Apparently, the digital-music innovator Zune is bent on hosting more than an assortment of tracks for download and rad software. In what might be seen as a strategic move in the corporate battle against the almighty iTunes, the Microsoft-owned company is offering the Zune Live at the BBQ series, which is based around the Zune Mantra (whoa) to “support art, music, and film in the digital space with technology and innovation.” Debuting in Los Angeles last week, the first edition included performances by Common, UGK, E-40, and Collie Budz, plus a grip of food.

Sunday, July 22, from 3 – 10 p.m. will see Zune Live at the BBQ in Chicago, with performances by Little Brother, Mos Def, Bilal, and Qualo. The venues are kept secret until two days before the show, so kids ready for ribs and indie hip-hop have a little homework to do.

In addition to the L.A. and Chicago shows, Zune’s also hosting a New York edition August 4, with a yet-to-be lineup. Where’s your iTunes now?

Little Brother is slate to perform in Chicago.