Ten free and legal downloads or streams sure to strike the ear of the cash strapped college student.
1. Various artists: Bonnaroo 2010 sampler
Just in time for this weekend's Bonnaroo blowout in Manchester, Tenn., fans of jam bands, classic rock, indie associations and just about everything else under the sun can devour this extensive taste test. Though it's a lengthy list to sift through, don't miss dance act Phoenix's "1901," garage rockers' Tokyo Police Club's "Juno (Ra Ra Riot Remix)," the rootsy Calexico's "Two Silver Trees" and funk favorites Galactic (teaming with soul siren Irma Thomas) on "Heart of Steel."
2. Jakob Dylan and Three Legs: Interface Session
Between a successful stint as The Wallflowers singer, not to mention being the son of Bob Dylan, Jakob Dyklan (pictured) has lots to be thankful for. This live Interface video stream is amongst the series' most momentous to date. Add in band members that include Neko Case (of New Pornographers fame) and the always-outspoken Kelly Hogan, and there's plenty of alternative country innovation throughout this unplugged and intimate concert excursion.
3. Cee-Lo: "Georgia"
While his Gnarls Barkley partner in crime Danger Mouse is entertaining himself in the new band Broken Bells, rapper Cee-Lo is back to the solo ranks once again. Though not nearly as immediate as the group's smash single "Crazy," this track's smooth shuffling and retro vibe would surely sound superb on vinyl.
4. White Hills: "Dead"
When the tag "space rock" is tossed around in musical circles, it's usually assigned to The Flaming Lips, given that act's out-of-this-world concoction of supernatural sounds and on-stage theatrics. But Thrill Jockey's White Hills should surely be on the tip of everyone's tongue next time the term's brought up, as this tripped-out track filled with vicious distortion so aptly attests.
5. Various artists: Tooth & Nail's Summer Sampler Soundtrack
The label that birthed Christian punk, alternative rock and emo heroes such as MXPX, Anberlin and The Juliana Theory seeks to introduce its latest generation of alternative players on this 15-song sampler. Catch a plethora of Vans Warped Tour acts past and present led by The Almost (an offshoot of Underoath), plus newcomers like The Letter Black, Sent By Ravens and Write This Down.
6. RPWL: "Trying To Kiss the Sun"
Progressive rock is always a tough nut to crack, especially when it's combined with swirling psychedelic stylings. Nonetheless, this band made up of initials from Freising, Germany may very well be Pink Floyd re-incarnate crossed with hints of early Genesis -- thanks to sweeping soundscapes, epic storylines and plenty of wigged-out imagery.
7. The Right Now: Hear Ya Live Session
Straddling the Chicago and Milwaukee scenes (including an appearance at this year's massive Summerfest), The Right Now is reminiscent of the dance-funk paragon Poi Dog Pondering. The group blends funk, R&B, soul and blues, loaded with plenty of horn-centered grooves and seductive singing, as displayed during this stripped down live set.
8. Everette Harp: "Old School"
As one of the most dependable sax men in soul and jazz, Everette Harp's made the rounds with Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Brenda Russell and David Sanborn to name a few. On this solo tune, he returns to his retro roots, tipping a hat toward several of the smooth forefathers that could also run circles around some of today's most familiar world-class players.
9. The Rentals: "Story of a Thousand Seasons Past"
Though Weezer's lineage often starts with odes to Rivers Cuomo, bassist Matt Sharp was also an integral part of the power poppers' early ride. Of course, fans of the self-proclaimed geeks know he splintered off in the mid-1990s to form The Rentals, which continues to find Sharp in front of the microphone for some harmony-heavy, surf-rock explorations that are more arty but less catchy than his "Buddy Holly" heyday.
10. Spinner Spotlight: Full CD Listening Party
This week's installments of full album streams include recent column alumni like Against Me!'s "White Crosses" and more from Tokyo Police's Club's "Champ," alongside Blitzen Trapper's "Destroyer of the Void" and The Young Veins' "Take a Vacation!" Delta Spirit's "History From Below" is especially worth noting given the group's exceptional rock n' soul merger met with even more eccentric instrument choices (such as trash can lids).
Free Downloads is a weekly music column by Money College blogger Andy Argyrakis. It appears every Friday. Send Andy column tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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