Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Free Concert Downloads by Some of Today's Top Rock Artists

NPR's All Songs Considered podcast has always been a good podcast for introducing new albums by current and emerging artists. Most of the artists fall into some area of the rock genre, but the program also covers world music, jazz, and otherThe show also presents periodic live shows, but lately the podcast has been busting out by offering a lot of great live shows, almost all of them available as free MP3 downloads.

Since July All Songs Considered has offered free downloads of full concerts by everyone from British rockers Travis to gypsy punk outfit Gogol Bordello to '70s rock pioneer Nick Lowe, indie pop band The Apples in Stereo, alt rockers Rilo Kiley, and folk artist Iron and Wine.

The last few months have also seen concert downloads by The Polyphonic Spree, African star Femi Kuti, Okkervil River, John Vanderslice, and the duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who perform under the name The Swell Season. If the names of Hansard and Irglova are familiar, it's because they're the musician-stars of the well-reviewed movie Once, about musicians busking on the streets of Dublin.

On the Web site you'll find past concerts you can stream from artists such as the the White Stripes, the New Pornographers, Modest Mouse, Lilly Allen, Arcade Fire, and Regina Spektor.

Of course, the show is enjoyable and informative even when it's not providing free concert downloads. Host Bob Boilen discusses new albums and plays excerpts or full songs by the artists, and when the show doesn't have rights to play the full songs, you can stream them from the All Songs Considered Web site.

Besides the free downloads I've mentioned here, there are many other past concerts listed on the Web site. Some you can download, others are available only for streaming.

For listeners with a somewhat eclectic taste in rock and other current music, All Songs Considered is a great resource for hearing extended offering by a wide range of artists.

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