[Jandek] the blue behind

Jonathan Vincent jcvinc2 at pop.uky.edu
Tue Feb 8 05:57:17 PST 2005

To me the most straight ahead blues sounding records are blue corpse and

You walk alone...

 six and six is just one chord drones with plunking individual notes and
spooky stuff vocals with tons of echo...

I think people assign country blues to it because of it's
instrumentation (acoustic guitar and howling vocals) when in ways there
is this delivery of emotional release as in blues music but the sound
it's self is to me closer to traditional music from other countries that
I have heard... 
I am no expert on other countries folk forms but to these untamed ears
it sound vaguely Japanese or Indian in it's use of microtones that are
not typical to the western scales... and a beat structure that is more
in line with the breathing needed for the delivery of the words
themselves and not concerned with driving the song or creating danceable
or even steady beats...

I have always found it interesting that blue corpse and the ones
directly after with the other players (guitar player for sure I think)
are the favorite of so many folks ... 

and then those same people go on to talk about how they love jandek's
weirdness/other-worldly-ness/ avant-garde leanings or whatever...
Those are by far the most typical musically with just 12 bars blues jams
on many of the songs...
Where the sloppiness of the other guitar player is evident in such a
traditional form... 
while with jandek's traditional style of playing is it's own thing
entirely and thusly is just different...
not sloppy or bad in any conventional sense because it is not trying in
any way to be conventional but doing it's own thing to such a different
and original degree that those traditional value systems of
good/bad/sloppy/amateur playing do not apply at all...

much like sonic youth has he has invented his own style of playing that
exists  outside of judgment beyond the sound that is created...

but back to blue corpse and you walk alone... 
Sure jandek's voice is weird and wild as ever but the music on those
records are his most NORMAL non-experimental of anything he has ever
Maybe it is a case of people wanting to like really weird stuff but then
settling for the most typically normal/what they think is musical
sounding of the lot...
I also am pretty sure that jandek is the sole singer on blue corpse but
definitely not the sole guitar player unless he took up the whole 12 bar
blues thing and then just totally abandoned it all later...
I personally think jandek is on a great roll and these last four records
are some of the best that he has ever done... plus his voice is just
getting cooler and cooler as it lowers and lowers it's self into life...
Here's hoping for five more in 2005!!!
Peace jonathan

i ordered "ready for the house", "chair beside a window", and "blue 
corpse".  i'm thinking i may eventually get all of the first 7, but 
i'm not made of money.  a lot fo people seem to like "six and six", 
but i always balk when i read the word "blues" mentioned in a review. 
i really don't like the bluesier playing at all.  i think i prefer 
jandek when he seems to be playing alone, although  some of the nancy 
songs are nice too, and ditto for the drums (if it really is "john" 
playing them).


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