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'There's a lot of grimness out there," said the TV producer Daisy Goodwin earlier this week, complaining about the literary miserablism she'd encountered as the chair of this year's Orange Prize for Fiction jury. "There are a lot of books that start with a rape. Pleasure does seem to have become a rather neglected element in publishing." By her account it had been a somewhat gloomy business doing the reading for the long list, finishing off one dispiriting account of human tragedy only to pick up another, un-mediated by jollity or lightness of tone. And though one sympathises with the chore, or the desire for a bit of variety, her grumble couldn't help but sound a slightly naïve and unliterary note – given how important "grimness" is in the canon. Bang goes Hamlet and Macbeth. Bang goes Crime and Punishment. Bang goes most of Thomas Hardy and all of Kafka. Gloomy, gloomy, gloomy guys! Can't you just cheer up and give us a joke every now and then to make the time pass a little quicker?
Radiohead may not make another album together, the band's frontman Thom Yorke said yesterday as they could not bear to go through the "creative hoo-ha" again.
The sun comes out for Yorke
We can't think of a better avant-pop music combination than Björk and Thom Yorke on the Icelandic songstress's new track Naturra. And it's in aid of the environment.
The former chorister has given Radiohead the cocktail-jazz treatment
The first record I bought was...
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. I remember hearing "So What" on the radio when I was just eight years old and my dad was driving us up to London one night in the rain. Around that time I had been getting more and more into playing around with scales and improvising on the piano, so I was just really struck by American jazz pianist Bill Evans' way with harmony.