[Jandek] Timeline (revisited)
Danen D. Jobe
djobe at uark.edu
Mon Jun 12 10:09:59 PDT 2006
>anyone else tried to construct a timeline?
If you look through the list archives from last year I think you'll find several attempts to put things in order. It's interesting, but when I first began (in the early 90's) to listen to Jandek it was assumed that things were coming out roughly in order. Since then there's been more of a shift (and I think this is right) to thinking that a lot (not all) of the band work was done earlier, then the "first" acoustic stuff (RFTH - most of 'Chair'). Then, I think, he starts raiding the old tapes, initially releasing albums that are a mix of newer acoustic takes and old band stuff. Then it's all band stuff, and I think this is probably in chronological order of some sort. This leads to "The Electric End."
'Twelfth Apostle' (and the Judas connection is interesting) seems to start the "second acoustic" period which goes through "The Beginning" which kinda mirrors "The Electric End," (a sidelong instr piece, in this case the piano). That period, to me, seems to have been recorded well after ALL the material on the first set of albums (the move to CD is more than ironic). There are similarities (compare 'Graven Image' with 'Later On'), but significant differences (more variety in the songs, a more "laid back" approach when compared with the visceral shock of 'Six and Six.') Then there may be another long period of time...and somewhere in there the notorious "spoken word trio" is recorded, apparently on a voice-activated machine of some sort (like Beefheart on Trout Mask, kinda). Then we get the modern era, all of which I think is released around the time it was recorded, with a few exceptions that seem to be leftovers from the "second acoustic" era (listen to recording styles, et
Again, there's more info in the many debates from last year about it, but as I understand things that's a rough timeline of events. I DO think that a lot of work went into selecting the tracks for RFTH, although to this day one of the most baffling things to me is the "unfinished" version of "European Jewel." The rest of the album seems of a piece to me (same being true of 'Six and Six' and 'Later On,' both of which I think were pretty contemporary - the latter references people he corresponded with AFTER releasing RFTH). But "Jewel" is something else entirely. Maybe he was particularly happy with that version of it? This also gets back into the idea that RFTH was released into a "vacuum" of sorts, and for some time he appears to have thought it would be the only release (the review of RFTH in Op seems to be what put him back on the map. Up to that point, from appearances, he'd pretty well given up on releasing more music). So why WHY did he put an unfinished version if fini
shed versions existed elsewhere? It's little things like this, things that can't quite be filed into logic, that keep me curious. My guess? He liked that version best.
Anyway, there's my two cents on the thing.
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