Sunday, August 10, 2008

Few things in life are free, except new songs

It's the new music-business model -- call it a half-Radiohead -- give away the first single from your new album as a taste of what to expect. For Coldplay and now Keane (see below), free MP3s have been chosen to make a statement, namely, "our new stuff is adventurous rather than the same 'ole, same 'ole."

Herewith, pointers to a few fresh freebies out there.

The brand new single by Marillion, one of my fave bands, is so catchy that you'll need a lobotomy to dislodge it from your head. Visit this site to download "Whatever is Wrong With You" (download is at the bottom right-hand side of the page -- no information or email address needed). It's the lead-off single from October's double album, "Happiness is the Road."

Visit for a free download of "Death Will Never Conquer," a jaunty acoustic ditty sung by drummer Will Champion, doing his best Chris Martin impression. The song has been a staple of the band's acoustic set on tour.

Richard Barbieri
Porcupine Tree keyboard player Richard Barbieri has a new solo album, "Stranger Inside," coming out Sept. 30. The musician, a former cohort of bassist Mick Karn and David Sylvian in the new wave art-rock band Japan, is making an excellent 8-minute track titled "Hypnotek" available to those who sign up to receive more information here. Richard's previous solo album, "Things Buried," is an electronica album that feels more organic than synthetic and it'll take you places you don't normally visit with a pair of headphones.

The British trio, renowned for their clean-lines of piano pop. take a left swerve on "Spiralling." Available for free until 11 a.m. on Monday August 11 at, this first single off "Perfect Symmetry" is a shot across every music critic's bow.

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