This Week’s Best Free Music

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There’s a lot of music online–more than most people have time to keep up with. That’s why you’ve got us. Every week, we’ll point you toward three excellent new downloads or videos from chart-topping stars, cult favorites and unknown geniuses.

1. Memorial Day weekend means the Sasquatch! music festival–one of the first big outdoor fests of the season, held at the Gorge, a canyon in Washington State. SPIN is giving away a “Soundtrack for Sasquatch” mix: 17 songs by festival performers including Modest Mouse, Wolf Parade, Wilco, the reunited Guided By Voices, and Reggie Watts, among others. Even if you’re not going to the long-sold-out event, it’s a pretty great summer soundtrack.

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2. Michael Azerrad’s mammoth history of the ’80s indie-rock scene, Our Band Could Be Your Life, was published in 2001. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, this past weekend there was an event called “Our Band Could Be Your Concert,” with 14 current indie bands playing songs by the bands that were the subject of Azerrad’s book, including half of Dirty Projectors as Black Flag, both Tune-Yards and Callers doing Sonic Youth songs, and Ted Leo singing the Minor Threat catalogue. The whole thing is streaming at NPR; don’t miss St. Vincent’s hair-raising take on Big Black’s nightmarish “Kerosene.”

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3. Speaking of indie-rock standards: the die-hard Kill Rock Stars label has had the aptly titled Best Sampler Ever mix online for a while, but this week they tweeted to remind everyone of its existence. It’s a terrific survey of their output, beginning with the triple KO of Elliott Smith’s tender-like-a-bruise “Angeles,” the Thermals’ headbanging rocker “Now We Can See” and the Gossip’s disco-rock stomp “Standing in the Way of Control.” And any mix that includes the circa-1980 Swiss art punks Liliput is a mix worth hearing.