Grain Audio

A love for music and design is the reason we’re doing all this in the first place. Setlist is our place to talk about the things we love and why we love them. So, a couple of times a week we’ll put something up here with our perspective. You can expect an album review, an interesting perspective, or something that caught our eye. We’ll also post a Spotify playlist once a week with some of the stuff we’re listening to.

While we’re always happy to listen to some classic songs, we also don’t want to dwell in the past too much. With that in mind, we’ve put together 20 new tracks that have been released since April 1st: New Recent Tunes.

The legendary Levon Helm was born on May 26, 1940. He’s been gone now for two years, but as one of the steadiest drummers in rock and roll and one of the finest voices in the history of recorded music, he lives on. We’ve been celebrating Levon’s life by listening to 20 of our favorite performances of his: Happy Birthday, Levon.

This week we’ve been listening to all sorts of things—some old, some new; some originals, some covers; some legends, some up-and-comers; but all terrific. It’s: A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That.

May 11th is Mother’s Day, so not only have we been trying to think of just the right gift for the moms in our lives, but also we’ve been thinking about music (obviously)—and moms, mothers, mamas, you name it. Because let’s face it: Moms Rule.

If you’ve never been fortunate enough to visit New Orleans during the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May, you might not yet know that the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the most fun you can have because, quite simply, it’s the best mix of food, culture and music a traveler could hope to encounter. And rather than just focusing on jazz, it covers all of America’s musical terrain: jazz, blues, funk, rock, gospel, hip-hop, country and plenty more. And one of the highlights of Jazz Fest is the eclectic mix of local talent—like Allen Toussaint, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Trombone Shorty—and international music legends—like Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and Santana—plus up-and-comers galore. Jazz Fest: A Whole Lotta Fun.

It was just everyone’s least favorite date, April 15th, Tax Day. And just like Snoop, we’ve got our mind on our money and our money on our mind. So we put together this list of songs: You’re So Money.


This week we’re celebrating the April birthdays of some of the biggest names in music—including Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Richard Manuel, Mike McCready, Merle Haggard, Iggy Pop and Duke Ellington: April Birthdays Rock.


Yes, we’re thick in the middle of the NCAA Tournament, and, yes, we’re pleased about that. But we’re even more excited about Opening Day of baseball season. So we’ve put together 20 baseball-related songs: From Simon & Garfunkel crooning about Joe DiMaggio to Beastie Boys name-checking Rod Carew and a whole lot more: Hope Springs Eternal.

While it may not actually seem like it yet, spring is here. The Vernal Equinox arrives March 20th, and that means longer, sunnier days ahead—and a fresh new start. So we’ve put together 20 songs inspired by the new season: Spring Has Sprung.

Last weekend we sprung forward an hour, making it possible for us to leave work before dark. And while we couldn’t be happier about that, we also can’t get time out of our minds. So we put together 20 time-related songs: Your Time Is Gonna Come.

It was Mardi Gras again this week, and even if we couldn’t make it down to New Orleans to take part in the celebration, at least we could still listen to the music. So this week’s set list is 18 songs about Carnival time, from Professor Longhair and Louis Armstrong to Kermit Ruffins and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Mardi Gras Madness.Laissez les bon temps rouler.

We’re only two months into 2014, but plenty of great new music has already arrived. And this week, we’ve been listening to studio albums from more established acts like the great Benmont Tench (keyboardist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and the arresting St. Vincent, plus newer bands like Jamestown Revival and Lake Street Dive—not to mention live releases from the Allman Brothers Band, Band of Horses and Phosphorescent. It’s 20 songs: New Favorites.


This week we’re celebrating the February birthdays of some very famous musicians, like Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, Roberta Flack, Axl Rose, Sheryl Crow, Smokey Robinson, Carole King and plenty more: If you were by chance born this month, you are in good company, and if not, at least you can enjoy these February Birthday Jams.


Sure, Valentine’s Day is this week, and with that comes certain expectations. Greeting card companies want it to be something more than it really is. But let’s face it: If you have someone special in your life, you shouldn’t wait ’til some random day in February to express yourself. That should be an all-the-time thing. So this week’s playlist isn’t comprised of songs to help you woo. Instead, we put together 18 terrific tunes that we haven’t been able to stop listening to recently: Will It Go Round in Circles.


A few weeks ago, while others were complaining about winter feeling like … well, winter, we decided to go in the other direction and embrace the cold. But in return all we got was cooler temps and even more snow. So we’ve decided to take a different approach: We’ve put together 20 songs and summoned the Heat Miser (not to mention Frightened Rabbit, Delta Spirit and the Doors), and we’re Conjuring Some Warmth. Happy Friday.


Michael Stipe, Jimmy Page, Donald Fagen, Eddie Van Halen, Clarence Clemons, Syd Barrett, Pat Benatar, Johnny Rotten, Steve Perry, EWANG. It’s an impressive list, even if it does seem haphazardly put together. But the thing is they each share something in common beyond talent and success—and that’s the month of their birth. So we put together a terrific playlist of great tunes honoring each of them and some other famous January babies. So listen to our January Birthday Tribute.


It’s just the middle of January, and although the idea with the New Year is a new beginning, while we’re looking ahead, we’re also still looking behind. Musically speaking, that means we’re listening to new stuff, like the recently released Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks albums. But we’re still paying attention to older material from the Who and Dylan. Plus we’ve been listening to some bands you might not have checked out yet—like Lake Street Dive and Dangermuffin. And you can find all of them in our newest playlist, named after a Charles Bradley tune: The World (Is Going Up in Flames).


As the calendar turned to 2014 on New Year’s Day, the warmth of the holiday season has made way for the cold, harsh reality of winter, which became crystal clear with the recent arrival of the Polar Vortex, making it, for the most part, either incredibly cold or just very, very cold where most of us live. And just like you, we’re sick of the weather. But rather than complain about the cold, we’ve put together 25 songs to do the opposite: Embracing the Cold.


We’re already a few days into 2014, but it’s still not too late to take a look back at 2013. So we put together a playlist of 28 of our favorite songs from last year: Some 2013 Favorites. Give it a listen. We think you’ll agree.


There’s been an abundance of good music released over the past couple of months: straight-up new stuff, from the likes of David Bowie, Dr. Dog and the Arcade Fire, to covers—listen to Glen Hansard, backed by Eddie Vedder and Jake Clemons, channeling Bruce Springsteen—to reissued and rereleased material from Neil Young, Yes and Eric Clapton. So listen to Some New Tunes to figure out which you like best.