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
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Day In a Page

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?