Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson: My music has made me braver

Ruban Nielson of psych-rock band Unknown Mortal Orchestra has gained something of a reputation for chasing adventures. His first and second albums, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and II, placed him as a partygoer – with lyrics inspired by sleepless nights and self-medication. His third LP, Multi-Love, documented the story of his unorthodox relationship: between himself, his wife and their shared girlfriend. And his fourth, Sex & Food, has been defined by his travels around the globe (with stints in B

Sofia Bonati's amazing ladies – in pictures

For the past couple of years, Sofia Bonati has been drawing intricate portraits of women against a backdrop of mazes and floral patterns. A self-taught artist from Argentina, now based in the UK, Bonati uses pencils, watercolours, inks, gouache and markers to portray “the intricacy of the female mind and women’s role in society”. She is influenced by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele for their treatment of the human form, and by William Morris for his patterns. The women in the paintings are general

Soccer Mommy: the one-girl band beating indie-rock's boys at their own game

Would you say that you’ve found the publicity quite difficult, then? “Yeah, it’s not good for me. I try not to read stuff. I mean, I do, but I try to avoid looking.” Do you worry about how you come across in the media? “I mostly worry about trying to get an honest version of myself across. The media is very much about wanting to portray you and wanting to have a story for you – which, of course, is totally fine – but this built persona can create a mask that you have to wear. It’s better to b

Frederik Busch photographs German Business Plants

Sabine adores going dancing. From the series German Business Plants © Frederik Busch “I have always been interested in how humans adapt to office-life, so I decided to apply portrait photography to plants to discover how they adapt too," says the Hamburg-born photographer Ute is a daydreamer, Martin only talks about his vacation. Monika gets along on her own very well, but Heike is lonely. Sabine adores going dancing, and Helga likes techno music. To German photographer Frederik Busch, these o

Shahidul Alam arrested for "provocative comments" in wake of Bangladesh protests

Shahidul Alam being taken to the Chief metropolitan magistrate court, Dhaka Founder of Drik Picture Library detained after commenting on teenage road safety protests Shahidul Alam, one of the world’s leading figures in photography, and a social activist who has been a harsh critic of the government in his native Bangladesh, has been arrested in Dhaka for making “provocative comments” following mass protests that have brought parts of the country to a standstill over the past week. According t

Vice: The Privacy and Perception Issue

BJP speaks to VICE’s editor in chief Ellis Jones and senior photo editor Elizabeth Renstrom about the magazine's annual photography issue, which is this year inspired by identity both online and off As the apps we use become a bigger part of our daily routines, the line between our digital and real lives is increasingly blurred. “But there’s a tension point where privacy comes in which makes everything even more complicated,” says VICE editor-in-chief, Ellis Jones. How much of ourselves do we s

Leon Bridges review, Jazz Cafe, London: Buoyant with brass and syncopated shimmy

At London’s Jazz Cafe last night, it was 1967 all over again. Dressed in an open-necked zebra print shirt and wide flared trousers, Leon Bridges carved out a night of old-fashioned soul. Backed by a superb four-piece band, Bridges sounds as sharp as he looks. Buoyant with brass and syncopated shimmy, "Smooth Sailin’" makes for toe-tapping a plenty. "Brown Skin Girl" showcases the singer’s startling raspy croon. And as for the soft-snared "Mississippi Kisses", it evades any suggestion that the s

Trophy knits – in pictures

Rachel Denny created her first knitted doe in 2005. “She was a grand experiment,” says Denny, “that commented on feminine versus masculine domestic ideals in the home.” She has since made many more busts of animals, such as sheep, reindeer and horses, making silicone moulds for resin casting and covering them with textiles and materials including alpaca and yak wool. As a child she was struck by visiting the house of a neighbour, a hunter with trophies on his wall. “It was wondrous to see these

Live Review: Lianne La Havas

Having performed with the likes of Prince and with two albums under her belt, London-born Lianne Charlotte Barnes, known professionally as Lianne La Havas, has achieved more than most twenty-six year olds would have ever dreamed of. Setting these triumphs aside, without uttering a word, the star modestly took to the stage at Birmingham’s O2 Institute to embark on the first performance of her UK tour. Sporting a crop-top, paired with a floral kimono and a long-maxi skirt, the effortless singer o

Surrealism and the city – in pictures

Brooklyn-based photographer Ben Zank has an eye for the unusual. His urban portraits – many of them self-portraits – present a surreal depiction of the struggles of everyday life, inspired by the area he lives and works in. While he attempts to capture as much of the final effect as possible using the camera, digital manipulation in Photoshop afterwards can take anywhere between one and 15 hours per image. Zank sees each setup as its own self-contained story rather than part of a series. “Each i

Charity aims to improve ticket-buying experience for deaf and disabled music fans

A charity has launched a new initiative to improve ticket-buying experiences for deaf and disabled fans. Attitude Is Everything, dedicated to improving deaf and disabled people’s access to live music, unveiled its Ticketing Without coalition on 9 April in response to the findings of its fourth State of Access report. The enterprise will launch at The Roundhouse in London, in association with more than 130 venues and festivals, over 30 trade bodies, leading ticketing agencies including Ticketma

Hospital staff allegedly asked Ed Sheeran for selfies while he was being treated for a broken arm

A hospital launched a review of care for "high profile patients" after Ed Sheeran was allegedly asked to pose for selfies by members of staff when he was being treated for a broken arm. The singer broke his right wrist and left elbow in a bicycle accident in October, which meant that he had to pull out of a number of dates of his Asian tour. While he was at the hospital, he was reportedly asked to sign autographs and pose for selfies by some Ipswich Hospital staff members after being admitted.

Eurovision Song Contest reveals unusual banned items list

Ladders, helmets, adhesive tape, and shopping trolleys are included on the list of prohibited items of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The official website states that the items will be confiscated for security reasons, and "to keep waiting times at the entrance to a minimum, please make sure you do not bring any of the following prohibited items to the Altice Arena." Other items on the list include extension cables, golf balls, ropes and umbrellas, alongside expected items such as drugs,

Peter Kennard among creatives reclaiming their artwork from London’s Design Museum

The London institution booked a private event organised by the Italian arms company Leonardo, one of the key players in aerospace, defence and security Photomontage artist Peter Kennard is among 40 artists who have demanded their work be removed from London’s Design Museum after discovering the institution had hosted a private event associated with the arms trade. The museum complied with the requests to return work by 01 August, but defended its curatorial independence from its need to raise f

Single Review: James Blake - Modern Soul

With much anticipation, the Mercury Prize-winning James Blake has returned with a hazy new track: 'Modern Soul'. Debuted on his BBC Radio 1 residency show, the single arrives following the star’s Field Day festival announcement earlier this month. And, oh my, it was worth the wait. Safely opening with those recognisable tiptoe piano chords of his, at first, the track appears all a bit too familiar; however, fast-forward a few bars and we come to realise that Blake has produced something that is

Kate Bush to write a new tribute to Emily Bronte

Kate Bush is to make her second tribute to Emily Brontë, contributing to a monument on the Yorkshire moors that inspired Wuthering Heights. Bush said that being asked to provide words for the art installation was "an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her". "I am delighted to be involved in this project. Each sister being remembered by a stone in the enigmatic landscape where they lived and worked is a striking idea," she added. The singer has been out of the spotlight since p

Stefanie Moshammer's Not just your face honey

From Not just your face honey © Stefanie Moshammer A romantic - or sinister - letter from a man she'd met for five minutes prompted Austrian artist Stefanie Moshammer to shoot a new project on the realities and fictions of love; now on show in the prestigious C/O Berlin In 2014, Troy Charles knocked on the door of 2411, Mason Avenue, Las Vegas, hoping to find his ex-girlfriend. Instead, he encountered Stefanie Moshammer, an Austrian photographer who was living in the US for three months to wor

An index of inequality in St Louis, USA

“North of Delmar boulevard, 95% of people are black, and life expectancy is 67. A few hundred yards south, 70% of people are white, and there is a life expectancy of 82," says Piergiorgio Casotti, who joined forces with Emanuele Brutti and Fiorenza Pinna to make a book about the divide “In St. Louis, ZIP codes matter,” says Piergiorgio Casotti, an Italian photographer who lived in the US for three years. “North of Delmar boulevard, 95% of people are black, and life expectancy is 67. A few hundr