Internet Archive's Live section

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5 Jul 2006, 6:19

I must say, the greatest source of music is the Internet Archive's (http://www.archive.org) Live Music section.

From the FAQ:

What is the Live Music Archive all about?

This audio archive is an online public library of live recordings available for royalty-free, no-cost public downloads. We only host material by trade-friendly artists: those who like the idea of noncommercial distribution of some or all of their live material. Live recordings are a part of our culture and might be lost in 100 years if they're not archived. We think music matters and want to preserve it for future generations.

The LMA draws strength from the members of etree.org and other online communities of music fans devoted to providing public access to high-quality digital recordings of tradable performances. Typically, recordings are made by the fans themselves. Recordings are preserved in "Lossless" archival compression formats such as Shorten or FLAC (MP3 is not Lossless) for highest quality preservation.

Patrons may download from the LMA with the understanding that the artists still hold their copyrights. All material is strictly noncommercial, both for access here and for any further distribution.


Now, besides the fact that the music is free, the best part about this repository is the ability to hear artists play in non-released venues. (Though, I recognized Steeples from Gut The Van on the Dispatch Live at Middlebury College on 1996-04-16 show).

The quality ranges from bootleg quality taken from a mic at the back of the venue recorded on a tape player to great 'releasable' quality recorded from the mixer to an ADAT. (Dispatch, O.A.R., and Addison Groove Project have some great examples of these).

A good deal of artists have opt-in (as well as quite a few that have opt-out). Some not so surpising such as Dispatch, given their position about commercial music. However I was amazed to see bands like 311, Blues Traveller, and Grateful Dead (3000-some shows, woot!) having some shows available.

The Live Music Archive is also nice for discovering indie acts that you haven't heard of; search through the list, download, and enjoy. I don't think I would've ever been exposed to Addison Groove Project or Global Funk Council (I know, my music taste is in the realm of 'eclectic')

Give it a try, become an überfan.
--Brendan

(edit: Foggy memory, the 'released bootleg' I thought wasn't 'questioned apocalyse' but instead 'steeples')

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