Giant Giant Sand

Tucson (Fire)

Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday Reviews

Giant Giant Sand

Tucson (Fire)

Of all the pretentiously unpretentious artistes in indie rock, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb seems like the least likely to do a concept album. Yet here's Tucson, a self-styled "country rock opera" credited to Giant Giant Sand to accommodate the addition of guest singers, a string section, and pedal steel ace Maggie Björklund. Unsurprisingly, given its creator's disinterest in structural confinement, Tucson is less a linear narrative and more a collection of songs with a thematic thread and consistent atmosphere. The low-key, mostly acoustic arrangements, flavored by mariachi strings, jazz, and a mix of Mexican-American and C&W rhythms, push the characters to find meaning in the dusty roads, big skies, and wide open spaces of Arizona, whether that knowledge comes from romance ("Love Comes Over You"), daily life ("Recovery Mission"), or more existential wanderings ("Plane of Existence"). (Sun., Orange stage, 3:35pm)

***

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Sunny Sweeney
Trophy (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, March 17, 2017

Texas Platters
Shinyribs
I Got Your Medicine (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 24, 2017

More by Michael Toland
Texas Platters
Cotton Mather
Wild Kingdom (Record Review)

April 14, 2017

Texas Platters
Transona 5
Transona 5 (Record Review)

March 31, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Giant Giant Sand

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)