Michael Sheffield

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    Mastodon Announce Spring Tour

    Never underestimate the endurance of Mastodon. After 11 months of touring in 2009 -- including a run opening for Metallica in Europe and a stateside trek with Deathklok as part of the Adult Swim Presents tour -- the Atlanta-bred progressive metal band have announced a new 37-date spring tour of North America. The trek -- launched in continuing support of Mastodon's SPIN-approved 2009 release Crack The Sky -- kicks off on April 16 in Charleston, SC, and wraps up in Lexington, KY, on May 22. Fellow metal bands Baroness, Valiant Thorr, and Between The Buried And Me will support on select dates. Tickets for all concerts go on sale Feb. 12, with certain presale tickets available on Feb. 11.

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    Strokes Start Recording in New York Studio!

    It's good news for rock fans: The Strokes have begun recording their new album at New York City's Avatar Studios. The yet untitled release will be the quintet's first since 2007's First Impressions of Earth. In a post to their website, the bandmembers confirmed that they're working with Grammy award winning producer Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, Beck, Bjork, My Morning Jacket) and engineer Gus Oberg (Bloc Party) on their fourth studio LP, and promise to document the process in "video vignettes." So what should fans expect from the Strokes' big comeback album? Well, in a recent Q&A with SPIN, singer Julian Casablancas said the band certainly have something to prove. "We got to the top of the underground, but we never got as big as Green Day or Creed or any of the bands we were supposed to be replacing in 2001," he explained. "So, in my mind, here's still a step to take.

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    WATCH: Motion City Soundtrack Rock 'Fallon'

    Motion City Soundtrack are on a career high. The Minneapolis band's SPIN-approved fourth album (and major label debut) My Dinosaur Life dropped in late January, opening at No. 15 on the Billboard charts, the group's biggest success yet. Tuesday night, MCS dropped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to celebrate with a spot-on performance of album single "Her Words Destroyed My Planet." Watch below. "This is the most honest song I've ever written," frontman Justin Pierre recently told SPIN.com about the cut, which describes "some J.J. Abrams alternative universe reality type shit." Musically, the song exemplifies the overall punch of the band's new album, which SPIN reviewer Mikael Wood praised for its "radio-ready balance between mayhem and melody." Motion City Soundtrack kick off an lengthy world tour Feb. 3 in New York City.

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    The National Prep U.S. Tour, New Album

    The National will kick off the new decade with a Spring tour of the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including headlining gigs at NYC's Radio City Music Hall and London's Royal Albert Hall, and supporting the newly reunited Pavement in Paris. The band's North American dates coincide with the release of their as-yet-untitled new album, due in May via 4AD. It's their first since 2007's Boxer. The U.S. tour kicks off with two shows in Richmond, VA, on April 22-23, and wraps June 16 with the aforementioned Radio City show. Prior to the tour, the band will play the March 26-28 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN.

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