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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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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us