Freegal is a great big dirty beast of a thing. Christchurch City Libraries’ members can legally download three music MP3s from the Sony Music catalogue a week. But how do you decide that tracks to download? In the midst of so much choice, it gets tricky. Here are some of the bits and bobs I’ve found:
- You can download a whole album, three tracks a week.
- Grab hot new stuff (I’ve got Justin Timberlake, new Bowie, Daft Punk, Hurts … especially the gorgeous new track Rewind the film by Manic Street Preachers and Richard Hawley.
- Do searches on favourite artists and bands and see what’s there.
- Think of old faves and have a look. I recaptured my musical youth and found David Soul, Billy Joel’s epic saxy Until the Night, Elvis Presley doing Steamroller Blues that I remember from my parents’ copy of Aloha from Hawaii.
- Try some serendipity searching – go to Genre and see what takes your fancy.
- Alternative/Indie (rich pickings here – Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, The Editors, The Stone Roses, The Dead Weather, loads of Manic Street Preachers)
- Techno/Electronica (Tiefschwarz)
- There are audiobooks, a Comedy section (Weird Al Yankovic and Peter Sellers) and one full of sound effects.
- Random downloads based on song or artist name. If you can’t think what tracks you feel like downloading, have a play. I’ve grabbed some on a whim. Some turned out to be good and some were crap, but it was fun: I, Synthesist, Lost Cherrees (Sexisms sick pt 1 and 2), a track called Baconated Grapefruit, Cassette Schwarzenegger, The National Splits. And how could I resist Alien Sex Fiend’s Comatose full on industrial bongos from hell remix?
Consummation by Nina Simone, Someone to watch over me by Sarah Vaughan, Nick Cave doing Leonard Cohen’s song Avalanche, a kicking remix of Duran Duran’s Rio, and Julian Cope’s Woden (a 72 minute ambient track! FTW!)
And proving the power of browsing, I’ve just located an album called Punks Poets Beatniks and Counter Culture heroes that has tracks from Allen Ginsberg, Roger McGough etc. Noice.
I’d love you to share what you’ve been downloading, and what gems you’ve discovered.
Any other tips for finding stuff?