The Best of the Ought Nots Revisited, Part I: 81-100

Revisiting the music of the 2000s was a trip that seemed like it would be an easygoing, nostalgic one when I first came up with the idea. I’d had so much fun a year ago, cataloguing all of my favorites from the 2010s, that I decided I wanted to redo that exercise for the decade prior, and do justice to some great records from the years 2000-2009 that I had discovered in the meantime. My most enduring favorites would hold up pretty well, I figured, but I’ve changed a lot as a person in the last eleven years since I wrote up my first version of a Top 100 list for the 2000s, so I assumed there would be some flash-in-the-pan stuff that I had a short-lived fascination with then, that didn’t stand up well to the test of time and would be easy to dump in favor of new entries. And boy, did I have loads of old-but-new-to-me albums queued up and ready to explore in Spotify – entire discographies from bands I’d fallen in love with in the 2010s and figured, “Well hey, they were probably putting out some really good stuff that was completely off my radar in the 2000s, bet I’ll find a ton of new favorites along the way!” Powering through all of that turned out to be the exact opposite of easy, and I’m still not sure after giving all of those albums at least two full listens that I was able to fully digest a lot of them. I kind of had to pick the most promising candidates, give those a final listen, and then move on. In fact, I can’t think of a list I’ve done for this blog that has ever caused me to stress and second-guess myself as much as this one did.

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The Best of the Ought Nots, Part IV: 21-40

We’re approaching the top of the list now. Everything here is solid “A grade” material that got nothing but a glowing recommendation when I reviewed it… and most of it has only improved with age.

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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 #58: September-October 2005

If the first few months of life as a newlywed weren’t easy for me, it wasn’t because of the marriage itself. It was largely because I was making things hard on myself and the people around me. I was harboring a lot of anger, guilt, and frustration from stuff that happened earlier that year that should have been left in the past, along with ongoing worries about money, and those things were transforming me into a bit of a jaded person. The music contained here helped me to fight that off in some ways, and in a few places, it brings back memories of the sweeter, more romantic moods that should have been the default mode for a couple of newlyweds, but that were at least able to shine through the pinholes into the otherwise dark places in my mind.

In with the New:
Andrew Bird
Ken Oak Band

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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 #46: September-October 2003

The fall of 2003 was quite possibly the most turbulent couple of months I’d been through since the summer and fall of 2001. While there were enjoyable occasions – a bit of traveling here, a few concerts there, and lots of time spent with our new Sedaqah Group – I could tell that a difficult decision might be looming ahead of me.

In with the New:
Anberlin
Cool Hand Luke
Mat Kearney

Out with the Old:
Sandra McCracken

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #45: July-August 2003

The summer of 2003 was more than a bit tumultuous. Christine had to move twice, and between that and her struggle to find a job, our relationship was getting a bit frayed. She didn’t have a lot to keep her busy without a job, and that caused friction in terms of how we wanted to spend our spare time (I wanted some time to myself, she wanted to spend it all together). But we did still manage to have fun despite the stress and uncertainty.

In with the New:
Big Dismal
Joseph Arthur
Charlie Hall
The Innocence Mission

Out with the Old:
Peter Gabriel

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #44: May-June 2003

The summer of 2003 was a tough one. I felt like I was trying to pull off a tricky balancing act – the weekends were filled with dates and other fun outings with Christine, most of which I genuinely enjoyed, but there was this feeling lurking underneath that I had issues I needed to work through before I could fully get my head into the game, in terms of where our relationship was going. It was one of the most stressful things I’d ever been through, and I knew I couldn’t keep it all beneath the surface for too long.

In with the New:
Sanctus Real
Dakona
Vienna Teng
Steven Delopoulos (as a solo artist – appears previously with Burlap to Cashmere)
Fiction Plane

Out with the Old:
Daily Planet
38th Parallel
Grits
Nine Days

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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Divad’s Soundtrack #42: January-February 2003

2003 got off to a great start. I spent New Year’s Day and a week or so beyond that in Hawaii, and then returned to California to settle into the new apartment Tim and I had just moved into. I was excited to actually live in San Gabriel, closer to the community of random friends I had cultivated at church. Saying goodbye to Christine at the end of that trip was difficult as always, but this time, it was mitigated by the fact that she would be moving to California to be with me on a daily basis within the next few months.

In with the New:
Evanescence
Grits
The Flaming Lips
Jeremy Camp
38th Parallel
Norah Jones

Out with the Old:
Bleach
Nina Gordon

Listen on Spotify:

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