Monday, October 25, 2004

Too Much Crap in the Garage at SoundClick - Ya' Gotta Dig Deep to Find The Fantastic 5

When's the last time you cleaned out someone else's garage? Probably never ... 'cause it sucks. Who wants to go digging through someone else's trash?

And that's the problem with SoundClick. It's the world's largest garbage filled garage. Most of the "bands" are one person. Not that one person can't make a masterpiece - especially with the tech available. But the majority of bands I looked into are one person with one song idea and no idea how to produce. The "acid jazz" band the site recommended was more like an acid casualty trying to cover a Phish cover of some obscure Dead tune. My favorite indie band Stomprocket may be on the site, but hell, they're everywhere. Don't waste your time on SoundClick- EXCEPT to check out the hot-rodded pop stashed in the back - The Fantastic 5.

Free MP3's of The Fantastic 5
The Fantastic 5 is a '50's influenced garage-psych-pop-punk-rock band out of Miami, Florida. Kind of like digging through piles of trash and finding a cherry red '65 Chevy Malibu SS under cover. This band burns in a cool lo-fi way.

Check it, go direct:
The Fantastic 5

Friday, October 22, 2004

MSN Music Giving Away Free Albums (almost) - Get the Full Taste of Mos Def's "The New Danger"

We all knew it was only a matter of time before Microsoft jumped onto the stage and started pimpin' tunes. More of the same you say? Yes and no. Pricing is the same as most others - .99 per song, most albums $9.90. What makes MSN's service stand out is that they allow you to listen to COMPLETE albums for free through their Listening Booth. It's not a download, it's a stream. But that's still cool in my book - and here's why - you get the whole meal, not just a 30 second taste of the sauce.

Free Listening - Mos Def's "The New Danger"
Mos Def is back with a hip-hop based jambalaya of blues, rock, funk and soul. Bits of N.E.R.D., Andre 3000, and Ben Harper. While some reviews are callin' it a bland mix, and I agree there's some spoons of white rice, you gotta' taste every piece to get it. And that's why I like the MSN Music service - you can listen to the whole album - all 18 freakin' songs - and taste the full flava'.

Check it for free:
MSN Music

Friday, October 15, 2004

HUNDREDS of Free MP3's From the Amazon Including the Year's Best "Destiny" by Zero 7

So we all know about - it's where you go to buy virtually anything online. Well a few months ago they even started carrying musical instruments - guitars, basses, drums, etc... at INSANELY low prices. We're talking Musician's Friend prices (a quick check showed same prices on both sites.) And it's the good stuff - Gibsons, Schecters, Deans....

What does this have to do with free MP3's? Well, it wasn't until I checked out the guitars that I really took a good look at Amazon's music service - and found hundreds of FREE MP3's - and once again was totally blown by what Amazon was giving away - downloads of Sigur Ros, Rancid, Yo La Tengo, and one of my favorites Zero 7's "Destiny".

Zero 7 is this amazing electronica duo - two producers from the UK mixing smooth soul and funk samples with live vocals into sonic acid-jazz bliss. "Destiny" from their debut release Simple Things surrounds you in sweet serenity. (Cool music fact: the Dangermouse remix of "Somersault" was the 100 millionth iTunes download.)

Get the download of "Destiny" (and a couple hundred other MP3's) from the Amazon:

Monday, October 11, 2004

Indie Music Sites and Pimping Hard 9

A few weeks ago I wrote on another blog about the death of Hollywood as the entertainment capital. The new power in entertainment is with technology. The power to create AND the power to distribute. That power isn't in Hollywood. It's in Seattle, Redmond, Cupertino and other media technology hubs - all outside of Hollywood. Best of all, this new power is accessible to virtually any artist anywhere in the world.

While the majors like iTunes are allowing independents to get on-board, there are sites just for independents. Here's three of the best independent only music sites:

Unsigned Music Network

Audio Lunchbox

Garage Band

These sites all have free MP3's - so even if you're not in a band, check them out - and check out some free new music.

For major distribution of independent music, check out Loudeye's IndieSource. Loudeye distributes music to the majority of online music retail sites. While they don't sell to end-users, I'm including them because if you really want massive distribution, you need to check them out.

Free MP3's of Hard 9
Here's a link to one of my favorite Indie bands, Hard 9 on Garage Band. Hard 9 is a 100 MPH joy ride in a stolen muscle car. Ballsy and loud. Billy Zoom of X produced a couple of their tunes, including the nitro-fueled "Creep".

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Free MP3's of Amy Spear - One of the Best Female Singers in Rock

I used to play guitar in a band called the Poppyseeds. We were an average psychedelic garage rock band with an extraordinary singer - Amy Spear. The problem with the Poppyseeds was that we went through bassists like Spinal Tap going through drummers. In two years we went through ten bass players - from a punk junkie to a jazz cop to a Lemmy (Motorhead) look-alike. What made the struggle worth it was playing with Amy. She's one of those singers that has it all - amazing song writing skills, massive vocal range, and a solid stage presence.

Amy Spear's new self-titled band plays a very cool mix of dance pop rock. Her guitarist and co-writer Alan Reed is a cross-genre master weaving blues, country and rock licks into these highly produced songs. Think Led Zeppelin backing Kylie Minogue.

Her site has five free MP3's.

You can also find Amy Spear on The Unsigned Musicians Network.

Free iTunes - "Stick Up Kid" by Lyfe Jennings

This week's free iTune is the R&B single "Stick Up Kid" by Lyfe Jennings. Lyfe started writing songs while in prison. Good thing it's free.

Here's the link:

Free Single of the Week