Billboard Bits: Mercury Rev, Dissociatives, M. Ward

News on Mercury Rev, Dissociatives, M. Ward

RevMercury Rev will release its new V2 album, "The Secret Migration," as three separate digital EPs prior to the May 2005 release of the physical CD. The first segment, featuring the tracks "Secret for a Song," "Across Yer Ocean," "Diamonds" and "Black Forest (Lorelei)," will arrive Jan. 25, to coincide with the release of the full album in the U.K. the day before.

On March 8, the second installment will be released, featuring the songs "Vermillion," "In the Wilderness," "In a Funny Way" and "My Love." The final EP is due April 12 and encompasses "Moving On," "The Climbing Rose," "Arise," "First-Time Mother's Joy (Flying)" and "Down Poured the Heavens."

Mercury Rev begins a three-week European tour March 5 in Newcastle, England.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

JohnsAstralwerks has set a March 29 release date for the self-titled debut from the Dissociatives, which features Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns and producer Paul Mac. The pair met in 1997 when Mac remixed the Silverchair track "Freak." Johns then asked the producer to play on the band's subsequent albums "Neon Ballroom" and "Diorama."

The Dissociatives' album, which was released this summer internationally, weds Johns' rock-oriented approach to Mac's electro-influenced rhythms, with a dash of melody and offbeat humor. "Different people coming from different angles -- that's what makes it interesting," Johns told Billboard this summer.

The Dissociatives were recently nominated for six ARIA awards, including album of the year and best group. A DVD of videos and live clips, "Sydney Circa 2004Slash08," was released this fall in Australia.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

WardMembers of My Morning Jacket, Rilo Kiley, Giant Sand and the Decemberists are among the guests on singer/songwriter M. Ward's fourth album, "Transistor Radio." Due in late February via Merge, the 16-track set features a blend of originals and covers, including Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" and the Beach Boys' "You Still Believe in Me."

My Morning Jacket's Jim James sings and plays guitar on "One Life Away" and "Fuel for Fire," while Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and Vic Chesnutt sing on "Big Boat," which sports drumming by the Decemberists' Rachel Blumberg. Giant Sand's Howe Gelb and PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish appear on "Four Hours on Washington" and a cover of the Carter Family's "Oh Take Me Back."

The lone date on Ward's schedule is a Tuesday (Dec. 21) show at San Francisco's Cafe Du Nord with X's John Doe.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.