I almost forgot it’s about time for the south by southwest festivals in Austin. You know what that means? Mass quantities of music in a free download. The festival organizers last year offered almost 1,000 songs by participating bands in two torrents and it was a great chance to hear new music you otherwise wouldn’t notice. SXSW and CitizenPod are doing it again this year, also offering trailers for movies in the film festival.

All you need is BitTorrent and a high-speed Internet connection (or a low-speed connection with an assload of patience and quaaludes) to enjoy. The coding is fucked up on some of the songs, and like last year the add-ons in the second, smaller torrent aren’t labeled very well, but it’s still a wonderful opportunity that the RIAA doesn’t fully comprehend. (And it’s also a wonderful opportunity for me to appreciate Japan — I averaged a megabyte a second on the download, thanks to an apartment wired for fiber optic Internet. For about $18 a month I get a 100 Mbps connection. In D.C. I paid Verizon twice that for a few hundred kbps.)

Thanks to Ronin for reminding me that it’s SXSW time and for steering me in the direction of Lesbians On Ecstasy, my new best friends. He described them perfectly: “They sound like ABBA rumbling with Ministry inside a women’s prison.”

I haven’t made it very far into my new collection, but already am discovering new shit I dig. Christopher O’Riley rocks the piano with a cover of “Paranoid Android.” I cracked up listening to the opening lyrics of Chris Mills’ “Chris Mills is Living the Dream.” And I was happy to see some Dresden Dolls, who I just started getting into thanks to Bagcast #2. I’m also really diggin’ the Gogol Bordello track.

Download the 2+ gigs of love or peek around the showcases pages to see if you find something groovy and new. If you can’t find anything original enough, take comfort in knowing we’ll always have kiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!