Arts and Entertainment Trailblazers: The Spice Girls in 1997

The Eurythmics star told the girls to 'ham up' their individual personalities

Pappy's / Idiots of Ants / The Penny Dreadfuls / The Real MacGuffins, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Sketchy collection fail to deliver a knockout

Album: Best Coast, Crazy for You (Wichita)

Any album which opens with a line as simple, and fundamental to what rock'n'roll is about, as "I wish he was my boyfriend" is on the right tracks, and Best Coast never falter thereafter.

Different For Girls by Louise Wener

Louise Wener, a Britpop sensation (with her band, Sleeper) turned novelist relates her first career, which lasted through the 1990s, to a "one night stand", albeit it, a great one.

Girls Aloud's Nadine to tackle fashion taboo

Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle said today she wanted to help "smash the taboo" that surrounded people who have to wear colostomy bags.

She & Him, Koko, London

Clap-happy Zooey's in a dream duo

Album: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, I Learned the Hard Way (Dap-Tone)

The best retro-soul band in the world gets back to top form with a sassy collection of 1960s-style songs. (Think Back to Black with added authenticity.)

Sex sells: The girl band that changed pop forever

Under-age, under-dressed, and over-the-top, The Runaways were the first girl rock group to make a global impact. Now their story is a movie. Chris Salewicz recalls his times with Joan Jett, Cherie Currie and their band

Album: 'Sugababes', Sweet 7 (Island)

Heidi, Amelle and Jade were recently asked whether, if you buy a broom then replace the head and the handle, it's still the same brush.

Album: Sugababes, Sweet 7 (Island)

With the departure last year of final founder member Keisha Buchanan, Sugababes finally slipped from being a band to a brand.

Nexus to deal with Nasa hackers

Nasa has turned to Nexus Management, a London-listed technology group, to defend its against internet attacks. The deal, which Nexus is expected to announce t as early as tomorrow, will see a subsidiary, Resilience Technology provide firewalls to the US space agency as it takes on hackers and computer viruses.

Album: Solex vs. Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer, Amsterdam Showdown, King Street Throwdown! (Bronzerat)

What I particularly like about Amsterdam Showdown, King Street Throwdown! is the way it defies simple categorisation, shifting shape and direction with virtually every track, and constructing weird, contradictory combinations of sounds which balance, as the poet once said, like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine.

Album: Laura Nyro & Labelle, Gonna Take A Miracle (Rev-Ola)

Singer-songwriter Laura Nyro was renowned for blue-eyed soul standards such as "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Wedding Bell Blues" when, in 1971, she decamped to Philadelphia International studio to record this album of soul covers with the PI production team of Gamble & Huff, taking along her new friends Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash.

Album: Tori Amos, Midwinter Graces (Universal/Island)

For a festive album with a difference, it's time to vote Tori

Caught in the Net: The heart of darkness

There are plenty of people, myself included, who will argue (far too long into the night) that alt-country icon Will Oldham (left) was at his very best on the first album to utilise his Bonnie "Prince" Billy pseudonym; 1999's "I See a Darkness". A standout on the record was the blackly comic and brilliantly brooding "Death to Everyone". Now he has revisited the track in a live recording – reimagined as a rip-roaring bluegrass meets mariachi meets Hasidic jaunty work-out. Once again it is majestic. The track arrives as an exclusive out-take from his new live album, this time released under the name Bonnie Billy, alongside Kentucky bluegrass band the Picket Line. The track is a free download from dragcity.com. It precedes the LP 'Funtown Comedown', which features songs from Oldham's back catalogue (and monikers), as well as a few covers of some country music classics. The record is released on vinyl and digital download only on 15 December. As the final line "Death to Everyone" declares, "It makes living almost seem fun". Indeed.

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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism