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#100 - One Hundred

I finally made it to the 100th episode!  I would have been there sooner, had I stuck with a bi-weekly schedule.  Nonetheless, we're fina...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revisiting Emerald Park

I already posted about this album three months ago, but I recently gave it another listen to try and find some tracks to fill out this week's podcast.

I don't know why I didn't say it at the time, but man - For Tomorrow by Emerald Park is one heck of an album.  There are so many different styles in each song - it's just incredible.  I found another 3 tracks I want to put on the podcast, and it's nigh impossible choosing just one.

Here's the download link once again from the 23 Seconds netlabel.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Derek Clegg album

Last year, Derek Clegg released an album that I quite enjoyed (KJC), so I was happy to learn he's got something new out this year as well.  It's a nice solo album with various instruments, and is just as good as KJC.  There's also a hint of country in there, which is good news if I ever want to do a country-only podcast (which I do).

To be honest though, this isn't a "listen anytime" type of album - it's a little on the slow side.  That said, there are definitely some upbeat tunes on this album that are pretty good for a "listen anytime" playlist.  I still recommend the album even though sometimes it can sound like a bit of a downer (though the lyrics suggest otherwise).

You can download the new album, Beautiful World, from his Bandcamp website.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Cloud Storage Jungle

I hope you'll excuse this non-artist related post; it still deals with music though, so it counts, right?  I actually was a little hesitant to post about this, but on the surface it seems like a really cool way to stream the music you legally own / buy.  In case you haven't guessed by now, I'm talking about the new service launched by Amazon called Amazon Cloud Drive.

I read about it on Lifehacker this morning, and was impressed: they offer you immediately 5gb of storage for free, and upon purchasing an album from Amazon, you get another 20gb right away.  And any music you purchase from now on gets automatically stored on your Cloud Drive, but doesn't count against your storage.  Now that is pretty neat.

My only issue with Amazon's MP3 store is that it's limited to the US (or at least, being in Canada, I'm not allowed to purchase anything - not even $0 albums).  However, from everything I've read and heard from people who use it, the store is quite good and many times a better alternative to iTunes.  So, if you aren't in Canada and are able to buy MP3s from Amazon, you may want to check out Cloud Drive - it even has what they call a "Cloud Player" (I think that's what it's called) that lets you stream your music over the web or an Android device.

And if you want to support some independant artists who got their start releasing their music for free, here are some links to their albums on Amazon's MP3 store.
There's a whole lot more where that came from, but those are just a few that I recommend supporting.  Happy browsing!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sea Birds (probably not Seagulls)

Big thanks to Joshua Watkins and his fans for coming over and checking out the blog - much appreciated!

 Of course the logical thing to do would be to follow up a hip-hop review with another hip-hop review...except I am not a Vulcan.  So instead, I've got some soft folky music.

Last week, FrostClick linked to the album A Softness by Sea Birds. I needed something to listen to in the background while I was at work, something that wasn't too distracting.  Sea Birds fit the bill quite nicely, with a nice, soothing EP.  There was even a mix of banjo in there, which I appreciated.

 About Sea Birds

Sea Birds is actually Morgan Enos, who has apparently released other music on the website CLLCT (a website that I need to explore more in depth, I might add).  You can read Enos' blog at http://morganenos.blogspot.com, where you can also find the lyrics for A Softness.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Joshua Watkins

I don't know how I missed this one in my RSS reader before - I religiously follow Free Albums Galore, and while I skip over some artists I click on my fair share of links.  Apparently he linked to hip-hop artist Joshua Watkins, and I was unaware of this series of events.

It was only brought to my attention that he exists today when I read a review of blocsonic's netBloc 32 over at My True Vision Music.  Well, I'm glad I stopped to read the review because I read around a bit and found links to Mr. Watkins and was impressed!  I'm not a hip hop afficionado by any means (this should be obvious at this point) but I know when I hear something I like.

I'm really trying to find some information about Watkins, but I'm at a bit of a loss.  All that I do know is that this is his second album, and you can get it from Bandcamp here.

Tips for Music Blogs

One of the things I'd like to improve about this blog is how I write about the music I tell you about.  So I consulted a few sources (read: I did a Google search) and came across this well-written piece:

How to write a music blog (ipickmynose.com)

I've already violated number 13 with another re-design (okay - I did it because I thought the previous version looked cluttered and unreadable - that probably doesn't count as a "violation"), but I find it comforting to know that I'm at least doing some of this blog right.

