Birthday Bangers

Busy P and his Ed Banger cohorts are celebrating the label’s 6 ½ birthday this Friday 10 July at The Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle, bringing together Busy P, SebastiAn, Feadz, DJ Mehdi, So-Me and Krazy Bald Head, as well as DJ sets from Mystery Jets, Friendly Fires, O Children and White Heat. Tickets can be won here.

Air Love 2

Air will be back in business in October with a new album, 'Love 2' recorded entirely in Paris, preceded by the single 'Sing Sang Sung'. Their fifth album proper, it follows the downbeat (even by their standards) 2007 release 'Pocket Symphony'.

Down and Out in London

Orwell are bringing their baroque pop (in the manner of High Llamas and Louis Philippe) to London for a gig at the ElectroAcoustic Club, at the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell (30 June, 8pm) where they will be playing with How to Cure Dyslexia. That will be followed by a date in Nottingham on 1 July.

John and Jehn, 'Lost' in Music

John and Jehn's live 'ciné-concert' soundtrack performance to 'Diary of a Lost Girl', a 1929 silent film starring Louise Brooks, can be watched in its entirety here. The couple told us about working on the soundtrack to the film in the interview here.

Too Young to Die?

Soko is undead, it would seem. Having announced her death/retirement from the music industry/relocation to ‘hell’ in February this year, the cultish and opinion-dividing songstress seems to have had a change of heart, as she’s playing a show at London Dingwalls on 23 July. This ‘one-off’ is also being followed by an appearance at the Secret Garden Party, according to her MySpace.

'Drive' Time

The new EP, ‘Drive’, from St Brieuc party starters Rafale can be heard in its entirety on their myspace. It comprises the original track plus three remixes, including a mighty reworking by Black Strobe, and is the follow up to their 2008 release ‘Rock It, Don’t Stop It.’

Swap Shop

 iTunes has hooked up a ‘Foreign Exhange’ between two electro-pop starlets. France’s Yelle has done Robyn’s ‘Who’s That Girl’ as ‘Qui Est Cette Fille’ and Robyn has come back with a version of ‘A Cause Des Garçons’ – itself a cover of the 1987 song by the French group of the same name. Phew.

Jazz So You Know

Kings Place, the new arts centre near King Cross, is hosting a special Paris Jazz Week from 10-13 June, featuring big names from the world of French jazz, including Martial Solal (11juin), Bireli Lagrène Trio (10 juin), Henri Texier and Bojan Z. The event also includes a series of conferences chaired by writer and critic Kevin Le Gendre.

Portraits of the Artist

Partly in anticipation of the Serge Gainsbourg film by comic book artist Joann Sfar (to be released next year), Jonathan Edwards has launched a marvellous blog, Draw Serge!, which invites other illustrators to sumbit their own takes on the French icon. Serge, says Edwards, "was an incredibly charismatic performer with an unmistakeable look. He's a joy to draw", and the excellent and varied submissions featured so far are a vivid testament to Gainsbourg's 'drawability'.

Third Life

Third Side Records, home to Steeple Remove, Flairs, Fugu and Cocosuma amongst others, have launched a new website and on-line shop. For sale are not only releases from the Third Side stable, but also artist and label T-shirts. There’s also information on the artists and a blog of sorts and, helpfully for non-natives, it’s all in English.