Billboard Bits: Mission Of Burma, Remy Zero, Earle

News on Mission Of Burma, Remy Zero, Earle

MissionSeminal Boston underground rock outfit Mission Of Burma has signed to Matador and is working on its first new studio album since 1982's "Vs." The group -- guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley and drummer Peter Prescott -- is eyeing a tentative May release for the as-yet-untitled album.

After an absence of more than 20 years, Mission Of Burma unexpectedly reformed in January 2002 and has been wowing audiences at its live shows ever since. Several new songs have made their way into the sets, including Miller's "Wounded World," Conley's "What We Really Were" and Prescott's "Fake Blood."

The lone show on the trio's upcoming schedule is Jan. 17 at New York's Irving Plaza.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

RemyModern rock act Remy Zero has split up. The group released two albums for Geffen and another for Elektra, scoring a minor hit with "Save Me," the theme from the WB series "Smallville." The cut reached No. 27 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 33 on the Adult Top 40 tally.

Founding sibling members Cinjun and Shelby Tate are already working on a new, untitled project, which will be released early next year by Excavation Records. Several MP3s from the group can be sampled on the label's
official Web site.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

EarleSteve Earle has joined the cast of the Off-Broadway play "The Exonerated" for a Dec. 29-Jan. 4 run at New York's 45 Bleecker Theatre. Directed by Bob Balaban, the spare production grew out of interviews with 40 death row inmates conducted by authors Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.

The play features rotating stars. Among those who have appeared either in the New York or touring production are Alanis Morissette, Aidan Quinn, Robin Williams and Peter Boyle. For more information, visit the 45 Bleecker Theatre
Web site.

Earle has a history of activism, and recently completed a stint with fellow singer/songwriter Billy Bragg, Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello and others on the Tell the Truth tour. Following his turn in "The Exonerated," he'll kick off an eight-date tour Jan. 11 in Santa Fe, N.M.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.