In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi opens up to contributing editor Erik Hedegaard about her transformation from an upstate New York party girl into a reality TV superstar. In addition to that story, we also have a recap of the latest episode of Jersey Shore, video footage from the cover shoot and a gallery collecting Snooki's musings on fame, her future and her love of cuddling.
We've been keeping tabs on the ongoing controversy regarding big stars such as Mariah Carey, Usher and Beyoncé getting paid big money to appear at parties held by the family of Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi. We checked in with various record industry figures on the matter, found out that Beyoncé has donated her money to relief efforts in Haiti, and learned that Carey is claming she had no idea who she was performing for in Libya.
We also caught up with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe at the Tibet House benefit in New York City, shared highlights from Sammy Hagar's new autobiography, learned details about Soul Asylum's first album since 2006 and My Morning Jacket's groovy new record Circuital, talked to Mumford and Sons about their experience at the Grammy Awards and checked in with Travis Barker about his new solo album, Blink-182's plans for the future and his recovery from a plane crash in 2008.
We looked back on what happened this week in rock history, paid tribute to Bob Dylan's ex-girlfriend and muse Suze Rotolo and put together a hub collecting all of our coverage of the upcoming 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Photos: Random Notes
Also, Iron and Wine came by our office to perform a set for Rolling Stone Live, we recapped both of this week's episodes of American Idol, the Seattle indie pop trio Telekinesis was named our latest Band to Watch, and as always, we reviewed all the week's hottest new releases.
On the pop culture front, Peter Travers declared that this year's Academy Awards were the worst Oscars ever, while Rob Sheffield was amused by how co-host James Franco treated the show like "his own avant-garde conceptual art project." Travers also reviewed The Adjustment Bureau, Take Me Home Tonight and Rango, which he says may be the most WTF movie of all time.
In the world of politics, we profiled Alex Jones, the radio host who inspired Glenn Beck's paranoid shtick and recently entered the national spotlight for his bizarre interview with Charlie Sheen. Also, Tim Dickinson wondered why some of Wall Street's top firms were acting as bankers to Qaddafi and Matt Taibbi examined the media reaction to the SEC going after Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta.
We also posted a gallery of your Top 10 favorite cover songs of all time, as determined by your votes on Facebook and Twitter. Our question for you this weekend is: Who is the best live act of all time? You can answer on our website, on facebook.com/rollingstone or on Twitter with the #weekendrock hashtag.