Free Download: Nellie McKay at Daytrotter

I had seen this show tipped since I follow the flickr feed from Daytrotter and there was a picture of her in the studio, which is generally how Johnnie does her characterizations of the acts that flow through the studio in Rock Island. So, it is with certain glee that I’m reporting that Daytrotter has posted her session. According to the date on that picture, she did her session on April 4th, 2008. I saw Nellie in Minneapolis at the Dakota Bar with my wife and super-fan daughter RaeEllen on April 6th– so she recorded this in Rock Island and hightailed it to Minnesota, apparently.

Nellie recorded a generous NINE tracks for this session as opposed to the four or five we usually get. The cool thing about this session is it is pretty much exactly like the show I saw and a very good representation of her live show. You get some piano tunes, some ukelele songs, some political humor and show tunes. What more would you want, really?

Click Here to visit the Daytrotter page for Nellie

Free Download : “Absent Afternoon” from Calexico

As announced on Casa de Calexico— the official website of Calexico–  Threadless is hosting exclusively as part of its “Threadless Loves Travel” contest. The contest picked a shirt design by Alex Solis called “Bird Migration” that will be a regular teeshirt at Threadless. To celebrate, the got an exclusive track from Calexico for their site called “Absent Afternoon.” It has the very distinctive sound of Willie Nelson’s harmonica player Mickey Raphael on it which is pretty cool. Per Joey:

hello threadless nation

hope you and all at threadless like the song.
it’s one of my favs.
written at home looking out the window at the weekly funeral procession…
soul migration

nick luca played pump organ, first day back in the studio after recovering from a serious bout with keta acidosis and was in the hospital for a week diagnosed with diabetes type 1.

mickey raphael plays harmonica. we met him through the i’m not there movie when we recorded with he and willie nelson. he loves tucson and hangs out here whenever they are on tour. he wants to record a whole album with us here. should be fun.

paul niehaus on slide acoustic archtop guitar and lush pedal steel.

john convertino on badass drums

i play guitar, bass and sing.

enjoy threadless love what you do
thanks for being there and opening the door to our world


It’s not clear to me how long they will host the song, so grab it while you can!

Click Here to download “Absent Afternoon” by Calexico

Click Here to see the winning design at Threadless

Free Download: Umphrey’s McGee’s Christmas Gift EP

Hot off the heels of the Umphrey’s Holidaze Cruise to Jamaica and all rested up for the upcoming NYE run, the boys of Umphrey’s McGee were feeling generous in the spirit of the season and have decided to give away a free holiday 3-song EP of never-before released material spanning the holiday shows from the past few years.

Downloading the EP requires that you have a UMLive account– which you would have if you are participating in the Mantis pre-orders or have ever ordered any shows from the band. Either way, if you don’t have one it is pretty painless and worth it.


1. Greensleeves > Carol of the Bells (4:18)
2. Christmas Time is Here (2:44)
3. Christmas Medley (1:51) (Jingle Bells > Deck the Halls > Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (Dub Style) > Menard’s Theme)

They don’t tell you which years these tracks are from, unfortunately. Maybe it will be more clear when we get the Acoustic Christmas tracks in the Mantis bonuses. I about fell out of my chair when they broke into the Menard’s commercial. Clearly they are from the Midwest, where the Menard’s commerials are part of the advertising din!

Click on the banner above to sign up and download your free Christmas mp3’s from Umphrey’s McGee!

Free Download: “Made to Measure” and teaser for Umphrey’s McGee’s Mantis

Since I’m watching the developments on the new Umphrey’s McGee album closely, ya’ll get to benefit by getting updates. It seems that January 20th is a long way off, so the UM camp has figured out that they are going to need to keep the fire going by throwing out little tastes of the album and bonus goodies to the fans.

Yesterday it was announced that the monster Chicago FM station XRT would be playing the first track from Mantis— “Made to Measure” as part of their new music Thursday today.

Additionally, a one-minute audio “teaser” was posted to The Floor today (the band’s blog). It has snippets of a couple of songs in it. Click Here to listen.

And, if that wasn’t enough– everyone who has pre-ordered Mantis will be given instructions on Friday on how to download an mp3 of “Made to Measure” for free!

Free Download: Umphrey’s McGee Mantis Pre-Order “Early Bird Bonus”

I have been watching the Umphrey’s McGee Mantis page for updates on newly unlocked Levels and as a result I’m signed into the Meebo chat (as “playbsides” if anyone wants to talk). Other than the grand debate about whether 1000 copies of the Deluxe Package depreciates the “value” or rarity of it versus the fact that some fans are bummed they didn’t get in on it– there hasn’t been a lot of useful chatter. I’ve helped some folks understand what the deal is with the pre-order mostly.

But, today I happened to catch someone mentioning the free downloads in the UMLive accounts and sure enough– I signed into “My Stash” and in addition to the pre-order for Mantis, there was another item ready for download called “Mantis Pre-Order: Early Bird Bonus” which showed available for download! I didn’t get an e-mail about it, but my e-mail gateway does whitelisting so it bounces the mails for resend and that adds some time to e-mail receipt for me.

At any rate– very cool deal! I got two tracks: both from the amazing 10-31-2008 Halloween show at the Warfield in San Francisco. This show was pretty cool in that they decided to do live performed “mash-ups.”

The two tracks we got were “Women, Wine and Song” (a 128Kbps rip) from the show and a Backstage Vocal Rehearsal of the band working out the vocals to “Thriller” which was mashed with “Another Brick in the Wall” (a 192Kbps rip).

You can listen to “Women, Wine and Song” from the Warfield show at

In other cool news, the Umphrey’s Camp has noticed my Mantis Bonus Watch article and linked to it from The Floor, which is their blog. It’s driven my page views to the highest they’ve ever been! Hello to new visitors, I hope your stay is pleasant.

Free Download and Sale at Amazon: Daptone Records Sampler

For a limited time Amazon is having a sale on the entire Daptone Records catalog in mp3 format. All titles are $6.99 each! Daptone, for the uninitiated is the incredible indie record label out of NYC that specializes in retro R&B and funk and is the home of the amazing Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings as well as The Budos Band and the Sugarman 3. To promote the sale, Amazon and Daptone are providing for a limited time a free 14-track sampler download. DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS!

Click Here to download the Daptone Records Sampler

Daptone Records Digital Sampler on

1. The Sugarman 3 Feat. Naomi Shelton “Promised Land”
2. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “100 Days, 100 Nights”
3. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Pick it Up, Lay it in the Cut”
4. The Budos Band “Chicago Falcon”
5. The Mighty Imperials “Thunder Chicken”
6. The Budos Band “Up From the South”
7. The Daktaris “Eltsuhg Ibal Lasiti”
8. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?”
9. The Sugarman 3 “Chicken Half”
10. The Sugarman 3 “Turtle Walk”
11. The Poets of Rhythm ” More Mess On My Thing”
12. Bob & Gene “I Can Be Cool”
13. The Como Mamas Feat. Mary Moore “Trouble In My Way”
14. Menahan Street Band “Make the Road by Walking”

Lyrics Born Releases Next Single “Whispers” : Free Download

Barack Obama-BFF Lyrics Born has released the next single from his sophomore solo album Everywhere At Once. “Whispers” –an unexpectedly somber track from the man who brought us such bumpin’ slices of funky pie as “Callin’ Out” and Everywhere‘s first single “I Like It, I Love It”– is a slow, stripped-to-the-bass Isaak Hayes-style track.

“Whispers” was written by LB inspired by hearing the news of the passing of his longtime friend Benjamin “Mack B. Dog” Davis. I wasn’t familiar with B. Dog other than his participation in the Quannum Spectrum project where he provided the inter-song “skits” of a late-night DJ. The song provides the soulful vocals of Codany Holiday aka “C-Holiday.” You might be familiar with C-Holiday from his participation in the controversial Rainydayz Remixes done by AmpLive. Click Here to download this fantastic mix.

Stay tuned for a video of this song as well. The generous folks in the LB camp have granted permission to post “Whispers” for download, but do yourself a favor and buy Everywhere At Once it’s one of the great hip hop albums– LB does a great job of bringing all of his influences to this record.

Click Here to download “Whispers”

Free Download: Lyrics Born – “Make It Good” and other news

Our favorite ‘Yay Area MC has partnered with LG to help promote their new Chocolate 3 phone by recording a “three” themed tune to be used in commercials and available for free from LG’s Chocolate 3 Site.

The site is heavy-Flash content, but once the page loads click to play Lyrics Born, wait for some more bloaty Flash content to load (srsly– sitting using the free wireless at the airport, this is taking minutes to load!), change the category to “Music”, and then you can choose “Download the Tracks” where you can pick free downloads from LB, Goapele, and Bitter:Sweet.

LB mentioned the track in a recent edition of LBTV and he said that he was very happy with it. It is trademark LB, but it does sound a bit like the topic came before the inspiration a bit as he exclaims “Three is my favorite number!” He saves it a bit by giving it a romantic spin– and frankly his enthusiasm is infectious and it’s pretty catchy.

I love the irony of loading this song on my iPhone…

Click Here to get to the LG Chocolate 3 Site

In other LB news, he has been tapped to be the voiceover announcer of a new Cartoon Network franchise on Friday nights called You Are Here. Pretty much a cartoon character himself, I hope that they take advantage of his sense of humor. The first airing is this Friday night, October 3rd.

Update: 10/12/08: Lyrics Born has canceled his Fall tour to help with the campaign for Barack Obama. Click Here to read my article on this.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lyrics Born is kicking off a Fall tour of the U.S. If you’ve been following this blog that long you’ve read the 2006 and 2007 reviews of his stops in Minneapolis at the Foundation. I’m not sure what the deal is with the Foundation in oh-eight, but he is coming to the fantastic Fine Line on November 8th, which is a great venue although my wife isn’t sure it is condusive to the obligatory ass-shaking that occurs with his show. I guess we’ll find out, as we will be returning for a threepeat. With Joyo’s album hitting in January I’m sure we can count on a couple of solo songs!

Elbee, if you’re reading this– what’s up with hitting the Snowy Apple in frigging November the last three years? I’m happy you stop, but it’s pretty cold…

Fall Tour Dates (lifted from MySpace)

Oct 16 2008 8:00P
SF Weekly Show – Ruby Skye San Francisco, California
Oct 27 2008 9:00P
Middle East Downstairs Cambridge, Massachusetts
Oct 28 2008 8:00P
The Trocadero Theatre Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 29 2008 9:00P
Highline Ballroom New York, New York
Oct 31 2008 8:00P
Rex Theatre Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nov 1 2008 9:00P
Sonar Baltimore, Maryland
Nov 4 2008 8:00P
Agora Theater Cleveland, Ohio
Nov 5 2008 8:00P
The Eagle Theater Pontiac, Michigan
Nov 7 2008 8:00P
Majestic Theater Madison, Wisconsin
Nov 8 2008 8:00P
Double Door Chicago, Illinois
Nov 9 2008 8:00P
Fine Line Music Cafe Minneapolis, Minnesota

Click Here for Lyrics Born’s MySpace Page

Click Here for Lyrics Born’s Official Page

Click Here for Lyrics Born’s Blog

Calexico Video at All Songs Considered and Joey Burns Interview

Thanks to the the Yahoo Calexico group, I bring another video clip from Calexico and Quarterstick. This one is from NPR’s All Songs Considered and is bundled with a review by Robin Hilton. The clip has some stripped-down arrangements of “Two Silver Trees,” “Man Made Lake,” and “The News About William” along with some commentary from Convertino and Burns about their hometown Tucson and the role it plays in their music. Apparently, this is the first of a series. So, visit that page for updates. These videos are filmed and edited beautifully, I would love to see these all edited together or possibly turned into a DVD.

NPR: Video: Calexico Previews New Album

NPR: Video: Calexico Part Two

Also, the fine folks at the Aquarium Drunkard blog published an interview with Joey Burns this morning about Carried to Dust complete with a couple of mp3’s to download. Go read it.

Free Download : Break Up The Concrete by The Pretenders

As reported by Billboard yesterday, Chrissy Hynde and company, aka The Pretenders have a new album titled Break Up The Concrete which will be released 10/7 on her new label Shangri-La Music. The album was recorded in 10 days with a mostly-new version of the Pretenders. In addition to original Pretenders bass player Nick Wilkinson, she added James Walbourne and Eric Heywood on guitars and notorious session drummer Jim Keltner. Coincidentally, this week I was just listening to super-group Little Village from 1992 that had Keltner on skins!

The first track “Boots of Chinese Plastic” a rollicking roots-rock twang-fest is available for free download from’s site via the Pretenders site.

Visit the Pretenders site and sign up for e-mail notifications because the plan is to release one track per week leading up to October 7th from Concrete as mp3’s through other website partners including QuickTime,,, ilike, imeem, and others. The track available today is a surprising 320Kbps mp3! I hope that the rest of the tracks will be of the same quality! I can’t find a track listing for the new album anywhere. Based on the 1-track-per-week, I guess there will be 10 tracks.

Here is the tracklisting (Thanks to user Mark666!):

01 Boots of Chinese Plastic (download from
02 The Nothing Maker (download from iLike)
03 Don’t Lose Faith in Me (download from C|Net
04 Don’t Cut your Hair (download from
05 Loves A Mystery (download from
06 The Last Ride (download from
07 Almost Perfect (download from Yahoo! Music)
08 You Didn’t Have To (download from
09 Rosalee (download from
10 Break Up The Concrete (download from GarageBand Contest Page) – fill out your info in upper right area of the page which will bring you to a page to download.
11 One Thing Never Changed