09/04/2012 01:34 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2012

Mining the Audio Motherlode, Volume 180 -- Great Free Music Online

Originally posted in WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Miner5Give the Drummer Some's

Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere 

This past Monday I took part in a panel discussion as part of WFMU's series of Radio Free Culture broadcasts. Titled The Rise and Fall of MP3 Blogs, the confab posed the following question: "Has the music blogosphere's golden age already passed us by?"

My fellow panelists seemed for the most part ready to embrace the notion that our best days of free and unfettered music sharing are behind us. But from my perspective, there's just no time to mourn the loss of excellent blogs when there are so many more passionate and creative music obsessives clamoring online to share their record collections!

And while there is plenty to lament about the state of the blogging landscape, as long as great records keep getting posted, I'll keep bathing them in the warm glow of my miner's helmet.


RuthRuth Ben-Zvi  ~  Israeli Percussion

(Blog: Sun Ship)

The Chosen Drum

"Using her fingertips, open palms, elbows and clenched fists, Ruth creates a whole new world of music from a primitive drum whose sound is powerful yet delicate, caressing and wild, capable of imitating human speech when in the hands of a master player."  (From the liner notes)

[Some may find it noteworthy that Spike Lee's father, Bill, plays bass on this record.]


FinleyKaren Finley  ~  The Truth Is Hard to Swallow

(Blog: Miss Mondo)

Taboo Are You

"Often described as  'a female Lenny Bruce,' sometimes even as 'worse than Genêt and Bataille,' the scandalous performance artist from NYC put conservative America in a state of shock with her outrageous and hilarious one-woman show, and her extreme statements to the press. New York dance producer Mark Kamins recorded with her the now-legendary Tales of Taboo EP (1986) and the album entitled The Truth Is Hard To Swallow, which brought the good word to the forefront of the music scene....   and which have been shamelessly sampled by the likes of 'S-Express, Coldcut, and most of the early Belgian New Beat/Techno scene, for whom she became a kind of heroic figure."  (Description taken from Crammed Disc's website)


AwuAwutolo & Fada  ~  Ogede Nkpakija Enugwu Ukwu

(Blog: Bodega Pop)

Dude's Wearing a White Sox Cap

"...this morning's [post] features what I can only assume to be Nigerian folk music. The sample track above opens with what sounds like a homemade brass instrument of some kind, not uncommon in Nigerian folk, and Awutolo and Fada laying down a terrific, complex rhythm while singing at times in a kind of call-and-response and at times in unison. The total effect is of an intricate soundscape that snaps, pops, buzzes and honks far enough above the level of ambient to keep the listener's ear keen, while never swerving into catchy hook or melody." (Description by Gary, at Bodega Pop)


PolishrockKawalerowie  ~  Kawalerowie

(Blog: Pan Mietek)

L.A. Confidential

"The edgiest, I think, of Poland's mid-1960s r'n'r groups, Kawalerowie (The Bachelors) managed to release an EP or two, but are largely forgotten today. I know zilch about this band; not that I'm any fan of that type and period in the history of Polish music, but they are really cool."  (Description by Mietek, at Pan Mietek)

[Note: I couldn't find any cover art, so this will have to do.]


MuleMayfield's Mule  ~  Mayfield's Mule

(Blog: Ezhevika Fields)

Beats of Burden

"This is the missing link LP in Andy Scott's career. This album has not been released in the UK, Europe or Us. It was released only in Uruguay. Andy Scott's career started with the release of Expansions on Life with the Elastic Band. Co-members in this band were Sean Jenkins - drums, Ted Yeadon - vocals, organ and Mike Scott bass. This band split when Ted Yeadon left to join the Love Affair. Expansions on Life is now a very sought after prog LP. After the split, the remaining members joined Chris Mayfield to form Mayfield's Mule. They released a number of singles and recorded this album. However, as mentioned before, it was never properly released. Andy Scott then went on to join the Sweet."  (Description reprinted at various sources)


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