Every week, Fingertips reviews at least three free legal music downloads. You can get them sent via email, or just check the website. The week of June 17-23 lists:
"Kidstuff" - Tenderhooks
This song wallops me with its late-'70s new wave vibe but I can't put my finger exactly on why. Put early Elvis Costello, the 1977-79 Kinks, Television, and the Undertones in a blender and this song maybe pours out, with its ringing guitar line, observational wordplay, and solid pop melody.
"Trouble" - Over the Rhine
As the noisy part of today's music scene is dominated almost fascistically by those obsessed with what is bright and shiny and new, there fortunately remain many musicians to listen to who are not simply brand new, thank goodness. To think of the depth and richness we would lose if we really were only listening to the latest MySpace and Pitchfork sensations--but no worries, we're not, and never will. Because some of the best new bands will stick around and hone their art in fruitful and unanticipated ways over the years, just as some of today's most wonderful not-new-anymore bands themselves once gleamed with the newcomer's glow. Long-time Fingertips favorites Over the Rhine are a categoriocal example of how impressive musicians can become as they have the chance to mature and write and perform together.
"Move = Move" - Wheat
And this one oozes the ramshackle charm of 1967-or-so Rolling Stones (the melody to my ears partially echoes "Sing This All Together Now"), without any of the silly bad-boy posturing. And yet "Move = Move" likewise feels rooted right here in the indie-rock-saturated '00s, with its sculpted sound and stray electronic lagniappes. There's a real looseness on display that I find totally wonderful in such an otherwise brisk and focused tune, epitomized by the almost haphazard way the harmony vocals weave in and out of both awareness and alignment.
All this and more, at Fingertips. Free, and legal.