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Archive for November, 2013

I want to send warm wishes to any of my regular readers who likely have stopped coming by for irregular posts from me, their perfidious bastard host. I have not one but two excuses for my slack postings, but one of those things might have finally paid off for you, at least if you’re a fan of my music. Of course, fatherhood has kept me from being as engaged with both blogging and pop culture as I used to be. My son needs more from me as he gets older. It bears mentioning that our family lost a very young member this year (a second cousin of Xander’s) in an ATV accident and I realize even more now than ever (even more so, if possible than after my mom died) how precious this time is with my son. So I am sorry, my faithful readers, if you feel as if I have treated you as second class passengers.

When I do have spare time, I’ve had to use it wisely on the many art forms I dabble in, and this autumn, that has meant a return to music. The album I recorded, “The Mechanical Bean,” is now complete. OK, that’s a fairly big statement considering that some of the songs could use remastering and maybe even another pass at a vocal or two. But the bottom line is that I was racing to finish this album by next year, and instead I went through a highly edifying, fruitful period of arranging during some late night hours and lunch times over the last few months and my fervor to finish reached a torrid frenzy in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Last night, it happened. It’s ovah, as they say on Long Island.

The result is now on your right. The first 22 songs on my home page are all the songs from “The Mechanical Bean” in chronological order. Click through each in turn and this is how you are meant to experience the album. I tried to make the styles different enough that you could shuffle the album’s songs and still have fun listening to it, but you’ll have to wait until I get them on ITunes. That is, in fact, my next order of business.

The album mixes the silly and inane with the polished and serious. I think I’ve become a better singer, but it is part of my aesthetic (nay, it’s the very suggestion of my blog’s name) that amateurism, accidents, trial and error and first passes still have a place in art and that beauty is indeed imperfection. I worked hard to make “Test Tube She” sound polished. I worked hard to make “A Man With No Name” sound the opposite–so stupid that it still embarrasses me a bit. But if an artist isn’t willing to embarrass himself he’s probably not interested in the holy act of discovery and therefore doesn’t deserve the sobriquet “artist” in the first place.

I have more songs to record, but for a while I’ll likely just be fiddling with these or turning back to my literary endeavors. I should probably take one of these art forms more seriously, but then again, being unserious and capricious is sometimes one of the nicer things about being alive. And being alive is, still, what I’m most thankful for this year. That and my wife and my son.

And you, if you’re still reading.

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If you mix a lifelong love of John Fahey with a lifelong love of Joy Division, my feeling is that you’d get something like this. Maybe with a little ’70s sitcom music thrown in.

 

“The Hero In His Own Town”

By Salon De La Guerre

Copyright 2013

 

There was a fire

But we saved the town

Someone robbed a bank

But we stopped them cold

And we drove all the drug dealers away

The mayor came round

And threw us a parade

 

And now they hate us

The locals do not trust us

And our power

Now they conspire us

Every hour

And now they try to run us

Out of town

 

No one loves a hero

In his own town.

Sooner or later

They’re going to

Cut you down

 

Music by Eric R. Rasmussen (copyright 2013)

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… is to accept the fact that he was assassinated by a lone gunman. For 50 years, we have mistaken superstition for enlightened skepticism, built suspicion upon suspicion rather than fact upon fact, narrated innocent people into guilt and succumbed to peer pressure that everything ought to be doubted, including things you can see right in front of your face, if it makes us feel some control over history … if it makes us feel somehow less helpless. It is a way of saying we’ll indulge alternate realities rather than find other, more productive things to do with our time to impact our own lives and human history. Conspiracy theories are your own way of saying you won’t do the due diligence of thought, that you would rather doubt simple, unhappy facts rather than live with them. It is religion by any other name.

You’ll do that inspiring but flawed, misunderstood and not-altogether effective president a bigger service if you quit dragging his memory through the mud of your own neuroses. Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Three bullets were enough. The first eyewitness accounts were the right ones.

Get over it.

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… but yes, even newer music from Salon De La Guerre today. My newest attempt to fumble accidentally on purpose into a hit single. “Test Tube, She,” from my forthcoming album, The Mechanical Bean. I compressed this one all over the place. That’s a technical way of saying I’m trying not to hurt your ears with so many shearing guitar noises. Lemme know if it hurts.

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IMG_4339If you are a long-suffering fan of my music (and you can take that statement two ways) then you’ll be happy to know that you’re about to get a slew of new works from my project Salon De La Guerre. Within a few months, I hope to release a whole album’s worth of new material. Some of these pieces have already appeared on my home page in the past, but I’ve kicked up the production for the rest of the album into high gear, producing several new pieces in the last month and a half.

The work is a loose concept album called “The Mechanical Bean,” which follows the unhappy experiences of a farm family that develops superpowers after genetically modified corporate pollen blows onto their land. The album is a mix of garage rock and experimental noise stuff. My usual interests. My hope is that by the middle of next year I’ll have a total of 60 songs up on this Web site.

Though you might have already heard “The Mechancial Bean Part I,” I’m offering you now its follow up, called “Transformation Part 1.” Enjoy it here or here.

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