What Am I Listening To? – December 2019

I’m doing this column a few days early this time around, so I can talk about a few holiday releases I’ve been taking in before Christmas actually arrives for a change! There are also a few non-seasonal stragglers I’ve managed to squeeze in this month, despite how busy I’ve been re-listening to the best of the year and the decade.

Here are my first impressions of the latest from Jax Anderson, Joe Henry, and The Flaming Lips, plus seasonal music from Jars of Clay & SHEL, Future of Forestry, Andrew Peterson, Plumb, Sara Groves, and Nichole Nordeman.

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Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2017: Favorite Songs

It’s that time of year again where I run through the list of songs that inspired me, entertained me, or just plain got stuck in my head for amusing reasons, more than any other songs in the last 12 months. Most of these were released in 2017. Some came out in 2016 and I either didn’t hear them until this year or didn’t come to fully appreciate them in time for last year’s list. I’ve given brief explanations and YouTube links for the Top 30. For the rest… just check the reviews where they’re linked, if you’re curious.

And as always, many of these songs (limit one per artist) are collected in my 2017 in a Nutshell playlist over on Spotify.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #60: January-February 2006

There are certain years in my life that I’m heavily nostalgic for. Just seeing the number “2006” brings a flood of memories back, most of them incredibly happy ones. It’s not the only such year, but it’s the example that comes to mind most readily when I ponder which year’s been by favorite so far. It was the first year that Christine and I really got to settle in as newlyweds, with big dreams but no pressure to make big plans in the near-term future, and with the stress that lingered throughout most of 2005 finally gone, this to me is where the “honeymoon” truly started on a more emotional level.

In with the New:
Thrice
KT Tunstall
Calexico

Out with the Old:
Bethany Dillon
Ken Oak Band
Nichole Nordeman
Chris Tomlin

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #59: November-December 2005

Turmoil finally gave way to a sense of peace and hope for the future as 2005 drew to a close. An important event in our lives toward the end of that year was the marriage of our longtime friends Danny and Cheryl, which followed about four months after our own wedding. Somewhere right around then was when it felt like we got to resume the “honeymoon phase” of our own marriage after a difficult few months had sort of temporarily knocked me out of it.

Out with the Old:
Mat Kearney
The Juliana Theory
Rebecca St. James

It Was Worth a Try:
M.I.A.

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #47: November-December 2003

2003 was a difficult year that ended with a definite feeling of hope. These last few months were an experience of closing the door on old worries and “what ifs” – getting the heck over some of our issues and moving on toward brighter days ahead.

In with the New:
Dave Matthews (as a solo artist – appears elsewhere with Dave Matthews Band)
Dream Theater
Matthew Thiessen & the Earthquakes

Out with the Old:
Tait
Big Dismal
Dakona
Phil Keaggy

It Was Worth a Try:
Denison Marrs
Matthew

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #43: March-April 2003

The funny thing about dreams becoming reality is that suddenly, you have these annoying reminders of real life mixed into your dreams. This is sort of what Christine’s move to California in April 2003 ended up being like – awesome to have her there, somewhat harsh to switch so suddenly from the “vacation mode” most of our relationship had been spent in to the nitty gritty of finding her a place to rent, a job, some sense of normalcy. The full weight of it wouldn’t set it until that summer, so the last half of April was mostly time to simply enjoy seeing each other every day after so many months of being apart. But something felt a bit “off” even during those first few days back together that I couldn’t quite place.

In with the New:
Wilco
Jason Mraz
Derek Webb (as a solo artist – appears previously with Caedmon’s Call)

Out with the Old:
Phil Joel (as a solo artist – appears later with Newsboys)
The Benjamin Gate
Jeremy Camp

It Was Worth a Try:
Something Corporate

Listen on Spotify:

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