Arts and Entertainment

A music documentary that oozes irritating smugness

Outside the Box: Can we draw conclusions from these strange new statistics?

This season's Premier League has been notable for two statistical oddities. Before this weekend, 66 games produced a mere four draws. The normal rate is about one every four games, so this is astonishingly low. With most teams outside the top six considered to be much of a muchness, the expectation would be for more draws than average. The high number of goals has been gratifying (except for Hull fans) if equally unusual. Last season only Liverpool averaged more than two per game; so far this season, seven teams are doing so. Statistical freaks? Or is there a better explanation?

Labour conference diary: 30/09/2009

*Gordon Brown "is like a beetle on its back waving its feet in the air. The best thing to do is to put him out of his misery and stamp on him." So said Peter Carpenter, chairman of the Putney Labour Party and donor of £33,000 to the party, in a BBC interview yesterday. In that atmosphere, whose brilliant idea was it to entertain delegates as they waited for Brown to speak by playing "Sit Down" over the loudspeakers?

Billy Bragg: In defence of guitar heroes

Let's not complain about a video game that encourages kids to become fans

Album: Various artists, Theme Time Radio Hour Season 2 (Ace)

More great dancing around the kitchen music from DJ Bob Dylan's radio show, cannily compiled into a second double CD with scholarly annotations by a mystic-sounding Billy Bragg.

Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band, Royal Festival Hall, London<br>Billy Bragg, Patrick Jones, Blackwood Miners' Institute, Gwent

Yoko Ono is neither evil nor, sadly, an unsung genius. Billy Bragg salutes the miners, 25 years on

Caught in the Net: Fein line in matters of pop

Russ Feingold, a Democratic US senator for Wisconsin who's been turning his attention to the more relaxed matters of pop music, posted a video on his website (www.russfeingold.org) last month entitled "Fein Tunes", where he discussed music that interested him, offering a shout-out to fellow Wisconsinite, Bon Iver. A later instalment discussed his fondness for Wilco, in particular for 'Mermaid Avenue' (1998), the album of Woody Guthrie songs they recorded with Billy Bragg. Feingold's timing is good as Wilco's new album is released in June, and already available to stream at their website, tinyurl.com/ppx8nn.

Unforgiven? The rehabilitation of Mrs T

This week&#8217;s dramatisation of the fall of Margaret Thatcher shows her as a more human figure than often supposed. As the Iron Lady is re-evaluated on TV, we asked some of those who were prominent in the 1980s how they regard her now

Folk America, The Barbican, London

Old-time ramblers and other clichés

Julian Cope: 'It's time for war'

He believes democracy is overrated and doesn't think much of Barack Obama. On the eve of his new album, Julian Cope preaches insurrection to Eddi Fiegel

Music industry: The party's over. Haven't they heard?

The record industry is dead. Long live the music, says Cole Moreton

Pandora: Fern's new stay-slim shocker

The row over Fern Britton's dramatic weight loss just keeps on rumbling. Yesterday the This Morning presenter was accused of deliberately misleading the public when a Sunday newspaper revealed that, despite repeated denials, she had undergone gastric banding back in 2006.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Why should Muslims put up with being stereotyped?

Like everyone, we are creatures of many parts. But we are not allowed such complexities

Are We There Yet? Dig out the wellies for the festival season

Summer's on its way, which means it must be time for a festival. All that hanging out in tents and rolling in mud is guaranteed to get the kids enthused.

You Write The Reviews: Billy Bragg, Sodra Teatern, Stockholm

Even Billy Bragg probably doesn't know quite who might be expected to go to a Billy Bragg concert these days. The audience at the old Sodra Teatern in the Swedish capital seemed equally confused, and for every teenager dreaming of revolution there was also a middle-aged couple looking for a quiet night out. The Sodra Teatern is a long way from Bragg's roots as a busker at Tube stations, and it is the sort of cosy venue he thrives in, even if he did look more than a little perplexed by the surroundings as he took to the stage.

Meet the folkers

Chris T-T and Frank Turner combine punk attitudes with the essence of folk
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific