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tommy on 06/24/2009 at 12:38PM
If you're beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by the 9500 tracks now housed in the FMA, have no fear. Curators have been compiling collections and mixes of some of their offerings to help you along.
Excavated Shellac hosts 91 digital captures of rare 78rpm records from the first quarter of the 20th century and has compiled an outstanding mix of some gems from the collection called International Association of the String, "A collection of early masterful fiddle and violin performances - including a few variations on the instrument, such as the kemence of the Black Sea, and the hardanger of Norway." Listen below to a beautiful guitar duet from pre-tango era Argentina.
And if all else fails, find that fellow FMA-er whose got your taste in music, dig their mixes, and browse through their favorite artists, albums, and tracks!
tommy on 06/10/2009 at 08:44AM
It's damn easy to view the FREE MUSIC Archive as just that, an already large (and continusously growing) library of free (as in "free beer") and awesome music downloads. However, a recent flurry of activity and articles concerning copy-left and Web 2.0, file-sharing court cases, and the ever-present performance royalty debate, has reminded me of why I got involved in the FMA in the first place, and it has just as much to do with viewing this archive as a bastion of free (as in "free speech") cultural interaction.
Part of the FMA's explicit mission is to re-imagine/design the function of traditional radio for the digital era by continuing to allow the public free access to new music. Internet radio, and now your local AM/FM station, may benefit greatly from a resource like this, as the government continues to debate over how the public accesses (or "consumes," depending on how you view it) culture, and who owes what to whom.
Terrestrial radio experienced a (temporary?) victory last week when the House of Reps gained enough signatures to block the Performance Royalty Bill from going to a vote. Near the end of 2007 (and right about the time WFMU began developing the FMA. Coincidence? Methinks nay), the Royalty Act was introduced, which would require terrestrial radio stations to pay a performance royalty fee to the performers (artists, musicians, back-up singers, producers, basically anyone involved in the creative end of the production) and copyright holders (the respective record label) on top of the royalties stations already pay to the composers and publishers of the music they broadcast. The revenue generated from these royalties would then be split between the artists and the record label. Just as webcasting royalty rates negotiations continue, this issue is sure to stick around for a few years while the RIAA predictably uses its political influence to sway the bill's detractors. Bob Cherry at Cybergrass.com has written an approachable beginner's guide to understanding the issue, for anyone interested.
More exciting news after the jump!