Digital Beat: U2, Live, Marvin Gaye ...

Irish rockers post sample of upcoming single on Web site.

Irish rockers U2 have posted a 40-second streaming sample of their upcoming single "Beautiful Day" on their Web site (www.u2.com). The song, driven by echoing guitars and real drums that recall U2's '80s sound, will be included on the band's upcoming album, which is slated for release this fall. ... Universal Music Group will sell downloadable songs by such artists as Live, Marvin Gaye and Smash Mouth in a market trial beginning this week, the company said Tuesday (Aug. 1). Universal will make about 60 songs available for $1.99 apiece at such Web sites as RollingStone.com, Launch.com and Music.com. The songs will be provided in a new format called bluematter, which provides lyric sheets, album credits and photographs along with music.

Voodoomusicfest.com, Rollingstone.com and iCast.com will present live webcasts from New Orleans' second annual Voodoo Music Festival, set for Oct. 28 at City Park. The lineup includes such acts as Stone Temple Pilots, Eminem, 311, Ben Harper, Cypress Hill, Counting Crows, Live, Blues Traveler, Guster, Black Eyed Peas and French Quarter funk brethren Galactic. ...

Former Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten will cover the Democratic National Convention for eYada.com, the talk-radio Web site said Thursday (July 27). Rotten, who has a weekly talk program on the site, plans to broadcast from the convention floor Aug. 14 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. ... There are plenty of sound samples to be had on the Internet, but what about sheet music samples? Online sheet music store Musicnotes.com has hooked up with several music publishers, including Warner Bros. and Mel Bay, to offer 10,000 written samples of music, the PR Newswire reports. The interested customer can then purchase and download the sheet music versions of songs in their entirety. ...

Download site MP3.com, which has been plagued by copyright infringement lawsuits brought by the recording industry, announced Friday that it settled with major label EMI. EMI has granted MP3.com an exclusive North American license to use EMI-copyrighted music in its Beam-it and Instant Listening services, which allow users to listen online to music they have already purchased. MP3.com also has settled with BMG and Warner. ...

"I've Seen It All," a duet between Icelandic songstress Björk and Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, is available in RealAudio format at www.downloadsdirect.com. "I've Seen It All" is featured on Björk's forthcoming Selmasongs, the soundtrack to the Lars von Trier film "Dancer in the Dark," in which the singer stars. Björk won the Best Actress award at this year's Cannes Film Festival for the role. Selmasongs is due Sept. 19. ... After teaming with comic book legend Stan Lee to create a cartoon that opens her set on her current tour, Mary J. Blige has announced plans to spin off the animated short into an Internet-based series, according to MTV News Online. In the clip, a highly stylized Blige battles criminals and miscreants around an inner-city neighborhood and demonstrates several superpowers, including the ability to fly. ...

MP3Board.com, a site that provides links to downloadable music, announced a system Tuesday (July 25) that will allow musicians to erase hyperlinks to their work from the site, Reuters reported. Artists can apply for an account, then use software called LinkBlaster to automatically erase links to their work. MP3Board.com chief Lars Mapstead said the software can be tailored to erase links on other sites as well. Like many music sites, MP3Board.com is in court, battling record labels who say the site's search engines and lists of MP3 links infringe on their copyrights. ... MP3 file-sharing company Napster announced a research and development deal Tuesday (July 25) with Liquid Audio, a firm that provides secure, copy-protected music download technology. ...

Elektra Records recently launched Rockbox 2000 (www.Rockbox2000.com), featuring full-length streaming audio and video from Elektra artists such as AC/DC, Metallica, Third Eye Blind, the Cure, Staind, Ween, Pantera and Phish. In addition to the music, Rockbox 2000 also features behind-the-scenes video footage, digital stills from shows, tour dates and bios. ...

U2 have launched a Web site (www.U2.com) that offers a look into the studio, via webcams, where they are putting together their upcoming album. A release date or title for the album, which follows 1997's Pop, is not decided, according to a band spokesperson. ... The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America announced Thursday morning (July 20) that they filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York against Scour Inc. (www.scour.com), a Napster-like file-sharing service whose majority shareholder is Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz. Scour allows users to download high-quality copies of current films, such as "Gladiator" and "X-Men," as well as songs from such artists as Beck, Eminem and Britney Spears. The two entertainment-industry organizations are seeking an injunction, as well as monetary damages, against the service for allegedly distributing copyrighted material. ...

If you've got 12 hours to spare, check out broadcast.com's archived webcast of Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Family Picnic. The show featured performances by Willie Nelson & Family, Little Joe Y La Familia, Mustang Sally and the Blame, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ray Price and more than a dozen other acts. ... A new song from British rockers Radiohead is available from an unofficial band Web site (www.ateaseweb.com). The song, "Alligators in New York Sewers," was performed for the first time July 9 in Caesaria, Israel, and was posted shortly afterward as a RealAudio or MP3 download. ...

Web site SpinRecords.com started a music subscription service that will allow subscribers to download an unlimited number of songs by bands represented by the site. The site said that the service, which launched July 15 and costs $4.95 a month, also provides access to live tracks and live or archived Web broadcasts of performances. ... MP3.com has announced a partnership with Fun e-Business, an Internet kiosk company, to place Web-enabled jukeboxes in bars, restaurants and stores. Through the new jukeboxes, customers will be able to download digital music, as well as purchase CDs, merchandise and concert tickets through MP3.com, the companies said. ...

Those who missed Radiohead's June 15 concert at Teatro Tivoli in Barcelona, Spain, can download the entire show in RealAudio at http://members.aol.com/nodata1/webcast.htm. The concert also can be downloaded from Napster. ... Web site Riffage.com has bought 1500 Records, an imprint formerly owned by the Interscope/Universal label group. Under the new business model, artists signed to 1500's roster — including techno-rock act God Lives Underwater and hip-hop group Ugly Duckling — will split the net profits on album sales. ... Music by the Chemical Brothers, Air and over 60 other artists is available to send through Egreetings, the Web-based greeting-card service. The Chemicals' beats can be heard on a "Block Rockin' " birthday card, which uses the duo's hit "Block Rockin' Beats" (RealAudio excerpt), and a "Hey Boy Hey Girl" general greeting card. Air cards will feature the songs "Sexy Boy," "All I Need" (from their 1998 LP, Moon Safari) and "Playground Love" (from their recent score for "The Virgin Suicides"). Cards are available at www.egreetings.com by clicking on "music scene."

— sonicnet.com staff report