If you’re like us here at Live For Live Music, your listening habits go through cycles. One week, it’s nothing but throwback jams. The next, a strange new single catches your ear. One day, you need a good driving tune. The next, a pandemic forces you into quarantine and you need something soothing to help you contemplate your isolation. It’s all about how you’re feeling, what’s happening in your life.

Enter the L4LM Monthly Mix, a serial playlist curated with care by our staff, a small group of dedicated music lovers with unique and varied tastes. Each month, we bring you a new mix of tracks—from the old to the new, the beloved to the obscure, the silly to the sentimental. There’s no particular overarching rhyme or reason to the L4LM Monthly Mix. This is just the music that’s on our minds, the music we’re excited to share with you right now.

This article serves as your listening guide for the L4LM Monthly Mix—your liner notes, your peek inside our brains. Hear a song you like as you listen through? Scroll down (or “cmnd + f” search) and find out “what’s good” with the selection—why that music moved us this month. We hope we can help you discover something that moves you, too.

Dive into the April edition of the L4LM Monthly Mix below and subscribe on Spotify to make sure you don’t miss any new Monthly Mixes.

L4LM Monthly Mix – April 2020


Bill Withers – “Use Me”

What’s good: It’s been a heavy couple of weeks of losses in the music community. It was difficult to pick just one Bill Withers song, as there are so many that were so influential to me and countless others. His contribution to music is unparalleled, and he will be missed greatly–Sara Shah

Vulfpeck – “3 on E”

What’s good: Earlier this month, Vulfpeck quietly released a pair of new songs. While one, “Bach Vision Test”, isn’t quite what we’ve come to expect from Vulfpeck, “3 on E” highlights what they do best: Funky, low-volume grooves with Antwaun Stanley on lead vocals. –Andrew O’Brien

Lettuce – “House of Lett”

What’s good: Lettuce’s new love letter to dance music is sure to get you up and bouncing. We can’t wait for Resonate! –Jimmy

Tash Sultana – “Pretty Lady”

What’s good: Tash Sultana is one of the most refreshing, unique artists to come along in some time. As Tash explained when the song was released, “I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this song for like six years. I used to loop it and just free style to it when I was busking years ago, but I always got stuck on the same parts.” Now, it’s finally fully realized, and it’s fantastic. The crowd-sourced video it came with is really cool, too. –Kunj Shah

Franc Moody – “Flesh & Blood”

What’s good: I’ve just been obsessed with Franc Moody recently. Modern-day Jamiroquai vibes –Kunj Shah

Thundercat – “Black Qualls”

What’s good: Thundercat’s new studio album, It Is What It Is, arrived on April 3rd with a wonderful mix of orignial recordings from bassist Stephen Bruner and a talented cast of guest musicians. One of the tracks on the new album is “Black Qualls“, a lively tune featuring cameos from Steve Lacy, Childish Gambino, and Steve Arrington. The track glistens with styles of retro funk R&B and could easily be considered the gem of the loaded studio effort. –Gideon Plotnicki

Leon Bridges, John Mayer – “Inside Friend”

What’s good: We’re all “inside friends” right now, but no matter what the song was about, a collab between Mayer and Bridges was bound to be smooth. –Kunj Shah

Gorillaz – “Aries ft. Peter Hook and Georgia”

What’s good: The latest installment in Gorillaz’s ‘Song Machine’ series sees the ever-evolving band recruit UK producers with an accompanying video and a reminder to fans to follow CDC guidelines. Keeping it rad and socially responsible at the same time. –Sara Shah

John Prine – “Illegal Smile”

What’s good: We’re still mourning the loss of John Prine earlier this month. “Illegal Smile” was the first song on Prine’s first album and a lifetime later, it’s still fantastic. A perfect tribute to a late legend for this month-long 4/20. –Andrew O’Brien

Phish – “Everything’s Right”

What’s good: Although everything is certainly not right in the world right now, Phish made it a little better with the surprise release of their new album, Sigma Oasis. Listening on Zoom with friends and sharing the experience allowed us to reconnect while disconnecting and forget about things for a little while, providing a sliver of light in a dark time. –Sara Shah

Andy Frasco & The U.N. – “None Of These Things”

What’s good: Andy continues to roll out uplifting, positive tunes that are just what the world needs right now–Sara Shah

Motenko – “On Your Level”

What’s good: This song just came on my radar, and it reminds me of a combination of Lawrence and Jon Cleary. Instantly catchy, with an old-school New Orleans feel. –Sara Shah

People Under The Stairs – “Acid Raindrops”

What’s good: “When the stress burns my brain just like acid raindrops, Mary Jane is the only thing that makes the pain stop.” Heard. –Andrew O’Brien

Jacob Collier ft. Kimbra, Tank and the Bangas – “In My Bones”

What’s good: Talk about a random but powerful trifecta of artists. This song gets my blood pumping and body moving. –Sara Shah

Pure Colors – “Expanding Light”

What’s good: A chill new electro-funk tune with sweet, sprinkled samples of the classic “Strawberry Letter 23”. –Mikala Lugen

Poolside, Amo Amo – “Around The Sun”

What’s good: Happy, carefree tunes to juxtapose a time that is anything but. –Sara Shah

Tim Maia – “Do Leme Ao Pontal”

What’s good: I don’t know much about this guy. I’m not even entirely sure what language this song is in, but damn if it isn’t funky—like the Jackson 5 from a far-away land. Thank you for feeding me this, Oh Mighty Algorithm. –Andrew O’Brien

The Strokes – “Ode To The Mets”

What’s good: The Strokes are back with a new album called The New Abnormal, their first record since 2013’s Comedown Machine. Any song that shouts out my beloved New York Mets deserves a nod, and “Ode To The Mets” closes out this new album from New York City’s modern rock’n’roll heroes. –Gideon Plotnicki

The Flaming Lips, Deep Vally – “Love Is A Mind Control”

What’s good: I’ve really been digging this new project from the Flaming Lips and Deap Valley. It’s a psychedelic sonic journey that seamlessly fuses the two bands’ varied styles. –Sara Shah

John Legend & The Roots (Bill Withers) – “I Can’t Write Left-Handed”

What’s good: We lost one of the all-time greats this month, Bill Withers. This rendition of his Vietnam War protest song performed by John Legend and The Roots gives me chills every time. Strap in. –Andrew O’Brien

Phish – “Sigma Oasis”

What’s good: New Phish! Love how they sing about taking off your mask… yet we’re all putting ours on. Sigma Oasis, you’re already there. –Mikala Lugen

Little Feat – “Forty-Four Blues/How Many More Years”

What’s good: Your favorite jam band’s favorite jam band. –Michael Broerman

The Band – “Rockin’ Chair”

What’s good: Sitting in my chair, staring out the window, and listening to The Band. Ironically, this song is about wanting to be home. I don’t interpret that as my apartment, but as being “home” at a concert, under the lights, “with my very best friend, they call him Ragtime Willie.” –Michael Broerman

The Revivalists  – “Wish I Knew You – Made In Muscle Shoals”

What’s good: “Wish I Knew You” was The Revivalists’ big break back in 2015. This new version recorded at the iconic FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL breathes new life into the catchy hit. Watch the new video, too! –Kunj Shah

Bonnie Raitt (John Prine) – “Angel From Montgomery”

What’s goodWith the passing of John Prine, and the fact that in recent days I really miss my mom, I decided to pick this song that Shira Elias from Turkuaz sang for the mother-daughter dance at my wedding. –Kunj Shah

Jack Johnson – “Banana Pancakes”

What’s good: Since baking with bananas seems to be in style right now. Go ahead, “pretend like it’s the weekend now.” It’s not like you know what day it is, anyway… –Jimmy

Umphrey’s McGee – “Easter In Quarantine”

What’s good: The latest single from Umphrey’s McGee might be the best quarantine song released thus far. The song was penned and recorded during in self-isolation by Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss. The somber refrain in the song’s chorus gives way to an uplifting saxophone solo towards the end, offering a bit of hope for the future. –Kel Kawas

Brothers Past – “Simple Gift Of Man”

What’s good: I miss Brothers Past. I remember walking in on their late-night set at Camp Bisco V in the dance hall/cafeteria at Hunter Mountain back in 2006 during the “One Rabbit Race” opener and thinking to myself, “Yup….this is exactly where I want to be.” Straight fire. Still think Tom Hamilton, Clay Parnell, Tom McKee, and Rick Lowenberg never got the full cred they deserved. Well-crafted songs, breathy vocals, and the ability to jam and get down and dirty, with what I always felt was the ability to crossover into the mainstream. With regard to my song choice, whether it was Brothers Past playing it or Electron (back when Sir Joe Russo manned the drums), “Simple Gift of Man” was one of my most played songs in the years following the release of 2005’s This Feeling’s Called Goodbye. Great collection of songs. –Chris Meyer

Devin the Dude – “What I Be On”

What’s good: I be gettin’ high, I be stayin’ focused. Devin the Dude has always been and will forever by my 4/20 mascot. –Andrew O’Brien

The Roots – “Essaywhuman?!!!??!”

What’s good: The Roots remain a fantastic and unique band, bridging the gap between hip hop, jazz, funk, and rock music. If you go back to the early ’90s, when the band was still emerging from Philadelphia’s underground music scene, they were somewhat less polished, but they were raw and clearly talented. No better track showcases that than the live version of “Essaywhuman?!!!??!” from their second album, Do You Want More?!!!??!. What’s initially labeled by the lyricist Black Thought as a quick soundcheck explodes into an epic call-and-response between each instrument and the MC that is still impressive almost 25 years after the album’s release. –Gideon Plotnicki

Lawrence – “The Weather”

What’s good: Lawrence have quickly cemented themselves as one of the most talented rising bands in music today. They put on an exciting, high-energy live show, and they are excellent, versatile songwriters. “Weather”, the band’s newest single, features a spot-on vocal performance from Gracie Lawrence and a delicate arrangement and backing vocals from her brother, Clyde. A great new song from a great young band. –Gideon Plotnicki

STRFKR – “Dear Stranger”

What’s good: The new STRFKR track came up on my Spotify daily mix and I have vibed hard with the song ever since.–Kunj Shah

The Beatles – “Only A Northern Song”

What’s good: There’s something about the sharp but haunting organ, erratic trumpets, and obscure vocal melodies on the George Harrison-penned track from The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine that just makes sense at this time of the year. The feeling of discomfort one almost feels when listening to the non-traditional arrangements is a result of Harrison’s inner genius saying, “Here’s my song. Deal with it.” –Tom Shackleford

Young Mister – “Infinite Space”

What’s good: Steven Fiore, known professionally as Young Mister, released this melancholic single in 2017, although its sentiment reverberates even more loudly in 2020. To me, it resonates with the empty feelings of the digital-only relationships we’re all are forced to engage in while practicing social distancing for the foreseeable future. It’s almost as if Fiore channels exactly how we’re all feeling right now with the lyrics, “What if I never reach you/What if I never get to see your face/I’ve been dying to break through/I know you’re somewhere out there in the infinite space.” –Tom Shackleford

Deltron 3030 – “Virus”

What’s good: Back in 2000, Del the Funky Homosapien was going deep on science, technology, and environmental readings and studies. Teaming up with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, the trio developed the concept album Deltron 3030, a sci-fi, futuristic story about a disillusioned soldier and computer prodigy rebelling against a New World Order in the 31st century. The album features samples, themes, and guest spots from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Damon Albarn, Sean Lennon, De La Soul, and more. “Virus” seems to be a fairly apropos track for this month’s playlist. “I wanna devise a virus, to bring dire straits to your environment, crush your corporations with a mild touch, trash your whole computer system and revert you to papyrus.” –Chris Meyer

Turkuaz – “If I Ever Fall Asleep”

What’s good: “If I Ever Fall Asleep”, a standout track from Turkuaz’s excellent 2018 album, Life In The City, shines brightly on the band’s new concert film, None’s A Ton. The whole movie is awesome, and the soundtrack is also available to stream. –Gideon Plotnicki

Big Gigantic Ft. Ashe – “Friends (Party Pupils Remix)”

What’s good: Remember friends? Big Gigantic and Ashe remind us of those fun times with the new Party Pupils remix of their banger. –Sara Shah

Izo Fitzroy – “I Want Magic”

What’s good: A friend sent me Izo Fitzroy’s “I Want Magic” and I instantly fell in love with its disco vibes. –Kunj Shah

Atmosphere  – “Sunshine”

What’s good: While this song is 13 years old, I find myself constantly coming back to it when the days seem gloomy. It always offers a ray of sunshine when the days are dark. Hopefully, it does the same for you. –Michael Broerman

Emancipator – “Chiefin”

What’s good: Emancipator’s first album in three years, Mountain Of Memory, has been on repeat for me as we continue to work from home. Love the energy throughout this track. –Mikala Lugen

Opiuo & CloZee – “Bam Bam”

What’s good: When Opiuo and CloZee combine forces, their synergy is undeniable. The two electronic powerhouses are gearing up for a massive co-headline at Red Rocks, which is sure to be a next-level production. –Sara Shah

Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes – “Kyiv”

What’s good: Tom Misch always has the soothing tunes. This new track with Yussef Dayes adds some jazzy percussion to your queue of quarantunes. –Mikala Lugen

GoGo Penguin – “Atomised”

What’s good: The newest single from British jazz trio GoGo Penguin opens with a flurry of piano notation before the rest of the band joins in on the energizing tune. Released earlier this month, “Atomised” is a wonderful sample of band’s progressive jazz style thanks to some fantastic lead piano playing from Chris Illingworth. –Tom Shackleford

Toto – “Africa”

What’s good: April showers bring May flowers… down in Africa. –Kunj Shah

John Prine – “Fish And Whistle”

What’s good: I hadn’t listened to this song in years, but when I put it on following Prine’s passing, the lyrics came pouring back to me and it made me miss him all the more. –Michael Broerman

Little Tybee – “Hearing Blue”

What’s good: I first listened to Little Tybee this month and have since listened to every album. This experimental progressive folk/rock band has one of the most unique sounds I’ve heard. This song, “Hearing Blue”, really stuck out to me as one of my favorites. –Kel Kawas

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “I’m Gonna Be There”

What’s good: I saw this new documentary coming out about my friend, the late Kofi Burbridge, who used to play with Tedeschi Trucks Band, and it prompted me to go back and listen to this amazing band. Also, Derek and Susan… Name a better duo, I’ll wait. –Kunj Shah

English Beat – “Save It For Later (Live)”

What’s good: In April 1982, the English Beat released “Save It For Later”, which would go on to become one of their most popular songs and help to expand the growing Ska movement which was blossoming out of working-class Great Britain into global markets like North America. The band recently shared its 2005 Live in Concert at the Royal Festival Hall album to Spotify, which includes a lively performance of “Save It For Later”. It still feels just as good to skank along to almost four decades later. –Tom Shackleford

Jerry Garcia Band, Clarence Clemons (The Rolling Stones) – “Let’s Spend The Night Together”

What’s good: In an old interview, Bob Weir said that he, Jerry Garcia, and The Big Man almost got an apartment together in San Francisco back in 1989 and I can’t stop thinking about what that place would be like. –Michael Broerman

James Taylor – “Fire And Rain”

What’s good: “Fire And Rain” is, at least from my perspective, one of the most important songs ever recorded. The song is so incredible, it’s hard to put into words. James Taylor’s music has had a huge impact on me and is something I regularly turn to when I need to bring some peace to my life. –Gideon Plotnicki

Phish – “Shade”

What’s good: I’m not crying. You’re crying. Pound for pound, the best song on the new Phish album. Don’t @ me. –Andrew O’Brien

Dumpstaphunk – “Livin Ina World Gone Mad”

What’s good: This classic from Dumstaphunk really encapsulates what we’re all feeling right now. –Gideon Plotnicki

Gang Starr – “Mass Appeal”

What’s good: Gang Starr is in regular rotation on my playlist, but after catching the epic battle that was DJ Premier vs. RZA this past weekend on IGTV, it was one of those eye-opening experiences of remembering how incredible Preemo is. Both he and RZA have a mind-boggling amount of sheer jams, hard-hitting B-sides, and more. With Preemo, in particular, the list of legends he has worked with over the years is seemingly endless—Nas, Jay-Z, Mos Def, KRS-One, Biggie, D’Angelo, Rakim, Inspectah Deck… shall I go on? Even with that resume, it’s his partnership with Guru (RIP) as Gang Starr that created some of the hardest-hitting beats and rhymes of all-time. “Mass Appeal” definitely appealed to the masses back in ’94, even though Preemo created the track to make fun of radio’s lack of playing true hip-hop back in the day. “Because I don’t need gimmicks, give me a fly beat, and I’m all in it.” –Chris Meyer

Bill Withers  – “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?”

What’s good: Having grown up on Bill Withers’ music thanks to my mom and dad, his loss this month hit me hard. This is my favorite Withers song for many reasons. Coming off his 1972 record, Still Bill, “Who Is He?” is an overlooked gem on an album that contains hits like “Lean On Me” and “Use Me”. This song is about more than just infidelity. It’s a deep look into the inner workings of Withers’ brain, packaged with an infectious groove and tight rhythm section. –Kel Kawas

Adam Deitch – “Space Dust”

What’s good: Deitch has been putting his time in quarantine to good use! Check out the cosmic video for the new track, too. –Kunj Shah

Robert Walter, Eddie Roberts, Adam Deitch – “Judy”

What’s good: Colorado’s very own Color Red Studios and record label keeps churning out the goods. “Judy” is three of my favorite musicians throwing it the funk down.–Kunj Shah

Papadosio – “Cubensis”

What’s good: The upcoming Microdosio album and ethos of simplification puts a new spin on a familiar band. –Michael Broerman

Modest Mouse – “3rd Planet”

What’s good: Might be time to start lookin’ for a new home base. That’s how the world began. And that’s how the world will end. –Mikala Lugen

Greensky Bluegrass – “What You Need”

What’s good: I felt like the playlist needed some dingaling, so I added a track that reminds of me my girl Hilary Gleason, who was hip to these guys when I still had two hips.–Kunj Shah

Tom Tom Club – “You Make Me Rock And Roll”

What’s good: Tom Tom Club might be one of my favorite bands from the ’80s… I know it’s only one-half Talking Heads, but sometimes I feel like it’s twice the fun. –Kunj Shah

JackLNDN – “Deeper”

What’s good: Lose yourself in the ambiance. –Jimmy

Rolling Stones – “Shine A Light”

What’s good: “Make every song you sing your favorite tune.” –Jimmy

The Ramones – “I Wanna Be Sedated”

What’s good: “Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go, I wanna be sedated, Nothin’ to do, nowhere to go, I wanna be sedated….Just get me to the airport, Put me on a plane, Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane, I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain, oh no.” ‘Nuff said, Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny… SERIOUSLY!” –Chris Meyer

Rage Against The Machine – “Darkness”

What’s good: I was watching The Crow the other night and was reminded of how great of a movie it was. Also, the soundtrack is incredible. Rage Against the Machine, Violent Femmes, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, Rollins Band, Helmet, Pantera, etc. The movie made Brandon Lee a star, but at great cost—the son of Bruce Lee was tragically killed during an accident on the set while filming a scene in which his character was shot and killed (with a defective blank) by a group of thugs. Rage’s “Darkness” (or “Darkness of Greed”) was a powerful b-side rallying against the destruction of culture caused by Imperialism. Out of all the upcoming shows that were canceled or postponed this year that were on my docket, not getting to see Rage again (at least for now) is the one that hurts the most. F—You, COVID-19!!! –Chris Meyer

L4LM Monthly Mix – April 2020