This is another great release on Beep! Beep!, our friends from the Netherlands. This is available as a name your own price $0 minimum on their bandcamp page. This a swirl of lo fi rawness but still retains the form of a recognizable pop song.  I would say that this is an experiment in noise that comes off well.  My favorite track is "The Way". Thanks to Nikoo and Beep! Beep! for the download. Spread the word if you enjoy this album.

Clones Of The Queen - The Gate EP is a free download on their site.  You can choose to purchase it or download it for free. If you do download it please share the link.  This is the first EP by this Hawaii based electronic outfit, with a live set up on their bandcamp page before this. Lead singer Ara's strong vocals drive these songs that utilize post punk and new wave as influences as well. These are some addictive songs with ambient wanderings at times. A must listen.

Check out this cool Americana sampler from Chicago label Grape Juice Records. I am very familiar with Jon Drake and The Shakes, Rachele Eve, Musikanto and The Shams Band.  So check out the link above for records and cd's by the roster of Grape Juice Records.  This sampler proof positive of the incredibly strong roots movement here in Chicago.

Thanks to Grape Juice for the cool sampler and the bands for the free download of this sampler.  Also thanks to August from Novo for the heads up on this one.

Andy Cirzan's music mix 2010 is a free download on Sound Opinions site. These are always quirky selection on Andy's list and I think they are great. Expand your Christmas music palette by a mile with this free download. Thanks to Andy and Sound Opinions for the free download and great show.

A bit about this from Sound Opinion's site: 

Andy Cirzan is the show's official Kris Kringle, bringing in the coolest and weirdest holiday music on the block. By day Andy runs Jam Productions in Chicago. But by night he scours high and low to add to his collection of holiday obscura. Andy has been treating his friends to a holiday music compilation of these rare finds for over 20 years. And, for half of those, he has also shared them with Sound Opinions. Now we can make Andy’s highly sought after compilation available for free to all our listeners.

 Gypsy influences here and there with the strings and brass.  Moody and sweeping pieces that switch tempo and time just enough. Thanks to Matthew for the cool free download.

Thanks to these artists for this free Christmas compilation from St Paul

Experimental pop/electronic Christmas album.  There is quite a mixed bag of sounds and styles on here.  If you are sick of traditional Chrismas music this is for you. Thanks to Un Noel Vart for the interesting and free download.

This is some nice relaxing pop from Panama. There is a trippy element to it at times that goes with the ambient feel of this pop. Check it out. Thanks to El Papo Vacino for the free download!

If you like your Christmas albums to be those of the post punk and new wave variety then this is your album. Thanks to Yoo Soo and the band for these re visioned holiday songs. Love the way the fades work on these songs.  Look for the band Death Wave album  in my year end list soon!

Bad Panda -  Sampler is free download on I am recommending this as it comes out before even listening to it. Bad Panda always has really cool stuff that often is a bit on the experimental side, which I love. I look forward to listening to this.  This release is for their first Birthday, so Happy Birthday to them! I have found cool acts like Yawn and The Boy Without God on their site!

Hotfox - Queen Size Demos is a free download on Indiana's community site  "Symphony" is my favorite track on this. Thanks to the site and Foxtrot for the free downloads!  Also thanks to Dan Snodgrass for the heads up.

Hotfox is, and will continue to be, and is subject to change without any notice whatsoever: Duncan Kissinger, Oliver Hopkins, You-in fact, Sophie Hopkins, Chris O'Connor, and Mitchell Preuschl.

Channeling Tool, Helmut with a bit of modern prog. metal touches this is a well played and well produced gem from watertank. Just wait till the double bass drum kicks in...

Name your price zero minimum download. Thanks to watertank for the download!

I love his deep vocals. Really good singer songwriter from Spain. Thanks to J.S and Jamendo for the free download!

Nadine's nice vocals a framed very well on theses songs. I like the live nature of the recording which makes these songs intimate sounding. Thanks to Nadine for the free download!

I love this album. If you do too, check out his Last FM page for an additional two songs that go on an updated version of this dong. Thought I would put the Jamendo player up so you can listen to this well written and sung. French/Brazilian pop music. Thanks to Jan and Jamendo for the download! Jan is also on Corpid Netlabel. 

