[Jandek] The Movie

Justin Bailey alfredggnome at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 11 22:08:09 PDT 2004

Well cats, I finally saw "Jandek on Corwood". It was
of course excellent. It was satisfying to see the man
finally get the attention he's always deserved. I felt
like "way to go Jandek" as if he was some personal
friend of mine. I guess if you listen to the music
enough, you feel like you know the guy. 

I saw it with my friend, who was only aquainted with
Jandek through my rants about him. He enjoyed the film
too; I was interested to see how an "outsider" to the
whole Jandek scene would perceive the movie. It was
cool to see all the legendary characters of the Jandek
community (hey, Katy Vine is quite attractive, he
should have asked for her number or something!), and
of course the interview at the end was ridiculously
cool. Jandek's own explanation of his song "I Knew You
Would Leave" is simple and complex all at once. As
expected, I didn't learn anything new except the
origin of the name "Jandek" itself, which is so
mundane it's funny. I don't think the whole tape was
played, because Trubee mentions that Jandek was a
machinist in his article but we never hear this in the
movie, and there is never a hello or goodbye. I guess
the rest of the tape was too boring to stay in the

If I have any gripes about the movie, it'd be that the
creepiness/atonal elements were played up too much,
though I can understand these are the most interesting
parts for the uninitiated. Even so, I was dissapointed
that nothing from my favorite record, You Walk Alone,
was featured. The "good guitarist" who some of us like
to call Eddie was not mentioned at all, in fact the
only thing from that period played was "Only Lover"
and a bit of "Janitor's Dead". But I guess you can't
play 'em all, especially when there's like 36 albums
(honestly folks, I've lost count) from which to
choose. The only flaw I saw was that the whole
spectrum of his sound wasn't fully delved into, there
was a bit too much attention given to the early period
"classic" Jandek. Also, Irwin Chusid's absense felt
strange, but I think I remember reading that he
declined to be interviewed. Oh well, his loss.

So in conclusion I think a bit more time could have
been spent disseminating the various changes in sound
over the years, but that stuff is only interesting to
a geek like me anyway, and all the really important
stuff was covered. The imagery was excellent
throughout (I loved the imagined recording
environment). The shots of the carnival seemed to me
like the next album cover. In fact, the whole movie
felt "of a piece" with the Corwood vibe. That alone
makes it a success. I can't think of a better way to
deliver Jandek's story to the masses. 

Why is it that I've heard "Nancy Sings" a million
times and yet every time, it sends a chill up my


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