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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform