Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hey RIAA! Monitor This!

Those of you who download commercially available music, listen up. There's a way to get a lot of good music free and legally. Well, at least there is if you're a customer of the following stores and locations:

Rasputin Music and Dimple Records in California
Zia Record Exchange in Arizona
Graywhale CD Exchange in Utah
Independent Records in Colorado
Cats Music/Pop Tunes/Sonic/Monster in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida
The Record Exchange in North Carolina and Virginia
Scotti's Record Shops in New Jersey
Gallery of Sound in Pennsylvania
J&R Music in NYC
Bull Moose Music in Portland Maine and New Hampshire

The bi-monthly disc is called "Monitor This," and it provides full tracks from 20 or 21 different albums for listeners to sample (and then hopefully buy the CD associated with the song.)

Oh, and by the way, if you aren't fortunate enough to live near any of these locations, you can visit them online and stream the whole CD.

Now with most sampler CDs, you get a lot of non-established bands with nondescript songs, most of which you'd never expect to hear on the air. That's not the case with "Monitor This." You get top notch bands and top notch songs, though some of them may not be popular quite yet. Let's put it this way: the first "Monitor This" CD I picked up sat around for a while because I didn't know the artists. However, once a month had passed, I found it in my collection and realized it featured Evanescence, Jason Mraz, Simple Plan, and Revis before I even knew who they were. Since then, I haven't missed a disc.

Over the past three years, "Monitor This" discs have featured artists like Jane's Addiction, Dandy Warhols, Van Morrison, Finger Eleven, Nickelback, A Perfect Circle, Jet, Warren Zevon, R.E.M., Iggy Pop, Nelly Furtado, Primus, P.O.D., Moby, Counting Crows, Coldplay, Joss Stone, Polyphonic Spree, Twista, Tantric, Courtney Love, James Taylor, Cypress Hill, N.E.R.D., Norah Jones, The Vines, Ingram Hill, D12, Lenny Kravitz, Gene Simmons, Skillet, Beenie Man, Jill Scott, Quincy Jones, Breaking Benjamin, Bjork, Jimmy Eat World, Papa Roach, Elvis Costello, Korn, My Chemical Romance, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Chingy, Anthony Hamilton, Jackson Browne, Beck, Lifehouse, Lyfe Jennings, and the Game, just to name a few.

One listener described the disc as a "Now That's What I Call Music" CD sent back from the future.

The past 2 issues featured these sweet tracks: "Come On, Come In" by Velvet Revolver, "Wordplay" by Jason Mraz, "Sittin' Sidewayz" by Paul Wall, "Hello Lonely" by Theory of a Deadman, "These Words" by Natasha Bedingfield, "Welcome to Jamrock" by Damian Jr Gong Marley, "Save Me" by Shinedown, "Photograph" by Nickelback, "Supastar" by Floetry, "Wings of a Butterfly" by HIM, "Get Stoned" by Hinder, and "Happens All the Time" by Cold. There are more, but you can get the full list (and listen to them) at www.monitorthis.com.

If you just want to listen, go to the page. If you actually want a copy of the disc, there's only one catch: you have to buy one of the CDs featured on the disc (though many of the stores I mentioned earlier aren't necessarily strict on that, as long as you buy something or at least look around for a while!)

It's completely legal, and it's a good thing. The RIAA can't sue you for it, and you can get a ton of the music you want for a very reasonable (sometimes free!) price. You'll find yourself looking forward to its release every other month!


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