In recent years guitarist Peter Buck, the David Straithairn of rock, has put in time as a member of the Minus 5, the indie supergroup the Baseball Project, and the Venus 3, Robyn Hitchcock's touring band. The main element all these jobs had in common is Scott McCaughey, former Young Fresh Fellow and semi-official member of the primary focus of Buck's adult life, R.E.M. (McCaughey was brought in to tour with the group during the Monster tour in 1994 and stuck around, in one capacity or another, until their official dissolution last year.) McCaughey was on the radio in Seattle the other day and took the occasion to announce that he's been pitching in on Buck's debut solo album. The adjective everyone reporting on the interview has chosen to highlight is “out”—which is McCaughey's best term for the music Buck is making these days. As Matthew Perpetua puts it on Rolling Stone’s website, it remains “unclear when Buck will finish the record, much less release it,” but McCaughey says that he may put it out only on vinyl and that Buck may do his own singing on the album.