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

Gore in our gadgetry
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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
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?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis