I'll admit it, I had never heard of Howe Gelb until I met Brent. It seems that people's knowledge of Howe's existence ranges from "Who?" to "The rock legend?" I can't imagine what it must feel like to be him, eeriely eyed up in recognition but just not every single day. The first time I met Howe he dumped a bag of batteries into a pristine grand piano to get some dirt into the sound. I watched an entire staff of the arts center that that grand piano belonged to gasp all at once. Then they sort of sighed in acceptance, realizing that Howe had made the right decision.
I don't know who took this photo but I love it.
Howe, and his music, are hard to get to know...he has made over forty albums (solo and with various incarnations, including Giant Sand) but with each one is an off kilter progressive-ness that doesn't belong to any particular era or genre that leaves you feeling that these sounds (and person) are a pleasing social misfit that you can learn to love, a beautiful outcast for your sonic pleasure. The one thing that is consistent in all of his music is his writing. Howe, even in conversation, chooses his words and his sounds unlike anyone I have ever met- a linguistic dream! Maybe being a native Pennsylvanian transplanted to Arizona and then whisked around Europe with his musical endeavors has made him hear words the way he does but I have a strong feeling it is something that is inherent in his being...not to mention his inherent cool-ness that makes me feel like I will never, ever pull off puns in the way this handsome, talented cowboy can!