If you’re like us here at Live For Live Music, your listening habits tend to go through cycles. One week, you’re all about that new release you can’t get enough of. The next, you’re really feeling a record from your past, something that evokes a bygone place and time. Next month, you’ll be deep into good old Sunday morning gospel. Maybe a hip-hop phase is next, or a deep dive into psychedelic jams. It’s all about how you’re feeling, what’s on your mind, what’s happening in your life.

Enter the L4LM Monthly Mix, our new serial playlist compiled 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 selections on the L4LM Monthly Mix. This is just the music that’s on our minds, the music we’re excited to share with you this month. 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. These are 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 it was chosen, why that music moved us this month. We hope we can help you discover something that moves you, too.

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

L4LM Monthly Mix – October 2019


Ghost-Note – “Jibble Jabble”

What’s good: As Nate Werth ponders on the opening track off Swagism, “What makes the greats, great? What makes the cool, cool? Who determines what’s hot, or what is actually hip? All the answers to these questions come from… opinions. Yours, his, hers, mine… Minds never think the same. Even when we agree, we defer to our own train of thought…” It’s on each of us answer the question. –Mikala Lugen

Lettuce – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”

What’s good: Though Lettuce’s live rendition of this Tears for Fears song isn’t new, this new arrangement recently appeared for the first time on wax on their new album, Elevate. Nigel’s vocals on this are so powerful and soulful, and the whole thing is just beautifully done. I always get chills hearing it live, and I think they did a great job translating that emotion into the studio. –Sara Shah

Anderson .Paak ft. Smokey Robinson – “Make It Better”

What’s good: .Paak’s unstoppable trajectory over the last few years has been fascinating to watch and well deserved. I absolutely love the fact that he recruited the legendary Smokey Robinson for this sexy track, bridging a pretty significant generational gap and hopefully exposing a younger generation to one of the greats. –Sara Shah

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – “I Know You Rider” (Live) – 3/2/19

What’s good: Members of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead are at their best together when the energy is high, and “I Know You Rider” is always reliable for delivering an energizing pick-me-up. The band’s performance of the traditional cover from their show at Portland, ME’s State Theatre on 3/2/19 is one of the better-quality recordings from the band on Spotify. Tom Shackleford

Billy Strings – “Everything’s The Same”

What’s good: Pickin’ phenom Billy Strings just released his second full-length studio album, HOME. Ease into Billy’s new album with this quick-witted, feel-good bluegrass number which showcases his multi-faceted talent as both a songwriter and virtuoso guitarist. –Sam Berenson

Neal Casal – “There’s A Reward” [Joe Higgs cover]

What’s good: While many more recent fans know the late Neal Casal from his recent work as a guitarist in bands like The Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Circles Around The Sun, he had a long career in various other successful acts and as a singer-songwriter for many years prior. This song, which appeared on Casal’s 2005 covers album, Return In Kind, showcases the depth of emotion in Neal’s singing. When Neal’s life and music were honored at an all-star tribute at The Capitol Theatre in September, “There’s A Reward” was the event’s billing and Neal’s rendition served as the emotional evening’s introduction. –Andrew O’Brien

Little Feat – “Spanish Moon”

What’s good: After watching Mike Gordon rip Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon” with Robert Walter and members of Turkuaz & The Motet at Live For Live Music‘s recent Phunk Sessions after Phish played Dick’s, I fell into a Little Feat rabbit hole. –Kunj Shah

Mac Miller – “Come Back To Earth”

What’s good: Mac Miller died a year ago this September, and the opening track off his final album gives a heartbreaking look at the humble, reflective headspace he was in when he passed. “I’ll do anything for a way out of my head.” We miss you, Mac. –Andrew O’Brien

Tycho – “Weather” 

What’s good: After a year-long hiatus from touring to focus on new music, Tycho came out with an eight-track new album, Weather. This song musically expresses the constantly shifting environment and climate our world is undergoing. Now, Tycho is back and currently on tour for his new album. I was lucky enough to see him return to Denver at the brand new Mission Ballroom, and this song’s been in my head ever since. –Mikala Lugen

H.E.R. ft. DJ Scratch – “Lost Souls”

What’s good: Powerful women in music are having a moment right now, and Gabriella Wilson a.k.a. H.E.R is the perfect example. This 22-year-old badass who recently emerged fast and furious on the scene has already racked up a ton of Grammy nominations and a couple of wins, including Best R&B Album of 2019. On this song, she reminds me of a young Fugees-era Lauryn Hill. –Sara Shah

Circles Around The Sun – “Halicarnassus”

What’s good: Ever since thinking to myself “What is THIS?!” during set break at Fare Thee Well in Chicago a few years back, I have been in a torrid love affair with CATS. What Neal Casal & Co. were able to create for those specific shows and continue to evolve on 2018’s Let It Wander is, in my mind, some of the most captivating psychedelic music that has been created since the ’60s/’70s. It’s like the 21st Century version of the Acid Tests. “Halicarnassus” is the epitome of that concept. Just get to the 10-minute mark and let your mind, literally, wander. The recent passing of Neal Casal will reverberate for years to come. –Chris Meyer

Young Mister – “Carolina”

What’s good: After playing with bands like Jeff Goldblum‘s jazz outfit, singer-songwriter Young Mister emerged with this semibiographical track on his 2016 debut. It tells the story of getting spit out by Los Angeles and landing in his home state of South Carolina. –Tom Shackleford

The Motet – “Death or Devotion”

What’s good: The Motet’s 2019 album, Death or Devotion, is the first record from the Colorado funk crew that was written and recorded by the band’s current touring lineup. The album’s title track is a slow-burning vamp that shows off this the immense talents of each band member—and the group’s knack for getting the damn party started. –Andrew O’Brien

TOOL – “Descending”

What’s good: When it comes down to it, you can’t truly put a stamp on which genre the band belongs to, and that is what has made them an anomaly in the music world. While it appears on their new album, Fear Inoculum, “Descending” feels like classic TOOL—heavy, psychedelic, articulately composed genius. –Chris Meyer

John Mayer – “On The Way Home”

What’s good: This song is the perfect fit for the arrival of the fall. While Mayer has put more of a focus on returning to a general pop sound in recent years, his 2013 Paradise Valley album is filled with wonderful folk-rock performances like this one, which feels much more like a lively cowboy tune to sing around a fire thanks to the additions of pedal steel and harmonica. Mayer’s lyrics offer some end-of-summer solace as he reminds the listener, “It takes a little while, but you’d be fine/Another good time coming down the line.” –Tom Shackleford

Beastie Boys – “Shadrach”

What’s good: I saw Mike D and Ad-Rock performing the two-man show “Beastie Boys Story” at Kings Theatre earlier this year. It was an outstanding show and reminded me of just how great and influential they were—truly unique, excellent artists. –Gideon Plotnicki

Umphrey’s McGee – “Mantis” 

What’s good: I recently saw Umphrey’s McGee play “Mantis” at The Fillmore Miami Beach. The song is probably UM’s magnum opus, their greatest composition—at least in my opinion.  –Gideon Plotnicki

Yonder Mountain String Band – “East Nashville Easter”

What’s good: The tragic loss of Jeff Austin earlier this summer was a devastating blow to the music community. Let’s remember Jeff’s time in Yonder Mountain String Band with a live rendition of “East Nashville Easter”, which originally appeared on the band’s 2006 self-titled release. “East Nashville Easter” was co-written by Austin and Todd Snider and showcases Jeff’s tenacious songwriting ability. –Sam Berenson

Dopapod – “Numbers Need Humans”

What’s good: Dopapod is back, baby! Was super stoked when the band dropped their new Emit Time album earlier this year, and even more so when they announced a 2019 comeback tour from their hiatus. This track opens up the album with a full-powered funky Dopapod dose; I can’t wait to see them for two nights in Denver this month! –Mikala Lugen

Turkuaz – “Superstatic”

What’s good: Turkuaz is one of my favorite bands right touring right now. Their last studio record was amazing and their live show is incredibly fun to watch. -Kunj Shah

Shpongle – “Nothing Is Something Worth Doing”

What’s good: I’ve been a fan of Shpongle since the very early 2000s, and have had the opportunity to see the Live Band three times—always a rare and special occurrence in and of itself—including the final show at Red Rocks in May. What Simon Posford and Raja Ram created with Shpongle goes beyond what one may think about Dance music. It is transcendental, elemental, earthly yet otherworldly, stretching consciousness to its outer and inner limits. “Nothing Is Something Worth Doing” is a track that brings all of those ingredients together into one quintessentially “Shpongle” experience. –Chris Meyer

KRAZ (Eric Krasno) – “Carry My Name”

What’s good: Krasno’s semi-autobiographical new concept album, TELESCOPE, looks at the different lives of four residents in a Brooklyn brownstone as the neighborhood becomes increasingly gentrified. The wistful “Carry My Name” introduces the building’s owner, Ramon, who is grappling with the changes to his longtime home. I first fell in love with this song when I heard him debut it live during an intimate acoustic gig in NYC last year, but hearing it in context with the rest of the album lends it a whole new layer of meaning. –Andrew O’Brien

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Keep On Growing” (Live) [Derek and the Dominos cover]

What’s good: This year we lost one of the greats, Kofi Burbridge. I was lucky enough to befriend this wonderful soul over the last few years. Everytime I hear Tedeschi Trucks Band play, I can’t help but think of Kofi’s warm loving smile looking down upon us all. Derek and the Dominos‘ “Keep On Growing” has been a staple at TTB shows for years, but it picked up even more significance as part of the band’s recent full performance of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with Trey Anastasio and Doyle Bramhall II at LOCKN’. –Kunj Shah

Perpetual Groove – “Spirit Bear”

What’s good: I’ve always been a Perpetual Groove fan, but I really enjoyed listening to their most recent 2019 self-titled album. The lyrics can ease any sort of stress or anxiety you may have, while the spiritual echos refresh your soul. –Mikala Lugen

Andy Frasco & The U.N. – “Let Your Mind Be Free”

What’s good: You may know Andy Frasco as that party animal you saw crowd-surfing at your last festival, but this song is an earnest, beautiful plea for happiness, helpfulness, and sanity that’s as catchy as it is meaningful. –Andrew O’Brien

Frankie & The Witch Fingers – “Brain Telephone” 

What’s good: Garage psych-rock at its absolute best. The high-energy, retro-sounding surf rock tune from the California-based band pumps out a modern spin that’s guaranteed to liven up your day. –Tom Shackleford

The Wood Brothers – “Luckiest Man”

What’s good: Coming off of their debut headlining performance at Morrison, CO’s iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Wood Brothers have a lot to celebrate as they continue touring in support of their 2018 Grammy-nominated One Drop of Truth LP. Reminiscing on the band’s vast catalog, “Luckiest Man” is a Wood Brothers tune that should not be forgotten, a positive, uplifting number perfect for anyone trying to remind themselves of their fortunes during a tough or upsetting time. –Sam Berenson

SPAGA – Marionette in the Snow

What’s good: Fans of The Disco Biscuits are well versed in the improvisational prowess of keyboardist Aron Magner. His new(ish) jazz-focused project, SPAGA, highlights that same intrepid creativity through a simpler, more organic lens. The dream-like “Marionette In The Snow”, like the rest of SPAGA’s debut album, finds equal beauty in both the similarities and the differences. -Andrew O’Brien

Trey Anastasio: “Drift While You’re Sleeping”

What’s good: I just saw Trey Anastasio with Phish at Dick’s Sporting Good’s Park over Labor Day weekend. It’s always a surprise when I see them, but I hadn’t fully dived into Ghosts Of The Forest, so when Phish they started playing this, I just melted. It really touched me when I heard it. –Mikala Lugen

Above & Beyond – “Thing Called Love (Acoustic Version. Live at the Hollywood Bowl)”

What’s good: Having just played Red Rocks on Sept. 20th, this particular track always comes to mind when thinking about the beauty of Above & Beyond’s music. The Live at The Hollywood Bowl rendition is a majestic version that was re-written with a string section for these special acoustic shows. The Above & Beyond trio is one of the most talented groups of composers in the last 20 years across the musical spectrum, let alone the dance music genre. And my infant daughter happens to love when I play the song, so it gets the “repeat” treatment quite a bit. –Chris Meyer

Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You” 

What’s good: This tune starts with a powerful wail you’d normally hear as the climax of a song. Lizzo, a bonafide superstar finally getting her time in the spotlight, drops you right into the thick of this song (and album) from its very first notes. –Andrew O’Brien

Leo Kottke, Mike Gordon – “Sweet Emotion”

What’s good: With news of a new album on the way from Mike Gordon and Leo Kottke, listen back to this powerful cover of Aerosmith‘s “Sweet Emotion” off of the duo’s 2005 Sixty Six Steps release. -Sam Berenson

My Morning Jacket – “Smokin From Shootin”

What’s good: This is an excellent song from the album, Evil Urges. They played it at their recent show at Forest Hills Stadium, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since. –Gideon Plotnicki

Tinariwen – “Tiwàyyen” 

What’s good: This lively, mystic tune from the northern African band brings the sounds of the Sahara Desert into Western ears. The song’s opening guitar riff sets the darker tone of the song, and is strong enough to carry it through from start to finish. The song was recorded in the natural setting of Joshua Tree National Park, lending it an added spiritual character. –Tom Shackleford

Robert Walter’s 20th Congress – “Don’t Chin The Dog”

What’s good: When I think of funky Hammond B3 Organ players, Robert Walter is at or very near the top of my list. As a founding member of The Greyboy Allstars and his own 20th Congress, Walter takes soul-jazz and funk to another level with his style of playing, so much so that Phish‘s Mike Gordon recruited the San Diego native to play in his band. “Don’t Chin The Dog” is a classic Walter composition, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Emerald Quintet with Walter, Stanton Moore, Scott Metzger, and Andy Hess will cover it at their November 22nd show at Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver. –Chris Meyer

Chance the Rapper ft. Death Cab For Cutie – “Do You Remember”

What’s good: An unexpected combo—alt-rock band Death Cab for Cutie and Chance the Rapper—seamlessly comes together on this feel-good, nostalgic summer track. I had the opportunity to see them perform the song together for the first time live at Lollapalooza shortly after it was released, and even those who had preconceived notions of Death Cab were pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. –Sara Shah

STS9 – “Wika Chikana”

What’s good: STS9 has been on our minds (and in our headphones) as they continue to “push the sky” on their ongoing Apo11o Tour. Funk out to this killer version of “Wika Chikana” from back on 3/13/15 in New Orleans. –Andrew O’Brien

Thievery Corporation – “Sweet Tides”

What’s good: An oldie but a goodie! I just recently started listening to Thievery Corporation for some new, fresh instrumental dance music and stumbled upon this 2008 track. Featured vocalist LouLou Ghelichkhani‘s gentle voice soothes your soul through life’s sometimes not-so-sweet waves as the sweet tides bring you back in. Can’t wait to see these guys live on their fall tour! –Mikala Lugen

The Black Keys – “Get Yourself Together”

What’s good: I’m stoked that the Black Keys are back after a long break, and this song from their new album, Let’s Rock, is just vintage, fun Black Keys. –Gideon Plotnicki

Marco Benevento – “Oh Baby Can’t You See”

What’s good: Marco Benevento cultivates a unique vibe on his new album, Let It Slide. While it still showcases his prodigious abilities behind a keyboard, this LP is packed with more punchy alt-pop hooks and ambiance than exploratory piano expeditions. “Oh Baby Can’t You See” is an indie radio-ready earworm unlike anything you’ve heard yet from Benevento. –Andrew O’Brien

Sheryl Crow ft. Bonnie Raitt & Mavis Staples – “Live Wire”

What’s good: Sheryl Crow recently released what’s supposed to be her final studio album. This powerful bluesy track featuring Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples is a highlight that’s sure to get your feet tappin’ along with the powerhouse trio. –Sam Berenson

Grateful Dead – “Estimated Prophet (05/10/78)”

What’s good: A fantastic version of “Estimated Prophet” from spring 1978 (peak Dead) which hears Jerry Garcia absolutely tear through a lengthy solo, launching the song into the stratosphere. –Tom Shackleford

Manic Focus ft. Borahm Lee, Dominic Lalli – “Lyrebird”

What’s good: This breezy cut new cut from Manic Focus (John “JmaC” McCarten) is one of the highlights of his recently released album, Lost In A Digital World. Borahm Lee (Break Science) and Dominic Lalli (Big Gigantic) lend a hand to give this track an irresistible ambiance. –Andrew O’Brien

The String Cheese Incident – “45th Of November”

What’s good: Robert Hunter, the genius lyricist behind a bevy of the Grateful Dead‘s favorite tunes, passed away on Monday, September 23rd at the age of 78. Of the many bands Hunter collaborated with, the songwriter only teamed up with The String Cheese Incident once on “45th Of November”, which appeared on SCI’s 2005 One Step Closer album. Co-written by Kyle Hollingsworth, the keyboardist recently shared his thoughts on Hunter’s death. He reflected, “Thanks for all of the incredible lyrical journeys you took us on. You will be missed.” –Sam Berenson

Leon Bridges – “Daisy Mae” 

What’s good: Because sometimes you just need a happy, wholesome love song. That’s Leon’s specialty.
–Andrew O’Brien

Tower Of Power – “Soul With A Capital ‘S’”

What’s good: Not quite a new song, but a dance hall classic. If you need an excuse to get everyone in the room up and dancing, put this song on. If they don’t dance, unfriend them immediately. –Tom Shackleford

The Band – “Up On Cripple Creek”

What’s good: With the announcement of The Last Waltz 2019 Tour featuring Warren Haynes, John Medeski, Lukas Nelson, etc., I felt like it was time to dig back into one of the greatest live album/films in music history. –Kunj Shah

Lizzo, Missy Elliott – “Tempo”

What’s good: Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott is BACK, baby!! And on this one, the 90s/00s hip-hop icon is teaming up with one of the fastest up-and-comers of the moment, Lizzo. Two queens, two generations of hip-hop, one badass track. (Plus, it was just featured on HBO‘s Euphoria). –Sara Shah

Sturgill Simpson – “Ronin”

What’s good: Is that Band of Gypsys-era Hendrix I’m hearing? Some underground Japanese rocker from the ’70s? Nope, that’s 2019 Sturgill Simpson, making his biggest departure yet from the “country” tag with which he’s been branded throughout his career. The opening track to SOUND & FURY, his new album and accompanying anime film, makes his intentions clear from the start: You can’t put Sturgill in a box. Don’t even bother trying. –Andrew O’Brien

The Marcus King Band – “Goodbye Carolina”

What’s good: Marcus King fans don’t need a reminder of how talented the young guitarist is when it comes to his playing ability. “Goodbye Carolina”, however, is one of the songs from The Marcus King Band’s 2018 studio effort which allows King to let his ever-maturing singing abilities to take the lead as he delivers an honest and wonderfully vulnerable performance on the rock ballad. As per usual, his guitar lines featured throughout the recording aren’t too shabby, either. –Tom Shackleford

Trey Anastasio – “Sunset Days”

What’s good: This beautiful song really struck a chord when I was watching the Trey documentary, Between Me & My Mind, and heard it for the first time. As Trey and his fans get older, I’m glad the music and lyrics are also aging gracefully for the most part. I’m glad they officially released it. –Kunj Shah

Khruangbin – “Mary Always”

What’s good: If you’re like me and Khruangbin is your go-to wake-up music, then “Mary Always”—the recent reimagining of “Maria También”—is an extra shot of espresso. Off their recent dub remix album, Hasta El Cielo, this sparse, funky track shows off the unrelenting breakbeat prowess of drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson. If you’re looking for yet another reimagining of “Maria Tambien”, check out the version played with Phish‘s Trey Anastasio at LOCKN’ 2019. –Andrew O’Brien

Dead & Company – “Bertha” – New York, NY (11/12/17)

What’s good: Dead & Company has certainly been the biggest Grateful Dead offshoot in the post-Jerry world since forming in 2015. While some Dead purists may feel like the band’s live show doesn’t always live up to the energy and on-stage tenacity for which the original band was known, Dead & Co’s rendition of “Bertha” never seems to disappoint, and their performance of the tune from their 11/12/2017 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden is no exception. The show marked the start of the band’s 20117 fall tour, and judging by the bursts of melodic electricity coming out of John Mayer‘s guitar during a lengthy solo, the band was more than ready to kick off their fall run with a memorable bang.  –Tom Shackleford

Radiohead – “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi”

What’s good: I’ve been re-listening to Radiohead’s album, In Rainbows, and really enjoying it. It was released twelve years ago, and it still feels ahead of its time. –Gideon Plotnicki

Phish – “Ghost” (Live) – 11/17/97

What’s good: A highlight of Phish’s recent 9th annual Dick’s run was a massive 1st set “Ghost”. Let’s take it back and listen to one of the all-time great versions of “Ghost” from 11/17/97 in Denver. –Sam Berenson

The Disco Biscuits – “Jigsaw Earth”

What’s good: Along with a new album on the way, The Disco Biscuits recently announced a lengthy winter tour—their first true tour in a decade. In honor of setbreak finally coming to a close, enjoy a 23-minute rendition of “Jigsaw Earth” from a legendary, old-school Biscuits show at Bellvue, CO’s picturesque Mishawaka Amphitheatre on July 26th, 2002. This particular “Jigsaw Earth” is featured on The Disco Biscuits’ live compilation, Steele’s Reels, Vol. 6. -Sam Berenson

Pickin’ On Modest Mouse, Iron Horse – “Gravity Rides Everything” [Modest Mouse cover]

What’s good: Take free-spirited bluegrass mixed with Modest Mouse‘s beautifully written lyrics, and you get this gem of a song.  –Mikala Lugen

Cory Wong – “Today I’m Gonna Get Myself A Real Job” 

What’s good: Anyone who’s ever pursued a creative passion will immediately connect to Cory’s vulnerable reflections on this track from his outstanding new album. –Andrew O’Brien

Happy listening! We’ll see you again next month to tell you what’s good on the November 2019 of the L4LM Monthly Mix. Click here to follow Live For Live Music on Spotify and don’t miss a beat.