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The end of an era

Ah, it seems like it was only yesterday that I started this blog. Writing about music is something that I truly enjoy, and what makes the music I write about on this blog extra special is the fact that everyone is able to listen to it for themselves with very little effort; there's no need to visit a store to purchase a CD, no need for an iTunes account, no need for Paypal account, no need for money of any kind. As Huey Lewis once sang, you "don't need no credit card to ride this train." Any music that makes it into a post here is at most a few mouse clicks away, and the only possible cost to anyone is the time it takes to download and listen to something. I have received many emails and comments about this blog, and it is always nice to hear from people who really appreciate what I am trying to do here. Thank you so much!

Put very simply, though, times have been pretty tough lately. The effects of the current recession can be felt far and wide, and it pains me to say that Totally Free Music is on the verge of becoming one of the latest victims of the recession - writing about free music is a lot of fun, but it just doesn't pay the bills the way it should. I would never want to leave my readers in the dark, though, so after thinking long and hard about this, I have come up with a way to keep the blog alive and continue to provide everyone with access to the same kind of great, free music I have always written about.

Right now, I would like to welcome you to Totally Free Music: Premium Edition. Basically, it will be exactly the same as the old Totally Free Music, except more, well, premium. Using the new subscription feature, readers will continue to have access to all of the free music that I blog about here.

If you don't want to pay for a subscription, there's virtually nothing to worry about. The full text of each post will always be available to everyone; however, no hyperlinks will be displayed to non-paying readers. Think of it as a kind of preview of what's available to subscribers. It is my hope, however, that readers will see the advantages offered by a subscription to Totally Free Music. I have trried to make a variety of subscription options to suit every budget; after all, free music need not be only for the wealthy!

List of subscription options (all prices are in CAD; for up-to-the-minute currency conversion, try this site [Purchase Hyperlink]):
  • $10: one month's subscription to Totally Free Music
  • $50: six month's subscription to Totally Free Music
  • $100: one year's subscription to Totally Free Music
  • $150: lifetime subscription to Totally Free Music, plus an exclusive "I am a paid supporter of Totally Free Music" wallpaper for your Windows desktop

For those who don't want to pay for a full subscription, individual hyperlinks will be available for à la carte purchase by clicking on "Purchase Hyperlink", which will appear next to each hyperlink (subscribers will have the option to turn off the purchase links if they so desire). The base price for each hyperlink will be $1, while bulk purchases will enable you to save money: any 3 links can be purchased for $2, any 5 for $3, and all of the links in any one post can be purchased for a flat price of $5. I hope that these flexible pricing options will help to make free music affordable to everyone.

Once an à la carte purchase has been made, there are no refunds. But any hyperlinks that you have purchased will continue to remain visible as long as you don't delete your browser's cookies (and be sure to take extra care when clearing your browser's cache, as that has been known to cause occasional issues as well).

Ocasionally there will be special offers, such as half-price subscriptions and perhaps even a few free hyperlinks. These offers will be made on a first-come, first-served basis; in order to be alerted to such offers as they happen, I would strongly recommend subscribing to the new Special Offer feed. [Purchase Hyperlink]

Links in all of the existing posts are in the process of being converted over to the new Premium plan. It's going to take some time for me to go through all the old posts and add Premium options to them, so if there's anything that you really want to grab, it's probably best to do so now while it's still free. I estimate that the entire site should be converted within the next 24 hours, so have fun (and while you're at it, if you spot any dead links or links that don't lead where they should, please let me know - I would be so embarassed if someone were to actually purchase such a link!).

So that's pretty much what's been going on with this blog lately. Basically everything will continue to be the same, just a little different. A sort of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" kind of situation, you know? If you have any questions or want some more information about all of this, please leave a comment here or send me an email. I look forward to continuing to provide paying readers with the best free music that I come across!


Album Spotlight: NINJA 2009 Tour Sampler

And the free music continues to come our way courtesy of Trent Reznor and seemingly everyone who gets involved with him. I've previously covered various releases from Nine Inch Nails, both official and semi-official, here before. This time, in preparation for NIN's upcoming summer tour with Jane's Addiction and Street Sweeper (a new band featuring Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame) - dubbed "NINJA 2009" - an EP has been released featuring six previously unreleased tracks, two from each band. The NINJA 2009 Tour Sampler EP is available for download from the official NINJA 2009 website; all you need to do in order to obtain it is provide an email address, which "will be kept confidential and will not be used for spam."  The EP is available in a variety of formats, including MP3, FLAC, WAVE, and Apple Lossless. 

The Nine Inch Nails songs come from the recording sessions for 2005's With Teeth. "Not So Pretty Now" is uptempo and aggressive, while "Non-Entity" is a slow, brooding track that would have fit in quite nicely on The Fragile. These songs have previously been played live, but this is the first time the studio versions have been made available. Jane's Addiction contributes re-recorded versions of "Chip Away" and "Whores", both from their 1987 self-titled live album; these versions have been co-produced and mixed by Trent Reznor. The Street Sweeper songs have an interesting sound that should appeal to fans of Morello's past work - the rapped vocals are more laid back than those of both Zack de la Rocha and Chris Cornell, but the songs have a familiar groove to them. "The Oath" even gives a nod to The Beatles' "Hey Jude" with its "Na na na na" outro. I'm really looking forward to hearing more from these guys.

In another awesome move, multi-track files for the two Jane's Addiction songs, as well as a third Street Sweeper song, "Fight! Smash! Win!", have been made available on the NIN remix website, while the multi-tracks for the two NIN songs will be made available in a few weeks. I notice that a few people have already posted some remixes of the new tracks, and I am sure that many more are on the way. If any readers of this blog decide to make their own remixes, why not post links to them in the comments here so we can all give them a listen?

If you're even a casual fan of any of these bands, I think this EP is well worth the time it takes to download it. For my part, I'm a major fan of Nine Inch Nails, so the two NIN songs are of most interest to me, but I've also really enjoyed the chance to listen to songs from another legendary band (Jane's Addiction) and an up and coming band (Street Sweeper). Go check it out for yourself, and happy listening!



Free Music Resource:

If you're a regular visitor to this blog, then you may have already noticed the "Free music from around the web" section on the sidebar. The purpose of this section is to spotlight some free music sources that I regularly download from; each source includes a link to its website as well as to the latest offering from that source. I hope these links will be found useful by enabling more music to be discovered beyond what I cover in my posts.

Right now, I would like to highlight one of these sources - the one called Free Classical Music. This is actually a very small subset of a site called, which features a wealth of information about classical music as well as a few other genres. In order to be able to download anything from the site, you will need to register for a free account, at which time you can begin exploring the site at your leisure. Once you've got your account set up, though, you can immediately begin downloading free albums from the site.

I've only been using this site for a couple of weeks, and in that time they have been offering 2 albums for download each week while also keeping the previous week's 2 albums available; I don't know if this has always been or will always be the case, but it currently allows for a decent selection at any given time. Some of the albums are compilations featuring works by various composers, like a recent album with works by Monteverdi and Schutz; others feature a selection of works by a single composer, my favourite so far being a Mozart album with 2 concertos, a symphony, and the overture to "The Magic Flute" (that one has more than 90 minutes of music). Full information about the most current albums can be obtained by clicking on their album covers.

My usual tendency with other classical music resources is to go for composers or works that I am already familiar with. Since the albums here are chosen by, I'm not always able to do that, so I have found this to be a great way to sample classical music that is not necessarily familiar to me. Download speeds have been very fast for me; often it only takes a few minutes from starting my download to being able to listen to it.

The album selection is updated each Tuesday. If you're a fan of RSS feeds, I have created one using Feedity that you can use to keep up to date with the latest offerings; you can subscribe to it at (NOTE: unfortunately, this feed has stopped working). Otherwise, be sure to keep checking back on the site every Tuesday to see what's new. Happy listening! 



Artist Spotlight: Daniel Bautista

I discovered Daniel Bautista last month via the free MP3s recommended in my account. A look at his artist page showed songs with titles like "Moonlight Sonata", "Symphony No. 5", and "Symphony No. 9" among his top tracks. Even without being on a classical music kick, I would have easily recognized these song titles; given the fact that I've been listening to little but classical music for a while now, this seemed like something that would be right up my alley. Another thing I noticed on this page is the "jamendo" tag. I've covered Jamendo here before, and it is still a site that I use regularly for discovering new music. A quick search on Jamendo brought me to Daniel's artist page, where the two albums that jumped out at me right away were Beethoven and Classics and Soundtracks.

Beethoven is a collection of six of Ludwig van Beethoven's compositions arranged for guitar. There are three instrumental styles on the album, each represented by two tracks. The first style is guitar and drums, in which multiple guitars are overdubbed to achieve an orchestral effect with the drums providing accents rather than a beat; the overall sound lies somewhere between classical music and heavy metal. "Symphony No. 5" opens the album in this style, and is actually a guitar-based version of the entire first movement of that piece. The other song in this style is "Symphony No. 9"; this time Daniel summarizes the various movements of the piece. The slow, ominous feel of the first movement soon gives way to the more technical second movement, allowing him to really showcase his mastery of the instrument. About midway through this 10-minute song, the fourth movement begins, which includes a beautiful rendering of the famous "Ode to Joy". Here Daniel's skill as an arranger is on full display; what begins as a solitary guitar playing the melody gradually builds into a small orchestra of guitars and drums, bringing the piece to a rousing and rocking finish.

The second style is similar to the first, in that it consists of layers upon layers of electric guitars, but without any drums. "Symphony No. 7" is the first such track, consisting of just over 3 minutes from the second movement of the titular symphony. This track is very beautiful, and has given me new appreciation for the original. I actually had trouble figuring out where in the symphony this brief excerpt was from, and even thought it might have been mislabelled. After a few more listens to the original, I finally heard it at the beginning the second movement, and this is now my favourite part of the symphony. The second such song is "Grosse Fuge", which is actually a complete performance of "Große Fuge in B flat major", a string quartet. The interplay between the various guitar tracks is amazing in this song, and I think it also showcases an enormous amount of respect for Beethoven's music.

The third style of tracks employs classical guitar for a much more traditional sound. "Moonlight Sonata" is the complete first movement of "Piano Sonata No. 14 'Moonlight'". The guitars are still layered in this song, and there are some very nice stereo effects in it - listen to the song on headphones to hear the rhythm travelling from left to center to right throughout the piece. "Para Elisa", a brief, single guitar version of "Für Elise", closes the album, almost feeling like a tease after the five longer pieces that preceded it. I would certainly love to hear another album like this in the future, based either on Beethoven or another composer (Mozart, pretty please?).

The album description for Classics and Soundtracks states "This is the Jamendo edition of the album, there are plenty more classics in". I guess this has something to do with the Creative Commons licenses used on Jamendo; in this case, what it basically amounts to is that the "Soundtracks" part of the album is not available from Jamendo. Should you choose to download the album from Jamendo, you will be treated to some excellent reinterpretations of some classical pieces. "The Four Seasons - Spring Allegro", for example, is a version of Vivaldi's famous piece arranged for classical guitar, while "The Four Seasons - Summer Presto" is an electric guitar version of its titular piece. There are a few songs based on works by Mozart, including "Symphony No. 25 (1st Movement)", a cool electric guitar version of that piece, and "Turkish March", which features a rock arrangement led by piano. A couple of my other favourites are Tchaikovsky's "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee".

As good as all that is, I would highly recommend downloading the album from Daniel's own site. You get everything from the Jamendo version of the album plus 8 movie and television soundtrack selections. My favourites of these are "Superman" and "Lord of the Rings"; the soaring melodies in the "Superman" theme translate very well to the electric guitar, and "Lord of the Rings" is an excellent medley of the major themes from those films. If you're into torrents, you may notice that there is a link to a torrent for this album - that's how I downloaded it, and I'll be seeding it for a while, so if you don't feel like downloading all 22 files separately, this might be a good option for you.

If you do head to Daniel's site, you will notice that there is an incredible amount of music available for download - both solo material and from a variety of bands Daniel has played with over the years. I think it would be easy to spend weeks downloading and listening to all this music, and I think it is very likely that I may end up doing just that. Before I sign off here, I just want to briefly mention one more album, Madera Y Bronce, an album that showcases Daniel's skills on the acoustic guitar across a wide variety of genres. Some of the songs are acoustic versions of songs from Daniel's other albums, such as "In the Desert", which features a great chord progression, and "Difícil", a short progressive metal piece which translates amazingly well to the acoustic guitar; some are original songs, like the high speed country-tinged "Judge Holden"; and some are classical songs, including "Para Elisa" (the full version this time!) and a piece called "Bach Auf Der Gitarre", a medley of Bach's music featuring, among other things, his "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" (thanks to Mike G. for identifying that piece for me; if anyone knows any of the other pieces referenced in this song, would they kindly leave a comment here about it?).  

I am sure that this will not be the last time I blog about this amazingly talented and prolific young artist. At the rate he seems to put out new music, it probably won't be long before he has something else that I'll want to write about. I hope that this post will help to raise his profile a little as well, because artists as talented as Daniel Bautista deserve to be heard by lots of people. Happy listening!

URLs: (Beethoven) (Classics and Soundtracks) (Madera Y Bronce)


Album Spotlight: Nine Inch Nails - Another Version of the Truth

In early December 2008, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails revealed, via his blog at, that he had planned to film a show in 3D and release it theatrically and on DVD, BluRay, etc. Unfortunately, the record company he approached regarding producing and funding refused to cooperate, but only after months had gone by since he had asked them. Without enough time left on the tour to do the filming comfortably, even with alternate production and funding, Reznor chalked it up as a lost opportunity. However, the next day he stated that the band's upcoming performance in Victoria would have a "very relaxed camera / camcorder policy." This policy was also in effect for the Portland and Sacramento shows later that month.

At this point, NIN fans began organizing an effort to have the band's show in Las Vegas recorded by dozens of fans. A website was created at to keep people up to date on their efforts to create a DVD documenting these shows as a gift to NIN fans. Just before Christmas, Reznor hinted that a "small holiday gift" was in the works; on January 7, 2009, this gift was revealed to be over 400 GB of high definition film footage from thee separate, complete shows of the recently completed tour. "If any of you could find a LINK to that footage I'll bet some enterprising fans could assemble something pretty cool," said Reznor, before adding, "Oh yeah, you didn't hear this from me." Links to torrents of this footage were posted on the message board at

So there you have it. Trent Reznor himself was encouraging his fans to download footage of his concerts and make "something pretty cool" out of it. That's good enough for me, especially since this may be the closest thing to an official live release from this tour that we will see.

Now, I don't normally post about videos on this blog, and I don't intend to start now. Fortunately, the hard working folks at have created a professionally mastered audio version of these concerts and made them available for download. The release is entitled Another Version of the Truth, just like the eventual video version will be, and it consists of two main parts: Las Vegas, which was created from a variety of fan audio sources from the Las Vegas show, and The Gift, which was created from the footage supplied by Nine Inch Nails, edited and mixed "to get the best of each show." In total, there is almost 4 and a half hours of music between the two parts, with songs spanning NIN's entire career.

Trent and his entire band are on fire in both shows, making a lot of the songs sound even more aggressive than the studio versions. For the most part the arrangements are left untouched, but there are some nice moments like the extended intros to "Only" and "Echoplex". The biggest exception is "Piggy", which gets reworked as "Ghosts Piggy", coming after a set of songs from Ghosts I-IV; Josh Freese's drumming at the end of this song is amazing. The set lists for both shows are nearly identical, with only a handful of songs differing between the two. As far as sound quality is concerned, Las Vegas sounds a little more distant and has more audience noise, which is to be expected since it was made from fan recordings; The Gift, on the other hand, sounds like a professional live album. I think both recordings certainly have their own merits and both deserve to be listened to.

Another Version of the Truth is currenly available via BitTorrent. I don't believe I've ever covered torrents here, so some explanation may be in order for those unfamiliar with the protocol. Brian's BitTorrent FAQ and Guide covers the topic in more detail than I ever could, so go please go there to read all about it if you need to; if you still have any questions, let me know and I will be happy to answer them. Once you're all set up to handle torrents, you can download either the MP3 version (320kb) or the FLAC version. Neither one of them is a small download - the MP3 version is 623.33 megabytes, while the FLAC version weighs in at 1.76 gigabytes. The time you spend downloading either version will be well worth it, though. Happy listening!



Song Spotlight: Josh Freese: "I Don't Think That's OK"

I've got a free song from a very unique album for you today.  Josh Freese has a new album called Since 1972 coming out later this month, and the pricing scheme for the album is rather... interesting, to say the very least.  I'll let you read the full details for yourself on his website, but basically there are 11 different packages you can buy, ranging in price from $7 for a digital download of the album all the way up to $75,000 for an extravagant package that allows you to go on tour with Josh for a few days, have Josh write, record and release a 5 song EP about you and your life story, take home any one of his drumsets of your choosing... and that's just the start of it.  He insists that these packages are real - I'm waiting to see if anyone will actually take him up on one of the more expensive offers.

In the meantime, the first single from the album has been posted to the website.  In exchange for your email address, you get a free download of "I Don't Think That's OK".  I'm not going to post a detailed review, since it's just one song, but I will say that it rocks.  Go check it out, and happy listening!


Album Spotlight: Musical Soup (Mozart for babies and toddlers)

As some of you may know, I have young kids, so since I've been exploring classical music lately, it has been natural for me to look into the use of classical music as lullabies. A lot of what I have found on my own has been quite bombastic and not very suitable for lullabies. After a little bit of searching, I was happy to stumble upon a couple of collections of Mozart's music called Musical Soup from Munchkin. Both collections consist of a selection of popular Mozart pieces that have been developed and arranged by neurobiologist Dr. Norman M. Weinberger and Grammy award winner Jimmie Haskell.

The two collections are called Mozart: Wombsong Collection and Mozart for Toddlers. The download page breaks each collection up into three sections: "Wake Up", "Play Time", and "Sleepy Time"; each album can be downloaded in its entirety, as one of these sections, or as individual songs.

You won't find any complete symphonies or anything like that on these collections. Instead, there are dozens of clips ranging in length from under a minute to just over three minutes. A lot of Mozart's most famous tunes are included; I often find myself thinking "I know that piece" while listening to them. So even if you don't have kids, these collections can still serve as great primers to Mozart's vast catalogue of music, made even more helpful by the fact that most pieces have their Köchel-Verzeichnis numbers included as part of their titles (at least for Wombsong Collection; for Mozart for Toddlers, this information can still be found on the download page), which makes looking them up elsewhere a snap.

Whether you're looking for some music to play for your young ones or you're looking for a quick primer on Mozart's music, the Musical Soup albums are a great place to start. Happy listening!