Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: J Hacha De Zola

J Hacha De Zola has had a busy couple of years. On October 6, he’ll release Antipatico, his third album in two years, but this whirlwind of musical inspiration doesn’t mean a decline in quality. “No Situation” is a large, spinning rock ‘n’ roll affair as enticing as it is distant and strange. Check it out below.

“No Situation” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Brad Peterson

Brad Peterson‘s “What The Open Heart Allows” is our mp3 of the day. On this cut from his upcoming The Ellipsis Album, Peterson’s sound really grabs you with a lusciously produced mixture of banjo plucking and electronic whirring, all coming together to form a truly wonderful pop song. The Ellipsis Album is out September 22. Check out “What The Open Heart Allows” below.

“What The Open Heart Allows” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 438: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Cherry Flowers
Gliding through the rings the oars make
on the water

Rowboats heading for the caves
they’re filled with flowers

Seven men in white shirts
watch the needle on the gauge

Rise and fall
swing and dive

“Cherry Flowers” from Dovetail (K, 1992) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Anastasia Minster

Anastasia Minster will release Hour Of The Wolf on September 22. The Toronto musician and Moscow native is somber and patient on “When I Die,” a gently swaying piano number sunk deeply in thought. Check it out below.

“When I Die” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 437: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Held
You’d be surprised alright
where you could be held
there
pinned in an updraft
back against the clouds

Holding sirens’ rage
on a tangle pain
you didn’t know was there
you didn’t know it was there

Gridwork set up for your wing on rise
to a place
where you will be held
back against the light

Hammer on, hammer on
towards never getting back
never getting back
hammer on
hammer on

“Held” from Dovetail (K, 1992) (download):

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Normal History Vol. 436: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Excerpt from my YA novel-in-progress from 17-year-old drummer Curt Frost’s perspective:

Chapter 25
Some kids just want to be old enough to buy booze. Me? I just want to be in a band.

Leaving Carol and Dorkface’s house was weird. So much happened there. It feels like we were there a week, not just overnight. It seemed OK to hug Carol goodbye, but then I went and hugged Dorkface and he gave me a couple of solid thumps on the back that felt like he thought he was someone more important to me than just an old guy whose house we crashed at. When he let me go, he actually looked a little choked up. Carol was laughing and babbling with Allison and Hannah. Nate was already in the driver’s seat of the van. Static was standing on the sidewalk beside the rental car with her arms folded, waiting. And somehow I got sucked into a weird emotional space that Dorkface was generating. I almost thought he was gonna say he was quitting his job at Microsoft to come with us.

What’s even weirder is that we’ve been on the road about an hour and all that intensity—Lizzy and the booze, Roland turning our T-shirts pink, Carol offering Isabella a job, Lizzy falling down the stairs—seems like a month ago. It’s funny, though; Static telling me I should be tour manager seems like it was five minutes ago.

“Throw Silver” from Dovetail (K, 1992) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Shivers

The Shivers released Grey Romantic earlier in the year, but no worries if you missed it. This afternoon, we’re bringing “Soulmate” to your attention: a steamy song that slithers along with a sad romance in its mellow keyboard backbone. Check it out below.

“Soulmate” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Pearl Earl

Denton, Texas’ Pearl Earl has just released its self-titled debut LP, and the band is playing two upcoming hometown shows to celebrate. “Star In The Sky” is blaring rock ‘n’ roll, maximalist in its grand, wailing introduction and its glam-accented synth refrain. Check it out below.

“Star In The Sky” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Evacuate The Earth

Evacuate The Earth bring its steampunk appearance to a rumbling avant-garde head with “Evacuation Suite,” which comes from the band’s recently released self-titled album. The song develops an interesting abstract narrative, suspense boiling over to clamoring horns and a literal blast-off of a rocket to cap it all off. Check it out below.

“Evacuation Suite” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 435: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Excerpt from my YA novel-in-progress from 17-year-old drummer Curt Frost’s perspective.

Chapter 24
Some guys want to own a hot car. Me? I just want to be in a band.
Normal people make plans. They plan to go to college or they plan to get a job. They know what they’re gonna do after they graduate. I can’t seem to get past just wanting things to happen. Like wanting to be in a successful band. And by successful I mean one that writes decent songs, records and tours. There’s no point in planning to sell a million records. It’s really hard work and luck. Apollo 13 is exactly the right band for me, but it seems like every time I turn around there’s someone or something ruining everything.

I get up from the table.

“You’re not going for a swim are you?” Static asks.

“No,” I say with a laugh. “I’m gonna go get those clowns out of the pool and try and get us out of here.”

As I walk toward the open sliding glass door, Lizzy steps inside wearing her dripping wet clothes.

“Go back outside,” I say. “I’ll find you a towel.”

I turn around and practically bump straight into Carol who’s holding a stack of neatly folded, navy-blue towels.

“I’ll take those,” I say, extending my arms.

“Thanks, Curt!” she says, handing them to me. “You’re a good egg.”

“You’re a good egg,” Lizzy says, mocking me in tone of voice I’ve never heard her use.

“Better than being a rotten egg,” I say, holding out the towels for Lizzy to grab one.

“Speaking of rotten eggs,” Lizzy says. “Did you see that blinding yellow swimsuit Isabella’s got on?”

“I did, actually. Yes,” I say, still holding out the stack of towels. “But at least she put on a friggin’ swimsuit before she went in the friggin’ pool, Lizzy.”

“Oh, Curt,” she says, sounding like she’s gonna cry. “I’m such a friggin’ mess.”

“Come on, Lizzy,” I say. “Take a friggin’ towel. I’m standing here like I’m some sort of glorified pool-boy/butler. Help me out!”

She laughs, wipes her nose with the back of her hand and takes a towel, but she just stands there holding it. I set the remaining towels on the back of the couch, take her towel and swing it over her shoulders.

“There,” I say. “Now go get a shower and stop drinking.”

“Sure, Curt,” she says, reaching behind the pillow on the couch. She grabs the whiskey, tucks it under her towel and heads for the stairs.

“Lizzy!” I hiss in a half-whisper. She ignores me. I go after her. She’s nearly halfway up the stairs when I accidentally step on the corner of the towel trailing behind her. She falls backward, silently, toward me. I try to grab her by the arm as she tumbles past me, but I can’t get a grip. She lands in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. The bottle of whiskey rolls across the fake wood laminate flooring until it is stopped by Nate’s right foot.

“Deep Dark Secret” from Water Cuts My Hands (K, 1991) (download):

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