On the Download 

I'll take pretty much any opportunity available to further extol the glory of seminal Detroit blues-punk-minimalist-Back From the Grave-worshipping primitivist trio the Gories. Guitarists Mick Collins (Dirtbombs), Dan Kroha (Demolition Doll Rods, the Readies) and drummer Peg O'Neil ('68 Comeback, Darkest Hours) had a chaotic and blissfully raw six-year run. They disbanded spectacularly at the end of a European tour in 1992 in a flurry of the kind of interpersonal stresses that bring down many working bands. They left behind a booty of recorded work that can rightly be called Ground Zero for Detroit's late-'90s-early '00s rock boom as well as inspiring countless punks around the country and Europe to pick up instruments and throttle a racket.

So what, exactly, does this have to do with the Internets, you ask? Here's the thing: Last Tuesday, Reigning Sound mainman Greg Cartwright posted a simple confirmation on the Goner Records message board that the Gories would re-unite for two U.S. shows this summer with their Memphis doppelgangers and fellow seminal rawk neanderthals the Oblivians (of which Cartwright was one-third of the racket). One show in Detroit; one in Memphis (with some European dates, too). "Wait, what? Fuck yeah!" seems to be the general consensus. If you haven't already, take a look at the Gories' comprehensive MySpace page, what are you waitin' for? And while you're there, you can grab classic cuts like "Telepathic," "Thunderbird ESQ," "Detroit Breakdown," and "Feral" — which, if I were the king of the forest, would all come pre-loaded on every iTunes installation.

There also be steaming vids of the boys 'n' girl live in action back in the day. Really, it's hard to overestimate how exciting this news is and this is certainly the kind of news that can nurse a fan through a long winter. myspace.com/therealgories

HIS NAME IS FREE — The only natural transition from the above to the below is to mention (in hopes that the rock gods are listening) that somehow, His Name is Alive's Warn Defever, Outrageous Cherry's Matt Smith and Mick Collins will convene with their still only-talked-about collaboration, the Majestic 12. In the meantime, we'll have to make happily do with their constituent outputs. In my ongoing effort to bring more outstanding jams into your and my life, I'm obliged to recommend wholeheartedly two free downloads Defever and company are generously offering at His Name Is Alive's site. One is a full-length re-mix album of songs from HNIA's 2001 album, Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth, called, simply, "Someday RMX." The stable of folks having at the tracks — including Four Tet, Tony Olivierra, Recloose, Burnt Friedman and Ectomorph — have created an astounding and eclectic meditation on the already-gorgeous source material.

But wait! There's more! Apparently, "limited time only," in HNIA's free download world, means "several months." So it is that you can also grab their 2007 EP Silver Make-up. The tracks are non-LP b-sides, but with the vast variety of HNIA's sonic breadth, each song is an island unto itself, really. "Come to Me" is a motoring hum; "No More the Moon" is a moonshine jug band as experienced on a remote island under the influence of midnight. They're all fine additions to the canon. And both collections come with artwork pdfs in the zip file, so fire up the printers and the earbuds, y'all. hisnameisalive.com

THIS ONE TIME ...A couple weeks ago, the same folks who brought you Oddcast — which became Yahoo! Mail — launched a new music service called BandCam. It's not a MySpace killer, per se, but here's the deal: Get a page for free, upload any high quality music file and Bandcamp automatically converts it into multiple file formats (128k or 320k mp3s, Apple Lossless and FLAC among the 10 varieties). Tracks can stream and you name your price for downloads. So far, you can only pay through PayPal, so that's kind of a drag. But you also get handy social networking tools that let you share tracks easily via IM or e-mail or embed with Facebook, Blogger or Wordpress. The site pimps itself as your nerdy fifth Beatle. That's the kind of branding a moderately tech-savvy band can use. Anyone jump on-board yet? How goes it? bandcamp.mu.

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More by Chris Handyside

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