Free music: It isn't a drag

Download Beck, Kaki King and other musicians' spirited works at no cost

August 17, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

These picks can help take the drag out of click-and-drag music choices. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. All are free, except as noted.

The Complete Videos, Beck, iTunes ( has a video retrospective of Beck available for downloading at $24.99 (or $1.99 each) but, aside from two live ones exclusively added for the package, all the others are viewable on his Web site. The only advantage to downloading the collection is that it provides an opportunity to view his work as a whole, a magnificent bouillabaisse of musical genres and consistently challenging imagery. On the Web site, the videos are assembled on a wheel of fortune; you can choose from the computer cartoon "Gameboy (Homeboy)" to dancing robots at a Japanese high-tech convention in "Hell Yes."

"Yellowcake," Kaki King, Kaki King has steadily acquired a devoted fan base over the past three years for her astonishing, thwacking acoustic guitar work. Perhaps the most worthy successor to the late Michael Hedges, she skirts that unclassifiable ground of folk, jazz and generally experimental- all-get-out.Her third album, ... until we felt red, features her singing as well as playing. "Yellowcake," the lead track, has a gentler finger-picked approach than her previous work, and her quiet vocal is in perfect simpatico. A video is in production.

"Why Won't You Give Me Your Love," The Zutons, This band from Liverpool provides two different videos and audio tracks of this no-frills bar band rocker. One is a homage to Jerome Robbins' West Side Story choreography, complete with a rumble at the end featuring a pas de deux between singer David McCabe and sax player Abi Harding. The other is live, truly live, with a guitar feeding back nastily and the sax having some intonation problems. But it matters not because, in both videos, the colors are vibrant, the sound sharp (the album, Tired of Hanging Around, was produced by ace Brit producer Stephen Street) and the energy infectious.

"Yesterdays," Art Tatum, Simply extraordinary. Art Tatum was among that stellar group of pianists whose technique defies what would normally be considered humanly possible. He has not been served well in visual documentation. Here he stuns a 1950s TV audience with a version of Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" that synthesizes late Romanticism, neo-Classicism, Dixieland and a suggestion of just how magnificent a stride player he could be.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.