Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Morrissey, Lou Reed & the Offspring.
FIRST OF THE GANG TO OFFER RINGTONES: As the Ringtone business picks up in the United States (evidenced in 2004 by Billboard's introduction of a Top Ringtones chart and 50 Cent's "In Da Club" winning ringtone of the year at the Billboard Music Awards), more and more artists are going to make their music available to cell-phone-carrying fans.
Brit-rock icon Morrissey has taken the plunge on his official Web site with the recent launch of the Morrissey Mobile Music store.
The singer's currently offering five cuts from his most recent album, "You Are the Quarry" -- "First of the Gang to Die," "I Have Forgiven Jesus," "I Like You," "Irish Blood, English Heart" and "Let Me Kiss You" -- in both polyphonic tones and master tone (actual music) versions on the site.
SWEET LOU Lou Reed's Web home is a treasure trove of new media explorations of the rock legend's career. Streaming Real video clips for the likes of "Dirty Boulevard," "Modern Dance" and "Romeo and Juliette" adorn the front page, as do links to an Internet version of Reed's "The Raven" project and a downloadable WinAmp skin.
But the real treat for fans of Reed or his old band, the Velvet Underground, is a special page dedicated to pre-VU Reed, with streaming audio documenting his early recordings.
Included are two songs recorded with the Jades in 1958, when Reed was only 16 years old. In 1964, the nascent songwriter joined the Long Island City, N.Y.-based record label Pickwick Records, at which he wrote songs for the label's acts. "Do the Ostrich," "Cycle Annie" and "I've Got a Tiger in My Tank" feature from this period, as does "Why Don't You Smile Now," which includes a co-writing credit for Reed's friend John Cale, whom he brought into Pickwick and with whom he would shortly leave the label gig and form the Velvet Underground, leaving a permanent mark on the face of rock and roll.
STREAMING 'SPRING: Punk-pop veterans the Offspring have redesigned their official Web site. Besides a tour archive stretching back to 1993 and a freshly stocked merchandise store, the site now has streaming audio and video from each of the band's albums since 1997.
Thirteen music videos are offered in Windows Media and Quicktime formats, including "The Meaning of Life," "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" and "Original Prankster." In addition, fans can listen to streaming audio of each of the band's full albums since 1997's "Ixnay on the Hombre."