Arts and Entertainment

Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?

Album: Bill Fay, Life Is People (Dead Oceans)

Success in songwriting is as much a lottery as a measure of true quality.

Album: Sun Kil Moon, Among The Leaves (Caldo Verde)

After two dozen albums in two decades, Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek remains as melancholy as ever.

The Word music magazine to close

Respected music magazine The Word is to close after nine years.

Made In Heaven is the story of a girl's dream, part heavenly part hellish

Mark Bruce Company, Wilton's Music Hall, London
Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows, Palace Theatre, Watford

If you see a wilder hour on a British stage this year, I'll eat his hat

Album: Tom Jones, Spirit in the Room (Island)

After his 1980s comeback, Jones spent two decades milking his kitsch appeal. Now, he wants us to take him seriously (and turn a blind eye to his participation in BBC1's execrable The Voice). 

Il Divo, Royal Albert Hall, London

"I know I'll collect so many phone numbers from all these beautiful ladies," claims Carlos Marín, the diminutive, gleaming Spanish baritone. A section of "beautiful ladies" at the front hold up cards with their phone numbers on. It's cruise-ship entertainment from Simon Cowell's operatic pop quartet, which he formed in 2004, presumably under lab conditions. His experiment has spawned five staggeringly successful albums (the latest being last year's Wicked Game) and sold over 26 million records

Former Libertines front man, Pete Doherty

Who lives in a house like this? An unlikely INXS fan

Who lives in a house like this? There's dirty laundry all over the floor, piles of records strewn around, life drawings hanging in the bathroom and war medals displayed on the walls. Why, it's Pete Doherty, of course, the free-spirited scamp. In a video recorded for NME's website, the 33-year-old musician gives viewers a tour of his cramped Paris apartment.

Sony considers £65m bid for HMV Live

Sony Music Entertainment is among several suitors that are seeking to acquire the live music business of HMV, the embattled entertainment retailer, for about £65m.

Follow the lieder: Franz Schubert

The Week In Radio: Schubert shows it's easy to become hooked on classics

So, Schubert. He's inescapable, or at least he is on Radio 3. If you're not an admirer but a regular listener, you'll either have to decamp to Classic FM or seek refuge in silence which is, of course, unthinkable. I can't claim to be an authority on the composer since my knowledge of classical music can pretty much be summed up in Music for Babies, a CD that someone who didn't know me too well gave me when I was pregnant after it was claimed that exposure to classical music would increase my child's IQ. (To what extent it succeeded isn't clear). Pretty much all I know about Schubert is that he's the greatest songwriter since The Beatles. Hang on, that doesn't sound right....

Willy Mason, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London

“It’s been a while,” Willy Mason confesses. “It’s nice to see y’all.” The low-fi, alt-folkie has returned after a lengthy absence (five years, give or take the occasional low-key UK gig) to finally showcase new material.

Laura Marling, Hammersmith Apollo, London

With its 5000 capacity, Hammersmith Apollo is a large venue for any band to command, let alone a slight folk songstress with an acoustic guitar. Laura Marling more than rose to the challenge.

Commercial feel: Claire Boucher
Brooding and darkly humorous: Leonard Cohen
Nick Broomfield: 'I drive a lot doing documentaries - it's a great way to see a country'

My Life in Travel: Nick Broomfield, documentary film-maker

'The Karoo desert was strange but startling'

Album: Susanna K Wallumrod, Giovanna Pessi, If Grief Could Wait (ECM)

It's not at all Santa-related but this collaboration between vocalist Wallumrod (late of Susanna and the Magical Orchestra) and baroque-harpist Pessi has an authentic winter-song feel.

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