I will plead guilty to being a bit of a music fan, but it seems that it becomes increasingly more difficult to find the new stuff out there. Unless you want to spend hours upon hours scouring the web or attend SXSW, of course (Why am I not at SXSW right now?). The cause of my greatest consternation in this area is caused by the fact that even though I live in the 5th largest media market in the country(Dallas), there is not one music radio station worth listening to. We're hoping with the return of the "Eagle" maybe the "Edge" will cut the heavy metal and return to some level of respectability, but it seems like a pipe dream. Because I haven't really listened to music radio in 5 years, I had to find other methods. For a while I used the reviews in the newspaper as a possible source, but then they fired half their staff several years ago and did away with such trivialities as music reviews, so screw me again. I've heard quite a few of those in the know like Pitchfork, but for some reason I find it off putting and don't go there as much as I probably should(As soon as I figure out why, I'll let you know.) Our good friend Lex has his new album recommendations, which is also helpful. There's also last.fm, which allows you to view what I might be listening to over there to the left, but I must admit I still have yet to grasp its complete value.
My biggest source of music has come from my subscription to emusic. And because emusic has gone to great lengths to position itself as the home of indie rock, well guess who finds themselves as somewhat of an indie rock fan (Hello! Hey, over here. Yeah, me.) I never envisioned myself as indie. I'm guessing most who know me just choked on something at the thought of me being called "indie" anything. Anyway, emusic offers more than its fair share of free downloads. Along with the occasional free offerings from labels (indie labels of course), the site also offers a free download of the day (*Note* To access that feature, you must download a browser toolbar, but I think it's worth it.) Even with my access to the site and other efforts, I still feel like a lot of the times I do find something new that I like it just happened by accident. One of my recent discoveries came from my own iPod. I put it on shuffle and walked by it later and thought, "I really like that. Where in God's name did it come from?" I had downloaded it months earlier (from emusic) and had not paid it enough attention.
So I thought we could help each other out a bit. I'll point you in the direction of some places I've discovered that offer free downloads and maybe you can do the same. Also, I guess if you already have an emusic* account, we could trade nicknames and be able to check out what we each decided was download worthy (Mine's Farky. Shocker, huh.). So here's a hand full of sites I've stumbled upon:
And to be oh so very timely; SXSW offers many free downloads of bands performing this week here.
Finally, I thought I'd leave you with my proudest discovery of the last 6 months. One of those "How am I just now hearing this?" moments that makes you wonder if your abode is doubling as a large rock. And then you go find multiple albums worthy of you time and adulation. The band in this case was Spoon. And I will leave you with their newest release, "The Underdog". I dare you not to like this song. I DARE YOU.
(*If you don't have an emusic account I'd be glad to introduce you. What? Will I get something for getting you to join? Ah, don't worry about that.)