Festival and label comp CDs used to be a great low-cost way to find a new band or the name of the one that played that song you liked but couldn't remember because you were busy getting treated by medics for heatstroke at The Gorge.
But now, with the Internet and file-sharing technology, those days are gone. Comp CDs are yesterday's news. In their place are better, cheaper free downloadable mix tapes.
Spin Magazine has released a lot of them recently, everything from a Nirvana tribute album to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Nevermind, to curated mixes of what Spin thinks is hot. The magazine just released a new mix of its favorite acts playing at this year's SXSW festival.
This free (free!) download has everything from the new hip-hop underground (Cities Aviv, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, DaVinci) to the new generation of noise-punk pigfuckers (Dope Body) to the new synthed-out poptronica (Blondes, Tycho). It's a great way to catch up on SPIN Essentials (Cloud Nothings) or the under-the-radar art-weirdos that we keep hinting are great (Bleached, Ava Luna, Xray Eyeballs)
The Austin Power Mixtape can be downloaded for FREE here.