[Jandek] Re: Spencer Graham #2
soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 5 14:02:15 PDT 2007
Yeah, yeah... I might have self esteem issues.
But are you implying that Pitchfork's opinions are not legit because they're not musicians or part of the music industry? Maybe I'm misinterpreting your comment, but If I'm not, I'll remind you that the writer of that article stated at the very beginning that he only owned four Jandek albums and therefore DID NOT have an informed opinion- if all Pitchfork writers were so honest maybe that site wouldn't seem such a toolshed. He was going on what he felt objectively, without thinking much about the great conceptual reasoning behind Jandek's playing every song the same way in a show.
Maybe if he heard more Jandek and more shows he'd have thought differently, but I think sometimes an early impression from a less experienced fan can reveal something worthwhile that might not occur to someone as entrenched in Jandek's music as others are. And that was what I found interesting about the article, that even though Jandek's music is great it can sometimes get really tedious. But that's the nature of the beast- he probably wants that effect, because depression IS tedium. But still, when you're deal with music that spurs uninterrupted negative emotion, or really any consistent, unchanging feeling, boredom can set in (I feel the same way about sugary punk-pop as I do about Jandek- it's easy to get bored with both).
I think you're supposed to get a headache from a Jandek show/album (or at least the "rock" ones, as the Cell and such are very different moods). BUT that doesn't make it anymore difficult to deal with, just as his musical awkwardness doesn't seem any less jarring even if it's intended. And I can respect that all, but when you enter Jandek's world, it's jarring- it's like choosing to have a bad trip, and that can be cathartic, but it's hellish all the same. That's what I was trying to say before, anyway, but I said it badly.
What I take back is the idea that he owes something to his audience to make it easier to take- he doesn't, when you think about it. Also, I went back to look at some videos of Jandek playing live on Youtube, and to my amnesia's surprise he did look to the other musicians to let them know he was doing something different, and that's what I was talking about- having the courtesy to not just fly off without warning. So I change my mind, he's actually a pretty good improviser- but I still don't think I could stand a whole show. Then again, I've heard you go into this trance at one of his shows, so maybe I could stand it. But since I'm a cashless college student, I doubt I'll get to find out for a while.
Aunt Acid <anxietyparty at yahoo.com> wrote:
And Brian- I'll admit that I might not have called Jandek a douchebag if I'd thought it over a little more, but I like to grab people's attention, so I say that kind of junk hoping it'll make you'll read my more serious points. And once again, it worked.
I didn't hear the Richmond show, so I can't really comment on that one in particular, and I didn't mean to, but I've heard a lot of his other live stuff, and the comments made by the Pitchfork writer struck a chord with me. So far it seems like I'm in the minority opinion, but I'm pretty used to that.
Dude, you don't have to be obnoxious to get anyone's attention. This is a fan-subscribed mailing list, either people will read what you have to say or they won't, and if they do, it will just piss them off instead of "honing them into your finer points". I *can* to a point understand what you mean to say about Jandek in improvisation, but I honestly think you've missed the point if you're expecting Jandek to "suit up" to any kind of improvisation rules or standards just because other musicians are involved. After watching him in Richmond, I don't think he tries to "change the subject" with his collaborators at all. Maybe seeing it changes the way you hear it. In that case, I'd strongly recommend trying to make it out to one of the upcoming livesets.
Also, for the record, Pitchfork usually never have anything worthwhile to say, so if you're going to them for an informed opinion on a musician or a record, I'd say that's a big red flag right there. It's always so funny how 98% of the time, reviewers and critics don't make music or run record labels, yet they are regarded as the authorities on such things.
And there is nothing wrong with being a minority or having a different opinion about music, or anything. I mean, seriously, look at who you're posting to, people who listen to some of the least appealing music out there. I think it's just nicer to voice opinions a little more diplomatically.
Out of curiosity, have you heard the boot of the show he did at St. Giles In The Fields in London? October 18th of 2005. It's pretty commonly found on the net, and it's the only show he's done on solo acoustic. You'd probably love it, I know I do!
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