Category Archives: FREE MP3s

Normal History Vol. 305: 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 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

That our new album, Empathy For The Evil, was not available while we were on tour in September—and won’t be available until some time in January—is problematic in many ways. I can only think of one other time when this happened. In 1989, we did a cross-country tour before Calico Kills The Cat was actually released, and while we were definitely not happy about that, there were many good things that happened as a result of that tour.

An excerpt from “Behind The Scenes Of Empathy,” my audio notes on the making of the album:

“Listening is the gateway to understanding what it’s like to make music. One might imagine that there’s a lot of emotional release, there’s a cohesiveness with the people you’re playing with and this intense sort of structure and adherence to various … you know, it’s like a culture … its own individual … your band is a Petri dish and things have to coalesce in certain ways or things are out of whack. It is a truly great experience.”

“Orange Sunset” from Water Cuts My Hands (K, 1991; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Fuji Kureta

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Fuji Kureta is an experimental electronic duo out of Istanbul that prepares for the release of latest album Yetunde on January 27. Now, the twosome shares fun new single “Open Up” for free download. The track is an electronic tsunami of sound, constantly changing and rarely calming down. Download the track below.

“Open Up” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Matthew O’Neill

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Ontario-born/Pennsylvania-raised singer/songwriter Matthew O’Neill readies for the release of new album Campfire Cook on February 24. The self-titled first single has a natural country drawl, and the lyrics, connecting back to the title, are quite humorous and clever. It’s an empowering song and an exciting glimpse into what the new album has in store. Download the track below.

“Campfire Cook” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Busses

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Philadelphia trio Busses prepare for the release of sophomore album Wizard Of The Eye, due out February 17, and now offer the title track for free download. The song is a psychedelic massacre, with swelling, heavy guitars, light, ethereal vocals and pounding drums. In a world where psych rock is becoming all too common and boring, Busses step it up a notch. Download the track below.

“Wizard Of The Eye” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Animal Daydream

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Swedish duo Animal Daydream has been compared to Fleet Foxes (there has to be an animal joke in there somewhere), but actually has quite an original sound. The twosome readies for the release of debut its seven-inch via the Jigsaw label and offers “Canyon Rose” for free download. The track explodes with beautiful melodies from the start and has a smooth feel throughout, both vocally and instrumentally. Download “Canyon Rose” below.

“Runaround” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Fireworks

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London quartet the Fireworks play a bratty brand of punk rock the way England originally intended. Now, they are ready to release new album Switch Me On To The World, and offer first single “Runaround” for free download. The pop-fueled track takes listeners on a musical journey with sounds ranging from garage rock to punk and onward. Download the track below.

“Runaround” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 304: 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 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Two weeks before Christmas, I received an email inviting me to my brother’s for Christmas, but not on Christmas Day. It was an invitation to dinner on Christmas Eve and it wouldn’t be turkey. OK. Whatever. As usual, it would be my parents, my brother and his partner, and me. My brother suggested I phone him to work out the details. It sounded simple, but there are oh so many ways this could get screwed up. Once, I was uninvited from the whole thing and I sat in this room alone on Christmas. Which was weird, but OK. I made a film about a movie I watched on TV.

I phoned my parents before calling my brother to confirm this plan and found them to be in the initial stages of a revolution. “If there isn’t going to be a turkey, we’re not going!” They had decided that the three of us could get a turkey into the bloody oven and have a proper dinner on Christmas Day at their place. I started to do what I am best known for in my family: getting things back on track. I didn’t want to have a hand in derailing my brother’s Christmas plans by swooping in and making turkey dinner with my parents, but then my mother told me that my brother told her that I could “make my own way” to his house way out in the fucking boonies and suddenly I was talking turkey about joining their revolution. “If he can’t pick me up at the SkyTrain, I’m not going either!”

I calmed down and decided to ask my brother to reconsider the turkey. I phoned him and left a general message. He phoned me and left a message about wanting to talk to me before he talked to the parents. “I’m around, but I’m working in the backyard until dark.” I decided not to call him until after dark to allow him to enjoy such a mild December day, but when I did call, the line was busy. Too late, I thought. The parents are probably already on the phone telling him they’re not going to Christmas.

When I finally got him on the phone he said Christmas hadn’t even come up with my mother. She was threatening to leave my father because he’d discovered pay-per-view on their relatively new big-screen TV and he was watching Planet Of The Apes and he wouldn’t turn it off when she told him to. My brother reminded her that she should have gotten onto leaving him sometime before 95 years-of-age. She told my brother to tell his partner to phone my father and get him to stop watching Planet Of The Apes. I told my brother that his partner didn’t have to do any such thing and really, they should set some boundaries with these parents of ours.

“You don’t have to hear about all these crazy things,” he said.

“Remember when Dad and I stopped talking for three years?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Well, after that, they treated me a lot better. They don’t want to jeopardize our relationship.”

I was dreading calling my parents for our regular Friday night phone call. I didn’t want to get into the Planet Of The Apes thing. I talked to my dad about this and that, and then he passed the phone to my mother who wanted to tell me about Christmas lights in the neighborhood. No mention of leaving my father or pay-per-view or men dressed up as apes taking over her living room. She asked when I’d last spoken to my brother and I said earlier that week. She said she couldn’t recall the last time she’d spoken to him, but she was definitely looking forward to turkey dinner on Christmas Eve.

“Lois Wrote About The Farm” from Water Cuts My Hands (K, 1991; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Moonlight Towers

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Austin, Texas, quartet Moonlight Towers released stellar album Heartbeat Overdrive late last years and now shares a song for free download. “Out Of The Gray” follows a standard rock ‘n’ roll format with great, clean vocals and Boston-esque guitar tones and melodies. It’s great old rock ‘n’ roll played by the next generation. Download “Out Of The Gray” below.

“Out Of The Gray” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Brad Reiman

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Singer/songwriter and Iowa native Brad Reiman now resides in Australia and recently issued his debut album, Walking In The Unknown. Now he releases first single “A Vacation From My Mind,” an upbeat track clearly in the vain of ’60s rock such as the Beach Boys. The music is happy and generally calm but still has enough energy to dance to while relaxing on a beach vacationing from your mind. Download the track below.

“A Vacation From My Mind” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Martinets

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Punk is not dead, it’s just different. The true spirit is alive in bands like NYC’s the Martinets, who just releasd new album Rock And Roll Will Probably Never Die. Now, they offer first single “She Scares The Shit Out Of Me” for free download. The song is reminiscent of the punk rock the Buzzcocks play, and as long a these dudes keep rocking, rock ‘n’ roll probably will never die. Download “She Scares The Shit Out Of Me” below.

“She Scares The Shit Out Of Me” (download):

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