Arts and Entertainment Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips in concert, The Roundhouse, London

"I feel a whole lot better," maintains a hoarse Wayne Coyne, apologising for being too ill to play the previous day's cancelled concert before informing us that "being sick is pretty petty" compared to the tornado disaster in Oklahoma, his home state. It is. He goes on to admit that "this is kind of a ridiculous event". It's certainly an odd event.

Rachel Trezise: This St David's Day, I thank the Lord I'm Welsh

Throughout the 1980s, the Welsh had very little to celebrate and St David's Day was simply a matter of a bunch of daffodils on the coffee table. Rejoicing about our nationality was an infrequent occurrence, generally reserved for rugby victories. I was always bewildered by the way parents dressed their little boys for school concerts – rugby jerseys or miners' caps, as if the whole country revolved around rugby balls and our problematic coal industry. Nobody even thought of impersonating Tom Jones.

Rhys Ifans sparks row with outburst in praise of date rape

The Welsh actor, infamous for making inappropriate comments, does it again in radio interview

Mercury barometer: the stars on what the award did for them

Talvin Singh ('Ok' - Winner 1999)
People got to know my music that had never heard it before, so that is a positive point, and the Mercury Prize can stretch your career in that way, but I've never really taken much advantage of that because I've been on a bit of sabbatical from recording for the past few years. When I won you couldn't get my records for four months because the record company had never thought of me winning so they didn't stock up. So, for record sales, that didn't really help.
Tip to win: Burial

Another day in space

Jim Noir mixes science fiction with the humdrum on his latest album

Album: Jim Noir, Jim Noir (My Dad)

Jim Noir's dazzling 2006 album Tower of Love was basically just an aggregation of earlier EPs, so this is the Mancunian genius's debut proper. And what a debut, stuffed with whimsical beauty and gorgeous layered harmonies that Brian Wilson would kill for, each instrument and vocal painstakingly overdubbed by Noir.

Album: Neon Neon, Stainless Style (Lex)

'Stainless Style', a concept album about the life of motor mogul John DeLorean, comes encased in close-ups of a model with terrifying claws, sprawled inside an Eighties luxury car. The visual grammar matches the music: Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) and LA hip-hopper Boom Bip have combined to create a peerless techno-pop opus that starts like a hybrid of Kraftwerk's 'Trans-Europe Express' and Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds' and, with the help of guests including Har Mar Superstar and Spank Rock, proceeds through pastiches of Miami booty bass, mid-Eighties John Hughes movie soundtracks and electro-crunk.

Album: MGMT, Oracular Spectacular (Columbia)

MGMT are, along with Vampire Weekend, the most droppable name out of New York City right now, and have been heralded with the loudest buzz of advance hyperbole of any NYC band since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, if not the Strokes.

Electric dreams - the new hip-hop project

The louche life of John DeLorean is the perfect subject matter for Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip's new project, Neon Neon

Bombay Bicycle Club, The Roundhouse, London

One of the bands at the forefront of last year’s new underage scene, Bombay Bicycle Club, were quick to make their mark in the summer when they stormed the Underage and Reading festivals.

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity

The 'IoS' today reveals a draft for a new law that would give Western oil companies a massive share in the third largest reserves in the world. To the victors, the oil? That is how some experts view this unprecedented arrangement with a major Middle East oil producer that guarantees investors huge profits for the next 30 years

The Mission Song, By John le Carré

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee