News Chris Hadfield has agreed to take on the role of cultural ambassador for Ireland

Chris Hadfield, the singing astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, has taken on a role as cultural ambassador for Ireland.

Macy Gray, Jazz Café, London

Soul survivor's got it covered with her sexed-up show
“Under the Westway” single was first played by Damon Albarn (pictured) and guitarist Graham Coxon in February

First Listen: Blur take to Twittersphere with debut of new songs

Blur last night debuted two new tracks in a live performance from a balcony at a secret London location.

The Weekend's Viewing: The Lost World of the Seventies, Sun, BBC2
Starlings, Sun, Sky1

"Universal history...is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here," wrote Carlyle.

Grimes

Caught in the Net: Pedal to the metal in a propulsive return

The new-wave synth sounds of George Lewis Jr, aka Twin Shadow, wouldn't have been out of place on the film soundtrack of the Ryan Gosling vehicle (ahem) Drive.

Natasha Youngs prepares for the rush at Resident Records in Brighton

Vinyl countdown has fans queueing round the block

For the vinyl obsessive, camping outside one of the UK’s remaining independent record shops, today is the equivalent of Stella McCartney launching a limited edition high-street collection for fashion bargain-hunters.

Bert Weedon wrote the best-selling 'Play In A Day' guitar books

Giants of rock bid farewell to father of all guitar heroes

Tributes pour in for Bert Weedon, the British musician whose tutorials inspired a generation

Album: Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Crown and Treaty (EMI)

Last seen picking up a Mercury nom with the folk-rock-styled Twice Born Men, Buckinghamshire band SBP return for their third album with a far more complex musical palette.

Dollars & Cents: Thom Yorke from the pricey-to-watch Radiohead

How jazz secretly invaded pop music

Listen with Spotify

Jim Marshall launched his amplifier in 1965 and saw it conquer the world

Farewell to the 'Father of Loud' – it's been a blast

The rock world has promised to "crank it up to 11" to mark the death of Jim Marshall, the "Father of Loud", whose groundbreaking amplifiers gave the gift of extreme volume to generations of guitar heroes.

The Shins, Port of Morrow (Columbia)

James Mercer may use the words "sublimate" and "indigent", but don't be fooled: The Shins trade in a highbrow equivalent of landfill indie.

Thom Yorke and Radiohead are launching an ‘ethical’ ticket exchange

Radiohead try to pull plug on ticket resale rip-offs

They have already cut out record companies by selling music direct to fans. Now Radiohead are taking a stand against the inflated prices that fans are forced to pay for live concerts by launching their own "ethical" ticket exchange.

Mark Foster, Foster the People

Trending: Jeepers creepers, how'd you do those peepers?

Cheering news for fans of elaborate eye makeup who are shaky of hand or just butter-fingered.

Entertainment

Spirit Music buys Pete Townshend's song catalogue

The Blagger's Guide To...James Joyce

Time at last to say 'yes I said yes I will Yes'

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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
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Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home