Category Archives: FREE MP3s

MP3 At 3PM: Jackson Boone

JacksonBoon

Jackson Boone makes vintage-sounding dream rock with a very subtle and meticulous emphasis on production. “Moonbeam” twists and turns from acoustic melancholia to a more robust rock ‘n’ roll. There’s a little John Lennon, a little late Sunny Day Real Estate and a whole lot of psychedelica to Jackson Boone, and “Moonbeam” showcases it all. Natural Changes is out in September. Download “Moonbeam” below.

“Moonbeam” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Bunnygrunt

Bunnygrunt

With “Open My Eyes,” Bunnygrunt sounds like they’re just about to break free of a former lo-fi aesthetic. They hold onto it enough to show off an endearing ramshackle charm, but, at the same time, “Open My Eyes” is rocking and forward. The track, which comes from the record Vol. 4, is over before you know it at just under 90 seconds, but that doesn’t stop it from making an impression. Check it out below.

“OpenMy Eyes” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Noon:30

Noon30

Noon:30 is offering up a free download of “Gun,” which comes from its latest EP, Finding Release. “Gun” is a weird, slow-building song that starts with a subdued vocal line atop a subtle groove and ends in chaos and schizophrenic noise. Noon:30, composed of songwriters Aissa and Blue, seems to be building toward something grand with “Gun.” Download it below.

“Gun” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Burnside & Hooker

BurnsideAndHooker

Chicago band Burnside & Hooker offers up a theatrical, distortion-filled kind of blues rock with “The Graveyard,” a song that bursts at the seams with attitude and talent. Rachel Bonacquisti’s intense, rough-around-the-edges wail is at the center of a stuffed landscape of Southern-influenced instruments. “The Graveyard” comes from the band’s sophomore record, All The Way To The Devil, which is out now. Download the track below.

“The Graveyard” (download):

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MP3 AT 3PM: Static Daydream

staticdaydream

Static Daydream is composed of Jamie Casey and Ceremony’s Paul Baker, and its name fits its musical style surprisingly well. “More Than Today” is a dreamy kind of noise-rock track, the sound of a half-asleep Sonic Youth. The blissful track comes from the band’s self-titled debut. Download it below.

“More Than Today” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Shades

Shades

Shades is a dream-pop outfit from Boise, Idaho, gearing up for the release of Common Desire. “Balloon” comes from that self-released record, a downtrodden, cloudy track that’s laid back but affecting, with David Mikkelson’s vocals floating above carefully woven synthesizers. Common Desire will be released July 31. Download “Balloon” below.

“Balloon” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Money Pit

TheMoneyPit

The Money Pit is composed of former Gatsbys American Dream members Bobby Darling and Nic Newsham, and their music shares Gatsbys’ fantastic ear for melodic punk. “Control Everything” is the first song they released and proves that Darling and Newsham may still have their best work in them, with the track displaying their ever-improving ability to mesh so many different ideas into one song. One second, it’s a riff-centric punk tune; the next, it’s a more understated, high-pace chorus exploding right into a huge, soulful bridge. The Money Pit’s self-titled record is out September 4. Download “Control Everything” below.

“Control Everything” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 331: 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 31-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

To fine tune the query letter (see this), I posted it in a query critique forum online. I’d used the same method for my previous novel, Obliterating History—a guitar-making mystery, domination & submission in a small town garage back in 2011 and found it to be useful (and a bit painful). The very first comment I got on Obliterating History was from a guy named Pete who informed me that the Martin guitar company doesn’t make an electric guitar (“mansplaining” was selected for the New York Times‍ ’​ 2010 word of the year list). I informed Pete that Martin did, at one time, make an electric guitar. I was polite, but firm. I didn’t want to apologize or make it all fluffy—”Oh gee, sorry Pete, but I think they may have, but I could be mistaken”—to avoid any backlash for telling Pete he was wrong. W-R-O-N-G. If Pete wanted to tell me straight out that Martin didn’t make an electric guitar, then I, as a woman and a musician and a Martin guitar owner who has since visited the factory in Nazareth, Pa., was going to simply say, “Martin did, for a few years in the 1960s, make electric hollow-body guitars.” I included a video of the guitar, but I think that set the tone of the thread. Pete was fine with it, but I think I got the rep then-and-there for being an upstart noob unable to bow to the wisdom of the forum regulars.

Later I got some other guy telling me my title was “disagreeable.” He said, “I don’t think it reads right, in fact, I’m not sure if it makes grammatical sense.” I told him I found it most agreeable and thanked him for his comment. A woman (who writes books with large sailing vessels on the cover that get reviewed on sites like Historical Naval Fiction and HeaveHo.com) took up the cause.

“Jean, if something isn’t agreeable to multiple readers, it doesn’t matter if it’s agreeable to the writer. Agents, like us, are your readers.”

Oh dear, thought I. On so many levels, I am not on the same page as these folks (mostly writers of genres I don’t read: thrillers, romance, sci-fi, etc.). I thanked her for her comment (one of her books is actually called The Fortune—can you think of anything more boring and less Googlable?), but as I continued to thank people for their negative observations (mostly about the title), I was just fanning the flames.

Another woman (with a haircut I could none-too-easily take advice from) said, “I’m afraid I agree with the others about your title. It needs to be reworded to make sense, although I’m not sure you could ever connect all three of these things into a coherent whole.”

Who knows? Maybe a publisher will want the title changed, but I think the hubbub was more about the title’s meaning than the actual length of the thing (please insert your own dirty idiom here).

Anyway, that was back in 2011, and in 2014, I was inordinately happy to post the news that I had signed with an agent using that title and basically the query that people said would never work. No one commented on that news, but that post did get me into a secret society, one where agented authors wring their hands, announce their successes and compare notes, but I can’t say as I find it any more comforting or useful than dodging shrapnel out in the public forums.

The book is still “out on submission” (I think that’s the term) to publishers.

“Current Of Agreement” from Flood Plain (K, 1993) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Craig Marshall

CraigMarshall

Singer/songwriter Craig Marshall is definitely from Austin. His jovial new track, “Something On Your Mind,” is a fun, banjo-garnished folk tune with all of the makings of the city’s most celebrated artists—clearly the work of a prolific musician with a confidence in what he does best. “Something On Your Mind” comes from Marshall’s sixth record, After All, out August 7 via Big Ticket Records. Download it below.

“Something On Your Mind” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Stubborn Son

StubbornSon

The music of Stubborn Son seems prideful of its own rock ‘n’ roll sprit, of its careful treatment of the tenants of a genre that has gone through plenty of transformations over the years. “The Broken Heart Proof,” the band’s lead single, is a stomping, reverb-powered rock revival song, one that doesn’t reinvent anything but still manages to balance freshness and classic atmosphere. Download it below.

“The Broken Heart Proof” (download):

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