Anyway, I also want to hear from any readers: what do you want to see on the blog?  Is there anything I can do better?

Some things I want to see:
- Interviews with artists
- More creative write-ups
- ???

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way either in the comment box or altairwaves@gmail.com.  Thanks!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Proof that there is a mix-tape for everyone

This is probably the strangest compilation I've come across, but regardless - it is a free collection of music that I simply must pass on due to its nature.

MixGalaxy's Music for Danny DeVito is, naturally, exactly what it sounds like: a mix-tape put together by MixGalaxy specifically for Danny DeVito.  The compilation varies wildly in genre, so there are a few tracks that I skipped over but there were others that were quite good.

Check it out if you get a chance!

(orig. posted by FrostClick)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

netBlocs & CXCW

I'm sure I established this before - I'm in the midst of a "writing week", where I am supposed to be spending my time working on my fiction writing.  So of course I am instead writing about free music.  It's a lot more fun and much more rewarding!  Anyway, I have a couple of sites to point you to today.

I honestly can't remember if I've mentioned blocsonic before - well no, I'm sure that I have, but more specifically, I can't remember if I've mentioned the netBlocs that curator Michael Gregoire (or mGee on Twitter) puts together.  So I'm mentioning them now, because they are really great.  The basic idea behind them is that mGee scours other netlabels for cool, free music and puts it all into a compilation album for release on blocsonic.  Sort of like what I do, except he's more successful and picks better music.

Volume 32 is avaialble now, so go and download - I particularly recommend Palloc, Danish Daycare, and 13adluck & uh-oh.

Next up: CXCW.  I wish I knew about this last week - it stands for Couch-by-Couch-West.  It's admittedly a bit of a silly idea but aimed at anybody who couldn't attend SXSW + are fans of independant music.  I haven't checked out the whole blog, but from what I can see on a cursory glance, it's a bunch of people recording music on their couches and posting it online for all to see.  They've awarded various prizes for "Best so-and-so" - check it out, and have a laugh.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Show Notes: #22 - Jazzin' it Up

Episode 22 is officially available!  The show started off a little rocky but I recovered - I blame either the beautiful afternoon sun beaming into my "studio", or the advent of the gigantic full moon later tonight.  Take your pick.  A couple of new tracks from The Red Hook Ramblers, Pinkle, and Yvalain - all in all a neat sounding show!  The playlist is below...

Playlist:

Total length: 31:13
Thanks for listening!

#22 - Jazzin' it Up

Episode 22 is officially available!  The show started off a little rocky but I recovered - I blame either the beautiful afternoon sun beaming into my "studio", or the advent of the gigantic full moon later tonight.  Take your pick.  A couple of new tracks from The Red Hook Ramblers, Pinkle, and Yvalain - all in all a neat sounding show!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shake That Little Foot

Earlier this week I discovered some pretty cool bluegrass over at the FMA.  I already linked to a compilation album with a few bluegrass tracks, but I also found an album that was all bluegrass, from start to finish.

It's a self-titled effort from Shake That Little Foot, released in 2009.  I guess it's nothing ground-breaking, but it does what's advertised: it gives you bluegrass music that you can probably dance to, if you wanted.

Check it out over at the Free Music Archive.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Round-Up Volume 2

Last year I did the popular Irish Round-Up on St. Patty's Day, so I thought I'd do the same again.  I did a quick search through as many sources as I could find to locate some solid Irish music - regardless of sound.  Just to be clear - I'm looking for bands either from Ireland, or a band that fully embodies the Celtic spirit.  Preferably the former.

So here's what I found!

