Arts and Entertainment

"Welcome to the afterli-i-ife" is trilled like a creepy lullaby at the beginning of CocoRosie's fifth album.

Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula, The Tabernacle, London

There’s much talk of The New Boring, the supposed prevalence of a staid, pleasant, young fogeyish tendency in new music - the success of your Michael Kiwanukas, Adeles and Ben Howards being its most obvious symptom.

Serafina Steer, St Leonard’s Church, London

If ever an instrument comes loaded with preconceptions, it is the harp, yet Serafina Steer proves this stately instrument can play some unexpected roles, at various points tonight accompanied by a pounding house beat, treated guitar and - musical pun intended? – a Jew’s harp.

Lisa Hannigan

My Fantasy Band: Lisa Hannigan

Caught in the Net: A teaser for the new Wilco album

Wilco show why they're the best live rock band in America right now with a clip from their forthcoming album, The Whole Love, which shows the band recording their new track, "Art of Almost", at their Loft Studios in Chicago.

Sea of Bees, XOYO, London

If you are going to disown your overbearing, religious family, then head first to Sacramento, California. That is how Julie Ann Bee escaped, first by falling in with some "witchy, objectionable" types, she says, before reinventing herself as Sea of Bees, a studio project now bearing fruit as a live proposition.

Sea of Bees, Bush Hall, London

Such is the interest in Sea of Bees that revered stars of the indie scene, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, are fans. The latter even listed California singer-songwriter Julie Ann Baenziger's debut album, Songs for the Ravens, as one of his top albums of last year.

Anaïs Mitchell's 'Hadestown', Union Chapel, London

At last, a musical without the jazz hands, and a folk opera made in heaven

Critics name the year's best albums – but are they right?

As we publish HMV's Poll of Polls on 2010's critically acclaimed music, Kunal Dutta notes the gap between the pundits and the punters

Albums of the year: Rock, pop and country

Musical consensus is dull, but there were – as noted in many other best-of-2010 lists – a handful of great albums that were hard to ignore this year.

Album: Agnes Obel, Philharmonics ([PIAS])

The strikingly austere tone of the cover photo of Berlin-based Danish composer Agnes Obel is borne out in the contents of Philharmonics, in which limpidly evocative piano instrumentals in the vein of Ludovico Einaudi, some tinted with cello, organ, harp or celesta, blend seamlessly with Obel's delicately dusky harmonies, floating like feathers in songs such as the haunting "Riverside" and "Beast".

Green Man Festival, Glanusk Park, Crickhowell

Now you see them, now you don't, but that's magic

Green Man Festival, Glanusk Estate, Powys

Set on one of the most beautiful festival sites, the Glanusk Estate in Wales' Black Mountains, the Green Man Festival returns for its eighth year. A family-friendly vibe and an eclectic line-up – plus the only 24-hour drinks licence of any UK festival – means that Green Man has a staunch following and a particularly welcoming atmosphere.

Album: Bombay Bicycle Club, Flaws (Island)

If you heard BBC's debut and shrugged, you were right to do so.

Summer arts preview: Turn on, tune in, chill out

The festival season is upon us. But there's plenty besides dancing in a field to get excited about this summer: a new Mark Rylance spectacular, 'Toy Story 3', the return of Carlos Acosta, the National Gallery's forgeries...

Roy Harper, Jazz Café, London

Lured out of "retirement" by the American folk-harpist darling Joanna Newsom for a string of sell-out European dates, Roy Harper is no stranger to the admiration and respect of his fellow musicians. His collaborators and devotees read like a Who's Who of rock royalty and include Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page is in the audience this evening), the Who, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. But Harper himself has a modesty and controlled anonymity that has kept him away from the mainstream music machine, and it is this staunch individualism that truly defines his work.

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