Giant Sand

Sunday, October 12

It's been about 25 years since Tucson, Arizona singer/multi-instrumentalist Howe Gelb slapped his Giant Sand moniker on a piece of vinyl and launched a career of atmospheric, sun-baked, Neil Young-inspired roots-rock, one that's delivered nearly two dozen high-quality recordings and directly influenced legions of similarly styled artists (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Grant Lee Phillips, Centro-matic, and Magnolia Electric Co. are among the first that come to mind). A few years ago, Giant Sand's longtime rhythm section departed to form another like-minded outfit, Calexico, but Gelb has kept the band's moody, elegantly addictive sound intact. New album Provisions is, in a word, stunning, with Gelb's Leonard Cohen-meets-Bill Callahan voice mingling with tremolo guitars, shuffling percussion, piano, lap steel and horns that, put together, taste like last-call drinks, smell like unfiltered cigarettes, look like streetlights illuminating deserted avenues, and feel like delicious defeat and tomorrow's potential triumphs all rolled into one.

Sun., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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