While we would never recommend illegally downloading somebody’s art, the Internet is still a veritable garden of riches for the broke music fan. If you’re reading this, you’re online already. All you have to do is navigate.
YouTube is a solid place to start to get your fix for new and older music, with full albums available for your listening pleasure, such as the debut from onetime Denver darlings the Lumineers.
Sure, that means that you don’t “own” the album, but what does that even mean anymore? Most people can access YouTube from their phones and most other devices.
Bandcamp is awesome, especially for fans of local music, because you can filter by location and time. So if you select “Denver” and then “This week,” you immediately find the most recent local music. Right there, in your face. If you have a few extra bucks, you can buy and download the songs, helping out the local scene, or just stream them then and there. We found this gem, Master Manipulator by Native Daughters, by doing just that.
This is a similarly useful service, though not quite as easy to navigate. Still, local groups like the Motet have their own profiles set up, with plenty of tunes on hand, which you can find right here.
A few years ago, the big FB improved its game when it comes to streaming music, pretty much rendering MySpace completely redundant in the process. Again, you have to know what you’re looking for. But if, say, you make your way over to Wheelchair Sports Camp’s page, you can find this.
5. Free Music Archive.
There are plenty of archives of free music online, and by definition, one of the most popular is the Free Music Archive. You can either search directly by artist, or you can filter by genre, then subgenre. For example, clicking “rock” and then “goth” gives you access to tracks by Cryosyncopy, among many others.
6. Artists' websites.
Why not just go straight to the horse’s mouth? Many band and musician websites have a streaming section queued up and ready to go. Yonder Mountain String Band’s website, for example, looks like this.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting your music fix for cheap or free on the web. Besides places like Spotify, Pandora, iTunes and Amazon offering free streaming and occasional free downloads, Google searches will reveal all sorts of hidden gems.
7. Check out these cheap live shows for a deal IRL.
When you're done with free streaming of your music, here are a few options happening this week in Denver:
TOKiMONSTA, Wednesday, June 1, Club Vinyl, $10-15
Grateful Dead Thursdays, Thursday, June 2, Quixote's True Blue, $5
"Be Vocal" with Kristi Stice and Annie Booth, Thursday, June 2, Dazzle, free-$5, includes vodka cocktail.