Parlophone Records

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Can the record fair survive in the age of downloads? A new generation of buyers and sellers is dealing in ultra-rare collectables

2012: The unmissable cultural treats

Next year promises to be a cultural jamboree, with world-class films, art exhibitions, gigs and theatre performances around the country. Our critics select the most exciting highlights

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Album: CSS, La Liberacion (V2)

The world may not be crying out for a new album from the Sao Paulo quintet after 2008's lacklustre Donkey, on which Cansei de Ser Sexy (Sick of Being Sexy) sounded sick of being CSS.

Album: Bill Frisell, Sign of Life (Savoy)

Guitarist Frisell has been straddling the gap between bluegrass-picking and the plinky-plonk avant garde for years but this latest recording, the second with his 858 string quartet, marks a return to peak form. All 17 tunes are Frisell compositions but the band's extempore arrangements deliver intricately worked variations on fiddle and guitar breakdowns and big-vista American pastoralism, as well as a little bit of squeaky-gate improv. The sound sparkles like springwater.