Bon Iver, the Tallest Man on Earth | The Vic | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Bon Iver, the Tallest Man on Earth All Ages Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. 2008

One-man band Bon Iver, aka Justin Vernon, is very likely the only underground phenomenon to ever come out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (Joe Torre doesn’t count.) His debut, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar), is the indie-rock equivalent of D’Angelo’s Voodoo—while Emma is marked by jangly onanistics, as opposed to Voodoo’s orange-alert virility, they’re both soft, gentle, private-sounding albums that are also commandingly potent. Vernon occasionally rests his strumming hand and directs all your attention to his voice, peeling off a warm falsetto, his words a tumble of dashed hopes and romantic gravitas. The title track of his forthcoming Blood Bank EP could be about a date or mortality, but either way it’s weighted by a feeling of big, sad need—a feeling that does not lift for the duration of the record. Emma has landed atop several year-end crit polls, and dude played on Letterman, which I guess is what you get for being good nowadays. The Tallest Man on Earth opens. —Jessica Hopper

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