October 28, 2006

Free Range Music: Rhapsody Features And Faves, Tom Waits

Lilys -- In The Presence Of Nothing stretched out>> [Disclaimer: five years ago we did a job for Rhapsody. That said, we don't accept advertising and haven't received anything in return for stating the following. -- ed. ] We thought our life couldn't get any better after we downloaded Firefox 2.0 and the DownThemAll extension, but we were wrong. See, every six months or so we rap via email with our old acquaintance Matt The Rhapsody Guy. Usually, we're talking about Flake or Fudge or The Lavender Faction. And usually shop is talked and Matt inevitably gets me all excited about Rhapsody again. The latest knowledge he dropped on me is this: Rhapsody's naming convention for where its artists and albums are located on the web is static and simple: www.rhapsody.com/bandname and www.rhapsody.com/bandname/albumname. This might not seem like a big deal to nice, normal people with solid earning potential and demonstrated charm who don't think about music all day. But for those of us who often get stumped trying to remember bits of music trivia, or who get struck by the sudden urge to listen to just about any song, this feature is a godsend. Sure, most music addicts have gigs and gigs of music at their fingertips via our laptops and IPods. But what about when you are at work, a friend's pad, a parent's house? Well, Rhapsody doles out 25 free streams a month to anyone, not only subscribers, which is the perfect amount to use for all those nagging, late-night questions, like "What's the name of the unlisted track on Lilys' seminal In The Presence of Nothing? All you need is the InterWeb baby. For particularly rabid fans, Rhapsody has added RSS feeds that will keep you informed when new music from your favorite bands on the service has been added. Anyhoo, here are hyperlinks to some of our all-time-favorite albums:




>> We pointed to a stream of The Good, The Bad And The Queen's live debut Thursday. Unfortunately, we just had a look at it and the stream quality blows: the video looks like a moving Matisse and the sound is a bit jumpy. We tried to ratchet up our stream to 80kbps, but the Beeb must be short of cash this month because they bounced our stream back down to 32Kbps and then 26. And for some reason even with all our volume controls pinned we couldn't get the sound loud enough. What we can tell you in that bassist Paul Simonon, he formerly of The Clash, looks very similar to Jandek in our opinion. Must be the hat. Anyhoo, if you'd like to give the stream a shot here is the link, which is said to be live for the next week.

>> AOL has resuscitated the Spinner brand and Spinner.com URL. More importantly, the site is hosting four exclusive live Tom Waits tunes, three streams ("Trampled Rose," "Day After Tomorrow," "You Can Never Hold Back Spring") and one download ("Bottom Of The World"). Have a listen right here.

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