At times this week it seemed like Taylor Swift's million-selling album was the only music news happening. Yes, we know some other things happened. And while we're sure we haven't heard the last of Ms. Swift's accomplishment, let's avert our attention to some of the week's other headlines.
- We're sure you've already heard what former President George W. Bush thinks of Kanye West's outburst on national television five years ago ("It was a disgusting moment"), and you've probably heard about West's surprisingly sympathetic response ("We're all quick to pull a race card..."). Right? So we don't have to go into that?
- Anyone else who feels animosity toward Kanye but doesn't have a book contract will get a chance to hate on him at the end of the month, when he performs at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade in New York City (things full of hot air, clowns, and other uncreative jokes) alongside Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight and Arlo Guthrie. It's like the lineup of the weirdest G.O.O.D. Friday track ever.
- News leaked out this week that Apple has decided to increase the length of free samples songs on iTunes from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. Billboard.biz looks at the logistical challenges that the shift will create for Apple as well as labels and music publishers. [Symphonic Distribution]
- Lil Wayne was released from Rikers Island in New York yesterday after serving eight months for weapons possession. He'll reportedly visit Arizona to deal with paperwork related to an earlier drug possession charge before heading home to Miami. [New York Daily News]
- Less than a year after his release from an Arkansas prison after serving seven months for his own weapons possession conviction, T.I. returned to prison after violating his parole. [Billboard]
- Gucci Mane, another Atlanta rapper who served time last year for violating his parole, was arrested on Tuesday for reckless driving, among other traffic violations. Charges were dropped on Wednesday "for want of prosecution." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- Michael, a new album from Michael Jackson, will hit stores on December 14. Despite the Michael-through-the-ages collage on its cover, the album won't be a compilation of previously released material. Instead, it's a collection of material that Jackson recorded but never released. A single, called "Breaking News" will stream at michaeljackson.com starting Monday.
- Other bands making new album announcements this week: Australian dance-pop outfit Cut Copy (Zonoscope, due Feb 8), Northwest lit-rockers The Decemberists (The King Is Dead, jan 18), R.E.M. (Collapse Into Now, March)