Mark Kozelek & Nicolás Pauls
Dreams of Childhood
Veteran folk-rock musician Mark Kozelek is a busy man these days, between his prolific output of music and, of course, his high-profile feuds. His latest collaboration (before the forthcoming Jesu project) is with Argentine actor/musician Nicolás Pauls. The result is Dreams of Childhood, a charity spoken-word album whose proceeds go to La Casa de la Cultura de la Calle (The Street House of Culture). The collection of poems—written by Argentinian street kids—falls in line with the mundane-as-transcendent themes Kozelek struck upon for the latest Sun Kil Moon albums, Benji and Universal Themes. The dark cloud that has followed the musician since his early days with Red House Painters dissipates for a spell here, but each poem still possesses a well-worn quality due to Kozelek’s crestfallen delivery. By the time you have taken in Kozelek’s renditions and flipped the LP, Pauls’ Spanish readings of the same children’s poems add a different layer of emotion to the pieces. The words have an entrancing nature about them that truly draws the listener in like the last remaining embers of a campfire.