Billboard Bits: Puddle Of Mudd, The Roots, Warp

News on Puddle Of Mudd, The Roots, Warp

MuddPuddle Of Mudd will guest on the debut episode of music video network Fuse's "7th Avenue Drop." Premiering Tuesday (Nov. 25), the show aims to feature interviews and performances by major artists in Fuse's street-front New York studios on the day their new albums are released.

Adding an interactive element, the Fuse Web site ( will solicit questions from fans and votes for what songs will be performed. Audiences for "7th Avenue Drop" tapings will be made up of artist fan club members and Fuse Web site visitors. Each episode will re-air throughout the week.

Tuesday will see the release of Puddle Of Mudd's "Life on Display," the follow-up to the band's 2002 Flawless/Geffen debut, "Come Clean." That set peaked at No. 9 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 3.5 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RootThe Roots will return to the road Dec. 29 in Philadelphia, headlining the five-date Okayplayer Winter Break Tour. In addition to the Philadelphia-based quartet, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Vast Aire, Skillz, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Little Brother, Jean Grae, J-Live, and Dice Raw will also appear on the trek.

As previously reported, the Roots are working on their next Geffen album, "Tipping Point," due in April. The group has been hosting jam sessions in Philadelphia with the likes of Living Colour's Vernon Reid, Jill Scott, Floetry and Glenn Lewis.

Here are the Okayplayer Winter Break Tour dates:

Dec. 29-30: Philadelphia (TLA)
Jan. 1-2: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
Jan. 3: New York (Irving Plaza)

-- Rashaun Hall, N.Y.

AphexLondon-based electronica label Warp Records has unveiled plans for a global download service, through which it will sell its catalog and new releases as a la carte MP3 files. The service at will go live in December. Pricing has not been revealed. Warp acts include Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards Of Canada, Squarepusher and LFO.

Warp's online retail business Warpmart, established in 1996, will continue to operate. Warpmart contributes an estimated 10% of the company's annual revenues of $10 million.

Meanwhile, Warp has signed Jimmy Edgar, who has previously released music on the Merck label. Edgar's label debut, the four-track "Access Rhythm" EP, is due Jan. 12 internationally and Jan. 27 in North America. A full-length will follow in early summer.

-- Lars Brandle, London