The first time I saw Dave Smallen perform was in 2007. He was on tour with his band Street To Nowhere, for which he was the lead-singer, and they were opening for Straylight Run at a now-demolished venue in Boston near Fenway Park. Now, I've seen my fair share of concerts, so I know what a good opening band is and I know what a piss-poor opening band is. Let me tell you that Street To Nowhere is a great opening band. I still remember exactly the way they launched into their first song and which song it was: "Screaming," off of their debut album Charmingly Awkward.
Unfortunately, Street To Nowhere is no longer a band. I don't know the full details about the break-up, but the important thing is that Dave Smallen maintained all the rights to the album (which has some great songs on it) and is continuing on his own.
Not long ago, Smallen released his first single: "America." The song has a strong message that outlines his frustrations with society as it is in this country. Apart from being politically fiery, Smallen's music is poignant and honest, sometimes to the point of brutality. He is most easily compared to Conor Oberst because of the way that his voice often passionately quivers giving his songs that edge; you know that way that Bright Eyes songs are more about the feeling than the music...it's like that, but usually more easy on the ears.
If you go to his myspace you will find a Leonard Cohen cover, his single, and a number of songs from the Street To Nowhere days (check out "They're Not Like Us" and "Tipsy"). Go to his website to download "America" for free. Oh, and don't miss this internet-savvy guy's blog.
March 4, 2013
5 years ago