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Cardboard Vegas Roundabout

by Dave Caruso

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    #6 Best Albums of 2014
    #7 Best Songs of 2014
    "The Art of Erica"
    -- Pop That Goes Crunch

    17 Most-Played Songs of 2015, tied for #10: Your Fake Friends
    Carl Cafarelli & Dana Bonn / Hosts, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio

    21 Favorite Records of 2014: 'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout'
    Alan Haber / Program Director, PurePop Radio

    Top 60 Favorite Songs of the Decade, 2010-2019: Your Fake Friends
    Rick Warhall / Host & Program Director of Chasing the Essential Podcast

    Best Albums of 2014, #75: Cardboard Vegas Roundabout
    David Bash / International Pop Overthrow

    Rating: 9 Out of 10
    Eric Abrahamsen / Glory Daze Music

    Best of 2014, Featured: Cardboard Vegas Roundabout
    Wayne Lundqvist Ford / Host, Ice Cream Man Power Pop & More Show on Radio Andra and Pop That Goes Crunch Radio

    Includes the 10 original songs from the digital album, plus an 11-track bonus CD with alternate versions, mixes, & demos, a 12-page booklet with song lyrics, photos & credits. Shrink-wrapped in an eco-friendly, gatefold card sleeve. Cover art is by cartoonist Brad Schreiber of By Design Graphic Arts. The 10 song titles on the first CD are represented in the cover image.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Cardboard Vegas Roundabout via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 5 Dave Caruso releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Radiophonic Supersonic, Elizabeth Parker Revisited (2020 Reissue), Buddha Pesto Manifesto, Champion (Single), and Cardboard Vegas Roundabout. , and , .

