The past week’s major cultural news has left me emotionally confused and mentally deranged. First, there’s the never-ending saga of Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, who may or may not have put his hand up a boy, depending on whether he did… or not? This story has taken more twists and turns than a John le Carré thriller! Adding to the week’s bad vibes came news that INXS—Australia’s finest rock sextet—had broken up. I feel like all my heroes have abandoned me. Thanks a lot, heroes.

Music is a powerful force. It can elicit ineffable joy and deep sorrow; it can take us to imaginary landscapes beyond thought or logic; and it makes the sexual act slightly less terrifying. (My current baby-making music mix is heavy on Primus, with a dash of Bobby McFerrin for the afterglow.)

Music aficionados will know the big news this week was Paul McCartney’s courageous announcement that Yoko Ono didn’t break up the Beatles. And, as if that bombshell weren’t enough to make us reconsider our lives and abandon our families and carve question marks into our foreheads, we’re just one week away from the release of Aerosmith’s fifteenth studio album. It’s like a musical hurricane over here! I’ll get the sandbags if you get the shotgun.