Free Tunes Trifecta

Free + Tunes = Thursjoy

There is such a thing as a free lunch, or at least some free tunes for you, my loyal readers. Quality tunes, of course.

We may all lament these changing times. Information overload, internet privacy concerns, and random yokels trying to be your friend on Facebook. One positive side to the internet revolution, though, is that it’s blown the doors off the previously-cloistered music industry. Musicians, who are reputedly nowhere near as greedy as record executives, can be remarkably willing to share their work for free. And here are a few examples!

The Cars’ New Album

Ric Ocasek and the boys are back together, and sounding as timeless as ever, partly because Ric has kept busy, producing albums for artists like Weezer and Guided by Voices. Stream their new album, “Move Like This,” at Rolling Stone. But hurry: it’s unclear how much longer the stream will be live.

It’s been 24 years since their last album. That’s too long.

Download the New Album from Tiny Animals

I discovered Tiny Animals, a punchy New York 3-piece that produces pure and addictive alt-rock, at South by Southwest a few years back. You may have heard their stuff and not know it; their music has been played on Channel One and several different MTV shows.

Not only are they hard-working and funny (check them out on YouTube), but they’re giving away their entire new album here. And Chris is a solid guy.

NPR’s First Listen

Lastly, I give you First Listen, an amazing resource and vital conduit of new, full-album streams. Generally these streams are live until the album hits store shelves. Currently posted for your full listening pleasure are the new albums from Beirut and Stephen Malkmus (ex-Pavement) and the Hicks, along with a full set of Muppet Show tunes covered by indie stalwarts like OK Go and Rachel Yamagata.

Free Tunes Thoughts

Times are tough for musicians. Even the big artists need to tour and sell secondary merchandise like t-shirts to keep food on the table. Why? Because of the collapse of the record industry and the leechery (sic) of many of their fans (you know who you are).

I hope that, in twenty years, things have settled out in a way that allows musicians to make a fair and honest living without having to tour 24×7. Support your favorite artists! If you do, maybe they’ll keep making the music you love.

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