Arts and Entertainment

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

Album: Vetiver, Tight Knit, (Bella Union)

It was never going to be easy to follow up a debut album that featured Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, and, sure enough, Andy Cabic's fourth Vetiver album finds the San Francisco-based musician treading water.

Album: Andrew Bird, Noble Beast, (Bella Union)

Birdwatchers rejoice – the familiar markings are all here: pizzicato violins, whistling, linguistic gymnastics.

Television in 2008: Drama-wise there was more to admire than to love in 2008

In terms of good old-fashioned investigative work that has consequences, Pedigree Dogs Exposed (BBC1) was a palpable hit, showing up such pathetic inertia in the Kennel Club's attitude to inbreeding that it has resulted in the suspension of BBC coverage of Crufts.

Fleet Foxes: Are a hairy bunch of young folk-rockers inventing a new sound of Seattle?

The Junction in Cambridge is a nondescript venue: a white box, plonked in the middle of a retail park surrounded by gaudy chain restaurants, overlooked by a terrifying giant snowman. This is all that Fleet Foxes – Seattle's greatest musical export since you-know-who – will see of the city, but they're probably too exhausted to care, having already completed a dozen or so dates on their sold-out UK tour. Backstage in a dressing-room, marvelling at the hundreds of penis drawings on the walls, lead singer and songwriter Robin Pecknold sighs long and hard.

Album: Noah and the Whale, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down (Mercury)

Anti-folk pushing the twee-ometer off the scale

David Lister: Listen to Nigel

The Week in Arts: When Nigel speaks, people should listen

Joanna Newsom, Somerset House, London

In 2007, Joanna Newsom toured her spellbinding, wordy second album Ys backed by international orchestras. Now that Ys has just about sunk in – and acquired a cult classic status – the Californian harpist and singer is back on her own again. On the Somerset House stage, it's just Newsom, her golden harp and her long, golden hair. And those harp-plucking hands, which look like yours or mine, but are anything but. When she hits a bum note – which isn't very often – it's reassuring rather than disappointing, as it proves that Newsom is, in fact, human.

Latitude Festival, Southwold, Suffolk

All points of the musical compass

Album: Karen Dalton, Green Rocky Road (Megaphone)

Karen Dalton hated the tag "folk music’s answer to Billie Holiday". What she would have made of being labelled "the best singer you’ve never heard of" by a broadsheet last year will remain anyone’s guess, since Dalton died in 1993.

The no-hit wonders that music refused to forget

As the latest 'failures' to be discovered long after their demise are rehabilitated on CD, Chris Mugan selects some of the other bands it took us a long, long time to appreciate

Album: Rasputina

Oh Perilous World (Filthy Bonnet Co)

Joanna Newsom, ICA, London

Ridiculous, then sublime

Album: Joanna Newsom

The Milk-Eyed Mender, Drag City

Album: Devendra Banhart

Rejoicing in the Hands, Young God / XL
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head