News
 

President Barack Obama leads nation in moment of silence, as commemoration ceremonies take place in New York, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania

Minor British Institutions: Half Man Half Biscuit

Half Man Half Biscuit, or HMHB, are a band from Birkenhead that constituted a sort of dessert for the strong meat served-up during the punk era. Formed in around 1984, they seem to be still going, and there has never been a finer group of musical, social and political satirists (unless you count the Barron Knights).

Album: Don McLean, Addicted to Black (Proper)

Don McLean's reputation has rested largely on a few early songs – the endlessly recycled "American Pie", "Vincent", and the much-covered crooner's favourite "And I Love Her So" – which, a glance at his back catalogue confirms, is more than enough to support a long and prolific career.

Guitar heroes can
really learn to rock

All those hours spent perfecting your technique in ‘Rock Band’ and ‘Guitar Hero’ don’t, I’m afraid, add up to any real finger-picking skills.

Album: Various Artists, Glee: The Music, Volume 1 (Columbia)

As apparently the only person in the western hemisphere not to have seen an episode of Glee, it's hardly surprising I found myself neither angered nor elated by the karaoke-pop repossessions of rock history that comprise this soundtrack album.

Dale Hawkins: Singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for his seminal Fifties hit 'Susie-Q'

As with "Bo Diddley", "What'd I Say" and "Johnny B. Goode", Dale Hawkins' 1957 record, "Susie-Q" contained an explosive riff which became one of the cornerstones of the new rock'n'roll music. It is still familiar, and it could be argued that John Fogerty wrote several variations for Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Album: Thao, Know Better, Learn Faster (Kill Rock Stars)

We Brave Bee Stings and All, Thao Nguyen's 2008 album with her band the Get Down Stay Down, was that year's best-selling record on the Kill Rock Stars label and something of a breakthrough.

Album: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, Know Better Learn Faster (Kill Rock Stars)

Thao Nguyen acquired many approving notices and fans with 2008's We Brave Bee Stings And All, and, while this follow-up has its moments of undeniable charm, there comes a point when her plaintive anti-folk deadpan slips over from appealingly quirky into irritatingly affected.

Album: Neil Diamond, A Cherry Cherry Christmas (Sony)

In the sleeve notes, Neil Diamond pre-empts any feelings of incongruity at the prospect of a Jewish guy singing Christmas songs by stating that this is a magical time of year regardless of one's religion.

Album: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Live Anthology (Universal)

Four discs, 48 songs, 27 years… If ever a rock band deserved the heritage treatment then this one does.

Album: Neil Diamond, A Cherry Cherry Christmas (Columbia)

The bulk of these 14 tracks were originally released on previous Neil Diamond Christmas albums from 1992 and 1994 – neither of which, one imagines, bore such a cringingly terrible titular pun.

Stephen Foley: The real work there is still to do on US jobs

When the US last emerged from recession, after the dot.com bust, the Bush administration presided over what became known as the "jobless recovery". If they get it right, a new generation of leaders might just spark a jobs-led recovery.

Leading article: A golden bridge

The good folk of Cumbria may be mourning the loss of their bridges as they take hour-long detours to cross the rivers, but down in Oxfordshire they know how to make money out of need. The Swinford toll bridge, which crosses the Thames near Eynsham, has just fetched a total of more than £1m at auction.

Album: Paul Curreri, California (Hi-Ya / Tin Angel)

Curreri accounts for a lot of the musical weight behind Devon Sproule.

The best gift bar none? Beer vouchers

People unsure about what gifts to buy for friends and relatives have long relied on woefully unoriginal presents such as book tokens and high street store vouchers. Now, they will be able to provide their loved ones with something they might really want – Pub Vouchers.

Larry Knechtel: Pianist who played with two Elvises, Simon and Garfunkel, Phil Spector and the Doors

In 1969, Paul Simon wanted to give his new composition, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", some of the feel of a gospel song. He asked the Los Angeles pianist Larry Knechtel to work on the first verse with the vocalist Art Garfunkel. After four days, he was impressed with the result and the way Knechtel had interpreted his composition. It prompted him to write a third verse, although he subsequently felt that the lyrics were not as strong as the first two. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" became an international best-seller, topping the charts in both Britain and America. Knechtel was invited on tour, and Simon has described how he sat at the side while Garfunkel and Knechtel performed his song. It irked Simon, who admitted, "It's not a very generous thing to think, but I resented it." Knechtel shared a Grammy with Simon and Garfunkel, and the musicians Jimmie Haskell and Ernie Freeman, for the Best Arrangement of the Year.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week