The Royal Opera is pushing boundaries in a new show which mixes music, dance and two very different composers. By Jessica Duchen
At last, a step in the right direction. The first slabs have been laid in Martin Creed's long-awaited makeover of the Scotsman Steps in Edinburgh. Work No. 1059 will revitalise the public stairway, once described by The Scotsman as "one of the city's worst 'no-go' areas and a urine-soaked disgrace to the capital", cladding its steps in the world's finest marble. Announced in 2009, the work was due to be unveiled at last year's Edinburgh Festival to coincide with the Turner Prize-winner's exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery, but hit conservation and structural problems along the way. Last week, a lorry-load of coloured marble arrived from Italy and other corners of the globe – Creed's vision is that walking down the steps will be like walking through the world – and this week the installation proper began. Of course, health and safety has reared its unaesthetic head: the marble has been sandblasted and given a slip-proof coating while new gates will lock the steps away at night. "We want to keep them nice and fresh as a treasure to Edinburgh," says a spokesperson from the Fruitmarket. "It's well on the way to being ready". I'm told that work will be completed in June. Better late than never.
Opera for everyone, awards for nerds and a Belgian designer for 1990s revivalists
In a move likely to be greeted with the dusting off of drainpipe trousers nationwide, Pulp have announced they are the latest Britpop band to reform.
Rent-a-rants are received loud and clear
Jarvis Cocker's transformation from indie music's enfant terrible to unlikely pin-up of the cream tea and country house set appeared complete yesterday, when it emerged that he had teamed up with the National Trust to curate an album of soothing sounds.
Radio station may be revived under a different name, say insiders
BBC Radio 2 has been told it must do more to appeal to older listeners – particularly over-65s. In a major review of the station, the BBC Trust said Britain's biggest network should find a "more varied and challenging selection of programmes", even if this meant losing some of its audience.
Jarvis Cocker - who infamously stormed the stage while Michael Jackson performed at the Brits - has broken his silence about the star's death, calling the singer's musical demise "a tragedy".
What do you do when desire still consumes you, but decrepitude is setting in? That's the question posed by Jarvis Cocker on Further Complications, an album of disarming honesty and humility.
Even three years since her breakthrough album 'Begin to Hope' was described as "one of the rare albums where the talent practically sears the speakers" by The Onion's AV club, Regina Spektor's quirky piano pop is still as bizarre as anything indie music has to offer. It's been a busy week for the Russian pop fairy (left), with her new record release beset with artwork problems after the wrong images were distributed, leading Spektor to speculate on the chances of her forthcoming album, "Far", being released with a "t" added to the end of its title. "We had a million comps, ideas, and we posted the wrong ones," the starlet mused on her MySpace blog, adding: "I'm giving up trying to make things perfect, because they never are". Gastric mix-ups aside, though the album doesn't hit the shelves until 23 June, anyone looking for a sneak preview can check out the star's MySpace page for the brand new "Laughing With", described by the Spektor herself as "a new song that I never played for people at shows before". Along with some older hits, it's available at tinyurl.com/nypxo
You don't find the little café that sits at the bottom of Brookhouse Hill, on the outer reaches of Sheffield's town centre, without exerting a considerable amount of effort. First, you have to insist to the taxi driver who believes otherwise that, yes, it really does exist, and then, when you have reached the end of the deeply suburban road that appears to lead nowhere, you get out, pay the man, cross the road, squeeze through a gate, and head down a winding path until you get to a frigid lake whose few ducks look as if they wish they were elsewhere. It is the middle of April, British spring time. Consequently, it is freezing cold. It is also disquietingly misty round here. "Not misty," says Jarvis Cocker, Sheffield native and still proud of the place he left 20 years ago. "Atmospheric."
Preparing for the season of celebration? Choose a style that suits both you and the occasion, says Carola Long
A sterling affirmation of the creative vitality of independent music, Independents Day 08 is a two-stage expression of how the baton of inspiration gets passed from one era to another.
If Scandinavia is ever going to stop turning out pristine pop music, it doesn't show signs of doing it any time soon. Lykke Li is a 22-year-old from Stockholm who, with the help of producer Bjorn Yttling (of Peter, Bjorn and John), has made a debut album of filigree delicacy and effortless airiness.
With Jarvis Cocker giving a talk at the Brighton Festival on the craft of songwriting, Will Hodgkinson asks what makes a great lyric