This week on the music beat

PUNT ROCK Note to music publicists: Forget radio, MTV, magazines, and every other promo vehicle. If you really want to help your artists hit the big time, start talking football — videogame football, that is. When it came out in early August, ”Get Over It,” the debut single from Chicago punk-pop act OK Go, wasn’t getting much attention. But when Madden NFL 2003, a PlayStation game that features the song, was released Aug. 12, things really started to Go. ”I heard it a few weeks earlier, and it didn’t really do anything for me,” says Eddie Gutierrez, program director and general manager of KJEE-FM in Santa Barbara, Calif. ”But playing the videogame with some friends over the weekend, I realized it was pretty good.” Gutierrez has added the track to the station’s playlist, as have several other Madden-obsessed PDs around the country (including Bob Waugh at influential D.C. outlet WHFS). ”I could see it being a top 10 request in the next week or two,” says Gutierrez, ”and I think Madden gets all the credit.”

‘BIRD CALL The Yardbirds are best known as a launching pad for some of rock’s biggest legends: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. So when Beck was looking to hire musicians to join him and special guest Page to play Yardbirds songs at three U.K. gigs, he knew it would take some massive feet to fill his bandmates’ shoes. His choice: rawk revivalists the White Stripes. ”[He] wanted a modern band that has the same power they had back then,” says Stripe Jack White, who will play with Beck for at least two of his Sept. 12-14 shows. ”It’s absolutely an honor.” But, uh, there was still one problem: The Yardbirds had a bass player, and the White Stripes do not. Enter Jack Lawrence, bassist for Ohio rockers the Greenhornes and friend of the Stripes. ”I’m very much jazzed to be doing this,” Lawrence says, which is good, because it seems to be taking up a lot of his time. ”I think they’re gonna give us a list of songs. I don’t know which ones. I’ve just been practicing everything.”