Arts and Entertainment Blink and you'll miss it: Medallion man Prince

Talk about suspense. Further to the news that Prince is soon releasing PLECTRUMELECTRUM, his first album with all-female rock trio 3RDEYEGIRL, a short teaser for their track "PRETZELBODYLOGIC" went up on YouTube this week. Warning: blink and you'll miss it. The album was written and recorded in Prince's Paisley Park recording studio in Minneapolis, London and New York. Meanwhile, at time of writing, we are still waiting to know exactly which "iconic venues in and around London" Prince will be playing on the Hit and Run Tour any time from Monday. Keep your diary clear…

Album: Marc Almond, Varieté (SFE/Cherry Red)

Varieté is a record that feels as though it’s happening in the dive from Brel’s “Amsterdam”.

Abba tribute bands told they must change their names

You might call it a case of "Thank you for the music – but now please change your name". Abba tribute acts, who have kept the memory of Sweden's most famous export alive since the band played their last concert more than 25 years ago, have been told by band's record company they can no longer use the group's name.

Album: Sting, If on a Winter's Night...(Deutsche Gram)

In which our lute-toting born-again curator of Early Music puts the Police comeback to bed and releases an album of broadly winter-themed songs which combine the words of dusty old scribes with the music of equally antediluvian composers.

Album: Sting, If on a Winter's Night... (Deutsche Grammophon)

Named after Italo Calvino's meta-fiction If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, this is Sting's second album for the German classical label, following his 2003 collection of lute music Songs from the Labyrinth.

Album: Rod Stewart, Sessions 1971-1998, (Rhino)

Four discs of out-takes, alternate versions and "lost" sessions, covering three decades of, some might say, diminishing artistic achievement.

And the Ass Saw the Angel, By Nick Cave

Nick Cave's cult classic has been published in a 20th-anniversary edition, to coincide with the release of his second novel. And the Ass Saw the Angel has been, reads the press release, "completely revised... cut down and reorganised by the author so the plot is clarified and the characters stand out more clearly. The book retains all its brilliance but is more accessible to the general reader." It is Cave's inaccessibility and strangeness which is so attractive, yet there is something about this material which seems so alive that it struggles out of the confines of the page.

Album: Stevie Nicks, The Soundstage Sessions, (Reprise)

Stevie Nicks' voice is one of the musical wonders of the world – she's almost alone in making the concept of adult oriented rock seem enticing and not a soul-crushing bore – so any opportunity to hear it in full flight, such as this televised concert, is welcome.

Games Review: Singstar Queen

PS2, PS3, Sony, £19.99-£24.99

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/09/eat-pardon-la-p.html">Eat: Pardon, La Petite Maison</a>

An apology is in order. When I reviewed the new London offshoot of La Petite Maison in July 2007, I dismissed the Nice original, one of Elton John’s favourite haunts, as an over-priced celeb-magnet that was not worth visiting. Just in case some of you are chasing the last of the summer sun, I can now report that it is.

Album: Steve Winwood, Nine Lives (Columbia)

Nine Lives continues in the vein of 2003's About Time, with Steve Winwood still mining a catalogue of bland homilies regarding such things as hope, faith and persistence for songs such as "I'm Not Drowning", "Fly" and "We're All Looking".

More happily, the album also extends his association with the jazz guitarist José Pires de Almeida Neto, whose neat, interior-sprung figures furnish the hooks to many of these songs, lending a cyclical, desert-blues feel to "I'm Not Drowning", a Pablo-style soukous tinge to "Hungry Man", and a samba-pop flavour to "Secrets" and "At Times We Do Forget". Lyrically, Winwood is more effective on the dystopian social unease in pieces such as "Hungry Man" and "Dirty City", but the album's too awash in new-age blather: the effect is to skew the arrangements too much towards dinner-party blue-eyed soul, somewhere between Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, particularly when the flimsy, fusion-lite sax appears. He can still deliver even the limpest of lines with compelling conviction, for all that.

Album: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Mute)

Nick Cave's recent albums with the Bad Seeds appeared to find him in the grip of a mid-life crisis, during which he made the kind of music that was fitting for a man of 50 (namely, contemplative piano meditations).

Album: Joe Jackson

Rain, RYKODISC

Lord West, the Abba singer, and an extramarital affair

A government minister was bizarely linked with one of the singers from the 1970s supergroup Abba last night.

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