Arts and Entertainment

A suite of songs (ie, the mood is consistent throughout) of love and loss that aims for the austere mood of Gene Clark's No Other and falls short only because it reaches so high.

The Killers' new album cover

A Killer game of chicken between a horse and a car. Thanks for that, Brandon

Brandon Flowers & Co's previous album brought forth the famous (infamous) lyric: "Are we human, or are we dancer?" But the artwork for the Nevadans' new LP Battle Born ups the ante. It features not only a lovely cod-metal lightning strike but a horse and a car (a mustang and a Mustang!) playing a game of chicken.

Album: Samuel Yirga, Guzo (Real World)

Dub Colossus's young Ethiopian pianist is an incandescent talent.

Album: Jimmy Cliff, Rebirth (Trojan/UMC)

Well, yes. Rebirth. Jimmy Cliff has been reborn as exactly the same person he was 40 years ago, when his high-energy skank and wail adumbrated the Marley breakthrough into mainstream tastes: Cliff was a sort of reggae John the Baptist.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber blames Eurovision failures on 'racist' Eastern Europe

Racism is so prevalent in some Eastern European countries that a black singer could not hope to win the Eurovision Song Contest, Andrew Lloyd-Webber has claimed.

Album: Metric, Synthetica (Metric Music International)

It's easy to see why David Cronenberg was attracted to his fellow Canadian electropop outfit as contributors to the soundtrack to his recent film Cosmopolis.

Album: The Malawi Mouse Boys, He is #1 (Irl)

A convenient back-story for their record label is a brutal reality to this young Malawian band whose name derives from the fact they sell mouse kebabs to passers-by in order not to starve to death themselves.

Album: The Imagined Village, Bending the Dark (ECC)

English folk buoyed on a current of ethnic rhythm: tabla, sitar, cittern, dhol, electronica ... It's not an easy trick to pull off without sounding self-conscious and contrived – and in truth contrivance is close to the essence of the project.

Andrew WK is currently touring the UK

Andrew W.K. gets the party started in the UK

A couple of years ago, on an evening from which I was regrettably absent, a few friends of mine ended up partying with Andrew W.K.. If you're familiar with the 32-year-old American rock star/celebrated hedonist/motivational speaker, you'll know that this is a big deal. The man has made it his mission to party; it's his religion.

Drake, Academy, Glasgow<br/>I Blame Coco, Proud Galleries, London

There is more musical depth to the Canadian hip-hop star than you would expect from his gyrating posturing and lewd talk

Brian Viner: Coco thinks it's grim up north London

Rehab clinics probably don't have guest books – "lovely stay, can really recommend the cold turkey" – but if they did, the children of the rich and famous would loom large. It's no easy matter being born into the limelight, growing up with one or both parents appearing to belong as much to their fans as to you, and in some sad cases even more so.

London loses another music venue as The Flowerpot closes

The flowerpot is no more. The north London pub, famous as a venue where you could see bands tipped as "the next big thing" – and A&R men hoping to sign them – has been forced to shut after its building lease was sold.

Observations: Pop power at the snow ball

There is more fun to have at Battersea Power Station than the launch of the Conservative Party manifesto earlier this year. This weekend, it is transformed into a ski resort with 500 tonnes of real snow. And as the sun sets over the 32m high and 100m long ski jump, Mark Ronson and his band the Business Intl, I Blame Coco (aka Coco Sumner, Sting's daughter) and the indie band New Young Pony Club will perform on the main stage in a tent at the temporary alpine-style ski resort.

Album: I Blame Coco, The Constant (Universal)

Don't blame Coco. I mean, what would you do if you were the 20-year-old daughter of Sting? Time's up.

On the agenda: Latin American art; I Blame Coco; eating al fresco at the National; hotguysreadingbooks.com; Wychwood Festival; Martin Margiela

We're all set to marvel at Margiela, blame Coco and have a picnic with Alan Bennett
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links