Monday, July 13, 2009



To begin, the image is the work of Jaap Scheeren, a recent fascination of mine. And what follows is something I wrote the morning after our relationship with Noisetrade had begun. Here tis:

“I made $10.95!” Sarah exclaimed from behind a laptop this morning. She went to bed, woke up, and witnessed the appearance of nearly eleven dollars worth of public affirmation of her song-craft which braved the oceans of Internet while she slept. All manner of things made well.

I wish I was more the lyrical wit, but I’m the one in this relationship who types out the largest number of straightforward sentences (My books, let me say it again, are footnotes for her lyrics). It befalls me to offer the following report.

A little over two years ago, Sarah had a couple of performance appointments closely aligned, Calvin’s Festival of Faith and Music (Emmylou, Neko, Sufjan) and the Greenbelt Festival (Billy Bragg, Over the Rhine), and she suspected it would be impolite to show up without what the young people call product. With the help of Todd Greene and Tony Doling of Bulb, Chris Leonard  and Brad Ritter of the Contemporary Music Center, and Brother Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, she’d long accumulated three EP’s worth of material and now saw fit to put together individual, everyone different, stenciled artworks (Like snowflakes I tell you!) to house the plastic. They sold, we might say, like hotcakes, but the demand, mail-order-paypal-wise, was a little more than we could comfortably manage. She ended the online dealio, but often sent them out for free (her anxious partner noticed) to e-mailers whose demands dribbled in via the mostly quiet but still glowing website.

So, just last night, we’re having dinner with Mark and Molly Nicholas at our home. Inquiries concerning one another’s projects leads to Mark’s casual mention of Noisetrade goings-on. We begin to suspect this is what ancient texts refer to as The Shape of Things to Come. So many of our friends and neighbors have climbed aboard. Why not? Joe Kirk and Derek Webb strike us as upstanding citizens. Wouldn’t it be cool it being a gift economy we’re in and all? Molly types away, images are shared, and after they’ve gone home we get an e-mail pronouncing it a done deal. We’ll have the other EP’s up over the next few months.

I think it’s an excellent fit. People who extol Sarah’s music have always been potential friends and co-conspirators rather than--what do they call them?—fans? Share away, my friendlies. Publicize as you see fit. Blog if you want to. Blog around the world. Consider yourselves deputized. Enjoy. 

2 comments:

JJ said...

Noisetrade is a great idea. We just signed up too. We actually made more money since we started giving the CD away than before when we charged for it. This must mean that people are basically good. :-)

Find us here. https://www.noisetrade.com/fatblueman#
And of course, tell five friends. If this feels like spam, ignore the second paragraph. :-)

shirley said...

fab. i sent the link to boingboing, knowing of cory doctorow's interest in the area of givingitallaway.

is there a similar thing that you know of for written work/stories? there ought to be.