This week Rolling Stone joined the festivities at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. We're streaming all the sets at our showcase events, reviewing sets by bands such as the Strokes, the Meat Puppets and Queens of the Stone Age, and posting videos and photos from sets all over the sprawling festival. Stay tuned – we'll be covering the event through the weekend!
The most unusual story of the week was the baffling rise of teen pop singer Rebecca Black, whose widely-mocked viral hit "Friday" isn't nearly as bad as everyone is saying it is. We kept tabs on her immediate chart success, learned about her response to becoming an overnight celebrity and attempted to decode the song, which Rob Sheffield is convinced is a message from the future.
We also provided full coverage of this week's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, highlighting notable performances and interviews from the event. We talked to Britney Spears about her bold new album, caught up with recent Oscar winner Trent Reznor, chatted with Robbie Robertson about his new backing band Dawes, learned about Jane's Addiction's new album and paid tribute to the lives of both rapper-singer Nate Dogg and LSD pioneer Owsley Stanley.
Photos: Random Notes
The second round of our Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star? contest began this week. We announced our eight finalists, who will now go into the studio to record new songs with a major producer. The bands are competing to not only appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, but also win a contract with Atlantic Records and make their debut television appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We encourage you to check out all the bands and vote for your favorites -- your vote counts, so let your voice be heard!
Also, Def Leppard came to our office to perform an acoustic set, Baltimore rapper Rye Rye was named our latest Artist to Watch, we reviewed concerts by Elton John and the Pogues, and as always, we reviewed all the week's hottest new releases.
On the pop culture front, we profiled radio shock jock Howard Stern, who shared his thoughts on Charlie Sheen's ongoing public meltdown. Rob Sheffield also weighed in on Sheen, offering his take on why Sheen is bigger than ever.
Photos: 16 People In Howard Stern's Universe - From Robin Quivers To Crackhead Bob
Peter Travers reviewed Paul, The Lincoln Lawyer and Limitless, which he says is a perfect escapist movie. We also recapped this week's episode of Glee featuring the debut of original music on the show, pondered the ever-esclatating conflicts on Jersey Shore, and commented on Nineties nostalgia and Karen Rodriguez's dismissal in this week's American Idol coverage.
We also posted a gallery of your Top 10 favorite songwriters of all time, as determined by your votes on Facebook and Twitter. Our question for you this weekend is: What was the best album of the Eighties? You can answer on our website, on facebook.com/rollingstone or on Twitter with the #weekendrock hashtag.