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iTunes: Free Wednesday

The iTunes Single of the Week has finally hit the US store's front page and when I checked this morning all three US items were now finally free. Today also brings us a new free audio book chapter (Catch 22) and a short movie from Elle Fashion Stories. Glamour previously sponsored several short films.

In other news, Australia and New Zealand's SOTWs are a bit messed up. The stores keep sending "Could not complete the iTunes Store request. The store may be busy." So I've been unable to find out whether the singles are free yet or not.

Canada's, France's and the UK's free SOTWs have finally shown up. Each single seems to be correctly listed as free. Let me know if you find otherwise.

Listings after the jump...

US Short Films

Raving
KATIE (Zooey Deschanel) is a bright, rebellious young woman who has chosen to live on the fly, hustling people for money to survive. She lives by her own rules until she crosses paths one day with DITO (Bill Irwin), a lonely, disassociated older man completely adrift after the loss of his wife. Dito, who has seen Katie hustling before, makes her an offer: He'll pay her to help pack up his apartment. Seeing Dito as an easy mark, Katie accepts his offer. The apartment is filled with antiques, jewelry, and vintage fashion. Katie is immediately drawn to a beautiful blue-green dress she finds hanging in Dito's closet. The dress, which fits like a glove, transforms her and changes the way she sees herself. When Dito catches sight of her in the dress, it inspires him to let go of the loss he's been clinging to.

US Audio Books

Catch-22: Free First Chapter (Unabridged Fiction)
This is the first chapter of Catch-22, available for free. Catch-22 is like no other novel. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original. It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.) Catch-22 is a microcosm of the 20th-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid 20th century. The unabridged Catch-22 is also available for download.

US Music

US: We All Want the Same Thing (Featuring Akil Dasan) [Acoustic Version] by Kevin Michael
Each week, we find a track from an artist or a band who's on the cusp of success and bring it to you, for free, as our Single of the Week. This week, we turn the spotlight on Kevin Michael, the young Philadelphia singer who's popped up on songs by the Roots and whose single "We All Want the Same Thing" features a guest spot from acclaimed hip-hopper Lupe Fiasco. It's also a thick slab of Sly-Stone-meets-early-Michael-Jackson-style funk. iTunes has a special acoustic version of the track available for you as our free Single of the Week.

US: Altisimo by Hector Buitrago
Each week, we find a track from an artist or a band who's on the cusp of success and bring it to you, for free, as our Canción de la Semana. If you know Hector Buitrago, most likely you know him from his work with Aterciopelados, where he has helped the group to become one of the most adventurous Latin bands around. This track from his solo debut, Conector, is a mercurial bit of guitar pop featuring Alex Ubago and Buitrago's bandmate Andrea Echeverri.

US: Tonight by Kate Walsh
With a voice like a whisper and her time on earth barely past the teenage years, Kate Walsh walks with confidence on her folk-y, pop tunes. Sounding a bit windswept on "Tonight," she calls out to a lover with only a spare acoustic guitar and some lightly brushed drums backing her up. Combining a rural twang with a more urban pop structure, Walsh finds a great balance on this free Discovery Download.

International

Canada: Scar That Never Heals by Jeremy Fisher
Each week, we find a track from an artist or a band who's on the cusp of success and bring it to you, for free, as our Single of the Week. This week, we present a tune by Jeremy Fisher, the Canadian songwriter who happens to have the same name as our favorite frog character from the Beatrix Potter series. Coincidence? Probably. This Jeremy Fisher has given us a power-pop gem of a tune that could also double as a lost track from Buddy Holly or the Everly Brothers. Great harmonies, a catchy-as-flypaper melody, and an acoustic backing rhythm help keep the focus on Fisher's great, spirited vocals.

France: Digital Monkey by Balkan Beat Box
Chaque semaine, nous recherchons un titre par un artiste ou un groupe sur le point d'exploser pour vous le faire découvrir gratuitement avant tout le monde pour notre Single de la semaine.

Australia: Bomb by PNC
Each week, we find a track from an artist or a band who's on the cusp of success and bring it to you, for free, as our Single of the Week. PNC (a.k.a. Sam Hansen) is one of the most talked-about new artists in New Zealand hip-hop. His refreshingly blunt, rhythmic style caught the attention of NZ's hip-hop elite and saw him sign with Dirty Records (home to Scribe, P-Money, and Frontline). At the age of 21 he has already worked with seminal NZ artists such as Scribe, DJ Sir-Vere, Frontline, Dawn Raid, and Chong Nee. "The Bomb" is the first single to be lifted from PNC's Dirty Records debut, Rookie Card.

New Zealand: Bomb by PNC
Each week, we find a track from an artist or a band who's on the cusp of success and bring it to you, for free, as our Single of the Week. PNC (a.k.a. Sam Hansen) is one of the most talked-about new artists in New Zealand hip-hop. His refreshingly blunt, rhythmic style caught the attention of NZ's hip-hop elite and saw him sign with Dirty Records (home to Scribe, P-Money, and Frontline). At the age of 21 he has already worked with seminal NZ artists such as Scribe, DJ Sir-Vere, Frontline, Dawn Raid, and Chong Nee. "The Bomb" is the first single to be lifted from PNC's Dirty Records debut, Rookie Card.

UK: Sugar Water Days by Fried
Each week, we find a track from an artist or a band who's on the cusp of success and bring it to you, for free, as our Single of the Week. Fried is the project of David Steele, who spent considerable time as a songwriter and a guitarist in Fine Young Cannibals, and who also honed his skills as part of the 2 Tone ska revival in the Beat. For Fried, he enlisted the skills of Jonte Short, a New Orleans-based soul singer. The two members have created a crackling bit of 21st-century soul with Short providing some incredible gospel-inflected vocals on top of the scratchy, organic backbeat.

Japan 今週のシングル: Blues by Paraele Stripes
Paraele StripesはMars、松下敦成、中島徹雄、長澤一匡により2006年に結成、福岡のエレクトロニカ・シーンの新旗手だ。サンプラー、シーケンサーなどのデジタルな要素に楽器を加えて作られるサウンドは浮遊感にあふれ、ナチュラルながら激しさを秘めたヴォーカルと絶妙なバランスで絡み合う。今週のシングル"BLUES"を無料でダウンロード。

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