Best of SXSW: These New Puritans

Here's a live shot of These New Puritans at Emo's in Austin, Texas today (March 12th) for the Terrorbird day party. They were so good that we have selected them for our Best of SXSW feature (coming soon), which will feature all of the great bands we see this week. For now check out our free playlists and SXSW 2008 Pre-Party. Here's the Download Music review of These New Puritans:

"In '08, the Arctic Monkeys are practically pensioners. Time for a new round of smart-aleck young Brits! These New Puritans smartly fit the bill of Latest … Read more

SXSW begins!

Today is the first day of South by Southwest 2008! And while many people who aren't in Austin could care less, music lovers and industry folks consider this event the real "March madness." A projected 1,600 bands will be in and out of Austin over the next four days, which will create a seemingly endless wall of sound which begins around noon each day and ends after last call. Yeah, sure it's a lot of fun but if long lines and Mardi Gras-size crowds aren't your thing, you can experience the bands of SXSW … Read more

Free SXSW 2008 playlist

Whether you're going to Austin, Texas, next week or not, it's always good to update your music collection with bands appearing at the annual South by Southwest music conference and festival. There are a few big names like R.E.M., Paramore and Talib Kweli playing this year, but this isn't Lollapalooza (or Austin City Limits for that matter). SXSW is all about discovering new music, and with more than 1,600 bands booked this year, you may need a bigger iPod.

To see a list of bands that we're excited about this year, check out … Read more

Once Soundtrack wins an Oscar

The story of how Once went from a low budget indie film to an Oscar nomination (and win!) is arguably more compelling than the movie itself. But its simple storyline and amazing soundtrack is why it deserves such praise. Last night, Glen Hansard and girlfriend, Once co-star, and singing partner Marketa Irgl?va (a.k.a. Swell Season) took home the Oscar for Best Original Song. If you haven't heard "Falling Slowing" yet, it's only two clicks away. Here's our review:

"Ireland's Frames have built one of the more lovely and melancholy pop … Read more

Tommy Guerrero interview/performance podcast

Former pro skater Tommy Guerrero stopped by Studio C last week to promote his latest CD, Return of the Bastard. Along with telling skating tour stories, talking about Amy Winehouse, and breaking down his term "fatinum," Tommy got down on his guitar and strummed a few tunes for us, too.

Listen to Tommy Guerrero live in Studio C

Listen to tracks from Return of the Bastard

Killer Download: Organize, tag music collections

I get my music from several places. Over time I've ripped most of the CDs in my collection and have also bought songs on iTunes. Though file sharing is tempting--and fairly popular judging by our Most Popular list--I've only used those applications a couple of times over the years for long lost remixes. I guess I try to stay legal out of respect for the musicians, but this article isn't about the legality of file sharing.

The problem is, when you get your music from a lot of different sources, you end up with strangely tagged tracks … Read more

Ask the (music) editors at 11am!

Are you new to Music and don't yet know what to do or where to start? Or maybe you're tired of iTunes and are looking for alternative ways to get new music. Or perhaps you're simply a Download Music regular who just wants to chat.

Whatever the case, join me today Thursday Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. Pacific time (2 p.m. Eastern) for a live online Q-and-A session, where I'll do my best to answer any and all music- or site-related questions you might have. To participate, just visit the live chat pageRead more

Thriller turns 25

Just when you though it was safe to walk around the graveyard at night, Michael Jackson's Thriller is back to remind us that's not such a good idea. It's about time we reflect on MJ's music (not his personal life) and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the biggest selling album of all time. Legacy Recordings just reissued the CD with shiny new packaging, a bonus DVD, and previously unreleased tracks, such as remixes by and/or with Kanye West,, Fergie, and Akon.

And to add to the big event, is presenting &… Read more

Grammy nominees playlist

Between the Super Bowl, Super Tuesday, and the Grammy Awards, I think it's safe to say we're a competitive nation. We take pride in our favorite teams, politicians, and musicians, and we like to see how they match up against the rest. Contests that involve judges and not referees (like award shows), however, can get controversial. For example, we all accept that the Giants are the champions, but if Kanye West doesn't win a Grammy--watch out! We may never hear the end of it.

Whether you agree with academy or not, the Grammy awards are entertaining and … Read more

Chowder Bowl

There's more at stake than usual in the Super Bowl this Sunday. There's bragging rights for not only Giants and Patriots fans, but also between Manhattan and New England clam chowder lovers nationwide. In other words, it's "chowder vs. chowda." There's even a friendly wager between New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino where the loser will donate local foods (such as pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, and chowder) to charity in the other mayor's city. So, may the best team/soup win! To get in the spirit, here's a free playlistRead more