PICK OF THE WEEK

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The Independent Culture
Lou Reed

The frisky, soft-look rocks into town with his new perm.

Mon 7pm, Labatt's Apollo, Manchester (0161-242 2560); Wed 7pm, Wembley Arena, London NW9 (0181-900 1234)

Smashing Pumpkins

Hated by everyone in the world, which is as good a reason as any to love them. Pathologically pretentious, impossibly overblown and, once in a while, capable of knocking out a tune that's as persistent as toothache.

Tues 7pm, NEC, Birmingham (0121-780 4133); Wed 7pm, Nynex Arena, Manchester (0161-930 8000)

Willie Nelson

Liberal legend of C&W in a headband. Great man, great stories.

Sat 7.15pm, Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (0171-589 8212); Sun 7.30pm, The Palace, Luton (0171-344 0044)

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