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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game