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The Distortion of Sound

The Distortion of Sound is a documentary about the decline of sound quality and how technology has changed the way we listen to music. It will open your ears and inspire you to reach for richer, more soul-stirring musical experiences.
posted by chillmost on Oct 2, 2014 - 110 comments

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

I have no Smash Mouth, and I must mash.

Hot on the heels of his mindblowing mashup extravaganza Mouth Sounds (prev. on MeFi), resident internet demiurge Neil Cicierega (also prev.) has released a "prequel" album: MOUTH SILENCE. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude on Jul 21, 2014 - 33 comments

Virtual tip jars and tours: digital-age music outreach and fan support

There are numerous ways that bands reach out to potential and current fans, and you can add a few more to the list with Noisetrade, Stageit and Concert Window. Noisetrade allows artists and bands to give away music, like a few tracks and covers from Dr. Dog and Saint Rich, to the whole First Album Live from They Might Be Giants, and now e/audio books, too, in trade for an email address and zip code. If you prefer live music, Stageit and Concert Window allow fans to watch unrecorded, streaming shows from bands anywhere in the world, for whatever price fans see fit. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 9, 2014 - 4 comments

They Might Be Giants

TMBG: First Album Live
posted by roll truck roll on Jul 1, 2014 - 19 comments

Quitting Opium Song 戒煙歌 and other classics

Antique Shanghai Pop Music 1930-1949 Downloadable mp3 episodes chock full of wonderful music with delightful commentary from Ling. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on May 27, 2014 - 12 comments

Forró, Baião, Rojão & sons do nordeste do Brasil

Bafo da Onça mix by Pepe Sol for Sabrosa

Sabrosa Son Sistema: purveyors of sound system cultures originating from the cities and islands of the Caribbean, Africa & Latin America.
posted by Tom-B on Apr 18, 2014 - 1 comment

"We're not just making music together, we're making history"

Deep Elm Records, which turns 20 years old next year, today announced that all 200+ of its albums are available on a "name your price, no minimum" basis: "If you have means please show them love by naming your price. If you do not have any means, in exchange for each download we kindly request that you post, share, tag and tweet to tell your friends about each album as our bands depend on your word of mouth." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Feb 18, 2014 - 15 comments

Ghosts On The Record

It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Dec 16, 2013 - 76 comments

The Llama finally whips ITS ass.

12/20, yet another apocalypse falls upon the world. The death of Winamp is upon us. Today on the Winamp homepage, it was announced: "Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date..." [more inside]
posted by symbioid on Nov 20, 2013 - 173 comments

This ain't your daddy's Monster Mash.

Looking to freshen up that old October playlist? Allow me to recommend Halloween Booootie, three free, full-length compilations (2009, 2010 and 2012) of bootlegs and mashups all perfectly themed for your next graveyard smash.

But do you want some more? Are you looking for, dare I say, the real wicked shit? Then please, step this way... [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt on Oct 22, 2013 - 16 comments

Because I’m old and lame now

Why Would Anyone Buy a Cassette Tape? "I went back to the merch table to see what was on offer and saw - among other things - a cassette tape. I figured that participating in a weird economic trend would be worth the $5, so I bought it. Needless to say, I don't own anything that could play a cassette tape."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 11, 2013 - 122 comments

iPods for the pokey: no jailbreaking here

Ho-hum, it's another music download service and MP3 player - but this one's been created with the needs of correctional facilities in mind and is already in use in a dozen states and some federal prisons.
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 28, 2013 - 20 comments

Sturgeon! Dick! Asimov! Heinlein! DeCamp! Bradbury! Sheckley! Pohl!

The very first major science fiction series for adults on radio was Mutual Broadcasting System's 2000 Plus (1950-1952). An anthology program, 2000 Plus used all new material rather than adapting published stories. Just one month after its premiere, NBC Radio began airing Dimension X (1950-1951), which dramatized the written work of such young writers as Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut. In 1955, NBC relaunched Dimension X as X Minus One (1955-1958), drawing from stories that had been published in the two most popular science fiction magazines at the time: Astounding and Galaxy. 17 of 30 episodes of 2000 Plus, all 50 episodes of Dimension X, and all 125 episodes of X Minus One are available for free download as individual mp3s from the Internet Archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 12, 2013 - 23 comments

Jamaican mixtapes from Brazil

DJ Magrão from São Paulo is usually into Jamaican sounds, but he also has his Brazilian favorites. Over 10 hours of downloadable mixtapes, 100% vinyl.
posted by Tom-B on Jun 10, 2013 - 7 comments

RAW, LIVE, DANCEFLOOR WINNERS ONLY!

Very obscure and super rare selection of cumbias, gaitas, mapalé, charanguara, musarana, charanga and guarachas for your ultimate enjoyment! [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Apr 28, 2013 - 11 comments

Your Kazaa Library

Your Kazaa Library. All the best music, in an easy to download format that might just fill all 20 Gb of your hard drive.
posted by Greg Nog on Mar 17, 2013 - 173 comments

Just when you thought it was safe to avoid Korn

Amazon just announced AutoRip, a service to provide MP3 versions of any song you buy on CD from their store. That's all well and good, but the kicker is that "Amazon is retroactively giving free MP3s to any customer who has purchased an AutoRip compatible CD since its Music Store first opened in 1998". Looks like I'll be knee deep in Blink 182, Cake, and The Spin Doctors again.
posted by mathowie on Jan 10, 2013 - 137 comments

music has the right to metafilter

For your low-fi electronica fix: The Twoism forum presents One on Twoism: a mixed compilation series inspired by Boards of Canada.
◆ Volume 5 - mp3 download - lossless FLAC
◆ Volume 4 - mp3 download - lossless FLAC
◆ Volume 3 - mp3 download - lossless FLAC
◆ Volume 2 - mp3 download - lossless FLAC
◆ Volume 1 - mp3 download - lossless FLAC

posted by dunkadunc on Dec 13, 2012 - 17 comments

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 2, 2012 - 60 comments

the hard part is performing the dance moves this slowly

Now That's What I Call Drone: Vol. 1 - Drone ambient versions of top 40 pop songs. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by Theta States on Jul 27, 2012 - 42 comments

A Child's Garden of Grass

Jack S. Margolis's A Child's Garden of Grass (A Pre-Legalization Comedy). This is the 1971 audio companion to the book of the same name. It's a cult-classic sketch-comedy album which reads like the user's manual to marijuana, and features members of the Firesign Theatre.
posted by not_on_display on Jul 2, 2012 - 28 comments

Skinable!

Winamp's woes: how the greatest MP3 player undid itself
posted by Artw on Jun 24, 2012 - 221 comments

Iron Pyrite Ears

Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young's group several months ago. Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.
posted by Sebmojo on Mar 6, 2012 - 332 comments

Occupy Audio

Neil Young isn't happy about the current state of music consumption. A 30 minute panel discussion from D: Dive into Media. Whether you agree or disagree with him, it's hard to deny the man still cares.
posted by davebush on Feb 7, 2012 - 119 comments

But the wine and the song, like the seasons, all have gone.

So long, Napster.
posted by griphus on Dec 1, 2011 - 61 comments

Deeply Crazy

One's a spine-tingling howl of alienation gleaned from a spaghetti western. One's a bluesy transatlantic barnstormer that turned a young British singer into an icon of soul. Both feature powerful voices in unconventional styles mulling over intense feeling. And together, thanks to mash-up artist Divide & Kreate, they make for one of the best remixes out there [.mp3]. There's a similar mix with Cee Lo if you're so inclined, or check out the dueling cover by Upstart to hear the vocals beautifully intertwine. Mash-ups previously on MeFi.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 17, 2011 - 10 comments

The Kitten Covers

Classic album covers, now with kittens!
posted by reenum on Nov 3, 2011 - 35 comments

Egg City Radio: Post-Punk Junk over easy

Egg City Radio is what became of the great Post-Punk Junk blog [previously]. And it's still a treasure trove if you're looking for shared out-of-print albums and live sets--not only from Post-Punk but also many other genres as well. [ECR previously (via), -er, -est]
posted by not_on_display on Sep 11, 2011 - 11 comments

Radio Free Song Club

Radio Free Song Club is a monthly-ish podcast featuring a mix of New York veteran songwriters. The only (lazily enforced) rule is that each participant perform a song she's written in the past month. Listen to recent episodes or browse mp3s of individual songs.
posted by roll truck roll on Jun 22, 2011 - 1 comment

Hey You!

