music of the free variety

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

music of the free variety

yes people, i have come offering some free (sort of…more or less…) music for your ears. i’ve been in bed most of the day sick (blah), so i’ve had some time to peruse the world wide interweb and i’ve found a couple really cool music sites.

first, the hype machine is basically a blog mp3 search site. much like google searches and caches web content, the hype machine searches and caches blogs that include mp3 data. so, for instance, if my blog was to get indexed, they would find sara groves’ roll to the middle, which i posted a few blogs ago. then, on their website, when i searched for sara groves or roll to the middle or some equivalent, i would  be able to do the following: play the track, buy it from amazon or itunes and go to the blog post in which it was posted.
this is a really cool site where you can find a lot of rare stuff including covers and live tracks (among other things). here’s a sample of some of the stuff i found. the kooks can never be accused of having limited musical tastes. many people have heard their cover of gnarls barkley’s crazy (listen to track below), but maybe you haven’t heard them do the 1993 classic, all that she wants by the never-to-be-forgotten ace of base (also below for your listening pleasure). finally, they have apparently decided to forego swedish pop covers and move a little closer to home when they covered coldplay’s violet hill. here they are.
kooks: crazy (gnarls barkley cover)
kooks: all that she wants (ace of base cover)

kooks: violet hill (coldplay cover)
you know when you go to a flea market or goodwill or something like that and you’re digging through one of the bins. you might find some treasures (see nickel creek track below), but every now and then, you stick your hand into something nasty that just makes you sick. the hype machine is the same way. in the midst of all the great finds i came across, then i came across this:
rod stewart: cigarettes and alcohol (oasis cover)
you just can’t do that to a great old oasis song… please, rod, go away… (if you don’t know the original oasis song, do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy of definitely maybe, oasis’ first album.)
here’s the treasure, by the way:
nickel creek: just (radiohead cover)

ok, so that’s the hype machine. on to the other find: mixturtle. first of all, if a website has a home page graphic like this, it’s got to be good. secondly, the design is really clean and has a mac look to it, so that’s a plus. now, on to the music.
the cool thing with this is that you can search for an artist and it brings up a list of tracks. some are just the regular album tracks, some are live, some covers and then, as a bonus (if you’re interested in this kind of thing), interviews with the artists. i assumed that it would be a pretty narrow database, but i surprisingly got results from artists that aren’t major mainstream artists. i found some really cool stuff from some of my favorite artists that i had never heard (which says a lot for me).
also, one cool thing about this site is that you can create on-the-fly playlists that, even when you go to a new page/new search, you retain the playlist. you can then choose which track to play or you can remove tracks from the playlist. so, go check it out.