The Beach Boys

Doris Day puts her heart into pop music comeback, aged 87

Doris Day, the US singer who scored her first chart hit in 1945, has announced a musical comeback at the age of 87. The Hollywood star, famed for playing sassy yet clean-cut all-American girls in the Fifties, is releasing her first new album in nearly two decades.

John Walker: Singer with the Walker Brothers, whose fame briefly

In 1964 three unrelated Americans, Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds became the Walker Brothers, and once settled in London had No 1 hits with "Make It Easy On Yourself" and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore". Their slow, cavernous, heavily orchestrated recordings were highly distinctive and Scott and John's voices merged together well. In 1965-66, Walkermania was not far behind Beatlemania.

Album: Blitzen Trapper, Destroyer of the Void (Sub Pop)

Longer but less potent and focused than last year's seven-track "Black River Killer" EP, Destroyer of the Void finds Portland, Oregon's Blitzen Trapper vacillating between the chamber-folk Americana of songs like "Below the Hurricane" and "The Man Who Would Speak True" and the more complex psych-rock of "Laughing Lover", whose serpentine melody and enigmatic lyric recalls Portland close neighbours The Shins.

The Besnard Lakes, The Legion, London

The Besnard Lakes, a quartet fronted by a husband-and-wife songwriting duo, hail from the same musically fertile land of Montreal in Canada as Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, The Dears, and Stars. Like their peers, they boast an experimental and artful slant to their rock music. This is the last show in a short tour to promote their latest, third album, The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night, an intoxicating shoegazey set of tracks which immerse the listener in a heavy-reverb wall of sound reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, with the melodious harmonies of The Beach Boys.

The Magic Numbers, The Pigalle Club, London

The Magic Numbers are back. Yes, that four-piece with lots of hair and impressive beards (half of them, anyway), who back in 2005 made people smile with the jangle-guitar and brother-sister harmonies of their eponymous debut.

Panda Bear, Heaven, London

Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, broke through in the UK as a solo artist in 2007 with his third album, Person Pitch. Then last year his band Animal Collective performed the same feat with their latest neo-psychedelic LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion. In the meantime, Lennox has become a much in-demand collaborator.

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Ellie Greenwich: Co-writer of such pop classics as ‘Da Doo Ron

The New York songwriter Ellie Greenwich composed some of the best-known, most loved and most covered hits of the Sixties, often with her then husband Jeff Barry and the legendary “Wall Of Sound” producer Phil Spector. This three-way partnership created the enduring pop classics “Da Doo Ron Ron” as well as “And Then He Kissed Me” for the Crystals, “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You” for the Ronettes, and “River Deep, Mountain High” for Ike & Tina Turner – all produced by Spector – and also “Chapel Of Love”, a hit for the Dixie Cups in 1964, and “I Can Hear Music”, a UK Top Ten single for the Beach Boys in 1969.

Grizzly Bear, Koko, London

So, Grizzly Bear are a pretty cool band to name-drop in 2009, and with good reason. Their stunning third album, Veckatimest, is already being touted as one of the albums of the year and they have received public gushing endorsements from a number of acts, including Fleet Foxes and Radiohead. And yet they seem more surprised than anyone that their complex brand of experimental folk-pop is such a winner, and that they're now playing venues the size of KOKO.

Lost in music: The peculiar life of Brian Wilson

He is one of the towering geniuses of popular music, and the creator of some of the most memorable records of all time. But life has not been easy for Brian Wilson. And, as John Walsh discovers, interviewing the great man is no simple task either ...