[Jandek] Time delays and death thoughts

Seth Tisue seth at tisue.net
Wed Dec 7 17:31:47 PST 2005

>>>>> "Frank" == Frank Hardy <soccerdude219 at yahoo.com> writes:

 Frank> so it makes sense that a picture of him where he looks like he's
 Frank> in his forties would have been taken in the 80's, and lo, the
 Frank> evidence stands up. The Jandek in Trubee's 1985 interview was 40
 Frank> years old, and his voice sounds much more like the one that
 Frank> first surfaced on Put My Dream on this Planet- gruffer, more
 Frank> used, but the same guy. And the Jandek who comes out and
 Frank> performs nowadays sounds even older than this guy. So the
 Frank> records seem to be on a ten to fiteen year time delay

I've always assumed that Lost Cause was the last album of vault-digging,
and that since Twelfth Apostle, the albums are being released more or
less as they are recorded.  The sharp stylistic division between
everything up to Lost Cause and everything after leads me to believe
that he didn't record anything for some years.

This theory could be consistent with Jandek's transition from the
machinist job (Trubee interview) to the office job (Vine interview);
maybe he wasn't making music during those years (roughly circa

 Frank> I'd guess that the stuff he's putting out now is from the early
 Frank> 90's

I hear no real difference between how he's playing and singing live
right now and the records that are coming out; they seem very much the
same to me musically, vocally, and lyrically.  What makes you think
there's still much lag between recording and release...?

Oh and by the way has anyone else wondered if the early acoustic albums
were actually recorded after the "mid-period" electric blues stuff?
Those albums have such a strong circa-1970 vibe that I find it difficult
to imagine them being recorded in a later time period.  I imagine it
like this: the acoustic stuff is circa late seventies; after he started
getting some response to those LP releases he started digging through
older tapes looking for stuff to release, from when he was younger and
running with the crowd that helped make the records.  This could help
explain the rehearsal/jam-session, never-intended-for-release feel of a
lot of the Jandek/Nancy stuff; that stuff is also the kind of thing
people tend to do when they're 25 and not when they're 40.

All of this is just speculation, of course -- the real story could be
very different.  I'm saying what feels most likely to me.

Tim, re: your concerns about the 1945 birth year, it's true that I'd
always assumed more like 1950 or even 1955 based on the cover photos,
until we found out about the copyright records.  (And you can probably
put whatever info you want when you send in the copyright forms [Trubee
interview], although putting down fake information doesn't seem to me
like a Corwood kind of thing to do.)  Because of the cover photos you
mention, but also because of the Follow Your Footsteps cover.  Doesn't
he look under 18?  And doesn't the photo look like late 1960's and not
early 1960's?  It's easy to forget how conservative boys' and men's hair
styles were in this country before the Beatles came along in 1964.  And
how about that guitar -- it also seems like a late-sixties, post-Beatles
thing.  And doesn't it look like mom's basement?  Who knows, maybe he's
in his early to mid twenties there and that particular photo just
happens to make him look younger.  As for the White Box Requiem and The
Door Behind covers though, I don't think you need to assume 1975 for
those -- there were plenty of people walking around looking like that by
1970 (and even earlier).  If "30ish" is hard to believe, perhaps 25ish
is easier.

This stuff about Jandek being fatally ill should be disregarded as
hearsay, I think.  Read the (partial) lyrics to The Cell.  I've said
this before, but it sounds to me like he was very seriously ill (and
that jibes with his current thinness), but has recovered.  I don't have
any inside info, but my gut feeling is he'll be with us for a while yet.
I hope I'm right.

Seth Tisue | seth at tisue.net
http://tisue.net | http://www.flickr.com/photos/tisue/

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