DIGITAL BEAT: Charley Pride, Plaid, Stereophonics ...

Country star to release copy-proof CD.

Charley Pride's upcoming album will be copy-proof, reports the Tennessean. A Tribute to Jim Reeves, due April 17, cannot be copied or uploaded to the Internet, according to officials at the record label, Music City Records. They said purchasers of the CD will be able to get MP3s of the songs on the album by loading it into a computer's CD-ROM and logging onto and registering the CD with a company Web site, which will download tracks to the computer or into a portable MP3 player. The technology is MediaCloQ, designed by Sunn.Comm. ...

The third album by English electronic duo Plaid will be titled Double Figure and is due May 29 in the U.S. on Warp Records. Following their 2000 compilation of early tracks, Trainer, the duo, Andy Turner and Ed Handley, have made snippets of five songs from Double Figure available on the Warp Web site (www.warprecords.com). In a similar vein to their first two albums, 1998's Not for Threes and '99's Rest Proof Clockwork, the new album is packed with Plaid's warm sense of melody and inventive, pulsing beats. ...

Exclusive Stereophonics downloads, video footage and streaming tracks are available in the new Stereoclub section of www.stereophonics.com. Those who register (for free) can see a video clip of singer Kelly Jones playing an acoustic version of the band's new single, "Mr. Writer," as well as "Making of the 'Mr. Writer' video: Part 1." Available in the audio section is a live, acoustic cover of the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down," which will be a B-side to the "Mr. Writer" single, released in the U.K. on March 19. ...

Crystal Method lovers can hear music from the duo's upcoming second album, Tweekend, on a free digital postcard at www.thecrystalmethod.com. ...

Fans of British electro-rockers Curve can get a taste of what the band's been working on, thanks to a free download of the melodic new song, "Perish," available at www.curve.co.uk. The group is recording material for the follow-up to 1998's Come Clean. ...

Country singer Radney Foster and his wife, music journalist Cyndi Hoelzle, say they plan a new Web zine to be called PureSpunk.com, dealing with roots music. The first issue of the zine includes a feature on Rodney Crowell, 10 Questions with Keb' Mo', the "coolest gigs" in America, short fiction and a Song of the Month Club. ...

Dark rockers Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are previewing tracks from their 11th studio album, No More Shall We Part, on www.nickcave.net. The site offers 40-second clips of all 12 songs. No More Shall We Part is due April 2. ...

Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft has posted acoustic performances of two tracks, "I Get My Beat" and "You on My Mind in My Sleep," which aired last month on Detroit radio, on his Web site. ...

The Internet Underground Music Archive (www.iuma.com), which showcases unsigned, independent and local artists, announced Wednesday (February 7) that the site may be forced to shut down after more than seven years. In a statement posted on the site, founder Jeff Patterson and General Manager Antony Brydon explain that major cutbacks in funding from Emusic, the company that bought IUMA in 1999, has forced the pioneering site to eliminate its entire staff. In the statement, Patterson said they will continue to look for new partners, but until then the site will stop selling featured bands' CDs, and it will not accept any new acts. ...

The Scour Exchange file-swapping service — or at least a version of it — is on its way back. CenterSpan Communications, which acquired the assets of the bankrupt Scour in December, is beginning beta testing of the new, still-unnamed service, and it hopes to launch the service in late March, according to CNet. CenterSpan hasn't announced what the user fee would be to access music and video files. ...

PJ Harvey has posted the video for "A Place Called Home," from her sixth album, Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000), on her Web site. The video was shot in an 18th century church in East London that is rumored to be haunted. ...

British rockers Suede are documenting their progress on the follow-up to 1999's Head Music on their Web site, www.suede.net. The band has posted pictures and movies of its work in a Wales studio, including a clip of frontman Brett Anderson singing the song "Asda Town." ...

A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin is selling her DIY solo debut, Yellow My Skycaptain, for $15 on her Web site, www.pazlenchantin.com. The album compiles songs she has written and recorded (primarily on four-track) since she was a teenager. ...

An MP3 clip of a solo track from former Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Mills is available at ElectricArtists.com. The song, "Anti-Material," is the first solo work from the singer since his split with Kula Shaker in 1999. ...

Music and video clips by English pop quintet Quickspace are available on the Matador Records Web site. The page features video of the band performing "They Shoot Horse Don't They" at London's Electric Ballroom on Nov. 2, as well as MP3s and RealAudio clips of other tracks from The Death of Quickspace, released in March. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report