What's Better Than New Orleans Music? Free New Orleans Music!

Gambit, New Orleans' weekly alternative newspaper, has partnered with the now legitimate Limewire Music Store to offer a DRM-free compilation called Ear to the Ground: New Orleans that's free to download.  The album features 19 songs by artists representing a wide range of genres.  I'd like to highlight a few of the tracks that jumped out at me:

  • "Ceiling of Plankton" by GIVERS, the band who recently toured with Dirty Projectors and are returning as a headliner to the Black Cat on February 2nd.  This relentlessly upbeat ditty has a great of Montreal/Polyphonic Spree feel to it.  If this song doesn't brighten your day, then you are dead.
  • "Rocketship" by Big Rock Candy Mountain - Once I got past the name, I discovered a band that produces edgy power pop in the vein of Third Eye Blind, with stronger harmonies.
  • "Sleepytime on Bourbon" by Silent Cinema - Bluesy, horn-accented bar rock.  This would be the kind of music Butch Walker would make after a month-long bender in the Crescent City.
  • "Birds Fly Away" by Theresa Andersson - While the video version of this didn't garner as many hits on YouTube as her impressive one-woman-band rendition of "Na Na Na",  it's a beautifully layered song that should appeal to fans of 60s girl group soul and contemporary female singers like Feist or Regina Spektor in equal measure.
  • "Get My Sound" by the impressively named One Man Machine & the Powers that Be! - I had to double-check that my iPhone hadn't jumped into my TV on the Radio playlist.  This song reminds me of concerts at Tipitina's or the Howling Wolf, with crowds drunk and drenched in sweat dancing the night away in a drunken Bacchanalian reverie.
  • "No Blood, No Blooms" by the equally impressively named Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? - One shot each of Beirut and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with a dash of Dresden Dolls.  Shake vigorously and serve with a cold beer.
Those are just a selection of the 19 artists on this record.  If you dig Rogue Wave or Spoon, you might like the tracks from Big Blue Marble or Generationals.  Heavy metal much?  Yeah, there's that, too.  No excuse not to give a free album a spin and see if something sticks.