Singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth) may hail from Dalama, Sweden, but his debut album—last year's Shallow Grave—sounds straight out of Greenwich Village, 1963. Obviously, Matsson has heard a Dylan record or 10, but live he also nails the legend's early swagger, singing through a smirk as he deftly fingerpicks his acoustic, pacing the stage like a caged animal between verses.
None of this would mean shit if the songs weren't there of course, but Matsson's got the goods in spades, from the effortlessly lovely "The Gardener" (easily one of 2008's best songs) to the poetic declaration of "I Won't Be Found" ("I'm gonna float up in the ceiling/I built a levee of the stars/And in my field of tired horses/I built a freeway through this farce/Well if I ever get that slumber/I'll be that mole deep in the ground/And I won't be found")—all the more impressive considering English probably isn't his first language.
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Indie rock stalwart John Vanderslice headlines this show with songs off his newly released Romanian Names, his seventh impeccably produced but ultimately kinda boring LP and first for the increasingly awesome Dead Oceans label.