Our Favorite Records of 2020

It used to be that the end of a year was a time to look back, to reminisce, to think fondly of days gone. But not this year! So long 2020! You were the worst. Please don’t come back. But with that said, time is amorphous and doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed. Just because those 365 days felt like an endless hangover (and not the good kind!), doesn’t mean that there were no sources of joy. In fact, it was a good year for music — which makes sense, because music is how many of us weather tough times. Below is a list of the best music as picked by the WXNA DJs. This is music they played, listened to and got them through a truly rough year. Luckily we can look ahead to 2021. I’m sorry, what’s that? Oh, 2021 is also a total mess? Ah, so it is. Well, we still have the music.

Presented for you in alphabetical order by DJ, our favorite records of 2020:

All Skate, Saturdays 9p-10p

So many great albums in 2020. My list is getting out of hand so I think I’ll go with my favorite musical moment of 2020:

DJ Questlove presents Radiohead: Chopped & Screwed

It was the morning RBG passed away and it seemed like covid was getting worse and everything was upside down. I had been watching Questlove’s streams for a while before, but this night was special. He is an encyclopedia of musical knowledge so when he announced a 3-hour Radiohead set I was a little surprised, but I knew I was in good hands. Quest started his usual intro and told his viewers that he was deep in his feelings and wanted to play Radiohead to release some tension. The next 3 hours was such a weird mix of healing and amazement I did not see coming. He “chopped & screwed” 3 entire hours of Radiohead tracks lol. On paper this would not have excited me too much, but with everything leading up to that moment – it was the perfect remedy, even if for a night. For that moment it felt like everything was going to be OK.

BadN8, Coolin’, Sundays midnight-2am

Hip Hop Award: Marlowe, Marlowe 2
Marlowe’s sophomore release picks up where their debut left off just two years ago. It feels like at least two lifetimes since then, so for a duo to breathe new breath into a genre that is ever-changing is a feat. Every time I play Marlowe for someone, a hip-hop head is either born, or born again. Beyond that, this album hits even harder than Marlowe 1, so turn it up and make sure you have some icyhot for your neck tomorrow.

Jazz Award: Christian Scott aTundé Adjuah, AXION
This live album encapsulates the last concert Scott’s group performed before COVID-19 shut things down last year. Consisting of songs from 2019’s Ancestral Recall, along with some new material, AXIOM is mostly long cuts of improvisational music grappling with spiritual and existential themes alike. Corey Fonville’s drumming with Weedie Braimah’s percussion churn and circle like a time machine. Scott’s horn is a beacon of truth blasting through generations, and the rest of the band weave the fabric of space and time back together. AXIOM is as moving as it is entrancing, and its replay value makes it my top jazz release of 2020.

Roger Blanton, Delicious Elixir with DJ Rodge, Thursdays 6-8p

Luke Schneider – Altar of Harmony
Tycho – Simulcast
Neil Young – Vacancy
Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 2 (Cowboy Arms Sessions)
Charley Crockett – Welcome To Hard Times
Colter Wall – Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Prunchy Songs

Brady Brock, Fidelity High, Thursdays 9am-10am

Cindy Lee, What’s Tonight To Eternity
Jeff Parker, Suite for Max Brown
Josephine, Music is Easy
Sweeping Promises, Hunger for a Way Out
Osees, Metamorphosed
Rob Mazurek & Exploding Star Orchestra, Dimensional Stardust
Gia Margaret, Mia Gargaret
Exhalants, Atonement
Damaged Bug, Bug On Yonkers
Luke Schneider, Altar of Harmony
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Sideways to New Italy
Lewsberg, In This House
Alabaster Deplume, To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1
Disheveled Cuss, Disheveled Cuss
Jerskin Fendrix, Wintereisse
Elvis Perkins, Creation Myths
Datenight, Is This Also It?
M. Ward, Think of Spring
Jim O’Rourke, Shutting Down Here
Wendy Eisenberg, Auto
Idles, Ultra Mono
Guided By Voices, Styles We Paid For
Savoy Motel, Love Your Face
Public Eye, Music for Leisure
Teenage Halloween, Teenage Halloween

Laurel Creech, All About Nashville, Fridays Noon-1pm

Though my show on Fridays is typically interviews with local guests, my January 1st show featured some of my favs from all local Nashville artists. I have so much respect and gratitude to all our musicians here who persevered through such challenging time to continue to create some amazing music. I couldn’t fit it all into an hour but here’s a few:
Ashley Ray
India Ramey
Kelsey Waldon
Marcus King
Steve Earle
Will Hoge
Lilly Hiatt

DJubilee, Greetings From Nashville, Thursdays 6am-7am

John Dennis, Moral Flames
India Ramey, Shallow Grave
Brian Wright & the Sneak-Ups

X, Alphabetland
John Calvin Abney, Familiar Ground
Leron Thomas, More Elevator Music
Psychic Temple, Houses of the Holy

DJ Ed Eighties/Schmeighties, Fridays 10am-Noon

Favorite Album of 2020 for me is Mirrored Aztec by Guided by Voices. Robert Pollard has had a stable line up now since 2017. This includes Doug Gillard, Mark Shue, Kevin March and Nashville’s own Bobby Bare Jr. This has been the longest stable and most productive line up in GbV history and probably the most talented crew. That’s saying something. Pollard and his revolving crew of music wizards have been making records since the mid 80s. I read a review the other day that said Guided by Voices keep on putting out great records for the hell of it. That about sums it up. If you can’t get enough of the four Ps (pop, punk, psych and prog) then Mirrored Aztec (as well as the other 2 releases this year, Surrender your Poppy Field and Styles We Paid For) will satiate your craving for the time being.

Pylon, Pylon Box
Paul Burch and the WPA, Light Sensitive
Cartalk, Pass like Pollen
Bob Mould, Blue Hearts
Lilly Hiatt, Royal Blue
Josh Halper, Alrightnik
Rainsticks, October Onwards
Black Bra, Black Bra
A Love Supreme Electric: A Salvo Inspired by John Coltrane Vinny Giola, Henry Kaiser, John Hanrahan, Wayne Peet & Mike Watt

Nexus, Musical Mysticism, Wednesdays 4pm-5pm

Isobel Campbell, There is No Other; brilliant, insightful songwriting with hazy, mystical indie-folk music
Grimes, Miss Anthropocene; brilliant, insightful songwriting with brilliant electronic production
Julianna Barwick, Healing Is A Miracle; heavenly, vocal-laden ambient music
Sign Libra, Sea To Sea; epic instrumental electronic music with lunar maria song titles
Shabaka & The Ancestors, We Are Sent Here By History; spiritual jazz with deep roots and rhythms

DJ Erica, Soul of the City, Thursdays 4pm-6pm

Run the Jewels, RTJ4
Deborah Jordan, See in the Dark
Kyshona, Listen
Brian Brown, Journey
Little Dragon, New Me, Same Us
Little Brother, May the Lord Watch
Thundercat, It is What It Is
Chris Stapleton, Starting Over

Leslie Hermsdorfer Just Chill, Mondays 1am-2am & Tuesdays Midnight-1am, Sound Decisions, on Hiatus

Ana Roxanne, Because of a Flower
Becca Mancari, The Greatest Part

DJ Hot Car, Hot Fudge Tuesday, Saturdays 2pm-4pm

Tim Heidecker, Fear of Death
Destroyer, Have We Met
Jack Name, Magic Touch
Lake, Roundelay
Lake, Practice Space
Spencer Cullum, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection
Dougie Poole, The Freelancer’s Blues
Woods, Strange To Explain
The Magnetic Fields, Quickies
Fools, Fools Harp Vol. 1
Channelers, Isles Beyond
Josh Halper, Alrightnik
Tommy Mandel, Music For Insomniacs
Wisebuck, Flyworld

Hound Dog Hoover Goin’ Down South, Mondays 1pm-3pm

Sturgil Simpson, Cuttin’ Grass (Vols 1 & 2); Nice surprise releases! Sturgill’s a natural for bluegrass.

J-Mar Transmission, Mondays 8pm-10pm

Sault, Untitled (Black Is) and Untitled (Rise)
DJ Python, Mas Amable
KeiyaA, Forever, Ya Girl
Elysia Crampton, ORCORARA 2010
Pantayo, Pantayo
HAAi, Put Your Head Above the Parakeets EP
Kaê Guajajara, Waramiri EP
MoMa Ready; pretty much everything he put out this year

Jonni Downer Punks Not Punks, Fridays 10pm-11pm

RMR, Drug Dealing Is a Lost Art; Just before lockdown, RMR released “RASCAL,” and for a brief moment everyone lost their damn minds. The song is an anti-cop rewrite of Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road” and places RMR in the long line of folk singers who “borrowed” classic tunes and added lyrics that subverted the original meaning.
John Prine, Live; This is John Prine at his rawest, showcasing his hilarious stage banter, contrasting that with his heartbreaking storytelling, and delivering it all in his signature grating voice. Reissued for the first time since 1988. Absolutely essential.
Bob Vylan, We LIve Here; The English grime punk duo finally released their devastating album this year, and it’s a harsh chronicle of being black, poor, or both in England. Punkest thing I’ve heard in a long time.
Lee “Scratch” Perry & Aquarium, Аквариум In Dub; The Upsetter teams up with legendary Russian psych band Aquarium to make a colorful–sometimes joyful–dub album. A teamup of two of my longtime favorites.
The Last Shall Be First, The JCR Records Story, Volume One; I LOVE gospel, and this Memphis gospel compilation covers everything good about the genre.

DJ Juan International Echo, Thursdays 3pm-4pm

Favorite New Record:
Lido Pimienta, Miss Colombia; Innovative, thought-provoking and hopeful – just a few reasons why this album was the perfect antidote for 2020.

Favorite Old Record:
Kitty Wells, Forever Young; the Queen of Country Music’s Southern Rock album. She famously hated it but it’s got some gems.

DJ Karl Dizzy Spell, Tuesdays 10pm-Midnight

Altar of Harmony, Luke Schneider
Nothing as the Ideal, All Them Witches
Stray, Bambara
Dislocation, Nest Egg
Find the Sun, Deradoorian
All Things Being Equal, Sonic Boom
Azure, Vinyl Williams
Luca, Alex Maas
S/T, Riki
Interloper, Holy Wave
The House of Stone, Ancient River
What’s Tonight for Eternity, Cindy Lee
Monument, Molchat Doma
Mestarin kynsi, Oranssi Pazuzu
S/T, Spiral Galaxy
Viscount Suites, Glimmering
…As Your Wanderer Taps at the Invisible Gate, Elonmusk

DJ Lauren Different Every Time, Mondays 3:30pm-5:30pm

Sun Ra Arkestra, Swirling; first record in 20 years, y’allm Marshall Allen is 96! Spirit sounds for a world that is desperately in need of good vibrations.
Burd Ellen, Says the Never Beyond; the second album from Debbie Armour and Gail Brogan. Seasonal (Christmas) album of perfect harmonies, birdsong, drones and strings. A perfect snow-globe of winter song.

Loud Love Loud Love Show, Mondays Midnigth-1am and Walk It Off, Sundays 11pm-Midnight

Raging Nathans, Oppositional Defiance
The Chats, High Risk Behaviour
Western Addiction, Frail Bray
Spanish Love Songs, Brave Faces Everyone
Personality Cults, New Arrows

DJ LT The Crack In Everything, Sundays 1pm-2pm

David Nance, Staunch Honey
Wendy Eisenberg, Auto
Irreversible Entanglements, Who Sent You?
Magik Markers, 2020
Bill Callahan, Gold Record
Sally Ann Morgan, Thread
Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Transmissions
Anne Malin, Waiting Song
Josh Halper, Alrightnik
Glimmering, Viscount Suites

Mike Mannix Psych Out!, Wednesdays 7pm-9pm and Hymns for the Universe, Sundays 6am-7am

Lou Turner, Songs for John Venn; our very own DJ LT. This album has everything I look for in a release: wit, wordplay, storytelling, musicianship, hooks, and subtle oddities. It’s all there. It was the soundtrack to my spring gardening, late summer nights camping, autumn road trips, and winter afternoons. I can’t say enough about this album.
Gordon Koang, Unity; Bandcamp Fridays were gold for discovering new music. And this one stands out. Koang is originally from South Sudan but fled to (and received asylum in) Australia. This is full of funk and grooves and pulls from a variety of African musical traditions.
Powers / Rolin Duo, Self Titled; Jen Powers (hammered dulcimer) and Matthew Rolin (guitar) had a number of releases this year. This is their second best one. Mesmerizing and beautiful instrumentals that carry me away. I get the privilege of putting another one of their (best) 2020 releases out on vinyl in a few weeks.
Planet on a Chain, This Won’t Get Any Fucking Better; Oakland (CA) crusty punk. A wonderfully bitter and dystopian reminder that shit is fucked.
Sarah Louise, Sally Ann Morgan, and Kryssi B, Earth Cult; Sarah and Sally (House and Land) are steeped in the traditions of Appalachian music. Kryssi B (Headroom/ Mountain Movers) is an incredibly innovative guitarist who traverses the realms of experimental and Japanese psychedelic music. And they meet perfectly on this album. I’ve been waiting years for someone to marry these genres. And now I want more.
Asik Emrah, Almanya’dan Gitmez Bu Hasret; Emrah is a guitarist who, on this album at least, takes the 70s Turkish guitar approach that Erkin Koray made so popular and combines it with an 80s funk sensibility.
Rustem Quliyev, Azerbaijani Gitara; Quliyev recorded a bunch of wild and catchy guitar albums in the 70s that drew from a variety of Eastern and Western influences. It’s all here in its lo-fi and magical glory.

Matt Worm Tape Worms, Wednesdays midnight-2am

Yaeji, WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던
Marlowe, Marlowe 2
Helenda Deland, Someone New
Beatrice Dillon, Workaround
R.A.P. Ferreira, Purple Moonlight Pages
Ulla, Tumbling Towards a Wall
Serengeti, With Greg from Deerhoof
Ka, Descendants of Cain
Andras, Joyful
Dijon, How Do You Feel About Getting Married?

Anne McCue Songs on the Wire, Tuesdays 9:30am-11:30am and Nashville Express, Tuesdays 11:30am-Noon

Imbocl, Joe Pisapia
Myopia, Agnes Obel
Songs For John Venn, Lou Turner
Ane Brun, How Beauty Holds The Hand of Sorrow
Someday, Falu & Karyshma
The Acoustic Storm Sessions, Elkhorn
Sara’s Half Finished Love Affair, Ellen Starski
Stuff Happens, Stuffy Shmitt
Blonde On The Tracks, Emma Swift
Shallow Graves, India Ramey
Kyshona, Listen

Mello-D Groovy Potential, Tuesdays 5pm-7pm

Comfort food dominates. and to be honest, Grateful Dead would be way top of the list as far as legit listening time, but there’s nothing new there so here are the new records (and reissues) that spent the most time on my turntable in 2020.

Katie Pruitt, Expectations
Sturgill Simpson, Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1; (and Vol. 2 but there’s no physical yet for that so it doesn’t count in my world)
Guided By Voices, Mirrored Aztec & Styles We Paid For
Lilly Hiatt, Walking Proof
Emma Swift, Blonde On The Tracks
Lianne La Havas, Lianne La Havas
Margo Price, That’s How Rumours Get Started
Becca Mancari, The Greatest Part
Nubya Garcia, Source
Tom Petty, Wildflowers & All The Rest; super deluxe edish
Prince, Sign O’ The Times; super deluxe edish
Pylon box

Leanne Merritt X-Posure, Wednesdays 1:30pm–4:00pm

My favorite music that soothed my soul and helped me make it through 2020, in no particular order:
Spencer Cullum, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection
David Bowie, The Next Day
Neil Casal, Fade Away Diamond Time
Leonard Cohen, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
Brigid Dawson and The Mother’s Network, Ballet of Apes
Paul Defiglia, In Daylight (releasing in 2021)
Deradoorian, Find The Sun
El Búho, Ramas
Aoife Nessa Frances, Land of No Junction
Dana Gavanski, Wind Songs EP
Dana Gavanski, Yesterday is Gone
Beth Gibbons and Rustinman, Out of Season
The Greek Theatre, When Seasons Change
Lilly Hiatt, Walking Proof
Dalai Lama, Inner World
Fantastic Negrito, Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?
Gigi Masin, Calypso
Melody Fields, Broken Horse EP
Midnight Cassette, Castle Of My Heart
Modern Nature, “Cycles” Project
Modern Nature, Annual
Hania Rani, Home
Daniel Romano’s Outfit, How Ill Thy World Is Ordered
Daniel Romano, Visions Of The Higher Dream
Sault, (UNTITLED) Black Is
Luke Schneider, Altar of Harmony
Skyway Man, The World Only Ends When You Die
Snowgoose, The Making of You
Emma Swift, Blonde On The Tracks
Samantha Whates, Waiting Rooms
Woods, Strange to Explain
Yin Yin, The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers
Joyce Elaine Yuille, Welcome To My World

DJ Mike New Music Friday, Fridays 9pm-10pm

Adrianne Lenker, Songs; a beautiful quarantine album. Another incredible year for music.

Jay Millar The Plural of Vinyl, Tuesdays 7am-9am

Top Albums:
Irreversible Entanglements, Who Sent You? (International Anthem)
Vintage Crop, Serve To Serve Again (Upset The Rhythm)
Public Eye, Music For Leisure (Pop Wig)
The Chats, High Risk Behavior (Bargain Bin)
All Hits, Men And Their Work (Iron Lung)
Lewsberg, In This House (self released)
Tôle Froide, La Redoute (Le Turc Mechanique)
Sweeping Promises, Hunger For A Way Out (Feel It)
Datenight, Is This Also It? (Drop Medium) (local)
Healing Gems, Fiesta Pack (Mock Records)

Top EPs:
Brain Bent, Obligatory Icebreaker (self released)
Fun Time Objects, C20/20 Go-Go! (Fuzzy Warbles)
Love Tan, self titled (self released)
Snooper, Music For Spies (Computer Human) (local)
All Ashore, Stayin’ Afloat (Daytrip)

Candace Mills The Bright Side, Tuesdays 3pm-4pm

Weak Signal, Bianca

Josh Mock Sad Songs for Happy People, Sundays 10pm-11pm

Run the Jewels, RTJ4

Older album new to me:
Viagra Boys, Consistency of Energy

Chris Nocowicz The Other Show, Wednesdays 11am-Noon, The Future of Jazz, Saturdays 8am-10am, The Indie Hangover, Saturdays 7am-8am

David Boswell, The Story Behind the Story
Fontains D.C., A Hero’s Death

Rick Pecoraro Rick Pecoraro Talks to Himself, Currently on Hiatus

Jeff Rosenstock, No Dream

Popcorn Brain Dreambeat, Sundays 8pm-9pm

Charli XCX, how i’m feeling now
Fiona Apple, Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Arca, KiCK i
Austra, HiRUDiN
Julianna Barwick, Healing is a Miracle
Lauren Bousfield, Palimpsest
Braids, Shadow Offering
Buscabulla, Regresa
Wendy Eisenberg, Auto
Empress Of, I’m Your Empress Of
Katie Gately, Loom
Hazel English, Wake UP!
Brandon Juhans, Essential Dread
KLLO, Maybe We Could
James Krivchenia, A New Found Relaxation
Adrianne Lenker, songs & instrumentals
Grischa Lichtenberger, Kamilhan; il y a péril en la demeure
Meitei, Kofū
Jake Muir, the hum of your veiled voice
No Joy, Motherhood
Frances Quinlan, Likewise
Ana Roxanne, Because of a Flower
Carl Stone, Stolen Car
Yaeji, WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던
Yumi Zouma, Truth or Consequences

popGeezer The English Breakfast, Saturdays Noon-2pm

Taylor Swift, Folklore; this is the sound of an artist coming into their own as a songwriter, assisted by the influence of a new collaborator, Aaron Dessner of The National.

