In On the Download, we sort through the riffraff of the digital universe to provide you with links to the best in legitimate, artist-approved exclusives. It's instant gratification at its finest, minus the spirit-crushing regret and premium price tag.
One of the best things about attending the annual South by Southwest music festival is the abundance of up-and-coming talent. But don't fret if you're unable to make the trip to Austin this week: The SXSW site has posted hundreds of MP3s from this year's lineup. Simply browse through the week's schedule and look for the cassette symbols next to designated artists for a free track. Or save yourself the trouble and grab the whole thing in a single torrent. In the end, you'll have enough new music at your fingertips to keep you occupied until next year's bash (http://2007.sxsw.com/music).
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Before Nike employed Aesop Rock and LCD Soundsystem to kick off its Original Run series on iTunes, Los Angeles native Steve Boyette, aka DJ Steveboy, was raising pulses with his own workout mixes. "My wife is a runner, former aerobics teacher and hard-core marathon trainer, and for years, I've made run mixes for her," Boyette tells us. As an afterthought, Boyette asked his wife if she thought other athletes might dig his mixes. He's been downloaded more than 3 million times since. Along with new weekly hour-long sets, his online archive brims with sweat-inducing blends of electronic and funk - and it's all free. After all, it's your waistline you want to slim down, not your wallet (www.djsteveboy.com).
On the Download
Getting the band back together has never been more popular, and after last year's comeback tour, the members of Dinosaur Jr have learned to tolerate one another's flannel-clad presence, at least long enough for a live DVD and new album. Slated for a May release, Beyond marks the first LP in nearly twenty years to feature the band's original lineup. But can grunge make a comeback? Decide for yourself at Pitchfork, where you can download the new track "Almost Ready." No, it's not as exciting as the Police reuniting, but at least it's more reliable than this summer's scrubbed Van Halen tour with David Lee Roth (www.pitchforkmedia.com; search Dinosaur Jr).