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.

The Blagger's Guide To...James Joyce

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

Daivd Bowie sang 'I've rocked my roll. There will be
no more rock 'n' roll tours from me' when he was only 28

When I'm 65! Pop goes the pensioner

Some of music's biggest rebels eat their words and graduate as OAPs this year

Album: Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu (Mercury)

Lulu may be the ultimate Goth album: steeped in art-house self-regard, mired in the vilest extremes of perversion and misery, barked out with as little human warmth as its practitioners can muster and its leaden tortures drawn out to unbearable lengths, it takes the notion of being "drawn to the dark side" to the nth degree.

Video: Suggs reveals underwear to Bowie

Backstage at Reading festival, Madness frontman shares a tale of an awkward moment with David Bowie.

Kate Bush writing new album

Kate Bush is working on a new record.

Album: The Steve Miller Band, Let Your Hair Down (Roadrunner)

Unlike some blues purists petrified by a laborious concern for authenticity, Steve Miller has always been able to apply a supple pop sheen to classic blues stylings, without detracting from their appeal.

A portrait of an artist: David Bowie

An exclusive photographic exhibition of David Bowie's formative years in London charts the rise of one of the most influential artists of our time.

Album: Everything Everything, Man Alive (Geffen)

You have to admire the sheer originality of "pop's new Picassos" (NME).

Album: Laurie Anderson, Homeland (Nonesuch)

Anderson's first studio album in 10 years is one to divide opinion – either enough to induce "stultifying boredom" (the NME) or one that makes her "the most important multimedia artist of our time" (The LA Times).

Album: Dr John, Tribal (Proper Recordings)

Dr John in mellow mood, closer in temperature to Steely Dan than to the album's dedicatee, Bobby Charles – snakey, low, hip and perhaps a little jazzier than you might have reason to expect.

Album: Laurie Anderson Homeland (Nonesuch)

As the title suggests, Homeland sees Laurie Anderson returning to the familiar territory of her opus magnum United States I-IV, with a series of ruminations and observations upon her native land, in which unashamed intellectualism – references to Kierkegaard, Thomas Paine, etc – is balanced by her dry wit and ironic delivery.

Album: The Steve Miller Band, Bingo! (Roadrunner/Loud & Proud)

His first new album in 17 years finds the self-proclaimed Space Cowboy, Gangster of Love and Midnight Toker returning to the blues roots on which he cut his teenage teeth, before psychedelia turned his head.

Album: Peter Gabriel, Scratch My Back (Virgin/Real World)

The covers album as we know it dates back to 1973, when David Bowie's Pin Ups and Bryan Ferry's These Foolish Things were released.

The Word On... Os Mutantes, Haih...Or Amortecedor

"Just as weird as their older albums; it's just weird in a much more polished way. Though it's good to hear a new Os Mutantes record that carries forward the ideals and exploratory spirit that made us all love the band in the first place." - Joe Tangari, pitchfork.com

Caught in the Net: A quieter side to popularity

New Jersey art-rock trio Yo La Tengo has been going strong since 1984 and on 8 September they release their 12th album, 'Popular Songs'.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried