Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Digging thru the Archive.org

A few weeks ago a friend of mine challenged me to do a show that consisted entirely of freely available, downloadable songs. By "free" he also meant songs that were covered by one of the variety of Creative Commons licenses. The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others to legally to build upon and share. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on the one chosen, restrict only certain rights (or none) of the work.

So I gave it a shot, and from 9 to 10pm last night I played only songs that I downloaded from The Internet Archive Open Source music section. They are all covered by versions of the Creative Commons licenses or are in the Public Domain.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit organisation that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections, and now includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in their collections. There's some amazing stuff in there ... and as the show attested to, there's also some absolutely horrible stuff. I played a bit of the horrible stuff I found as well; it's a bit like the auditions for American Idol -- some stuff i just so bad, that it's good.

Here's a list of what I played, and links to most of them.

I Hate Country - Trey Kulp
Near the Cross - Lucas Gonze
Passing Through El Paso - Adam Hayes
She's the One - Bob Powell
St. James Infirmary - Ticklepenny
Le Waldo Blues - Sylvain Piron
Country Woman - Will Batts
Context Clues - Beak
Fish Without Eyeballs & Whatnot - Snot Patties
Can't Tune a Guitar at All - Lord Open
Hallelujah! I'm a bum - Harry McClintock
What the Devil - Not Daniel Johnson

Image: The CC Glow

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