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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