Free and Legal mp3 Downloads

Please enjoy these songs from 2008, and then buy the artists’ albums. Stella Splice has made this post a page, accessible at the top of the blog, that you can check for updates throughout the year.

To download, click on the link, and on the resultant page scroll down just a bit until you can click on the orange Download Now button. Scroll down on that next page until you see “Your download should begin shortly. If it does not, try Download file now.” It never begins without me clicking on that link. Have fun!

American Music Club ~ All Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco
Band of Horses ~ No One’s Gonna Love You
Basia Bulat ~ In the Night
Benji Hughes ~ So Well
Benji Hughes ~ You Stood Me Up
Benji Hughes ~ Why Do These Parties Always End Up the Same Way?
Benji Hughes ~ The Mummy
Benji Hughes ~ I Went with Some Friends to See the Flaming Lips
Bodies of Water ~ I Guess I’ll Forget The Sound, I Guess, I Guess
Bowerbirds ~ In Our Talons
Brazos ~ Mary Jo
Dirty on Purpose ~ Mind Blindness
Dr. Dog ~ The Ark
Dr. Dog ~ The Old Days
Fleet Foxes ~ White Water Hymnal
Howlin’ Rain ~ Dancers at the End of Time
Iron & Wine ~ Innocent Bones
James Hunter ~ Jacqueline
Jens Lekman ~ The Opposite Of Hallelujah
Jens Lekman ~ Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo
Jim White ~ Crash into the Sun
Kaki King ~ Two O’Clock
Ladytron ~ Black Cat
Lykke Li ~ Dance Dance Dance
Man Man ~ Top Drawer
Mates of State ~ My Only Offer
Mike Doughty ~ 27 Jennifers
Mike Doughty ~ I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress
Morning Benders ~ Crosseyed
Mudhoney ~ I’m Now
Mudhoney ~ In ‘n’ Out of Grace
My Brightest Diamond ~ Inside a Boy
My Morning Jacket ~ Evil Urges
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds ~ Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Nina Simone ~ Revolution
No Age ~ Eraser
Oxford Collapse ~ The Birthday Wars
Port O’Brien ~ I Woke Up Today
Ra Ra Riot ~ Dying Is Fine
Saul Williams ~ Sunday Bloody Sunday
Saul Williams ~ World on Wheels
Science for Girls ~ Northern Lights
She & Him ~ Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
Shearwater ~ Leviathan, Bound
Shearwater ~ Rooks
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin ~ Think I Wanna Die
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks ~ Baltimore
The Acorn ~ Crooked Legs
The Acorn ~ The Flood, Pt 1
The Breeders ~ Bang On
The Dandy Warhols ~ The World The People Together (Come On)
The Dodos ~ Fools
The Dodos ~ Jodi
The Dutchess & the Duke ~ Reservoir Park
The Mountain Goats ~ Sax Rohmer #1
The Republic Tigers ~ Buildings and Mountains
The Whigs ~ Right Hand on my Heart
Tilly and the Wall ~ The Freest Man
Tilly and the Wall ~ Cacophony
Tokyo Police Club ~ In A Cave
What Made Milwaukee Famous ~ Resistance Street
White Hinterland ~ Dreaming of the Plum Trees
Wolf Parade ~ Call It a Ritual
Wolf Parade ~ Language City

If you own a copyright and would like your mistakenly posted song to be removed, or if one of the links is not working, please contact Stella Splice.

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Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder has announced solo tour dates, featuring the tunes he penned for the Into the Wild soundtrack. I feel strongly about this disc. The shows should be excellent. Buy tickets here.

August 1 ~ Boston ~ Opera House
August 2 ~ Boston ~ Opera House
August 4 ~ New York ~ United Palace Theatre
August 5 ~ New York ~ United Palace Theatre
August 7 ~ Newark ~ Performing Arts Center
August 9 ~ Montreal ~ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
August 10 ~ Montreal ~ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
August 12 ~ Toronto ~ Massey Hall
August 13 ~ Toronto ~ Massey Hall
August 16 ~ Washington, D.C. ~ Warner Theatre
August 17 ~ Washington, D.C. ~ Warner Theatre
August 19 ~ Milwaukee ~ Riverside Theatre
August 21 ~ Chicago ~ Auditorium Theatre
August 22 ~ Chicago ~ Auditorium Theatre

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Fleet Foxes

I’m a little behind posting on Fleet Foxes, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been enjoying them. I’m hosting the download of their song White Winter Hymnal here.

Harmonies, rounds, and soaring strings (including a violin bow on a guitar) embedded in the roots of rock makes them sound quintessentially American. I know that trite perspective on this Seattle band is overdone, but it’s as hard to avoid such analysis as it is to find fault in their execution. Here’s what the buzz has been saying:

“studiously rural aesthetic”

“mingling the Celtic and pastoral with Beach Boys harmonies and crashing Americana into moments of real darkness and disarming pop bliss” [the pastoral vibe is emphasized by their self-titled’s cover art, a painting by Pieter Bruegel]

“it was as close to perfect as a band could get in writing a song”

“It is easy to sneer at young men fetishising old music, but Fleet Foxes handle their antecedents with panache … All this musical experience comes couched in a breezy innocence which never becomes cloying.”

To take a closer look at Fleet Foxes, watch the stop-motion video for White Winter Hymnal here. Download He Doesn’t Know Why. Watch their Black Cab Session. Listen to their concert at The Black Cat in DC, courtesy of NPR. Check out their Daytrotter session that features downloads of the songs drops in the River and Sun Giant from the Sun Giant EP, and Sun It Rises and White Winter Hymnal from their self-titled CD.

I think it’s wise to listen closely to the album, and to apply what band member Robin Pecknold told Drowned In Sound regarding the painting gracing the cover of their 2008 release:

“When you first see that painting it’s very bucolic, but when you look closer there’s all this really strange stuff going on, like dudes defecating coins into the river and people on fire, people carving a live sheep, this weird dude who looks like a tree root sitting around with a dog. There’s all this really weird stuff going on. I liked that the first impression is that it’s just pretty, but then you realise that the scene is this weird chaos. I like that you can’t really take it for what it is, that you’re first impression of it is wrong.”

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Grand Ole Party

I love the disc from Grand Ole Party. Get out your plastic money and buy their album Humanimals.

The female lead singer plays drums. Watch the trio perform Bad, Bad Man. Her insistant, staccato vocals convict you with each piercing syllable; they fall somewhere between Heart and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with a dollop of Grace Slick.

For more superlatives about her voice and style, see this The Stonewailer article. At that link, you can also download songs I.N.S.A.N.E., Roll on Down, Turn On, Burn On, and Radio. Radio is a MUST HAVE. It’s a dubbed-out remix by The Scientist. I’m really loving dub lately.

Daytrotter offers three GOP songs for download: Dirty Spirit Rag, Gypsy March, and Look Out Young Son, plus an additional unreleased mp3 titled Next Day Nightmare.

I think the lyrics to the album’s opening track Look Out Young Son, which you can hear on their MySpace, illustrate the band’s overall aesthetic:

“I must be the devil’s daughter /  Such a dark father to dwell in me / Bastard child that I am / You can see it in my swagger / In the palmist’s lines of my hands / And my lips that bud like daggers … Look out young son / When I bloom you come a-crawlin.'”

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Black Francis

I like people who get excited about things. Black Francis (a.k.a. Frank Black, a.k.a. Charles Thompson, a.k.a. former frontman of The Pixies) gets passionately obsessed about weird things like fringe Dutch musicians. To paraphrase, “Is he weird, is he white, is he promised to the night?” Yes? Bonus.

In the last year Black Francis has released two EPs/short LPs, Bluefinger and SVN FNGRS. I was never a big fan of the Frank Black (and the Catholics) solo stuff, but these new discs more than deserve the old moniker. They rock like nothing I’ve heard of his since The Pixies, and the live show was impeccable.

Bluefinger is a theme album, based on or at least inspired by the drug-crazed life and times of Herman Brood. The disc contains a cover of You Can’t Break a Heart and Have It (by Herman Brood and His Wild Romance), in which you can hear coked-up pounding anguish that makes it such a good song for Black Francis. You can hear how it would influence him. Sort of like, if you listen real hard to Nirvana, it makes so much sense that Kurt Cobain‘s first band was a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band.

Listen to Threshold Apprehension from Bluefinger and When They Come to Murder Me from SVN FNGRS on his MySpace, but know neither song is as intense as the overall vibe of the discs.