Learning Music Monthly - 2.7 Friend Who Are  is a free download on Thanks to John and LMM.  "Rethinkings of winkings that were already really good." 

   John Wood is the driver of this bus but there are countless other musicians who have contributed to this great free monthly series. I did an interview with John on the main blog.  The short of it is he gets all of his friends together to make this music in monthly installments. All albums are free. There is a big swing in sound, and you are bound to enjoy at least a few of these albums no matter what you listen to. Thanks to John and the musicians for the great idea and great music!

This Christmas is a mix of taking chances like on "The Darkest Night of The Year" and beautiful traditional style like on "Oh Come All Ye Faithful".  Thanks to Brown Feather Sparrow for the cool Christmas album which is a choose you price $0 minimum download. Thanks to Geert for sharing this link.

 I loved L E N S when Sam first threw it up on bandcamp and I love this instrumental version which also has an acoustic guitar version of "Eyes Open".  Sam also does a wide range of musical creations on his SITE which also includes a cool booklet about the L E N S back story.  This is a name your price $0 minimum download, thanks for the download Sam. If you do download for free, please share the link with others.

Here's what the story behind Lens is in Sam's words :

"Dr. Lovell Mason, a former roboticist and now a reclusive individual of questionable sanity becomes increasingly desperate for knowledge of the outside world and humanities direction for the future. Unable to bring himself to face the now alien world beyond his house, he creates a mixed data gathering robot, whom he christens 'L E N S'.

Armed with nothing but what his disturbed creator gave him, and the task to 'observe and learn' from all that he sees L E N S enters our world.

Will the world accept him?"

I also thought  I would link his original L E N S album he is selling on his bandcamp.

Thanks to Aaron for the free Christmas music!

A nice unconventional stab at the season. If you'd like to listen to some music about the season and have it not be the same old suspects then this is for you. I like the audiotransparent and Moss songs quite a bit. Thanks to Christmas Candy for the free download! Pass this link along.

The debut EP by Canon Chorus is mighty catchy and is supported by a full sound. They have a sound influenced by Brit pop which is evident on my favorite track "Crack In The Concrete". They also have a new album for sale you can purchase. Thanks to the band for the free download of a really good ep!

Brian Borcherdt  - Torches 2004-2005 (the Ward Colorado Demos) is a free download on  There is a smoldering quality of the steady yet reserved drive of this album. Brian has an eye for a bigger picture kind of recording that hits you a little harder each time you listen. My favorite track is "Steady Hands" where the piano can fully compliment Brian's lower register range. You can also buy his new album on itunes. Thanks to Brian for the free download! There is another side of this demo as a free download on his site.

Andy Berkhout - Songs On Tape 2009 is a free download on This has folk and Americana influenced songs on it that are well written. Thanks to Andy for the free download!

Learning Music Monthly - 1.12 Contagious is a free download on Thanks to John  and LMM for the download! Check out "Contagious" which is a killer track.  Also the Dylan cover is very cool.  John says , "A few covers and some new originals I'm still proud of. At least four songs written for girls. You can tell I had drums in the studio this month."

   John Wood is the driver of this bus but there are countless other musicians who have contributed to this great free monthly series. I did an interview with John on the main blog.  The short of it is he gets all of his friends together to make this music in monthly installments. All albums are free. There is a big swing in sound, and you are bound to enjoy at least a few of these albums no matter what you listen to. Thanks to John and the musicians for the great idea and great music!

This was on my most listened to  list for 2009. This post punk goodness and it's catchy guitar hooks will stay with you for some time. "Plastic Plastic" and "Eisoptropia" are my favorites.

Uppsala Solemne - Afecto  is a free download on This is a quiet album considering it's on this mostly post rock shoe gaze experimental site. The strings work well and the overall composition of the songs is nice. Thanks to the band and to Sinewave for the cool free download!

Entangled Chaos - This Lonely Crowd  is a free download on,  a Brazilian free albums net-label that specializes in post rock, shoe gaze and experimental. This album has some really cool soft to loud dynamic transitions. Reminds me of Deftones a bit.  Thanks to the band and to Sinewave for the free download.

EPhermeris - This Lonely Crowd is free download on which is a cool Brazilian net label (all free downloads) that specializes in post rock and shoe gaze.  This album mostly lives in the more experimental areas. It can sound similar to Smashing Pumpkins at times and the next second is a wave of experimental sound. A must listen if you like post rock, shhoe gaze etc.

 There are quite a few bands like EPhemeris from Brazil that play a combination of post rock and shoe gaze. Check out all of the releases on  Sinewave.

The very talented Boris Skalsky's day gig is his band Dead Heart Bloom. He also records under his name in a singer songwriter style on his album First Songs now is creating great sounding string quartets! Can't wait to hear what he comes up with next. Thanks to Boris for the free download!

Boris says about this release: The String Quartet No.1 was originally composed in three continuous movements, to be played without pause. Here, it is offered for download as three separate tracks. The piece is performed by the Sunrise Quartet, Teri Lazar (violin), Kim Miller (violin), Osman Kivrak (viola), and Diana Fish (cello), in a live concert.

The String Quartet is built around an opening theme: the first movement is the theme's introduction over a somber ("doloroso") accompaniment; the second expands the theme in a scherzo-like setting; and the third imagines it as a fugue, ending in a brutal, loud apotheosis before subsiding into the opening movement's music.

Featuring Kim Janssen from The Black Atlantic, and also a good guy to talk over beers with! Also My Bubba and Me from the very sweet net-label Beep Beep! Thanks to wot next and the artists for this free download.

Here is some nice dreamy lo-fi pop music replete with Nick Principe's falsetto voice. Nick is Port St Willow and based in Portland Oregon. I look forward to hearing more from him. These melodies will grab you quickly. And some of you thought you didn't like lo-fi. Thanks for the free download to Nick! He also has hand-stamped cd's for sale on his bandcamp as well.

You can check out the Port St. Willow blog  for band info and links for purchasing physical copies.

Nicks take on this album : Even // Wasteland is a record about standing in your own way.  The notion for this brief-yet-massive epic rose from the ashes of a different album Nick Principe (the guiding force behind Port St. Willow) began and nearly finished, but came to resent.  After a year spent building this project in his new home of Portland, OR, he decided to scrap everything and start over.  The result is Even // Wasteland, an exploration of honesty and choice, action over thought, all told through the conversations of two internal voices.

Principe’s story is surrounded by violent, marching drums; swelling, mutilated guitars; and a delicate falsetto upheld by a fragile acoustic when it all falls away.  The music reveals the struggle of a person divided, the sounds of a war within.  The four tracks, written as one piece with many movements, were recorded by Principe in his home studio, dubbed “The Well”.  A simultaneous sanctuary and prison for the songwriter, a place and feeling he references sonically and lyrically, building a vivid cave around his voice and fighting to emerge.  But Principe’s story is not his alone.  It transcends his personal experience, speaking to the challenge that faces each of us: to be the better, stronger person we know we could become, if but only we knew how.  As Principe sings in Even // Wasteland’s final chapter (“Wasteland”), “We’ve lived a long time inside of these fault lines, and I’m trying to find my way outside now.”  This record may be the way.

The Painted Shuts - Bus Stop EP is a free download on Cozy Home Records.  This has some psyche elements as well as some ambient pop leanings. Thanks to the band as well as Cozy Home for the free download!

From the band "Here’s a little teaser to get you ready for the first full-length Painted Shuts release. Four tracks of psych/pop/folk bohemian bravado recorded in sessions for the upcoming release 'My Own Personal Summer Of Love'. Three tracks are unavailable anywhere else, so scoop this one up and enjoy!"

Princess Dinosaur is Nic Newsham (Gatsby's American Dream) and Nick Vombrack (Dr. Manhatten). They created their debut album, A Goldfish and His Friends, while carrying on a long distance musical relationship between their homes in Illinois and Washington. The album was recorded in parts in both states.

A Goldfish and His Friends is a throwback to the 90's era of jangly guitar pop. It leans heavily on the hooks that made that pop music so irresistible. Princess Dinosaur remind me a lot of an updated version of Bluebottle Kiss where storytelling and melodies are most important. The lyrics are about relationships and how appearances aren't always what they seem.

Thanks to the band for the free download!

From their bandcamp page : We were inspired by the multifarious wonders of the California coast, we sought to create music as true and familiar as the places we have passed through and the experiences we have shared over the past year. A partnership that originally consisted of closet recordings has turned into a more tangible, yet no less intimate form. We cannot wait to begin what we hope to be a long and lasting journey with you all, to share our music with you, and to show ourselves to you as we truly are. Strange Birds.

Thanks to the band for the cool and free download!

Three song ep of indie pop. The vocals and strings are nice on here. A bit of the old Canadian indie sound in Spain. Thanks to the band for the free download.

Picnic Lightning is mostly Aaron Sherwood.  These songs have exp pop foundations, yet they are still full fledged pop songs that work very well. The mix of instruments and electronic is really cool. There are psyche pop flourishes that I really enjoyed. This is a name your price $0 minimum so any and all monetary consideration is appreciated. Thanks to Aaron for the download!

Loch Lomond - Trumpets For Paper Children is a free download on They also take donations for the artists as well.  Loch Lomond are from the Portland, Oregon and their sound is a big full orchestration that recalls Decemberists and Horsefeathers.  I love the sound of the band from that area including Mimicking Birds and Heather Broderick as well. Great stuff.  Loch Lomond have other releases for sale on Hush Records as well.  I will be checking those out.

Corrina Repp - The Other Side Is Mud is on French label  Thanks to them and Corrina for the free download. You can also donate some money for the album on the page linked here.

The 1999 CDR release from Corrina Repp that defined her early 'minimal' period. Sited as the favorite release from the HUSH records catalog in a recent 2008 decade retrospective. We're bringing it back, and making it available (for the second time actually) as a digital download.

More cool acoustic songs from A Book About Elephants who is Christina Tsui. Her first album was Milk The Moon and is on Hush Shop Records. is featured on this blog as well. The  These were self recorded and sound really good. This is a free download, but donations for the music is greatly appreciated.

A Book About Elephants - Milk The Moon  is a free download on French label  Christina Tsui is this band. These are some bare bones folk songs here that have strong vocals and really good song writing. Look for my post on her new album HERE.  If you choose to donate you can do so at Hush records site.

From her bio : A good slice of her life was spent reading and admiring the watercolor pages of such children's books as Maurice Sendak's "Little Bear" and Jean de Brunhoff's "The Story of Babar," from which the name 'A Book About Elephants' draws partial inspiration. (She also thinks elephants are just really cute.) Christina approaches songwriting much like these books approach storytelling--relying on personal experience, imagery, and small stretches of the imagination to create something simple and close to the heart. With the help of one Podington Bear and his ear for lush, delicate instrumentals, A Book About Elephants is ready to take its music out of the bare-bones bedroom-"studio" and into your ears.

Lo fi/shoe-gaze pop from Canada. This has some really good grooves on it like on "Blue Heron". Thanks to Little Jungles for the free download!

Nice time tempo shifts on these songs.  "We Were Foxes" is an addictive little track. Love the snare sound on that. This is a nice indie album. Thanks to the band for the download!

Blackbird Blackbird - Happy High is a chill-wave/dream pop album with shoe-gaze touches. It's the  first album by Blackbird Blackbird that I heard.  This is really good pop music and all of their albums are available as a free download on their Last FM page. Thanks to Mikey for the free download. He does have some versions of albums with extra tracks  for sale on his bandcamp page.

Blackbird Blackbird (Formerly Bye Bye Blackbird), a.k.a. Mikey Sanders, is a dream pop artist from San Francisco, CA.

Blackbird Blackbird - Summer Heart LP is a free downlad on their last fm page.They also have an 18 track version for sale on their bandcamp page. Blackbird Blackbird (Formerly Bye Bye Blackbird), a.k.a. Mikey Sanders, is a dream pop artist from San Francisco, CA.  There are components of chill wave and shoe gaze as well.  Thanks to Mikey for the free download! I really like all of his stuff.

I love this ep, one of my faves on Jamendo.  Reminds me a lot of Living Colour and Tool. Love the tone on the vocals. Also the breaks in here are so cool. Thanks to Godon (France) and Jamendo for the free download!

This has a bit of indie rock, pop and some progressive elements. These Chicago guys are great in concert. See them if you get the chance. Thanks to the band and Jamendo for the free download.

Henrik Jose - Little Things is a free download on the 23 Seconds Net-Label. This electro pop has a ambient spaced out quality that is endearing while it still retains a pop structure.  Check out all of the release on 23 Seconds. Thanks to Henrik and 23 Seconds for the free download.