Bright Eyes has just announced a bevy of North American dates for early next year, presumably to warm up for the band’s opening run for R.E.M. downunder.

The tour starts in Omaha, Neb., January 15, and will last a full month, with shows in theatres throughout the Midwest, South and both coasts. They’ll wrap at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre February 17 and take a few weeks’ rest before the R.E.M. jaunt starts in March.

Feisty as ever, Oberst is going above and beyond the call of duty by playing a host of headliners on the R.E.M. off-days. In fact, Bright Eyes has almost as many gigs on its own as they do with Michael Stipe & Co.

The Australia/New Zealand tour runs through April 8, but you can bet Oberst is already cooking up some establishment-defying dates for summer.