Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The contemplative nature of In Tall Buildings music grabs you immediately and it insists on you being the same way. You are to consider things more than just in a cursory sense. You are to look at the antics of yourself and everyone around you and you're to dissect them. It's for your own betterment, or it could just be a waste of time, but it's what's going to be done. Today, we think that it's important. We think it's important because we see people without eyes, without hearts, who are hard of hearing living as good as we're living and we start to believe that we're not putting the right things in our bodies so that we too could be like them, even if we see that they're in bad shape too.
We wonder, as Erik Hall does here in these intimate and pastoral songs of examination, what kinds of men we really are. We wonder about what would be a fitting passage to have etched into our tombstone after we're gone. We think about Elvis, about him going on the television and shaking it like a midnight rambler, like a Harlem queen, something that no one had ever seen before. We wonder why that was deemed so risqué and not just kick ass by everyone. We wonder if we would have had the sack to be him. We determine that we're better off as bystanders, studious and judgmental, or observant. We are sure that everything's going to surprise us once.
Everyone we know and love is going to shock us once or twice, in ways that we can't even fathom. We're going to do the same, though we'd like to think that we're going to be the ones shocking others more times than they shock us. We're conceited that way - always having to think that we're better. Hall sings, "I am shaken up by your cunning/You've never phased me quite like this." He's been taken aback and it will likely lead him to his den, where he'll pore over the works of the men and women of letters and he'll scrutinize what effect all of the epic and chilling betrayals that happening during the day or days prior had on him. It might be the only reason we're here, to parse through the bitterness for some gold threads.