Laura Powers Needles + Pins, Wednesdays 7am-9am

CB Radio Gorgeous, EP
Dicklord, It’s Soooo Boring
Cable Ties, Far Enough
All Hits, Men And Their Work
Sniffany and the Nits, The Greatest Nits EP
Brandy, The Gift of Repetition
Bully, Sugaregg
Cold Meat, Hot and Flustered
NOBRO, Sick Hustle EP
Smalltown Tigers, Five Things EP
Sweeping Promises, Hunger For A Way Out
Dick Move, Chop!
Shadow Show, Silhouettes

Tom Priesmeyer Swing Shift, Thursdays Noon-2pm

Maria Schneider Orchestra, Data Lords
Sun Ra Arkestra, Swirling
Lee Konitz Nonet, Old Songs New
Luciana Souza & the WDR Big Band with Vince Mendoza, Storytellers
Mark Masters Ensemble, Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook
Arturo O’Farrell and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Four Questions
Big Band of Brothers, A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band
Brian Landrus, For Now
John Beasley & Monk’stra, Monk’stra Plays John Beasley
Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band, The Intangible Between
Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra, The Planets Reimagined
Christian McBride Big Band, For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver
Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wayne Shorter, Music of Wayne Shorter
Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Ever Fonky Lowdown
Hans Anselm Big Band, Liquid Circle
Dave Stryker & the WDR Big Band with Bob Mintzer, Blue Soul
Andy Jaffe Nonet +3, Chorinhoso
Lenora Zenzalai Helm and the Tribe Jazz Orchestra, For The Love of Big Band

DJ Rhatfink The Continental, Thursdays 7am-9am, Bedazzled Paradigm Jukebox, Sundays 7am-8am

Lily Chao, Chinese Folk Songs; Best Album
Carne Cruda, I Love You More Than Tacos; Best 7″
Babasonicos; Best Band Discovered While getting tacos
The Sorcerers, In Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God; Best Album Discovered By Listening To WXNA
Candi Staton, His Hands; #1 Song Played By DJ rhatfink In 2020

Michael Roark Slings and Arrows, Tuesdays Noon-2pm, The Friday Afternoon Club, Fridays 1pm-3pm

Bill Callahan, Gold Record
Nick Cave, Idiot Prayer (Alone at Alexandra Palace)
Rose City Band, Summerlong
Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions, Bir Samaniar Simdi
M. Ward, Think of Spring
Death Valley Girls, Under The Spell of Joy
Deradoorian, Find The Sun
Jennifer Castle, Monarch Season
Lucinda Williams, Good Souls Better Angels
As well as, Lu’s Jukebox series:

  • Runnin’ Down A Dream: A Tribute To Tom Petty
  • Southern Soul: From Memphis to Muscle Shoals and More
  • Bob’s Back Pages: A Night Of Bob Dylan Songs
  • Funny How The Time Slips Away: A Night of 60s Country Classics
  • It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Tribute to The Rolling Stones

DJ Scattershot The Scattershot, Wednesdays 10am-11am

Julián Mayorga, Cuando tengo fiebre veo la cabeza de un leopardo magnífico
Cold Meat, Hot and Flustered
Contento, Lo Bueno Está Aquí
Torbán Folk Band, Стріла/Thunder
Bab L’ Bluz, Nayda!
IDLES, Ultra Mono
Rachel Brooke, The Loneliness In Me
Meridian Brothers, Cumbia Siglo XXI
Rüstəm Quliyev, Azerbaijani Gitara

D.L. SHerrard Born in a Barn, Thursdays 9pm-11pm

Public Enemy, What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?
Tyler Childers, Long Violent History
Otis Gibbs, Hoosier National

Brandon Spencer Nashville Mixtapes, Saturdays 11am-Noon

Sven Wunder, Wabi Sabi
Spencer Cullum, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection
Caribou, Suddenly
The Clientele, It’s Art Dad
Lambchop, TRIP

DJ Sweet Baby, Hot Fudge Tuesday, Saturdays 2pm-4pm

Joan Kelsey, House of Mercy
Bill Frisell, Valentine
Johnny, Lawn
Spencer Collum, Spencer Collum’s Coin Collection
Rainsticks, October Onwards
Josephine Foster, No Harm Done
Will Ringwalt, Canaanland

Zach Worm Tape Worms, Wednesdays Midnight-2am

Public’s Eye, Music for Leisure
Smarts, Who Needs Smarts, Anyways?
US Girls, Heavy Light
Powerplant, A Spine/Evidence
Grimes, Miss Anthropocene
Fiona Apple, Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Nnamdi, Brat
Spice, First Feeling
Sweeping Promises, Hunger for a Way Out
Special Interest, The Passion Of

#BlackLivesMatter: A List of Community Resources

The “W” in WXNA stands for WE. WE stand with our Black community, now and always.

As folks near and far continue to protest the murder of George Floyd and call attention to patterns of systemic racism, we’d like to offer a list of local organizations and coalitions to connect with, donate to, and learn from:

Gideon’s Army

Their mission is to act collectively, boldly and strategically as a unified force for all children.
Twitter: @GideonsArmy615
Facebook: @gideonsarmyunited
Instagram: @gideonsarmyunited

Black Lives Matter Nashville

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.
Twitter: @BLM_Nashville
Facebook: @BlackLivesMatterNashville

Nashville Community Bail Fund

They free people from jail who are presumed innocent and can’t afford to pay their bail.
Twitter: @NashBailFund
Facebook: < a href="">@NashBailFund

Community Oversight Nashville

Community Oversight Now is a grassroots coalition that wrote, petitioned and campaigned Nashvillians FOR Amendment 1 to create Metro Nashville Community Oversight.
Twitter: @OversightNow

Metro Nashville Community Oversight

MNCO is an independent body to review cases of alleged Metro Nashville police misconduct. We exist to listen, be a voice & restore relationships.
Twitter: @MNCONashville

The Equity Alliance

The Equity Alliance proactively advocates for African Americans and other communities of color to have a fair and just opportunity at realizing the American dream. They are a Nashville-based grassroots non-profit advocacy group that seeks to equip citizens with tools and strategies to engage in the civic process and empower them to take action on issues affecting their daily lives. They’ve created a list of 6 ways to be involved other than protesting, here.
Twitter: @EquityAlliance1
Facebook: @theequityalliance
Instagram: @theequityalliance

Nashville People’s Budget project

Nashville needs a budget that reflects the needs and desires of our communities, one that builds “public safety” through public goods, not policing and jails. Read their report to learn how Mayor Cooper proposes to spend more of our money on the institutions that comprise the local criminal legal system – police, jails, and courts – than all of public health, social services, affordable housing, transit, infrastructure, libraries, parks, community centers, and rental and tax relief services combined.
Facebook: nashvillepeoplesbudget
Instagram: @nashvillepeoplesbudget
Twitter: @nashpplsbudget

Metropolitan Minority Caucus

The Metro Minority Caucus is made up of African American and Latino council members who advocate on behalf of people of color who call Nashville home. On Monday, June 1st, the Metro Minority Caucus sent a letter to Mayor Cooper asking him to take action in 5 areas:

  1. Support of the Community Oversight Board and the accountability of MNPD.
  2. Ensure that a fair share of the federal funds for COVID-19 go directly into the black community.
  3. Designate funding for the purchase and full implementation of body cameras.
  4. Ensure that the recommendations from the Equal Business Opportunity legislation are implemented and more economic equity is seen in Metro contracts for black businesses.
  5. Hire a Chief Diversity Officer

They’re asking Nashvillians to write to Mayor Cooper in support of these actions.

