Leah Greenblatt on the punk band's tour, with Shane West. Plus: Tidbits on British import Lily Allen, Weird Al's new target, and Dylan's new album
— The kids still say punk’s not dead, and though Darby Crash most certainly is (he OD’ed in 1980, the day before John Lennon was assasinated), the Germs, the legendary L.A. band he fronted, are back, not a quarter-century too soon. Original members Lorna Doom, Don Bolles, and Pat Smear (who went on to high-profile stints with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters) will play several July dates in California and Arizona with the Warped tour, then on to the East Coast through August. And their new Darby? Actor Shane West, who plays Crash in the long-delayed biopic What We Do Is Secret. Real punks may chafe at the idea of a former Boy Meets World and Buffy guest star slipping into the singer’s iconic ripped jeans, but if you’re into it, or just schadenfreude-y, find more info at the band’s MySpace page.
— In the spring, they say, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Well, in the summer, a young(ish) EW music staff’s fancy has lightly turned to thoughts of YouTube — specifically, videos of a cheeky British girl singing sunny raggae jams with sweet vocals and a few well-placed F-bombs. Her name is Lily Allen — she’s the 21-year-old daughter of Keith Allen, an actor-comedian closely associated with New Order and the Happy Mondays, and she has two grainy-but-totally-worth-it videos up on the site now (watch clips for ”LDN” and ”Smile”), plus a U.K. record, Alright,Still, due on Regal July 17 in the U.K. A U.S. date is still unannounced.
— Wherefore art thou, Weird Al? The man who brought America ”Eat It” and ”Amish Paradise” has been drawn out of parody retirement for an eminently worthy target: James Blunt‘s ”You’re Beautiful” (even Blunt admits he never needs to hear it again). Stream ”You’re Pitiful” here. And memo to Daniel ”Bad Day” Powter: You’re so next.
— Speaking of people we haven’t heard from lately, it seems the Rapture, whose ”House of Jealous Lovers” pretty much owned indie stereos in the summer of 2003, are finally emerging from the mists of the early-mid-naughts. The Brooklyn-based band just played a show to benefit a friend with cancer under the name Druzzi’s Wyld Stallyns (Ex-DFA) at NYC’s relatively small club Crash Mansion, and have reportedly recorded a number of tracks in LA with the ubiquitous Danger Mouse, for an album due this August. For a relatively useless but entertaining video, click here.
— Freewheelin’ Bob is back! Fans not sated by his strangely incongruent appearance in those Victoria’s Secret commercials (satin panties + grizzled Bob = kind of ick) or not in possession of XM satellite radio (he hosts a weekly program Wednesdays at 10 a.m.) can rejoice: After a five-year absence, Bob Dylan is set to release Modern Times on Aug. 28, his first record of new material since 2001’s Love & Theft.