I just stumbled across a great blog, Cover Lay Down,which features folk-style cover versions of popular songs. Highly recommended, although if you’re anything like me you’ll be there for hours!
New legal music download service We7 offers free, non-DRM MP3 downloads from a number of popular artists. The catch? Each track has a 10-second advertisement tacked on to the start. A month after downloading an ad-supported track, you are able to go back to the We7 site and download a version with the advert removed. However, I downloaded two test tracks and found that the advert can be removed easily through the use of simple audio editing software. A very interesting business model indeed… only time will tell whether it is ultimately successful.
DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop is a mix of the year’s Billboard Top 25 hits squashed into a little over five minutes, and it’s very well done.
If you’re into this kind of thing, be sure to check out the free Best of Bootie 2007 album too!
The Music Genome Project’s Pandora experiment is a website that allows you to create your own playlists, or “stations”. The way it works is that you enter the name of a song or artist you like, and the software finds other songs it thinks you’ll like. There are restrictions imposed by its licensing agreements, but it is completely legal and plays songs in full, not just clips. Give it a go!
Tunatic “listens” to your music and attempts to identify it. I used it to find out the name of a song I heard on TV, and it managed to get it.
It actually managed to give me a title and artist for most songs I could throw at it, which is impressive considering services like Shazam charge 59p/song. Obviously it will only work when you are listening to music on (or near) your computer, but hey, it’s free. Tunatic supports Windows and Mac OS X.
Talking of music from TV, I’ve just discovered Harvey Danger. Their song Flagpole Sitta is the theme tune to Channel 4′s Peep Show, and the band have just released their latest album as a free download. It’s actually pretty good, and if you want to support the artists, you can buy the album on CD or send an online donation. The download is in DRM-free MP3 format, so you are not restricted to a particular operating system, software or hardware player.
And finally, I’ve also discovered an “electroclash” band called Client (thanks, Chris M!) Their music isn’t free, unfortunately, but I was interested to see that their site is powered by WordPress, a content management system used mainly for blogs like this one, but also capable of running full-blown sites such as Client’s.
Bootleg Browser has links to sites offering bootleg tracks and entire live shows, sorted by artist. There are a number of popular artists listed including some of my favourites. Be warned, you’re likely to spend a few hours on this site!
Here are tabs & chords for some of the songs I enjoy playing. I’m a novice guitar player, so most of these should be relatively easy to play. They’re provided by Ultimate Guitar, my favourite tabs/chords site.
Avril Lavigne – I’m With You
B*Witched – Blame It On The Weatherman
Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Damien Rice – Cannonball
Green Day – Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Acoustic)
Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
Guns ‘n’ Roses – Patience
McFly – She Left Me
Oasis – Songbird
REM – Everybody Hurts
Rufus Wainwright – Hallelujah
Starsailor – Alcoholic
Stereophonics – Just Looking