If you’re like us here at Live For Live Music, your listening habits go through cycles. One week, it’s all chilled-out, lo-fi beats. The next, a rock and roll legend passes on and you go looking for some iconic guitar solos. One day, you’re feeling the Halloween vibes, the next, you need something to break that spooky cloud and let some sunlight in.

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 October 2020 edition of the L4LM Monthly Mix below and subscribe on Spotify to make sure you don’t miss any new L4LM Monthly Mixes.

L4LM Monthly Mix – October 2020


Cory Wong, Tom Misch – “Smooth Move”

What’s good: This song off of Wong’s latest full-length album—his eighth of the year—perfectly pairs his signature upbeat jazz-funk sound with Misch’s vibe-y beats–Sara Shah

Maribou State, Holly Walker – “Spooky” (Recorded at RAK Studios, London)

What’s good: Let’s turn on the groovy vibes and start getting a little spooky. Love this sultry take from the U.K. duo to get in the spirit of the month’s holiday. –Mikala Lugen

The Motet – “False Prophets”

What’s good:  The Motet just announced a lineup change, but make no mistake—they’re still one of the baddest bands in the land. This brand-new instrumental proves it. –Kunj Shah 

The Rolling Stones – “Shine A Light”

What’s good: We were due for a Phish Halloween this year and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I picked a bunch of classic tunes that Phish covers on this month’s Mix. –Kunj Shah

Maggie Rose – “20/20”

What’s good:  Maggie’s got the best take yet on the “wtf 2020” song format. It hits all the thematic marks, but in such an elegant way. Helped make her set one of my favorites of the day at Democracy Comes Alive. –Andrew O’Brien

Lawrence – “Freckles (Live In L.A.)”

What’s good:  Lawrence just released a live record, and it’s amazing! It also features the first-ever release of the band’s new song, “Freckles”, which is going viral on Tik Tok as we speak. –Kunj Shah

The Suffers – “Take Me To The Good Times”

What’s good: An instantly catchy tune with a poppy, infectious beat and lyrics that are reminiscent of lighter days and hopeful for a brighter future. Plus, singer Kam Franklin is a gem—not to mention a member of HeadCount‘s Board of Directors. –Sara Shah

Jack White – “Three Women”

What’s good: Well, it was quite the busy month for Jack White. Shortly after appearing on Bonnaroo‘s Virtual ROO-ALITY festival via an archival White Stripes and solo band performances, White’s company Third Man Records announced the first ever White Stripes Greatest Hits album. Then, just days after that news, Saturday Night Live announced that White would fill in as the musical guest for Morgan Wallen, who had not followed the show’s COVID-19 guidelines. Performing as a three-piece with drummer Daru Jones and bassist Dominic John Davis, White treated the SNL audience to the title track of his sophomore solo album, Lazaretto. “Three Women” is arguably my favorite song on that album, and my choice for October’s L4LM Monthly Mix. Clearly taking inspiration from Blind Willie McTell‘s “Lord Send Me An Angel”—a song The White Stripes covered frequently—”Three Women” highlights the best of what White’s solo career has to offer: clever songwriting, blistering guitar sections, a thunderous rhythm section, and a B3 organ from Ikey Owens that would make Laurens Hammond proud. –Kel Kawas

Dirty Projectors, Chromeo – “Lose Your Love (Chromeo Remix)”

What’s good: This Chromeo revamp hears the “Funklordz” laying their signature pop-synth beats over Dirty Projectors’ delicate, soulful vocals. –Sara Shah

Soulive – “Day Tripper” (The Beatles)

What’s good:  Rubber Soulive is for the children. –Kunj Shah

Stevie Wonder (ft. Rapsody, Cordae, Chika, & Busta Rhymes) – “Can’t Put It In The Hands Of Fate”

What’s good: If anybody is gonna say the F-word in a Stevie Wonder song, it’s gonna be Stevie Wonder.  –Michael Broerman

De La Soul – “Remove 45”

What’s good:  No comment necessary. –Kunj Shah  

Los Lobos – “When The Circus Comes”

What’s good: We were due for a Phish Halloween this year and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I picked a bunch of classic tunes that Phish covers on this month’s Mix. –Kunj Shah

Karina Rykman – “Dirty South”

What’s good: Keep the new tunes coming, Karina. –Michael Broerman

The Highwaymen – “Highwayman”

