Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Jeff Bridges, Beirut, Muppets Covers, & More

Above: Preview the self-titled first album by Jeff Bridges this week (link below). In the album trailer above, Bridges talks about the album (which drops today), with snippets from some of the tunes.

There's an unusual mix of old and new musicians in this week's free album previews. Pavement member Stephen Malkmus is back with his latest solo album with his backing band The Jicks, and Beirut returns with its third full-length release.

But there's also the first album from Jeff Bridges—yes, The Dude abides with his own disc of tunes, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Although Bridges says he's been playing music since he was 13, playing a country singer in the movie "Crazy Heart" left him with some songs and the impetus to record them.

And if you're a fan of The Muppets, you'll want to check out the album of pop and rock heavyweights (including OK Go, Weezer, Amy Lee, and My Morning Jacket) covering tunes made famous by the soft-and-fuzzy stars of TV and film.

As usual, the albums are generally available for free streaming only for a week (sometimes more); the exact date is listed if known.

KCRW Album Preview: 
"Mirror Traffic" by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (available for streaming through Aug. 28)
"Ghostbird" by Zee Avi (streaming through Sept. 13)

NPR First Listen:
"The Rip Tide" by Beirut
"Apokalypsis" by Chelsea Wolfe
"Muppets: The Green Album" by various artists
"Neon Blue Bird" by Ollabelle

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin" by Breaking Benjamin
"Songs and Stories" by Guy Clark

Spinner.com's Listening Party:
"Jeff Bridges" by Jeff Bridges
"The Duke and the King" by The Duke and the King

And AOL Music and Spinner have many more new albums for free preview this week, including "Bright Lights" by Dead Man Winter (featuring Dave Simonett from Trampled by Turtles), "Shine" by Speed the Plough, "Burning Your House Down" by The Jim Jones Revue, "Out of Love" by Mister Heavenly (featuring members of Islands, Man Man, and Modest Mouse), and "Girl Graffiti" by Hotel Lights (featuring former Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee).

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