Facebook: @metropolitanminoritycaucus

Donate Your Wage For A Day.
On Tuesday, June 2nd the music business stopped. Black Out Tuesday was a day for members of the music community to focus on putting action towards ending racial injustice. Change requires funds to back efforts, so they invite you to join them in donating a day’s wage from Black Out Tuesday to organizations fighting racial injustice and anti-racism.

Use Of Force Project

Learn more about the recommendations of the Use of Force Project. In Nashville, that would include de-escalation, banning chokeholds and strangleholds, introducing a duty to intervene, and strengthened policies on shooting at moving vehicles. Adhering to these policies would save lives without risking public safety.

NAACP Nashville

Founded February 12, 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s foremost, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization. More than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, leading grassroots campaigns for equal opportunity and conducting voter mobilization.

Campaign Zero

Funds donated to Campaign Zero support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.


Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) is a multi-racial, interdenominational, faith-led coalition composed of congregations, community organizations, and labor unions that work to give voice to traditionally marginalized people. NOAH engages ordinary people in the political and economic decisions affecting their lives, acting as a unified voice for the faith and justice community to act on its values in the public arena.

Good Black News

Good Black News was founded on March 18, 2010, via Facebook and is currently expanding to have a larger web presence. GBN is a labor of love, and our Founder/Editor-In-Chief (Lori Lakin Hutcherson) and staff are all unpaid volunteers. They believe in bringing you positive news and stories of interest about Black people all over the world. They truly hope you will help spread the word to build and grow their vision together.

Free Hearts

Free Hearts is an organization led by formerly incarcerated women that provides support, education, and advocacy to families impacted by incarceration, with the ultimate goals of reuniting families and keeping families together.
Facebook: @FreeHeartsOrg

The F.I.N.D. Design

The F.I.N.D. Design, or Families In Need of Direction, is a 501(c)(3) community-based organization serving the Middle Tennessee area. They provide group mentoring services that combine social-emotional development and life training with family engagement and community outreach to give girls aged 11-17 their best chance at success.
Twitter: @TheFindDesgn
Instagram: @The_Find_Design
Facebook: @Thefinddesign

Women Of Color Collaborative

Conceptualized in 2015, Women of Color Collaborative is an intentional safe and restorative space for women of color to mitigate the impact of generational and societal trauma. The Collaborative is an incubator, providing culturally relevant and trauma-informed support for professionals across industries. As a community, they provide a reprieve from daily microaggressions and systemic discrimination.
Facebook: @workplaybuild
Instagram: @workplaybuild

Stand Up Nashville

Stand Up Nashville is a coalition of community organizations and labor unions that represent the working people of Nashville who have seen our city transformed by development, but have not shared in the benefits of that growth. They believe that development and growth are an opportunity to invest and strengthen our local communities.
Facebook: @StandUpNashville
Instagram: @StandUpNashville
Twitter: @StandUpNash

WXNA Works From Home

In this time of COVID, WXNA has been keeping good music on the air with the help of some brave souls who are willing to come into the studio and even more braver souls who are recording brand new shows at home. We wanted to give you a glimpse of what goes into the pre-recording process for WNXA DJs. It’s a brand-new world that we are exploring, and everyone has their own take on it. Read below about what your favorite DJs and shows are doing to keep the X explosive.

Nekos Barnes—The Root, Mondays at 12 Noon-1PM

Doing a remote show wasn’t too difficult since I pre-record my show and edit them before I go to the shack. Now I just use my Audio Technica mic to cut audio and Adobe Audition to edit it all together. I have enjoyed doing it from home because I can clean up all my miscues!

Leslie Hermsdorfer—Just Chill, Sundays 1AM-2AM &Mondays, Midnight-1AM; Sound Decisions, Fridays 1PM-2PM

For many of us DJs, pre-recording in a socially distanced “bunker” is the most responsible thing to do right now.

Besides a selection of tracks, tight edits are desired, and, while the end products produced at home are sometimes not without their flaws, they reflect the haphazard, altered state of existence at this time. As always, each recorded show is all over the musical map and has their unique sounds and flavors.

I believe music is like no other drug on this planet, as the rhythms, melodies, lyrics and textures can invoke every feeling and bring us closer together through a shared love for the art form.

I look forward to when we can all be much closer again, but in the meantime will work towards keeping our original programming alive and well. Thanks again for listening!

Gwill Owen–Salty Candy, Tuesdays at 4PM-5PM

I record with Logic Pro on a Mac. I usually start by creating three empty stereo tracks for the music and two mono tracks for the voiceover. I use a turntable and a CD player; my interface only has two inputs so the way I work is to fly in all the LP songs first; they have the lowest level. Next, I fly in the CD songs and then I move all the songs around until they’re in the order I want them. I usually ride the levels about 3 decibels to try and get smooth transitions from song to song.

Then I plug in the mic and start talking! I get pretty tongue-tied on these things, especially if I’ve had a drink! I try to end with an instrumental song or at least one that has a long jam at the end. That way I can fade out at exactly one hour. Editing the whole thing together is the hard part. I hate the sound of my voice, so I wind up doing those parts over and over. It’s much nicer to be live and not have that option!

I much prefer the live “performance” but at the same time I’m certainly learning new things so that’s always a plus, right?

Matt and Zach—Tapeworms, Tuesdays, 12 Midnight-2am

My buddy Zach and I are the hosts of Tapeworms, an all-cassette show that airs late night on Tuesdays. Since we’re both tucked away in our own houses, the show has kind of taken on a different energy. Instead of being a fully collaborative experience, we’ve begun breaking up the two hours into thirty-minute chunks and we each get two of those. Often, we’ll decide on a loose theme for those chunks and build on that concept through our own lens.

