Arts and Entertainment Macklemore performing at the Brixton Academy

As the first show on their European tour, Seattle-based duo Macklemore, (real name Ben Haggerty) and producer Ryan Lewis were always going to draw a crowd with their latest album The Heist being one the most anticipated rap albums of 2013.

The Barometer: Surfer Blood; Joanna Newsome; Caribou; Erykah Badu; Major Lazer; 50 Cent

Surfer Blood Swim (To Reach The End)

Album: Eminem, Relapse: Refill (Polydor)

With album sales declining as a result of the cherry-picking tendencies fostered by downloading, you might have thought a logical response would be to trim away the extraneous fat that albums developed during the compact disc era, and return to something like the all-killer, no-filler approach of the vinyl era: a slim portfolio of excellence, rather than a bagful of odds, sods and obvious outtakes.

The Barometer: Julian Casablancas; Lil Wayne, Sleigh Bells; Amerie; Tom Waits; Ryan Bingham & T-Bone Burnett; Vampire Weekend

Julian Casablancas I Wish It Was Christmas Today

The Strokes' frontman takes a foray into the dangerous world of the Christmas single with this sparky cover of a song that was originally 'Saturday Night Live' parody.

Caught in the Net: Flying Lotus's Beck-hander

In the 90s it was noted what a great record deal Beck had, allowing him to put out independent releases while signed to a major label.

My Fantasy Band: Tinchy Stryder

First Night: Jay-Z, Roundhouse, London

Hova swaggers into the mainstream

Album: Busta Rhymes, Back on my B.S., (Island)

You might have had Busta Rhymes pegged as an outdated Nineties relic, but if that's true, nobody's told the American hip hop community.

Beyond Bhangra

The seventh UK Asian Music Awards are proof that the scene has finally moved above ground, says Rahul Verma

My night at the Grammys

British film-maker John Paveley was astounded to be nominated for the world's most prestigious music awards. Here he tells the story of his moment in the spotlight

'95% of music downloads illegal despite boom'

The digital music business is booming but 95 per cent of downloads are still illegal and not paid for, according to a report published today.

Coldplay crowned kings of iTunes

Coldplay was the hottest iTunes album download this year: Its "Viva la Vida" was crowned the best-selling album of 2008, while Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" was named the top-selling single.

Tings can only get better: Why sudden pop success has not been easy on the Ting Tings

Last year, the Ting Tings were just a couple of failed musicians living in an old mill in Salford. Now, on the eve of a sell-out UK tour, the whole world wants a piece of them. No wonder the strain is beginning to tell...

Brit pop conquers the world again

We've always been proud of our British pop that towers above that produced by our European neighbours, but for the past decade – when it comes to worldwide sales – we've come up against better-faring American artists.

Album: Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (Cash Money)

With MTV, Rolling Stone and Blender magazines, and even Kanye West conceding he's the hottest rapper, and his MySpace site becoming the first to clock up a hundred million visits, no act currently has their finger as firmly on the pulse of contemporary American culture as Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter, whose long-delayed sixth album finally appears following extensive leaks last year.

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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
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment