With news that King Khan’s band has broken up, I understand if your Alterno-Desi musical heart is a little crushed. Never to fear, Sunny Ali and the Kid have just dropped their first EP with enough songs to heal the pain away. You can download the full album for “pay what you can”. Or free. Your choice.
This Philidelphia based low-fi-cowboy punk duo of Hassan Ali Malik (that would be Sunny) and Abdullah Saeed (aka “The Kid” aka The Pork Adventurer) have just released their first EP, Try Harder. The band is relatively new having just started late last year but they already have a strong following. The EP has a fresh sound, reminding me of Texan deserts and dusty mirages. Recorded in a tiny 10×10 room on a “crappy program,” the album has a certain raw quality – but they guys are excited to share their music. You can check out my Q & A with the band a few months back on the Taqwacore Webzine.
What is odd to me is how this band is using a “pay what you can” model of distributing this album. Radiohead did this in 2007 when they ended their contract with EMI label. The idea is that even though most people will download the album for free there will be hardcore fans out there that will make a contribution to the band because they are invested. Takes costs benefits analysis to a whole new level. In Sunny Ali & The Kid’s case, people have been making donations for the album and the band has been fully appreciative.
Sunny Ali and the Kid aren’t the only ones dropping entire albums online for free. The Das Racist mixtape Shut Up, Dude can be downloaded off of their MySpace page entirely for free. Ridiculously surprising that after all their internet fame, their music is still not available on iTunes. You can download the album at this link if you haven’t yet.
A couple of weeks ago, another band also just dropped their new EP online for free, The Kominas. You can download mp3s off their album Escape to Blackout Beach for free OR for $7. I’m still confused as to what the $7 fee gets you, but I guess the hardcore musicians understand the differences in formats that the $7 gets you.
Not surprisingly, The Kominas EP also has a new sound that has a bit of that low-fi-grit-punk element. With a little bit Punjabi grime thrown in. They’ve grown up, musically at least. Some of the songs, like Silver, Armo and High Noon, could easily be a Sunny Ali & The Kid mashup. The Kominas dropped the album days before heading out on their UK Summer Tour – where they are playing with Riz MC & Fun Da Mental, hanging with Cornershop & Asian Dub Foundation and have a five day recording session with Tigerstyle. No doubt the next few songs coming out of The Kominas will be heavily influenced by these old skool Asian Brits. Can’t wait.
Though more rock sounding than the previous mentioned bands, The Throws also have a free song that was released this past week.
If you haven’t figured it out – I kind of like music. I’m also surprised at the amount of free music that I’ve downloaded directly from the artists over the past few months – free music is the new wave of the industry, it seems. I also really love free Alterno-Desi-esque West Coast-ish music. Obviously, I write on this site music that I’m networked into – but I’m always willing to expand. If you have any other musicians, hip hop, punk or otherwise, that have EPs, tours, or most importantly, free music – please feel free to send them my way.