Going great lengths for free music: Berkeley style

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In this age of instant gratification and proliferation of online distribution, people just don’t want to take the time and effort to pay for music. Free is the new black, it seems. For this reason, we at the Clog have compiled a list of great opportunities for free music around Berkeley, both live and recorded:

1) Street musicians: Street performance is an old trade, but it hasn’t died out. Many musicians “occupy” the streets of Berkeley to share their talents, especially on Sproul and by the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We’ve even seen a guy play on a drum kit made out of buckets and PVC pipes! While they’re inherently free performances, these performers would appreciate some tips in the little hats they’ve laid down.

2) “Hanging out” in front of the Greek: Say you really want to see a concert at the Greek right here in Berkeley, but you can’t shell out the $50 they charge for tickets (it’s crazy, right?). A tried and true method that’s better than not going at all is sitting outside of the Greek. From experience, you can actually hear the show very well! You’re not going to see anything, but that’s a given. If you chill out anywhere in a 50-foot radius of the theater or happen to have friends in Foothill Building 9, your ears shall be happy!

3) Clarinet Symphony — Unit 2: Some of us here at the Clog live in Unit 2, so we know about this sweet little deal. We’ve been talking about free concerts, but what about private shows? If you stop by Unit 2 during the afternoon, your ears will be privy to a private clarinet lesson! That’s right — a Unit 2 resident likes to practice the clarinet, and combined with the thin walls of the units, it’s like your very own private showing that gets more and more tuned with time.

4) Free Records — Rasputin: If you’ve walked down Channing Way in front of Rasputin Records, you may have seen a tattered cardboard box with tattered record covers to match. Well, they’re free for the public to take! And, like, vintage! Well, it would sure make any hipster or music buff happy, since it’s mostly a collection of ’70s B-artists who never really “made it” and subsequently weren’t selling well for money. Treat yourself to their graveyard of rejected albums!

5) Chasing down mixtape people: Speaking of free music on Telegraph, you may have seen people walking up and down the road giving away free rap mix CDs. It’s usually inconvenient for most Telegraph patrons, but say you really want one of these CDs and don’t know when they’re going to be there. Here’s what you do: Sit in a restaurant on Telegraph facing a window with a view outside, preferably between Bancroft Way and Haste Street. If or when you see them coming, run in the opposite direction and nonchalantly walk toward where they’re coming from. Let them ask you if you want one — don’t worry, they will — and then casually take it from them. Voila! You have a free CD. No guarantee that it’s actually good, but it’s (usually) free!

6) Solo frat raves: Frats play their music loud. We’re all plenty aware of this from when we actually try to get to sleep at a decent time on Saturday nights. If you’re looking for a dance party but don’t know anyone in the frats or don’t want to be surrounded by sweaty bodies, start your own party outside one! Through the consequences of dubstep, you’ll be able to feel the beats through the ground even when you’re outside, and you’ll be free from the judging eyes of frat-goers! A win-win, we say.

7) SUPERB: Instead of going these great lengths to score some free music, you can wait for some SUPERB shows — which are completely free and put on for the students specifically! SUPERB will be posting the schedule soon on its website.

Image source: Hailey Simpson, The Daily Californian 

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