[Jandek] Live 'bootlegs' and wanky hoaxes

Collins, Brendan G BCOLLINS at sjmc.org
Wed Nov 2 13:48:03 PST 2005

"Don't worry, no one really is. If you are, you need to take a vacation
or get some pills or something. I dare anyone to respond to this post
and give me one solid reason why they truly enjoy the spoken word
albums. And even then, I'll still be skeptical."
That's rather sad, considering that many of the folks who find these
recordings to be so deplorable are also the ones who wished Jandek would
"open up" somewhat.  In these recordings, he is still speaking in
mystical, shrouded terms... but he is also at his most unshielded and
vulnerable.  You can't "get" what he's saying from the words alone, but
the very means he presents them.  We learn more about the person through
these albums than anything speculated - and that may be disappointing to
some.  Or even to a lot.  But it's real.  It's very human.  It's
difficult to listen to more than once or twice, however, because there
are just the lulling, chanted mantras peppered throughout each piece.
But they are not, of course, the person behind Jandek.  The recordings
are of free-form thoughts, ramblings on life and existence and such.
They don't necessarily represent anything else.  Necessarily.
Which brings to mind the question, "Is Jandek some deranged loner living
in his own basement?" He's not.  Jandek is the product of a gentleman
who simply has a higher threshold of privacy than most - an issue of
personal respect.  He doesn't have the same idea of celebrity that most
people share.  There's Jandek the performer, who so happens to share a
life with the man behind this performer. When you look right at it, the
majority of Jandek "fans" are more fascinated with this duality than
they are the music thus produced.
I don't know everything about Jandek.  I really barely know anything
about Jandek.  But I don't see the man behind Jandek as the creepy,
deranged loner he's often made out to be.  Jandek is not really who he
appears to be.  When Mr. Smith states that he is not Jandek - he is
speaking the truth.
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