I Remember You by Nature

Combing an enticing mix of modern jazz and funk, Nature, is a free groove-jazz quartet formed in Dublin, Ireland. The group consists of bassist/composer Kevin Higgins, vocalist Georgia Cusak, guitarist Chris Guilfoyle, and drummer Tommy Gray, all of whom met at Newpark Music Centre – Ireland’s Top Jazz Institution.

I Remember You is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NonDerivatives License. In plain English, this means that there are three things that must be done if you intend to copy, distribute, or transmit this track. First, you must credit this work to Nature by including the attribution code on this page.

Once embedded, the following text will be displayed:

Forget The Theory (Nature) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Additionally, users must agree to not alter, transform, or build upon this work.  Finally, “I Remember You” or any of the tracks in Forget the Theory are not approved for commercial use (i.e. trades in which other copyrighted works are exchanged or any transaction that results in financial gain). Of course, it should be noted that if you are so inclined and decide to request prior permission from the copyright holder, any of the above limitations may be waived.

Download the rest of Nature’s music here.


Working Class Boyfriend by Toussaint Morrison

Toussaint Morrison is a three-time competitive slam poetry champion, youth mentor, actor, and musician with some serious chops. What is slam poetry you ask? Simply put, it’s a sub-genre of poetry that places equal emphasis on both the content and performance of a poetic work in competition. Morrison’s music reflects an intensely interesting mix of eloquent lyricism and innovative and creative use of various musical samples from a variety of genres.

Working Class Boyfriend is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License. In plain English, this means that there are two things that must be done if you intend to copy, distribute, transmit, or remix this track. First, you must credit this work to Toussiant Morrison by including the attribution code on this page.

Once embedded, the following text will be displayed:

Toussaint Morrison Is Not My Boyfriend (Toussaint Morrison) / CC BY-NC 3.0

Finally, users must agree to not use this work for commercial purposes. Of course, it should be noted that if you are so inclined and decide to request prior permission from the copyright holder, any of the above limitations may be waived.

Download the rest of Toussaint Morrison’s music here.

Hey Dude by New Waver

I don’t particularly care for the music of The Beatles, which to some extent probably explains why I wasn’t blown away by this recording. It’s not that I don’t value their contribution to music, but eventually enough is enough. The Beatles were innovating and changing the face of music at a time when society was ready to move with it, and for that, they have my gratitude. If you’ve stuck with me this far, let me commend you for having the decency in your heart to not condemn me because of music preferences alone (you’re more than welcome to condemn me based on other stuff. I’m a liberal unemployed jazz musician who’s trying to join the vast ranks of law graduates in an economy that’s well… not great. Pick your poison.).

New Waver is a comedic pop and nerdcore group that met in the early 80s as fellow pop enthusiasts and employees to the Canberra headquarters of the Australian Tax Office. After purchasing a set of instruments (and learning them), the group set out to perform the hits made famous by their musical heroes. What followed soon after was a myriad of humorous arrangements including: “Party Like It’s 1979,” “Media I Gave You All the Best Years of My Life,” “Too Sober To Fuck,” “My Memory-Stick Weighs a Ton,” and finally, “Hey Dude.”

“Hey Dude” is a parody by New Waver of the Beatles’ wildly popular track “Hey Jude.” Unfortunately, the similarities between the two tracks stop at the use of the same chords and melodic figure. I found it extremely difficult to tell whether or not the amateurish musicianship was intentional or due solely to inexperience. It’s not that an amateur level of musicianship would have necessarily made the recording bad, but the constant fluctuation between what appeared to be intentional mistakes and what appeared to be unintentional made the entire recording difficult to gauge. Upon my first listening, I assumed that nearly all the mistakes (missed notes in the vocals, messy guitar work, and a general lack of rhythmic togetherness) were all part of the parody. Now, however, I’m not so sure. Additionally, I was disappointed by New Waver’s additional vocals. Whereas in most Nerdcore tracks it’s common to have sharp and witty nerd related vocals, these appeared to be rather dull and uninviting.

Unfortunately, I’d recommend not downloading this track. While I was genuinely excited to see what the Nerdcore genre could potentially do with a take on the Beatles, this track ultimately left much to be desired.

Download and/or listen to the album here.

This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

This means you can have it, you can give it to everyone you know and/or don’t know, you can remix it, and everyone you know and/or don’t know can remix it.  You can’t make money off of it and you have to attribute the band with a link.  Finally, if you do remix it and you release it into the wild, you have to use the same license.

To read the full license, click here.

Han Solo by Captain Stu

When I first spotted this track in the Free Music Archive‘s boundless index of digital recordings, I picked it solely because of the title. Little did I know this track had absolutely no relation to the sometimes egotistical and eccentric Rebel smuggler Han Solo nor was it written in homage to the Star Wars franchise (though in retrospect this should have quite been obvious). What it did have, however, was the kind of underlying complexity commonly found in the Star Wars series (whether this intricacy was present in the character transformation of Han Solo from “a loner who realizes the importance of being part of a group”, a ideological battle of good versus evil or the terrifyingly dismal state of a future shaped by slavery and robotic sentience). In the case of the song Han Solo, this complexity can be found in the form of atypical rhythmic figures, memorable melodies, edgy yet slick vocals, killer horn lines and some equally impressive bass lines.

Captain Stu, consisting of James Klopper on vocals and electric guitar, Ryan McArthur on electric bass, Jon Shaban on saxophone and guitar, Matt Willis on trombone and keyboard, and Ryk Otto on drums  is a South African Ska band notorious for juxtaposing jazzy and reggae sounds with native African influences to create an upbeat and refreshing sound. Immediately after stumbling upon Captain Stu, I was puzzled to discover that they had been listed in nearly 10 very different genres, ranging all the way from folk and blues to funk and jazz. The more I listened to their sole track, however, the more I began to understand the reasons behind their strangely broad classification. Much like with my last post on The Fulminate Trio, the track was very difficult to define. It’s an intensely interesting group unlike any other ska band I’ve ever heard. While their horn lines and rhythmic guitar parts are reminiscent of some of the more popular ska groups like Reel Big Fish and Catch 22, the bassist and drummer lay down a groove far more similar to that of a punk/funk hybrid. Even the vocals seem more closely tied to the rough and quick vocal delivery present in both hip-hop and rap.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend giving this song a bit of your time and some space on your hard drive.

Download and/or listen to the album here.

This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

This means you can have it, you can give it to everyone you know and/or don’t know, you can remix it, and everyone you know and/or don’t know can remix it.  You can’t make money off of it and you have to attribute the band with a link.  Finally, if you do remix it and you release it into the wild, you have to use the same license.

To read the full license, click here.

Set 1 by The Fulminate Trio

For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll reiterate that I have an unnatural love for jazz music– I even have a blog entirely devoted to it. This means that I can frequently be seen at clubs and bars listening to music that most would scoff at the very thought of it being labeled ‘music.’ However, before this post escalates into a philosophical debate on what really constitutes music, let’s move on.

Infusing extended improvisational techniques with melodic ideas reminiscent of some early 90’s heavy metal bands, the Fulminate Trio, made up of Anders Nilsson on electric guitar, Ken Filiano on double bass and Michael Evans on drums, comes together to create an intensely interesting musical landscape. To pinpoint the exact genre in which the Fulminate Trio lies would be absolutely impossible, and at best guess I’d say it’s a cross between free jazz and experimental improvisational  music mashed with heavy metal and hardcore rock (though to say I’m especially skilled at nailing specific musical genres would be a farce considering a significant majority of my listening is focused around one single genre and a select group of artists who are well, to put it lightly, quite dead).

Set 1 is the first set of the Fulminate Trio’s two-part live radio session recorded by WFMU in December of 2011. Not only is their technique virtually unparalleled but the entire group is also doubling on electronics. The group utilizes ambiance, electronically generated noise, distortion, poly rhythmic figures and other more  extended techniques to create a mixture of both tonal and atonal melody. Though some listeners may express frustration in determining when one particular song ends and another begins, the intent is clearly to create an overarching and intersecting musical work that combines pieces of each section together to create a sort of improvised yet structured sonata.

Personally, I loved this live track and as with anything that could be considered slightly avant-garde or experimental, I’d ask you to at least give the musical work a chance. If listening to the entire track, a brisk (in my opinion) 20 minute session, is too much try checking out the first 5 minutes to get a rough (but not nearly as accurate) account of the work in its entirety. Though the label experimental and avant-garde frequently some send music listeners running in the opposite direction, I cannot stress the importance of listening and judging a music work for yourself. We all have differing music tastes and opinions when it comes to categorizing  genres. Both good and bad are subjective terms, especially when it comes to music. Ultimately, most experimental improvised music is all about the freedom of expression and ability to create a navigate new and interesting musical landscapes together as a group, not just making a lot of noise (though that’s often quite important too).

Download and/or listen to the album here.

This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDervs 3.0 License.

You’re free to share this work (that means no money) as long as you give the author credit. You cannot modify (remix) the work or use it for any commercial purposes (again, no money).

To read the full license, click here.

Good Night Heart by My bubba & Mi

In all my reviews to date, I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed with a group than I am with My bubba & Mi. A couple weeks ago, I reviewed a Wesley Willis cover of “Rock N Roll McDonalds” performed by The Shut-Ins. In that review, I mentioned (quite briefly) my love for harmonized vocals. Well, this week might I be the first to present the first ever a capella performance to be reviewed on the Free Music Revue: “Good Night Heart” by My bubba & Mi.

My bubba & Mi is made up of two absurdly talented women, Bubba and My, along with a troupe of other equally talented sidemen women, who represent the ‘Mi’ in My bubba Mi. Bubba is quite fond of both the guitar and banjo, while My has a really old table harp that is brought out occasionally. The two are phenomenal singers and musicians who met by chance in Copenhagen a few years ago. What began as an evening ritual to pass the time soon led the girls to Italy to record their first album. Since then they have been touring around Europe, impressing and charming at Iceland Airwaves and Eurosonic, Into the Great Wide Open in Vlieland and The Band Room in Great Britain.

My only grudge with Good Night Heart is that it is far too short (run time is just about a minute). That being said, the beauty and jaw dropping talent demonstrated in Good Night Heart easily make up for the limited duration. Within seconds of pressing play, I had goosebumps running straight down my arm. The harmonies are stunningly beautiful. Simple and yet sophisticated, with a hint of something old and something new.

As warm and sweetly sung as this track is, you’d be crazy not to download it. This daringly sweet pair of ladies is going nowhere but up and you’d be foolish not to join them along the way. I’d dare say that if this track doesn’t send a chill straight down your spine, you’re likely incapable of feeling emotion.

Download and/or listen to the track here.

This song is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.
Feel free to share the song and remix it as long as you credit the artist with a link, take no money and if you release your version, you have to use this very same license. 

To read the full license, click here.

Alps by Motorama

Born in the mid 1980s, Jangle pop represented a return to the “chiming or jangly” electronic guitar sounds of the 1960s, combining pop melodies and chord structures with twelve string electric guitars. Typically used to describe bands like R.E.M. and Tom Petty, this week’s review features a five piece jangle pop band from the southern river-port of Russia named Motorama. In 2010, Motorama released Alps via the web for free download.

Motorama makes guitar heavy music inspired by the “80s new wave and independent dance scene.” Bringing together thick bass lines and the harsh sounds of a relatively inexpensive sounding drum kit in near perfect harmony, they’ve created an interesting musical dynamic that makes you want to stand up and dance. Jangle pop praises DIY production value, pursuing a raw and intentionally amateurish sound that ultimately makes or breaks the recording itself.

As a whole, Alps is an awesome collection of tracks. While unbelievably unqiue, it’s also strangely familiar with hints of The Police and other long since forgotten 80s pop bands. Its shiny yet muted, happy and upbeat yet dark and brooding. The high points of the album include “Northern Seaside,” a pop song with an interesting contrast between heavy guitar melodies and dark haunting vocals, “Ghost”, a driving and powerful indie-rock ballad, and “Alps,” a strange combination of the musical elements of both “Northern Seaside” and “Ghost.”

If this album doesn’t make you immediately want to stand up and dance, it’s probably not your cup of tea. Personally, I’d give this album a “yes, you should listen to it” and a  “yes, you should definitely download it.” Everyone needs something they can just dance away their troubles to, so why not listen to a band with thick Russian accents to make you feel better.

Download and/or listen to track here.

This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. You can give the song to whoever you so choose as long as they don’t give you money for it and you give the band credit with a link.  Also, no remixes.

To read the full license, click here.