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1.
Mystery & Sweetness (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) This is how it starts – All tangled up in reason It shouldn't be so hard to find someone to believe in Don’t get smart // Use your heart Turning, spinning – back to the beginning Don’t disturb the mood; (someone to believe in) It’s all attitude No more weakness, just mystery and sweetness The less you think it through, the more it comes to you This is how it goes – you’re tripping on the meaning It’s right under your nose; can’t you figure out your feelings? Haven't you got a clue? Turning, spinning – back to the beginning Don’t upset the mood; (figure out your feelings) show some attitude No more weakness, just mystery and sweetness No need to think it through, it’ll come to you Well, lately meaning's meaning less Your house is in order, your heart's a mess If you can't be sure, well, then take a guess You can always settle later for Mr. Second-best This is how it is – You’re nervous and unsteady How can you resist? / It’s easy if you’re ready Don't say no / Just let go Returning, spinning – back to the beginning (show me, show me, show me) Don’t disturb the mood; (it doesn’t take a genius) It’s all attitude (tell me, tell me, tell me) No more weakness, just mystery and sweetness (show me, show me, show me) The less you think it through, the more it comes to you (tell me, tell me, tell me) And tell me, tell me, tell me it doesn’t take a genius Show me, show me, show me some mystery and sweetness Mystery and Sweetness. This is how it ends.
2.
Champion 03:35
Champion (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) Hey, look at me--I'm a home-run ball that got lost in the weeds But there's a girl I can’t forget She just hasn't found me yet And I'm the one true thing she really needs Tried to be true to whatever it is that I was meant to do But how many tries will it take How many missteps and brave mistakes Before I find the girl who fits the shoe? How do you keep it light while peeling back layers of bittersweet insight? Introspection's all the rage But in your life story I'm an empty page Eh, could it be--I’m a lonely stretch of road you never stop to see? Until you find yourself burned out On some cardboard Vegas roundabout (around & about) Another disappointment on your sleeve I don’t believe in regret; I'm a little bit older but I'm not dead yet Looking my future in the eye But in the game of courage I’m a few points shy This place of mine could use a coat of paint And we could both use a woman's touch Fate missed again but not by much Wait and see--But I wonder: How much longer will it be? Am I too tough for my own good? // Am I just misunderstood? The meaning of this dance is a mystery But I won’t give up the fight // I punch in at dawn and I clock out at midnight A blackened eye and a bruised-up chin I know what it feels like to be a champion
3.
Rockabye (A Rockturnal Lullaby) Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) If you close your eyes and say goodnight Good things await you when you rise So rest your head--It’s time for bed A pillow case, a yawning face The good guys are gonna win again and again and again So dry your sleepy eyes while I sing to you this lullaby (Way up high) Drifting up above the world so high Like a twin-kle in your father’s eye (Float away) Your cares will fade and float away Save me a kiss and when you wish upon a shooting star Imagine how lucky you are Don’t be afraid to fly while I sing to you this lullaby (Dry all the tears in your eyes) So dry your sleepy eyes while I sing to you this lullaby Oh, you think happy endings only come true For everyone else but not you You may be surprised by the things that happen overnight For now, I’ll say, “Goodnight, Pleasant dreams to you and sleep tight”
4.
Hanging Onto Home (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) As the story unfolds / It seems like we’re losing control We grapple with ghosts / And madness has taken its toll But I’m not afraid of it pushing us back to where we began I still believe in what I can make accomplish with these two hands Hanging onto home – for dear life Hanging onto home – for another night And we’re safe in the promise we’ll never be scared or alone Hanging onto home And even the voyeur / Can’t bear to watch anymore The impartial destroyer / Is waging some new kind of war But I won’t be sorry that things didn’t turn out the way we planned When we can do anything shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand Hanging onto home – for dear life Hanging onto home – for another night And we hope that tomorrow we’ll never be scared or alone Hanging onto home I'm a fish outta water tryin' to swim upstream Spending every waking hour like it's all a bad dream And it feels like I’m living seconds before the scream Hanging onto home Hanging onto home – for dear life Hanging onto home – home sweet home And we’re safe in the promise we’ll never be scared or alone Hanging onto home
5.
Your Fake Friends (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) Got a roomful of noise and a pocketful of dreams But your world of doubt is burstin' at the seams again Got a head full of hope in twelve different keys Six strings of pleasure to keep me company till the end And no fake friends Well, you say you’re a star with your new avatar Like the whole world’s listening in whenever you hit “send” This one-whore town has gotten you down So you comfort yourself in the arms of the cliques & trends Of your fake friends You’re young and brash and talking trash And you bash and ridicule But you only want to hear the truth when it isn't harsh or cruel Sorry to have been such a drag again But I'm telling you straight, and I don't care who it offends 'Specially your fake friends You tease & play and run away and you tell yourself it’s cool What are you afraid of? / What are you made of? / Who the hell are you? The deeper you wade, the more shallow you feel You keep telling yourself that it’s real But it’s only pretend with your fake friends You tease & play and run away and you tell yourself it’s cool What are you afraid of? / What are you made of? / Grow the hell up, Fool I’m hoping you find your happiness in time Maybe someday you'll wake up and see that, baby, that all depends On you and your true friends
6.
I've Tried To Write You (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) Funny how it all comes down to this It seems so obvious but I never dreamed you’d call it quits I wrote it down so I could make some sense I know things have gotten tense and I see what we’ve been up against There you are, so far away from me / Tell me now: Why does this have to be? I've tried to write you / Sometimes when I'm in bed Ideas from my head / Come rushing out that I can’t say aloud I’ve tried to reach you / But you’re all locked up inside We can’t face the things we hide / In love you don’t get points for having tried Sorry for the things I never said Breakdown dead ahead, baby, can’t we work it out instead? Can we find a way for you to stay? Can we give it one more day / Nothing’s ever solved by running away There you are, so far, so good to me / Tell me now: How can I make you see? I've tried to write you / Sometimes when I'm in bed The verses in my head / Come pouring out, but I can’t sort ‘em out I’ve tried to reach you / It’s tearin’ me apart Be still my breaking heart / I won’t sleep tonight until I get it right But it's not wrong to try and find / The love you left behind with me Cause though we're not together / The future will be better I've tried to write you / Sometimes when I'm in bed Whatever’s in my head / Comes rushing out and I just blurt it out But trying to reach you / Between quotation marks (Quotation marks) Is like matching socks in the dark (I’m in the dark) / I’m hangin’ on despite that last remark I’ve tried to write you / The things I never said (The things I never said) The shit that’s in my head (It’s in my head) / I lose my pen and still I try again I’ve tried to reach you / But it’s all locked up inside We can’t face the things we hide / In love you don’t get points for having tried Funny how it all comes down to this
7.
Sticks, Keys & Wires (Words & Music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) Just for kicks, you made me a mix I plug in, I give you a spin I push play, you blow me away You send shocks -- out of the box Punch up the faders just a little bit higher Don’t make a spark unless you mean to start a fire Kicked & strummed in a fit of desire And held together with sticks, keys & wires Like a favorite song that you can’t get a line on When something fits, you wanna ch-ch-change it You’ve got it down – you’re following your own sound So let it rock, get it up & don’t stop Throw another guitar on the fire We’re breakin’ open these sticks, keys & wires Kicked & strummed in a fit of desire Thumped & hammered on Sticks, Keys & Wires Give us something we can scream about Bang it together so that people can… check it out Knock it down, let’s see what you’ve found Crash and pound, start pushing the air around Take your pick, throw me a lick Pick a key, toss it to me Stick it in, do it again Make it loud, rockin’ it out Hike up your faders just a little bit higher Little Spark, you’re gonna set the world on fire Kicked & strummed in a fit of desire Banged & battered on sticks, keys & wires
8.
The Art of Erica (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) The art of Erica / I trace my steps back to the fall I took for Erica / Her cryptic lipstick on my wall Depicting how to lose complete control in seven easy lessons Trust her with each breath you take and shameless indiscretions You think it’s fun / you’d better run Away from Erica / Whose shapes and shadows twist your mind With esoterica / Technique that tricks you every time And when she effortlessly draws you in, escape is out of the picture And though you know your way about, she's got you now, there's no way out Little do you know the satisfaction that it brings her (what it brings her) To render you with seductive little strokes and sticky fingers (sticky fingers) Soon she’ll have your heart / Yeah, she's a work of art / The art of Erica The Art of Erica / She's gone before your ink is dry Erica / Why don't you hang some other guy? The Portrait Priestess makes you feel a fake and keeps you throwing poses Her super-gal evangelistic expo never closes She’ll set the price at sacrifice Apart from Erica / If you should break free from her trap Erica / She’ll only cut and paste you back Don’t ever ask about her other subjects – they were killed off-camera See the Mona Lisa grinning; Don’t look now, her show’s beginning Skillfully she mounts another cupid on her canvas (on her canvas) An unsuspecting fly boy for the little praying mantis (praying mantis) She’ll tear your wings apart / You’ll suffer for her art / The art of Erica She’ll conjure prints of darkness and of light in limited editions Once she’s captured your affection, you’re the crown of her collection Even you would say her execution is exquisite (she’s exquisite) You’ll appreciate the dedication she exhibits (she exhibits) She’s bound to leave a mark / Yeah, she’s my favorite work of art / That’s Erica
9.
Shelter 04:02
Shelter (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) As darkness falls upon you and heavy on your head Are all the situations you couldn't put to bed You feel you've been abandoned--shot up and left for dead Take shelter on my shoulder, there are good days ahead When all your jars are empty and nothing's on the way Your hope's been lost forever, and all your trust betrayed When no one's left to turn to, just turn and walk away Take shelter on my shoulder, now and don't be afraid When all your suppositions don't show a shred of proof And all that you believed in is only an excuse For saying, "Maybe someday..." but thinking, "What's the use..." Take shelter on my shoulder, let me carry you through You're saying, "Maybe someday..." but thinking, "What's the use..." Take shelter on my shoulder, let me carry you through Take shelter on my shoulder, let me carry you through
10.
It’s A Great Day for the Angels (Words & music ©2014 by Dave Caruso) All your friends have come to see you / and we huddle like birds in the frost To give strength to one another / and to honor the one who we lost We were lucky to have known you / but now it’s time to give you away And our only consolation / is to gather together and say It’s a great day for the angels / They can’t wait to say “hello” It’s a great day for the angels / But it’s hard to let you go It was a springtime getaway just to talk with you awhile And it was just like Christmas morning to bask in your beautiful smile Everybody’s reminiscing with photos & stories and tears But you light up our way, a picture postcard holiday. Oh, how we wish you were here! It’s a great day for the angels / The angels are over the moon It’s a great day for the angels / But for us it’s too soon And when you make it to heaven, always remember this You will never be forgotten and baby – you will be miss+ed What a lovely celebration for remembering you Such a glorious tribute to the person we knew There’ll be another reception after this requiem We hope and we pray that maybe one day we’ll get to see you again (but till then…) It’s a great day for the angels / Heaven can’t even deny It’s a great day for the angels / But it’s so hard to say goodbye It’s a great day for the angels / Another good one got away It’s a great day for the angels / But I’m missing you today Credits Dave Caruso: Vocals, piano, synths

