News Christmas Day 2013 was all about the battle for the other most worthy yuletide delivery: the alternative Christmas message.

While Channel 4 located the alabaster NSA whistleblower, several other household names came out of the tinsel

Album: New York Dolls, Dancing Backwards in High Heels (Blast)

The late-life second career of the New York Dolls has been one of rock's most heartwarming stories.

Album: New York Dolls, Dancing Backward in High Heels (Blast)

There was a certain louche dignity to the Dolls' 2004, but this sorry affair, knocked together in a Newcastle studio with David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain joined by Blondie guitarist Frank Infante, a pick-up rhythm section and backing singers they apparently met in the pub, is another matter.

A portrait of an artist: David Bowie

An exclusive photographic exhibition of David Bowie's formative years in London charts the rise of one of the most influential artists of our time.

Album: David Bowie Station to Station (Super Deluxe, Limited Edition) (EMI)

Station To Station was the fulcrum in Bowie's shift from the be-quiffed, plastic soul of Young Americans to the Krautrock/electronica of Low.

The Runaways (15)

Back in the mid-1970s the idea of an all-girl rock band was outlandish – not that lead guitarist Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) could care.

Story of the Song: Space Oddity, David Bowie (1969)

Major Tom, David Bowie's first musical alter ego, shot to fame in "Space Oddity".

New York Dolls, 100 Club, London

As befits a gig that sold out in four minutes, featuring one of the most important rock'n'roll bands of all time at one of London's most historically important small music venues, tonight's crowd are suitably ostentatious in their devotion to the New York Dolls.

Album: Iggy Pop, Preliminaires, (Reset)

Uninitiated TV viewers moved to investigate who that scary wrinkly man is pimping car insurance in the ad breaks will be doubly baffled when they find out that his latest album is a collection of understated French jazz, retro ragtime and neo bossa nova.

Album: New York Dolls, Cause I Sez So, (Atco)

The reunited proto-punk legends are now on their second album of new material since their Morrissey-inspired comeback. The first, 2006's One Day It Will Please Us..., was better than it had any right to be.

Album: New York Dolls, Cause I Sez So (Atco)

Despite an attrition rate that has seen the band's founding members reduced to just singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, the New York Dolls are on pretty good form here, with both snarling guitars and snotty attitude in full effect on the opening title-track.

Album: The Who, The Who Sell Out: Deluxe Edition, (Polydor)

This is the baked bean-saturated work from 1967 that validated Townshend's vision of his group as an "art installation". Yep, it's psychedelic in parts and interleaves songs with advertising jingles.

Album: Nick Lowe, Quiet Please: The New Best of...(Proper)

A lot of cobblers has been talked on the subject of "honest craftmanship", but thankfully not recently by Nick Lowe, who remains the pop craftman's pop craftsman by virtue of the fact that he just gets on with it these days.

Ron Asheton: Influential guitarist with Iggy Pop and the Stooges

Along with their fellow Detroit-area residents Alice Cooper and MC5, the Stooges pioneered a style of garage rock which didn't find much of an audience outside Michigan in the late Sixties and early Seventies but fed into the psyche of the next generation of musicians and is still influential today. The New York Dolls and the Ramones, especially, picked up on the two albums the original Stooges line-up of Iggy Pop (vocals), Dave Alexander (bass), Ron Asheton (guitar) and his younger brother Scott (drums) made for Elektra Records in 1969 and 1970 and which also inspired the first wave of British punk-rock groups in 1976.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/mixtape-a-few-w.html">MixTape: A few words with Iggy Pop</a>

Iggy Pop has been knocking the hell out of rock and roll with raw power for decades, but now, as he displays his more artful side with a documentary about his painting exploits, we had a quick chat with the great man.

Album: Ida Maria, Fortress Round My Heart (RCA)

Ida Maria grew up in Norway with little to do but wish she was Iggy Pop and act mildly antisocial.

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French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

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