Arts and Entertainment

A sideways look at the world of music

Leading article: Ziggy played the stock market

The Fender Stratocaster: those words alone are enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone with an ounce of rock'n'roll in them. But the grandiloquent nomenclature is one thing – the musical instrument itself quite another.

Paul Simon fetes Graceland with London extravaganza

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon celebrated the 25th anniversary of his classic album "Graceland" with an African musical extravaganza in London on Sunday night, any lingering memories of the controversy over its creation in apartheid-era South Africa swept away.

Album: Angus Stone Broken Brights (Desert Harvest)

Flying solo again following several recordings with his sister Julia, Angus Stone delivers what may be his masterpiece in Broken Brights, an album that seamlessly inhabits the resurgent Laurel Canyon sound.

'My songs come out of a mature viewpoint on my life' - Elizabeth McGovern

Lady Cora turns to rock'n'roll – but don't expect youthful rage and heartbreak

The Downton Abbey actress came late to music but says it is her passion

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler votes himself off 'American Idol'

Rocker Steven Tyler on has bowed out of his job as a judge on top-rated television singing contest "American Idol" - the US equivalent of the X Factor -, saying he wants to dedicate himself to his band, Aerosmith.

The Stone Roses: War and Peace, By Simon Spence

Yet to fulfil their youthful promise

Album: Chris Robinson BrotherhoodBig Moon Ritual (Silver Arrow/ Megaforce)

Former Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson's heart has always been spiritually in the early Seventies, and with his new Brotherhood, he's finally found the ideal vehicle to indulge his taste for "Cosmic California Music".

Album: Hot Chip, In Our Heads (Domino)

There's a shameless populism about Hot Chip on this Domino debut, bluntly conceded in the sentiment "I like Zapp, not Zappa", and the Scissor Sister-ish falsetto-disco of the track from which it derives, "Night And Day".

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana (Reprise)

"Americana" is everywhere, of course.

Rumer performing at Latitude Festival last year

Album: Rumer, Boys Don't Cry (Atlantic)

Rumer's risky follow-up hasn't quite got it covered

Rumer, St James' Church, London

“I’m tremendously proud of this album,” Rumer demurely claims about her impending new record, Boys Don’t Cry.

Album: John Mayer, Born and Raised (Columbia)

John Mayer continues mining the California singer-songwriter vein of 2009's Battle Studies.

Van Halen's David Lee Roth (right) and Eddie Van Halen perform

Van Halen reunion tour hits the rocks amid feud rumours

Van Halen's fractious past and frequent bust-ups have won a reputation as one of rock's greatest feuds.

Johnny Depp plays 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins
in Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows, Tim Burton, 113 mins (12A)

Tim Burton's stalwart star gives good fang, but this gothic comedy feels about as fresh as stale garlic

Brittany Howard fronts Alabama Shakes in Brixton, London, last week

Alabama Shakes, Brixton Electric, London
Rizzle Kicks, The Dome, Brighton

Is it a problem that the Alabama Shakes' 'raw' and 'natural' soul-rock is nothing of the sort? Only until they start playing ...

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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis