When: Thu., Dec. 22, 8 p.m. 2011
On his self-titled debut as In Tall Buildings, out last year on Whistler Records, Erik Hall sets the tone beautifully with the layers of acoustic guitar and buckets of echo on "Walking Man." Its aching, honest indie pop-folk is just dark enough—sans any skin-deep woe-is-me nonsense—and as the song accumulates vocal and instrumental melodies, a blanket of eerie, swirling white noise rises to softly coalesce around them. Though backed onstage by an ever-changing cast, Hall (also of Afrobeat enthusiasts Nomo) wears all the masks in the studio, and recorded In Tall Buildings at his home between '06 and '08. The album shifts repeatedly both in its vocal tone (think Neil Young, or hints of a collective of Jason Molina, Will Johnson, and Damien Jurado) and its song pacing ("upbeat" moments like "The Way to a Monster's Lair" and "Good Fences" lighten the mood set by the opener), but neither tactic disturbs its intimacy—when Hall pours out his guts, they actually sound like guts, not like a wash of undergrad-brand indie rock meant for a just-off-campus coffeehouse. Drummer Quin Kirchner and bassist Matt Ulery back Hall tonight. —Kevin Warwick Santah headlines; In Tall Buildings, Elephant Gun, and the Island of Misfit Toys open.
Price: $12, $8 in advance