The Best of 2009: Now Departing for Stockholm, Hawaii, New Orleans, and Points Inland

The end of 2009 is upon us, friends. It was a year that many of us didn’t look forward to, already knowing to expect financial woes and potential job losses (if not already realized ones) going into it – a year where the unexpected road ahead seemed to promise more hardship than exciting new possibilities to explore. but a poor year for the world was a rich year for music – either because artists channelled their angst into some of the best songs they’d ever written, or because more and more of them were jumping ship on the big labels and finding freedom to go where their imaginations would take them even if the audiences weren’t as big as a result. Some found artful ways to downsize while others played it as over-the-top as they could in defiance of expectations. In the end, it was a more exciting year than I could have anticipated, one that has left me with a lot to look forward to.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #65: November-December 2006

When I look back on the final closing months of 2006, I remember feeling cold on the outside, but warm on the outside. That’s because the two cover images I chose for these mixes were from outdoor activities in the late autumn weather, in places that had both become meaningful to me many years before, but that I was now experiencing with a newer group of friends. 2006 was one of my favorite years all the way through to the end, and I felt a sense of peace about the holidays arriving that year, which isn’t a normal thing for me. The holidays weren’t without their moments of upheaval – my uncle Dean passed away just before Thanksgiving, and it took us over a month to coordinate with folks so that we could hold a memorial service. But there were also happy family memories, as Christine and I got to have her parents and my mom together for Thanksgiving for the first time, and we adopted our cat in early December, who Christine decided to name “Anberlin”, of all things.

In with the New:
Peter Bradley Adams (as a solo artist – appears previously with Eastmountainsouth)
Sean Watkins (as a solo artist – appears elsewhere with Nickel Creek and Fiction Family)

Out with the Old:
He Is Legend
Ron Sexsmith
The Violet Burning

It Was Worth a Try:
Chris Thile (as a solo artist – appears elsewhere with Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers)

Listen on Spotify:

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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

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #56: May-June 2005

Here are my thoughts on the last “personal soundtrack” that I made as a bachelor. In trying to get this long-dormant blog series going again, I’ve realized that I’m currently about eight years behind real time. I’m not sure if I ever want to catch up to real time, since it’s easier to blog about the songs I loved at a certain point in my life when enough time has passed to put a bit of perspective on it. But, I hope to catch up to the point where I can write about this stuff before I completely forget why I picked the songs in the first place!

In with the New:
Rob Thomas (as a solo artist – appears previously with Matchbox Twenty)
Mae
Joy Williams

Out with the Old:
Joseph Arthur (as a solo artist – appears later with Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts)

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #55: March-April 2005

A rainy winter brought us an incredibly green and flowery spring. Having finally been nudged into the age of digital photography, my newfound obsession was to document every scenic angle of every hike and road trip that Christine and I went on. This brought a lot of excitement and newness back to some places that I had been before and had previously considered old and familiar. I think I thrive most in life when it feels like there are tons of new discoveries waiting for me just around the corner, even if they’re things I previously missed in places I thought I had already explored.

In with the New:
The Killers
Green Day
He Is Legend

Out with the Old:
Rachael Lampa
Everyday Sunday

Listen on Spotify:

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