Giant Giant Sand

The Echo Presents

Giant Giant Sand

Russ Tolman Band, Brian Lopez

Thu, October 11, 2012

8:00 pm


Los Angeles, CA

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is 18 and over

Giant Giant Sand
Giant Giant Sand
Words by Chris Zeigler


Tucson, Arizona, is a beautiful and slightly bizarre-meant in the most
affectionate possible way, of course-city in the center of the Sonora
desert, where rows of B-52 bombers used to sit bleaching in the sun and
where arguably the best date night in town was on the observation deck on
top of a two-story tall tiki head at the local mini-golf course. And Howe
Gelb is the beautiful and slightly bizarre-also meant in the most
affectionate way-songwriter that makes the city and the desert bloom fully
into life. His newest with his expanded band Giant Giant Sand (he added
the "Giant" and a bunch of Danish musicians to his usual Giant Sand) is a
"country rock opera" named after his adopted city, which does for Tucson
what Terry Allen did for both Juarez and Lubbock and what Warren Zevon did
for Los Angeles. Which
is: make a map, a legend, a movie and even a moral all at once. Gelb's
Tucson leaps, creeps and crawls from country to psychedelia to mariachi
and cabaret and folk and pure cantankerous tell-it-like-it-is stories
about a guy who (like many desert dwellers) doesn't seem to know where
he's going, and doesn't seem to care where he came from.
("Tumbleweed Syndrome" is the medical term, I believe.) There's something
like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and even Jonathan Richman in the way Gelb
writes and sings-gruff, honest, and damn sophisticated underneath it all,
like the way noir writers Raymond Chandler and Jim Thompson could say
colossal things with just a few syllables. And there's something like the
city itself in all the songs on this album.
If you're a certain kind of person, it'll leave you feeling homesick for a
place you've never been. And if you really are from Tucson, then it'll
make you feel like you're back home.
Russ Tolman Band
Russ Tolman Band
Songwriter, singer, six-string savant.

Founding member of True West, the '80s guitar band produced by Tom Verlaine and associated with LA's Paisley Underground.
Brian Lopez
Brian Lopez
It's not enough to say of Tucson's Brian Lopez that he is a young man of drive, discipline and vision, laudable as those qualities are, and how essential they are to success in almost every endeavor. Couple his estimable attributes with an artists sensibility and you really have something special, something to count on for the long haul. Brian Lopez is an artist, and with his album Ultra he has begun the real work of going inside himself to find out what he has to say to the world. And lo, it is good.

Brian grew up in a typical American home. Parents married young, had several children and Brian was raised with more of an athletic upbringing than a musical one. Competition shaped Brian and gave him a "drive to compete and excel".

As a child he was an aficionado of The Beatles. Learning to play their songs on a "crappy Fender Squier" Brian quickly started a band and became "one of the cool kids" because he could play any song requested. He played in several bands not worth naming, put himself through college on a classical performance guitar scholarship and graduated with a BA in Music. And while he could play with the jazz cats and jam with the classical guitar guys, his heart always loved rock n roll.

Ultra is the product of Brian Lopez's rock n roll heart. Yes, there are the Spanish language songs, and as all the best foreign language songs do, these transcend language barriers and move the spirit with the force of their feeling. But there is more, much more to behold on Ultra, and this reveals Lopez to be very much a product of his times, speaking to his times. There is also that underlying element of desert; listening to Ultra there is almost a palpable heat and wind.
Venue Information:
1822 W. Sunset Blvd
The Echoplex is located below The Echo, enter through the alley at 1154 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90026