Posts Tagged ‘ER Salo Deguierre’

A little video I made for my song “Ford 632.”

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As my regular readers/friends/family members/acquaintances/co-workers/fellow Masons known, I am not much of a self-promoter. Oklahomans, a group I sheepishly sometimes admit I once belonged to, don’t like boasting and are sometimes almost pathologically polite and self-deprecating. A sometimes nice quality that keeps us from being Texans–that and a lack of ambition. Anyway, that’s why I create so much material and generally suck at telling people about it. I have this self-defeating idea sometimes that people don’t want to have art shoved down their throat, they want to discover it themselves, which in a way makes it partly theirs. I ought to know that’s stupid, since people regularly take the stuff forced on them by radio as if it’s good when some of it is worthless. And yet shoving people against the wall and saying “Hey, look at my stuff!” always feels to me like I’m being obnoxious, coercive, self-centered and narcissistic. It’s worse when I run into a person who has no problem bragging about his novel in progress, which is going to send him to heights of Olympian glory any day now, and I’m too sheepish to admit that I’ve written a few of them

That’s one of the reasons I let Stephanie do most of the promotion on “The Retributioners,” our hysterically funny if currently moribund Web show. But unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury in my novel-writing career, where I am forced all by my lonesome to look for agents and publishers in squeaky, mousy-voiced little query letters that rarely if ever show the sum of my talents.  I’ve started this process again recently after parting ways with my literary agent and I’m getting used to the rejections all over again. Do you remember the scene at the beginning of “Paradise Lost” where dogs are eating out the bowels of one of the fallen angels? That’s what it feels like trying to sell a novel, just in case you’ve never tried it. Every time I run into a little failure with my ventures, though, I do an honorable thing–I simply start a new project. A new song, a new book or a new screenplay–before the sting of the rejection can hit. Believe me, this shit is starting to pile up, and I’m starting to think that I’m going to drop dead with mountains of work that nobody will ever read or hear or see. That leads to a more self-defeating attitude: Well, maybe everybody will get it when I’m dead and in the meantime I’ll stay happily anonymous.

Stupid, I know.

So, in the interest of promoting myself again, I’m going to focus a bit on my music in this post. As far as I know from my odometer readings (?) on this here WordPress site, I get approximately ZERO hits on my music. Really! I count maybe five click-throughs in the past year total. Maybe the stats page doesn’t count right. Could that possibly be it?

My first reaction to this silence was that my music must suck so bad nobody is polite enough to tell me. I took it like I took all the rejection of the book world: I’ve failed to make an impression, time to move on. I know I can’t sing well and my production is off, and my time-keeping is also a little messy. I finally sent out one tune to some friends to get their reactions. I’d say I got four positive reactions and two lukewarm reactions.

Then earlier this year I played all my stuff for an actual musician who said that, barring my bad time-keeping on the drum machine (a pet peeve of his) my stuff was certainly worthy of hearing, if not nominating for a Grammy. Then another musician seconded that, and then a third. So I tried an experiment–listening to it from other people’s computers. Turns out, a lot of the time I couldn’t open the files, which required users to download QuickTime. Could it be that nobody even had a chance to reject my stuff?

So now I ponder: Do I dare ask you, my dear readers, who came here seeking comedy and or Republican-bashing, to listen to my music one more time?  If you are willing to, then I’m making the journey easier for you: I’ve finally opened up an account with Sound Cloud. This player is meant not just to share music but to be interactive–it allows users to make comments on parts of the tracks they don’t like. But the best thing for me is, it doesn’t require you to download files to your computer. You can just press the big, candy-like button here:

Leaving Babylon

In the interest of space and a clean layout, I’ve moved all these Sound Cloud files to a new tab on my home page, which you can see at the top of the menu or which you can click on here. (You can also check out my Sound Cloud profile page, but I don’t like it as much because I can’t control the format or song order.) Not all my music is on Sound Cloud, just 13 of what I consider the best songs. If I start getting some decent hits, then I’ll upload more of the music, and if I get a lot of hits, I’m going to start going into promotion mode–sending out free MP3 files with my complete album “Time Traveling Humanist Mangled By Space Turbine” to anybody who requests it. Here’s a sample of the art work, created by my friend Corey Sanders:

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“The Blue Mom”

I promised this song a few weeks ago, but never really mentioned it when it was posted: I’ve put up a new piece, an instrumental called “The Blue Mom.” Don’t ask me what the title means. It is what it is, and can be nothing else. I wrote this after getting a very brief man crush on some ’60s guitar heroes and dared try what amounts to an extended solo. Dear reader, I will never be a guitar master, but sometimes I hope a nice melody will get me where I want to go when my defiant and heedless fingers will not.

Again, if you don’t like it, fear not. You’ve got some 33 other ER Salo Deguierre songs to listen to on this page, most of which do not require fleet-fingered guitar (nor suffer from lack of it).

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Classical Gas

Dear Long-Suffering Beauty is Imperfection reader,

You probably noticed that my blogging has slacked off as of late. I apologize for this and guess I owe you an explanation. As regular readers know, I’m going to be a father soon, and impending parenthood has forced me to realign my priorities somewhat. When my son is born, I plan to give him most of my time as the work-at-home parent. This means a novel that I’ve been working on for a really long time (we’re talking years) will likely hit the circular file forever if I don’t get it done now. This has been a pet project of mine that has gotten me through years of unemployment, lonely bachelorhood, career disappointments and generic spiritual malaise. It’s largely been my substitute for religion, this novel, and I’m getting close to saying goodbye to it forever. By the time my son is born, I will only have time to send query letters out, and I’d like to have a complete work to share with agents.

Thus I’ve only had time for a few strident posts like the one I did on taxes yesterday. To my surprise, that blog hit a nerve, and I’ve gotten quite a few hits on it. It’s surprising because all I could think when I read it back to myself the first time was, “Gee, I’m getting increasingly humorless and strident, aren’t I?” Not good for a blog that used to be all funny all the time. In fact, I let the article sit for a week for that reason. But my dear readers all gave me the great vote of confidence I needed, spurred on by my close friend Chris Barton,  author of “Can I See Your I.D., True Stories of False Identities” (in your local independent book stores now!) Thank you Chris and everybody who liked the article, strident or otherwise!

Best to follow up with something harmless. I’ve got other things sitting idle on my desk as well, including quite a few pieces of music. So today I thought I’d share one with you.

Here is a piece with a pretense of being classical. Don’t worry, Salo Deguierre fans, I have not gone soft on you. This is actually just the opening of an album I’ve partially written called “The Mechanical Bean,” a satire about a family that obtains super powers after genetically modified food pollen from a corporate farm blows onto their land. The idea of this not-yet-finished album is to mix moods and genres, hence my first foray into “classical.”  I’ve got another piece I hope to share in a couple of days when I get it properly compressed.  That one’s more bluesy.

In the meantime, I hope you don’t think this blows, and if you do, then please enjoy re-reading my article on taxes!

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Another weird offering from ER Salo Deguierre. My first country song. Sort of.

It was inspired by some of the more interesting weirdness I was subjected to as a young person growing up in a certain southern-western-Midwestern state.

I have to apologize to those who are having trouble hearing my music. I get few responses on it, so I just assumed nobody was listening to my self-indulgent noodlings. But then somebody told me recently that part of the problem is my files are hard to open with this horrendous WordPress version of Quicktime. If that’s the case, I’m very sorry, dear Beauty is Imperfection reader, and I will try to figure out an alternative in the future. I’m a bit tech challenged, though, something I’ve discussed on a few posts here, and so far my efforts to embed something cooler like SoundCloud have been all for nought.

As usual, all sounds and music made by yours truly.

“Alice Ploughshare”
By ER Salo Deguierre

When I walked in the head I found you tweaking
Shivering with a mirror and a straw
I wrapped you up and covered you in blankets
Bloody as the day that you were born

When Interstate 41 turns to Interstate 32
That’s where every trucker’s dream becomes a nightmare
But I still love you
Alice Ploughshare
You were out there stealing my anhydrous
I could not shake you
With your vacant stare
Just the kind of love I always I needed

Did you see those contents under pressure?
When you mixed them up inside that tub?
Did the police hear the lab explosion?
When they were rousting you outside the club?

With your pupils dilated
You’re still stocking Sudafeds
Making cocktails with the cowboys in the drive-thru

But I won’t share you
Alice Ploughshare
Eighteen months of hard-time prison labor
Can I come see you?
You smell like burning hair
Only 30 minutes with no touching
They won’t possess you
Alice Ploughshare
Together we can draw blood from a stone.

Was this love a match we made in heaven?
Or simply one we made down in Ardmore?
Your teeth rotting out and mine just browning
Another year I can’t give up the Skoal.

Though your eyes were black and dead
Your teeth falling out your head
We had more happiness than any two folks had a right to

But chains don’t bind you
Alice Ploughshare
I saw you run away when you malinger
But then I chased you
Through carnivals and fairs
Heaven just a pipe between your fingers

And I won’t share you
Alice Ploughshare
Tweaking all the way to Texarkana
And I still love you
Alice Ploughshare
It never ever seemed you could stop talking

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Sum’thin’ Nice

Here’s a bit that I’ve been workin’ on for a while: “Five Wounds,” a guitar piece I wrote in the style of my hero John Fahey. It’s somewhere between folk-blues and muzak, but maybe you’ll like it. As always, I recommend you go listen to John Fahey for the real thing, but maybe this is good music for reflecting, digesting or doing your taxes.

The guitar is in standard tuning. If you can tell me what key I’m playing in, then you’re smarter than I am.

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Dear Beauty is Imperfection reader, I have hit a milestone of sorts in music making. I was once a math guy, believe it or not, and I still have an obsessive thing about round numbers. It means nothing to you or to mathematician Kurt Godel or to the number 30 itself, but I now have 30 songs up on my home page. These are all original compositions.

The last two I posted are “The Passion of the Elvis” and “The Merc of Cameroon.” These round out a 12-song album I’ve completed, which will even have a cover and everything when I’ve finished mastering. The album will comprise, in order, the first 12 songs on my home page. More important is that I’ve finally got these two songs out of my system after carrying them in my head for more than a decade and a half. That’s right, I wrote these songs when I still lived in Austin, Texas. I used to drum out the parts on a steering wheel of a car I haven’t owned since 1996. I didn’t dare try recording them, however. They had a lot of parts. I wasn’t sure how to make the sounds I heard in my head (at least not until recently). And the lyrics were never right. They’ve changed hundreds of times (OK, maybe dozens). The Elvis song was about a completely different subject and I had to change it when something weirdly Elvisy emerged in the recording process.

The Merc” is a song about geopolitical turmoil, greed and revenge. Musically, it finds me trying to wed both my love of John Fahey harmonics, the drums of my marching band days, long Sonic Youth suites and, most foreign to me, a bluesier guitar solo than I’ve ever, ever dared try. The results are … well, I’ll let you decide.

The Merc of Cameroon
By Salon de la Guerre

Down in the hole where it’s always dark at noon
Stuck in a cell with the merc of Cameroon
He’s advertised his services
In Angola and Equatorial Guinea
And now he’s digging tunnels with a spoon

We escaped in a daring daylight raid
And by the time we thought we had it made
He was cut down to ribbons
By a Cuban guard with a hundred medals
And I never ever thought I’d get away

So I went off and I looked for his wife
And she had his blood diamonds and his knife
She and I fell into embrace
And we took his car and we took his money
But the Merc of Cameroon he was alive

He and his thugs were trying to start a coup
Just one thing that your blood money can do
So now I’m stuck in a Holiday Inn on the Ivory Coast
With my dignitary
When I heard the merc come slide across my hotel room
A-haw hoo hoo

Time for engineering time for contemplating lies
About how those blood diamonds blind my eyes
They’ve been here for a million years
And they’ll be here when I’m dead and buried
But the Merc of Cameroon has me tonight
A-haw hoo hoo!

And he’s got me down
And I hit the ground
And he made one sound
A shot in the chest
Penetrate the evening

Sometimes politicians have to fall
While puny men like me hide in the wall
They’ve been here for a thousand years
And they’ll be here when I’m dead and buried
They leave and track your blood out in the hall
A-haw hoo hoo

copyright 2011, Eric R. Rasmussen

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