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: Animal Collective, Fall Be Kind (Domino)

A generously-proportioned five-track EP, Fall Be Kind employs the same loop-based methods as Animal Collective's popular Merriweather Post Pavilion, but here used to create a more crepuscular, aptly autumnal atmosphere.

Paul Wendkos: Director who made his name as a pioneer of made-for-television films

Paul Wendkos, who has died aged 84, had the misfortune of seeing his first Hollywood film become a massive hit. Gidget (1959) starred Sandra Dee as the eponymous 16-year-old “girl midget”, a prototype “beach bunny” chasing fun and romance among California’s surfers. It marked the beginnings of the surf craze which encompassed pop music typified by the Beach Boys and a slew of movies, including two Gidget sequels which Wendkos also directed. Trapped at Columbia Studios, Wendkos never directed a major feature, or had another big hit, but became a mainstay of episodic television, and in the 1970s carved out a substantial career as one of the first, and best, directors of “made-for-television” movies.

Heroes and Villians, By David Hajdu

This meaty collection of musical essays ranges from Sammy Davis Jr via the Beach Boys to Philip Glass. The opening appraisal of the unfortunate Billy Eckstein, a singer and bandleader adored by Miles Davis, disinters a forgotten genius.

Girls, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London

Like Love or A, Girls (who are actually comprised of two men) are one of those infuriatingly difficult bands to search for on the internet. Once you've sifted through some of the more risqué sites and perhaps made a couple of awkward wrong turns, you'll come across one of the most simple and heartbreaking bands around.

Album: The Raveonettes, In and Out of Control, (Fierce Panda)

This Danish duo has always had a sombre and uniquely Nordic take on 1960s Americana, the inevitable result of listening to the Beach Boys in a country where it's too chilly to surf.

Brian Wilson, Roundhouse, London

Drowned in surfer pop

Speaking words of wisdom: Should The Beatles let it be?

It's expensive and it's said to be a revelation. But is the £200 Beatles remasters a con trick? Andy Gill has the first listen and gives the (negative) verdict

Ellie Greenwich: Co-writer of such pop classics as ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’, ‘Be My Baby’ and ‘Leader Of The Pack’

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.

My Fantasy Band - Ian Broudie Lightning Seeds

Vocals - Johnny Cash and John Lennon
I think if they'd sung together they would have been magic. They're my heroes. They both had fantastic careers but both went through complete reawakenings and had second halves. Cash went on to work with Rubin on American Recordings and Lennon came out of the Beatles and made 'Imagine'. They both did it, then did it again.

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 ...

Katy Holland: Surf's up! Time to teach my beach boys how to take to the waves

Are we there yet? It's exhilarating to spend so much time in the sea, even if you do end up drinking most of it

Album: Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest (Warp)

Veckatimest represents a huge step forward from 2006's Yellow House for Grizzly Bear, whose psychedelia-laced folk-rock suddenly seems perfectly of the moment, in the wake of the successes of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire.

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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea