CD Baby I bought some music online the other day from an outfit named "CD Baby ."  They specialize in selling independent music of all genres and all of it is DRM-free.  It is so much better than buying music at one of those mega-sites because these artists are true artists.  They aren't that Top 40 crap that the music industry tries to force down our throats.  This is real music.

Indie groups are basically groups that haven't been signed to one of the four major record labels (Sony BMG, Universal, EMI, and Warner Music).  These labels account for 70% of music sales worldwide and 85% of music sales in the US.  And most of the money from their sales go to their employees and marketing machine.  The actual music group only receives between 7% and 13% of the income their product generated.


With CD Baby, a whopping 91% of a sale goes back to the artist!  The people who deserve the money for their artistic endeavors actually receive it.  What a concept.  This is the power of the internet.  It has turned the music industry on its ear, completely usurping the "fat cat" distribution model.  Internet radio stations have helped to undermine the traditional payola method of getting airplay.  Myspace and Facebook and other social networking sites have helped Indie bands find their audience, and helped that audience become fans.

ITunes and other large sites sell digital music but the songs usually have the DRM (Digital Rights Management) software attached.  That essentially limits your control over the music you buy and how you can listen to it.  At CD Baby, their music is completely DRM-free.  They have a neat selection system for finding groups you might want to discover.  Each group/album has a list of other more well-known groups that they claim as influences.  I found groups in the Power Pop genre that had influences of The Beatles, The Who, The Beach Boys, Jellyfish, Queen and Barenaked Ladies.  I listened to 2-minute snippets of the songs on their albums and found some real gems.  I stuck the MP3 albums in my shopping cart, paid for them with my credit card and immediately downloaded them, complete with album art and liner notes.

It was quick, easy and within minutes, I was rocking to the following bands:



 Blair Packham: Could've Been King
A true songwriter hailing from Canada with a great voice and ear for music.  His lyrics and tunes are catchy and vivid.  I will go back for his first album, Everything That's Good.  Highlights on the album are "Could've Been King", "The Opportunists", "One-Hit Wonder", "Coming Undone", "Mister Bitter" .. oh hell, the entire album is awesome. (myspace) (official)


 Class Three Overbite: Rendezvous
A duo from Michigan that sounds like a mix of Beatles, Queen and Jellyfish.  Amazing sound that totally rocks.  Highlights on the album are "Milkshake", "Rendezvous" and "No Good Rotten."  (myspace)

 Image Fools and Horses: Pop Filter
Out of Baltimore, Maryland, this group is catchy and rocks.  Highlights include "Would You Know", "The Therapy", "Frera" etc.  The whole album is great!  Put this on at a party and people will rock to it without having ever heard the songs. (myspace) (official)

 Junebug: First
From Wales in the United Kingdom, they are a good representation of what The Beach Boys would sound like if they got their start today.  Add a little Weezer punk sound and 80s rock for good measure and you have Junebug.  I actually bought their second and third albums too, each named Second and Third .  Highlights – "Can't Get You", "Cathode Sun", "Stuck on You."   (myspace) (official)


Indie artists are the best out there and if you're looking for some really good music, I suggest you visit CD Baby.  You just might discover some new favorite bands like I did.  By the way, each of the albums above were in the Sale Bin and when you buy 3 or more from the Bin, each album goes for $5 each!!!  


 Second Saturday

I gotta throw a shout-out to my favorite Indie band from Nashville, a power pop group whose influences include Brian Wilson, Green Day, ABBA, The Ramones and Lennon/McCartney among others.  Their first album was amazing and their second, an EP named Greetings from Mount Rockmore, was equally exciting.  Their next full-length album is due out this fall (any time now!!) and I'm holding my breath.  I've heard some demo tracks and the guys have outdone themselves.   (purevolume )