Green Day, R.E.M. & Nelly

Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Green Day, R.E.M. & Nelly.

MAKIN' GREEN: People still illicitly download music. If you're a popular band, at some point in the past six years or so, you've had to come to terms with the fact that there are fans out there who haven't bought your album through traditional channels but still own the music through the wonders of the Internet.

Green Day is taking a novel approach to try to make some money from fans who have downloaded their music (legally or illegally) and don't own the officially released physical versions: the band is selling via its official Web site a pack of recordable CDs (CD-Rs) featuring officially sanctioned artwork.

"Coordinated color slimline cases" house the discs, which boast the original artwork from "Dookie," "Nimrod," "Warning" and "American Idiot," as well as one with a rare photo of the band. Price for the package is $7.99.

R.E.M.HERE COMES THE 'SUN': R.E.M.'s 13th studio album, "Around the Sun," is due Oct. 5, and the veteran band is offering customers of Apple's iTunes Music Store a unique free download. A two-and-a-half-minute-long sampler of tracks from the album is made of snippets of first single "Leaving New York," the album's title track and album cuts "Wanderlust," "Electron Blue" and "I Wanted to Be Wrong."

In related R.E.M. news, "official unofficial" fan site is working with the band and label Warner Bros. to present Web-based "micro-listening parties" sometime later this month. Murmurs also hosts an MPEG download of the "Leaving New York" video.

NellySWEATIN' FOR AOL: AOL for Broadband's live-concert series had another entrant last night, when St. Louis rapper Nelly performed for a select audience at New York's Webster Hall for AOL's "Broadband Rocks." The artist previewed his two new albums, "Sweat" and "Suit," both of which are released today (Sept. 14) on Universal Records.

The full video from the concert will be available on demand for 30 days for AOL for Broadband members. AOL dial-up customers can listen to the concert on the Web at Radio@AOL.