R.E.M., Foo Fighters Added To Rio Festival

R.E.M. fans in Brazil will get a chance to check out the band's studio tans when the group plays the upcoming Rock In Rio For A Better World festival in Rio De Janeiro.

The band is is the latest act to be added to the bill for the weeklong event, which already includes the recently announced Foo Fighters along with Silverchair, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 'NSYNC, and Britney Spears (see "Silverchair, Chili Peppers To Rock In Rio").

A total of 98 acts are expected to play the festival, which is set to take place from January 12-21. R.E.M.'s performance is scheduled for January 13.

R.E.M.'s inclusion comes as a surprise, given that the band is in the process of recording a new album that is not expected out until next spring. According to the group's manager, the main reason for scheduling the festival is to visit South America, a continent the band (surprisingly) has not previously visited.

Although

the recording is expected to wrap up prior to the Rio appearance, fans should not expect to hear any new material.

The three core bandmembers (Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, and Mike Mills) are currently housed in Dublin, Ireland, working on the album with producer Pat McCarthy. The trio, along with extended members Joey Waronker, Ken Stringfellow, and Scott McCaughey, previously spent a month in Vancouver (see "R.E.M. To Record In Vancouver"), and also did sessions at home in Athens, Georgia.

The current sessions are expected to wrap up in Ireland in a few weeks, at which point the band will take a break before reconvening for more sessions in Athens. According to management, present plans are to finish up later this year and release the record, R.E.M.'s 12th studio album, sometime in the spring of 2001.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated pairing, Peter Buck has contributed guitar to Brazilian musician Nando Reis' solo record,

which is set to be released in September on WEA Brazil. Reis is the former singer and bass player of Titãs, one of Brazil's top rock bands.