Villagers lead the charge as we soundtrack your weekend...
The Free Music Friday flag is spying at half-mast today as we mourn the loss of King of the Jocks, Tony Fenton. Our abiding memory of the great man is Tone sat at his desk working his way through the week's new batch of CDs, determined to find something fresh and exciting for his Today FM show. He loved radio and music and music and radio loved him back. RIP you legend, you.
Mr. F would doubtless appreciate the top quality tuneage that has come Free Music Friday's way this week.
We are in a download paradise with the 100 free [link]npr.org/2015/03/03/390053158/the-austin-100-a-sxsw-2015-mix tracks[/link] tunes from artists who are heading this weekend to Texas for the latest SXSW festivities.
The bounteous delights include Chastity Belt, Cheerleader, Emmy The Great, The Family Crest, our very own Girl Band, Kate Tempest, Little Simz, METZ, Shamir, Twin Shadow and lots, lots more.
The SXSW giveaways don't end there with the good folk at Noise Trade coming up with their own 30-track festival primer, which numbers Hey Marseilles, Propaganda, Jukebox The Ghost, Surfer Blood and Chadwick Stokes (no relation) among its star turns. That list would normally also include The Stone Foxes, but we've decided to suspend them for having such a horribly hackneyed name.
Conor J.O'Brien treats us to a pre-release listen to another track from Villagers' upcoming Darling Arithmetic album.
'Hot Scary Summer' contains such striking lines as: "Remember kissing on the cobblestones in the heat of the night/ And all the pretty young homophobes looking out for a fight/ We got good at pretending, and pretending got us good."
A gorgeous tune, which has us counting down the days to April 10...
It's rare that FMF gets to stop-off in South Africa and even rarer that we're treated to such a glorious genre-straddling album as Fantasma's Free Love.
To the streams now and [link]3voor12.vpro.nl/albums.html[/link] has the latest from Will Butler, Johnny Dowd, Cancer Bats, Fawn Spots, Ian Siegal and Tuxedo; a bumper [link]www.npr.org/series/98679384/first-listen[/link] crop this week includes Chastity Belt, Set Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield, Houndmouth, Lightning Bolt, Inventions, Twin Shadow and Pearson Sound; [link]albumstreams.com[/link] has an even bumper-er Shura, Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands, Rotting Out, Woodkid, Death Cab For Cutie, Mumford & Sons, Snoop Dogg, Abattoir Blues, Charlie Cunningham, Marina & The Diamonds, Faith No More and Mötley Crüe-covering Chelsea Lankes - but only if you and your device are in the right place, and [link]www.nytimes.com/interactive/arts/music/pressplay.html?_r=3&[/link] focuses this week on young Londoners Evans The Death who are the punkiest of alt. folkers.
America's NPR also treats us this week to live download sessions from Caribbean sensation Aurelio and Fantastic Negrito, AKA the fantastically named Xavier Dphrepaulezz who's back making music after a near-fatal car cash left him in a coma.
After a furious bout of editing, Maverick Sabre has premiered the video for his ace 'We Don't Wanna Be' video, which features kindred American spirit Joey Bada$$.
It's a hard-hitting affair, which was shot in Mav's Hackney 'hood and references the Trayvon Martin shooting.
The video premieres keep on coming with Jerry Fish treating us to this dreamy montage of his 2014 Electric Picnic exploits. It's soundtracked by 'Back To Before', the Louis Armstrong-esque tune that co-stars Carol Keogh. Needless to say, Mr. Fish and his Sideshow will be returning to Stradbally this year for another festival-y blowout.
Danny O'Donoghue joked to Hot Press last year that Sony would make him get up on a tightrope for the 'Man On A Wire' video - and so it's proved to be, albeit with the copious aid of CGI.
Big cheaty-pants' or not, it's a striking clip, which will doubtless aid their return to the top 10.
There's more rock 'n' roll eye-candy from Therapy? who've unleashed this suitably frantic clip for 'Still Hurts'. The first taster from their Disquiet album which follows on March 20, it finds Andy and the boys aging quite disgracefully.
Forget Conor McGregor and his wimpy UFC mates, real hardmen No Monster Cry indulge in that most fearsome of extreme sports, thumb wrestling, in the video for new single, 'The Loneliest Master'.
Culled from their new People Are Weird album which is launched this Saturday in Dublin's Bello Bar with Soil Creep, Laurie Shaw and Mr. Rosso supporting, the clip features a cameo from Owen Colgan, AKA Buzz from Hardy Bucks.
SertOne, the Portadown producer based in Liverpool, impresses with new tune 'Lost + Found', which has Maribelle from Melbourne as its featured vocalist.
The accompanying vid was created by Brendan Canty of Feel Good Less who've also worked with AlunaGeorge.
Quality stuff all-round, which explains why BBC Radio One are among his burgeoning fan club.
Johnny Marr is streaming the cracking live version of Depeche Mode's 'I Feel You' he's releasing - on vinyl, natch! - as part of April 18's Record Store Day 2015.
FMF is all sorts of excited about the imminent release of The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead?, a look back at the London punks' 39 glorious years on the planet.
The Pistols and the Clash may have caused the bigger global commotions, but Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Brian James and Rat Scabies beat both of them to releasing the first UK punk single ('New Rose') and album (Damned Damned Damned). They've also outlived the aforementioned, with a recent-ish visit to the Dublin Button Factory spectacular proof that they can still cut it live.
Filmmaker Wes Orshoski has managed to bag contributions from Chrissie Hynde, Nick Mason, Mick Jones, Duff McKagan and Lemmy who was the subject of his previous documentary of the same name.
Premiering next week at SXSW, it'll be crossing the Atlantic shortly.
The first teaser has appeared online for Cobain: Montage Of Heck, the eagerly-awaited Kurt doc made with the assistance of Frances Bean Cobain and other members of his family.
Receiving its Stateside HBO premiere on May 4, it looks to be a tender but brutally honest portrait of a flawed genius.
Which is yer' Free Music Friday lot for another week. We hope you'll join us in raising a glass to the memory of Tony Fenton, a marvellous DJ and all-round top man. And don't forget to keep those links coming to @stuartclark66
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