[Jandek] GATESHEAD Sunday and GLASGOW Monday
indiejanglefunkterrorist at yahoo.co.uk
Wed May 25 14:01:13 PDT 2005
Barry Essen, take a pound from the till.
In fact, take any items you like, to the value of ?15 pounds UK tender.
Sunday was a total dream. Anticipation was absolutely rife, and the show started off with the longest 30 minutes of my life. We were allowed into the venue at 1810 hours, and awaited nervously what was going to occur. Twenty long long minutes later, Richard Youngs and Alex Neilson appeared silently, before the Corwood recording artist sontered in (across the very back of the stage)... The crowd went insane. Prior to this I'd been at a lot of shows and I hadnt heard an applause like this for an artist.
For some of these people no doubt they would have been waiting 20 years to show this artist their appreciation, and believe me it showed.
What followed next was... Bizarre. And unprecedented. The Corwood recording artist slowly picked out his guitar, taking his sweet time to walk over from the back of the stage to the far right of the stage. He then proceeded to unwind his guitar lead. Making sure this VERY VERY tangled lead was absolutely perfectly straight.
I am not shitting you, this was ten minutes. Then, finally, it hit. A bombastic noise of screeching, howling rock fury.
This was J making a return to form, bettering Glasgow sunday. Getting his groove back. But I was to be proved wrong.
REALLY, Really, Really wrong. What I thought was an excellent attempt at a return to form masked what was going to happen tomorrow.
We got into the venue (*the CCA in Glasgow*) about 1910 hours and were confronted with a double bass, a piano and a drumkit. Odd... Maybe its for Kaiji... Or Taupis Tula.
Barry Essen took the stage and made it clear to us that we were going to see something special. Something quiet, and medatative... he also mentioned that we ought to sit down. 200 of us, all there expecting a noise fest. sitting down.
And I guess if we hadnt sat down we would have fallen over. J came stalking out along with Richard and Alex, but this time was met with not with raptuous applause, but with complete and utter silence. The creak of the floorboards under his shoes was literally the loudest noise in the room.
He sat down at the piano, and we expected the Beginning meets Glasgow Sunday.
Fuck no. We got the most beautiful, orchestrated melodic work he has ever done. When you hear this record it will change the way you think about Jandek. For those who arent sure about this guys "genius" status... Well this for me was all the proof I needed. He surprised us all. He changed his style and he improved on his earlier records. Let me see Brian Wilson or Bob Dylan doing that.
For those who think that the Corwood label has been in a musical rut of late... Check this out. I swear to you - I am a Jandek optimist but this show was as strong or stronger than blue corpse, ready for the house, living in a moon so blue, follow yr footsteps. The vocals are soft and spot on - the way a lot of us prefer our Corwood records. This is genuinely as good a record as he has ever made (assuming it comes out as a record)
His playing was beautiful and Alex Neilson stood out as being something truly special that night too. He provided background wails (on a drumkit for fucks sake... How the fuck do you make a drum kit wail???) rhythms and really set the tone fur the nite.
Then the first song ended. There was no applause, just the same stony silence. It was truly the most surreal gig experience of my life - since last nights show had been so.... LOUD and cacophonic.... And this one was soooo quiet and introspective.
The show continues and still no-one claps at the end of the songs, just tries their best to be completely silent in the pause, like we are part of the piece. And I think on that night more than any other we were a big part in that piece.
After the fact its going to be impossible to prove that Barry Essen didnt come out and say to us "look, could you all please stay totally silent for effect? See its being recorded by corwood and they want it this way..."
I can assure you that this was totally spontaneous. I was as amazed as you all will be.
Many of the songs began with the line "What do I have?" and I have been told that this, rather than being a series of songs was insteas one long piece in different sections. The piano line often reprised, as did the "what do i have?" line.
Lyrically this record is of the highest quality... Notably lines regarding "cancel all my appointments"... and taking a new direction in his life. One of the answers to "what have I got?" is "I've got Rocks, i've got intelligence"... Perhaps referring to his friends, like a reprise of "The rocks crumble unto dust they die..."???
Anyway, I'm sure Seth will update youse all on the lyrics and stuff, we debated these for a while with Jason and Billy from Elephant Micah and Paul Condon and I'm sure our thoughts will all be fairly acredited!!!
Thanks to Barry and Briana for everything, and to agent Smith for making a silly, shouty scotsman very very happy.
All who made efforts to console after Arches show... thanx thanx thanx... You know who youse are. :D
SINGLE CELL PRESS
"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do." - Woody Guthrie.
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