Jarvis Cocker

The Diary: Scotsman Steps; Brighton Festival Fringe; Venice Biennale;

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.

The Highlight Reel: Attractive prospects?

One South African newspaper criticised the selections of Fabio "Costello". This begs the question: who are The Attractions? D Beck is a leading contender, of course, but Heskey is widely held to have the best physique, and Lennon and Defoe are known for their beauty products, so it could be them. And what of Joe Hart, voted England's sexiest player yesterday? They've been calling him a Hartbreaker for years.

Jarvis Cocker curates National Trust album

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.

Rhiannon Harries: Madge, it's time to stop changing before you forget

If necessity is the mother of invention, what is it that begets reinvention? Every time I clap eyes on a celebrity's "amazing new look" on the cover of anything from OK! to Vogue, I'm tempted to conclude that, when it comes to self-reinvention, insecurity and desperation are primary motivators.

Caught In The Net - Gremlins beset Russian fairy

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

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The Leisure Society, Bush Hall, London

The Leisure Society were strangely absent from various lists of forthcoming stars of 2009 – which means either that they were the victims of an outrageous slight, or that the acts chosen ahead of them must be amazingly good.

The party dress code

Preparing for the season of celebration? Choose a style that suits both you and the occasion, says Carola Long

Album: Lykke Li, Youth Novels (LL Recordings)

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.