But if I had to choose, I’d pick SVN FNGRS (vowels are so uncool) for sure. The incisively short songs vamp (or is it harp?) on those good ol’ bloody themes: birth, sex, battle, death. Watch the video for the song I Sent Away. The album’s title comes from the seven-fingered-and-toed Cúchulainn, a mythological hero from Irish folklore “known for his terrifying battle frenzy or ríastrad, in which he becomes an unrecognizable monster who knows neither friend nor foe.” Sounds like the transformation that occurs when pasty, bald (and blue suede shod) Charles Thompson rips into a two-minute song as Black Francis.

I saw Black Francis with a bass player and drummer perform almost every song from both discs at The Slowdown in Omaha, Nebraska. The jukebox, the beers, the size (capacity 470!), the jaw-dropping bookings, the overall aesthetic … everything’s perfect in that bar/venue. And Charles commented more than once on how great the club is for performers.

The Slowdown’s excellence comes from the fact that it was created by owner/operators who are musicians themselves–folks from Omaha’s own Saddle Creek Records (Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes, Cursive, et al.).

I highly recommend The Slowdown … and so do others. It was named Esquire’s Club of the Year.

Getting back to the obsessions of Black Francis. He has recorded songs to accompany the 1915 film Der Golem, which I think will be released as another album soon. This is the third film I know him to sing about, joining the ranks of Eraserhead and Un Chien Andalou.

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Beck and Benji Hughes

Tomorrow we can buy the new Danger-Mouse-produced Beck album, Modern Guilt. You can bet yer summer-lovin’ ass I’ll be there.

Listen on Beck’s MySpace to three songs from the disc, Orphans, Gamma Ray, and Chemtrails. For the scoop on what chemtrails are, check out this Guardian article.

Watch Beck Hansen perform the title track to the new album live on YouTube.

Drowned in Sound did a most-welcome song-by-song review of the album. It’s a fun read that will really whet your appetite.

If you’re a fan of Cat Power, you’ll be glad to know lead singer Chan Marshall does backing vocals on Beck’s Orphans track, according to Stereogum.

If you’re excited about the Beck, also let me recommend Benji Hughes‘ forthcoming (July 22) 25-song album A Love Extreme.

Listen at Benji’s MySpace. Sometimes he sounds like the stripped-down funked out bits of Beck, such as in his song Tight Tee Shirt. And sometimes it’s like The Eels covering Jack Johnson in a good way; see All You’ve Got To Do Is Fall In Love.

Download four free and legal Benji Hughes mp3s.

Unfortunately, his tour is already over. But to get ramped up for his debut release later this month, Ryan at Muzzle of Bees thoughtfully provides two mp3s (So Well and You Stood Me Up) for download. Also, you can pay to download five songs via iTunes that were released as an EP titled A Little Extreme.

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From the Basement TV: Radiohead, et al.

In addition to Black Cab Sessions, Take-Away Shows, and Handheld Shows, there’s a new kid in town trading in a little bit of those projects’ charms for more polish.

From the Basement filmed some of your favorite bands in a studio with no introduction and no audience. The clean-looking video can be seen in clip-form on the site or at the YouTube channel, and some of the full-song performances can be purchase on iTunes (just search From the Basement in the iTunes store). Some people, of course, have put some of the full videos (particularly the Radiohead) up on YouTube.

Radiohead recorded ten songs with From the Basement TV, including songs from In Rainbows. Songs include: Bodysnatchers, House of Cards, Nude, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, 15 Step, Reckoner, Go Slowly, Videotape, Bangers ‘n’ Mash, and All I Need.

According to the band, “Captured in a day, with direction by David Barnard and sound by [Radiohead’s buddy] Nigel Godrich, the videos represent the best recorded representation of Radiohead’s live performance to date.” And if Radiohead makes that sort of sweeping statement, it must be stinkin’ great.

Other performers so far are: Thom Yorke, Albert Hammond Jr., Envelopes, The White Stripes, The Shins, Neil Hannon, Beck, Jarvis Cocker, Jamie Lidell, Sonic Youth, José Gonzaléz, Laura Marling, PJ Harvey, Super Furry Animals, Free Blood, Operator Please, Damien Rice, The Eels, Autolux, and Architecture in Helsinki.

Bonus, unrelated link: Download mp3s of Radiohead’s April Fools’ Day Show courtesy of Alan at Sixeyes (who appreciates if you leave comments and click on ads in return for his generosity).

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