[Jandek] More Theories

Simon Greenwood simon.greenwood at mac.com
Wed Aug 10 12:53:54 PDT 2005

This has some links with a thought that has crossed my mind of late.  
I'm sure this has been discussed in the past, but the sleeve images  
seem to be consistently 15-20 years older than the CD's time of  
release. This came with seeing him at Gateshead: if there was an idea  
that this was 'rock', Smith would still have been in his thirties in  
the late 70s: not a time to be old and in popular music. So he pulled  
out his photo albums and went back to his youth, which creates a kind  
of displacement throughout, which may also suggest that there was a  
period of time between the creation of the music and the release of  
the original records.

However, all the live shows have suggested so far that he is  
recreating something of his modus operandi on stage, except with  
additional personnel, although this is something that's happened  
before and he is at ease with. Maybe there's a cupboard full of as  
yet unreleased band tapes...


On 9 Aug 2005, at 06:40, Danen D. Jobe wrote:

> i think he ends up doing a lot of stuff through impulses brought on  
> by others.  For instance: somebody once noted that he agreed to let  
> Secretly Canadian use an acapella track (anything they wanted but  
> he would submit nothing new) for their comp cd RIGHT BEFORE he  
> released the accapella albums. I think they may have been around  
> for a bit but the request for a solo vocal track gave him the  
> inspiration to put them out.
> the albums I'm trying hardest to place right now are the period  
> from Blue Corpse to Lost Cause.  I think they all go together and I  
> think they come from the 70's. I'm also still trying to place where  
> all the first albums come from. As you might guess, I'm trying to  
> put together a theoretical timetable and I'm becoming convinced  
> that the albums may go like this:
> Early band albums
> Blue Corpse/later band albums
> first acoustic period (not necessarily in order - I think "Later  
> On" was recorded VERY close to its release date)
> second acoustic period
> solo voice albums (maybe over a significant period of time)
> I Threw You Away/recent albums
> live period
> hope to have years by these soon! Again it's just theory but if you  
> look at lyrical content, equipment used, and band members it DOES  
> begin to make sense.
> Also, some albums (like Chair Beside a Window, Follow Your  
> Footsteps, and a few others) are probably from multiple sessions  
> recorded several years apart.
> I'm curious about the Chusid comments.  Did jandek say 10 albums or  
> 30?  That's a HUGE difference!  If the 30 statement is the right  
> one (maybe Chusid doesn't actually remember) it leads me to think  
> that there are early recordings that have never been issued.  I  
> really think the first acoustic period was recorded close to the  
> release dates, then the band stuff was released during a period of  
> little recording (after 84/85???) when he perhaps trades a blue  
> collar job (as a machinist) in for the white collar work that Katy  
> Vine finds him doing in 1999.  That probably took a lot of  
> dedication. Would also explain why it's only an album a year for  
> quite some time - simply didn't have the time to put it out but  
> wanted to keep things going. Somewhere in the 90's he starts  
> recording again and we get the later albums.  Imagining 7 - 10  
> years between "the Beginning" and "I Threw You Away" would go a  
> long way to explaining the "sudden" change of voice!
> More thoughts?
> danen
>  i agree with you mister jobe. I reckon some of that stuff  
> stretches as far back as to the mid/late 60's (mainly the electric  
> stuff with bad drumming) and the bluesy stuff maybe a bit later.  
> the albums released in the 90's (Twelth Apostle to The Beginning) i  
> think were done in the mid 80's, but released thru 93-99 and he  
> didnt recorded anything for maybe 10 years. the spoken word albums  
> might have been done during or after. the latest stuff maybe  
> recorded in the mid 90's to the present.
> Maybe someone should write to Mr. Smith and ask him politley? I  
> Tell You what! i will, im ordering some albums soon.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Message Received: Aug 06 2005, 12:33 AM
> > > From: "Danen D. Jobe"
> > > To: jandek at mylist.net
> > > Cc:
> > > Subject: Re: [Jandek] Raining Down Diamonds vocals
> > >
> > >
> > > > Listening to "what things are", the first song, for example, his
> > > > voice seems
> > > > turned a bit younger.
> > >
> > > The album DOES seem to be more in line with the "2nd acoustic  
> phase" EXCEPT for the long lengths and bass presence. Maybe he made  
> this around the time of "the Beginning?" but was more excited about  
> the spoken word albums and has only now gotten around to it?
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > So he doesn't release everything chronologically.
> > > >
> > >
> > > The more time I've been spending lately with the early alb! ums  
> convinced that this is the case. I think he goes through phases  
> where he releases very new material (probably because he's very  
> excited about it). My most controverial for instance would be  
> "Ready for the House" through "Later On," which I'm more and more  
> convinced were recorded AFTER the band albums based largely on  
> their content. The lyrics that say more about his "life" (Point  
> Judith, first you think your fortune's lovely) seem to speak of an  
> ended relationship and a changed lifestyle. "Later On" addresses  
> Max - a fan made well after "House" is released - yet Jandek tells  
> Chusid about the band albums BEFORE this records release. In fact,  
> I have a theory that "Later On" is addressing people current in his  
> life and that's where all these names are coming from. We don't  
> significantly see the band music until "The Rocks Crumble." My  
> guess? These early band albums were recorded as The Uni
> > > ts and may represent some of the earliest records. I think bits  
> and pieces of the ! sol om these early sessions as well, but I  
> think more and more that he mixes a lot of these albums up from  
> different sessions. Some of them, the more conceptual ones (Blue  
> Corpse, Graven Image/GTGA, White Box REquiem, I Woke Up) seem to  
> come from perhaps a single session and address simliar themes. I  
> think the different versions of songs are often simply different  
> takes done at a similar time, see all the versions of "European  
> Jewel" for instance. Is "Take My Will" like this? I don't know. He  
> may have had that bass around awhile before recording it  
> extensively. The new album may be a variety of sessions - I'm  
> POSITIVE that "Follow Your Footsteps" and "Somebody in the Snow"  
> are from at least 3 different sessions (and I know Seth's posted on  
> that before).
> > >
> > > Anyway, my thought is that he often alternates between  
> releasing sessions. When he's got a lot of new material he gets it  
> out fairly quickly - that's why I think "Later On" was recorded  
> AFTER the band record! s a believe that "Chair Beside a Window" may  
> begin a lot of the first real sessions he had. For one, Nancy and  
> Pat are there and they disappear after "Modern Dances." These are  
> records done by the band Jandek references to Chusid in the early  
> 80's BEFORE the release of the 2nd and 3rd albums. I think the  
> early band albums (I swear I'd call them the Units albums except  
> they'd confuse people with "House")ended up waiting a while for  
> distribution because he had new stuff he wanted to get out first. I  
> also think the first album is attributed to the Units because at  
> the time he wanted to start putting band albums out next and wanted  
> the same name to all the anonymous records.
> > >
> > > These are all just theories (but what isn't with the man) but  
> ones I've thought about for some time. Please comment!
> > >
> > > Danen
> > >
> > >
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> > >
> > >
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