01/07/2013 04:28 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mining the Audio Motherlode, Volume 192 -- Great Free Music Online

Originally posted at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Give the Drummer Some's

Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere

Once again, I feel like a lonely voice, cackling cheerfully into a chill wind regarding the free-music blog scene. Just this past August, in "The Rise & Fall of MP3 Blogs" posted in these pages by Casey Rae -- and during a subsequent Radio Free Culture discussion that aired on WFMU -- the death of online music sharing was stirringly eulogized. Now, the long faces have surfaced again in a widely circulated piece by Mark Allen in The Awl (note the almost identical title: "The Rise and Fall of the Obscure Music Download Blog.")

I'm as likely as anyone to wail like a newborn at the loss of favorite blogs (read my own words in Gary Sullivan's Brooklyn Rail obit for the dearly missed Holy Warbles.) But from where I sit, the blogosphere remains a bewilderingly robust bazaar in gratuitous music discovery. Though blogs come and go and file-sharing services get ever restrictive (check out Rapidshare's brand-new strangulating terms of use), the opportunity to dig up endless musical epiphanies online for free continues at a gladdening pace.

So while some observers of the scene are resigned to reminisce about some golden-age past, I encourage you to hang out right here in the present as your mirthful Miner slings his pick-axe at the sonic Motherlode on a weekly basis. Don't mourn, download!


Abu el Leef  ~  Super Leefa

(Blog: Bodega Pop)

Somewhere (Way) Above Tahrir Square...

"Born Nader Anwar Gaber in Alexandria in 1968, el Leef is a relatively late bloomer, having recorded his first album (which includes the hit single 'King Kong') in 2010, when he was 42. His music divides audiences: in Egypt, you apparently love him or hate him."  (Description by Gary)

[When the big-eared Gary at Bodega Pop calls something "without question, my absolute favorite album of 2012," well, you know what to do... ]


Various  ~  Festival National de la Jeunesse Nigerienne, Volume 2

(Blog: Ghostcapital)

Musical Youth

"What's more privileged than Music and Popular Songs to express the soul of a community. Through them, the Community speaks, prays, cry, sings, dances... A people expresses CULTURE, LIFE. By launching this edition disc, the Agency of Cultural and Technical Cooperation would like these priceless treasures of Music and Popular Songs of the member countries set for the Mutual Enrichment of all Cultures. This first collection, which will soon be followed by many others, is to preserve, disseminate and communicate a sound selection of themes and harmonies that modulate the deep song of the Republic of Niger: LAND OF THE SUN, LAND OF THE SAHEL."  (GoogleTranslation of the jacket notes)


John Hawes Jazz Band  ~  Here's Hawes

(Blog: Urban Bowerbird)

Down Under, Out Yonder

"There's something almost punk about this EP from 1963 -- six young Melbourne lads (none of the band members were over 21) smashing out party music with this rebellious new 'jazz' sound. The first track, 'Dr. Jazz' opens with a sample of a phone operator asking 'May I help you?' who is then greeted to John Hawes screaming over a frenetic jazz track. Although the sound of the EP is generally trad jazz, the sample and the screaming vocals give this track at least, quite a modern feel. The next track, 'Shout 'Em Aunt Tilly' (written by Duke Ellington) is my favourite, another ostensibly trad jazz piece but with slightly more edge than the rest of the record. The EP closes with another vocal track, 'I Want a Girl,' which hearkens back to an age when it was socially acceptable to sing a song about how you wanted to bang a girl who was just like your mum."   (Description by R O H A N)


Various  ~  Palenquerita: Candelazos Curro, Volume 8

(Blog: Global Groove)

Roll On, Colombia, Roll On

"Good evening, the groove of today is going to be a Colombian one. On Discos Curro we have us an album with songs by three groups. Orquesta Melodia, La Sonora Curro and Super Combo de Curramba. It is not exactly clear what band plays which song. The cover does not give that information nor does the label of the record. How ever they organised it, I don't really care. The music is so hot, it makes one forget such futilities. So get it and spread it, it is one of the hottest Colombian sounds I ever heard, enjoy."  (Description by Moos)


Various  ~  Jazz & Hijazz, Volumes 1 & 2

(Blog: Music From All Around) 

Greece Fire

"'Ethno-jazz' tracks,recorded in USA in '60s and '70s..The artists are Greeks, Armenians, Hebrews [sic], Americans and others. Released with the Greek magazine Jazz & Tzaz."  (Ubiquitously repeated ad copy)




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