As you can tell by the cover of this week’s issue, we were lucky enough to snag the legendary Jane Birkin for Artist on Artist. She chats with Eleventh Dream Day’s Janet Bean about her late partner Serge Gainsbourg, whose music she’ll be performing Monday at the Portage Theater. (EDD’s at the Bottle on Saturday, BTW.) We’ve also got a great review from Peter Margasak of two multidisc sets that look to be good Xmas gift ideas if you have loved ones who dig vintage African and black gospel sounds. Three Beats reports on a U. of C. event that combines a Chicago hip-hop show with a Swedish doc on the black power movement, an ICE discussion and concert where George Lewis and Steve Lehman will demystify nonjazz improvisation, and Ian Schneller and Andrew Bird’s sound-art installation at the MCA. Gossip Wolf has some bad news about Parasol Records, some good news about Pancho’s, and a couple of new local releases. The latest Secret History of Chicago Music profiles “world’s fastest drummer” Barrett Deems. And Soundboard offers tips on shows by Kyuss Lives!, Greg Kelley, Rocket From the Tombs, Avey Tare, and more—that is, more good acts playing around here in the first week of December than you might expect.