Have you heard the Fingertips Top 10 lately?

Checking in on the Fingertips Top 10 is always a good way to stay in touch with the best free and legal downloads being featured here week to week, especially if you have a hard time listening to all the songs as the weeks go by. Songs stay on the list for a maximum of three months, so the list is continually undergoing a slow evolution. The player will let you hear them as a 40-or-so-minute stream, and a very pleasant 40 minutes it is….

Site up and running normally

Don’t know how many people noticed, but Fingertips was hacked somehow back on Friday and it took the tech team most of the weekend to get things back on track. At no point was the site as “dangerous” to visit as implied by the god-awful messages Google felt the need to insert in place of access to Fingertips over these last few days. I’m not very happy with this “Stop BadWare” organization, which makes everyone look not only guilty but evil until proven innocent, and intend to look into what exactly they’re up to and why.

But anyway, we’re good now. Note that there will be no standard updates this week, as Fingertips goes from being hacked to being on vacation. New free and legal MP3s will be back on or about Wednesday September 8th.

Removing five MP3s; not free and legal

I am sorry to report that MP3s I have featured intermittently over the last couple of months from the music site Direct Current are not, after all, free and legal.

This comes as an unpleasant surprise to me. I had previously contacted that site and was led to believe the MP3s there were sanctioned.

As a result, songs by the Books, Arcade Fire, School of Seven Bells, Sophie Hunger, and Sarah Harmer have now been removed from Fingertips.

Many apologies for the misunderstanding and the illegal postings. If you’d like more information about the situation, check the Fingertips Facebook page, where I posted a more detailed note about what happened.

The Fingertips Top 10, currently (with impromptu contest)

The Fingertips Top 10 has turned almost entirely over since the last time I posted it, which was in August; just three songs remain from that list. Anyone interested in an impromptu contest, how about this: the first three people who can each identify one of the three songs that are still on the list from the last top 10 post on the blog can pick a CD for free from the Fingertips Prize Closet. Just because. Leave a comment below, and I’ll leave an answering comment corroborating each winner and let you know how to get your prize.

Again, there are three songs that remain from the last top 10 posting. Your job is to identify just one of them. Once someone identifies one of them, he or she is the first winner, and for you to be another winner, you must identify one of the remaining two. Likewise, the last winner will have to identify the remaining one.

Note that all comments are moderated. I’ll try to stay on top of them, but it is the weekend, meaning I’m not always at my desk, so there may be some delay between your posting it and it appearing.

Okay, here’s the current list. You’ll have to look for the last one on your own.

1. “She Comes to Me” – Adam Arcuragi
2. “Gloomy Monday Morning” – the Black Hollies
3. “Madeline, Every Girl” – Cameron McGill & What Army
4. “Turpentine” – Vandaveer
5. “Tammie” – the Dø
6. “Gold and Warm” – Bad Veins
7. “Gold Rush” – Basia Bulat
8. “Turning Into You” – Wheels On Fire
9. “A Bus Called Further” – Heroes of Popular Wars
10. “Hoping and Waiting” – the Hush Now

Good luck to one and all. To find out if you’re a winner, I’d suggest waiting till Sunday night or so to check back in.

New Fingertips Contest: win three new Radiohead expanded CDs

So I’m not a huge fan of expanded CDs, repackaged stuff designed, it seems, all to often, simply to get you to spend more money on something you’ve already spent money on.

Then again, this is Radiohead. So on the one hand we should be even more suspicious of the record company’s motives (this is their former record company, after all), but on the other hand, all the new material is going to be decidedly worth having. We’re starting with three superb albums–Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief (don’t believe the doubters on this one; it’s mighty good)–and now each of them gets an extra disc of live recordings and other so-called “rarities,” and if you win here then it’s not going to cost you anything. A no brainer, right?

To find out how to enter, go to the Contests page on the main Fingertips site. Deadline for entry is Friday September 25.

Fingertips Top 10, as of right now

The Fingertips Top 10, over on the main site, is an easy way to catch up with some of the best songs that have been posted here over the last few months. I haven’t blogged about it since April, and it’s turned over again since then, so here you have it, as of Friday August 7th. It’s something of a Scandinavian takeover, now that I think about it:

1. “What You Said” – the Decks
2. Trophy Wife” – the Winter Sounds
3. “Die Young” – the Sweet Serenades
4. “Miracle” – Sally Shapiro
5. “Goodbye” – the Argument
6. “Lalita” – the Love Language
7. “When the Devil’s Loose” – A. A. Bondy
8. “Tammie” – the Dø
9. “Gold and Warm” – Bad Veins
10. “Turning Into You” – Wheels On Fire

So let’s see, there are one, two, three, four Scandinavian acts in here out of ten, but I’ll let you figure out which is which. The next song slated for retirement (no song can last on the current top 10 list for more than three months) is “Die Young” by the Sweet Serenades (hint: from Sweden), which will head for the archives at the end of next week.

Like everything else on Fingertips, the Top 10 is idiosyncratic and synchronicitous. No research has been harmed, never mind consulted, in the construction of this list, which is simply my way of shining an extra spotlight onto ten particularly wonderful songs at any given time. Remember, however, that Fingertips only features carefully filtered music to begin with, so you can’t go wrong with any of the MP3s featured here at any time.

New Fingertips contest: win the Jill Sobule CD

Jill Sobule’s new album, California Years, is being officially released this week. You may have heard by now of its unusual history. After her last record company went out of business, Sobule decided to see if she could fund a new album through fan donations only. In January 2008, she launched a web site dedicated to raising money for the album. Her goal was $75,000, to be reached via gifts to donors of various levels, from $10 (you get a free download) to $10,000 (you get to sing on the album; and yes, one fan gave it up for $10K). By early March, she achieved her goal, and ended up with almost $89,000 in donations. California Years is the end result.

It’s too late to have a chance to sing on the album, but now you can win a physical CD of it for no cost at all by going to the Contests page on the Fingertips web site and following the not too terribly complicated instructions to be found there.

10 current free and legal MP3 favorites, otherwise known as the Fingertips Top 10

I haven’t blogged about the Fingertips Top 10 since October, so every song on the chart now is new. (Songs remain in the Top 10 for a maximum of three months.) As of today, here’s the list:

1. “Davy Crockett” – South Ambulance
2. “River of Dirt” – Marissa Nadler
3. “No One’s Better Sake” – Little Joy
4. “I Know My Ocean” – The Traditionist
5. “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh” – Say Hi
6. “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More” – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
7. “It Hurts Me All the Time” – Faunts
8. “Strangers” – St. Vincent
9. “Loaded” – The Idle Hands
10. “White Shade” – Lukestar

“Davy Crockett” just debuted at number one, which is an uncommon accomplishment, knocking Marissa Nadler down a notch. “White Shade” is the next song due to be retired. Like everything else on Fingertips, the Top 10 is idiosyncratic and synchronicitous. No research has been harmed, never mind consulted, in the construction of this list, which is simply my way of shining an extra spotlight onto ten particularly wonderful songs at any given time.

Remember, however, that Fingertips only features carefully filtered music to begin with, so you can’t go wrong with any of the MP3s featured here at any time.