Arts and Entertainment

The Week in Radio: Williams was quick on his feet, and willing to cover mishaps with self-deprecating humour

Terence Blacker: True driving force in energy debate is cash

In the week of the first ever Green Britain Day, I was fortunate enough to hear an exchange which captured, in an admittedly microcosmic way, the realities behind the energy debate. At a planning committee in Norfolk, one of two energy companies hoping to put up groups of wind turbines near Diss was applying for permission to erect a 60-metre wind-measuring mast. A councillor pointed out to the team of TCI Renewables that another firm, Enertrag Ltd, had recently erected a mast nearby. Was it not possible for the two firms to share the data?

Album: Iggy Pop, Preliminaires, (Reset)

Uninitiated TV viewers moved to investigate who that scary wrinkly man is pimping car insurance in the ad breaks will be doubly baffled when they find out that his latest album is a collection of understated French jazz, retro ragtime and neo bossa nova.

Iggy Pop’s insurer reverses decision on covering musicians

Swiftcover, the online car insurer that uses punk idol Iggy Pop to advertise its wares but refuses to insure musicians, has reversed its decision ahead of an Advertising Standards Agency ruling on Wednesday.

Iggy Pop insurer builds home cover

Swiftcover, the online car insurance group that brought us the curious sight of rocker Iggy Pop advertising insurance, is to branch out into home insurance in the next year.

The Kindly Ones, By Jonathan Littell, translated by Charlotte Mandell

This strange and often unwieldy novel arrives in English preceded by its massive reputation as a literary phenomenon and a bestseller across Europe. This reputation is all the more striking given the fact that it was written in French by a thirtysomething American resident in Barcelona, and it presents over 800 pages an unremittingly grim account of the course of the Second World War. This is history as a journey, trudging from the horrors of the eastern Front to the unspeakable massacres of the Final solution. It ends in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a wrecked Berlin, where the Russian hordes stand poised to lay waste to the mad Utopian fantasy of Hitler's dream of a German Empire. Most notably, and controversially, the novel purports to be the memoirs of an ageing but unrepentant Nazi. This is history told by the executioners and not the victims.

Probe into insurer's 'misleading' Iggy Pop ad

A car insurer admitted today it refuses to cover musicians - despite featuring Iggy Pop in its adverts.

Ron Asheton: Influential guitarist with Iggy Pop and the Stooges

Along with their fellow Detroit-area residents Alice Cooper and MC5, the Stooges pioneered a style of garage rock which didn't find much of an audience outside Michigan in the late Sixties and early Seventies but fed into the psyche of the next generation of musicians and is still influential today. The New York Dolls and the Ramones, especially, picked up on the two albums the original Stooges line-up of Iggy Pop (vocals), Dave Alexander (bass), Ron Asheton (guitar) and his younger brother Scott (drums) made for Elektra Records in 1969 and 1970 and which also inspired the first wave of British punk-rock groups in 1976.

Hit & Run: The faces don't fit

When a world-famous celebrity decides to endorse an insurance company, the chances are it's not because they've saved 100 quid on their home contents cover. More likely, they've been offered a considerably larger sum for approximately half a day's work. How else to explain Iggy Pop's bizarre appearance in a new advertising campaign for Swiftcover? In the television commercial, the perenially topless Mr Pop explains that his crazy life leaves him little time or patience for paperwork. Swiftcover.com, however, stores all his information securely online without him having to think about it: "Get a life!" he orders us, "Get Swiftcovered!"

Stooges guitarist dies

Guitarist Ron Asheton of The Stooges was found dead at home today. He was 60.

Indian stunner: Danny Boyle's Oscar winner?

Danny Boyle's latest film, set in the Mumbai slums, is his most exciting yet. And it's a hot tip for the Oscars, says Geoffrey Macnab

Ida Maria, Komedia, Brighton

'I'm sorry I haven't broken a rib yet," remarks Ida Maria, the Riot Grrl-esque punk-pop diva and, if you're seduced by the hype, Scandinavia's hottest new export. She is, of course, referring to an incident last year where, while trying to impress a gaggle of booking agents during a gig, she attempted a backwards somersault. It wasn't the first time she had emerged from a show with an injury. Another one ended in a bloody face as she tried to head butt a guitar. Thus Maria, who claims to have grown up wishing she was Iggy Pop, has created a problem for herself. Now her fans want broken bones or their money back.

Robert Smith - What becomes of the broken-hearted?

From Smashing Pumpkins to Edward Scissorhands, The Cure's Robert Smith has been influencing pop culture for decades. It's just a shame that the band's new album is a doom-laden swirl of angst and self-loathing. Please lighten up, urges Andy Gill

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/mixtape-a-few-w.html">MixTape: A few words with Iggy Pop</a>

Iggy Pop has been knocking the hell out of rock and roll with raw power for decades, but now, as he displays his more artful side with a documentary about his painting exploits, we had a quick chat with the great man.

Review: Persepolis

This stark and beautiful art-house cartoon is an animated coming-of-age story with a difference, set against the backdrop of war and revolution in Iran.

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