For those of you with a guilty conscience looking to sit out the battle between the record labels and the maniacally shortsighted (though preciously so) “everything should be free” people, look no further than the new Free Music Archive
. Brought to you in large part by the guys and gals of WFMU
, the FMA is just what it sounds like, “a social music website built around a curated library of free, legal audio.” Unlike plenty of other free music sites, this one is being carefully curated by the participants and boasts in its tagline, “It’s not just free music; it’s good music.” Of course, there’s no accounting for taste, and the “Most Interesting” top ten list on the FMA’s homepage regrettably features the Vivian Girls, but to their credit they also currently have tracks up by Max Tundra, the Lucky Dragons, and Kurt Vile, which are great. Also, some people calling themselves Psychedelic Horseshit who totally deliver on that premise.
Not that I’m any more right in my opinions. The whole reason to have things like FMA is to share music and stir up a dialog. The more people use and contribute to this site, the bigger and better its potential. Curator Jason Sigal gets things started with a track from some of Dan Deacon’s Baltimorean associates, Teeth Mountain
. Their track “Keinsein” sounds like a joyful collaboration, ragged at the edges, but decisively cut of its own cloth, much like the Free Music Archive it’s being freely used to kick off. —Erik Bryan