Discovering JQBX and the Lanky Bastards

Graphic art logo for DJ website JQBX

This is a story about stumbling upon an online radio spaceship helmed by everyone.

In case you hate reading, and that headline’s enough for you, climb aboard at

I recently joined Reddit to scrounge for new music & news I might not hear elsewhere. Just trying to cast a wide web on the wide web, ya dig? I’m not even really sure where I was at, but I found this comment (holy MOLY it was shroomie all along 😵) suggesting that something better than Spotify existed.

I’d started reviving my faith in Spotify playlisting and live radio, so I was that certain type of skeptical where you really shouldn’t be, but you just are because…reasons. Like because humans are averse to new things, and enjoy inordinate dramatic rage. So I smashed the link, authorized JQBX with my Spotify account, and joined MF ROOM because the description sounded funky.

I was a little nervous at first – JQBX users are quite adept at horsing around. It was like being in middle school again, picking a lunch table. Except, they’re all super intensely nice and intelligent. And the room you choose essentially doesn’t matter. I was encouraged to give DJing a shot, and people were liking my picks. More importantly, I was blown away by theirs.

*Cue thickest Boston accent* That’s when it was awl ovah. Heah’s some actual video of me disappearin intah jukebawx every day.

What is it?

JQBX plugs into your Premium Spotify account, then lets you DJ online in live chat rooms like it’s 2009. Here’s a page on how to use it. It’s been the best thing for my music discovery, and the worst thing for my time management, since AIM. But really – you can join genre-themed rooms to suit your taste, give your feedback on songs, save them instantly for later, access your Spotify playlists right in the app, everything. It’s genius.

“Before JQBX, I was musically ignorant. Not even 2 years later, I’m still musically ignorant. But now I look like I’ve dedicated my life to music.”

🍄 shroomie

My favorite part is the community. I definitely don’t have a full handle on it yet, but I met MF SHROOM (aka shroomie, shrm, the list goes on) instantly and caught such a good vibe. Others in the crew that fateful night were Triquelli, verde, Granddesign, Geoff, and I can’t remember who else? Probably TheYuhTobi, bethmax, yorchy, and maybe hoggy. These folks are veterans of the app, and they couldn’t be more welcoming to newcomers. They also have mind-blowing taste in tunage.

Cough up some songs, you say?

The first song I starred on JQBX, which adds the song to a dedicated playlist on Spotify in real time, was Inside Outside by Joanne Grauer.

Most of the 74 songs I’ve starred since then are jazz-funk or latin gems that I would probably never find anywhere else. This little miracle of a song came from the one and only Geoff!!

One of my favorite things so far is themes – sometimes via the chat you get talking about something, and then everybody DJs on that theme. For me, every time I’ve been on it’s been birds.

Or reggae. And the quality doesn’t go down during themes at all.

I had to find out more about these music junkies.

Turns out, some of them started a collective called the Lanky Bastards, and they rule. It’s a group of about a dozen JQBX users from around the world who love music and started a blog about it. Some of the founders are: Joja, thepokémask, shroomie, LuckyKip, hoggy, ahbooyou, and wilmerton, but many others have helped along the way.

Really it’s best for you and your destiny to check out their blog or hang with them on JQBX, because that’s where I learned everything I know about them, which is very little. They’re a mysterious bunch. But they know their shit, and can recommend deeper cuts than anyone I know.

One of the coolest things they do is post Monthly Finds – a bunch of cool new releases and freshly dug digs that they collect for the first Monday of every month.

They’ll also do these really deep dives into particular genres. There’s nothing cooler than getting an in-depth introduction to something super niche. The most recent one is Psychedelic Folk Oddities, Obscurities, and More…

Hop on their mailing list to get the latest updates, grasshopper.

I hope I see you on JQBX soon!

Keep a look out for me (erica) because I want to hear what you got!

JQBX was founded by Jason Zigelbaum, who created it for fun, that saint! If you’re feeling it, you can support the project here.

Check out his other projects The Best Agency and Zigpoll too. Thank you JASON!