News George Osborne has cautioned against 'self-defeating' minimum wage increases

Chancellor says he wants to see low-paid workers' earnings rising, but not at the cost of jobs

Album: Miles Kane, Colour Of The Trap (Columbia)

Though many tracks are co-written with Alex Turner, Miles Kane's solo debut bears scant comparison to the duo's more grandiose work as The Last Shadow Puppets.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Garage, London

Jason Isbell strides onstage and apologises for the slimmed-down nature of his band, trimmed from five to three for his current tour. "We're not so much the 400 Unit tonight as the Jason Isbell power trio," he admits, but nobody's complaining: Alabama blue-eyed soulster Isbell has the burly, no-nonsense look of someone who can take care of himself pretty well. Besides which, he's one of the few guitarists for whom the phrase "power trio" doesn't portend endless indulgence, but rather an attention to texture and rhythm that plugs any holes in the arrangements.

Braids: A bona-fide garage band

Braids are four best friends from Canada, who have just released their debut album, Native Speaker. Bursting with lush, multi-layered dream pop, including their sumptuous-sounding single "Lemonade", it has seen the newcomers heralded as "Canada's newest heirs to Arcade Fire's throne" by NME. Now Braids are about to embark on their first UK tour.

Steinsson: I lived in a garage at start of my career – but it was a nice garage

Few players have gone from one extreme to another, but Gretar Steinsson will complete a remarkable rags-to-riches journey when he lines-up for Bolton in tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final against Stoke.

Album: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (Roswell / RCA)

Back to basics time for the Foo Fighters. Well, kinda.

New Zealand earthquake boulder sold at auction

A man whose house was smashed by a boulder in the Christchurch earthquake has sold the rock in an online auction for NZ$60,000 (£27,000).

George Shaw: The Sly and the Unseen, Baltic, Gateshead

For almost two decades, George Shaw has been painting, doggedly and systematically, the unprepossessing, post-war housing estate in Coventry where he grew up. The means he uses – Humbrol household paints – are as modest in their workadayness and as limited in their tonal range as the subject matter itself. It is as if Shaw has positively wanted to strait-jacket himself in this way.

Up to 50 left bus before explosion

Up to 50 people disembarked from an overcrowded London bus moments before a devastating explosion tore through it on 7 July 2005, the inquest into the terrorist attacks has heard.

Blackstone eyes British petrol station network

Blackstone is considering deals that would give the private equity group a 1,200-strong network of UK petrol stations. The company yesterday played down reports that offers have been made, but it is understood to be showing an interest in 780 Total-branded garages put up for sale by the French oil giant in September, and also 460 UK service stations put on the block by Murco Petroleum, a subsidiary of US-based Murphy Oil.

Grinderman, Hammersmith Apollo, London

There was some debate over Nick Cave's shadow at this outing of the much-discussed "supergroup" comprising Cave and long-time collaborators Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos. The spotlight banged into Cave's mangled frame and cast a huge silhouette across one wall of the venue. It seems interesting that, because of the sometimes limited views of the stage, this shadow is all some audience members saw of the singer. It wasn't so much an image, as a negative impression of the real performer.

Brandon Flowers, The Garage, London

It is a strange thing, watching one of the very biggest pop stars in the world mere metres from the stage at one of London's smallest venues. And yet, it is happening: Brandon Flowers, sometime of the Killers, is performing his new solo album for the very first time to at most 500 people.

My Name is Mina, By David Almond

A slick return to Almond’s young heroine

22 Bullets (18)

Jean Reno is the saving grace of this violent gangland thriller, based on real-life events described in Franz-Olivier's book L'Immortel.

Nine in 10 garages miss dangerous faults in tests

Garages are routinely failing to find basic faults and charging for bogus work, according to an investigation.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform