TS10

TS10: Falling

Tomme Suab was officially launched in 2013, but 2012 was an important year in it’s development. During 2012, I was engaging with local and indie music for the first time and it was like a personal renaissance for me. I was discovering new-to-me music left and right by attending local events like Volume One’s Sounds Like Summer and through NoiseTrade. If you’re not familiar with NoiseTrade, it’s a site where you can download music for free, legally, from a multitude of artists. During 2012, I dove into NoiseTrade and began discovering a variety of musicians for the first time. One of the bands I first heard on NoiseTrade was The Civil Wars.

The star-crossed duo of John Paul White and Joy Williams were in their heyday in 2012, winning a variety of awards with their debut album, Barton Hollow. I was immediately captivated by their sound. I’m sure the “southern-ness” of it was part of the reason. I also loved the blend of their two very distinct voices. But there was something else at work in their music that grabbed a hold of me.

The record I downloaded from The Civil Wars was a live album and at the start of the show, John Paul White told the crowd, “If you’re not sad yet, you’re gonna be.” That sadness, that deep, deep melancholy pervading their music was, for some reason, resonating with a deep sadness living in me. It was that sorrow that drew me to their music in the first place, and it was the sorrow that helped me process some of my own sorrow during that time.

2012 was a pivotal year for me. As I was engaging in the sadness of The Civil Wars’ music, I was simultaneously dealing with some very difficult relational struggles. I was going through a period in which I realized some relationships which had always been central to me were changing. I was seeing, for the first time, how dysfunctional and toxic these relationships really were. Their song Falling especially spoke to me.

I’m glad to share that song with you on this week’s TS10, along with nine other potentially emotive tracks. Falling has been a part of my healing process, maybe one or more of these songs can be part of yours.

-Ed

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TS10

TS10: Continual Catharsis

I recently posted a piece about the “cathartic synthesis” I hear in the music of the incredible Gracie and Rachel. If you haven’t yet read that, please do so as a personal favor… the process of creating that piece was highly emotive for me and it touched me in ways I’ve not been touched in a while.

One of the elements affecting me is the idea of catharsis. I’ve always understood catharsis to be a process of purification or purging emotionally. What I hadn’t previously realized was the dictionary definition (Merriam-Webster’s) includes the caveat that catharsis especially happens through art. This gets at the very heart of Tomme Suab.

So, as I think about this week’s TS10, I’m also thinking about catharsis. I think those two things are not mutually exclusive. I think they could be, just maybe, intimately related. From the cry for divine purpose in Jesus… to the anger and venom of Sabotage, we’re going all over the place this week.

Thanks for engaging,

Ed

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Music and Healing

Shalom Wishes for Christmas

For the past several weeks, the TS10 has maintained a common strain. They all spoke to the ambivalence many of us experience this time of year. I would hope that we all can at least heed the “tidings of great joy” to an extent. However, joy is only one of the myriad of emotions people feel during the Christmas season. I am certainly not immune from this Noel-driven ambivalence.

I love Christmas so much. This holiday season, in particular, has been sweet. I, along with my beautiful family, have watched plenty of movies, listened to a plethora of carols, and viewed my share of lights. And yet I have found myself feeling so many emotions, several of which are dramatically divergent from the joy the season is supposed to purvey.

I’ve been prone to despair on occasion… hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men. That reality, that truth from one of my favorite Christmas songs, has swirled in my thoughts in recent weeks. I’ve felt frustrated with myself at times, as well as with how little and poorly we love each other. I’ve been grieved as I’ve remembered relationships which once meant the world to me but have either faded away or were severed for one reason or another. The music featured in this month’s TS10s have captured some of these emotions, as well as the incumbent joy of the season.

However, for this moment in time, on this Christmas Eve, I choose to set aside all that ambivalence. Now, it’s time to meditate on the idea of everything being made right somehow. Peace. Shalom. As you engage with this playlist, I wish you shalom. Certainly, I wish you a Merry Christmas. But, more than anything, I wish you shalom.

God is not dead nor does he sleep

The wrong shall fail

The right prevail

With peace on earth, goodwill to men…

-Ed

 

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Uncategorized

Sharing the Gift of Noisetrade

 

In 2006, my fandom of Derek Webb was at an all-time high. His album “Mockingbird” had rocked my world emotionally and spiritually. I was given the album as a gift and was hooked from the beginning. Sometime later, Webb literally gave the album away as a digital download. Over 80,000 downloads later, Webb was playing sold out shows and even saw a spike in sales of that very album.

On the heels of that experiment, Webb and a team of other folks launched a site called Noisetrade. The basic premise is that artists upload music and prospective listeners can download that music in exchange for their email addresses and zip codes (with the option to leave a “tip” for the artist). I was intrigued by the idea, but I found very few downloads I was really all that interested in at the beginning. That’s because the artists using Noisetrade were mostly independent artists, many with only a local following in their home areas.

A few years later, I decided to start giving some of these artists, that were unknown by me, a listen. Everything started to change for me at that point. One of the first albums I downloaded was Josh Garrels‘ “Love & War & The Sea in Between,” which remains one of my favorite albums to this day. In the coming months, I downloaded music from such great artists as The Civil Wars and Andrew Bird.

It was as if I had walked into a whole new world. My musical boundaries were being challenged all over the place, and I was discovering for myself some intensely talented musicians creating some intensely meaningful music. In the years since, I have experienced music from so many great artists because of Noisetrade, including:

Aoife O’Donovan Haley Bonar Matisyahu
The Autumn Film Heath McNease Matthew Perryman Jones
Beautiful Eulogy Humming House NEEDTOBREATHE
Brooke Waggoner Hurray for the Riff Raff PHOX
Butterfly Boucher Ingrid Michaelson Polica
Caroline Rose Jessica Lea Mayfield Propaganda
The Civil Wars Josh Garrels Rubblebucket
Cody ChesnuTT Judah & The Lion Sara Groves
Derek Webb Justin Townes Earle Sufjan Stevens
Dispatch Katie Herzig Trampled By Turtles
Duologue The Local Strangers The 77’s
Gungor Lord Huron

So, if you are unfamiliar with Noisetrade, I’d love to help you change that. First of all, here is the link to their site: www.noisetrade.com. Second, on the Noisetrade page (click here) is a sample of the kind of music you can download from that site. These are all songs that have been available (or are currently available) on their site. Enjoy this playlist and go download some music!! (And if you are so inclined, tip the artists generously!)

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