Arts and Entertainment

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Album: Rodriguez, Coming from Reality (Light in the Attic)

Sixto Rodriguez may represent the most unlikely disinterral of hidden hippie rock genius since the likes of Drake and Buckley became household names.

Album: Devon Sproule, Don't Hurry for Heaven, (Tin Angel)

That an album as disappointing as this should also be compelling says a lot about the talent deployed in its making. Heaven...is less rootsical than its predecessor and less even in its songwriting; Sproule's quotidian whimsy has also become audibly more self-conscious.

Album: John Martyn, May You Never: The Very Best of...(Island)

As posthumous best ofs go, this is as tidy as one could wish, despite the odd regrettable omission.

Album: Jon Boden, Songs from the Floodplain (Navigator)

A second solo album by the Bellowhead guy. And he's having post-apocalyptic visions: black crows, water-tossed sweet-wrappers, fallen walls and all. An album-length vision, with occasional rock underpinnings. Very dramatic. Trouble is, for all its firmness, the vision is undermined by the dullness of the songwriting and by the fact that Boden plays all the instruments. For all its technical accomplishment, there is a slightly sterile, tweezered-together feel to the music, despite its grungy textures.

My Fantasy Band: Dev Hynes, Lightspeed Champion

Vocals - Elli Medeiros
Medeiros was in the Seventies French punk band Stinky Toys. She formed an electro-pop band called Elli et Jacno, where she fronted some of the best pop of the Eighties.

Album: Aimee Mann, @%&*! Smilers (Super Ego)

At her very best, Aimee Mann brings to the art of pop songwriting a sort of misanthropic rapture. She really doesn't trust people much, and so we need the rapture part to make her world-view bearable.

Album: South San Gabriel/Centro-matic, Dual Hawks (Cooking Vinyl)

Will Johnson is a man with an identity crisis. As if his last album, a concept record seen through the eyes of a cat named Carlton, wasn't confusing enough, he now can't decide if he wants to follow it up with a folky, acoustic South San Gabriel record, or a fuzzed-out rocker with his band Centro-matic.

The Loose Salute, Borderline, London

The Loose Salute are one of the few country-style UK bands who might leave a real Southern honky-tonk dive alive. Where most alt. country fellow-travellers favour songwriting styles of stark desolation, this band communicate pleasure at the sheer good luck of being alive, through danceable, steel guitar-heavy pop.

Album: kd lang

Watershed, Nonesuch

Spoon, Koko, London

Joel Hirschhorn

Oscar-winning songwriter with Al Kasha

Kiosk: Getting it together

The band have a classic male/female partnership at their heart. Chris Mugan meets the songwriters in question
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn