The Tangled Web

The Web's most intriguing music-related destinations. This week: MapleMusic.com and Gord Downie, Cake and Candle Music and Limp Bizkit and AOL Broadband.

ROMANCING THE LEAF:: Canadian music fans can be quite proud of their national culture. For strong evidence, check out MapleMusic.com, a site dedicated to promoting the country's musicians through editorial content, e-commerce and special offers.

The site features profiles of hundreds of Canadian artists, from Bryan Adams and Jann Arden to Zubot & Dawson. MapleMusic offers biographies, discographies, merchandising and links to other information about the artists, including official sites. The site offers discounts on CDs by Canadian acts, with prices as low as $11 Canadian ($8 U.S.) for new full-length albums.

Gord DownieProfiles of well-known artists such as Sum 41 and Cowboy Junkies share space with pages of new bands and developing artists. At one point, MapleMusic built its participating roster by accepting submissions from interested artists, but has had to put that process on hold due to "overwhelming response."

Among MapleMusic's current special offers is a trove of live recordings by Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie. Downie released his second solo album, "Battle of the Nudes," in June on MapleMusic's own imprint (Zöe/Rounder in the U.S.). MapleMusic is currently selling 15 full-show recordings in MP3 form from Downie's recent U.S. tour supporting the album. The shows retail for $10 Canadian ($7.30 U.S.) and are available for unrestricted download up to one month after purchase.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: Children's personalized-music service Cake and Candle Music last week delivered its 300,000th custom-ordered song and has expanded its unique service by taking it online.

Cakeandcandlemusic.com offers customers an individual touch to classic children's songs. Established in 1985, the company records songs to order in a professional studio, personalizing songs such as "Happy Birthday," holiday music and original tunes about self-esteem and awareness for young children.

The site now offers free samples of Cake and Candle's music, and customers who purchase a personalized title can download free MP3s of non-personalized versions of the songs to listen to while waiting for the custom CD or cassette to arrive in the mail.


Fred DurstHALF A MILLION BITE INTO BIZKIT: The Limp Bizkit live AOL "BroadBAND Rocks!" show, previewed here last month, was a resounding success. AOL Broadband users streamed the Fred Durst-led band's invitation-only concert at New York's Webster Hall nearly 500,000 times over the course of a week, making it the program's most successful live concert to date.

The show ranks No. 2 in terms of weekly viewership among all "BroadBAND Rocks!" concerts, after 50 Cent's archival concert of earlier this year. The series expects to announce more artists for live performances in the coming weeks.