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: White Denim, Workout Holiday (Full Time Hobby)

While many bands name-drop Nick Drake, the Beach Boys and the Velvets (fine and proper, but getting predictable), my interest in this Texas trio was assured when bassist Steve Terebecki announced that White Denim "would really like to turn into XTC".

On the hunt for meaning with Seattle band Fleet Foxes

Nostalgic hippie ruralism and an aura of wilful mystery surround Fleet Foxes. James McNair tries to work out what makes them tick

Album: Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue (Sony BMG)

His fellow Beach Boys were shocked when, in 1977, their feckless drummer boy became the first Wilson brother to release a solo album: shocked not just that he had found time in his tomcat-hedonist schedule to write and record it, but that it should be so darn good.

Album: Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes (Bella Union)

'Mojo' has already declared them "America's next great band", so it's difficult to know what to add to the welter of positive press that has greeted Seattle's Fleet Foxes since their lovely 'Sun Giant' EP.

The 5-minute Interview: David Marks, musician

'People say I'm not a real Beach Boy'

Album: Jim Noir, Jim Noir (My Dad Recordings)

The army of bedsit Brian Wilsons that began to march as technology revolutionised the recording process merely went to show how difficult it was to match the maestro in terms of warmth, wonder and, crucially, songwriting.

Album: The Grid, Doppelganger (Some Bizarre)

In the Old Rave era, long after Soft Cell had fallen apart, synth maestro Dave Ball formed the Grid with Richard Norris, and sold millions.

First Night: Jersey Boys, Prince Edward Theatre, London

The hits keep coming but Frankie frustrates despite

Album: Radar Bros, Auditorium (Chemikal Underground)

Unfashionable, unloved and barely even functioning as a group, LA's Radar Bros might wish to consider changing their name to Under the Radar Bros. Big shame. Because 12 years and five albums in, 'Auditorium' is head brother Jim Putnam's finest hour, the point at which his love of 1960s psychedelia and country music merges effortlessly into one harmonious, happy/sad celebration – think early Floyd, Midlake and 'Friends'-era Beach Boys. Wikipedia-sourced aside: Putnam's father, Bill, is widely credited as being the "father of modern recording", pioneering the use of echo chambers. Daddy would be proud.

Album: Hot Chip

Made in the Dark, EMI

Teenage Fanclub, Koko, London

In a gig of few surprises, Scotland's most laid-back band reveal they have gone political; well, a little bit. "We've had a new prime minister since we played here last," the garrulous Norman Blake points out. "We met him once, he said he liked Big Star – he must have been briefed."

The Lionheart Brothers, The Social, London

There's nothing like a spot of lacerating Norwegian psychedelia to brighten up a wet winter's night in January, and those who crammed into The Social for a taste of this up-and-coming Trondheim quintet met with an experience they won't forget in a hurry.

Thomson and Lillee shine at the seaside: Playing with the beach boys

Angus Fraser, <i>The Independent's</i> cricket correspondent, gets sand between his toes as legends of the game snap on the shades and slap on the suntan oil in Australia

Album: The Magnetic Fields

Distortion (Nonesuch)

Ken Nelson: Shaper of post-war country music

Kenneth Nelson, talent scout and record producer: born Caledonia, Minnesota 19 January 1911; married (one daughter); died Somis, California 6 January 2008
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable