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View Full Version : Jandek - please explain...



Buick6
01-08-2005, 12:40 AM
I remember reading about this guy in the late 80s or early 90s in a great little piece in 'Spin' written by Byron Coley. I piqued a serious curiosity (like most Coley pieces), and when I tried to track down this guy's stuff at our local indie record store people would say 'it's unlistenable garbage, you're probably better off buying the records yourself from the bloke'. I never did, but remember seeing lots of his record in the library of a local alt-radio station..I heard a track 'I painted my teeth' and it scared me like that video tape outta 'the Ring' movie or something.

Anyway I remember in the mid-90s Jandek's stuff became alot more readilky available via CD format, and esp how similar his work was to alot of that Drag-City/Palace/lo-fi/acid-folk stuff that is pretty much the benchmark for what is 'indie' these days.

Personally Jandek seems to me to be like the Residents or something. This oddball crypto-outsider art type thing (though the Residents are more just a performance-art type thing). i just get the feeling that Jandek might be some sort of a hoax, or like the Loch Ness monster or even the AL-quaida/bin Laden of rock n' roll.

But I guess Jandek's enigma has gone gone on too long to be a hoax, and has mutated into a truly singular work of 'art'. His album cover artwork has become a visionary thing, espcially when you consider the use of 'found art' and 'obscure photography' in hoity-toity art circles, and even in modern-documentary film, and his retardo-demneto sound is pretty much the standard for what passes as 'indie' today (this fusion of acid-folk, eclectic non-music, Japanese scree, manic-depressive-minstelising and 'wire' magazine trainspotting/nose-picking 'intelligencia').

finally I reckon in todays uncertain times, where terrorism and 'obscure cryptic 'subversive' ideologies are the modern dogmas attacking out digitised world, 'Jandek's' chilling, crazed and lonely anti-tech lo-fi music seems to be telling prescient.

Woebot
02-08-2005, 12:10 PM
hmmm.

a few of us vented spleen over jandek here:
http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=1582&highlight=jandek

i'm glad you dig him Buick, but (put it this way) I need to spend some time with a really great record he's done. it all seems a bit out of focus for me at the moment....

Buick6
03-08-2005, 01:46 AM
Yeah similar feeling here. His 'obscurity', 'enigma' and 'cryptic' nature are totally compelling, until you hear the records. I guess you need a particular, severly imbalanced state of mind to 'get it', but I guess you need at least one rec to say y've got it. He sorta reminds me of the Residents, both cryptically and musically.

bruno
03-08-2005, 07:11 AM
byron coley, yes!

i picked up a copy of forced exposure around 93 or so. coley's pieces took up most of the reviews section, which in turn took up most of the magazine. providing a very entertaining late night read! though as warped as his language was i could still tell which things would be great and which things wouldn't, once i actually tracked them down. you have to read between the lines! though some, like this bit

LOVE CHILD: okay? LP (HOMESTEAD)

... there are two ways to think of this band, conceptually: either as a punk, a schmeedle and a narcissist; or as a mutant version of the Velvets made up of Maureen Tucker, Angus Maclise and Doug Yule. Your choice. --Byron

are, um...

jwd
03-08-2005, 09:12 AM
LOVE CHILD: okay? LP (HOMESTEAD)

... there are two ways to think of this band, conceptually: either as a punk, a schmeedle and a narcissist; or as a mutant version of the Velvets made up of Maureen Tucker, Angus Maclise and Doug Yule. Your choice. --Byron

I still remember that review. Love Child featured Alan Licht who had contributed to Forced Exposure on occasion so I just saw that review as some kind of in-joke...

Re: Jandek, I think the mid-period records, On the Way, The Living End arehis most enjoyable & 'listenable'. I use that term advisedly though because I've not encountered a Jandek record I didn't find listenable.

Not in the least bit surprised that Dissensus crew aren't into it though.

jed_
03-08-2005, 12:52 PM
i've never heard a Jandek record i've particularly liked but i did see him on his third ever live appearance at the CCA in glasgow a few months back and the show was absolutely incredible. he played a song suite called "The Cage" on piano and accompanied by a percussionist and a double bassist. it was bewitching. i count it among the very best live shows i have ever seen.

Buick6
05-08-2005, 10:34 AM
I've just trawled through some of his work offa the Net. 'You walk alone' is a fricken masterpiece of cracked-out post-Velvets-Modern lvers pre-Drag city noodling retardo groove of the highest order. 'Lavender' is simply *beautiful* by any music-collector-trainspotter-hipster standards anywhere on the planet.

I have a feeling that Jandek could be a hoax perpetuated (played by??) by Thurston Moore or even Chris Knox!!@#$!

jwd
05-08-2005, 11:48 AM
I have a feeling that Jandek could be a hoax perpetuated (played by??) by Thurston Moore or even Chris Knox!!@#$!

Ha, the Thurston-Moore-is-Jandek meme has already done the rounds! As has the Thurston-Moore-is-the-interviewer-that-tracked-down-Jandek-a-few-years-ago meme...

Buick6
05-08-2005, 12:22 PM
Ha, the Thurston-Moore-is-Jandek meme has already done the rounds! As has the Thurston-Moore-is-the-interviewer-that-tracked-down-Jandek-a-few-years-ago meme...

Bloody hell! That makes me an alter cucker (an 'old shit' in Yiddish) by Internerd stds!

jwd
05-08-2005, 01:44 PM
Bloody hell! That makes me an alter cucker (an 'old shit' in Yiddish) by Internerd stds!

Yes, but no-one had pegged Chris-Knox-is-Jandek yet, so you're still quite safely a cynical young hipster at heart, don't worry. ;)