Spin the Black Circle

Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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The best things in life are free on the Internet (including music)

June 27th, 2008 by travis hay

One of the greatest things about the Internet is how easily accessible it has made music. More specifically, it has made a lot of music free. And I don’t mean in the Y2K, Napster, stealing music kind of way.

There is a lot of great free music out there and it’s all yours for the taking. To give you a glimpse into what I am rocking on my iPod and some insight into my own personal music universe, here are four albums (well, okay, three albums and one EP) that are 100 percent free and well worth the download.

Girl Talk “Feed The Animals” — Okay, so this one isn’t exactly free. The mash-up artist known as Girl Talk has released his latest masterpiece and he will give it to you for free if you want it. However, he will also take money for it if you want to give it to him. How much money? Well, that’s up to you. The record is available for a pay-what-you-want price. Sound like a familiar digital distribution method? Well, if you want to get what is possibly the best dance record of the year, I recommend picking this up, for whatever cost you think is appropriate. You can download the record here. Girl Talk plays Seattle at the Capitol Hill Block Party on July 25.

Patient Patient “The Free EP” — This group of Seattle indie popsters released a free EP of new material earlier this year. The Stranger described the band’s sound as indie Radiohead and for the most part the were spot on, so I won’t bother boring you with an attempt at pigeon-holing Patient Patient into a category. I will tell you that this EP is a solid five-song taste of Patient Patient and it does what all good EPs do: it gives listeners just enough music to leave their ears salivating for a full-length record. You can download the album here.

Dyme Def “Three Bad Brothaas Mix Tape” — This crew of young MCs (none of them are older than 21) are the future of Seattle hip hop. Last year the group released its debut “Space Music” and once I got my hands on it I couldn’t stop listening to it. The success of that release helped the group land a main stage spot at this year’s Sasquatch! Music Festival and they will be at several Warped Tour stops this summer (including the Aug. 9 Gorge Warped date) as well as the Rock The Bells Festival at the Gorge on Sept. 6. This mixtape, which the group is distributing for free, consists of mostly new material, including a track that does a killer job of sampling the “Pinky and the Brain” theme song.
You can download the album here. Dyme Def next plays in Seattle on July 11 at Sole Repair.

Nine Inch Nails “The Slip” — Trent Reznor’s gift to his loyal fans, this album has been available for free on NIN’s Web site for a few months. While the record is no “Pretty Hate Machine” or “Downward Spiral” it is way better than “The Fragile” and more in line with Reznor’s last few non-instrumental records “Year Zero” and “With Teeth.” Download it here. Nine Inch Nails comes to KeyArena July 25.

So now that you’ve downloaded those great albums, or are in the process of downloading them, let me leave you with another great freebie.

Brooklyn-by-way-of-Minnesota band The Hold Steady will release its fourth album “Stay Positive,” on July 14. But you don’t have to wait to hear Craig Finn and the rest of THS’ new album. You can stream the entire record on the band’s MySpace page, or you can go buy it right now (without the bonus tracks that will be in the physical release of the record in July) from iTunes now.

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5 Responses to “The best things in life are free on the Internet (including music)”

  1. Mick Says:

    I take it then we are not going to get too much stuff on Christian Music or real Rock N Roll , you know the stuff drom the 70′s,

  2. travis hay Says:

    I will admit I am not too up on Christian music. It’s one of the only genres I am a little uncomfortable writing about too because I know so little about it.

    As for 1970s rock, I’m all for it. There are actually a lot of bands out there right now pages out of the books from some 70s artists. I recommend checking out My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses to name a few. If you are looking for a heavier 1970s sound check out Wolfmother, which released their self-titled debut in 2006, and the always awesome Raconteurs.

    Thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to write!

    -th

  3. Ian Says:

    The Slip was pretty good, especially considering its price. I’ve liked the last few albums, Year Zero, Ghosts and The Slip were all much better than With Teeth, I thought.

    Got my tickets to see them at the Key, too bad they weren’t visiting the Gorge again, that was one of my favorite shows.

  4. Monty Mahan Says:

    You’ve got a new reader Travis… I love keeping up on new music and it looks like I’ll be along for the ride… keep it up…

    Monty

  5. travis hay Says:

    @ Ian

    NIN at the Gorge was amazing. When Trent ripped into that Queen cover I was floored. Plus if i remember correctly “Burn” and “Something I Can Never Have” were on the set list. I won’t be at the Key show (I’ll be at the Cap Hill Block Party), but I know I’ll be missing a good one.

    @ Montty

    Welcome to big blog shinidig. Glad to have you on board as a reader.

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.