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President Barack Obama leads nation in moment of silence, as commemoration ceremonies take place in New York, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania

Inside story: The weird world of Mr & Mrs Phil Spector

He is the legendary music producer in prison for murder. She is the young wife protesting his innocence. Welcome to the curious world of Mr & Mrs Phil Spector

Album: John Mellencamp, No Better Than This (Rounder)

The argument between analogue and digital recording methods is neatly summarised this week by comparing this simple, stripped-down offering from John Mellencamp with the second album by Klaxons, on which the songs are hidden away beneath layers of digital blah, track after track of guitar and keyboard and effect piled upon the material until its spine snaps, and all that remains is some amorphous noise begging for your attention.

Minor British Institutions: Alternative comedy

The thing about alternative comedy is that it isn't very alternative any more. Like "New" Labour, time has rendered the adjective redundant, and the nation awaits the alternative to alternative comedy. Maybe comics will go back to wearing dinner suits with frilly shirts and cracking mother-in-law gags.

Album: Los Lobos, Tin Can Trust (Proper)

American rock's most reliable supercharged bar-band is in comfortable, relaxed mode on Tin Can Trust which, after the themed concept of 2006's The Town and the City is just a grab-bag of songs, though none the worse for that.

Laurel Canyon: The paradise where they put up a parking lot

Once upon a time, there was a wooded wonderland where long-haired men and women wore flowers in their hair and often little else, where wood cabins nestled among cypresses and bougainvillea and the sound of birdsong mixed with guitars. Just a 10-minute drive north of Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood, Laurel Canyon was home to Joni Mitchell, The Doors, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Frank Zappa, The Mamas and The Papas, Jackson Browne and The Eagles.

Album: The Magic Numbers, The Runaway (Heavenly)

If fashion has forsaken the Magic Numbers, then it's fashion's loss.

Tom Mendelsohn: Has the US right-wing media finally gone too far?

There’s quite the scandal brewing across the Atlantic at the moment, and for once it’s not one Liberals are having to watch through the cracks of their fingers.

Album: Dr John, Tribal (Proper Recordings)

Dr John in mellow mood, closer in temperature to Steely Dan than to the album's dedicatee, Bobby Charles – snakey, low, hip and perhaps a little jazzier than you might have reason to expect.

Tom Mendelsohn: Further thoughts on the US Right and the World Cup

It looks like I inadvertently started a fight with my last blog on soccer and America.

Slovenia v USA player ratings

Man-for-man marking from Johannesburg

Album: Matisyahu, Light (100%)

The Hasidic Jewish musician's follow-up to 2006's Youth was originally scheduled for release over two years ago, before finally securing an American release last August, followed the best part of a further year later by this UK issue.

England v United States player ratings

Man-for-man ratings from the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in South Africa

Album: Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, Come & Get It (Capitol)

Excitable US soul boy. White, be-quiffed, in love with the sound of the late 1960s. Thinks soul is about letting rip until your trousers split.

Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse and that special chemistry

Artists from Amy Winehouse via David Bowie to U2 have had musical masterminds in the control room. Fiona Sturges looks at their influence

Tom 'T-Bone' Wolk: Bass player and multi-instrumentalist known as 'the ampersand' in Hall & Oates

The multi-instrumentalist Tom "T-Bone" Wolk used to joke that he was best known for being "that guy with the hat" who played bass with the American soul duo Hall & Oates. Having joined them in 1981, just after they completed the Private Eyes album, he appeared in the video for the title track and became their longest-serving collaborator.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn