08/29/2012 11:44 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mining the Audio Motherlode, Volume 178 -- Great free music online

Originally posted in WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Give the Drummer Some's

Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere 

If you're new to the Motherlode, let me take a moment out of my maniacal head-long search for great music to explain. For the past 25 years I've produced a radio show for WFMU. The station's format is nominally freeform, which essentially means there is no predetermined format. Each DJ on the air makes their own idiosyncratic choices of what to say and play, and for the duration of that show represents exactly what WFMU is. For me, WFMU represents the opportunity to share my own personal musical epiphanies in a communal setting.

In recent years, my search for sounds to share on the radio has led to the ever-widening online universe of music-sharing blogs. Mining the Audio Motherlode is a weekly survey of my favorite such discoveries. Let me know what you think.


Getatchew Mèkurya  ~  ???

(Blog: Awesome Tapes from Africa)

Titanic Tenor

Listen for ten seconds to any solo by this titan of Ethiopian saxophone and his primary influence seems obvious: free-jazz apostle Albert Ayler. But Mèkurya, only a year older than Ayler, actually began playing professionally when his American counterpart -- whom he has never heard -- was still taking private lessons. Chronologies aside, the abundant points of comparison are separated-at-birth spooky. They both play with a strained, breathless attack; a chanted-not-sung delivery; a wildly oscillating vibrato; and a pacific lyricism thinly veiling a molten spirit.  (Description from my Favorites of '03 page)


Meic Stevens  ~  Gôg

(Blog: Weird Brother)

Album title = Cuckoo

Just as Karen Dalton was saddled with the ungainly nickname "the Billie Holiday of Folk," Meic Stevens has been dogged through most of his 40-year career by the unshakable moniker "the Welsh Bob Dylan." (Curiously, he taped some early tracks in the same Swansea studio where the real Welsh Dylan -- Thomas -- recorded his poetry.) Though his songs of social protest and guitar-and-harmonica rig have always invited the comparison, Stevens is sui generis, a national treasure in Wales for troubadouring in the native tongue and abandoning the more lucrative English-only music biz.  (Description from my Favorites of '07 page)



Soundtrack  ~  La Ragazza con la Pistola

(Blog: Sleazy Listening)

Hapiness Is a Warm Gun

"The Girl with the Gun, directed in 1968 by Mario Monicelli and starring Monica Vitti, Stanley Baker and Carlo Giuffrè is one of the most successful Italian comedies. Monica Vitti is Assunta, a sicilian girl seduced and abandoned by Vincenzo (Carlo Giuffrè) who then he is escaped to London in order to avoid the repairing wedding. The only possibility that remains to Assunta in order to find again her lost honour is to kill the traitor, but arrived in the British capital city, after several bad adventures, she knows a doctor (Stanley Baker) and the young girl will go encounter to one deep metamorphosis dragged in the core of swinging London, in the middle of young hippies, the most colorful dresses and triggered Beat music. The film did get an Academy award nomination as best foreign film and star Monica Vitti won the Silver Ribbon like best actress. The score by Peppino De Luca, arranged and conducted by Vito Tommaso is the perfect music background for Assunta in a psychedelic London where the dance floor music prevails in the more fashionable clubs." (Description from


E.W. Wainwright Jr.  ~  African Roots of Jazz

(Blog: Orgy in Rhythm)


"In African Roots of Jazz, Baba Wain (as he is affectionately known) illustrates the social evolution of jazz from its earliest beginnings to the present day, using musical forms of each period combined with movement, oratory, and audience interaction."  (Description from Wainwright's website)



The Soul Brothers  ~  Hot Shot

(Blog: Root Stone)

Ska Steady

Worth it for the 'Fiddler on the Roof' cover alone.





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