Arts and Entertainment French electronica act Daft Punk have been photographed at LAX airport minus their famous robotic helmets

The French electronica duo were photographed while going through security

Album: Calvin Harris, Ready For The Weekend (Columbia)

In retrospect, Calvin Harris's 2007 debut I Created Disco could be viewed as a prescient harbinger of the current retro-electropop fad; and certainly, the subsequent interest of both Madonna and Kylie indicates an undeniable knack for hitting the populist zeitgeist.

Dream sleeves: How a 40-year-old idea could save the music industry

Digital downloads and free streaming have changed the music industry for ever. Now record labels have hatched a plan to revive the album format with 1960s-influenced, art-laden packaging. John Walsh thinks the idea rocks

Album: Royksopp, Junior (Wall of Sound)

Norwegian duo Röyksopp have all but come to define the pleasant insubstantiality of contemporary electropop, with Junior offering the harmonic simplicity and meagre ambitions the Pet Shop Boys come perilously close to on Yes.

Album: Filthy Dukes, Nonsense in the Dark (Fiction)

The one fact that Filthy Dukes are making damn sure everyone knows is that Nonsense in the Dark was recorded on a desk once owned by Kraftwerk producer Conny Plank.

Caught in the Net - Texas, top acts and taxis

The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas kicks off on Wednesday with 1,800 musical acts over four frenetic days (sxsw.com). At gigs in 80 venues, new and established bands will use it as a launch pad for their latest endeavours, providing a decent indication of what's in store musically for the rest of 2009.

Dance music: Minimal techno makes way for something more... maximal

Towards the end of last year, a mild frisson developed on dance blogs and forums regarding the diminishing merits of minimal techno. Why the fuss over a genre big in Germany but with a profile as low as its deliberately muted beats pretty much everywhere else? Well, it turned out to be just one manifestation of a recurring worry. That dance music has lost its way, proliferating into ever more microscopic genres which appeal to ever more microscopic audiences.

Creamfields and other festivals are under pressure to diversify

Following the disastrous conclusion to Gatecrasher’s Summer Sound System event in May, when a rainstorm forced Hot Chip and The Chemical Brothers to cancel their sets on the Sunday evening, organisers of similar large-scale dance parties this summer will be nervously watching the skies. Yet there’s also a feeling that dance promoters are facing other, less elemental pressures.

Ones to watch: the best five up-and-coming acts

Bon Iver

The schtick about being conceived while “hibernating” in a North Wisconsin log cabin may repel some as much as it attracts others, but it becomes rather irrelevant once you hear the resulting album. Justin Vernon, who goes under the bastardised French moniker of Bon Iver, has crafted a collection of first-rate, down-tempo Americana, sung not with the usual gravelly, bourbon sodden bass but more often than not in an unearthly falsetto. Fans of Grizzly Bear or Iron And Wine would do well to take note. The live show impresses too: the band’s triumphant struggle against a ludicrously loud punk rock band was a highlight of this year’s SXSW festival.

The album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ is out on 4AD on 12 May. Bon Iver is on UK tour until 20 May.

Royworld, Westminster Library, London

So many things about Royworld are gloriously silly. There's the name, for a start, which the band apparently shares with a disused bowling alley in Cardiff. Then there's the silly question posed by the first line of their single "Man in the Machine", which goes: "Dave... is there something wrong?"

Ones to watch: Five of the best new acts

CRYSTALCASTLES

Named after She-Ra’s pad in He- Man, this boy-girl Toronto duo state their influences, via their Myspace page, as murder, blank looks on girls and knives. However true that may be, it’s possibly more helpful to say that their sound is an amalgam of Suicide, Kid 606 and Klaxons, while their employment of Atari soundchips in their keyboards also allies them with the currently voguish chiptunes movement.

Album: Sébastien Tellier, Sexuality (Lucky Number)

Sebastien Tellier has the endorsement of Francopop aristocracy: he's signed to Air's label and his fourth album is produced by Daft Punk's Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. Tellier operates on an interface where the staccato chops of Calvin Harris meet the gloss of Zoot Woman, and combines electronica with singer-songwriter introspection to create some cool, classy textures. That said, "Pomme", with its background sex sounds, is a not wholly successful attempt to update Gainsbourg's "Je T'aime". Overall, 'Sexuality' feels like being shown around a mothballed Eighties show home: pristine yet dated, and therefore oddly poignant.

Stick it in your family album: Hemingways head south to Australia

For designer Wayne Hemingway, the best way to bond as a family is to travel together. This year's adventure took them to Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands

'A decade on, drum 'n' bass has proved surprisingly resilient'

When UK garage first started generating headlines in the late-Nineties, it was widely viewed as the natural successor to drum’n’bass, a scene which then seemed on the brink of implosion.

A nifty return to form from Basement Jaxx leaves them three steps ahead

As the dance phenomneon of the late Nineties, Basement Jaxx duo Felix Burton and Simon Ratcliffe brought the pogoing, "punk disco" energy of their rowdy south London club nights to daytime radio, showing a popular touch largely missing since their heady days of rave.

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links