On the Download

You don't have to have supernatural powers to sense which direction the industry is headed. With that sentiment in mind, we've put together a brand-new feature called On the Download. Each month, we'll sort through the riffraff of the digital universe and provide you with links to the best in legitimate, artist-approved exclusives. It's instant gratification at its finest, minus the spirit-crushing regret and premium price tag.

Earlier this month, Chicago endured a tough loss in Miami, but the Windy City still has something to cheer about with the Ponys. Although the garage-rock foursome won't release its Matador debut for a few weeks, you can score a free MP3 of the first single from Turn the Lights Out, "Double Vision." (www.matadorrecords.com/the_ponys)

Australian producer Neil Mason made record execs tremble when he released the online-only Green Day mash-up album American Edit. Ten days after it was posted, Warner Bros. filed a cease-and-desist order and, well, you've heard this one before. But Mason's Team9 is back in the studio, promising a new album that should be ready to download (for a limited time, at least) in the upcoming months. Until then, help yourself to an abundance of free MP3s at the Team9 site, including mash-up match-ups such as the Flaming Lips vs. Clipse, Midlake vs. Jimi Hendrix and Thom Yorke vs. the Beatles. (www.team9.net/mp3s.htm)

North Carolina's Little Brother just got smaller because of the recent departure of super-producer 9th Wonder, but MCs Phonte and Big Pooh aren't letting it slow them down. Along with its third LP on the way, the hip-hop duo is giving away And Justus for All, a collaboration with mixtape guru (and official DJ of the Cleveland Cavaliers) Mick Boogie. The digital-only release, available to download at Nahright.com, is made up of mostly new material and includes guest spots from Talib Kweli and Rhymefest. And for a bonus, head over to Rappersiknow.com for an exclusive MP3 of Phonte adding a little soul to Toto's "Africa." (www.nahright.com/news/)

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Andy Vihstadt
Contact: Andy Vihstadt