Now, I know this is a blog for hardcore, but I just have to let people know this guy exists, because Anthony and I are both really into his work right now. His name is Dan Smith. He is the voice for a music project simply titled ‘Listener.’ They are labeled on their Myspace as ‘Indie’ and ‘Progressive’ which, to me, are adjectives rather than genres. If I were to slap a label on Listener it would be one word: emotion. Every single line he spits is absolutely heartfelt. His voice and his lyrics, or poetry, or whatever you want to call it, invokes adrenal rushes, goosebumps, chills, the works. I’ve been listening to the track in the video above, “You Were A House On Fire” for about a week now, and I don’t plan on stopping for at least a few more. Please spread the word! Hopefully he can inspire someone to persevere through these hard times.
For those of you keeping track, he was recently featured on The Chariot’s track, David de La Hoz on the album Long Live. They recorded their track live, and recorded their music video during the live recording. You can catch Dan Smith in the video as well as a few other guests.
Members: Dan Smith, Christin Nelson
From: Atlanta, Georgia (originally Fayetteville, Arkansas)
Videos of live performances: Youtube
“David de la Hoz” video: Youtube
The video on this page was uploaded by LotusMilano and is not mine.
Reblogged from This is our city.
Reblogged from Eighteen Seconds Before Sunrise.
It’s going to be amazing.
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Reblogged from Sever every tie, tonight we ride.Tonight we ride.
Took me a couple of hours, i like it.
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By David Denison
There are a lot of touring bands that might be jealous to hear that Dan Smith, under the musical alias of “Listener,” tours with a washing machine, a rarely seen amenity in the lives of musicians. Yet ol’ Danny isn’t washing his clothes with it. He’s beating the crap out of it with a sledgehammer on stage. Needless to say, the spoken-word jams that Dan refers to as “Talk Music” are different than any other in his genre. One would assume that between Bradley Hathaway and mewithoutYou there would be little room left for creative expansion in the Christian spoken-word music scene. Yet what sets Listener apart is that he doesn’t simply record music, he records life.
“You have never lived because you have never died,” Listener boldly claims with the first track of his latest release, Wooden Heart. Such bluntness comes as no surprise to the fans that have supported Listener since the project’s inception 8 years ago. Their 2008 release, Return to Struggleville, is a passionate telling of the lives of people from different walks of life, addressing problems such as unemployment and alcoholism- “He’s been out of work for months, but still dresses for the office and kisses his wife goodbye, and heads for his park bench.” Listener doesn’t simply spout off cheesy love stories set to generic melodies. His faith is clear in his lyrics, yet Listener won’t be making his way onto mainstream Christian radio anytime soon- he’s too honest.
Listener’s grassroots style of travel is nothing short of communal. With a few companions and an RV, Dan introduced his music to the world through house shows with potlucks, rather than simply playing clubs and bars. He followed up later with 2 European tours and a run in Japan as well. Now a fan favorite at Cornerstone, his music is spreading more rapidly than ever, and for good reason.
Wooden Heart has an instrumentation that sets it well above previous Listener releases. The songs are well constructed. Even the emotional Return to Struggleville fell a little bit short in the area of musical composition, seeming at times to simply be poetry with background music. But that shortcoming is nowhere to be found on the new record. Listener instrumentalist Chris Nelson’s orchestrations of horns, guitars, and drums (heck, even a banjo) are brilliant musical arrangements, even aside from the vocals. To top it off, Smith blows us away with his best lyrics yet, presented with more stylistic diversity than he has ever demonstrated.
Dan Smith provides for his listeners not only entertainment, but inspiration. The love he has for the people represented in his songs is evident, and the more one listens to his music, the more that that love seeps in through the ears and trickles down to the heart. The closing lyrics of Wooden Heart are a pristine reflection both of Listener’s message, and his bright future: “There is something coming, and everything matters, so guard your heart, and watch the wind.”
It’s like watching a whole concert.
New The Chariot video featuring Dan Smith from Listener!
