Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Listener Project

"We need something huge. Something that's going to make them feel our presence right away and not just hear us. You know, like if you rescued a wounded bird in your front yard, cared for it for weeks giving it more attention than your own girlfriend, ready to let it take flight, and then BAM! Right when it begins to fly your neighbor's kid shoots it down with his BB gun. The BAM. How do we get the BAM? How do we get the BAM feeling in their stomach that comes only from the most deceitful of women finally being honest with their man about all of his best friends they had sex with. The BAM that comes when he has struggled for 30 years just trying to find a glimpse of his dream. No money in his account. Car is in the shop with $1,200 in repairs. Got a few warrants for unpaid tickets and they just started the Warrant roundup. Just got the flu over the weekend so you have to call in to work only to find out they may fire you for excessive absenteeism. His new gig writing blogs for Covert may be taken away since he hasn't contributed anything in over a week. Not even a dog to lick the tears away. That BAM that comes from the moment of realization that shit just aint' gonna get any better for a little while, or maybe ever. We need that to hit them and more" BAM!" "Why did you do that?" "Stupid washing machine door will never stay closed."

Listener Project is a group from Arkansas that possess a unique enough stage performance that they can setup shop anywhere, in any venue, surrounded by any genre, and still pull everyone in. For the entire set. Right away, I feel like I'm in a living room. There's like this feeling of intimacy. Maybe that's because Dan, the founder of Listener Project, is barefooted. Maybe it's because there's this washing machine on the stage being hit with a bat. Maybe it's because he's asking questions between songs. It appears that's what he wants us to feel as his first tour was titled "Tour of Homes," in which he was playing only living rooms.
Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia when I look up Listener:
"Smith emphatically punches and counterpunches with the same vital lyricism as the aforementioned Mallonee and Bazaan, turning his full attention to the story and tragedy of America’s unremembered and uncelebrated multitudes. The stories of salesmen and waitresses, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. Those just trying to make it, and those who have forgotten how. Telling these gothic tales of downfall and redemption Smith hopes to ask one burning question, “Why does is it take my voice to make you listen?”

Either way, seeing Listener Project perform their album from last year, "The Return to Struggleville," hit home in more ways than one last Saturday night at Clementine's Coffeehouse.

You can buy all of their albums (including the Christmas one) and merchandise straight off of their MySpace.


passenger said...

fantastic show. dan's a good guy. nice write up.