Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Throw Away Your Wallet: Free Music

I've come to dislike the recession vehemently. Aside from the great deals (5 Bath & Body Works liquid soaps for less than $20! Amazing), I really have no affection for it. Everyday NPR, the President, and other news sources say that the recession is over except for the fact that people are still losing their jobs and not spending any money. Aiyo!

In tough times, it's important to have nice flowers around (traditionally, flower sales go up during depressions) and good music so I've compiled a brief list of sites where you can find free music (mostly indie--but some good indie for the most part.) I really really like free stuff, especially when it's worth something!
  • Daytrotter: The legends of indie music come stop by the Daytrotter studio on their way to whereever they're going and record a few of their (usually already published) songs. Check out Bon Iver (whose CD you should own, especially for the winter months), The Avett Brothers (that's a long A. They're my new favorites--Laundry Room is gorgeous and must be listened to often), Erin McKeown and Fleet Foxes.

  • Spinner: An online music magazine complete with free MP3s du jour, plus some special exclusive free music and complete CDs you can stream. I haven't fully explored this site, but it seems like it could have some good stuff.

  • NPR has two free albums: One jazz, one folk both from the famous Newport (Rhode Island) Music Festival. They're pretty good too with some names you just might recognize. Don't wait on this one; it probably won't be up forever.

  • Amazon: New songs are added daily and weekly and during Christmas there is a festive new song every day. I've never heard of 80% of the artists, but if you're persistent I'm sure there are great discoveries to be had. Downloads include sampler albums from various record companies. An added bonus is that the music is of all genres. Sign up for their weekly newsblast and they'll tell you all their deals each week. Click here for the full song list.

  • Relevant: live music from the Relevant Podcast. There are songs from Jars of Clay, Denison Witmer, Sara Groves, Leeland, Future of Forestry and others you may or may not have heard of
Free Music Podcasts a la iTunes:
  • KEXP Song of the Day (or MPR: The Current Song of the Day--their music tends to overlap): At least half of these songs are not worth a second listen, but there are some great ones including Jose Gonzalez, Andrew Bird, M. Ward, Bon Iver, and Band of Horses.

  • NPR: Live Concerts With All Songs Considered--Live music from awesome acts, often with great recorded quality. Look back in the archives and find Nickel Creek, Jose Gonzalez, The Swell Season, Gillian Welch and more!

  • KCRW: Today's Top Tune--I just added this one, but it seems to have a different selection of songs from KEXP.

At least half of these were suggested to me by friends. Know of any other good free music finds? Do share!


eva said...

i love noisetrade:

thanks for sharing your finds!

Flynn said...

Oh yeah! I forgot that one. I downloaded a great Waterdeep album from there.