2008-02-29

Free TV: American Idol, quarterlife, and more

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Lots of good free TV and entertainment on iTunes this week:

1. American Idol - Josiah's Journey (4:30)
Josiah was kind of a weird diva/brat/sweetheart that didn't make American Idol's final round. A whiz with a keyboard, he famously dismissed the band from the stage in his final round of auditions only to kind of suck. It was too bad - he definitely had talent and provided some much needed drama to the show. Check out his journey for free.

2. The Mean Mrs. Dickstein (15:00)
Do you like Sex in the City? Then you should download this free short story on tape, written by Cynthia Nixon. It chronicles some events of her living in New York City, and I believe she narrates it as well. No link for this because Apple is lame. Go to iTunes and search.

3. An Introduction to the 12 Second Sequence (10:00)
Jorge Cruise offers 10 minutes of get-in-shape inspiration.

4. Bakugan - The Battle Begins! (22:15)
Yay for free anime episodes! In Bakugan, Drago must ally with his human friend Dan to eliminate the evil Naga and restore balance to the parallel universe! Awesome!

5. quarterlife - Featurette (9:01)
quarterlife is a new show that depicts the lives of a bunch of 20-somethings living in New York. Yeah, it's Friends with graphic designers.

6. Eli Stone - George Michael Video "Faith" (2:58)
It's only three minutes, but at least it's three minutes with George Michael...

2008-02-26

How old are the Jonas Brothers, anyway?

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For all of you Jonas Brothers fans out there, here are the ages of the Jonas Brothers.

  • Nick Jonas is age 14, born 9/16/92.
  • Joe Jonas is 18, born 8/15/89.
  • Kevin Jonas is age 19, born 11/5/87.
So, for all of you cougars out there, two out of the trio are 'of age'. You can stop feeling guilty for leering at them. I think they're dreamy.

S.O.S. is their latest single, and it's already burning up the airwaves. Check it out.

Ashley Simpson is pregnant! Better catch her in a bikini now.

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Rumor is that Ashley Simpson and Pete Wentz, infamous bassist for Fall Out Boy, have made a baby and gotten engaged.

One wonders how the impending visit from the stork is going to impact publicity for Simpson's upcoming album, "Bittersweet World", scheduled to drop on April 15th.

Still, in honor of their news, here are two celebratory gestures.

First, "Outta My Head", the debut single from Ashley's upcoming album.

Second, a picture of Ashley Simpson in a bikini. You know what these two things have in common? Yes, that's right. They're both hot.

Edit: Turns out those pregnancy rumors were just a cruel joke purported by Ashley and Pete. So this won't be the last bikini picture after all!

Were you charmed by "Once" at the Oscars? I was.

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I didn't really watch the Oscars. I had them on in the background while I was doing some work. But for three solid minutes, I was riveted to the screen while Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova performed the song "Falling Slowly" from the motion picture "Once".

The song is just beyond enchanting. Words don't do justice, so watch the video above. And of course, it won the Oscar. Good for them.

The entire "Once" soundtrack is infinitely lovely. But at the very least, pick up "Falling Slowly" to add to your collection.

Danger, Mavado, and Macaco for free this week on iTunes

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Free singles this week on iTunes are a bit meh this week, methinks. But let's take a look anyway.

1. 11h30 - Danger
First of all, this guy calls himself "Danger". Since he's French, I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and assume Danger meant something different in French. But, no. Danger just means "danger" in French. I don't know about you, but I only respect people whose middle name is Danger.

Then there's the fact that his album cover has a big black pyramid on it. Let me repeat that. The guy who makes thumping electro-house music put a big black pyramid on his cover. Daft Punk much, anyone?

After all of that, you start thinking. Wow, this guy has some serious cajones. I wonder if he's all tricked out in a robot costume or something. But, no. This is what Danger looks like:
That is one dangerous looking goatee!

Despite the fact that this guy is obviously trying too hard, the single rocks. I'm not kidding. I think I might get the entire album if this is indicative of his direction. The guy has started using guitars (yes, guitars!!!) in his house music. Thank the stars for Danger.

2. Last Night - Mavado
Mavado is a reggae singer, and I guess that's why I can't understand a single word he says. The single is repetitive and boring, but the lyrics are intoxicating indecipherable. Take this sample from the second verse:
"And Dem A Wonda Weh Mi Watch Be
Want Fi Buss Mi Head
An Want Fi Mek Docta Cant Even Patch Mi
Bout A Born Mi Born A Nuh Woman Hen Hatch Mi
Tell Informa Mission Gun Mi Hav Di Factory
Swear Seh Dem Kill Mi D.N.A It Did Match Mi"

Genius!

3. Mama Tierra - Macaco

This Spain export reminds me of a latino Sugar Ray with his record-scratching sounds, vocal echos, and quick rhythmic vocal lines. But also like Sugar Ray, it's infectious. Worth a try.

Reader Reminder: Check Your Email!

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Faithful readers, may I offer a suggestion?

IF YOU WANT TO WIN FREE ITUNES, CHECK YOUR EMAIL!!!!

The last two free iTunes $10 prizes we have tried to give out have not been claimed. Which is a shame for the rest of you that are really hungry for free iTunes.

If you win, we send an e-mail from freeitunesmusic at gmail.com to your e-mail address that is subscribed to our newsletter. Please make sure that e-mail address is added to your spam filters so you see it coming through.

I have just sent an e-mail to this week's content winner. So check your mail!

Those of you who want to sign up for our $10 weekly free iTunes drawing, read contest rules here.

2008-02-25

Juno Soundtrack sets world record for quirkiness

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I finally saw this "Juno" movie everybody's been raving about. And now I understand it's strange power over all of my friends. I'm so ready to go out and buy some converse shoes and a telephone shaped like a hamburger. Because that's what quirky people do.

The music of Juno is just as quirky as the movie itself. None of the singers try too hard, lest they be perceived uncool. In fact, rather than singing many of the artists seem to talk melodically. The instrumentation is all kept to an absolute minimum.

Kimya Dawson, who scores six songs on the soundtrack, serves to remind us that even though the world is totally messed up, we can still revel in its quirky pleasures. On "Loose Lips", she tells us that even if we want to cut, burn, or kill ourselves, to remember that she loves us. "Call me up before your dead, we can make some plans instead. Send me an IM, I'll be your friend." Aww, that's so sweet.

The Juno soundtrack has been in the iTunes top 10 for...well basically forever now. Pick up your quirky copy this week.

2008-02-24

We don't wanna be in love with Good Charlotte, but we can't help it.

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Good Charlotte. Lessee, what do I know about them? I know that like five years ago they were one of the first emo bands. They were all cute and young, and had huge hits like "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous".

Then they disappeared for a while. I think they did another album, but nobody listened to it. Word was that they messed around too much with their sound, and lost their core fanbase. Plus they were growing up and getting less cute, which never helps.

Their recent album is back to basics, retooled in a more young-adult way. So well, in fact, that now they're touring with Justin Timberlake. Good for them.

I also know that the lead singer, Joel Madden, was dating Hillary Duff for a while, but then got Nicole Ritchie preggers. Are they engaged now, or what? And isn't Joel's brother in the band? What celebrity is he knocking up?

Regardless, I love their new single "I Don't Wanna Be In Love". The full album, "Good Morning Revival", is also discounted at iTunes for a limited time at $7.99.

Pick up "I Don't Wanna Be In Love".
Pick up "Good Morning Revival" for $7.99.

Believe: The Bravery's new album at a discount

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Hold on. There's an American indie rock band that does better in the UK than in the US? Yup. They're called The Bravery and whatever oversight led to that odd discrepancy will be corrected pretty soon, since the long-due Bravery are finally burning up alternative radio waves with their new album "The Sun and the Moon".

Frankly, it's a bit shocking that The Bravery has flown under the radar for so long, since they clearly have a flair for the dramatic.

In 2005, they got into a huge fight with "The Killers". Brandon Flowers criticized them in the press saying that the Bravery were riding on their coattails, and that anyone who was once in a ska band could not be serious about New Wave music. I assume this means someone in the Bravery played in a ska band?

At the Glastonbury Festival in 2005, their set couldn't be aired on TV, since their bassist decided to take off all of his clothes, play naked, and finish off by jumping into the drumkit.

Then, at an MTV VMA after-party, while sitting with Jay-Z and Ludacris, the drummer jumped up on stage, stole the mic from the MC, and tried to rap over their music. Security rushed him and there was a big fight (the Killers happily jumped in too), and the Bravery were ousted from the party.

Conclusion? They are drama queens. But the music is still pretty groovy. Two songs off the record have hit the top 10 so far: "Believe" and "Time Won't Let Me Go".

The album is a steal right now at $7.99. Pick up "The Sun and The Moon" this week, while it's still on sale.

2008-02-22

Heidi Montag has bad taste in music, men.

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If you read the internets at all, it's unlikely that you haven't exposed to the unwatchable horror that is Heidi Montag's first music video. Still, I've posted it above in case you've missed it, or need a reminder on how sad/hysterical/bizarre it is. Your bleeding eyeballs and eardrums can thank me later.

As if that hadn't disturbed us enough, the Hills star has decided this would be a good week to share her favorite songs with us on iTunes. First of all, her playlist features a picture of her in a black bikini holding a garden hose for no discrenable reason (when will this girl just get it over with and do porn?). But that's not the half of it.

The playlist she's accumulated swings back and forth between the tastes of a 12 year old girl and a 60 year old woman. She has Hannah Montana songs, no less than 2 Britney songs, 2 Elvis songs, 2 Elton John songs (no offense, Elton), and of course Jim Jones' "We Fly High" to round it all out. Huh? Isn't compiling a celebrity playlist on iTunes all about showing how *cool* your musical tastes are?

Check out Heidi Montag in all her trainwreck, resplendent glory.

2008-02-21

Pussycat Dolls shake it for free

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Remember the good old days, when there were only like five Pussycat Dolls, and you could keep track of them? Then they had a reality show and added a few more, and then they started self-replicating through some process of alien mitosis. Now there are about ninety-four million Pussycat Dolls.

Not satisfied with that number, Robin Antin is at it again, now forming a new girl's group called Girlicious, which might be the laziest name for a girls group ever. And, of course, there's a tv show to select the group.

You can watch the first episode, "Let's Get Girlicious", for free on iTunes this week.

And since you've been so patient in reading today's blog, here is a gratuitous picture of some of the Pussycat Dolls in bikinis. You're welcome.

2008-02-20

Jack Johnson can sleep through the static

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Jack Johnson has done it again. He's somehow mesmerized us with his beachy, laid-back tunes. And he's got a number one album, on both the Billboard charts, and iTunes. I hear it's also doing quite well in the UK.

At first listen, I think it's a bit more adult and classic than his last album, which contained several whimsical, poppy delights. Sleeping Through the Static has light-hearted tracks too like the first single, "If I Had Eyes", but his songs also touch on bigger issues: war, the deterioration of etiquette in society, and an ultimate dissatisfaction with the beach bum lifestyle that he lives.

It's an excellent listen, both as chill background music for your next party, and as something deeper to investigate closely.

Start with Jack Johnson's "If I Had Eyes" for $.99 at iTunes.

2008-02-19

iTunes Free Music Tuesday: I Nine, Kelley Polar, and more...

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Welcome to iTunes Free Music Tuesday. We've got an exciting one for you this week. One from an up and coming band that is going to be all over the radio in the next few months, one from a well-respected electronic artist, and a gorgeous track out of Mexico.

1. I Nine - Seven Days of Lonely
I looked everywhere and I wasn't able to figure out the origin of this band's inexplicable name. They are a quartet of a bunch of kids who grew up together in Atlanta. The female lead singer has an Avril Lavigne quality but sweeter. The backing guy musicians all look brooding with their long hair. Somebody plays the cello.

The point is, Cameron Crowe discovered these guys, put them on the ElizabethTown soundtrack a couple of years ago, and the rest is history. Their album drops soon and is going to be huge, so by picking up this single this week, you're totally ahead of the curve.

2. Kelley Polar - Entropy Reigns (In the Celestial City)
If a more pompous title exists for a song, I can't think of it. I submit that it's especially high-minded for a track that uses whip cracks and synth beats ripped off Wham! tracks in the deep 80's. But, what do you expect of a tortured genius who was kicked out of Julliard because his stuffy professors didn't share his taste for mixing up electronic beats with the baroque masters? Here's a picture of him not looking pretentious in the least.

I can't find any vestiges of classical influence on this track, but that doesn't mean it's not cool. I am digging it the more I'm listening to it. Unlike most electronic music, it has a tremendous diversity of sounds, rhythms, and riffs. It keeps me interested and keeps my head bopping. Pick it up and feel intellectually superior to all of your friends.

3. Gabby Villanueva - Mundos Diferentes
Wow. From the second this track starts, you're struck by Gabby's voice. It's gorgeously, perfectly pop. It soars. It doesn't hurt that she's downright gorgeous to boot. I can't find much information on her on the web, but she seems like a fantastic mainstream talent.

Free on iTunes: The Best Seven Minutes in American Idol History

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We'll get to the free singles in a moment, people. First I have to talk about American Idol.

I am so over American Idol. Seriously. Not even the bad auditions really thrill me anymore. But with the writer's strike going on, there hasn't really been anything else on television to come home and relax to after hours at my soul-sucking job.

So I've watched this season. And boy am I glad that I did. It was all worth it - to bear witness to one amazing little man named "Renaldo Lapuz".

Renaldo starts off looking like any crazy asian guy in a costume. Little do we know, he has two secret weapons: an unrelenting charm, and a hit song called "We're Brothers Forever".

The clip starts off when Paula asks Renaldo why he has Simon's name written on his hat. His response, "Everyone, everywhere, as long as there is free media: television, radio, speaks the name of: Simon!" Wow. If that isn't epic praise, I don't know what is. Simon as a symbol of the free world is imagery I'd never quite considered. But it gets better.

