August 21, 2007

HOT TO DAYTROT:

Meet your new favorite bands (David Kieley, 8/21/07, Boston Globe)

If you love free music, but don't love the idea of stealing it from your favorite, underappreciated musicians, Daytrotter.com is a small miracle. The site lures some big names in indie rock (Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Of Montreal, Grizzly Bear, Jolie Holland) and smaller-but-interesting acts (Whispertown 2000, Harlem Shakes, Jana Hunter) into a studio in Rock Island, Ill., to record "exclusive, reworked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks." They then release eight of those songs every week for free.

But don't be fooled by Daytrotter's altruism or by the folky, hand-drawn art that the site's illustrators pack onto every page. The Daytrotter Sessions aren't some lo-fi scraps from a basement four-track -- they're high-quality recordings of intimate, impromptu performances that you can download to MP3, stream individually, or -- if you're in an exploratory mood -- play in a randomized radio-station format.

Highlights abound, from three unreleased Phosphorescent (above) tracks (including the great "Cocaine Lights") to a set from Cambridge's own the Dead Trees (formerly Furvis). Band members chime in for other weird and interesting features, such as recitations of book excerpts and, in the "Lasso'd" section, short lists of their favorite music, activities, and miscellany.

The site also carries a slew of interviews, album reviews, and, as of deadline, at least one live video performance by Architecture in Helsinki, which hopefully won't be the last of its kind. All that related content is fun, but the music is what's putting Daytrotter on the map, and likely, on your list of bookmarks.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2007 8:26 PM
Comments for this post are closed.