The Guardian Indie

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The Guardian
  1. The post-punk band’s wild tour antics led to major burnout. Now older and wiser, they’re back with a deeply personal new album

    A short walk from Nunhead station in south-east London, a disused nursing home has been converted into a communal living space for sculptors, joiners, welders and creatives. Behind a murky brown curtain you’ll find what used to be its utility room. More of a cupboard than a room, its washing machine has been dragged out to make way for a mattress, and a line of disconnected switches and pipes give it the air of Dr Frankenstein’s lab. Most notably, the walls, floor and ceiling have been painted a vivid pink, the shade used to calm down violent prisoners in jail. This is “the womb”, the place where Shame frontman Charlie Steen sought refuge while the band hatched their second album, Drunk Tank Pink.

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  2. Musician denies allegations amid unsuccessful bid for restraining order against former girlfriend and bandmate

    US indie musician Ariel Pink has been accused of physically, sexually and emotionally abusing Charlotte Ercoli Coe, his former bandmate and girlfriend. He denies the allegations, calling them “intentionally false, misleading and defamatory”.

    In court documents from Los Angeles County Superior Court, first reported by Pitchfork, Coe accuses Pink – real name Ariel Rosenberg, 42 – of battery following an onstage incident in 2017; of “bullying” her into having unprotected sex and transmitting herpes to her as a result; and of distributing explicit images of her to his fans. She also alleges he harassed her following the end of their relationship, in person and via text message.

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  3. Ahead of the 10th Foo Fighters album, their frontman recalls the music and scenes that made him – from punk gigs in Chicago to sleeping on floors in Italian squats

    Before I was a teenager, I started playing music in my bedroom by myself. I fell in love with the Beatles, then began to discover classic rock. I went from Kiss to Rush to AC/DC, but in 1983 I discovered punk rock music through a cousin in Chicago. My world turned upside down. My favourite bands were Bad Brains and Naked Raygun; I listened to Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. My introduction to live music came when my brother took me to a punk show in a small bar in Chicago. I didn’t have that festival/stadium/arena rock experience; I just saw four punk rock dudes on the stage, playing this fast three-chord music, with about 75 people in the audience climbing all over each other. It changed my life. One of the most prolific scenes in hardcore American punk rock was in Washington DC, just across the bridge [from Grohl’s home town of Springfield, Virginia]. So I started going to see bands like Minor Threat and Fugazi. By the time I was 14, I was cutting and dyeing my hair and wearing leather jackets. All I wanted to do was leave school, jump in a van and tour shitty basement clubs with my punk band.

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  4. (Dead Oceans)
    The London band went from playing a 350-show stretch to nothing at all – and while tunes and originality are lacking, their subsequent dislocation makes for some thrilling music

    The annals of rock history are packed with songs bemoaning the lot of the artist on tour. You can understand the urge to write them – they proliferate on second albums, when artists who have done almost nothing except tour since their debut search for inspiration – but, nevertheless, attempting to elicit sympathy for a rock band among people who do a proper job for a living always seems dementedly optimistic.

    Under the circumstances, you have to take your hat off to London quintet Shame: whatever you make of their second album, they’ve successfully come up with an entirely new variant on a well-worn theme. Drunk Tank Pink – which takes its name from the colour that psychologists discovered automatically weakens anyone who stares at it for two minutes, and which went on to become the decor of choice in cells for intoxicated arrestees and the title of a bestselling book about how subconscious forces affect our behaviour – features songs about heartbreak, but it’s essentially an album about the privations of not touring, the struggle to decompress into normal life (which, in the case of Shame, critically acclaimed but low-selling, includes the aforementioned proper jobs) after two years on the road, during which the band, still in their teens when their debut album came out, are supposed to have played nearly 350 shows.

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  5. Discover all our four- and five-star album reviews from the last month, from pop to folk, classical and more

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