We are about finished with the work here and will be heading across the water to Miami for the final phase of recording and mixing. Compass Point has been a wonderful place to work, and the songs and sounds have really been flowing the past few weeks. I have lost count but suffice it to say there are many, many more songs needed for a CD’s worth—so the process of finishing and releasing this record should be fun indeed; still lots of work to be done. Some song titles I see bandied about: “On the Fly,” “The Outsiders,” “Leaving New York.”

We have been talking about touring plans and will be able to announce something fairly soon. As promised before, some new places and some familiar ones. It will be quite a year from the looks of it, and we can’t wait.

Anyway, what more to report? The guys are all doing well. They are making a very cool record with a lot of things that sound nothing like them, plenty of things that do, and a strong sense of melody throughout (and no reggae or overtly island mon tings that i hear!). If you are already an R.E.M. fan, I cannot imagine you not liking this one; if you aren’t a fan, maybe you will be when you hear it. We are aiming for a fall release with concert dates to follow soon thereafter.

In side news: Michael’s movie Saved is due to premier in a couple of weeks—for the movie he dueted with Mandy Moore on Beach Boys number “God Only Knows;” Mike recently had the honor of awarding a lifetime achievement to Big Star in their hometown of Memphis; Peter is staying busy with Scott and their Minus 5 adventures (see related articles on main news page) and he just recently played on the upcoming Thrills record; their last one, So Much for the City, was a real gem. Speaking of the Minus 5, they will be doing a benefit to raise funds and awareness for an organization called No Vote Left Behind in Seattle in early May (see separate news article). In June, Scott will embark on a ten-day tour of Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia with the Bambi Molesters.

All are preparing for the stretch run in finishing this record that started in Vancouver, took a break for the hits package and tour, resumed here in the tropics and is headed for a record store near you in a few months…

All best,