Week in Rock

Word to the wise: never move Tommy Hilfiger’s girlfriend’s drink. That’s a lesson that Axl Rose learned the hard way recently at a swank New York nightclub. While seated at the VIP table, Rose moved a drink belonging to Dee Ocleppo, Hilfiger’s girlfriend. The fashion mogul lost control and jumped on Rose, throwing wild punches. “A bunch of security ran over, but Tommy would not back down,” said a witness to the sordid scene in a New York Post interview. “He was just out to take him down.” Eventually, the attack was thwarted by Hilfiger’s personal bodyguard, and the incident smoothed over as Axl dedicated a song in the surprise set he performed that night to “my good friend Tommy Hilfiger.” The song? “You’re Crazy.” Rose reflected on the incident on an L.A. radio show the next day, saying, “I moved his girlfriend’s drink so it wouldn’t spill. It was the most surreal thing, I think, that’s ever happened to me in my life.”


I don’t know about you, but I thought The Thermals had pretty much completely dropped off the map. A couple years ago, it seemed like they were the biggest shit in town, opening up for Quasi and getting write-up after write-up in every paper around. Even I wrote them up a couple times and I wasn’t even that crazy about them! Now, though, it seems that they’re back from beyond the grave with a track listing for their new long-player, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, and a brand-new drummer, Caitlin Love. The record is due out on August 22 on Sub Pop.

The band will be playing a show May 27 at the unspeakable Doug Fir, so go check out their new drummer and new tunes.


Summer is approaching rapidly, and along with the usual doses of end-of-term stress comes the fun and enjoyment of making plans for filling up the class-free three months that follow.

If you’re planning on traveling back east this year, then you might want to make a pit stop in New York City to catch one of the many free concerts happening there this warm season. Along with indie standards such as Belle and Sebastian, Yo La Tengo, Mates of State, Super Furry Animals, Eels and TV on the Radio, there will also be noteworthy appearances by The Box Tops, the old band of Big Star’s Alex Chilton. If you’re into wimpy ’70s power pop, then that’s definitely something worth checking out. There will be three major groupings of performances over the course of the summer, those being the Central Park SummerStage, the Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival and the River to River Festival in Manhattan.

The Central Park shows kick off on June 17 with Rhett Miller and wrap up on August 13 with Prefuse and DJ Spooky. The Brooklyn offerings start the same day and end on August 4 with Los Amigos Invisibles, with TV on the Radio, Matt Pond PA, and Voxtrot on June 30 being a standout. The super-massive River to River Festival starts off strong on June 2 with the Super Furry Animals and Dead Meadow. This selection, the largest and choicest of the bunch, also features The Sugarhill Gang on July 20, The Box Tops on Aug. 18, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists on Aug. 25. There are dozens more acts sandwiched in between the ones I just told you about, so if you do end up in New York you’ll have plenty of free entertainment for pretty much the entire summer, which is good since you’ll need all of your money for the $10 cigarettes and $8 Pabst.