Monday, July 28, 2008

Cleverly Free Music

I posted a concert from in that My Morning Jacket post recently and it got me thinking. I bet a lot of people aren't even aware of some unexpected places to find cool free music content.

Warning this post is pretty geeked out you can find the rest after the jump...

So the whole thing with is they are allegedly archiving the internet. So all of my little musings on flash in the pan bands can be read 50 years from now. Personally I'm pretty skeptical 'cause it seems like trying to bottle the ocean to me. In any case this means they have culled all of those hippy bootleg tapes from all over the internet and collected them in one place.

You won't be able to find just any artists in the archive, if you're looking for Prince, Madonna, Metallica then you're probably not even reading this post. But if you like jam bands, or fringe indie-artists, then this is your site. It can get pretty technical with all of the tape heads arguing about lossy formats. What I do is find a band I like, sort their shows by rating then stream it from the site. I only download if the sound is worthy of hard drive space, which most of it isn't. But if you take the time you can find some gems in the rough.

A more recent find for me is the Hype Machine, which is a meta-blog. It combs blogs and sorts out all of the music in a pretty bad-ass manner. You can stream it direct from the site so again, very work friendly. It can be a bit harder to get to the original posts to download the songs. I usually just read which blog posted the song I want and go directly there rather than using the links on

This last bit of information is a bit shadier, so use at your own discretion and skill-level. You can go to sites like or Project Playlist and exploit their resources to your own gain. Basically both of those sites created flash players that stream music from all over the internet. So if you have uploaded your favorite Usher track onto your personal webspace then these sites can stream it from there using their flash player. They are not designed to be used for free downloads...HOWEVER, when you search for a song on the site it will give you a link to add it to your playlist, and in that link it shows you where the file is sourced. It can be tricky to try and read the entire URL, usually you have to rest your mouse over the file name and type it in another browser.

There I've given you all of my tricks...or at least three of them. Here's some gems from the archives:

Spoon Live at the Greek Theatre on 2006-08-12

The Black Angels Live at Chop Suey on 2006-02-11

Tom Tom Club Live at The Bayou In Georgetown on 1989-05-15

Ryan Adams Live at Somerville Theatre on 2007-06-29

Jose Gonzalez Live at Belly Up Tavern on 2007-11-26

Andrew Bird Live at Studio 105, Lenoir on 2005-03-21

I'm putting an individual track from that Andrew Bird show you'll know why after you download and's just so awesome.
Andrew Bird - Measuring Cups VBR Mp3

Post some of your favs in the comments.