Friday, 18 March 2011

Free Music Friday #93: Pearl Jam... probably

I found this live Pearl Jam track through a Google search. The link took me straight to the download page but when I had a look about, I couldn't find a way into it from the Pearl Jam website.

The track is called Amongst The Waves and it is a belter. Go to the widget page, enter an email to join the mailing list and they'll send you a link to get the download. It is a live trtack and the band is sounding great. I especiall like the sound of Mr Vedder's voice. There's a Hammond organ providing a solid base and some understated, but nonetheless impressive, guitar solos that drive it along. And have I mentioned how good Eddie Vedder's voice sounds?

My problem is, I don't know why this widget doesn't appear to feature on their website, so I do not know how much longer it will be available. Is it left over from a previous promotion or is it a new freebie that has yet to feature?

To be on the safe side therefore, I thought I'd give you another free download just in case the Pearl Jam one disappears. So here is a live track from the Black Keys: I Got Mine. The Black Keys have featured in a Free Download Friday before (Free Music Friday #59: The Black Keys) where my description of them was "Two blokes with a guitar and a drum kit. An astonishing racket! . Well that description fits this track - with knobs on! I think this is the first live track of theirs I've heard and it's clear that the audio assault I've enjoyed on their albums is not the result of studio overdubs and the reaction of the audience (which can be heard through pretty much the whole of the track) suggests that this is a band (well duo...) that can put on a show. Well worth hearing live I suspect.

While you are downloading The Black Keys, have a look round the Glide Magazine site where there are twenty-five pages of downloads available! If you can't find something you like there, you are clearly not trying! Let me know what your favourites are.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Oh yes!

I think I'm a bit late picking this up but I for one welcome this news about a band that seems to divide opinion: As Promised!

What is it with squabbling rock siblings? Let's hope they don't kill each other before they finish the new album.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Still trying to learn guitar...

...So I've started lessons. As mentioned in the passing (Who is your favourite guitarist) my first real tune was Johnny B. Goode. I thought I'd post videos of the songs I'm learning to play so I can get depressed about what I'm aiming for!

There are a fair number of versions of Mr Berry playing this on YouTube. Each one is different and every one is goode!

I think I have the basic chord sequence OK now. I'm working on making it sound more interesting by adding twiddly bits and I'm supposed to be working up to adding a lead solo bit (although that's still a couple of weeks away).

...But I still am nowhere near sounding like Chuck! Sigh! I'm away now to practice my duck walk.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Free Music Friday #92: Columbia Records Sampler

Another interesting freebie from Amazon UK. (Sorry UK only I suspect - unless you know different!) Thirteen tracks, given away for free, on a Columbia Records Sampler album.

It is a bit of a mixed bag but hopefully you'll find something of interest. For me, it is worth downloading the whole thing for the tracks from the Foo Fighters and the Kings of Leon alone, not to mention an interesting offering from Glasvegas.

And while you are there, why not check out the current crop of tracks available for free download. The two that caught my ear are My People from Yusef (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) which has an understated feel to it and Sympathetic Type from Duff McKagan's Loaded which is wonderfully raucous.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Spinal Tap or The Rutles - Discuss

I have recently rediscoverer of The Word Podcast. I first came across it some time ago but the sound quality on the first couple I listened to was so poor that I didn't bother keeping up with it.

Originally uploaded by Der Ohlsen
For some reason, I recently decided to give them another go and have been listening regularly now for a couple of months. They seem to have sorted the recording quality issues and you now at hear what everyone is saying!

The format is essentially that of two old duffers talking nonsense to each other with occasional interjections from who ever else happens to be about! It has to be said that normally that kind of description would make me run a mile. It is precisely the sort of zoo format radio (as practiced by Messrs Evans and Moyles) that drives me nutty. But somehow, I don't find it annoying in a podcast.

Mostly they talk nonsense, but often there are nuggets buried in their banter and usually their guests are very interesting (a recent-ish favourite of mine was Wilko Johnson in podcast 144).

The particular focus of this post, however, is a series of Tweets sent in by a regular podcast listener. They take the form of So-and-so or thingumy-bob - Discuss. I think the point is that the answer doesn't matter as much as the discussion and they take novel or obscure targets rather than well worn debates like "The Rolling Stones or The Beatles". For example, two recent Tweets posed: "Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet" and "Vivian Stanshall or Ivor Cutler". (For the record, I disagreed with the podcast's pronouncements in both cases.)

I though this would be a format that I could shamelessly steal and use on this blog. Whether any other debate topics ever appear will depend on your reaction to this one. So here is the first of what may be a series of debates:

Spinal Tap or The Rutles - Discuss

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Free Music Friday #91: Drive By Truckers

I was sure I had featured the Drive By Truckers here before... but apparently not! They are often described as Alt Country, but but I identify Southern Rock coming through fairly strongly.

I found two tracks currently available for download, so we'll start with the more Rock-ish one: Used To Be A Cop from the recently released album Go Go Boots. I'd say this was fairly typical of the stuff I'd heard from them before although it is perhaps a bit more acoustic and laid back than material on The Big to Do (which is the only album of theirs I currently own).

This track is like others of theirs that I like, in that it tells a story. We have a character sketch of an ex-cop whose life seems to be spiralling down the plughole. The story is told from his perspective and there are hints of troubles and tribulations in his past that have contributed to bring him to the place he describes in the song. So I do feel some sympathy for this character but at the same time I can't help but wonder how many of his problems are of his own making.

The music is downbeat and poignant and fits the mood of the lyrics perfectly. You can download it by entering your email address in this widget:

And you can watch a video of it while it downloads:

The band also made a love song available for free download on February 14th, although, from the download available above, you are hopefully not expecting a straightforward love song. This track, Everybody Needs Love, is more at the Country end of things. What do you think? Would you have sent this to your true love on Valentine's Day?

P.S. Late again! I think I'm going to have to change the name of this feature to Songs On Saturday!