Posts Tagged ‘Clam Fake’

There are a lot of Eric Rasmussens in the world, many of whom I’ve recently discovered are tilling the same fields that I am. I’ve seen Eric Rasmussens at work in journalism, law, literary criticism, polemics, music and fiction. That’s bound to create confusion.

Again, my full name is Eric Randolph Rasmussen. I’ve written a companion piece for this post telling you who I am. Out of respect for the other Eric Rasmussens, I felt the need to give you a list of the ones I am not:

Eric Ralph Rasmussen, pro baseball player.

This one seems pretty obvious. This was the only other Eric Rasmussen I’d ever heard of growing up. I never worried people would confuse us. I can barely pitch, catch or bat.

Eric David Rasmussen, physician, medical ethicist, humanitarian

Again, I’m not too worried about you getting us confused. This guy has an interesting career and is worth your attention.

Eric Rasmussen, writer, editor of Barstow & Grand

This Eric Rasmussen is a Wisconsin-based fiction writer and very nice guy who sent me a nice note and has an excellent blog and lots of excellent fiction. I do not wish to steal his thunder.

Why the confusion: We are both literary fiction writers. I do not see any novels on his resume (he mentions an unpublished manuscript), and I have never published any short stories (outside of a few bad experiments on my blog) but there are obvious reasons people are going to confuse us. For that reason, I have made sure to put “Eric Randolph Rasmussen” on most of my fiction, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to see it on my journalism.

Eric Rasmussen, jazz saxophonist, composer, band leader of the Eric Rasmussen Quartet, director of instrumental music at Scottsdale Community College

Alto saxophone player Eric Rasmussen has played with a number of big jazz names (you can find some of his music here), and his musical focus is jazz while mine is alternative rock and punk, but there are several reasons people might get us confused, especially if they knew me back in the day in Oklahoma.

Why the confusion: Several reasons. We have both been New Yorkers, we have both lived all over the country, we are both composers and we both play alto saxophone (though he actually worked at it his entire career while I gave it up for two decades). I have mostly stayed away from jazz on my albums, but Salon de la Guerre fans know that I have wormed my way through all sorts of different genres and finally jumped into some jazz a few years ago, yanking out my long-dormant alto sax chops for two songs on Salon de la Guerre’s album Clam Fake. I have done only two extended improvisations with jazz saxophone, one of which is on a song called “Red Clay Moses,” which you can hear on YouTube.  Jazz sax player Eric Rasmussen deserves his many accolades, but “Red Clay Moses,” a cross between jazz and Sonic Youth guitar, is all mine.

Eric Dean Rasmussen, associate professor of English literature at the University of Stavanger.

I first followed Eric Dean Rasmussen for a couple of reasons: He was a literature guy and, more important, he was the first of us with the cunning to grab the Ericrasmussen.com domain name. There can be only one, Highlander!

That said, most of his work, as far as I can tell, is literary criticism and theory, subjects I’ve studiously avoided since college. I never worried too much people would confuse us. Besides, he was in Chicago and then later, apparently, Norway.

Why the confusion: Still, we are both lovers of literature, and we both somehow at some point met with (and wrote about) famous superhero literary publisher Barney Rosset, founder of the Grove Press and publisher of Samuel Beckett and Henry Miller. Eric Dean met Rosset through his work at a literary organization. I met Rosset at a bar. Though the other Eric was seemingly better prepared for the encounter and knew more about Rosset to begin with, I must give myself some points for not misspelling Rosset’s name. (I have some advantages being a journalist.)

I see that Eric Dean and I also have a very tenuous connection through the website Altx.com. He has articles posted there, and I used to be associated with a literary magazine called Io that had links to the site as well.

Eric Rasmussen, internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar, foundation professor at the University of Nevada at Reno

Again, I wasn’t too worried about being mistaken for a Shakespeare scholar, though we are both authors and we are both on Amazon. He’s even on YouTube!

Eric Rasmussen, actor.

I took an acting class once and I’m enthralled by the subject, but I have mostly left that field to my wife.

Eric Rasmussen, professor of communication.

I don’t see much room for confusion here, though I do have a communications degree (in journalism) from the University of Texas, and it could be somebody somewhere gets us confused.

Eric Rasmussen, Twin Cities broadcast news investigative reporter, KSTP TV

This guy’s been in Boston and Minneapolis. I’ve never been in front of a camera, but we are both journalists.

Eric B. Rasmussen, business professor at Indiana University. This guy is known for tweets deemed by many to be sexist and racist, and the university itself has called his online sentiments “vile.” I won’t link to him, and I am only including him here because I want to make sure people never confuse me with this person.

I will leave it at that. I recall seeing other people with my name also pursuing music journalism (an old part-time vocation of mine) and statistics and hockey, but I’m not too worried about being confused with those people. I’ll add names to this list later if I think anybody is going to mix me up with someone else.




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If you buy one album this year … it should really be “Blackstar” by David Bowie. If you buy two albums … then maybe you should add “La vache qui pleure” by Kate and Anna McGarrigle.

But if you buy 23 albums this year, I hope one of them might be my new release, “Clam Fake,” now available on Amazon and iTunes and other places where music is (still sold).



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Clam Fake Album Cover_edited-1

Dear readers, I returned to music in the latter half of 2015 and my seventh (!!!) album is coming out this month. It comprises 12 new songs of rock and pop and a wee bit of jazz. The record is called Clam Fake, and it drops in a week or so on iTunes and Amazon (as well as other sites like CD Baby). By “drops” I mean it will be released or issued. I have not physically dropped anything. That’s just slang to make me look more hip and knowledgeable.

Those of you who are fans might be surprised by some of the new territory I’m staking out. After almost 27 years, for instance, I picked up an alto saxophone, an instrument I had not put my fingerprints on since I was a teenager. My new interest in this instrument was sparked partly because I wanted to see what a sax sounded like next to a trivially tuned guitar orchestra. I was also mildly curious to see what I could still do with a dear woodwind so estranged from me. The saxophone is the only instrument I’ve actually been tutored on, but I learned nothing about music theory or chords from it. I gave it up partly because I wanted to learn songwriting on instruments like the guitar that I had taught myself so that creativity, discovery and technique could grow together. In other words, I wanted to be a punk and not know how to play the instrument I was playing.

But I was pleasantly surprised in one 10 minute jam that I could not only squeeze music from the sax but do it for some 10 uninterrupted minutes of long, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman-inspired improvisation. This jam became the basis of two songs on Clam Fake, one of which is called “Red Clay Moses” (attached here).

The rest of the album relies heavily on guitar, however, and will be more familiar to my fans (such as they are), though I am also very proud to say that I’ve grown as a singer, guitarist and producer, and that Clam Fake is more listenable all the way through than my previous efforts.

You might have noticed my new songs already in the list on the right. The ones at the top are from Clam Fake, and are interspersed with six outtakes (in a hat tip to the nice critic from the Equal Ground who said I should filter more, I have left weaker songs off the album this time, though I am quite pleased to say that I now boast some 95 songs among my intellectual property, all of which are at home here on my blog).

If you like what you hear on this page, you can hear more on my Soundcloud page, and if you like that too, please spread the word!

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