Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Love Rock n Roll... and lots of other stuff too

I have had a busy few weeks since I was last regularly posting anything here...

I've been privy to birth, and death, in all it's forms including human, economic and animal...

and done a whole lotta living as well...

Saw some great music recently including two shows from one of my fave bands, The Slackers, and been sweating it up as summer comes into view...

I could go on for hours, as many of you well know, so I'll spare ya the details and just get on with da music...

Seems like that's what you kids want anyhow...

So hopefully you'll appreciate what ya get, cuz what ya get what ya get...

One of the ways I occupy my idle hours is checking out new music, and of course, these days much of it is obtained online.

While trolling nefarious sources can be appealing, one of the best ( and legal) ways I've found to go about this is via my eMusic subscription...

I'm gonna belabor a point, and tell ya what I feel is still a good way to support your fave musicians...

Instead of scouring the web for torrents or whatever Badongo Rapidshare scheme or whatnots is popular... consider the positive impact you can have by simply buying some of that slippery stuff now and zen...

For the past few years I've been a subscriber to eMusic's very affordable and convienent mp3 download service. It's probably one of the most underrated deals online, or in music in general these days.

While the much hyped I-Tunes service offers plenty DRM coated AAC codec tracks for a buck each, and Amazon has recently jumped into the game with similarly priced DRM free MP3s, eMusic has been doing it longer than both, and at a much better price per track.

My subscription gets me all over the musical map for about 25 cents a song, all for a nominal ten bucks a month that really goes a long way.

The best part is just knowing that somehow a few nickels are getting tossed at writers, composers and legitimate rights holders, and struggling labels can accurately gauge the popularity of their bands.

For the price of one full album download at Amazon or iTunes, I find myself getting somewhere around 40-50 tracks a month at least, and often there are plenty more free samples thrown in by record labels interested in expanding their reach with samplers and such. For example the Tratore label out of Brazil is offering a 15 track Samba sampler currently of modern Brazilian artists, giving me a chance to sample a diverse array of music i would likely not otherwise find on my own.

Here's a list of just some of the newer offerings on on eMusic's website that came in recently, most just within the past month or so...

So intermingled, herein for the truly curious are stray mp3 tracks that I also scored through the site... dozens of which you can score too if ya hit em up for the free trial... and possibly hundreds more if ya end up sticking around for the $10 bucks a month like I have for the past couple years.

Now I ain't a salesman, but here's some of that music... which should do most of the explaining ...

Here's a cut off that free Brazilian Samba sampler from the Tratore label I mentioned above...

Alexandre Grooves featuring Seu Jorge - Amanha eu nao vou trabalhar

Here's another Brazilian artist I discovered through a previous free Tratore sampler...

A really ripping musical experimentalist with psychedleic leanings named Fernando Catatau whose band goes by the musical moniker Cidadão Instigado

Cidadão Instigado - O Verdadeiro Conceito de um Preconceito

O Ciclo da Dê.cadênciaCidadão Instigado
"O Verdadeiro Conceito de um Preconceito" (mp3)
from "O Ciclo da Dê.cadência"

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon
More On This Album

As you can imagine I never have a shortage of potential new fave mp3 tracks to burn onto mix CDs, and I am just clicks away from a vast variety of tunes that includes everything from Nina Simone to Testament to Judas Priest to Louis Prima.

The Best Of Hank Williams
From the classic country holy Hank trinity of Hank Locklin, Hank Williams & Hank Thompson to the raw rock of Joan Jett or The Rolling Stones, you will find something to dig into.

There's plenty modern indie rock galore from the likes of My Morning Jacket, MSTRKRFT, Frightened Rabbit, or Spank Rock.

The Rolling Stones, Now!

The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women

aside from yer faves and future fave tunes,
There are also random spoken word albums from Henry Rollins, or interviews with people like John Lennon and or Albert Einstein & Winston Churchill speeches if I so choose....I even have access to quite a few audio books.

Songs To Sing (The Best Of Nina Simone)

Best of Judas Priest

Each month more unique new music is offered. I imagine not everyone will enjoy eMusic, but if your an adventurous sort, with a keen interest in upcoming bands & long lost classics, you can't really go wrong.

50 free mp3 songs

Currently they have an offer for new subscribers to reap 50 FREE MP3 Downloads which isn't band at all...

That's about $50 worth over at one of your other fave download emporiums...

psst another track for y'all... a rare one at that, but that eMusic offered up for free , so I'll pass the savings onto thee...

Paul Pena - Jet Airliner

(by the way, this tune is the original demo version of sorts from the blind Bay Area guitarist that Steve Miller recut and took all the way into perpetual classic rock radio airplay...For more info on the late amazing Paul Pena , ya gotta see the Academy Award winning doc Ghengis Blues... )

Apples In Stereo - various back catalog gems are online at emusic for the taking including their eclectic collection Electronic Projects for Musicians

While iTunes is charging a buck a song for those all too clever Cake tracks, at eMusic subscribers can peruse the back catalog of this band for as little as 25 cents a track, not too mention occasional freebies...

Cake's discography at eMusic"

here's their classically minimalist funky folk take on Dolly Parton's hit Jolene from their recently reissued debut disc Motorcade of Genorosity...


Motorcade of GenerosityCake
"Jolene" (mp3)
from "Motorcade of Generosity"
(Upbeat Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

Although if you cruise around eMusic looking for Cake you also might find Lee Hazlewood's final album Cake or Death...
Cake Or Death

It's definitely worth downloading as well...

Barry Adamson - new masterworks from this former member of Magazine & Nick Cave's band, eMusic subscribers could download it weeks before the physical CD copies hit streets !

Albert Einstein - Archival Spoken Word recordings of the noted physicist

The Brazilian chanteuse Bebel Gilberto has a bunch of music available including her popular
Remixed EP.

The Pixies 4AD material has been available for a long time, and Frank Black also has an extended live disc that's twice as long as the 9 track legit CD version.

Pixies founder Black Francis also has his latest EP Svn Fngrs online at eMusic, at less than half what iTunes is charging.

Here's one from last year's Blue Finger album
Black Francis - She Took All The Money

More treats I see are up on eMusic for y'all:

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts have just uploaded her latest Blackheart Records album Sinner, as well as her classics Bad Reputation & I Love Rock n Roll.

Joan Jett - Crimson & Clover

Chesterfield Kings - 2 new releases, and a compilation featuring them put together by Garage Rock guru Little Steven.

John Coltrane - the classic collection known as Settin' The Pace

Miles Davis - Bags Grooove ( remastered All Star 1954 LP with Monk, Milt Jackson on vibes, Sonny Rollins (on tenor sax). and Horace Silver etc )

Devin the Dude - Smoke Sessions Vol. 1

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Very Saxy ( another classic jazz LP from Fantasy catalog)

Jay - Z & Big Mike - International Gangster ( 2008 collab)

Ian Gillan- recent recordings of the former Deep Purple singer at House of Blues in Anaheim

L.A Guns ( early demos)

alt-country punkers Lucero recently put up a good portion of their back catalog

Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau - featuring the early recordings of the late great Israel Kamakawiwo'ole


Pink Skull - Zeppelin 3 ( Electro Dance with guests on Crambodia including SpankRock, Ghostface Killah
Spank Rock and Amanda Blank

Sam Cooke - amazing ABKCO & SAR label back catalog

Sun Kil Moon - morose pop purveyors new release April

Sunscreem - techno scene survivors

or just well known classic indie labels like Earache, Dischord , Yep Roc , and Stax

All I know is, I get enlightened every week and try new stuff, and best of all, I ain't feeling the least tinge of guilty about it beacause thousands of artists and their labels are onboard and willing participants in this online schema.

The service likely ain't for everybody, as most of this stuff ain't top 40 fodder, so keep yer lil sister and her Rihanna fans at bay. I enjoy digging in the digital crates and assume if yer still here, that you do too...

One thing is thjough, as the DRM free fever spreads, more & more well established artists are available these days, ranging from platinum acts like Los Lonely Boys & Johnny Cash, plus classic rock radio staples like The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival , The Kinks, Pete Townsend & The Police.

I mean if yer a new wave fan, looking for some hard to find Gary Numan tracks, last time I checked Emusic had no less than 12 of his albums...

I was surprised to find many new wave acts that are often out of print on CD, such as those that were on Stiff Records, like Dr. Feelgood, Wreckless Eric or even that crazy dame with the kooky voice known as Lene Lovich.
Lucky Number (The Best Of)
Lene Lovich - Lucky NumberOne
(E-Music MP3, 192kbps)

Buy at eMusic

At I-Tunes or Amazon that stuff costs ya at least .99 cents... but via Emusic... hey, about a 1/4th of that... which is maybe what it's really worth eh?

You'll likely discover a little of whatever ya like, ranging from folk to blues, electronica, jazz , classical & even "crunk"...

Yes Yes Y'all...Hip Hop is represented there of course, ranging from Lil Jon on down to the old Delicious Vinyl back catalog, as well as the latest fom cutting edge crews like The Quanuum Records, Dipset, Stones Throw & Hieroglyphics camps.

Bay Area hyphy fans should be aware that this includes underground faves like
Herm, Keak Da Sneak, B legit, RBL, Too $hort, Outlawz, Messy Marv,

Mistah F.A.B, E40, Mac Dre, Yukmouth, Mac Mall, Mr. Kee, and numerous other brothers


New stuff is added to the database every week... so you can stay fresh...

For the adventurous, there's also lots of Latin and World Music too...
I've delved into some classic boogaloo Latin music featuring albums by Ray Barretto, Charlie Palmieri, Machito & Joe Bataan as well as dub & reggae cuts from Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley, Ernest Ranglin, and plenty others so all you feisty fans of Toots & The Maytals,

nor siree... y'all won't be left out either.

Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop

(a live DRM free MP3 encoded at's standard 192kbps,)

There's a certain guilt free convienance of finding all sorts of classic tunes at my fingertips, with more selections uploaded & offered each week...both new & old.

It's kinda like having an Amoeba that's open 24 hours a day...with free samples too...

p.s I suggest whether you subscribe or not ya better save this link for daily's always got something new...

Here's the Emusic free download of the day

Anyhow... I ain't gonna go on about this forever, but I just wanted to say that I find the subscription service to be a fine reliable & welcome time killer, always entertaining, with fairly high quality bit rate files to boot. I'm always finding out about new stuff through all the links to related albums & artists...either from fellow customers, Emusic's reviewers or just random searchable coincidences such as label, artist and genre links.

Plus it's way less guilt inducing & creepy than trolling around like a skeezer looking for random illicit downloads. At least you know some sort of tacit approval & royalties are involved with yer tunes...

Anyhow, I figure if you find my site... you are probably looking for music, and ya might wanna give their legit service a go as well...

For less than the cost of one new CD or I-Tunes album each month, basic members have access to dozens of tunes that ya can keep , burn, and move around from player to player without any proprietary DRM restrictions...

Lil Mike sez check it out...

Download 25 FREE songs at!

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