I’m serious.  This really is the coolest idea ever.  I just downloaded four entire albums for free.  I got Katie Herzig’s Apple Tree, Dawson Wells’s Boulevardier (I just upped my syllable ratio), Matthew Perryman Jones’s Throwing Punches in the Dark, and The Major Labels’ Aquavia.  And what did I pay?  Nothin’.

Head over to NoiseTrade to do it yourself.  They call themselves “fair trade music,” but it’s not so much fairly distributing music as freely giving it away in exchange for your promotion of the artist you download.  The deal is you can download select albums from participating artists if you either 1) send an e-mail to 3 friends inviting them to download the artist, or 2) pay what you think the album is worth.  I opted to spread the word about the artist.  Besides the fact that I’m broke right now, I like to promote good music anyway.

If you find a good artist, you want to get all your friends to download their music, right?  So why not get rewarded for it?

NoiseTrade asks “What happened when the generous, forward-thinking artist met the generous, forward-thinking music fan?  They lived happily ever after.”  Well I’ve got some new music so I know I’m happy.  And I know my friends will be happy if they download some music too.

P.S. Since I should give credit where it’s due, I didn’t find this sweet sight on my own.  I found it at Ryan’s Spiritual Journey.