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howe gelb  'FUTURE STANDARDS' 

"This is an attempt at writing a batch of tunes that could last through the ages with the relative structure of what has become known as "standards".  The likes of Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael done up by Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday," suggests Howe. "Julie London had a lot to do with it. "The challenge with this kind of session lies in the culmination of 3 essential elements;  1st, writing a sophisticated chord structure that allows the melody to weave beyond its confines. Something cohesive and familiar, but still alluring and uncharted.  2nd, a lyrical playfulness. The science of love revealed and revelled, the celebration and the lament, while remaining vulnerable and still intact with new knowledge of where it can only go.  3rd, an offhanded execution. To display each song as if it's already an old standard. Keeping it intimate and communal in one go. Making it a party instead of making it precious. To deliver the lines with natural serendipity, lingering behind the beat, offering a pause in love's resignation through resonation. These moments of melody framed in rhythm and rhyme along the pathway reproducing the species, if only to remind us, to validate, to assure;   We never choose to fall in love...  It's always love that chooses us." Howe Gelb’s ‘Future Standards’ is released in North America January 27th on Fire Records & Light in the Attic Records  

"This is an attempt at writing a batch of tunes that could last through the ages with the relative structure of what has become known as "standards".  The likes of Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael done up by Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday," suggests Howe. "Julie London had a lot to do with it.

"The challenge with this kind of session lies in the culmination of 3 essential elements; 

1st, writing a sophisticated chord structure that allows the melody to weave beyond its confines. Something cohesive and familiar, but still alluring and uncharted. 

2nd, a lyrical playfulness. The science of love revealed and revelled, the celebration and the lament, while remaining vulnerable and still intact with new knowledge of where it can only go. 

3rd, an offhanded execution. To display each song as if it's already an old standard. Keeping it intimate and communal in one go. Making it a party instead of making it precious. To deliver the lines with natural serendipity, lingering behind the beat, offering a pause in love's resignation through resonation.

These moments of melody framed in rhythm and rhyme along the pathway reproducing the species, if only to remind us, to validate, to assure;  

We never choose to fall in love...  It's always love that chooses us."

Howe Gelb’s ‘Future Standards’ is released in North America January 27th on Fire Records & Light in the Attic Records

 

giant sand 'heartbreak pass'

The new album, Heartbreak Pass, by seminal erosion-rock band GIANT³ SAND, marks their 30th anniversary. Individually, each track on the record looms large on its own but, when heard as one complete offering, you know that you are listening to something very, very special. The Arizona desert has long been a source of inspired minimalism for Howe Gelb, the indie rock pioneer and frontman. The album also features Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), John Parish (PJ Harvey), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Grant-Lee Phillips (Grant-Lee Buffalo), Ilse DeLange + JB Meijers, ('The Common Linnets' Netherlands), Sacri Cuori (Italy) and Lovely Quinces (Croatia).

The new album, Heartbreak Pass, by seminal erosion-rock band GIANT³ SAND, marks their 30th anniversary. Individually, each track on the record looms large on its own but, when heard as one complete offering, you know that you are listening to something very, very special. The Arizona desert has long been a source of inspired minimalism for Howe Gelb, the indie rock pioneer and frontman. The album also features Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), John Parish (PJ Harvey), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Grant-Lee Phillips (Grant-Lee Buffalo), Ilse DeLange + JB Meijers, ('The Common Linnets' Netherlands), Sacri Cuori (Italy) and Lovely Quinces (Croatia).

 
 
 
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PRESS:   FUTURE STANDARDS

 

 

**** UNCUT

 

***** POLITIKEN DENMARK'S DAILY PAPER (5/6)

 

**** RECORD COLLECTOR

Fire’s recent reissue of his fine, gospel flavoured ’Sno Angel Like You served to remind us of the range of the former Giant Sand frontman’s talents. Despite his country roots, Gelb seems at his best when going against the grain and defying expectations.

As the title implies, this time around Gelb is ambitiously bidding to add to the Great American Songbook with a jazz-flecked collection of wry, wee small hours ditties. These are tunes that often hinge upon a cute turn of phrase (see Impossible Thing’s “You might as well put screen doors on submarines”) and sound as if they could conceivably have been recorded live in a smoky basement – all brushed drums, fidgety stand-up bass and jazzy, tastefully employed piano.

Still, this would be fairly unattractive if it was a mere genre exercise. Rather, Gelb’s melodic dexterity and wicked way with words makes for an enormously appealing album – think the Tom Waits of The Heart Of Saturday Night encouraging Cole Porter to bunk off and spend the afternoon shooting craps and gargling bourbon.

It’s a pleasingly consistent collection of songs, but special mention goes to the raunchy Relevant (complete with solos for Reinhardt-like guitar and swaggering piano) and May You Never Fall In Love’s wordly advice. All said, it’s a good look on him.

 

**** ALL MUSIC

In February 2016, Howe Gelb made the surprising announcement that he was retiring his longtime project Giant Sand, and while he didn't offer specifics about what he was going to do next, he did end his statement with the words, "Piano for now. Songs forever." Those five words turned out to be an excellent summation of Future Standards, an album that Gelb issued roughly ten months later. Future Standards finds the great Arizona surrealist transforming himself into an alternate world version of Frank Sinatra, singing his own brand of saloon songs suitable for a late night and a glass of good bourbon. Most of Future Standards features Gelb accompanied by piano, bass, and drums, and the melodies pay unironic tribute to the graceful jazz-influenced pop sounds of the '40s and '50s. This is music meant for a cabaret or a piano lounge, not a rock club, and Gelb not only plays it straight, he sounds comfortable and playfully sly as he croons over his piano work, which manages to embrace the melodies while toying with them at the same time, while the drummer stirs the soup and the bassist gently tends to the low end. While this sounds very little like Giant Sand, this is very much a Howe Gelb album; the lyrics, most dealing with affairs of the heart, are gentler than many of his best known works, but there's still an edge of purposeful eccentricity that's authentically his in tunes like "May You Never Fall in Love," "Terribly So," and "Mad Man at Large." And the occasional vocal interjections of Lonna Kelley add a romantic touch while maintaining an off-kilter feel that serves this music remarkably well. Future Standards isn't quite "Howe Gelb, the Moonlight, and You," but it's closer than anyone might expect, and he plays lounge lizard here entirely on his own terms, and it's a thoroughly enjoyable detour for a multi-faceted artist.

 

PRESS:     HEARTBREAK PASS

 

****         Mojo

it’s a testimony to the current health of his
muse that Heartbreak Pass, while containing
only new songs, feels like a greatest hits ...

 

****         blurt

Despite the breadth of it, Heartbreak Pass isn’t sprawling.  

It’s an impressive show of strength and act of endurance.. . 

 

****         new noise

a stellar album from start to finish 

 

*******   magnet

ANOTHER CASUALLY EXCELLENT ALBUM TO ADD TO HIS VAST CATALOG

 

****         Uncut

BLAH BLAH BLAH 

 

****         Q

ETC ETC ETC

 

****          All Music

audible SIGH

 

**** ½          the Sun

WHAT THE ?!

 

****           musik express

THE END 

 

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Video

2017 Howe Gelb Piano Trio "Terribly So" featuring Lonna Kelley with Thøger Lund - Bass, Andrew Collberg - Drums

1985  GIANT SAND  June 4  at the Cathay De Grande, Los Angeles: Howe Gelb - Guitar + Vocals, Scott Garber - Bass, Tom Larkins - Drums

2015 GIANT³SAND "Transponder" from the album HEARTBREAK PASS          featuring Jason Lytle - On Almost Every Instrument + Backing Vocals, Paula Brown - Bass,  Howe Gelb - Vocals.  Mixed by John Parish

