy” INXS: “The Devil Inside” Joan Jett: “Fake Friends” Chumbawumba: “Tubthumping” Madonna: “Express Yourself” The Police: “Roxanne” Rush: “Red Barchetta” Red Rider: “Lunatic Fringe” Replacements: “Seen Your Video” The Who: “Magic Bus” Neil Young: “Hey Hey, My My” “Crime in the City” VU: “What Goes On” “I’ll Be Your Mirror” “Heroin” “Sister Ray” Sex Pistols: “EMI” The Clash: “The Sound of the Sinners” Wire: “12XU” “Strange” Nirvana: “Molly’s Lips” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” “Come as You Are” “On a Plain” “Stay Away” Jane’s Addiction: “Nothing’s Shocking” “Jane Says” “Pigs in Zen” Midnight Oil: “Warakurna” Bikini Kill: “Jigsaw Youth” “Tell Me So” “New Radio” AC/DC: “Down Payment Blues” “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)” “Kicked in the Teeth Again” “Shoot to Thrill” Mott the Hoople: “Rock & Roll Queen” Minutemen: “Storm Inside My House” Pixies: “Planet of Sound” “Gouge Away” George Thorogood: “Gear Jammer” Tom Petty: “Running Down a Dream” Eddie Rabbitt: “I Love a Drizzly Night” Violent Femmes: “Add It Up” BoDeans: “She’s a Runaway” Bob Marley: “Three Little Birds” ABBA: “SOS” Carpenters: “Top of the World” Spin Doctors: “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” Graham Parker: “Clear Head” “Under the Mask of Happiness” “She Wants so Many Things”
Fugazi: “Burning” Belly: “Feed the Tree” Liz Phair: “Explain it to Me”
You didn’t think I could stay retired from music, did you?
This punk rock artist is very excited to be performing solo at the Stranded Sailor pub in Sanford, FL on Saturday December 15 @ 9:00 PM.
This is your chance to finally see this act live, with no net. I’ll be doing mostly original songs from the albums, with a few covers mixed in as the night moves along…
No cover, two drink minimum & please take care of the servers, etc… No merch (yet), but it should be fun & exciting nonetheless!!
The Stranded Sailor Pub:
418 Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32771
See you there!!
Sun 16 Dec 2018 ~ 12:45 AM EST
I got jerked around big-time at this “show,” and was given the hook after ~10 songs, even though the crowd was into it and the place was filling up. Or perhaps, it was because I was filling up the place, that my show was cut short.
Anyways, here’s the abbreviated set-list: Mercury Rising, Pay to Play, Hey Hey– My My (Neil Young), Sugarcoat, Working Class, DDSeuss, The Sound of the Sinners (The Clash), and Nothing’s Shocking/Jane Says (Jane’s Addiction).
The manager then asked me to stop playing, to amazed & puzzled faces in the audience. He’d been at me the whole time with disrespectful nonsense, a complete 180-degree turn from his attitude on Thursday, when this show was booked. Sanford politics here, as I recognized a few sleazy faces when I walked in tonight. They sabotaged the show, for sure.
Thanks anyways to all those who were listening & appreciative (most everybody in attendance), and hopefully I’ll be able to find a club that can honor a booking in the future.