Each year Ben Salmon (the Bulletin’s music writer) compiles a big list of the year’s songs in a compilation called “Near/Far“ that comprises 18 songs by national acts, and 18 songs by local acts. The best part is that these are completely free and legal collections of MP3s that you can download, so what better way to close out 2011 and start 2012 than with something free?
Also at that link: My favorite albums (both local and national) of the year, my favorite local concerts of the year, a bunch of “Top 5” lists from Central Oregon scenesters, a “bonus disc” (aka YouTube playlist) of good 2011 tunes, and more.
Of course, previous years’ Near/Far compilations are still available too (going back to 2007).
And finally, we still have the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Near/Far compilations available for free download. That’s 138 great songs, including The Shins, Arcade Fire, Jamie Lidell, The Avett Brothers, Brendan Benson, Atmosphere, Band of Horses, Aesop Rock, Dr. Dog, Midlake, Das Racist, Superchunk and more. Just click to grab them: 2007 and 2008 / 2009 / 2010.