In lieu of a post that requires actual thought ... for Blogcritics, I reworked the post about finding the Billy Bragg song to be a bit of a review for the website I found the song on - the Internet Archive, which has been in my sidebar for a long time. The whole post is here, but it's basically that previous post with this tacked on at the end:
I'm surprised I hadn't thought to check the Internet Archive for it earlier. They have over 35,000 live music concerts available – including a huge repository of Grateful Dead concerts - as well as audiobooks, radio programs, texts, movies, and videos, all free and legal for download.
It also preserves web pages and materials from the dark ages of the Internet – you know, from a few years ago. Actually, they use Alexa Internet's Wayback Machine, which has been crawling the web since 1996, to offer access to pages that are no longer live.
The philosophy behind the Internet Archive is stated on their website:
The Internet Archive is working to prevent the Internet - a new medium with major historical significance - and other "born-digital" materials from disappearing into the past. Collaborating with institutions including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, we are working to preserve a record for generations to come. Open and free access to literature and other writings has long been considered essential to education and to the maintenance of an open society.
They don't mention the value of giving me access to Billy Bragg's version of "California Stars," but I'm sure that's just an oversight.