> Free Music!

Nine Inch Nails have released another effort, this time the whole thing is free!

About a month or two ago [edit: March 2, 2008], Trent Reznor released Ghosts I-IV, the first part being free, the whole album was 5 bucks, and you could get more expensive versions if you wanted (which sold out almost instantly and made 3/4 of a million bucks alone).

You can go to nin.com to get the new one, The Slip (go ahead... it's FREE). Trent encourages you to listen, remix, and SHARE - something the most of the music industry just can't seem to get their heads around. I'd host it here (with his express permission, and CC license), but I don't think I can handle the bandwidth yet (eep!).

Another artist making headway in this new form of distribution is Jonathan Coulton. His stuff isn't free, but it's cheap, and he's completely independent and self-made. His songs usually have a folksy sorta style, with a definitely geeky quality. Check him out at jonathancoulton.com.

As always, I can't recommend somafm.com enough, they've been putting out commercial-free, quality music for years. I consider myself pretty wide-ranged in music taste and knowledge, but Soma consistently plays stuff that is new and different and constantly shows me new things. They recently have opened up two new stations, Digitalis and Lush. I especially like Lush, lots of chill songs with female vocals.

These are all promising trends in a world where the music companies have proved themselves to be bloated, clueless, aging, greedy giants.