i

Many of us will have booked our holidays by now and bought the sun-cream too. But what to read under the palm tree or on the beach or the staycation sofa?

Harriet Walker: Relax, pop's always been about sex

It's a long time since Frankie said "Relax" but, according to the music producer Mike Stock, modern-day "soft porn" pop is "sexualising" our youngsters, and he wouldn't feel comfortable watching one of Lady Gaga's videos with his mum. Splutter. Who would? Having sat through all nine minutes of her "Telephone" video with my own mother, I can aver that these are not designed to be watched with your folks. Her reactions ranged from genuine interest at Gaga's sunglasses (made from lit cigarettes) to eye-rolling at her scantily clad prison escapades and finally boredom. I don't like watching visceral wildlife documentaries with mum either, but that's not to say there's anything wrong with them.

Sara Pascoe vs Her Ego, Pleasance Courtyard

With such an edgy persona as Sara Pascoe's, it could go either way, as with the Marmite test that she references in her show.

Album: Stars, The Five Ghosts (Soft Revolution/Vagrant)

An offshoot of Montreal-based indie collective Broken Social Scene, Stars' lush indie-pop is here employed for a theme of ghosts, perhaps inspired by the antique double-exposure sleeve photo, whose sullen subject is surrounded by five indistinct faces.

Oh no! Sawhney's off talking about physics again...

From 'Goodness Gracious Me' to Sadler's Wells, via science and Hindu thought, Nitin Sawhney is a musician who defies classification

Album: M.I.A., Maya (XL)

With Maya, M.I.A. brings to her music the same provocative facility she demonstrated recently with the "truffle kerfuffle" dispute with New York Times's Lynn Hirschberg, and the YouTube-banned video for "Born Free", featuring graphic ethnic cleansing of gingers.

The business on: Theo Fennell

Album: Semi Precious Weapons, You Love You (Geffen)

Semi Precious Weapons are an outrageously flamboyant glam-rock quartet from the same NYC scene that spawned Lady Gaga: she used to support them, now they're opening her Monster's Ball jaunt and blowing teeny minds.

Alicia Keys, 02 Arena, London

Alicia Keys has never struggled to draw in the arena crowds thanks to her jaw-dropping talent, beauty and stirring songs.

Digital Digest: 17/05/2010

The best of the web

Lady Gaga and the case of the lost underwear

When up-market lingerie retailers Rigby and Peller heard that the pop star Lady Gaga wanted to use its knickers in her latest pop video it was only too happy to oblige, sending the star seven sets of handmade frillies.

Album: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now (Parlophone)

The UK may still be infatuated with Lady Gaga, but America has gone gaga over Lady Antebellum – and it's easy to see why, given the way the trio's politely rockin' country-pop fits the same musical demographic which made Garth Brooks the most bankable singer on the planet.

Spotify: 1 million plays, £108 return

That's what Lady Gaga earned last year from fans listening to 'Poker Face'. Jonathan Brown on the latest row over who's making money from the net

No feud in Girls Aloud, Nicola Roberts insists

Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle has not spoken to the rest of the band for months, Nicola Roberts said in a magazine interview.

News
people
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot