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Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Being modern: Voice-control technology

It is a measure of how far voice-control technology has come that you have just read this sentence. The original idea was that your correspondent would speak a line into a machine that turns what you say into text and then open with the gobbledygook the machine had "recognised". Sadly, the ugly facts rather killed the beautiful theory (or, as the machine, still not quite perfect, would have it, "the beautiful scenery").

Teena Marie: Singer and songwriter who became Motown’s most successful white female artist

Teena Marie wasn't the first white female singer signed to Berry Gordy Jr's legendary Motown label – the Californian Chris Clark and British vocalist Kiki Dee preceded her in the 1960s – but she certainly had the most impact, blazing a trail for many of the crossover R&B to pop artists who followed.

Ten best erotic Christmas gifts

Marvin Gaye once said "I'm hot just like an oven, I need some lovin'". And with that, went to find some sexual healing.

My Fantasy Band: Ali Love

Album: R Kelly, Love Letter (Jive)

"I wanna bring love songs back to the radio," oozes R Kelly at one point here, making you wonder which station he's tuned to, so rarely does radio's gaze stray from that subject.

Album: Timeless, Suite for Ma Dukes (Mochilla)

Since succumbing to lupus in 2006, producer J Dilla has become a revered figure in the hip-hop community, while his estate became the subject of dispute between business acquaintances and family.

Shake, rattle and roll!: The best live albums of all time

To celebrate the 40th anniversary re-release of The Who Live at Leeds, Elisa Bray looks at the history of one of the greatest live albums ever, while musicians choose the albums that define the genre for them

Album: John Legend & the Roots, Wake Up! (Columbia)

Theres never a wrong time to revisit the core values of Seventies soul and funk, though it may have been more effective for John Legend & The Roots to release Wake Up!, a selection of politicised black covers from that era, during a previous administration's tenure, when the admonition was more pertinent.

When classic songs hit the wrong note

Do great artists really need to flog their wares on arbitrary film soundtracks? Chris Mugan mourns some besmirched gems

Harvey Fuqua: Singer, songwriter and producer who played a significant role in the rise of black music in the 1950s and '60s

Although not well-known to the general public, Harvey Fuqua was a significant figure in the rise of black music in the 1950s and '60s.

Flight of the Conchords, NIA, Birmingham<br/>Pavement, Brixton Academy, London

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie's anti-folk television duo are superstars of comic pastiche, now the Conchords show they're also top flight on stage

Cultural Life: Fatima Bhutto, writer

Books: Haifa Zangana's 'Dreaming of Baghdad', a lyrical and chilling memoir of imprisonment, activism and torture in Saddam's Iraq. Also tucked into my bag, which now weighs a ton, are 'Listening to Grasshoppers' by Arundhati Roy and Philip Pullman's 'The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ' and Alba Arikha's work, which I'm discovering and loving.

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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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