What’s good: I was absolutely blown away by Slightly Stoopid‘s cover of The Highwaymen’s “Highwayman” at Democracy Comes Alive. It was a real treat revisiting the original track by the outlaw country Mount Rushmore: Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. Hits ya hard in the feels. –Mikala Lugen

The Wood Brothers – “Keep Me Around”

What’s good:  This song came on shuffle while I was up late editing Democracy Comes Alive graphics, and it led me down a weeks-long Wood Brothers rabbit hole. I love a good story in a song, and listening to them is like reading a book of vignettes. On this one, in particular, it’s the slight cat-and-mouse game between the bass and guitar melodies and the vocal harmonies on the chorus that get me. –Andrew O’Brien

Grateful Dead – “Box Of Rain (Acoustic)”

What’s good: This incredible acoustic mix of “Box Of Rain” is the kind of recording any Deadhead who loves Phil Lesh‘s 1970 ballad has only dreamed about until now. The tear-jerking recording is just one of the many treasures heard on the new American Beauty: The Angel’s Share release of demos and studio outtakes released by RHINO this month. –Tom Shackleford

Circles Around The Sun w/ Neal Casal – “Mountains of the Moon” (Grateful Dead)

What’s good:  The revamped “Mountains of the Moon” takes the thematic subject matter quite literally, offering a synth-heavy, cosmic reimagining of the Aoxomoxoa (1969) chestnut thanks in large part to the keyboard wizardry of Adam MacDougall. It’s a beautiful rendering, and Neal singing Jerry will always make me cry. –Andrew O’Brien

Lyle Divinsky – “Disaster”

What’s good:  Lyle’s solo work moves the soul like nothing else. –Kunj Shah 

Leon III – “Fly Migrator”

What’s good: Nothing tops the feeling of discovering a new musical obsession, except possibly realizing that seemingly nobody else has found that artist and you’re ahead of the curve. –Michael Broerman

Anderson .Paak – “Jewelz”

What’s good: .Paak’s latest banger is just what the doctor ordered for an instant mood boost. –Sara Shah

DLG, Mary Hildeburn – “Never Know”

What’s good: Another great discovery from my Discover Weekly playlist. The soothing vocals over pretty, wistful beats almost remind me of Mac Miller. Hildeburn’s accompanying vocals over the classical guitar melody and punchy percussion sends you off somewhere far away. –Mikala Lugen

Grateful Dead – “Werewolves Of London” (Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO 7/8/78)

What’s good: Love the Dead’s take on Warren Zevon‘s famous spooky anthem. –Mikala Lugen

Circles Around The Sun w/ Billy Strings – “All the Luck in the World” (Neal Casal)

What’s good: The raw emotion of this song, conveyed through Neal Casal’s songwriting and Billy Strings’ vocals brings me to tears every time. There’s a haunting sadness that permeates the track that makes me feel like I can almost feel Neal’s internal struggle. –Kunj Shah 

Jerry Jeff Walker – “Little Bird”

What’s good: R.I.P., Jerry Jeff Walker. Is it tears, or is it rain? –Michael Broerman

Blues Image – “Ride Captain Ride”

What’s good:  –Kunj Shah

The Ghost Of Paul Revere – “Travel On”

What’s good:  This track off The Ghost of Paul Revere’s latest album is one of my favorites, displaying a grittier, harder-rock side of the band. –Sara Shah

Lynyrd Skynyrd – “The Ballad Of Curtis Loew”

What’s good: We were due for a Phish Halloween this year and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I picked a bunch of classic tunes that Phish covers on this month’s Mix. –Kunj Shah

Van Halen – “Eruption”

What’s good:  Eddie Van Halen passed this month. “Eruption”, which occupies just 1:42 on Van Halen’s debut album, remains an airtight dissertation as to why EVH was among the greatest to ever pick up an electric guitar. –Andrew O’Brien

Victor Wooten – “U Can’t Hold No Groove (If You Ain’t Got No Pocket)”

What’s good: Pull out your Merriam-Webster dictionary and head to “G.” Somewhere between “grit” and “grunt” is “groove,” and that word is defined by this track. I’ve been contributing to the Monthly Mix for almost a full year now and it’s a shame that I haven’t included some Victor Wooten yet. Feel free to throw this one on repeat. –Kel Kawas

Phish – “Evening Song”

What’s good:  I already loved this song, but after watching Page and Trey play it at the Barn, I’m all in. –Kunj Shah 

Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell – “The Problem”

What’s good: It’s easy to say that Jason Isbell is quite possibly the greatest songwriter of this century (I would know, I do it all the time). But don’t ever forget that he found a soulmate in someone who is able to communicate on the same lyrical and emotional level. –Michael Broerman

Milky Chance, Jack Johnson, Poolside – “Don’t Let Me Down” (Poolside Remix)

What’s good: Milky Chance and Jack Johnson’s easy, breezy, feel-good track gets an upgrade with Poolside’s funky bass lines and groovy synth beats. –Sara Shah

Big Wild – “Who Do You Believe”

What’s good: In a world filled with misinformation and false narratives, Big Wild calls for truth and critical thinking on this synth-y, Tame Impala-esque track. –Sara Shah 

Foreign Air – “I Believe”

What’s good: Foreign Air has officially released their debut album, Good Morning Stranger, featuring 16 indie-electronica tracks. I really appreciate the message of this song. As Jacob Michael mentioned in our track-by-track feature on the album, “This song is about seeing the good in each other.” The world needs more of that. –Mikala Lugen

Ween – “Roses Are Free”

What’s good: We were due for a Phish Halloween this year and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I picked a bunch of classic tunes that Phish covers on this month’s Mix. –Kunj Shah

Hiss Golden Messenger – “Highland Grace”

What’s good:  Since hearing his performance at Democracy Comes Alive, I haven’t been able to get enough of Hiss Golden Messenger. –Kunj Shah 

Johnny Nash – “I Can See Clearly Now”

What’s good: The entire world celebrated the life of Eddie Van Halen this month, and for good reason! However, many missed out on the news that Johnny Nash passed away on the same day as EVH. While some may consider “I Can See Clearly Now” a one hit wonder, it was a damn good hit. Rest in peace Johnny Nash! –Kel Kawas

K.A.A.N. – “Concealed the Outro”

What’s good: A relative newcomer on the hip-hop scene, K.A.A.N. has really started to make waves over the past year. While his first release came back in 2015, it wasn’t until recently that people started noticing his skill on a large scale. That’s probably due to the four albums released in 2020 alone. With a vocabulary as impressive as Aesop Rock‘s and lyrics that touch on mental health, abuse, politics, religion, and everything in between, K.A.A.N. is poised for a meteoric rise over the next 12–24 months. See those 500k monthly Spotify listeners? I bet that’ll be 2.5–5 million by this time next year. –Kel Kawas

Freedom Fry – “Me and Bonnie”

What’s good: Walkin’ through the garden, we were trippin’ on the flowers….. –Mikala Lugen

Lee Dorsey – “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley”

What’s good: We were due for a Phish Halloween this year and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I picked a bunch of classic tunes that Phish covers on this month’s Mix. –Kunj Shah

David Shaw – “Promised Land”

What’s good: The Revivalists frontman came out strong with his first solo venture last month. This powerful track is a chilling testament to the times we’re living in, boldly proclaiming, “We ain’t living in no promised land.” The live take at Democracy Comes Alive gave me chills, too. –Sara Shah

OutKast, Zack de la Rocha – “B.O.B (Bombs Over Baghdad)” Zack de la Rocha Remix

What’s good:  Ever wonder what it would sound like if Rage Against The Machine had made OutKast’s “B.O.B.”? Wonder no more… –Andrew O’Brien 

PeachFuzz – “Rat Race”

What’s good: From the highly-anticipated debut EP from Athens, OH stoner metal band PeachFuzz—by which I mean, it was highly anticipated by me. –Michael Broerman

Pher – “Murky”

What’s good: Pher popped on to my radar recently for the first time, and I’m an instant fan. This song and his striking voice give me goosebumps. –Sara Shah 

Lyle Divinsky – “Rich”

What’s good: Did I mention how incredible Lyle’s Uneven Floors is? Can’t wait to hear whatever is coming next. We’re rich ’cause we got each other. –Kunj Shah

The Paper Kites – “Paint”

What’s good: The Paper Kites, like practically every band from Australia, are just a wonderful band who seem to have found a niche audience in the indie-folk scene that emerged throughout the 2010s. “Paint” was one of their first singles, and helped earn the band a global fanbase thanks to its popularity on the playlist circuit following its release in 2013. Another haunting ballad that’s just perfect for fall. –Tom Shackleford

