The Guardian Indie

Latest news and features from, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. The Pavement frontman’s new album is inspired by Berlin nightlife and YouTube tutorials. Is he having a mid-life crisis?

    At Coava Coffee Roasters, a hip cafe in a gentrifying neighbourhood in Portland, shelves are made from disused machinery, the handmade bamboo tables are eco-friendly, and the single-origin coffee is served in glass Chemex carafes. Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen couldn’t dream up a more stereotypically Portland scene – except for the music on the stereo, which shuffles between brash electropop and dubstep. It’s a strangely fitting place to meet Stephen Malkmus. As the former frontman of 1990s slacker titans Pavement, he’s an icon of indie rock at its scruffiest, yet his new solo album, Groove Denied, is electronic music partly inspired by a stint living in Berlin.

    “I’m not known for being groovy,” admits Malkmus, a 52-year-old father of two who looks every bit the middle-aged rocker dad: salt-and-pepper mop top, white shirt, tatty white trainers. “The first song is supposed to sound like you went out clubbing in Berlin and came back and tried to make a song when you were off your head. Or an aural version of one of those pictures of [techno DJ] Ricardo Villalobos where he’s completely trashed.”

    Related:Stephen Malkmus: Groove Denied review – stark, forbidding soundscapes

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  2. ‘We used my flat’s rank toilet on the record sleeve with my guitar shoved into it – though I put a plastic bag over it first’

    I had read about a dodgy landlord in the South London Press. The drug-dealing, the “phoney prescriptions”, the awful living conditions for his tenants: it was all in the newspaper, even his physical stature. All I had to do was change his name – and I’d turned an awful story into poetry and pop music.

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  3. Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
    The online teen pop sensation makes positive messages about inclusivity, but her voice is too slight to make an impact

    The sight of bored, watchful mums and dads trying to melt inconspicuously into the shadows, and tumbleweeds blowing where long bar queues usually form, say everything about the average age of Dorothy “Dodie” Clark’s fans. But the 23-year-old twee-folk ukulele botherer isn’t your average teen-pop sensation – she’s a superstar YouTuber with 2.7 million subscribers.

    She opens with two of her newest and best numbers – the faintly Regina Spektor-esque Monster, a prickly break-up song set to a twitchy electronic beat, and Human, a hushed ballad sung as a duet with Tom Walker on record, containing lines such as “unzip your skin and let me have a see”. In all their preening self-absorption, social-media stars tend to make for problematic role models, but Clark uses her platform responsibly to promote positive messages about mental health and inclusivity. During the introduction to Rainbow, the stage lights glow in the colours of the LGBT pride flag.

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  4. US rockers and goth indie heroes take main-stage honours alongside Stormzy, while Janet Jackson confirms first UK show in years

    The Killers and the Cure have been announced as the final headliners of the 2019 Glastonbury festival. Brandon Flowers’ Vegas band will headline on the Saturday, and Robert Smith and co on the Sunday. They join the previously announced headliner Stormzy, who will close the Pyramid stage on Friday night.

    It is the Cure’s fourth time headlining Glastonbury, following slots in 1986, 1990 and 1995. They join Coldplay as the only groups to have headlined the festival four times.

    Who runs the Glastonbury festival?

    The Killers

    The Cure



    Janet Jackson

    George Ezra

    Liam Gallagher

    Miley Cyrus

    Tame Impala

    The Chemical Brothers

    Vampire Weekend

    Ms Lauryn Hill

    Janelle Monae

    Christine and the Queens

    Two Door Cinema Club

    Jorja Smith




    Snow Patrol

    Cat Power

    Wu-Tang Clan


    Years & Years

    Billie Eilish

    The Good, the Bad & the Queen

    Hot Chip

    Stefflon Don

    Jon Hopkins


    The Streets


    Kamasi Washington



    Johnny Marr


    Mavis Staples

    Rex Orange County

    Little Simz

    Michael Kiwanuka

    Kate Tempest

    Loyle Carner

    King Princess


    Neneh Cherry

    Kurt Vile & the Violators

    The Comet is Coming


    Pale Waves

    Friendly Fires

    Sharon Van Etten


    Sons of Kemet


    Fat White Family

    Sheryl Crow

    Maribou State

    Fatoumata Diawara

    Bugzy Malone



    Sam Fender

    This is the Kit



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  5. On the 40th anniversary of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive topping the charts – and as the UK blunders towards its own acrimonious divorce – here’s the definitive list of tear-stained stonkers

    Hip-hop isn’t big on romantic heartbreak, but this is a particularly fine example. There’s a lot of bragging from Guru about how he’s so inundated with offers since his ex packed him in that she’s probably jealous. But somehow, you get the sense he’s protesting too much: “Went home to see my mom and I saw you at the bus stop – must I stop? I think not.”

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