Then Renaldo launches into his song, thus bringing hope to those in despairs [sic]. The lyrics?

"I am your brother

Your best friend forever

Singing the songs,
The music that you like. OH!!!!!!
We're brothers to the end of time
Together or not,
You're always in my heart
You hurt your feelings
And you will rain no more!"
(spoken) I love you brother!

Renaldo sings the song like seventeen times, and something magical and crazy happens with the judges. Even Simon can't help but sing along for a few bars. Randy grabs Seacrest to come in and dance with Renaldo as he sings.

Paula can't seem to stand that the attention has been off of her for so long, and completely loses it and starts doing sign language over the song followed by a weird "Cold-Hearted Snake" dance right in front of Renaldo. Simon can't help but smile, for once.

Renaldo's speech at the end nearly made me cry, right up until he said that Simon gives chances to any talents for free of charge. Where is this guy from that he's obsessed with free media and free auditions, but speaks (nearly) flawless English? Wherever he's from, he sure knows how to rock that silver cape.

I've gone on far too long about this. You should just download it and watch it three hundred times like I did. Then swoop around your house shrieking "I AM YOUR BRO-OH-THER until your boyfriend smothers you with a pillow.

Get Renaldo Lapuz's "We are Brothers" for free on iTunes this week.

2008-02-18

Don't Look Away from Kate Voegele

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Artist-on-the-Rise Kate Voegele is young, hot, and was on One Tree Hill. And as we all know, that's the trifecta of success, the ultimate triple threat, that everyone in the music industry is looking for.

Turns out she's got some amazing pipes as well. Check out "Kindly Unspoken". The girl's voice is fascinating: a bit uncontrolled, definitely unique, and man can she belt. It's like searing, raw emotion in a bottle.

Kate Voegele's debut album has been hanging out in the top 10 of the iTunes charts for a while. It's now available for a limited time at the bargain price of $7.99.

Check out Kate Voegele on iTunes.

More Free TV

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More free tv episodes added to the iTunes store. Hurry, these will probably be gone tomorrow.

1. Pinks - Kansas City (22:36)
I don't really watch the Speed channel, but this show looks cool. People bring their most awesome car to race, and if they lose, they lose their car. Very Fast and the Furious except without Paul Walker moping around everywhere. Why is such a seemingly manly show called "Pinks"? Your guess is as good as mine. And mine involves tutus.

2. Jericho - Reconstruction (44:20)
Maybe the only example ever of fans asking a network to bring a show back, and the network listening. I watched a few episodes of it. It was pretty good, but I wasn't going to tie myself to desk at CBS for it or anything. Still, Season 2 premiere for free. Pick it up while you can.

3. The Animation Show - My Pepper Heart by PES (2:04)
I guess Mike Judge of Beavis & Butthead fame has a show where he showcases great animation? How have I not heard of this. One Mature Audiences Only animated short for your enjoyment.

2008-02-17

Do You Like Rock Music?

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If you're like me, you've listened to the new Arcade Fire album about three million times at this point. You've mastered the delicate art of keeping the car running while no cars go, and you've secretly cranked out the beginning of "Intervention" at your church. It's still brilliant, but it's growing a little stale. So what else can you listen to?

For all of you Arcade Fire fans out there, let me suggest British Sea Power as a suitable alternative. Their newly-released album, "Do You Like Rock Music" has received universal acclaim from critics. Plus, it has all of the epic, sweeping, ethereal soundscapes that you look for from Arcade Fire. Their lyrics are just complex enough to be intriguing, and this indie band packs stadiums in the UK.

As a sampler, I recommend downloading the track "Waving Flags". Listening to it feels a bit like you're caught in an angry thunderstorm. Even if you don't like rock music, there's a chance you might by the end of the track...

2008-02-16

Free iTunes TV Episodes

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Only a couple of free iTunes TV stuff this week.

1. Dirty Jobs - Viewers' Choice Extra (17:16)
I love Mike Rowe's dirty jobs show. I watch it every time I'm bumming about my desk job and thinking fun it would be to work in construction or something like that. Out under the open sky. Mike always brings me back to Earth and reminds me that working outside pretty much sucks. This is a collection of favorite moments, bloopers, and outtakes.


2. The Naked Brothers - Three Shorts (around 1 minute each)
Wait, the Naked Brothers are a Nickelodeon band? Isn't that a slightly risque name for a band targeted at kids? Sure, you've got the Barenaked Ladies, and the New Pornographers, but they aren't purposefully going after the 3rd grade demographic. Anyway, these ill-named brothers who are also a band have some short episodes for free available.