Donovan – Season Of The Witch 

What’s good: Must be the season of the witch! –Mikala Lugen

The Velvet Underground – “Rock and Roll”

What’s good: We were due for a Phish Halloween this year and I’m feeling nostalgic, so I picked a bunch of classic tunes that Phish covers on this month’s Mix. –Kunj Shah

The Growlers – “Graveyard’s Full”

What’s good: Spooky Growlers. –Michael Broerman

Pete Kilpatrick – “Rose”

What’s good: This Maine-based singer stayed busy this year, releasing a five-song EP that was written and recorded at his home during the global shutdown. This song just feels like the perfect soundtrack to a color-changing Colorado, calling back out to come home. –Mikala Lugen

Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky”

What’s good: What I’ve learned about lockdown: The good days feel really good, and the bad days feel really bad. This tune is my go-to on the bad days to remind me there are more good ones coming. –Andrew O’Brien

Michael David – “Melona (Chris Massey Remix)”

What’s good:  Bursting with bouncing rhythms over a scratchy beat, this song makes you want to add a quick dance break to your work day. –Mikala Lugen

Erutan – “Come Little Children” (Hocus Pocus)

What’s good: Halloween, unlike Christmas, has never had a plethora of traditional songs associated with the Western holiday. “Come Little Children”, however, could be considered the unofficial anthem of Halloween. First made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker‘s performance in the 1993 film, Hocus Pocus, “Come Little Children” is a fan-favorite, haunting tune that still sends shivers down the spine of Millennials who remember its cryptic melodies all too well. This time, it’s performed masterfully by Erutan. –Tom Shackleford

Laura Mvula – “Bread”

What’s good: This gentle song from Laura Mvula’s 2016 The Dreaming Room LP is still as magical to me as it was the first time I heard it. The soft instrumentation and swells of Laura’s angelic vocal layers during the song’s chorus make for such a calming listening experience that it’s impossible not to feel completely mesmerized. –Tom Shackleford

Rogue Valley – “Mountain Laurels”

What’s good: Rogue Valley first caught my ear thanks to their inclusion on the sublime soundtrack for the 2016 film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The Minneapolis-based folk band led by singer/guitarist Chris Koza is an engaging and beautiful acoustic tune which, to me, represents everything that I love about this time of the year. –Tom Shackleford

Radio Moscow – “250 Miles”

What’s good: It’s not every day that you find a three-piece that rocks as hard as these guys. What starts off as a soft groove ends as a upbeat, head-banging flurry of heavily distorted guitar solos over a thumping bassline. –Kel Kawas

EMBRZ – “Heal”

What’s good: Do you ever just listen to a song and play it over and over again because you love it so much but can’t really explain why? I’ve played this song about 4 times a day for the past 2 weeks since I discovered this dance producer. –Mikala Lugen

Eric Gabriel – “Tara Street:

What’s good:  The new song from Melt singer-songwriter Eric Gabriel is a billowing, beautiful lament. We recommend listening while staring longingly out the window in a rainstorm. –Jimmy 

Nate Todd – “Revolutionary Loser”

What’s good: The roots-y melody and weeping organs wouldn’t sound out of place on a classic song by The Band. Nate Todd brings that Big Pink vibe to 2020. –Jimmy

Jay Ungar – “Ashokan Farewell”

What’s good: “Ashokan Farewell” is nothing short of a perfect folk instrumental with a waltz tempo, which first gained popularity thanks to its recurring appearances throughout Ken Burns‘ award-winning Civil War docuseries. Though sounds like one of the great American folk tunes from the 19th century, it was actually written in 1982, and immediately takes listeners back to a more simple time in America when the violin and acoustic guitar reigned supreme. It’s heart-wrenching melodies and climacic buildup make it a one-of-a-kind listening experience every time I hear it. –Tom Shackleford

H.E.R. – “Hold On”

What’s good: 23-year-old singer/songwriter/rapper/multi-instrumentalist H.E.R., real name Gabriella Wilson, surely just gained a whole new legion of fans with her live debut of this tune on Saturday Night Live last weekend. The Prince vibes are unmistakeable. As Adele said, this girl is divine. –Andrew O’Brien

Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, Richard O’Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast) – “Time Warp”

What’s good: But it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insa-a-a-a-ane… –Jimmy

L4LM Monthly Mix – October 2020