Saturday, 22 January 2011

Free Music Friday #86: Tom Waits again

In my education blog I have been going on lately about a conference I attended (see Learning Without Frontiers). As well as enjoying the conference, I enjoyed the chance to meet people that I otherwise only know by their Twitter avatar.

There is one such meeting however that I feel a bit guilty about. Poor @OliverQuinlan got stuck between two slightly ranting Scots (@DerekRobertson and myself). I'm afraid we got a bit enthusiastic about music. Derek, of course, was waxing lyrical about John Shuttleworth and associated characters - even bursting into song on occasion by way of illustration. Somehow or other, we got onto Tom Waits. Derek is a fan but Oliver wasn't really aware of him, so I mentioned my Tom Waits download post on this blog (which included one of my favourite tracks - Bottom Of The World) as well as the Peter Gabriel cover (also on this site).

Unfortunately, when I went to look for Bottom Of The World, I was disappointed to see it was no longer available from the Epitaph Records site (although some of the other tracks are still there). I went looking for it to see if it was available somewhere else and in the process found two live tracks for download on the Spinner Music site instead.

The tracks can be found on a page titled Exclusive: Tom Waits MP3 Download, Part Deux but unfortunately, the free download (of Bottom Of The World) on Part One has expired. The tracks that are still available on the "Part Deux" page are excellent. The first is Falling Down (Live) and Mr Waits is positively bellowing the lyrics. it sounds fantastic and it must have been spine chilling to be in the audience. The second is Eye Ball Kid (Live) which is essentially just percussion and Tom barking out the words. Now I know that doesn't sound very appealing but trust me, it's Tom Waits and it's brilliant.

Has anyone reading this post seen Tom Waits in concert? Hearing tracks like these makes me think it would be an experience you'd never forget.

P.S. I think Oliver has forgiven us because he sent a message to say he'd enjoyed the evening but that having listened to some Tom Waits, he said it was, "...not massively my thing". Well, at least we tried!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. (By way of experiment!)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Free Music Friday #85: New Year Resolutions

Despite my best intentions, I completely failed to honour at least one of my New Year resolutions; namely, make at least two Feedback posts a week. Here we are, over a fortnight into 2011 and I'm making my first post of the year - a free download Friday, and it's late! Will try to do better next week.

However, to make up for it, I'm not just linking to a free track this week. I'm not even just linking to a free album but four free albums and some video! (Well technically, one is a triple album but it's still four CDs worth of music!)

Originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
I have linked to Dream Theater related stuff before and they are a band that has grown on me since I saw them in concert a few years ago. I read with some concern therefore when I read that Mike Portnoy, drummer/lyricist/founding member/backing vocalist..., was leaving in what appears to be {understatement alert} not entirely happy circumstances! Mike is an outstandingly good drummer but with his umpteen side-projects and other commitments, perhaps he was spreading himself too thin. I think, however, that Dream Theater should be able to keep going and growing and I am sure we will continue to see and hear Mike's work here, there and everywhere. What I really hope though is that a few years down the line, Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy will sort things out and get back together again.

Anyway, to acknowledge the genius that is Mr Portnoy, here is a link to a multimedia extravaganza that is described as follows:
"Independent musicians, graphic artists, and a computer graphics demogroup have collaborated on a grand scale multimedia tribute to Mike Portnoy,in celebration of over a quarter of a century of highly influential musicianship."
The project is called Honor Thy Drummer and what you get (among other things) is three albums worth of music from artists that have collaborated with, or have benefitted in some way from association with Mike. As is to be expected, it is mostly in the Metal genre, but with a definite tendency to the Progressive end of the spectrum - just the way I like it!

And if that isn't enough for you, I also have a link to a sampler disk that includes a free track from Dream Theater featuring Mr Portnoy. The Roadrunner Records Amazon Sampler has twelve tracks for free download. (Oddly, individual tracks are listed with a cost but if you click to download the whole album, it is added to your basket at a cost of £0.00.) Many of the tracks are a bit too Wooorrrarrgh for my taste but some of the tracks, including the one from Dream Theater are great. (And sorry Jeff, not sure if this is UK Amazon only.)

So there you are. Plenty to keep you going even if it is a fortnight before my next post. Let me know what you think of the tracks. Which is your favourite?