Arts and Entertainment

Press "Play" and stand well back: RR+P's 1981 debut is still strong stuff, with a level of energy and experiment that shames today's boho fringe.

What a card: ‘This American Life’ presenter Ira Glass

The Week in Radio: It's worth taking a gamble on This American Life

I love BBC radio as much as anyone but every now and then I wake up and think to myself, "Today is not a John Humphrys day. Neither is it a Victoria Derbyshire day. And if I have to hear Roger Bolton placating another listener aggrieved by a rogue split infinitive on Feedback, I honestly can't be responsible for my actions." On those days, I go online and listen to This American Life.

Album: Ms/Mr, Secondhand Rapture (RCA)

You'd have to say this New York duo, singer Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow, have given a fair summation of their debut album with that title, such is both the familiarity and enchantment of the music within.

Album review: Public Service Broadcasting, Inform – Educate – Entertain (Test Card Recordings)

As its title hints, this often sounds more like a BBC4 documentary than a pop record. And that’s no bad thing.

Amy Dickson, Dusk & Dawn (Sony Classical)

Album review: Amy Dickson, Dusk & Dawn (Sony Classical)

Her 2010 album of Glass, Tavener and Nyman pieces was a more effective showcase for Amy Dickson's soprano sax than this collection of popular classics and classic pop. Fauré's “Pavane” works fine – her sleek , pure timbre, closer to clarinet or even oboe at times, floats weight-lessly over the gentle pizzicato and swish of strings; but the sax lacks the emotional flexibility of the human voice when taking the vocal line to “Casta Diva”, from Bellini's Norma.

Floraleda Sacchi, Philip Glass: Metamorphosis (Amadeus Arte)

Album review: Floraleda Sacchi, Philip Glass: Metamorphosis (Amadeus Arte)

Floraleda Sacchi's harp lends itself particularly well to the minimalist logic of Philip Glass's progressions on this anthology of transpositions, never better than on the “Opening” from Glassworks, where the bass pulse beds beautifully among the mirroring figures of the theme.

Album: Various artists, Liberation Music (BGP)

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.

Album review: Pierre Boulez, Wiener Philharmoniker, Mahler: Das Klagende Lied; Berg: Lulu-Suite (Deutsche Grammophon)

Album review: Pierre Boulez, Wiener Philharmoniker, Mahler: Das Klagende Lied; Berg: Lulu-Suite (Deutsche Grammophon)

Rarely performed, Mahler's Das Klagende Lied is a grisly fantasy in which the bones of a victim of regal fratricide are used to make a magic flute which, when played by the murderer, reveals his guilt – a sort of cross between Hamlet and Saw.

Album review: Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Slippery Rock! (Hot Cup)

Another half-serious, half-jokey album by Brooklyn parodists MOPDTK, this time aimed at the promising target of "smooth jazz".

IoS album review: Wadada Leo Smith & Louis Moholo-Moholo, Ancestors (Tum)

Trumpeter Smith – whose epic Ten Freedom Summers is probably the most impressive jazz recording of the year – left segregated Mississippi for the army at around the same time as drummer Moholo-Moholo joined the soon-to-be-exiled Blue Notes in apartheid Cape Town.

Album: Beak>, >> (Invada Company)

With its out-of-phase arpeggios, unrelenting metronomic beats, muffled, indistinct vocals and an approach to recording (no overdubs, only edits) which approaches Dogme, Bristolian band Beak> – the brainchild of Portishead maestro Geoff Barrow – are clearly admirers of the Germanic experimentalists of the early 1970s.

Album: Solveig Slettahjell, Antologie (Emarcy/Universal)

Voice, piano, autoharp, synth bleeps... But it's the voice you listen to.

Last night's viewing - Britain in a Day, BBC2

Britain in a Day – filmed by the plain people of Britain and assembled by Morgan Matthews – was, in the nature of its construction, a highly miscellaneous portrait of the nation. On Saturday 12 November last year, anyone who wanted to could film what they were up to that day and upload it to YouTube.

Goyte

Fantasy Band: Gotye

'Prince has a knack for really funky stuff on a drum machine'

Einstein on the Beach, by composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson, is a rarely performed experimental opera from 1976. There's no story. The score is flickeringly repetitive. The lyrics often consist of counting. And it's five hours long. With no intervals

Epic shows: Never mind the quality, feel the length

A five-hour Philip Glass opera is one currently on offer

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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

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

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'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
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King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

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End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

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Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

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Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

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