Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #37 Jan-Feb 2002

Howe Gelb

Lull (Some Piano) (Thrill Jockey)

Howe Gelb’s instrumental Lull (Some Piano) might just make believers of those put off by previous outlets for his mainline to the muse. Somehow, with Gelb turned loose on keys, the sonic meandering that occasionally jars and wrenches from his electric guitar turns serene, and his affinity for incidental noise — a fragment of idle conversation here, a muted household clatter there — serves to make the peace more plausible.

Gelb’s improvisations mimic classical phrases without caricaturing them. Both the composition and execution are unconventional, but subtle structures ease the listener’s drift. Even the sequencing seems thoughtful; it’s an ideal first-thing-in-the-morning record, arising from a dreamlike state through a few gently jazzy pick-me-ups to a semi-circuslike eye-opener.

Instead of song titles, Lull’s liner notes offer brief, insightful elaborations on the recording setting for each piece, the gear used, the personnel and identification of incidental noises. Track 3, for instance, is “Looking for chords sounding like New York City in the Autumn time there at the Knitting Factory.” Track 10 is “Recorded on the 1888 piano at home with the Internet signing on by accident in perfect measure during the bridge and then John [Convertino] and Joe [Burns] added.” And, with Gelb’s characteristic whimsy, track 13 is the same piano but “…after lugging it into the room with the cement floors instead of the wooden floored one.”

Fans of Giant Sand and Gelb’s previous solo efforts will find Lull to be a departure in sound, but even though the mood is quiet, it’s explored with the same spirit of adventure that has become Gelb’s hallmark.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108

Discuss

Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #37 Jan-Feb 2002

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »


From the Blogs

  • Dan Amor - Rainhill Trials (Album Review)
    Subtle and Sweet folk music from Wales              Most people reading this review will probably be of an age where they have pretty defined music tastes and don’t have the time or inclination to readily discover anything too radically new. I too am a bit like that; but as a music reviewer I can still discover new genres that can spin my preconceptions 359 […]
  • Jimbo Mathus on Americana Music Show #188
    On episode 188 of the Americana Music Show, Jimbo Mathus plays tracks from Dark Night Of The Soul, talks about going from "sepia tones to ultrachrome" and the "crazy Mississippi white boy chain."  Also in this episode, indie rock from Bobby Bare Jr., heartland rock from Jonny Two Bags, country rock from Rodney Crowell, road tripo music fr […]
  • The War on Drugs: From Dylan to Dire Straits, By Way of Attrition
    Whether on the basketball court or onstage, when two supreme talents join forces, it tends to make things better. Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen, LeBron James needs Dwyane Wade, McCartney clearly needed Lennon, and Salt would be a run-of-the mill condiment without Pepa. But there are exceptions to such… […]
  • Dylan, "Desire" and the (other) Story of Hurricane: A Lesson In Fatherhood
    Reading of the death of former pro boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter today awoke an old memory which reminded me how lucky I was to have, what in retrospect, was a pretty cool father.  I should add by "cool" I do not mean some kind of "over the hill hipster" who, in a desperate attempt at trying to stay relevant smokes pot or acts […]
  • Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes – Black Coffee (Album Review)
    After a successful solo outing, Aussie country singer Lachlan Bryan got his old band back into the studio and came up with this cracker of an album. It was released in the autumn of last year in Australia and subsequently picked up a major award as “Alternative Country” album of the year. Such acclaim means any belated praise from me is superfluous, but I’m […]
  • Album Reviews: Gord Downie & The Sadies, Bruce Springsteen, Lost & Nameless, The Annie Ford Band
    Gord Downie, The Sadies, and the Conquering Sun The lead singer of one of Canada’s most influential rock bands gets together with one of the best live bands ever for a collaborative effort and the expected results could range anywhere from confusion to straight ahead awesomeness. Thankfully (and not surprisingly, given the players involved) the semi-eponymou […]

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!


Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter