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[Guest Post] Wilco

Back in 2008, when this blog was in its infancy, my brother Mike wrote a few posts for me, as he is really into free music as well.  I put the Metallica post up in May of that year, and then didn't post anything else on the blog until September.  By that time I didn't know if the links in his posts would still be valid, so I ended up not doing anything with them (I think the fact that I haven't listened to anything by those bands also had something to do with it, which is foolish when the music is free to download).  I've felt really bad about that, as they are very well written and deserve to be on this blog, so recently I decided to put them up in some form or another, even if the links no longer worked.  Fortunately, they do still work, so for the next couple of weeks I'm going to tale a little break and let Mike do most of the work on this blog (or rather, use the work that he did more than two years ago the way it should have been used in the first place).

My quest for free music, quite happily, led me to a band called Wilco a few months ago. I had read a blurb about them in Guitar World many years ago, at which point they were being touted as a great alt-country or “Americana” band. Alt-country? Americana? As far as I can tell, if a band plays music that is somewhat similar to country/folk music of the past but the members don't wear cowboy hats or come from the South, it's alt-country. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. And I’m really not sure what “Americana” means as applied to a band. I guess the labels put on Wilco don't tell you a whole lot.

The More Like the Moon EP is nothing more than six really good songs. These guys are talented songwriters and musicians. I don't listen to the radio EVER, not even sometimes. But if I did, I would complain that Wilco was not on the radio like they should be. And you can read the story about their bizarre record company fiasco on Wikipedia. But for whatever reason, they started offering this EP for free in 2003, and they made at least one new fan because of it.

I won’t describe the songs or anything like that, because frankly you can download them in 2 minutes and then listen to them in about 20. Most of it is laid back and really good! They seem to have released the EP under different names with different covers, and they let you choose which one you’d like.

So…Americana? Alt-Country? Whatever. How about “good music”? And hey, it sure does make you wanna go out and buy a Wilco album, doesn't it? Mission accomplished. Score one for totally free music!

1. Official website:
2. Wikipedia entry:
3. More Like the Moon EP:


How to Destroy Angels (EP)

In case you missed the brief update I tried to slip into my last post about How to Destroy Angels, their eponymous EP can now be downloaded for free (at the time of that post I didn't know how they would be distributing the EP; the information was only made public the day later).  All you need to do is head to their online store and enter your email address, and the download link will be sent to you.

The basic sound of the EP is Nine Inch Nails with female vocals.  I like it a lot - as any regular reader of this blog knows, I am a huge NIN fan, and hearing so many trademark NIN sounds (like syncopated drum beats, distorted synthesizers, and beautiful piano melodies) with Mariqueen's often hushed and fragile vocals is a nice change of pace.  Trent Reznor has stated that the band's next release will sound "more focused", so perhaps the EP may be best considered as a demo of sorts. but it's a good one.

The 6 songs are encoded as 320 kbps MP3s, and the zip file containing them weighs in at about 62.3 MB.  Happy listening!