News on Arctic Monkeys, Ashley MacIsaac, People In Planes

U.K. buzz band Arctic Monkeys will begin their first North American tour March 13 in San Francisco. The group played a handful of dates here in October but had yet to finish its debut album, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not." As previously reported, that set is due Feb. 21 in North America via Domino and Jan. 23 internationally. First single "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor" has already topped the U.K. singles chart.

Here are Arctic Monkeys' tour dates:

March 13: San Francisco (Great American Music Hall)
March 15: Los Angeles (Henry Fonda Theatre)
March 17: Austin, Texas (La Zona Rosa)
March 18: Chicago (Metro)
March 21: Toronto (Phoenix Concert Theatre)
March 22: Montreal (La Sala Rossa)
March 23: Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
March 25: New York (Webster Hall)
March 26: Philadelphia (First Unitarian Church)
March 27: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
March 29: Seattle (Crocodile Cafe)


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Since the mid-1990s, Ashley MacIsaac has turned heads with his Celtic-inspired fiddle skills and genre-crossing sound. But the Canadian artist has opted to drop the instrument so closely tied to his notoriety for his latest album, "Pride."

Due March 21 via Koch Records, the project recasts the once kilt-clad rebel as a singer/songwriter. Free downloads of three songs -- "Bitch," "Just Because" and "Hey Alright" -- are available from the artist's official Web site. An animated video for "Bitch" can also be streamed via the site.

MacIsaac is expected to tour the United States in support of the release, although at deadline, he has only Feb. 17-18 shows scheduled in Winnipeg as part of the Canadian city's Festival du Voyager.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Actor Joaquin Phoenix has directed the first video for up-and-coming U.K. rock combo People In Planes. "If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)" was shot late last month at Ontario (Calif.) International Airport. The song can be found on People In Planes' debut album, "As Far As The Eye Can See," due March 28 via Wind-Up.

"[The concept of the video] really all comes together at once," Phoenix says. "The first inspiration is the song and for me it has to be a song that you like and respond to in some way. And the People In Planes' song, has something really inspiring about it. It sounds like music that I always love."


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.