05/19/2013 12:56 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mining the Audio Motherlode, Volume 207 -- Great Free Music Online

Originally posted at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Give the Drummer Some's

Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere

The universe of music-sharing blogs just keeps expanding. My latest obsession is Lola Vandaag, which began posting in October 2011. Describing itself as ongeregelde verzameling geluid ("unregulated collection of sound"), this wonderful blog leaves no continent unappreciated.

Some of the delights you'll encounter: Enchanting radio broadcasts from the world over, street organ sounds, international religious oddities, smoldering dance bands, cantorial superstars, rantings of shamans and mushroom enthusiasts, sizzling accordionists, music that will make you cry--and that's just hoeing the topsoil. Dig in and get your ears dirty.

To whet your appetite, check out our lead-off item, below.



Various  ~  'Are 'Are: Flutes de Pan Mélanésiennes

(Blog: Lola Vandaag)

The Wisdom of Solomon Islanders

"The society in question is that of the 'Are'are, whose 8,000 members live in the southern part of Malaita....The 'Are'are call instrumental music 'au ("bamboo"), for, with the exception of the slit drum 'o'o, all instrumental music is played with instruments made of bamboo. The most gifted musicians, the true mane ni 'au ("men of music") continue even today to compose new mani 'au ("pieces of music"). Instrumental music is "programme" music (in the broadest sense, or in the narrower sense, one could call it "descriptive" music). Each piece, composed according to strict rules, carries a title which is a general résumé of the "programme." Bird calls, frog croaks, buzzing of insects and the cries of other animals, the patter of rain drops on a leaf, the murmur of a river or the roaring of the ocean, the crackle of branches in the wind; all the sounds of nature can furnish the theme for a composition. Man-made sounds can as well: children crying, the groaning of the sick or wounded, the snoring of sleepers, words, work noises, etc. Certain compositions are inspired by melodies coming from songs or from other types of instrumental ensembles. Certain pieces translate a visual theme such as the swaying of a spider or the come and go of people."  (Description by Hugo Zemp, taken from the liner notes to Volume 3 in this same series.) 

Bob Reid  ~  The Best of Emergency

(Blog: Inconstant Sol)

In Case of Emergency...

"Emergency was a short-lived jazz group centered in Paris in the early 1970s fronted by vanguard sax great Glenn Spearman. The band's one recording, a live set, was issued on the Parisian America Records label, and is one of those rare gems that not only marks its time and place in the history of the music perfectly, but also transcends it. Certainly this quintet, comprised of two Americans, two Japanese, and a Frenchman, was truly an international ensemble. Spearman and bassist Bob Reid were accompanied by pianist Takashi Kako, electric guitarist Boulou Ferré and drummer Sabu Toyozumi."  (Description by Thom Jurek, at

[Another essential Emergency LP can be found here; an additional track is available here.]


Plearn Promdan  ~  EP (No. T-142) on Apples Records

(Blog: Archive of Southeast Asian Music)

"The King of Talking Music"

"เดิมชื่อ นายสมส่วน พรหมสว่าง มีภูมิลำเนาอยู่ที่บ้านกิโลสอง
อำเภออรัญประเทศ จังหวัดปราจีนบุรี (ปัจจุบันขึ้นกับจังหวัดสระแก้ว)
เกิดเมื่อวันศุกร์ที่ 12 เดือนมิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2482
เป็นบุตรของนายปลื้มมากปลื้มมันและนางตุ่น พรมสว่าง มีพี่น้องร่วมบิดามารดา
8 คน เป็นบุตรคนที่ 5

โญทัย หลังจากสำเร็จการศึกษาในระดับประถมศึกษาแล้ว
ได้ช่วยพ่อแม่ทำนาอยู่ระยะหนึ่ง จากนั้นบรรพชาเป็นสามเณร และจำพรรษอยู่ ณ
วัดเศวตฉัตร กรุงเทพฯ เมื่อสอบได้นักธรรมโท
เนื่องจากเป็นผู้มีนิสัยชอบการร้องเพลง เมื่ออายุประมาณ 20 ปีเศษ
ได้สมัครเข้าประกวดร้องเพลงตามงานต่างๆ ที่รับสมัครประกวดร้องเพลง
และได้เข้ามาร้องเพลงเชียร์รำวงในคณะรำวง คณะตาเหมือน
นายสมส่วนได้สมัครเข้าแข่งขัน และได้รับรางวัลชนะเลิศ
หัวหน้าวงดนตรี คือ จำรัส วิภาตวัต ซึ่งเป็นผู้เปลี่ยนชื่อจากนายสมส่วน
พรหมสว่าง มาเป็น เพลิน พรหมแดน"  (Wikipedia)

[Once you get an earful of Promdan's music, you'll surely want to hear more here and here and here.]


Johnny Ventura y Su Combo  ~  El Papelito Blanco

(Blog: La Vieja Guardia)

"El Caballo Negro"

"A dedicated artist, possessor of an enviable voice with unbelievable hip movements, has been a winner in every sense of the word. His peculiar style and interpretation of song has carried him to travel through the Continents of America, Europe and Africa. Johnny, next to his Orchestra, has been presented in the best dance arenas of our planet, among them are: The Carnegie Foyer, Madison Square Garden, Studio 54 NY, Hollywood Palladium of California, Astro Village of Houston, The Dinner Key Auditorium, Flager Dog Track and Fountaine Blue in Miami. Johnny has also been presented in La Quinta Vergara of the Famous Festival Viñas del Mar en Chile, The Auditorio Nacional of México, Le Petit Fleur of Zaire, The Cubanito Night Club of Switzerland, Teatro Nacional of Santo Domingo and many more where his music has been a awarded with fervent applause."  (Description from a bio posted at


Various  ~  Joe Gibbs Scorchers From the Early Years

(Blog: Roots Stone)

Scorched Ear Approach

"During his lifetime, Joe Gibbs produced some of the finest recordings to see issue in Jamaica. His role in the development of Reggae during the sixties and seventies was immense and his passing yet another terrible loss to an industry that in recent years has seen some of its most influential and inspiring figures."  (Description from an obit posted at Trojan Records.)





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