Ten free and legal downloads or streams sure to strike the ear of the cash-strapped college student.
1. Dimitri From Paris: "The Love I Lost (Remix)"
The famed French DJ/producer turns in a reworking of the golden Philly Soul oldie "The Love I Lost," originally cut by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. But the real star appeal on this danced-up dusty is the late great Teddy Pendergrass, whose lead vocals are even more plentiful and powerful in this face-lifted format.
2. Jamie Lidell: Interface Session
Considering he's constantly blurring the lines between soul, funk, electronica and alternative pop, Jamie Lidell (pictured) is fairly unpredictable, but at least he's consistent when it comes to interpreting each style with authenticity. During this live Interface performance, fans can watch the enigmatic Englishman beatbox his way through a blistering set, enhanced by a trio of improvisational backers.
3. Guster: "Bad, Bad World"
Following the novelty single "Fa Fa," college rockers Guster toured with pretty much every major player in that scene, including Dave Matthews Band, Phish and Barenaked Ladies. Anyone who's taken the time to see the Boston foursome on its own can attest to an increased attention to careful song craftsmanship laced with subtle satire, which continues on this preview of the group's sixth studio CD "Easy Wonderful" (out Oct. 5).
4. The Temper Trap: MySpace Transmissions
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, these ambient alternative poppers have already earned high marks in the land Down Under, but thanks to soundtrack slots on "90210," "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Deep End," the band's racking up American recognition as well. Catch the guys in a stripped down setting as they tip their hats towards influences like Radiohead and Massive Attack, while interjecting an original blend of warm keys and entrancing percussion.
5. Tiesto: "Work Hard Play Hard"
As someone who's arguably the most famous club DJ on the globe, this turntable stylist only needs to go by his first name as his off the chain rave-ups sound instantly recognizable. The driving beats and hypnotic vocals of guest collaborator Kay are sure to rev up the dance floor or cause headphone listeners to crank the volume to full blast (or inspire them to toss on their running shoes).
6. Various Artists: Best of Yep Roc Singles
The respected indie label is stacked with both newcomers and elder statesmen alike, all of whom share the common thread of quality artistry and lyrical prowess, regardless of the style. Ample evidence comes from Nick Lowe's "I Love My Label," Reverend Horton Heat's "Drinkin' and Smokin' Cigarettes," Apples In Stereo's "Can You Feel It?" and Madness' "Dust Devil."
7. Hanson: "Waiting For This"
Forget that this trio of brothers first found fame for the cheesy (albeit unforgettable) radio ditty "MMMBop" and follow the twentysomething fellas into adulthood for a more mature sound. This tune suggests Matchbox Twenty reunited, thanks to its adult alt-pop leanings and musical proficiency that explain why the trio's endured 15 years thus far.
8. AutoVaughn: "A Million To One"
Anybody who's even a casual Beatles fan should check out this Nashville-based indie upstart, who load "A Million To One" with poppy melodies and a touch of psychedelia. Add in additional touches of harmony-heavy '80s favorites Tears for Fears and some rougher sounds from the grunge era (a la Soundgarden) and AutoVaughn is on the verge of bridging the last three decades during three delightful minutes.
9. Free Music Tuesday: Five Free Tracks To Download
Check out AOL's Radio Blog for a recently instated regular feature that culls together five fresh tunes hot off the presses. Leading this week's pack is alternative rockers The Toadies, who drop the post grunge growler "Mine," alongside hard rock/heavy metalers Kid Liberty roughing it up on "Telephone Toughguy," Ghetto Brown hip-hopping his way through "Pour It Up," British indie pop newcomers Two Spot Gobi introducing "You Make It Easy" and Psychostick's comedic "Girl Directions."
10. Spinner Spotlight: Full CD Listening Party
He may have died under the tragic circumstances, but Stevie Ray Vaughan lives on thanks to an influx of reissues and posthumous compilations. The latest from the vaults is a remastered rendition of the classic collection "Couldn't Stand the Weather (Legacy Edition)," which is loaded with his second to none blues licks from the original album, plus several bonus tracks and b-sides from those sessions with Double Trouble. Others worth hearing in their entirety include Miniature Tigers' "Fortress," Clubfeet's "Gold on Gold," Ultimate Fakebook's "Daydream Radio Is Smiling Static" and Jesca Hoop's "Hunting My Dress."
Free downloads: Tiesto, Guster and the Toadies, plus streams of Jamie Lidell, Stevie Ray Vaughan