This week on the music beat

— FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES Looks like the metal gods won’t be the only Slayer on CD racks this fall. On Sept. 24, Mutant Enemy/Rounder will release Once More With Feeling, the soundtrack to last season’s musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ”It was the hardest work I’ve ever done,” says Buffy creator-exec producer Joss Whedon, who wrote the music and lyrics. He promises more tunes in a future installment of the Sarah Michelle Gellar series. ”It’s a flashback to the musical episode, and Anya [Emma Caulfield] has a ballad,” he says. ”Basically, we just wanted to hear Emma sing again.”

— GRAND OLD FLAG Back in 2000, Tom Waits, Steve Earle, and others recorded Free the West Memphis 3: A Benefit for Truth & Justice to raise money for three men doing time for a triple murder in West Memphis, Ark. Supporters say the trio, who were teens at the time, were wrongly convicted because of their dalliances with Wicca and their Goth style. The case was the subject of two HBO docs. But the West Memphis Three, as they have been dubbed, are still in jail, and a louder group of musicians has stepped up. Henry Rollins organized the benefit LP Rise Above, which features metal, punk, and hip-hop heavies covering Black Flag songs. ”Black Flag music is the ultimate protest music,” says Rollins, who enlisted artists like Iggy Pop, Ice-T, and Ryan Adams. ”The situation made me want to do something. Not blow something up — just move on it.” Proceeds will go to the WM3’s legal defense fund, but that’s not the only reason to buy Rise, due Oct. 8. ”I want people to question the case,” Rollins says, ”and hear a good record.”

— TRITT OR TREAT? Who says rockers have no class? Lynyrd Skynyrd canceled plans to mark the 25th anniversary of the plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members with a show — on the site of the accident in Magnolia, Miss. ”They decided it’s sacred ground,” says band rep Emily Deaderick, although the show may go on without them. While Skynyrd and .38 Special nixed the Oct. 5 sets, opener Travis Tritt still plans to perform. He’s a free bird, indeed.

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