Hey You! What song are you listening to?
posted by the cuban on May 26, 2011 - 105 comments

He's Got Everything He Needs, He's An Artist He Don't Look back

Bob Dylan is 70 today.
posted by Xurando on May 24, 2011 - 210 comments

It's raining bytes

As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player (esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3, upender of the music industry business model.
posted by Artw on Apr 4, 2011 - 83 comments

The Loudness War is over

The music industry Loudness War is over. Research into actual sales rankings, Radio Impact, Listener ratings and Hearing loss, all show better results for music with a higher dynamic range.
posted by Lanark on Mar 25, 2011 - 61 comments

Car back door

Researchers at UCSD have modified an MP3 file so that when it is played on a car's stereo system it modifies the stereo's firmware and opens up a security back door into the car's operating system. Using it, they were then able to control the door locks, the car ignition, and change the speedometer reading. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Mar 13, 2011 - 148 comments

I like my glitchy haze-pop free

Rejoice! Bradford Cox (of Atlas Sound) has released not one, but four albums for free download.
Bedroom Databank vol 1 + Bedroom Databank vol 2 + Bedroom Databank vol 3 + Bedroom Databank vol 4
posted by dunkadunc on Feb 14, 2011 - 16 comments

Ramen Music

"Ramen Music hand-picks the best new tracks from independent & underground artists, simmers on low, and delivers beautiful online issues every 2 months." Issue #1 is free, available as a sample.
posted by Memo on Feb 10, 2011 - 13 comments

Listen up

WELCOME! Listening Room is a website for listening to music with your friends. Anyone in a room can play mp3s from their computer, and everyone hears the same thing at the same time. [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns on Jan 22, 2011 - 228 comments

This isn't your grandfather's science fiction

Ted Chiang is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied. A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light. Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 27, 2010 - 116 comments

The Christmas Gig

(American Big Box Retailer) Target's recent holiday TV spots feature original music from several indie music acts, including Guster, Bishop Allen, and Blackalicious. They've collected the songs from the ads, plus several more, into a free-to-download album. [Direct Download if you're squicky about visting Target's site] [more inside]
posted by snapped on Dec 15, 2010 - 38 comments

24 Hours of Hardcore Punk

The second edition of Steven Blush's American Hardcore: A Tribal History has just been published by Feral House. Additionally, Steven has posted 911 mp3s of hardcore punk as a soundtrack for your reading.
posted by battleshipkropotkin on Dec 3, 2010 - 36 comments

You're ALL getting mixtapes

Midwest label Suburban Sprawl puts out a CD of X-Mas music every winter. They've collected the last eight years of them here. Highlights include The High Strung, The Hard Lessons, and the common lament, "Santa Just Crashed Into My House and He's Drunk as Fuck."
posted by klangklangston on Dec 1, 2010 - 16 comments

Thought Audio

Thought Audio is a small, simple and likable free library of classic literature and philosophy MP3 audio downloads.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 27, 2010 - 21 comments

The Small Person Acquisition Project

j and Bear have a baby. The Small Person Acquisition ProjectMP3.
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Aug 21, 2010 - 21 comments

But that would make me MJ / So motha fuck all y'all

Stand up comedian and Community star Donald Glover made Internet waves as an unsuccessful candidate to play Spiderman, but his fans may miss his rap career as Childish Gambino, where Glover addresses his struggle to be taken seriously as a musician, the perils of wealth, growing up a nerd, and being in love. Rap lyrics and stand up NSFW. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jul 22, 2010 - 17 comments

Let's dance forró!

Forró is popular dance music from northeastern Brazil. Forró em Vinil is a blog with out of catalog forró gems for download. But wait, is this legal? [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

Serein v4

Serein v4. Online UK label Serein's last redesign saw a number of ambient and experimental albums released for free. They've redesigned again with a slightly more realistic business model, and in addition to the two releases out so far, they've put out three free "forecasts" so far, mixtapes of a sort, arranged by the artists. Three is the latest, and by halfway through I knew it would likely be appreciated here.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 18, 2010 - 4 comments

Love is a stranger in an open car...

A mixtape a week for a year... Detroit Techno, Giorgio Moroder, Quebecois Disco, Kraftwerk, Bobby Orlando, Synth Pop and loads more.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Apr 30, 2010 - 29 comments

The MP3 blog for busy people

Not enough time to dig up the most interesting new music yourself? The MP3 blog for busy people is here to help, with once to twice weekly compilations of the best new tracks in a variety of genres, downloadable in .zip format. [via mefi projects]
posted by Rinku on Mar 23, 2010 - 20 comments

All The World's An MP3

The American Theatre Wing hosts MP3 interviews with actors, directors, playwrights and other artists. e.g. Stephen Sondheim and Anna Deavere Smith and F. Murray Abraham and Eric Bogosian and John Patrick Shanley and Edward Albee and Venessa Redgrave and Alan Ayckbourn and...
posted by grumblebee on Mar 23, 2010 - 8 comments

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