Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SXSW 2012

SXSW is now on my “Bucket List”: it is 10,000 miles away from here and at a “bad” time of the year, so it will take some effort to get there. SXSW  stands for South by Southwest and it's an annual festival held in Austin, TX in the spring.
When I went digging for information, I was surprised to learn that SXSW was much older, better known and more established than I was aware. (This is a state of affairs that I run into more and more - seems it gets harder and harder to stay tuned in.) I learned that 2012 was the 26th SXSW. It is a week-long (longer now) media festival (primarily music and film) that has grown from an attendance of hundreds to tens of thousands over the years. I understand that the SXSW organizers have recently gravitated towards providing more offerings as well (more and more, digital media, of course) including an extension specifically dedicated to education (SXSWedu).
In my continuing search for free musical downloads, I was delighted to see that you can get free legal copies of some of the music recorded at SWSX. The copy of the music files I found/am aware of is at spinner.com - this appears to be a sub-site of aol.com and was a link from the SXSW.com website. There are sub-sections of spinner.com labeled "SXSW 2012 Free Songs" (online and available for other years as well - try a Google search for <SXSW Music download YEAR>). The site also has a "Free MP3 of the Day" section.
Being somewhat skeptical about TOS for media files, I tried to drill down a bit deeper: under what conditions can I (you) use them? Typical of online resources, the best info I could find says [... you can download some content but don't exceed the rights granted to you.. unless you are authorized ... ]  Nowhere does it say yea. Nowhere does it say nay. But of course, it does say that they can change the rules when they see fit – it’s kind of hard to begrudge them when it is a freebie. Since I am going to provide you with a link to the larger zipped files that contain the music, let's assume we're "free and legal". However, to spare you the extra hassle of downloading their large files (100MB), extracting the individual files, and searching for something you like, I have unzipped and am posting a very limited selection of my choosing this week. Do go get the full zipped files if you like. Actually, if you like it, head to the bands' websites and buy a song or an album or two. That's what it's all about.
I know from previous forays online that several of the bands are amenable/glad to have other folks spread the word, sharing their music-at least for some of their work. You can visit the official websites for this week's choices below, where they provide download options for some of their tunes.
there is so much available ere and my selections here are so limited that I will aim to return with another selected collection at a later date. If you proceed on your own, most of what you’ll get if you download the full set is going to be worth your time.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah [ Statues] [Website]
Jennifer O’Connor [Here With Me] [Website]
William Elliott Whitmore [Hope For You] [Website] - [also see SMM]

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