Arts and Entertainment Tom Odell: 'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

Album: Elton John & Leon Russell, Union (Mercury)

Back on the cusp of the 1970s, a young Elton John was making his American debut at Los Angeles' legendary Troubadour club, where he was thrilled to meet his idol Leon Russell, the saturnine pianist then on the verge of establishing his own solo career after a decade as a sought-after session man.

Album: Charles Lloyd Quartet, Mirror (ECM)

You can't help but read the valedictory into 72-year- old Lloyd's new album with Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers, bass, and Eric Harland, drums.

Album: Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin (Disney Pearl Series)

It's no surprise to find the Great Arranger of his era tackling the Great American Songbook; but sadly, the absence of surprise also applies to the bulk of the treatments here, which err on the side of schmaltz.

Dylan Jones: 'As soon as I got home, I played my CD of Californian ocean sounds with the Beach Boys over the top'

Twenty years ago, almost to the very day, I was in Carmel in California, about to have dinner at Clint Eastwood's restaurant, the Hog's Breath Inn (at the time he was the town's mayor). As I walked down through the centre of town, I passed one of those generic New Age shops, selling everything from Grateful Dead posters to lava lamps. It also sold CDs of ocean sounds, California ocean sounds to boot. And as I have been in love with the idea of the California ocean from the age of about 10, I had to buy one.

Everybody's gone surfing (but the Hawaiian purists are upset )

The Beach Boys started it. Not the falsetto West Coast songsters of "Surfing USA", but the Hawaiian watermen who still act as board caddies and gurus to visiting mid-managers and their families in from Des Moines, trying out the forgiving waves of Waikiki for the first time. Back in the late 1950s they would paddle out to the break and tow the tourists into position. But they needed a way of getting out there with a camera and a cigarette too. So stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, was born. The original beach boys would equip themselves with not just a long, wide board but a wooden paddle, and would then use it to steer around the break, into and out of the waves, remaining upright all or most of the time.

Album: Department of Eagles, Archive 2003-2006 (Co Op)

Former NYU room-mates Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus began life as a muck-about band who, inspired by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks' Smile, locked themselves into an expensive studio they could barely operate.

Album: Larsen B, Musketeer (Old Radio Tunes)

Larsen B are a trio from the Hertfordshire town of Wheathampstead, which they choose to refer to by its Domesday name of Watamestede, signal whimsy.

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.

Album: The Magnetic Fields, Realism (Nonesuch)

Dear listener, if you're expecting something simple and cheery...

Album: Animal Collective, Campfire Songs (Paw Tracks)

Reissued in the wake of Animal Collective's 2009 breakthrough, Campfire Songs dates from a time (2003) when they still had not settled upon that name for the band, but were operating under the sobriquet which eventually became the album title.

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Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

How to shop politically

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits
The science of sex: What happens when science meets erotica

Sex on the brain

Fetishes, dominatrixes, kinks and erotica. They are subjects that should get the crowds flocking to a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection