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The Tallest Man on Earth

Kristian Matsson was in NYC to play a few shows during a stretch of nasty weather. We got together one rainy afternoon to raid some downtown spot to make a film.

One catch: after soundcheck the day before, Tallest Man’s guitars were locked inside the NYC music venue, Town Hall, where he’d be playing later that night with Bon Iver. Solution: we’d have to shoot somewhere with a decent supply of guitars that he might borrow. A fan of music of all kinds, Jeff, the awesome, museum-quality proprietor of the legendary Music Inn on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village was happy to oblige. The staff took refuge downstairs, where they ripped through some take-out tacos while the Swedish guy played songs from his debut Shallow Grave . The Tallest Man, who inevitably gets talked about in terms of Dylan apparently had no idea he was playing just three doors down from where Dylan actually lived and just around the corner from where the cover photo of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was shot.

The Tallest Man had a blast with the Music Inn’s incredible collection of instruments that squeeze the hallways like clogged arteries and hang from the ceiling like stalactites. In this one, he puts together an impromptu rendering – with thumb-piano, toy piano, guitar – of “These Days,” by Jackson Brown, best known via Nico.

Ben Cramer