Michael Jackson teams up with Kanye West and will.i.am

The rappers are helping Jacko with his comeback album and having boring telephone conversations with him. Meanwhile, Mika chooses between Rufus and Brian May, and Muse cruise

"I'm working on stuff for Michael Jackson." With these words, Kanye West has teased the world. Just what is the stuff he is working on? A giant space rocket in the shape of Jackson circa 1989, ready to blast off and take the King of Pop (and a tight circle of his dearest friends) off to a new life in space? A new form of Jesus Juice that reduces the calorific content while upping the wooziness quotient? A new cross-breed of giraffe and monkey (the girkey)?

No, the truth of the matter is stranger than even these fictions. Kanye is actually, really, honestly, working on producing some music for Jacko's first album since 2001's Invincible!

As much has been confirmed by Jacko on his personal webbo: "I've been really busy lately. Soon I will be sharing exciting and surprising news with you. Your continued love and support means so much to me. I really love and appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart." Etc, and so on.

There's no comeback better than a comeback from sexual scandal, public humiliation and borderline bankruptcy, so it's no surprise to find Kanye and that idiot from out of the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, revealing their involvement in the new, highly anticipated (by teenagers in Malaysia) Jacko meisterwerk.

As part of his announcement, detailed in full on the pages of Top Goth popster Vicky "Eye of' Newton, will.i.am detailed at tedious length how he was first approached to do the job and how he couldn't believe it was Jacko, etc.

"Michael just called me out of the blue and I just didn't believe it was him."

Surely the voice pitched three octaves higher than normal gave the game away?

"I was like, 'Come on, who is this, how did you get my number? Stop playing around.' He said: 'No, it's really me, it's Michael.'"

Did he? Wow, that's a killer. We hope this story never ends!

"I still didn't believe it was him and was like, 'Dude, seriously, I got to go.'"

That was amazing. Expect the album to be released in 2008 and will.i.am to have another scintillating anecdote to tell at the launch party.

While we're dealing with matters Vicky this morning, it seems appropriate to doff our trucker hats in her direction and, in particular, towards her steadfast devotion to plugging the Brit Awards a good six months ahead of the actual event.

Vick must be hoping to get a few relatives in on the guest list or something as she's been revealing lukewarm tidbits of gossip for weeks now. Today is no exception as she exclusively reveals...

And we really should take a pause here...

As she exclusively reveals...

One more pause for effect...

As she exclusively reveals... that Mika is to play the show! And will do a duet with somebody! Somebody as yet unconfirmed!

Here's the full scoop: "Now I can reveal that next year's event will see Mika perform with either former Queen guitarist Brian May or Rufus Wainwright."

Such exciting possibilities! On the one hand Mika would get to play up his Freddie Mercury impersonating side, on the other he'd get to act really camp!

Either way it's a rock'n'roll legend in the making and if you don't believe us just listen to some PR working on the awards!

"[Mika] knows how to put on a great show on his own - but with either Brian or Rufus on stage next to him he would blow the roof off."

Too right it would! BOOOOOOOMMMMMM!

Everybody knows that Muse like to push the boundaries of live performance. Their Wembley shows this summer featured some of the wildest stunts ever seen, from people having sex with zebras to a full recreation of the Bible's Book of Ezekiel live on stage. [Are you sure about this? - editor/reader's editor/lawyers representing Muse.]

But as wild as all that was, next year, they plan to go one better. Yes, they're going to hire a boat and do some shows on that instead.

"I'm a stadiums man at heart," drummer Dom Howard told Kim Dawson of Kim Dawson's Playlist, but that didn't stop him from revealing a brave new direction.

"We've talked about a tour of the Med coast next year and doing gigs from a boat.

"We see ourselves rocking up to a port in a nice town, opening the back of the boat and doing the gig. Then closing it up and going off to the next town - touring by sea."

It's great to see the guys have boat safety at the forefront of their minds - to all those planning to take a boat out, please follow Muse's lead and close it up before doing so - and we can imagine the gigs will change the way live sea-to-shore performance is perceived forever. Either that or it'll be like hanging around with Simon Le Bon in 1987. We will see.


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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