Wednesday, September 20, 2006

High on a Mountain of Love

Back in the days when we traded mixtapes, my friend Paula introduced me to a lot of great music. She got me into Freedy Johnston when his first album, The Trouble Tree, came out. And she turned me on to Giant Sand.

Over the past twenty years, Howe Gelb and the shifting sands of his band's lineup have produced a body of work that ranges from the electrifying to the frustrating. Howe has collaborated with a slew of musicians, including Lisa Germano, Richard Buckner, Juliana Hatfield, Evan Dando, Grandaddy, M.Ward, Scout Niblett, Neko Case, Vic Chesnutt, Steve Wynn, Falling James, and members of the GoGo's and the Bangles. He gave guitar lessons to Keanu Reeves! Most recently, Howe has been busy with his new solo album, 'Sno Angel Like You, and his band Arizona Amp & Alternator. There hasn't been an official Giant Sand album since 2004, but as far as I can tell they haven't broken up.

To anyone interested in exploring Giant Sand's music prior to the popular Chore of Enchantment, I would strongly recommend Glum, Ramp, or Center of the Universe. Glum can be purchased (with bonus tracks!) from giantsand.com.

Today's song, Mountain of Love, was the first Giant Sand song I ever heard (courtesy of Paula). It's from The Love Songs (1988). Great lyrics and some off-kilter guitar from Howe. It's a rollercoaster rumble ride.

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