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, July 30, 2007

New White Stripes Video

Fun, simple summer video. I keep thinking of Coldplay's "Yellow" during the walking on the beach scenes. Head over to the 'gum to watch it.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Concert Review: White Stripes @ Patriot Center, 7.28.07

The Show: Playing in front of nearly 10,000 lively fans, big sister Meg and little brother Jack of that quaint duo commonly known as The White Stripes galvanized the packed Patriot Center of Fairfax, Virginia for nearly two hours on Saturday. Dan Sartain played a thirty minute set in support.

The Pros: Playing a mix of new and old material, The Stripes kept the entire house on their feet for all two hours. As expected, Jack White did not disappoint on guitar - as nearly every song featured an extended solo showcasing White's talents which compare evenly to the likes of Jimmy Page. Among highlights was the band's current single "Icky Thump". White, as we've come to expect, only got through the first verse of the song before moving onto two other songs before returning to Icky in a blaze of guitar fury (words truly can't describe this). Also of note was an electric version of "Hotel Yorba", White's solo during "Ball and Biscuit", and Meg White's beautiful rendition of "In The Cold, Cold Night". Generating the most reception was "Seven Nation Army", which White predicted beforehand saying "I'll just shut up because you all want me to play my hit". A surprising audience favorite was "I Can't Wait".

The Cons: If you're one of those people who dislikes Meg White and her style of drumming, you wouldn't have walked away with a differing of opinion. But Meg is quite cute so I give her a pass. Jack complained openly about the sound problems. At one point saying, "It sounds like donkey up here, but I'm going to keep on trucking" (reminds me of a certain Foo Fighters show in which the sound system completely blew halfway through the set, causing the Foo to play just two more songs mic and amp-less).

The Verdict: Earlier this month, The Rolling Piece of Shit voted Jack and Meg the #1 live band currently out there. Was it the greatest show I've been to? Probably not, but the show was definitely worth the price of admission and I walked away loving the Stripes more than I did walking into the building. Hope you snagged your ACL post-show tickets for White Stripes, Cold War Kids, and Dr. Dog in those nerveracking seven minutes that they were on sale.

Report Card:
The Setlist: A
The Crowd: B
The Vocals: A-
The Instruments: A
Final Grade: A

Listen to "Hotel Yorba" (live at Maida Vale, 7.25.01--courtesy of Indie for Bunnies)
Listen to "Icky Thump" (live on Conan, 6.18.07--courtesy of sand is overrated)

Post and photo by Alex


Friday, July 27, 2007

Gonzales Solo Piano

If you like the music behind the angelic voice of Leslie Feist, then chances are you are going to enjoy Chilly Gonzales' Solo Piano from 2004. Written and recorded mostly in Berlin, Solo Piano is a relatively accessible album, especially for those that don't particularly enjoy solo piano work.
Listen to "Salon Salloon" (4.7/5)
Listen to "Meischeid" (4.5/5)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

James Blunt Single

Now normally I wouldn't bother to post about James Blunt, but his new single "1973" of the upcoming album All The Lost Souls is actually very good. This little ditty is certainly more upbeat than many of the songs on his debut release, and it seems that Blunt's sound has certainly matured since that album.
Listen to "1973" (4.75/5)

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Concert Review: Battles, Deerhunter, Singer @ The Ottobar, 7.21.07

Despite the above picture being the best shot I was able to get from the Battles' set Saturday night in Baltimore, they really were all there and even played a pretty fantastic set.
the show: I wasn't able to catch either of the opening acts since I initially had planned to see Jesse Malin, who ended up canceling (which, in the end, was probably for the best). Battles finished up a 6-week US tour last night, including a set at Pitchfork, and are now heading overseas to continue promoting their most recent math-rock gem, Mirrored.
the pros: Just the right combination of avantgarde looping, electronics, and frenzied grooves. The set was well-paced, held together by Dave Konopka, bassist / guitarist, who ended up doing a lot behind the scenes work, and drummer John Stainer, whose cranked snare drum sounded like a unison hit by the Cavlier's snare line. Braxton and Ian Williams added fire too, whether playing unison guitar licks or dueling between a pair of keyboards and imacs.
the cons: Not too many complaints here; a technical glitch or two, some brief time phasing, and an encore that left a bit to be desired (if I have to play the card of bitter music critic for a few sentences). I would have enjoyed a bit more Tyondai Braxton's "evil elf" vocals, which are hauntingly beautiful live.
the verdict: See Battles live. Buy Mirrored.
at a glance:
the setlist: B+
the instruments: A+
the vocals: A
the band: A
the crowd: A
final grade: A

I picked up the two ep's at the show. Have a listen to "Dance" (4.65/5)

