Mining the Audio Motherlode, Volume 204 -- Great Free Music Online

04/14/2013 11:52 am ET | Updated Jun 14, 2013

Originally posted at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Miner5Give the Drummer Some's

Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere

Keeping the Motherlode stocked with links to great free sounds requires keeping tabs on many hundreds of music-sharing blogs on a daily basis. To do this while maintaining some semblance of sanity/personal hygiene, I have relied mightily on Google Reader, an RSS-feed aggregator that pulls new posts from blogs of one's choosing to into a single location.

But...gack! Google has just announced that it is discontinuing Reader on July 1. This is an outrage. It's a nightmare. It's an outmare! Since there are many dozens of records I want to download that pop up daily in my Reader, I've used it to "save" old posts until I can get to them. I currently have more than 10,000 items going back well over a year. (Another nifty and essential feature of Reader is that it saves old blog posts in perpetuity--even after the original blog itself has been deleted!)

If you're like me and have leaned on Google Reader for organizing and preserving posts from key music blogs, don't despair. Numerous outfits with their own RSS aggregators are seizing on the coming Google Reader vacuum. So far, the best I've found is Feedly, which can be tailored to fairly reasonably re-create the look and functionality of Reader. Better yet, you can use your Google log-in and have all your old saved blog posts imported. I will continue to report on Feedly as I get to know it better. In the meantime use the comments below to share your experience and with this or other RSS-feed apps.


BadenBaden Powell Quartet  ~  Volumes 1 & 2

(Blog: Porco's Hideaway)

[pw = hideaway]

He Once Lived in Baden-Baden!

"A versatile artist, Baden Powell made no distinction between samba and classical music, the influence of African music and candomblé, of jazz and the bossa nova, thereby tearing apart the border between the popular and the erudite. After studying classical guitar for many years, Baden developed a unique style of playing, combining virtuous elements with the swing and harmony of Brazilian popular music (MPB), exploring the limits of the instrument to the full. Recognized throughout the world, Baden cut more than 40 records abroad."  (Description from a cultural page at

LoyLoy Clingman  ~  The Arizona Cowboy

(Blog: Uncle Gil's Rockin' Archives)

The Man Who Made an Angel Cry

"If there was a man who was burning both ends of the candle it was Loy Clingman, who was recording, writing and performing his tunes on the weekend as he supported his family on a teacher's wage in the tiny town of Arlington, west of Phoenix. He taught the sixth-grade for 27 years. Born in Williams, Arizona, Clingman's family moved to Texas and New Mexico before returning to the Grande Canyon State for grade school in Ashfork, high school in Wickenburg and college in Tucson. He began teaching and started to develop his writing focusing on the Western lifestyle that he knew so well. Soon Lee Hazelwood signed him to Viv and later he became the owner. Clingman recorded 'Rockin' Down Mexico Way' at his tiny garage studio in 1960 after the Indian School studio closed and he assumed the meager assets of Viv Records."  (Description by John Dixon, at Rockabilly Hall of Fame)


PhongsiPhongsi Woranut  ~  Khon Sut Thai

(Blog: Monrakplengthai)

Good Luk Charm

"A real gem from the incomparable Phongsi Woranut! If you're a regular here, you probably know of Phongsi by now; luk thung's first female star and rival to the genre's king, Suraphon Sombatcharoen. This album is from a bit later in her career (the 1970s, I think), and features one of her most beautiful and enduring singles, 'Fak Din.' While the brass-laden ballads may be light of atmosphere, the subject matter of these songs is heavy; the lyrics tell tales of death, prostitution and love gone wrong. Classic luk thung from an timeless star."  (Description by Peter, at Monrakplengthai)


TojoGeneroso "Tojo" Jimémez  ~  Trombón Majadero

(Blog: Washerman's Dog)

Go Tojo Go

"In Cuba all roads lead to Havana and soon Jimenez was playing the 'bone in The Tropicana. The top shelf of American crooners--Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway--were regular performers and Generoso was always in the show band.  After hours he was a regular part of the jam sessions that could be found all over the city.  In the early 1950's he joined a new band which was performing a new crazy rhythm called batanga, in which a new (to Cuba, if not to Latin America) vocalist named Beny More was the lead singer.  The following year, 1953, More, undoubtedly Cuba's greatest singer, asked Jimenez, to manage his huge band as well as be the main music arranger.  In later years, he led the band for sometime before making his own records, two of which are highlighted tonight."  (Description by Nathan Rabe, at Washerman's Dog)

PaloBarbaros del Ritmo  ~  Palo de Mayo

(Blog: Rhythm Connection)

Party on the Coast

"All around the edge of the Caribbean, where the sea meets the sand, the presence of African music is pervasive. Carried to the shores of various countries as slaves, or making their way there as escapees, Africans settled and integrated with local indigenous populations and descendants of colonial conquerors. While the music of Haiti and Cuba are completely familiar, and the cumbias of Colombia have swept the world, some less developed countries have equally compelling coastal music, varying from place to place depending on the cultural mix. Palo de Mayo is Nicaragua's contribution to this musical diversity, and this was the first recorded Palo de Mayo album. Sung in English and mískito, the dominant indigenous language on Nicaragua's coast, this folkloric style is like mento on steroids. Most of the songs are Caribbean standards, but you will be surprised at the rendering. This is straight out party music, developed to celebrate May 1, harkening back to English celebrations from centuries ago."  (Description by Rhythm Connection)



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