Art, Music & Film

What Is a Rare Gems Listening Party?

listening party with JQBX

One of our staff has been a radio streamer for over a decade, and when she contributed the article on how to host a streaming party, we had to try it out. After all, our staff is located all over the world so it’s hard to find ways to socialize. Sure, we could meet up over Zoom, but that doesn’t feel festive and so many people have Zoom fatigue. Thus the Rare Gems Listening Party was born.

At a Rare Gems Listening Party, we launch a playlist featured in the magazine by listening collectively and chatting about the songs around a theme. Sometimes we open up the DJing so you can share your favorite songs on that topic too.

cozy dog

Appropriate attire for a listening party

The Chillest of Chill Parties

The great thing about a streaming music party is you can spend time getting in-depth in the chat, or you can simply enjoy the tunes. This is not a Zoom party. There is no camera, no pressure. Just amazing songs and good conversation.


What Are Rare Gems?

The songs we feature in our playlists and listening party aren’t the same tracks you’ll find on Billboard or some radio DJ’s Top Ten. They are sparkling gems we’re bringing to light. This includes new up-and-coming artists, but it isn’t only new music. Sometimes the best track on an album is the one that never became a hit. Sometimes great songs get lost to time. We can’t let that happen, now can we?

How to Participate in the Listening Party

The events are free, but at this time you need Spotify Premium to join the party.

We’re using to enable us to all to listen to the same song at the same time, and JQBX requires Spotify Premium.


To join the party, go to at the allotted time.

At the bottom of this page is the list of our most recent playlist, which will have the time and date to attend.

If this is your first time using JQBX, you should set up your profile by adding a photo and giving yourself a name.

If that takes you out of the room above, go back to that link. The music should play right away. You’ll see a chat box where listeners will be sharing gifs and talking about the music. The virtual DJ will be at the top of the screen, along with the title and musician. All the other attendees will be on the right. Some people will be active, some prefer to listen quietly while going about their day.

What Else You Need to Know to Achieve Maximum Fun at an Online Listening Party

  • When you hear a good song, it’s courteous hit the DOPE button on the top right. There is also a NOPE button, but its use is often discouraged.
  • If you want to share an animated gif, you can paste the url in the chat. (must end in .gif)
  • Our JQBX room has a bot by the name of Guy Debot. The bot keeps track of which songs got the most DOPES, and you can ask him for jokes, the weather, artist info, and more. The mods are happy to help if you want to interact with the bot.
  • If you hit the star button, it will save the song to a playlist in Spotify called JQBX Favorites. Or, if you have Spotify open, you can drag the song playing to any of your existing playlists.
  • Sometimes we’ll open it up to let you contribute your own favorites. If you want to DJ, you’ll need to load up song songs into your queue on the left.


If your music stops, try hitting the SYNC button. There is also a button in the top toolbar to toggle whether Spotify is playing from the web or the Spotify desktop software; switching between these can help. Finally, you may want to restart Spotify.

Our Latest Listening Party

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