Though its solstice is still a few weeks off, summer unofficially kicked off this week as many Americans came to terms with June's arrival: "Whoa, so I guess summer's here, right?" But, aside from the definition of SPF, much was learned in these past five days, with lessons bestowed from Kurt Cobain's, ahem, most devout fans, Disturbed's surprisingly vast Orthodox Jew following, Stroke-gone-solo Albert Hammond. Jr., and tour mates Phantom Planet and the Hush Sound.
Here's a rundown:
What we learned from Kurt Cobain's devout fans: An unidentified robber entered [Courtney] Love's Hollywood home and snatched clothing, jewelry, and Cobain's ashes, which were kept in a 'pink teddy bear-shaped bag along with a lock of his hair.'" WTF? Yes, people love Nirvana, but seriously, his ashes? Good luck selling those on eBay.
What we learned from Disturbed's Orthodox Jew following: "A growing cult of students at yeshivas -- all-male Jewish parochial schools -- are risking expulsion by sneaking in copies of the band's albums and listening between Talmud classes and prayer services." Disturbed's frontman David Draiman, also a Orthodox Jew, was booted from several yeshivas, and it seems other disciples of the Torah are adopting his rock'n'roll 'tude. Take that Matisyahu!
More highlights from this week...
-- MP3: Tilly and the Wall, "Pot Kettle Black" "Jamie Pressnall's tap fills thunder over conventional drums, and oodles of guitar effects support electronic tinkerings and vocal overdubs. Case in point: 'Pot Kettle Black.'"
-- MP3: Albert Hammond Jr., "GfC" "'GfC' opens with starry guitar twinkles, which segue into pop-smart slashes and hip-shaking bass, and soon, an all out chorus in which Hammond Jr. stretches his vocals like never before."
-- New Video: The Hush Sound, Phantom Planet Sing About Cereal "On their tour bus for the Honda Civic Tour, Greta Salpeter and Alex Greenwald extol the virtues of breakfast."
-- Bonnaroo '07 Flashback: Ben Harper "Watch video of our Peter Gaston gabbing with Harper on the splendors of Bonnaroo, jamming onstage with Pearl Jam, and his true passion, playing eclectic instruments."
-- Bonnaroo '07 Flashback: Dr. Dog "The hirsute Philadelphia-based crew catch about live shows, the burgeoning music scene in the City of Brotherly Love, and, uh, taking off your pants."
-- Bonnaroo '07 Flashback: Cold War Kids Nathan Willett and Matt Maust talk about sweat-soaked backs, performing in the daylight, and Bonnaroo's status as "one of the last love fests."
-- Bonnaroo '07 Flashback: Lily Allen "Allen gabs about adapting to U.S. festivals, braving the summer elements (hack!), and confusing fans 'crying tears of joy.'"
-- Bonnaroo '07 Flashback: John Roderick of the Long Winters "Roderick talks backstage about "messing" with the Decemberists' live set, gonzo journalism, the Long Winters' future plans, and the pleasures of covering Bonnaroo '07."
-- My Morning Jacket, 'Evil Urges' (ATO)
-- The Notwist, The Devil, You + Me (Domino)
-- Islands, Arm's Way (Anti-)
-- Shearwater, Rook (Matador)
-- Robert Pollard, Robert Pollard Is Off to Business (Guided by Voices Inc.)
-- Aimee Mann, @#%&! Smilers (Superego)
-- Ladytron, Velocifero (Nettwerk)
-- Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
-- Exclusive: Long Winters to Record New Album this Summer AUDIO! Bandleader John Roderick reveals new writing methods and tentative song titles for the quartet's forthcoming full-length, tentatively due in 'early 2009.'"
-- Exclusive: Limited Edition Joy Division Zune Player Revealed "See the media player designed by Factory Records legend Peter Saville, which arrives June 17 with the band's much-anticipated documentary preloaded."
-- New Okkervil River Album Out Sept. 9 "Austin, TX's folky alt-rockers reveal The Stand Ins, the band's sequel to 2007's The Stage Names, and plot a lengthy fall North American tour."