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

California Snow Story

Intelligent, soft-spoken, humble indie rock from a band that is clearly on the rise.
Listen to "The Only One that Matters" (4.5/5)
Listen to "Suddenly Everything Happens" (4.7/5)


Wicker Park Festival

This year's Wicker Park Festival isn't on the same grand scale as Pitchfork or Lollapalooza, but it's got some really happening bands lined up, including:

Man Man
The Thermals
Something for Rockets

and many more! See the full lineup and schedule here. It's happening the 28th and 29th of this, it's FREE (with a suggested donation of $5)

Chicago band NYCO, led by CSO percussionist turned pop-rock frontman, is playing July 28th at 3 pm. Head over to their website to stream a few songs and see if you want to check them out next weekend.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Ode to Bille Joe

Here's a ditty that put Bobbie Gentry on the map: "Ode to Bille Joe"
To paraphrase Gentry, the song is about a fictional character Billie Joe who jumps off a bridge and the family that hears the news is unaffected by it--she was trying to portray the desensitization to those we live with. Do you buy it?


Thursday, July 19, 2007


I hadn't heard of math-rock supergroup, Battles, until I was getting the Pitchfork rundown from various people. When a good friend of mine, who I never agree with on music, said Battles played an "okay" set I knew I had to check them out. I picked up Mirrored, the band's first full length album with Warp Records (Aphex Twin, !!!, Squarepusher, Grizzly Bear) the next day and haven't stopped listening to it since. Former Helmet drummer John Stainer delivers heavy hitting rock fusion grooves which lay under guitar riffs that, as NME says, "twist like acupuncture needles jabbed right into your pleasure receptors." Mirrored doesn't rest on any one musical idea long enough for you to get bored, offering everything from gradually layered funk riffs that sit comfortably in the pocket, to quick-moving guitar licks that escape via musical Tourette's (see "Race:out"). Battles are extremely talented and, more importantly, are in tune to each other, always focusing on the complete track rather than trying to highlight individual talents while the rest of the band does very little (which is what plagues many other progressive rock and jam-oriented bands).

If you're in the D.C. / Baltimore area, you're in luck: Battles are playing with Deerhunter and Singer this Saturday at the Ottobar.

Check out their myspace for more tour dates, including lots overseas. Watch their single, "Atlas"

Listen to "Race: in" and "Race: out" (4.98/5)
You can also watch an entire concert recorded at the Empty Bottle in Chicago (Courtesy of rainbovideo)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Concert Review: Voxtrot @ the Ottobar, 7.17.07

The Show: Playing a make-up show at Baltimore's The Ottobar, Voxtrot, who admitted being tired from a trip to Pitchfork Festival (as fans, not performers), headlined a show with three other solid Baltimore acts, Two if By Sea, The Heavycoats, and The Jennifers.

The Pros: The best song of the night was a new one; an explosion of energy and freshness that wasn’t quite there in the rest of the set. The song was super catchy and had a well executed tempo change and guitar solo. The Ottobar, which has really stepped up the quality of bands it books (getting increasingly less cookie-cutter hard rock / metal bands that plague so many venues of its size), is a fantastic place to catch a show. It’s a bit out of the way, unless you live in Baltimore, but it’s just the right size and even has a parking lot! Some acts of note this summer include: Mooney Suzuki, Deer Hunter, Battles, Singer (ex 90 Day Men / US Maple--I need to check them out), Pelican and the Detroit Cobras.

The Cons: Voxtrot works better when the crowd has just as much energy as the band and is fully engaged. There were definitely a good amount of devoted fans but still, there were too many folded arms and passive observers. While the band certainly was well-rehearsed, they need to keep gaining performance experience to add a little more showmanship and to do a better job keeping the audience engaged in between songs. Their overall sound was clean and pure, opting for tone and balance over loudness and abrasiveness. This said, what they lacked was enough dynamic contrast and variety in their musical gestures. Their sound was too contained, but they proved with a new song and an oldie, "Your Biggest Fan," that they have the ability to give a shock and awe performance.

The Verdict: Playing a great mix of old songs (including "Your Biggest Fan" and "Raised by Wolves"--the encore), songs from their most recent self -titled release (most notably "Brother in Conflict" and "Every Day"), and an incredible new song, Voxtrot was a refreshing way to spend a Tuesday evening. It’s nice to watch bands that are just thrilled to be delivering their music on stage and don’t seem disgruntled with the pangs of a being musicians. Though the set was on the short side (not necessarily a decision of Voxtrot’s), it was delivered with ease and charisma. Certainly one of the best up and coming bands and a great live act.

Report Card

The Setlist: B

The Crowd: C

The Vocals: B+

The Instruments: B

Final Grade: B

Listen to Voxtrot's "Raised by Wolves"

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CSV Party Mix: Summer 2007

I wanted to create a "party" mix that could be enjoyed by all breeds of partiers; whether you're the guy wearing an "I got tanked in Cabo" t-shirt, who still loves those Third Eye Blind classics, or if you're a hipster who's already tired of the third full-length Arcade Fire album (send me a copy of that, by the way). So fire up the grill, tap the keg, or do whatever it is you do when you want to let loose and crank this mix of new, old, and classic tunes.

Track Listing:

1. Shout Out Out Out - "Self Loathing Rulz"
2. Girl Talk - "Bounce That"
3. Outkast - "B.O.B"
4. Sponge - "Go Speed Racer Go"
5. Of Montreal - "Suffer for Fashion"
6. Bon Jovi - "Livin' on a Prayer"
7. Kool Keith - "Get off my Elevator"
8. Journey - "City of Angels"
9. The Darkness - "Friday Night"
10. Bloc Party - "Hunting for Witches"

Get it.


New Buffalo

Sally Russel, aka Sally Seltmann, aka New Buffalo comes fresh from down under (that's Australia for those who are wondering) and brings with her a unique sound in the vein of Regina Spektor and Leslie Feist. Her delicate voice just flutters over sparse but angelic rhythms (see "I'm the Drunk and You're The Star"). "Versary" has a Three Dog Night like beat that has her voice lulling the listener into a den of sound (and the bells are a nice touch). And my favorite "Emotional Champs" is what Sufjan Stevens would sound like if he had two x chromosomes.
So go on and enjoy.

Buy Somewhere, Anywhere.
Listen to "Emotional Champs" (4.7/5)
Listen to "I'm the Drunk and You're The Star" (4.5/5)

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

St. Vincent

Haikus about St. Vincent's new album Marry Me:

Lifting voices come
out into the sunlight and
capture me slowly

Esoteric, yeah
but jazzy and can be fun
see "Human Racing"

Song: "What Me Worry?"
Slow ballad that sucks you in
and doesn't let go

Listen to "Now Now" (4.4/5)
Listen to "Marry Me" (4.1/5)
courtesy of sideonetrackone


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ryan Adams: "Haloweenhead" Video

It's nice to see a Ryan video that is lighthearted--this one is sure to bring some authentic laughs and teach you some moves to try out on the dance floor this summer. Unfortunately I can't embed the video so you will have to head over to youtube to watch it. Just click the link, it's worth it!

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Remix of the Day: 7.11.07

Don't have much time today so I thought I would post a remix of The Cribs' tune "Men's Needs." While I do like The Cribs, I mostly wanted to feature them because they are taking the White Rabbits on tour this summer. 

Check out The Cribs / White Rabbits dates here
For Chicago folks: August 4th at the Empty Bottle
For D.C. folks: August 11th at the Black Cat (see you there!)

Listen to the CSS remix of "Men's Needs" (4.75/5)

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Portugal The Man

The new album Church Mouth from trio Portugal The Man is looking to be a rock anthem machine, as it churns out sing-along, accessible rock songs. "Bellies Are Full" is a great example of that anthem style, with its pounding guitar riff and Beatles'-esque vocals. Or listen to "My Mind" which seems to have taken a page right out of CSV's favorite Office's book.
Preorder the album Church Mouth here.
Listen to "
My Mind" (4.6/5)


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Remix of the Day: 7.10.07

I've really been into a collection of LCD Soundsystem remixes, especially since I've finally hooked up my Klipsch promedia speakers after relying solely on laptop sound due to a few weeks of moving.

- Check out their most recent single (remixed), the comical "North American Scum"

You can check out a full collection of Sound of Silver remixes here.

Buy Sound of Silver.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

'Bout to Mix Things Up

During the month of June we brought you live tracks each day...okay, we missed a couple days toward the end of the month but who's really keeping score anyway? The rest of the summer will consist of some week-long features. This week, 7/9-7/13, we will be throwin' remixed track(s) at you everyday, culminating in the CSV "Ultimate Summer Party Mix" coming at you on Friday.

To kick this week off, check out the chilled out Dunphy remix of Voxtrot's "Mothers, Sisters, Wives and Daughters" (4.75/5)--I can't get enough of this band this summer.

As an added bonus here is a remixed version of "Killer Parties" (4.85/5) by The Hold Steady

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Nick Drake Unearthed

The now illustrious Nick Drake has pulled a 2pac with his latest collection of posthumous songs, Family Tree. While some of the tracks are a bit scratchy and relatively filler material, even the weaker tracks give a deeper look into a musical genius that had such a troubled mind. You can hear Drake making jokes over the demo takes, offering a rather lighter glance at the king of symphonic folk arrangements. What is very clear on this 22-track gem is the relative ease with which Drake could make instantly classic pop-folk-blues tunes, that would flirt between the delightfully cheerful music accompaniment to the rather dark and nature based imagery employed in the lyrics. "Black Mountain Blues" sounds like his classic "Man in A Shed" while "My Baby's So Sweet" is a jammin', fun-filled, blues-soul gem that features those silky smooth baritone vocals that made listeners perk up their ears in the first place.

Listen to "Black Mountain Blues" (4.9/5)
Listen to "Blues Run The Game" (4.6/5)

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

14.8m tune in for Diana concert

A varied selection of artists, from Lily Allen to P. Diddy, performed a memorial concert for the late Princess Diana last Sunday at London's brand new Wembley Stadium. The event even included Tom Jones (apparently a favorite of Diana) covering the Arctic Monkeys' "I bet you look good the dance floor." -- have a listen.

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Rocky Votolato

For those indie-folk-country fusion loving folks, Rocky Votolato will soothe your soul. With his free-flowing raspiness, and his soft spoken lyrical genius, Votolato writes intelligent, well-crafted folk songs that not only strike deep into the heart of many but maybe even into the heart of Texas (and that's quite a feat). Be sure to check out his new album The Brag and Cuss, which is chock full of delightful ditties---enjoy.
"Postcard From Kentucky" (4.7/5)
"Red Dragon Wishes" (4.8/5)

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy July 4th: 4 tracks 4 the Occasion

In honor of Independence Day in the US, here are four songs for the occasion! I'd like to wish a special happy birthday to my faithful, loving,, Patches--Happy 13th!

1. Voxtrot: "Firecracker" - One of the best--certainly one of the catchiest--songs on their most recent self-titled release. It takes a minute to really get going, but then it's nothing by fireworks until the end. Check out the CSV post on Voxtrot. Plus, head over to their website for summer tour dates--I'll be at the Baltimore show.

2. Ryan Adams: "Firecracker" - Some upbeat, harmonica-clad, Ryan to celebrate the day with: "well everybody wants to go forever / I just wanna burn up hard and bright / I just wanna be your firecracker / And maybe be your baby tonight." Check out the recent CSV review for Easy Tiger, and the 5 worst Ryan Adams songs.

3. Cold War Kid: "Indoor Fireworks" - An Elvis Costello cover and a dern good one. Plus, we get a friendly safety disclaimer: "Indoor fireworks can still burn your fingers...they'll bring a tear when the smoke gets in your eyes." Be safe this 'fourth! Check out this site to get three free live tracks recorded in Amsterdam.

4. Weezer: "Holiday" - Bet you didn't see this one coming! Enjoy your holiday and one of Weezer's last good songs. Cheers!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Another Athlete: Alan Webb

We have Athlete (the band) and now Athlete (the man). Alan Webb is a US track star who my brother actually went to high school with at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia. I wanted to post a video of a recent Alan Webb victory in the men's mile. Even non-runners will enjoy this video--it has an amazing ending. Plus, it's short: 3:52.93, a meet record. Enjoy!


Advanced Warning: Athlete

Athlete will follow up their #1 UK chart-topper, Tourist, with Beyond the Neighbourhood on September 3, 2007. Beyond the Neighbourhood is sure to be met with similar acclaim in the UK and surely will gain significant buzz in the US indie rock scene. Indeed, 'the Neighbourhood is a fantastic collection of psychedelic pop-rock tunes that are masterfully arranged and painfully catchy. Athlete certainly has their own sound, refining and expanding it with each album.

The first single off the new album is "Hurricane," a signature Athlete blend of emotive lyrics and a catchy guitar riff, completed by guitar and keyboard ornamentations, and a drum machine backed bridge. What I love so much about Athlete is that nothing sounds forced or contrived--every song sounds as though the band is having fun and pouring their hearts out. Athlete records never have throwaway songs or songs that don't quite seem up to par. For my sake, I'm just hoping for some US tour dates in the near future!

Pre-order Beyond the Neighbourhood
Indulge in the first single, "Hurricane" (4.879/5)

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Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

The Sea and Cake, that is. This summery indie pop veteran band has been reeling out consistent quality records for years, and their newest album Everybody is another excellent effort. Although short at only 10 tracks, I'm only complaining because I want more of their soft-spoken, substantial music that glazes over you like a waterfall cascading with pure goodness. This album is dripping with catchy pop hooks and delightful guitar riffs, and even my brother thinks it's pretty awesome. Take his word for it and check out Everybody.

Listen to "Middlenight" (4.65/5)
Listen to "Lightning" (4.8/5)

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