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Free Music Archive launches

Indie radio stalwarts WFMU (New Jersey) and KEXP (Seattle) are among the curators of the Free Music Archive, which has more than 5,000 songs licensed under Creative Commons licenses.

Wednesday is tax day, so I thought you might be able to use some free music. I don't mean questionably legal file trades or streams or random MP3s delivered via Seeqpod or some other search engine--I'm talking about the Free Music Archive, which launched in beta over the weekend.

Often, sites with tons of free music have a low-quality bar--either they cater to beginning bands, or they're used to promote leftovers and outtakes that artists couldn't otherwise sell. But at first glance, FMA appears to be different.

It's curated by serious music fans, including New Jersey's WFMU, the undisputed national leader in unusual music, as well as Seattle's frequently awesome KEXP, and includes lots of live-in-studio performances on these and other stations.

There are artists you might actually have heard of, like Robyn Hitchcock, Daniel Johnston, and Vivian Girls. And, keeping with WFMU's heritage, the "Experimental" category isn't just an afterthought but a rather major part of the site, with a whopping 1,340 downloads. All songs are licensed for a wide array of uses, including sampling and remixes.

Can't get enough? Want new downloads as soon as they become available? Try subscribing to the site's Twitter feed.

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