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.

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.

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.

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You might have had Busta Rhymes pegged as an outdated Nineties relic, but if that's true, nobody's told the American hip hop community.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

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
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In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?