News Marshall moved to New York in 1981, where he had latterly painted murals

Austin John Marshall, record producer, folk-revival ideas man, lyricist and songwriter, performance poet and muralist, created, nurtured or acted as cultural midwife to many strands of art. His fingerprints are all over Shirley Collins & Davy Graham's folk roots, new routes, Shirley & Dolly Collins' magnum opus Anthems in Eden, Ultravox!'s pre-Midge Ure incarnation Tiger Lily and English songwriter Steve Ashley's groundbreaking Stroll On. He also contributed footage to Peter Neal's Jimi Hendrix film Rainbow Bridge (1972) and to the Incredible String Band's film Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending (1970).

Album: Rod Stewart, Time (Capitol)

A keenly autobiographical Rod writes his first songs in 20 years – and nobody gets kicked in the head.

Album: Agnetha Faltskog, A (Polydor)

And the voice which, if you're of a certain vintage, was pop returns.

The Ballad of Halo Jones, By Alan Moore and Ian Gibson

An ordinary superwoman who broke the mould

Album review: Little Boots, Nocturnes (On Repeat)

Following the burden of hype placed upon the electro-pop singer’s debut, she’s gone low-key for this follow-up, self-releasing and adopting a clubbier, more crepuscular sound.

Album: Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, Je voy le bon tens venir (Alpha)

Early woodwind virtuoso François Lazarevitch, Les Musiciens and the earthy-toned singers Simone Sorini, Enea Sorini and Marc Busnel take us back to the time when street parties lasted a week or more.

Englebert Humperdinck who will represent the UK

'You can do it Bonnie': Englebert Humperdinck hands on Britain's Eurovision baton to 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' singer

Eurovision entrant Bonnie Tyler has been given the blessing of last year's contestant Engelbert Humperdinck - with a puzzling message in which he refers to the competition as the "pyramid of paradise".

Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, Child Ballads (Wilderland)

Album review: Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, Child Ballads (Wilderland)

The folk songs collated in the 19th century by Sir Francis James Child are the taproot of transcontinental folk culture: a treasure-house of tales for performers from Martin Carthy to Bob Dylan, and a more recent influence on nu-folkies like The Decemberists.

DVD review: Holy Motors

In Léos Carax's genre-hopping wonder, a mystery man (Denis Lavant) is chauffeured around Paris in a stretch limousine for a day, emerging nine times and acting out a different prearranged scenario on each occasion.

Nothing much on: Stephen Gough is the Naked Rambler

Radio review: The Alien Balladeer - The naked truth about poetry and cheap food

Murray Lachlan Young caused a stir in the poetry world when he signed a million-pound deal with EMI. It went badly, and a financial settlement had to be reached. But he recovered from that episode to become a Saturday Live regular on Radio 4, and he's also 6 Music's resident poet.

Album review: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Pizzica Indiavolata (Discovery Records)

This strikingly original band from southern Italy have been taking the traditional taranta dance of Salento and giving it contemporary resonance and edge since 1975.

IoS Sounds of 2013: Americana and folk

What I most look forward to in 2013 is being surprised. That's one of the virtues of "Americana and Folk" – you occasionally get surprises: unexpected little leakages of unheralded genius from a world in which PR, hype and buzz certainly exist but are driven less by money than by good will and the operations of conscience, narcissism and self-belief (with righteousness and piety heaped like spinach on the side). Over the past three or four years, a lot of the music I've liked best has been by people of whom I'd never heard.

Album: Steps, Light Up the World (Warner)

The joke, surely, is over now. We may have chuckled indulgently with the cheesepop quintet's super-successful reunion tour, but allowing them to put out a Christmas album is a bridge too far.

Bah, humbug! Snowman creator hates Christmas

For three decades it has been a heart-melting festive favourite. But now Raymond Briggs, creator of The Snowman, has revealed his frustration at how his story was hijacked by Christmas sentimentalists – saying it was meant to be about death.

IoS album review: Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (Atlantic/Elektra)

For a 21st-century pop megastar, Bruno Mars doesn’t half sound old-fashioned.

IoS album review: Tulisa, The Female Boss (Island)

The public image of Tulisa Contostavlos has taken a battering over the past year, her positive approval ratings diminished by factors both beyond her control (the leaked sex tape), and very much within it (the tacky tattoo she flashed to pimp her perfume on The X Factor).

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

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If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

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How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
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Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada