The Week That Was: Jacko posthumous, Girl Talk is back, spectre of Cher somehow inescapable


We adjusted the clocks. We became a little leerier about dropping by UPS and Fed-Ex locations. We got a little more excited about Jay-Z's Decoded. We got all indignant about Wal-Mart playing "Little Drummer Boy" over the PA system. We bundled up, shivered. This is the first week of November, as real American people experienced it, and below is what went down in the world music last week.

[jump] The Decemberists Gear Up For More Watered-Down Fiery Furnaces, If You're Into That Sort of Thing

Read about the album - which features R.E.M.'s Peter Buck in what must be a grab for relevance or a way to kill boredom - here. Educate yourself on who the Decemberists actually were - failed 19th century Russian revolutionaries who enjoy an exalted position in their country's folklore to this very day - before Colin Meloy appropriated their sobrequiet by clicking here.

Lil Wayne's Feet Hit The Bricks

Oft-rapped, mindless "Free Weezy" catchphrase now free to die a noble death. Thank God.

Michael Jackson To Join Elvis, Tupac, and Biggie Smalls In Moving Heavy, Diminishing-Returns Product From Beyond Grave

The embattled, unimaginatively-titled Michael drops December 14th, which means Mom can pre-order it for you right now and you can have that sucker up for sale on before the New Year's Day sales begin. No, I haven't heard the leaks. No, I don't have big expectations. No, I don't lay around all day in steamy rooms with leopards.

William Shatner Still Doesn't Give A Fuck

The erstwhile T.J. Hooker covers Cee-Lo here. Gimme Noise contends that this is still more satisfying, but we have a special place in our hearts for all things Pulp.

Girl Talk Won't Shut Big Lawsuit-Baiting Yapper Or Stay Home

Yes, Virginia, there's always more money to be made in the business of piecing together pop-music collages - in record sales, sure, but the big dough comes from taking your crowd-pleasing polymathmatic thievery out on the road.

Omnipresent Burlesque Trailer Forces A Hibernating Nation To Ponder The Supernatural Limits Of Cher's Plastic-Surgery Team Way More Than Usual

Could they cure cancer? Could they wipe out the national debt disappear? Could they salvage Christina Aguilera's career? Are we collectively ready for singles from the soundtrack to this mascara-strewn freak show to stampede Glee and American Idol?

Please Pay Attention To Suge Knight

Remember when everybody in hip-hop was terrified of Suge Knight? Suge desperately needs you to relive that sense of terror. Or at least a twinge of it. Maybe just a smidgen? Please?

R.E.M. To Drop Yet Another Record You Won't Even Deign To Steal

Gimme Noise isn't much of an R.E.M. fan - the last time yours truly went mental for Stipe and Company was back in late 1998, when Up unexpectedly touched a raw nerve and wrapped him up in ghostly, electronic swatches of spectral tulle that he still hasn't quite escaped - but it's dismaying that these guys don't get anywhere near the respect and attention and consideration that they've earned, that sort of cherished elder-statesman mantle. I mean, I know, no Bill Berry, but still. Where did all of their fans disappear to? (Don't count me; I was never a die-hard.) The only guy I ever knew who was maniacal for R.E.M. - and would fiercely, wolfishly defend them - was this sort of oafish, kindly dude from high school; he looked sort of like Mark Ibold and transferred to a different school during sophomore or junior year. Lost touch. Later, I met a girl who knew him and said he'd "become a shaman" or something. Anyway, Collapse Into Now will be the title of R.E.M.'s next album - expect lots of cruel puns on that title from bloggers - and it'll feature, to no-one's surprise, Patti Smith and Eddie Vedder. And porn-electro queen Peaches, which is surprising and insane. It will come out in March, Chuck Eddy and a few other critics will give it decent reviews, there will be a limited tour, and then we'll all forget it ever happened.