There has been some great music washing ashore as summer gets into full swing. Click past the jump and you’ll find the best of these fresh tunes to add to your playlist.

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My good friend Alex Holmes recently started working as a reviewer for the much-esteemed music and culture magazine Vice. From time to time I’ll be directing your attention to his reviews on www.vice.com as he’s got an excellent taste in music and sharp writing skills.

This time he turns his attention to Andrew Bird‘s latest release, Break it Yourself, which he gives a big smiley face and describes as a “great album for lying back on a red velvet chaise lounge while a nymph lowers a bunch of Concord grapes into your mouth.”

I don’t have a red velvet chaise or a nymph handy. Maybe this deserves a post on Craigslist?

Full review here: http://www.vice.com/read/records-0000166-v19n3

Great job, Holmes!

I have looked longingly at the picture above everyday since balloons dropped from the ceiling at Madison Square Garden to close out LCD Soundsystem‘s last live show. What a night.

But the death of LCD did not mean the death of James Murphy, of course, who now at just a shade over 42 recently caught up with Pitchfork to talk about the last 10 months and what’s in store for the future. Find a link past the jump.

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We are getting closer guys and gals. The music mecca that is SXSW is only a month away. Already more quality bands have been added to the list of showcasing acts on SXSW.com. I want to share them with you.

Click past the jump to see the new additions. I will compile them with my picks from Part 2 in the next installment of the SXSW Short List, which is really not that short anymore…

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When my brother’s not not writing professional articles for a world-leading energy industry publication, he uses his skill and command of the English language to write really interesting articles about music. This week he joined millions of others around the world to watch an online screening of ‘Don’t Think’, the new concert movie based on The Chemical Brothers’ famed live act, and took some time to put his thoughts down on paper. He is letting me publish it here. Click past the jump to read more.

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New York-based duo (formerly a trio) Chairlift are due to release their sophomore album Something on January 24 via Columbia. If you’re not into waiting you can go ahead and stream the full album over at KCRW’s website. And if you’re even less patient you can see which songs I’ve picked as standouts past the jump.

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SXSW announced today that the 2012 event schedules are now going live. That means that between now and March 9 artists will begin plugging dates on the calendar so us fans can plan our days and nights accordingly. I have gone ahead and trolled A through Z again to pick out some of the bands you should watch out for. I have merged the list from my earlier SXSW blog post with the one below so it’s consolidated.

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Todd Martens of the LA Times recently wrote a piece covering the changes Billboard is making to their album charts to account for the deeply discounted sales increasingly found on Amazon and Google. In short, albums that are sold for less than $3.49 will not be counted toward total sales. You’re probably thinking, so what?

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Making a short list of bands to see at SXSW is kind of like trying to make a list of all the things you want to do in Paris over a weekend trip. You have a choice of about 600 things you would be happy to do but only really have time to do about 5% of it. As such, it’s really important that you do a little prep work if you want to make the journey worth it.

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My good friend Alex Holmes recently started working as a reviewer for the much-esteemed music and culture magazine Vice. From time to time I’ll be directing your attention to his reviews on www.vice.com as he’s got an excellent taste in music and sharp writing skills.

For his first review, he gives a big barf face to Craig Finn‘s new album Clear Heart Full Eyes.

Great line: “If your favorite parts of Finn’s band the Hold Steady included … a lot of syllables squeezed into too little musical breathing room, then celebrate, for the savior hath come!”

Read the full review a little past the halfway down mark at this link.