Free Summer Music Monday

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.

<a href="">Try harder by Sunny Ali &amp; the Kid</a>

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.

<a href="">Want You Back by The Throws</a>

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.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates and blogs at Follow her at

12 thoughts on “Free Summer Music Monday

  1. Is there anybody else who listens to new music on the Sepia Mutiny team?

    I don’t know how else to seem genuine (and not mean) but I’m really not digging this Muslim-Country/Rock/Taqacore type stuff that ya keep posting. Maybe you could do different types of music?

    Once again, maybe the new music you hear is influenced by the crowd you hang out with but maybe music from a different subculture?

    For example, electronica? I know Canada has Indian Electronica but anything of the sort in the rest of the USA?

    Thanks for reading. I usually feel a little bad when I see these threads have such a low comment count.

  2. There’s way too much that’s acclaimed and actually good that’s not on iTunes. I don’t understand how they determine what’s worthy or not. I also HATE that you cannot buy off foreign sites in the US w/o a foreign bank account. WTH?! I’m actually trying to give them (more) money, and they reject it. VERY unAmerican.

    @ Keshav – yes, I listen to it, but I’ve yet to buy anything; though there’s a lot good featured that I already had prior to them reviewing it. However, I wouldn’t mind something beyond the east coast-y hipster grind. Electronica’s a great idea; as is anything actually desh-based.

  3. Maybe you could do different types of music?

    I’ve posted: Janina Gavankar (pop) Chaiwallah’s BoomBox (electronic fusion) Riz MC (grimey hip hop) Koom the Ripper (hip hop), Delhi Sultanate (dub), Transglobal Underground (fusion electronic) Slant (hard rock) Aarthi Meera’s Fair and Kind (ethereal acoustic) Chee Malabar (underground hip hop) Hindustani Gangster (grimey hip hop remix) Red Baraat (fusion Baraat band)

    And that was just in the past year – I don’t really care if you don’t like the music in THIS post but don’t accuse me of not writing about different types of music when I clearly & consistently touch upon a wide variety of musical genres. And the only way for me to write about music genuinely is to write about music I love – so you won’t find me writing any Jay Sean posts, if that’s what you are looking for.

    Like I said in the post, I (and the rest of the Sepia Mutiny team) are open to new music and getting press releases sent to us. If you have a new artist, exclusive interview, or album preview, send it on to the SM tip line.

  4. Desi country rock is Kool. i think more desi’s should be making music for us toe tappers.

    oh man, only the Suffolk date left to go for the kominas.

    i like the pay what you like deal and all that. but i hope bands especially new ones don’t forget the power of a album cover, inlay pictures and writing, love that them bits.

  5. @Keshav why dont u post a link to something u like rather then give her shit for trying to turn u on to something other then the normal metro desi dance BS. and please tell us what jay sean is up to. i think he is on tour or waxing his eyebrows or something

  6. kominas are playing a free london show tomorrow in new cross and I think they’re doing stockholm and brighton as well..

  7. Haha. Wow. Touchy, touchy.

    Just to reiterate, I did post the genre I enjoy. I was simply hoping you could fill me on things I hadn’t heard before in a different genre than a lot of what you had posted before. I’m not that up on the desi scene so… that’s why I’m here in the first place. No accusations or anything of the sort. Don’t know why Sepia Mutiny is always so wound tight all the time.

    I realize its difficult to write about music you may not enjoy but I think you could reach a larger audience with these posts if you tried an even larger selection than what you might be used to. I don’t think its rude to say I don’t necessarily have the same tastes you do.

    Thanks anyway, though.

  8. Wow, thanks for the callow input, ANONYMOUS.

    Don’t know why Sepia Mutiny is always so wound tight all the time.

    Not all the time. Just certain times of the month.

  9. Sweet post Taz, but one thing you wrote was exciting and troubling.

    free music is the new wave of the industry, it seems.

    The ‘Radiohead’ model worked well for Radiohead after they’d acquired their rabid fanbase and I, being one of them, actually paid $10 for “In Rainbows.” I believe artists should be paid for their work, or as my friends put it, I may be an idiot. Of course, if a brand new band offered nothing, not even free streaming, I might not make the effort to listen to them.

    One thing’s for sure, I’ve been listening to the Sunny Ali and the Kid EP non-stop since last week. (after I bought it, of course)

  10. dam could not get out of work to get to south London. hopefully they would be coming back soon. did anyone go?

  11. Did King Khan and the Shrines really call it quits? Please say it isn’t so!!!
    I love Red Baraat too…still need to order the CD