I wanted to give a quick thanks out to whoever signed up under me on e-music.com recently.  I just realized a couple days ago that I had gotten 50 more free downloads because somebody signed up under my account.

So of course I went and used those 50 downloads as quickly as I could.  It took me a couple days. I already had most of the albums picked out in advance, so I mostly got stuff I’ve been waiting to get for a while.

And here’s what I downloaded:

1. As the Poets Affirm – I Wanna Tell My Heart to You, But I Cannot Say English: looking to be a great album so far by an excellent instrumental band.

2. Cold War Kids – Robbers and Cowards: some really great soulful bluesy songs on the 2006 album by the band that Pitchfork hates because they went to a Christian college.

3. Dan Zimmerman – Great Small: this album sounds like a 60-year-old son of a Methodist preacher singing his heart out – because that’s what it is.  Love it so far.

4. Explosions in the Sky – How Strange, Innocence: this reissue of their debut demo CD is more solid post-rock instrumental goodness that you can’t go wrong with.

5. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – The Swell Season: like Once, but more of it.  I’m not complaining.

6. Lenny Smith – Deep Calls to Deep: father of the Danielson Familie and writer of zillions of worship songs, Lenny Smith is a genius with a quirky sound I’m getting into.

7. Solomon Jabby – Firmly Planted: not an amazing album, but it’s still good simple reggae for God, without all the flashes and electronic noises of a lot of reggae of today.

8. The Peasall Sisters – Home to You: this was for my wife and I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but I like The Peasall Sisters for their great vocals, so it should be good.

9. The Singing Mechanic – It Wouldn’t Be What it Is: another album from Sounds Familyre Records, this one is some great piano-driven alt folk with clever lyrics.

So thanks for making all these downloads possible!

And if you’re not with e-music yet, it’s time you got on the ball.  They’re way better than iTunes (unlimited use, DRM-free MP3s) and about a third the cost.  You won’t find all the major mainstream Christian groups there like the Newsboys, Lifehouse, Third Day, or David Crowder Band, but you won’t inadvertantly download a song by Christina Aguilera or Justin Timberlake either, because they also don’t have mainstream secular stuff.

What e-music does have is a lot of independent or nearly-independent bands and artists, and that’s what you really want anyway isn’t it?  For $10 a month, I get 30 MP3s, which works out to 33 cents a piece, which is pretty danged cheap.

When you sign up, you automatically get 50 free MP3s, and then if you decide to stay with them after your free downloads are over, I get 50 more too.  If you don’t stick it out, you still get to keep your 50 MP3s.

So, yeah, sign up now if you haven’t yet.  It’s really an awesome deal.