Red Bull Rock Report: REM

Welcome to Red Bull’s weekly rock music bulletin, where we will be recalling some of the biggest and most unforgettable moments in the culture, as well as dish out exclusive news bits.

Dave Matthews Band Taking a Year Off

The Dave Matthews Band is planning to take a year off from touring, but before they go on a recess, the group is putting on the Dave Matthews Band Caravan - a monthly festival that will be hosted in four different regions throughout the United States. The first of these summer regional festivals takes place at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 24th to June 26th. Aside from the obvious headliners, other artists slated to perform at the extravaganza include Ray LaMontagne, The Flaming Lips, O.A.R., Damian Marley, Amos Lee, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Guster, David Gray, Fitz & The Tantrums and many more. Tickets go on sale starting next week.

The Return of R.E.M.

R.E.M. has returned in a major way. In an effort to build promotions for their newly released album Collapse Into Now, their fifteenth studio offering for those keeping count, the Athens, Georgia-based rockers have enlisted a plethora of notable celebrities to direct videos for each and every song on the 12-track collection. Names attached to the project include actor James Franco, photographer and conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood, filmmaker Albert Maysles, author James Herbert and, of course, R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe. The videos will be premiered on various web outlets in the weeks ahead.

Trent Reznor's Next Gig

Almost two weeks removed from walking away with the Academy Award for Original Score for The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were set to begin work on scoring The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. But since winning the Oscar, there seems to be more projects in store for Reznor. The rock musician is in talks with director Timur Bekmambetov to score Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, as well as make a cameo appearance. Additionally, he plans to release an album from his new group How To Destroy Angels, due out in the fall, and is writing material for Nine Inch Nails’ currently untitled eighth studio album. Man, does Reznor stay busy!

Nine Inch Nails aren’t the only rock bands planning on dropping albums soon. Thursday will be releasing their sixth studio effort No Devolucion on April 12th through Epitaph Records, Green Day will unleash their new live album Awesome As Fuck on April 26th through Adeline Records, and The Antlers will unveil their fourth LP Burst Apart on May 10th through Frenchkiss Records. Also, the Shirley Manson-fronted Garbage has begun writing material for their currently untitled fifth studio album and hope to have it finished by the summer.

Warped Tour Updates 

This week, Warped Tour announced nine more new bands to their summer festival lineup including post-hardcore quintet Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (or D.R.U.G.S., whom topped the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart last week with their self-titled debut). Other artists recently added to the bill include Beijing punk band Demerit, alternative hip-hop group Vonnegutt, rap rock outfit Good Guys In Black, post skacore collective The Sheds, modern rock machine Machree, indie rock juggernaut Gatsby’s American Dream, and pop punkers Veara and Cold Forty Three.

Death of Mike Starr

In a closing note, Red Bull sends their condolences out to the friends and family of Mike Starr. The former bassist of legendary grunge outfit Alice In Chains was found dead Tuesday afternoon at his residence in Salt Lake City, Utah. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

Starr will be best remembered for his contributions to the 90’s grunge music era. As a member of Alice In Chains from their inception back in 1987 until his departure in 1993, the bassist helped the band’s first two albums, Faceless and Dirt, reach multi-platinum status. In recent years, Starr appeared on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and later on Sober House for drug treatment where he ultimately kicked the habit. Red Bull’s thoughts and prayers are with Starr’s family and friends.

For more from Bear Frazer follow him on Twitter: @BearFrazer

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