Arts and Entertainment All over now: Thurston Moore (right) and Kim Gordon (left)

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's marriage ended two years ago, taking Sonic Youth with it. Larry Ryan hears them and other members strike out on their own

12 - 18 April Day Planner

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Girls with an Axl to grind

ROCK SHE WROTE ed Evelyn McDonnell and Ann Powers, Plexus pounds 12.99

Pop Garbage The Forum, London

With minutes to go before Garbage took the stage for their first ever UK show, a flustered student was haggling with a ticket tout in the street outside. "Thirty quid?" the lad repeated, aghast. "I paid half that for David Bowie!" The barrel-necked tout leaned back on his heels, cold as a cadaver. "Yeh, but Bowie was crap," he said. "This is Garbage."

Elastica are surprise darlings of the US rock caravan.

pop Lollapalooza, USA

pop reviews; Belly Astoria, London

"Danger: don't dance on the tables" warn iridescent signs on the balcony, and tonight everyone upstairs wishes they were downstairs. From the moment that Rhode Island pop-rockers Belly saunter on stage, the Astoria becomes a giant funfair: lights flash, helium balloons float ceilingwards, moshers take ride after ride on a sea of hands and the auditorium is one sweaty, bouncy castle. Belly give as good as they get. "Hello, all you cute little wankers," yells bassist Gayle Edwards by way of introduction, and we roar our greetings back.

RECORDS / The IoS Playlist: The five best discs of the moment

Peter Maxwell Davies: The Lighthouse. BBC Philharmonic/Davies (Collins Classics, CD only). A recording of clarity, conviction and chilling atmosphere, to mark the composer's 60th birthday. Michael White

ALBUMS / And the last shall be first

THE PRETENDERS

Too good for this world: Kurt Cobain, singer with Nirvana, was found dead on Friday. Ben Thompson reviews a short life

AT MIDNIGHT on Friday, after the violence in Rwanda and before the end of the IRA ceasefire, a vaguely disdainful Radio 5 newsreader announces the death of Kurt Cobain. The lead singer of the rock group Nirvana, we are told, is thought to have shot himself. By cruel chance, the next scheduled programme is a discussion of what is wrong with pop music today.

Games: Sonic boom: Sonic 3 is about to be released to an expectant sonic youth. Rupert Goodwins goes the whole hog over the spikadelic icon

Sonic the Hedgehog is out of hibernation with a fanfare of publicity that wouldn't disgrace the second coming. On the face of it, this third game in the series is more of the same. Dr Robotnik, Sonic's moustachioed rival, is still bent on total world domination; there are still gold rings to collect, monsters to destroy and synapse-stretching manoeuvres to perform. What distinguished the original Sonic from Mario Brothers, Nintendo's rival cutesy platform-hopping hero, were detailed graphics and tons of speed. The new version, sensibly enough, improves on both without abandoning the basic formula.

Burroughs takes the rap: A new album (yes, album) from William Burroughs has Words of Advice for Young People. Is he serious?

ON THE FACE of it, the new William Burroughs album is an implausible product. Though rock 'n' roll has a great deal of Burroughs in it, there is no rock 'n' roll in the Invisible Man himself. After all, the author of the Naked Lunch, still a few months short of his 80th birthday, who was already middle-aged when rock was born. Is it seemly for somebody of his age to be cavorting with a rap act, even one as intellectual and as upscale as the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy?

ROCK / Gig Guide

DEICIDE

ABROAD / Nova Scotia is the new Seattle, definitely: Looking to catch tomorrow's sounds today? Tune in to the Nova Scotia scene. There's nothing fishy about it, says Joseph Gallivan

When the Marks & Spencer grunge look hit the high streets last week, the music industry which started this whole messy thing knew it was time to move on. And where better to head than Nova Scotia, that much-neglected Canadian province just east of Maine and 12 hours from everywhere? Musical activity in the region has been frenzied in the last six months with the development of a scene at the intersection of the college circuit and the rust-belt (or perhaps, the overfished cod-belt).

ROCK / Poor Jason, frozen in fame's headlights

ALL IS quiet outside the Wembley Arena. Touts search in vain for someone to give tickets away to, and old burger cartons flap past like tumbleweeds. Things look bad for Jason Donovan. Take That have usurped his primary-school wall-chart pre-eminence, and Philip Schofield has waltzed off with his technicolor dreamcoat. But inside the auditorium, the signs are better. A fair crowd greets Jason with the noise of 10,000 seagulls in a box.

ROCK / Velvet revolutionaries no longer underground: The godparents of grunge are back on form. Ben Thompson meets Sonic Youth

AS VETERAN New York art-noise iconoclasts go, Sonic Youth are pretty popular right now. 'We're still not, like, famous,' insists Thurston Moore, their absurdly fresh-faced singer and guitarist. But they have just broken the habit of a lifetime by having a hit single, and Moore and his wife Kim Gordon, the band's bassist and co-singer, are revered as hard-rocking godparents by a whole generation of young musicians.
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Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

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