Arts and Entertainment

It says a lot about how seriously people take the Grammy Awards that a video of Taylor Swift's performance of All Too Well has attracted around 180,000 views, while a 28-second clip of it complete with high kicks from Street Fighter's Ryu has already clocked over 2.2 million.

Joe Allen, 13 Exeter Street, London WC2

Can theatrical hang-out Joe Allen – barely changed in decades – still put on a show?

Harrods has closed down its piano department

Off-key? Pianos fall off the scale as far as Harrods are concerned

It’s not quite the day the music died, but it is the week that Harrods killed off its piano department after 118 years. And while the Knightsbridge emporium wouldn’t be the first port of call for every would-be pianist in the market for a new instrument (“would madam care for an elephant with that Bechstein?”), the fact that it is closing its piano store’s doors is indicative of a wider trend.

Album review: A Fine Frenzy, Pines (Virgin)

A Fine Frenzy is the nom-de-disque of Californian singer-songwriter Alison Sudol, whose gently keening vocals invoke a strain of Pacific coastal wyrdness.

Album review: Biffy Clyro, Opposites (14th Floor)

Sooner or later, every prog-metal band feels the need to record a double-album, and the results invariably expose the paucity of their inspiration.

Amit Drori’s Savanna: A Possible Landscape as part of the London International Mime Festival

Savanna, A Possible Landscape, Barbican Pit, London

Amit Drori’s Savanna looks like a mechanical Eden. Enchanting robot creatures nose the air and investigate the stage: a trundling tortoise, a springbok made of springs. There are “ohhhs” of wonder and delight as each new animal emerges.

Ashley Wass; Yevgeny Sudbin, Wigmore Hall, London

Few pianists give as little away with their body-language as Ashley Wass does in his neat dark suit: impassive from start to finish, he even acknowledges tumultuous applause without cracking a smile.

Album review: Molly Drake, Molly Drake *Bryter Music)

When a recording of Molly Drake singing her composition "Poor Mum" was made public a few years ago, it was immediately evident from where much of her son Nick's talent, not to mention his intonation and fragile worldview, had derived.

Nicolas Hodges, Christian Dierstein, Andrew Watts, Helen Tunstall, Melinda Maxwell, Kings Place, London

It was goods-in-the-window time for the House of Birtwistle at Kings Place. On our way down through the bowels of this temple to commerce and culture, we passed the premiere of a portrait exhibition by Adam Birtwistle, before arriving in the auditorium for a concert of pieces d’occasion by his father Sir Harrison, some to be played by the musicians for whom they were composed.

The best music of 2012: Jazz

Forty years in the making, four CDs and 260 minutes long, Mississippi-born trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers proved hard to beat for strength and depth.

The Weekend's Viewing: The bizarre story of Hertfordshire's Bonnie and Clyde

Loving Miss Hatto, Sun, BBC1 // Mr Stink, Sun, BBC1

Ed Harcourt will play Bush Hall on 16 December and The Bull and Gate on 31 December

Ed Harcourt, Cecil Sharp House, London

“Does anyone want to hear another love song? Because I’ve got lots”, quips Ed Harcourt.

Andy McSmith: Forget the Stones, rock up to a concerto

Classical music is an acquired taste. I have not quite recovered from the extraordinary experience of hearing a live performance of a 100-year-old concerto at the Royal Festival Hall last week, but I know that the notion that classical music can be as exhilarating in its own way as a Rolling Stones revival sounds off-beam to most of the population.

Album: Carmina Quartet, Teo Gheorghiu Dvorák: Piano Quintet in A major, String Quartet in F major "American" (Sony Classical)

The 1887 Piano Quintet was Dvorák's second attempt at the form. It's most notable for its incorporation of folk themes, particularly the second movement "Dumka", which furnishes pianist Teo Gheorghiu his greatest opportunity, his delicately expressive approach eschewing grand gestures but ensuring that the haunting melody remains suitably foregrounded.

Album: Pascal Dusapin, Etudes pour Piano (Musicales Actes Sud)

In the photograph album that accompanies Vanessa Wagner's interpretations of his piano "Etudes", Pascal Dusapin's apprehensions of the world are stricken with shadowplay, quizzical compositions rendering reality abstract, 3D reduced not just to 2D, but drained of moment.

Love hits all the right notes

Few can have done such extensive fieldwork into the matter of men than artist, writer and fashion-designer Molly Parkin.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own