Staff Pick: Listener's Dan Smith brings battered-but-not-broken words to Strongwater

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

On Listener'sTime Is a Machine, from 2013, Dan Smith comes on like a Southern-bred Craig Finn, delivering craggy, spoken-word diatribes about a host of broken characters. As he puts it on "Eyes to the Ground for Change": "We're all survivors in some way."

In recent years, the Arkansas-based Listener, which Smith launched as a solo project in the early 2000s, has operated as more of a full-band concern, with Christin Nelson (guitar) and Kris Rochelle (drums) fleshing out Smith's prose with musical backdrops steeped in ragged hardcore and moody post-rock.

Expect a more stripped-down feel here, however, as Smith is scheduled to perform absent his bandmates - a decision that should keep the focus on his battered-but-not-broken words.

"I'm dying," he confesses in one typical aside, "but not for now." Levi the Poet also performs.

Strongwater Food & Spirits

7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15

401 W. Town St., Franklinton