Arts and Entertainment

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Write and wrong: Authors Julia Crouch and Stella Duffy, left, find common ground

Let me get this straight ... or not: Stella Duffy and Julia Crouch on sexual identity

The novelists Stella Duffy (who is gay) and Julia Crouch (who is not) discuss issues of identity and authenticity that can arise when your lead character is a lesbian – and why authors should simply ignore them all

Stereophonics, Graffiti on the Train (Stylus)

Album review: Stereophonics, Graffiti on the Train (Stylus)

Keep Calm and Carry On from 2009 found Stereophonics struggling to find a decisive way forward, and while Graffiti on the Train is a significant improvement, it's still something of a patchwork affair, lurching between string-laced pieces like the elegaic title track and “Indian Summer”, soulful blues odes such as “Been Caught Cheating” and “No-one's Perfect”, and out-and-out rockers like the swaggering “Catacomb”.

Hollywood: Variety's daily edition gets ankled

Famous film trade mag Variety is adapting for the web by killing off its daily print edition in favour of a once-a-week edition and removing its online paywall. In its honour here are some of its best inside-Hollywood lexicographical inventions (dubbed slanguage):

British group: Mumford & Sons

Brit Awards 2013: No wild things from a music scene in the wilderness of mediocrity

Emeli Sandé, happily, doesn't look like an identikit winner, but she does sound an awful lot like Adele

Barrie Edgar claimed to have been 'the world's worst actor'

Barrie Edgar: Television producer who worked on 'Come Dancing' and 'Gardeners' World'

In a television career spent entirely with the BBC, Barrie Edgar demonstrated a parallel loyalty to his home area of Birmingham. Specialising in outside broadcasts and bearing the title TV Producer, Midland Region, he established his reputation in the single-channel era of the 1950s, continuing as the city's production centre became Pebble Mill in the early 1970s. While his credits were as disparate as children's programmes, variety shows and the 1962 consecration of Coventry Cathedral, he also made programmes that reflected his own interests; as a keen horticulturist, he produced BBC2's Gardeners' World, one of several shows that survive him, in varying formats.

Album review: Various Artists, Reason to Believe: the Songs of Tim Hardin (Full Time Hobby)

Just as he was, by all accounts, an unpleasant man blessed with enviably beautiful gifts, so do Tim Hardin's songs clothe often unwelcome sentiments in gorgeous melodies.

Album review: Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Jim (New West)

Buddy Miller is fast becoming a ubiquitous presence on quality Americana and, through work with the likes of Robert Plant and Richard Thompson, quality Albiona, too.

IoS album review: Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, The Golden Age of Song (Rhino)

This collection of collaborative covers trawls Holland's Hootenanny shows, with a dozen specially recorded tunes thrown in.

Taylor Swift, pictured, will play the legendary Joni Mitchell

Why does today's pop music sound the same? Because the same people make it

Experimentation is being pushed to the margins as labels rely on successful producers

IoS paperback review: The Man Who Sold the World, By Peter Doggett

Just as the Beatles' musical revolution summed up the spirit of the Sixties, so, Peter Doggett argues, David Bowie was "popular culture's most reliable guide to the fever of the Seventies".

Frank Ocean’s coming out was a watershed moment for hip-hop and homosexuality

New gay club nights bring hip-hop out of the dark, into the bright lights

Hip-hop has a difficult relationship with gay culture – could a raft of new club nights fix that? Lemma Shehadi reports

The Rochdale Cowboy bows out with guns blazing

The sacking of BBC folk radio DJ Mike Harding is a sad end for one of broadcasting's most tireless characters

After all this time, it's still good to Talk Talk

A book and CD show how influential the band remain, says Pierre Perrone

Green Day

Prolific pop: Should you really release three CDs in four months?

Pop music is going through a prolific period. Elisa Bray reports

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee