Looking forward to watching The Great Escape again? Or listening to that Christmas CD one more time? Why not go out instead?! Miranda Kiek and Ben Walsh select the best cultural treats on offer
The savage rip in the Manic Street Preachers' life was, of course, the disappearance and likely death of Richey Edwards in 1995. The loss of their friend and bandmate still brought Nicky Wire close to traumatised tears when he spoke of it last year. Musically too, there was the rupture of the giant stadium-filling singles they wrote afterwards, the almost guiltily ironic achievement of the subversive dreams they and Richey had. Tonight's tremendous, happy gig shows that that scar is healing over.
It's an odd world when 2 becomes 4
A curiously blunt stab at a rock icon
The niche eroticism of the Japanese never ceases to amaze, does it? Given the historic vulgarity of the professional British horizontale, the weirdness of Nipponese sexuality has always intrigued us. The 17th-century shoguns set up "pleasure quarters" where gentlemen could visit prostitutes (and wives were OK about it) but Japanese girls kept dragging the arts into the basic eroto-financial transaction, until male visitors could hardly find a genuine harlot anywhere among the dancers, singers, lute-fingerers and exponents of calligraphic skill.
The news this week that Terra Firma, the troubled equity company and current owners of EMI Records, is trying to sell Abbey Road Studios, in St John's Wood, London, has music fans around the world justly concerned about the fate awaiting the recording facility. When John, Paul, George and Ringo named their last album after the EMI studio facility in 1969, they turned the zebra crossing into the most famous rock landmark in London and a tourist magnet. But, even before the Fab Four, the grand Georgian house that EMI bought for £100,000 in 1929, had seen its fair share of historical moments in its three studios. In November 1931, Sir Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of "Land of Hope and Glory" to mark the opening of Studio One. The following year, the composer invited a 16-year-old Yehudi Menuhin to record his Violin Concerto in B Minor for EMI's HMV label. The Second World War saw the recording of government propaganda and also the last session by bandleader Glenn Miller in September 1944.
On Tuesday, the nation's premier music awards will announce the best British album of the past 30 years. The shortlist, though, has been met with derision. We asked the experts for some more fitting suggestions
As the FA is forced to shelve its campaign against homophobia, Ian Herbert asks why stars are too timid to tackle this taboo
The super-skinny model who found fame in the Sixties has finally come of age. Anna Slater lists the triumphs, the tragedies and the trivia
Reviewed by Nick Hasted
Their new album, performed in its entirety, easily stands up to the Welsh rockers' greatest hits
Manics rise to a challenge from across the decades