This week on the music beat

— DARK SIDE OF THE MON Until now, Pink Floyd and reggae had nothing in common besides fans who do drugs. But New York label Easy Star is bringing them closer together with Dub Side of the Moon, a reggae take on Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic, Dark Side of the Moon. The jammin’ CD, due in February, re-creates much of Dark Side’s guitar and keyboards note for note and retains details like the whispered ”I never said I was afraid of dying” on ”The Great Gig in the Sky.” Like the original, it even synchs up with the on-screen action in The Wizard of Oz. ”Dark Side has a lot of space to bring in and out different elements,” says Michael G, who cocrafted the CD with fellow label producer Ticklah. The duo enlisted reggae royalty like Frankie Paul and Gary ”Nesta” Pine to provide vocals. Says Michael G: ”We’re hoping it’ll appeal to fans of Pink Floyd and reggae.”

— SMOKIN’ GUNS Who are these guys claiming to be Guns N’ Roses? That’s what many asked when a seemingly face-lifted Axl Rose jumped on stage at August’s MTV VMAs with some unfamiliar faces to perform GN’R classics. For those wanting more GN’R in their GN’R, help is on the way. Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, and Matt Sorum — a.k.a. Guns N’ Roses minus Rose — are recording a new CD, set for next year. The project was conceived when Slash, McKagan, and Sorum played with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler at a 2001 benefit. ”It was insanely cool,” says Slash. ”Steve Tyler said, ‘Wow, Axl should probably get his s — – together,’ but it’s way too late for that.” Soon after, Stradlin and Wasted Youth guitarist David Kushner joined the trio to write songs. One problem: no singer yet, though Buckcherry’s Joshua Todd, Lit’s Jay Popoff, and Psychotica’s Pat Briggs have auditioned. There’s also no name so far, but it won’t be Guns N’ Roses. ”Before a gig one night in ’92, [Axl] hands us a contract saying that if the band breaks up, he’s taking the name,” says Slash. ”Unfortunately, we signed it. I didn’t think he’d go on stage otherwise.”