[Jandek] JANDEK LIVE AT ABRONS ART CENTER APRIL 14th, 2007
visioninapark at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 15 18:39:18 PDT 2007
This is my first time back to the list in ages and I am glad to be
I hadn't seen a show since the prior Manhattan performance at the Anthology
Film Archive. My best friend and bandmate who traveled to that show with me
had since passed away and I was weary about checking out another show
without him. I had recently turned a new friend on to Jandek and they were
more than willing to come to a show. This friend is a highly schooled
Peabody Conservatory chick, so I was eager to see what the show would do to
her, and if she would be able to make the long ride back to Maine afterward.
Let's just say we made it back in one piece.
We headed out the day before to get most of the trip out of the way. We
spent the night at a Motel 6 in Connecticut, and set out in the early
afternoon to finish the trip into Manhattan. Neither one of us was familiar
with the area so we wanted to set a big enough pocket of leeway incase we
got lost. We arrived to Abrons Art Center at about 2 p.m. and waited
patiently at the doorway. We were the only ones there for a good 3 or so
hours. During that time, we could hear through an open window, the
rehearsal for performance. It was great and thoroughly intense but it was
nothing compared to the almost atonal grindcore/dismal funeral rock that
permeated the auditorium during the real show. Eventually I met up with Tim
Strange and his friend (he was involved in the wonderful and often talked
about Richmond Show), and soon after that Amy Frushour Kelly (From the
Jandek on Corwood DVD ) and Scott Bateman (who has done a great animated
short for the Jandek song "I Went Outside") appeared out of nowhere. (Once
again Amy I hope I didn't catch you too of guard) Amy, Scott, and I chatted
for a brief period only to be surprised by The Rep coming out of the theater
a couple doors down from us. I remember waving hello and feeling really
dumb about it. He eventually hailed a taxi and scooted off up Grand St. to
The line grew longer, and more friends appeared including the dude from The
Quiet Sickness, and my good pal Preston Spurlock (Elastic No-No Band). The
crowd seemed giddy and antsy and really eager to get into the theater, and
in no time we were filing into the lobby. I made my way to the front row,
right in front of The Rep. The place was packed and even some people
cluttered the balcony. The stage was sparce and had a big backdrop that was
lit with solid colors during the actual performance (greens, purples, blues)
The drum kit had a torn and cracked cymbal and the bass player seemed to
have to rigs side by side (the purpose of which I am not certain)
Once the show began it was a whirlwind of beautiful chaos.
The first song had a beginning that was incredibly long and in that time,
stage hands had to fix the bass amp creating large pops and glitches in the
music but it didn't seem to phase the band at all. In due time the
microphones and cabling were switched over to the other bass amp and the
band rocked on.
Some moments felt like I was having a tumor removed from the base of my
skull, and other moments were tremendous almost thrash/psychedelic freakout
metal. The Rep was moving around like a robotic snake, bobbing and weaving
and and times while singing lines he would act out what he was saying, and
also posed and pointed fingers in the vein of Freddie Mercury. It was the
most I had ever seen him get silly or come out of the serious cloud. In one
particularly HEAVY song he described a prisoner who had long thick black
hair that went
"From his wrists to his neck, from his neck to his belt all the way around
front to back" followed by the most dense wall of noise I have heard live
since hearing Merzbow live or Sunn O))) Then he described the tattoos on the
characters arms, and the fight he was having with the guard.
and then he said a line similar to this, i can't remember the exact lyric
"i had to kill that police officer"
The overall theme was a prison/alcoholism/losing god theme
and from what I have heard the prison theme has made itself apparent at the
show in Seattle and I think one other venue.
I never expected to see a show THAT HEAVY
THAT MIND SWALLOWING
I have to give a big thumbs up to Tim and Peter. They set a really amazing
foundation, and interacted better than any of the live stuff I have heard
I hope everyone there really enjoyed it as much as me and my friend did.
I will see you all at Boston.
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