Paul Simon

Album: Simone Kermes, Dramma (Sony Classical)

Named after the inscription “dramma per musica” to be found on 18th-century opera librettos, Dramma offers a remarkable collection of arias mostly drawn from longforgotten works by (now) unperformed composers.

Album: Jerry Douglas, Traveler (Proper)

Few musicians ever achieve such complete dominance and superiority on their instrument as Jerry Douglas: not a single voice is raised in challenge to Douglas’s mastery of the dobro.

Prom 35: Williams, Osborne, BBC Phil, Storgards; Prom 36: Bevan,

Steven Osborne is one of the unsung heroes of British pianism. This 40-year-old Scot tends to be typecast as a Beethoven and Schubert man, but he can create subtle spells with Ravel and Debussy: how would he handle Grieg’s ‘Piano Concerto in A minor’?

A Killer game of chicken between a horse and a car. Thanks for that,

Brandon Flowers & Co's previous album brought forth the famous (infamous) lyric: "Are we human, or are we dancer?" But the artwork for the Nevadans' new LP Battle Born ups the ante. It features not only a lovely cod-metal lightning strike but a horse and a car (a mustang and a Mustang!) playing a game of chicken.

Laura Marling, Royal Albert Hall, London

“We don’t do encores... If you want an encore then this is the last song, if you don’t, this is the second to last.” At a time when encores at gigs have become almost mandatory, and therefore meaningless, Laura Marling’s approach to them is refreshingly unconventional.

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Andrew W.K. gets the party started in the UK

A couple of years ago, on an evening from which I was regrettably absent, a few friends of mine ended up partying with Andrew W.K.. If you're familiar with the 32-year-old American rock star/celebrated hedonist/motivational speaker, you'll know that this is a big deal. The man has made it his mission to party; it's his religion.