Feel like taking part in kicking the corpse that is the Modern Music Industry? Why not join in and LEGALLY download some free music? Here are a couple of pretty good options:
Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts Vol. 1-4 - Some little band called Nine Inch Nails decided to surprise the world and release 4 albums worth of instrumental material without any buildup or advance notice. You can go to the website by clicking here, but just to warn you, their servers are of course being bombarded, so you might have to wait a few days to get through. They're going with the variable pricing method that Radiohead pulled off with In Rainbows, so if you are so inclined, you can download it all without paying a dime.
Butch Walker - Leavin' the Game on Lucky Street (Live in Atlanta) - I've been a fan of Butch Walker since his criminally underrated band the Marvelous 3 was bringing arena rock to the world while everyone was still stuck in the "Limp Korn Bizkit will actually be around for 5 years" phase. I'll be the first to admit that some of his solo stuff is nowhere near the caliber of the M3 stuff, but live the songs can still work pretty well.
Butch decided to let people download an entire live show (23 songs) for free through this website, it's a very high quality recording, and gives very good evidence of why Michele and I make every effort to see him any time he is in town. It's that and he's Michele's boyfriend too.
Again, you can donate $5 to Butch (who lost many of his possessions where he was staying in Malibu during those fires last year), but that is once again up to you.
Daytrotter.com - I'm rapidly becoming addicted to this website, and the space on our drive is getting swallowed up because of it. To give you the brief story, a couple of guys set up a studio near the Quad Cities on the border of Illinois and Iowa. Since there is not much else to do there, they invite young bands into the studio to record their songs, and they post them entirely for free for the world to enjoy.
Most of the bands that are posted on this page are so unknown, even I say "who is that?" But if you know what you are looking for, you can find some great stuff. I highly recommend downloading the songs by ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, the Thermals, Okkervil River, Illinois and Mobius Band.
RCRDLBL.com - Another newer website that is a little more for the indie rock inclined, this is a new concept website that hopefully will thrive. The site is a record label, and they have figured out a way to let people download their music completely for free, simply by having advertisers foot the bill. The site doesn't have quite the selection that Daytrotter has so far, but you can find interesting things like a preview sample mix of songs from Moby's upcoming cd, as well as the debut ep by 2007 breakthrough band Cold War Kids entirely for free.
Get downloading and enjoy folks!