The Guardian Indie

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The Guardian
  1. The Breeders and R Ring member answers your questions on twin telepathy with sister Kim, humming Ewoks and why knitting is rock’n’roll

    Which other rock star do you most often get confused with?Flashbleu

    Dave Grohl! No. When Pixies first started getting big on college radio, I was at an amusement park and these two students came up, kind of trembling, and asked: “Are you Kim Deal?” I told them I was her identical twin and I knew they didn’t believe me. Kim has had the reverse experience. When we were infants our parents painted our toenails different colours to tell us apart.

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  2. Fans and bands fear regional network that helped launch careers of Ed Sheeran and Little Simz will be cut back as BBC confirms changes to schedules

    It is the nationwide network of weekly regional radio programmes and festival stages that has helped launch the careers of British superstars such as Ed Sheeran, Florence + the Machine, Celeste and Little Simz. But now, the future of BBC Music Introducing is believed to be under threat. For days, social media has been buzzing with reports that the local radio side of what the BBC calls its “platform supporting unsigned, undiscovered, and under-the-radar UK music talent” is to be scaled down, with claims that all 32 BBC Introducing presenters across the UK have been put on notice of redundancy.

    A source told the Guardian that the plan was to “rationalise” the network, with a two-thirds reduction in the number of shows, which would then operate across larger regional boundaries. Such changes would greatly increase competition and reduce the amount of airtime available for individual emerging artists.

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  3. After late 90s indie success and a film collaboration with Michael Fassbender, Maclean embraced painting during the pandemic. His first show sold out – but don’t rule out a Beta Band reunion

    It was a nail that started it all. “I wanted a painting to hang on it,” says John Maclean, former keyboard player with the Beta Band and award-winning film director. He nods towards a wall in his home studio in London where the lonely piece of metal still protrudes. Maclean has found it difficult to fulfil his mission: at first, because he wasn’t entirely happy with the paintings he was producing; more recently, because people keep buying them.

    Becoming a professional artist at the age of 50 was not intentional. Like a lot of people, Maclean found himself painting during the pandemic just for something to do. At the time, he was casting for his second film – a follow-up to 2015’s Sundance-winning western Slow West – when everything ground to a halt. He sourced some old postcards on eBay, zoomed in on peripheral parts of the landscape that caught his eye (a tree, a waterfall) and tried to replicate them – applying the paint thickly (you wouldn’t guess they were watercolours) on to wooden panels using a psychedelic palette reminiscent of Hockney’s iPad spring paintings. Today, Maclean has arranged several on the floor in front of us, disconcertingly nudging them around with his feet as we talk. “Ah well,” he says, giving one a boot. “They’re made of wood.”

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  4. (Matador)
    The Scottish indie veterans’ second album in 12 months combines a pleasing lightness of touch and genuine pop nous

    When Belle and Sebastian released A Bit of Previous in May, they didn’t let on that they’d recorded a second new album at the same time. Whereas last year’s effort was a little underwhelming, Late Developers – released with little in the way of fanfare – is far more pleasing, displaying a lightness of touch and genuine pop nous.

    Opener Juliet Naked recalls a more tuneful early Billy Bragg in its stripped-back urgency; Will I Tell You a Secret is the sort of gentle whimsy that Donovan made his own in the late 1960s. When We Were Very Young, with its yearning lyric “I wish I could be content with the football scores/ I wish I could be content with the daily chores”, is kitchen-sink drama redux, while So in the Moment is joyously irresistible.

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  5. In the second year of non-gendered categories, the five nominees for artist of the year are entirely male

    A year after the Brit awards abandoned the gendered categories, the nominations for the replacement artist of the year prize are entirely male, comprising Central Cee, Stormzy, Fred Again, George Ezra and Harry Styles.

    The awards ceremony, run by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) did away with the best British male and best female awards in 2022 following criticism that the non-binary pop star Sam Smith would not be eligible for either prize despite their massive commercial success.

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