[Jandek] Jandek in Manhattan
satori at nyc.rr.com
Mon Apr 16 20:05:25 PDT 2007
New to Jandek, Saturday's performance was my first "listen" to the man.
I'm wondering if that show was typical of his sound and what if any of the
recordings best represent his work, as I need a place to start to dig in a
From: jandek-bounces at mylist.net [mailto:jandek-bounces at mylist.net] On Behalf
Of James Holloway
Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2007 12:16 AM
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: [Jandek] Jandek in Manhattan
Hi all, a few quick impressions of the Jandek gig in at Abrons Art Center on
LES in Manhattan .
1. Two and a half hours. A very comfortable theater, though it got somewhat
stuffy about an hour into the show. A sellout.
2. Drummer (Pete Nolan) was incredible, as was bassist -- laid down a pretty
intense groove. With a great rhthym section, you can get away with damn near
3. First song established what I took to be the theme of the night: I walked
through a grocery store/I walked through a grocery store... maybe someday I
will find something I believe in.
4. The next few songs dealt with seeing/being seen in dreams, and waking up
5. Then a series of songs about a crime -- property trespassing? Then a
Jandekian description of prison: No women... all men... they are
incarcerated. Description of a hirsute, tatooed prisoner.
6. Last two were about alcohol causing separation from God -- then, that
"apart from my love/your love I don't exist." This would seem to support
speculation I've read that the Corwood rep is a Christian.
7. Musically, what sounded like a lot of seventh chords and minor sixths.
Jandek's music has an inner order or structure; it's not everybody's bag, of
course, but it's obvious to me that he's thought through what he does. A
great sense of dynamics. Again, for this the Corwood rep had a great partner
in Mr Nolan, whose intensity was Bonhamesque at points.
It's often-noted that Jandek's music can make one feel uncomfortable and
creepy. That's certainly true. But I left this gig with a big grin on my
face, and I'm still on something of a high, and without chemicals or booze
or even fried food. Jandek's in-person vibe is, to me, overwhelmingly
positive. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I got an overall sense
of geniune "narrative arc" of loss/pain/emptiness, but ending with a sort of
redemption. Jandek may be odd, and not everybody's bag to be sure, but there
is a overriding honesty and decency and dignity in his stuff. I've always
admired him for so resolutely and stubbornly pursuing his strange aesthetic
vision for lo these thirty-odd years. But what I got from tonight was that
in some weird way, Jandek partakes of the Universal that informs all great
art, and tho his way of communicating it is the very definition of
idiosyncratic, it is authentic/sui generis and, while informed by an
experience of the tragic, is ultimately positive and redepmtive. At this
moment, I can say it's one of the five or ten best shows I've ever seen, up
there with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Roy
Buchanan. Thanks much, Man from Corwood.
Brooklyn, New York
United States of America
jwholloway at mac.com
I am ready to face any challenges that might be foolish enough to face me.
Dwight K. Schrute
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