The Internet Archive project is an online library dedicated to archiving media in digital form. One large collection they host is a Live Music Archive, which currently has over 67000 concert recordings available for free, legally, for you to download and listen to. Most of them have an in-browser music player available. All of them have documentation of the artists’ permission to host the shows in the Archive.
There are some obvious selections: over 10% of the concerts are by The Grateful Dead. There are also some surprising omissions. Apparently Phish hasn’t given permission for their shows to be hosted.
Besides these big names, I’ve found shows by many other artists I’m already familiar with, and discovered some new ones I wasn’t familiar with. Here are some suggestions:
- Yonder Mountain String Band played for free at Hartwood Acres last year, and also seem to have a large following on the road
- Donna the Buffalo is another bluegrass band that appears every year at the Grassroots Music Festival
- The Horse Flies are a somewhat more neurotic bluegrass band
- Rusted Root is a local Pittsburgh band I listened to a lot in college, who have recently started touring again.
- The Ditty Bops are a singer songwriter duet who did a cross-country US tour by bicycle a few years back
- Soul Coughing is an excellent band, whose lead singer Mike Doughty is also on the archive
- The first CD I ever owned was by Camper Van Beethoven. Some of their members went on to form Cracker and the Monks of Doom before CVB finally got back together again.
- Mogwai is an interesting indie band which I always expect to be noisier when I listen to them.
- I discovered Godspeed You… Black Emperor on the Archive, and I really enjoy their apocalyptic instrumental music.
- Listening to GYBE led me to Explosions in the Sky
- There aren’t many Jim’s Big Ego shows available, so if you have more, post them!
I’ve probably forgotten some other bands I’ve listened to there, and I’m sure there are others I know but haven’t thought to look for yet.
What good live music have you found on the archive?