Arts and Entertainment

Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?

Album: Luke Haines, 9 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & Early '80s (Fantastic Plastic)

Haines writes songs that somehow touch a raw nerve of emotional response – even when, as here, he's imagining the podgy heroes beloved of UK grapple-fans, projected into absurdist situations beyond their public image.

Album: Alphabet Saints, Raptureland (Cadiz)

Alphabet Saints are singer Robert Christie and multi-instrumentalist Hamilton Lee, and Raptureland channels the spirit of early Suicide, Eno-era Roxy, Lou Reed circa Berlin and Bowie circa Station To Station.

Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Royal Opera House, London

Rarely has there been a more affably erudite performer than Rufus Wainwright. As he cracks a one-liner about Richard Wagner on stage at the Royal Opera House, his sister Martha – with whom he shares the stage tonight – and the crowd chuckle. Moments later, the siblings burst into a cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's 1976 number one "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", during a performance also including work by Edith Piaf, Leonard Cohen and their late mother, Kate McGarrigle, as well as original material from both Wainwright children. This is not under any circumstances a traditional gig.

Rufus Wainwright: Wild nights at the opera

Rufus Wainwright's five-concert residency at the Royal Opera House is the longest ever for a soloist. He's worth it, he tells Victoria-Anne Bull

Album: John Martyn, Heaven and Earth (Hole-in-the-Rain)

John Martyn's valedictory recordings have a suitably weary presence that makes even such legendary laidback soporificos as J J Cale and Leonard Cohen seem positively sprightly by comparison.

Williams and Carter produce a Super show for Twickenham

Crusaders 44 Sharks 28: Crusaders pair give watching Johnson plenty to think about in World Cup year

The first rule of Write Club...

...is that you talk a lot at Write Club. Alice-Azania Jarvis meets a London teacher whose secret society has turned curious teenagers on to the power of knowledge

Album: Nathaniel Rateliff, In Memory of Loss (Rounder / Universal)

Released to very little fanfare last year, In Memory of Loss travelled by word of mouth from one discerning music lover to the next.

Album: East River Pipe, We Live in Rented Rooms (Merge)

East River Pipe's F M Cornog is one of the most neglected songwriters operating in America today.

Vanessa Paradis, Koko, London

The arrival of Vanessa Paradis, partner of Johnny Depp, actress, model and face of Chanel, in Camden Town is an event. As a singer, she's still best known for the 1987 hit "Joe le Taxi", so this was a rare chance to see her music live. The concert was pretty much a run-through of last Christmas's French-only CD Une Nuit à Versailles, a live, orchestrated, acoustic-leaning recasting of her back catalogue. Despite issuing ten albums since 1988, Paradis's oeuvre is slim – one is a "Best of" and four are live sets.

Between The Covers: 23/01/2011

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Paloma Faith & the Guy Barker Orchestra, Barbican, London

In the Guy Barker Orchestra, Paloma Faith has clearly met her perfect match: a bunch of talented musicians with as deep and sincere a love of big-band jazz and blues as she has, led by a gifted musical director whose arrangements subtly and ingeniously update the standard period tropes. There's an obvious rapport between singer and musicians, who doubtless had fun planning tonight's show, Down at the End of Lonely Street, a quote from "Heartbreak Hotel" signifying the melancholy, lovelorn tenor of the torch-song material.

Album: Shriekback, Life in the Loading Bay (Malicious Damage)

"I've seen the future," Leonard Cohen once sang, "and it is murder". The comeback album by 1980s electro-rockers Shriekback sounds like Len waking up in that future and deciding to go down the disco.

Album: Giant Sand, Blurry Blue Mountain (Fire)

Slouching into his 50s, Giant Sand songwriter Howe Gelb sounds a tad circumspect about life in general on Blurry Blue Mountain.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee