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

Little Dragon - Time to hear Sweden's cult favourites roar

They've toured and recorded with Gorillaz – now Little Dragon are poised to make an overdue breakthrough, says Elisa Bray

Lord Of The Mics 3: The Return Of The Clash

Battle rapping has always played a big part in hip-hop culture. Fast forward 30 years, the UK’s underground music scene would go on to create its own unique version of the roadside activity.

Big Audio Dynamite, Rock City, Nottingham<br/>Eliza Doolittle, Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth

Mick Jones and Don Letts might be enjoying their reunion, but they make 1986 seem like a very long time ago

East Anglia: Bittern by North Norfolk's charms

This tiny branch line cuts through some of the most atmospheric parts of the region. Michael Williams takes a sentimental journey

Business Diary: Trump's tales of drunken bankers

Billionaire Donald Trump isplaying with us. "There's a banker – and obviously I'm not going to mention names..." he told Piers Morgan on his US chat show this week.

The rocksteady rise of Rastaman vibrations

An upcoming BBC documentary tells the story of reggae in Britain, from its ska roots to UB40. Elisa Bray goes uptown top ranking

Caught in the Net: The Moore songs the merrier

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (below) once authored a book celebrating the old-fashioned cassette mixtapes, so, appropriately enough, when his band put out a newfangled online mixtape, it was accompanied with the graphic of a cassette tape, its spools spinning as the music plays.

'I cannot send a Monet home with a speck under the glass'

Serendipity led songwriter Gary Dyson to start a second career as a picture-framer. He talks to John Lawless about his burgeoning business

London calls for Clash exhibition

A unique photographic portrait of The Clash by Adrian Boot goes on display this week.

A wave of celebration for Morris dancing on the Southbank

Next weekend, the village green comes to London's brutalist Southbank with a three-day celebration of Morris dancing. At least, the village green would be the preconception most people hold of the widely denigrated folk custom, and one that 5,000 Morris dancers aims to dismiss.

Don Letts: 'It's never too late to be a punk'

It feels like punk never happened!" Don Letts is spluttering over his breakfast, and not because of an annoying headline. The cultural revolutionary is up in arms over the closure of rural post offices. Or, more accurately, he is up in arms that the rest of the country is not in arms over the closure of post offices, or schools or other public services.

London Calling: Tracey Emin and friends pay tribute to The Clash's 'official war artist'

A host of British artists and musicians have embraced their inner punk to produce a reinterpretation of The Clash’s 1979 London Calling album cover in honour of its designer and the band’s “official war artist” Ray Lowry, who died in 2008.

Album: Mama Rosin, Bruie Lentement (Voodoo Rhythm)

Forget questions of authenticity and credibility, this Swiss Cajun/zydeco trio make a thrillingly souped-up racket with the standard Cajun weaponry of guitar, banjo, melodeon and rub board.

Album: Gorillaz, Plastic Beach (EMI)

The virtual band finally show real musical prowess

Album: Gorillaz, Plastic Beach (Parlophone)

As is now well-known, a vast new continent of non-biodegradable plastic waste is being created just beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean; in Gorillaz's Plastic Beach, it's breached the surface to form an island which serves as the cartoon group's headquarters – a Tracy Island of the imagination, created by consumerism.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones