The Killers

Album: Mt. Desolation, Mt. Desolation (Island)

Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley has shown a commendable desire to break new ground in recent months, with the African and Japanese elements of Night Train now followed by this debut album from the country-rock project he's hatched with Jesse Quin and members of The Killers, Mumford & Sons and Noah And The Whale.

John Walsh: Geishas might not do what you think

The niche eroticism of the Japanese never ceases to amaze, does it? Given the historic vulgarity of the professional British horizontale, the weirdness of Nipponese sexuality has always intrigued us. The 17th-century shoguns set up "pleasure quarters" where gentlemen could visit prostitutes (and wives were OK about it) but Japanese girls kept dragging the arts into the basic eroto-financial transaction, until male visitors could hardly find a genuine harlot anywhere among the dancers, singers, lute-fingerers and exponents of calligraphic skill.

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High fashion at the Brits

From James Corden and Mathew Horne's red and black rubber outfits as Kylie Minogue's backing dancers, to Duffy's plunging red gown while performing Warwick Avenue, outfits wowed at the Brits.

Around the world in 20 festivals

Whether you want to keep it cool in Iceland or catch the hottest acts in the desert, Elisa Bray hits all the high notes on a whistle-stop world tour

Album: The Killers, Day & Age, (Island)

With the assistance of producer Stuart Price, Brandon Flowers & co have turned their backs on empty bluster and taken a few steps in the direction of brash, swaggering pop.