We have been on this tour for 4 months now. It’s been amazing and tiring and filling and has had it’s ups and downs. Mostly it’s been full of great shows and great friends, and a new record that we love. I’ve realized that I don’t like to tour or do life holding off so that I can finally live life elsewhere when I’m not on tour. That seems to be the question we get when people ask how long this tour is….like can’t we wait to get back home. I miss my friends and my family a lot, but we all live our lives, and I’m not holding off on living out on the road, and when we are home we will do some living then too together….even if we’re just on a 2 week run or something small we live everyday, and there’s no stopping living it….why hold off for something else? The grass may be greener in other places but I know if you work really hard you’ll be ok with the grass or lawn or whatever you’ve worked hard at, and get to like that more and more if you work at it and don’t hold back.
We have 2 months to go. We’re doing a lot of the same cities again, and seeing friends again. I can’t wait!! We’re in Florida right now and having a time of it. We’ll be up in the Midwest and Canada again! I put up a ton of tour photo blog pics on the “images” page, as well as live shots too. And there’s a new website here, so that’s good. We have a new album too. Come out to a show? We’re driving everywhere so you might as well.
We played the cornerstone music festival and had a blast we saw so many friends and breathed in the dust from the paths and roads alot, and we met new friends too….I think my favorite show was this small indie band called The Chariot. They’re from my new city: Atlanta. We saw Whitecollar Sideshow and Levi and Ascend the Hill and The Ember Days, and so many bands…..Take it Back was awesome, and from Arkansas. The anchor/come&live tent was really great. I slept in our van for the first time ever, and Chris and Derek slept in the tent. We’re people people and usually sleep at friends houses…or make friends :). We said goodbye to our roadie of 3 months Stefan, we’ll see him and his band Archibald in Albuquerque in a few weeks when we play a show together with levi. And we said goodbye to Derek…he’s in a band called The Homeless Gospel Choir and is from Pittsburgh…..he’s great, and toured with us for a month and a half. So many friends, so little time.
Too much living going on. I got sick last week, a pretty good one. I slept at my friend nate’s house for about 4 days. I hadn’t done that since maybe January? (slept alot)… Nate makes music videos and was doing alot of that while we were there. His website is dustbrandfilms.com. Right now we’re touring with Nathan Conrad. He has a project called Spoken Nerd and he’s from Nashville. He’s probably my favorite Rap Singer. We also got to see my friend Andy Bothwell the other night….he’s in this awesome band by himself called Astronautalis. If you haven’t heard of either of their music you should do yourself a solid and listen.
Alright, well do your living all the way, no matter what you do or are doing you GET TO live through it so you might as well get after it a much as possible and don’t hold off for the weekend or that sweet boat trip or a tour or art show or for when you’re getting that neat guitar in a few weeks on the credit card you’ll pay off next decade. Do it now! I am going to go do it now. We’re playing at a bar tonight in Clearwater Florida. My parents met in Clearwater a long time ago before I was born…we’re playing a ladies night, maybe chris will meet a nice young lady there off of his music. Alrighty…..
Spinners on the yacht in Fargo, ND
Riding bikes in Fargo, ND.
Hey. It’s Dan. Wanted to send out a quick email here and let you know of a few really cool things happening and going to happen in Listener world right now and in the coming months.
First off is the new Return to Struggleville album. IT IS BACK IN STOCK, and all brand new. We’ve had a love hate relationship with this project for a little while, but it now has legs and is walking again properly for the first time. We’ve been sold out of the DIY copies since last summer, and haven’t wanted to press it up again until we addressed some issues we had with it. So, here enters the actual proper version of Return to Struggleville.
The original RTS had seen a few different designs, but mostly is was recorded and mixed in haste in between tours. We took some time and added proper packaging, new songs, a video, re-did all the vocals, full mixes and added mastering. It really is like a whole new album, it sounds great, we’re proud of it, and we’re happy to offer it up for once and for finally as we get ready to put out the Wooden Heart album on schedule for this summer.
You can purchase it off of our site here: store.iamlistener.com, or buy it from our bandcamp site which will get you the CD and an instant download of the album and video. If you order the CD through the mail you will get a free RTS Album poster while the posters last. Also, if you are one of the people who had bought RTS in the past to help support us and don’t really want to buy it again we’d like to offer a free download of the album to you. Preferably email us a picture of you and your old RTS album, or some sort of convincing email letter or other proof and we’ll send you a link and code to download the new album for free. Send it to: email@example.com
For those of you who don’t know I am in a side project called Deepspace5. It’s an indie hiphop group with members from all over the place. A little bit ago we recorded a new album and video, and on Aprilil 27th we will be releasing said album called “The future aint what it used to be” on Mega Royal Records. You can watch the video here.
We are going on a tour starting this month. A big one. It’s called the Wooden Hearts - US Talk Music Tour, and we’re going everywhere. Right now I’m working on final booking plans up until the first week of July, but also beyond that too. Here is the first few months of where we are going. Alot of these dates are all set, some are not. If you see a TBA or nothing type thing and think you could help with a show please email me about it….or if we’re not coming to your city and we should and you could help with a show email me too (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks, we’ll see you soon. Bring your wooden heart.
March 13 - Siloam Springs, AR (English Tea Room)
March 20 - Fort Smith, AR (the Regeneration)
March 26 - Springfield, MO (Front Porch Coffee)
March 27 - Bentonville, AR (Skia)
Aprilil 1 - Fayetteville, AR (TBA)
Aprilil 2 - Tulsa, OK (Joe Mommas)
Aprilil 3 - Oklahoma City, OK (Sauced)
Aprilil 4 - Emporia, KS (The Inner Bean)
Aprilil 5 - Manhattan, KS (TBA)
Aprilil 7 - Kansas City, KS (ScionLab)
Aprilil 8 - Omaha, NE (Caffeine Dreams)
Aprilil 9 - Moline, IL (Fireworks Coffee)
April 10 - Decatur, IL (1st Church of the Living Dead)
April 11 - Macomb, IL (Aroma Coffee)
April 12 - Ames, IA (Ames Progressive)
April 14 - Northfield, MN (The Key)
April 15 - Willmar, MN (The Warehouse)
April 16 - St. Paul, MN (Ekklesia House)
April 17 - Rochester, MN (TBA)
April 18 - Madison, WI (TBD - Help on this date)
April 21 - Milwaukee, WI (Miramar Theater)
April 22 - Chicago, IL (TBD - Help on this date)
April 23 - Chicago, IL (Summer Camp)
April 24 - Springfield, IL (TBA)
April 25 - St. Louis, MO (TBA)
April 26 - Greenville, IL (TBA)
April 30 - Columbus, IN (TBA)
May 01 - Fort Wayne, IN (Studio 13)
May 02 - Grand Rapids, MI (the DAAC)
May 5 - Bay City, MI (The Snugly Mug)
May 6 - Flint, MI (TBA)
May 7 - Detroit, MI (Division Street Gallery)
May 8 - Toledo, OH (TBA)
May 9 - Springfield, OH (TBA)
May 12 - Covington, KY (Molly Malones)
May 13 - Mount Vernon, OH
May 14 - Columbus, OH
May 15 - Cleveland, OH
May 19 - Seneca, PA
May 20 - Butler, PA
May 21 - Rochester, PA
May 22 - Pittsburgh, PA
May 23 - Pittsburgh, PA
May 26 - Harrisburg, PA
May 27 - Lebanon, PA
May 28 - Philadelphia, PA
May 29 - Manhattan, NY
May 30 - Brooklyn, NY (Goodbye Blue Monday)
June 02 - Long Island, NY
June 03 - Long Island, NY
June 04 - Springfield, MA
June 05 - Boston, MA
June 06 - Brooklyn, NY
June 08 - Baltimore, MD
June 09 - Washington, DC
June 10 - Frederick, MD
June 11 - Frostburg, MD (The Tryals, early house show)
June 11 - Frostburg, MD (Dante’s, late show)
June 12 - Morgantown, WV (So.Zo)
June 13 - Asheville, NC
June 17 - Atlanta, GA (Star Bar)
June 18 - Birmingham, AL (Nomad Supply)
June 19 - Memphis, TN
June 25 - Springfield, MO
June 26 - Springfield, IL
June 27 - Mackinaw, IL (Momma Linda’s House)
June 28 - July 03 Bushnell, IL (Cornerstone Festival)
Guitar setup for: I don’t want to live forever.