Arts and Entertainment Mr angry Trent Reznor of industrial rock veterans Nine Inch Nails

The Nine Inch Nails frontman is still furious after all these years. But, at 78, Leonard Cohen knows it's better to be a lover than a fighter

Album: The Big Pink, Future This (4AD)

Naming your band after one of the all-time great albums is quite a yoke to saddle yourself with, and The Big Pink are making heavy weather of it on Future This.

Being Modern: Alt.Christmas

As the forces of commerce gather for the fast-approaching festivities, we would do well to guard against another stain that has, of late, indelibly marked the spirit of the season: "alternative" takes on our cherished traditions.

Album: Spotlight Kid, Disaster Tourist (Tri-Tone/PIAS)

If you're going to name your band after a Captain Beefheart album, you'd better make sure you're pretty damn good - or pretty damn weird, at least.

Stripped-down: Belfast band General Fiasco

Album: Professor Green, At Your Inconvenience (Virgin)

Having managed to parlay an association with Lily Allen into the semblance of a career, Professor Green punches above his weight on his second album, with tracks indulging the standard hip-hop tropes of self-aggrandisation ("At Your Inconvenience") and aimless antagonism ("DPMO (Don't Piss Me Off)").

Album: Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials (Island )

For her follow-up to Lungs, Florence Welch wanted to make something "dramatic and really huge and kind of spooky", an intention which Ceremonials bears out with storm-cloud arrangements, big, rolling drum riffs and ghost-story songs.

Band of Skulls, HMV Forum, London

When you forget where you are, you know you've been touring too hard and too long. "We're Band of Skulls, and you are... the Forum?" says frontman Russell Marsden nonchalantly, as he casually sweeps his long blonde hair out of his eyes. The momentary doubt never reaches confusion; this trio is far too rock'n'roll for that.

Andrew Grice: Sympathy not anger at Peter Watt

Peter Watt, Labour’s former general secretary, who has written an explosive book revealing the Blair-Brown faultline running through New Labour, admits that Labour activists may be disappointed that he has published in the run-up to the general election.

Board reaps whirlwind for lax discipline

South Africa 451-9dec & 94-3 Australia 359

Review of the year: Pop

A year of vocal tics and indie licks from Gorillaz and Hal to Kaiser Chiefs and Ry Cooder
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

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Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

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