Arts and Entertainment

Andy Gill picks this year's must-hear pop music

Album: The Rebel Yell, Love & War (BBE)

James Poyser has been a vital part of Philadelphia's Soulquarians generation, his production and keyboard skills crucial components in the success of such as Erykah Badu, Common, D'Angelo, Jill Scott and The Roots. With 'The Rebel Yell', he steps out as prime mover of his own project, fronted by lead vocalist SupaStar.

Album: Twisted Tongue, Twisted Tongue, Acid Jazz

Yet another anniversary – 21 years of Acid Jazz – is marked by this debut album from Twisted Tongue, aka production duo Dave Jay and Mark Dalton.

Album: Joker's Daughter, The Last Laugh, (Double six records)

Joker's wild: it's folk music, but not as we know it

Master Shortie - A Little Briton

After seven years building up his internet following Master Shortie has ambitions to be the UK's biggest rap star, says Matilda Egere-Cooper

Gnarls Barkley, 229, London

Boogie Monster bares his soul

Album: Sam Sparro, Sam Sparro (Island)

Sam Sparro, an auteur of DIY electrofunk is, much to everyone's surprise, the man of the moment, with "Black & Gold" – the unexpected hit of 2008 – being held off the No 1 spot by Estelle.

Album: Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (Warner)

Much more of the same from those fabulous Barkley boys

Album: The Black Keys, Attack & Release (V2)

'Attack & Release' was produced by Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley/Gorillaz fame), but give or take a few plasticky background beats, if someone told you it was recorded between 1967 and 1974 by Foghat or Rory Gallagher, you wouldn't blink.

Album: Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (Warner Brothers)

There's a sinister undertow to several tracks on The Odd Couple, which is not surprising for a duo prepared to dress up as gladiators, chefs, nurses and characters from The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Austin Powers at their shows.

March Gig Guide

Dead Meadow

Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach, tonight; Brighton Freebutt 8 March

Drummers say it’s harder to groove at slow tempos, but DeadMeadow – Sabbath and Zeppelin-influenced purveyors of gargantuan stoner rock – are masters of the art. Current album Old Growth is as headnod inducing as the hippest hip hop, the beardy Washington DC-formed trio cooking up a mysticism and magic-imbued stew on nuggets such as “What Needs Must Be”. Jason Simon’s low-mixed vocals, more indie slacker than priapic rocker, are the twist.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?