As far as setting for the show, it looks much different than rolling into the station in the dead of night and playing decidedly sleepy tunes ’cause it’s a sleepy time. I’ve been recording early in the morning in a little upstairs nook at my house that overlooks the garden and bird feeders. The lush greenery and sun pouring over the plants has informed the show in a way that would be impossible building only in the dead of night. My dog also is content to sit with me while I dig through, piecing together tapes. I like the idea of these recordings that would typically be in a quiet, controlled environment, like a studio, having life breathed into them by bird song and dogs barking and the occasional car driving by.

Admittedly, there has been a learning curve in pre-recording – placing in callbacks, loading the Spinitron before the show, PSAs on my computer microphone. Some are less than ideal, and I truly miss physically being in the studio and fading the knobs and getting to banter with Zach, but It’s ultimately been a pleasant experience. I guess we’re doing what everyone is doing, just on a different platform.

Celia Gregory—What Moves You, Wednesdays 9AM-10AM

“What Moves You” has gone all digital during quarantine, and it’s forced me to dig further into my own collection of MP3s (or CDs I can pull into my iTunes) and also discover new music. Because I’ve been previously equipped to do artist interviews over the phone and edit clips into individual MP3s in the free software Audacity, I’ve leaned into this method for pre recording all shows since mid-March, and recently adopted the “Zoom” method for creating modified facetime, conducting interviews virtually and ripping the audio right into Audacity for editing.

I own a little Samson GoMic and the Soundflower adaptation to Audacity allows me to record all computer sound—basically a playlist of my show MP3s, my recorded announcements of PSAs and back-selling the previous set of tunes—into a new MP3, which I then edit for sound levels, scrub some “um”s out of there, or bleep some profanity. That’s maybe my favorite part of pre-recording: the world is our oyster, and we can remain FCC-compliant but still air tracks like Minor Threat’s “Out of Step” on a Pissed-themed show. Kudos to everyone doing this for two-hour shows weekly. It’s a commitment! But our listeners deserve it. And, honestly, having this task on my list each week is keeping me sane.

Nexus—Musical Mysticism—Wednesdays 4PM-5PM

Due to the pandemic, I’ve been pre recording my shows at a farmhouse in the community of Grandview, TN on the Cumberland Plateau since that’s where most of my gear I need is set up. The software and operating system are about 15 years old and still work like a charm. The microphone I’ve been using is an Oktava large-diaphragm condenser. This microphone was gifted to me upon completion of my internship by Bil VornDick (producer of Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, and others) while studying the recording industry at MTSU.

When I do my show live in the WXNA studio, I almost only play music from vinyl records. For pre recording, I have only been using music from CDs. I have a turntable and could record the audio from vinyl into ProTools but decided not to for a few reasons. The main reason I prefer vinyl is audio quality. Plus, I have a lot of music on CD that I don’t normally get to share with folks due to my self-imposed restriction of vinyl for live DJing in the studio. I still prefer live DJing to pre recording, but pre-recording has some nice advantages too. I don’t have to worry as much about making mistakes while talking because I can re-record and edit. Also, the song transitions can be made exactly how I want them. Finally, I feel like my vocal tone is a lot calmer because I don’t have to worry about getting the timing of everything right, and this is definitely a good thing for my show specifically.

A challenge that I’ve faced is uploading my shows to Dropbox for our Pop Geezer to schedule to play on the radio is that there is no internet at the house where I’m doing this. There is a cell signal strong enough for calls, texts, and doing a lot of internet things on my Android phone, but not strong enough for uploading these files. Wi-Fi has been difficult to get because I’m so far out and everything with a good signal is closed or drops me, but I have managed.

For the past several years, I’ve been buying vinyl records much faster than listening to them. Grandview is my favorite place for listening. I’ve been spending most of my time there since the place I was working shut down due to the pandemic, which has given me a chance to really catch up on my listening. I think this is really going to improve my show and am excited about DJing live again in the future.

Erica Schultz—Soul of the City, Thursdays 4-6PM; Handpicked Dub, Thursdays 8-9PM; Mode.Radio, Fridays 11PM-1AM

During this pandemic, my whole family has been home, working and going to school online. I have my office set up in my bonus room, formerly my daughter’s playroom. So, I’m sharing space with Barbie…

As for pre-recording during the quarantine, I was very used to it because “Mode.Radio” and “Handpicked Dub” are pre-recorded all the time and “Soul of the City” has been pre-recorded during its run. The only difference from pre-COVID to now is that I bought a new computer and moved my recording setup to the “Barbie Office Space.” I guess Girls really can do anything…

Technically, I’m using Audacity to compile the shows together and a simple external computer microphone to do voice overs. “Mode.Radio”/ “HandPicked Dub” are fairly easy because DJs send me their mixes. I place the mixes in Audacity, do the voiceovers, and we’re done. “Soul of the City” is more time consuming because I curate the show entirely. I pick my favorite tracks, research new neo-soul/hip-hop tracks to put in the show, and I constantly go through my email about new local R&B/Hip Hop music sent to me. I mix them using either DJay Pro or Serato DJ Lite to later upload on Audacity.

When you are pre-recording a show like “Soul of the City”, it takes more planning. I’m not a fan of planning because sometimes I just want to freely mix and have fun and sing at the top of my lungs like in the studio. But I feel like it’s my responsibility to the fans and musicians to make the show sound the best it can. Also, I want the listeners to have some sense of normal in the shows they listen to. So I try to keep the music fresh and new, just like I was actually in the studio.

National Poetry Month on WXNA

Dear WXNA listeners,

How are you doing? We hope you’re well. It may not have even occurred to some of you that it’s April yet, and we completely understand. It’s difficult to identify time as a relevant measurement at all these days, but we’re here to remind you: April is National Poetry Month! All month long—you still have three weeks left to celebrate! Perhaps poetry can be a comfort to you in such a surreal time—what better art form to mirror that?

Here are some ways you can engage with poetry this month:

And, most importantly—don’t forget to take some time to pause in stillness or listen to your radio or the birds singing their poetry month poems for you. Please, take care!


Disaster Relief Resources for You

Our community’s response to the March 3 tornado has once again demonstrated what it means to be #NashvilleStrong. The work continues.

(Send your event/resource information to








Photo Credit: Mobe Oner. Mural painted and designed by Jason Galaz, Milton Chavez, and Mobe Oner. Located on the side of Boston Commons at Five Points in East Nashville.


“Most of our geniuses leave early. They leave us their legacy. They leave us their music and the music lives on forever.”
-Amp Fiddler

A Tribe Called Quest
The Roots
The Pharcyde
Erykah Badu
Busta Rhymes
De La Soul
Black Star
Janet Jackson
Ghostface Killa
Slum Village

This list represents some of the cornerstones of the second golden age of hip-hop. James Yancy was the conductor that helped ring in that second age. A period where beats and verses were dense, “bling” was merely a sample that you may grab from a Raymond Scott album to add track texture, and producers were starting to step out from behind their MPC’s and 808’s to become superstars in their own light.

Most people who worked with or consider James Yancy (J Dilla) a friend would describe him as quiet, not one to cast a wide shadow when in a room. But when his MPC 3000 was booted up (A MPC that is now in the Smithsonian btw!) and would crank out a beat in the basement of his mother’s house, it would do all the talking necessary, and you knew that you were working with one of the best.

Dilla’s legacy would begin in the neighborhood of Constant Gardens in Northeast Detroit. As a teen, Dilla teamed up with high school friends T3 and Baatin to form Slum Village, becoming the torch-bearer for Detroit underground hip-hop, creating music in the home of Funkadelic keyboardist and Constant Gardens resident Amp Fiddler.

Amp saw Dilla’s talent and while on tour with A Tribe Called Quest at Lollapalooza in 1994 he introduced Dilla to Q-Tip, a fellow beatmaker and the leader of ATCQ. Dilla handed Tip his tape of Slum Village beats and later that night Tip was floored. “I played it for Common, Questlove, Pharcyde….I was just tellin everybody you gotta hear it you gotta hear it you gotta hear it.”

And hear it they did! From 1995-2000, J Dilla would produce beats for ATCQ’s Beats, Rhymes and Life and The Love Movement, The Pharcydes’ Labcabincalifornia, Erykah Badu’s Mama Gun,
De La Soul’s Stakes Is High, Busta Rhymes’ The Coming, Common’s Like Water For Chocolate, The Root’s Things Fall Apart as well as releasing Fantastic Vol. 1 and 2 with Slum Village. He was a founding member of The Soulquarians, a collective that would usher in the 3rd golden age of hip-hop.

Dilla’s trademark sound— pulling samples from all areas of music from soul to jazz to world to abstract commercial jingles, not quantizing the beat in the MPC so that the drums are slightly off the beat and therefore more human— would make the rounds in the form of beat CD’s to MC’s and made Dilla the go-to producer in hip-hop. Even Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis reached out to Dilla (along with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) to produce a track for Janet Jackson, the biggest pop artist at that time.

As his star rose, Dilla’s health began to deteriorate. Never one to be the center of attention, Dilla didn’t tell many people that he was dealing with the autoimmune disease Lupus as well as Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease. In the summer of 2005 as his disease left him bedridden at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he would produce his magnum opus, Donuts.

Created from boxes of 45’s his mom would bring up to his hospital room, the album would become his love letter to friends and fans. With thirty-one tracks (which was his age at his time of death), none exceeding 2 minutes, the music is cryptic and transcendental to what Dilla was feeling and thinking about what his legacy would be. “It is almost like listening to two producers, the person Dilla was and the person he would be if he had lived,” said friend and fellow beatmaker House Shoes.

The album was released on February 7th, 2006. Dilla would pass away three days later on February 10th.

What is left from his passing is a 10-year span of music that is still powerful and relevant, maybe more relevant than it was when it was created.

Dilla left the Ruff Draft for future producers, shining a light on feel over perfectionism, and keeps us digging for Donuts on the daily.

Nekos Barnes (blackcircle)
The Root, Mondays from 12-1pm

New Show: Reggae University

By Ahmid Sesay (Star)

Reggae University airs Wednesday nights at 9pm ct

What is Reggae? How does Reggae sound? This answer will vary depending on how many people you ask and the era in which they grew up. What is Reggae to me? Reggae is African music. Reggae is spiritual music. Reggae is educational music. How does Reggae sound? A baseline, rhythm guitar, and a one drop beat. It is African music because it resonates with Africans. I was born in Sierra Leone. The majority of my Reggae knowledge comes from being around my late father and my uncles. That is where my inspiration for music was born. The message in the music shows that we share a cultural bond and fight the same struggles universally. Reggae IS a culture.

I focus mostly on Roots Reggae. When I say “roots,” folks quickly associate that with “old school” reggae. Roots is just what most know to be the original style before Dancehall came in and took over. In my opinion, the two are not the same genre. Dancehall is to Reggae what Rap is to R&B. They come from the same people and culture, but they’re extremely different. I dislike the fact that when one is looking for Reggae, Dancehall is often first offered. That bothers me. If I’m hungry and tell you I want Curry, don’t give me jerk. Same culture, different food. Reggae is a style of music. It creates a melodic, yet relaxed vibration. Just because a man chats Patois on a song doesn’t make it Reggae.

That’s why I chose the name “Reggae University” for my show. I aim to teach people about Reggae from ALL eras. Being that I’ve never stepped foot in Jamaica but have a great knowledge of the music, I want to show the POWER of Reggae. Reggae music is a music full of activists. One would like to credit the Rastafarian faith, but it’s not just the Rastas. Jimmy Cliff, Culture, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Peter, and of course Bob are just a few of the “activists” in Reggae. Most people know those names. I want to extend their knowledge to artists like Justin Hinds, The Maytones, and more. I also want to focus on educating people on the newer Roots Reggae artists like Romain Virgo, Lila Ike, Naomi Cowan, Protoje and more. Mi ave nuff fi teach unu (I have a lot to teach you all)!

The message in Reggae, especially in the earlier days, taught the Black race, wherever they may be in the world, to focus on and to cherish Africa. It is our home. It taught us the teachings of Marcus Garvey. It taught about peace and love. The beauty of Reggae is that you can never learn nor have enough. I have crates of records and boxes of cds and still feel like I need to double the amount of what I have. First you start with Bob Marley, then next it may be Gregory Isaacs, then Culture, then Morgan Heritage or Luciano. The music has a deep, rich history that I hope will be revered more as time progresses. So….when you’re chanced, come a mi school and sit dung inna de front row. Its a serious ting mi deh pon…..Reggae University.

Our Favorite Records of 2019

The year is nearing its end. At WXNA we commemorate this occassion by asking our volunteer DJ army a simple question: what is your favorite record of the year? Then they answer that question, and we present the results here. Just as the prophecy foretold!

So have a look and check out some of these amazing recommendations. It’s an excellent way to kick-start the new year (after all, music is forever).

