[Jandek] jandek is lucky to be an american

Mark Greenberg mark at mayfairrecordings.com
Sun Jan 2 22:42:27 PST 2005


Bravo! You wrote what I was thinking. I read and re-read that post trying to
see if I was projecting things into it but no. That guy is full of himself.
It is very much like a few local musicians that I know that never 'made it'.
They always have all the excuses in the book or a lot of blame to cast on

Of course this is especially weird in this forum... as it is seemingly the
opposite of Jandek. Jandek just is. Jandek just does. I think that is one of
the more fascinating aspects of Jandek. His output has never hit me as tools
of a careerist as the poster in question seems. I also am saddened when I
hear musicians or artists refer to making art or music in competitive ways,
as if there is a winner and a looser. This is not a sport. It is a creative
and expressive act. If you think making music is a competition you have
already 'lost'.

My two cents...

-Mark Greenberg

-----Original Message-----
From: jandek-bounces at mylist.net [mailto:jandek-bounces at mylist.net]On
Behalf Of djobe at uark.edu
Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2005 1:04 PM
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: Re: [Jandek] jandek is lucky to be an american

> jandek is lucky to live in america, the mekka of pop ans rock
> musicbusiness,the whole world has embraced american music.
> i'm doing the same thing than jandek (first on casette) 'since
> 1979. but
> because i come from belgium wich is a small european country my
> popularitystays more local than local can be. there are 10 milion
> belgians lets say i
> reach 0,1% of them (wich is already wishfull thinking) i can reach
> a maximum
> audience of 10 000. 38 000 people visited my website
> http://www.klootperw.com(90% belgians) but only a couple
> 100;people ordered
> something.

Okay, first of all I'm glad you're doing your own thing.  Why so many people
here keep calling Jandek "successful" is beyond me.  For one thing, I can't
imagine Jandek sold more than 2 - 3,000 copies of ANYTHING himself (maybe
one or two by now).  For another, he's not trying to be successful.  He
doesn't seem to WANT to be successful on the terms that you do - in other
words trying to make a life off your music.  If he has "retired" from
regular life I can only think it is because he has made enough money off his
white-collar job and some good stock tips that he can now do so.

If you look back at old letters he wrote to Chusid you'll also see that he
wants to shift some units (he's got a lot of product to move you know) and
yet until this year he has only disappeared further into the void.  When he
finally does play a live show it is on his terms with no announcements.

My point is that I don't think he is succeeding because he lives in America.
This isn't a case of "hey, you and Jandek are equals and what a bitchin'
thing that he lives here."  I know more than a few musicians and many of the
"weirder" ones do better in your country than here.  If you're selling 500
cds to Belgians that's VERY impressive!  Jandek is probably not selling much
more to Americans!

And he's not competing with you. I don't think he's honestly competing with
anybody.  If he was he would take out adds, put up a website and tour.

> belgium is a more 'underground' country than america because
> nobody ever
> looks at belgium for anything  certainly not for good music.

What do you think people buy in this country? How many people on this list
picked up a copy of Ludacris' "Red Light District," U2's "How to Dismantle
the Billboard Charts," and Jandek's "A Kingdom He Likes" this week? Anyone?

> i sell 2 a 3OOO copies max, 500 to 1000 is more likely.so whose really
> underground here.

Jandek. He doesn't seem to care as much as you.  I can't believe we have
reached a point where people are considering Jandek as competition - or as a
financial success!

> the chance that somebody from a music magazine like mojo can come
> across my
> music is at least 100 times smaller than with jandeks.

You poor thing.  Keep in mind that it has NOTHING to do with Jandek being an
American that causes Mojo to come on board his music.  It has more to do
with being the guy that Irwin Chusid heralded on his strangely successful
music show. Now thanks to the documentary that many more people know about
him.  But how many people do you really think are buying his cds by the 20
pack because of that?  Even as the legend proliferates it STILL doesn't mean
more than 1% of 1% of this country will (or could) ever listen to him.
People like the story and it gets around but so few actually listen to the
music.  No offense to anyone this applies to, but look at how many have
joined this list in the past few months with "I still haven't bought any of
the music, what should I start with," posts.  They know him from the film or
the legend but the music remains a mystery.  Mojo and most everyone but the
Wire will drop Jandek in a month when the buzz around the documentary and
the live show go
 away.  And for that manner, how many cds of his have you seen REVIEWED by
these magazines?  Any?  When Pitchforkmedia reported on the live show (and
"The End of it All" title) it was the only props they've ever given him
outside of the tribute album!  Did they REVIEW The End of it All?  Would
they have known what to do with it?  Jandek is Indie and Cool until it comes
time for people to shell out for (or REALLY talk about) the music. That's
why I like this forum - we actually talk about the music!

> i like the guy's music because he sounds a lot like some things i
> did in the
> '80's (only on casette).

This is the most egotistical comment I've ever seen on this list.  There are
a lot of artists on this list and I've never seen anybody say anything to
this effect.  If I had any interest in your music (which I would have) I now
don't.  I hope you like his music because it's good. Lots of people were
doing similar stuff but Jandek is still Jandek.

> but unlike jandek i never had a proper job i treid to survive with
> music in
> all its different forms.

And this makes you better than him?  Pathetic.
> yes i am perfectly jealous of jandek he succeeded, with the help
> of the
> madia, to become the world most talked about underground cult
> figure of the
> moment.

It will pass.

> I'm not jealous about what he does but the way he did it.
> he kept focussed on the same things during all those years.
> i was always changing and trying lots of things but like jandek i
> only did
> it to please myself.
> my new album's coming out in jan 2005 i hope you all will buy it.


Sorry to be so glum, but this really hits me the wrong way.  It seems to go
against everything Jandek stands for.

cynical in the new year,

Danen Jobe

> Dr Kloot per W
> _______________________________________________
> jandek mailing list
> jandek at mylist.net
> http://mylist.net/listinfo/jandek

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