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Cover Magazine
     

Cover Magazine

by Giant Sand
 

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If you subscribe to the notion that you can judge a band by its covers, you'll be left scratching your head -- albeit happily -- after diving into this latest offering from the mercurial Giant Sand. Leader Howe Gelb has never been known for walking a straight line in his own songs, and his approach to this passel of other folks' material is

Overview

If you subscribe to the notion that you can judge a band by its covers, you'll be left scratching your head -- albeit happily -- after diving into this latest offering from the mercurial Giant Sand. Leader Howe Gelb has never been known for walking a straight line in his own songs, and his approach to this passel of other folks' material is every bit as loopy. From a strangely sweet, piano-laced version of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" to an arid high-desert medley of Marty Robbins's "El Paso" and Neil Young's "Out on the Weekend," virtually everything on Cover Magazine zigs when you think it might zag -- which makes for an enjoyable ride. The passengers Gelb and company pick up along the way include Polly Harvey, who joins in on a romp through X's "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline," and alt-country queens Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, who coo on a medley of "Fly Me to the Moon" and the country standard "Wayfaring Stranger." Fun to flip through and jam-packed with odd ditties, this Magazine reveals something new with every perusal.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Kathleen C. Fennessy
Cover Magazine is like a primer on long-running Arizona institution Giant Sand: a mix of highbrow and lowbrow influences rendered with exquisite musicianship, all saturated by the hushed, plainspoken vocals of Howe Gelb. Over the years, this revolving cast of characters has been compared to everyone from Bob Dylan to Neil Young (with or without Crazy Horse), but the strongest resemblance on this live outing is to the Band (Gelb even sounds a bit like Robbie Robertson) -- assuming the Band would have covered songs like "Iron Man" and "The Beat Goes On" (twice). Gelb and company aren't making fun of the material, however; the Sabbath standard is performed in a jazzy manner with piano, conga drums, and mournful trumpet, and there's nothing particularly jokey about it. If anything, the unusual rendition brings out the pathos in the lyrics. Other notable covers include "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline," a duet with PJ Harvey (her own "Plants and Rags" also gets the run-through), and a blistering version of Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand." Further guest appearances: Neko Case and Kelly Hogan provide backing vocals on a medley of "Wayfaring Stranger/Fly Me to the Moon" and Grandaddy's Jim Fairchild helps out on Gelb's own "Blue Marble Girl."

Product Details

Release Date:
03/19/2002
Label:
Thrill Jockey
UPC:
0790377010428
catalogNumber:
104

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Giant Sand   Primary Artist
PJ Harvey   Vocals
Kelly Hogan   Background Vocals
John Convertino   Percussion,Drums
Howe Gelb   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Harp,Vocals
Neko Case   Background Vocals
Matt Ward   Piano,Vocals
Nick Luca   Guitar
Jim Fairchild   Guitar,Bottle
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet
Michael Grimes   Upright Bass
Aaron Burtch   Drums

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Roger Miller   Composer
Howe Gelb   Sound Effects,Producer
Craig Schumacher   Producer,Engineer
Nick Luca   Engineer
Terje Hellem   Engineer

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