Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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Strum as you are: Kurt Cobain

The week in music: Riotous story of how Brixton became a rock fans' nirvana

What is the best gig you've been to at Brixton Academy? Perhaps it's Public Enemy, or The Smiths' final show in 1986? Simon Parkes bought the seminal venue for £1 in 1982 and what stories he has to tell in his new memoir Live at the Brixton Academy: a Riotous Life in the Music Business.

Saddled with success: (from left) Suren de Saram, Ed Nash, Jack Steadman and Jamie MacColl of Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club interview: Saddled with success

The band’s latest album takes them way beyond the jangly indie-pop for which the quartet are still known

In the spotlight: Brit Award nominee John Grant

The week in music: How I'd love to see John Grant win at the Brit Awards

This year's Brit Award nominations highlight the strength of new music, with breakthrough acts Bastille, Disclosure and Rudimental dominating the British Group and Album categories.

Brute Force: Wild Beasts
Fringe benefits: Stephen Malkmus

The week in music: A chance to wig out to the indie rockers who are no Scrooges

After the rush of Christmas albums and deluxe repackagings, it remains a thin time for music. But that's all set to swerve in a more exciting direction. First up are albums by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and Ed Harcourt, both out on Monday. As a new year's gift to the fans, Malkmus's sixth studio collaboration with the Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags, is being streamed in full on Amazon. Pepping up a weak month for gigs, they start their UK tour on 13 January, reaching London's Forum on 16 January.

Hark the herald alt-popsters sing: Christmas albums from the most unexpected angles

Watch the exclusive Erasure video for 'Make it Wonderful' above

Man in black: Nick Cave

The Week in Music: Nick Cave is No 1 with a brooding classic that reaches for the sky

It's that time of year when music magazines and websites report their best of 2013 lists. In its latest issue, NME picks Arctic Monkeys' AM as their No 1 album of the year – expected given their rave 10/10 review on its release.

Rita Ora joins Fifty Shades of Grey cast: how she made the big time

From stage school to Jay-Z school, here's how she got there

Phosphorescent, gig review- 'rich and powerful'

Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Heart and soul: Jessie Ware

The Week in Music: Jessie Ware is still pulling all the strings

With Mercury and Brit nominations, Jessie Ware has had a stellar year. The singer is unveiling her latest song, written with the Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan, at the ASOS All-Nighter (an online house party) on 12 December. She's dedicated the next few months to writing the follow-up to her debut album. "I want my album out next year," she tells me. "It's definitely going to be electronic, but if I can have strings I'm definitely going to!" Expect more collaborating with Julio Bashmore, Kid Harpoon and Dave Okumu.

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Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all