Friday, 17 June 2011

Free Music Friday #104: Ha Ha Tonka

Ha Ha Tonka feature in free music Friday again - that makes four times. (I'll need to check if that's a record.)

Ha Ha Tonka by JasonBaldwin
Ha Ha Tonka, a photo by JasonBaldwin on Flickr.
A website I've never visited before, called The Ruckus (which has a couple of taglines, one of which is the magnificent "With great moustache comes great responsibility.") gives a free download of a track called Made Example Of. It also links to a site where you can choose how much you are willing to pay (including nothing) for a six track tour sampler (more about this in a moment).

First though, Made Example Of. If you have never heard Ha Ha Tonka before, this is a good introduction. It's lively, quirky and it tells a story. The repeated refrain is:
"If you don't change where you're going,
Your gonna end up right where you're heading."
Sounds like a warning from your parents but perhaps if parents sounded like Ha Ha Tonka, more teenagers would pay attention!

If you like the sound of of Ha Ha Tonka, you will probably enjoy the six track sampler that features two of their tracks. It is billed as the Death of a Decade Tour Sampler and it has tracks from Ha Ha Tonka, Hoots And Hellmouth and The Spring Standards. It looks like these bands were on tour with the other two (mostly) supporting Ha Ha Tonka. The Sampler gives you a flavour of what they sound like together and it sounds to me like they work well - it would have been a good tour to catch.

What I think is especially interesting though is the website that is hosting the sampler. It is called Bandcamp. It is interesting because they host albums for download but rather than having a fixed price per track, they let the customer decide how much they want to pay. It looks like the artist can set a minimum price, but in the case of the Ha Ha Tonka sampler, there is no minimum, so I guess you could take it for free if you wanted.

You can also embed the tracks on your own site if you want to spread the news, like this:

It looks like an interesting business model which the site's front page is keen to show works and (they claim) works better than some other download models.

What do you think?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Free Music Friday #103: Queensrÿche

I'd heard of the band Queensrÿrche before I heard music from the band Queensrÿrche. For reasons I cannot now explain, I thought of them as a metal band... possibly even as Hair Metal. Then I heard one of their albums and was surprised to hear a melodic and Progressive style of music. (In my defence, they do feature in Wikipedia's Heavy Metal Umlaut entry.)

Queensrÿche by SpoiltCat
Queensrÿche, a photo by SpoiltCat on Flickr.
If you want a flavour of what Queensrÿrche sound like, head for their facebook page, click the Like button on the special Dedicated To Chaos section and (in exchange for giving them access to your email address) you will be able to download Around The World.

The track is 5:12 long and starts with an orchestral style synth but before long, thumping piano chords and interesting drum rhythm kick in and give an indication of how the track will build and develop... and build it does!

I like it. I think it is interesting. What do you think?

{P.S. I know I'm late again but I'm not well. Man flu is a terrible affliction!}

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Free Music Friday #102: Bigelf, Big Track

I've already linked to Bigelf downloads a couple of times but today's link is to an 11 minutes and 21 seconds long monster of a track called Counting Sheep.

09.02.2010 bigelf by opethpainter
09.02.2010 bigelf, a photo by opethpainter on Flickr.
This is a very strange piece which at times sounds Pink Floyd-ish but mostly just sounds weird... but that's weird in a good way. It's a bit Sprog Prog and a bit Metal with some random fairground music thrown in for good measure.

What's especially nice is that there is no asking for emails or any of that nonsense, it's just, click here, download and (eventually, since it is a big track) enjoy.