The Week That Was: Travis Barker won't go away, Aretha Franklin alive

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What's that you say? All you want for Christmas is to not be Travis Barker? That's easy; wish granted! Unless, of course, you are Travis Barker, in which case: too bad, so sad. You're always gonna look like a skate rat ghoul. Anyway, let's take a gander at what happened in the world of music last week other than Kanye West failing to equal or top Taylor Swift's first-week music sales.

Why Drive Safely When You Can Rock Epic Classic Guitar Solos During Rush Hour?

Meet Rock Band: Reloaded; you can play this thing on your iPhone, which is good news for your personal level of boredom and bad news for animals, small children, and everyone who's paying actual attention to their driving/pedestrian duties/general motor skills. The phrase "amusing ourselves to death" becomes a little more barbed and foreboding with every passing year, doesn't it? Or maybe not. After all, who the fuck has time to read Neil Postman when there are Nirvana and Vampire Weekend riffs just begging to be fingertip-tamed? Nope: definitely not Travis Barker.

Aretha Franklin Will Totally Live to Film Another Snickers Commercial

Well, I don't know if she'll be in another one of those, but we're happy to report that the legendary singer had surgery for whatever was wrong with her, and is still alive and kicking. Sixty-eight and still canceling tour dates! Respect!

Snoop Dogg Might Just Score That Knighthood Yet

Your great-grandmama's favorite rapper/ex-gangbanger writes explicit, sopping wet ode to nymphomaniac strippers for Prince William's bachelor party. The Surreal Life isn't just canceled reality show; it's something we're all living through.

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Travis Barker Continues, Inexplicably, To Be Massively Popular Cultural Figure

First he was just the drummer for Blink-182. Then he was in some Blink-182 side projects. Then he was in a band with a dude from Rancid, and had a reality show, and was in a plane crash, and hangs with lots of rappers. Through it all, he's looked like a carnival freak. And now he's out to eradicate teen drug use or something. You know, maybe he can.

Mostly We're Just Shocked That Anyone's Even Shocked By Grammy Nominations Anymore

If you are in any way surprised or chagrined by last week's Grammy nominations, you're either under the age of 16 or delusional. Gimme Noise will concede, though, that Vampire Weekend's Contra smokes; the irresistibly kinetic "Cousins" seemed to be playing every time I found myself in a Barnes & Noble magazine lounge this year. Still need to check out the Neil Young album, and I didn't mind "Empire State of Mind" - which is not the same as doing back flips over it. Otherwise, you know, bah.

Bjork, To Absolutely No-One's Surprise, Cares About The Environment

Strongarming of media companies on the part of evil corporations still alive, they just be concealin' it! Or trying to, anyway. This isn't a shocking story, given that Bjork has turned up at awards shows dressed like a swan, or a duck.

This Isn't Really News News, But Lovers of Outre Musik and Sideways Jamz and International Sonics Should Click Below

Seriously? Acid-marshmallow.com is awesome, and will make the work day seem exponentially shorter than it really is. Really. Travis Barker concurs.

Pitchfork Is Having Another Readers' Poll, If You Care

Gimme Noise hasn't participated in a readers' poll for anything since the late 1990s, when we took that kind of thing seriously; for the record, it was a Rolling Stone poll. If you're an overly opinionated person who skipped the mid-terms a month ago, want to have your voice heard (read: oppose the seemingly hiveminded nature of modern culture that results for polls like these seem to underline), you may wanna vote in Pitchfork's readers' poll, by Sunday. Don't read Pitchfork? So what? How are they gonna know that? Ask yourself: What would Travis Barker do?

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