Two-night tribute to honor R.E.M.’s first EP features Chris Robinson, Darius Rucker

The concerts at 40 Watt and the Roxy will raise money for Planned Parenthood

Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes has organized two concerts in December in Athens and Atlanta to celebrate R.E.M.’s first album, “Chronic Town.”

The first concert is set to be held Dec. 14 at the legendary 40 Watt Club in Athens, where R.E.M. used to perform. The second will be at the Roxy Theatre at the Battery Atlanta Dec. 15. General ticket sales for the Roxy show will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 at Tickets for the 40 Watt Club concert will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11. (Prices for at least some of the seats will vary depending on demand.)

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None of the original members of R.E.M. are scheduled to perform, but plenty of their admirers and friends are scheduled to be at the concerts.

According to a press release, Robinson’s brother Chris and Black Crowes bassist Sven Pipien will join the concert along with Darius Rucker, John Cameron Mitchell, Fred Armisen, Kevn Kinney, Lenny Kaye, Mitch Easter and more. The Indigo Girls and John Driskell Hopkins of Zac Brown Band are set to show up to the 40 Watt show.

Comic and actor David Cross, who grew up in Atlanta, will host both concerts.

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Proceeds from the concerts will go to Planned Parenthood.

“Growing up in Atlanta in the 1980s, R.E.M. was the preeminent band of that era,” Rich Robinson said in a statement. “Their music was a huge influence not only on the Atlanta music scene but also on my brother and me. I’m so happy to be able to put together this celebration for a band that meant so much to us and music, and ‘Chronic Town’ is what started it all.”

The five-song EP, which came out in August 1982, featured “Wolves, Lower,” “Gardening at Night,” “Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)”, “1,000,000″ and “Stumble.” It helped establish the young Athens quartet as a promising college band that ultimately built on the early buzz to become a worldwide phenomenon a few years later. The five songs later appeared on CD as part of the 1987′s B-sides/rarities collection “Dead Letter Office.”

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