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Rick Perry, suddenly the front-runner in the Republican nomination stakes, last month described Washington as a "seedy place" he didn't care for.

Farrah Fawcett: Actress famed for her role in the quintessential Seventies programme 'Charlie's Angels'

It was one of the most famous posters of the 1970s – Farrah Fawcett wearing a red swimsuit – and sold 12 million copies around the world. Although the actress inside the costume walked out on the glossy American television series Charlie's Angels after just a year of playing one of the three scantily clad female detectives, the image lived on.

FA Cup final: A royal blue wave of emotion across ocean

From afar Adrian Heath hopes his beloved Everton can revive the spirit of '84

DVD: Iron Maiden – Flight 666 (15)

Following other unintentionally hilarious air-punching classics – Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004) and, of course, the genre-defining This is Spinal Tap (1984) – this is the latest heavy metal rockumentary, and follows Iron Maiden's Somewhere Back in Time world tour of 2008.

Great Escape Festival - South by South East

Heralding the start of Britain's festival season, this year's Great Escape played host to 300 acts across Brighton.,/p>

Now in its fourth year, The Great Escape could be the little sister of the famous South by South West festival and conference, in Austin, Texas. Like its bigger predecessor, The Great Escape takes over the city centre with bands, 3,000 music-industry delegates from around the globe and speakers across 34 venues. This year's festival saw more than 12,000 fans per day in attendance across the events.

South by Southwest heads in the right direction

From a growling singer sporting a pink turban to Sweden's answer to Bob Dylan, the line-up of promising young acts at this year's gathering in Austin, Texas showed that the festival is continuing to set the pace for cutting-edge bands, says Alex Hannaford

Caught in the Net: How Jane's rocked Austin

While the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas is supposed to be mainly about new bands, bigger names can muscle in on the action, as Jane's Addiction did this year.

Lyle Lovett, Royal Festival Hall, London

Lyle Lovett has made his way in Hollywood and Nashville. But "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)" could be his keynote song during a more than two-hour show exploring his home state's most profound traditions. The four-piece band play bluegrass and Western Swing with classical precision. Lovett's deceptively strong voice can croon or croak, part of an equally precise yet elastic persona: sardonic, rowdy, undone or lost in reverie. His long, stone face recalls tragicomic Buster Keaton, and his songs hang suspended between shaggy dog tales and quiet desperation.

Caught in the Net - Texas, top acts and taxis

The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas kicks off on Wednesday with 1,800 musical acts over four frenetic days (sxsw.com). At gigs in 80 venues, new and established bands will use it as a launch pad for their latest endeavours, providing a decent indication of what's in store musically for the rest of 2009.

The Best Gigs of 2008

He came, he rapped and he conquered Glastonbury – but Jay-Z wasn't the only music act to rock our world this year. The Independent's music writers choose their top five live performances, ones they will never forget

Jimmy Carl Black: Drummer and vocalist with The Mothers of Invention

"Hi boys and girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group". This was how the drummer and occasional singer with the original line-up of The Mothers of Invention would introduce himself on stage and on record.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (18)

A group of all-American teenagers encounter a bloodthirsty cannibalistic family off the beaten track in Texas, resulting in a film so terrifying the uncut version was not approved for general distribution in the UK until 1999, 25 years after it was made.

Men 'better than women at detecting infidelity'

Men are better at detecting infidelity than women but tend to suspect their female partners even when they are faithful, a study has found.

Nelly - It's called adult entertainment

Hip-hop bad boy Nelly has embraced the motto 'sex sells'. Matilda Egere-Cooper asks him why

White Denim, Audio, Brighton

"More cowbell!" cries a man in a severe state of excitement. It's not necessarily what you expect to hear at a gig from one of the most hotly tipped garage rock bands of the year, but then White Denim don't do things by the book.

Machine, by Peter Adolphsen, trans Charlotte Barslund

An oil pipeline into the distant past
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada