Arts and Entertainment Strum as you are: Kurt Cobain

What is the best gig you've been to at Brixton Academy? Perhaps it's Public Enemy, or The Smiths' final show in 1986? Simon Parkes bought the seminal venue for £1 in 1982 and what stories he has to tell in his new memoir Live at the Brixton Academy: a Riotous Life in the Music Business.

Paloma Faith debuted her upcoming album

Paloma Faith and the Guy Barker Orchestra, Jazz Festival, Cheltenham
Gregory Porter featuring Jamie Cullum, Jazz Festival, Cheltenham

Jamie is swinging his hammer on the chain gang – but Mrs Overall just swings

Private Lives, Brighton Fringe

With more than 681 events on the programme this year, the Brighton Fringe has had to get creative with venues. There’s a wealth of site-specific work on offer, from plays in an old prison cell to dance works at the swimming pool.

Michele Stodart

Michele Stodart - A Magic Number goes solo

Michele Stodart has decided to stepaway from a successful band to make a country-themed album. By Gillian Orr

James Franco's photobook Dangerous Book Four Boys explores themes of childhood and memory
Andrew WK

Andrew WK: 'We can unite the human race through partying and music'

A couple of years ago, on an evening that I was regrettably absent from, a few friends of mine ended up partying with Andrew W.K. If you’re familiar with the 32-year-old rock star/celebrated hedonist/motivational speaker, you’ll know that this is a big deal. A very big deal. Because no-one parties quite like Andrew W.K. The man has made it his mission to party; it’s his religion. Why just live, when you can party?

Britpop revivalists Viva Brother quietly announce their demise

They were the “future of music”, the band with a quote for every occasion who would revive Britpop’s stadium-filling glory days.

Album: Keaton Henson, Dear... (Oak Ten)

Another young singer-songwriter, another break-up album – though unlike For Emma... the cause of Henson's sorrow remains nameless.

Urban legend: the Barbican Centre

What will arts centres of the future look like?

As austerity bites, the temples of culture will have to change and be at the centre of communities, says Nicholas Kenyon

Urban legend: the Barbican Centre

What will the arts centre of the future look like?

As austerity bites, the temples of culture will have to change, says Nicholas Kenyon

No thanks: We didn't need Adele's speech

Music awards: Roughing up The Brits

Tuesday's awards ceremony was anodyne and uncomfortable. Andy Gill offers his 20-point plan to inject a bit of danger back into the show

Vieux Farka Touré, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Every now and then, if you’re very lucky, you get to witness a live performance that blows everything else away. A gig that’s so inspiring it leaves you with a lasting smile etched on your face and a burning desire to download every track the artist has ever recorded. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Vieux Farka Touré.

The Train in the Night: A Story of Music and Loss, By Nick Coleman

Notes from the day the music died

Chalk Talk: For the last time - my teaching union is bigger than yours

I knew when I quoted Chris Keates saying last year's teachers' union ballot on pensions proved her union was the biggest in the land, that would not be an end of the matter.

Love cheat: Uma Thurman and Robert Pattinson in 'Bel Ami'

2012: The unmissable cultural treats

Next year promises to be a cultural jamboree, with world-class films, art exhibitions, gigs and theatre performances around the country. Our critics select the most exciting highlights

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture