The Tangled Web

Weekly column showcasing the Web's most intriguing music-related destinations. This week: moe.down, Neil Young and Seal.

FREE DOWN-MOE-DS: Jam band moe., whose fourth annual moe.down festival took place over the U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend (Aug. 29-31) at the Snow Ridge Ski resort in Turin, N.Y., took a unique digital approach at the festival to the traditional live recording and tape-trading that accompanies the jam-band scene.

The event -- which featured performances by moe., Rusted Root, Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants and more -- boasted an on-site audio file server that allowed festival-goers to connect via an Ethernet network or wireless connectivity and download moe.down performances in Shorten or MP3 digital format.

moe.Project leader Dan Shoop explained the service in a statement: "For the last couple of moe.downs, we burned CDs of moe. performances. With wireless connectivity, we figure we can reach more people this year."

The server allowed users with laptops or other portable computers to access the server to download past shows, check out festival-related news and also upload other live recordings to add to the server. Archival moe. concerts were available for download alongside the 2003 festival performances.


Neil YoungAFTER THE SALES RUSH: Neil Young stormed onto the Billboard charts last week, taking five of the top 10 spots on the Top Internet Album Sales tally. Young's new Reprise/Warner Bros. album with longtime band Crazy Horse, "Greendale," debuted at No. 3 on the Internet chart, No. 10 on European Top 100 Albums and No. 22 on The Billboard 200.

Meanwhile, reissues of four of Young's catalog albums -- "On the Beach," "American Stars N' Bars," "Hawks & Doves" and "Re-Ac-Tor" -- debuted on the Internet chart at Nos. 1, 7, 8 and 10, respectively. The reissues mark the first time those four albums have been available in the CD format, and each has been digitally remastered.

The quartet also fared well on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog chart, with "On the Beach" bowing at No. 2 and "American Stars N' Bars," "Hawks & Doves" and "Re-Ac-Tor" chiming in at Nos. 12, 21 and 34, respectively.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, 18% of the sales from the four reissues came via the Internet.


SealTALKING SEAL: Amazon.com last week unveiled a promotion with Warner Bros. artist Seal that will treat fans who pre-order his new album, "Seal IV," from the site.

Any fan who places an order for the album at Amazon.com prior to the Sept. 9 release date will get instant access to an exclusive 20-minute streaming WindowsMedia interview with Seal and also have the option to preview three songs from the new album, his first since 1998's "Human Being," also in WindowsMedia format. Two of the three songs are exclusive to this promotion.