Album: Eels, Tomorrow Morning (E Works)

The first release on Eels' E Works label is the final part of a trilogy begun with 2009's Hombre Loco and continued earlier this year with End Times, an emotional arc dealing first with the dark urges of desire, then with the fallout of a shattered relationship, and concluding here with a celebration of emotional renewal.

Laurence Gardner: Alternative historian whose work helped inspire Dan Brown

Laurence Gardner was a prominent author and speaker in the "alternative history" genre of research and writing, whose eight published works presented often controversial revisionist theories, challenging orthodox views of world history.

Album: Menomena, Mines (City Slang)

Recorded in much the same way as previous efforts (jamming, recording, looping, cutting and pasting), the biggest surprise about the latest from this Portland, Oregon, trio is how darn traditional it sounds.

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.

Dr Ashley Steel: Why I quit as a Pink List judge

When I was asked to join this year's Pink List panel and rank the UK's high achievers in the lesbian and gay world I thought it would be an opportunity to influence a list that, historically, has predominantly drawn from the gay mainstream.

My Fantasy Band: Mat Horne

1-2-3-4 Festival, Shoreditch Park, London

The brainchild of Sean McLusky, once a member of Subway Sect and now a co-owner of the independent record label 1234, the 1-2-3-4 festival heralds the re-emergence of a DIY subculture. The arrival of the internet has prompted the decline of the major labels' stronghold on musical culture and the resultant era of "accessibility" has sparked the return of a non-conformist aesthetic that was prevalent in the punk movement.

Larry Ryan: Seefeel return after 14 year hiatus

The electro-shoegaze return band with their first new material in 14 years. And rather good it is too.

Album: Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, Dark Night of the Soul (EMI)

Before his recent death, alt-country icon Mark Linkous (aka Sparklehorse) and producer Danger Mouse began work on the collaborative project that would become Dark Night of the Soul, featuring an astonishing array of guest vocalists, among them Wayne Coyne, Iggy Pop and David Lynch.

V Festival announces Virgin Media Union acts

V Festival, sponsored by Virgin Media, adds to its world class line-up this year with a host of acts set to play the Virgin Media Union arena over the 21st and 22nd August

Tom Mendelsohn: The Synod - Will Rowan Williams have to walk?

As mentioned in Tuesday’s blog, Friday’s General Synod is looking ever more like a watershed for the CofE.

Devendra Banhart, Koko, London

"Alternative-folk", "freak-folk", even "psych-folk" are expressions that have been used to describe the Texan-born singer Devendra Banhart and his band The Grogs. But at Koko, it became clear that the group, part of the New Weird America movement, has morphed into a very different beast from the quirky, folky hippies who produced Cripple Crow in 2005.

Want to be a West End star? You have to get used to being out of work...

As this year's BBC talent show Over The Rainbow reaches the end of its yellow brick road, one talented hopeful will be thrust into West End stardom. Whoever is chosen will have it made. A role in a West End show sets you up for life, right?

Lou Reed to perform with Gorillaz at Glastonbury

Music legend Lou Reed is preparing to make a guest appearance with Gorillaz as they headline Glastonbury Festival, it was confirmed today.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015