Posts Tagged ‘Giant Sand’

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what a wet week we have had, there’s a good deal of lovely records this week to soothe the aches and (possibly?) time to dry the socks..

The Nick Cave album Ghosteen that everyone has been asking about is OUT! today, It sees Nick and band in fine form, but there’s no mistaking there is a measure of catharsis in both the words and overall tone, understandably. It’s a wonderful piece of work though, despite the sombre atmosphere and flows with Cave’s singular ability to craft a narrative. I am very excited for the deluxe CD reissue of Gene Clark’s opus ‘No Other’ with a lovely booklet inside and an extra CD of rarities and alternate versions, and I was particularly psyched for the wonderful new LP from fave Ryley Walker and superb jazz drummer Charles Rumback. If you liked Grails (or Holy Sons for that matter), then this is a great one for you. Psych folk guitar with hints of Americana and a languid acid jazz backline, Ghosteen

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen

Ghosteen is the new two part album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Ghosteen is the seventeenth studio album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, following 2016’s Skeleton TreeThe album was recorded in 2018 and early 2019 at Woodshed in Malibu, Nightbird in Los Angeles, Retreat in Brighton and Candybomber in Berlin. It was mixed by Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Lance Powell and Andrew Dominik at Conway in Los Angeles.

Ghosteen sees Cave restrained and introspective, half singing, half speaking over a mix of piano and slow drifting electronics. He sounds vulnerable but not beaten. There are a lot of mentions of love in the lyrics, soft supportive backing vocals and an attractive warmth to the way Galleon Ship’s high synth sounds open the song wide, or the surprise falsetto he acquires late on in Sun Forest.

It’s a double LP with one album of conventional length songs then on the second – one short song and two of 12 and 14 minutes. They are more complex and grand. There’s a lot to take in but it’s totally absorbing.

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Lucy Dacus – 2019

Recorded in here-and-there studio spurts over the last two years, 2019 is made up of originals and cover songs tied to specific holidays, each of which has dropped / will drop around their respective date: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day (and Taurus season!), Independence Day, Springsteen’s Birthday (not an official holiday, though we’re told Chris Christie often took that day off), Halloween, Christmas, and New Year.

Dacus uses her gift as a songwriter to help understand and cope with the world around her, including making sense of national holidays, often more geared towards social media boasts and manufactured consumerism than authentic celebration. “What is going on,” she asks herself on these days, retreating from the heightened expectations of holidays to figure out what to make of them and to find her own meaning. “I’ve collected some songs from trying to answer that question,” she says, and “this EP seems like the right place to put them next to each other. These songs are self-contained, not indicative of a new direction, just a willingness to do something different and sometimes even out of character.”

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Pond – Sessions Live

There are very few of this live album from one of our favourite current bands Sessions is the first ever live album from Australian adventurers Pond. Featuring recent singles Paint Me Silver, Sweep Me Off My Feet and Daisy from both their last two albums, Tasmania and The Weather, as well live versions spanning their whole career, including fan favourite Don’t Look At The Sun (Otherwise You Will Go Blind) from their hard-to-find debut album Psychedelic Mango. This release has been two years in-the-making and underlines their reputation as one of the most exciting live acts around.

“We wanted to capture how the band has been playing live lately and commit that to tape while we were in the middle of a long tour,” reveals Pond’s Jay Watson. “As you play the same song for years, or even as a single tour rolls on, the way you play the songs mutates. Little inflections and fills become part of the song, and the structures and even the overall feeling and intent of the songs change. I always loved listening to my favourite bands’ Peel Sessions and wanted something of our own in that vein.”

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Josienne Clarke – In All Weather

In All Weather is a new collection of songs, in which Josienne Clarke goes it alone; musically, as this is her first solo record, and in her own life, laid bare and played out in the leave-it-all-behind-and-start-anew nature of the lyrics. The songs were written in on the Isle of Bute in 2018, where Josienne relocated for a year, overlooked by a snowy Ben Nevis.

Josienne accompanies herself on pared-back acoustic and electric guitar throughout. She’s joined on the record by experimental piano prodigy Elliott Galvin, innovative jazz drummer Dave Hamblett, celebrated Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy and guitarist / bassist Sonny Johns who co-produced the record with Josienne.

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White Denim – Last Day Of Summer

White Denim, dubbed the “last great rock n’ roll band” by The Guardian, has launched Radio Milk Records with a remastered reissue of their 2010 fan-favourite Last Day of Summer. Once impossible to find on vinyl due to a limited pressing of 500 copies, the album has been remastered by Joe La Porta at Sterling Sound, and pressed to heavy translucent green vinyl. This will be the first time the album is available in record shops! Recorded in a 1940s-era Spartan trailer in Driftwood, Texas, the self-produced album is full of “experiments, detours, and well- taken chances” [-Pitchfork]. The cuts on Last Day of Summer range from jazz instrumentals to folk to psychedelia, and showcase the band’s range better than any album in their catalog. Future Radio Milk Records releases will include live recordings from White Denim and other local and international bands.

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Giant Sand – Glum – 25th Anniversary Edition

1994s Glum was to be Giant Sand’s largest record and in order to make it so, Howe Gelb invited everyone along to the party. This carnival help create Giant Sand’s best record to date and Glum is now proudly re-issued by Fire Records.

A conceptual masterpiece, complete with a second disc capturing a classic KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic session just prior to the original album’s release in 1994. An epic windswept desert dry encounter with one of America’s greatest bands that traverses genres and styles to create a complete masterpiece.

John Fogerty  –  50-Year Trip: Live at Red Rocks

This concert was recorded on June 20, 2019 as part of John Fogerty’s 50 year celebration of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Woodstock performance.  The 19-song concert features such Woodstock highlights as “Born on the Bayou,” “Green River,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” “Keep On Chooglin’,” and “Suzie Q,” alongside later hits like “Centerfield” and “The Old Man Down the Road.”

The Nazz – Open Our Eyes: The Anthology

Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra reissue the 2002 double-disc, 35-song anthology from Todd Rundgren’s early band The Nazz, right down to the original foldout artwork.

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If you’re not sold based on album title alone allow us a moment to convince you of the genius of Howe Gelb’s latest. And indeed his work to date. Never a dull moment, in this lifetime he has flirted with flamenco, adventured into Americana and gone for it with gospel choirs. The result is a back catalogue packed with great ideas, and inspiration for more great ideas. Enter Giant Sand, where artist dons disguise and revisits his old classics to make them fresh and different. Here Gelb, or Giant Sand, takes on the second Gelb album, “The Ballad Of Thin Line Man”. First released in 1986, when New Hollywood was kicking Reaganite attitudes to the curb in favour of modern high plains drifters influenced by the preceding LSD decades, that same ethic is here, only louder and more urgent. A strange but familiar and abstract Americana, with roughness turned up to 11.

it’s a re recording of a 1986 album that never saw the light of day in USA distribution. here now entitled “Recounting the Ballads ( of Thin Line Men) “ with original drummer(s) Tommy Larkins for a most of it and Winston A Watson Jr. for a minute too. ( just the opposite of their involvement of the previous re recording on last year’s re do of “Returns to Valley of Rain”. This album also features good ol’ Thøger Tetens Lund on low frequency ( as he has provided for the last 15 years ) and Annie Dolan for a minute too. Plus special visitation by Paula Jean Brown. The album was co produced by Gabriel Sullivan and the beautiful cover is by Rosson Crow.

We will be touring on it in Europe ‘tween Nov. 9th – Dec. 8th. .. a kind of fare-thee-well escapade. hind sight being 2020, am looking forward to something else next year. Thank you all so severely mucho. – howe

In early 2016, Howe Gelb announced that, three decades after the release of Giant Sand’s first album, he decided the time had come to retire his long-running alt-country band, issuing a statement in which he declared, “30 years seems an adequate number to aptly utter ‘I kinda quit.'” Apparently, that qualifying “kinda” was included for a good reason, and in the fall of 2018, Gelb revealed he had put together a new lineup of Giant Sand and was returning to duty.

But where to start over? From the beginning, obviously, and the first album from Gelb’s new incarnation of the group, Returns to Valley of Rain, finds him re-recording the 11 tunes from Giant Sand’s 1985 debut, Valley of Rain. Exactly why Gelb would make a fresh start by revisiting a handful of songs he cut in the mid-’80s is hard to fathom, especially since he and his bandmates attack these songs in a manner that’s noticeably different than the original recordings but not so much that it qualifies as reinvention.

If the production on Valley of Rain marks it as a product of the era of too much digital reverb, Returns boasts a cleaner and more direct sound, and the vague jangle of the 1985 recordings is replaced by a harder, buzzier guitar attack; remarkably, Giant Sand sound more like a rough-and-tumble garage band in 2018 than they did the first time they cut these tunes. The guitar attack of Gelb, Gabriel Sullivan, and Annie Dolan is scrappy but full-bodied, and drummer Winston Watson and bassistsThøger T. Lund and Scott Garber hit hard enough without overpowering the natural dynamics of the performances. And there’s a welcome spontaneity to the sessions that flatters the dusty introspection of Gelb’s lyrics and the determined drift of the melodies. Figuring out the why of Returns to Valley of Rain is probably fruitless, but if Gelb wants to move forward into the past with Giant Sand, at least he’s doing so with style and swagger.

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The Sun Is Setting On Giant Sand… as the band announce their final year of touring , plus Fire America set to release ‘The Sun Set’ Box Set Vol 1,2,3.

After this upcoming European tour in April, Giant Sand shall bid a final adios. No more albums. No more tours. The occasional festival ? Could be. Maybe.

Howe suggests that these last 2 years of touring felt like the best runs ever. Regardless if his memory has misspoken, he maintains the band is not breaking up cause there’s nothing broken. It’s just being put to bed, maybe one day to be awoken.

Good night little giant. .. good night. ..
mr. sand man .. bring me a dream. ..

As a parting farewell gift, Fire America will release a dreamy three volume box set of vinyl entitled; “The Sun Set”.

The complete A-Z of Giant Sand will be released alphabetically rather than chronologically, highlighting the careening career and wandering muse of Howe Gelb and his assembled sun blasted slingers.

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