By Princess Tightwad, the parsimonious eco-warrior Princess Tightwad likes bargain basement music. 100% Colombian by the Fun Lovin’ Criminals for 99p? Oh yes. I’ve written about the joys of charity shop CDs before. But legal music for free? Bring it on.
So when I stumbled upon www.last.fm while looking for an obscure track on the internet, I thought I’d discovered a pay-as-you-download unter-iTunes. But no, here is a site where you can create your own radio station of favourite music, play full tracks and not pay a penny. I don’t always want a full album. Lily Allen is a case in point: generally the Bedales-educated mockney socialite irritates me with her faux glottal (glo’al?) stops and perceptions, but I like a couple of her tracks. I don’t have an iPod. What to do? Log onto last.fm, listen to LND or Smile until they grate on you, then simply ban them from the playlist. What’s the catch? I haven’t found one (yet). So I set about creating the Princess Tightwad library. I have a bizarre and eclectic taste in music. I swing from Senegal to Israel via Argentina, from techno to the medieval, from film scores to German industrial metal, from classical to chillout and from male to female via the Pet Shop Boys. It’s all there on last.fm. Mr Tightwad subjected his colleagues to my radio station at work and one of them begged him to switch it off as it â€œdidn’t so much jump from genre to genre as backflipâ€. Perhaps this has something to do with the random play feature: Aretha Franklin one minute, Brainbug the next. When I’ve tried to tag and play the genres, last.fm tells me I’need to be a subscriber to listen to this station’. Subscribing is only