Divad’s Soundtrack #68: May-June 2007

In late June 2007, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of taking a trip to Alaska. I had been obsessed with the far-flung corners of our country since first learning about the 50 States as a child, and being with Christine had given me ample opportunity to explore Hawaii, but this far-off northern land eluded me due to the logistical difficulties of getting there. We finally took the plunge and flew into Anchorage (with a few days’ layover in Seattle to hang out with Jennie and her husband Dave), rented a car, and took a road trip throughout the southern and western parts of the state – excluding the Panhandle, most of which you can’t drive to. The trip still dominates my memories of that summer, as one of the absolute most superlative places I’ve ever laid eyes on.

In with the New:
Björk
Anathallo
Matt Wertz
Fort Minor

Out with the Old:
Skillet
The Wreckers

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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

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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)

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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

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Divad’s Soundtrack #26: May-June 2000

There’s so much joy and beauty that comes rushing back when I listen to this one. I finally had my own car, and could explore all I wanted in my free time, which led to a lot of peaceful afternoons spent hiking and impromptu visits with friends. Despite my fears that the summer ahead would be lonely without Sharon around, it turned out to feel like my first real summer of freedom. I also get strong memories of my wide-eyed wonder as I got to visit places I’d never seen before.

In with the New:
Nine Days
Earthsuit
Aleixa
Nina Gordon
All Together Separate

Out with the Old:
Mukala

It Was Worth a Try:
Philmore
Waterdeep

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Divad’s Soundtrack #25: March-April 2000

For me, this was the soundtrack to identifying a depression and getting over it. There’s much more giddy joy than angst in this mix, and I think a lot of these songs got chosen, however corny some of them might sound nowadays, because I was excited to finally start feeling like myself again.

In with the New:
Beanbag
Fono
Mukala
Luna Halo
No Apples for Adam
Five O’Clock People

Out with the Old:
Pete Stewart (as a solo artist – appears later with Tait)
The Insyderz
Chasing Furies

It Was Worth a Try:
Ghoti Hook
Raze

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Divad’s Soundtrack #24: January-February 2000

The first mix of the new millennium. No wait, that technically started in 2001! OK, so… the first mix of the 2000s, a decade that would radically alter my outlook on life, and accordingly, my taste in music.

In with the New:
Weird Al Yankovic
Creed

Out with the Old:
Plankeye

It Was Worth a Try:
Believable Picnic

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Divad’s Soundtrack #21: May-July 1999

 

This mix represents the summer of a lifetime, Part II. (1996 being Part I.) Most of this time was spent on Catalina Island, serving in and around the kitchen, and missing loved ones dearly, but figuring I must have been growing from the experience… right? I doubted it at times. After about the halfway point, I was nearly insufferable, counting the days and hardly being able to talk about anything other than wanting to be with my girlfriend again. But let’s not count out the friends I made at camp that summer – fellow staff members who played a variety of roles, some who challenged me to be more patient and forgiving, and some who I clicked with as if they’d been college friends living in the dorms with me for four years. Now I think about some of those folks and miss them dearly, and that’s the thing about graduating from college and wholeheartedly investing different parts of my life in different places – for the rest of my life, there’ll always be someone across a body of water or a long stretch of land who I will miss dearly. But I was challenged a lot that summer – by willingly giving up time with someone I loved during the summer, and by the time I spent with her when I came back in July and had to start adjusting to life as a full-fledged adult looking for work in the “real world”. The bulk of that didn’t hit until August, so this mix mainly covers that nomadic and difficult, but highly memorable summer.

In with the New:
The Juliana Theory

It Was Worth a Try:
Buck
Sarah McLachlan

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Divad’s Soundtrack #20: March-April 1999

Life was good in the Spring of 1999. It felt like I was preparing for adventures that I might not get to have ever again, and as I wrapped up my senior comps, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, which I tried to make count by spending it with friends that I might not see a lot of after graduating. I came in a wide-eyed, ignorant freshman in the fall of 1995, and that felt like it had only been yesterday – who was I to suddenly be one of the big guys, the ones everyone would be giving a warm send-off, the people expected to go out and create a brighter future? I was barely 21. I was still a kid. But those days felt rich, and God was setting me up for big changes. This set kind of becomes my “commissioning mix” towards the end, because several songs focus on leaving my current life behind and having God lead me out into the unknown with some sense of missional purpose. In some ways, I saw my aspiration to go back to Campus By the Sea for the summer as a sort of “mission”, a way that I could serve and learn new things, because it had been that for me the first time around.

In with the New:
SonicFlood
Lloyd
Polarboy

Out with the Old:
Human

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Divad’s Soundtrack #19: January-February 1999

This is how my last semester of college began: I had a wide array of good friends, a girlfriend who was as excited to spend time with me as I was with her, a good plan for how I was going to finish my senior comps (that’s like a senior thesis at other schools) that brought my studies of math and philosophy together due to inspiration from a cognitive science class that I had taken, a job that I could do confidently and fit around my class schedule, and no classes before 1:30 in the afternoon. I was doing a lot of hard work, but for the most part, living the good life. I was trying to avoid thinking about the fact that it would all have to change in a few short months.

In with the New:
Silage
Plaid

Out with the Old:
Seven Day Jesus

It Was Worth a Try:
Wilshire

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