Arts and Entertainment Michael Kagan's oil painting 'Pilot 2' for White Lies' album cover

Michael Kagan's oil painting was judged the most creative

Caught in the Net: Gorillaz get into the seasonal spirit

As promised several weeks ago, Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and some of their regular Gorillaz co-conspirators – Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Bobby Womack – delivered a new album on Christmas day.

Flavour of the week: Will our obsession with 'newness' finish fledgling bands' careers before they have even started?

No sooner has the ceasesless hype machine of the music industry served up 'the hottest new acts' than it has another half-dozen to replace them. Can anyone hope to keep up? Larry Ryan crawls out from beneath a pile of CDs to find out...

Album: Klaxons, Surfing the Void, Polydor

Klaxons are back – but has the nu-rave crowd moved on?

Time to wear their art on their sleeves again

CD sales are declining and music is, increasingly, bought online. So why do bands still bother so much about album art? Gillian Orr discovers that some are making more interesting covers than ever

Album: Klaxons, Surfing the Void (Polydor)

The curse of the Mercury Prize strikes again!

Between albums: We won't be right back after this break

Arcade Fire took three years between albums – and they're not the worst culprits. Fans can forget you, warns Elisa Bray

Pet Shop Boys, Empress Ballroom, Blackpool<br/>Klaxons, Ruby Lounge, Manchester

A dash of wit, a slice of politics and a garnish of art-school style &ndash; the Pet Shop Boys' synth-pop formula just gets better and better

McIlroy handed savage reversal of fortune as &lsquo;old lady&rsquo; bites back

Rory McIlroy stood on the sunlit first tee yesterday afternoon as a young man on top of the world, and apparently without a care in it.

Klaxons, King Tuts, Glasgow

"Well, you've definitely still got it, that's for sure," Jamie Reynolds breathlessly informs his audience. Hold on, aren't we meant to be the ones making that judgement about Klaxons? It's been three years since their debut album, Myths of the Near Future, rode the crest of nu rave to small-time era-defining status, and next month, their sophomore effort Surfing the Void arrives.

Arcade Fire, Hackney Empire, London<br/>Dr John, Shepherds Bush Empire, London

While the crazy Canucks just wanna have fun, the good doctor brings New Orleans to London

DVD: Everybody's Fine (12)

Whoosh! What was that? That, mate, was your life! There's a shocking awakening that comes to many men when they stop working – everything else.

New Young Pony Club - Electro stars rise from the rave

New Young Pony Club rode the nu-rave scene to a Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2007. Now the female-heavy electro-pop group are back. Rob Sharp meets them

Delphic/Mirrors, Garage, London

And, from the push they're getting, their record company agrees. Nauseatingly, for once The Man has got it right

Gaming: Are we having fun yet?

You don&rsquo;t have to pass an IQ test to watch a film or be able to dance to enjoy an album, but videogames can befiendishly difficult. Sowhy do they make us work so hard &ndash; and is there an easier way to play? Archie Bland reports
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all