SOLD OUT - presented by Cat's Cradle
Tallest Man on Earth
Strand Of Oaks
1711 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road
Saxapahaw, NC, 27340
Doors 7:00PM / Show 8:00PM (event ends at 11:00 pm)
Tallest Man on Earth
Kristian Matsson, aka the Tallest Man on Earth, is a 29-year-old songwriter from Dalarna, Sweden. The first recordings from the Tallest Man on Earth surfaced in 2006 via a self-titled EP released on the Swedish independent label Gravitation. Matsson followed this EP with his 2008 full length, Shallow Grave, an album that drew accolades from the likes of NPR and Pitchfork. Many in North America were introduced to the Tallest Man on Earth on a tour with Bon Iver, including a stop for two shows at the legendary New York City venue Town Hall. The Tallest Man on Earth was winning over audiences through powerful performances, taking the stage alone with his acoustic guitar and captivating the crowds night after night.
Fans continued to discover the Tallest Man on Earth through subsequent tours and word of mouth. In 2008 he visited KEXP's studio in Seattle and in 2009 performed for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series, which continued to help inform audiences. He was still touring without a publicist or a North American record label, but fans were devouring his stunning performances, both as real-life audience members and internet voyeurs, scouring the web for new fan videos of shows.
In early 2010 Matsson signed with U.S. record label Dead Oceans and announced the release of his sophomore album, The Wild Hunt. Once again, it was a record rooted in songwriting and a deep folk tradition, with Matsson's wordplay and deft guitar work at the center. Praises for the Tallest Man on Earth continued to build, and throughout the tour in support of The Wild Hunt and the follow-up EP, Sometimes the Blues is Just A Passing Bird, the crowds grew in fervor and size. He sold out venues like Webster Hall in New York City, The Fillmore in San Francisco, Shepherd's Bush Empire in London and took the stage at festivals like Coachella, Green Man, Roskilde, Pitchfork and Sasquatch. The Tallest Man on Earth toured the world, with sold-out shows in places like Australia and South Africa. The word continued to travel. He also performed "King of Spain" on the legendary Jools Holland show.
Matsson spent the winter months of late 2011 and early 2012 in his home studio in Dalarna, recording There's No Leaving Now, his third full-length album. It's another stunning set, and in support of this new album the Tallest Man on Earth is headlining two sold out shows at Town Hall, returning to the stage where he opened for Bon Iver and took some of the first steps of his journey. The Tallest Man on Earth will be touring in 2012 and 2013 in support of There's No Leaving Now.
Strand Of Oaks
In 2003, Tim Showalter's house burned down, his fiancée left him, and he resorted to writing songs on an acoustic guitar while living on park benches in suburban Philadelphia. Those events informed the entirety of his arresting debut, Leave Ruin, an album about loss and brokenness and lack of faith. But as affecting as it was, Showalter is leery of being stuck in the past. After all, the first word of that record's title is "leave," and one of the first thing he asks when contacted for this interview is, "Can we kind of re-do my bio? I don't want to keep being the sad sack whose house burned down."
These days, Showalter is happily married and comfortably settled in Philadelphia, and he's staring down the release of his second record, Pope Killdragon, an album that's even stranger and more singular. Where Ruin was stark and autobiographical, Killdragon - which features odd, laser-beam synthesizers and one bona fide stoner metal track - is wild and fantastical. Showalter either invents characters' whole cloth, or takes an approach to history so liberal even Tarantino would give pause (John F. Kennedy authors a fable about a knight; Dan Aykroyd carries out a revenge killing for the death of John Belushi). It's a bold, eerie, mighty work - though the man responsible for it couldn't be more affable or good natured.