Arts and Entertainment

Louis Armstrong singing spiritual-jazz anthem "The Creator Has a Masterplan" (and sounding great) is one of the more bizarre experiences on this neat compendium of black consciousness from the vaults of Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label.

Beat that: gnaoua musicians perform in Essaouira

Trail of the unexpected: Essaouira, Morocco

This relaxed port city is full of rhythm. Linda Cookson heard it ... all along the watchtower

The Hollywood Sign, By Leo Braudy

"The Hollywood sign may be unique among American icons," writes Leo Braudy at the start of this dazzlingly enjoyable exposition. "Its essence is almost entirely abstract."

Album: Patrick Wolf, Brumalia EP (Hideout/Mercury) (3/5)

A sort of seasonal addendum to his Lupercalia album (Brumalia being the Roman festival of winter), this seven-track EP takes that album's homesick plea for fellowship, "Together", and gives it a festive slant by following it with "Time of Year", a like-minded song for absent friends at Christmas, especially the military.

Preview: John Cage - Every Day is a Good Day

A collection celebrating the work of avant-garde spectacular John Cage goes on display on Saturday.

Album: John Cage, The Works for Percussion 1 (Mode)

Despite the title, this 43rd volume of Mode's John Cage Edition focuses more on his early experiments with radios, tape and turntables.

Album: Tania Chen, John Cage: Music of Changes (Knitted)

The solo piano piece Music of Changes is one of John Cage's most exacting works, for performer and listener alike.

Album: Berio and Friends, Stories – Theatre of Voices / Paul Hillier (Harmonia Mundi)

Burps, sighs and coughs. Hisses, purrs and groans. Giggles, barks, polyglot whispers and the chaste-sexy shreds of madrigals and motets cast a spell in Theatre of Voices's performance of "A-ronne".

Album: Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier, Stories (Harmonia Mundi)

In Stories, Paul Hillier leads the vocal ensemble Theatre Of Voices through a challenging series of pieces by composers such as Luciano Berio, John Cage and Sheldon Frank that push the notion of narrative into more abstract realms.

Zappa Plays Zappa – Frank Zappa 70th Birthday Celebration, The Roundhouse,London

A sparkling display of the family jewels

Album: John Cage, Fontana Mix (él)

This compilation of various John Cage pieces from the mid-20th century demonstrates just how restrictive broadcast experimentation has become: who now would countenance The City Wears A Slouch Hat, a Kenneth Patchen surreal radio play with accompanying musique concrète score by Cage, broadcast in the US in in 1942?

Album: John Cage, Cage Performs Cage (Mode)

John Cage's spoken-word pieces are not to everyone's taste, and the two-and-a-half-hour works featured here illustrate why.

Siegfried Palm

Cellist and opera director

Thing-Fish, BAC, London

Kimmo Pohjonen: Whatever you do, just don't call it a squeezebox

Louise Gray meets an improvising accordion player a million miles from 'La Vie en Rose'
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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own