2008-02-15

Joshua Radin and Ingrid Michaelson duet on "Sky"

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I discovered Joshua Radin through Zach Braff a few years ago. I was randomly reading Zach's blog, trying to figure out if he really was dating Mandy Moore or whether it was just rumor, when he mentioned that this guy Josh was the best singer/songwriter he'd ever heard.

This was during the time when I took Zach Braff's musical tastes incredibly seriously. So I checked him out and boy was I glad I did. I was obsessed with his album "We Were Here" for months.

Joshua has a new album coming out soon, and has released an EP with a few early songs on it. When I saw the first track, I nearly died, because if there's anybody I love more than Joshua Radin, it's Ingrid Michaelson. She's the one with the effulgent voice straight out of a 40's jazz club that does the Old Navy commercials with the "Take Me the Way I Am" song. She also has a weird music video with clowns in it.

Anyway, they sing a gorgeous duet called "Sky". Joshua's vocals sound more confident, the production is more lush, but it's still every bit as heart-wrenching as his earlier work. The song itself is adorably retro. I think I'm in love.

Reader Tip: Free Thriller Video Upgrade

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We received a tip this morning from Ryan that anybody who recently purchased the Michael Jackson "Thriller" video should check their e-mail. iTunes is sending out one-time-use codes to download the 25th anniversary remastered version for free! Thanks, Ryan!

We Asked: You Voted

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Thanks to everybody who participated in our last feedback poll. It rocks that so many of you weighed in with your opinions.

Here are the results. The things you want to see more of on this site are:

1. More free media from iTunes: TV, movies, etc.
We'll immediately expand our free postings to include ALL free content on iTunes, not just the music.

2. More sweepstakes for free iTunes $$!
Our sweepstakes will keep going on a weekly basis. Drawings every Friday. Maybe you'll be the next winner!

3. More introductions to new artists and songs (like Feist, Kate Nash, Finger Eleven, etc.)
We spend a lot of time highlighting artists that are great values, but little time promoting new artists. We will dedicate a little more time to this in the future. But the focus will still be on the free stuff!

Thanks for your opinions. And if you have any other comments, feel free to e-mail us at freeitunesmusic (@) gmail (dot) com.

Meet our first free iTunes winner

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Our first free iTunes winner has finally made himself known. His name is Lyle and he greets us from the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii (my favorite place in the entire world).

With his 10 bucks in free iTunes, Lyle plans on buying Christian rock group Mainstay's new album: Become Who You Are (which, serendipitously, is available for $7.99 this week at the iTunes store). Excellent choice for value. He'll have a few bucks leftover to pick up some singles of his choice.

Congratulations, Lyle!

Remember, to sign up for the contest, all you need to do is subscribe to our daily e-mail, or feed. Rules are here. Drawings happen every Friday night. But check your mail! Winners are notified, and have five days to respond. If you don't get back to me, I'll draw another name!

2008-02-13

Podcast of the week: Sub Pop Records

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Sub Pop Records may be the most successful indie label of all time. It's certainly my favorite. Sub Pop first achieved fame in the 1990's signing acts like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and MudHoney. You'd think that once grunge was over, it'd be difficult to see that kind of success ever again.

But Sub Pop has proven extremely resilient, reinventing themselves repeatedly, and signing amazing Seattle talent. Today their roster boasts artists like The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Postal Service, Rosie Thomas, Band of Horses, Modest Mouse, Wolf Parade, Rogue Wave, and dozens of other notable names.

With such a strong repertoire to choose from, it's no wonder that the Sub Pop Records Podcast boasts a free treasure trove of talent and great indie tracks.

It looks like they post music a little sporadically, but that doesn't diminish the quality at all. Great music. Free music. Check it out right away.

2008-02-12

Get your V-day Tunes on the cheap!

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The night is planned. The dinner is cooked, the candles are lit, and you've scattered your rose petals. All that's left to do is to put on some special tunes.

You know the kind of tunes I mean. You need a smooth, soundtrack brimming with romance to complete the evening for your special someone.

Luckily, iTunes has you covered with 16 classic tracks for $6.99. All of these songs were, at one point, #1 hits on the Billboard charts.

The album includes:

  • I'll Make Love to You by Boyz II Men
  • Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye
  • Truly by Lionel Ritchie
  • More Than Words by Extreme
Pick up "Love Song #1's" for $6.99 this week only.

Free iTunes Tuesday: 2/12/2008

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Welcome to Free iTunes Tuesday! Got three new tracks for you this week, so let's just jump straight in, shall we?

1. Adele - Hometown Glory
I know that since the call came to boycott Amy Winehouse until she got help, we all faithfully put away our "Back to Black" CDs. Since then, we've had to come to terms with the gaping hole of neo-soul music that's left in our lives.

Well, the wait is over. Adele has heard your pleas, and has offered to fill in temporarily for Amy. There are some differences you're going to have to deal with: Adele is not anorexic by any stretch, her hair remains disturbingly close to her head rather than taking up residence in the upper stratosphere, and she behaves rather normally. All very new territory for us.

But the voice, ah....the voice. Whereas Amy's voice comes from a very guttural, no-nonsense place, Adele's soars. Her highs are brilliant, her lows smoky and intriguing. Her vocal acrobatics are quick and effortless, leaving you tingly with delight.

The free single track this week is reminiscent of Ingrid Michaelson with a clamoring piano accompaniment. On its own, it's a little flat, but in the context of her upcoming album, it's breathtaking. Pick up Adele's "Hometown Glory" for free.
2. Addison Road - All That Matters
Christian bands like Addison Road really get on my nerves sometimes. Not because I'm not into Christian music or anything, but because they're deceptive.

I'll be driving late at night, scanning the radio. And I'll stop because I hear a pretty groovy song. It sounds like Maroon Five, except with a girl singing. It's pretty groovy. I start getting excited.

The lyrics seem pretty normal - classic love song stuff:
"Cause all that matters is
All that matters is

I know your love has set me free

And that’s all that matters to me"


That's awesome. She had low self-esteem, and then this guy came along and set her free. Cool! But then the last verse hits me like a ton of bricks:
"My life comes from the One
Who made the stars and brought the sun

He loves me more than these

So I don’t need another identity"

Wha? She was singing about God that whole time? Dang it! Those tricksters! I was robbed! Why do they do that? Why do they need to trick us all into loving the Lord?

It's like telling your friends for weeks that you've been seeing this great new guy who's perfect for you, and then you finally arrange a big dinner where they're all going to meet him, and you sit down alone and pull out a life-size cardboard cut-out of the big JC instead. And your friends are like, "huh?"

Well, I've warned you. And now that you know, you should pick up the track, because despite its lying ways, it is cute and catchy.


3. Santos de Los Angeles - The Sweetest Thing

Our last track comes from Santos. Santos is Mexican-born, but was raised in LA. This track has him doing his best Bob-Marley-meets-Latino-crooner. And truly after listening to this track you will believe that everything will be all right.

Grab "The Sweetest Thing" for free.

2008-02-11

Air Traffic is ready for take-off

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Click here to see full music video for "Shooting Star".

While they've been steadily climbing the charts in the UK, Air Traffic released their "Fractured Life" album to the US just this week. Their piano-driven, indie-rock sound peppered with falsetto vocals certainly will do well if Keane and Coldplay are any indication.

I find Air Traffic's sound more versatile than either of their predecessors. They are younger, more raw, and offer more than one sound. Being the newbies that they are, sometimes this is to their detriment, but I believe in the long run it will be to their strength.

The first single will be "Charlotte", followed by "Shooting Star".

You can pick up their brand, smacking-new release for $7.99 this week.

2008-02-10

Huge Hip-Hop & Rap Sale

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Huge hip-hop and rap album sale happening at iTunes this week. It's impossible to choose highlights from amongst this set of classic and new albums, so I'm going to tell you what's on sale and let you sort it out for yourself.

Eminem, Eric B. & Rakim, The Game, Gucci Mane, Public Enemy, Rakewon, The Roots, Slick Rick, Talib Kweli, Swizz Beatz, Lil Boosie, Pharoahe Monch, Ghostface Killah, Cam'Ron, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, Fabolous, DJ Khaled, Styles P, Unk, DJ Envy & Red Cafe, T-Pain, Bow Wow & Omarion, Wyclef Jean, N.W.A., Common, Wu-Tang Clan, Keak da Sneak, Brother Ali, OutKast, Nas, Dudley Perkins, Gang Starr, Ice Cube, WC, Westside Connection, T.I., Oh No, and Tony Touch.

All albums on sale for $7.99.

2008-02-09

Mika's 'Happy Ending' includes disembodied hands

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It's too bad the Grammy's, and even the VMAs, have neglected the "weirdest music video" category. I say this, because surely Mika's "Happy Ending" video would win it.

What did the pitch meeting for this video look like?

Producer: "So, we'll have you sleeping in a seven year old's room, and your stuffed animals will start singing to you. Then a balloon will grab you and suck you into Earth's orbit where, while wearing a hot pink blazer, you'll be serenaded by disemodied hands doing that face-talking thing from 'Labryinth'. Oh, and your shoes will be untied the entire time. It'll be a classic!"

Mika: "My shoes are untied the entire time? Do you really think people will buy that?"

Producer: "Good point. Okay, we'll make it a dream sequence then."

Trippy music video aside, you'll remember Mika from his hit "Grace Kelly" earlier this summer. In the US, he sort of disappeared off of that, but in the UK, the album went on to spin off a gazillion more #1 hits. Yes, a gazillion.

Mika himself is kind of awesome. He was an opera singer, who woke up one day and decided to go pop. All of the songs themselves have a timeless quality which will last in your music collection.

Pick up Mika's "Life in Cartoon Motion" for $7.99 on iTunes today.

2008-02-08

Giveaway #1 Over, and Your Feedback Requested

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Giveaway#1 is over, and somebody has won $10 in free iTunes. I've asked him to get back to us soon with what he's bought with it.

If you didn't win, never fear. We're swinging straight into week #2's drawing for more free iTunes. Rules the same as the first. If you're already signed up to our mailing list, you are already entered to win.

The mailing list is still extremely small, so your odds to win are very good!

On another subject, we at Free iTunes Music are committed in improving our service to give you more of what you want.

In that spirit, take a moment to tell us what you would like to see more of (or less of!) on our site:

2008-02-06

Introducing Yoav

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When Yoav (pronounced Yo-Av) was fifteen, he went to one of his first rock concerts: a Crowded House show in his native South Africa. Neil Finn asked if anybody from the audience wanted to come up and sing "In Temptation". The guy who was chosen sucked, and was boo'd off after two lines.

Then Neil said, "Ok, one more." All of Yoav's friends pointed at him, and he was chosen. He sang the entire song in front of 15,000 people to a standing ovation. He knew at that instant that music would be his career.

So perhaps we have Neil Finn to thank for one of the most innovative, compelling artists I have heard in a long time. It's difficult to classify Yoav's sound. "Damien Rice as produced by the Neptunes" says one review. "Justin Timberlake doing an acoustic record with Portishead" says another.

Yoav's love of electronic music and hip-hop forced him to figure out how to evoke those same rhythms and sounds on his acoustic guitar. Using effects pedals, the sound that Yoav can make as a single man on a stage is absolutely jaw-dropping on a live stage.

His music, however, is also equally compelling in a fully-produced setting, as it lends itself well to club treatments. To demonstrate some of the awesomeness that is Yoav, I give you two videos.

One is the fully produced "Club Thing". The other is Yoav alone on stage presenting "Beautiful Lie". I like "Club Thing", but as "Beautiful Lie" builds and opens up, it absolutely flattens me.

Yoav's newly released album is
now available on iTunes for $7.99.

Beautiful Lie Video


Club Thing Video

Huge slew of free videos

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Usually, we don't cover the free videos on iTunes because in truth, they aren't really very good. They're promos. Previews. To draw you in. They waste your hard drive space.

This week, however, there are a few quality views.

For grown-ups:
1. Lost: Past, Present, and Future (41:25)
It's been 9 months since Lost aired. If you're going to watch Season 4, you'd better watch this and refresh your memory on all of the mysteries you've forgotten existed.

2. The Big Gay Sketch Show (13:49)
Like SNL, but with all gay and lesbian relationships. Sort of funny.

3. My Big Redneck Wedding (21:24)
Since you were a little girl, I'm sure you dreamed of your perfect wedding day: riding in on your ATV with your green John Deere dress on, packing heat and ready to rumble. Wha? Full episode of this strange reality show from CMT.

4. Scott Baio is 46, and Pregnant (40:03)
Full Season 2 premiere from VH1. Mostly consists of Scott Baio sitting in a golf cart, freaking out about his girlfriend being pregnant and how his life is over.

5. Life of Ryan (21:02)
Full Season 1 premiere from MTV. As far as I can tell, Ryan is a skateboarder. But he's also a teenager. That's right: even though he's a skateboarder, he has problems like any other normal kid.

6. Rob & Big (21:29)
Full Season 3 premiere from MTV. Hysterical Rob & Big episode about finding a poop in the pool and sleuthing out who dropped it.

For Kids:
1. Ni Hau, Kai-lan: The Dragonboat Festival (24:05)
Full episode of cute kid's show with singing, dancing, and a smattering of Chinese.

2. A is for Asthma (20:37)
I love Sesame Street, but really? A is for Asthma? Really? Anyway, this is an Elmo focused Sesame Street where he learns what to do when his friend has an asthma attack. Can't wait for "H is for Heimlich"

3. Aprende Con Sesame (Learn along with Sesame - 22:22)
Cool Spanish-only Sesame episode. Great for kids or adults learning spanish, as the spanish is slow and well-articulated. In this episode, they discuss how awesome learning at school is. En espanol, claro. And no, I don't know how to make the swirly thing above the 'n' in my blog. Sorry.

Sara Bareilles won't write you a love song

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One of my favorite albums of 2007 is Sara Bareilles' Little Voice. Paradoxical title, really, because her voice is pretty dang huge, even in a live setting.

