The latest on books and the arts
Far out: Hornsby’s career has taken him from Sheena Easton to Arnold Schoenberg via the Grateful Dead. Illustration: Tony Millionaire
How Bruce Hornsby survived a hit song
By Kate Mossman - 24 April 12:59

From the Grateful Dead to Arnold Schoenberg, via Tossers Wood.

In the Frame: Farage Begins
By Tom Humberstone - 24 April 9:02

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Soaking up the sun: another distinctive vintage rises through scrubland in a valley Down Under. Photo: Mehdi Chebil/Polaris/Eyevine
The freedom of Australian vineyards leaves tasters spoilt for choice
By Nina Caplan - 23 April 17:50

Before I even got near the reds, I found myself thinking of a short story by Tolstoy, “How Much Land Does a Man Need?”.

Voice of experience: Toni Morrison in 1977. Photo: REX
Lionel Shriver: Toni Morrison picked the wrong subject in God Help the Child
By Lionel Shriver - 23 April 17:29

Toni Morrison has plenty of laurels on which to rest - and this new novel isn't terrible. But given the choice, I'd read Beloved anyday.

Avengers, assemble: in Marvel’s latest offering, the camera never stops moving.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is at once too much and never quite enough
By Ryan Gilbey - 23 April 17:20

If the Marvel fan base, like an elephant, is large but easily startled, Roy Andersson's minimalist vignettes in A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence ask the viewer to endure discomfort.

This Inside Amy Schumer sketch about the media's treatment of "older" women is perfect
By Eleanor Margolis - 23 April 16:35

Passing the age of "believable fuckability".

The gunpowder works. Original source unknown.
Tracing the aftershocks: the explosion in Kent that was felt in East Anglia
By Colm McAuliffe - 23 April 14:14

The story of an obscure munitions disaster during the First World War meets a fragile form of biography.

Dirty money: an oil-like mess at Tate Britain during a protest in April 2011. Photo: Jeff Blacker/Rex Features
Biting the hand that funds: is the Tate losing out from its association with sponsors BP?
By Barbara Speed - 23 April 14:11

The Tate has vowed not to take money from the arms industry or tobacco firms - but the oil firm's support is just as contentious.

No easy way: Dusty Springfield performing in 1965. Photo: Dezo Hoffmann/Rex
Good vibrations: Tracey Thorn’s new book crushes our ideas about what makes a good singer
By Jude Rogers - 23 April 12:44

Naked at the Albert Hall is a history of singing that hums with freshness and passion.

A singing wren. Photo: Wikimedia commons
The birds are getting louder: untangling the dawn chorus with Chris Watson
By Antonia Quirke - 23 April 12:37

Birds are able to discriminate between waveforms in a way we cannot - and their cries are mutating.

The show must go on: Hugh Bonneville (left) in W1A
Sharpening the pen: media satire W1A is back, and its aim is as sharp as ever
By Rachel Cooke - 23 April 12:32

The mockumentary's second season opens with an hour long special - but some of it hits a bit too close to home.

Sitting comfortably? Ed in 2010. Photo: Paul Stuart.
Ed Miliband has had mixed results as an opposition leader – but he might shine as prime minister
By Anthony Seldon - 23 April 10:47

A new book by Tim Bale takes us as close as possible to understanding the awkward enigma that is Ed.

Big fish: a Hackney market trader. Photo: Ridley Rd Portrait Project, © Kate Peters
What do you do? From financiers to fishmongers, a new book shows Britain at work
By Joe Moran - 23 April 10:45

Work is now something we are supposed to be "passionate" about. But Joanna Biggs' portraits of the British workforce show that cant and hypocrisy are as resilient as ever.

Cruel intentions: Hitchcock in London during the filming of Frenzy (1972). Photo: Rex
The fat man walks alone: how Hitchcock the ham became film's greatest artist
By Leo Robson - 23 April 7:43

Today, Hitchcock is reverred for his contribution to cinema. But his reputation as a "serious" director came late, as new biographies from Michael Wood and Peter Ackroyd reveal.

Iron Man in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
The politics of Iron Man: how Marvel sold an arms dealing billionaire to liberal America
By Tom Hart - 22 April 8:03

On paper Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, should be a super villain. But somehow, he’s a hero, and what’s more, he’s the only American superhero you want to have a beer with.