Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
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Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream will serve as a blog for me to share my thoughts and musings, with a special emphasis on music. The music that will appear in this blog is for evaluation/sampling purposes only, and is designed to promote up and coming bands. Remember, if you like the artist(s), buy the CD! If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please contact us and we will kindly take it down.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Keepin' it Green

The next few posts are going to be dedicated to Chicago-based artists and bands. Being that I'm from Chicago, and I'm going to school near the city, I thought I should let you faithful readers (and those who get here from know a little bit about the best indie music scene in the country (sorry Seattle, it's true).

So for today, I'm going to talk about an up-and-coming electro-pop-rock Chicago band that goes by the name Greenskeepers. Aside from incredibly pleasing artwork for their albums and such, there is actually substance to this band. Every time I listen to the music from their latest release Polo Club, I keep on trying to box it in to a genre or a sound. I'll be honest--I haven't figured it out quite yet. It's a little bit like Depeche Mode, but more interesting. It's a little bit like lounge music, but more varying and certainly better lyrics. Greenskeepers take rather dark subjects and just turn the light on. It almost reminds of the way Nick Drake used to write such beautiful music for darker songs.

What I find the most intriguing about Greenskeepers is that their music takes everything good about trippy electronic grooves and melds them with some above average lyrics. Granted, there are a few instrumentals on Polo Club, like the infectious "Martini Lunches" or "Coconuts". Both surround in a wall of sound that envelopes you, caresses you, and then rocks with you all night long. Some might call it "mood music", but I think it's nothing of the sort. Take a listen to "15 Minutes" and you'll realize your head's bopping to the catchy bass while you can help but chime in with the words, 'Last Night, Last Saturday Night'.

I suggest you have a look at their album, Polo Club.
Not convinced?
Have a listen to "15 Minutes"
Have a listen to "Bloodclots"

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Getting Ready for Next Sunday

Today officially marks one week until my beloved Chicago Bears play in Super Bowl XLI (That's 41 for all you Romaphobes). So, I wanted to make sure I made a post before all the hoopla begins.
I've compiled a few "Sunday Songs" that I feel are quite applicable to next week's game. So get out the chips and salsa and begin.

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" - U2
Now I don't expect it to be bloody Sunday, but you have to admit that this is one of the greatest anthems of our time. "It's not a rebel song, it's a U2 song," Bono used to say about "Sunday Bloody Sunday", but there are very few things that can get me as excited as when I'm blasting this song.

"Sunday Morning" - K-0s
You probably know by now that I love K-os, and you might know that ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown adopted this song as one of their intro songs, but you may not have paid attention to the lyrics. "Everyday is Saturday Night, but I can't wait 'till Sunday Morning", K-os laments on this incredibly catchy song. That's how I think the whole city of Chicago is going to feel next Saturday Night, as Bear Nation gets ready for some real nice Super Bowl action.

"Any Given Sunday" - Jamie Foxx
This guy just doesn't get enough credit for being one of the most talented acts out right now. Jamie Foxx reminds us that anything can happen on any given Sunday. Even though the Bears aren't favored, I still believe they can pull it out.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Winter's Tale

That's right. Bam! Out of nowhere, I'm just hitting y'all with some sweet tracks.

Seriously. 14 tracks. Of Goodness.

CSVMAD Volume 4: A Winter's Tale
(Will be accessible until February 7th)
Song Title-Artist
1. Talk To Her - Piers Faccini
2. Excellent News, Colonel - Bound Stems
3. The Ruling Class - Loose Fur
4. Adir Adirim - Balkan Beat Box
5. Take A Chance - The Magic Numbers
6. Mayfair Song - Air
7. Edit - Regina Spektor
8. Long Distance Call (25 Hours A Day Remix) - Phoenix
9. Missing My Baby - G. Love
10. Raised By Wolves - Voxtrot
11. Philly Soundworks - Sideshow
12. Always For You - The Album Leaf
13. Big Chief - Professor Longhair
14. Return of The Panther - Thunderball

Enjoy---I'd love for you to leave feedback on the mix. I like to know if I'm supplying desirable goods or if they're just defunct.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cheers, Faccini!

Meet Piers Faccini. Get to know Peirs Faccini. Listen to his music. You will like it, even if you don't want to (although I don't know why you wouldn't). This London-based singer-songwriter that writes pieces that range from the sentimental to the funkified soulful kind. His voice is reminiscent of Jack Johnson and Alexi Murdoch (one of CSVMAD's favorites) rolled into one. He's certainly got a funky flavor, and a soft raspy-ish voice to complement the arcing masterpieces that make up his first full release Tearing Sky.

The songs on Tearing Sky put you on river dock, mid-summer, during sunset as you watch the dramatic sunset beyond the tears. The whole album has this low-lit tone, as if it was meant to be listened to with the lights down and the ears perked up. On "Sharpening Bone", you can really experience everything Faccini is able to do with his plucking hands and his unique voice. "If I" features a pretty neat bassline and a catchy chorus of "If I's" that will be ringing in your head long after the 3:49 is over.

Go and get Tearing Sky.
Listen to "If I"
Listen to "Sharpening Bone"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Apologies and Magic

Being a hypocrite and no good lying cheat are two things I don't want to be. But sure enough, those are the words to describe my actions this week. It was despicable to promise more posts and grant none. So this week has to be better.

I'd like to you about one of my favorite bands, The Magic Numbers. When they came out with their debut The Magic Numbers back in 2005, I was enamored with their flowery alt-country, summery-rock-pop aesthetic. Being from the UK and all, I don't think it really helps the band gain a formidable presence in the US, but the indie scene is always looking across the pond for great acts.

And so, The Magic Numbers recently released their sophomore album, Those the Brokes, in the UK and it is expected to come to our side of town in the coming weeks. I managed to get my hands on a copy of the album ( is great or get an import from At first listen, I wasn't overly impressed by the album--I thought it sounded too much like their first album but without as much emotion. And then, I listened to it again. And again. I realized that my first impression was completely wrong. Those the Brokes is a compilation of complex emotions, simple fun, incredible harmonies, and great instrumentation. The quartet sings a sweet pop number over a jumpy guitar and some subtle bells (see "Undecided") but they also manage to pull off a ballad just as well ("Slow Down"). But if you're looking for a band that can just rock it out, look no further. "Runnin' Out" features an appropriate pounding guitar which gives the song a sense of urgency and "rockness" that is not necessarily a typical sound for the band.

Listen to "Runnin' Out" (4.5 / 5)
Listen to "Undecided" (4.8 / 5)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bear With Me

That's right, everybody. The Chicago Bears play their much anticipated playoff game at noon today. In honor of this exciting day, I'm going to do a little Chicago Bears themed post. Check for a bonus below.

1) Chicago Symphony Orchestra-Bear Down Chicago Bears
"Bear Down Chicago Bears" is the classic, timeless anthem of the Chicago Bears. Where ever you find yourself on Sunday--if you are in Chicago--you will hear this. Now the song actually has words, but this version is courtesy of the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I thought it was too cool to pass it up.

2) Sufjan Stevens-Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
Although this song is actually about Michigan towns "Sleeping Bear" and "Sault Saint Marie" (SSM has a great Dairy Queen, I might add), nothing could describe the way the Chicago Bears have been hibernating over the past two weeks. Just watch out when the sleeping bear awakes at noon.

3) Mike Ditka in Monday Night Football Intro
Mike Ditka did this minute and a half long spot for ESPN for Monday Night Football several weeks back. It's chilling, it's hair-raising, it's hilarious. It's fantastic.

Bonus. In honor of the fact that I'm hoping the Bears are going to beat the Seattle Seahawks, I'm going to give you a song as an extended metaphor of how bad we'll beat them.
Get ready for this.
Smashmouth Acapella--This is an unreleased acapella part of a potential Smashmouth song....It's terrible and it's hilarious. What's your favorite line? Mine is the whole off-key chorus that leads into the awkward bridge ("Don't you really like the view"). Thanks to grizzly bear.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Elected

LinkToday, I'd like to mention a band that managed to just get past my radar at the end of 2006. The quartet The Elected is a band intent on making music for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Don't mistake this for another Jack Johnson--the comparison is entirely wrong. Imagine a southern rock guitar riff but slower. Now add some occasional horns. Don't forget to add a couple of harmonies to the easel. Oh, and make sure brush in a little Tom Petty.
There we go. I think that might give you a good picture of The Elected's most recent album, Sun, Sun, Sun. If that still hasn't convinced you how great the album really is, then just listen to the damn tracks and experience it for yourself.

Listen to "Not Going Home"
This song starts out with a relatively average verse but then crescendos into this magnificent chorus "I'm not going home". As the song progresses, you realize that this is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt songs created. The harmony in the chorus walks the line between insanely catchy and brilliant.

Listen to "Fireflies in a Steel Mill"
A steady summery piano plays the background in this song, as the harmonies hover lightly over the soft "shoom" of the tambourine and the drums. Again, this song is a beautifully constructed piece that goes down smoother than a banana smoothie (now that's smooth!).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Let's Put Some New Shoes On--Paolo Nutini

Now that the holidays have passed, and we have a whole year to look forward to next December, it's about time this blog got down to its regular duties. Assume that from here on out there is going to be consistent postage from Patrick and me.

I'd like to tell you about an Scottish singer with Italian roots. On first listen, I didn't know what to expect--what kind of fusion rock could possibly result from this odd combo. What I discovered was something surprising--an intelligent songwriter with incredible pop sensibilities and a knack for making music that will surely make you groove.

Nutini's debut album These Streets features a collection of songs that are coherent and fun. These Streets ranges from sunny pop arrangements to heartfelt ballads to great rock songs. Nutini's doesn't concoct synthetic sounds--everything is very organic, incredibly natural. Even his voice has this earthy quality to it, despite that it is one of the more beautiful ones I've heard in a while. "New Shoes" illustrates his many talents--the ability to create catchy hooks that envelope you in warm guitars and sweet vocals. "Last Request" has Nutini's quivering vocals singing soulful words in a style that is rock ballad meets R & B. It's delicious.

Go out and get These Streets. The album has already been released in Europe, but is scheduled for a January 30 release in the US.

Listen to "Last Request" ( 4.5 / 5)
Listen to "New Shoes" ( 5 / 5 )

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