Straight up: Kendrick Lamar

Here are the best albums of the year so far – and yes that’s a jazzer at the top of the pile

With Antony Hegarty and Miguel on his new album, Lantern, Hudson Mohawke is learning the fine art of collaboration

Derryman Eamon Harkin is helping lead a new wave of Irish DJs and producers making inroads worldwide

Maeve Bradley, Laura Cody, Stephanie Lonergan, Kelly Murphy and Kinga Jakubiec before the Taylor Swift concert at the 3Arena. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Terms of photographic contract ‘too restrictive’ for a working newspaper-and-website

Headline act: Duran Duran had been announced as being on the bill in Killarney

When Killarney Festival of Music & Food was cancelled this week it was the end of an event plagued by unpaid deposits and changes (...)

Multiple line-ups: Glen Hansard and The Frames in 2009

I wouldn’t have lasted 25 days in the gig, let alone the 25 years that Glen Hansard and the rest of the band have survived

From Jape to Hercules & Love Affair, Jim Carroll casts his eye over some of the highlights at this year’s Castlepalooza festival i(...)

The summer clubbing season is getting into gear and sunny Ibiza is still the place to be

Jools Holland, one of the musicians who was due to perform at the Killarney Festival of Music and Food this weekend. Photograph: Getty

Poor ticket sales may be among ‘unforeseen circumstances’ behind event cancellation

The Chic co-founder, producer and guitarist has put his inimitable stamp on a whopping number of hits. Here are 10 of his best

Machiavellian charm: US record executive David Geffen pictured in July 1972. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Like many creative industries, the music business has become a closed shop – you now have to go underground to find the rogue pl(...)

As you read this, the international music industry’s cowboys, ranchers, farmers, chancers, boy wonders, grey hairs and troopers ar(...)

Live music goes outdoors for the summer  even though the Irish summer weather can be decidedly unsuited to standing around waiting for a band to come onstage. Photograph: Alan Betson

Live music sounds better indoors – the audience don’t have to stand in a puddle of mud

When it comes to absolutely gimormous record deals, Bruce Springsteen really is the boss

Jamie ‘xx’ Smith: “Things are discovered, hyped and lost now very quickly compared to the underground scene of the early 1990s, which was quite slow-moving by comparison and built by word of mouth”

In the run up to Forbidden Fruit, the xx member says it’s still all about the music

There may not have been the same amount of cash sloshing around in the old days when dance music and club culture were starting ou(...)

Review: Memoir of a rock critic prince at play in his court

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the audience . . . along comes a pop star in a rubber dingy

Since word first came out of the northwest about this talented singer-songwriter, Soak has become part of the fabric home and abro(...)

If you were to canvass new bands about who they need to help them out, a majority would indicate they’re after a manager

The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic may be a bit of a mouthful but you can’t say the editor-in-chief (...)

20-year-old Shamir is a star in the making, with a bold, bouncy debut album of pop and r’n’b, but it all started with a love of fo(...)

Unlike the opinion polls before the British general election, the data produced by users identifying up to 20 million songs a day (...)

‘Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals’ is getting a fresh airing thanks to Peter Gordon, one of the great man’s closest friends and coll(...)

Review: This album is the work of an artist perfectly in tune with pop’s current predilections

There are probably funk/soul songwriters and publishers scouring interviews for mentions of influences in an attempt to get on the(...)

The Irishwoman is back on the scene with a distinctively original album of melancholic electro-pop

 As with so many people who take to Twitter to air an grievance, it may have been better for Jay-Z to think before he tweeted. Photograph: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images

Star’s Twitter outburst does little to help the 1 per cent’s music streaming service take off

Michael Angelakos on new Passion Pit album ‘Kindred’: “The project is a weird kind of therapy for me as a producer and musician.”

Singer’s new album is a release after struggle with depression and ‘Gossamer’

In his new book How Music Got Free, Stephen Witt tells the story of the world’s biggest music leaker

Eyes on the prize: Flying Lotus, aka Steven Ellison

When Steven Ellison was growing up jazz showed him the future of music. Now Flying Lotus is returning the favour – in a very dar(...)

Podge McNamee (second from right): “People heard HamsandwicH and thought we were a joke band . . . People heard ‘White Fox’ and they know we’re serious and they know we’re in this for the right reasons. But so many people judge a book by its cover. We’re all guilty of that.” Photograph: Dara Munnis

The band are on a rising trajectory with a new album and new direction

Jazz promoter Norman Granz and Legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie backstage at a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert, 1955. Photgraph: Metronome/Getty Images

Despite the fall labels such as ECM are keeping alive the old-school tradition

Colm Mac Con Iomaire has been busy doing various musical projects while also recording his new solo album, And Now the Weather (Agus Anois an Aimsir)

There’s a difference between having a band and being in a band, says the solo artist and former Frames fiddler

Studio rat: Daniel Lanois. Photograph: Brad Barket/Getty/CBGB

U2’s Canadian producer has spent his whole life in recording studios. Now he wants to celebrate that heritage, which ranges from B(...)

In recent times, the flurry of young acts getting courted, seduced and signed by major labels has been striking in the extreme

Hank Shocklee: ‘People diss Soundcloud and Spotify because of “music for free” and all that, but look at the artists who’ve got traction who would never have got traction under the old label regime.’ Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

He produced Public Enemy and lit the fuse for Bomb Squad but don’t expect him to be hot for modern hip-hop

With the new Villagers album, ‘Darling Arithmetic’, main man Conor O’Brien has worked it all out in his head, and is no longer afr(...)

The beauty of the new arrivals is that they pass the easy, foolproof tests. The heavy lifting has been done and the tech is ready (...)

More than two years after his scorching breakout release 'good kid, M.A.A.D. city', Kendrick Lamar returns with an even more impre(...)

Stepping back: Zayn Malik on stage with Harry Styles in New York. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/OneD/Getty

Zayn Malik’s exit won’t stop the boy-band juggernaut. Their managers will have been planning how to cope without one of them – and(...)

The story of SFX Entertainment proves they’re not natural bedfellows

Freshly returned from Texas and with his ears still ringing, Jim Carroll picks out the bands and acts that shone the brightest at (...)

Austin festival attracts 300,000 visitors but the growth may require a different approach

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of The Museum of Modern Art, gives a keynote address in Austin. Photograph: Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW

From artificial intelligence to Generation Z, the Texan media festival has become a conference of everything

Father figures: Alloysious Massaquoi, right, with Kayus Bankole and Graham Hastings: ‘Every song we put out, we’ve loved. We’re not hiding anything or keeping anything back’

The Edinburgh band put the pop into hip-hop and have always avoided the pissed-off persona of the typical hip-hop artist. Despite (...)

His debut album, ‘Big Inner’, took him on a rollercoaster ride around the globe. But White wanted to be sure its follow-up, ‘Fresh(...)

Is 2015 the year when the notion of getting your music for free bites the dust?

Week in and week out, the clubs, venues and DJs change little as new and old names swapped places - one thing that remains constan(...)

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