Billboard Bits: Idlewild, R.E.M., The Alarm
News on Idlewild, R.E.M., The AlarmScottish rock act Idlewild will release its next album, "Warnings/Promises," Aug. 16 in North America via Capitol. The Tony Hoffer-produced set recently debuted at No. 9 on the U.K. album chart. "There are three-part harmonies on most of the record," singer Roddy Woomble told Billboard.com last summer. "I'd hate to pigeonhole it before it is even released but its sound is definitely rooted in classic rock."
Idlewild has a series of high-profile support slots on tap this summer, including gigs with R.E.M., the Pixies and U2. The band will also play the U.K.'s Isle of Wight festival this weekend alongside Supergrass, Travis, Roxy Music, Ray Davies, R.E.M., Snow Patrol and Babyshambles.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
"Wanderlust," the fourth single from R.E.M.'s latest Warner Bros. album, "Around the Sun," will be released July 11 in the United Kingdom in a variety of formats. One CD single will feature an alternate version of "Low," from 1991's "Out of Time," while another will boast an alternate mix of "Around the Sun" cut "The Outsiders" and a live video of "Bad Day" shot in Zaragoza, Spain.
A 7-inch single on red vinyl will include the studio versions of "Wanderlust" and "The Outsiders," while the digital version is augmented by a live version of "Wanderlust" taped in Santa Barbara, Calif.
R.E.M. is in the midst of a European tour that runs through July 11 in Cardiff, Wales.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
For his third Alarmstock, Mike Peters has planned a trans-Atlantic event, with intimate daylong sessions Aug. 6 in London and Aug. 13 in New York. The acoustic performances at two of the world's historic recording studios are the latest endeavors the Alarm frontman has undertaken to serve the still-fervent fanbase of the band he walked away from in 1991, but has kept alive as a solo artist and through new versions of the group.
The London event will be held at Abbey Road Studio 2, where the Alarm in 1983 recorded its full-length debut, "Declaration." Among the plans is a performance of that album in its entirety.
The New York Alarmstock will take place at Electric Lady Studio A, and will boast a full performance of the Alarm's second album, "Strength," to mark the 20th anniversary of its release. More information can be found at Thealarm.com.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.