International

Dust River: Permanent Crisis

Listening to Dust River is like suffering through a 90s de'javu. If you didn't know better, you could easily mistake this French band for a popular, now-defunct grunge genius band named, Nirvana. The only real giveaway is the French sounding vocals as opposed to the garbled words of Cobain. Nevertheless, Permanent Crisis reflects a moody, grunge sound that's reminiscent of the movement when it first came out. The songs feature prominent jangly guitars, a rockin' vibe and plenty of attitude. This is the first EP from the group and so far, they're still trying to shape their sound. It's a pretty good effort though. One that certainly deserves to be heard. Give it a listen.

Las Canciones de Maru y Roman (Voy a Explotar Soundtrack)

Las Canciones de Maru y Roman is the soundtrack to the Mexican film Voy a Explotar; roughly translated as "I'm Gonna Explode!" The film tackles the story of Roman and Maru, two angry teens who decide to go on an adventure while making a pact to remain with each other at all times. The actual soundtrack which included music from the film, was initially geared for a commercial release, however, this didn't pan out. This current album is a compilation of 22 tracks handpicked by Carlos Reyes, the person behind Latin blog Club Fonograma. It is now the official soundtrack for the film and is offered absolutely free. Like the film, the record is an explosive combination of music genres, moods and instruments. Definitely a perfect accompaniment to this coming-of-age film.

The Arbiters: Wake Up Dragons

The Arbiters create cool indie alternative rock music with a touch of electronica. The recording is slightly raw but filled very intense energy that you could almost feel as if it's bouncing around the walls. The group sings songs in both English and Russian and they borrow elements from other genres other than indie rock. Wake Up Dragons is the first full length debut for the group. They did release a single titled 'Solo" and made it available for sale on both iTunes and Amazon. For this complete compilation, listeners have the option to buy it from the same iTunes, Amazon or simply download it for free right here or on Jamendo. Give this group a listen.

Phrenia

Phrenia is a Japanese pop singer that has recently made her debut EP available for free download on Jamendo. It's under a creative commons license and one of the few compilations from a Japanese artist straight pop lovers can enjoy. The album is filled with five electronic dance pop tracks that reminds me of those wonderful Japanese anime soundtracks. Phrenia has actually released a previous single on Jamendo as well, titled Yami No Conduct. Compared to her first release, this self-titled debut features tracks with a less prominent rock flair; instead it's mostly all pop. Nevertheless, it's still very enjoyable if you adore J-pop. Grab the download.

Icon Girl Pistols: Crushed Beneath The Wheels

Icon Girl Pistols is actually a four piece band based in Japan. They sing rock, indie and alternative songs and release about one track per month for free download. If you are not a fan of Japanese rock bands or simply can't appreciate it, then you best stay away. and check the other posts. However, if like me, you've grown up fascinated with almost anything Japanese, including Dragonball and Pokémon, then this record is quite a treat. Each track is fun to listen to and definitely worth checking out and downloading. All of their records so far, including this one, Crushed Beneath the Wheels, are available for free download on their website or Jamendo.

International Music Score Library Project

It could just be the largest virtual library of public domain music scores, or at least the largest one I have ever stumbled upon. The International Music Score Library Project, also known as the Petrucci Music Library after Ottaviano Petrucci (credited with producing the first book of sheet music in 1501), holds over 83,000 scores with 1,500 recordings for over 33,000 works of over 4,700 composers. So if you u need some music scores, want to learn more about different time periods in music history and its composers, or simply want to download some of the greatest compositions, this site is a gem. And beginning January 22 of 2011 it also started to support video recordings.

Lohmé: I Love Disco Disco

Lohmé's I Love Disco Disco, is a cool pop rock French affair. When it comes to international bands, my gauge has always been; if it's sung in a language that I don't understand and it still sounds great, then it's worth listening to. I Love Disco Disco is the first full length record from the artist and it comes equipped with 11 tracks that surprisingly are more pop rock than disco. All of the songs are sung in French with the occasional English phrases. All of the songs are upbeat and easy to listen or head bob to, pretty cool French band to watch out for. Grab their album by clicking Download Album.

Music That Matters: KEXP

I fell in love with the series nearly two years ago during one of my lovely commutes to work for one simple reason - it brings you the most amazing variety of music just in time when you can no longer listen to the same songs you had on your iPod since 2000. Each podcast comes with a theme and a selection of sounds (from nearly every genre imaginable, with a slightly greater love for alternative and indie rock) put together by some of the greatest DJs from Northwest.