Arts and Entertainment

The reciprocal half of Gabriel’s I’ll-cover-yours-if-you’ll-cover-mine project Scratch My Back, in which his correspondents respond to his proposition by covering PG songs in return - a round dozen of them, including “Biko”, “Shock the Monkey” and, ill-advisedly, “Don’t Give Up”.

Tom Odell: 'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

Fantasy band: Tom Odell

'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

Second-string Wales humbled by Japan in Tokyo

Japan 23 Wales 8

'The Velvet Underground and Nico' with its Warhol sleeve

Velvet Underground dispute with Andy Warhol Foundation settled

A legal fight between the rock band The Velvet Underground and the Andy Warhol Foundation is over.

Bowie's ad-bomb inspiring album cover

Marketing: Is David Bowie ad-bomb funky or an all-time low?

Few acts unite popular musical opinion like David Bowie. Arguably, even more so than The Beatles. Even if Bowie’s new album The Next Day, which was released on Monday, doesn’t tickle your fancy like Low or Hunky Dory, it’d be a bold move to say you didn’t love at least some of his work. The man, frankly, unarguably, is a genius. Are we quorate on that? Right.

Alun-Wyn Jones

Six Nations: Alun-Wyn Jones returns to Wales squad ahead of Italy clash

Jones has been out since the autumn due to a shoulder injury

Wales captain Sam Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton to miss Six Nations clash against France

Wales and France announce squads for Saturday's match

Bradley Davies needs an operation on his ankle injury, bringing the number of locks on the absentee list to four

Heineken Cup round-up: Davies operation adds to Welsh woe

They're going down like flies. Interim coach Rob Howley has seen Wales's injury list grow and grow and now his problems have reached crisis proportions. Bradley Davies needs an operation on his ankle injury, bringing the number of locks on the absentee list to four.

Album: The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Velvet Underground & Nico: Super Deluxe Edition (UMC/Polydor)

As many a box set proves, it is possible to get too much of a good thing.

The Week In Radio: When it's well worth waiting for the man

Focusing on a single band over a weekend is a tricky business on the radio. Get it wrong and you risk provoking the ire of the music police, who are a bit like the fashion police only more militant. They will rain hellfire and damnation down on you on Twitter, picket outside your office and very likely follow you home, barge into your house, skim through your record collection and locate the copy of Kylie and Jason's "Especially for You" that you had studiously hidden from your family, and hold it up as evidence of your abominable taste.

This year's Meltdown festival is curated by Antony, of Antony and the Johnsons

Heads up: Meltdown

Holy festival! It's the caped crusader of future feminism!

Ryan Jones replaces Bradley Davies for Wales

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones will take the place of banned lock Bradley Davies in Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Millennium Stadium visitors Scotland.

M.I.A.

Hell hath no fury like an ego scorned

The NME editor has made a grovelling apology for her campaign against singer Ed Sheeran. Nadia Khomami looks at spats between popsters and the press

Album: 1982 (Nils Okland, Sigborn Apeland, Oyvind Skarbo) Pintura, (Hubro)

This extraordinary album of chamber-style improvisations by the Norwegian trio of Okland (violin/Hardanger fiddle), Apeland (harmonium/Wurlitzer) and Skarbo (drums) lasts a little over half an hour and casts a very powerful spell.

Album: Delaney Davidson, Self Decapitation (Voodoo Rhythm)

Davidson is a one-man band from New Zealand who builds dark cranky blues numbers from looping and layering guitar riffs into walls of reverb-enriched sound.

Album: Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu (Mercury)

Lulu may be the ultimate Goth album: steeped in art-house self-regard, mired in the vilest extremes of perversion and misery, barked out with as little human warmth as its practitioners can muster and its leaden tortures drawn out to unbearable lengths, it takes the notion of being "drawn to the dark side" to the nth degree.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own