Disappears are back from New Jersey, y’all! The band returned last Sunday after a week spent holed up with producer Aaron Mullan (Tall Firs, Sonic Youth) at Echo Canyon in Hoboken; they’re now armed with a new LP for Kranky, and they anticipate a spring 2012 release. Next week they’ll head to Dallas to mix it with producer John Congleton at his studio, Elmwood Recording. Congleton previously worked with Disappears front man Brian Case on the final 90 Day Men album, but he’s better known for his recent work with St. Vincent and R. Kelly.

Last weekend’s Riot Fest—the annual cacophonous punk-rock blowout featuring shoddy, reunited punk bands and shoddy, still-active punk and metal acts—made for some primo rock-star watching. Highlights over at the Congress Theatre included some serious audience antics during the Descendents set on Saturday—Head of Skulls front dude and newlywed Chris Hansen went crowd surfing for the first time. Friday night’s Danzig Legacy performance saw Glenn Danzig complain about the heat; during one song break, the Satanic Shorty compared the temperature atop his height-enhancing platform to “either hell or Auschwitz.” There’s no way the un-PC front man could have been talking about heat generated from his performance—there wasn’t much to be heard or felt. Although he and his band sweated through a set of classics with help from some guests (Misfits songs with Doyle! Samhain songs with Steve Zing! Wait, who?), the crowd around this Wolf looked less than inflamed.

Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh was found dead in his Chicago hotel room on Saturday; authorities suspect the cause may be a drug overdose. Welsh, who left the band in 2001 after a nervous breakdown, came to town to see Weezer play at the Congress for Riot Fest. A Cook County Medical Examiner spokesperson says Welsh was autopsied on Sunday, but the office doesn’t expect to release the findings for at least a month. Weezer dedicated Sunday night’s set to Welsh, remembering him as “great bassist”; there will be a memorial in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, on Saturday. —Jessica Hopper and J.R. Nelson

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