TS10

TS10: Tiny Little Sparks

Image from Bri Murphy’s website

The talented Bri Murphy released Things We’d Rather Not Say, her first full-length album, last week and it is pretty gorgeous. Her Tiny Little Sparks anchors this week’s eclectic TS10. Take a listen!

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TS10

TS10: Allergens and Flonase

I spent most of the day sitting in my comfy chair in my office, with my laptop and an open window. I love working from home and having that warm breeze floating through the room. That recliner, that window, that room… it’s kind of my happy place.

As the afternoon wore on, my eyes started hurting a bit. I could feel them getting puffy and itchy. I knew what the irritant was (seasonal allergies), but I was slow to get up grab the Flonase. For a moment, for some reason, I tried to deny the effect the allergens were having on me.

Wouldn’t you know it… once I got up from my once happy place and took the Flonase, everything was better. I was almost immediately relieved.

I don’t know where you are right now. If you are feeling “under it,” and need some relief, I hope this little playlist helps you find it. Maybe you’re a little too cozy in your “happy place,” and what you really need is an irritant, something to wake you from an intellectual or emotional slumber. Wherever you need to go emotionally, I hope, in some way, these ten songs will help you get there.

-Ed

 

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TS10

TS10: Tempered Celebration

Okay, I admit, I gotta calm down a little bit. This warm air in western Wisconsin is a bit intoxicating right now. I almost wondered it it was ever going to come. Such warmth had me wanting to build a really happy, partyish playlist this week. But, that’s not really what we do, per se. So, there’s some celebration in here, for sure, but there’s also the normal spectrum of emotion. Take a listen and enjoy (or cry, you know, whatever…).

-Ed

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TS10

TS10: Mood

A while back, my boy became obsessed with mood rings. I didn’t really understand it. Some other kid from school may have turned him on to them. However this fascination originated, he was not going to be content until he got his mood ring.

Well, he ended up with three different mood rings, all of them either lost or broken. That’s okay, though, because my man wears his mood like an overcoat. It is evident. I don’t need a phony ring to try to discern it.

This week’s TS10 is full of mood, I think. And the mood shifts from song to song, sometimes continuing a specific strain of mood while launching into some other mood simultaneously. Not sure what kind of mood you’re in right now, but if you’re like me, your moods can shift and pulse in different directions just like this playlist.

-Ed

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TS10

TS10: Suab

Welcome to this week’s TS10, which is entitled “Suab.” Suab is the Hmong word for “sounds” or “noise.” That word has been a part of this blog since it’s inception. However, for the first time, this week’s playlist includes a song sung in Hmong. That song is by the incredible Pagnia Xiong, a Hmong American artist from Eau Claire. You’ll see more about her and her career very soon here on Tomme Suab. I’m excited to share her music along with nine other emotive tracks for this week’s playlist.

Enjoy!

-Ed

 

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TS10

TS10: Wishful Thinking

Dammit. It’s mid-April in Wisconsin and we just spent all weekend inside because of the ongoing barrage of flakes in the air and on the ground. I miss spring…

So, in light of my longing for green, rain, and sunshine, and in solidarity with my fellow upper-Midwesterners, I offer the Wishful Thinking TS10, led off by a song called All the Snow Is Gone

-Ed

 

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TS10

TS10: Seeking Emotional Intelligence

Ahhhhh… so, this playlist is a little more balanced than what I want to share right now. Why, you may ask? Well, I’m angry at the moment. When I’m angry, it’s very difficult for me to be balanced in my approach to anything. I had a moment, a fleeting moment, in which I thought, “To hell with what I have planned! I’m gonna find some angry music for this week’s TS10. And then I remembered that I am an adult, not a child.

Children react impulsively when it comes to emotional stimuli. Part of our maturation process is learning to pause before reacting or responding, to let ourselves feel things without those feelings getting in the way of actual decision-making. I’ll readily admit, I am an amateur when it comes to such. I wish that wasn’t the case, but the truth is, every once in a while, I put on my “eight year old Ed” pants and react, when I should sit still.

For what it’s worth, I’ll take this instance with this week’s playlist as a little victory. While, in the heat of the moment I want to lash out in some way (even if it’s just in sharing ten angry songs), I’m glad the proverbial cooler head prevailed, because this playlist has some wonderful stuff in it.

No matter what you’re feeling at the moment, I invite you to engage with what’s here and let your emotions take you where you need to go.

-Ed

 

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TS10

TS10: Come As You Are

Photo from Nirvana’s Facebook Page

There’s lots here. As weird as this may sound, I hope there is something here that will mess with you deeply, in all the right ways. Feel and heal, friends.

-Ed

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TS10

TS10: Broken Heart Needed

One of the beautiful aspects of creating art is the lasting impact a given piece of art can have, regardless of where the artist goes after that piece is created. Derek Webb is one of my favorite songwriters ever. His impact on me was built on honest lyrics, direct questions, and a penchant for being a necessary pain in the ass to the evangelical establishment here in the U.S. Those things were part and parcel of Webb’s vibe for much of his solo career.

Over the past few years, Mr. Webb has undergone something of a personal paradigm shift. I don’t understand the nuances of that shift. I don’t know the man personally. But, what seems to be clear, is that the faith that once was the foundation for so much of his honesty, questioning, and provocation has either dramatically changed or is simply gone. He seems like a different guy than the one who penned the songs on his first few albums. But, that doesn’t alter the truth of those early lyrics or the poignancy of his questions, his longing, his provocation.

The last song on this week’s TS10 is I Want a Broken Heart from his I See Things Upside Down album. No matter where Derek Webb is personally these days, the honest truth in this song stands.

I’ve got faith in the bank and money in my heart
I’ve got a calloused place where your ring used to be, my love

I’ve traded naked and unashamed
For a better place to hide
For a righteous mask, a suit of fig leaves and lies

I thought the cattle on a thousand hills
Was not enough to pay my bills
And I fell in love with those who proved me wrong
And now I want a broken heart

Now there’s a great pad lock
On the place where I was free
And I’m feeling bad from swallowing that key
Now I work real hard but I mostly call in sick
Of a broken back from the ground fighting back at me

I cannot look you in the eye
So I check the knots on my disguise
‘Cause I fell in love with fashion in the dark
And now I want a broken heart

I’ve got alibis for every crime
A substitute to do my time
‘Cause Your heart breaks enough on both our parts
So now I want a broken heart
Now I want a broken heart
Now I want a broken heart

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TS10

TS10: Finding “Fault” With Insecurity

Above image is a photo of Autumn Hefferan’s original painting, “Fault”

I almost did it. I almost decided not to add a certain track to this playlist because of how I thought it might be perceived by others. As I was sampling potentials for this week’s TS10, I came across Seal’s Prayer for the Dying. It’s a beautiful song from Seal’s 1994 self-titled album (as opposed to his 1991 also self-titled album).

I listened to Seal quite a bit back in the early to mid-90s. I actually picked that 1991 album up while on an internship in India in 1993. That was a particularly difficult season for me emotionally, and that album, which included the hit single Crazy, was constantly in my Walkman. It was a rotation of Arrested Development’s 3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days in the Life of…, Extreme’s III Sides to Every Story, and this record. I still vividly remember listening to the album in its entirety while on the flight home from India.

When I first heard Seal’s Kiss From a Rose, from his 1994 release, I fell in love with it. Soon afterward, I grabbed the album and listened to it non-stop. I thought the record was beautiful and, even though I would not have recognized it as such at the time, intensely emotive. Prayer for the Dying was one of the singles released from that album and is also one of my favorite Seal songs.

However, when presented with the possibility of including it on this week’s TS10, it wasn’t an immediate slam dunk choice. Why? It wasn’t because the song isn’t worthy. It wasn’t because it no longer connects with me emotionally. It was simply because my insecurity told me the cool kids would make fun of me for including a Seal song. In fact, the original iteration for this playlist didn’t include the song. But, as I considered it more, I decided not to let the cool kids tell me what to do.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, sometimes I just like to spill the beans because I know I’m not the only one dealing issues like this. We all have our insecurities. Many of us get concerned about the bullying voices of the cool kids. Screw those voices.  Let’s not let our insecurities direct our decision-making. Let’s just be who we are. For real. The truth is, the cool kids are insecure too, which is why they try to make us feel bad for being who we are.

Somehow, I hope this rambling and, more importantly, this incredible music will lead us all to deeper freedom to be who we were created to be.

-Ed

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