Quickly, before we run out of time — because you never really know when links are going to expire — some housecleaning. I had a bookmark all saved up for you before this column went on a brief page-count-and-special-issue-induced hiatus. And it's a goodie. If you're a fan of Detroit rock 'n' roll of any, er, stripe, you should do yourself a huge favor and head over to ufo-factory.blogspot.com and grab the URL for a free download of the Go's legendary-lost-mythical-super-awesome 2001 record, Free Electricity (the one that fell through the cracks at Sub Pop lo those many years ago). The band had nothing to do with the download's availability, but they — drawing from their never-ending well of optimism and cheek — heartily encourage you to grab it, rock it and then call up Sub Pop to get the label to release it properly. Do it for the DTW. Do it for rock 'n' roll. Do it for free!
Also, you've probably heard that a gaggle of Detroit bands went and killed at SXSW this year. And to hear the tales, the most Detroit of any of the showcases was the unofficial one held off-campus, as it were, by Holographic Resonance and Italy Records featuring local notables like the Terrible Twos, Aran Ruth, Silverghost, Infinity People, Gardens and a who's who crew of "Detroit Next." No, you can't actually experience it secondhand (though Doug Coombe's photos, published here last week, capture some damn fine energy). But if you want a taste of the recorded version of the sonic offerings, the dudes at Holographic Resonance have compiled a streaming player with all sorts of up, down, charming and strange quirky gems from the above-mentioned. Special thanks to the HR folk for posting Alan Schuerman International Community jams. There are links to each of the featured bands' websites and MySpacery too, in case you're intrigued enough to take the next step. Think of it as an interactive streaming audio screensaver. How's that for a killer app?! Then, naturally, you should get out of the house and experience 'em live. Then buy them a beverage and thank them for advancing the next wave of dialogue in our city's underground music scene. Seriously.
MANY MIDWEST MOODS
Meanwhile, over at the RCRDLBL streaming and download hub, former Miss Bliss-er and (more recently and relevantly) Midwest Product mainman Ben Mullins has posted a series of works-in-progress under the moniker Ben Benjamin (audacious, considering its relation to the revered Motown drummer, perhaps). If you figure the title of The Season Reminds Us of What We Did Wrong would lead you to a precious twee-pop exploration, click away and do a little dance in your cubicle at the driving bubble-and-pop electro groove Ben's created here. It is wistful, but it is also irresistible. Selective Periphera is just that. Engaging far-out sounds strung together for no purpose seemingly, save for plucking the good ones and having them work out a way to get along. And Calorie Committee, for its part, makes like a nervous and twangy cousin to a lost New Order Technique-era instrumental. Check it out!
YOUNG OLD COUNTRY
Finally, old people like me will remember well the manic rockabilly energy of late-'90s shit-kickin' wunderkinds, Lucky Haskins. Well, one of those Haskins boys, Ryan Racine, has kept traveling down the road of American roots music and is now working on an album under the name Ryan Racine & Gas for Less. Better still, he's posted some jams at his MySpace page. Slot 'em in on XM's Outlaw Country station between Alejandro Escovedo and Townes Van Zandt and you'll likely keep all three on repeat in your noggin. From the open-air classic country twang of "You and Me and Her Memory" to the claustrophobic, introspective chug of "Straight and Narrow," it's clear that Racine and company know what the fuck they're doing. Heads up!