about

10 original songs
Dave's 2nd studio outing
His 1st self-produced effort

21 Favorite Records of 2014: Cardboard Vegas Roundabout
"Dave’s miracle of an album is one of the best releases of this or any year... Magnificent sound. Lovely, melodic songs. Crafted with care. Sharp musicianship and gorgeous, multi-part harmonies. I am in love, love, love with Dave’s music."
Alan Haber / Program Director, PurePop Radio

Bonuses included with album download:
- Lyric booklet
- Song video

credits

released June 11, 2014

Music, lyrics, arrangements & production ©2014 by Dave Caruso
Recording, engineering, digital wizardry, mixing & mastering by Kevin Holevar at Underground Productions
* Rhythm tracks recorded by Remy Lambert at Rembrandt Recording
Cover art by Brad Schreiber / By Design, from a concept by Dave Caruso
Booklet Photography by Studio One / Vince Palazzolo

Musicians:
Dave Caruso: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, accordion, samples
Kevin Holevar: Electric guitars, bass, backing vocal on Haging Onto Home
Tam Johnstone: Drums on Champion, Rockabye, Hanging Onto Home
David Eversole: Bass on Champion, Hanging Onto Home
Walter Anthony: Rhythm guitar fills on Rockabye
Rob Emanuel: Drum Loop Idea on Rockabye
Jake Tobias: Bass on Your Fake Friends
Chris Wietzke: Drums on Your Fake Friends

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Dave Caruso Detroit, Michigan

Dave Caruso is a melodic pop songwriter, indie recording artist & music educator from Detroit, MI.

Dave offers a series of livestream songwriting courses at his website.

He's also the creator and host of SongwriterStories.com, a songwriting and music discovery podcast, featuring fascinating interviews with songwriters like Matthew Sweet, Marshall Crenshaw, Vicki Peterson and Tony Macaulay.
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