Article by: Leanne Ridgeway
Following their recent and memorable performance in the desert, Palm Springs instrumental rock giants YAWNING MAN have announced the release of their ‘Live At Giant Rock‘ album and DVD this October 30th, from Heavy Psych Sounds.
A longtime dream has been to capture YAWNING MAN performing in the very environment that so inspired their music. The opportunity arose in 2020 from the challenges artists and musicians faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing forcing artists to creatively adapt to alternatives to express themselves musically and visually. YAWNING MAN‘s answer to this calling is ‘Live at Giant Rock.’
This cinematic concert experience is intimately and beautifully captured by videographer Sam Grant in the environment that inspires YAWNING MAN‘s spacious, expansive and cinematic music. Filmed live in the early morning hours of May 18th, 2020, in the visually stunning and mysterious landscape of Giant Rock. [I watched their stream of it around that time, and “stunning” is truly the best description of the entire performance in that landscape.]
Formed in the late 1980’s, the lineup of Gary Arce, Mario Lalli, and Bill Stinson rounds out their yearlong active recording and touring schedule. Arce and Lalli’s background together date back to the start of YAWNING MAN with Stinson’s background steeped in the SST Records world, through performing and recording with Greg Ginn and Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag for several years.
YAWNING MAN is a key piece in the developments of the desert/stoner rock subgenres. While their contemporaries gravitated toward the heavy riffs of grunge, and post punk, they leaned in another direction with their unique and organic, cinematic compositions and psychedelic improvisations… the perfect soundtrack to encompass the spacious moonscape atmosphere of the well documented “generator parties” of their area in the late 1980’s.
It was at these gatherings where they developed this distinctive style and sound by enchanting spectators with their seemingly endless free form instrumental sessions, which echoed through the beautiful deserts, mesas, and landscapes of the Coachella Valley.
01. Tumbleweeds In The Snow
02. The Last Summer Eye
03. Nazi Synthesizer
04. Blowhole Sunrise
05. Space Finger (CD bonus track)
In the spirit of Pink Floyd’s “Live at Pompeii” the performance is shot on location with no audience, just the band performing their instrumental meditations in the rugged beauty of the Mojave Desert. Giant Rock in Landers, California has attracted Native American Nomads, Scientists, UFO Researchers, and travelers from all over the world, drawn by its magnetic spiritual energy.
The bands outdoor performances are legendary and this film is the first artfully composed representation of that experience. YAWNING MAN will release this on DVD, digitally, as well as a vinyl LP and compact disc of the soundtrack. View the video trailer for the release below.
‘Live At Giant Rock‘ will be available on October 30th via Heavy Psych Sounds, and can be pre-ordered now in the following formats:
– Ultra LTD Test Press vinyl
– Ultra LTD White/Blue vinyl w/ alternative cover (shown below)
– LTD Neon Yellow vinyl (standard cover)
– Black vinyl (standard cover)
– Digipak Compact Disc
– Digital Download
– LTD edition DVD
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums