Quick Hits: Counting Crows, Fun Fun Fun Fest, R.E.M., Paul McCartney, Hozier, Janelle Monáe, Robert Gordon
May 20, 2014

Counting Crows
Counting Crows have signed an agreement with Capitol Records for the fall release of their forthcoming studio album, Somewhere Under Wonderland. It will be the band's sixth studio album and their first since Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings came out in 2008. Capitol Music Group Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett commented: "It's not surprising that Counting Crows have built and maintained such a successful career for more than 20 years. The solid bond between the band and their audience has been forged through their great recordings and exciting live performances, and that relationship will continue with the release of Somewhere Under Wonderland and their forthcoming tour. I join everyone in our company in welcoming Counting Crows to Capitol." The band is set to be on the road from June 11 in Tampa to August 17 in Los Angeles.

Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF Fest) has unveiled the music lineup of the 9th annual festival, to be held November 7-9 at Auditorium Shores and Butler Park in Austin, TX. Headliners include Judas Priest, Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Cab For Cutie, Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Alt-J and Girl Talk. The roster will also feature performances from The New Pornographers, Dinosaur Jr., 2 Chainz, Atmosphere, Guided by Voices, City and Colour, Yo La Tengo, Foxygen, Sun Kil Moon, Flying Lotus, Yelle, and Ginuwine. Additional musical acts may also be announced later this summer.

R.E.M. has released a massive digital music set that features 131 B-sides, live tracks and non-album cuts from the band's Warner Bros. Records period. Titled The Complete Rarities: Warner Bros: 1988-2011, it boasts live and studio covers (from Iggy Pop to the Ohio Players), a performance of "Bang and Blame" on Saturday Night Live, alternate mixes, non-album tracks ("Fretless," "Arms of Love"), instrumental versions ("Orange Crush"), soundchecks and more.
Moreover, R.E.M.'s full catalog also received a digital reissue in the "Mastered for iTunes" format, including their debut
Chronic Town EP which has never been released as a standalone CD. Fans also can head to iTunes to purchase bundles of all the albums that R.E.M. released on both I.R.S. Records and Warner Bros.

Sir Paul McCartney is canceling his entire tour of Japan due to illness. McCartney caught a virus last week and canceled several of the shows, but now organizers say he is not well enough to do any of the Japanese concerts. The official site of McCartney's Out There Japan Tour 2014 said his doctors are ordering him "complete rest." Meanwhile, Sir Paul is still scheduled for a concert in Seoul, South Korea on May 28, followed by 19 U.S. performances.

Irish native Hozier will return stateside when he launches his first national headlining tour of the U.S. on September 30 in Nashville. The tour crisscrosses the country before wrapping up with a show in New York City on November 5. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 21 at 10 a.m. local time. Hozier is currently completing his inaugural U.S. run which will end this week with shows in San Francisco and a performance at the Sasquatch! Festival.

Janelle Monáe's Australasian tour has been canceled due to illness. The singer had already nixed a date on Saturday in Melbourne and another on Monday in Sydney, but on Tuesday, tour promoter Live Nation Australasia announced the rest of the trek would not happen either. "Due to Janelle Monáe's continuing illness it has been confirmed that the remainder of The Golden Electric Tour has been cancelled and there will be no rescheduled performances," the promoter said in a statement.

Rockabilly artist Robert Gordon is returning with his first release since 2007, titled I'm Coming Home. The CD will be officially released on June 24, but it is available now at www.lanarkrecords.net. Gordon will be touring worldwide this year to support I'm Coming Home. "Lanark is excited to release Robert's new album," explains co-producer and guitarist Quentin Jones. "The songs show hues of the classic sound and feel found on his hit records, Rock Billy Boogie and Bad Boy. Fans can expect to hear the same Robert Gordon that broke the mold of rock & roll and rockabilly!"

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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