Divad’s Soundtrack #84: January-February 2010

Starting the year 2010 off in Hawaii, as Christine and I finished up the last few days of our vacation and our visit with her friends and family, offered a lot of chances for rest and reflection on the almost five years of our marriage so far, and what challenges were potentially ahead of us in this new decade. Going back to the first set of mix CDs I made to cover the first two months of that year, I’m reminded of how my outlook on music was changing (a lot more indie rock, not so much Christian music although I retained a few of my long-time favorites) along with my outlook on life (less rigid and black-and-white, more open to being shown new perspectives and subjecting long-standing beliefs to greater scrutiny to see if they still held water). A lot of it was more about capturing a certain aesthetic or mood rather than a specific meaning – yet after spending some time with this collection of songs again after all these years, I’ve realized as I zoom out and look at the set as a whole that there are still some distinct markers of experiences in my life or ideas I was wrestling with, that give the diverse and sometimes even contradictory elements of these playlists a reason for being together that maybe I couldn’t have fully articulated at the time.

In with the New:
The Paper Raincoat
As Tall as Lions

Out with the Old:
Creed
Anathallo

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Divad’s Soundtrack #83: November-December 2009

Here’s the best of what I was listening to as the previous decade closed out. While I definitely ended the 2000s in a much better place than I was at the beginning of that decade, there had definitely been some hard times toward the end of 2009, and we were looking forward to a year-end trip to visit family in Hawaii. I can tell looking back at a lot of these songs that I was really longing for some rest and recreation with a beautiful beach as the backdrop.

In with the New:
fun.

Out with the Old:
Rob Thomas

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Divad’s Soundtrack #72: January-February 2008

Not having seen Christine’s parents since late 2006, we took an “off-season vacation” in late January/early February to go back to Oahu and visit them. This was a much cheaper trip than usual – no side journeys to outlying islands or overnights in Waikiki hotels or anything like that. Just low-key relaxation in suburban Mililani – and of course the usual driving around and exploring the island that I can never resist doing. Most of these songs aren’t tied to memories of that trip in the direct sense, but any good vacation offers its fair share of moments to pause, take in the peace of a beautiful place far from home, and reflect on personal issues I’m dealing with at that point in time, ways that my beliefs and passions are being shaped and challenged, etc. Listening to this batch of songs ten years later, it’s pretty clear that I was on the verge of some of those changes.

In with the New:
Arcade Fire
Edison Glass
Fauxliage
Jon Foreman (as a solo artist – appears earlier with Switchfoot)

Out with the Old:
Matchbox Twenty
Wavorly
Chris Rice

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Divad’s Soundtrack #63: July-August 2006

My memories of the summer of 2006 are largely dominated by fond remembrance of our first trip back to Hawaii since we got married. Visiting family, and friends who were now starting to feel like family, made Oahu seem more and more like a second home, though there was still plenty left for me to discover. The second part of the trip was to the Big Island, which was a first for both of us. Despite how much I had enjoyed Kauai and Maui on past trips, the Big Island quickly emerged as my favorite part of Hawaii, due to the scenic and biological diversity on display – it was like an entire continent in miniature. This still stands out as one of my all-time favorite trips.

In with the New:
Pearl Jam
Rock Kills Kid
House of Heroes
Leigh Nash (as a solo artist – appears previously with Sixpence None the Richer)

Out with the Old:
downhere
Jack Johnson

It Was Worth a Try:
Thom Yorke (as a solo artist – appears elsewhere with Radiohead)

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Divad’s Soundtrack #57: July-August 2005

This mix is one of the most special ones in my collection, since it brings back memories of August 7, 2005. The day Christine and I got married. The most significant life-changing event I’ve experienced thus far. While I didn’t do this intentionally at the time, I like how the more troubled and aggressive tone of the songs on the first disc reflects the tension of personal stuff I was going through leading up to the wedding, and how the second disc resolves to a more peaceful and celebratory tone after the joyful event comes to pass. That special day wouldn’t have been what it was without the support of numerous friends and family members. It’s been many years, but I’m no less grateful to any of the following people:

Tim L.: Best man and ad-hoc worship leader
Tim H.: Groomsman and other ad-hoc worship leader
Francis, Danny, and Kelsey: Groomsmen (and groomswoman!)
Adele: Maid of honor
Angela, Stacey, Kristi, and Michelle: Bridesmaids
Krista: Photographer
Kate: Caterer
Pastor Mark: Officiant and guitar loaner
Glenn and Ruth: Parents of the bride, and de facto wedding coordinators

…and about half the congregation of Pacific Islands Bible Church, whose names I can’t completely remember at the moment.

…and all of the people who were there with us in spirit, but not in body, because flying to Hawaii in the middle of the summer is friggin’ expensive!

Now, on to the music…

In with the New:
Chris Tomlin

It Was Worth a Try:
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

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Divad’s Soundtrack #54: January-February 2005

This soundtrack for the winter of 2005 is filled with songs of anticipation, but many of them also express a desire for change. I was preparing for my life to become radically different as Christine and I planned our wedding. I had to ask myself who I was now, what I wanted to be, and what things were standing in the way of that transformation. I wanted to start married life knowing that the process would make me a better man.

In with the New:
Olivia the Band
Eisley
The Fiery Furnaces

Out with the Old:
Macrosick
Something Like Silas
Day of Fire
Supertones

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Divad’s Soundtrack #48: January-February 2004

I felt like the year 2004 began with a renewed sense of certainty. Its earliest months are memorable to me and Christine for our first real experiences of traveling together. Whether alone or with a group of people, I learned that she’s a really good travel buddy.

In with the New:
Eastmountainsouth
Maroon5
Christine Denté (as a solo artist – appears previously with Out of the Grey)
Sleeping at Last

Out with the Old:
Vertical Horizon
Ashley Cleveland
ZOEgirl

It Was Worth a Try:
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Kutless

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Divad’s Soundtrack #42: January-February 2003

2003 got off to a great start. I spent New Year’s Day and a week or so beyond that in Hawaii, and then returned to California to settle into the new apartment Tim and I had just moved into. I was excited to actually live in San Gabriel, closer to the community of random friends I had cultivated at church. Saying goodbye to Christine at the end of that trip was difficult as always, but this time, it was mitigated by the fact that she would be moving to California to be with me on a daily basis within the next few months.

In with the New:
Evanescence
Grits
The Flaming Lips
Jeremy Camp
38th Parallel
Norah Jones

Out with the Old:
Bleach
Nina Gordon

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Divad’s Soundtrack #41: November-December 2002

The onset of winter is normally my least favorite time of year – but in 2002, I looked forward to it because it meant stepping off a plane a few days after Christmas, and seeing my love again.

In with the New:
The Elms
Everyday Sunday
Daily Planet
Blindside
Sigur Rós
Bebo Norman

Out with the Old:
Pax217

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Divad’s Soundtrack #38: May-June 2002

June 3, 2002 was when I made my second trip out to Hawaii – the first to visit Christine. It was during that trip that we shared our first kiss and became an “official” couple. Consequently, this mix always feels like it’s spilling over with anticipation and giddy feelings whenever I listen to it.

In with the New:
Alanis Morissette
Jeff Deyo (as a solo artist – appears previously with SonicFlood)
David Crowder Band

Out with the Old:
Margaret Becker

It Was Worth a Try:
Máire Brennan

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