Music to keep me sane and healthy VI
Continuing the list of free and legal MP3s of some of my favorite songs and artists:
- John Wesley Harding – I first heard JWH on a compilation CD from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, performing "Kiss Me, Miss Liberty" and I’ve always meant to listen to more. His official site houses some full MP3s: check out the "Live MP3s & Rare Singles" sub-section under "Music."
» Go to the downloads from johnwesleyharding.com (Flash required). (Which one to d/l if you’re pressed for bandwidth or time: my personal favorite is "Pull" — a performance culled from a live solo session at WUMB radio)
- Ivy – Long Distance (2001). This album is a few years old, but I’m surprised not many people seem to know about it. Or maybe they do? In any case, I first heard Ivy three years ago, when Anne Litt played "Edge of the Ocean" a few times on Weekend Becomes Eclectic (KCRW). It’s catchy music with a lush arrangement and a cool beat; the same can be said for many of the tunes on the album. You might also be interested in the band’s cover of "Sing."
» Go to the downloads from thebandivy.com (Flash required — click "band" and then "mp3"). (Which one to d/l if you’re pressed for bandwidth or time: without a doubt, "Edge of the Ocean" — there are two versions available, but I recommend the 5.1 Mb, 160kbps MP3 a little farther down the list)
- Anne McCue – Roll (2004). Admittedly, I have not heard the full album from this Australian singer/songwriter/guitarist. Anne Litt plays tracks from Roll fairly often on her show, and although I haven’t really gotten hooked to the very ’80s-sounding "I Want You Back," but I’ve been playing "Stupid" and "Crazy Beautiful Child" repeatedly over the past few weeks. If I had to choose, I’d categorize the songs as being more pop/rock with a country flavor, rather than alt-country, but that’s primarily because of the arrangements and the overall sound. Think of a less twangy Lucinda Williams, but still catchy and with interesting lyrics.
» Go to the downloads from Messenger Records. (Which one to d/l if you’re pressed for bandwidth or time: "Stupid" — but they’re all a little different, so try all three if possible)
- Patrick Park – I’ve mentioned singer/songwriter Park a few times — his site has MP3s of various clips of songs, but only recently put up a couple of full-length MP3s: the original demos (that eventually got packaged into The Basement Tapes) of "Desperation Eyes" and "Nothing’s Wrong." "Nothing’s Wrong" is one of my favorite Park tunes, and although I can listen to the fuller arrangement (and Eric Heywood on pedal steel!) on the album Loneliness Knows My Name, it’s nice to have this sparer, more intimate sounding recording.
» Go to the downloads from patrickpark.net (Flash required — click "listen"). (Which one to d/l if you’re pressed for bandwidth or time: "Nothing’s Wrong")
- Elliott Smith – I mentioned last time that PasteMusic has many free MP3s from artists, including Smith. One of my favorite Elliott Smith songs is here: "Between the Bars," from Either/Or. If you have time, you might want to grab all four of the songs (all from Either/Or or Elliott Smith) and hear the beautiful and haunting qualities in the stark, no-nonsense arrangements of his music: "Speed Trials," "The Biggest Lie," "Punch and Judy" and "Needle in the Hay."
» Go to the downloads from PasteMusic (reg required — Smith is under the "Indie Rock/Emo" section). (Which one to d/l if you’re pressed for bandwidth or time: "Between the Bars")
And as always, please support the artists and their music by buying their albums and attending their shows (if possible).
Other tunes in my playlist lately:
The latest "caught in my head" tune has to be "How on Earth" by Ron Sexsmith — excellent songwriting. I haven’t heard the entire record yet, but from what I’ve heard, I think I like it better than Cobblestone Runway (2002) — not just musically speaking, but his singing even sounds stronger than I’ve heard before.
And, of course, I’m still listening to Richard Buckner (this time, the more sparse arrangements, e.g. those in Richard Buckner). His new album, Dents and Shells, will be available for pre-order on the 1st of October! From the new songs I’ve heard in his more recent concerts, I can’t wait. It’ll be interesting, as always, to hear how he arranged the music on the record.