Divad’s Soundtrack #33: July-August 2001

This is the dreaded “post-breakup” mix. It’s actually one of my favorites, because while I could have taken it in an unapologetically depressed and angry direction (and I did give into those emotions here and there), there’s actually a sense of hope and even a slight hint of excitement at the chance to start over that emerges as the second disc winds down. Even in my darkest hour, I was somehow convinced that there would be better days ahead.

In with the New:
Michelle Branch
Superchic[k]
Matchbox Twenty
Circadian Rhythm
Dixie Chicks
Radiohead

Out with the Old:
Beanbag
Train
Cake
Ceili Rain
PfR

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Divad’s Soundtrack #32: May-June 2001

This is the last mix that was made during my first long-term relationship. A lot of the songs represent the longing I felt at the time to make it work and my ill-advised attempts to patch it all together. Yet, when I go back and listen to these songs, instead of reliving a lot of anguish over how it all slipped through my fingers, I instead recall the growing satisfaction with solitude that I was beginning to learn back then. A lot of my happiest moments in those days were spent by myself. Some were prayerful, some were exploratory, and some were just plain relaxing. Some of these songs were the ones that helped to prepare me for a difficult process of letting go.

In with the New:
The Benjamin Gate
Train
Kevin Max (as a solo artist – appears earlier with dc Talk)
Sandra McCracken

Out with the Old:
Katy Hudson
Kendall Payne
Smalltown Poets

It Was Worth a Try:
Smash Mouth

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Divad’s Soundtrack #27: July-August 2000

This mix demonstrates how my music collection began to explode as I started to use Napster more and more to explore music that I might not have been willing to buy without hearing it first. This revolutionized the way that I listened to music, with the mp3 format making it a lot more portable (a good thing given the traveling I did that summer, often with burned CD-Rs or tapes recorded from those in tow), and with my overall philosophy changing in terms of musicians and genres I was willing to give a chance.

In with the New:
Relient K
P.O.D.
John Reuben
Kendall Payne
Pax217
Rachael Lampa
Riley Armstrong
Collective Soul
Phil Joel (as a solo artist – appears earlier with Newsboys)

Out with the Old:
The W’s
Massivivid

It Was Worth a Try:
Stereo Deluxx

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Divad’s Soundtrack #11: April-June 1997

These few months are best characterized by two words: “hard summer”. It was Nate, who prayed with me one night at the end of the semester when I was despondent over having to live at home again and be away from everybody and work a retail job I didn’t really want for several months, who didn’t beat around the bush in order to console me. He said point blank, “I think this is gonna be a hard summer for you, Divad.” But he didn’t say it to be cruel. Something in his voice seemed to affirm that the sheer difficulty of it would be a growing experience for me. And he was right. This period of my life was a lot like flowers pushing their way up through concrete – a frustrating struggle that eventually led me to some beautiful realizations.

In with the New:
Avalon
Plumb
Caedmon’s Call
All Star United

Out with the Old:
Tony Vincent

It Was Worth a Try:
MxPx
The Walter Eugenes

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Divad’s Soundtrack #10: January-March 1997

1997 would prove to be a tough year for me. There was a disappointing failed attempt to return to Joshua Tree for Spring Break (a trip which I helped to plan and didn’t even get to go on), further distance between me and a close friend due a crush that just wouldn’t go away, and just a lot of tough questions I would ask myself as I sat in my philosophy and creative writing classes and played metaphysical mind games with myself. Not that it was the classes’ fault – they were just exploring the thoughts of different writers, not trying to tell us definitively that any of their writings were true. It was another way to get to questions that I needed to ask, I guess. And while the weather got lighter and summer approached again, the darkest times were, in many ways, still to come in the months ahead.

In with the New:
Sarah Jahn
Bleach

Out with the Old:
Crystal Lewis
Rich Mullins
Anointed

It Was Worth a Try:
Blues Traveler

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Divad’s Soundtrack #9: November-December 1996

This collection covers a relatively short period of time – just two months as I wrapped up first semester of sophomore year. It was an important time, though – the promise of a new beginning as I prepared to finally get baptized collided with ghosts that wouldn’t stop haunting me as I spent certain cold days feeling a bit of despair about whether anyone could truly love the grungy, socially awkward kid that I knew I was. I started getting pretty down on myself during those days. You might not have noticed it if you were around me then, just due to my ever-present sense of humor and my restless need to be a social butterfly. But I could be rather melancholy when left to my own devices. (Probably still true in some ways, but I think I’m a little better about not falling into the whole “I hate myself” thing as often.)

In with the New:
Erin O’Donnell
No Doubt

Out with the Old:
Pam Thum
Sierra

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Divad’s Soundtrack #8: August-October 1996

This one was made not long after I started my sophomore year of college. That semester, and even the end of the summer preceding it, has a lot of fond memories attached. I felt like I came back from Catalina Island a changed person, more patient and willing to serve instead of being served. OK, I was still impatient in other ways, most notably in terms of wanting a relationship, but I wasn’t as obviously on the prowl for a girlfriend in 1996 as I was in 1995. Mostly, I was happy to be back on campus, and it was really exciting to meet new freshmen and help them learn the ropes just as some of the upperclassmen had done for me during my first year. I had this deliriously happy sense of knowing what I was doing, but still being young and having so many new things to experience. That’s a rare feeling that’s been difficult to recapture since then.

In with the New:
Dave Matthews Band
Sarah Masen
Jaci Velasquez

Out with the Old:
Michael O’Brien

It Was Worth a Try:
World Wide Message Tribe

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