The Talk Music of Listener
When Dan Smith of the band Listener speaks, you listen.
Even when he's not speak-singing above the controlled cacaphony of his mellifluous three-piece band, the rhythm of his words, the growl in his gut, and the earnestness of his emotions forces you to listen.
Due to a few technical mishaps at Lola's Saloon in Fort Worth, where I recently saw Listener perform, Dan spoke more than I'd guess he usually does at a show. But, even though he was killing time as the sound tech replaced cables, the roomful of 50 hung on his words, likely because he was downright hilarious from the very beginning.
"We're glad you're alive . . . and not in prison. No one's died on this tour today, so it's been a good day." There's no arguing against that kind of logic, and it does make you grateful that you are in fact alive and you are in fact not in prison. And that no one in the band has died.
In between songs, Smith would either tell a terribly awesome joke in the vein of Steven Wright or Mitch Hedberg, or ask for questions from the audience.
"What influences you?"
Although this wasn't my question, I would have asked it in an interview.
"All of life."
He didn't say it tersely or dismissively. It was an honest answer, and if you've listened to their last album, Wooden Heart, at all, you know he means it.
"Who do you listen to?"
"Anything that's honest."
I loved this answer. He paused for a few seconds, then added that he's currently listening to a lot of Bill Mallonnee, formerly with Vigilantes of Love. Again, if you're at all familiar with Listener's sound, this is a legitimate question.
Equal parts rapid-fire poetry, speak-singing, and tumultuous, swelling instrumentals, Listener could be a specific version of Bob Dylan fronting Explosions in the Sky. For some, their sound could be grating. For others, their sound is astounding. Aside from seeing Listener live in concert, the best introduction to their "talk music" is their music video for "Wooden Heart." If you're unfamiliar with the band, watch that first, then that'll tell you whether or not you're interested in the next question.
"When does your next album come out?"
This was the one question I did ask.
"In June. It's called Time is a Machine, if you can wrap your mind around that."
Having fallen into Wooden Heart's lyrical depths, I wasn't sure that I could, but I can't wait for the opportunity to try.
"We're going to play another song now, because you're still here. This one's called 'Falling in Love with Glaciers.' It's about the turtle in The Neverending Story. All of our songs off Wooden Heart are about characters from that movie."
What the what? This band can do no wrong in my book. I wasn't sure whether he was playing with the audience or not, but the thought of such inspiration for the entire album has me poring through Wooden Heart's lyrics for Falcor's presence.
Dan and the two Chris's (Nelson on guitar, Rochelle on drums) played roughly 10 songs in a tragically short hour-long set, a few of which were new songs from their forthcoming album. While they only have a handful of shows left in their Southwest Minotour before playing the Cornerstone Music Festival and the Vans Warped Tour, Listener tours extensively, and they're well worth driving an hour or more (as I did) to see them live.
Toward the end of the show, Dan shared that he was from Atlanta, but was preparing to move to Denver.
From near the bar, a boisterous patron shouted, "Don't move to Denver! Denver sucks!"
To which Dan, without hesitation and with utter earnestness, replied, "I wish we could have talked earlier."
Funny thing is, Dan had been talking the whole night. The guy at the bar just hadn't been listening.
- Julio Ribeiro just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Warren Robison just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Gary Weed created a new gallery
- Gary Weed just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Lyn Rossano just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Tina Jagneaux just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Jeremy Riley just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Flashback: How to Stop Victim Mentality and Thinking in Kids and Teens.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Divine Healing Will Be Fully Realized When Jesus Returns.
- Brandi McElheney just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Blake Atwood published the audio If You Want to be Successful, Stop Being So Accessible | Michael Hyatt.
- John Rutledge published the article New study suggests religion can predict sexual behavior.
- Jeff Reiter just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Candace Andrews just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Blake Atwood uploaded a photo
- Joe Padilla just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Chris Peek published the blogpost Why Simplicity is Necessary to Live in a Story that Matters.
- Blake Atwood published the video 'Theology Questions Everyone Asks' Part II | Gary M. Burge & David Lauber.
- Blake Atwood published the video 'Theology Questions Everyone Asks' | Gary M. Burge & David Lauber.
- Blake Atwood published the video The Counselor: Why Do You Doubt? | Craig Groeschel.
- Ancuta Rusu-Sieng just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Brad Russell shared How to Create and Manage a Blog (Part 1) | Tutorial: NEW BLOGGERS: You can network your blog into the site by clicking Manage My Loft/Blog. Here's a video explaining how to create and manage your blog in FV.
- Dave Jenkins, Jr. created a new gallery
- Brad Russell uploaded a photo
- Dave Jenkins just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Drew DyckMy interview on the Logos blog on how we try to domesticate God. http://blog.vyrso.com/2014/04/23/stop-trying-to-tame-god-rediscovering-dangerous-christianity/
- Blake Atwood published the audio Reimaginining God's Eternal Purpose: Part I | Frank Viola.
- Victor Nunez just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost Baylor alum appointed to National Commission on Hunger.
- Dorothy Greco published the blogpost Relevant Magazine: Fear Doesn’t Have to Control Us.
- Lauren Sturdy published the article Fostering Adventures: Veteran Parents Rebuild Lives.
- Blake Atwood shared Getting Your Small Group to Like You: "If people genuinely don’t like you, and you’re a representation of Christ for them, then there’s a great chance you’re acting as a barrier for them to enjoying Jesus. It would be wise for us to not be a barrier. How to you get your small group to like you? Well you can start by taking a shower before group. Then, let’s get to the more important things." — Ben Reed
- Britni Wood published the blogpost IT’S HERE! Get the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle NOW!!!!.
- Deb Wolf published the blogpost A Dozen Things You Can Do to Start Really Living Today.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Kidnapped Boy, 10, Sang A Gospel Song For 3 HOURS Until Abductor Set Him Free.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Who Suffer A Concussion More Likely To Attempt Suicide: study.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost New Teen Deadly LSD-Like Drug 25I, or N-bomb Trends.