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
News
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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