Music

Down – if not out – in Paris

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Virginie Despentes remains best known in this country for her 1993 debut novel, Baise-Moi, about two abused young women who…

Jay-Z: 4.44

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B – All criticism is pointless, I suppose, given the sheer magnitude of the Shawn Corey Carter machine —…

Band apart: conductor John Wilson, whose orchestra boasts some of the best wind and brass players on the planet

Let there be light

13 July 2017 1:00 pm

If you’ve never heard the John Wilson Orchestra, it’s time to experience pure happiness. Buy their 2016 live album Gershwin…

Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Boy is she fat, and getting fatter. I realise this is something we’re not meant to mention when talking about…

‘Tennis’, 1930, by Eric Ravilious

Match made in heaven

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Tennis is best played with a wooden racket on a shady lawn somewhere close to Dorking. There is no need…

We want them not to give us what we want: Radiohead at the Roundhouse reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Radiohead have been at the top of the musical tree for so long now that it’s easy to forget what…

Doing it for themselves: the first issue of the first punk fanzine ‘Sniffin’ Glue’

Nothing sacrilegious about this British Library Punk show, says Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols

28 May 2016 9:00 am

There have been many punk exhibitions over the years so I can’t help but chuckle at the ‘experts’ who are…

King of heavy metal Bruce Dickinson at Madison Square Gardens in 1983

Meet the fans who risk death for heavy metal

14 May 2016 9:00 am

With its loud guitar riffs and even louder fashion, heavy metal has always been ripe for ridicule. In its mid-1980s…

The Heckler: love your music, Macca, just not sure about you

7 May 2016 9:00 am

It’s slightly galling, after years of sticking up for Paul McCartney, to read a new biography of the bloke and…

‘Wanna come to Prince’s house?’

30 April 2016 9:00 am

This is only interesting, well a bit interesting, because the poor man died last Thursday and for a few short…

‘Street in Auvers-sur-Oise’ by Vincent van Gogh

Why we love unfinished art

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The unfinished is, of course, something which tells us about the history of a work of art’s creation. A work…

Dull hipsters in broad daylight – why I’m done with today’s dance music

19 March 2016 9:00 am

At 19, I dropped out of university to pursue a career as a rave promoter. I went into business with…

Did criticism kill John Keats? Sketch by Joseph Severn of the poet in his last illness

Aphorisms and the arts: from Aristotle to Oscar Wilde

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The author of this jam-packed treasure trove has been a film critic at the New York Times since 2000 and…

Phil Lynott performs with Thin Lizzy (Photo: Getty)

Phil Lynott, from Dublin teenager to rock'n'roll burnout

27 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s often said that there are only seven basic plots in literature. When it comes to biographies of rock stars…

Joan Bakewell: on socks, fridge magnets, teddy bears and such stuff

13 February 2016 9:00 am

I don’t know if this counts as name-dropping, but I recently interviewed a boyhood friend of Elvis Presley’s in Tupelo,…

‘The Evening’ by Caspar David Friedrich

At the going down of the sun

6 February 2016 9:00 am

One of the epigraphs to Peter Davidson’s nocturne on Europe’s arts of twilight is from Hegel: ‘The owl of Minerva…

A musician plays in the lobby of the Regal hotel in Hong Kong. Photo: Lucas Schifres/Bloomberg/Getty Images

If we really cared about mental health, muzak would be a top priority

30 January 2016 9:00 am

No one is consulted. No one is held to account. No one has the authority to turn it off. How…

Powerful and upsetting: Pelléas et Mélisande at the Barbican reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

There are some operas, as there are some people, that it is impossible to establish a settled relationship with, and…

He’s in the bestselling show: David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, New York, 1973

Bowie realised there was more to life than art

16 January 2016 9:00 am

The DJ and sage Mark Radcliffe once said that he didn’t think he could ever like anyone who didn’t love…

Benjamin Clementine hasn’t really dedicated his prize to the Paris victims — yet

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Benjamin Clementine, who won the 2015 Mercury Music Prize for his debut album At Least For Now, received his cheque…

Is television at its best when it mimics radio?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Not that long ago the BBC trumpeted a new Stakhanovite project to big up the arts in its many and…

An early photograph of Sinatra, the flute-thin crooner.From Charles Pignone’s Sinatra 100 (Thames & Hudson)

Frank Sinatra never went away — but did he ever grow up?

7 November 2015 9:00 am

‘He never went away. All those other things that we thought were here to stay, they did go away. But…

Make-up, chocolates, deodorant and sand: two weeks in cancer scares

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Killer facts The World Health Organisation added processed meats to its list of ‘known’ carcinogens. A few of the other…

On song: Bob Dylan performs at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in 2011; photographers are banned on his current tour

Never again, I told myself last time Bob Dylan was in town

29 October 2015 9:00 am

We were like four hapless contestants on University Challenge. None of us knew the answer. But just like they do…

Not all crap TV is all that crap

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Girl is back for half-term so I’ve been able to watch nothing but crap on TV this week. Some of…