So, I've been playing a bit more with Free Software DJ tools on my computer, namely Mixxx (a DJing/mixing applicaiton) and Prokyon3 (a database application to organize music and create playlists). Both applications are cross-platform, which I really like because then I can promote them to pretty much everyone. Today I was mixing some electronica with a spoken word track of Alan Watts. It was fun. I only have one sound card, so I can't really properly DJ (you need to have a monitor).
I was using an old version, stable version of Mixxx, but I'm going to jump to the beta testing version. I would say this application is close to being something more than a toy, something that could be used in a professional setting, and from the looks of the developers e-mail list, the project seems active.
I'm really impressed at how much really great music (that few know about) is under a Creative Commons license. That is why I've decided that as a DJ, I would play only Creative Commons music. Of course, I'm a long way from being able to do gigs, but I'm pretty sure this is something I will become. In the mean time, I can toot the Commons by letting you know some of the great music I've discovered.
So, I revisited magnatune.com for the first time in a long while, and I was pleased to see that they have a "if you like this artist, you may like.." feature to their web site. So, following a trail, I've tuned into the free streams of these albums and I'm quite impressed.
Zilla - Egg : hammered dulcimer with beautiful ambient/downbeat electronic backdrops
Burning Babylon : infectious dub, "Jamaican roots tradition, but with an ear for the neo-dub stylings of the present day."
Headroom Project : "fuses traditional world music with modern rhythms and audio design, resulting in driving beats full of natural power, color, and heat."
Drop Trio : "melody-driven funk jazz band...careens between styles, with feet squarely in the New Orleans funk and Acid jazz camps, and nods to such diverse influences as progressive rock, classical composition and electronica."
As well, I've updated the Free Culture Carleton page about places to get free music. Tell me what you like about the Commons, I'd really like to know.