The 24-date jaunt – which begins October 18 in Atlanta and wraps November 23 in their hometown of Tulsa, Okla. – includes visits to local colleges, where the band will talk to students about their experiences in the music business, and especially their quest to succeed outside the mainstream.

At each campus, the Hanson brothers – Isaac, Taylor and Zac – will screen their self-produced documentary, “Strong Enough to Break,” illustrating their take on the music business and why the band decided to set up their own record label. A Q&A session with the students will follow.

Pointing to the success of their 3CG Records, the band looks to build a grass-roots community of artists, labels, promoters and fans to help bring independent music to the forefront.

“The future depends on the commitment and passion of musicians, fans and the industry to career artists,” said Zac. “If we don’t get involved, we only have ourselves to blame.”

Hanson backs up the indie talk by working with local college radio stations and newspapers to sponsor a contest to select a developing band as its opening act in each tour market.

Bands are invited to submit music to 3CG Records, with three finalists chosen by the label to be spotlighted on and the winner chosen by a public online vote. Indie bands in Hanson tour markets can get further information through local college radio outlets.

Concert tickets go on sale Saturday, August 27, with every purchaser receiving a free limited edition Live and Electric Tour ’05 CD sampler, to be distributed at each performance.

The new album, The Best of Hanson Live and Electric, hits stores October 11. The tunes were recorded during a concert in Melbourne, Australia.

Along with the band’s singles and fan favorites, the disc includes covers of Radiohead’s “Optimistic” and U2’s “In a Little While.”

A limited edition CD/DVD version will also be available with new live footage, the previously unreleased song “Being Me,” music videos, and a photo gallery among the bonus features.

The new track “Crazy Beautiful,” will be available pre-release as an iTunes exclusive starting August 30, while “Underneath” will be carried by selected online retailers before the CD hits stores.

Live acoustic versions of tracks including “Misery” and “Underneath” will be featured as part of a Hanson Connect Set on Sony Music’s online retail site, also launching August 30. The band will participate in an online chat on at 2 p.m. (ET) the same day.