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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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

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Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
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