Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Son House - Death Letter Blues & Bonus: Tallest Man On Earth - King of Spain

First, Son House:

I saw Kristian Matsson, better known as "Tallest Man on Earth," at the Triple Door on Monday. He's short -- maybe 5-foot-8. (I'll get to Son House in a minute.) He played an electric acoustic guitar (as opposed to the acoustic guitar on the Shallow Grave LP), which was jarring at first but was appropriate for the rather spacious venue. It was an outstanding set -- we heard nearly everything from the LP plus a few new tunes, including King of Spain (taken here from a Jan. '09 show):

(For the record, the crowd at the Triple Door approved of the explicit reference to Dylan. And he really can't stand still when he's up on stage.)

He closed his encore with Death Letter Blues, played hard and fierce and, I thought, just a little ballsy for a guy who is making his way as a songwriter. It very nearly outshined his own material, which, of course, is the danger. Then he signed autographs and spoke with concert-goers by the merch table for at least a half hour after the show ended. We asked him to sign a poster and a vinyl copy of the record and talked for a little while about his tour. To everyone he spoke with he seemed gracious and humble and unassuming and really I'm just saying he's the best. Heart.

(He's playing in Chicago on April 5 at some place called Schubas, Aarons and Obles.)


(Dan) said...

Son House is the bleakest. He is basically what Rustmouth would have sounded like.

Whisk E. Bear said...

Did you just make a Magic: The Gathering reference? (goes to check) You did.

Son House is The Blues, manifested.

Whisk E. Bear said...

I should have added, because I think this says something about Matsson's character, that Jen asked him to sign the poster to "Tyler, Jen and Snickers," with Snickers being Jen's dog. He happily obliged, and drew a little dog bone in place of the "i" in Snickers. It's a little thing, even a silly thing, but also I think a rather remarkable gesture.

(And now I'm just gushing.)

(Dan) said...

"goes to check?"

Whisk E. Bear said...

Oh, Achewood.

(About half of the first ten or so hits for "Rustmouth" on Google refer to a Magic card; you are a confessed Magic person. There is also a band, which judging by the MySpace page is terrible.)

(Dan) said...

Oh, (looking), that is a card released during my several-year hiatus. And not much of one, either.

(Son House hugs, then. Or, actually, I think the proper way for two people to celebrate their love of Son House is to sit on a rusting stoop together in absolute silence, and watch the road.)

Craig said...

(Down South there's a name for people who do that, and it's not very nice.)

Craig said...

It's been an excellent week here all the way around, incidentally.