Natalie Merchant will be subject of a televised concert on the Oxygen network next Friday (Dec. 21). "Up Close And Personal With Natalie Merchant" will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will be simultaneously

Natalie Merchant will be subject of a televised concert on the Oxygen network next Friday (Dec. 21). "Up Close And Personal With Natalie Merchant" will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will be simultaneously streamed through Oxygen's Web site.

The concert, Merchant's first televised performance in two years, will be taped Tuesday in New York and coincides with Oxygen's debut on Time Warner Cable of New York City. The network is also inviting fans to submit questions at its Web site for Merchant to answer during the show.

The former 10,000 Maniacs lead singer is winding down her tour in support of her latest album, "Motherland" (Elektra). The run touches down tonight (Dec. 14) at the Aire Crown Theater in Chicago, tomorrow at St. Louis' Pageant, and will come to a close on Wednesday at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J., a make-up date for a show postponed last month due to illness.

Merchant is also scheduled to appear Monday night on CNN's "Larry King Live" and Thursday on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." A Jan. 26 appearance on PBS' "Austin City Limits" is also in the offing. The episode was taped earlier this month when Merchant and her group "played an hour-long set before a very kind live audience" according to a letter to fans on the artist's official Web site.

"Motherland" debuted at No. 30 on The Billboard 200 earlier this month. The album's lone single so far, "Just Can't Last," peaked at No. 30 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart.

The group remains signed to 4AD/Elektra -- which released "Last Splash," 1990's "Pod," and the 1992 "Safari" EP -- but an Elektra spokesperson says the album is not yet on the label's release schedule.

The U.S. tour will get underway Jan. 28 in Albuquerque, N.M., and wrap a month later in Anaheim, Calif. The group -- now consisting of guitarists (and sisters) Kim and Kelley Deal, guitarist Richard Presley, bassist Mondo Lopez, and drummer Jose Medeles -- is also confirmed for previously announced appearances at the U.K.'s All Tomorrow's Parties festival, set to take place over the last two weekends in April.

Here are the Breeders' tour dates:

Jan. 28: Albuquerque, N.M. (Launch Pad)
Jan. 30: Austin, Texas (Emo's)
Jan. 31: Dallas (Trees)
Feb. 1: Houston (Engine Room)
Feb. 2: New Orleans (Shim Sham Club)
Feb. 4: Atlanta (Echo Lounge)
Feb. 6: Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cat's Cradle)
Feb. 7: Baltimore (Otto Bar)
Feb. 8: Philadelphia (North Star)
Feb. 9, 12: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Feb. 12: Boston (Middle East)
Feb. 14: Columbus, Ohio (Little Brothers)
Feb. 15: Cleveland (Beachland Ballroom)
Feb. 16: Detroit (Magic Stick)
Feb. 18-19: Chicago (the Abbey)
Feb. 20: Minneapolis (400 Bar)
Feb. 22: Denver (Bluebird Theater)
Feb. 23: Ft. Collins, Colo. (Starlight)
Feb. 27: San Diego (Casbah)
Feb. 28: Anaheim, Calif. (House of Blues)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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