Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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Pharrell Williams is nominated for Best Song at the Oscars with

Oscars 2014: Music stars muscle in on Academy Awards glory

Soundtracks are no longer the preserve of film composers 

Rufus Wainwright interview: ‘I would really like to have a pop hit’

He has a new husband, a new daughter, a new opera in the works and a new album out. Now all he wants is a No 1

Top hat: Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams keeps fans happy with surprise new album GIRL

The Week in Music: Pharrell Williams releases first album in eight years

Off the wall: the Ali Warren Band

The Week in Music: Sofar so good for the gig-goers who enjoy the sound of silence

If people chatting throughout gigs is, for you, a constant source of irritation, sign up to Sofar Sounds. Back in 2010, three friends frustrated with the London live scene decided to reinvent it and launched a movement of secret gigs in front rooms. It has since spread to New York, and now Edinburgh.

Thanks for the memories: Tributes to the lesser-known Mark Linkous and Tarka Cordell

Two new tribute albums promise, for once, to do justice to their subjects

In tune: Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos

The Week in Music: People power means Franz Ferdinand fans have it so much better

Perhaps you've been lucky enough to have a song request granted at a gig. If not, your chances are about to increase. Some bands are inviting fans to choose their setlist, like Franz Ferdinand who are offering a choice of 15 singles, album tracks and B-sides spanning their four-album career, to be performed at their show at the 6 Music Festival in Manchester on Saturday 1 March. The six songs with the most votes will open the set. Vote at bbc.co.uk/6music until 7pm on Monday.

Blink and you'll miss it: Medallion man Prince

The Week in Music: Another purple reign as Prince gets back in the groove

Talk about suspense. Further to the news that Prince is soon releasing PLECTRUMELECTRUM, his first album with all-female rock trio 3RDEYEGIRL, a short teaser for their track "PRETZELBODYLOGIC" went up on YouTube this week. Warning: blink and you'll miss it. The album was written and recorded in Prince's Paisley Park recording studio in Minneapolis, London and New York. Meanwhile, at time of writing, we are still waiting to know exactly which "iconic venues in and around London" Prince will be playing on the Hit and Run Tour any time from Monday. Keep your diary clear…

Strum as you are: Kurt Cobain

The week in music: Riotous story of how Brixton became a rock fans' nirvana

What is the best gig you've been to at Brixton Academy? Perhaps it's Public Enemy, or The Smiths' final show in 1986? Simon Parkes bought the seminal venue for £1 in 1982 and what stories he has to tell in his new memoir Live at the Brixton Academy: a Riotous Life in the Music Business.

Saddled with success: (from left) Suren de Saram, Ed Nash, Jack Steadman and Jamie MacColl of Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club interview: Saddled with success

The band’s latest album takes them way beyond the jangly indie-pop for which the quartet are still known

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth