Giant Sand All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 20, 1:45 p.m. 2008

On Provisions (Yep Roc), the latest disc from Giant Sand, Howe Gelb sticks to the erratic, wide-open style he’s used for years, inadvertently demonstrating that even spontaneity can sound formulaic if you keep approaching it the same way. His rigorously free-associative lyrics—puns, forced rhymes, nouns pressed into service as verbs—might as well be the product of a hardened doctrine, and when he favors mumbles over melodies it no longer comes off like a charming, novel lapse in conventional phrasing. But despite all that, Giant Sand records still work: Gelb continues to attract strong collaborators for his long-running revolving-door band, and his own understanding of roots rock goes all the way to his core. The terrific Danish group backing him on Provisions plays sprawling, dreamy, almost elegiac desert rock, and the album gets an extra dose of personality from strong cameos by the likes of Isobel Campbell and Neko Case. This set is part of the Hideout Block Party. —Peter Margasak

Price: $25, $45 for a two-day pass

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