  • I Am Not Lefthanded - Yes Means No - This is an older album, one that I didn't know existed until today!  Exactly a year ago was when I discovered IANL so it's fitting that I include another new discovery of theirs in this year's round-up.
  • The Gakk - This Band Will Self-Destruct ... - Traditional punk sound from Ireland, The Gakk are energetic and fun to listen to.  This album was just released in January 2011 - I think I might slot them into an upcoming podcast!
  • Adam R Sweet - Celticado - Celtic Men - I'm not sure if Adam R Sweet is actually from Ireland, but if you're looking for some good fiddlin' tunes, this is your best bet right here. 
  • Brigan Ensamble - Irish Roots - I think actually this ensemble (Ensamble is their spelling) has two parts, and I'm only linking the first - it should be pretty easy to find the second, though.  It's all instrumental, and the group is from Ireland playing what appears to be traditional Irish songs.  There's even an instrumental version of Whisky in the Jar!
  • Moutpiece - Moutpiece - This self-titled EP is tagged as Irish, so I can only assume that Moutpiece is from Ireland even though the geography information isn't there.  It's cool bit of punk - worth a listen.
  • Roger McGuinn - Drill Ye Terriers - I gotta be honest, I didn't really listen to the lyrics because I was doing some work while listening, but this looks like it's got good Irish roots to it.  Worth a listen; it's only one track.
  • Roger McGuinn - Blow the Man Down - I prefer this one, mostly because I recognize it.  I think everyone knows this song, actually.
  • Fred van Eps - Irish Hearts - This one is really old - 1916, in fact.  This song was found under the Antique Phonograph Music section on the FMA.  It's kinda catchy!
I think that's a good haul for St. Patty's Day!  Hope you have (safe) fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Free SXSW Tracks

See?  I knew there'd be free SXSW tracks this week.  This one I got courtesy of The 6th Sens' twitter feed.

It's basically just a very large list of free tracks with some write-ups; go download!

Old Timey Jazz

More from the Free Music Archive today.  While yesterday I brought you some folk/bluegrass music about treeplanting, today I have something that may cause you to break out into a 1920's New Orleans booze party.  I don't know, it's possible.  Oddly enough, this album was recorded in 2011.

The Red Hook Ramblers performed live on February 8, 2011 at WFMU for the Antique Phonograph Music Program with MAC, and it was recorded for our aural pleasure.  It really does sound like something straight out of the 1920s, and has that New Orleans/Louisiana feel to it.

This is definitely going into the podcast, I assure you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Music for Treeplanters

Okay - this isn't a new album - sorry about that.  But it is pretty cool!  I was browsing the Free Music Archive last night and found this gem in the Bluegrass section: "Hi and Ho, We Plant Trees".  According to the description, it's a 2008 compilation by Peppermill Records "done by treeplanters, about treeplanting".

There are two "discs" in this compilation, which includes a very wide range of artists (including, to my pleasant surprise, The Be Good Tanyas).  There's a wide range of styles captured in this compilation, including a lot of bluegrass.  I particularly recommend The Gruff's "General Store".  Well worth the download!

So, you know, in case you were going to plant trees any time soon - this is the album for you.

East by North-East? Oh forget it

South-by-South-West, better known as SXSW, is currently under way over in Austin, Texas.  At least I think that's where it is - I only pay marginal attention to the festival because there are way too many updates while it's going on.  It's the place to discover new artists, new movies, new tech, new everything!  It sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?

So I thought I'd spend this week doing the same thing I do every week: point you to new artists who release their music under Creative Commons licenses.  And occasionally I will send you a link to some free SXSW music, because you KNOW they always release a ton of music for free every year.

I'll have some more links soon - but in the meantime be sure to check out I Am Not Lefthanded (see yesterday's post).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Previously on I Am Not Lefthanded...

Another one of my favourite discoveries from last year, I Am Not Lefthanded are coming out with a new album this year!  It's going to be called The Fire and the Sigh - and the first single is due out mid-April.  I'm pretty excited for it!!

In the meantime, to keep you hungry, the band has released a new EP titled Previously on I Am Not Lefthanded.  You can get it here.  Basically, it's a re-release of some of their older songs.  If you've downloaded any of their stuff before, you might have heard some of them, but there are also some new tracks on there.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Back in (iTunes) Business!

Good news!  With the help of some great support staff from Apple/iTunes, I was able to get the OLD podcast removed (the one with the broken feed), and my new feed approved.  So now, Alternative Airwaves is back in iTunes!  Currently only 3 episodes are available (#19, #20, #21), but I don't think I'm going to worry about making the earlier episodes available through iTunes.  You can get those by clicking on the #Podcast category.

Here's the web link: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/alternative-airwaves/id424128550

I've updated the iTunes launcher link on the right side of the blog if you want it to load that way.

What is it about strange band names?

As the title asks - what is it about strange band names?  I know I'm not the only one that is lured to trying out new bands solely because of their name.  Thus is the case with Poppy No Good and the Phantom Band, heretofore shortened to Poppy No Good.  Frostclick alerted me to this band, a 5-piece band from France that plays a lot of different instruments to create what Frostclick calls "an overall weird alternative, pop rock vibe."

Valerie over at Frostclick unfortunately doesn't speak French, so couldn't read many of the descriptions available for Poppy No Good.  Well, here I am to offer my assistance as a French speaker!  It actually looks like they've put a lot of thought into their name.  Some of the words are a little beyond my understanding, but I got the gist of it.

Basically, Poppy No Good lists their influences and musical qualities as similar to the Beatles, Nick Drake, and The Doors ("Poppy"); while the 'No Good' portion comes from influences from punk bands like Sonic Youth, The Stooges, and so forth.

Anyway, you really CAN hear their influences in their music.  That's not to say they're imitating other sounds from more established bands; they do have their own unique offering to the music scene.  You can find the download link over at Frostclick:

http://www.frostclick.com/wp/index.php/2011/03/03/poppy-no-good-by-poppy-no-good-and-the-phantom-band/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Frostclick+%28FrostClick.com%29

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Free Hey Rosetta Track

I'm spending this week doing some writing for some other projects I'm working on (see my other blog for details), so most of this week's posts will be pretty short and to the point.  I've got a ton of links to free music in my inbox though, so there will be no shortage of that.

First, Hey Rosetta has a new album out!  It's called Seeds.  That's pretty awesome.  That they have a new album out, I mean, not that it's called Seeds.  The Herohill blog has a free MP3 you can download; the song is called Bandages.  I assume that it is not a cover of the Hot Hot Heat single of the same name.

A side note: I also highly recommend Herohill.  They write some great stuff about Canadian music!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Show Notes: #21 - Birthday Funcast

This week's podcast happens to land on my birthday!  How cool is that?  Plenty of awesome new tracks from artists all over the world this week, including the latest from the always excellent Kellee Maize.  Enjoy!

Playlist:



  1. Matt Dorgan Project - Cold
  2. The Wild - Everything We Need
  3. Tense Kids - Plateaus
  4. Nicolas Falcon - Cyanide Surprise
  5. The Taxpayers - The Windows Break
  6. Very Okay - Where You Go
  7. Sick of Sarah - Autograph
  8. Shinobu - Sometimes I Wish I Were A Cat
  9. Kellee Maize - I Insist

#21 - Birthday Funcast

This week's podcast happens to land on my birthday!  How cool is that?  Plenty of awesome new tracks from artists all over the world this week, including the latest from the always excellent Kellee Maize.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Success!

Yes!  I finally figured out the iTunes stuff!  The problem originally was that the place where I host my feed went down, and isn't going back up any time soon.  So I switched to Feedburner...but you need to update your current RSS feed to point to the new RSS feed.  Unfortunately, I can't do that because I can't update my RSS file.

Anyway, I also didn't set up the Feedburner feed properly before, but now I have and I've got it figured out.  I've re-submitted the podcast to iTunes, and asked them to remove the old one.  But if you don't want to wait, you could always just plug in this address (by going to Advanced -> Subscribe to Podcast):
http://feeds.feedburner.com/AlternativeAirwaves

That will connect to the feed and download the latest episode, which right now is #20.  I haven't gone through and put all the old episodes up, and I don't think that I will.  However I will make sure to update all the old links so that people can download the old podcasts that way.

And actually I would recommend people just subscribe to the feed in iTunes that way anyway (if you use iTunes, that is), rather than wait for it to be added to the iTunes store.  Much faster for everyone, I think!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fixing the iTunes Feed

Just thought I'd put up an update in regard to the iTunes feed...as you know it's been broken for quite a while.  I've been sending a couple of e-mails to iTunes support to try and figure it out, and I think I've got a response today that may help fix everything.

I'm going to have to do some trial & error, but I hope to have things back up in iTunes (or at least have the process underway) by Saturday.

Incidentally there will be a new podcast out this Saturday too!