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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...