Free Culture Sampler 2014

This year we have extended the sampler to include music, talks and podcasts. Once again the sampler is deliberately eclectic; you probably will not like everything, but we hope you will discover something new and enjoyable.

If you like this disc you might be interested in last year's offering as well: http://wiki.softwarefreedomday.org/MusicSamplerSFD2013

You can download a zipfile version of the Free Culture disc here: http://sfdkw.dyn.theworkingcentre.org/2014/sfd-2014-sampler.zip

(Please be mindful of our bandwidth. If you wish to distribute this zipfile to others, please mirror it from your own site.)

Music Tracks

"Cho PD - CABACA - Free Music 2" by CC Asia Band

from the album "CABACA"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/tw/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/28951

To those of you who accuse us of including this track for its chorus: we plead guilty as charged. But this track isn't filler. In addition to being a laid back opener for our mix, but it demonstrates the international nature of the Free Culture Movement very well.

"Power_version" by the Hifi Hustlers

from the album "Blagging It EP"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/album/24239/

Check out that bassline.

"Drop Drop" by Skabrot

from the album "Neotanzmusik"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/de/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/114886

Skabrot is a German band which continues the proud ska tradition of bouncy, tight instrumentation and depressing, rather erudite lyrics.

"Get Away" by Latasha Lee

from the album "LatashanLee"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/77214

This track continues the proud 2014 SFD sampler mixtape tradition of happy music paired with depressing lyrics. I love the combination of 50s rock instrumentation and clever 90s hip-hop lyricism.

This is the only Creative Commons licensed track from Latasha Lee, who appears to be making a career for herself in the standard music scene. I get the sense that it was used as a promotional experiment. Although it would have been nice if she had released more work into the Creative Commons, if somebody listens to this track and becomes a Latasha Lee fan I have no problems at all.

"Space Ride" by Oursvince

from the album "Around"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/8726

It is hard to believe that this is the same artist that released "Perdue" from last year's sampler, but it's true. I like this track's energy; it would make good video game music.

"Close Your Eyes" by Cybernetika

from the album "Colossus"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://www.ektoplazm.com/free-music/cybernetika-colossus

Suggested by Nick Guenther. Ektoplazm is an online music label specializing in the "Psytrance" genre of techno music. Cybernetika is one of the star artists on the site; on this album he fuses psytrance with drum-and-bass backing tracks, all around a trippy space theme.

"Slow Groovin" by Raphael Pistachio

from the album "Orange Grooves"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/37988

Time to chill out. The track's title does not lie.

"Anaximander" by Blaise Alleyne

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Available from: https://blaise.ca/music/songs

Suggested by Bob Jonkman. Blaise Alleyne is a Toronto-based songwriter and violinist, among other things. Anaximander is a quiet folk track about stars.

"Falcon 69" by the Easton Ellises

from the album "Nightwavs"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ca/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/136365

Do you like catchy synthpop? I like catchy synthpop.

This is the token CanCon on this mixtape; The Easton Ellises are a Quebec band which is doing very well for itself on Jamendo (this track was in the top ten most played as of this writing).


from the album "L'AMOUR LA VIE"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/129531

Do you like catchy synthpop?

I think the all-caps are intentional, at least as far as the band name goes. If your French is rusty, the lyrical content of this song is exactly what you think: these guys like New York.

"MICKEY MAOS" by Halloween

from the album "S/T"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

Available from: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Halloween/ST_1099/

As if continually confusing surf rock with the Beach Boys was not embarrassing enough, for years and years I had forgotten that surf rock existed as a genre. Thank goodness I stumbled across this track.

According to the album information, the entire album was recorded in one night, but I am not able to tell.

"Scattered Knowledge" by Revolution Void

from the album "The Politics of Desire"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Available from: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Revolution_Void/The_Politics_of_Desire/revolution_void_-_10_-_scattered_knowledge

Suggested by Laurel Russwurm. This track is calm jazz electronica.

"Scratch" by Ergo Phizmiz

from the album "DIK DOK"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Available from: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ergo_Phizmiz/DIK_DOK/

Suggested by Bob Jonkman. Experimental pop that sounds like old clocks and creaky doors. The artist describes it as the "sound a very dry back makes".

"Reveal the Magic" by The Kyoto Connection

from the album "Wake Up"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Kyoto_Connection/Wake_Up_1957

Soft hip-hop backed by vaguely far-East intrumentals. Speaking of proud traditions, this track continues the proud hip-hop tradition of pairing uplifting choruses with despondent lyrics.

One interesting aspect of this band is that it comes from Argentina, yet the rap focuses on American politics.

"4 Pat" by Nationale2

from the album "House for N2"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/54663

These people really like digits in their naming schemes. They make good danceable tracks, though.


from the album "Other Bands Play, Nanowar Gay!"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/it/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/5334

Most of the tracks NanowaR (now named NanowaR of Steel) put out are not appropriate for a family-friendly free culture collection. This comedy metal band tends towards ribald humour. However, this track is pretty clean: it illustrates the pride the band takes in visiting relatives.

"Looking for a Friend" by The Vegetarians

from the album "A Vegetable Soup of Songs"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Available from: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/3811

The Vegetarians are a pop band from Sweden, as you can tell from their flawless English. To describe this track as Beatlesesque is an understatement, but I think the song stands on its own merits.

"The Temperature of the Air on the Bow of the Kaleetan" by Chris Zabriskie

from the album "2000-2014"

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Available from: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chris_Zabriskie/

Submitted by Bob Jonkman. Chris Zabriskie experiments with a variety of styles, many of them minimalist and experimental. This is a quiet piano-based track that is easy to listen to while focusing on other tasks.

Podcasts and Talks

Here is a selection of podcasts licensed using Free Culture licenses. Some of these podcasts are definitely contentious, and you might disagree violently with some of their content. However, each of them has an audience within members of the organizing committee.

Audio Dharma

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Available from: http://www.audiodharma.org

This is a religious podcast focused on meditation and Buddhism. Although it may be uncool to say so, I (PN) find this podcast helpful in the same way fresh vegetables are helpful; I rarely look forward to listening to the podcast episodes, but I usually feel better after doing so. Sometimes the episodes feel repetitive, it is rare that I feel bored listening to them.

The podcast consists of recordings taken from the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. Somebody plugs a recording device into the sound system, and they publish the results. It is a very effective method for generating podcasts, and one I wish other groups with sound systems would emulate.

One warning: this podcast is voluminous. There are new, long episodes published daily.

We have included two episodes: one from each of the main teachers at the center:


License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/deed.en_US

Available from: http://canadalandshow.com

CANADALAND is one of those podcasts that is difficult to recommend wholeheartedly. Host Jesse Brown is probably best known for his radio show/podcast "Search Engine", which technology topics near and dear to the hearts of Canadian free software advocates. Although there is some overlap of material, CANADALAND is a different beast: it is Brown's attempt to critique the Canadian media landscape. Overall, one gets the impression that Brown hates Canadian media and especially hates Canadian content rules; his belief is that CanCon results in mediocre Canadian content, and that almost all Canadians would prefer to consume American media instead. Brown is also very harsh on Canadian media institutions, and has particular vendettas against the CBC and Globe and Mail. So if you like these institutions, you might not like this podcast.

Having said that, CANADALAND is well produced and exposes much of the machinery behind the Canadian media scene. Ironically, Brown is genuinely attempting to make a living producing Canadian content, and he has been getting traction. A story he helped publicize about Rex Murphy speaking at petroleum conferences made the wider news. He also unapologetically releases material under Creative Commons licenses.

Here are two episodes from the podcast:

Cory Doctorow Podcast

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/1.0/

Available from: http://craphound.com/podcast.php

Cory Doctorow may be the unofficial spokesperson for the free software and free culture movements. he is articulate and "gets" technology sufficiently well that he can express the views that many of us hold. His audio podcast consists of him reading excerpts from his writing. Admittedly, the podcast does get repetitive; Doctorow is obsessed with Digital Rights Management, and it shows. Nonetheless, this podcast is well worth a listen.

Hacker Public Radio

License: Assorted Creative Commons licenses

Available from: http://hackerpublicradio.org

Submitted by Bob Jonkman. Hacker Public Radio is a community podcast network. Members record their own shows, and a curated podcast is released each day. People who listen to the podcast network are encouraged to submit one podcast a year. The podcast topics are often super-nerdy, but here is a selection of tracks that have nothing to do with Linux or computing.

Content note: Some listeners (including some Free Culture Disc curators) may find the contents of our selection of podcasts upsetting and/or politically incorrect. The inclusion of podcasts on smoking does not mean we endorse people taking up the habit.

Prison Radio with Mumia Abu-Jamal

License: CC-BY-NC-ND (See http://fs9.formsite.com/prisonradio/PRform1/index.html )

Available from: http://mumiapodcast.libsyn.com/

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a contraversial figure. Convicted to death row for killing police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1982, he has become a figurehead. Activists on the radical left see him as a political prisoner who was unfairly tried and imprisoned because of his associations with the Black Panther party. Others see him as a criminal who has been unfairly put on a pedestal.

It is difficult to put this context aside when listening to this podcast; Abu-Jamal has an audience because he is a figurehead. The podcast itself consists of very short essays read by Abu-Jamal from his prison cell. I had expected essays about life in prison; instead Abu-Jamal mostly writes about people and current events. If nothing else, he is an excellent orator.

Here are three recent episodes of the podcast:

Snowden and the Future, by Eben Moglen

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Available from: http://www.snowdenandthefuture.info/

This is a four part series of talks by Eben Moglen, which is about the impacts and aftermath of Edward Snowden's revelations about the United States National Security Agency. Moglen is the Founder of the Software Freedom Law Center, Columbia law professor and historian.

The series of talks is epic, and all are worth listening to, but we are including Part III here.

Further Exploration

There is a lot of free culture audio out there! You can find some at the following sites:

If you are interested in discovering more free culture music, you might try:

SFD: 2014/Canada/Kitchener/TWC/FreeCultureSamplerSFD2014 (last edited 2014-09-18 05:25:29 by PaulNijjar)