Arts and Entertainment

Blog faves, BBC Sound of 2013 poll, world tour…and the trio hadn't even released an album. Can it live up to the hype?

Album: Jimmy Screech, The Remedy (MAP Music)

The self-styled "veteran soldier from the south-east with a swagger and a bop from mi heel to mi top", Jimmy Screech may be the man to push the capital's bashment scene firmly into the mainstream.

Austra: Lead vocalist Katie Stelmanis talks performing live, electronic and classical music

Katie Stelmanis, the lead vocalist of Toronto's electronica-meets-goth-baroque trio Austra, speaks exclusively to The Independent Online.

Lady Gaga makes threesome confession

Lady Gaga once had a threesome.

Lady Gaga wants older lover

Lady Gaga likes older men.

A Slow Air, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Atholl is a man who keeps his feelings tightly zipped inside a sturdy fleece.

Heads Up: Biophilia

Apps, crackles and pop – Björk presents the science of sound

Being Modern: Advertising music

In advertising as in film, music is a tool to manipulate our emotions. Unlike in film, though, the music tinkling away in the background of ads is a subtle device to make us empty our wallets. Devious.

Album: Jeremy Polmear, Stephen Stirling, Richard Saxel, Music for Oboe, Horn and Piano (Oboe Classics)

Oboe, horn and piano is a rare but oddly beguiling blend of timbres, albeit a combination mostly avoided by composers, perhaps due to the difficulty resolving the contrasts of instrumental colour and character.

Album: Lady Gaga, Born This Way (Polydor)

First things first: that cover is simply awful, its adolescent heavy-metal imagery – "ride me, wild one!" – effectively destroying in a single stroke Lady Gaga's methodically built reputation as a serious style icon with an intelligent grasp on her own visual presentation.

Lady Gaga never enjoyed sex

Lady Gaga only recently "actually enjoyed sex".

Album: Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, Rome (Parlophone)

Rome is a labour of love for Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse and Italian composer Daniele Luppi.

Album: Moby, Destroyed (Little Idiot)

A supposed "soundtrack for empty cities at 2am", Destroyed was recorded by Moby while touring, and has an appropriately unrooted feel, full of spooked solitude.

Science of Speech, Hammersmith Apollo, London

When this show was announced in February, it looked like New York hip-hop was making a stand against today's questionable customisation of the genre or someone had worked out a way to neatly cash in on the legendary reputations of two groups and an MC who've each carved a credible niche in music history. Rakim, for instance, has been every rapper's favourite rapper for the last 25 years, responsible for inspiring lyricists to move beyond pre-school wordplay in favour of more complex rhyme schemes and metaphors. Tonight, he's a respectful warm-up performer, cooly reeling off classics like "Paid in Full" and "Don't Sweat the Technique" with just the help of a DJ. It feels a little rushed and if he'd had 20 more minutes, he might have converted some of the youngsters in the crowd who couldn't help but look on at the 43-year-old obliviously.

Nitin Sawhney, Royal Albert Hall, London

Nitin Sawhney is not one for the spotlight. Sitting stage right at the Royal Albert Hall, playing wondrous melody lines on his acoustic guitar as a series of singers belt out lead vocals next to him, he looks like just another member of the band; in reality, he is so much more.

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Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
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Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

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Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

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