Billboard Bits: Red Hot, Disturbed, Neu!

News on Red Hot Organization, Duke Ellington, Mary J. Blige, Roots, Tortoise, Black Star, Disturbed, Neu!

The Red Hot Organization, in its 10th year of raising funds for AIDS awareness, has forged an alliance with, Billboard Bulletin reports. The e-tailer's new free download community will feature 36 MP3 files from the Red Hot catalog, which includes the albums "Red Hot + Rio" and "No Alternative."

Amazon will also have a six-month exclusive, starting March 13, on the next CD in the series, "Red Hot + Indigo," a tribute to Duke Ellington featuring Mary J. Blige, the Roots, Tortoise, and Black Star. After the exclusive period, Red Hot will decide whether to offer the set via traditional retail.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

Disturbed will headline the second stage at this summer's Ozzfest tour. The layout of the traveling hard rock festival is being redesigned for the 2001 trek, with the second stage set up to allow as many as 15,000 fans to watch the bands in a general admission setting. The band, which also appeared on the Ozzfest tour last year, recently wrapped a European tour supporting Marilyn Manson, and plan to kick off a brief U.S. tour March 16 in St. Louis. In other Disturbed news, frontman David Draiman will on Wednesday (March 7) appear on ABC's "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher." Disturbed's debut album, "The Sickness" (Giant), peaked at No. 29 on The Billboard 200 last October. The Singles "Stupify" and "Voices" scored top-20 placements on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts.

Astralwerks has set a May 1 release date for remastered editions of three albums -- "Neu!," "Neu! 2," and "Neu! '75" -- from Krautrock luminaries Neu!, none of which have ever been available in the U.S. Although Neu! has not been active for decades, the precise rhythms and pre-punk minimalism of the German duo (guitarist Michael Rother and drummer Klaus Dinger) have been an influence on countless acts, from Sonic Youth to Tortoise and Stereolab.