Local Wire

Howe Gelb @ Crescent Ballroom

It's hard not to read a little into the story behind Tucson, the new album from Howe Gelb's Giant Giant Sand, which tells the story of a "semi-grizzled man with overt boyish naivete" who leaves his home, possessions, and girlfriend behind fearing the end of the world. Described as a "dusty work of art, conjuring images of desert, rivers, and a cactus-strewn landscape," it sounds quintessentially like the world of Gelb — himself "semi-grizzled" — whose work spans solo releases and Giant Sands' massive discography. As for that extra "giant?" "Well, the band has got way too big," Gelb says. "It doubled in size last summer, and now we've got 12 people. Six from Tucson, six from Denmark." Though Gelb's music has always drawn musicians from around the world, he's found an interesting kinship with players from Denmark. "Some kind of 'sistering' exists between Aarhus, Denmark, and Tucson, Arizona," Gelb says. Embracing young Tucson musicians like Brian Lopez and Gabriel Sullivan, Gelb says that the album is an example of his specific musical approach with Giant (Giant) Sand. "Well, it's always been kind of a sonic open-door policy," he says. "Whatever is blowing through on that day or whatever you're picking up on the wind."