Arts and Entertainment Ke$ha should be given more creative freedom, according to fans

Online petition with 1,300 signatures suggests producer Dr Luke should stop producing hit singles for the star

Album: Sun Airway, Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier (Dead Oceans)

As an intimation of musical intention, the title Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier pretty much nails it here, Philadelphia duo Sun Airway dealing in a miasmic drone-rock that brings to mind My Bloody Valentine collaborating with The Flaming Lips.

Caught in the Net: Mogwai turn up the volume

In a glib summation of Mogwai's music, they tend to start quiet and then get pretty loud. On their new song "Rano Pano", the long-running Scottish post-rockers (pictured) dispense with the quiet side – instead they start loud and stay there.

Pedestrian dies in festival car accident

A man died today after being hit by a car outside a music festival.

Album: Klaxons, Surfing the Void (Polydor)

The curse of the Mercury Prize strikes again!

Spontaneous combustion: The return of Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire's first album catapulted the unconventional Canadian outfit into the rock stratosphere, drawing eulogies from Springsteen, Bowie, Byrne and more. Six years later, their third album is awaited with bated breath. Andy Gill sets the scene for the release of the year

Album: Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse, Dark Night of the Soul (Parlophone)

Some nights of the soul are obviously darker than others. During the year-long dispute with EMI that held up this album's release, two of the musicians involved have taken their own lives, the disabled songwriter Vic Chesnutt by an overdose of muscle-relaxant drugs last Christmas Day, while Mark "Sparklehorse" Linkous shot himself earlier this year.

Album: Flaming Lips, Dark Side of the Moon (Warner)

Recording a cover version of an entire classic album is the sort of prank normally associated with Laibach, but Oklahoman eccentric Wayne Coyne is perhaps the only other artist mad enough to try it.

Album: The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs, The Dark Side of the Moon (Warner Bros)

The tribute album is often damned by the diffidence of disciples wary of offending against their holy musical text.

Dizzee Rascal, Snoop Dogg and Scissor Sisters join Glastonbury line-up

Acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Scissor Sisters and The Flaming Lips are among the main acts playing this year's Glastonbury Festival, it was announced today.

Album: Dr Dog, Shame, Shame (Anti)

This Philadelphia band's loyal followers have always claimed that, studio-wise, their best is yet to come.

Mark Linkous: Troubled singer and songwriter who recorded as Sparklehorse

Hiding behind the name Sparklehorse, the American singer-songwriter Mark Linkous made affecting, beautiful, bewitching, fragile music, and was championed by Radiohead, with whom he toured, as well as P.J. Harvey and Tom Waits, who both guested on his 2001 album It's A Wonderful Life. The handful of haunting albums and EPs and the dozen singles he released between 1995 and 2009 only nudged the lower reaches of the charts, yet they established him as a cult artist in the vein of Mark Everett – aka Eels – and two other tragic figures of the US alternative scene, Vic Chesnutt and Elliott Smith, though his rockier, more visceral material like "Hammering The Cramps", "Someday I'll Treat You Good" and "Rainmaker" was reminiscent of Hüsker Dü or The Replacements.

Album: The Kissaway Trail, Sleep Mountain (Bella Union)

This Danish quintet don't wear their influences on their sleeves so much as tattoo them on to their foreheads. Emotive alt-rock remains their schtick on this second LP, concocted from two parts Arcade Fire to one part Flaming Lips, and with the co-frontmen's wistful, in one case Wayne Coyne-esque vocals pitched against driving, ever-swelling arrangements.

Album: Eels, End Times (Vagrant)

An anatomy of a break-up by one slippery customer

Album: Various artists, Maybe This Christmas Too (Nettwerk)

Christmas is no time for messing with the formula, but just because that happens to be the case doesn't mean you have to start reaching for the Cliff Richard records.

The Flaming Lips, The Troxy, London

Even if you're not freaked out, you'll act like you are and that will fill the gap in between," announces Wayne Coyne, after jumping into the crowd in a giant space bubble, which its members gleefully consent to tossing him about in. As the opening of "Race for the Prize" kicks in, Coyne topples off the edge of the stage, in unison with an avalanche of yellow and orange balloons and confetti jet streams, to be returned by fans with cheers only a cult figure receives.

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