The latest news on the band is that they will be back in the studio again this April, reconvening for another series of sessions after the early tracking that took place at the Music Shed in New Orleans back in November 2009. Peter, Mike, and Michael will be joined by Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin as well as producer Jacknife Lee and his teammates, Tom McFall and Sam Bell, each of whom lent their considerable talents to Accelerate and Live At The Olympia.

According to reports, the “Everybody Hurts” charity single has raised over $1,000,000 for Haiti and is fast-approaching the 500,000 mark for sales. Furthermore, “Everybody Hurts” is the number one single in the UK for the second consecutive week. This is great news, and as you might imagine, the band is very pleased that one of their songs could be used to help drive a portion of the recovery efforts in Haiti. The song is also now available for download on iTunes in the USA.

Speaking of “Everybody Hurts,” we came across this interesting blog about “EH” and the song’s special resonance with the British people after the London bombings in 2005.

Merge Records celebrated their 20th anniversary last year with the release of SCORE! 20 Years of Merge Records, a limited-edition subscription box set that was delivered to subscribers throughout 2009. Peter was one of the curators for the box set and a portion of the proceeds from the sales have gone to the Durham Rescue Mission, Peter’s charity of choice.

Merge still has a very limited number of complete SCORE! box sets available for purchase in the Merge Store.

We’ll announce this again closer to the time, but Sundance will be airing This Is Not A Show on Monday March 1 at 12:15pm and 6pm as well as Sunday March 7 at 6:35pm.

On to Athens…

This weekend Athens will celebrate the life and musical genius of Vic Chesnutt with two shows at the 40 Watt, February 19-20. The Vic Shows will include performances by a ton of talented musicians, some local, some not, who either worked with Vic in the past or who were touched by Vic’s music. Doors open at 8 p.m. each night. Although R.E.M. will not be able to be there, the band continues to keep Vic’s family and friends in their thoughts.

Georgia Organics will hold its 13th annual conference in Athens this weekend at the Classic Center. The program features farm tours, workshops and educational seminars focused on GO’s mission to “integrate healthy, sustainable and locally grown food into the lives of all Georgians.” For more information, please visit flagpole.com.

Finally, in addition to the multitude of great artists performing at the Vic Shows and the good fortune of hosting Georgia Organics, Athens will celebrate the good work of one of our favorite non-profit organizations, Community Connection, at the Classic Center this Sunday February 21 from 5pm to 8pm. A Taste of Athens is an annual favorite of locals, so If you’re in town and have never experienced this event, don’t miss it. More at flagpole.com.