Digital Beat: No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, Gretchen Peters ...

Pop-rockers offering B-sides for download on official Web site.

Universal Music Group, whose labels are home to such artists as DMX, Shania Twain and Beck, will make thousands of tracks available for paid downloads in the fall, Reuters reported. The company will continue to sell its music online in its proprietary Bluematter format, the report said. ...

Singers Macy Gray and Madonna are judging poetry contests at alloy.com, part of the Alloy Books imprint, according to publicists for the artists. Alloy also is releasing a book called "Slam," which collects poetry and lyrics from artists including Missy Elliott, Ani DiFranco and Tom Waits. ...

Beginning Wednesday (Aug. 22), Boyz II Men fans can send electronic greeting cards featuring song clips and photos of the group from www.egreetings.com, according to a publicist for the Web site. The group's first album since 1997, Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, is due Sept. 12. ...

John Hiatt will release streaming video of a song he performed during a taping of PBS' "Austin City Limits." The song, from his Sept. 26 release Crossing Muddy Waters, will not be aired with the program in October. To watch the free video, head over to EMusic.com. ...

Pop-rockers No Doubt are offering another exclusive download of a B-side song via www.nodoubt.com. "Cellophane Boy" was recorded during the sessions for their latest album, Return of Saturn (2000). The group previously offered a download of the B-side "Under Construction." ...

Smashing Pumpkins launched a 24-hour online radio station Monday (Aug. 14) at www.smashingpumpkins.com that streams previously unavailable live recordings from the early '90s through the band's current tour. The Pumpkins have vowed to call it quits when the tour wraps. ... Black Entertainment Television announced Monday (Aug. 14) that it will begin webcasting its jazz videos, documentaries, concerts and movies via broadband applications. BET will use Broadserve to provide streaming television programs as well as on-demand programming. Only authorized members of Broadserve will have access to BET's online broadcasts. ...

Gretchen Peters, Angela Kaset and Hugh Prestwood will play the Y-Jams benefit, a benefit for the YMCAs of Nashville, at the Bluebird Café on Aug. 19. You can check the Bluebird Café archives at www.liveonthenet.com to listen to this and other shows. ...

Garbage have entered a Madison, Wis., studio to work on their third album, according to Interscope Records. Singer Shirley Manson is posting a diary about the process on www.garbage.com. ...

The Wilkinsons, who have climbed the country charts with such hits as "26 Cents" and "Jimmy's Got a Girlfriend" (RealAudio excerpt), are auctioning off an Oct. 5–10 trip to the Cayman Islands. Winners will scuba dive with the group and oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau, as well as attend an acoustic performance. Yahoo! will host the auction through Thursday (Aug. 17). ...

Fans of Stacey Earle, Small Potatoes, Trout Fishing in America and David Wilcox who missed their performances at the Kerrville Folk festival can catch footage of the show at www.songs.com.

Marilyn Manson has posted a brief clip of "The Love Song," a track from his forthcoming album Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), on www.marilynmanson.com. "Do you love your gun?" Manson shrieks on the song's chorus. In its more melodic verse, Manson sings, "Got a crush on a pretty pistol/ Should I tell her I feel this way?" Manson has promised to use his Web site to preview various tracks from the album, due Oct. 24. ...

British rockers Gomez will host a chat at 6 p.m. UK time Aug. 29 at the-raft.com/gomez, according to the Coventry Evening Telegraph. The webcast will include an acoustic performance from the band, who will appear at the Reading and Leeds festivals Aug. 26–27. A 15-song compilation, Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline, featuring seven unreleased songs, is due Sept. 25. In other Gomez news, fans can view an Aug. 6 performance in Sydney, Australia at virtueoz.com; repeats of the concert will be available for six weeks beginning Saturday (Aug. 12). ...

From sea to shining sea: From Tuesday (Aug. 15) to Sept. 15, Global Music Network will present webcasts of the North Sea Jazz Festival. The music webcast site will show performances by pianist Dr. John, singer Lou Rawls, saxophonist David Sanborn, pianist Brad Mehldau and others that occurred July 14–16 in the Netherlands. For more information, check out www.gmn.com. ...

Alanis Morissette will close her world tour with an Aug. 17 performance and question-and-answer session at Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance, a spokesperson for the singer said. Tickets are being distributed through a contest on Web site Z.com, which is broadcasting the event, and through an online auction. ...

Jimmie Dale Gilmore will be featured in a House of Blues 24-hour pay-per-view video cybercast at 6 p.m. PDT Aug. 20. For more information visit www.hob.com. ... An 11-minute remix of "Music," the first single from Madonna's upcoming album of the same name, is available for download at windowsmedia.com and www.raveworld.net. The song was remixed by Deep Dish, who has previously remixed Paula Abdul and BT, and will be available until Aug. 21.

Underworld will provide daily downloadable music and video to fans via a server that can be accessed only from their upcoming DVD, Everything, Everything, due Oct. 10. "It's called 'Live,' " Underworld's Rick Smith said of the feature. "If you have the DVD in the drive of your computer, you can click on it and access different things each day. It's quite exciting for us. It makes the DVD less finite." The long-awaited live-album portion of Everything, Everything will be released Sept. 12. ...

Barenaked Ladies are offering a five-week album preview on their Web site (www.bnlmusic.com), which began Tuesday (Aug. 8) and continues until Maroon's Sept. 12 release, according to Reprise Records. The site will feature a streaming version of "Pinch Me," the album's first single, as well as four additional tracks, which will each appear on the site for one week. ...

Singer/songwriter Richard Ashcroft will play a three-song acoustic set and answer fan questions during a live webcast and chat Aug. 18 on nme.com. The event will be webcast simultaneously on the singer's official Web site, richardashcroft.co.uk, and at virtuetv.com. The former Verve frontman will make his first major solo appearance the next night at the V2000 festival in Staffordshire, England. Ashcroft's solo debut, Alone With Everybody, was released Stateside on June 27. ...

Techno veteran Dave Clarke will release two new download-only tracks Sept. 28 on the Web site iCrunch (www.icrunch.com). "Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted" will be "clubby," according to a message from Clarke on the site. The other track has yet to be titled. ... Hip-hop/rockers (hed)pe have posted an MP3 of the song "Bartender" on their Web site. The track is the first single off (hed)pe's second album, Broke, due Aug. 22, a Jive Records spokesperson said. ...

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. ...

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. ...

"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. ...

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.

— sonicnet.com staff report