Today is your eighth birthday. You just received the best present ever: one of those see-through GameBoy COLORs with a Sonic the Hedgehog game cartridge. You cannot put the damn thing down; you are obsessed. Your grandmother is babysitting you, but she needs to pick up her prescriptions at the drive-through down the road called Phil’s Pills. You consent without taking your eyes off of the screen, and lost in the game, you absentmindedly assume a position in the back seat of her Lincoln Town Car. She sets the dial of the radio to her favorite smooth jazz. The bleeps and bloops of the GameBoy clash with the forlorn instrumentals coming through the car speakers. She turns around and tells you to turn it down. And you, precocious 8-year-old that you are, reply, “Gosh, Grandma, I have to listen with the sound all the way up so I can fully immerse myself in the narrative of the game!” Besides, you kind of like the way the electronic soundscape sounds next to the bleating sincerity of the saxophone. In fact, you like it a lot. You are Big Gigantic.
On the Spring Fling website, Big Gigantic is described as “a unique mix of electronica and jamband-improvisational.” That is prima facie an awful combination of two completely dissonant genres. Before listening to them, I was inclined to say that they would be really, really bad. Honestly, I had no idea how they could possibly combine these two trying types of music into a single, listenable whole. To put it simply, Big Gigantic is middling electronica with a saxophone. It’s relentlessly mid-tempo. By my count, the music was a “danceable” speed about once throughout their entire album “A Place Behind the Moon.” The saxophone was always either forgettable or really annoying, and occasionally the album descended into what a friend described aptly as “fubstep.” That’s like “dubstep” and “fuck my life” combined into one word. Why am I listening to this? More importantly, why will I be listening to this outdoors in the morning next Tuesday?
Okay, that was pretty harsh criticism. Perhaps they don’t merit that much animosity. They’re actually pretty average. While listening to the album, I was actually very surprised by how average it was. But like smooth jazz or boring electronica, it was so inoffensive that it was offensive. It trod so softly that I either forgot I was listening to music or prayed for it to stop as soon as possible. But the thing is, we’re paying money for their performance. That fact makes me raise the bar from “doesn’t make me want to kill the person I’m sitting next to” to “reasonably pleasant.” Big Gigantic passes the first bar but does not pass the second.
How much you will enjoy Big Gigantic at Spring Fling depends directly on how much alcohol is in your system. I wish you luck with that one.