State of the Music

Over the past month or so, I’ve been meticulously recording acoustic versions of what I consider to be my best songs.  To help improve the quality of my recordings, I made some strategic investments including new vocal and stereo mics (for the guitar) from Michael Joly Engineering, acoustic foam for my walls, new studio monitors and acoustic treatment shield behind my vocal microphone.  As a result, I can honestly say that these recordings are by far the most balanced acoustic guitar and vocal recordings I’ve ever self-produced.

The goal with recordings was to prevent an alternative to something that I see as a problem with pretty much all commercial music today:  that everything we hear on the radio is doctored up so much by computers to fix all of the little’s really rare to hear something that’s recorded well that was a continuous take of anything, and not chopped up into little bits and altered by some type of DAW or computer software for audio recording.  I’ve decided to call this collection of songs (ok its an album) “Human Music” because I left in some of the little pops that made it through my pop shield, and didn’t go in and pitch correct anything, or slice up (and combine multiple tracks) to fix minor timing mistakes, etc.  Essentially everything is continuous takes with guitar and vocals being recorded at the same time, which is how I perform my songs.  What this means that is if you enjoy my live performances, you should love this album, imperfections and all!

I’m happy to announce that the tracks are all mixed now, and that I’ve submitted them for mastering to Sage Audio in Nashville.  I should have the masters back in a week or so, which will help me determine a final release date.  You can subscribe to my mailing list to get notified when the release date is finalized.

Here’s the track listing:

1.  Spontaneity
2.  Overwhelmed
3.  Fragile
4.  My Mind’s Already Made Up
5.  This Time I Will Change
6.  Hungover
7.  The Unexplainable Funk
8.  The Waves Come Crashing In
9.  I Love the Way
10.  Followed by a Falling Star
11.  I am Floored
12.  History Lesson
13.  Drive into the Blue
14.  Caff-fiend
15.  The World is My Imaginary Drumset

In other news, for folks that live near Salt Lake City, I’ll be playing a backyard house concert on Saturday night next week with Jason Brown in the Holladay area.  Between the Facebook event and meet-up invite, I’d say we’re expecting a good crowd of 30-40 people, so it should really be a fun time.  If you want more info, you can call MacNichol Guitars at (800) 849-3305 for the location and more information. There is a $10 per person cover which is going directly to Jason and me 🙂

For those who typically watch me in Second Life, I’ve got a number of shows next week including Drunken Drow, Ecnad, Hotel Chelsea and Guthries.  I’ll get the times and dates updated in the events section of this website in the next couple of days.

So I’m a little late to the party

In all honesty, I would have written about this a few weeks ago (when it was a hot topic) if I had only launched my website before then. But I had (and still continue to have) pretty strong feelings about the reaction to Kate Kelly’s ex-communication from the Mormon church. The reaction that I found the most puzzling was from true believing Mormon (TBM) bloggers trying to defend the LDS church’s decision to ex-communicate Kelly.  Mostly what I saw was a lot of lawyerly maneuvering and logical knots…some of which might be defensible if this excommunication was an isolated incident.

As I see it, the move to ex-communicate Kelly was part of a much larger pattern where the LDS church disciplines any member who draws significant attention to ideas or information that is not faith-promoting about the LDS church or it’s history.  It’s part of a general trend where the history of the mormon church is sanitized to hide anything that might cause people to question the truth claims of the church.   This trend has caused scientists that published research with evidence that refutes core church beliefs (for example geneticist Simon Southerton),  church historians/educators that published historical accounts that didn’t show the early church leaders in the best light (such as Grant Palmer) and others such as the famous September Six to be very publicly excommunicated or disfellowshipped by the church.  Perhaps the best parallel I’ve seen to Kelly’s excommunication though is the 1977 excommunication of Byron Marchant, who was excommunicated for announcing a demonstration against the church’s policy for not giving the priesthood to black people.  

I wonder, when Gordon B. Hinckley told the Associated Press in 2005 that “…we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues” if he was being sincere?  The actions to silence dissent and cover up the true history are not consistent with that statement.  From my perspective, it’s evidence that at the very highest levels, the church leaders know that the LDS Religion is a gigantic scam.

Who is Eric Steffensen?

As I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to write about in this blog, one idea seems to be becoming abundantly clear.  As I’ve posted on social media over the years, largely I’ve played it safe.  By playing it safe it means I haven’t done too much to stir the pot.  I’ve tried to avoid some of my more controversial opinions, especially regarding hot potato subjects such as politics and religion.  Since my goal in this blog is to communicate more clearly about my “musical mission” (The Reasons Why I continue to write, record and perform music), I’ve realized that it’s important to provide a much more unfiltered view of these opinions in this blog.  Bottom line: I ain’t gonna mince words here.  I’ll still play nice on social media though 🙂

I realize that there are people in my life who will probably be hurt or offended by some of the stuff I write here.  I anticipate that some people may even feel like I’m targeting them or intentionally trying to hurt them.  I promise, that is NOT my goal in this blog.  If you are offended by what I write, please keep that in mind.  It’s just important for this blog to reflect who I really am.   I will welcome thoughtful discussion about my opinions.  However I also know that sometimes controversy brings out the trolls and anonymous haters.  If you have to resort to those kind of tactics, you’re just a fucker…that is, you’re a fucker that has little to no chance of actually getting under my skin.

So, with that out of the way, welcome to my Blog.  I look forward to writing a lot about life as a songwriter, performer in real life and virtual worlds, being an ex-Mormon in Utah, a man with a loving fiancé, a pseudogeek and more.