2013 GIANT GIANT SAND recording session at ICP, Brussels, Belgium. Filmmaker - Peter Triest, Shutter Lag Films

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BIO

              2017 bio - howe gelb / giant sand

 

1956

born in wilkes-barre. pennsylvania .. a small factory laden / coal mining town .. raised by wolves

 

1960's

alvino rey and his singing guitar become a televised influence

 

1970's

pennsylvania home destroyed by flood and tucson arizona happens in its wake

bestowed free 4 track recording time at npr affiliate wvia hosted and engineered by george graham .. records several sessions including his country duo “wow and flutter” and in the punk band “the stains” ... as well as his own rock opera 'zeqe 24.088'

meets * rainer ptacek * in tucson

 

1980's

giant sandworms happen with rainer

along with billy sedlmayr and dave seger

after the band becomes too popular in tucson, they relocate to the lower east side in NYC for a year

giant sand emerges from the ashes of giant sandworms with bassist scott garber along with drummers winston watson and tommy larkins

records / releases 2 albums by his own country band the band of ... blacky ranchette and records / releases 2 giant sand albums

produces rainer and das combo’s “barefoot rock with ...”

begins touring life in the USA and europe

meets and marries new bassist paula brown from the go go’s .. baby daughter born in hollywood

discovers drummer john convertino & invites him into the band

records and releases 3 or 4 more giant sand albums and another the band of ... blacky ranchette before the decade ends.

relocates to joshua tree area near pioneertown after divorce

befriends pappy

 

1990's

discovers bassist joey burns & invites him into the band

moves back to tucson and suggests the band follow

giant sand become a buzz band

discovers grandaddy

records about 8 more giant sand albums and some solo records too

re invents the band as op8 with special guest lisa germano

rainer diagnosed with brain cancer

produces benefit/tribute album “the inner flame” along with rainer fan robert plant

marries sofie albertsen from denmark

rainer dies

band begins to divide into 2

rhythm section form calexico

baby son is born

 

2000's

tours solo more frequently

discovers m. ward and releases his first album

relocates to aarhus denmark for 5 months to have another baby

giant sand is reinvented with a band of danish players

records several more giant sand albums

records more solo albums, one with a canadian gospel choir (receiving a 5 star review in mojo) 

and another with andalucian flamenco gypsies co produced w/ fernando vacas featuring maestro raimundo amador

re-issues entire back catalogue on fire records ( about 50 albums )

 

2010's

giant sand expand into giant giant sand, doubling it’s previous size, combining equal parts danes and new young tucson players

produces kt tunstall’s album 'invisible empire/crescent moon'

assists in the debut album of dutch actress carice van houten (melisandre in game of thrones) 'see you on the ice' and pens her second single "particle of light"

howe is discovered by gary briggs at new west records

releases solo album “the coincidentalist” for new west records which features m. wardsteve shelley + thøger lund along with guest appearances by will oldham, kt tunstall + andrew bird

produces sylvie simmons’s debut album 'sylvie'

between the exponential cubed expansion of the band and its sheer audacity of a 3 decade lifespan, records giant³ sand album 'heartbreak pass' at various locations all over the planet with many guests in a variety of line-ups from intimate cluster to a giant giant giant throng

the new album marks 30 years since the first giant sand release of 'valley of rain'

decides to then put the band to bed so as to end on a high note after enjoying the best touring years ever

produces the john doe album 'the westerner'

 

NOW

delves into the lost art of the piano standard. where did it go ? no one alive seems to know. 

releases 'future standards'


 

“His work has never acknowledged any borders that might theoretically exist between mariachi waltzes, psychedelic guitar rock, uptown piano jazz, or dusty improvised C&W“ (Pitchfork).

 

 “In search of treasured happenstance, Howe Gelb is an enigma, an inspiration and some kind of genius” (The Quietus).