All Free Songs Considered

by John Holbo on November 20, 2008

My free music posts have been generally well-received, so here’s another. First, if you don’t know, the new Guns N’ Roses album is now streaming on MySpace. I shall listen while writing this post. [UPDATE: it sounds like Guns N’ Roses.]

Right. Other free stuff. If you don’t know, Stereogum is a great source for music news and free mp3 downloads. They have whole albums and lots of individual tracks. You can download old archive sets in convenient zips. Here, for your delectation, a free fix of mostly recent, mostly Stereogum-derived freebies. Just right-click and download. Report back later, praising my good taste.

Midlake, “Roscoe”

The Welcome Wagon, “Half A Person”

Ryan Adams, “Times Like These” (Live, Foo Fighters cover)

Marnie Stern, “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Journey cover)

Pepi Ginsberg (feat The Spinto Band), “Oh La”

We Have Band, “You’ve Had Band” (Demo)

Marnie Stern, “Don’t Stop Believin'”

The Broken West, “Auctioneer”

Surf City, “Headin’ Inside”

Gnarls Barkley, “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” (Demo Version)

Surf City, “Dickshakers Union”

Bruce Springsteen, “A Night With The Jersey Devil”

A.C. Newman, “There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve”

The Black Keys, “I’m Glad” (Captain Beefheart cover)

Hello Seahorse!, “Universo 2”

Department Of Eagles, “1997” (Doctor Rosen Rosen REMIX)

Chromeo, “100%” (Trackademicks B-LIVE Pemberton Mix)

Atlas Sound, “Neon Beanbag (Atlas Sound Southern Baptist Remix)

of Montreal, “Gallery Piece” (Jon Brion Remix)

Cryptacize, “Peg” (Steely Dan cover)

Atlas Sound, “Danse Macabre”

of Montreal, “Friends of Mine” (Zombies cover)

Midlake, “Roscoe” – Remixed by Erol Alkan

Let me recommend, in particular, the two versions of “Roscoe” (even though the remix is annoyingly cut off at the end). Midlake’s The Trials of Van Occupanther [Amazon] is my current heavy rotation album pick, mostly on the strength of two tracks – “Roscoe” and “Head Home”, and my unshakable belief that the more something sounds like Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac, the better.

Also, some of the cover versions I’ve linked are silly or somewhat shaky. But the Welcome Wagon’s cover of Morrissey’s “Half a Person” is brilliant. (So if you start with “Peg” and don’t like it, don’t give up.)



a. y. mous 11.20.08 at 5:33 pm

Before I click any of them, anything wholly instrumental in that list?


Uncle Kvetch 11.20.08 at 7:32 pm

“Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey cover)

God help us all.


novakant 11.20.08 at 9:03 pm

I love Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, which I couldn’t get out of my head for many weeks, and while looking it up on youtube, I came across Seal’s Crazy, which in turn brought up memories of my youthful follies in Berlin.

God bless the internet.


Chris Bertram 11.20.08 at 9:48 pm

I recommend The Aquarium Drunkard:


Vulture Breath 11.20.08 at 11:20 pm

Thumbs down on the Chandelier Searchlight, Radiohead Reckoner Mix, Thom Yorke Harrowdown Logic remix, and Team B (On My Mind). Oh well! I came here to see Amity Shlaes get bashed, anyway.


John Holbo 11.21.08 at 12:19 am

The Atlas Sound tracks are instrumental. I think that’s it.


Elaine 11.21.08 at 1:07 am

Some of my regular listens:
1) 3 hive
Great eclectic mix, which nice tagging of genre and an embedded player if you just want to listen to all the music while you work.

2) Copy Cats
Covers, remixes, and mash-ups.

3) Gorilla vs. Bear
Outta Texas.

4) R5 Productions
Music from bands coming to town.

5) eMusic
I am a member (monthly fee). They regularly give away free music (almost always great), you can listen to parts of tracks/albums to decide if you like it before you buy, and they have nice “hubs” of similar music.

@novakant: check out Ray Lamontange’s cover of Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy.”


John Holbo 11.21.08 at 1:07 am

Hey thanks Chris, I didn’t know about Aquariumdrunkard. I just downloaded a bunch of stuff. Maybe I should do a post calling for a round-up of free music download sites.


John Holbo 11.21.08 at 2:37 am

And thanks to you, too, Elaine.


A. Y. Mous 11.21.08 at 6:33 am

Thanks JH. Will check it out later today.


notsneaky 11.21.08 at 8:30 am

Meh. This is just more hipster crap (John H, I love you anyway).

And YouTube’s all you really need. None of that ironic snark bullshit involved in covering things better left uncovered, like Journey (along the lines of Uncle K above). And anyway, there used to be a band that used to do Journey covers about as good as Journey covers can ever be done. With a bit more distortion. They were called Nirvana. Not sure they ever gave credit though. Not sure what ever happened to them.

Anyway. Here’s what you need to be listening too:

is actually my favorite KC song but can’t find him doing that one on YT so instead you get Pippiloti Rist lip syncing it)

for those who like “World Music”:
which is the best thing I’ve heard in something like seven years (discovered recently)

and if you want classics then it’s about time the hip kids brought this back:

and “World Music” classics:


notsneaky 11.21.08 at 8:49 am

Much more recent classics:

(a little bit into the hipster territory)


John Holbo 11.21.08 at 12:35 pm

Hey, those are some great videos notsneaky, thanks. That Kevin Coyne lunatic. I never heard him before.


CK Dexter 11.21.08 at 2:48 pm

“@novakant: check out Ray Lamontange’s cover of Gnarles Barkley’s ‘Crazy.'”

I prefer the Violent Femmes’ version – “Violent and Crazy”:

(A reply to Gnarl’s version of the Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone”:)


novakant 11.21.08 at 7:18 pm

Thanks Elaine, that’s a pretty good singer/songwriter version.

I wasn’t even even aware the Femmes were still in existence, Dexter. I remember buying Hallowed Ground on audio cassette back when it came out – maybe it’s still flying around somewhere, but I would only be able to play it in my car, which still has one of these ancient machines, lol.


novakant 11.21.08 at 7:30 pm


Uncle Kvetch 11.22.08 at 9:14 pm

And anyway, there used to be a band that used to do Journey covers about as good as Journey covers can ever be done. With a bit more distortion. They were called Nirvana.

That’s so completely and utterly wrong that I would be tempted to argue with it — were it not also completely and utterly hilarious.

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