Friday, January 11, 2008

Finding Online Music, free --- the best methods

There's no point in holding back anymore- I might as well explain all of my free music tricks. After all, I'll be making another Oink post in the coming weeks that'll attempt to make you feel guilty for not supporting bands so I might as well set this up beforehand. I'm currently digging in the vaults for music (going through a phase as I do once or twice a year where I'm sequestered in the computer room blaring weird music like "No more mosquitoes") so I figured I would take this opportunity to go over how to hear music.

1. My most recommended method for downloading music free is Say there's a band you're dying to hear- Vampire Weekend, say. You use Matt's special hack to and utilize the following address: If you want a different band replace the words "vampire" and "weekend" keeping the plus sign there. Trust me it's so much more readable this way. You are presented with a list of every Vampire Weekend song posted on a major music blog in the last 2 years or so, along with links to the relevant posts. The most glaring advantage of this is that you get to take advantage of this "wisdom of crowds" phenomenon you're always hearing about, and actually download the most blogged about song. You've heard good things about Caribou but you don't know what to get? Heading on over to will show you that "Melody Day" is the one to get and, guess what, that's correct.

You just have to be smart here- remember is just indexing blogs not hosting files and so if a blog post is 422 days old, chances are the file's no longer hosted (though it happens, certainly.) You will click the link of a recent blog post and navigate the blog post to the to the link for the song and then right click it and save it (I actually always left click first to ensure it'll work.) I would grade this a 10/10 method for finding new, cool music. Substantially less for finding some old U2 song off War that you really gotta hear now. Which is fine- the thing to enjoy about free online music is broadening your musical horizons, not fattening your musical library for stuff you know you like already. It gets another 10/10 for introducing you to good blogs though- i found the leather canary from there (Checked out the year-end top 10 and while browsing ran across a few posts about the wire which set my heart aflutter.)

2. The best way to listen only is to go with either hype machine or youtube. Yes you already knew the youtube thing but if every song you want to hear is on youtube then well, you suck. Hype Machine will not let you download the songs but you can basically stream any song that's been posted to a blog recently, even if that song is no longer on the blog. That last part is key. Simple enough- go to hypemachine and search then hit the play button.

3. I feel bad telling you this because it's such a kick-ass method and it's also something that can be abused. Go to and enter the name of an artist and an album, probably in quotes if you can. Finally enter the name of a popular file hosting site (c'mon I can't hold your hand through all of this- I've linked several in my top ten post.) The search results will pull up several blogs that have simply hosted entire albums to be downloaded, free. You will likely need to deal with a .rar file but, c'mon is it worth it to you to spend 2 minutes figuring it out and heading to to pick up extractnow? I hate to be a spoilsport but if you download any albums that you don't own already, I would highly suggest that you support the band via merch or concerts. Another option is to just make sure you send a check for 97% of what you would've paid to the Major Label record company, since that's roughly how much they make off of CD sales. I can't stress this enough.

4. Shareminer works off of a very similar principle to #3, but you should understand what you're doing.

5. Amazon's pretty decent- DRM free mp3s for cheap. Not free though.

Finally, here's a Gucci commercial by David Lynch:

Having a TV on but only showing snow is very Lynchian (is that like that kid in squid in the whale calling The Metamorphosis "Kafkaesque"? The pulsing bassline that introduces the chorus is made so much better and more significant by Lynch coupling it quick cuts of a ceiling lamp (?). It makes the chorus sound bigger (it sounds like the increase the volume too) and improves the song which is one of the best things about it.

1 comment:

Matt C said...

That leather canary blog is my new favorite blog (besides yours' of course). I spent about half the day yesterday going through it. Those guys have great taste in music and I found a lot of stuff I really liked that I had never heard before. Thanks for the link.