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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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?