What Am I Listening To? – December 2015

Truth be told, I’ve had way less time this month to take in new music due to all the time I’ve been spending going over candidates for this year’s favorites for list-making purposes, so none of these records have really been given the time they deserve just yet. I’ll probably manage to get some more cohesive thoughts gathered about all of these in early 2016, but for now, here are my ill-informed first impressions of the latest releases from Coldplay, Five Iron Frenzy, Leigh Nash, and Andrew Peterson.

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Jars of Clay – The Shelter: Shelter Skelter

2010_JarsofClay_TheShelter

Artist: Jars of Clay
Album: The Shelter
Year: 2010
Grade: B-

In Brief: Better than most “worship albums” on the market these days, but not as good as anyof Jars of Clay’s previous albums. 3.5 stars.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #66: January-February 2007

A lot of these old playlists I made for myself are an interesting window into what I was thinking and feeling at the time. This one is especially so. Amidst a lot of the usual “this song was fun and bouncy and maybe a little bit snarky” fare that tends to grab my ear in pretty much any stage of my life, I can tell as I go back and listen to some of these songs that I was really wrestling with deeper concepts of legalism vs. grace, a death in the family and the thoughts it left me with about what sort of legacy I’d leave behind when it was my time to go someday, and some of my own hopes and fears about one day becoming a parent. Looking back and trying to figure out what my younger self wanted to remind me of when he picked these songs has been quite cathartic, actually.

In with the New:
Robert Randolph & the Family Band
The Wreckers

Out with the Old:
Rock Kills Kid
All Star United

Listen on Spotify:

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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 #64: September-October 2006

What I remember most when I listen to this set of songs from the fall of 2006 is moving and starting anew. After spending a year or so in the apartment we’d inherited when Tim moved out, Christine and I decided to finally look for our own place together. The location we ended up with was convenient in that it was close to the school Christine was working at, and halfway between my job and church, right off of Mission and Granada in Alhambra. The downside was that it was right by the train tracks, and the building would gently shake when the trains went by in the middle of the night. It took some adjustment, but it truly felt like our own place for the first time in our relationship.

In with the New:
Snowden
Leeland
Future of Forestry

Out with the Old:
The Fiery Furnaces
Dixie Chicks

Listen on Spotify:

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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)

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #28: September-October 2000

Summer turned into fall, and with my girlfriend back on campus, so was I, living out what seemed like the best of both worlds at the time – working a steady job that paid well, but still reaping the benefits of campus life and fooling people into thinking I hadn’t graduated yet.

In with the New:
Nichole Nordeman

Out with the Old:
Riley Armstrong

It Was Worth a Try:
Fanmail

Listen on Spotify:

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