Sunday, October 15, 2006

Free Tune Sunday

I’ve been a subscriber to e-music for about six months, and so far I’m reasonably satisfied. 50 free mp3’s for signing up, and 20 mp3s a month for $9.99. I figured Apple’s got enough of my money, let’s give something else a try. It’s all independent labels, so you won’t find very many mainstream artists, but to me that’s part of the appeal. There is also a nice selection of jazz, blues and soul, largely owing to the catalog of Fantasy Records. Tip: Heed the member reviews closely, they will steer you away from the bad recordings, like misleading remakes and a few poor quality recordings. Mostly, though, there is a ton of good stuff to be had, for ½ the price of itunes.

Here are a couple of tracks that were offered free on an Pitchfork Music Festival sampler, so I’ll share them here with no guilt. Maybe this will turn you on to something.

Spoon – The Beast and the Dragon, Adored This smart pop band from Austin has hovered just below my radar for a while. Can these guys really be from Texas? Their most well known tune is probably The Way We Get By, and I Turn My Camera On is a funky track cut from the same cloth as Emotional Rescue. I find that I get a little bored with an entire album, but taken in small doses (just a spoonful?), Spoon is too cool to be ignored. This track is from their 2005 Album Gimme Fiction.

The Futureheads – Skip to the End Hailing from Sunderland, UK, this relatively new band is part of the current British pop scene. Think Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand. Their sound is also evocative of The Jam and early XTC, which could explain why I immediately liked this song. The e-music reviewer called this movement ‘angular pop.’ If so, the sharp syncopation and catchy melody of Skip to the End could be the new angular pop anthem. From their second album News and Tributes.



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