Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Possibly the Greatest Music Site Ever

New Jersey's WFMU has what is quite possibly one of the best options (legal or otherwise) for discovering new music out there. They recently launched the beta-version of their Free Music Archive. It's pretty simple - music curators from WFMU, KEXP, dublab, KBOO, and others have put up a variety (and that's an understatement) of songs tha have been "pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by outdated copyright law."

And when they say "certain types," they have a ridiculous amount of music. For example, simply clicking on "experimental" lets you peruse all 1294 songs, or you can click on any of the subgenres (in the case of experimental music, those subgenres are "Ambient," "Audio Collage," "Avant-Garde," "Drone," "Electroacoustic," "Field Recordings," "Improv," "Musique Concrete," "Noise," "Sound Collage," "Sound Poetry," and "Unclassifiable;" - and that's just in experimental music). What's more, because of the clearance, the songs are able to be remixed, replayed ad infinitum, anything but re-sold.

It's pretty easy to register, and here's the best part: you can still sponsor the bands/performers whose music you really like. You can see the bios and sites of the artists, and if you like their work, you can use paypal to send your donation directly to the artist(s) you like, thereby helping them be able to continue creating music without having to send any money to corporate 50-somethings who know nothing about music or are interested only in the profits. And if you listen to something you end up hating, well, you don't have to regret having spent money on something you'll listen to once.

It's got some great (and pretty obscure) stuff, and is highly worth checking out. And if you like the artists' works, it won't kill you to send a bit of money to help them continue to produce.