Arts and Entertainment

The great thing about "counterfactual" history is that anyone can play. If Gordon Brown hadn't been caught making those remarks about a "bigoted woman" might he still be PM? If Hitler had invaded England in 1940 would we all be speaking German? If the judge in the Rivonia trial had sentenced Nelson Mandela to death rather than life in jail?

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos and Prime Minister David Cameron

Do You Want To save the music industry? Franz Ferdinand call on David Cameron for help

Music stars are urging David Cameron to take urgent steps to combat web piracy when the Prime Minister stages a record industry summit on Thursday.

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live

Music review: Franz Ferdinand deliver polished dance-rock, but don't exactly shake things up

"Lick your cigarette and then kiss me," yelps Alex Kapranos on the ripe "No You Girls". The trim frontman (and part-time food writer) sports a short-sleeved gold shirt, trademark pointy shoes and is looking considerably younger than his 41 years.

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand arrives for the

The Playlist: Wavves / Icona Pop / Fantastic Mr Fox

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

Night Engine, a four-piece from London fronted by Phil McDonnell

Music review: The Great Escape, Various venues, Brighton

It’s hard to shake the feeling that The Great Escape, the annual three-day gigathon for new bands and Brighton’s answer to Texas’s South-By-South-West, has grown too unwieldy for its own good. Certainly, the queues outside venues that snake all the way to Eastbourne offer little hope to the majority of seeing the year’s buzz bands such as The Strypes, Swim Deep or Parquet Courts.

Reinhart and Rogoff vs Herndon: the austerity maths doesn’t add up – but the theory does

As one of the many journalists who took Reinhart and Rogoff’s work to be a brilliant empirical underpinning for what appeared to be common-sense – that you simply cannot tax and borrow your way out of chronically unbalanced public finances – the discovery that it was, well, flawed, is something of a disappointment.

Glory: Stravinsky said the ballet came to him in a fleeting vision

The Rite of Spring: Happy birthday to music's most famous flop

Century-old Rite of Spring couldn't be more popular – now

Foals, Holy Fire (Transgressive)

Album review: Foals, Holy Fire (Transgressive)

It may simply be the influence of producers Flood and Alan Moulder, who have a track record of rendering indie-rock commercially palatable, but on Holy Fire, Foals move further away from their nerdy math-rock origins to a more muscular rock'n'roll style.

Jamie Merrill: Big and brash, but a Chelsea tractor has put car maker on a new road to success

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Porsche is booming. The German firm is in the middle of a full-throttle recalibration from niche sports car manufacturer to all-purpose purveyor of luxury SUVs and saloons.

Album: Bloc Party, Four (Frenchkiss)

As ever, Kele Okereke’s energies are divided between the political and the personal on Four, with agit-punk assertions like “ Coliseum” and “Kettling” and the contemptuous pillorying of political duplicity in “So He Begins to Lie” punctuated with more tenderly rendered emotional wrestling on tracks such as “Truth” and “Real Talk”.

Express delivery from Africa

African musicians take to Britain's railways

Almost Nothing to Do With Frogs, Underbelly, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Fringe is all about talent-spotting but forget Footlights - if you really want to see the next generation of performers first, the smart money is on Double Edge Drama. This is theatre company of Eton College, whose recent alumni include Eddie Redmayne, Harry Lloyd and Tom Hiddleston, to name but a few.

Franz Ferdinand spearhead the line-up at Field Day

Pop gigs of the week: Field Day & Apple Cart, Victoria Park, London E3

Two urban festivals in a similar rural spirit occupy Victoria Park this weekend.

Mercury Music Prize moves to Channel 4

The Mercury Prize is to move to Channel 4 after many years on the BBC in a revamp of the music award.

Grimes

Caught in the Net: Pedal to the metal in a propulsive return

The new-wave synth sounds of George Lewis Jr, aka Twin Shadow, wouldn't have been out of place on the film soundtrack of the Ryan Gosling vehicle (ahem) Drive.

Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex, By Christopher Turner

Slice them where you will, any collection of psychoanalysts is as mad as a parliament. Novelty beards, whirling eyes, twitches, deranged clothing, tics, jitters and habits you wouldn't want to go into. But Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) was the maddest of the lot. His mainspring theory was that all human ills stemmed from not enough orgasms, and, in particular, not enough proper orgasms, which he plotted on graphs from foreplay to the molten afterglow of WH Auden's "Lullaby" (1940): "Soul and body have no bounds:/ To lovers as they lie upon/ Her tolerant enchanted slope/ In their ordinary swoon."

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

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His life, the universe and everything

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Save us from small screen superheroes

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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