June 1, 2003

Yo La Tengo’s newest release, the bright, swirling Summer Sun, puts you in the mood for just that—cruising down the road on a warm day with sunglasses on and the windows rolled down. Slowly, but surely, the days are getting longer, and we can bid farewell to one of the coldest, snowiest, craziest winters in recent memory. Now it’s finally okay to get psyched up for summer.

The Lollapalooza Festival will return for the first time since 1997, with Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell once again at the helm.

“We had a five-year hiatus, and we took a rest,” explains Farrell of the festival that paved the way for Ozzfest and Warped. “And it’s never a bad idea to take a rest—especially when you’re exhausted.”

At press time, Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, Jurassic 5, and the Donnas have been confirmed to play the main stage, with 28 dates are planned around the country. The original 1991 event— which featured the Butthole Surfers and Nine Inch Nails— was intended as Jane’s Addiction final bash before they broke up. But the party turned into a yearly extravaganza, and the festival is credited for playing a huge role in the successes of Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

Sure, festivals are cool, but nothing really screams summer like camp! And while you may be beyond the days of swim lessons and arts and crafts, there is still a place for you and your guitar. Sponsored by VH1 Classic, the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp will take place in New York City June 18-22, and give campers a chance to rock out and hang out with the likes of Roger Daltrey, Ace Frehley, Markie Ramone, Bret Michaels, and Mark Farner. For a mere $5,995 (you can add a spouse for an additional $295), you get five days of recording seminars and jam sessions, ending with a battle of the bands. Campers leave with a personalized demo and a videotape. No prior experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome. Click to for details.

Things quiet down a bit in August, with the Healdsburg Guitar Festival’s exposition of handmade acoustics. More than 100 luthiers will gather in Santa Rosa, California, August 14-17, to exhibit their wares. Also planned are player workshops, business and guitar-building seminars, and some fabulous performances by Muriel Anderson, Phil Keaggy, Christopher Parkening, and others. Stop at for more info.

If that doesn’t quite quench your thirst for a learning environment, perhaps the National Guitar Workshop is a perfect summer destination. Now in its 20th year, the workshop is held on eight campuses across the country (New Milford, Connecticut; Sarasota, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; and Chicago, Illinois) throughout the month of July. There are three different programs to choose from: Major/Minor (students can choose one major and three minors), Seminars (five-day intensive studies of one style), and Summits (intensive studies of a chosen style that incorporate ensemble performances). Program topics include rock, blues, jazz, acoustic, songwriting, guitar exploration, voice, bass, and drums. Students also get the perspectives of guest guitarists—and we’re talking artists such as Joe Satriani, Greg Koch, John Hammond, Eric Johnson, Johnny Hiland, Bill Frisell, Duke Robillard, and Robben Ford. Not too shabby! Lots more details are available at

—Emily Fasten    

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