Presented for you in no particular order…

Fontaines D.C., Dogrel
DJ Ed, Eighties Schmeighties
Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, Take Heart, Take Care
Chad, Dustbin Days
Bill Callahan, Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest
DJ Trev, Our Golden Tones
North Mississippi Allstars, Up and Rolling
Hound Dog Hoover, Goin’ Down South
Stray Cats, 40
Jammin’ James Riley, Rockabilly ‘n’ Blues Radio Hour
Orville Peck, Pony
Erin Mock, Wishful Thinking
Jenny Lewis, On the Line
Dave Brown, The Black Ark
The New Pornographers, In The Morse Code of Brake Lights
DJ Hot Car, Hot Fudge Tuesdays
Hot Chip, A Bath Full of Ecstasy
Grigsby, Set Records To Stun
Gauche, A People’s History of Gauche
Anna Lundy, Untune the Sky
Ruth Garbus, Kleinmeister
DJ LT, Shout, Sister, Shout!
Young Guv, GUV I & II
Alexis, Free Association
The Highwomen, The Highwomen
Laurel Creech, All About Nashville
Purple Mountains, Purple Mountains
Brady Brock, Fidelity High
Ioanna Gika, Thalassa
DJ Travis T, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
popGeezer, The English Breakfast
Guided By Voices, Zeppelin Over China
Mello-D (aka Doyle Davis), Groovy Potential
The Chemical Brothers, No Geography
DJ Rodge, Delicious Elixir
Brittany Howard, Jaime
JMar, Transmission
Jazz Funk Soul, Life and Times
Chris Nochowicz, The Future of Jazz
The Raconteurs, Help Us Stranger
DJ Cajun Mitch, Sounds of the Bayou
Blood Incantation, Hidden History Of The Human Race
DJAK, No Remorse
Frank LoCrasto, Lost Dispatch
DJ rhatfink, Bedazzled Paradigm Jukebox
Elkhorn, Sun Cycle
Mike Mannix, Psych Out!
Purple Mountains, Purple Mountains
Mike Hester, Flying Lesson
Amyl and the Sniffers, Amyl and the Sniffers
Laura Powers, Needles+Pins
Aldous Harding, Designer
DJ Charlotte Rollerskates, The Maiden Voyager
Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow
DJ Juan, International Echo
Nicholas Payton, Relaxin’ with Nick
DJ Big Chief Chaz, Gilded Splinters
Quelle Chris, Guns
BadN8, Coolin’
Anderson .Paak, Ventura
Jason Piffier
Carl Perkins, Discovering Carl Perkins – Eastview, Tennessee 1952-53
Randy, Hipbilly Jamboree Pick
The Muffs, No Holiday
Randy, Randy’s Record Shop
Brittany Howard, Jaime
R Reid, Holistic Revolution
Lingua Ignota, Caligula
Adam Ebb
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Ghosteen
Michael Roark, Slings & Arrows
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Bandana
Blackcircle, The Root
Temporary High, Nick Piunti
Tommy Womack’s Happiness Hour
Icejjfish, The Gospel
DJ Jonni Downer, The Unlistenable Hour
The Raconteurs, Help Us Stranger
Heather Lose, Aging Hipster
Dry Cleaning, Boundary Road Snacks And Drinks / Sweet Princess
Jay Millar, Plural of Vinyl
Sunn O))), Life Metal/Pyroclasts
Josh Mock, Sad Songs for Happy People
Green Ribbons, Green Ribbons
DJ Lauren, Different Every Time
Darrin Bradbury, Talking Dogs and Atom Bombs
Double-Shot with Joe & Sue

Jenny Lewis, On The Line
DJ Nexus, Musical Mysticism
Juleah, Desert Skies
Michael, The Scatter Shot
Gene Clark, No Other
Ashley, Set Records to Stun
Crumb, Jinx
DJ TJ, Static Wall
Steve Gunn, The Unseen In Between
DJ Susan, The Inconsiderate Mixtape
Kali Malone, The Sacrificial Code
popcorn brain, Dreambeat
Robyn Hitchcock/Andy Partridge, Planet England
Anne McCue, Songs On The Wire

A WXNA Holiday EP

Here at WXNA we would be remiss if we let the season pass by without suggesting a few seasonal tunes to play while baking cookies or wrapping packages or fretting about the future of democracy decorating the tree. But let’s be honest, there is no shortage of holiday playlists to be found around this-here internet. That’s why this year, we’re focusing on a holiday EP. Leave them wanting more, that’s what we always say. Also, life is chaotic. Who has time to compile the top 15,000 holiday songs of all time? Not us!

You can listen to this playlist on Spotify by clicking on these words.

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

DJ Sue of Double Shot with Joe and Sue
This 1947 Frank Loesser-penned song was a favorite of my parents, when Mom was pregnant with me for New Year’s Eve that year. She played it every year for the holidays, and now, so do I. My parents loved music and would have been thrilled to know that I am part of WXNA.

“I Believe in Father Christmas” by Greg Lake

DJ Joe of Double Shot with Joe and Sue
When that came on MTV for the first time every year, I knew it was Christmas.

“River” by Joni Mitchell

DJ LT of Shout, Sister, Shout!
Not a real crate-diggin’ choice, but I can’t imagine a holiday season without this song in it, providing a respite from the expectations of joyfulness and jingling.

“Christmas At the Airport” by Nick Lowe

Rick Pecoraro, WXNA Contributor
A relatively new entry to the Christmas canon (2013), and one of the few songs that really get to the nut of holiday travel: that it can all fall into chaos at a moments notice. When I hear this song I’m usually reminded of Christmas 2005 when my flight from Newark to Omaha was cancelled. I ended up flying to Chicago and then in a hail mary attempt at forward progression rented the last available car and drove the remaining 8 hours to Nebraska. I hadn’t slept the night before, was exhausted and falling asleep behind the wheel. When I hit the Quad Cities I pulled off, and went into a Best Buy in an attempt to stay awake. I bought a copy of Pavement’s “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” and Gwen Steffani’s first solo record. Anyway, this Nick Lowe song takes me back to that Christmas. To its credit I look back fondly.

“I Wish I Had More” by Andrew Bryant

DJ Chad Pelton, Dustbin Days
Andrew Bryant (formerly of the band Water Liars, and now a solo artist) has released singles around the holidays for the past few years (my count is at 5 on Bandcamp). This one should appeal to those that love the sadder side of things around the holidays, or maybe I shouldn’t say sad, but honest. It’s a reminder of those folks dealing with tough relationships, which the holidays have a way of amplifying, and although it’s a fairly brutal tale of a family amidst breakup, I find it uplifting, sincere, and quite heartfelt.

“Patti Smith for Xmas” by Kyle Hamlett Uno

DJ Trev of Our Golden Tones

“Merry Christmas From The Family” by Robert Earl Keen

DJ Houndog Hoover of Goin’ Down South
Funny, and gets all the details right!

WXNA Gives Thanks

This Thanksgiving, WXNA has so much to be grateful for. Last week was our Fall Pledge Drive, and thanks to YOU, we exceeded our goal of $30k! Because of your generous support, we’re keeping the home fires burning and the tunes spinning into the colder months. Here’s what we’ll be playing over the airwaves and in our homes tomorrow to celebrate the season (you can also listen along via Spotify)!

DJ Picks: