If you’re like us here at Live For Live Music, your listening habits go through cycles. One week, you’re all about that new single you can’t get enough of. The next, a TV show soundtrack reminds you of a song you always loved. One day, you’re feeling adventurous. The next, you just want to kick back and chill. It’s all about how you’re feeling, what’s on your mind, 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’ll 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. Next month, we’ll be feeling something different, and we hope you’ll subscribe and continue to listen along with us as that journey unfolds.

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 February 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 – February 2020


Galactic ft. Anjelika Jelly Joseph – “Float Up”

What’s good: New, poppy, feel-good track starring Tank and the Bangas singer/current touring Galactic vocalist, Jelly. A stark departure from the Galactic of the past, but fun nonetheless. –Sara Shah

FKJ – “Better Give U Up”

What’s good: FKJ is one of the most original artists in recent years. His 2019 set atop a Bolivian salt flat absolutely blew me away and still stands as one of the coolest recorded live music sessions I’ve ever seen. –Sara Shah

James Taylor – “Mexico”

What’s good: With so many bands welcoming music fans south of the border for their wintertime destination events, the idea of running away to Mexico feels like an everyday dream as winter continues its depressing hold on most of the country. James Taylor’s “Mexico” always fills my heart with warmth, even on the coldest of days. –Tom Shackleford

The Main Squeeze – “Sweet Divine”

What’s good:  The contrast of Corey Frye’s bone-chilling vocals against rock-heavy instrumentals sprinkled with an infectious beat make this new Main Squeeze track a home run in my book. –Sara Shah

The Revivalists – “Bitter End – Made In Muscle Shoals”

What’s good:  The Revivalists recently went to the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL to record a new EP and mini-documentary, playing around with new takes on old songs and creating new ones. This is a brand new track that came from the sessions. You can feel the energy of Muscle Shoals in each of the tracks off the new EP, and the documentary provides an intimate look at their creative process in this historic space. –Sara Shah

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – “Midnight”

What’s good: I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of Leon Bridges, but if Khruangbin vouches for him, then I can dig it. “Midnight”, from the ensemble’s new Texas Sun EP, showcases some of that classic Kbin instrumental chill with some of Bridges’ soothing vocals peppered in for flavor. –Michael Broerman

Tank & The Bangas – “Dope Girl Magic”

What’s good: Tank and the Bangas are one hell of a vibe. This hazy, Zaytoven-produced tune bumps hard and shows off the impressive expressive range of the one and only Tarriona “Tank” Ball. Level up, kids. –Andrew O’Brien

Bob Marley & The Wailers – “One Drop”

What’s good: I used to play this every day as I drove out of my high school parking lot. To me, this song will always sound like “work’s over, time to enjoy yourself.” –Andrew O’Brien

Antibalas – “Amenawon”

What’s good: New music from Afrobeat kings Antibalas is finally here! –Sara Shah

Lettuce, Jungle Boogie, Big Tony – “Checker Wrecker”

What’s good: A new Lettuce album is on the horizon—Resonate—and lead single “Checker Wrecker” has us buzzing with anticipation! –Sara Shah

Tower Of Power  – “What Is Hip?”

What’s good: This song is almost always stuck in my head, but it’s been a good six weeks since I saw Marcus King & Friends play “What Is Hip?” during the Super Jam on Jam Cruise and it’s essentially been playing on repeat ever since. –Gideon Plotnicki

The Black Lips – “Hooker John”

What’s good: The opening track from The Black Lips’ new country/punk studio album launches the listener right into an alternate reality of the old west. “Hooker Jon” has the ease and style of an older cowboy tune, yet stays within the famliar “f*ck it, who cares?” realm which the band has established over the last two decades. –Tom Shackleford

Local Natives – “Dark Days”

What’s good:  A new indie-pop favorite with soft vocals that soothe your soul. The light alternative guitar melodies throughout just make me want to go out and wander. –Mikala Lugen

Gorillaz – “We Are Happy Landfill”

What’s good: All the hype surrounding the Gorillaz making new music is completely warranted. The virtual alt-rock, hip-hop, and electronic outfit created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett produces some of the most unique music and this 2007 track is a great example of their dynamic ability. –Kel Kawas

Tame Impala – “Borderline”

What’s good: Tame Impala has blessed us with a new album and it’s fantastic from start to finish. “Borderline” has become an instant addition to my rotation. –Sara Shah

White Reaper – “Might Be Right”

What’s good: This five-piece is making waves across the country with their high voltage rock. Catch them on their upcoming tour with Jimmy Eat World, The Aquadolls, and Pearl Jam. They definitely won’t fall short in front of you. –Mikala Lugen

Vanilla – “Too Much”

What’s good:  This dream sequence of a song will take you to the farthest reaches of your mind as you wander through the atmospheric scapes of vanilla funkiness. –Mikala Lugen

Whitewater Ramble – “Oh Jameson”

What’s good:  With their recent release of their latest album, Pseudonymous, it’s nice to look back and reflect on the Colorado quintet’s 2013 tune which breaks down into a roundabout bluegrass jam. I often find myself saying “Oh Jameson”—partly becuase of the song, partly because of my new puppy, Jameson. –Mikala Lugen

Scale The Summit – “Oort Cloud”

What’s good:  I’ve been obsessed with this three-piece since I discovered them in college but only recently came across this progressive rock instrumental. Chris Letchworth‘s quick, punchy guitar riffs ease any sort of rage you may be feeling before the last minute of the song really lays down a post-rock melody. –Mikala Lugen

Daily Bread – “Moreland Ave Blues”

What’s good:  The Wild West meets deep bass grooves and electro-drips on this 11-song album showcasing just how badass Denver is. –Mikala Lugen

Franc Moody – “Dopamine”

What’s good:  Someone recently introduced me to Franc Moody as “2020 Jamiroquai” and, well, enough said. –Sara Shah

Damian Marley & Nas – “As We Enter”

What’s good: This album turns 10 years old this year, and it’s still a straight-up banger. “Word is out, hysteria ya heard about/Nas and Jr. Gong came to turn it out!” –Andrew O’Brien

Tom Misch, De La Soul – “It Runs Through Me”

What’s good: The vibey producer’s collab with a legendary hip-hop group has an infectious beat complete with smooth, soulful vocals. –Sara Shah

The White Stripes – “Death Letter” [Son House]

What’s good: A Third Man Records Vault Package was announced this month which will commemorate the 20th-anniversary of De Stijl, The White Stripes’ sophomore album. Naturally, I listened to this album about 10 times in the last week, up from the normal five times per week I’ve averaged since middle school. This cover of Son House‘s “Death Letter” is one of my favorite covers they have ever included on an album. –Kel Kawas

Metallica – “Harvester Of Sorrow”

What’s good: I’ve been on a Metallica kick recently. This track from their classic album …And Justice For All showcases the band at its finest. –Gideon Plotnicki

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – “Be Afraid”

What’s good: I can’t say I’m happy that Jason Isbell’s massive tour isn’t making one stop in my home of Ohio, but the lead single from his forthcoming album almost makes up for it. Almost. –Michael Broerman

PJ Morton – “READY – Acoustic Version”

What’s good: PJ Morton recorded his new album in one take, on one night, in one room, using only piano and vocals. The entire record is a masterpiece. –Sara Shah

The Meters – “Mardi Gras Mambo”

What’s good: It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and this song always brings me back there. –Kunj Shah

D’Angelo & The Vanguard – “Sugah Daddy”

What’s good: If the Andrews Sisters went into the studio in the middle of a heavy J Dilla kick, this Black Messiah track is what the record would sound like. –Andrew O’Brien

Dopapod – “Dracula’s Monk”

What’s good: New surprise Dopapod just got released via Color Red! Awesome track that finally got the studio treatment it deserved. –Kunj Shah

Grateful Dead – “China Cat Sunflower” >  “I Know You Rider”

What’s good: I’ve been hooked to the Dead’s 10/19/73 performance at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds for a while now—not just because it’s a good show (it’s insanely good) but becuase the China > Rider combination is that strong. Set right in the middle of the show, the medium-paced “China Cat Sunflower” flows right into its longtime partner, “I Know You Rider”, with stellar sonic clarity and adrenaline-pumping communal power from all five members. Also, that transition is just so god damn smooth it might even be able to steal a few wives in the process. –Tom Shackleford

Justin Hayward (Jeff Wayne) – “Forever Autumn” [Jeff Wayne, Gary Osborne, Paul Vigrass]

What’s good: Watching Goose cover The Moody Blues‘ “Nights In White Satin” in Brooklyn last month got me thinking back to listening to The Best of The Moody Blues in the car with my dad as a kid. “Forever Autumn” was always my favorite on that album and I only just found out when I went to add this to the Monthly Mix that it’s not acually a Moody Blues tune, but rather a Jeff Wayne tune for which he recruited the Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward to provide vocals. So the story goes, he “wanted that voice from ‘Nights In White Satin’.” Nice call, Jeff. –Andrew O’Brien

Ween – “A Tear For Eddie”

What’s good: I have tried on numerous occasions to “get” Ween. I have friends that love Ween, and I like a lot of what I hear in the band’s massive catalogue. But there is just so much I still don’t get. “A Tear For Eddie”, however, is a tune we can all groove to. In honor of the fourth anniversary of Ween’s return, I’m going to give them another shot. –Michael Broerman

Spacehog – “In The Meantime”

What’s good: This is without a doubt the best one-hit wonder from the ’90s. More bands should cover this song! –Gideon Plotnicki

LCD Soundsystem – “You Wanted A Hit”

What’s good: James Murphy and the members of LCD Soundsystem have a very unique way of combining the dance and post-punk genres with basically anything dating from the late ’70s through the early 2000s. So many influences in one band—that’s what makes them great. It’s hard to pinpoint any one era, but also hard to not pinpoint a number of eras in their music. That’s what’s fun about LCD. They just play random hits, but all the hits at the same time. You wanted a hit? Well, this is how they do hits. It’s not what they do. Okay, this is getting confusing for all of us. Just listen… –Chris Meyer

The Strokes – “Bad Decisions”

What’s good: This new release is very remniscent of Billy Idol‘s “Dancing With Myself”. Made me remember why I freaking love the Strokes. –Sara Shah

Public Enemy – “Welcome to the Terrordome”

What’s good: It’s ‘Get-In-Shape-For-Summer’ Season, and for anyone hoping to drop some extra weight between now and Memorial Day, an inspirational playlist is mandatory. “Welcome to the Terrordome” has been on my cardio playlist for years and I love listening to it every winter. Every time the retro hip-hop track comes on, I’m automatically taken back to when Mike Tyson would use it as his walk-in music and the cameras would cut to his opponent standing in the ring practically pissing himself in fear. When this song comes on, it’s business time. –Tom Shackleford

The Werks – “Flatiron”

What’s good: The Werks returned to the stage at Winter Werk Out earlier this month following a six-month hiatus, and they have never sounded better in the four years I have been seeing them live. “Flatiron”, which was released on a preview EP of the band’s forthcoming Sonder album, is the band’s latest instrumental opus. –Michael Broerman

Rage Against The Machine – “Calm As A Bomb”

What’s good: Rage Against The Machine is reuniting, just when we need them most, and I got tickets to see them at Madison Square Garden in August. It feels like I’ve been waiting my entire life for this show! –Gideon Plotnicki

Disclosure, Eko Roosevelt – “Tondo”

What’s good: Tulum jungle vibes with an afrobeat flair. Very groovy. –Sara Shah

Parov Stelar – “Jimmy’s Gang (Radio Edit)”

What’s good: I’ve probably watched every Parov Stelar live video on YouTube and never realized that this album was on Spotify. Marcus Füreder is Parov Stelar, but every so often the DJ/producer is joined by a live band and his electro-swing compositions take on a life of their own. –Kel Kawas

Doom Flamingo, Nobide – “Telepathy – Nobide Remix”

What’s good: The new Nobide remix of Doom Flamingo’s “Telepathy” feels like a match made in Heaven. As Doom Flamingo’s Mike Quinn raved upon the track’s release, “The marriage of styles and ideas is seamless. Nobide nailed it, taking this song to another planet while keeping its essence intact.” –Kunj Shah

Holy Ghost! – “Wait & See”

What’s good: Holy Ghost! released their self-titled debut album in 2013, and it’s still an excellent record 7 years later. Almost every track is catchy and fun, like this one. –Gideon Plotnicki

J Dilla – “Airworks”

What’s good: It only seems fitting to throw some J Dilla on the list this month as he both his birth and his death took place during the month of February. As Dilla, born James Dewitt Yancey, was suffering from a myriad of health issues that eventually led to his untimely passing, he also was just beginning to fully realize the breadth of his creative brilliance. There is a very real reason why newfound snippets are still making waves over 14 years after his death—it’s because Dilla was a legit genius. Just like the other legendary composers, he was just scratching (no pun intended) the surface. Embrace the Dilla and let your mind imagine the possibilities, just for a little while. You’ll be doing yourself a favor. –Chris Meyer

OutKast – “ATLiens”

What’s good: The first time I heard this track sittin’ in my boy;s car, sophomore year, ’97 (definitely getting lifted), my whole f*cking world changed. In ’97, this was futuristic sh*t for the hip-hop world. That beat, from the intro to the last note, is one of the most mind-boggling and vibrating things I have ever heard. Then you add in Andre 3000 and Big Boi‘s lyrics, and our minds literally rest in Farout*. It resonates to this day. Nobody had ever heard this style before, and it paved the way for the last 20+ years in the rap/hip-hop world. OutKast will go down as unequivocal legends. I would honestly say that “ATLiens” is on my list of All-Time Favorite Songs. Turn up the volume (and the bass) and dive in.

*Farout is the farthest known object in our Solar System, FYI. –Chris Meyer

Seal – “Crazy”

What’s good: What? You don’t like this song? Bugger off. No, I mean it. Maybe you were never gonna survive—because you don’t know how to get a little crazy. Personally, I want to fly, and I don’t think that is crazy at all. –Chris Meyer

Bob Dylan – “Slow Train”

What’s good: Arguably the greatest writer of the 20th century (and still going fairly strong well into the 21st century), Dylan has a way with words that many of us could only dream of. He writes lyrics to a song, or words to a poem, like a painter uses color on a canvas. It is deep, it is thoughtful, it is real. You could choose any song of his, it doesn’t matter. “Slow Train Coming” bore witness to Dylan shedding yet another skin. For the first time, he was recording an album encompassing his newfound transformation into a Born Again Christian. While this may have initially pushed away some old-school fans, the music is undeniably filled with soul, funk, and blues. It was recorded in Muscle Shoals, fuhgodsakes. And that guitar work from Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits? I mean, seriously? Give an actual listen and try to tell me otherwise. –Chris Meyer

Lucas de Mulder, The New Mastersounds – “Ginger Beat”

What’s good: There’s been a constant stream of amazing music coming out of Colorado’s Color Red records. This one is no exception—the jazz fusion sounds of de Mulder’s guitar over Joe Tatton‘s organ are enthralling. –Jimmy

Phish – “Joy”

What’s good: That feeling when you already have tickets for seven summer Phish shows and it’s still winter. –Michael Broerman

Billy Ocean – “Love Really Hurts Without You”

What’s good: I rediscovered my love for this song while re-watching Sex Education Season 1 on Netflix. When Jackson sings Billy Ocean’s “Love Really Hurts Without You”, professing his love for Maeve in front of the whole class….I’m sorry, I was sold. What do you want from me? Great song. Great goddamn song. –Chris Meyer

The Meters – “He Bite Me (The Dragon)”

What’s good: Is it Jazz Fest yet? –Gideon Plotnicki

L4LM Monthly Mix – February 2020