The video above is not the pervasive "Love Song", nor the upcoming single "One Sweet Love", but a live version of "City", one of the amazing ballads off the album. Hard to pick whether this is my favorite or "Between the Lines" or the soul-crushing "Gravity". I've fallen hard for literally every song.

Sara Bareilles rails at the comparisons to Norah Jones or Fiona Apple. And she's right to do so. She's much more a female version of Ben Folds than any of the her other ivory-tickling female contemporaries. Her accompaniments flirt with jazz chords, but are definitively pop, and her lyrics weave classic stories of love and heartbreak.

Little Voice is strong with just a touch of vulnerability; melodic with a touch of irony. Girls will instantly feel kinship with it. Guys will like it too because it's not overly sappy (and Sara is a touch of hot, herself).

Little Voice is available for $7.99 at iTunes.

2008-02-05

Sean Kingston: Bonus Free Track

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Sean Kingston - "Eighteen"
Rather than our normal three free singles, we have a fourth free track this week!

From the singer of "Beautiful Girls" Sean Kingston brings us the free track "Eighteen" to celebrate his eighteenth birthday. Man, I feel old.

You've heard Kingston's stuff by now. It's reggae-inspired and imminently danceable.

I suggest you wish Sean a happy 18th by honoring his new right-to-vote and getting yourself out to vote in today's primaries. Afterwards, grab his free single.

Free iTunes Music Tuesday: 2.5.2008

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Welcome to New Music Tuesday! Buckle up, and hold onto your butts - iTunes has pulled out all of the stops this week.

1. Yael Naim - "Far Far"
Ever since Yael's tune "New Soul" was featured in the MacBook Air commercial, her album has been burning up the charts. To tease us even further, iTunes is offering a sweet track that's a wonderful showcase for Yael's voice in "Far Far".

Yael is reminiscent of Feist and Regina Spektor, but has a sound all her own. Of French-Israeli origin, Yael has burned up the charts in France for some time, and her light accent complements her fluttering, breathy voice perfectly.

"Far Far" is a can't-miss download.

You may also want to check out her intoxicating full album. Best $9.99 I've spent this year so far.



2. We the Kings - "Check Yes, Juliet"
We've talked about We the Kings before, because their full album has long been available at the iTunes store for bargain of $5.99.

They remain an exuberant, young, up-and-coming band. The single is undeniably catchy, capitalizing on a story of the singer passing Juliet a note asking some kind of "Do you like me? check one: yes/no" question.

If she checks yes, apparently they get to run around the city in joy, never to be torn apart again. Happy endings! Grab We The Kings free single, and cheap cheap cheap album.

3. Maya & Veze Skante - "Back to You"
Veze Skante is quickly emerging as a latino hip-hop star. iTunes says it best: "This laid-back, head-nodding funk attack gives Veze the chance to unleash verses at his most relaxed and seductive." Myra sounds great on the chorus as well.

Not to diminish the awesomeness of this free track, I have to share with you my favorite comment from the YouTube video of this song:

"I really like this song alot....it reminds me of my ex- man.....he's in prison know..we still cool and we write to each other all the time...dam but this song...I can't find the lyrics!!! I'm trying to send them to him.....but no luck!!! well happy new Year people!!! Much Love!!!!"

So there you have it. The song is good enough to send the lyrics to your man in prison. That's something special. Grab it for free this week.

2008-02-04

In Honor of the New York Giants...

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Last night was one of the best Superbowl games I have ever watched. That's how the game should be played. Tough. Smart. Physical. Great defense. Heart and determination. Never say die.

I'm thrilled to the pieces that the Giants pulled a huge upset. Don't get me wrong, I like Tom Brady, but I also love a great underdog story.

So, in honor of Eli Manning and his Giants, we bring you a few celebratory tracks:

1. Spoon - The Underdog
"You've got no fear of the underdog. That's why you will not survive." One of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite bands.

2. Death Cab For Cutie - We Looked Like Giants
True, it's mostly about making out with a girl in the back of his car, but when you get to the "We Looked Like Giants" part, you can throw your arms up and scream triumphantly.

3. Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight
I can just see the team listening to this pre-game to get themselves psyched up. Creepy, atmospheric, and utterly defiant.

4. Joey Scarbury - The Greatest American Hero
The Manning family has that unassuming, all-American quality, don't they? I'm bracing myself for the new wave of Peyton/Eli commercials. In the meantime, how about giving Eli a theme song? Let's see: from the 80's, a bit cheesy, yet triumphant. This is perfect!

5. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits - $7.99
The halftime show was boring but classic. And I was actually reminded that Tom Petty existed, and that some of his songs are good! $7.99 is pretty decent for an 18 track greatest hits album.

Congrats NYGiants!