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.

Monday, February 26, 2007

James Morrison

Sorry for the lack of postage this past week--I had two midterms and a paper...rough to say the least. But enough with the excuses! I've got some great artists to tell y'all about and you're gonna like 'em. No choice.
Today I'd like to tell you about James Morrison, who has already skyrocketed in the UK. This brings me to a key point: It's great to be in to the next best thing, but let's not disregard something that is a fine piece of work.

That brings me to Mr. Morrison's debut Undiscovered, which seems more ironic than ever--now that he has topped Bloc Party on the UK charts and all. And for good reason, my friends. Imagine James Blunt without the whininess, Ray Lamontagne's raspiness, and Jamie Lidell's pop sensibilities. This is a soulful record, but it's not soul. Some might call it Top 40, but there's something about Morrison's affect that just strikes me as genuine and sincere. Not to mention that he laces some pretty vocals over seriously catchy melodies. Morrison loves to belt it, and he does frequently. And with his sweet raspy voice, it provides for one of the greatest albums I've heard so far this year. Note: this could show up as a top 20 pick in December.

Have a listen to "How Come", which starts out like a regular ol' pop ballad, but then transforms into a beautiful soul-filled, bluesy chorus that has you swaying every which way until you ask yourself "How Come?". And perhaps my favorite "Under the Influence" is a strings-filled, piano-pounding, tasty ditty that is sure to please. A must listen.

Go and buy Undiscovered. It will be released on March 12th in the US.
Listen to "How Come" (4.5/5).
Listen to "Under the Influence" (5/5). Wow

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Filling in the Missing Links

I've got some great bands to tell you about, but there have been a couple of things that have gotten past me over the past couple of weeks that I really want to cover.
Here I go:

1) Feist!!! As you may know, we are huge friends of Feist (note: Monarch and Let It Die...seriously, buy these if you don't have them), and we were delighted to hear that her upcoming album The Reminder will be released May 30th. And in honor of the announcement, her record company has released one track to signal her coming. The song "My Moon, My Man" is a glitzy, piano-fluttering rock disco ditty (have I gotten your attention yet?) that features Feist ever loving jhai voice. I don't know what it is about Feist, but she has got one of the most incredible aesthetics I've ever experienced. Enough.
Get the track: My Moon, My Man.

2) Much ado has been made over the Andrew Bird appearance as Dr. Stringz. And for good reason. What a great guy! Even better in concert, I might add. Well, the video on youtube was short lived, but I managed to scrape off a pretty darn good quality video for those that haven't seen it yet (That's all you guys from And for those of you who have still seen it but just need to bask in the Bird-ness a little bit more...
Andrew Bird as Dr. Stringz.mp4
Yea for us!

3) Okay, let me get it out of the way. We were on VH1 Best Week Ever's website again for covering The Softlightes. Check it out here: We are Rockstars.

4) Good Weather for Air Strikes had a great post the other week about a song called "Thou Shalt Always Kill". It's great. Check it out.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The SoftLightes

If you've been reading blogs lately, every taste maker and their mother has been writing about the debut album from the SoftLightes. Amazingly titled Say No to Being Cool, Say Yes to Being Happy, the album itself is quite reflective of the title's message. The SoftLightes write friendly, accessible, and sometimes--dare I say--fluffy songs that are both sincere and joyful.

The album is nothing extraordinarily different, but they are certainly the best at what they do. Their dreamy pop songs and shoegazey harmonies envelop the listener in a wall of sensory sound. But don't think that means this is just another band that goes under the "experimental" category--in fact, it couldn't be further from it. This album is a lot of fun, and it seems quite clear to me that the SoftLightes don't take themselves too seriously. I often admire when bands are able to do this--the result is an album that plays more like an open diary, a real dialogue, a reality.

Highlights on the album include my personal favorite "If the World Had Cookies", a song which represents everything that the SoftLightes do well. Also, "Girlkillsbear" is a must-listen, featuring silky smooth vocals and an ethereal electropop beat. If you're looking for something a little more upbeat, "Heart Made of Sound" might be right up your alley, which is perhaps the most polished song on the album.

What are you waiting for? Go and buy Say No To Being Cool, Say Yes to Being Happy.
Watch the video for "Heart Made of Sound". It's friggin' awesome.

Listen to "If the World Had Cookies" (courtesy of linesthroughlines)
Listen to "Girlkillsbear"
. (courtesy of HSB)

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Andrew Bird as Dr. Stringz

In keeping with CSV's Chicago artists posts, I couldn't help but share this one will all of you. As you may know, Andrew Bird (one of CSV's favorite artists) happens to be from a certain city that starts with a C, ends with an O, and in the middle has "hicag". That's Chicago for those who are spelling impaired.
Andrew's new album Armchair Apocrypha is due out March 20th. I'm sure the album has leaked by you wouldn't want to screw over Andrew, now, would you? How about pre-ordering? Also, the cover art is phenomenal.

Well, Andrew Bird recently appeared on Jack's Big Music Show on the Noggins children's TV network. I've never heard of it, but I think they're on to something. Andrew Bird appears as a magical Mr Stringz--he can repair any broken stringed instrument. And boy has he got a song for you. Actually, the song he wrote for it is quite excellent. What you won't find anywhere else but at CSVMAD (an exclusive) is the ability to actually download the .mp3 file of the song (that is, if you like it).

Head on over to Youtube to check out the video: Andrew Bird as Dr. Stringz.
And if you want the .mp3 file of it: Dr. Stringz

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's Time for The Changes

Not really. I'm talking about another Chicago band called The Changes. If you haven't heard of them yet, you're not alone. Although they're relatively popular within the confines of the Windy City, the word hasn't spread too fast to the rest of the country. But don't let that sway you. The Changes' debut Today is Tonight is a trippy-indie-pop-album that sounds a lot like the lo-fi product of The Strokes from their fantastic debut Is This It?

Today is Tonight, however, doesn't have all the weightiness about it that The Strokes had. This is an album that isn't lacking in substance, but then again, it isn't a model in breathtaking songwriting either. Nevertheless, it would be a shame to talk down this album. Today is Tonight is about an aesthetic and the band has carefully manicured the album to preserve it. The songs are quite different from one another but they have a certain coherence to them that enhances the total package. Where many bands simply forget the album concept and think only in terms of singles, The Changes seem to have put consistently great tracks on Today is Tonight.

Take for example, the song "When I Wake", which features a 'The Ark-esque' guitar riff and an Elton John-a-la-Crocodile-Rock playfulness to it, is simply 3:15 of bliss. "Modern Love" begins immediately with a rather catchy beat and an even more infectious verse that leads into a very U2-like chorus. My favorite, "Sisters", has a piano-based riff that delivers more electro-pop ecstasy than anything I've heard. During the bridge, the 'Listen to your heart beat' part is divine.

I should stop writing. Go and buy the album.
Listen to "Sisters" (4.91 / 5)
Listen to "When I Wake" (4 / 5)

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Baby Teeth

In continuation of CSV's posts about Chicago bands, I'd like to present you Baby Teeth. The harmonizing trio will often times bring you back to a 75 degree evening along Lake Michigan despite the chilly below-zero weather that this magnificent city is facing right now. There most recent album, wittingly named The Baby Teeth Album, is a collection of frenetic bluesy soul-pop songs that hit more times than they miss.

The album is a model work of versatility--it's a genre spanning one that ranges from frequent harmonies and catchy organs. Take a listen to "Celebrity Wedding" and you'll hear a pumpin' bassline with a catchy "Do-do-do-do" that will be sweetly chirping in your head as the chorus breaks into an organ-induced chant. Or listen to "Butter X" which is more of a ballad type arrangement that explodes from "Oo-wa-oo" into a rocked out bridge.

The Baby Teeth Album
seems dated in some ways--it isn't quite the typical sound you hear nowadays but rather an improvement on its funk-rock predecessors. Either way, you're bound to have fun with this album.

Go and get yourself a copy of The Baby Teeth Album. Also, be sure to look out for The Simp which comes at you March 17.

Listen to "Celebrity Wedding" (4.5 / 5)
Listen to "Mighty Time" (4 / 5)

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