R.E.M. has enlisted Modest Mouse and the National as opening acts for its U.S. tour, which visits St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on June 5. But R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills is excited about an unknown band that will open for R.E.M. in Europe. Coincidentally, the Modern Skirts are from Athens, Ga., where R.E.M. got its start.


"I'm really psyched about them. I produced a song ["Motorcade"] that hopefully will be on their next record. They're really, really good. Kind of rock-pop. They remind me a little bit of the Young Rascals. They've been around, I guess, three or four years. They're just starting to break out from Athens. We got them a gig on Werchter, which is the big festival in Belgium, and they're going to open for us in Amsterdam. So they might get a little foothold in Europe."